Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jangle bells

Just to keep you abreast of my random thoughts on the radio content since mid-November:

Nov. 16: Yay!! The Christmas music is back!! And they've given us a whole extra week before Thanksgiving this year. Joy to the world, indeed! I love Christmas music, just love it.

Nov. 24: Two words for you: Darlene. Love.

Nov. 29: Damn you Darryl Hall and John Oates, making me love The Jingle Bell Rock the way you do!

Dec. 1: Oooh! I've never heard this version. Who knew that (insert cool artist name here) did a version of (insert great Christmas song name here) How exciting!

Dec 5: Hmmmm. I've never heard this version. Who let (insert mainstream pop artist name here) do a version of (insert name of decent Christmas song, made infinitely worse by artist above). How annoying.

Dec. 9: How come sometimes I hear Wonderful Christmastime and love it and other times I have to change the station? Wings is a bit of a guilty pleasure, but like all guilty pleasures you can only have so much. Egg nog anyone?

Dec. 11: Who the heck does Michael Buble think he is?? You're not a good actor. You do a decent rat pack member impression. Oh yeah, and you're Canadian. Take it down a notch!

Dec. 13: Is it me or are there only about 30 unique Christmas songs that everyone (and their mother) has done and redone over and over again? And over again. I'm looking at you Buble.

Dec. 18: I think I should notify the government of the torturous quality of hearing Felice Navidad on repeat. Adios water boarding... Hello Navidading!

Dec. 19: He saw mommy kissing Santa Claus? That's terrible. Can we discuss the emotional damage from this traumatic sight? The song's a bit too upbeat I think. Even the coolest new bike isn't going to erase the burned image and notion that his mom is a huge slut.

Dec 23: OK. Enough!! I've had my fill. All good until next year. Except for a few, which I am still somehow able to listen to each and every time:

My top 5 holiday songs:

All I Want For Christmas, Mariah Carey: This was always a solid top ten entry for my list until I found out (only in the past few years, weirdly) that this classic isn't truly a classic at all. This is not Mariah Carey kicking butt on a well known song, this is Mariah Carey writing and producing (ok, co-writing and co-producing) one of the best Christmas songs ever. Well done M. She bumped her significance factor with that one, and secured a spot in my holiday top 3.

Do They Know It's Christmas: The 1984 Band Aid version, not the completely unnecessary cheap, cheesy version put out by US pop stars in more recent years. Unnecessary Remake Alert!!
A classic holiday song as well as a wonderful way of raising money for a great cause. (see my post "the best nation is do-nation" for my thoughts on good vs. bad ways of fundraising)

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas: Sappy and sentimental, but warms me better than a nice fire!

This Christmas, Donny Hathaway: It's just a great Christmas song that makes me happy.

On a technicality, I will submit three songs under this one sub-heading:
Songs I Don't Think Should Only Be Played At Christmas:
Fairytale of New York, The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl; Celebrate Me Home, Kenny Loggins and Last Christmas, Wham!: Regardless of the name, I don't think that Last Christmas should only be played this time of year. I love Wham! And I love this song. So much so that it is my karaoke go-to... but not in December. That would be lame. Make this my formal plea to the radio stations to break from tradition and play these songs all year long!
I would add Bruce's Santa Claus is Coming To Town here, but as much as I get a total kick out of Clarence making him giggle through the end of the song, they really went for it with the jingling bells so I'm not sure I could do that all year long.

While I'm here... I will also submit a few of my least favorites:

Felice Navidad: see above... simply torturous.

Carol of the Bells: As if the holidays aren't stressful enough! This song makes me unnecessarily anxious. Just hearing the quick paced choir singing makes my heart beat faster. And now that I sing "give a, give a, give a, give a Garmin" instead of "merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas" I see the joy of the holidays ripped away from me with the dinging of these Christmas bells.

The Chipmunk Song: I'll admit to not always hating it... but it's late in the season and their voices are annoying.

Tell me what holiday songs bring you joy and which make you say "Bah, Humbug!"

Oh yeah, and have yourself a merry little Christmas now!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The best nation is do-nation

If I disappear shortly after this post is published, you will all know I was seriously on to something.

There is a lot that makes me suspicious. Granted, I am a bit more paranoid in this new day and age where it seems more people seek out their livelihood by taking advantage of other people than by putting in actual hard work. There are certain things that just don't add up, and maybe there are genuine red flags worth pointing out.

Why does the small indie book store across the street from me never have the book I want? You're a book store... at least offer to order it for me. Why do the cheap shoe stores open and immediately put a SALE sign in the window? Surely you're going to have a go at selling your goods at full price first, no? How in the world can these nail places afford to charge only $10 to paint my nails for over 30 minutes, pay the lady who did it and pay rent? My guess is that they are all fronts for something else. And "kill me" cabs (livery cabs to the average person, but also known as "black cabs" before you could stick a phone number bumper sticker and T-license plate on any colored car) are they as dangerous as I fear them to be? I mean in a lock you inside and drive you somewhere to steal your organs way, not referring to their gradual lane drifts or random breaking while accelerating.

But suspicions run particularly deep when I am approached on the street by a perky 20 something carrying a clipboard. I object to them blocking the sidewalks and desperately wanting to talk to me about something.  The assumption that any person can spare time to chat about their cause seems ridiculous to me. Their "pick-up"" lines are ludicrous and very often discredit their organization more than they help it.

In many cases I actually do support their cause, but legitimately just don't have the time to talk. Do they have to use such awkward lines that make me feel like a jerk if I can't stop? "Ma'am, a minute if you support gay rights?" Well, I do support gay rights. But I don't have a minute... does that make everyone around us now think I don't support gay rights? That's not fair. Can't I somehow support them and not miss my train?

To the Planned Parenthood boy who sees me walking with a stroller and says "I bet you like kids." Um, yes, I do. In fact I am about to have one having a complete meltdown because it's 30 minutes past nap time and you are preventing me from getting home as quickly as possible... I do like kids, and I can assume that if you keep me for one more minute, you will no longer like kids.

I suppose the part that really concerns me is that in this day and age, is it advisable to stop on the street and give a stranger your name, telephone number and *gasp* credit card information? It just seems like one of those dumb a$$ things that you hear someone did and you say, well duh! why would you do that? Do people really do that? Why?!?

And I'm not just saying this because I've been burned in the past. Did I buy ten tickets to a comedy club because technically I was getting them for the price of only three? Yes. I never used them. Did I buy $500 worth of salon treatments for only $75... of course. And then on the day I could actually use them the salon is overbooked and I ended up with a half hearted eyebrow wax and a terrible blowout (I'm guessing $50 max). Plus tip.

But I guess those experiences helped turn me from an open minded deal seeker into the skeptical, untrusting woman who doesn't believe that this is really what this young generation has to do to make money these days. In fact, are these even legitimate jobs? I'm pretty sure I could go out and make a t-shirt that says anything half credible sounding and carry a clipboard. Is that all I have to do to get people's names, addresses, credit card information (or better yet, cash?). Am I just some sort of cynical, evil person that I don't really trust all of these people? Ok, the World Wildlife Fund I've heard of, but Children's International? I mean, sure, it sounds legit, but admit it, it also sounds kinda fake. It's just believable enough, and it has the word children in it, so it must be real, right?

