Totally Normal and Not At All Crazy

It’s totally normal and not at all crazy to refuse to pay your gas bill to teach those idiots at National Grid a lesson.

If their website was even the slightest bit navigable, you would gladly log in every month and pay it.  Despite your efforts to tell every representative/technician/person who will listen,  they insisted on creating a veritable black hole of a site, where passwords and usernames and security questions get sucked into a vortex and never heard from again.  They will eventually shut off your gas and you’ll have to take cold showers and pretend it’s the reason you haven’t been able to cook anything.  They’ll also show up at 8:30 on Saturday morning and make you break into your neighbors apartment to access the meter in the basement.  It may not seem worth the inconvenience and potential jail time, but it is.

It’s totally normal and not at all crazy to break up with a guy on Friday, then call him on Sunday to tell him how much you love him.

So what if you freaked out a little on Friday because he had to be somewhere early on Saturday.  One a.m. is not late.  You have every right to pitch a minor hissy fit right before you say goodnight.  And it’s totally cool to call him two days later and leave a voicemail telling him it’s super important and you need to talk.  You didn’t know he was at a restaurant having dinner with his friends and that he would walk out of it onto the street to call you back.  He won’t get mad, he’ll just call you crazy, which you’re not, and then do some manly thinking.

It’s totally normal and not at all crazy to shop online from the store that’s a block away from your office.

Nevermind that you chose to wait 5-7 days for your new clothes to arrive even though you could have walked into the store and gone home with them that same day.  It’s a jungle in there and you don’t need to feel like you’re competing against other predators for the last pair of over-the-knee socks.  It’s also not crazy that you went online just to buy a blazer, but when you saw that if you spent over a certain amount you would qualify for free shipping, you broke the seal and started clicking away and all of a sudden there was way more than that blazer in your cart.

It’s totally normal and not at all crazy to want to kill your best friend after she sends you a picture of what she did all day, lying on the couch in her underwear, after you spent yours working for the man.  An equally normal response: sending her a picture of your foot.


Collision on 12th Street: Who’s fault?

Today I walked out of my office on my lunch break at an incredibly fortuitous moment: just in time to watch the throw down of the year.  On the corner of 12th and 4th, an extremely little old lady with a walker collided with a handicapped woman in a wheelchair.  Before you accuse me of being an insensitive, immature individual (which I very well may be for other reasons) neither of them were injured as they were both moving at the speed of molasses.

I myself, as I’m sure you have at some point in your life, have been in that exact predicament.  Perhaps I was texting while walking down the street and didn’t notice the old man with a cane who I narrowly avoided kicking out from under him, or maybe I was in a hurry and didn’t see the injured youth’s wheelchair when my shin met the pedal of it, and one time, a woman in a power wheelchair literally ran into me from behind and almost took me out.  Whether or not I was at fault, I always apologized because I was the one feeling the guilt of being capable of walking without assistance on my own two legs.

Take the guilt out to level the playing field and you’ve got these two little biddies yelling at each other on the sidewalk.

Neither one of them made any attempt to move away from the accident.  They steadfastly remained in their spots at the moment of impact.  It was like when you see you two destroyed cars tangled together in a jumbled, unrecognizable mess of metal, only without the fire, smoke and presence of the police and emergency medical technicians.  Okay, I take it back.  It was nowhere near a real catastrophe.

The drama was still there however, as neither one of them felt that she should be the one to apologize or move away.  It was a battle of their misfortunes.  The old lady kept saying, “I’m an old lady with a walker!  You apologize right now!”  And the woman in the wheelchair would respond with, “I can’t walk!  I’m in a wheelchair!  You move away!”  They created quite the spectacle, but as riveting as their argument was I had to move along.  Still can’t decide though, who should have moved first?

Chivalry: Dead as a Doornail

My coworker recently returned from Atlanta with stories upon stories of Southern gentlemen.  Apparently, they love to do things for women.  Holding open doors, pulling out their chairs, complimenting them.

“If you move to the South,” she told me,  “I guarantee you’ll be engaged within a year.”

Even if I wanted to be engaged within a year, it wouldn’t be worth all the frizzy hair I would have to endure in the humid South.  But, I wouldn’t mind being around all that Southern hospitality and charm, especially after Friday night, when a sniveling little brat of a man stopped the cab I was in to offer the driver 50 bucks to kick me out INTO THE POURING RAIN and take him instead.

Thankfully, my cab driver was a man of honor and turned him down, but if he hadn’t I would have done serious damage to both of them with my swinging purse.

I love New York, but something tells me that would never happen in Atlanta.

Private Pool

The art of staying cool on a hot day in Bushwick, BK.


Photo credit goes to my neighbor, Shayne Spencer.

My Ghetto-Ass Nail Salon

Usually when one thinks of what a salon experience should be, a few words come to mind: tranquil, gentle, pampering.  The salon that I give my business to, Golden Nail Salon in Bushwick, is anything but that.  It is G-H-E-T-T-O.  Ghetto.

