Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Mornings II: Morning Turns to Day

My egg sandwich is nestled in its small paper bag, which has been placed in a larger plastic bag along with my cold drink. I cross 4th Ave and 9th (which is also Wanamaker. I neglected to mention that last time) and head west on 9th half a block to the only office building on the block, 770 Broadway.

I know...I know. It's not on Broadway. I hate this fact. It's *between* Broadway and 4th, but it's not actually *on* Broadway. Neither is any part of our building, that I know of. So the building needs a ginormous sign declaring its address, as pictured:

Or you can see it from an OMGSoArty perspective:

See those windows on either side of the doors in the first photo? They light up really crazy at night.  Like all pink or red or orange. I'm not sure what they're trying to go for.

Anyway. So I go in the revolving doors, because my hands are sometimes full and I just don't like to interact with any of the people I work with. I have extracted my ID badge at Tost, which I scan at the turnstile inside the huge lobby and wait a reallllly long time for the little arms to open and let me through. (I'm sure it's only a second or so, but when you see those elevator doors closing there's no way you can make it with the turnstile stop.) Then it's over to the left bank of elevators, which only go to the 12th and 13th floor, cramming in there with all the lemmings and their iced fat-free coffees and organic grass juice shit and nothing with any caloric content whatsoever. My egg sandwich feels conspicuous and sinful, but I'm sorry, I'm not ready to deal with a 1,000-calorie-a-day diet what with everything else.

Everyone is deathly quiet in the elevator. Even if they'd been chatting amongst themselves in the lobby. It's like a tomb. And it's hot and seems very slow. This is an extremely awkward two minutes.
Most everyone piles out at 12, except those who have to go to 13 who inevitably keep standing at the front of the elevator car while we stream around them.  STEP OUT. It is JUST LIKE the subway. Good grief.

We file into the 12th floor lobby, which is large and modern with very low and uncomfortable chairs, past the sweet, friendly receptionist (not being sarcastic, she really is) who always says hello. I veer to the right past her desk, and walk down a dark hallway lined haphazardly with dress forms of all sizes (the children's ones are at once adorable and creepy). I make another right, past the wall where the current catalog we're working on is pinned--each page gets its own square, so we can see the entire book at a glance. On my left is the Cage, a huge fenced-in area where looks are staged and prepped for dress shoots. It's usually filled with dozens of [adult] dress forms all outfitted and accessorized to the nines. Past this is my cluster of cubes, in Section A1, stencilled in orange paint on a large square column.

It's an open-office plan, which I detest. My cube is in the middle of everything, my back to most. I *really* hate that. I'm on edge all day, always on display, no walls except a dinky little half-wall behind my monitor that just mostly has work notes pinned to it. I really never thought I would miss those awful fabric cubicle walls. But I like to bring a little personality into my workspace, and here it can't be done unless you want everything to get really cluttery. Which I do not.

I lug my crap over to my white desk (everything is white, which, as you can imagine, is super good for keeping the dirt at bay...), shove my backpack underneath, and drop my butt into my chair. (It's okay. Fabric, wheeled, regular office chair.) I log onto my work Mac and wait for everything to start up. I undo the wrappings around my breakfast--soda out of the plastic bag, throw out the straw they always stick in there, sandwich out of the paper bag, napkins out of the bottom, unwrap foil off sandwich, unwrap waxed paper off sandwich, sprinkle salt and pepper onto the egg portion. If it's the one shorter guy who always talks to me, my sandwich is perfect: all the gooey cheese is sandwiched inside the egg like an omelet. But if it's the other guy, he puts the cheese on each inner side of the bread and it's really dry and not great. I mean, better than nothing though.

I start up Outlook and InDesign and Excel and Chrome, usually checking Facebook first thing. I use my phone and tablet to look at it when I'm not at work, but those apps never have the full stream of everyone's updates. (Just checked FB again for kicks. Someone posted a pic of me at Baccalaureate. Aw!)

After that, my duties depend on what part of the catalog process we're at for the month. We *always* have something to do, whether it's completing catalog spreads as a team or working on our own projects. I can honestly say I'm never bored at this job; never have moments where nothing really needs to get done. I love this pace and it's the first job I've had where each day goes by quickly--sometimes too quickly. Mornings ZOOM by. I rarely look at the clock until it's past one, and I usually take lunch at 2:00 or later. This is a habit from days of jobs with long, dull afternoons, where minutes ticked by like hours and everyone was dragging by 3:30.

