October 27, 2008


I'm awkward again. I'm fumbling, dark, alone, much as I was in late July when things became clear about how I've always felt but would never commit or confront. Walking home from 86th Street felt like tragedy. I don't know - I wish I could control it or make it go away, but it's inconsolable. It feels like someone is smothering my heart in a damp rag. At least now I've discovered some coping help. And sure, does it help. But many of my friends with whom I've trusted this have reminded me that regular human feelings don't go away. I wouldn't want them to. Yet, tonight's weren't regular human. They scared me again. Even on the train, speaking to my mom, I couldn't muster any regular conversation. I just said a lot of "uh-huhs" in response to her. And my mind filled with an endless string of words while I walked, which is probably good, seeing as I've had next to NO interaction with words in months. All of my poetry has been syphoned from me, and my desire to sit with a blank page is just a distant memory. My need for beautiful music is even waning. So why did I do this, again? I suppose because it beats the alternative. I don't suppose...I know for sure.*I don't want to keep going on like this, because I am feeling a bit brighter after pasta and asparagus and multi-grain garlic toast. A co-worker just texted me after seeing Sunday night's Dexter, and her reaction was enough to prompt me to run down the hallway shrieking. Craig inquired but of course, he's not as into it as me or as her or as the other member of our Dexter club (!!) so he just rolled his eyes! In last night's episode, Dexter growls to Miguel, "No one is like me" and it hit such home. I felt right there. Granted, I'm not a serial killer or even owning a secret of that magnitude to match. But I definitely know what it feels like to stand alone, without someone with which to relate. I feel aching sad arcs like someone has shut the light off and locked the door of the room that I'm in. Andrea noticed that what happened to me over the summer might be what led me to feel so akin to a TV show about darkness, but no one else has asked or paralleled that. Thanks, AB! I suppose I'm waiting to be heard, but here, in this bustling City (where I definitely love and want to live) I am not going to be heard, and I guess, learning to love myself and hear myself might carry me further, right now.*I didn't mean to go back to that, but while I cooked, I heard several Elliot Smith songs, and those likely contributed to my mood. And there are plenty of other things. But words escape me again, despite their mad rush into my brain on the subway today. It bewilders me how quickly they come and go. They're so busy, burdening me, then rushing off to some other place. So it goes.*Above pictured is the empty Zipper Factory stage Lauren and her band filled and played. She's fantastic, I think I've already said so. And her back up is equally if not differently talented, as well.*

October 19, 2008


Again, happiest of birthday weekends to my favorite person. We've had a fantastic time, embracing New York, lounging, sleeping in like we rarely get to do. Now it's time to recognize once again the reality of having a job and not being made of millions. Sigh. Today has been very accomplished, for me. I woke up feeling dreadfully sloppy after a wonderful night of celebrating CB, beginning with dinner at Zebu across the street (we abandoned the idea of Old Homestead yesterday afternoon on a shopping spree to Banana Republic) followed by drinks at Southern Hospitality with Alison and Scott, and later, Belvedere and Canada Dry Diet Ginger Ale (groan) with Wii Bowling at home! Good, but head hammering times. Today, my throat hurts and I've been completely foggy, but I used that to my advantage and got right to work (um, after bagels and Grey's Anatomy, that is!) I pawed through my closet, emptying every last purse or bag of discarded receipts, grocery lists, tickets to events, matchbooks, etc., and now I've got a complete collection of entirely empty purses and bags - hurray! I typically treat purses with the same disrespect that I used to treat vehicle floorboards, which means debris multiplies and congregates there. I wish I could kick that quality of mine. Anyway, my closet is now impeccable, with the exception of the floor of the far back, which remains a mystery until I feel as much motivation again. I ran to Key Food, grabbed ingredients for chili (it's that time of year again!), came home and chopped up an onion and green and red pepper and browned the turkey and opened all of the cans of tomato miscellaneous and now, warming in the slow cooker, is turkey chili. Then I emptied the refrigerator of all of the old science experiments beginning to rot us out of here. I love the kitchen, love to cook...but there are repurcussions, some of which involve dishes, dirtied Tupperware, and gathered remains of old and unused grocery items. That brings me to right about now, when I'm taking an organization break and musing at why and how I am like this. This is (with all due respect and with the best of warm love) a direct result of being my mom's daughter. I used to call it anal retentiveness, but in my wiser adult days, I just consider it to be concentrated effort to take care of what one owns. Not that she doesn't take that idea to an extreme! Oh, she does, and I do now. But I don't, regardless of how hard I try, have the attention to detail that is hers. Floorboards can shove it - who will notice a little ray of dust along the slim edge of a floorboard? (other than my mom, that is!) But today's activities are the first steps toward impressing her when she and my dad visit in mid-November. It isn't anything she might say or do in reaction to a non-clean apartment belonging to her daughter - no, it's more of my ritualistic and instinctive approach to thanking her for teaching me what she did, regardless of the number of times I was 'grounded' for a messy bedroom, or subjected to dusting the whole damn house (we had a lot of wooden banisters and coffee tables, let me say that). I'd like her to enter my home and feel comfortable. I know that for my mom, comfort is cleanliness. It's one of the many things Craig and I have in common in terms of his family. His mom stays up late into the night during the holidays cleaning the kitchen after feeding a huge crew. She does that because she feels obliged to make breakfast the next morning. She does it because she cares about it. Sometimes I think I could be more attentive to these things around here. Why can't I empty my purses when I'm switching over to a new one? Why do I shrug it off? Why am I lazy about it? Anyway, it doesn't matter, because I'm constantly aware of it. I organized a drawer filled with recipes today, I removed a lot of unworn clothing from my newly tidy bedroom closet, and now the residual work that I must do is to put stuff away in its place. It felt good, and since we're out of town next weekend, I needed today. I just needed to know I can come home to a simplistic environment where old mail, discarded receipts, half-empty pint glasses with shrunken ice and crumbs from bagels and dark coffee stains on countertops are tended, and the apartment feels like a comfortable and clean place to be. I really, really needed today. My reward? Dexter is on at 9. :)

