Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FB and AC

I have been thinking about FB (Former Boyfriend) quite a bit lately, probably because I tossed a video about Ann Coulter on my blog a few days ago, and it reminded me of something I had forgotten.

FB had a terrible crush on Ann Coulter - beautiful, accomplished (heh), mini-skirted AC. His love of her long, spidery legs and her awesome hair and her fabulous Botox job - he did not conceal it. He really, really wanted to bang Ann Coulter. Not Paris, not Britney, not Lindsay, hell, not even Nicole. His fantasy? Coulter.

Reader, meet FB: (by way of my favorite things he ever said to me).

FB: "Well, obviously all Muslims are terrorists. But at least they have the sense to know that women should not be allowed to wear pants and drive cars."

FB: "I have so much to give. My medical practice is, obviously, a 24/7 reminder that I am here to serve God. But, you know, in my later years, I will have to decide if I could best serve God by becoming the Pope, or running for President."

FB: "When I am in heaven, and you are in purgatory, I am going to have to pray for about 2 billion years for you to be perfected. Straighten up, already. Two billion years of paradise is a long time to pray for someone who is obviously not very concerned for her salvation."

FB: "Be grateful that you are a woman. It is far more difficult for me to serve God by loving you than for you to serve God by showing me the respect I deserve."

FB: "Baby, when you go in, you will see two rows. Elephants on one side, and donkeys on the other. Press the buttons for the elephants and then pull down the lever. And then I will take you out for cupcakes. With sprinkles. *kiss kiss* - now go make Daddy proud."

FB: "It's a mandate! It's a mandate! BUSH HAS WON!" (he shrieked while wiggling joyfully under the covers of my chaste Christian bed - as we watched the final election results of 2004 come in).

Was he crazy. Obviamente. Duh. But really a lot of his issues were not about meanness, but about dying - and his fear of it. Many times, he would wake up screaming in the middle of the night and then try to get away from something - he knew not what and he would never tell me about the dreams. He also couldn't make out with me without running off to confession within the hour to mend his relationship with the Almighty.

But I have to give the devil his due. He was an excellent boyfriend. Some examples:

"What did you just say? You'll meet me at the restaurant? Hush. I will have a car sent for you."

"What's that, my love? Your skiis are not properly waxed? Take them off. I will ski back to the shop and have them waxed post haste. You just sit here on this bench and sip hot cocoa from my thermos until I come back.l I shall leave my jacket, in case you catch a chill."

"Nini, I have been thinking. We really need to get away. I have planned a trip. Can you be ready at 6 on Friday night? I'll pick you up in front of your building and we'll spend a few days in Mexico."

"I love you. I know it's wrong to say it when I have been drinking, but it's easier."

"Nina, it's two in the morning and I am on rounds. This had better be good. (Nina tells FB she has vomited nine times in six hours)." Twenty minutes later, FB arrives at my apartment with a huge bag of medical tricks, administers IV fluids and a sedative - and washes the vomit out of my hair. (I am not kidding).

*leaving my apartment at 5am to do rounds at Horrifying Hospital* "I will bring you scrambled eggs and coffee from the diner on my way back. Sleep until you smell coffee. I _______ you." (the blank was the word love which he could not say unless he was drunk, but he could MUMBLE while sober -with obvious distress - especially if he thought I was unconscious).

But, oh, good heavens, he loved him some AC.

We saw her once, on the sidewalk in midtown, and he was gobjawed.

I turned to him and said, "uh, honey, I am pretty sure that is Ann Coulter."

"Coulter.... pretty."

"Honey..."

"Ann... oh.... "

"She's wearing pants."

"Coulter... pants.."

Sometimes when he would leave the apartment in the morning, I would cling to him sort of like a damsel in distress in a John Wayne movie, and gasp, 'Swear you will not try to contact Ann Coulter. Swear it... I beg you..."

In spite of his obvious sweetness, and because of his political fervour, he could not, would not promise it. It used to (sort of) bother me that he would not promise me never to have coffee with a woman he would never meet. Duh, I know. But it did.

Sometime between whenever that was and today, I realized that it might be called something like progress if I no longer care whether he tries to have coffee with AC, or bang her, or whatever. Most of my thoughts about him have been happy ones, and while I sometimes still miss him, it no longer hurts.

He was crazy, but he was good to me, and he was HILARIOUS. But he is also gone, and I might without obvious unreason surmise, from the fact that I got through this post without crying, that I am getting over it.

Onward.

Happy Halloween

Go ahead and click it. It's worth the bandwidth.

Praise Be.

I gave up a) cable television and b) television altogether because I would not, could not continue giving money to Time Warner Cable. My cable rarely worked; my internet service was spotty, and they tried to tell me the issue was that the gothic castle I live in is too "dfficult" to properly service because the walls are so thick. People, we are talking about pulling WIRE here - not wireless. DUH.

This article had me (and cat-head) jigging yesterday morning - not because we plan to get cable again, but because we know if we do, we will not have to deal with Time Warner.

Thank you, Jesus.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I - you - me - we - good - go

No matter how skilled a climber is, falls are inevitable. If we didn't want to push ourselves and try a move we are not sure we can swing, we would not be climbing in the first place. Every climber I know - and likely everyone who has ever climbed more than once or twice - owes his or her life to safety gear and the people on the business end of a belay device.

Belaying is simple. It takes about 15 minutes to learn, and once you have mastered the basic skills, anyone can belay a climber with confidence. For this reason, it is easy to forget the basic procedure climbers should follow when tying in and for a climb. The climber ties in using a follow through figure eight:



The belayer clips in and screws the caribiner shut. The climber checks to see if the 'biner actually is shut. The dialogue, officially, is to be:

Climber: belay on?
Belayer: On belay.
Climber: Climbing.
Belayer: Climb on.

After about the first half hour of belaying among friends, this entire dialogue simply disappears. The two climbers, if they really know each other, substitute a shorthand of looks and gestures intended to indicate the above.

Among Bibi, Sri, and I, the replacement is

I'm in. You?
Me? We're good.
Eye contact.
Checking of 'biner.
Go.

The critical part of the transaction is, of course, the eye contact. What is not said:

I am going up with wall now and I do not doubt that you have my back (and my ass).

I've got your back (and your ass). Think not of falling, only of climbing. Go.

I never think twice with Bibi or Sri belaying me. When things happen, (and they often do) Bibi and Sri ( and me) hit the breaks instantly. I have never fallen more than a few feet. Ever.

Many times I have been near the top of a climb, shaking and winded and about two seconds away from making a move that I know good and well I don't "have" - and have shouted over my shoulder "Yo, got me?" to whoever is on the business end of the grigri. And then two seconds later, went for it and went flying... about 2 and a half feet. (About 3% of the time I actually make the climb and then I am all giddy and shaking and exhausted and rappel down a very happy novice climber).

That is why it is difficult for me to understand how this could ever happen:



Notice that she says the equivalent of 'you, go me?" and notice that her belayer say 'I gotcha' more than once.

THAT IS WAY TOO MUCH AIR for ANY climber to catch on a fall.

And just for the hell of it, a picture of me climbing in Peru a few months ago:



Thanks, Mischa, for taking this rather artsy zoom photo of the back of my head on that very reachy ledge about 60 feet from the ground. The person belaying me was a competitive climber and on that day, our lead climber. He spoke Quechua and Spanish. I speak neither, and his English was limited to 'hello" and "rock climbing' - but the language of "I've got your back (and your ass)" is universal. I tied in. He checked the knot. I check caribiner and we made eye contact - and up I went.

About one second after Mischa took this picture, I fell, and caught almost no air. Jose said, "OK?" I said "yep." And then I latched back on and finished the climb - which is just as it should be.

For more videos of close calls and sloppy belaying, click here.

8:09am, 58th and 10th, Sexy

Glance right. Don't forget to vote...



...cuz gramma don't matta long as yo sexy.

Reader, I married X.

There is a saying about not marrying your stocks. There is another one about pigs getting rich and hogs getting slaughtered. Regarding actual, real live men, Nina, is... well, the opposite of fun. When it comes to stocks, however, Nina throws her panties on the lampshade and spins the discoball.


Reader, I married X.*

I can't sell. I can't quite say I am sorry, either. Here's the chart:




I bought 120 shares at about $8 apiece back in 2002. I sold it off in dribs and drabs until I had my original investment back. I now have 52 shares left and am playing with the house's money, so to speak.

I have had my finger on the trigger to sell my X - many, many times. But I just can't. I love my X. My X does not know I exist and if confronted would scoff at me and my 52 shares. Nina's love for X? Love. Love love love love love. Love more than rainbows and unicorns. Love more daisy fields and magic lamps. Love more than chicken.

