Inside Christmas: Exclusive elf journal entries

What you are about to read is highly classified information directly from the North Pole. I can’t say much about how and why I came into possession of these items but I can say they were sent by real Christmas elves. They just got internet and feel a need for the world to hear their voices and know there are thinking, feeling beings behind all the Christmas magic we feel each year.

I’ll share the first few entries they’ve sent then more when I get them. They’ve declined to send actual pictures of themselves so I’ve opted to show you an elderly gnome. They’re the southern cousins of elves. They have however sent some photos of landmarks important to them.

An elderly gnome

Leafhoppers: Workshop stuffer, 800 years old, comes from a long line of expert stuffers, proud to be where she is

Today was a doozy! I guess Santa was in a mood which made Jingles extra micromanagey. He came up to my station 5 times in one hour to check my work! I mean, I’ve been stuffing teddy bears for 600 years! PERFECTLY! I’m seriously thinking of complaining directly to Mrs. Clause but then I’d be that elf! Nobody likes a complainer. Especially in Santa’s village. I swear, one of these days I’m just going to LOSE IT!

Jingles: Workshop Manager, 2,000 years old, met the Easter bunny once, didn’t like him

Santa was a real Easter bunny today. Didn’t laugh once! Not once! I did everything I could to stay away from him. I don’t like that kind of negativity. It affects me really really badly. My ears start tingling, my nose starts twitching. It’s embarrassing! It takes me right back to the academy. My instructor was so demanding and serious, he’d allow himself only one half of a cookie at cookie time! That’s not healthy! I would twitch and tingle and he started calling me “Twingle”! Right back there today!

The Great Meeting hall at the Elf management academy

PebbleBrooke, Worksop sweeper, 300 years old, enjoys making snow balls in his spare time

I love my life, I love my life, I love my life! I got to hand out the cookies today!! Everyone loves the elf that hands out the cookies! Plus, the cookie hander is picked by Mrs. Clause herself! MRS. CLAUSE!!!!! Out of all of us in the workshop, she chose ME! I did a really good job too! At the end, I held the tray with one hand and gave out the cookies with the other! All the elves clapped when I did that! Great day!!

PebbleBrookes childhood summer home down south

Leafhoppers

I can’t believe it! On my way home from work, I saw Apples and Pears at the chocolate shop. We started talking and it turns out Jingles was all over them too! Apples said she saw Santa NOT SMILE at him! I’ve literally never seen Santa not smile! I wonder what’s going on? Pears thinks it has something to do with the box on his desk at the workshop. She said he’s always looking at it and it has a board in front of it with buttons on it. Not the kind for sewing. He never smiles at it. I think she’s right! Tomorrow, I’m going to take the long way to the hot cocoa machine on my mid morning break and peek in.

Leafhoppers’ favorite feather tree.

Jingles

Can’t sleep. I had my bedtime candy cane and normally I just pass out but not tonight. I think it’s because some of the elves are mad at me. I saw Leafhoppers, Apples and Pears talking at the chocolate shop. They stopped the minute I walked in and all pretended they were doing something else. Yeah right! I know the elves don’t like it that I check on their work but that’s my job! I’m the one that has to answer to the Clauses! Apples and Pears? Fine. But Leafhoppers!? I couldn’t handle it and I ran out crying! At least I wasn’t “twingling”! Oh, boy. Don’t think I’m getting much sleep tonight!

PebbleBrooke

I made 600 snow balls when I got home. I made a snow ball wall. I hid behind it and jumped out at Leafhoppers when she passed by. We laughed about it then we had a snowball fight! Leafhoppers is the best, most prettiest elf EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More to come soon!

How To Get Rid of Roaches for Good!

Carl T. Roach R.I.P. 3/20-4/20

Cockroaches are the scourge of the earth. They were here long before us and will be here long after we’re gone. They can adapt to anything but they definitely hate certain things.

Living in roach-infested NYC in some pretty shitty apartments, I’ve battled many roaches. Through trial and error and a lot of research I finally found a way to get rid of them for good. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Know Your Enemy

The early cockroach dates back to the Carboniferous period in the Paleozoic era. We’re talking over 360 million years ago. Before the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

An etching of plant life during this period.

