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 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

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


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.
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.


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:

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!