The Horrors of Halloween

Way to go, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. Way to ruin Halloween for everyone. This shocking piece of news has sent me into a death spiral that only huge amounts of sobbing, drinking and sessions in an extreme fetal position can cure. I mean, how can I go out dressed as a slutty ghost/pirate/french maid tonight and grind up against random masked men with any gusto? I’ll just be going through the motions, it’s not even worth it. Now I’m questioning everything about my life. If two super rich people can’t keep a commitment to the vows they recited at a beautiful, huge, multi millions dollar, made for TV, lavishly staged wedding then where’s the hope for me? Am I doomed to a life of poverty and loneliness because no one cares about my every move? What if I only end up marrying just for love, have I failed? If I forgot to wear underwear out last night and no one was around to see it, did I really forget to wear underwear?

I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE!

But in reality, I like the idea of Halloween more than the actual event. I love fall. I love gathering with friends, drinking cider and doing ‘fall’ activities. I love breaking out my hoodies. I love seeing pumpkins at the store. I even like seeing other people dressed up, but I’m too lazy to do it myself. I normally get struck by a brilliant costume idea the week after Halloween, and am never able to remember it the next year. I have since given up on the whole thing. Anyway, I don’t have to wait for that one time of year to tell me it’s ‘OK’ to dress slutty. I’ll do it whenever I want! The bars are super crowded, and the chances of seeing two unattractive people, barely dressed, getting it on in the middle of the bar go up fifty percent. I still like to stop by for a drink to see what people are wearing, but it only reminds me of those elementary school costume parades that read more like a sad chain gang. I don’t eat candy any time of year, and I don’t want a candy corn martini, so unless you can trick or treat for ice cream or beer I’d prefer to make room for the others. So, by the time Halloween actually rolls around, all the excitement (and pumpkins) have rotted and I can’t wait to get on with November. That means my birthday is right around the corner!

Please trust me, I don’t hate Halloween. I don’t even dislike it. I guess I just like all of fall better. I have really fond memories of the holiday as a kid, though I didn’t always dress up and/or go trick or treating then either. It’s just that by the time the 31st rolls around, the hype has gotten to me and it’s not so great anymore. And now. Now, I’ll be plagued with the visions of Kris Humphries quietly weeping into his pumpkin spiced latte as he carves a huge ass in his jack O’lantern wondering what went wrong… and why did he sign that damn prenup?

Have a terrific Halloween everyone! Whether you go all out or stay under your blanket!

These costumes haunt me. My Halloween in Hong Kong 2008

None of these are me, or anyone I know.

-xo

*If you read this and think to yourself, ‘wow, this girl really doesn’t like Halloween’, give it a few months. You’ll see how much I really hate a holiday when New Years comes along.

I’m Gonna Have to See Some ID

It seems I’m getting carded more than ever lately. (I’m not complaining.)

I suppose I’m thinking about it because my thirty-first birthday is coming up, which means that ten years ago was that all magical twenty-first birthday. (That’s the kind of math I’m good at!) Back then I was working at a restaurant as a hostess, the only worries I had were whether I was going to get just enough sleep to work off the booze from the night before. I could do that back then. Work a double shift, run all over the place making sure the restaurant was running smoothly, go out drinking at midnight with the whole crew, then hang out after hours with my boyfriend, only to wake up and do it all over again. Those were the days. Now, if I have one too many I feel like I need to spend the whole next day in bed before I can function like a normal human being. (I feel like I’ve written all of this before, but all that drinking has killed so many brain cells). The point is that at that time, the start of those drunken nights at the restaurant happened when I was actually under twenty-one. I was able to ride on the coattails of the others who knew all the bartenders and knew who would never ask for my measly ID. I, along with the other few under-agers, became untouchable. I was young, a size 0, had no bills to pay, and it was good.

