Moving again

Friday I’m supposed to head up to New York City to hang out with old friends. But I’m having a dilemma, a test on responsibility if you will, as it’s the last weekend we have to pack before moving into our new apartment. Therefore, heading to New York City may be a huge mistake on my part. A friend from Pittsburgh, whom I have not seen in about four or five years is headed that way as well so I sort of wish to go. Oh the drama, the drama. I predict my sticking around. Even if I head up there for a day it’ll be around $150.00 and I probably shouldn’t spend that kind of money right now.
So, yes, we’re moving soon. We hired movers. They’re called Starving Students and they’re cheap—cheaper than crazy (to quote Kucher fans everywhere). And when I first heard the name I thought perhaps it was started way back when by a bunch of poor college students who broke the bank on the cost of one Psychology textbook. However, now I’m wondering if it was named for starving students. Well, regardless, they’re super cheap. And we’re pretty pleased we don’t have to do anything this time around.
We’re moving into a place being vacated by a couple. They’re named NIck and Rebecca. I have spoken to them on the phone, but I haven’t seen them face to face. I have seen pictures though. While we were there checking out the place, I, of course, fell into their world through a number of pictures on the refrigerator, and scattered throughout the apartment. They’re outdoorsy. They like to hike, ski, rock climb and travel. And they’re moving to Portland. I haven’t ever been to Portland. But I think for a second I knew them. Or maybe I just wanted to be them, traveling from east to west in a truck. I asked Nick if he was taking the northern route or they’d be taking their time to see the sites of it all, and Nick said,

I’ve been south, and I’ve been straight across the middle, this time we’re headed up.

And I was sure this was true not just geographically. But it’s easy to dream for others.
(No, please, allow me).

Taxi Cabs

I want to start a miniature revolution in order to change the taxi cab situation in Washington, D.C.. Who’s with me? We’ll start small. We’ll begin by hopping out of a cab when said cab pulls over to pick up another fare. I hate this. You have no idea how much so. The rule is that he or she cabby is able to pull over and pick up another passenger if said new passenger isn’t going more than five blocks away from your destination. Which, we all know that in a city this could mean being a half an hour late. Now granted, it’s never really that bad. However, one day my cab driver picked up not one extra person, not two, but THREE extra people. What did I do? I fumed and then moved to the front seat because I was the only girl. Anyway, it’s wrong. And this situation does not better the experience for the customer, each person still must pay for each individual trip at full cost based on the ridiculous zone system. It only gets Mr. phone-yabbin cabby more money, and makes the passenger late.

I could get started on protesting the zone system but I’ve learned to choose my battles. For those of you who don’t know about the D.C. Cab system it’s based on zones. I was told once this betters those traveling downtown. Therefore if you’re a congressperson, a businessperson, a politician person, or a tourist going from one monument to another, the zone system isn’t so bad. I think you get off by paying about 5 dollars. (See the downtown area, Zone 1). If you live here, and if you happen to live above Florida avenue, you sorta get screwed, sometimes paying up to 12 or more dollars. If you’re going from say, Dupont Circle to Adam’s Morgan for example. it’s an absurdly short distance and an unjustifiably large fare. And it makes me crazy.

I have gotten out of cabs at the south side of Florida. I have hopped out of cabs as they pick up new fares. I have complained about the additional dollar added to stopping at an ATM (which is not always enforced and therefore highly annoying when sprung on you, given all the other hidden, ridiculous rules).

Last night after another bad experience with a cab driver going 499 mph while gabbing in some crazy language at full volume to a friend over a cell phone, I had this vision of making a change. I have had this idea before, in reference to the cab drivers of the land of Taxation without Representation, but last night it hit to level passion. And I realize there is a war going on, and I realize I could protest the presidency of GW Bush, I realize I could act as the catalyst for something more life-altering but those items tend to overwhelm me. And, holy shit, someone do something about the fucking D.C. cab system already.

(Please note: I have the ability to construct a much better “essay” but this time around I’m more interested in hearing stories).

Uppity gay man

I have no idea what went wrong with my site yesterday. And I could have complained, I could have stepped right up, armed with angry fingers. I could have written a nasty letter or two to my service provider. But I’m done with unwarranted anger especially towards strangers who aren’t actually god nor do they know god.

