30 December 2005

the great job hunt

i feel like i'm doing nothing right now. i'm not working on any fresh stories, but am editing too many things at once. i have two jobs, one of which will end rather soon, and i need to find a full-time job where i am not going broke working. as it is now, i am dipping into my savings to survive--and barely, as my savings are almost gone. i have friends around the world, but they're so far--and i want to go so far. i love the fact that my love is making me a cheesecake in my cramped new york kitchen...but i dream of climbing in tibet, frowning as another cup of yak butter tea is pressed upon me...i know traveling is what i want to do, where i want to go, but in the meantime, it's getting harder and harder to keep my head above water.

i need to look for a full-time well-paying librarian job in nyc. any ideas? i'm smart, motivated, and a damn good librarian!


my life feels like it is in pieces right now. i am having a lot of trouble breathing. i do not get paid enough to pay all my bills, and am extremely worried about finances. i am not speaking with my parents and do not see myself speaking with them anytime soon. t does not live in ny, and may never. my job invovles supervising lazy, insolent, rude, and disrespectful workstudies. this crowding in my lungs makes me panic and reach for my inhaler as i wonder, then dismiss, allergies to wheat gluten and dairy. i have chocolate on my pants, and my pants, yes, are a bit too filled out. my new years' resolution involves losing the five pounds i somehow gained since october or so--which i know i will do as i plan on runnig more. my other resolution is finding full-time employment--something, really, to pay my bills. i have no savings because of how i am currently living. it's quite frightening, to be honest with you.

26 December 2005

laundry list

sometimes i feel so overwhelmed with how much i have to do, how little money i have, how much money i owe, how cranky/stressed/tired i am. i wonder, why haven't humans figured out a technology to solve some of these problems?

the worst christmas of my life

so i don't feel like turning my blog into a sob story of how my brother is an asshole/lunatic/racist/sexist/hates everyone and how he destroyed christmas, or was christmas just fucked when my mother chose my brother over my sister and i...not sure but lissy came over and spent much of the day in tears on my couch while i read joyce carol oates, trying to cheer lissy up. we went to carmine's for dinner, lissy and i and her boyfriend, eating a lot, trying to maintain cheer. but while i feel pain and yes, anger towards my parents for yet again chosing the asshole over their two daughters ("because i know you can take care of yourself, and i know he needs me," my mother explained), i tried to diffuse the anger and pain by thinking positive thoughts...and it was hard. and how do you think positive thoughts when you feel pain everywhere? try to think before you speak, try to breathe, try to relax, try not to speak out of anger. now i'm going to read a dalai lama book to help soothe me.

20 December 2005


so the mta union called for a strike, and i don't really want to give my opinion on the strike and how i feel the retirement age is too old (62, the mta wants) and the race increases (the union wants a super-high increase) but want to take about how the selfish union screwed over 7million subway riders--not counting the ones who drive everywhere and cab it.

rachelle, my biking guru, gave me advice on how to ride--which was fairly good. i left my house at 215, and got to work several minutes late (after 3pm). i rode up eagle, over the pulaski, down this street whose name i don't know, across the queensboro bridge (which sucked, sucked, SUCKED because the incline is so tremendous--i spent a good deal of time grunting as i biked across, feeling my legs shout, "NO!!!!"). after i got off the 59th st bridge (aka the queensboro bridge, which i mostly call the 59th st bridge), the traffic was nuts. i learned quickly, do something illegal (like ride your bike on the sidewalk) or you will get stuck in mad traffic. i rode cross-town on 57th street, then down 7th avenue. 57th street was fairly crowded, with cabbies grinning and waving at me, and truck drivers honking and almost hitting me. quite scary. i'm glad mabel--my solid purple bike--and my helmet were aiming to protect me. i rode down 7th avenue through times square, never thinking that i'd be riding through times square. i arrived at work positively wiped out, to a library with no one in it, locked and closed. i opened it up, "yes, security, we are open," and spent most of the time knitting and relaxing. i'm exhausted after the ride, and riding home, i hoped, would be a little less crazy--though i sincerely doubted that.

