Saturday, December 4, 2010

bus rides are my life?

I don't know why it is I can only seem to be motivated to blog when I'm on a megabus. Once again i'm en route from Boston to NYC after a singing gig with a dance company out there. I'm actually almost home (at 2am. Yippee!) I should've blogged on the way TO Boston because that ride was a lot more eventful. And by eventful I mean harrowing. Oh that's right... I COULDN'T blog on that trip because for one, the internet on the bus was down. I know what all of you born pre-1975 are saying.... "oh you poor thing... having to ride a bus without the internet?? How could you possibly survive?" And to you I say.... I know, right?? Seriously though, it was an annoyance since I dragged my computer on this trip solely for the purpose of hoping to get work done on the long bus rides. (And by work we know I mean update facebook every 14 minutes and click on various unneccessary links for 4 hours. But hey, I worked on my resume a little bit and stuff so- work actually did happen on this trip back!) Back to the nightmare that was my trip up... so here I was, sans internet/computer... having to do everything through my iPhone (PROPS to my iPhone by the way. What would I do without it?) Eventually it decided it wanted me to rip some of my hair out so the touch screen decided to go wonky on me and stop working properly. I ended accidentally deleting an important email while simultaneously sending a nonsensical one to the wrong address. I have no idea how that was even possible, but it happened. After a reboot the phone started working normally again (thankfully.) All was ok, until the woman seated behind me started getting more phone calls than TSA's complaint department. It was made all the more annoying by the fact that she was speaking in French, and was clearly either hard of hearing or Linklater trained judging by the intense volume of her voice. When we were SUPPOSED to be an hour away from Boston, we got stuck in dead-stop traffic. We sat there on the highway for an hour without moving. When we finally started again I figured okay we'll be a bit behind... but BOY was I wrong. I looked up to see we were only by Hartford! So a 4 hour bus ride was really actually going to take 6 hours. The icing on the cake though, was the man sitting next to me. This man decided hey, I'm on a 4 hour bus, might as well sleep. Not a bad plan right? WRONG for this man. This man was a snorer. And I don't mean a bit of heavy breathing here and there. I'm talking he must have had a dying hampster lodged in his throat and vuvuzela's implanted in each nostril because I have never ever heard such LOUD and irritating noises coming out of a human being. And this continued on... getting louder and louder for the most part... for 3 hours. THREE HOURS. Let me tell you something- there is not much I can think of that is more irritating than the grating sound of a loud and obnoxious snore going on for 3 hours. After the 3 hour mark I could feel myself starting to really panic. The thing about me is, I'm pretty darn passive. I will bubble up with all of the anger/annoyance in the world but I will keep that all to myself and suffer in silence. I tried shoving his foot with mine a couple times, to no avail. But it was really starting to break me. I was like, near panic at some points. Seriously, I had to take half a valium it was that bad! I had my ipod on and BLASTING in my ears, and still I could hear him. The rest of the bus could too, and we all joked about it a couple times. I even tried blasting my music out loud for the bus to hear in hopes that he'd wake up, but nothing. Eventually I called my mom and was complaining to her. My mom is the kind of woman who has NO problem waking up a total stranger and telling him to stop the damn snoring. She kept yelling at ME to just wake him up. Finally, after having her scream "DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT" in my ear over and over, I threw the phone onto the empty seat next to me, sucked up all of my courage and grabbed the man to wake him up. "Scuse me sir... I'm so sorry but... you've been snoring..." (Oh LORDDD was that awkward for me.) His response was "hey don't call me sir, i'm not that old!" but he did wake up and grab a book. Ahhhh success. I can't put the relief I felt into words (Although that was probably partly valium-induced too.) The rest of the ride was okay, except he eventually fell back asleep with the book open. Typical.
This ride home has been smooth and awesome. There are about 10 of us on this double decker bus. Only 2 other people on the first floor with me. I have a whole table to myself, my beloved internet, and we've cruised the whole time. I feel like i'm on a private jet, lol. Regardless, I think i'm staying away from long road trips for a while. I've been doing a LOT of them, and I feel like I just need to be home for a bit.
Oh by the way on an unrelated note- I turned 27 two weeks ago. It definitely does feel different than 26. It's been... a pretty emotionally heavy 2 weeks so I haven't been able to just sit back and "enjoy 27" just yet... but hopefully soon. I have big plans for 2011, I just haven't figured them out yet. I'll get back to you on that.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shutting Down- A Poem

See kids? A serious post. It happens, once in awhile. I wanted to share a poem I just wrote, because they are very hard for my brain to come by lately. (And by "lately" I mean for like, the last 5 years. That's a LONG time to have creative-writing block! Frustrating.) But yes, sometimes when emotions and situation calls for it, I can actually squeeze something half decent out. So of course I need to document it!
Enjoy, or whatever you do with poems.

Shutting Down

I am packing up my feelings
and the care I had for you
And I’m stuffing them inside a box
And marking “Good as new”
I am leaving them outside
On the stoop out in the rain
And just hoping that the garbage men
Can handle all that pain

I am shutting down emotions
Pressing pause on every tear
And I’m forcing myself to accept
That you’re no longer here.
I am turning off the hurting
I am forcing a goodbye
Cause the moment you shut off from me
I lost the will to try.

