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When Three Become Two

6 Aug

Why would you write "Moving Day" on a box?

Molly is moving out. She’s obtained access to a completely furnished luxury apartment on the Upper East Side and has decided to go live there for free. Personally, I don’t know why you’d want to live in a Park Avenue building with a doorman rent free when you can pay thousands of dollars a year to live in Harlem with two roommates and a dog, especially when said apartment sometimes doesn’t have any gas for months. To each her own, I guess.

This means that Mazall and I need to find a replacement roommate. But living with someone is a big decision. Are they friendly? Do they keep the apartment clean? Will they murder you in your sleep? Maz and I have been reaching out to friends and coworkers to see if they know anyone who needs a place to stay, but we may have to (gulp) seek a stranger on Craigslist. To facilitate the process, I have come up with a list of qualities that our new roommate should possess:




Likes dogs

Is funny

Is pretty

But not so pretty that we feel ugly

Likes Anchorman

Owns Mad Men on DVD

Can teach me how to do the Single Ladies dance

Either has really nice furniture that’s better than ours so we can upgrade OR

Has no furniture so we don’t have to make room for anything tacky

Is currently or has been a professional chef

Also a make-up artist

And masseuse

Owns a yacht

Owns one of those miniature horses that are the size of dogs

(The miniature horse cannot be named Molly)

Belongs to a Wine of the Month club

Has a large wardrobe of stylish clothes that fit me (preferably designer)

Has free airline tickets to Paris and no one to use them

Is friends with Kanye


Is of an interesting religion or ethnicity so that we can sound cool when we say things like “Oh, my roommate the Zoroastrian?”

Is Banksy


This Week in Janice: March Madness

26 Mar

Ohio State vs. Kentucky: Two schools I don't care about

Last week, my mom called me while Paul Newman* and I were watching basketball.  We talked for a few minutes and then I told her that I had to go because I didn’t want to leave Paul Newman alone, lest he start raiding my pantry and making things into salad dressing. “Okay, have fun” she told me, “And tell Paul Newman that if he needs help picking teams for his March Madness bracket, I can help him out. When I was in college, my boyfriend and his friends liked to bet on football games and they’d always get upset at me because I didn’t know anything about sports but I somehow always picked the winning team. I’m really good at predicting outcomes.”
“Oh, really?” I said to my mom. “Then how about you pick the winners of the Sweet 16?”  She agreed.

So here are Janice’s predictions of the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament.  Schools in bold are the schools that she chose to win. When she emailed her predictions to me, she titled the email: “As Mr. Sheen says, WINNING!!!”

1.    Ohio State University vs.  University of Kentucky

Actual Outcome:  Kentucky.  Janice gets one right. Also, Claire’s bracket is screwed.

2. Marquette University vs. University North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Actual Outcome: UNC.  Wrong.

3. Duke University vs. University of Arizona

Actual Outcome: Arizona. Janice is 2 for 3.

4. University of Connecticut vs. San Diego State University

Actual Outcome: UConn.

5. University of Kansas vs. Richmond University
Janice didn’t pick this one.  “I CANNOT DECIDE BETWEEN KU AND RU,” she wrote instead.

Actual Outcome: Kansas. My mom asked about this game later and I told her who won. “I don’t know why I couldn’t decide,” she said. “I bet it was a close game and that’s why. I just couldn’t tell.” Kansas won by 20 points.

6. Virginia Commonwealth University vs. Florida State University

Actual Outcome: VCU. Nice one, mom.

7. Butler University vs. University of Wisconsin

Actual Outcome: Butler


8. Brigham Young University vs. University of Florida

Actual Outcome: Florida.

Four out of seven (with one abstaining vote) is a pretty good record.

Before posting this, I called my mom to ask her to choose the Elite 8.  She said she couldn’t do it verbally and I had to send her the match-ups in an email.  When I told her that she’d gotten most of the Sweet 16 correct, she wasn’t surprised. “Insight runs in our family,” she said. “You just think of the two teams and then suddenly you can decide which one wins. But if you focus too hard you won’t pick it up. It just disappears like smoke.”

“Uh, Mom?” I said. “You realize that you’re basically claiming to be psychic?”

