Sunday, February 28, 2010

Maryland, My Maryland

Well, I haven't posted in a few days, meaning I'm losing out to Rachel. Except that I'm in Maryland, and she's in Hawaii, so I really have no excuse. Also, she is in the midst of trying to survive a fucking tsunami, and is still blogging.

Life for me has been a little crazy. And by crazy, I mean it's been the mundane routine of suburban life that includes basketball, shopping, bad food, etc. But I'm going to recap it in a boring post right here... So if you don't want to read about my weekend, just stop. It's not that exciting, I promise. Save yourself.

Anyway, my parents were going to the Philadelphia Flower Show, so I volunteered (if you can call it that) to come down and babysit my sister for the weekend. On Friday I took the train from New York in the middle of a blizzard, luckily making it to Baltimore before it was even dark out. I took my 11 year old sister out for Indian food, which was kind of cute -- dinner dates with children are always interesting. Saturday I slept as long as I could until I had to take her to a basketball game, where she made 2 baskets and they basically kicked the other team's asses. We headed to Target to get a gift card for the birthday sleepover she was attending later, ate some Subway (gotta love the suburbs!), and then I proceeded to dye her hair. That's right, I put burgundy streaks in my little baby sister's immaculate, thick, long, beautiful black-brown hair. And they look damn good. She was quite proud.

I took her to the party in the early evening, picked up my charming little grandmother, headed to my aunt's house for dinner, where my cousin was home from college, found out the poor cousin has Celiac disease (gluten allergy), and then ate some really delicious home cooked food...sans gluten, of course. I love being home with family. You always eat so well and feel so wholesome and, well, full.... I spent some time talking to my grandmother back at her house, and that was really wonderful, as usual... I really appreciate the fact that I still have 2 very nice grandmothers and I know I need to cherish the time I have with them. Sooo... then I went home and was about to go to bed when my sister called me CRYING and wanting to come home. Some silly spat had occurred, but after calming her down and talking to the mom for a little, we determined she would be just fine to stay. I felt like a mom... big time. It was scary. Then I went to bed, where a cute little Cocker Spaniel and a fat black and white cat curled up with me. So cozy...

I woke up incredibly early on Sunday to do some work, which I was quite proud of myself for working on so diligently. I even went out for coffee and a breakfast sandwich (sausage, egg, & cheese on a bagel...nothing like New York, but oh well), then came back to "the office" to continue working. And that was only 8:30 a.m.! I don't remember the last time I was awake that early on a Sunday. I don't think those kinds of days happen in my life. So just about the time when I was supposed to start getting ready to go pick up Leah, my dad's computer crashed. That was helpful. And then it wouldn't turn back on. So I got frustrated, took my shower, went to get my sister, and took her to her basketball game. Where her team's asses were kicked. BADLY. I mean, this poor kid was crying by the end...

We both needed to chill, so we went out for Thai food... I'm trying to expose her to international cuisines... To bribe her into good behavior some more, I took her out to the mall to search for a "beanie" hat for her, and did some retail therapy on myself and got some impressive deals. Then I bought her a snowboarding game for her Wii. I am such a good big sister! We went to Borders, exchanged some books (Joan Didion, here I come!), then headed home only to find that my parents were back! My mom and I went on a book scavenger hunt around the house, because apparently when you live in a big suburban house you have 9 billion bookshelves and you can't find anything. Then you find stuff your daughter doesn't want and you make her put it in her suitcase, which will now be impossibly heavy. Thanks for the book about primates, Mom.

Oh, and from investigating the computer issue, I determined that the reason the thing had turned off was because my stupid fat cat had been stepping on it. I realized that right when it turned off, she had been under the table SITTING on the power strip I didn't know existed until later, so I have a feeling her extreme fatness made it somehow possible for her to push the power button, which is right on the top and relatives flat and easy to push. Ugh, the most cuddly, adorable, sweet not-so-little creature ever was the one that lost my work. Oh well.