So I’m wiping out the memories
I’m erasing all the good
I will focus on reality
The way they’ve said I should
I will dim the flames of caring
I will start my life anew
And I’ll shut down what’s left of my love
As I detach from you.

But the biggest task I have to face
While taking me apart
Is the nearly impossible job
Of shutting down my heart.
Even though the thing is broken
And it has been for some time
It has kept up with it’s beating
Just pretending it was fine.
But the beating was a symbol
Of the hope I clung on to
As I ignored all the evidence-
I’d already lost you.
But I’ll strangle out the wishes
I will shut that muscle down
And I’ll keep it locked up tightly
Til I’ve shut your memories out.
I’ll keep it powered down
Until I cannot feel a thing
And then I’ll wait until my strength is back
and start re-powering.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Karaoke Contest that wasn't

Well here I am on the Megabus again. This seems to be the only time I can find the motivation to blog. (Mostly because I am confined to a single chair for 4 hours with nowhere to go and only a computer to entertain me. I can only sit on facebook for so long...) I am on my way back from my final trip to Boston for what I'm guessing will be a while. I had to go back for the finals of that karaoke contest I've been talking about. I made it through 3 rounds to the finals last night, where only 7 of us remained (after months of competition.) I walked into the Cathay Pacific Restaurant with my eye on the prize ($1000 first prize, not too shabby.) Upon entering to the tacky decor of the venue, my eye was soon struck by something I was definitely not expecting- at least 150 people hustling and bustling about, getting ready to watch the contest. Keep in mind, I have been through 2 other qualifying rounds for this thing and at MOST there would be maybe 35-45 people. Just a few tables filled up. Now, they had opened up an entire second ROOM and the place was PACKED. Immediate freak-out ensued. The problem was, this thing was being decided by popular vote based on the audience. If there is one thing I have always failed at, it's anything involving "Popular vote". It's been that way ever since 7th grade when I first tried running for student council, wanting to represent my homeroom class. Little did I know that even though I had every intention of getting in there and trying to make a difference for my school, running to represent your class had nothing to do with your political intentions. Instead, it had everything to do with how "popular" you were and how many kids in your class liked you/wanted to be you/wanted to date you/were afraid of you. I was crushed by Chris Mackay, the local skater kid who I'm fairly sure had no idea what the words "Student government" meant or what he was even running for, and probably never attended a meeting. Regardless, I never bothered to try running for student council again (or to do anything that required votes from the people around me.)
So back to the contest. I walked in to find that my competitors had brought out their posse's. Unfortunately for me, I do not have a posse. Definitely not in Boston, nor anywhere really. I can't even get people to come see me sing in exchange for free alcohol! I'm not even sure most of the people I know would show up if I gave out free bails of money. I came equipped only with my good friend Judith who was awesome enough to pick me up from the bus station AND let me crash with her. Jordan showed up later too, so that gave me a total of 3 guaranteed votes (myself included). The only other white girl competitor was sitting at the table behind me- and by table I mean 5 tables pulled together to seat the 40 people she brought to vote for her. (Together we made up the only white clientele in the room. We know how much I LOVE this because it means an enthusiastic audience for me!)
I was sweating bullets right from the get go. It's been a long time since I've competed in anything, and awhile since I've sung for that many people. The rest of the competition were good... I called the first place winner the minute he opened his mouth. He is a regular at this karaoke venue and has a huge following and a great voice, and I thought he for sure deserved to win. The only other competition that made me go "hmmm there goes my chance of winning one of the cash prizes" was a woman who dressed up and did Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" complete with wig, a costume under a trench coat, and dance moves. She wasn't particularly vocally talented, but based on the crowd we were playing to (and a BUNCH of voters she brought with her) I knew she was probably taking one of those cash prizes home. I sang last and I definitely sang well, the audience was very receptive. But alas, they could only vote for one person and those who didn't already have allegiance to someone they came with I have a feeling mostly voted for the first place winning guy. So when all was said and done, I did not win a cash prize. Instead they gave me a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant we were at, which I cannot imagine ever gracing with my presence again. (Unless I have a craving for mediocre crab rangoon and giant scorpion bowls and a hankering for some cheesy oriental decor.) It was a bummer not to win, I've been in it all this time to try and get some of that cash, but when all was said and done it ended up not having anything to do with my talent, and everything to do with the fact that I have little to no friends. Unpopularity thwarts my hopes again. (I'm convinced in my next life I will come back as the coolest kid in school. I deserve it.)
All said and done though, I'm still glad I went. As John wisely said to me "One of the things about competing in something we care about- we only live once and that is excitement and living to the max. Few people get to do that." It was exciting and fun and I know things would've turned out differently if there were actual judges. I still love Boston and loved all these little trips there to see people and spend time out of hot and smelly NYC.
So what did we learn from this experience?
1. Black people still love to hear a skinny white girl belt some Whitney Houston. (the "sing it girl"'s that I got right at the start of my performance really pushed me to do my best.)
2. The school counselor can suck it, popularity IS important and it can totally ruin your goals not having it.
3. No more competing in karaoke contests judged by the audience unless I miraculously make 1000 friends (or pay people off to come vote for me.)
4. Restaurants with snack machines IN them are the classiest of joints:

5. I just can't contain myself around people with Afro's.

And most importantly, though few and far between I highly value the friends that do come out and show me support and love. For these, I am lucky.

