tales of a girl in the city

juin 24, 2004

My job this week has entailed sitting in apartment buildings, trying to explain to people relocating to the city from Colorado, that they will never find a 1500 square foot two-bedroom in the Union Square area, that allows pets, and has outdoor space, AND is under $500 a month. Ever.

Sadly, for all involved, there is no computer in these apartment buildings, and, as you can see, I am now overusing commas, and neglecting my blog, as a result.

I am sorry about the commas, and very, very, very,,,,sorry about neglecting the blog. I will do what I can to remedy the situation ASAP.

In the meantime, I'm visiting David again this weekend.

And if anyone can help, it's him. He may even be able to help with the punctuation situation. Keep your fingers crossed.

juin 16, 2004

100 Things. Re: Moi. Part X: Best Memories

91. Train ride from Lucca, Italy to Nice, France. Drinking wine out of paper cups. Thinking that Boris Godunov--which someone was humming--sounds exactly like the theme from "Indiana Jones." Tucked like crumbs into the cracks of red, velvet train seats. Everyone in their bare feet. Windows-open-fly-by-sky-by-water-by-moon-by--for the whole night. And knowing, in the moment, that someday when I was old and wanting to remember what it was like to be young, that that was the night I'd remember.

92. Moving into my first post-college apartment with Emily. Sitting all day on the street by the green sofa I'd found, which was my treasure, but someone else's trash. Guarding it jealously 'til Emily came home from work. Then, Emily coming home. Contributing her 110 pounds of might (which is to say, not much might, but lots of heart) to The Moving The Sofa To Our Second-Story Apartment Effort. Balancing precariously on the top stair in the hallway of our building, anchoring the green monstrosity with my entire body, sweating and shaking from effort and laughter. Emily fleeing to the street to find aid, and, instead, returning with Not-So-Handy Jeff. Who lived up to his name. But still managed to help these two crazy, snort-laughing girls procure their first real piece of furniture.

93. My first call-back for Rent.

94. Senior night at The Roxy. In the green summer dress my parents had bought me, that looks nothing like a dress you'd think any parents would ever buy. A certain boy. The only slow song of the evening. The sexiest thing I've ever done with my clothes still on.

95. My first couple of weeks driving around the country in a van with six other actors, getting paid to do what I love.

96. 6:20 AM. Sidewalk in Times Square. Cold and waiting for the audition sign-up to start. Cell phone call to Wisconsin. Good morning, Mom. Hi, Papa.

97. A walk I took down Broadway once in college. Post Jacob's Room. Finding myself in the throng of people and traffic lights and street lamps and bodegas. Finding myself.

98. Dear Applicant, We are pleased to offer you a scholarship in the amount of...

99. Pretty much any night I've ever spent that involves Emily and a living room.

100. The letter I found in my suitcase last Friday. Dearest Kathryn.... The kindest letter I have ever read. Love, David

One hundred things. Fucking FINALLY.

juin 14, 2004

There's No Place Like...

When I break up with men:

I cry.

They? Decorate.

I'll give you some statistics to set the backstory.

First major boyfriend after college: Dan
His age when we dated: 29-30
Length of our relationship: Approx. 6 mos.

Number of rooms in Dan's beautiful, LARGE, Upper Westside apartment: 4
Number of years Dan had lived in this apartment before we dated: 6
Number of pieces of furniture Dan owned: 4
Making the average number of pieces of furniture per room: 1
Meaning that, aside from his bed, he had: A couch, a kitchen table, and a chair.
Number of chairs Dan had when we began dating, just to re-emphasize, for those who are slow: 1

Number of times I sat on the floor when I visited him: All
Number of colors represented throughout his apartment in the form of wall-paint: None
Number of plants he owned (living): 0
Number of plants he owned (dead): 5

Number of times he wanted to put glow-in-the-dark star stickers on his bedroom ceiling: Several
Number of times I stopped him: Every

Percentage of the income set aside for furniture/home improvements that he spent buying the hugest television that I have ever seen: 100%

Color of the SHAGGY CARPET IN HIS BATHROOM: navy blue

Evidence that best represents Dan's level of maturity and ability to commit:

The day we got a dog. The day we got a dog, and Dan paced, and fretted, and panicked, and shook, and ranted, and lamented, and waxed poetic about his freedom, and his youth, and his bachelorhood, and nearly broke down crying. And almost took the dog back. But, ultimately, decided to keep him. But, barely.


