for those who are in or around sane

Saturday, June 16

i rock the casbah

i am a hardcore bitch. i have the sleuthing skills of sherlock holmes. i could be a middle eastern convenience store owner.

so i'm working at the wine store, sitting here reading anne of avonlea via downloadable book (forgot harry potter at home), munching on some leftover cheese & bread. its been a slow day thus far. don was in, doing his educational talks and sale schmoozing. jim stopped by for a quick glass between trains. cute married couple cooed at each other over rose. then everyone left.

i sit at the register which faces the giant front window. i love to watch the mini-hinsdalian teens strutting around. i find myself gawking at the lack of clothing and pleathora of fake boobs... you get the idea... anyway, this girl and boy walk by once and eyeball the store through the window. when i get underage curious folks i automatically will them to think twice about entering. i threw my mental warning out with a stern "teacherly" look i inherited from my mother (an eyebrow is raised, a grimace at the ends of my mouth - it's been perfected after generations). they continued on.

20 min later i see them pass by again at a brisk pace. they stop and the guy walks in. he's just at 6 ft, really skinny with a very youthful face. he starts talking the sweet talk. the kind of fast, busy, loud talk where you pick out a few phrases you've heard at your parent's parties and throw them with confidence at the clerk. moi. he's moving very fast, checking out the corners of the store: beer in the back (i follow him), french bordeaux in the front (i follow him), checks out the big wall o'expensive yumminess (i follow closely). he calls out a type of wine and claims to have seen it on the shelf last week (i laugh silently to myself, and look it up in the system). it's there. it's $71.99. he "finds it" and walks across the aisle again saying how much his father loves it. he walks back and i see him pick up another bottle of it.

... enter unassuming female customers. now, i can only hope that these ladies forgave my lack of attentiveness. i can only hope that they too saw that my eyes were locked on the squirrely 16 year old holding $140 worth of wine. i apologize ladies! thank you for bearing with me.

he then puts the one bottle back on the shelf (puts it right up front so it looks like a full row - clever boy!) and ducks behind a barrell of zinfandel. stays there for a while, asking inane questions. i respond equally inanely and wait for him to stand up.

when i was 16, howie was our resident klepto. howie stole designer clothing. howie stole tools from the hardware store. howie stole expensive stuff on a regular basis. howie stole food and beverage and the hearts of a few freshman girls. now, i dont credit my next move to my fascination with howie's obsession, but i will say that i'm less ignorant for it.

gawky 16 year old stands up and shifts to his side, barely disguising the $71.99 bottle of wine in his pants and under his shirt.

"could you please put the bottle back?"
"oh yeah! sure!!" puts bottle back on shelf slowly
"i'm going to have to ask you to leave"
he strides silently out the door and nearly knocks his girlfriend over as he runs down the sidewalk.

i wonder why he felt that he could get away with this. do i look stupid or distracted? i mean... there was no one else in there to take away my attention. did he think he fooled me with his fast talk? does the fact that he got caught leave him with a good story for tonite's party? do you think that he'd be able to enjoy the $71.99 bottle of wine? would he end up puking it up? and i still have a nagging feeling that he snagged a bottle of beer from the back... but hey, he did work hard for it, didnt he?

Thursday, June 14

i'm a nervous mother (and i know that cat does not equal kid)

my cat has recently taken to scaring me half to death. it's fully intentional on his part, and completely involuntary on mine. you see... we have a bit of an "unhealthy" attachment. when we lived alone, we did everything together. he sat in the kitchen with me while i cooked, sat on the toilet when i took showers, slept at the foot of my bed each night and watched hbo reruns with me on the couch.

because of this "nurturing time" in our lives, we know a lot about each other. he knows when i'm planning on going away for a weekend - even if i havent packed my bag yet. i know when he's pissed at me - even if he hasnt puked on my carpet yet. and he knows how to get my attention when he feels ignored.

this is exactly how we started the "scare mommy" game. when we moved into our new abode, we upgraded to a large porch/patio. this makes for excellent curiosity for cats! and we do have a total of 3 cats... we also upgraded to knowing our upstairs neighbors & their two chiuauas. what with our pleathora of people and puppies, poor romeo got lost in the excitement. i no longer was favoring his antics or supporting his "dominant male" lifestyle. so one day, he goes out onto the porch. i'm on the phone, gabbing away, paying no attention to him whatsoever until....

