Friday, November 13, 2009

Does One Have to be Crazy to Be Creative?

So I was doing some research for fun on good ol' JD Salinger. I am cliche and he is a very favorite of mine. I can't tell you what Franny and Zooey does for me and reading Teddy gives me an indescribable feeling like no other piece of literature can. That being said after doing some reading on Mr. Salinger I have realized that he was kind of bat shit crazy.

To those of you that know even the slightest bit about him this is of no surprise as he is a known recluse who hasn't been seen in many many years. However the extent of his reclusiveness and case of the Madonnas (as he switches religions as she switches personas) was unknown to me up until now. He forced his second wife to stay in their home and really cut her off from her family. His daughter wrote a memoir about him that wasn't too pleasant and I believe he even sued to have it stopped being published. At any rate why is it that the most creative minds are the CRAZIEST?

I am a little crazy and I'm okay with admitting it. I am OCD and fairly ADD (apparently they only diagnose ADHD anymore, but I don't think I'm all that hyperactive so I will stick with old school, because no one really reads this anyway). I have anxiety, however, I function well in society and am pretty good at hiding my crazies or making them endearing enough for people to love! (I like to tell myself anyway). So that being said I like to think I'm also mildly creative, but that might be up for debate. Some of the most creative people I know are the most unstable. I'm not sure why these things are so closely related. As so many of us long for the ability to write lyrics like Elliott Smith or write verse like Poe or write amazingly beautiful stream of consciousness like Salinger would you take it if it came with such crazy consequences?

I'm not sure that I would as I have enough crazy on my own and as much as I revere those particular men they probably do not revere themselves. I'm okay with being completely mediocre if it comes with some sanity and ability to cope with day to day life. Perhaps some of you would disagree, but I wish great talent could come without all of the baggage. Misery certainly does breed creativity though.

Finding yourself in a city such as New York can be challenging. As I arrived here on the boat through Ellis Island...okay that didn't happen, but I feel the story would have more depth if it had. Whatever, fine, truth. I came here on a 747 from Kansas, yes Kansas. I'm not from the country, far from it. I'm from a land of the homogeneous home with matching humans to coordinate. Is was a great bubble to grow up in and I met some wonderful people, experienced some shit, and made it through with a great family and friend base with which to plan my escape route.

When I moved to New York I was pretty damn excited. I had what I thought was an awesome job. I was fulfilling a dream my best friend from middle school and some high school and I had devised and as she died I had to do this on my own. I was supported, yet I knew that most people thought it was dumb to move to an expensive city with no real permanent job. Of course these same people were not incorrect, however, that is not how I flow and as the people around me know...I do what I want (said in a Cartman voice for good measure). I did it though, I came here, made something of a career and then decided to switch careers. Blah blah everyone knows all of this. The point is with all of this trepidatious (this isn't a word, but I like it) decision making I have come out all right...pretty poor, but great actually.

I'm not sure when the rest of the population "found" themselves, but oh how I hate saying it that way. I don't think there is some magic age for these things to happen. I can say with confidence that it's an ongoing process, but being happy with yourself is a constant challenge. There are always things I am working on, but you know, I am really happy with my life and myself. I'm sure this will change and things will be tossed my way that could shatter this reality for me. I can only say that I wish this for everyone that I love. I write this because I feel like I write about the city a lot and I wanted to say that this city really helped me find me, because nothing can make you question your own sanity like the smell of human fecal matter and a cab coming centimeters from taking out your knee caps.

New York City can be a conniving bitch, but she comes around and once you find the magic of this great city she can really become your BFF. With such great history and so many secrets to tell I think I know what an Empire State of Mind is (and yes, I quoted a Jay-Z song and no, I'm not ashamed of it).

PS I must apologize for my unusually optimistic posting. I'll go back to hobo stories shortly.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Narcissus and Jules, The Gods of Vanity

So once again it has been a while, but I'm trying to be better about writing down my ideas so I can remember them and tell you all about my funnies!

