30 November 2003

Welcome to the World of Cherie! This is my blog, and here I will share stories, rants, reviews, and praise about my cat. (heehee)

Today I'll spare you from my writing at the start, but instead will talk about the weather. Gorgeous. You'd think it'd be fall, but I'm so glad it's not. Everyone is in denial. During my evening run, I could feel the crunching of leaves under my feet but the people around me denied that: people were drinking on the sidewalk on lawn chairs, wearing halter tops and long skirts. I really hate winter, cold, although hot tea and warm cocoa is great for it. But in the summer...everything is alive, flowers, trees, animals. I am not looking forward to hibernating!

question : what happens when you die?

lately i have been wondering about this. i am not sure. in some ways, i think, you die you’re dead you’re nothing. but then previous visions by so many people suggests to me that reincarnation is very possible. i am so frightened, petrified of death. is there anything we can do to stop death? if there is, let me know because i am so scared. i have so many things i want to do, so many things in this world that need to be done, and not enough selfless people who are willing to help out and make the world a better place. but what if i die and that’s it? what if this doesn’t matter and my mind doesn’t matter and my thoughts don’t matter? what then?
How to Procrastinate

(Designed for the student, or for those dealing with something they'd really rather not)

It's that time of year again: no, not holiday time! It's procrastination time. With finals approaching, here's some great ways for you to procrastinate studying, writing those tedious papers, and doing other dull matters involving homework or something you'd rather not be doing.

1. Check your email. This is a great task, particularly if you rarely check it. Spend your time deleting old mail, rereading sent mail, and actually replying for a change.

2. Get in shape! Go running, do stomach crunches, do something. At least if you're not doing your homework you can be in shape. If you don't want to work out, pretend, and go shopping for a pair of sneakers!

3. Do I even need to mention the phrase, "Surf the web?"

4. Do your Christmas, Channukah, and other holiday shopping.

5. Bake holiday cookies.

6. Write you holiday cards.

7. Plan a party, write invitations, plan a menu.

8. Clean your house. Come on, when was the last time you scrubbed your bathtub with a toothbrush and a bucket of bleach?

9. Groom your cat. Brush, bath, clip nails, brush teeth, and give her other kinds of love.

10. Go to a petstore and play with all the animals.

11. Call all your relatives.

12. Call those people whose messages are still on your answering machine from four weeks ago.

13. Send friends in other countries and states postcards and clever letters.

14. Get a cookbook and stare at it for hours, without actually making anything.

15. Read overdue library books.

16. Go to a 99cent store and spend $20 on 20 different things you don't really need.

17. Organize you books in alphabetical order by the author's last name.

18. Arrange your spices in alphabetical order according to name of spice.

19. Rearrange all your cabinets and shelves.

20. Do laundry.

21. Listen to holiday music. Go to see the tree, wander around shoppers, sing outside people's houses until they give you hot cocoa or throw tomatoes at you.

22. Practice some Yoga.

23. Write up your new year's resolutions.

24. Make a list of Christmas gifts.

25. Buy Christmas gifts.

26. Read the latest J. Crew and Victoria's Secret catalogs. Circle many things, leave it around the house until a new catalog arrives, then throw the marked up catalog away. Repeat with each issue.

27. Talk to everyone on the street and in all the stores. If a cashier needs to change their receipt tape, assure them that you're not in a rush and tell them to take their time.

28. Paint your toenails.

29. Work on a story.

30. Hang out in the crazy cafe up the block and drink chai teas and play chess with some guy wearing a cape.

31. Go to CVS, Duane Reade, Eckerd, Rite Aid, and spend an hour throwing items in your basket, pulling them out, and end up buying nothing on your original list.

32. Sew a stocking for someone you love.

33. Go shopping for gifts for your pet. (Luna made me put that one.)

34. Try to find the lyrics for, "So this is Christmas" (War is Over). Apply to any other song you have a mild curiosity. Email to all your friends so they can see what you're doing in your spare time.

35. Decorate your house with holiday decorations. Remember to avoid tinsel if you have a cat because this is tasty to them.

