June 19, 2008

My cell phone is not a vibrator

I used to feel bad about sleeping on the train ride from peaceful New Jersey into neurotic Manhattan. I’d try to not do it at all in favor of reading or staring out the window, or if I had to do it I’d sleep really lightly to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself in front of my fellow commuters. But the train ride is an hour long, if (and this is a big if) the train is running properly and on time. And then I noticed that everyone else on the train, even the CEO types in suits, would also take advantage of the extra rest time. Barely anyone is even on their cell phone or carrying on a conversation. So I decided to join the nap party.

Now, if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right. My train sleeping somehow veered off the napping track and mutated into the sort of sleep that should only take place in the privacy of your own bedroom. Napping is something that happens by accident, something that you are easily awoken from. The slumber I now dive into on the train is deliberate, deep, and probably not at all subtle. I bring a blanket. And I use it. And I know every time I wake up my mouth is wide open or the guy next to me has a look on his face like I was definitely trying to snuggle with his shoulder and he was not having any of that. 

Occasionally my second sleeps are interrupted when some fool decides that 8:15am is a perfectly appropriate time to ring me on my cell phone (it is not). This might be fine except that I keep my cell phone on my lap, under my blanket and somehow it always ends up dangerously near my crotch. So not only am I snoring in my little bed-on-the-go I’ve created in my seat, but once or twice during the trip I vibrate, I’m sure to the pleasure of the person next to me. They think they are so lucky to get the seat next to the tiny girl – I’m always the first seat mate people choose when the train begins to fill up. They begin their ride thinking they’re getting a little bonus leg room for their money. Then as the train pulls into the station they always hastily gather their things and scurry down the aisle like they’re afraid I’m going to rip off my blanket and force some sort of peep show on them. So, for the record, my cell phone is not  a vibrator. That would be way out of my price range.  

June 17, 2008

I Make Unwanted Friends

Strangers almost invariably try to make friends with me. And hey, I’m all for meeting new people: friends of friends, fellow party guests, your local grocer. Sure. But the strangers that try to befriend me are consistently, well, strange. 

Take today for example. I’m walking down my street on a beautiful morning, listening to Beck on my iPod, gripping an inordinately large umbrella that most certainly could double as a weapon. I’m walking fast, swinging my arms, demonstrating all that body language people say gives an unwelcome message to possible attackers. And then, this…unusual fellow, walking with his friend, safety pins stuck in his lip, hair teased in its gravity-defying East Village way, is wearing a t-shirt that says, “I’m a whore for hot midget sex.” Mmmhhmmm. And here I am, by myself, all 4′10 of me in my stupid dress and heels like I dropped out of the fucking sky for this guy’s personal pleasure. 

So what do we think midget-sex-lover does, says, “Nice to meet you?” Employs the typical cat-call popular among construction workers worldwide? Nope, my new friend starts jumping up and down like a MONKEY making monkey noises and pointing at me in delight. While his friend just smirks like, ” Yep, I set this up on purpose.” 

I’m sort of surprised he didn’t follow me and ride the subway with me all the way to work. I totally owe it to the weapon-brella. 

June 10, 2008

And also why…

“Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.” -Ambrose Bierce

Why am I sleepy when I wake up, pleading with the clock for more minutes of slumber, fighting back the urge to yawn all day at my desk, itching for bedtime during dinner, and yet now, at bedtime, as I sit in front of my computer, why does web junk interest me more than sleeping? 

Full of questions I am today.

June 10, 2008

But how come?

Life has presented me with many an enigma that I just let slide… I file it under “I’m never gonna figure this out” and move on. I feel it’s time to address at least one of these mysteries because it’s been taken to a new level.

Why, oh why, oh why do they build bathroom stalls so that when locked and shut there is a huge gap between the door and the side of the stall? A gap through which the person inside the stall can peer out and also through which a person not in the stall can glance in. I’m not sure which of these is worse, but neither are good.

I mention this today because at New Job the mysterious stall gap is of epic proportions in each and every stall and the overhead lights buzz at a deafening level. I can only conclude that “they,” the boss people at New Job, do not want “us,” the worker bees of New Job to hang out in the bathroom. At this point I’d like to add that I personally spend as little time in public stall-style bathrooms as possible. I don’t get it when people spend time checking themselves out in the mirror near the many public toilets (ew) or apply makeup (ew ew) or BRUSH THEIR TEETH (EEEEWWWWWW). It’s just that while I am in there, I wouldn’t mind if there was little to no buzzing and definitely no peering or glancing coming from any direction. Please?

