Posts Tagged ‘humor’


Why is it when my husband goes away on business trips I become convinced that one of the following will definitely happen:

  1. The apartment will go up in flames while we’re sleeping. Probably because I forgot to check that the toaster was unplugged the usual 24 times.
  2. LJ, fur-child and I will all succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  3. A creepy, murderous crazy person will bust into our apartment through the roof door.
  4. Some insane person will swoop into LJ’s room in the middle of the night and whisk her off to some far-away land where she will fetch a hefty price on the black market.

The thing is, when my husband IS here and we experience the occasional middle of the night “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT NOISE?! OMGGOCHECK!!” freak out moments: I’m usually the one to go fight off the killer rapist in the kitchen with the pointy horn of LJ’s unicorn doll. I’m the crime fighting mama-bear. Pete usually stays in the bedroom “protecting the dog”. My lab, by the way, couldn’t care LESS if we were being robbed. While my bat ears hear every thump in the building, causing me to launch out of bed in supreme freak-out mode: Carson is all, “Huh? (Yawn)” as she resumes snoring and chasing dream squirrels.

So why do I morph into the helpless damsel in distress when he’s away? Most of the time, my fears are completely irrational. Like the black market bit: that probably won’t happen. I’m sure I won’t have to pull a Macgyver and fashion some sort of massive Moby wrap out of a bedsheet that can hold the dog AND kid while I shimmy out the second story window in a fire. No, I haven’t thought about that awesome plan at ALL.

I know I’m not alone in the irrational fears, though. All you need is a vivid imagination to freak yourself the f*ck OUT when you’re home alone. Case in point: my mother. 1993.

When I was a senior in high school, my parents hit a rough patch in their relationship, and for a very brief period of time my father was living in the next town. My sister, who was about 22 at the time, mom and I were trucking along in our usual routines, just sans a man in the house. Late one weekend night, when my friends pulled up to drop me off after a night of drinking wine coolers in various parking lots in town, I noticed the living room light was on and you could see the back of my mother’s head silhouetted in the window. When you’re a teenager that is never, EVER a good sign. I entered the house, walked up the stairs to the living room and found my mother AND sister both sitting on the couch looking panic-stricken at 1am. Cue 17-year-old  (buzzed) heart beating out of my chest as I try to imagine what I did to deserve this insane intervention-like meeting. The following conversation (more or less) took place:

Mom: Tracy, sit down. We want to talk to you about something.

Me: ….Okay. (Shitting in my pants. Did she find my Parliaments? Fuck!)

Mom: Now I don’t want you to get upset….

Me: … Okay. (I’m. DEAD. My life is over.)

Mom: …but we’re a little afraid that someone may have tried to break into the house.

Me: Huh?

Mom: We’re a little afraid that someone may have tried to break into the house, and they put THIS picture through the front mail-slot as some kind of warning. (She slid the following picture across the coffee table.)

Me: Wait, Ice Cube?

Mom: OH MY GOD YOU KNOW HIM? Why would he put a picture through our mail slot?!

Me: Why would WHO put a picture through our mail slot? Ice Cube?

Mom:  WHO IS HE?!?

Me: He’s a rapper!! Are you INSANE??!?

Mom: Are you sure? You mean it’s your picture?

Me: It probably fell out of my backpack or from one of my magazines or something. You mean you SERIOUSLY thought a robber would give you a PICTURE OF HIMSELF before he robbed you? You thought Ice Cube was some stalker that was trying to break into our stupid house?  (Dying laughing at this point. Almost crying.)

Mom: (clearly embarrassed) Ok, that’s enough. I was afraid. Never mind. Now, go to bed!

Clearly overactive imaginations and the inclination to expect doom and horror around every corner run in my family.

Also, poor Ice Cube.

***P.S. In no way, shape or form is (or was) my mother racist. It bums me out that I even have to comment on that.***


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Dear owner of the nondescript beige car that was parked on 13th Street yesterday,

What? Excuse me? There were many nondescript beige cars parked on 13th Street yesterday? You’re right. I’m talking about this one:

Hey buddy, your car alarm went off between the hours of 12:45pm and 4:30pm. The. Entire. Time. Screeching. Honking. Eardrum-splitting decibels of noise all up in my face for FOUR HOURS.

Do you know what happens between the hours of approximately 1-4? It’s motherfucking nap time, my friend. NAP. TIME. Nap time of many small neighborhood children who, because we live in a dense urban environment, were unable to take a nap because of your stupid car. Nap time that was much, much-needed in many apartments so the harried, frazzled, sleep-deprived mothers could take at least one hour to catch up on the Housewives of NYC reunion. One precious hour to themselves. One precious hour where they don’t have to sing Trot Old Joe 9000 times.

