I'd like to dig in really deep here.
What I want to know is, what the hell is up with all the damned colons? Does ::iscatter:: really look better than just plain old iscatter? Or should I add some periods, too? ..::iscatter::..? Is that better?
Someone, please, educate my novice ass on this. When is the use of multiple colons appropriate? Is this some html-insider trick? Will it bring me more search engine hits? Does it make my text more pleasing to the eye? Will it help our children score better on the analogy section of the Verbal SAT?
Or, as I suspect, does it just substitute for lack of a decent free image server? Making graphics where there are none? Is it meant to (dare I even suggest what is sure to be interpreted as insult?) enhance content? Perhaps your readers will be blinded by all those dots, and forget to think about what you've scrawled for them?
Please, let's all try to think about grammar just a little bit here, and not just punctuate with wild abandon where we think it will look nice.
Yes, it's true. The bastard's kidnapped my Celebrity, and won't return it until I fulfill his insane demands --
1. kick his bowling ass,
2. help him meet Joey "the" Fatone,
3. allow him to create copyright-defying freebased versions for all of his "indie" friends.
He has an N*Sickness, friends, and it is time to stop enabling pop-junkies like Tony Hightower. When his own friends sit around Sidewalk Cafe, of all places, and extoll the virtues of boy bands right in his face, I think we may have gone too far. Please, someone close to Tony, recover my CD and drop me an e-mail to let me know he's safe. Oh, make him over! We can then discuss arrangements for returning the disc to its rightful owner. And soon.
May I suggest a clean, family-safe alternative?
I just surfed over to Rolling Stone for the cover story on N*Sync. I hit the page that advertised "More about N*Sync," which I think was a mesage board or photos of Justin Timberlake or something, I couldn't really see beyond the brilliant contrast of the banner-ad to the pop-up ad. Ah, duh.... stunning.
Somehow it escaped me that Forever Young by Rod Stewart was based on Bob Dylan's song of the same name. But did you also know that there's a version out there by The Supremes? My parents probably own it on vinyl. I'll have to check.
My favorite diva, Neil Diamond, was on the Today Show today. Katie asked him if Neil Diamond was his real name, and he said indeed it is. This was a topic of conversation in the car on the way to Ohio, actually. Anyway, Neil said (and this FAQ confirms) that he did consider changing his name. Options on the table? Noah Kaminsky and Eice Cherry. Wow.
Last night I tried on dresses at Macy's. I guess I missed Karen. I also sort of convinced myself that I need a dress, that I can't repeat dresses at all of these upcoming weddings. So, apparently, the popular thing these days is a hem that looks like you sewed it yourself. I am six feet tall. Clothes are generally too short anyway, and so what should be an ankle hem is usually somewhere mid-shin for me, knee-length becomes racy, and miniskirts are just absurd. And the last thing I need is to call more attention to an already misplaced hemline.
But fashion victim that I am, I decided if it works on millions of preteens it might work on me, and so I grabbed a dark blue sparkly dress with a hem that was longer on the right than the left, sort of cascading down all mermaid-like. I also tried on a black dress with a feather neckline (Karen, that was just for you, and I swear, it looked pretty good), a gold dress with little glass beads scattered all over the place, a black skirt with a beaded hem, and a t-shirt that read "Love is War." I know, I know.
Naturally each item was a mistake of varying intensity. Except the skirt, which I bought. But the mermaid dress, that was the worst. Women of America, what kind of crack are we smoking??? I do not exaggerate when I say that I looked like a drag queen as Carmen Miranda. And since it's probably not in my best interest to command more attention than the brides at these weddings, I quietly put it back on the rack. But by then, I was covered in light blue glitter. Annisia would call that retribution for every Christmas and birthday card I've ever given her, but me? I just call it reason to buy N*Sync's new album today.
Which I did at lunchtime today. Makes me feel dirty, I have to say. Dirty Pop!