October 18, 2008


Today is my favorite day of the year. Today Craig is 32. His birthday means so much to me and even though he's not as into it as me, I beam with pride the day I get to help him enter a new year. He's an amazingly unbelievable human being. He's smart, handsome, a best friend, a lover, a fighter, a stubborn debater...a brain, sense of humor, responsible, mature, yet young in so many ways...he's far more than I can explain in a list, but I want to yet again thank the Universe (twice in one weekend??) for blessing my life with this person. I think I've seen the whole world, by knowing him. Happy Birthday, Craig Edward. Thank you for spending it with me!

October 17, 2008


Today marked yet another in a long (or, too short) line of Staycations. We've got these vacation days which do not roll over into another year if unused, and for which we are not reimbursed, so we figure a day here, a day there...and we'll make it through to December. Anyway, last night we headed to the Zipper Factory for dinner and Lauren's concert. When we entered the restaurant portion of the venue, we spotted Megan and Amanda immediately, but they did not see us (I stared at Megan like 5 times to get her to look at me but she is the most amazing listener on the planet and remained entirely engrossed in Amanda's conversation, props to Megan!) It would have been a little inappropriate to cross the restaurant and make a scene, so we waited til after dinner to wave them over. Anyway, I ate a fantastic Mediterranean plate with hummus, fresh pita, olives and tzatziki (I'm relying on the internet's spelling of that, by the way...and the internet is not Greek, so let's hope it knows its international spellings) and Craig ate a sandwich of grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, avocado and arugula...mmm. Lauren's show was scheduled to begin at 8, so we wrapped up eating and waving over our friends and headed to the venue portion of the Zipper Factory. What a great place...this marked our second time seeing Lauren and band there. The seats are retired van/car/any motor vehicle seats, and the stage is just right for her presence. I can't thank the Universe enough for introducing me to Lauren back in the college days of Comparative Literature when she called the cherubs in the painting "fluffy". (I love you Lauren!) Since then, she has been this massive creative force, conquering musical worlds in ways none other have...and of course, I say that because I know her and am glistening with pride like a mother hen. :) She played a few new tunes, including this inexplainably awesome "folk" type song with two other singers, about "idle" hands. I think the grin on my face during that was probably regrettably nerdy! She even jabbed Sarah Palin in a two second "political" song. Lauren has this way - she's got the thing an audience needs a performer to have. She's gorgeous, funny, brilliant, talented (that doesn't do her justice) and downright kind as a human. We had so much fun.*Afterwards, we returned to the restaurant portion for a few drinks with Jeff, Lauren, and two complete (???) that work with Jeff. Sorry, Jeff...I won't go into incriminating details. Being around Jeff and Lauren is like this giant gulp of amazingly clean and environmentally friendly breath of fresh air, and every night that Craig and I have with them is stored permanently in our memory banks. Thanks, LC, for rocking the house so hardcore! You are GREAT.*This morning, of course, due to alcoholic intake from the previouse night, we were lazy beings. We actually crashed on the couch for some reason, Craig and then me ontop of Craig (??) and woke up that way at 5 a.m. Craig has had three memorable and absolutely hysterical situations with taking out his contacts...one being that after a Purdue game back in the day, we crashed in a room at the Union and he soaked his contacts in glasses of water (being w/o solution and a case) and in the middle of the night, I either drank them or threw them out!, two being, one night we came home so late from the bar that he decided to pluck them out of his eyes en route to the apartment tossing them onto the sidewalk, and three...last night, as we settled into the couch, he decided to take them out and store them on the cover of his New York Time Out Magazine. So, this morning, when I found the magazine on the coffee table, ontop of it was a shriveled dried up CB contact. HOOT! I don't even know where the other one is - likely somewhere on the carpet. I went for bagels at 10.30 this morning after crawling out of bed. That is like waking up at 9 o'clock at night for us!!! We rarely sleep past 8 or 9. And then we cleaned up and headed down to Union Square to find a couple of cups of coffee at Mud. And after that, we just walked. We walked, walked, walked, walked...it was great! Ate lunch at Five Points, which was strangely unlike the description of it he had read on Foodist Colony, but good, and then just walked a lot more. We went to Room and Board to once again sit on "THE" couch, which is still not schedule to arrive until mid-November, and we wrapped up Vacation Day with a beer at dba. Above pictured is the kitten I encountered upon exiting the bathroom there. Nice! A bar kitten. If there is anything that can turn both Lauren and me into gushy melty piles of complete mush, it's cats and kittens. We often talk of purchasing one of which we'd share custody. That kitty would live both in Manhattan and in Queens. It would be a diverse creature.*

