30 October 2005

my favorite homeless man

in new york city, we all have our favorite bagel place, our favorite pizzeria, our favorite street, our favorite spot in the park, our favorite secret, our favorite busker, and our favorite homeless person. mine is an alcoholic who resides in greenpoint, wears a black leather jacket, sports a goatee, and a huge smile. at one point he was staying in a local squat/with friends, but not sure where he is living now.

he always said hi to me, and i said hi back. once he said, "hello, young lady" to which i promptly responded, "hell, old man." he laughed hysterically and i knew i had made a friend. we had that exchange several other times, and it always resulted in laughter from him.

one day, several winters ago, i was walking home from the laundromat with a very full granny cart full of clean laundry. it was one of those snowstorms before christmas, when stores were panicking because no one was shopping because, god forbid, we might get cold or wet! i took advantage of the lull to do my laundry; i was one of the only lunatics in there. so, i'm walking home, and this house has a messed up sidewalk, which i can't see because there is snow all over the sidewalk. my cart hits it, flips over, and i fall, skinning both of my knees (which were quite bloody and painful for over a week). i also skinned my hands. in the cold snow, i tried to pull myself up, but as my hands were hurting, it was hard. the old woman whose house it was simply stared at me, saying nothing. (i should've threatened to sue her, eh?) before i could submit to tears, my favorite homeless man gave me his hand to help me up, and then righted my cart. i swallowed my tears and thanked him profusely. ever since then, i have a spot for him in my heart.

we chat. usually not much, but, "how was your day?" "this weather is awful, stay dry." "have a beautiful day; you look lovely." today, coming home from a 5 mile race (it was obvious i had raced, as i had my running number still pinned to my pants, and a medal around my neck), he paused me to ask me about my race, about my running, and about the marathon. he is truly a charming man.

he doesn't panhandle, and he sits on the stoop, drinking with his friends. but he is one of the nicest new yorkers. whenever i see his big friendly smile, i know i'm in my neighborhood, and glad to have such colorful, friendly, and wonderful street people.

29 October 2005

photos of austria--the hills alive with the sound of music

the gang in salzburg, drunk at an irish pub.

yes, these hills are alive with the sound of music.

life as i now know it

today i ran into sarah at the farmers' market and whenever you play catch up with people, it kind of forces you to evaluate what the hell you've been doing. struggling with a large butternut squash, i answered questions about my job, and i have thought more and more about what i'm doing. i'm not thrilled, but instead of this freedom i felt this summer, "oh, i'm bored here, i'm going to just leave," "i feel like buying this," randomly approaching strangers for chats and leaving if they suck--well, i just feel settled. it can be a scary feeling.

i like some things about NOT traveling..a lot of things, actually. i like eating local and organic produce, cooking in my home, knowing what i'm eating, sleeping in my bed, being with my cat, writing when i want, reading....

but i'm not in brazil. they're destroying rain forests i haven't seen yet. i want to try surfing in australia, being a vegetarian in africa, warding off advances and being safe in latin america, there's so many places to go! i feel suffocated with my work situation and my money situation and i am getting a little panicky at times.

my toaster oven broke today and it makes me sad. if only i were on the road, it would not even matter. but i'm at home, and adjusting to being here, well, it's a lot harder than you would think.

25 October 2005

what do i want?

i don't know. i got the part-time job at g, an academic library (quite small). i'm not thrilled with the part-time hours and i really think i need benefits. after accepting it, i cried on the phone to my father. i also have a part-time temporary job at b.--an interview tomorrow that i believe i have an excellent chance of getting--but i really want something that i can start accruing my vacation days so i can go away next somewhere. i dont know what i want. the job at g. will provide time to write, but i think, maybe, i just want a real job.

24 October 2005

a federico garcia lorca quote

i tried to visit the federico garcia lorca archives in madrid, but i succeeded in getting lost in 40 degree (celcuis) heat while sweating and using my spanish to get bad directions. but here's a quote from one of my favorite poets:

porque te quiero, te quiero, amor mio
because i love you, i love you, my love

23 October 2005

"i don't do any drugs, i am just trying to get myself on my feet and find a job, if you could please find the kindness in your heart to help..."

sounds like yet another person on the train, such as i heard today, and i want to get up and shout, "me too! i'm unemployed, won't be able to pay all my bills this month." but instead i shut up and swallowed.

my money situation is troubling. i spent a lot of the money since i've returned that i was frugal with on my trip. i have to be careful. money, jobs, it's stressful.