Clearly, more work had to be done, so that was boring and I don't wanna write about it. We ate dinner (leftover beef barley soup!), watched the closing ceremony of the Olympics, drank some delicious Amphora wine, and I ditched the 'rents, and did some more crap for work, and then got bored, and here I am.

I will wax philosophical later about how weird it is to be 24 but to know so fully what it's like to be a parent in some ways, having dealt with my much-younger sister since I was 16. It's a trip. Literally. I mean, I have to take a trip to know what it's like. It will be nice to get back home to NYC to my own reality, which involves my own pursuits of happiness and selfishness and drunkenness and fun. But I always appreciate these weekends of suburban bliss, if you can call it that...

Mostly, it's good to spend time with my sister, as much as she might get on my nerves. She's a good kid, and she deserves for her big sister to buy her useless junk now and then and dye her hair and give her gum whenever she asks for it. And she even deserves to hear life advice from me even when she doesn't want to hear it. I'm just that good.

Ok I'm bored with this. Good night.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Ich muss Deutsch lernen... Meaning: I must learn German. Why? Because I need to explore the country where my family comes from, of course. My grandmother speaks fluent German -- in fact, she knew it before she knew English, although she was born in America -- but she never really taught it to her children. So my mother isn't fluent, and of course I barely know three words. Kann ich Deutsch sprechen? Nein.

Of course, regular old German might not even be that helpful in the region my family is from. Apparently there are crazy dialects in southwest Germany, most likely because it's so close to Switzerland, and in Switzerland there are an incredible amount of dialects. German, Italian, French, all muddled up in a million different ways for thousands of years. This poster from the region translates to, "We can do anything. Except [speak] Standard German." Ahh the things you find out from Wikipedia.
That's ok though... Though I'm not fluent in any language besides English, I pick things up easily and I'm very good at distinguishing slight differences in pronunciations, even in languages I don't understand, and German is incredibly close to English. I heard some lovely (and very blonde) German girls talking at an ATM yesterday, and though the word I could most understand was, "Sheisse!" (meaning "shit," of course), I could also make things out like, "My pin number isn't working," or "This machine is so stupid." Mostly because of the frustrated tone, and the fact that pronunciation and grammatical structure are so similar to English, I found I could follow their conversation surprisingly well.
Besides learning the language, I want to go to Germany mostly to explore Berkheim, from where the maternal of my family hails - the Baumanns. The town is located in the Baden-Wurttemberg region. The closest I've ever gotten to it is at the Holocaust Museum -- we found the town on a wall where they list all the German towns and all the names of the Jewish families who were from there. It was terribly haunting and it made my mother cry, even though our immediate family had been gone for years by the time that happened. For her, I think, it was just too close for comfort, since she'd visited there in the '60s.
Anyway, as far as where I'll go when I visit... Everyone, myself included, usually thinks of Munich and Berlin and Hamburg when they think of German cities, but the cities in the Baden region are Mannheim and Heidelberg and Stuttgart and Freiberg...and I will visit them! The Black Forest is also right there, which is supposed to be absolutely beautiful. What's more, Zurich is not too far to the southwest, so I have a plan... Fly to Zurich, travel northwest to Freiberg, explore the Naturpark Sudschwarzwald, head east to Berkheim, find my relatives, stay on Jim's farm, head north to Stuttgart, then north again to Frankfurt. Then I guess I could come home. When will I do this? Not a damn clue. But I have it all planned out on Google Maps.
The funny thing is, I just did a little bit of Googling and I found a site where I can trace my mother's family back, but only on her Irish paternal side, not the German Baumanns. I was able to go all the way back to my great-great-great-great-great grandparents, Mary O'Rourke and Patrick Delaney, both born in Ireland in 1770. Perhaps I should visit Ireland instead...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Raindrops on roses...

I liked this so much I posted it on my other blog, too. I was just searching for a generic status update about the rain and this is how people responded. Hilarious. I love Facebook more than words can say.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On Top of the World

This is me on the floor of Reagan Airport, about 5 years ago. Maybe someday I'll travel to all the countries I'm touching. Hopefully...

