Friday, July 29, 2011

...a Tour Book

A New Yorker's Guide to Being in New York

Chapter 6: Times Square
Introduction: Welcome to Times Square! This iconic area used to be filled with peep shows and porn stores but now is an electric shopping mall. I get to walk through this area every day on my way to work.

Shopping: You'll recognize all the stores here, you have them at home. No seriously, every single store here is a chain that you have in your hometown mall. So, ok you can spend your vacation shopping. That's a choice. Just make sure when you're coming out of the store you get out of my way. Don't stand like an idiot thinking about the things you just bought. People are walking. It's an extremely busy sidewalk.

Theatre: Midtown is also home to Broadway. Insider tip! Discount theatre tickets are available at the red TKTS booth. Decide if you want to be in line. Then get in line or keep walking. Just get out of the way of those trying to get to work.

Street vendors: There are street vendors, charicaturists and other artists all over Times Square. If you need to buy more crap have at it. Just don't hem and haw and stand in my way. Seriously, do you see this is a sidewalk? Move!

Food: There are tons of restaurant choices in Times Square whether you buy a hot dog from a guy on the street or blow $50 at Olive Garden just stay away Green Symphony on 43rd and Kodama on 8th and 46th.

New York City Police: Police officers are stationed all over Times Square. Whether on foot or on horseback, you're going to want to get a picture with these guys. Sure. Fine. Have at it. Just get out of my way!

Safety: Times Square is antiseptically safe, and I am normally a very calm person, if you don't get out of my way I might push you into oncoming traffic.

I hope the tips above help you enjoy Times Square. Mostly I need you to get out of my way. Now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

...Contemplating the Cruciatus Curse

I was on OKCupid for a while, a little over a year ago, and I went out with this guy, Tom. He was a little older, but I thought "What the heck." He was clever. He was interesting. He had a smooth tongue, at least over e-mail. I agreed to go for coffee.

Over coffee, Tom told me about his writing, apparently he kept a diary when he was younger. Adorable. He had been abandoned as a child, but found solace in his studies. He told me about his friends and his travels. He also listened. Tom wanted to know about where I came from, my family, what interested me, how I got my scar, everything.

So then we were dating. It was great. Tom really understood me and I him. We could finish each other's sentences and honestly, sometimes it felt like we really knew what the other was thinking. Things were great. Tom worked a lot and we were interested in similar types of work. He would run things by me, ask for notes. I didn't always agree with his work, but a job's a job and as a freelancer I reasoned that Tom had to take the work where he could get it. We were in love. We said it, one night over a magical candle lit dinner. There was talk of a ring.

Then, as if the sky opened up, everything changed.

Tom began to pick fights. He would attack me verbally. I felt like while dating he had studied me, just to look for weaknesses. I don't even want to go into details. I had a hard time saying his name for a while, let along recounting all the gorey details of the break up. Let's just say Tom was a snake. I shook his spell and realized he was not a match for me, but rather a complete opposite. He brooded all the time and his work, well his work was pure evil. I hadn't seen it before. Tom was evil! He was trying to destroy me. Fortunately I saw what was happening before it was too late.

A year after the relationship I thought Tom Riddle was gone, but come to find out he's still at large. Now he's listed on OKCupid as "Voldemort". I guess he was Voldemort the whole time. And that's why I write this, I guess, because I don't want others to make the same mistake I did. I know I can't protect the whole world on my own, but at least I can send out this 3 part warning:

Sometimes a ring is just a piece of a broken man's shattered soul.

Things that look too good to be true are often just that.

"I love you." ? I bet you say that to all the muggles.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

...An Astorian Historian

On the ancient isle of Mylikos there is a long tradition of "flokos" or "sucking pigs". The tradition dates back to the introduction of pigs to the island around the year 700BC. At that time, pigs were considered a delicacy. The animals were very expensive and immediately became a sign of wealth and prosperity.

The Kalakopolis family was very rich indeed and had so many pigs that they decided to bring one into the house on a lark. The pig began eating everything off the floor, every bug and scrap of food, each clod of dirt...everything. The women of the Kalakopolis household would drop as much as a grain of kali salt and the pig would suck it up. Word soon spread around the island and the islanders came in droves to see the "sucking pig" do it's work.

Pig reproduction boomed and within a short while every family of good standing had it's own "sucking pig". Grecians from other islands remarked at the cleanliness of Mylikosian floors. Doctors came to study the effects of flokos. To have a pig born on one's marriage bed was considered a lifelong blessing.