17 October 2005

i need a job

i spoke about how i don't want to work and how i like being unemployed. scratch that. i went to the bank today and it was a depressing experience. i'm really freaked out about money now so i've been shooting out my resume to library placement firms. im scared bc i have a ridiculously low sum of money in my bank account and when i talked to t, he had the same. i joked, "even if you found a job in nyc, you couldn't afford to move bk." it's totally crazy.

i have to apply for a few more jobs before i head to my 15-hour a week parttime librarian interview.

16 October 2005

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

--Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

i'm good at not working, bad at looking for a job

so i did have an interview last week for a job as a librarian for an environmental nonprofit, and i have two interviews (mon & tues) for academic libraries, but really, i'm not very good at this job searching. for instance, today i woke around 9, did some housekeeping, went for a run, showered, ate, worked on an article for bootsnall, played with my cat, ate lunch, went to the central library of the brooklyn public library (which took nearly an hour each way to get there b/c of track work on the trains, UGH!, it should've taken no more than 25 or 30 min.), came home, did some reading in The Rough Guide to New York (i really need to go to the statue of liberty one of these days, and this book is reminding me of what a rad place i live in), then read some different travel books, and then realized, it's getting cold, it's 630, i should eat dinner soon. and i decided on black bean sauce with soba noodles, tempeh, and assorted veggies. and then i'm like, "i really should be looking for a job." which i haven't done all day. and i'm good at being unemployed: i can play with my cat, read, bake, redecorate, do errands...and i still haven't even done much writing (other than the stuff for bootsnall, and i'll post links at a later date so you can read them if you wish), or submitting because i'm doing so much "other" stuff. but this is it: i'm going to send my resume and cover letter to two jobs right now (before i prepare dinner, that way, i know i'll do it quick and now!), and later i'll look for more jobs. and don't remind me of all the bills i have to go through (a big shopping bag full!) and various messes around my apartment, and oh yeah, my friend is coming over tomorrow night so i want everything to be nice for her...i really need to get a job soon because i'm getting WAY too good at this unemployed stuff.

15 October 2005


my legs are aching from not having run in a while and my kitty is running all around, playing with a sparkley cat toy and i'm missing my love and i'm happy it's not raining and i am dreaming of fields of flowers and not wanting to look for a job, as i am, though the one at g. i really want and life is all about surprises so i need to swallow, hold my chin up, and keep on getting out there. i do want to get rid of more stuff as i want to have less and less possessions--it's against the backpacker's mantra.

clubs in new york

last night t and i went out to crobar. it was awful: all long island and jersey people, with massive fake boobs and tiny tops and collagen lips, and the dj in the main room ("where is dj rap?" we kept asking repeatedly) sucked, sucked, i have never heard such foul music as such a big club. maybe i'm spoiled with european clubs but....i had a better time eating toast and soup with t when i got home.

they say the rain finally stopped (after a week of nonstop rains, making new yorkers feel like a monsoon hit us) but in my heart, it feels cloudy. t just left and it's amazing how a wonderful person can make you so happy, and when they leave, emotionally you think, "this is all there is without them?" being in love is a confusing and wonderful thing; it would be better if t and i lived closer, which will hopefully happen soon.

and then there was one

t just left, and it's weird how empty my apt feels without him. the bed feels too big. i tried to sleep more (which should be easy as i only slept for 5 hours) but i can't. i want his arms to be wrapped around me, me pressed against him. the hardest thing about being in love is being apart. you wonder, why bother? when i'm with them, everything is just amazing.

13 October 2005

it's expensive to be healthy

so you need to exercise (maybe you belong to a gym) and then take supplements just in case you aren't getting all the vitamins you need (i regularly take b12, a multivitamin, calcium, vitamin e, folic acid, vitamin c), and then eat organic foods because you don't want to pollute the earth and ingest pesitcides, and then you're using everything all-natural and eco-friendly detergent, and of course none of your shampoos/toiletries have been tested on animals, and it gets you thinking like every little purchase is a huge chore...but it's important, and it's expensive, but it's good for you.

