I know, I know, it's like I just roll in here and act like I didn't completely disappear for the last few months.
It's been hard for me to keep up with the world of Livejournal. It's been a great community for so long, but so much of my attention has been focused on my upcoming move and on trying to get over my breakup. I think actually leaving the physical place we lived will be a great help, and so will leaving the internet place where the two of us spent so much time. So, I'm going to hop ship and start a new blog, and I'll let you know as soon as I have it up and running.
I'm deep in the throes of preparing to move to the midwest. I'm leaving tomorrow (or possibly the day after), and it's weird the way time moves faster and faster. I'm crazy excited to get out to Missouri and get to work, and at the same time I feel like I'm in limbo, all anticipation and reaching off into this void where I won't know anyone or have any idea what I'm doing. There have been all these little milestones here in NY that I've been in eager anticipation over: an Indigo Girls hootenanny in July (that was a dream come true), visiting friends in Virginia and DC, the last few Kites performances, getting Greta back, going camping, my going away party... and now I've ticked off all of those fun things, one by one, and they seem to fall by faster and faster, and what I've got left is the boxes, filling the boxes with my stuff, labeling and taping and getting ready to drive it halfway across the country. Even though I'm actually leaving tomorrow, I still do not entirely believe that I am. It doesn't feel real yet. It probably won't feel real until a few weeks after I've been in Missouri.
For my final Livejournal entry, I thought I'd blatherifically list out 62 things I've learned since moving to New York six and a half years ago. I've droned on and on at wild and merciless length very often in the past, so why not keep up with tradition, is my feeling. I'm hoping that my time in graduate school will teach me, among other things, the art of brevity. But if nothing else, at least I will get to tailgate at a Big 12 football game, and that's something.
1. Playing the Limerick Game will ensure that you go to sleep thinking about the worst mental images conceivable, because your friends are complete deprave-Os. (Which is precisely why you love them.)
2. Turning your headphones way up will never entirely drown out the sound of a mariachi band.
3. Especially if they have (horrors) an accordion.
4. Going to Indigo Girls shows with anyone except the superest superfans is the wrong call. (Please feel free to sub in the name of another band besides Indigo Girls as your favorite, although that is also the wrong call of course.)
5. The nicer a firm's kitchen facilities, the greater percentage of jerks you will have to work with.
6. Always squint when a train enters the tunnel, the better to avoid having subway grime flying rapidly into your eyeball.
7. Hold the glass by the stem. It looks better, and it keeps the wine from getting too warm. Another way to prevent this is to consume the wine extremely rapidly and then start singing Yacht Rock songs as loudly as you can.
8. Drag queen bingo is exactly as good of an idea as it seems like it would be.
9. There is nothing better to do with your Saturday than take some guitars, some food, and some wiffleball equipment to the Sheeps Meadow.
10. The Smiths were ripping off Brian Eno.
11. The Smiths were more awesome than Brian Eno.
12. Never fuck someone who went to ComicCon. (I do not know this from personal experience, but I know it to be true all the same.)
13. Pretending to have fucked someone who went to ComicCon in order to get a laugh is acceptable, but only in front of certain audiences. (See also: deprave-O friends.)
14. Bars with patios are the greatest.
15. Bars with patios and Brooklyn Lager on tap are the greatest greatest.
16. Bars located in Brooklyn that do not have Brooklyn Lager on tap are obviously trying to prove something, and should be avoided regardless of patio status.
17. Hey. Get out of my way.
18. When you live in New York, bands always sound sincere when they yell the name of your city at concerts. However, Philly audiences are actually even better.
19. Quoting improv shows after the fact never works, because there is just no way to make anyone understand why three guys wearing monster masks searching for underwater Nazi gold a) made sense and b) was funny.
20. There is nothing a New Yorker loves more than to tell you how to get somewhere. Never be afraid to ask directions.
21. Jumping in the MTA turnstile when your friend is going through it, in order to be funny, will still earn you a ticket. Related: cops are paid to pretend your jokes are not funny. Don't let it get to you.
22. You can ignore that ticket, by the way.
23. You are never going to learn how the streets in the West Village work. They switch them around every night. Don't even sweat it.
24. Yes, your mom would probably like to get a piercing at one of the places on 6th Ave. Why not go together?!
25. Everyone likes robots.
26. People respect you endlessly if you have the stones to audition at Coyote Ugly, but may not respect you if you work there.
27. All hipsters hate hipsters virulently. The best way to tell whether someone is a hipster is to listen and see if they are railing about hipsters.
28. Don't ever try to tell a New Yorker where the best pizza or bagels can be found. Everyone has their own place, and even if you found a better one, we don't want to hear it. We want to discover it ourselves.
29. New York exists largely to glorify itself, but everyone reads it, and they should.
30. If you can avoid Herald Square, do so.
31. This goes double for the financial district.
32. Triple for Chinatown.
33. Try not to pick fights with drunk train strangers if you are also drunk.
34. Find the thing you love to do the most, and do that. (I'm pretty sure I read this advice in some book, but hoo boy is it ever 100% true.)
