Thursday, December 27, 2012

How I ended up buying a haircut on the street


So I went going to the Union Square fair to buy Christmas presents for my family, as I do. When I got to Union Square it was extremely crowded, almost too crowded even for me. There was this guy standing on the corner looking around the crowd in almost a searching/questing/questioning manner, sort of slowly turning around in circles as though looking for someone to help. As I passed him he said, “Is anyone here from New York?” So of course, I immediately said, “Oh—I am!” Because from the way he was acting I assumed that what he really needed was directions as he seemed lost.

Well it turns out he did NOT need directions, no. It turns out he was a sales guy who was desperate to sell me a haircut. I have gotten myself into this type of situation before, the type of situation in which someone really wants to sell me something/pitch me something and what I should say is, “Sorry not interested,” and quickly walk away like EVERY OTHER PERSON ON THE PLANET. Except I don’t walk away quickly because I feel bad and he just wants to tell me about this haircut and really is that too much to ask that I give him five minutes of my time? So instead I sort of stayed and listened to this guy (Quin) give his spiel for a minute. But then as I’m standing there and he’s talking, I realize that I’m actually being very rude, wasting his time when I don’t intend to purchase anything. That’s when the panic starts to set in and I try to untangle myself from the situation only to find that I’ve sunk way, way too deep into the hole.

Hmm. This has definitely happened before. Too many times.

So anyway, Quin starts really giving me the VERY hard sell. He’s been working it for about ten minutes or more, while I’m getting increasingly shifty and looking for an escape route. I start pulling out every excuse in the book, and he starts pulling out every solution. First I tell him that I don’t buy things on the street, to which he’s like "Oh but we use the same card system that any of these vendors at the union square fair use it’s totes legit.” And then I’m like “yeah but I really like to read reviews of products before I buy them.” And he’s like "OH I can get reviews for you right now on my phone see here they are, all of them fabulous.” And then I’m like “$70 is a lot of money for me, I’m quite poor." And he’s like “ok, make it $35.”

At that point, I gave up. I was like “Dude. You win. You are working so hard. You got me. I will buy your $35 haircut.” And I did. As I got out my wallet, I told him that the only reason I decided to buy is because he gave that sell 110% and he just plain earned it.

Then after I paid, he was all “So, where are you from?? Not the city, surely.” And I was all, “no, no. This is where I’m from.” and he said, “But you’re so……. Nice….” (oh, you mean innocent and na├»ve and no actual New Yorker would buy your stupid haircut?  Yeah.) and I said “I know, I get that a lot. But the high school I went to was two blocks east of here and the apartment I grew up in is four blocks south of here.” He said, surprised, “So this is actually your hood.” “Yup. This is my hood. I just turned out nice I guess.”

Grrrrrrrr.

But whatever. I am going to use this haircut. I made an appointment for this evening. And also, $35 dollars for a haircut in New York is a legitimate good deal. So maybe it was a win-win? I guess we will know tonight...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Full of Holiday Spirit

... Not.

I know I haven't written much this month. I feel bad about it. But nothing I've been thinking about recently has been remotely in the light and humorous nature of my blog, in fact quite the opposite.

For the past four days my mind has been consumed with the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary. The murder of 20 children and 6 adults.

I don't have anything to say about this, really, except that I'm sad. I keep thinking of the 20 sets of parents in the moment when they learned they lost their child. Then I keep choking. Merely imagining what they're going through makes me feel literally out of control with anguish and grief, and the reality can only possibly be worse.

The strange thing is that my life will go on. Already today my chest hurts a little less than it did on Friday. This grief didn't happen to me, and as a result it probably won't weigh that heavily on my life. That's just the nature of the beast.

I feel sad about this too.

There are families for whom that simply is not true. They will never move on. They will always carry this with them, heavily.

I am thinking of them today. I am thinking of them as hard as I can.

I really will write about Christmas. Tomorrow. I promise.

But this, first:

“I held her close for only a short time, but after she was gone, I'd see her smile on the face of a perfect stranger and I knew she would be there with me all the rest of my days.”
Brian Andreas, Strange Dreams - Collected Stories & Drawings

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Meetup.com

Last week I went to a meet up that I found on meetup.com (Yes, even though I have a boyfriend I still do internet dating). I have been wanting to meet more young people who share my interests, so one day, on a whim, I logged onto a computer and googled how. I joined groups that looked interesting to me and signed on to get notifications of their upcoming events. And then! I went to one. I met the people.  It was so, so incredibly invigorating.  

But, perhaps my favorite part, I met this one kid (I'm using the term "kid" very loosely in this case) who is a professional classical pianist – like, FOR A LIVING. I asked him if he knew my favorite Beethoven Sonata (no. 21, Waldstein) and he did, BY HEART. He knew it by heart. I asked him if I told him I had a piano would he play it for me right now? AND HE SAID HE WOULD. And that's how he ended up in a cab headed downtown with me and my boyfriend.
 
You are probably thinking, "uhh... Jane? Might you be a little bit crazy?" And the answer is.... Maybe. I can't rule out the possibility.
 
But ALSO a professional concert pianist gave my family a private performance in which he absolutely rocked. The SHIT. Out of my favorite, favorite piece of music.

I am not kidding you when I say I cried a little, I love this piece so much. And he played it with so much feeling and intensity. I wasn’t crying tears of sadness, obviously, but for overwhelming power of music and the men who create it.  

You should listen to this piece right now: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 21. It changes my life every time I hear it. It’s that good.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Channukah!

My household celebrated Chanukah over the weekend. In typical fashion, I of course mean that we ate a ton of delicious food, in this case all of it fried.

Did we play dradle? No, we did not. Did we dance the hora? ..... Don't be ridiculous. Did we light the menorah? Uhm, yes but only barely. Apparently I am the only one who actually knows the prayer.

BUT we did eat an obnoxious number of latkas. And my uncle, of Thanksgiving fame, made us jelly donuts from scratch. He made the latkas from scratch too. I ate too much of both. Nothing I put into my mouth hadn't been fried. And in the midst of this starch fest, my youngest cousin said to me, "this is my favorite kind of meal: no obligatory salad." Amen.

Oh, and as for me vs. my youngest cousin round 2: the ultimate eating challenge? I totally kicked her ass. I ate at least double the number of latkas she did. And probably triple the number of jelly donuts. My official place as Champion Overeater in the family has been restored. Phew.

Wait... Is that a good thing?.....

Yes, yes it is.

I'm pretty sure this is what it means to be Jewish.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How I feel about being 23

Today, while I was at work working, my BFF emailed me this question: "Contemplating:
if someone told you they could accurately predict your future but you had to pick one thing they would predict about, what would you pick? would you want to know at all?"
The truth is, I think about this a lot. In my head, I want to know how my story ends all the time. I want to know all the time what I will make of myself. And I worry all the time that I'll be disappointed by my life and feel that I wasn't able to fulfill my potential (or maybe that my potential wasn't able to fulfill me). I try to combat this anxiety by planning and planning and planning, but all my plans can't really give me control over my future. There are so many elements that go into making a future and making a life: hard work and stamina, certainly, but also circumstance and luck.
Sometimes I feel that my own ambition (and impatience, and passion) will overwhelm me and I will never exceed it, or even satisfy it. I can sort of see where I want to go, partially, but even if I feel like I'm running as fast as I can, I still don't know if I will ever get there. In fact, I think one of my personal life lessons is to be more appreciative and accepting of the beginning or the middle parts of a journey, and to maybe even enjoy the middle parts: to stop running, take a deep breath, and just be where I am.
So, yes, I worry all the time whether or not I will be OK with my own outcome, but would I want to know the answer if someone could tell me? What if the answer is no?
In the end, I don't think I could ask a question because I think one of my personal life lessons is to learn how to stop asking.
For me, this is what it feels like to be 23.
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blog! I've neglected you.

