Wednesday, 21 September 2011

New Friends

Today's song of the day is "Video Games" by Lana Del Rey.

One of the first beautiful things I learned about NYC is that many places on Sunday morning offer an "unlimited booze" option with their brunch menu. Bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, and sangria - what else could a boy ask for? Perhaps maybe that their bathroom not be down a flight of stairs so I don't have to climb back up them after I excuse myself from the table to throw up? I suppose that would have been too perfect.

My best friend Jason was visiting from Toronto, and we found a little Italian place on 7th Avenue. Our table was uneven so I got under the table and put a cork under the leg to keep it from rocking back and forth. A man at a nearby table came over to say hello. It turned out that when I bent down he had seen the bright purple thong sticking out of my long johns (which I'd worn out the previous night and slept in) and decided to introduce himself. Soon after that we were joined by two random straight girls, one of whom had decided she was going to marry Jason before brunch was through. A text message I received from his fiance later in the day said "You can be our flower girl. I promise the outfits will be purple. You might just be throwing flowers in a thong - start an exercise regimen accordingly." My kind of wedding. Apparently she didn't realize what I was up to in the bathroom. It was also my kind of brunch - we made three new friends! Our new guy friend even had us over to watch the Emmy's (me) and to nap (Jason.) Somehow during the Emmy's our new friend revealed himself to be a massive creep. I'm not sure if we realized this after he randomly took off his pants but by the time he attempted to pick my nose, we were on our way out the door.

The entire weekend was a learning experience - the night before we saw the lovely Erika Jayne perform her new song at Rockit! at Crimson. Why anyone would throw size Large t-shirts at a group of gays is beyond me, but I am wearing mine right now so I can't complain (though I did have to put a belt on to give it some shape.) After that we ventured to Industry, possibly my favourite place in all of NYC, where the DJ played not one, not two, but six Britney Spears songs IN A ROW. Yes please. Once the crowd started to evaporate we went across the street to Therapy where I had a dance off with Red Shirt Guy and made another new friend outside. This guy (Kevin) was tall, dapper, and very very cute. We watched as a group of guys went into Therapy and then immediately came back out. One of these guys was shouting "why is everywhere so dead? This is New York fucking City! Not the fucking midwest!" Kevin took it upon himself to explain to me how to tell the difference between someone who has always lived in NYC and someone who has recently moved to NYC. These guys were clearly not from NYC, and they were assholes. They act like assholes because they think that's how people in NYC act. I said I thought it was a fact that NYC people were generally rude and that it made sense to act like an asshole to fit in. Kevin said "Oh, don't get me wrong - I'm a total cunt. But I'm not an asshole."

In hindsight, I'm not sure how useful that information was.

On our walk home, Jason and I came in very close contact with a rather large asshole. He came up from behind me, but instead of walking around me as he passed, he deliberately body checked my bag. Naturally, I thought he was trying to steal it so I jumped and pulled away from him. He kept walking and I realized that he was just trying to get a reaction out of me. It had worked, though my reaction was to giggle uncontrollably. He turned around, eyes bulging out of his head, and asked if I had a problem. I couldn't speak through my laughter and shock so Jason very calmly said "you startled him." This guy had clearly had a bad night. He was black and wearing a very deep V purple cardigan with nothing underneath. Obviously gay and slightly overweight, he attempted to knock Jason's pizza out of his hand before walking away, which made me laugh even harder. Again, our new friend turned around and asked what was so funny. Again, I had no answer for him but to try to suppress my urge to laugh...we let him get a bit farther ahead before I had to let out the guffaw that was building within me. This situation was completely ridiculous! How could I not laugh? Of course even from the other side of the street he heard me (my laugh is notoriously loud) and turned around for a third time. I almost decided to run but before I could he was right in front of me. This "sketchqueen," as Jason so eloquently put it the next day, was either high or suffering from roid rage. He attempted to knock the open blue Gatorade I was holding out of my hand - causing me to empty the bottle all over him. Before he could react I dashed into the street and hailed a cab. As I got in I shouted "I HOPE THAT'S DRY-CLEAN ONLY!"

