It's just stuff, I keep repeating to myself.
The first piece of 'adult' furniture I purchased, so proudly, in 1997? Gone.
Those bedside tables that I refinished? Garbage.
Birthday cards from up to 10 years ago? Bye.
A thousand memories, all sorted through and divided into two piles: the stuff I am permanently letting go, and the stuff I will bag tightly and put into storage. And all this sorting and leaving things behind feels really familiar to me, not in the good way, but in the numb mechanical way in which allowed me to survive this before.
It's just stuff. It's just stuff. It's just stuff.
Given its proximity to the Lincoln Tunnel, traffic is always crazy in this neighborhood, and has lately been even more insane due to road closures and people who are driving into the city instead of using public transportation. Luckily, school and my internship are over until January 17th, so the impact of the strike on my routine has been minimal. The closest I got to inconvenience was during the bed delivery. The driver couldn't get onto my street, and had been circling for about an hour when the company called me and asked me to find him. So I walked up 9th Avenue until I located the truck. The guy couldn't have been nicer, and asked me to get in to show him where my building is.
Yes, I rode around in a 1-800-MATTRESS truck.
And it was awesome.
I also can't bear to sleep one more single night in my old apartment, so I've taken refuge at my parent's house in the New Jersey suburbs. They are on vacation, so I am all by myself. I went holiday shopping today, which, if you're familiar with New Jersey, means that I went to the craziness that is the Garden State Plaza. It felt really strange to be driving, but within five minutes, I was back into my old routine, cursing at all of the other drivers on Route 17, cutting people off, blowing my horn and generally acting like an asshole. But only to fit in.
The mall cannot even be discussed. I can only be grateful that I will not be there this Saturday, on the last possible shopping day before Christmas, because today was bad enough.
On the way home, I found myself rocking out to Bon Jovi. I guess you can't take the Jerz out of the girl...
Just about 24 hours from now, I'll be moving. Considering all of the time we've spent together over the past year, I didn't think it was right to leave without saying gooodbye. I want you all to know that I am taking some fond, fond memories with me as I move to my new apartment.
I mean, who could forget all those early morning hours when it was just the 10 of us - you recently fed and crawling back to your homes and me, covered with itchy red welts? Or what about the time when one of you bit my eyelid? Or when you started living in my computer keyboard? Good times! I've got to say that things got really interesting when you overturned your nocturnal habits and started hanging out with me during the day.
One of the nice things about living with you was that you always made me feel so wanted. You really went out of your way to show me that, and to make sure that I woke up with evidence that you had spent time with me during the night. I'll never have to doubt again that my blood is tasty and satisfying. And you were so innovative! Who knew that you could live through that many exterminations? (I hope you know I was only kidding about that. Really. I never meant to hurt you. It's just, you know, a girl's gotta have her own space sometimes.)
I know you'll miss me terribly, but I hope you'll be comforted by the fact that I will carry with me some souvenirs of our time together. Every time I look at the bite scars on my hands, arms and legs, I'll think of you. When I see a dark speck of dust or lint on my clothing or furniture, I'll believe that you've somehow made your way back to me. When I get in bed at night, I'm sure I will not sleep soundly, preferring to wake up intermittently to check my sheets. Yes, all of these things will continue for a long, long time, so don't worry that I'm going to forget about you.
I used to think that you were all using me, but really, I'm the lucky one. Thanks to your company, my life became so much...simpler. I'm just going to love living in my new place without most of my furniture and belongings - it'll be so clean and modern, minimalistic, even. You've really forced me (I know, I can be so stubborn sometimes, thanks for showing me that) to reassess what is essential in my life.
PS: You'll understand if I don't leave a forwarding address, right? Even the best relationships have to end sometimes.
- Is 'string cheese' still 'string cheese' if I just shove the entire thing in my mouth?
- I've been walking for roughly 32 years. How is it that I (on a regular basis) still manage to hit myself in the ankles with the heel of my shoe and trip?
- Is Tasti-Delite still calorie and fat-free if I eat it with Oreo topping? Further, is that dinner?
- Is it sufficient to get your news from US Weekly and Time Out New York?
- Is it a bad sign to completely forget about returning a phone call from a cute boy who wants to date you?
- Is it reasonable to believe that I can survive in my new apartment without cable or internet access since I am presumably addicted to watching bad television and writing in this blog?
Also troubling is that I spoke to the real estate agent for the building, who was asking me about the layout of my apartment, because he is going to be showing it to prospective renters within the next week. He is well aware of the bedbug problem, but seems unconcerned about someone else moving in. There has to be a way to warn people, right? Possible ideas (keep in mind I've been writing papers about various social problems over the past few days, so my mind is pretty fried):
- standing in front of the building and intercepting the real estate agent and unsuspecting victims/prospective renters before they view the apartment
- making the apartment messier than it already is in the hopes that no-one would want to live there
- contacting the NYC Department of Health/Housing
- constructing a huge warning sign and posting it on my front door
I can think of various reasons why these won't work, so does anyone have thoughts on this?
I've solved the problem by taking refuge in the school computer lab, where I plan to remain until a) finals are over and b) I move into my new apartment. Wait, wait, I didn't mean that. I'm actually not going anywhere.*
*unformulated lie, designed to attempt to fool the bedbugs into thinking they've triumphed
Small: Invariably, whenever I schedule a haircut, I will immediately have a time period directly before the appointment in which my hair looks perfect.
Large: Within one month of our break-up, T changed certain elements of his life that had previously caused a great deal of contentiousness within our relationship: he moved to the city, began taking better care of his health, and started to reconcile with his estranged mother.
Currently: I've gone 4 nights without seeing a bedbug or getting new bites. However, I've already informed my management company that I'm terminating my lease and started to make preparations to move.
Hypothetically, of course.
speaking to the exterminator manager (who is the same boob that i have dealt with all along) on the phone and telling him about the damage to the furniture, waiting for a call back from the exterminator manager/boob, calling and leaving messages with my management company about breaking my lease, answering calls from friends who are asking if that was really me in the new york times, dodging late night visits to my apartment from a very persistent producer from nbc, crying, pacing, biting my nails, searching craigslist for an affordable apartment, calling agents for apartment listings, crying some more, staring blankly into space trying to figure out what i am going to do to get out of my current situation, doing an interview with cnn, cataloging the damage to my furniture and belongings, calculating how much money i have lost so far in dealing with the bedbugs, wondering if i should seek legal representation, wondering how i am going to get out of my current lease, wondering how i am going to keep my sanity, looking at my picture in the newspaper and resolving to never eat again since i am obviously a fat pig, dealing with the disappearance of all of my saved e-mail from my school e-mail account, crying some more, calling friends and rambling and crying hysterically, looking at apartments, figuring out if i can afford a new apartment, trying to formulate a plan for moving to a new apartment, attempting to figure out why my supervisor at work reacted so coldly to the times story, crying, looking at my clothing and deciding what i can get rid of, looking at my clothing and deciding what can be laundered, looking at my clothing and deciding how much i can afford to get dry cleaned, researching the expense of manhattan storage spaces, contacting the scientist from the museum of natural history to determine what will kill bedbugs without ruining the rest of my furniture, crying, scaring away potential dates, still waiting for a call from the exterminator manager/boob, breathing deeply, reframing this as a fresh start, resigning myself to disposing of most of my possessions, crying, thinking seriously about buying a pack of cigarettes.