I feel terrible about this. The truth is, I had the flu (or if not the flu, then a flu-like illness that wiped me out for an entire week)... And! then! when I didn't have the flu anymore, I still didn't post anything... because I'm a terrible blog keeper.

You may be disappointed to learn that this blog is not the only person/thing I've neglected:


Humphrey is like: my god! Why have your forsaken me!

Readers of my blog are like: oh my god. you still haven't thrown that pumpkin out? Do you also leave your christmas lights up well past new years? 

You will be happy to know that I do NOT leave my Christmas lights up for any indecent length of time.... but that is mostly because I don't put Christmas lights up in the first place. Phew. 

And yes, I will throw Humphrey away. For the past.. months... I couldn't bring myself to. But now that his face is sinking into itself, it really is for the best that I put him out of his misery.

Right? 

Other things I'm thinking about these days: How wonderful it is to have a 60 degree day in December. How the Strand rare books section is my new favorite place on earth and it was there that I found a book of old slang and learned the word "absquatulate" (which is my new favorite word!). How the Caribbean is 80 degrees and sunny every single day and I want to go there. How much I love the Union Square Holiday Fair even though it is too crowded and one time someone pick pocketed me and took all my money ($60!). How delicious hot chocolate tastes on a cold day. How Christmas is just around the corner (and yes I know I'm Jewish. Whatever, I still celebrate Christmas. As far as I'm concerned, it's an American holiday).

And lastly: how good it is to hang out with old friends. Sometimes, when I think of socializing, I think "that sounds like a lot of work." I know this probably makes me sound weird and abnormal. But, then, whenever I see my friends, I remember how wonderful it is to feel like you're relating to someone else, that you're sharing an experience with someone else, that someone else can tell you something interesting or make you laugh. And I always, without fail, feel so rejuvenated afterwards. I must keep that note for myself for later.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I have a cold

Not to complain, but I got a cold over one of my VERY FEW holiday weekends (seethes). Now I am at work and my brain feels like it is being weighted down under an extremely heavy mountain of mucus. And snot.

I feel like I might be dying a long, slow, and very serious death by cold symptoms. That is seriously how I feel.

Blegh. Do you think my boss would notice if I put my head down on this desk and fell asleep?

I want to go back to the Bronx Zoo

And I wish it was summer again.

I miss standing in the unbearably hot and smelly giraffe house. I love the giraffes and I probably spend too much time thinking about them. About how strange it is that such an animal could be in turns so ridiculously awkward and so incredibly majestic. They mesmerize me.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving is my Favorite Holiday

I love Thanksgiving. A lot. Maybe too much. I think this is because I love to eat and I absolutely LOVE to overeat. And I SUPER DOOPER love carbs, which Thanksgiving specializes in (see: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, stuffing, and stuffing).

My uncle makes the dinner every year. All joking aside, this is pretty much the greatest thing on the planet and is not to be missed.

This year he made: Turkey (probably my least favorite item on the Thanksgiving menu, but I guess it's a must), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing that was in the turkey, the same stuffing but cooked outside the turkey, and another completely separate type of stuffing, green beans (those barely made it onto my plate), broccoli, creamed onions, cranberry sauce, and gravy. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but suffice to say that if that if there was a Thanksgiving event at the Olympics, he would get the gold medal.

Oh, and who attends this Thanksgiving feast you ask? Just our family. I know, everyone else in the world is missing out. I almost feel a little bit bad about this but on the other hand I am terrible at sharing.

Here is a picture of my plate right before I sat down to consume it:


I know what you're thinking: if I hadn't wasted so much precious plate space on green beans and turkey, I would have had WAY more room for stuffing. Classic mistake. 

Ok so, now it's time to get real. Not to brag or anything, but I usually win Thanksgiving. And by "win" I mean that I always eat the most and have to sit down the hardest afterward. Well, this year I was ready for my next championship. I wore an outfit with a lot of give. I exercised my stomach muscles by eating a lot of appetizers (that's a science). And most of all, I made sure to prepare all of my family members for the eventuality of a my victory. Let there be no doubt!!! I had this one in the bag, I assured them.

WELL I LOST. Ok? My youngest cousin was our apparent "dark horse," and she totally kicked my ass this year.  I never saw the challenge coming. But while I was barely managing my first plate of food, she was going back for seconds. And then thirds. And then, when I relented and practically died a death by overeating, she was claiming "that she still didn't feel full." 

Yes, it was an outrage and I'm still recovering. 

Meanwhile, I did do my part to contribute to the Thanksgiving meal: I made the two apple pies. Here's one of them:


I am pretty sure that was a delicious pie, but I hardly noticed when I was stuffing a piece into my mouth last night. At that point, I was so full I was in pain. Serious pain. Also this pie was one of SEVEN pies we had. Yes, seven. You are probably hoping that I have a huge family so that the number of pies is proportional and makes sense. I'll just go ahead and tell you that uhm, we don't and it doesn't. There were fourteen people at the dinner. Total. How fourteen people were supposed to make a dent in seven pies after eating the feast my uncle made... well, let's just say we didn't stand a chance. Not by a long shot. 

After the pies, I seriously didn't think I'd ever be able to eat again for days.... And yet, somehow when I got home with the leftovers, I couldn't resist the temptation to eat approximately five more servings of stuffing. It was only after the 210th bite that I finally managed to put the fork down and the stuffing away. At that point, the amount of stomach pain I was in started to outweigh the deliciousness of the food I was eating -- yes, it took that long. And I would officially never be hungry again. 

In fact, it is more than a day later and I'm still uncomfortably full. Right now. The fact that I haven't written anything about Thanksgiving before now is because I have been in a food coma for the past 24hrs. 

Sigh, and isn't that exactly what Thanksgiving is about? 




Sunday, November 18, 2012

I have even more to say about the Subway

Can you believe it?

So I was just in DC last week and I happened to take their "Metro" while I was there. Everyone always raves about DC's metro because it's ...new? I think? And clean. And they have CUSHIONED seats, how fancy.

Call me biased, but after using their subway system I think New York's is definitely superior. And readers of my blog will note that I consider myself to be an expert on the subject. But for real, here are three reasons why New York Subway kicks DC Metro's ass: A. New York Subway is 24 hrs and DC Metro is not. The fact that I could take the subway at 4am if I so desired is totally priceless in my opinion (though, no, I can't say I have ever taken advantage of this luxury) B. Our subway only requires you to swipe once (to get on the subway) and DC requires you to swipe twice (getting on AND GETTING OFF). Swiping twice is totally inconvenient in my opinion. It requires me to put my pass away and then get it out and I just don't feel like it. Why is this necessary? C. New York subway is a flat fare no matter where you go, and DC prices vary. As someone who is not from DC, THIS IS TOTALLY CONFUSING IN MY OPINION. Confusing and unnecessary. And probably why you need to swipe twice. Boo.

So, as you can see, I can safely conclude that the New York subway is the best subway. Yes, it is very old. And rusty. And most of our windows are covered in graffiti. And we have hard plastic seats instead of comfy cushions (although... if a homeless person pees on plastic, it's all that much easier to clean up am I right??). But... it's just better. OK? It's convenient and efficient and it won't bail on me if I stay out too late.

Hm, I think I owe my subway an apology. I'm sorry I complain about you all the time, New York Subway. You're great and I take you for granted.

Things I Hate About New York

Before I go into this list, I must say that I consider New York to be a part of my family. Yes, I know it sounds strange to say, but I do. Thus, I can make fun of it, but I will defend it violently if anyone else does unless that other person is also from New York (and even then, I wouldn't push it). Ahem, now that I've gotten that out of the way, let us proceed to Some of the Things That Suck About my Hometown:

1. It smells. Not everywhere and not all the time, but every so often I'll be walking down the street all casual-like and I will be bowled over by the smell of sewage. It's bad. It's very bad. And then, in the next few feet, there will be a restaurant that smells delicious of roasting garlic and I will wonder how the two could possibly exist side by side.

