Archive | June, 2011

Walking in a Straight Line: A Tutorial

30 Jun

There are things in my life that I find extremely difficult. Walking in a straight line is not one of them.

Call me crazy, but wandering around with my head buried in a newspaper, or more likely, a cell phone or blackberry, is not the smartest thing to be doing on a crowded New York City sidewalk. And yet, time and time again, I dodge complete idiots walking aimlessly in a diagonal fashion, slowly enough to make it hard to interpret the best way to get around them. Will they meander left? Saunter right? But when I make the move to go around, they wake up from their trance and run right into me.

All of this had led me to believe that walking in a straight line is the equivalent of, say, filling out my tax forms, or coiffing my hair in the morning. Which means it’s extremely difficult. But like both of these examples, there is typically a set of steps you would follow to get the desired result. For example, if I have a hard time filing my taxes, the steps include 1. Printing out the forms and 2. Handing them to my dad. Fixing my hair involves 1.  Brushing it 2. Crying 3. Bobby pins and headbands. See, simple!

Of course, some people may need a bit more direction (pun intended…). So below is a step-by-step (again…pun intended) tutorial on mastering the art of walking on a New York City sidewalk, in a straight line.

1. PUT YOUR PHONE/BLACKBERRY/IPAD/TALKING DEVICE AWAY: This is imperative to walking in a straight line.

2. Survey the scene: Are there a lot of people on the sidewalk? What is the situation like behind you? Do you see a young female barreling across the street in an attempt to make it to work on time? If you do, it is even more crucial  to focus on the task at hand.

3. Find your end point: This may be somewhat advanced, so in the beginning stages, take it block by block.

4. Walk to it, straightly: Put one foot in front of the other, try your best to keep your body moving forward, and resist the urge to bury your face in your phone/blackberry/ipad/talking device.

5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you reach your destination: Be sure to pat yourself on the back when you arrive, because this was a huge accomplishment and you should be proud.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 EVERY TIME YOU WALK OUTSIDE: Please. I am begging you.

Feel free to print this guide out and keep it in your pocket. Just make sure you don’t actually read it while walking, as it will invariably distract you and detract from your goal. Best of luck!

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Road Tripppppppp!

28 Jun

I don’t like cars. I don’t really even like driving. But yesterday, in a fit of confidence (and having no other choice…) I drove from New York City to Connecticut, in a car twice the size of mine, with my boss. And nobody died! And the car didn’t get dented!

It was a miracle.

When we picked up the car, my boss suggested that I drive, and thinking it was a joke, I said “Sure, no problem” and laughed nervously for ten minutes. But much to my dismay, when the car pulled up, he climbed into the passenger seat! Suddenly life seemed very real. Not only had I never driven in the city before, I was already nervous about spending two hours each way making small talk. And now I was expected to operate a moving vehicle?

I got behind the wheel and immediately felt like passing out, but I steered what I will now lovingly refer to as “the tank” out onto 77th street, threaded past a garbage truck, slowed to a halt at the intersection, and made it through bumper to bumper traffic out into the open road.

Needless to say, I was pretty pumped. As was my boss, after I enlightened him with my various road rage/fender bender/car troubles/did I mention road rage? stories and he still made it to solid ground. I even drove the speed limit the whole time, (semi)parallel parked and didn’t change the radio station once! It was totally magical.

So now tonight, when I head home to my own dump of a car, I will remember fondly what it felt like to drive like a normal human being–in a car that isn’t falling apart and with a demeanor that, well, also isn’t falling apart. I’ll let you know how that goes….

So Long for Now

24 Jun

Saying goodbye truly, truly sucks. Fortunately, I haven’t had to say it too often–the only other big time was when I transferred colleges and left behind one of the most hilarious and fabulous people in my life. We’ve managed to stay in touch and visit, but at the time, it felt like it was goodbye for good. No more late night chats in the dorms, no more Wednesday cafeteria macaroni and cheese. It all felt very finite.