That last entry reminded me of a sign that adorned the change machine at the laundromat on 2nd Ave at 3rd St:
THIS CHANGE MACHINE FOR COSTUMERS ONLY
Last night when I picked up my mail I noticed this, written in black magic marker on the side of my communal mailbox:
When I went inside I noticed this, written in black magic marker on the back of a catalog I'd just picked up:
After nearly three weeks off, I returned to the lake this morning at 5:30 to sub in a boat destined for the Masters' Rowing World Championship Regatta coming up at the end of August in Montreal. My hiatus was imposed mainly as a weak form of objection to the participation of my club in several masters' regattas this summer, as opposed to smaller, community club regattas for which I would have been eligible.
Disaster. Of eight rowers who were scheduled to row, 6 showed up. Three were on time, three were late. Two were no-shows. I know you've heard the mantra, rowing is the ultimate team sport. That's a subject of frequent debate, but when it comes to actually putting the boat on the water, it is tragically true.
Rowing a 4-person boat was an option I didn't want to suggest, since I knew they would send me home (I was just a sub) and let the people actually participating in the regatta row. But as it turned out, two people were tired and begged off, so I got to break my fast anyway, albeit late (by late I mean we put shell to shore at 6).
Ahh, morning rowing. Once I was on the water I realized my novice symptoms had returned -- tight hamstrings, weak delts, and spaz syndrome, with the oar flailing more than a little bit on the recovery. And I was hungry! Last night's late dinner meant I didn't eat much.
But still, as always, the overwhelming sense of serenity that the lake affords returned easily. I noticed that, since my last row, the white duck had found a mate, a half-white duck to follow it around. Eileen, the tree where the cormorants nest (and which earned its name from the 25° or so angle at which the trunk overhangs the water at the bend in the lake) still smelled like the dead fish the birds carry home. The starboard rowers still carried their oar handles too high, the ports too low.
The row was short and filled with drills. I think the coach may have been helping me ease back onto the water. We were back ashore by 7:15 and as I walked back to my car I thought about my insane schedule of upcoming regatta practices. And I realized that I'm ready to be back on the water. My awe for the sport is back with enthusiasm to spare. Bring on the races.
If right now was a year ago, I would probably be eating tabouleh with Millie. It's that kind of hot night, where all you want to do is chop, maybe boil just a little bit, and then sit around and soak something up with a pita. Instead there's nobody left here but boys. And they all eat at the Route 1 brass and ferns and don't really chop much at all.
If right now was a year ago, actually, Millie and I would have already eaten a good portion of the tabouleh (along with Rob, though he from the special onion-free dish) and Millie would be sound asleep, or nearly asleep and wishing Erik and I (mostly just I) were quieter with the Playstation. Rob would chuckle and go give Millie hugs to help her fall asleep, and eventually I would head off for home with my little dish of leftover tabouleh which I would have to absolutely swear to return to Millie.
Sometimes in the middle there were a couple of beers (generally Sam Adams as long as they had been left properly standing upright in the refrigerator), or a bike ride to the grills (with veggie burgers wrapped in foil and zip-tied to my handlebars), or a softball to the noggin followed by a trip to the doctor (and Millie with softball-stitch imprints in her forehead and one bleached eyebrow), or Harry Potter talk about how hard it was to do anything other than finish the fourth book (like even brush your teeth or lock the door), or maybe just lazy speculation about what Princeton would be like when we didn't all live there anymore.
Well, I'm still here. It's still hotter than I can bear (and I have the A/C on, thank you) and I'm still obsessing over boys and Millie's still got more tomatoes than me, but now hers grow somewhere just outside of a major metropolitan area on the wrong coast.
But in the spirit of dwelling on the past (a spirit that's taken up permanent residence here in this house) Millie dropped me an e-mail tonight to see if I'd like to cut out of work early and hit the quarry for a swim before dinner. Millie, I sure would. I'll meet you guys there. Do I still have veggie burgers in your freezer?
She also sent the tabouleh recipe. Go chop with a friend and enjoy.
Here you are Kate :)
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 c. bulgar wheat
1 T. olive oil
1 t. pepper (or less)
1/4 t. salt
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 c. flat-leaf parsley
1 red onion, chopped
3 scallions (green part only), sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Bring the juice and 1 and 1/2 cups water to a boil. Stir in bulgar, oil,
pepper and salt. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until the water is
absorbed, 20-25 minutes.
