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I have lived on Long Island (again) for 20 weeks. But, hey, who’s counting.
Commuting is intense. My skin is revolting, new patterns of bumps and redness are having a party. On. My. Face. I’m 30 and live with my parents. I am in the same room (although freshly painted) that I lived in when I was in the 9th grade. There are no perfect commuting shoes. The city is dirty. And smells. Sorry, just telling the truth.
For the first time, in a long time, I don’t have a specific goal. For as long as I can remember, there was Thea and her goal. And then I would make it happen with dedication, energy and pure will. So it’s time to get going on a new set of goals. Pronto.
On the plus side… There has been a great project with EatDrinkJobs keeping me busy. An amazing organization – StupidCancer – that has helped redefine my “cancer survivor” card. I’m even guest co-hosting the Stupid Cancer Radio Show tomorrow night! Finding a local sushi joint, Yuzu. My sister’s childhood best friend has become my train, gym, food shopping buddy. More importantly a built-in friend. Thank goodness for small miracles.
No one said adjusting to Long Island (again) was going to be easy. No one said it was going to be this hard either, but at least the waterworks don’t run every night.
“Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
heart and soul”
~ George Harrison
One of the scariest differences between city life and country life (besides animal life, the dark and losing cell service) is drinking and driving.
After the recent death of Jackass’s Ryan Dunn, I have been even more sensitive that usual about drinking and getting behind the wheel. On any given night my friends and I are out in Kingston, or the surrounding area, you can watch someone drinking a number of drinks, leave the bar or restaurant, go into the parking lot, get into their car or truck, start the car and drive away. It puts a pit in my stomach every time.
My group of friends is fairly responsible, usually designating a driver. The DD usually stays sober or has a drink or two over a number of hours. This brings up an entirely different issue of how many drinks can you have and still be “fine” to drive, but at least someone is conscious of having to get everyone home safe.
One of my friends has been known to get behind the wheel and drive home. Often sighting, “I’m fine” or “It’s just a short way” or “Nothing is going to happen.” All the traditional ignorant responses to “Why did you drive home?” I am not sure if it’s belligerence, stupidity, fearlessness, a deceptive case of invincibility or a little of all of these factors, but I do know is it makes me incredibly sad. I wish this friend and anyone else in my immediate circle would just call me or get a cab or go to sleep in their car or walk or think clearly for one second – the very second that it takes to realize getting behind the wheel IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.
DWIs seems to be rampant in our area. I hear about them through my friends in law enforcement, a friend of a friend of someone who got arrested or even first hand from a few of my acquaintances. I guess this means law enforcement is doing a good job. I think it could be better. I don’t blame the law enforcement all together though. I think it is all of our jobs to encourage others to not drink and drive. It is your job, just as much as mine, to take keys away from a friend, make up excuses to stall them in their tracks or not drink ourselves so we can safely drive when going out. I plan on having this very conversation with each one of my friends in the country. This is when the city wins. Public transportation.
Watching Jackass star Bam Margera grieve over his dear friend brought tears to my eyes. I never ever want to be in his shoes. Ever.
Recklessness is a species of crime and should be so regarded on our streets and highways. ~ Marlen E. Pew
In the country there are those who stay in when the roads are craptastic. That would be me. And then there are those who go out anyway. That would be my roommate.
Despite the craptastic roads and snow and sleet and ice and slush, the roommate and I went to see The Dilemma. I thought it was slow, but funny. He thought it was crap. There was a few moments of humor, but overall it had a drawn out plotline. The movie spurred a number of “What would you do?” conversations, a coming to the same place on what infidelity is and what if anything makes cheating okay. To say the least it is a very diplomatic woman who holds in the “it’s always a man’s fault in cases like that.”
