April 28, 2007


It's Saturday and I'm so pleased that it's Saturday. Last week was eventful, to say in the least. First I'd like to pay tribute to the gifts my parents left behind: a gaudy but adorable handbag that I picked out that my mom bought me on my birthday (cutest bag I own to date), and the keepsake bottle of zinfandel spelled out using actual subway lines. They found this themselves and thought it to be an ideal apartment-warming gift for us - nice! Anyway, last weekend we helped Jeff celebrate his 30th in El Barrio with Lauren and company. It was a lot of fun, although the flask Jeff kept handing me must have contained something rather lethal because Sunday was hangover city, for me. Sunday didn't exactly produce a refreshed Craig, either, so the gorgeous New York weather found Craig and I reluctant to leave the apartment. Monday was another stunning day as weather goes. Tuesday brought more of the same, only warmer, and after work Craig and I tailgated and went to the Mets game. We were with a handful of co-workers and I genuinely wasn't feeling all that well, so I told Craig I'd meet him back at home and I left. Our friend Scott had joined us so I really didn't want to insist that they leave, too. The Mets were playing the Rockies and our free seats were 910 rows from the field so I didn't feel bad leaving...well, when I wound around the spiraling ramps of Shea Stadium and finally made my way to the 7 train platform, I noticed a lot of people milling about. I stood there with all the people for about 16 minutes (I kept checking my watch) until an announcement was made: "Due to an earlier incident at 103rd Street, the Manhattan-bound 7 train is not running from Main Street to 61st Street/Woodside." For anyone unfamiliar with Flushing, Queens or Mets games at Shea, there are only really two modes of transportation for New Yorkers without cars: the 7 train and public buses. Now, I'm morphing into a New Yorker more and more each day, or so I'd like to believe. So I'm not averse to the bus or to having to find alternate modes of transportation when the subway is diverted. However, because the incident took place at 103rd at Roosevelt, and Roosevelt runs parallel right underneath the elevated 7 train, this meant that the buses were also running painfully slow, packed to the gills, and would not get me to 61st Street in very speedy fashion. I attempted a bus at first, but by 111th Street (Shea is at 126th and Roosevelt), I was irritable and wanted out. So I got off the bus and walked, little white girl in a Mets fleece walking alone in Queens. The thing is this: Queens at that hour with the Mets game happening was probably the safest place I could have been right then. There were people out everywhere, and police, too. And I hadn't had that many beers because I didn't feel well, so there wasn't even a thick fog through which I navigated. But I still felt weary. Here I was in the middle of Queens with no good way to get into Manhattan (cabs were not swarming the streets, either). I trudged all the way to 82nd Street from 111th, and finally shoved my way back into a bus out of sheer desperation, and took it to 74th Street/Broadway, where I was finally able to catch an F train back into Manhattan. By the time I got out at 63rd and Lex, all I wanted was a bright yellow hero to roll up and take me home. And one did. And I tipped him like six bucks for it, too. Craig left the game in the 9th inning (the game ended in the 12th, that night) and arrived home something like ten minutes after I did. What an ordeal.*So Wednesday after work we were going to see Kristin Hersh perform at the Bowery Ballroom. I stumbled, literally just fell into the discovery the previous Saturday that she was on tour with an album released in January (what an awful fan I am!) so we got tickets for like $36 total for 2 (!) and I bought the album to get to know it a little. I doubt I've ever addressed this, but I'm a Kristin Hersh enthusiast, and have been really since 1994, when her Hips and Makers album was released and I made the startling discovery of her haunting voice and even more powerful lyrics. My memory of it goes like this: when I was in high school, I had a gang of girls that I ran with that all wanted to write and drink coffee and listen to subversive music and play guitar. One night I was home by myself listening to 92.3 (my favorite radio station in Indianapolis) falling asleep very close to the speakers of my stereo when the song "Your Ghost" came on, which had backing vocals by Michael Stipe so of course it caught my attention. I'm not sure how this discovery story varies from any other raging Kristin Hersh fanatic's story, but it's what I recall, and I've loved her work ever since!***So, Wednesday she performed with the husband and wife strings (cello and violin) team from England and it was unbelievable. The sound of it still rings in my ears even this much later in the week. It was just unreal. She's brilliant. After the show, Craig went downstairs to get her autograph for me! He tried to remind her of a show we saw of hers back in Atlanta (leading me to think maybe I have mentioned her before...I don't remember). He took a bad photograph of her on his cell phone and he was so proud of himself for meeting her and getting her autograph for me! So sweet is my adoring boyfriend!!*Thursday I had class. I've reached out to my instructor to see if she's teaching anything in the fall that I could possibly take...she informed me that she offers an intimate class setting outside of school and she's losing a couple of students so she has spots available for certain students that she likes - and evidently I fit the bill! I don't know many details yet, and I know she's tied up for the summer so it wouldn't kick off until the fall, but how unbelievable would that be! Working with someone of her experience and charisma and intellect would be such a thrill, and the result she hopes to provide is mentorship for a goal, such as publication! I really hope this unfolds. It would be amazing. I found so much productivity working with her this semester. I've written quite a few pieces that I'm genuinely excited to revise.*So Craig is still asleep, but today we'll probably head over to the furniture store to purchase the little makeshift table we want to put in the place of my clunky cumbersome glass-topped table. A co-worker has moved out to Long Beach and has much more room for his family, now, and I've arranged a deal with them where they will "borrow" (and "store") our table while we live another year in our Upper East Side shoebox apartment. We've found a cheap table that seats two that will fit nicely against our brick column - it isn't something we'll keep forever but at least for the duration of our Manhattan life. I love Manhattan, still, and forever. The other night I dreamed we were leaving in one day, and I panicked and started running through the list of all the things I needed to eat, see, or do before departing New York...I know the day will come sometime (unless I can persuade Craig to stay forever - unlikely but one never knows...) but not yet. Sometimes it feels like we just got here. Oh, I love it, living here...

