Saturday, October 29, 2011

ze barfday leest.

this week i turned one year older, and am surprisingly excited about it.

not excited because of some epiphany or movie ticket discount, but excited to be moving towards the future...towards me being me...and the happiness that will ultimately bring. at this very moment, me being me consists of: friday night cravings for Fage yogurt (listen to your elder and go get some immediately), peppermint tea, and the new Coldplay album (ditto).

as a bday present to myself i decided to compile a special list. typically i am fab at focusing on questions, but for this special occasion i thought it best to impress myself with answers.

so in no particular order, i present to you...

The Things I Know For Sure.
(one for every year)
  1. once you start waxing whatever, you can never stop waxing whatever 
  2. breathable fabrics are best
  3. laughter cures
  4. i am chemically addicted to fire cheetos
  5. when in doubt, cover it up
  6. i will never win a spelling b
  7. my friends are more fun than your friends
  8. everyone endures pain
  9. india sweats the demon out
  10. proper food and sleep could change the world's function
  11. one's jungle-book-fantasy-void can be filled by bathing elephants in a river 
  12. biscuits are better with maple syrup
  13. if you bake it, they will come
  14. thread count and shower pressure matter
  15. people mostly remember how you make them feel
  16. it's not as bad as you think it is
  17. things become much easier when you stop holding on and just let go 
  18. if you have met, but do not like, anna brame spessard mulhair kiani - you are a horrible person
  19. pretty is good. funny is much better
  20. truth and trust should be the goal
  21. wealth in all forms is meant to be shared
  22. when i write my book, my mother will first critique the cover art
  23. paper cuts bring out the dragon
  24. 5 hour energy is an afternoon of bad trips and tender moments spent in the restroom
  25. it is10xs the fun if there's a costume
  26. grandmother stories are the best stories
  27. dried apricots will do the job
  28. entitlement right next to ego is the most unattractive 
  29. your dream for me is at times bigger than my dream for me
  30. fringe makes everyone fall in love

khappy berthday to me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

80 minutes of summer.

this year we had more or less 80 minutes of glorious summer.  #lesigh

with september soon approaching - i thought it best to conclude this season with some pictures of my favorite summer memories. for the next 9 - 11 months they will remind me what it's like to dress without long underwear.

they will also serve as vindication that my natural skin color is in fact brown. not wan. 

i will miss these things.

but more than roughage and high heels. i will miss this most of all.

i hope you enjoyed summer as much as we did. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

the power of four.

families are a slightly incredible cohort. you can probably relate.

they hold the ability to empower or erode. shield or abandon. enlighten or completely confuse.

and if your family is special like mine, they have the power to do all these things simultaneously.

their interconnectivity is quite brilliant. affectionate glances framing guilt. vocalized pride stemming from secret deception. a bit of codependency thrown in just to make sure you're still awake. love and belonging interlocked, laced together in a lumpy soft embrace.

my father, mother, brother and myself are a compelling bunch. and one stupid gushy blog will not do us justice. this also holds true for extended family, however it should be known the smaller group is arguably more entertaining than the larger one.

by the way, i decided it's best that grandmothers are not included in the extended family list. one. they are far too wily. and two. they have eaten more shit in their lifetime than i care to ever eat in mine. they therefore warrant distinction, and nothing ever general. each one rightfully exists in their perfectly crafted ecosystem of fantasy. and by ecosystem, i don't mean terrarium. something with a little more first class leg room and extra drawers for jewelry. one day i'll write down my memories of my grandmothers. you can then drink tea and cozy up, reading tales of my Jewish Bubba asking her 8 year old elizabeth what she wants for breakfast. my answer forever being french toast. smoking in the kitchen, she relays every detail of each conversation had over the past month. repeating and then she says to him so many times elizabeth grows up to be a story teller. doesn't every kid play 21 and shop at Bloomingdales? or if you need something with more of a bite, aloha. sit ocean side - drink something serious - and fantasize of my hot-legged-chinese-portuguese Tutu. her chapter lovingly named Have That Man Put Some Ice In My F*cking Wine, will make you vomit with laughter. 

warning: tutu makes other grandmothers blush. she lives in las vegas. she has Club A on auto pay.

in not so plain terms, my family hooks me. confuses me. loves me. keeps me on my toes. they are charged and aware. ready-to-not-take-your-ish. ready for a good laugh and great story. and above everything - above allllll the few great guarantees of this world - they are never. ever. boring. thank the prophets.

after weeks of searching for the perfect word to describe them, i still can't nail down the proper term. in surrender, all i have come up with is: power nap. because sometimes after spending a week, or a day, or a dinner, or maybe just a speaker phone conversation - you'll need one.

growing up, i memorized their individual frequencies. measured their collective output. spent the majority of my life, in two groups of three. things always seemed crystal clear.