While conversating about infidelity, there was a trip to the local super center. We were in need of rocksalt. It had been all used up. Because it looks like this outside:
And everywhere there is this:
And even more of this:
And plenty of this:
In the search for the “best” type and deal on rocksalt, with the most desirable bag and ingredients and price, there were other household items discussed. There was some wondering in the toiletry aisles, particularly the toothpaste aisle. In our most usually and predictable fashion, we “discussed” the best toothpaste for our bathrooms. It’s a good time to point out there are two bathrooms in the house, one is upstairs and most frequented and the other is the “hair bathroom” where hair is done and you go one someone else is in the upstairs bathroom. So mid “debate,” a striking young lad approaches and says, “Hi.” It might also be a good time to point out this lad is also the same guy who there is a [huge massive crush] liking of. You avoid throwing yourself at him because your work husband tells you it’s a really bad idea. Thanks work husband.
Back in the toothpaste aisle, there is an awkward conversation of toothpaste, mouth wash and bathroom cleaner. The chosen ‘run to the movies in a snowstorm’ outfit is top of mind. As is hair under hat. And sweatpants tucked into rubber boots. The conversation is quick and awkward, but good material for a joke at a later point in time. Hopefully.
Just goes to show you where a snow ridden night can lead you, despite your greatest efforts of appearing normal in the local super center.
A very special thank you to Nicole of Creekside Adornings, she has truly captured how snow filled things are here in the Hudson Valley. And also makes the most amazing jewelry in all the land.
My life seems to be on ff (fast forward). I would like to slow it down. I am going to work on that for the month of December.
And remembering that the last 11 months were full. Really full. And fast. Too fast.
I went to yoga for New Year’s Eve and brought 2011 in peacefully, quietly and wonderfully.
There was skiing, three 30th birthdays, gym, yoga and football.
I turned 28 in February and became a redhead.
I made homemade fortune cookies.
We saw Michael Franti and Spearhead and John Mayer at Madison Square Garden.
We celebrated Kim’s 30th in March. In Europe. With Dave. Nothing and everything was the same after that trip.
We saw Billy Joel and Elton John in Albany.
I ran the Shamrock Run. First and last race of the year.
There was yoga, birthdays, Artisnal cocktails and blind dates.
There was Team Pixie Dust dinner dance and Passover. For 20.
April brought bonfires, yoga, ACS gala, tres leche.
I took a Photoshop course, through a surprise party for my brother at Mercato and went to LA.
In May we went and met the Mendelsen men. It’s a choir. And we love them.
I got new couches, went to meditation, heard Nacirema, drank Grey Dog raspberry ice tea.
I signed a lease.
I cooked ramps.
Went on a booze cruise which lead to changing roles, rules and expectations. Thank you Universe for teaching without hurting too much.
And then I moved. In. With. A. Boy. Roommate.
Had my first and only deer encounter. “Welcome to the country,” I was told.
Went to Dave.
And Mountain Jam.
Baby showers, Relay for Life, babies, Band of Horses and painted the rest of June.
The 4th / housewarming extravaganza.
Then the summer went so fast all of our heads spun. There were concerts.
And backyard BBQs, bonfires, butterflies and sunsets.
My ridiculously fabulous sister turned 21. I remember the day she came home from the hospital. She was very little. She had a curly ‘do. She smelled new. She smirked before she smiled, screamed before she coohed and had me in the palm of her hand before she opened her big brown eyes. Apparently praying for a baby sister every night for nine months worked. Years have passed and there have been ups and downs, but she still made it with grace to the legal age. May she have 100 more birthdays just as great as this one. I will make cake for every single one.
One day two crazy gals ripped out a hot tub from the ground. And then the following weekend built a stone patio. Talk about surprising yourself.
We threw a “Hello Fall BBQ.” This was to subsidize the lack of an end of Summer BBQ. This is also when I learned that everyone doesn’t love parties as much as I do. And I also learned that the same people love me enough to have them anyway.
There was FOOTBALL. Every time we played football in the park I wanted to watch the Daria episode where she yells, “FOOTBALL.” It was my closest connection to my gut reaction in playing the sport. I just wrote playing a sport and me in the same sentence. I think we should call someone about this.
