Dear everyone: Stop asking me where the ring is. If I knew, it would be on my finger, not in his sock drawer–I mean–wait–what?

Sorry for the lack of blogs lately folks—it’s been a whirlwind of activity at Casa de Goodman between getting an awesome agent for my newest book (which is currently “out for submission”—love it!!!), school starting back up, and, in much sadder news, my grandfather dying.

I considered writing about him, but this is a humor blog (For anyone who may be new to my blog or who may have missed the fact that the entire thing is intended to be funny, that’s what I’m here for—entertainment value only. Most of what I do here is satire, designed to exaggerate and make fun of myself. The narrator of my blog is a caricature, not an accurate representation of me as a person.  I take events from real life and twist them out of proportion to make them funny through hyperbole.), and Grandpa loved nothing better than a good laugh, so I figured the best tribute I could give him was to stick to my normal posts.

(This was referenced in my uncle’s eulogy because my grandfather was, in fact, buried with his five wood.  And Grandpa would have been laughing the hardest of anyone in the room at the reference.)

And there IS something else big going on at Casa de Goodman right now. I’m just not supposed to know about it.

The boyfriend and I are rapidly approaching the one year mark of our relationship. In common parlance, known as an “anniversary.” And while prior to meeting him, I was staunchly in the school of advising everyone to wait before committing to anything, I’ve switched teams and now hit for camp “When it’s right, it’s right.” (Did I mix too many metaphors there? I feel like I’m yelling, “Hit a touchdown!” at a baseball game… oh well…)

Maybe it’s because I’m a little older. Maybe it’s because everyone I see is checking my left hand with unabashed frequency. Maybe it’s because six (yes, count them, SIX) of my Facebook friends currently have profile pictures of themselves kissing their significant other with an engagement ringed-hand in the shot. Or maybe it’s all of my relatives repeatedly asking “So nu ven?” (Which is apparently Yiddish for, “When’s it gonna happen?”.)

But whatever the reason, I’ve turned into the girl I never expected to be. The girl who is absolutely DYING to get engaged.

I still don’t want a real wedding. My dream wedding is still Rabbi Elvis in Vegas with NONE of you invited. But my best friend has vowed to stalk me and bring both my mother and grandmother to Vegas with her if I elope without telling her, and I am fully aware that if my mother and grandmother are not at my wedding, the level of Jewish-guilt/wrath will make the ten plagues look pleasant. So I’ll probably do some version of a real wedding, but that’s not what I’m interested in right now.

Right now, I’ve turned 100 percent into Gollum (but with better hair and makeup… although I may go on his diet plan if my mother plans to force me into a puffy white dress), desiring nothing more than that precious, precious ring.

Which probably wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t happen to know that he already has it. Yes. Sorry, honey, your secret is out.

You see, like all good Jewish girls, my grandma (or bubbe if you will) has a jeweler friend who has been telling me since I was five to go to her when it was time to get engaged. Actually, she’s probably been saying that since before I was five, but I only remember it starting then. I’m picturing her cooing into my cradle, Sleeping Beauty-godmother style, “And when she’s old enough, I’ll give her the gift of a gorgeous diamond at a wholesale price.”

And while my grandmother claims she’s able to keep a secret, with all the hullabaloo surrounding my grandfather being in the hospital, there was no keeping the secret that she and the boyfriend went shopping.

So now, because I know he has it, and because he knows that I know he has it, the boyfriend has begun an active campaign of torturing me. Okay, maybe it’s not an active campaign, but it feels like it. Because whenever I try to get any kind of a hint as to when he’s going to pop the question, the only answer he’ll give me is that he loves giraffes and monkeys that throw poop.

Like he’s started texting me with emojis of monkeys and poop.

Actual text from the boyfriend.  Which I interpret to mean, “Kisses to you, my angry chicken baby, monkeys throw poop and push penguins into volcanoes.”  Perfectly logical in every way.

Which yes, makes me laugh, but I’m not even sure if he’s ACTUALLY saying these things or if my weirdo girl lizard brain has gone completely Gollum-style ring crazy and if I’m just hearing utter gibberish whenever he ISN’T talking about the ring.

It also doesn’t help that there are a very limited amount of hiding places in our apartment, and when I can’t sleep at night (which is a frequent occurrence), I feel like there’s this odd, pulsating, diamond-like object calling to me from his dresser. I won’t get near it, because I know the pull of the One Ring is strong. But I can sense its presence.

And the only thing that he WILL tell me is that he’s planning something special. And I want to let him do this his way and let him make it special.  So I know better than to go looking, and I’m trying not to talk about it too often.

By which I mean that I’ve limited my questions about when we’re getting engaged to three times per hour. Relationships are full of compromises, people!

