Oh (S)no(w) You Didn’t!

Yet another crazy day outside my window

 

OK! Whoa there Mother Nature. Settle down tiger. Don’t get all ahead of yourself. It’s only October and you’re thunder-snowing, sleeting and freezing all over the gosh-darn place. What did we do to piss you off, huh? …Besides all that pollution, over population and global warming stuff. I just hope this isn’t a foreshadowing of things to come because:

One snow storm = Yay for a snow day!
Two snow storms = An inevitable acceptance that it is, in fact, wintertime.
Three snow storms = Come on, it’s getting a little out of hand.
Anymore than that, and you’re just a total bitch.

Three strikes and I’m moving to the equator. (Maybe.)

Apparently this kind of pre-Halloween snow made an appearance in 2002, but I just don’t remember. Not one bit. But I’ll tell you one thing: It better not become a habit, missy!

I understand that a lot of people actually enjoy the snow, so you have to turn over that little salt shaker every-once-in-a-while. But I don’t get it one bit. This particular event isn’t going to produce anything worth ‘playing’ in, so what’s the point? Though for me, the threat of snow only gives me the impetus to curl up in bed with some good/bad TV (but, admittedly, it doesn’t take much for me to want to do that anyway).

Maybe I’d feel differently about your ‘frosted flakes’ if the pretty powder didn’t turn into black mush within hours of finding their final resting place. It’s no longer a peaceful stroll when you have to trudge past waist-high mountains of muck just to cross the street. And once it does start to melt, the threat of wading ankle-deep in Coke-colored Slushie-like puddles looms at every cross walk. How fun is that, really?

Now, to reiterate. It’s only freaking October, lady. I want to be walking around in a hoodie on a crisp, sunny day, not piling on layers so I can fit into my goloshes that are one-size too big. I’m just not quite ready for all of this, like a surprise pregnancy or a rogue, airborne beer bottle finding its way across the crowd right to your head. (The latter has actually happened to me.)

But if you’re doing this to get it out of your system, oh (hopefully) benevolent Mother Nature, have at it and go nuts. It would be nice to have a mild winter this year, one where I can actually leave the house without tears streaming down my face from the bitter cold. Though I’m not optimistic.

So, what’s it going to be? I don’t think I can bear this sight much more. It’s not even daylight savings yet for Frosty’s sake!

The date says October, but I want to guess January

What’s your least favorite part about winter?

-xo

Occupy Bar Stools

 

Yet another month has passed without a peep from me. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, so I’m not going to say it again. You know how I feel about this.

 

I go through these phases where I’m completely gung-ho about everything. Motivated about both the conceiving process and the execution, lately I’ve only really been able to think. I can be out all day getting things done and have millions of ideas swarming around in my head but as soon as I get home I’m a total brainless idiot. I don’t remember what I wanted to write about, nor do I have the energy to figure it out. I think the problem has been that every morning I spend my first couple hours looking for and applying to as many jobs as I can. Writing five different, personal cover letters a day is enough to cause intense bouts of insanity and zombie-ism. By the time I’m finished with those, the last thing I can think about is being clever and entertaining. So, for the sake of my sanity (or even just this blog) please keep your fingers crossed that I get a job soon.

 

I have a couple things I have wanted to talk about here but I’m going to attempt to be topical today and discuss Occupy Wall Street, because I happened to be amongst many of the protesters last night, if only for a little.

 

Now, I’m not a very political woman. I care about our country and our future, but I have never been one to be motivated by it. I vote for president, but don’t get involved in any other elections. When I was younger, the only reason I knew when Election Day was was because it sometimes landed on my birthday. In the elections I’ve participated in, I absentee voted because I wasn’t in the state or country. I’ve never had to pull a lever, poke a chad or whatever you do, which actually kind of strikes a little fear into my heart for the upcoming election next year. I realize that Occupy Wall Street isn’t about ‘voting‘, but honestly, I’m not entirely sure what it’s all about. I know they are targeting corporate greed and asking for many of the CEO’s of the big banks to be held accountable, but I’m sure there’s more to it.

