Wednesday, 30 September 2009


With exactly $4 in my wallet and roughly $22 in my bank account, I got my first paycheck today - and that not only means that my net worth has multiplied a hundredfold, it also means that I can afford to go to Therapy and go to Marie's this weekend. Yay!

The saddest part is that that was not even the highlight of my evening. Lee moved the last of his stuff from Cambridge to New York today, to an apartment about five minutes away from mine. He called me at work to say that he stopped by Hi Rise this morning and saw Holly, who literally brightened every morning that we stopped by for coffee - so basically, every morning of my senior year - on the way to campus. When I couldn't stave off the carb lust, I would get these tiny cookie stars with my cup of coffee, and Lee called this afternoon at work to say that Holly sent a present to New York for me. And it was a bag of cookie stars. And not only a bag of cookie stars, but a bag of cookie stars decorated with fuzzy stickers of whales, elephants, birds, and bunnies. There are some things $2200 can't buy, and that is one of them.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Christine Pedi!

Maria and I met up on this side of the Atlantic (for the first time ever, I guess) to see Christine Pedi, who was AWESOME. Her Angela Lansbury was actually terrifying, and she came upstairs to hang out with our table afterwards and we talked about how difficult it is to voice Elaine Stritch. (I almost congratulated her for wearing pants, because when Brady and I saw Elaine Stritch and she did the whole show in tights and a button-down shirt. From the front row, you notice when people aren't wearing pants.)

The night was made more enjoyable because my dinner consisted of a raw carrot and a glass of chardonnay after I misjudged the time that I'd have to get back to make dinner. Thank goodness for grocery-shopping over lunch and carting a bag of carrots and a zucchini in my purse all day.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Buses and Wine

Three things you do not want to hear on a bus:

"Everybody hang tight, because we're running about an hour late."
"It's just like when you stab somebody and run."
"The thing about being incarcerated - and I speak from experience - is..."

The girl next to me smelled like old sweaters and tomato soup and kept muttering for people to shut the fuck up and then winking at me, which was weirdly reassuring as the rest of the bus had a lengthy conversation about the penal system.

(The highlight of my weekend was when David and I came across a table of bottles of wine and Dixie cups when we were shopping at Giant tonight, and we were like, um, can we drink these? So we did, and this woman popped around the corner and was like, "oh, I hope you two are 18!" and we laughed and reassured her that we were, and then she poured us another round of free samples. It was not until we were retelling the story six hours later when we were like, wait, 18? In retrospect, she may not have been an employee.)

Friday, 25 September 2009

Drinking, Liberally

Luckily, Lee and I took about 45 minutes to catch up over the phone before meeting up at this event last night, because it was not especially conducive to catching up after like nine months. We bumped into each other right by the door, which was lucky, because I promptly beelined to the bar, where they were like, um, registration is the other way, and then I got my wristband and charged for the kitchen, where they were like, the party is downstairs. We both killed our drinks with stunning rapidity and Lee got another round while Cleve Jones and Christine Quinn told us to go to DC and generally fired us up for equality. (I was like, "that guy in the corner is totally Lance Bass," and Lee was like, "pay attention.") And then we got a third round, and a little voice in the back of my mind told me that three drinks every twenty minutes is not an especially sustainable rate.

So then we went upstairs and I saw Sean (who longtime readers will remember as the Republican, which I can't call him anymore) and I more or less zoned out while Lee and Sean chatted about law and politics, because a) it was deafening and b) they've both dated the same guy and I think they'd heard a lot about each other, and I couldn't tell how weird it was that they were meeting for the first time and I was just standing there. (I began to think about the Camp David Accords, but I couldn't really change the topic of conversation.)

We ran into a couple of Lee's friends from law school that I hadn't seen in two years, and then a guy I knew who I literally hadn't seen since my first year of college. Two people I didn't know came up to me and remembered me from queer activism in college, and I was like, lovely, you're really seeing me in top form tonight. Then I bumped into my friend Andrew, who was one of the many people I was supposed to catch up with. And we did, and then I met a couple people from Columbia and NYU Law and harassed them about their programs and whether they liked them, and then was like, ha, I'm suddenly conscious of the fact that I have to go home and pack for a trip to DC tomorrow, and that I have to get up for a human rights conference in like six hours.