Lucky for him, my romantic standards are notoriously low. For which we can thank my parents, who got engaged when my mother told my father to “defecate* or get off the pot.”
*”defecate” was not the word that she used.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is the super romantic story of how my parents formed the union that created me. So I’ve warned the boyfriend that as long as I don’t have to use that particular expression, anything at all that he plans will be magical and wonderful and romantic.

Even if it DOES involve monkeys throwing their poop.

Thank you, mom, for instilling me with such low expectations when it comes to romance.

Which means that until he decides to make his move, I’m planning to wait patiently. Okay, as patiently as I can. But at least he knows I’ll say yes.

And for the rest of you, LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE! ASKING ME WHEN HE’S GOING TO DO SOMETHING AND CHECKING MY RING FINGER EVERY THREE SECONDS IS TURNING ME INTO A PSYCHOPATH!

 K thanks!

(And if you still haven’t gotten the message that this is satire and are sitting there reading this thinking, “Oh my God, her poor boyfriend! Why does he put up with that girl?”, you should know that he reads my blogs before I post them, totally gets my sense of humor, and loves me for the crazy weirdo that I am—just like I love him for the crazy weirdo that he is. It’s a match made in crazy weirdo heaven. Which makes sense, since my crazy weirdo mom* and his crazy weirdo aunt* set us up. Crazy weirdo yenta-devised love all around!)

*Neither of you is a crazy weirdo. Please don’t hurt me. I love you guys! ❤

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The NSA wants my cell phone data? Meh. Most of it is on Facebook anyway!

So this whole “the government is going all Big Brother on us” thing is everywhere right now, and I’ve come to an important conclusion about it all.

I don’t really care.

Like I know that, as an American, I should care that my Fourth Amendment rights are potentially being violated. But honestly, I had to Google what the Fourth Amendment even was. And considering that we’re talking about an amendment written so far before the existence of cell phones that it was fifteen whole amendments before women were allowed to vote, I’m not sure that it’s actually being violated here.

In talking to a lot of my friends, I found many of them (except for the extreme righties, who are still protesting the amendment that gave my kind and people of other races the right to vote and who claim creationism is the only thing that should be taught in schools) don’t care either.


But Sara, you freaked out over all of Bush’s Homeland Security stuff! You’re such a hypocrite! You’re only saying this stuff is okay because you support Obama.

Well, you’re right and you’re wrong.

I DO support Obama. I’m the freaking poster child for supporting Obama. I own a sparkly Obama tank top.

And wore said tank top on stage with Bruce Springsteen. Because that’s how I roll.

But there are several key factors that I feel aren’t being addressed here.

For starters, I’ll admit, when the idea of Homeland Security stuff was first introduced, it sounded scary. It felt like the Harold and Kumar 2 version, where the dumbest possible people were going to look for the worst in everyone and we’d all end up with Big Bob in Guantanamo if we even said the word “bomb” within thirty miles of an airport.

Want to know how much my daily life has changed since then?

Not a whole lot. Is it annoying that I have to check my luggage to go anywhere because I’m incapable of packing my toiletries in small enough containers to carry on? Yes. But I don’t travel that often. And if we’re being entirely honest, that is the full extent to which the NSA has overall interfered with the quality of my life.

So with that said, if the government has already been monitoring my phone records without my knowledge and it hasn’t been a problem, I’m fine with them continuing to do so. If they start sending the SWAT team in every time I text my best friend that I’m going to kill my mother (which I would NEVER say, mom, honest! Please don’t hurt me!) then okay, I feel my Fourth Amendment rights are being violated.

But, at least as far as we’re being told, they’re only monitoring who people are contacting, not the content of phone calls or text messages. So the government now knows that my dad calls me every three minutes for approximately nine seconds, that my best friends and I text a lot, and that my mother calls me every single afternoon at the very second that she leaves work/as soon as I start working out. Oooooooh. Seriously important stuff here people!

The truth is though that for law-abiding citizens, cell phone records aren’t exactly super incriminating. Sure, you don’t want your significant other getting ahold of them if you’re cheating. But the government doesn’t care if you cheat. The media does, if you’re famous, but the government practically condones cheating.Hell, so many people in the government itself cheat that they’d probably cover for you, if that’s what you’re worried about!

It’s also worth noting that anyone who thinks they have any privacy, yet uses a smart phone/has a Facebook or other social media account/uses a cell phone at all for that matter, is an idiot. Even if you DON’T walk around in public having excessively loud cell phone conversations about extremely personal matters (which most of us do), it’s super easy for people to hack cell phones. Not me, because A) I don’t have those skills and B) I don’t care, but people who DO care can hear your conversations if they want to regardless of who they are/if they work for the government. And if you’re updating your Facebook with what you ate for dinner every night, you’re broadcasting your every move to the world anyway. Why do you really care if the government knows WHO you’re talking to when you’re putting all that info out there on your own?