 

I have a friend, M, who is very interested in being involved and has been to the protests multiple times. She’s one of the sane ones though, because she goes home. I hate crowds. I mean, I really hate crowds. I don’t like being in the middle of a bunch of people where I feel I can’t get away. At concerts I like to stay to the side or in the back (it‘s easier to get to the bar that way too), I don’t need to be up front getting sweat on. I almost got killed by a crowd of weepy, wussy teenagers at a freaking Morrissey concert, so I prefer to keep my distance. Friday night, M and I hung out and she mentioned that Saturday afternoon she was going to one of the marches with a friend. I wished her luck. At one point in the afternoon on Saturday, I saw some pictures she had posted to Facebook and was comforted knowing she was still alive. Later that night, I got a text from her asking if I wanted to get a drink. I had just finished babysitting and figured I deserved a couple cold ones after a tough four hours of babysitting, two-and-a-half of them watching TV while they slept. She suggested we meet at Washington Square Park where some of the protesters had moved to for an ‘after party’. I was a little hesitant about getting in the middle of all this but she assured me we didn’t have to stay, and knowing drinks were in my future made it much easier. Her phone was dying so we agreed to just meet near the famous arch at 11:30pm.

 

So, how hard is it to locate a petite girl who typically chooses to wear dark colors amid a sea of cops, protesters, and bums at midnight? Fucking hard, dude. First off, there were just as many cops as protesters and they made you walk all around them. And once in the park it was hard to get your bearings because there were so many people milling around. There were people with signs, people standing around talking, one guy in the dog park with his two dogs, dudes sleeping in the corners, people picking up trash, people bringing pizzas, masses fist-pumping for change (you get the picture). And the arch was the epicenter of the rallying, so screw that. I stayed on the outskirts and called her hoping her phone wasn’t dead. Success!

 

Me: OK, I’m here. Where are you?

 

M: I’m by W 4th St.

 

Me: So am I. I’m standing on a bench, can you see me?

 

M: No, are you by the arch?

 

Me: Yeah. I’m looking right at it, but away from the people. I’m between the huge crowd around the arch and a huge pack of cops by the street, on a bench, by a tree.

 

This went on for a long time with no luck. I stayed on the bench so I could see a little better (it’s hard to be 5’4”), making sure not to trip on the dude sleeping on his book bag next to me. Nothing. I was beginning to believe this was going to be a failed attempt. Her phone was probably dead and there was no way we were going to find each other, and there was no way I was going to stick around for shit to go down.

 

I tried to call her again. We went through the whole landmark thing again, hoping we could make sense of our surroundings. Finally this human centipede ‘sculpture/puppet’ went parading around the crowd a la Chinese New Year dragon, M was right where it had just passed and I booked it over to her. I heard a ‘Ca’caw’, turned around and the search was over.

 

She told me about the march, showed me the phone number of a public defender that was written on her arm in case she got arrested, and told me about the cops on horses that were using force on the protesters so they stayed in line. It all seemed totally nuts to me, and we agreed to leave to get a drink. We walked through a group of people yelling obscenities at cops (sounding more like they were at a ‘skateboarding is not a crime’ rally rather than a part of a worldwide movement) and watched another brigade of mounted policemen make their way to the park It felt good heading in the opposite direction.

 

And that’s how I spent about fifteen minutes with Occupy Wall Street.

 

Should I Add Professional Part Time Dog-Sitter to My Resume?

Oh, hey! I’m still alive, just completely neglecting things that I find important. I suppose it’s natural to go through these phases, especially in the summertime. I guess we never veer far from our lazy, out-of-school childhood selves once June hits. And still being out of a job, that laziness creeps up on me like nobody’s business if I don’t keep it at bay.

I lose that battle more than I’d like to admit.

BUT! I’ve recently deposited some money into the bank thanks to a job that still has allowed me to maintain my level of summertime sloth, in the form of dog-sitting. And not even for my parent’s dog this time!

... Or maybe dog-lazing

This is Churro. A three-year old blond, long-haired dachshund. I’ve known him since he was a puppy and I love him lots.

He belongs to the family I nannied for for eight years of my life. We tightly bonded during our year in Hong Kong together, and since moving back nearly two years ago and not being needed by a teenage boy as often, I barely get to see this cute little mug. Now, most of last week and again for a week starting tomorrow, I have him all to myself.

