Ghost Tour in My ‘Hood

The day I left for Poland, I convinced J to buy tickets for the UWS Ghost Walking Tour on Halloween because I love walking tours (I did, like, 8 in Poland) and especially ghost ones! On Halloween nonetheless.

We met at the “Ghostbusters” building at 55 Central Park West (you know, the one Sigourney Weaver lives in) and there was one other person there, as well as our tour guide, an older man wearing a cape and a black hat. He looked the part, for sure.

During the 90 minute tour, we weaved through the streets from 65th and Central Park West back to 72nd and Central Park West. First we took a detour along 69th Street between Central Park West and Amsterdam. The neighborhood association shuts down the street every year and goes really insane. It was quite the scene to walk through. There are some photos after the jump…

Back to the Ghost Tour: It was a ghost tour along with some history thrown in. We saw the Masonic Temple on West 73rd Street; we heard a story about a single woman who lived at 234 West 72nd Street and liked to pick up men at the bar across the street and once was killed by one of them in that apartment; we heard the history of the grand Ansonia. Our guide also pointed out that the first ever automobile accident was at the corner of 74th and Central Park West where someone was hit by a car while getting out of a horse-drawn carriage. Supposedly if you stand in the middle of the street, you’ll feel the hand of the man who was killed pulling you back towards the sidewalk. The townhouses on the north side of 73rd Street were designed by Henry Hardenberg, who designed The Dakota and later The Plaza. Our guide also pointed out the building where supposedly the first rock’n’roll song was ever recorded in this country (”Rock Around the Clock”) and it later became condos and home to Lady Gaga’s parents and later Lady Gaga. He said he likes to think the spirits of those musicians had something to do with her musical talents. 

We ended at my favorite building in New York City – The Dakota. If you’ve seen Rosemary’s Baby, you’ll recognize it. It’s the only movie that was ever permitted to film inside the building. I watched with envy as we stood outside, listening to ghost stories, and watching the occasional resident run inside. Edward Clarke, the original owner of the building who died two years before it was finished, still haunts the building, we were told. There’s also the ghost of John Lennon, of course. And the ghost of a crying woman who can occasionally be seen.

The tour was less informative than some other walking tours I’ve been on, but it was still the perfect way to spend a chilly Hallow’s Eve.

Jobs, or something.

When I was taking (by accident) a class called “The Business of Acting” in college, I remember the professor saying, “I know they say life is short, but actually life is fucking long. You will do a ton of different jobs in your life.” She could not have predicted that she would end up as a casting director and a part time college professor when she was studying theatre at Emerson. 

This week I saw my therapist for the first time in about a month and a half. We’d had some scheduling conflicts and then I went away and now I’m back, so I emailed him and I finally made it to his office. 

We talked about the main issues I have and finally after we were done sorting that shit out, he said, “So what’s your main concern at this time?” and after I told him, he said, “This is just my opinion and I’m not trying to force this on you, but I think we should look into you being a little more ambitious career-wise.“ My first thought was, “Why do I have to have a career? Can’t I just have a job that supports my life?”

He said that he saw that I was so concerned with finding a job that I didn’t feel like I was constantly going to be let go from that I didn’t actually care what the job was. This was, in part, right. I like my job a lot right now – I’m learning a lot and there’s a lot of work to do so I’m not bored. And my boss is really nice. He’s such a pleasure to work for.

At Job A, I liked the work – I was good at it. I had a really good groove going. But I got to the office at 8am and left around 6 or 7pm. I was really burnt out. And I was making next to no money. But hey, that’s show business.

So, I left that job when I was offered Job B doing something completely different (though still numbers oriented) though I was stupid and desperate and took it at the same salary. Hey, I got a ton of comp tickets and the company was pretty fun to work for. It ended up not being a good fit for me, or the company, though so I was laid off and immediately started Job C. 

Job C was great – it was a fun company, I was good at the job (basically the same job as at Job A), and I was actually contributing to the business in meaningful ways through the HR side of things. I also got a $10k raise. This was nice. I got to learn the HR side of things and that was awesome. I really liked that. However I saw the company’s books all the time and things were ehhhh business-wise. They tried to keep up morale but I didn’t think things were going very well. I was also bored. Because we didn’t have a ton of business, I didn’t have a ton of work. I was so, so bored.

So when a recruiter contact me on LinkedIn and I had two phone interviews and one in-person interview for Job D (which was more or less the same as Job’s A and B), and they were offering yet another $10k raise, I said yes. It was really, really hard to leave Job C but I did. I’m at Job D now and really liking it. As I said, my boss is really great and my colleagues are all really nice. They are always signing new clients, which means more work for me, which is awesome. No boredom, score!

