I realize I don’t write enough and due to time I’m going to leave something really cryptic for you to read into. You’re either going to get it, or you won’t.

– I’m experiencing a relationship boomerang effect, I think.
– my current “‘project” has finally become exciting rather than scary. I planned on spilling all the details at the end of may, but something changed and you won’t hear anything else about it until August. That’s all I can say about that 🙂
– I liberated myself (at least my mind) from a destructive cycle last night and then had a dream about that success.
– As I liberated myself from one cycle, I seem to have reattached to an old one.

When it rains it feels like home.

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Kate seemed so sad. Jon seemed so angry. This was all just really sad for me. I feel like one minute I was watching them all laugh and enjoy each other and then all of a sudden everyone was tired and sad.

Kate has certainly become more of a character… less of what Kate used to be… she was much more outgoing then she used to be. (She also might regret that haircut a few years down the road.) It made me so sad they were being chased by the paparazzi. God that’s so upsetting.

There’s no doubt in my mind that these people love their children and that when they signed up for this they had no idea what they were getting into. Kate grew into it, while Jon grew to hate it.

Oh GOD when they saw each other at the birthday party I almost cried. There was just so much tension it was horrible. And the paparazzi. Again. Horrible. OH GOD Alexis (or was it Leah?) talking to Jon – I almost had to turn the show off. This is obscene.

And then. That fucking baby montage.

I’m so sick to my stomach. I know they’re going to have them on the couch at the same time soon. I don’t know what to expect.

Jon is so angry. You can just tell in his voice. He’s so mad and it makes me so sad. He resents her so much. You know he’s there for his kids, but he just hates her. Oof.

(as predicted it ran over. thank god i recorded cake boss too)

I am sorry we have done this to you Jon and Kate. Because we really have. It’s not just your fault. I really hope you pull through this and really care for each other again. At least as friends, just as you said.

I pride myself on my pretty good taste in film, and friends often ask for recommendations. These are ALL films I’ve either rented from netflix or “watched instantly” on netflix… I wouldn’t recommend them for EVERYONE, but if you’re feeling like you should watch something different, these are definitely a few to check out. (More to come, I’m sure.)

1. Oldboy (dir Chan-Wook Park)
This film is really effed up… like an absolute mind fuck. This is definitely for those who can handle a bit of gore (not like Saw, but for sure not for weak stomachs) and like psychological thrillers. I’m really not good with gore, so there were a few times I closed my eyes, but for the most part, I couldn’t look away during this film..

2. Surfwise (dir Doug Pray)
A sweet documentary that made me feel like my family was pretty normal. At times I wish I had a childhood experience like this, but the resentment in some family members and love in the others is really interesting.

3. New York Doll (dir Greg Whiteley)
This short documentary made me feel the extremes at both ends of the emotional spectrum. I was also a really big Buster Pointdexter fan as a child, so this was some great backstory for me. Totally necessary for New York Dolls fans.

4. Kontroll
(dir Nimrod Antal)
At the beginning of this film there is a disclaimer from the Hungarian government about how this movie has no truth behind it or is in any way actually related to the Budapest subway system. Did well at Cannes in 2004, and for such a dark film, some of the characters are really quite funny.

5. The Business of Being Born (dir Abby Epstein)
omg I am totally having a home birth after watching this documentary.

6. Noriko’s Dinner Table (dir Sion Sono)
Oh wow, if Oldboy isn’t enough of a traumatic experience for you (or if it’s right up your alley) Noriko’s Dinner Table should do the trick. I had to watch it over the course of three days or so (it’s pretty long) but it’s totally fascinating. By the end, I was completely hooked.

7. In the Bedroom (dir Todd Field)
I decided to watch this cause I had a little crush on Nick Stahl after watching all of “Carnivale.” A really dark film that’s incredibly well acted; it’s reaffirming my faith in Marisa Tomei.