As a puppy he was, of course, super hyper-active as well as an excited/nervous pee-er. The boy I watched quite enjoyed getting Churro riled up while on my lap… resulting in many instances of damp jeans. But, as an intense animal lover, it barely bothered me. He also suffered through some abandonment issues, probably stemming from the family’s very busy, very active lifestyle. The issue was exacerbated even further with our move to Hong Kong six months after being brought home for the first time. He traveled separately from us via a pet-handling service, making an over night stop in an Amsterdam pet hotel where he picked up fleas which freaked him out even more. He was a neurotic mess most of his puppy life.

Our first day in Hong Kong

My heart went out to this little tortured soul so I hoped to create a more stable living environment. It also helped me have an easier time dealing with missing the hell out of my cat, who was with my parents on the other side of the world. So maybe my taking on of this new task wasn’t completely selfless. But, being the hired help that I was (though was rarely made to feel that way), I took on Churro as my second charge being responsible for a good deal of his daily care-giving, as well as occasional nighttime snuggle partner.

My favorite thing to do was take him out for long walks most days for exercise. But it was also in hopes of tiring him out so he wouldn’t bark all day when we left the house.

Scratching his belly on the pavement

The walks never worked in terms of the barking, but it did manage to keep my beer belly to a minimum. Those crazy Hong Kong people can party, another year there might have killed me!

Now that the boy is too old for a nanny (you don’t know how many times I tried to figure out how to keep him a kid forever so I wouldn’t have to go look for another, less awesome job), I don’t get to see little Churro much so I was excited to receive an email requesting my fantastic sitting services. (It also meant I would be staying in an apartment with a working air conditioner!) We’ve resumed our long walks, this time enjoying the sights of Central Park rather than the views of the part of the city Hong Kong calls Central.

Looking over the reservoir to the westside in Central Park. NY.

The view of Central over to Kowloon I got to see every time we went for a walk. Hong Kong.

Not too shabby as far as eye entertainment, if you ask me. I’ll take either one any day of the week.

I’m going to miss Churro after this week because I have no idea when I’ll get to spend this much time with him again. But at least when I get back to my cat he’ll have all new smells to inspect when I walk in the door.

-xo

I’m Never Eating Again

Since I’ve been off gallivanting around the eastern seaboard, I decided to take this afternoon and check in on what’s going on in the job market. I’ve been applying to jobs all day, or what feels like all day. But I find after reading a handful of ‘about our company’s and ‘requirements’ they all start to blur into one huge job-blob. My cover letters begin to look the same and completely insincere, and I lose all interest. Maybe it’s because it’s Saturday and I should be doing something fun, or maybe it’s because applying to jobs totally sucks, or maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m suffering from the absolute worst food hangover I’ve ever encountered.

Last night I met some friends I hadn’t seen in a while for a drink downtown. Luckily, our meet time was just after the torrential downpour some of us experienced in the New York area. It was nasty. I walked into a moist, dark bar which seemed to suffer from a bit of an identity crisis. It wanted to be a little country, but also eclectic in a T.G.I.Friday’s way. There were velvet Elvis’s on the wall next to a huge Chinese New Year dragon and another state’s license plate. They played awful honky-tonk peppered with Thriller era Michael Jackson and Pink, my nose full of stale beer and stale Polo cologne. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love dive bars like they are my own child… but I just couldn’t wrap my head around this one. One crappy $6 pitcher of no-name-apple-juice beer and a pitcher of Bud Lite later my one friend was ready to leave to meet her boyfriend, my other friend and I decided we were hungry.

I was slowly getting over some kind of stomach-based food aversion that had kept me from eating all Friday, so I was ready to feast. We walked to Chinatown to my favorite, cheap, awesome Chinese restaurant. It was on.

A huge bowl of crispy noodles, two veggie egg rolls (yes, two), veggie fried rice, and a beer later, I couldn’t move. My friend and I looking at each other, sighing, while holding our stomachs asking why we would do such a thing to ourselves.

