cousin Nicole is my best friend.As we enter our thirties we get closer and have a better understanding
of each other.We are two months apart
in age and were raised like twins but I’ll get into that later.To paint a picture Nicole is tall,
curvy and has light delicate voice that makes you want to sip chardonnay while
riding a yacht through the Mediterranean.Even though our family pretends not to know, she is covered in
beautiful, artistic tattoos that makes her like a walking art gallery of love
and a complete contradiction to anything Jewish.She’s an ex-punk rocker girl finding her way.Ironically her signifier since our teen
years has always been her rack.“Nicole with the boobies” is what they called her.At the end of the day that’s her, just
a cute, artistic Jewish girl who has more than her looks to offer the world that
happens to have the biggest titties you have ever seen.
was a time when Nicole and I looked like twin boys.Yes twin boys.It
was around the time “Encino Man” came out that we got matching bowl-haircuts
just like the one Brendon Fraser gets in the movie.It was the time.Everyone was doing it.Being the little boys people thought we were.She collected baseball cards, wore baseball hats that made
her have an odd resemblance to John Goodman in “King Ralph” and had plans to be
a marine biologist.I on the other
hand, was the type of 7-year old that loved to cook, read Tiger Beat and lived to
watch reruns of “Mary Tyler Moore.”This was YEARS before I realized that I was so gay that someone could
get diabetes sitting next to me.It was a different time.
and I were Latchkey kids.We spent
most of our free time together mostly because our parents worked, couldn’t
afford a sitter and it was before we knew better.We also spent our youth going to YMCA day camp.Where every day we spent hanging out at
a local park making macramé friendship bracelets and the nights getting yelled
at by our parents for getting sunburned and not using enough sunscreen.Our family was straight from
Russia.Nicole and I were
first-generation, pale children.Some people went in the sun and tanned, we would ignite.Camp was also the place where Nicole
would unknowingly become the youngest fag-hag the world had ever known.Years later we would find out that
nearly every one in our inner camp circle of friends (4 people) would become
the best hairdressers and drag queens the world had ever seen.
camp Nicole and I dressed the same for the most part.She often wore an old black Paul McCartney concert shirt
that her sister gave her.It was her
favorite shirt.The shirt had been
worn so much it was just a black shirt with a half of a wilted rose on it.Neon shorts often entered the seen and
a baseball cap covered in white lace that she thought made her look like a
fly-girl from In Living Color.Oh yeah and there was always a
fanny-pack and did I mention we were fat?Not like “Gilbert Grape” fat.No.We were pleasantly
plump.When looking at us from
behind, all one could see was love handles and side-boob.We were often confused for
brothers.Did I mention that
Nicole always wore these little diamond earrings?Even so, we still would get confused for brothers.We were also the type of fat kids that
would be near last when hiking because we would were too busy playing with
chapstick.We had this
cookie-dough flavored stuff that we would smear all over our hands and lick
like a Popsicle just to curve our hungers.It would be years before we learned that hunger would never
go away no matter how we tried to squash it.It would take an entire adolescent of dieting and learning
to tune out Susan Powers infomercials, Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dr. Atkins and everyone
else for us to learn that.
camp when headed to the water fountain we, as kids needed to have a buddy with
us.I was Nicole’s.She turned her fanny pack to the side, leaned down to sip
some water as she had done millions of times before.I stood off by a few feet.Behind Nicole was a small boy no older than 4 trying to rush
her and behind him his mother.As
Nicole sipped the water, the little boy complained about her taking too
long.The mother then said, “Let
the little boy finish.”Nicole
said nothing.Made no eye contact
to the little shit and his mother.A few seconds passed of pure silence.Nicole started to cry and said, “I’m a girl.I’m wearing earrings.I’m a girl.”While I grew up intellectually knowing Nicole was in fact a
little girl, this was the first time I realized that we weren’t both boys.It hadn’t really dawned on me until
that moment. It would be
another 4 years before the boobs grew in.She left school nearly flat as a wall and returned from summer brake a
woman.This was made clear not
only by her appearance but by the amount of fifth grade boys who would ask me
what happened to her.It would be
another 8 years before Nicole came to terms with them; stopped trying to hide
her lady bits them from herself and the world.It would be another 10 before she realized their magical powers.