In October I sent off a dear friend to California, my wingwoman. It was sad. I made cake. And that’s all I’m gunna say about that.
There were trips to walking towns, Sunday night dinners and the change of the seasons.
We celebrated Halloween (my most favorite holiday) with a house party. There was decorations, shenanigans and lots of laughter. Please note “Party’s Here” carving stage right.
We went to Philly to cheer on my brother-from-another-mother in his second marathon.
The gaping hole in this 2010 recap will be from mid-November to mid-December. That’s when everyday seemed to be, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Throw in a 10 year high school reunion, a few mind games and a dash of depression and we’ve covered that chunk of time just fine.
On to the end of December. We bought a Christmas tree. It was a humorous experience and worth every second guess of the “perfect” tree.
Here we are. Prepping for New Year’s Eve again. How did that happen?
Wishing you all the best for 2011. Thank you for being here and allowing my creative outlet to invade your screen. I have a lot of faith that the best is yet to come. A lot.
In the midst of all of the insanity there is peace… Friday night I found it in swimming, an ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles and dinner at home.
Home Sweet Home.
And then I had to leave the following morning for Long Island. And I didn’t want to leave. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. Driving back to my parent’s house there was a twinge of pain, it wasn’t until hours later that I realized I wanted to be at my house. Granted it’s a rented house. But a house none the less! And who knew that a few short weeks could form such a bond. Minus the complete lack of morning routine, the endless floors and bugs and not knowing where I am in the morning when I open my eyes, it’s a good relationship. Then again it’s the most consistent relationship going at the moment.
Home Sweet Home.
At least when the eyes are opened and there isn’t a moment of dread where you put your hand out and see who’s next to you. Or the moment when you close your eyes as tight as you can to see if when you open them the person in-front of you would magically appear / disappear. Or the moment when you wish you could take back that toxic slur that you just spit out without thinking first and is floating towards the person it was intended for about to smack them square in the face. Those moments of dread are much more intense the moment that I open my eyes in the morning. That split second is right before I realize I am safe in my bed at the house.
Home Sweet Home.
Once upon an oil change, in a place far far away, there was a magical land called Hoffman where many of our favorite characters liked to reside. It is here, as the mechanics fixed, pulled and pushed, that the rest of the land of make believe waited helpless without their mode or transportation, whether it be broom stick, carriage, white horse or coach.
Cinderella’s evil stepsisters sat closest to the door. They seemed to have forgotten that it was a weekday afternoon and the rest of the waiting area was dressed in daytime clothes as they sat in the bedtime best. Maybe Cinderella didn’t have enough clean clothes for them to choose from. It’s a shame when the help doesn’t do what they are told. You end up with frick and frack waiting for an oil change, in rags.
A lost prince charming paced back and forth from the front of the dungeon to the back. He was creating a dust cloud around his boots. It was amazing that he could breathe through it all. He was nervous; perhaps worrying about the lady he left sleeping back at the forest. Getting the oil changed seemed like a perfectly good idea and reason to leave the fair-skinned maven where she lied… at the time anyway. Who knew the oil would pour slower that day or that he risked the clock changing or the morphing pumpkin coach for that matter.
The frog with a prince trapped inside croaked while waiting. And it is said deep down inside, behind the green, around the skin and through the moistness was an actual prince. Or at least that’s what we are hoping for. The amphibian hopped from the viewing window to the waiting room chairs, croaking and blubbering about getting the mobile fixed in a lickedy split. There were “girls to be had,” he ribbitted, “I mean, kissed.” Quick get his wheels done before we have an angry frog on our hands.
As some of Snow White’s dwarfs emptied oil tanks, cleaned carpets and billed in gold coins, there was a new-found respect for 10-minute oil changes of other kingdoms that we had visited before. This clearly was going to be a storybook character parade with each and every 3,000 miles that occurred.
“I don’t want to leave this weekend.”
I clasped my hand over my mouth after the words came spilling out.
“Shhh, don’t tell anyone I just said that.”
