Saturday, December 31, 2005

"Milano cookies do sound good right about now . . ."

Since it's traditional, I thought I'd end 2005 with a Best Of/Worst Of list. This was a big year of change for me -- first full year in New York, made new friends, tackled the Ass Crisis, tackled a bout of depression, survived a transit strike, and got a new apartment. So without being too hackneyed, let's reflect upon the year past:

Best Linkage of an Aging Pop Singer to Ancient History: The Akhenatenization of Phil Collins.

Best Turn of Events: Getting a great apartment near Prospect Park and getting the fuck outta Bushwick.

Best 2005 Meal: Basque tapas at Euzkadi.

Best 2005 New York Moment: A tie: that lovely June Saturday when Vi came and visited me; walking five miles to work.

Worst 2005 New York Moment: Walking five miles to work in December.

Best Surprise: Losing 20 lbs (though Xmas has probably dented this).

Worst Surprise: Finding out that Holly was doing the nasty with her married boss.

Best Achievement: Became more financially secure.

Best Album Purchased: Doves "Some Cities"

Best Album Legally Dowloaded: Spoon "Gimme Fiction"

Best Album Illegally Downloaded: Metric "Old World Underground Where Are You Now?"

Anyway, maybe I'll think of more things as the day progresses. In the meantime I'm contemplating murdering the neighbors across the street for their Christmas decorations that play "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" ALL FUCKING NIGHT LONG. After committing homicide, I'm supposed to get together with Jess and then it's over to see Holly at her brother's New Years Eve party.

Dennise, I know you're
in midtown somewhere for 6 hours, but the thought of going anywhere near 42nd Street makes me want to throw myself in front of a speeding subway train. You'll forgive me if I don't try and find you amongst the crowds. Yesterday's trip to 57th Street was bad enough . . . Does this make me a bad friend?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

"I will give you everything you've been wanting."

Day three of post-Christmas detox isn't going so well. I tried to put the smack down after my body got way to accustomed to the steady flow of cookies, chocolate, and booze. On Tuesday I had a nice big salad for lunch but then followed it up with Chinese for dinner and three glasses of red wine. Doh! Then yesterday I had sushi for lunch only to spend the rest of the day with the shakes and muttering to myself, "Cookie cookie cookie. I want a fucking COOKIE!" Then I was oh so healthy by going out for drinks later with Jess and then dinner at 24 Prince. At least I had the moderately healthy striped bass.

There's something else I'm having a hard time putting a smack down on -- my feelings for Holly. I know, I know. Even despite everything and despite the fact that I've only seen her four times since the Big Incident. I obviously need to put some more effort into the whole online dating/two thousand sex resolution. It doesn't help when I have a vivid dream of Holly coming up to me, taking hold, and whisping seductively in my ear, "I will give you everything you've been wanting."

Perhaps I should propose to Steve Jobs like Dennise did in her blog. Or, as Mr. Bad Apologies pointed out, I could take my recent uptick in salary an enjoy the Tom Foolery that singledom allows.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

"What is this and how do I eat it?"

Nothing says Christmas in the Rouge household like booze and gambling. Even the fallen Catholic in me felt a little guilty looking at baby Jesus in the Nativity as I sipped martinis with my mom and played Texas Holdem with my 12 year old cousin. Ah . . . the corrupting of youth. And after the glut of alcohol and food, I'm ready for my detox of vegetables and water.

I spent four days shuttling between Northwest DC, Northern Virginia, and Cowcountry, Maryland (aka Howard County). Christmas wasn't too bad this year (perhaps due to the proliferation of gin and gambling), but by the 26th I was ready to head back to New York and sleep in my own bed. At least the subway is running again.

So what did I get? A membership to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (hooray!), Sephora giftcard, a much predicted Lord & Taylor giftcard, diamond necklace, and some other random stuff. I even got a pair of diamond earrings from my mom. Actually they are on "loan", but we all know that once they make their way to my jewelry box they're mine, motherfuckers.

Friday, December 23, 2005

"It's your lucky day."

It was indeed my lucky day.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the odds were stacked against me. Seven miles separated me from my destination of West 31st Street and 8th Avenue and I had to be there by 11 am. It almost sounded like a bad premise for a reality television show.

Transit Strike! Will our lucky contestant, Ms. Post No Bills, reach midtown Manhattan with only a spoon and some duct tape? She only has two hours to do it! Tune in and find out if she makes it!

So, faced with this insurmountable task (sans spoon and duct tape), I leave my apartment and start walking towards the LIRR station on Atlantic Avenue -- a trip that normally takes 40 minutes on foot and not accounting for the wheely suitcase I was now dragging up Flatbush Avenue.

I made it all the way past Grand Army Plaza and my arms were killing me. Reality is settling in and I realize what I really need is a ride to Manhattan. Spotting a yellow cab ahead of me that had no one in it, I motion to the driver. "Manhattan?" I ask. The cab driver, Igor from Russia, nods and comes to help load my suitcase in the trunk.

Now Igor is an interesting guy. I haven't been in the cab three minutes before Igor turns the cab around and heads the opposite direction of Manhattan. "Don't worry," he says in heavily accented English. "I've been driving the cars for twenty-six years." I assume this means he's been a cab driver for the last twenty-six years -- nearly as long as I've been alive. We zoom through the back streets of Park Slope, over the Gowanus Canal, and then meander through Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights. Though I enjoy the architectural tour of historic Brooklyn, I have doubts to whether this winding route to the Brooklyn Bridge has saved us any time. At least I'm not walking, I remind myself.

As we get closer to the Brooklyn Bridge, I wonder if Igor is going to pick up any more passengers. There are strict HOV rules for the bridges entering Manhattan and a car must have at least four people in it. Igor and I only make two. But as we drive over the bridge, it's obvious that we've somehow circumvented this rule. I'm not sure what sort of gang sign Igor flashed the cops who were filtering bridge traffic, but we make it into Manhattan despite the rules. Fifteen minutes later, Igor drops me off at West 31st and I give him a $10 tip.

It's only 10 am and I've successfully completed my challenge. My next two tasks are very important -- obtain cash and coffee. Down on 7th Avenue, there's a bank next to a Starbucks. Score. I get cash out of the ATM and then go and order some coffee next door. However when I go to pay, no bank card. My heart stops as I realize that I left my bank card in the ATM next door. Shit! I rush next door thinking it has to be gone when I see a cop holding my card. "That's mine!" I squeal. "Thankyouthankyouthankyou."

So, the resolution of the story is that I got my bank card back, got on the bus to DC, and made it back to the Nation's Capitol intact. Three days of transit strike and I am exhausted. And of course I hear that the strike is over now that I am in DC.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

"Are you at work? Or somewhere on the Brooklyn Bridge?"

At the rate my mom keeps calling, you'd think the dirty bomb had been unleashed somewhere in Manhattan. Not only was she shocked and appalled that I had walked to work, but she called yesterday morning, last night, and tonight. "I worry about you." Okay, Mom. No need to worry. I am adult, have an ATM card, and a good pair of walking shoes.

But now I'm faced with a rather cumbersome task: get to West 31st street by 10 am tomorrow to catch a bus to DC without the use of the subway. Let's take a moment to review how far that is. Right. See how far that is? FAR.

So I'm going to go to bed now and wish on my lucky stars that
(a) the strike will be over in the morning, (b) I get a ride into Manhattan, or (c) the walk to the LIRR station on Atlantic Avenue isn't too punishing with a suitcase.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry."