That 52 shares is my grandmother's money, the $1600 that is my mother's legacy, converted to $5600 by sheer force of will (read:recklessness and vanity) and a fondness for the letter X.

Who sells grandmothers? Who sells mom, apple pie, America, for Chrissakes? Who sells X?



* If you know that allusion, comment. If not, comment anyway.

Monday, October 29, 2007

All angel, part girl.

Since it is unofficial "Gross Out" week here, I thought I'd talk about my stalker. I used to date him, and back then, he didn't like me very much. But he persists in trying to maintain contact post-break up. He knows that I am not amenable to this. He does not care. Niether do I, not really. And that is why I call him, half lovingly, my stalker.

Below, for your amusement, recent IM flares sent up by my stalker, whom we shall call MHH. The interleaves are my interpretations, responses. And so on.

This, in June, 2007:

MHH: Nina.

MHH: Nina, I know you read my IMs. (correct, obviously)

(5 minutes later)

MHH: If you didn't, you would block me or change your username. (I've tried that. He finds me anyway.)

(19 minutes later)

MHH: I think about you all the time. All good things.

(2 minutes later)

MHH: Did you ever get married?


This is when I start shrieking and hurling furniture across the room. Why? The last time I saw MHH, we fought. He said lots of stupid shit calculated to get my to remove my underwear. One of them was "You shouldn't assume when I treat you badly, that I don't love you. There is no relationship between how I treat you and how I feel about you. I am a jerk, but that doesn't mean I don't love you." Six months later he sent me an email telling me he had gotten married. This is why I start shrieking when he asks me if I had ever gotten married. I was kind of ok, fuck, I admit it, I was kind of crazy about him and he behaved like a complete fuckwit during our relationship. I never understood why (until much later). The match would have been to his advantage. I am better looking, smarter, have more money, and all my chromosomes line up in neat rows. (More on this later).*

This, also in June 2007....

MHH: I really miss you. Can't we just talk?

(4 minutes later)

MHH: I have so much to tell you. Everything is going well for me and I just want to talk to you.

(7 minutes later)

MHH: I know you are there. I know you read my IMs. You know my email address. If you change your mind.


Nina says: You really want to talk to me because you want to tell me how great your life is and it has not even one little bit occurred to you to wonder how I am doing because you are sub-humanly stupid and willfully mean to people and also the most selfish fuckwit to ever jerk off into a... ok, ok.

This hit my screen recently:


MHH: Hi Nina. I have an extra ticket to see Joe Henry tonight. Please call me if you'd like to go.

MHH: (discloses number... as if!)


Nina says: Nice job, MHH. Mentioning an extra ticket is gauranteed to make me wonder whether you are still married, or indeed, if you ever got married at all. Also by mentioning Joe Henry, you are shoving my brain directly into the bad place, the place where I remember that song, the one I can't listen to without crying uncontrollably. (The song? Scar).



This, in August. I was in Peru. I thought I was hallucinating. So much coca.


MHH: Nina, sometimes I think about you and I think you are an angel.

MHH: Because talking to you is like talking to an angel. I know you hear me, but you can't say anything back.

MHH: I know you can't talk but I like knowing that you are listening.


I am an angel, all right. So angelic that five years after that last fight, I find myself at 13,000 elevation staring up at the sky in the middle of the night - and reading messages from you, when I am, in fact, half way to heaven. I might have cried. I was so tired and the sky was so beautiful and I was so lonely. I don't remember. But I might have.

MHH, in all of your flares, you have not once considered what you might be doing to your marriage -- or me.

MHH, for you to be within ten feet of your computer thinking of sending me a flare is adultery. If you doubt this, consider all the days, during our brief time together, we called out sick because the mere thought of prying our sweaty naked bodies apart was too painful to even consider. What was the record, again? Yes, I believe that's correct.

Nine times. In less than 12 hours.**

The fact that you are still flaring me, all these long years later, has everything to do with all that sex - and the chance that you think you have of getting more of it if you can just think of the right flare to send. MHH, people have gotten divorced over less. Get off the computer, right now, and go be nice to your wife.

Where was I? Oh yes. Regarding me... angel like. MHH, that's actually pretty close to what it is like - not because I am watching over you or hearing your musings, but because I am dead to you. You are married to someone else, and if I never mentioned it before, let me say it now: I find NOTHING less attractive than a man who is in a legally binding relationship.

Reader, I can't say I care really, about these flares. They don't change my life any. There is nothing he could say that would induce me to reply, not just because he is married, but because he is just not a very nice person. If there is anything that bothers me in all this, it is that Some Girl he is married to knows nothing about how ardently he has been trying to contact me all these years.

But I would be lying if I didn't admit that there is also a part of me that is glad I wasn't the only one who thought the one part of our relationship that worked was unforgettable. Because it was. Is. Even if he is part girl. (Calm down. Not really. See below).

*MHH has a rare genetic disorder - one that mildly feminizes an otherwise ordinary male. If this sounds gross to you, be assured, it is not. At first glance, he looks absolutely normal. Perfectly so. Then an hour later, you think there is something odd about him. Then you realize that his shoulders are on the narrow side. And his eyes are just supernaturally pretty. And, gosh, he has nice fingernails. MHH is not bothered in the least by this issue. When I gently asked him how he felt about it, he said, "I am part girl. So what?" He is masculine in general, so he is in fact, well, mostly normal. Except for the very very mild case of hypospadia, which was actually a sexual advantage in ways I will not describe... oh and let me just say... STOP. Do not google it. The pictures will upset you.

** Now you know: I am not a virgin. I may qualify for honorable mention for not having sex since someone else was president, but it is nonetheless true that MHH made a complete whore of me. I did not even know sex could be fun until... MHH. And his wonky chromosomes. Ah, bygones.

Ann Coulter and Me.



I agree with exactly one thing Ann Coulter* says in this delicious little video. Can you guess what it is?


* Calm down. This may appear to be a blog entry about politics, but it is not. It's just good clean fun.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

$450

Let me summarize my appointent with the headologist, whom we shall now refer to as Dr. Bootstraps, thusly:



I have been hoping that being batshit crazy was more charming than self-destructive. Turns out I am (probably) wrong.

Summary: never tell an exquisitely turned out sixty year old German PhD who awakens at 4am every day because it is healthy that you feel sad about how your life is going and could she please turn down the voices in your head because that is what you are paying her for. It won't go over.

The moment I met her, I knew our chat was not going to be a "curl-up on the couch and tell me why you are sad" situation. The headologist's hair, jewelry, shoe, and hangbag synergy terrified me. Were it not for her placid demeanor and willingness to give me more Xanax, I could safely say she is the scariest persn I have ever met.

I did not love her hard ass condemnation of my self pity and I did not love her disdain for my unfamiliarity with boot straps and pulling them up. I did not love her little video designed to determine whether I am bi-polar or not (people, I pray for mania. At least if I had a good week of it, I'd get something done). I also didn't love her sweepingly general questions.

Dr. Bootstraps; "From today back to the age of twelve, have you ever thought of suicide? Yes or no answer, please."

Nina's real answer: Well, the first time I was eight and my parents refused to get me the Betty Crocker Mini-bake oven but I am glad I didn't got through with it because a few weeks later I got it for Christmas. Also when my dog died and my Dad said he was in special animal heaven I wanted to die too so I could be with him but then I decided it against it because I'd go to people heaven and wouldn't get to see him anyway. Also I think if I can just manage to achieve the bottom rung of purgatory, I might someday live on a cloud and strum a harp and never have to speak to anyone, ever again, who doesn't understand the heartbreaking loveliness of the semi-colon. Also sometimes when I am really mad I think if I die then they will be sorry. So very sorry.

What Nina says: I'd never do it.

Dr. Bootstraps; Yes or no?

Nina says: *with a big, dramatic, f-you sigh*: No.

Dr. Bootstraps; From the time you were twelve until now, have you ever felt you were better than everyone else?

Nina says: Absolutely. *giggle* Oh, I am sorry. Yes.

Compassionate, oh-wow-you-are-batshit-crazy- smile. Perfect hair. Realtor Jewelry. Matching handbag. Shimmering polished finger nails.

Bitch.

In the end my diagnosis was something really, really unsatisfying. Something like "Nina is having a rough time." Thanks, Bootstraps. I knew that before I got here.

On my way out, I gave her $450 I don't have, hoping that my insurance would cover any of it. Sometime soon, remind me to post the "Great Cash Hemorrhage of 2007" - because it'll blow your doors off.

Have a lovely Sunday. (And thank you for reading).