With all the people I bumped into, I think my plan to meet five people for drinks at once backfired, as I'm now having drinks with like eight people over the next two weeks. And this is after I kept telling people we should hang out on the Mall and then getting blank stares and then laughing uproariously.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Eating Bagels for the Next Week for Equality

As a present to myself for a day-long scavenger hunt through the footnotes of obscure UN documents, I bought a ticket to tomorrow night's fundraiser at Elmo for the National Equality March. I wasn't planning on doing this, mostly because I'm insanely poor until my paycheck arrives at the end of the month and this event costs more than I'm spending on groceries this week. But then it turned out that like five people that I've been meaning to grab a drink with are going to be there, and that actually makes it a fairly economical night on the town, especially when you factor in the open bar for Grey Goose cocktails. It's practically a MasterCard commercial, what with all the vodka and good friends and the somewhat flimsy pretense of striking a blow for justice. Which is good, because that is how I pay for these things when my checking account has dwindled to the double digits.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Glad We're On the Same Page

Bouncer at Splash: "I'm going to need to see your ID, because you look like you're twelve."
Me: "And I will give it to you, because that is the look I'm going for."

Monday, 21 September 2009

One Great City!

I'm not sure whether this is because my work keeps me legitimately busy or because I'm in a city that does not shut down at 5pm, but I feel like the pace of my life has increased tenfold since I got back into the swing of things in New York. On Thursday, I went to Williamsburg for the Weakerthans concert and it was MAGICAL. As I was waiting for the concert, I stopped to read at a cafe where this guy was like, "would you watch my bike?" and I was like, "sure!" because it was neon yellow and hey, that's pretty easy. When he came back, he was like, "what are you reading?" and I said "Proust" and even though that is maybe the most toolish possible answer to that question, I think I recovered when he asked how the book was and I confessed that I had made it as far as page eight. We had a really good chat about Proust, and folk rock, and Brooklyn, and realized that we live in the same neighborhood, and then he invited me to his gallery opening and said his name and I was very calm but inside I was like, holy crap, even I know who you are. And we were like, hey, let's run into each other at our local bread store and basically he's my new best friend.

The concert was pretty good, too. They pretty much played every good song ever, including a singalong to One Great City! that more or less made my life. And one of the last songs in the second encore was Watermark, which is one of the five songs on my Top Five Self-Defining Pop Culture Playlist. WIN.

So I left with a glow, and then on the subway platform I ran into this girl named Jenna and the night just got better. (Everyone at Harvard will know who I'm talking about when I say that we hugged twice and that I suspect that she has not stopped spelling her name with two exclamation points at the end and that she's AWESOME.) She is like the most carbonated person I know, and maybe the most fun person to bump into on a subway platform, ever.

And then we amped it up with Brady's birthday on Friday. And David arriving for the weekend, and shopping for curtains, and spending the day studying in Central Park. And then our first dinner party, complete with brie and wine and everybody sitting on the floor because the Emmys were on but we had no chairs. I'm worried that I'll keep finding that I don't have time to blog, and not worried for precisely the same reason.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Month of Transience: A Conclusion

I got off work today and picked up mattress padding, got cash to pay the movers, met Brady to get my keys, stopped by our broker's office to pay our fee, went up to Amy's and grabbed as much as I could drag onto the subway, ate four cookies for sustenance, unpacked as much as I could at the new place, bought food for our kitchen, and just got back up to the Upper West Side for my last night with Amy and Duck, my favorite dog with ambiguous genitalia in the whole world. (We became quick friends this week.)

It was mostly an epic day because I tipped off Wonkette, and it involved publicly making fun of Nancy Grace, which knocks one and possibly two items off my bucket list. It probably helps my karma, too.

I was going to catch up on Gossip Girl and Glee, but I'm going to bed, because the mover is coming in like eight hours and I have to be somewhat alert because I'm serving as the other mover because it's half as expensive and I'm very rapidly burning through my savings account as I wait for my first paycheck. Also, I spent $25 I don't really have to see the Weakerthans tomorrow. And also, there is a $5 psychic next to my building and I kind of think that she's going to be my guru this year. Her name is Natalie, which means that she's clearly a real psychic.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Blockbuster Weekend

I don't know what my most exciting purchase was today - the pillows and sheets I purchased for $45 that do not match each other at all, my half of the pumpkin scone I shared with Emma as we dorked out and did work at Espresso 77, or the ticket I just bought to see the Weakerthans on Thursday. I think I might go with the last one, because I put it on my parents' card. Yay!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Epic Win!

