An Open Letter to the Girl Who Brought an Extension Cord to the Audition

Originally posted on Blogspot 4/27/18

Look at you.  Just look at you.  With your jewel-toned dress and black pumps and full make-up.  It’s not even 7:30am.

But it’s good that you’re ready.  You’ll be the first to sing today.  You’re probably one of the first five on the list.  Maybe you even know every one of the first five.  Maybe they’re your friends.  Maybe one of them started the list at 4am when their bartending shift let out and they signed you guys up so you could sleep an extra half an hour.  

I’m not bitter.  I’d do the same thing if I had five friends.  

Instead I crashed on my uncle’s couch on 69th street in sweatpants and a Hedwig t-shirt, rolled outta bed thirty minutes ago, tucked my hair into this cloche hat and said “eh.  Good enough for the gal who’s about to be number 162 in line.”

My roommate recently told me that these kinds of hats were called cloche hats and now I like to say “cloche hat” whenever possible because it makes me feel like Blair Waldorf.

But I’ll bet you already knew what a cloche hat was.

Ahhh, I see you’re reading “Eat, Pray, Love.”  I’m not judging, I think it’s great.  I mean I never read it myself, but Julia Roberts was in the movie and she doesn’t star in just anything.  I loved her in “Wonder.”  I saw “Wonder” in theaters with my mom and my Aunt Martha and I cried like a baby. #girlsnightout #wonder #kleenex #juliaroberts 

Yes, better see if that flat iron is hot yet.  It’s a Chi, they warm up pretty fast.  I got a Chi for Christmas once, but then two weeks later my hair fell out so I didn’t get much use out of it.  Isn’t it ironic?  (Don’t ya think?)

Ugh love Alanis Morissette.  Did you hear about Jagged Little Pill: the Musical?  Who am I kidding.  Of course you did.  You’re up to date on your Playbill.com news.  You’re you!

Yes, girl, plug in that iPhone.  It’s about to be a long three hours and I want you to get full use out of that extension cord.  In fact, I hope you brought a crockpot.

Guess what? 

I don’t really know what a crockpot is.  

People talk about making things in their crockpots all the time and I just smile and nod and go “ohh yeah crockpots, love it,” but what I’m really thinking is “sweet baby Jesus I love Celeste microwave pizzas they’re 99 cents and I love running my index finger around the perimeter of the pizza and licking the excess cheese off in a manner that’s more sexual than necessary.”

One time my mom said “Jesse I need you to turn the crockpot on at 4 o’clock.”  So I turned it on at 4:17 when I remembered.  

Oh, you don’t need a crockpot.  You brought Shakeology.  I drank Shakeology that time I did the 21 day fix for nine days.  But today I just brought this Nutella and dipping sticks pack because I recently discovered them at Duane reade and said “where have you been all my li-i-i-ife” a la Rihanna. 

Are you on the 21 day fix?  If so, what are you trying to fix?  I really want to know.  I’m curious about a lot of things, which, truly, is at the heart of this letter.  Try to sift through the sarcasm and useless anecdotes and see what’s really going on here:  I’m obsessed with you.

I’m in awe.

I have so many questions, not the least pressing being WHAT ARE YOU SINGING TODAY!?  Is it “You’ve Got Possibilities”?  Is it “Vanilla Ice Cream”?  I’ll bet it’s “You’ve Got Possibilities” or “Vanilla Ice Cream.”  You strike me as the “You’ve Got Possibilities” or “Vanilla Ice Cream” kind of gal.  

Do you work at Lululemon?  Is that how you can afford that gym bag full of Lululemon?   Do you like working at Lululemon?  I’ve heard it’s a great place to work and they do the cha cha slide at team meetings.  

Do you sleep?

Do you eat gluten?

Do you like Survivor?

Are you EMC?

How do crockpots work!?

Can we be friends?

Teach me your ways!!!

And also can I plug my phone into your extension cord?

Xoxo,

Cloche Hat (Blair Waldorf)

Why I Made My Dog Poop in the Dark: A Reflection for a New Year

Originally posted on Blogspot 1/4/18

My year ended with a dog fight.

