The Pains and Pleasures of Moving, Moving On

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The day my two and half year long relationship ended I also happened to have an improv show. It was my 401 class show at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Chelsea, and it was a semi-big deal, if only to me and my classmates. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to perform. I had, after all, just had the proverbial rug ripped out from under life as I knew it. It was the lump-in-throat stage of being dumped, and I was feeling a different emotion about it every moment: anger, frustration, that thing where you go “pfft” and roll your eyes that’s supposed to make you seem flippant but is really an obvious trick for holding back tears. Could I really make someone laugh right now? Please.

I considered bailing for about a minute before I got real with myself. I knew there was no way this would help my situation. I would stay home wallowing in my tiny apartment, OUR tiny apartment, and then afterwards I’d kick myself eternally for wimping out and being a fucking quitter. Yeah, the show was going to be really hard and possibly humiliating, but so had every single day since I started doing comedy. I decided to face it and step up 2 the streets. At least then I wouldn’t have let myself down.

Much to my surprise and delight, not only did I not burst into tears or throw up on stage, I may have had my best show to date. I got laughs. REAL, non-pity laughs, I think! An achievement that left me with such an inflated, manic high that immediately afterwards I had 4 drinks and proceeded to hit on someone I decided on a whim to have a crush on. For no reason whatsoever. Just to prove to myself I had the balls, I guess.

I spent the next few weeks on that exact vibe, a combination of intense flirtiness and creative energy. I was enrolled in the final core sketch course at UCB at the same time, and my indie improv team Hot Cheese was just getting on its feet. Alex and I were putting finishing touches on a script we’d been working on for months. And all this was on the side as I maintained my day-gig managing a rapidly expanding design studio. Between that and the impending drama of my lease (too expensive for one) ending on April 30, there was no time to really feel sorry for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly spent a few of those cold, not-spring-at-all days in April standing under an umbrella listening to “Same Ol’ Mistakes” off Rihanna’s Anti and its Tame Impala counterpart on repeat, nursing my moody energy. But almost instantly after my breakup–and I mean this–the feeling of what it meant to be ME and only ME, pre-relationship, rushed back and filled me with motivation. Not to return to the person I’d been before, but to remember her, and fuse her essence with my new, positive transformations to form one mega bad bitch.

“You’re taking it so well,” everyone kept saying. And yeah, I guess I was. In fact, I was a little concerned about it. Shouldn’t I have been more devastated? I had certainly relied on my ex for support through the stress of the day-to-day, and now I was alone. Why wasn’t I feeling the void? The truth is, I was. But with the void, other things opened up, too. I got my alone time back. I could be more impulsive. There was one less person expecting things of me, and while those expectations were welcomed when we were in love, a part of me felt free. I could focus on myself and transform into whatever person I am destined to become without the fear of derailing a relationship I depended on. The decision to be alone was made for me, but I already knew it was the right one.

I took myself out to lunches, read fashion magazines, listened to new music — things that please me and make me happy that I had just stopped doing in the past. No one can really say why I’d stopped. I wasn’t feeling inspired, I guess, but now I was back. I felt energy and motivation and success on the horizon. There were still nights that I felt lonely and desperate and totally lost, but I knew the feeling was temporary. I kept thinking, what would I tell another girl going through this same thing? I wrote little mantras on post-its and put them by my mirrors in the house. I was absolutely dedicated to staying strong and focused. And I knew I would be okay.

It was time for some self care. Some radical catharsis. I had to clean up my life as I moved forward.

The first step was to watch all the shows on my DVR that my ex didn’t like, such as episodes of the smash hit Oxygen reality show Funny Girls from last spring (a heavily produced show that takes awesome female comedians and pits them against each other making them seem petty and ridiculous. Extremely relatable content.) One of the stars, Stephanie Simbari, is a favorite of mine for obvious reasons (vocal fry, tattoos, phone by her toilet) and through googling her I found her wellness podcast That’s So Retrograde, which takes every new age trend and philosophy you can think of and white-girls the shit out of them. Right up my alley since I’d been DIYing my self help lately and could use a little more mindfulness in my life. After all, 5 planets were about to be retrograde and I could only take so much emotional scrambling. Hey, nothing a bag of crystals and a turmeric shot can’t fix!

Truthfully, I’m not one to take any of that stuff too literally. But what I could get behind was a good old fashioned form of emotional cleansing: getting rid of shit.

After neatly folding all of my ex’s forgotten items and placing them in a trash bag for his friend to retrieve, the next step was to tackle all the physical baggage in my apartment I’d been hoarding for the past several months. Perhaps I’ve mentioned before that our apartment was tiny. Like, sailboat cabin tiny. Janitor’s closet tiny. Litter box tiny. So last summer my friend Hannah helped me go through all my things and weed out the stuff I didn’t want or need that was taking up too much space in my life. We put them in bags and labeled them “donate” or “sell.” I’d been collecting vintage clothes for over a decade, and those that I didn’t lose in my 2009 house fire or pass along to better homes were either valued items I wore constantly or, I thought, possibly worth a little bit of money. Like, for example, this super soft Bill Blass maroon denim jacket straight out of the early 90s that I never wore because maroon just SO isn’t my color. It brings out all these red tones in my skin, you know?

The thing was, I never did make it to Goodwill with the donate bag or start my own vintage denim Etsy site that year. What a surprise! Instead, all that crap remained in bags, stuffed below the clothing racks I was using as a makeshift closet. Collecting dust and so, so much cat hair.