Why are these organizations paying people to stand in the street collecting money? Is that a good use of the donations they do get? On behalf of the polar bear I will say it is not.

I will cite the 12.12.12 concert as a very good way of soliciting donations. I'm relaxing at home in the evening being entertained by a star-studded concert, of course I'm going to call in and donate. Hello Eddie Vedder! *swoon* Well played Robin Hood Foundation. Though I will note that their name also sounds too fake to be real, but, in Bruce we trust.

I think I will stick with the charities that I can seek out in person, or on the phone or online to make contributions to in the comfort of my own home over a secure internet connection. Untrusting? Definitely. Impatient? Absolutely. Overprotective of my personal information. For sure. Gonna buy a bridge while walking down the street? Hopefully not again.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What you talkin' about Willis?

I was always under the impression that moms knew and understood everything their children said. I have seen it happen... An adorable tot sits babbling some nonsense and the mom calmly and sweetly replies in detailed response to the child's statement. What a crock! Have I somehow failed as a mom? Because there are times I haven't got a clue what this kid is on about. I don't think it's a problem though... In fact, I think it's making her up her game a bit.

I've managed to translate some key words, and her general mood I can read, but she will go on a four minute rant about something and the best I can do is smile, nod and say "oh really?". That's the kind of generically polite response I give strangers and old people... Surely my daughter deserves more.

Of course the alternative is when I do understand a word. When she manages to say a word perfectly clear, but feels she must repeat it 600 times for maximum effect. She managed to spot a clementine on our counter the other day. She knows them as "a orange" and frankly, I believe that's close enough. Of course, they don't peel themselves. I swear, this thing was the size of a golfball yet took me WAY too long to peel. What is way too long you ask? About 38 "a orange"'s. And the "yes"'s and "it's coming"'s don't hold these kids off one bit.

We're currently in the thick of a tricky time where the words she is convinced she is articulating perfectly aren't always words I know and understand. I do appreciate her frustration, though I am also likely to jump up and cheer for myself when I do crack the code. I know, I need to learn to play it cooler than that. But all in all she does a damn good job getting her point across.

She was saying something over and over and over the other night. I was stumped, and despite my asking "what?" about a gazillion times, I wasn't getting it. She rolled her eyes, walked over to me, grabbed my hands and started doing the dance we do to "London Bridge." (the children's classic, not the Fergie classic). Oh, OK! She was saying "London bridge." Of course it sounded a bit more like "yound feesh" if you ask me... which she did, hence the problem. But the fact is that she got her point across, despite my denseness. So, is my stupidity making my daughter smarter? Is my inability to communicate making her a better communicator? This could be the best thing to happen to a (whatever the opposite of a tiger mom is), like me.

In terms of laziness, it takes very little work for me to not understand her. Yet she seems quite committed to making me understand her. Brilliant! When the time comes, I can have her explain her Spanish and new math homework to me as "prep" for her midterms. I can also have her explain things I genuinely don't understand, like meteorologists and their terrible track records (no other job lets you be wrong that much and keep your job). But for now, I will try to understand as much as possible.

Last week I was playing a peekaboo hybrid game which was making her laugh. She laughed into a giggle, then into a sigh and then said "funny" at the end. This is, without a question, the greatest mommy moment I have had to date. The kid called me funny. Of all the things I have struggled to understand, she chose that moment to be perfectly clear. She nailed it. Seriously. I'm not sure what else to say, but that it was at once ego boosting and humbling. She thinks I'm funny. I think I'm lucky. And I'm pretty sure there's proof that you don't need full comprehension to understand each other.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's not paranoia... or is it??

There has always been this phenomenon that the things we remember from our childhood seem to shrink as we grow. It is both literal, as people and places are much bigger to a small child than to an adult, and figurative as these things remain the same size, but our confidence and experiences eventually change the way we view them.

Have all of the things from our childhood remained the same? The answer is no. These days I have an "incredible growing woman" complex where I feel like a giant with some of these commonly used items. They look so tiny in my hands!

Package sizes are shrinking, individual unit sizes are shrinking, but to credit the grocery industry, they have done it in the most mind-f#$%ing way possible. They have been shaving off grams and ounces very slowly over the past couple of decades and I'm onto them!

The cereal boxes back then didn't just seem larger because they had to fit a crappy plastic toy inside, the boxes actually were bigger! Cans of tuna didn't used to be single serve, and yet I don't always have a full second serving left over anymore. Is 5 ounces even a thing? Shouldn't it at least be 6 ounces if it wants me to take it seriously?

Have you seen a candy bar lately? They are .66 of their original sizes, cost twice as much as they used to, and they have the audacity to then package two into a package, call it King Size and charge double the inflated regular size price. I understand the smaller one is a healthier serving size, but don't pretend like they were doing it for our health benefit.

Unfortunately for Philadelphia brand, there are way too many recipes that call for one bar/block of cream cheese, not necessarily 8 ounces, so if they started to shrink the bars, our cheesecakes and frostings would be totally screwed up and they'd have to admit to f$&@ing with us openly. Probably not going to happen.

I understand that these tricks offset rising costs and allow the companies to not raise prices, so we pay the same amount for less... My point, which hopefully I am getting close to, is that it just feels weird to get messed with this openly, so unapologetically. It cheapens us, without actually making anything cheaper of course.

Obviously there are costs involved in creating new packaging... Just not as much as keeping the same amout of product inside, clearly.

This bulls!tting of the consuming public runs deep. At times it is pretty 'in yo face!'
They actually redesigned the packaging of this gum to include one less piece... What a commitment to such a blatant rip-off. It's offensive!

Other companies go the more passive aggressive route and keep the packaging the same but just put less in.
Same size bag, just half full... or half empty depending on your fondness for candy corn.

And somehow they convinced us years ago that potato chips "settled" in the bag... They just put less in! We really bought into that whole "settled" thing, didn't we?

My current favorite "are they seriously trying to get away with this??" things are the chocolate diamonds sold by LeVian. They most recently came out with their honey gold line of luxury jewelry, or as the rest of us may notice: yellow and brown diamonds. I will admit, I am no diamond expert. I only found out via Leonardo DiCaprio and his unique South African accent that a blood diamond wasn't a reference to their red hue. But I'm pretty sure yellow and brown diamonds were at one time valueless and not really sold anywhere. It's like Welch's has gone into the high-end non-alcoholic wine business... But isn't it still just crap they're selling?

And finally, what happened to the good old days when a roll of toilet paper was just a roll of toilet paper? First they introduce the "double" sized roll, which seemed bigger. Then they topped that with the "triple" massive, wouldn't fit in some toilet paper holders, roll. Somewhere along the way, the standard for the double size went missing and they call pretty much anything a double roll these days. Seriously, I just looked at my "double" roll. That is what a roll of toilet paper used to look like. Of course I no longer have any of the old school regular rolls to compare it to, but I know they lasted more than a day! I cannot be the only person that has noticed. And yet, the madness continues.