And to be totally honest again, even if the government actually WANTS to listen to my conversations and read my text messages, it would be a HUGE waste of their time, but I don’t care that much.

Want to know what they would learn?

Here’s the conversation that my mother and I have every day.

(Phone rings) Me (without even looking at the caller ID): Hi mom.

My mom: (Depressed Eyore voice) Hi Sara.

Me: What’s up?

My mom: Ugh, I’m just leaving work. (Pause) Are you at the gym?

Me: Yup.

My mom: I should go to the gym. But I had such a long day. Blah blah work blah blah feel fat blah blah work blah blah your father blah blah work blah blah blah you’re a horrible person and fail at life blah blah.

Me: I actually had something interesting happen today. I—

My mom: I’m pulling into the garage, gotta go, bye!

Me: Sigh.

EVERY SINGLE DAY. I pity the government agent whose job it is to listen to that EVERY DAY. Really. I do. But if they want to, cool. Good for them.

And if they want to read my text messages, they’ll see a lot of conversations with Ary about the zombie apocalypse (don’t ask), a lot of emoji combinations that are code for “I’m going to jump off a building” and “I super lesbian love you” between me and Darya, messages telling the boyfriend that I’m heading to the gym and asking what he wants for dinner, and ten billion pictures of Rosie. And a bunch of pictures of Rosie pooping, which I send to the boyfriend. Yes, I’m a weirdo. But he laughs every time I send those, so it’s really okay. And he even makes up little songs about her pooping. We really are the perfect couple.

But I’m getting off track. If the government wants to see all that, then yes, they too can see pictures of my dog defecating. In fact, I’m happy to send those pictures to them if they want (I even have a few politicians topping my list of people whom I’d like to send pictures of Rosie pooping to! John Boehner, be ready!) Now if they start coming after me to see if I scoop the poop based on those pictures, I’ll start yelling about my Fourth Amendment rights, but until then, I’m cool.

Yes, I would be much more freaked if we were still in the Bush years. NOT because I’m a diehard Democrat (see pictures above) and being a hypocrite, but because I trust the Obama administration to not misinterpret what they see in my messages. I’m half convinced that the Bush administration went into Iraq over a text acronym that someone intended to mean, “Where’s My Dinner?” or something along those lines. With Obama, at least I’m not worried that an army of NSA SWAT guerrillas will come swinging in through my windows screaming about “Weapons of Terrorist Functions” if I text my best friend and ask her WTF she’s talking about when she starts saying where we should hide when the zombies come for us.

Although, maybe the government SHOULD be reading our conversations. I’d rather be safe than sorry when the zombies DO rise up. Which, according to Ary, is happening any day now.

Which actually concerns me more than Verizon’s cooperation with the government.

My family has class… in very small doses. And will do ANYTHING for dessert!

As I’ve learned over the past couple of weekends, there IS such a thing as too much family time.

 

Okay, I already knew that, and I would usually claim too much family time as anything over five minutes every three months.

But last weekend, we had my mom’s birthday (a dinner) and a Memorial Day barbeque that we tried to combine with the boyfriend’s family’s barbeque (fail—two separate barbeques, one Sunday, one Monday).

Then this past weekend was my grandfather’s birthday, which had to be split into two separate celebrations because of my uncle’s ultra-orthodox (cough believes-Obama-is-a-Muslim-and-everything-else-Fox-News-says cough) wife and children. So there was a (not-kosher) dinner Saturday night, followed by a (super kosher to the point where I wasn’t allowed to bring anything even though my grandmother doesn’t keep a kosher house either and made stuff for it) brunch Sunday morning.

All were mostly legitimate enterprises, and I understand the inherent value in celebrating the extended life of my mother and grandfather, even if I disagree with the fact that it necessitates two separate celebrations.

I can even almost handle how much of my free time it destroyed.

That wasn’t the problem. The problem is that THAT much family time results in the boyfriend having WAY too much overexposure to my family in WAY too short of a time period.

Mom’s birthday was lovely. It was just me, him, and my parents at a nice restaurant. Yes, there was some food sharing, but all preceded by very polite offering of food or asking to try a bite.

The barbeque the next night was a little less civilized, with my grandparents and Rosie now in attendance. My grandmother is notorious about feeding Rosie from the table. I always warn her not to and she always SWEARS she would NEVER feed Rosie ANYTHING without asking my permission first.

Then she gives her anything and everything.

Like the time I left Rosie at Grandma’s house for an hour to run some errands. Grandma had complained about not seeing her “only great-grandchild” frequently enough (we’ll ignore the Jewish guilt inherent in that complaint. If it were up to her, I’d have married a random Jewish guy years ago and have already popped out a small army of babies named after her parents and siblings).