May 28, 2008

S’mores!

Ah, Memorial Day. A long awaited excuse for a day off.

I woke up on this lovely Monday holiday much like I wake up on most days: brain swelling inside skull, sheets wrapped around legs, boyfriend mysteriously pinning my arm to my mattress.

Except then, like magic, I didn’t have to go to the dreaded work(s). I got to sleep! In! late!

We trained to New Jersey, a lovely place with trees and fields and streams and without subways and taxis and people who spit on my shoes. The Boyfriend and I took a long walk on a trail where we fell asleep to the sound of little birdies or buggies and leaves rustling and whatever other sounds it is that nature makes on a perfectly temperate day.

We had a bbq with delicious burgers and best of all… we built a fire! Actually the Boyfriend in his super genius manner constructed a boy scout certified fire in a pit while I jumped about flailing my limbs and coaxing the firewood to burn with my words. I think that helped. The fire smelled like warm and summer and smoky, smoky goodness. It smelled like bacon tastes, only better.

I don’t know what fire means for you, but for me it definitely means seeing how many things I can pierce with a sharp stick, set ablaze and then fling as I watch them streak across the night sky. I made many little melty marshmallowy comets that shot up and quickly plummeted into the lawn where I’m sure a hill of ants is currently feasting. Fire also means the consumption of many, many Sam’s Summer Ales while I decide internally and then announce that surely the Rolling Stones designed each and every one of their songs for that moment of half naked drunken fire pit dancing. They so did. 

April 29, 2008

Last days of being a bum

“New York: The only city  where people make radio requests like “This is for Tina-I’m sorry I stabbed you.” -Carol Leifer

I’m sitting in bed, hours past bedtime, blogging away and drowning goldfish cracker after goldfish cracker with red wine. In my mouth. The only problem is that my supply of goldfish crackers is dwindling while my supply of red wine is everlasting.

Today marks the end of unemployment, sadly.

In my detour to the world of the unemployed I bummed around New England and New Jersey. My hometown is the quintessential picturesque little New England town. Our deck overlooks the rooftops of our neighborhood with a little slice of ocean and lots of sky. With the windows open at night the faint sea breeze can lull you to sleep; with them closed the suburban silence is deafening. The sea-worn houses are packed close together bordered by uneven cobblestone sidewalks. Parked cars are awkwardly jammed in between them in ill-conceived driveways. It’s really everything I would imagine immersing myself in for a really simple carefree life of vacationing and twiddling my thumbs by the ocean.

It’s remarkable how much surroundings can change you. I went for a morning run in 80-degree weather instead of staying inside in the comfort of shade and cool crisp sheets. I was on my second round of runner’s high when I started picturing myself similarly out of breath running trays in and out of the kitchen at The Pit of Despair, my weekend hellhole of a job. I started thinking of the disgusting, ranch-dressing covered uniform. The manly, filthy tie. The grandma black Reeboks I wear that are falling apart. And the permanent jaded look on my face. And I’m running like a fool in the 80-degree weather by the ocean and thinking “WHY DO I DO THAT?”

And on to New Jersey. The Boyfriend and I raced his golf cart over tiny hills that made me scream in horror (he has instinct only to gas, not to brake). And then we strolled absent-mindedly to a stream deep in the woods where I drank beers and he took pictures. We were totally alone, just blankets and beer and a lazy, lazy evening. It was everything I miss when I’m trapped in a crowded subway trying to fight my way off at my stop, when I’m climbing the six flights of stairs to my apartment, or when I’m explaining to my customers at work that YOU CAN ONLY USE ONE VOUCHER PER TABLE. From now on when that table stares blankly/angrily/dismissively back at me I’m going to think “Cozy blankets, bubbly stream, wind in the trees, New Jersey.” In your face, white trash family/British non-tipping couple/German tourist girls on your way to the club.

It’s hard to explain why anyone would choose to pay what I pay for my tiny slice of Manhattan life when I could live so much more cheaply in a life of leisure by the ocean. It’s hard to explain until I step foot in Manhattan again and everything just feels right. And I’m thinking, “That was a nice vacation, but damn don’t those horn-honking cabs and cursing pedestrians sound oddly comforting?” And if you’re reading this right now and you’re, oh let’s say a Mormon in Utah, overlooking your vast stretch of land as far as the eye can see, you don’t get it. But if you’re an East Village hipster, a slave to Midtown, a Soho artist, or a Washington Heights diva, you get it. You can leave, but you’ll always come back. The city is your heartbeat.

April 19, 2008

Unemployment Update

The thing about being unemployed is that even the most mundane tasks become monumental. 