8. District B13 (dir Luc Besson)
It’s totally a cheesey French action film, but it features David Belle, who is credited as one of the “founders” (not sure if that’s REALLY the right terminology) of parkour. Really fast-moving action… the plot, meh. But the rest of it… FUN. (Oh yeah, and they made a SEQUEL that picks up exactly where the last film leaves off, so if you’re REALLY into it, don’t worry, there’s more…)

9. War Inc. (dir Joshua Seftel)
I don’t watch a lot of “bad” movies (I’m pretty solid when it comes to picking movies) but this one really takes the cake. It’s delightfully campy and shockingly hilarious if you don’t take it so seriously. Boasting John Cusack, Marisa Tomei (am I on a Tomei kick or something?), and Ben Kingsley, you’d expect that this would have done well. It was a HUGE flop in the theaters. However, a fantastic Hilary Duff plays a Ukrainian Pop Star, and I have to give her (or the writer?) props because she’s (unintentionally?) hysterical.

10. Delicatessen (dir Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro)
An absolute visual stunner with a totally gross plot (in a good way), and little snippets of physical comedy make this French film really entertaining. It’s the kind of film I dream about being able to write: hilarious, sick, and all-around entertaining.

So there’s this huge controversy about the Gosselins as of late, and I just feel like I need to speak my peace about it because, quite frankly, I’m quite a fan of the show and have watched it since it first aired. My mother hates the show because she hates the sound of other people’s screaming children, but I think it’s because she can’t stand Kate Gosselin. This plays into Natalie’s cardinal rule of hating people: The people you hate the most are the ones that are the most like you. And yes, my mother and Kate Gosselin have a lot in common.

I love my mother, and I know I don’t love Kate Gosselin as much as I love my mother. I’d probably would be WAY more fucked up if my mom sold us out to a reality show, but I can absolutely understand why Kate Gosselin did it. But my Mom did a lot of things that Kate did… disciplined us similarly (at times, not always) and yeah, my Mom was a bit of a control freak/perfectionist, but I never missed an appointment/lesson and that sort of structure worked well for me. My mom was also a pretty strong believer in healthy, well balanced meals… She wasn’t as strict as Kate was about it, but I’m sure 8 Happy Meals really adds up. I remember us RARELY doing takeout (the occasional pizza from the local joint, or on Wednesdays, we’d go to the same Mexican restaurant. I can understand the cost of 8 children and how going out to dinner really adds up. I actually respect a lot of Kate’s parenting skills- if I had 8 kids, yeah, OH YEAH. I get it Kate, and you are pretty spectacular for doing what you do.

The media has been slandering her left and right calling her a bitch and a control freak. Control freak, sure. But I can understand that. The chaos of what could happen with 8 children? Sweet lord, I consider myself to be a control freak… I can only imagine how insane I would be with 8 children. As for “bitch,” I can’t necessarily agree. Having a demanding personality comes with being a control freak – if someone else isn’t going to do what you want JUST right, you should do it yourself and not rely on other people. I can see why Kate would feel like that, and I know I’m the exact same way. As for her “love taps” on Jon or yelling at him for coupons or whatever, it’s a married squabble. Everyone’s stressed and when you really care about someone – it escalates fast. And hey, Jon has his moments too! I’ve seen him scream at the children in a few episodes and he might be quiet, but lord knows he’s said some backhanded things to Kate.

Kate obviously LOVES those children… there is nothing insincere about this show: it’s the family at the best and their worst. I think Jon loves his family too – a lot. I think the stress of being in that position is really difficult. I completely respect them for what they have been able to accomplish, and they’re amazing parents for being thrown into such a rare situation so quickly.

So Kate, I applaud you. Jon, I’m a little sketched out by your late night bar hopping/girl chasing, but I get it. You guys are hangin in there, and I hope that your children can one day fade into anonymity, kind of like the Paskowitzes (if you haven’t seen “Surfwise,” I quite enjoyed it). I sincerely hope that the Gosselins are able to capitalize as much as they humanly can for as long as they can, but I am wary of what reprocussions this could have on the children. But this I do know: Kate and Jon are doing everything they possibly can, and are as NORMAL of a family as they could ever be. I think this whole drama in the public eye proves it – they are like everyone else… they just have a camera in their faces.

Sorry this was kind of rambly. Haven’t done a lot of cohesive writing lately.
And holy crap: thunderstorm outside with the BIGGEST raindrops I’ve ever seen. It’s like God is spitting lugies at me.

