some the wiser

IMG_1719The morning after I turned 24 my extensions had turned against me.

Autumns are always a little rough for me. My birthday is in September, which never fails to put me in an existential haze. And no matter how many years I’ve been out of school (three) that feeling of starting a new grade never fully goes away. I start to feel the weight of a change beyond my control. Who was I, who am I, does it really matter… Everything Old starts to die to make room for something New. But that can be beautiful, or so they say.

The week of my 24th birthday was the usual mix of celebration and apprehension, with a short congratulatory period pancaking to an idle anxiety. Sure, I’d accomplished some things in the past year. But what would I do next? I was back on the job hunt, newly single, another year older and this was all sounding far too familiar…

The seasons were refusing to change. I was refusing to stop using my air conditioning. Other people’s lives were advancing all around me and the most exciting things that had happened in my life recently were that my mother had sent me a care package of Kraft mac n cheese and I got a membership at Planet Fitness (a contradiction not lost on me but in fact one that I find representative of my life philosophy. Everything in moderation, sure, but still everything I want). With more time to myself, that is, less time working, I started working out. I realized I was in better shape than I’d thought, and that running is a good way to take out aggression. Plus it burns off the booze! I guess I always knew these things, but if you remember me before I moved to NYC you know I couldn’t run a mile without my heart nearly exploding from my thoracic cavity (I found that word on wikipedia. Did I use it right? I’m not a scientist.) Now I can run like two miles while sexting and still have the energy to masturbate in the shower after. I’m a regular Florence Griffith Joyner.

 me rn

OK, so maybe not. But I still consider it an accomplishment. Let me have this, okay?

Somewhere around the end of last month, Alex and I fell into a lull on our Big Project, the ever-dreaded Writer’s Paralysis leading us both to send each other terribly transparent, self-deprecating gchats from our respective caves of neuroses. I had become pretty irritable by this point, but I think that had something to do with PMS, and as much as I love her, probably something to do with my mom coming to stay the weekend at the end of September. My lack of patience is still something I really need to work on, especially when it comes to someone who does so much for me. I mean, she birthed me, and even though I didn’t deserve it, she bought me these cool knock-off crocs.
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Susan Miller gave us fair warning that October would be rife with hurdles, disappointments, or possibly blessings disguised as the worst fucking thing that ever happened. The jury is still out on the blessings part, but I felt the tension in the air from the very beginning. Granted, I always feel tension at the first of the month because the words “rent day” and “freelancing” go together about as well as Virgo and Aries (that one’s for you, Susan). This time, I had a lot to look forward to, thus a lot of planning and stressing. With grand plans come great expectations and I have to be prepared for every possible outcome.

Every fall (as in twice so far), Sarah Sassafrass, Jeffrey Scott, and Justin aka Boy Reverend come visit me for a handful of days. They’re my fam away from fam, my Team outside of Big Things. When they visited last year, I had the cheapest mattress from Ikea lying directly on my floor, we made a huge mess, and because I started a new job that weekend we didn’t get to spend as much time together as I’d hoped. This time I had the Ikea mattress on an Ikea bed, fun things scheduled for every night of their visit, and I told them to bring they own damn towels. The Monday before they arrived I was feeling equipped for a houseful of guests, but I still didn’t have a job. So I looked on craigslist, found a post I liked for a development associate position at a production company, and applied. I interviewed Wednesday and I felt good about it, but hey, I’d been wrong before. I didn’t hear back the next day, so I decided to say “fucket yolo” and go to Hannah’s salon to get my hair texturized.

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It’s always a sight for sore eyes when I see those colorful heads of hair standing at the Starbucks across from the Megabus stop. I was feeling ready to party, we went home and changed for some party, prepared to deal with the continued hiatus of the L train. After drinking at Winston’s until about 1 am and getting a belated birthday present from Sass (a collar that says BITCH), we thought we’d finally hit the street. A walk, a wait, two trains, and another walk later, we arrived at the location of the party, only to see that…it wasn’t there. We had the address right. We were standing in front of it. But the doors were shut and there was no one inside, as far as we could tell. Bummed, drunk, and weirded out, we headed to The Woods to drown our defeat in pickleback shots, but not before seeing who I was pret-ty sure was Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development fame scurrying down the street ahead of us. Despite my confusion at how I always end up at this bar and that I was convinced something must be wrong with me, we actually had a pretty decent two hours. We closed the place down and it was the first time I publicly made out with a stranger since being single. It was not as fun as it sounds. But there was a dog in the bar, so it all came out in the wash, I guess.

