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.