Thursday, August 31, 2006

Simple Math

I’ve lost the ability to add…

I had baked Cheetos for lunch today, yes I realize this is not healthy or really very good, but I got up late (see previous post) and didn’t pack a lunch. So, I was happily munching away, fingers turning a lovely shade of orange, when I noticed the back of the package.

I’d purchased a small bag, noting that it was two servings worth since you can’t possibly find single servings anymore. I glanced at the calorie count, 130 per serving, OK, fine, great, so that’s 260 calories for lunch, right? I mean, last I checked 130 + 130 was 260…am I wrong? Apparently so, because upon closer examination of the right-hand column, the people at Cheetos had helpfully added an extra column for the ‘entire bag.’ It was actually listed like that. And under that helpful title, is the number 280. So, although there are 2 servings per bag, and 130 calories per serving, there are, in actuality, 280 calories in the bag.

It’s not so much that I mind the extra 20 calories, I’m going for a four mile run later, it’s just that I hate the feeling that I’ve got such a tenuous grip on basic math.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I love to sleep, it’s really one of my favorite activities, er, pastimes. Unfortunately, the world and I do not see eye-to-eye on the thorough enjoyment one may have in hitting the snooze button just…one….more….time. Nope, the world expects me to “be on time” as if that is important, please. Truly, the inventor of the clock was a sadist.

Reluctantly, I’ve altered my dearly held beliefs to accommodate ‘the world’ and I arrive on time to work each day, most times early. Don’t get too excited, I don’t have to be here too early in the morning, but it is morning none-the-less, and I’m here half typing this, half working, one hand on the Sumatra, no sugar, no cream, just as much caffeine as legally possible.

So, to the point, while I’ve accustomed to this ‘view’ on the world, as obscene as it is, I still hold tight to a few small beliefs in my religion of sleep; 5 in the morning is not time to get up, it never will be, it never should be. Unless you milk cows, maybe, and I stress maybe, because I’d be pretty ticked off to have someone violate me like that before dawn.

So can you guess what time I’ve been waking up in the morning twice a week? Just take a wild guess…I’ll wait, really…go ahead, GUESS!!! Ahem, yes, that is correct, 5 am.

And I am not happy about it.

Tuesday is collection day for recyclables. For some reason, the truck full of men who have pursued this career, park outside my window and proceed to throw about cans for oh, maybe a half hour. I have no idea why. We have hardly any offerings. My roommate and I subsist on Raman, the lovely couple living on the second floor have spent most of the summer on vacation, and our dear landlady seems to not produce any sort of trash, maybe she eats out, I don’t know, I just know there were precisely three large plastic bottles, two broken down boxes, and one empty six-pack of Heineken bottles for pick up. I know. I counted. So exactly what in hell were they doing out there for so long Tuesday morning?

I’ve developed a theory after a half hour of racket yesterday morning. This, followed by an encore half hour experimentation on the ability to back the truck up, one inch at a time. During this experimentation, the warning beep the vehicle spits out with alarming volume kept a steady beat to my swearing, stomping, and slamming of windows.

My theory? The neighbors are secretly plotting against me. Sometime in the night, after I’ve flopped down onto my ever comfortable floor mat, they gather outside my window and fill our recycle bins with all the recyclables within a square mile of my window.

Why do they do this? One might ask, I’m not entirely, sure. Do they hate me? Maybe, but really, I’m too cute to hate…at least for too long, right Tidy?

Do the collectors hate me? More likely they’re in just as much of an early morning stupor as I am and are just easily confused.

Does the city hate me? Naw, they hate the collectors, hence making the poor guys work at such an ungodly hour.

Am I about to go on a sleep-deprived killing spree? Hmmm, likely. Garbage collection is tomorrow.

And oh, before you say get to bed earlier, you just try and sleep with those bratty kids making all sorts of racket outside your window until near 1 in the morning. They don’t respond well to threats, either, tried that.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Coney Island

A peninsula really, Coney Island is reminiscent of the traditional boardwalk, warmed by long, sunny days, saturated with salt and sand, air thick with cotton candy and greasy hotdogs. Although I visited on an overcast day, I could almost hear the generations of vacationing families, children squealing with the waves, parents chasing the errant child past cawing vendors and rumbling roller coasters, young people basking on the beach, sweat and sun and bored lifeguards. I passed the day on the windswept beach, book in hand, then, full of sand and eyes watering, I toured the grounds taking a ride on the Ferris Wheel and two, yes two rides on the Cyclone roller coaster. One of the oldest roller coasters in the states, rickety, and wooden, I loved every gut wrenching moment as the cars sped round corners and leapt down the tracks, a tenuous grip on the old rails.

