200: so congratulate me already

I had another brilliant idea: the beerbox. Much like the juice boxes popular with young children, you could have beer, wine, or whatever in a box or a Capri Sun-like plastic bag that you can carry around in your briefcase. This occurred to me as I sat at my desk Wednesday afternoon, wondering what to get Patrick for his 21st birthday (which is August 22).

Patrick, in case you don’t already know, is one of my brothers. YOu can see a not-so-recent picture of him on the web at

[really old URL of picture that doesn’t work anymore]. No, not the White girl with the floppy hat and crocheted vest — that would be Kim, my oldest friend. No, not the somber looking girl with the cats eye glasses — that’s my sister, Joseline (pronounce like ‘Jocelyn’). And no, that’s not him with the legs and the smirk. That would be me.

No, Patrick is raising his fist in the air in a hearty salute to, well, I don’t know. He’s wearing the fishing hat though, as far as I know, he has never expressed an interest in fishing. It’s not a great picture of him. If you want a slightly better idea of what he looks like now, refer to [another broken URL]. He looks a lot like my dad does in this photograph, only without the cheesy moutache. My mom’s got this look on her face that I can swear I’ve only seen on assorted dancers in rap videos, like she’s tipsy and wearing really tight pants.

So now Patrick’s 21 and I can’t believe it. You know how old that makes me? Older than him. He asked me for romantic advice the other day and I was like “Why are you asking me? I’m, like, the last person you’d want to ask for romantic advice.” And I say that even after writing a semi-successful advice column in college because why? Because I wrote almost every damn letter to myself, and every single reply (of course).

I’m feeling a bit contemplative because, well, this is ‘news from the flip front’ NUMBER 200, and nobody seems to care. It’s been over two years, and we’re all probably just a little tired of my incessant ramblings. I thank you for sticking with me all this time.

(And if you’ve been deleting these without reading them because you’re too chicken-shit to e-mail me and say “Hey you crazy bitch, I want off!”, keep that to yourself, okay?)

I had dinner with Alan and Linda last night. Alan and Linda are Kim’s dad and stepmom, in town for a conference. We tried The Frontera Grill but there was a 2-hour wait.

We went to Palaggio instead. I had the veal risotto, Linda had the chicken, and Alan had the sausage and peppers. I’ve known them for almost half of my life, and I still can’t call him ‘Alan’ to his face. When I think of him, I call him ‘Mr. Kahn’. His eyesight isn’t what it used to be, so he read the menu with a small flashlight. He marveled at my lemon sorbet, served in a hollowed-out lemon. We talked about Chicago most of the time, pausing only so I could give them the latest news on my

siblings. We all had to take a moment and digest the fact that PATRICK IS 21, when it only seemed that he was 12 yesterday and starting the seventh grade at Collegiate. They looked great, Alan and Linda, and seemed to appreciate the city’s grid system. So consistent, more sensible than the street numbering scheme in our native borough of Queens.

Linda’s thinking of taking the LSAT and going to law school, so she grilled me on the locations of area schools. At certain points, she’d pipe up with “Oooh, so if I got into Loyola we could get a nice little condo on Lake Shore Drive near the Art Institute?” I don’t think she was entirely joking.

It’s day 3 of my house-sitting gig, and the cats have accepted me as part of the landscape. They don’t object too much to my choice of television shows (Trading Spaces, Sorority Life, reruns of Buffy and West Wing). As long as I keep the classical music pumping during the day. When I come home, they’re very attentive until I open the tins of cat food for their

supper. At that point, I’m not so useful anymore.

Quick question: would you feel bad if I took the flip front on vacation? I’m going to New York for a week so you have one of the following choices:

  1. daily dispatches from the road, hopefully with pictures if Nadine’s laptop is willing

  2. one or two big-ass dispatches when I return

  3. no flip front at all, as maybe we could all use a break

Oh, and the winner of my dream interpretation contest is Miss Kathryn Stell of Chicago, IL. Her prize is a pan of my brownies and the trashy book of her choice.


The Notorious F.L.I.P.


The Hives – Main Offender; The White Stripes – Why Can’t You Be Nicer to Me?; Homer Simpson – Feel Like Making Love; Missy Elliot – One-Minute Man





~ by Jasmine on August 23, 2002.

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