Friday, June 29, 2007

Items for smiling

A stack of new books, an easily flowing pen, memories of my elementary school picnic

Worn in jeans, clean kitchens, candle-dotted bathrooms, central air

Party planning, list-making, Whole Foods shopping, shore-hopping

The new patio lined with trees and the yet-to-be discovered roofdeck

Yellow linen, hot laundry, the L train

Laughing out loud our office porn names from our first pets and streets and secretly finding mine the best (“Peaches and Cream Perry”)

Cracking open a new bottle of water and it being too cold for my teeth

The sun between the blinds, coloring out of the lines, coffee past when it should be allowed

Saying, “Buh-buh-bananuh bread with fuh-fuh-frostin.” Also, “spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti.”

Christmas in August, summer in winter, and any juxtaposition that combines my new bikini with anything else

The tearsheet of the Tiffany pin that looks like a peapod trumped by a handful of actual peapods

Walking over bridges instead of burning them, water under dams instead of flooding them, anything seaside at all

An hour and a half left of the work week and the hallmark of summer just moments away


It’s overcast and when it is, it always reminds me of that day in Australia, at the exotic fruit tasting, when I was so incredibly excited to open one named a “Chocolate Pudding Fruit” only to find inside it looked like a rotten avocado and tasted like paste.

Then, the air was heavy with the promise of rain and the surrounding hills were Seattle-green. My sneakers were sinking in an inch of mud as we sat on wood benches slanted under the tarp. The orchard of fruit trees dropped seeds to the ground, and a rugged old guy carved open star-shaped oddities with a knife of machete-sized proportions. It was a weekday, in the summer, and it was fantastic…

It was today, a few years ago, and maybe a few years in the future too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Camp NY

Girls’ night is becoming more and more the standard and these days it feels like summer camp without the shorts. Loose hair instead of barrettes, juice boxes tossed for aperitifs, ants on a log have vanished and frisee salads appear as replacements.

I race out of the office instead of my parents’ kitchen, still with my bag whapping my side and my flip flops sliding around, to meet them downtown in a flickering West Village bistro, arriving late and excited and relieved as though Tuesday was Friday.

We drink too many glasses of wine and divide too few crab cakes at Paris Commune, contemplating New York and LA, reviewing weekend plans and downloading each other on the latest gossip, work and play. Shore houses, summer romances, tennis lessons, promotions; we all have something to share and envy here. And it prompts a Robert Altman conversation pace, everything overlapping, nothing resolved, as our glasses grow dry, the louder we exclaim, “Wait, what are you guys talking about?”

An adult in charge needs to shush us, but our waitress only encourages (probably so that she can reap the benefits of our overtipping to match our over-ordering). For us, the best of the summer week is at night, past our bedtimes, snapping phone photos and comparing sunglasses, making plans and taking initiatives, being aspirational because it’s who we are.

Everything has to be explained more than once, especially since she’s in for a visit, an ex-pat now part of that other city, so we can’t stop our questions. How’s the pool in the apartment? Is just it like Melrose Place? How much is there really the prevalence of smog/collagen/silicone/a thong-clad Lindsay Lohan? Is June gloom anywhere close to the humidity of here? Are all the men blond “directors” with mustaches and vans? We know it’s all a cliché, but don’t clichés start from some point of truth?

I’ve wanted to start a life on the west coast ever since 90210 aired, and we talk about what it might be like next year, if I end up making the move. But now I’ve become such a fan of the pulsating vibrancy of here, I’m not so sure. It’s camp in the city all of the time, and it’s getting pretty hard to leave, particularly since there is no bus to pick me up and tear me away from my friends and paltry paycheck that I spend simply to be with them while we’re still sort of young, and sort of glamorous…at least to us.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Crack, Back, Quack?

Last night I experienced an entirely new kind of…doctor…er…medicine man….er….well, he was a chiropractor (he was offering a free consultation, don’t they all? And this of course is what drew me in. I like-a the free stuff).

Never has a profession been more maligned (with the possible exception of podiatrist) than this man’s. Yet I love a yoga class which ‘opens’ my spine, a spa treatment which ‘kneads’ the muscles, and any man that says I need a weekly massage, heat therapy and deep stretching already has me a little starry-eyed.

Of course, he said that my posture was slightly wonky, just as I noticed his floor was on the exact slant that my so-called “misalignment” was. Hmmmm. Minus two points for possible shadiness.

