October 20, 2010


I've been experiencing so many new things thanks to Kim and her friends. Really, many thanks to Kim. It's like this: Hey Kim, KB here, do you want to do such and such? She's like, Sure, absolutely! And vice versa, no matter what it really is. This past weekend we went to Happy Hour Friday with Valentino. The first thing we did was sort of line up our social activity together for the next several weeks. Sunday, my lasagna cook off. Monday, disasterville night that didn't wind up happening but at least Kim and Suhana came over to keep me company (we were going to go to Sunburnt Cow for $20 all you can eat/drink for 2 hours to uncelebrate Craig's 34th birthday, but that didn't happen as I was a little paralyzed...these setbacks will happen, I get that, thanks to many expensive therapy sessions. This coming Saturday is Valentino's Fake New Year's Eve Party, which will be fun. And I just learned prior to that that a friend's surprise birthday party is taking place at a karaoke bar - I'll do that for an hour before heading to Valentino and Andrew's place. Valentino asked us to come to his parents' house in Vermont the Friday after Thanksgiving (Kim is cooking Thanksgiving dinner for me, since neither of us are traveling home. She's an unbelievable cook - I am sure it will be gourmet.) So that kicked off our conversation - we hung out with Suhana a bit longer at The Globe, then jumped in a cab to find seats for the Yankees Game at the Village Pourhouse. Actually, before doing that, we went to Valentino's for Yankees jerseys, then off to the Pourhouse. Just the three of us, we found seats in the back and watched the entire what happened to be an amazing Yankees game. Then we traveled to Dempsey's, which happens to be a favorite spot of my little Irish author guy, the one Kim and I are seeing read in the later part of November followed by drinks with him (along with a whole slew of other fans of his!) At this time Andrew, Valentino's roommate, wanted to join us, and we invited "SVH" (Sweet Valley High, our friend Todd, named SVH because one of the SV twins dated a Todd in the books!) SVH is this suuuuuper nice guy, like, over the top nice, adorable, so friendly and funny, that Kim and I sort of see as a team (like, we're a trio) so it was fun catching up with him. Suhana was supposed to meet up with us, too, but after several text rounds, it turned out she didn't get to us at Dempsey's until pretty late, with Tom Cruise (Reid Andres) in tow. I guess...somewhat awkward, but Kim is a tough girl and she doesn't let guys or drama damage friendships, and Suhana is the conduit through which we know Tom Cruise anyway, so it's always been known that they were friends. Tom Cruise wound up leaving with Suhana, only to apologize later to Kim (the next morning, via phone call.) It was a little weird? But Kim and I basically disregard anything having to do with anything dramatic. I mean, that is, when it comes to friendship items. So, we were out until 5 again (this is becoming our Friday night trend) and Saturday morning found me with my head thudding and plans to meet Kim at Penn Station to catch a 12.40 to Long Beach. I woke up alright, but was rather foggy and it took me more time than I imagined to get ready and before you know it, I was hightailing it to Penn Station in a cab with Kim texting me, all freaked out that we'd miss our train...right as we pulled up to Penn, she texted me, "Ahhh..." Ha ha. She had bought me an egg sandwich and an iced coffee and my ticket, too, and I found her with Christina and Corey just in literally the nick of time...we boarded, and the doors closed within a fraction of minutes later! She almost killed me. But I made it! My first time running through Penn Station, fancy! So, Christina is Joanna's sister. Joanna works with Kim at the cosmetics company. That's how they met and subsequently how Kim met Christina. Christina is this beautiful rock star chick who always looks so with it, and Corey is this brown-eyed doe boyfriend of Christina with tousled brown hair and who we dubbed "the lumberjack" for the day, as he was wearing this brightly colored hooded sweatshirt as if he were headed out to chop logs, not visit a brewery with the rest of us! Christina and Joanna are both amazing. They're hilarious, and have enormous personalities. I mean, past the point of being unique, even - there must be a