Sin of the Week, 10/28/07

CS Lewis once said friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." Rock Pod, meet UES Pod.

Lola decided it was time for the Pods to meet. She was correct. (She always is).

She threw a pumpkin carving party and promised cupcakes and pumpkin beer - no boys, just girls with lots of alcohol, unlimited quantities of cupcake frosting, and cutting implements that most sane people would not truck with sober.

You know we set ourselves up for a trainwreck there, don't you? The bender that resulted from the meeting of the pods will go down in the annals of Nina Pod history as the bender that Nina emerged from grateful for her life and the lives of her friends.

Sri and Bibi arrived. Each brought a bottle of wine. Merry arrived with another bottle. I arrived with two. Lola already had two bottles of wine and enough cupcakes and crazy-good curried what-not to end world hunger.

We cracked into the booze and the cupcakes and the curry and the next thing you know, we were breaking the neighborhood noise ordinances for giggling and shrieking with pumpkiny pleasure. Ever been at a party where people are literally diving over each other to say "oh, oh I know! Where have you BEEN all my life!" ? Yeah. Separated at birth.

I have no idea how Bibi and Sri made it to work the next day, nor do I know how Merry, the soberest of us all, tolerated such unabashed debauchery. But I do know that I finished the night with a few belts of Couvoisier and a chaser of Smartwater. God, I love that stuff*

Lola and I awakened at 7 am (roughly 4 hours after we'd passed out) and - get this - both of us were barely aware that we were supposed to make a doctor's appointment that day - and neither of us could remember what time.

To clarify, Lola's appointment was a pretty standard "hi please make sure I am not dying" errand. Mine was a "hi I AM DYING and I'd rather not" last ditch effort at salvation.

Yes, America, (ie, the ten people who read my blog), I made an appointment with the headologist. My GP insisted and I complied. Let's talk about it later, okay?

'preciate it.

* Yes, in this case, "stuff" is a pronoun and the referent is ambiguous. Let it stand. Both interpretations apply.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

More Cat-head. Forgive me.

Click it. Turn the volume up as loud as it can go. This is my life with Cat-head.


One Nina's commute in New York City

My day starts here:



Yes, I really live in this building.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I walk to Grand Central Terminal. It takes 12 minutes if i use the overpass.



If use the overpass, I will be on the north (right, from this view) side of the street. And all the coffee/sandwich shops are CLOSED before 7:30am. Those ones on the south side? Open.



This means that to get lunch, I have to use the steps - and then try to CROSS 42nd street at rush hour, which is the exact opposite of fun.




Actually arriving at GCT is glorious. I do not enter the station between 3rd and Lex, even though it would save time. Instead I enter here:




Then I get to walk through here:





Of course, then I end up here:





And I often see one of these:




Which is less upsetting than you might think. I like to play "Rodentspotting." Because rats are people too.

And then of course the train arrives. I board. I disembark. I teach grammar and punctuation.

Toothpaste For Dinner
toothpastefordinner.com

And while I teach, I feel all happy inside, knowing that although my two mile commute to Panic Hire U takes me nearly an hour, and my students are more interested in firearms and crystal meth than they are in, oh, the semi-colon, I will someday get an actual paycheck from Panic U* - and then I will be able to pay my monthly $1400 rent for the 200 square feet, river view and two burner stove that gives Cat-head and me shelter in this big bad terrible awful so good I can't leave even though it would be a really smart thing to do city. What is Cat-head up to right now? Oh, you know. Jigging in the shower and singing about himself. Listen carefully. He is audible from here to China.

Happy Saturday.

~Resisted, for your sake, strong urge to post another picture of my Cathead. Scroll down. He's still there. He is still singing his song. About himself.~


*They paid me on Thursday, a handwritten check for roughly two weeks worth of work. Hello... we are in week 9 of classes. Panic sucks.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Now 100% less cool. I know.

Forget please that I just did the worst thing I could do to you, namely, posting a picture of my cat and accompanied by a POEM. And acting like my loud, needy cat composed it.

Forget about that. It's in the past, like three hours ago. Bygones.

If I were just a little bit more of a jerk, I would post what "cool" people are posting today, namely, the two girls, one cup video. I will not do it. And you, reader, should not watch it. But if you want to watch videos of people watching the video, I am okay with that.





But don't, as in DO NOT watch the two girls, one cup video. Ever.

Have a great weekend. (And thank you for reading).

My Name is Cat-head


My name is Cat-head and I am singing about myself
I push away my water dish; my food is on the shelf

I like to lick the shower drain and sleep upon the tiles
When I sing about myself my meow is heard for miles

My face is in the toilet; it's my favorite place to drink
The water is the best in there; of germs I do not think

Persian cats are cats like me and Cat-head is my name
I love myself, I sing all day, my songs are never lame

My human does not like my songs; she says they rot her brain
My loudest songs I save for days she has to catch the train

Packs her bag and slams the door, runs to the elevator
I sing my song all day long; there's plenty more for later.

When she gets home, I hear her feet, I bust out my MEOW
Keys in the door, bag on the floor, my song is happy now

My human thinks I meow and sing because I need attention
Nina is a lazy drunk, but this I should not mention

(MMMEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.
MEOW.
MEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOWEEEE)

(Repeat)

My name is cat-head and my song is just for you
If you had to live with me, you'd be drinking too

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Chart

CNN has been running this chart on the state of our American waist: hip ratio on a regular basis. It illustrates what we already know: Americans are betting fatter by the decade.

When I was a little kid, I can remember fat people (let's just call those people fifty pounds overweight or more) being a rarity. So unusual was it to see someone without a definable waist line that I was tempted to stare. (I was six years old and very skinny. I was also rude).

Nowadays, it seems everyone is carrying around a little something extra. For some of us, it's five pounds. Or ten. The number of us, however, who are carrying around twenty pounds more than we need to be? Legion. The mostly fit are rare. The morbidly obese are common. And the moderately overweight? Normal. Average.

For women the business of weight is deadly serious, and sometimes literally deadly. Between 1-5% of American high school and college age women get anorexia, and of those, between 5-20% die from it. Between 2-4% of American high school and college age women get bulimia, and up to 13% of women not strictly fitting the diagnosis exhibit purging behavior. Bulimia, while not as commonly fatal, has a high relapse rate, up to 25%.*

I know about anorexia and bulimia first hand from my sisters. One had anorexia, the other bulimia. Both recovered very well with therapy and are now among the 5 or 10 to lose crowd.

Their issues - or mine - are not the point. (Ramble, ramble).

What I find irksome is the blase acceptance of both extremes: people look around and say, well everyone is overweight these days, so it doesn't matter. (It does). And people also look around and say, well everyone is overweight these days, so the thinner I am the better I am.

Excuse me?

Recently, a friend (and closet bulimic), heard me joking about throwing away some jeans I can't fit into anymore - the ones I have been holding onto since high school. She turned very earnestly to me and said, "Oh but if you really try, you can get into them again. You can. Don't give up."

And I thought, don't give up? On the dream of being 85 pounds again, which I had no idea I should be aspiring to?

What?

All this is on my mind right now for three reasons:

Reason one: I have entered medical season** - the time of year when I make appointments: eye doctor, dentist, (I like to start with the easy ones) GP (blood work), gynecologist (gack), radiologist (mammogram), breast surgeon (I already have one picked out)***, and nephrologist (I only have one kidney).

The last six months have been a drama sandwich with a trauma chaser - and when life is "like this" -temperance vanishes. I just try not to die. The result is uniformly bad: I floss less, I eat more, I only get to the gym when my 85 pound friends demand it as a condition of continuing friendship.

And I get puffy in ways that are profoundly disturbing. Explaining why and how to my GP will not satisfy her or change the puffiness.

Reason two; I have realized, not for the first time, that in order for me to get really good at climbing, I need to pare down. If I were not afraid of my doctors' collective chagrin, this alone would be a good enough reason.

Reason three: While reasons one and two are compelling, I have a complication. Sadly, I have the temperament and the genetics to ge into (dammit) both, kinds of trouble, depending on which grade of crazy happens to ensnare me. My mother fought**** off the pounds her whole life. And I have two sisters who weigh themselves four times a day. And as previously noted, I have a penchant for numbers... charting, graphing... measuring.

It could all go so very badly - especially if I get on a scale. And most definitely if my doctor pokes me in the belly and makes that little dough boy squeak. Dammit.