i rode home during rush hour with a backpack full of xmas crafts i tried to work on at work and a book to read (blonde by jco which is over 700 pages, UGH!). the roads were positively mad, traffic everywhere--i learned to ride in between the lanes when we were stopped at traffic lights so it wouldn't take me THAT long to get home. going over the bridge there were mad pedestrians and bikes--but mostly pedestrians. one pedestrian started attacking a cyclist in front of me. pretty scary. when i got off from the bridge in queens, the red cross was handing out hot cocoa.

i'm so exhausted. my mom reminded me of how much this is hurting businesses--esp small businesses like the shops in union square flea market that are open just for the holidays. "how selfish the mta union is," everyone keeps saying. i've heard it more times today than i can even count.

i'm going to soak in a hot, hot bath now.

i hope the strike ends soon, like, now.


BOOOOOOO! there's a strike today, and i have to ride my bike to work in the freezing cold instead of taking the train. bleh!

18 December 2005


i loved rome, even though i came down with a horrid rash that kept me from enjoying much of rome. the art museums--gasp--were filled with more paintings that i could possibly comprehend. i learned that at the colosseum they would put on plays--free to all--where someone would get murdered. not wanting to murder an actor, or fake it, they would go to prison and go to the death row area, look at the prisoners--"okay, that one looks like our star"--and kill the person on stage. crazy. i met up with andy again and when he left, i felt lonely almost. i also discovered the book the beach by alex garland which i picked up when a backpacker went to the bathroom. he let me read it and i finished it that night. i saw the forum, the colosseum, the parthenon, wandering all over. i ate too much gelati, went out to dinner with people i met only hours earlier, and felt a lump in my throat as i realized my backpacking trip was ending soon--i would meet t next in greece, which was nice, but not the same as what i was used to.

i wrote in my journal as i rode the express train from roma to its airport: i feel a dread as i am on the train to the airport. i am leaving italy, my favorite country, land of fantastic pizza, amazing pastries; roma has been lovely. italy has been phenomenal: I CANNOT LEAVE.

and now, back in new york, i can't believe i'm not there.

what holds me down

since i've left in may, i feel this disdain for material objects right now. i don't want any more THINGS. and being the holiday season, it's all about things, things, THINGS. since i have been back, i have been getting rid of more and more clothing, cleaning out shelves, closets, containers, to trim things down. i adore my books, and probably won't be getting rid of many of them soon. at the same time, i am attempting to slim down my holdings, my ownings...i doubt i'll be like my friend chris who has everything he owns in a couple of duffle bags anytime soon, but let me tell you, that's where i'm heading.

my spirit tells me the road is calling me.

pondering at work

i feel like i'm being boring lately. everything in my life seems routine or habit. have i settled into a habitual routine favored by most americans? please tell me no. i have a third job, just for two weeks, so i've been quite busy. all the money i'm making from that job i'm putting into a special bank account just for the purpose of saving money for a trip. i never have time for me. to write, to paint, to practice yoga, to do what i love to do. instead i'm running around, swilling wine at holiday parties, discussing existentialism with a stranger on the train, making t's holiday scarf, working, working, working, not sleeping, ignoring piles of dirt and dust bunnies in my apartment, holiday shopping...i wonder if there is a way to pry myself out of this rut. wait, i know! i can take a trip!

