Thank you, Gawker.
Ok, my work is done here. No, really. I think in 15 days I will finally be on board with the middle-aged thing (no, thanks to this Esquire article, obviously).
Thank you, Gawker.
Ok, my work is done here. No, really. I think in 15 days I will finally be on board with the middle-aged thing (no, thanks to this Esquire article, obviously).
It originally concerned me that out of 70 units in my building, I appeared to live next door to the only walking, talking child (newborns began arriving a few months later) in the entire complex. What I hadn't anticipated were the grown children. I now live in an expensive dorm. Or maybe it’s not expensive. I am completely out of touch with the cost of an NYC education. It’s entirely possible that it’s more cost effective for parents to dole out the $3,650-$4,000 a month for their children’s share in a highly coveted neighborhood that’s fun and safe for young people (and increasingly wealthy Europeans).
Twice I’ve encountered a group of young men in the small basement gym (blasting music aloud from an iPod and speaker, which is as rude to me as texting during a movie, and probably equally polarizing, generationally) who could not possibly be over 19 and that’s not just me being out of touch. I go out plenty. I know what 25 year olds look like.
I see the parents, similar in age to my parent, being chauffeured by the kids they clearly had closer to 40, as educated people with money are wont to do, through the halls with the fake graffiti, in the elevators, passing through the lobby beneath the faux taxidermy, talking up all the great things the neighborhood has to offer, er, like the diner near the subway that seems more like a relic each day.
I’m not a nostalgist (ok, I am). The death of, well, everything (King’s Pharmacy, Beacon’s Closet, La Villita, etc.) and the rise of Dunkin’ Donuts and Vice Media doesn’t bother me as much as it should, though.
Photo: No Ray Gun No Cry
On a friend’s block, more in the belly of the beast than my side of the neighborhood, a young woman passed by. She barely registered, but her parents were like TV caricatures of rich people; the father with silver hair, a navy blazer with gold buttons, loafers (pretty sure no ascot was present, which was disappointing) and the mom bony, topped by a blonde, hard-coiffed bob (a Lucille Bluth type; sometimes it's more the breezy, intellectual Eileen Fisher-wearing type). Caricatures, but not quite straying into camp territory that’s always epitomized in my mind by Montclair cigarettes, the 1990-ish cheapy brand I used to buy.
I waited a year for the retail space on the ground floor of my building to be filled and now it's home to a nothing. I mean, it's a something to a lot of earnest people. Who is this for, I wonder each day when I walk past? These people, I guess.
Er, a co-working space? Are there not enough cafes filled with laptops as it is? Are people unable to stake out work spots in the apartments they don’t even pay for? Unless you are homeless, I don’t understand the point of working in public. Arguments that this is social will not work on me because staring at a laptop at a communal table with earphones in is not that. The only reasonable example I can even think of is a different friend who recently lost her job and lives in a studio apartment with her boyfriend who also doesn’t work. I couldn’t concentrate with another human so nearby all day in 400 square feet.
I have a friend, not one of the two previously mentioned friends (See? I have three friends), who doesn’t like going out in the neighborhood during the day because she can’t bear to look into the eyes of the brunch couples (I’m really into the label "basic" despite those who bristle at the use of bitch). I laugh, but I get it. If I wanted to avoid them I would have to become a genuine shut-in, not just someone who scurries from my apartment to the gym to the mailbox to the grocery store a block away and back to my couch. It’s ok because they don’t make eye contact anyway. When someone says hi in the elevator I assume they are talking to someone else.
I would consider these monsters to be soul-stealers if they weren’t so self-absorbed. This is their world. And you just happen to be in their way.
I mean that literally. A few weekends ago, a young woman with a dog on a leash was jogging backwards because apparently jogging backwards down the most congested thoroughfare in the entire neighborhood on a Friday night makes perfect sense, just smacked straight into my friend (one of the abovementioned) who was standing on the corner with me. She seemed shocked that someone was in her path. Or maybe the shock was that we didn’t move.
I’ll be moving soon enough.
