Monday, November 24, 2008

Yesterday: Hour by Hour

7:47 AM: Wake up, with the distinct feeling that I haven't moved once, even an inch, all night. Realize I am still wearing a bra. And leggings. And socks. And that there is a trash can next to my bed. Mercifully, I note that it is empty. I get up, pull pajamas out of my drawer, stumble to the bathroom and put them on. Wash my face, which seems to be covered in dried tears.
8:15 AM: Survey the complete disaster that is our kitchen. Every single dish we own seems to be piled on the sink or on the counter, along with a multitude of beer bottles in varying stages of fullness. At least the wine bottles made it to the recycling bag. Clear off a bit of space and make coffee. Wonder if my stomach will feel better if there is something in it, so I have an english muffin. Not satisfied. Have another english muffin. Still not satisfied. Find leftover lasagna. Ahhh, perfect. I eat it cold, cutting off bit sized pieces right out of the pan and eating with my hands.
9:00 AM: Sit on the couch and call my mom to tell her I feel like death and want her to come make me soup. She laughs at me for a while and tells me it serves me right. She then tells me all about the new paint in the kitchen and living room and how it's beautiful. I get as excited as someone who feels a pounding headache coming on can get.
10:00 AM: Maddy wakes up. Laughs at me. Then goes back to bed with Logan. I find Monsoon Wedding on the internets, and watch it while Sonia stumbles into the common room. Thank her for putting me to bed last night and holding back my hair while I threw up. Oh, the wonders of being my friend.
10:15 AM: Sonia says toilet is clogged again. I stare at the sky and skake my first, cursing NYU. NYU has replaced God with the thing I curse most frequently.
12:00 PM: Finish Monsoon Wedding. I always forget how much I love that movie. Spent the next couple of hours wishing I was Indian and being really happy that the main characters in the film aren't at all skinny.
12:15 PM: Finally take shower. It doesn't make me feel better.
1:00 PM: Finish rest of lasagna with Maddy and Sonia. Still not satisfied, and worried that I will throw up if there is nothing in my stomach, I make pasta. Settle down on the couch to watch Shaun of the Dead.
2:00 PM: Shaun of the Dead over. Turn channel to Hotel Rwanda and try to do music homework. Epic Fail.
3:30 PM: Start watching army movie with Denzel Washington. Only continue to watch it for the beatifulness that is Howard E. Rollins Jr. in an army uniform.
4:00 PM: Get bored, wonder back into the bedroom. Change sheets, realize that my music homework actually isn't due tomorrow. Score one for the hungover girl! Work on transposing and harmonizing my song instead.
6:00 PM: Eat leftover tofu straight out of refrigerator. Not satisfying.
7:00 PM: Somehow end up downstairs for the book club meeting. Sit on floor in corner and only offer one lame comment on the census despite Brian Waterman being like "Alex, if you guys in the corner have anything to say just shout it out, we can't see you." I eat their pizza instead. Mmmm, cheese.
8:30 PM: Finish transposing my song. Decide I'll do the rest of my homework in class instead of paying attention.
9:00 PM: Finally tackle the dishes. By now I've taken several advil, something I probably should have done in the morning. Feel much better and don't want to vomit at the smell of the sink.
9:30 PM: Pajamas. Book (The Arsonist's Guide to Writer's Homes in New England).
10:00 PM: Bed. Fall asleep in seconds.

Advil Taken: 2
Movies Watched: 3 1/2
Homework Done: Next to Nothing
Calories Consumed: More Than Those Consumed During Entire Weeks
Days Til Thanksgiving Break: 3

Friday, November 21, 2008

And I Will Watch the World Burn From My Ivory Tower

For the past year, every time I have sat at the breakfast table, with my oat bran cereal and mug that holds 4 cups of coffee (give or take a quarter cup) and looked at the front page of the New York Times, I have felt a knot in my stomach. Because barely a day has gone by when there hasn't been some sort of ominous story about the economy. Last year about this time it was the decline of the dollar, and then it was a rise in unemployment, and then it was the mortgage crisis, and then the folding of Lehman Brothers and the government takeover of AIG and Fannie May and Freddie Mac and the layoffs on Wall Street and suddenly the world seemed to be crashing down around me, a feeling no doubt made worse by the fact that I had only a superficial knowledge of investing and Wall Street and the economy to begin with. It's true that the things you don't understand are more scary than the things you do. I feel as if I had a thorough knowledge of what was going on I wouldn't sit at the table paralyzed by fear for my generation's prospects and the idea that we are going to have to deal with the serious, serious mistakes of our parents.