A little bit

May 24, 2009

I’ve been a little busy. Sure, that’s no excuse for not writing, but I really have had other things to do. I just finished my second week of work, and it was wonderful. I really love working there and I hope they keep asking me to come back week after week. They’re just wonderful people… inspiring and supportive. I hope that my next work experience is either with them, or somewhere just like it.

This weekend has been lovely. Rossy came out to Williamsburg and we’ve been running around having a blast. It’s been really relaxing and stress-free. Last night we had dinner with Matt and Stef at Bozu and then spent some time at Larry Lawrence’s. That place is really becoming my spot… I took Mu, Carl, and Chelsea there the other night and it was SO quiet, but still wonderful. Seeing Carl was kind of surreal – I hadn’t spoken to him in maybe 5 or so years, and even then we were never THAT close. But we shared such an odd experience growing up that only maybe 100 people can say they’ve had. We were both traumatized by the same beast of a private school, and we’ll always be somewhat bonded over that. It was great to see him and catch up – his girlfriend is a doll – and it was just nice to spend time with new people. Sometimes I just want to go out and there’s nobody to do it with.

Things have been really great lately, and people are noticing the change in me. It’s kind of nice and kind of scary… I hope this isn’t just a fluke and I can maintain this sort of optimism.

I just saw a commercial for Lake George, NY on TV and I kind of want to rent a cabin and go for a weekend… who’s in?

Excited for Cake

May 17, 2009

I had a wonderful weekend. I’m tired… but the weekend was a good ol fashion sleepover of sorts.

Things are changing. It’s kind of nice. Accepting things as they come and less concerned about finding the sum before I have all of the numbers in the equation.

Employment

May 14, 2009

Things I love about my new job:
– It’s in East Village. I have a 10-15 minute commute from door-to-door. I’m across the street from Momofuku.
– Everyone who works there is so nice. They all have good hearts and it’s really refreshing to work with a group of people like that. One of the bosses took out the trash the other night as he left. I don’t think I’ve ever had a boss volunteer to do that; in fact, I’m fairly certain I’ve had to stay late to take it out myself a few times.
– It’s a creative collaborative space. It’s such a collaborative work environment and everyone seems genuinely supportive of everyone else. The only competition is against other companies, never within it.
– It’s secretly kind of fun. I spent a day going through email responses to a craigslist surveys for a paid focus group. I got CRAZY responses – probably close to 400 or so – and it was super silly to go through all of them… it made me feel a whole lot better about being single after knowing a majority of applicants were over 30 and single…
– It’s helping me regain my self-esteem. I was still a bit sore after my fall from work success, and it’s nice to be somewhere that I’m appreciated and encouraged.

Off to New Jersey to visit Rossy with Jason. I plan on spending the entire weekend in my pajamas, eating my weight in fiesta mix. If you don’t know what fiesta mix is, you don’t know jack.

Sorry I’ve been off and about as of late. No so much time to write. Busy working 🙂

Tweak

May 9, 2009

I finished Nic Sheff’s book “Tweak.” I have a lot to say about it, but about 90% is gonna stay in my head. Here’s the 10% you get to read:

I didn’t think that this book would have the impact on me that it did. The reason I got into it in the first place is I saw this CNN special on addiction, and they featured Nic and his story. What an intense creature he is. He really reminds me of a close friend of mine – so giving while struggling to find his way.

The book was a fast read. And it was kind of weird cause from the get go I was like “God this book is POOOORLY written” because it was so conversational and simple. I was like “shit. I could write a book.” But as I read I realized I didn’t really need any more than that. The story was there, right in front of me. No bullshit. No interpretation needed. It was somewhat a relief. Little did I know that regardless of it’s direct approach, I would be triggered to think so much about my own situation, my addictions and struggles. It pushed my thought process somewhere I hadn’t really been before.

And here’s where it got… intense. To me, this book isn’t about drug addiction. That’s a detail. It’s only a small fraction of what is going on (although most of the book is about those experiences.) To me, this book was about finding yourself, recovering from the person you let yourself become… Nic said a couple of really profound things as he recovers in the last third of the book. A few things really hit me hard – he really was able to say some things that I couldn’t ever put down on paper, as hard as I have tried. Recovering from my depression is a work in progress, and I’m struggling to not give in to my old habits – not go back to being that person. I’m addicted to my depression; this is because I don’t remember how to live without it. I don’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t hate myself for something.

