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July 29, 2004
just hold on, hold on to your dreams
Last night I fell asleep and dreamt that my brother broadcast WOVO over the PA on the subway car I was riding. In the dream we'd recorded an album's worth of songs. I started laughing when I heard it and knew immediately that Chris was responsible. The subway was crowded, but no one else responded. I felt like they knew that I was involved with it and that they were annoyed.
I woke up from the dream at 12:30 in the morning. I thought it was 6 a.m. and was annoyed that my bedroom light had been on all night.
* * *
On Tuesday I accepted a full-time job from the same company I've worked with since I graduated college. I've been working for them part-time, and I've also been working somewhere else part-time. I was set to start full-time with the somewhere else on Monday, but then I got the other offer. The new job will allow me to work from home, at least most of the time, so I'll have more time to do things like:
- make art
- clean things up
- buy old records on ebay and listen to them while I work
I'm happy and hopeful, even if, by the end of each day, I'll be bursting with cabin fever. I hope to make up for it some of the time by taking lunchtime trips to eat with friends who work in the vicinity. And by visiting the Y, which is just a block away.
July 27, 2004
stop hiccups dead: wisdom that works
To get rid of hiccups, stop what you're doing and concentrate on making them go away. When you feel a new one coming, force it not to happen. Soon you won't have to force anything, because they'll be gone. It works pretty fast. I'm serious.
This information is courtesy Andy, who feels he shouldn't have had to figure it out for himself.
July 24, 2004
ups is not the best
UPS should not be allowed to service the business-to-consumer market if their policies force employed people to stay home from work in order to receive deliveries. I ordered sneakers online on Monday and was excited to learn that they'd be delivered by Wednesday for free. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, UPS attempted to bring me my sneaks between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. But where was I? I was working, and of course new sneakers are a stupid reason to miss work.
Even so, I didn't know what times of day they had attempted to make the delivery until I plugged the tracking number in online, because no slips were left the first two days (at best, they fell off my door and flew far away). The last time I dealt with UPS, I needed to receive a dress for a wedding, and though slips were left on the door, they didn't specify what time of day the next delivery attempt would be. Nor did the slips allow me to sign for the package in absence to permit them to leave it on the doorstep.
So now I have to pick up the sneakers by next Friday or they'll be returned to the sender. But my local UPS pick-up location is open only between 9-5 Monday through Friday. Fortunately, I'm still employed part-time, so I can do this. But what about everyone who isn't? Demanding that the customer travel to retrieve goods destroys the convenience of online (or catalog or phone) ordering.
It's ridiculous that during the ordering process I am unable to choose to waive a signature.
I know the USPS works the same way, but often it's a much less expensive service, and post offices are more numerous and thus more convenient to access. And even the post office is open on Saturday.
July 21, 2004
This is what the world looks like from my living room window when the sun sets in the summertime. I think it's pretty nice.
July 14, 2004
I suddenly, just now, had a quick memory flash of being on stage, in a spelling bee, at St. Francis of Assissi, in, I think, second grade, and spelling the word "tennis" T-E-N-I-S. I remember where I was standing on stage and the way the light was coming through the windows at the moment I was told to sit down. I also vaguely remember my parents being amused about my spelling faux pas, when they found out. I also remember feeling stupid.
It's possible this never happened at all.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Other spelling bee mistakes include:
- roomate (grade 4)
- resevoir (grade 8)
July 13, 2004
so as to remember later
Steve and I have a standing Thursday-night "date," called, depending on who's saying it, ISBN (International Steve-Beth Night—my term) or IBSN (International Beth Sullivan Night—Steve's). Slowly and quietly, we've been exploring restaurants and bars around Manhattan and Brooklyn. When we're worn out or feeling lazy, we end up in our neighborhood stand-bys, Mugs and Vera Cruz and The Pencil Factory. Otherwise, we seek out places we've never been.