Mix everything else together, add the bulgar and chill.
I still don't know Marc's real weblog address, but he was inspired to start Truth where you should go right now and post everything you know is true, just like I did.
If Erik had his own weblog, he could have posted this himself. Apparently he has found us out, fellow Kates. Instead he just e-mailed it to me and told me again how much he hates pants.
You might have noticed that I changed the page around a bit, you know, within the very limited scope of my ability. (I pretty much just changed the colors.) If you were dazzled by my changes, wait until you see Caroline's website. I've been reading her site ever since she was just a wee little Cooper student, and I've always found it stunning. While technically far more than just a weblog, the journal on her site entitles her to listing as such over there in the left column. Her dream log is also very cool, kind of like the weblog of a whole second person (a very sleepy person). And now she's at big bad NJIT so I suppose we fall in the same category of former Cooper students who woke up one day in NJ and who are now trying to answer the Talking Heads' question, Well, how did I get here?
Letting the days go by...hi Caroline!
barnes and ignoble.
I'll admit it. I shelled out the money for the B+N Readers' Advantage card. I have already made my money back a couple of times over. I love books. And growing up in my family taught me how to shop for books with wild abandon. I can remember wandering through Northshire with my arms literally full of books. I also frequented the library but there was something much less rewarding about reading a book when you knew it wasn't yours to keep. But for the long summer weeks I spent at my grandmother's house it was all I had. We would stop by the library for books and go for a walk on the beach. Well, we called it a beach, but it was sand on the shore of the Hudson. Yes, I have been swimming in the Hudson.
But that's another story. This is a story about gentrification; a story about consumers choosing quantity over quality, bulk over brains, malls over market, common over character. My general feeling is that I'll always support the little guy, if the little guy is worth supporting. I'd never buy a substandard product just for the sake of bannering my allegiance to Mom and Pop. So while I do support independent booksellers, I also buy a whole lot of books in not so great places. Which doesn't stop me from being excited about B+N, until the other day.
Right, so, the point is that they have whatever book you want in stock, right? Maybe not *any* book, you'd have to go on-line for that, but still, if there was, say, a bestseller that you wanted to pick up for a light summer read, and they didn't have it in stock, that would be crazy, right? I'm not talking about a Harry Potter phenomenon type book here, just a fairly popular book. Let's say it was High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby... a book popular not only in its own right, but also as the book version of a movie!
And let's continue down Insanity Lane for a moment, and say that your friend suggested an equally popular book as a substitute for this leisurely summer read, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers. Well, they must have that, right? I mean, browse on over to any weblog, it's what the people are reading! Affected hipsters in black are clutching it on the subways of life! But no, they don't have that in stock, either.
This really happened to Erik. I'm just the friend making the (admittedly somewhat overread) suggestions. So what the hell are they carrying these days at our favorite book supercenter? Well, I'll tell you. Coffee. Coffee and kitschy office supplies in the hottest summer colors. Oh, and coffee mugs. And greeting cards. Well, at least you can get them at a 10% discount.
Enjoy your proverbial latte, America... we have brought this upon ourselves.
Marc started a weblog, but won't reveal the name until he makes an entry. I know it isn't any of the following:
Can you figure it out?
Erik's also been toying with the idea, I think. Maybe Erik could get singleguy.blogspot.com (not taken) and write the dating memoir he's been thinking about. Or dontyouhatepants.blogspot.com (also not taken) and write about how much he hates pants. Or rockstar.blogspot.com and write about Philantifolk and his upcoming album release. I dunno, just a thought. Get in on these blogspot domains now, kids... they're going fast?
I'd heard the rumor, but I didn't believe the logistics could be true. I was wrong. In a bizarre path-crossing, Monica Lewinsky gave a talk to Princeton students in Cooper Union's Great Hall. Umm... okay. There are so very many things wrong with this. I'd like to discuss celebrity status and our cultural designations thereof. Why do we still pay attention to Monica Lewinsky? Why is she speaking in the Great Hall? I know Cooper doesn't need money that badly. In particular, why is it that we develop this fascination with and repulsion from all things Monica? The article touches on this subject. Still, please don't go buy the book. Please don't buy her handbags (no, Monica, you cannot pawn off your baggage onto other American women). Just please don't talk or think about her at all unless for some strange reason she speaks at your alma mater to a group of students from the university by which you are currently surrounded. All right, thanks.
home of the whuppin.