Group 1) cindy + elizabeth + max = elizabeth giving max a hard time/food shopping
Group 2) artie + elizabeth +max = elizabeth giving max a hard time/food eating

the number three was easy. it was comfortable. it was rehearsed and expected. but four...four was mysterious. the yet-to-be-cracked algorithm.

artie + cindy + elizabeth +max = the unconstrained variable

i had often wondered what the unknown power of four would hold. not that i expected  Donna Reed Show utopia, but what type of family experiences the perfectly manicured lawn. or late night conversations in the kitchen over chocolate cake. dialing one number and reaching two people.

turns out, if you have introduced me to your family, i have most definitely stalked them for as long as possible. not to worry. i made a concerted effort to not be creepily noticeable. why would i want to go outside when i can stand in the kitchen and watch Gail passionately read the newspaper while Ron works at the computer, re-telling old jokes. she was totally unaware she ate all of the sesame seed snacks from the bowl on the counter. if you waited long enough, she would start to play the blue piano in the bedroom and sing a tune or two. who wants to meet up with friends, when i can sit in a chair and watch andi and danny cuddle on the perfect-cuddle-couch for hours. never getting up for anyone. there was no better place to be.

i blame it on my shower curtain pull back disorder. discovering rationale behind mock turtle necks and cruise ships. wall plate displays and chicken chachkes. guns and eighties hair. stories of old hollywood standards and soft-shoe. i have to know if it's pristine. if you only clean for company. if professional help should be called. or maybe no one gives a shit, and just leaves it all wide open.

but for right now, the investigation can rest. because for the first time in my life, i got the chance to experience the unimaginable. my first family vacation. ever.

prompted by the Berkeley college graduation of my brother, i have to admit i was a bit terrified. but then figured even if the trip was a complete bust, at least i had the opportunity to answer the question: Why are you going to California? with...

I'm going on vacation with my divorced parents.

words sweet as honey.

yes, i knew what was coming. and yes. some of it came. but there were other far more glorious moments i didn't anticipate.

it's a good feeling to be surprised. but being surprised as a jaded 30 year old, is even better. i grabbed ahold of memories i never thought would be mine. held tight. and floated above it all. watching my parents sit in the front seats of the car. max and i silently in the back, listening to artie and cindy family vacation conversation. mom saying how she keeps raw green beans in her purse to eat on the plane. dad laughing at mom for being ridiculous. mom laughing out loud because even though she knows she is ridiculous, my father is still far more ridiculous than everyone.

cut to the restaurant. we all sit down. together. dad and mom share salmon with asparagus. cindy can't eat her half because the kitchen basted it in sweet sugar devil sauce. another piece of salmon is ordered. the establishment makes the grievous error of charging $8 for replacement salmon. my parents riot. they tag team the restaurant manager over the erroneous $8 charge. someone gets bored and leaves to retrieve blood from a nearby rock. the argument gets heated. my father unknowingly addresses my mother, saying, hold on honey. i gleefully shit my pants. team Alinikoff wins the standoff. my exhausted mother unintentionally leaves her to-go half eaten free piece of salmon on the table. she laughs. my father hits it home with, it's the principle of the matter.

graduation day. my dad and i take pictures from the stands. my father uses his fancy camera. he lets my mom direct some shots. i ask for a thumbs up and take a picture. they both smile, give me thumbs up and say heeeyyyy.

celebration time. my dad's sf friends organize a last minute graduation dinner for max. my sweet father is excited to show off his kids. the dinner is held at the beautiful home of my father's first wife. all four of us arrive. i curse myself for not stealing more liquor bottles from the flight. during dinner, i talk to dad's first wife - seated across from me - while his second wife (my mother) sits next to me.

what's more awesome than being able to say Going on vacation with my divorced parents?

...Hanging out with my dad and his ex wives.

i'm blessed to know my experience lies somewhere between the Donna Reed Show and bat-shit-crazyville. we are humans after all. made up of unconscious gabs and loving embraces. a mess of boundless brilliance. talented artistry. and hilarious honesty.

with the humorous jaw line and humbling body hair swirls of arthur alinikoff, i am grateful. to the secretly sensitive cindy powers of observation, i promise to sit up straight to open my heart chakra. to my brother max, who really isn't impressed by anything unless he feels it in his heart. u are my doppelganger.

to all three of you. i love you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

things i never thought i would say...

my brother is 26.
my brother is a berekely graduate.
my brother is taller than me.
my brother is better looking than me.
my brother appears to have a small nose, but it is really big in pictures.
my brother has a bigger heart than you.
my brother grows a lot of facial hair.
my brother wears shirts that fit him.
my brother doesn't take a shower every day.
my brother still touches his nose when he laughs.
my brother got all the freckles.
my brother is going to be a great father.
my brother loves me more than anyone loves me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

takeover makeover.

i'm not trying to be a debbie downer. god knows i have made huge shifts this year toward being a happy beam of bouncing light - which thanks to some adult acne medication - i totally am. thankful for my life. thankful for my job(s). thankful for all the money i don't have. thankful for steven tyler's open shirts and feather hair extensions competing against jlo's open shirts and hair extensions. but this week the light has fizzled and i am left listless, waiting around for the kneeling bus to take me home.

everywhere i turn. everywhere i look. everywhere i sit to pee. senior moments follow me.

in other words, i have been blindsided by the takeover.

the takeover infiltrates my dreams, reminding me to bend with my knees; mocks me in poorly lit bathroom mirrors, and wickedly taunts me through livingsocial deals to some caribbean paradise named 'burry me here'. you're probably desperate to throw me a congrats since you may have heard i obsess over the elderly. but let me clarify. while i do love old people - i didn't expect the takeover to lurk around the corner waiting to randomly pounce at the age of 29 3/4 on a monday.  physical ailments. early onset mental-pause. tripple checking for my purse, keys and heavy sweater. sudoku puzzles. my mind encased in some sort of mold growth build-up. i would clean it off, but last week i threw my back out again, reaching for the soap.

it all started after my 29th birthday, when i received a promo email from urban outfitters. inside the email, lived a black and white photo of a model in 4 different outfits. the words "Vintage 90s" in bold.

vintage 90s. the two words curdled as i said them out loud. i found myself offended, as if it were a personal attack. this was obviously the work of some paid intern-child. some gap baby who's parents didn't yell at them enough. some knit wit who thinks the dewey decimal is a new clothing line.

two things bothered me. one, how the hell are the 90s vintage. two, who in their right mind wants to relive them through fashion? classified personal photos from middle school shot out from my memory box. boxy crew neck tshirts. spaghetti strap flower patterned dresses. high wasted acid washed jeans. clogs. brushed frizzy hair. the egyptian pyramids. wait. let's bring up a visual.