2. Times Square. Whenever a friend of mine from somewhere else comes to the city and tells me they REALLY WANT TO GO TO TIMES SQUARE!!! I tell them they better plan to make the visit without me because I hate that place. Hate. Firstly, there are too many people there and they all need to get the hell out of my way. Secondly, it is full of all the cheesy and terrible restaurants you can expect to find anywhere else in the country. Like Applebee's. And Olive Garden. So, if you're a tourist and you go there to eat, you might as well have stayed home. That's all I'm saying.

3. More about Times Square and how terrible it is. I hate people who come to New York to go to Times Square and then tell me that they can't imagine living in New York. Uhh, yeah. If all of New York was just like Times Square, I couldn't possibly imagine living here either. It would be a nightmare.

4. That said, New York is pretty crowded everywhere and it's kind of a bummer. On the one hand, I guess that's also part of what makes it such an exciting and interesting place to live. On the other hand, the number of people I bump into daily, who block my path on the street, who turn around to give me a look of complete disdain when I say, "excuse me..."... Well, let's just say it's enough to make one hate people.

5. Lastly, our Thai food is terrible. I don't get this. New York is a hub of culture and cuisine. Our Italian food is better than what you can get in Italy (in my humble opinion...). The Mexican food place I always order from never ceases to blow my mind with how awesome it is. Same with Indian food, Japanese food, Ethiopian food, American food... etc. So how come I got better Thai food in The Middle of Serious Nowhere, Maine than I can here? This is a tragedy.

6. Someone who reads this should open an awesome Thai food place and become a millionaire. Seriously, do it. Thousands of people will thank you.

The end.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Heart NY

I am going to Washington, DC tonight so I decided to compile a list of the things I will miss about New York for the entire 48 hours I am gone (there are also many, many things I will not miss... but I'll save that post for another time).

1. New York Pizza. Is it likely that I would even eat pizza in the next 48 hours if I were in New York, you ask yourself? Yes it is. As the saying goes: One slice of pizza a day keeps the doctor away. That's how my saying goes anyway.

2. New York Bagels.

I am ready to admit I have a problem. My name is Jane, and I'm a carboholic.

3. If I said I would also miss my favorite Italian restaurant would you worry about me?

4. .... Hmm I guess there is really only one thing I love about New York after all...

5. Oh! And last by not least, my dog. I will really, really miss my dog.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In The News

I just read this very interesting article during my morning perusal of msn.com:


I just want to be clear: as punishment for driving on the sidewalk, this woman had to stand in the street holding a sign stating that she was an idiot for a set amount of time. Like, wait a minute, we still use public humiliation as a form of punishment?? What time period is this??

.... Also can we bring back the Dunce Cap as well? I'm just saying, if society is going to regress why go halfway.

More About My Commute

I am pretty sure that New Yorkers have lost all sense of etiquette. I believe there was a golden era in which most people knew that, before getting on the subway, you were supposed to wait patiently on the sidelines for passengers to get off. When and why did this cease??? It was neat and efficient and it didn't cause me to feel frustrated and angry into the very core of my soul.

Recently I've encountered too many people who stand squarely in front of the subway doors after it pulls into the station and push their way onto the train before anyone has had a chance to get off. THIS HELPS NO ONE AND NEEDS TO STOP STARTING TODAY.

Also is karma coming to bite me in the ass? I wrote about how annoying it is when people take up a whole seat on the subway just for their bag and now it's like EVERYONE IS DOING IT. Stop tormenting me, Universe.



Monday, November 12, 2012

Bounce

I am not a very good 23 year old. Or a very good city girl. I don't care much for fashion (which I've mentioned before), but even more than that, I don't care much for partying.

I think there was a point in my life (Mmm around High School) when I understood the allure of "clubbing," but that time has long since passed me by. At the risk of sounding much older than I am, here are all the problems I have with the club scene:

1. Holy Expensive.
2. I'm deaf now.
3. I'm sorry, what? I can't hear you. Because I'm deaf now.
4. I really need to be drunk to enjoy this... but I can't afford it.
5. EVERYONE NEEDS TO STOP TOUCHING ME.
6. Seriously, I need to create a bubble around myself so that guys don't misunderstand my awesome dance moves as an indication that I might want to dance with them.
7. Bouncers are assholes on a power trip who really want you to RESPECT THEIR AUTHORITY.
8. Is it just me or does the ratio of girls to guys tend to be around 3:1?
9. And it seems that the ratio of hot girls to hot guys is 3:0.
10. Oh. It's because the bouncer is in control of who gets into the club and he's a guy. Yeah. This is all pretty disappointing for girls.
11. Dancing is fun?
12. What am I missing here?

I know that some people think "clubbing" is a great time -- mostly because I'm related to one of those people. Yesterday she reserved the VIP table at one of the coolest new clubs in town, Bounce. At 4pm on a Sunday afternoon, that place was.... Well, it was bouncing. Yes I did just make that joke. But seriously -- who parties on a Sunday afternoon? By the looks of it, hundreds of people do. I asked my boyfriend about this and he said, "If you're going to party on Sunday, the afternoon is the way to go. That way you can be home by 9 or 10 and in bed in time for work the next day." He is obviously an expert on the subject.

Well, OK, I guess that makes sense... If you love to party and are desperate to squeeze it in, even on Sunday. But at the risk of sounding about 100 years older than I am, here is the itinerary of my ideal weekend:

1. Wake up late.
2. Eat breakfast.
3. Take a nap.
4. Take a bath.
5. Sit around.
6. Dinner time!
7. Television.

As you can see, I really like to live on the edge.

It's funny to me that, for some, partying is relaxing and a stress reliever. To me, partying is a stress and relaxing is hanging out in my bed with a good book. But even so, I like to consider myself a "fun" person, and I know that partying is the quintessential "fun" thing to do. So I made a point to go to Bounce with my cousins yesterday. I squished myself into the crowd, I let the music deafen me, I danced. After all, I am 23. This is my moment.

And you know what? It wasn't all bad. I guess I could do it again... Once. Or twice. But only after I've gotten my full hearing back, because I'm still waiting on that one.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In Which I am Relieved that the Election Season is Over

For the most part... I hate politics. And I hate the current state of American Politics. And no matter who you voted for, I think we can all agree that that was a brutal and uncompromising campaign we just witnessed.

When I say I hate politics, I don't mean that I don't have opinions, or that I don't have strong opinions. I have my own beliefs about the way the country should be run. It is highly likely that they are different from yours. And truthfully, I think for many people, political beliefs are as deeply ingrained in their personality and their soul as, say, their spirituality or their faith. Debates about politics are, often and for the most part, futile. You think, or hope, that you might be able to move someone whose political affiliations oppose your own.... but it's much more likely that you can't. In the end, you will probably just get into a screaming match in which you're both blue in the face, calling each other terrible names, and feeling far more divided than you had before.

Oh, wait, we just watched that actually unfold on television for the past year. Literally that -- the blue in the face, the name calling, and the horrible, unmoving, divisions.

So I have made a list! A list of the Things I Think We Need to Change About Politics But That Won't Happen and I Should Probably Just Give Up Before I Give Myself a Hernia:

1. The horrible name calling. And I mean, horrible. And I mean -- "If you don't agree with my party, then you are obviously a moron without a brain and nothing you have to say is worth hearing because I don't associate myself with ignorant, stupid people." ... And this is often coming from the mouth of someone who simultaneously preaches bipartisanship in this country. HOW? How could I possibly try to work with/converse with someone who has called me ignorant and uninformed before I even open my mouth? I mean, who doesn't love being called ignorant and uninformed? That's a real discussion opener.