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Hannah didn’t realize until much later that that was not her boyfriend.

That Friday was a huge milestone for the closet comedy nerd inside me. I had my first improv class at Upright Citizens Brigade, and at 400 bucks a course, this is no small feat. UCB has been a launch pad for many of your favs, and even though it may not be at the top of my Life Goals List to be on Saturday Night Live, I’d probably rank it somewhere in the top 100. But really, as a writer with a “performance background” it’s pretty much always been a dream of mine. So when I went to the training center at 3:30 for my three hour class, I was a little bit nervous. About as nervous as I was this time last year about my topless gogo dancing casting call, that is to say, I felt awkward for about five minutes before breaking the ice and flirting with all the girls. Of course, about halfway through the course I got a call back about that position I interviewed for. I had gotten the job. Yay! But there was just one catch. No! I’d have to be available every day until 6:30 and continuing the class at UCB at this time was a no-go. Fuuuuuck. Of course, I took the job with only slight hesitation, switched out of my UCB class and bore the fees I incurred with gritted teeth.

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That night, after buying some new accessories ^ at Patricia Field, I had Jeff dress me in my look for a night at Bossa Nova (the photos of which you will see next year sometime because it takes Sarah that long to edit them, ahem)

Every part of the weekend that I wasn’t in FULL LOOK from head to toe per Jeff’s insistence, I was lounging in bed, moaning off hangovers. We pretty much only got up to eat Popeye’s and go shopping on Knickerbocker, where I showed the gang what Bushwick life is really like, and where Sarah almost shat her pants. My favorite find of the day, and the only thing I could afford, was a teeny tiny “nurses outfit” in the Halloween costume sale section of Shopper’s World, that was really more like a nurse’s bra and slutty nurse’s mini skirt…they wear those in the ER, right? After getting drunk on Evan Williams and sending some of the best sexy photos I’ve ever taken of myself, we went to Passion Lounge for the marriage of Ultra Velvet and Shock Value.  Obviously the whole thing was great until the next morning, when our fish bowled brains had shriveled to raisins and I found a twitter mention from a hater calling me a whore. Sometimes it’s hard being a star.

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Because I had scurried over to my ex’s house that night (in a bikini top and socks with my shoes in hand…let’s not talk about it) I spent the next day blazed, walking around in an oversized boy’s t-shirt, a leather peplum, and arch-splitting heels that I couldn’t take off for the sake of The Look. The only saving grace of the entire day, besides waiting in line for 30 minutes to use a piss-stained Starbucks bathroom of course, was the kielbasa sandwich I devoured at Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village. It made me glad to be an EX-vegetarian (a refreshing break from kinda feeling guilty all of the time), and made me miss the kolbász my Hungarian gramma used to put in our kapusta. I tried to make a vegan version of this once and it came out SO abominably terrible I felt I’d disgraced my ancestors and vowed never to try it again.

IMG_1260_2Stoner wear/boner wear

After not being able to sleep at all before my first day at work, I spent 8 hours staring into my computer screen like a fool and then scurried home for my last night with my visitors. I’d looked like a bucket of horse manure all fucking day but I had also promised myself that I’d have Sarah take my Christmas card pictures with Kos n Gon before she left (I plan on being an adult this year and letting other adults know, namely my family, that I am not an ungrateful, useless person that forgot about them when I moved to the Big City). After achieving some spectacular results that I wish I could show you but won’t, the four of us sat in bed with Gonny, ate two pizzas and watched Clueless. In typical fucking fashion.

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All that week it was work, work, work, dates, dates, dates. Including my first ever Tinder date, a concept that both excited and terrified me. I love sexxxting and meeting new people and talking about myself and eating fried chicken with strangers so you’d THINK dating would be my thing but truthfully, I’d only gone on one blind date in all my years of having Facebook, Twitter, OKcupid, and access to other people’s Grindr accounts. The first guy hit me up on Twitter, turned out to be a complete psycho and put me off the whole idea for a while. Until Tinder came along and I made it my personal mission to slide the entire city of New York to the left. The way I see it with these things, someone is only safe to approach if their profile appears self deprecating, effortlessly ironic, or no-fucks-given to a strong degree. I think it was Groucho Marx that said “I wouldn’t fuck anyone from a social network that would have someone like me for a member,” to paraphrase. Anyway, I had an amazing time. I got free Pies N Thighs, and shocked myself with my ability to have a great time while completely sober with a guy who doesn’t drink. Weird, right? (Yes)

By the weekend, I realized I’d spent all my free time in the last 7 days either naked or in belly shirts, so the stress must have been good for my figure. I’d been sustaining on dick pics and Miller High Life (cause that’s all I could afford) and I thought I looked just great, which is why I was AGHAST that PaperMag put up a picture of me from last Friday’s Ultra Velvet looking like a toothless hillbilly. IRL I looked spooky and swagadocious and the paparazzi just caught me at a bad time. The perils of fame, y’all.