36. Call Trevor Horwell, my boyfriend, because he knows every trick to procrastinating! (I love you, T!)

37. If you have exhausted these, and paying your bills, clipping coupons, reading the Sunday Times, and your house is spotless, you are properly groomed, your cat is perfectly groomed, well, I hate to break it to you:

It's time to do that homework!

25 November 2003

You've decided to aim to be a professional runner!

This is an admirable decision, and to ensure you are taking the right steps, I've decided to give you some practical advice. See a doctor or a coach for any specific advice.

1. I hate to break it to you, but you will probably will never achieve professional fame. It is extremely hard. Also, despite common belief, pro runners are not celebrities, and do not associate with such people. Have you ever looked a runner during a race? Yup, that's why. Spit and snot all over our faces does not prove a photo op.

2. Making a committment. Some people find this the hardest part. Finding a training partner or joining a track group is probably the best way. Figure out a time for you when you won't slack; I prefer morning. You get more energy for the day, plus you get the added bonus of really understanding the weather for the day. ("Ahh...so I really can't wear my miniskirt today. I need snow pants!") You also get to know your neighborhood, another plus, when there aren't as many cars and people out. (Unless you run DURING rush hour...ouch.) Stick to it. Get pumped!

3. Attire. Make sure you remember this: In running magazines and advertisements--that's for rich runners. You are probably not a rich runner. You can of course buy nice running clothes (do it on sale) but you probably won't. I have clothes that I literally wore when I was twelve--wear it till it falls apart. You are running, not in a fashion show. Make sure you don't get chafing or have any other uncomfortable problems.

4. Attire, feet. Wear good socks or no socks--what your preference is you will soon discover. But a pair of sneakers that fit well and are durable is a must. Everyone has different feet, so although I love Saucony, they may feel awkward. Go to a sneaker store when it's not crowded, and run around in the different sneakers. If you can't decide, buy several pairs and wear them for a night in you house and see which is the best.

5. Before running, try to get something in you. I can't eat, but I know people who'd eat double-stuff oreos on the starting line of a race. I prefer two or three bites of a power bar, and a few sips of water.

6. Don't bring headphones or a cell phone. Amatuer! You are exercising, not socializing. Besides, it's hard to hear the cars and other noises that may save your life.

7. Be aware. Listen and look.

7. If you will be encountering cars on your runs, hang out with some sailors first. Then apply their language to the cars you encounter on the road. Remember, you can always shout the old, "Pedestrians always have the right of way."

8. Wear a watch. You will get lost, if you are like me and Crista.

9. Dress according to the weather, please.

10. If it is raining and you want to go running, remember: you will not melt. I use sunglasses as my windshields. Then you can see.

11. If you think you are incredible, run a road race. That's always fun, especially when someone forty years old (or younger) than you beats you.

12. Some dogs are good companions,- but cats are not. Trust me.

13. You will never look like Oprah. Keep running.

14. Eat well, treat your body good, get a lot of sleep, hydrate yourself, and shower so those around you don't have to get that close to your running. And now you are a runner!

23 November 2003


Real life sucks. We always want to grow up and start that job and etc etc but really, working 9 to 5 sucks. So here's some ideas, in light of a certain JP, that may postpone life. Please don't blame me for ruining your life--this is simply something to laugh at.

1. Go to an MFA program. It's fun and you'll get to work on your writing, so it's not a waste of time. Make the most of your time.

2. Go to a second MFA program at another school. This, however, unlike number one, is a waste of time. (Didn't you already get an MFA? Why do you need another one?)

3. Go to a Ph.D. program. Someone actually told me this (you know who I mean, Marie and Andrew) because they didn't want to approach real life. Um, let's see you struggle with that Ph.D. program and then get a job answering phones and tell me which is easier. I love research, so I'd def. prefer the Ph.D.

