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. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Truth be told, even though I live in New York City, I am a Manhattan girl and I don't get out to Brooklyn much... Ok, I don't get out to Brooklyn ever.... It's a long trip! I'm too lazy for this silly business.

But, unfortunately for me, Brooklyn is THE place to be for kids my age (20s). A lot of people I know are either moving out there or already living there or just hanging out there on the weekends for kicks. Honestly, I don't know why, but I hear it's awesome and I should really try it. I've been feeling this particular pressure lately, now that I'm considering possibly, maybe, eventually actually moving OUT of my parents' home and attempting to live on my own. I know, right? Have I gone crazy? And the thing is.... if and when I do this "moving out," will I actually be able to stay in Manhattan? Because it may or may not have come to my attention that Manhattan is freaking expensive/ridiculously overpriced/totally and completely unaffordable for your average 23 year old person.

Basically what I'm saying is... my number is up. I'll probably have to move to Brooklyn. And I should probably get used to the idea while it's still only a vague, half-formed concept. So, in an effort to familiarize myself with the place, I decided I should get over there for a visit.... Except this is pretty much how that conversation goes down every weekend:

Me: Alright, let's do this! Brooklyn, man! Yeah! Get pumped!

Me:..... Well, ok. Right after I eat this bagel. And then I have to digest for at least 45 minutes. Because I don't want to give myself a cramp walking to the subway. Obviously.

Me: OK! It's been, like, an hour and a half! My bagel is probably digested!! I think it's THE TIME!

Me: .... But first I should read the NY Post and find out why that guy jumped into the Tiger enclosure at the Bronx Zoo. Because what? Is he a lunatic? Was he surprised when the tiger chewed his foot clean off? Inquiring minds need to know.

Boyfriend: I'm ready to go to Brooklyn! C'mon, c'mon!

Me: *drags feet, feels inexplicable weight of dread* Well uhm... the thing is... no. I can't. It's so far and the subways run slow on the weekends and just... no. Ok? I will go next weekend, OK? I totally, totally promise. This time, for real. Unlike last weekend.

Boyfriend: OK. I guess we can spend this beautiful Saturday sitting inside, reading, and taking naps. Just like we did last Saturday. And I will try not to resent you and think you are a lazy bum but it will be a challenge.

Unfortunately, this weekend, boyfriend was having none of it. When I explained to him the thing about the subway and the length of time that it takes to get to Brooklyn and didn't he just see that this was an enormous, insurmontable obstacle -- well, he told me he would drive me to Brooklyn if he had to. So we drove.

And then we sat in traffic in Manhattan for an ungodly length of time because THE PEOPLE. All the people in THE WORLD/New York were out and about, either meandering slowly across the street or riding their bike right in front of our car. It was unreal. And my boyfriend says, "I hope you didn't think that driving would SAVE us time, even if it SEEMED more convenient."

But, anyway, we got to Brooklyn eventually. And we saw the sights. ALL of the sights. Oh, I'm sorry, were you hoping for more of a narrative than that? Well, here it is:

My boyfriend is like "Brooklyn is the best! Cutting Edge! Counter-culture! Authentic cultural cuisines! Artisanal cheeses and meats! Plus Brooklyn is actually somewhat affordable and we can have, like, space! Lots and lots of space! Let's move there right away."

I'm like "....... or ..... We can have 400 square feet of our very own in Manhattan! Perhaps we could even have enough room for BOTH a couch and a bed! Yes! Perfect! I'll find you artisanal cheese in Manhattan! Because, my God, I can't quit you, Manhattan!"

Also, have I mentioned that Brooklyn is far? Because it is so freaking far.

..... Maybe I will just live with my parents forever and ever.


I took exactly two photos from my travels today:

Tiny, funny Brooklyn car. Car, you are awesome and hilarious. Also very cutting-edge.

This is a bakery where I bought a pie for 38 dollars. THIRTY EIGHT DOLLARS. I'm sorry, what? Is it made with molten gold? have they lost their damn minds?...? 

Here is said overpriced pie.

Oh pie, I am so, so sorry. How I underestimated you. You were worth every, single penny.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

An Open Letter

To All People Who Think It's Ok To Take Up Two Seats on a Crowded Subway, One for Them and One for Their Bag: 

The answer is no. Just no. I'm sorry. Put your bag on your lap like everyone else.

