up with the sun

June 30, 2009

I’ve been working like a madwoman all day on my writing project, which should be done either next month or early August, when I will reveal it. I’m really cautious about WHEN I’m going to publish it due to the content. It’s not exactly gonna go down in one gulp… It’s going to make several people incredibly uncomfortable, but on the other hand, a lot of people are going to think it’s insightful and hilarious. I don’t usually brag about my writing, but this is gonna be worth reading. Promise.

Because I’ve been all up in this project, I’ve really been ignoring most other thoughts floating through my head all day, so obviously this post is going to be a little lackluster. Sorry.

In my personal life, I’ve really been waiting for a sign lately. There have been smidgens of signs – tiny miracles, I’ll call them – and I’m beginning to wonder what they mean, if anything at all. Is it weird I don’t believe in something if I don’t see it or hear it for myself? My faith has always wavered… but my belief is certainly attached to my will, and that does not fluctuate. Regardless of the times I’ve been kicked down the metaphorical stairs, I still climb back up, tail wagging, eyes bright.

What sort of sign is it going to take to know when to stop? Where do you draw the line?

I’m not going to say where or when I saw it, but I recently witnessed some thoughts on forgiveness that really touched me. Letting go of something is the best thing you can do for yourself… holding on to that resentment is only hurting you, not whoever is causing you that pain. I think somehow I’ve always known this, and I’ve been quick to forgive. Sure, I won’t forget (I got that from my mother. Seriously. That woman doesn’t forget SHIT.) but learning when I shouldn’t let go so easily is still a struggle.

I’m not sure if I know what I want anymore. I do and I don’t. I think honesty is going to be the hardest thing in the next few months – fessing up and accepting responsibility are going to be major players. Even in the work I’ll be publishing soon am I admitting to something that even my own parents don’t know about… only a few of my very close friends have been privy to the experience, and even then, I’m fairly tight lipped except to a chosen few.

This brutal honesty is going to hopefully break down a wall or two. What I discovered through the experience has proved that what I thought I wanted is the ultimate truth. It’s just a question of can I be honest, open, and vulnerable enough to let it happen.

It won’t be tomorrow, but it will be soon. 6000 words and counting, my longest work to date…

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The Meaning of Life

June 29, 2009

The title of this post isn’t any implication that I’m going to answer the question. Nor is it going to give you any inclination as to what I think the answer may be. It will, however, outline the beginning of my journey to being absolutely disappointed with almost everything around me and why I am so jaded, pessimistic, and cruel. In fact, this post is mostly bullshit. Air and dust. In fact, I hope you forget most of what I say, because, in essence, it really is just nothing.

Or not.

Maybe it doesn’t do any of those things. Maybe it just paints a picture, vertebrae by vertebrae.

I began attending Canoe Island French Camp when I was 10 years old. I thought my parents were punishing me and sending me away to a small island in the San Juans (Washington) where I would be forced to sleep outdoors and speak in French for a majority of my three weeks there. At the idea, I hated them for it. In reality, it became a part of my life that I am still so intensely connected to, and hope that I can one day “punish” my children by sending them there as well.

While my first year was difficult (10 year old girls really suck), my subsequent years really developed who I was as a young adult, and gave me the chance to really be free and explore. I sang in front of people there. I made friends I hope to keep for the rest of my life. I learned how to sail and fence. I was bitten by a wolf spider. I learned the dangers of gossip and the benefits of “being nice to everyone” like my mother had preached at me since I was a child. Canoe Island will hold a tiny chunk of my heart… even on the streets of New York, I’ll often smell something that reminds me of my years spent there (I have a really intense smell-memory association.)

On this island was a cliff of sorts called Inspiration Point. Every Sunday spent at the island included a few hours at Inspiration Point, where we would all have a chance to say something in front of the group (less than 60 people) and then we would all sing together. It was a church of sorts, up on this grassy knoll in the middle of nowhere, one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. I would often go there during the week and lie out in the sunshine. I did a lot of writing there. I found parts of myself there. I lost myself there.

