Going Backwards

I miss my old job.

Wait, let me amend that statement. I don't miss anything about the actual work that I used to do, but I really miss the people that I worked with.

In my previous life, I was the only female member of a 14-person team of telecommunications engineers. There was a whole cast of characters: the super earnest, super nerdy guys who actually got excited by the prospect of building a SONET network and discussing mathematical theory; the super annoying guys who had no social skills; the super trendy guys who had somehow blundered into the job and had little interest in anything besides going out, maintaining their wardrobe and buying luxury cars; and the super inept managers who tried (and failed) to keep it all under control.

Some of you may remember The Fetus, Carlvette, EnRon, and Dan Halen (yes, his name was actually Dan Halen - go ahead and Jump!, Dan.)

There was never any shortage of ball-busting, name calling, shit stirring, or gossip. There was always someone to go to lunch with. There were always stories, good ones, about people's personal lives. There were daily pranks (vomit cup, anyone?) and weekly happy hours.

At Dream Job, everyone keeps to themselves. I can go for an entire day without actually talking to someone, and if I get a little hyper and (gasp) make an effort to socialize, my efforts are met with a polite smile/nervous laughter/look of confusion.

Maybe I can convince some of the guys to become social workers. Isn't work supposed to be a little fun?



It is of great disappointment to me (and I’m sure everyone around me) that I did not parade around NYC this weekend in my skimpy Britney Spears costume. Actually, it's just fine with my stomach and my thighs that they were not exposed to the low temperatures or the scrutiny of other celebrants.

Nonetheless, I did manage to celebrate Halloween.

On Friday night, The Librarian and I went to St. John The Divine for a screening of Nosferatu , a silent film made in 1922 which is unintentionally hilarious (we especially liked the montage of Nosferatu wandering around the streets of Bremen with his coffin tucked under his arm). The movie was accompanied by organ music, and then followed by The Parade of Ghouls, which was also unintentionally funny, except for the giant creepy baby costume.

On Saturday night, we celebrated The Lawyer’s birthday at Cubby Hole. That didn’t really have so much to do with Halloween, except for MS and Groom showing up around 2:00 am in their costumes. Oh, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller playing about 10 times during the course of the night. And the strangeness of meeting our friend L’s car mechanic girlfriend.

The only thing left to do is to get my hands on some candy corn and lapse into a sugar coma.


2 Nights

The Same:
Dive75. Many, many vodka and sodas. Connect Four. Laughter. Rain.

The Different:
Two people who I dearly love, who will be part of my life forever.
One person who I will not love.



I've located my new favorite place to drink (well, other than in my apartment, alone, in the dark. Kidding! Totally kidding. Don't schedule the intervention. Yet.)

Moe's Bar is in Fort Greene. You've got to love a place that serves 'Duff' beer and plays weird vampire movies (complete with closed captioning) on a large screen in the back room. Last night, DK and I were sucked in by the (non)plot of the movie and the drink specials, and stayed much later than we had planned.

(Tangent. I think we had a long conversation about college basketball in which he passed the most important test: not being able to devise a scenario in which he would root for Duke to win a basketball game, despite their opponent. Even when given the choice between a team comprised of evil superpowers, like Hitler, Mussolini, and George Bush versus The Blue Devils, he opted for the Axis of Evil. I believe we were also engaged in some drunken "holdin' hands and makin' plans" by the end of the night. It's quite possible that we'll be attending the Final Four, wherever it's being held this year.)

The downside of having a fun night out is clearly evident the following morning when you're running around Brooklyn, preparing for your weekly visit to the school where you facilitate your violence prevention program, and your lack of sleep/hangover takes the peculiar form of hyperactivity and over-friendliness so that you somehow find yourself lugging around 15 Subway sandwiches and 3 bottles of soda but still greeting everyone you pass on the street with a wide smile and a cheery "Good morning!", like Miss Mary Fucking Sunshine.


Nothing Has Changed!

So, last night, on my way out to meet The Librarian, Honeychild and Big Daddy for drinks (drowning my feelings), I stopped by the NYPL to pick up some books I had on reserve. But I forgot my library card.

I knew that there was no way I could return to the library at any other point this week. I also knew that I NEEDED to check out one book in particular, so I would be prepared for the book club which is convening at my house this weekend. (It remains to be seen if I can finish the book in the 72 hours before book club and also manage to do my laundry, clean my apartment, and make lasagna. But I digress.)

So I brought my books up to the desk. Explained that I didn't have my card. And proceeded to rattle off my 14-digit card number from memory.

It's comforting to know that I am still a major geek who can recall things like my library number, on command. Because it's important.

If nothing else, I can hold on to that.


