Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Green Means Go...

OK, so as you can see my blog, mirroring my life, is full of quirky stories....well folks, here's a doozy.....

This story takes place in the year 2000. Way back when lil' J.Dro first got her license and her new car, delivered right to the front door by the greatest, wisest, and most sarcastic father in the world; Dad.

So, I'm lovin' my shiny 2000 Corolla, with special order "roll-up" windows, (oh yea, ;) I fell right off the sarcastic tree), in the color of my request, champagne. =)

Things couldn't get any grander. Until, one day my father called me into the kitchen to tell me he'd recieved the EZ Pass he'd ordered me two weeks ago. I'm super excited, as summer is coming and I'll surely be hitting the shore with my pals packed as tightly as possible in my ride.

I say "thanks, Dad", and before I leave the room he says, "Wait, Jay, I need you to take a ride with me. See this is a special EZ Pass, it's voice activated. This way, no one can steal your car or make it through any tolls because the car will shut down."

Well, let me tell you I thought he was the shit.....and then he says, "Only the best for my little girl."

"Aw", I thought to myself, isn't he the best!? So Dad and I proceed down the Parkway as he instructed and once I reached the first toll, he told me I had to lean forward really close to the EZ Pass box and say loud and clear in my firmest tone, "GO EZ PASS!"

So I did.

And what do you know, the light on the left lit up green saying "EZ Pass Paid". "Wow", I thought, this is awesome; none of my friends have this!

Now I'm sure you're sitting there thinking once we got home my Dad burst out laughing and confessed his practical joke?

Didn't happen. The man walked right back into the house with me and never uttered another word of the EZ Pass.

Three months pass by and .....yes three months time, and in that three months I'd probably hauled ten loads of friends down the shore, stopping at each EZ Pass and then explaining to the "lay" passengers in my car of my father's high tech purchase.

This terrible train wreck came to an embarassing hault the day I took my then boyfriend, Brian, down the shore. As usual, I'd approached the first toll and commanded, "Go EZ Pass". And as usual, the light turned green.

Brian turned to me and said, "Jamie, what the hell are you doing?" I turned to him in my snootiest tone and proclaimed, Listen, Brian, this is the special EZ Pass. It's voice activated and really expensive. No one can steal my car because it will shut down on a stranger's voice. My Dad only buys the best."

Brian, trying to contain his laughter, turns back to me and says, "Jamie, my father just got EZ Pass yesterday and there is no such thing as voice activation. I think your Dad is messing with you. I'll bet you money and the AAA bill, that when you get to the next toll, you drive through without saying a word and the light will still turn green and your car will not shut down on you. "

OK, so I'm scared out of my mind, but pissed that this boy would DARE question my Father, so of course I take the challenge and warn him that, "..my dad is going to be so pissed at you when the car shuts down..."

So, we approach the next toll and my heart is racing. There's no doubt in my mind that father is always right and could never possibly concieve him sending me out into the world looking like such and IDIOT for THREE months!!!!!!

I'm next up at the toll, and I slowly creep my car through, restraining the urge to command the EZ Pass.

What happened? NOTHING....I went right through the EZ Pass and the light turned green and my face turned BRIGHT RED!

I got home that night at 11pm and stormed upstairs to my parents room where I knew my father was sleeping.

I barged in and in my harshest tone said, "Dad......Go EZ Pass, huh?!?!"

My Dad sat straight up in bed, hair parted every which way as it usually is when's he's been sleeping, and says, "You just figured that out now? Jesus, Jamie!"

My father is now known and respected by every male friend I have and the EZ Pass story has been told time and again in his honor at house parties and keggers alike. Cheers, Dad.

I See Dumb People...

So, my sister, Kelly, and her best friend, Chris, head out to see a sneak preview of some movie; I don't recall the name. They come back to the house afterwards and sit down in the kitchen with me.

I ask, "How was the movie?".

Kelly replies, "It was great, I'm dying to see the end."

(Chris and I exchange confused looks and I probe the topic further...)

"What do you mean, Kelly? Didn't you stay for the entire movie?", I ask.

"Yea, but it was only the sneak preview. They don't show the whole movie otherwise everyone will know the ending."