Free bananas in the waiting room. Score! Plus one point.

Have to come back for the rest of my free treatment because the schedule didn’t allow for me to have it all at once. Hmmm. Minus one point.

The rest of my treatment involves a massage. Double score! Plus two points.

All after are at my cost and they range about $60 per treatment. I’m on the fence. I’m a person who apparently ‘holds all my tension in my back and shoulders’ and have angered more than one suitor by asking for a massage immediately after I exited the one he had bought me as a gift (in my defense, the masseurs always spend all this time on my arms and legs and hands and I just don’t need it there, but still, sorry guys, I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with me, it’s like a drug—I don’t really like to be hugged and I hate holding hands but I love it when someone sticks an elbow in my spine—I’m such a weirdo*).

So, anyone have any thoughts about chiropractors? Love them, hate them? Is there anything to this at all? Is it the case that you go once and then you’re hooked for life?

And is it incredibly elderly for me to be so intent on straightening my 25-ear-old back on a weekly basis?

*Such a weirdo, in fact, that I also give my pets a massage every time I’m home after I saw a special on pet spas on The Travel Channel. They seem to love it as much as I do.

I might be obsessed in an unhealthy way. I think I prefer massages to sleeping and eating combined (and we all know I like-a the sleeping and the eating. And sometimes I like-a to talk in a really bad, cliched Italian accent in my head for no reason).

Monday, June 25, 2007


"Hey, how was your weekend?"

"Awesome, you're going to love it when you come on Saturday. It was really good...but kind of dirty."

"Dirty like that Jersey car salesman who you hooked up with while a robot watched?"

(no response)

"I may be getting some of the details wrong here..."

"No, that's right. But it was about three degrees worse than that."

Home on the Outside

I’ve found recently that I’m becoming an outdoorsy person, and not just stretching out in the nearest fountain instead of writing my novel.

I’ve been spending so much more time outside as an active participant, walking around and discovering new neighborhoods, barely using my Metrocard, lusting after dogs in the park, planning beachy yoga retreats, researching the horseriding lessons I loved in seventh grade, filling out the paperwork to clean up New York’s waterways and trails and rearing to go as soon as they need more volunteers.

I’m not even sure how this happened since in the past my favorite activity outside was working on my tan and reading a magazine on a floating chair. It’s a far cry from me now, desperately trying to talk someone into going white water rafting with me on August 4th.

So far, no takers. I’m holding out for the right person. Or going alone. Either way.

My friends, lovely, all of them, have much calmer and arguably classier plans that involve barbequing lobster and shore-side lounging. Why I would want to hop on a bus with a bunch of random people I don’t know and eat a waterlogged bologna sandwich, ending the day with a burned nose and sore quads is beyond them.

It would have been beyond me a few months ago, but I figure, a sea change should encompass rapids too…

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Misunderstood (Choose Your Own Adventure)

As all semi-adults in the city, I have problems understanding the world. You’re all well aware if you’ve come here to my musings before.*

But I think my biggest, for today at least, is the idea of the waves I send out without meaning to. And I think that it’s also not just me, but many of my girlfriends, too. I have acted as though I was needy when I was not without even noticing, I have given the impression I did not care when I certainly did or vice versa, and have thrown up a wall of unbending when really, I know deep down, I may be one of the most flexible people I know (and I’m not talking about yoga; I am barely mid-range if that).

In important events girls of a certain age seem to give off a collective vibe even though we don’t mean to. That we are completely understood in our intentions when we’re absolutely not.

I’m not exactly sure why. It’s a strange thing in this life where first you learn how you do react, then how you should react, and then finally how you radiate that reaction as to not confuse or anger those around you. Or make them think they have you figured out when they don’t. I had a deep discussion with some friends and found that the rest were feeling the same, we had all done this somehow, particularly with members of the opposite sex.

For example, a recurring tale of woe:

Once upon a time in a relationship, a girl was misunderstood. A mention of future plans mentioned as a means to look forward to (by her) put a freeze on the whole thing (for him). It suddenly shifted in one person’s understanding that the participants were who they were, and not alike, or perhaps too alike, and that the future was completely fixed. The idea held like cement that they were who they were, and always would be and their goals and their differences could never bridge. It fractured what was good and left the rest without understanding. One wanted to talk it out but didn’t have the words to express what one really meant, because one didn’t actually know what one meant. One wanted to run, because talking without knowing leads everyone nowhere.