October 12, 2008


Shoe shopping was successful. Yesterday we headed down to the Union Square DSW - Discount Shoe Warehouse? Really? - and all I had in mind to find was a black pair of shoes, and a brown pair of shoes. That seems to cover all wardrobe bases for me. A while back, my favorite black Mudd Mary Jane black shoes broke. This is 100% my fault, as I am lazy when I put shoes on and the elastic snapped because I refused to do and undo the buckle putting them on/off. Regardless, there is a nearby shop that specializes in shoe repair/leather strap repair/etc. etc. that can remedy my issue. Moving on, I've been additionally lazy in dropping off the shoes for repair. So, what better immediate remedy, since we were going shoe shopping anyway, than to buy more black shoes. What's the problem with shoe designers today? Why can't they just give me something flat, something simple, something that speaks of my personality? Please? I selected the shoe shown above in desperation, as I couldn't find, in aisles and aisles and aisles of black shoes, the perfect "Kristi" shoe. And I will explain what I mean. Since I've turned into an adult human, I've prioritized my purchases like this: eating/drinking, travel, maybe a gadget here or there, an item of clothing or two at a time, necessities like socks and unmentionables, (how far down the list could I go?)...finally, shoes. I loathe buying shoes. Purchasing shoes doesn't make me feel like smiling at the cashier over the counter as I pass my debit card to her. I don't understand how a shoe can accessorize a personality, unless, of course, I manage (a rarity) to find the occasional "Kristi" shoe. That would be a shoe that I feel entirely suits my personality.
Behold, a "Kristi" shoe. Look at how basic! Look at how the nice brown and the squarish toe and the off-centered little bow come together in such quiet little girlness! That's the kind of shoe they need to make more of. That's the shoe I'd like to buy more often and that type of shoe would perhaps even yield an enjoyment of my shoe shopping experiences. This shoe is made by Rocket Dog. I'm in love with a majority of the Rocket Dog shoes I've seen. I just scoped out their website, and as they boast, "Rocket Dogs bark." Nice. My feet very seriously don't want to grow up. They just refuse. In fact, another pair of Rocket Dog shoes I have that are loud in color prompted a co-worker of mine to ask, "Are you 12?" Best question I could have been asked while wearing those shoes! Nice! So, here I am, totally satisfied in the shoe department until either the brown or black break down again. Thankfully.*We got home from seeing the Jets pummel the Bengals a little while ago. We went with Scott and Scott's friend Corey. Corey and I were chatting about work stuff and he vaguely mentioned working for Conde Nast. Now, typically when speaking to someone about work, if it's something about which I have no idea how to exchange conversation, I usually nod and smile, hoping the confused inquiry is written across my face. However, at this time we were standing on a ramp overlooking the new Jets/Giants Stadium Construction site and it hit me that Conde Nast is associated with a travel magazine. So I took the opportunity to inquire without needing to raise my brows or smile stupidly! I said, Conde Nast, isn't that a travel magazine? And Corey replied, Well, they do have a travel magazine, yes...Conde Nast is a publisher that owns a bunch of publications and I actually work for GQ. Swoon! GQ! Really! Given the recent obsession I've had with a certain serial killer, it came as no surprise that I would shout, HAVE YOU MET DEXTER? He was very kind in response and informed me that "Dexter" is always hanging out by the pool whenever Corey takes trips to L.A. for work. Okay, Corey, too much real life information on Michael C. Hall. Don't ruin Dexter's fictional character for me! Anyway, we had a blast - Corey is super nice, and it was discovered on the way back from Jersey on the bus that he and his girlfriend and another couple ALSO ate at the Fatty Crab before seeing Andrew Bird last week. Small world, small world! They went to the show the night after we did, though.*Speaking of Dexter...I'm in the 2-hour countdown window. I'm making pasta/asparagus/garlic bread and cannot ramble any longer. Kitchen must be cleaned, dinner prepared, kitchen again cleaned, and Dexter can begin! Here's to that.