At this point, I think I peed myself a little......

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Back to Jersey....

So, I'm circling the same city block for the 10th time with Bethany in the passenger seat. We're on the lookout for our sorority sisters, who said they would be meeting us at this specific corner. Mind you, it's a blizzard out and I'm stoked to be using the four wheel drive on my new Jeep Grand Cherokee. While driving, I'm careful to avoid hitting any members of the snowball fights that have broken out, randomly, in the middle of the streets.

Finally, after the 15th lap, Bethany informs me of the desperate urinary situation of which she's placed on hold for the past half hour. Because nothing at the moment is visible, I pulled onto a side street and flipped my hazards on as Bethany informs me she'll be relieving herself somewhere in the outdoor vicinity.

Did I mention the inebriation levels are skyrocketing for everyone involved in this story, BUT ME!?!? Consider this your notice.

So I lose site of Bethany entirely until some asshole with blinding headlights begins driving up the road behind me. As the car approaches I look to my right and realize Bethany has chosen the conveniently exposed stoop of a brownstone on which to release her bladder. I was so proud...but now was not the time to praise; I rolled down the window and told Bethany to get her ass back in the car.

Thankfully, the eleviated bladder pressure must have sobered her up some, because I didn't need to scream twice for her to pull up her pants and hop the hell back in the Jeep. Finally, I get a call on my cell from Gabby, one of the two sisters we've been searching for, and she informs me they are on the corner of such and such a street. So I respond by saying, " Don't Move! Look out for a silver Jeep, I'll be there in 2 minutes."

I pull up to the corner and both Bethany and I spot Gabby and Keira on the corner, but for some reason they're walking away from my car.....?? I watch them in my rear view and see them hop into a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee DIRECTLY BEHIND ME!

Before I can tell Bethany what I just witnessed, Gabby and Keira FLY out of the Jeep behind me and head for the correct one. Gabby is the first to enter the backseat of my Jeep and she looks shocked and completely disconnected from who and where she is.

As she proceeds to tell me and Bethany that they had hopped into a silver Jeep packed with strangers and how she thought Bethany and I had been carjacked, Keira is entering the backseat directly behind Gabby. But before she can get inside the Jeep, she's nailed in the head by a snowball from another random fight that's broken out in the street!

And I'm watching all of this, completely sober and trying to record with my eyes the expressions on each of their tipsy little faces, and I laughed inside all the way home to Jersey...

The birth of the compound swear....

So, Stacy and I are returning from a bagel run....the almighty rite bestowed upon the lowly pledge to feed your Sisters......and we're late, as usual. "Consequences for sure", I'm thinking as Stacy ties her shoe and puts down the plastic bag jammed with a variety of toasted bagels and toppings wafting through the nippy city air with such potency it reminds me of my mom's kitchen. As she's tying her shoelace she begins bitching at me because, of course, this is all my fault, as it is whenever anything goes wrong.

As much as I endure..I mean..enjoy...her pep talks, I am, at this moment, distracted. Underneath a beat up '87 Buick is, what appears to be, a stray cat. My heart immediately reaches out, as does my hand. I'm a sucker for a stray animal and with the onset of the chilly weather and the drunks returning from a college bar night, I suspected the little guy wouldn't have a chance here in the bottom tier parking lot.

As I knelt down to execute my perfected, "Ssp, Ssp, Ssp", from years of owning cats, I am terrified to see foamy, pointed teeth emerge from underneath the bumper of the car. I immediately gasp and Stacy, underterred by my lack of attention and still speaking of my "weakest link" tendencies, stops for a moment and with that; The Emergence of the Raccoon.

Yes, a giant, growling raccoon, foaming at the mouth, emerged from under the '87 Buick with one thing on his mind: THE BAGELS! I, of course doing the only thing a proper Jersey girl can do when presented with such a situation, screamed, abandoning Stacy and ran up the hill to the second tier parking lot; on my toes, of course, as to not incur any unnecessary dirt on my Guess sneakers. Stacy, in an Olympic effort last seen in the Roman era, forged onward swiftly grabbing the Bag O'Bagels and tucking it under her arm like a football. Simultaneously, she began running down the bottom tier parking lot, Raccoon in toe, all the while screaming, "Son-of-a-bitch-pig-bastard-ass-slut"!

