It’s Been A Long Time, Baby

September 2, 2009

I know I said I was going to be better about updating this, but apparently I lied. Not intentionally, but certain life circumstances made it difficult to make updates due to technical difficulties and lack of internet and the like. But I’m back now, like it or not, and now that I have a steady internet connection, I fully intend to make this a regular thing. And with that, on to the post:

There’s a special kind of nostalgia reserved for the place of one’s childhood. I went back to Wisconsin this past weekend for a few days, and the whirlwind of activity that ensued left me exhausted. But in a good way. Catching up with friends I haven’t seen in years, running a 5K around my old college campus, hitting up a great music performance (check out http://www.wheretheharpis.com – Janelle is fantastic!), and of course getting some fabulous pie at Bakers Square. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason New York can’t seem to get pie right. Bakers Square knows what’s up.

Once upon a time, I fancied myself as a minimalist of sorts. I’m starting to realize that was a fantasy that fell flat on its face when my mother generously donated a minivan full of goods (and a top carrier filled to the brim, along with my fabulous retro bike) to fill my new apartment. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate her donating her time and efforts to cart this stuff across the country for my use. But as I look around at the piles and stacks of miscellany scattered around my floor, I can’t help but wonder what happened to the Me who could live for 12 weeks at camp with no more than what fit into a duffel bag and a backpack. I like having my own place, but I miss those days.

Oh yeah, I got dumped. To hear him tell it, I got dumped for being too wonderful. Is that even an option? Well, in any case, he broke up with me while emphatically reassuring me that I’ve been nothing but amazing, and that he’s had an awesome time with me, and that I’m great. While it’s hard to reconcile that slew of compliments with the fact that yes, he was in fact breaking up with me, I find that in retrospect it was a pretty sweet deal. Why yes, I am pretty fabulous, thank you for noticing. It’s nice of you to point that out. And at least you seem to fully recognize the fact that you’re letting go of something awesome. I think it should be a rule that when you break up with someone, you have to say at least one (if not more) nice thing to them. It takes the edge off nicely.

Advertisements

One Day at a Time

June 29, 2009

This weekend has been a tough one. Not for any typical reason, nothing went “wrong.” I just felt laced with doubts about myself and my plan of action for my future, and got frustrated with what feels like a vicious cycle of inaction. I feel stuck, with my hands tied.

Colin was generous with his time this evening, allowing me to vent to him, while I could tell he was becoming increasingly frustrated with my excuses. Without meaning to do so, I was shooting down every helpful idea and suggestion he was offering. He was an exceptional sounding board, though, and brought up a lot of very valid points that I need to look into and assess. 

I don’t have answers, but I do have a lot to think about right now, and I need to come up with a very detailed plan and put it into action so that I gain forward momentum again. It’s when things become stagnant that I lapse into these moods and start to doubt myself. I know that there’s a lot I can accomplish, I just need to find a way to focus on a particular goal as a start point and not let myself get distracted by all the other things that I’d like to do along the way. It’s just not possible to do everything at once, and I have to remind myself of that from time to time and learn how to prioritize all over again.

I got a little sidetracked…

May 25, 2009

It’s been a while since my last post, and a LOT has happened in the interim. I moved, was a bridesmaid in a wedding in WI, and have had intermittent internet. But I’m back, and I will be much more consistent with my entries from here on out!

Where to start?

Let’s begin with the fun stuff – I have a boyfriend now. It’s still new (we’ve been seeing each other about 2 1/2 months), but it’s going well so far and I’m teaching him about the finer things in life, including Panera, Storm King Art Center, and Flight of the Conchords. One of the best things we’ve been doing so far is watching Band of Brothers chapter by chapter, one or two chapters each time we hang out (kinda geeky, but really awesome!).

And more fun stuff – the wedding in WI was SO amazing!! I’d never been in a wedding before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. The bride (my friend Leah, who I’ve known since middle school) kept things pretty low-key, so there were only two bridesmaids (I was SO honored to be one!!) and we were allowed to pick out our own dresses, as long as they were some shade of purple. I (finally) met the groom, who is AWESOME! They are so great together. Everyone at the wedding was great, the food was delicious, the dancing at the reception was SO fun, and a good time was had by all. 🙂

I’m starting to become more focused with my goals and how I’m going to achieve them. I’m particularly excited about the MBA/MFA program I found at NYU, and tomorrow I’m going to see if bookstores are open so I can pick up a GMAT prep book. I’m also starting to brainstorm some story concepts for my video submission for Tisch. Exciting, but intimidating too! I have a LOT to learn before I can even try to put together a shoot and edit the final product. Know anyone who may be able to help?? All tips and suggestions are welcome and very much appreciated!