4. Live in Williamsburg, dress in clothes from Beacon's Closet, hang out in loft parties, at crappy cafes and restaurants on Bedford Avenue, live in a total dump where your toilet may be in a closet and your shower (no tub) is in your living room/kitchen. Get a job at a thrift store or simply mooch off your parents. (Option #2 is much preferred.) Call yourself an artist. Cover yourself with paint before leaving the house and stay up all night discussing Rimbaud, Camus, and other French-sounding people who you probably don't know what's going on. See a therapist that your parents pay for and bring your laundry home to your parents whenever they take pity on your hard life in the big city and pay for your plane ticket/train ticket home.

5. If you have loans, keep going to school. (This is a very popular option, as deferral is wonderful!)

6. Become a cat lady. Lose your job and when welfare comes over, they'll agree you're insane. Go to all the animal shelters in NYC metro area and claim you don't have a cat but want to rescue one. With one cat from each shelter, you're sure to have well over a hundred. Keep track of their names, feeding habits, and toys. Move into a studio apartment if you don't already and live there with the cats until someone complains about the ammonia-like smell emitting from your apartment.

7. Become a porno star.

8. Since #7 is probably unlikely, feign illness and tell someone who loves you that you can't work. Because you are not really sick, doctors won't be able to figure out your ailments. Stay in bed all day and when you're alone, do stomach crunches so you won't get fat and watch Pretty Woman.

9. Have people over who make your sheets smell like a gas leak and then you have to call the fire department. The smell will surely keep you out of work for a while. GLP.

10. Become a bike messenger. Quit after three days because your legs are sore. You can't afford the paper to look for jobs so just collect unemployment.

11. Temp.

12. Sell your eggs.

13. Raise rabbits and sell them.

14. Call yourself and actor and never study script or attempt acting; just carry around a play in your bag, preferably a Mamet.

15. Listen to Hot 97 and try to win all the contests. Maybe if you call enough you can win enough money to pay for your rent, and enough free concerts to take care of your social life.

16. Move in with your parents.

17. Move in with an older brother/sister who is cool and doesn't mind that you sleep all day on their couch as long as you wash all the dishes.

18. Call yourself a writer and sit in cafes (smoking cafes a plus) scribbling grocery lists, potential crushes, and other notes in a moleskin journal. Carry around something that screams, "WRITER!" Kerouac's "On the road" always seems to do this. Added plus: everyone loves (and occasionally, hates) Kerouac so you can have further distractions. Sip capuccino loudly and check your watch. Dress carefully, all in black.

19. Get certification and teach Yoga, swim classes at the Y.

20. If you are into S&M, open up a cat bathing service. After the scratches set in, close down and think of another business. An ice cream store in the winter. After that fails, find one of those "Dummies" books about opening a business and fail yet again.......

(I hope you get my humor!)

22 November 2003

REVIEW: Vitamin Water
Mmmmmmmmmmmm! Smart water, fruit water, and vitamin water rules!

However, let me recommend "Essential": a blend of carrot and orange is the absolute best. Experiment with flavors, and try to buy them on sale.
REVIEW: The G Train

everyone hates the G train. how can they not? it’s slow, runs fairly infrequently, and “goes through all of the worst neighborhoods in brooklyn” (as someone once said, except, of course, for Greenpoint; my theory is no one wants to move to some of these neighborhoods because of the G train so the neighborhoods never got yuppified, yay!). although because it’s the crosstown local, you can’t get directly into manhattan, and pretty much need to take a cab late at night, or walk from the L, there’s a few good things about the G.

+ it is very rare that i don’t get a seat on the G—even during rush hour.
+ makes commuting through brooklyn much faster than taking a bus.
+ easy to get to queens college.
+ because it’s so small, you get to know your conductors and train operators and fellow passengers.

HURRAY for the G!

17 November 2003

A message from your pets, this holiday season,
Courtesy of Luna Yanek

This holiday season, while you run around like a chicken with your head cut off shopping and buying the perfect gifts and wrapping and writing holiday cards and baking sheets of Christmas cookies and drinking bowls of egg nog and feeding each other chocolate-covered-cherries under the mistletoe, might I remind you: we pets would like a holiday too?