I wasn't sure if this was directed at myself for bailing or the rabid raccoon, but we hopped into the college security van and no one spoke a word other than to request which dorm we'd be getting off at. And that my friends, was the birth of the compound swear...

You Can't Make This Stuff Up...

Ok, so what is it about traveling from Jersey to NYC that my friend Jamie and I find so difficult? We're on our way to the C-Note to see the musical stylings of the lovely and uber-talented Karen Schleifer and before we even reach the Holland Tunnel, it begins. Traffic for about 45 minutes; ok, we can handle this. Finally WE MAKE IT into the city. I would have known had Jamie blindfolded me and belted me in the trunk; the smell of the air is like opium for any of my harbored stresses. Once in Alphabet City, we realize there is NO PARKING anywhere to be found; and only did we realize this until after scouting the street for an hour.

Finally, we decide to cop out and fork out the cash for a garage, but to our delight we learn there are no garages in the vicinity. Enter stage right: onslaught of the bladder. We're at a red light at the intersection of Avenue B and 12th and Jamie, after squirming for the past 45 minutes, can withstand it no longer! "Jam, take that wheel!" And, assuming she was asking me to drive so she may sit in the passenger seat and concentrate on NOT peeing on herself, I exit the passenger side and the next thing I see is Jamie squealing down Avenue B something along the lines of, "I'm gonna find a bathroom, I'll call your cell!"

OK...light is still red. I immediately slam the passenger door shut, run to the driver door, already ajar, and steal a glance to see the occupants in the vehicle directly behind me hysterical...glad someone was having fun. I hopped in the car and slammed the door shut. Just as the light turned green and I'd finished adjusting her seat, which, by the way, had been set to size just in case a five year old might want to take the wheel, and began scouting for spots while awaiting her relieved and rejuvinated phone call for pickup. Five minutes later I picked Jamie up from the scene of the original abandoment and we finally found a spot about 16 blocks away from the C-Note. Not to fear as Jamie, an expert cab-hailer, was already on her game with one hand in the air while exiting the car. Ah, but to no avail...we proceeded to the corner where we were sure to find a cab or a BIKE for that matter. Yes, while standing on the edge of the curb watching my friend work her magic, a french man on a bicycle with a carriage attached to the back pulls up and ...... yes, a french man on a bicycle with a carriage attached to the back, no need to backtrack - I'd presumed your confusion....asks me where I am going and then proceeds to tell me in his french accent that he is the best bicyclist in NYC and he will take us uptown, downtown, whereever we'd like AND he added, "It will be fun!"

Still in my state of shock and speechlessness I realize that Mr. Bicycle is now blocking my 4'10 Jamie from being seen by anything, let alone a cabbie. We graciously decline his offer and walk further down the street, so as Jamie can be seen better by oncoming traffic, and finally, finally, hop into a cab. Once we exit the cab I give him a 50% tip for rescuing us from Mr. Bicycle and we're on our way to the C-Note. One problem, the usual blue banner depicting the logo is nowhere in sight and we are now confused and 40 minutes into Karen's one hour set. We spot a bar on the corner across the street with a red, lighted "C" and presume this MUST be the C-Note; maybe they're over the blue flag or it was too "Blue Note", who the hell knows. Anyway, we walk up to the bar and as Jamie is entering I catch a glimpse of the chalkboard sign located next to the steps. "Welcome to the Clubhouse" I read as Jamie stopped dead in her tracks.

We again cross the street and stopped exactly where our yellow knight, the cabbie, had dropped us off. We stand there pondering the location of the C-Note and, ever so faintly, I can hear her. We turn to look at the bar of which our backs have been turned and realize, with a simultaneous release of frustration and relief, Karen was inside. I asked a gentlemen near the door, taking a pull on a Red, how long she'd been singing. "She already finished her set, but she's up again for an encore", he replied. And with a sigh of relief, Jamie and I entered the C-Note and enjoyed our first, and Karen's last, song of the night....

Voulez-vous Coucher Avec Moi....