On Monday evening at the movie I witnessed an act which very nearly ruined the entire movie-going experience for me. It sat with me all night. I even took it to bed with me. Today, I have to admit, I feel better about it. I guess it’s like with any recent nightmare or disturbing dream, after a while that strange uneasy feeling begins to fade.
Toby and I entered the theater and assumed our usual position. The theater, to some, seemed hot. Usually I am freezing, my 10 digits take on the form of winter roots, seizing up into a shattering ice-like state. This time I was perfectly comfortable. Actually, I rather enjoyed the warmth. Contrary to popular movie-house temperatures, the warmth of our particular theater house it made me feel as if I were within the comforts of my own home. But this did not sit well with some of the restless natives. No way, not for their spoiled asses. One large woman began to audibly bitch and moan to no one in-particular. But she was fairly ignorable. Another woman began to fan herself, also easily ignored. But there was one person, one uppity homosexual man, leader of all the petty movie-going mortals, leader of all those who lacked couth or care or respect or love, he was not easily ignored. In fact, he is that burning sensation someone with gonorrhea might feel while they pee. He is that nose-whistling asshole on the night train heading somewhere dreadful. He is that fly, gnat, or bee buzzing around your head while your trying to kiss your girlfriend (or, in his case, boyfriend) for the very fist time. And I hated him. I hated him for actually thinking we wanted him to represent us.
This guy decided to go talk to the manager. Fine. Only “talk to the manager” for him apparently means bringing in this rather sweet looking older man in from the movie theater’s office and verbally berating him while everyone else watches. Some of us watched in speechless horror. Some folks actually agreed with this hot-headed (pun intended) wacknut. He kept on screaming, Ignatius J. Reily style.

“Everyone THIS is the mANaGER who SOLD us these TICKETS!” He yelled as he looked around the joint, waiting for us to speak.

The manager looked around and his arms went up, he began to use the arm-flap, a universal gesture in sign language which stands for “Ladies and Gentleman, please relax. Everything will be alright.”

Another guy spoke up to the uppity gay man, “What’s the problem?”

“WHAT’S The PROBlem?! It’s HOT IN HERE!”

The guy shrugged, “Oh.”

The horrified manager began to flap again “Ladies and Gentleman, I realize it’s hot in here, we have people working on the problem right now. It should be fixed shortly. I am so sorry. If you would like to have a full refund, or trade your tickets in for another show-time, I will do so without a problem. Please, feel free to come to the office up front, I will take care of it for you there.”

Now you might think that for a normal person this would have been enough. You might think that Ignatius J. Hothead would have walked over to his party of idiots, collected them from their seats and led them out of the theater heading for their 10 buck refund surely spinning their angry lives into something blissful and heavenly. But no, that did not happen.

“TELL ME! did you SELL us these TICKETS knowing! it was THIS HOT IN HERE?! DID you willingly DO THIS to all of these PEOPLE?!”

I began to wonder if “HOT!” stood for toxic gas or air-born anthrax. Is he a snowman? Are these people human? Where am I?

The manager stood there speechless. Then he managed to say, “Sir, I assure you, we are working on the problem. I sold the tickets, thinking by the time we seated you the problem would be fixed. I assure you, it will be fixed soon. However, I am more than happy to give you your money back.”

He’s a better human than I will ever be.

Apparently God aka the movie theater manager in Georgetown, could not fix the situation for uppity gay man. And eventually uppity gay man sat down again among the morons and huffed down into his seat. And the worst part is he seemed proud. He did not advance to a nicer place. He did not collect his 10 dollars for passing go. He just made my tummy upset. The manager eventually left. He answered a few more questions, “Are you still going to show the movie? We just want to see the movie.” Now this woman is a better spokesperson for the likes of me.

I was flabbergasted. And sad. The entire episode made me feel horrible for the manager guy. He is only human. He’s human with a job where he must deal with the pleasure or displeasure of humans, yes his job comes with free movies, but it’s probably a horribly difficult job. “I’ll be right back.” I said to Toby. “I have to go talk to the manager. It will make me feel better.”

I ran down two halls towards the entrance where I found the manager sitting on a stool staring at the monitor. “Excuse me, sir? You were just in my theater.” He looked up at me, worried. I saw “Not again” written within his forehead wrinkles.

“Yes.” he stood up.