what i'm not doing:
concentrating on finals
Been down and I’m wondering why
These little black clouds keep walking around with me, with me
Waste time and I’d rather be high
Think I’ll walk me outside and buy a rainbow smile but be free, be all free
So maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way home
So maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way home
I look around at a beautifiul life
I been the upper side of down; been the inside of out but we breathe, we breathe
I wanna a breeze and an open mind
I wanna swim in the ocean, wanna take my time for me, it’s all free
So maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way home
So maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way home
So maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way home
So maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way home
My parents and I arrived home today to find huge white streaks all over my armoire, bookshelves and desk. The pesticides that were used before I left ate through the finish, and they are ruined. To replace everything will cost around $2000. When I realized that my furniture could not be fixed, my parents watched as I had a breakdown. I started sobbing hysterically. I finally calmed down after I had yelled 'Who lives like this? How can anyone live like this?' and my Mom quietly answered that a lot of people are in situations that are far worse than this.
A little later, while my parents were leaving, my foot started itching. I looked down and found a baby bedbug crawling on the top of my foot. If they're coming out to get me in the daytime, and after a serious extermination, there's really not a lot more that I can do.
I'm moving. This is the only solution. I will need to do this very carefully so that the bugs don't come with me. If I think about it, I realize that I am lucky to have the resources to be able to leave. All of my drama is just about stuff and things. Perhaps this is a lesson in letting go of everything that isn't absolutely necessary. Four years ago, I left The Fiance's house to move into my new apartment. On my first night there, since I had left abruptly, all I had was my newly delivered bed (thank you, 1-800-MATTRES) and a suitcase full of clothes. I remember that night as being one of the best of my life, because I didn't need anything else. I was on my own, and I was safe. I imagine that this new apartment will feel something like that, at least for a little while. I won't have my possessions with me, but I'll be able to sleep through the night.
1. Having declared myself (semi) ready to date a few weeks ago, it appears that for once, there is a link between my internal musings and outside occurences in that I may actually be going on a date in the very near future.
2. On Friday, I spoke with a reporter from the NY Times who is in the midst of writing a story about bedbugs in the city. He found me through this blog. So, there is a possibility that I will be mentioned in the NY Times soon. Or, as someone in my Saturday volunteer group put it, my bugs will be mentioned in the NY Times soon. Based upon the conversation that we had, and my absolute inability to edit my narrative, I would add that my craziness will be mentioned in the NY Times soon. This will probably do wonders for my social life.
3. I received a friend request through Friendster from my first serious crush, a boy named JL who I attended debate camp with at Bates College in 1989. I have not spoken to him since 1989. He is alive and well and an attorney (using those, ahem, debate skills) and living in Brooklyn. Disclosure of the information that I attended debate camp will *also* do wonders for my social life.
Since I haven't had my iPod for the past two weeks, I've heard more of this city than I've really needed to. I'm suddenly privy to annoying conversations between the people blocking the sidewalk in front of me. I'm now aware of the exhortations to save my soul by the religious fanatics on the subway. And, what is the by far the most intrusive, I take notice of the chatter in the school computer lab which is supposed to be a 'silent zone'.
*Sigh* I miss these two...
I'm don't know if Hakim Warrick made it into the NBA, so I'm not sure where he is. And after a horrible performance tonight against the Gators, I can't locate Gery McNamara. The Gerry that I know (he of the six 3-pointers in the first half of a championship game, for example) wouldn't have been throwing air-balls, committing turnovers and generally floundering all over the court. With the loss of three key seniors, the team needs a new leader, and from what I saw tonight, it's not going to be him.
Last night, I frightened my Columbia girls by screaming at the television during our bi-monthly Girls' Night, which was the only way to urge my team to victory over Texas Tech (and, really, so much was at stake - the evil that is Bobby Knight, the fact that the team was from TexASS). Tonight, DM had to endure another night of my yelling as we attended the game at MSG. My only consolation is that Gators fans seem to fulfill every stereotype that I hold about the kind of folks that emerge from rural Florida.
On an interesting sidenote, during her lunch hour today, DM saw people that were preparing to camp out overnight at the Virgin Megastore to see System of a Down. Puzzled by this behavior, we were both trying to devise a situation in which we would subject ourselves to freezing temperatures to obtain tickets. I still can't come up with anything.
The attendance was pretty random. I always equate men in business suits with severe uptightness. So it's surprising when one of them blatantly tells me that he wants to sleep with me, and then busts out the worm on the dance floor in an effort to impress me. Too bad they were all married.
Because everything is eventually All About Me, I am going to segue into my situation 8 years ago (and OH MY GOD, it's been 8 years?).
The Set Up: I met T during my first month of college, thought he was cute, and spent much of the second semester of my freshman year drunkenly following him around. Finally, on his 21st birthday, I had my opportunity - he was wasted. Using all of my considerable charms (read: boobs), I lured him back to my dorm room. Well, it was either my, um, charms or the dorm's proximity to the bars relative to his off-campus apartment, no small consideration in Syracuse in November. Poor, hapless T realized too late that this one night would thus obligate him to be my Boyfriend for the remainder of college.
The Flash Forward: T and I have graduated, and are living in Hoboken. College has never really ended, because a) even though we are employed, we're still very poor b) all of our college friends also live in Hoboken c) we all go out at least 4 nights per week and d) still talk about the same things. Aside from the rest of our lives being caught somewhere in 1993, T and mine's relationship has 'matured' into my parent's marriage; on the nights that we are not out with friends, we sit on the couch, silently flipping through the channels, and going to bed sometime during Letterman. Not surprisingly, I am starting to get freaked out and bored with this arrangement, which causes me to alternately nag T as to why he hasn't yet proposed OR pick fights about stupid shit that doesn't really matter anyway.
The End: A flirtation at work turns into a lunch invitation, which I accept. Although nothing happens, I feel so guilty that I decide to break up with T while he is in Wheeling, West Virginia on a business trip. The next 6 months are a nightmare blur of warring friendship loyalties and an apartment lease which we cannot break. By the way, sharing living space with a recent ex? Not recommended.
The Lesson: I know what my friend is feeling right now (see? I got back to her). I remember being absolutely terrified the night that I broke up with T. I knew I was letting go of something certain and uncomplicated for a future that was unpredictable. T was the safe bet, but I didn't want him. And 8 years later (OH MY GOD, 8 years!) my heart is bruised, and I'm alone, and I still doubt that I have ever really been in love, but the one thing that I am sure of is that I made the right choice. I could be sitting on that same couch, waiting for my life to start.
Even crazier is the fact that T's birthday is tomorrow. I need to e-mail him.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever; I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood,
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W. H. Auden
By the time I woke up this morning, she had made coffee in her Bodum press (and she makes the best coffee in the world, no contest) and packed my lunch. I think I'm in love.