What I need right here is a good, free image hosting site. Angelfire is not that company. Hence I have removed the non-image that appeared here earlier.
On a lighter note, I'm really looking forward to this weekend, when Marc, Leslie, and I will be accompanying KB on his final pre-wedding hurrah. We're going to hit each and every roller coaster at Cedar Point and then turn right around and head back. Nothing like a quick jaunt to Ohio. It's been a while since I've taken a decent roadtrip, and this one is shaping up to be great. I love these directions:
NEW YORK, NY to Sandusky OH: 518 mi.; 10 hrs., 15 mins.
West on Holland Tunnel (NY)
West on Pulaski Skyway (NJ)
West on US 1 (NJ)
Northeast on New Jersey Turnpike (NJ)
Northwest on I-280 (NJ)
West on I-80 (NJ-PA-OH) to Exit 118 (Sandusky)
Turn right onto US 250 (OH)
I-80 all the way, baby.
don't read this if you want to maintain faith in my inner-cool.
So, there was this orange Kate Spade handbag on ebay that I noticed days ago. And I hate ebay. But I like Kate Spade bags... I know, so shoot me, I'm a damned yuppie, all right? Seriously, I like boxy bags that are open on top. Ask anyone who has seen my cow bag; it's true. And orange is my favorite color so I figured it would be okay to bid just this once, but no more than I would pay for a bag I saw in the store that I really really liked. Not to mention that it is in all likelihood a knockoff. I'm not going to say how much I would spend because as a non-girly girl, it's a little embarrassing for me to admit. So I bid at the last minute, and I had it! This is why I hate ebay, because of this feeling of *winning* that you get when you place what turns out to be the highest bid. But some catty bitch (I assume, because I can) was watching, and we had a little last-4-minutes bidding war, and she outbid me. Damn. So no orange bag for me. Well, at least I made her pay more. Oh, wait, that's why I hate ebay. Shoot. I know I will lose some respect for this post. I'm okay with that.
Supposedly, Catherine Deneuve's face is supported by a web of subcutaneous stitches. Made of 22-Karat gold. So, do you think the stitches are visible? Does she shimmer? I was thinking about this because I have some soap that some little kids made me for Christmas. I've been holding off on using it, because, well, I know these kids. But this past week I finally got my suds on and sure enough, the glittery stuff they embedded in the soap stuck all over me. I had to take another shower to get clean, for fear of being mistaken for one of those shiny girls. Strangely enough, shortly after this shimmery incident I was overwhelmed with the desire to go buy *Nsync's new album. I think I may yet. That Dirty Pop song is so catchy. And I've seen that episode of Making the Video about 12 times. N cuz JC (or is it AJ??) ruuuuulz!!!
It struck me, just now, as I stared out past swollen eye sockets and through translucent streaks on my lenses, that it was probably okay to eat the macaroni and cheese that had just fallen off of my fork and onto my space bar and desk, because hell, there's nobody else here, and the desk and keyboard are reasonably clean, and that's perfectly good macaroni and cheese.
And it struck me, just now, as I spelled out the macaroni and cheese incident for all the world to see, that even that very small private moment was not something I could stand to keep to myself and so here I stand before you, sweating, tired, confused, and frankly having already eaten too much macaroni and cheese to justify eating some more off of the table, an exhibitionist admitted and committed.
And it struck me, just now, as I admitted being a depraved exhibitionist to both friends and strangers, that sitting next to the dark and uncovered window in my pajamas, eating macaroni and cheese off of the table, getting ready to return to reading an entirely ridiculous, not to mention mindless, mystery novel loaned me by my father, that this probably isn't the optimum way to be spending an otherwise glorious and spellbinding evening.
But damn it, I'm having one of those unpleasant days. The kind of day that makes you want to stay up really late doing something at once mind-numbing and also mentally-encompassing so you don't have to go to bed to think about what made you not want to lay alone in the dark thinking. echhhh... I know, boo hoo.