Do not be deterred by my use of the term “dog fight”.  If you please, take note of the space between the two words and understand that by dog fight, I do not mean “dogfight.”  As in Michael Vick style dogfighting.  I am merely referring to a rather heated fight I had with my dog.

A dog fight, if you will.

A dog fight that taught me a lot about life…  

Okay, it didn’t actually teach me that much about life.  But regardless…I digress.  

The fight in question took place in the wee hours of December 24th, 2017.  The dog is Paulie Bleeker, an almost-nine-year-old maltese who is beginning to feel the effects of doggy aging and is handling it just about as gracefully as Gary Busey.  He needs assistance getting up and down off couches and beds now, and is not super pumped about needing all this help.  Therefore in his older age, Bleeker will quite often, and quite literally bite the hand that feeds him.  

I promise he is not vicious.  I choose to describe him as crotchety, a word I find is under-used in the English language.  May we all make a better effort to use the word crotchety on a basis more fitting of it’s worthiness.

On December 24th, Bleeker was feeling particularly crotchety.  Like.  “Clint-Eastwood-Gran-Torino-Get-Off-My-Lawn” crotchety.  We had both fallen asleep on the couch, and at approximately 12:20am, I decided to go to bed.  Bleeker, I knew, would need to do his biz one more time, and then would need some assistance getting his crotchety ass into bed.  So I called his name and nudged his body with my foot, initiating the growly, grumpy, waking up process he has grown accustomed to and after a moment he sat up, seemingly ready to move on with his life…

So I went in for it.  I bent over him to kiss the top of his head and pat his butt like I always do to get him moving toward the door…but alas…he had not recovered from his abrupt awakening, and proceeded to chomp down on my upper lip.

Needless to say, we were immediately in a fight.  
What transpired next was a series of dramatic tactics I employed in an attempt to convey my anger and hurt feelings to a dog/hurt his feelings in return/make him feel bad for me and grovel at my feet for forgiveness.

My first instinct was to drop kick him into the neighbors yard and cut him out of my life completely and forever.

But, as I said, this is not dogfighting, this is dog fighting.

Which meant Mean Girls-style manipulation and backstabbing–and I was full of fury and ready to deliver.  Nobody was safe from my wrath/over-dramatic tendencies.

After cussing for approximately 13.5 seconds, I felt the tears and the blood begin to flow out of my face.

Yes, I thought.  He is going to feel so bad for making me cry and it is just too bad because he can’t take back what he did.  He’s going to be so sorry that he’ll–I was completely unsure of my end game.  I wasn’t sure how precisely I wanted him to make it up to me. Tell me how much he regrets it?  Apologize profusely?  Make me live forever?

I had not settled on an answer when I found myself deep in the throes of my next tactic.

With a grand flourish, I flung myself off of the couch and onto the living room floor, rocking back forth, hands covering my face, still crying as loudly as I could without waking anyone.

CRY LOUDER BITCH.  SOB!  SOB BETTER. USE YOUR SHOULDERS MORE. DON’T WAKE ANYONE UP OR THEY WILL LAUGH AT YOU.

I curled up in the fetal position, and alternated between moaning and shouting profanities.  When I realized that my face was staining the carpet with blood, I decided it was a good time to check my progress.  Hands still covering my face (both for dramatic effect and for blood drip management), I peeked through my fingers to see if my dog felt bad for me yet.

He was sitting up now, head cocked to one side.  Amused.

Amused is not wracked with guilt and begging to be let back into my good graces.

This was not to my satisfaction.  

Just as abruptly as I’d hurled my body onto the living room floor, I stood up and loomed over him, wiping my sleeve across my deformed mouth, realizing too late that I was wearing my white Spice Girls sweatshirt (now lovingly referred to as the Spice Girls Blood Hoody).

“YOU COULD HAVE RUINED MY FACE! I MAY NEVER HAVE A SEXY POUT AGAIN!  DO YOU EVEN CARE???”

He did not.

Which brought me to tactic number three.  

“OUT. SIDE. NOW.  Let’s go!”  

He trotted merrily to the sliding glass door.  I flicked on the backyard light and threw open the door, careful to add lots of huffy breathing and angry flare.  Arms crossed, peering through the glass, I realized that I was not achieving anything via this tactic, as it had always been my intention for the dog to go outside…

…In a sudden stroke of genius, I flung the door open again and shouted into the peaceful winter morning, “SHIT IN THE DARK, DICK!”

