Sunday, January 30, 2011

a day in the life

this is what it's like to be single on a Sunday in NYC.

wake at 2pm with a mouth feeling like you ate sawdust thanks to the copious amounts of alcohol consumed last night.

realize you went through thirty dollars taking cabs around the city, and then remember you almost threw up in the cab on your way home, and then stiffed the cabbie because you only had a ten left.

stumble through the piles of clothes, etc, on your bedroom floor on the way to the bathroom, and wonder idly how in God's name your room gets so messy.

pile all your clothes from the floor onto your bed in hopes that you'll soon have the energy to put them away.

eat cold spagetti from a tupperware while sitting on the pile of clothes on top of your unmade bed while facebook stalking.

watch Mean Girls while huddled in a blanket still wearing only underwear and a t-shirt.

think about making dinner.

think about going to the grocery store.

think about all your bills.

sit on top of all the clothes on your bed again and try to think of something to blog about.

try to knit. get frustrated. stop trying.

think about going to bed.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

New York minutes: January

As you may or may not have heard, it snowed a bunch last night. The streets were quiet this morning and it felt strange, like I was running really really late for work--the sidewalks are normally packed at 8:15. I was the only one from my department at work because, you know, that no one works in New York when there's a snowstorm. Or when it's Friday. Regardless, I welcomed the fresh fall of snow: it covered up all the old pee-holes and dog poop on the sidewalks, the garbage left over from the post-Christmas apocalyptic snowfall, the crusty gray snow in little melty piles against the buildings. It buried all the cars and colored the streets a nice slushy brown. But mostly I liked the way the snow clung to the tree branches.

I cut out of work early (at the insistence of my boss, promise) and decided to take a jaunt through Central Park to get a little "snow fix" because I miss seeing my yard at home covered in deep, fresh snow. I entered the park at 72nd street and headed east toward 5th avenue. There were LOTS of people who apparently had the same idea I did, and I sighed, berating myself for thinking that maybe some place in the city would be mercifully quiet and untouched. I promptly got lost, which was cool for about 5 minutes (because that was kind of my goal), until I really didn't know where I was. I walked and walked, confused at every turn, no map to guide my way, and anxious over the slippery, tamped down snow on the pathways. Word to the wise: if you're going to go for a snowy jaunt in Central Park, make sure you don't have a heavy bag on your shoulder, and make sure you go to the bathroom beforehand, because DAMMIT I HAD TO PEE. But fear not, this isn't a story when I pop a squat only to be passed by a group of French Canadian tourists and/or small children. No, no, I was just super uncomfortable for about 20 minutes, and by the time I made it out of the park I had begun ignoring the pains in my bladder.

So anyway, after wandering in a complete circle and feeling super disoriented for almost half an hour, I found a roadway that runs above 79th street and, after being momentarily elated, was of course immediately irritated. There were trucks and bobcats beeping all around (plow...back up...plow...back up) and LOTS of screaming children. It's funny, after finding the solace of being lost and not liking it, I found all the people and didn't like that either. I was frustrated with myself and I knew it was because I miss Massachusetts and my parents' house, the clean, white, widespread snowfalls that have been replaced with a mere 12 hours of sparkliness that turns to frozen gray shit. I miss the silence of the snow-heavy pines that bend ever so slightly in the wind. I stopped for awhile on Cedar Hill and watched all the kids sledding and throwing snowballs. There were couples holding hands and parents building snowmen. The sky was a dusty pink around the buildings beyond the park and the air was sharp and cold. I felt lonesome and yearned to be a kid again: I wanted to build a snowman in my front yard and have my mom call us in for dinnertime, shovel the driveway and play manhunt with the neighbors. I remembered that, in high school, my friend Catherine and I used to go sledding in a nearby park with some boys we had crushes on. Snow days were the best days to have snowball fights with the boys you liked, show them that you could roughhouse, but still scream with delight and fury when they stuffed snow down the back of your jacket.