Travel Bug

This blog made me remember that Nick has relatives in Denmark... His uncle married a Danish woman and he has 4 daughters who I think are in their teens, so that could be fun... So here are possibilities for free places to stay in Europe!

France - Visit Mom's cousin Sarah and her family at her chateau... It will sound pretty fancy when I can say, "I'm going to summer in the South of France." Ooh la la...

Germany - Stay at farm owned by Mom's cousin Jim. I have no idea where this is or if it's near any cities, but it would be nice. I know I also have German relatives in the Baden region but I have no idea who they are. I think one of them is the crazy cousin Maria who lost the house that had been in my family for generations. I should probably find it and buy it.

Ireland - Stay at condo in Connemara owned by Mom's cousin Peter. My parents visited there last year and loved every minute of it. There were sheep joke. I saw pictures. The landscape is beautiful and the local people are apparently the nicest, most welcoming in the world.

Denmark - Visit Nick's uncle and his family... Again, no idea where they live, but it would be great to do a tour of Scandinavia. Nick is part Swedish so I think they have relatives there as well.

I have never been to Europe, which saddens me greatly. Truthfully, I want to go to London the most, but I want to do that when I have a bit more money to spend, since I hear it's terribly expensive. I think I just want to go for the literary heritage... I feel like every English major should probably make a pilgrimage to London at some point. I need to pay homage to Shakespeare.

My travels involve a driving through and flying around a large portion of the United States, a quick trip to Canada, a week in Belize, and two weeks in Japan. More on that later...

Monday, February 22, 2010


Here is my life plan... Basically it's a long series of escapes...

Now - Work my butt off and save a lot of money... Basically I can't call out sick from the bar anymore. Ever.
May - Go to the Virgin Islands with Taylor to visit Cara. Flight = Booked. Me = So excited!
July - Visit Rachel in Chicago for the 4th of July, or for the Pitchfork Festival.
August - Go somewhere cool with the boyfriend, if he has enough money. We were discussing Hong Kong. That would be amazing, but South or Central America is more likely. Europe even, since we have a few options of free places to stay.
October - Go somewhere during Columbus Day Weekend. I don't know where yet, but it seems silly to waste a perfectly good 3 day weekend.
The rest of the year - Keep working...

Beginning of year - Work my butt off and save money so I can do lots of long-term volunteering projects!
May - Boyfriend finishes program and we leave NY as soon as humanly possible. Yay!!
Summer - Go to India for up to 6 months to do volunteering through some program I'm not sure of yet.
December - Come home for the holidays. Apply to graduate school, if I have a clue by then what I want to do.

January - Go to Tanzania for 3 months of volunteering through the Ujamaa Hostel.
April - Come home for one hot minute, then go to either San Diego to volunteer with K9 Connection, and/or to Seattle to volunteer with Furrytale Farm. However, I'd also like WWOOF at some point.
July or August - Come home, then pack up to move to wherever the boyfriend gets into medical school and I get into grad school, hopefully the same place.

So that's my life plan for now. I don't know how much of this I'll actually do, or if it will be in this order, but it's good to have hope for the future. I know I need to get out of NYC, but I also wouldn't mind coming back eventually, and I fully intend on enjoying myself while I'm still living here. I just need to travel, I need to volunteer, I need to see new people and places. Escape is my only hope! I just have to do lots of research and save money to make it a reality...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Myth of Perfection

My entire life I've felt myself pulled along a track of feminine self-improvement that ultimately evades me. I remember in 6th grade, I would look at the 8th grade girls and think, "When I'm in 8th grade, I'll look like that." The same when I got to high school... The senior girls looked like grownups to me, tall and thin with perfectly coiffed hair and handbags that matched their shoes. When I got to that age, I still felt like a child, though I looked at the freshman girls that year and thought how young they looked, how incredibly awkward, and was amazed at how I still felt that way.