When I came to get Rosie, Grandma informed me that Rosie had been starving. “How do you know?” I asked, eying her untouched food bowl that I had filled before I left her with my grandparents.

“Well, because we were eating steaks and she kept crying for some, so I gave her one.”

“You mean you gave her a PIECE of steak?”

“No,” my grandma said. “I gave her a whole steak. And she ate the whole thing. You clearly don’t feed her enough.”

Not to mention the time I left the table at a family dinner during dessert and walked back a minute later to see my grandmother holding Rosie up so that she could stick her entire face into a container of Cool Whip.

So that barbeque meant that Rosie was in a chicken coma for the rest of the weekend because I’m pretty sure my grandmother fed her AT LEAST double her body weight in chicken.

But okay, the boyfriend wasn’t scared off yet. He loves my grandparents and even played tennis with my dad the following morning. And we had the barbeque with his aunt the next night to balance everything out.

Then came Grandpa’s birthday. It was the boyfriend’s first time meeting a few of the people there, including the uncle who, after shaking my boyfriend’s hand, immediately offered us an old crib he has in his attic. A little premature (and no, I do NOT want a deathtrap crib from the 1960s, thank you). But he handled that with grace and we all sat down to dinner.


 Remember the food fight scene in Hook?

That looked civilized compared to Grandpa’s birthday dinner.

And sadly, it was one of the nicest dinners our family has ever had out. It was a much larger gathering, with aunts, uncles, and cousins of varying ages.

Which consisted of everyone reaching across the table to eat off of everyone else’s plate, my uncle taking the lobster claws off my grandfather’s plate and pinching people with them, then my grandfather still eating the meat out of them, half a crabcake disappearing off of my plate and onto someone else’s while I wasn’t looking, and my mother basically whoring herself out for a bite of Boston cream pie.

I’ve gone to dinner with the boyfriend’s family. The men wore jackets. There were no cell phones at the table. People used the appropriate forks for the appropriate courses. No one wore a lobster bib. There were civilized silences (which I’ll admit, scared the crap out of me. But apparently they like to enjoy their meals in dignity. Who knew that existed?). And no one—NO ONE ate from anyone else’s plate.

At one point, during Saturday night’s dinner, it got so bad that I turned to the boyfriend and asked if he still loved me.

To which he replied, “Yes. But now I see where you get it from.” Which made me feel like a total barbarian. Yes, he’s accused me of “Cookie Monster eating” before—not because I shove food in my mouth at an abnormal speed, but because I lack the coordination to always ensure that food stays on my fork.


(Which, to be fair, we can blame my parents for. Anyone who remembers eating at my house when we were kids remembers the sporks. They got them in the 70s, when apparently anything went, which also applied to multi-functional silverware.)

But I wasn’t like the rest of the family, I argued! Although my case would have been stronger had I not tried to make that argument with a mouth full of half-chewed french fries pilfered off a neighboring plate and a fistful of fried clams stolen from a family friend at the other end of the table in my hand.

I may have also kissed the family friend’s husband on the cheek to taste the Boston cream pie. But that’s neither here nor there.

Like mother like daughter I suppose.

Life lesson from my mom: Jewish women cannot vacuum. And apparently she’s right.

My mother, all-knowing fount of wisdom that she is, has long maintained that Jewish women cannot vacuum.

Now, I’ve always believed that her hypothesis was somewhat along the lines of my hypothesis that Jews do not go to Walmart. In theory, I’m sure some Jews have been to Walmart before, but because I don’t want to go to Walmart ever in my life, I use that as my rationale for not going. My mother has no intention of vacuuming, so I assumed she says that she can’t to avoid it.

But I, on a poor, pitiful teacher’s salary, cannot afford a housekeeper. And my mother, for no reason that I can understand other than sheer meanness, refuses to pay for hers to come clean my house.

So from time to time, I find myself required to break her dictum against our people using that particular household instrument and actually use a device that sucks the dirt off of my carpet. (Which only came after what basically boiled down to my losing a giant game of “Not It!” against the boyfriend to determine who had to vacuum. We’re very mature at Casa De Goodman.)

So, being adaptable, I dusted off the vacuum, brought it into the bedroom, plugged it in, and pushed the power button.


At which point absolutely nothing happened.

Well, that’s not exactly true. The power on that entire wall went out. Both sides. Meaning I no longer had cable, internet, power to either the bedroom or living room tv, my laptop, or any of my other entertainment providing devices. Not good.

But I’ve lived in my apartment for seven-and-a-half years now. I’ve had power issues before with only two resulting fires and one near-death electrocution incident. So I consider myself quite the expert at finding the fuse box and flipping the circuit breakers. But no breakers had tripped. I tried flipping them all anyway. Which meant I had a trembling dog perched on top of my head because Rosie is terrified whenever the power goes out and starts shaking uncontrollably. Then she either needs to find the highest ground she can (ie the top of my head) or hide behind the toilet. Apparently those are the two safest spots to be in an electrical emergency.