And when I got back to my apartment I sat around for a little while, deciding on whether I would rather cry or eat (my two emotional go-tos). Then I remembered a big snowman I saw in Central Park: he had Red Bull cans for eyes and caution tape for a scarf, and a cigarette stuck in his mouth. And I laughed and thought: only in New York.

And it really is a wonderful city.

And I really am lucky and happy to be here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Mid-week list

Because Tuesdays suck so bad.

1. I can't stop getting wiki-sucked into Wikipedia. It's wiki-taking over my wiki-life. Last night, I spent three hours reading about the Royal Families in England. The Tudors, specifically. I continued that journey today by reading all about Queen Victoria, and then, subsequently, the Romanov family of Russia. The sad thing is, this isn't the first time I've done this. And by this I mean wikied the Royal familes of Great Britain in Europe. I had seriously wikied it all before. But here I am, wiki-ing again.

2. Our whole society revolves around worshipping who ever is the most beautiful and/or got the richest the quickest (why else would The Social Network have been nominated for best picture? Certainly not because it was a good movie--though it was enjoyable--but more because everyone in America wanted to know how someone so young was able to become the wealthiest man in America by basically hacking computer systems). We really need to reevaluate.

3. That said, can't wait to see what everyone wears to the Academy Awards.

4. Anyone ever feel like every magazine published is just a rewording of everything that was published last month/last year/two years ago? If I see one more article on "The Best Jeans for Your Body!" or "Flat Abs Now!" or "128 NEW Ways to Please Your Man!" I will actually swallow my own tongue.

5. Sometimes I just really want to eat like 5 hot dogs and wash them down with a box of macaroni and cheese and then have a whole cheesecake for dessert then slip into a food coma and sleep for a hundred years.

6. kthnxferreadinbaiii

Saturday, January 22, 2011

how to make the workplace more like college

Picture yourself here: it's Friday afternoon, and your ass is dragging. You're sitting in your cubicle and staring into your computer screen willing yourself to stay awake. Just...two...more...hours....and then....another....half hour....and you can leave...and you sigh heavily, hovering between a state of mind numbing boredom and complete exhaustion (because that brownie-and-Jersey-Shore/American-Idol-binge really did a number on you last night). You think, how did this happen to me? Just a short six months ago, I was young and virile, in my prime. I had tons of friends, too many friends, hours to do whatever it was I pleased. Just a year ago, Friday afternoon was snacks and a movie time, a rehashing of what happened on Thirsty Thursday at your favorite local bar and not working on your school assignments for the following week.

Alas, those days, my friends, are gone from us, never to return. But there is hope yet! The revolution has begun! You can be the next one to: BRING COLLEGE TO THE WORKPLACE! Yes, college to the workplace. Everyone, EVERYONE talks about college as being the best time of their lives. Even those folks who didn't go to college. So what better, you young virile excitable college grad, than to introduce fun  and procrastination back into the lives of all these corporate grunts?

Here, ladies and gents, I present to you, a list of HOW TO MAKE THE WORKPLACE MORE LIKE COLLEGE. Guaranteed to bring everyone closer together and back to their pre 23 year old selves.*

1. Host coffee chugging contests with the guys from I.T. Why? Because the I.T. guys are the exceedingly nerdy ones from high school that were never really able to break that mold in college, even if they were in the coolest frat at MIT (and most of the time they weren't). That said, they still learned how to hold their liquor with the best of 'em, and they will be the most game to relive their "glory days," as they have stayed pretty nerdy in life beyond college. Plus, chugging mere coffee ensures that you won't be intoxicated. Unless, of course, you spike the coffee with Bailey's. Or Jim Beam.

2. Have an impromptu dance party (DP) with the gals in marketing and customer relations. Chances are, if these girls are into things like marketing, PR, and customer relations, it means they were pretty social in college. They probably have totally awesome DP playlists on their ipods, too, because, you know, their jobs are so uber creative. Who knows, maybe you'll get some peeps that are down to party to dance on the tables in the kitchen.