Where else can one pay 20 bucks for a manicure AND pedicure?  I implore you to try to find a place in Manhattan for that cheap.  Plus, the salon is on my block.  I can roll out of bed on a Saturday, put on my flip-flops, (just flip-flops, no pants or anything) get my nails done, and be home in 45 minutes.

However, if you’re looking for the ultimate experience in luxury and relaxation, this place is not for you.

For one thing, the nail artists are a little rough around the edges.  The first time I walked in, the owner shouted at me from across the room to ask what I was there for, and then later scolded me for refusing an eyebrow wax.  Not exactly the soothing, friendly voice I’m used to hearing from one who is in the business of beauty.

The decor is a tad hardcore.  On the wall are various pictures of perfectly manicured nails clutching automatic weapons and handguns.  Hanging from an easily accessible hook is a bat, engraved with the words, “Hey motherfucker.  This big bat is just for you.”  I sense it serves a purpose greater than purely aesthetic.  If any motherfuckers come into the salon, I bet they get beat with it.

There are a couple of handwritten signs strategically placed as well.  One is there to remind patrons that they are responsible for their children, which I am fully in support of because no one likes bratty little kids who scream and run around in hysterics.  I’m thinking about hanging a similar sign in my apartment.  The other sign advertises, for 10 bucks, an iPhone jailbreak and installation of several games.

The traveling bootleg DVD salesman is a frequent visitor to the salon as well. Every time I’m in there, he makes a much appreciated appearance to offer customers and staff incredibly low prices on movies that have not yet gone to DVD.  Someone always buys at least one.

It’s important to keep in mind that there is no air conditioning, so if you plan on stopping by, do so on a day when the temperature is mild, or wait for the fall.

Despite the salon’s obvious shortcomings, they always do an amazing job so I go every two weeks.

20 bucks people!

Kiwi Speech

I have a new friend named Kate.  She just moved here from New Zealand about three weeks ago, and is quickly becoming one of my new favorite people.   We enjoy many of the same things, mostly after-work boozing and shopping, a dangerous combination akin to mixing bleach and ammonia.  It’ll do to your wallet what the latter does to your lungs.

But my absolute favorite thing about our newfound friendship is the fact that although we speak the same language, we really don’t.

Often, while we’re chatting it up, one of us will say something that the other finds either a) hilarious b) nonsensical or c) all of the above.  For example, last Friday Kate and I were at a bar discussing how we pee quite frequently when we’re drunk, and I said something like, “Well now that I’ve already broken the seal…blabbity blah blah,” and Kate reacted by throwing her head back and laughing.  Apparently that’s not a phrase that gets used a lot in New Zealand.

Later that night we went to Crif Dogs, a spot in Brooklyn where one can get a hot dog wrapped in bacon, and Kate tried to nonchalantly ask me what a tater tot is.  The answer is a) hilarious.

Today we were IMing each other at work, and after a series of typos Kate excused her mistakes by declaring that she wasn’t exactly a “switched-on gardener.”  That one is definitely b) nonsensical.

Yesterday she explained that in New Zealand they call ketchup “tomato sauce,” marinara sauce is “seafood pasta,” alfredo is “creamy pasta,” and oatmeal is “porridge!”  Imagine that!  I haven’t heard the word porridge since the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears so I really wanted to make fun of it, but then it reminded me of my childhood and I wanted to climb into its metaphoric lap and stay awhile.  I was very conflicted.

She is also going to introduce me to Dub Pies, a place in Brooklyn that sells handmade, authentic New Zealand meat pies.  Meat pies, for christ’s sake!

Goodbye, World!

Apparently, the world is supposed to end on Saturday.  That doesn’t really work for me as all day I will be drinking beer and eating bratwursts on a pier at a German culture festival.  Nor am I prepared to relinquish the Mayan apocalypse on my 30th birthday.  I enjoy the idea that the day I go down, I take the entire world with me.

On my way home yesterday, I was approached by three different people in the Union Square train station who were handing out doomsday brochures while orating about our imminent destruction.   Once on the L train, I found myself staring at a poster warning me that the end was near, and when I got home and logged into Facebook, my news feed was full of sarcastic status updates like “Dear Universe, I know you’re going to end soon, but could you wait until after my date/party/Jersey Shore season finale.”

The universe does not check Facebook, people.

A quick Google search later and I learned that “Project Caravan,” a tour of Jesus freaks traveling the country in RVs to warn people about judgement day, is in full effect in New York this week.  They have taken over billboards, posters and heavy traffic areas.  Lucky us.  Their battle cry? “Have you heard the awesome news? The end of the world is almost here!”  I don’t know about you guys, but the world ending is not on my list of things that are awesome.  In fact, it’s kind of a bummer.

On my way home today, I passed an overzealous fanatic who was begging all of us sinners in the train station to repent.  Standing behind her was her teenage daughter, who looked like she had been dragged on the “family vacation” against her will and forced to participate in  Jesus-sanctioned activities.  She was lamely holding up a flyer and wearing an expression I interpreted as, “My mom is crazy.  Ignore her.”  I think we all felt that way at one point, but in her case, it’s really true.