And that was the end. Of them, anyway.

But the issue is that the real problem isn’t the supposed one. It’s actually one that could be completely fixed with a little enlightenment on both ends. It’s not that girls want to “settle down”. It’s what the definition of “settling down” actually means to both girls and guys.

Some people may be dying to get coupled by law, but honestly, most aren’t. And that’s perfectly great. The girls I know think to themselves, “We’d like to get married someday, perhaps after we publish our books, trek Tanzania, learn how to surf.” Does that mean the burning urge to marry is in all of us today or that it will be in the next few years? That our ultimate goal on this earth is to get a rock on a platinum band and then use it to cuff a guy’s genitals to a searing hot radiator for all eternity? No way.

I’m not sure where the problem started but I see it as an inherent difference between guys and girls of 24-30 and what they are communicating in this nebulous flux of growing up. And either being excited for growing or scared. How they are getting grossly misunderstood (for argument’s sake, I’m taking the girls stance, cause I definitely can’t purport to understand the male point of view right now).

I’ve seen an overwhelming dash away from the girls in my circles by the guys who are “not ready”. Because they assume the girls are. And both parties have completely different ideas of what we’re readying ourselves for.

And maybe we, as girls, are psycho, certainly we are in some respects, but we look pretty and we smell like green apples, so how about we get a break on this front? I understand things as this. Girls get super excited when they meet someone they can love, not because it holds them down for a lifetime, but because it feels great to have a teammate who’s got your back. And while it may or may not be a sure thing, it’s amazing to look across at someone and think, wow, when I go to Tanzania, this guy could be right next to me with an extra canteen of water. (AKA, Here’s someone to share my next adventure.)

I’ll make a sweeping generalization here, but recently, it has seemed to me and my friends, that while the girl is thinking this, the guy is thinking: wow, this chick is on my jock like white on rice, and now I can’t go to Tanzania at all. (AKA, Here’s someone who will prevent my next adventure.)

Why does it seem the case that when girls find one of “the ones” and they think: awesome! Guys do and think: oh shit! Is this really true or just completely anecdotal, and therefore completely false?

In my humble opinion, this misunderstanding of each other has destroyed and bent more relationships than any other obstacle (homeland security, aliens, and desperate housewives combined).

Of course it’s not just a guy-girl thing. It’s a growing up and apart thing. Motives change and in a coupling, they don’t change at the same speed. People either feel they owe it to another person to stick it through or they feel like they owe nothing at all and want to cut the cord. Rarely do both feel the same way at the same time.

And sometimes people tend to not hear potential, because potential is binding to being the bigger person and letting someone get up to your speed. It’s too understanding, it serves two instead of one (and let’s be honest, we’re all really just looking out for number one). So they jump on the fault lines because if they hear what they think they don’t want to hear, it will give them the easiest out. They can justify it, they can leave it be. They can move forward, knowingly misunderstanding someone, so that they themselves can say they tried.

So as we navigate all of this, I’m not passing judgment. I’ve done the wrong thing more than once, sent out the wrong signals, even thought I understood someone when all signs pointed to not. What I’d like to do, just for today, is come to a line in the sand of total confusion.

Which is when it comes to choosing your own adventure, we may not know what is the right path with the right person because we think they are something or lacking something they aren’t, but really, our problem is that we don’t understand ourselves half the time…

And now friends, with that, I think I have to go lie down. This has been more thinking than I'll do the rest of the year...

*If not, run away! What are you doing on this site? It’s just a 25-year-old loon ranting about random things; the blog version of flipping through the channels at 2:30 in the morning, hitting a sentimental Hallmark movie, a Ronco infomercial (“Set it and forget it!”), a thighmaster testimonial, and finally settling on a South Park re-run on the UCW.

Speed up to slow down

It’s officially popsicle-ocean-barefoot season and the plans are filling up weekends faster than ever. I’m feeling lucky these days. Who wants to join my gambling?

What is it about this time of year? The spectacular weather? The emergence of al fresco cocktails? The return of my adorable Pilates instructor (Lisa, I still have a girl-crush on you, big time)? The great moods that make everything seem possible again after dry branches and gray skies?

Whatever it is, I want to bottle it; pound into a pill and take one each morning on an empty stomach with a swirl of pink lemonade. Wear gold flip flops to every occasion, bag heavy with books I wish I’d written, my repeat list constantly changing with the sun. Things have lifted into the air, and I don’t want to catch them again.