Out of breath from running through the halls of the ten-screen movie theater in Georgetown, I began. “I just had to say this to you. That guy was a jerk. Many of us didn’t agree with him and we’re sorry for his behavior. I don’t wish to be lumped into what he said. We’re just here to see the movie. We know it’s not your fault. Thank you for coming in and offering us all a refund, but that guy was just a mean jerk. And I’m sorry and I didn’t want it to ruin your night. No one really cares about a hotter movie theater.” The man grabbed my hand.

“Thank you. Thank you very much. Some people are just high-maintenance.” he laughed and he shook my hand and I felt so much better.

So what’s my point? I’m not sure. But it pains me that folks can be so mean to one another. It pains me even more when the folks being treated poorly are older. I have no idea as to why. Respect should be a given, and while a manager at a movie theater might not be someone you think necessarily deserves it, there is a certain bit of empathy I wish people would practice. Reverse the rolls, change shoes, whatever. But don’t be mean. If I had the courage, I might write an “I saw you” to my uppity gay friend

It might read: “I saw you Monday night at the 7:10 viewing of Mystic River in Georgetown. I saw you nominate yourself as spokesperson for nearly 100 people in a theater many, in which, wished to have nothing to do with your bitteness. I saw you make many people cringe beneath your angry words. I saw you act entirely too rude to an older man who was manager there. I saw you put on one of the rudest public displays of human err. Shame on you, uppity gay man. Shame on you.”

elephant ass

Yesterday, during the Krishna talk, the yoga dude also asked us if we experienced any odd coincidences. I can’t remember why, but surely it had to do with Krishna’s birthday. Anyway, it seems, that yesterday, I was blasted with hits from some forum linking to this picture. Strange? Yes indeed. Given yesterdays talk about search strings and elephant asses I’d say everything came back around, full circle. (Full circle). This Krishna dude works in mysterious ways it seems. But really, who doesn’t have a fondness for Lucy? And especially her ass.

Shudder To Think

I was 17 or 18. It was a beginning to something good. I had an apartment within walking distance to everything. My roommate, N., had an extensive record collection, filled with eclectic stuff I hadn’t ever heard before. N. decorated our apartment. Her grand
her made amazing collages, using old medical books and line drawings, he would work them in together, creating something entirely new. I used to stare at them and discover something new every time. I used to wonder why he wasn’t famous.

N. had friends too. And they were as exciting as her vinyl. L. painted pictures, crazy intricate, troublesome pictures and I often wondered what darkness she might be hiding from everyone. R. took photographs, wonderful, black and white photographs and I looked inside each and every one of them every time I visited.

I don’t remember how I met V. V. was emotional and unbelievably fascinating. She was also a painter. Her boyfriend, K., once showed up at our place crying. He had blood on his clothing and told us that during her attempt to stab him, she cut herself in the leg. She was in the hospital. And he was afraid to go back to the house. Later, after V. became my roommate, she managed to surprise me over and over again.

M. was a guy in a band called “Heart of Darkness.” He played the drums and wrote poetry. His limbs would flail around as if detached from his body, trying to take on everything all at once but still keep some kind of rhythm. And I found out the hard way that his libido acted in very much the same way. T. was M.’s brother. T. was a big goofy, towering mess of a man. He had long hair and huge feet. He had a girlfriend named L. and I used to hold my ears while they were fucking in the bedroom next door. Later, the band packed everything up and headed west in search of an unattainable, rock ‘n roll fame. I read about their travels on the back of unoriginal, mass-produced postcards. (Oh, the horror).

And there were others. J. was confused and gave too much worth to random numbers. L2. was tall and skinny and reminded me of an antelope. J2., a pale, big breasted woman, had dark hair and pixie-like features. All the boys loved her. She was adopted. She often told us that she believed one of her blood parents was, in fact, asian. (Though I was never too sure). S., a beautiful girl with lovely lips, had an affinity for stories about dying. S. died one night after falling down a flight of stairs. (That was a dark, and very sad day). C. was obsessed with poetry and M. She later settled on marrying T. (Which I still find disturbing, even to this day). K. had sex with everyone from A. to Z. (In every small town you’ll find an old faithful). B. let H. take pictures of her naked. Later, H. printed one out onto t-shirts and people would buy them and wear them around. B. was an ex of M’s.