April 19, 2007


So it's happened: I turned 30 and really nothing changed, and nothing spectacular came over me. I'm documenting it here so that 100 years from now when I potentially have a grown kid who is afraid to turn a milestone age, I can turn to that person and say, "Remember back when the internet was a place where people spilled their guts, and your old mom said turning (insert milestone age) was no big deal really? Yeah, she's just as right now as she was then." That is if adult wisdom ever really sticks around.*The past week has been a definite blur, in all respects of the word. Last Thursday at class we workshopped the most favorite story I've written to date (my personal favorite). The workshop went well: my instructor and all the members of the class are in relative agreement, which is that I use wayyy too many metaphors at one time (which today, on my ride home on the train I decided are like fragile little tears and each one means so much to me so how do I shake them free?? But I can always pin them to the inside of a notebook and use them later on - that's what's great about writing...you can shuffle things around) but aside from that, I think the story received decent critique. The assignment was called "dream story" which meant yanking a weird detail from a dream and buttressing it (Sharon - instructor- said that, how beautiful) with narrative. I started writing mine in my head a few weeks ago while walking home from work and reveling in the longer lasting daylight that is ours to keep for a few months. Anyway, I think I really like it. It's got extreme weak points but those can always be drafted right out. I look forward to this summer, when I will not be in class and I will spend time revising old work to polish soft spots.*Oh, so last Thursday, before class, my parents had landed in New York for their first visit ever to this grand City (see the photo above that was shot by a coworker as she descended into LaGuardia). I spent an eternity traveling to meet them at the Airtrain station out in Queens somewhere, and when I finally located them, it took us another eternity to get home. But, we found our way back (the trains were running like molasses that day) and they began their 6-day visit with us. Bear in mind, our apartment is tiny, so tiny. It was rough to manage through near an entire week with four adults in this place. But, we did it - and well, because my parents had a delightful time here in New York with Craig and me. I could recap all that we did, but that would border on boring, especially since I've done just about everything that we did multiple times before. They loved every minute, though. And that's good.*My birthday itself was relatively uneventful, really. We went to Brooklyn and to the Transit Museum. Craig gave me a greeting card in the morning and took us to dinner at Smith & Wollensky that night. We ate giant prawns and lobster and steak and drank wine, and the waitstaff sang Happy Birthday to me. Then we went to Biddy's afterwards: Lauren, Jeff and Alison joined us for drinks. Lauren and Jeff gave me awesome birthday presents - a gift cert for a fancy Manhattan kitchen store, and four CD's of Jeff's favorite music - all of which I presently listen to - primarily Neko Case, which I cannot believe I've never ever found on my own before - she's amazing. Her voice is unfathomably sweet and perfect. All the while through the week, Craig and I bunked in this tiny room where we keep the computer and miscellaneous furniture we can't stash anywhere else...it was pretty tricky. But we made it! And I'm so glad we showed my parents a good time here in New York. And so now I'm 30.*I wanted to recap things I'd done in my twenties, like an e-mail I sent recently to Andrea, but I'm not really into accomplishment at the moment: I'm more into figuring out where to go from here.***Here's to 30, the number, the age, the concept. Good things could happen at this age. Perhaps.

