Monday, December 29, 2008

auld lang whine.

this year we're heading out of town again to ring in the new year, so we'll do our requisite retrospective a few days early. as you might expect me to say, 08's been a pretty crap year, especially lately, and we're not too sad about waving goodbye to it. which is pretty ironic, considering my mantra last year at this time was 'eight is great' - and being that i'm born on the eighth, i have a good deal of egotistically-driven love for the number, and so went into it with all shades of wondrous expectations. too many, i suppose.

and while it wasn't all gloom and doom - there were, as always, a good number of amazing moments peppered throughout the past twelve months - i think i'll forever associate this past year with crying. i cried on subway platforms, and in cars, and on buses, and in banana republic, and key food, and port authority, and bars, and a restaurant, and all along 48th street; in three different states, and 4 out of the 5 boroughs.


and while this sounds nothing short of completely pathetic, one of the things i'm most proud of this year stems from this -- and that is that i never cried where it counted. during the most rotten moments of the year, a handful of them, i never lost my composure - they expected me to, and perhaps, in some instances, needed me to - but i held strong, and kept the despair fully in check until i was safely out of sight/earshot (random passersby be damned - i am pretty certain i horrified a good number of fellow new yorkers recently. apologies to all.) and i suppose this might be a dumb little victory to hang on to, but as i explained during a discussion i had about this last month, i feel in some small way that this was a major sign of growing up. at least for me, the sensitive gal who can tear up during gossip girl and californication (mind-boggling, i know). i somehow gained the poise to control the waterworks, and for that i am grateful.

which fits in with the fact that this year was probably my 'saturn return', an interesting phenomenon that dear reader hillary pointed out to me when i was contemplating what a big deal 28 was, at the time, surprisingly, turning out to be. and although in many respects this was a negative year, it was the most change-filled year i've had in quite awhile, and doing some things differently won't necessarily be a bad thing.


and finally, in completely falling apart i really became aware of the amazing support system i have. my girls - high school, college, and workplace ones - and my family have been so incredible i don't think i can ever properly put in to words how grateful i am for them all. at the risk of giving this post the honor of housing loveandcyanide's sappiest statement - but it will - i honestly am looking back right now not feeling at all bitter, but instead blessed.

alright, enough. considering this was started as a forum for 'high seas adventures' - a purportedly fun place on the internet - we sincerely thank you, you few dear readers, for standing by during these most dour times.

we truly hope that the new year brings about more happy and exciting adventures for us to document...and we wish the same for you all as well.

happy new year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

wrapping/wagon wrongdoing.

from probably the moment i was able to properly wield a scissor, our father has had me play the role of his official present wrapper during the holiday season. by 'season', i mean the very last minute, the night before Christmas, i.e. Christmas Eve. when the feasting and family-ness and midnight mass are all done with, i gather my rolls of christmasy paper, father deposits his shopping bags of gifts for my mother in my room, and i wrap gifts for him through the wee hours of the morning*.

similar to my stint as a "first flute" in band class**, my title as official present wrapper was gained through false presumptions - in this case, my father thinking that as the eldest daughter i must wrap presents well. i don't. at all. i don't know why - i'm relatively creative and neat, and can do other things that someone would assume an expert-wrapper could do - but yet i can't manage to cover a box without ripped corners and conspicuous pieces of tape placed willy-nilly. and yet, year after year, bags of presents are deposited in my care for me to crappily wrap.

this year my mother got in on the act, and so i spent a good portion of my holiday badly wrapping gifts for every member of our family. while amusing myself with my horrific papered creations, i also wondered why there are so few technological advances when it comes to gift-wrapping? it's such an archaic system -- there's gotta be a better way.


in further news on the injustices front, a special request was made for us to blog*** about the following insanity:


from the article: "outfitted with 5-point safety harnesses, padded seats, cup holders, foot brakes and fold-out storage containers...But that's just for starters...t
here's a digital handle that tracks temperature, time, distance and speed...And there's a slot for an MP3 player, complete with speakers, for some cruising tunes."

wtf. it's a wagon. someone pulls you in it down the block, you don't take road trips in it!

