Phone Home

Warthog There are maybe two or three times a year when I regret not having a cell phone. Like yesterday when I got locked out of the house (on average, this only happens maybe once every two years, which is pretty good. In my teens and early twenties I’d get locked out on practically a weekly basis—I honestly have no idea why it used to be such a problem). But it’s not like having a phone on me would’ve solved anything. I was just irked because payphones are scare around my apt. and the one a block away has never worked. I ended up calling James to make him come home (I was lucky he answered at all) from the nearest working phone, three blocks away, in front of newish bar Abilene, which is where I would’ve gone anyway even if I had a cell phone because it’s the closest place I could kill time and have a drink. With or without a cell phone I still would’ve had to kill 40 minutes or so. But I did feel a small sense of panic as I wandered the streets looking for a stupid public phone. Outside of Manhattan, they can be few and far between.

It’s not like I’m crazy about Barnes & Noble anyway, but there’s one kitty corner from my office so from time to time I’ll pop in, but only with something specific in mind, never to browse (today on the way out I saw this girl who looks like a twentysomething Yoko Ono coming in. It was odd because she gets on at my stop in the morning and gets off where I do, as well. One thing I could never figure out about New York is how I can leave at the same time every day, but always see different people on my commute. In other words, I never see the same people even at the same time of day. Some mornings, an upstairs neighbor will leave right when I'm about to and other days I don' t hear anyone come downstairs at all during the 45 minutes it takes me to get ready. Am I the only one who follows a schedule? Well, me and the young Yoko Ono. Actually this morning I got on and right there on the same car was this woman who sits like ten feet from me at work and gives me the total creeps. She’s just unpleasant to look at and I’m on the verge of starting to give her dirty looks. Even other unpleasant people here will semi-smile or say hi in the hallway, but she just doesn’t in a way like she’s trying to prove some point that I totally don’t get and this foulness makes her look even more warthoggy than she does naturally. It’s weird because our floor is divided in half with corporate/executive types on one side, which I’m a part of despite not being a corporate/executive. The other half is “office ladies” who do clerical who-knows-what and are middle aged and have New York accents. The warthog, who’s probably my age, but shares all their other fine attributes, sits on the frumpkin side. But we’re both seated the furthest from our respective sides so that we’re practically touching [though we can’t really see or hear each other because there’s a physical wall and a closet separating us] like two closing points of a large circle with an inch between them. I have to be diligent in maintaining distance between the spheres. I walk a fine line every day) and they never have what I want.

Without going into the whys, I needed to track down Latina and Chile Pepper (talk about muy caliente clichés) No luck. They had hyper-nichey Shaadi Style and Cucina Italiana, so what gives? B&N even devotes an entire section to crafty crap like crochet, beadwork, and needlepoint. Do New Yorkers scrapbook? The only Michaels in the entire city is in Staten Island (I take that back–SI has two and Woodside, Queens apparently has one that I've never ever seen), which is probably demographically sound.

I did pick up a copy of Arthur Frommer’s Smart Shopping, (they don't seem to have a website–talk about frugal) which I didn’t even know existed (it’s the second issue—the test launch was last fall). It’s good timing since Budget Living just went kaput. It’s not as stylish, in fact it’s downright ugly (dare I say a tad warthoggy?) but at least they’re not trying to pass off $90 plates and $150 skirts as budget items. Feh.

One thought on “Phone Home

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