Friday, February 22, 2008

2-22-08 Wii Would Like to Play (with your balls)

Sighing with envy at work over the trailer for the newest video game/time waster, I turn to my fellow cube-dweller, Jonathan.

"I really want a Wii, but I know I wouldn't get anything done if I had one," I say.

"I had to start leaving my NintendoDS at home, 'cause it was worse than porn," he says. "At least with porn, you know when you're done."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2-21-08 This Old, Cold World

The bus lumbers up to the frozen morning busstop, packed to the windows with commuters on their way to work, bodies and jackets and blank, bored, sad faces. In spite of this, more people do their eager best to get on, earning looks of disgust and exasperation from their fellow passengers. I have decided that I am not an animal, and so I let this bus go. There will be another bus, and besides, I don't really want to go to work that badly anyway.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2-19-08 What's Going On Here?

I've missed several days. I turned off the internet at my house in anticipation of the move and now the people I was leeching wi-fi off of have gotten wise and I am bereft, able only to post between assignments at work. Ah, well.

I'm trying to get rid of as many of my books as possible, and currently they're sprawled across the living room floor like confetti, waiting for someone to pick them up and give them good homes, so I decided to take them to the library (like the Humane Society for books) and give them away there.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

2-17-08 A Disturbing New Trend in Women's Shoes

Shopping for shoes for work with Katie today, we end up at the Brooklyn Mall on Atlantic Ave. Several of the women's shoes have a distinct profile I've never seen before. I've seen the usual slightly up-pointing tips of shoes that have been in fashion, but on these new shoes, the curve is so extreme as to point the toe toward the shin of the wearer, in an arc that the human foot was never meant to make.

Looking at the shoe I hold it up to Katie, saying "So, um, how long have you been participating in the Ren Faire?"

Saturday, February 16, 2008

2-16-08b The Mouse has left the House

While I was writing the previous post, Katie came up and said "Could you help me get the mouse out of the trap?" It was one of those enclosed traps, so the mouse was discreetly splayed out with his little back broken. As I dumped him into the trash, I said a few words: "Thanks for being a good mouse and teaching us to keep the kitchen a little cleaner, and while you were a good mouse, you came where you shouldn't have and now you're dead."

I had Katie read the previous post to make sure that she didn't mind having people know about her, shall we say, off-beat sense of humor, and she said, "Well, as long as you don't say, 'When Katie is about to orgasm, she likes to scream the names of major-league baseball players.'"

2-16-08 A Cry for Attention

Yesterday, I met Katie near Penn Station to shop for new shoes, as my old shoes which I had bought last year while in Cortland, NY doing summer stock theatre had finally given up the ghost. In a store window, they were changing the display, and a dozen naked, skinny mannequins stood with their backs to the street.

"It's like the Holocaust, they're lining them up for the gas chambers," said Katie, a little too loud. I must have cringed a little, as she then explained, "I'm really just trying to get on 'Overheard in New York.'"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2-14-08 There is Nowhere That Does Not See You

A jostling tribe of Asian teenagers commandeer the 6-train car I'm riding, laughing and flirting and politely teasing each other. One of the lower-in-the-pecking-order girls (slightly less fashionably dressed, slightly less pretty) has a digital camera, and poses are posed all over the car: the shot of all their shoes, pointing together in a star, a couple of wide-eyed, goofy poses, two girls kissing the air, the ubiquitous "rock and roll" devil-horns hand-sign. As they took their dozens of pictures (always showing the subject their photo right away, eliciting either a laugh or a wince of pain, do I really look like that?), I wondered if anyone would ever look at them - so many pictures, how could they?

It suddenly came to me that the point wasn't the pictures themselves, but the act of taking them and the showing right after, a supreme self-conciousness and a constant sense of self-as-object - "This is what you look like when I see you, and aren't we having fun?"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2-13-08 February in a Nutshell

Last night/this morning's downpour disintegrated the meager snow we got yesterday, leaving the gutters and sidewalks grey and filthy and moist. I came into work late in an effort to somewhat allieviate the diesel engine I seem to be carrying around in my chest, and so managed to miss most of the slush. Unfamiliar sounds and burblings rise within me, and my inner workings seem noisy and strange. The world outside is wet and dirty, and my insides are wet and dirty, and I find myself thinking constantly of spring.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2-12-08 My Lungs are a Swamp

Woke up in the early hours unable to breathe through my nose, with a wheezing rattle chuckling down deep in my chest. I felt as if I were trying to breathe through cotton.