Many women want to lose weight so that they can attract men. I can't say I care about this. I kissed someone last week and I still cringe when I think of it. So regarding weight and attractiveness or mate-ableness, I have little to say. From what I have observed, men will date a woman if they find her body appealing, and plenty of men find the 5, 10, 20 pounds overweight situation appealing enough. Others not. But one thing that really sucks about being thinner (ducking because I am about to say something that will piss off every woman in the room) is that the thinner I am, the more men like me. I find this annoying as hell. And no, it is not because I have a strikingly beautiful face. It is because my breasts do not shrink when I lose weight. When I hit my ideal weight, my bra size goes down maybe one step. Maybe. My breasts are tenacious, and because of them, I have to bat men out of the way with my broom if I get especially thin.

So as you can see, reader of a Thursday rambling-ass long post, I am conflicted. I have to banish the puffiness and satisfy my GP and get better at climbing, but I also have to not acquire an eating disorder - and also not become thin enough that I have to spend a significant percentage of my time refusing to give out my phone number to boob addicts.

I am confused, as you can see.

And please, don't comment and give me a lot of shit about being grateful men want to date me even if the reason is something as stupid as having breasts. You try having a conversation with someone whose mouth is hanging open and who cannot seem to locate your face, with his eyeballs. *UGHHGHGH* is all I can say. If you have something to add, by all means, comment like mad, but don't give me a hard time about my breasts. I did not choose them and they are mostly a nuisance.


* I am not an expert. I trolled the internet for these statistics - and I am not responsible for their accuracy or validity. If you are worried about precision, google it yourself.

** Medical season this year is going to be rough. To my dentist, I have to explain why I have only been flossing on Sundays. To the eye doctor, I have to explain why I haven't taken my contacts out in three months. To my OB/GYN, I have to confess that, yes, I have wasted another year of my precious ovarian reserve on rock climbing and ignoring relationship opportunities; to my radiologist I have to explain that, no, I don't really regret NOT coming in for that 6 month rescan she so earnestly recommended. (See below). My nephrologist will beg me to quit the caffeine and alcohol, and he'll fail. But the person I really fear is my GP, who will want to know why I am no longer measuring appropriately.

***My mother died of breast cancer. I have a whole squadron of doctors scrubbed up and just waiting for that suspicious mammogram so they can cut my breasts off.

**** In my filing cabinet, I have a copy of my mother's medical records. I rarely look at them, but when I do, I turn to the page where the nurse's notes indicate that my mother is "delighted" to have lost so much weight... from the chemotherapy. I cannot read this page without crying.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

100th Post

I have little to say but this:

1) I signed up for NaBloPoMo.

and

2) I signed up for NaNoWriMo.


I have no idea what is with these names. But the month of November is almost certainly going to be an exciting one for me, and not likely exciting in a good way. So instead of drinking myself to death or smoking hookah until my lungs collapse, I plan to try to write my way from November 1st to November 30th and hopefully arrive at December 1st without any major physical damage - unless climbing falls count, because I always welcome those (crash pads, no big deal).

Also, please see updated links list. I have added some climbing links; in particular, check out Kelly McBride for inspiration and some great pics.

And to close I will report (because it's a big deal to me) that I climbed a V1 (that's bouldering speak for almost the easiest thing in the room) without beta (help) and on the first try (onsight). Click here for more climbing terms.

Thank you for reading.

People hate me. (Some people, anyway).

I made a few changes to my blog recently, and one was to add an email button at the bottom of each post. Wow. I had no idea such a bitty change would result in the knowledge that so many people hate me, my blog, or both. A sample, or four:

Nina,
First of all, put your real name on your blog, you coward.
Seconnd of all, if you think it is ok to milk a guy for hundreds of dollars and then not put out, you have no idea what year it is. People have sex. Its not normal to NOT have sex. And you shouldn't let a guy by you anything unless you are going to put out. your probably ugly anyway, or you wouldn't make such a big deal out of everything. Get a life!
Anon.

Nina says: I see you took a break from laying down with men who don't care about you so you could type 'men are mean to me' into your search engine and mysteriously find my blog. Message there, don't you think?
PS. I am probably better looking than you are - and if not, at least I can spell and use an apostrophe.


Nina,
If you are going to have these BS posts about stuff you do wrong, as least fuck some guy instead of kissing him. Or get some really bad to do. Steal something or something. Also, not calling boys is completely old fashioned and no one cares about who calls who any more. I agree that you shouldn't sleep with someone if you don't want to but you should at least make sure the guy gets off. It's only fare.
Anon.

Nina says: Anon2, to sleep with a guy because it's "fare" ? Well I guess it is "fare" if he paid you. Then it would be only "fair". Just for you, I'll try to commit grand larceny or something or something or something. Thank you for stopping by.

Nina:
I find it shocking and wrong that you can go out and get drunk and go rock climbing!!!!!! when you dad is dying. Why aren't you at home?
Anon.

Nina says: Anon3, read the archives. Shocking and wrong? How very inefficient of you. Did you ever take a writing class, ever, in your life? And also, fuck you. (!!!!!!!!!!).

Dear Dina,
Its clear that you have been brought up Catholic, but have abandoned the faith. You love and respect your father and his faith, but have so little yourself. To waste such a good upbridging and such an example is not what your father would want. Do you remember how to pray? I will be praying for your return of faith and your return to the Church.
Mrs. ___________.

Nina says: I remember how to pray in three languages. There is no language under heaven that describes what it feels like to lose my dad. But since you think it's ok to judge me, back atcha: take a look at the seven deadly sins, especially pride - and take a good look in the mirror. I'll also be praying that you learn to spell and use an apostrophe (in Jesus name, of course).

Another result of the change is an avalanche of email about my dad, sympathizing and offering support - and on one occassion recommending acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I am humbled by how many of you bothered to write something, anything to try to make me or him feel better. If you are one of those, you have my sincere gratitude. Because of you, I have just a little bit of hope that after this is all over, I won't be in a padded cell somewhere.

Thank you for reading.

PS go ahead and send more hate mail, people. It's fun to read and it doesn't hurt my feelings.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I love Lola

Happy Birthday to my dear friend of UES Pod, Lola.

One little story: the month I spent $4500 on plane tickets and hotels to visit my dad - in other words, when I was so broke I wasn't sure I'd make rent, she said "Don't worry. As long as I have a roof over my head, so will you." And you know what? I actually think she'd let me sleep on her floor for as long as it took. That's what kind of friend she is. In all my bitching about how bad every blah blah blah, well. I have really good friends.

Happy Birthday, sistah. Many martinis on me tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gems

Because I did nothing but grade papers today, a few gems from my students:

"A man got no business to be perpetrating like he all this. A man got to keep it real."

Indeed. Keep it real, my friend.

"Swollen breasts, ravenous for bread and pasta, being pregnant will turn their world upside down."

I am glad you are pregnant and you can eat all the pasta and bread you can shove in. But please, don't make me picture YOUR BREASTS eating pasta... or having their world, or the world of the pasta, turned upside down.

"A man falls in love, burning down that long traveled path, out on a limb with no net, he is up a creek."

Couldn't you have squeezed one more metaphor in there, you know, for cliche mixing purposes?

Don't be fooled by my sarcasm. I love teaching. Really.

Who wins, Sri or Nina?

Shocked, stunned and horrified as you all were to hear that I relapsed and kissed a stranger in a bar, I can't help but reflect that perhaps Sri's adventures were the high point of the weekend.

I spent Friday night with UES pod~. I did so because I knew that if I chose to hang out with rock pod, I would be 100% likely to run into Larry. In case you are not up to date, Larry and I don't hang out. Even in a room with 100 other people in it. It simply cannot happen. So rock pod is off to a party where Larry is likely to be and I am off the hang out with UES because it has been way too long, etc.

I expect, because I am a complete fool, that rock pod's evening among 100 other people will go off without a hitch, even with Larry in the room. Gosh I am dim. Silly me.

9:23pm: phone ringing. I look at face plate. It's Bibi.

*apprehensive Nina* Hello?


*hysterical giggling, some shrieking in the background Bibi*: Nini, why didn't you come with us??? I can't believe you missed it. It was... oh my God.


*very worried Nina*: What the hell?


*subsiding giggles, some incoherent blah di dah and dah to cab driver Bibi*: Sri just went up to Larry, grabbed him by the shoulders, spit in his face, and backhanded him. *more hysterical laughter.*


*somewhat relieved Nina*: no on has incurred permanent injury, including Sri?

*phone grabbed by Sri*: It landed on his left cheek. Huge glob of spit. Then I smacked him and said he was the sorriest motherfucking bastard and blah blah blah

*Nina, picturing scene*: witnesses?

*phone grabbed by Bibi* about ten people. Party was winding down. But it was loud and Sri was screaming and it was great. He ran out and Pax followed him... I think he left alone though because after that he started texting me like it was my fault she was at the party because she is just crazy enough to do that kind of shit. OH, and told him off. I was texting but I told him off. I can't believed you missed it. Best party since.... ever.