I ended the afternoon with a draft on the boardwalk, chatting to the bartender about the older days. He pointed out the many pictures on the wall some dating back into the 1920’s, wistful in his reminiscing.

“They’re going to tear it down.” He told me, sadly shaking his head. “In two years none of this,” a weathered hand gestured at the bar and surrounding shops, “will be here. All of it will be beachside condos and resorts.”

Alarmed I asked if the whole of the boardwalk and carnival would be removed as well. The bartender pursed his lips in thought, “No, I think they’ll keep the rides, and the boardwalk…well, I hope so.” A sigh, “Would you sign our petition to keep the bar and shops?” Eagerly I agreed.
As the train pulled out taking me back to Brooklyn, I wondered if I would ever see Coney Island in all its glory again, or if I ever really had. Perhaps the glory days were long past, and now was a time for resorts and wealthy condos. No more vacationing families and carnies, no more rickety rides, and greasy hotdogs and sagging swimsuits and sunburned teenagers. All replaced by bronzed bodies, manicured nails, pool-side pina-coladas, honeymooners and yachts. Sadly, I glanced down at the postcards I’d collected, hoping there would be a place for cotton candy and sandcastles in the new Coney Island.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Subways and Rainbows

Today I have decided to begin this tale with a story of a people who have started to really, really irritate me...I call them 'door standers.' These are people who must, at all times, stand right in front of the subway doors. Oh, please, don't mind those trying to get on the train, no, no claim your piece of territory, on this otherwise empty train, right smack dab in front of the door. I mean, really, please, put your fat ass in my way, disregard the little old ladies, the mothers with small children, in fact, disregard anyone who may actually want to enter the train before the doors close in their face.

Can you tell I'm not fond of these people? They never move! They hover at the doors, lean against them (although there are clear signs and reasons not to do this), and block them to any other potential commuters.

"Forget getting off at this stop, buddy, two 'door standers' have made their presence known. Didn't you see them take out that old man with their giant bags when he tried to enter? You'll just have to wait until one of them gets off, so relax, really, it could be awhile. They're quite territorial, been known to take off an arm or leg. No really, I saw one chomp on a small child's hand when she wandered too close. Good thing the mother was near-by, the kid only lost two fingers (shake of the head) could've been a lot worse!"

So, if you are one of these people, watch out, I'm going 'a huntin' for some mean 'door standers.' I shall mount their heads above my non-existant fireplace to be admired by all those who have fought, and survived, an encounter.

On another note completely, a friend of mine has just suffered a break up. I feel like the most worthless friend, simply because I don't know what to do. It's not like I haven't been there, and recently. The last two years for me have been the hardest yet. Broken hearts and lonely thoughts, crying so hard I thought I might throw up.

This summer has been a wonderful insight into the person I used to be, and know I still am. I can smile easily, get lost in a book, enough to cry with the charactors, laugh with them, follow their adventures in my mind when I'm out running. I can get out of bed in the morning and look forward to the day. I can curl up on the couch at night and not even consider needing the ragged distraction of smokey voices, beer soaked floorboards, sticky countertops, and a haze of just one more drink. I'm happy with my thoughts now, I can breathe. I even have potential with a truely great man who has the ability to make me smile just with a thought.

I don't know where I'll go from here or where I'll end up, but I've a few wonderful ideas.

I just want that for my friend. I want to tell her everything will be OK, that tomorrow will be better, and the next, and the next, and for it to be the truth. I want to give her a hug, and take away that hurt I see in her eyes. I just don't think a hug is enough, but I know I can't promise tomorrow will be better, and I know I can't take away the hurt.

And it scares me a little.