PS: Lest you think that I am spreading my bedbug habit around, I was sure to place everything that I carried into DJ's apartment in a tightly-tied garbage bag for the duration of my stay.
Bernard Goetz was listed as a candidate for Public Advocate. At first I thought I read it wrong, so I re-read it, then I thought, 'wow, that poor guy, imagine being named Bernard Goetz'.
So I came home and I googled Bernard Goetz. And I think it's the same guy, the (in)famous gun-toting 'subway vigilante' who is now advertising himself as a vegetarian squirrel-lover. Maybe I'm hopelessly misinformed, but when did this guy get involved with politics?
The best part was that I had a chance to interact with him. He was signing t-shirts, CDs and underwear (which was advertised as 'panties' which I can't even get into, as 'panty' is one of The Words I Hate) after the show. He wrote my name on the CD, and one of his bandmates leaned over and asked if it said 'Jesus'. Heh.
- inspired by yesterday's viewing of the New York City marathon, went jogging by the Hudson only to discover how out of shape I am and to realize that I will probably never run a marathon (or run over 7 miles, for that matter)
- call HP customer service to report problems with my iPod, in the process, get a little snippy with customer service, run troubleshooting on my iPod and get the 'sad mac' face on the screen of my iPod. End result: I'm getting a new iPod, but whatever we did to my current one, it's not working.
- speak with Mom, cancel our lunch plans because she's not feeling well, but determine that we will go to dinner and Broadway on Friday night, which I do not have to pay for as long as I can scoot my butt over to TKTS that morning to get half-price tickets
- purchase tickets for tonight's show at the Bowery Ballroom. I love Josh Kelley.
- contact the exterminator and find out that someone else in my building has called to report a problem with bedbugs (it's not just me - I don't know how I feel about that news). The exterminator states that he is in the midst of figuring out 'what he is going to do' and asks me to call back around 3:00 pm. This does not inspire confidence.
- e-mail the coordinator of my volunteer program to ask if I can be excused from Saturday morning's training, since I will be attending The Lawyer's father's memorial service
- glance at my syllabus for next week's classes and start to think about reading
- spend an hour on craigslist and villagevoice.com to try to find an apartment in my same neighborhood which I can afford
Right now, I am trying to work up the motivation to venture outside again (and it's gorgeous, I don't know why this is such a problem) to go up to Mt. Sinai so they can determine if I have tuberculosis, based upon something mysterious which they injected into my arm last Friday.
The ad for the new apartment says 'PROFESSIONALS ONLY'. Does being a professional graduate student count???
In other (unrelated) news, I am considering not paying my rent until my landlord takes care of my bedbug problem, which is unlikely to ever get better since my across-the-hall neighbors have the same issue but aren't...the cleanest people, and thus, less vigilant than I am about maintaining a bug-free home.
So I emerged from campus, and was barreling toward the subway, when I hear a man say 'hey honey' in my general direction. And since this is pretty much a normal occurence when you are a) female and b) walking in New York City, I gave him my standard reply which includes a half-snort, an exaggerated eye-roll and a hand gesture which clearly communicates that the offender should fuck off. (Maybe that's not the standard reply. If, for example, it's late, and I'm alone on the street, I might increase my walking pace and attempt to state my 'fuck off' by sending brain waves.)
And as I'm walking down the subways stairs, I get a better look at my admirer. I've just flipped off Bennie, the daytime manager of the JavaCity in the student center, one of the people at work who has been consistently kind, even though he is usually reaping the benefits of interacting with me before I've had my morning coffee.
I need to be more careful about directing my rage.
I was remembering the last time that he had slept at my apartment, and that he had deliberately left his undershirt on the couch while getting dressed, which I pointed out to him:
ridiculouschick: Are you leaving your shirt here on purpose so that I'll call you?
M: Yes, and I'm also wondering if you still respect me this morning...
(and then hug-hug and kiss-kiss and back to bed until he left an hour later)
So, with the benefit of hindsight, the road that we followed and the way that our relationship eventually ended, I've decided to reframe the conversation. I prefer it this way:
ridiculouschick: Are you leaving your shirt here on purpose so that I will sleep in it several nights in a row, and then launder it and offer it back to you and then be really, really happy when you tell me that you would like to begin keeping clothes at my apartment, and thus, you decline to take it back, and then (much) later realize that you telling me to keep the shirt is not reflective of your actual intent to continue and/or deepen our relationship, which becomes painfully apparent when you stop calling me and move to Texas without saying goodbye, after which I will decide to start wearing the shirt to bed again, which usually involves crying and not much sleep, and then one night, I will choose to employ the same shirt to clean my toilet in an odd tribute to both the movie Singles and the new way in which I would like to think of you (namely, as an asshole) which coincides with erasing all the digital pictures of us in my computer, deleting every e-mail you ever sent me, and burning the postcard that you mailed from Ireland, and all the while, wishing that you had never slept here in the first place?
See how I did that?
On my way back home, I noticed (not hard to do, since there is huge portion of the sidewalk marked off with yellow tape and several men trying to hoist a rickety-looking scaffold up the side of a building) that they are painting the local paint store. Again. They just painted it last weekend. I'm perplexed. Are they doing this because they have an unlimited supply of paint? They didn't like the way the last job came out? There are huge differences in painting the building beige instead of light gray?
I couldn't get my licence yesterday, since I my passport was my proof of birth, and it is expired. Ridiculous. Does the fact that my passport expired change the fact that I was born? In the United States?
Today, I plan to drop off some dry-cleaning (my black bootcut pants could probably walk by themselves at this point), get a watch battery (I've been telling time by iPod and cell phone for about 7 months), and take two pairs of shoes in for repair (one of them being my favorite high heels which I broke last New Year Eve on the way to a party at the beginning of the night, thus forcing MS to follow me around with crazy glue during the entirety of the party, which didn't work because my balance wasn't too good, and resulted in my limping home via subway around 5:00 am while people viewed my plight and drunkenly slurred 'oh, that suuuuuuuucks').
I'm going to Bumble and Bumble later for my *free* haircut. Yes, most of you don't know this, but I am a hair model, and thus, get my hair 'razor bobbed' every 10 weeks while someone teaches technique using my head, and invariably cuts themselves with the razor. Also, the haircut never really works out to be entirely free, as I am a B&B products whore, and end up spending more than a haircut would have been in the first place on my way out of the salon.
After my 3 hour haircut, I'm going to brave the DMV, as my Jerz license expires on Monday. This will mean that I have a NY license, and for the (rare) occasions in which I get carded upon entrance to a bar, I won't have to endure the doorman's smirk as he imagines that I am a 'bridge and tunnel' girl.
Later, LK and I will be on the Lower East Side, taking advantage of happy hour at one of her favorite bars. Tomorrow is another free day (I am off from my Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention advocacy training) which means that I will a) be out late tonight b) spend Saturday on my couch watching college football and c) have plenty of time to get ready for MS & Groom's halloween party.