Quiet, Please

A slow strangle with feet on the floor
I've got 14 angels and we're sleeping alone
In the back of a cave, where the rest of us go
To feel normal

I call baby up. Leave me alone.
I'm in pain but I won't let you band-aid the wound
I'm mad at a stage where I can't seem to handle my own

Give me a quiet mind and I...
I love you
You give me a quiet mind and I...
I love you
Until the end

Give me strength to be kind... To combine
All the good things in life that were so hard to find
But I have and I won't let them go like I do with my friends

Still bearing voices... From front... From behind
They're the reasons I choose... When to live... How to die
When to cast... When to reel
When to buy... When to steal
And when to fiend for the friends that taught me
Being inappropriate will

Give me a quiet mind and I...
I love you
You give me a quiet mind and I...
I love you
Till the end


Oh Shit, It's Back To The Quotes

Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.



Every Other Day Of The Week Is Fine...

- I believe I have found the solution to my current malaise. And that is to renew my efforts to bring Social Work! The Musical to Broadway. DJ is on board with the plan, and we recruited an aspiring filmmaker to document our progress. It’s going to sweep the nation. Trust me.

- I am officially official at Dream Job as I received my salary offer letter in the mail on Friday *and* my timecard this morning. The timecard would be a lot more fun if it was made out of stone and was punched by a prehistoric bird, like on the Flintstones.

- I really should stick to my standby (vodka) instead of branching out (beer) when I drink. Beer just makes me full. And silly. I need to be very, very serious, especially at parties and social occasions.

- I sat in church yesterday (!), watching The Peanut in her performance debut as a monkey on Noah’s Ark. And then later gave the rainbow-covered program to The Lawyer and told her that Jesus loves ‘her people’.

- Despite my usual Monday tiredness, I am considering meeting up with JP tonight to watch the Giants game. Even though I don’t care that much about the NFL, and even less about the Giants.

- I am frequently very funny at work, which makes my co-workers look at me like I’m crazy. Because I guess trauma counselors aren’t supposed to have a sense of humor. I think its fine as long as I’m not making jokes about clients/patients. And I also think its okay that I just declared that I am funny, despite my typical assertion that if you have to make statements about yourself, they’re not true.

- It would be a lot easier to learn Spanish if I had my Ultimate Spanish! textbook. And if my teacher was less random. And if I remembered to eat something before I went to class.


Be Careful What You Wish For

Dear Everyone I Spoke To Last Weekend:

Remember how my boiler was broken? And how I bitched endlessly about how cold it was in my apartment? And then how I talked about sleeping in sweatpants and a fleece jacket and still freezing, and about how I was sure I was going to get sick from the lack of heat? And then the whining about how my muscles hurt from shivering and curling up in a ball under my covers for most of the weekend? And then remember the threats I made about calling 311 to report my landlord? And my announcement that I hated my building and that I needed to move again?

Yeah, at any point you could have interupted that tirade and reminded me of the alternative - blazing heat, a radiator that won't turn off, and the difficult choice between sweltering/dehydrating OR opening my windows and subjecting myself to the noise and dirt of 9th Avenue.

Or you could have just told me to shut the fuck up.



Brighter Than Sunshine

This is the song that is playing in my head today. I'm smiling while thinking about the impatience - but persistence - in getting things right (thank you, Reporter, for the phrasing).


I Am A Little Explosion

There are several reasons to be happy today, if I choose to do so:

- Sushi, Sapporo and Sleepover with DJ
- My walk through Brooklyn this morning in unexpectedly warm Fall weather
- Fresh fruit and coffee
- MC’s latest brilliant novel in my Inbox
- www.pandora.com
- The Lawyer is finally home from California, and has called me the 'bomb diggity' and a 'Mental Health Professional', both of which are hilarious

Thought of the Day

'miracles will happen as we speak.
but we're never gonna survive unless
we get a little crazy.
no we're never gonna survive unless
we are a little




Kate: I'm sure I don't do anything you would find exciting. I don't open beer bottles with my toes, I don't sit around and count what's left of my teeth, hey, I don't even enjoy a good tractor pull.

Doug: Life of the party, huh? Place must be crawling with guys.



'We have so much in common, we both love soup and snow peas, we love the outdoors, and talking and not talking. We could not talk or talk forever and still find things to not talk about.'

Best In Show


I'll Be Right With You...

I'm negotiating some big changes in my life right now. It's chaotic and messy and strange, but I need to believe that something quite beautiful will emerge.

In the meantime, I give you...quotes! Or, you can wade around in my archives.

"It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear . . . . It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to."



Major Plans

It's been a long week.

The only thing I want to do tonight is climb into bed at a ludicrously early hour and watch an appropriately absurd movie. Luckily, my new comforter arrived last night.



Oh my my.

Whilst running between the Emergency Department and the Psychiatric Inpatient Unit, I believe I encountered my hospital's very own Preston Burke.

This ought to make work more interesting.

