Saturday, August 30, 2008

The ups and downs of living in New York City

You walk to the subway and see the same homeless man in a mesh shirt you see every morning on the way to work; only this time, he's proudly standing over a pile of poop. His own.

Then, you wait for the subway and see the operator in the front wearing a skeleton glove on his hand to drive the train, and this excites you to the point of joy that totally redeems what just happened.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bathroom etiquette

I've had issues with my work bathroom before.

I'm finally going in there again, but there is this girl who always uses the middle stall to go number 2, which makes it very uncomfortable in a three-stall bathroom. I'd imagine, for boys, it's similar to what happens when someone stands right next to you at the urinal.

I know it's the same girl because she has the WORST taste in footwear: all her shoes look rather hooker-ish (except for her Baby Phat shoes, I loves Baby Phat footwear). Of course, every time I go into the bathroom and there's someone in the middle stall I have to peek at the feet. It's her EVERY TIME. I quietly grimace and shake my fist and the pee anxiety sets in.

Without water running or someone else peeing I totally freeze up. I need encouragement. It becomes even more of a problem with someone is sitting right next to me probably going through the same anxiety as me - only, she's trying not to fart, probably.

So, my message is, don't use the middle stall if you're in a three-stall situation. Give your fellow pee-mate some privacy in an already uncomfortable situation. Oh, and also, stop wearing hooker shoes to work.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jack Donaghy

I just got lunch at the Rock Center Cafe with my old boss and as we're strolling back to the office, we spot Alec Baldwin about to film a scene for 30 Rock. My old boss says a LITTLE too loud, "You nasty little pig!" as we're walking by him and his handlers.

Calling all babies!

In the kitchen at work there is the creepiest flier posted on one of the cabinets.

I've seen ads for roommates needed, shopping promotions and some great passive aggressive notes, but this one is by far the worst.

The headline? Calling all babies!

For what? An uncompensated photo shoot where they dress your baby up to define Yiddish words. They want babies of ALL shapes, sizes, races and dispositions.

If anyone would like the information to sign your baby up, please let me know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Green thumbs

You could say my parents are plant enthusiasts. This is what they got me for my birthday:

We've always had a beautiful garden full of flowers, and when there was the room, vegetables.

A few years ago, when my parents were starting to become real, actual people, not just boring old parents, we went out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. The conversation switched to drugs, naturally. My dad said, "Well, there's a reason I don't order mushrooms on pizza."

That was funny, but I wanted more. What other drugs had they tried? How old were they when they first smoked pot? Did they smoke when we were asleep? I shared my experiences and learned a few doozies about them, but this was the best one of all:

When I was in high school, they thought my brother was a major stoner. So, doing what parents do, they started snooping through his bureau. They found what they thought were pot seeds. You'd think they'd react how you're supposed to, right?

No. My parents decided to put their green thumbs to use and try to harvest their own supply of marijuana in our backyard. Much to their chagrin, weeks later beautiful marigolds popped up instead. My brother had gotten the seeds from an insurance company's promotion and they had probably spilled out in his drawer.

As of two nights ago my dad won't confirm nor deny the story to my brother (who, in high school, was just shy - not a druggie). But, would you really trust anyone who got stoned halfway through his wedding and is featured wearing sunglasses in half the photos?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Keeping tradition alive

It wouldn't be my birthday if I wasn't sick. On the eve of my 26th birthday, my eyes are starting to close because of my "Nighttime" high (CVS' answer to NyQuil), I keep clearing my throat every few minutes and I'm consuming an insane amount of honey lemon cough drops.