Even in the healthiest of relationships is there any way to prepare yourself for the unexpected threesomes that can arise? Even if you're the only two people in the bed, there's always someone who's been there before you. And though the boxer briefs of past loves may not be hidden under the pillow, what traces do they leave behind and how does this effect your current partner?

What can we learn from our past loves? I have a tendency to remain tight with former flames; not for the sake of keeping the door cracked in case I want to have another go, but because I have a connection with them on numerous levels. The more I learn about them the more I learn about myself. This subject can be a difficult issue to broach with a current lover. How do you find a balance...is there ever a happy medium?

Is it pretty much a given that your new lover will be allergic to loves of the past? I have a tendency to detach myself from a situation and see it from the outside in. I love being able to view things objectively and devoid of emotion, making decisions based on logic. Unfortunately, I'm learning my fancy schmancy skill isn't cutting it in the love department....spill on isle 7....Blanche broke another heart...

It always starts with the same song and dance: "I know you know my boyfriend is out of town, so have a drink let's talk it over...so many things I shouldn't be saying now, you know I like my boys a little bit older". Even when both parties enter a situation with the best of intentions, one can walk away feeling like their love has been used. I ask you...is there any way to prevent this?

And what about that guy that you always come back to in between the serious relationships? Oh my bad, is that just me? There is a man who I'll refer to as Mr. In Between - he's not a rebound because I never let him get that serious, but he does provide me a boost now and again to get me back in the swing of things when necessary. He calls me his stray cat because I show up without warning and I'm always gone by sunrise.

Why not so serious about Mr. In Between? For starters he isnt what I'm ultimately looking for. But I ask you...it is healthy to have such a buddy...one who knows you inside out and upside down. It worked in the past, but I'm starting to reconsider that notion these days. We're all getting a bit older, a bit wiser and my Mr. In Between, once satisfied being the no strings attached kind of fellow is collecting all kinds of string and twine. After years of such on and off activity, is it time to trim off the loose and frayed ends? Before someone really gets hurt....

I’m Allergic....

How do you know when it's for real? Like "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, where the hell have you been hiding my entire life" real? Stop, drop and roll people, my heart is officially aflame.

I know it's for real when I can relax - truly relax in the prescence of another. It's rare for me to let down my walls, release the bridges and call the alligators out of the moat for the chance to let someone in for an emotional rendevous. Who knows how long he'll stay and whether he's worth it to begin with.

In honor of girls chasing love all around the world, including you Jessica Simpson, "The real me is a Jersey Girl with her stilettos on and an open heart; wish I could save the world, like I was Captain Morgan..."

I know it's for real when I can say anything that flies out of my crazy ass, compound swearing, vocabulary conscious and grammatically correct, (might I add), mouth and know he'll be there to laugh or listen or, more importantly, catch me before I hit my head on the toilet seat during my homage to the porcelain gods. I want someone who can handle the sting, as at times my words have been known to bite...and then turn around and dish it back out. I'm in search of a man who can express his own thoughts, ideas and opinions as seamlessy as myself.

Are we looking for our equivalents or opposites?

According to the astrological chart my exact opposite sign as an Aquarius is a Leo. If opposites attract, does this make my opposite my equivalent? Aquarians are air signs represented by the Water Bearer. They seek to spread knowledge and truth, are often emotionally detached and objective and focus their efforts on the masses. Leos are fire signs represented by the Lion. They are passionate, outgoing and natural leaders, focusing their efforts on themselves. There are many differences, but as I look closer I see these differences could be complimentary in the right relationship. An interesting footnote: Air fuels Fire.

With my information in hand, I now set out in the world with the skill of an African Lion Poacher in search of my perfect prey. Don't worry, if you see me on the street it's just a tranquilizer gun - I want to catch him, not kill him.

We can research, prepare, lock and load all we want, but when it comes down to it....how do we know when it's for real? When he's the only one you hear in a crowded stadium? When he's the only one you see in a dimly lit club, and not just because there's a blacklight and he's graying a bit.

I know it's for real because an LP named Donna Marie told me so....I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry...you may kiss the rabbit....

Dame Un Beso...

How can you tell if your first kiss with a new love is to be the last first kiss? I have a tendency to build mountains out of moments. I recognize the trend and embrace the disappointment that follows. My name is Blanche DuBois and I'm a serial monogamist.