6th grade social studies fair. here i am, looking unbathed and disheveled before it was cool to look unbathed and disheveled. i'm pretty sure the teacher gave me an A for pity effort. wearing the curtain from our living room as a toga - and belt of desperation around my head - who wouldn't want to probe this  furry child for trojan war factoids. or at least take a few sunflower seeds. it's a bit rhetorical, but i'll say it anyway - the parents didn't help with this one. like prostitution or recreational drug use, for me the 90s were a victimless crime. do not encouraged. do not repeat.

[side note
trojan horse : romans
6th grade : elizabeth]

while we're at it, what would happen if we brought back all of the 90s from this picture in particular? uni-brows. girl mustaches. shoddy shaved legs. babe, your mustache is so baby your mustache is so girly and truly ironic....wanna go back to my place and look through my encyclopedia britannicas? their vintage.

speaking of feeling nauseous, the takeover has branched out to my clothing choices of this decade.

[another side note i will share: i am crabby as i write this post. a bloated blogger. i just devoured six green tea mochi icreams, chased with a jar of dill pickles. all my ethnicities are satisfied.]

outside of pajamas, all things i wear seem to be tragically uncomfortable. at the end of the day my body screams to be released from the casing of convention. no matter the cut or stretch, jeans are too restrictive and trigger my sciatica. i thought it was just me, until i caught some 60 minutes report on a study done of the correlation between low rise jeans and back problems in younger women. moving forward, i vote for the cropped palazzo. along with pants, belts = body torture. i use them sparingly. underwire bras and thongs are devil snacks. i would need to be getting paid a lot of money for a playboy spread to ever consider recreational thong use. we'll see where i land on that one. i thank god for my non existent chest, and double shirt it whenever possible. shoes must be semi-flat with pillows of arch support, making heels a big fat joke. but while still a joke, they are permissible under two specific circumstances. 1) to show and shave my legs for a wedding  2) to be a fo-hoe in a club, coming face to face with other real life hoes. in both cases heels stop being heels. they become twisted obligatory social armor, protecting my ego from other females.

i don't know why getting dressed is becoming such a chore. zipping and buttoning, a superfluous eff you. i thought maybe it was weight gain. but no. turns out i just hate buttoning my pants. lately i daydream of soft billowy coverage. linen blowing in the wind. elastic waste bands. jersey knit summers. relaxed tummies. damn you, eileen fischer. damn you and your twine pleated shorts. any chance those come in pants?

the final straw breaking this camels back was a moment last week in my bathroom. monday morning, 7am. (really quick. for anyone who hasn't yet experienced the takeover, let me give you a tip. only bad bad things happen in the bathroom at 7am. nothing ever good happens there, so don't take your time and hang out like you have nothing else to do. go into the kitchen. or into the bedroom. or for fucks sake watch some tv, but don't think you are in control once you enter into the lair of truth. it will end up owning you. sorry, i'll stop.) so, after turning on the shower, i pulled my hair back and waited for the room to get warm and cozy. kicking my clothes to the corner, i applied toothpaste to my toothbrush and turned to get in the bath. like a crack of lightening, i got a side shot of myself in the mirror and shockingly shuttered away in panic. steam billowed around me. i held my breath. was i hallucinating?? was it a day terror???? with magellan eyes.....i leaned in...... and stared at my ass in the mirror... ass. the shar pei. stared back. (click the link.)

stunned. overnight subduction zones of distinct ugli fruit texture had managed to form. at long last, i was an impressionist. a bus ride of possibilities later, i convinced myself this condition was not a cocktail of laziness, stretchmarks and cellulite, but somehow related to extreme dehydration. figuring an iron would not generate prolonged remedy, and i've already had surgery once this year, i opted for drinking more water and avoiding the mirror entirely from this point on. so far, lighting hasn't struck twice.

enough kvetching for tonight.

my pajamas are calling.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

i kees de muderrr.

to my momma,

thank you for teaching me how to laugh and enjoy all of life's little blessings.

you also showed me how to pose for the camera. thanks for that too.

i love you forever.

happy momma's day.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

italiano de amore

can we please have a moment of silenzio for the following...

grazie david burton. grazie elle bride italia. more here.


 i am pining for my peoples.

i miss makeup-less faces. banana hair. and ache vulgarous.
foxy charm. sassafras. and unrelenting absurdity.
i miss magnetism. kindness. and mania.
morning glasses. ratty t-shirts. wal-mart granny panties.
i miss adorable confusion. and indigestion. and stupid stories.

i miss us not doing anything. together.
i miss dancing in an ugly kitchen.
i miss your heart.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a long stupid story about a small stupid fish.

the day before my 29th birthday my dear friend andy grammer happened to be in town.

i first met mr. grammer many years ago on a costa rica service trip. not only did his new york accent, knowledge of magic tricks, and tube socks make a lasting impression - he felt the need to solidify our kismet connection by stuffing a wriggly hand-sized cockroach down my shirt. after burning my clothes and borax-ing my skin, i made sure to push him off the mountain, and laugh in his face. we have been friends ever since.

andy is the best buddy a girl could have. he is a guys guy, has a flare for hysterical self deprecation, and is one of the most entertaining human beings i've ever encountered. oh, and he makes music videos in his spare time. basically he's an an ego boost pack. just add water, stir, and enjoy. instant awesome.

