Thursday, December 30, 2010

Email from Dad, Part 8: New Year's

On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 8:48 PM, Dad wrote:

Hi Sheryl,it's google time.Just read your latest googles.Having me there on Feb.1st is a great idea,I'm looking forward to the event.The talk we had on the phone today,I don't remember you telling me the new cat's name and arrival date.You sounded happy on the phone.Also,what are your plans with your Christmas money? I'm sure you will have good plans.I don't think you should consider the Human Fund for a tax write off.Years ago I would workout on New Years eve to end the year with a workout, then workout again on New Years day to start the year with a workout.Now that I have embraced 21st century technology,my time is limited with all my commitments[Billy,Andy,Rudy,and the list goes on],and prep for the 22nd century of which I have in progress.Have you noticed more and more homes have computers and googling,twizzling,endless information,and just plain convience has been made easy?You can thank me later,it was my pleasure to help mankind in my way.Tell your friends,take some of the credit,it was you who inspired me to this vast level of technology.I would like us to get together.We need to set a place and time.Take care of you,do what you like to do.You work hard,your off time is for you.   Love,Dad
P.S.  This google took a short 25 minutes to complete, with the keys moved and the keyboard on fire from the speed!

  • After 8 months of keeping it from him, I actually gave my Dad my cell phone number this week.
  • I may be getting a new kitten soon, a baby brother for the Professor!
  • Dad told me today he is so advanced with 21st century technology, he is now taking on 22nd century technology!
Oh my god, his emails make me laugh...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

When my Dad first started talking about my Reality Show

Originally posted on myspace, January 10, 2008, but I thought this would give you a nice history of how long my Dad has been hung up on this "reality show" idea for me -

Since my appearance in Allure- my Dad has NOT stopped talking about it. He thinks this is going to be the "start" of something. What? You ask? Well he has it all planned out for me-

A reality show.

About me.

He pitches it to me as "Just cameras following you around for a week- 24 x 7! People will get to see the real Sheryl!"

Well I can tell you what an absolute disappointment that would be right now: I visit Starbucks at least twice a day. I go to the bathroom a lot. I talk to my cats. I spend unhealthy amounts of time looking at myself. I'm on the internet constantly. I text a lot. I answer, out loud, to questions in my head. I work. I shop. I clean. I organize. I count stuff. I obsess. I commute. And I work out (but that's been well documented) and I sleep. Occasionally I have sex. (ed note: that 'occasionally' has dropped to 'never')

That's about it. I swear, it's not nearly as exciting as you might think.

But he has started calling me and leaving me voice mails at work:

"Hello. Ms Sheryl? This is NBC calling and we are interested in you for a reality show. We want the viewers to know what your life is really like! We'll film you for a week straight. It will be called 'A week with Sheryl'. We'll be arranging a meeting with you soon!"

I've had several of these voice mails from "an NBC Executive"...

And when he calls me and gets through, he will actually say "So, have you heard from NBC yet?!" (I assume he picks NBC because he knows how much I love 30 Rock)

But what I didn't realize is that he's been talking to my brother about this. So much so, that my brother actually called me a few nights ago and said-

"I gotta ask you, because Dad keeps mentioning it- are you really going to be on a reality show? Because if so, I want to be on it!"


So put down your Tivo and DVR remotes, kids, there is no new Bitch Cakes programming you need to record...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

5 Years Ago Today - A significant day in my life

5 years ago today I moved to Brooklyn - December 28, 2005. It was one of the scariest decisions I ever made and it was harder on me than I can tell you. 2005 was by far the most difficult year of my life - in April my husband and I decided that our marriage was really over. (He had already moved out the year before.) In May I put my house on the market. By the end of June I was officially divorced.

For months, I had to deal with lawyers & real estate people for the selling of my house and it really took a toll on me. I was so depressed - I ate a lot, drank a lot, gained weight and if that wasn't enough - the stress was so much on me, I actually developed alopecia - losing giant clumps of hair! (My hair! One of the few things I liked about myself!) To make matters more stressful, it took me a really long time to find a place to live - I didn't even see this apartment until the week before Christmas, and I had to be out of the house by New Year's Eve. I really cut it close, but got so lucky. I love my apartment and my neighborhood.

