Thursday, March 29, 2012

386 Days - A Trenchcoat, A Smile, and a Really Good Scotch

And now…  A Horatian Ode to “The Woo”

Dearest monosyllabic intransitive verb
Dear child of the English of Old
Where have you run off to? What made you perturbed
Enough to grow hardened and cold?

The letters that make you are three altogether
Four sticks; they make up the first
The second and third are symbolic, however
Like breasts to a man with a thirst

Oh Woo, you’ve forgotten how you once existed
To bring smile to this face and these lips
And often enough, if your speaker persisted
He’d be led in the dark to my hips  

I so miss you, old friend, and the lift you once gave
To an ego much riddled with strife
Please come back, I beg you. Your existence, I crave
If you do, I shall hand you my life.

A bit of a dramatic way to say that I like being told I’m pretty in the morning, eh? I don’t even believe that it’s a true Horatian Ode but it looked pretty friggin’ good when I wrote it out, so I kept it.

Okay, so… (cracks knuckles)… let’s get down to business, shall we? Today we’re talking about the simple act of being complimented by your beloved. Simple? HAHAHAHAHAHA!! A-HAHAHA! Ah! HA!! Simple. HAHAHAHA. Hahahahahahahhh. So funny. Simple to us, yes, but so is remembering to not let the kids play outside in their pajamas. In the rain. With no shoes on. And a bloody nose. Anyway, what we think is so simple is so foreign to the opposite sex and vice versa, right? Right. It’s the whole Venus/Mars thing and I get that. It’s never going to change and I’m not going to try to figure to out here; I’m simply going to write a few examples of a good woo below for any men reading this who’d like to get laid tonight. Or, a lot. Or, ever, depending on your rank on the nerd scale. Unless of course, she's a nerd, too. And if you’re a woman reading and you're not an "already complimented by your own nerd" nerd, feel free to send this link along to your man. By the time this gets to you, be assured I have already sent it to mine.

Situation #1:

(You’re on your second date a woman with long hair)

Woo: “Your hair makes me want to commit crimes against nature.”

Outcome: Blow job in the car on the way from the coffee shop to the dog groomer you promised to take Fifi and her to.   

Situation #2:

(You’re in a long-distance relationship with a woman who just sent you a picture of themselves taken outside)

Woo: “I have never been so jealous of the sunlight in my life. It got to touch you all over the place this morning.”

Outcome: She shows up at your office today after a 3-hour flight wearing nothing but a trench coat and a smile holding a bottle of scotch. Good scotch. Really, really good scotch. And a porn.

Situation #3:

(You’re married with children for years and work in separate parts of the city)

Emailed Woo: “I forgot to tell you how pretty you looked this morning. Before you got in the shower. And before you woke up.”

Outcome: Beef Brisket, bottle of Malbec, a make-out session and the rest of her life.

See? Simple. S-I-M-P-L-E, gang. We are so easy; we really are. All day long, we’ll take a compliment over a car. We want the words, not the worries. We want to be courted by Richard Gere-like characters (see Pretty Woman, not American Gigolo) who take the time to point out what we hope to be true: that they still think we’re beautiful and we still turn them on. Give it to us, guys. Even quick and easy gets you places, as if, you didn’t already know… (wink.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

388 Days - One Hundred Twenty-Eight Pounds

One Hundred Twenty-Eight Pounds.  

That’s what the scale showed this morning when I woke up today at 5:20 am.  

Fifty-Eight (point) Zero Five Nine Eight Two Three Four Kilograms.  

That’s for my science nerd followers and friends overseas.  

Two Thousand Forty-Eight Ounces.  

For the bartenders in the room. What’s up, Paulie!  

Fifty-Eight Million Fifty-Nine Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty-Three (point) One Zero Four Milligrams.

Because is saved in my favorites. So?