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

In case some of you don't know, there's a transit strike in New York -- the first in 25 years incidentally. No trains. No busses. Lotta walking. Let me put it to you this way: Brooklyn = far. And how far is my house from my office? 5 miles of farness.

So I did it. I walked to work from Brooklyn and it took 1 hour 45 minutes. Part of me with a sense of adventure secretly relished the challenge of making it to work on time with only my two feet to get me there. But for all my initial gung-ho attitude, my sense of adventure quickly ran out about the time my legs started to go numb from the cold. And seeing how two hours is a lot of time to walk, I realized a couple things:

- It's fucking cold!
- Transit strike in late December is not a good idea.
- I should own long johns.
- I should live closer.
- Wow, the Manhattan Bridge looks nice after you've been walking 50 minutes.
- Wow, the Manhattan Bridge takes forever to walk over.

Time to remind the boys and girls at home that the last transit strike lasted 11 days.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

"You'll be able to recognize me by my fashionable shoes and distinct lack of mullet."

Oh crap. The annual chocolate laden holiday gift basket has arrived at work and I've already broken into the dark chocolate covered pretzels something fierce. Christmas, why must you make me a fatty chocolate eating whore? No one will want to date me with an Ass Crisis.

Anyway, in case you thought I wasn't being proactive about my singleness, I can assure you that I've taken some key steps to end the Great Drought of 2003-2005. No, I haven't sought out lesbian speed dating, but I have stuck my toe into the online dating waters again, receiving a bounty of responses.* I've also joined a lesbian social group in Park Slope.

I'm pretty outgoing, so I don't mind showing up somewhere in the hope of connecting with a bunch of strangers from Craigslist. My only fear is that I will show up on time and no one will be there. Or rather the meeting location will be packed and I won't be able to find the people I'm supposed to be meeting.

So there I was at the Tea Lounge, armed with a chai latte, and furtively scanning the room looking for anyone who looked remotely butch. Keep in mind that I was in Park Slope so the odds were about as good as finding a gay man in Chelsea. I did the whole scanning thing for a couple minutes, trying not to look like an idiot. Although I identified a couple of lesbian candidates, none of them looked like they were part of a group or even a gaggle. I resisted the urge to shout loudly, "ARE THERE ANY LESBIANS IN THE HOUSE?" When it almost seemed like the evening was a bust, I managed to locate the group organizer without causing a scene.

Huzzah! I'm now part of a lesbian social group!

* It looks as though I have a date tomorrow. Please MTA, please don't strike!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"Imaginary patios are the best."

When I moved to my new apartment, a bunch of random stuff went missing (blue velvet jacket anyone?!) and after it became apparent that this stuff wouldn't resurface, I figured it was my karmic debt for landing such a fantastic place. See, the cosmic imbalance was off, the universe demanded a sacrifice, and so my jacket, bedskirt, and other items headed for the landfill.

At least that's what I tell myself.

Anyway, I can deal with karmic sacrifice, but goddamnit I want my black pants back! I had only worn them twice! And while they came from Old Navy and therefore were not very expensive, the remaining black pants in my closet are stupid -- too short, too narrow, too big, hole in the crotch, etc. Even though I am wearing black pants today, you can all rest assured that it's not the pair with the hole in the crotch. Phew!

Then again maybe that pair would improve my love life. Hmmmmm . . .

(T-minus 11 days and counting. Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"It's just nice to meet another human that shares my affinity for elf culture."

Why is Christmas shopping so freakin' hard? It's the first year in a very long time where I actually have money to shop with. Remember last year? I had $36 to my name and my parents had to buy my train ticket home for the holidays. Thankfully this is no longer the case.

I made a passing attempt at shopping last night when I walked up to the Union Square holiday market. I figured, Hey I'll get something unique for my mom, something that came from New York and not from a chain store. Instead I wandered around on sensory overload, trying not to shop for myself . . . which is why Christmas shopping is so hard. Invariably I start shopping for myself.

What does one get a 55 year old woman who's ridiculously picky? Oh and did I mention that I was a procrastinator? T-minus 12 days and counting.

Monday, December 12, 2005

"But you always played with dolls."

Picture it. Maryland, 1997. It's a Sunday morning in early June and pages of the Washington Post cover the distance between my father and I. The blog title quote is his, struggling to understand how his daughter could be gay. Good times!

Actually let's not talk about my coming out drama (oh boy, is it a drama!). Let's talk about how I can work on being better lesbian in 2006. I don't even know other lesbians and, well, no wonder I am single. To be a better lesbian I could:

- Join a softball team
- Get a cat
- Get a dog
- Get a mullet
- Own a piece of pride jewelry
- Listen to the Indigo Girls
- Move in with someone after the first date
- Own sensible footwear

Can we really see myself playing softball and wearing sensible footwear? I'm too much of a girlie girl. I did go to the Lilith Fair once, however I was accompanied by a gay man and a closeted gay man. Maybe it's just better to be single, get a dog, and watch L Word episodes on DVD.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

"We are sorry for the delay. There was train traffic ahead and I like seashells."

I thought I'd be clever this morning and squeeze my way into a crowded B train. However the train thought it'd be clever and break down at the next subway stop. And so began my morning . . . 25 minutes late and slightly annoyed. The fiasco could have been avoided if I had gotten out of the house on time, but instead I wasted precious minutes trying figure out what to wear with my new H&M tweed skirt -- something I should have nailed down the night before.

Yes, I am a procrastinator. I write blog entries when I should be redesigning Web sites, watch DVD episodes of Lost when I should be working on a freelance project, and screw around on the internet when I should be getting ready for work. And since I am a procrastinator, you will know that yours truly will be up late trying to finish her freelance project tonight instead of finishing up season one of Lost, which is what yours truly would rather do.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"Will that be debit or credit?"

Tis the season to be giving . . . to myself. In the last week I've bought:

- A pair of urban sneakers
- A pair of regular sneakers
- A pair of snow boots
- A pair of Nine West low heels
- A black cashmere sweater from Ann Taylor
- Knickers from Vickies
- Fishnet stockings
- Dress shirt from Ann Taylor Loft
- Black pants from Ann Taylor Loft
- Black cowl neck sweater from Ann Taylor Loft
- Eye shadow from Sephora
- Body butter from Body Shop

This is what happens when suddenly you're $1300 richer and need clothes that fit
. . . and you're me and you can't say no to some shopping. I was even thinking of upgrading the thread count on my sheets.

I need help. Or a personal shopper. I can't decide which.

* * *
Let's talk of New Year's Resolutions. While cooking Thanksgiving dinner, both Jess and I agreed that 2006 will now be referred to as Two-thousand-sex. I'm not sure where I'm going with this train of thought, but the point is that I shall be upping the level of indulgence in the new year in addition to upping the thread count of my sheets. Too bad online dating is so freakin' tedious.

Bed of Sin: $300. Massage: $125. Victoria's Secret: $46. Meeting the woman of my dreams: Priceless.

Monday, December 05, 2005

"We need to have an exit strategy."

Teutonic Chef Goddess doesn't love me anymore -- I haven't heard from her since Wednesday -- leading me to believe that I have blown it. However Beth and Nils must love me because they drove all the way from DC to stay with me for the weekend! They even found a parking space on my street. After bringing them in from the cold and showing them around, my new digs definitely impressed them more than the old place in Bushwick.