I observe my friends as they pump the gas full throttle from first kiss to first kiss with the ease of a Honda coil spring and yet, I find myself suffering from a faulty engine. Am I in need of roadside assistance or am I extremely selective? Do I subconsciously reserve my first kisses for suitors I believe may indeed be the last first kiss?

Another question I pose tonight, upon consumption of my third glass of organic cabernet sauvignon, is do I subconsciously abort my relationships for fear the kisses that follow suit will never match the intensity and passion possessed by the first? Or perhaps I abort mission subconsciously knowing what I'm seeking won't be delivered.

When I was a little girl I imagined my last first kiss would be with a man who can make the first kiss of every day feel like the last of a lifetime. I hear you, I hear you, mountainous terrain ahead, lol. But I ask you...is that really too much to ask?

How am I to stop myself from raising the pedestal from moment to mountain? And is the White Knight I'd dreamt up as a child in fact, not white, but black and called Knight Rider?

"Keep your scanners peeled..."

Labels or Love...

How long should you date a person before saying, "I love you"? I ask you not only in search of the appropriate time, but also the proper venue. Of course the goal of this confession is to have your partner welcome the sentiment with a reply of the same nature. Unfortunately, adverse effects sometimes result in a raise of the brow as they factor the quickest route to Home Depot seaking a new set of deadbolts for the apartment door.

I'm also perplexed by the notion that some of us can say, "I love you", before being capable or, furthermore, comfortable enough to recognize the beloved as a partner of any significance to begin with. Why do we stumble over our words when the conversation begins to stear itself down an emotional boardwalk? I'll be the first to admit I've experienced many a scraped shin due to my clumsy, brittle approach to communicating my feelings for another. As we live and learn, charting lover to lover, do these conversations ever get any easier?

I'm recently enchanted to discover not all partners warrant such margins on terms of endearment, regardless of the relationship's extent. I'm captivated by the revelation that an individual can actually command a reply; one in which you'd promised yourself you'd refrain from submitting at all costs.

Acknowledging the correlation between the length of courtship and expression of love to be defunct, let us now focus on the latter part of my opening query. I ask you...is there an appropriate place in which such sentiments should be conveyed? Perhaps my question is too broad to be answered...I'll try again. What places would you find such expressions to be entirely inappropriate? Or can the irony of a locale be the inspiration behind a declaration?

I ask you...can the fastening of two souls be as simple as tying your shoelaces? "Make two bunny ears...bunny goes around the tree...into the burrow...pull tight." I've discovered as of late, an expression of love is best served unforeseen, befalls even the most inappropriate of venues and, moreover, can swing a powerful knot around the unlikeliest of pairs.

Be Undercover, Love is Under the Covers...

Are there rules to be followed when it comes to dating and courtship? If so, are these rules to be established by each individual couple or are they customary from partner to partner? And speaking of partner, what are we to make of the terms used in addressing said person? Partner, boyfriend/girlfriend, old man/lady, significant other, the guy/girl I'm dating/seeing and, my personal favorite, "talking to". What godforsaken creature starting using that phrase in reference to quixotic connections?

Another question I'd like to pose this evening is why the need for the labels? Why do we feel the need to display the rank of our relationships? Do we lack confidence or trust in our partners without such designations on tap for all to see? Is it simply a way to carve out our terrain and plant the flag - mission accomplished? I'm guessing we're all guilty of the need to assert our status with those we embrace dear to our hearts...and I suppose it's acceptable, so long as that embrace doesn't become a clench...

An interesting antic dote from the friends of wikipedia: "From the scientific point of view, courtship in the animal kingdom is the process in which the different species select their partners for reproduction purposes." Shocking. "Generally speaking, the male initiates the courtship and the female chooses to either mate or reject the male based on his "performance". I ask you...are we referring to a performance that is physical or emotional? And if the performance is not up to par is it rude to sneak out during intermission? I mean really, whether I'm front row orchestra or row W mezzanine, I usually know by the end of the first act if I'm feelin' it or I'm not...