“I’m not psychic,” she said “I just have insight. It’s part of our Polish heritage, from our great grandmother who was a peasant.”

So there you have it. Polish peasants make excellent March Madness brackets.

*Name has been changed to protect the semi-innocent. It has been changed to Paul Newman because, well, he was hot.

This Week in Janice: Cheating the System

1 Feb

This is an actual email exchange between mother and daughter that occurred moments ago. It began when Janice sent me an email urging me to sign up for some sort of free wedding contest.

From: Janice

Subj: Enter to Win Crate & Barrel’s $100,000 Wedding Contest

Getting married or know someone who’s engaged?

$100,000 Ultimate Wedding contest
Crate and Barrel is throwing one lucky couple the wedding of their dreams, designed by celebrity wedding planner Yifat Oren.

Continue reading

This Week in Janice: Austrian Adventures

25 Dec


Merry Christmas! While you’ve been roasting your chestnuts by the fire, Claire and Janice have been trouncing around Vienna, having conversations such as:

Complaining that a restaurant won’t let her smoke indoors…
Janice: Nicotine is an addiction. But it’s a legal addiction. And yet they make up all these rules about when and how I can be addicted, and when I can practice my addiction. No other legal activity is like that.
Claire: Well, actually—
Janice: It’s not like I’m asking to take my clothes off and roll around having sex naked in public or anything.

Coming back in from a cigarette break outside….
Janice: I was looking at the buildings here and I don’t see any window units. I don’t know if they have good air conditioning here. Maybe that’s why you don’t hear about people flocking to Austria in the summer.
Claire: I think they do flock here in the summer. I think it’s just a smaller city so it’s relative. I think it’s a big destination for Europeans. Maybe Americans, if they’re going to go through the trouble of coming over here, are going to go to Paris instead.
Janice: Well, I’ve already been to Paris.
Claire: But not everybody has.
Janice: Britney Spears has.
Claire: ….Yes, probably.
Janice: I didn’t realize how close in age she was to you. It’s time for you to become friends. I’ll write her, maybe the three of us can go to Vienna together.
Claire: Uh. Okay.

While watching a Swiss television program in which everyone is disarmingly beautiful…
Janice: Why don’t I ship you over to Switzerland and you can marry a nice Swiss boy.
Claire: Only if he has a bank account.
Janice: Oh, well that’s a given.

While watching a Russian television program in which everyone is, well, not…

Janice: Why are the Russian girls so beautiful while the Russian men look like pigs? Look at the ears on those guys.

While in an art museum…
Janice: Are you reading the descriptions next to the art? You can learn a lot from those. I always read them.
Claire: I am! I try to read every single one, but often times I lose patience or my feet get tired.
Janice: I remember this one museum I was in….I think it was in Amsterdam? Or maybe Rome? Maybe Paris. Florence? I’m not sure. Anyway, there was all this artwork by….some guy. And the descriptions were explaining how you can tell if the artwork by that guy, or by a different guy. And I read so many of them that I finally started to understand what they were talking about, and now I’m an expert.
Claire: In art by someone whose name you don’t know.
Janice: Not a clue.
Claire: And you don’t remember what the trick to detecting his work was.
Janice: Nope!
Claire: Or the museum in which his paintings can be seen.
Janice: Nope!
Claire: So you’re not really an expert then.
Janice: Am too. I’m just a forgetful one.

Inserted randomly into a dinner conversation….
Janice: I wish I could be a hooker who didn’t have sex. Men could just pay me money and I could make them feel good about themselves by telling them how smart they are. But it probably doesn’t work that way, huh? I probably have to have sex.
Claire: MOM!!!!

During a different dinner conversation…
Janice: Stick with me, kid and I’ll take you to Vienna. This is your homeland!
Claire: But we’re Polish.

After touring the Sisi Museum, dedicated to Austria’s Empress Elisabeth, who was an anorexic, a compulsive exerciser, and who refused to be photographed after she hit 30 because she believed her youth had faded. She spent two hours doing her hair every day and may or may not have had an affair with a Hungarian count. She slept with a raw meat mask on her face and lived off of raw meat juice and ice cream. She was ultimately murdered by an anarchist.
Janice: ….I don’t know. She didn’t seem that crazy to me.