This weekend was the Second Annual Brooklyn in December visit owing to the fact that they came and visited me this weekend last year. Instead of spending lots of time in Manhattan, this was a Brooklyn only trip. Botanical Garden on Saturday morning, walk to Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill in the afternoon, lunch at Sherwood Cafe, shopping along Smith Street, and beer at the Brooklyn Inn. After a rest at home and a couple of Dos Equis, Beth, Nils, Jane, and I went to the First Saturday festivities at the Brooklyn Museum of Art followed by pizza at Franny's and drinks at Bar Sepia. What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. Holly even met us at Bar Sepia, which led Beth to later observe that Holly definitely flirts with me. Too bad she's, well, you know.

We woke up to snow on Sunday, but made the slushy trip to Beast for the Best Brunch I've Ever Had. Wild boar meat sausage? Chocolate hazelnut pound cake? Seriously folks, you'll just have to visit me to find out for yourself.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

"Don't you Error 500 me!"

I had this whole plan where I would go to Lord & Taylor after work today and take advantage of their 20% off coupon. However the email link to the bloody coupon won't work, denying me 20% off and the chance to get some good quality unmentionables on sale. See, I figured that even though the Teutonic Chef Goddess probably won't want to do the naughty with me, it's best to be prepared.

She wrote back, by the way. Said that I was silly (in a good way) and that her last email was to highlight her need for companionship, not sex. Well well, you could have fooled me. We'll see if she still sticks by her Can I see you this week? It would make me very very happy request.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Can I see you this week? It would make me very very happy."

Um, so the Teutonic Chef Goddess wrote me back. Some more emails were exchanged and the words "cold", "lonely", and "haven't had sex in 6 months" were used.

Uh . . . . why am I having a moral crisis about this? She'll probably turn out to be a man or, as Dennise put it, a stalker who will kill me and eat my heart.

I don't want my heart eaten.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"However, based on that short intro I think you should perhaps marry her."

Oh dear, what have I done? I was only on the Craigslist w4w section to show Dennise the woeful list of options for us single lesbritarians. And then I saw my Teutonic Chef Goddess Dream Girl in search of her dining partner slash museum partner
slash partner and other things that made her my Dream Girl. Because, you know, I just had to email her . . . . Now I'm just waiting for the inevitable silent rejection of my email because she looks like a goddess and, well, I don't.


In related news, Dennise told me that people should pay me to write their introductory responses to online personals. This was one that I wrote for her:

Say, I too am stuck in Cleveland for the rest of the year and into 2006. Quite a coincidence. I have been in the city long enough to be able to regale you with its finer cultural highlights. We can take the Not So Rapid Transit to the Cuyahoga River and toast marshmallows while the river burns.

I wonder why she didn't use it?

Monday, November 28, 2005

"Where is he? Where's the creep that turned me into a spider eating man bitch?"

Much as I would like to use this blog entry to construct witty observations on life and my Thanksgiving holiday, it really boils down to Ways in Which I Staved Off Boredom During the Long Weekend. As a naturally outgoing person, I don't do well by myself, so three solid days of me time posed a bit of a challenge. Thursday was the very successful First Annual Misfits Thanksgiving, but what of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday?

- Listened to Spoon's Gimme Fiction.

- Cleaned out a couple of boxes of old papers from college, including a small stack of vomit inducing creepy love emails from the crazy ex-girlfriend circa 1997.

- Went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens on Saturday to make use of the free entry before noon. My lazy ass got there at 12:03 and they got my $5.

- Bought snow boots and new sneakers on sale at DSW Shoe Warehouse.

- Contemplated my loss of faith over the last year.

- Decided I really wasn't an atheist after all.

- Tentatively regained my faith, hoping that it wasn't because I didn't want to accept that I really was all alone.

- Listened to Rilo Kiley's The Execution of All Things.

- Explored Park Slope.

- Obsessed a little over the Holly situation.

- Hiked Prospect Park.

- Exhausted meager library of DVDs.

- Absconded with Jane's Season 5 Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

- Found out that while in London this weekend, Jane got engaged.

So there you go, my holiday. To sum things up Thanksgiving good, alone time bad. Perhaps I'll ponder how to make my blog entries more about what's going on and less of laundry list of things I did.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"Generally you don't see that kind of behavior in a major appliance."

For the first time in my life, I feel like an adult. I have adult hair, an adult apartment, and adult finances. When the fuck did this happen?? Strangely enough, this realization seemed to coincide with my 27th birthday. What a drag it is getting old.

I've also been feeling a little depressed. So to lift myself out of the doldrums, I've been reverting to some movie therapy -- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Sunday (incidentally with Holly), movie night at the old pub on Monday, and a little Ghostbusters last night. I can also console myself with the fact that I got a 10% raise yesterday.

This brings us to this week's webring assignment:

What is your favorite film? Which is your favorite scene/character in the film and why?

Some of you may know that one of my favorite films (next to Priscilla Queen of the Dessert) is Ghostbusters. My love for this film knows no bounds and it's what I turn to when I want the movie version of comfort food. I also love it for its witty one liners (usually delivered by Bill Murray), snappy dialogue, and general hilarity. Who doesn't love watching the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man stomp his way through Columbus Circle?

For other takes on this topic see:

A Prize In Every Box | Write Again Soon | Wish to See | Bad Apologies

Monday, November 21, 2005

"You don't remember throwing up in the pizza shop?!"

So this weekend . . . I spent it alternately feeling really sorry for myself and feeling like I dodged a really big bullet. I'm still a bit sad and I still feel like a bit of an idiot, but I keep reminding myself that no one wants to be involved in a love quadrangle and no one wants to be involved with someone who has been in a secret relationship with their boss for 6 or 7 months. Sigh. One of my 2006 resolutions is going to not fall for straight(ish) people.

Good news is that now I have a bit of closure with my love life. I'll keep my fingers crossed that there's some hot lesbian action on the horizon. Maybe I should get a dog and start hanging out in Park Slope more often . . . One must have a plan.

I'm still apologizing to Holly for getting so drunk on Friday that she had to walk me around the Lower East Side at 1 am for fear that if I were to get into a cab, I would be sick in the cab. Apparently some nice MTA employees were making fun of me while I was vomiting around the Lower East Side. At least she made sure I got home okay.

I think it's time for some ritual suicide so I can die an honorable death.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

"My name is Keith and I'll be here all evening."

Me: "So about you kissing me last night."

Holly: "You kissed me."

Me: "Oh."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I made an absolute heel of myself last night. My dignity is all spent and there's a little bit of vomit on my new velvet blue blazer. My landlord even had to see me doing the walk of shame after I took a car back from Holly's place this morning.

Don't worry, nothing happened between Holly and I . . . per usual. And I found out why nothing has been happening all these months I've been carrying a small torch for her -- she's having an affair with her married boss.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

"The part with the dragon is really cool."

Sometime in the mid 1980s, my aunt gave me a novelty record for my birthday. The record was a little thing made of thin, floppy plastic, and it contained a rather silly personalized song:

Hey [Rouge], it's your birthday.
My name is Zoom and I live on the moon

I don't remember the rest of it, but for whatever reason those two lines have etched themselves permanently into the mind of my parents -- they still serenade me with it each birthday. Little did I know that Captain Zoom is still around (casette, CD, mp3) and wishing kids happy birthday. Must be nostalgia. My parents did afterall send me a Care Bears birthday card.