I’m not even talking about me. I have a chill 3-year-old, but what about the people with tiny, scream-y infants? Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to get some scream-y infants to take good naps?! Have you ever tried to tiptoe through your apartment while avoiding certain creaky floorboards in the hardwood lest you wake up the scream-y infant? Have you ever put a baby in the tightest burrito swaddle on earth, borderline straightjacket-style and rock, bounce and loudly “SHHHH” said baby for two straight hours until they finally give in and you get a tiny moment of relaxation?

You know what REALLY fucks up said tiny moment of relaxation?

Your stupid car alarm.

And what about the writers? This is Brooklyn! How could you disturb the flashes of brilliance taking place behind laptops in coffee shops throughout the neighborhood? Isn’t anybody thinking about all the novelists?! The bloggers?! Shame on you!

Here’s the thing: it’s not a deterrent. I couldn’t. Care. Less if someone steals your car. Seriously. Nobody is calling the police. Nobody is jumping up from behind their MacBooks shouting “Oh my WORD! It sounds like crime is afoot! Come on everybody! Let’s form a community watch and stop the car thief!”.  That’s not happening. I didn’t glance out the window until TWO WHOLE HOURS had passed, and only THEN did I peek out to see if anybody had placed any disparaging notes on your windshield. Somebody could have stripped your car down to the bare frame, and we would have all been like, “Meh. Just turn off the fucking alarm, ok robber? Thanks. XOXO.”.

Do you see what I’m getting at, Mr. Car Alarm Douchenozzle?

I did wonder, for a brief moment, if I was just being a jaded, lazy NYer, so I did a little googling. Did you know there are a gazillion blogs, websites, community groups and movements solely dedicated to trying to eradicate all car alarms in NYC? There are. It’s not just me. It’s everybody. Everybody hates you, Mr. Car Alarm Douchenozzle. EVERYBODY.

95% of the time your badass Viper alarm goes off when the fucking wind blows, or when a Fresh Direct truck rumbles by on their way to deliver someone’s case of Pampers and bundle of kale. It’s almost never an actual thief. Even if it is someone with malicious intentions, odds are nobody will help save your car. We’re too busy rummaging through junk drawers for a sharpie so we can scrawl an expletive-filled note for your windshield.

So, Mr. Car Alarm Douchenozzle, on behalf of all residents of NYC, be they mothers, fathers, infants, writers, acupuncturists, puppeteers or dog walkers: please shut your fucking car up right now. Everybody hates you.



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This past fall, we had what we’re now referring to as “Mouse Mayhem 2010”. Yes, we DID have a rat in our front yard also. We are possibly the most vile human beings on earth. (But we’re not!! I SWEAR! Your kids can come over for a play date and they can eat snacks off the floor. Literally, they can eat the old Cheerios that are crusted to the floor. Maybe some chocolate sprinkles, too, if they’re lucky, and smashed veggie booty. No matter how much I sweep I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my floors are going to be crunchy. I’m ok with that.)


Anyway, we’ve lived in our apt for 6 years and had never, EVER seen a mouse until October. Pete insists that a mouse used to visit him in the living room occasionally late at night while he was watching TV/playing Call Of Duty/engaging in nerdy wizard games on his iPhone, but I NEVER saw one, and I’m pretty sure he just saw a dog hair dust bunny wafting by. It definitely wasn’t some phantom mouse who only liked to stalk him. Please.


All of a sudden one night while lying in bed we heard (translation: I heard, with my supersonic bat ears while Pete snored away) what seemed to be teensy scratches. After trying to rouse the 80 pound dog on the bed to make sure her nails weren’t tapping on the walls during one of those wiggly dreams where her feet move as if she’s dreaming of chasing frisbees, I ran to the kitchen, flicked on the light and saw a lone mouse scurry across the floor. I yelped, jumped about two feet into the air and SPRINTED back into the bedroom as if an entire colony of mice were chasing me and nipping at my ankles.  We spent (again: I spent, since Pete could snore away even if a 747 took off from under the bed) the rest of the night obsessing and counting the seconds until I could call the landlord in the morning.


First thing in the morning my husband ran out to pick up some sticky traps and we laid them down under the oven and fridge, and when I say “some”, I mean he BLANKETED the space with sticky traps with a tiny pile of chocolate chips in the center of each one.  Have you heard? Mice are into chocolate chips. Especially fancy Ghirardelli ones. The traps were set, Pete headed off to work and my daughter and I sat down to breakfast.