16 December 2005


i was supposed to be in napoli longer but i couldn't leave amalfi. as soon as i got there, i dumped my stuff at the hostel, grabbed a slice of amazing pizza, and caught the bus to pompei. at pompei, i got the audio guide and wandered in the sweltering dry suffocating heat until i felt i thoroughly knew the culture of pompei. truly interesting. everyone was clustered around the bodies that were there, that are somehow replicas of bodies--covered in plaster cast or something like that. (at the point i saw them, i was thinking, water shower ugh.) after, i went back to napoli and got super lost trying to get back to my hoste; two neapolitan police officers drove me to my hostel. i got horrible directions to a pizzeria, ended up finding a pretty good place where i got an entire margherita pizzeria and a fantastic calzone, eating both for dinner in a park. yum. yes i did eat my way across europe. i hung out at my hostel, too paranoid to be wandering the neapolitan streets at dark, as petty crime is EXTREMELY prevalent. i was exhausted, and fell asleep early with the lights all on and the hostel cat taking up most of my pillow. awwww, simon! the next morning i went to the archeological museum, which is where most of the things they could take away from pompei are kept. i ended up befriending a security guard who let me into closed-off sections of the museum. he was really cool but ended up trying to take me out. instead, i headed back to my hostel, grabbed my pack, and set off for the train station to head to roma.

15 December 2005


besides the cinque terre, amalfi stole my heart. ahhh, i already pictured myself climbing 300 plus steps to my house each day, views of the ocean from high above, strolling through my small vineyards...ah, it seems like heaven. i planned on staying two days, but stayed longer: i was in love.

after a chaotic struggle to arrive in amalfi, i found the owners of the hostel with some difficulty. they placed me with my backpack, my daypack, on the back of this guy's scooter, and we scooted around the mountains, yup, all those hairpin turns. my mouth was permanently open--omg!!! i buried my face in the guy's back, nervous. i was convinced death was near.

after arriving, josh showed me around ("he has a crush on you, fo'sho," i was later told. i mentioned, "my boyfriend," several times. now that things with t and i are bad, i think, "wow, you could be living in napoli and amalfi with an ozzie. but not, that could never be. i was never into josh anyway.), and then harmony and dylan arrived. ah, harmony was a wonderful, wonderful person who i adored. harmony and dylan and i headed the 1,000 steps down to the beach (you had to climb 300 steps to get to our hostel from the main road!), pausing often as we were exhausted. we swam for a while, and i hadn't showered since before swimming in croatia so i'm sure i mixed up seawater! yippie!

after, the entire hostel went out to dinner. we had so much fun, drinking, chilling, eating, and then we went out to the bar. the bartender, willy, was awesome, and he and his brother owned the hostel--i LOVED them! plus, vodka and blood orange juice, YUM!

harmony and i did the walk of the gods, which we got super lost on and had a brilliant time. we drank more, went to the beach, that was amalfi. when i left on the ferry to napoli, a huge lump in the bottom of my throat created an ache within me.

12 December 2005

another bratty library patron

this woman at the library prints out an entire college catalog--you know, all the information about courses, financial aid, etc. i'm like, "who the hell would print out 200 pages?" and i ask politely, and this woman volunteers that it is hers quite boldly.
i say, "you can't just print out all this! you should contact the college for a catalog, or print out the necessary pages. it's a lot of paper, and we can't afford to waste it."
bitchily, she glares at me. "my admissions counselor told me that since i pay tuition i can print all the pages i want."
really? does that go along with since you pay tuition, you can repeatedly flush the toilets in the bathroom, just for the hell of it????

10 December 2005

library drama

here are some recent insane things that have happened at my job as a librarian for a two year college.

on thursday, i was at the desk by myself, with a fairly humming library, but in control. i heard screaming, and saw a flurry of people in the hallway. i picked up the phone to call security but realized by the time they would get up there, it might be too late for them to do any good. as one of the only "adults" (the students are often older than me but act years younger; does college mature one? have they not reached that point?) i ran out into the middle. the two women were held back by their friends (one or two people held each woman back) and they were screaming, attempting to leap out of their friends' arms to scratch the other one's eyes out or punch them or whatever it is people do in fights. i tried to scream, "STOP IT, STOP IT! LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!" but my voice almost seemed swallowed. another man also inserted himself in the middle. the women were dragged into opposite stairwells by their friends.
i went back into the library, to staff the desk and finish cataloging the new criminal justice and fashion books. one of the women who was part of the fight came in with her friend several minutes later.
"she only acts ghetto when her friends are around," she said angrily.
hmmmm, seems like acting ghetto is a way to impress others?????