Until soon before my big birthday…

I ran into an old high school ‘friend’ at the favorite bar of my co-workers. She was shocked to see that she had been carded yet there I was sitting at the bar with a big old beer. This obviously didn’t make her happy, and her pettiness led her to tattle to the manager. As I purchased my next drink, I was busted. For the next couple months I was forced to sit on the sidelines (or drink at home), and it was no fun. The night of my twenty-first birthday, my boyfriend took me out to a super fancy dinner in the city. I insisted on the way home that we go to the bar that banned me to have a nightcap. My glee was apparent to anyone to within a couple bar stools how proud I was to present my legal-ness to that mean, old manager who was just doing his job.

I moved to New York only a couple of months after I turned twenty-one. I never thought that I would have issues buying alcohol again (something that is oh, so important for a college student). But I soon found out there was a liquor store across from my college that didn’t like the looks of me, even though I liked them a lot. They sold $4.99 magnum bottles of wine which I could purchase only some of the time, depending on who was looking at my ID. They constantly claimed they would not take out-of-state licenses and turned me away. No amount of arguing worked, and I argued.

My ID looks way better than this AND it's real!

It upset me every time I was denied because I finally wasn’t trying to fool anyone. But it didn’t matter to them, mostly because they didn’t know how much business they were losing by turning me away. College is a messy time, folks.

Then there are those mega crazy situations where I see people getting carded ahead of me in line, get out my ID in preparation, then don’t even get looked at twice. I can be in full dress-up mode or my pajamas, it doesn’t matter. It makes no sense at all to me.

Last night, I went to get some beer because I spent the day doing a good scrubbing of my apartment, applying to jobs and writing. It was one of those days that I could feel great accomplishment without even venturing outside. I planned on relaxing by drinking at home in my pj’s while the rest of those weekend warriors freeze their nips off in the first deep chill of the season. I ran to the bodega to pick up some beer and brought my ID (just in case). I was right, he asked for it. I can’t decide if it’s thanks to my amazingly youthful looks or because stores are so scared about getting in trouble.

I’m going to go with the fact that I haven’t aged a day over twenty!

-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.

 

The Week That Hated Me

Well hello old friends! I am, in fact, still alive. Hooray! I’ve quickly learned how easy it is to keep letting this blog slide. Getting back on the old blog-horse is harder than hopping back on the work-out-bus after a brief illness! Plus, I’m oh so easily distracted. I’ve had some really fun journeys the last half of the summer that I completely intended on sharing with you all but life got in the way big time. That’s something I’m actually happy about considering my lack of money, job, and all that. I was visiting family in multiple states, eating way too much awesome food, and enjoying time with amazing friends that invited me to a beautiful wedding that they so truly deserved. Maybe I’ll share all/some of those memories if I deem you all worthy!  ;)

But today, dear readers, I have to vent about my week. This week has been absolutely… weird and if I have to encounter another one like it soon, I’ll probably curl up in a little ball and bid you all farewell. So fingers crossed people!

I think I’ll go day-by-day, just to keep the flow going. Let’s start with last weekend.

Last weekend, we all know, we marked the tenth anniversary of September 11th. A very somber time that I honored by staying in my apartment, not watching any of the coverage (because it’s still just too depressing), cooking and drinking vodka to keep my mind on more positive things. I drove up to New York that Friday before the anniversary, freaking out the whole way through the Lincoln Tunnel thanks to that whole heightened terror alert… and because tunnels freak me out in general. I reflected on the tragedy, thinking about how I was supposed to already be living and going to college in New York on that day in 2001, but my housing had fallen through and I had to defer one semester until I secured my current apartment. I like to think that something/someone was looking out for me that fall, because I don’t know that I could have handled myself in a sane manner amid all that chaos and stress that was the uncertainty in the weeks that followed.

Luckily, the day passed very quietly. But it did set the tone for the rest of the week.