I suppose this nostalgia stems from a “Canoe Island” smell I had this morning and my latest quests for meaning in my life. Canoe served its purpose in my development and probably doesn’t have much more to offer me anymore, but I still long to lie on the cliff and let go of whatever I thought I was.

I’ve tried to find that inner peace other places in the world. I’ll often wander off by myself (this usually alarms the people I’m with) and I’ll lie out somewhere and look up at the clouds and ask myself if I have any connection to anything else in this world. If we’re all nothing. What this idea of “self” really is. It makes me really wonder if my being just dissolves into nothing and my spirit is wiped clean and reborn into something else. God, it’s so complicated. All of it. And Canoe Island is the only place where I’ve really been able to do that.

I’ve always had the goal of finding another cliff where I can lie down and let go of my physical being and forget that I am cells and liquid and air. I came close about a year ago to having that moment again, when I was actually in Seattle, not far from where I used to spend my summers. I woke up especially early one morning and snuck out of the hotel room I was sharing with three of my best friends. I walked down the water and out onto a pier, vacant at that hour of the morning, and laid down on the cold, swollen wood. I tried to breathe with the sound of the waves and take in the algae and salt in the air. In that moment, I felt whole. I felt like myself. My body felt empty of purpose and being, but my spirit felt as if I knew what purpose I served in the world, the part of the puzzle that I represented. The big picture.

I will never know if what I experienced out on the pier, or on Canoe Island, is real, or if it’s my imagination running wild. In those moments, it has been so out of body… I can look down upon myself, effortlessly. New York is so confined I have yet to find that peace of mind. It puts such a nagging desire to go back in my mind that it destabilizes what I’ve been able to maintain and develop here. It makes me question if I am in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time.

Death and the Storm

June 28, 2009

When I was in high school I had this amazing English teacher who had a pretty serious impact on my world view. Although she was a bit out there (she was known for being a bit of a “feminazi” and loved this barter system our town co-op worked out) I thought she was so wonderful. She just had such a different world view and didn’t seem to care what anyone thought. I often wish I had as much balls as she did.

I was her teaching assistant for awhile and graded papers and whatnot and got to spend a lot of time talking to her by myself. She introduced me to music I still listen to and told me stories that really affected me spiritually, which is rare considering I’m pretty much an atheist.

Several years ago, there was a significant death in my family, and then within weeks a student I had class with passed. It was a difficult spring, and guidance was really what I needed . This teacher was incredibly supportive, quietly, and in this moment of grief shared something that stuck with me to this day: the significance of a thunderstorm.

Now I realize that in New York thunderstorms happen a little more often. Where I grew up, they were fairly rare and the talk of the town when they did happen; It was like watching fireworks. That spring, a fairly large storm swept through our tiny town and of course everyone was so thrilled by it’s presence. I was fascinated and to this day still stop to open my windows (yep) and watch a storm. The past few weeks have had RAGING storms – ones that came hard and fast and knock you on your ass and soak you to the skin if you’re not paying attention.

My high school teacher told me that thunderstorms were spirits being born into the next world. Sure, it’s a bit out there, but storms always seem to coincide with some sort of death/rebirth in my realm. David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcet, Millvina Dean, Jack Nimitz, Sky Saxon, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays have all passed within the month of June (alright Millvina passed on the 31st of May…) This is probably the most storm-filled month I’ve seen in New York City. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

I also don’t think the clouds are a coincidence. The clouds after Friday’s storm seemed to catch everyone’s attention… they were really quite beautiful. After so much twitter chatter about them, I did a little light reading and found out that these are not exactly prevalent formations. Coincidence that these are rare? Coincidence they happened the day after rare talent passed?

I think this once, instead of being the Negative Nancy I usually am about something spiritual, I’ll suspend my disbelief, and hope that these giant storms (and these “phenomenon” clouds) are really significant spirits passing on to a better place.