Here is a small list of medical ailments/unfortunate events that have happened on or around my birthday over the years:
- The aforementioned fainting on a subway platform/relationship break-up/grandfather passing
- On my eighth birthday, I set up our MINI-trampoline right next to the swimming pool in our backyard so I could jump up higher and right into the pool. I attempted the jump and my feet got stuck under the cloth covering the springs. My body went up and got yanked down with my knees hitting the pavement full force.
- I wanted to see the latest Woody Allen movie on my birthday, when my mother discovered - as we walked towards the theater - what she thought were SCABIES on my arm. She thought I could have picked them up at the retirement home where I was a waitress. I spent the rest of the day with the doctor. (in retrospect this was a good thing as Curse of the Jade Scorpion was TERRIBLE)
- I had lice. I still went to my birthday party, but endured the most violent and rigorous of RID treatments before and after. My friends commented on how shiny and beautiful my hair was; they had no clue I'd been raked over for the past week.
- My mother scheduled a dentist appointment on my birthday (at least it wasn't a lady doctor appointment - she liked to book those on Christmas Eve)

There are more honorable mentions, but it's certainly a proud tradition. In fact, one year my sister got very ill on her birthday and said, "But, [my sister] is the one who's supposed to have the terrible birthdays!"

Despite being sick, I'm planning on making the best of it tomorrow. I'm driving back to New York after a very relaxing weekend in Northern Massachusetts (I can actually hear frogs outside right now). Then I'm going out for Mexican food with some of my favorite people.

p.s. Happy Birthday Brooklyn Sea Hag!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stick it to me

Among my swaps at the NY Gift Fair, I mentioned I got an acupuncture treatment. I give this woman all of our New Age books and she'd give me acupuncture. My back has been really bothering me since then, and now I'm afraid this woman used some sort of voodoo on me.

It wasn't your typical acupuncture treatment with needles, she used an electronic acupuncture tool that shot electricity into my "trouble spots" to "open up my vessels". Essentially, I was being electrocuted. When she was applying the tool all over my upper back, I would spontaneously spasm and my arm would move and I'd get goose bumps, then I lost feeling in my hands. They've been a little tingly ever since.

While giving me the treatment, she said I had a lot of tension in my shoulders. I explained it was probably because the night before I had carried four laptops over five avenues from the Javits Center to my office. Now, since getting the treatment I keep getting a sharp pain in my right shoulder blade.

This isn't the first time I've experienced adverse effects post-acupuncture. Last summer, I tried it because my doctor - whose waiting room has a serenity waterfall - suggested it. She said it wouldn't hurt (it did) and it would alleviate my stress (it didn't). I was in her office because a few weeks prior I had fainted on a subway platform at Astor Place. I was taken to the hospital and they recorded an irregular heartbeat. Apparently, my irregular heartbeat is likely to be activated by stress, which at the time I had plenty of: the same weekend my boyfriend of five years was moving out of our apartment, my grandfather died.

When she put a few needles in my ears, I was immediately uncomfortable and lost sensation in my hands. Then, she put a needle in my calf and I instantly burst into tears. I wasn't in physical pain, but she hit something that all I could do was cry. Buried emotions? Hitting a nerve? I have no idea, but I immediately asked her to turn off the Pure Moods CD and let me go home with a prescription for Prozac.

If I have to find a silver lining in all of this, it's that now my back feels extra sensitive. So sensitive, I finally have found that stray hair that I know has been growing on my back that I couldn't feel until now. I have one over-active hair follicle and my ex-boyfriend used to groom me and it hadn't been found since we broke up. So, you can imagine my excitement of extracting a two-inch hair from my back while in the car today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mob Mentality