Thanks to Judith and Jordan for joining me for the Finals
(Also thanks to Vicki, Dmitriy, Julie, Jordans friend Dan, Carolyn and her BF, Carisa (BIG thanks to Carisa for not only supporting but DRIVING me to the last round) for coming to previous rounds and helping me get through. And also a shout out to John for being super supportive and encouraging throughout the whole process/talking me through when I was kinda freaking out before the finals.)

And with that, time to get back to drowning out the various languages being spoken that I cannot decipher on this bus by plugging in my itunes and stalking people on the internet.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My first song on guitar

So remember a couple of blogs ago when I mentioned that I bought a guitar that handles like a tinker-toy at Target? Well I fought through my initial desire to trash it after the first try, and gave it a second try... and a 3rd... and what do you know, I finally know like 6 chords! That's enough to write like, a billion songs on guitar! (But screw the F chord- seriously, who thought of that?)
Last week I was sitting around with my toy guitar mutilating my fingers so that I can finally have those "callouses" that they say will make it hurt less (I mean, who doesn't enjoy exposed bits of flesh on the pads of their fingertips?), and inspiration hit me for a new song. I won't go into details, but I will share the youtube post of my masterpiece.
I give you, "Thank God for Your Face", the first song I've ever written on guitar. Mind the playing skills, they are still being worked on. Here's hoping that many more hilarious tunes ensue!

Please watch, comment (if you like it. If you don't, it was probably about you.), rate (well), show your first born, etc.

Enjoy. A longer post to come as soon as I find the motivation I seem to have misplaced with my cleaning skills and rationality.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A serious Blog

I think it’s time for my first serious blog. I’ve intended to keep this thing as light as possible but last week I had an experience that needs to be written about, and it’s not the lightest material. But still, I feel a need to write about it, so here we go.
On Sunday the 25th, I was headed home from visiting Carisa (aka I accidentally locked myself out of my apartment just as a huge thunderstorm was starting so I had no choice but to taxi cross-town and hang out with her until my roommate got home) when I decided I wanted a Starbucks. So I took the route from the train to the one 2 blocks from my house. As I rounded the corner onto 85th street, I noticed several ambulances and a crowd of people at the end of the block (in front of my Starbucks.) I didn’t think TOO much of it, as ambulances are as frequent as piles of garbage in NYC. I noticed people looking up, and thought hmmm… maybe a fire or something? Like most people my curiosity gets the best of me and I am drawn to these massive crowds. I walked up and noticed that people looked very serious, and very upset. I asked the girl closest to me what was going on. “Somebody jumped” was her response. This is when I really noticed the scene directly across the street from me at Starbucks. The courtyard was roped off with police tape, and from where I stood I saw a lower half of a body lying motionless on the ground behind the half-wall in front of the store. “Did you see it??” I asked, suddenly overcome with nausea. “No, but I heard it. I live right here, across the street, and I heard a loud thud and came out to see. You can see him!” She pointed out what I was already looking at. Just at that moment the paramedics came over with the white sheet to cover him. People were pointing at different windows on the building directly above the Starbucks, trying to figure out exactly where he came from. There were people hanging out of windows in that building looking down on what happened. Everyone passing by stopped. Even children were asking “what happened”? It was by far the most awful sight I’ve come across in all of my time in NYC thus far. The scene was chilling, and even the officers didn’t really seem to know what to make of it… It took me a long time to get myself to move, and I had to cross the street and pass RIGHT by the courtyard as I headed home. I couldn’t peel my eyes away and even though I knew it would upset me I looked over at the sheet-covered body as I walked right past it. I also passed the table with the witnesses who were being interviewed by police… and thought to myself “THOSE poor women will never be the same.” Had I arrived 10 minutes earlier, I would have been one of them. I always drink my coffee in that courtyard. I thank GOD that I was not there for that.
It haunted me for days. I searched the internet like crazy for any news on this person. There is barely anything. One tiny blurb from the Post. His name was Todd Crockett. He was 37 years old. He was married. He was quiet and kept a clean apartment. He jumped from the 17th floor. He left no suicide note.
Suicide happens every day, I know. And I know jumpers are quite common in NYC. But this is the first time I’ve encountered it THIS up close and personal, and I can’t help feeling like I need to know WHY. What happened that was SO drastic in this guy’s life that plunging 17 stories into a populated Starbucks courtyard seemed to be his only option? I wish there was some explanation. Yea, it was a crappy day. It was rainy and depressing and hot. But I jus t can’t seem to fathom what can get someone to THAT point… where they are standing on the ledge of their 17th floor apartment window and the only decision that seems to make sense in a moment of utter panic, pain and confusion is to jump and take your own life? It makes me feel SO sad for him. I have seen and felt the kind of pain that makes you feel like you can’t go on. I’m sure most of us have had similar moments. But in making it through them, and then experiencing the precious moments of sheer joy that you also get to have throughout life… those are the moments that make you realize what a gift this one chance at life is… and the fact that someone would rob themselves of that, it just breaks my heart. YES times can get rough. Your heart gets broken so many times in one lifetime! But it only breaks because it has been filled with such love and joy for someone/something, and that in itself is a miraculous gift. The fact that we can love, that we can experience happiness on such incredible levels. That wonderful people and events come into our lives and fill our hearts with elation. You can’t always hold on to the things you treasure forever, but the fact that you ever had something to treasure should be enough to make you want to go on and find the rest of the gifts life holds for you. I feel very sad that this man Todd lost sight of that. That he felt there was nothing left for him. He was only about 10 years older than me. I personally cannot wait to see what life has in store for me in the next 10 years and beyond, God-willing.
So in memory of this man who left life way too soon, stop and take a second to examine all of your blessings. Take a mental note of all of the love in your life. Your family, your friends, your loves past and present. Hug all of those people and tell them you love them. Even if it’s just in your blog. (NOTE: Hugs and love to ALL of my family, friends and loves past.) Cherish your life. And when you feel like you’re sitting on the edge and can’t seem to figure out a way to get off of it (hopefully METAPHORICALLY, don’t anyone reading dare to actually get on a ledge!), stop- take a breath- think of whatever it is that you love. Your dog or cat, your parents or siblings, a joke that a friend told you, McDonalds Cinna-melts. Remember that life is full of incredible moments that balance out the bad ones. And remind yourself that you want to stick around for more of those.
Rest in Peace Todd- I’m sorry that it got so bad you could see no other way.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Double Down and Zipcar!