So I have been told more than once that sometimes I can be a bit narcissistic (I can safely say all of those times have been from my sister), however, I think everyone occasionally catches their own reflection in the mirror and stares for a bit. Typically this behavior is not really seen by anyone or if it is people know what you're doing and just roll their eyes (or admire you as well). But sometimes when you don't realize the reflective surface you are gazing into is actually not a mirror, but a window it can cause a very awkward situation.

Okay, okay, sometimes I look at myself in mirrors and there is that ocassional time when the mirror happens to be a window and there is someone on the other side visibly creeped out by your extraordinarily long gaze at them, when it is really an extraordinarily long gaze at oneself. So this particular time the person on the other side of the mirror (window) was a young woman probably about my age, so I'm not sure if she thought I was hitting on her or not. So when I noticed her staring at me because I was staring at me as well I gave her an awkward wave and turned back towards the front of the table I was sitting at. (I felt the awkward wave told her I was really staring at my own reflection when actually it probably solidified her thought that I was checking her out). I then tried to pretend nothing happened.

The moral of the story here kids is if you are going to be vain please make sure no one is on the other side of the mirror/window. Feel free to do it on the subway or in the bathroom or perhaps in the counters at your local department store, but be careful because you never know what is on the other side.

( I googled mirror window and this creepy photo is what popped up so I went with it!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Are we crazy or are we dancing?

As you walk the streets of New York City you will see and hear a variety of sights and sounds. More often than not you will see people singing, dancing, talking to themselves, and an assortment of other things that seen anywhere else would make a "normal" person think they were watching crazies. I have found in my four years of living here that just because someone belts out Whitney Houston in a Target or dances along to their Ipod while walking down the street does not make them "crazy." It just means they are about to audition for Alvin Ailey's biggest their head.

I know that there a good amount of legitimate dancers, actors, singers living in NYC. I don't think they often practice while walking down the street, but in the end you really just never know. I saw this guy dancing all by himself while walking down my street, my first reaction was...he is batshit crazy, but then I looked at him and he looked like a normal young man. This does not mean that he's not crazy, but upon further inspection I decided that he was probably just rehearsing something or coming up with new dance moves for a special performance of some sort. Why people find the need to do this in public is beyond me, but I am not one to judge (okay I am and I did).

I think dancing is one thing, but when people belt it out when they are walking down the street is something I will never understand. Do they know people can hear them? Do they know they're not in a subway with guitar and no one will give them a quarter? Are they aware that they are a really bad singer? So many questions and so many seemingly crazy people to ask. I saw this perfectly normal young woman walking down the street busting out Leona Lewis...She did not look crazy, but that is crazy lady behavior if you ask me.

When you live in New York you constantly ask yourself if you are going crazy. The stress, the people, the nutjobs surrounding you, it can really make you question your own sanity. However the second I see a man in Target singing Whitney Houston at the top of his lungs as he wanders through the aisles allows me to remember that I have not yet reached that point.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I was eating some delicious corn tortilla chips the other day when I bit into one the wrong way and got a sharp corner to the gum. It was actually really painful and I had no idea a single chip could inflict such pain upon my poor unsuspecting gums. It led me to remember other fatgedies I've had.

I will first explain fatgedy to you all. It is a tragedy (like cutting your gum on a chip) done while eating fatty snacks. I have one particular fatgedy that I will share with you now...

I remember this one time when I really wanted to eat some tasty pizza. I brought it out of the oven and I was so excited to bite into the juicy, greasalicious cheese that I didn't even wait to see if the temperature was right. I bite in and immediately realized that my mouth was burning. I took the slice out of my mouth, but a small dollop of cheese dripped on my lip and burned joke. Within minutes a small sad blister formed on my lip and I had to admit to those brave enough to ask that I actually burned my mouth shoving pizza in it. It was sad, but funny all at the same time.

I'm sure the chip incident is not the first or the last fatgedy I will endure. It is a risk you take when eating such delicious things. I actually have a photo of this blister that I will try and track down for all of my dedicated readers. Please share your fatty stories with me. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009


So, I know podcasts have been out for a long time, but I'm finally catching on to how awesome they are.  I always feel semi inadequate compared to all of my cultured New York City coworkers.  They read the New Yorker, they see indie movies, they listen to smart people podcasts, etc...  I decided that I could do at least one of these things in an effort to seem as cool as they are.