Anyway, a while back (October) Beth asked us to write about our births and I replied that I didn't have a lot of details to recount. However my father filled in some of the blanks last night.

"Twenty seven years ago tonight, your mother was eating butter brickle ice cream and hemming some suit pants we had bought. She kept complaining that her back was hurting. At ll:30 she woke me up and said we'd better go to the hospital."

And thus I began.

So too begins the Birthday Bonanza -- work tequila today, dinner at home tonight, job performance review tomorrow,* post-work drinks and burlesque tomorrow, and Harry Potter 4 on Sunday.

* The job performance review will be an unpleasant break in the bonanza-ing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"Have you ever used a flat iron before?"

With Portishead playing in the background and the 6 train rumbling underneath, I got my hair cut by a man who looked suspiciously like a younger, hipper version of Lance Ito. I gave Mr. notIto a carte blanche with my hair save for one caveat -- don't go too short. Sixty bucks later, I have rock star hair and I'm still getting used to it. There's definitely some asymmetry going on.

Trying to find a new hairdresser is like trying to find love -- there's a lot of first dates. My previous hairdresser in DC was the best freaking hair guy I've ever had. Too bad a) he was in DC and b) left DC for California after falling in love. That's hair monogamy for you -- sometimes you get walked out on.

Happy [early] birthday, me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"Pancakes for one are always depressing."

Almost Birthday Bonanza time. I've arranged for low key dinner and drinks at home on Thursday with 66% of my NY friends. 34% apparently scheduled a date the same day as my birthday. Harrumph. Hopefully 100% will be available for Friday fun -- drinks, debauchery, and burlesque.

For last week's webring assignment, I came up with a tentative Christmas list. To that list I would like to add a bike so that I can bike around Prospect Park and get some cheap exercise. The replacement velvet blue blazer is a size 12 and while it fits, I can only button it up if I suck in and turn a little purple in the face . . . therefore recent weight loss needs to continue. (Why did I buy a replacement blue blazer that's not my size? Lord & Taylor was out of the 14.)

Anyway, on to this week's webring assignment brought to you by yours truly. I ask:

Thanksgiving is coming up. What will you be doing? Traveling? What would be your ideal Thanksgiving?

The reason why Thanksgiving is on my mind is because this year I've decided to forgo family. Usually the holiday has involved driving to Delaware for T'giving at my grandmother's house where I would be mocked over dinner for not being Republican, not liking George Bush, and not being pro-war. You can imagine that this became rather tedious, especially since I would be careful not to bring up politics. Other topics of conversation usually centered around race and immigration. No more, I say.

This year will be the First Annual Misfits Thanksgiving. No drama. No family. Just food and drink and good company. The snag to this plan is that the only scheduled attendee of the First Annual Misfits Thanksgiving is myself. I'm trying to convince Jess that she wants to stay in New York and come to my place for said food and drink. We'll see if I am successful otherwise it's going to be a lonely holiday.

Anyone else want to ditch family and come to New York?

"The metro is clearly not anywhere near ready for a terrorist attack, they are not even ready for teenage girls!"

Can I just say how proud of Ms. Lugnochro I am? The poor girl got mugged on the DC Metro for her iPod and her Smartrip card and then had to deal with Metro's legendary incompetency. Understandably the experience was horrible, but
Ms. Lugnochro did what she does best -- fought to rectify a great injustice. Normally she's fighting for better public health and making people's lives better. Now she's fighting to making the DC Metro a safer subway. Her story has been picked up by NBC 4 and by DCist and you can read about her own experience here.

Yes, I am very proud of her.

Monday, November 14, 2005

"I'm glad you heeded our sage advice."

I had such a great weekend. Why? Because I came to the realization that Williamsburg is for suckers.

Yes hipsters, you can have the grime, tumbleweed trash, the overpriced tenements, the shitty L Train that doesn't run sometimes, and the "aren't we so boho chic?!" mentality. There are parts of Williamsburg that are nice, but then again I can't afford those parts anyway.

What a difference a month makes. What a difference a year makes. Sunday marked my anniversary in New York and I observed the occasion by exploring my new neighborhood. While there's not a lot going on in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, let's review why my new living situation rocks my face off:

- I live in the top floor of a brownstone and I have my own quasi-studio apartment.

- In 10 minutes I can walk to Prospect Park.

- In 15 minutes I can walk to the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Botanical Gardens.

- In 20 minutes I can walk to the Grand Army Plaza and to the bars and restaurants of Prospect Heights. I recommend Bar Sepia on Underhill.

- In 25 minutes I can walk to walk to Park Slope.

So that's how I spent my Sunday afternoon -- walking around the perimeter of Prospect Park dumbstruck over my good fortune. I got an Italian soda at a coffee shop and bought a photograph from an artist selling prints along seventh avenue. Barely a month ago Jane and I were looking at some of the better crack dens East Williamsburg/Bushwick had to offer. How quickly things change.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"It is advisory to be two people."

Pottery Barn, 1. Me, 0.

I'm ready to accept defeat with the Pottery Barn shelf. Even though I stubbornly persisted and managed to drill through thick plaster to install the mounting rack, the damn shelf bit won't do a thing and engage with the mounting rack. It's like getting two fickle pandas to mate.

Hmmmm. Bad analogy.

Okay it's not a very interesting blog entry, but decorating and hanging shit up has been my life for the past week and a half. I'll take the small victories -- bathroom shelf hung, coffee table constructed, cable/internet ordered, and bed skirt purchased. I'm starting to think that I should have taken my mother's offer to come up to Brooklyn last weekend and help me organize even if it meant ceding precious control.

So the stupid Pottery Barn shelf is going back. Maybe Bed Bath & Beyond will have an alternative shelving option since they have everything else. Meanwhile can my faithful readers please divine what happened to my navy blue velvet blazer? Take a deep breath, envision the blazer in your head, and post your pseudo psychic thoughts in the comments area.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"New York is magic."

It was late -- almost 2 am. Jess, her friend, and I perched ourselves close to the roof's edge and pointed out all the constellations we could name. One more New York myth debunked: you can see stars over Manhattan.

Orion above and Union Square below, the three of us were enjoying some gin and the last of the unseasonably warm air. It was one of those magical moments where I was reminded why I moved to New York. (If only I knew that Arcade Fire was doing a free and very impromptu show below.)

Jess and I talked a bit about it's such a struggle in New York and we both agreed that the first year is the hardest. "It definitely weeds out the weak," she added. And with nearly a year under my belt and some not so good times behind me, I still wouldn't trade it -- especially when I can sit on the roof of a building and watch the nighttime ebb and flow through Union Square.

* * *

Sometime I'm going to have to add in my entry for this week's webring. I'll admit that I never got around to completing last week's question that had asked what I had done for Halloween this year. I feel that I sufficiently answered that question here.

"Everyone share what is on your Christmas list for this year and why, perhaps comparing it with previous holidays, or reminiscing on your favorite gift."

Oh dear. Christmas always seems to sneak up. Nevermind that on November the fucking 6th, I saw holiday decorations in Lord & Taylor and may have even caught a Muzak version of a Christmas carol. Happy Thanksmas, y'all. Enjoy your shopping.

Anyway, I don't really have an X-mas list. I've gotten to an age where I can do without token gifts (ie, gifts for the sake of giving) from my mother. Last year was good because having since moved to New York, I have enacted the "Must Fit In My Suitcase" rule to much success.