Whistle While You Work

June 27, 2009

I achieved so much today. My apartment was in such a state of disarray. It was unmanageable. So, I woke up, drank a glass of water, opened the windows, and got to work.
Today I:


– changed the front door lock (HAH… well… with the help of a locksmith.)
– cleaned up from last nights baking experiment.
– used magic eraser on some spots on the walls of my living room and on the adhesive marks from the pads on the bottom of the coffee table, which basically have fallen off and dragged glue into scratches its making on the floor.
– moved my couch away from the windows
– reinstalled the screen in one of my windows (the fire department took it out when they were here). I also scrubbed the sills which were, for some reason, covered in plaster dust. Shitty construction? Indeedy.
– dusted. everything. that swiffer duster is amazing.
– packed $40 of laundry. Yes, thats 40lbs of laundry. Yes, I know I could do it myself, but I’m lazy. And quite frankly, if I can have someone save me 3 hours of laundry at about $13 an hour, that’s still less than I make, so I figure I can afford to spoil myself in that respect.
— carried aforementioned laundry to laundromat. im so buff.
– hung up: wipe board, puppet taxidermy, shelf. It’s not easy to put up one of those puppies by yourself. It’s the second time I’ve had to do it.
– rearranged the appliances in my kitchen
– cleaned out my fridge
– scrubbed my bathroom. (my toilet seat was collecting dust. not the lid part, the actual seat. maybe that’s a sign i should probably spend more time at home…)
– went grocery shopping
– took out my trash and recycling
– cleaned my closet (I can walk in it now!)
– changed my sheets.
– killed 2 rounds of grand prix on mario kart

I’m feeling awfully accomplished today. The only thing I didn’t cross off on my list was “buy edamame” (they don’t sell it at my grocery. balls.) put my rent check/time card in the mail, and start my viddy project.

The weather the past 2 days has been crazy. The downpours are just this incredible sight where the ratio of rain to air was like 100:1. Yesterday’s made some beautiful clouds:

It’s been enjoyable to watch. Not so fun to participate in…

Alright. This is not the project mentioned in the previous post. It might be better.

I’m a bit lame. Sometimes I stay home on a weekend. I’m a bit of a lone wolf sometimes whether people can tell or not. I’m cool with it.

Enough. Tonight. Project night.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot more baking, and tonight, I tested a new recipe. One I made up all by myself.

I was actually trying to model it after a dessert I had from a cafe on the Lower East Side called “Ciao for Now”. It’s a sweet little place, opened up by a woman and her husband. They do all of the catering for our office meetings, and everything I’ve had was GREAT.

Well this dessert was kind of like a little cupcake, but it had the light crisp flaky outside surface and the taste of a brownie, the center being just slightly raw. After a little experimentation in 3 batches, I may have nailed it (in cookie form.)


I made three different variations in order to test the variables.


^One: has the same ingredients as Two, just cooked on different racks in the oven for different amounts of time and cooled on the sheet for different amounts of time. One has a really soft consistency… almost to the point where it will break when you pick it up. Some of them are raw in the middle, which is nice and has a great texture, but I think they’re too soft.



^Two: baked longer and cooled longer than batch One. I feel like the flakiness on the top of this one was right, but the consistency was too baked. In achieving the right external texture (these cookies hold together) the center got TOO baked. Le sigh.



^Three:baked longer, cooled longer, and has a secret ingredient the others don’t. The outside is flaky. The inside is soft and the center is just on the edge of raw. Like in the cafe’s cupcakes, they crumble a bit when you bend them very slightly; breaking off pieces crumbles it a little. If I made this in a cupcake, it would be perfect.

I know I’ve been talking about pastry school, but some recent developments have caused me to think that I won’t going when the fall rolls around… don’t worry though. Positive developments 🙂

By the way, I’m watching Borat on USA. I didn’t realize they could actually put that movie on television. Oh wait, the film got neutered to significantly that it had a sex change. OH WAIT, nevermind. They kept a lot of important stuff there…

Today has been the end to quite the odd week. Yesterday I couldn’t really bring myself to write anything funny because my brain was stained with misery. Sometimes I can be funny without thinking about it, but that’s often when I’m not writing. I’m not good at writing comedy. It’s one of the reasons I gave up screenwriting. Sure, I can pump out a gut-wrenching personal essay, but dear God, asking me to write something funny is about as effortless as putting an elephant on an airplane. (Please reference this and this. Believe me, if there are whole movies about elephants on airplanes, it’s not easy.)

