She’s Come Undone (Pillow Talk)

I’ve been falling apart over the last couple of weeks.

I’m not sure whether it’s the refugee lifestyle, the lack of husband, the commute, the SKRUG, the lack of embassy networking events in Philadelphia, the GRE test looming on my calendar when I don’t even remember what the formula for a circle arc is, or the fact that this is what I see when I leave work (yes, antlers and the nose. the nose.):

Mainly, I think it’s the pillows.

When Mr. B isn’t around, I’m used to sleeping on two pillows (and with a spoon). Thus it has been since God created the Earth or second grade, whichever came first.   However, his joyous arrival last Wednesday night for the four-day Thanksgiving holiday resulted in a  razkulachivanye of my pillows, meaning I was down to one for four days in a row.

I can deal with a lot of indignities.

But I cannot deal with sleeping on one pillow.

“Can you move over so that our pillows overlap and I can at least pretend like I have two pillows,” I whispered lovingly to Mr. B in the dark.  But, alas, among the many gifts that God bestwoed upon Mr. B in his infinite wisdom, one of them is that he doesn’t wake the hell up for ANYTHING (he has once slept through a fire alarm.)  I poked him several times, but to no avail.

The next day I woke up feeling a bit procrustean, but no big deal.  I figured I could stretch out and all would be ok.  When I stretched to the right, I heard an enormous crack, not unlike the bursting of a dam, and then, I couldn’t turn my head to the right  without experiencing pain on the lower right side of my neck.

I tried again and panicked.

I poked Mr. B again.  “Wake up, I think I’m going to die.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t much cause for alarm since I usually wake him up this way.

“Do you have a cold,” he said, rubbing his eyes without the slightest sense of emergency.

“No, I’m falling apart at the seams.  I think I have tetanus.  That’s the one where your muscles freeze up after you step on something, right?  I think I stepped on an almond in the kitchen yesterday. I can’t turn my head to the right. I think I sprained something.  Or tetanus.  Or lockjaw. ”

“Let me try,” he said, and twisted my head.

“OW,” I said, because it really did hurt.

“So don’t turn your head that way,” Dr. Boykis advised.

“This happened because you took my pillow.  I can’t sleep on less than two,” I angrily confronted him.   “Or maybe because I sit in traffic almost three hours a day,” I mused to myself.

Or maybe an autoimmune disease,” my subconscious gently murmured.

Mr. B shrugged and went back to sleep. Living with a hypochondriac has made him soft.

Although when he was sleeping, I took his pillow.  Because you never know.

By the way: no, there’s no way in hell I’m googling my neck problem in case Dr. WebMD is there to tell me I have  early onset dementia.  At this point, I’m  just hoping it kind of goes away on its own if I ignore it, kind of  like the Gulf Oil spill. And by ignore it I mean touch it and try to massage my neck every five minutes. If you don’t hear from me over the next week, it means they had to remove my neck.

P.S. Ok, I just googled it.  It’s definitely fibromyalgia. Or just neck tension. OR BOTH.


Friday Links


Because I am fat and lazy and it’s post-Thanksgiving, we’re going to try some freestyle today, in the writing style of The Awl and the Hairpin.

I can’t believe this show exists:

I think this article is full of whine but I’m too lazy to write about why I think the author is really reaching and makes some wrong analogies and interprets some statistical findings incorrectly and uses journalistic hyperbole as linkbait.

Were you agonizing over what to get me for Hannukah or nondenominational New Year or the Orthodox Christmas?  Agonize no longer.

Haters gonna hate Nicki Minaj and feminists will try to see a feminism that isn’t there but I do enjoy the dress.

I am not embarrassed to admit that I’ve loved Subliminal since I heard him the first time on a 10:35 PM flight from Warsaw to Tel Aviv and had no clue what he was singing but I knew it was Hebrew rap so it must be awesome. Also he has a song where the chorus is, “Hip hop b’ivrit, it’s amazing.”

Are affluents really $100,000 and up? And do they really wear monocles?

Where can I get my hands on a copy of Hickey’s Bengal Gazette?

Where are these textbooks and can I get some along with the halucinogen sample that comes with them?