I can take lunch when I want to, and it's not ever something I look forward to. When I first started working here, I was all "Wowie! Lunch every day in downtown Manhattan with all these yummy choices and the budget to eat out most days!" but I quickly got over it. What I want at lunch is a break from the people and the noise and the crowding. A comfortable chair to curl up in. A quiet place to read. Someplace where no one is looking at me.
But that DOES NOT happen here. Ever. There's not even a 2007 Corolla to escape to. Just blocks and blocks of rushing people and being hurried out of your seat at dining establishments and tiny uncomfortable chairs and honking and yelling and smoking and infinitesimal sandwiches for $9.50. There's a Barnes & Noble in Union Square, but a) it's the flagship location and always terrifyingly crowded, b) there is NO comfortable seating available and they'll bust you for sitting on the floor. They do offer a sterile, classroom-type area where they have book readings, with rows of plastic chairs, but it's as depressing as sitting in McDonald's to read, and c) it takes me twenty minutes to make my way to the store, leaving me a total of twenty minutes for "relaxation."

We have two kitchenettes at the office, neither of which is on our floor. I usually walk up to the 13th, taking a microwave lunch and a water bottle to mix some Crystal Light lemonade in. If I can get a table, I get one farthest away from everyone, setting my backpack down on one of the metal chairs. They are very modern and very cold. The nice part about this room is that it's large, and one wall is virtually entirely south-facing windows, affording a fantastic view of whichever bridge is below Wall Street (Manhattan, maybe?). The whole view is great, and does make me happy to be here. No one has ever bothered me during my lunch, and I hope they never do. I don't love eating up there, but it's the only place I've found that's satisfactory.
I generally take less than an hour, because I get paid hourly and get more money if I take a shorter lunch, and then it's back to my desk to finish up the day. No set schedule, just always a flurry to get everything done. More often then not, I'm slightly panicked as 5:30 grows closer because I fear I won't get done in time--not that it matters, because I can *always* stay late (and get paid extra) and it's not like anything will fall apart if I don't finish. I can honestly say I've never had that feeling about a job before. The end of the day had ALWAYS been a welcome relief from the tedium. I can't say I love it this new way, but I don't hate it either.

Lily just sent me a text message that said "During these hard stretches it's so important to greet every passing thought with gratitude and a smile." I don't make that a habit, and it's been terrible to deal with this downward swing of life lately given my negative approach. The more I hate it here, the more and MORE I hate every little detail. Long depressing line at Walgreen's: SEE HOW MUCH IT SUCKS HERE?! Someone with extreme B.O. shoves into the seat next to me on the subway: THIS IS WHY IT SUCKS. It is never-ending!

So. This post has been fairly negative. I'm not going to edit it to be more sunshiney, but I am going to stop here. Maybe my next installment, I'll vow to be more positive. I just figured out there's no way I can go home for Thanksgiving, so I'm ultra-depressed now anyway. :(

Monday, September 9, 2013

Copying: My Mornings, These Days

I am fascinated by the minutiae of life; those little teeny details no one usually gives a crap about. That's  probably why I never run out of questions for people. And why they get so easily annoyed at my constant quizzing. :) "Why the hell do you need to know what color Trapper Keeper I had in 4th grade?" they'll ask with exasperation. But it won't stop me!

So when Emily posted a "My Day These Days" post and I reveled in every word, gleefully getting a glimpse into her little world, an average day in her life, I realized I have never really done that. Yet I find myself, at various times in my life, wondering what my life was like at certain points. What was my walking route to class each day in London? What train did I take to get to my NYU course in summer 2001? Did I wear flip-flops constantly during the summers in the '90s, as I do now? What range of books was I responsible for shelving at MBS? (Just kidding--I totally know that. HALM to HETTICH!)

I'd like to capture my 'right now,' in all its ugliness and citified craziness, before I move on and forget it all. Because I *will* look back at some of this adventure with affection and curiosity.

I think.

On a weekday morning:

My iphone alarm (quiet tribal drumbeats) goes off at 7:20, though lately I've been waking up a little before then. On mornings I have to shower, it goes off at 6:50. (I wonder if I will ever stop hating to shower? Such a necessary evil. I hate being wet when I get out. Same with swimming. I like being wet IN the water, I just hate the aftermath.) I have the alarm set so I can snooze once, but it's been kinda nice the past couple weeks just slowly getting up when it goes off the first time, so that when I really do have to get moving I'm not completely dragging and half asleep. Fitzy usually jumps onto the bed with me for some close cuddles, even though he totally knows I have to get up soon, and he is so darned irresistible I can't even stand it. He looks up at me with those big amber eyes and sometimes puts his paw on me to let me know it's time to pet him and I gotta indulge both him and myself for a couple of minutes.
Neil is in his big red chair beside me, watching Mike & Mike in the Morning, an ESPN radio show that broadcasts on TV too. It's palatable and often funny. I have enjoyed the Today show during this window in past lives, but sometimes the stories they do really capture me and I'm late getting out the door.

