Tag Archives: coffee

And another month has passed.

The month of May has always been close to my heart. My mom’s maiden name is May. My eldest brother was born in May. And, you know, flowers are nice.

Three weeks ago I went into one of those fast-food breakfast chains, bought a bagel with cream cheese and a medium hazelnut coffee, and then rushed back onto the street to catch a subway and a train out of the city. As usual, I was completely lost in my head. More than likely a little hungover. Slightly worried about missing my train. And drifting back and forth between allowing the universe to guide me wherever it sees fit and completely freaking out in an effort to figure out what to do with my life.

Anyway, I wandered onto the sidewalk, paper bag and styrofoam cup in hand. I waited at the curb for the red hand to turn to a white stick figure, at which time I would follow my fellow Queens pedestrians across the blacktop. As I stood there distracted, I heard a man yelling out behind me. It was obvious, for some reason, that the yelling was meant to get my attention. “MISS! HELLO, HELLO! MISS!” He was so frantic and excited, as though I’d just missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity, or you know, dropped an earring or something. So I turned to see a man waving and smiling at me as he leaned out of a convenience store window.

At the time I just thought, “Hmm. Men are so strange.” Which is probably a thought I have a good two to three times a day. I didn’t particularly recognize the man, so I just assumed he was a bored stranger in the middle of a 14-hour shift who was cat-calling to pass the time.

Have I mentioned how much I love cats?

Have I mentioned how much I love cats?

About a week later, train out of the city successfully caught, and then train back into the city also caught–I walked out of my apartment building on a mission to buy toilet paper at the 99 Cent Store next to the Strip Club. To get there, I had to pass the stoop next to my apartment building on which a middle-aged man sits each night. We small talk, chit-chat–you know, like real neighbors. He asks me when I’m doing laundry next. I ask him what kind of beer is in his brown bag. Put simply: we bond.

That particular night, though, I really didn’t have time to shoot the proverbial shit. The 99 Cent Store was about to close, the Strip Club was about to open, and yeah. Toilet paper was at a premium. So when I gave a distracted “Hello,” and continued walking, I was not in the mood to deal with his, “HELLO! MISS, MISS! HELLO!” But he was just so excited, so frantic, that I stopped.

And it was then that I learned my neighbor with the nightly stoop-sitting ways is the very same man who works at the convenience store next to the fast-food breakfast joint. He told me that his co-workers saw the whole ordeal. Heard him announce, “I know that girl!”, only to have that girl turn away and cross the street, her eyes showing no signs of recognition.

I apologized profusely. Our non-English-speaking super also leaned on the stoop, his head cocked, his lips curled into a perplexed smile. My neighbor shrugged off my apologies and said, “Next time you’ll know. You can have a soda on me.”

Five minutes later, toilet paper in hand, I walked by my neighbor and my super again. We all smiled in recognition at each other, but I already knew that I would likely never take my neighbor up on his free soda offer. I headed towards my own stoop, anticipating entering my bathroom where I’d replace the old roll with the new roll. My super waved. I waved back. My neighbor held up his brown paper bag, and in a one-sided toast, exclaimed, “Goodbye, Miss! Goodbye!”

Crises (and the Ongoing Saga of My Mom and Tommy Lee Jones)

It’s daunting to come home from work around 4am and have an urgent email waiting for you, especially one from a friend who is still trying to master the English language and is asking you to answer a question that might appear on their midterm in the morning:

How did we get into the financial crisis that the world is currently facing?

“This is hard.  I’m going to watch TV, instead.”  That’s what I wanted to say, but instead I produced a few sentences that could be mistaken for some semblance of an answer.  (The word “semblance” reminds me of Harry Connick, Jr. because he said it in an interview once and I was like, “Gosh, he has a nice voice AND a nice vocabulary.”)

Turned out the professor didn’t even ask about the financial crisis on the midterm, so all is well in the world (except for the financial crisis).