The whole fantasy was relived in college. As a freshman I had long, unbrushed hair and Birkenstocks were permanently molded to my feet... I was a funny little mess of pseudo-hippiedom. It was not attractive and I didn't care. And yet I still looked longingly at those senior girls, amazed at how put-together they seemed in their neat little coats and boots as they took the Metro North into the city to date law students or to go to their publishing internships, or when they were dressed in so-short dresses and too-tall heels to attend some fantastic party with beautiful people in a distant borough I had yet to explore.

I'm always thinking ahead to when I'll finally "get there." Where, you ask? Truthfully, I don't know. To the time when my skin won't break out and I won't bite my nails and I'll know what dress to put on for what event and I'll be able to attend a "dinner party" without feeling like I'm 40. And when my room will finally be clean and every day will be a good hair day. Maybe someday I won't pass out after a night of drinking only to wake up with my contacts still in and my bra still on, with mascara gluing my eyes shut and my skin tattooed with the imprint of the seam of my jeans. I know there are 24 year olds out there with perfect bodies and hair and nails, with their bank accounts in order and their college diplomas hanging on their walls, who are able to hold a martini glass with confidence, who can teeter around in stilettos all night and not cry from the pain. Where are these women and why am I not friends with them? And moreover, would I even want to be? Probably not. They seem pretty boring.

I haven't bitten my nails in 3 days, a feat I'm very proud of. I just got new highlights in my hair that I spent far too much money on, a feat that I thought I'd be proud of but really, it just seems vain at this point. Once again I've resolved that I'll work out more, or take a ballet class. Clearly, I'm still clinging to this myth that if I transform my outer self somehow, my inner self will suddenly become wise and confident and I'll know all the secrets to...I don't know what. Inside, however, I still feel like that 6th grade girl, gazing up at the 8th graders who seemed so old and wise... Only now I realize, they were only 14 themselves and wore way too much eyeliner and curled their bangs in horrible ways and didn't have a damn clue about anything except for AOL and Spice Girls. Much like the women I see on the subway every day... They might be older, wiser, richer... But I have the sneaking suspicion that they're still just as clueless as I am, even after careers and kids and endless dye jobs. So I feel that I will never discover the secret that makes one beautiful and confident and perfect, because those things don't actually exist.

I think that in reality, life is just one long series of small discoveries and surprises and changes that don't really lead to anything, just to more of the same delicious craziness all the time... More bad hair days and embarrassments and goals and failures and laughs and eye rolls and spills. There is no end of the road, it's just a series of curves, so that we can't see the destination -- because it doesn't exist. Along the way, I'll bite my nails again, my hair will look terrible, I'll make mistakes with money and makeup and alcohol, I won't have a damn clue what dress to put on, and my feet will hurt from too-tall shoes and I'll have to take a cab home. I'll probably never get to that place of feeling like a grownup, and I'll always look at women just a few years older than me and think, "When I'm their age, I'll be this or that or have this or that and everything will be perfect." Luckily, at this point, I'll know it's just a's just one that I will probably never stop chasing.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Whether the Weather...

It's a beautiful day in New York City. It's mid-February and while snow still frosts the rooftops, it's warmed up enough that the deadly sheets of ice no longer coat the sidewalks at night. In fact, it's 40 degrees outside! It's practically summer...

In the 6 years that I've lived here, I have always been amazed at how resilient New Yorkers are when it comes to weather. It's amazing how quickly they (or we, I suppose) get used to the cold after complaining for a day or two, wrapping ourselves up beyond recognition against the chill... or how swiftly we shed those layers when the temperature rises a few degrees... or best of all, how the moment that a warm-enough spring day arrives, people flood every inch of grass of every park in the city, lounging on blankets filled with wine and weed and babies and guitars and frisbees like it's 1973.

On a day like today, you can gaze up at the blue sky with its picturesque smattering of clouds, feel the crisp wind in your face, and guarantee that there are people in this city who believe that today is the perfect weather for flip-flops. In fact, a college friend of mine used to staunchly refuse to wear anything but flip-flops until there was snow on the ground. I can't imagine how he avoided frostbite... Perhaps the excessive amount of alcohol flowing through his veins warded it off...

