Thursday, May 22, 2008

another day in paradise

I seriously need to get the hell out of Dodge. I'm waiting for Jamie to get home with the rental car so we can hit the road and I took Arlo out for a spin around the block. As we were walking down the street and he's meandering along, sniffing for sidewalk snacks, a livery car driver chucks a cup of coffee out of his car window. I shout "Nice! Thanks a lot!" and pick up the cup and chuck it back at his car. In my fantasy it sails back in his open driver's side window, dousing him in old coffee. In reality, it hit the closed back door window and bounced off. But it did alert him to my action enough for him to shout "Stupid fucking cunt!".

Whatever. In a few short hours I'll be listening to the sweet, sweet sounds of John, Exene, Billy and DJ.

Monday, May 19, 2008

i need a vacation from the vacation i'm planning

We've both been really busy lately and I haven't really had much time to buy things/do things/sleep. I had to go after work today to Target to pick up sunblock, toothpaste, etc and as much as I didn't want to, I knew I needed to look for a bathing suit. I've had the same suit for about 6 or 7 years and I like it, but it doesn't fit very well anymore (define fit? it's not supposed to look like a two piece, but it does). This is my own fault, as I've gained quite a bit of weight in recent years. *sigh* I'm working on it, but goddammit I love food. Anyway.

I've been feeling kind of blue lately, kind of like things just aren't really going my way. And I'm not entirely sure that this vacation will do the trick, although I'm willing to give it a try. To add to the blue, I knew I was going to have to take my fat butt somewhere to get a swimsuit and I've been dreading it like a freaking Cathy cartoon come to life. Not willing to spend a lot of money on something that I will not be wearing for more than a season (I swear), Target and Old Navy were my best options. Target ended up having some good choices, but as usual, they were horribly picked over. I ended up finding 2 separates that don't really go together, but I guess I like them both alright. Whatever. I'm just glad that's over with. Ack indeed.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

yet another only in new york thing

Our apartment is exactly one block away in both directions from two 4th Avenue funeral homes. It took me a while when I first moved to NYC to get used to having to walk through funerals/wakes while I was coming home from work, the store or walking the dog. I always just try to walk quickly, keep my head down and not let the dog dawdle. Tonight Jamie and I were walking with the dog to the grocery and had to walk past one of the funeral homes (which incidentally has a placard out front with the name of the funeral director, which is Doris V. Amen). Apparently we got there just as what I can only assume were friends of the deceased were trying to haul a loaded casket onto a gurney out on the sidewalk. Four years I've lived here and I've never actually seen the comings and goings of the bodies--the funeral homes are exceptionally discrete. This however was not the doing of the funeral home; these folks were in casual wake-style clothes and seemed to be cracking up. At one point we heard one of them say "I don't think it's (the casket) going to fall off, but it's definitely not stable."

I apparently froze in my tracks, at which point Jamie prodded me on. Our comments to each other:

Jamie: I can't believe your first instinct was to turn around and run away.
Me: It's bad luck just seeing that kind of thing.

Anyone remember what movie that's from?

the elevator rat

Yesterday I finally saw something hilarious and noteworthy at work. And let me say, it's about damn time. That part of town positively stinks of humorlessness.

Here's the set up: My new store has an elevator. The elevator is to shuttle customers with strollers to the second floor cafe and take employees to the basement receiving area and break room. It's only 2 floors plus a basement. Yesterday, during yet another nasty day long rainstorm, my co-worker Terri, a very likable and straightforward woman, took the elevator from the basement to the first floor. When the elevator door opened and she went to step off onto the first floor an enormous New York City street rat got on the elevator as she was getting off. The elevator door closed behind her, with the rat still inside, and headed up to the second floor cafe. At this point Terri bolted up the escalator to beat the thankfully slow elevator. The last thing anyone wanted was to have the elevator doors open into the cafe and have a giant rat stroll out.

She managed to beat the elevator and immediately pressed the down button to send the elevator to the basement receiving area. I was in the basement with a maintenance guy and one other person when the speaker phone starts screaming "The elevator's coming down with a gigantic rat on it! DO NOT let the elevator come back upstairs!" Um, sure. With little time to plan an attack, Tony the maintenance guy grabbed the only things he could find- a handheld shopping basket and a metal shelf. He turned the basket onto its side in hopes of trapping the rat (because of course it's going to run into the basket, not around it) and I suppose the shelf was for shooing or bashing. The three of us waited outside of the elevator for the doors to open and when they did we saw what was indeed a gigantic, rain soaked and frankly confused looking rat standing there. Tony panicked and whacked the rat with the shelf, at which point it bounced and fell right down into the gap, down the elevator shaft.