And now, in the space of a week, I’ve had to go through these feelings a whopping 3 more times. Three of my very-closest friends are leaving New York–one jetted to Italy, one will be moving to San Francisco, and one is off to law school. Of course, I’m so happy and excited for them. They deserve every last adventure and opportunity coming their way. But I will and already am missing them.

Sometimes being an adult is just unbelievably challenging.  Thank God I had my friends in my life over this past year, or else I’d be writing this blog from the East Wing of the Bellevue Psychiatric Ward. They’ve kept me laughing, offered me their beds and futons, put up with my constant lateness and scheduling conflicts, and have listened as I’ve gradually moved from total life desperation to something resembling normalcy. I am lucky to have them.

And now I’m crying in my cubicle, trying to find the best way to end this post. For once, I don’t really have the words, so I’ll use my friend Patrick’s, who signed off on his own blog with this:

“I have all of my friends and family to thank for being incredibly supportive and truly being there for me. I could not ask for better.”

Everyone: I HAVE A SUNBURN! We can move on now.

20 Jun

Apparently, I can no longer spend more than 5 minutes underneath the rays of the burning sun, because yesterday, in an attempt to eliminate my embarrassing farmer’s tan from a few weeks back, I instead burned every square inch of flesh not covered by a bathing suit to a deep red.

I look ridiculous. Aside from the overall lobster-eque coloring I’ve taken on, the back of my arms and legs are still pale, as is my neck. Because it’s approximately 9 million degrees out, I can’t really walk around in a turtle neck and jeans, which would be my only option in hiding my bizarre tan lines.

But obviously, sun burn is not some rare, never-before-seen skin disorder, and obviously, I’m fully aware of my ailment! Which is why the non-stop “OMG, look at your shoulders!” and “OMG, you’re red!” comments are not only getting annoying, but are also completely unnecessary. I was talking to a coworker this morning and I could have been reciting the Declaration of Independence, so engrossed was he in making faces over my rosy skin.

Everytime I talk to someone, they grimace in pain, unable to get over the fact that I’m the one that’s red! I seem to be eliciting sympathy pains in everyone I interact with! People’s complete bewilderment over my sunburn  makes it seem like I’m the only person in the world to ever roast in the sun a little longer than advisable. It’s summer. I am pale. I will burn.

I’m getting close to wearing a sign around my neck with the simple message: “I Know” with an arrow pointing to my face. But until then, I’m just going to continue slathering on Aloe Vera and looking into stores that carry high-necked caftans.

The Case of the Missing Breakfast Burrito

16 Jun

Today, as I was going through my daily dirge of emails, I found an online coupon for $5 off my next take out order. Considering I a) never order takeout and b) brought my own lunch, one would assume I would just delete this and move on with my life.

Well, one would be wrong.

A good deal trumps pretty much all other factors when it comes to my decision-making, so no sooner was I clicking on that coupon, I was sorting through the plethora of takeout menus for the Upper West Side area, of which there are many. But finally, I settled on a breakfast burrito and an iced coffee, which satiated my craving for breakfast food and met my goal to constantly be drinking coffee.

Pickup address in hand, I left the office and walked the block and a half to the location printed on my receipt….only to find that The Sidewalk Cafe was in reality a Petco. I walked five more blocks up, and then back down the other side and still no Sidewalk Cafe. Now I started to think I was getting scammed. In the world of New York City restaurants, what is there one day may not be there the next. But I headed back to the office to call the restaurant and see what was going on.

Much to my surprise, they picked up! So at least I knew the place existed. He gave me a different address than the one I had, and I was once again off to pick up my brunch lunch. And once again, THE PLACE DID NOT EXIST AT THAT ADDRESS. So I asked a policeman, then a doorman, then a waitress at another cafe, then the cashier at a diner, then a random passerby, then a child walking to school, then a dog on a leash….before ONCE AGAIN giving up and walking back to my office.

At this point, I’d been wandering around for 45 minutes, all for a burrito which was most likely soggy and an iced coffee most likely sans ice. I also had things to do. And hunger to attend to. So I ONCE AGAIN call the number and asked them to deliver, trying my best to not allude to the fact that I’d been wandering around looking for a place probably steps from my office. Appearances must be kept, right?

