Tuesday, May 27, 2014


At the gym I go to -- which is a low-cost but perfectly adequate operation, full of parents of young children (whose children go, like mine, to the Kids' Club to watch random snippets of Frozen or else that one about the princess and the frog?) and cranky retirees who look put out that it's come this, at last -- there is a car always parked in the far end of the lot with the license plate FXYNANA. It's one of those Cube thingies, or whatever -- like a literal box on wheels, marketed as like a rolling dorm room for The Kids Today but bought exclusively by the 55-plus crowd.

And for the entire three years I've been going there, I've suffered a stupid twinge of annoyance whenever my eye falls upon this license plate (I have a longstanding problem with non-witty, non-easily-understood vanity plates). I couldn't figure it out. I thought it was something about "fixies," which apparently is some sort of annoying hipster thing about bicycles?  Or ... is it ... an acronym? Should I read it right-to-left? Goddammit.

Today -- TODAY -- I realized: it means FOXY NANA. As in, a grandma who is (still? or perhaps newly?) foxy. And right away -- well, as soon as I got over berating myself for missing it all that time -- my brain said to me, in the Seinfeld voice when he's complaining about the pirate shirt, "But I don't WANNA be a foxy nana!"

I'd like to be -- you know, fit and healthy, and take care of myself, and dress well and have good hair and all, and I hope Mr. Gleemonex still finds me doable forever and ever -- but I don't wanna be chasing "foxy" when I am a grandmother (or of a grandmotherly age). Is there nothing, NOTHING, that we can just let go about our youth? Have some pride! Gosh!

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Friday, May 23, 2014

California is both the greatest, and the worst.

Goddammit, we have to talk about vegetable lasagna. Or, rather, vegetable "lasagna," because that is some air-quote-deserving bullshit right there.

Why do people think that people who don't eat meat or just don't feel like it today would rather eat a goddamn panful of wet gross zucchini and wrong-textured bell peppers sliding all around over the noodles instead of: CHEESE LASAGNA? The kind that is just like the traditional meat version, but without the meat? It's the same people who, if you say you don't want meat on your pizza, will come back to you with a pizza-like item that is fucking covered with two pounds of broccoli and red onion and (again -- AGAIN -- with this fucking stuff) zucchini. What the fuck is that? I didn't say I wanted a fucking farmer's market on top of some bread, hippie! And listen, don't try to tell me that the vegetable "lasagna" or the Jolly Green Giant "pizza" is healthy, or even "healthier," because it's not -- you already made the decision to eat something that is basically carbs and cheese, so own it, and get that cock-knuckled vegetable shit out of my face.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Oh, yew've had PLENNY a honeymoons -- ya have one every time ya meet a boy!

Men I Have, at Various Points of My Life, Been Certain I Would Marry: A Partial List

--Kevin Bacon (1984-85)
--Matthew Sweet (1990-93)
--Andre Agassi (1988-91)
--Charlie Sheen (1989-92)
--Christian Slater (1989-91*)
--Michael Jackson (1983-86)
--George Harrison (1987-89)
--David Bowie (1986-88)
--this guy Tim that was my mom's friend and almost certainly gay as a tangerine (1980-90)

*Entry appears solely because of stuff people wrote in my yearbooks. I do not remember feeling this way about him at all. But apparently I did, for awhile? 

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

210, 220, whatever it takes.

Me Attempting to Explain the SAT to Kid Gleemonex, Who Is Six, In Which My Experience Was Over 20 Years and Several Major Test Iterations Ago (A Conversation Occasioned by Reading About Laura Ingalls Sitting for the County Teachers' Examinations in These Happy Golden Years)

Me: So they only give the test once a month, and you had to pay for it and sign up for it way in advance, and you could choose your testing location but it was always at like a high-school cafeteria or a junior college lecture hall --

Kid Gleemonex: Can you sit wherever you want? Are there other kids there, or just you? Are there teachers there?

Me: [Answers all Qs, with digression on what a proctor is]. Anyway, it's this big important test, and how you score on it determines the kinds of colleges you can get into --

KG: How come? Why would they make you take a test like that? What is it FOR?

Me: [deciding against going as far back as the anti-Semite stuff, opting to start with the modern-day justification] Well, the IDEA of it is that since all high schools are different -- different teachers, different books, different grading systems -- this test is supposed to be an objective measure of what students know. Well, at least in math and verbal --

KG: Verbal is words?

Me: Yes! Exactly! So -- I dunno how they do it now, but at least in my day, there were six sections, three math, three verbal, and they could be in any order -- each test booklet is different, so you can't just look at the girl's test next to you and copy her --

KG: Egor tries to copy me all the time.

Me: I know, poor old Egor, he's not quite where you are on his reading comprehension, is he? Anyway. So it's just you and your sharpened #2 pencils and what's in your head -- you can't bring any books or notes or computers in the room --

KG: [Katya] gave me a Frozen pencil!

Me: I know! It's neat isn't it? Anyway -- so it's just you in there, working your problems, and there's a time limit on each section, and when they call time, you just have to put your pencil down and stop, whether you're done or not --

KG: [several-minute digression on how she'd get through all the questions the fastest because she's a really good reader and really good at math] But Mommy, why is this for college?

Me: It's -- ahh -- colleges use it as part of the picture to figure out if you should go there or not. If you get a really good score [gross oversimplification alert!], you can get into better schools.

KG: Did YOU get a really good score?

Me: I did, yeah -- not the very very best, but a good one. I got a near-perfect score on the verbal, and a decent -- but what was for me a really good score -- on the math. [Quick! Don't be all "Tee hee, math is hard! Let's go shopping!" Come on, goddammit, impart some fucking VALUES!]. I mean -- the verbal was easy for me, it came naturally to me, you know? But the math I had to really work on, and so I did. I got special tutoring -- that's private teaching -- from my friend's mom, who was really really good at math [yes! a lady math person!], and did lots and lots of practice tests [O SHATNER HOW I HATED TUESDAY AND THURSDAY MORNINGS OF THE SUMMER OF 1991], and did my best on the test, and I was pretty happy with the result.

KG: So you went to a good college?

Me: That's not the only reason why, but yeah --

KG: Where is the college that's the Tigers? Where Aunt A. and Uncle P. went?

Me: Princeton? That's in New Jersey. It's on the East Coast, about as far from here as you can get in America.

KG, in consternation: I don't like that. [pause for consideration] What's the one with the tree?

Me: Stanford?

KG: Yes! Standiford. That's right down the road. Is it a good college?

Me: Yeah, one of the best in the country!

KG: Then I will go there.

Me, heart just about squozen out of my chest: Good choice, baby. Good choice. I think it's the best one.

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Thursday, May 01, 2014

A thing which has stuck in my craw for about a month now.

I am thinking that perhaps a shirt that has this on it is not the very, very bestest choice, shirtwise, to wear to pick up your first-grader at the elementary school:


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