It reminds me of how I felt for a time. It reminds me how not all the hugs in the world chased away that gloom. I had to chase it away myself, I had to find that small shaft of sunlight and run it down, and you know what? I found a rainbow at the end of that race. Really, I did. I actually ran as far up a mountain as I could and when I looked back, I saw a rainbow out there. Now I'm following the metaphor of that real life rainbow, just to see where it leads.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Rhode Island, one more state to tick off my list. Of the fifty states, I’ve missed only Hawaii, Alaska, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota (surprising as it’s a neighbor to my home state), Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New Jersey. Not toooooo bad…

So after work I hoofed it to the #4 to take to Grand Central, then hopped the train to New Haven, Conn. H & J picked me up at the station and we headed to their place in cheery ‘ol Rhode Island. They have a great house in a lakeside community. Some of the houses barely classify as a cabin by the lake, other, newly built homes stand out in stark contrast. We chatted into the night until J began to doze off, then, oh, then I got to slip between the sheets of a real, live bed in the lovely large guest room. Ahhhh, I’ve been sleeping on a small mat on the floor in barely a closet for almost two months now, and I hadn’t realized how much I missed a bed!!

We drove to the beach the next day, wow, what a day! Strolling along the cliff walk, stumbling down to investigate small tide pools and poke at snails, dangling feet in cool, salty waves, peeking through bushes and giant gates at the great homes…perfect. We finished off our little hike with a blue slushy from a 7eleven, and sat on a bench content to slurp and admire the cars we could never afford.

Along the wharf we pointed out sailboats and compared one yacht to another, discussing which was better, and where we would go if we owned such a boat.

Which got me to thinking, when you take money for granted do you lose that utter excitement at a rumpled dollar bill in a pocket of washed jeans, or a coat you haven’t worn since last winter. Maybe not.

When you take anything for granted, the novelty can rub off, I suppose. I try not to let that happen. I still cry when I hug my parents after a trip. I still take my shoes and socks off to stick my feet in the water. I still catch snowflakes on my tongue. I still do certain things that I shouldn’t because by 27, I should know better, such as jump into achingly cold lake-water at the beginning of summer. Such as bite into hot pizza even though I know the scalding lava, otherwise known as sauce, will sear off my taste buds. Such as sleep ten minutes late tasting the last bit of dreamtime, just to rush through a shower, and run to catch the train. Such as eating ice cream, even though I know I’ll have to fight off the excess chubbiness. Such as drink that extra cup of strong coffee in the morning, even though I know I’ll throw up if I do.

Then there are the things I do to remind myself not to take them for granted. Looking up at the night sky, smell the rain, fold up in a clean towel, eat taffy, sunbathe, buy a new shirt, hug my cat, run, wish on a star.
Think about it, when did you last wish on a star? Sometimes we forget.

Friday, August 18, 2006


"Deputies seek information on theft: Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's deputies are looking for information regarding the person who stole a 14-foot by 16-foot Bud Lite sign from the main entrance at the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds on July 31.According to officials, the Bud Lite logo is painted on sheet metal and the sign is valued at $1,055.If you have any information about this theft, contact Crimestoppers at 443-2000.-" by Carolynn Bright, IR staff writer.

My home town crime report...I ask you how did they do it? Unnoticed? That's a biggg sign, all I keep imagining is a car full of teenagers joyriding through Helena, a giant Bud sign sticking out of the trunk and the cops thinking "huh" briefly before moving on to more important matters such as the overwhelming deer imigration problem.

And off subject, what's up with this?



Yeah, I know, I keep messing with the colors on this blog..well, I had to change it very quickly at the begining of the summer since my boss (lovingly refered to as bitch-face) from my old job found the site. Oooooopppppss!! Well, I learned my lesson, no using real names, and only talk about ex-bosses, not the current ones.

Anyhoo, been messing with the template now and then, probably more to dazzle you with color and distract you from the reading;-) So, one day I'll get it..if you have any fun suggestions (along with directions) I'm open. In the meantime, I'm heading up to Rhode Island to visit some friends I haven't seen in three years!! I've very excited!

Unfortunately, I left my camera at home, not that I can share pictures with you guys since my USB cable is still missing, sigh. I'll take some with my phone, then, with some fanagaling, I'll try and get them onto the computer. At least you can be assured, I'll write about the adventures in the little state!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Place You Call Home

As some of you may or may not know, I've been trying to get back into shape by running. Despite my left knee, who is determined to go on strike and is currently in the process of unionizing with my other joints, I've made some progress. There is a lovely park, three long, avenue blocks up from my apartment where I've been passing some time arguing with my left knee (stubborn ass). Yesterday, I distracted myself by observing the park and mentally taking notes for this post. Not to say that yesterday was much different than any other day in the park, but I've been meaning to write a post so I paid a little more attention than before.