as we walked along the water front, catching up on life, andy decided i should have a pet. he demanded to know where the nearest pet store was, so he could buy me a puppy for my birthday. i explained that though the thought was irresistible - it ultimately was a horrible idea. looking back at the history of our relationship, i can confidently say this sums up andy in a nutshell: irresistible ideas with potentially disastrous consequences.

with the dog acquisition behind us, we went back to my apartment.

i don't know if it was the eminent nauseating taste of 29, or the fact whimsical andy was there, or that i was miffed since dogs aren't permitted in my building -  but that sunday night around 9pm the persistent phrase screw this shit, i am an adult kept weaseling it's way back into my conversation. the truth was i wanted a pet. it was my birthday damnit. andy and i downed a bag of nacho cheese doritos and set out on our journey in the black of night.

for this specific whim, only one retailer would do. enter, the illustrious 24hr wal-mart. i know. many of you poo poo this multinational super giant (i understand why and i don't disagree with you), but please have compassion. as many aspects of my southern upbringing present themselves, i embrace some, and distance myself from others. but there are those that aren't worth the effort. when you require socks, a snow shovel, and 40 ft of rope at 2am, the wal-mart is there. when your wife kicks you out after finding tanya's panties and his-and-her KY in your truck, don't be troubled. you may sleep peacefully knowing surveillance cameras watch over you in the wal-mart parking lot. if you were me last week, and blew all your money on organic chard and planet friendly bathroom cleaner solvents - in and effort to 'live the kind life' - $4.50 for 32oz of shampoo looks real good. it's sick and it's real and i welcome it.

if you don't do cool things and go to the wal-mart in the black of night, let me tell you something. wal-mart not only sells fish, but also fish accoutrement (please say that in a French accent). putting myself in the fish's place, i thought it better to err on getting two, than just one. un poisson seemed so awkwardly friendless. no one to stare at. no one to swim to. no innocent bystander innocently seduced by your codependent fantasies. after all, one is the loneliest number. i chose two goldfish (one big one small), a large bowl, fish food. checkout. done.

may i please introduce you to my fish. tina and ike.

tina is camera shy.

ike the publicity whore.

andy and i got home, put the fish in the bowl, sang happy birthday and called it a night.

monday morning mr. grammer was driven off to live his normal life - this week consisting of a west coast radio tour, his guitar, and magical vocal stylings. i of course, applied bus face, and prepared for the reenactment of my very own groundhog day: an office job where before 8:45am i microwave myself a bowl of quaker oats with raisins and banter with rock and math nerds. at some point before 10:30am an unofficial game of: now that's inappropriate! ensues (imagine jovial harmless fun of the penis game from jr. high with participants being middle age educated professionals). however this day would be different. it was my birthday. i was a now 29 year old pet owner of wal-mart fish. someone congratulate me. pat me on the fucking back.

now about le poisson.

the fish started out great. each morning as i fed them, they swam to the top of their bowl, eager to see me and say bonjour. at the end of the day, they welcomed me home and recounted cutesy forgetful stories of blowing bubbles and bathing about in a bowl of love. soon after that, they started talking. i first noticed the 'talking' one nite as i sat on the couch in silence, lotioning my feet and researching grilled cheese recipes. studying the sound, i found my fish made a sweet bubble licking noise as the they repeatedly kissed the top of the water. awesome i thought. it's like i have an imaginary cat. content with my pet purchase, i closed my eyes and lived out my extensive dreams of pet ownership some more.

later that week, my friend cheney - the only vegan who visits me - came over and noticed the curious fish talking. she seemed alarmed. 

elizabeth, why are the fish making that sound?

huh? because they are just goofing around....see?

with that comment, i noticed my fish weren't traversing around the bowl as they had before, but were concentrated skimming the top of the water with their mouth. 

cheney jumped on the computer and researched the behavior. 

45 seconds later.


cheney was abhorred. her eyes filled with overwhelming sadness, giving way to grape sized tears tumbling down her cheeks. she looked at me for guidance.

by this point i had lost all feeling in my face. i turned to the poor fish. there was no talking or kissing,  but languid swimming, gasping for air. i had become the most horrible human being ever born into this world. in that moment it had been decided.  

in an emergency effort to save them and aerate the bowl, i emptied out 25% of the water, and poured in fresh water from the tap. this would have to do until i could buy a pump after work. in doing so, however, it seemed my worst nightmare had come true. adding the fresh water had disrupted the million particles of debris (read: fish shit), which now ubiquitously floated around their universe. this had in turn traumatized my fish so acutely that they could only now drift. not move. not go belly up, but just exist. i guess if some asshole put me in a glass cage, forcing me to live and breath in my own excrement - i'd be traumatized as well. all of this proved to be too much for cheney, who apologized for her intense reaction, but thought it best to leave. i didn't think an apology was necessary. wanna come over tonight and watch me kill my fish? anyone??

i said goodbye to my friend and watched ike and tina begin their floatathon for 10 more minutes. in the end, i felt defeated. i said the long healing prayer and went to sleep.

the next morning, they were actually alive and moving about.

feeling the guilt of a jew attending catholic school, i went to the pet store to purchase whatever was necessary to not kill my birthday fish. after speaking with candy the pet lady - i learned their bowl was too small for their size, and i would need a 16 gallon 40$ tank.  40$ WHAT??! no thank you. i told candy i would get a 10 gallon, and they could pretend to live in a 6 floor walk up in nyc. i also procured an air pump and filter. with my goldfish guilt still in the forefront, and my ego determined to not project vacant-tank-of-water shame - i bought gravel, plastic trees and bushes. i was banking on the hope that ike and tina's love language was receiving gifts. this for sure would make up for the attempted manslaughter.