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Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 9.53.38 PMWho needs a jack o lantern?

That Saturday, after emptying my pockets on a prix fixe brunch, reeling off of one bong rip and watching straight boys play GTA,  I decided to get my look together for Kelela at 285. We pregamed at Moe’s and I ate free pizza while annoying, if cute, Australian boys argued with my concept of society. After trying to run away from them on the street, failing and feeling kinda bad afterward, we ended up at 285. The thing about 285 Kent: the inevitable sighting of the boy you do not want see, followed by the boy you kinda really wanna see. Both are disconcerting, and by 3:45 when Kelela left the stage I was overstimulated and ready to die.  But the night wasn’t a total loss. The music was amazing as expected, I spent the night in Reid’s bed after he paid for all my drinks, and at some point I took a selfie with a golden retriever.

IMG_1529_2The next morning, even though I found myself gnawing on slim jim and watching the Kardashians as usual, I felt like something had changed. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t really had that much to drink the night before. Maybe it was watching the leaves blow across the parking lot of the food bazaar. The air tasted different. Did I feel capable? Hopeful? Maybe I could act like a teenager and still get things done. Maybe I could be free but not lonely. Nope, as I walked down Irving avenue towards my apartment, I realized it was just autumn. I was still poor, I was still confused. I’d taken two steps forward and a five picklebacks. But hey, I was still alive. And idk, maybe I was ready to write again.

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I wanna dank u

Not to shatter the illusion or anything, but I actually have a pretty simple life about half the time. I get pretty turned on by domesticity, not because I feel somehow destined for it as a woman (what?) but because, just like sex and partying and being a thug, it’s something I genuinely enjoy. This is heightened around the holidays. When I moved out of my parents’ house five years ago I realized I had taken for granted the elaborate ceremony my mother constructs for every single national celebration–from the Christmas to the Fourth of July to Kid’s Day, a holiday she made up for us when she was a single mom. Once I realized how hard it is just to take care of myself, I developed the utmost respect for anyone of any gender who can juggle a career and a social life and doesn’t sleep in a pile of garbage every night.

While much of this year has been about exploring what New York has to offer in terms of moneymaking and entertainment, a large part of it has also been about self discovery and improvement. In a city where you are inundated with (often unwanted) stimuli as soon as you leave your apartment, it’s important to have a comfortable apartment to come home to. And when you’re surrounded by strangers all day every day, it’s important to be comfortable with yourself when you’re finally alone.

I know…Y SO SRS?!!

What I’m trying to say is, last week I spent most of my free time dustbusting. taking pictures of cats (87 in one week–I counted), looking up Thanksgiving recipes, listening to Norah Literal Jones and writing meditations in my journal to keep the vibes posi and strong.

Here are some of the highlights.





By the time Danksgiving Eve had rolled around my positive energy was so high that I was convinced to go to The Woods for the first time in months and actually had a lot of fun! Later someone told me it was lesbian night and it all made sense. I’m not going to recount the details…just play this video I accidentally made on the cab ride home.

I’m not sure if I was still drunk the next morning or what, but I was in SUCH a good mood I bought a bouquet of flowers to bring to dinner, talked to my mom on the phone for an hour about how much I love her, and spent the rest of the day folding all my love into a serious home-cooked meal at Winston and Hannahs for our guests, Beth, Megan, Linnea and Syma (all while popping 800 mg ibuprofens to stave off my hangover).

(Winston made a REAL turkey! It was a big moment for him. From what I hear it was really good…I made a vegan roast that potentially no one enjoyed but me *DIVA SHRUG*)

(The most important ingredient in ev er y thing)

(Kiss da cook! Also idk what it is about aprons but they always slide between my boobs all wonky like this)

(The finished product! See that giant empty bowl on the corner? That’s what I ate out of. And yes, I finished it all.)
Yeah yeah, so I’d made a huuuge deal about how much partying and drinking I was going to do on Danksgiving. But really I had three beers, ate my dinner and passed out in my brother’s bed. Still though, I felt really accomplished. It’s amazing how rewarding it can be to successfully complete one adult thing from time to time.