Move day had its own challenges - I had to do the entire thing myself - from the packing to organizing to unpacking and arranging. I was out of shape and exhausted - mentally and physically. I had serious problems with the movers (including them not showing up because they mistakenly cancelled my appointment! and having to demand they send people over because I *had* to be out of my house that day). About 10 hours later, I remember collapsing on my couch when they finally left - only to hear my neighbor's 3 little girls running around and screaming. At the time, I thought "What did I get myself into?!" and wondered if I had made a terrible decision moving here.

This is a blog I put up on Myspace on January 15, 2006 with photos of how my place looked at the time. For the most part, it looks the same, except now it's painted and there have been some small furniture changes. (My notes added today are in RED)

Many of you have asked about my new place. I finally made enough progress to take pics for you. You'll see some boxes & random carts in some of the pics, that will all eventually be gone of course. Anyway, it's a railroad apartment- The place is long, but a little narrow. There is a large room at the front of the house that I use for my bedroom/computer room. Here are pics from there: The yellow dinette is at the very front of the room-

(That's my cat, Booba. She died last year. She was such a bitch! And I loved that table. I 'lent' it to an ex and he destroyed it and I never got it back. Thanks, Matthew!)

Behind the dinette, I have a bamboo room divider so people can't see in from off the street - here is the rest of the room behind the divider -

(Look! It's the Hello Kitty Cruiser! She barely had 5 miles on her at the time! And I no longer have that dresser, I gave it back to my ex-husband and bought my own, the beautiful new big one with mirror I have now)

Here is a full view of the room from the adjoining hall-

and some detail pics of the room-

(I replaced that crappy Ikea dresser with a nice Heywood Wakefield Highboy earlier this year)

The hallway has all sorts of stuff that I haven't figured out what to do with yet, and some things that need to be hung, gotten rid of or put in storage. Whatever is left will be neatly rearranged and put on the black shelves- I bought a red curtain to put up to wrap around the shelves so they are out of view, but I haven't had time to put it up yet. A major job was getting the cleaning closet from Ikea put together and set up yesterday. What a joy that was! I hadn't organized anything in so long, I forgot how much I missed it. Here it is-

Here's the full horror of the hallway-

And then that leads to another large room- I split it into the dining and living rooms. The only closets are in this room. They're floor to ceiling though! And my ceilings are about 10 feet high. Here's they are-

And right next to these closets is the dining room set up-

And in that same large room is the living room-

(this is how the couch looked before Littleton got to it. He's since torn it to shreds)

This is a view of the 2 rooms-

There is an alcove in this room, which was perfect to install the Ikea closet that I use to store my bathroom supplies. This also went up yesterday. Here it is closed -

and open

Then there's a hallway leading to the kitchen, but on the way there is the bathroom, which is super small and hard to photograph, but here it is-

(of course I have an MTA subway map shower curtain now)

And finally, the kitchen-

Ikea didn't have the door for the pantry I bought, so this is obviously still a work in progress too-

(ew, this was when I still drank soda. Not often, but still. Gross!)

So that's the place. I didn't have time to paint and I haven't hung anything yet. (I have a ton of stuff to hang) but that's the layout. I actually felt more 'normal' today than I have in weeks- I did laundry for the first time since moving out and didn't even mind the laundromat. I actually had fun. I also mopped the apartment for the first time because I have more access to the floor after doing all the cabinets yesterday. I only wish that now that things are finally settling down and I will soon have a real routine, that my Smokey was here. It's so unfair. I keep looking over at the bed wishing I would see him there curled up on my pillow like he always was. I had no time for him the last month and now he's gone. God I miss him so much.

(My beloved Smokey died on January 10th, just 12 days after moving in. I adore that cat and I still miss him so much)

(Here is a set of random apartment photos, including what it looks like now. Beautiful paint job and all)

It wasn't the smoothest path to Brooklyn, but I'm so thankful I took that huge leap, and survived it. In the 5 years I've been here so far, my life has changed in so many great ways and I couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now. In fact, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now. And it feels great to say that. I still think moving to Brooklyn was probably the most significant life decision I've made to date. I'm so happy to be here, geographically, and where I am in my life right now. I'm proud to be a resident of NYC who resides in the county of Kings. Thank you, Brooklyn! And thank you, Greenpoint, for being so awesome!

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Awesome Weekend with Shel

Dear Diary,
This story is long overdue, but it must be told! Back in July, my gchat status read: "I have amazing weekend plans with a woman I never met!". And it was true. Here's the back story first...