Love, Jane

And while we're on the topic of subways...

To The MTA:

Why bother having those electronic schedules that are supposed tell you how long until the next train if they are always wrong? Always? Why tell me it's 5 minutes until the next express train if what you really mean is 0 minutes? And it's only right after I bite my nails, make a last minute decision to hop on the local, and the doors are closing -- that I hear the inevitable: "There. Is. An... Express... 2... Train. Now. Arriving."

You are screwing with my blood pressure.

Love, Jane

And lastly...

To The People Who Think I'm Staring At Them on the Subway: 

I'm not! I swear!

Sometimes, when I'm thinking, my eyes fixate on an object and I don't even realize... It's true! Believe me, when I realized I was ACCIDENTALLY staring, I felt as uncomfortable as you did. That's why I had to look away and then look back and then look away again permanently.

Ok this is getting awkward.

Love, Jane

Stop the Madness

My coworker just asked me if you travel through time when you fly across time zones.

The Modern World vs. The Medieval World: A Comparison

Things that are better about the First World:

1. We have plumbing instead of outdoor sewage rivers.
2. We also bathe and use deoderant and are generally much more hygienic.
3. Our world smells much, much, MUCH better now.
4. We travel by train or car instead of by horse and wagon.
5. And we can fly! Imagine that one, Leonardo da Vinci.
6. We need not be wary of thieves and criminals in the forest.
7. We no longer need fear death by: hanging, quartering, chopping off of the head, sword wound (and any other wound for that matter), or plague.
8. It is unlikely that our village will be raped or pillaged. Or set on fire.
9. We have science now. And Medicine. And dental care! And we know some things about nature and biology.
10. We have television, the internet, and smartphones. Need I say more??
11. We have access to so much more: more information, more possessions, more FOOD, more STUFF.
12. We have few limits and endless choices.

Things that were better about the Medieval World:

1. They had knights and maidens.
2. They also had Kings and Queens.
3. Their world was full of mystery, fantasy and the supernatural, belief, faith, and witnessing miracles in the everyday.
4. If ignorance is bliss... then they were blissfully ignorant.
5. Each person had a specific role to play in society, every individual had a certain fate or destiny.
6. They had a general acceptance of life as it is: mad, chaotic, and inevitable.

... And, now, I can't help wondering who is actually better off?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rosh Hashanah

So we just celebrated the Jewish New Year in my household. What, you say? I'm from New York AND I'm Jewish? This should come as a surprise to no one.

Here is a rundown of my day yesterday:

1. I woke up at 5:45am to complete the final leg of my journey home from Maine. I arrived in the city at 8:53am -- just in time for work!!!! Felt like a major trooper, and also wanted to die from being tired.
2. WORKED. Wow, where is my medal people? I earned it.
3. Left the office at 3:30pm so I could help my mom prepare the Rosh Hashanah feast.
4. Came home just in time for the Brisket Emergency 2012. For those who aren't in the know, Brisket is THE food of the Jewish Holidays. It's a necessity. But when I arrived home, we had two hours until the guests arrive and four hours left in the cooker. Made a fast decision to ditch the Brisket and go to the grocery store for ready-made food because... c'mon who were we kidding? We don't know how to cook. Let's stop the silliness while we're still ahead.
5. Bought four cooked chickens even though I told my mom at least six times that we would only need three chickens.
7. Cooked an abundance of sweet carrots that we will now be eating for the rest of our entire lives.
8. Other things we will be eating forever include: honey, challah, baked apples, and potatoes. But you know what they say!: if you don't have leftovers... you didn't cook enough food.
9. Ironed some napkins until they were crisp and wrinkle-free.
10. Set the table and laid out the appetizers and waited impatiently for our guests.
11. Spent time with my extended family, ringing in the New Year until I thought I would legitimately collapse from tired because HI! I've been awake since 5:45am! Perhaps you already knew that because I'm wearing my medal.
12. Happy 5773!!