After many consecutive on-the-go kind of weekends, I actually wanted to stay put for a change. Be here, in the country, in the mountains and especially in one spot with no plans. And in my long continuous list of “never say never,” I stood there admitting that I didn’t want to leave. Ha.
There are many things to love about the spring in the country. And this is one of them…
The most gorgeous spring sunset in Elizaville, NY on the way to a birthday dinner party. I actually had to pullover, stop the car and take this picture. The weather was just warm enough to be outside with a light jacket. The company was wonderful, celebrating a dear friend’s 40th and the landscape and farmhouse setting was heavenly.
BASEBALL! Here are the Dutchess County Cardinals. We went to see my friend pitch Saturday morning. It was a gorgeous day. He started and we had a picnic in the grass. What could be better? I heart baseball and the fact that all of these grown men do, too.
Avocado poundcake with fresh fruit. A light, airy dessert after a yummy meal. This poundcake dumped with mango, kiwi and pineapple was a colorful and hopeful as spring.
I realize I could have been sitting in the city right now, writing a very similar post about the love affair I have with walking the sidewalks, smelling streetmeat and spotting the latest trends in sundresses. I also realize I’m okay with this post. This love affair. For the time being anyway.
Driving home tonight I realized there are a lot of things I have now that I did not have 6 months ago, pre-country life.
Sidenote: I feel the need to clarify something. I call where I live the “country,” and am VERY aware that there are many places in this country and world that are more “country” than this. The fact is this is as “country” as I have ever lived, thus Kingston is definitely the “country” compared to the Upper East Side.
Back to the country perks:
1. GPS – I have this magic device that tells you where to go… turn by turn. I fondly refer to her as Lady GPS. I could not navigate the roads in these parts with out her.
2. MAC Fitness – I never ever ever, did I mention ever, thought that I would call a physical fitness establishment a perk. It’s an ordinary gym with people, equipment and sweat. But, the fact that I can go there when I want and it’s unbelievably reasonable priced. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the gym still (more to be said on that later), but the time and energy to go is such a perk!
3. The River – Every morning I get to say hello to the Hudson River and every night I say goodnight to the river. She is currently snow-covered, but still moving and vibrant. This water baby needs her H2O and the river nicely stands in for my beloved the ocean.
4. The Older “Brother” – I arrived at his house over 25 years ago because my mom was going to work for their family business. I was there when he got off the bus, watched him do his homework and have fond memories of being there for milestones along the way. We moved away when I was 3 years old, only keeping in touch a few times a year. Time has passed, we both have changed and yet, there is a common thread and comfort level that is much appreciated. Time will only tell how working and socializing together will pan out, but as of now this is one of the best perks this whole country thing has to offer.
I believe this list will grow and change as I do here. There was a time where I couldn’t think of anything for this list and now it’s an ever-moving document, to be continued…
That was the photo caption.
And there in plain sight, above the caption was a picture of a nice looking group at a nice looking party at a nice looking midtown west dive bar.
But wait, who is that girl?!?
It was me. I was in the picture above the caption. Baffled, I thought, How did THAT happen?
It was my first third party reference in print to me not living in the city. In the milliseconds after reading IT I thought the caption was wrong . Then that I read it wrong. And then that the poster was just plain bat shit crazy. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and opened them again. I read it again. It didn’t change. I was being referenced as a member of another crew, one that did not live in the city but one that was from the country. In plain sight. For all to see.
Going back to moments before this third party reference in print to me not living in the city, I was thinking that I had been doing a lot of back and forth lately. Celebrating holidays and birthdays was putting miles of my car, my heart and my stamina, but I was keeping up with it. The idea of not being at these events never crossed my mind. I would be in both places, the city and the country. I would go to yoga, the gym, work and play and then grace the city with my presence for all other important functions. I wasn’t apart of another crew or group. I was doing it all – both places.
And then my first third party reference in print to me not living in the city – The Kingston Crew – happened. I live in Kingston. In the country. And all of my social networking people knew before I realized it myself.