What this nonsense means comes down to this: You can accomplish what you set out to do, so stop making excuses and telling yourself that you can’t. You have kids? I have kids! See... we’re like, already the same person! You work? I work, too! Owe Ehm Gee, we should totally play Bunco! I’m sure I’ll lose a few “friends” over this write but it’s time I got tough y’all. Did I … just…? Oh God friggin’ help me. 9 years down south is melting my brain like fresh fried chicken fat. I mean, YO! Youze listen up! Stop complaining about your bodies, dammit, and start doing the right things to it! Stop telling yourself that you accept the way you look and then cry every time you have to put a dress on to go to a wedding. Stop grouping yourself in with the big-bottom girls club and picking on the skinny bitches on blogs and FB pages, ‘cause we don’t like it, and we’re honestly really nice people. Most of us. Some of us. Myself excluded. Anyway, stop saying “ugh”, “whatever”, and cursing at me every time I post a picture. I work hard for this body and I’m pretty f*cking proud to show it off, so suck it up or hit the “hide” button if you haven’t already, ‘cause more’s a comin’ y’all!

The time is now. Your time, is now. You have kids, right? You want to see them grow up, have kids of their own and wipe the poop off your butt? THEN START EATING RIGHT. You want to retire to Majorca and walk up to the top of the cliff overlooking the Mediterranean without having to bring a tent and pajamas with you because it will take you four nights to do so? THEN GET YOUR ASS ON A TREADMILL. You want to live to see your fourth husband graduate from college? THEN PUT THE KRISPY KREME DOWN! I’m not young, gang. You know how old I am. You’ve been reading this thing. I’m not independently wealthy. I don’t have a sugar daddy. And I can be downright f*cking lazy, but I like my health and my life and my long term outlook much, much, much more than I like that cheesesteak right there, no matter how incredibly awesomely scrumptious it looks. Okay, maybe just a bi… NO! No, no, no… no, no…I will resist. I can resist. I must resist.  I SHALL RESIST.

‘Cause Majorca is waiting.

Friday, March 23, 2012

392 Days - It Ain't Just for Meat and Pizza Anymore

Let’s talk about the word “lover” for a moment.

While Tina Fey’s character on the brilliant “30 Rock” prefers to hear the word used as a connection between “meat” and “pizza,” it seems that most people shy away from the word owing to the stigma that has long since been associated with it. “Lover” by all accounts has become a dirty word in this stick-up-your-ass modern-day society, and dammit, I ain’t havin’ it, because there is no word in the world more beautiful than the one that describes an act of love.  
Good ol’ Webster’s Dict. defines the word the following way:
lov·er  noun \ˈlə-vər\
Definition of LOVER  1a: a person in love; especially a man in love with a woman. 2: persons in love with each other. 3: a person with whom one has sexual relations.
Examples of LOVER
His wife accused him of having a secret lover.
She left her husband and ran away with her lover.
A-HA! As if you didn’t know already, there’s the culprit. “Lover” is considered by many to be the unfortunately named conjoined twin sister to the word “affair,” which is terrible really, because “affair” hasn’t been a glee-inducing word since “Family Affair” was on television in the late 60’s (psst… ghost of Brian Keith… call me.)  In fact, Affair has been a pretty unfair sibling to Lover. She’s been a bit sneaky when Lover is not looking. I think it’s because she’s jealous, but, I think Lover is pretty close to cutting the ties. With a machete. And some bandages. Tickets will be available at
As I get older (that’s what this blog is about, remember? Eventually you knew I would tie it in) I find I’m falling more in love with the English language. I’m a language-lover, one might say. You liked that, didn’t you? I defend it almost daily (mostly discussing the abomination of it) but I realized that there are so many words that I never used in my twenties because I never felt mature enough or bold enough – as if certain words were too old for me, or too grand for me – “lover,” being one of them. Well, screw that. Today, I stand here before you, sitting at my desk and not really standing at all, a lover of “lover” and all things lover-related.
In my day, I had my share of lovers in a variety of Webster meanings as well as IKEA pricepoint room settings. Today of course, I have just one lover in probably the most traditional of meanings and settings, but I can’t deny that I think about the days when my lovers outnumbered my daily medications. I never had a “type,” per say. I was an equal-opportunity lover and found that the best lovers were often the ones that were surprised that I found them attractive at all. A white Rastafarian artist? Bring it on, mon! A southern Naval academy graduate? At ease, soldier! A 5’7” blue-eyed Frenchman? Oui. Oh, oui. Oui. Oui. OH F*CK,  OUI!
Huh? Uh, sorry. Got a bit lost there. My bad.
Where wa… oh yeah… and I rarely found myself not loving who I was with. I didn’t really ever have sex to get laid. Actually, I only ever had a single one-night stand in my life. I made love to show love and to feel love and to be love, and I am where I am today because I was never afraid of what love could make possible.
So if you’re reading this and you’re in your twenties, call your lover “lover” whether it’s your boyfriend or your girlfriend or hell, even just a friend. “Lover” gets a reaction like no other term of endearment spoken. Use it. Abuse it. Say it and spray it, baby. And if you’re old as balls like I am, call your lover “lover” for the same reasons I just mentioned and possibly one large one more… because you’re madly in love with them and your life with them, and because they’re madly in love with you for who you are. Let’s make “lover” good again, shall we?