ON OPPOSITE DAY.

2. The personal attacks that somehow seem to matter more than actual policy. Is it just me, or did we see a campaign that was almost exclusively based on tearing the opponant down? Is it beyond hopefully idealistic of me to think that politics should be about SUPPORTING the candidate you believe in, instead of trying to ruin the man he's running against? And when I say ruin -- I mean personally ruin, with the name calling and the character attacks. Aaand we're back to that, yes.

For me, it is disappointing to watch, and disappointing to listen to, so much negativity. I come back to that being a focal point for divisivness, anger, and, yes, even hatred. I think if we ran future campaigns that were more focused on positive support for one candidate or the other... it would foster better relations between the parties and it would make it easier to come together afterwards. There is too much anger and hate in politics. TOO MUCH. And.... Oh, I seem to have come back to the horrible name-calling again.

3. 2 Billion Dollars down the drain. I mean really, that money would have been better spent pretty much anywhere else. Enough said.

4. Well, I guess that's it. I am just tired of the complete and total lack of respect for other people's opinions. I'm tired of the hatred and anger. I'm tired of hearing cries for unity when all I can see are the gaping chasms that separate us -- the gaping chasms that have been pointed out to me over and over for months.

So for the most part, I am just relieved it's over. And I hope the name calling will cease. I hope the anger will fade. And I hope we can go back to being a one country, whole, and focused on the things that unite us.

For the next two years at least, before it starts all over again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Where'd they get my number?

I was just updating myself on the news when I came across this article: http://yourmoney.msn.com/saving-money-advice/253175990

And when I read the first paragraph I felt like they were literally looking at me through the computer:

"Is this you: a twentysomething who feels she should be well on her path to marriage and career and financial security, but instead you feel anxious, disappointed and helpless? Welcome to your quarter-life crisis. Everyone who has ever amounted to anything has been there. Just breathe. You will be fine, even if doesn't feel like it today (or tomorrow)."

In my office chair, I was taken aback. Oh my God. That is me! They literally just described me. They know me. They are talking directly to me!

But, also, wait. How do they know I'll be fine?

In Which I Bemoan the End of Day Light Savings

I hate the end of daylight savings. Hate Hate Hate. A lot of people I know are like, "But Jane. It's great! You get an extra hour to sleep. Or an extra hour to party. Or an extra hour. Period! Exclamation point!" But for me, the extra hour in the dark is nothing compared to the daylight I'll be losing -- the extra hour of daylight at the end of everyday for the next four months.

Blegh. There is something about the sun setting at 4:30pm that makes me antsy and nervous. Like I must GET THINGS DONE -- QUICKLY -- before the lights go out. Do I want to go to the park today? WELL I MUST GO NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!! Pick up my dry cleaning?? WELL EVERYTHING CLOSES WHEN IT GETS DARK SO I HAVE TO HURRY!! Obviously life doesn't actually stop when the sun goes down... Logically I realize that. But my brain. It sends me signals that are impossible to ignore.

And also, I can't nap in the winter. To nap would be to waste what precious light there is, and in these days every minute counts.

But oh maaaan. I love my Saturday nap. This will be a painful period of separation for both us.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let's All Give Thanks for the Subway

Which is finally up and running in my neck of the woods! This means I no longer have to take the bus to work. Oh the bus. I forgot to list it in my City Transportation post and that is because the New York City bus is not ACTUALLY a legitimate form of transportation for anyone who has any place to be in a reasonable amount of time.

So the bus, which no one actually ever takes, was the only way to get around for three+ days (and for free as well!). And what a bizarre three days it was. EVERY PERSON was on the bus, attempting to be on the bus, and desiring to be on the bus. What paradox is this! The bus was packed beyond possibility on the first stop and anyone trying to get on on stops 2, 3, and 4, was shit outta luck.

But I shouldn't complain, because I at least had the luxury of walking home. After work, the lines for buses going downtown from 42nd street were up TWO HOURS long. And lines trying to get into Manhattan from Brooklyn were similarly outrageous. If I had to wait in such a line... I'd be mad. That's all I'm saying. Frustrated and mad. And bored.

So all in all, it's been a crazy week. Hopefully, now that we have full subway service back, life in the city can return to relative normalcy. Hopefully.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Pt. 2

So, when I woke up on Tuesday morning it turned out that we still didn't have power and that the Hurricane had been a pretty big deal. A huge deal. This came much to my surprise (and a little bit to my chagrin). As Tuesday progressed, my family would start to feel very glad that my mom had the foresight to cook all that food, as the refrigerator started to smell. On Wednesday, things escalated to a point that could not be ignored and we threw pretty much all our remaining refrigerated food away. Disgusting.

To be honest, I was going to write a light-hearted post to follow my previous one -- something about how downtown Manhattan, which was among the communities who probably needed information the most, couldn't get any. About how my family would sit altogether in the kitchen, avidly listening to our emergency wind-up radio (which, when my mom bought it a few years ago, I swore up and down that we would never ever use) trying to get any news available. When would the power be restored? When would transportation be up and running? How long would the city be trapped, held at a complete stand-still like this?

During the day, we would go out into the world (along with a remarkable number of other people). We were largely seeking information, but there was none to be found anywhere in written form. Almost every single business in my neighborhood was closed. The few convenience store/bodegas that WERE open were open in the dark. I walked into one, seeking a newspaper, and it was like walking into a cold, dark cave.

A lot of the information we could get was spread by word of mouth. People started asking each other on the street, strangers who had never met but who had an experience in common, what had they heard? Could it really be four days before we got our power back, before we are able to connect with the outside world? And how long for the subway? I personally started to wonder how much better I would know my neighbors if I didn't usually have technology to answer these questions for me.

At night, when the sun went down, we would light approximately seven candles just to see each other across the dinner table. 7pm felt like 9 or 10pm. When we finished eating, we would sit around for another hour or so, wondering what else to do, before giving up in our boredom and trotting up to bed.... at 8:30pm.

But truthfully, I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. Really. Some parts of the city were thoroughly destroyed, and some people -- even in our own neighborhood -- were actually in danger. As I write this, on November 3, people still need help, desperately. We got our power back at 4:30am this past night, but there are thousands of others who STILL cannot say the same. And it it is very cold, getting colder. And the food that was once in their refrigerator is spoiled. And they have no running water so they can't so much as flush a toilet.

Or it is worse: their house burned down or was swept out to sea. All their possessions are lost and destroyed by fire or flooding. A loved one of theirs was killed. Their lives are irrevocably changed.

These are the real problems that surround me. And it is hard to make light of something that affects other people in such serious and horrifying ways. And I want to make light of all this, because to make light of it is to belittle it, and thus makes it an easier pill to swallow. At least, it does for me. But in this case... I can't. Not now.

When compared to what some people are currently going through, my hurricane experience was... downright pleasant. My neighborhood was dry, albeit dark. My house sustained no flooding (I think I mentioned in my last post that the water was still at least two blocks away from us). The worst for us was that we had to wash our dishes BY HAND. And read by candlelight. To be completely honest, our lack of power felt more like an adventure, to me, than a horrible inconvenience -- it was an adventure in the dark.

So that is it for now. For me, the Days of Darkness are at an end, and my life will return to normalcy. For others, that will never be the case -- even when they finally do have electricity. Because of that, it would be wrong for me, at this time, to say that I would ever miss the Days of Darkness, and the intimacy they inspired. Not even the teensiest, tiniest bit.