Thousands of years later, Mylikosians still pride themselves on their spotless floors. "The Feast of the Pig Sucked Floor" is celebrated with food and song every October 25th. Though most residents have switched from flokos to modern vaccuums, their reverence for the "friend that sucks the floors" is quite strong. Vacuums are passed down from generation to generation and to throw away a vacuum is a crime still punishable by law.

As you know, Astoria is full of Greek immigrants. My neighborhood happens to have many,many Mylikosians...

...and that is why there are 2 vacuum Repair Shops on my block.

Must be.

There can be no other possible explanation.

I mean, seriously, how can one block support 2 Vacuum Repair Shops?


Monday, July 25, 2011

...More of a Ben Stone

So the web page is it just something
that you guys do for fun? Do you have
a real job?


Well, that is our job.
We don’t technically get money for the
hours we put in, but it is our job.

Boom. Watched about 30 minutes of Knocked Up this weekend and it was with the above lines that I realized I'm more of a Ben Stone than an Alison Scott. Sure I've always considered myself kind of an Alison, driven, but down to earth, a little uptight, attractive, knows how to have fun...but when I face facts I'm really more of a Ben.

  • Ben and his friends had Flesh of the Stars, I've got Flesh of My Roommate, a ten plus hour a week excuse to cut shapes out of construction paper and smear yogurt on each others faces. And yes, we do refer to it as a job. Most definitely.
  • Ben spends inordinate amounts of time dicking around with his friends, I am essentially a 30 year old retiree.
  • Ben's dad was overjoyed at the prospect of Ben having a baby. Boom. Don Thomas would like nothing more.
  • I have certainly thrown a toy for a child telling it to fetch.
  • I have most definitely had a stack of important books that I agreed to read then put off for months.
  • I have been super cool at a bar exactly once.
It's not so bad being Ben Stone. I had planned on being an Alison, but life is like that, you know? You can't plan for it and even if we did life doesn't care about your plans... oops, quoting again. Maybe I'm stretching the comparison a little thin here. I'm probably a good base of Alison, a healthy dose of Ben, and predominately and primarily myself. That's something to remember. I am myself. I'm doing my own thing. Geez, I've spent so much time riding roller coasters, watching movies and smoking weed with a fish bowl on my head that I forgot who I was. Alright. I'm me. I'm Ben--- er I'm Molly.

Pun not used in this post:
Knocked Up, the seminal comedy of our generation.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

...Annoyed with Immortality

The worst part about immortality is that your friends are dicks. They see your cuts seal instantly and your bruises fade from your skin. They notice your perfect muscle tone and remark on your incredible wealth of knowledge. Pretty soon, your friends figure out that you're immortal. And it's human nature, I suppose, to push boundaries.

A sample dialogue:
Me: Ok, don't tell anyone, but I'm immortal.
My Dick Friend: I know, dude.
Me: You did?
My Dick Friend: Yeah, you never get hurt.
Me: My wounds heal instantly, but I do get hurt.
My Dick Friend: Yeah, but then it just goes away.
Me: Right.
My Dick Friend: Do you think I could punch you?
Me: What?
My Dick Friend: Like, can I punch you as hard as I can?
Me: Why?
My Dick Friend: I want to see how hard I can punch.

And so I let my friend punch me and he breaks my nose and it heals instantly and we go have a beer, but it doesn't stop there. Soon, he wants to get into a fight, stab me, run my foot over with a carriage. It's always the same and I always let him do it. It fascinates him or her and he or she always buys me a drink after...maybe I'm just infinitely cheap. Eventually, though they'll take it too far.

See, I am immortal in that I have one memory, but I can die. I've died 2,487 times, actually and each time I'm reborn.  I'm instantly reborn, but as a baby! And though I have an infinite memory I have to pretend to learn how to talk and build my new muscles up to be able to walk and it's a giant pain in my ass. So by the time I'm actually able to socialize and my friends are old enough to deal with my immortality I'll let them do just about anything. I guess I'm just so grateful to be an adult again...and the free beer, that's really nice...and the pseudo, secret celebrity status.

I explain that I can die, but my wounds heal so quickly my friends just don't want to believe it. So, they take in inches

"What if we just shoot the arrow through your arm?"
"It says 12 grams will poison you, 8 will only stun you."
"Dude, the Black Plague is just a myth. Go in there!"

Inevitably I die and yeah I'm reborn, but I've got to start all over again.

Have I ever gone back and confronted my friends? Once, the guy's name was Bill and I said, "Bill, it's Sarah. You knew me as Peter. You pierced my heart with a sting ray, you dick." What'd he say? I don't remember. It was like, 250 years ago. No, honestly, I don't remember. The guy was a dick anyway.