after 60$, and one heated discussion highlighting how none of my purchased items were returnable (if by some ironic twist of the universe where i arrived home to find my fish had in-fact died in the 45 minute outing i took to save their life) - i made peace with the fact i now had no food money,  but my goldfish would survive. in a moment of desperation and future planning, i studied ingredients on the fish food canister. good to know if worse came to worst, i could throw back a few flakes. or just eat tina.

putting together their new fantasy suite, i cursed andy grammer under my breath. what kind of man flies around the country - bringing goldfish home from the wal-mart - and then abandons his responsibility. no emotional or financial assistance. no fish support. what sort of person tortures young females with cockroaches and then is amused by his own jokes and good natured acts of kindness? a good for nothing prankster, that's who. i should have known this idea was ridden with shoddy repercussions, which i would be made to suffer through alone.

finally with the drama gone, the fish took to their new home swimmingly (sorry), and life began running much smoother. i researched tank cleaning, feeding tips, and behavioral warning signs. in my seeming regulatory conversations with candy and the pet store customers, i learned more about goldfish than i have ever cared to retain in two lifetimes: they are dirty and expensive. i believe it has something to do with the fact that they speak french. one gentleman informed me ike and tina will soon outgrow this current tank, and will become so massive - they will be impossible to flush if.they.should.die. i now have the email of a fish farm in north seattle - which adopts coy sized goldfish from owners who are unable to care for them.  my non fish friends laugh and threaten to buy me more tank-life. heartless bastards.

and then it happened.

this past weekend, while passing through the kitchen i spotted an orange body floating belly up. it was ike. 

i began screaming at the tank. NOOOOOOOO!! NOOOO! You stupid fish!!!! You can't DIE! not this week! I have spent so much money on you! What is TINA going to do?? he bobbed up and down atop the green tree. tina gave him one last fishy kiss goodbye and swam away. i had never noticed how big ike had become. he had bulked out considerably thanks to the larger tank. fins of silky orange fabric hovered around his body like a cocoon. what a beautiful animal. i would miss the circles he swam around tina - showing off for her. she would now be lonesome without his companionship. reflecting upon this was particularly gloomy. i couldn't help but feel i should have given them both away when i had the chance. at least then they could have grown old together on the fish farm. but no, i was selfish, at ike's expense. tina has been widowed. their romance only lasted 5 months. everything i had done: the research, shopping, food, prayer - was for nothing. i became enraged.

i grabbed a spoon off the counter, whispered stupid fish, and poked ike in his side. 

and then, like harry potter magic, ike came to life and swam away.  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

he didn't sink, or float, or run. he speedily swam to all four corners of the tank, and then to the bottom, and then to rub up against tina, and then swam by my face and pooped in it's general direction - as if to say sukkkkkaaaaaaaa! 

stupefied, i picked my heart up off the floor. incredible. i don't even remember teaching him now to play dead. i congratulated myself  for being a fabulous pet owner. 

the only downside of ike being able to resurrect from the dead? he most certainly will out live me. 

i need fish support.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


breakfast this morning was struggle. in the end, i just couldn't do it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

wanted: more sweaters

with my 2011 push to propel myself into adulthood, i organized my closet by color, and discovered a whole lot more about myself than i bargained for.

15 grey sweaters.

JCrew loves you

15 grey sweaters, that i actually love and wear, and have no intention of ever giving away.

this unearthed sweater guilt is a bit difficult to admit. one, because that's an inordinate amount of the same color for any one person's needs. two, because when i arrived home from india i had three sweaters. none of which were grey.

anthropologie i hate you. i love you. i hate you. iloveyou.

as far as material possessions go, i grew up identifying as under-complicated. not uncomplicated. just under. simple. give me a coat and a toothbrush. i can make it work. stock my fridge with simple pleasures, i am happy as a clam. i once visited vermont for two weeks, with only what fit inside my backpack. a more dramatic excursion involved a baha'i winter school in the mountains of valencia spain for eight days - where i survived with the clothes on my back. somewhere in between an intense training workshop- sleeping in a linen closet - washing my hair with bathroom hand soap - and using paper towels to dry off - i knew my capacity to do without was larger than most. i saw this friendship as a positive, and treasured it as such.

i assume part of this came from max and i being raised without a lot of excess, which is easy to do when you don't have money to spend on vanity. why own a hairbrush in your early 20s when you don't (want to) brush your hair? who needs a second lipstick in college when you have one from hs prom circa 1999? i was branded with the ability to identify need vs. want, carried it with me through high school, and then onto college. i associated spending money on pure wants as wasteful. and in my gut, it sort of still is.

even though i make my own money, and pay my own bills, and have a 401K, deep down i am petrified of the wanting enslaving my life. this reaction isn't just limited to big ticket items or buyer's remorse. i'm speaking of irrational thoughts on simple purchases. little devil whispers lurking in the isles of target.

put the body lotion back, it's 10$.

but i want it, i use lotion every day.

then buy a cheaper one.

but i love this one - the fragrance reminds me of a tuscany romance.

fine. one pump. once a day. (eye roll).

the ludicrous continually harps that somehow people would see my 15 grey sweaters, and identify me as a grey natured gal. this of course would be completely accurate. they then go on to perceive me as being frivolous and shallow. good thing my boot addiction is still under wraps.

somehow this unhealthy relationship with my own personal stuff, bled into the ish i have with your belongings as well. ooooh i like your purse doesn't mean i want to borrow it. please don't try to lend it to me. help yourself to anything in my closet is a phrase more or less wasted on this girl. there are others in this world better suited for this friendship. with balls of fire, let me introduce you to anna 'the absconder' kiani. she'll take borrow anything. your sweater, your purse, your child, your heart. and then proceed to 'pull an anna'...where she keeps it. for herself. forever. however, since i see this as her one and only flaw, she is forgiven.

i will attribute this particular conditioning to my best girl friend-sisters emily, juliette, and rachael. more commonly known as the cholas of la mia. since the age of 7 i watched on as three girls fought dirty over every possession imaginable. clothes, hair product, territory of the 'front spot' during bath time. yes they are beautiful. yes they are talented. but don't let their web of charm fool you. lose her hairbrush? gurl knows how to cut-a-bitch. i will never borrow juliette's belt ever again. i am so so sorry.

