Don’t Yuck My Yum

The eclipse was this week – on Monday. I woke up as a skeptic. I didn’t have the glasses and I was like, “Whatever, don’t really care that much.” Then it started happening and a colleague of mine had a pair of glasses and we looked out the window and up towards the sky and saw it. And you know what? It was actually pretty cool and I was glad I got out of my own way and saw it. Was it a little anticlimactic once it was over in New York? Sure. But I was still glad I saw it.

My good vibes were then rained on when I asked a friend on Gchat if he’d seen it. He replied “no, but Trump did,” and sent me a link to an article about Trump being dumb and looking without the glasses. At that moment, I probably interpreted it as him comparing me to Trump, but in retrospect, I don’t think he was. I think he was just being himself – refusing to do whatever else is doing, even if it is cool, because it makes him feel good to be above things that a lot of people find cool. Or his office has no windows and his colleagues had no glasses. I don’t know. I didn’t ask because I was pissed at him for shitting on my parade. But truth be told, I let him.

Later on another friend posted on Facebook, a sarcastic, also debbie downer, comment about the eclipse. Jesus fucking christ, people. If you don’t want to look, don’t look. No need to be a complete twat about it when other people are enjoying it. Upon reflection, she, too, was probably just looking to make a joke and get lots of likes. No harm. I guess?

But it’s a weird week and people are feeling weird. I’m going to blame it on the eclipse, Mercury being in retrograde (that fucker), and the fact that the end of summer can be a downer sometimes (I guess, though I wouldn’t know as I’m one of those people who can NOT wait for fall). My yoga class on Monday was incredibly grounding and restorative. Exactly what we all needed.

But my reaction to my friends’ negative eclipse commentaries made me think about how I make jokes that could be interpreted as negative about things that people often enjoy. I don’t want to be that person. And maybe I should re-think some of my friendships as well. Because shouldn’t you be friends with people who make you feel good?

Happy eclipse week!

The above photo is from Monday night. It’s a partial eclipse of Gus. 

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Quiet Night In (Not)

I’d planned on having a quiet night in on Saturday night. I really did. I was planning on cooking, hanging out with the furbabies, and possibly reconnecting with my acoustic guitar for the first time in WAY too long. I’d gone to a Kundalini yoga class in the morning and to see Marvin’s Room with Matt (I heart him living closer) in the afternoon and I was getting ready to take off my clothes and settle in. I’d even canceled a tentatively planned date because it was quite obvious that neither one of us was all that interested in the other (as evidenced by our infrequent texts, inability to make ACTUAL PLANS, etc.). I wasn’t upset (my ambivalence over this perfectly nice dude was why I canceled). It just was what it was. I’d even made the choice NOT to ghost him and to actual tell him that I was canceling. #adulting

Then Kristen texted and said she was at a bar on the UES after a friend’s baby shower and I should come over. I dreaded the process of actually getting to the bar (Infirmary on 89th and 2nd) because it took forever last time I had to get to that area, but the train and bus actually synched up pretty well and I got there in 20 minutes. We ate appetizers, drank fRoses, and then I dragged Kristen a couple of blocks away to Caledonia East, a great Scottish cocktail bar where my friend was bartending for the night.

About 30 minutes after we arrived, I noticed a couple walk in and sit down next to us (technically next to Kristen) and I was 99% sure it was the guy I’d canceled on with a new date. I immediately felt less bad and laughed. Out loud. I think he saw me and they then moved to the far end of the bar and a few minutes later left altogether. I told Kristen and my friend who was bartending and we laughed at the coincidence that he would roll into the bar we were in out of all the others in the neighborhood. Only happens to me. (And I’m cool with that because it makes for a great story.) A little while later he texted me saying he was surprised I was on the east side. I guess it was him.

We Uber’ed it back to my apartment after a drink so I could feed my the furballs and we headed over to The Hamilton, which is owned by the same gentleman as Caledonia, and it is equally as amazing. After a few more drinks, we headed back to my apartment and promptly passed out. Kristen had planned to drive home about 5 hours earlier but any attempt to operate a motor vehicle in her (our) state would have resulted in a swift tit punch from yours truly, so she passed out on my couch and I in my bed.

It totally wasn’t the night either one of us had planned, but it was a great night. We spent morning eating egg and cheese sandwiches, snuggling with the cats, and watching The Big Short.

 

My “Group” of Anti Social Friends

Aside from a couple of years in grade school, I’ve never had a “group” of friends. Not to say I didn’t have friends but I had friends from all different groups and whom didn’t know each other.

I can safely say that this hasn’t changed. 

I love throwing the occasional gathering at my apartment or on my roof because I get to bring all of my friends together, many of whom I don’t see regularly. As an added plus, my friends all get to meet each other (sometimes again).