Monday, March 19, 2012

396 Days - How To Make Love to a City

The City of Brotherly Love.” 

Most people who grew up in Philadelphia snicker when they hear that term uttered as a way to describe the city. But unfortunately those *most* don’t realize that the above statement is not now nor was ever meant to be a description. If you’re Greek, you know, it’s a definition. It’s what the word “Philadelphia” means when broken down. “Phileo” – to love and “adelphos” – brother. I’ve heard the term used my entire life yet only agreed with the word’s meaning long after I had left. So many things changed when I left that city, but the love I have for it grows stronger with each passing day I stay away.

I pride myself on being a non-suburb gal. I’m tough. I’m loud. I’m sassy and I swear, a lot. Those characteristics aren’t typical of the cul-de-sac type who grew up with a lawn and a pool. My pool was an open fire hydrant blasting me across the street and often into the path of an oncoming car. My lawn, a concrete pavement that made the greatest cracking sound when the double-dutch ropes would hit it in the summertime. My back yard was an aluminum porch that overlooked Frank the Greaseball’s tomato plants, and my very own bedroom was the side of the bed I slept on next to my mother until I was ten. I didn’t know that people didn’t grow up like I did. I didn’t know that I was poor, or that families owned two cars. I didn’t even know that everyone wasn’t Catholic. This was all part of growing up in Philadelphia. It is all part of what makes me who I am today, love it or leave it, and as I grow older and, though some would argue, wiser, I am finding that my love for those things which I was once embarrassed by is strong and heavy and sturdy and grand. I proudly wear my city on my sleeve, next to my heart, which is where it will live forever if I have anything to do with it.

The decision to leave Philadelphia stands alone still as the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life. Luckily, I had never gotten pregnant from a one night stand or had to watch my next-of-kin spend weeks on life support. I’m sure those decisions would blow mine away, but keeping it in perspective, it was still pretty effing hard to come to terms with. I knew one person in Atlanta. Technically, I was going to be moving in with someone that, while he and I had been dating for over a year, I still had only seen in person roughly ten or so times. Leaving my beloved city was going to rip me apart. I couldn’t walk out of my door to the Wawa for a coffee, or listen to Harry Callas call the Phillies game on the local radio station. I would no longer have real cheesesteaks, or get my next tattoo at Eddie’s, or watch the sun rise over the Delaware river. Who would call me “doll” when I needed to buy the Daily News? How would I live without another Mummer’s parade on New Year’s Day? And where would I find scrapple? This is SCRAPPLE we’re talking about, here! But while my heart was shattering into itty bitty pieces in my chest, my brain knew that Philly wasn’t mature enough for me any longer. It was my tenth grade boyfriend, and it was time… yes, about time… I dated a grad student.  