Second major boyfriend after college: M
His age when we dated: 29-30
Length of our relationship: This depends on whether you count the unknown number of months that he was fucking The Unholy Slutwhore From Hell.
In which case: I'm stumped.
I guess it might be: -1 month
Length of our relationship (As recorded, had I never found out about TUSFH): 11 mos.

Number of rooms in M's Upper Westside apartment: 2
Number of years M had lived in this apartment: I can't remember. At least 4.
Number of colors represented throughout M's apartment in the form of wall-paint: None
Number of plants he owned (period): 0
Number of practical dishes owned by M: 0
Number of extremely expensive business-gift-type crystal brandy decanters owned by M: 3
Only food ever cooked in M's apartment while we dated: Raman
Number of pictures hung on M's walls: 0
Number of pictures stacked on M's floor: 7

Number of cute decorative items I gave M during our relationship: 3
Number of cute decorative items I took back when I found out about The Slutwhore: 3

Most thoughtful decorating decision made by M before we dated: Purchase of Map-of-the-World shower curtain

Most thoughtful decorating decision made by M while we dated: Lightbulbs

Color of the FUTON he slept on: navy blue

Number of months I had to reach INSIDE of his toilet in order to flush it: 11

Evidence that best represents M's level of maturity and ability to commit:

I'll give you a clue. She's Unholy. She's a Slutwhore. She's from Hell.



Currently (as of last contact) the proud owner of: one black dog, one gorgeous red sofa, four kitchen chairs, a dining room table, one sun-shaped wall clock, one framed set of stamps from my mother, four fully-painted rooms, two hall tables, one tiled bathroom, multiple decorative pillows, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Oh, and one wife.

He started decorating: The day we broke up.
He started to call me to tell me about his decorating: The day we broke up.

Number of months between our break-up and his engagement: 8

And M:

He took off of work for a week and started decorating: The day we broke up.
He started to call me to tell me about his decorating: The day we broke up.
Number of times he'd taken off of work in the year that I knew him, prior to this: None
Number of pictures now hung on his wall (as of last contact): 7
Number of items cleaned and dusted for the first time, number of CD cases thrown out, number of books rearranged, number of minutes spent on his knees with a Dirt Devil, number of papers organized, number of hours spent contemplating how to arrange his furniture, number of shirts taken to the cleaners for the first time in months: Countless

And number of toilets fixed: 1


Last Wednesday, when I walked into David's apartment, and saw...

...the green plants in every window.

...the furniture already arranged.

...the pictures hung.

...and the walls painted...

I laughed and laughed, and hugged him and laughed some more.

And then, when I saw...

...the champagne that he'd gotten to celebrate my first visit down.

...the avocados he'd bought for me, because I'd told him I'm addicted lately, and they're practically all I eat.

...the Coca-Cola he'd stocked in the refrigerator.

...and the keys he'd made for me, which he handed me with a kiss and a smile...

I almost couldn't speak,

I felt so welcome in his home.

juin 12, 2004

I Say "Potato," And He Says, "Antidisestablishmentarianism"

After M, I made a list.

Things I Am Looking For In A Relationship That I Am Recording Here So That I Won't Forget Them, Even If I Meet Someone Semi-Famous Who Wrote One Of My Favorite Movies And Can Make A Mean Vegan Cookie But Who, Otherwise, Is Totally Unprepared To Include Another Person In His Life*

This list is as follows:

1) He must be ready to share his life. This one's first for a reason.
2) Intelligent.
3) Must use his intelligence.
4) Gotta be funny.
5) Stable.
6) Emotionally generous.
7) He must be supportive of this Guest Relations Associate/Actress/Writer/Whatever Else I Decide I Might Want To Be, at all costs.
8) He must take care of himself. This refers to his ability to be responsible for his own life, and NOT his ability to maintain manicured hands and feet.
9) He will make me a priority.