Anyway, I also love to see how people adapt to the weather in different ways - the moment it warms up a bit, men are out in t-shirts pretending they aren't cold. The moment the temperature drops a degree, they've have re-bundled themselves up in scarves, hats, and gloves. When it rains and it's above freezing, bald guys go without umbrellas. And when summer rolls around, the amount of skin you see can be simply fascinating... Suddenly the entire city unveils its hidden artwork in a web of tattoos and scars and cellulite and body hair.

I also love that once we are confident that spring has truly sprung, the women of New York suddenly bloom like flowers... We shed the heavy black and gray and brown and tweed and wool and suddenly drape ourselves in airy silk and cotton dresses every color of the rainbow. Even the umbrellas change from the standard black, mushrooming above our heads in bright floral prints, some with frog eyes or ladybug spots, some trimmed in lace...

Today's sunlight and relative "warmth" are a premonition that February is closer to its end than its beginning... That soon the subways will be filled with color again, once the city's residents have put away their standard black wool coats. We will begin to match the prim little flowerboxes that line the strees of the West Village... Then our colors will begin to clash like Times Square... We will transform from Brooklyn brownstones to Coney Island freak shows...

Enough with the horrible metaphors. All I have to say is, no matter the weather, I find myself consistently surprised and delighted (and at times horrified) at the ever-changing wardrobes of New York, and today has given me hope for the unveiling that lies just around the bend...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Challenge

Thus begins Blog Challenge 2010, in which Rachel and I compete to blog the most. The only rule is that we must blog every day for a month, then reward ourselves with green beer on St. Paddy's Day. This will be interesting, since I'm pretty lazy about writing in general...although I consider myself a writer. Hmm.... Anyway, lucky for me, I mostly blog about blogging, so really, I could just write endless drivel about how I write endless drivel and really say absolutely nothing of substance whatsoever. Since I'm using correct punctuation and grammar, however, this might see like a really amazing blog post chock full of original thoughts and ideas and keen insights into life. Which is does not...

This kind of reminds me of the song "Hook," by Blues Traveler, in which he sings about singing about nothing, but as long as the song sounds good, you'll listen. That was a great song. Still is, I suppose. It will forever remind me of middle school and I how I discovered the wondrous powers of the Internet by finding the lyrics online, printing them out (probably not on recycled paper, as it was 1997 and we didn't think about those things back then), and listening to a taped (yes, a cassette) version that I had recorded from DC101 over and over and over again while reading the lyrics so that I could FINALLY learn the words to that really fast part. Whew. And guess what? I DID IT. And I still know them. How's that for accomplishment?

So I have now set out on what I hope to be the second major accomplishment of my life -- beating Rachel at the Blog Challenge. As I commence with my pathetic blogging about blogging, I realize that the only reason we're really doing this is because Rachel gave up Facebook for Lent (she's not even Catholic, wtf?!?) and so she really needs something to occupy her time. Come to think of it, this is probably a very good way of keeping me off Facebook as well... Though I'm sure it also greatly hinders my progress at work. That's ok, day jobs are overrated anyway.

My dear friend's shunning of the addictive cultural phenomenon that is Facebook makes me think... I'm pretty addicted to Facebook myself. How have I become so obsessed with voyeuristically peering into the lives of people who I really could have cared less about in high school, could care even less about now, and yet I find so fascinating?? Perhaps it's because some of these people are married, they have children, they own houses, they seem like grownups... Then again, some of them still live with their parents, they work at gas stations, they play endless video games... And yet again, some of them are attending prestigious universities and traveling the world and starting businesses and saving starving children, and really having quite a lovely time doing it.

It's really quite bizarre how self-conscious Facebook has also made me, not that I wasn't before. While I generally think ugly pictures of myself are hilarious and have no qualms about posting them all over the place, I still covet the occasional picture where I can shallowly say, "Wow, I look HOT." And yes, I do care what those silly people who are lame and boring, or who are intelligent and interesting, see when they look at my Facebook profile. Are they appalled? Are they jealous? Do they laugh at my misfortunes? Do they think I'm a shameless bleeding heart liberal who kills babies and hugs trees and terrorists? Do they think I'm pretty? And why the hell do they care?