I throw my hair in a claw and go to the bathroom, where I perform my morning ablutions; taking my time, usually with a kitten or two for company.
I love when I pick out my clothes the night before, but I never do that anymore. So there's always that "ohhhh-man-what-am-i-gonna-wear-i-have-NOTHING" panic until I actually open drawers and closets and see that I do indeed have wearable office-appropriate attire.
Which, by the way, is no real issue. There's no dress code except, like, no nudity. However, this is not a VUHL-type "no dress code" guideline where people literally show up in jammies and slippers. We're in high fashion, folks, or at least what these delusional idiots think is high fashion--OK OK OK, I'll be good, sorry--and the M.O. here is heels to the sky, artfully distressed $450 jeans, jacquard jackets, burnout tees with nothing left to the imagination, chunky jewelry, neon infinity scarves, and whatever the heck else is appropriate for the East Village. I think people are still wearing cold-shoulder shirts, which WTF, but anyway.
(I always wanted to keep a record of the insane things people wear as trends come and go, and look back at the record and laugh. Like Crocs or UGGs or those teeny ridiculous shrugs. But here that would be a full-time job.)


While I'd love to leave at 8:00 every morning, that rarely happens. But getting out the door before 8:15 generally always does. Neil walks me to the door and I say goodbye to him and the cats, and he locks it behind me so I don't have to dig for my keys. I push the 'Up' button for the elevator (the 'Down' button has no effect) and take it down five floors to the front lobby. I do this not because I am incapable of going down the stairs on foot, but because they are so circular and narrow that I am totally dizzy by the time I get all the way down if I walk them. I am also really hoping no one gets in the elevator with me. So much awkward. (Do you know about our elevator? It's weird. There's the regular sliding door but then you have to push open an outer door when you get to the floor you want. I was totally used to it and fine with it until I got STUCK when it was in the basement one night after midnight while I was doing my laundry. Now I'm nervous every time I get in. Yay.)

It takes me about 10-13 minutes to get to the subway, depending on my shoe choice (flops for summer, flats for winter) and energy level. I walk one avenue-length down Ocean Parkway, always a pretty jaunt, morning sun through the trees (I don't mind it when it's dappled), big wide sidewalk so everyone can walk at their own pace without having to make room for others. Then I make a left on Beverly Rd. and walk five streets down to McDonald Ave. After four streets of residential life (and a narrower sidewalk), the walk quickly gets kind of trashy and depressing, with a Walgreen's and the lower-income Bangledeshi housing at the crossroads.

And the WHOLE walk is super unpleasant, even on O.P., on trash days.  You have to remember not to inhale, no matter how beautiful it looks outside. And you know, in the fresh morning, after being in air-conditioning for the past 12+ hours, you kind of really want to inhale.
I forget every time.

I try to reach McDonald just as the light is turning red, so I can dash across the street even if I'm not quite to the crosswalk. I haven't yet been arrested for jaywalking and I hope to keep my record clean.

I have my phone out (or in my trench pocket, in the winter), and my MetroCard is safely ensconced in the case (it's a special one I ordered that holds two cards. Best thing I ever bought). So it's ready to go when I finish clattering down the subway-station steps (I never stop being afraid that I'll fall down those 32 stairs) and run to the turnstiles. If I hear noise of a train coming, that is. I'm not running if I don't.

The thing with NYC commuters is that we will do ANYTHING to not have to wait for the next train. Because you never ever know when it's coming, if it's a line that doesn't have the digital ETAs streaming on a sign in the station. I've waited 25 minutes, more than once, during rush hour, in the suffocatingly hot Broadway/Lafayette station for my F train home. And let me tell you how good THAT smells.

So, if you hear a train coming and you're not right there waiting for RUN.
I never run. Never.
But here I do. And I look stupid and ridiculous and I hate it.

It's another 16 steps down to the train from the turnstile, and if it's not there you get a little sinking feeling, like "Oh man, I wonder how long it'll take to come." And you curse yourself for taking an extra two minutes to select and put in earrings, or you're frustrated because you got up early and left on time and everything and now it's just all for NAUGHT because you have to wait anyway.