Life in a college town can prove itself to be more interesting than that of the city due to high boredom levels alone. And, like long division, you can pretty much divide everything and everyone into one another. It’s incestual that way. In spite of all that, I think I knew back then that I’d look back and remember it all fondly, even if, at the time I wished I were someplace else, someplace bigger, someplace indivisible.

Ah well, with all these abbreviations and half-placed memories I have gone and annoyed myself as I’m sure I’ve done to you as well. And I haven’t ever been one for doing math. So here is the snapshot I heard today which reminded me of it all. Shudder to Think. Red House. (4 mgs) (Probably one of the greatest songs ever written).

Ashton

One of my top search referrals is Ashton Kucher. Which is funny, because I think (though I haven’t checked) my site ranks in at around 4,132 on Google when searching for Mr. Kucher. Which means one thing, said link-seekers are pretty desperate for information on this mother fucker. After said person clicks on the link Google spits at them, they end up on a comments page from way back when Toby wrote something about him. And some leave comments. And a few have the tone of a highschool girl in heat. The latest comment emailed to me today was:

comment from ashtonfan101:

ASHTON IS SSSOOO HOT ALL THE GIRLS IN MY CLASS ARE OBSESSED AND IM ONE!!!!!!! HE IS HOTTER THAN CRAZY!!!!!!!

Scary.

Lola Bell

On Sunday Toby and I sat down to watch The Restaurant on NBC. I was intrigued by this concept as anyone who has ever worked in the service industry knows that pretty much anything can happen there. You may find yourself calling 911 after a fellow employee comes into work drunk and punches the time-clock, breaking the plastic and severing every tendon in his hand. You may find yourself naked in the walk-in freezer. You may find yourself asleep in the bathroom with you pants down, around your ankles. The dishwasher may carry a bat and he may use said bat to threaten and abuse unwieldy frat boys. The cook may like grabbing your ass while his girlfriend is at table 5. And someone may actually pass out in their dish of mac and chez. While working in a restaurant, pretty much everything and everyone does something or someone, which creates a story they can tell for the rest of their life.

But I digress, this reality TV show has the potential to be great. And I can see TV reps everywhere scratching their heads, muttering to themself,

God damnit, why hadn’t I thought of that first.

The show seems exciting. It combines many popular trends decorating current television. For example, watching hot people cook, watching people get voted off or fired, or watching gay people, straight people, big people, small people hook up with almost strangers, run off with someone’s other, and fight. My only criticism, thus far, is that for whatever reason they blast rather loud “background” music while people are talking. I guess the producers do this to spice it up or something, but it leaves me and my shot to hell ears tweaked.

So Sunday, we sit down to watch this.

This show is a great idea. Given that many waitresses, waiters, bartenders and maitre dis are indeed actors, it kind of works out well, you know? And I wouldn’t be surprised if we see someone we know on here.

Toby nods over his paperwork.

And then, there she was. One of the bartenders looked familiar. I knew her from somewhere. I looked on google, briefly, that night and found nothing. It was driving me crazy. I think I lost sleep. The following day, I found images of her and then her name. As it turns out, Lola Bell, a woman who used to serve the Williamsburg hipsters drinks at Enids, is on the show. We used to go on Mondays for karaoke night. She would put on quite a sexy version of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”.

Anyway, that’s pretty cool. I do look forward to watching this show. I hope it ends up being “real”. If not, I fear it’ll just end up in the trash with all the rest of reality television. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing who else ends up on there and who ends up off. And to Lola, a once hipster-serving bartender who slung booze from a corner in Brooklyn, I say

fire away.

8 Fold

There’s a theme in the back of my mind. It’s there all the time but more so during moments of frustration or strife. I have this idea, somehow, that like solving a once deemed impossible equation, there is a similar, definitive way in which one can do the same using language. Whether it be through the individual words you choose, or the way you put them together, there could be a way to do so and not only make your meaning known, but solve a life’s problem as well. And though entirely abstract, by using this perfect construction, your meaning will suddenly be understood by another person, nearing us all closer to something holistically perfect.

Obviously, this is just not so. Why else would there be religious war, crime, catty disputes over petty things, arguments composed of he saids, she saids. It’s tiring-the constant back and forth-and totally unrewarding in the end. Lawyers can argue a sound case, and even if the person they fight for did indeed stab his wife and her lover, they could win over a jury of people by merely conducting a logically sound argument. I’m not talking about that kind of equation. I’m talking about truth. An absolute one.

