Wednesday, June 29, 2005

"Nothing should be allowed to shatter the magical monkey shoe image."

Two tales of horror to relate.

One, which I have to admit reveling in a little, is that I have totally reached Bar Regular status. Yes, this is a little sad, but part of me secretly enjoyed having my name shouted out when I entered my local pub. And when a particular section of stools cleared up not too long after I arrived, the bartender said I could move down to "my seat." Oh crap. I am Norm from Cheers. Not sure if this is a good thing, but the bartender reassured me that I am nowhere near "sad bar regular" status that some people have achieved. Phew.

The second tale of horror, which is related to beer in a way, is that I caught a picture of myself on Flickr while looking at someone else's photos of the Mermaid Parade. So yes, scanned a crowd shot and saw my fat beer paunch sticking out. Holy shit! This is worse than the ass crisis! Now this is where I admit to not visiting the gym since early June. I would include a link to said offending photo but my anonymity is the last shred that my very tattered dignity is holding on to.

Monday, June 27, 2005

"Nice night for a walk."

It was hot as balls this weekend, but I did manage to go to Coney Island Mermaid Parade with Holly -- an annual Mardi Gras like festival. I have never before seen so many floppy boobs with pasties on them. Also got a little sunburned. Good times.

Next year I really want to be part of the Mermaid Parade action (Gay Pride too -- couldn't go this year because I had a deadline to finish), but my boobs shall remained covered . . . of course. Holly and Dennise also are keen to march with fins and seashells.

Quick note on the image above. What you all are not seeing and what I did not manage to record was the erect gold lamé penis g-string action on Mr. Jolly Green Giant here. He must have been preparing for the pride march the next day.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

"So please, please, please let me get what I want."

There was a time not too long ago when I dreamt obsessively of a run down industrial neighborhood. I can't remember when this dream first began, but I know that it continued for a good two years, between 2002 and 2004.

The dream usually started with me making a wrong turn down a street. The scene would quickly devolve into run down brick buildings, factories, and broken bottles. In other variations, I am trying to navigate an unfamiliar subway in an unfamiliar city, making a wrong stop in a wrong neighborhood. Sometimes I am drinking in the neighborhood bar. Never feeling threatened, I am a woman alone wandering the stark urban landscape of my unconscious.

I should remind you all that these dreams predated the first trip to the industrial neighborhood I now call home. Was this precognition? The similarities are too eerie. At the time, last summer in fact, I wondered if this was an omen. Tired of dreaming of the same place, I wondered if my subconscious or some higher power was trying to warn me of something. Was the bad neighborhood representative of the bad place I was in in reality? I'll admit to taking omens very seriously and this epiphany came at a time when I was trying to move to New York. I took the reoccurring dream as a confirmation that I needed to get there.

I haven't dreamt of the imaginary city for at least a year, not since I left Maryland, but last night I was there again wandering those desolate urban streets. I was there in the bar with the wooden floors. The last time I dreamt of this bar, I was so drunk that I passed out right there in the middle of the bar crowd, right there on the wooden floors. For this occasion I was sober and it was daytime. It was a coffee shop when it wasn't a bar. Holly was there and I was showing her my new dog, the one that I just gotten, the one who's leash was wrapped tightly around my hand. There was a second dog, but he ended up becoming a crumbling piece of chocolate cake with teal frosting. Dreams will do that you know, bend the rules and make dogs into cake.

Friday, June 24, 2005

"That wasn't a sign for you to jump on my lap."

iPody the iPod was resurrected at the Apple store on Wednesday much to my relief. Declared healthy if a little shaken up, I felt bad for prematurely declaring its death. The bonus of the whole situation was that the Apple technician put the new White Stripes album on my iPod as a test to see if it could handle music upload. Score. I heart free music.

So let's rewind to my Saturday exploring the hidden public gardens of the East Village. Well one of them had some poison ivy in it. Poison ivy in New York city? Yes. Or something like it because my supposed mosquito bites began to blister and form a rash. And since this exposure to poison ivy coincided with my bloodshot left eye, I felt more inclined to go see a doctor about it.