Speaking of crises, I’m in the midst of my own personal one.  Aren’t we all, always?  So last night I did what I usually do when I can’t deal with the seemingly important, unresolvable things in my life–I called my mom.  Only she was watching a Tommy Lee Jones movie, so she had to call me back.  (Which will be my excuse next time I want to avoid a conversation.)

When she called back I was on the street.  I had walked down to the coffee place I normally go to, but it was closed.  The only other coffee place is several blocks in the other, more trendy direction of my neighborhood.  Naturally it’s a Starbucks.  And naturally the semi-trendy people have made it their meeting place.  Not one, single time have I been able to find a free table or oversized chair in that location.  Not one.  What I do find are people who look like they’ve been camped out there since the Taft administration.  Only young and fresh-faced as though they just came from yoga.

So anyway.  Coffee at 11pm didn’t pan out.  I continued walking and whining to my mom.  And after an avenue of that, I came face to face with a bit of perspective– a car crash.

It wasn’t a big one.  Just a squealing-tires-fender-bender deal, but still.  You see that, not 10 feet from where you’re standing doing your whoa-is-me routine and suddenly you realize you’re sort of a whiny little bitch.  It’s like that moment in this week’s “The City” when Jay and Whitney are (spoiler alert) breaking up and he says, “I just feel like you have to be a little bit stronger.” 

Beautiful people who wear expensive clothes and can afford to feed themselves regularly are lame, especially when they’re on MTV reality shows, but just for the record…Whitney is a strong, savvy woman and Jay just ain’t ready for all that jelly.

Scarves, Meditation Beads, Wi-Fi, and other ways to pick up women

Least interesting pick-up line I’ve heard in a long time: “Can I borrow your scarf? I’d really like to. No? Can I borrow your name, then?” Does that ever work anywhere, never mind outside of a Queens bar on a Wednesday night at 3am?

A much better way to go about it is to sit down next to someone in a place offering free public wi-fi and ask them how the connection is working. That’s what this nice guy from Nepal did to me a week ago. I’d had WAY too much coffee, so I couldn’t stop smiling no matter what he said even though I wasn’t remotely interested. He asked me what I like to do in New York, and I said, “I like Bryant Park, Central Park, and the Hudson River.” I was just trying to list really vague things so that he wouldn’t track me down and rape me or anything. He got really excited about my list, though, and he said, “We like the same things!!” He was a balding, 35 year old IT guy. Then he asked me about the skating rink at Bryant Park and said we should go together sometime. It was pretty awkward, but at least he didn’t ask to borrow my scarf.

Anyway, Halloween is over. Saturday (Nov. 1st) they were playing Christmas songs at the mall. I’ve had trouble keeping track of the time of the year lately and I said, “But it’s not even Halloween yet.” What is wrong with me? Okay, I was hungover, but still. I get disorientated really easily. And time is less fixed when you work part-time and at night. You don’t have to plan ahead for a Monday, November 17th board meeting, you just have to tell yourself, hey, go to work on Wednesday night. Which makes it easy to forget what season you’re in apparently. I love it.

Sometimes it seems like everyone you meet is completely crazy. There was this dude, Dave, on the 7 train at 3am last night who was kind of squatting there. He said he’d just gotten back from India. He read me some mantras in Sanskrit. He complained about it being too cold on trains that go above ground (apparently the E train is good for sleeping). I touched his meditation beads. It was a pretty intimate thing, except that he seemed completely out of his mind. Then it was my stop and we parted ways. He said, “I’ll probably never see you again.” And I said, “Yeah, we’ll see.”

I love New York.

The Pigeon Thing

I drank coffee at 8 o’clock tonight.  Which was good because I applied for a few jobs that seem promising, but now I can’t sleep and I started reading my pigeon book and I’m about to go on a rampage about how much I love them.  Bear with me. 

I told someone I like the way they walk and their colorings, but really it’s so much more than that.  I haven’t even been able to bring myself to sit down and read the pigeon book because…you know when something strikes a chord with you so much that it makes you kind of anxious?  Maybe that’s it.  Or maybe I’m kind of crazy, which could totally be it, too.  But I don’t mind.