ALRIGHT Blog-o-sphere we've got a lot to cover today!
First of all, pretty unrelated to my day (although I DID obviously pop into KFC for a quick lunch), we need to talk about THIS:

You guys.... it's real. This thing is REAL. I had heard about it before, when having a "grossest food you've ever heard of" contest with some strangers on the subway... and sure it sounded nasty. But nothing could have prepared me for the ginormous poster that awaited me at the counter of KFC in Herald square. THEY ACTUALLY MAKE A "CHICKEN SANDWICH" WHERE THE "BUNS" ARE REALLY TWO CHICKEN PATTIES. Is this like the "Go straight to clogged arteries-do not pass go, do not collect $200" card?? First I started to laugh, then I started to gag... then both simultaneously. I definitely threw up in my mouth a little, and all of a sudden my craving for fried chicken started to wane. It was already my turn to order though, so I had no choice. I opted for their much healthier/appealing "Get-a-grip" chicken patty in a sleeve. After placing my order I said to the unresponsive woman behind the counter "I just gotta ask you- do people actually ORDER that double down thing??" I awaited her response with my eyes bugged out already half laughing because clearly I cannot be the ONLY one who thinks that that sandwich is absolutely ridiculous. She just looked at me funny and nodded her head, while walking away to get me my chicken. Sense of humor must not be on list of qualities they look for in KFC employees.
I sat down with my overpriced lunch in the cleanest spot I could find (what a task), and pulled out my incredibly healthy choice. This made me laugh even more:

A chicken ice cream cone? Pretty much. It's as if my lunch were talking right to me. Because Lord knows, I REALLY do need to get a grip. Especially on the foods I'm consuming. You can bet your bottom dollar I ate the whole thing though. (Laughing pathetically with each bite and shaking my head at what my life has come to.)

OK now that we've gotten the lunch discussion out of the way, I want to tell you all about the BEST THING EVER. Yesterday on a whim (and after receiving a too-good-to-pass-up groupon in my e-mail box), I decided to join Zipcar. For those of you who are unfamiliar, zipcar is a company that parks rental cars all over the city. Anyone who is a member can take one of their cars for any amount of time (from an hour to days at a time.) You sign up, pay a one time annual fee, get a zipcard that magically opens the door to whatever car you reserve for yourself, reserve whichever car you'd like/can afford near you, and voila! Ready to drive at a moments notice. I have been contemplating joining for a while but don't really have any excuses for needing a car. But the groupon offered a $35 membership fee (as opposed to $75) and $50 worth of free driving so I figured it's now or never, and I joined!
Today I went to their office to pick up my zipcard, and instantly felt special and privileged having one. And of course, I immediately wanted to drive somewhere, just for the heck of it. I came back home and researched the cars around my area, and opted for a Blue Scion named Beyern that was parked literally down the block. I got it for an hour and a half for $20, and had a blast! It took me all day to figure out where I should go with my new car, and finally I decided, why not check out the new Costco up in East Harlem? So here I was... in a car I've never driven, in one of the HARDEST and craziest cities to drive in (which I've never driven in before), heading to EAST HARLEM-- there were so many ways this trip could end in my demise! But I was excited nonetheless. After a few blocks, once I had re-figured out how to drive... I plugged my iPod into the connector that came with the car and jammed to Lady Gaga all the way uptown. I was giddy the whole time!

(Don't worry, I probably didn't take this picture while the car was in motion....)