On Tuesday I left work about 11 am to head over to the New York Ear and Eye Infirmary. It took a half hour just to get though the Soviet like line to get registered. Then it took another hour just to wait for someone to take my blood pressure and check my eyesight. Then it was back down to the Soviet line to pay my co-pay and fill out some paper work. Then it was back to wait 45 minutes for the doctor to see me and dilate my pupils. This all took about four hours. Fun. The doctor failed to warn me that everything would seem 15 thousand times brighter than normal so that upon exiting the building and into the bright mid afternoon sun, I felt like I was staring into a spotlight -- arms flung up to my face, cowering like a vampire caught outside on the sun soaked corner of Second Avenue and 14th Street.

And after all that ordeal, all I had for my trials was a prescription for eye drops and crazy, scary pupil eyes.

Monday, June 20, 2005

"We usually refer our patients to New York Eye and Ear Infirmary."

Why is it so hard to find a new doctor? And why is it so hard to get an appointment that isn't scheduled for next fall?

When I woke up this morning, I noticed that the corner of my left eye was severely bloodshot. No worries -- from time to time blood vessels in the white of the eye will break either from trauma or from some other cause. Further inspection revealed that there seemed to be some sort of ripple in the surface in the center of the bloodshot area. Did I accidentally scratch at it in the middle of the night? Who knows. Mind you, I am not in any pain nor is my left eye about to fall out, but it looks narsty enough to frighten small children and prompt my coworker to ask, "Is there something wrong with your eye?" She even thought I should go to the emergency room.

Okay, so I'm not usually not the kind of person to run off to the emergency room unless something has been cut off, but I could see her point that perhaps some form of professional medical attention was warranted. This was my eye after all. So I sighed heavily like a martyr, opened up the online provider directory for my health care company, and picked a random name from the hospital in Union Square. You can tell I put a lot of careful thought into this.

So after waiting for two hours for the doctor's office to call me back (I left a message on their urgent care voice mail), they tell me that not only are appointments available in JULY that they usually refer patients to an eye specialist at 2nd Avenue and 14th. Okay, thanks a bunch. So I called the eye specialist and their offices close at 3pm. This is 4:35. You see what I get for trying to be all good and see the doctor?

Guess this will have to wait till tomorrow. Pray that my eye doesn't fall out in the meantime.

"Is it new enough to return to the shop?"

iPody the iPod died in a fall outside its Brooklyn, NY home on June 20. It was seven months old.

In its short life it was much loved, though it never fully realized its 20 gigabyte potential. At the time of death, only 6 gigabytes of storage were reportedly used.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Orphans Without iPods Fund
c/o Sister Mary Katherine, Skid Row, New York, NY 10012.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

"You treat it like your baby."

There are hidden gardens all over Manhattan. Although most are either way up on very tall buildings or behind locked gates, there are some dotting the East Village and Alphabet City like unlikely oases. It's astounding that they even exist in the first place in a city where every available speck of land seems to be going the way of luxury condos. But there they are, two of them on East 6th Street -- a luxury for everyone in New York to enjoy.

So my Saturday was a Saturday of gardens; a definite contrast to the industrial park that I live in. First, after I managed to drag myself from the depths of a terrible hangover, Vi, Holly, and I went up to the Cloisters to wander around the reconstructed abby and view the Unicorn Tapestries and medieval art. Surrounding the Cloisters is a wonderful park and a medicinal herb garden. The views of the Hudson were stunning -- well worth the considerable subway ride all the way up to 190th Street.

Feeling hungry, we went all the way down to the East Village for Indian food at Brick Lane. Later, we did a bit of a bar crawl: Zum Schneider, Lychee Bar, KGB Bar, and Marion's Continental.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

"The evangelicals have stolen our fun Jesus and replaced him with Evil Jesus! Please help!"

God, I love getting paid. And even though the stingy bastards at work underpay me, at least it's a paycheck. Pay day makes me feel reckless, like going skipping down Broadway for Ann Taylor and Sephora or heading to the nearest bar and ordering top-shelf martinis instead of my $3 rail drink special. When payday corresponds with the second half of the month, all bets are off.

Unfortunately I was reckless with my last paycheck (well last two), which led to the Overdraft Smackdown of 2005. (What? Suddenly my bank thinks I owe them $90 in fees? Wow, I suck at being an adult.) Math has never been my strong point. And New York is a bitch eek out the day when you suddenly have only $60 to last the next two weeks.

So yes, today was payday. Huzzah! And my friend Vi is coming in from Chicago to stay with me. Let the good times roll!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"The bag was bringing it up in the back."