 

Today’s task: Cleaning of my pile of junk/bedroom.

Estimated time consumed by task: 5 hours.

Percent complete: 75%.

 

This to me is a tremendous achievement. All the crap I’ve accumulated and strewn about during my working 7-days/week nonsense is slowly finding its way into its designated home in my miniscule living space. It’s all making sense now, this unemployment business. I’m catching up on the 8 months of living I’ve missed out on… in two weeks time. It’s like a roller coaster. Ready, set, go! 

April 18, 2008

That quote thing

“The trouble with unemployment is that the minute you wake up in the morning you’re on the job.” -Slappy White

April 18, 2008

Unemployment: Week 1!

HELLO BLOG!

 

Today I return to you, unemployed, drunk and over-caffeinated like an alcoholic wife beater.

 

Why have I stayed away so long? Now if I told you, I wouldn’t be mysterious, now would I?

 

Suffice to say, I AM BACK. And all of my three readers are rejoicing (Hello, three readers)!

 

So far, unemployment is fabulous. I wake up when I want to, I eat when I want to, and most important I get drunk whenever I mother fucking want to. Which is now, always and forever.

 

To be fair, I do have a job lined up. So I’m not unemployed in the “food stamps” sense. Just in a looser, “I have no obligations” sort of way. And this way allows me to blog a lot, so all three of you readers should be pleased.

 

Being unemployed and all, my days are much different from when I had that lame 9-5. When I take the train in from New Jersey (where The Boyfriend now resides), instead of blending in with the shuffle of worker bees off to my office for that morning meeting/coffee/assignment I just casually make my way to my cab toward my apartment because, Hey, I’VE GOT SLEEPING TO DO. And we all know how important that 10am nap is. Almost as important as my 7pm Bailey’s & coffee.

 

All of a sudden, my world is moving at a suburban pace in the big bad city. And I’m constantly wondering, “Why is everyone in such a FUCKING rush?” I’ve got relaxing to do, after all. So if you see me, dancing on the sidewalks with my iPod and my Stunna Shades, please be respectful. I’m trying to unwind, for God’s sake.

 

Peace, love, Britney. 

February 22, 2008

Voila

“You can’t teach people to be lazy—either they have it, or they don’t.” –Dagwood Bumstead of Blondie

Ok, reader(s?). By now I think we’ve discovered together (me through writing, you through reading, in the loosest sense of the word) that my every day laziness absolutely transfers to my blogging style. I haven’t posted in…well, quite a few days. Look at that, I’m too lazy to look up the number of days.

Don’t feel abandoned, though, because like most lazy divas I have my reasons. First, it’s difficult to double fist a can of Bud and a glass of wine while typing. Second, reading Internet trash gets in the way of me writing my own. Third, this working seven day a week thing was not some hyperbole I threw out there to try to get you hooked on my site. It’s all too real and it means every day I have to make a few unsavory choices many people don’t need to make. Example: do I spend my one free morning each week sleeping in or running errands? Do I do laundry or go on a beer run? Do I use a face mask or give myself a manicure? All leading to the inevitable, of course, do I read Internet crap or sit here and create some. Today, I create.

 Voila:

Manhattan has been sweet to me and our breakup will doubtless be a rough one, but one thing I will not miss is the way I get tossed around on the street like a plastic bag in the breeze. The thing about being so tiny is that it amazes people to the point that they overestimate my smallness. And judging from the way most people, from hurried strangers on the street to awkward coworkers, interact with me I’d say most people’s personal estimations of my size are around 2-3 feet tall and about 40-45lbs (And if you’ve never seen me, take comfort in the fact that this is a gross miscalculation). I say this because without fail about half of the people I cross paths with on the street or in hallways whack me, brush up against me or graze me in some way. Women throw their purses over their shoulders and into my face, old ladies jam their groceries into my arm, men open their newspapers on to my lap. They see I’m small and figure they can move about wildly and freely because there is no way they could collide with such a little speck of a human. And I’m always drowning the urge to say, “Um, excuse me. I’m small, not nonexistent. Now please remove your baby from my lap.”

Worse than assuming I take up zero space on a subway car are the folks in the restaurant who feel compelled to grab my arm while they order their food or ask for a refill. Are they thinking, “The small one needs physical contact in order to hear correctly?” Or, “So small, must touch!” I’m not really sure what it is that translates the observation of smallness into mandatory physical contact. Theories are most welcome.

I’m hoping once I get my car and move to LA this problem will be curbed, at least for the transit part of my life.