Friday, October 31, 2008

"Uptown girl. She's been living in her uptown world..."

Today's the big day. Can you feel it? Aren't you excited?

My laptop is on my roommate's old desk (now mine) in the middle of our cluttered living room...where the TV used to be, to be exact. I am sitting on my smallest suitcase and using my biggest one as an arm rest. My bed, covered in plastic because yes, I'm just that paranoid about bugs, is in pieces in my room -- leaning this way and that, revealing just how tiny this space is. It's moving day, folks and aren't you glad I hacked into someone else's wireless internet so I can blog about it all for you to read?

This week has been nuts. I was out of the office on Tuesday as I traveled through four states to get to our company's warehouse, a 4 hr trip each way crammed into one day. I'm out of the office today as well for this joyous event, so that meant I had to get all the work and all of the end of the month stuff done in two days. Then there was the back and forth with various strangers regarding a Craig's List post my roommates and I put up to get rid of two obscenely large cabinets, a TV, a TV stand, a coffee table and an end table -- all for free. That was a job in itself. But that's all over and done with!

Now I'm sitting here waiting for my men with a van college student movers to come and collect me and the rest of my stuff to take me to my new casa. And the best part -- I am signing an 18 month lease so I don't have to move again until May 2010.

So goodbye, Upper East Side. I have loved you so but I'm skipping gleefully over to the other side of the Park.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me."

Am I a horrible person if I cancel on a volunteering gig?

As of late I've been addicted to volunteering. Of all things to be addicted to, I figure this is a good one. I signed up for an organization that makes it all very easy with short-term commitments and fun projects. I've been doing it for a few months now and for the past few weekends in a row I've spent my Saturday holding little kids' hands, reading to them, or (my favorite) helping them pick apples at a New Jersey farm. See above pic of me in an apple tree.

Not only does volunteering give me something to do, it gives my Saturday purpose, and I get to focus on something other than my trivial problems. These kids live in a transitional shelter. 80% are in single parent homes. Most lost those homes because their family couldn't afford to pay rent anymore. Some are there because of domestic abuse issues. Some are fire victims. Most kids are only supposed to be there for about a year to a year and a half. But because housing is so affordable in NYC and the economy is so great right now, some kids have been there much longer. I have become a "regular" with a particular shelter and my "buddies" now light up when they see me there, something that warms my heart and makes me glad they get to see that there are adults who are interested in spending time with them, reading to them, talking to them about High School Musical and watching their card tricks.

I am supposed to go hiking with my regular group of kids tomorrow but it is most certainly going to rain, in which case we will take the kids bowling. I really don't want to go bowling. I also have started my packing but have quite a bit left to do. My friend is driving from Long Island with her car to help me move clothes, books, and all the other stuff I have so that will only leave the big things for next week. I have to coordinate with my new roommates and I also have a whopping pile of laundry sitting in the corner that isn't going to get done itself. My dream is to live in a building with an elevator, garbage disposal, and a washer and dryer.

So, since it is going to rain and I have so much to do, I'm thinking of not going tomorrow. I feel awful about it but if I call tonight and let him know that's not so bad, right?

Friday, October 17, 2008

"New York, I love you but you're bringing me down..."

I'm not very lucky in the pest department lately.

Last Saturday I woke up with about four bug bites on my left hand. Throughout the week the number doubled, tripled and traveled from my left to right hands as well as my face and arms. I lost sleep because I was scared I was going to get bit. I sat at my cubicle at work scratching for hours and even went and saw the nurse today who gave me calamine lotion. I attended my meeting this morning with pink spots on my hands. People probably think I'm diseased but it is the only thing that works. I feel like I'm going batty. I could not figure out what is biting me. I'm the type of person bugs LOVE and for some reason they can't get enough of me. I was afraid I was getting (dare I say the "b" word) bed bugs as my sublet last year had them and they literally drive you insane. Then I woke up this morning and saw a nice little mosquito buzzing around by my closet and dear God please, that has to be it.

All day I was plotting my revenge against the little bugger and about ten minutes ago when he showed his ugly mug and landed on the wall, I stood up on my bed, took an empty envelope in my hand and eviscerated him. Mosquito guts aren't pretty but I got 'em.

This better be it because if it isn't, New York and I just might have to break up. I told my friend the other day that if I have bed bugs again, I'm moving back to California. I say this with only a tiny bit of seriousness, of course, because at this point if a case of bed bugs and a crashed hard drive during a furious job search (all within the first month of living here) aren't enough to scare me off, I'm fine. If I can carry a 50 lb AC unit up 5 flights of stairs by myself I can do anything, right?

My mom sent me a card in the mail with a great quote on it. Aside from the Joan of Arc quote I love, this might be my new favorite:

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

a little piece of happy

What can take your mind off of another boring day at work? What shakes up the monotony of life? New hope! New promise! And best of all, new stuff!

Today I am focusing on the material things because well, Madonna said it best, didn't she?

Isn't it pretty? This is one of the reasons I am so impatiently ready to get out of this apartment and into my new one. If you've seen my current space (or if you have any idea the meager sq. footage that makes a Manhattan bedroom) you surely are just as psyched as I am because you know I have found an amazing place if it will fit this baby. I can't wait to fill it with all of the books that up until this point have been on top of my dresser, under my alarm clock and even stacked up on the floor. Now my current set-up does have a young, urban rite-of-passage feel to it. I kind of like being able to say I use my radiator not to keep warm but as a place for my ever-growing collection of galleys...however, this bookcase and all it means thrills the book hoarding addict in me possibly even more than a critter-free apartment does.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"tomorrow will go on much as before. i'll lose the keys right after you lock the door."