3. Create a facebook group for office gossip and start spreadin' the good news, anonymously of course. Nothing bonds people over mutual hatred for the same sluts.

4. Bring back your naive idealisms. Remember when you were going to save the world? Help people? Remember when you didn't care about money because you didn't have bills to pay yet? Hold impromptu kumbaya sessions and talk about how unfair the world is, but offer no solutions. Then everyone can pat each other on the back and say how every little bit counts. Then, reconvene in the mailroom to do keg stands.

5. The most important tip of all: procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate. #1 rule in college is the #1 rule in life. The less you do which you are obligated to do, the more fun that is had by all.

So there you have it, my fine people. Take this out into the world. Add to it, let the revolution EXPAND. COLLEGE! COLLEGE! COLLEGE! COLLEGE!

*not guaranteed to help you keep your job, if that's your ultimate goal.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Am I interesting?

Guys, I'm having some serious problems. I need some validation. I feel a little self-centered, but isn' that what blogging is? A self-centered self-made world in which the only opinion that matters is yours and yours only?

But the thing is, right now, is I'm having trouble. I have no ideas, and I'm feeling a little blog-disillutioned. I don't want to hate on blogging, because blogging is what has gotten me to continue writing. And as roomie says, "blogging is like a cool daily magazine you put out yourself!" But that's easy for her to say, she's super creative and always has something to "publish". I'm just disillutioned because I feel like, sometimes, blogging is a popularity contest. Who has more followers? Who gets more comments? Who has cool giveaways? I mean, those have never been the point of my blog.  I never really wanted to blog about my life, because my life just isn't that interesting. Oh, Stephanie, you're just being negative! Let's just go have a pity party. That's what you're all thinking. But right now, I have nothing to blog about, so I'm blogging about blogging. Maybe I'm just not feeling funny or comical right now, maybe I'm just going through and introspective phase. I have been working on my fiction which, while satisfying to say the least, always kind of makes me a little moody.

And then, because I read so much of my own writing during these periods, I start to feel down on myself, like a true self-possessed "artist", and look at all the pathetic books that are published (hi, Snooki and Lauren Conrad...are you shitting me?), and I think about how hard it is to want to be a writer. And how rare it is to have talent, and how many (like me) think they do have talent but are just FOOLING themselves. See? It's a downward spiral full of doubt and self-loathing. God, we are so narcissistic. Ok, fine, I am. But just right now, not always. I hope.

Recently I read a bunch of my old posts, and I was laughing in spite of myself. I am funny! And I shouldn't care whether my readership is up or down. I should just blog to make myself happy and to continue writing, because a writer always writes.
Seriously, folks. I am one pathetic sack of junk. Here's some of my good stuff, in case you missed it:

NYC hates me

romantic comedies suck

renting apartments

waiting tables

bad books

hey! its ok!

single fears

and of course, BOYZ

and lest we forget, beer.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Guest Post: The Heartbreak of a through and through Patriots fan

My brother Jamey is positively sick over the Patriots' pathetic loss to the Jets on Sunday. Me, too.
He wrote this (at 5 AM, no doubt) in an email to me.
I couldn't resist posting it. Let me know what you think...maybe he should start his own blog. Hailing from the hometown of the Patriots, here is Jamey's take on the hubris of the Boston fanbase.

As I lie in bed at 4:47 am, all I can hear in my head is the theme music to the NFL on CBS.…….ok I’m back I just had to throw up again. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. The way I feel, its as if there was a death in my immediate family. I am in a deep, cavernous state of depression. Depression and pure fucking disbelief. How could this possibly have happened? How were we duped into thinking this team could compete for a super bowl? Was it all the talk about having the greatest, most unwavering, untouchable league MVP quarterback? Or was it possibly the sports analyst pundits crowning Bill Belichick as the all time greatest coach in the history of the NFL? If I were Belichick, after tonight I’d get that in writing. What a stinker they put out tonight. Just an absolute dud. To come out as flat and wide eyed as they did is unforgivable. ...What about all the inexperience on defense? Didn’t seem to be a problem 5 weeks ago. Why on earth should anything have changed between Dec. 6th and Jan. 16? How could the Jets possibly formulate a gameplan to beat this team? They lost 45-3! Sanchez doesn't belong on the same planet as the almighty Brady! Theres nothing they can possibly do!...This is the shit that hasn’t necessarily been said, but has been implied, all week long. At least by our side. There wasn’t an analyst in this city worth his weight in shit that thought the Patriots would actually lose this game. Maybe Felger, but hes a Green Bay guy anyways so fuck him. We all knew it could happen, just never thought it would. I mean shit, were 14-2! We've got Brady and Belichick! Caught up in the nostalgia of 2003-2004, we were blinded. Typical Patriots fan fashion, of which I am also guilty. And it makes me sick.