I’m not funny. I’m sarcastic and self-deprecating… things that go hand in hand or hand in glove or skull in cap or something. My writing is poor (I often just write as if I’m speaking aloud, so those who actually know me find all of this very charming) so studying writing and literature in college is basically just one big joke in my head. I think the writing I do that requires the most thought is twitter. Seriously. My thoughts are usually more than 140 characters… it’s like micro-fiction but annoying.

Lately I’ve been preparing a piece I’m going to post about my last few months in New York. I embarked on a project (that ended up being wayyyy too expensive) that I thought was either going to make me or break me as a person, and at this point it broke me. I’ve kind of given up on it because I got tired. With my circle of friends, I’ve been quite open about the fact I’ve been doing it, and most are supportive and curious about my experience. Soon it will all be revealed. For now, I’ve decided to give you a few clues:
– it involves free alcohol.
– it involves sex (I’m using this term INCREDIBLY loosely here. Not necessarily the act, but the idea in general.)
– it involves strangers.
I hope that gets your brains ticking enough.

In other news, today I wore this cute little H&M wrap dress I haven’t worn in a million years because I’ve never been much of a dress girl and I can’t even remember why I bought it in the first place. Well I wore it (after repairing a button on the inside and effectively dropping my deodorant on it this morning. cute.) and was complimented by my coworkers, per usual when I wear a skirt. I think the kicker was I wore a dress to distract them from the fact my hair is a hot mess (I think I slept on it weird) but, ugh, per usual, my breasts were more distracting than the dress itself. Well friends, lets just say everyone was really nice to me today, even the women, and a baby at the cafe was fascinated by me. (Yeah, even babies like my tits.)

Somedays I question if I’d have a chance in this world if I didn’t have them. I don’t take these puppies for granted… they’ve gotten me far in the world (oof. but true.) and they’ve also hindered me from participating in golf, tennis, and archery – which I’m actually pretty good at (tennis to) but I look absolutely ridiculous. I’m on the edge of being a 2 sports bra sort of girl. Sigh.

I talk about my tits way too much. Whatever. Like you care.

On a friendlier note, I would like to give a big ol wave to a new acquaintance Anderson Evans who writes a blog that I just discovered this morning and wish I had the time to read more of instead of doing work. The oddest part of the entire thing is that I unexpectedly received a facebook email from him this morning asking if it was actually my blog he was reading. What? I have readers? Who in their right mind… Well Anderson, here’s your big break: all 40 of my daily readers (WHAT? why would you do that to yourself?) will hopefully check you out tonight and laugh as hard as I did at your last few posts. He’s much more articulate than I am, and quite frankly, funnier. In fact, you should probably stop reading my blog and start reading his. I joke. Please don’t stop reading. It makes my day to see my stats rise. I mean… whatever.

To all the other masochists readers, thanks for tuning in. It blows my mind that anyone finds this ish entertaining and it’s always nice to hear from you. Especially when you tell me I’m right. I like being right. It makes me like you when you think I’m right. Because you are right, I am right, so we all get along, right?

Thank the fucking baby Jesus that it’s FRIDAY. I’m working overtime, but that means I get some more hours towards my vacation days at the end of the summer. I am very excited about that. Yes indeedy.

I just wrote a big paragraph about Michael Jackson dying and then I erased it because I was either going to get shot for writing it, or everyone was gonna skip that paragraph. All I really have to say is that James Brown was probably just as influential an entertainer and didn’t get nearly the exiting reception that Mikey got. Sure, he was a bit crazy too, but people weren’t talking shit about him up until the day he died. I’m done talking about it forever now. Seriously. Unless you ask me about my Michael Jackson = Elvis theory, and then I’ll talk your ear off.

AAAAAAAND SCENE.

What happens when you figure out what you want?

Really.

Last night, I think I reached a point in my self-exploration where I figured out what I want in a couple questionable aspects in my life. Lately, I’ve been struggling with knowing what I want, and thinking that it’s wrong. Let’s use a carefully planned example, shall we?