I guess it's human nature -- we want to know how the world perceives us, and we do our best to shape the world's perceptions of us. We express ourselves in order to create an image, even though we'd like to think that . Sometimes it's therapeutic to know that there might be someone out their envious of us, someone who thinks we're really pretty and smart and special. And yet, it's also therapeutic to remember that you're just one in 7 billion, quite most of the world doesn't really give a shit about you. So when you post those ugly pictures, only about 0.000000000000000001% of the world is even going to notice, if that. You're barely even making a ripple...

But as small as my ripple may be, I do often wonder, who Facebook stalks me? Who blog stalks me? As far as blogs, I can safely say Hello Angela! Hello April! Hello Heather! Hello Rachel, my dearest competition! Furthermore, who stalks me in real life (besides the creepy but nice hat and scarf salesman down the street from my office who mutters, "Beautiful..." under his breath when I walk by)? Then again, perhaps he does it to all the ladies who saunter past. And he can't really be stalking me if he doesn't move, just stands at his post. I suppose I've answered my own question...real life stalkers: 0. I think I'm ok with that.

But what about the others... Who is looking at my Facebook pictures today and what are they thinking? Why do they care about me? Then again, why do I care about peering into the lives of people I barely knew years ago and know even less now? The eternal questions linger...

So much for blogging about blogging. I guess "keen insights into life" aren't so hard after all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Last Night's Dinner

Boy Cooks, Girl Eats

I am a lucky woman...especially when I'm hungry. I have a live-in boyfriend who can cook like a professional chef and doesn't mind me hanging around the kitchen drinking wine and getting in his way and pretending to "help." My idea of cooking generally involves one or a few of the following: I boil some pasta or rice, steam some vegetables, open a can of beans, toss all the leftovers in my fridge into a tortilla, and call it dinner...or I pick up the phone and order Chinese. The boyfriend does not believe in my version of cooking and is generally content for me to boycott the kitchen altogether (except for breakfast on the weekends...I scramble some mean eggs), as long as I help clean up. Which I do...most of the time...

Anyway, because we're not too big on getting stressed out for silly Hallmark holidays, and I had to work at the bar on Valentine's Day, we didn't make our traditional romantic dinner until last night. We started this tradition many years ago back in college out of necessity, because we were poor -- we pick a main ingredient we wouldn't normally eat (we started with tuna steaks, then moved onto veal, etc.), we pick out an interesting recipe, we go shopping for all the ingredients together, buy a nice bottle of wine, then cook romantically all evening and watch a movie that isn't sappy, but interesting. I think one year we watched "Rosemary's Baby." How's that for Valentine's Day?

Last night when I got home for work, we already had all the ingredients waiting for us and we dove right in. I chopped stuff, drank excessively, and bitched about my family, while he did all the heavy lifting and allowed himself to be splashed with grease. How sweet! We ended up with heavenly red potatoes roasted in duck fat and simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and parsley... Red cabbage and apples braised in apple cider vinegar... A huge (a.k.a. expensive) and very rare steak from the Brooklyn Kitchen, with a heavenly red wine, herb, and carrot sauce... and some "kick in the face" Chasing Lions wine. All this while watching "I'm Not There," which oddly enough for a Bob Dylan fanatic, I had not seen.

The meal made me think... I don't eat red meat very often, but when I dig into a really good steak that has been meticulously prepared by my boyfriend, I really appreciate the time and effort put into cooking it to perfection - or rather, the lack of time, since a really good steak shouldn't be cooked for very long. He decided 6 minutes per side would be just right. And it was...