A part of me just wants to admire the ingenuity involved in thinking to re-package, re-brand, re-market these things to try to increase sales, but mainly I just feel bad for the rest of us for getting completely jerked around by these capitalistic criminals! That and I really don't like people taking food away from me or giving me less quality for more money.

Monday, November 5, 2012


First let me say that my heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of those who have lost so much because of Sandy. Second let me thank all of the first, second and ongoing responders for their continuous help and assistance to the many people in need. These moments of crisis help give us all perspective on what is important, and now, while it is fresh in our minds, is a great time to contribute to the cause of recovering and rebuilding. Donate to the Red Cross, your local fire house or police station or find a way to volunteer your time, if you have it, or cleaning supplies, water and canned goods to those in need.

But now is as good a time as any to recognize the huge roller coaster of emotions we've all been on this past week. The constant see-sawing of moods and mindsets is a nice reminder of not only what kind, beautiful human beings we can be, but also what huge selfish jerk-holes we are too. These varying personalities are in most of us, but we casually glide from one to the other seamlessly during an otherwise calm period of time. During crisis mode we switch back and forth from incredible hulk-like bursts of righteous indignation to flower child prayers for spreading peace and love like the precious power switching off, then on, then off, then finally on for good.

I felt like a bit of a hypocrite through my many changes in mood and outlook. I spent a week careening from feelings of guilt for the people that had it so much worse to feelings of exasperation that only a few blocks from my apartment everything was business as usual as if nothing was wrong. My feelings of euphoria that everyone I know was safe quickly switched to feelings of depression that my apartment became too cold to inhabit. And during about half of these mood swings I found myself thinking that I was a grade A jerk.

For example:
In my jerk head: I'm bummed that I have to cut my first weekend away with my husband short, pay to change our flights and fly home early.
While in reality: We still got to have dinner before we flew out, thereby missing nothing but a night sleeping in a hotel room, as we were leaving the next morning anyway. And we did make it home safe to our little one before flights were cancelled.

In my jerk head: I'm all prepared and stocked up on essentials. It's Sunday night... where's the damn storm?!? They said it would be here by now!!
While in reality: The scientists have managed to not only predict that a bad storm is coming, but have taken to the airwaves to warn people to prepare so we are not caught off guard. Pretty incredible.

In my jerk head: The people in the evacuation zones on the beaches and in the direct line of the storm who are going to try to "ride it out" are jerks and they really should evacuate and not put other people's lives at risk by staying.
While in reality: Our apartment was in evacuation zone A and we were meant to evacuate before the storm even hit. We didn't because we figured we could "ride it out."

Back to my jerk head: I can't believe we lost power. It's New York Freakin' City. Surely they will get it up and running immediately, they can't just leave us all here in the dark for a week.
While in reality: We were meant to evacuate... remember?? Only the place we were going to go had lost power too... now what??

Back to the jerky thoughts in my jerky head: I really despise the sensationalist news and their panic producing coverage. How are people supposed to remain calm and get ready if they are practically having seizures while telling us how bad it's going to be.
And then back to reality: Now I have no power and no tv or internet and I want to know how crazy and bad it is out there!

Still in reality: The power finally comes back on and we are restored...
Back to my jerk head: Where's the cable? The internet? The heat? Hot water? I figured the power took so long that everything else would be good to go by now. (*eye roll aimed at you, Time Warner!!*)

I've seen the Day After Tomorrow... I knew that high tide wouldn't get us on our higher floor and after the storm surge subsided, we only needed to make it up to the public library to go hang out with Jake Gyllenhaal... I had a contingency plan!

But all plans and calm were out the window. No power, phones, internet or cable was pretty jarring. I'm pretty sure this was a bit of a wake-up call to many folks how attached to technology we are and how difficult things are without it. But again, all perspective is lost until you sort your own sh!t out.

I think everyone had a least one moment to take stock of what is truly important, and if you're like me you also had moments to fret about the utterly useless and absurd. I think that's what we all do... teeter between the saint and the villain and just hopefully spend more time on the good side. It is during these moments of crisis that we show who we really are and what we're made of. Thankfully, I only acted on my good thoughts, not the jerky ones.

If you haven't acted on your good thoughts yet:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Going postal

I understand that the past few years have not been kind to the postal system. The advent and overwhelming use of email has made handwriting letters a rare occurrence. They've lost a lot of business, and the business they still have has a bad rap. Let's be honest, for the most part we only get junk mail or bills, and no one really likes either. So the postal system is hurting.

If you've visited an actual post office lately, you'll have picked up on a slight to major bad attitude held by most of their employees. They are pissed. And they are not afraid to show it. While some companies treat a major loss of business and the threat of extinction with a certain PR savvy by improving service and treating customers better, the post office has taken a different tack altogether. They have decided to berate, belittle and condescend as their answer to losing their position in this world. It's certainly unique. I'm not sure it will work, but hopefully I am wrong about that.

In fact, I must be wrong. Certainly my own behavior suggests the confusing loyalty of an abused spouse. They treat me like crap and I just keep coming back for more. I will continue to need them to send holiday cards, packages overseas and the like, and I think they know they've got me by the balls... if I had balls, which I obviously don't because I keep using them.

I find it incredible that no matter when I go or what I am sending, I never have the correct forms filled out. Again, most organizations these days are streamlining and making their services and products easier for people to use. The post office takes a certain amount of pleasure in this "baffle and fluster" mission they seem to be on.

Case in point, I sent two identical packages to a similar location overseas, I just made the mistake of sending them on two different days. Needless to say, the first day I showed up with no clue which of the small labels, tags or forms I needed to fill out. The second day, however, I had a leg up on the process. I stood and filled out all the necessary labels and showed up beaming with pride to the window to send my package. Wouldn't you know it, the lady was all too happy to point out that I had forgotten a tag. And when I say happy... she rolled her eyes and seemed on the verge of laughter, so whatever emotion was being conveyed there. I questioned her accuracy since I had been able to send the other package without this new mystery tag. She scoffed and said that I needed it, period/full stop.

Ok, just a little sidebar here: At the end of our sentences in America we have periods. Very often people will verbalize the word to signify the end of a statement.
"You are not going to that bar. Period."
That same punctuation mark in England is called a full stop. Same use, ending sentences, different phrase.
"You isn't going to that gaf. Full stop."
Now, in general, I do believe we win the grammar war, but I am going to have to side with the Brits on this one. My English husband, with good reason, finds the use of the word period in that situation rather vulgar and weird. I agree, however I grew up ending sentences with a period, I will continue to end my sentences with a period. Period. End of statement.

But back to the demeaning and humiliation over at the post office.
I think they're f#$%ing with us, those postal workers. I may have needed that other tag, but I may not have... or maybe it was the other form I didn't need. Those forms and labels are their way of saying that we may drive their business down, but they are still in control. The forms are the little hoops they will always be able to make us jump through. And to top it all off, they make it like I should be grateful because after I go back to fill it out, they say I don't have to wait on the full line again. Gee whiz mister, thanks!