We're not asking for a plasma TV or a PDA; a new scratching post or some new toys would be perfect. I would like a hanging scratching board to hang around the doorknob so that I may irritate my mom further when she is asleep. Please, no doggy sweaters or kitty collars; we do not consider those presents.

If you claim financial strife, changing our litter box more than usual (or walking us if we are a dog, or changing our cage if we are a bird...you get the drift. I speak mainly for and as a cat, but other animals desire attention and love too!), or playing with us, or brushing us for hours are all low-cost or free options. On the other hand, clipping our nails, bathing us, and affixing a red bow around our neck, or a faux-Santa costume (especially if your pet is a ferret) is not a cute option. If we wanted and liked those things, we wouldn't struggle so.

In addition, remember as you are carving that turkey, or stirring that pudding...we'd like some please! I know dairy does cause flatulence in me, but if you really love me, you'd serve me extra treats, cat's milk, and big heaping bowls of warm wet food. MMMMM!

So remember us this holiday time. As we roll around in the tinsel, chase the ornaments rolling around the floor, attack the wrapping paper, and provide other holiday entertainment.....


14 November 2003


I know there’s a boy out there (maybe it’s my boyfriend) who is saying at this point, “Duh, wear warm pants.” Simple enough for those of us who have a large warm pants selection or those of us who like pants. I prefer skirts. I know it’s stupid, but I have nice legs and I might as well show them off when I’m young. Plus I have lots of cute skirts. Here are some tricks on staying warm in wintertime if you love showing off what you’ve got!

Macy’s has a great selection of stockings. Stay away from cheap drugstore brands because they have a tendency to run within hours, maybe minutes, of wearing them. It’s better to spend more money because they end up lasting longer—years, even. Go for a variety of colors and styles, and of course stock up on basic black.
My favorite brand is DKNY. Hue is also good. Stay away from Tommy Hilfigger; although they are costly, they tend to rip as easily as the cheap brands.

Ah, the old favorite. I feel like such a proper secretary or corporate powerhouse whenever wearing them. Especially when you can see my pale skin and my legs are “tan.” (I wish they would make a variety of colors for a variety of people’s skin colors but they insist that “tan” is what everyone wants. I think it looks ridiculous on almost anyone.)
The best brand that I’ve discovered is No-Nonsense Great Shapes or No-Nonsense Long Lasting. Just get any of the No-Nonsense ones that seem to be a bit more durable—they last many times and the shaper ones are great because they are thick like tights—warmer! Yay!

My personal favorite. They can be hard to find, but supposedly, they’re coming back. Check out dance stores, thrift stores, and E-bay. Put them on your Christmas list and let someone else run all over the city looking for them for you and you don’t have to do any work. Get different colors and mix and match them. You’ll get tons of compliments. The best thing about legwarmers is that you can get really warm when it’s not outside. Last weekend I wore pink tights with my hot pink legwarmers over them. I pulled up the leg warmers to make them tall when I was outside, and when I was in the bar, I scrunched them down for style. Yeah!
If you want to get me something for the holidays, legwarmers are great!

Wear pants underneath your skirt in layers; leggings and running pants make for a great look. Take them off when you get indoors if you’re self-conscious but they look hot!

They give you a bit extra warmth but not really. Unless they are fur-lined. Then wear them until your heart’s content! Yay!
If they aren’t fur-lined or warm-lined, wear some super thick socks, like fleece or cashmere, something warm anyway, and you’ll feel toasty!

12 November 2003

(okay so i'm really writing this for myself)

supposedly we all think life is stress. the happiest time in my recent time was when i was unemployed this summer--i went running twice a day, prepared soups and elaborate (for me!) meals, played with luna, worked on stories and writing, read books, listened to bille holliday while drinking tea and staring out the window from my rocking chair, practicing yoga. what's now to love about being unemployed? you tell me!

oh, the money. well who needs money anyway?

okay i really don't want to be evicted...

but since i'm taking three classes and working full time, trying to finish editing my novel, and raising a curious cat, i am very stressed.

i miss being unemployed.

i want to be finished with school.

well, i do need money to pay rent and i do need to go to school so i can get my degree. so how to deal with it?

