Sunday, September 25, 2005

Asian, French, Russian, Turkish, and some Polish

This weekend was in some ways about a mix of cultures. Both meshing cuisines, people, and customs. On Friday night, Jacek came to visit for the weekend. His only requests were that we ate good food and watched Battlestar. I had gotten wonderful recommendations both from the New York Times and from my parents about a French Asian fusion restaurant in Thornwood called Ace. It sadly, was not the experience we were hoping for. We were seated 30 minutes late, served mediocre tiny portions of food and were basically ignored our entire time there. Granted, the company was good, but sadly the food and service were not. I enjoy mixing foods from different cultures. It usually leads to a very interesting medley of tastes. Sadly, this attempt failed.

Saturday morning we woke up slowly, and then headed into the city to hit the Russian and Turkish Bath house down on 10th between 1st and ave A. I had been multiple times with Miss Courtney and some others. The best thing about this place- that has been around since the 1800's, is the mix of old eastern european men with the trendy nyc crowd that also frequents the baths. There are 4 rooms with various temperatures, all designed to make you sweat. It is coed on most days so everyone is lazing around in their bathing suits. It definitely offers a unique experience and relaxes my muscles perfectly. It was a bit too humid for Plosk. Jacek enjoyed the experience...since he is in fact "european." And I like the place for its dingy and quirky vibe.

Alice then met us at the Life cafe in Alphabet City where we ate lunch, and slowly got our strength back. And we then headed back to westchester to take a trip to Dave and Busters. Alice now joined us for the evening as well and what took place was a fabulous night with good friends laughing and enjoying the company. Oh yes, and shopping. Jacek allowed me to help him buy new clothes since he is a self proclaimed fashion victim. It was like having a full sized doll. "Go try this on." But he bought some nice stuff. In fact we all left with something which was lucky.

While out, Alice also told me and Plosk some very entertaining information. A bit over a year ago Alice invited me to go to her wedding. Obviously Plosk was already going, but I had only hung out with her a few times. Although we got along very well, it was still a bit surprising. Ah ha! She had ulterior motives! She was trying to set us up at her own wedding! She invited me in the hopes that he and I would become a couple. She told me, "You know someone for a decade and you want good things for them. I wanted you and Gary to be an item." It appears as if all our friends and family were waiting for us to take the plunge. Well, good on them for seeing what was only a matter of time.

Dave and Busters was a blast, and then, we were all sleepy. Alice and Jack opened the wine, and I fell asleep about 12ish. But it was a really lovely weekend. Honesty and friendship are quite appealing. There is a great deal of it at 11o1. I'm quite lucky.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


This post will not make sense to anyone (well, one person). But I feel the need to document it. To simply write a few words based on some massive changes that have taken place this week. Perhaps 'changes' is an incorrect description, but a shift has taken place all the same.

Plosk told me he would show me something on his computer dated from last November. This was after I told him my true feelings when I use the word "vomit" to describe a topic that keeps coming up again and again. He saw this as an opening to broach a topic that has been on his mind for almost a year now. Feelings that went through my head: excitement, fear, confusion, and perhaps every other emotion possible. My life is not as I imagined it. It is better than I could have hoped. Things have moved so quickly since I graduated college and now, there are other goals I have. To be published, to get my masters, to become a professor, and to be in a relationship that I can trust completely. All of these are in the works, and one has already been tackled. Deep breath. Can't slow down now.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Pillowman

Yesterday afternoon Plosk, Alice, and I visited the Booth theatre on 45th between Broadway and 8th(my least favorite part of the city- midtown, tourists, slow walkers). Alice was running late and had to run about 20 blocks in order to be on time for the 2 o'clock matinee we were about to see. But she arrived on time and we were able to take our seats and spend the next 2 hours viewing the work of one of the most talented writers living today.

I first experienced the work of Martin McDonagh years ago when I was in High School. My mother(who is always up on the latest nyc has to offer in theatre) brought me to see a new show by an Irish writer I had never heard of. The Beauty Queen of Leenane was the most incredible play I had ever seen. His shows are dark, funny, and understand the grotesque nature of the human being. With that said, he also explores the beauty of our own selfish motivations. If you are ever able to see one of his shows. Please, take this opportunity.