I hate being dependent on something else for transportation. To get me somewhere at a certain time. And to pay exactly what I was paying during my commute to Jeff City for the 'privilege.' The privilege of mashing up against other grouchy commuters almost daily for 35 minutes, of kind of being afraid that that peaked woman might vomit all over everyone (that was today), of listening to squalling and shrieking and crying children instead of concentrating on my Kindle book. (I am not a child-hating grump and I don't hate those parents or the kids for their behavior. I just...would like to be able to get away from it.) Also, you can't make eye contact with anyone, so you have to look at things on your phone or just stare at the up-high ads.

The F trains used to be newer ones. They had long blue seats and consistent air-conditioning and digital signs with the stops coming up. But for the last month they've always been the old kind, with staggered and angled orange and yellow seats that fit smaller bodies than the blue-seaters did. The A/C goes on and off without reason, and the trains are darker, in a depressing way. They have less-convenient bars to hang onto and the PA systems aren't automated nor effective, so you can never hear the conductor. And there's no indication inside the train of which stops it will go to.

On good days, maybe a few times a week if I'm lucky, I'll squeeze into a seat. Never a good or convenient one and it's never comfortable, but it's better than standing on aching feet and moving my backpack around when others shove past me the whole ride. Though my neck is always in pain from looking down at my phone, I read using my Kindle app while I'm seated, and sometimes the commute goes by quickly. (It *never* goes by fast while standing.)

The F train goes for 13 stops before 3/4 of us empty into the Broadway/Lafayette station and hundreds of people cram onto the escalator to take us up to the uptown 6 train. It's really ridiculous to see this massive crush of humans waiting like lemmings to get on the narrow escalator. Taking the stairs means backtracking, and it always takes longer--even when the line for the escalator is longer than usual because a train on the opposite track has just dumped its riders.

The 6 train, I like. It has digital ETAs for the next two trains on conveniently located signs in the station, and there always seems to be one two minutes away so I never wait long. On the way past the escalator to the 6, there's always a cheery man handing out AM New York newspapers, sometimes calling out highlights of the issue. It's pretty cute. I feel bad not taking one from him, but I already have an AM New York guy.

I never take a seat on the 6 because I only have one stop to go. But taking it instead of walking saves me over ten minutes, which I nearly always need to get to work on time. It's not usually very crowded and it's new and nice.

I get off at Astor Place, and climb the steps underneath a neat glass overhang thing...

(See, look!)

...and smile at my AM New York guy, in tennis shoes and oversized jeans and a red AM New York vest, enthusiastically handing out papers just at the top of the overhang. On rainy days he says "AM New York to put over your head!" He's one of the few people I like seeing every day. He's just so excited to hand them out!

From there, I walk a little further down 4th Ave and cross 9th St to Tost Cafe, where I get breakfast every morning. I tried a few things when I first started--bacon/egg/cheese, sausage/egg/cheese, on a croissant or english muffin. But then my co-worker had egg and cheese on wheat toast and I was like YES. I had forgotten that Dad used to make me egg-and-cheese sandwiches as a kid, so it's nostalgic to get them, and y'all know I love me some nostalgia.
I don't get sweet things because I like protein and I like savory in the mornings. But I do get a soda.
I try not to drink sodas at other times, but the caffeine is nice, and a cup of coffee just doesn't refresh me. But a cold Pepsi in the morning...perfect. Cherry Pepsi is even better but Tost stopped carrying it.

Tost always has their door propped open. I don't know why I like that, but I do. By now most of the folks behind the counter know me, and greet me with a "Good morning, sweetie!" Which is always welcome. I make my way to the end furthest from the door, where the guy says "Good morning, Mami, two eggs and cheddar on wheat toast?" and I say yes, select my Pepsi, and go to pay. I started tipping them about a month ago. I should have been doing it earlier. They do everything super fast, and generally the whole transaction takes less than five minutes.

And thus the pleasant portion of my morning endeth.

Okay...I've written a lot. And I'm not even to work yet.

So Imma continue this when I have another hour and when what I want to do with that hour is blog.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

A mighty shitty summer.

As usual.
I hate that summers have turned into disasters.  Just when things have settled into "might-be-good-again" again, they go off the deep end.
They fucking CRASH off the deep end.

But I need distractions and I need to feel things again.  Just things other than despair and numbness (can a person really *feel* numbness?  I mean...I know we's a very familiar feeling.  But it's weird that we should be able to feel something that by its very definition means NOT feeling) and anger. I learned about derealization this week, and while I'm not to the point of hallucinating, this life has turned into something dreamlike (and not in a good way).  Like nothing is real.  Like I am completely removed and just floating through it, not mattering and making no difference and not caring. I watch this beautiful city race past me and I'm not doing a damned thing to take advantage of what it offers. And I don't care. I am too sad and I am too mad and I am too tired and I am too done.