Squeak! Squeak!


“I HEAR A MOUSE!! AWWW!!” Lotte shouted out with glee.


Darting into the kitchen I came to a screeching halt when my eyes met the teeny dark peepers of the tiniest mouse ever. Like, the cutest little baby mouse. It was fucking Fievel, or maybe Stuart Little. My animal-loving vegetarian mind went into emotional OCD overdrive, and I decided I would be SCARRED FOR LIFE if he got stuck on one of the traps. I HAD TO SAVE FIEVEL! STEP AWAY FROM THE GHIRARDELLI! The second I broke my freeze, however, the little bugger darted under the fridge, jonesing for chocolate, and got stuck. Squeak! Squeak!  I burst into tears and called my husband, hysterically demanding he come home and put the poor thing out of it’s misery because it was HIS IDEA to lay down these inhumane traps, and I couldn’t possibly kill Fievel. Although a small part of me was kind of thinking, “YAY! We caught the mouse! It’s over!”.


It wasn’t over. That evening, 4 more mice came for the chocolate chips and got stuck. FOUR. I was a disaster. As we tried to go to bed I could hear them in the walls and ceiling above us. We were being overrun, like that horror movie about spiders, except this was somehow worse*. The scurrying and scratching and tapping: I didn’t sleep a wink. The landlord came over first thing in the morning and went throughout the entire apartment sealing up any possible place they could be coming from. He ripped out the oven, the dishwasher and the fridge. He was under the sink and in every room: filling in the tiniest holes around every single radiator. He used a combination of steel wool and this foamy spray goo that hardened. It was SO mouse proof. It HAD to be!


It wasn’t. That night by 11pm we heard the familiar, maddening death scratches in the walls. I hadn’t slept in about 36 hours. We had eaten pretty much every meal out because I refused to go into the kitchen. Really, as far as I saw it, our only options were to

A. Move into a hotel forever like Dylan McKay.
B. Check me into a private room at Bellevue because I was going INSANE, or
C. start our own reality show called, “The Grossest Shit Ever”.

That night and the next day, we caught 6 more mice for a grand total of 11 in 3 days. ELEVEN!!! From zero in six years to 11 in 3 days! Pete had morphed into the Pol Pot of rodents (I won’t get into details of how he did it once they were stuck, but I can assure you they died very quickly), and by #3 I didn’t demonstrate the emotional compassion I had for that first one. I was no longer weeping for Fievel. FUCK FIEVEL AND HIS WHOLE FUCKING FAMILY. At one point that night while we were staring at a small mouse that was writhing on a trap, another fatso came strutting out right in front of us and, in an effort to pry the chocolate chips from under his mouse friend’s stuck body, he flung himself right onto the same trap. It. Was. A. NIGHTMARE.


The landlord called his exterminator who came in and laid bits of poison in strategic areas. This guy was like Ace Ventura of nasty creatures, and he was able to find the most microscopic entryways where he could spot where the GREASE FROM THEIR FUR RUBBED OFF ON THE WOOD (Gag! Retch!). That night we heard a little scurrying in the walls, but didn’t catch any. The following night: silence. Nothing. We were told that with poison you often get the stench of dead mice emanating from your walls, unless they left the house entirely. Thankfully we didn’t smell anything, and the ordeal was over. It was 3 days of pure hell.


Turns out my next-door neighbor had just had an exterminator come plug up holes for what she swears were “squirrels” in her roof that had been coming out at night. Right. I’m sure they were “squirrels”.  Literally, the following night Mouse Mayhem 2010 began in our apartment, and the neighbor on their other side had a few mice as well.


The moral: if you live in the city around neighbors who have (ahem) “squirrels”, get a cat. Dogs don’t do shit.


*On second thought, NOTHING would be worse than having your home overrun by spiders, especially daddy long legs. BARF.

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The following heartfelt, deep, DEEP awesomeness has been directly transcribed from an essay I wrote when I was 10 on the first day of school. Lest you think I’m lying, take a look:

Remember when you wrote in script like that? No wonder I won every handwriting award known to man when I was 10. I mean, hello? Look at that OCD gorgeousness. Lately I use an actual writing implement so rarely that when I do I feel all Barney Rubble and make little chicken scratch squiggles. Anyway, without further ado, here is how I described myself circa 85′:

An Introduction to Me

      I was born in Baldwin at 11:30 at night on July 22. I was a fat baby. My mother said even though I was fat I was quieter than my sister.