So what do I want this year? Here's some possible ideas: AIGA membership, Brooklyn Museum of Art membership, Met membership, a new job, and a Lord & Taylor gift card. Does Whole Foods do gift cards? See, I'm easy and it fits in my suitcase.

For other takes on this topic see:

A Prize In Every Box | Write Again Soon | Wish to See | Bad Apologies | Lugnochro

Monday, November 07, 2005

"He's also said to be very popular in Germany."

Right. It's been a while. I've been moving and stuff.

- After a week and a lot of hard work, the apartment is finally starting to not look like a disaster. The kitchen is functional (I made snickerdoodles last night and set off the fire alarm) and I can even walk through my bedroom without leaping over boxes. However the bathroom really needs my attention. Sigh.

- There seems to be some moving casualties. My brand new expensive midnight blue velvet blazer has gone missing. So has my sparkly belt, a pair of jeans, my bedskirt, and some martini glasses. Oh the despair.

- I've been making more trips to Bed Bath & Beyond than I care to admit to. Things I still need: kitchen cart, shelf, and new bedskirt.

- Confidence levels are high after I successfully navigated my way home via a taxi. Too bad a taxi from Union Square costs $17.

- I spent yesterday in a mood that can best be described as nuclear. I recovered by drinking gin, eating snickerdoodles, and watching season two L Word episodes on DVD.

- Not only is November 13th my year anniversary of being in New York, but my work performance review is scheduled for next week. Eeeek!

- Birthday Bonaza Weekend is coming up. Must make plans!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

"I tried to put the Exorcist in but it said that it was dirty."

So other things went on last week besides moving fun. For one, I went out on Friday night for drinks and dinner with Jess. This was my Take a Break from Packing Night where we went to a fantastic Basque tapas restaurant, Euzkadi, and then onto Burp Castle for 2 pints of 11% ABV Belgium beer. A drunken taxi ride later that had me walking down Bushwick Avenue when the money ran out. Oof. Saturday night (more taking a break) I went out for Halloween with Holly. Dressed up in a devil's mask, fishnets, and a skirt, we enjoyed the Halloween festivities at Galapagos. Sunday I packed and well you know the rest.

"Dolly, good. Hernia, bad."

Where to start. How about I hurt like a mutha. And can I just remark that I am a moving truck driving goddess? I didn't
get lost in Bed Stuy or hit anything.


It took two days to move. Two. This was not in the original plan.

Halloween was not an auspicious day to move on. Things started out badly when the truck was not ready on time and when we finally did get the truck -- 11 am -- the morning was nearly wasted. Jane, our two recruits, and myself spent most of Halloween just loading up the 15 foot truck -- something that took six hours. And in the middle of all this, Fala was getting ready for her big move to England.

By the time we got to the new apartment, it was 6 pm and dark. Me, Jane, and our two helpers were so tired that we voted on cutting our losses, parking the truck, paying for another day rental, and trying to finish in the morning. While our helpers left for Connecticut, Jane and I drove the truck back to the Bushwick, parked, and had some much need food and beer at the old pub.


We woke up early, took the subway to Bushwick, and picked up the truck. Good news was that the truck was still there. The back had the security equivalent of a high school gym lock, but thankfully that was enough to protect our belongings. Bad news was that some lovely soul had tagged our truck with graffiti. Classy.

We were back in Prospect-Leffert's Garden by 9 am. It took Jane and I six hours to unload the truck and get everything up to the second floor. By 4 pm I wanted to die. Now if only I could find my bed linens.

Small note about my new home. There's an abundance of doors and phone jacks, but a lack of electrical outlets. Bizarre. Now who wants to visit me for my birthday weekend? Space is limited.

* Edit: I forgot to mention that in the middle of this, I got a phone call telling me that I got tickets to the Daily Show for February 1st.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"Movin' on up now, gettin' out of the darkness."

You know what I have? Keys to the new place! Come Monday I will be a resident of Prospect-Lefferts Garden. I'll be able to walk to the park, the Botanical Gardens, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and two subway stops from Park Slope. My morning commute will be 25 35 minutes and the train will take me over the Manhattan Bridge, giving me views of the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. The image to the left will be my bedroom. Screw the Bushwick place I was supposed to live in. The Squatter can have it.

But there's things I'll miss about my old neighborhood and building:

- The fourth floor walk up. Those four flights of stairs were my poor man's gym. I'll have to buy a bike so I can go biking in Prospect Park otherwise there will be a continual Ass Crisis.

- The roof. The views of Manhattan were breathtaking.

- Life Cafe. Only a three minute walk from my loft. I made lots of friends, drank lots of beer, and ate some of the best pub food.

- L Train. It was a fickle mistress, but it took me to some great restaurants and bars along Bedford Avenue.

Things I won't miss:

- The dog shit.

- The thin walls.

- The hot summers.

- The industrial vibe.

Au revoir East Williamsburg Industrial Park.

Monday, October 24, 2005

"But Ohio, I remind them, is a four-letter word."

Please baby jebus. Can I please have a new apartment?

And behold, my prayers were answered. I got a phone call this afternoon from the landlord of the apartment I wrote about previously. Jane and I are supposed to go down there tomorrow to fork over money and sign paperwork. Thank you baby jebus.

It's been a stressful month for obvious reasons. My doctor tells me I'm perfectly healthy so we're going to assume that my stomach issues were merely food poisoning. And food poisoning equals the Worst Pain Ever after childbirth and dismemberment I suppose.

Speaking of childbirth, this brings me round to this weeks installment of the webring courtesy of I'd Rather Be Traveling. "I ask you to tell me about your actual Birth Day. Talk to your mothers, find out what actually transpired on your day of birth. I'm feeling flexible, so feel free to write a short piece of fiction from her perspective if your prefer."

Here's my story: nearly 27 years ago on the morning of November 17th, I was born by cesarean to my mother in a hospital outside of Detroit. I was her first child and her only girl. I'm not sure how long her labor was, but I do know that I was an emergency cesarean owing to a dangerous drop in my mother's blood pressure. I should also note that I was due on November 1st and boy did I take my dear sweet time coming out.

This was the story that I was told growing up and there is possibly more information to be had, but I save asking until I call my mom tomorrow. Hopefully I can get her to spill the beans without telling her that I have a blog . . .

For other takes on this topic see:

A Prize In Every Box | Write Again Soon | Wish to See | Bad Apologies | Lugnochro

Thursday, October 20, 2005

"Choose the face that describes your pain?"

Here's a grab bag of things that are going on:

- Wallace, my L Train stalker, is back. I thought the whole avoiding him thing would work, but I made the mistake of checking to see if he was on the platform this morning. Big mistake. He saw me, and this is the best part, he must have booked it to my end of the platform because the train came right away. Just as I was about to get on, I saw Wallace lurking over my shoulder. Sneaky bastard! And he purposely followed me down the train car. As Dennise would say, now I have to move.

- Speaking of moving, I saw a shitty basement apartment on Tuesday. Nice that it was only a few blocks from the Brooklyn Museum of Art, but it was still a shitty basement apartment with a broken glass filled "garden." However . . . drum roll please . . . I think we may have found a place in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. I probably shouldn't say anything till we fax in our financial info and get approved, but this apartment is a) not a shit hole b) two blocks from Prospect Park and c) the huge second floor of an old brownstone that still has all the old details (club foot bathtub, parquet floors, stained glass doors). Skill!