*no exaggeration here: i'm up all night, every christmas eve, wrapping gifts. last year i passed out drunk at 1am, napped for an hour, and THEN woke up and wrapped them. and it's not just me - most years our entire house is abuzz until at least 4am, solely with gift-wrapping. if there is one thing our family does quite well, it is procrastinate.

**in junior high school, i was a 'first flute', meaning i got to sit in the front row of the flute section, and play the more superior flute parts in the arrangements (arrangements like an aladdin medley - don't get too impressed). i am not at all being modest when i say this - i literally had no flute-playing ability. none. i could barely make noise come out of the thing, let alone the proper noise. i spent most of my band hours flirting with the trumpet section, gossiping, and wondering how gross the little stick that cleaned the inside of your flute could actually get.

so why, do you ask, did i get this glorified position within the school band? i truly don't know. it wasn't based on skill. my only reasoning is that it was because i shared a music stand with my friend mary, who was an amazing flute player. and sitting next to mary, and clearly being adept at feigning flute playing, was enough to make our band teacher assume that i too could play with the top-tier flutists in the class.

what this truly says about me i'd rather not know, but i'd like to believe this says something about my ability to look capable at all times, and so this 'first flute theory' has come into play a few times through the years, and most definitely applies to my holiday job.

***blog requests are quite rare, but they do completely make our day when they occur. thanks B!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

and a centipede in a pear tree.

while we were hoping for a visit from santa claus and his prancing reindeer this week, instead i had an encounter earlier today with a less welcome guest -- a house centipede.

if you've never come across one of these buggers before, this is what they look like. according to my vast internet research - and you know i've done vast internet research; the first time i spied something that sinister-looking in my personal space i freaked out and immediately scoured the web for answers/support/weaponry - they are insectivores, meaning they are useful bugs as they eat other insects. which is probably true, as we've been living in our apartment for over a year and with the exception of three random centipede sightings see little to no ants or spiders or worse, which is great and all, but still - they are completely the stuff of nightmares.

especially that i found this guy on my windowsill about six inches from my pillow. my pillow! where i lay my innocent head to dream. i feel immensely violated. thank goodness we're spending the next few days holiday-ing it up at our parents' house, or else i'd be sleeping in a ski mask tonight.


and so since this will be our last post before the holiday, we'd like to wish all our readers who are celebrating a most merry christmas, and leave you with something a little more jolly and lovable than a hundred-legged insect:

**you may note that the reporter states that 'a few select visitors are allowed to toboggan with the animals' -- my new life goal is to be one of those select few.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


maybe it's because yesterday was a super snow day (see fig. 1), or because all i saw out on thursday night were drunk people in santa hats leaving their office holiday parties, or because i finally purchased a christmas present, or because santa was the name of javier bardem's character in the excellent film i watched yesterday (Mondays in the Sun), or because i was coerced into decorating everything in sight by my family earlier in the week (see fig. 2 and 3), or because of that sappy song that gonzo sang during the muppet special that has been stuck in my head since wednesday night...

but goshdarnit, i LOVE christmas and i'm not going to let a few crappy weeks ruin my favorite holiday.

*insert glorious fanfare here*

Fig. 1: There was so much snow even this polar bear needed proper headgear.

Fig. 2: The 'Dicken's Village' setup over the entertainment center. There are two more sections of the village, including a lighted tree in the 'town square', carefully arranged throughout our parents' living room. Notice my skilled creation of hills using a 'fake snow' blanket and piles of textbooks.

Fig. 3: Four of the six aforementioned holiday trees that are hanging around our apartment. This year we centered them all around my new BFF, the television, so i suppose i'd have to be blind not to let all the twinkly, blinkly merriment get to me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

wild on wednesday.

i am highly, highly intrigued* by this.


so i was summoned to 'unemployment class' today, and took a nice little excursion to flushing (which took over an hour) to sit in a classroom for the most pointless 1/2 hour i've ever spent. i understand the state needs me to do something to deserve the money i'm collecting from them, but there has to be another slightly more useful activity i could have partaken in. i would have happily done a few hours of community service. instead i had to dutifully raise my hand when the bored instructor asked if anyone "had ever networked before", and feign interest when he suggested looking for jobs on this website called i understand that there was a wide variety of professional skill level in that room - ranging from pretty much none to high - and that clearly those in more need do need a class like that, but for rest of us who did not require resume writing or even english language assistance from the dept of labor, we could have totally done something more worthwhile. and even show our thanks for the support as we did.

just a thought.


and since tonight was the big night - we're happy to report that the new muppet christmas special totally lived up to the hype. (just our own hype, we know)

missy even commented that "miss piggy looked hot" so clearly they went all out for this special.