      My sister, Heather, is sixteen and in the eleventh grade. My mother doesn’t work; she just takes care of the house. She also sometimes joins the P.T.A. here or at the high school. My father works for Revlon, the makeup company. He is the head of Personnel.

      I love Math and Spelling. But I hate everything else. Gym and Art are my favorite periods. I hate Music. ILC is not my favorite but I like it. Computer Lab isn’t so great, either.

      I love to play soccer. I am on the Baldwin Girls 75-76 travel team. My dad is the coach. We’re called the Baldwin Wildcats. I play center forward. Our first game is against the Wantagh Panthers.

      My hobby is collecting stickers. I had a perfect 1,000 stickers but I stuck them all over my notebooks. I love to watch T.V. When I watch it I can’t be taken away from it.

      My goal for this year is to be in the Spelling Bee. Last year we had a spelling contest. The last two people out were in it. I was close. I think I told you enough about me.

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Memo to my husband

To: The most awesome husband in the universe

From: Your loving wife

Date: July 6, 2011

Subject: My imminent admittance into a padded cell OR solitary shack on a deserted island never to be seen again.


While I value your devotion to our partnership and find your companionship both tender and hilariously joyful, as one of the primary shareholders in this company I have a few concerns that need to be addressed.

That is a plastic bag  filled with your jogging clothes. The clothes that you wore the last time you went running, 5 days ago. While I appreciate you containing the foul stench within the confines of this non-recyclable, doggy potty bag, I’m a tad bewildered. Has said bag been sitting on the bedroom floor because I’m supposed to wash them? Have you ever smelled the swampy, crotch-rot odor that emanates from a plastic bag filled with male running clothes that have been stewing for 5 days? I have. I dry-heaved. No more. As we cannot afford to purchase a Hazmat suit for such purposes, from now on all plastic bags filled with anything found on the bedroom floor have a 2 day grace period. They will be properly disposed of (in the garbage) on day 3.

As the partner primarily in charge of all company food services, I am most appreciative of your attempts at cooking. The abundance of cold potato and leek soup, however, has to end. It would be in the best interest of the entire entity if you would:

A. Cease from cooking any more vichyssoise, or cold soups in general, and

B. Find another god damn recipe.

For the past 10 years this partnership has been inundated with seeds, be they sunflower or squash. On the carpet, in between the couch cushions, spit encrusted into numerous mason jars and fine pint glasses, in my shoes, stuck to the bottom of my bare feet, clogging up the kitchen sink and kicked into the corners of every room. While I do sometimes relish a company field trip to Jeff’s Parrots of the World in Rockville Centre, I don’t want to live among the birds. Our current residence is starting to resemble a bird house. Please remedy this.

I would appreciate your immediate attention to the matters mentioned above. Failure to comply could result in one of the following:

  1. A dissolution of the formal partnership.
  2. A dissolution of my mind.
  3. A drop kick to the jugular.
  4. A trance-like state involving banging my head against the wall or hair pulling.
  5. A solo escape to a deserted island free of stench-filled running clothes and cold leek soup.
Thank you for your time. XO.
Cc: your future second wife
Bcc: your mother

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Me: LJ, we have to stop to get gas for the car.

LJ: Daddy works at a place that gives gas to cars.

Me: No, he doesn’t. Daddy works in advertising. Like, commercials.

LJ: Are there cowboy hats and hot dogs where he works?

Me: Uhhh, yes. Lots of them.

LJ: Yay!!! And spiders, too?!?

Me: Are you on drugs?!

LJ: Yay! Ha!

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Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, granddads, pop pops, stepdads, uncles and special men in our lives.

Happy Father’s Day to my dad, who is probably drinking a glass of chardonnay and listening to Barbra Streisand as I type this (…and no, he’s not gay. Although I would love him just the same if he were. Maybe even more, because then he never would have embarrassed me by wearing all those hideous plaid golf pants when I was younger.).

Most importantly, Happy Father’s Day to my husband, Pete. The greatest dad/sea dragon/dinosaur/tickle monster and knight a little girl could ever ask for. Except for when he takes “dad bites” of sandwiches and swallows half the meal in one bite, making her cry. Other than that, he never ceases to make LJ (and I) squeal with laughter.

Want to know another reason why he’s the best dad/husband/friend/son ever? He writes some funny cartoons. Totally obnoxious and offensive… but funny as shit. My favorite? The Park Slope Douche series. It’s ok: we live here, so we’re granted full permission to rip into our neighborhood.

Click here for more. You know you want to.

Happy Father’s Day, peeps!

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