Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rain brings out the worst in me

Whether intentionally or un-, on this gloomy, wet, freezing day I further contributed to today's misery. Typically, I'm on the short end of the misery stick, the victim of Mother Nature's wrath, resulting in soaked through white dresses, forgotten or inside out umbrellas, and getting splashed by street water while trying to fight the soggy masses for a cab.

Today began slightly differently for me. I didn't have anywhere in particular to be, aside from the gym. I wasn't in a hurry. I wasn't wearing my favorite non-waterproof suede boots. I didn't mind being wet because I was just going for a swim at the gym. La la la. I may have even sung in the rain. As I got out of the subway, rain blowing sideways, black umbrellas in my face, people huddling under awnings in my way, I was a bit disoriented. I didn't recognized which subway exit I had emerged from, I didn't know which corner I was standing on. A girl approached me, "Excuse me? Excuse me? Is Broadway that way," she asked, pointing to my left. There's nothing I hate more than looking like a tourist in Times Square. I've been going to this gym everyday for 3 weeks now, of course I know where I am. I look up at the sky as if that's where the answer lies. "Um," I answered, "I thought this is Broadway," pointing to the street we're on, looking around for signs. "No," she said, the audacity of the Blind being annoyed at the Blind, "this is Seventh Ave." Ok, well, Ponce De Leon, if your goddamn inner compass is working all of a sudden, you don't need my help, I wanted to say. But I looked up at the billboard, looked at the M&M store to my right and I concurred, "Yes, yes, it's that way," pointing in the direction she was already walking in. I turned the corner, walked about ten more steps, and realized I was walking to my gym that's located on Broadway, in the opposite direction. Shit. What a dunce. I turned around and debated running after her to tell her, it sucks to be walking around lost in the pouring rain, but she was already gone. Ah well. Off to my swim.

After the gym, on the W train back to my apartment, when the doors opened at 34th St, there was a large seemingly homeless black lady bent over on the platform. First, I was like, "Wow, that's a large woman." Then I was like, "she really shouldn't be those brown leggings." And then I realized she was standing on the platform, all 180 lbs of her, with no pants on, and her underwear pulled down. This has no relevance to the story I was telling. I just thought that was really crazy.

Back in my apartment, I was going to begin my detox today, but I wanted to go for a swim again tomorrow, and I knew I was going to be drinking and eating a lot for Halloween so I decided to postpone the fast. On this cold and rainy day I thought this was the perfect day to order a soup from Hale & Hearty, only 5 blocks away! I looked on the site and what's the soup of the day? Broccoli Cheddar Mashed Potato! My all time favorite! So I happily clicked away, putting the mega sized soup in my shopping cart, and settled in to my couch to watch Californication while waiting. An hour later, the delivery man arrived, his full body poncho completely drenched, 6 heat-saver bags of deliveries weighing down his shoulders, and I grabbed my soup, tipped him a dollar, and wished him a great day.

While walking to the elevator, I realized that that was rather shitty of me. The guy's probably got a million deliveries on this nasty day and I pick today of all days to be cheap. Ah well. I always order from there. I'll get him next time.

I got in the elevator anxious to get back up to the seventh floor so I could dive into my soup when I heard footsteps running and someone yelling, "Hold the door!" I pressed "7" and jabbed my index finger as fast as a could on the "Door Close" button and was thoroughly satisfied that I had achieved my goal of slamming the door in this stranger's face. On my seven floor ride, I reflected on my day so far and thought, "My, I've been quite the little rain troll all day." It seems perhaps I've had to sacrifice other people's happiness for me, for once, to have a good day on a rainy day. That I'm willing to do. (Smug smile).

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Boys

About two years ago my boyfriend whom I was living with broke up with me (for the 20th time, mind you). I was tired of being homeless, couch surfing, sleeping in my best friend's parents' basement, and most of all, tired of waiting for him to come around and realize what he was missing out on. I was working full time in New York and I really couldn't be that girl anymore. You know, the girl who came to work with all her bags, wearing the same wrinkled shirt from the day before, with swolen eyes that were always on the verge of tears. Yeah. Freak. Your job really doesn't give you time off to get over your breakup and pull yourself together, unlike in college when I skipped town for a month, and drank a year of my life away, after being given the boyfriend pink slip.