How S Measured Up:

RE: 1) Immediately and adamantly ruled out seeing each other more than once a week so that he could have the necessary amount of Alone Time. Initiated conversation, wherein he suggested we "remain open to seeing other people." Refused to allow me to sleep over. Never introduced me to any of his friends. And so on...after only a few short weeks, I could fill a novel.

RE: 2) Intelligent? Check.

RE: 3) Uses Intelligence to write, direct, act.

RE: 4) Funny? Half-Check. Occasionally uses material from his movies. And by "occasionally" I mean all the freaking time. Most of it was better on screen.

RE: 5) a hyperactive, extremely caffeinated, two-year-old with vertigo, who is trying to balance on a teeter-totter, which has been loosely strapped to the back of an epileptic, galloping stable.

RE: 6) Ok. It's time for you to go home now. Thanks for coming over. *Pats me on the head* I had fun. Bye.

RE: 7) Good luck on your little audition today.

Or then there was:

I think it's sweet that you have your little blog. But, I just think--I mean, as someone who's a professional--that that whole trend is just kind of annoying. Like now everyone has a chance to put in their two cents, write about their lives. Every person with a laptop can criticize the people who are actually out there, doing it. Like me.

RE: 8) Jury's out. Depends on how you look at it. Doesn't matter anyway.

RE: 9) I was somewhere after "Watch re-runs of America's Most Wanted," but possibly before "Learn to juggle." Possibly. But, if I were a betting woman, I'd say he spent a lot of his Alone Time with about eight tennis balls and a "How To" book. Just a hunch.

Bottom line. I meant what I said about what I want.

I want selflessness, not ego. No more inability to communicate. No more fear. Not another M. No more, "I Can Change Him's." Never again to, "He Would Be Perfect, If Only He Would Just...." No future blogs will be started as the result of my once-again broken heart.

I don't need the fairy tale. But, I do need The Hand Thing.

So that's why S was out. Way out. "Floating on the edge of the solar system near Pluto, happy--at last--to have no one around to take any of his fries" kind of out.

I was planning to have one final talk with him to let him know...

When, last Saturday, he called me (for the first time!) from Mexico, where he had been on a yoga retreat for 20 days.

Having made plans with David for Monday night, I told S that I couldn't see him Monday when he got in.

Me: "I can see you on Tuesday. You get in late Monday anyway. Tuesday will be good."

S: "Why not Monday?"

"Because I have plans."

"What plans?"

"Well. Because I'm going to a benefit."

"Oh. *hurt/challenging/aggressive* You're going on a date."

"Yes. Sorry, I didn't mean for it to come out like this. But, yes. I have a date. I don't want to lie about it. Besides. We talked about this. We decided we should still see other people. You suggested it. That's why you wanted to have that talk before I went on the cruise."

"How many times have you been out with this person? Are you sleeping with him? Have you kissed him?"

"Tomorrow night will be our third date. Why are you acting like this? I don't understand. We agreed that we would see other people."

It went on from there. Did I like this new person? Had I told him about S? Had I slept with him? Was I sure I hadn't slept with him? He didn't seem to hear my answers. As usual, he was hearing only what was coming from his own head. It was as though he had no recollection that seeing other people was his idea. As though I had lied to him. He hung up, claiming that he'd call me when he got back.

As expected, an hour later, I got another email.

This one was accusatory. He felt that I was obviously just using him for sex. He doesn't trust me. He called me dishonest. Couldn't believe I had been "diving into" another person, and had already gone on "so many" dates when he's been away for only "a couple of days." And he had been so open with me. Had really been working on building something special with me. And so on, and so on. My behavior is disgusting. He doesn't want to see me when he gets back. Good-bye.

Well. There it is. Good-bye.

Good riddance.

*working title

juin 09, 2004

Would You Believe Me?

