Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Needed Inspiration

*Thanks to Sarah Martin Hood for the picture... much needed this week.

Hail To The V

*Warning: This is not my classiest post, but it is something I couldn't possibly keep to myself.  So, gentle readers, buck up and enjoy.

Summer.  A time to deal with beaches, sun, and cleanliness??  Well, for purchasers of Summer's Eve feminine hygiene wash, you now have specific ads just for your ethnicity.  Lucky ladies!!  So glad they pegged EXACTLY what we're looking for!  I'm tempted to rush out to a 24-hour Duane Reade right this minute...

For Caucasians
(complete with a mention of vagazzling - a concept I'm kinda obsessed with since I AM white)

For Latinas
(complete with mention of a trashy leopard thong)

And finally for our African American friends
(complete with mention of all your weaves)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Keep Her With You Always

Sometimes I feel the need to run away.  Flee work.  Flee responsibilities.  Flee the city.  Flee the various kryptonites.  Flee the girl who is myself.

The problem there, as a friend pointed out to me so eloquently, is that girl is always there no matter where I go.  I told him this was part of the problem - there's no escape from her.  He then added,

"She's lovely. You should keep her with you always."

I'm glad I'm smart enough to surround that girl with the most incredible people on the planet who are always right on time.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heavy Melancholy

Tonight I was told of a girl in NYC who went the whole day not speaking to anyone.

My heart felt heavy.
For a girl I've never met.
The fixer bubbled up within me.
I want her not to be sad and alone.
Ironic really.
In a city of 8 million people, she spoke to no one.

Then I realized I've known others who have done that.  And maybe that doesn't equal sad and alone.  My melancholic triggers aren't the same as everyone else's.  Maybe she just needed a day, an hour, a minute.

But in case her triggers are the same as mine, I'm sending out sighs of contentment to her.  If she rejects them, maybe the Universe will shoot them right back at me.


Speaking of melancholy...  Will November come soon enough?  I'm ready for this film.  Happy birthday to me.  The image at 1:01 of Kirsten Dunst in the wedding dress atop the stack of chairs just might be enough to do me in.  So beautiful.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ouch... That Hurts

I can happily say I'm a runner.  I don't do the barefoot run thing - though I am intrigued by it and have toyed with getting the barefoot shoes.  A good day for me is breaking a 10-minute mile.  And sometimes I get more excited over the outfit I get to wear and the fun ways to keep my hair out of my face before remembering the point of it all.

No matter, I'm a runner.

I love the high that comes from a good run.  I love listening to various run mixes that power me on.  I love talking about it with people who are better and faster than I am.  I even love the pain that comes from an incredible week of training.

What does scream, "OOOUUUUCH!!" is when my body nearly fails me.  Not when my legs tighten up, or when my flexibility isn't that of a former dancer, or even when my breathing shows signs of a multi-mile run.  Those I can handle.  But when the body doesn't cooperate, I have to listen to it and see what's going on.  A trip to Dr. Rein was made.  Talk with a trainer was had.  And the consensus is I have to slow down.


Unfortunately, my brain doesn't always feel like letting me run long distances.  And if that's the worst thing I have to deal with, I guess that's fine.  When I think back to 2002-05, I remember simply wanting to make it through three days without a seizure.  I wanted nosebleeds to not equal trips to the doctor and subsequent CT scans.  I wanted to be able to live day-to-day without having to be hovered over.  Thankfully I had a great caretaker, a wonderfully intuitive dog, amazing friends, and supportive family members. Even more thankfully, I'm better.  I can run in Astoria Park with a view of the most beautiful city any night I want even if some of those nights produce only a one-miler... and I can do it while wearing a running skirt.

So my half-marathon training has been... lengthened.  I'm still training.  And I'm still hoping to doing a version of the half on October 1st in Florida.  It might be a half/half... a quarter marathon, if you will.  I'll still be proud of that, and I won't wallow in frustration.  And maybe next July I can proudly write about my successful half marathon training... or maybe even marathon - barefoot.

