i’ll miss you… antique stores

I was never a huge fan of antique stores.

As a shopper-in-training, tagging along with my mom, I was taught to look for deals on new items. My training (aka childhood) consisted of hours and hours in places like Loehmann’s, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s. When I graduated to solo shopper status, I took my deal hunting to teenage appropriate stores like The Gap and American Eagle, and eventually H&M, Zara, and all of the stores I love today.

But here, the mall is bordering on post-apocalyptic (Banana Republic employees have practically cried tears of joy to see a real live customer) and online shopping doesn’t quite do it for me(it’s not the same when you can’t touch it!*). What am I, a trained shopper, to do?

The only solution was to start antiquing. And believe me, this city knows its antique stores.

My dabbling in the antiques has mainly been limited to frames like this one, which – while cute around Ike – has finally found a permanent subject. (More on that painting later!)

Other finds: more frames, bright yellow chairs (who doesn’t need those?) and tea cups that I like to think could pass for Kate Spade.

But Y and I have two very special favorite finds, both of which are priceless.

Y’s favorite, a mystical painting:

And my favorite, the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen:

I hope these haunt your dreams like they have mine.

I’ll miss you… archive:

movie moments

*that’s what she said.

the composite

Y just received his fourth and final med school class composite.

It’s not quite as exciting as his first composite.

I pored over that thing, matching names to faces as he told stories about the new people in his life. I think I knew everyone’s name before he did.

(I didn’t have too much going on at the time.)

One of Y’s classmates used his composite to explain his feelings on classmates to his girlfriend (we’ll call her Molly). A few circles here and there, and, over one or two faces, a heavy-handed “X”.

I met Molly a few weeks later, along with some more of Y’s classmates’ wives/fiances/girlfriends. Over dinner, Molly pulled out her composite. “This one’s mine,”she said, pointing to her boyfriend. One by one we showed her “ours”.

One girl hesitated, but eventually pointed. “That’s mine, but he’s got a huge X over his face.”

Molly snatched the sheet of paper out of the girl’s hands. “Yeah, those are the people he doesn’t know yet.”

And we left it at that. Funny how that memory is three years old almost to the day, and still so vivid. I can tell you where I was sitting, where I parked, the nonchalant way Molly rolled the composite up and placed it back in her purse.

(This is what happens when you’re not busy cramming med school facts in your head. It has room to breathe and remember. So in ten years, when Y’s head is chock full of diseases and drug names, I’ll still be able to list the members of his med school class, in alphabetical order. I love being useful.)

neurosurgery scars, part 2

I get it, neurosurgeons. You’re angry that I managed to somehow blame you for the scar on my leg.

You were so angry, that you used your God-like status to insist that the universe repay me. And 48 hours after that blog post, while I was grocery shopping at Target, the universe caused the Earth to tilt ever-so-slightly. This imperceptible shift caused a can of black beans to roll from the top of my shopping cart (through the holes that were meant for chubby little baby legs) and sail to the floor, slicing my shin with its sharp lip on the way down.

Right next to my “neurosurgery” scar.

I’ve gotten over that, brain surgeons.

But then last week, you decided I deserved a harsher punishment and used your powers to move the cement stairs that lead to my back door just a tenth of an inch. And I tripped and skinned my other leg. And stubbed my toe. Like a 5 year old.

Okay. Fine. So maybe neurosurgeons had nothing to do with this. Maybe I’m just a klutz who shouldn’t be allowed to use stairs and can’t be trusted with canned goods. But that’s just not as fun.

Trust me.

book club

Did you guys read The Help? It turns out about 100% of the people I know have read it, so it seemed like the perfect book to kick off a book club.


We met at the theater to see the movie on opening night, then went back to my house for some southern comfort food (including, what else, chocolate pie).



Yeah, it was fun, but I think the real story here is the common misconception that people who like to read must be smart:

I listened to the audiobook version of The Help, which was kind of amazing. Three actors read the book – one of whom is in the movie adaptation (and, fun fact, was actually the inspiration for her character, Minny) – and kept me entertained to the point that my 12 hour round trip drive felt like it was too short.

The book starts out in the voice of one of the maids, Abileen. As soon as I started listening, I knew I was in trouble. The actor spoke so quickly I almost couldn’t keep up. At first I was angry at my library, from which I had downloaded the book. It was clear they had given me a bootleg copy. How dare they?

Then I came to the conclusion that my local library wasn’t that sleazy and, still angry, decided the mistake was the producer’s fault. Shouldn’t audio books have a test audience? Who can understand this?

Then I thought maybe I was being racially insensitive and should be more open-minded to the way African American women in the 60’s spoke.

Finally, I moved on to acceptance. That must be part of her character, I reasoned, she talks quickly because she’s….nervous? Or something?

After 30 or so minutes, just as I was getting used to Abileen and the Chipmunks, I happened to glance down at my ipod. In the top right corner was a little icon – “2X”.

Somehow, my ipod was playing at twice the normal speed. I didn’t even know it could do that. And I still don’t know why that would ever be necessary. Thoughts?