I truly am lucky to have a friend like Hannah, because her idea of a HELLA LIT weekend is helping me finally get rid of all my baggage. We dragged suitcases of dusty clothes to Beacon’s Closet, where to my surprise I made about $80 selling about 1% of my crap. And while some of it was undoubtedly undervalued, I felt a huge weight lift as I got rid of all that clutter almost effortlessly. I felt so light! So free! So free, in fact, that I decided to spend those 80 dollars right away at the club.

When you finally remember dick exists after going through a breakup, it hits you like a fucking freight train. There is no feeling like it.  And that weekend my thirst level was worse than the time I mixed ecstasy, coke and vodka at an LA warehouse party, stayed out til lunch the next day and walked back to the hotel in 90 degree heat. And that was pretty bad.

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“I just want to FUUUUCK” I remember yelling at the top of my lungs from Moe and Emma’s couch that weekend.

“So get a Tinder.”

Oh yeaaaah, Tinder! I hadn’t used it since it first became popular in 2013 and not long after that I was in a relationship. I’d done such a good job of stuffing any sexual desire for another person so far in the back of my mind that I had forgotten how easy it is to get laid in this city!

…or maybe not.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. God, all these guys were such Barneys. Ooh – a match! Hmm, I’ll keep swiping. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

That night we went out to a club that shall not be named, not just because it fucking sucks, but because I am about to put one of their employees on blast.

I’m really not opposed to going out to shitty clubs when I’m tryna fuck. I figure the douchiest bars are often where you find the Young, Dumb & Hung boys, who have enough money to pay for the uber to their place and then your uber home. But I was having no such luck. All the guys at this particular locale were kinda short, and if I’m being honest, seemed like the breed of “bro” that’s hiding in the closet behind Carolina Basketball tshirts posting headless photos on Grindr with the caption “Masc for Masc.”

“DOES ANYONE HERE ACTUALLY HAVE SEX WITH FEMALES??”

And then I spotted him. A bartender, 6’3 with tattoos and a babyface. I gave Reid, my wingman for the evening, a mischievous grin.

“It’s on.”

I went up and ordered a drink and our eyes locked immediately. And for the next hour and a half we chatted it up, made each other laugh, flirted shamelessly, blushed and made plans for when he got off work.

Then the bar got busy, so I hung to the side and gossiped with Reid, peering at this cutie from the corner of my eye. He returned carrying shots for both of us.

“I have a confession to make,” he said, smirking guiltily.  “I can’t come home with you tonight.”

“And why is that?” I asked, thinking he must be messing with me.

“Because…I’m married.”

DA FUUUK? I’m pretty sure the Mr. Krabs meme was invented specifically for situations like these. I was so annoyed! I spent two hours talking to this bozo! That’s two hours of flirting time I will never get back. And now it was late and I was going to have to have sex with one of these gay guys. God damn it!

I spent the rest of the evening throwing myself at a muscular dude who “had to work in the morning” but still offered to give me a ride home. I mean, I accepted, of course.

I figured it was time to start setting up some Tinder dates. The first one was with a drummer who wanted to take me to a comedy show. When we got there, although he was nice, it was abundantly clear that our personalities were incompatible. Coincidentally, another one of my Tinder matches was on a date two seats down from us. I tried my best to hide my face and get through the show, which by the way was really good. So good, actually, that I wanted to stay and talk to the comics when it was over. Just not with my date. I walked him home and said goodnight, then walked back to the club to see what was up. They were all gone, so I went to the bar across the street for a drink and ended up hooking up with the incredibly short stranger next to me who was surprisingly very well-endowed.

My next Tinder date was with a guy who became attached very quickly and yelled at me for not deleting the app after our first hookup.

My Tinder date after that was as a guest on a podcast. I literally went to this dude’s studio (his apartment), met him for the first time, and within minutes was doing a live show and first date simultaneously. It was definitely an interesting experience, but didn’t work out romantically whatsoever.

Listen to the trainwreck here!

Somehow, between all these dates with randos, I managed to squeeze in some apartment hunting. Although, as I’m sure you know, finding an apartment in New York is less like a hunt and more like a wild friggin’ goose chase. Just like every other time I’ve moved in this city, I had about 6 different apps and 20 email tabs open at once for the first two weeks of April, using everything I could to find a one-bedroom in my budget in North Brooklyn. Fat fuckin’ chance. The only places I found that could afford near me were a totally run down shack of an apartment that looked like my Great Grandaddy’s garage (complete with a large, paint-splattered basin in the “kitchen” that served as bathroom sink as well) and an attic apartment with a ceiling that slanted so low I could only stand up in half the unit. I thought I had a lead on a converted loft above a funeral home in Ridgewood. That’s right, above a real life funeral home, where they literally take dead humans and pump them with formaldehyde and place their bodies in wooden boxes for people to cry over them. It turned out I couldn’t afford it.

Finally (by the suggestion of one of my Tinder dates, actually), I decided to check out Crown Heights. I had been avoiding moving south in Brooklyn since I’d always lived off the L train, and I wanted to be a short distance to my brother who does as well. But I had a few friends in the Crown and had spent a little time there, so I figured it was worth a shot. I set up a few showings.

The morning of my Crown Heights viewings began with a 1 BR on Utica that, upon arriving by uber, I was able to identify via the man emptying his bladder on the front step. Once inside, I was met with other horrors. The smell of natural gas in the hallway, cracking brown tile floors, an tiny, crusty bathroom easily 3 decades old. How was this a mere $100/month below the TOP of my budget, which I believed to be very reasonable? What part of Crown Heights was I even in? New York real estate had officially lost its mind. As I was leaving that showing feeling very down, I received a text from a strange number. I was used to this as I’d been harassed these past few weeks, not by brokers with apartments for ME, but those trying to rent out my current place. I must have scowled at 50 Nooklyn agents that month as they invaded my space day after day. This time, though, the text was from a broker I’d reached out to about a cute little studio in Bed Stuy. I had scheduled a viewing with her for right after this one, and was very excited to check it out.