Anyone who knows me knows I have loved rats before and will probably welcome them into my home again someday. This however was exceptionally funny. It was like something out of a freaking movie! It actually reminded me of when pigeons accidentally make their way onto a subway car, momentarily bonding the people in that car as they scurry away from the pigeon to avoid being shat upon. And speaking of being shat upon, the elevator rat managed to leave a parting gift of a couple of proportionately gigantic turds in the corner of the elevator.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

oh dear

I did not need to know what a good, trashy time Gossip Girl is.

Friday, May 09, 2008

how will I ever sleep between now and then??!!

It isn't very often that I want to go to a concert these days. It seems like even when I'm seeing someone I really like, I'm not enjoying myself the way I used to. I loved all Guided by Voices shows, right up to the very end, but with that exception, there always seems to be something a bit disappointing. Neko Case has an incredible voice live, but her shows seem to be lacking in a certain energy and it makes them feel a little sloggy. The last time I saw the Shins I really enjoyed it, but I suspect that was also because of the healthy amount of heckling that Chris Larry was throwing toward the stage. It could also be that my musical tastes have morphed into something a little less indie, but these acts continue to play indie venues. It's pretty boring to stand there at a Laura Cantrell show when the first 2 rows of fans have decided to sit on the floor of the Bowery Ballroom.

However, I recently learned that my favorite band from high school, X, and my favorite band of late, the Detroit Cobras are playing together at the end of the month. It took me a solid 10 minutes to wrap my brain around that nugget of info and pull myself together enough to figure out how the hell I'm going to go to that show, since it happens to take place when I'm supposed to be in the Outer Banks. I mean, really, I probably want to go to a concert once a year, I mean really, really want to go. And what's the thing that I do even less frequently than go to concerts? Go on vacation. So our first scheduled vacation that does not involve family obligations or ill relatives or friends' weddings in three years and it's when X is playing (with the original line-up----Billy Zoom!!!)!?!?! WTF?

My brain was working overtime on the train last night as I was trying to come up with a solution. Why must the Outer Banks be so damn inaccessible? Why am I 35 and just now getting the chance to see the original line-up of the world's greatest band? I happened to have a couple of Detroit Cobras albums on my ipod and I kept getting caught up in Hey Sailor and Midnight Blues and my mind just got to the point where it was not thinking clearly at all ie, I can rent a car and drive myself to the Outer Banks after the show (totally disregarding the fact that I hate to drive and am terrible with directions and am pretty sure I don't have a money tree growing in my living room). But somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that Jamie would come up with some solution. He's a problem solver, that one. Unlike me, the problem creator.

When I got home and presented this new wrench in our vacation plans, I could see his wheels turning. You see, he understands how rare it is for me desperately want to go to a show. Or even to kind of want to go to a show. A little while after I had begun to lose hope, he points out that the NY show is sold out, but that they are playing on that Thursday in Philly, which is not sold out. What's wrong with Philadelphians? Who cares!!!! We're going to the Philly show!!!! We're heading down that direction anyway on Friday to go to NC, so we'll just leave a day early and spend one night in Philly. Hurray! I'm so excited. I hope we get to have dinner at Monk's--their Monk's Flemish Sour Ale is divine!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

from the debris pile

When my coworker and I were the only ones left at our old store, just overseeing the demo crew, we found a little notebook in one of the piles of crap. In a stroke of luck, it was the notebook of the psuedo-priest that I've written of previously and it's from 1997. It's basically a daily log of the goings-on in the store and with the staff that he was then supervising. Some excerpts:

July 1, 1997
Summary of Evening
With only myself, Leigh and Jeff the night was a disaster. As per info, double and triple shifts of art customer service, as every zone was short of staff. Resort was constant and most difficult to keep up with. While attempting to maintain calm, everyone was indeed highly stressed. Leigh, myself and Jeff were constantly attempting to keep up and shelve resort in as much as was humanly possible.
p.s. Hourly checks were done but for the most part was fruitless under these extreme conditions.
[Um, keep in mind, this was a BOOKSTORE]

July 6, 1997
It appears that Candace is making a good attempt to curtail her talking and playfulness. She also explained that due to medication withdrawal she has been experiencing periods of nervous energy.

July 8, 1997
Perhaps I should give a staff seminar dealing with stress reduction, handling personality problems, good interpersonal relations and work ethics. Yes-good idea!

Wow. Nice find.