My fears about the economy in general have only been made worse by the fact that until recently I've been having a sort of quarter-life-crisis (thank you, John Mayer, for giving the sudden feeling of having no clue where you are headed at the age of 20 an actual name!). This semester has been really formative, because it has shown me that two of the careers that I had been tossing around really aren't for me. First, taking this class on the business of not-for-profit management has shown me that I'm really not cut out for business. I don't have the slightest bit of business sense, as shown by the fact that my teacher's comment on my midterm research paper was essentially "You missed the point of this assignment, but great sociology paper" (I got a B, which although lower than what I usually get, I'm ok with, because I let myself get a B in one class per semester and this one is definitely it). And I honestly don't have any interest in getting better at it. Cash flows bore me to tears. So do business models of all kinds. I'm practical, but I don't feel intellectually stimulated by numbers.

I've also realized that I don't think that I'll be going into arts administration either. I love my internship, but mostly for the people who work there. Everyone is wonderful, but honestly I can't see myself going there day after day and doing that sort of thing. I need ideas and theories and to feel as if the things I'm doing are making a difference to the world on a grand scale, that I'm helping people.

Which leads me to what I think I've decided to do. I've been looking up public policy graduate programs, and I came upon social policy, which is a sort of boutique strand of public policy that focuses on, surprise, social issues like health care and poverty and the arts, and basically anything that affects people's daily lives. It's not as economics-driven (hooray!) as public policy. And as I was investigating different programs, I found that both Harvard and Princeton have dual phd programs in sociology and social policy, which is pretty much a dream come true. NYU's program (at the Wagner School for Public Service) beats out Princeton's (Harvard is first, obvi) by a lot. So I honestly think that's what I'm going to do.

With the economy showing no signs of getting any better, I might as well go get myself into a 7 year phd program. I mean, I love to learn, and thinking is kind of my strong point. And maybe 7 or 8 years from now the economy will be on the upturn and I'll be able to get a good job with the government, or even better, a think tank, and then I'll be able to make a decent if not extravagant living and actually be challenged by my work.

So maybe the paralyzed feeling I get at breakfast is a good thing. It'll drive me to do something that I might not have otherwise, had the economy still been getting better. And ultimately I think I'll be happier.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Furbies! Are! Real!

Bahahahahaha. I really don't know if I'm horrified by these creatures or if I want one as a pet. They're called pygmy tarsiers, and scientists thought they were extinct until a few days ago when a scientist from Texas A&M found one in Indonesia. They measure only about 4 inches long (!!) and weigh only about 2 ounces (!!!). If you want to read more about them, here's the website:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Ode to the Friendly, Unpretentious Hipster Bar

A contradiction in terms? Yes, I thought so too. But continue to read about my Friday:
Came home from work, after a pretty easy day. Decided that although I wanted to do something, it would probably be better if I didn't spend money on going bar-hopping. Put on my pajamas to ensure that I would spend the night in front of the television. The following conversation ensued:
Sonia: Pajamas already?
Me: Yeah. I gave up on tonight.
Sonia: Well, I guess that's for the best.
***Ten Minutes Later***
Me: you want to go out?
Sonia: Kind of, you?
Me: YES.
So I put clothes back on and we watched Arrested Development and drank beer until it was late enough to go out. We decided to try this new bar (for me at least, Sonia went once before) on the LES called Happy Ending, which we decided to go to because it has a dance floor. After the bouncer almost turning Sonia away because he thought her id wasn't her (it wasn't, but it's real, and who is he, her father?), we went in, and hung around until we decided that it totally wasn't out scene. Far too many yuppies in work clothes and girls in cocktail dresses. And no one was dancing! So we just went to our beloved default neighborhood bar, Botanica. It's probably my favorite place ever. It's small and the drinks are dirt cheap, and best of all, the people are so fucking nice. Like, no other bar has the kind of clientele that joke around with you on the (massive) line for the bathroom, or bouncers who chase after your id when you (me) accidentally throw it down the stairs and when you apologize smile really wide and yell "No problem!" And the men are absolutely gorgeous, and there's plenty of them. Which is always important, even when you're not interested in actually picking one up (which is me, always). In short, I love Botanica. I don't know why we ever try to go anywhere else.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursdays are Never Productive