So, internet friends, I might be kinda gross for kissing Some Guy this weekend (hello, I still feel dirty) but I don't know... I think Sri wins for weekend drama. Three pianos and a violin and ill-advised lip locking for me... yeah. But to publicly humiliate the Worst Person In The World? Pretty awesome, Sri.

Yes, someday I will explain why everyone hates Larry. Just not today.



~Brief explanation of pods:

I have three pods of friends. A pod shall be defined as a group of people who are friends with me and with each other. My pods rarely mix but might be acquainted with each other through one or two common interests or simply through luck. Here, a summary of my currently active pods:

UES Pod: people so important and lovely that they are like sisters. Sister pod is small, obviously, but two strange things to note about sister pod; it contains people who, in terms of ethnic background and/or nationality could in no way have been sisters except by being chosen as sisters because they are so fucking awesome. Sister pod also contains at least one member who has not met the others because she is overseas.

Rock Pod; Bibi, Sri, Pax, etc... this is a big pod and it includes everyone who wants to climb and wants to hang out after climbing. This pod is super laid back, can climb for hours and ever, will go anywhere and do anything for a chance to summit something, and they are think nothing of walking into a bar on a Saturday night carrying ten pounds of climbing gear, covered in chalk, with no make up on and messy hair. I love these people. Obviously. If some of them met UES pod, they might easily become dual members.

Badass Pod; Most of these girls rock climb, but they have an important qualifier or two that keeps them from being merged with rock pod; they live far away, as in Flushing or Westchester or Far Rockaway, and they also either have or ride motorcycles. Yes, you read that right. Girls with motorcycles. No lesbians in this pod, in case you were mentally going there... it's just that they are badasses. My connection with this pod is based on my gameness to try anything once. Except get on a motorcycle, even for a ride around the block. Motorcycles terrify me, and Badass Pod gets a lot of laughs at my expense because of this. In fact, my fear of motorcycles and the unlimited opportunity they have to make fun of me may be the primary reason they keep me around.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sin of the Week, 10/21/07

Right in under the wire, I managed to sneak in the HORROR OF HORRORS, sin-wise. I am pretty sure that last night (or this morning, depending on how you look at it) I Kissed Some Guy. As in a peck on the lips- not a big deal or anything, but good heavens to how many martinis was that? One minute I was innocently smoking hooka and drinking my one drink and the next minute I was tuning a violin in Some Guy's apartment. And in case you are wondering, NO, TUNING is not a metaphor and neither is violin. He had a violin and, um, three pianos. A guy in New York City with three pianos. Some Other Guy taught Sri to play chopsticks. And God knows what else. We did not get out of there and home until, uh, what, 5am?

I bet you'll never guess what Some Guy does for a living.

Oh, damn, you got it, first try!

Of course he is a software engineer.

Ow ow ow ow ow. I am OW now taking my pounding head back to bed. Because ow. Those martinis really, really hurt, and I am a total idiot.

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I Love Newsy

Newsy is one of my oldest friends; I have known her for over half my life. She remembers when I thought it was funny to leave a stick of chewing gum in my friends' birth control pill packs. She remembers when I liked to wander off into the woods with boys, when one beer would render me senseless, when I thought snow drifts and church bells were romantic. She remembers when I was not a droid.

Today, (or was it yesterday?) Newsy left me the following voice mail:

"You know, most people would think, you know, that I am insane. Because most people when they call another person think they will either get a call back or you know they will stop calling because they take it personally. GOOD THING I DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. I really shouldn't keep doing the same thing and expecting some other result because that makes me crazy. But anyway I know you'll call me back some day. Whenever. I will be waiting anxiously for your call. It has been way too long. Oh and in case you can't tell, this is Newsy. Bye."

You know what? I almost never call her back because I know if I do I will discuss how badly I am fucking up my life, and gosh, you know, lately, I don't have the bandwidth. See recent entry, Purple Hands, Any Feet.

But when I get the bandwidth, I do call her and we talk about how much I suck at life and she encourages me. And then she goes back to running the world, and I go back to checking myself for suspicious moles. And life goes on.

Hi Newsy. I'll try to clear some bandwidth for you this weekend. Pinky swear. Or, you can just call me next week and we'll just repeat the process. Either way.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Jane, you ignorant slut.

....OR, Nina (alone a lot)'s Guide to Dating....

I thought I would keep the theme of the week alive by offering a boatload of advice on dating to a bunch of people who almost have to be doing a better job getting it done than I am. (Since I am not).

Inevitable Disclaimer: The only man I have kissed in the last two years is my slave, a man who does what I say, when I say and dares not object for fear of losing the opportunity to kiss me twice (or thrice) a year. In case you are confused, that's not relating; it's dictating; and therefore, it counts for nothing. I am therefore wholly unqualified to give the advice below. Keep reading if you want to know what an unstable, emotionally paralyzed, (reportedly) female droid has to say about dating.

Dating happens when people meet and spend spend time together in order to "see if it works out". What the man means by this is "sexual intercourse" and "fun times with a cool girl"; what the woman means is "marriage" and sometimes "children". It is no wonder, then, that so many women CALL men, thinking that they are being modern and emancipated - when really they are losing at the game. It is no wonder, then, that men DON'T CALL women, thinking that they are keeping the upper hand, when really they are making the woman more certain, with every passing second, that she will not be removing her underwear for a man who goes a whole four days without thinking about her.

If the above rings true for you at all, you’ll realize that dating, the vehicle people board in hopes of finding love, is about power. Power, in case you are confused, it the exact opposite of love. Dating is about the worst way to find it, but unless we want to all move to India and find adoptive parents who will find us spouses, we’re stuck with dating. How unfortunate.

Because I believe that men and women are wholly different creatures united only by sexual attraction and about ten common vocabulary words, I offer different advice for each variety of creature.

Ladies first, of course.

1) Don't call men. Exception one: if you are going to be significantly late for a date - or can't make it at all, call. Exception two: if you in an established relationship, you can call to offer him an opportunity to do something he will find easy - but will make him feel like your hero for a day. Example: "Dearest _______, when you come by this weekend, would you please bring some WD40 and see if you can't get the screendoor to stop squeaking? That’d be great. Thanks!" Keep incidences of exception two to a minimum – two a year at most. Oh, and by the way, keep phone calls short. Rambling about your feelings and your existential anxieties? Be talking to your girlfriends about that stuff. Not. Your. Boyfriend.

2) Tell him what you want. He cannot read your mind, nor does he wish to try. If you secretly think that what you want is unreasonable or illogical or that you are perhaps not good enough to get what you want, go to therapy. It doesn’t matter WHY you want what you want, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s reasonable.* And guess what? Most men are so relieved to have actual instructions for how to make you happy that they will overlook unreasonableness or lack of logic – or forgive it. If you are forthright about what you want, he can choose whether to deliver - and you can choose whether to stick around if he chooses not to.

3) That thing about telling him what you want? Once, as in ONE TIME, is sufficient. Twice is a scratch on the record. Three times is nagging. If he does not care what you want - such that you must repeat yourself - stop dating him. If he doesn’t care what you want while you are dating, he will openly thwart your ever desire when you are married, not because he is evil, but because marriage is much harder than dating and people’s capacity to sacrifice is seriously challenged once the papers are signed. So stop dating him if he does not care about making you happy. If he doesn’t care now, he never will.

4) Don't pay for dates. Ever.** If you feel he has spent a lot of money on you and you want to reciprocate, buy tickets to xyz and tell him you have an extra ticket - and take him along. If you see a xyz at the store and you are pretty sure he'd like it, get it and give it to him, and don't make a big thing of it. If he asks you out for a Saturday night dinner and you can't bear to watch him spend another hundred bucks on you, tell him you'd like to cook for him. If you've reached the spending the night phase, you should absolutely be making him breakfast and it should be better than decent. If you can't cook, learn. It’s one of the only things you can do for him that doesn’t involve the incredibly scuzzy introduction of paper money passing between you. And if you are thinking, oh wait! There’s that other thing!