Monday’s event was an afternoon of babysitting for a family with two children. One is a four-year-old boy and the other is an eighteen-month-old girl. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? The boy dominates EVERYTHING and is extremely hyper-active. Once he senses his mother is ready to leave he clings to her like a spider monkey while screaming at the top of his lungs. There is not much distracting him, until he’s ready to move on. I was able to temporarily take control of the situation by suggesting we put on some music to dance (a double whammy since he loves to dance and it’s an energy zapper), that is until he got over-excited and started attacking his little sister. I had to stand in the middle of them the rest of the evening in order to prevent the boy from sweeping the little girl off her feet with one swift tug of the ankle, sitting on her chest, dragging her across the room tempting rug burn, trying to pick her up or pull her onto things with the help of only one little limb, and pushing his index finger as far as he could into the middle of her chest while she was laying down, just because. Needless to say, I was exhausted physically as well as vocally thanks to repeatedly yelling his name and the word ‘stop’ for multiple hours. I soothed weak vocal chords with some vodka.

Tuesday, I was enjoying a quiet afternoon when I encountered a Facebook status update that read, ‘Holy crap! The store just got robbed!’ It was posted by a delivery driver from my dad’s pharmacy. My father owns a pharmacy on the grounds of a regional hospital in a quiet Pennsylvania town where my sister also works. I called my sister immediately to ask what was going on, but she couldn’t talk because the cops were there interviewing everyone. It turns out, masked and armed men burst into the store, ordered everyone on the ground (staff and customers included), stormed the back of the pharmacy and ordered my father to empty the locked drawer that holds all of the controlled substances. My sister was in the other office that happens to be on the other side of a partial wall. Once she heard what was going on and was able to overcome her shock, she ran down the hall to call the police. Some damn, dumbass tweekers put my family and friends in danger for a couple bottles of pain killers and I’m not OK with that at all. I had to soothe my frayed nerves with some vodka. The newspapers reported that this is the first ‘take-down’ robbery the small-town police department has had to deal with. We’re still waiting on follow-up news, but I’m staying very positive. I’d like to think the police would be interested in starting off their foray into this new type of crime to solve with a 100% ‘take-down’ robbery conviction rate.

Wednesday actually came and went without a hitch. I had a really good dinner with an old friend and some shows started their new fall season. The little things make me happy!

During that Wednesday dinner, my friend mentioned that a friend of hers was looking for my number so I could babysit her daughter on Thursday night. She and her husband are having some heavy marital issues and she has been dying to get out to have a little fun in order to escape the stress at home. I agreed to get in touch with her since I was free that evening and could use the money. One of the first things the little girl said to me when I arrived was, ‘I slept with daddy last night and mommy slept on the couch. Isn’t that weird?’ It shocked me so much that it took me a minute to respond with a reassuring answer. Later that evening, I was sitting at the table with the girl doing crafts when her father walked in the door, obviously disgusted and surprised at the sight of a babysitter in his home. He ignored the little girl’s attempt at a welcome home hug and uttered loud enough for me to hear across the room ‘I see your mother went and hired a babysitter’. As he walked further into the room, he brought the icy chill with him and flatly said, ‘I’m going to have to ask you to leave, you can come back tomorrow so [she] can pay you.’ I stood up, picked up my bag, and began to walk towards the door. He followed so close behind me that all I could do was grab my shoes so they wouldn’t be left behind. I turned to say goodnight to the little girl, but he slammed the door in my face before I could even focus my eyes on her. I had to sit down in the hallway to put my shoes on. I stood up completely shaken at the brazen rudeness I had just encountered and left afraid for the state of the little girl inside that house. I came home and soothed my inflamed adrenaline rush and raging anger with vodka and pizza.

Today, Friday, I decided not to tempt fate and stay home. I did go out to sit in my car for street sweeping day this morning. If you aren’t familiar with the free street parking in NYC, twice a week you have to go sit in your car for an hour and a half so you can move your car for thirty seconds when the street sweeper comes. If you are not in your car for that whole hour and a half and a cop walks by, you get a ticket that rivals your monthly rent. I’ll sit in my car to the very last second in order to avoid that slap in the wallet. Today, as the street sweeper was approaching, the girl in the car behind me turned her wheel a little too hard and proceeded to jump the curb. She kept on going to not just kiss, but make out with a tree on the sidewalk. She crunched the whole front driver side corner of her car. I just thought to myself that with the week I have just had, I’m so glad that wasn’t me.