Last Thursday, we snaked around the Upper East Side. I rarely have reason to go there, and it always strikes me as a surreal, tilt-shot version of the Upper West Side, which seems more authentically "New York City," though I only think of the UWS as more real because I'm there more often.
I feel like I need to stop here now and assert that I'm still NOT one of those annoying New York people who can only talk about neighborhoods in New York. Honestly. I am not yet that. I don't spend much time thinking about New York's neighborhoods or the fact that I AM LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY!! or anything like that. Or maybe I do, but not in an exhilarated way. I try to remind myself, sometimes, that this is the place to live, and that I should appreciate being able to afford to be here. I can't imagine living in any other place right now, but I can't imagine living here forever, either.
In terms of how it affects ISBN, New York has more restaurants and bars, and thus more varied eating and drinking experiences, to offer than most any other place. Each Thursday night, Steve and I resume a mission to uncover all the spots worthy of giving us experiences.
After work last Thursday, I headed to 60th and Lexington to meet Steve at the the Subway Inn, a bar known as one of the few remaining authentic dives in Manhattan. It was cleaner than I expected, and the bottled beers weren't terribly cheap, but the atmosphere was right. We sat in a booth and drank. The red light on the wall lit the sides of our faces, making us feel like we were in the movie version of New York we'd hoped to live in when we got here.
Steve talked about his job, his desire to go to grad school, and his recent trip to Nebraska to spend time with Dave, a friend from college. I, in broken record fashion, talked about feeling oppressed by the city and about my uncertainty about the future.
After two beers, we headed out in search of dinner. There aren't many meals in that area that two people with our salaries can afford, though we both said we could stand to splurge. But we ended up at Patsy's, a relatively inexpensive pizzeria on 60th Street. I'm not sure how much the two Yuenglings influenced my tastebuds, and I know it's boring to talk about food, but the pizza at Patsy's was awesome.
We finished off the pie and headed back to the Subway Inn. The Phillies were battling the Mets on TV, and half of Steve's face was glowing red, and there was no toilet paper in the bathroom, and the barkeep turned on a tiny radio whenever the jukebox stopped. After another beer, we shared a glass of whiskey and called it a night.
July 08, 2004
the only joke i know
This is the only joke I know:
Q: How do you top a car?
A: Tep on the brake, tupid!
I'm serious. My uncle Mark, a dentist, told it to me when I was a kid. Maybe if I'd heard more jokes as a kid I'd remember more. Andy told me a "story joke" last night, after I told him the only joke I know. I remember his joke right now, but in a few days I won't.
July 01, 2004
A couple of weeks ago, Andy and I went to Ocean Grove, New Jersey, to, as they say, "get away from it all." We spent kind of a lot of money to stay at a lovely bed and breakfast, adding one more notch to the bedpost of bourgeois adulthood. The trip was too short, but it reminded me that life exists outside of this city.
Living in New York can at times be overwhelming. Don't tell my brother, because he's going to move here in a few short months, and I can't wait. But maybe it's not New York so much as living life without a map. Even now, four years after college, the fact that my life is in my hands, that I am supposed to find good, meaningful ways to occupy my time until I die, is daunting. Not that you'd expect anyone to have figured it all out in four years. Or even ever. I realize I'm veering into religious territory here, but that's not quite what I'm talking about. Generally, I tend to feel like I'm floating around, waiting to alight on the right thing and then stay there. I guess the "thing" will ultimately be the term I use to identify myself: I am a [thing]. I think [thing] is writer, but it takes a certain boldness and wealth (of time and money and drive) to achieve that.
But maybe the thing is in fact a number of things; maybe the life puzzle keeps growing as I get older, and I have to find new pieces along the path and then try to fit them into what's already been built. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough for the pieces. Or maybe there is a balance to be struck between waiting and looking, and I need to maintain my patience.
I think about all of this, in different words, most of the time.
||Not looking for anything, but looking optimistic, on the "private porch" outside our room at the B&B.