4) Do not EVER sleep with a man until YOU want to. This is so obvious it hardly needs saying, sure. OK. But you know what? I still know women who sleep with men for the wrong reasons, ie: he won't like me anymore if I don't, or he might think I am weird if I make him wait longer. On the other thand, it may very well be that you are perfectly ready fifteen minutes into date one - and are so eager to get started that you unbutton his jeans with your toes under the table in a crowded restaurant. Oh, happy times!*** But if not? Do not spend a moment thinking about he expects or what the current "standard" waiting time is in your culture or region. Don’t spend a moment feeling guilty as you calculate how much money he has spent courting you. He can stop calling you – and taking you out – any time he wants. If you think you might want to go all the way – not because he has spent a lot of money or you – and not because you don’t want to look like a weirdo because who makes a man wait six whole months? - consider the following - not when you are making out with him in the driveway - but in the cold light of day, with no estrogenic interference:
a) If this creature gives you a disease, curable or incurable, will it have been worth it? Do you love him so much that you want to share everything, including his _______ or his _______? If so, consider:
b) If you find yourself pregnant, despite all that condom and spermicide, will you have a plan for coping that doesn’t include him? As in single parenting, giving up the infant to adoptive parents, or having an abortion? Think hard about it. Sure, it's possible that when you say, "uh, dearest one, I appear to be harboring a rapidly growing uterine parasite. I'll be over here weeping uncontrollably until you are ready to talk about it" he will say, "aw, sweetie, that's the best news I've heard all week! Let's get married and start looking for a suitable home to raise our baby!" But if he doesn't? You need to have a plan and you need to be prepared to execute it.

5) If you find yourself following advice items 1-4, and you are delaying the consummation of the not yet married relationship, relieve the tension by telling him with complete candor and sincerity that he is welcome and, nay, encouraged to see other people. After all, you are not sure about him, are you? And how, exactly, is he supposed to get sure about you if he is spending his time and energy trying, pointlessly I might add, to get you to remove your underwear? Turn him lose until you are sure. If he finds himself unable or unwilling to spend time (and get laid) with other women, then revisit item four. If you are still not sure a) flatly refuse, telling him you will let him know when you are ready, or b) have the talk about the consequences you will bear if the unthinkable happens – an unwanted pregnancy or a raging case of _____________. If he can’t have that conversation because it’s all too grown up and serious and he just wants to get laid and why is that such a big deal? He is a jerk. Get rid of him.

6) Do your best not to ask him "where this is going". If you find that you cannot help yourself, ok. But get a straight answer and believe what he says. If he says "I don't know" or "I don't care" and you care a whole lot and have already named your nine children, stop dating him. If he says "I love you and I would like to get married next year and how do you like the idea of a baby in two years?" and it scares the crap out of you, recall that I said you really ought not to ask. The answer is almost guaranteed to flip you the fuck out. You've been warned.

7) Trust him. Believe what he says until you have reason to believe otherwise. If the otherwise happens, it's over. Don't even look back.

8) Trust yourself. If your intuition starts sending you danger signals, I am sorry to say it, but your intuition will prove right in the end. If you think 7 and 8 cancel each other out, think about it for a minute. That intuition thing? It’s based on data. We call it intuition because we can’t figure out what the data is… but just because you can’t figure out what it is doesn’t mean that data doesn’t exist. If he makes you queasy and you don’t know why… goodbye.

9) Measure twice, cut once. No, I am not talking about the Bobbit maneuver. If you are considering getting out of the relationship, don’t end it in a moment of rage or sadness. Think it over. Make sure you know that it is done. Once you break up with a guy, you are not likely to be able to reverse it, nor should you try. Contrary to popular belief, the second time around is rarely better. Three times is the opposite of the charm. So measure twice, cut once. And don’t look back.

Gentlemen, are you still reading? Good heavens, it has been a long, cold wait, eh?

1) If you want to see a woman, call her. Call her three or four days before you'd like to see her. If you are thinking on, say, Friday evening that you'd like to see her the next day, don't even try it. If you do, you will put her in a terrible position, especially if she likes you. She will have plans because you haven't given her enough notice. And she will have to turn you down. And then she will have to wonder whether the fact that she turned you down will be interpreted by you as lack of interest. Don't even go there unless you are in an established relationship.

2) If you ask a woman out, pay for the date.**** Don't even give her the opportunity to glance around for her handbag. Have your credit card out and in the hands of the waiter, without delay. If she offers to pay, don't let her. Persist in your refusal all the way up to the point where she is either a) crying or b) screaming at you for denying her equality or her agency or some shit like that. If she exhibits either of these behaviors, let her pay. And never call her again. If you are confused, email me and I'll tell you all about why she is not worth another date.

3) Do not assume that making out or obvious chemistry is the same thing as consent to going all the way. Every undesirable thing that can happen as a result of sex will be borne by her, not you. If you feel you are being made to wait too long, date other women. If you find you can't, then roll up your sleeves and work at proving yourself to the one you want. If you feel this is horribly unfair, think about how she feels. She is crazy about you and can't call you. Ever. Think also how she feels about the fact that YOU are being allotted months and perhaps years of her reproductive life with no promise of marriage and children and she is powerless to do anything about that, except leave you. No orgasm for you? Aw, poor thing. Get over it (and get some ass elsewhere, if you must).

4) Never, ever, ever, ever pressure a woman to have sex with you without a condom. Everyone hates condoms, including her. You might hate them .6459345% more than she does, and well, ok. Sorry. Do you want sex? Yes or no? Ok, then. If she looks at the condom and giggles and says, “oh honey, I am on the pill” then tell her care about her too much to take even THAT chance. If she thinks you are being unromantic or that you don’t trust her or that your persistence means you definitely have a disease, she is an ignorant slut, and you should not be dating her.

5) If you are sleeping with her, and also sleeping with others, stop. It’s reckless to sleep with multiple partners from a medical perspective, if not an emotional one. If neither of those considerations matter to you, be sure of this: they matter to her. Tell her if you are determined not to give up your myriad other partners and then let her choose whether to continue sleeping with you. And then respect her decision. Best bet, however, is to stick with one woman, especially if you would rather not lose her. Duh!

6) Do not lie to her. Ever. If the truth is ugly, oh well. But if you lie to her and she finds out, she will neither trust you or respect you, and once that's the case, you are done anyway. If not lying involves having painful, embarrassing, or awkward conversations, then state the facts in plain language and let her respond. Most women are forgiving creatures, especially if your crimes have been committed in the past - and against other people.

7) If she asks you "where this is going," tell her. If the answer is "I don't know" or "I don't care" - tell her. If she stays with you after you've said so, she is either a) suffering from low self esteem or b) doesn't think much of you either. But the point is, you will not have been a liar, and she will know you are not serious about her and will be able to make a good decision about sticking around or not. If your answer is "I love you but I am not ready to get married " - saying exactly that is fine. If her response is "I need to get married in the next two years" and you can't promise you'll want to, tell her. And let her leave you if that's what she needs to do, even if you'd really appreciate it if she'd stay. Bottom line: truth. Plain language. Women are under the gun to have children, and no matter how much you think you "get" that- you don't. There are plenty of other women out there who don’t care about having kids – and don’t care about getting married. If you are similarly inclined, go find one of those women. You deserve to have what you want, too.


8) All that said about not rushing a woman sexually – let me say what a very bad idea it is to rush her emotionally. Be honest about how you feel. But for God’s sake, if you are fantasizing about your wedding after the third date, enjoy that giddy happiness and keep your mouth shut about it. She is under the same orders (see above). When you share your giddy fantasies of marriage on the second date and offer to buy her a pony on the third*****, she will think one of two things: one, that you are gay and want to run for congress or two, that you are so desperate that you will take anyone who will stand still for your cheese-tastic insincerity. If you are really into her, be nice. Smile at her. Hold her hand. Tell her you are looking forward to seeing her again. But don’t get all puddle eyed and sloppy about your feelings until you actually know her – and if you are getting sloppy, be proposing marriage, not a weekend getaway at the Nascar Fantasy Park. All clear?

9) Measure twice, cut once. No, I am not talking cutting her head off because she talks too much. If you are considering getting out of the relationship, don’t end it in a moment of rage or sadness. Think it over. Make sure you know that it is done. Once you break up with her, you are not likely to be able to reverse it, nor should you try. Contrary to popular belief, the second time around is rarely better. Three times is the opposite of the charm. So measure twice, cut once. And don’t look back.

Now would be an excellent time for you to note, dear reader, that I am single as single can be. That guy who kisses me two or three times a year? It’s nonsense. Married I have never been. But damn, I have had some nice boyfriends. If I ever date again, never have another relationship, I can look back and say without reservation that I’ve had a good run.


* Don’t ask for a pony, or a tennis bracelet or a $50,000 car. It’s your responsibility to get the “stuff” you want, not his. If you doubt this, ask yourself how you’d feel if he asked you to buy him a helicopter as proof of your love for him. Used, perhaps? If, on the other hand, you want him to open doors for you – or to drive whenever possible – or to not pick his nose in front of you - speak up. That shit isn’t hard to deliver, and everyone will be happier.