People are beginning to see the change in me. It’s giving me hope. It makes me think that maybe things can change and I can be a better person. I can learn to like my new self and give in to the fact that I can function as this person.

Would this book be as powerful if it was fiction? Would I feel so moved if it wasn’t based on any sort of fact? Absolutely. Character or not, a few things he writes really do read my mind in a scary way… things I’ve never said out loud or acknowledged. My struggle is very different from Nic’s, but we battle similar demons.

There are a few people I might pass this on to. It’s certainly not for everyone – in fact i know a number of people who would probably hate it. But as I finished it this afternoon while lying on the roof deck, I started to realize that I should accept the change that is developing. I shouldn’t look at it as a temporary situation or a fluke – this is the person I want to remain and should remain. I really need to become the person I was meant to be, and Nic Sheff’s book made me realize I’m on my way.

Now if that’s only 10%, you can only imagine the other 90% bouncing in my brain like a snow flurry. I hope I can remain on track.

So as of late I’ve been trying to lose some weight. Spare me the “you’re fine!” shit, because my wii fit (and I) took my BMI and it wasn’t pretty. I’m like toenail away from “overweight.” I’ll be the first to admit I’ve put on some pounds over the last few years… I know what my body is capable of looking like, and I’d at least like to be fit so I can make my body type on match.com read “athletic and toned” instead of “about average.” God. I hate being about average.

Anyway, this isn’t a story about how much I weigh. This is a story about what happened tonight: how my diet tried to burn down my apartment.

I watched this show called “Cook Yourself Thin.” And okay, while I’m not really into fad diets, these recipes they were making actually sounded kind of good, so I bought the cookbook off of Amazon and figured I could eat reduced calorie meals for 2 weeks, and supposedly I’ll drop a dress size. Awesome. I think I can handle this.

I mean, this should work regardless. I cut out the junk food (which is like all the time) and count calories and stick to it and I should be fine. I think.

But okay here’s where it gets good.

I went grocery shopping today and decided that I would buy ingredients for a few meals to cook for the week so I could have leftovers and still be eating the “healthy” things I had cooked. Came home, remembered I told Kelly I’d go out to dinner with her, and decided I would start tomorrow.

And then there was this bigass thunderstorm.

I should have taken this as a sign from God. Like “shit is gonna go down, Natalie.” but I just ignored it. Kelly and I decided to raincheck on the dinner because they was this hellish looming cloud over the city that basically was saying “if you exit your apartment i will strike you down with the hand of GOD.” So I stayed in and decided to cook.

Chicken sounds good right? I bought a 3lb chicken to cook and decided it would also make sweet chicken salad leftovers for the weekend. Bomb. Preparing it wasn’t an issue, in fact, it was hella easy. I think it was the first time I had really ever like held a chicken and washed it though. I thought it was actually something I had done but it felt really foreign and kind of like I was cradling a baby’s head and rubbing it with olive oil and sage and rosemary and salt and pepper. Mmm delicious chicken/baby.

Anywho, threw that puppy in the oven and sat down to, you know, sit on twitter all afternoon and update my match.com profile. According to match, this is important to making new connections, and I had gotten an email from some hot investment banker/photographer today so I didn’t want to totally cut myself off from match yet…. sigh.

So maybe like 45 minutes in, I’m watching Andrew Zimmerhoot or whatever on Bizarre Foods and then I am frozen by the strikingly loud and obnoxious sound of the fire alarm.

FML.

The chicken wasn’t on fire. It was actually just the oils and drippings and whatever burning to the pan, but they were apparently giving off hella smoke, and I looked up to realize I was swimming in a sea of fog.
I threw open all the windows, turned on a fan, ran over to the fire alarm, ripped out the battery, and prayed it would stop.

And it did. Well, except for the “I don’t have a battery” alarm that went off every minute or so. Ugh. So I’m still drowning in smoke, the alarm still beeps, and I’m totally peeved.

I call my mom. She tells me to call the landlord to see if it’s connected to an automatic emergency call (unlikely) or if there’s a way to recalibrate my oven (huh?) and turn off the fire alarm (yeah right).

