Thursday, July 30, 2009

awkwarddd plan-making situations

1) When you decide to walk out on that plank and make plans to get lunch or a drink with someone you don't really know that well in some sort of concrete manner (Facebook message, e-mail, maybe even VERBALLY?!?!) and the date is set and you're kind of looking forward to it and like generating topics you can talk about in your head (wait, who would do that?) AND THEN, somehow, before the date in question, you find yourself at some meeting or party or bar and there she is, jus' chilling. You kind of do a head nod and maybe exchange a few words and then there's a pause and then one of you says "So, uh, we still on for drinks next Friday?" and then you (me) cringe even though it's not really that awkward but somehow the unexpected run-in pre-plans has completely thrown you off and made you doubt why you even sent the e-mail to make plans in the first place.

2) When you have plans with someone you haven't seen in a while for a catch up dinner or coffee and then you get an e-mail from him the night before that says something to the effect of "So excited for dinner tomorrow night, but was wondering if you would mind if we actually met up with four of my friends from high school who are having dinner nearby." Maybe you're, I dunno, Justin Timberlake and meeting new people is like NBD WHATEVS but if you're me (i.e. not Justin Timberlake) this is not something that sounds appealing. I mean how you guyz gonna catch up when there are four randos right there? The forced conversation, the questions no one actually wants to know the answers to, the awkward bill-splitting at the end: not gonna be fun. BUT you've already committed to the date so making up an excuse at this point is basc just making it blatantly obvious you want none of this "high school friends" intrusion going on. So you wait a few hours and then send an e-mail saying that you forgot you, uh, had to help your roommate with something and let's resched? (You never resched.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

on their way out

My mom e-mailed my brother and me yesterday with a list of the board games in my youngest brother's room (which for some reason is where all of our board games are kept, shoved haphazardly into a wall-mounted bookshelf). She was in a "cleaning mood" and wanted to know which games we wanted saved.

The list was long, and many of the titles unfamiliar (Yali? Triopoly?!? Say When?), but I couldn't help but feel a sense of real loss as I scanned the titles. Of course, most of these games we played just once, if at all, after convincing Dad to please Dad please let us just have this one. And of course, the chances any of them will ever be played again are quite small. There are pieces missing; the boxes are crushed and misshapen; instruction manuals stained with coffee and soda.

The games catalogued in an e-mail, on their way out, humiliated... it's an end. It's not an ambiguous feeling, like the way that Arcade Fire song or two nearby strangers talking makes you feel. No, it's more finite. When Clue and Pictionary are marked for death, drawing in the margins just seems implausible.

"Just tell me the ones you want to keep for sure," was the last line of her e-mail. You can only delay for so long.

Monday, July 20, 2009

just a typical wknd

Friday, approx. 5:15 p.m.

I was walking about ten blocks to my apartment in humid 80-degree weather holding a bundle of button-down shirts in a giant plastic bag. My arms were stuck to the plastic, multi-colored monstrosity I was clutching due to the overwhelming sweatiness of my forearms (you're welcome for that visual). Sweat was literally just cascading down my face and onto the plastic (you're welcome x2). I somehow manage to get my keys out of my bag, open the front door and enter my building, only to see a little girl (maybe 5?) is getting on the elevator with her dad. They're totes easy-breezy Land's End catalog. I kind of fall into the elevator, the girl darting next to her dad. She looks at me as if I am Hagrid. Her eyes slowly move to her dad: "Mom always says she hates this elevator."

Saturday, approx. 1:48 p.m.

I realize that I have somehow become a "fan" of Megan Fox on Facebook. Had I been drunk? Sleep-facebooking? Had my (not so) subconscious obsession with Ms. Fox momentarily taken over my entire being? Mortified and confused, I gchat my brother ("that's so embar!"), change my Facebook password and remove my "fanship."

Sunday, approx. 9:50 p.m.

After a delicious late dinner in the West Village (Robert Pattinson's got nuthin' on me), I am jazzed by the small book that the waiter drops off at our table with the check, meant as a public guestbook for comments and messages. Sadly our book is basically empty, save for a small drawing and a short note. I write a haiku: "Little Owl is good / sliders, pork, chicken, cocktails / it ends with a hoot."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

by a margin of 5

Everyone has that one person who updates his/her Facebook status way too much and with statuses that are wayyyy too personal. (...uh, right??)

Anywayz, this first status here was posted two weeks ago. Ya know, no big. Just got engaged while snorkeling. Her status before this one was "peanut butter is sooooo good."

Then this one popped up a few days ago. I was struck most by -- apart from the alacrity with which she conducts her romantic business and her generally blasé attitude towards significant life events -- the fact that apparently when it comes to "likability," quirky engagement story > sealing the deal.