A small road circles the inside of the park with lanes marked for runners, bikers, walkers, and the occasional car. I usually try to run alongside it on the dirt path, but the path doesn't run all the way around, and besides, I trip on the tree roots with alarming regularity. The problem with running directly on the road, aside from the knee pain, is the people. Now I like people, they're interesting, and the park is a perfect haven for people watching. From families to kids who want to race you, to the average runner, the marathoner, the cyclists, the BBQ goers, walkers, soccer players, the musicians, the stoners and the cops, the park is seething with activity to watch. Within less than a mile, you'll pass seven baseball fields, two soccer fields, a band shell, several BBQs going at full tilt, a birthday party or two, two jungle gyms, a little forest where some bag-piper seems to have gotten lost, and a lake. That's less than a third of the park. True, it's a big place, but with the constant traffic, it seems smaller. I'm constantly dodging small children, strollers, runners, soccer balls, and bicycles (not to mention the tree roots).

I haven't even mentioned the horses yet. For about half the park, there are horse-back riders, although I have yet to have found the stables. I have yet to find an apt rider, either. While not everyone can use horses as a means of transport without looking like a frightened rag doll, most people I know can manage just fine. Of course my mother is an exception to that rule, but then I atribute that to the fact she was born in New York. I mean, there are probably a lot of rural areas with fine horse-back riders, but in the city? Oh, no, I nearly got trampled yesterday. I'm sorry, but seriously, if you are from the city, please refrain from putting your fellow park-goers at risk and stick to the transportation you were born to (see previous post).

Now as I've mentioned above, I love people, they're fun, interesting, and in the park I come across every language, culture, music, and ethnicity that this planet has to offer. This can be fun as well as educational. The problem I have, however, is that I've found I truely dislike humanity. Humanity is full of BBQ pits that run on lighter fluid alone (apparently charcoal is hard to get around these parts), humanity is overflowing garbage cans, poluted lakes with the alluring aroma of rot, seeping port-o-poties, savage cyclist gangs (you know those people who get together to train for some race wearing the same outfits with the same really expensive bikes, who attack cars, children, and runners alike in their quest to finish first). Humanity requires a cop at every corner, and a sound-track of emergency sirens. Humanity tramples all the grass, kicks up a constant cloud of dust, and listens to your phone conversations (even though you're outdoors, talking at a normal tone, and wandering in circles to stay some distance away). Humanity smells like overactive sweat glands, busted sewers, car exhaust, chain smoking, and rotting eggplant. Humanity sounds like an emergency down every street, garbage trucks that run all day, screaming children, screeching trains, bagpipes clashing with African drums clashing with marching bands clashing with stereos clashing with stage performances.

This is the city.

I miss the smell of mountains, and the roar of the trees. That is my home.

What do you call home?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Well, I didn’t go out last night to drink away my woes, actually I stayed in and watched Gilmore Girls and bitched about being tired. Good thing, too, because I needed time to sit on the couch and think before a good, long sleep. What did I think about, you may wonder, well, I’m going to tell you…I thought about the subway.

Yes, the dirty, loud, crowded subway. Now, I’m all for public transport, and the first few times on the train were kind of a new adventure as we tunneled to the center of the earth, (very Jules Verne-like). Not sure where we would end up, or if the stop was even the correct one. But then, then, I began to look around a little and realized I was on a train that could be a hundred years old, OK, not that old, but old and rusty none-the-less. On a semi-old, rusty, train, without a visible driver, hurtling through small, dark tunnels, on tracks that, well, let’s face it, exactly how often are rails checked in the dank recesses of the earth?

The trains do not seem all that stable to me, they rock dangerously back and forth, screech through sharp turns, and go way too fast under the river…wait, under the river? I’d almost forgotten that fun part, where the old, rusty, driver-less, train, on old, un-inspected tracks, careening on the edge of disaster, actually plunges deep enough to ford a river. Didn’t they make a movie on something like that? Where people get stuck in some deep, underground tunnel and the body of water above seeps through to drown them? I think it had Sylvester Stallon in it…anyway, my point is it’s unsafe, and kind of scary. I’m all up for adventure and all, just not deep, deep underground with no lights, strange homeless underground people, and impending, watery doom. I mean, some people like that kind of thing, or rather, movie and TV characters do. Well, maybe they don’t like like it, but they have all kinds of fun adventures discovering strange creatures and saving worlds like in the TV StarGate where they tunnel down to stop some kind of explosion. Still, I’m not on that side of the screen, so all and all, not fun.