In early May, I received an email from a woman named Shel. She contacted me after she had been inexplicably looking up 'Tabasco Tattoos'. Of course she came across my blogs as a result, and she wrote to me -
I was looking up Tabasco tattoos and stumbled across your blog. just a quick note (because it seems you have quite the following) to say KUDOS!

great look (before, during and after), great tats, and great blog.

LOVE the pin up look.. not many can carry it off. you. go. grrl.
Amusingly enough, just minutes after sending me that initial note, she found my "anti-tattoo" blog, and wrote back to apologize. 

Now, I get a lot of emails from readers, and can't respond to everyone. But her notes were funny and endearing, so I couldn't help but respond. And this correspondence went on daily for a while as she got caught up on my blogs (all of them, I think!). She would send me her reaction and perspective or asked follow up questions. I always looked forward to hearing from her and getting her take on things.

Then, in late June, she told me she had plans to come to NYC in early July. I felt like I knew her and I insisted we meet. Not only did we meet - but she made real plans for us! And I had what was one of the most fun & memorable weekends of the year with her! This is what we did:

July 1, Thursday night-
I met Shel after getting off the train in my kingdom, Grand Central Terminal. I knew what she looked like already, but upon meeting her, she & her manerisms were pretty much exactly what I imagined her to be like from her email and text banter. She picked me up - literally - (something I kind of encouraged her to do, but still - it's fun! People love to pick me up!) right in front of the information booth/clock in the main hall. Good times!

From there, I escorted her down Lexington Ave to her friend's place. But since we were early, we stopped for a beer and chatted some more. It was like having a drink with an old friend.

July 2, Friday night-
After work, Shel and I got Thai food from my favorite Thai place in my neighborhood and I got all dolled up for a very special event - we were going to a bar called "Milk and Honey" on the LES of Manhattan. I never even heard of this place, but somehow she found it! Turns out this is a 'members only' bar that occasionally allows mere mortals like myself and Shel to visit. It's the kind of thing that I would be far too intimidated to even consider doing. But not Shel! She wrote to them, explained our situation and asked if we could patronize their establishment. In fact, I have to share what she wrote because it's hilarious -
I am going to be in NYC this weekend and was looking/asking around for *the* best place to take my friend (aka. tour guide) for an amazing time and perfect drinks.  I heard your establishment mentioned over and over again.

After looking on the website I see you have to be a member, unless you have a reservation.  Can you fill me in on the requirements for possibly getting a non-membership reservation? And what that might entail?  I don't know anyone, have a ton of money or drive a fancy car; so I'm hoping those aren't requirements.  If the possibility of a reservation is based more on eclectic/diverse clientele then we'd win.  My "date" is 24/7 1940's style pin-up girl, who cruises NYC on her pink bicycle in full dress and heels and I'm a nice old school butch dyke who rides a Harley.
OMG how hilarious!!!!

I am not sure if it's because it was a holiday weekend (NYC is a ghost-town on holiday weekends) or because of how charming her email was, but they accepted! We were granted an appointment! (That's right, you get an appointment to visit this bar).

I made her take the subway, the J Train, showing her how beautiful NYC is from the Williamsburg Bridge and pointing out "my bridges" (the Brooklyn & Manhattan) as the train carried us over the East River to our destination. We got off at Essex St -


Shel & Me

And since we were early for our 'appointment', we stopped in a bar on Allen for a quick pre-drink drink. I had my favorite, Hoegaarden, which I proceeded to drink in 3 large sips/gulps. (Seriously. I knocked back a pint of beer in 3 gulps. I am not sure if I'm proud or horrified... but this is one of Shel's favorite moments of the weekend, me in full hair, makeup, dress & heels downing that drink!)

Oh Hoegaarden, I love you so!

And then it was over to the (shhhhh!) secret door...

Entering Milk & Honey

We entered and were seated by the same woman who accepted our email request.

I have no pics of us in the establishment since it was dark and I didn't want to cause any attention that would get us thrown out, but of course I took a photo in the bathroom -

Bathroom @ Milk & Honey

Our waitress was a petite brunette with a sexy raspy voice. She explained that they suggest cocktails based on our preferences and asked what we like/were in the mood for. I was dying for something ginger-y all day. And told her I also love lemon/tart flavors. She offered up the "Dark & Stormy" - a cocktail that included real ginger (I don't remember what else was in it - gin perhaps?). I'm not kidding when I tell you it was the BEST cocktail I ever had in my life. It was topped with a piece of real candied ginger, too! I loved it and ordered another :)

We hung out there for a while, enjoying our beverages, conversation and the surreal excitement of it all, eventually taking the J Train back to Brooklyn.

