Thursday, November 29, 2007

Back in Action

I'm back! Kudos to all of you who kept visiting, even when it seemed like I abandoned this blog forever. My cable and internet is now officially hooked up, so I'm free to commune with the world again.

I moved. I can't believe I'm actually saying this, because I'm so thrilled, but I live in my own apartment now. It has black and white tiles in the hallway and a huge picture window that I can spy on my neighbors though. It is my New York dream, and I don't say that lightly.

It is a gift to be able to come home and be myself. Right now, that means drinking a glass (okay, this is my second glass) of a decent discount Malbec I found at a great wine shop around the corner and marveling at the genius invention that is HBO On Demand.

My happiness meter is off the charts right now. I wanted all of you to know that, especially after the Void of Hopelessness that was this past beer-and-bartenders summer.

As if this apartment wasn't enough to make me sublimely happy, I am still dating N. I took him out last night, for celebratory drinks after a big work coup he scored. We drank good vodka and kissed in a dark booth in an upscale underground bar/restaurant, and I talked to him, at him, with him. The funny thing about N is that he listens. He remembers things I say weeks after I say them, and that endears him to me. I blame the Russian vodka for the sweet things that tumbled out of my mouth last night (I'm still trying to be a Rules girl, let's not forget), but I'm owning that free speech now. I worried out loud about my loose tongue to my work friend Sunny today, and she said, "But who wants to be boring?" The answer is: not me.

I have always been honest, always been up-front, always been exactly what I said I was, even here, in this blog. No pretenses, no coyness, no posturing. I owned that part of my personality with N last night. He can take it or leave it. But if he leaves it?'s going to be all right. I'm swaddled in this apartment and my self-sufficiency, and I've already noticed that men on the Upper East Side aren't afraid to look me in the eye as I pass. That's a good omen -- one that's very "me."

I'm going to do better here, with my writing. I'll bring you stories -- good ones, honest ones, that don't begin and end with alcohol. Okay, who are we kidding, there's going to be drinking, but not the sad kind. The drinking in my stories now is going to be celebratory, warranted, and appropriate. With a little impropriety as a mixer.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Give Me a Kutch

"Awwww, give me a kutch!" the Welsh woman in the red shirt said as she enveloped me in a huge hug -- one that lasted so long that it was almost uncomfortable.

A "kutch," as I learned at the Bar that Shall Not Be Named tonight, is a hug -- a cuddle, of sorts -- that comes from the heart, especially when something has been lost. When I asked her to spell it, she looked taken aback. "Well," she said, frowning. "I've never written it before."

For me, something has been lost. My grandfather died on Saturday evening, in his sleep. It wasn't a huge shock -- his health had undergone a serious deterioration since the last time I saw him, in June. I had been told that he could no longer be alone -- he had to use a walker and an oxygen tank that helped his "forgetful" spells.

I have pushed it aside for the most part, because I got the news at N's apartment, early on during a Sunday afternoon. I felt selfish, standing there in a man's T-shirt, on my cell phone, in an unfamiliar place. My grandfather was not the kind of person that I am. He was the kind of person who served on boards and distributed scholarship money and worked in the church and for his family.

Today was hard. Real-estate drama with my move (an apartment that's half-finished and coated in a fine layer of construction dust, yet they assure me I'll be able to move in by Thursday). Heart drama with N (I so wish that he would have called me today, but I have to play the Game and wait for his move, since I've asked HIM out these past two times.... I hate that.). Drama with my willing shelving of the news of my grandfather's death. And drama with the fact that I hate my roommate, who gets less and less bearable as the days until my move tick by.

So, of course, I went to the Bar that Shall Not Be Named tonight for some form of distraction. No Brazilian bartender. No Clooney-esque bar manager, who is always trying to convince me his motives are pure. It was me and this friendly, enviable, so-in-love middle-aged Welsh couple and a highly unattractive, portly, gay Irish bartender. We drank in rounds, and it's way too late now, and I had sworn that I wasn't going to drink tonight, it is. Denial coupled with too many Miller Lites that produces some form of drunken prose that I always expect to sing. This is it tonight. This is how I feel. I hope that you respect that and my state.