You can never have it both ways. One year into my platinum toned-silver, then blonde, then salt and pepper hair journey experiment, I began coveting rich browns. I felt washed out, old and bored. So, the week after I was interviewed about going gray naturally for the New York Daily News (they only used one lame quote--I have no colorist, by the way--and didn't include a photo) I did what I said I was going to do on social media and went for the '90s plum brown.
I liked it for a week, then it faded too red-pink so I toned it a dark ashy brown that currently reads as black (and still has subtle purple underneath) yet will hopefully settle after a few shampoos. But the second I see articles like this about white-blondes and the Buzzfeed lists full of cute 20somethings, "27 Impossibly Pretty Reasons to Go Gray This Summer," I feel pangs of regret. There's no going back, though. (I also saw the co-op of my dreams listed online the day after I signed my contract and put down a 10% deposit. This is summer 2014's theme.) I recently went on what I think was a date (73% of women don't know when they're on one, so I can't be blamed) and was told, "I liked your pictures with blonde hair." Oh yeah? Too bad. It's gone and it's not coming back.
Darker may seem counter-intuitive for ushering in summer, but this is just the way it must be.
It would not be an Orange is the New Black spoiler to say that I'm a Lorna, now that we know her back story. Frighteningly so. Yet it's also reassuring--and bizarrely invigorating--to discover that stalking is very much still in my blood, and that it's so much easier and dangerous now that such a glut of information is readily available online. I'd assumed I'd grown out of it. I wish I could tell you more because I love being an open book/heart on the sleever to online strangers, but one, I don't want to scare off any potential suitors (must be ok with stalking should be a prerequisite!) and two...I guess there is no two. Realistically, it's wishful thinking that anyone would end up here trying to discern what I think of them, because that would require someone to actually take interest, dig up dirt and follow through. Let's just say that if you message me a handful of times, only revealing your first name and scant bits of personal information, then flake on real world plans and stop responding, that I just might find where you live (and how much your mortgage is--hey, I'm in the process of getting financing myself, so I'm curious--totally innocent, right?) what your wife and children look like (you know, in case I feel the urge to hold them hostage at some point), how you sound when speaking authoritatively on a specialized topic, where you work and then speculate as to whether two things mentioned in a piece of your writing that appeared in an online publication of note the same week that you saw those two things in my online dating profile are coincidental or not. Hypothetically, of course, to all of this. Seriously hypothetical. So, who wants to get stalked next?
Nurse Jackie isn't top tier. I get it. Vulture has never recapped it and AV Club isn't covering this season. Sometimes it's hokey and a little on the nose. (I wanted to say chick lit-like but that's insulting. I only mean that it seems very much targeted at women and there's a lot of wish fulfillment plots.) And yet, I still watch it because I love a good female fuck-up. When you think there's redemption, there is not, just more depravity and downward spiraling in a way that's not unappealing. (I thought perhaps I was twisted in this stance, but Joyce Wadler--I love Joyce Wadler almost as much as I love Nurse Jackie--seemed to agree, much to the consternation of her fuddy-duddy commenters.) If anything, I just like how solidly middle-aged, Astoria-dwelling Jackie is now banging a hipster drug dealer in what appears to be North Brooklyn (and stole his girlfriend's Rag & Bone jacket) and engaging in oral sex in public bathrooms (receiving, not giving, which is an important distinction and rare--the last time I recall the act not being played for laughs [the best comedic scene in recent history belongs to Broad City] was in Top of the Lake, also in public restroom, naturally).
In case you were wondering about my opinion of heel heights on the recently ended half-season of Mad Men, they are perfect! The skirts are comically mini (how do you even bend over or sit down?) yet the shoes worn with them--and their sturdy, chunky heels, rarely more than two inches high--are the opposite, all practical cuteness.
Also, I've been remiss in documenting the vomit scenes in Silicon Valley--one which capped off the season finale with a dumpster moment--because turmoil-driven barfing is a recurring trait of the protagonist, and therefore neutralized.
For the second time in what is barely more than a month, I've discovered that a hardcore crush from my 20s has died. I'm starting to come to expect such news. It's not that even know a single person in common with this guy and I definitely haven't had any contact with him since 1994 (and even then contact was more like me trying to permeate his subconscious and cause him to dump his girlfriend and calling his house and hanging up). I simply did a curiosity Google to see if I could find an online photo to remember why I was so obsessed and ended up at an obituary. He was 43.