Work seems easier, steps seem lighter and my pens are running dry as I scribble into my calendar. Deadlines aren’t looming; they’re blooming. Next chapter will be done by X, freelancing assignment by Y, that final and comprehensive tour de Brooklyn breweries by…

Tonight I’m going to the ballet and I’m more than excited to have a serious, girly good time.

A new apartment, my favorite holiday and ten days in France at the pool are just around the corner.

After that, it’s a weekend of debauchery at the shore to celebrate my surrogate significant other’s birthday, three concerts, a dinner party, a trip to see my goddaughter, and maybe even some long lost friends both on the east and west coast. I might even be able to finagle a second invite to the Hamptons, if the blonde’s boy is feeling super generous in the coming weeks…

Celebrations are in order. Slowing down too, but there’s no fun in that…

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The upcoming man in my life…

He’s warbling, bearded and belongs in a different era. And he sings ironically about being in love with little boys. He reminds me of objects slanting shadows across my walls, paper lanterns, and when the first night of summer crosses over the darkness of the pool.

*Swoon* He’s whispering in my ear today.*

Who’s on repeat for you?

*Sure it's months from now and not even in town, but hey, we're going and so I'll be excited this far out before anyway. We'll make a night of it. If only we knew the first thing about Philadelphia...two NY newbies and no clue. Here's hoping King Tut is still in town.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Show us your kitties

I heart kitties. Always have.

Some people hate cats because old women like to throw them as weapons and when they're scared they sink their little needles right into your legs (the cats, though I suppose old women do too), but I grew up with them and adore them (again, the cats). Especially really adorable and *hopefully* less-than-average-intelligence kittens. The denser, the better. I like 'em stoopid.

Like when you have a little one with its tail stuck straight up because it's too small to bend the tail and it's so cute it's practically making you cry just by looking at it, and then you throw a lightweight blanket on top of it and you see the little lump jumping back and forth trying to get out (the internal voice that the kitty is using at this point I think would be "Bhat! Bhat! It's dark in here! Bhat!"). And then the furball just decides that she's too tired and too confused so she sits there still and not moving at all, like a parrot when you throw the sheet over the cage. Then you take the blanket off and she's so happy she starts jumping around again. It's not abuse if they're too young to remember it right?

Oh man I remember this one time when I had a really small kitten and I put a paper towel on top of him and he couldn't get out from under it. A paper towel! And then there was this really slow moving paper towel inching across the kitchen floor. I must have been seven and it was the most joy I ever felt.

Okay, I'm clearly in a ridiculous mood today. Noted by how I just spent the last six minutes searching for kitten pictures on the internet. I belong in 1988 with a sweatshirt with a unicorn on it and a perm right now...

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Secret

I just finished watching it and honestly feel a sea change (coupled with a few other things going on right now of course). You know I love the touchy-feely stuff, sure. But this really spoke to me. It made me feel really happy. And strangely powerful.

I had been inviting negative into my life by obsessively focusing on avoiding it instead of relishing all that I truly had to be thankful for and inspired by. Holding tight onto something instead of trusting it. Not forgiving what needed to be forgiven. And essentially, ruining it in the process. Driving it away, manufacturing bad feelings instead of positive ones. How lame of me, right? Well, clearly I didn’t know what I was doing.

Now, I think, I do. And I can release myself of the guilt of what I’ve done wrong, because I am almost certain I will not do it wrong in the future.

You can only force the bad in your life, not the good. If I had done things differently along the way is an empty thought that can’t be sated, so let’s let it pass for now.

Good things and only good things to come is all that I know now.

Have you watched this? Heard of it? Think it's a big scam? What are your thoughts either way?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Selfishness to Selflessness

Today’s inspiration for the day:

I am simultaneously reading several books, while writing one (and going to art school part-time. And with a full time job. And planning a vacation. And obsessed with Pilates. And Stoli Blueberry as I found last night since any drink that tastes like a Jolly Rancher has my vote. And moving…to somewhere…being busy is the best of times, at the best of times). I want so much for my life and I take too much to get it. I look ahead only for myself at times. People say this is good, especially in a time of transition.

People are often wrong.