I slammed the backyard light switch down and rested my forehead against the door, satisfied momentarily with this punishment.

With Bleeker presumably pooping in the dark, I had a moment to gather my thoughts.  I crept into the bathroom, wincing at my mangled face in the mirror.

“OH MY GOD IM SO UGLY!”  I cried over the sink.  “I’M UGLY AND IT’S CHRISTMAS!”

My mouth was swollen to about 5 notches above Kylie Jenner status and there was blood in my teeth from the inside of my lip.

So here I was: deformed, bloody, and puffy…and my best attempt at revenge was to make this dog poop in the dark.

I thought through all my remaining “I’m so mad at you and want you to know it” ideas…I would ignore him.  I won’t even talk to him tomorrow!  He won’t have one of his best friends ON CHRISTMAS! I won’t even look at him ON CHRISTMAS!  

I flipped on the light to find Bleeker leg upturned, mid-squirt.  PEEING AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED.  AS IF HE HAD NOT SERIOUSLY HURT MY FEELINGS AND MADE ME UGLY TEN MINUTES BEFORE.

And then it hit me.  The true magnitude of what was going on:  people the world over were bent in prayer to celebrate the birth of a man who would be crucified and die for the sins of the world…and I was trying to Regina George my dog.  A dog who would listen silently to my crying, watch curiously as I performed a Shakespearian death on my living room floor, and poop in dark without giving it a second thought.

Which brought me, finally, to tactic number 4: wake up mom and cry/bleed all over her.

Later, as I lay in bed, I considered what I had learned from this experience, besides not to kiss my dog so quickly after waking him up.  I thought about how much energy I had put into trying to emotionally punish an animal.  And, let me tell ya…it just wasn’t worth it…

And so maybe no revenge is worth it…maybe now, whenever I’m angry with someone, I will just pretend they are my Gary Busey Clint Eastwood Gran Torino Crotchity Old Man-Dog and just try not to give a f**k.

Happy 2018
@itsmy_pardee (instagram)

A Very Brief Essay on Peanut Allergies and Cocaine

Originally posted on Blogspot 10/9/17

I recently asked a homeless man on the A train if he had a peanut allergy before offering him the rest of an entire container of dark chocolate covered peanuts.

Which seems like a very courteous thing to do.  

And I am nothing if not courteous.

But apparently it is a stupid question to ask a person who is begging for food on the A train.  Because apparently, as it turns out, a person who is begging for food on the A train just wants to eat some food.  Hives be damned.

Several people were kind enough to help enlighten me on this issue.  For example, a man beside me wearing flip flops (MAN FLOPS, if you will–a detail I would be remiss not to include) treated me to some grade A side-eye underneath the uni-brow he had clearly tried (and failed) to trim earlier that day.  And if there is one thing I hate more than man flops and haphazardly trimmed uni-brows, it’s side-eye.  

Side-eye is passive aggressive.  I, Jesse P, promise you that if I ever have the urge to give you side-eye, I will do you the courtesy of just BLATANTLY GIVING YOU A DIRTY LOOK.

Because I am nothing if not courteous.

The second indicator was an audible laugh from somewhere in the peanut gallery (GET IT?  DO YOU GET WHY IT’S SO FUNNY THAT I SAID PEANUT GALLERY?)

And you know what?  I can take a lot.  I get a lot of smirks on the A train.  A short white blonde with an uneven bob and giant pink sunglasses is bound to stand out a little bit in Washington Heights.  But don’t laugh at me and my peanuts.  That’s uncalled for and it is certainly not courteous…

The third indicator was the look on the face of the homeless man himself.  

And okay, folks, I get it.  Blondie may have come across as a naïve little Priss whose mommy cut the crusts off her sandwiches (SHE DIDN’T—CAROLYN), and has clearly never been so hungry that she’s had to ask for food on the A train (although the peanuts in question were my dinner).

But you know what?  What if he DID have a peanut allergy?  And by trying to help him, I KILLED HIM?  