1. take a day to say, "i don't care." this can involve going out and getting really drunk and spending all the money in your wallet. you might go shopping for a day when you should be reading some trite theory, or go dancing when you have a paper to write. you are not going to absorb any of that knowledge if you're miserable. RELAX!
2. figure a way to maximize your time--do your homework on the train, read novels in the bathtub, brush your teeth while peeing, mop your floor while talking on the phone.
3. order out. why bother cooking? you need more time. get disposable plates from the place and cutlery if you are really too lazy/busy to wash dishes.
4. drink lots of tea. that's really relaxing.
5. laugh a lot. even if it's not funny.
6. practice yoga.
7. take baths.
8. light candles around your apartment while you study.
9. read something by andrew weil and be convinced you just need to eliminate dairy. or learn his awesome breathing exercises--4-7-8!
10. dance. put on a cd, and study with it playing softly. when track 19, or whatever your favorite track is, comes on, get up and dance. crazy. play it loud. then reduce the volume and resume studying. put on repeat. repeat.
11. make to-do lists and cross things out. how satisfying.
12. meditate.
13. sleep. (rip van winkle, my boyfriend, told me that one.)
14. spend some time with somebody who is not stressed, like your grandmother. play rummikube with her and hold her hand. sometimes being around people who are not stressed is relaxing--and often they can help out, whether it be brushing your hair or just spreading their love.
15. tell your cat how stressed you are. then give your cat a treat. she is fine either way, but happier with the treat. now drink lots and lots of water. make sure your cat does the same.

i don't know how to do it. so i figured i'd post and you can email me at cheriecat@aol.com and we can help each other out.

09 November 2003


I lived in Colorado for two years. Having traveled to other New England towns and other places around our little country, I have decided to give you some advice: NY pizza is good; everything else sucks.

If you don't believe that and you want some more advice, or you want to try pizza and you're living in Kansas, here's some advice.

1. Pizza Hut will make you ill--too much grease. Don't try Dominos, or most other "chain" pizzerias like that.
2. If it says "New York pizza," it probably isn't. Go in there and ask if you can use the bathroom. (New York pizzerias usually let you so if they don't, get out of there quick.) Listen to the way they talk--if they sound "New York" or "Italian," eat there. But if you hear them say, "eye-tayl-yun"--get out of there as soon as you can!
3. If you go in and see no pizza but a menu, don't eat there. Either it's a "spot" (in which case you don't want to eat there) or they are awful cooks. One instance I had in Colorado was very bizarre. I ordered a spinach slice, figuring it's going to be your usual spinach slice. Instead, from some compartment underneath the cabinet, they pulled out a slice of pizza, and then sprinkled some dried spinach on it, and then put it through some weird toaster oven with a conveyer belt type of thing. Very scary, and disgusting too. Avoid this type of "cooking" at all costs.
4. If they call their heroes "grinders" or some other weird Midwestern term, this usually means they are scary.
5. If they serve something that is definitely not pizzeria material. (Kinda like how all the Chinese places in New York have started serving chicken fingers and french fries--What???)
6. If it doesn't smell like pizza, it WILL NOT taste like pizza.

So basically, don't eat pizza outside New York. If you must have pizza, Jetblue and Song are both fairly inexpensive. Everyone has their favorite pizzeria. I love mine on the corner, Triangolo's. The guys are very friendly and the food is awesome and cheap.

If this isn't an option, my aunt recommends Boboli (you build a crust, something like that). Trev takes frozen pizza and sometimes jazzes it up with peppers or whatever it is that he likes.

NB: There are some decent pizzerias outside of New York, though they are few and far between. For instance, some Brooklynites moved to Melbourne where they have an incredible pizzeria on the beach. This is okay. Remember: listen to the way they talk.

Above all, smell, look, and keep some Tums on hand if you're really not sure. But honestly, if you're really not sure, you shouldn't even be eating there in the first place!