Today, I mailed off a copyright agreement to a journal, picked up six cupcakes for Brady's birthday, finished all my projects from the first week of work, and - wait for it, wait for it - SIGNED THE LEASE. (We signed that, plus a rent stabilization form, plus a statement promising that I don't have children, plus a statement promising not to eat lead paint, plus a waiver related to maintenance work, and at least two or three other documents.) This took an hour, largely because our landlady accurately noted that we had written the date "9/11" approximately one million times. This turned into a 45 minute discussion about 9/11, then national security, then privacy, then healthcare, then Iran, then abortion, then back to healthcare, then back to privacy and civil liberties. When a break unexpectedly surfaced in the conversation, she slid another form in duplicate across the table for Brady and I to sign, as I sat too terrified to agree or disagree with anything because the lease was still unsigned and I was still hostage.

But I'm moving to Hell's Kitchen on September 15th. And that called for margaritas. And that is why I just got home after my first week of work.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Ring the Alarm

I got to work early this morning and nobody was there, and instead of just going into the office, I stood outside for forty-five minutes looking anxious because I was afraid I'd set off some kind of crazy alarm and force a mass evacuation. I made the mistake of blurting this out when the first person arrived, thereby winning the award for most awkward new employee ever. (I didn't force everyone to flee the building, though. Success!)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Arrival Narratives

Today was my first day of work, which is also the first day of fieldwork for my PhD. It struck me that most field notebooks start with some kind of arrival narrative where the ethnographer is lonely or ill or disoriented, while I arrived and received my new email address, a code for the bathroom, and directions to the office coffeemaker. It also made me remember how much I missed being involved in queer activism, and made me realize that there might really be something to this whole studying up approach. When your biggest dilemma on your first day is that you could only find a vegetable sandwich at Subway for lunch, you are probably not doing so bad.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Never Say I Didn't Give You Anything

David's visiting for the first time since we left Oxford, so this has been a fairly jam-packed weekend of cooking and culture, both high (the Howl Festival and La Boheme at the Met) and low (binge-watching the entire first season of Summer Heights High). But to tide everybody over, here's the fractional turtleneck, as promised, from last week's Choice Cu*ts:

Bonus: Where's Waldo? Hint: He is throwing his hands up like he just does not care.

(Thanks to MissMaro.)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Blind Item

The details are unimportant, but I just spoke with somebody who was like, "lots of people like your project, including this person whose name you might know," and I almost blurted out "I do, because I've memorized all of her commercials and came this close to listing her as one of my interests on Facebook!" before managing to restrain myself. Still, file that under people who pretty much single-handedly salvage a bad day.

Boy on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

I've spent the better part of this afternoon working on my first set of reports for work, trying to transfer funds from my massively uncooperative bank in the UK to my bank in the US, trying to figure out flights, hotels, and registration for this conference in Detroit at the end of October, getting documents faxed to finalize my lease for mid-September, and figuring out the logistics of getting David to NYC and finding one or both of us places to sleep in three different apartments over the next week. I don't have a reliable internet connection, so I've mostly been popping out to cafes whenever I need to check on something and then darting back to the apartment to call and yell abuse at my bank. The net effect is that I'm not only on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but so caffeinated that it's going to be a doozy when it happens.

(I think I've got the housing figured out, at least. Indefinitely subsisting on the $300 in my bank account and slowly realizing that this conference in Detroit is going to cost twice that amount are proving more daunting.)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Muppet Cupcake Tragedy

Sigh. I kind of hoped that by the time I was almost 25, I'd be able to walk past a bakery without looking in the window, being like, you guys, that cupcake has a Day-Glo Muppet dinosaur coming out of it! and bursting in to buy and eat it immediately. That is a mistake, especially when you have just eaten a metric ton of curry and rice it is made of solid marzipan. It hurts because I'm quite possibly in glycemic shock, but it also hurts because I have clearly learned nothing over the past, oh, 22 years of my life.

PS. Emma and I decided to apply for the Amazing Race. Details forthcoming.