She’s Back!

I know you’ve all been worried, so I wanted to let you know that the Sitting Silent lady is back in her spot at the 7th Avenue and 9th Street stop on the F train.

She was there this morning as I went to work, back on her suitcase, with her cigarettes and her 2 Liter bottle of orange soda.

I almost hugged her.

Swedish Style + Red Hook Brooklyn

Ikea has finally opened in Brooklyn! Every weekday morning for months I have been looking out the train window of the elevated section of the F between the 7th Avenue and Carroll Street stops and sighing.

I love Ikea. The big blue building with the bright yellow beacon … IKEA. It calls me. I saw Ikea in Rome once and almost had a heart attack. I had to restrain myself. How would I ever get an affordable, yet cool, chair on the flight home?

Ikea and I first met when I moved to New York in 1998. I had started doing some freelance work in the event industry with my friend who was in charge of purchasing decor and office supplies for our company. I’d usually be hired for the big excursions — Home Depot, Ikea — because I had nothing else to do and I can carry heavy things. The first time we visited Ikea I almost collapsed. It was like when I first met Target.

You mean stuff can be affordable AND stylish? Thank you SB!

It was like a prayer had been answered that I hadn’t even dared to pray.

Well, since that day — we were in New Jersey, the closest Ikea to the city — I started praying for Ikea in Brooklyn. And it’s finally here. People camped outside the doors for three days prior to the opening. No shit. Ikea had lured them in with the promise of crazy give-aways. The first 35 in the door got a free sofa!What I want to know is that if you already had a sofa that you were happy with, could you trade in your free sofa for a gift certificate? $300 goes a long way at Ikea. You could have swedish meatballs for a year with that kind of dough.

Of course, I guess that if you’re willing to camp out on the paved shores of Red Hook for three days to get a couch (three workdays, by the way), you’re probably pretty serious about that couch.

Today’s the Day!

I’m off to the DMV this morning to register myself as a convicted Drinking Driver and sign up for the Drinking Driver Program of New York. Woo hoo! Did I ever show you guys what my office mates did for me when I returned from Kentucky?

First I go to the DMV in Brooklyn for the initial registration. I’m a little concerned because when I looked up the address this morning I found this:

Brooklyn/Kings County
Due to space and security concerns, we ask that only the individuals who are transacting business enter the processing area of this office.

Security concerns? Awesome.Then I go meet Albert White of the Alcoholism Board of New York State. I have not found any security warnings on Albert. I guess by the time the drunks get to his office they’ve finally given up the fight and no longer need to throw chairs or whatever else they do over at the DMV. There I sign up for a 7-week, 16-hour course on why I shouldn’t drink and drive. I expect I will get to see a lot of grotesque footage of car wrecks and meet some of the cool kids from Brooklyn. It’s an adventure! I of course will keep you posted on any of the fun.

Springtime in Brooklyn

“Don’t touch the fucking ball!”

I turn my head and see the coach of the outfield lesbian softball team screaming in the direction of the Little League game on the next field. I was kind of watching the game as I passed, so I knew someone had just hit a home run — if not a grand slam, at least a triple. (Sexy show.)

I was in Prospect Park walking Chulo and Ziggy, our next door neighbor’s dog who is an adorable black fluffy something and we were circling the four or five softball fields there. We watched the lesbian coach dramatically argue with the old Italian man umpire for a minute until we realized, like all lesbian drama, it wasn’t going to be resolved any time soon, so we moved on. As we neared the field with the little leaguers I saw the sponsor of the home team was Immaculate Heart of Mary.(I found that picture on Flickr. I swear to god. I mean, God.)

They were playing Holy Name.
Now. Am I just being Southern, or is this completely inappropriate? It’s Brooklyn, I know. Kids in Brooklyn hear and speak worse than I do. Me. And I’m sure the kids weren’t representing the actual churches, but rather the schools associated with them, but still. It got to me a little. And, of course, I thought it was totally funny at the same time.

The next scene I came to was two teenaged girls sitting on a hill.

Girl 1: [Squealing] Oh my god! We could bring our books and totally hang out and just read all day! 

Girl 2: [Bouncing on her knees.] That is so perfect! I love it!

Girl 1: [Pulling out a well-worn journal and her (no doubt) favorite pen.] We could invite Jen and Aubrey and Missy.

In essence they were planning my 15 year old self’s fantasy birthday party. And I prayed that they got something I never had at that age.

“Dear Jesus. Please let them have nerdyness and popularity.”

(Side note. Who am I kidding? This is my 36 year old self’s fantasy birthday except now it would require red wine.)

