Tuesday, September 27, 2011

things that are currently driving me nuts (the art of hyperbole)

having to feed myself every day

my job

the insane crowd at 59th street every afternoon while trying to transfer from the n-q-r to the 6 (a train which, by the by, transports more people on a daily basis than the entire DC Metro and Boston T COMBINED)

my empty bank account

my empty life

other people's blogs

not being able to stop reading stupid news websites that basically illustrate the coming of the apocalypse

my job

people in love (this can be anywhere: on the street, on subway platforms, on tv, in the movies...)

people that like their jobs

the pimple on my chin


Sunday, September 11, 2011

long live the world trade

When I think about 9/11 I try not to think about it in it's meaning in the vast landscape of American thought and politics. I try not the think of what was borne out of an unthinkable tragedy: the unceasing, expensive, needless wars, the blighted economy, the pointless 24-hour news loops that accomplish nothing but hype over weather phenomenons and political races. What I think about is the buildings. The heart of a city that was torn down over and over and over in front of us. And I would venture to say that most of us, when we close our eyes and fish from our memories "9/11", what we see is the one burning building and the second plane coming in, fast, and the explosion. And then we see the collapse. And then the second collapse. We don't even need to watch the footage, though sometimes that helps to re-open the wound.

When I first moved to New York, about a year ago, I increasingly thought about 9/11. How I remember the whole day, from my pretty blond Spanish teacher wrinkling her brow at the loudspeaker announcement, saying, "That's strange," to coming home from school to my dad in tears on the couch to watching the footage and seeing for the first time what had really happened to attending a dance that Friday night and feeling funny about living my life and having a good time. I thought more and more about the towers, what they meant to the city, and what it must have been for New Yorkers at the time like to see them cut down. They're a ghost in the city. I realized this when taking the ferry out to Staten Island to visit my sister; that something seemed to be missing, that I was picturing the towers rising above the skyline, monstrous and looming, that I could close my eyes and see them burning.

How is this possible? That a girl who was a mere 8th grader living three states away during the actual event could feel so viscerally the events of 9/11? The popular phrase in regards to 9/11 is "Never Forget". But the thing is, we can't forget. The collapsing towers became a part of us, a part of our country's rhetoric, part of the way we see life. All we need to do is close our eyes and see it. For my generation, it was the end of our childhood. We were welcomed into the fold of the adult world and inaugurated with footage of matching buildings that burned and burned and then, horribly, collapsed. We couldn't be protected from it. We were thrust forward by it.

And even I, a girl from far away, mourn the towers, everyone inside of them, and everything they stood for.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

why does hollywood think that everyone just wants to dance?

This is going to be so lame. A town bans dancing because kids got into a car accident coming back from a dance? I know this is a remake of a classic, but COME ON PEOPLE. People are getting in trouble for DANCING? WTF?

Also, this just looks like Step-Up with white kids from Kansas. And, newsflash, Hollywood, I'm from a small town, and I've never met anyone who just wanted to dance. That is a completely unsustainable career.

And I think that kid is trying to have some kind of Boston accent, and it's pissing me off because he's not doing it right.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

have car, will travel?

That question mark is there for a good reason. Here was the weekend plan. My grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on September 1.

Let's hold the phone for a minute. You heard me right. My paternal grandparents have been married for SIXTY YEARS. They were high school sweethearts, married at 21, and had 6 kids in 10 years and raised them in the same town where they grew up (and where I grew up!). They are still sharp as tacks, live in their own house 5 minutes from my parents. They have 19 grandkids and even a great-grandbaby to boot. I mean, what a feat! How lucky are they?? How lucky am I that THEY are my family?

Anyway, my dad and his siblings were throwing a party for their parents down on the Cape on Saturday. Because I had to work, and because of holiday weekend traffic, my sister and I thought it best to leave later in the evening of Friday, listen to some good tunes, and get the hell out of dodge in a timely manner.

I have bad travel luck. I just do. I'm one of those people that perpetually runs late, hits every red light, gets stuck on trains that go 10 miles per hour for an entire journey (no, that really happened to me in 2006. It was horrible.), and gets caught in traffic that turns a 4-hour-trip into a 8-hour-trip on a bus next to some poindexter with hygiene issues (how is it that I can never have a cute seat mate?). But, I thought, maybe, just maybe, this night would go smoothly.

And it did. Smooth out of Staten Island, where my sister goes to school, smooth across the Verrazzano Bridge, smooth tunes on the radio, a smooth plan to indulge in fast food once we had crossed into Connecticut. I admired the glowing city skyline--the blue and red Empire State Building, the shining white Chrysler Building-- from the window as we zoomed along the Bronx-Queens Expressway. My sister was driving, and it was planned for me to take over in a couple of hours.

Then things started to get hairy. The traffic slowed a bit, but we kept a good pace. Then the interior car lights began to dim.