1) creating a flyer ('Do you use alcohol as a way of coping with anxiety, depression or anger? Come talk to us...') that will take the campus community by storm,
2) eating my weight in chocolate,
3) bitching to the other interns here about the extremely condescending and rude e-mail I received from the Dean of Field Placement in response to a question that I had asked about field advising; also, plotting an equally snotty response to said e-mail,
4) attemtping to make eye contact/converse with the very cute AV technician who is near my office, setting up some kind of presentation for the swarms of parents and potential freshmen who are visiting the campus today, and
5) writing blog entries
My last shower was on Saturday evening before going to a murder mystery costume party at R & M's (btw., my costume rocked, the theme was, um, Roman toga, and none of my sheets are white, so I hastily purchased a white paper tablecloth from Food Emporium on the way home from Mt. Sinai and attempted to safety pin it to myself, along with some gold leaf bands. Awesome.) Sunday morning, I opted for an extra 1/2 hour of sleep, so I skipped the shower, also reasoning that I had showered the night before and was still relatively clean. Sunday night I got home late from an afternoon of babysitting for The Peanut and was too exhausted to shower.
This morning, I went running, and then got home and turned on the water. And waited for it to get hot. And waited some more. And then called the management company, and finally the Super, who assured me that the boiler would be repaired by the end of the day today. I endured the ice-cold water for about 2 minutes before getting ready for work, but I'm not really what one would call 'clean'.
1) You can still smoke in bars and restaurants, and at one time, I would have thought that this was great, but as an ex-smoker who is on her 9th cigarette-free week, this is just annoying.
2) The men (or, more accurately, boys) in Hoboken still think that the most effective way to demonstrate their interest in you is to ask how you're 'doin'. I wish I was kidding about this, because it's such a cliche. But no, still true.
3) There are still long lines in front of bars that suck. Bars in which loud, thumping music can be heard from blocks away and the entire atmosphere just looks...sweaty. And cologne infused.
4) The PATH train is still as loud and crowded as I remembered. There are still drunk stupid girls who are just so tiny and so precious that they can't be expected to keep their itty-bitty balance while the train is in motion, and thus, it's not their fault when they sway into you repeatedly, or dig their spike heels into your feet. As a rule, they never apologize.
5) And then someone pukes on the PATH train.
6) And the guidos who are sitting directly across from you start to make rude comments which are loud enough to be heard over your iPod about the lesbian couple who are sitting beside you.
Now I'm home, and it's reading 'no program data' on every channel of my television, so I don't know what I'm watching. My parents don't have digital cable, and thus never have information at the bottom of the screen about what's on. I don't know how they watch tv this way. This is very disconcerting.
But I'm not sure that Matthew Modine qualifies...
I will always remember J's father for his strong opinions (which he was never afraid to share), his booming laugh, his enthusiasm for UConn women's basketball, and his great love for my friend.
Then I go to therapy, and spend 20 minutes talking about how angry I am at this person, and the next 20 minutes analyzing exactly why I sent M an e-mail yesterday after my resolution to never ever contact him again, and then the remaining 10 minutes crying my eyes out.
Obviously, the only remedy for this kind of day (other than climbing into bed and pulling the covers up over my head) is an iced venti skim mocha and a slice of oatmeal banana bread.
Today, I had training at Mt. Sinai, on the dreaded East side. And since the 6 train wasn't running, I had occasion to walk several blocks (joyfully, of course). And I felt...out of place. Like everyone knew that I didn't belong there and that I was scuttling back to my side of town.
I don't trust it, but I'm making an exception for the Lower East Side tonight. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Last night, DJ and celebrated Yom Kippur at her apartment. I'd always known it was the day of atonement, but DJ explained that, for her, the holiday wasn't so much about repentance but about resolutions for the coming year. We drank some wine, we ate dinner, we talked. I was finally able to tell her what has been going on in my head lately. I couldn't look at her while I did it, but it was okay. I felt safe, and I felt loved.
So now here's the trick...to be able to tell everyone in my life what I am feeling, and know that it will be okay.
I don't know how my friend MC managed to live in England, where it rains all the time. We're going on one week of this in New York, and I am already feeling miserable.
'Shit!'...when I woke up at 8:54 after turning off my alarm clock that had been set for 7:21
'Sorry'...when I was asked for spare change from a homeless man in the subway station
'Sorry'...when I attempted to close my umbrella and accidentally shook the rain all over someone
'Sorry'...when I burst into work 20 minutes late
'Sorry'...to myself when I dropped my coffee and it spilled all over my shoes
Also, the look I am sporting today might possibly resemble 'drowned rat'.
Television ads for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular + October 10th = rage
Leaving my apartment = spending money
10 mini 3 Musketeers + leftover coffee = lunch
Paper due for Contemporary Social Problems + internet + solitaire = procrastination
And then you see an adorable man who is walking an adorable pug and you smile. Because the man is holding his umbrella over the dog, and in the process, he is getting soaked. And you tear up, because that is possibly the sweetest thing you have seen all day, if not all week. And suddenly, getting home isn't as important.
And then you realize that life is even better than you thought, because you have a Boston Kreme donut in your refrigerator.
I know that my reluctance is partly due to the fact that I've always been a bit shy about participating in group discussion. The bulk of the problem, though, is that all of the full time staff here have their doctoral degrees, and this fact matters very much to them. In last week's meeting, one staff member made disdainful reference to people with 'only' graduate degrees who are employed as counselors. Her statement went something along the lines of 'I can't believe that they would allow people with graduate degrees to provide counseling. That's just wrong.'
Okay. Those of you who know me personally (and those of you who regualrly read my blog) understand that I sometimes feel like I am unqualified to provide counseling. On occasion, I examine my position here and I wonder just how I was able to trick my employers into letting me provide these services. During these times, I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. This makes the objectionable comment even more problematic, because, without her knowing it, she's tapping into my fears about doing this job, and being able to professionally do this job when I graduate in May (which will be here in no time at all). I marvel at the fact that I will be able to practice with two years of study in this field.
Most of the time, however, I know that I am meant to be a social worker. Since I've started this program, I've researched and studied and put in extra time because I know that it means something. I work so hard at equipping myself with knowledge and at examining my reactions so that I am prepared. It feels like I am living and breathing this profession. That is likely to be the case for the rest of my life.
So I'm angry...angry that one statement can make me feel this way. I'm particularly bothered that it came from someone whose profession is defined by the ability to listen and empathize non-judgementally. And since I don't even have my degree yet, and am providing counseling in her center, how 'wrong' does she think that is?
I know exactly why I am so tired. MC was in town on Sunday, and we stayed up until about 3 :00 am obsessively watching 'Rescue Me'. The goal was to get through the entire first season. Luckily, she had more sense than I did, and floated the idea of going to bed at episode 10. Last night she wasn't here, and, left to my own devices, I decided that I needed to watch the remaining episodes. This was not problematic other than the fact that I started watching at 11:30 pm. And that I had to finish writing a paper when I was done.
