Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"18 million cracks."

Oh, Hillary. You made me cry seeing you on that stage in Denver. I got a little verklempt when the camera panned to Bill, who was holding back the tears too. I'm so sorry that it wasn't you accepting your party's nomination. I wanted just one of those 18 million cracks to give way and let you ascend past that last barrier. But I'm with you, girl, and I'm with Obama too. Let's rock this together in November.

See people, it's all about unity. Party unity. Say what you will about Clinton vs. Obama, but in the end it's down to the Barackstar to knock this election out of the park. We've got to stand behind him because, if we learned anything from the last two elections, your vote counts. My vote counts! I can't believe someone would have the audacity to say that they would abstain from voting rather than actively preventing Bush Lite from having a chance at the White House? Ladies, our grandmothers and our great grandmothers didn't sacrifice so much for us to toss our vote away. Let's stand together! And then maybe that glass ceiling will finally crack for our daughters.

We owe it to them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Sometimes you just gotta yell in this city for people to hear you."

We saw an apartment we want in Ditmas Park, which ironically is in the same building that one of my ex-girlfriends used to live in. We want the apartment, but someone put in an application before us. Sigh. Why, apartment gods, why?!

In the meantime I will console myself with a brownie and the trailer for the upcoming movie New York I Love You, which is just like the movie Paris, je t'aime except a love letter to Gotham. The trailer is below followed by one of my favorite shorts from Paris, je t'aime.

(Alas this one doesn't have English subtitles . . .)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Where's our damn apartment?"

I made a joke to Ms. K that when I close my eyes I see Craigslist ads for apartments. Like after a long road trip and you only see highways signs and lane markers when you close your eyes. She laughed and agreed.

Our lives are pretty much glued to Craigslist, refreshing every few minutes or so. My mind is even starting to think in broker-speak. $1600 / 3br - SUPER DEAL!!!! $1300 / 1br - OMG*HugeSpace* $1700 / 1br - PERFECT PAD FOR U... WITH ROOFDECK... OOO MAU MAU. HW floors. EIK. Jr 1br. Dogs are OK - wooof. Ditmas Park. Flatbush. Kensington. Sunset Park. Lefferts. I think I might explode.

Actually I'm starting to understand why people pay a thousand dollars for a broker to do the work for them.

We saw an almost perfect place a couple of days ago, but the broker had neglected to tell us that the place was secretly a studio and not a one bedroom apartment. Sigh. And then we saw another place that had potential, but the kitchen was the tiniest kitchen I have ever seen outside of a galley kitchen on an airplane. Sigh again.

The hunt continues.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"¿Dónde está Connecticut Muffin?"

A couple days ago Ms. K and I made the resolution to only speak Spanish at home in order to work on our bilingual skills. I should mention that I do not speak Spanish apart from "¿Dónde está el baño?" and "Uno mas cerveza, por favor." Ms. K, once fluent herself, has forgotten her Spanish and listens to "Learn Hebrew" podcasts instead. I was the genius who studied four years of German and Latin in high school. So obviously this resolution needs some tinkering.

Anyway, the apartment hunt marches on, ensuring that when we find a place we can start speaking halting, food related Spanish to each other. "¿Te gusta burrito?" Yes. Yes I would. And to answer Anonymous's suggestion that I should look in other cheap neighborhoods other than Prospect Park South, I should mention that we don't want to be too far out that my daily commute to the city takes forever or that Ms, K, when working bar hours, isn't having to have to travel long distances late at night. I mean that apartment that we are looking at tonight off of Newkirk Avenue already feels like exile. Although I said to Ms. K that should we need to be exiled to BFE Brooklyn, at least we'll be exiled together.

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Under Pressure."

I read somewhere that moving is one of the three most stressful events one can experience in life after death and job loss. But what that conventional wisdom fails to express is that the run up to a move is as equally stressful, like staring at the horizon and see the slow build of a very large tidal wave. The ground trembles and shifts. Every moment seems precarious. Will Ms. K and I be able to ride the wave or will it sink us?

This isn't just any ol' move. It's the combining of two people's resources and property. This is a Serious. Life. Change. While Ms. K and I have been living with each other in a de facto situation since March, looking at cheapo crack dens south of Prospect Park sort of seals the deal. I saw a dreary place on Saturday that had potential, but the 12% broker fee was a little more that silly considering the state of the apartment and the building. (Attention brokers, this is no longer the height of the market! People are not going to pay close to a two grand broker fee on top of a deposit for some dumpy walk-up! Thanks.) So Ms. K and I have soldiered on, combing Craigslist for other potential places. She's been feeling very frustrated and anxious, but I reminded that we have only just begun our apartment search.

The tidal wave grows closer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Plan B, thy name is tequila."

Now that my visit to my Mom's is out of the way, Ms. K and I have turned our focus towards restarting our previously frustrated apartment search. There's nothing like a spin through Craigslist and a couple of humiliating calls to brokers to get the gut churning. Yes, I have an awful credit score. Yes, Ms. K is in worse shape. I'm just praying that we can find an apartment, preferably minus a broker, where my income outweighs my credit score.

For those who live outside of New York City, let me explain the apartment hunting process here.