A Wake-Up Call

February 22, 2009

To the marvelous Jesse Kluver, thank you for smacking me upside the head a little today. Sometimes I need someone to tell me to shut the fuck up and quit whining. Along with giving up sweets, I will be giving up talking about my ex for Lent, which starts on Wed. Feel free to hold me to that. I really shouldn’t let him affect me as much as he has. From now on, discussion about him is reserved to talking to my lawyer and preparing for court. 

My sincere apologies to everyone who is sick of hearing about him, I can imagine how exhausting that has been. Maybe one day I’ll just write a book and get it all out at once. People like to buy melodrama, it seems. Haha.

As for my list of things to do this week, I’ve already downloaded three songs that make me smile – “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, “Still in Hollywood” by Concrete Blondes, and “Hot Dog” by Detroit Cobras. And many thanks to Dana for introducing me to the last two, they’re great workout songs!

Life Plan, Take 204

February 22, 2009

Okay, I know my plans in life can seem a little scattered to all those who aren’t tuned in to my thought process, but I’m pretty excited about my latest inspiration – I found out that NYU has a dual degree MBA/MFA that’s geared toward producing films. Would that not be perfect for me?! Which means I have the next 8-9 months to get my ass in gear and bolster my resume and take the GMAT. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

Today is shaping up to be another semi-productive Sunday. This is always the case with me – I start off strong, doing laundry and getting started on some cleaning… then I fizzle out and lose momentum before I make any drastic progress. But I guess there are worse things in life, right?

I’ve been looking into some semi-shady options as a second job. And yet I’m kind of excited about them… is that weird? 

Goals for the week: Paying my overdue book fee at the library, checking out a GMAT prep book, checking into a couple possible places to work on the weekends, finding one or two places to volunteer at least once a week, reconnecting with a couple old colleagues, going to the gym at least three mornings this week, and downloading at least two songs on iTunes that make me smile. A good start, right?

Rollercoaster… Of Life…

February 5, 2009

Earlier this evening, I was talking to my buddy/former roommate/awesome comedian friend Chris O’Neill and offered the following thoughts on life, given my recent string of experiences:

Lessons of life: 1.) Guys SUCK, 2.) Never give anyone money for anything, 3.) Even nice guys will turn out to be assholes, 4.) Being nice never gets you anywhere, and 5.) stress and a SHITTY excuse for a relationship are the best diet ever.

A bit more jaded than my normal self, I’ll admit, but all things considered I think I’ve remained relatively optimistic. I have my days when I want to crawl in a hole and disappear (last night was definitely one of those times), but I still know how to smile and laugh at the absolute absurdity that is my life. Hopefully that counts for something, somewhere.

But, when things get rough, someone amazing always re-emerges or enters my life for the first time and infuses just enough sunshine to keep me going a little longer. Despite the absolute disaster that was my night last night, it was not a complete loss. Earlier in the evening, I got to reconnect with my fantastically talented writer/director/producer/indie-filmmaker/singer/actor friend Mickey Fischer. (Check out his work – he has some GREAT projects through his film company, Leo’s Pride Entertainment – http://www.summernutsmovie.com, and look for the in-progress film, Autumn Mix Tape!) Anyway, Mickey is a fabulous teddy bear, super nice, very supportive, incredibly wonderful friend, and he helped me put together a video to submit for the job in Australia (thank you Mickey!!), and let me ramble about life for a LONG time. (Have I mentioned he’s awesome?) It was so great to see him again, and just nice to… vent, and unwind, and talk to someone who really took in what I was saying, Mickey, you rock. 🙂

I seem to have some kind of undesirable talent for getting rejected, blown off, and stood up. Three different guys in the past couple weeks. Nice, right? So after years of this, I can’t help but wonder – is it me, or is it my choice in guys? Do I just invariably find myself attracted to guys who do things like that, or do I drive them to such behaviors? Hmm… maybe it’s something we’ll never actually know for sure, like the chicken/egg thing. Haha.

Okay, enough rambling for one night. I’m tired and thinking about bed soon… yes, I realize it’s only 8:00 pm, it’s just one of those nights. More soon!

I Love NY!