- My weird stomach pains came back. I finally gave in and went to the doctor today to hear what I expected -- nothing. $20, a collapsed vein, two needle holes, and a vial of blood later, I still wasn't any wiser as to why I was violently sick on Tuesday after eating sushi and thusly experienced the Worst Pain Of My Life. Yes it could have been food poisoning, but why did I have stomach pains last week? My unscientific hypothesis is that I got mild food poisoning last week from undercooked salmon. With my system weakened and more susceptible to bacteria/toxins, it probably freaked out when I tried to eat lots of sashimi. The best advice the doctor could give me was to not eat fish for a couple of weeks. Okay then.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ode to a Lost Umbrella

I originally wrote this back in October 2005 and noticed that it has been in draft status ever since. While I have been doing some blog house cleaning as I approach Great Post Number 400, I felt that this little guy deserved his time in the spotlight.

Umbrella: An Eulogy

Was it only last Friday that you were sheltering me through the Great Rain? You were all I could hope for in a $20 umbrella -- sleek, snappy, and always ready to keep me dry. There was even that great sense of satisfaction I got when I pressed the big button on your handle and watched you unfurl.

Umbrella, you were a faithful companion during last week's 8 days of rain. When the soggy streets of New York were littered with the shredded carcasses of cheaper umbrellas, I knew I had made a good purchase. Except now you have gone missing.

Did I leave you on the subway? In the back of a car? At Holly's? $20 umbrella, please come back to me. You were a champion in a town saturated with cheap knockoffs.

Monday, October 17, 2005

"Do you smell gas?"

This weekend -- what an unmitigated disaster. Apart from hanging out at Holly's on Friday watching movies and then having her over for dinner on Saturday night, the theme of this weekend was disaster. I should have taken pictures.

Let us cast our sights back to Sunday's apartment searching . . .

Apartment 1: Nevermind that the address for this place is 666 Flushing Avenue -- too much temptation for fate. Though not far from where I live now, it's in a part of town that borders Bed Stuy. Jane and I noticed one of the bedrooms has a window that faces a brick wall. Second bedroom has a twin bed in it courtesy of the last tenants. On this bed is a bottle of lighter fluid and a pack of cigarettes. Great. The whole place was swarming with flies.

Apartment 2: Also in the same building, but on another floor. Bigger than the first place, this apartment was a wreck -- fridge has been pushed into one of the bedrooms, there were holes in the wall, cabinets askew, water damage in the hall outside, and more flies.

Apartment 3: Two words -- shit hole. Railroad style, you had to go through one windowless "bedroom" to get to the main bedroom. The previous tenants must of been frat boys or a family of sixteen with a penchant for Pabst Blue Ribbon. The kitchen was filthy as was the bathroom. When Jane went to open the bathroom door, it came off its hinges. The toilet had vomit on it (or worse) and the century old floors sagged and looked ready to collapse. The suspicious hole in the bedroom window looked like it was made by a bullet. "That will be fixed," the hassidic man showing us the apartment said to each egregious problem we pointed out. "Can you gut renovate this place in a week??" I wanted to ask. I should have swiped the lighter fluid from the pervious place and struck a match.

Apartment 4: Right on Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick, I was really hoping this place would work out. Not so. The building was a shit hole and the apartment was a shit hole. Also railroad style, someone had kindly scratched the word "sex" into the wall of the main bedroom. The place also looked like a family of sixteen had lived there for many years. Jane and I didn't stay long, especially after the guy showing the apartment remarked, "Do you smell gas?"

Apartment 5: Gorgeous. I'd never been that far up into Greenpoint, but the neighborhood was tree lined and filled with old brick buildings and brownstones from the nineteenth century. Albeit on the bastard G train, this place looked like a palace compared with apartments 1-4. Unfortunately the Polish guy showing the recently renovated apartment said as we entered, "You'll see what the problem is." Well yes. The bathroom is only accessible from one of the bedrooms. Not good for two roommates, so back to the drawing board.

Apartment 6: What to say? It smelled of cat piss and none of the lights worked, which made it difficult to view the apartment at night. Also a railroad apartment, neither Jane or I fancied going through one bedroom to get to the other. Fuck that.

Apartment 7: The guy wasn't there and we waited around to see if he'd show up. The building was dingy and the apartment door looked as though it had just been installed -- there was wet plaster everywhere. After waiting for 10 minutes, we gave up and went home, beaten and exhausted.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"I hope you are doing well in this gloomy weather."

So I heard back from interview lady after I sent a follow up email yesterday. It was as I feared -- they went ahead with another candidate. At least it's nice to be nominated and all that.

Actually, fuck that. Time for a good ol' fashioned rant.

I'm beginning to feel like Job here. Seriously. This rash of thwartings and danglings of good fortune is starting to get old. I keep getting presented with all these really great opportunities only to have them come to naught. I've been recruited by three different big deal companies just on the strength of my portfolio. Instead I'm languishing in anal pouch failure hell. And don't get me started again on apartment situation, which reminds me -- I have to call the landlord again tomorrow. Damnit damnit damnit.

All this is starting to stoke my burgeoning nihilism.

"Captured a taxi despite of the rain."

Reasons not to be in a good mood: it's day 5 of an 8 day stretch of rain, wind, and no sun.

Reasons to be in a good mood: I finally screwed up the courage and got on the scale this morning. I weigh the same as I did on August 29, 2003, the last time I was at today's number. This is a good thing, though I was probably more toned from going to the gym. 15 pounds is 15 pounds. Never mind my beer paunch . . .

Ass Crisis is still a cautionary yellow.

Speaking of Ass Crises, I drunkenly remember having a conversation with Ms. Maryment when I was in DC two weeks ago. She informed me about "apple bottoms" -- jeans and clothing (Warning: Obnoxious Flash Use Alert!) for women endowed in the J-Lo area of things. For some reaons the conversation came back to me during lunch today. What Maryment may or may have failed to mention that the line of clothes is designed by Nelly, aka Mr. "It's gettin' hot in here so take off all your clothes."

The things I miss out on.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"Are the birds going to eat us, Mommy?"

I have the plague. Or something. First manifestation of the plague? Odd and plentiful bug bites on my hands, arms, and thigh -- the kind where you can't stop itching them. Benadryl, take me away! Second manifestation of the plague? A persistent burning sensation in the stomach that is exacerbated by eating and drinking. Thus, I've barely had anything to eat or drink in the last two days.

Woe. Is. Me.
* * *

It's webring assignment time again.

In whatever writing style you feel moved to use (poetry, prose, list ...) I want you to detail 5 thing you are (traits, titles, or descriptions), 5 things you aren't, and 5 things you want to be.

I wanted to put more thought into this, but seeing how every fifth word out of my brain is "Ow!" we're going to go with a simple list.

Things I am:
1. Creative
2. Reliable
3. Kooky
4. Optimistic
5. Ow!

Things I am not:
1. Flakey
2. Dishonest
3. Good at communicating
4. Good at multitasking
5. Good at paying for music online

Things I want to be:
1. Better with money
2. Braver
3. Happier with my job
4. Paid more
5. Surrounded by a strong social network

For other takes on this topic see:

A Prize In Every Box | Write Again Soon | Wish to See | Bad Apologies | A Little Maryment | Lugnochro

Monday, October 10, 2005

"How's the Ass Crisis?"

Hark. A miracle.