I was afraid the way that I've seen small animals like my cat be afraid - I was aware I was in what felt like a dangerous situation, yet I was calm and alert, knowing that something had to be done. I went into the bathroom, shut the door, turned on all the hot water, and sat while the steam loosened up the noisome crap, and I was able to breathe more easily.

Monday, February 11, 2008

2-11-08 Never Complain, Never Explain

On Saturday, we went down to Chinatown on a whim, not thinking of the thousands who might be joining us, what with it being Chinese New Year and all.

It wasn't nearly as crowded as you might expect, and we got to see the shortest celebratory puppet dragon ever (two guys beneath the puppet, followed by two more rather older-looking gentlemen, one playing a drum, the other clapping cymbals together in a relatively stirring fashion as they wound their way over the crowded sidewalks), as well as a man at a market serving a durian fruit. He sliced open the thick, thorny rind and scooped out the vaugely fetal looking sections of pulp while we stood around and gaped like the psuedo-tourists we were.

Then we went to a Malaysian restaurant where I could eat exactly 2 things on the menu (the rest of the menu was populated with oddities like duck's web, squid ink, frogs, jelly fish, and the like), and so I ordered the vegetable curry, the leftovers which I ate today for lunch, sweetened with a little coconut milk to alleviate the killing heat that brutalized me on Saturday.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

2-07-08 Of Course

For the past two months, I have taken the same route from my home to work, a route I have gradually perfected: which train car to get on, which staircase to take, the beeline route I weave through the multitudinous crossing paths of my fellow commuters.

Today, I took a totally different route: different stairs, different cars - and I found my entire outlook shifted. I have always looked for the way forward through life, hoping I won't dislike it too much, waiting to put my foot down until the path appeared, never expecting to choose the way but instead waiting for what's available and choosing then.

Suddenly it came to me that I might actually be able to choose, if I wanted, to create one of the paths that came up - maybe not wholesale, but with a little bit of effort make another path, listening, head half cocked, for the voice that everyone seemed to have but me, that told them, "I want this", and which, of course, everyone has always told me to listen for, but which I never knew I had.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

2-6-08 a dream of divine love

Traveling all over the city in a car, the landscape constantly changing (as it does in dreams), I am searching for something that was lost, or someone has something to give me. Perhaps I misplaced it, and only now am I ready to receive it back again. It is a sunny day, in a city that looks like San Francisco, with its irrational hills and its certainty of its own style, like a woman whose very extreme features would be ugly on anyone with less panache.

We arrive at the destination, and it turns out the thing lost was a song, a message, and the person driving (who? their face obscure, a memory of a gentle, slightly mocking, but not unkind, smile turning away to look out the windshield) turns on the radio to play the song "My Eyes Adored You" as sung by Steve Perry, and the universe explodes with light.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

2-4-08 Eli Manning is pretty cool, yeah

As ashamed as I probably should be to admit it (do they revoke emo credentials? Is there an agency somewhere keeping tabs, making charts and graphs and annual reports? Will they come for my hair styling products?), I really enjoyed the Super Bowl. I love rooting for the underdog, and, as the girl whose house we were hanging out in clutched her bible to her chest, weeping while Captain Handsome and the Patriots struggled in vain to recover in the final seconds, I felt a real, albeit vicarious thrill.

Katie said, "pick a side, it'll be more fun." I walked into the night, roman candles bursting in the air over the brooklyn skyline, happier than I'd been in weeks, and thinking how wonderful it was to struggle, even if you think you're beat, and how fun it is to win, when everyone (maybe even, in your secret heart-of-hearts, you) thinks you're gonna lose.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

2-3-08 Accordian sweetness

He sits at the end of the bench on the platform in the Atlantic-Pacific station in Brooklyn, playing accordian. He sees us listening and he smiles, asking, "You like Irish music?" in a thick Italian accent.

The music is sweet and sad, everyone seems to love him, and I'm pleased to see him make a huge chunk of change in thirty seconds - it seems well deserved. A decent man making money by making people happy.

Friday, February 1, 2008

1-31-08 Wealth. I don't has it.

The outer doors to Cipriani, a high-end restaurant across from Grand Central Terminal, are black, opaque glass, two stories high. Behind them are revolving doors, like at a bank, leading into an enormous hall with ceilings fifty feet high and a dining space as large as half a football field. I walk past on my way to work and look in, staring deep into the warmly lit opulence of table after white-linen-covered table, while small people, working industriously setting up for some event or other, place gleaming silver and starched napkins down on tables beneath warm gold and wood accents on the walls.

A little ache starts up in my chest, and I remember what it was like to (pretend to) have enough money to eat someplace like that.