Do you love being cheap at TJMaxx as much as I do? You will love this sneak peek. Before I thought what they did was they had elves that made the clothes at subsidized prices.

This video is fantastic and it blew my mind, namely because of the switch-a-roo situation, but also because WHEN HAVE YOU EVER SEEN FILIPINOS AND SRI LANKANS TALKING TO EACH OTHER IN LEBANESE ARABIC?

There is economics in everything (evil laughter.)

Sexytimes in 1580something (surprisingly safe for work and/or English PhDs.)

But…but..but Thomas Friedman!



The Worst/Best Thanksgiving Poem Ever

Art from Julia Rothman.

Thanksgiving – a strictly American meal
With apples to cobbler and squashes to peel
With green beans and pudding and  fancy red wines
With unpronounceable things like aubergines

Thanksgiving done thus is a Russian kid’s dream
But in floats holodetz,  and you want to scream.
Instead of  the stuffing and biscuts and pie
Surprise! It’s oliviye and you want to cry.

What’s that on the plate?! Is it penne ala vodka??
Oh no, God forbid, it’s selyodka.
And how about a nice filled-with-olives platter?
Nope! Just some chicken liver, dripping with batter.

You’d think eating your own ethnic food is rewarding,
But a girl can only take so much vodkaboarding.
So this year, she’s taking control of the reins.
She’s cooking ALL side dishes, right down to le pain.

She’s making some beans with some cute yellow rice
She’s making some dishes with more than one spice
She’s making some corn and potatoes-WITH FLAIR
There might even be a NUTELLA ECLAIR.

And yet, as she gathers her garam masala
She knows with a heavy heart what will follow.
As she takes tumeric, tofu, and brownies to bake
The women will ask, ” What the hell did you make??”

“Where is our sheika and borscht and our life?”
“Tofu for a man?? Are you really a wife??”
“Where’s the meat, the boiled cabbage, the damn pirozhki?”
“Bring back the food, or you’re off to Luzhki. ”

And, because the best defense’s offense,
She’ll come back to them, “Oh elders, why so intense?”
“Poor little old me is without my man-
He’s as far away as at least Pakistan
I have not a house, I have not a home
I have not a pot, nor even a bone.
It’s not that I want to deprive you of  crap-I mean-food
It’s just that right now I can’t do it so good.
Please come to my house next year-I will host!
There’ll be sheika and bliny and even a toast
A toast to you ladies-you fabulous dames
Without whom Thanksgiving would not be the same
But for now please accept my humble (tofu) pie*
Do you want your favorite daughter/niece/cousin to cry? ”

They’ll look at her and munch quietly, forgiving.
And that’s how Jew guilt, every time, wins Thanksgiving.

The author of this poem is thankful for everything, despite the facts coming across differently on her kvetchblog. Here’s hoping you have a safe and happy holiday and if you are outside of the United States, a nice Thursday. And pray for me and my cooking “skills.”

*I am not actually making a tofu pie.


I Got 99 Problems but Naming a Puppy Ain’t One (Yet)

Here in the Philadelphia branch of the Boykis household, we love PUPPIES.  We love dogs.  So much so that some of us even tried to have a dog research service when we were 8 by checking out dog breed books from the library and pestering our parents to ask us questions so we could research a breed.

We never pass up the opportunity to play with, pet, or kiss dogs, we still miss our sweet collie, Babe,  that died after our sophomore year of college,  and we would someday like a dog of our own once the merger with the Washington branch is complete.  If  the Washington branch lets us have a dog. We promise we will take care of it and walk it at 5 in the morning. We’re already awake anyway.

Lately, the Philadelphia branch has become rather unproductive because we’ve been watching this video at least five times a day. Life is so unfair.  It seems like I, I mean the Philadelphia branch,  have to oppress a whole country in order to get a cuddly puppy of my own. I’m thinking the Bulgarians gave him the puppy so he wouldn’t invade Bulgaria.   Russians even had the chance to democratically name the puplet (original Russian here)!

My vote is for Grechka (buckwheat) because he looks kind of like buckwheat or, if that doesn’t work, Stop Voting  for Bullshit and Start Letting People Vote for Things That Actually Matter .