bigger word that better describes these two. Will, Joanna's boyfriend, picked us up at the Long Beach Station and we headed to his mom's house, where we met Joanna, then piled into Joanna's BMW to ride to this new brewery in Oceanside. I mean it, all 6 of us piled high into a BMW to drive to a brewery. I guess Claire and Dan, Joanna's friends that I would meet later, discovered this place: literally, a one room warehouse with brewing devices run by just one guy who is trying to get his beer off the ground. It's in this industrial strip, hard to find, really, but it was fine...he gave us rounds of beer tasting and the beer was, in fact, very good. At this point, already for the day, I don't think I went 8 minutes without laughing, because all of those people are just so amazing and hilarious. The chemistry of the group is rock solid. And piled in the back seat of Joanna's car, me, Christina, Kim and Corey - yeah, we had fun laughing about everything in general. After the beer tasting, we sort of milled about outside in the parking lot waiting for Claire and Dan to arrive. Claire's car was in the shop so they were taking a cab to meet us, but again, the place was tricky to find, so the cabbie wound up dropping them off like a quarter of a mile away. Joanna, Will and Kim headed off to pick them up, and I lingered back with Christina and Corey. They had bought a growler of the beer and we had deemed it their love child, conceived in a week (the beer had been brewed the week before), deciding babies in real life should have one week conceptions but then Christina was like, That doesn't give you long to change your mind! Ha. Kim and clan returned, and we left Claire and Dan to visit the brewery while Joanna drove us to The Fishery, a little seafood restaurant in East Rockaway. If I could bottle up that lunch and pass it out as gifts to my friends, I most certainly would. We sat there for a couple of hours, sampling sea food, drinking beer, laughing (at some point Joanna had gone back to retrieve Claire and Dan who joined us then.) Dan is a high school English teacher and Claire is a Chemistry teacher and holy Moses, I have no way to define their cleverness. No way. They had me absolutely just in stitches, and Joanna and Christina and Corey and Kim were all chiming in, too, and it was friendship heaven, those hours. After The Fishery, we decided to pick up beer and travel to Joanna's (Claire and Dan also live in the same apartment complex) where I swooned over the magnificence of the view from Joanna's balcony (see above sunset shots taken on silly iPhone camera.) We wound up downstairs in Claire and Dan's apartment and played several savage rounds of beer pong, darts and flip cup. We ordered pizza, just hung out - Kim started the Pirate jokes, so for hours she would insert, "What's a pirate's favorite (blank)" and we'd have to respond in something accommodating of Arrrrr! We laughed so hard at this, it never really got old, actually! Lots of fun. Dan's sister arrived from Montauk with their cousin, and we continued on with flip cup. Dan was curious about the KB moniker for me, and once he learned my last name, he kept changing it up, but everything he called me sounded Jewish. At one point he said absentmindedly, "I wonder why I want you to be Jewish so badly?" Ha ha!! Like, K Bernstein and K Burkowitz and what not. Burkowitz...Jewish? Eh, whatever, it was tons of fun. Kim was exhausted...I, as well, so we made an 11-something train back into Manhattan. Sunday was the mushroom lasagna cook off, also fun...I headed to the grocery store early, stocked up on goods, and spent the afternoon chopping stuff in preparation. The turn out was great: Kim, Michael (obviously, as we were the triumvirate hosts making the lasagnas), Valentino, Andrew, Adam, Julie, Amanda, Bento and Dagna. Perfect...not too many, not too few, and very blend-able people. My heart soars when I see them all become Facebook friends, which they did the very next day! It was a fun time. Then Monday happened, but I'm over it. I just needed to sort of rectify the broken part of my heart. And like I said, Kim and Suh came over and we delighted in each other's presences. I am pretty sure we're to a point where we can count on each other for just about everything. I love it.