Monday, September 27, 2010

Leggo My Preggo

Last Saturday I went to a party and chatted with a very pregnant acquaintance and an EMT for hours. I'd truly like to know how many men go to parties and end up talking about all the horrors that can go wrong in a vagina. Somehow a light hearted conversation about my fear of blood tests ended up in talk of baby's heads getting stuck, forceps, forcefully breaking the water, blue babies, how to resuscitate blue babies, pitocin, etc. I stared longingly at the room with the husbands in it, wondering why I don't know a damn thing about sports.

Of course I've had conversations such as these when I actually bothered to ask friends about their experiences, but I assure you the information was never shoved down my throat while at a party for christ's sake. I mean when they were talking about the "vacuum" I nearly fainted right there. Really, didn't these ladies see me pulling on the same strand of hair for a half hour and tugging at my lip? How about all the times I half sat up, then sat back down? I don't know what I could have possibly done to disguise my discomfort.

What a way to dash all my hopes and dreams. I can't stand doctors and nurses and hospitals; yuck to all of it. For a woman that really wants to get married and have children, I hope I never fucking get married or have children. For a while there I preferred to have a child first and then get married when I'm older, but whatever. I've put too much pressure on myself for years and I'm caring less and less about these institutions. In fact, the more time I spend with family and the more parties I go to, the more I think it's all a lousy idea. Cynicism has entered the building.

Eventually I found myself in the other room. I said something to the degree of: "I heard the Bears are playing the Mariners in a couple weeks." Oops.

Even today when I was stuck in the worst traffic I've seen in years, I had no idea what was going on. I was on the 290 trying to merge to 90/94 for a full 25 minutes when I finally cut over to Congress and went through downtown. While waiting for a light I saw a woman in a Packer's sweatshirt. Oh.

It took me an hour and a half to get home and if I stayed on the highway it probably would have taken 2. Guess I just can't be a sports fan.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Closed for Suck It

The Starbucks I go to these days is right next to a very popular kosher restaurant. Last week they built a sukkah in front of Starbucks for the holiday of Sukkot. It's just a tent really and I have no idea if their customers eat their meals in it or what, but that's what it's for.

Last Friday we had rather strong winds and the sukkah blew down. I drove by and saw that half of it was up, and the other half was in danger of making it's way into the street.

Yesterday I went to the Starbucks to do homework and noticed that no one had done anything about it. I asked the manager if the sukkah belonged to the restaurant and he said yes.

Aren't they doing anything to fix it?

Well they were closed Friday for Suck It.

Do you mean Shabbat?

No, it's a holiday. Suck it.

Oh riiiiiight. Gotcha. OK.

I know it's an eyesore. I called the building manager and asked if I could help put it back up, but he said I can't do that kind of work on a Saturday.

Of course! (it was hard to mask the laugh at this point)

Religion cracks me up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


My yoga instructor told us a story about her son recently. He didn't want to eat what they made for dinner and proceeded to have an enormous tantrum over it. He wasn't prone to tantrums and they were at a loss of what to do. Her husband sent their son to his room for time out, but once in there he kicked stuff, threw stuff, yelled and cried for a long while. She decided she was going in.

Once in his room she quietly sat down on her knees and watched him. She just sat there and said nothing. He stopped for a moment and asked her "Mommy, are you doing yoga?" But she still said nothing. He yelled a little more and walked around the room but grew tired of it and eventually sat down across from her for a staring contest. She whispered, "I need to talk to you and we're not going to talk any louder than this. Ok?" He nodded. She explained that she doesn't know what he needs when he is that angry and she really would like to know what can be done. She said that she couldn't give him mac and cheese so she needed to know what was going to calm him down and make it ok. He thought about it and said, "I want you to hold me."

"So you're telling me that when you get that mad you just want me to hold you?"


So she held him until he was ok to come back to the dinner table and eat a little. A couple days later he threw another, louder tantrum about something else. She felt spent and decided to send him back to his room for time out so she could compose herself for a minute. Shortly after this she heard him shout, "I WANT YOU TO HOLD ME!!!!!" And so she held him and it was over.

She made a sort of cheesy reference about how this is what yoga means and I smiled thinking about how cute her story was.

A couple days after this class I was walking down Michigan Avenue feeling overwhelmed and welling up. Instead of shouting I settled for whispering in my mind: I want someone to hold me.

She was right then. By going to yoga I give myself a time out, and I ask the universe to hold me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Yes I want and intend to get an apartment you dumbshits.