"Um," my sister said, "Uh, all these sensors are flashing,"

I looked over, and the airbag lights, battery light, and a few other sensors were blinking. But, being that this car is about 12 years old, and it's had some funky issues like that in the past, I assured my sister we were fine.

"Is it driving the same?" I asked.

"I think so.."

Then the radio stopped working. And then the odometer started pulsing up and down, and I started saying "pull over! pull over!" and I stuck my head out the window to try to stop the oncoming traffic in the right hand lane. Then the car was dead.

Dead. Dead. Dead. Between the right hand and center lanes on a bridge in the middle of the Bronx-Queens Expressway. Dead.

We didn't know what to do. My sister called 911, I called AAA while continuing to wave cars on that were beeping behind us, and occasionally yelling expletives and people who eased by with disgusted looks on their faces.

I mean, it was like a scene out of a hapless chick flick, without the comedy and with much more swearing, and many more tears (on my sister's part! promise!).

To boot, 911 did nothing to help us. The first guy to show up was in a towtruck that didn't have jurisdiction on our side of the highway (wacky NYC traffic rules), but set up some flares and offered me a cigarette which was, truthfully, the nicest thing he could have done. We were hoping for a statie, someone to keep the traffic moving, but we just waited it out, sitting ducks, in our old clunky car.

3 hours and $200 later, we arrived back on Staten Island, our fun evening of driving home turned into an unforeseeable pain in the ass. And we missed our family reunion.

The verdict? I just shouldn't travel.

Monday, September 5, 2011

the best commercial i've ever seen

Your life is your life. Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission. Be on the watch. There are ways out. There is light somewhere. It may not be much light, but it beats the darkness. Be on the watch. The gods will offer you chances. Know them. Take them. You can't beat death, but you can beat death in life, sometimes. And the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be. Your life is your life. Know it while you have it. YOU ARE MARVELOUS. The gods wait to delight in YOU.
(Charles Bukowski, Laughing Heart)

I mean, is there a better message than that?  What a perfect piece of poetry set against a perfect series of filmed shots. I just wish it wasn't a commercial for blue jeans, but rather a commercial to make everyone just FEEL GOOD about living, because it makes ME feel good about living.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

this article is a joke, right?

Please, someone tell me that this New York Times op-ed is of the school of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal and this author isn't really suggesting that 'ugly' people should be treated as minority or disabled groups. I mean I'm all bleeding heart and liberal and believe in justice and all of that, but...suing a company based on the fact that you believe you were too ugly to work there? COME ON. That's just stoking the fire of insecure people everywhere.

Too often, I blame certain things on the way I look. It's easy. Watch:
I don't have a boyfriend because I'm not pretty enough.
My job sucks because I wasn't pretty enough to get the one I wanted.
People generally like my sister/friends/cousins/classmates better than me because I'm ugly/fat/stupid/whatever.

None of these are legitimate excuses. They are lame, self-pitying, wallowing excuses. Sure, they stem from a real place and a lifetime of self doubt, but it's up to the PERSON to grow out of those feelings. It's easy to feel trapped by your looks, question your beauty and, at the end of the day, if you do not feel pretty enough, decide whether you will allow those feelings to rule your life.

Because they shouldn't. People who are not 10s need to find other ways to augment their good qualities. Not everyone can be a 10...that's why there's a numbering system.

But give a 7th grade girl who is already five foot eight, weighs a hundred and fifty pounds, has a poor complexion to match her pissy outlook on life (so not me....) and tell her that, sure, one day she might be pretty, but if not she can just sue the pants off of everyone who thinks she isn't pretty...that's just a disaster waiting to happen.

Monday, August 29, 2011

the 6 month rule

Hello friends! It's been awhile,  I know. I've been incredibly busy with mostly mundane life-tasks, and in a mostly reflective mood--not one that was incredibly conducive to writing anything funny or non-personal. It's a journal-keeping, staring out windows, listening to Radiohead's In Rainbows over and over (and, to be honest, I'm still not totally sick of it) kind of mood. Perhaps I should consult my horoscope and find out if Pluto is in my Saturn or some shit. I am a Scorpio after all, prone to deep waters and locked in emotions.

But anywho, while I've been away I've had a pretty great summer. I went on vacation with my family (and we only had like one half of a fight, which is QUITE the feat for family vacation, if I do say so myself), spent of time with my friends from home (though not enough), weekend tripped it to the beach, Connecticut, had visitors to NYC, melted in the heat, ate good food, drank plenty of beer, inhaled the hot pee stink of NY in the summer, and am now ready to rejoice the freshness fall that is rapidly (cross your fingers) approaching. It was strange to see summer pass so quickly; in years past (especially my Vineyard summers), the season seemed to stretch on from late May, each day a wonderful surprise of sunshine and lush green trees. This year, stuck in a cubicle, I could do nothing but complain about my pasty skin and hunger for the next weekend when I could escape the noise and oppressive air of the city. Every time I looked up, half a month had ticked by, and, though it is still August, I feel that summer is over. Kids are going back to school, and I'm sincerely envious. I would give anything to hunker down with my books and write a research paper, head to class with a spiral bound notebook, take everything in. There are some days where I honestly feel brain-dead. But such is my lot in life at this moment, and it's apparently up to me, the adult, to stimulate my mind.