I always make grand plans for Thursday nights. I'm always convinced during the day that I'm going to get home from work and immediately get started on my homework so I don't have to do it over the weekend. Today I even went so far as to make an hour by hour schedule for myself. It was:
1:00-7:00 WORK
7:00-8:00 DINNER
And um...yeah. I ate dinner and practiced triads. I then proceeded to clean my room, which is at least something, I guess. I've been letting my shit get too messy lately. It got to the point yesterday when I kind of felt like I was having a minor panic/claustrophobia attack and I actually had to open the window wide and stick my head out to get some air and calm down. But anyways, my little space is much cleaner and I feel much better for it.

It's finally beginning to register with me that oh hey, I'm actually going away next semester. And I'm getting SO EXCITED. Handing in all my visa information did it, really. And now all I can think about is where I want to go, what I want to do. I've decided what I want to do for spring break is go to Barcelona via the south of France. So I'll probably take the train, cause the Eurorail goes straight through Nice and Marseilles. I also really want to make it to Amsterdam at some point, and Vienna as well. I want to go to the opera in Vienna and Milan and go to all the museums everywhere. I got dinner with a friend and her roommate a few nights ago, and the roommate had done the NYU in Florence program last semester. She said she loved it, but only after a few months. She made the point that a lot of people have warned me about, that it's very very small, and very very touristy, and far too many NYU kiddies are happy to just go to the American bars and drink all the time. And that's pretty much the exact experience I don't want to have. I'm going to try my hardest to become fluent in Italian, and I want to actually use this semester to experience everything I possibly can. I want to be so tired by the time I get home I can't leave my house for a week. I've been less stressed about the money aspect of it lately too. My mom has told me that she's getting me my plane ticket for Christmas, which lifts a huge burden off my shoulders ($900 ticket=less fun things Alex can do), and my nonna has promised to help me out. I'm also being a huge miser this semester and barely spending any money at all.

In other news, JIM KIM IS COMING TO VISIT THIS SATURDAY! Then I'm cooking dinner and watching Newsies with Jade. Then on Sunday Mom is coming in to do some shopping, so we're going to have a girls day. I miss her a lot lately. I think it's just getting to that time of year. But it's going to be a fun/busy weekend. Which is probably why I should have done homework tonight?

I need a new novel, preferably one that has nothing to do with child molestation. For some reason, the past three books I've read have all had a plotline that revolves around a child being abused and its consequences on the child and the people around him or her. And honestly, it gets me down. I don't pick up books being like yes! Child abuse makes for a wonderful read! I just pick books that look interesting and then when it gets obvious that the child in the book was molested I'm just like Fuck. Not again. So...any suggestions? I really want to read Roberto Bolano's 2666 but I don't have the time right now to read a book that is 1000+ pages of hardcore Literature. But I don't want to read something airy superficial either.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


It says a lot about my social life when Tarik, my friend the night security guard, says "Wow, I don't usually see you at night!" when I walk into the dorm at 11:00.

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Secret Crush

Or not so secret. And a little creepy. A lot creepy. Kind of?

You got to admit, the man is pretty attractive. And forceful. And when he gets mad he stabs the table. With knives! As Mitch pointed out when I was telling him all about my love for Rahm Emanuel, he's basically Karl Rove, except attractive and a democrat. Weird how the exact same qualities that make Karl Rove scary as fuck make Rahm Emanuel really sexy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008




Surprising Discoveries

Today I was sitting in the bathroom at work being all nervous and tense about the election when I looked at my underwear and noticed for the first time that they say things like "Color Outside the Lines!" and "Laugh at the Rules!" and "Let Yourself Daydream!" and I was like Wow, Thanks, Underwear! Who knew that inspiring words of wisdom would present themselves in the bathroom?

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Lord Will Prevail (right?)