- I use the words 'ridiculous' and 'dude' way too much
- Women should never wear knee-length skirts with knee-high pantyhose
- I still hate the word 'pantyhose'
- Having to take a drug test makes me feel like an illicit criminal, even though I haven't done any drugs for at least 2 months
- There is no way to pee into a cup without also feeling like you are peeing on your hand, also, there is no conceivable reason (that I can think of) why you shouldn't be allowed to wash your hands after peeing into a cup following a drug test
- 'Supposably' is not a word
- 33 years old can feel a lot like high school when you attend graduate school with people in their early 20's
- Not everyone who gets on/gets off the 1 train at 86th street is evil and should be glared at just because they happen to get on/get off the 1 train at 86th street, despite their (admittedly tenuous) connection to a certain citizen of Dallas, Texas
- Fall is definitely the best time of the year to be in New York City
- Think carefully before you offer to help an older woman down the stairs of the subway station with her cart. She probably has bricks in there
- You can be single, fabulous AND in your pajamas by 7:48 pm on a Friday night
Now I live alone. And the games continue, without my knowing (or at least acknowledging) who I am playing against. The ridiculousness of the situation struck me tonight. I fixed myself a drink, used the last of the ice cubes, and placed the empty tray back in the freezer. Who, exactly, did I think was going to refill it? I mentioned this to DJ and she suggested that I start to leave my toilet seat up and refuse to take out the garbage. Just to get at...myself.
Just as I was starting to think that all was lost, that I was irretrievably fucked up, that I might as well drop out of grad school and invest my remaining savings in intensive psychotherapy, MS came over. And made himself a drink. And refilled the ice cube tray.
This is the stupid shit that I do when I am drunk.
Alternately, I also do stuff like I did tonight, which was to come home from a 12 hour day of classes, pour myself a STRONG vodka and lemonade, and proceed to write my Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming Reflective Log, which, by the way, was about events that I organized around my internship which, by the way, involves alcohol and substance awareness.
There are some exceptions to this rule - see: relationship choices, drinking escapades, 'witty' asides that miss the mark, anything involving simple math. Ok, so maybe there are more than a few exceptions but really, there is a thin line between stupidity and ridiculousness. And I'd like to believe I am able to maintain that line.
So, I'll repeat, I am not a dumb girl.
That statement presents a unique dilemma when you consider that I have become inexplicably drawn to a) HBO's 'Deadwood and b) a NASCAR fan who lives in Michigan. And I have trouble understanding the plot points of both. Yet, still interested.
It must be Monday.
After the strenuous events of Thursday night (mocktails, the 80's revisted, college students) I abandoned my usual Friday routine of a morning jog and opted to lie in bed and contemplate my bleak, bleak future. When this got old (after roughly 1/2 an hour), I decided that the perfect way to cheer myself up was to tackle the mountain of laundry which had been steadily accumulating for two weeks. I headed to the laundromat where I discovered that a) all of the prices for washing and drying had been raised enough to necessitate my returning home to retrieve more quarters and b) despite the blessedly cooler weather, my excessive sweating problem continues, which created wet patches on my 'Real Women Bleed Orange' t-shirt which I then desperately tried to air out by standing on 9th Avenue and waiting for a breeze. Friday evening, in what is most definitely setting a dangerous precedent, I got a massage at Bliss, finally using the gift certificate I received from L&D a year ago. Pure heaven. Note to self: consider either alternate career to social work (robbing banks?) or marrying well as a means to visit Bliss on a weekly basis.
Apple picking in upstate NY with The Peanut, my brother and SIL. Cuteness abounds. I take 10 million pictures with my new camera. I also eat about 20 donuts, and then wonder why I think my face looks fat in every picture. Hm.
DJ, BC and I complete the Komen New York City Race for the Cure in Central Park, which is more 'leisurely stroll' than 'race', but worthwhile nonetheless. We then decide that watching the Jets lose is more important than studying, and even better than that, watching the Jets lose while consuming vast quantities of fried foods is the *best* idea. And now I'm home, and I think I have a tapeworm, because I am hungry again.
1) When you have free chocolate in your office, and you are menstrual (as opposed to pre-menstrual), you will eat chocolate all day.
2) Walking around campus and taping up flyers is an integral part of learning how to design and market a social service program.
3) Ordering juice and soda from FreshDirect is an integral part of organizing in a social service program.
4) When the counseling center assistant tells you to 'wait a few minutes' before going into your office, then tells you to go in and 'see if you can stand it' and opens another office for you 'just in case', be suspicious. And then when you go in to said office, and look around very carefully and sniff very deeply, and still can't determine what the problem is, be even more suspicious. And when you hold your counseling session in the office, and have to force yourself to concentrate on what your client is saying and to STOP THINKING about what could have possibly happened, and then you come out and ask the assistant to please tell you what happened, and she still won't, be extremely suspicious. And when you spend the rest of the day puzzling over the mysterious events of the office, and you question everyone else who has even been near the counseling center if they know what happened, and you beg the assistant to tell you, and she still wont, then you might have to kill her. Especially if she persists in giggling while she refuses to tell you.
5) College students are still really young.
6) Handing out 'mocktails' is an integral part of learning how to design a social service program.
7) 'Mocktails' would be infinitely better if they had tequila or vodka in them.
8) Apparently, interning isn't a real enough job to preclude your supervisor's manager from asking you what your marital status is during a 'get to know you' interview.
ridiculouschick: "iPod, will I have a date for New Year's Eve?"
iPod: Bizarre Love Triangle
Looks like my New Year's is going to be really interesting...I might have several dates, if you know what I mean (and I think you do).
ridiculouschick: 'sarcastic magic 8 ball, will I have sex tonight?'
sarcastic Magic 8 Ball: 'yeah right.'
Lately, along the same vein, I've been playing iPod Magic 8 Ball, where the questions are directed toward my iPod.
ridiculouschick: 'iPod, will I ever find love?' (or some other such nonsense)
The next step of this 'game' or 'psychosis' is to put the iPod on shuffle. Whatever song comes up should provide an answer to the question. I haven't quite perfected the science of this mode of inquiry yet, but I'll let you know how it comes along.
The 'Don't Phunk with my Heart' video is on ALL THE TIME. And I can't seem to stop watching it. I think I have a problem. The song just grates on my nerves, the 'acting' is horrible and the video set seems to be a blatant copy of Outkast's 'Hey Ya'.
And when you look at the other videos, it's all the same (which you can't avoid because, as noted above, on ALL the time). Fergie struts around and displays her (admittedly) awesome legs and wails, and then that Taboo guy tosses his hair and maybe dances a little bit, and then will.i.am raps and does some hand signals and I think there is another guy named Apple but I'm not sure what his function is. And I can't believe I know all of their names.
In better music news, yesterday I downloaded this song and this album so now I can strut down the streets of New York City like the badass that I really am.
Then DJ and I dragged ourselves to her apartment, still burping up the Italian heroes we had wolfed down at 2:00 pm on the campus quad, which was covered with security due to some visiting 'leader' from some country or other. And we sat on her couch in her apartment and felt tired and full and fat. So, ok, I guess the beginning part of the day wasn't all that great.