January 31, 2009

Yesterday morning on my way to work I had one of those fabulous moments when NY feels a little more personal, a little more intimate, and a little more accessible. I was running a little late (well, late by my terms… I still got to work 15-20 min early) and rushing along the platform at Bleecker, where I was going to take the 6 train up to the office. I look up and – can you believe it? – Magda, one of my closest friends in NY, is standing right there! These are my favorite moments in life in NY. All of a sudden the sometimes overwhelmingly impersonal, vast feeling of the city melts away and you have an opportunity to really connect with someone you know in a chance encounter. Love it. 🙂

When I first moved to NY, back in 2004, I filled much of my time by wandering random parts of the city. I was roaming around FIT, when I saw this sleek, glamorous silhouette approaching me, adorned in a flowing shirt dress and the most fantastic heels I have ever seen in my life. That’s when it hit me – I’m really in NY! Only here can I semi-regularly see men who are more stylish and glamorous than I can ever hope to be… The reason this comes up now is that on my way home last night, I passed two beautiful women on the sidewalk, dressed up to the nines and ready for a Friday night on the town. Legs that I would kill for, perfectly styled hair, and immaculately applied make-up… yep, you’ve got it – once they got closer, I could see that they were men. Haha. Such is life in the city!

On a side note, I got the most incredible compliment from my friend Carrie this morning. Carrie is Canadian, currently living in Australia. She’s adventurous, and exciting, and lives the life I dream about – working on cruise ships, moving to another country, traveling like crazy. She asked if I had heard about the job in Australia, deemed the Best Job in the World (I have, it’s http://www.islandreefjob.com, and I only have 22 days left to apply!) What absolutely thrilled me, is that Carrie went on to say that I would be “sooooooo perfect” for that job, and after she read my blog, it dawned on her that I would be great for it. SO EXCITING! As soon as I heard about it, I started thinking “Oh my goodness, they totally created this with me in mind!” but it’s completely different to have someone else tell you that you’d be great at it. 🙂 Thanks Carrie! You made my day!

For those of you who are not aware, the tourism department in Australia has set up a competition/mass application process for a 6-month position as an island caretaker in the Great Barrier Reef region. Primary duties include: snorkeling around the reef and exploring all the islands have to offer, updating a weekly blog about your discoveries and experiences, participating in interviews with the media, cleaning the pool that they give you for your private use, and doing occasional mail runs. Umm… that has ME written all over it! So I need to get my act together, do some research, and find a digital camera and a competent friend/cameraperson to help me put together my 60 second video submission! Any takers? 🙂

The Deterioration of American Journalism

January 29, 2009

Before my rant, I’d like to mention that someone read my story about the homeless man on the train last night and pointed out that it’s not always that the other passengers feel they are above the person, it’s frequently also a possibility that seeing a person in such a state is a reminder of their own fragility. This statement is perhaps even more relevant recently, given the country’s current economic condition and the fact that numerous people who never thought twice about money and had what they considered to be well-paid, secure jobs have lost their careers and even their homes.

Speaking of the current economic condition of the country… let me begin my rant against American pseudo-journalism. Since when is “stox” EVER appropriate to use in a headline about the stock market. Really?! NY Daily News seems to have made it a habit of using “sez” instead of “says,” and numerous other examples of this ridiculous deterioration of the American language and the integrity of American journalism can be found in newspapers, magazines, and in “credible” news websites across the country. The general acceptance of text and IM pseudo-language is bad enough in general cultural terms, does it really have to infiltrate the news??

On a related note, a few years ago I had one specific moment when I realized that American news coverage – even from previously credible sources of reasonably high integrity – had hit a low point when I was watching CNN one day and there was a “Breaking News!” flash, interrupting the current programming on serious conflicts around the world, telling the world with absolute urgency about the latest antics of… Britney Spears. (UGH! Just thinking about it still makes me cringe!) Does Britney having a breakdown and shaving her head really take precedence over the tens of thousands of people dying of famine, disease, and in violent conflicts worldwide?? *sigh*

The news material itself recently has been upsetting in a very different way. Today at work, my co-worker Pam and I were discussing the California family who was found dead in their home, after the mother and father had both lost their jobs. The father apparently shot his wife and five children, then himself. According to the letters he left behind, he and his wife has discussed it, and decided that murder-suicide would be their best option and they did not want to leave their children behind to be raised by others. Which makes me wonder, how extensive was this discussion? Did they really consider all the options available to them, all the help programs, all the lower-paying jobs in the meantime, all the state and federal programs… did they really weigh all their options before choosing death? And at what point in the discussion does killing everyone seem like a viable option? I feel that there must be some kind of mental predisposition within those who choose such a violent end over life. It is truly astounding to me. To not only kill themselves, but to take others with them. 

On a more uplifting note… because, well, this is a little depressing so far (sorry about that)… my friend Britton Williams (an absolutely incredible actress, teacher, entrepreneur, and all-around person) found a homeless shelter that’s interested in hosting her free workshop, KAPCAT! Through her non-profit organization (The Jeanie Bird Foundation – http://www.jeaniebird.org), Britton has created an innovative program to work with shelters that cater to families and bring in an arts program that enables the families to work together on artistic endeavors over the span of 8-12 weeks in order to bring each family closer, and for them to be able to create something together. Additionally, it gives participants a forum in which to express their stories, and to learn to communicate more effectively among themselves and with others. AMAZING project – you should definitely check it out!