This period looks beautiful and you might be thinking, I’d like to take a time machine back there and have a look around, but keep in mind the living critters of the time were much, much bigger. Giant spiders and dragon flies with wing spans reaching 30 inches long!

Cockroaches are of the order Blattodia, the same order as termites. Their social structures are different – termites live in colonies with a caste system like ants and bees, while cockroaches are more individualized mother fuckers yet they do recognize kin. They tend to live in very large, disgusting groups, sometimes into the millions. Don’t think about that for too long. Like termites, they follow scent trails left by other roaches. This is why constant wipe downs of surfaces, especially kitchen and bathroom, are a must.

Cockroaches forage for food and water at night. They are most active for four hours after lights out. Don’t think leaving your lights on all the time will deter them though, they just adapt and think they are welcome any time. It’s like humans in northern countries where the sun doesn’t set, they don’t know naturally when to sleep.

They breath through their skin (gross) so suffocation by things like dish soap and sprays like Raid will kill them quickly. If you absolutely must leave a dirty dish in the sink, 😡, make sure there’s plenty of foaming dish soap in it.

Make Your Home Undesirable

Roaches are surprisingly persnickety. They hate the scent of lemon. They’re intolerant to sound. During quarantine, I’ve noticed a significant decrease in roach activity in the hallways and lobby of my building. Why? Corona virus? Could that be the one good thing? No, it’s most likely because we’re all home and stomping around. This info will come in handy later.

It’s imperative to wipe down your kitchen counter tops, stove top and table top with a lemon scented cleanser, or fill a spray bottle with water and put a few droplets of lemon oil (until you can smell it). Bathroom sink and top of the toilet too. Roaches are thirsty bitches and thrive in a moist environment. “Moist” 😬

Before bed, sweep your floors, make sure there are no crumbs lying around. Roaches will find them and tell all their friends about your all you can eat buffet. I like to swiffer with a lemon scented pad or mop with water and lemon oil. I have to limit the amount of oil in my water because my cats aren’t the biggest fans of lemon either.

Limit paper clutter. Roaches live to not only munch on cardboard but they will even set up shop in a cardboard box especially if it’s in the back of a closet and filled with paper. If you must keep cardboard boxes, I’d recommend investing in some space saving plastic bags. The type you put clothes in to store in your luggage, or the biggest size ziplock bag you can find.

Clean your pets food bowls and pour out their water overnight. Unless your pet is diabetic, this is not a terrible thing to do to them. You should be changing your pets water a couple of times a day any way to avoid bacterial growth and worse, a roach holding onto the side of your pets bowl lapping up the water. I’ve seen it….. I’ve seen it.

Limit access to trash. Roaches will forage. Avoid this by using a tightly sealed trash can. I use a diaper bin. They’re designed to keep the smell in so they’re pretty tight.

Find the Nest

In the beginning of quarantine, I found a specific roach. I named it so I could actually go to sleep at night, Carl T. Roach. He would hang out sucking on my kitchen sponge at night, then run for his life when I came into the kitchen turning the light on. Quick tip, dry your sponge before bed by microwaving it for two minutes.

I spent about two nights trying to catch him but failed miserably. I might have made a mistake naming him because I found that I was hesitant to smash him, so I decided to stalk and poison him instead.

Carl ran to the same spot behind my kitchen counter each time I turned the light on. I sprinkled DIATOMACEOUS DUST lightly, avoiding clumps, with a plastic spoon into the space between my kitchen counter and the wall. Diatomaceous dust will kill a whole group. Even if I didn’t reach the nest, if Carl were to crawl up again, he’d pick up the dust, and track it back to the others. They’d all end up ingesting it and die.

Sorry Carl!
You had a good run!

Get an Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

As mentioned earlier, roaches don’t like noise or movement. I got an ultrasonic pulsating device. You plug it in, 6 inches above the floor, and it emits a vibration and sound that insects and mice will run from. In the first few days you use it, you may notice an increase in activity. That’s because they’re all like “WTF!?” Kind of like we all were in the beginning of the pandemic. This is a good time to track them and find the nest.