“Sry. Landlord has keys and won’t be back til 4pm. Can u meet then?”

It was 10:30.

I did want to go back home to Greenpoint, a good 40 minute ride on the B43 or $20 uber away, so I walked over to Brad and Monday’s to mope and scroll through Craigslist.

AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT, an ad was posted while I was sitting on their couch for a large studio with high ceilings and exposed brick walls, just at the top of my budget not 15 minutes walking distance from Brad’s place. I called the broker and screamed that I wanted to meet him ASAP. Of course, just as I was about to head out, it started pouring down rain. I didn’t care. I grabbed a broken umbrella from behind their couch and marched my way to this gorgeous mini-loft.

When I arrived, I couldn’t believe how nice it was compared to the utter shitholes I’d seen for this same amount. Was I being played? No time to find out — I was so excited and relieved to find something actually livable that I immediately signed my life away on a rental application. I waited for the B43 in the freezing cold rain with my broken umbrella, smiling.

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That was in early April, so it wasn’t time to worry about the moving process just yet. The weather was about to get nice, I could feel it, so I attempted to put my worries aside and have a good time for a few days. Sarah visited from Asheville and I spent some time with her being at least somewhat carefree, taking tequila shots and eating all the food. I continued going on dates, random hookups with cute strangers I never wanted to see again, and even catchup hangs with some boys I knew pre-relationship. It was an interesting feeling, all this freedom and fun flooding my life again after my domestic lull these past 2 years.

Then Lemonade came out. The beginning of the end of my recovery after breaking up. I had wanted to see it air for the first time on HBO, initially because I was excited for the bangers. What I didn’t expect was something so moving, so important, so visually captivating. How it allowed me to express the emotions I felt like I was supposed to feel after breaking up, but that I hadn’t let myself experience. Insecurity, demanding to be respected, not giving a fuck, being free, working hard, moving forward, but still being in love with love at the end of the day. Ugh, it was life changing. And beyond my own experience, beyond how it related to me specifically, Lemonade is such an important work socially and politically that the world desperately needed. I mean, it’s just…everything.

I finally had a reason to stop listening to Anti.

The next week, I packed up all my things, hired movers and settled in my new spot. I was so happy that it felt wrong. I was comfortable in my own home, not even scared to live alone in an unfamiliar neighborhood like I thought I’d be. I felt liberated, or as liberated as you can be with half your income tied up in the place you reside.

That’s when, out of nowhere, my body alerted me of its needs. In the rain of the first week of May, I slipped on the subway steps on the way into work. Nothing major. I caught myself on the railing. But when I moved my arm to do so, I somehow threw out my entire neck and completely lost all range of movement. Strange – I hadn’t felt any tension in my back recently even though I’m used to having bunch of gnarly knots. I guess there was some tension after all, and I’d been holding it in, not noticing.

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I spent that day on the couch at work with ice on my back, and for the next week I couldn’t turn my head or look down or bend over. Cleaning the litter box was a very profane affair. I was a robot at Reid’s birthday party and during Hot Cheese’s first official improv show. Sleeping was even worse. I decided to try acupuncture, which was very zen or whatever but did not completely solve my issue. I tried muscle relaxers, which only made me loopy and confused enough to give my number to someone who hit on me in a Duane Reade. I was useless and smelled like Icy Hot for ten days.

It’s funny how that happens. You get so busy with life, chasing dreams, fulfilling obligations and stuffing fun experiences into every free moment leftover, that you don’t even realize what you’re putting yourself through. I thought my mind was okay, but my body hated me.

Once I got back into working order, I decided to pump the brakes. What I really needed to do was sit down, have some chill, and watch a Kardashian marathon on my brand new cable box. I needed to love myself, take things slow, be patient and enjoy the long awaited warm weather.

So I stopped for a moment, took a good look at my life and all the things I’ve accomplished. And I realized I was no longer in pain, physically or emotionally.

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SEXUAL ABDUCTION

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I may be a little late posting these, but seeing as I’m still fumbling around my apartment in a post-holiday haze singing “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas,” I figured the story of the BEST HOLIDAY PARTY OF 2013/EVER IN HISTORY was still appropriate to share.

For those of you who don’t know, I host an annual (two years & going strong!) XXXMAS party along with Jeffrey Scott, Sarah Sassafrass, Boy Reverend and Katy at their home in Raleigh. Last year we had SCURRY XXXMAS, a horror-meets-winter solstice theme that wasn’t really visually embodied beyond Christmas sweaters, sequins, and leaving our Halloween decorations up alongside snowflakes and disco balls. This year, we wanted to take things a bit further. While drunk at my brother’s Martha’s Vineyard home over Thanksgiving, I texted back and forth with Sass about themes, before finally making the Facebook event and broadcasting over Twitter. We decided on XXXMAS: ABDUCTION, where all things extraterrestrial would meet all things festive for a gigantic hometown holiday explosion.