That might be enough to dissuade me from riding the trains, but wait, there’s more! As some of you may or may not know, I’m from the wide-open spaces in the west. I don’t like small spaces into which large volumes of humanity are smashed together. It doesn’t smell good, feel good, or improve one’s mood after a long day at work. And, oh the horror, of realizing, too late, you got home and popped a chip in your mouth before washing your hands after a ride on the train, ick!!

Then there’s Chambers Street. This strange street, or should I say, vortex, appears before my work stop. Somehow, it’s always there when you least expect it, looming, ready to eat precious minutes you need to get to work. Always unexpected, and dangerously tempting to the tired passenger who might step outside the train, too late they realize they’ve left the relative safety of the rusty, rickety transport, and entered a foreign domain.

That’s what happens when I think, that whole tirade happens…just wait till I write about what I dream, know that is one scary, crazy place!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The longest day

Ok, well that picture is from a couple weeks ago, Roommate and I went on a carriage ride through Central park, courtesy of one of Roommate's cool friends. We did the whole touristy thing that day, Museum of Modern Art, Columbia U courtyard, cute little restaurant, largest gothic style cathedral in NY... I couldn't resist putting up this picture though, fun times for all:-)

Anyway, the title of the post is actually for yesterday. I don't know why, but it was the longest Monday. I must've had four cups of coffee to keep awake before a noon meeting, then the afternoon, oh, the afternoon lasted, well, a hell of a lot longer than just one afternoon! Even last night, I fall asleep, only to wake up every two hours thinking it's still night? it's still MONDAY night? oh, it was horrible. The only thing worse is that I'm sitting at my desk trying to convince myself every 5 min that it's Tues, not Wed!

There isn't really a point to this post, other than it's passing the time..well there's that and I got my annulment. Yup, I'm 27, divorced, single, and annulled. Great. I'm breaking my rule and stopping at the bar on the way home. I'll bring Roommate, she'll make me go home at some point before midnight...hopefully;-P

Friday, August 04, 2006

Publishing Mirrors

Slowly, but surely, I'm integrating myself into the culture of New York and my work-place. This could be due to my willingness to consume large degrees of alcohol in public, that or I'm just that damn cute;-) Everyone loves a ladybug! Summer outing on Wednesday for work included a pool, some food, a keg, and did I mention the pool? Ah, it's hot here, very hot, and I haven't seen a pool in awhile, but here I find myself sunning by the pool, sucking down Amstel light and chatting with new work/drinking buddies. Now, after a lovely, buzzed, afternoon, Roommate and I could've gone home, but did we? Oh, of course not, we opted to see off a friend of roommate who is soon to be moving to England to be with her sweetie. Friend brought us a couple things to put in our apartment, a full length mirror, and a potted plant.

Grand Central, the hub of travelers, both local and non, and the meeting place of friends, roommates, mirrors and potted plants. Thus equipped, we started out on the town in search of food and, of course, more drink. Not one to be shy, I settled on the mirror as a traveling partner, which is quite an interesting experience. Now Roommate got her fair share of stares over the potted plant, Friend her due to the fact she was surrounded by a slightly drunk, furnished apartment, and me, well, I believe I received the most interesting of the stares. Not that people were necessarily staring at me, rather they were staring at themselves, in my mirror. It's really interesting to realize how fond people are of themselves. By casually placing the mirror in alternate positions on the train, I observed how many people would move, adjust, and preen without really noticing there was a ladybug holding the mirror. Ah, the fun.

We landed in a small French deli, shuffled through grease and a bottle of wine, and trudged to a bar who chose to advertise via chalk on sidewalk. Being the champs we are, we indulged in shots of the day, more beer, and proceeded to make random friends as one will do with a full-length mirror in hand. That and we were not entirely quiet. In fact our loud conversation was peppered with blogger comments, publishing notes, and science jargon. We drew attention.

Finally, the night had to end, work the next day demanded we go home at some point. More fun on the train, a couple slices of pizza, and home at last. No more drinking on weekdays! However, as it is now Friday, and I received some drinkable news, tonight proves to be yet another New York night, albeit without a mirror.