The title comes from a favorite song of mine, a cheesy little big-band number by Linda Eder in which she sings about how she has such bad luck in life then meets a guy who has equally bad luck. Then of course, they live lyrically ever after. The line above describes me, to a "t". Case and point:

Yesterday I rushed out of my office, pulling off my heels as I went and donning flip flops in preparation for a downtown rush hour trudge to an appointment. Right after that I headed back uptown (MTA made money off me) to my new apartment to drop of my lease application and proof of employment. I then crossed town to my apartment, got home around 9 pm, fashioned a dinner table out of the coffee table and end table (since my roommate moved out on Saturday and took our living room furniture) and settled down with the DVR. During a commercial I reached for my cell phone, and discovered I couldn't find it. It wasn't in my bag, on my bed, or any other surfaces in the house.


Horrifying images of my little black phone sitting on some bright orange subway seat somewhere in the city, flashed before my eyes. Since I was the only one home (my other roommate rarely makes appearances) and do not have a landline, I had absolutely no telephone capabilities whatsoever, so calling my phone was out of the question. Alexander Graham Bell would be very disappointed in me, I'm sure.

So I went to the internet for answers and saw that my brother was signed onto his G-Mail account. I promptly "G-chated" him (as I like to call it) and asked him to call my phone. He ended up having a nice conversation with my soon-to-be roommate who informed him I left the phone and my day planner on her couch. She told him to tell me to e-mail her. So, I did and asked her to bring it to work with her today. I would come get it.

This morning I left work 30 mins after I arrived and spent my "lunch break" traveling to her Chelsea office from Midtown in search of my lost lifeline. So now I can "phone a friend" and quietly and silently obsess over whether the nice guy I had coffee with on Saturday is going to call me in true modern woman fashion. All is right with the world. The balance is restored.

Today, when I got out of the office and started to cross the street, I reached for my IPOD only to discover I left my headphones at my desk.

I'm going to make some man very, very frustrated some day.

Friday, October 10, 2008

a dating woman

I'm new to the blogosphere. I feel as if I should be wearing a name tag and fancier clothes as I "designed" my little blog myself, though I am pretty proud of the New York skyline picture I took . Still, I feel like the new kid on my first day of school. Blogs being a brand-new thing to me, I set my aspirations high. I want to be one of the big guys, like the ones I shamelessly read at work when I need a five. I'm talking about Jezebel, Gawker and the others that make me chuckle and bring me my quota of daily smut and trash as well as new Sarah Palin things to forward to friends. I've also recently stumbled across This Fish Needs a Bicycle. What can I say? As a single girl, I can relate.

I must say though, I find the author's most recent post a little amusing. In it she declares that it is "time for her to start dating again." I have always been in awe of women who can just make that decision as one might switch on and off a faucet or a light switch. It is as if all of a sudden with a flip of the hair and a flirty smile, a woman who has decided to start dating again will automatically re-attract all the handsome gentlemen callers she cast aside during her "self-discovery" period and they will line up neatly at her door with irises (as "This Fish" said she likes.) I have never been able to choose when I date. It just kind of happens as it is often seems to be the only part of my life I do not have complete and utmost control over. As a Virgo and a perfectionist, this pisses me off.

I strive to be able to make such a powerful decision. I want to be this "Dating Woman". In my hyperbolic mind, Dating Woman has super powers. She is able to deflect assholes with her dating shield and has x-ray vision to see through all the dating lines. And she has a kick ass costume, too. Dating Woman fights for love, respect, and the American Way -- equal rights and an invisible glass ceiling as well as the amazing ability to pawn "guy jobs" off on the guy. Her perfect man has more guts than glory, less bull and bravado but can still hold his own in a great conversation. He is intelligent and bookish but she won't lie, she kind of likes that he likes football, too even though she couldn't care less about it.

Yes, this Dating Woman is awesome. Perhaps I will dress up as her for Halloween...

a new use for peanut butter

Last night I was watching Grey's Anatomy (Wonderful new episodes of my favorite shows are back on so now my life is complete. How sad that DVR is my boyfriend.) and lo and behold, Stuart Little crawls out from behind the TV and squeezes his little body underneath my closed bedroom door. Needless to say, I flipped out, screeched for my roommate and her boyfriend who promptly came into my room with the Swiffer broom thing and started what turned out to be a fruitless hunt. Since my bedroom is the size of a shoebox with all my stuff crammed in it, he could have been anywhere, but I like to pretend I believe my roommate when she assured me that he probably scurried out as quickly as he scurried in.

My mom says he's more afraid of me than I am of him. I was fine with Mickey when he kept his quarters to the kitchen. Ratatouille could stay in there and act out an entire Disney film as far as I was concerned. We do keep the kitchen and apartment pretty clean, this is just a lovely perk of living almost directly above two restaurants. But out of sight, out of mind. Whatever. We've had a few problems since July and have caught a few in the kitchen but he crossed the line when he shimmied into my inner sanctum. Needless to say, I barely slept all night, am exhausted and hearing phantom squeaking noises.

Thank God I'm moving.