Wednesday, January 30, 2008


“Ooh, but I still smell her. [Inhales deeply through nose] Women! What can you say? Who made 'em? God must have been a fuckin' genius. The hair... They say the hair is everything, you know. Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls... just wanted to go to sleep forever?” - Scent of a Woman

I know each aroma that emanates from my husband and believe it or not, I love every one of them – particularly the scent of his shoulders as my eyes flutter and I curl up against him in those waking moments before the dawn. I love the softness of his breath; the mild sour of his sweat; the apple of his pomade; the sand of his soles; the subtle, entrancing spice of his neck. Whether freshly groomed or leisurely shaggy, he always radiates a hypnotic wonder that paralyzes me. We make for interesting cavies in the study of romantic chemistry.

As I lie next to my husband ingesting his sweetness, or inhale what lingers on his pillow when he is gone, I sometimes find myself considering the importance of aromatic compounds to the success of a relationship. We have been known to writhe in laughter at each other’s unpleasant stories of the fetid clam hatchery and the dime-store musk of former flames. What exactly is it about one person’s hygienic habits that are so repulsive to the first lover, but so palatable to the next? After all that contemplation, all I am left to comprehend is that, whatever olfactory god blessed my husband's glands, he has ruined me for other men.

Monday, January 28, 2008

January's Book of Jessica

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

I have opted out of the book clubs to which I used to belong because I no longer have the leisure of finishing books on a dictated schedule. However, I absolutely love to read (a curse of my premature literacy at age four) and do so as often as my life-balance permits. I envy with virtual seething drool the number of hardbacks Namaste plows through and thus, I have made a new resolution to read, in one year, at least one sixth of what I presume Namaste consumes [excluding her students’ writing and her requisite PhD literature]. In other words, I am attempting to savour one novel per month. I intend to use my blog as a forum to discuss briefly the impressions I develop from my periodic verbal ingestion. My independent book club, if you will.

This month’s fare: a fast-paced, pop fiction best seller from an author known for her deeply emotional exploration of difficult issues. She is the sole writer to have evoked in me a weep-out-loud-for-five-minutes sentiment when I read her acclaimed “My Sister’s Keeper”. Unfortunately with this novel, she failed to reach the heights I have grown to expect. The characters were genuine and unguarded; impossible not to pity. Her descriptions, as always, were magnificent and robust. The problem with this novel was in the storyline; a plot that was both tired and exaggerated, just like a Matthew McConaughey film [A Time To Kill, anyone?]. Despite its hurried gait, the plot twists were strangely roll-your-eyes unbelievable. Halfway through the book I considered shelving it entirely. I was disappointed that she revisited the concept of infidelity with the enduring, lovelorn BFF – a theme that consistently bores me. If not for the vacillatingly virtuous husband and the angelic, victimized son I might have considered the novel a valuable time despoiler. The read was simply bourgeois and my expectations far exceeded the vanilla I was fed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Everyone has a vice; something on which too large a reasonable percentage of one’s income is spent. My vice is travel (and expensive wine; but for the sake of this post we will assume my zest for pricy blends is commensurate with my penchant for world exploration). This is the reason I do not own designer handbags, nor are my appendages adorned with a multitude of Tiffany’s baubles. I’d rather spend my hard-earned salary on airfare. That’s why I keep my Myspace calendar updated, so my friends don’t have to play the “Where’s Jessica” game. I’m hardly ever home.

This week, it’s Vail, Colorado; where I spent the day bulleting through knee deep powder moguls on the back bowls of the mountain. On the last quad-lift of the day preceding my last run, as the wind bit at the air pocket beneath my goggles and the sun illuminated the bleach of the snow-capped trees, I seriously said a prayer of thanks. I realize this manic voyaging is not sustainable; but for now, I give in unreservedly to my vice because…I can.



Thursday, January 17, 2008

Are You There God? It's Me, Jessica.

Interesting that when I’m the most tired, I can’t fall asleep. My thoughts are as flippant and circular as the dryer currently spinning the last of my [formerly moth ball smelling] ski clothes. As the dust of my excitement settles and the certainty of my lease termination taunts me, I battle my nagging doubts solo, in what feels like a hotel bed. This is something I will have to get used to – spending multiple evenings separated from my husband’s thermal affection. I have a million fateful reasons to relocate, but the advocate devil perched atop my ear is fighting logic with claws bared. And, in the midst of this life-altering decision crux, I am headed to Colorado to escape. There is a message here somewhere: a sign, an admonition, a reassurance? Alas, a cryptologist I am not. Instead, I await the 4:30am alarm and wonder (with that same angst-y paranoia I have unwilling inherited from my superstitious grandmother) what is going to become of me when I leap deliberately from the security of my nest…

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's Time

It appears that I am on the verge of embarking upon [at least what I consider to be] ground-breaking adaptation and there is a huge piece of my psyche that is petrified. One might find it surprising that fierce, confident, fearless Jessica has a hesitancy about change running deep enough that I won’t even upgrade my eons-old (as far as technology is concerned) 4GB iPod. I had no qualms about jumping out of a plane from 14,000 feet or swimming to the floor of the ocean; these exhilarating adventures simply salt and cayenne pepper the average day. But my spirit is bound on a rack of diametrical opposition. On one extreme I am dauntless; on the other extreme I am as bashful as a deer. In 8-plus years I have lived in the same city and worked for the same company. Of course, I have met extraordinary success in doing so; but now, when change is looming, I realize my stability is also the manifestation of my aversion to risk.