[side note: if any of the sisters have a different story, i really encourage them to start their own blog. we then could begin a blog war. not only would it be a thrilling glimpse into the pathology of opposing familial gangs (yes? its a word), it would give siticom and tv series writers everywhere enough material until 2100. not to mention - lead the way to a major book deal. head out to your local barnes&noble, scoop up their best selling memoir, Champagne Wishes and Ketchup Sandwiches...which can be found on the shelf next to my very own, How to Paint Your Mother's House: A Story of Life and Loss]

in closing, though my sweater collection is an embarrassment, i will be keeping all of them. my boots as well. it's winter time over here and a girl gets cold easily. justification trumps sick childhood hang-ups.

here's a sweet vid from cindy on skype, showing off her new square dancing boots.

suddenly everything seems so clear.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

deals with God.

this morning i awoke to the sound of rain hitting my window. again.

day number: whatever nine-months-worth-of-cloudy-days-is-equal-to.

my eyes still shut, i flirted with the idea of going back to bed for only five minutes more.
then, unexpectedly - yet understandably - God spoke to me. 

get up elizabeth. clouds are out today, so put some pep in your step and get movin'.

(eyes still closed) pep. really God? i scowled respectfully.

yes need to have pep. zest. pizzazz. vitality. fire. effervescence....panache. 6:30am?

what's wrong with you today? why the extra 'tude?

forgive me, but i just don't think i have the capacity today. i have an intense intense desire to wear all black polyblend...and communicate in sporadic heavy allow the excessive buildup of cat hair on my sweaters...and adopt a bloated sense of paranoia, which will resign in the same cave along with my masochism. enveloped by my own trickery, i will forgo all ruffage - existing as the fattest skinny girl ever - and will continue to roll around in my pity puddle until the smell can be detected a mile away.

(unfazed) OK Vonnegut listen, i'll make you a deal.

a deal??

yes. a deal. 

(thinking) ....

i'll carry your burden today. i'll take on the clouds, and the rain, and the - tired - and frustrating imagined drama. you just work on being elizabeth. sounds good??

yes. sounds perfect. thank you.

glad you agree... now i have a song for you to get your morning off right. look over here so i can sing it to you.

i rolled over, and to my amazement found this little guy...smiling at me...

...ready to perform the greatest morning song ever.

Monday, February 7, 2011

im disfigured...but then there were these things...

on friday my vanity took me to the 'salon' near my house so i could get my goatee removed. i did this for a few reasons: partially because i haven't gotten my face waxed since the grapefruit debacle of 2011, partially because i ran out of home waxing strips, and partially because anna is coming home to visit....and i wanted to 'trick' her into thinking i don't have any lip/chin/face/body hair of any kind. this of course is kind of hilarious since the words elizabeth and hair go together like maury and 'who's my baby daddy.

my fancy ways told me to spend five extra dollars and 'treat' myself instead of doing it at home this time. because i'm a cheap-ass, and a moron, and because i forgot i am using acne medication - i allowed this woman at the hole in the wall sally nail franchise to wax my goatee, and then thread part of it to remove extra hair. for those of you who don't have excess body hair, go to hell. for those of you who don't know what threading is, here you go. 

i am now the proud owner of a number of large scabs along the perimeter of my lips. to the hairless untrained eye it looks like i made out with fire. or just tripped and skidded to a stop with my mouth.

in my attempt to dream of my future, post electrolysis, and get pumped for the week ahead - i did what every prideful consumer does. i surfed the web for things i cannot afford and do not need, but want desperately.

i hope you love them as much as i do.

 she is my new best fantasy friend.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

home with where the anna is.

just knowing that if i screamed reaaaaalllly loud you might hear me. that is enough.

i love you so much i wanna punch you in the face.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

don't worry. be happy.

 here's to having fun, and not being a crab.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

gift of the grapefruit

hi. i've been absent recently. absent not just from posting, but from all of it.

here is my shoddy attempt at getting back on track, or at least weeding the path so i can see where the hell i'm going.

to say november and december were busy months for me would be an understatement. anyone working retail during the holiday season should be given the Oprah Final Season hookup: the continent of Australia,  John Travolta, free booze, spiritual renewal at Uluru, and a handshake. to give you a glimpse into my world around mid november - please read the following excerpt from a previous post i was working on, but never found its' way out of the cyclone of crazy....