Well, you can think of me getting bombed and stumbling around town this weekend of carousal. Tonight's Maxine's bachelorette party -- second in a series for me this summer (and this lifetime). I hear this one will involve Karaoke. What better way to show off what I've learned from my work with the Japanese! (and from dictionary.com: [Japanese : kara, void, empty + oke(sutora), orchestra (from English orchestra).]) These parties are sure to slow down soon, as I'm quickly running through my short list of girlfriends.
And tomorrow I may go to Sanjeevanee's birthday pub crawl which I'm not technically invited to... then, if I'm still standing, I'll head over to Sidewalk to catch Tony as the lunchmeat on a naked man sandwich. Hm, maybe that didn't come out right. No, yeah, I think it did.
And Sunday, who knows? Maybe the beach with Erik and the Robs. Maybe sleep. Maybe sleep on the beach.
How could I forget -- Never have coffee at a place that also has shrimp on the menu.
I'm not sure I can say anything else nice about Tony Hightower without changing this website to tonygush.blogspot.com. But at the risk of alienating my legions of readers, I will say it again, Tony rocks. Last night I saw The Wise Sophia and kept Tony out way past his bedtime trading stories and drinking coffee that probably kept him up even later and he only complained a little bit. Even when I exhibited gross ignorance regarding Canadian geography and used the phrase "shovelling hot dogs."
Living among the suburban masses sometimes makes me lose my bearings, but hanging out with intelligent, articulate, charismatic beings reminds me that being not-cool in New Jersey is actually the goal, not the downfall.
By the way, to the guy who yelled "YOU GOTTA MUSCLE YOUR WAY IN THERE, SWEETHEART" as I alternate merged my way into the Holland Tunnel around 12:30 this morning, go to hell. If one car is *towing* another car, it's kinda hard to slip in between them, no matter how small my car may be. Yes, that finger was for you. Go back to Jersey! Oh, uh... right.
You may have noticed that I kind of abandoned last weekend's tale... I didn't really have much more to say. Sorry for the lack of closure (ugh, what a terrible term to carry-over from psychobabble... ah, psychobabble -- another word I hate). But here... I think I can boil it down to a few simple Tuesdays-With-Morries. Some of these came from last weekend, some from more recently:
1.) Never trust an SUV with Jersey plates. One of the most dangerous places in the world for me in my little car is at Exit 15, the southbound I-87 interchange with I-287 and Rte 17. This is where all NJ drivers have their last opportunity to do something dumb among NY drivers. Usually this consists of blindly swooping right across 3 or 4 lanes, then correcting back a couple of lanes to the left. I usually just cower in the far right lane and try to stay out of the way of anyone with a travel mug and a cel phone. Which is everyone.
2.) Never claim superiority for either Entenmann's or Freihofer's chocolate chip cookies. I have it on fairly decent authority that they are one and the same. The Freihofer's tan box may make you think of home, and the Entenmann's commercials may bring a tear to your eye and a glob of drool to your lip, but you may as well merge those sentiments because you'll never win an argument based on either.
3.) Never pass an H&M without buying something. Truthfully, I'm including this one just because I want to make sure H&M is in business forever to supply me with the powder blue leopard print vinyl bags and miscellaneous actually wearable pink things I need to survive. But I don't think it would hurt if we all just tried to look a little more Hennes or a little more Mauritz. You bring the feathers, I'll bring the plaid. Come on, you can't beat $6 pants.
4.) Always carry a little notebook. I used to constantly carry a little notebook around and take notes on life. Then a boyfriend came along and called me "affected" and said something like, "yeah, I used to carry a little notebook around, too... when I was young." And I stopped packing that little notebook and now there's a whole big bunch of rants lost forever. I believe it is actively participating in life that creates the impact I'm going for, but it doesn't hurt to have some crib notes for your friends in case they were too drunk to remember the great truths you exhaled upon them.