A handful of my friends also happen to be extremely anti social. Which is totally fine. No one wants a friend who needs them all the time, right? Sometimes I think I might be developing anti social habits, too. And that’s okay. But because everyone is always “busy,” (though usually by choice) and we feel so pressured to also appear this way. But I’ve stopped caring about how I appear and feel free to say, “Nope, I’d rather relax at home with my cat tonight and cook.” I’d rather go for a run by myself. I’d rather sit and meditate by myself. I’d rather go to yoga by myself. 

One of my very dear friends came over last week to help me change my guitar strings (and he also changed and then promptly broke my high E string, sigh). I asked him what he’d been up to lately and he said, “Just working. And avoiding social interaction whenever possible.” It was so refreshing to hear someone say it as non-apologetically as that. Zero fucks given. My reaction was something like, “Go you, but are you depressed? Are you still seeing your therapist?” I think this is a normal reaction but let’s stop making this our go-to when someone chooses not to participate in social activities, okay? 

I used to be extremely extroverted but I think that was more just to get attention than actually liking being around people all the time. Maybe it’ll change again and I’ll go back to being more extroverted, but for right now, I’m happy where I am. 

KIT!

KIT = Keep in Touch

I remember writing this in everyone’s yearbooks at the end of the school years. Was I the only one? With all of the technology at our finger tips todays, it seems that, ironically, this has gotten that much harder. We have a zillion distractions and, since we write everything down or store it in our smartphones, we have zero capacity to remember anything anymore, (Full disclosure: if it’s not on my to-do list, it’s not getting done.) 

One day last week, I decided to stop thinking, “I should really reach out to that person,” and I did it instead. I reached out to a handful of friends that I love but haven’t spoken to lately. I made plans with two of them and a few others I just said hi to and found out what was going on in their lives.

It’s really easy to forget to do something as simple as saying “hi” to friends who are far away or who you’ve maybe lost touch with. But it’s also really easy to just do it in the moment you think about it – just text them and say hi. Or email them, or message them on Facebook. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could call them. But let’s not get crazy now…

Technology is great, but human interaction is better sometimes. 

Unfriended

Facebook is a tricky mistress. You love it, you hate it. You can’t live with it, you can’t live without it. Blah. But what happens when you end a friendship with someone but are still friends with, uh….. their entire family? 

That was what happened with someone I used to be friends with and I finally rectified the situation last week. It was “hard.” I put that in quotes because in reality, it’s nothing more than clicking a button, but whatever. I was completely cutting myself off from people, who despite being really incredibly lovely, I really shouldn’t have contact with anymore. Because it felt weird to still be in contact with his mother, sister, brother-in-law, and cousins when I was no longer friends with the person who was my main connection to them.

Should it have been weird? I don’t know. I guess it was more out of common decency (?). It’s not like we’re ever going to hang out again, so what’s the difference?

I clicked the button and it was like pulling off a band-aid. Except a bit sadder. 

Onwards/Upwards. 

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On Saturday night my friend (and yoga teacher) invited me to see her husband’s band, The Salted Hand, play down at Fontana’s on the Lower East Side. It was kind of like a guitar school band recital for guitar students from the NYC Guitar School

All of their songs were covers and it was basically a concert of my favorite songs. They started with Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams, then played Amsterdam by Guster, followed by Weezer’s Buddy Holly

Their short set was awesome and the perfect way to begin a night out downtown. We went after to Excuse My French, The Mockingbird, and a late-night snack at Joe’s Pizza

$19.89 Tickets to American Psycho

I’ve been sort of excited to see American Psycho ever since I saw the video of their press preview. The music sounds different, the choreography looks fun, and who doesn’t love Benjamin Walker? I sure do. So, when it was sort of quietly announced that they were selling tickets for $19.89 (for the year 1989 when the play takes place) for six preview performances, I was instantly interested in heading down on a Saturday morning. I’d mentioned it to Matt a couple of days prior at Eclipsed and he said sure, let’s do it

We met up at 9:30am on Saturday morning to a line that went down 45th Street to 7th Avenue and turned towards 44th Street. We got on the line right as it turned onto 7th so we figured there were probably 100 people in front of us and it shouldn’t be too bad of a wait since the box office was opening in 30 minutes.

Did we ever misjudge the situation. The line took FOREVER. We didn’t buy our tickets until 12:45pm. Also: it was freezing. It was something like 32* out and I was wearing really inappropriate shoes. We took turns hopping into Junior’s and the Booth Theatre’s lobby to keep warm because I’m not lying when I say it was really fucking cold.