I was certain it would be a great success, but not without some stress on my part. For an entire year after Scurry, I could not manage to live down the fact that I had fallen asleep early and missed most of my own soiree. People I didn’t even know were giving me shit about it well into the Fall of ’13, a humiliation that was only tempered when someone I’d never met before invited me to my own party this year (it was just like that episode of My So-Called Life where Rayanne used all her money to throw herself a birthday bash except I didn’t OD in the end). Although this year I would be arriving in Raleigh four days prior to the event with ample time to prepare, I had my plate pretty full with family issues and, you know, nail appointments and going to Dave & Busters. I had already purchased my look (on discount, with the help of Moe Dabbagh) and had it sent to my mother’s Cary residence, but I was unneccesarily worried about the decor. Two days before the event, I showed up to 3801 to find unassembled bubble wrap all over the floor, some kind of PVC archway in the hall, and paint and paper everywhere. Half finished gigantic alien head drawings were draped on the couch. I was eating a Cook Out corndog and spewing out complaints in my signature “I’m joking but not” tone, and I was pretty sure Sass was *this close* to blinding me with spray adhesive.

“IT WILL BE GREAT. IT’S A WORK IN PROGRESS. YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.”

Sarah and I, as distinctly nonverbal and verbal artists respectively, often have a hard time imagining the other’s vision.

“We’re going to use this paper to make a giant circle and be the space portal,” she half explained while stomping around the house draped in twinkly lights and waving scissors. Whatever you say, Sarah.

And damn if I didn’t underestimate her again. Let it be known that in the midst of a full time work schedule, not to mention her final exam week, Sass still managed to spend 2 days cleaning and crafting to make the house into a full-on art installation. The Reverend’s PVC and bubble wrap creation had fully transformed the hallway into a Cosmic Ice Tunnel, and with the help of a few extras from me (a fog machine, an outdoor set up, 150 autographed extra copies of my Christmas card, and colorful lightbulb replacements in every room) as well as a few extra hands (Katy and Sass’s bro included), we managed to complete the setup by 8 pm on the night of the party…just before the first guests started barreling through the doors in packs. With the halls fully decked and LuxePosh on her decks, we were ready to leave this planet behind. Photos by Sarah Sassafrass for your viewing pleasure.
(Warning: there are lots. When Sass’ website goes public I will just link to it, but for now, enjoy the mass)
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I didn’t exactly take a census, but I want to say…everyone fabulous in the entire state was there? I think we stumbled into a time warp or something, because the clocks were saying 5 am but I felt like the party had just begun. The next morning, feeling unexpectedly spritely, Katy and I went to Chipotle, and then Bojangles, and back home to eat in the wreckage. Sass was nowhere to be found and there was trash and barf everywhere. I was using pieces of painted bubble wrap as mini surfborts to slide across the slimy floors. My body suit was in a tangled mess and my autographs were strewn across the muddy yard.

As the sun was beginning to set on the second shortest day of the year, we finally located Sass. To this day, though, she prefers she’d remained abducted.
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independents

july 4, indepence day, alienbrigade, kat st. kat, the fab disaster It’s 6 o clock on Wednesday afternoon and the only things I’ve done this week are bedazzle a styrofoam penis with Swarovski crystals for my boyfriend, a very successful mentally unchallenged rap person, and watch Undeclared while eating peanut butter out of the thing. I’ve worked just enough in the past week to maintain a bank balance slightly greater than the amount I have already written in checks. Most importantly, I have regained the use of my brain and certain body parts temporarily rendered out of commission by the events of last week.
After I was abruptly swept into a derecho of PMS and Mercury Retrograde, all I wanted to do was treat myself with things I couldn’t technically afford. I began last week by trudging through the rain to get a bang trim, brazilian wax and Ameri-garb in preparation of the upcoming 4th of July soiree in Bushwick. I am a sucker for a theme and I really REALLY wanted an American Flag bikini. Failing to find one anywhere (not even on Knickerbocker, which I checked up and down about 6 times) I ended up after hours on Wednesday at the American Apparel in Soho, whimpering under fluorescent lights and trying to squeeze tiny red minidresses over my hips. I eventually settled on a blue thongatard which I figured I could find plenty of uses for even after the holiday, and went home to change into my Beetlejuice dress for Ghe20 Goth1k with the team.
That night we met at Moe’s apartment, where we listened to The Pointer Sisters on the roof, took selfies, and watched Bradford vogue with an actual taser.