Call this "Skirt Wearing Take Two" if you must. I figured that I'd give it another go after Saturday's graceless performance. Hyper self conscious, my hands have been fumbling down to the sides of my skirt every five seconds to make sure the damn thing isn't riding up in the back. (If you must know, the skirt is a very flowy, thin cotton material.) I was even mentally congratulating myself for a flash free morning and as I walked down Bleecker Street to get lunch, I felt someone tugging at me. I turned around and saw some five foot, white haired lady.

Good god. Not again.

Little Old Lady: "The bag was bringing it up in the back."

Me: "Erm, thanks."

I'd like to think that it wasn't too far up, but enough to draw the attention of every little old lady in a three block radius. Clearly they are the protectors of my receding virtue.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"Arse over teakettle."

Ow, ow, OW!

I have a crick in my back so that every time I turn to my right, a corresponding sharp pain slices through the muscles surrounding my right shoulder blade. All this because I have been sleeping on the couch since last Sunday. Why? Because it is hot as Hades in my bedroom even with the air conditioning on, thus making conditions ripe for heat induced insomnia.

So I've been sleeping on the couch, next to the AC. I figured since both my roommates are in the UK, I'd take advantage of their absence and drag my pillows out to the couch and make a go of it and enjoy the sweet relief.

Except my plan obviously backfired this morning. Perhaps it was the shooting pain that woke me up at quarter to five or the cat, Figaro, who likes to jump on my face. I guess the couch was not made to be a long term alternative sleep location. I picked up my pillows and dragged myself back to my bedroom in pain, defeated by both the heat and the couch.

Monday, June 13, 2005

"What the hell was that?"

To the Guy that barked at me from his black Nissan,

What the fuck? Is this a normal activity for you? It's 5:15 in the evening and my fellow pedestrians and I are trying to cross Lafayette against the light. Most of us are either bleary eyed from having stared at a computer screen all day or look as though we've been on a death march, it's that fucking hot.

And then there's you, speeding up Lafayette like an asshole, windows down. The only reason I am paying attention to you is because I don't want to get run over. Nevermind it looks as though you just threw a wad of trash out your back window. So as you accelerate through the intersection of Bleecker, what do you do? You fucking bark at me.

Now let's revisit why you are a moron and try to analyze the situation logically. Maybe you were barking not only me, but everyone else trying to cross the street. Maybe you were barking at me because you thought this was an acceptable thing to do towards a women. If this is the case, you deserve to never get laid again and I hope the next girl you try to pick up -- in a bar perhaps -- drives her stiletto through your left testicle. In addition to that, you deserve to have your license and vehicle taken away permanently because you are obviously too stupid to operate heavy machinery much less your 1 1/2 ton black Nissan four door.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

"You can always count on me to either fall down or accidentally flash someone."

Reasons why I don't normally wear a skirt:

- I have the ugliest legs known to man (eg: pale, varicose veins).
- Grace is not my middle name.
- With my body shape, everything ends up looking like a tent, an ass tent at that.

Reason why I bought a skirt on Friday:

- It was pretty.

So there you go. I bought a new skirt from Lord & Taylor -- knee length, très en vogue, and sparkles sewn onto it. And I proudly wore new skirt when I went to the beach with Holly on Saturday (ugly legs be damned). Unfortunately new skirt wearing did not come without some embarrassment. Remember that grace is not my middle name?

Right-to. I wore the skirt to Holly's place in Bed-Stuy. Blah blah blah . . . we walked to this cafe to get lunch before departing for the beach and it must be said that I should not parade around public with a skirt on. No sooner were we at the corner by her house did I have two older ladies swooping down around me, yanking on my skirt. Apparently the tote bag slung over my shoulder was causing the skirt to hike up in the back. Great. Not only am conspicuously the only white girl in a quarter mile radius, I am now the white girl with her skirt hiked up in the back. Fab-u-lous.

This is why my ass is a menace to society.

Friday, June 10, 2005

"Thugs and the Women who Love Them."

It's hot. Hotter than hot. So hot that I've been extremely cranky, prompting my roommate to cautiously ask what was wrong.

Jane: "In the three years I have known you, I've never see you in this bad a mood."

Me: "No really, it's just the heat. Well, and PMS too."

It's a deadly combination, I thought.

Wednesday's high was 92 F and though it's cooled down a bit, it's still not pleasant. Having suffered though the worst of it, I finally went to K-Mart to buy a fan. It looked like the rest of Manhattan had the same idea since there were a lot of ransacked and bare shelves. Cue the sound of crying children and you kind of get the idea of the level of horror I was faced with.