Friday, July 10, 2009

it's a wonderful salad

Every time I go to the Whole Foods near my new apartment, I am irked by this "Wonderful Pasta Salad." I have never seen this particular pasta salad at any other Whole Foods, nor can I remember ever seeing the word "wonderful" used to describe anything that spends its days positioned between orange tofu and potato salad.

There is nothing about this mess that looks "wonderful," let alone even "remotely appetizing." In fact, my best guess would be that some Whole Foods manager got sick of discarding a full tray of the untouched gluck every night, and decided to have some wild organic fun and see if adding a wildly overpromising adjective made a difference.

Of course, I've been wrong before! Maybe there is some mind-blowing wonderment going on here that I am just totally missing. Maybe the salad magically replenishes itself? Maybe it actually tastes like a mix of avocado and hummus (a.k.a. heaven)? Or maybe the fact that when you squint at it, it looks like giant Swedish Fish swimming in a vat of silly string is enough to fill the anxious/irritable Whole Foods masses with boundless, unexpected wonder.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

things i am sick of (television edition!)

1) Character A: "Well, there's only one person stopping you from getting that job/promotion/girl/donut..."
Character B (squints and furrows his eyebrows): "Who?"
Character A (wise/knowing look): "..... You."

2) When a character is told a piece of information that is blatantly fabricated (i.e. her boyfriend is cheating on her with her cousin) and it comes from a totally unreliable source (i.e. her social arch-nemesis) but she STILL believes it blindly and wholly and acts as if it is true... instead of just, you know, double-checking with someone (her cousin? her boyfriend? anyone!).

3) TV shows about a down-on-his/her luck middle class parent who has a really messed up and morally questionable habit/addiction/profession but WHOM WE TOTALLY LOVE ANYWAY!

4) Whenever a character uses a search engine and it's some weirdo Google rip-off with an insanely large font and 1998 aesthetic. (This applies to e-mail and texting, too - why is it so hard for TV shows to get technology right?!)

5) Subplots involving clones, characters getting conned out of money, or daddy issues.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

<3 thy neighbor

I had only heard things about my new neighbor.

These are the things I knew about her:
1) She has dogs. Lots of them. Maybe five? They bark.
2) She recently e-mailed my roommate asking if she could borrow her CDs ("....if you even have music that isn't just on your computer!") so that she could "fill up" her iPod.
3) In return for said CDs (which my roommate inexplicably did offer), we received a bag of really soft home-baked chocolate chip cookies.

I had kind of been envisioning a not-as-toned Kelly Ripa with bad roots.


Last night, at around 9:30pm, I barreled from the elevator to the door of my apartment, stomping and growling as I do, Whole Foods bag close to body.

The series of events that followed happened as a blur. I need to break out another list, you guys.

1) I looked up to see that Kelly Ripa/My Neighbor was emerging from her apartment, clad in cute black bike shorts and a neon pink tee (she did kind of look like The Ripa!), gabbing on her cell, with three dogs (!!) following behind her.
2) Startled by her emergence, I stopped short, only to notice that there was a small Duane Reade bag hanging on the doorknob of my apartment. My first thought was that the homeless chick who is always hanging near my doorstep had left me a poisoned pie.
3) I made eye contact with Kelly, who then unexpectedly reached for the bag from my doorknob. "Oh, that makes sense," I thought. "She must have just been leaving her cosmetic items hanging from my doorknob for a quick sec!"
4) She fumbled as she tried to take the bag off the doorknob (mind you, this whole time she is like SCREAMING into her phone about some party invitation she didn't get yet). Panicking awkwardly (as if I would panic any other way), I took the bag off for her and tried to hand it to her (assuming it was hers), but -- instead of taking it -- she motioned that it was FOR ME.
5) Befuddled, aroused and sleepy, I walked into my apartment and reached into the bag.

This is what the note said:

"Hi neighbor, I had to bake for someone and I kind of overcooked this batch of cookies. Please throw them away if they are too dark! xo..."

I took out one of the cookies. It looked like an 8th grade science project or the remains of a small squirrel (take your pick!).

I wasn't sure whether to be thankful or disgusted, if she had actually been trying to take the cookies away out in the hallway (maybe after we made eye contact, she felt totally awk about having left us twenty pieces of coal to dispose of?), or if she had been wanting to hand them to me herself and give me a welcoming kiss on the cheek. It was too much for me to make sense of and my DVR was getting antsy, so I just gave up and ate one.


This morning I slipped a CD under her door. The note: "I burned this just for you."