April 17, 2007


Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Thirtieth Birthday to meee-ee-ee, Happy Birthday to me! (sidenote: the Brooklyn Bridge has nothing to do with my birthday but I sure do like it anyway!)...30! 30! 30!...

April 02, 2007


It's been an eternity since I have posted anything. March has been alright, as months go, but it felt like it flew past. Meanwhile, we've celebrated several occasions: St. Patrick's Day beginning with muffins, cheese fondue and cocktails here at our apartment, followed by pub crawling which took us well into the night with the ever-gorgeous and wonderful Lauren and her crew, my dear adorable best friend Andrea's birthday (hi AB!), which, well, I didn't really get to celebrate with her, obviously with the geographical challenge of her residency in Atlanta, but I did celebrate it in spirit by hanging out with Lauren and her collective once again in Spanish Harlem, and then Sunday, the first of my favorite month (as I am an Aries and an avid fan of my own birthday and particularly this coming one, which will send me into a whole new decade and hopefully womanhood) we traveled by the E train to Forest Hills where we helped my brilliant friend Aubree celebrate her 31st birthday. The above photograph depicts the tray of olives which I visited several times as well as Aubree's "chaser" beer which she opened with the intention of using to chase her "birthday shot" of Petron. Her husband Brian made sure to explain nicely that that was an extreme waste of beer. She wound up finishing it at some point. Anyway, Aubree threw herself quite the party, complete with gourmet cheeses (my favorite: goat cheese gouda, mmm) and breads and crackers, a cold cut tray, a tray of deliciously red tomato slices topped with fresh mozz, balsamic and basil, fresh vegetables and followed by an ice cream cake. Her friend Camille brought quiches, and her other friend whose name escapes me brought a chocolate peanut butter dessert. It was a really fun day at Aubree's. We watched their recently completed wedding video (they got married last summer). However, through the course of the day I developed a quickly paralyzing head cold which I managed to satiate until we got home in the evening, at which point I went immediately to bed around 8 and spent the entire night waking on the hour to drain as many pints of water as I could muster without floating down the hallway. Needless to say, there wasn't even a remote chance that I'd attempt to go to work today, so this Monday, the first Monday of my last month of being a 20-something, I have spent curled in a miserable ball on the couch watching so much Food Network that I could probably host a show of my own now. And now I'm drinking sweetened Chamomile tea and trying to figure out how to possibly finish my latest homework assignment and maybe even make dinner for Craig, who promised me he'd take care of me tonight when he gets home. So maybe I will skip making dinner and we will order in.*Having spent the past month with a few of my girlfriends, I've come to realize what an extremely blessed person I am for knowing so many gifted, gorgeous, wonderful and warm women. The revival of my friendship with Lauren since we lived far away from each other for so many years has been such good fortune for me. I miss Andrea and her friendship all the time, but I know we will always be close (and I didn't even know her over a year when we left Atlanta!) Aubree is an unbelievably heartfelt, sincere and beautiful woman (she came by earlier this month and we indulged in wine, spinach dip, cucumber sandwiches and delightful catch up conversation). Last week I attended my first book club meeting with my friend Emilie's book club. I took the train from Flushing to Park Slope, Brooklyn and that trip only took an hour! and I met up with Emilie beforehand to walk around Prospect Park (with her pup in tow) and then we went to a couple of chic boutiques before the meeting. All of the people in my new book club are amazing - there are even two men! And we ate olives, gourmet cheeses, hummus and drank wine and discussed On Beauty by Zadie Smith. The next person to host will be Fern (we're reading American Pastoral by Philip Roth), who also lives in Park Slope, followed by Pam who lives in Jersey. I would love to host after that but I may need to figure out something more clever than our postage stamp-sized apartment, like maybe a picnic at Central Park or even the intimate little wine bar around the corner. Anyway, having friends is important for so many reasons beyond just having someone to care about. It's therapeutic and secure. It's inspiration for so many good things still yet to come. It's a great way to enter my thirties, knowing I know so many brainy and insightful people.*As if it weren't apparent, this head cold has made me sentimental. I'm glad to be posting again. I've been away too long.