To sum up…

1. Wipe all surfaces in kitchen and bathroom sink with a lemon scented cleaner every night before bed.

2. Limit paper clutter.

3. Sweep floors before bed.

4. Use a tightly sealed trash can.

5. Sprinkle diatomaceous dust lightly in cracks and crevasses where you see roaches.

6. Get a sonic pulsating device.

Good luck! 🍀🍀🍀

The Giving Shelf

I’ve lived in New York City for 11 years now. Actually born in NYC, Queens to be exact, but raised in NYC suburbia. I experienced community, helping each other out. Small towns mostly, think Stars Hallow from Gilmore Girls.

My dad was raised in NYC and always hated when people talked negatively about NYC, how there was no community when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. In Spanish, we say “El Barrio”. The neighborhood. That’s a close knit group of people who know each other and look out for one another. A family.

I didn’t really understand this in NYC until moving to Kensington two years ago where I live now. I’ve always seen things, clothing, shoes, food, left on a shelf in my lobby. I took it for granted because I didn’t need anything.

During the pandemic, I’ve noticed it. Not because I needed something, but because I truly understood that there are people that can’t collect unemployment for instance. Or even if they could, it’s not enough to sustain a large family which I see now, there are many in my building.

I’ve seen so many move out and a few leaving in body bags.

I remember in the early fall seeing kosher food on the shelf as I was leaving for just 10 minutes or so, and seeing the shelf empty when I came back.

This was an offering to those who needed it more and the thought was both heart breaking and so beautiful.

I recently ordered new Christmas decorations like so many, just needed to fill my apartment with twinkling lights and a full tree. Had a grand old time playing classic Christmas music and decorating today.

But, what about those families who can’t afford to?

So sad! I remembered I had a table top tree fully decorated from years past in my closet.

What better place to put it than on the giving shelf for someone else to enjoy. Threw in some candle moments as well and some dried beans that I know I’m not going to make.

I’m not saying this for any accolades, but to suggest you too, leave something in your lobby or curb for someone else to enjoy this holiday season.

Cat zoom call 2

Sammy

….Waiting for Ginger to join

Ginger

Ginger joined

Oh God! You didn’t….

Sammy

I did! Decorated early! Well… my human did. But I willed her too. I think we need it this year.

Ginger

It’s not even ruined meat day!

Sammy

I think that’s called “Thanksgiving”? I know, but I need extra warmth. I don’t know why but somethings different this year and I need it.

Ginger

Yeah, I get it. Somethings up for sure. I hear you on the warmth. But you know how I feel about Christmas….

Sammy

Harry

Harry!!!! Ginger! Harry took my phone! Don’t talk to him!!

Ginger

Sorry Harry….

Sammy

Harry

Harry!!! Give it back!!!! You’re so annoying!!!!

Harry! Jesus Christ! Don’t point it at me like that! Terrible, TERRIBLE angle!

Ginger

Hey Sammy? Belle just texted me. Should we invite her? Do you do that?

Sammy

Ugh!! So annoyed! I’ll add her. Do I look fat? Remind me never to sit like this again.

……..Waiting for Belle to join

Belle

Sammy

What the hell!?

Belle

Have you seen this shit!?

Ginger

I wish I could un-see it…

Belle

THIS is what humans think of us!!

Sammy

But what is it?

Belle

Cats!

Ginger

No, no it’s not…. is it still there?

Sammy

Ummm…. I’m pretty sure that’s a human….

Belle

It’s cats. And there’s singing! Look!

Ginger

Dear God why!

Belle

Offensive on every level.

Sammy

It’s shaped like a human, it’s clearly a human face, but the ears…..

Ginger

I would like to never speak of this again.

Belle

And there’s one that eats cockroaches! Just eats them! And it’s a SHE!

Sammy

Ohhhh that pisses me off! I have no idea why!!

Belle

Ginger? Did she hang up?

Sammy

Let me see….. yeah, she left. I think it was the cats. Cats?

Belle

Oh no. Do you think she’s mad at me?