I also appreciate the fact that an animal lived and died to make my meal. Thanks, Mr. Steer. I hope you had a nice life, I really do. I think everyone who eats meat has a responsibility to really acknowledge the animal that they're consuming -- that this was once a living, breathing creature that could feel hot, cold, pain, fear...and contentment. And the more I am starting to enjoy food, thanks mostly to my foodie boyfriend, the most I realize one needs to be responsible in their buying practices of animal products. Do I break down and buy conventionally raised chicken or eggs here and there? Yes...and it makes me feel irresponsible. Do I know every time that I go out to eat that the meat was raised free range, hormone-free, etc. etc.? No, and that too gives me a twinge of guilt with every bite. I can thank my boyfriend for making me more food-conscious and therefore more animal-conscious. Although it gets expensive...

I guess I can really thank my boyfriend for giving me a solid appreciation of quality food and home cooking...even though I'm still not terribly motivated to do it. I have tried many new dishes in the 5 years we've been together, and I've experimented with cooking techniques I watched my mother do for years but never understood, and now I can safely say I am what I guess is an amateur foodie... Although I'm guilty of bringing home a can of Chef Boyardee and a 6 pack of beer one night after the grocery stores were closed and I had a rough, long day at work.

Still, when I think back on great meals I've had in my life, I remember bacon-wrapped venison (which I ate as a child in the back woods but never though of as high end cuisine), roasted quail, and foie gras... Or Brussels sprouts, morrel soup, and tuna liver with edible flowers... Mmm... And I appreciate more and more that animals had to perish to give me my meal, and that the chefs who prepare them take great care in translating this life cycle into something truly memorable.

So thank you, dear, for making me see food for what it is: plants and animals that grow, die, and are recreated into exotic forms with fancy names...But more importantly, that give me endless pleasure while eating, and will continue to do so as I remember and talk about them for years to come.

Where's Michael Pollan when I need him?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gretyl and Ludwig

This is Ludwig Wittgenstein's sister Gretyl, as painted by Gustav Klimt for her wedding. I thought it was lovely. You might think so, too. I would like for someone to create a program that can turn your picture in to a Klimt-style painting. Picasso or Dali would be amazing as well. Does something like that exist already? Hmm...

Anyway, this picture came from the fact that since I need to read philosophy again, and I need to think about linguistics again, and Wittgenstein is a good place to start, I thought I'd catch up with him briefly via Wikipedia...which of course is terribly insufficient.

Tractatus, here I come.

Epic Fail

Again, I fail at blogging. Ah well... I guess I have no choice but to press on...

I just read over all the things I posted in the past year and a half since I started this blog, and my how times have changed. I won't bore myself with the details (because God knows, I'm the only one who reads this thing...ever 6 months), since I know what happened in that time, but it is strange to look back on life since June 2008 and wonder how I got here. And where the hell I'm going...

In my last post I discussed my new healthy lifestyle that would enable me to shed 10 pounds by October and basically just eat more fruits and veggies. That didn't last very long. Now another friend is getting married in June and I made that same resolution last month. Again, not happening. I think the reason that I'm not putting too much effort into it is that I know I don't eat too much crap to begin with, and I feel pretty confident in myself and my body anyway. So fuck it, I'll try to work out more, and I'm eating more green stuff in general, but as far as setting weight loss goals? That's a bunch of baloney. Not that I eat grosses me out. See? I'm already super healthy, right?

Anyway, I also posted about the bar I had just started working at, and yes, I still work there, and yes, I know many people now, and yes, I love it. Does it stress me out, does it exhaust me, does it drive me insane that I never get enough sleep and I have to deal with crazy people and then I have to go to my day job in the morning on 3 hours of sleep? YES. But the money is totally worth it, of course, and the awesome people I've met basically make the decision for me. I've become good friends with some good folks since last April, I've listened to a lot of great music, and poured a hell of a lot of beer, and I've saved some money that will help me out quite a bit in the future. So I'll stay.

