Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekend Outlook

I am procrastinating.

Actually, I'm not. I really have no work to do today, I have checked my messages, answered emails, shuffled paperwork, gone on a coffee run--all of which took a whopping 20 minutes. So now I am sitting here half-listening in on a conversation my coworkers are having (one just mentioned the word "mulatto", apparently we are back in 1950 when that was appropriate), reading the Times, and scanning my daily blog-roll.

All this political posturing, economic upheaval and general uncertainty about the universe in general has me thinking. I sometimes wish the economy would just fail, fail, fail--at least that would wake people up and make people say something must happen (I am trying to avoid using the term "change" because it has been so obnoxiously commandeered by both political parties. We are so complacent that already, in the midst of a financial crisis the likes of which most of us have never seen, we are expecting a government that has already managed to screw things up royally to be able to fix the mess that they created by using the same means that created the mess in the first place. Ugh! I am bored of hearing the "who knows better how a fire works than an arsonist." Don't we realize we are calling our government a bunch of arsonists? Shouldn't that clue us in that something is really, really wrong here?

Enough of that tirade. Apparently there is a group of kids in Queens that are building huge stereo bikes and partying wherever they ride. It makes me wonder where my youthful creative self disappeared to? People in Queens are trying to ban them...I understand how it could be a disturbance, but can't we simply embrace their creativity and dance with them?

Despite the crummy weather, this weekend's outlook is good. My wonderful anthro-geek friend, Belly, is coming up from Atlanta to take on Manhattan with me. I am really looking forward to drinking cheap red wine and talking about all the things we have missed in each other's lives since I left Atlanta. Also, next week is Rosh Hashanah, Jewish new year, so I get Monday afternoon, Tuesday and Wednesday off because I work for a Jewish organization so Belly and I are going to go up to Boston to visit Em. It will be the trifecta of hot anthropology girls!

By they way, I'm thinking about adding a new tattoo...I am really in love Mark Ryden, so maybe I'll get one of his pieces. Any votes on a specific piece?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What a glorious day!

Behold! On this day, the 18th day of the ninth month in this otherwise not-so-good year 2008, a glorious event transpired! CRAZY GOT THE AX! No one really knows why yet. It was towards the end of the day and while doing my best to look busy I heard a ruckus. And then a "Don't let her leave the building!" I nonchalantly wandered over to the filing cabinets see if I could catch the action. Alas, Crazy had already gotten to the elevator and was on her way out.

Speculation ensued. Tomorrow will be a good day.

Friday, September 12, 2008


When I moved to New York I promised myself that I would be honest with people that I knew and met, and more honest to myself. I've worked on this to some extent, but every now and again I find myself saying something...or not saying something that I later reflect upon and question why I said or omitted that something.

Emily always tells people, when introducing me (and by introducing me, introducing the stories that surround my existence), that I am an exaggerator--that there is always truth to my narratives, but that she never quite knows the extent of those truths. Its something that I've done as long as I can remember, and I suppose one could analyze it and say "Well you know, her father was a pathological liar," or "She's from a broken home," perhaps that is true, but the fact of the matter is is that I am simply a story-teller, I am a creator of fictions and of worlds beyond my own, any attempt at explanation comes up short and is irrelevant.

As a child I had a hard time distinguishing between reality and the world I invented around me. I credit it to an overactive imagination. When I was three, Michael Jackson was my imaginary friend and he had to have a seat at the dinner table. I would pitch a fit and deplore anyone that dare took his seat. When my dad left, I invented another world in which mystical and terrifying things did actually exist, but only I could see them or hear them. I escaped the real and really intense trials and tribulations of my ten year old self and fled into a world that I controlled, manipulated, loved.

As an adolescent I no longer invented worlds for myself to live in. But I expounded upon the one in which I was present. I played out the story lines in my head with the people that surrounded me. With ease, rehearsed lines, that I had practiced a million times and perfected in my mind, would roll of my tongue.

As an adult, my audience has mostly been myself. I create narratives to justify my actions, to provide excuses, to yield explanations. I think sometimes that it is much easier to be honest to others than it is to be honest to myself. If I ever am to be able to answer the questions that have been plaguing me so as of late, I need to be utterly, painfully, excruciatingly honest to myself.

I am no liar. I am an inventor, a creator, a story-teller, an omitter, an adult with the same overactive imagination I had as a child. What I say is truth, or at least truth as I experience it because we all create our own realities.