*although a little scared at the part when the king appears on the bear rug. why the hell are his legs hairless? with a beard like that?? no way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

from the 'awesome old movies' files...

after spending the first few weeks of my unemployment attempting to overachieve in the home-life productivity realm, i've given up and settled into a slightly more relaxing routine these days. whether or not spending more quality time with my bed and my television is a healthy development remains to be seen, but goddammit, sleeping until noon and watching every movie i've ever wanted to see is turning out to be pretty darn nice.

two oldies that had been languishing on my netflix queue forever and SO shouldn't have been are:

network and the taking of pelham one two three. both were excellent - the former i found especially fitting for me to be watching during such a turbulent time, and the latter turned out to be a surprising mix* of speed, reservoir dogs, ghostbusters 2, and grumpy old men**, which is like all of mine and missy's fave films combined.

*this might sound like a bad mix idea, but similar to those salty&sweet snack mixes that you think seem kind of gross when reading all the different flavors but then taste heavenly later on when you drunkenly devour them, it does, in fact, work. plus jerry stiller is in it being all sarcastic, and when does his crotchety sassiness not make a program more enjoyable?

**well, only one of us likes grumpy old men. and it's not me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

from the 'why kids today are so f*cked up' files...

i was duped* into watching one of those new rudolph cartoons earlier today, and what happened? rudolph asked for a nose job. a nose job!!! in the original cartoon it was some innocent little 10 watt bulb blinking in his nose, that they colored over with black crayon - now they had to graduate from crafty little fixes to full-out surgery to fix his stinking nose. and people wonder why preteen girls ask for plastic surgery for their birthdays? if a lovable holiday cartoon character can have it, why can't they?!

ugh, this sort of thing vexes me to no end.

*duped by the television guide. this is the third time this has happened to me this week - flipping on a station because i was excited to see rudolph... written in the little box, thinking it was the original (which yes, we have on tape sitting there on our bookshelf, but everything is more exciting when you watch it live) and yet it is some longer titled recently-made knockoff. these second rate, plastic surgery-filled sequels would never receive any ratings if the stupid guide just showed the full title in the menu.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

guess everyone really is cutting back.

this evening after a dinner out in our neighborhood, a friend and i decided to cap off our night with fake champagne and ice cream at my apartment. in need of the ice cream portion of that plan, we stopped off in our nearby 7-11. after solving that age-old dilemma - americone dream or phish food* - i paid for the ice cream. upon receiving my change, ice cream container sitting on the counter, i looked to the cashier to place it in a bag. she stared back at me, not making any sort of move towards a transporting vessel for my purchase. a mini stare-down ensued.

finally, she looked away and started fiddling with the register. and so i walked out of the store, somewhat thief-like, with the pint in my hand. i stuck it in my purse for the remainder of the walk home (which frankly, i think made it melt faster. argh.)

has 7-11 really ceased giving bags for small purchases?? i really didn't think a store that wasted so much paper and plastic on stupid syrupy ice drinks would try to be so environmentally conscious.

*americone dream
won, as we discovered that neither of us, while highly enjoying the taste of phish food, are fans of having mini chocolate fish in our ice cream. this is why bovinity divinity - which possessed mini chocolate cows - was, in my opinion, the greatest ice cream ever. which is why i even took the time to write an email to ben & jerry's when they discontinued it. unfortunately my voice went unherd.


Monday, December 08, 2008

monday morning distractions.

i don't play video games anymore - with the exception of an occasional game of bubble bobble when missy and i break the old skool nintendo out of the closet - so i'm not really up on all the latest in that world. but i thought this article was pretty awesome. (kinda long, but thought-provoking)


also filed under awesome this morning -- this.

and this.

the stormtrooper-as-cashier is my personal fave.