The change to which I’m referring is a relocation to Las Vegas. Oddly enough, my husband just left that city a year ago to immerse himself in the fast-track corporate Bunsen burner that is the East Coast [and, of course, me]. So, why go back? Why now? Both questions have been the source of some lengthy, personal, contemplative heart-to-hearts, of which I will spare you all the details. Just know that this is not a whimsical choice.

I’m deliriously excited but timorous; enthusiastic but cautious; intrepid but apprehensive; a vertical, ambulatory paradox. Our decision will be finalized within a week...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Married Fat

I have gone and done the one thing I warn all women not to do when they snuggle into the comfort of monogamous love: I became momentarily complacent with my weight. Granted, I am not the only participant in my twosome who has packed on a [few] extra pounds of body fat. We are both a mere Chipotle burrito away from hitting what we jokingly agreed would be our respective ‘divorce-appropriate’ mass. This is not a laughing matter. I am a healthy, sexy, energetic and athletic woman who has never known a muffin top. So, in lieu of discussing my gluttony any further, I am heading to the gym. This is not a New Year's Resolution. This is a lifestyle...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Banging My Head Against Your Grammar

Even the best of us have off days. I’m in the midst of writing six MBA application recommendations for one of my former super star consultants who is applying to the top MBA programs in the nation. As such, I am mortified to admit that I used the non-word “impactful” in his Harvard recommendation. Although not nearly as egregious as the pitiful business grammar I witness on a daily basis, I sincerely hope he is not given demerits for having a slang-infested review attached to his application.

That being said, I have to vent. The following bullet points list some of the grammatical errors I've spotted this week that have driven me to brink of bonker-dom (yes, I realize that is not a word). If I can rescue even one person from grammatical ghetto-fabulosity (yes, I realize that too is not a word) with this blog post I’ll be content.

  • If you post a picture of yourself, what should the caption read? The answer is “me” or some variation thereof (e.g. “this is me” or “picture of me doing X”). So why then, when people post pictures of themselves with friends or significant others, do they caption the photo “Boyfriend and I”? Does the addition of another entity in a picture warrant a change in the subject? Would you ever say “I and boyfriend”? Exactly. You cannot use "I" without a corresponding verb. Captions like those make me want to poke knives into my eyeballs.
  • I absolutely loathe the incorrect matching of pronoun to subject. I have already commented on Fergie’s blatant misuse. A singular subject requires a singular pronoun, period. When referring to a distinct person, you must use “his or her” not “their”. A doctor does not treat “their” patient; a doctor treats his patient. A child does not miss “their” blanket; a child misses her blanket.
  • On a similar note, I groan audibly when I notice writers slaughtering the pronouns “who” (referring to people) and “that” (referring to groups or things). You cannot say “people that” it’s just plain wrong. You would never say something as silly as “baseball tickets who”, so why would you use the word “that” when referring to your brethren? It’s “people who”, thank you very much.
  • In addition, for the love of God, when will people stop referring to a company as “they” or “their”? McDonald’s does not sell a lot of “their” Big Macs. McDonald’s sells a lot of "its" Big Macs. Seriously people, did we grow up in a jungle? If you insist upon using “their” when referring to the achievements of a corporation then please insert a human entity into the sentence. “McDonald’s managers sell a lot of their Big Macs” would be correct.
  • Keep your punctuation inside your "quotes," unless otherwise directed by Arjewtino. Thanks.

I do not have perfect grammar (please comment on any flaws you might spot in my posts), but it’s pretty damn solid compared to the atrocities I read in the average correspondence (whether blog or business deliverable, 90% of you are killing me with your grade school errors!). My advice: read a few more books or newspapers instead of browsing the internet so much. At least then you’ll realize that “impactful” is not a legitimate word…

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Winds of Change

For what I will euphemistically coin ‘logistical error,’ I was not able to welcome the New Year with a midnight kiss until 5 minutes after the hour. That moment when you just want to melt into your lover’s arms and drown out the horns and blinking lights in a beautiful, lip-locked pause was train-wrecked by commotion, Grey Goose and the Backstreet Boys (literally). It took multiple minutes for my husband to find me from across the balcony and summon my hormonal self into his arms. The sluice gates of my tear ducts trembled as he gripped my shoulder and reminded me, through tender speech, that I am the most important thing in his universe. His words were as sincere and fervent as he’s ever uttered. The rest of the evening was a chaotic mess of broken Patron glasses; obnoxiously flirtatious old men; smeared mascara; sloppy PDA; misplaced keys; dueling black jack losses; bitter, windy cab lines; and charred snacks – like the din of a B-horror flick on fast forward. 2008 was thrust upon me in the most tumultuous of unscripted impromptu [aside: I am going to leave that tautology in the text simply because I like how it sounds]. For most, such a night would be discarded as unromantic; perhaps even disastrous. However, despite my enduring guilt for having been situated across the bar from my husband at the most fundamental of social-norm ‘together’ times, the genuine love that radiated from his 12:05am words and consoling bear hugs will remain imprinted on my soul in a way no other midnight peck on the lips ever would.

I do not believe in karma so much as coincidence. Regardless, assuming there is meaning behind the happenstance of our ridiculous New Year's outing, 2008 is going to bring spontaneous movement away from the comfort of my status quo, but be overflowing with the most intense, bona fide love I have ever known.* In doing everything traditionally wrong, my sweetheart and I found our own perfect way to say hello to the winds of wonder that breezed so wildly through our New Year’s door.

*Reference cliché: "I love you more today than I did yesterday, but not as much as I will tomorrow."