Excuse me while I go pat myself on the back until Christmas. Or until my next fuck-up. Whichever comes first.

Hey, Could I Bum a House?

So today’s post is going to be outlined by a series of photographs. This is for all my illiterate hoes who need not be discounted, and for those of you who really want to get the full experience of last week’s nonsense. Just to give you a little backstory, I’m living in this weird/adorable nest/treehouse thing in northern Greenpoint right now (you can see photos on my flickr, or on that tab up there that says ‘photos’), but sometime in the next 24 hours my ‘sublessor’ (yeah, I’m a lawyer) is returning home which will effectively put me out on the street. For the purposes of earning street cred this will actually be very fulfilling for me, as I’ve always wanted to roam around the city with nothing but a backpack and an ipod nano (which I am inexplicably still carrying around despite having an iphone…probably my need to maintain a “quirky” and somewhat “ignorant” relationship with technology) and sleeping on the couches of cranky gay men everywhere.

“I COOK! I CLEAN! I TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOTHER!”

I’ll be refilling those six suitcases I was telling you about for the rest of the night. Meanwhile my shit is EVERYWHERE and I figured I’d use some of it to help me finish the story of How Much Fun I Had That First Month in New York Before I Was Just Some Homeless Crackhead With an Internship.

(as you can see i am super organized and i give all the fucks in the world)

(some fucking plastic ass tupperware shit wrapped in a repurposed piece of garbage)

One of the first things you learn as a broke idiot in any city is that sometimes you’ve got to suck it up and bring your lunch from home.  Spending 10 dollars every day on a lox and cream cheese bagel (or 12 dollars on some Chipotle that’ll make you shit your pants) quickly becomes a luxury that you can only dream of one day affording and meanwhile those mashed potatoes and, like, scrambled eggs leftover from last night are starting looking gourmet as fuck. I realized I can spend $20 every couple of weeks at Trader Joe’s buying the bare minimum of produce and essential nutrients (a la beans and rice) and as long as I make it home at least once a day (a thing that has become increasingly rare) I don’t have to worry about throwing hella bills at a sack of trans fats just to survive. Sometimes you have to get creative. I literally just made a bowl of tuna, vegenaise, chick peas and paprika and ate it with pita bread (perhaps you think this is a low point but it was pretty damn delicious). Sadly, I haven’t been making it back to Greenpoint as much as I like, which explains why I’ve been shoplifting so much on the Upper West Side. You have to save money wherever you can, because you know as well as I do that as soon as the first cent drops in your bank account you’ll be ordering 40s of Ballantine and a personal large pizza to your room without batting an eye. Shit is costly, bruh.

(homeless women and men should always have the proper accoutrement for doin’ it on their person)

At this point you all know that I am very open about my sex life. For a second I considered that showing my ACTUAL BIRTH CONTROL PACKET (gasp!) on the internet was a little much. Then I remembered that at least 6 of my best friends growing up have pictures of their chunky newborns all over their facebook pages. I can do whatever the fuck I want. NOW, if you don’t want to have a baby–a perfectly respectable life choice for people of any age–it’s super important to keep your birth control at arm’s reach 100% of the time. Missing pills can not only get you pregnant, but it can make you have your period for an entire month (which can really ruin the reason you’re taking them in the first place, am I right?). Maybe taking my pill with a sip of lemon Four Loko outside of a bodega at 11 pm is not a good look, but if you can breast-feed in public (something I think is totally okay), I can make sure I don’t have some dude’s raggedy ass kid before I go to the club. This is what they mean by “drink responsibly,” right? And as for the condoms, you don’t have to explain to me your reason for not using them. Oh believe me, I get it…they’re a fucking pain in the ass. And if you’re getting regularly tested and you trust your partner, that’s a choice you fully have the right to make. I’m just saying–I’ve never had the Gonz but I hear it’s kinda gross. And I’m trying real hard to remember that.

(there is more bacteria on this dollar than around the rim of my toilet seat, I guarantee it.)