Friday, December 05, 2008

only twelve more days!

no, not those twelve days - trust me, i'm not rushing christmas this year. but it is a mere twelve days until the premiere of the new muppet christmas special! december 17th - run and set the dvr.

we're generally a little wary of new muppet movies since the recent ones just do not compare to the ones from when we were kids, BUT sam the eagle and sweetums are featured, there's a song and dance number in a post office, rats in antlers, and stupid elmo isn't anywhere in sight, so i'm feeling ok about this one. actually, very ok about it - it's the first thing to warm my grinchy little heart this holiday season.

(our very first video embed. how exciting. it only took 3 years.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

lessons learned: 0.

after our recent trip to florida, missy and i concluded that we are entirely too neurotic to live in glass homes. this became apparent during our first evening there, in our excessively window-ed condo, as we watched tv and drank wine in the living room after a late dinner. as the doorbell rang, we stared panic-stricken at each other about what to do, as we're loathe* to ever open the door. let alone when it's dark out. in an unfamiliar area. most especially an unfamiliar area that looks like the backdrop of dexter**.

as the doorbell chimed for the second time, we sat motionless on the couches and whispered across the room about whether the person at the door would be friend or foe. not surprisingly, we decided foe and didn't answer. the ringing stopped, and we then realized that outside our entire wall of windows and beyond the lawn was a group of vacationers having a jovial little time drinking on their porch. a porch from where they could most likely spy two fellow timeshare stayers also drinking in their home, and being the extra friendly people they probably were (and we most certainly aren't), were most likely stopping by to ask us to join them.

we hurriedly shut the blinds, and left them closed during dark the remainder of our stay. suffice to say, we were not invited to any other gatherings.

and so, here i am today, in my aunt and uncle's excessively window-ed home, where i can watch the neighbor's tv from my perch home office on the dining room table (deadliest catch for most of this afternoon). the doorbell rings, and i take cover, figuring with the lights off and my not being too near the giant front window, whomever is out there would just assume no one was home. a few minutes pass, and i look up from the computer as aforementioned neighbor waves to me from his driveway. he has a piece of mail for this house that he wanted to drop off.

we're going to overcome our answering-the-bell phobia before we ostracize any more communities.

*i don't know why we haven't grown out of the "don't open the door when your parents aren't home phase". i really don't. i'm quite aware that i'm an adult and it would be really hard for someone to just snatch me from my doorstep. i imagine when i live alone someday my packages will just pile up outside as i will never open the door for the fed ex guy.

**we're not even exaggerating this time. the show takes place in miami.

chrissy and the pussycats.

it's funny that loveandcyanide is even less updated now that i'm unemployed, but we've actually been keeping really busy over here. and beyond our attempts at staying productive, sane, and occupied at all times, we've also been dealing with other fun things like illness. and disfigurement. and exile. and abandonment. and famine. and strife. (ok, fine. we're exaggerating the last ones).

a friend i was lunching with yesterday summed it up best for me by making a reference to this moment when she felt like a Cathy cartoon. and i immediately knew and identified with what she was talking about. and being that Cathy was one of those comic page offerings that made me cringe more often than laugh, i am hoping this phase of my life can end before any other tragicomical events can manage to sneak in.


so in adding to this, for the past two weeks i've been playing the role of suburban hausfrau as we've been based out of New Jersey house/pet-sitting for vacationing relatives. our charges are three enormous cats: a portly, prozac-taking, elderly one; a shy and skittish but adorable middle one; and a rambunctious, bullying, going-to-grow-to-the-size-of-a-cougar kitten. while we consider ourselves animal lovers, and grew up in a household with a cat, three kitties at once are definitely more than this girl can handle.

who's fighting, who's hungry, who's defecated outside his litter box, who's stupidly napping in the litter box, who's yowling outside the bedroom door to wake me up in the morning, who's sitting in a pile of clean laundry on the dining room table, who's eating the plants. i'm basically at their beck and call. and while it's nice to have furry companionship on the days i'm home by myself, i've thus far lost an old sweater, a bowl of cheerios, and countless hours of sleep to this trio.

whew. it's become clear to me i cannot even entertain one thought of a temporary part-time career as a dog-walker.