The Hardest Goodbye

I’ve been putting off writing this because I wanted some time to privately grieve, but also I knew if I got even a single kind word or condolence from you, I wouldn’t be able to handle all that has been going on. But now it’s time to write this down, as so many of you loved this cat over these long years.

Sweet Cal is gone. Continue reading

Saying Your Names

People have written to ask where the Valentine poems were this year. I didn’t do them, for three reasons. One being after ten years of writing them, I thought maybe leaving it at ten and out was a nice round number. Secondly, I’d just completed the manuscript and two straight years of work/strike/work, and was feeling like I needed some time away from creating jokes. And third, to be honest, when I tried to come up with something, I really only had one poem in my head, one that said at one point, “So Valentine’s Day can go fuck itself in the eye.” I concluded that perhaps it just wasn’t the right time. Continue reading

Activating Melanie

The Case for Settling: Melanie really, really loves romantic comedies. No, like, really. But it’s causing some inner turmoil now that she’s noticed some romantic comedies say she’s not the kind of girl you’re supposed to choose in the end. Click the cute little “HQ” in the lower right hand corner of the clip to watch in High Quality.

(Topics include: love, movies, loving movies, adult acne, Kate Hudson, and a goodbye to Samantha Who?, Season Two.)

Activating Robin

Robin, she of the Abraham Lincoln sweatshirt, explains why she has some serious boundary issues. Pamie tries to get her to hug it out.

(Apologies for crappy webcam quality. Let’s pretend it’s 1999!)

(It sort of looks better if you click the video, let it take you to You Tube, and then click “High Quality.” I don’t know; I feel like that’s a scam.)

Keeping Up Tradition

Same place, same day, new year, new terminal. Thankful for the things that stay the same, grateful for the things that are new.

Hmm. I did have a picture taken from last year’s Jet Blue post-Xmas flight, but now I remember I never got to post it, as a woman sitting at the table next to me struck up a conversation and we ended up eating lunch together, swapping stories of love and romance. One thing I’ve definitely inherited from my mother is whatever it is that causes strangers to want to intensely bond for about an hour and then disappear forever.

Happy holidays, everybody. Hope your days are filled with love.

my archived heart.

Looking through a high school yearbook from 1991. Turns out I was quoted on the “Valentine’s Day” page.

Of course, if you happened to be in the unfortunate position of being, well, unattached, then Valentine’s Day can be a little depressing. Pam Ribon describes the occasion this way: “Valentine’s Day is a cess-pool of a black and disgusting wasteland and a paganistic ritual that only ends up smashing my heart into a bloody, massive pulp. Happy Valentine’s Day!”

— Katy High School Yearbook, ’91. ([sic] x a million)

I suppose this could be considered my very first Valentine Poem. I must have been a blast to hang around back then, huh?


I was running this afternoon when a lamp post caught my eye. There was a message taped, a love letter. It said it was the eleventh of fifteen, a public message for a special person. There, typed, was a poem, about how the writer’s love was real. His or her need was real. That both the love and need were undeniable, but more importantly — insatiable, a desire compared to the myth of Sisyphus, that will never reach its summit. The writer concluded by saying this person was going to be loved and needed “forever.”

It then gave directions for the next letter of the series, number twelve: a few blocks over. I changed my path and ran those blocks, even though they were in the other direction. I had to see what happened. I was on the love letter scavenger hunt. I was rooting for the writer. For romance. Continue reading

The Tenth Annual Valentine’s Day Poems

The Secret of Our Success
1. He never makes me see him pee.
2. I never let him see me do yoga in shorts.
That’s it!


Do you still love me?
Do you still love me?
Do you still love me?
Do you still love me when I’m sitting on this couch instead of that one? Do you still (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, belgium) love me when I’m wearing blue socks instead of green? Because the first day you told me you loved me, I was wearing green socks, so I always wear them, but this pair got washed with something weird, because my stupid ROOMMATE touched my THINGS which he’s NOT SUPPOSED TO DO and now it’s kind of more blue than green and I’m pretty sure that means you will not love me anymore, even if you wanted to and also there’s an earthquake coming.


i’m lousy at cleaning.
(i always skip the floors.)
i’m lousy at plant maintenance.
(everything i touch seems to die.)
i’m terrible at not singing really loudly in the car.
(but the song’s so good!)
my hair is usually more in the state of “coping” than “thriving.”
i bite my nails. i have weathered feet.
sometimes i forget there’s a litter box in this place.
if that’s not too annoying…
i promise to love you with all of my heart
every day
and make sure you laugh every day
and go to sleep safe every night.
and i’ll even overlook all those weird things you do or don’t do.
like, how you …
you know, i’m not even going to say it here.
no, really. that’s how much i love you.
no matter how much you want me to tell you, i won’t say what i was about to say.
happy valentine’s day.


Valentine To an Extreme Crush Who Has No Idea You Are Interested
MSG: Hey, kiddo.