Well, this *and* the giant bowl of Halloween candy that magically appeared in the hallway outside of my office this morning. (And I didn't even need to wear my Britney costume yet!)



I am strong.

When the dark clouds come into my life, I have the power to push them away.

Or to simply sit and wait for them to pass.


No Shame

Music: No Reply At All - Genesis

Is it my imagination, or do men simply take up more space on the mass transit system?

Almost every male on the subway sits with his legs spread wiiiiide open, totally disregarding any passengers seated next to them (which is usually me, squeezed into a tiny space and trying not to inadvertently touch their leg, arm, or any other part of their body.)

Men frequently and blatantly release huge globs of phlegm and spit on the platform and track. (Why do men need to spit so much?)

Then there is the almost daily leering and suggestive commenting. Sometimes, if it's an extra special day, and the car is crowded, you might get an ass grab.

And then yesterday, the man standing next to me at the Jay Street Station was digging in his nose and then picking whatever he had extracted out from under his fingernails and flinging it on the ground. When we boarded the train, he continued his excavation and commenced wiping his fingers on his seat. And then looked at me and winked.

I think the MTA needs to create a female-only subway system.


Love, Love, Love

I was woken up early this morning for the best of reasons.

At 5:57 am, L & D's daughter, Audrey Vanette, was born. Apparently, she looks a lot like her big brother E and has 'an adorably cute' nose. I can't wait to meet her.

I obviously need to begin plotting reasons and methods to skip work one day this week so I can go to Boston.

For now, I'm off to The Jerz to see The Peanut (my first niece) and hear all about her monumental efforts toward using 'the big girl potty'. This will be a continuation of the conversation we started last night while I was chasing away my hangover with wine and tapas. It's really fun to note the looks that you collect when you are talking loudly about 'poopie' and 'princess underwear' on your cell phone in a crowded downtown bar on a Saturday night.



A few weeks ago, I was proudly telling a friend that it had been ages since I had thrown up from drinking.

You know what this means, right?

Yeah, I pulled the chord last night. Big time. The beginning of my night was lovely - drinks and dinner, followed by more drinks, and some cigarettes...and then I remember turning a corner and suddenly being way too drunk, which was exacerbated by a lurching cab ride home.

Luckily, The ARH was asleep while I was getting sick - there really is no more vulnerable a position than being hunched over your toilet, naked and dizzy. And it is perhaps even more fortunate that I wasn't drunk enough to make *other* foolish declarations. Those will keep, I'm sure, for another time.


One Year

There is a resurgence of stories about bedbugs in the media lately. Not that I’m actually reading a newspaper or watching the news – but I keep reasonably informed through an online discussion group. In the past couple of weeks, there have been articles in the NY Times, The Daily News, USA Today, The Post, and on NPR…

The media attention, interestingly enough, is coinciding with my lease renewal. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I moved into that quiet, empty apartment – leaving behind the chaos and sleeplessness of my old living space. That move seemed like such an easy choice at the time.

This morning, I read through the paperwork and reviewed my options. Do I really want to commit myself to staying for another year? When I walk to work in the morning, I feel the pull of a calmer existence in Brooklyn and last month’s trip to San Francisco kicked off thoughts of a life there. Signing the lease means saying yes to honking horns and sirens, to noisy people leaving the bars at 4:00 am, mice and bursting water pipes and strange neighbors. But it also means continuing to be surrounded by friends, happily losing myself in the activity and the loudness, all the familiar places and the new ones…to exploring the deeper levels of connection and trust that I am feeling right now.

Saying yes means opening to the possibilities. I’m here.



It is amazing how a malfunctioning photocopy machine can make you feel completely useless at the end of a 10 hour work day.

It is slightly gratifying to realize that the strange looks that you received on your way home were (probably) due to the copier ink smudged all over your face.

It is disconcerting to have a house full of food, and not want to eat any of it, including the chocolate M&M's in your refrigerator, and the ice cream in your freezer.

It is strange to know that you will be in bed ridiculously early for the second night in a row.


Yesterday morning, I was just about as cheerful as you'd imagine I'd be, dragging myself from my warm bed and venturing out into a cold and rainy morning to go to work. On about an hour of sleep, no less.

However, about 2 hours into our day-long training session for new volunteers for my program, we hosted a survivor panel. 4 women placed themselves at the front of the room and began to speak. Everything stilled. They spoke clearly, eloquently, honestly of the horrible violence they had survived. And as they shared their experiences, there was anger and sadness and pain. When they ended, there was a hushed pause, and then a torrent of applause. All of the women in the room were out of their seats, talking and laughing with each other, crying together, hugging each other.

I was reminded yet again why I do this work. I am a witness. It is easy to get discouraged by the number of women that have a story, in both my personal and professional life. At times, I feel like we're fighting a war that we have no hope of winning.

The simple act of telling and listening restores some balance.