My local branch has a mix bag bunch of Jekyll and Hyde characters who will very often soften their gruff exterior by the time I'm leaving, but it takes some work to get there. And it's work every single time! They NEVER remember me, so I literally have to start from scratch winning them over each time. And silly girl that I am, I can neither give up on trying to make them nice nor take all my business to FedEx (I mean, they're no congeniality winners either!) I want to use the post office. I will use the post office. I just wish they didn't have to be such jerks.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Peace be with you...

My mother was pushing my daughter in the stroller recently down one of our lovely nearby streets when she happened upon a mother standing with her three young children. The woman was blocking the sidewalk, so my mother said "excuse me" in a rather commonly used courteous attempt to pass them. The woman, with her adorable brood looking on, turned to my mom and said "What b!tch? I don't have to move for you." My mom calmly waited for her to make space and eventually walked by. She did suggest that the woman not speak that way in front of her kids, but it was more of an afterthought since she had no interest in getting her a$$ kicked while out walking with my daughter.

The grim reality of this exchange is that we are breeding more rude New Yorkers than polite ones. It's simple mathematics really. That woman had three kids under her tutorial, my mom, only one. This town is doomed if that is an accurate portrayal of the statistics of nasty mother f#$kers vs. the rest of us. It's also sad because on a good day, my mom could have easily made that woman feel very small, but she restrained her anger in the best interest of my child. I only wish that other mother could have done the same.

There's a lot out there that we may not like, but we must tolerate. We tolerate for a number of reasons: we are a role model to someone, we have no time to make a decent argument against, our manners won't allow an official assault, or maybe it's a just friend or relative that you simply must put up with. The people listed below are tolerate-able, but can also be deemed annoying. Personally, I tolerate them because I don't want to be an a$$hole, but also because that's how I was raised. Thanks mom... sorry about the angry blog and stuff.

Potted Plants - Also known as old people, but certainly not exclusively. These are human obstacles that there is no moving. I should mention that I have a soft spot for the old and infirm. If you're like me, there is no method of venting your frustration towards an elderly dear that will make you feel good about yourself. Don't bother clearing your throat or cursing under your breathe. They are not going anywhere. The best thing you can do is back up and walk around. Keep calm and carry on.

Kids - I don't have the same soft spot for kids as I do old people. Basically, if you can tie your own laces, you can watch where the f#$% you're going. If you don't, I might just let you know it. You're gonna have to learn some time junior.

Streettalkers - Not to be confused with street walkers, these people talk while they are walking. Sometimes it is as innocuous as a simple hello. Sometimes it's a befuddling "what's up sexy freakin' hot" (*that was an actual quote from an actual streettalker... I was and still am the befuddled recipient). I'm not sure if these talkers want a response, or what the appropriate response even is. But after much consideration I have devised a key to help in these awkward situations.
The eloquent streettalkers will get affirmation. 
The complementary ones will get a thank you. 
The amusing ones will get a nod. 
The witty, friendly ones will get a laugh. 
The bodily function "noisemakers" will be ignored. 
The loud, disruptive ones will get me to cross the street. 

And that brings me to the crazies - It's probably best to just avoid them when possible. Their primary goal is to disrupt your journey. View them as a louder, smellier version of a potted plant. Plot your course around them and continue on your way.

Dawdlers and wanderers - Similar to a potted plant, but slightly more annoying as their minor movements give you false hope. Feel free to assess the situation. If they are below retirement age and of good mental health, feel free to yell at them. But beware: if they turn out to be a crazy in disguise, run!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Maybe I'm not a people person

I like to think I'm a decent person. I do wish for the people of the world to one day come together and live in peace. But part of me is still realistic and realizes that we cannot all come together with such a prevalence, dare I say epidemic, of stupidity out there. Stupid people doing stupid things, and it's happening all around us. Insert appropriate snarky political comment here.

While I see this stupidity everywhere from foreign dictators to the checkout line at the grocery store, I will narrow it down to some of the people I feel really deserve my attention here. I will begrudgingly take a moment here to point out it is not all of the people mentioned, but a bad bunch of each that I hold responsible for my anger... except for the traffic cops. They all suck. Each and every one of them.

Traffic Cops
True to their name, these paid state officials are set loose throughout the city with the sole purpose of causing traffic. And they almost always succeed. I am a frustrated walker, but I am a downright angry driver, especially when I get within spitting (only did it once!) distance of a traffic cop.
In their quest for honking horns and misguiding trucks, these orange vested fools will often take the perfectly functioning traffic lights as mere suggestions. Aren't there people that study this? Hasn't the traffic light system been designed to function so that we don't need people in the middle of the street directing who goes when? Is there a problem with the system that leads the traffic cop to believe it is OK to freestyle and choose the traffic patterns in spite of what the light says?
If you are crossing the street based on the walk signal in front of you (a novel idea, really), you can find yourself in quite the predicament as all the frustrated drivers try to drive over you to get past the intersection and back on their way... all this per some arm flailing that says they should in fact drive over you, even though they technically have a red light.
In short: if you see a traffic cop in the street, proceed with caution. Traffic looms ahead.

Ah, la touristas, or as New Yorkers like to refer to them, la hinderance to our traveling anywhere quickly and easily at any time of day, anywhere in the city. Tourists could probably have their own blog dedicated to their berating, certainly their own post, and yet we also have to cut them a bit more slack. Though they often come from cities which do practice good walking skills, they are on vacation and cannot be expected to be sensible or considerate when in a foreign country. And hopefully they will also take a break from sarcasm, leaving that last sentence to fall upon them kindly.
Non Americans have a terrible sense of personal space... or perhaps, like everything else American, ours is just oversized?
The tourists I'm referring to are the primary reason any sensible New Yorker or savvy tourist knows to avoid Times Square. Sure, we all love big colorful signs that light up, and ooooh! they're so high up! We get the appeal. But until there is a way for people to gaze lovingly at these LCD displays while not blocking up the sidewalks, I think I'll give it a miss.
A note to my tourists out there: If you are taking a photo in a high traffic spot, like for example across the entire sidewalk, I am going to walk through your photo. I shouldn't be considered the rude one in that situation.
Also, slowly wandering down the street while taking up the entire sidewalk is just unnecessary and makes me hate you so much more. Case in point:
This is actually one group of people, SLOWLY walking down the street, not speaking English. Confirmed sh!tty tourists.

I used to be one, so I can only be so critical. I held myself to a certain set of standards though, so it is fair that I hold other smokers to those standards as well. Any more would be hypocritical, any less would be uncivilized.
The smoking ban in buildings has forced smokers out onto the sidewalks. I understand you feel wronged as you were once able to smoke in the comforts of your own office/stairwell and now you have to suffer the extreme heat/cold. But never forget that these are sidewalks, not smoking pens, and we the walkers were here first. I'm not saying that we can't peacefully coexist, just know your place... second, in this case.
Unless you can guarantee you are alone on the street, please be conscious of the fact that you are not. Assume that other people on the street are not smokers who forgot their pack at home and are jonesing for one so it falls on you to actually blow it in their face. In fact, unless someone comes up to you with some heartbreaking tale of how they have no cigarettes, no money, but desperately need a drag and need you to blow one in their face, assume that the rest of us do not need you to blow it in our faces. Thanks anyway though.