It appears that one of my only non-celebrity stalking successes has come to an end, which means that I'm pretty sure I'm officially single now. At least that's what my Facebook status (the most accurate social barometer, obviously) says.
As a result, here are the most important things I must now do:
Ok, so apparently cars are very important to me as if I'm a teenager in the '50s. I'll admit I was impressed when I got driven around on our first date Labor Day 1999, in Manhattan no less. I am capable of using my legs and feet, however.
In retrospect, Hope Street was a horrible name for a one-and-a-half year stop gap (the signs and marketing material used for the weekend open houses employs the tagline "You've Found Hope") and integrating all non-cookbooks together was a pretty stupid move that will be time-consuming to sort out. When considering paint colors for the guest bathroom in the condo, I wavered between Benjamin Moore tear drop and passion blue, both so full of emotion. I don't even recall which shade I ended up using and I'm not going to ask.
I hate-read a blog by a woman my age that’s embarrassing in its teenage open wound style. Being that person is one of my greatest fears. It's all so very "old internet." And yes, I do miss it.
So, let's never speak of this matter here again.
In other news, I think I might have just impulse-bought a co-op, a process I only started four days ago. Maybe I'll just turn this into a nice, safe home renovation blog.
I know someone who seems to be stuck on couples, like as a target of annoyance and all that's wrong with the world, but I'm not sure she even realizes this. The other friend who noticed says my bugaboo is millennials but that's not really fair because I'm well aware of my bias, or rather, the ease with which I get miffed at my generation's blip and demise. I'm not delusional. I was thankful, though, to start seeing the mention of Generation Z. Oh, yes, their day is coming.
The NYC Popfest was this weekend and attracts a curious mix of old-school twee-sters of the K Records, Slumberland persuasion as well as second-gen (or is it third-gen? This was discussed) fans who came to this scene via bands like Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Sunday, there was an informal show at a performance space/semi-backyard in Ridgewood, near the Bushwick border which is the most millennial-baity neighborhood of all. I was looking for trends.
And I got them, mostly summarized in this one photo. Sorry to be all People of Walmart, but this is important.
1. What I'm calling the doodle tattoo. Lots of kids have this style where it looks like you let your friends scribble funny pictures on you one night with a ballpoint pen, kind of like that hoax Korean passport thing, and then it's decided the ink should be permanent. This is a minor example (I don't even know what it is); another young woman had messy line drawings all over her calves and the exposed parts of her sides I could see through the cut out arm holes in her t-shirt.
2. Doc Martens, duh. I can't do this, but two of friends that were with me, mid-30s, early-40s were both wearing a pair, one purple standard, one black and sparkly. But these were low-top with thick folded over socks, which is a '90s spirit I will never be able to get behind. Leggings, ok, even some acid wash, tights under shorts, but rolled-down socks? Never.
3. Ok, this is what I was most fascinated by. The children are our future and I truly believe that they will get back on board with pubic hair. I'm sure it's already infiltrated the hipper circles, and then it'll trickle down. I can't see strangers' pubes, BUT this girl had hairy legs, which kind of blew my mind. This wasn't a hippie.
There was some serious normcore happening.
Not pictured, were a few large girls with short skirts and exposed midriffs, a comfort-level that is entirely generational and that I respect much. I was disappointed to not see any baby backpacks.
While likely not a millennial--the singer, who's the only original member, certainly isn't--I was also mesmerized by the California chic keyboardist in Rocketship (who haven't had a record since 2006 and amazed everyone with how good they sounded). Though he very well could've been a millennial because that seemed to be the trend in many other bands I saw earlier that weekend with middle-aged male frontmen and lady backup singers who were in grade school at best when these bands were in their prime.
Out of nowhere, I've been obsessed with dyeing my hair a deep violet-brown, which is pretty '90s. I've decided to embrace the '90s even if you risk being mistaken for a hold-out. (Yes! And a friend from college told me he's going to get a Caesar cut, which if anyone could pull off he could.) At least I'm not wearing crushed velvet, which was also spied at this show (as well as elevator creepers, which I consider '80s along with Docs, but you know). But I've spent the last year growing out my natural color, so it seems like kind of a waste, not to mention that it will look good for a few weeks and then the silvery roots will pop back out. Such decisions.