I had my choice of a $30 standing fan and some industrial strength wind-tunnel maker. Though the wind-tunnel was tempting, the size of the box immediately ruled it out as a choice -- no way I was carrying it back to Brooklyn. I chose the least mangled looking box for the standing fan, paid for it, and carried the fucker home to Bushwick.

If the heat keeps up, my next purchase will be an inflatable kiddie pool.

So now that June is feeling suspiciously like July, I've got plans to go to the beach with Holly. Oh no! Can I make my thighs and ass look smaller before tomorrow?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"Everything really does happen in Manhattan."

I knew I was in trouble. With the sky over lower Manhattan growing rapidly darker and no umbrella, all I could do was pray that the rain would hold off until I could get home.

No luck.

At ten to five -- just in time for my commute -- rain began to pour down, pushed sideways by gusts out of the west. I had to make a calculated decision: stay at work and wait the worst of the storm out or make a break for it. I went for the latter, screwing up my nerve and dashing across Broadway. Bad move. Within 30 seconds, I was soaked. I did my best to run down to Bleecker Street, but it's hard to run in wet flip-flops.

Finally gaining some cover, I found the $4 umbrella man. Though slightly annoyed to buy another umbrella when I had just recently purchased one, I took a long look at the rest of my rainy walk to the subway. Fine. Give me an umbrella, Mr. Umbrella Man. To add insult to injury, it wasn't even raining in Brooklyn when I got home. But at least I had an umbrella.

You may have won this time, Rain, but I'll get you next time . . .

Monday, June 06, 2005

"Have family, friends, and banks abandoned you?"

Ah, the dentist. Beyond medical advances in x-ray and teeth straightening technology, the practice hasn't advanced much beyond the vestiges of medieval torture. Long metal rods with sharp hooks for scraping? Needle nosed drills with their high pitched whines? You see what I'm getting at.

On Friday I went to the dentist, which is about as much fun as going to the gynecologist. I invariably find myself with my hands balled into fists as the dental hygienist stabs my gum again with the hook thing. Surely in a world that can send men to the moon and invent spray cheese can also think of a way to make dentistry less horrific.

* * *

This past weekend was my five year college reunion. Originally I was going to go down to Virginia with Dennise and enjoy the festivities, but let's face it -- I wasn't exactly overjoyed about going back to my college and seeing a bunch of people I'd rather not see in the first place. Going from New York City to Roanoke, Virginia promised to be a cultural whiplash and in the end I decided not to go to reunion. Why? Because the total price tag to fly down the sticks with hotel and food was going to be around the $500 mark. For a weekend! Who knew it was so freakin' expensive to fly from New York to Roanoke.

When I called Dennise on Monday to find out the gossip, I was slightly disappointed that I didn't go. She spoke ecstatically about seeing our former classmates (it was a small school with a graduating class of 150), seeing the campus, and boozin' it up. Sigh.

Me: "So who was there?"

She begins to list the people who where there. Then she stops mid way.

Dennise: "Yeah, it's probably a good idea you didn't go in the end."

Me: "Why? Who was there?"

But I already knew who. Dennise's faltering meant that my crazy ex-girlfriend was there. Remember? She was my email stalker.

Now I don't feel guilty at all about not going.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

". . . even before it went on the website I began to hate myself."

Blogs are inherently banal. With each entry they threaten to descend into a chronicle of gripes or a laundry list of activities. I've done my best to provide exciting insight into the minutiae and tedium of my life, though there are days when this is the best I can provide:

1:56 - Checked subscriptions on GU.
2:15 - Met Beth for second lunch of iced coffee and panini. Nibbled on fries generously provided by Beth.
2:54 - Returned to work.
3:05 - Checked email.
3:05 - Received email from MTA stating that the L wasn't running this weekend.
3:05 - Uttered profanity under my breath.
3:07 - Emailed Holly.
3:25 - Lamented over my love life.
3:48 - Remembered how much I hate my job.
3:50 - Remembered to start looking at job postings.
3:54 - Checked email. No new messages on the server.
3:55 - Checked job postings on Craigslist.

Not very interesting, right?

If 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys were alive today, he might be one of the many bloggers crowding cyberspace. In fact, his diary has been turned into a blog of sorts with each entry corresponding to the day that he wrote it, albeit 343 years previous. For those who are history nerds like me, it's an interesting alternative to reading contemporary blogs. You can find it here.