I've been working the New York International Gift Fair for the past week hawking books and I have never been happier to see something end. The manner in which it ended, however, was absurd.
I had heard that at the close of the show it gets crazy because we give away all our product and people stop by in droves. But, I didn't realize that I would lose my temper, yell at old women and have to physically remove people from the booth.
All day people were stopping by to ask when we were giving away our books, and can they reserve some for later because "I have the cutest granddaughter" or "my son would really love this book." I said no politely at first, but then I had to put my foot down and say, "Lady, everyone has an adorable granddaughter - no piles, no reservations, no exceptions."
The only exception of course was if you were willing to trade me product from your booth. I got some LOVELY items including a "Glow-in-the-Dark Flesh-Eating Zombie" figurine set, a business card holder, an acupuncture session and a telephone! Seriously.
We were giving the books away at noon, and by 10:30 there were people milling around holding stacks and stacks of books. One woman started loading them in bags; when I saw this I politely, yet firmly reminded her that the show was still going on for another hour and half. "But, people have already taken them from outside of your booth." She was right, people had started to steal all the books I couldn't police anymore. But, this woman was trying to negotiate with me why her rude behavior should be acceptable. By 11 am, there was this nutty woman who brought FIVE boxes and said she was mailing them to Israel.

Finally, my boss showed up and laid down the law with an announcement to the tune of "You are allowed only five books each, the show isn't over, you people are greedy animals." This hit the Box Woman really hard, who had come by the booth five times prior to let me know her plans with the books.
We had over 200 books in the booth and at noon, it took 5 finutes for them all to be gone. I heard one thank you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pop Quiz

Why am I single?
A) I am halfway through completing my "Love Can Wait" Su Doku book.
B) The only boys I've interacted with lately have been on cross-country flights and proclaim their UNDYING LOVE for Dane Cook.
C) I haven't gotten a pedicure in so long that my toe nails have been cutting my other toes when they're crammed into one of my many pairs of pointy-toed shoes.
D) All of the above

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I don't fit in at my gym.

Here are a few things the girl in the first row of treadmills thought about at the gym:
I hope they're playing my favorite House music re-mixed by DJ Clue.
There better be at least five guys who can bench press double my weight who will stare at me as I mount the treadmill.
I hope the booty shorts I decided to run in don't cover up my Playboy Bunny tattoo I had strategically placed on my lower back for such occasions.
The shirt I decided to wear looks really great on me, but you know, it looks better off of me and hanging on my treadmill.

Here are a few things I thought about at the gym:
Doesn't my iPod volume go up any higher to drain out this awful music?
Good lord, why couldn't every guy decide to skip the gym today, I'm sweating too much.
It's best to wear two sports bras at once to create the best pancake boob effect I can.
My droopy sweatpants and extra large Loveburger shirt are perfect to exercise in because you can't see any of my parts moving.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What I learned in Cincinnati

I flew home last week for a wedding and had a brief stopover in Cincinnati.

On the short flight from LaGuardia to Ohio, I sat next to a very friendly actor from New York who used to be in the Blue Man Group. We talked about all sorts of things: Sigur Ros, Dr. Wayne Dyer and our parents' and grandparents' relationship when it came to war.

I told him that my grandfather gave my dad a hard time for not enlisting during the Vietnam War and how he thought my dad would miss out on a great deal of camaraderie. Of course our conversation shifted to the current conflict, and if we knew anyone over there, etc. I said I felt so far removed from the war and didn't understand how it affects families whatsoever. That was, until I had a few hours before my connecting flight to Los Angeles.

I was sitting in the terminal - people-watching - as a gate was emptying. I noticed a few families with balloons and signs waiting at the gate exit, which was bizarre to see because that's not generally allowed. As passengers were filing into the terminal, they weren't rushing to their next gate or the baggage claim. They were gathering around the families with the balloons and signs to wait with them. People walking by stopped to watch, and the whole terminal was captivated by who was coming off the plane.

Then, a woman who was milling around the gate screamed at the top of her lungs, "Bobby!" She ran toward a man in an Army uniform and jumped on him, wrapping her legs around him. She couldn't stop screaming and crying, and soon tears were streaming down my face as well. I looked around self-consciously, but it didn't matter because EVERYONE was crying. The terminal erupted in applause, which made me sob more.

Later, another soldier exited to more applause. And then another.

While I still can't fully comprehend what it's like to send a child, husband or brother off to war (whether you agree with it or not); I'm glad I got to witness what it's like to see them come home.