Though, truth be told, I will miss them. But just the teensiest, tiniest bit.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Hurricane Hits Manhattan

So Hurricane Sandy hit Manhattan. It has been quite an interesting, and harrowing, three days here on the island. I almost wish had kept a journal of my experiences, but alas I did not. However, if I had, this is pretty much how it would go:

Sunday, October 28th

7:00pm: Are they seriously shutting down all of our transportation systems? I mean, no one actually believes this hurricane is going to be a big deal... But on the other hand, this means that we all get a mandatory day off from work for no good reason! Win. Win.

Monday, October 29th

9:00am: Woke up only to realize I can sleep as long as I want because I have the day off! And it's not even raining! I might as well check my emails from my bed. And I might as well eat in bed. Hell, maybe I'll spend the whole day in bed. What is stopping me?

11:00am: naptime.

4:00pm: Seriously, I wonder if the media is hiding its head in shame right now. There is still no wind or rain. I sort of feel like I'm getting away with murder. As I lie here in bed.

5:00pm: Went outside for the first time today! I walked all the way down to the river to see if maybe it felt like a hurricane three blocks away. And I was actually quite surprised to find the river gushing up over the bulwark and onto the path. I took a lot of pictures which I will definitely and totally upload at some point.

7:00pm: My mom hurridly cooks all the food in the refrigerator while she still can. I make fun of her from across the room because come on. We all know this "hurricane" is not going to be a big deal.

8:30pm: Con-ed warned us hours earlier that we might lose power... But no one really believed them. We made it almost to high tide at 9pm (the height of the storm surge) when, suddenly, the lights flicker and dim to 50%. Everyone in our house holds their breath. The lights return fully! Everyone breathes an audible sigh of relief. Then the lights go out for good.

8:35pm: I laugh like a fool because life is an adventure and our current adventure is life without electricity. Let the games begin! This will be fun. For the next few hours or so, which is about as long as I can see this lasting.

9:00pm: I am convinced by my boyfriend and my dad to walk down to the river to see high tide. This is the highest it will be in our lifetime! They say. I am thoroughly intrigued, but thoroughly nervous. We bring flashlights and our small dog, James. Within half a block James (who is 15lbs) is blown so hard by the wind that he falls into an upturned trashcan. I get the sense that the danger is more imminent than I've been led to believe. I make everyone walk very, very quickly.

We get down to the water's edge and it is incredible. The water has come up past the river park, over the highway, and has come a quarter-block further inland from there. I have never seen anything like this before and likely never will again. I take lots of pictures but it is dark, and my iPhone is near useless in the dark.

After I witness the majesty of nature, I am fully ready to return home as quickly as possible. The wind is not too terrible.. until it gusts and it shakes everything around us and I know that if a tree fell... we could be seriously injured at best.

On the way home, I see five fallen tree branches. BIG tree branches. When we are all safely back inside, I feel incredibly relieved.

That was quite enough adventure for one night.

Stay tuned for Part 2: We Sill Don't Have Electricity, Even Right Now!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Family Throws a Party

My family threw a rocking Halloween Party at our family home last night.

We went all out on the decorations too:


Here is a cobwebbed corner in our living room. Spooky right? This may look effortless... but it took approximately 45 minutes of agonized discussion to get it exactly right. When it comes to party decorations, my mom is a micro-perfectionist. Is that a term? Does it mean "someone who cares even about the most minuscule details?" Because that's her. But I helped! I provided moral support from the chair across the room.

Also, please note the skeleton victim hanging upside down in the corner. That's what happened to the last person who wandered into the spiders' web.....


This is our balcony graveyard. 

Well Ok, it might not look spooky BRIGHTLY LIT, but it all came together when night fell and we turned down all the lights and lit up a bunch of candles. You wouldn't know this because absolutely the only camera I have in the world my iPhone, which is pretty much useless after dark.

My family came up with the idea to throw a Halloween Party about a month ago, on a whim. My family's annual Halloween Party used to be a pretty big deal when I was a kid (and before I was born), but we hadn't kept up with the tradition in 10+ years. Over dinner one night my mom says, "Hey! Wouldn't it be fun if we brought back our blow-out, costumed-up, Halloween Bash For the Ages!?" And the next we knew, she was getting out a pad of paper and a pen, making a list of everyone in the world we knew who might come. 

Aaannd that was the last night that the Halloween party seemed like a good idea.

What followed was an entire month of nerve-wrecked anxiety. We waiting impatiently for RSVPs, we wondered (read: with extreme anxiety) if we would get enough people to have it be a grand, un-awkward time. We wondered if we were going to over-do-it or under-do-it on the food. We wondered if we were cool and if anyone even liked us at all SNIFF. The women in my family are expert worry-ers on your average Tuesday. Give us something with a minor level of stress attached and we are in the throes of unstoppable panic. 

I held it together pretty well until about an hour before the party when I pretty much almost died from an attack of nerves. Thankfully Brian, our party supervisor, was there to reassure me every five minutes. I'd be all, "Brian... WHAT IF NO ONE COMES?!?!?!??!?!" and he'd be all, "Jane, if no one comes... then you and I and your parents will play charades in the living room and it will be a grand old time." Rinse. Repeat. More times than I can openly admit without shame.

I'm also embarrassed to admit that at one point, I started hoping we would get to play charades.

The party was set to start at 8PM. The very worst ten minutes of my life began at 7:50PM. I hate that awkward moment when the first guests arrive and it's all "hehe, hey, hehe, welcome to our, uhh... party. At least it will be a party... we hope. PLEASE HAVE A DRINK." 

I'm not kidding when I say I almost had to hide out in my room, under my covers in the fetal position, for the first half hour. 

But for real, in all actuality, the party turned out to be a blast. Better than I would have hoped. According to Brian at least 115 people showed up. This must mean that my family is officially cool!!  People like us! I'm not saying this to brag or anything, except partially I am. But only because I was so worried. 

Also, I was most impressed with the commitment to costume wearing. People (adults!) came in some of the best costumes I have ever seen. And, not gonna lie, my costume was pretty awesome as well. I was a medieval princess, and my costume was built professionally by a professional costumer. Also known as my boyfriend's mom. Also, in keeping with my Medieval costume I conveniently got to go barefoot all night.. except this turned out to be a terrible idea as I kept stepping in... something sticky. Gross. 


Here is me, wearing my costume. You would totally believe I was from the medieval period in this digital photo if I wasn't holding an iPhone... but whatever. Also you can't really tell from this picture but behind me? That party is raging. 

We might even do it again next year.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Inception


I am so tired today and I think it is because I woke up mid-dream. I was having such an interesting dream too. It was about an archeological dig in the ocean to find dinosaur skeletons – or a particular dinosaur skull. I don’t think I was actually doing the dive (scuba dive, I mean), but I had this image of myself in the dark, dark ocean and I was extremely scared because it was so dark. Then they (they?) gave me a headlamp and I felt a little less scared but still as though I might run into creepy fish or dangerous sharks or what have you. Also the light only enabled me to see about a foot in front of my face, which helps no one. We did find what we were looking for though and there was this aura of ancient history that was just really cool.
Then in the second half of my dream there was a subsequent dig in Africa, which was also extremely dangerous. There was all this politics going on and warring gangs that might kill us (us? The team of archeologists I guess). To increase the urgency of the situation, we were racing another group of archeologists to complete a particular skeleton.
First there was the scene on the dusty African roads where we felt very exposed to the gangs but also that the goal of completing the skeleton was worth the risk. Also there was a scene of these young African children, so innocent, who were telling us in their squeaky youthful voices that it was already their dream to become hunters and kill endangered animals or defend their communities by killing the enemy gangs. And we were sad because they were so young and we felt that they didn’t really understand the consequences of what they were saying, and yet that they would grow up to be dangerous. Also all of them had crooked teeth.
And THEN there was the scene in a lab room where we were fighting with the other archeologist team. And we knew we were in danger because we were so close to completing this skeleton and they wanted to prevent us from doing so by any means necessary.   They were trying to break into our lab and smash all of our equipment and it was just …. It was under the gun.