Anyway, the point is I love, love, love Brooklyn in the spring. My favorite part of Brooklyn is all of the different people and the way that we’re all in such close proximity that we get a chance to catch glimpses of people’s personal lives. Not in a creepy, voyeuristic, Peeping Tom way, but in an almost anthropological study way. And it’s different in Spring — in other seasons it’s either too cold or too hot and no one lingers the way they do when it’s gorgeous outside. There’s something special and beautiful about it. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s the man I saw on the street this morning who handed his girlfriend her dry cleaning and stomped away after she screamed, “It’s just you don’t know when to quit!” or the guy I saw on the train the other day who, I promise you, solved, messed up, and re-solved a Rubik’s cube within two train stops.

As we were leaving the park, we passed the skater kids. I could have hung out and watched them all day. They are so adorable and teenager-ish. They’re uber cool in only the way a 15 year old can be, they had all the players — the boy who was smoking hot, the girl who was smoking hot, the smoking hot girlfriend’s cool in a nerdy non-conformist way, the couple of hangers-on … you know the scene. They all had skateboards and I believe I saw two of them actually using them as something other than a prop or an accessory. I felt myself becoming very grandmotherly and wanting to go over and hug them all and tell them how great they were. But then I was afraid that I would be ridiculed, just like when I was 15 and no one should ever have to go through that twice.

Now, I do admit we New Yorkers have our Peeping Tom side. The fact is, New Yorkers are all notorious for looking into people’s windows at night. If you live in this city — especially Brooklyn or Manhattan — and you have windows facing a public street, you know that if have your lights on and your curtains open at night, people will be checking out your decor as they walk by. That is just the way it is. You either keep ’em closed, or you accept it.

For some people looking in windows at night is a hobby. I’m definitely a big fan.


Do you know why one would spend an exorbitant amount of money on buying an apartment in Brooklyn? I mean, sacrifice all clothing and accessory purchases, give up on your obsession with eating out, start buying the sub-$10 wine?Trader Joe’s “Three Buck Chuck”

For those non-New Yorkers (or non-Sex and the City addicts) living across any bridge from Manhattan basically means that you have voluntarily joined a leper colony. And, if your leper colony happens to be Brooklyn, your leper colony has as many cool, trendy clothing stores, and even cooler, trendier restaurants as Manhattan does. The rents are cheaper, the apartments are larger, and yes, the commutes are longer.

So, what’s a lesbian couple who wants to own property, but doesn’t want to give up their social life (as it is), to do?

Buy well.

Before you think I’m being conceited or elitist, hold your rent-paying horses. Our apartment is less than 600 square feet. We live above a tattoo parlor, a bar and a dry cleaner who may or may not be sending toxic fumes through our air ducts. But!

We have a yard! Know what will get Manhattanites — even Manhattanites who live, not downtown or on a convenient train line, but who live where they either pay $30 for a cab or have to make a transfer on the subway –to cross a bridge? A back yard.This past weekend we re-named Chateau St. Chulo to The Hamptons – Park Slope. You know. Like, University of Madison – Wisconsin. But it’s our own time share, minus the share and the cost, and the gays love it. Especially my Patsy and Danny. They love it so much, not only did they spend all of Sunday afternoon with us, they are coming back next weekend!

This past Sunday culminated in a Stomp-Off a la Tyra Banks between myself and Patsy Key. (Both of us were wearing my platforms, so I did have a slight advantage.) It was gorgeous. I haven’t had a better time since I wore the $400 bridesmaid dress I bought for L&A’s wedding to the Miss America Pageant Party in Dan & Patrick’s Williamsburgh abode. Best part?They’re coming back this Sunday! However, I do have some reservations. Erica and I are making the scary move of conjoining two groups of friends. You never know how these things are going to fly. E & I absolutely adore Danny & PatsyKey. We also love, love, love Christophe and Jayme. They all think Erica and I rock. So, one would think things would go well, considering all six of us are in love with me & Erica.If we run out of current events to talk about, we can all just compliment each other. (One thing all our friends have in common, high self-admiration.)

Plus, the ultimate clincher is, the aforementioned backyard. As much as a New York party crowd may hate each other (as if), they’ll suffer through anything to hang in a backyard on a spring day.

Fine. You’re ugly anyways.

This 826NYC place I’ve been obsessing about lately has this great section on its website where they post stories written by their drop-in tutoring students. This is my favorite:

Hector’s Girlfriend Broke Up With Him
by John, Age 10

Written during Drop-In Tutoring
May 2006, Williamsburgh Annex

Hector’s girlfriend Kristen broke up with him because he had a big nose. Every time he went next to her, he pushed her with his nose. Every time he called for a drink, she always felt his saliva, because he also had a big mouth. He looked like a giraffe.

One day, she was asleep and Hector came home at 6am. He didn’t like to tell her he tutored. He
did it in secret.

“What are you doing coming home at this hour!” she yelled.

“It starts with a ‘t,’ but I can’t tell you,” he said.

“It’s OVER,” she said. “And I’m sick of you walking in with your hairy legs when my friends are here. You’re always embarrassing me in front of my friends.”

“This is MY HOUSE! Tell your friends to leave if they don’t like it. And tell your friend Michelle to stay away. She got a mustache, so she shouldn’t be talking.”