I guess that’s why I do this—write this thing. I hope to always find something better in myself and those around me, work through the things not quite refined or understood, and refine the things I do understand. By admitting human err about myself, I might become a better person or, at the very least, make someone else feel not so alone.

I took Buddhism when I was a sophomore. It was taught to me, or delivered to me, by a booze-guzzling, Buddhist. I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense but it worked somehow. Anyway, he taught us about the Eight Fold Path. And the steps one takes to enter enlightenment. And while I never quite “caught on” and decided that I would run off and become a Buddhist, I was intrigued by the quest many practitioners have for honesty. Right Speech. Right Action. Right Thought. (I don’t remember them all). But for this raised, (recovering) Catholic, I was intrigued.

There was one concept which stuck with me the most. It was the idea that, through Right Speech, one could eventually attain Right Thought by way of honesty. Now granted, my education in Buddhism was not only taught by a self-acclaimed drunk, but I was half-there, mainly only in flesh, after crying myself through all-nighters and inhaling adhesives with warning labels longer than this post. That said, who knows if I “got it right” and I make no claims that what I say on here is fact. From my understanding, from what he said, practicing Right Speech does not mean saying what people want to hear, it’s not about saying only what is the nicest, kindest, sweetest thoughts a person thinks of only after removing the first, and possibly more negative thought. After all, it’s nearly impossible to not have some negative thought, Right Speech was something practiced to eventually rid the human mind of negative thought, bringing him or her closer to becoming an enlightened being. Right Speech might mean to say,

Hey, Michele, your feet stink usually always, you’re insecure sometimes, and you need to stop taking your grumpy moods out on Toby. I think you fear getting older. I think you fear losing the elasticity in your skin. I think you should do something about this.

Maybe the truth hurts. Maybe it’s meant to, regardless of how it’s delivered.

Who knows. What I do know is while I was a practicing Catholic, I would very nearly every day think of every “bad thought” I possibly could by trying to NOT think about it and by doing so, it’s all I could think about. (Which, as a 7 year old, was only “Tracy should only play with me. Never Dania. I hate Dania.” but still, quite negative). So this idea of pushing out the negative by actually admitting to it was, again, intriguing.

So what do we do with all the negative thought? I know we have them, I see them distributed by way of sneers, half-laughs, fake smiles, limp handshakes, side-looks and good, old-fashioned hatred. They fester, they grow, they mutate into cancerous insecurities.

And right now, I just want to wrap this up because a two hour project just landed in my lap. And It’s too long. And I’m not sure where I’m going with it. And I just rambled on for two pages. :] I hate it when I do that.

Here is a song for today. (4.2 mgs Rival Schools) And even though I woke up with my monthly visitor, I feel like shit, and I want to tell certain people to shove random objects up their ass, I chose a positive song, by one of my most favorite singers-songwriters ever to hit this place.

Bad Kid Poetry

This weekend, while visiting the family, I went through some old boxes in order to throw some stuff out. Along with finding a truly terrifying photograph of me as a 7th grade cheerleader (it wasn’t your average cheerleading squad, I assure you, as we were rejects, mere overflow from an actual try-out) Toby and I found a book of poems I wrote and illustrated in 1985. Here are two from that series.

  • I hate the taste of brochlie
  • I hate the taste of peas
  • And I hate it when I’m teased
  • People are always saying
  • How stupid they may feel
  • I’m sure I feel the same sometimes
  • And that I says for real.

Here is the illustration.

  • Me, myself and I
  • Are climbing up a tree
  • There’s lots of things we spy
  • Climbing up a tree.
  • I spy the sea
  • Hollared me
  • And a bumble bee
  • I see a fly
  • Called out I
  • And a guy
  • Hollared I
  • I spy and elf
  • Called myself
  • Sitting on a shelf
  • There’s lots of things that we may seeI,
  • myself and me

Here is the illustration.

What a dork.

