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This isn’t Scary

20 May

…but it is what it’s like inside my apartment. Here, a typical exchange between my roommates, who have had an open relationship for 10 years and are basically common law married.

J Rad [watching, but not doing, a stretching video in the living room]: “Did I tell you that [friend] said she was going to that party on Friday?

Wiggy Moondust [named for her combined love of wigs and David Bowie]: “She told ME that.”

J Rad: “Well, I was there.”

Wiggy Stardust: “She was talking to me”

J Rad: “Well, I saw down her shirt.”

Wiggy Spacedust: “So did the entirety of Bedford Avenue.”

J Rad: “Yeah, but I’m taller.”


Wiggy Starlust: Are you still watching that stretching video?

J Rad: “Watching is such a strong word. Let’s say I’m contemplating it.”

And here, an example of a photo J Rad took to show his love for Wiggy Sunnuts’s backside. May we all one day find such love.


The Best Damn Thing

1 Mar

The other day, the best damn thing happened to me.





No. Christian Bale did not appear on my doorstep wrapped in a bow. Which. Is. Too. Bad.

I’m not going to tell you what it is yet cause suspense is driving the narrative of this post (stop reading. stop reading right now. I dare you to stop reading right now, I already got your page view, motha fuckaaaa).  *ahem* But I WILL say that this awesome thing involved my parents. It is basically the most amazing thing I could ever tell my parents, and in particular my mother, in the history of the world ever.

By a quirk of luck, the day after Best Damn Thing Day was my mother’s birthday, so in the interests of maximum impact (telling her the good news on her birthday), I kept the secret quiet overnight.  I’m not so good at keeping secrets though (When attempting—and failing—to keep them I usually jump around in my chair like I have to pee) so I was sitting at my desk feeling like my little heart was going to explode. For relief, I posted an extremely vague note that something good had happened to me on facebook. And because it seems I have friends (You like me! You really like me!), it rapidly got something like 30 comments that can be roughly paraphrased as:


But now! To your great relief, I will tell you what the best thing was.

My company, a small publishing company that publishes in-flight magazines, including the illustrious travel magazine that I edit, has launched this new “happiness initiative.” They’re doing it to make the “corporate culture” better for the people who work here, which is a laudable aim. However, I have been pooh poohing this initiative for months because:

A. They put a pun in the title of the initiative and that makes me want to punt a baby

B. No one can tell me I HAVE to be happy. *wears Doc Martins for a month*

D. Did someone say “corporate culture”? *shoots self in eye with rubber band and claims Worker’s Comp*

As part of this happiness initiative, they had everyone in the office send their top three life dreams to the CEOs. They were going to select a few employees and grant them their dreams Make-A-Wish style. I didn’t want to participate because I am an incorrigible curmudgeon, but was finally convinced to stop being a grinch about it and send in a couple of ideas by a coworker. On Friday, I got a call from one of the company executives saying that they had chosen me as the dream-receiver of the New York office, and they were going to make one of my top three dreams come true.

Here is my dream:

My parents don’t have passports. They have never been outside of the continental US and Mexico, but they reminisce dreamily of the few, brief vacations they have taken to the beaches of Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. Every year when I was in high school, my mom would get gorgeous travel calendars in the mail from aunts and uncles for Christmas, and we would sit at the bar in the kitchen and look at all the pictures. I remember us being particularly enamored of one calendar that showed shots of the Greek islands. We flipped through it until we got to a picture of the post-volcanic, possibly-Atlantis island of Santorini.


“One day, I’ll go there,” I said.

My mom smiled a tight-lipped smile and turned from stir frying something inexpensive. “Me too,” she sighed.

In college, on account of a saintly lawyer and a bastard of a family member I shall decline to describe here, I came into a sum of about $4,000. I used it to take a summer course in Thessaloniki, Greece. The course ended with a week-long cruise through the Greek islands, including Santorini. I sent my mom a ton of pictures, and she was as excited to look at them as if she’d gone herself.

Six years later, I became a travel writer.

My parents have still never been outside the US and Mexico, and every time I fly somewhere exotic and stay in some 5-star hotel I’m not paying for, I can’t help but wish that I could let them just once have the same experience. My long-suffering, one-time single mother clearly deserves it more than I. And so does my super-awesome stepdad.

And so, my company is sending my parents and I on an all-expense paid trip to Santorini, Greece. And giving me an extra week off to go.

I told my mom on the phone while she was in a J.C. Penny.

She cried.


Thanks company. Sorry I’m such a grinch. 🙂

A Hurricane Story from the Yam Pajama Family Annals

4 Apr

Before I get into what I’ve been doing lately, which involves an armadillo, a machete, a bottle of jack daniels specially made for Frank Sinatra’s mobster booze runner and a luxury street legal golf cart (In that order. Get excited.), I want to tell a scary/ridiculous story my mom just told me on the phone. She was telling it because of a really horrifying thing I did last week, which was to separate from my boyfriend, with whom I’ve been having some serious melancholy. It’s nice having my own apartment and all, but also sad, and weird, and a whole lot of other things.

My cat, for instance, is so upset that he is Franken-clawing my curtains. (He also did this to my head.)


 The point of the story–according to my mom–is that things could be worse, although honestly, I think that this sounds pretty fucking awesome, and I wish it were happening to me instead of what is actually happening to me, which fairly blows.

Please read this in the voice of my mom, should you happen to know my mom. If you do not know my mom, any general mom voice will suffice:

“Oh, I didn’t tell you what we found! When we were moving, we have all these boxes from when you and your brother were little. You probably don’t even remember that little Tropicana radio we had.”

[NOTE] Of course I remember this radio– it looks like a giant orange, and the antenna is a straw. It was the radio that we brought to the pool every Saturday from the time I was 6 until I was about 15. Is there anything I’d be more likely to remember?

“There is the best story about that little radio. You remember when Floyd came through Orlando?  You were up at school. [NOTE: having a hurricane party that involved a slip ‘n’ slide] It hit us pretty hard, and your brother, your grandma and I were all hiding out under a mattress in the laundry room at grandma’s house. Grandma was freaking out because her husband had just died–you remember, it was that spring–so we were feeding her wine to keep her calm.

Finally, the eye of the storm passed over and we thought it was over, so we told your grandma it was okay and she should go to bed. She was blotto by then [NOTE: actual term used by my mom], and she believed us. Then your brother and I went out and were so excited that we were dancing in the streets next to the tree branches that were down everywhere… only then the storm started up again, and we went running back in the house like ‘AAAAAHHHH.’  [NOTE: Also actual term used by my mom]

“Finally, we had no power and no water still, but I managed to get your stepdad on the phone, and I told him what had happened, and he was like,

‘Jesus, why didn’t you just watch the weather alert on TV to find out if the storm was over first?!’

And then I was like, ‘Ron, you don’t understand. I don’t know what’s going on! I AM LISTENING TO THE NEWS ON AN ORANGE!'”

[the end]

Which one of you degenerates invented this thing?