(And, what did you think of the book/movie? I was kind of neutral on the movie. As far as movie adaptations go I didn’t hate it (like some movies that rhyme with Shmime Shmavelers Shmife), but I wasn’t completely blown away by it– possibly because I was too busy comparing it to the book. But, I actually liked the major character change they made.)

ooey gooey


There is one household task that, without fail, I always end up doing. We don’t have a garbage disposal, and our sink tends to clog. It has become my job to reach into elbow deep water and pick out the bits of food that got stuck in the drain.

It’s my job because it makes Y gag.

How is it, I wondered, that Y can perform rectal exams and dig around inside of long-dead human beings without blinking, but he can’t scoop up some wet bread and a few smushed cherries with his bare hands?

And then I figured it out.

A long long time ago (circa the 1960s) “Officer” Don Kennedy, an Atlanta TV personality, invented a game to play with the studio audience at his children’s show “The Popeye Club. He placed several paper bags on a turntable and stuck prizes in a few of them. In the rest, he dumped raw eggs, flour, mayonnaise, ketchup — anything that would make a kid squeal if he or she stuck a hand in it.

One of the children from the studio audience was selected and blindfolded. As the turntable went round and round, the child stuck their hand in a bag, hoping it was the one with the prize. If not, everyone yelled Ooey gooey!

At this time, my dad was a teenager growing up in Atlanta and apparently bored enough to watch children’s variety shows.

I’m imagining he came home from a round of golf with his dad, flopped down in front of the TV and realized “The Popeye Club” was the only thing on. Reluctantly, he watched the Ooey Gooey segment and filed it away under Games to Play at My Future Little Girl’s Birthday Parties Twenty Years From Now.

(Kind of like how I’ll occasionally watch “16 and Pregnant” and file it under My Future Little Girl Is Never Allowed to Date, Ever.)

And sure enough, twenty or so years later Ooey Gooey was a staple at my birthday parties. I was positive that my dad, the smartest man in the world, had come up with it all by himself. It wasn’t until the other day, when I made the connection between the game and my sink and asked him to explain how he invented Ooey Gooey, that he crushed my dreams and told me about Officer Don.

Regardless of where the idea came from, I’m thankful I was made to stick my hand in raw eggs and ketchup as a child. It was useful in teaching me a very important adult skill, right up there with financial planning and laundry.

Here’s to my next house having a garbage disposal, so I won’t have to put that skill to use anymore.

i’ll miss you… movie moments

Excuse me while I play 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon with my grocery shopping.

I was leaving the farmer’s market one Saturday morning and stopped to look at this row of buildings as I opened my car.

While juggling bags full of produce and fistfuls of loose change, I thought about a movie we saw this year: “Super”, starring Kevin Bacon. A memorable scene portraying the pure evil of Bacon’s character was filmed in front of these very buildings.

The scene played on in the back of my head as I opened the door and sat down. But when I started the car, I jumped. An eerily familiar familiar voice came through the radio. It was him. Kevin Bacon was the celebrity guest on that week’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”.

(Fine. That’s not exactly how 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon works, but I vote it counts.)

Thanks to a tax break for filmmakers, movie production in Louisiana has been on the rise. Other than being surrounded by Kevin Bacon (sort of) in the farmer’s market parking lot, this means several things for me: Detours through movie sets during long walks with Ike. Receiving paparazzi-style pictures of Josh Duhamel (FYI: he looks much scrawnier in tiny, grainy iPhone pictures). Running into Dunder Mifflin employees in the locker room of my gym. More Frappucinos than necessary because Gerard Butler was at Starbucks last week and maybe, just maybe, he’ll be there again today.

Where else will I be able to have these experiences? New York? Los Angeles? Boring.

I’ll miss you… archive:

no guacamole for this dog

I don’t know about your dogs (or cats, or whatever other sub par animals you have), but when Ike gets a hold of people food, he inhales it as fast as he can. He most certainly doesn’t pause to make sure he likes it. He rarely even chews.

Of course, I only know what happens when we’re there.

A few weeks ago, I was on my way out the door with a to-go box meant for the trash. I made it outside, but my to-go box, filled with a chicken taco, rice and beans, didn’t quite make it. My motto is always forget one thing at home. That day’s thing was my two-day-old Mexican dinner.

When my house reeked of cilantro and cumin upon my return, I realized what I had done. I ran over to the precise corner of our rug that Ike has deemed his special treat-eating place. I found:
  • a styrofoam container, licked clean and ripped in half.
  • a single slice of avocado. Untouched.
If I were to hand Ike a taco right now, he would swallow the entire thing whole. But something different must happen when no human eyes are watching his every move.

I like to believe it includes a fancy picnic blanket, a fork and a knife (and temporary opposable thumbs), and a lobster bib. He sits on his picnic blanket like so:

and delicately lifts each different type of food. “Tortilla shell? Check. Rice and beans? Check. Chicken? HELL YES CHECK. Pico de gallo? Check. Avocado? AVOCADO? How dare they expect me to eat this poor excuse for a fruit? I am a pit bull in a lobster bib, dammit.”

And then he leaves the avocado slice on the floor and takes his fourth nap of the day.