I have a "situation." That's what my mom likes to call "money troubles." The funny thing about the "situation" is that it isn't mine, but in the process of helping others I fell behind.

Now there are classes and too many obligations. In just a little while it will all be sorted. I think.

My biggest problem is that the plan was to have MY OWN APARTMENT. My own, with pink curtains and daisy covered dish towels and an antique-looking Victorian couch that isn't gaudy or ridiculous. Finances and school have made me realize that I will once again need a roommate or a live in boyfriend or a someone to share things with. It can't be family so it's got to be someone else.

This is an irritation beyond belief. I HATE that I can't manage this right now without living in a dump. I've certainly seen some apartments that have given me relief about living with family instead. I mean, they have HBO. How did I live without Bored To Death before?

I need help. Assistance. In the past I always wanted to meet men that had careers. It wasn't because I thought I needed to be taken care of. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't taking care of some over-grown baby that has nothing to talk about other than music. So maybe I'm the over-grown baby now and I can't get out of a bad cycle.

I told Dad that I'll be leaving soon and he looked devastated.

What happened?

Are you kidding?

Was it something specific? You don't have to move away again.

I can't breathe. I have to breathe. The last time I was breathing was in California.

He sighed. Did we do something wrong?

I'm not doing anything nice for you people anymore. I'm too nice to everyone.

Hey! I didn't ask for anything!

And so on. Of course should I leave again, what will I write about? Brownies, and how I can't cook them for shit?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The other day my uncle wanted me to address an envelope to Lithuania because supposedly he has poor handwriting. So I did it and later while I was totally engaged in something else he interrupted me.

Aviva. Aviva. Tsk Tsk. What's wrong here?


What's wrong?

What's wrong with what?

The envelope. Take a good look.

I don't know. What is it?

I'll give you three guesses.

Uncle. Please.

Look closely. Look at the return address then look at the Lithuania address and tell me what is wrong.

What is it? Just tell me.

You forgot to put Vilnius. Vilnius, Lithuania.

Oh ok. Can you write it in?

No. You write. Now.

Now? I'm in the middle of something.

Now. Because I'm mailing tomorrow.

A couple days later I was outside with my mom admiring her garden. I cut some basil for a pesto I was making and commented that it is really nuts to grow this much.

We'll never use all this basil. How much pesto can we make?

I'm thinking I should sell it in a market next year.

I've been telling you to do that for years. You could make flower arrangements and sell vegetables too.

Yeah. Everyone is telling me I should do this type of work.

I've been telling you that forever!

Maybe you could help me at a market next year.


Then I took Grandma shopping for shoes. This woman has needed decent shoes for the last three years but refuses to get comfortable old lady shoes because then people will know she's old. For the last year I told her that I knew of a place where she might like the shoes and they are not for old ladies. The trick to getting her there was to hijack her. She thought we were going to a department store for blouses but ha ha! The shoe store just happened to be near it and I got her to check out some Birkenstocks.

They have bump inside.

That's the arch support. It's what you want.

I no vant.

Grandma, you'll get used to it.

I no like. I have it pain in ankle and heeel.

Just walk around the store a little.

You makin me vork.

The salesperson helped her find a pair that she liked but didn't admit to. However, she walked around the store a few times without pressure from me, and ended up buying them. I felt like a hero. Then she wanted to do three other errands and lunch. I found to my shock, that Grandma has more shopping stamina than I do. I was so exhausted that I crashed for a nap when I got home.

Since I spend more time with Dad than Mom these days, he too has been expecting things from me that I wasn't planning on. He needs me to go grocery shopping with him. He needs me to check out the website he is building. He wants me to help him purge the house of more junk and convince Mom to let him do it. He needs me to listen when everyone else is driving him crazy. I can't complain much about him because he drives me to the train when I don't have a car available.

Since it has been a full year of living at home and I managed not to end up in a mental hospital, I'd like to thank myself for being an awesome fucking person.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gouge Away

You ate my organs.

Don't be ridiculous.

You did. And now I am walking around this city hollow.

What were you doing with them anyway?


No you were not. Not at all. So I ate them. Big deal.

Where is creativity supposed to come from if I am hollow?

That's your fucking problem.

Did you have to eat them?

I did. Yes. What makes you think that I shouldn't have?

Well they were mine for starters!

What constitutes mine?

Inside my body!

Irrelevant detail. They were also mine. You weren't using them properly so I took them and will use your life source for better things.