R, one of the regulars, began hanging around the reference desk. due to the earlier chaos, and the fact that we were quite busy, i was behind in my cataloging. he kept talking to me and talking to me.
a female student J came up.
"i need a book on dream interpretation."
i told her we didn't have much on the subject, but she should try the public library.
she goes, "i want to see what you got."
i tell her the only two titles are by freud--"he is going to tell you some different sorts of things about your dreams, like you want to sleep with your father, things like that." she stares at me blanky, snatches the scrap paper with the call number on it from my outstretched fingers, and heads to the stacks.
R asks, "who's freud?"
"freud? sigmund freud? you don't know who he is?" i am shocked; how can someone not know who freud is. i'm not a fan--i read dora for a class once--and don't know too much about him, but i know who he is, the basics. it's like an american not knowing the george washington cherry tree story.
"is he, uh, is he like einstein?" R asks me, serious.
i try not to laugh.
"no einstein is quite different. einstein developed the theory of relativity--he was the one who thought of e=mc2. freud was the father of psychoanalysis. he..."
R looks lost.
J comes back out from the stacks. "i got these two i want."
i check them out, later noticing they are two different copies of the same exact title. i suppose she's quite perceptive.
R begins quizzing me on einstein and freud and nuclear war. i have to do original cataloging for four more fashion books. finally, i hand him over to T who is decorating the library with holiday decorations. i pass out scissors and white paper.
"here, make some snowflakes."
R shows me each rather un-crafty snowflake he makes and i praise him. i feel like we have a very odd relationship.
when i close up, i have to kick him out, gently. after i punch out, i head to the elevator where he pops up again. he starts talking to me in the elevator about how he's going to be a cop. great, if he's protecting nyc....
on the street, we walk to the subway together, me asking him about where he lives, that sort of thing. R is the king of mumbles; i miss half of what he says, and he speaks softly, so it's hard when you work in times square. right as we walk approach 7th avenue, he says, "I need to get your number."
i stop it before it starts. "i have a boyfriend."
"oh. oh." we say nothing for several beats, and then he says, "where's greenpoint?"

missing traveling: who i am

i feel like i can't do this anymore. i like being a librarian, but looking at photos on Why Go (part of the brilliant
Bootsnall), i feel, no, i'm in the wrong place. i need to be traveling. i need to go to latin america, to tibet, to nepal, to india, to russia, to
fiji. i need to be with my pack, talking with people, learning so much that i could never learn from books. i miss my backpack; it is hibernating
on the top shelf of my small closet. even my sucky pack towel, i miss you. i miss traveling so much right now, i know i will never be a cheery
wife and mother or a careerwoman. i'm a librarian, and i'm a radical cheerleader and a radical librarian, and i love to read and write and
practice yoga and run, but my spirit belongs on the open road.

financially, i am not yet on my feet. i took a temporary job at a brooklyn college for the exam period and that is going to the trip fund.
those days when i eat an apple and yogurt as my snack instead of heading outdoors--that saving money is my trip fund. i'm going to go again,
hopefully soon, because it is out there, the open road, that i truly feel free.