** exception one: his birthday. Take him out on his birthday and take him to the best place you can find. Spare no expense. . Exception two: if he takes you on vacation, at his expense, one night while on said vacation, take him out and again, spare no expense. If he wants a $300 glass of brandy, order one for you, too. It's one of the maybe two times a year you get to pay. Enjoy it and make sure he does too.

*** I am unqualified to offer advice as to when the time is right. I know more than one happily married woman who had sex with her husband on the first date - one I know slept with her husband way before he ever asked her out. Different people, different choices. All clear. But please, ladies, think. It's all very lovely and good to have sex with him in the parking lot on the first date - or whatever hotness you happen to be cultivating - my reason for cautionining you is only that I beg you to think of consequences. Consequences cool by you? Awesome. I find a dimly lit parking lot, gravel, and a few broken streetlights hotter than hot, myself, and have an actual anecdote to prove it. (Just not for today). Proceed, if you choose, but proceed like a grown up. It is not his responsibility to take care of you. He is not your husband, and even if he were, in this day and age men don't consider the health, safety, and happiness of their wives part of the marital contract. Oh I am sorry. I was in full digression. Sincerest apologies.

**** I am afraid this will make me very unpopular with you, male creatures. Paying for the date signals romance, couplehood, and that you consider her company worth something. It also says you are not a cheap bastard. If you can't afford to take her somewhere expensive, don't. Take her somewhere you like and that you can afford. If she is the sort of woman who gets a little frisson of pleasure out of watching a man drops hundreds on her, she is a piece of garbage and you shouldn't be dating her. Oh, and one more thing: there are lots of things to do that involve two people that are free - or cost very little. Spending money doesn't create intimacy. If she is worth dating, she knows that too.

***** I fucking hate it when this happens. I attract this very sort of bumbling, emotionally incontinent dork with startling regularity. They are dispatched instantly and without ceremony. Ladies, if you meet one, dispatch him. He wants a relationship with whoever will take him… and do you really want to be just whoever? I think not.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Comments are the New Blog

If y'all didn't get in on the comments from my recent post regarding men and all their parts, (and you are not easily freaked out)do so. Unbelievable wealth of information there.

Update regarding that situation: Nameless Friend did ask her manfriend for more information. He was a good sport about it, but could not resist making fun of her just a little bit... (what did you THINK was under there? An umbrella? A tire iron? A terrarium???) Summary of information: what reader Joel said - plus he also said something to the effect of "it's mostly just like all the other ones. It isn't likely to get injured or anything. Don't worry so much." To which she replied something to the effect of "Gosh thanks but you are still in charge of telling me if I am doing anything wrong."

*sigh*. It's just so romantic, isn't it?

One thing I can't resist mentioning, just because... no, I am NOT nameless friend. I am not dating anyone (ban still in place, threatening permanence) but if I were "out there" I would not refuse to date a man who had all his parts. I would date him if I liked him, but I would sure as hell ask for the unabridged info. Info is good.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And you thought I was kidding.

Below, pictures of needle work in progress:




This above is a hat I made for Liam two winters ago. He has outgrown it - and so I must now make another. It's not cold yet, but it will be.




The above is a pair of booties I recently made for the newborn daughter of the cashier who sells me coffee every morning. $1.35 every day. He lives in Brooklyn and this is his first baby. So his baby get boots.





The above is a cross stitch project I started - get this - 14 years ago. As in ten years plus another four. It is nearly done - I just have to fill in the sky and the walkway - and a few more columns on the house next door. WIll I ever finish it? Outlook good. I have kept it around all these years and I still have all the materials. So yeah, I'll finish. By the time I am 50, for sure.





I find knitting (and cross stitch similar to climbing (yeah, go ahead and laugh... no one I know does BOTH... just me) in that it turns off brain and creates hypnotic concentration. Right after my climbing trip in Peru, I went to the central market in Cusco and bought two kilos of baby alpaca yarn - rather a lot - for about $20 American dollars. I just finished sorting it. I plan to knit more baby things with it - just in case, you know. Leta and Buzz get pregnant again. (That'd be nice.)

Just as information, reader, I have two more posts on my mind right now, and both of them involve what you have come to expect from my blog, lately; sex or sexual anatomy, my slow descent into alcoholism, and my ravenous desire to climb places no one sane would ever set foot. But I thought a clean little entry about my craft projects might be tolerated for a day, and so now you have it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I may never see one again. Or is that may I?

Recently, a friend (who does appear pictured at the left, but would not like to be identified, even in fictional form), tried to explain what it was like to, uh, have a relationship with and man who has all his parts accounted for, as in precisely the way he was born.

Can you tell I am having a bit of trouble saying the word "penis" on my blog? Oh my good heavens I just said it.

Her opinion regarding the anotomically uninterfered with man's character is quite complimentary. Her fear of his man-parts, however, is total.

Nameless Friend: "It just looks so... different. Also, I don't know what to do with it."

Nina: "Just how different are we talking about, here?"

Nameless Friend : "It's just all... it's... I can't.... "

Nina: "Shall we do a google image search?"

Nameless Friend: "NO! NO! Because even if I told you what it looks like, that's only the beginning of the issue. It's just so fucking weird."

Nina: "Did you really just say that?"

Nameless Friend: "Well ok it's... "

Nina: "Does it work?"

Nameless Friend: "Uh, yes. For me, anyway."

Nina: "You can assume it works for him, then. Male creatures make sure it works. It "working" ranks pretty high for them."

Nameless Friend: "Yeah, but I can't really touch it."

Nina: "Why?"

Nameless Friend: "Because... it moves."

Nina: "OH! You mean like when you flick it with a rubber band?"


*Sigh*

Reader, I can't go on. To do so would be an insult to my own dignity and the dignity of my friend. Also, I am in complete ignorance regarding this subject. I think I once made out with a guy who might have been uninterfered with, but I have no real experience with man-parts uninterfered with for either medical or religious purposes. Can you tell how much I don't want to use the words "uncircumcised penis" on my blog? Oh my good heavens what did I just say? Never mind.


I now offer the following views of on the subject, one written by an internet quasi-celebrity with little but his charming potty mouth as a credential, and one written by a charming, well-mannered European woman, one I can only assume knows how the man parts work. (Removing part of the man parts is not common in Europe... unless the infant is Jewish).

This, nameless friend, is the most I can do for you regarding the subject in general. My advice with regard to this particular man, since you like the other 95% of him, is to ask him how all his parts work. Explain your ignorance and get the information. If he doesn't want to explain or he thinks you are an ignorant slut, you can kindly point out that if you were more of a slut, you might have seen a creature such as himself before. If he explains, you might eventually like his parts. If so, get back to me about the rubber band. You can usually find one in a kitchen drawer, and... well. Never mind.

Tune in tomorrow for more about parts. Well, not really. Tomorrow, I'll probably just talk about my needle work.

Monday, October 15, 2007

REVIEW

For those of you who asked:

How is your dad?

Gloriously well, aside from the cancer part. He is nearly done with the rock wall and has started the deck work - and is also running plumbing and electricity down from the house. He is going fishing with his buddies this weekend. When I asked him if I could do anything for him, he said "Pray that God takes the leukemia away." *gulp*. "Ok."

Why are you reading so many 19th century novels?

Avoidance, denial, unsociability, and also, well, they are so very good. When I finish with Austen, I am going to pick up The Foundling - or Tom Jones. Delightful. Don't judge me, please. I rock climb, too. That means I am only .843434% a sissy.

What's your status regarding your vow to drink less?

Doing well, except for the two beers I shotgunned at 4am last night because I couldn't sleep. If you can't drink for medicinal purposes, when can you? Besides, I was out of opium. So there.

Did you ever go out for drinks with that guy?

No.

Why?

Didn't want to. Time much better spent pressing my linens and reading 19th C novels. What???

Are you going to call Merry and Lola today and start being a really active living useful sort of person?

Yes. As soon as I finish Emma but before I start Pride and Prejudice. I am sure they will (not) understand, but I am equally sure that with enough supplication, they will only like me .47399% less than they did before. They are pretty forgiving people. (I have no choice but to hope so, have I?)

An Open Letter Miss Austen

Miss Austen, I adore you. Many a pleasant hour have I spent perusing your stories, much to the alarm of my guardian, who thinks novel reading a pernicious habit, most especially distressing in young women. I do not share his alarm; I am neither young, nor an avid reader of novels alone. I am at my studies regularly - though I must admit some delinquency of late. I cannot put five words together without stopping to scratch out the four and begin again.

Now, Miss A, I must come to a point. Will you kindly leave off interfering with my diction, grammatical construction, and punctuation -- not to say my fragile feminine constitution?