They’d really made shitty usage of the box office. I honestly don’t think they were expecting this many people to show up. They could’ve fit probably two dozen people in it but with the way they chose to wrap the line, there were 5 people inside of it at a time. When we finally were standing under the marquee, when it was fairly obvious what we were waiting for, I started telling passerby that we were waiting in line for tickets to a Trump rally. They believed us, no questions asked, and we died laughing.

We purchased our orchestra seats for the preview performance on April 5th and happily made our way to our respective homes and warmed up. It was worth it this time, but I will never do this again in the winter. 

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Any Excuse to Color

When I found out they were making “adult” coloring books, I jumped on the chance to have my friends over last Saturday night so we could color like the goddamn adults we are. 

Now unlike lots of the therapy coloring books are claiming, I don’t really find coloring calming or therapeutic. Most of the coloring books have so much damn detail so one page takes a century to finish – and that’s stressful. 

Anyways, ten friends, some wine and beer, snacks, and some profanity-laden coloring books and a good night was had by all. I think the last person left around 1am. 

When I see photos of elaborate celebrations for who-knows-how-much, I always think to myself: all you really need is a good group of friends, snacks, and a few bottles of wine and beer for a successful night out (or in).

And some coloring books. That never hurts either. 

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And it’s beginning to snow.

After an unsuccessful trip to the Pace University bookstore in the Financial District (they close at 4pm, wtf), I grabbed a drink some fried zucchini sticks at SoHo Park with an old co-worker (but first I raided the book closet and took those four books). It was so, so good to see her – as well as some of my other former colleagues that I ran into. She’s trying her damnedest to get out of the city ASAP and even though I’ll miss her like whoa, I know she’d be happier back in New England.

On Saturday morning, I went to my usual grueling vinyasa class and I’d like to say that my workout attire was called The Kim Davis, as it included as many clashing patterns and colors as possible. But damn was I warm. The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping, going back down to FiDi to purchase my sweatshirt, and cooking cauliflower fried rice for my dude and me. We watched the movie Unfriended on HBOGo and it was BAD. Don’t do it. Bad acting, bad direction, bad photography direction, bad story, just bad.

I met up for a pre-birthday (his!) brunch with Ben on Sunday afternoon at The Hamilton and we ended up being invited to try a bunch of dishes because they were being photographed. The owner, Mike, was bartending and he is Scottish and insanely cool. He also owns Caldeonia Bar on the UES. The Hamilton will become a regular neighborhood spot of mine for sure. It snowed unexpectedly on Sunday night and after some quality gym time, my dude convinced me (it didn’t take a lot of convincing, honestly) to watch some football at Amity Hall (Uptown) – also a really solid new neighborhood spot.

I tortured both him and myself by watching the Democractic debates – and I figured out how to use my HDMI converter cable which I finally purchased – on Sunday night. I know pretty much everything they already said. I’m 100% over politics. #feelthebern

More snow this weekend! So stoked.

Life Support

On Tuesday night, at the lecture that Gabby Bernstein gave, one person asked after the Q&A how to deal with super negative coworkers. She tries to bring the light to her office but since she’s only human, she gets into a funk now and then and when she goes to her coworkers for a little bit of uplifting, they’ll just give her more of the same she’s giving herself: “you’re right, everything sucks,” “today’s so awful,” etc.

This obviously isn’t helpful.

Gabby told her, “those are NOT your people,” and to go find her support that will be uplifting when she’s in a funk. She said she was in a room full of like-minded spirit junkies and to get a number or two that night.

Compartmentalizing your friends isn’t ideal (at least not for me because I used to be an oversharer, for sure) but sometimes you have to do it. You can’t change anyone else, so you have to change how you handle yourself and ask for help, if and when you need it. Realizing that there are things that you should or shouldn’t tell a friend, because you know what their reaction is going to be (and it isn’t going to be helpful). There are those friends that you can talk to about your relationship, and those friends who you can go to when you’re having a bad day. There are those friends you run to when you want to know how you look in a certain dress – their real, honest opinion. Then there are your friends who you know you can tell about a new biz idea and others you want to keep your ideas to yourself.

Neither is better or worse, they’re just different. We’re all different and again, since you can’t change them, we have to change our expectations. 

I used to be one of those super negative friends (and I’ll admit it, I fall back into it sometimes), but I realized that it wasn’t helpful to anyone in the conversation if I fed into their negativity – or instilled some of my own, whoops. I just try to look on the bright side (and yes, admittedly, sometimes, I still suck at this but I try). The friend may snap back and be like, “STFU. I’m being serious,” but whatever. 

If you know someone will be negative about something, don’t tell them. It’ll just frustrate you and if being frustrated can be avoided, why the hell are you making your life harder by not avoiding it?