 

This dream has left an impression on me for the day. Now I am really interested in learning more about dinosaurs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Aaaand Suddenly it's Wednesday

My weeks are completely slipping away from me right now. One minute it's Saturday and I'm sleeping in and relishing all the marvelous leisure time stretching before me. The next second, it's Sunday night and I'm holding on with all my might to every last second of my rapidly diminishing freedom. Before I know it, it's Monday and I'm doing a million things while still struggling to catch up. Tuesday disappears in a similar fashion.

And, all of the sudden, Wednesday. And I'm careening into the second half of my week. And I feel like all the days are slipping through my fingers, over before I even realize they've happened

So, at this rate it's pretty safe to assume that my twenties will be over soon. Faaar too quickly. And I still won't have moved out of my parents house! But that's ok, because I truly am becoming accustomed to the idea of raising a family in my childhood bedroom, which alone is bigger than any apartment I could afford. And there's built in babysitting.

Oh, hi Mom and Dad! I hope you didn't hear that.

To distract you, here is a picture of a pumpkin named Humphrey:


Yikes, I hope I'm not aging as fast as he is... 

PS! 

Speaking of babysitting... I donated my Monday evening this week to the cause. Because I'm a masochist? I don't know. But it was totally worth it because my charge, a 12 year-old boy-child whom I have known for years and think is just wonderful in every way, told me that I was his best friend! Like, his best friend who's a girl, he means. Like, a grown-up girl. But whatever, it was super great and my heart was touched. 

I told him he was my best friend too. My best friend who's a 12 year old boy, that is. And that I just adore him. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NYC Transport

New York is not a driving city. That is, unless you're my mom, who fits right in with the very best of the cab drivers. But for pretty much all of the other city dwellers, driving is not a realistic option. I mean, where are you going to park the car? On the street? Yeah, good luck finding a space. In a garage? That's only an option if you're willing to pay as much to park your car as you would for an apartment in another city. Then there's the task of driving itself, which is enough to raise one's heart rate well into the 200s. So, as I say, for most New Yorkers, driving is just... It's just no. But that's ok! We all moved here because we don't like driving anyway. And there are so many wonderful modes of transport available to us!... right?

Cabs: Taking a NYC cab is like spending a bajillion dollars to stare death in the face. Except literally, that's what it's like. Just sitting down in a cab and closing the door will cost you $2.50, which is the total it would cost you to just take the damn subway. I like to tell myself that taking a cab is a luxury I reserve for special occasions. Monday mornings, for example. Except then, when I'm sitting in the cab, I remember how uncomfortable it is to live for fifteen minutes with your heart beating in your throat. Cab drivers are like reckless daredevils, what with the weaving and the short stopping and the pedestrians who don't care whether they live or die. Oh, and now you're 10 minutes late for work thanks to traffic! That will be $30. Have a nice day!
Things I don't approve of in a cab: Wearing a seat belt. Because if you're going to look death in the face, you might as well go all the way.

Subways: Do you honestly care about your personal space? Because if so, the subway may not be for you. It's convenient, certainly, but our city's subway is like a tiny tin can, packed with sardines, zooming around beneath the sidewalk. A crowded subway is almost a unifying experience: you must cuddle up to your fellow man and try not to stick your armpit in anybody's face. Or have anybody else's armpit stuck in your face. Good luck with that, by the way. But at least you only paid $2.50 for this. So, in my opinion: totally worth it.
Things I don't approve of on the subway: I've previously discussed my distaste for people who take up more than one seat, but today I was reminded that there is something I hate even more: people who bring their bicycles on the subway. People, what are you thinking? Do you know how much space a bicycle takes up on a crowded train? Uhm, way too much.

Speaking of the Bicycle: It is free! And we do have bike lanes now. But do you want to die?
Things I don't approve of on a bicycle: NOT WEARING A HELMET (she reprimands her bicycle-riding-boyfriend via the internet). Also thinking you're totally invincible and racing cars down the avenues (AGAIN WITH THE REPRIMANDS). You are not invincible!! Especially if you are also not wearing a helmet.

Yes, so, if none of these options seem at all appealing to my many, many, MANY readers... well, it's a good thing you can always walk (depending on your time and level of endurance of course). Otherwise you'd have to get a razor scooter.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sometimes I Just Get a Feeling of Sentimentality About Life

I am suddenly extremely nostalgic for both the hot, hot sun of tropical plaecs like the Caribbean... And the coziness of a fire during a snowstorm.

What I understand from this is that I'm either a person full of many contradictions, or I'm cold.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Punkin

Meet Humphrey: 


And isn't he just the handsomest pumpkin you ain't never seen?? 

As you can see, I did end up carving a pumpkin over the weekend. It was a very intricate process involving a multitude of steps. Firstly, my boyfriend and I set about the task of collecting all the necessary tools (namely every knife we own (just in case!!!) and a bowl). Then we took the pumpkin outside because... mess. We cut off his top, which was very much harder than it sounds as it required us to go around in a full circle, punching holes in his precious head. Also I am using the terms "we" and "us"very loosely here. But I made sure to hover just close enough to my boyfriend's carving hand that should the knife come out a little too hard, it would hit me right in the eye.

Then it was time for a pumpkin lobotomy! I made my boyfriend stand back while I had at that bad boy with a spoon. I whacked and scraped to my hearts content. I found this equal parts extremely enjoyable and extremely gross. Also I may have gotten a little bit carried away... To the point that boyfriend was like, "I think you're done."... "No, really, you've gotten everything." ... "Yup he's definitely good and dead now." ... "OK! Enough!"

Afterwards, I drew what I considered to be a pretty handsome face on our now very, very, exceptionally hollow pumpkin. And my boyfriend immediately proceeded to wipe it off and replace with his own (EERILY SIMILAR) face drawing. 

Then we, uhm, carved the pumpkin. Except by "we," I again mean that my primary role in all of this was to hover. But it was a role in which I definitely excelled! In this case, it involved a lot of hand wringing and getting my face a little too close and then jumping out of the way of an errant knife. Also a lot of "that cut didn't go all the way through... Wait! I think you went over the outline there a little bit... oh nooo, what did you do to his nose??" And my boyfriend would throw a look over his shoulder like, "How about you do it then, hmm?" That shut me right up. 

After we finished the carving I looked upon Humphrey with a mother's love and told him that he was just the purtiest, preshusest pumpkin in the whole wide world. I said to him, "Humphrey. You are beautiful. And don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise." 

And my boyfriend said to me, "So uhm, what should we do with this bowl of pumpkin guts?... I was thinking we would just throw it in that tree pit over there."
I said, "Uhm, no. You can't throw an enormous bowl of pumpkin into a tree pit. That would be extremely conspicuous and probably also smelly. You must throw it in the garbage. Duh." 

Then I knew that if I didn't keep an eye on my boyfriend, he would try to throw the pumpkin in the pit while I wasn't paying attention. So I made sure to walk him all the way to the trashcan, and then open the trashcan, and then watch him turn that bowl upside down over the trashcan before I dared look away. 

Then we went back inside and set our pumpkin on the table where we could take many, many pictures of him and admire his glorious personage. And it was glorious.

Sigh. I love my pumpkin. I hope he lasts all the way until Halloween.





Saturday, October 13, 2012

Brr

Fall has most definitely arrived in New York City and I have been extremely chilly. Weirdly, all of my friends seem to think that fall is absolutely the best time of year. Is this because it's so... Snuggly? And haunted? Am I the only person in the world who realizes that this means it's almost winter? ... It's possible that living in Maine has scarred me for life.

