Tag Archives: money

Brother, can you spare some small stuff?

Small moments make me happy.  Like the other day when it was 4pm and I hadn’t left the house yet, so decided to walk to the corner to put a Netflix in the mailbox.  Just to get out.  Just to be able to say, “Yeah, I got out today.”  And on the way back, I saw a man drop a one dollar bill, so I said, “You dropped a dollar!”  As he picked it up, he said, “Oh, I appreciate that.  That’s gonna be my lucky lottery dollar.”  And I thought, wow.  If I hadn’t left the house, that man would have lost that dollar forever.  Someone else would be in possession of that dollar.  Thank God I exist.  Thank God I make such an impact on the world.

Small moments make me incredibly sad, too.  Friday night I saw a one-man performance in Brooklyn.  It was really good.  It’s about AIDS and being about the same age as AIDS and it’s profound and funny and deeply personal and contemplative.  I greatly enjoyed being in the audience.  The show wasn’t even the thing that made me incredibly sad, though.  It was when I got lost in Brooklyn after the show.  I hate having to ask for directions.  I hate not doing it all on my own.   But finally I saw a woman who looked like she wouldn’t judge me for needing directions at 10pm in Brooklyn, but when I said Excuse me, she just looked at me and shook her head and kept walking.  So I called after her, in this sad, little girl voice, “Do you know where the closest subway is?”  She didn’t pause, she didn’t call back, she didn’t do anything.  She’s so jaded by life and the city and life in this city that it’s safe for her to assume that everyone wants to harm her or take her money.  She can no longer be bothered.  I can’t really blame her.  But it still made me cry.  (Though maybe it was also a delayed release of emotion about the AIDS epidemic.)

I guess the thing about small things is who’s to say they’re small.  Who’s to say that small things are not sometimes the biggest things.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Don’t cry over spilt milk.  I don’t know.  In my experience, if I’m crying after spilling the milk, it’s usually because that small tragedy brings into focus all the bigger tragedies I’m dealing (or not dealing) with.  Sometimes the biggest stuff is too big to wrap our heads around.  You need to lose a dollar to even realize…fuck.  If I don’t get a job soon I’m going to have to beg on the streets.  You need to have one small shot of liquor too many to realize I have a big problem. 

What am I getting at.  Mmmh.  You know, someone wise probably said, “Life is nothing but small things.”  Or, “Sweat only in moderation.”  I saw men on the street make a cardboard sign that said, “We want money for beer.”  I saw a man in the subway holding a sign that said, “Unemployed college grad, cum laude, #Not Winning.”  And I thought, you referenced a Charlie Sheen catch phrase and Twitter hash tags on your cardboard sign.  That’s an odd choice for a cardboard sign.

I don’t think I’ll make a point.  Maybe I already made one.  I’m not sure.  But the library closes in 30 minutes and I need to apply for some jobs before then…

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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.

Wish I Was Named After A Fatty Food

Note: I’m watching the Live Your Best Life webcast on Spirituality and turns out…the guy I call Reverend Bacon in this post is actually Reverend Beckwith. Sorry.

Oprah’s doing a whole week of episodes dedicated to the theme “Live Your Best Life.”  Today’s episode was Spirituality 101.  I called my mom during a commercial break to tell her to watch, and it was cool because she was ALREADY watching.  Which isn’t all that weird, since she watches it sometimes.

I’m not a big Oprah fan, but today’s show was a nice little therapy session.  It left you overcome with the feeling, “Yes, everything will be all right.”  People skype’d in with questions for her panel of expert spiritual people–one woman was on the brink of losing her bakery and all of her assets along with it, another woman was angry about her mom’s cancer diagnosis, and one man accumulated debt instead of accepting his gay identity.  Then Oprah played clips of past shows and past guests that had served as “spiritual teachers” for her.  My favorite was this guy John Diaz who survived a horrific plane crash.  He was the most composed, level-headed dude.  The least likely dude to be convinced of anything after watching an Oprah course on spirituality.  The least likely dude to listen to anything that Reverend Bacon here has to say:

diazbacon

(Diaz on the left, Bacon on the right, in case it needed clarification.)

But Diaz had the coolest story about his plane crash. 

“Two years ago, John Diaz was here talking about surviving a horrific plane crash,” Oprah says. “What he said that day is something that I know so many of you who heard it will never forget.”

After the plane crashed, John says he saw people strapped into their seats, burning. As he watched, he says he noticed what appeared to be auras leaving their bodies, some brighter than others. “I thought, ‘The brightness and dimness of the auras were how one lives one’s life,’ so to speak,” he says. “That’s one of the major things that really has changed within me … I want to live my life so my aura, when it leaves, is very bright.”

So that’s my basic goal for 2009–douse my aura with lighter fluid and throw a match.

That said, Thursday you can catch Suze Orman for Money 101 (did you know she’s a lesbian??)  and Friday’s episode is Sex 101. 

Speaking of Sex 101, the porn industry is asking for a federal bailout?  That’s cool…

Weekend in Review

A job offer came on Friday.  Wrapped up in German smiles and

Monopoly money, it promised Long Island City freedom

and casual Monday through Fridays,

but at $9/hr and no benefits I kindly refused. 

 

Sunday we saw that Richard Gere movie.

Richard’s face appeared and Ali whispered, “He’s like a wine.”

Saturday was nothing to speak of, except for Fast Food Nation

furthering a deep love for Greg Kinnear

and Blood Diamond furthering

a curiosity about the Rhodesian/Zimbabwean accent.

 

Friday we were irresponsible citizens, choosing to drink an excess of red and white wine during the presidential debate. “If they made blue wine,

we would be patriotic right now.”  

 “Money bailouts, Pakistan, pork-barrel spending?”  “Hard to swallow.”   

“Orgy of spending.” 

“Jim Lehrer is surprisingly handsome.”

I think its the eyes.

I think it's the eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Planning on being sober for Thursday’s VP debate.