I cannot believe that I've been in New York for nearly a year. It just seems crazy. I feel like nothing happened, and at the same time, everything happened. How is it possible that I can live in the same place for 11 months and not feel endeared to any of it, and when I return to the Vineyard, a place where I spent, in total, only about 10 months, I feel home? Truthfully, I still feel like my life is very in flux, that nothing is permanent or settled. There's always someplace else I'd rather be, something else I'd rather be doing, than what I happen to be doing at that moment. I've some to a crux: what is next? Well, nothing is next. Not nothing, but not moving on is next. Staying is next. Making myself see things through is next. "Next" is now.

Sometimes when I think about things too far in advance, I start to panic. I just can't shake the feeling that "OH my GOD. I'm going to wake up and be 30 and single and living in this damn apartment and working at the same damn job and I've gotta make a plan and I've gotta get out of here!!" Which is so silly because a.) I'm 23, and b.) I already "got out of here" so to speak, if "here" represents the stagnation of the dreaded "home". I mean, for Christ's sake, I live in the biggest, most vibrant city in the United States. If I can't be satisfied with adventure here, where WILL I be satisfied?

So for now, I have a solution. The 6-month-rule. I will only think about the next 6 months in concrete terms. 6 months beyond whatever date it happens to me exists only has hazy "maybes". Maybe I'll go somewhere else. Maybe I'll switch jobs. Maybe I'll go back to school. Until then, I'll hazily make plans, and then cross the bridge when I come to it. The future exists out there, the 5-10-20-year future, complete with a faceless husband and faceless children, a nameless dog on a nameless street in a little house where there's a room for me full of books and a career that has yet to be determined. I'm comfortable with this notion, and the concrete (for now) exists within 6 months from the right now. It calms my panicky listlessness. It helps me through the doldrums of routine: the endlessness of eating, bathing, grocery shopping, laundry doing, and existing only for myself and living only in my brain (which is exhausting, no?).

I do miss excitement.

Friday, June 10, 2011

a nail-biter

This may or may not be a confession: I have an oral fixation.

Now. Before you get all excited, let me just explain that its not a good oral fixation. I'm talking the nail-biting, pen-chewing, thum-sucking, ice crunching, food stuffing, and occational cigarette smoking. Anything that involves mindless hand-to-mouth action (again...not meant to be dirty).

My worst habit? The nail biting. I actually cannot remember a time in my life when I did not bite my nails. For at least 20 years of my life, my mother has said: don't bite your nails!!! like she was horrified and had never seen me do something so unladylike. I really can't explain the appeal. I never liked the way short nails looked, and to make matters worse, my sister was blessed with beautiful hands, complete with long nail beds that, shined up with red or pink polish, completed her petite, sophisticated girliness. But there was something about the relief from the stress that biting that nail gives. The pressure of my canine on the edge of the nail, just the riiiight amount and then CRACK...ahhh. Are you grossed out yet? Good. It is gross.

So I've taken matters into my own hands, people. Yes. You've heard it here first. I quit biting my nails. COLD TURKEY.

How did I do it, you ask? So glad you did.

Nail polish. That's it, though I should mentions that I can't leave the polish off for more than 10 minutes or I start to get grossed out by how long they look (two decades of biting, especially during your formative years yields tiny little nail beds, so the tips look downright scary). Oh, and I guess I should mention that I sometimes imaine an engagement ring on my finger with my old, bitten, stubby nails to stop myself from biting. I wish I was kidding.

At first, it wasn't so bad. I bought a couple fun nail colors, and eventually a file as they started to grow out.

But this week has been really hard. Guys, I'm like an alcoholic that has ten beers growing on her fingers. Beers that I can put right in my mouth but not taste. Beers I can stare at. Beers I can feel. I end up teasing myself, because I just want to bite them so bad. I think...oh...maybe I'll just take a little top off of the middle one because it's so long...BUT I CAN'T. Because if I bit one, I would bite them all, and they would be gone. Its strange to think how much I've learned about addiction. I literally can't tell myself that I'll never bite another nail, because then I have this overwhelming feeling to just BITE BITE BITE. I actually have to take it one day at a time. Am I going to bite my nails today? No.

In fact, I'm going to go home and put a sparkly coat of raspberry polish on them. Mostly because it's harder to see the tips through a darker color.