"it seems the more energy i shovel into not being so electron at the office - and a little bit more proton at antrho - my grave just gets dug cheaper and faster. necessary-ness suffers: the writing. pilates. painting. lotion. reading. vitamins. photos. my obsession with your facebook status. prayers and exfoliation. no ladies, its not diamonds and pearls that keeps this girl in check, it's surfing for ghetto-youtube-yoga time and soft skin. don't be jealous.

it's this everything that keeps me from being on the 5 o'clock news. i am one away people. one away, from the sales girl who - instead of breezily throwing away the customer's half full venti caffeine-binge whilst chirping of course not a problem:) - suddenly SNAPS - and in front of the anthro gods, guzzles the remaining boiling beverage. the lava ole spills onto her face and clothes - permanently disfiguring her upper body. eyes are enveloped in a fiery blaze. the tired angry dragon is awake... scalding froth shoots from her nose, melting the cash register. she roars into an eruption of obscenities and bellows can you please tell me why you think OATMEAL is a good color for you??? can YOU for F*$!# sake?????!!. mothers and children evacuate, and the lip glossed dragon monster queen is left amongst piles of indian imported duvet covers and eternity scarves. finally she left alone to enjoy blissful silence and calm. with the dragon monster queen alone with no one to bother her, she transforms again into a pirate with the sea weathered mane of penelope cruz and swagger of captain jack sparrow. she then grabs a bottle of drink, and with her feet up on the sweater table begins to count her gold teeth in the reflection of her dagger. mandir music still playing overhead, she randomly screams aaaaarrrrrr, just belt it ya landlubber!!! "

hmmmm. just like crapping fire, nervous breakdowns are preventable and should be avoided.

though not a bad idea, this entry isn't concerning angry dragon vindication projections, gold teeth, or incredible penelope coiffe fantasies. this entry tells a story far more delicious....

if we can please reach into our memory banks for a moment, you may recall the post from india in 2009 titled baldy and a bag of bones go to the hospital. It was in this post where i was told my bladder decided to store 250ccs of urine, translating into my 'tuma', which i ended up taking drugs for. problem solved. long story short, it actually wasn't urine and wasn't my bladder. fast forward to november 2010, a routine pelvic exam followed by an ultrasound showed my tuma was not only still very much alive - but was actually now a grapefruit sized cyst in between my two ovaries, holding around 700ccs (1/2 a liter) of fluid. at the age of 30 some people are growing babies. i grow grapefruits.


after reluctantly scheduling surgery i couldn't help but still deny the grapefruit's existence, and so i made a humiliating but necessary phone call to my doctor to discuss the possibility of being misdiagnosed. i explained how i felt the need for a third ultrasound, since i felt that maybe the gynecologic oncologist, two radiologists, my lower back and her sweet self included were all confused and mislead. could this have been a mistake? could the ultrasound machine tech been misinformed? could my bladder just be peacocking? i thought i once read in some medical journal how organs can become jealous of other organs. for instance, it's possible the bladder was in like with the uterus, but because the uterus knows she can do better than the bladder, ended up saying screw you and fell for the right kidney who has job security. so in my bladder's attempt for attention and fueled by jealousy from mr. kidney, he fluffed and puffed to be noticed, and then things somehow spun out of control. or maybe this perpetuated his current identity crisis where he convinced himself he was the bad ass liver. purify this mother f#$*@! a world where everyday people misuse leggings as pants - i thought my confusion was justified. (and if you don't retain anything else from this post, please know - LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS. stop it.)

dr. wang explained to me in the nicest possible way that i am a complete idiot, and if i wanted to ensure the baby makers could one day fulfill their purpose, surgery was best. awesome. so cindy flew in, i had the surgery, grapefruit was benign and everything fine.

the recuperation period post surgery has been far from boring. many things have happened, i just wish i could remember all the details. after this experience i can wholeheartedly say that i would make the worst drug user in the world. recreational or hardcore, it doesn't matter.  if i didn't learn my lesson from my brief yet memorable (or was it?) encounter with tylenol pm a couple years back, this reaction to anesthesia confirmed it. elizabeth needs to say no to drugs. the seamless same day surgery experience turned into how low can your blood pressure go fail...which turned into let's spend the night in the hospital since we can't sit up... which turned into who can dodge the projectile vomit...which began the sad game of catch the catheter.


besides the awkward catheter fun, im pretty sure the award for my fave hospital moment goes to me being left alone on the toilet by a random lazy wicked evil nurse robot (long story). in order to call my real life super nurse (vanetta) to save me, i attempted to locate the emergency string.

attention: outrageous oxymoron sighting.

the search for the emergency string sent me into a silent panic of desperation. one of those moments where the intensely sluggish focus of your eyes is clouded by your body's purposeful yet drawn out movement...all of which are seemingly useless. experiencing absolute depletion while reaching for a flimsy cream colored string blending into a white tiled wall is the cruelest of jokes. whatever asshole medical professional thought this would save lives thought wrong. i would have had difficulty locating a giant clown face slot machine, sporting a bulls-eye nose, spitting out silver dollars. hospitals are not places to goof around. what they should have had was a big thick red rope. a strong rope. a serious knotted rope. a rope ready for the adventures of The Deadliest Catch. i am quite positive eagle scouts aren't running around packing dental floss to survive in the wilderness, or throwing twine to someone drowning in the ocean. no, they use helpful large brightly colored floaty thingys of quality and strength. i am the only one left taking these things seriously.

after my last steady pull on the string of life, vanetta ran in the bathroom and commanded me to not faint. she immediately propped my head up with her bosom (it was definitely a bosom), began splashing cold water in my face - slapping my cheeks  - and rocking me back and forth - all while humming church hymns and chanting baby you stay awake, you say with me. while my mind was pondering there's a first time for everythingmy mouth could only answer mmmmmhmmmmmmmmmm.  she called for a second nurse and a wheel chair, which i can remember thinking didn't come as quickly as it would have if we were on grey's anatomy. once in the chair i slumped over to one side, looked at vanetta and said i think im going to throw up. and then i did. e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.

