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.