11 October 2005


i have a job interview today for a job i really want. i won't say anything more except i'm nervous and you should wish me luck. i shaved my legs and i'm going to be wearing stockings--i wanted to go bare-legged but it's just too cold! i hate this cold, rainy weather, and i'm already suffering from S.A.D.

09 October 2005


so i'm in the whole job hunt and it totally sucks, and i have high hopes for this one job i'll interview at on tuesday. and i'm talking about how if things get bad i'll start temping and the part-time jobs on craig's list like flyering, or doing some studies at the universities, or working at a gallery opening serving drinks, or something like that. and my mom says, "why don't you sell your fiction?" as if it were so easy. i thought of that ages ago, but still, i'm waiting for them to accept me. one day....

p.s. if you are interested in some fantastic fiction, agents, let me know!

08 October 2005


it's raining brutally outside; the kind of rain that even though you have a raincoat and umbrella, you still end up soaked. as i am now. everything is soaked. i am so wet. it's raining so hard right now that rain is coming through my window--ugh ugh UGH. normally a bit of rain doesn't bother me but it's been raining since last night....and it's so PMS weather, all you want to do is chill out with a bowl of soup and tea and read or watch movies with your cat and be lazy like your cat. i hate this shitty rainy day and i just want a little sunshine right now. since i can't change the weather, i'll create the sunshine within myself and spread it outwards!

06 October 2005

with my freedom, i refuse to do things i don't want to

today i had a list of errands to do: return the broken screens i bought at home depot (they were messed up when i bought them, and i didn't use them, natch), use a gift card and a coupon on bath and body works, mail stuff from the post office. the one thing on my list i didn't want to do was go to my old job and say hi. i couldn't bear it--i walked down there, and some stupid corporate yuppie smiled at me as his cab cut off all the pedestrians...snottily, because he knew i was pissed by my facial expression. and i realized, i definetly did NOT want to be there. i walked on, and passed my job's building, a sour feeling in my stomach: i quit for a reason, and it wasn't just to travel; i hated that place, that corporation with its ill bureacracy hurting me and others. and so i walked. i walked onto the 5 train, and didn't relax until i was in union square, and was like, "it's okay cherie, you're free. you don't work there and you don't have to go back. you quit. when you quit you learned freedom, and freedom means you don't have to go back." and so i never will.

04 October 2005

cher & the city

so i admit it, i probably watched too much sex and the city today (thanks for the netflix trial lissy), but seriously, it's got me thinking: what is it that i want? (a run gets me thinking, anything causes me to think...) all summer people kept saying, so is it like sex and the city? and i laughed, yeah right. me with my old stinky shoes and my unemployment right n0w and no jobs i want that pay me anything...and i'm living in an apartment that looks out onto an ugly brick building and what do i want? what do i want? i don't know. i know when i'm unsatisfied, but sometimes, i'm not sure what to do next. like, how do i remedy it? how do i deal with the fact that my cat is my constant, that my relationship is stretched, and that my to-do list is enormous---what about when i start work? (luckily, i'll be done with sitc by then) now i'm going to flip through my macy's one day sale catalogs, dream about a bigger apartment, a good job...but live in the now. read, and write, and aim for the stars. because that's what life is like. and to get to the stars, you need to take the stairs...and that means hard work. and i'm here for the long haul, baby.

konkrete jungle and then some: last night

i haven't been to konkrete jungle, the world's (or maybe just the country's) longest running drum n bass party, in forever, so i decided to go to see my old pal odi. i used to have the hugest crush on him, and we "dated" briefly, but that was AGES ago. before i went in, i was in the middle of a phone call with tonks, and odi saw me, and his eyes went, wow, i know you.

anyway, the music was pretty good, but it was fairly empty. there were lots of people, but it wasn't crowded, not for konkrete jungle. this annoying guy in a suit kept trying to dance with EVERY girl and he was driving me nuts. he didn't get the hint when i turned my back on him, held up my hand in his face, ran away; finally, i screamed, "i don't wanna dance with you" and he left me alone to annoy other women. poor them.