The Pillowman was very different from the other two shows I had seen which focus much more on rural Irish characters. The Pillowman is such a well designed play, that even the monotone acting of Goldbloom couldn't obstruct the humor and horror the dialogue brought to the show. I won't say much about the content. I will say, if you enjoy the morbid, the deranged, and the poignant questions about how you will be remembered after you die, see the show.

It feels like there is so much to say. So many conversations lately that deem mentioning. Perhaps one conversation will be able to contain the parts of many. On the ride home from Ct tonight I confided in Plosk that I feel terribly bored with human nature. Bored of the obvious motivations that people believe to be hiding by cloaked words and actions. Even the works of Shakespeare is cluttered with the same mistakes human being make over and over again. The same obsessive compulsive dribble. Make a list of all major themes that take place in 5 Shakespearean plays. Then read Japanese haiku from the 10th century and compare it again to the 19th century novel. The themes are all incredibly similar. We are constantly reproducing the same mistakes, joys, and sorrows. We are absolutely predictable. We are all entrenched in the same stories even if each of our lives tell it in a different way. Now, as tedious as this sounds, this is also what makes art universal. This is what makes good writers stand out. The ability to format these boring reproductions of life into something new and interesting. Birth, Love, Mortality, Murder, Jealousy, Obsession, Deception, Grief. All redundant. All necessary. This is however, done wrong more than it is right.

I'm reading David Hollander's "L.I.E." I'm enjoying it a great deal. I'm finally experiencing a book that has ability to tell me a story using all of the themes listed above while being original and surprising. What a relief. "The Pillowman." Another relief. So few stories to tell, but so many ways to tell them. It's the way you communicate these stories that matters.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Act of Secrecy

I was told recently by a friend in reference to my blog, "Sometimes, I don't like the way you write." She went on to say that between my words she feels as if I'm holding back what I'm willing to say, and that my words feel that way, clotted and forced. My response, "Of course they do." One doesn't write the most personal details of their lives and friends within this public forum. And I don't save my most eloquent language for this medium either. A blog is a place to display a public side, perhaps with some personal under tones. You must be aware of your audience. Example: my father reads my blog. (Hey dad) This in itself requires me to keep in mind what I am about to say. Many times I have the desire to write more about my personal life. Example: The same friend who told me that she doesn't like the way my blog is written at times, has spurred an enormous amount of conversation between Plosk and I. We've talked about this with the kind of bluntness that is terrifying and wonderful. Found out new things about each other. I will not talk about my friends painful experience, or the details of what my conversations have been since then. But the references to them will remind me in years to come what I was talking about. And the 'blog' allows for me to keep up with friends who I don't speak to daily. I like that they may read my words, even if those words aren't as detailed or introspective as I may sometimes like. End of song.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


We were finally told today who will be staying on at the Press and who has been asked to leave come December 1st. I have been asked to stay for another year. I should be happy. Quite cheerful in fact. But due to a multitude of reasons, my job security is not enough to create this euphoria. I asked my boss if we were going to see a pay raise due to the fact that it will be our second year. I have more than proved myself as a worker, considering I am one of the most productive indexers this press has. I consistently push myself and have earned what I feel should be a small amount of monetary recognition. My boss claims the press doesn't have the money to give us 6 a raise. They have gone under budget with this project so my feeling is that they have been cheap although they claim poverty.

In any case, this once again motivates me to keep my eyes open for something new.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


My brother is now officially in Hong Kong. Probably picking up Dom at the airport about now. His job remains amazing. Work long hours all year on your weekends, but then as a reward, get 2 months of down time to do whatever he would like. Last year was Africa, this year China and India. I would love to go on a holiday like that. Finances sadly don't allow it. He makes probably over double what I make. But the next year won't be barren in terms of travel. The three options on the table are as follows : World Cup in Germany, a visit to Heidi's castle in France, or a cruise through the glaciers of Alaska. But those aren't until next summer. This winter we will perhaps go on a skiing trip, or do another package to some place warm like we did to the Dominican Republic last March. No matter what, I get an itch to leave the country every six months or so. And with our happy tax money next year, we are going to travel like we're incredibly wealthy. Volleyball money won't hurt either. In fact, I think volleyball money will go towards skiing this winter.