I am a proud New Yorker. I know full well that jaywalking is against the law, but I can argue to the death that it is only against the law like pot is against the law. Not because it is a bad thing, not because it doesn't serve it's purpose, but because a few misguided individuals have no clue how to handle it properly, it is ruined for the rest of us. The drivers definitely pose a greater risk to the walker, and in our city they should usually give the walkers the right of way. But honestly, people that attempt to cross when traffic has the right of way are foolish people that do not deserve the protection of the law.
If you are not fit enough to potentially run across the street, you should not be jaywalking as you could have to run at any moment. If you personally object to looking both ways, you should not be jaywalking. If you believe that New York drivers won't really hit you, you should not be jaywalking. But for those of us that can handle the task of safely crossing the street and not getting in any driver's way, we should be allowed to do it. Everyone else can get the tickets.

Monday, October 1, 2012


I don't really get fashion. I like clothes. I've been known to wear them, often. But what started as an appreciation for a standard version of beauty has since turned into a visual p!ssing contest. I enjoy seeing beautiful clothes, but there's a lot that goes on in the fashion industry that confounds me. Like the players in said industry trying to out-weird each other. I just don't get it.

I know this behavior is not limited to the fashion industry. The art world is just full of "art for art sake" people who make a meal of being seen as 'so strange they must be amazing.' I have to wonder how much substance remains inside if you feel you have to wear your interestingness on the outside. Interestingness is one of many words I would have sworn I made up, yet the spell check isn't underlining it, so I guess not.

New York City probably has the highest rate per capita of people that think their sh!t doesn't stink, or rather that the distinct funk of their sh!t is so superior to others that we should just be grateful that they walk the streets with us and haven't needed to construct an alternative walkway for themselves out of sight of us mere mortals. So perhaps I just encounter these people more frequently because of where I live.

It seems like mainstream is the latest curse word and alternative is the new norm. When did it become a bad thing to be recognized and appreciated by many? It seems like the thing to be right now is under-appreciated or misunderstood. Why? Because some of the great people in history were under-appreciated and misunderstood? The faulty logic at play here leaves these modern day "greats" both desperate for attention and disgusted by it at the same time. Don't dress in a way that begs to be noticed and then object to the attention it garners.

This is not directed to everyone that dresses in that attention seeking way. For some of them do truly and openly seek that attention. They thrive off it. Some others (back to those fashion types) just need to dress a certain way to be accepted professionally. I'm just wondering if there is in fact a place where it all balances out. Or do we eventually get to the place where blue jeans and a white t-shirt seems somehow strange and a fashion statement unto itself. Can everything be unique if unique itself becomes a common thing?

What it really boils down to is that I question a lot of the stuff I see on people these days.
I can chalk a certain amount of squeamishness up to my age. I may have considered leather hot pants in my youth, but feel that I have turned the corner on hot pants in general, leather or not.

I am 5' 10" so I have no right to judge someone who feels they need 7" heels. It's impressive enough that they can walk in them. Which naturally brings me to the girls who can't walk in high high heels. Please, just stop wearing them. You look terrible teetering up there. It's not a fashion statement, it's an affront to your intelligence that you think the beauty of the shoe overshadows how awkward you look in them.

A lot of tight dresses out there too. Sexy tight dresses. Jersey dresses that cling, bandage dresses, bondage dresses... do your thing ladies. But um, can you please consider that the tight, clingy look may not exactly suit your body type. Many of you can rock this look. Pregnant ladies, I am talking to you. If there is ever a question of when a tight dress is appropriate, it is when you are pregnant. Rock it, unapologetically. I love to see a tight dress and a big bump. It makes me happy. Pregnancy can suck a lot of your beauty and confidence and this is one way, a small way, to get some confidence back. I probably wore more tight clothing while I was pregnant than during the rest of my life combined. You just own it. Of course, I am fairly sure that some ladies are not incubating a small human, but just in need of some proper smoothing undergarments or may just need to skip the tight clingy dress altogether.

Back to my squeamishness... have you seen the lengths of dresses these days?? They are shirts. At least on my frame they are. But they are worn by many a lady sans pants. And I walk behind them with the intent gaze of a pervert or a confused peer, wondering how it is possible with every step they take that I can actually see straight up to the top end of their leg. How is this acceptable? My husband pointed out recently that as long as you can't see the smile of an ass cheek, it's all good. I know he's right because some of those jean shorts this summer revealed more than a few of those ass smiles and I was downright horrified each time. I know the economy is taking it's toll, but can companies only afford to make dresses with this new drop length in an attempt to maximize their fabric and save money? Have these ladies sold their mirrors in a last ditch effort to save some money and therefore cannot see their own ass cheek before they leave the house?

You can hopefully understand that with a small daughter at home, I find this fashion trajectory utterly frightening. Are we in the midst of a fashion full circle which finds us reverting back to how we started in this world, naked? Surely we've realized the need for loin cloths at least and won't return to fully naked, but again, where does it stop? What is the balance point?

I'll leave you with this thought...

So that's actually two people's judgment I have to call into question. He could have easily pointed out the fact that the sheerness of her dress bordered on inappropriate. I'm not saying you could get arrested for this type of behavior. We all know the phrase fashion police is reserved for bitchy quarter-celebs ripping each other apart, and that they wield no legal power over the dressing habits of others. But let's all take a moment to think before we walk out of the house. Do I want to get noticed? Am I proud of this look? Would my grandparents or grandchildren be proud of this look? Am I trying too hard? Am I not trying hard enough? Can you actually see my ass somehow?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

to Melv

Adrian 'Melv' Melville at our wedding - always ready for a good time
I lost a dear friend of mine recently.
Melv was simply one of the kindest, gentlest, friendliest, most fun loving individuals I may ever know.
The loss of a friend like this can have two effects... it can help you appreciate every day and it can also make you question everything in your life. The period of mourning can be a time of great introspection. I have been able to reflect on the time I got to spend with Melv. I appreciate every day that I got to spend with him and I am so grateful for the life lessons I will take from his life. Stay positive and you can help make those around you more positive. Seek out your own happiness, not at the expense of your loved ones, but with their help and encouragement. Teach your children well by setting a solid example of how to behave, how to love, laugh and enjoy life.
Living each day in his honor is a beautiful tribute to him, but it is also quite difficult as I tend to slip very easily into my habitual behavior which was built around anger, not positivity. Re-teaching myself how to act and react is not easy, but it is something I am committed to. If I have one person think about me what every person that met Melv thought about him, I will have succeeded, not only in making my life better, but in honoring his life.
So, what do I make of this blog? It serves no greater purpose. It doesn't teach anything. It doesn't improve society or the world around me. It doesn't provide reference for people. In this introspective time, I could look at it as a giant waste of time and energy. But my purpose (in life, if not this blog) is to entertain. My marketable skills are few and far between, but I have always been able to make people laugh. I hope to do that here. I hope you see the anger as a bit tongue-in-cheek, though I will take this opportunity to admit that I actually put my tongue in my cheek every time I say that phrase to try and understand what it means, but I do not. Anyone?
If I can make people laugh, that makes me happy. So if you will please excuse my indulgence as I try to do that here... maybe not here in this particular post since I've gone all serious on you here, but here nonetheless. (Um, nonetheless? Another one I use too much for not having a full grasp on it's actual meaning).
I hope you knew Melv. If you did, you know that his death was a tragic loss to the world. We lost a beacon of positivity and happiness. A friend who always made us smile and feel special. If you didn't know Melv, I hope you know someone that does this for you. I hope you try to emulate that behaviour and be a good person. We lost a lot of good in this world and we all need to step up and fill that void. The emptiness in our hearts may always be there, but appreciating our lives and all we do is the best way to begin to heal.