But then things changed. We somehow motivated ourselves to go running in Central Park. When we stepped outside to head towards the park, the sky was a leaden gray and the weather felt threatening and ominous. The atmosphere felt green. In what was different from our usual routine, we decided to run to the park, in hopes of getting in a workout before the storm hit. But as we ran, our eyes looking up at the sky, the weather softened. And when we finally got to the resevoir, the scene was pretty cool. The humidity had lessened, and while the sky was still gray, there where bits of bright blue sky. At one point, we looked across the resevoir and the gray sky in combination with the building lights just starting to come on and the gathering dusk was totally beautiful. Eventually, we headed back home, covered with sweat, but feeling better than we had all day. We even kept running up the hill that eventually leads out of the park (well, ok, it was remarkable that I kept running, DJ is always able to run the whole time). And it felt great to be stretching and pushing ourselves and outside. Our minds cleared.
Later in the night, we went to the BEST place and attempted to do more reading, but instead were giggly and silly. And then I arrived home and my apartment had actually cooled off and there are groceries in the fridge and US Weekly arrived and life is good.
Two weeks ago, the question was: If you ever write your autobiography, what will the title be?
(My answer: It Seemed To Be A Good Idea At The Time)
Last week the question was: If you had to pick a theme song that followed you around at all times, what would it be?
(My answer: pending. I can't find a song that I like enough to hear it all the time.)
Feel free to post your answers in the comments section!
And, on a completely unrelated note, Neil Clark Warren and his eharmony commercials fill me with rage, due to their smugness.
I just got home from dinner at my parent's house (The Peanut was there, and actually squeaked because she was so excited to see me. Who needs a boyfriend when you have that?). I think I shocked my parents by declining a glass of wine, but I honestly couldn't fathom drinking anything alcoholic today. When you spend the better part of the morning throwing up, abstinence is a good policy.
So, the party. The location was amazing - the weather was perfect, the sunset was beautiful, and we had our own little reserved area and bartender. Lots and lots of people showed up, and things got a little crazy for a while. The best surprise of the night was that my brother came to the party - they had been in Maryland for the football game that day, and he had driven home, dropped off my SIL and The Peanut, and got right back into the car and drove into the city.
BG showed up with his girlfriend, who seemed to be trying to prove how serious they were by draping herself all over him and talking about how he 'practically lives' at her apartment.
JP and I got into a fight (I should have added 'no fighting' to my list of disallowed party behaviors) about the situation between him and KR. Then, BG and his girlfriend attributed the fight to jealousy on my part, but, of course, couldn't say that to my face. It's lovely to have people talking shit about you when they are a) guests at your party and b) barely know you. JP and I have texted back and forth today, and I left him a voice message saying that we should talk, but I'm not sure where we go from here. I am just so tired of being in the middle, and seeing behavior that I don't like on both sides and then feeling conflicted because I am friends with both of them. And I guess that came out last night, and the drama is old and tired, and I have regret.
DM saved my ass not once, but twice last night by taking and holding my cell phone when I started getting sentimental, and then again by refusing to give me a cigarette when I begged for one at 2:30 am. I can only imagine how much worse I would have felt, physically and emotionally, had I smoked last night.
JN and her husband saved my ass this morning by bringing McDonalds to my apartment. Meal #2 is a magic hangover cure and I cannot fully explain how essential fountain soda is to recovery efforts.
Ju's boyfriend Matt served as 'party pics' guy last night, since he is a photographer, and as soon as I learn how to dowload from my new camera to my computer, maybe I will post some pictures. There is a great one of the party sign from the bar, taped to my ass. And I think my brother was there for that *shudder*.
Despite the drama, it was a good night. I am relieved that my week of birthday celebration is over, and that next week, I can go back to my real life. My mother had baked a cake, and wanted everyone to sing 'Happy Birthday' to me tonight. I declined.
1. If I ever write an autobiography, the title will be 'It Seemed To Be A Good Idea At The Time'
2. I am able to drink for 15 consecutive hours without losing consciousness. I do, however, lose most of my common sense.
3. If binge drinking is defined as '4 or more drinks in one sitting', then I pulled at least a 'binge drinking times 3' on Sunday night. This is probably not information I will choose to share at my internship.
4. Undergraduates are REALLY young.
5. Syracuse football is not worth watching if Donovan McNabb is not playing.
6. 'Dome dogs' and 'Dome foam' still cause extended periods of belching.
7. When your hand gets stamped upon entry to a bar, the same stamp will end up being transferred to somewhere on your face by the next morning, and that somewhere will probably be your forehead.
8. It is really difficult to remove a fake tattoo from your cheek without also removing a layer of skin.
9. Even when you are still drunk/hungover, it is wise to clean up a bit (and by 'clean up by a bit', I mean showering, wearing clothes that match and removing your makeup from the previous night) before your flight home, in case you end up sitting next to a cute guy.
10. A WVU football fan can be a good kisser, especially if he is not actually from West Virginia.
2) make phone calls
4) send e-mail
5) write a blog entry
6) get anyone's phone number
8) bring someone home
10) 'party tricks'
I will be attempting to assist college students around their issues with alcohol and drug use. I will be providing counseling to those that might feel that they already have a problem around those subsances. This idea makes me giggle even more than when I was employed at Souless Telecommunications, and could tell people that I was an engineer (truthfully) even though I have a lifelong aversion to math and anything math related.
I am an admitted lush. And I am already examining my drinking habits. For example, binge drinking is defined (for women) as having 4 or more drinks in one sitting. This means that I am binge drinking most of the time when I go out. This is problematic.
Today, I represented my office at a student services fair. I dispensed pamphlets and information to incoming freshmen. I smiled. I answered questions. And then I stopped being a substance abuse counselor, and promptly met LK and another friend at a bar for happy hour.
Oh, and I kicked off my new excercise/nutrition routine while I was there. I went jogging every morning and I quit smoking. It has now been 11 days since my last cigarette. The trifecta to this new plan would have been healthy eating, which was partially accomplished simply because I was busy running after The Peanut and therefore, couldn't sit around and stuff my face, and also due to the fact that we ate fresh fish every night. Those habits, however, were counterbalanced by my family's annual cheese tasting dinner (14 cheeses in one night), my aunt's desserts, the 'snack bowl' which my mother proudly fills every vacation (mmmm...peanut butter cups), and my father bringing along two cases of wine.
So I am now back in NYC, heading out to my internship in a little bit. I can't believe that school is starting already. This summer flew by...
1) Apparently, I responsible enough to be be entrusted with the care of small children, as I am currently babysitting my niece and;
2) The reason why I am babysitting is so that my brother and SIL can attend the wedding of E, whom I briefly dated until he went on vacation, met the woman who is (as I type) becoming his wife, and never called me again.
And now, the expectations are high. At least, my expectations are high.
Since the invitation went out, I've been checking it. Frequently. Seeing who has responded, who has looked at it and not responded. Tinkering with the details. Calling friends and asking if they got the invite, which is ridiculous because I already know if they got it. Wondering if the directions are clear. Hoping I haven't forgotten to invite someone crucial. Worrying that we didn't pick the right place.
I need to calm down. It's just a birthday party.
All of this excitement and anticipation can't be good - it's like prom all over again - months of planning the perfect dress, the perfect date, and then the night itself arrives and falls flat. And I am sincerely hoping that this won't be the case with our party. That LK and I are going to have a glorious time, surrounded by our friends.