i'm tired, and got to thinking a lot. like i saw this guy who looked like ryan from amsterdam. then i started thinking of ryan, and mccall, and tanner, and joe, and everyone else i met. i started thinking of chris from ibiza, and rocky from prague, and emma from stockholm, and all these people...and a lot of them, i'll probably never see again. and i got really sad. so here i am sitting on the speaker at konkrete jungle while taking a break, getting sad that i'm not traveling. and thinking about that position in south africa. and knowing i need to travel more. and maybe i should go to montreal for a weekend. and maybe i should never stop traveling.

i danced till 3am, and then walked to the L. my new thing is, if i'm in the east village, i can walk to the L (usually plenty of people on th streets), then take it one stop to bedford, and take a cab (about 5 or 6 bucks) to my house. so i'm walking down st mark's place, because that is the most populated, and i see this tv that is showing...a porn. yuck. and then i see this guy is standing in front of his windows, and you can't see his crotch, but you know he's busy down there. and i ran up st mark's place, thinking, why are strange men always possessed to show their penises to me...stockholm, the night after the le tigre show. ugh.

i came in and luna harassed me for food; i didn't give in. i curled up in bed, falling asleep fast, and drum n bass ringing in my head. i woke up to the phone ringing; i have a job interview in two weeks.

02 October 2005

what's been going on

everyone seems to think i have this easy, fabulous life, and while i love being fabulous, things aren't super easy. like this summer: i got a solid night of sleep maybe three times all summer. i was constantly waking due to noisy roommates, hearing strange noises from other rooms, waking up early for early departures, sleeping on trains (or attempting to sleep on trains). thank goddess for melatonin. i would walk so much some days that my legs would literally ache.

now i'm home. i just finished putting all my stuff away, but have some papers (writings) that i still need to go through. i've been going over some stories, reading this excellent book, baghdad burning (check out the blog where it all happened, riverbend). i've also been looking for a job. the best one so far is this one as a travel writer in cape town..but i would have to break up with t to take that (i'm fed up with a three hour gap, a massive plane ride--20 hours, 18 hours, i'm guessing, would destroy us...or the very ambivalent way t is, he might be like, sure, now i don't have to marry her...) and i don't necessarily want to do that, plus, as much as i want to travel, i kinda wanna be in nyc for a while (as much as the winters here suck...the job in cape town doesn't start till jan so i'd be in time for summer there!). i applied to jobs as a travel writer for bridal magazines, academic librarians, special librarians....while sweating in my hot apartment.

i ran a race this morning--only 1.7 miles. to run the new york city marathon, you have to be accepted. you can get accepted by:
  1. if you are international, you have to join a tour operator or something, and you automatically get in.
  2. enter the lottery. if you are rejected three years a row by the lottery, you automatically get in the next year.
  3. become a member of the new york road runners, and run 9 races in the preceding year.
so i'm doing my 9 races so i qualify for the 2006 marathon. this year i didn't even bother because with me being away all summer, it would just be bonkers with me...like, "oh yes, there's the vatican as i'm doing a 20 mile training run past it..."

i've been spending lots of time with luna. i really missed my little baby. awwww.

i went to the brooklyn public library and got out heaps of books. i read war and peace and caramelo and madame bovary and the beach this summer--now i'm reading several books a week. i spent my subway rides engrossed. living alone means i can stay up until four am reading, or read during my meals, or sprawl out at any point reading, uninterrupted...until my cell phone rings (and if i answer rudely, or don't at all, it just means what i'm reading is so brilliant!).

there's a "rave" next weekend....there will probably be 14 year olds and me and ed and trish...j and t want to go, though t probably can't go. i don't know if i will go. i am unemployed and spending money like that might be stupid. plus, i went clubbing in europe...and that would seem inferior...so....

i've also been cooking heaps. i LOVE cooking. soups are a favorite, although the weather needs to cool down a tad to enjoy them. i LOVE coming in from a cold winter's day with soup supplies, and preparing a soup that will warm my apartment with its heat and its amazing scent, and then my belly...i love soup with some nice crusty french bread and a salad. i made my gram's famous lentil soup the other day, and am hoping to make a tomato orzo soup. i also made carrot apple loaf (adapted from a bread, with some of my creative additions) and white beans with sage...plus everyday things too. i wish i could freeze beans but they always get scary. lentils are okay...and if a soup has beans, it's cool, but without, eeek. i want to try to make broth one day soon. v, do you have a good recipe for me?

so it's a huge rant, babble, but that's what i'm doing. love to you all throughout the world!