Speaking of the bar, I was just working there last night... Thank God I didn't have to go to my day job today... Although I still woke up at 9 a.m. after going to bed around 5:30, so I guess my biological clock is (as usual) out to get me... But we had a lovely time taking shots of Blackhaus, making fun of a drunk couple as they made out in the corner (it was Valentine's Day), yelling at the regulars to get the hell out of the bar, and then coming home so my drunk boyfriend and I could order greasy diner food at 5 a.m. and play with our hyper and hilarious cat on the carpet for a while. Ahhh, life when you're 24. Such a waste of time and energy, but so worth it...

Since I woke up so goddamn early and needed to just chill, I used this nice quiet day to read about feral children, a longtime passion of mine. I watched a BBC documentary on Genie that oddly enough, I'd never seen, discovered a new confined child named Dani, who is absolutely fascinating, and resolved to finally break down and buy Susan Curtiss' thesis that you can only find for about $100... A horrid price, but worth it. I'll get it after I pay the next rent check. Unfortunately, I can't buy a DVD of "The Apple" because it's an Iranian movie that was never released on DVD in the States, so you can only get the British DVDs, which are a different format than U.S. DVD players. I'll have to search the NYPL instead. Silly continental drift.

So even after all the Blackhaus, I have still retained my intellectual and scientific pursuits that have stayed with me for so long. My freshman year roommate will never let me forget how many a night she would find me sitting up on the computer reading everything there was to read on and most likely thinking, "Who the hell is this psychotic pothead that Fordham University thought would be a good roommate match for me?"

Oddly enough, we're still good friends, and although we don't see each other enough, I have the sneaking suspicion we always will be. As a matter of fact, we're going to see "The Tempest" in a few weeks at BAM, which I couldn't be more excited about. I can't wait to see old Prospero... What a guy. I haven't been to see a play in such a long time it's kind of disturbing. I really ought to. I live in the center of the universe with so many cultural events going on all the time, and my life seems consumed by trivial pursuits.

Another friend of mine from college (yet another fellow English major!) wanted to go to the ballet recently to either see "Cinderella" or "Romeo & Juliet," but unfortunately the discounted tickets were only available the one week I could not get my bar shifts covered since a coworker was out of town. The irony. Ah well, we will have time for such cultural events again.

Back to my day...I'd been getting drowsier, so stopped reading I flipped on the TV and as a guilty pleasure (or horror, I'm not sure which), I watched "Little Miss Perfect" about those psycho beauty pageant moms and their creepily made up daughters. Weird. That is a world I will never understand, but one of the mother-daughter teams inspired me to write a new short story. They were different than the others... She was an older mom who did not want her daughter competing in these glitzy pageants - the girl had done natural pageants before, which I suppose involved less makeup, no fake hair, no "flippers" (creepy false teeth), etc. But this little girl was determined, and she had such amazing stage presence and sparkle you just knew she would be a real performer someday, even though her somewhat dowdy mother was really not into it. They actually seemed like a healthy duo, with the mother holding back instead of pushing...unlike the overdone, overweight, trashy moms who grill their daughters on their routines while yanking their hair and applying false eyelashes, and forcing them into these ridiculous costumes and dances when the child really has no inherent talent, just a cute face. Sad. So yes, the natural duo was interesting... But I eventually had to just put it on mute because it was sucking at my soul. I can't imagine what I'll do when I have a daughter...probably make her take ballet lessons until she rebels, because I just love ballet... but forcing her into pageants? Now that's just sick.

While still reading and writing, I moved onto "Hoarders" on A&E, another ridiculously distrubing show but in a completely opposite way. Every time I think my apartment has gotten a little messy, I will think of this show and realize it's not so bad. And every time my apartment has gotten really messy, I will think of this show and realize I don't ever want to become like that, and I will CLEAN IT UP.

This has got to be the most schizophrenic blog post ever, and the most self-absorbed, but at least I'm writing again. I am going to try to do this as much as possible now... I really, truly am. And I'm going to advertise it to my friends, who actually do seem to follow my Tumblr blog, which is nice, so maybe if they read it then I'll be more encouraged to post.

Of course, I'll have to watch what I write... So in advance of anything I might ever post that could be construed in the wrong way, I'll just say...... Fuck you. I love you.