*Upcoming: Halloween (Adam/Julie party, Joanna, Will, Kim, Michael, Christina, Corey, big group bar night, as well), oh, first Valentino's party...a costume making party at one of Christina's friend's, trip to Denver with Kim, Kristin Hersh with Kim, David Duchovny play, Jason Irish Author reading+bars, Thanksgiving, Vermont with Kim, Valentino and whomever else is coming along. As a weird aside, months ago I met Julie's (Adam's Julie) brother...he's older than she but a year or two younger than I, really clever and fun...he was here visiting from Boston and we did lobster grilling on the roof and Rock Band and board games? And managed to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew? Anyway, he and I sort of...hit it off. He went back to Boston and I didn't hear from him for a few weeks and suddenly he was requesting my Facebook friendship...since then, we started FB chatting, which turned into him asking me for my number and texting, followed by GChatting. We've basically been talking every day (via multi-media) for a couple of weeks. Intriguing. He's an engineer but as a hobby is a pilot, and actually recently became licensed to fly Internationally, even. He's cute - I'd love to see him again sometime, but there's probably some awkwardness there, what with Julie being my friend and all...so, for now, just fun flirting. He's someone exciting to have on any kind of radar. Smart. Hilarious. The other day, the first night he texted me, he said he was going to see The Social Network that night (Facebook movie.) I texted him, Enjoy it and tell me how it is. He texted, Everyone dies at the end. Ha ha.*Anyway. Life is a bright star. As my friends tell me...mainly Adam, experiencing lows now in the wake of everything only makes the highs that much higher. And it's true. I feel it. I feel like life has cruised me to a new altitude. And I like it up here.*

October 09, 2010


Last Sunday I accomplished the 30-mile Multiple Sclerosis charity bike ride. It was unbelievable. I have very little inclination to attempt to describe the experience, because it washed over me like this intimate wave, this private moon. I loved it. Every second is ingrained in my memory as a heart beat. I rode the entire perimeter of Manhattan, beginning at Pier 94 and finishing at Pier 94. It felt fantastic. I raised over $1k, too. KB, nice work, and good memory to savor and carry.*After the ride (which took my friend Bento and I a mere 3 hours, including a rest stop in Inwood!) my good friend Valentino (Chris) called me. We had had a bit of a legendary Friday night together, so he wanted to let me know that he had slept from 8.30 Saturday night until 11 Sunday morning (coincidentally right as I finished my ride!) I asked him if he'd like to meet with me and Kimchi at The Frying Pan? And he agreed. So, I walked from the 53rd Street pier to 27th, Frying Pan locale, talking to my parents recapping some of the ride. The day was stunning, crisp, lovely autumn for me. I arrived at The Pan before Kim and Valentino, so I grabbed a bucket of Corona and a table. They arrived shortly thereafter, and I can't explain it...I'll never be able to accurately do justice to that moment wherein I looked over and Valentino was marching toward me followed by Kimchi and Val's roommate, my friends, coming to help me celebrate my victory as if that was the only thing they could have dreamed of doing that day. I think I actually live here now. I think I actually have found love here. Friends. I needed it forever and now it's mine.*My Kim and I have spent the past several weeks together, days and days, and she's indefinitely my BFF. She's just so amazing and brilliant and beautiful and fun. And more. I can't really do Kimchi justice here. She does this thing where she spreads her love in a giant blanket around the people she deems worthy. But she's particular, trust me. Not everyone is worthy! I'm blessed to be. There are times when we're together where we get to talking about a topic and can't stop, and then laugh and laugh until our eyes are rivers of tears. We were totally meant to meet. There's no doubt in my mind.*I want to recap so much more, but I'm juggling texting with Kim while she's in Omaha for a wedding, and beautiful weather outside that I need to go absorb and fun giddy thoughts about my neighbor downstairs that I met last night, who is now in my phone as "Downstairs Neighbor." Eeeek! I'm most definitely living life to the fullest right now. So much more to say. Soon.