Friday, May 12, 2006

Daddy Done Did It

On the subway today, we had a very jazzy announcer. There have been some service changes lately on the A/C and B/D lines, which all four run the same route from 59th to 145th, with the A and D usually making express stops. Anyway, these days the C has been running express to 145th.

So I got on the uptown C train at 14th Street and the guy says over the speaker that if we want to go to 145th Street, we have to "GET ON THIS TRAIN! We'll discuss later what happens next." Or something to that effect.

So once we get going, he gives us the low-down: "This train is running express to 145th Street. If you want to make local stops, transfer at 59th Street to the Bad-Boy-Bobby-Brown B train or the Daddy-Done-Did-It D train! To make express stops, stay on Choo Choo Charley to 145th!"

He proffered this very memorable advice a few times on the way to 145th and even said he would take questions if we had any.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Out of Control


I am writing this paper that is a year late (don't ask) and it was supposed to be 20 pages and I just keep writing and writing and writing and it is now 26 pages and I know I'm not going to stop. It's just going to keep getting insanely longer.

Please. Help.

Friday, May 05, 2006

So in the Grocery Store Checkout Line, You Expect to See Gum, but not...


I was buying some toilet paper and nail polish remover just now (a 4 year old painted my fingernails and the toenails of one foot, all in different colors) and as I was waiting in line I considered buying some gum, but none of it was sugarfree. My eyes traveled right and there was the beef boullion. What? Is this some kind of accident, some kind of stopping place until the boullion can be stocked where it ought to be? No. I glanced down the rest of the checkout stands and each one featured a shelf of boullion cubes.

Somebody has to help Fine Fare with their marketing strategy.

Anyway, while I am here, I need to bring up two more things from yesterday that I can't believe I forgot:

I got my first chocolate milkshake of the year from a Mr. Softee truck:

(No I did not take this picture. I pilfered it from a here.)

I love Mr. Softee so much. He is so dapper and jolly:

I mean, look at that handsome swirly hair/hat/headress.

At any rate, Mr. Softee is 50 years old this year and I need to buy a T shirt.

The other thing that happened yesterday was the peephole man came by last night. No, he is not a pervert (at least not that I know of); he is a door-to-door salesman of the old style. He has come to my apartment before and done remarkable demonstrations on how much better the new peepholes are than the old ones. Last night he had some new tricks. He hid around the corner out in the hall and had me look in the demo peephole, which apparently can see around corners or something. I did not have the heart to tell him that the view through the peephole was the exact same as the naked eye view.

This man is ancient and I love him and that love is more special because over forty years ago he installed the peephole that is currently in my door. This is why he can tell me for certain that the new peephole is superior.

Of course, he could be lying, trying to make me feel all nostalgic and lovey and thus more likely to shell out $37. But I prefer to believe he has been a peephole man all this time and really did stand at my very door 40 years ago and install my little window into the hallway that doesn't shut anymore and so lets light in all night and used to give me sort of the creeps like it was some kind of all-seeing eye.

I hate that I don't have enough loose change lying around to buy a new peephole from this man. What if he's like Willy Loman and they've just got him working on commission? What if he has some demonic boss pitting him against everybody else like in Glengarry Glenross?

Anyway, I know there is something else splendid that happened yesterday that I forgot to write about, but it won't come to me. Hm.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Play-by-Play of a Very Good Day

This was a lovely day. It was one of those spring days in Manhattan when the temperature of the air outside does not differ from the temperature of your body and all is in perfect equilibrium.

I woke up at about 8:30, which I think was quite respectable given that I went to bed at 1.

I went down and got my paper (the thievery seems to have subsided somewhat, though I was robbed some day this week...Tuesday?) and came back and rustled up a breakfast of (what else?) peanut butter and honey and an apple. While I ate I watched some of Raging Bull. I cannot seem to watch too much of this movie in one sitting. It had been sitting on my desk for a long time, making my monthly Netflix fee not worth it (unless you consider that I can rack up late fees like nobody you've ever met), because I just have not been in the mood for a boxing movie. And because everytime I remember that I need to watch it, I find that I have to be somewhere in less than two hours. Now that I've discovered I can only watch it in short bursts, I think it will finally get finished and sent home to make way for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

So then, with great pain, I worked on my paper for about an hour and a half, progressing from somewhere on page 13 to somewhere on page 17. I am very proud of myself, but I wish the whole process were not so utterly misb. Someday maybe I will not hate writing.

Then I must have made my bed, cleaned off the couch (which always manages to get bestrewn with various daily detritus), done the dishes, taken out the trash, and straightened up generally. Aren't I a good girl?

