Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Slight Discomfort

The other night, I had the privilege of seeing the Hold Steady two times in a night. Life was good. Or, rather, incredible.

The only issue was that I got really into the show, and somehow my gum ended up in my hair (hey, it happens to the best of us). I was able to ascertain that it was indeed my gum, and not a random concert-goer's. I mean, I love other Hold Steady fans...but I have to draw the line somewhere. I noticed the gum while it was still freshly fused with my hair (which had also been misted with beer and decorated with glitter, naturally). My immediate priority was to watch the show instead of tend to my hair, which resulted in a tangled mess.

By the time the second show ended, I was deliriously happy, but also in a bit of a predicament. There I was, in Williamsburg at 2am, gum in my hair and wandering around like a lost puppy. Luckily, my friend Ryan was with me and talked some sense into me. I was ready to find the nearest pair of scissors and end it (the gum in hair dilemma, of course).

Ryan came through as he always does, with two simple words: Peanut Butter. "But I'm not hungry," I declared triumphantly. He sighed and cleverly explained that Peanut Butter will get gum out of hair, which I hadn't remembered in my time of distress. This taught me the following:

Lesson #26: No matter where you're living, conventional wisdom will help you out when you're....stuck. There are simple fixes that are easy to forget if you haven't had to employ them since you were five years old (seriously, how does a 25 year old get gum in her hair? Oh, maybe drinking had to do with it). The important thing is to think calmly in times of distress and don't jump to assuming the worst. Sure, some conventional wisdom is cliche and no longer relevant, but I'm personally vouching for Peanut Butter's effectiveness.

I would've been really upset if I woke up and realized I had chopped some of my hair off at 2am, but instead I awoke with the delicious scent of Peanut Butter surrounding me and my pillow. And also, Oh My God does it make your hair silky smooth. I now have a favorite new hair product, and it's Peanut Butter (hey, at least I'm not this guy.)

I'm glad that I didn't have a roommate to judge me - but now that I've made the gum mishap public, feel free to judge. But if you haven't tried Peanut Butter in your hair, I will leave you with (the oh so cliche): don't knock it 'til you try it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Search Continues

Lesson #25: Some things are out of your control, and you simply need to learn and accept it. Literally, let go and enjoy the ride! Unless you're stuck on the tracks, surrounded by people, and the air conditioning shuts off. Then I really have no advice, as I haven't yet figured out how to not freak out in those instances.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Urban Walkabouts

I can liken much of my experience living in NYC to being on a Walkabout, though I didn't realize this before Lost introduced the John Locke storyline, I'll admit. Life imitates art, no? My life has essentially become an Urban Walkabout, learning to survive on my own in the city. Long, solitary walks have become the meat and potatoes (seitan and fennel?) of my sanity.

Lesson #24: Start getting used to doing things alone, and learn to enjoy it if you already don't! This may sound extreme to those without an inclination towards introversion, but that's the beauty of this city - even when you're alone, you're surrounded by millions. Basically, you're never alone in New York.

I think a lot of people are afraid to spend long amounts of time with only their thoughts (and perhaps some good music). Some of my most brilliant thoughts come from random walks where I have no social constructions to worry about and am able to simply observe life being lived.

Plus, what better way to explore the city than setting out on long walks, with maybe this guide, and planning a day to really get to know one neighborhood? Some of my favorite days I've spent in the city were ones when I woke up and decided to go to a random spot on a whim, discovering things I'd never have found otherwise.

Of course many things are more enjoyable with good company, which I'm very lucky to have here. Now that I'm living alone (what perfection!), I appreciate my time with others that much more - yet I understand how closely my sanity is tied to having time alone.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


We gotta stay positive!

I'm currently in the eye of the storm, happily sandwiched between two Hold Steady shows. Last night was the Hold Steady's kickoff night of their tour, held in Ardsley, New York. The show was absolutely incredible, and held in probably the most interesting venue I've seen them in: Life, the place to be.

Though Ardsley is just an hour north of the city, the train stop was one of the most desolate areas - we were told it'd be "so easy to get a cab" from the stop to the venue.

It wasn't.

After departing the train, we waited and waited in at the train stop calling at least 10 taxi companies. We finally realized there was literally one cab working that night. There are few things I like to do more than talk to other Hold Steady fans, which we did while waiting, but my anxiety began to wear on me.

We wandered to the only building around to ask the security guard if she had any tips. After seeing a few ominous signs, we realized that we were waiting directly next to a mental institution.

Though I'm not a smoker, I thought deeply about taking up the habit at that moment given the stress of the situation. Lost in Ardsley, next to a mental institution, all while possibly missing the Hold Steady? I can only handle so much!

Luckily, I didn't need to start up a new habit, or check myself into the mental institution. The lone cab made trips back and forth, so we made it to our destination just as my sanity was about to break. Through the stress, I did learn one major lesson:

Lesson #23 when moving to a big city: Suburbs are similar where ever you go - just because they're outside a big metropolitan area doesn't mean they're going to be any cooler, or have more than one taxi per 5 mile radius. I honestly assumed that any place within a couple hours of NYC must have either public transit available, and at least a small fleet of cabs. Not the case.

I would say the moral here is to plan in advance and have your transportation figured out when traveling outside of the city. Or just never leave New York City, I suppose.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lighten Up, Sunshine!

(Laugh Yoga. In case you're wondering, yes, I've done it.)

"The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter."
-Mark Twain

Oh, joyous day! Maybe not for all New Yorkers, as many were surprised, then upset, by this. April Fool's Day here at work (wait, wait, here) is akin to Christmas, without the excess consumerism and day off from work. April Fool's is full of fun surprises and laughs, and I wouldn't want to spend it anywhere else, no joke.

Lesson #22: If all else fails, keep your sense of humor! A sense of humor and ability to laugh at yourself is such an important quality, especially when you're living in a place that is often humorless. Take breaks every once in a while and read or watch something funny, and above all else, see the humor in the mundane.

Since I'm a new resident of Brooklyn, I like to ironically keep up on all things hipster by reading the following:

and of course, this classic

Lastly, I may have mentioned my participation in the annual No Pants Subway Ride, but this today we decided to up the ante: may I present, the No Underwear Subway Ride.