Monday, June 30, 2008

"I would like a vodka martini."

Life isn't exactly all sunshine and smiles at the moment, but (!) there is a bright spot. Ms. K has been bartending pretty frequently at the new Brooklyn Bridge pop-up park, which is down by the Dumbo waterfront and the new waterfalls installation. It's kind of like a beer garden with killer views of lower Manhattan and while pulling pints in the summer heat might be a drag, here's to hoping the money puts us back on track.

In the meantime Ms. K entertains me with stories of the people who stop by the park. Like the lost British tourists who succumbed to successive rounds of pints while missing every water taxi back to Manhattan. And then there was the man who missed the fact that the bar only served beer and wine, succumbing to Ms. K's snarky sense of humor.

"I would like a vodka martini," the man ordered.

"So would I. Where are we going to get one?"


Friday, June 27, 2008

"You look like you're going to cry."

In my relationship I assume many roles -- lover, counselor, alarm clock, care giver, organizer, pizza maker. Above all I'm a cheerleader and eternal optimist, but last weekend my optimism failed me. All it took was an apartment listing that had been forwarded to my email for me to feel the despair and frustration of my life right now. Ms. K and I want to start our lives together, but it's been one setback after another. Our plans to move have been put on hold while we wait for life to cooperate.

The apartment listing challenged my optimism and like a weapon sensing a chink in my amour with doubt flowing through the breach. Would we ever move? Would that big break ever come? I felt helpless.

"You look like you're going to cry," Ms. K said from where she laid on the bed.

Indeed I did as tears filled my eyes.

She pointed to her shoulder and motioned me towards her. "Come here."

As she held me in the bed, I felt guilty for crying. "I'm sorry," I whispered. "I don't want you to think I'm giving up."

"It's okay, honey. You're allowed to cry once and a while. I cry about this situation all the time."

"I'm sorry," I said, apologizing again. I felt like I was letting her down by not being the strong one. Since January, Ms. K has struggled to find steady work in New York. "It's just that we need something to go right."

"I'm going to be you. I'm going to be the optimist, okay? It's all going to be alright. I'm going to get a job this week and start making money so we can move. Yes? Yes."

It was nice to have our roles reversed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Why are you doing this to me?!!"

Ms. K's endeavor to quit smoking hasn't gone quite as planned.

On the first day of said endeavor, I watched as she placed a nicotine patch on arm and hoped for the best. She got as far as an hour before she began to seriously crave the cigarette that always accompanies her morning coffee. As the clock neared 11 am, I think I watched her go through three of the Five Stages of Grief, which were especially heightened by the fact that I had hidden her remaining cigarettes.


"Why am I quitting smoking? I never said wanted to quit smoking."


"Why are you doing this to me?!!"


"Just let me have one cigarette and then I'll quit after that one."

Anger (again):

"Where did you hide my cigarettes??!!"

By noon the quitting experiment was over. I surrendered her remaining Parliament Ultra Lights from my clever hiding space, sparing any potential bloodshed. Where was that Kevlar and chloroform soaked rag when I needed it?

I guess I should say that the quitting experiment isn't completely over. Rather Ms. K has decided on a tactic of weaning. Ironically she has also foregone her $9 a pack Parliaments in favor of cheaper hand rolled cigarettes.


"A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy . . ."

Occasionally I dream, like I did last night, it is the morning of 9/11 again. I watch the cloudless Manhattan skyline from somewhere in Brooklyn and I am possessed of the knowledge that the world is about to change. There's a sense of urgency as I scan the skyline and check the time. I am powerless to do anything as the first plane and then the second plane arc towards their scheduled targets.

Are 9/11 dreams this generation's archetypal anxiety dream? Does anyone get chased by unseen forces or show up to work naked in their dreams anymore? Or does everyone dream instead that they were are in New York City on that fateful day over and over again?

Just a thought.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"I find total blog spazz outs very therapeutic myself."

Questions! I love questions. I also love praise.

thenewgirl asks . . .
"I'll be moving to NYC soon and I think I'm ready to come out. Where can I scope out some cute Lesbians (other than the clubs)?"
If one area has been known for its lesbian congregation, other than Home Depot, it's the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn. Now I may have come across as a Park Slope hater in the past, but it's the one area where you consistently find cute lesbian after cute lesbian strolling along the streets of Fifth Avenue. (Just watch out for the straight couples with their strollers.) Or why not grab a blanket and watch the girls from your perch in Prospect Park. There's always Babeland. The San Fransisco based sex toy purveyor just opened a very lesbian friendly store on Bergen Street. Good luck with your own OFTL.

danamitey asks . . .
"[H]as the manual for OFAG been printed yet . . . I could use a copy."
Alas there isn't a manual. I should really get on that. There would be a demand for it, right?

anonymous asks . . .
"What is your favorite music group?"