But it didn’t fix the problem.

Meaning it was time to call in the pro—my dad. I called him and began explaining the problem, but he cut me off before I could finish. “Wait,” he said. “I thought Jewish women couldn’t vacuum.” 

I sighed and continued, pretending I couldn’t hear my mother in the background yelling, “See? Jewish women CAN’T vacuum! Look what happens when we try!”

“Flip the circuit breakers,” he advised. I told him I had already done that. “Well, then you’re f*****.”

Thanks dad. Really. Thank you. And thank you for then leaving the country for Mexico instead of coming over to help with the problem. Particle astrophysics conference my ass. I think you went on vacation to avoid rewiring my house!

But I digress.

And unfortunately, because my father and I have a good relationship, I don’t have daddy issues. So instead of finding a guy just like my dad, meaning a physicist, the boyfriend is an English nerd like me. And apparently so are my building’s maintenance guys because after doing the exact same thing I’d already done (flipping the circuit breakers), and some head scratching, they told me to call an electrician.

Which, I suppose, is better than what I expected them to do, which was put a giant hole in my wall trying to fix the wiring. I was one-hundred percent convinced I would come home from school on Tuesday to find a gaping vortex in the drywall and no sign of Rosie except the scraping sound of her little gremlin feet inside the walls and a creepy voice saying, “Carol Ann, go into the light!”

So okay, I called the electrician that my maintenance guys recommended. Three days, multiple phone calls and voicemails later, he still hasn’t called me back. My current theory is that he too went to Mexico to avoid fixing my wiring, or else is stuck in someone else’s wall vortex.


But the more pressing issue was that I hadn’t gotten to watch Mad Men from Sunday night yet. And the clock was ticking! If I didn’t watch it soon, I was going to go insane and start killing people.

Not to mention the fact that the maintenance guys made it worse and cut the power to my entire bedroom, so I was stuck without cable, internet, OR lights.

The boyfriend didn’t seem to care. Having spent three years living in his aunt’s cabin in District 12, he’s used to surviving without power or television. And without those basic necessities, I began to realize that Katniss doesn’t volunteer as tribute to save her sister. Oh no. She volunteers for the chance to get the hell out of the boonies and be able to freaking watch Mad Men like a normal person!

Several recommendations later, I placed calls to about six electricians, and the one who called back first and was able to come to my house that afternoon won. He fixed the problem with ease (making me wonder, what the hell am I paying such an exorbitant condo fee for if my maintenance guys can’t figure out something so simple that, had they not scared me about touching the wiring, I could have done myself?), and at minimal cost.

But we had to move some furniture to get to the outlets.

Which is when we found the mouse poop.

Ah, the joys of owning a condo.

But at least I got to watch Mad Men, so all is right with the world.

And I was able to say definitively to the boyfriend, with an abundant amount of evidence and an electrician’s bill to prove it, that Jewish women cannot vacuum, and it is therefore now his job when we clean the apartment.

Which, in the end, was worth the hassle.

But not the mouse poop. Be warned little mousie, I’m investing all of my resources into the war on mouse terror that I’m now launching and I’m far more efficient than the US at destroying terrorist cells in my land!

Game on.

You know District 12 from the Hunger Games? Apparently it’s in Western Maryland. And it’s scary.

Be warned: this will come as a huge shock to everyone who knows me, but I hope that you will all still love and respect me for the person I am, despite what I am about to admit.

Brace yourselves.

I am not an outdoors person.

I know, I know, it seems like I would be between the high heels, manicured nails, twenty-three hours logged in the gym daily (which is tough to do when I also work full time, but I manage!), and general lack of survival skills. But alas, nature and I do not get along.

In fact, nature and I seem to be mortal enemies.

I am the victim of near constant animal attacks (particularly birds. I don’t know why they hate me so much, but they do. Maybe I was a chicken farmer in a past life? No. Definitely not.), would gladly do away with dirt if I could, and, according to YouTube, the quickest way to get rid of me is to present me with an insect.

And of course the boyfriend has a cabin in the woods out in the furthermost reaches of Western Maryland. So far, in fact, that it’s part of Appalachia. Or as it’s called today, Hunger Games District 12.

 
(But not District 11, which seems to be the only district that has black people and is ALSO the first district to start rioting and looting. Then they turn fire hoses on them. AND the dude from District 11 was the first one that the weird dog things went after. Did anyone else notice how insanely racist that was? No? Just me? Well it was.)

And out there, apparently Maryland might as well be West Virginia. Like they were excited when they got a Walmart. Now, I’m not a nature girl, but I’ll go camping Survivor-style before I’ll set foot in a Walmart.