I can only hope I never come face-to-face with that guy ever again. And if/when I do, hopefully he doesn't have a concealed weapon. He's probably even more furious now that it's been a few days - realizing he'll never be able to wear that cardigan again. If he's like me he doesn't have laundry facilities in his building.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don't really like to do laundry in the first place - I own a lot of clothes that are delicate and putting them through the washer damages them, makes them change shape, makes their colours fade...etc. I like to do laundry as infrequently as possible. My mom knows this and so last week I received a text message from her that looked something like "Hope you're having a great day - do your laundry." I told her I was going to the laundromat soon and she said "Please tell me this isn't the first time you've done laundry since you moved there" so I told her it wasn't but I think we both knew it was. She knows me too well! She also knows I own enough underwear to last for a month and a half, so it's no big deal.

So I went to the laundromat. I had hoped my experience there would be enough for an entire blog post but sadly, I didn't have much luck. The elderly black man operating the place was enthusiastically watching whatever soap opera was on at full blast. He even applauded when one character told her friend "you can change your clothes and your hair, but you'll always just be a little white girl from Brooklyn." Otherwise it was devoid of much excitement. Though I did think the name of the laundromat was very appropriate.

I have been called Queen of many things, but never laundry.


Saturday, 10 September 2011


So I haven't been sticking to my goal of writing something at least every three days. Actually, it's been closer to three weeks since my last post. I feel ashamed - especially since my lovely friend Lucia ( just included a link to my blog in her post. What if someone who reads her blog decided to look at mine and saw that it had been nearly a month since my last update?? They might think that nothing has been happening, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

We'll start with today's song - "Little Numbers" by BOY who are actually two girls.

I've been through natural disasters! One morning as I was drinking my tea the spoon in my cup started to rattle. As I have an irrational fear of all natural disasters (probably because I watched Dante's Peak and Twister as a child) I immediately sprang into action. I dove into the nearest door frame for protection...then I wondered if that was protocol for a tornado so I grabbed my iPhone and quickly Googled proper earthquake procedure. By the time my search results came back the rumbling had stopped but I had a general sense of unease. As someone who like to be in control of everything around him, the earth moving beneath my feet is unwelcome. Only days after that I relocated to my aunt & uncle's house in New Jersey for Hurricane Irene. My apartment in Brooklyn wasn't in an evacuation zone but my roomies were out of town and I didn't want to be home alone in case anything severe went down. It ended up being much less of an event than we had been lead to believe, but I suppose it was better to be overprepared than underprepared. I was without power for two days for the first time in probably my entire life and with the train back to NYC not running I was left with nothing to do but re-read the entire Harry Potter series from start to finish. I have since completed it again and it's just as enjoyable and thrilling and tearjerking as it always has been. My eyes hurt from reading the final installment on iBooks though.

That's not the only adventure I've been on! For the Labor Day long weekend I was invited to a beach house down on the Jersey shore. I set up on the beach with a bloody mary filled thermos, Harry Potter 5 and I got the worst sunburn I've had in years and years (since Harry Potter 4 came out, incidentally, when I read the entire book in a paddleboat at our cabin in Ontario.) I ate ridiculous amounts of food that was all deep fried - from pickles to Oreos. I kept an eye open for Gorilla Juice Heads...though I'm still not sure I know what they are. My cousin Ted told me they are what Snooki chases after, but I've never seen Jersey Shore. I was hoping I'd run into Snooki though, I know she has a big poof so I figured we'd get along since I am a big poof. My mom texted to ask if I'd met Snooki and I confessed I didn't actually know what she looked which my mom replied "Oh, I thought she was a guy?"

I also learned that every guy from New Jersey is named Joe. There were four (well, three Joes and a Joey) at the beach house last weekend. When I returned from this weekend of binge eating and drinking I headed straight for the gayest gym in all of Chelsea on the recommendation of my roomie - the gym has thumping club music and really dim lighting and lots of cute boys in tank tops. I also got three free personal training sessions with a guy from New Jersey whose name is, you guessed it, Joe. Thank to him I can't raise my arms above my head, can't bend my knees, and am afraid to eat in case it puts any pressure on my very sore abs.