Unfortunately, it has also come time for me to put away my summer clothes. I will miss them dearly, for this means the end of the days when I can throw on a dress and flip flops and be done. I've never cared much for clothes or fashion (Even though I grew up in New York City! For shame!). And  autumn clothes, especially work clothes, require a little too much attention and detail for my liking: pants go with which top, go with which shoes, go with which sweater and jacket? ... Am I the only girl in the world who thinks dressing myself is a total chore? 

And is now the right time to mention that I have never bought nor carried a handbag in my entire life? Or ... is it a purse? I don't even know what we're calling them these days.  But I am a 23 year old girl, I swear!! And I am from New York City.

Another thing I don't own nearly enough of: pants. I am in dire need of pants.  So today I had to go... shopping... shudder. It was a crisp, clear, beautiful fall Saturday in New York, so of course I wasn't the only one who had this brilliant idea. The stores were packed, PACKED. New York City style which means... not being able to find anything you might actually want in your size and then, if/when you do, waiting in line for the dressing room. And it's a loooong line, so you better make sure you already have everything you might possibly want before you get there-- the good, the "maybe," and the "seriously maybe." 

Then, finally, there is the horrible task of... trying everything on. I always find this so exhausting. Nothing ever looks like it did on the mannequin, and they always have those three way mirrors, and it's like, "This mirror is just unflattering right? I don't really look this pale? Have my thighs always been this... rotund? Did I really eat a cupcake last night?" Help. 

I don't plan on revisiting this experience anytime in the near future, so I made sure to get all the clothes I could possibly need for the next few years. Years. My female friends gasp in horror. 

I did get a pair of boots, though! (Only one pair! I know, I'm not really a girl am I? I'm not really from New York?): 



And I just want to be clear that I practically had to lie on the floor of the dressing room to take this photo. My BFF had asked for a pic I told her "if this doesn't represent my dedication to you, I don't even know what does" and she told me, "Oo I love! You should wear with skinny jeans and an oversized sweater." ....

So after all this shopping, I probably should have gone to the gym. You know, just to make sure that I will still fit into all of my new clothes tomorrow. But instead I... made dinner. Soup, because it's that time of year. Corn and Cheese Chowder specifically, and, yes, it was exactly as fattening as it sounds. I have problems. But it also involved all the colors of fall and was very warming and delicious. Here is the recipe I used: 

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/10/corn-cheese-chowder/ 

Except I added more cheese and also used heavy cream instead of half & half... obviously. It's really a good thing that I don't have a three-way mirror at my house.... or is it?

I was also very fancy today and used bread bowls like the Pioneer Woman recommends. This is because the Pioneer Woman knows all. Also they happened to have the right kind of bread at the super market down the street from my house. On the plus-side: the bread has become all soft and mushy and full of broth and tastes ahmayzing. On the downside:... you end up wasting a lot of bread.... 

Now I think I will watch a Halloween movie, even though it's only the middle of October. Fall, to me, seems to be the shortest time of year and I must enjoy as much of it as I can. 

Tomorrow, I shall carve a pumpkin. 



Friday, October 12, 2012

Bathroom Wonderings


Isn’t it funny how some people have unique smells that cling to them and stick in your memory? I was in the bathroom just now and for the briefest moment I thought I smelled the perfume of a friend of mine from middle school. Even though I knew I was still ACTUALLY in the bathroom of my office, for a moment I was transported back ten years to her apartment. I suddenly remembered both her sleek, black cat, Cupcake, and the feeling that I never really liked her but had always hoped that she would make me a little bit more popular.

I wasn’t the nicest middle schooler ever. Things have changed a lot since then.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Things I Did While I Wasn't Here

Oh, my blog! How I have abandoned you. I have been very busy. Except, actually, not that busy and also sort of bored of writing. But I digress!

Here are all the things that happened last week: I celebrated my cousin's birthday. Yes, it was a week long celebration, just as birthdays should be. On her actual birthday, we (a couple of her friends) went out to dinner at Rosa Mexicana.  Rosa Mexicana: a restaurant that reminds me a lot of Mexico. And by "Mexico" I mean "The Mexico in Disney World's Epcot," which is PRETTY MUCH the same thing.... right?

Dinner was totally, totally delicious and awesome -- especially the churros, and to think that I was almost too full to try them but then thankfully I did and they completed my life. But THEN  I could hardly stand upright from the fullness and am still not sure how I managed to get home. Hmm... This seems an all-too-common problem of mine.... And yet. Worth it.

Two days later, my cousin's sister (AKA also my cousin, but I don't want to get confusing here...) baked a cake version of the infamous rainbow cookie. And wait, hang on. Hang on a second. That was the best cake of my entire life. And I am not kidding NOR exaggerating when I say that there is drool at the very thought and that the first tingles of an irrepressible craving are now burning in my finger tips.

I wonder if my cousins still have some cake left over... Also I need to get ahold of myself.

By the time I was eating cake, however, I had already come down with The Sickness. Yes. And I knew I should have made my boyfriend sleep on the couch...  But, even so, I will now give him a shout-out because on Friday, when I was sick and I also had to work (WOE), he brought me tissues and Kombucha during my lunch break. And despite the fact that the tissues were some crappy organic brand and were so rough they might as well have been toilet paper and the Kombucha was... warm, I love him for it. I'm a pretty big person.

As for what I did the rest of the weekend? Well. I would like to say that I am a very cool, hip 20-something and that I take full advantage of glorious New York City and all it has to offer.... but that is just a total lie. The truth is that I slept. A lot. And, well, in full disclosure I wasn't even in the city at all and I just got back today. An hour ago.

Yes, I cheated city life and spent the long weekend in the country. If it helps, I was fully appreciating fall and all the orange that goes along with it. For example, I picked a pumpkin. His name is Humphrey, though he does not yet have a face (hopefully I will get to that tomorrow). Also, I went for a hayride because I had never been on one before in my whole life (city children! We are deprived!). Except, wait, it was much more boring than I had anticipated... though I don't really know what I was expecting. Fast hills and corners maybe? Or something? Can someone please explain to me the point of a hayride? I've definitely missed it so far. Even sitting on a bale of hay was a little bit... scratchy. And the situation was made a little more dull by our very disinterested tractor driver whose full ride- narration consisted of pointing to different crops and saying, in a bored drawl, "these are our blueberries"... drives an impossibly slow ten feet.. "...These are our pears...."  C'mon man! This could be at least a little more interesting! Probably....

Like, seriously, is there more to a hayride than that? Inquiring minds need to know.

All in all, I reveled in my day off. I felt much recovered from my cold. And now, though I am back in the city, I have a fire going all wood-burning-like (city child is not so deprived after all!). It definitely smells like fall in here. And it is all so extremely toasty.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New York: Not All of Our People Are Assholes

If you are a tourist visiting the city and you ask me for directions on the street, I will always give them to you. In fact, I do get asked for directions about five times or so a day, but unfortunately I think most people end up feeling sorry they asked me because I tend to launch into a long winded and ultimately unhelpful response that includes a lot of arm gesturing and "go this ways" instead of "left" or "right" (.... because I don't know my left from my right...). And in ANY case, why don't I just walk you where you're going because it's just easiest for everyone and it'll only take ten minutes.

And this usually ends up being an extremely awkward ten minutes for everyone.

Additionally, most people, after meeting and talking to me, are surprised to hear that I'm a natural born New Yorker. Like, I seem so "laid back" and "go with the flow" that I must be from California or... Kansas (seriously, someone once thought I was from Kansas). To me, this just proves that disguise I'm wearing (typically greasy hair and a worn out t-shirt) is working because... In truth I'm actually very high strung.

So Basically what I'm saying is: I am from New York and I am not an asshole.

And neither is my cousin, whose birthday is today (although she's not technically a New Yorker so I'm not sure that counts!).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Plague!