I’ve been to peopleofwalmart.com and that’s as close to seeing the inside of one of those bad boys as I’m prepared to get. And that’s the Walmarts around HERE. I don’t even want to think about what a District 12 Walmart looks like. Oh wait, is that where Katniss goes to trade her squirrel? Probably. But as I neither have a dead squirrel to trade nor need a mockingjay pin, I’m fine with not going there.

But the boyfriend loves it out there. So like a good girlfriend, I too, must learn to love the cabin. Despite the fact that it snowed there two weeks ago. In May. Because District 12 is also the land that Global Warming forgot. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see a plesiosaurus swimming in the lake and have some local say, “Oh that? That’s just Creeky.** She’s a big ol’ fish ‘round these here parts. She won’t hurt ya none, lil missy.”*

*Note: I have no idea if District 12 people actually talk like that. The few locals I’ve met had such unidentifiable accents that “moonshine” was the only word I caught.

**The boyfriend would like you to know that out there, where people “warsh” their clothes, that’s pronounced “Cricky.”  And he claims she’s harmless.

So last weekend, he and I made the trek out to the mountains, crawled under the non-electrified electric fence, and ventured into District 12. The boyfriend got right to work enjoying himself by chopping some firewood.

(No really. His idea of a good time out there is chopping firewood. This is my life now.)

While I sat down, safely indoors, with my laptop to start work on my next book, currently titled “The Great American Novel.” (As I always say, go big or go home!)

Then realized I hadn’t brought my power cord.

Tech savvy genius that I am, I used my phone to search for the nearest place to get a Macbook charger. (Thankfully the cabin does have wifi, because 3G doesn’t exist out there. And 4G? Oh you’re funny!)

At which point, I discovered that the closest place where I could get a charger for a Macbook was LITERALLY MY OWN HOUSE. Seriously. The closest store that sold one was further from the cabin than my house is.  Because District 12 is not Mac friendly.  Maybe THAT’s why they have so much trouble getting a winning tribute.  Just saying.

Houston, we have a big freaking problem.

So working on the novel was out of the question because my handwriting looks like something Michael J. Fox wrote with a vibrating pen while riding a roller coaster. No seriously, it’s that bad. Ask my students. Even though they don’t know who Michael J. Fox is, so don’t ask them that part.  It’ll just confuse them.

And I definitely was NOT about to go help the boyfriend chop firewood. Not my scene.

But I’m adaptable, I can entertain myself. And by entertain myself, I mean read and then spend hours torturing Rosie. Who, like her mommy, thinks the cabin is filled with danger and comes from the Mad-Eye Moody school of protecting herself and me with CONSTANT VIGILANCE! So it’s really fun to jump around corners at her and watch her try unsuccessfully to escape because her little paws slide all over the wooden floors there.

Okay, I’m an evil mother. But Rosie loves it, I swear.

All that running around corners and scaring Rosie meant that I needed a shower though. Which was fine. The boyfriend swears the water up there is better anyway, so I got in the shower. All was well. I shaved my legs. Then the GIGANTIC FREAKING SPIDER that pulled back the shower curtain Psycho-style stuck his eight legs out and asked if I minded shaving those as well.

I, obliging the Psycho-style of the curtain pull, screamed my head off, then refused because I’m pretty sure that the spider’s legs were longer than mine and shaving all eight of them would completely dull my razor blade.

Taking my advice from iconic song lore, I decided to wash the spider down the drain. However, a minor tussle ensued because the water pressure was not quite sufficient enough to force this particular spider down the drain because this spider was not so itsy bitsy and was bigger than the actual drain. It took the boyfriend, his firewood chopping axe, six moonshine-muttering locals, and Creeky herself to sort the situation out because Spidey was not going quietly into that good night.

Apparently, when it comes to my boyfriend, it’s love him, love his cabin.

And that cabin comes with an unkillable shower spider.

But at least it doesn’t snore as loudly as he does, so I’ll learn to deal with it I suppose.

And who knows? Maybe the spider will be selected at the Reaping ceremony to represent District 12 next year. A girl can dream, can’t she?

The new Gatsby movie is my favorite movie of all time! And I haven’t even seen it yet

The big day is finally almost here!

You know, the one that every little girl spends her whole life dreaming about and planning.

No, the Boyfriend didn’t propose (much to my mother and his aunt’s dismay—both are starting to talk about retiring and I’m terrified that the combination of two out-of-work yentas will result in my being forced into a giant white puffy dress and hustled down the aisle. And that’s the BEST case scenario, in which there isn’t a Rosemary’s Baby-style, drugged up impregnation attempt to force me to bear them some grandchildren/great nieces and nephews before I’m ready).

I’m talking, of course, about the release of the new Great Gatsby movie!

Yes, I’m the girl who spends hours fantasizing about how amazing that will be. Who needs a wedding when you have Leo in an F. Scott Fitzgerald masterpiece?