No, I didn't get my Bushwick apartment or a new job, but a pair of pants that I know did not fit last winter now miraculously fit. Couple this recent revelation with the "interview pants" that fit and we can downgrade the Ass Crisis to Yellow on the terror alert level.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

"Barn barn."

I tried again to look at the Craigslist apartments. It used to be my routine for about three weeks solid -- open up Craigslist and search through the same recycled five apartments pretending to be in Williamsburg or Clinton Hill that were actually located in Bed-Stuy. But I didn't want to have to go through the Craigslist real estate for the umpteenth time. I had an apartment, but some asshole was doing a good job at fucking up a well crafted plan.

I could feel my jaw tightening and anger rising. "Slight Taste of Suburbia Delight," one link said before I noticed another apartment that upon further inspection was once listed back in September. Same misspellings, same place prentending to be in Williamsburg. I clicked on some more links looking for a suitable Plan B. After a long frustrated exhale, I fantasized about marching down to the new apartment on Jefferson Street and telling the squatter to fuck off and get out. I imagined him in his electricity free cave bewildered at my appearance and my creative use of obscenity. I imagined him quickly leaving.

There's still a chance that the Jefferson Street apartment will work out. Maybe he will get out before the 14th. At least that's what I tell myself.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"I've never had problems like this with my other properties."

Son of a whore!

If you remember, say back in halcyon days of September, Jane and I signed a lease for an apartment in Bushwick. It seemed perfect -- three bedrooms, hardwood floors, good location, and in my price range. While I was in DC this past weekend, Jane was in charge of getting the keys to the new place.

Except there was a snag.

One of the guys was still living there and refusing to leave . . . or rather he's going to move out, just not sure when and who knows if it will be in October. Great. Thanks, asshole.

I called the landlord today to try and get an update of which there was none. Guy still in apartment. Guy thinks he'll be out of there by the end of the month. Landlord has even shut off the electricity. Fantastic. I told the landlord that if he isn't out by the 14th, we'll have to get our money back and find another place to live.


In other news, I'm playing the wait game on that interview I had. The one where I got the "We'll be back in touch shortly regarding additional steps." Hopefully I'm not getting jerked around here.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"Wallace looked harmless anyway."

Time for another webring post and this week is my topic.

"Open up the nearest book or publication. Go to the middle of the book and select the sentence that comes at the top of the page. From this sentence, draft a very short bit of fiction, the zanier the better. I'm thinking no more than 100 words, but closer to 50."

I've decided to write about a creepy man who's taken a liking to me during my morning commutes.

* * *

Wallace looked harmless anyway.* That's what I told myself.

Unassuming and cleanly dressed, Wallace was a five foot nine, skinny man haunting the periphery of my mornings. He appeared as an unfocused shape of dark and light on the Morgan Avenue subway platform, the same business casual uniform day in and day out -- black Members Only-esque jacket over a white dress shirt, dark trousers, and generic black lace-up shoes. Everything about him looked generic. No tie. No briefcase. He always stood ten or fifteen feet away from me on the platform, far enough that I could only observe the most basic of physical details. Maybe that was his way of staying inconspicuous.

Wallace could have been a ghost, but instead he was my L train stalker. Lately he has been getting bold, slowly weaving his way through the crowded train car so that he hovered mere inches away from me. This morning I felt him pressed up against from behind, his warm exhale punctuating against my exposed neck. Our near equal height had us spooning. And as I shifted away, he matchced my movements like a tenacious suitor.

* From, "Motherless Brooklyn" by Jonathan Letham. P. 144.

For other takes on this topic see:

A Prize In Every Box | Write Again Soon | Wish to See | Bad Apologies | A Little Maryment | Lugnochro

"I'm the mayor of taco town. What do you want?"

Dupont Circle
Oh DC, how I missed you.

The weather was wonderful -- sunny and clear -- the company excellent. I love New York, but I forgot that cities can smell clean and the vegetation lush. Holly and I had that "Wow, I can smell the trees" moment as we walked up to Beth's Woodley Park apartment late Friday night.

My whirlwind tour included the National Zoo (early enough to beat the throngs of mulleted tourists and their screaming children) to see cheetahs and pandas, a run through the National Gallery of Art, and a walking tour of Embassy Row. Beth (ie, Ms. I'd Rather Be Traveling) was the ever wonderful hostess, even going so far as to bake ziti for Saturday night's dinner party. Much drunken ass slappin' and hilarity ensued. Holly was a good sport seeing how she was in the presence of four people who have known each other for 10 years plus. There was even hangover brunch at Signe's place in Forest Glen (I mean Wheaton) and a visit to Mr. Bad Apologies's new apartment.


Back in Brooklyn amongst the trash and dog crap, I guiltily called in sick on Monday. Why? So I could go leisurely attend my 12:30 interview and not feel rushed and thusly doubly nervous. I do hope it went well, but the softball questions threw me for a loop (eg, What do you like to do for fun?).

Please hire me. I'm tired of reading articles about anal pouch failure.

Friday, September 30, 2005

"Maybe I could figure out a way to Podcast the Big Bang . . ."

Reasons to be Happy:

- It's Friday.

- It's 55 degrees outside and I'm wearing a new sweater.

- I have a job interview on Monday.

- I figured out what I am going to wear to my interview.

- While going through my closet last night for interview clothes, I discovered that I own a black wool pencil skirt that had been languishing unworn for the last four years. Not only did it cost $20 on clearance, but it just looks smashing, darling. All it needs is a hot red twinset, some fishnets, and a bad attitude.

- I totally thought I wouldn't be able to fit into my interview pants, but surprise -- they fit even with the ass crisis.

- I found out yesterday that due to a previous tenant being an asshole and not leaving my new apartment on time, Jane and I won't get keys until at least October 15th. This is a good thing because a) we weren't going to move until October 24th anyway and b) this means that October rent will be prorated towards November, saving money in the end.

- Today is a half day at work.

- I'm going to DC today.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"Thank you for that mental image."

Pouch failure. Two words that should strike fear and terror into the hearts of man, especially when coupled with the word anal. What is anal pouch failure? You don't want to know. Unfortunately I had to lay out an article describing such horror in clinical terms. Oh boy, do I love my job!

Now a little segue into a bit of news. I have a job interview on Monday with a US retail fashion company in midtown. They recruited me, so big pat on the back there. Cross your fingers and toes for me.

* * *
I am late with the webring assignment. Yesterday was 10 hours of slogging through yet another press day at work. I barely had time for much of anything, let alone figure out how I'm going to pull off my interview next week.

So it's Fliven's turn this week. He asks, "If you had a time machine you could use only once, what would you do with it? Would you go to the past or the future? Whom would you want to meet or what would you want to see?"

Hmmm . . . Rome during the days of Augustus? Medieval Constantinople before its sacking by invading Crusaders? Paris during the Belle Epoch? My motivations for visiting the past would be purely aesthetic. Since I could only use this time machine once, I think I would use it to go back to May 7, 1824. On that night at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna, Beethoven premiered his 9th Symphony. How wonderful it would have been to have sat in the audience.

For other takes on this topic see:

A Prize In Every Box | Write Again Soon | Wish to See | Bad Apologies | A Little Maryment | Lugnochro

Sunday, September 25, 2005

"Never shout movie in a crowded firehouse."

I'm not sure when I crossed the invisible divide that separates the different tribes of women, but I found myself in an Avenue A bar full of identical women in their Going Out Clothes. They had low cut tops, long hair, perfect cleavage, spaghetti straps, and Crest White Stripped smiles. They squawked drunkenly, clutching their light beers as their male counterparts leered in hopes of going home with them.