My boyfriend and my cousin are both currently suffering death by cold this week. Considering that pretty much sums up all the people I see on a regular basis… I think it’s safe to say that my future isn’t looking too bright.

Last night, as I lay in bed, struggling to find inner peace, while my boyfriend snorted and sniffled and blew his nose right next to me, all I could picture was my own impending doom.

Is that selfish? Would it be wrong to ask him to sleep on the couch? I mean… my health is critically important! I have to work at an office! With people! I can’t infect the people. It would be wrong to infect the people.

And that is also why my cousin is working from home today. She’s making the ultimate sacrifice.

But, lest we all fall into a pit of worry and despair, there is a cure for the common cold. And no, I don’t mean Whiskey (although I hear that that actually works as well). No, the answer to all our problems is – Duh duh duh!! – Kombucha! The Ancient Chinese fermented tea recipe currently making a comeback as the go-to beverage of the hippie peoples. (Here is even more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombucha)

My patented Cold Cure includes 1 Mango Kombucha, and 1 Day in Bed Watching Crappy TV. Works. Like. A charm.

I told my cousin this super awesome Kombucha secret and instead of thanking me profusely she was all, “Ew. No. I can’t drink that.” Like, hello Jane? There are live bacteria in there and you can SEE them… floating

And I said, “I promise, I wouldn’t lead you astray. Kombucha tastes great, kind of like… fruity beer. Except even more awesome then that.”

And she said, “yeah, well, it smells disgusting.”

Cousin? Who reads this blog?  Kombucha. Do it. I promise I am changing your life for the better. Kind of like that time you asked me what “quiche” was when we were kids and I told you that it was “like.. an egg pie..” and you said, very slowly and skeptically, “like… an… egg... pie…” and for some reason this made me laugh so hard that I spit diet soda all over the people at the table next to us...

And now quiche is one of your favorite foods! The end.

I told my boyfriend to get Kombucha. For both of us. ASAP. And he looked at me and sniffled so pathetically before nodding and saying, “OK.”

That, right there, is totally why I date him. Because he listens.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Love Friends (the TV show)

Especially the early seasons, when the cast is in their twenties and trying to work out their careers and who they are, etc. There's one scene from the first season particularly, when Rachel is a waitress and Phoebe is... Phoebe. And Rachel says, in reference to her life, "I don't have a plan! Do you any of you guys have a plan?" and Phoebe says, "I don't even have a pl--"

I just feel like I can relate to that so much. I don't have a plan! I try to make plans but I don't know if any of them will work out and it's just terribly nerve wracking, not knowing how my life will unfold.

Except then I remember that Friends isn't real life, and the writers and producers and actors all had pretty great, amazing plans and knew exactly who they were and what they were doing and it was all working out just. Fantastic.

And then I feel a lot less comforted.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Jewishness

We celebrated Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) in my household yesterday. Celebrated? Is that the right word considering it’s supposed to be all about repenting one’s sins and what not? Well, whatever – I personally celebrated by taking a holiday from work.

Things one is supposed to do on Yom Kippur:

1.       Go to Temple for ninety million hours.

2.       Fast for an entire day (from sundown to sundown).

3.       And, well, eating kosher is recommended.

4.       As is feeling feelings of guilt and atonement so that you may earn God’s favor.

Things that I did on Yom Kippur:

1.       Took the day off from work

2.       Took a nap

3.       Went to the gym (which is like temple in that I felt dutifully punished)

4.       Broke my fast (except without the fasting) by eating ALL THE FOODS POSSIBLE. And by that I mean:

A bagel slathered with cream cheese (or should I say “smeared”), a piece of quiche, some entirely too delicious pate (I know it’s liver but I love it), hummus, Stacey’s Pita Chips (can I just take a minute to give Stacey a shout out for her pita chips? They are the best. Ever.), goat cheese, gouda cheese, cracker cheese, cream cheese (did I mention that one already) and, topping the whole thing off, two Rainbow cookies. Are they called rainbow cookies? The kind with the three layers and the jam in the middle and hot damn they are so delicious?

After I had finished consuming this monstrous pile of food I had to lie on the floor – on the FLOOR – and groan for a few hours because my god, my stomach. I looked like I had swallowed a beach ball and I felt like it too. Gross. On the other hand, if Yom Kippur is supposed to be a day of suffering, well then let me tell ya: how I suffered.

Also, today I am fasting again! Mostly because I’m not hungry yet; my body is still working through yesterday’s disaster-fest.  

But I’m sure I’ll be ravenously hungry by dinnertime. Or by 3:00pm. Or now. Good thing we have lots of leftover bagels!

Happy Jewish New Year!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Do It Afraid


The night before she left for a semester abroad, one of my closest college friends confessed to me that she was terrified. 

This was extremely refreshing for me to hear because ... well, I never went abroad (I know, I know, I know. stupid. stupid. stupid), but all I ever heard from my other friends was how excited they were to go, and so thrilled, and they just knew they would have the best time ever, and it was definitely going to change their life(s) and bladdity bleeh blah. Only ONE of (all) my friends was willing to admit that, "yeah it's all those things... but it's also scary. Very, very scary. Like, ok, I do think it will be great, but it is also a complete unknown." 

To which I reply: uhm yeah it's scary! Leave all your friends? Go to a different school? Live in a foreign culture?.... I'd be terrified!*

But then she said to me, "But the thing is... People tell me all the time that there's no reason to be afraid and I should let go of my fear... and, well, I can't. I know I won't. So I have to learn how to leave with the fear. I have to figure out how to do it afraid." 

And I was like, "Oh hell yeah, I know what you mean." Sometimes you hear something that just sticks with you, ya know? 

She said this to me about a year and a half ago, but I think about it all. the. time. Especially now that I'm babysteps into adulthood. Because, uhm, it is terrifying to become an adult. No one tells you that it will be so terrifying. 

I remember thinking of her words the day I graduated from college. I told them to myself the day I went to my first ever job interview, positively shaking with terror in front of the bathroom mirror. And then again on the first day of my first job, where I still work, when I had to rapidly get over my phone phobia by getting myself to Be Like Nike and Just. Do. It. Pick up the receiver, talk to the peoples, try to sound like someone who can speak English in any sort of coherent way. Try not to be blabbering idiot, if such a thing is possible.

But then, I remind myself, the thing is: As long as I DID it -- as long as I managed to pick up the phone -- it doesn't really matter if I blabbered and was an idiot.... Really, it's OK. After all, the phone rings like, only ten thousand times a day and I will have (many, many, multiple) opportunities to do it all again. 

And next time? It will seem a little bit less scary. I promise.


* Just to clarify:, the reason I didn't go abroad is not because I was too chicken. It's because I am a REBEL, ok?? Obviously.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Mila Kunis, What?

Please. Be straight with me. How did you end up dating Macaulay Culkin for eight (8. 8!!) years?

And I don't want to hear any of this nonsense: "We grew up together. You find a steady rock in your life and that’s all you need. We have our ups and downs, but work through them." 

Uhm, yeah, that's very nice and all. But also:

 
 
.... .... No.
 
I happened upon this photo while going about my business today... Because a critical component of my day obviously involves reading articles like, "Celebrity Couples You Forgot" -- or in this case "Celebrity Couples You Willfully Ignored for Eight Entire Years." 
 
Basically what I'm saying is that this photo left me utterly stumped.
 
Upon review, my BFF put to me this question/statement of fact: "Please note that you often see hot women with unattractive men, but you rarely ever see hot guys with unattractive women." ..... ?
 
So I will put this to all the women out there... or in this case, all the women who read this blog... so approximately three women...: why do we pretend that personality is important? PSH. We should probably all collectively get over ourselves. 
 
And also, let's all get over this picture lest we are scarred for life.