Lately I’ve had these telltale signs that I must be
getting old.I intellectually know
that at 29 I am arguably young.You are as young as you feel.I didn’t feel old when at breakfast the bartender didn’t even card
me.I didn’t feel old when at
Macy’s some random woman offered me eye cream.It was strange being that I was in the Home-Furnishings
section but I went with it.I
didn’t feel old when my mother told me that I was too old to be a young
parent.None of that fazed
me.I did however feel old when a
20-year old asked me “What’s a scrambled channel?”
I officially realized that I, like the elastic on
Mariah Carey's clothing officially am old.
I explained that a scrambled channel was that magic
place between channels.If you
didn’t have HBO or Scinimax this was what you lived for.I realized that this kid didn’t know
the pain, excitement and exhilaration of trying to watch scrambled-soft-core
porn. Looking at a scrambled channel was like looking at one of those
Magic Eye pictures from the 90s.Where your friends asked if you saw the image beneath the image.You would stay no every time, then just
lie and say you saw it just to get them off of your back.This kid didn’t know what it was like
for us to find porn before the Internet.You had to have a friend, sister or National Geographic.It was hard.This kid never knew the thrill of arguing with a buddy if
that was a mole or a tit. He just didn’t know.He looked at me like I was speaking alien. I explained
how we as children in the cable-age became masters of our domains when our
parents weren't looking. He didn’t know about how it became a talent to
switch channels fast and slow enough to see a remnant of a scrambled tit just
because we could. We ALL did it. At least those of use without that
relative who had that illegal cable box. The trick was to not get caught.
This was a primitive time right before the Internet became our peephole
into the universe.
I realized that this kid didn’t know that there was
a time when life was harder.Where
we didn’t download music.We
joined these CD clubs.We would
get 10-15 CDs in the mail without any intention of ever joining or paying.It was a different time!
This kid didn’t know that there was a time in
our recent past where we were so primitive that we would purchase Internet in increments
of time. When you went on you had to know where you were going.There was no time to waste! Each Internet Company would try to sell
you their Internet connection by giving you CDs with 10-100 free hours at a
time for an introductory thing. If your family was broke like mine, you
never paid for the Internet.Once
you were done with one, you would cancel the membership and switch to another
company for more free hours. After a year or so of bouncing between free
Internet deals we got the Internet sweet spot America Online. We had
never used AOL before. This was the place that connected millions little
boys to dirty chatrooms.It was
also the first place many young boys like myself searched for porn.It was great.I became great friends with porn.I also, like all young boys innately knew how to clear the
web browser.It’s just how we
developed.You got a boner and automatically
knew how to clear a browser. I thought I covered my tracks well.No one would be the wiser.This was before we knew how the world
worked. This was before we knew what cookies were and that AOL would send
commercial emails from sites you had visited.I didn’t know this either.
Weeks went by since meeting my good friend Internet
porn. My mother and I went to dinner. Being that she’s Russian and
English was her second language, sometimes there would be words she didn’t
completely understand.Between the
burger and the shake my mom asked, "What is boo cake and can I eat
it?" The world has never been the same.
Lately I have had this realization. I am getting old. When my mom told me that I was too old to be a young-parent I was okay with it. When I went to Macy's and was offered eye cream in the furniture department, I took it with a grain of salt. When a 20-year old asked me what a "scrambled channel" was, I officially realized that I, like the elastic on Mariah Carey's clothing officially am old. I asked the kid if he knew the pain, excitement and exhilaration of trying to watch scrambled-soft-core porn. He never knew the thrill of arguing with a buddy if that was a boob or mole. He looked at me like I was speaking alien. I explained how we as children in the cable-age became masters of our domains (when our parents weren't looking). It became a talent to switch channels fast and slow enough to see a remnant of a scrambled tit just because we could. We ALL did it. At least those of use without that relative who had that illegal cable box. The trick was to not get caught. This was a primitive time right before the Internet became our peep-hole into the universe.