 (Okay, okay, yes my new dream wedding is no longer Rabbi Elvis in Vegas.  Thank you, BuzzFeed. http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/how-to-throw-the-ultimate-great-gatsby-inspired-wedding )

Yes, I’m an English nerd. But that doesn’t change the fact that this is already my favorite movie and it isn’t even out yet.

Why?

Oh, if you have to ask that, you have no idea what you’re missing!

First of all, The Great Gatsby is easily one of the greatest novels ever written. It’s not my ALL-TIME favorite (nothing will ever quite displace Gone With the Wind. It was my first adult novel, my first love, and will always hold that special place in my heart. And yes, it was the theme of my bat mitzvah. English nerds for life, yo!), but it’s easily number two.

It’s just one of those perfect books. Perfect prose. A perfectly tragic story. Perfectly flawed characters. And the most perfect part of all is how well it captures the modern mentality of life today, nearly ninety years after it was written. I would argue that of all the English canon, it is the one that best transcends the gap between when it was written and life today.

 Yes, Romeo and Juliet captures the teenage angst of first love well (and the way too dramatic suicidal tendencies of bratty teenagers who are denied everything their little hearts desire), and Pride and Prejudice aptly portrays the desperation of my mother—I mean A mother—to marry off her aging daughters. (Don’t hurt me mommy, I love you!) But nothing, and I mean nothing, captures the desperate ennui of finding yourself a third of the way through your life with nothing to show for it but a hollow marriage and a desire to recapture the youth that seems to have vanished overnight the way that Gatsby does.

Not to call anybody out, but I look at some of my friends and see the marriage between Tom and Daisy. I see the Jordan Bakers, floating through life without bothering to worry about anyone else. I see the Myrtle Wilsons, thinking that an unavailable man can rescue them, not able to see that he wants nothing more than the physical. And I see the Gatsbys, wanting nothing more than to grasp that green light, only to find that it has no substance to it. And I’ve been those characters at different stages of my life as well. I may not live on Long Island or have money to burn (damn teacher’s salary!), and it may not be prohibition, but I still find myself, each time I reread Gatsby, nodding to myself and thinking, “That’s my life. Right there. That line.” And any novel that can accomplish that NEARLY A CENTURY after its publication amazes me.

But I’m not here to talk about the book.

I’m here to talk about how freaking unbelievably awesome this movie that I haven’t seen yet is.

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Because oh my God, is it going to be great!

First of all, we’ve got Baz Luhrmann. Okay, as a teenager, I thought that his version of Romeo and Juliet was the second coming (first coming? I’m Jewish after all…). There was nothing better until Leo boarded the Titanic. But that same insanely driven over-the-top energy that he poured into Romeo and Juliet and later Moulin Rouge is EXACTLY what the story of Gatsby needs. Gatsby isn’t the cool, filmed-through-gauze world of Robert Redford and Mia Farrow (god how I hate that movie!). No! It’s the lush, colorful flapper days of the Roaring ’20s, and Baz Luhrmann is the filmmaker best prepared to present that story.

Then, of course, there’s Leo. I won’t go into too much drool-inducing detail about why he’ll be so spectacular in the role (mostly because I still want the Boyfriend to take me to see the movie opening night and he already hates Leo because I expressed my belief that Leo and I would have beautiful babies), so I’ll just show you some stills from the movie instead.

I feel that proved my point adequately. Even in Nick Carraway’s initial description of him, he’s described as there being “something gorgeous about him.” Who better to play that part than Leo?

No one, that’s who!

But now, because I still have a week to kill before the movie comes out, it’s time to plan the premiere.

First of all, I need to dress the part. I wanted to go in full flapper regalia, but the Boyfriend refused to dress in a ’20s style suit to match, so I’d look silly. Instead, I’m planning to just wear the flapper style headband with an ostrich feather with my normal clothes. Don’t laugh, I already bought one! But I decided against the cigarette holder (which I already had, from my Holly Golightly Halloween costume. We brunettes need someone OTHER than Dorothy to go as for Halloween you know!) because I don’t smoke and it just looks stupid without a real cigarette in it.

Next, I need to find a really old yellow Rolls Royce to take me to the opening. Yes, I live a block away from the movie theater, but it’s still important to arrive in style!

And finally, it’s set in Prohibition! I need a flask and some hooch!

Just kidding, I’d never drink to watch Gatsby! I want to remember every breathtaking scene. And then I’m going to see it again. And again. Like a boat beating on against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past.

God I can’t wait to see this movie!

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the Boyfriend is snoring… and keeping me awake!

Life, at Casa de Goodman, is good right now.