We had an amazingly drama-free night, even if I did spend most of it sweating through my clothes and fanning myself with a piece of cardstock that said “$25 MINIMUM PER PERSON PLEASE SEE HOST TO BE SEAT.”  Later we went to McDonald’s where I accepted that I am not in fact a pescetarian anymore and ate a McChicken in 13 seconds flat.
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The plan for the 4th was to attend the “Roof Is On Fire 4th of July Soiree” being held by a group of Bushwick hotties, and to potentially take some acid along the way. Patrick met me at my apartment Thursday with two green business cards he’d been given by a stranger with the instruction to lick them. The word on the street was that somewhere on those little green pieces of cardboard was the equivalent of one tab of acid. How, though, were we expected to ingest the acid without say, eating an entire business card? We tore the first one up, it suddenly seeming not so little after all, and put it in a glass of water.
acid, kat st. kat, independence day, the fab disaster, july 4This was so it would get soggy, making it easier to suck on and then eventually swallow. Which I did, and which I immediately realized was not a great idea as I then had a very large wad of wet cardboard sliding past my windpipe and into my perpetually sensitive stomach. I drank the rest of the water in the glass. Patrick ended up chewing his for a while and spitting it out. Turns out I probably could have done that and gotten the exact same results.
After EATING A FUCKING BUSINESS CARD, smoking a decent amount of weed and transforming into the look of a superstar I was finally ready to leave my apartment and head to this party. Walking through my neighborhood dressed like a slutty drum major I felt my worldview start to melt like a sno cone. The business card was proving to be the real deal, which I hadn’t fully prepared myself for despite the great lengths I went to test it out.
When we finally arrived the color had left my face, with the exception of my expertly applied makeup, and I was covered in sweat. I was beginning to think too much. I needed an alcoholic beverage immediately, or else. But when we approached the doorway we realized it was being guarded by the landlord. We were being barred from entry, despite looking adorable and B-ing our own B and now fully experiencing the effects of major hallucinogens, by the Hasid Who Stole 4th of July.
The sun was beginning to set and it was still 90 degrees. With a bottle of Bacardi and a 2 liter of Diet Cherry Pepsi we were sitting half-defeated on the bench in front of the corner barbershop, listening to our party happen above our heads. How was this happening? And to us for that matter?
Just then, a very pregnant blonde woman with a red camisole and solo cup emerged from a nearby gate attached to the adjacent building. If anyone was going to be our ticket into this party it’d be her.
“Which party are you here for?”
“Um, the weird one?”
“Yeah you can get there from here, you just have to climb.”
We ascended a fourth floor walkup and I straddled two canoodling youngsters to climb the fire escape onto their roof. We were suddenly at a party, but not our party. This party had food and puppies. Our party had drugs and starving fashion people and was on a much taller rooftop connected by a metal staircase hanging about a foot above our heads. We tossed our bags over the railing and pulled ourselves over, just in time to enjoy an explosion of fireworks on every borough of the city. We left shortly after midnight, but not before I crawled down to the other party and stole a burger and a bag of Snyder’s of Hanover, climbing back up, mouth full, like some kind of rabid chola Spiderman.
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I spent the next few days feeling a little off. I had one very swollen lymph node on the left side of my neck and I couldn’t speak at all. I was running out of breath trying to make sounds. Patrick was having similar symptoms and for a second I got a little freaked out. There is a meningitis outbreak in NYC right now so maybe sharing that cherry ring pop with 16 people at the roof party wasn’t such a great idea. Damn, we thought during a massive brunch at Pies and Thighs. What if we’re terminally ill now?

We shrugged, finished our fried chicken, and went to see The Bling Ring.

’13 til infinity

deal wit it

“I wanna blog outside today!” I thought, after waking up at the crack of 12:30 to the smell of hot piss pouring through my window. One entire tube of SPF 100+ sunscreen in my eye, one makeshift lawnchair desk and one Carrera Bakery iced coffee later, here I am frying away tearfully in an outdoor sauna of cat urine and Colt 45. In other words, I reaaally needed a thigh tan.
Now that summer is in full swing and the first hydrants have been opened on the streets of Bushwick, all bets are officially off. Of course, it’s had a bit of a rough start.  Despite the fact that it’s been raining almost every day for a fucking month and the fact that I have no real job security (I’m referring to it as “freelancing”), these past few weeks I’ve been out of control and chilling like a trust fund baby.
Towards the end of last month, when I wasn’t sitting alone in my apartment watching old Parks and Rec episodes and sucking cat hair out of the air with my dustbuster, I spent most of my time doing #dabs with my new BF, finding creative new ways to entertain ourselves sexually (being spanked with a rubber chicken and singing Unchained Melody with a penis in my mouth both come to mind). As the season was coming to a close at my job, I was also trying to balance my heavy work load with a LOT of heavy drinking. I began one particularly eventful evening by transforming my cable-friendly maxi skirt into a club-friendly mini dress after work, using a few accessories from the prop closet…including a large coffee cup of alcohol.
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As the cab approached our destination I guzzled my cup’s contents, forgetting it was mostly if not completely full of gin. I was reaching for my ID when it became clear I was about to lose my lunch, dinner and dessert, so I motioned for Talia to follow me around the corner. The next thing I knew she was watching me puke on the sidewalk as I held my own hair back and gave the thumbs up to passing cars. Afterwards I winked and strutted into the bar where I would spend the rest of my night buying beers and shots for myself, giving them away to strangers, and attempting to twerk* in Talia’s face to Lil Kim’s “Magic Stick.” I was in true form.
*note: I can’t twerk. But let’s be real. Neither can Miley.

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Finally the time had come: My Big Things were stepping off their respective megabuses to finally join me in the city. Some for the summer, some forever. Their company is invaluable to me, even though the photos from our first night together seem to indicate that I was alone, having a somewhat awful time at a Hot 97 party and what appears to be a quite excellent time at the Mcdonald’s on Delancey street.
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I had 10 days off between seasons at work and I was spending them the only way I knew how. Alcoholic smoothies in the middle of the day, shopping for accessories on Knickerbocker avenue, tanning in Central Park, sweating my ass off at Bossa Nova Club and eating 1500 calories of shitty food for every meal.

