I'm pretty sure I've made my interest in John Gallagher Jr. known before, despite not watching Newroom, the show that brought his face to my attention, but Typepad has a useless search.
In real life he is 30.
On the fourth installment of Olive Kitteridge, he is maybe my age (I took the early scenes to be late '70s based on styles--I didn't pay attention to cars--but reviews refer to the story's 25-year span, which would be late '80s), a podiatrist living with his second wife who's pregnant (and drinks beer) and her two kids from previous relationships in a brownstone on Union Street. It's a mess, they have a tenant with a talking parrot, never mind it probably cost $2 million.
But before meeting this no makeup, co-op shopping-type lady with classically bratty, overindulged kids (the carefree personality and three kids by three dads didn't read particularly NYC to me) in group therapy, he might've been a hot childless divorcee catch. I would not appeal to him, but that wouldn't stop me from ogling him while he stopped into Henry Public for a turkey leg sandwich late night.
Also, minutes after typing that I need wicker in my apartment on Facebook, the above wicker divider appeared on screen. It's quite possibly the same wicker divider (it's no longer on Etsy) that has been on one of my Pinterest boards for a while.
This episode also contained a semi-puke that I didn't capture because I assumed it the precurssor to illness, but was emotionally induced after seeing a green apple peel that spurred a memory of a past almost-affair.
Olive Kitteridge was really good, if you want to know.
Tilde club? This is my tilde club. So much discussion in certain circles, not my circles, about the old pre-millennium web. Aren’t these nouveau old-school efforts just in-joke communities for those with large platforms? Tilde club isn’t taking new members, and who could get anyone to subscribe to a newsletter, supposed renaissance or not, when the average person couldn’t even get eyes on a blog/tumblr? It's all undemocratic and not retro in the least.
It's also a little just for whom is The New York Times writing? (That would be that diverse audience that falls between bankers and college professors.)
From the above referenced Gizmodo piece:
“The internet is now a much more public place where anything that gets written has a tendency to fall into the wrong hands almost immediately.”
"People have more fun when they can be vulnerable and open," Ford explained to me in an email. Especially when they "aren't bracing themselves for a bunch of shrieking assholes to violently weigh in on every possible thing in order to score more virtual rage points."
I guess? Assuming you actually have an audience?
I love the idea of Web 1.0, which is why I even read any of these think pieces in the first place. This is my middle-aged livejournal. I don’t get death or rape threats online. I also don't get catcalled in the real world.
I'm not even fully sure that I exist.
I am, however, starting to feel very elite as I'm still an owner of a Tripod page.
That thing happened again where I have a romantic dream (not sexual, mind you) about a person I don't know in real life and don't think I'm attracted to but then spend the next day having feelings for them under some delusion that we now have a connection and they know this exists.
* * *
Jackson Heights is a bit like a suburban high school of yore in that encountering guys who are even vaguely your type is so rare that someone who's even the slightest bit cool becomes cuter than they really are. Not that I'm seeking coolness at 42. At this point a non-beefy Anglo-ish guy over 5'5 and under 50 would qualify. (And yes, I do have a natural bias toward thinner, clean cut, white collar, white guys, which is what it is and doesn't mean I'm rigid about it in a "no fat chicks" way.)
And by encountering, I mean seeing on the street. Running errands or walking to the subway, I see very few eye-catching humans. There might not be any. Though, obviously, it was never as if strolling down the streets of Williamsburg you just met amazing men because everyone was generally young and good looking.
I deleted my Okcupid account because it was pointless.
I didn't think Tinder could be even more useless, but found out how wrong I was. In my new three-mile radius, I'll run out of options after maybe 40 guys (though for reference, there were even fewer in Santa Rosa, California) and absolutely none have friends or interests in common where in Williamsburg you could swipe until your finger tired. I will have to start adjusting my expectations (or just expand my geography) to big, bald guys with goatees and small children. Or foreign, which I'm strangely averse to despite having friends who almost exclusively date non-native-English-speakers and enjoy it. Oh, and I hate the outdoors. Or maybe I don't know what I even like anymore.
I was going to post a few screenshots, but is that really the kind of person I want to be?
Ok, maybe you'd like to go on a date with a 46-year-old blurry seafood salad named Lou.
There aren’t even Irish bars, a genre where a woman or two might be able to blend in, within reasonable walking distance. That's pretty un-Queens-like. Minus the rock 'n' roll bar for young Spanish speakers with $7 beers, the only nearby options are the Latino clubs where men pay women to dance with them and inexplicably have older Chinese women handing flyers out front, and gay bars, also geared toward Latinos. Hombres pretty much sums up this world.
Sometimes I feel dumb because I often don't get literary references, and don't really know my critical theorists or philosophers. No one's stopping me from looking them up, this slice of the world is just not in my natural makeup. (It also goes without saying that popular-in-certain-circles lady blog, The Toast, is lost on me half the time.)