I have come across three of the best podcasts ever (I say this having only listened to about 20 different podcasts, but still trust me).  There is this website called How Stuff Works, they also happen to have two podcasts called "Stuff you missed in History Class" and "Stuff you Should Know."  I'm not sure if those are the exact names, but I'm too lazy to look it up so you will have to deal with it.  The history class podcast is an unbelievable source of useless but fun information.  Today I learned that Marco Polo actually brought pasta back to Italy from China!  The Italians actually didn't come up with pasta the Chinese did!!  Crazy town.  I also learned where the phrase "peeping Tom" came from and many other fun facts.  I have to warn you that the hosts have really annoying voices, but when you think of how many games of trivial pursuit you will win you suffer through for the good of the nation.

The other stuff you should know podcast is awesome as well.  It has taught me all about bootlegging and that bootlegging actually ended up creating Nascar!  I know, so interesting!  So check it out.  The third best podcast would have to be This American Life.  Ira Glass has a nice and calming voice and the stories are very interesting.  These are all free so you have no excuse not to check them out.

These are my nerd tips of the day.  I have to think "Carolyn" (I put your name in quotes as if it was just allegedly your name) for her support and request of new blog.  There is more to come I am feeling awfully creative lately.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Inauguration Sensation!

So I have been asked a few times to blog about my inauguration experience, so here it goes...
I headed down to DC on Friday night.  I stayed with a couple fabulous friends of mine (Kate and Kyle) that live in Silver Spring, Maryland.  They showed me an amazing time in Baltimore and in DC, as well as shuffling me around to find a stupid microphone for my video camera (thanks to Stephanie too!).  We pretty much just relaxed on Saturday and then Sunday headed up to the National Mall for the big concert.  I came later than my friends, so meeting up with them became a problem.  I ended up lost and asking this guy in a bright jacket to help me with directions.  

It being DC it should've been no surprise that this man ended up being some Army big wig who has worked in the White House for years and is friends with the Bush's (I didn't hold that against him).  

Well Sunday I get a call from God...I mean Travis, my volunteer team leader, who asks me if I still want to be an official inauguration volunteer.  I said hells yes I do!!
I was so jazzed!  I signed up online to volunteer weeks before and was sadly rejected by one of those blue "hope" emails.  I was bummed at first, but decided to go down and enjoy the inauguration anyway.  I'm sure glad I did, because I obviously did end up volunteering and it was a cold and amazing experience.

My friend Kyle also volunteered that morning so at about 3:30am after three or so hours of sleep we woke up to brave the cold and the crowds.  Kyle may have forgotten to realize that the buses weren't running, so after 20 minutes in 28 degree weather we called a cab.  I arrived at the National Mall, my volunteer post, at 5:30am and tried desperately to stay warm.  

I met my team and they were a pretty cool and eclectic group of folks.  Young, old, different races, different backgrounds, it was fabulous.  Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and happy to be there despite the temperature.  We were stationed near a little pond of some sort and asked to direct people to the jumbotrons.  It was freezing and we periodically had to go warm up in the basement of the Lincoln Memorial, but just to be a part of it all was an experience I will never forget.

I watched the inauguration from one of the many jumbotrons stationed around the reflecting pool and just smiled at the history I was witnessing.  Say what you will about Obama's inexperience (Dad) or whatever else you have to say, but he has (whether deserved or not) inspired a huge amount of people.  To see him walk down the stairs and take the oath did bring tears to my eyes, because I actually looked at a politician and trusted him with my country.  

I have been criticized in the past for not being very patriotic, but over the last few years I have not really seen a reason to be proud of many of the things my country has done.  I am however deeply grateful for the freedoms I have and I am appreciative for those that have fought for those freedoms, however I do not think a lot of what we do now in the world is protecting those freedoms.  Anyway, I digress...

I am so grateful for all of the experiences I have had in my life.  Seeing President Obama be inaugurated will definitely go down in my personal history book and until he does something real bad I will continue to be proud of him.  I hope we, as citizens, are able to contribute and make his presidency one of the best our countries has seen.  So do your part.  