First off, I love anything that’s quirky.  And pigeons are so quirky.  They wobble around until they get startled and then they wobble in a new direction.  Sometimes they wobble in circles.  And no two pigeons are exactly alike.  Okay, most of them are gray, but they’ve got these cool metallic variations, too.  And some are brown, some are white, some are brownish-white.  Some are missing talons, which could mean they were born deformed, or it could mean they were in a pigeon brawl.

I think the main reason I developed such a deep appreciation for them, though, is just because so many people despise them or ignore them.  Plus I grew up in Springfield, Mass, where they used to have an entire television channel that consisted of one camera aimed at a nest of peregrine falcons.  Peregrine falcons are birds of prey, so obviously they look nothing like pigeons, but you know.  I was ingrained with the ability to watch things that aren’t all that exciting. 

Also, my mom keeps a bird feeder.  Mourning doves are a frequent visitor.  Mourning doves and pigeons are practically the same thing, except that pigeons are like their older, more hardcore cousins.  You know, the cousins that got into drugs and have seen some fucked up stuff in their day, but they just keep trekkin.  That’s the pigeon.  Five stints in rehab, but the pigeon is still optimistic and thinks the world could be a nice place.  It doesn’t let you miserable, impatient pedestrians get it down.  So stop being so miserable and impatient and appreciate the goddam pigeon, will ya?  They’re beautiful.  You gotta find the beauty no one else sees.

According to the pigeon book, Woody Allen called pigeons “rats with wings.”  This might not come as such a surprise, but I like rats, too. 

Anyway, this is the quote from the pigeon book that got me going.  The author quotes this ornithologist from Kansas, Richard Johnston, who says: “The special qualities of feral pigeons are rarely recognized as special, which is a result of the way humans perceive the natural world.  Dominant western worldviews have taught that nature exists for human use and that humans are its custodians or curators, fundamentally apart from the natural world.  This philosophic position has been unprofitable in many ways…”        

There is one thing I don’t really like about pigeons, though–the males have this mating dance that makes my stomach turn.  They puff up and run at the female and it’s pretty gross.  As much as I like pigeons I don’t want to see them mate.  I’m not that crazy.

Unemployment Activities

If I hear “The market is bad right now” one more time I will curl up in the fetal position and sing the chorus of “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” repeatedly. I always did love REM. Eventually I will switch over to rocking back and forth to “Everybody Hurts.”

The weeks keep going by and I keep not finding a job. It’s preposterous! It requires patience! But I’ve been keeping busy, despite the fact that I’m down to $41.39 in my checking account. Yesterday was a real eye-opener: Netflix emailed to let me know that the hold I put on my account has been removed. Yeah, the hold that I put on the account when I left DC, before finding an apartment in NY. At the time I figured that of course I would be able to afford Netflix by September 15th. It didn’t occur to me that the market is really bad right now and everybody hurts and it’s the end of the world as we know it.

I immediately cancelled the membership, but those jerks charged me for the month anyway. And I don’t have the mmph to bitch them out. Perhaps once I have some coffee…

Don’t even feel bad for me, though. Because I’m so irresponsible. I went to the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday and spent, like, 35 bucks. How come I didn’t have the sense to stop and think to myself, “Wait, isn’t that 50% of your entire net worth right now?” Denial? Hangover? Check and check.

I can’t really say I have buyer’s regret, though, because I found the most exciting book: Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan…And the World by Courtney Humphries. When you bought a $5 tote bag from the Independent Booksellers of NYC you got the book free!! Because IBNYC just made the pigeon their mascot. And if you’ve read my About Me section you know that pigeons are my absolute favorite.

What else. I was a hair model for Vidal Sassoon. I had a date with a guy I met on the street. Seventh Avenue to be specific. I auditioned for a thing. Landed the thing. I killed a cockroach and its babies. I applied to be a dog walker.

I’m allergic to dogs.