Better things than living and breathing and trying?

Get over it. I'm in charge now. Being hollow isn't so bad.

I've been hollow before but I don't want to be again!

What are you going to do about it? I ate your organs again.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kids in America

At a BBQ with the family recently my uncle talked about his trip to Lithuania, and Mom gossiped about the relatives with Grandma. I blamed the bees for leaving early.....

Donusia said that Aushra packed Chrisha's apartment with all her things and then took off for London.

No. Chrisha said that Aushra bought a van with borrowed money and then couldn't pay anyone back so that is why she left for London.

That's what I said, weren't you listening? So Aushra left everything with Chrisha. Chrisha says that no one is nice to her except Donusia.

She deserve! She cold voman.

Aushra's daughter Agnehshka had a baby with a man that didn't want to marry her and now her life is ruined.

Oh my god Mom. How old is she?


You think she ruined her life because she had a child at 27? You've got to be kidding.

No one will marry her now.

Are you living in this decade?

Yes Aviva. We are. They are not.

You should have seen all the churches they wanted to show me. Churches and churches and churches.

I no can believe. How dis happen to my family?

They wanted to save me with their Jesus.

Very prejudice zhere. Dey all crazy goin.

I told you. I told you they went to religion. Aushra's son was going to be a priest remember?

No no that vas Andrej's son. Jonthathan. No. Christopher. I no can vemember.

Donusia told me that Aushra's son Pietchka is rude to Chrisha.

Who care about the Chrisha? She vas alvays hard woman. I calling to her vhen her husband die and later they make story about vashing machine need it. She never calling me only vhen need it vashing machine!

Eema, stop being so hard on your sister. She's not so bad! She was really nice to me and made very good soup.

I telling him not gibe dem any money!

Eema, calm down.

Did you meet Pietchka?

No I didn't. I met Donusia's daughter Maritke and her boyfriend. Nice boy. They seem like a nice couple.

I don't think her daughter is as religious. You know when they buried Marysia in a Jewish cemetary, Maritke said that she didn't care what her grandma was, she loved her anyway.


Mama. That's all she knows.

Aviva, one day we were walking, Chrisha and Donusia and me and all of a sudden they got down on the ground and started praying by an exposed pipe in concrete.

What was it?

I have no idea. They wanted me to take a picture of it because it was some kind of holy site.

Did you take a picture?


My sister! My sister! Thanks god Marysia not get like dem.

Eema, what can you do? They like the Jesus, so let them have it. It was a good experience, I learned something.

I vould goin vhen Marysia alive but now not. Not eben my bones could carry me.

I have no interest. Let them keep their sob stories.

You wanted to go before!

Yes and now forget it. You know I was contacted by the cousins in Israel don't you?


Meela and Zeeva and Nir.

Meela and Reema?

No! Meela and ZEEVA. Reema is in Australia.

I thought Kira was in Australia..........

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Parade of the Horribles

I don't know why nearly every conversation with my grandmother these days is a feat of strength but it is. Ideas on how to stay positive and uplifting fly away.

First lengthy description of back aches. Knee aches. Toe aches. Heel aches. Doctor says this doctor says that.

Next drugs. First she wanted brand name then they sent generic. Then she wants generic they send brand name. Supposed to be sent 3 bottles was sent two. Hours on the phone with Medicaid and they sent it a month late to begin with.

How about some grapes? No. I'm not hungry.

Then my mom. Mom is depressed Mom is anorexic Mom is this Mom is that. She cries because she wants to help Mom but can't. Mom can only be helped by not having to deal with her- can't tell her that.

Do I want to eat a nectarine? No I don't.

Where was I during the storm? I was home. Oh thanks god. I explain that I love storms and it's the best time to cuddle up with a book or watch a movie. No I'm crazy. Storms are scary and awful and she couldn't sleep the whole night worried that we would all get hit by lightening.

Really? I sleep the best during a storm. Oh I must be kidding. It's impossible! A tree might fall on the house! Aren't I worried about trees and lightening? No I'm not actually. Especially since I'm inside. But it's happen! She sees on TV many houses being ruined by a storm. Yes but we are in a brick building surrounded by other brick buildings in a heavily populated area, not a cornfield. No it can happen.

Would I like a cookie?

No I wouldn't. I am not hungry. Ok, ok. Resigned.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chapter 6: Army of Me

Top five things I have failed at:

5: Independence
4: Finances
3: Relationships
2: Adulthood
1: Graduate school

Oh dear.