In "Eat, Pray, Love" Miss Gilbert runs across the world on a dream to clear her heart and her mind, to bend like the yogi, to be loved by a gorgeous Brazilian man, all of it just for her. And after the initial “you go girl!” wore off, there emerged this sense of purpose to reclaiming herself that she found. Helping herself by helping others in a sense—her conclusion born from initial selfishness. So often we are too wrapped up in our own drama to lend a hand to those far less fortunate. To do what needs to be done is so easily ignored by a slew of instant messaging, celebrity gossip, getting your bill picked up by a good looking guy in a suit, or chasing the next pleasurable moment of your own life.

My roommate told me of a sign posted in a place far away at The Red Cross.

It said, “A refugee would kill to have your problems.”

As I have less, today I aim to give more. I just got my confirmation in the mail this week that the money I sent for Darfur has been used to purchase three efficient stoves for three families, because women spend hours a day searching for wood to keep their old stoves burning, and are attacked and brutally raped. Their husbands let them with shame because if the husbands were instead to go out looking for wood, they would simply be murdered and the women left off even worse. With the new stoves, families now have to be outside 75% less of the time. It could save three families from utter destruction until the conflict pasts. I wish I could save thirty instead. I think that I will put away the money I was about to blow on a cute new Parisian outfit for an upcoming event. A higher purpose is in order. I think it's a really good cause and I would encourage anyone I know to find one, or twenty that speaks to them in this way.

I will never be able to do enough, but I will try.

It is needed far more, elsewhere. It is not meant for champagne with friends just to pump myself up, just to take care of me. I am not important in the scheme of things. And that is an incredible thing to know. It is of a higher conscience to admit, I think. It brings me closer to the mark of what it means to be aware and thankful. The mark I will aim for, for the rest of my life. I will repeat the following to myself for as long as I know how:

If you are in a rut, ask yourself, how low are you really? You have loved and lost, your job sucks, your friend is mean, your car is a lemon, and yet you are here, you are alive and well.


Take a moment to stop and to think. Screwing around, being destructive, not giving the care and consideration needed to do something meaningful in this world other than to further your own insecurities and ego, avoiding to grow up, avoiding the conscientiousness needed to truly live free and well; these are the things which you should be wary. You have been given it all when so many have been given nothing.

Do something important that is not for yourself and you will be doing it for your true self. For your soul. And the connection it has to the good of this world.

Build some character. Do the right thing for once, or for the tenth time, the thing for someone other than simply you.

This is what I'll keep saying until it is my truest nature....remind myself what is important in the scheme of the world.

I’ll be your buddy in this. Because it’s not easy to do. But it is the reason that we get to be here, that we have minds and resources and why we have hearts. The only reason that we are aware at all…

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Go swimming as soon as possible, show off my tan lines, eat homegrown tomatoes before they’re ready to be picked, laugh at jokes unfunny or not to recognize the effort, finish the piles of work I’ve pushed from one corner to another on my desk, write the check to the girls, submit that freelance piece, bachelorette festivities, RSVP to three different post-its, re-arrange those dinner plans, cocktail hour as a staple, shop for France, toss away that ring with gusto, write back to those emails with fresh thoughts, send the book for Father’s Day, trust the list of a bar whose name I don’t know, open my eyes, finally say yes to the boy who’s been chasing…

No time to wait, no time to waste…it sure does feel good to have a plan…

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wish for the negative...

My dad, at this moment, is sitting to hear in Philadelphia, if his most recent biopsy is negative or positive.

Please send your positive vibes again to there, so that he can be negative...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sugar Rage

Dear Mom and Dad,

You’re great people, truly. But it has never been a child’s job to be kind to, nor appreciative of, their parents. So let me start this, instead, with the blame game.

See? See what you’ve done? See the monster you’ve created? All those years of restricting colored cereals, shapes, marshmallows, chocolate or fruit flavored loops have backfired. You used to let me get Kix on a good day, maybe Corn Pops if I had dusted the baseboards for once. But the rest of the time it was Raisin Bran, or plain Cheerios, or plain Shredded Wheat, or plain Corn Flakes, or a heaping spoonful of your own adult cereal, Just Right—and you could very much tell it was for lame old adults because it had not only raisins (gross!) but also dates (blech!), and nuts that weren’t encased in either sugar, nor honey (plain nuts? Puke!).