In the world of competitive fan-dom, there is nothing, NOTHING, worse than being overrated. It makes you look absolutely, unforgivably ridiculous. Think about it. Had the Patriots lost the now meaningless December 6 matchup with the Jets and finished 11-5 only to lose to those same Jets in the divisional round, there really wouldn’t be anything to say except that the Jets were by far the better team. They swept the Patriots 3-0 this season and won the division, how could any other result have occurred? Had the Patriots not been favored, had the Jets not talked shit enough to fill a river this past week, had the entire media not dubbed Belichick-Brady the greatest tandem in the history of sports, this loss would be just another playoff loss. Sure it would hurt, but I wouldn’t have my face in the toilet over it. Fact is, in our minds at least, the Patriots were never supposed to lose this game. Not in a billion billion years. Not with that quarterback and that head coach, and that’s why it feels so shitty. Its not that we lost, it’s that we now realize how stupid we are. We tricked ourselves into believing that this team was super bowl material when it was all just the ghosts-of-SuperBowls-past fucking with our heads. The Jets, the fucking JETS, in all their shit-talking, foot licking glory, came into Foxboro and straight beat the Patriots. No it wasn’t 45-3 in reverse, but I have never seen a defense confuse Tom Brady like that in his entire career. Apart from the first two drives which, by the way, only netted 3 points, the #1 ranked offense in the NFL looked more like the second string JV squad I used to lead for Foxboro High. In other words, miserable. Unable to sustain any kind of drive until the 4th quarter when, down by 10, they were able to sustain a 7:45 drive only to come up with nothing on the other end. Miserable. It is as if it were written that way.

After watching the Patriots win 3 super bowls in 4 seasons (which right now might as well have been 300 years ago), there was Champ Bailey in '05, Peyton Manning in '06, David Tyree in '07, the TFB ACL in '08 and the Baltimore butt whipping in '09. But that wasn’t enough. The football gods found yet another way to stick a needle in the eye of New England fans: A playoff loss at home to foot-lickin' Rex Ryan the loudmouth Jets. Is there anything worse than losing to a loudmouth? Seeing the Sanchize and company running around the field at Gillette at the end of the game with their arms out pretending to be “Jets” like a bunch of retarded 6 year olds literally made me throw up on my coffee table. I puked again when I saw Braylon Edwards’ back handspring as the clock expired. And again when I saw Bart Scott almost shit himself screaming into the microphone held by Armen Keteyan about how anyone can be beat. Are you fucking kidding me? After 14-2? Maybe after 11-5, but 14-2? After waiting the longest 2 weeks of my life for this game to finally arrive this is how I have to remember my beloved Patriots for the next 7 months? Hell, I might just move to Darfur. This makes their lives look all too easy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thinking about Arizona

I've tried to come up with numerous things to post about the horrible murders in Arizona. Two or three different times I started posts about this, but nothing felt authentic; couldn't formulate words that didn't sound like the regurgitation of select passages from the New York Times opinions section. So I figured there were just some things I couldn't write about. Not this: I can't point blame (even though it would be so easy to point fingers at the political tactics and rhetoric of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck...but that's like blaming Eminem for outbreaks of spousal abuse, or Marilyn Manson and video games for teen anger and school shootings), I can't make light of this, can't glean anything witty from it. It's too sad. But still, I couldn't get what happened in Tucson out of my head, and it brought me back to so many other feelings I've had before. So I'm just going to try to sort them out, and maybe other people are feeling the same way, or are coming to the same conclusion that I am.

