Things and stuff: commuter rails, decor tales, and other updates from my brain

It’s been awhile! Let’s hop into my life and times, for those who may be interested in my life, times, or lifetimes.

Work (and commuting) stuff

I started a new job! Now it’s less new. The work is wonderful, and pretty much my only complaint is that the commute is about as cozy as Chinese water torture. Given that having a job you enjoy is an absurd privilege — one which I do not take lightly, having once slung dog poop out of designer dog crates to pay the taxman — I would still like to put forth that the horrors of the L train during rush hour cannot be overstated.

How can I possibly convey the 9 a.m. commute from Brooklyn to Chelsea? I will try: think of people watching at the airport, then remove all the charm and spirit of human curiosity. Why is this so? Well, my friend, it’s difficult to find anyone charming when your chin is shoved into their armpit. Second, you become a Sapien Tetris piece: your shoulder is jutting out to the right. Your weight finds itself concentrated upon a singular, wary shin muscle. And your face — in case you forgot — is shoved into a stranger’s armpit. And even the most hygienic armpit is still, at the end of the day, an armpit.

Then, the temperature. It is not uncommon to find oneself pouring sweat, unable to remove a layer because even a phalange’s quiver is inconceivable in such crammed quarters. This is followed by the abrupt freezing of toes, nose, pantyhose, and all sorts of bodily ohs! as you step above ground and bow at the behest of the is-it-winter-or-not clime. Maybe you reach your 11th Avenue destination. Maybe you Wikipedia both gangrene and heat stroke. Or maybe you pick up a habit of shoving old people aside and blasting DMX’s …And Then There Was X without bothering to put on headphones in crowded public spaces. Either way, it is a veritable “fire and brimstone” situation.

Other than that though, I like my job a lot. Really! I can’t remember where I read this, but I came across a formula for workplace happiness that burrowed into my brain jelly: you need to believe in the company mission, feel fulfilled by your responsibilities, or love the people you work with. I have all three. So I’m counting my lucky stars, blessing the Year of the Monkey, and blowing smooches to my evil-eye charm bracelet for warding off the dybbuks of Greenpoint. If you don’t know what a dybbuk is, I’m not the best person to tell you, but you should watch the opening scene of a A Serious Man and befriend some bubbes.

Interior design stuff

My roommate Jesse and I have finally, after a year and some change, conquered our decor needs. He possesses a much stronger aesthetic sensibility than I do, so I probably slowed this process down a bit. But more than anything else the delay has to do with an allocation of resources. For example, I have a heinous Ikea lamp in my room that I’ve had since college. Truly truly, it is an ugly thing. But it turns off and on as lamps ought to do, and utility is more important than style at this point in my bank account’s lifecycle. I’d rather buy myself a cheese platter (utility!) than go hunting for a new lamp (style!).

Jesse isn’t like this. First, he’s dietarily restricted and is now avoiding dairy for some perfectly noble gut-related reason, so lamps outrank cheeses at the moment. Second, he knows a special item when he sees one and where to place it and why it matters. It is as if every object he picks out represents some interesting facet of his personality, as if when you step into our living room, you get the vibe of his soul. And so he invests in it. And I admire it, even though I don’t totally relate to it. It feels like a far-off “adult” thing to be concerned with. We go into shops all the time and I see his irises widen with possibility: fancy spoons that match wide-rimmed jam jars, woven Chilean rugs hanging from cerise walls, piles of decorative bowls placed everywhere because empty bowls are a thing now apparently. If I owned a home I might commit to these furnishings, but as a renter who has a tenuous relationship with her landlord and walls infested with lead poisoning, I’m happy to hold off for now. The good news is that it doesn’t matter how I feel about it. I get to reap the fashionable benefits of Jesse’s eye for éclat, and I get to enjoy having a home that does not resemble a hurricane more than I would be able to do if it was just me living by my lonesome.

One of the main motivators for the decorating spur is Jesse’s disdain for fluorescent lighting, which has experienced exponential growth over time. It seems he finally couldn’t take it, and now we have interesting lamps in every room. We also have scented candles up the whazoo. Other notable things: flamingo wallpaper surrounded by a gigantic Van Gogh-grey frame, a green marbled chess board (pining for a wayward black bishop), an un-scuffed copper serving platter displaying four bottles of passable liquor, homemade potpourri, a bookshelf with a row reserved exclusively for female authors, a white-clay cradle, suspended by braided cord, that holds the tiniest succulent you’ve ever seen, and a cartoonish faux taxidermy mini-zebra head, which I am against but have since relented.

Here is something I’ve seen several times in NYC: you walk into someone’s apartment — someone who has taste, flair, and probably some disposable income, but not necessarily — and their decor elicits a jaw drop and an audible yip!. New York apartments come crumbling, plagued with locusts and the aforementioned lead poisoning, and built for roughly ¼ of the space you require. To make that look nice means a lot. So, I shall ride Jesse’s sensational coattails to wherever he takes us, to whatever bespoke canteens may land upon our kitchenette on any random Tuesday.

Political stuff

I’ve been following our country’s political life. As usual, the situation is dire! It feels like we’re all in a circus from a lost episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, where the whole planet is doomed to stay inside a tent and watch a show against their will for all eternity. Having our Facebook feeds full of shareable memes parading as facts doesn’t help matters much either, though I can’t begrudge people for trying to connect about something important on a platform that connects us all, for better or worse. I was writing up a much longer post about politics, but it’s kind of rambling and purposeless, and like most things that feel purposeless, I feel I should abandon it. Also, perhaps the last thing the Internet needs is another white person pontificating about politics on her personal blog.

WAHHhhhhhh stuff

I still have not done my taxes, but I’m HOPING today is the day I get my rear in gear, be-hind in line, butt out of its rut, ass on blast, and tuchus into H&R Block. Uncle Sam waits not for the aged teens of generation aught.

Embarrassingly late to TV stuff 

I watched Breaking Bad for the first time. It’s so good. Totally get why you were all into it.

I’ve been writing this post for too long stuff

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions because who cares! That being said, I want to do and improve upon lots of things! This might seem like a random bullet point, but I’ve been writing this blog update on and off since January, so I thought I’d just leave this in for 2016 kicks.

More to come stuff!

Quite soon (tomorrow or the next day) I will update you about other things in my life, things about dating and New Orleans and charcoal pore strips, tentatively entitled “love in the time of Drake.” Originally all of these updates were just in one post, but then this entry would have come out around seven pages, which would amount to about seven minutes of reading time, which is about four minutes longer than the Internet attention span.

Chit chat at ya soon, humans who read this!


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