“Well,” said Kristen, “I’ll stay with you ’cause you make a lot of money.”

“Forget about that,” Hector said. “I always knew that’s why you liked me ’cause when you saw me I was bling blingin’ but you can’t get no ching ching. So Kristen, are you gonna leave me or not? Now get out to the hallway like a little cat.”

“Fine. You’re ugly anyways.”

Kristen pretended to leave. She walked out to the living room and hid under the sofa. Hector thought she was gone. He said, “I don’t know if I’m gonna go to tutoring or not. Those kids drive me crazy!”

Kristen heard him. She thought, “I’m telling him I know he works with kids.” When Hector came into the living room, she got up and Hector screamed like a girl: “AHHHH!!”

“So, where do you work at?” she said. “A TUTORING CENTER??”

“In the library. All I do is help out my John John Bigalow. And John John Bigalow’s under my bed!”

Then, John John Bigalow came out and she said, “AHH! He looks like a bum!” She snapped her fingers and said, “Get out of my room!”

“This ain’t your room, this is MY room,” said Hector. “JJB staying here. And YOU leave out my room, Kristen. Or else I’ll call the cops.”

He called the cops.

Pretend I’m in Mexico.

Hi people. I fell down again. Honest to Smoking Baby, I fell down. Again.

This is my knee:I was walking home from my Al-Anon meeting and I stepped on one of those plastic folder things you put in a Trapper Keeper. It was just like the skating incident but slalom. A nice boy poked his head out of the bodega door to ask, “Lady. Are you okay?” (Fucker. It was like when I went back to Italy and the waiter called me Signora instead of Signorina.) The three kids behind me giggled for about three blocks. Not the point of the story. Just thought you’d like to know.

So. I get home tonight (with my broken head, ass and knee, in order of altitude) and I’m in a pensive mood. A and V left today after a four day visit. We spent almost the entire time not speaking about Mom, except for E’s occasional slip up about something crazy Mom did or how we had a wacko family or something. Something about V makes you forget that she’s a kid. She’s acts as if she’s much more mature emotionally than she is and you start to talk around her as if she’s an adult. Then there are times when you’re talking to her about how crazy things have been lately and she’ll break your heart with, “Oh, I’m so used to it by now. I’ve seen it all.”

Sorry. Is that too sullen a thought? I had a friend tell me recently that my blog was too heavy for him. (But without the hip verbiage.) I can’t help it. And I don’t think of my stories as sullen or morose. It’s just what’s going on.

Anyway, I came home tonight after my meeting and I asked E for a night alone. I assured her that it was only because I just needed to process some stuff on my own and I took off. (It’s my first time ever asking for some space in the five years we’ve been together. I am learning so much!)

“Pretend I’m in Mexico. I’ll see you later.”
“Okay! I’ll watch the L Word.”

I do have to admit, I was disappointed in her lack of disapointment.

Anyway. I grabbed a bottle of wine, my laptop and I headed for the loft. I’m at the end of this seven-engine train of family shit and I’m tired. I have gotten through the intervention and the sister visit. I just left an eye opening Al-Anon meeting and I wanna just be alone. With all of you.

You know. I’m writing down all of this stuff you’re reading, and I recognize that when I post here, I’m not making a journal entry. I truly know that I’m writing for an audience (of millions), but there’s still this sense of anonymity that comes from the fact that instead of speaking, I am typing. And it is more anonymous than physically writing because you hit save or send and it’s over. There’s nothing tangible left over to prove it ever happened. And there’s something about that that allows me to write freely about things I would usually never broadcast. Especially considering the fact that there are already members of my family reading on a regular basis, and as soon as that Oprah deal comes through (Oprah, can you hear me? Oprah, can you feel me in the night?), Mom will find out (if not earlier) and there’s a part of me that is terrified of that. But there’s also a part of me that feels that, as Dr. Drew said on Celebrity Rehab, “You are only as sick as your secrets.” And, my people, I am tired of being sick. When I was in Georgia for the latest drama, I opened to my Mom up about things I’ve never confronted her on … and in front of her brother.
It rocked.

Mom later told me, “I remember what you said in the hospital. I can’t believe you would talk to me like that. And in front of B. I am so embarassed.” I, enlightened Princess that I am, replied, “I am sorry that I hurt your feelings, but that doesn’t mean what I said wasn’t true.”

Right on, Princess.

People, I am taking care of myself these days. And, to be honest, it’s a fucking chore. Not only do I have a lot of family baggage to deal with, I am unpracticed at self-love … however. Watch out! I’m on a crash-course and it’s only a matter of time before I’m writing (and performing) cheers for myself.

So, thanks for reading. And, to those friends of mine who are only finding out what’s happening to me through the blog although you’ve called and written, I’m sorry. I’m a little overwhelmed right now but am working it out. I’ll holla at ya when I’ll be more fun to talk to. (Or when I get the cheers ready … Guh-oooohhh PRINCESS!)