The feeling I now want mostly to convey is that of confusion. It reminded me of the ways I felt after the Oklahoma City Bombing and the Columbine shooting (not so much September 11, where there was a clear, foreign enemy; a whole body of people to be angry at): frightened, upset, and very confused. I remember seeing pictures of bloody kids being rescued from the building in Oklahoma, and that I was afraid of bombs for a very long time (like, years. what can I say? I was a sensitive child). I was seven when it happened, and I asked my dad why someone, an American guy who, to me, looked pretty regular (save for the orange jumpsuit and the handcuffs, as he was shown so widely on television) would bomb a building. "Bombing"-- when I was seven-- seemed like something that belonged far away, in another time. Dad told me that the man who bombed the building in Oklahoma was "angry at the government," and in my innocence, I wondered how that could ever be possible.

Slowly, I, just like everyone eventually does, realized that violence like the bombing in Oklahoma happens all the time, though sense is never really made out of any of it. Outliers, freak accidents, and crazy people with access to weapons will probably always exist, even in America. Even in the place where we celebrate Thanksgiving and sing about liberty and freedom. This isn't to say that we live in a world of complete and utter chaos, but there are many circumstances that are simply beyond our control. I know this now, but as a child (and still, if I allow myself to dwell on things) I was always the worrying sort. Anything I didn't have control over or that couldn't be helped by humans was bound to keep me awake at night.

Right after Oklahoma, in the summer of 1995, I saw an issue of Time magazine with photos of horribly burned people. The cover displayed a huge, mushroom-like firecloud.  Once again, I asked my dad (the family guru of all things historical, political, and the like) what this was all about. He told me all about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the aftermath. The thought of atomic bombs scared the living daylights out of me. The worries didn't stop from there. In the 5th grade, my teacher told the class that "Massachusetts was long overdue for a large earthquake." GREAT. That one kept me awake for months, if not years. I saw The Sixth Sense, and wasn't so much bothered by the ghosts than the fact that they didn't know they were dead. After TWA flight 800, and further exacerbated by September 11, I (even to this day) hate flying on airplanes. I once told my dad I would never go to California or Hawaii because there were Earthquakes and Volcanoes. And you know what he told me? "You can't live your life in fear, or you'll never see anything. And that's not living." I never forgot that.

Random acts and forces of nature shape our lives. On one hand, it would be wonderful if we could stop the atrocities committed by humans, and I do believe that we should sincerely try. There should be no way that a person can simply walk into a warehouse and purchase a military grade machine gun and a magazine that could mow down 30 people without reloading, no background check or anything. I don't care what the second amendment says, any civilian looking to buy that kind of weapon is going to use it to kill people. On the other hand, we must accept that there are going to be many, many things in this life that are simply out of our control. Sometimes, as the saying goes, you must let go, and let God. This could scare anyone into living as a hermit. You can't think of the fact that every time you step into a car, you could get into an accident, because if you did, you would never leave the house. Balance is achieved when you do everything in your power to avoid chaos through your actions in the world. Tackle the things that scare you. Do the best you can at being a good, safe driver, and wear your seatbelt. Vote for gun control, be anti-war, and if you believe in karma, or heaven, or just being a good person, do unto others as you would have done to yourself.

So that's a long way from the beginning of this post, but we, as a country, really should learn from what has become a stopping point for political pundits everywhere. It would be easy enough to sink back into the old rhetoric, but in the long run, as detrimental as it was before.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I'm headed up north.

all pictures courtesy of MPF, because I suck with a camera.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Start your (mid) week with a list...

1. its a snowstorm...not the apocalypse. so everyone at D'agostino's and Morton Williams can CALM THE EFF DOWN.