I know I am nothing special to feel this way. Everyone gets burned out and everyone loses energy and zeal for life (neither of which I was very full of anyway!), and I don't claim to be a precious delicate flower because I feel like my ass is being kicked full-time.
I'm just so missing the things that make me whole.  My family.  My best friends who keep my sanity within reach. Their children who I love so much I can't even. Even my goddamned car in its color that I hate. A little box of solitude and loud poppy music that can take me five miles in ten minutes, THE WAY TRANSPORTATION IS INTENDED, rather than the hour it takes me here to do anything. I miss my computer and my bedroom and hugs.  I miss people smiling at work, chatting and having the occasional lunch together. I miss my compadres at MOSL and Brad and Amanda at VUHL. I knew it was nice to have friends at work, but I've always had friends at my various works, so I never knew how desolate it is to work in an entirely unfriendly environment.  Let me tell you, it s-u-c-k-s.  And I am not a small talker.  I cringe at the "Hey, how was your weekend?"s, the "Doing anything fun tonight?"s, the "Man, this week seems so long!"s...the small talk that permeates office spaces and elevators around the country. But I surprise myself at missing those daily check-ins.  Those smiling greetings that pull me out of my morning funk even just a little bit.

I think I rely on other people a LOT more than I ever realized. Now that I don't have much support, it is painfully obvious.

I get support sometimes, yes...I have a few kinda-friends here, and when things are calm at home I like being there.  But from 8:15-6:30 every weekday, there isn't a whisper of it.  And that is hard.  Not only is there not a trace, but I can't even be alone--I am constantly surrounded by aloofness and snobbery and disdainful glances at my non-standard body/attire and brusque strangers crowding on the train and snippy store clerks and always-occupied park benches and yelling everywhere.  So there's no haven to escape to, anywhere. No cube walls to cower behind, no out-of-the-way booth to hide at during lunch.

All right, enough of this. I came on to do a happier list post and just dumped all the hell over everything instead.

Good gravy!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

One Year Here.

We rumbled into town before noon on July 2, 2012...and here we are, one year later.  It's been a good one. And I can't say I've had a lot of fantastic years in my life.

I like year-end questionnaires, but I feel like my life kind of began since being here, in a lot of ways, so I'm going to do one for the past year instead of waiting til January to do one for the calendar year. Which I may still do.  But it'll have the same stuff on it.  So.

1. What did you do in the last year that you'd never done before?
Went to Disney World.  Rode the Wonder Wheel. Voluntarily attended Shakespeare; saw Alan Cumming onstage. Went on a Gray Line bus tour. In the freezing rain.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Not applicable but the other things wouldn't automatically renumber so I couldn't just delete it.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Sarah, then Amanda, then Emily.  YAY BABIES!!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My favorite aunt, Rae. I called her Aunt Slug when I was little and really mad at her, because it was the worst name I could think to call someone.  Forever after, we were Slug and Aunt Slug to each other. I hate that I never visited her again in her idyllic Mexican town.

5. What places did you visit?
Manhattan and Queens.  St. Louis and Columbia. Orlando. St. Louis and Columbia again. St. Louis and Columbia again.

6. What would you like to have this coming year that you lacked last year?
More motivation to explore.

7. What dates from last year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 4: The day we got our air conditioners.

September 24: First day of work.
June 7: Pippin.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?
My job. Living in this hard-as-nails city for a year.

9. What was your biggest failure?

That I continue succumbing to my social anxiety and not making an effort to see people.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
None more than usual.  Bad colds, migraines.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Tickets to Pippin. Plane tickets to see people I love.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Behavior?!!  How about "accomplishments"??  Steve's doing great in school and I am so damned proud of him.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
This is a terrible question. Alec Baldwin pulls some pretty crappy shit and doesn't get too maligned for it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Clothes, eating out, having a grand old time.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Oh man.  Um, everything? Seeing everyone I missed.  Having visitors.  Seeing people I hadn't visited with in years and years. Seeing shows on the Broadway stage. Museums. Times Square. Flying into NYC at night. Walking down the street in Manhattan every day.

16. What song will always remind you of last year?
Empire State of Mind.  There's nothing you can't do.  So effing true.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?

Miles happier.
b) thinner or fatter?
Like 30-35 lbs thinner, I think.
c) richer or poorer?
Richer, in almost every way.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Seen more theatre.  I'm so lucky that this can change any day of my life now.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stayed in on my days off.