vanetta never stopped humming. she never raised her voice above a calm butterfly whisper. two minutes after complete chaos ensued, she had swiftly cleaned me up, gotten me into bed, turned on the tv for distraction, and made a little pillow fortress to protect me. because that's what people do after you vomit at them. they immediately build pillow fortresses so you feel better. she congratulated me every time i called her to pee, each time my bp improved, and every two hour vital check until her shift ended at 7 am. vanetta has been a nurse for 30 years, and i am certain she was the angel answer to prayer. i pray she has someone in her life taking care of her so beautifully as she takes care of everyone else.


once home, i took a shower and crawled into bed, things began to improve.
though recovery was slow, and i had some pain, the grapefruit surgery ultimately did open my eyes to a few things worth mentioning.

numero uno. i love old people. deal with it.

since i was young(er) i've always had this strange desire to be like an old woman. (i know i know i know, what's the rush).  for instance, i have always thought can i eat pomegranates when i have no teeth? what if i winter in san antonio instead of 'flarida'? i think i should wear dresses, they are more comfortable. continuing on. in elementary school instead of wanting to be ariel the little mermaid, i was fixated on ursula the evil overweight silver haired octopus. in middle school, when my friend juliette paraded around in cute sundresses i would pretend to be an old tootheless widow with dementia puttering about the kitchen calling out where did everybody go?! after highschool i had a brief intense obsession with jewish sun-glass-wearing bubbies (who doesn't), and for halloween last year i decided to go to work as myself. but 80.

basically, if you are old i will love you forever. and if you are old with an accent, just move on in. i want to study how you dress, and stay warm, and hold all the secrets...and how you tell your stories. i begin to fantasize about how if i were you, i would comb my hair to the side, and get a deal on good  fabric with a nice weight, and tell you i ate the sweetest melon of my life last sunday. my friend and i play a type of game where we discuss the old days back in our homeland...where we lived through ze koldest weenter en russia - where we khad no choyce but to burrn de stof eetself fur kheet..eet was so kold eye could not blink...

young people make me nervous. we are too flaky too often, and handle ourselves and others with unease.

also, in comparison, we have boring sucky stories.

after the defruitation, i was delighted to find how walking in public enabled me to live out a part of my fantasy. me with my comfortable loose fitted clothes and orthopedic shoes, hair out of my face in a clean bun, wheezy shallow breaths, hunched over with a slow yet committed waddle. right when i was congratulating myself for doin' good, things suddenly took a turn for the worse. as i passed the south side of the macy's shoe section a gang of cracked out beliebers stampeded in front of me - knocking over shoe box towers in my path. they were running and jumping, giggling and high-fiving. snorting happiness and idealism off each other's flat tummies. terrified i would trip, fall over, or be mugged of my seething pessimism, i instinctively froze into the position of geriatric opossum - but upright - and waited for the leaders of tomorrow to scram. my anesthesia bloated brain reciting... young people. how i am completely offended by their blatant disregard for the whole world. how can it be no one looks where they are going anymore?? someone could. have. been. killed. when i was their age i would have never... i blame the shitty parents of this generation. even with my eyes shooting daggers, the girls were unaffected and skipped into wet seal...unbeliebably happy.

dos. i lost my mojo and memory for a minute, but i did manage to remember that you love me.

fyi: i have a deep affection for accents. listening to them, learning them, doing them. this affection is like a normal person's healthy love for shoes. you are smitten, you study, polish, honor and treasure their intended purposes. each day you pick out the pair specific to fit your current mood (or the mood you wish to be in by the time you get to where you are going). shoes are reliable, they easy on the eyes, and they give the gift of confidence. ever in a shitty mood? go to the store. walk around in a pair of pretty shoes. worries gone. accents are no different. i covet all of them.

talking on the phone one week into recuperation, i attempted to joke around in an indian accent. normally this would have been no problemo, but somehow, my brain short circuited and i suddenly lost my ability. hm. dumbfounded and in denial i chucked it up to lack of sleep and a couple days later i attempted again....nothing. nada. zip. around this same time i grew bored of life in my apartment. sleeping. eating. sleeping. eating. walking. sleeeeping. so, i tried to begin writing again. in emails to friends i attempted to not sound sick, but witty and refreshed (as if i was recovering in the hamptons), but alas even simple sentences were no match for my big no good drug soaked brain. even my speech became ridiculously inadequate. memory was gone. words failed me. the ability to do anything else but sleep all day - vaporized. cheney said it best, i had swiss cheese brain. its as if the christopher columbus crew had come and conquered my thoughts by injecting me with cognitive smallpox. or whooping cough. or polio. or whatever other swag they were giving out. in a brief -or not so brief - moment of freak out, i wrote an email of panic to my friend, hypothesizing how it may have been possible that my grapefruit was in fact my hatch of mojo, my hive of imaginative production. all the elizabeth, her humor and accents and stupid compulsions, oddities, and ridiculous sarcastic jaded everythingness had now been removed. and in its place, painful moments of kathy lee and hoda would have to suffice. i would be ruined. forever.

in the words of my friend emily slow down crazy. slow down.

i am grateful to report that this was not the case, still forgetful and flaky, but what else is new. i do feel that my hive of compulsion is on the up and up, and if that means i am doing much better - then i am doing much better. but even with my crappy memory, it wouldn't be possible to forget those of you who took the time to include me in their thoughts. those of you who called, wrote, stopped by and laughed at and/or with me, please know your outpourings of love completely exceeded my embarrassing assumptions and i am so immensely blessed to call you my friends and family. god has given me many great gifts, and you are one of them.

i now have to go to sleep to charge my brain for tomorrow. i am looking forward to it.
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