1. Search Craigslist.

2. Email or call a variety of anonymous people about available apartments listed. Brokers have the cream of the crop rental listings, but they charge a 10-15% fee of the yearly rent for their services. You don't have to go through a broker, but the options are definitely limited.

3. Go look at 1,500 apartments during a stressful two week period, most of which pass for crack dens.

4. Pay an enormous amount of money for said crack den.

The thing that is humiliating about this process is that you're handing over very personal financial information to someone who then judges you on your desirability as a paying tenant. And when a broker hears your credit score, they basically want little to do with you (unless you have a guarantor on the lease). I got really lucky with my apartment hunting search three years ago since the place I found was for rent by owner. But dear God, having to start this process again in worse shape than I was three years ago is really making me nervous.

"Your mom has a little bit of a bite on her."

My apologies for the slack off in blog entries. On one hand I have been very busy at work, which is generally prime time for blog writing. (Shhhh . . .) On the other hand I was anxiously awaiting my vacation with Ms. K -- anxious because we would be traveling to Delaware to stay with my mother at her beach house.

Yes, dear readers, my mom has now properly met Ms. K. And I don't mean the five second drive by that they had at Christmas. I have to tell you I was really nervous. Would my mom be on her best behavior? Would Ms. K run screaming, never wanting anything to do with me after spending time with Mom? Everything went fine. No one had to go into the bathroom and cry, which I did at Christmas. The only thing my mother did was inappropriately ask when Ms. K was going to get a "real" job. And she gave Ms. K the finger when Ms. K kept referring to John McCain as 112-years-old and Dara Torres as the "old lady swimmer." Apparently my mom, 58-years-old herself, was feeling touchy about her age.

But I guess it's good news when your mom gives your girlfriend the finger, right?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"All those skinny girls are jealous."

"Hey, miss. Can I ask you something?"

It was almost 11 pm when I heard a voice call to me from behind as I walked along Flatbush Avenue towards the subway.


I hesitated since I could almost predict the conversation to follow, but I turned around anyway and saw a tall skinny man in his 20s. Maybe he was lost? Maybe he was looking the subway? Oh, I should have known better.

"Can I ask you something?"

"Uh, sure."

He looked me up and down excitedly. "I just wanted to say that I saw you walking and I just had to say that you look amazing."

"Uh, thanks."

Just to prevent you all, dear readers, from thinking I'm sort of narcissist who gets off on having strange men praise me on the street, just wait till you hear this guy's sales pitch.

"See I love heavyset women. All those skinny girls are jealous. I just wanted to know if we could keep in touch?"

Cue embarrassment.

"Uh, I'm seeing someone," I sputtered as I started to back away.

"There's no way we could keep in touch? See not a lot of men could handle you." He said this last bit with the sort of feeling one would reserve for an overly large steak.

And then . . .

"See I got twelve inches on me and I could definitely make you happy," he said with an earnest grin.

"Oh I bet you'll make some lady happy someday." Just not this lady.

I have to say that this was a first for me. You know, being a lesbian and have a man praise my curves in tandem with his penis size. I really wasn't threatened as it was more hysterical and surreal than anything. I guess I'll give the man points for trying, but I laughed as I left him still pleading to keep in touch before disappearing into the nearby subway.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

"Just comb it out."

Going into the bathroom this morning and starting my usual routine, which involves tending to my out of control eyebrows via a pair of tweezers, I noticed a large purple splotch on my neck. It was longer than wide, almost two inches in length stretching over neck and collar bone, long enough to have been made by a mouth.


Ms. K gave me a hickey. What am I? Fourteen years old? She has been recently obsessed with trying to give me one despite my protestations and despite my warnings to not do it where people can see.

My neck? People can see that. Is this the reprisal I get for accidentally dislocating her jaw?

"Shit," I muttered and went to find my cell phone so I could yell at her while she was working her morning shift.

"Did you know that you gave me the biggest hickey ever on my neck?" I snapped once she answered the call.

"Wait. Seriously? Or are you speaking in hyperbole?"

"No, I'm looking at it right now in the mirror and it's almost two inches long and blotchy. If you don't believe me I'll take a cell phone picture of it and send it to you."

"So I can admire my work?" she asked a little too excitedly.

"Okay, maybe I'll not send you a picture of it. I don't want to encourage you."

"Just comb it out."

"Comb it out? What?"

"Take a fine tooth comb, like the kind you get at a drug store, and comb over the skin. It's supposed to break up the trapped blood or something."

"Seriously?" I wasn't convinced.

"Well if you had gone to high school like a regular person instead of locked in your bedroom reading vampire novels, then you would know this."

I made a noise that signaled that I was not pleased.

"I feel like you have your cranky voice on," she said.

"I'm cranky that I'm thirty years old and I have a huge hickey on my neck."

"Come on, babe. You're not thirty."

"In four months I'll be! I'm too old to have this thing on my neck."

"I guess it's too hot to be wearing a turtleneck."

I made another noise that signaled that I was not pleased.

"Well you have five hours till I get home so you better get your cranky out now."

When I hung up with her, I looked at the hickey again before fishing out a blue plastic comb from my purse. I'm not sure if this combing thing is going to work, but it has too. I'm too old for a massive hickey on my neck.