Several people have told me the same thing about driving in NYC- "Oh, it's fun! It's like a video game!" Which has made me cock my head to the side thinking "hmmm, that sounds kind of dangerous?" And they are right. It is exactly like being in a video game. Because there are no lanes in NYC. Every now and then you pass a faded line on the street and think "OH HEY! THAT MUST HAVE BEEN A LANE ONCE!" But for the most part, the streets are blank and you just estimate "hmmm there's room for about 4 or 5 lanes on this avenue but hell let's just see where the cars take me" and everyone weaves in and out of each other and it's pretty much insanity. PLUS there are 1000 obstacles to avoid! (Bike riders, pedestrians, flying construction shrapnel...) I felt like I was playing old-school Paper Boy again. Only this time I could really actually kill someone.

Once I got to the shopping plaza and made my way into Costco, I realized that you have to pay to be a costco member, and it's more than $5. I figured, I really won't need to buy in bulk like that until I'm married with kids or I finally become a crazy cat-lady. Then I saw someone with a target bag and realized that they must have opened up the Target upstairs that I thought wasn't opening until the end of the month. SCORE! I ducked out of Costco and ran up to Heaven.
This Target was beautiful, and huge. I fluttered through it in ecstasy like the Little Mermaid at a Garage Sale... look at this stuff! Isn't it neat?? This sucker even had a STARBUCKS, there is just nothing classier. Being in the Target in East Harlem was much like being back in Miami... English was definitely not the primary language. Me being rusty with my spanish and never having picked up the complexities of ebonics, I kept to myself and stayed quiet for the most part.
I once again found myself to be the only white person in the building. That's been happening a lot lately? I'm all for diversity but, where have all the white people gone?
Oh yea, the Hamptons.
ANYWAYS, I decided to do my grocery shopping at Target since I had a CAR with me and could stuff it's giant trunk full of months worth of nutritious goodies. Instead I ended up buying just 2 bags of stuff, mostly frozen dinners and cookie dough. (The essentials.)
On my 3rd trip around the store I spotted my impulsive buy of the day (aside from my "get-a-grip" chicken in a sleeve lunch)- a guitar. I've been telling myself for a while now that it's time to try and learn guitar (I've tried a few times in the past and it's always lasted about as long as it takes to tune the thing.) This was an all-inclusive "guitar in a box" that looked half the size of an actual guitar, but it came with 3 picks and a strap and we know I'm a sucker for package deals. Plus it was super cheap. So I threw caution and common sense to the wind and took it to the front, planning on telling people it was for my non-existent nephew if they asked. (It clearly looks like it's meant for 12 and under.) After making my purchases, I wheeled my stuff back out to my CAR, packed it up, and headed for home.
(My car "Beyern" parked in front of Costco. I made it out without getting mugged! YAY!)
I made it back to my place with like 10 minutes to spare so I decided to run my purchases up to my apartment. This required me to parallel park. In New York City. Where parellel parking is harder than getting Gay Marraige passed in Kentucky. Immediately I began fearing for my life/the life of my zipcar. I would just like to say that I am not a bad driver. On the contrary, I'm a pretty darn great driver and most people who have been in a car chauffeured by me will agree. (And those who don't are A-holes, don't listen to them.) But one thing I'm not so hot at is parallel parking, because I rarely had to use it in Miami. So if by "parallel park" you mean "park halfway into the middle of the street", then I was extremely successful.
Whatever, I was only gone a minute. And I only hit the car behind me once getting out, that's pretty impressive. I returned the car in perfect time and skipped home after what turned out to be an awesomely random day. I love those. As for my new guitar? It handles like a tinker toy and sounds a lot like what the "guitar" on my keyboard sounds like. (If you threw the keyboard into a bathtub first.) It took me about 2 minutes and 4 chords to remember why I stopped playing the first few tries- that crap HURTS your fingertips! So we'll see how long I keep it up before it ends up in the corner with the massive bag of clothes I've been meaning to donate for well over a year now. Start placing your bets...

Zipcar: wheels when you want them. Learn more.

(Here guys, join zipcar! If you join through that link, You get me free driving points! We both win! (well really I mostly win but, you get to join too yay!))