Yes, I am aware that he could probably read the label.  But as a FOOD SERVICE PROFESSIONAL it is my JOB to ask about allergies and sometimes it just comes out…and it IS possible that he couldn’t read (in all fairness, one could argue that I, myself, cannot read, as earlier that day when I tried one of the dark chocolate covered peanuts in question, I thought to myself this dark chocolate covered raisin tastes funny…)  

I don’t know!  I don’t know this man’s life!  All I know is I was trying to be nice.  Genuinely.  Not just because I feel guilty about my hatred of the man who wants money for holding the door open at the 183rd street station and gets mad at me for just opening a different door for myself.  (Courteous of him, you may be thinking?  No, no.  This doesn’t count.  This man wants to ruin me).

No.  I thought to myself…I don’t need this container of dark chocolate covered peanuts that were supposed to be raisins.  Man flops and the peanut gallery are just ignoring him, and on many occasions I do the ignoring as well, but today I have something and goddammit, I NEED TO MAKE SURE HE DOESN’T HAVE A PEANUT ALLERGY.

An insignificant sacrifice, I’m aware…  

A day in the life, folks.  A day in the life.  I don’t know that I really have a point to this one.  Is it to give the homeless what you can and hope they read the labels???  Or maybe we should take food allergies more seriously???  Don’t wear man flops??? Carefully groom your uni-brow???

I’m just rolling with the punches here.

We’ll go with that.  

ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES, my friends:

One minute you’re trying to help, and the next a homeless man sasses you about how of course he’s not allergic to peanuts! and snatches your dark-chocolate-covered-peanuts-dinner out of your hand.  

One minute you think you have dark chocolate covered raisins and they are really just dark chocolate covered peanuts and you are illiterate.  

One minute a guy wearing MAN FLOPS is giving you side eye, and the next a rich Chuck Bass-type wants to do cocaine off you, but doesn’t offer you any.

I would’ve politely declined the cocaine, of course.  But it would’ve been nice to be asked.  It would’ve been courteous.

And I am nothing if not courteous.

Fin.








**PS.  Recently have been getting new messages and feedback from cancer survivors just discovering “Confessions of a Disgruntled Twenty-Something Cancer Survivor”.  THANK YOU for your kind words.  I hope you’ll continue to check out my writing here…and I’ll try not to wait four months before posting again.  I am forever grateful to people who read and enjoy my (weird) writing!

Instagram: @itsmy_pardee

I Refused to Title This Post

Originally posted on Blogspot 6/13/17

I am a lazy shit.

But that is beside the point.  

And I’m not going to cuss like a son-of-a in this new blog because I am such a lady now.

Hi, I’m Jess and I used to write a popular blog about my super special-interesting-swell cancer and I used to swear a lot in said blog and bold things like this when I wanted to emphasize something or be really dramatic so you would pay attention and say, “Wow!  She is adamant about this part!”  

Run-on sentences were also a thing I did, and will probably do more of.  <—–I am also a firm believer in ending sentences with prepositions, and I also believe that by telling you in advance that I believe in ending sentences with prepositions, it makes it okay that I’m ending sentences with prepositions.  It’s what I believe in.  (SEE!  See how I ended the section about prepositions with a PREPOSITION!)

I am also under the distinct impression that I am very funny and witty. 

But you can be the judge of that.  Just don’t tell me to my face because I am also very neurotic, and a simple critique like “Jess, you are not as funny as you think you are!”  or “your joke about the use of prepositions was both pretentious and NOT witty at the same time” could result in a massive dissection and deconstruction of the very person that I am and there is not enough Effexor in the world to cover that.

Effexor is the drug that I take for anxiety/depression.  Remember what I said about the super special/something-or-other cancer?  Well, as you can probably imagine, cancer produces a lot of anxiety and it can also be very, very depressing as it makes people very, very sick and sad and kills a bunch of folks.  I also have OCD.  Which I had before the cancer.  So yeah, medicine.  Medicine is a thing I take.  I take 3 of those lil pills every day and it makes me very tired (if this were my old blog I would’ve used the “F” word in place of the word “very” in the previous sentence.  But like I said I’m a classy lady now so I don’t swear).  These lil pills contribute in part to my laziness, which was literally where we began but not at all where we ended up.