I’ve moved to New York City to really start my life. I write down my “perfect world” scenario, which I know isn’t exactly realistic, but is what I would want if there was nothing in my way.

Say my “perfect world” is that I meet a really rich doctor/lawyer/investment banker who thinks I’m the most amazing creature in the world. He marries me and we move into a gorgeous soho loft that we hire a decorator for because we both know i have no style. I pump out a couple of kids, never have to work, and spend my days raising my children, making scrapbooks and knitting and baking and watching all the reality TV I want.*

*Note: this is not what I want. I’m just using a general example so all you slow kids can follow along.

But I think it’s wrong. The independent woman in me says you need to start your career, don’t get married until you really fall in love, don’t pump out kids now (crazy) and for the love of god what a plan-B, disappointment you would be.

But last night hit me hard and fast like a ton of bricks… if I know my dream scenario, and the only reason I’m not chasing it is because I’m worried about what my parents/family/friends would think, who says they’re right?

I’ve rewritten the next paragraph several times, trying to figure out how to word this properly in the least-offensive way. But I guess what it boils down to is learning from the mistakes of others. I love my parents dearly, and with all due respect to them, I think I’ve reached a point where I need to not let their voices weigh so much anymore… I kind of have to let go. There’s no easy way to word this, but I question how much of their advice is valid or relevant to my life… they’ve made mistakes in their lives, and while they’ve learned from them and have tried to guide me, maybe I need to make my own mistakes, take the chances I should take, and stop being so scared. God that’s really the bulk of it. Fear.

My biggest fear is when I say what I want, it won’t be reciprocated. It will fall on deaf ears and I will be exposed, vulnerable, and raw. I’ve been there too much too recently, and I’m wondering if I just need to suck it up and find closure in several aspects of my life. It’s just the fear of fucking up that keeps me from doing it. The fear that no one supports me. I’m alone.

I often wonder what’s the worst that could happen. And in this specific situation, I know the best and worst case scenario. So much of it weighs on the choices of others, that I’m afraid to even approach the subject.

The real question of the hour is if I continue to sit on what I actually want and take one for the team, or if I throw caution to the wind, and for once in my life make a choice that could be the best or worst thing that could ever happen to me.

Natural Disasters

June 24, 2009

Today was kind of a disaster from the get go. I JUMPED out of bed when my alarm went off, thinking “you have to be on time today” – not that I ever really have a problem being on time. I think when I got up, I was just motivated to come in this morning and be ready to go. I hopped in the shower (even did my crest whitestrips!) and got ready for the day. (Little known fact: I think showers are too time consuming. I think the longest I’ve ever spent in the shower was 30 minutes… I’m a 10-15 minute sort of gal. Get in, get busy, get done – I’m still talking about the shower… pervs.)
But I’m thinking jumping out of bed that quickly set the tone for the whole day… for some reason I was really anxious, and when I feel that anxious when I wake up, it’s usually the sign of an impending anxiety attack that will take place 4-6 hours later. I didn’t think of this until now. This is unfortunate. Natalie – 0, Bad Day – 1.

So I swing by the corner store on my way in and grab an iced coffee. Lately I’ve been disappointed in my regular bodega – their coffee is good and the price is right, but the way its prepared is total crap, specifically in the execution of the sugar. They throw in maybe 2 tablespoons, don’t mix it, and it floats to the bottom so it feels you’re drinking sandy coffee. I don’t like my coffee to be crunchy, thanks. So this morning I got the bright idea to order without sugar, and next thing I know, my iced coffee is magically delicious. Natalie -1, Bad D– And then again, I never seem to learn that drinking coffee on an empty stomach makes me jittery and stomach ache-y. We’ll call it a draw. The score is still Natalie – 0, Bad Day – 1.

I arrive at work and things seem okay. I jump right into my responsibilities and everyone seems to be responsive and on top of their ish (good way to start the day I suppose.)

And then I got an email from my friend (who, for the purposes of this post, will call) “Chris”.