In a Gawker piece about the Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum, I skimmed past tthis:
There is talk of "unabashed commodity fetishism in its classic Marxist formulation" and people raise "skeptical Adorno-arched eyebrows of disbelief" in there.
From context, I can gather Adorno is parallel to Marx, a more familiar name. To be fair, these lines are excerpted from a book criticized in this post for being too condescending and clueless, so perhaps it's furthering my point.
A quick Google search brought up a New Yorker article that says all I need to know about Adorno:
Anyone who underwent a liberal-arts education in recent decades probably encountered the thorny theorists associated with the Institute for Social Research, better known as the Frankfurt School.
I did not.
Weirdly, and for no reason I can recall, this morning (by which I mean Saturday) I thought of one of my English requirement classes in college where we basically read biographies and wrote book reports. Allen Ginsberg was in there, so too Martha Graham.
One assignment let us choose our own subject, and a foreign student who couldn't speak much English and was maybe Japanese or Korean, I have no idea because I never paid attention to her, showed up with a copy of "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations By Stuart Smalley." o_O
I suppose there was no Saturday Night Live in whichever Asian country she came from.
I imagined her skimming the aisle of a book store, maybe even Powell's, looking for inspiration and finding comfort in Al Franken's wave of hair or buttoned collar (I was recently told a supervisor described me admirably as "buttoned-up," which is the opposite of how I see myself and probably only stems from my anti-social-ness at work, which translates as seriousness) or the upbeat simplicity of the title.
After my memory lane chuckle and reading about a Japanese cartoon cat, I further procrastinated assembling an Ikea curio cabinet and West Elm console table (which took an entire afternoon and evening somehow even with the extra hour--I didn't even make it to the CB2 coatrack) by scrutinizing October's Modern Love columns. And, oh my, a Satryicon reference. Ye olde Portland was a presence in this romance. The author, according to her bio, teaches writing at Pacific Northwest College of Art, my alma mater.
I do hope she asks more of her students than picking out an autobiography to summarize, though if she does I might suggest "Let Me Off at the Top!: My Classy Life and Other Musings," the only contemporary comp I can think of.
I’ve become a human pinball on the nine-block stretch of Roosevelt Avenue between my apartment and the express E stop. No matter how I walk, slower, faster, on the right, on the left, I end up in everyone way. Or rather, they end up in my path. The breaks between clusters of pedestrians is skewed where normally I can speed up and maneuver, here the gaps are a shade off and I end up with someone inching into me head-on with no care in the world like a human snail.
It’s not like my former neighborhood where the meandering was a case of obliviousness/self-absorption or my work neighborhood where stopping and starting tourists are both oblivious/unaware.
My working theory is that the average height in Jackson Heights (dad joke: should be Jackson Shorts) is far less than that of European and All-American tourists and transplants, so legs are shorter and gaits are clipped. I could try adjusting to the same speed, but my feet just won’t have it. I say this mostly because I’m also a giant on the subway with even low-heeled boots. In the Bay Area last week, on BART in particular, I was reminded how tall West Coasters are.
I was also reminded that despite associations between California and health, smoking is dangerously cheap there, and I guess everywhere except here (though I should not smoke at all a non-vacation pack will generally last me three weeks, which I just can’t get worked up about health-wise at the moment, despite this ad campaign). Cigarettes were only $7 a pack in the same tourist neighborhood where I paid $18 for a six-pack of beer and a single can of pre-mixed margarita. Then again, NYC is an punishing outlier with its $13 price tag. (For what it’s worth, a pack of Camel Lights was only $8 in Ridgewood a few months ago, and likely illegal.)
Because of the painting being done this week, I’ve been forced up and out my place roughly one hour earlier than usual, planting me in center of prime rush hour. This morning at 74th St., there were three MTA workers in orange safety vests directing human traffic in and out of the trains, one step away from the Japanese herders. I’ve never encountered such a thing in NYC. I’ve also never witnessed so many commuters pushing on before letting riders off first.
There are clearly customs that still need figuring out.
Within the first five minutes of the premiere of American Horror Story, there was barfing in a trash can. Two-headed women will do that.
In the second episode of the new season of Walking Dead a priest barfed after being saved from walkers who’d cornered him on a tall rock.
There has been no vomiting on Homeland that I’m aware of, but there has been drunken sex with an attractive and (not but) fat landlady that upset many Rupert Friend fans, as well a seduction of a Muslim teen virgin by a mid-30s new mom. Wow. I'm paying attention to this show again. (And jeez, internet commenters, neither scene was a rape. Yes, I'm now a rape culture apologist.)