If I could play music in here I would play the Queen's song because even though it has nothing to do with America I always get the tune stuck in my head when I'm thinking about the president.  You know the one...dun dun dundun dun dun 
dundun dundun...sassy queen.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Well shit...

Alright so you know how I was talking about my resolutions and how the year was good thus far because I had been able to go 8 days without seeing any hobo's privates.'s over now.

Last night I went out to my boss' birthday party. I didn't want to go because I was having some Crohnsy issues (I will not elaborate for you) and it was cold as really cold stuff, but I went anyway. Because I was totally sober and quite poor I decided to take the subway rather than a cab. I waited FOREVER for the stupid F train and then transferred to the C train. As I got on the C train I had no clue what I was about to encounter.

As I sat down to play some Guitar Hero on Tour I was ready for the long trek home. I knew I had to beat Kiss "Rock and Roll at Nite," so I had plenty of practicing to do. As I walked on the train I smelled something pretty disgusting, but seeing as it's a New York City subway it was nothing out of the ordinary. I put my scarf over my face and went back to my wicked guitar playing. Right as the doors shut an older man threw his bag on the train and then jumped on himself. He was wearing a long coat and dark jeans, but still had a homeless aura to him. I could see he was struggling with his junk, but just assumed he was just doing something to himself (live in NYC for a little bit and you will see that this is not rarity).

After about a minute of this man shifting around he pulled up his coat and I realized that he was urinating on himself. He apparently could not stop and finally just gave up and yanked his pants down, squated, and just started shitpeeing all over the floor. Shitpeeing is some blend of shitting and peeing that I could not distinguish and didn't care to investigate. I was only about 7 feet away from him and could not believe what I was seeing. I was appalled, saddened, and bewildered. I did not know whether to laugh or cry. (Oh yeah I was also so disturbed by all of this that I got off the subway on the wrong stop and ended up having to take a cab the rest of the way home).

Typically I try and find humor in stuff like this, but something about this incident (in comparison with all of the other times I have witnessed homeless men doing gross things in public) really disturbed me. Maybe it was the idea that he couldn't control himself or that he felt it was okay to pull his pants down on a train. Either way I'm still trying to find humor in it. Until then I'll let you all laugh at my expense. Maybe 2010 will be my no homeless flashing year.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year, New You

Well hello 2009! I can't believe it's already 2009. I think the last three to four years of my life have flown by at a scary pace. I will start by saying New Years wasn't that fun as usual. Each and every year I prep myself to have an amazing New Years Eve. I pay too much to hang out at a bar with friends or with people I don't know and then I am let down in the end. Not because my friends aren't fun...they are, but honestly we hang out at a bar typically so why pay more money to do the same thing and have a random countdown at some point in the evening. Whatevs, next year I'm just going to hang out with the hobos for free and I'll bring some snacks so they'll like me more.

Beyond New Years Eve the year has been good these other 7 days. I'm trying to get into grad school and although I sucked up the entrance exam (I'm counting that as being a part of 2008 even though it was actually the 2nd of January) I've had a great year. My job is going well, my apartment is cleaner than it used to be and no hobos have flashed me yet. I would say it has been quite successful thus far.

As everyone typically does, I too, have decided on some New Year's resolutions. Here goes...

1. Work out more (I have become a blob in the last year)

2. Get into grad school

3. Stop getting flashed by hobos

4. Be be nicer to hobos

5. Work harder (I am lazy by nature)

6. Somehow talk to Tina Fey (or wait outside her apartment and yell (or throw) (soft) things at her)

7. Keep up with my amazing blog better

8. Continue to use bad and badder grammar so my dad's head explodes when I speak to him (haha that one's for you Dad :) )

9. Write my first novela -- about a love child named Divine

10. Become a drug addict, then go to rehab, then talk about how I had a drug habit, but I went to rehab all in an effort to get famous and sell more books

11. Write down more resolutions throughout the year that I will never actually complete.

12. Watch more Oprah, she inspires me to love myself and Dr. Oz makes me think I'm going to die tomorrow.

Well I think that's it for today. Come back again soon, because I promise to keep this updated.

Happy New Year!!!! Send me your resolutions that you'll never complete too!