So I began the apartment search which was pretty scary because I spent all my "emergency money" on Pier 1 furniture for his apartment along with a new pair of shoes per week. What was "affordable" in New York was an eighth of what I had in Jersey. As desperate as I was to find an apartment, the roommate seekers whose ads I answered were equally as desperate to find a roommate to fill a spot. I didn't want anyone thinking they were going to get "that girl", you know, the one that comes with all the drama of a recent breakup filled with lots of crying and screaming on the phone, but some of these people were just Drama Uncensored. "Please move in. God, rent's due tomorrow and I can't afford to pay mine and hers on top of my child support and my school loans and medical bills. That fucking bitch had to go and get arrested. God, I told her not be prostitutin' in front of the apartment." Yeah. I'm sure a little crying in my pillow was the least of her problems. I looked at a place at the last stop on the B train in Brooklyn, that felt like a longer commute than my bus ride from Jersey, where I would be living with 3 gay guys, 2 of whom were strippers. I was going to look at another apartment but the landlady warned me about coming out there by myself after dark. Ummm, no thanks! Another apartment looked quite lovely except I would be sharing the place with 2 roommates and the "rooms" were separated by makeshift dividers. Goodbye, Sex Life. When I walked out into the stairwell there were beer bottles everywhere and clothes strewn all over the stairs as if someone had just literally thrown their lover out. Psssh. Poor sucker. Don't know what that's like!

I was just about to give up the search and camp out outside my ex's until he realizes just how awesome I am and how he can't live without me when my girlfriend, whose apartment I was squating at in Hoboken, suggested I try looking at some places in Hoboken. No way, I said. Nuh uh. Hoboken's soooo not me, I declared stubbornly. She told me I needed to find something and that someday, call her crazy, she'd like to be able to use her couch again. She looked up some listings on craigslist and found one that was just a couple blocks away and it had only been posted the day before. Call him, she said. It sounds nice.

And so, I reluctantly got on the phone and called the person and while he didn't sound all that excited to hear from me, he said I could come look that night, in like 5 minutes. My friend, Caroline, came with me, just in case the guy was crazy and decided to capture me and hold me prisoner in his love lair, but mainly for moral support. That was when I met Andrew, a 30 something opera singer who I presumed was gay and therefore "safe", who didn't sound all that excited on the phone or in person because he had just put his cat to sleep earlier that day. Gay and sensitive! I took a quick look around the place, a second floor walk-up with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, and it was by far the nicest place I had seen so far and it just felt cozy with the scent of vanilla lingering in the room. (Andrew told me later he lit the candle to hide the smell of his animals, a dog, a cat, and a snake). I felt completely at ease in the 5 minutes of talking with Andrew, I got the "he's a good guy" vibe from him, that I called him the next morning and asked if I could take the place without having met the other male roommate (which I found out later that they thought I must have been crazy and desperate).

Everyone else thought I was crazy too for answering an ad and moving in with two complete male strangers. I'll admit, desperation did lead to irrational decisions, but these two guys turned out to be the best roommates I've ever had (besides Kate and Shavaun but they're my best friends). I felt completely at ease with them, like I had known them for years, and I learned that living with guys is waaaaaaay better than living with girls. You don't have to deal with passive aggressive drama (i.e. "I guess I'll do these dishes since they aren't going to wash themselves") and they know to leave me alone when I don't feel like talking whereas girls would ask you what's wrong until you end up hating them.

Of course, it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies all the time. At times I felt like I was living in a frat house, but worse, and those things took getting used to, like the infamous time Andrew's drunk friend burst into my room at 4am and mistook my closet for a bathroom. (I got a lock after that). Coming home at 7pm after a long day at work was always an adventure. I never knew what I was going to walk in to, whether the guys would be completely annihilated and calling strippers to come over, or if they would just be on the couch watching My Super Sweet 16 on MTV. I once came home to find everybody passed out and the entire living room (floor, couch, etc) was covered in popcorn. Yeah. Picture that. Or the time I came home and there was a tattoo table set up in the living room and Andrew was layed out on in, face down, "getting some new work done." Or the time I was happily typing away in my bedroom and come out to find that they had converted the living room into a makeshift bar, stocked with ice, glasses, and every possible liquor, so that Sergio can practice being a bartender. Or the numerous times I would be woken up at 3am by the sounds of their impromptu house party fully stocked with ugly troll bitches and guys playing the bongos, guitar, and piano all at the same time.