October 11, 2008


October yields cooler temps, and with that, there are several things I'm going to miss. I think I have difficulty transitioning. Each year, as the seasons shift, I become nostalgic for what I've grown to love from that season. Most summers, for instance, it takes me a while to get my bare feet out. I have pretty unsightly feet. They're just not that cute. But pedicures are a great response to unattractive feet, and my pedicurists up the street seem able to turn even my feet into okay summertime bare feet. So, once I get into flip flops, I really can't wear much else and now that temperatures are cooling off, my bare feet want to be out in the open but it's too chilly for that! I'm writing all of this primarily because this morning we are going shoe shopping in Union Square. I'm going to try to remedy my nostalgia for bare feet with cute shoes. Take also for instance iced coffee, which I've grown to crave in the mornings. I don't recall the last cup of hot coffee I had, with the exception of a yummy latte from Mud a few weekends ago. But once I gear up and transition into fall and winter - sleeves, layers, hats, scarves, boots - I really love that period of time and it takes me to a different frame of mind. I suppose I'm not the only one that takes a while easing from season to season.*Anyway, work has been hectic. We're taking it easy today, aside from shopping for shoes, and I'm going to actually get some organization accomplished. My closet is dreadful. I have a nicely sized shelf in there that is not being used to capacity. And in a matter of weeks, the new couch will arrive (so long overdue and so highly anticipated) and we need to have the second bedroom ready to receive the dumb squeaky futon. Right now, that room is a holding cell for miscellaneous. My refrigerator could use some re-organization, and there are other chores I'd love to tackle today. Despite the gorgeous weather out there, it's a good day to get things done. Tomorrow we are headed to New Jersey for a Jets game with our friend Scott and his buddy. That pretty much kills the afternoon, so working today toward tidiness is wise. I don't want to come home tomorrow to a mess.*Above pictured is the newly updated "booze cart". Craig bought a bottle of Belvedere Vodka and Maker's Mark whiskey to add to our collection of tequilas. Behind the Maker's is a trashy bottle of Lemoncello which we will never, ever, ever drink! It's only a start, but Craig would like to have a bottle collection. Then below pictured are two new bottles of wine I purchased. I need to figure out a decent way to showcase my wines. We have our eye on an Ikea book shelf, but the one time we traveled to the new Brooklyn Ikea, that shelf was sold out. It might be a good place for my wines. Or perhaps I could find a tall wine rack to place next to the booze cart?*Monday night, before I forget to mention, Craig and I met Jeff at this Malaysian restaurant called the Fatty Crab in the Meatpacking District. I saw Alan Cumming on a bike (!!!) which was hilarious (prior to meeting Jeff) and the food at the Fatty Crab was amazing. Craig and I ate steamed pork buns with this pile of delicious cilantro greens concoction before Jeff arrived, and then we all shared Malay Fish Fry with tumeric tempura, crab curry and green chili tamaki, a Watermelon Pickle and Crispy Pork Salad (the watermelon rind is pickled and served like salad with a few large squares of actual watermelon), Skate Panggang on a banana leaf and a Chicken Claypot with ginger, green chili and tofu. Even Craig liked the tofu! I will go back again and again. I loved it. Afterwards, we headed to the Hiro Ballroom to meet Lauren for Andrew Bird. The Hiro Ballroom! It's a gorgeous venue in the Maritime Hotel decked in dark wood and deep intimate booths and paper lanterns of all sizes hanging from a dark arched ceiling. Andrew Bird sounded great, but it was not as quality, to me, as the last show we all saw of his. Anyway, we had a great night.*This coming week is Craig's birthday week. Thursday night Lauren is performing, and we have Friday off again (using up vacation days). Friday morning we are going for brunch at Mud again, and will probably wander around the City enjoying all it has to offer. Saturday is his actual birthday! 32! A good year! And we just may celebrate at the Old Homestead Steakhouse - it all depends on what he feels like. Life is good and getting better, which I know is strange to say because of the fierce decline of the economy. I haven't checked my 401k because I don't want the bad news. Maybe I'm living in this protected New York City bubble where I don't have mouths to feed (other than mine and Craig's) or gas prices to fear or an insurmountable mound of debt to pay (although I do have enough to conquer), and while other times I've felt sad that we haven't yet begun a family, for now, it's probably for the best. I don't know how we'd manage with little ones at this rate. The election is less than a month away. Craig and I are going to make a night of it. And we're voting. We're not the most righteous political issues followers but this year, we are all making a mark, regardless if we live in a City which has already established its alliance. Lots happening.*