20. How did you spend Christmas this year?
With Neil in our apartment.  When evening came, we took a very sparsely-attended subway to Midtown and walked down 20 streets along Fifth Ave enjoying the massive Christmas displays.  Along with every other tourist in NYC. :)

21. Did you fall in love this year?

I definitely did.

22. How was work?
Awful and wonderful.  Challenging.  Never boring. This is what I am meant to do.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Golden Girls.  Still a comfort. So reliably on 27 times a day, whenever I need it.

24. What did you do for your birthday this year?
Nothing much, but Lindsay's visit the weekend after was basically twelve birthday celebrations in one.

25. What was the best book you read?

Kindle books by Elle Lothlorien.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Oooh, so not a music person.  I guess that Imagine Dragons song, Radioactive.  I freaking love it!

27. What did you want and get?
A knockoff Cambridge Satchel Company black and red bag.  It makes me weep it's so pretty.

28. What did you want and not get?, but there's still time for that.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Not really a movie person either.  What did I watch...hmm....Oh, Brooklyn Castles! That was totally cute.  And Twenty Feet from Stardom and Cutie and the Boxer.  Moo Man was great too.  All documentaries!

30. Did you make some new friends this year?
Not really, but became closer with ones I hadn't seen in a long time.  (And sadly, lost a few I didn't know I would.) I'm on the way to making a few more, I hope.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A better start to my work.  It started off on the wrongest foot ever, and I made so many social mistakes that first week that I think it branded me as The Unpleasant One.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept this year?

I'm caring more than I ever have at this weight, one I'm not comfortable with but am learning to accept.  I loved new clothes when I lost weight, but haven't enjoyed them in years.  So with Lily's help, I am trying to be more fashionable.  Still comfortable, but trying things I wouldn't normally. Like shearling earmuffs and skinny jeans.

33. What kept you sane?
My family and close friends, my cats, a pretty neighborhood, two steady incomes and awesome insurance.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Fancy! Hee! Umm.....Oh!  Jon Snow (Kit Harington). And Alan Dale. (I have a silver fox thing.)
Mmm. I'd like to be the middle of this sandwich.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I am soooo not politicky.  But I like how Christie and Obama got all lovey-dovey after Sandy.

35a. What political issue stirred you the least?
Almost just every single one of them, unless I think/learn more about each one.  Then I'll get stirred UP.

36. Who did you miss?
I miss so many people.  I miss Mom and Dad and Lily and Gilbert and Joe and Steve.  Lindsay and Emily and Shannon and their beautiful families. Sarah and my Millers. Amanda and Brad and their hilarious offspring. I miss people who have fallen away from me in the madness of this move and my moodiness and my unkindness.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

I really enjoyed meeting Emily, the wife of Neil's co-worker Frans.  I hope we get to have a friendship.

38. Burn any bridges?
I feel like I have.  I am in the habit of disappointing people.

39. Best new restaurant you went to?

Ironically, I haven't been blown away, in this city of a million awesome places!  But Nathan's on the Coney Island boardwalk was something else, as is Shake Shack.  Does Rocky's delivery pizza count? Ooh wait--Union Square Cafe was terrific. Lily took me, that precious girl.

40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year.

Just GET OUT and DO THINGS. Look where you are now!!

A few more items of note that happened:

Charlie got a girlfriend, Pippa.

I started watching Pawn Stars occasionally.  So much less trashy than I thought it would be!

I don't enjoy sweet things as much as I used to.  My sweet tooth is either lessening or changing to a more savory one.  I can't hardly take chocolate in candy form anymore.

I culled my books so they take up just two large shelves.  I don't think that's happened in well over a decade.

My grandmother didn't send me a birthday check.  I think it's the end of an era.

I got an expensive haircut for the first time ever.  I love what he did to the back of my hair.

I have a quarter CSA share for the first time ever.  So far I am completely failing in using hardly any of it.  But seriously what am I gonna do with eleven different types of greens every other week?  I'm not really good at making salads.  I like them but only when someone else makes them. And I have never found a bottled dressing (except Olive Garden's) that I can stand.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Meme moods!

I'm feeling *sorta* writerish, but not enough to think of anything to say on my own.  So the memes continue!

Buzzingfeed again...

15 things I've done that maybe you haven't.

I've heard that 15 is hard.  And that even 10 is hard.  So we'll see how this goes.