*I don't talk about my health blahs a lot as it's quite a personal subject/story for me, but I've had a lot of you ask how the training is going.  And it is indeed part of my journey, part of who I am, part of my adventure... thanks so much for asking and caring, gentle readers... you are truly the best.

Monday, July 18, 2011

What? I won something?

Remember this?

Yeah, I won a little contest for it.  My prize?  Two tickets to "Zarkana" at Radio City (the Universe REALLY wants me to take people to this show).  Not a huge deal, but spurred me on.  I wrote all weekend.  And now I'm ready to move to France, drink Parisian coffee, eat macarons, and write a book.

I get ahead of myself though.  For now I'll just be proud that someone noticed :)

I Ate Brains Y'all

Last week I went out with my favorite mohawk boy to celebrate his nomination for a Diana Jones Award!  Congrats, Jared!!  He designed a fantastic game... send out good vibes that he'll win.  Ok, I haven't played it yet, but the concept seems fantastic... anyone wanna come to a game night??

We decided to head to Ali's Kebab Cafe in my neighborhood.  We were greeted by Ali, the owner and chef.  An adorably charming and wonderful man, I was instantly in love with Mr. Ali.  I mean... look at that face.  I would totally hang out with him.  Why did I not get my picture WITH him??  I'll have to go back I guess :)

The restaurant has no menus.  Ali simply finds out what kind of food you like, what kind of food you hate, what kind of food you're allergic to, and what kind of food you're willing to be subject to.  We started with a warm beet salad and lamb cheek.  Both were to die for delicious.  I told Ali that I wanted something safe but that I was ready, willing, and able to get adventurous by eating off Jared's plate.  I was served chicken on a bed of lentils cooked in what I can only imagine was a bit of heaven.  Jared was served brains, not to be confused with sweetbreads, mixed with bell peppers and a whole lot of perfection.

I know if you know me well, you're sitting in amazement either at the fact that I ate brains or the fact that I ate with a boy at all.  But Jared hasn't steered me wrong yet on the whole food sitch, so I'm down with the exploration.  I can't say I LOVED the brains, but I definitely thought it was good.  Next time we go back, we're calling ahead and ordering cow's udder.  It's how we do (ok, it's how he does and I go along for the story).  Maybe I'll try something vegetarian, or maybe some pork.

I did some online research for this post, which some of you will be proud to know I'm making progress in (right, Suzz?) and found this video from Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" from 2007.  He eats at Ali's and interviews him.  Gosh, I love this neighborhood.

As Ali told us the other night, "I don't judge you.  You don't judge me.  And we don't judge the food."  Not 100% sure what he meant, but feeling as though I'd been given advice from a sage, I share with you, gentle readers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Fantastic Weekend

I'm not big on giving play-by-plays of my whereabouts - call it a control thing, call it a I-don't-wanna-bore-you-to-death thing, or just call it how I roll.  But I'm making an exception for this past weekend.  It was fantastically filled with art, friends, and sun.

Friday:  McQueen Exhibit.  Shut your face.  This was amazing.  It was so good it hurt.  I only had about an hour to explore, so I'll definitely be going back.  I'm having trouble finding my favorite piece online, but there was another piece that moved me a great deal.  And I found the video of the making of it below.  I could watch this on a loop.

Selby and Sal went with me, but really it was just me and Alexander as far as I was concerned.  What a loss that we no longer have this genius, this beauty, this brilliance...

After the museum closed, we headed back to midtown to meet up with the incomparable Jane Balgavy who was in town for a theatre teacher's conference.  It was the first time in awhile I had her in NYC without a throng of kids, and I devoured every second.  As our group at Vintage went their separate ways, Jane and I were left alone.  She never fails.  And I will be forever grateful for her.  Thank you, Jane, for your unending support and words of wisdom.

Saturday:  Jane gave me her "MasterClass" ticket starring Tyne Daly.  I saw the show in college at a dinky little theatre in Memphis, and loved it then.  For the Broadway version, I was riveted.  It's not something I'd suggest to just everyone - it's definitely a theatre-person or singer's show.