October 05, 2008


Sunday already?? It's been way too short, for a long weekend. They all seem shorter these days. Craig had to go in Friday morning, despite having the day "off", then we enjoyed the rest of our Friday and Saturday as usual. Saturday we headed to the North Woods in Central Park and discovered that we kind of like it up there. It's less crowded and feels very, well, wooded. Then we found ourselves in the Conservatory Garden, where I saw this rainbow in a fountain. There were lots of wedding parties in the midst of photography shoots, which I found to be wonderful and romantic. What better backdrop for wedding photos than an urban park? Nice. Anyway, we watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall this weekend - I bought it sight unseen, and I must admit, I found it to be profoundly entertaining. It wasn't the same kind of funny as Knocked Up, but it was certainly clever and smart. We also watched all of the bonus features, which I found to be thoroughly hilarious, too. Speaking of hilarious (and crass, and so wrong yet so right) this morning we watched Chris Rock's special Kill the Messenger. I was in stitches, particularly with his content regarding the election and Obama and McCain. The whole thing had me howling, really. I'm not a huge stand up comedy fan - it takes some really theatrical antics to hold my interest, but after we watched it, I wouldn't let Craig erase it from our DVR box! I'm really all over the place in this post, in part because I'm tired and massaging a tequila hangover (we drank Tequila Sunrises and Wii-bowled last night), in part because I haven't been spontaneously inspired to write anything here more recently, in part because I'm distracted with Craig on the phone with his mom in the background and watching the White Sox play baseball. But I did want to post a little tonight. I kicked Craig out of the living room a few hours ago to re-watch "Our Father" from last weekend's Dexter to prime up for tonight. I picked up on a couple of things I hadn't noticed in the first handful of viewings of it. I really think this season is going to be insane. The few Dexter viewers I have at work weren't happy with the first episode, so I've been watching it for little clues as to what might be in store for us. Crazy, how brilliantly written that show is. I love it.*Life is good for us right now. We've got an Andrew Bird concert at a new venue tomorrow night with Lauren and Jeff (new as in we've not yet been to it - new to us). This is Craig's birthday month, which I just love. Craig just purchased our tickets to fly to Indiana for the Purdue football game Halloween weekend. My parents are traveling here in mid-November to visit us in lieu of us flying to Detroit for Thanksgiving. The rest of the year is booking up, and looking good. We're having a lot of fun together. I'm loving every minute of it! And I certainly feel blessed, because in this American crisis that is our present day mess, we are financially (temporarily) still on our feet. It's really hard to swallow what's happening. It's strange, and unsettling. I hope the election this year results in positive change. It goes without saying, we need it something fierce.*Off to decide what's for dinner, penne vodka or walnut pesto. And to count down the hours until Dexter.