Monday, July 19, 2010

North Quincy Idol

Seriously you guys, this blog thing.. what a responsibility! It's really tough to find time to blog between sleeping through half the day and checking my Facebook/eating McDonalds during the other half. I'm trying though, I promise. I spend at least a couple of hours a day (not all at once) telling myself "hey, you should make yourself useful and go write something that no one is going to read." It motivates me. (Usually to do something else instead.)
But I owe you part two of my Boston adventure, and it's already been almost a week since I was there! I'm starting to forget the details. When we left off, I had just sung for the first part of the karaoke contest. Since my biggest competition was the most unenthusiastic version of "Proud Mary" I've ever heard (Seriously- Ben Stein could've rolled down the river with more fervor. It was like the karaoke version of "Frasier"), it wasn't hard for me to qualify through to the semi-finals which were being held the following night. I'd like to say that I went home and practiced my vagina singing, but really I just bought a bag of fortune cookies and ate those on the couch while reading "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang" until like, 6am.
It rained the entire next day so instead of prancing through the flowers at the Public Gardens and making up my own dirty version of the Freedom Trail, I ended up sitting around the apartment I was staying in, sweating profusely. (I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE CAN LIVE IN APARTMENTS WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING DURING THE SUMMER. THIS IS NOT OKAY WITH ME.) To pass the time, I spent a portion of the afternoon cleaning my friends room, because if there's one thing I excel at being, it's a sucker. (Plus I have this weird OCD when it comes to being in unorganized spaces for an extended period of time. Not my own- I will sit in my own filth for months at a time. But other people's places? I automatically start organizing. I don't know why/how this started.) Once I got to the bottom of the pile of clothing on the floor and found a dead bumblebee next to a 3 muskateers bar, I gave up and decided to do something more productive/less insect-y. (Like figure out what to use for a towel since the the towels in existence were OUT of the question.) I settled for the cleanest t-shirt I could find and started getting ready for my big night. North Quincy wouldn't know what hit 'em!
I got decked out in my diva best and finally got my friend Meat to stop complaining for long enough to drag him out in time to get Panera on the way. We ran into our friend Julie in the subway and so her original e-mail response politely declining my invite was nullified- and I happily dragged her ass out to Quincy too (quite possibly against her will, but I'm grateful just the same.) That was a nice surprise! My friend/competition Jordan (who did not TELL me that he had qualified the night before me and would be competing against me tonight) picked us up from the train station and we were off.
Once again Jordan and I were the only white ones competing. I felt bad having to go up against my friend- like we were stuck in a weird Star Wars sing-off... but he assured me it was "my night". (He lives there, he can always try again.) The rest of the competition was... oh who am I kidding, it was fine. It was cake. And cake is exactly what we went for at the end of the night. (After Jordan got lost, drove us in the completely wrong direction, and I peed my pants laughing while Meat whined in the backseat of the car about how he had to wake up so early. NOTHING MAKES ME LAUGH MORE THAN MEAT COMPLAINING. I seriously haven't laughed that hard in ages.) On our way to the only 24 hour bakery in the North End of Boston, we tried to turn down the one way street Meat lives off of to pull straight into his alleyway which is literally RIGHT there when you turn in (granted- wrong direction- but still. It's right there.) What we didn't anticipate, was the biggest D-Bag bicycle cop in existence to be parked on the corner, waiting to fight someone. As soon as Jordan started making the turn he started screaming. Meat rolled down the window and said "c'mon we're just going right there" and this A-hole has the nerve to start screaming "ARE YOU STUPID OR SOMETHING? ARE YOU RETARDED? DO YOU WANT ME TO ARREST YOUR BUDDY HERE? MORON!"
It was all we could do to back-up and speed off before Meat screamed "F*** you" out the window and started to try and get out of the car. (Meat is from Russia, they have bad tempers there.) I couldn't believe the nerve of that cop though. A simple "hey man sorry, one way street. Can't come down here" would've sufficed. OBVIOUSLY this particular officer hates his life, because he rides a BIKE around Boston's Little Italy all night and is most likely missing his scrotum or something. What a jerk.
Once we calmed down and hit the bakery, Jordan got a moon pie, I got German chocolate cake (not knowing what exactly made it "German"... but regretting it all the same. Yuck.) and Meat just continued complaining. You know, the usual. Jordan and I stayed up for hours talking about completely inappropriate and/or hilarious things and stuffing our faces, which meant that the night ended pretty darn successfully. The next morning I got a text from him letting me know that I had made the finals- my picture was up on the karaoke website. It's official! I'm that much closer to being the North Quincy, Massachusetts Idol. (And winning some CASH too!) I have to go back at the end of August for that, which I totally don't mind- as we know how much I loooove Boston.
(I will, however DEMAND a place with air conditioning the next time I am back. I counted this as my one third world country experience for the summer, and that's enough for me.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bahston and "My people"