Chris is a good friend. I would say Chris is one of my best friends. I am pretty good at estimating how he’s going to function in certain situations and know that when Chris is in professional-mode, he’s a professional… no fucking around. Recently, I referred Chris to a landlord I met while I was looking for apartments back in December – he’s got these beautiful buildings out in Bushwick I remembered met Chris’s criteria. This landlord, for the purposes of this essay/blog/post/whathaveyou, will be referred to as “Tom”.

The email essentially said: “Tom is batshit crazy.”

This I know. When I met Tom, he was almost 40 minutes late to our appointment, citing that he was hungover and driving back from his house which is just outside of NYC. Whatever, I got over it. He seemed pretty on top of his shit as a building owner/landlord, but struck me as a bit off from the get go. “Crazy” is an excellent way to describe him. (I would also use “eccentric,” “larger-than-life,” and “possible coke addict” to the list.)

It didn’t strike me as odd that Chris thought he was weird, so I wrote back “duh” or something of that nature and went about my business.

Then I got an email from Tom. A LOOOOONG, completely unsolicited email.

He had forwarded me all of the correspondence between the two of them and, in typical Tom fashion, had a staccato-like note at the beginning:

hey natalie

good morning-i hope alls well
im trying to help you friend
[Chris]

he is being so difficult with me, im letting you know
i appreciate you thinking about me

but
read below

i dont have any thing in williamsburg even close to $1500 for a 2 bdrm-unrealistic.

i mentioned this but told him bushwick under $1700-

i followed up with him this morning with photos-and next thing i know, all this attitude
im only trying to help your friend

i appreciate you trying to help your friend and mucho appreciated you trying to help me-but i dont understand all this attitude for trying to help someone….with his attitude, he can stay in the [neighborhood he currently lives in]-

have a good day
scroll down

and then followed multiple days of correspondence. I read through… Chris wasn’t out of line in any way, It was clear there had been a slight misunderstanding and things had gotten a little snappy, but nothing that could be clearly labeled as “difficult.”

So I sent Tom a quick note:
[Tom] – I’m sorry things aren’t working out… I thought that you’d have something that would work for him… It’s not really my business what is going on with you and my friend, but from your emails it looks like it was a miscommunication. I don’t think his intention at all was to be difficult, just to find an apartment that suits his needs. I’m sorry that there was a misunderstanding. – N

I then received an email back from Tom, only 3 minutes after I had sent mine. Now, we all know I have a bit of a mouth, but that’s usually reserved for competition or inebriation. But I was so offended by this email, I have decided to spare my readers his exact, disgusting words… I have decided to present Tom’s return email in the form of a madlib (for everyone’s amusement.):

excuse my [foreign language], WHUT A [ugly name for vagina]

especially when i was trying to help
i hope i never see that guy in [trendy neighborhood] or [trendy neighborhood’s bastard cousin neighborhood]
he really pissed me off
god what a [ugly name for vagina, yes again.]-
fucking HATE that guy

its not you-i really do appreciate you trying to help

that guy and his [music-related noun] and [performing art related noun]
can go [sex verb] HIMSELF AND I HOPE HE NEVER STEPS FOOT IN [nyc borough]

My jaw was on the floor. Shocked. Really. I don’t really know Tom personally, so having him vent to me about one of my best friends caught me way off guard… I really only know Tom in a professional capacity, so I expected at least that much from him. This was completely out of line.

So I called him.

I told Tom that while I understood that he was upset and venting, I am an inappropriate outlet. It was unprofessional and completely inappropriate to speak to me using any of that language, especially about my friend. It is not my responsibility to babysit his business transactions when I have referred someone to him, and this event has led me to believe that I cannot trust him with people I refer him to and I will no longer be giving his name to people I know looking for apartments.

He hung up without really saying much of anything. I got an email a few minutes later apologizing and explaining he was just upset. Sure, I get you’re upset, but this completely is out of line. I’m not responding.

About 90% of this entire ordeal had been conducted before 10:30am. I had been awake for about 2 hours when all of this went down, and believe me, this is not a hearty way to start your day. There is no complete breakfast here. This is a plate of bullshit in my face.