Friday, September 7, 2012

You cannot be serious

Some things just boggle my mind... they both infuriate and confuse. Spencer and Heidi (remember them?) being famous is one example of my angry confusion. Why were they famous? Why did I care enough to hate them? Why was I so thankful when they just up and disappeared? Will everyone that is famous for no reason disappear like that eventually? Here are some other things that make me angry and confused.

Spitting: Spitting is just gross. I'm not sure how a civilized society such as ours has agreed to allow that type of behavior to go on. If you've ever been accidentally spit on, you'd probably sign the petition to repeal that allowance. Even if it's not flying towards you, who wants to step in someone else's spit? Ew! Why? I just don't get it. 
Don't even get me started on the old farmer's blow... walking down Sixth avenue no less. Really? I think the corn field is one acceptable place to cover one nostril and just blow it all  out, but walking down a crowded street? What? Did I miss some informal agreement we all made to try to gross each other out as much as possible? Yeah, I'm talking to you ass pickers. 

Littering: Another intolerable offense. The most satisfying way of dealing with a litterbug I actually discovered by accident. Thoughtful to a fault, I chased after this woman thinking she must not realize the crumpled up piece of paper she "dropped" had fallen from her possession onto the middle of the sidewalk. I thought I was helping out by giving her back this precious piece of paper. Her reaction lacked the gratitude or even faux embarrassment one would hope for. She looked at me and said, "no sweetie, I threw that away." As there were several trash receptacles on the block, but none within a few feet of her when she "dropped" it, I said, "really? on the street?" She rolled her eyes at me, huffed and grabbed the paper out of my hand as if I  single handedly had not only ruined her day, but was preaching some god awful rhetoric on the demise of humankind if civilized people can not walk 10 feet out of their way to actually deposit trash into the bin. To remind you, all I managed to say was, "really? on the street?" But I was quite satisfied with her reaction since I clearly managed to get my point across. 
That woman will no doubt litter again, and I will no doubt continue to run after people with receipts, tissues (dry, not wet... I mean, I'm not some sort of martyr), dry cleaning tags, etc. It makes me feel good to attempt to embarrass these people a bit.

Ramps: Now, I'll be honest, until I had a kid, ramps never really meant all that much to me. Frankly, when I am without my child, they still don't. But to see an otherwise healthy looking person walk six steps out of their way just to use one, to avoid lifting their leg an extra four inches to get up the regular curb is disturbing to say the least. Once you are one of the "wheeled" pedestrians for whom the cuts in the curbs are meant for, it elevates disturbing to frustrating. 
The people that have the right to the ramps: wheelchairs, rolling luggage, rolling carts, handcarts/delivery people, strollers, the blind, the elderly or infirm, dogs. 
People who do not have a right to the ramps: everyone else. 
Not that they must be avoided completely... Those fit individuals may use the ramps, but in the case of someone with a genuine claim coming, get out the way! It seems that more often than not, the people who shouldn't be using them not only use them, but use them and block the way of the aforementioned people. 
If I am in a wheelchair, pushing a trolley/cart, pulling luggage, wheeling a baby, old, blind, etc., the only people who should be fighting me for access to the ramp are the people who are also in a wheelchair, pushing a trolley/cart, etc. In that situation, normal stop sign rules apply... make eye contact, kinda wait a while, inching up slightly until you feel it's safe to proceed. 
Just so we're clear, overweight does not entitle you to the ramp... quite the contrary. Let's start with six inch leg lifts on each corner to help get you back to fighting weight quicker, Champ. And for those simply waiting to cross the street, please don't wait on the ramp, rendering it useless to others who may need it.  
Large groups: Large groups standing in the middle of the sidewalk make my head hurt. Should we refer to it as a sidestand for them? Why do they think their impromptu gathering takes precedence over those trying to utilize the sidewalk for it's purest use, going somewhere? 
But these block parties (see what I did there?) present imminent danger as they break up. These inconsiderates think it's ok to just leave and walk off in any given direction without checking the oncoming flow of walking traffic first. Seriously, I've seen it happen. As it is, we have to carefully navigate all the way around these literal clusterf#$ks. To also have to contend with random members of the group shooting off into our path isn't right. That sort of behavior will be rewarded with a throat clear, breath huff, scoff or some noise of disapproval. That they should taste my mild mannered wrath! 
Watch where you're going! In fact, no one anywhere should ever walk if they're not looking where they're going. I think everyone's parents teach them very early on to watch where they're going. This is a very important lesson. It's not one of those bullsh!t things parents say like "stay away from drugs." Think more along the lines of "do unto others"... this stuff is biblical.
I know how it happens, we've all been there... you run into someone that you feel obliged to do the stop and chat with, and then realize that you're stuck and don't know how to get away. Maybe if you just slowly start moving away, while this other person is still talking, they'll get the point and you'll be able to leave. Few problems with that theory. First, this person you're stuck talking to has your head so clouded that you've forgotten some very basic survival skills. In forgetting to watch where you're going, you are putting yourself, and more importantly, me, in danger. The danger of your body moving through space and time without full brain function, the danger of me walking into you, the danger of you not wholeheartedly apologizing  for your stupidity. Seems like a lot of risk for not so much reward.
Another problem with this theory is that this person possibly won't get the message of you inching away and will continue talking to you. Now you're fully committed to this conversation while moving in the opposite direction. What makes it all so offensive is that your entire head is still turned, partially engaged in some ridiculous anecdote from the same person you are trying to escape. You're obviously not a mean person or you'd be able to ditch this loser sans guilt. Do us all a huge favor won't you? Explain to this person exactly how boring they are and that you must now set off, back on your way, with your head facing forward. They will appreciate your honesty and who knows, maybe they will take that as a cue to be more interesting in the future. Worse case scenario, they are offended by what you said, but do you really care? You were trying to escape them in the first place! If you've offended them, you might not even have to stop next time you see them. And they still might take the cue to become a more interesting person, so there's that silver lining too. You know, aside from the one that has everyone walking while looking where they're going.
Leaving a building: If you are in a hurry and find yourself launching your body out of a building and onto the sidewalk, DO NOT be looking back into the building while you do so. You won't see the people on the sidewalk that you are about to get plowed into by and I cannot be held responsible.
Someone leaving a building, needing to cross the entire sidewalk to get to the street does not have the right to just do it. Nike be damned. Sidewalk traffic runs parallel to the street. Anyone walking perpendicular must proceed with caution. Remember Froggert? Look right, then left, then jump forward, sometimes jump sideways, and even backwards. The main point is, defer to the parallel walkers, don't just go.
Holding doors: Holding doors on the subway is a tricky task that can very often backfire. If the person you are holding the doors for (one ally) doesn't make it on, look around the subway car. You now have several enemies. Holding a door on and in buildings is a completely different thing. It is a common courtesy, one we should all practice.
I understand that some people in their infinite importance can't possibly spare the time to hold a door open for anyone else, but a far worse offense in my book are the people that believe that my purpose in life is to hold the door for them. Let's call them "sliders." In walking through a doorway, I have opened the door and am now dangling it behind me for the next person to grab. But the slider doesn't grab it. They slide through, leaving the burden of holding the door open on me, and in some unfortunate cases on the unsuspecting person behind the slider who I've just allowed the door to close on. It's rude, but more than that, it's amazing that some people truly believe they have the right to walk through doors unencumbered by the task of ever having to actually open or hold them. Amazing. If karma has it's way, the sliders make up the majority of people that walk into clear glass doors. If so, all is right in the world.
Swinging arms: Speed skaters would have us believe that those that swing their arms wildly manage to move themselves ahead faster. Walking around New York would prove, however, that some people simply lack spacial relations and value for personal space. I see nothing wrong with taking a far flung wrist in the gut in the interest of passing an arm swinger. But we will have a problem if this person feels I should apologize for their gross negligence of arm control. 
There is no reason to be swinging your arms while walking up stairs. If you need leverage, there are banisters to help hoist yourself up. The only reason to swing your arms while climbing a set of stairs is to punch the poor person behind you dead in the face. Seriously, it's the perfect height and all. Even better if they have a rolled up newspaper in their hand. I end up feeling like a very naughty puppy for trying to walk up the stairs behind you. Shame on me? No, shame on you.
Dealing with it all: Subheading: Throat clearing and its many uses. Clearing your throat is essentially the walker's equivalent of the car horn. Sometimes all you need is a light "ahem," just a reminder that I am here. Other times you need a lung clearing cough as warning that something bad was about to go down. 
Sometimes you have to give up on the small suggestive exertions of air and go full throttle with words. "Excuse me!," "Watch it," "Outta my way," or one of my personal faves "Are you serious?!" can always get the job done. But don't stop there. Get creative. Have fun with it. When blocked on the sidewalk by 20 teenage French students, I dug deep and delivered a very well timed and perfectly inflected "Merde!" Trying to get through the diamond district on a Friday afternoon? Go for an "Oy Vey!" Sure it's cliche, but the idea is to keep your sanity as well as get you where you need to go. Sometimes I like to switch it up and use a "Vamonos!" for a group of wily Asian ladies. Don't always go with the stereoptype. Switch it up, keep it interesting. It doesn't make some of this terrible behavior less infuriating or confusing, but maybe you get home not wanting to hurt someone, or worse, not wanting to start a blog to complain about it all. Oy Vey indeed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Road Rules