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I keep telling myself I’m going to work out this summer and lose that bit of cellulite right below my asscheeks I affectionately refer to as my Second Butt, but I can’t seem to make time for it what with all the drinking and sleeping and laying in the sun. I did, however, attempt to mix exercise with productivity by weeding my entire backyard to make it Barbecue Ready. This included a hefty amount of manual labor. I even scooped the animal carcasses off my patio once and for all, and even managed to bleach away the dark spots their bodies left on the concrete…sort of. This allowed for Patrick and I to attempt to relax in the grass on multiple occasions, only to drown ourselves in sweat. Tanning is miserable most of the time, unless of course you have Bacardi lemonade and a pizza from Tony’s.
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Before the string of nightlife bummers that was to come shortly, we managed to have one amazing night that began with, like, an artisan margarita and taco party in a gorgeous Williamsburg loft (complete in typical fashion with discussions about the state of Azealia Banks’ career and the end of last season’s GIRLS), followed by a trek to an unknown salsa bar with espresso tequila shots. This led to a bizarre stairwell discovery and ended with a refreshing banana bowl at the Marcy stop while wearing a pair of jeans as a jacket.
fab exorcistIMG_9152The risk you take when you follow the scene is that the hype and expectations for the event will outweigh any amount of fun you could possibly have. The crowd will probably be full of try-hards and there will be too many people and too long of a line and the drinks will be too expensive, and the headlining act won’t come on until four hours after you arrive. You will end up leaving early, having gotten dressed to the nines for absolutely nothing except a great selfie you took on your way to the club. The highlight of your night will be eating a Filet o’ Fish cross-legged in a gutter in the no man’s land between the West Village and Tribeca. You could end up like me the night I tried to see Lil Kim at Westgay. But, the selfie was great.
IMG_9193Our sad state of affairs continued in the form of relentless torrential downpours for the rest of the week. The only saving grace was in the form of my beloved friend Bill who had come to the city to crash for his birthday week. Patrick and I reluctantly followed him to meet some friends at a bar in the aptly named HELL’S KITCHEN. The best part of the evening was the drag show at Industry (which isn’t saying much). The second best was the sushi, I guess?
IMG_9249So as not to disrupt the theme of the week (shoddy dining and gay bars and never ending rain) the next day we went to Bay Leaf in Williamsburg. The service was terrible. The food took forever. They charged us $22 for what turned out to be a bottle of Barefoot. Then just as we were about to storm out I accidentally set a plastic bag on fire and it melted all over the table.

IMG_9262The next part of the evening was our private party in the back room of Fada complete with $5 cocktails and Winston’s beach disco set. Afterwards we braved the weather and spent the remainder of the evening drinking cheap beers at the Metropolitan, but not before I got splashed in the face by a speeding 4Runner.
IMG_9269If they were hiding it at all before, this much rain really brings out the absurdity in New Yorkers. The other day I saw homeless man washing his feet in a street puddle, which is my second most favorite homeless man moment to the time I saw a guy drop a slice of pizza on the ground and then drunkenly lie down on the sidewalk to continue eating it. Whether or not to be amused by these things is a constant moral dilemma of mine. Meanwhile, any time I see a stray cat, raining or not, I spend 45 minutes crying in an alleyway. But OH IT’S GOOD TO LAUGH AGAIN.
IMG_9282But perhaps no shitty night compares to what I dealt with last week, when I took my pink boobs and YOLO belt out to Bossa Nova for Physical Therapy and Slava. Standing under the AC unit on the crowded dance floor, my friends and I took a tiny amount of what we thought was molly.
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Turns out it was speed! I didn’t sleep for three days! It was by far one of the most nerve racking, frustrating, miserable experiences I have ever had to date, next to that time I drank two bottles of robitussin freshman year of college and I held on to the edges of my bed for 36 hours waiting for the spins to stop before Greg came and dumped me in a bathtub of ice water.
I did, however, have a beautiful morning before slipping into my amphetamine freak out.
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The following week I went back to work, 10-7 office days to prepare for next season. I dumped about 5 iced coffees per day onto my shriveling insides just to get through it, but when the week came to an end and nearly all of Team Big Things (minus a few essential members I DID NOT FORGET YOU) got together for SHADE #2 and took this beautiful family photo that will likely be my Christmas card come fall.
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This is how we chill.

Flashback Friday: Return to the Teen Scene

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I don’t really remember much from my most recent trip to North Carolina, which is a shame since it was probably the last I’ll make for quite some time. It might be irrelevant now, but sitting here listening to Blink 182 (shamelessly) I can’t help but get nostalgic for a time when I could ride around drunk in the passenger seat of other people’s cars with no plans or obligations but to pressure my suburban peers to smoke weed with me on my trampoline. I’m referring, of course, to about six weeks ago.

After resigning from my position as Professional Salon Receptionist I managed to snag a few days between jobs to go home to the Triangle. The idea was that I’d see each person I love for about five minutes and have a quick spa session before returning to New York to start my “new life,” all while maintaining a therapeutic yet dangerously high blood-alcohol level. I’d like to share my experiences with you using the photos I found saved on my phone from that week, since that’s the only way I can recall what happened in the first place.
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Day 1: I spent the morning drinking vodka cranberries and tanning on the trampoline at my mom’s house in Cary until Greg drove 4o minutes from his parents’ house in Zebulon so we could smoke bowls and drive around. My friendship with Greg has been going strong for about ten years and we’ve spent most of them doing exactly this. Above is a photo of us on our way out to Chapel Hill to rescue some younger friends from the clutches of our alma mater. As you can see, Greg is sporting his classic UNC hat in forest camouflage and I am sporting my classic boob being out.

I guess it was something in the southern air or possibly the fact that I was WASTED at 4 pm but I really wanted to have a party that night. I made a huge deal about it on twitter and everything, which was sort of hilarious since it was the middle of the week and the only way I was going to get my friends out to Cary was to drive them myself. When most of them opted to stay in Chapel Hill, I googled “rude clip art” and sent these out via text:
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Day 2: My relationship with my mother sort of amazing in that I can be whiny and annoying to her almost all of the time and she just finds it amusing. I’m like The Simple Life to her. Above is a picture of me standing in my mom’s backyard after I forced her to give me braided pigtails and she totally surprised me by giving me this tiara! But don’t get it twisted. I may be the princess, but my mom is the queen. There’s a reason she just had one lying around. Later, Greg picked me up because he had to go to Zebulon to do laundry or something and I had literally nothing else to do but ride around with him. I hadn’t been home for 48 hours and I was already bored. Why did I think having nothing to do would be a luxury? Here’s a picture of how high I had to get to make up for it.