We waddled to the subway, said our goodbyes, and went our separate ways. I toyed with the idea of lying down on the platform, just because standing hurt so much. I prayed for the smell of rotting garbage to trigger my gag reflex. I waited for the sweet release of death. The saddest part about all these feelings I was having was holding the bag of leftovers, and an extra order of chinese broccoli I took for later. (I still can’t look at it). I got home, fell onto my bed with labored breath, unbuttoned my suddenly too skinny jeans, and counted the minutes until it passed. But it hasn’t, still. I tossed and turned all night, and woke up to find that nothing had digested.

I’ve never been this full in my life. Isn’t Chinese food supposed to make you feel hungry again in an hour?

Have you ever done this to yourself? What did you eat? How did you get over it?

-xo

Home, Neighbors and Police Tape

I finally got my ass back to New York, if only for a couple days, to get some stuff done. While directing my now empty cart to the lobby, I passed the door of the wailing, drunk lady I had previously mentioned here. I saw this sticker.

creeeeeeepyyyyy

While waiting for the elevator, my mind started to race. What happened? Where’s the dog? Did she go crazy? How gross is it in there that the door has to be sealed shut? What was the scene like in the hallway when the cops were here? Was she raptured? Why did I have to miss it???

I’m super nosy.

I finally make it to the lobby and approached one of the doormen.

She died. No one knows exactly when.

My doorman said the barking dog tipped people off that something was wrong, but that dog barked allllllllll the time. So I can’t imagine how long it took for the dog to invite some actual attention.

I hope the dog is OK, hanging out at the ASPCA actually getting some care (though I’d prefer he’s at a no-kill shelter). He wasn’t really living much of a life while he was with her. And then having to be trapped inside with his owner’s dead body, while trying to let others know there was something wrong was probably terrifying. It makes me really sad thinking about him.

BUT! I’m also disturbingly curious about the scene inside the apartment. I’ve never seen that specific unit before. It’s got to be bigger than my apartment. It’s also probably super stinky in there though, between the smell of death and the dog waste. The mess must be epic, I wonder how long it will take to disinfect. When can I get in there? I can’t pass up an opportunity to snoop.

Soon after I first moved in, the old man I lived next to died so I occasionally used his apartment as my extra space. I’ll never forget him because he was the perfect neighbor. He was quiet, couldn’t hear, and only opened the door to receive an order of wine from a young hispanic boy once a week. The day I moved in he invited my step mother over for a tour of his apartment to show off its red shag carpeting and grand piano which sat in the corner near the bay window. After he died, claimed it as my own. I had some friends over there for drinks, took some of his records (only after it was apparent that his family had left certain things for trash), and kept an eye on the renovations. It was sort of like an increasingly less scary haunted house the more I went. I liked the initial rush, then it just became sad when I realized it was no longer mine. I was pissed when it got sold, and even resented the first owners for a bit (they were obnoxious).

As far as I know, this if the third person who has died on my floor since I’ve lived here in just over nine years. Am I the kiss of death? Do the math, there’s an average and it’s correct.

A warning to those older folks who move on to my floor.

-xo

If You Break Something, Say Something?

I went to the Home Depot this afternoon because two of the three light bulbs in my bathroom died today. They were supposed to be those super-long-lasting, good-for-the-environment jobbies and I’m not quite sure they delivered on their promise. Wait… did I just get a big ‘screw you’ from the environment? Ugh. See if I try to save you again, Mother Earth!

Anyway, I was looking at all the options and having trouble remembering what I needed. (Does that happen to you? Just completely forget what you need as soon as you walk into the store? Yeah, I’m one of those people). I noticed some dude walk up, grab one of those four packs of lamp bulbs and walk away. Suddenly, I hear a smash. I look over to see the guy look through the now empty sleeve of bulbs, place the unbroken bulbs on a random shelf, grab a new pack and leave. I thought, ‘what a jerk, at least let an employee know!’ Then realized, I totally broke a couple of eggs while searching through cartons at the grocery store, then just walked away about a month ago. I’m an ass too.

I’ve never been a jerk like that before. I usually pick up after other assholes in stores because I’ve been there, in retail hell. What makes us decide it’s OK to pretend it never happened? When did I turn into one of those people I used to hate? What’s your worst retail story, whether in front of or behind the counter?