35. It is possible to successfully scream down the Chinatown bus barkers, if you are pissed off enough about some wack con they are trying to pull, but they will really resent you.
36. The reason out of towners think New Yorkers are rude is because I AM TRYING TO GET TO WORK and you are walking FIVE ABREAST and doing the PEDESTRIAN VERSION OF RUSH HOUR IDLING IN THE LEFT LANE and oh my god I'm so late right now PLEASE WOULD YOU JUST STAND OFF TO ONE SIDE in order to properly enjoy STARING AT THAT BUILDING for the love of LITTLE GREEN APPLES.
37. Bottle feeding a baby cat is the greatest.
38. It's best to just say what you actually think.
39. They may say the words "capital improvements," but really what they mean is "oh my god we are going to tear shit up indefinitely and you will deal with it."
40. This is especially true of the BQE, which will be finished never.
41. And speaking of BQE-related quandries, I finally looked it up, and that word is pronounced "koshy-CHYOOSH-koh."
42. Hair-pulling can actually be pretty awesome.
43. If you really perfect your stare off into middle distance, you can avoid engaging with ranty crazies, acquaintances with whom you do not wish to stop and chat, and Scientologists.
44. I am sorry if you know someone who fits all of those categories.
45. That series of buildings in Dumbo that says WATCHTOWER? They have subterranean tunnels connecting them all. This sounds like it would be cool until you stop and think about just how creepy it is.
46. John Belushi, Mitch Hedberg, and Frankie Lyman were geniuses. Related: heroin sucks.
47. If two rabbits hate each other, there is not a damn thing in the world you can do about it.
48. Kenny Rogers, WHY DID YOU DO THAT TO YOURSELF, MAN?
49. The secrets to the perfect guacamole are four-fold: 1. Go to the best produce stand you know of; 2. Chop everything very finely; 3. Add more lime and salt than you think you want; 4. Let's keep the mayonnaise out of this.
50. Will Hines is funny and awesome. He says the following, and it is correct: "I know that to be a person who is always in a hurry, rushing around, walking hurriedly with my head down is to be living life INCORRECTLY. Stop and smell the roses, people say. Eat more slowly. I diplomatically say to this school of thought: NO. I didn’t move to New York City to dawdle and observe. I moved here to GET TO WHERE I AM GOING."
51. People will be concerned about you if you decide a gay bar is a good place to lay down.
52. Con Ed, You Suck (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)
53. It is easy to become a food snob here, particularly about wack specific things like rice pudding, aloo gobi, smoothies, weird gelato, and spicy cocktails.
54. Yegg. It means lockpicker. Y-E-G-G, yegg.
55. Always call the place first, to make sure they have not shut down, moved, stopped carrying the thing, run out of the thing, started requiring you to present a utility bill before they will give you the thing, or gone on tour with Micky Dolenz.
56. It is impossible not to stare at something disgusting on the train, once you have spotted it. Examples: two teenagers making out, a guy cleaning his nails with a MetroCard, or a pool of vomit. That last one is especially insidious because you will sit and wonder what food it used to be. You can't even help it. And yes, it probably was Cap'n Crunch.
57. When you leave the house with a home-delivered magazine, tear off your address so the crazies won't find you. Note: this will not stop the crazies who just randomly see you on the street.
58. Pocky is the best.
59. There is no neurosis too implausible to exist. My friend Lindsay posits there is a guy who rides her train in the mornings who carries around a coffee-spill decal to put on the seat next to him so no one will sit by him. This is ridiculous, but not impossible.
60. Eventually, you will find yourself instinctively avoiding small puddles, because they signify drips from above. You will especially do this underground, since when you feel a drip on the sidewalk, you can always pretend to yourself that it came from an AC, whereas when a drip falls on you in the train station, the LEAST disgusting thing it is is water mixed with years of untenable heaven-foresaken subway grime.
61. The cat will do what the cat wishes to do. Thinking you might one day find a way to deter him is just a waste of hours.
62. Don't take for granted a view of any of the following: the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, the Empire State Building, or the Brooklyn Bridge. Go ahead and turn and look. It's worth it. (Just move to the side first. The person behind you is, after all, probably running late.)
I've never felt comfortable calling myself a New Yorker. Other people have referred to me that way in the past, and I always feel the same mix of pride and unworthiness. It's such a loaded term; such a loaded place. It feels like an honorific you have to earn, not one you can just claim. You don't get to call yourself a New Yorker just by showing up here, or by memorizing the MTA map, or even by loving the city with all your heart. But I suppose you get to call yourself that whenever you realize that you are not in the city so much as it is in you, and you know there's nowhere else in the world for you. It's funny, only as I am leaving am I really going to be comfortable saying to myself, I am a New Yorker. I guess it's to reassure everyone, myself included, that somewhere else might rent some space in my heart for awhile, but I belong here. I was born in Virginia, and I love my southern heritage with great heart, and wouldn't trade it for love or money. But I Am A New Yorker.
(I probably still won't actually say that, like, out loud to people. It's pretty douchey.)