Sammy

Probably. Listen, I’m literally about to fall asleep. Talk soon?

Belle

Yeah me too. Ok! Good nigh…..

Sammy ends the conversation

Cat Zoom Call 1

Ginger

Waiting for Sammy to join

Sammy

Sammy joined

Hey girl!

Ginger

What’s up?

Sammy

Not much. Sitting on my heater.

Ginger

Ahhh…jealous. My heater isn’t here yet. He’ll be here in a couple hours.

Sammy

Your human? The male one with the warm foot?Now I’m jealous! I wish my human’s foot was that warm! I have to go all the way up to the head! Is there maybe a difference in warmth between a male and female human?

Ginger

Definitely!

Sammy

Is that sun!? Jealous again! Mine is indirect. Totally insufficient hence the box with the numbers on it.

Ginger

I’d like a box too. I moved. Can’t find the right angle.

Sammy

Me too. I feel like this might be good.

Ginger

It accentuates the spot on your chin. I feel weird about my chin. Look!

Belle

Belle joined the conversation

You know what!? You two are GORGEOUS!! Are you really judging yourselves by your markings!? Why!? For who!? Humans?? They’re lucky to have us!!

Ginger

Belle? I thought you couldn’t make it! You seem upset. Did something happen?

Belle

Oh I refused to get in that undignified bag type thing that my humans try to put me in sometimes. Put all fours on the opening. It’s like, I know what it sounds like when you bring it out! No, humans! I WON’T be going to the vet today! Yeah, you can spell it out all you want! I can’t spell, but I know how you are when you’re about to take me to it!!

Look at my chin! At least you have markings!

Ginger

Whoa Belle!

Sammy

Take it from an eleven year old, you can’t change your humans. Only your reaction to them.

Ginger

I hear you Sammy but humans can be frustrating AF. I can hear my little humans shouting as we speak. Nothing I can do and I just feel what I feel, you know?

Belle

No offense ladies, but FUCK THAT! I’ve had not only my current humans but one before that! I’m sorry, I really resent anyone just picking me up like I’m a stupid dog or something!

Ginger

Ugh! Dogs! I’ve never actually met one but still.

Sammy

Hear that? The barking? That dog is SO LOUD! And I’m five flights up! Like, what are you even saying! It just repeats the same sound over and over again.

Ginger

I’ve heard they’re big but the one I see all the time is small. Really small.

Belle

Are we really talking about dogs?

Sammy

I’m sorry you guys. I just got really tired. I knew I shouldn’t have moved to this towel but I did anyway.

Ginger

As you were talking I moved to this rug. It’s soft and I think I’ve found a good looking location for me. Hashtag calico problems!

Belle

I love that you said “hashtag”. Don’t know what that means, but, I love it! I moved around too. Guess I’m not that confident tabby I think I am!

Sammy

Ginger

I moved again. A little human is really hitting the spot. Talk soon?

Belle

Pretty sure Sammy’s out. Yeah, definitely talk soon! Bye Ginge!

Ginger

Ginger has left the conversation.

Belle

I get it. Sammy? You’re still on.

Sammy

Belle

We’ve gotta figure out how to get to gallery view. Goodnight ladies!

Belle ends the zoom call.

5 Reasons Why Cats are the Best!

Cats are often misunderstood. They’re sometimes thought of as cold or aloof. Selfish or malicious. They are none of these things. It’s true that a cat doesn’t give themselves over to just anyone. You have to earn their love, but when you do, you’ve got a friend for life and that’s a very cute friend you’ve got there!

Here’s five reasons why cats are just awesome!

They love to look at you

There’s something about your face they just can’t get enough of. Is it your winning smile? Your perfect skin? It’s actually your eyes. If you have cats, excuse me, if cats have you, you know how to really show your love for them. A very slow and deliberate blink then slowly look away. It says, I’m not a threat, and I love you. They’ll return the same motion. There’s nothing better than a slow blinking contest with your cat especially now!

They knead you like you’re a loaf of unbaked bread

Sammy woke up like this after air kneading in her sleep. She has very vivid dreams!