I've been trying to figure out why this party is so important to me, and this morning, the pieces fell into place. My birthday is a marker. It's a chance to examine my life, to look at where I was the previous year, and to see that there has (hopefuly) been progress toward becoming the person that I want to be. That each year, I've made myself a little bit better. Last year was easy - I had just moved into the city and started graduate school. This year is the test - I've changed my geography and my situation, but what about me? I continue the push and pull from my family, to fall apart over relationships gone wrong, to back away from expressing what I really feel. Sometimes I don't know who I am at all.
MC and I talked about this the other day in one of our marathon phone conversations (another thing which I am lucky for, a friend who has known me longer than I have known myself, who continues to want to know me). We were talking about the ability, in your 30's to feel just as insecure as you did in your teens, and since we knew each other in our awkward teenage years, we knew exactly how insecure that could be. And we asked ourselves if there was ever a finish point - where everything falls into place, where that insecurity disappears completely. There was no real conclusion - just that there are moments when you feel light and free and beautiful. And those moments happen more frequently than the ugly ones.
Enter LK, and her story from jury duty.
LK was in the bathroom at the state courthouse, and heard a buzzing noise coming from one of the other stalls. She listened more closely, but was not able to figure out what it was. She then picked up another noise, along with the buzzing, and it became clear.
The second noise was moaning.
And the buzz was a vibrator.
Someone was masturbating in one of the bathroom stalls of the courthouse.
LK waited by the door after she left the bathroom, trying to determine who the masturbator was. (My suggestions: someone exiting with a big grin, someone exiting smoking a cigarette.) She wasn't able to determine who it was, unfortunately, but the story did provide some entertainment in an otherwise boring day.
Back to Hogwarts...
I woke up at o'dark thirty on Monday morning to catch my 6:15 am flight back to NY. I felt like I hadn't slept at all, which I really hadn't when you consider that my worrisome personality had woken my up about every five minutes during the night to make sure that I wasn't Missing The Alarm And Hopelessly Late To The Airport That Is Only 5 Minutes Away From BC's Apartment.
Ok. So I get dropped off at the airport and I see a huge crowd of people around the JetBlue counter (well, who am I kidding, it's Vermont, and the population for the state is roughly the same as the population of my local bar on a Saturday night - let's just say there were relatively lots of people at the counter. Thank you.). I look up at the Departures board and blearily note that my flight is delayed. I immediately start to get annoyed, but at this point, it's just at myself for not calling the airline before I went to the airport.
1/2 hour later, I am at the gate, having passed through even more rigorous security than I did at JFK on the way to Vermont - and why is that exactly? Are terrorists more likely to switch things up and start attacking the smaller airports? I went through similarly heightened security at the Martha's Vineyard airport a short while ago. Anyway. I'm at the gate and there is still no more information other than 'Flight Delayed' on the announcement board. I feel my annoyance slide one level up to irritation, and this time it is directed outward. I look around and everyone else seems to be just fine. They're settled in, reading, chatting, looking complacently around the airport.
I sit and stew for another 10 minutes (because that's really the way to get things done) and then turn on my iPod (because there are a lot of soothing songs on there, like 'Let The Bodies Hit The Floor').
Oh no. They're bringing out blankets and snacks. This can't be good. I don't think we're going to have a quick picnic before shortly boarding the plane. The plane, by the way, is at the gate, but shows no signs of life.
Finally, around 7:00 am, a Jet Blue employee saunters up to the podium and announces that we are going to be delayed until 10:15 am, due to poor weather conditions the previous night in NY, and the crew didn't get into Vermont until 2:00 am, mandatory rest period, blah, blah, blah. Once again, I look around the terminal at my fellow travelers. They're still smiling, they're nodding, they're helping themselves to water and smoked almonds, they're arranging blankets on the floor so they can nap. Sheep! I want to yell. Don't let them lull you with the 'free' snacks that you would have received on the plane anyway!
My irritation climbs the ladder to rage. An older man, dressed in a blue blazer and khakis (who looks a lot like John Kerry) walks by me, notes my furious expression, and smiles kindly at me. I grimace back at him.
I mutter to myself and turn up the iPod and shut my eyes. Breathe, I tell myself. It's not like getting angry is going to change anything. It's not like there is anything pressing that you need to do in NY, aside from sitting in your sweltering apartment and thinking of free activities that also involve air conditioning.
When we finally board the plane, there is no sense of urgency. People are smiling and laughing, slowly putting their luggage in the overhead compartments. I am reduced to making ridiculous hand gestures behind their backs, rolling my eyes, and acting every bit like the surly teenager that I am. NotJohn Kerry walks by again, and again, seems amused by the expression on my face.
When I finally arrive in NY, I race home to my apartment. Home! And then I lie on my couch and do nothing for the rest of the night.
I went out in my neighborhood and had one of the most random nights that I can remember in recent memory. I met BG and his work friends out at Lattitude (all midtown suits, very meat market) and discovered that he has been dating one of his work friends (who was there, and overly friendly to me) since March, and hadn't bothered to tell me, maybe preferring to keep his options open. Then I met up with JP at Doyle's, where we were supposed to have a quick drink, and then go out for dinner, but Barry The Bartender was there, and he was just as cute as ever, and was talking to us, so we (ok, me) decided to skip dinner and just keep drinking at the bar.
Friday: humid 97 degree weather + no air conditioning + debilitating hangover = abject misery. I felt too sick to actually go anywhere, so I lay on my couch/bed most of the day, sweating and trying to sleep. I couldn't think of a single thing I wanted to eat, and couldn't summon the necessary energy to leave the apartment to get something to eat, so I just kept drinking water. I took about 5 showers, trying to cool myself down. At certain points in the day, I convinced myself that I was on my way to a serious case of heat stroke. I considered going to the local emergency room.
At 7:30, I somehow got on the E (Note: if one subway car is nearly empty when all of the others are full, there's a good reason for it, i.e. no air conditioning) to make my way to JFK. And once I got into the airport, everything was good. The temperature was frigid, there was food there that I actually wanted to eat, and I was on my way to Vermont. I should have woken up Friday morning and gone straight to the airport.
I'll say it now: Burlington Vermont is possibly the best city that I have been to in a long time. DJ and BC have been incredible hosts. Yesterday we went shoppping for school stuff (funny how you can still get excited for school just by buying a new bookbag, or clothing) and walked around the city. We had coffee at Speeder and Earl's. We hung out by Lake Champlain. We made our 'famous' dip. We grilled. We had Ben & Jerry's.
I'm not sure I want to ever leave. Maybe UVM has a good MSW program?
It meant nothing. Nothing.
If I keep repeating it, it will be true.
The answer is simple: someone there is afraid of me. Also, the answer to the second question is: I am too cheap to pay for Fedex.
When I switched on my phone this morning, I got another message from the temp agency, rejecting my previous plan to bring the badge to the security desk in the front lobby. Instead, The Hedge Fund had asked that I bring the badge to the temp agency, and they would get it from them.
It seems that The Hedge Fund didn't want me anywhere near their building (I hope the 12 blocks between my temp agency and their offices were safe enough for them). They didn't even want me in the main lobby, which is 30 very distant floors away from their space. Apparently, I am very threatening.