5.) Always argue with the car moving. This is a lesson I learned a while ago. In the car is the worst possible place to argue, but if it must be done, it must be done in motion. Sitting on the side of the road and arguing in the car is the final circle of hell. Sometimes you just need to blurt out, "Drive, dammit! Drive now!" Of course, my best advice is to never get in a car with someone who raises your hackles, but sometimes you don't realize you're with that person until you're 250 miles from everywhere and when that time comes, I hope you remember this.
6.) Always go, even if that means going alone. Lately I've discovered the pleasure of going alone. Like, going into the city for a show, going to the mall for new shoes, going insane...
That's it for this preachy entry. I know, you may not attach much credibility to suggestions from a 25-year old suburban girl engineer, the one with the sheltered upbringing and the sweeping ignorance of Canadian geography, but in my delusional reality, you are all awaiting my every instruction, the answers to how to live a life as righteous as mine. So there you are, my minions, my public.
ohhhhh, no, erggghghhh...
i'm okay for a bit and then
but still, i'm so glad to have stopped the nail biting.
these nails are like cocaine.
Marc and I took the 6 train back up to The Bronx. By the way, it was my first ride on a new 6 and I have to say, the hype is worth it. Once you get past 125th, I think, the automated voice announces the train as "Pelham Bay PARK bound," emphasis on the PARK.
Since it was an outdoor holiday I'd already decided I wasn't going to leave the city that night. And since I was staying over, I decided to take Thursday off. And why come back to work just for Friday? So a few disagreements with my boss on Tuesday drove me to an extended weekend. I convinced Marc that another beach day was in order for Thursday. After Sunday's beacheriffic day, I was anxious to get back and see if I'd really changed as much as I thought. Especially with Marc's father, who has to be the best beach bum in The Bronx.
We were up early that day (he earlier than I, as usual) and ready to go (he readier than I, as usual). Turned out we didn't get going until much later, however, as we decided to get his whole family involved. Which was fine with me -- we got to have breakfast at the diner, and even got to hear his brother, Nick, order cheese "blitzes."
When we finally reached Jones Beach, after typical LI traffic and the long drive through the outskirts, we found a spot in Field 6 (Field 6! Field 6!) and trudged halfway to the water. The waves were huge. I was scared to go in. I covered myself in sunblock and read my Book Magazine. For the record, sunblock will pull the ink right off the page. I am not being figurative.
I was cold. The wind turned fierce. The barometer fell. The sea rose. We headed back.
Back at Marc's, I found my keys on the floor of his car. Offering to the sea, indeed.
on the road, again.
The following morning I packed up and headed North, up one of my favorite roads in NY, the Taconic. Now that I live in Jersey, I rarely get to take the Taconic to my parents' house, but since I wasn't starting at home, I took advantage of the opportunity. It was a little cold for topless driving, but I cranked up the heat and made do.
The nice things about the Taconic are the lack of traffic and tolls, the decent scenery, and all the different spellings of Taconic that you see on the signs on the way up.
The unfortunate things about the Taconic are the lower speed limit (55 as compared to the NYS Thruway's 65 mph) and the complete lack of convenient restrooms.
When I reached my parents' house, I felt like a Saratoga pony on Lasix.
much ado about little.
Friday and Saturday passed with little of note. Saturday night my mother and I had a little disagreement about whether Kitchenaid mixers are the devil's tool. I say yes, she says no. All I have to say for myself is that my grandmother, the baker, the one who wrote the recipe, never used an electric mixer on cookie dough. For shame. However, when two tired women are baking a double batch of sugar cookies, and one refuses to stir, I'd use a pitchfork to stir if it would make my job easier.
So with the spirit of my grandmother boiling up in my veins, I carefully pressed three non-matching M&Ms into the top of each cookie. After baking them until the edges reached the color of the walls in my grandmother's kitchen, I pulled them from the oven and let them set for exactly one minute before relocation to cooling racks covered in paper towels. When I bake, I am one-half Gram, one-half Kate the Engineer. Actually, make that two-thirds Gram.
Tragically, I am not as coordinated as I am picky, and so I wound up burning my leg on the hot oven door not once but twice. After nearly cursing and with tears welling in my eyes I retreated to the bathroom. My mother wouldn't stir but she did offer to finish baking the last two cookie sheets' worth so I could go to bed. When I woke up in the morning the cookies were neatly divided into two plastic dishes and my mother was all hugs and smiles again.
much ado about slightly more.