As frustrating as some of those nights had been, the good times we had far outnumbered them. Andrew and Sergio were always there when I needed them, whether if it was a shoulder to cry on, an ear to talk off, a drink to be bought, or just someone to sit on the dirty smelly couch with and not talk to at all. They helped approve my date outfits, gave me boy advice, always told me I could do better, all while trying to convince me to become a stripper.

Moving out (after getting an amazing deal in Manhattan that I couldn't pass up- Midtown with a doorman and an elevator!) was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, but as some of my friends advised, "You're not in college anymore," and it was time for me to move on to the next chapter in my life.

I texted Sergio last night to say hi and ask how the new roommate was and he replied, "She doesn't clean. She doesn't get with us. It's like you never left."

Sigh. I'll always love them.

(Pics from one of my last nights at the apt).

"It came out the wrong end!"

I went over to my brother's for dinner on Friday, and while he was slaving away, grilling his magical mystery burger, he put me on seven layer dip duty. Seven layer dip is my absolute favorite and I couldn't wait to finish making it so I could dig in. Estimated prep and cook time is approximately 10 minutes according to Betty Crocker but since I couldn't really remember what goes in it and had to wait for my brother's instructions after each layer, I'd say it took me almost 40 minutes to make. First layer is the refried beans, followed by, "Hey, Rich? What goes next?" No answer as he's totally into making his secret mystery mayo. "Rich? Er. Now what?" As I write this I can't even remember what went next but my point is I waited about 10 minutes after each layer for the next instruction. I was going to be the usual "get shit done" person that I am and kinda guess what goes next by what was left in my little prep area; two cans of sliced olives, tomatoes, pickles, and so on. But Rich is insanely serious about his cooking, like, you can't get the layers out of order because then it ruins the color scheme and it doesn't look as nice, even though I'm not sure why that matters since it's all going to the same place. In my belly! It was a good thing that I let the Kitchen Nazi reign though because when I asked if it was ok to go ahead and spread on the sour cream layer he replied, "that's mayo, Dipshit." Phew!

So 40 minutes later, the dip is chilling in the fridge, while I kept pestering Rich, "You think it's ready yet? It's been in the fridge for TWO minutes now!" Two minutes after that I was happily distracted by dinner, funneling the cheeseburger and curly fries into my face.

While sitting on the couch with my jeans unbuttoned, watching Ghost Adventures (awesome!), and nursing my belly ache, my brother calls me from the kitchen, "Hey, Nina, would you mind coming in here?" I walked to the kitchen where my brother, his wife, and 3 of his friends were staring up some dark specs on the ceiling. "What's up?" I asked, also wondering what they were pointing at. "You got guacamole dip on our ceiling," Rich's wife answered. (Our brand new ceiling, she added). "No way," I said, "that's, like, dirt or something." To which my brother replied, "No. I tasted it. It's guacamole."

I remember squeezing the packet of guacamole dip out, and a hole bursted open on the top side, causing the guacamole to squirt all over the place, but I still can't really believe the height I got on that one!

I <3 NYC

Checking out at the 28th and Park Duane Reade
Cashier: What's poppin'?
Me: Huh?
Cashier: Everything be chill?
Me: What the? Whatever happened to the standard "did you find everything you were looking for today, Miss?"

Friday, October 24, 2008

On the phone with Mary the psychic:

After talking for 15 minutes...
Mary: Who are you with?
Me: Um. No one. I'll tell you later.
Mary: Where are you?
Me: At Quiznos
Mary: Who are you with? Jeff?
Me: I told you about Jeff? Yeah, I'm in North Carolina.
Mary: I knew you wouldn't be at a Quiznos in New York City. I'm injured. Not mentally retarded remember?

My brother's Six Word Memoir

"My steak is better than hers."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ikea Soundbites

Tim: What do think? If my bed is this birch color can I get this mahogany nightstand?
Me: Eh. I don't like to mix my woods. I pick one wood and I stick to it.
Tim: Are we still talking about furniture here?

Monday, October 13, 2008

I love this quote

"I was put here- to see sadder things. We had to stand in the rain and explain why the world was a lovely place." -Heather O'Neill, Lullabies For Little Criminals

The next day:

Me: Wow sorry I was a bit drunk. Was it like talking to a retard?
Friend: A little. I talked to this guy once who had been kicked in the head by a donkey as a child. It was kinda like that.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mother Brittany at the bar:

Brit: Nina, go pee.
Me: But I don't have to.
She gives me a look that means do as I say right now. So I go.
I returned from the bathroom.
Brit: Did you go pee?
Me: Yes. I got it all in too.