No, you didn’t let me have them. My only glimpses of freedom were at friend’s houses, the very likes of which drunk soda at dinner and had desert via pudding pops and cake (they had cake—and it wasn’t even anyone’s birthday! Dear God, this was a shock the first time I saw it.), and in the morning there would be a veritable grocery store aisle of eye-catching cartooned boxes to choose from, Count Chocula, Booberries, Fruity Pebbles, Reeces Peanut Butter Puffs, all of which strangely turned our milk the same hospital shade of gray. The only time I had a taste under our own roof was in those Variety Paks I could sometimes get Mom to purchase if I really turned on the charm and the guilt (Dad did all our grocery shopping—a Mr. Mom before the movie even came out, so when Mom was buying, it was time to cash in on everything Dad wouldn’t allow). Except there were two different kinds of Variety Paks, those marketing genuis bastards—one was bursting with the breakfast equivalent of Pixie Sticks, the other interspersed good and bad cereals, offsetting the Smacks with Fiber One…(not that Smacks even warranted Fiber One—that was most unfair—Smacks was, if anything, the bland equivalent of Crispix on the other side of the spectrum, not the eight-year-old-gag-reflex-inducing Fiber One!). And guess which one I got, even when I had dissuaded Mom?

Sure it kept me a tad less hyper (yeah right!). Keep thinking that. Just like when you thought I should have the regular vitamins instead of Flintstones and they tasted like what the owl pellet dissection in seventh grade smelled like inside, when you got a real good mouse in there, and I spit them all into your fancy brass umbrella stand when I was nine, every day for a month, and you didn’t find them until the next spring, at the bottom, mashed into a beige vitamin paste, crudding up all your umbrellas. That was the day you let me break my piggy bank shaped like one of those old-timey cash registers so I could buy the bottle of vitamins from you and toss it in the trash. That was one of the happiest days of my life. That was awesome.


I know you intended well. You really did. You only wanted your only daughter and your eldest to be chock full o nutrients. You were in fact, really great parents…but…you know, you ruined me in that one respect. You know that right? All those years of repressed sugar rage. All those years of rationing Fruit Loops? What has it done?

I’ll tell you what it’s done.

Last night, for dinner, I ate six mini chocolate cookies, a donut, and two pieces of Bubble Yum.

After Pilates. And a salad at work. And plenty of water. Then I had to lie down because I had a tummy ache. Yeah, you were right. But it’s still no consolation.

And this morning, it’s back to oatmeal, before the next werewolf-like emergence of a fifth-grade eating pattern rears its ugly head.

Monday, June 11, 2007

It Ain't Easy Being Cheesy

I’m a cheese-head today. Not quite Wisconsin, but definitely bright-eyed and face-splitting grins.

While things don’t necessarily happen well these days (a death in the family; a death of a future) they also don’t just happen around me—I refuse to believe that they do. This morning, because of this decision of happy denial, I feel invigorated, effervescent, felted with hope…for some odd reason, this creates a fantasy where I am planted back into a romantic 17th century where the realities of plumbing and personal hygiene are gladly glossed over for the narrative of tonics, weird herbs, and cycles of the moon which chart the course we take and those we don’t. Old books written in olde English with maps of even older woods. Flowing curtains and stone walls. Curses and enchantment at the stroke of a wand.

The fairy that’s been following me for a week finally poured an elixir into my ear as I slept…or more likely, it was the first good night of over-sleep I’ve had in a while (ten hours will do wonders, I’m a believer).

I have a say in my own life, and when it comes down to it, that’s the only say that matters.

How can it be that naysayers who don’t even know the real me are at the helm, driving me into the perfect storm instead of calm shores of coconut drinks and sand-dusted heels? That’s an illusion, and not a helpful one. The only control we have is over ourselves, how we act and react, who we treat well and the happiness we emit. There is never a need for sadness, badness, to be inflicted upon situations which can be avoided or changed into good, floating memories and futures. I’ll keep this in mind, if I can keep anything at all. There is a being in charge, one who makes it good or bad at any given time, and it of course, is us.

What is helpful today is to be grateful for this life, no matter what emotion it brings, I am glad it brings any.

I have so much love to give and it’s time I gave it to someone else…maybe myself for once…wow, this is the cheesiest I’ve felt in a long time. Florid prose and stupid giggling today; certain embarrassment later…

Friday, June 08, 2007

House of Mirth

What happens when you don’t have a breaking point is you can never really write off your dreams as you once saw them.