Sunday morning brought a phone call from Nana, my one surviving grandparent. She wanted me to join her for breakfast, so I drove to Albany to meet her. When I arrived at her apartment I found her arguing with the visiting nurse about whether the sore on the back of her leg was infected. She didn't want to go to the ER when she could be eating with me. My opinion was requested. I refused to make the call, though I said that truthfully her leg didn't look bad at all. The visiting nurse called her supervisor and my aunt. My aunt asked to speak to me and told me that "a leg infection is a terrible way to die." We all want to be in control of the situation, and I know she acted out of a feeling of helplessness, but I don't think she realized what a fatalist she was being and how that would stick in my head. As the oldest grandchild I am frequently expected to take on a role of adult when I'd rather still be one of the kids.
Fortunately the head nurse was already in the building. Her decision was that this wasn't ER-worthy, just Monday-doctor-visit-worthy, and so we had breakfast after all, with one stocking rolled down to Nana's ankle.
there's still more to come.
It's been a crazy week. Since last we met I've been up and down the Hudson like a flying Dutchman on crack. But fear not, I took notes and I'm back to report on all that I found wonderful about this most relaxing extended weekend. In fact, I took so many notes that I'm going to begin and leave you all on the 4th and pick up from there tomorrow. So -- here's part one of n.
We begin our journey, like so many of my journeys before, in The Bronx. Home to my favorite lunatic and his cat. I arrived at Marc's at 5: and waited on his stoop. I love stoop-sitting. My ass hits concrete and I transform back to the girl from the suburbs. Bronx stoops are among the best, because up there in Yankee country, they like to build up. Garage on the bottom, people on the top. That's the general idea, and sometimes it morphs into basement on the bottom, but the idea is the same. And it means the stoops are steep and the view is great. It's also hard for passers-by to turn their heads far enough to see you without appearing curious (something a good New-Yorker never never does) so you can really get a good look without being seen yourself.
When Marc arrived we dropped my stuff inside and caught the downtown 6, aiming for Jesse's. Around Parkchester, a man and a woman boarded the train with a little girl. The girl sat down on the bench across from me and Marc, and we immediately established eye contact. This girl was adorable; absolutely stunning. With a blue tongue and straight baby teeth she flashed repeatedly. Were we the audience or the performers?
When the family got off at 125th to transfer to the express train, the fireworks crowd had filled in most of the space between us. Marc and I both noticed the family boarding the train across the platform at the same time. Marc turned to me and said, "I'm going to miss that little girl."
We took the 6 all the way to 23rd, reasoning that staying on the local meant keeping our seats, precious in this crowd. We climbed the stairs and emerged on the street, joining the throngs already headed East for the show. A quick stop at a deli for 2 Gerbera daisies for Jesse, and we turned left up 2nd Ave. Jesse's doorman called up for us, announcing us as "Kate and Marc." Marc corrected him as we brushed past a retreating deliveryman: "Marc and Kate."
Thank goodness Jesse was lean mean grilling hot dogs, as I hadn't eaten all day. I wolfed down a few and clumsily chatted with some 2nd-degree acquaintances I hadn't seen in months at least. Interestingly, friends of friends are dating and so my social loops are beginning to close in on me. The confusion resulting from this situation is probably the reason why Joe doesn't advocate mixing friends.
We headed up to the slimy roof and joined the fanatics in their lawnchairs and flip flops. I was surprised how many young people apparently own apartments in Jesse's building.
The view from the roof was maddening. The sensory onslaught of New York struck me yet again and I really lost myself in the moment. With the fireworks a mere 10 blocks away, spectators visible in every direction, peering out from each of the city's crevices, I felt the oneness that is New York. Ugh, that sounds so trite, but I just can't think of a better way to express the feeling of being mutually interested with strangers. It is unfortunate that it takes this sort of flaming cartoon siege to bring out the fans.