So I got straight off the bus from Boston - another wonderful bus experience; I got to experience the joy of Red Sox fans chanting 'Yankees Suck!' as we passed Yankee stadium - and marched over to return the badge. And E couldn't have been nicer, or more confused about why the assignment had ended.
I guess it's going to be one of the mysteries of our time.
What do they fucking think I am going to do with the fucking badge? I mean, were I more financially savvy, I guess I could go in there and, I don't know, steal files or something and then make a killing in the stock market thus destroying The Hedge Fund and everyone associated with it. [That scenario is unlikely, given that I still don't know what a hedge fund is, exactly.]However, my revenge fantasies have been much less elaborate than that - something more along the olines of backing a cart up to the freight elevator and removing lunch from the kitchen, then watching the ensuing confusion ('We have to...leave the building? And buy food? How will we fend for ourselves?').
Or maybe they think I'm going to come into the building and demand justice. Have a fit in the lobby. Lunge for The Yammerer. I have news for you, folks - I have more pride than that. Not that much pride, but enough to prevent entertainment on that level.
But seriously? Enough with the badge already. I hate my picture on it anyway...
I still play Asshole. And since college, the game has evolved. Rules have been added and defined, and anyone who is unlucky/unwise enough to play with us has been forced to comply. We've exchanged shitty Utica Club beer for Ketel One. Rather than playing in a dive basement bar, we're gathered around someone's kitchen table. The game is still mind-numbingly simple, but we convince ourselves that there is strategy and skill involved. There's less compulsory drinking, which is good, because at age 32, my hangover recovery time is a lot longer than it used to be.
On Saturday night, LS, DS, DM and I played Asshole for about 4 hours. And we got a little bored (but not bored enough to stop playing) so we made a new rule; the person who led the round would need to make a Declaration. The nature of the Declaration was determined by the president at the start of each game. For a few rounds the theme was favorites: movie quotes, song lyrics, foods, childhood memories. There was a truly depressing game where we had to share our most embarrassing memory (mine: determining that I had unwittingly walked around for a good part of the day with a maxi pad stuck to my back after our first "Welcome to Womanhood" health class in grade school. Thank you, class bully).
On the next round, DM prevailed, and it was her turn to make the rule. She thought about it, smirked, and said "The leader needs to pick husbands for ridiculouschick and I."
[Ok, let me explain. I have always gone through life, regardless of my dating status, with a List of Future Husbands. Some men have been permanent fixtures on The List, others have made brief guest appearances, only to be removed when reason prevailed or when something was done to offend my picky sensibilities. The only common trait between the *ahem* lucky contenders for my hand is that I don't know any of them.]
We all laughed, and then got down to the seriousness of this task. And so, I present my revised List (at least for this week).
Bradley Cooper, Chris Cornell*, Donovan McNabb*, Rivers Cuomo*, Topher Grace, Tre Cool, 1962 Sean Connery, David Sedaris, Lawrence Moten, Josh Lucas, Adam Pascal*, Michael Imperioli, Paul Rudd, Mike Messina, Michael C. Hall, Nick Stahl, the bassist from the Dave Matthews Band, Andre 3000, Roy Jones Jr., Seth Green, Zach Braff, Jay Z, Jason Lewis, Kal Penn, John Mayer, Hal Sparks.
(Rick James was briefly considered, only so I could yell out 'I'm Rick James' wife, bitch!' at will. But, ultimately rejected, because I'm not sure I'm enchanted by the idea of being anyone's superfreak. And yes, I know that David Sedaris is not really playing on my team.)
There were more people named during the game, but some of them just made the Men I'd Fuck List - it's important to know the difference between the two. And rather than this being a sad little exercise, I think it's an important part of being able to define the characteristics that I will require in an eventual mate. Characteristics like being able to perform an awesome dunk or be cuttingly sarcastic. Or, you know, just devastatingly hot.
*Permanent list dwellers
Wow. [Insert deity] laughed at me. And then [deity] might have kicked me.
It's funny how what you believe to be true, or important, or steady in your life suddenly gets turned on its head. How in a moment, the things that you think define you get swept away, how your self-image can change instantly and you wonder if everything that existed before was real.
This is what this summer has been like for me - a feeling of happiness, that my world is actually falling into place, and then Bad News. Starting all the way back in May, this summer has been all about knocking me back on my ass, challenging my ability to cope and to see the big picture. I've felt like I'm being tested, to see if the skills that I've developed over the past couple of years are still working. Can I change my course, change my plans, redefine myself once again?
Yesterday, I got fired from The Hedge Fund. And I never even saw it coming. And I sit here, in my friend's beautiful house in the suburbs of Boston, awake way too early for the night we had last night, and I try to figure out what happened. Was it Pirates of the Caribbean, exacting her final revenge? Or the Yammerer, friendly to my face but secretly plotting to get rid of me? Did they go into my computer and read this blog?
I wonder if these excuses are a defense against the truth: I hated it there, it probably showed in my work, and wasn't doing a good job. I wasn't concentrating. I was spending way too much time on the internet, or text messaging from my phone. Whatever the reason, I am done.
And so here I am, knocked back. I wonder if I should just take some Advil and go back to sleep. Or try to figure out my next move - do I take the next two weeks off? Go back into (shudder) Temp World? I know that this setback is minor, that it doesn't really matter, and so I'm stunned that it has affected me to this degree. And at the same time, I happily realize that I am lucky. I am so, so lucky. I have amazing friends, who, upon hearing the news yesterday reacted with support, empathy and humor. Some engaged in theories as to why I had been let go ('you were too awesome for them, and they were jealous'). Other shared stories of their own previous firings. And some gave big hugs, and promised distraction for the weekend.
And you know what? I'm starting to smile again.
So, this morning, we tamped down our hatred (well, mostly) and headed straight to Tourist Central. And allowed ourselves to be coralled into the police barricades surrounding the plaza. And dealt nicely (well, mostly) with the throngs of people who were all wearing the same shirts, or holding stupid signs, or yelling inane things, or trying to be on camera. We balanced on the barricades and on our tiptoes and craned our necks (thankfully not at the same time; coordination and I are not on the best terms). We waited: some ridiculous thing with Andy Milonakis and 'cornholing' which should have been more fun than it was, given my penchant for all things ridiculous, Al Roker in his pink suit (!) presenting the weather and bouncing all over the plaza, a comparison of French vs. American diet patterns (newsflash: we're fatter and generate more garbage due to our eating habits. Shocker.)
And finally, the payoff. Which, if you're still reading, probably feels just as long as it did this morning.
At approximately 8:40 am, MS and I saw a performance of 'Seasons of Love' by the cast of the movie Rent. And yes, that might have been me 'wooing' along with the tourists. And, also me singing along and knowing every word. And, yet again me, shouting out 'I love you Jesse/Anthony/Adam/Idina/Taye/Rosario/Wilson/Tracie!'. And, finally, me again, jumping up and down. The performance was amazing, and now I REALLY can't wait for the movie to be released in November. For those of you following along at home, I'll be just as dorky then as I was this morning. Promise.