I was raised in a house of constant forgiveness. We could scream, pull hair, threaten the world and still have meatloaf the next day with a side of group-hug. We created and weathered all storms, small, huge, silly and important. It was perfectly reasonable for us to spend hours on our feelings, enough to stay home from school or act like a loon and know that it was all okay because we were a unit. Failure was not an option. It was both infuriating and amazing not to be able to give up. It was, and still is, good in many ways. For us at least. For me working with the rest of society, the corporate world and adult life in general? Not so much.

Other people don’t fathom what my idea of sticking it out means. And how I wish I could be them; I wish I could run away from my problems, deal with them in quick fixes. Slay someone with a word and never look back to see if they survived, convincing myself that I was right to run from the dragon than to face it head on.

It would have saved me a lot of heartache in this world. It would have gotten me out of crappy jobs, friendships and relationships far sooner. There wouldn’t have been such a stick-to-it-tiveness ingrained in me. My middle name is Clare, but I’m thinking of legally changing it to “try, try again.”

But how do you know what is your own point of no return when you value not having one? How to quit when you’re behind so that eventually you’ll end up ahead? Slogging through circumstances that don’t care how hard you try or how good a person you are seems futile. There is no gold medal for effort for you when the relay team has put their success on your shoulders. By that token, the failure of the team is your failure. How unfair this is. How inevitable.

Now it’s time for a new lesson. How to get out while you’re still alive; trading self-preservation for your old good intentions and virtues. Things like unconditional love or perseverance can only take one so far. Why go through the pain for a job, a friend, a significant other who will not go through it for you?

It is important to be a rock, to be strong for a person or a situation. It is important to believe that being pure is enough, but it is not everything. Sometimes we all need someone to lean on, something to depend on, someone who will simultaneously take a leap of faith and one for the team, but what we truly forget, is that as important as it is to be the one who can shoulder the shock, is that we need the same in return.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Trying On

The first pair of blue eyes since January is fast approaching, and I have nothing to wear. It is nothing short of amazing how surprisingly fast opportunities can be offset by a trunk full of clothes and too-worn jeans that seem from a long ago other life of eyes all brown.

It’s times like these where I feel like I may be trying on new personalities by way of the wardrobe.

Casual urban chic K? Feisty stiletto K? Island bohemian K? Silly ridiculous K (that one fits nicely every time)?

Aaah, decisions, decisions. And the thought of finally finding my calling as an American Apparel model comes to mind…it is of course, time for a change of pace...

As if they even notice coordination over cleavage…blue eyes or not.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Items for a Wednesday

HBO’s surfer boy promotion

A heater to counteract industrial workplace cooling, cold water in the bottle to counteract the heater

The Rosebuds and Oneida’s Busy Little Bee right after each other on free radio

A new apartment’s mutual yes and central air, a hero or two to help me move, just a little more square footage, the existence of an invisible closet

Belting this Ra Ra Riot Tee as a dress with metallic shoes and not caring how ridiculous it might look

Sky…cloudless…Ciao Bella…lineless…The Strand…markup-less…brain…useless for anything remotely limiting

Fast-forwarding to a weekend in the Berkshires, the shore, the Hamptons and the south of France

The old, circular contemplation of bangs

The feel of the sun from beyond a window, cleaning out pockets and finding a receipt from 2005, thumb tacks with themes, colored paper clips strewn all over the desk

Zoning in and out, spinning in a chair, clicking a pen one short of interrupting the meeting, giggling on a phone where everyone can hear

New emails from old friends, writing class starting up again, the realization that my book should be done by now, the constant online articles dismissing my dreams as a career on delete

Thursday and every day after

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pop Quiz, Hot Shot

In school tests were announced well ahead of time—possibly so there was no one left to blame if you weren’t prepared. It’s in black and white. You should have been there the first day. You were handed the syllabus and it was posted online and scrawled on the corner of a beaten-up dry erase board (yes it was there the whole month, see down in the right corner, in chicken scratch, no, no one ever said it was there but you should have at least looked instead of zoning out). And the semester stretched out in front of you, full of parties and naps and breaks and holidays before the very end where you would be required to prove that you had listened, absorbed, and simply become a more knowledgeable human being by the end. So that everyone could be resolute in you moving onwards and upwards. This was all that you had to pay for learning that lesson on the finer points of Stats, the Philosophy of Law, Intermediate Italian (apparently the powers that be thought learning was its own reward, the results aren’t yet in on that one).