Some rules and general guidelines to walking in New York:
(or anywhere really, since we should all know this stuff)

A lot of the rules of the driving road apply to the sidewalk. 
One immediate problem you could identify is how few New Yorkers ever take a driving exam. So those rules, which often seem common sensical, are elusive to many. Another problem is that like the gorgeous English language, there are many exceptions to the rules. Let's review.
Slow on the right, passing to the left:
Picture it: You're late for work and would like to move quickly through the crowd. You end up having to dart left to right, back and forth through people because they don't seem to recognize this very basic premise of the road. 
Slow movers, I don't begrudge your speed. You have every right to move down the street like a slug. Go slow. But can we just all agree that the slow movers should stay to the right, so the people in a hurry can glide by effortlessly to the left? 

Unless, of course, we're talking about that 12-18 inch space at the edge of the sidewalk behind the phonebooths and parking signs... That space is sacred. It is reserved for the people that know about it's secret passageway potential, like those incredible boxes on the Clue board that will take you to the opposite side of the "house" instantly. It's the unofficial passing lane on a busy street. Sadly, I had to abandon using this magical portal when a stroller became part of my daily routine. But it must be respected and well tended, so don't crowd it with your parked bike or your sh!tting dog... we gotta get by!
Don't stop short: 
Did you forget to turn the oven off? Didn't realize you were headed east and not west? Suddenly realized you don't tell your husband you love him enough? Doesn't matter! Unless you are stopping because you are suffering the late stages of a coronary and are stopping just before you fall to the ground in cardiac arrest, there is no reason not to gradually move to the side. If a car stops short, the cars behind it will (and have every right to) plow into it from behind. Short stoppers, you are no different.

Check your blind spot before changing lanes:
*In this example the lanes are the imaginary parallel strips of each sidewalk that we all deserve to walk in uninterrupted and unobstructed. In fact, many blocks of this beautiful city help by paving actual lines into the cement. If you need a reference point, just stick to those lines. And if you're going to move to the side, check over your shoulder first to make sure no one is cruising along in your blind spot.
As in, two moving things headed directly towards each other... Something's gotta give.
Pull over to text or email:
The author should note that a good many points of this post were originally documented while walking, but I can assure you it was all done in the most efficient way possible. I never blocked anyone, walked into anyone, stopped short, veered off my course, or kicked a dog. And that's all true except for the last one, but he was tiny and jumped in my way. Which brings me to my next subject...
Dogs - but moreso the walkers of dogs:
Can the owners/walkers of dogs please agree to be more aware of your tripping hazard, AKA leash. If I walked around with a limbo stick at the ready, I would be conscious of the pitfalls it may present to other walkers. A leash is even more dangerous because it is thinner, lower to the ground and further out of our sight range. Obviously a limbo stick is way more fun as it tends to come with Calypso music or the song "Hot, Hot, Hot." But since there are way more leashes than limbo sticks, leash etiquette is what we need to work on.
Now, I think that dogs peeing on the streets is a questionable concept to begin with. It seems strange to me that you actually have to teach a dog to pee outside. Why not just teach them to pee inside? Why should they not be forced to learn what some humans and all cats know?
In any case, the outdoor peeing continues. Please keep it as close to the curb as possible to avoid those naturally occurring streams that flow from a building-side puddle all the way across the sidewalk towards the curb. No one enjoys walking or rolling through those little yellow babbling brooks. They don't even help wash away the remains of the poos that get "mostly" picked up. Not that I want people to stop picking up poos, I just wish the scoop could be more up and off than scraped across. 
Ok, that one has nothing to do with driving rules, but I feel better getting it out there.
Keep your wits about you:
The truth of the matter is, we don't solely walk in straight lines. By keeping your wits about you, you can better zig when someone else is zagging... even though zagging may be a ridiculous course for them to plot. Having a clear sense of where you are in relation to other walkers helps prevent crashes and also allows for overly dramatic behavior when a "zagger" is passing so that we may roll our eyes, throw our hands up in surrender, or whatever sarcastic act of superiority we care to use on that given day. 
If we all used the driving rules for walking, it would make for a much nicer experience out there. Of course our "accidents" aren't nearly as dangerous or costly, but the point remains the same: Let me get where I need to go, as fast as I need to get there. Stay out of my way. Go wherever you're going and I will stay out of your way. 