I liked the look of the actress playing Ben Affleck’s twin and co-bar-owner in Gone Girl, not old or young but comfortable, then realized it’s the same woman, Carrie Coon, who plays Nora in The Leftovers, arguably the show's best character. Ben Affleck is my age, 42, while Carrie Coon is nine years younger, very odd for a sibling born within a timeframe of minutes. It is no longer enough to simply cast younger female love interests or make impossibly aged moms out of women.
My ex’s (have I ever used that term before? It doesn't roll off the keypad exactly) teenage daughter that he’s never met and imagines no one knows about plays a minor character on the first three episodes of Transparent. I'm still parsing this two weeks later.
The prospect of getting to sleep in a bed my last might before getting to sleep in a number of Bay Area beds was exciting enough to motivate me to open the 38-pound box, pull out all the parts, assemble all the screws and washers, read the instructions, take it personally that CB2 considers this a two-person job, then realize I'm missing the bed rails. Oh, that's a separate box that hasn't arrived yet.
I've already discovered that there is a delivery vortex ocurring. Twice I've received alerts that USPS packages have been delivered and they don't show up until the next day. These things are trackable in the modern era, so if this is a case of postal workers fudging deliveries that's not going to do. Fed Ex says the other half of my box is out for delivery, but it's already evening now. In the old days, i.e. September, a delivery alert meant my package was downstairs waiting for me.
This is very important not because I desperately needed the sheets or paper towel holder I ordered from Target six days ago, but I was really counting on that box of 108 pantiliners before going out of town. I'm the world's biggest pantiliner apologist, no shame. I already hit the Rite Aid today for generic Advil, an emory board and lip balm, and purposely did not buy pantiliners because Target not only promised they would be here today, I was emailed and texted to say they...oh fuck, I just checked my email to note the time this was supposedly delivered and realized it was shipped to my old address. This is why you should delete all old addresses from your ecommerce accounts immediately upon moving. Oh, and not blame local carriers for your own errors.
At least I'm getting really good at breaking down boxes into managable pieces and tying them so securely one would think cardboard was gold. It's quite a thing here. So serious, in fact, I may end up investing in a box cutter and my own twine. I now get what a porter is/does (we do not have one here, I was informed) and why we were asked to tip them at Christmas last year. I will forever cherish my brief time in a luxury building. That was the old me.
The new me will be spouting a lot of nonsense using the new category "Queens 4 Life." I will force myself to not create a "Pantiliners 4 Life" tag too.
One hour later: Target will send me a gift card for $51.07 and my old super will send the package back. My seven-foot long bed package arrived and I am lucky to live in the aparment with a door that's only seven steps up, not quite a full flight of stairs, nearest to the front door, so often delivery people will carry packages up to my door rather than leaving them in the foyer. I don't think I could get that box up multiple flights of stairs, myself.
Packing is important, but I'm putting that damn bed together first.
I’ve now been a homeowner for two full weeks, not so long, but long enough to shift from sandals to boots. (I originally wrote this yesterday and now it is sunny and humid again and I’m wearing sandals out of spite.) I still refuse to wear a coat or tights yet, though. Because this is a neighborhood with plenty of old folks and immigrants from warmer climes, the parkas come out when the temperatures dip into the 60s. I saw a woman wearing quilted winter boots on Roosevelt Ave. this morning, I swear.
This was the application that I had to put together and make three copies of. I note this because the number of pages ended up being the exact asking price--if you added on three zeros. The tidiness pleased me.
I don't know if it's the mono exposure finally kicking in (with a four to six week incubation period, this would be the week it could show up), my punishment for drinking a Manhattan at Denny’s (and sharing a glass with a sick person--alcohol would kill germs, though?), general moving stress (I'm disinclined to believe that trope about moves, divorces and job changes being the stop stressors, oh and death, I guess) my new mattress (no bed until...I don't know, it's backordered—once again, a lot can change in 24 hours; according to Fed Ex alerts it was delivered to my door three hours ago and now I'm going to have to muster the strength or wherewithal to assemble it), all the breaking down of cardboard boxes (you will get into trouble for not recycling properly here, not that I didn't before--gone are the days of the garbage chute in the hall where pile-ups were someone else's concern) or all the cleaning. So much cleaning. My finger joints and wrists are killing more than ever and now even my shoulders have started aching. I feel like I could sleep until 2015.
I already knew that I hate cleaning. I’m organized and despise clutter, but scrubbing and mopping is not my thing. And I have become spoiled, or rather just accustomed to conveniences that normal middle-aged women not living in NYC take for granted. I haven't done dishes by hand or left my apartment to wash clothes in 10.5 years and it's killing me more than I had anticipated. I haven’t even attempted laundry yet (there is a machine in the basement, which is just below me). I’m going to get a dishwasher installed at (nearly) any cost even though there is absolutely nowhere for one to fit within my cabinetry’s current configuration. You can get a dishwasher for $500. Gutting and replacing cabinets can cost $15,000 on the low end. (I’m not doing that, by the way.)