I’m thin, I’m happy, and I’m cohabitating with a guy who likes folding the laundry, sharing the cooking, emptying the dishwasher, walking my dog when it’s cold out, and organizing the kitchen. Aka all of the stuff that I suck at/would rather jump off a cliff than do. He even thinks I look better without makeup than with it (okay, so his vision clearly sucks, but that’s okay by me!), and for some completely and utterly inexplicable reason, he loves me for the total weirdo that I am.

There’s just one teeny, tiny, itty bitty, little, inconsequential-to-anyone-else-but-potentially-insurmountable-to-me problem.

He snores.

Loudly.

Every night.

And I’m the world’s lightest sleeper/an insomniac on a good night.

Houston, we have a problem.

Especially because no sleep for Sara is the approximate equivalent of no tv and no beer for Homer Simpson.

So, like with all of life’s great problems, I turned to my mother for help. My father is a chronic snorer, and I knew she’d have a solution for me.

Unfortunately, I forgot about Operation Mama Goodman Wants Grandchildren, so her answer was to suck it up and deal with it.

Thanks mom.

Next, I tried talking to the Boyfriend about finding a solution.  He claims he does not snore.  Despite the fact that he snores so loudly that he often wakes HIMSELF up with his snores, then looks at me and says, “Did you hear something?”  At which point, he claims it was our upstairs neighbors, whom I firmly believe are either rolling a boulder Sisyphus-style across the floor every night or else are engaged in the BEST game of Raiders of the Lost Ark EVER.  (If it’s the latter, I so want to go play with them.  If it’s the former, they just need to cut that crap out.)  But that’s never what actually jolts him awake in the middle of the night.  It’s his snoring.

It was time to solve this problem on my own. I already have a white noise machine, but the Boyfriend is louder than that. Actually, he’s louder than the combination of my white noise machine, the white noise app on my phone (used for travel), an oscillating fan, and a rabid platypus giving birth to a full-sized rhinoceros. Which meant that my first solution (earplugs—but the super cute, Holly Golightly-styled tassel ones, dahling) was ineffective.

And, as my best friend constantly reminds me, I look terrible in orange. So plotting his death, while satisfying at 3am when he’s sprawled like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man across the entire bed, with Rosie sleeping on my side in the sliver of space left for me, and snoring louder than the Concord’s sonic booms, is out of the question.

Plus, I’d miss him (albeit not his snoring or bed hogging) if he was gone.

But this is really a safety issue. Not just because I’m even more sleep deprived than usual and am therefore far more statistically likely to fall asleep at the wheel, make soap, start an underground fight club, and/or shop for shoes I don’t need and can’t afford as a form of stress relief. But because when the zombies finally attack, we won’t survive the first night. They’d hear him snoring no matter how well we hid and then Rosie and I would be devoured as well. And that is simply unacceptable.

I read online that snoring is most common when someone sleeps on his back. So even though I’m the world’s least cuddly sleeper, I figured that telling him I wanted to cuddle could fix the problem.

It did not. It just meant that he was snoring directly into my ear.

And apparently he can’t breathe when I put my pillow over his face to muffle the sound. I kind of felt like that was his problem, not mine. But he disagreed, and I wasn’t trying to fight. These are the sacrifices you make for a successful relationship, people.

I contemplated the idea of trying to convince him that a gag would really be a sexy role-playing thing as opposed to a method of forcing nose-breathing, but I don’t want to open that door. No offense to anyone who’s into that stuff, but it’s just not my thing. AT ALL. Let’s blame Pulp Fiction for my aversion to anything along those lines. But when it’s being forced on Marcellus Wallace, I just don’t find it appealing. And neither does Marcellus Wallace.

So I tried gently waking him up when he starts to snore. At which point I was mauled by a wild bear. Or at least that’s what I thought was happening, because he does a pretty good impression of a mauling wild bear when woken unexpectedly mid-snore. Some Bactine and a Tetanus shot later, I won’t be trying that again.


Then I had a Dorothy-with-the-ruby-slippers kind of revelation. I’ve always had the ability to make him stop snoring. I just needed to figure it out for myself.

It was so simple! I have a dog. And that dog has a bark control collar! No, not the shock kind. I couldn’t handle that (on Rosie. It might be funny on the Boyfriend. No, it wouldn’t. But it would be HILARIOUS on someone ELSE’s boyfriend. Note to self—suggest shock collar to someone else who has the same problem). She has the kind that sprays her in the face with water when she barks, which stops the barking, makes me laugh hysterically, and sends her to hide in terror under the bed.

Perfect.

Of course, there are two problems with this solution: I probably still won’t be able to get a good night’s sleep because of the insomnia issue and the Boyfriend definitely won’t be able to get a good night’s sleep due to the being sprayed in the face with water every time he snores issue.

But on the plus side, remember how good Brad Pitt’s abs looked in Fight Club? There are benefits to not being able to sleep I suppose. You’re just not allowed to talk about them.