Posts from July, 2008
At 5:14 yesterday evening, I was mostly finished writing something I had to submit by the end of the day.
By 5:29 I was freshened (why do women own this term, to freshen?) and ready to leave the office.
At 5:31, I was outside the threshold and about to slam the door behind me, when I realized I had forgotten my keys.
Keys in hand, I was about to shut the door again at 5:32, when I realized I’d forgotten the rent check, which really should’ve gone out the day before yesterday.
Finally, 5:35 and I’m on the ground, run-walking, because it already feels like the streets and the trains are going to conspire to crowd and delay me into lateness. And I never want to be late, but I really didn’t want to be late for one of Eric’s work events.
So instead of waiting patiently for the light to change in my favor at the corner of 16th and Union Square East, I economized, walking south one block toward my eventual destination.
And it was that decision that changed my night, nay, my life, forever. Okay, a little dramatic. It changed my night.
I crossed the street, wrangled my way through an idiot blocking me with his bike, a family, and two clueless tourists, and climbed the stairs into the park’s east/west pathway, where I was promptly shat upon my a pigeon who had had a lot to eat and drink that day. A LOT.
And this made me do something I never do: I stopped dead in the middle of the path, like a tourist, where my brain slowed down and everything became like goo.
Because I was covered in it. I felt it hit my head, my cheek, my shirt, and my jaunty little scarf. Girl instincts kicked in immediately and I wanted to cry.
Instead, I walked back down the steps and considered my options, looking back and forth between a news stand and my apartment building. Go home and lose another 15-20 minutes, or fix it here and move on?
So I cajoled the news stand man into giving me his biggest, nicest tissue, which was the size and softness of a dinner napkin, and I walked away, frantically wiping.
I can only imagine the grimace on my face, fighting my way through the idiot park crowd which remained jolly and ignorant of the potential disaster waiting above them in the trees. By the time I reached the other side of the park, my arm was dry, but the dabbing and squeezing I’d done to my hair didn’t feel like it had much of an effect. I peered into the American Eagle store window like a crazy person. But glass doesn’t make much of a mirror, so I couldn’t really assess the damage.
What else could I do? I broke my brisk pace to ask a woman who looked enough like me that she might understand:
“Excuse me, can you do me a favor?” I said, sort of sheepishly.
Here, please insert a look that any real New Yorker would return: hesitant annoyance. Most of the time, we just turn off, shut down, and ignore random requests, but when the intruder may actually be a real person, faces tend to form this other look: assessment, calculating your every word.
I passed the normal test: didn’t have a clipboard, didn’t have a donation cup, didn’t tell her that her hair was so pretty, would she like a free cut.
So, hesitantly, she said, “Sure?”
“Sorry, I just got shat on over there, and…”
I’m sure what came out of my mouth was only 70% actual words. “Do you see any of it in my hair?” I asked, pointing to the nasty brown stain on my white shirt.
She laughed, relieved, which made me laugh. Ha, ha, ha, I’m covered in poo.
Thankfully she stopped the nervous laughing before I started crying, to tell me how sorry she was, and started the inspection.
“Yeah, I can tell it’s wet, but it looks okay, you got all the color out.”
Okay, time to go meet Eric’s coworkers!
“Thanks, Friendly Girl.” And off I went, walking at a pace that invited my sweat glands to throw a party.
We all know how much fun it is to descend the stairs to the train, convinced by the heat that you’re actually sprinting into hell. Well, the F/V stop at 14th was not my friend yesterday. After all the poo nonsense, I missed a train by seconds and stood waiting, drenched more and more by the second, for 12 minutes. So that’s, what, five gallons of sweat? I need a Gatorade.
Finally, a V came, and with it, air conditioned salvation. And then the transfer to the B at 42nd wasn’t too bad, only a few minutes in the firey pit until I was back on a lovely, mobile refrigerator. And then out at 81st to walk to the Delacorte for Hair.
After all the rushing, a minute of freshening up in the grimy restroom made the uglies disappear, and the night was actually, surprisingly fun. (However, it is likely that the wine, not the freshening made it livable.)
Either way, I was in a totally loosey-goosey mood the whole night.
So loose that when the strange people to my left didn’t return after intermission, and one of the actors came and sat down next to me, asking if they were gone for good, I said, Yes, perhaps they left because of all the wang with which the first act concluded.
She liked that and left to keep dancing.
Then ANOTHER ONE came to hang out with me a few minutes later. And this one was much more ambitious. She sat down, grabbed my hands and started swaying with me, and kept expecting me to dance.
Ordinarily, I would’ve been all “I came here to watch you do the performing, lady,” but last night, I got up and danced.
I don’t know if it was the wine, the new attitude (you know, the one that lets me go out for the evening wearing bird excrement as an accessory), or what. But I liked it.
However, I am still waiting for the bird poop = good luck phenomenon. (And Bird Poop Gods, this transformation of attitude thing better not be it. This is not a Disney movie.)
You know that icky phenomenon where a good friend starts dating a bad seed, and then she stops being all cool the way she used to be, and since he’s always around, she starts becoming so much like him that she even takes on some of his mannerisms?
Well, that’s Flickr and Yahoo. (Old news, I know.)
But this seems like a shining, shocking example of what that unholy union has created:
A little animation of this construction dude bouncing up and down on his jackhammer and rolling his eyes up at you every few seconds as part of communication that you should wait anywhere between a few minutes and a day for your stats to be ready?
Tell me how this matches the visual design, culture, or personal style of Flickr.
If I’m wrong and this was actually pre-Yahoo, I’ll eat my hat.
A few months ago, when I started our basil crop, I took out the tiniest, cutest jar I had (from some organic, but not too tasty yogurt) and planted two little seeds, planning a plant more accessory than food.
One of them took, and I left it in the kitchen (which is also my office) so I could look over at it all day and smile.
Turns out the little basil wasn’t faring so well here in the back of the apartment (where we only get light for maybe four hours in the morning). Duh. Jessica doesn’t have a very green thumb.
But when I moved it out front with the rest of the basil crew, the poor sun-deprived thing took off, and outgrew everything else.
And my how-tall-can-this-thing-get experiment began.
Answer: pretty damn tall.
But soon I’m going to transplant this puppy into a better home.
The roots have expanded to the jar’s limit, and the stem is already bark-like. It’s very ready to go.
Clothes and accessories: I love a good orange on you. Skin: I’m sorry, but you can’t pull it off.
I just saw a guy with deep orange arms, neck, and head (and some self-inflicted baldness).
And when your entire body looks like your thumb after slamming it in the car door (a swollen purpley-reddish-orange) you’ve got a problem. It’s an obviously unnatural blend. And the net effect makes it appear that you just emerged from the makeup department on the set of a 60s sci-fi flick… you’re an alien from Star Trek. Or an Oompa Loompa.
For years, I did this to myself, trying to enhance my natural color, with self-tanners (which stained my clothes and blocked my sweat glands), tanning beds (which always made me smell like popcorn), and spray tans (which made me smell like something much, much worse than popcorn).
And the result was always a new, more spectacularly orange me.
When the fact of the matter is I’m spectacularly white. Some days, almost clear. (I have the prettiest veins on the block, people.)
It still pisses me off that I roast in the sun in a matter of minutes, even with 50 spf and a giant, floppy hat. (Hi, people-with-decent-melanin-levels, I’m a little jealous.) But I’ve stopped trying to look like someone else (and smell like something else).
So my message to the orange bald guy and everyone else trying so hard to be something they’re not: embrace your natural color, whatever it is. And start wearing your own skin.