06 November 2003



in case you sadly don't know, luna is my adorable brown-grey-black striped tabby cat. she is so cute. in order for you to understand her, i decided to interview her.

cherie: tell us a bit about yourself.
luna: meow.
c: something a bit more substantial, luna. the people on my blog don't understand our language.
l: excuse me. well i am a beautiful cat and very wonderful. everyone loves to pet me. if you want to get on my good side, scratch around/behind the ears. meeeeee-ow!
c: what about brushing?
l: that's good, i'll let you brush me.
c: let me?
l: it's all about pleasing me. i didn't choose you, you chose me.
c: that's so mean.
l: well, i did cuddle up in your arms when you got me. you seemed like someone who feeds me a lot. and you did but then you stopped. mean.
c: luna, the vet even insulted your fat stomach.
l: people can lie!
c: luna, you lost some weight and now you're so much healthier. i even increased the amount of food you get.
l: but you still feed me diet food.
c: luna, let's not discuss this now. let's talk about your hobbies, and what you do when i'm at work all day.
l: i usually wake you up but meowing and running around the apartment at the same time your alarm goes off. you can't snooze a cat so i haunt you and follow you, meowing and rubbing against you--until you feed me. i sit on my little window seat, looking out the window, and hide under the futon when i hear a loud noise. if something is really scary, i hide under the bed, in the back dark corner.
days i spend eating--my number one hobby--drinking, clawing the futon, the orange tabby stuffed cat, whatever else i can attack. i play with little pieces of paper, ribbon, and sometimes, the toys i have. oh, and i love chewing on the little strings from the vertical blinds--the best.
c: what else? do you like to sleep?
l: i love to sleep. at night i sleep on my special pillow next to you.
c: isn't that cute? she's so cute.

04 November 2003



i say i want a nice ring for our anniversary.

it is supposed to be some sort of “promise” ring. you give me tanzanite and pearl on white gold. sitting on your living room carpet, you deliver some sort of speech. “the world’s supply of tanzanite will be completely mined in the next ten years. this ring will be worth a lot more in the future.” and, “this is a promise ring. i promise my life to you. i promise my love.” it is stupid to marry someone who lives 2,000 miles from you so we will wait for all that stuff until we are geographically together again. you also say the promise of love is stronger than marriage, and the promise of the self is stronger than any sort of legal vows.

i am careful with the ring. i never wear it in the shower, like i do with my other jewelry. everyone comments on its beauty.

but two weeks later: “i’m not sure if i’m in love with you anymore,” you tell me. the ring you gave me, this promise ring, the point of it invalid. i am crying, wear it in the bathtub this once. two years and then two weeks and then what?

a month later. we are still not together but we are not broken up. i say you are having issues and you say i am your issue. i wear the ring everyday anyway. “i’m never giving this back,” i tell you. “i’m not asking you to,” you tell me, calm at my hysteria. i cry daily, everywhere: in class, in the supermarket, on my bike, at work in the bathroom on break.

at a party, i meet another man. we are talking over loud house music and i look at my finger. a pearl is missing. “it’s missing!” a friend of mine says it is a sign. but i find it on the floor, right next to the other man’s shoe. i wonder if that is another sign.

i give the ring and the pearl back to you. it cannot be fixed and you cannot return it. you put it in a ziploc baggy in your sock drawer.

we are together again, sort of. we say we are figuring our issues out. you buy me another ring; amethyst, three square stones of it, on a simple white gold band. it is too big for my finger so you return it.

we are in orlando and i can smell disneyworld. we are shopping amongst tourists. i pretend to look at engagement rings. not pretend to look but pretend you are giving me one. a saleswoman, “can i help you?” the rings are expensive but i want one anyway. i want the whole kneeling “will you marry me” ceremony. you point out a non-engagement ring—two tanzanite stones, three opal stones, and little diamonds, on white gold. it is beautiful but “too expensive.” you buy it for me anyway.

i suppose you are in love with me again.