I didn’t realize it at the time, and frankly never do, but I so appreciated my tests being laid out for me. The scheduled points of needing to pay attention versus cruise control. I cringed in the wake of pop quizzes, they just seemed so incredibly unfair, because why would it be that we weren’t allowed to prepare? When it’s seemingly unnecessary, we don’t cram into our short-term memory the finer details of what matters in the moment. And why should we? We have lives to live, other stressors to cramp our shoulders, paths in the afternoon to jog, tea to sip, gardens to visit, Edward FortyHands to play, dutchies to pass on the left hand side, etc.

And now in real life, I finally comprehend the meaning of pop-anything. Because real tests are never laid out clearly, they come and go as they please and intrude without invitation. They plant themselves in front of you, tears streaming, snot running, vein-bulging, life-leveling, and they will not move until you take them in, absorb their worst intentions and are able to inhale, chew and spit back out so they can slide on down to someone else. They’re parasitic. They’ve been known to drive insane, kill, maim and all around cause unpleasantries. They can crush what you once looked upon as golden and good and forever and make you feel like a shamed fool who didn’t even deserve the gift of the lie you lived for TK number of years.

Pop tests, all tests can be incredibly cruel. They don’t care that this is the week the budget is due, or this day is the anniversary that you are woefully trying to suppress, or that your injury from the last has not yet healed. They can be dependant on another person’s flippant mood who will not be talked down from their incorrect perch, or a corporate restructuring from across the pond a million miles from your office, a sand castle that falls apart because it can’t bear the environment that made it possible in the first place, anything. Tests don’t really have rhyme or reason. They’re unpredictable.

They’re meant to teach us, of course. But there are no checks and balances to life. There is no one person or machine at an eagle eye view of your world and your world alone to judge whether you’ve been given a bad hand and it should be evened out. No intervention to shake the people close to you to stop doing what they are doing and to see the light. Or you. There is no force that strikes down and punishes when life treats you badly or when you do it to yourself. Religion and meditation may help alleviate, but you need to be willing to sign over your control to ebb and flow. And in New York City, that’s just hard to do. You might fail the test. At best you only pay for it in this life. At worst; it’s the next.

The only way I can see it to deal with anything at all is to tattoo your own cheat sheet on the back of your hand, rife with past experiences and expectations, future goals and your closest sense of self. There is no study group, no one who has been there before you have and is pushed to your own limits. There are people that sort of understand, in their situations, in their own experiences. And yet, something is always lost in translation. What’s most infuriating is that any path you take must be your own. You can only rely on yourself for the answers, and even if you think you are prepared on the best of days, you never really know for sure until it’s there, dark and passing a blue book and a number 2 pencil towards you in a room with no clock. Only then, when it is upon you, can you judge.

Will this be a day I pass or I fail?

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Transparency of Jellyfish

Today, I am a jellyfish. My insides are electric, glowing visible.

My feelers are out, I am stretched, transparent and floating and there is nothing else I can do except wait patiently and hope for waves to push to me what’s best and what I need.

Though the water I’m under can only provide external acceptance or tangible ideas, any sort of inner strength and wellbeing and even oxygen to breathe is all on me. I haven’t yet figured out how to convert the external accomplishments into the internal, and until I do, they will need to be infinite just to sustain me.

It’s a burden to ration out my own reserves, unsure of when they can be replenished, and there’s no way around it. I can’t have anything outward unless I am complete inside.


The people we love who don’t love us back, the homes we covet and squeeze our eyes tight that we will receive, the breaks we deserve, the illnesses that strike us down before they don’t cannot impact us good or bad unless we are an open, waiting net. As large as we can possibly be.

There are no guarantees for anything and yet knowing this does not make anything one iota easier…

So for now, I wait. And see.

Friday, June 01, 2007

And the search continues...

"2 Small Rooms for Rent in Apt Full of Cats

We have two small rooms for rent in a third floor sunny 2 bedroom apartment in South Slope Brooklyn (22nd St Between 5th & 6th Ave)...If you want to use the stove, you will need to put the account in your name(s). There is an un-used cable in the apartment, otherwise there is no cable or internet service included with the rooms. Please note that the kitchen, living room, and bathroom are shared with my seven cats and their furniture and toys (their litter box is in the bathtub). There is a futon, TV, VCR, and cheap stereo system in the living room. I come and go at all hours of the day and night to play with and care for my cats. The bathroom toilet and sink in the apartment can be used but to take a shower you will need to go to the bathroom in the finished basement (modern, shower no tub)."

(I hear cuckoo clocks. That apartment must smell fantastic).