Kittens do this to their mothers when they breast feed. How cute is it that your cat thinks you’re it’s mother! That’s how highly they regard you. You’re their everything!

They roll on their backs to greet you when you come home

I’m SO glad you’re home!!

Seeing you is the best part of their day. They want to hear all about your time apart. What did you do? Who did you see? Did anything particularly cute happen?

I love you but don’t touch my adorable tummy. It triggers me!

I love it when they forcefully throw themselves down as soon as you make eye contact with them!

They talk to you and only you

Cats don’t actually speak to each other. They communicate through body language. They use their voices solely to communicate to you! After all, you’re not that smart. You need things spelled out for you.

My Harry, is particularly talkative. He has a different meow for food, attention, one he uses when he’s about to throw up, then his usual just because meow, a high pitched one syllable that ends on an up note. Isn’t it cute how high pitched male cats voices are?

Southern Charm!? I hate this show!

They move their ears in different directions

What was that?

Cats have very keen hearing. Much better than ours. It comes from being skilled hunters. They can hear a mouse in the wall before you’ll ever know it’s there. This is why they don’t like “hard walkers”. It’s the equivalent of your cat maliciously turning the volume on your TV all the way up and pressing your ear right up to the speaker.

Ha ha ha ha ha! HA HA HA HA HA!

A real cat person tip toes and is happy to do it.

Le chat. Seriously, I met this cat in France.

While dogs might get more credit as pets, they’re people pleasers, I get it, cats are just as wonderful! They’re more empathetic than any human you know and probably more appreciative! Give your cat a big hug and a kiss right now!

Making it okay to talk about sexual abuse male or female

I’ve recently joined multiple sites online in an attempt to feel human connection in this worldwide pandemic. If we can walk away with anything good about 2020, it’s that we’ve stripped our masks, the ones we’ve been wearing for years. The ones that made it okay to answer the question “how are you?” With the answer “great!”

Not all of us are, on any given day, at any given moment. A more apt answer might be, “surviving.”

I was in therapy for years due to past and present trauma and how it manifested in my everyday thoughts and actions. It was useful but not the same as feeling that other people in my daily life felt that I was okay. Normal. A pleasure to be around.

I posted recently about seeing a male GYN and feeling triggered by it.

It was so hard to post. I immediately regretted it and pulled the covers over my head in preparation for the onslaught. The onslaught is comments, which I needed, but feared at the same time.

It occurs to me that there are so many people with similar experiences of trauma, physical, psychological, and sexual, that don’t feel comfortable telling their truths. That’s okay. You’re ready when you’re ready.

I understand. Especially with sexual abuse. There’s so much shame, more so. Particularly for men who have experienced sexual abuse as a child, or sexual assault as an adult.

Men are told to be silent and stoic in direct words while women are told the same in systematic vague terms.

Hope that makes sense, I might go into it more but not now.

Here, I’d like to recognize that there are so many men that have been sexually abused and are not given the same consideration as women. Women are sexual beings right? 😒

I think I speak for all female survivors when I say, I hear you, I believe you, I support you.

My Terrible trip to the OBGYN

A good girl

I went to the gynecologist this morning. I’m uninsured right now so I go to a clinic with a sliding scale which means you pay based on your most recent income earned. As you can imagine, the waiting list is very long. I prefer, no, NEED, a female doctor. I’m not comfortable with a man poking around anywhere especially not my breasts and vagina.

Apparently, I had no choice, there is now only one GYN and it’s a man. Had to get it done. I made the appointment two months ago, today was the earliest I could see him 😕.

A female nurse took my vitals then told me to take my cloths off including my bra & panties. I cringed beneath my mask. You see, I’m a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, from a man, and a survivor of adulthood sexual assault.

I had to disassociate myself from the situation to actually disrobe as asked. The nurse’s words echoing in my head….”He’ll be in in a minute”.

He was nice enough, an older grey haired man, thank God. A young man would’ve sent me reeling.

I answered his questions from far far away, polite and agreeable like a good little girl, I’m 45 BTW.

He did a perfunctory breast exam, then the pelvic. “You might feel a little pressure now.” He said. Yes, I did, but I was disconnected at the time so it was okay.