No, I don't think I let people treat me badly, I'm pretty sure that people are just dicks.

Yeah. Ok, I've been exploring it for thousands of years, but sure, we can explore it in next session. 

How much do I owe you again? 150 bucks!?! Shit. You want to just punch me in the face and call it even?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

...Reviewing Five Things I Learned Today

1. Babies are born with really long finger nails (and still nurses discourage manicures.)
2. Witch hazel is good for new mommies' mommy parts.
3. Swaddling requires instruction.
4. Feeding is an aerobic activity for newborns (and for adults, if they're doing it right)
5. When you get a new i-phone it allows you to accept new voicemails, but doesn't tell you that you have them thus allowing you to miss them for, say, 2 weeks.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

...Reading over the Baby No-No List

My good friend, Meredith, just had a baby boy. Welcome, Finnbar!!! I can't wait to go meet him tomorrow, but first, Meredith wants me to read and sign the list below.

Molly's Baby No-Nos: Things I (Molly) will not do with the newborn.
1. I will not take the baby on a roller coaster.
2. I will not take weird, weird pictures of the baby for a blog.
3. I will not attempt to feed the baby unless Meredith AND a nurse are present.
4. I will not paint the baby.
5. I will not wear the baby like a stole.
6. I will not make the baby reenact part nor all of Look Who's Talking. (No Bruce Willis impersonations will be done around the baby.)
7. I will not call the baby "Apple".
8. When I see a piano, I will refrain from saying; "Piano, meet baby. Baby, Grand piano."
9. I will not teach the baby, The Secret.
10. Under no circumstances am I to cover the baby in peanut butter, take the baby for a walk, and try to pick up every guy whose dog runs up and starts licking the baby.

---------------------- ---/---/---

I mean, I want to meet the little guy, so I think I'm going to sign. I'll just cross my fingers while I do it. Oh man- I've got to add that to the list of things to teach this little dude. Finnbar, this is going to be rad, man.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

...A Haikuist: Looking Forward to Friday

I just discovered
Agora Yoga offers
five dollar classes.

Coffee with Jane and
Sarah Sakaan makes Fridays

A friend from college
might show, government employed
it's up in the air.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

...A Haikuist: Walking Home

In the block walk home
a stooped man climbing stairs made
me cry a little,

A wide eyed woman
pointed out God the mother,
God the bride, but I

Refused to attend
Bible study, headed home
and climbed my own stairs.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

...A Haikuist: Procrastination

I don't really feel
like writing or thinking of
ideas right now.

Why clean my room I'll
just wear the clothes from the floor
again tomorrow.

If God wanted me
to get things done, then why'd
He invent Angry Birds?

Monday, July 11, 2011

...A Haikuist: Telesales

I work in phone calls;
Telesales and fundraising
Sometimes it's not fun

Three Telesales Haiku

I am so sorry,
Alfredo, that I called you
Alfred. Don't hang up.

You could see five shows
Or you could see seven
Or you could see five.

If you’re nice to me
I’ll put a smiley face on
Your paperwork : ) See?

Friday, July 8, 2011

...At Home on a Friday Night

I walked home from work with a friend tonight. We joked that he was going to have a crazy night of Pringles and apartment cleaning while I went wild resting up and playing Angry Birds. (It's a new phone ok! I've had this stinking Blackberry for forever!) Once home, I confirmed brunch plans for tomorrow. That friend joked about his wild Friday drinking tea. All three of us were embarrassed or at least had an awareness that we were home on a Friday night. And, eek gasp horror I'm writing this at 11:30 pm...on a Friday.

What is it we expect ourselves to be doing? Maybe clubbing. I guess clubbing, right? That or on a hot date. I've heard that when a decision is made, somewhere in an alternate universe there is a you that picked the other choice. In that case, I suppose there are infinite versions of us out there, doing the things we didn't choose. That means, there must be at least one alternate universe Molly getting bottle service with P Diddy, wearing platform heels and a mini dress, dancing like a million dollar stripper. This person has zero worries, lives in some fabulous penthouse in Soho and makes zillions trading and for fun breeds horses at her country place in Lexington (everyone needs an escape).

Wait...nope...I just googled alternate universe Mollys. Not a single one is clubbing. There's one hanging out on a moonlit sailboat...that's pretty cool, 2 are already asleep, the other 27,439 are all also blogging on this Friday night.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

...Exhausted from My New Job

Ugh. Can barely bring myself to write today. Didn't get to bed until after 2 last night, woke up, did it all again today. It's this new job...just killer! I've thrown myself into this new position, but it doesn't seem to matter. There's always something else for me to do, more gold stars for me to earn.