Labels: , ,

Monday, November 12, 2007

Point Taken

I'm a little ashamed to admit I've watched several episodes of MTV's "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila." If you're not familiar, the show's basic premise is this: Tila Tequila is a bisexual internet celebrity, and this is a dating show in which both attractive men and attractive women vie for her affection. In order to win "dates" with Tila, contestants on the show must complete tasks, including, for example, washing a dirty SUV with their asses while wearing tight, spongy bikini bottoms. In between competitions, the guys and gals drink heavily and start verbal and physical fights with each other.

It is by far the trashiest show on television right now.

All caught up? Good.

I had to give props to the producers, though, for leaving a sole butch-looking lesbian, Dani, on the show long enough to be in the final five. The rest of the women look like Victoria's Secret models.

But, on a recent episode I watched, I took all my kudos back. When Dani sweetly kissed Tila, the Indigo Girls song "Galileo" played in the background. Honestly, was it REALLY necessary to play an identifiably lesbian song while two lesbians (one of them butch) kiss? I don't think I needed that point hammered home for me. Just play something normal. Alicia Keys. Fiona Apple. Prince. Whatever.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Whenever I type that word, "changes," my mind involuntarily starts humming the opening bars to that Bruce Hornsby song "That's Just the Way It Is," which was sampled in that posthumous Tupac video/song tribute. Eh, that's not too bad of a thing. Eighties music has its place.

Without seeming exceedingly self-indulgent (um, too late...?), it never ceases to amaze me how life can turn on a dime -- how everything that seemed one way can suddenly look different.

I'm moving. I'm stripping myself of my oft-bitchy roommate and her social rules, and I'm moving to a hella expensive place of my own uptown. I'm so sad to be leaving the convenience of my Midtown neighborhood, but moving is key to my self-preservation. The less stressed I get about the apartment transaction, the more excited I get about everything else: the solitude, the space to write, the space to be totally naked in my living room whenever I want. My life is moving onward.

I think that when life starts pushing to break its self-imposed, temporary mold (my current apartment situation, for example), it forces a lot of other things out, too: The N thing is going well -- too well, I'd even venture to say, which leads to me waiting for the other shoe to drop. For him to get tired of me. For me to say something extremely stupid. For this all to go up in a puff of fairytale-cloud, sparkly smoke. But it hasn't yet, and that's something to be grateful for.

I have to divorce The Bar that Shall Not Be Named. I haven't been there in a while (see other life changes, above, which have prevented me from putting "getting soused" at the top of my to-do list), but I went tonight, because I felt I owed it to my present self and my future self to remind all of my selves of what went on there -- the regressing and the desperation and all of that fun stuff that no one likes to talk about. I had a few beers and waited for the locals to show up, but they didn't. The Bar that Shall Not Be Named has a new laminated, professionally printed menu, though, and near the top of the specialty cocktails list was the Brazilian bartender's caiphrinha. I laughed out loud when I saw that. It reminded me of what he made for me the first night I met him and fell for him despite my best (sober) intentions. I thought about telling the bar manager, "Um, if you WANT people to get hammered off of one beverage that's essentially rum and crushed ice, go ahead!" The Brazilian bartender never made good drinks. But he did have a way about him.

What was great about seeing that menu was that it was all full-circle: I'm leaving. The Brazilian bartender is staying. I'm pushing on with my New York life. Everyone else there is stagnant, for now, until they receive their gusts of wind from the cosmos. I'm already more positive. I'm already writing more. I'm already hoping for things I didn't believe existed six months ago. It is progress. Progress is something everyone can at least appreciate from afar, even if it isn't happening to them.

Labels: , ,