Chris was totally cool about it. He didn’t seem to care that it didn’t work out with Tom, and quite frankly, I don’t blame him. I told him about the nasty email (that madlib is the first time he’s seen it in it’s “entirety”) and he was pretty floored. In the end, Chris is fine. Tom is probably feeling guilty (as he should), and I’m just a little irked by the entire thing. I am fairly certain this contributed to the energy of the day. Natalie – 0, Bad Day – 3. (Editors note: I ran this post by Chris, just to make sure it wasn’t crossing any lines, and he told me he would like to add that he is a “hottie,” that he’s “boneable,” and that he’s a “beefcake.” I agree with all but beefcake; It makes me think of these dog food things that Rossy and Jason feed their dogs.)

I told my coworkers about what happened and we all had a nice chat about how craigslist people can be batshit. I brought up my experience from a few weekends ago where that girl signed a lease and in the end I thought she was a con artist (read HERE). Everyone was shocked at this and about half of them suggested I change my locks.

And then I told them what happened last night:

On my way home from work, I stopped at my apartment and picked up my paycheck, which is always mailed to me on Tuesdays. Instead of going inside and dropping off my stuff, I walked to the bank, deposited my check, and walked back to my apartment after picking up a few toiletries. As I turned the corner at my block, there was crazy con artist lady and her weird dad, walking away from my apartment building.

What. The. Fuck.

I called out to her and she turned and said “hi” as nice as can be. We chatted for a few minutes and I asked her what she was doing in the neighborhood – what I mean was “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE?!” She told me how much she liked the neighborhood and wanted to keep looking for an apartment here. Uh, okay. Whatever. Have a nice life. Her dad suggested we get tea together. WTF.

They left and I went inside totally creeped out. Considering I was so upset about her possibly being a con artist and breaking into my apartment with my keys that she may or may not have copied after signing the lease, imagine how upset I was when I saw her outside my apartment. She was AT MY APARTMENT.

I told my coworkers this part of the story and they unanimously agreed I put a deadbolt on my door or change the locks. I called both of my parents and they both volunteered to pay for it – you know when your parents are worried about a con artist breaking into your apartment, you should be too. It really stressed me out on top of the previous anxiety. I went for a walk outside to cool off. Too bad it’s humid as a jockstrap out there. Natalie – 0, Bad Day – 4.

I called my landlord’s office and asked if I could install a deadbolt. The building manager actually transferred me to the building landlord/owner, who always seems to be so nice and helpful, and he said it was fine. He suggested a guy to do it to and volunteered to send someone over to show me how to use my alarm system, which doesn’t turn on as far as I can tell. I thanked him, and before I lost him forever (cause who knows when I’ll get ahold of him again) I asked him about the roof situation. I explained that I just wanted to go up there to sit in the sunshine, and that many of the other residents felt the same way. He explained that he had installed a camera, seen the recent parties (and their subsequent messes), and couldn’t allow me to go up there. If he let me, he’d have to let everyone. I told him I understood, but made a suggestion: that if he can’t rent the 4th floor apartment (which has “private roof access”) that everyone else in the building would probably be willing to chip in $25-$50 per month to have roof access. He surprisingly said he liked the idea and would take it into consideration. Natalie – 1, Bad Day – 4.

So by then it was almost 11am… all of this chaos happening before noon. I think it threw off the energy in the office… everyone seemed concerned for me and my safety and could tell that I was upset. They offered to cover the phones while I went outside “to scream as loud as humanly possible” if I wanted. I told them I was fine and went about my chaos. I had about 40 things to do at once, and somehow I pushed through. It’s now almost 3, and I’ve somehow survived multiple office crises. Everyone can tell I’m on edge, and just as I’d hoped, they’re all incredibly supportive. At other jobs, I would have just kind of been abandoned to deal with my own shit, but these people almost treat me like family, and it makes me really happy.

But I’m exhausted. My brain hurts. I’m running low on fuel. And all I can think of is going home and going to bed. The first half of the day made it “just one of those days,” and quite frankly, I’m sick of having them.