“Feels normal!” He said. I found myself sickeningly feeling proud of myself. You were a good girl!

I’ve been out of commission, feeling violated, this entire day. The hour train ride home was humiliating, like everyone knew. Been In bed, begging my cats to come to Mommy. Feeling guilty that I knew this would happen and took the day off from everything believing that this would be a “medical procedure”.

Does anyone else feel the same? In any way? Feeling invisible and angry right now.

The Interloper

Sammy

Harry and I have been getting along I guess. He’s annoying but that’s nothing new.

Harry thinks he can sneak up on me.

There is one thing though. We got a new friend. Cactus. Friend? Actually no. That’s not true. He’s a sheep in wolves’ clothing…An interloper…A fiend…a liar and a cheat.

Cactus

Harry

Cactus? He’s okay! Likes to be scratched. I like it too. It’s good!

Sammy

Harry’s still an idiot. It’s “good”? This from the cat that chased his own tail this morning. There were plenty of toys, but no, his tail is what he plays with. What!?

Did you hear that!?

Cactus

Sammy

Shhh…. there it is again! He thinks I can’t hear him! He’s talking about me behind my back!

SAY IT TO MY FACE BITCH!!

Harry

Cactus doesn’t even talk. Sammy’s being dramatic. She’s just mad that I got to him first. She’s jealous of our relationship.

Sammy

Relationship? Hah! Ummm…Harry doesn’t even know what that means.

Harry

I’m going to play while I answer this.

Relationship? Yeah, I know what that is. It means something is mine. JUST mine. Not hers.

Sammy

I can’t…

What Harry doesn’t know is I knew Cactus waaaay before he did. He was about half the size he is now. Came in a box which my humans lifted him out of. Honestly, I had a good feeling about him at first. Great color, positive vibe. I immediately started purring when I saw him. And then Harry was like “Oh! A box!”

Harry jumped in the box right after my female put Cactus where he sits today. I watched him grow from two pieces to one. I encouraged him, purred the whole time. He was great full! I left him alone, he seemed tired after all that growing and gratitude. That was an entire day ago! When I woke up today, there was Harry! All over Cactus and Cactus was like, “Ohhhh you’re the best! Use me as a scratching post! You’re the only cat in the world!”

Harry

Look! I’m only a nose and mouth!

Sammy

I can’t believe I was so wrong! Normally I’m an EXCELLENT judge of character.

What happened!?

Harry

Everything loves me. That’s what happened. Not my fault!

Me and my BFF.

Sammy

I love how Cactus isn’t saying anything now. It’s fine. We can be cordial. I won’t be purring for him anytime soon. I’m done. There’s still fish.

An American Rant

Capitalism, has no business in the betterment of people. People aren’t commodities. We think, we feel, we’re emotional beings,even if you don’t recognize that. As babies, we cry when we need food because we can’t say we want food. As babies, We cry when we’re hurt because we don’t have the words.

We all just want to be ok, ultimately. Why are we here? To procreate? To make money? But why do we make money? To barter? The ancient Mesopotamians discovered the barter system. I give you this, you give me that. That was a way to balance things. That person gave me some beads in exchange for fur pelts. I wanted beads, we had an extra pelt. Today’s version of bartering is far more complex. If you consider what we’ve made of capitalism it’s perverse. Today’s capitalism is, keep the poor poor and the rich rich. It’s worked if you’re on the right side. COVID-19 has shaken capitalism to the core. It has rendered us helpless.

We’ve all looked to a capitalist system for help financially and physically. We did a good job initially. Government providing unemployment, even if it took months to make a difference, pandemic pay, 1 stimulus payment expected to get us through mortgage payments, rent, student loans, existing medical bills. We all know it didn’t but it was something, right? We should be great full right? However, this pandemic shows no signs of slowing down evident by the uptick in cases recently.

Some of us were on furlough, which meant we had health insurance but still had a job to go back too. That time has past. There’s officially no job security, no health insurance, no hope. Where do we go from here? Where is the hope? Where is the positive outlook necessary for our mental health? What happens now?

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