This brings me to my next question...how do we know when our relationship has elevated to the next level of the beanstalk? How many echelons are there to climb and what is protocol as altitude increases? A perceptive lass named Baby once said, "I'm afraid of walking out of this room and never feeling for the rest of my life, the way I feel when I'm with you". At what level in the game is it acceptable for a man and woman to experience and declare these emotions? Emotions, which at times, can be draining. Where can I obtain those 1-ups for stamina? How do I prevent myself from falling into the lava? Is it worth it in the end? Mario and Luigi never did explain what happens after you save the Princess...

Finally...I can get pretty cranky if I don't eat every four hours...I ask you...is this beanstalk edible?

Stings Like a Bee...

I ask you...why invite a person into your life romantically and allow them access to your world, your heart, knowing full well you're setting yourself up for a beatin'? A wise man once said, "It's not how many times you fall that matters, it's how many times you get back up". Well, I ask you, does this also apply to falling in love? How many times can one girl fall and how many breaks can one heart take? How many licks does it take before a gal loses her will to get up...and fall again? The world may never know...

Hurry Up and Wait...

How do you celebrate the man who molded you into the idiosyncratic, wickedly smart-mouthed, rebel without a cause you are today? My Dad needs no introduction to those closest in my life, as through the years "Jack" has become "kind of a big deal" around these parts. And by "these parts" I'm referring to me, my sister, Sharon and my brother, Tommy. (Names have been changed because we think it's funny - and by "we" I'm referring to myself.)
The next question I would like to pose is one I doubt any of you will be able to answer. How does a child grow to possess the tendencies and mindset of one parent over another? Exactly when does this selection process begin and why? Being the first child, I was lucky enough to spend equal time with both Mom and Dad, as it's well documented in the "moving pictures" that comprise my childhood photo albums. I call these albums "moving pictures" because every breathe, step and regurgitation was documented in succession. Should you flip the pages quickly, it's like watching a movie.

My Dad instilled in me the work ethic of a certified accountant on April 15th, a sarcastic bite that could make Kathy Griffin blush and love for double stuffed oreos. But again, I ask you, how did this happen? My Mom is a fabulous lady with home-making skills equivalent to that of a ninja executing espionage. Yet, I try my hardest to identify like qualities I may have acquired and all I can come up with is compassion and a conscience. Perhaps I doubt the credence to which these traits should rate on the totem pole of morale code. My Mom is a woman of many layers and, perhaps, what I am to learn from her is meant to be discovered later in life.

As I write this with a swift hand and a full heart, I can declare one notion for sure. Mom possesses the ability to recognize, attain and retain a remarkable man for nearly 30 years. Hopefully, pray tell, she intends to teach her first born this essential lesson in love. Until that class opens up for the semester, I'll sharpen my pencil...hurry up...and wait....

Corazon Sin Nido

Have you seen my instruction manual lying around anywhere? You know, the one you obtain after you penetrate the world and the nurse slaps a bracelet on your ankle reminiscent of the kind you receive upon entering a bad club at the Jersey Shore? Oh, my bad, that's right - there's no such thing! However, if you would be so kind as to entertain my folly this evening, let's explore the notion...

For starters, what would a piece of literature of this nature be titled? Knowing the sense of humor the Big Cheese seems to have with me lately, I'd have to say the title would likely be, "Knock Yourself Out".

Chapter One: Welcome
Please remain seated until the spaceship comes to a complete stop.

Chapter Two: Are We There Yet?
Life is a hallowed journey and should be traveled with good friends, good cocktails and fabulous shoes.

Chapter Three: Hearts Will Be Broken...and Yours is No Exception
Love is a process and should be practiced often. Rinse and repeat until the desired outcome is reached.

Chapter Four: Never Underestimate the Power of the Stiletto
The higher the heel the closer to heaven. Once of sauntering age, master your strut and embrace the pinch.

Chapter Five: The Spaceship Waits for No One
This in mind, say what you need to say. Do not overanalyze, do not scrutinze, do not disect. Whether you speak it, shout it, write it, sing it; let there be no doubts as to your sentiments.
I'd say those five chapters would comprise the instruction manual should one ever come to exist. And if I know my Buddy upstairs like I think I do, my edition.....would be written in Japanese.....Banzai!