By any other name

There are currently two giant (dead) centipedes in my vacuum. And I washed one I found in the bathtub down the drain yesterday morning.

Why is this happening?? Is there any way to protect ourselves from invasion? Because, tell you what, the most recent little demon was juuuust inside our bedroom door when he met his demise. That’s about a million times too close.

Anyway. Ugh.

So speaking of things that bug me (get it????), I’ve begun the tiresome process of legally changing my last name. And hoo-boy.

First off, have you ever stopped to think how many things have your name on them? I mean, Facebook and Gmail. Fine, done. But then there’s my license, my social security card, my passport, my bank accounts, and every credit/debit card ever. Plus my direct deposit at work (they actually just put me down as the new name for almost everything when I started the new job, but the bank stuff had to wait until I could change the name on the account. Which I can’t do without at least a license with the new name. Which I couldn’t do without our marriage license.)

And that right there is the real rub: You can’t change one thing until you change something else, which you can’t change until you say something else. It’s…a process.

So far, I have my marriage license (which had to be corrected). Today I’m making a copy so Joey can add me to his insurance, then I have to send the original to the social security office so they can send me a new card (they return the marriage license). Then it’s off to the DMV. And finally it will be time for the bank.

I guess I should probably change it on our apartment lease, too. I’m putting off the passport since, as memory serves, it was a pain last time.

Though I am kind of excited about getting new ID photos. My passport one is ok, but I’m blatantly 15. My driver’s license photo is…well, I was going to the gym after, the camera was on the desk at my waist level (I was standing), and they didn’t tell me when they were taking it. Ergo, I look frumpy, fat, and angry. Not exactly flattering.

But soon that will all be amended.

It will be a little weird to officially have a new name. The new signature will be the hardest part, I think. Oh well, I like new beginnings.

Besides, I like the symbolism of becoming one family and all that. I’m kind of in to my husband, if you hadn’t guessed. Plus, you know I’m bound to get a good post out of the trip to the DMV. It’s impossible not to.

Let me tell YOU something…

I was thinking today about anonymous blogs. Obviously, mine isn’t one. I mean, you know my name. And my husband’s name. And with a bit of detective work, you could probably figure out my married name. And with even less detective work, you could figure out my maiden name. And you know exactly what I look like.

Pros: I’m a writer, so I’ve never really hidden from what I’ve written (almost rhyme!). And I like you guys knowing that I’m a real person with real moments, lest you think I make this stuff up.

Cons: I can’t always say exactly what I want to say. Words have consequences. And in this case, my consequences are part of a two-year writing exercise plastered on the internets for all to see.

Sure, I can mock the LIRR and whine about bugs, but it’s not like I can air every grievance that pops into my head. I mean, do you know how many posts about work I have drafted, perfected, and then tossed, all in my head? (Because if there is one thing Facebook and Twitter have taught us, it’s that your employer and every future employer you will ever have are on Facebook and Twitter. Waiting for you.)

A good friend (whom I’m not going to name this time, just in case this project plays out) and I were discussing this the other day, when I told her I have this idea to start a blog called What I Would Have Said (If I Wasn’t Concerned About Losing My Job). I may have registered the blog name in case I get really ambitious.

It would be all submission-based, and all anonymous, all the time. Heck, I’ll even edit it for you and remove any details I determine to be too incriminating.

But then I got distracted before I could work out exactly how I would solicit these submissions. And what if they weren’t funny? I’ve had a few rants in my head that just ended up being kind of sad and whiny — what if they’re all like that?

So the idea is on hold. (Unless you have a really good submission…then send it my way and you can be the inaugural post!)

Guess it’s back to passive aggressive tweets and snarky emails to my husband.

Roll with the punches

I’m a sucker for a punch card.

You know, those little business cards companies hand out to encourage loyalty, i.e. for every ten smoothies you buy, you get a free smoothie.

Um, hi. Greatest business strategy ever. Because even if I wasn’t planning on ever buying another smoothie after the first one, welp, I’m buying nine more now. (And taking that eleventh one free of charge, a-thank you.) And guess what? I’m not even mad you just tricked me into buying nine smoothies. Heck, I’m grateful.

Not surprisingly, this is part of the reason why I love Chop’t. Last week was free salad day (in my world…because my punch card was full), and it was the most glorious of days.