This past weekend, I was supposed to hang out with my friend Courtney. She just arrived back from spending the summer traveling through Asia. Courtney and I lived together in Paris back in 2002 while we were modeling. I've only kept close relationships with two friends from that world. Marko and Courtney. (Although I'm still invited to many of the parties taking place constantly, I'm rude- I never go) I was told by miss Elana on Thursday night while we were out to see "The Constant Gardener" that she couldn't picture my personality fitting into the modeling industry. And it's true, I never completely fit in with that crowd. I was modeling full time in the summers and part time during the school year, heading straight from classes to Manhattan for castings or shoots. It had it's perks. You don't pay for a damn thing while out and about. You don't wait in lines at the trendiest clubs. And you sit with the club owners in the VIP sections with other models, or various celebrities. However that isn't the job. That's just the perks of this society. If you're a model or simply look and dress like one, you get a free ride in that world. What I miss about the job, besides the clothing, is the travel. Your agency calls you and says, "You're going to Ibiza today" or "You're going to Belgium today." And you pack a bag and are off. You work with new people everyday in a large variety of locations. I love reading poetry, but it does not have the perk of constant change, and I do not get to meet new people daily. However, I can also cut my hair when I want to, and plan weekends without them being destroyed by my agency calling on Friday telling me what I have to do. I think the theme is travel. I miss it. One good thing is that even if I'm no longer a model, the clubs and life are still open to me. Free food and drink in Manhattan is not something to thumb your nose at. Sadly for this weekend, Courtney was unable to hang out due to some mid afternoon fun she had on Friday. I hope I get to see her before she heads to Colorado. But the weekend turned out wonderful anyway. Plosk and I spent a great deal of time goofing off and enjoying each others company. Today, we're going to take a lovely long walk, since it's a beautiful september day. It has been a weekend we needed.

On a side note- this time a few years ago, I was standing on 6th Ave and West 11th watching the two towers burn to the ground. Dumb struck in a city under attack. Wandering downtown trying to find friends with a cell phone that didn't work. Today, I'm in my apartment, comfortable and happy. In any case, I'm doing better than the people who have lost their homes most recently. We all go through cycles of tragedy. New Orleans and the surrounding areas, some worse than the city, avoided the terrorist threats unlike NY, but nature can do more harm than human beings can. And a sad truth remains that Hurricanes and Tsunamis and bombs take place. It's the way you deal with the after shocks that matters.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

This time last year, I had my final biopsy, and in 7 days from now I would have been told that I had cancer of the thyroid. In exactly 1 month from now, will be a year since my surgery. It's September and school has started again for those still in school. For me, time moves into fall without much transition. I need to get myself into the academic world. I need a job that recognizes the seasons. A job that shifts with nature.

Volleyball has started. I miss playing so much. But I'm paid to be around it 5 days a week, and get my hands on a ball. The girls have proven to be amazing already. In the three years I've watched and participated with the team, I haven't seen such a talented (and tall) group. Such positive attitudes. Hard workers. It's going to be an amazing season. I work better when involved on an athletic team. I push myself more. The body becomes inactive while working- sitting, typing. The blood slows. These last few nights, I've been hyper and excited. Our first game is next Thursday. We shall see.

Next Wednesday I head back to Sloan to meet with Dr. Shaha. An amazing surgeon. However my scar hasn't faded as much as I would have liked, but that takes time. I barely notice it now, but when I look at it, I do wish is didn't exist. Before my appointment with Shaha, I have an appointment to see if I'm eligible to participate in an acupuncture study. This is for Sloan patients who have had head and neck surgery who have pain, and sore muscles, to see if accupuncture could help ease that pain. I would gladly go in once a week to both improve my back and find out what it's all about. I've heard wonderful things about these needles and I'm quite curious.

I still dislike going to Sloan and this will be my first visit ever by myself. Plosk came with me last time since my Mum couldn't go. But now no one is able to come so I have to deal with the anxiety being there provides by myself. Cancer is such a loaded word, it's difficult to register that it was in my body. It's more of an idea than a disease.

I've been reading on the history of disease and dying. The ways in which our attitudes on them change with society. The current state we're in (in the age of medicine) is very unique. Instead of accepting death as a fact of life, we see death as the failure of medicine. An eldery person, a child, anyone. They don't die because their body's have failed. Instead they die because the doctors weren't able to help them.

I was able to be helped. Many cancer patients are survivors. Some died due to the failure or science. Or did they die because of a disease. Accepting mortality or raging against. Perhaps a middle ground is called for.