13. ..... Anyone interested in coming over for some baked apple, chicken, potato, carrots, and honey on challah sandwiches? I hear they're the best.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Waterville, ME

I traveled up to my alma mater, Colby College, for my best friend's birthday this weekend.  Colby is located in central Maine, seven hours north of my hometown, New York City. And yes it was a very long trip for a short weekend. But it was also great to be back.

Six-or-so years ago, when I was first looking at colleges, I picked Colby and its location on purpose. A naive high school student, I believed that I was secretly a country girl and also that I loved winter. I vividly remember my college counselor telling me, skeptically, that I was the first person from my preppy private high school to tell her that I wanted to go somewhere Colder and More Isolated.

Well, turned out, I didn't know myself as well as I thought. Colder and More Isolated... it wasn't for me (just like it isn't for most people). I came to HATE winter, which I had previously thought was my favorite season. And, to be honest, I wasn't a big fan of nature either.  I'm still not sure how I survived the arctic tundra that is central Maine.

And yet.... I miss it. Or at least I miss parts of it. I have a strange, fierce pride associated with the region, with knowing "the real Maine" and not the coastal Maine lined with fancy, waterfront homes, quaint towns, and retired peoples.

I was there this weekend, but I didn't know when I would be back again (it is a long trip...) so I took some photos of the things I associate with the Maine I came to know:

I had never been to a Walmart before I lived in Maine. We don't have one on the isle of Manhattan. In retrospect this is weird, but I had always shopped at local boutiques. My local New York pharmacy is The Village Apothecary -- totally unique to my neighborhood. The pharmacy I used in Maine... was Walmart. 

This a local diner, shown to me by a local Mainer my freshman year. From the outside, it just looks like a house and the inside similarly looks like someone's kitchen/living room. That's exactly what it feels like too. All meals are home cooked to order and the business is all in the family. It is here that I have had the most delicious home fries of my life.

This is Maine's depression: downtown Fairfield, ME where every store is For Rent. I don't think I have fully captured the situation with this photo. But it was humbling for me to move to this part of Maine -- I was used to the perpetual growth and opportunity of New York City. And I had always imagined that rural USA looked more like the Main Street of the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.... I might have been a touch delusional.  

Kennebec Cafe: the most delicious unbelievable donuts I have ever had in my entire life. You would think I could find something at least as good in New York City... but nothing can match the majesty of these warm, cake-y, made to order donuts. 

Here is the inside of Kennebec Cafe and the list of all the types of donuts they make. It's pretty incredible. They will make any type of donut you can think of, any possible combination FROM SCRATCH!!!! Seriously, it is amazing. If you ever happen to find yourself in Fairfield, ME please do yourself a favor and stop in here for a donut. 

Here is a cute and picturesque shot of downtown Waterville. I feel that this is not an accurate representation of the actual town, which is... well...  Let's just say that it's not this cute or picturesque. However -- I like this photo because it reminds me that there are still small businesses and interesting stores downtown, no matter what else I may say about the place (and how there's nothing to do and no where to shop). 

When I first moved to Waterville I had no idea what to expect. Growing up in the city, I had totally idealized rural life and... It was not ideal. Let's start with: when I first got there, I was 18 years old and I didn't have a driver's license (never needed one before!). Let's end with: winter in this region lasts a solid seven months from mid-October to mid-April (AKA the entire school year). It was culture shock for me, there is no other way to describe it. And yet -- I'm glad I did it. As glad as anyone who has traveled abroad and lived in an unfamiliar place. Yes, technically it's my own country, but the culture and lifestyle are completely different. 

Maine opened my eyes. As it turns out, I am a tried and true city girl, but I am also very glad that my eyes are open. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Things I've Had to Give Up Since Getting Full-Time Salaried Employment 6 Months Ago:

1. The Gym: I used to be so committed to my five day a week work-out schedule. For the first two or three months I was working, I kept up running 2 days a week by getting my butt out of bed at the CRACK of DAWN. But, ultimately, I had to stop that silliness because OMG way too tired.

2. Cooking and Baking: These used to be favorite pastimes of mine... but now it's like... Wait... get home from work and do more work?!?!! Like, grocery shopping and then chopping And dicing AND cooking AND OMFG CLEAN UP and... Yeah, that's simply not gonna happen. There goes my paycheck! I spent it all on takeout...