Like many others. We didn't really buy CDs. We just joined music clubs just to get get the free-CDs. We had pagers to show others we had friends. Once the Internet came out we bought increments of Internet time. It was weird. Each Internet company would try to sell you their Internet connection by giving you CDs with 10-100 free hours at a time for an introductory thing. Once you were done with one, you would cancel membership and switch to another company for more free hours. After a year or so of bouncing between free Internet deals we had America Online. We had never used AOL before. I had never seen Internet porn before then. Boys will be boys and I met Internet porn. Like most boys of that time we innately learned how to clean our browser history. This was before we knew how the world worked. This was before we knew what cookies were and AOL would send you commercial emails from sites you had visited.
Weeks went by since meeting my good friend Internet porn. My mother and I went to dinner. Between the burger and the shake my mom asked, "What is boo cake and can I eat it?" The world was never the same.
I always give my mom a tough time. She hates to workout and I always try to push her to fitness because I love her. She calls me yesterday and says, "Yuri did you hear? Last week Ukrainian Mayor was shot while jogging. See? Fitness kills!"
My mom tells surprisingly good jokes. She said I could be whoever I want to be in life. She was wrong. 20 Years, 5 restraining orders, 10 years of therapy later, I in-fact can't marry Luke Perry.
During the 5 minutes it was legal a few years ago for gay people to marry my mom said, "Get married! I wan't you to be the next Anna Nicole Smith. You know...but alive.
She's always bugging me about kids. She's always like, "Yuri what about grand babies? What about grand babies?" To which I respond "babies don't come out of there. Trust me I've tried."
Growing up my mom was the type of cook that made you think, "anorexia, that has merit!"
My Mom didn't cook much. She had 3 dishes though that were amazing: scrambled eggs, mac n' cheese and chili with hot dogs. Because we were Jewish we could never be considered white trash but we sure as hell did try!
Truth be told my mother is very supportive of me doing comedy. Sometimes a bit too supportive. I often try jokes on her. She's my sounding board. I'll call her up and say, "hey mom can I try this one joke one you? So a rabbi, a priest and"... She interrupts laughing too loud before I get anywhere close to the punch line. Under her breath says, "HA! HA! HA! You so funny... After $80,000 in college you doing standup. HAHA"...
There are homeless squatting 4 free in a large, empty apartment in my building. Laws protect them from eviction. I'm moving there...
San Francisco is so fucking weird. Where the weed's a flown,' the over-entitled rich kids spend way to much money to look like they don't care and the streets are paved with crackheads. This is the place I call home. Here you can smoke pot everywhere you damn well please but god forbid you light a cigarette or use a plastic bag, the masses will show their distain for you with passive-aggressive shrugs. So, recently I find out that there are homeless people living in some random, unmarked Pandora's box of an apartment in my building. Let me repeat this: there are homeless squatting for free in a large, empty apartment in my building. Laws protect them from eviction. I'm moving there...
I am kind of afraid to go into this apartment that the homeless are apparently living in. This is not out of fear for safety or hygiene. It's because I bet their place is bigger than mine. I know it's not the size but the motion of the ocean but this is ridiculous. If I don't pay my rent I can get evicted. If I illegally have a pet in my unit I can be evicted. If I illegally try to squat in a unit that I'm not living in the law protects me from getting evicted easily. What's wrong with this picture? Where is the "It Gets better Campaign" now? Apparently if you set your sites low enough, you too can squat in a Tenderloin apartment for months for free.
I imagine there to be a large variety of half-smoked cigarette butts to be offered for appetizers when visiting this apartment. A television in the corner that has both shattered glass and isn't plugged in, but makes an amazing coffee/coke table... Who are we kidding? Crack is cheaper! Here there is no doodie-smell. No. No. You know why? There is a toilet and electricity! Who pays for it? They don't know, care or ask questions. I imagine a bed made with street sheets as far as the eyes could see and nice, warm blankets made of wall insulation. What type of homeless live there? This I do not know. I assume it's the well-to-do homeless that went to homeless college in order to afford their fancy digs. There one would major in Panhandling or Human Sexuality. It is San Francisco after all. Don't make the mistake of bringing non-organic cigarettes to this party, you will not be welcomed. Much like how I went to college, majored in Speech for 5 years, learned how to roll a good joint and live in an apartment I can't afford. Since I have no choice in this matter, maybe I should write them off as dependents? See? Stars really are like us. So from now on when people ask how I'm doing I'll say, "excuse me have a dollar?"