It's no secret that I can be a little make-up crazy even though I rarely do anything elaborate anymore (I was recently pawing through old photos to find something Mother's Day appropriate to post on Facebook even though it was against my better judgment to participate, and noticed that I really used to put a lot more effort into eyeshadow and also that it's no lie that my eyebrows are not as thick as they once were). I just like colors. Before heading to New Orleans I became crazed over getting a purple lipstick a la Mac's Heroine (I'm still not clear if the Pure Heroine tie-in with Lorde is the same shade or something different with almost the same name) which used to be limited edition. Not berry, not plum, this is very important.
I cheaped out, which is dumb because I've never used up a lipstick or eye shadow in my life so spending double digits counts as an investment, and bought a Maybelline lookalike ("dupes" in makeup blogger parlance) off eBay called Lavender Bolt. But I happened to find myself at a Dillard's in suburban New Orleans, not Metarie, the more upscale suburb but Gretna on the hunt for Vietnamese food, which frankly was underwhelming, and just bought Heroine anyway because I wanted the purple lipstick right then, not after I got back home and checked my mail.
Anyway, I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that they aren't exactly the same. Maybelline is creamy and more sheer while MAC is matte and intense (when you Google images almost all the women are darker skinned, which kind of makes sense). Day lipstick and night lipstick. $6.99 and $16. I took photos of both for the heck of it, but only the Maybelline one really did anything for me (I looked too blurry and haggard in the other).
Ok, I was about to just let this stand as a throwaway post about two purple lipsticks and then got waylaid for a few days after knocking out a chunk of my right front tooth AGAIN. (Yes, I was wearing the Maybelline lipstick when it happened. The above photo is lipstick-less because I was heading to the dentist the next day.) The circumstances are too ridiculous to even detail (which is why I'm posting it here where ten people might see it rather than on social media even though Facebook is more private than this, an incongruity I've pondered before) but involved tripping over a pile of black plastic garbage bags stacked up on the curb as they do.
There are so many overwrought metaphors that could be gleaned from this (a friend goes to a therapist, who must be insightful to some degree but often forces meaning into things that are just things like cracks in a home's walls must relate to an unstable foundation non-literally). I have horrible balance. I'm not balanced. And when I start falling, I can't stop falling. I will tread more carefully from here on out and would be more upset by this if I hadn't already had one of the worst weeks in my life. It takes a lot to not be fazed by knocking out your teeth twice in four months.
It may have had something to do with the stale, re-circulated air and the out-of-body state that long haul flights induce even after a few hours. Just knowing that you'll be sitting in the same tight spot for longer than a work day or a night's sleep slows you down and a haze hits (the free drinks on international flights do not hurt). In this state, I became consumed by Broadchurch, watching the final six episodes straight through on my way back from Dubai to NYC, in part because I became obsessed with the vicar played by Arthur Darvill, someone I never gave one thought to as Rory on Doctor Who. He makes an extremely attractive vicar, though; sullen, prominent nose, dirty blonde. (Now that I think about it, I do see a connection here appearance-wise to Ted Chaough, another favorite. If I start feeling down I can look at both of them for a sense of reassurance. There are faces like this in the world.)
I don't know exactly what a vicar is and I'm not going to look it up because I'd like to keep it that way. Clearly, they are a British creation because I hear of them nowhere else. There was also a vaguely sexy vicar in Case Histories.
I've come to the part of Middlemarch where a vicar has been introduced. I couldn't even tell you his name, maybe something that starts with a B because I've come to the part of life, ok maybe just the point in this year, where I might have to admit that I'm no longer capable of reading serious books. After months, I'm only on page 170 of 850 and can't read more than ten pages in a sitting and then have zero recollection of what I just read. There was a window when it was possible, time and concentration-wise, and now it's gone. I'm actively dumber than I once was, and clearly dumber than all the young, smart women who not only read and love Middlemarch, but discuss the smart, young woman memoir about Middlemarch.
Women in their ninth decade also like Middlemarch, I discovered in New York last week.