Then today, I was having a crazy carb craving (get alliteration’d) all day, and over my lunch break, I happened to come across a Crumbs. A squared + B squared = C squared.

As I was paying for my gargantuan baked good and latte, I noticed a little box of cards decorated with ten coffee cups sitting on the counter.

I think you know where I’m going with this.

Not only does ten coffee purchases get you a free coffee beverage AND a free cupcake of your choice, but it also turns out that an espresso purchase earns you TWO punches. (To the card…it’s not my older brother running the show back there…)

I think we all know where I will be procuring my coffee from now on. And unlike my salads, I buy coffee a bit more than once a week, so I have a hunch I’ll be racking up freebies a little quicker.

It’s good to be punched.

Karate Chop’t

I don’t want to say I’m enslaved to my habits, but let’s put it this way: Every Friday is Chop’t Friday.

You already know about Chili’s Tuesday, so I guess I can’t hide anymore. Actually, you should probably be impressed that I only associate two of my days with specific meals.

In general, I bring my lunch every day. It’s usually a turkey and provolone sandwich or wrap, unless we happen to have leftovers, in which case I bring those. Now, not to knock my sandwiches, but there is really nothing exciting about turkey and cheese on whole wheat. I mean, sometimes I’ll dress it up with hummus or bell pepper slices or something, but usually it’s just something I eat because it’s quick, inexpensive, and reasonably healthy.

Until Friday.

I don’t know why I picked Friday as my treat day. According to my friend James’s (extensive) lunch philosophy, I should have picked Thursday, but I’m happy at the end of the week. I like to couple a good mood with good food.

So every Friday around 12:30 I walk the two-and-a-half blocks to Chop’t.

There is usually an insane line. Seriously. Tourists passing by start looking around for celebrities or something, because there is no way there are this many people in line for a salad.

I, for one, am never deterred by the line. Heck, the ten minutes I stand on the sidewalk might be the only time I’m out in the sunshine all day. It’s pleasant.

Besides, it’s Chop’t Friday. If you’re not ready to commit, you get out of the line. The more dedicated among us won’t miss you.

You’d probably think a restaurant that sells only salads (and salad wraps) would be filled with 99% gaunt upper east side dames, but, surprisingly, the gender divide is about 50-50. Dudes can like lettuce too.

Plus, Chop’t has that whole Chipotle thing going on where almost everything is organic and they claim to know every farmer they use personally and blah blah blah. I mean, I haven’t done any research to verify if it’s true or not. But I like thinking it is. Ohh, Americans!

Finally, there’s the salad itself.

You guys. It is so good. Seriously. I get the Santa Fe. Every Friday. Because it is so good.

Couple that with the little show you get watching them chop up the ingredients and death defying speeds, and it’s basically the perfect lunch.

Did anyone else just drool on the screen? Just me? Awkward…

Not telling

So you remember how I’m not too keen on sharing really personal issues/inner turmoil? I mean, I know there are people out there who obviously don’t mind (anyone remember LiveJournal? That site made me prejudiced against blogs for a really long time…), but I just think it’s kind of inappropriate. Besides, you don’t come to this blog for my trials and tribulations. You come to read funny stories about my awkwardness and to look at pictures of what I had for dinner. (Right?)

But this can present a problem. When, for example, something I don’t feel like sharing with the world is all I can think about, it becomes pretty darn hard to come up with anything to write about. I mean, this is technically a blog about my life — what’s a girl to do when life is more tumultuous?

So the regularity of posting suffers. And you suffer. (Again, right, guys? …guys?)

So I guess I’m just asking for a bit of patience through the lean times. I promise to be back full force as soon as I get my mess sorted out.

Or, you know, whatever level of force I was before.

The perfect job

I find that whenever it finally occurs to me what job would be perfect for me, it’s quickly followed by the realization that that job doesn’t actually exist.

Case in point: The Subway Biotch.

Late last week, I was waiting for the subway home from work. The platform was especially crowded and it was rush hour, so I was getting a little anxious about whether or not I would be able to get on the train. I noticed another woman about my size but ten years older than me standing near me, but I didn’t really think anything of it.