In the spirit of honesty and truthfulness, here's a small list of secrets I'd like to divulge.
  1. Sometimes I really want to throw away all ideas of grandeur and saving the world and open a small bakery and help my neighbors get happy and fat on baked goods.
  2. When I am not thinking about opening a bakery, I am thinking about running away to Montana, buying some land and starting a farm, cows and all.
  3. I am really terrified of men and the potential physical, mental and emotional harm and duress they have the ability to cause.
  4. As an adult, I unconsciously bite my lips and chew my mouth to shit when I am stressed or nervous. When I was little I pulled my hair and all my eyelashes out.
  5. I really really miss Atlanta. But for some reason I think that I can't go back, that going back would be admitting I failed.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Every Office Has One...

...a completely insane, verging on the point of schizophrenic, definitely bi-polar, employee. My office's insane person just happens to be one of my supervisors. FUN! Without going into gruesome detail (lest she come upon my blog and decide to track me down, gut me and take on my identity) I will just say after a particularly harrowing experience with her in which she made me and my direct supervisor both cry (what a way to come back to work after an awesome trip to Boston!) that I almost quit. However, rather than quitting and letting Crazy get the best of me, I decided to fall back on the age old therapeutic process of baking. Here's the recipe I came up with--a little sweet, a little tart, just what I needed to survive the rest of the work week.

Raving Mad Rhubarb Muffins
1/3 cup honey
1 cup softened butter
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour (for one of those cups I used whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup oatmeal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl. In another bowl combine butter, sugar, honey, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon until well mixed. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix lightly. Add the sour cream and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Add milk as necessary to bring the mixture to a cake batter consistency. Fold in chopped rhubarb and oatmeal (add nuts if you like). Pour into a well greased and floured muffin pan (or use muffin tins) and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


"Hey sister!"
"Hey! What are you doing?"
"Oh I'm just on a bus right now, headed up to Boston for the weekend."
-Long pause-
"Um...are there any Asian men sitting near you?"
"Really, are there any Asian men sitting near you?"
-I look around-
"Uh, yeah. There's one sitting behind me."
"Don't fall asleep!"
"What?! You're so weird."
"No, really. Some Asian guy beheaded and ate a man on a bus in Canada a few weeks ago. Keep an eye on him."

Oh sisters. And so my vacation began.

After the mismatched shoe incident, I realized I needed to get the hell out of dodge. I finally stopped making excuses for not going to Boston, knowing that if I didn't do it soon, I probably never would. So I bought a bus ticket to go see my oh-so-dear and slightly deranged best friend, Emily. Oh can I count the ways I love her? She's perpetually late, likes to pick arguments, totally nuts...and all that makes her absolutely endearing. Despite the chaos that generally surrounds her, she brings peace to my weary soul and reminds me that I am still young.

One of the best things about living in New York is the plethora of public transportation. In addition to local MTA buses and subways, there's MetroNorth which goes...well, north, and there are a million buses that will take you to Philadelphia, DC, Toronto, Boston, even Atlanta (if I ever felt like sitting on a bus for 20 some odd hours). Boltbus offers $1/one way trips to most major cities (you have to book way in advance), the Fungwah (aka the Chinatown bus) offers $15/one way trips to Boston even if you book the minute you decide to leave. So Friday afternoon I hopped on a Fungwah and escaped to the way less hectic, way more Irish, neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.

Em is currently dating an Irishman who reminds me completely of a certain someone who I gallivanted around Europe with (perhaps it is simply the accent) and who has a lovely house right outside of Boston with a lovely deck, a lovely yard and a loving--though slightly obnoxious--Pomeranian. At this point, she has all but officially moved in with him (she still keeps most of her stuff at the apartment that her parents pay for).

I suppose you could say I've been a little more emo than usual (characterized in large part by my incessant listening to The Good Life) because as soon as I got off the bus and embraced my Emily I started crying like an exhausted toddler. The oppressive loneliness of New York was immediately lifted and Emily took me to the Irishman's house, put a beer in my hand and eventually tucked me into bed after the alcohol had coated me in its warmth.

I returned to New York on Sunday, feeling refreshed, renewed. I chatted with a fellow traveler all the way home about life, love, New York and through our conversations I came to realize that I am not the only one in New York attempting to make it work--whatever that "it" may be. My escape to Emily in Boston was cathartic. I survived my first 100 days in Manhattan. I think that means maybe I can start to call this place home.