Here I am, back on the Megabus back to New York. Already? Sheesh, that was fast.
This is only my second post in this blog and already I'm exhausted. The responsibility is killing me! No wonder I don't have a job. Fewf.
So, Boston was fun! But it came and went far too quickly. I'm not into that. Let me tell you what- I've never had a city that I was so happy to arrive in. I grew up in the Cuban sauna of Miami, Florida where I clearly never belonged. (Who's idea was it to ship a borderline albino irish sun-hater to Miami? And more off, what is my family thinking still living there?) From there I made the brilliant and drastic move of re-locating to Syracuse, New York for college. For those of you who have never been to Syracuse, congratulations- keep it that way. Syracuse, put nicely, is a hellish frozen tundra of seasonal depression where the sun dare not go, strewn with some of the most impressive projects you've ever seen. It was not uncommon to pass out drunkenly to the lull of gunshots outside your window, while a blizzard buried your Saturn Vue in the parking lot of your dilapidated crack-addict filled apartment building. Ah, memories. And then of course after college I moved to New York City to pursue .......?, which USED to be my favorite city in the world. New York is the greatest city on Earth, UNTIL you live in it. Specifically, until you're spending the summer or dead of winter there.
I have tried to remain positive about living in New York since "if I can make it there blah blah blah midgets will bring me pots of gold" or whatever.... but the longer I bake in that concrete oven, the longer I curse the B'way for not just calling me up and offering me a lead role already. (Auditions shmauditions. Who needs 'em? There's gotta be an easier way to achieve this. WITHOUT taking my clothes off...)
ANYWAYS, I digress. The point is, I've lived in a few places here and there... and everywhere has had it's "home" stamp on me at one point or another. But nothing has ever felt like Boston.
When I arrived at South Station on Tuesday, I was greeted by a wild hoard of butterflies-on-speed doing Tina Turner dance impersonations in my stomach. I heaved such a sigh of relief, and felt happy all over to be there. What the HECK is that?! And how? I only spent 6 weeks in Boston in May/June working on a show there. But something about that dang town got it's fangs in me, and almost everywhere I go makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. (Except the North End. Screw those Italians and a-hole bike cops. Who wants to eat pizza for every meal? I can stay in NYC for that.)
On Tuesday night I competed in a karaoke contest in North Quincy, about 40 minutes out of Boston. I know what you're thinking... who would travel all the way to Boston to compete in a karaoke contest in North Quincy??? You're reading her blog, that's who. Hey- there's a $1000 first prize and I have never heard of making such an astronomical amount of money in one sitting so, bugger off if you think I'm retarded for trying.
The contest was being held at a place called the "Cathay Pacific". I didn't really know what to imagine... maybe a Hawaiian themed bar, or a reggae night club... the possibilities were endless!
I was not prepared for what I was met with. The Cathay Pacific is a chinese restaurant strewn in the most gloriously tacky 1990's oriental decor-- the "lounge" where we were singing was like a cross between one of the "don't go there without your switch blade" hotels in Las Vegas, and what the dining room on the Titanic would have looked like if it was built in China in the 1970's.
You know you're in a classy joint when there is a vending machine INSIDE the chinese restaurant. Where else can you eat wonton soup and then buy a box of whoppers? This was clearly my kind of place. I never wanted to leave.
What was even more impressive than the decor of this heavenly restaurant- was the crowd.
For those who don't know, I am adopted. (My parents are rolling their eyes right now if they are reading this, because they get all huffy when I mention this fact. "Why is it always the first thing you have to tell people?!" They say with disdain. It's not the first thing, it's usually AT LEAST the second or third, right after "no, I don't eat that" and "I have a really tiny bladder, I can't help that I pee this much." . And here, I put it in my SECOND blog. So there.) The reason I bring up my adoption right now, is that when you're adopted- you always wonder what is hiding deep within your blood that you don't know about. And in my blood, or somewhere within my make-up, i'm pretty sure that I am part-black. (shut up, just because I have the whitest skin shade possible and don't eat collared greens does NOT mean it's not possible!) Me most-likely being part black means that I have an un-natural gravitation towards my black brotha's and sista's. In college, they called me "White Chocolate." No joke. So needless to say, I was happier than pigs feet in shit when I walked into the lounge to find that my friends and I were the only white ones there (aside from the asian staff of course.) I was prepared to sing my best Whitney Houston ballad, and these were my people! I love singing for black people. Because black people are THE MOST responsive people there are to perform for. Not only will they clap and scream inappropriately- they will also yell out precious things like "you go girl", "sing it sista'", "Aiiiiggghhhtt Erica", "Sing child", "You gonna eat that last chicken wing?"... the things that really make me push harder and deeper to sing my bestest. Tuesday was no exception. They made their outbursts, and I saaaannnggg. It was glorious. After my performance I headed to the bar for some water, and the brotha sitting next to where I was waiting told me I did a good job. "You sang that nicely" he said "but don't be afraid to growl."
"I threw a little growl in there, at the end..." I parried.
"Yes, but don't be afraid to REALLY growl. You sang from here" he said, gesturing to his diaphragm, "and it was good, but you gotta really feel it. You gotta sing from down HERE" he added, pointing to his crotchal region. "Sing from the vagina. Sing like you just had amazing sex."
"I'll work on that" I assured him with a wink, to which he quickly extended his hand and introduced himself. (I can't ever remember names so let's just be racist and call him Jerome. That might actually be right.) I completely didn't mean to mislead him with my wink to thinking that I meant I would have sex with HIM (I love black people but I don't love them THAT much! I'm a tiny girl, that would be dangerous.), so I quickly shook his hand, told him to come back for the semi-finals and vote for me, and scurried back to my table. I made a mental note to work on my vagina singing when I got home.

OK I am tired of my over-use of commas, so I'm going to call this "PART ONE" and leave you all in suspense about what happens next... unless you're my friend on facebook, and you already know the results of the trip. To be continued...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

a New blog, and the Megabus

So I finally bit the bullet and created a blog. Mostly because my facebook status updates were getting longer and longer, and I found myself being forced to trim them in order to file whatever complaint it was that I was desperately trying to vent to the 800 acquaintances I share my life with via the internet. And twitter? 140 characters? I don't think so. Who can complain in 140 characters? Mormons. That's who. (Love to my mormons out there- go on with ya positive selves!) I don't like being told I need to hold back.
Don't get me wrong, this whole blog will not be chock full of complaints. I doubt too many people would want to read that. But I warn you now soon-to-be-faithful readers... I am Jewish, and there are three things we Jews do in excess: Eat, talk too loud, and complain. I am partial to the third. However, I am also a "struggling" artist in NYC so of course that means I'm in a constant state of "trying to find myself"... which has lead me to Yoga, self-help books on staying positive, and Panera's Iced green-tea. So if you're lucky, every now and then you'll catch me in my "positivity" mode posting something that will undoubtedly change your life (probably not, I can't back that up. But still, it'll be good.)