Miss A, since I took to my bed (wind in the east here - much rattling of the eaves; much too intemperate for a lady to be out of doors on any account) to reread your many novels, I find myself unable to stir out of my chambers even for a vial of salts or a yard of muslin. I am seriously indisposed. I cannot lay down Emma. I can scarce draw breath at the thought of reaching its conclusion - and in turn, reaching for Pride and Prejudice (!) I am all in dishabille; not once have I taken a call or attended my studies, nor engaged in any of that social intercourse customary to ladies of my situation and temper. My better friends, Lola and Merry, are afraid I am quite ill, as I have offered no account of myself in weeks.

And now, Miss A. Heavens no. By social intercourse, I do most assuredly not mean intercourse of a, forgive me, coarse, free sprited, sort - not the modern construction, sport fucking. To even think it gives credit to all my guardian's admonishments: that novels erode the steadfast moral taste of ladies. I meant only that I have not been out visiting.

And if my guardian had the slightest notion of such a change, either of habit of moral steadiness, it might prevent his permitting me to read you novels. Is this to be borne? It shall not be! Govern your thoughts, Miss A!

I am determined, Miss A, not to walk out of doors until I have finished your complete collection. Indeed, I am unfit for company until I am run out of books. Just yesterday, when Bibi asked (though, admittedly, in other terms) whether I was disposed to like her new acquaintance at the public house - the one with the studded belt and the effusion of piercings? Well. I was all astonishment. I saw nothing agreeable in him at all. Not wanting to disappoint my dearest Bee, I gave myself leave to admit the tiniest misrepresentation of my thoughts to reach her ear. "Bee, dearest, I give you leave to like him. You have liked many a stupider person."

Her temper after hearing me express myself thus, I cannot vouch for, for she was drawn out to dance by that same subject, and proceeded to jig in the modern way, you know, to an new favorite of hers, "Gimme More." It was then I knew that until I have quite set down your novels, I am unfit for company. All my thoughts are pulled to pieces and reset in the most animated and effusive language - language that you, Miss A, have deliberately put into my unwitting (and I might add, most unwilling) head.

Having thus expressed my intentions, then, of finishing each of your fine effusions of fancy, will you not indulge me in the hope that you might leave off re-arranging both my letters and my manner of expressing myself in company? For, Miss A, if you cannot promise it, I cannot promise ever to stir our of doors again. To do so would be insensitive to the comfort of my dear friends, not to say embarrassing for myself.

I await your compliance, Miss A. Do not think me such a simpleton that I disbelieve in your power to act judiciously from the grave. All your flights of fancy, most especially, Northanger Abbey, prove quite the opposite.

Most affectionately, devotedly, effusively yours, forever, (and ever) ccc&c,

Miss Nina Elizabeth Jane Moreland Courtney Corrigan


ps kindly direct your reply to Southerton, as I have been visiting here as the guest of Mr. C when I return back to town, Wednesday, fortnight. And you know I beg to have a line from you much before then.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sin of the Week, 10/14/07

The worst thing I did this week... not a hell of a lot. This week completely sucked, but did not include any spectacular crimes unless you count:

a) a vodka bender
b) blowing off a whole lot of people, most notably Lola and Merry because I am "not taking it well."
c) worrying my brother half to death because I am "not taking it well."
d) eating french fries at 1 in the morning because I am "not taking it well."
e) calling out sick due to crazy bad insomnia and also just "not taking it well."
f) wearing Supajewie out with my typing because I am... see above.
g) pointing out to Bibi (again) why the way Larry behaved at the party was fucked up and
h) in the process, making Bibi sad
i) conferring with Pax and concluding that no, there is nothing anyone can do about Larry, and
j) feeling not really very sorry that Larry is now wraith-like and pale and so paranoid he can't walk down the block without "texting in" to someone, usually Pax. Also, he is still scratching his skin half off and no, I don't feel too much compassion on that subject, either.
K) sucking all the hope out of the room re: Larry, and possible improvement
k) telling Sri that no, she should not call Eliot. Because hello! No calling boys. Just, no. And by telling her so, making her sad.

One might infer, then, that my week was composed of a number of lesser crimes all orchestrated to make other people worried or sad. Which is not so good, but better than actually carrying out that all those plans I had to..... never mind.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Times Square

Two pictures from last night:





I need a new camera.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Views of the weird

I am finding, lately, that my urge to photograph every goofy thing I see is overwhelming. Last night on my way home, this:



Why? Someone please tell me why tray layered with bagels was left out on a public tree planter. In the rain.

It is almost as puzzling as the time I ran into a mail bin which had been upended onto a fire hydrant:



And that's about all I have to say today, internet. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Purple hands, any feet. And yes, I know you called.

When I left the apartment last night to meet Sri at the gym, Supa (via IM) said, "have fun."

And I said, "Cost of friendship: high."

What that means is "I don't want to go, but if I don't, Sri will stop liking me. And that would suck."

So I take a cold shower (don't ask... omg...) and get to the gym, late, as usual. Sri is talking to some cute-ish guy named Eliot. She is already covered in chalk. Next to her is a woman with crazy curly hair and startling blue eyes. She says, "Are you Nina?"

I guess I am Nina. Yes.

(I am still thinking about how much I would rather not be there, but I am also noticing the smell of the rock gym... sweat, chalk, happiness mixed with aggression and more chalk).


Curly says "Start climbing. Purple hands, any feet."

Sri, who is still furiously batting her eyelashes at Eliot, manages to give me a bit of a head wiggle. That means Curly's demands are sanctioned.

So up the wall I go.

Left foot, left hand, right hand. Right foot, match feet, switch feet, match hands. High step. Left reach... Cross over. And I am stuck. Totally stuck. I hang back, monkey like, and take a look around. I need a smaller step and will have to come down a bit and use a hold I had avoided. (More on avoiding holds later).

I jump off one hold from the top, having burnt my arms out during that monkey look around. Crazy curly, amused, says, "I am impressed by how long you can stay on the wall. And your attack is great. You just need to plan."

Curly, it turns out, works at the gym. She has been coaching Sri (and others, too) during my absence. She worked with us for two hours. Eliot climbed nearby and sometimes stood and watched us. He got Sri's number before we left (Sri!) and then we went to meet Bibi, Pax, and Mischa. And we talked about a) climbing and b) how bad Larry is in bed (not that I, personally, know anything about that... just saying).

Today, I am sore and hands are pretty ragged, and I remember why I love to climb: It is just too difficult to do half assed. It is also like being asleep. It turns down all the noise, shuts off my brain. If you have been tuning into my brain lately, you have probably thought at least once that it would be better to cut my head entirely off than to continue having my thoughts.

More climbing for me, obviously.

toothpaste for dinner
toothpastefordinner.com


Today is my mother's birthday. If she had lived, she would be 64.

Ahem, and regarding avoiding holds: If you see a hold and test it and it feels all wrong, move your feet and get your other hand on it. The hold might not be a nice big brick of a thing, but from some other angle, it might work.

I can't really do it, though.

The trouble with some of you girls is that there is no angle from with I can approach you that will not involve me getting a good grip and offloading all my bad thoughts onto you - and completely crashing in the process. If I am not returning your 15 voice mails right now, it is because am not capable of pretending with you, and I know if I call you back, I will end up seeing you. And then I will start talking about it - and say unbelievably terrible things that help no one, least of all me. I'll be in touch when I am a) capable of being nice or b) am standing next to you staring at a bouldering problem. For now, that's the best I can do.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I got some!

Finally!

Well not exactly... not really. Months ago, learned that bars all over New York City have free condoms for the asking, and so, in a bid to be more brave and also more silly, I decided I'd go get some -- you know, just to see if it were possible.

Well, I never quite managed it. I asked in a fews bars and the lovely bar waiters were far more interested in why on earth a creature such as myself would desire such objects than they were in actually producing them. (I think said establishments must have been out).

Well, yesterday I got lucky. I teach classes at a high school on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and lo! What did I see on the steps leading up to my classroom? *



And so I must infer that high schools in New York City give free condoms to their students - and that students use them IN THE BUILDING -- or perhaps upwrap them for entertainment value. Balloon animals, perhaps? In any case, had the wrapper been untorn and stuffed with a condom, I would have hired a carrier pidgeon and sent it to Maggie since she is as amused by them as I am.

Anyway, I got some. Well, not really. I got a wrapper of some, which, considering my romantic and sexual inclinations (zero), is plenty.


* If you think it's gross that I picked the thing up and brought it home, you are 100% correct. But a) I am not a germophobe an b) soap is cheap and water is free and c) I did it for YOU, so stop being so uppity, already.