1. Worked followspot for Merrily We Roll Along and Children of Eden.

2. Gone into the bowels of the Bodleian Library. 

3. Gone to a Cardinals game, as a die-hard Cardinals fan, specifically to see someone play on the opposing team.

4. Had a chocolate cake shake at Portillo's.  I mean, a lot of people have done that.  I just bet *you* haven't.

5. Got tipsy on butterscotch schnapps before a local community theatre performance of Rent.

6. Enjoyed Wuthering Heights in high school. And not when it was marketed as "Bella and Edward's favorite book!"

7. Never tried on my wedding dress before buying it.  Regret it totally.

8. Pickled my own sausages.  With disastrous results.  But still I DID IT!

9. Rode the Wonder Wheel.  Oh my god.  The SWINGING cars!  I can't believe it.  But as soon as we were done I wanted to do it again. [Okay, one of you has also done this. :)] I also rode Haunted Mansion and Pirates this year!  2013 is WILD!!!

10. Been fired from TGIFriday's for doing bad things. :)

11. Worked at Steak & Shake for three days total.

Okay.  Eleven is all I have in me today.

And a few Awesome/Not Awesomes...

AWESOME: That it is July 1, 2013 and NOT July 1, 2012.  And that it's not 100 degrees this time.

NOT AWESOME: That it has been raining every day here for like two months? Are we in the Amazon?

AWESOME: That I haven't gained weight in nine months.

NOT AWESOME: Haven't really lost much either, I don't think...

AWESOME: The fat juicy hot dogs sitting on the grill of a food cart I passed yesterday.

NOT AWESOME: The tiny Oscar Meyer I got when I ordered a hot dog with mustard at the same cart. :(

OOh, this one looks neat!

I Never... 
ride the subway without having something to read or do. Or elevators.  I love that a good chunk of painful and nearly crippling social anxiety has been so reduced by technology.
sing or dance anymore. That makes me sad.  But here, there is NO PLACE to do either, on one's own, without looking like a nutjob.

flirted with a stranger. I'm not much of a flirt.  I bet it's fun though.

I Rarely...
drink anymore.  Not for any reason, really.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that every beverage that comes into our house has to be carried at least half a mile. And my granny cart can only hold so much. So I opt for lemonade over Woodchuck. Not that there was a lot of drinking before. 

I Cry... 
at the drop of a freaking hat some days.

at announcements of engagements or pregnancies from those I love.

when i think of (or see) sick or broke pets.

I Am Not Always...
as negative/cynical as I say I am.  In fact, I rarely am. It's just easier to present this front instead of the real me, I think.

I Lose...
my driver's license often, apparently.  Twice since I had to order a whole new one a couple months ago.  I DO NOT WANT TO BECOME THIS PERSON.

my temper at work but no one knows. I'm sorry--temperature. :)

I'm Confused... 
by smart people who like The Simpsons.

by smart people who like Two and a Half Men.  I've never met any, though.

by Log Cabin-ers.

I Miss... 
the convenience of having a car (but not really anything else about it).

my family.

when Gilmore Girls made Tuesdays the best day of the week.

I Need... 
to stop reading this [non-Kindle] book I'm not liking and get rid of it.  I do not have room in my life for mediocre reading material. And it looked so fun, too.  :(

to drink more water.  We have recently vowed not to bring in large quantities (12-packs, 2 liters) of sugared soda into the house, so that should help.  I'll always drink water if it's the only thing available.

I Should...
not really be doing this right now. But I'm motivated to, so here I am.

do laundry oh my god the pile is so big

really try and consume at least some of my CSA share and not just the strawberries. But srsly bok choi whut? 

I Love...
where I live.  With every fiber of my being, I love it. For perhaps the first time in my life.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A blog-question-meme to get my ass kicked in gear.

50 Questions! From Buzzingfridge.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

"Oh good, the cami hides the bra that was showing through."

2. How much cash do you have on you?

Like $60? Just took some out yesterday.

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?

Boor.  This is dumb.

4. Favorite planet?

Also dumb.  But I always liked Venus.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?

I think Walgreens? Is that a person?

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?

I have only one I use and it is jazzy.

7. What shirt are you wearing?

The aforementioned cami (white with lacy straps) and a crinkly black and white floral number with scattered black sequins. Not my favorite.

8. Do you label yourself?

Sure. None very flattering.

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?


10. Bright or Dark Room?

Bright with lamps. No overheads.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?

I don't know them. They seemed smart.

12. What does your watch look like?

It looks like nothing. But I got a Fossil a few years ago.  It's metallic yellow and schweeeet.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?

I think I was asleep by then.  Fitzy curled into my side.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?

"The past 6 months have been ugly for sure."