Would you believe me if I told you that I had so much fun at the black tie on Monday, that I'm off to visit David in DC this weekend?

Well, you should.

'Cause I am.

Chinatown Bus: New York to DC. Leaving in half an hour.

See you all Saturday....

What Would Van Gogh Have Done With Times New Roman And A Little Red #D30000?

Not this.

But, on the plus side, I still have both of my ears.

Anyway, we're gonna move on and try not to dwell on the fact that I took Bellow's cute, little, primitive-but-adorable design, and grabbed it while it was skipping around happily on the internet, burbling and chirping, and playing with pots and pans, and drooling endearingly on other web site's key rings...

...and I clubbed it over the head until it died. Screaming in agony. Suffering in the dark. Alone. And frightened.


Let's welcome #0000CD Blue to the scene, and let's thank him profusely for tempering the whole Christmas-Year-Round-At-Bellow Feeling that was bothering us all.

Changeisgood, changeisgood, changeisgood.

And away we go.

juin 07, 2004

In Anticipation Of Tonight's Black Tie Gala

I feel like I swallowed fireworks.

Emerge-Slowly-Through-The-Parisian-Mist-With-The-Street-Lamps-Glowing-On-My-Way-To-Meet-My-Sexy-Italian-Lover Dress? Check.

Cinderella's-Glass-Slippers-SUCK-Compared-To-These-And-Even-If-Someone-Tries-To-Steal-My-Bag-I-Won't-Even-Use-These-Heels-To-Poke-His-Eyes-Out-Because-They're-THAT-Pretty-And-I-Wouldn't-Want-To-Get-Blood-On-Them Stillettos? Check.

Boy-Who-Went-To-Wedding-In-Mississippi-This-Weekend-And-Text-Messaged-Me-To-Say-The-Catfish-Was-Wonderful-And-He-Wished-I-Was-There-To-Try-Some? Check.

Everything is in place.

Couldn't be better if I had a fairy god mother.

juin 06, 2004

First: Panic. Then: Sulk.

What have I done?

My hands are all sweaty. And my nose won't uncrinkle. I hate this new green. I am not a green person. I'm a bold red. A snazzy yellow. My webpage looks like a John Deer ad.

God, and the font. Look at this font. I AM NEW COURIER, GOD DAMMIT, NOT FUCKING WHATEVER THE FUCK THIS NEW FONT IS. What is this new font called? If I could only find in the html code where this new font is described, THEN I COULD CHANGE IT!!! Crap. I need a Coke.

Ok. Whoo. Breathe.

Change is good, though. Right? Change is good. *Repeats new mantra frantically to Self.* Changeisgood,changeisgood,changeisgood.

hroghuhhhhuuuoooooo. (For those confused by the real-life sound reflected by that last series of letters, think petulance with a dash of tragic self-pity.)

Crap, crap.

juin 05, 2004

What I Want

Someone today asked me what I want in a relationship, so I told them this story.

The day my friend had her first baby was also the day that her brother died.

She got the phone call about Thomas's death early in the morning: a heart attack, sudden, unexpected, unexplainable. Though still two weeks away from her due date, the shock made her go into early labor, and when she got to the hospital, they recommended that she be induced rather than given drugs to stop the contractions.

I had never had a close friend have a baby before. In my head, the day was going to be so happy--Christmas times ten thousand. Sure, there'd be some nervousness about the delivery, but other than that, nothing but unwrapping cute baby-sized hats and pajamas. Nothing but smile after smile.

Instead, the day was about tension. Presents were awkward to offer in such a silent room. And, instead of nerves, there was real fear.

At 42, there were already risks for her. And the labor alone would've been exhausting, but to do it in that condition; I had never seen her eyes so still. Her body was swollen and heated, but her face was just limp, like something left too long in the rain.

We stayed through the night. My friend's husband, taking breaks in the waiting room before the labor started, told the story of their first date. We all smiled about her stubborn streak and their unconventional courtship. He told stories about all the things he loved about her, and it made us laugh. We worried for her and the baby, which made us cry. While he went to be with her, we sat, we left, we came back.

