Thursday, March 24, 2011

three scenes from a strange week

1) I was awoken on Tuesday morning by Amanda, my roommate, who was in hysterics because she could not find "Mr. Cat," her sister's cat which she had agreed to cat-sit for ten days while her sister vacations in California. My immediate reaction was one of amusement (something about our disheveled attire, Amanda's tearful cries of "Mr. Caaaaaat," and my having told a slew of bad sitcom-y jokes about hating the cat the previous night). Eventually our superintendent showed up and found the cat hiding behind the washing machine next to a serving of rat poison (!) that had been placed there a number of months ago. (So yes, it is safe to assume the cat was contemplating suicide.) A few hours later, I took a picture of the cat staring at a pineapple (what, you don't all use pineapples as doorstops in your apartments?). I put it on Facebook and it got nine "likes," three of which came from people I haven't seen or heard from in at least five years.

2) I arrived at a party I had been invited to for a new Cosmo iPad app Wednesday night where Pauly D of "Jersey Shore" fame was DJing. After entering the club (with the requisite austere/vague name -- "District 36"), I surveyed the crowded scene. Buff caterers were carrying around trays of mini-cupcakes. Vanna-Whites-in-training, adorned with gobs of makeup, circulated the room showcasing "display iPads." Meanwhile, the crowd of young professionals danced half-heartedly, blithely mouthing the words of Rihanna's "S&M" ("chains and whips excite me") while alternately shouting into the ears of their friends and checking their iPhones. "This is what being an extra in an establishing shot on 'Entourage' must feel like," I thought.

3) I asked Amanda where I should get lunch today, my last day in this apartment before I move out tomorrow. "Um, why don't you just go to the deli downstairs for a sandwich?" Now, in the 22 months I have lived in this apartment, I have probably hit up "the deli downstairs" at least once a week for water, snacks, soda, etc., but, for some reason, not even once did I consider that they probably made sandwiches. I felt totally shellshocked by Amanda's suggestion, like when someone teaches you a new application for a favorite condiment that you had never considered or tells you you've been pronouncing a person's name wrong for three years. "Yeah, go down and get a BLT or something," she said. And so I did. While I was paying for my sandwich, Amanda walked in. "This is my roommate," she said to the woman at the cashier. "Aahhhh," the cashier said, "He just asked me for a bag - he's causing me a lot of problems." Amanda and her laughed at this like old college friends. The cashier handed me my bag and I said "thanks" three times before walking out.

Friday, March 18, 2011

types I just can't understand

1. The couple who enters a movie about 15 minutes after it started. They seem to be holding like five different coats and they're making no effort to whisper as they look around for a place to sit.

2. Your friend's friend's roommate who, when you ask him at the bar if he knows so-and-so who works at his company, responds: "Oh, yeah! Tim's good people."

3. A public figure who, while giving a speech or talking on a panel, notices someone in the audience has gotten up and left the room (probably just to go to the bathroom or something!) and decides to make note of it. "Uh oh. Am I boring everyone?" he "jokes," receiving a few unenthusiastic laughs.

4. The friend (who you see maybe once a month at best) who texts you on a Friday at 7pm: "Hey, know this is totally random but I'm like a block away from your apartment right now!! You around??? Wanna hang out??"

5. The person who uploads a Facebook album of pictures from middle school, titled "Look what I found!!!!!" or "MEMORIES :) :) :)"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

comforting/distressing

A great feeling: when a friend is chatting about someone (it's better if it's someone you both know as opposed to someone famous) and she notes something annoying/unappealing (aesthetic or otherwise) about the person that is something you sometimes worry people perceive about you. "Oh nice," you think to yourself, "There's no way she would go on for five minutes about Becky's gross acne if my acne was really all that noticeable. She would never be that callous!" I'm sure there's some psych principle about how really people are just looking for affirmation anywhere they can find it, but it still feels reassuring in the moment in a really base way.

The opposite, sort of: when you realize that a friend has blatantly ignored a piece of "counsel" you gave him, the first response is always to see that as a personal reflection on yourself. You notice while scrolling through his iPod that he didn't actually save that album you e-mailed him a few months ago (which he had written back he was "really into") and you get all quiet for a few seconds and contemplate whether you should make a "joke" about it or not.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

at the table

A moment I love:

When your whole family is home for the holidays or Thanksgiving or something and you're sitting at the dinner table (dinner ended like twenty minutes ago but no one's cleared their plates yet) and an argument has broken out. Everyone's getting riled up and more entrenched in their particular point of view and the debate is escalating. And then, at a certain point, a family member (while making some "serious" assertion) incorporates a ridiculous/oddly-chosen phrase (e.g. "popcorn dust," "Rihanna hair") and everyone, including the speaker, has to really struggle to not smile as the argument continues.

For some reason, I'm often reminded of this sort of tableau when it's raining at night.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

weekend, 2/25-2/27

Friday evening. It dawns on me at dinner that the difference between Your Best Friends and All Your Other Friends is that with best friends you don't have to widen your eyes and say "oh reaaally?" when they tell you something you can tell they think is particularly surprising/interesting.

Friday evening, later: I spot this "Mila Kunis is Bored" flier in the East Village, taped on Amanda Seyfried's head in a Red Riding Hood poster. Decide this is the best thing that has happened to me since I moved to New York.

Friday night, 1:05am. I get in a cab in the West Village.
Cab driver, after about a minute of driving: "You going home?"
Me: "... yeah."
Cab driver: "So early?"
Me: "Um, yeah.... I guess so."
(Two minutes pass)
Cab driver: "I can drop you off at Greenhouse if you want.... it's a club."
Me: "Ha. Ha. Thanks, but I think I'm OK."

Saturday afternoon. Finish Justin Bieber profile in Rolling Stone. The word "swag" is used probably 78 times in the piece (mostly in Bieber-attributed quotes), which makes me worried we're going to see a proliferation of TV/movie dad characters "comically" using the word "swag" to seem "with it" over the next few years.

Saturday early evening. Decide I'm at my least sincere when sending "yeah, you should totally stop by if you can make it!!" texts on Saturday nights.

Sunday afternoon. A man in his mid-50s, probably, wearing khakis and a windbreaker, asks for a bagel "scooped." He waits a few seconds and then adds, in a husky growl, "and cream cheese on the side, please." The whole interaction makes me wonder if he's been Freaky Friday-ed with some tween girl who is at the same time ordering a black coffee somewhere across town.

Sunday night. Here are a selection of the brief e-mails my mom sent me during the Oscars from her Blackberry:
(10:35pm) "They are terrible hosts."
(10:37pm) "Nothing has been young about this show other than the hosts."
(10:38pm) "Billy Crystal on for 10 seconds made you realize what a host couldd be."
(10:50pm) "If. Iam ready to turn it offthings are really bad"
(11:35pm) "Unbelievable to me that they put the Kings speech thru all the best films"
(11:40pm) "Worst ever"