I’m pretty sure this is my longest post ever. Natalie – 2, Bad Day – 4. I think I still lose, even with 2100 words…

Confusion Girl

June 23, 2009

Confusion girl never gives or takes
Tries to cover up all her mistakes
Wanting to be someone else
Anything but herself

I know we had our ups and downs
At times I would act like the clown
But I never really knew you
I never really had a clue
I would always be the kind of guy
Who ran around for you cause that was fine
That wasn’t enough for you
I never did the best I could

So leaving me was your first step
Now you try to move on an forget

Confusion girl never gives or takes
Tries to cover up all of her mistakes
Wanting to be someone else
Anything but herself
Cause you’ll get the blame
You’re part of her game
Get’s onee up
It’s such a shame

You only call me up when you’re alone
Not expecting my engaged tone
But this is what’s meant to be
You’re falling down away from me
now my silence speaks a thousand words
You tore my world apart
But you never really heard
All the tears you made me cry
Now it’s time to say goodbye

And leaving you behind is my first step
Now I’ll try to move on and forget

Confusion girl never gives or takes
Tries to cover up all of her mistakes
Wanting to be someone else
Anything but herself
Cause you’ll get the blame
You’re part of her game
Get’s one up
It’s such a shame

Confusion girl
You’re under her spell
But you won’t know til the very ened
This trick was just pretend

Confusion girl never gives or takes
Tries to cover up all of her mistakes
Wanting to be someone else
Anything but herself
Cause you’ll get the blame
You’re part of her game
Get’s one up
It’s such a shame

I have always been a worrier. I’m a panicker. Paranoid. Jumpy. What have you.

However there have been some recent changes in my life that have changed my perspective drastically.
– time out, does this sound just like every other post I’ve written? probably… –
But tonight, I would like to introduce you to the “worst case scenario” perspective.

Ever since this life change came about, I found myself responding differently to situations… analyzing differently… feeling differently. Blah blah blah blah SHIT IS DIFFERENT OKAY?

But here’s where it varies:
Say something traumatic happens, like I can’t get a roommate:

Old Natalie: “HOLY FUCK. I don’t have a roommate. I live in an apartment I can’t afford. I’m freeloading off my parents and I feel like I’m going nowhere. This is the end of the world. I should probably kill myself. Yeah. Kill yourself. Things are better when you’re dead. Wait. You don’t have a roommate and nobody has the keys to your apartment. They’ll find you after you start to smell or you melt down into a puddle of ooze and start to seep through the floor on the nice boys that live downstairs. Nobody will find me for weeks. Fuck. I don’t have a roommate. I’m so fucked.”

New Natalie: “Oh, nobody wants to move in by the first of this month? Okay. Well. I guess my dad will just have to help me out and maybe next month I’ll have someone in time. At least they can move in and pay part of the month. Worst case scenario, nobody moves in, and at the end of my lease, I move to a smaller apartment. Sure, moving sucks, but if that’s the worst that’s going to happen… shit, I ain’t homeless or nothin.”

See the difference? Less cursing. Slightly more optimistic, and less dwelling on the easy-way-out-suicide scenario. The new catch phrase is “worst case scenario…” this often occurs after something terrible happens: Old Natalie would have immediately thought that the worst was happening NOW and that everything depended on this very second. New Natalie is kind of bored with old Natalie and told her to suck it.

The scariest part of this whole “damage/repair” process of my psyche is the lack of self I’m discovering. Yeah, sure, I know who I am pretty well at my core (alright for the most part) but as I’m leaving Old Natalie and becoming New Natalie, a part of me feels so lost… do people expect Old Natalie to still be around? Sure, people may like New Natalie better, but Old Natalie is what they know… what will they think if she’s gone one day? Do I need to still act like Old Natalie? Will they ever remember Old Natalie? Have I totally lost who I was?

This is progress. I think. I feel like I’m moving forward in this aspect of my life, but in everything else, I’m regressing back to 16 again…

“There are songs I can’t hear and places I can’t go because they all remind me of you. We can’t fuck it up this time, because it is probably the last chance we’ve got.”