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?

I think there's one near St. Marks.  And one down 4th.  I think it's funny that they're in NYC.

16. What's a word that you say a lot?

Like. I wish I didn't.  But I get so nervous talking.

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?

Neil, this morning.

18. Last furry thing you touched?

Charlie, I think.  Either that or Fitzy. Does my hair count?

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?

How many? I take four daily meds. So that many.

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?

How old is this freaking survey??

21. Favorite age you have been so far?

That's a tough one.  I don't fear getting older nor do I live for the past.  But I can't say I have a favorite.

5 was pretty good. We got to go over the fence to the empty lot at Children's House.

22. Your worst enemy?

You want like a name? I really dislike this girl at work, does that count? In the history of the world...well, that would take some thinking.

23. What is your current desktop picture?

Milky Way galaxy, I think.  It was the default on my work Mac.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?

"That's a weird one"--to someone from marketing who asked about what to put on a promo.

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?

Flying, because I wouldn't have to pay for transportation hardly.  And that could really add up.

26. Do you like someone?

Sure do!

27. The last song you listened to?

Oh man. It's been awhile.  I never listen to music here!  Maybe "Eye of the Tiger" from the Jon Snow workout montage Neil forwarded? I'm not counting TV theme songs.

28. What time of day were you born?

After 8:00 am (but before 9). I need to find out the exact time again.

29. What’s your favorite number?

7 or 9. But I'm not obsessive about it.

30. Where did you live in 1987?

In the Dawson Family Home.  I was ten.  Hadn't struck out on my own quite yet.

31. Are you jealous of anyone?

Oh yes.  Yes.

32. Is anyone jealous of you?

Maybe? I would be amazed. But I can't say No for sure.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?

Working at UMC. Ellen came to my desk and told me.  I'd just gotten back from there a month previous and I knew so many people still there.  I thought it was an accident.

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?

It just almost ruins my day.

35. Do you consider yourself kind?

I wish I was, but no.  Not in the deepest places of my heart and soul. I try really hard to BE kind and caring, though.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?

On my inside wrist.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?

I think Spanish would be the most helpful.

38. Would you move for the person you loved?

I think so. But not to, like, Arkansas.

39. Are you touchy feely?

With members of the opposite sex.  I'll hug my girls hello/goodbye but that's pretty much it.

40. What’s your life motto?

I don't....have one?  Be thoughtful?
41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?

Chapstick, iphone, lotion

42. What’s your favourite town/city?


43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?

Hmm.  Qdoba in St. Louis? Maybe a bottled water at the airport? And chewy Sweet Tarts! I can't remember if I paid cash or debit for that.

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?

I wrote Dad a quick note last month with my Sprint payment.

45. Can you change the oil on a car?

I cannot.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?

That there is a memorial scholarship in his name at Columbia Independent School.

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?

Not super far.  Dad's side is from England or Scotland.  Mom's is from Sweden and there's a Native American in there.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?

I guess to Pippin?  Not that fancy, but sequins and a sheer black shirt.  I tried to wear black jeweled flats but TOO MUCH RAIN.

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?

My lower-side back.  I need to get to my fantastic chiropractor.

50. Have you been burned by love?

Seriously who hasn't?

I didn't love it.  So here's another one. Also from Buzzingfridge.

1) Ten years ago I was...

Hm.  June 2003.  Working at UMC as a registrar.  I think I was dating a lot because I'd been on Atkins since November 2002.  I think. Living on Stewart Rd., close enough to work so I could walk.

2) Five things on today's to-do list:

1. Get passport form printed off from website
2. Finish proofing this torturous pile of tedious promos (and other work stuff, but I don't need to get into that.)
3. Unload our tiny dishwasher
4. Make a move to fully unpack last weekend's suitcase/travel bag
5. Eat dinner from stuff at home

3) Things I'd do if I were a billionaire:

Move to the suburbs and get a car.  But stay near NYC. I hate this question so nothing else.

4) Three bad habits:

1. Biting hangnails/skin around my fingernails
2. Not reading magazines we get regularly
3. Overthinking every single thing on earth

5) Five places I've lived:

Working backwards...

1. Brooklyn (Kensington)
2. Columbia (5 locations)
3. Manhattan (Union Square)
4. Urbana (yuk)
5. Countryside, IL (Chicago suburb)

6) Six jobs I've had in my life:

Again, working backwards:

1. Proofreader
2. Freelance copyeditor
3. Reports Coordinator (VUHL)
4. Reference/cataloging librarian
5. Freelance reviewer (Harlequin)