I tried for the "Book of Mormon" lottery AGAIN (without success) where I successfully dodged a guy I went on 2 dates with earlier this year who doesn't seem to get the hint that "I don't think we're a good match" and "I'm not interested" (yes, I've literally told him these things) means just that.  I still hear from him, and it provides my friends with hours of endless entertainment.  Ok, maybe not hours, but they sure think it's hilarious.  God love him.  He just doesn't get it.  After the duck n'dodge, Jane and another Cabot teacher then took me out for Thai food... yum.

Sunday:  I met up with a new friend, Kim.  We've been trying to get together for awhile, but both our Junes blew up and our girl-date was pushed into July.  We headed to Riis Beach in The Rockaways.  It was a gorgeous day - one of those where I would rather be nowhere else than right here in NYC.

As for Kim... I adore this girl.  I'm so glad we're friends, and I can't wait to hang out with her again.  She's a great listener, and hilarious to boot!  I mean, how cute is she?!

Sunday night I came back to Queens and scored a last-minute, unexpected date with a pretty cool (and super cute) guy I've seen a few times.  A laugh-filled, relaxing end to a perfect weekend.... complete with a business plan and a name for the drag queen inspired by me.... don't ask.

Individual Coffee Experience Please??

UPDATE!!  I was called out by Amy Caldamone who is adorably wonderful, and I thusly stand corrected.  See below.

I take a coffee break every morning and even some afternoons.  The coffee is often the same.  The conversation is always different and what keeps me going throughout the dayThe most important part of the coffeetime is the cupOnce the conversation is over, I'm forced to go back to my desk making the best part of the my work day stretch out on my desk in front of me by way of my choice of coffee cup.   I have had a few exciting cups in my day.  The best being:

It rusted because someone borrowed it and left it sitting in water.  Then my coworker Suzanne gave me this other RIDICULOUS mug... it broke.  I had yet another that also broke.  So now I'm left with this:

How horrendously boring is this?!  So not me.

Now I need a mug.  It needs to be larger than the standard kitchen mug.  It needs to be awesome like whoa.  It needs to somehow scream my name.  If anyone out there has an idea or finds one, you will be forever on my happy list.  Anyone?  ANYONE??

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just a Piece of Advice

I found this.  And found it beautiful.  Every word isn't out of my head, but a lot of it could be... 
(and thanks to Meg for posting)


Date a Girl Who Reads by Rosemarie Urquico 

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by God, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yet Another Reason To Be In Love With NYC

This isn't new but someone else posted this on their blog, so I'm stealing it.  Man, I love NYC.

Reblogged from Mike Grubbs

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Serious Threat

My tat twin is threatening to remove her matching "eagle" tat!! (how have I still not shared my tattoo stories with you all?)

Ok.  In fairness, she's threatening removal if I don't get myself to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at The Met... which I admit, I've completely fallen down on my love for McQueen by not going yet.  I hope to go sometime in the next 5 days so stay tuned.  Let's just hope I don't go klepto and steal the likes of these...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bitter Mixed With Sweet

In September 2007 I got LASIK surgery.  The next day, against doctor's orders, I went with a big group of friends to support a show at the NYMF.  Through my blurry red eyes I met someone who would change my life.  The Suzz, as she would come to be called, was this bubbly girl who everyone liked.  At times she seemed a little more like a 13-year-old than the late-20-something she was, and somehow that drew me in more.  In that theatre watching her flit about from group to group, she contained so much life.  That made me smile.

A month later Randy Meyer would not take no for an answer and strong-armed me into joining the ranks of the Facebook dwellers.  My first wall post?  See below:

HA! Peer pressure is right. But just think of the benefits... You will totally be one of the cool kids that knows and loves facebook.
October 22, 2007 at 11:11am ·  · 

And so it began.

For the next year or so I only saw The Suzz primarily on Facebook because she moved to Hungary and traveled the world saving people from who knows what all.  I was thankful for the Facebook connection and glad I could live vicariously through her in a time when I wasn't in much of a place to do a lot of living myself... I was on more of a survival tract.  In the time she was gone, I started beginning to pull my life together, and by the time she made it back I was nearing something resembling normalcy.  We hung out with mutual friends and always had such a great time together.  The best part?  I had made a friend who didn't know or care about the drama that my life had been the four years prior.  It was a whole new way of presenting myself, and I loved it.