I understand, now, about waiting.

Sometime the next afternoon, the baby was finally born. They named him Thomas, and we loved him all the more for his dramatic, heart-breaking timing. He was perfect, and tiny, and a wailing, squirming example of all the things that life can be.

There was a moment when, slowly recovering her senses, my friend was sitting in bed, talking to me and holding Thomas. Our conversation was about what every conversation in maternity rooms is about: his baby smell, his baby hands, and his perfect, small baby feet. Our smiles stayed on now--how could they not, with those ten tiny little toes?--but our voices were still strained. We understood with particular clarity the truth of the world we were welcoming him to.

As my friend talked to me, she was suddenly, I assume, hit with some physical pain. Without saying a word, without so much as a noise or even a look, she held her hand out to her husband. Though he was also in the middle of a conversation with another friend, he reached over and took her hand. She was too weak to move on her own--still too swollen and ripped apart. So he helped her sit up. Neither of their conversations ever paused. Their eyes never met. They both continued talking, as though nothing had happened.

I sat in my chair in the corner, and knew I'd remember that moment.

You'll never see them in a Hollywood movie. Her arms were purple from bruises. Her eyes were bloodshot. She wasn't pretty. And he was grey with worry, and unshowered from nights of waiting. And they had a squalling baby instead of Dom Perignon and a suite filled with rose-petals.

But his hand was there almost before she knew she needed it.

And that's what love is.

juin 01, 2004

SVWM Seeks SWF For Nights of Couch-Sitting. Interests Include: Self, Alone-Time.

David may be a vegetarian, but S? S is VEGAN. A Vegan who should, apparently, have come with an instruction manual. Because S:

1) Does not like me to look at, or smile at him *while* he's eating. As previously mentioned, such behavior reminds him of his father.
2) Does not like me to touch him IN ANY WAY *during* meals or *immediately after* he's eaten.
3) Does not like me to taste, touch or otherwise try any of his food EVER. If I think I may want some of whatever it is he is eating, I must notify him of this impending desire, and he will then make or order EXTRA so that I can have my own, since taking even one French Fry (for example) off of his plate is EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN, and, if we didn't live in the modern United States of America, MIGHT ACTUALLY BE PUNISHABLE BY DEATH. Or, at least, that's the way he acts about it if you (for example) try to test him on this and take a fry.
4) Does not allow me to stay at his apartment to sleep over EVER, because "he doesn't sleep well with people."
5) Additionally, all visiting parties--meaning me--must exit his apartment at or before 1:30 AM EST, as that is when he hits what is called "The Wall" and needs what is called "Alone Time."
6) "Alone Time" is necessary at the following additional times:
* All-day Sunday so that he can continue his tradition of watching sports alone on his couch from dawn til dusk.
* Whenever else the mood strikes him. Including after I've been away for five days and we've had absolutely NO CONTACT and you'd think he'd be happy to see me, but he's not. Not really. Because, actually he's hoping I'll just pop by for a brief visit on Saturday after I fly in. Seeing as he's had a busy week AND NEEDS SOME ALONE TIME.
7) When not having "Alone Time," the following is a short sample of Things You Will NOT Find S Doing Because They Are Things That S Does NOT Do:
* You will not find S at the movies. As a maker of movies, he considers this to be "work."
* You will not find S at the theater. As an actor, he considers this to be work.
* You will not find S at any event where people gather together to listen to or tell stories. As a writer/director, he considers it difficult to watch other people's meager attempts at doing what it is that he does so well.
* You will not find S at bars, non-vegan restaurants, dances or clubs of any sort. Neither will you find him taking long walks, visiting me in Brooklyn, or generally leaving his apartment for any reason other than work or yoga. And since he works primarily from home...well, you do the math.

In short, you will not find him on a train, you will not find him in a plane. You will not find him in a tram, and (until they make it with organic soy) he will not eat green eggs and ham.

And you know where else you won't find him?


That's for DAMN sure.