05 December 2005

it's a winter wonderland

it's snowing here in brooklyn, quite early in the season (technically it's not even winter yet) but it's still delightful. i left work a tad early to hop the 722 train to long island, and went to my parents' house. my father got pizza, calzone, and a salad, and we ate it, and then decorated the tree while the wonderful black and white edition of miracle on 34th street played. we got the tree decorated pretty fast, and it was beautiul. multi-colored lights, my fave, with such beautiful ornaments. i love my parents' tree.

i announced my intention to return to brooklyn and my father seemed disappointed in the car ride to the train. "i was waiting for the snow to come down harder, so we could take a walk." all at once i felt terrible and almost asked him to turn the car around, but i really wanted to get back here; i have heaps of things to do, and wanted to get a decent night of sleep. i thought how nice it would be, it's so pretty, especially with all of the christmas lights lit up in the snow; so beautiful.

getting back to brooklyn, the snow wasn't as heavy, and it wasn't sticking; whereas there is grass in long island, we have cement in the city. it seemed ugly almost, and i felt depressed, imagining myself drinking chammomile tea after a hearty walk with my dad. instead, i'm where the snow isn't as lovely, in my long nightgown, readying myself for bed.

happy holidays!

04 December 2005

dubrovnik, croatia

dubrovnik was truly beautiful. i took what turned out to be a 6 hour bus ride from split to dubrovnik. going to the bus i met rachel, a super cool ozzie. we met these two english guys who were drinking their way across europe. we decided to try to find an apartment when we got to dubrovnik; what the woman advertised and what we saw was different; there weren't beds for all, but rachel and i shared a big bed. we had separate linen and it was totally fine. rachel and i spent the days together, walking the city walls in dubrovnik, exploring local restaurants, sunning on the glorious beaches and swimming in the beautiful clean oceans--with views to boot. i adored dubrovnik, even the touristy bits. i also heard some of the most amazing street performers in my life--they played vivaldi so beautifully that i felt shivers.

croatia: split & hvar island

i was in split and hvar only for three days, but was able to enjoy the loveliness of these places. split is full of beautiful old buildings, even if people seem to hate it. i only spent a day there, but enjoyed myself, wandering, looking, walking. on hvar, i stayed at a shady hostel and spent most of my time sunning on the rocky beaches, swimming amidst italian tourists, and drinking with my irish roommates. i had a blast. the ferry from ancona to split took forever, and i was wise to get a cabin--a 4 person (the cheapest) which was totally empty--i slept the best i had in my entire life.

03 December 2005

Firenze (Florence)

I adored Florence. It was a lovely city, big, but not too big--you could walk everywhere. Seeing David was captivating--I waited in line forever, and then an American tipped me off that everyone was cutting--so we did and cut our waiting time by half an hour. But I stood in front of David for a long time, amazed by the immensity and the beauty of the sculpture. I saw a great amount of art--at the many museums of Florence, including Galleria D'Arte Moderna, Galleria Del Costume, Galleria Palatina, Museo delgi Argenti, Giardino di Boboli, Antoniomanzi a corte, Museo delle Porcellane, Duomo Church, Museo dell Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, Galleria degli Uffizi--yeah, I spent heaps of time in museums. I also stayed at the raddest hostel, Ostello Gallo D'Oro, where I met Felicia and Andy, two awesome New Yorkers--and Felicia turned out to have gone to the same college as me, also a journalism student (and I ran into her at 3am at Beauty Bar several weeks ago, how random!). I had so much fun, chilling, eating, running, viewing art, having fun.


venice, i was warned, was such a cliche, so touristy, so crowded, so hot and sweaty, so dirty. true, true, but it was lovely. some of my greatest photos are of venice, so pardon me if there are heaps of photos. don't plan on spending that long in venice--there honestly isn't too much to do. i was there for two and a half days, and visited the museums i wanted to (the peggy guggenheim, the museums of st marks (doge's palace, museo correr, museo archeologico nazionale, monumental rooms of the bibliotecca nazionale), gallerie dell'accademia--went into way too many venetian glass shoppes, seeking the perfect gifts for lissy, mom, and nessa, ate pizza (because everything else there is super expensive), walked around with a couple (she was 22, he was 40) and this really cool guy from turkey, chilled. it was fun to walk everywhere and get super lost, and it's just a charming place you really must visit, but please, don't spend too long: the crowds and the boredom will drive you mad!