My last days in Philadelphia were the hardest. You’d think that I would have spent my final moments in my hometown visiting relatives and gossiping with my girlfriends, but I didn’t. I mostly spent them alone. Well, alone as you could be with a city of 1.5 million people. It was “our” time together, Philly’s and mine. We were a love affair for the ages, and it was time to say our goodbyes until our next brief rendezvous, whenever that would be. So I drove… and I didn’t stop until late in the evening. I hit every mural that meant something to me. I watched the lights come on at night at the foot of the Ben Franklin bridge. I stood outside of Silk City lounge, listening to the music through its walls and wanting pancakes from its diner. I photographed City Hall from every angle I could get, and I told William Penn how special he was to me, and that no matter where this life would take me, he would always be the first man I ever loved. I took Philly out to dinner, kissed it on the mouth, and in the last few hours, made mad, passionate love to it. Then, in the morning, I snuck out before it woke up so that it didn’t ever get the chance to see me cry.

These are some of the snapshots from those final moments. I present to you, my one and only Philadelphia...

The Apartment in West Philly where I lived until I was ten.

My wonderful Silk City.

Ben Franklin would have been proud to call this bridge his own.

Lottery tickets, hoagies and cigarettes by the singles. Nowhere else on earth can you get that kind of service.

Mural of Alfredo Arnold Cocozza, also known as Philly's favorite Italian son, Mario Lanza.

One final dinner on Broad street in the shadow of Center City

My heart belongs to you, Billy. It will forever. It's yours for the keeping.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

398 Days - The Bootsy Collins Backup Vocals

What. Is. Love?

For those almost or already 40-somethingers reading this, that line likely brought you back to the club that you got into with your older cousin’s expired drivers license. It likely brought you back to the middle of the dance floor next to your three best friends who made a semi-circle around their handbags as they tried not to spill their Malibu bay breezes on their  Bakers’ plastic platform shoes and acetate bell bottoms. No? Doesn’t sound like you? Well, it’s exactly where I was. Lady Miss Keir and me; we were groovin’ in our hearts, and singing along to the Bootsy Collins backup vocals. We were sporting our fiercely blue liquid eyeliner (tops only!) and flirting with the Greek bartender/lawyer behind the bar. And Lady Miss Keir was feeling it, and I was feeling it, and we were feeling it and singing it and smelling it and tasting it and wondering to ourselves…
What. Is. Love?
Twenty years ago I would have told you something different than what I know it to be now. I would have told you it was the guy who took me to the shore for the weekend and opened my car door (almost every time!) I would have told you it meant being with someone all day, every day, day in and day out, and never wanting to be apart. I would have told you it was exactly what I was in and that the person I was with was the only one for me and that my eyes would never wander and that there was no one else in the world. Of course, I now know better, because my eyes did wander, plenty. And there were other people in the world. But that still doesn’t mean that I know now or will ever know exactly what love is. Or maybe I do. Or maybe I’m still learning, and that’s okay too, because we should learn one thing every day of our lives and if we haven’t, then it was an unsuccessful day.
Love goes in stages. It gets complicated and then it gets easy. It gets messy and then it straightens itself out. It grabs you when you least expect it and lets you go never, even when you try to shake it. It can exist without there ever being a presence, and yet can also dissolve when you swore it was right in front of you. It’s tricky, and wonderful, and maddening and free. And you can’t live without it, even if you don’t know what exactly it is.
I wonder what Lady Miss Keir is doing right now. I wonder if she is still her fabulous self, kicking out sick tunes in her head or reliving the memories of club nights gone by. I wonder if she still wonders what love is, or if she knew what it was all along and just forgot to share it with the rest of us. What a mean trick to play.