Even with the plumes of smoke blowing toward us and obscuring the view, I was so taken. Jesse, of course, blamed himself for the wind and the smoke, and the rain and the lack of music and the rules against drinking on the roof... but no mind. The event was actually embellished with all of that -- the entire New York sky seemed to light up with each flash. And so for the second time in a week, I got to play a game of Lightning or Firework?
The mist must have started after we sat back down in Jesse's apartment. As we left his building, we strolled easily past the umbrella musterers and headed for the subway. The mist picked up and became a drizzle. As usual on days like these, the cops were out in full force.
Overheard as we passed a clump of uniforms huddling under an awning on 24th: "I'm gettin' wet, Sarge."
more to come...
Turns out the flowers are from my parents. I suppose I should have known when they asked me three times on the telephone, "so, anything new?" This job is thankless, which I suppose I also should have known.
All right, back to work, everyone. Nothing to see here.
... you arrive at work on Monday morning and there is a huge bouquet of flowers on your desk, and you're not quite sure from whom the flowers could possibly be. Unfortunately the intrigue stops there, as they are from your company, or so you assume when you read the card, which says, "Congratulations to the best PMINJ". You hope that PMINJ stands for Project Manager in New Jersey, though you suppose it could be Poetastic Madwoman or Prime Minister or Pretentious Maneater or Promiscuous Monster. At any rate, your office smells good, you are well-rested and your house is clean, and all in all things are looking a little brighter. And lo and behold, at some point in the last couple of frantic months, it seems you have gained a fair amount of respect for your work. And still, you hope to never, never, never manage a project again.
The key to happiness....
... seems to have fallen out of my bag somewhere between the start and the end of yesterday. In between, there were two cars and a beach, so things aren't really looking too good for finding my keys. Apparently I put too much stuff in my bag and my keys felt their personal space was being infringed upon, and so decided to leap to freedom, leaving me sandy and deserted in front of my apartment. Luckily, I'm immune to the locksmith spaz tax now, having distributed keys to my apartment the last time I was locked out. Still, it was a rather unpleasant end to an otherwise very pleasant weekend.
Speaking of the beach...
... Inspiration is usually fleeting for me. I am quite prophetic in a half-awake state, but I generally forget my point or realize its irrelevance between the half- and full-awake parts of my day. Friday night I was rushing for the subway so I could catch the last train home and I realized in my state of alert exhaustion that there is something about the city that makes me so calm. When I moved out of the city, I felt quite differently. I had just spent four grueling years in college, dashing about to finish work with which I had become obsessed, manage relationships with which I had become obsessed, appear in performances with which I had become obsessed... Moving out meant extrication, exhalation, and exultation. But now I realize, it was college that exhausted me, not the city as I've been explaining to people for years. There is, and has always been, something very life-affirming in the concrete and steel of New York. It is the realization that man can have a permanence, something that results from a self-supporting infrastructure, as structures crumble and become even more beautiful.
At the same time, I have always hated the beach. At the end of a sand-covered, wave-battered, seagull pooped-on day, I usually look back and say never again. But yesterday I kept an open mind and an open heart, and I just let myself take it all in. The beach, for all of its therapeutic claims, is full of busy-ness. The constant pounding of the surf, the screams of kids in the water, the gusting wind, the multicolored fanaticism of beachgoers, and the sand -- always creeping onto you until eventually you are downright breaded... these things can drive you mad. And yet, as a species we crave the ocean, building around our shores, carrying out annual pilgrimages to the beach. What is it about the circus of these trips that we find so calming? Yesterday as I awoke groggily after an hour's nap in the midst of all this, I finally found my beach zen -- it is the chance to feel small against a giant horizon, to let the earth batter you and to rise up baptized by all the earth has to offer. And as I continued to wake up, that feeling stayed with me and I knew my impression of the beach had changed forever.
and one other thing...
... to say about this little backwards journey through my weekend -- before rushing off to catch said train, I had the pleasure of meeting two more webloggers, little old me with my little old blogspot blog met two super cool weblog celebrities -- Amber and John. I think you will find, as I have, that they are each prime examples of why this whole phenomenon is so incredibly wonderful -- creative, inspired people I would have never otherwise met get a chance to reach out to each other and make a mark. And what a mark!