Simple, right?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where do we go now?

So... here we are.

I am standing on a crowded street corner and there is a dead rat at my left foot. To my right, a boisterous man waving a pamphlet in my face is screaming about some "crazy bitch." To the average person, this scene is fairly daunting, yet I am merely observing. Where is my gag reflex? This rat is missing body parts for the love! Where's my sense of outrage? My disgust? Did I ever have that squeamish reaction to it all? The answers lie in the simple fact that I am a New Yorker. An interesting bunch of people, we are completely desensitized but also quite sensitive. We are super focused, making us blind at the same time. We are observant to the point of being too clever. We are cynical but love laughing at ourselves and others. For one reason or another, certain things just don't rank on our scale of outrageous. Dogs and people relieve themselves on our sidewalks. It is what it is. We are who we are.

To be here is to live it. To live here is to own it. I own it. We all do. Welcome to our fair city. Help yourself to the best food, nightlife, art, people watching and more. Have a good look around. Stay forever if you want. But if you're going to walk around, please respect our way of life. Walking is our primary method of transport, unlike many other places, so I can see why it's not always second nature to everyone. Walking is sacred here, so I'm going to have to ask those who don't understand that to please not f#$% it up for the rest of us. I am happy to set some rules and guidelines if that makes it a bit easier on everyone.

I believe walking around New York City is an art. It's dangerous and often times befuddling. On any given day, a walk to the nearby pharmacy can give a person more than enough anger to fuel a fire deep within. Am I grumpy today because some dude walked into me while typing on his phone? Probably not. But a slightly crappy morning needs only one ill-placed pedestrian to really set me off. Now I can make these observations in a much safer and kinder way than say, slapping a slow-walking, pipe smoking, short-stopping tourist every time I see one... and for me, that is approximately six times a day.

Walking in New York can be a lovely, cerebral experience. You have a chance to connect with the people. In certain areas you can connect with nature. You also have the option of getting lost in your own thoughts. You can completely escape from the rest of your day or life or whatever you need a break from. It is a safe haven out there. But it is also a dog-eat-dog, infuriating experience, particularly if you ever want to actually get somewhere.

It is with this in mind that I focus on you today: cell phone user. Listen, I'm not anti-technology. I think mobile phones are an amazing thing. The ability to communicate with people, in varying ways, at any time of day is pretty incredible. But not everyone is capable of this constant contact. If you believe that you can read or type on your cell phone while walking, all while maintaining an accurate perception of who and what is in front of you and/or approaching you, then fine... keep doing what you're doing. But some people cannot do this. Not even close. They would (and do) actually walk into people or things while engrossed in the witty thing their Facebook friend just wrote. They disturb the natural flow of traffic by alternating their pace as they switch browsers. They block the corner ramps while constructing the perfectly funny yet easy going text to send to that potential third date. They just plain suck. Come on! We're all going somewhere, but the blatant disregard they show towards the rest of us swiftly getting to our destination is rude and unnecessary. Knock it off.

And now a song for all my fellow native New Yorkers:
You're no tramp, but you're no lady... you're the heart and soul of New York City!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Je m'appelle Lindsey

I recently decided that all of my crazy thoughts needed an outlet. All the anger, the road rage, the random waxing nostalgic or philosophical, and the occasional wit were cluttering up my otherwise clear thinking head and needed out. The way I see it, there's a lot of nonsense out there on that interweb thing. As a society, we're very unlikely to ever clean it up or clear it out - kind of like electronic thought landfills. So, I may as well contribute too.

Brevity is an art form that I have never mastered, nor even dabbled in. Facebook statuses left me unfulfilled and twittering, or whatever the kids are calling it, was never a medium meant for me. When I have something to say, I must have the freedom to run on and ramble, lest I ever clearly make my point, but rather jump from thought to thought like a fruit fly you chase around your kitchen as it passes in and out of your view between the bananas and the windowsill and back over towards the trash can. Little bastard. Where did you come from? Why do you love bananas so much? It's not like you can even eat the good part with the peel on you know! But as I was saying... brevity, no, never been my strong suit.
Nor am I able to effectively communicate 2 peepl using lttrs & #s to save precious space. It reads funny, but not good funny, just weird. Not 4 me thx!

So, having never really read an actual blog, I decided to make one of my own. With absolutely no means of comparison I have no shoes to fill and voila!, very low expectations. I will take this time to ask you, the four or five people I get to read this, to set your expectations very low. That way I will only moderately disappoint.

It came as quite a shock several months after having this idea, when I actually took the time to set up said blog, that I would have to name it. I didn't know they had names. What a long, lonely time I sat thinking of a name. Naming anything bears tremendous responsibility, especially a blog (or so I think). I would need something witty and existential, funny yet subtle, provocative and individual, with tremendous mass appeal. So I sat, and thought, and looked around the apartment for clues into my own psyche, and thought some more, and sat, and stared at the screen, and thought, and thought. After five excruciating minutes, and one failed attempt at scoring my actual name, I stumbled on the name Lindsey B Good.

It does encapsulate some of what I am trying to achieve here. I would like to be good. It has long been a desire of mine to be considered "good people" by others. I would also like to treat people better. So now instead of launching into a severe verbal attack on a band of Italian tourists taking a tour of Chelsea Market, I will instead rant to you, empty void of internet space. I will feel better having released these nasty, often funny insults, and the world will be no worse for my rage. Most importantly, my beautiful daughter, the blank slate on which I am trying to draw a most perfect individual, will not have to recount in therapy one day of the various times she saw her mother berate a 17 year old with a fanny pack for stopping short on the sidewalk. But mostly what the name symbolized, dear reader, is what you will come to learn very soon... sometimes my grammar just isn't very well.

That name lasted all of one attempt at telling someone with a straight face what my blog is called. Couldn't do it. First, I'm not really the type to name something after myself. Second, and this is really the clincher, I hated it. Back to the drawing board, or the online drawing board of sticking names into the blog address line and seeing what wasn't taken already. Enter Miss Spartacus.

So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
No, that sounds silly.

Thanks for reading!
No, that's just lame.

Thank you for indulging in my pre-midlife crisis. Some people get sports cars, plastic surgery or take to philandering... Four days before my 35th birthday I have chosen to help contribute to the drivel that lingers in cyber space like a bad smell... if you could smell in space, which I'm pretty sure you can't.

Here I am.

Let me entertain you.

It's now or never.

Space, the final frontier.

Seriously, I have no idea how to end this thing. How do I stop writing? This is getting out of control. Maybe I should've gotten a twitter account.