Well get this: Landlord leaves the office at 6. It’s 6:15, and he’s definitely not answering the phone.

Fack.

So I go to my neighbors door and knock to see if she’s got an alternate number for the landlord. She doesn’t have one, but tells me she’ll call her husband and check. The irony is her husband is a chef, and I am fucking up cooking.

I talk to my mom again and she suggests I call the fire department non-emergency line and ask them. I figure 311 is probably the way to handle that, so I get off the phone with her and call up 311.

That’s when I met Natasha, and she ruined my day.

“This is going to sound like a really stupid question,” I said, “but my fire alarm went off because I was cooking and something smoked a little bit and I’m wondering how to make the fire alarm stop or if there’s a contact number to my landlord that he had to give the city.”

Natasha promptly connected me to 911.

The operator didn’t seem to understand what “This is a non-emergency” met. Sure, this isn’t my first time talking to 911 for a non-emergency, but being so put on the spot like this kind of sucked. She took all my information and told me she was sending someone over.
“No. You don’t understand. Nobody needs to come.” I was fighting back stress-tears at this point. “Nothing is on fire. This is a NON EMERGENCY. My apartment is just smokey and the alarm went off.”
“We just want someone to come check.” She said.

Apparently “someone” meant 9 firemen who tried to break down the front door of my building.

Luckily I opened it for them, explained that it was a NON EMERGENCY (half of them looked at me like I was crazy and the other half sighed and seemed really pissed at the dispatcher) but 7 or so tromped up to my apartment and examined the situation.

I want to make this part really clear: these are not your average firemen. These are not like the Boston Fire Department that showed up at 50 Garden that one night the girl upstairs lit her windowsill on fire at 3am (don’t ask.) These are not fat old grumpy men who seriously don’t want to be there. These are gorgeous, young, sweet, dream-boat firemen. I suddenly wished I wasn’t in a dirty hanes v-neck and had put some makeup on.

They helped open the tops of my windows, put my alarm back together, and a few of them actually started to check on the chicken.

“Did you put some water in the bottom?”
“Tin foil on the bottom of the pan would have done the trick.”
“Did it light on fire?”
“Have you done this before?”
They were all very sweet. I felt a little picked on for fucking up the chicken, but they were very nice and realized I was super stressed out by them showing up when I didn’t need them to. A few more came up to examine the situation, only to realize we were chatting about how I fucked up the chicken. The neighbor peeks out her door to give me the number that she’s got (turned out 20 minutes later it’s the number I already have). The firemen say hello to her little boy (Fransisco, I think his name is. Too cute.) Then the firemen who just showed up chimed in and gave their two cents while I’m SUPER red with embarrassment and then just as quickly as they came they left to go back to the firehouse.

Called my mom. Hysterical. So embarrassed.

Then the oven goes off. The chicken is done.

I take it out and put it near the window so that it can cool down faster and anything burning on it can hopefully float out of my apartment instead of contaminating it more. The inside of the oven looks like a crime scene.

Then the doorbell rings. It’s a cop. He just wants to make sure everything is okay and the firemen didn’t destroy my apartment. Turns out firemen are incredibly clumsy due to those heavy suits they wear. I don’t blame them. They did drop some heavy shit on my floor, but whatever, it was already scratched up to hell.

Cop leaves. I cut up the chicken. It’s pretty tasty shit for such a pain in the ass.

So much for this diet. Not helpful, skinny ladies.

On the bright side, I added up my caloric intake for the day, and I was under my daily limit (your ideal body weight x 10) so I get to have some beers tonight. Win.

I hope this diet doesn’t burn down my apartment. I was really looking forward to the vanilla zucchini cupcakes.

Moving On

May 5, 2009

Recently I’ve been struggling with some issues that have:
a. taken a toll on my relationships with friends, family, and lovers.
b. kept me from reaching my true potential.
c. distracted me from writing.
d. destroyed my health.
e. all of the above.

Finally something is working – it’s clicking… the gears are finally catching – and I feel like I’m headed in the right direction. The people I love and care about can hear it in my voice, and I think I’m finally starting to hear it too.

I’m worried that this is a fluke. This is temporary. Fleeting. Where will I be again after this goes away?