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If you didn’t know, Zebulon is a town in North Carolina made up entirely of fast food restaurants. We went to three of them.IMG_7424
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The next day there was like a hurricane or a tornado warning or something stupid, so I wrapped myself in one of the Ritz Carlton robes my mom lives in and treated myself to that spa day I’d been looking forward to all week. If you thought I was exaggerating about my mom being a queen perhaps her taste in bathroom decor will convince you. I proceeded to send my future boyfriend as many elegant nudes as possible, use every bath and body product in sight and get so drunk in the tub that I sliced the shit out of my leg with a venus razor. I’m proud to say it looked pret-ty gnarly.
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That night I was planning to attend one of the few events I used to look forward to back in NC, #NB4R. I was excited to see my boo Jermaine and of course hear what Luxe Posh was spinning these days, but the flash floods were putting a serious damper on my vibe. To lift my spirits I put my hair in my mom’s rollers and decorated my nails with some cheap stickers that just ended up falling off after I got Bojangles grease on them. IMG_7586
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At the party we spent most of our time either in the bathroom or outside talking shit. Apparently I was acting like a Teen Bitch to everyone all night, which seems accurate I guess. A pretty bold choice for someone who was camped out on the floor of the men’s room all night, but I stand by it.

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Anyway, it turns out airplanes aren’t time machines. Things have really changed in the last year and most of us have grown up and away from our old scene. This trip made it very clear that the North Carolina period of my life is dead and buried, or at least cryogenically frozen, and I’m totally okay with that. Still, it’s nice to get out of the city every once in a while and remember why I moved here in the first place. No shade on the old stomping grounds, but you gotta grow up sometime.

I’ll always miss Laguna Beach High School.

Life is a *Hater*

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Lately I’ve had to put an enormous amount of energy into not letting the haters affect my game. It’s unclear what I’ve even been doing with my life in the last month or so, but the struggle to remain posi is real and alive and I am more dedicated than ever.

This likely has something to do with the fact that everything has kind of blown dogs for me in the last four weeks. If things don’t steer straight for me soon, I fear I may become a hater myself.

Mercury was in retrograde for a minute there, which, for those of you that haven’t decided to arbitrarily assign significance to astrology, means that everything is supposed to be fucked up for a few weeks in the realm of communication. Decisions you make will be misinformed and contracts you sign will probably be reneged. Terrible things are supposed to happen all around, and they usually do for me. I tend to find myself on some manic binge, ending up in strange places at 5 in the morning and getting in trouble with the law. Because my life has been fantastically boring since the last time we spoke, I did not get myself into any life altering predicaments, and it was purely for lack of trying. Most of my days have been spent working my ~shit day job~ so much that all I ever want to do outside of that is shop online and play drinking games to Rookie of the Year. Of course I’ve been desperate to figure out my next move, and for a while I had a few bright options. I choose to blame the fizzling of those prospects on Mercury Retrograde and face it with the “one door closes, another opens” philosophy…because otherwise I’d just spend the rest of my life dipping french fries in my soft serve at the Burger King under the M train and feeling sorry for myself.

Because I try to always follow through with things I say I’ll do and be a “yes” person, from time to time I have decided to go out and show my face. I realize I need to meet new people, and sometimes when I do I feel great. Other times I’ve followed friends out to their somewhat intimate gatherings full of people I’ve never met where everyone asks me if I’m visiting from out of town and I fall into a k-hole of social awkwardness. Either way I usually just end up taking selfies in the bathroom.

The most exciting things that have happened in the last month are that Rainbow had a sale on crop tops, Hannah dyed my hair brown, I started walking a puppy three times a week, and I finally bought a bed. I’ve heard most Americans have them but I’ve just been sleeping on mattresses laid directly on the floor ever since I discarded my canopy bed when I was 14. The worst was a flea infested twin sized pad from my childhood bunk bed that I threw in the corner of my room and slept on for 5 months last year after I moved out of my ex’s house. The fleas were my cats’ fault, but really my fault. I still find it funny the number of one-night suitors I actually had the guts to bring back to that place, and laughable how many never complained, even with coffee cups and kitty litter everywhere. One of them even dated me for 3 months. Now, though, at the wrinkled age of 23 I try not to even have one night stands because the idea of bringing strangers into my house repulses me. I have to wonder if that’s because I’m appropriately embarrassed by the unfinished nature of my bedroom and the apparent lack of hygiene it projects or if I simply can’t stand strangers enough to commute with them back to my Bushwick apartment, or some combination of the two.

This hasn’t stopped me from giving my number to the wrong people, like the the creepy short guy that followed me home on Sunday night or the dude from Ok Cupid who offered me molly to “party” with him and his girlfriend. Needless to say I’ve changed a couple contacts in my phone to Do Not Pick Up. Somehow I have no interest in sleeping with people I don’t have “real feelings” for, and I definitely don’t have the energy to put myself such a volatile situation of sleeping with someone I actually like.

In the meantime I can’t stop getting shit from the people around me, and I’ve taken it much more personally than usual. People questioning my intelligence based on my open sexuality (I’ve always failed to see a connection between the two but apparently there is one?), women who compliment me with an insulting tone (“your boobs are so BIG”). Someone told me during sex recently that I hate my life but that I’m lying to myself (big question mark on that one) And a coworker pleasantly dispensed the info that my college major was totally useless and that’s why I’m a receptionist. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was probably just mad because she’s 37, just went back to undergrad and recently had a nervous breakdown over writing a 2.5 page paper double spaced. Still, if these things are upsetting me it’s because I’m not 100% happy with myself, and that’s on me.