When the train finally pulled up, it was predictably packed. The crowd of waiting commuters quickly surrounded the doors, and as soon as they opened, everyone started filing in.

The problem? For whatever reason, people only went as far as two feet inside the door and then stopped. The doorway quickly became jammed and it appeared there was no more room, but a quick glance over everyone’s shoulders to the center of the car made it clear there was plenty of space.

Enter the SB.

Suddenly the woman I had noticed before (who had managed to squeeze herself just inside the doorway), came to life. She started berating everyone for not taking full advantage of the car, ordering them to move in because “there are still like five people behind me!”

At one point she actually turned around, looked me dead in the eye, and said, “I’m trying, sorry!” She rolled her eyes when she said it as if to say, “But people are idiots, right?”

Well, eventually she woke everyone up enough to shuffle inward, and I was able to squeeze on.

The rest of the ride, I was fascinated by her. I mean, it wasn’t the first time I had seen people scream at fellow commuters to move in (seriously, what is the standing by the door obsession? Do they think thy won’t be able to get off the subway at their stop? I have never seen someone get trapped behind other people and miss their stop. Ever.), but it was that first time I had seen someone do it for a total stranger.

She was like a super hero, fighting the empty-headed masses for her fellow commuter. Or something.

The point is, it made me think: What if there was a job where you just went around pointing out when people were being inconsiderate commuters and correcting the error of their ways?

Think about it: You could yell at the lazy business men who never offer their seats to pregnant women or the elderly. You could silence undisciplined children, or shoo away panhandlers.

Heck, forget commuting; I think this job could expand into a universal market. Are you being a rude idiot? Allow us to correct the issue.

It course, this will never be a real job. Instead, the people who try to correct these kinds of problems will just get called names and shot bitter looks.

But it’s fun to dream.

Hot, hot, hot

I had a whole other idea for today’s post, but something else happened that I feel is a bit more topical.

So we don’t have central air in our apartment, and the last couple of nights we’ve just been sweating it out through this freak heat wave we’ve been having.

The ironic thing is that we actually got an air conditioner (Joey’s old one from his parents), we just couldn’t set it up yet because it didn’t quite fit in the alotted slot in our bedroom. (There’s also a slot in the living room, but we’ll have to buy an air conditioner for out there. We decided the bedroom was priority.) To make it fit, we needed all kinds of sealing foam and a screen to keep anything from the outside world from crawling in.

Then yesterday, my darling of a husband went to a supply store and bought three different kinds of foam and a screen.

“We will not sleep without air conditioning again,” he texted me triumphantly.

If anyone has never had the joy of sleeping without air conditioning during 90-degree temperatures, allow me to paint a picture for you:

The air around you is wet and thick, clinging to everything — your skin, your hair, your bed sheets — not unlike how I imagine the rainforest. Any kind of cover feels like too much, yet (for me at least) it’s hard to sleep totally uncovered.

Everything feels damp, and if you’re lucky enough to actually sleep through the night (which you probably won’t because it’s too hot to sleep), you’re still going to wake up sweaty. You can’t feel rested because you spent most of the night tossing and turning discomfort.

So last night we set the thing up. Joey did most of the work, with me holding things up and overseeing the foam placement (I really don’t want any holes).

Finally it was done. We clicked it on, shut the door, and went to make dinner. After we ate, we tentatively went to check on the progress.

You know that feeling you get when you’re walking outside on a really hot day, and then you finally get to your destination? You step inside, and a wave of cool air washes over you, and suddenly you forget how hot you were. That was exactly what it was like stepping into our bedroom.

We’d had plans to watch a movie, but we wouldn’t bring ourselves to leave this refreshing cave we’d built for ourselves. We went to sleep at ten o’clock.

And when I tell you I slept the deepest sleep of my life last night, I’m not exaggerating. I woke up with a sleep hangover — it took me about five minutes to get my contacts case open.

All I wanted to do was dive back under the covers (that I actually needed).

The difference between our bedroom and the rest of the apartment was so stark, leaving the room was like stepping outside from a meat locker. And I loved it.

We’re only going to have that unit on while we sleep. Once we get a bigger one for the living room, that will be our primary source of cool air. Fortunately, we both work full time, so both units will only run a few hours a day during the week.

And what glorious hours they shall be.