Oh, I've Been

activites over the last few days:

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



At least I have my iPod back, and working. The perfect song just came up on shuffle:

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



Charge It To The Underhills

Wednesday morning was just about the worst day yet; I'd had to take a couple of keys off my computer to extricate the bedbug who decided that he wanted to live there, the exterminator arrived while I was in the shower with shampoo in my hair, and the mild cold I'd been harboring for a week had fully developed so that my head felt like it was stuffed with cotton. I somehow got to Penn Station and on a train bound for The Jerz, in the hopes that escaping for a few days could makes things better.


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.


I'm So Fucked

I wish I was joking about this, but as I was sitting here, songs from RENT still echoing pleasantly through my head, a bedbug crawled off my computer screen and into my computer keyboard.

I need to get the fuck out of this apartment.


Strange Days

As this post title suggests, I've had a strange couple of days.

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.


Also Missing

Two weeks ago I sent my iPod in for repair. It was emotionally very difficult to place my most valued possession in a box, hand it to the Fedex lady (who, 15 minutes previously had examined my NY State driver's lisence and asked what country I was from) and trust that it would safely reach its destination, and furthermore, that it would actually be returned to me in working condition.

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'.


It's Going To Be A Long Season

*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.


Drunk Monkey

For whatever reason, when I got home last night, I painted my big toenail on my right foot with my never-been-used-before Essie nailpolish ('Clambake'), which I had forgotten about until I woke up this morning and noticed what I had done.


Wedding Rings and The Worm

I just returned from probably the only perk I'll ever receive as a Social Worker: a benefit at One Little West 12th for T.O.R.C.H. My friend, Lizard, is interning there, and for the small price of volunteering for a few hours, I (little person) was able to mingle with the crowd (big people). I have to admit, I sold the crap out of the silent auction items. And I am multi-talented enough to do that while flagging down the waitstaff who are proferring mini mushroom pizza and white wine.

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.


If You Can't Be A Good Example, You'll Have To Serve As A Horrible Warning

I spent a few hours on the phone today with a friend who is in the midst of ending her 4 year relationship. She is in the unfortunate position of being The Dumper. Most would say that this is easier, but she and I know the truth - it's a million times more difficult. Her girlfriend has done nothing outwardly wrong - aside from a few annoying character traits which I (mostly) tried to avoid discussing today. My friend is realizing that safety and comfort aren't the only components of a relationship.

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.

What The Fuck?

Did I hallucinate the fact that Barilla created a whole-grain pasta? And if not, why can't I find a single store which sells this product?

This is seriously thwarting my efforts to maintain a healthier diet and lifestyle.



I went to The Lawyer's father's memorial today. And I can't really think of what to say, so I'm going to let someone else do it for me.

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


I'm Getting Married...

...if she'll have me. I stayed at DJ's house last night. I wasn't feeling well, and couldn't face waking up in my apartment every two hours to check for new bites or recently fed bedbugs. Also, since I endured a visit from the exterminator yesterday, I felt that sleeping at home would be somewhat akin to submerging myself in pesticides.

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.



I just got back from voting, and while I was in the booth, I noticed something very peculiar.

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?

Josh Kelley and Jesus

Last night DM and I went to see Josh Kelley at the Bowery Ballroom. He is one of my favorite performers, and the show rocked. At one point, he brought his brother up on stage to sing with him, which was just about the cutest thing ever.

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.



For the first time in two weeks, I slept through the night without waking in the pre-dawn hours to discover more bug bites. In other good news, I'm not at work today, being that College I Work For has fall break, and thus, no students are there to foist my harm-reduction strategies upon. I've been up since 9:00 am and have 'accomplished' the following:

  • 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.



I am totally craving ice cream right now. Maybe it's a good thing that I have $1.21 in my checking account, and only loose change in the house. Alternately, how bad have things become if you can't afford a necessity like ice cream?

No Pithy Title

At approximately 2:00 am, one of the those fuckers bit my eyelid. This adds to my attractiveness, no?

They've also been feasting on my hands.


New York Apartment Game

Tomorrow morning, I am going to subject myself to an open house apartment viewing on the UWS. I think this is crazy, but I need to move. I'm waving the white flag - the bugs have won. At this point, I am so delusional/paranoid that every night when I get into bed and turn out the light, I picture the leader of the bedbugs whistling to his (of course it's a he) cronies to begin the attack. I have begun to believe that they are smarter than me and that they cannot be stopped.

The ad for the new apartment says 'PROFESSIONALS ONLY'. Does being a professional graduate student count???


We're Not Gonna Pay Rent!

VH1 has started airing commercials for Rent, and I'm wondering how I'm going to make it through the entire movie when I tear up at the mere sight of the commercials (and the accompanying music). MS just e-mailed and said that there is a midnight showing on November 22nd at the Ziegfeld Theater. I can't think of a better place - large crowds that will be singing along and cheering and crying. Or maybe that's just us.

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.


The War Zone

I left work a bit late today after a totally worthless meeting with my Field Advisor. I was kind of hurrying because I wanted to have time to clean my apartment in anticipation of Girl's Dinner tomorrow night before heading out tonight with my friend, The Lawyer (and the reason why I'm calling her 'The Lawyer' is that her initials are 'JT' and I already know five 'JTs', so I clearly can't give initials because then it's just confusing, right? Right.)

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 lying in bed at 1:13 this morning, desperately trying to sleep, and thinking about M, and more specifically, about my attitude toward M. I really need to get over this, as analyzing the M situation has grown old for everyone, including me. I'm boring myself at this point. It's not even specifically about M any more, but I can't seem to let it go. However, since early this morning/this blog entry is clearly not the time when I am going to going to move on, here goes.

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?