Saturday, July 3rd:
On Saturday, Shel came back to Greenpoint and I actually went out for lunch! We had sushi in my neighborhood. Yum and yum!

Sushi time

mmm Vegetable Rolls

And then I had the fun of playing dress up again because we had more super fun plans on Saturday night - Shel was taking me on a sunset cruise around Manhattan!!! I even had a chance to drive - a car! - for the first time in over a year! Shel let me drive from Brooklyn to the West Side of Manhattan where we had to board the yacht. Sometimes I really miss driving. The thrill of cutting people off, beeping, giving the finger and cursing like the crazy bitch I am. It really gets my blood flowing! %$#^@& I love it!

Since we arrived early, we wandered around for a bit. I couldn't resist taking this photo (and I love the reaction of the couple sitting behind me!)

Look at the people on my left! haha!

We even had time for a pre-yacht drink! Here I am, showing off my boarding pass-

a beer before boarding

Look how beautiful this boat is!

Interior of yacht

Throw me in a beautiful dress, put me in good company, and slap a glass of alcohol in my hand and just look at that smile!

Shel cut off my feet :(

What a spectacularly beautiful night for a cruise around Manhattan!!!

When Shel asked me about going on a cruise with her (I hate boats & water) I told her I would do it under one condition - if we could get a photo of us, with our arms entwined, holding our glasses of champagne. She was good enough to oblige! (and even better enough to give me her glass after the photo - turns out she doesn't like champagne!)

I told Shel I'd go on this cruise if we could get this pic. She obliged.

I love this city!!!


And just look at my bridges! The beautiful Brooklyn -

Brooklyn Bridge

And the majestic Manhattan -

Manhattan Bridge

Aw, look how cute we are!!!

We made it all the way to the Statue of Liberty. How stunning is that? Seriously? Every time I look at her, I try to imagine my Great Grandfather coming from Italy circa 1914 and seeing her for the first time. I can't even imagine the range of emotions and thoughts going on in his teenage mind. How incredible to think about though -


I love you, Lady Liberty!

the Statue of Liberty

Here are a few more shots from that cruise -

Statue of Liberty & Staten Island Ferry

the Statue of Liberty

Me & Shel

What do you know? It's me, in a bathroom!

so predictable...

Me & Shel

The Empire State Building was illuminated in red white and blue for the 4th of July holiday -

When the boat returned, it was dark, but the night was still young! We went back to Greenpoint and hit up Enid's for a few more cocktails. Of course I had to photograph myself in that bathroom too (I always look great in there, I need to figure out their lighting situation and get some of that for my apartment...)

in the bathroom @ Enid's

Sunday July 4th:
Sunday was the 4th of July. I went for a big bike ride and I wanted to get Shel a gift to let her know how much I appreciated her visit and all the fun we had, so part of that bike ride was a trip over to Astor Wine & Liquor in Manhattan, where I bought her a bottle of Absolut Peppar. It's her favorite, and something she can't seem to get where she lives. Then I rode my bike to her hotel in Brooklyn to deliver it. But I hadn't rode my bike the day before and had a lot biking I wanted to do - so I rode all over Brooklyn and eventually went back to Manhattan again, so I could stop on the West Side and catch the Macy's firework display.

Later that evening, I met up with Shel and we went over to Park Slope to hang out with a few of her friends at a bar. Naturally, when I went to the bathroom, they talked about me. And apparently, the butch community seems to agree that I come across very "femme" (Shel had to explain all of this stuff to me. I didn't know it or understand it before and I'm not sure I fully understand it now). This surprised me - am I so feminine that I don't come across straight? I never even considered that! I just really love being a woman, and all the fun, girly things that entails! Now, don't get me wrong, I love being doted upon by members of either sex, but I do have an insatiable craving for men. However, if butches appreciate my 'femme' look, I'm totally fine with that! Thank you ladies! Keep the compliments coming!

Monday, July 5th:
Sadly, all good things must come to an end and this was Shel's last day. She had to return to her normal life and drive back home. :(

Shel, this was, by far, one of the most fun weekends I ever had. In fact, the time we spent together was way better than most dates I've been on. I love that you 'get' me and that you're so easy going (and let me just be myself). I hope you get to come back to NYC soon. I'd love to hang out with you again! And what's up with Biker Chicz? Is that show gonna happen, or what? I want to see you on the TV!

(My entire set of photos can be seen here)