There is always going to be someone hating you for who you are or who they decide you are. Out of fear, out of jealousy, or purely for the fun of it. Negativity is a fucking contagion, and you should never let the fact that someone hates their life mean you have to hate yours too. I’m constantly encountering women who hate other women for being sexual, or for being confident, or because of a man. Women who backwardly find threatening the outspokenness of another. People who are nauseated by other people’s success. People who offer career connections in exchange for sexual favors (a thing I naively thought only happened in movies like Legally Blonde). I try not to let it affect me, but about half the time it does.

Fine, so I’m still figuring out my reason for getting up in the morning. But I’m still going to do it. You can’t go through life believing you’re as trashy or as stupid or as sad as people say. If you want to be better, be better. But don’t allow yourself to be shamed.

My career and my love life may remain virtually nonexistent, but I’m still holding on to my posi vibes and taking my chances. Even if I fuck up royally and it feels like a kick in the gut, at least I know I’m trying. After all, you are the only one who can make yourself feel truly awful. No one else. And isn’t that nice?

reading the signs

I have officially been wearing the same clothes for two days and I smell like chicken noodle soup. I just got home, carrying hair products, birth control and a burrito in the same paper bag. I’m googling “sad diva” and looking at the images. I haven’t done much today and it hasn’t felt like much either, which is good. Sometimes nothing feels a lot like everything.

Last week I had big plans. That is, relatively. I was going to get my first massage on Monday, go to yoga on Tuesday and then to meet my new therapist. On Friday I’d have a job interview. Of course all the time in between I’d be at my current job, but I was excited for all of these new opportunities to relax and reflect. I’d been feeling more and more anxious lately which I thought might have been a symptom of PMS, or the general stress of not knowing what to do next with my life. Or, you know, both.

The massage was awkward. I had a man’s hands all over me. I hadn’t had sex in a month. The entire time I was horny and trying not to fart. How was I supposed to relax? I left with a stomach ache, my shoulders still sore.

On Tuesday I was so whacked out and paranoid during yoga I spent the whole meditation worried the class was running over and I was going to be late for therapy. The class ran over. I was 20 minutes late for the meeting with my new therapist where I was greeted with one of those “I’m disappointed in you” smiles you get from a parent when you fake sick, only it was especially awkward since we had never met. I had forgotten to print out the paperwork and bring it with me to the session. This was starting off on the wrong foot already. What if she thinks I’m crazy? What if I am crazy? Fuck, am I crazy? We talked about my “life” as much as we could in the 20 minutes we had. I found out later there is a problem with my insurance, so my copay for that session was $115. Afterwards I changed out of my yoga clothes and did my hair and makeup in the bathroom at work.

On Thursday I went out. Winston was djing at Cocktail Bodega where there was an open bar, so I had about 5 vodka grapefruits and we left. On the way home we found a cardboard box filled with no less than 1000 Lifestyles ultra lubricated condoms and some children’s books. I decided to carry it all home with me just in case.

The following afternoon I had my interview, which I’ve now overanalyzed it to the point that I have absolutely no idea if it went well or not. But the best thing that happened to me all week was when the founder of the company came over, stared at my resume with a lifeless expression and said, “It looks like you’re a writer.”

Saturday night I bought a $20 dress from Necessary Clothing and went out to Dizzyland by myself, piss drunk. Aside from the train ride to the Spectrum and taking shots of Wild Turkey all I have is the hazy memory of dancing with some guy and then making a run for it. And apparently taking this selfie on the street.
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I think I was going for “violently adorable.”

What happened after that remains unclear, so the next morning I looked for signs of what might have transpired. I woke up with wet hair. I was in my pajamas. Lars and the Real Girl was paused on my computer ten minutes in. There was an empty cereal bowl and a bag of chips in bed with me. On the floor, my new dress was wet from the waist down. A red electric blanket I didn’t recognize was laying next to my condom box. I suddenly had a few frames of memory. Something about shivering in an alley, my legs curled up in my dress, and looking up at the Montrose L station mere steps away and thinking “there’s no way I can make it there.” Something about a yellow cab. Something about a blanket. I don’t remember paying a cab driver. Maybe I didn’t.

I spent the day hungover and laughing it off.

That night was the moment some had been waiting for! And the one I had kind of forgotten about. The Oscars are never really a huge deal to me because I suck at seeing movies the year that they actually come out. The only movie I saw in theaters in 2012 was Pitch Perfect. Not that I’m proud of that, it’s just true.

“But why?” you ask. “For the price of a burrito and some chips you could go see a movie.”
to which I say, conversely, for the price of seeing a movie I could have a burrito. And some chips. 

Of course there is always illegally streaming which I looove to do. The only TV I have is this tiny 90s Panasonic that I use for N64, and cable is just so not in my budget right now. I was able to find a live stream of the Oscars just in time for the tail end of the red carpet. The Seth MacFarlane thing was somewhat painful but most of it was funny/chill and needed to be said, so I’m not mad at him. I suppose it is necessary for award shows to evolve like everything else to that level of extreme self reference.

My stream was abruptly taken down right before the good part and the only replacement I could find was a video mostly covered by ads. So I listened to the rest of the ceremony while imagining what Jennifer Lawrence’s butt looked like when she fell and what facial expressions complimented Ben Affleck’s shrieking falsetto.Since I was really high by that point, and since feeling sad is a sport, I decided at 12:30 to watch Silver Linings Playbook, a love story where crazy people do crazy things and sometimes it’s okay and sometimes it’s not but maybe we can all stop being crappy if we want and find love, or at least help each other, or at least not feel so stuck.

First I cried a little. Then I was OK.