3. Annual Doctors Checkups: Like, the dentist and the (gasp choke sputter) gynecologist (like, OK maybe I'm not losing too much sleep over that one). I think I am a little more paranoid than normal about skipping out on workdays or losing precious vacation time to take care of this kind of stuff. But still... Hello rotten teeth and rotten privates!! (Try to erase that visual).

4. Any Pretense of a Social Life: Not that I had much of one before, but now it's like HAHAHA no seriously, I'm too tired. Ima pop a squat on this here couch and turn on this here television instead because uhm, I need to RELAX. I'm freaking EXHAUSTED.

5. Sleep: I don't know if you can tell the theme of this post, but I'm always freaking tired. It's like I can't get enough sleep ever. Even on the weekends now my body is like, "oh..... I sense that it is now eight o'the AM.... something tells me... IT'S MORNING AND YOU MIGHT BE LATE FOR WORK SO GET THE FUCK UP!!!!!!" At which point I bolt from the bed, never to comfortably return.

Oh sleep, how I miss you and long for you. You were one of my very best friends in the whole world.

The Times They Are A Changing

I can tell fall has officially arrived because going down into the NYC subway no longer feels like walking directly into the hot mouth of an active volcano.

Also my lips are suddenly extremely chapped all the time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I should probably write something about this on its 11th anniversary given that I am a born and raised New Yorker.... But that just feels a little trite right now.

Please excuse me, maybe another time I will have the words.

Color me Pathetic

Sad = Asking your boyfriend if your blog posts are funny and then watching him read and not laugh.

Screw you boyfriend! I am hilarious.......

Warning: This Rice Krispie Treat Contains Fish

That was an actual warning on the rice krispie treat I bought at my (formerly?**) favorite lunch spot this afternoon. Stupidly, I bought the thing before reading the ingredients. Because seriously? Ew.

My boyfriend took the first bite and his literal words were "What the Fuck is This?" He turned over the packaging and there it was, in clear bold writing, a warning for people with food allergies: "this product contains Milk and Fish."

Like, OK, I have never made a rice krispie treat before in my life. I kind of always imagined that the only ingredients were rice krispies.... and marshmellows and... uhm... That's it? I GUESS I can imagine milk making its way into the baking process.... but Fish????!?!?!?!!!!!!

Seriously that defies the boundaries of my kitchen. How did that get in there? like how did this recipe go so badly awry that FISH could be a reasonable inclusion.

I also feel a little scarred because I avoid seafood of all shapes and sizes and I'd always previously considered baked goods a safety zone.

Needless to say, I threw that shit right in the gar-bage. Along with my TWO WHOLE DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS (New York, man, they charge whatever they want and get away with it).

My mind is still totally boggled.

**Even though I say they're my "formerly" favorite lunch place.... I'm still totally going to go back there tomorrow and just not buy a rice krispie treat. what can I say?? I'm a creature of habit. Plus I am only 6 soups away from 1 FREE SOUP!!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Another Thing I've Always Wanted To Be:

A medieval princess. I mean, a princess of any kind, of course, but I've always had a particular fascination with the Medieval period. In fact, it's to the point that sometimes I think I must have been there in a past life because it weighs on me so heavily.

If you want to know who my favorite princess of all time is: Eleanor of Aquitaine. There are times when I hope with all my might that there is a heaven and that it involves elaborate dinners with famous historical figures because... oh. man. I would give anything to meet her. And her husband, King Henry II. I would give anything to know what they were like, to know what their faces looked like, to know what their voices sounded like, to know what it would be like to sit across from them in a banquet hall....

.... I might be a little odd

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I wish I were a Parrot

My boyfriend and I went to the zoo today and it got me to thinking: I wish I were a parrot.

If I were a parrot, I could fly (the. ultimate.), and (sort of) talk, and solve simple math problems, and have beautiful plumage in a variety of bright colors. Plus, they have a lifespan of a whopping 40 years!!!

And they don't have this pesky abstract thought to keep them up at night wondering if their lives have any real meaning.

(answer: no. But, really, does that matter when you have wings and an open sky?)

Friday, September 7, 2012

One more time...

How is this already my third blogging attempt??

"This one will work!" she said with feigned conviction.