This Week in Janice: The International Edition

21 Dec

Guten tag, dear blog readers—oh wait. We have no blog readers anymore. Molly and I haven’t blogged on this Internet weblogging contraption for months. That’s because she works all the time (those morning television segments aren’t going to write themselves, you know) and I’m lazy. But all of that will change now that I’m on vacation with Janice. We’re in Vienna. It’s cold and beautiful and full of signs I can’t read and words I can’t pronounce.

Wien ist im Winter kalt

Janice and I have only been here for one day. We spent much of that day sleeping off our jetlag, so we haven’t done much yet. We looked at a butterfly garden (indoors), went to a Christmas market (outdoors), and drank punsch (also outdoors). Some strange young man on the street took my picture. Also, everyone assumes I speak German. Janice says it’s cause I look worldly, but I think it’s because I’m pale.

Traveling with Janice

In the New York City taxi, on the way to the airport
Janice: I’m going to have a patdown when I get to the airport. I had a patdown in Chicago and it was fine. She didn’t even touch anything interesting.

Cab driver: (laughing) you say the most interesting things…

Janice: It’s true! When I go to the doctor to get a checkup I get a much better pat down. This was almost disappointing.


At the airport, after it takes us two hours to get through the security line, only to have them threaten to take my mom’s carry-on suitcase away because it’s too big and doesn’t fit on the airplane
Janice: That’s okay, I have a plan. I’ll just tell them I’m a little old lady and I need my bag because it contains all my medication.
Claire: I don’t think they care about that. If it doesn’t fit on the plane, it doesn’t fit.
Janice: Ah. Then I move into Phase 2 and tell them I’m a crazy old lady who loves nothing more than hiring lawyers.

In Vienna, while traveling from the airport to the hotel

Claire: How do you say ‘Thank You’ in German?
Janice: Uh…..Gracias?

While discussing our opinion on Austrian food

Claire: Those chocolates are pretty but I don’t like mazipan so I probably wouldn’t eat them.
Janice: Really? I assumed you’d like marzipan. You like beets.
Claire: That doesn’t make any sense.
Janice: Grandma liked beets and she also liked marzipan, so I assumed you just liked the same foods she liked.
Claire: ….that still doesn’t—eh, nevermind.

At dinner at a fancy sushi restaurant. Why eat sushi in Austria, you ask? Because the restaurant is on the top floor of a building that looks out onto this

God lives in a fancy house

Basically, we went for the view. Also, the food was delicious and all of the other people there were locals.
Claire: (ordering) I’ll have the 6 piece sashimi…
Janice: You know raw fish can have worms in them, don’t you?


Anndd…that’s it. Jetlag is back so I’m going to end this and sleep for hours.



Annual List of Incredible Halloween Ideas

14 Oct

As I say every year (read: last year), this is my version of philanthropy.  It’s all I’ve got and, hey, it caused me to surface on this blog again. So really, stop complaining.

1.  Antoine Dodson

2.  Rachel Maddow

3.  Oil-Soaked Pelican

4.  Ke$ha

5.  Faisal Shahzad

6. Katy Perry and Elmo Continue reading

This Week in Janice: John Cleese and Twitter

13 Sep

John Cleese. Formerly Cool.

Claire’s Note: Just one email. Sent today. It was so good I had to post it immediately.

Subj:  tweet tweet twitter

for my b day, I wanna Twitter account with a little picture/icon of sth. cute and a fake name. Can U set 1 up for me? Or not? I need pre-approval please.

Hey, wouldn’t it be great if Bill Murray AND John Cleese were in a movie together- something about Weird granddads? They are both sparsely white haired these days. And Cleese is only pulling 3, 000 hits on “you  tube” for some of his stuff.I watched his “house tour” this weekend—sad. THE MAN HAS CATS !!!  I was going to ask you kids to go online each day and look at his stuff just to get his viewership #s up—the poor man is poor-3 ex-wives, 1 super thin teen daughter, no prenups !!! Help the less fortunate!!! You know you love them both. Take care, Love, Mom (Finally found a “charity” I CAN SUPPORT: Restore Dignity to the Formerly Cool)