2. my boss likes to plan 2-3 years in the future, and I mean in terms of what she's doing with specific dates. I can't even plan lunch for tomorrow.

3. While I understand the intention of the second amendment, I don't think good ol' Founding Fathers would have thought that a military grade machine gun would be used against a crowd of innocent people. Take that, NRA.

4. Along those same lines, notice that whenever Democrats are pissed off, they don't feel the need to go on a killing spree. But, in the words of the ever-wise Sarah Palin, "don't retreat! reload!" What a joke.

5. I <3 my Cat Power station on Pandora. The songs get better and better and better.

6. They didn't put my middle initial below my picture in the yearbook. And I'm PISSED.

7. I was so college in college:

That is all.

Monday, January 3, 2011

wait...was i supposed to have a resolution?

Well, tough shit. Resolutions are for wusses. Resolutions are excuses for people to say they want to turn their life around, to stop laying on the couch, eating chocolate and feeling sorry for themselves. THIS is the YEAR. I'm going to climb MOUNT EVEREST. I'm going to win the PULITZER PRIZE. I'm going to LOSE half my body weight and RUN with the KENYANS in the BOSTON MARATHON.

So the first week of January, and the second, and maybe the third, Resolutioners hit the gym, HARDCORE. They go to YOGA. They eat HEALTHY THINGS. They are so changed!!!! Halleluja! The new year has saved them from themselves!

Cut to February 14. Everyone's back to being their miserable selves, eating bon bons they bought for themselves while sitting on the couch watching The Notebook and crying because 1.) they're alone and 2.) it sucks to get old and lose your memory like Ally from the movie.

Ok, fine. Maybe this isn't everyone. Maybe it's only me. SO SUE ME. Can you blame me for feeling this way? Resolutions are so bogus. If you actually wanted to change your life, you shouldn't have to wait for a new year to do so. You would start right this SECOND if you really meant to keep the promise to yourself.

The first time I realized making a resolution on New Years was a futile endeavor was the January that I was in the 7th grade. You see, because kids (read: girls) were so vicious where I went to middle school, the brilliant administration decided that they would assign seats at lunchtime. Boys and girls did not sit together, but someone failed to alert the principal of the particularities of the social cliques, because I, the tall porker with braces and hairsprayed hair and always the wrong shoes and clothes, was seated with three of the most popular girls in my grade, and for New Years, they all decided they needed to lose 15 pounds each. None of these girls needed to lose weight. Their inspiration was fellow classmate Chelsea, who had taken off 25 pounds the previous summer. "I'm back in a kids 12 now!" She crowed happily when she visited our table at lunchtime. So come January, everyone wanted to be skinny, skinny, skinny, and the only way for the 7th graders to get there was starvation. The girls looked at me incredulously when I pulled out my made-with-love-by-mom bologna&cheese-on-a-bulkie-roll sandwiches, complete with a baggie of chips and three chocolate chip cookies for dessert. For a whole week they ate nothing at lunch until the very end, when Queen Bee (not her real name) would get up and buy a snickers ice cream bar. "I'm trying to lose 10 pounds" was her mantra. So they could only get there using starvation and, apparently, ice cream bars. What a joke.

A list of "goals" for 2011:
-Drink less. And by less, I mean more.
-Eat healthy. And by healthy, I mean become anorexic, except when you're drunk at 3 AM and want pizza and/or a hot dog from a street cart. Go ahead, you deserve it!
-Become a better person. And by a better person, I mean become better in bed.
-Make more money. And by make more money, I mean start selling your ADD meds on college campuses. And if that dries up, you can always put yourself on sitter-city. And if that dries up, I heard today that Dollar Tree is adding thousands of jobs at hundreds of new locations! What exciting opportunities!
-Read more. And by read more, I mean trashy magazines that cater only to people who care about the latest celebrity to go to rehab, which obviously is EVERYONE!

Happy 2011 everyone! Only one more year until the apocalypse! Maybe my resolution next year will be to build a bomb shelter in a remote Canadian Hamlet. Better bring my warmest winter jacket!