Friday, July 25, 2008

which way to mecca?

I work a block away from the big Macy's, you know, the one they show every year during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. the closest public outdoor space is Harold Square, a concrete triangle of tree-lined metal chairs and tables wedged between Sixth Avenue and Broadway. It is hot. It is loud. It is full of tourists. So today, seeking some actual grass and a little peace and quiet with my sun, I wandered down to Madison Square Park, which is quieter, shadier, breezier, nannies pushing strollers and toddlers drunk-stumbling into the paths of texting business people. I had an entire bench to myself, and so spread out in the shade to read Annie Dillard's "The Maytrees." If you haven't read it, please do. It is a beautifully simple love story set on the beach in Rhode Island and currently has me contemplating giving up the city life. Seriously. I don't know how Annie does it, but her ratio of words to the vividity of the picture she paints is ridiculous, as in, zero words = 100% clarity. She is magic.

I read for an hour and got up in a lovely contemplative, zen-like dream state to walk back to work. I turned up Fifth Avenue, and then turned left on 31st Street, my daily route to work because there is a church on the corner with yellow ribbons tied to its fence, and churches make me feel peaceful. I pass at least 3 of them every day on my way to work. It was about 1:45 pm and I saw in front of me two lines of people on the sidewalk, facing north toward some shops, heads bowed, silent. I thought perhaps it was a small vigil of some sort, as the church was on the corner. As I approached, I saw the small carpets and pages of newsprint, the bare feet and empty shoes, the occassional cell phone on the ground. No one looked at me as I passed between the two lines of men, in various dress, many shades of brown. Almost as I came to the end of the line, someone behind me yelled a command and they all at once shifted. Again came the call, and they knelt on their mats like a reverse wave. I felt strange, briefly, as they bowed as I passed. I wondered why they faced north, instead of east. I wondered why this street, out of many. I wondered why at 1:45. I wondered whether the rest of us couldn't use a moment every day to gather with like-minded people to pray, or reflect, or take our thoughts off ourselves and put them onto a higher being or purpose.

It was the same feeling, walking between the rows of praying men, that i have walking past the sleeping Christian churches. Which is interesting because I was raised to believe that the former is evil and latter is good.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Here are some pictures that I pilfered from fellow j*erleader Natalie's flickr page. Bon appetit!

This is Minnie Pearl Haggard doing "human blockhead." She pounded a nail into her nose! It was awesome!

Bob marrying the j*erleaders

Our first dance. Awww!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Drunk, married, and tattooed

As I (literally) stumbled to the bathroom this morning around 7:30 am, a couple of unusual things occurred to me. First, that i was still relatively drunk. Second, that I was wearing a wedding ring. And third, that I had a tattoo of two dice with the word "Lucky" in a banner underneath on my left bicep. All three of which surprised me in a "I'm noticing this and not really sure what's going on, but I'm going to roll with it" and a "Huh, I didn't think this actually happened to people" kind of way.

Am I in Vegas, you ask? No. Am I in a bad movie starring Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz? No. Should I be worried that even BEFORE my big Vegas vacation next week, I'm already waking up drunk, married, and tattooed? Possibly.

But, as is generally the case, there is a perfectly logical explanation for all of this, which i vaguely remember in my drunk-to-hungover haze. And that is the second annual GGRD Jeerleader Viva Las Vegas Fundraiser, which was last night at Fontanas, the highlight of which was Minnie Pearl Haggard eating fire. But also complete with Audrey Scorne applying a temporary tattoo to my left bicep in the bathroom before the event, my drinking several vodka cranberrys and two huge Coney Island Lagers, and the second annual Jeerleader-Bob wedding, officiated by the one and only Hellvis. And which ended with me walking home drunk at midnight and having some homeless guy ask to see my tattoo and another guy say in a very menacing voice, "Safe travels." If I hadn't been so drunk, I would have been way more creeped out by that. And then ending the night by eating tortilla chips in bed and reading my journal (? i know, right?) and falling asleep and having a dream in which i was drunk.

I'm going to consider this my dry run for Vegas.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Just now, at work. I walk into the kitchen to find a shortish man facing the microwave, shutting the microwave door.

Man to microwave, in very sexy accent: Oh, sorry.

Me, retrieving my lunch from the fridge: Did you just apologize to the microwave?

Man, laughing, turning red (i assume, under his nutmeg-colored skin): Yes, actually, I did.