Oh man. That's a hard question because I have so many. But if I had to narrow it down to a few, I would say that I love Doves, Spoon, Neutral Milk Hotel, Bishop Allen, Elliott Smith, and David Bowie. Lately I've been really into ambient drone by way of Stars of the Lid. Right before I was into them, I was listening pretty heavily to Chris Garneau. Listen to his song Baby's Romance. Now.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"I often find that in spite of your tendency toward loving self deprecation, you are incredibly world-wise."

Sorry for losing my shit yesterday, dear readers. Was it the full moon? It's just that the last thing I wanted to hear after everything I've been through is that I need to grow up. (Jesus, it's like listening to my mom.) But believe it or not I love blog comments. I live for the blog comments, especially the really kind and supportive ones from Curly and heretofore lurking readers.

So anyone want to ask me something? Anyone?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"All you need is love."

As an antidote from the vitriol of my last post, here's a friendly reminder courtesy of the Beatles. This reminder is especially relevant because gay marriage was officially legalized in California yesterday (hat tip to Ms. Snarker). If I needed a faith restorer, this was it.

"Blaming the IRS for your poor choices isn't healthy."

I'm sorry, but this comment touched a nerve. A big fat nerve.

"Blaming the IRS for your poor choices isn't healthy. Besides, the IRS is actually doing you a financial favor by applying 'your' stimulus check to your tax liability. My advice to you is to get rid of said liability as soon as possible as it can grow exponentially if you're not prudent. I found that out the hard way . . . [full link]"

Okay, I'm not really mad at the IRS, nor am I blaming them. I was just trying to blow off some steam after getting my hopes dashed. Yes, I didn't save up enough to pay my estimated taxes, yes I have a myriad of excuses, yes I'm glad that I don't owe them as much because, like a stern parent engaging in some tough love, they took my stimulus and made sure it went towards my debt.

I'm a smart lady, but sometimes I do less than smart things -- things that I am slowly starting to rectify with my impending 30th birthday. One of the smartest things I've done was enroll in a debt management program in January, which by the way was one of the singularly most embarrassing moments of my life. Nothing says failure more than laying out bills and pay stubs on the desk of a complete stranger and asking for help. Nothing says failure more than having to explain how I got in that situation in the first place. But I did it and it took a lot of courage to face my mistakes. Now I'm making healthy choices in my life. And I have a budget.

The thing is I just wanted -- for once! -- to have a break. Not that the IRS is known for its breaks, but I wanted one. And hence my frustration.

Buzz kill of the century, right?

Speaking of buzz kills, Ms. K has to go to a funeral today and tomorrow so her plan to quit smoking has been pushed back to June 20th. In the meantime she wants to become new best friends with the commenter from Brazil so she can get $3 cigarettes. Then again if cigarettes were only $3, Ms. K wouldn't be quitting at all.

See, both of us are making healthy choices.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Dear Taxpayer . . ."

Fucking IRS government pigs.

So back in May I, like many other people in this country, wondered when my stimulus check would arrive. I was taunted by other people's stories about how they spent their blood money windfall even though I had planned to put it away towards such sensible things like bills and savings. The IRS evening mailed me a note a couple weeks ago saying that I should have my check by May 31st.

The thing is that I got another piece of mail from the IRS yesterday saying that they took my stimulus and applied it to the $1,500 I owe them for 2007 taxes.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Like that. But crankier."

June 18th.

That's the day that Ms. K has decided to quit smoking. She told me to prepare myself. Kevlar armor? A chloroform soaked rag? I asked her how she fared the other times she tried to quit smoking.

"You know how cranky I was the other morning?" she pointed out as I watched her smoke a cigarette out the kitchen window.

"Yeah," I responded, remembering that she was quite the little cranky lady when we ran out of coffee.

"Like that. But crankier."

Oh boy!

For those out there who don't live in New York, cigarettes recently went up to $9 a pack, which in turn was enough to prompt Ms. K to start "thinking" about quitting. An order of free nicotine patches later, and I picked a date for her to begin the program.