But there’s always that twinge of “am I going to be able to keep this job?” My therapist told me that I do not have qualities of someone who should have these fears as I am extremely diligent and have no problem finding jobs. So, yes, he’s probably right about me needing to figure out what I want to do. 

Luckily for me, my boyfriend is really good at career planning and being goal-oriented so I’m making some lists on my own and then we’re diving head first this weekend in trying to figure out what would make me happy. Money doesn’t make me fully happy. My last two raises have been great, but money isn’t everything. I’ve never been close to poverty (I sound like an asshole saying that but it’s better than pretending otherwise) so maybe I take it for granted. I see people at jobs they hate making tons of money and I just don’t think it’s worth it. When is the paycheck ever going to be big enough for you? If money is all you strive for, you’re going to be endlessly striving for more and then what? Money is nice, but happiness, overall, is nicer.

You know what makes me fully happy? Meditating. And leading meditations. I’m going to look into studying with an actual teacher. And I’m going to give yoga teacher training an actual thought. I never thought I was the right personality for it, but I’ve had some teachers over the years who are a lot like me, so maybe I’m wrong. What would also make me happier would be brushing up on my accounting and Quickbooks skills. I put out an email about that yesterday.

Fingers crossed I can eventually figure it out. 

And fittingly enough, there’s a perfect John Lennon quote for this: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.

John, we miss you.

Today is the anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination in front of the Dakota. After an hour of protest at the Barclays Center, I stopped by Strawberry Fields to sing a few songs and send some love to where ever Joh is now. 

If John were around, I think he’d protesting with people in the street too. After all, he did write Power to the People. He just said it was a song that came too late. 

Strawberry Fields, October 9th, 2013, 8am

The anniversary of John Lennon’s birthday is a day I always celebrate. I got to Strawberry Fields a couple of times, I sing some songs, I blast it through my iPhone. This year was even better because I played DJ at work today and my colleagues very graciously humored me while I played through the 6.5 hours of John Lennon and Beatles music that I’d packed onto an iTunes playlist on my work computer (because you wouldn’t believe how impossible it is to find John Lennon’s actual albums on Spotify).

I burned Mind Games Sessions (Disc 1 and 2), John Lennon (acoustic), Wasuponatime, Imagine, Abbey Road, and The White Album (discs 1 and 2) onto my computer. 

And after that was over, I played the Across the Universe soundtrack which, thankfully, was on Spotify. (And yesterday we listened to Instant Karma all day.)

I stopped by Strawberry Fields on my way to work this morning (the above photo was taken at 8am) and then I stopped by again after my yoga class ended at 9pm. At 9, there were dozens of people there and many musicians set up, all happily playing, and singing, their hearts out.

John Lennon is tied in first place with a certain Billie Joe Armstrong for favorite musician ever. And why not? Lennon was one of Armstrong’s inspirations growing up so it make perfect sense. Taking a few hours out of my day (and my colleagues’ day) is the least I can do to celebrate him.

I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together.

Huge Life Decisions (not really)

Not at all. I just used that headline to get your attention. It worked, right? Anyways, after a month with my iPhone, I’m finally trying to find the most awesome case I can. I picked up a $5 red Hello, Kitty case at TJ Maxx that’s been holding me over so I don’t have to worry about it crashing to it’s death, but I’ve found a couple that are awesome too and not too expensive. The only downside is that they’re plastic and not rubber (I feel like the rubber ones have been shock absorbency if it should, say, fall to the ground).

Strawberry Fields is one of my favorite places in the city and a spot that I frequent. John Lennon is also of my favorite artists (people!) ever.  It’s available on society6.com for about $35. It’s kind of expensive for a phone case.. but it’s really pretty. There’s this one too that’s black and white, which I almost like better (for $15 on society6.com):

My anguish over what-cell-phone-case-to-buy is really between buy the above case or a Green Day case. Like the one below (available on society6.com for $35), inspired by lyrics from Last Night on Earth:

And this one, which is awesome (available for $15.99 on Etsy):

This one is more old school awesome, and it’s only $6.99 on Amazon, and there are a bunch of others on eBay too.   So, I’m not more closer to making a decision then I was before I wrote this. Any suggestions or opinions? Asking me to choose between Green Day and John Lennon is like trying to make a decision between HAIR and Rent

These are (not) important life decisions. Help a girl out. Or let me know if you know if any rubber cases that are in the same style as the ones above! :