3 Parts Joy, 1 Part Sadness. (A long one, but I warned ya)

Last night after a 3 hour, intensive yoga seminar, I felt nothing but hunger. And so we ventured out for a late bite to eat at Tryst. The place was packed with people drinking and hanging out, having a good time. There was one girl, in the back. I only noticed her because at first I thought she was Drunk Girl (aka our neighbor). This girl turned out to be just one, drunk girl. She was throwing back beer as if conquering a dare. I watched her drop two into the back of her throat. When the bottle was held upright once more, the index and middle finger came to her lips as if to hold back vomit or, at the very least, a gag. It was something I could literally not take my eyes off of at first. And then something occurred to me, I have been her before. There was that time I fell off the stool at Stetsons. There was the time I got in a fight at Galapagos, There was the time I tripped over an imaginary wrinkle on a rug and fell flat on my nose. There was that time I passed out on the floor, my arms wrapped around the toilet bowl waiting for someone to please come kill me as I was too drunk to do so myself. I have been the idiot, drunk and foolish, highly comical, always that safety around enabling someone to think, “It could be worse, I could be her.”

Somehow drinking became a habitual necessity within an everyday life – within my everyday life. I’m not sure why it happened. But it did. The words, “Hey, you want to meet for a drink?” have crossed my lips and ears thousands of times. Booze. It’s what’s for dinner and dessert. Booze. It just is. And it works that way well. Some even believe booze was created to keep a working man stay-put, stuck, and constantly frustrated by running so very fast while standing so very still – a perpetual motion, down and drunk, ready to work in order to consume more. After a long talk one day, three weeks ago, Toby and I decided to take a break from the booze, clean ourselves out. Well, I decided to take a break for a while. He did so just to be kind. “Solidarity,” he said. (Squared)

I was a bit worried. Within the first few days, I wondered if I’d be able to do it. It’s summer. Somehow summer seems coupled with booze. I wasn’t sure I could do it, not that I’d miss the taste of alcohol, but that I would succumb to the habit too easily. I asked Toby that we not discuss a time frame, but instead just take it day by day, and see where it takes us because If I think of anything as ‘Forever’ I’ll get scared and probably fail.

So that was it. Just like that, I gave up drinking. . . at least for now.

At the doctor’s office the other day the nurse asked, “What is your age?” I thought, that’s easy, “23”. I haven’t been 23 for many years but it’s always the first number which comes to my mind when asked about my age. 23. Always 23. “I’m 29” I answered after realizing 23 is just not so anymore.

Later that evening, on the way to the pottery studio I was feeling slightly proud of myself when something occurred to me. “Wanna hear something kinda sad?” I asked Toby. “I haven’t gone more than a week, maybe even a few days, without a drink since I was 23.”

Let’s look at 23. When I was 23, I was just graduating from college. (I had taken a year off to live in England, hence the older age). I was thin and fit. I worked for Penn State creating playbills. I worked in a video store and as a waitress. I had so much energy and what felt like so much time. I was so very excited about my life. I knew, one day, I’d spend time in New York City. I knew I’d travel other places. I knew I’d make enough money to buy toys. Hell, the details are boring, and quite honestly, I really don’t remember them all. I do remember a grand old feeling of elation, safety, and fearlessness for the unknown. Why snag oneself up on all life’s petty details when one has the entire story to comprehend? I think I’m in need of some story finally. That’s the new detail.

“Some people who gave up drinking have said it’s as if all the time spent drinking their life was on pause. They didn’t know it while drinking, but it was apparent after they became sober.” Toby said while standing in the kitchen stirring sauce, or boiling noodles, maybe steeping tea.

Since I stopped consuming alcohol entirely, I have been swept up by thoughts I haven’t been in touch with for a very long time. I have had this bit of excitement and energy I didn’t even know I was missing until now. And while I’m not an alcoholic – as stopping was entirely too easy for me – there was definitely something missing, wrong, or absent from my life, and only after stepping aside have I begun to see that. And my energy alone is enough to keep me interested.

I’m not even sure what it is I’m trying to say here or why I feel compelled to write anything at all about what I’ve been up to or not up to. And while I’m certain I’ll have a drink again someday, it’s nice to understand it’s not the necessity many people make it out to be, and that you do actually feel better when it’s removed, and that it is possible to talk to people without employing your hands and your head with a drink. And that sometimes, that bit of you you’re trying to squelch is the bit which actually matters.

And maybe tomorrow or next week sometime I will finally be 29. :]