I've been auditioning! Normally I go to the open dance calls and I've even been asked to sing once or twice, which is a nice booster for my confidence since I haven't really kept up with my singing since high school. The biggest ego booster I got was from the lovely director of Naked Boys Singing. I had to sing at the first audition and then I got called back for the dance portion. Whether they thought I was a good singer or just wanted to see me naked, who can be sure? But either way - I was happy. Apparently I'll audition for anything with the word naked in the title, because the next week I found myself at an audition for a comedic play about people with foot fetishes called Big Naked Feet. I walked in and the director told me I looked like I could play Johnny and ushered me into a room with another man. He handed me the page of script I would be reading from and we started the scene with me having no idea where it was going. It ended up with me on the floor, untying this (admittedly very cute) stranger's shoe so I could rub his socked foot on my face and exclaim my love for Gold Toe socks. Hysterical. At the beginning of my second read-through my second scene partner asked if I did much theatre because he didn't recognize me...I told him it had been a while and he seemed doubtful but at the end of the scene he looked down at me on the floor and said "wow - believable." He probably thought I'm some creep who likes feet who just showed up off the street in hopes that I'd get to suck on a toe. Ew

On Thursday night I entered the ticket lottery at the off-Broadway production of Rent and my friend Kinga and I got to see the show for $25 because they pulled her name out of the bucket. We had some time before the show and she had to pick up tickets for The Lion King for another friend of hers from a teacher of hers who works for the show. I tagged along, and lucky I did! He told us that since Sunday is the 10th anniversary of September 11th the show isn't selling very well so they've all been given two comp tickets to hand out - I quickly mentioned that I had never seen the show and I'd always wanted I'm seeing it for free tomorrow afternoon! Though apparently our backstage tour has to wait until a day when the threat to national security isn't so high.

My best friend Jason who lives in Toronto now came down for a weekend visit at the end of August and it was a glorious reunion. We met for dinner and decided neither of us were wear appropriate outfits for the bar so we ran to the 24/7 H&M to pick out new shoes/clothes. I was wearing my Britney Spears concert t-shirt and at Industry a guy came up to me and said "Oh yeah, I think I've heard of her. She sings and dances, right?" I said "well, she doesn't usually sing" because obviously he was joking - he loved Britney as much as I did so we went to request some more. I've done the "I'm A Slave 4 U" dance at the bar more times than I can count, but this was the first time I did it with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR other guys who all knew the routine too. I was in the middle, naturally, and they were my back-up. It was fantastic! Afterward one of my many admirers came up to me and told me he enjoyed the show and asked where I was from - I figured Graysville was too specific so I said Manitoba. His response? "What is that near?" I said "google it" and walked away.

Is it just me, or does it seem a little unfair that in grade 8 or 9 I had to learn every single state and capital and people in the US don't even know the names of the 12 provinces? Jason and I were discussing this injustice while waiting for the subway (which is surprisingly inefficient, especially after midnight) and we decided to try to name all 50 states. We got to 39 or 40 before we lost steam, but for being a little tipsy I thought we did alright. I didn't believe him that DC is a state of it's own ("It can't be a city and a state!") but Jason was right. I suppose if the shoe department of Saks can have it's own zip code, then DC can be it's own state.

Other tidbits: I dropped my iPhone and the screen shattered - the 5th avenue Apple store gave me a brand new one for free even though I originally bought it from Bell in Canada. Amazing. I went to the Museum Of Modern Art for the first time and cried while watching a video of people in prison being visited by their significant others and at a huge clear box full of pieces of paper with wishes written on them ("I wish the Beatles were still together" "I wish film school for my son, it's his dream" and "I wish I could wear a fedora.") Thursday night was Fashion's Night Out here in NYC, a kick-off for NY Fashion Week. I ended up at the Alexander Wang flagship store in SoHo for a talent show that was to be judged by celebrity judges. I've heard that before in Vancouver, and the judges end up being Peter Breeze and Rosette. Here was a very different story - the judges were Ryan Murphy (creator of Glee,) Lea Michele (plays Rachel Berry on Glee) and Anna Wintour, editor in chief at Vogue magazine.

How's that for a New York moment? All that paled in comparison to real highlight of my night - the free buffalo chicken grilled cheese sandwich I got from the Gorilla Cheese truck though. Wow. Amazing.