Finally, the food arrived! I went downstairs, tip in hand, only to find a guy in a business suit holding a paper bag and refusing my tip.

So. Weird. Is  “Sidewalk Cafe” code for some wacko making tainted burritos in an upstairs kitchenette? Is this a man making his lunch and then selling it for a few extra bucks? WHAT IS THIS???

After much investigation (on my part) and laughing (on my coworkers’ part), it was finally figured out that the Sidewalk Cafe is actually the restaurant inside of a gym across the street from my office. According to the site, this cafe is not on a sidewalk, but on the 5th floor. Also, the only way to get in is with a gym membership or as a guest of a member. Also, they don’t deliver, which means a waiter had to leave the restaurant to deliver food I ordered practically 2 hours ago. I am dumb.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is why I a) never order takeout and b) bring my own lunch.

A Bad Dream

13 Jun

Last night, I  had a really bad dream. I will explain, and offer my interpretations below.**

It started out in the shadows of a torrential down pour, as I drove home from a weekend spent with friends in the city (light giving way to darkness, ergo the change in psyche as I made my journey home). The rain pounded, my windshield wipers whipped, (representing the end of the week chaos)  and then, like a stroke of lightning, the passenger side window magically disappeared into the door of my car (no interpretation possible). While my subconscious contemplated the deeper meaning of such bizarre happenstance, the wind and rain continued to fall, soaking the inside of my car, and the side of my face (tears, anguish over my piece of $#*% car).

Fast forward–I find myself at home, in the garage (aka my soul) trying desperately to pull the window out from in-between the miniscule space with a pair of needle nose pliers too wide to fit the gap (dreams and ambitions too large accomplish in the small space of my day, obviously). My dad comes down to help me, and after attempting to fix the window himself, realizes it will need to be fixed by a professional. He tapes a black sheet of plastic over the window, but tells me he will help (suppression of said dreams and ambitions, my dependence). I cry.

Fast forward again–It’s now Sunday morning, and I am tired (my literal lack of sleep). I go down for breakfast, and my dad tells me I should find a way to fix my car as soon as possible. After wracking my brain in an attempt to find a spare second of time in which I have to do this (overwhelming nature of life), and expressing my frustration in the fact that I can find none, I tell my dad I thought he would be able to help. He tells me he’s changed his mind and I will have to handle this on my own because I am “negative”. He then quips that perhaps my car will get stolen and my problem will be solved (my search for an easy way out?). He gets up and leaves me in the kitchen alone, then spends the rest of the day pretending nothing happened. I spend the rest of the day trying to find an open garage, checking bus schedules, and begging friends for the use of their couch while my car gets repaired (a continuous cycle of dependency and exasperation). DREAM ENDS.

What a thinker. But wait…hold on just one second….that wasn’t a dream.

THAT WAS MY WEEKEND.

 

**I do not know how to interpret dreams

I Promise I Have Not Fallen Off the Face of the Earth

9 Jun

Despite my sporadic posting over the past several weeks, I have not:

a. Been a victim of one of my commuting fantasies
b. Quit my job and therefore have nothing else to share
c. Gotten a new haircut and, too ashamed to do anything, have been hiding under the covers of my bed
d. Fallen off the face of the earth

No, instead, I have been chained to my desk for the past two weeks straight, working on project after project while simultaneously attempting to fit in dinners with friends, birthday and graduation parties, face time with my parents, showers, meals and a few hours of sleep.

I am rather exhausted. But, as I’ve said during bouts of boredom, I like being busy. Perhaps that sentiment has been taken to the extreme, but I’ve never felt more confident at work nor have ever eaten as much cereal for dinner as I have over the past several weeks! Sounds like a win win to me!

But I have so much to tell and blog about, so when things finally calm down, be ready for an onslaught of posts! When that will be happening is still undecided, but it’s happening, so get ready.