TODAY'S post however, WILL consist of mostly complaints. For at this very moment, I am writing to you from the Megabus. Don't get me wrong, I am happy to be on the Megabus because I am headed for one of my new favorite cities- Boston, and I am excited to get away from the fresh aroma of body odor and toasted homeless-pee-strewn sidewalks of New York City. But already things are not going so well for me on this bus. First of all, I was under the impression (don't ask me why, because I have no excuse) that my bus was leaving at 12:30. I was wrong, it was leaving at 12:15. But since I thought it was 12:30 I left at 11:15 thinking i'd have PLENTY of time to dilly-dally. I took my sweet time getting there... stopped at Quizno's, etc. Thank GOODNESS it started raining when I left with my sammies, because had it not, I would've skipped happily over to Duane Reade for chocolate, as I'm having a serious crack-addict-like craving right now. But because it was drizzling, I decided I'd better just high-tail it over to Madison Square Garden, where the bus picks up. I figured hey, this way I'll get there early- maybe I can get one of those fancy table seats! I sauntered up to the bus area at precisely 12:14... and approached one of the lines inquiring if they were Boston-bound. "Um no... that's the one boarding over there..." said the nice young man I asked. (Clearly he is not from NYC, or he would've told me to F off. {this blog will be as curse-word-free as possible.}) So I was like WOW, we're boarding early, sweet! Won't have to stand in the rain too long! (It's hard balancing 3 bags, an umbrella and a fountain pepsi with just two hands.) I made it JUST in the nick-of-time. And let me tell you what- those ghetto Megabus employees shuffling people onto the bus? They mean biz-nass. I imagine it's similar to how the check-in process at concentration camps must've been- if concentration camps were in Harlem, and "Jews" were replaced with "Hispanics". (Most Jews avoid public transportation whenever possible.) There was one non-english speaking family that I guess one of the members was missing a ticket, And these Megabus Nazi's were barking orders at the ticketed ones to "GET ON THE BUS! WE LEAVIN'!"... the young spanish boy holding the back door open was frantically looking back and forth in a panic- Air-conditioned safe-haven to Boston? Or work harder to get Tio Paco (*names have been changed to protect the innocent/feed my racist streak) on the bus... in the end, I think he said screw Tio Paco and went upstairs for a window seat. I was one of the last people to get on the bus, and guess where I've ended up? You know it- the dreaded bathroom seat. I am parked RIGHT next to that lovely porthole that reeks of 1000 years of defecation, formaldehyde, and a dash of anti-bacterial soap for good measure. Yum. Could be worse though, at least I don't have to share this seat. (I'm the only one dumb enough to sit here.) Hey, this way I get to keep a tally on who uses the loo the most on this trip. Then I can give them that knowing look of shame whenever they pass me. I just hope no one ate Taco Bell before getting on this bus.
I remember Megabus having a lot more leg room than what I currently have- and I think that's because every other seat on this bus DOES have more legroom... but since I'm at the back by the backdoor, my seat is just a tad bit closer to the one in front of me than the rest of them. This means I've got the Israeli man in front of me who decided to recline as far as possible sitting in my lap. Under better circumstances I might not mind an Israeli in my lap but, this is not the way these things should be done.
Upon take-off, I carefully maneuvered my backpack so that it balanced between the seat next to me and the seat in front of that one. I then slipped my fountain pepsi into the bottleholder on the side of my backpack, and thought this was ingenious of me. Instant cup-holder! Oh the brilliance. All was peachy in my world, until the D-bag bus driver decided to take a sharp right turn, and my bag and cup-holder went flying into the aisle- my beloved pepsi with it. Whoops.
So that was a great start to the ride. I only hope the pepsi that made it all over the outside of my backpack doesn't make it's way inside to the only clothing I brought with me. But I wouldn't be surprised.
Lastly on the lists of complaints- is the man who is DYING across the aisle from me. REALLY?
One thing I have picked up from living in NYC for 4 years, is a manic hysteria when it comes to germs. Everywhere you go in NYC, someone is trying to give you AIDs by coughing all over the subway/sneezing on the bus, etc. It makes me CRAZY. So of course i'm parked right next to a heavy-set man who must have the swine flu/plague/tuberculosis. How anyone can cough and sneeze like that and still get on a public bus with a bunch of unsuspecting healthy people- the nerve! Of course whatever it is that he has, i'm going to catch it, and it will probably take my life/ruin my career/make me infertile. I am clutching my pepsi for dear life, covering the straw with all of my might and trying not to breath. But I've got 4 more hours to go so, it's not looking good for me. Crap I should've sat upstairs with the illegals. (I just asked Jeremy via facebook if it's rude to write "the illegals" and he said "It's necessary". So I did it. Thanks Jer.)
I'm excited for this short trip. I will be competing in a karaoke contest against Quincy's finest drunken A-holes, rehearsing for an upcoming fundraiser, and probably just trying to stay out of the rain for most of it (::shakes fist at Mother Nature for always thwarting my plans...::). I look forward to seeing my Boston friends, and just not being in New York City for two days. Sounds Heavenly.
Welcome to my blog... let's see if I keep this fad up longer than my stint with Wiccan crystal healing.