yes... kitty on the 4 inch ledge. outside the safety of the porch (which is 20 feet up). i see him dangling over the side, meowing (howling) at the dogs passing by. my thoughts as my stomach knotted up: dear lord, he's gonna jump! he's gonna break something! he's gonna run away! shitshitshit!

romeo's thoughts: bwahahahahaa! i'm the shit! oh yeah... me... the Shit. yes i am. meow!

h's thoughts on the matter when i told him about our little scare (spoken aloud): "you shoulda pushed him"...

maybe i shoulda... but i didnt... and now we have a little game. romeo goes out on the ledge. i panic. i coax him back off the ledge with promises of petting and loving and tuna. but now that the game has become routine, i think its less of a scare than it is a threat. a "gentle" reminder that romeo is the "dominant male cat" and needs his "edge" in the household. so... i turn a nervous eye away when he squeezes through the bars and dangles over to say hi to the passers-by.

Friday, June 8

cicadas in the car, a short film, not starring samuel l. jackson

Newsflash! We had an up close and personal encounter with a cicada as we drove back from lunch! Imagine, if you will, the Volvo resting at a stoplight, windows down, three giggly girls inside, flushed with delight at finding sale items at the Gap and selecting sweets down the street at a chocolatier, and suddenly! Out of thin air! A giant monstrosity of a creature flies right at their faces! Wings beating furiously against the windshield! Giant red eyes bulging! Bzzzzz! Our giggles turn to overly dramatic shrieks as he attempts to break the glass and eat us!!

We survived. Barely. By combining our immense intelligence, wit, strength of character and muscles, and darned good looks to fend off the cicada and trick him into submission. Really. (He's now inside my hood, still staring.)*

*i was in the car for this event, but the writing credit goes to my co-worker, kirsten - the ever vigilant cicada hunter.

Thursday, June 7

BEA 2007 - book nerd, enhanced.

despite skeptisicm from others, this past weekend i indulged my inner uber nerd. yes ladies and gentlemen, i actually attended a book convention. after much deliberation, i can safely say that book expo america is significantly LESS geeky than a star trek convention, infinitely MORE interesteing than a plastics convention and as expected, MORE buttoned up than a comic book convention.

BEA event director & friend lance fensterman wrangled me into this page turner of an event (oh come on - i couldnt resist!) a few months ago. intrigued by his enthusiasm and promises of a star-studded list of apperances, i agreed to put on my good walking shoes and spend 24+ hours over 3 days in the jacob javits center in midtown manhattan. unknowingly, i also agreed to stand sardine-style in a hot box of miles of aisles of publishers, agents, authors, librarians and enthusiastic professionals.

there were numerous high points to this trip, but i'd prefer to express my feelings in the form of a list:

amazing folks who always go the extra mile: reed expo - lance, steve, diane, marni, nancy, mike, kelly, jen & ed; "locals" - rhett, mindy, johnathan & payel

pub houses & affiliates who never fail to impress me: coffee house press, graywolf press, milkweed editions, algonquin books, source books, independent publishers group

star-studded cast: alan greenspan, stephen colbert, ken burns, lisa see, khaled hosseini, roy blount jr., jennifer egan, john lithgow, tom perrotta, alice sebold, ben karlin, ian mcewan, andrew & elizabeth shue (promoting book version of movie gracie), lynn johnston (for better or for worse), bill amend (foxtrot), gary trudeau (doonsbury), patrick mcdonnell (mutts comic)

bizzare happenings in manhattan: while sipping a beer with mindy, waiting in limbo for a party to start, i noticed a 30-something man carrying a potted palm plant down the street. two beers later i noticed an elderly man leaning entirely too far out his window. said man was apparently naked, or half naked as his large belly covered any evidence of clothing "below the belt". shoes made for walking are not necessarily made for standing in, and vice versa. having the bus not stop to pick you up b/c it's too full, and then beating it to your destination b/c of traffic is mildly exciting and a great distraction method when you're carrying a 30 lb bag.

next year? LA, here i come!