So June 18th! The box that the nicotine patches came in was regrettably lacking in chloroform and Kevlar supplies.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"It's gettin' hot in here so take off all your clothes."

It's been hot in New York City. Like super fucking hot. Can't think or function or write blog entries hot. 97 degrees Fahrenheit hot. So you'll forgive me for keeping a low profile over the last week.

Since I'm one of the lucky few who has access to a car in New York City, Ms. K and I drove down to Jacob Riis Beach in Queens on Sunday and Monday to forget about the heat and forget about life. Neither of us can afford a proper vacation right now so Queens is going to have to be the next best thing. Actually considering that it's Queens, Riis Beach is kind of nice. And when I closed my eyes, I convinced myself that I was really laying out on a beach in the Bahamas.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Honey, why would you buy something like that?"

Back during the summer of 2005 there was a microtrend (fad?) in New York City where women wore Indian inspired sequined tunics. They were all over the place from high end stores to Old Navy. Maybe it was the warm weather or the bright colors the lightweight tunic came in -- or that I had managed to sip from the Kool-Aid cup of bad fashion -- but I decided that I too wanted to partake in this trend. And while shopping at a Lord & Taylor in Chicago, I found one that was about $60 on sale.

When I got my purchase home to New York and put it one one morning, the illusion and excitement began to fade. I'll admit that I'm a woman of some size. So why, for the love of God, I thought it was a good idea to purchase an item that looked like a BeDazzler shat all over me was a mystery. Was I looking for the wrong kind of attention?? My spangly tunic seemed gaudier than it did when I tried it on in the store and the look was definitely not daytime appropriate. Actually not appropriate period. Unfortunately I had hastily removed the tags and it was too late to return.

The poor item sat in my closet, unloved, until last night when Ms. K watched me sort through old clothes, weeding out candidates for donation.

"What is that?"

I looked away from the closet and saw Ms. K pointing to the spangly tunic, which was surreptitiously folded under a couple of shirts.

The look on her face suggested amusement.

"It was an idea gone bad," I replied and sought to bury the evidence deeper in the give-away pile.

"Oh no, you will be modeling that!"

I gave her a cheap thrill and put it on, noticing that the tunic was more snug then I last remembered.

"Honey, why would you buy something like that?"

"Because I knew a future girlfriend would be making fun of it three years later. That's why."

The fun didn't stop there.

"Okay, now I want to try it on!" she demanded.

She put on the spangly tunic and I swear to God she looked like the cutest thing ever. I gave her my big yenta Gucci sunglasses to put on and told her we were ready for shuffleboard in Boca. And then I took this picture.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Do you ever shut the fuck up?"

I went to BAM yesterday with Ms. K to see the Sex and the City movie and while I enjoyed the movie, I didn't enjoy the hoards of women who forgot that they were watching a movie . . . . because they spent the whole fucking movie -- all two and a half hours worth -- talking like they were at home watching the show with their best friends. Jesus-fucking-Christ. Talk much? And when they weren't talking they were doing this high pitch squeal thing that I last heard when I was a teenager. I think the exact words Ms. K said to one of the worst offenders were, "Do you ever shut the fuck up?"

Not that I'm one for scenes, but I guess the question had to be asked.

Anyway, I had a couple of thoughts when I was watching the movie. One, I wish I had smuggled in a flask. It definitely would have taken the edge off. Two, I connected with the movie's overall themes of the dirty, messy reality of love (although I didn't connect with the gratuitous product placement and rampant consumerism, but whatevs -- I enjoyed the movie).

Ms. K and I have been dealing with some heavy personal stuff outside of our relationship. It's rough, but we are there for each other. Every time it feels like we get ahead, we hit another unforeseen setback. I remind myself that we'll get there -- I have faith. And I will use this new moon to manifest my goals for this summer.

Namely for us to bring in enough income so we can move and start a life together.

"People don't say what they mean, or mean what they say!"

Fucking Mercury retrograde!

Mercury what?

You know, Mercury retrograde. The time when the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards through the sky. Mercury rules communication, thinking, and travel. When Mercury does the wonky, as it has been since May 26th, these areas in life go haywire such as lost emails, delayed trains, and rampant miscommunication. Take the last couple of weeks for me:

* The car battery died.
* My cell phone battery died.
* My internet at home died.
* Electronic PayPal receipts have gone missing.
* My stimulus check is God knows where.

I think other things have happened, but I'm too irritated to remember.