And the pigs at work! Ugh, really. These grunting, snorting pigs, sitting on their nest eggs in their cush offices. All exposed wood and glass and concrete slab. Blech- some of them even have pillars. Like, how do pillars go with concrete? This one guy at work has a giant, red mustache- huge. He looks like he has a broom stuck up his pig nose. I honestly don't know how they got to where they are...just sitting there, grunting.

And here I am, on a wing and a prayer, trying to get things to go my way. Flinging myself at this work, trying to expose the pigs for what they are. Trying, yes, I'll admit it, to bring them down. Bring the whole damn structure down! But with every victory, another hurdle. Another game to play.

I hear the holidays aren't any better. Sure, they're dressed up in floaty, pink hearts or disgustingly cliched leprechaun costumes, Santa hats or scarecrow costumes, but a pigs a pig, no matter how you dress him up.

There was a chance that they'd send me to Rio. Sure, it'd be a change of scenery, maybe some different music, but in the end, it's all the same game.

I've got to do something. This place is eating all my time.
Some days I think I'll just shoot right past work, but like a boomerang I'm drawn right back.
I'm like a bomb waiting to explode.
I'm about to lay an egg.
I'm seeing red.

I am one Angry Bird.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

...Listening to Those Wiser than I

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
 -Benjamin Franklin

"Happiness is a warm gun."
 -John Lennon

"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the people's liberty's teeth."
 -George Washington

"Better a tooth out that is always aching."
 -Thomas Fuller

"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned."
 -Maya Angelou

"A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or the others crazy?"
 -Albert Einstein

"One is very crazy when in love."
 -Sigmund Freud

"Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness."
 -Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open."
 -John Barrymore

 -Neon sign on Conner's Irish Pub

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

...Leaving Bodega Bay

Alright! We're leaving Astoria! It's Fourth of July weekend. It's Friday. We're really off until Friday!?! Four straight days at the beach!

Alright! That drive was super quick! Just past Far Rockaway and here we are in Breezy Point. Who knew that this was even here? I mean, this is technically New York City!?! It's a total beach town. This is adorable.

Alright! Matt, your parents' bungalow is adorable! Little twin beds and white linen curtains. Cable, internet AND an outdoor shower!?! This is pretty much my dream beach house. Cute, small enough to maintain, nearby, quiet. Sweet!

Alright! We're all grocery shopping together. Stopped at the liquor store and buying food for the weekend. Who doesn't want to live and work with a group of friends like this!?! This is awesome. I can't wait to eat hot dogs.

Alright! With 5 people, that took like, no time to put everything away. Chores are super fast when there are so many people working together! Can you believe this weekend just came together, like, 2 weeks ago!?! Trust in the Universe!

Alright! I LOVE the ocean! We'll take a quick walk out to the beach before dinner. I mean, who wouldn't want to live like this all the time!?!

Alright! Alex and I guessed right that the birds we hear are piping plovers! We look super smart in front of Jon and Danielle and I can tell my fun fact that they're probably called piping plovers because their beaks are like pipes. They "pipe" into the sand. Am I ridiculously smart for figuring that out or what!?! Feeling like a real New Yorker!

Alright!!! There's the ocean!!! We'll just walk down the boardwalk under that wooden structure and past the birds.

Alright. The sign at the front of the structure says "Aggressive Birds".

Alright. The structure has rope on top to stop the birds from flying at you while you cross through to the beach.

Alright, alright, it's hatching season. The plovers are just defending their babies. Obviously, I'm not going to touch a hatchling, so we'll be fine.

Alright, they're really loud.

Alright, some of them are stationed next to the side of the boardwalk screaming at us.

Alright, there are a bunch of dead baby plovers right near the boardwalk.

Alright, they're hovering threateningly, staring at us, screaming.

Alright we're getting close to the end of the boardwalk.

Alright they're swooping at us.

Alright, that bird just hit Alex in the head! That bird...another one! Oh, god, I don't want to do this! I can't go back! They're really agitated. I've never been attacked by birds before! Don't they know we didn't kill those babies!?! Oh my god. Oh my God! I just got hit in the back of the head. I'm screaming. Is that going to anger them more? I got hit again! This is my nightmare! Oh my god! Oh my god!!!Oh my god!!!!!!!!!!

Alright... alright...we made it.

Alright...We're at the beach. The ocean is calm and grey. The sand is still warm. I am at the ocean! This is really lovely. Now how the fuck do we get back to the house.