Oh look! A dollar! Like, a pretty substantial portion of my total savings (more than I care to admit)! The problem is, when I woke up and found this on the floor next to my bed I was kind of afraid to touch it. One low-key evening after drinking a bottle of Welch’s grape juice disguised as red wine, Reid, my new friend Kate and I went to The Woods for some shots. I still don’t really know how I feel about this place considering everyone is like 99% wack and the bathrooms are modeled after the waterboarding rooms in Guantanamo Bay. One time, though, I found a pair of awesome leather gloves on the sidewalk outside of the bar and I keep thinking I might find some more free stuff every time I go. Also anywhere that has a hut that sells grilled cheeses a stone’s throw from the dance floor is worth a look or two. This particular night, though, not one of the gangly losers in snapbacks was running to buy me a grilled cheese. Once it started pouring rain, the whole place turned into a sodden, rancid hellhole I couldn’t escape despite (or perhaps due to) the barrel of tequila I’d consumed. I can’t say I had a horrible time. The music was pretty good (Azealia Banks is the DJing equivalent of a free space at this point), and right before I left I found a dollar on the ground! This dollar. This dollar that I am now afraid to touch because it is actually covered in beer and mud and toilet water and probably poop. I don’t know exactly what my plan is for this guy, but don’t be surprised if later tonight I am literally…actually…washing a dollar in the fucking sink.

(some kind of playing card for a game i’m assuming is both very fun and kind of a waste of time–just smoke the shit, you know?)

I don’t know how this got in my purse. I believe I found it in the studio behind Reid’s apartment where, I kid you not, we pregamed for Anorexxxtapussy by chasing swigs of Patrick’s Georgi with my Four Loko. “Just put a little loko in the back of your throat and you can’t even taste it!” This night is a complete fucking blur. Once we arrived at sugar hill it was as if everyone was really distracted by something…but nothing was really happening. I think this is what it’s like to be completely wasted in a room full of strangers. Here are some pictures from that night.

(they call me lana del razorblades)

(reid is super into jezus)

(patrick giving his best gothic, but really he just looks like my uncle danny in the late 90s after he just took out the speedboat)

(N STUF///N STUF///I’M A FUCKIN ARTIST SO STFU///)

(get in the car. and don’t touch nothin’ SIT IN THE CAR)

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(you really can’t let yourself be stinkin’)

I hate to say this is true, but for a good two…maybe three days after Anorexxxtapussy or whatever it’s called, I was wearing variations of the same outfit and trying not to smell like Bigfoot’s dead grandma in weather that was quickly approaching 100 degrees. During this time I decided to get really into “pajama goth,” which mostly just meant loose layers of fishnet, chiffon, and Rick Owens tanks I borrowed from Skye. This allowed me to move freely and comfortably while not really sweating all that much, but it’s nice to touch up yo face when you get a chance. You really never know when you might meet someone cute and idk, maybe they will be super into the “swamp thing” look, but I like to be prepared just in case.

You can plan all you want to take your chiffon out to new and exciting places, but you might just end up at the Standard anyway. That’s what happened last Sunday. Somehow our intoxication snowballed extra quickly that night. I really don’t know how things get so ratchet so fast.

(here is moe defying gravity. a clear resemblance to some acrobatics i pulled back in nc, pictured below)

(I have a college degree, btw)

(have you ever seen anything so beautiful in your entire life?)

(i am not actually peeing in this picture. some asshole threw a water balloon at me and knocked my pants down. what an asshole.)

(this is how you know you’ve had a good night)

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(free shit from The View that i have yet to actually sample)

Believe it or not, about 6 hours after snapping that sad picture of Patrick on the toilet, I accompanied him to fill our free seats at The View (we have friends and family in relatively high places and that’s all I can say). The special guest was Jimmy Fallon which is why we got all these free goodies. All in all this experience was surreal and bizarre as fuck. My palms kept sweating a lot because I was thrown by being in the same room as Whoopi Goldberg, and also because I was about to drop dead from the after-effects of last night’s bottle service. This made it somewhat awkward for me when I ended up shaking her hand. Actually, the whole experience was about 50/50 awkward and totally rad.

(just chillin with some fellow viewers)

Other than all of this, the past week has been spent trying to find a place for me and my cute kittens to live. I’m doing reasonably well staying positive even though sometimes it’s hard not to have a tantrum when you’re on the J train at 9 am on a Saturday only to reach a roach motel that costs $800 a month. “HOW THE FUCK DO YOU EVEN SAY KOSCIUSZKO STREET” *screams through tears at a gentleman eating a churro who doesn’t speak a word of English*

I’ll keep you updated on what it’s like living on futons and eating popcorn for every meal. Right now I’m of the belief that you can totally be a fabulous, homeless badass. Let’s see how long this delusion lasts.

By the way, follow me on twitter @katstkat and on instagram @catdookie for constant updates. I promise I won’t depress you.