I must have then proceeded with paying bills and balancing my checkbook. Wow! Writing about how responsible I am is making me very pleased. I get things done! I am a productive member of the world!

Though I have some vague remembrances of "The Price Is Right." When did this happen? While I was cleaning? Or was it when I was going through papers, throwing away 27 items? I love the 27-item throwaway. Has anyone else heard of this? Is it from Flylady? I read about it somewhere and thought it might be just the thing for me. I am simply drowning in papers and am so overwhelmed at the prospect of going through them all. I just hope I am not accumulating at the same rate I am throwing away. You never know with me.

So then I hopped on the train to go to my Weight Watchers meeting, realizing that, such a hermit am I, I had not been on the subway since Saturday. I read the paper as I rode. The main thing I remember is a new book about the Mayflower (Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick) that I think my mom would really like. Mother's Day: check.

When I finish a section of the paper on the train, I leave it there for someone else to read. Before I subscribed to the paper I was always so pleased to come across an abandoned section. This is how I pay the world back.

Weight Watchers was okay. I gained a pound because I did not write down anything I ate this week and I did not care what I ate this week because I was mad. C'est la guerre.

Then I hopped on the 14 bus over to school and handed in a form so I can get enough money to go to India.

Then it was back to the subway and back to my paper. I did most of the crossword puzzle, though I got stumped on 16 Across, Surfer wannabe, which is hodad; 19 Across, Mediterranean resort Island, which is Ibiza (I should have known that!), and a few others. I must admit I took to the internet to find these last few. Ack! I've just noticed that I left a space blank. 22 Down: Malodorous Malaysian fruit...P-U-R-blank-A-N. Probably an I.

Then I came home and maybe this is when I did the 27-item throwaway. Or maybe this is when I cleaned and paid bills. At any rate, I know I ate lunch and maybe I watched some Raging Bull while I ate.

I had to leave again to go to my therapy appointment, after which I was supposed to go to the post office on 23rd between Park and Lex. I have just now realized that I completely forgot to go to the post office. I was lulled into a forgetful state, I'm sure, by my walk past the cloistered, lovely, untouchable Gramercy Park (you have to live on its perimeter to have access to it) and was dazzled by the post office's neighbors, which include Housing Works and Shakespeare and Co. I decided when I saw these glories that I would make an artist's date of the afternoon (see The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron if you don't know what I'm talking about). First I went to Housing Works and poked around the clothes and remembered one reason I want to lose weight: thrift shopping is so much easier when you are a few sizes smaller than I am and thrift-type clothes are my style. Then I mosied over to the books but was quickly drawn to the records. I picked a Kurt Weil collection and a record of Auden, Eliot ("dime for you and dime for me"), Thomas, and Cummings reading their poetry. Two bucks each!

When I left Housing Works I walked west to Shakespeare and Co. (this is when I forgot the post office). They had a copy of A Passage to India, which is what I was after, but it was $14 and I thought "I bet the Strand has a used copy for less!" So I walked down to 12th Street, through the throngs sunning themselves in Union Square, and was disappointed in my Passage to India search. Howards End and Maurice and countless copies of Where Angels Fear to Tread. But no Passage to India. But I did stumble on a book I'd seen among the things of a girl I'm going to India with and which I think may be a book our professor told us to read: Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta. I decided to buy it even though I'm not sure it's the right book.

I also happened upon a book by Kay Boyle called Plagued by the Nightingale. Boyle's name is very very vaguely familiar to me and when I read the back blurb, I felt like the book must be in the same vein as those of Shirley Hazzard and Anita Brookner: slim, distilled books with actual human females as their protagonists. Marilynne Robinson and Margaret Laurence come to mind too. Excellent twentieth-century female writers who are too overlooked.

At any rate, Plagued by the Nightingale was only 4 bucks, so I bought it too.

Having been thwarted in my Forster foraging, I tromped back up to Shakespeare and bought the $14 copy.

I made my way home, finishing my scripture reading (remind me to tell you about my fancy Book of Mormon reading process) and listening to a few songs on my iPod ("Go to Sleep Little Baby," collected by Alan Lomax; "Stay Well," sung by Dawn Upshaw; and the first movement of Brahms's 4th Symphony). Then I read a silly cat poem ("The Cats Have Come to Tea" by Kate Greenaway) and decided to read the first chapter of each of my three new books. I think the first one I'll go further in is the Bombay book. Though I can't end up reading A Passage to India on the plane to Bombay. Way too embarrassing.

Anyway, I spent 15 minutes expanding my pedigree chart (I have a many-greats grandma named Abigail Hildreth!), talked to my sister on the phone, and now "ER" is starting and I have to go!