Just so that no one can claim the republicans have a monopoly on praying for Political Change:

Dear God Please please please let Barack Obama win the election tomorrow because if he doesn't you know as well as I that this country is going to Go to Shit since John McCain will probably die of his melanoma (which never goes away but just lays dormant until it reoccurs but you already know that because you're God and all-seeing and knowing and stuff) as soon as he's in office leaving the country in the hands of that Insufferable Bitch Sarah Palin whose religion ACTUALLY BELIEVES that God (not you, I'm sure, but some hard, illogical, unforgiving God) will make money "flow from the coffers of the unbelievers to the believers" which if you take it to it's logical conclusion pretty much gives her and every other so-called "Christian" in her sect free reign to lie and cheat and steal from people as long as they are HEATHENS which pretty much means everyone outside of fucking Alaska which is just one more reason why we're Royally Fucked another one being the fact that it will be a return to back-alley-coat-hanger-abortions because John McCain doesn't believe in "The Health of the Mother" but I'm sure you know, God, that abortion doesn't end because it's illegal but it just gets more bloody and dangerous and disgusting, and speaking of blood and how if McCain gets elected the whole world will just decide right then and there that although we've been heading down this road for a long time the USA is finally just one big fucking joke and be even less willing to do things like help out in Iraq or Afghanistan which is another place that is royally fucked because we took our troops out to invade an occupy a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 in the first place and are now in such a morass that You Only Know how the hell we'll be able to leave and our soldiers who come home are mentally ill and until the democrats in congress stepped in WERE BEING DENIED HEALTH CARE AND MOST OF WHAT THEY DESERVED (like a college education! and why do you think you're average poor kid from the Bronx joins the army? so they can go to college, not because they have some great urge to Fuck Up Iraqis) UNDER THE GI BILL and wow let's talk about being Christian.

So in short, dear God (the God that I, and most rational people believe in, and sure as hell NOT the God in whom Sarah Palin and her fellow "Christians" believe), you know as well as I do that Barack Obama is the right choice for this nation. Please throw around your influence up there just a bit.

And to close, IF ANYONE HAS NOT ALREADY VOTED OR IS NOT PLANNING TO VOTE I WILL PROBABLY STOP BEING YOUR FRIEND. And please vote Obama/Biden. I won't stop being your friend if you vote McCain, but I may not speak to you for a few months/years/decades.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Top 10 Places I Want to Go

I've been thinking about everywhere I want to visit lately. Although that list pretty much encompasses everywhere, there are some places at the top of my list. And Italy is at the top of my list, but I'm not including it because I actually am going there!

1) India
I've wanted to go to India since some time in early high school when I went through an Indian-Authors phase and read tons of novels by Indian authors set in India. I'm not sure exactly where I'd want to go while I was there yet, but I know it will take several trips. Which I'm totally cool with.
2) Barcelona
Another place I've wanted to go since mid-high school. This time I read The Shadow of the Wind and fell in love with how the city was almost a character, it had so much life to it. It just seems beautiful and gothic and fascinating, and it's where I want to go for spring break next year.
3) Greece
I want to see the white houses. And the blue sky. And Greek men. And eat lots of dolmades.
4) Mexico City
Last summer I read The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano, Mexico City was the main setting, at least for some of the book. The book left me with the impression that Mexico City was this lively place teeming with ideas and literary movements and romance and sex and all of these wonderful things that I usually feel are lacking in New York. And it's beautiful and colorful and it's going through this art renaissance.
5) Oaxaca
No, not because of La Catrina. But because it's Mexico's version of Napa Valley, or Italy's Tuscany, where they have the most complex and wonderful food.
6) Portland and Seattle
I feel like I could live in one of these cities if New York doesn't work out. They have wonderful food scenes, they're cheaper than New York, and they are huge classical music cities.
7) France
I want to go to Paris, I want to go to Nice, I want to basically go everywhere.
8) Cuba
Mostly if I could go back in time and see it before it became a broken down time warp.
9) Dublin
Yes, I've already been. But I don't consider spending a day shopping really experiencing Dublin. I should have seen a few plays, and walked around the old section a lot more. I'll do one of those literary tours where you read James Joyce and Oscar Wilde then visit all the places referred to in their books.
10) Laos
Yeah, this was an Anthony Bourdain inspiration all the way. It looks beautiful and so foreign and wonderful.

Who's coming with me?