Trying to deal with one insurmountable obstacle at a time and often feeling entirely too overwhelmed not sure which item to tackle first, I got this:

Ok, now it's your turn to move to Astoria. Just sayin'...
October 2, 2008 at 12:09am ·  · 
That did it.  I had already been considering when and where to move, and I took this as The Universe answering my back-and-forth.  Although I didn't do it soon enough for The Suzz and she hounded me.  I somehow needed this.  It was as if every time I was ready to give up the apartment search, she'd come along with something to get me back on track.

We need you in Astoria!
December 3, 2008 at 2:34am ·  · 
I wish you lived in Astoria so I could randomly run into you on the street.
March 31, 2009 at 2:36pm ·  · 
Until finally...

We're officially NEIGHBORS!!!
May 16, 2009 at 12:44am ·  · 
The two years I've been in Astoria have been filled with ups and downs, dating dry spells and dating hot beds, tears and laughter.  But one thing has been constant - The Suzz is my neighbor and I always have a friend down the street to hang out with (assuming she's in the country and not on an expedition to Antarctica).  Tomorrow she moves across the continent to Portland, Oregon.  My Astoria life will be altered.

Can I just say, that I love that you are fairly consistently up until the wee hours of the morning in NYC. That makes me like you even more than I already did. :-)
February 6, 2008 at 3:20am ·  · 
Not sure why she's steering.  That's 100% my job.

April 20, 2009 at 11:37am ·  · 

I couldn't possibly hate this picture of me more, but it was the party Astoria threw me for moving in and subsequently becoming its mayor.  "Welcome!"

Brunch is the new church and kayaking is the new subway.
July 26, 2009 at 11:26am ·  · 

Hayride out in the country.

Suzanne's how to survive in NYC tip of the day: Don't engage with the crazies, don't give them money to dance, don't talk to them, don't make eye contact, don't try to prove that you really are just waiting for your wife and kid inside whole foods. In fact, just walk away.
September 8, 2009 at 12:37pm ·  · 

With Mickey the MAGICIAN.

Remember when we had Bosnian food and the guy came in with tissue on his nicked face? Good times. Good times over burek.
February 5, 2010 at 2:09am ·  · 

We should be in a Toyota commercial

Um. Guess who's birthday is today... Taylor Lautner's. He's 18.
February 12, 2010 at 1:51am ·  · 

When you see a Care Bear in Central Park, you go hug him.  It's how we do.

If I ever have a baby, I will name it Tulip Petal Rose Bird-of-Paradise. Don't let me forget.
April 11, 2010 at 12:39am ·  · 

Chillin' on a rock in the middle of the Delaware River.  Just another kayaking trip. (Wait... Where's the kayak?)

Ugh! Watching Pat Kiernan... if he starts talking to that other awkward guy I will be forced to sacrifice my news update and turn the TV off.
July 22, 2010 at 10:16am ·  · 

"That's so totally random"

‎"I had a difficult school time myself. I went to an all boys school and I went by my real name in those days which is Helen, the ancient greek masculine version of the name. And you can imagine at a boys school, with a name like Helen Gregson, it was not easy... and I used to wear my pants fairly high in those days 'cause I was a dancer and that's just how we wore them then..." -- Mr. G.
February 10, 2010 at 10:32am ·  · 

Gays and Dolls.  The best scavengers in NYC.

I don't know about you, but I whip my hair back and forth.
October 27, 2010 at 8:14pm ·  · 

Enjoy the Go

‎"Fancy" just came on Pandora.
March 31 at 4:16pm ·  · 


There is some creepy ad on the side of my facebook page with a lady in a clown nose. I blame you.
December 8, 2010 at 9:45pm ·  · 

One of many ridiculous dance parties

Joy, always remember... "leap and the net will appear."
December 14, 2010 at 10:30pm ·  · 

AFL'S and BFF'S (there's a tattoo of that, ya know)

I can't believe it's your last day as an Astorian. You have no idea how much you'll be missed...
about an hour ago ·  ·