Okay, so I’m lazy because I’ve been meaning to write again for quite some time but it just seemed like it was this whole thing.  Like, for one thing I would need a good reason to write a blog.  Like CANCER! Cancer was a super great reason to write a blog and cancer is a good reason and excuse for just about everything.  Even 8 years after the fact.  People just don’t know enough about cancer and don’t want to pry and ask questions about it so I can use cancer as an excuse for pretty much anything and no one  bats an eye.  But writing about cancer every week got to be pretty depressing, and I also came to realize that I wasn’t writing that blog for myself.  I was writing it based on what I thought people would want to hear about in regards to my life with an illness that most of us only know affecting little kids or grown adults.

Yes, the main reason I put off writing for so long was because I thought NO ONE CARES JESSE NO ONE WANTS TO READ YOUR LIL ITALIAN FRENCH-FRY BLOG ABOUT YOUR LIFE UNLESS YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THINGS THEY DON’T KNOW ABOUT AND WANT TO KNOW.  YOU CAN’T COOK!  YOU CAN’T DO A COOKING BLOG!  YOU DON’T KNOW A SPECIAL SKILL THAT YOU CAN WRITE ABOUT AND SHARE WITH OTHERS!

(I sometimes write in all caps).

Some of the other reasons I was putting off writing a new blog:
*I would have to actually create a new blog and choose a domain, and should I find another one?  Or just be lazy and keep using blogger?  (You see how that ended)
*Templates are hard, and right now the template I chose has a picture of a cat on it and the cat is not even cute.  So.  That’s something ELSE I have to tackle now.
*I have to tell everyone I wrote another blog, and that means being self-indulgent and asking you to pay attention to me.

SO WHY SHOULD YOU WRITE A BLOG AGAIN!?!

Well.  I started realizing as of late that the blog should be for my benefit, with the hopes that others read it and enjoy it and if you don’t FUCK OFF.  (That is LITERALLY the only time.  I promise).

But I’m also a PROFOUNDLY DIFFERENT PERSON THAN I WAS WHEN WRITING JESSEISDISGRUNTLED!  

PROFOUNDLY>>>>>>>>

I’m a blonde now!  Like platinum blonde now and it’s all due to that ever-so-cliché fact that I’m semi-recently out a relationship that I was in for four years and had to change up my life in a dramatic way to prove “oh, yeaahhh girlfriend you’ve moved on!”  #basic

And yes.  To everyone who read my cancer blog, I am not with the long-time boyfriend that I used to write about.  

I would say I’m a pretty different person from the girl who wrote that blog.  I’m a delicate flower of a woman now, let me tell YOU!  I am currently sitting on my bed wearing a blue maxi-skirt and a neon green tank top that I deemed acceptable to wear to the bodega where I picked up a diet coke and a bag of Boom-Chicka-Pop and that’s all I’ve accomplished so far today.  SO FAR.  (A note on Boom-Chicka-Pop:  I was so against this popcorn for so long because of the name.  I didn’t want to ever have to say it out loud, and I hated hearing other people say it out loud because it is so, so embarrassing to say and I would become embarrassed for whomever said it. But the sweet and salty popcorn is any woman’s wet dream, okay? My roommate and I can kill an entire bag in less than a day).  
         I’m listening to “Say It Right” by Nelly Furtado.  On repeat.  Like I’ve listened to it about 12 times now and I don’t know why.  I’m drinking out of cup that LOOKS like a red plastic solo cup but it’s not!  Its a real life cup!  That you put in the dishwasher!  This is so funny to me!  The things we come up with these days!  Because who has the money to buy red solo cups anymore?  To keep replenishing your red solo cup supply? Not me!  Yesterday my seven year-old cousin called me on the phone and asked me if I was rich and how many dollars I have and I shed a single tear in the bathroom of the restaurant where I work.  

I am an elegant being.

So yeah, I’m gonna write when I feel like it and post it and you should read it because I sometimes think that I’m the only person who thinks the way I do.  But maybe you also think the way I do.  Maybe you also think that because a whole bunch of flies got into your first floor apartment when the temperature dropped last week that one laid eggs in your mouth in the middle of the night because you’re a mouth-breather and now you have a family of larvae in your intestines.  Maybe we could talk about that sometime.  Together.

All the Best,