On discovering the gym...and my inner nudist

I set my alarm every morning with the intentions of going to the gym before work. I typically hit snooze a few times before I get up, dilly dally around, put on my gym clothes, eat breakfast, and then come up with a million excuses of why "I'll just go tomorrow." Oh, now I'm too full from breakfast to work out. Oh, I'm out of cereal, can't work out on an empty stomach. Oh, Regis and Kelly is on, this is a good one. Oh, now it's just too late and I don't have enough time. People in my building often ask if I'm a trainer because I'm always walking around in sneakers and track pants. If only they knew. My other excuse for not going to the gym is that I just recently moved to Murray Hill and I just hate going to new gyms. I get so self conscious. I don't know where the machines are, I don't know the people, where the locker rooms are, or even where the entrance to the gym is for that matter. Walking around the city you always see people running on treadmills on the second floor but you can never find how to get up there. It's rather embarrassing to be standing on the street in your gym clothes, staring longingly up at the second floor, scratching your head. "HELLOOOOO UP THERE! HOW DID YOU GET THERE?"

Last week, fed up with all my designer jeans not fitting, I said, "Fuck this shit. You're a grown woman living in New York City. You can find a goddamn door and carry your lard ass up to the second floor to break a little sweat." And so began the journey. There are tons of New York Sports Clubs I can choose from for where I live. I can go to the 23rd and Park one, 34th and Park, Union Sq, or 53rd and Lex up by work. Endless options. I really hate machines and can't run on a treadmill due to a knee injury, so I decided on the 49th and Broadway location because they had a pool for me to swim laps in. Perfect. I got on the R to the 49th St. stop. I got to Broadway between 48th and 49th and saw a huge scaffolding sign that says NYSC, 15th Floor, Join Us! Well yes, that's what I'd like to do but where is the entrance? Nothing. I walked around the corner to 48th St and saw the building number, 1601, which was the gym's address, except it looked like a corporate building with a bunch of men walking in in suits. I circled the block one more time and was ready to get back on the subway and back into my cozy bed, slightly relieved that I had yet another excuse not to workout. At least I tried. Again, the nagging voice in my head started telling me I'm a grown up and to stop being stubborn and ask someone. So I walked into 1601 and asked the doorman. He said it was around the corner, through the parking garage. Seriously? I walked through the parking garage entrance and again no sign for NYSC. Just the garage and an entrance to a hotel. Again, I wanted to go home, but I walked in and asked the bellhop. Is there a gym in here? Up the escalator on the 15th floor he tells me. I got up a flight on the escalator and was greeted with the hotel lounge and lobby. No more escalator. No elevators. What the hell? A wandered around looking like all the other tourist in sneakers and sweats until I found the well hidden elevator. Finally. To the 15th floor. I got off and I was in a hotel hallway with signs for rooms on both directions. No signs for a gym. Really? I felt like I was trespassing. Is this the NYSC secret society? Do I need to knock on one of these hotel rooms with a password in order to enter? Finally I found it around another corner. Really? Does anyone else have to go through this when they try to go to the gym?

So anyway, gym quest aside, I had an awesome swim, 30 minutes, and just felt great afterwards. I normally don't shower at the gym because there never was really a point. I lived 5 minutes away from my old gym and would rather shower with my own products than to use theirs or have to bring it all with me. But with the chlorine, and I was already wet, I figured I should just shower off. The gym pretty much only supplies hand towels that barely covers your ass. I used to be a bit shy in the locker room but everyone was walking around completely naked, all ages, various sizes, waxed and 70's bushes, all without a hint of self conscious. I felt like I was making other people uncomfortable for covering up so I decided to walk around naked as well. It was the most freeing thing ever. This may sound a bit obvious or perhaps hippyish but it was just so freeing to be completely naked in front of strangers and not care at all what anyone thinks. I was naked and no one was even looking. I'm addicted. I may go to the gym on days I'm not working out just to take a shower. It's amazing. I love it so much I'm actually thinking about moving to a Nudist Colony. I would save so much money on clothes. And really, I wouldn't have to worry about jeans fitting anymore, and therefore solving this whole gym problem altogether.

Korean lunch with Tim

No idea what we ate.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On Dating:

Texts and quotes from the last few dates...

Guy 1: 2:34am: "CUM over babe. Bring your girlfriend." (I didn't).

Guy 2: "Wait. You're not looking for a boyfriend, are you?"

Guy 3: "Can you promise this will be our little secret?"