These were not my people -- I don't think they ever were -- but the divide had never been more apparent. No great loss really. I went back to finishing my Brooklyn lager and thought of nothing more than going home.

* * *
If there is a hell, surely it involves getting stuck on a G train to nowhere. I had every intention yesterday of making use of the gorgeous weather and going to Prospect Park. The G train is my vital north-south link to that Other part of Brooklyn -- the Other part that's such a pain in the ass to get to because the G train is a cruel mistress.

The gist of this story is that I never made it to Prospect Park. Instead I languished somewhere underground on a G train running in two sections and finally terminating at Hoyt-Schermerhorn, three stops short of where I really wanted to get off. I ended up on a train that spit me out in Washington Square Park. Wrong borough, wrong park. Oh well. I walked around, enjoyed the sunshine, had some schwarma, and waited for Holly to come meet me so we could see Corpse Bride.

Friday, September 23, 2005

"The lure of Bushwick is just too much . . ."

Four things. One, I'm going to be in DC next weekend. Don't say I didn't warn y'all. I expect ill advised trips to the Big Hunt and the like. Maybe some hummus at Levante's. I need to reacquaint myself with Dupont Circle (and see Signe's new place in Forest Glen and Mr. Bad Apologies's 14th Street pad -- hint hint). It looks like Holly is joining me for the trip to my old stomping grounds.

Two, I killed the BIGGEST cockroach around 2 am this morning. I found it lurking by the shower and I spared it no mercy. Where the hell did it come from?? It's the first I've seen in my place and I've been there almost a year. Though in hindsight, I should have captured it and taken it with me to a certain Cleveland Park restaurant for another free meal and drinks.

Three, Jane and I get the keys to our new place sometime around October 1st. We signed the lease on Tuesday as I basked in the glow of my awesome credit score.

Four, I'm getting totally bit by the wedding bug as Fala searches for the perfect dress whilst retaining her sanity. I know it's more pain than it's worth, but I want to go dress shopping! I want a gay wedding! Sigh. So alone. Time to start mapping out my future of 14 cats and living under a bridge.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"No one answered the telephone at Porky's Rib House on Wednesday."

I've been putting off this whole webring assignment for days. C'mon J-Wo, I need more structure than choosing my own topic and making sure all the words are song lyrics that somehow form a coherent story? That's freakishly hard and you know it.

So I decided to test the limits of the shuffle option on iTunes and the limits of the assignment. Let's see if we can get something that makes sense only using the initial lyrics of songs that play consecutively on iTunes. That or I'm going to expose the high ratio of British artists in my iTunes library.

Oh you got me shakin' 1
Come up to meet you 2
I don't want to be crippled and cracked 3
And I'll come running for my life 4

Sit around and watch the tube but nothing's on 5
Step out into the sun 6
I met him in a crowded room 7
Nowhere's untouched by the shame 8

My brightest star's my inner light let it guide me 9
Where, where have you been my love 10
If you had a room, he'd paint it white 11
Still don't know what I was waiting for 12

Rag weed tall better hope that his ladder don't crack 13
She's electric 14
I've been dreaming of the things I learned about a boy who's bleeding 15
Inside the walls of prison my body may be 16

In the land of the gauching skiving sun 17
I feel all of your shame 18
We're going down the road to tiny cities made of ashes 19
Soma is what they will take when hard times opened their eyes 20

1. "Shakin'" Dandy Warhols 2. "Scientist" Coldplay 3. "Bones" Radiohead 4. "Chase By ... I Don't Know What" Snow Patrol 5. "Longview" Green Day 6. "Love Vibration" Josh Rouse 7. "Charmless Man" Blur 8. "Capitalism Stole My Virginity" (International) Noise Conspiracy 9. "Higher Than The Sun" Primal Scream 10. "Lullaby" Queens of the Stone Age 11. "106 Beats That" Wire 12. "Changes" David Bowie. 13 "What People Are Made Of" Modest Mouse 14. "She's Electric" Oasis 15. "Something to Talk About" Badly Drawn Boy 16. "Greystone Chapel" Johnny Cash 17. "Tomblands" Libertines 18. "Little Know It All" Josh Rouse 19. "Cities Made Of Ashes" Modest Mouse 20. "Soma" The Strokes.

For other takes on this topic see:

A Prize In Every Box | Write Again Soon | Wish to See | Bad Apologies | A Little Maryment | Lugnochro

Monday, September 19, 2005

"What sort of crazy ass shit is this?"

I'm not the best when it comes to money. Half my entries on this blog are probably money related. That said, I've always feared knowing what my credit score was. Those little web ads with "Know Your Credit Score" were enough to cause my stomach to clench. Head in the sand is not always the best approach, but I knew one of these days I would have to find out my score and that day was today.

I got a phone call from the guy reviewing my application for the new apartment.

[insert Hassidic accent]

David: "I checked your credit score."

I immediately pause myself for the worst news ever.

David: "You're credit score is phenomenal. It's even good enough to get a bank loan for a home."

How much to I rock?! I could be a homeowner, except for the fact that I live in the most effing expensive place ever.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

"How's your credit?"

Well it's official. Or well almost. Perhaps I shouldn't say anything less I jinx it, but Jane and I found an apartment in Bushwick and it's just one stop down on the subway from our current location. It's a three bedroom floor through for less money then we are paying for our loft. All we are waiting for is an okay on our credit checks and other appropriate information. One less thing to worry about hopefully.

Meanwhile, I keep having nightmares about death and calamitous disasters. Methinks hurricane Katrina has been invading my subconscious.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

"Cause we're all better off in New York . . ."

By the time Jane and I completed our brisk walk through Bed-Stuy, the soft glow of post afternoon euphoria was quickly fading. Not only were we a couple of One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other white girls, but the dude who was supposed to show us the apartment was no where to be seen leaving us to hang out on the stoop for 30 minutes.

Only hours earlier I had been having one of the Best Days Ever.

I skipped out of work at 3 pm for a "late lunch", making the short walk to the Apple Store to see Doves play a free acoustic set. (On my way there, I saw Jake Bronstein crossing Houston Street.) For those who don't know Doves, they are a three peice band from Manchester, England. See the grainy picture above that only I will enjoy.

The combination of
having an email conversation with someone from a NY marketing agency about my design work, eating sushi, and playing hokey from my horrible job for 45 minutes had put me in a very very good mood. Even the new Harry Potter trailer managed to stoke this sort of rare faith that we actually were better off in New York. I grinned as I walked up Broadway to meet Jane, Stevie Wonder blaring on my iPod.

Back to Bed-Stuy. Oh, my mistake. "Clinton Hill."

I have to admit, I was excited about this apartment. It looked so nice, had solid walls, and marble fireplaces. Nevermind that it was five blocks south of the Bedford-Nostrand stop, a fact that might give some people pause. I don't need to live in some trendy place -- my budget pretty much prevents that. But I do have a hard and fast deal breaker:

Will I feel safe walking home by myself at night?

I have to say, I wasn't really getting the safe vibe. The walk down Bedford Avenue was more than sketchtastic. That and the bedrooms were twin-bed-and-no-room-for-anything-else kind of TINY. Marble fireplaces be damned.

I heart apartment hunting. Jane and I are going exploring in Bushwick on Sunday.