Reaffirmation

January 28, 2009

Last night I had tea and scones with the fabulous Rachel McPhee at a cute little place called Alice’s Tea Cup on 81st St. If you’re ever around the UES, I highly recommend it. Anyway, we had a lot to catch up on, what with my disastrous relationship that finally came to a close, and the impending court case I need to get moving on. Sipping steaming organic ginger goodness, we discussed the shocking realization that people can be SO cruel. Which, on an intellectual level, seems obvious – all the murderers, serial killers, drug dealers, violent gang members, abusive spouses, etc. in the world. But for us, it was like the heavens caving in! Two caring, compassionate, Midwestern girls suddenly confronted with the reality that even people who seem wonderful and who you let into your little world can do you great harm.

With the drama pouring out of my mouth, singeing the air with each recounted tale of his selfish, manipulative, spiteful acts against me, Rachel perked up in a moment of inspiration – “You should totally sell your story!” Brilliant. “It would solve your money problems, and people would love this kind of story, and I would want to play you in the movie!” So simple, so inspired, so… possible? We’ll see about that. But it was strangely uplifting to have one of the most talented actresses I know exclaim that she wants to play ME in a movie! Who would have ever thought that my life could be interpreted as an interesting role?? Love it. 🙂

On my way home from work tonight, I stepped onto the train and found a place to stand. All around me, people took one look at this old man sitting in one of the seats, a plastic bag containing a throw pillow and wool blanket perched on the seat next to him, and they moved away. He wasn’t particularly smelly or anything, but people seem immediately repelled by those they consider to be homeless. He likely is homeless, his hands dry and calloused, his face lined with the deep furrows of 1,000 nights spent sleeping outside in the cold. I didn’t budge. He was about 2 feet away, looking at his reflection and carrying on a lengthy conversation with the friendly face looking back at him. In Spanish, I believe. He was emaciated, his wilted silhouette obvious even through the tattered fleece and puffy jacket. Periodically he would look across to the other side of the train car and bashfully wave to his own reflection in the window. 

There was something about this man that affected me to the core. He was oddly child-like, and yet in the moment that our eyes locked – just for an instant – I could see that he possesses the wisdom of an old soul. Despite his generally worn and unkempt appearance, the scraggly salt and pepper beard, the dirty knit cap he shifted back and forth nervously on his head… his eyes exhibited a remarkable vibrancy that nearly caught me off-guard. They were so piercing, so alert. I couldn’t move. He was completely compelling. Something about this battered, weathered old man touched me – he was still SO alive. 

Reflecting on my own situation, he made me consider the notion that if he can keep that vibrancy, that vivacity under circumstances I cannot even begin to fathom, then why do we – with so many more opportunities and material possessions – collapse in anguish over comparatively trivial matters? Why do we place ourselves so far above him that we cannot even stand near him on a train? Am I the only one who saw the inherent humanity, the sense of humor, and the desire to persevere within this man?

I cannot help but wonder what brought this man to his current circumstance. Or anyone in such a situation for that matter. I can’t imagine, as children, any of these individuals sincerely saying “I want to be homeless and struggle every day of my life and be shunned by the people around me when I grow up.” What was he like as a child? Where is he from? What were his dreams and ambitions? And what are they now? Thankfully, I know I’m not the only one who considers these things. Wherever he was going, I hope that old man got there safely.

Hello world!

January 25, 2009

My friend’s fiance once commented that my life would be great material for a sitcom. While I feel this was a bit of an overstatement, I decided to take it as a compliment and giggle about the notion that anyone might find my life even remotely interesting, let alone fascinating enough to warrant a television show. Now, the better part of a year later, I have caved to the insistence that I should start a blog to share my random experiences, travels, useless knowledge, and thoughts on life.

Naturally, much of the material for the basis of this blog has already occurred, and I will try to weave in important aspects of the backstory as they become relevant to current thoughts and events. Things that you should know up front:

I am perpetually single, and my forays into the dating world seem to frequently be met with unbelievable tales of things that simply don’t happen to normal people. My most recent “relationship” would be better set in a soap opera than reality. But, for reasons unknown to myself at present, I try to laugh it off and press on in my enduring quest for love and companionship.

I have lived in NYC off and on for 4 1/2 years now, and no matter where else I may go, I always feel compelled to come back here. It inspires me, repulses me, and has me under its spell.

I have a thousand ideas a minute, but I’m remarkably and consistently delinquent at following through on many of them. My foremost goal for the new year is to cultivate my passions and use them to feel more fulfilled in life.

Happy Reading! 🙂