(found taped to a storefront in Los Angeles.)


I wanted to get you a bunny for Valentine’s Day.
That’s cute, right?
A little bunny, all hopping around and being cute?
And I remember you saying you always wanted one when you were little,
but your mom wouldn’t let you.
But apparently other people had the same idea, because the pet store was all out.
I drove around Los Angeles until I found a place that sold live rabbits.
It was in Chinatown.
I can’t stop crying.


Did you remember to lock the back door?
Before we left, did you remember to lock the back door?
I think… I think maybe it’s unlocked.
I don’t know, either I left it unlocked, or you unlocked it after I locked it.
Don’t get like that, it’s possible you unlocked it.
I mean, you have unlocked a door before, haven’t you?
So it’s possible that at some point you might have unlocked the back door before we came here.
Just say I’m right. Just say it.
I am not raising my voice, and people are not staring.
You wanna ruin Valentine’s Day?
That’s just fine.
We’ll stay here, and have this fancy dinner at this really expensive restaurant and when we go home all of our things will have been stolen out the back door.
So let’s have a toast! To our robbers!
No, seriously. Did you remember to lock the back door?
Are you sure you didn’t unlock it when you meant to lock it?
I could call Jim and have him go over and look.
It’ll only take a minute!
No, you know, I’m just… I’m gonna call Jim.
Oh, he’s not busy. That dude hasn’t had a girlfriend in three years. Not as long as he drives that scooter.
I am not going outside to use the phone. By the time I get out there I’d have already talked to–
Jim lost five hundred bucks on that game last night.
Where are you going? Are you crying?
Baby, wait!


Post-Strike Valentine
I’m very sorry, but I think I will be missing dinner tonight. Hope you didn’t make too big of plans. I’m just swamped now and I’ve got a notes meeting and I think they want to shoot this before the end of the month which is just stupid and I might have to sleep in my office. I don’t even know if you’re checking your email or already left for your hair appointment. But if you get this: PLEASE don’t forget to TiVo Lost!!!! Ur the best! (PS: Still support the WGA? (I got you an internet residual for valentine’s day.))


Love is a choice.
I fully believe that.
Also, I think it’s controlled by the same part of the brain that makes you actively choose to pretend you don’t know how the stove works.
Choose wisely.


Oh, you wanted a Valentine?
No, it’s just…
I thought you were better than that.
Like, I thought you were confident and strong and didn’t need some corporate bullshit proof that you’re special to someone.
Oh, so now you’re not going to talk to me?
What do you mean, you don’t believe me?
Okay, I’m broke!
Damn, woman.


there’s a floor tile
in the kitchen
just past the refrigerator.
that is where i am dancing.
tippie-toed, fists clenched, eyes shut tight.
i am dancing
for you
in honor of you
because of you
Happy Valentine’s Day.


No, no, no, no, no.
Baby, that’s not what I said.
I said I’m Passion-Aggressive.
You better believe there’s such a thing.
That means I’m gonna kiss the lips off your face.
Off your face, lady!
Ain’t no pill gonna fix that, because there’s nothing wrong with it.
Passion-Aggression. All up on my lap.
Come here, sweetheart. You look good.
You buy those for me?
You look good in them.
Ooop. Sorry, I didn’t realize they were so sensitive.
Did I break that? Oh, man.
How much?
Three hundred dollars!
Then they shouldn’t fall apart when I pull at them a little.
I guess they don’t make panties that can handle my passion aggression.
That’s okay. I like you better naked.
Is it Valentine’s Day or something? Man, you are on fire.


I first heard about you in Texas.
I wasn’t impressed.
To be completely honest, the thought of you made me gag.
But I decided to be brave.
That first time was a complete failure. On all levels.
I did not speak highly of you.
I believe I called you “gross.”
Years passed.
Things changed.
I changed.
We tried again.
I was introduced to you by a man who thought I’d like you.
He was right.
Sweet heaven.
And I quickly became addicted.
I have no idea how much money I’ve spent on you over the years.
How much time.
How many different ways we’ve done it.
Hand. Roll. Smothered.
I thought we’d be together forever.
(I still do.)
But lately you’ve been on the news. Making a name for yourself.
A bad name.
Apparently, you are loaded with toxic chemicals.
Every time you touch my mouth, you kill me, just a bit more.
You are turning me into a thermometer.
Turning my ovaries into giant nickels.
I can blame you for my crazy.
But still.
But still.
Lovely sushi.
Oh, sashimi.
Ahi, Toro, Maguro, hai!
Watashi wa anata o hontooni aishite imasu.


is the only word left to say.
…So how come you keep talking after you said it?
Like, a lot. Like, a lot a lot!
I think you wanted to drag it out until today so that you could get a present.
That’s pretty crafty.
So I got you this mini Nano.
It’s pink.
Now, BYE.


Thanks for ten great years of sharing Valentine’s Day with me.