-xo

Creeps and Karaoke on Jesus’ Special Day

I spent my Easter like any good non-practicing Roman Catholic by drinking too much and belting out some rocking 80’s hits at karaoke. I figured if I was with my family I would have over indulged just the same, so why not? It seemed that many others had the same idea of not visiting mom, and the wackos all found me and my friends. Creepy dudes don’t normally just appear at your Aunt Norma’s dinner table… and I’m not counting weird Uncle Rob, but they do when you’re at a bar.

The first creep appeared out of thin air at the bar my two friends and I were relaxing at during the afternoon. We get together to have Sunday Fundays where we have some drinks and play games. The three of us were playing cards when this dude just decided to join our table. He was this lanky, scummy looking dude with a dire need of advanced orthodontia. I wasn’t sure if I should feed him carrots or get him a bone to gnaw on. I’m told he was also quite pungent, a fact I learned later which led me to immediately thank my not-so-up-to-snuff nasal capacities. Creepo #1, of course, sat right next to me and kept waiting for an opening in the conversation to tell me things I didn’t care about. I learned he was at the park earlier that day (maybe pulling a carriage full of tourists?) before he came to the bar. I responded with the least amount of interest I could conjure as well as avoiding all eye contact all while getting my ass kicked in gin, ‘that’s nice’. After many other similar exchanges, he still wouldn’t get the hint. Luckily though, he became intimidated by the new presence of a guy friend and he left.

Creepo #2 was actually a little more like Crazy-Whack-Job #1. We encountered him on the subway on our way to the karaoke bar. The four of us were just standing around and talking like normal people do when this dude began screaming ‘SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!’ Of course we stopped in horror because someone was screaming, at this point I had no idea it was directed at us. (He could have been yelling at the voices in his head for all I know). Then he continued, ‘you guys are so rude! My girl and I were sittin’ here minding our own business when you walk on acting like fools’. Now, I personally didn’t see him with anyone else. AND if we’re going to start talking about making noise, you could hear the music coming from his headphones over everything else. I’m not sure how he heard anything. He stood up and moved by the door, but it didn’t stop there. Crazy-Whack-Job #1 kept on yelling at the top of his lungs about how rude we were because we were talking. Really dude? Because we shut up since we couldn’t hear ourselves over your own obnoxious-ness. Here were some of the gems he spewed at us.

  • ‘I can’t hear myself think with all your rude talking!’ (Are you sure it’s not that horrendous music?)
  • ‘As soon as you came on I knew you kids would be trouble.’ (Kids? I’m pretty sure I was older than him.)
  • ‘You know, you can spend all the money in the world on college but it won’t teach you how to act.’ (I’m glad that by judging us he was judging himself.)

He screamed at us the whole rest of the way. By this time the whole train was quiet, mostly because there was no choice but to listen to him. He ended up making an ass out of himself all the way to his stop. Luckily, he got off one stop before us. There were two older men who were also sitting in the cross-fire and saw the whole thing. One of them turned to me said, ‘he likes to hear himself talk, doesn’t he?’ I laughed and we discussed our shared baffle-ment in the whole situation. We got to our stop and he wished me a happy Easter with a big goofy smile on his face. (I love cute little old guys!)

Lastly, creepo #3 was actually multiple people in the form of a cosplay group. No, cosplay people don’t dress up in Cosby sweaters and eat hoagies. But cosplayers do dress up in all kinds of costumes and live in an anime fantasy world. They were having a private party at the karaoke bar, funky outfits and all. They were in a separate room but needed to come into the main bar to use the bathroom, where they decided to start hanging out with us. Besides the five of us poured into a cubbyhole in the back of the bar, there were about 4 others occupying the whole bar. There was plenty of room for them to congregate elsewhere. But the cosplay dudes chose to stand right next to us, in our little nook. I guess they figured we weren’t dressed up enough and needed guys dressed as japanese school girls with rabbit ears and really tall girl scouts. We didn’t though.

I’m not saying that my friends and I look/are so cool that people just want to be near us. I’m saying that something about me reads ‘freak magnet’. I’d really like to find whatever it is and get it removed, surgically if I have to. I don’t care how painful it is. I’m toying with the idea of becoming a shut-in just so the only freak I have to deal with is myself.

-xo