Maybe my luck is changing… or at least the bad has jumped on to someone else for a bit.

Have you ever had a week that just wouldn’t stop poking you?

-xo

Can’t Say Nothin’

I have a pretty killer case of laryngitis currently, so I can only communicate through text. I feel like Louis in The Trumpet of the Swan, I should get my chalkboard. Today is worse than yesterday, but I’m pretty sure most medical professionals wouldn’t recommend going to a party – where talking over music and drinking all day is par for the course (my course, at least) – as a health regimen. But I had to go, the party was celebrating my niece’s graduation from high school. I can’t believe my niece graduated from high school, because that means I’m old. I remember getting the call that she was born, I was already in my early teens.

She’s the daughter of my step-brother, a step-brother who was already grown when my dad married his mother, so we were never close. But I’ve always been close with my niece, probably because I’ve been around since she was born. She looked up to me from an early age, even when I was too young to grasp the gravity of being a role model.

She’s been through a lot in her young life. Her family situation has been less than stable, she’s shuffled around from house to house, seen many family arrangements. Yet she’s prevailed and become a great young adult with goals of going to college to become a teacher. Goals that, as a high school graduate eleven years ago, I hadn’t yet figured out (and some would argue that I still haven’t figured out).

High school sucks, I’ve said it before, so it’s amazing that some kids actually have their futures kind of mapped out. Being a teenager is like playing a life-sized game of dodgeball where every hormone, emotion, idea, urge, and desire is being thrown at you at once. It’s no wonder most kids are so confused and angry. Who ever says those are the best years of your life is a pretty sad person, or was a jock who was never able to achieve the amount of stardom in his life outside of the gymnasium walls. I do look back on those years with a tinge of fondness, only because I was able to finagle my way out of most of my high school career so I could live my life. Most aren’t so lucky. Who constantly wants to feel like an outcast? Who constantly wants to feel stupid or under insane amounts of pressure to perform up to the standards of their parents? Who wants to be treated like a child when you’re screaming to be taken seriously as an impending adult?

The only things high school provided me was a place to socialize and nap. I didn’t know it then, but I was conserving all my energy for college.

My niece didn’t take the same road, mainly because she is a totally different person, and I congratulate her for that. She’s smart and determined to make a difference, and I’m so excited to continue to watch her grow.

A party is a great way to kick off the next stage in her life… But then again I’m always a fan of finding any reason to party, laryngitis or not.

-xo

When I’m 64

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful daddies out there! I’m off to see my dad, as well as a whole crap load of my family, this afternoon. There will be beer at this shindig (thank goodness), so it should be fun!

Yesterday I called my dad to ask him what time he would get to the party, so I could plan accordingly. During our less than five-minute conversation he managed to get that dreaded job question in.

Me: I applied to a whole bunch of different stuff today, so fingers crossed!

It didn’t seem to appease him at all.

I know a lot of his concern is for my future. If I’m not able to contribute to social security now, what will happen when I’m at retirement age? What about savings? Bills? What will happen when he’s not around to lean on? Well, fear no longer dad! I have come up with a list of jobs that I could pursue in my golden years that will keep my twenty cats stupid in wet food and cat nip for years.

  • Cute old lady extra on a TV sitcom.
  • Elderly spokesperson for low-cost insurance.
  • Greeter at Walmart.
  • Test subject.
  • Reality show contestant based on seniors finding love. (My generation is destined to be the first to do this).
  • Playing a corpse for mortuary cosmetology students.
  • Wheel of Fortune contestant.
  • The crazy cat lady that ends up on all those Animal Planet shows.
  • Nursing home tour guide.
  • Corpse on a cop drama.
  • Tapioca pudding taste tester.
  • Door-to-door denture salesperson.
  • Teaching ‘origami for arthritis’ classes.
  • Coach of the musical wheelchair team at the community center.
  • Bingo caller or community bingo shark.
  • Geriatric call girl.

So… I’m totally thinking about my future. Happy Father’s Day, dad!

-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