But that grime. I’ve also been the first tenant in my last two apartments, modern, everything brand new, white and never-used, and apparently forgot about pre-war nooks and crannies and decades of build-up.
There's nothing overtly dirty, everything is in pretty good shape with good bones, which is why it's so off-putting that if you spray bleach on any surface, a white that is six shades lighter than the color you thought was white is revealed. The whole apartment needs to be boiled in bleach. I’ve spent hours scrubbing every doorknob, door, ledge, shelf, baseboard, molding, windowsill, light switch, and tops of tiles until multiples sponges disintegrate. And then there are still gray streaks and patches that won’t budge.
I also thought I’d live with the mauve Formica counters and backsplash, and refrigerator that I now see is dwarf-sized and still has crumbs in the crisper, and the stove, which is functional but basic (in the misogynistic sense, of course), until I could afford to replace them. Now I’m not sure I can hold out.
The co-op was to be left “broom clean” as per a legal document, and it was, I suppose. It’s how I would’ve left my apartment if I wanted to play roulette with getting my deposit back. My apartment was pristine (through James’ help since he is the clean freak, not me, despite how this all sounds) not because I cared about the next tenant.
I’ve already received it (phew) and it’s enough to buy the range I want, plus wallpaper hanging (though not the wallpaper). Or I could use the deposit to pay for every single room except the kitchen (which I have other plans for) to be painted a non-buttercream color (I can see that most rooms were previously a glossy periwinkle that sounds inoffensive in theory and that still haunts every surface of the closet). I'm going to--or rather pay someone to--paint the shit out of this place. I have five colors picked out in three different finishes and it’s all happening before November end of subject. (Benjamin Moore Snow White, matte; Jade Green, matte; Ocean Spray, matte; Black Beauty, semi-gloss; Beau Green, high-gloss, thanks for asking) I hadn't intended to paint the windowsills, baseboards and moldings, but now see it’s the only way to get them crisp and white and satisfy my addled, dirt-clogged brain. But painting over dust and grime grosses me out more than it should rationally, so there will be more scrubbing.
There are a zillion plusses to the new place too. I’m just too tired to talk about them right now.
One throwaway plus: I now have NY1 back.
One non-related resolution: I haven't worn a really good red matte lip in years, and that must get resurrected for the fall.
Though I'm semi-furiously packing and cleaning (only two days left in this apartment) it's easy to get distracted by nonsense like old business cards, books you forgot you had, deciding whether or not to keep or chuck the plastic bags with a half cup of barley or lentils remaining, and then at some point I just stop being productive altogether. Even with a looming deadline, I spent my Saturday night watching the second half of the first season of Mad Men and finding and moving all of the Project Me-ish entries that somehow got sucked into Goodies First back where they belong even though no one on earth cares how I've organized my thoughts about Jeopardy or pashminas from 2006. There's no better time-waster, frankly.
One of the misplaced entries included a photo from when I turned 35. I looked good, though I doubt I thought so at the time. I was going to Aquavit for dinner. I still have the Target dress I was wearing, even though it was too big for bunch of years. It fits again now. The very obvious takeaway is that whatever moment you're in is the best even though you can only see it later. Though I may think I look like shit today, by my standards at 49 I will have been amazing on September 28, 2014.
Er, or not. Despite a brief blast of fall, the summer weather is still hanging on and that means mosquitoes. They've kept me up two nights this week with their buzzing and biting. Pulling the sheets up around my chin so that my only exposed flesh is my face just means that my cheeks, chin and forehead become their playground. What you're missing on Facebook is me deliriously posting photos at 2:30am of the mosquito I finally smashed, spraying my own blood onto my walls that now need to be cleaned (I need that deposit back). I'm not convinced that I don't have West Nile.
This is what a 42-year-old tired, makeup-less face looks like minutes after waking up to the aftermath of a mosquito attack. There's nothing overtly different, granted. What you might not be able to detect at first glance are the benefits of being bitten by bugs all night. Normally, I have a few middle-aged sheet creases that hold on for close to an hour but my face was swollen just enough to smooth them out. Most importantly, my least favorite facial feature, the under eye darkness/hollows (I just bought a new concealer last week, Tarte's Maracuja Creaseless, out of desperation because it's supposedly like spackle) were eliminated on the left side of my face where I'd been bitten at the intersection of under eye and cheekbone. The two sides are very different, no?
There's got to be something to this. Like small doses of viruses creating vaccines or discovering penicillin in mold, mosquito venom clearly holds the key to youthful skin. I simply need to train the insects to land only on select planes of my skin. Don't steal my million dollar idea, please.
Three hours and a little makeup later, and the sting is still doing its job.