Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm a slacker....

See, this is the reason I didn't want to start a blog... the same reason it took me five years to finish a diary in junior high... I can't commit to writing everyday. I also haven't had much to share lately. Don't get me wrong, my life is still full of ridiculousness and entirely inappropriate encounters; it's just that I can't share everything with you guys ;) Hope you understand.

So Saturday night I went whiskey tasting with friends. Two things: 1) whiskey is heinous and 2) whiskey tasting is ridiculous. When you register, they give you a coin that is good for a free drink at the bar (which is only stocked with whiskey - boo!). The coin ironically resembles what you get for milestones in AA...still not sure how I feel about that... Anyway, after we redeem our free "Dewar's Smash" (aka whiskey mojito... Um, Dewar's? Mojitos should only be made with rum.), we found some chairs and parked it until the tasting began. Then came the barrage of food. Mini burgers (beef and chicken), things made with mushrooms and goat cheese, mini hot dogs (super disappointing), empanadas, caprese salad on a stick, and maybe something else. I am ashamed to admit, I tried everything but the empanada (don't judge me!). The servers kept coming around every 30 seconds, which was a bit intense. 

Then they lured us into the back for "The Tasting." 

My friend Rachael was convinced something shady was going to go down behind the curtains... I thought the most they would do is ruffie us and then rob us. We were seated at a table in the back, which is a recipe for trouble. At each place setting there was a rack of test tubes filled with different whiskeys and random shit. The random shit was intended to help us identify scents or something (I whined about not having enough honey and made my friend switch my test tube for one that had more... then I kept sniffing the lavender in the "floral" tube). This tool, who we named Chad or Brad (don't remember what his actual name was... I'm pretty sure it started with a G though), talked nonstop about the history of Dewar's Scotch Whiskey and gave us useless information. We learned how to say cheers in Gaelic (don't remember that either) and got to sample different whiskeys. Then we got to blend our own based on the scents. I'll give you the lesson learned now: ALL WHISKEY TASTES THE SAME (i.e. what I imagine perfume tastes like)! After about half an hour of acting like a restless 15 year old in a boring class, they let us leave. They kicked us out pretty quick and gave us each 2 Dewar's glasses... you know, for all the whiskey we're gonna buy and drink at home (totally re-gifting that btw).

And that was whiskey tasting... I think if I partake in another tasting for hard liquor, it's gotta be clear ;)


And here's my first guest submission! Thanks Ali...

"Hey you cute sexy little black thing. Look at your ass wiggle. Can you spare 50 cents baby?" - Homeless man to Maisy, Ali's black lab puppy

NOTE: She no longer has the cone and has grown since this picture was taken.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Atlanta Weekend

Sorry for the hiatus, but I was away this weekend and am just now getting my energy back. I had some fun encounters while I was away. 

Date and Time: Friday, September 24th at 10:38 AM
Location: On my AirTran flight about 20 minutes outside of Atlanta

Captain: "On behalf of all the AirTran employees and all my ex wives, I'd like to thank you for flying with AirTran." 

Lesson Learned: Cheap airlines = funny pilots (probably because they have to moonlight as stand-up comics to make money on the side)


Date and Time: Saturday, September 25th at 1:45 PM
Location: Publix grocery store in Midtown Atlanta

Ashley: "6 cents? I thought it was free..." 
** We parked in the Publix parking structure so we could attend a street fair. To avoid getting in trouble, we made it seem like we were actually shopping by walking through the store, grabbing free samples, and then walking out. As we approached the car like 2 hours later after the street fair and getting food, we saw a security guard so we felt compelled to walk into the store AGAIN. Thankfully we picked up a coupon for a free iced tea at the street fair, so we thought we'd further take advantage of Publix. We didn't read the fine print and were shocked when we had to pay tax... all 6 cents. We made sure we got a grocery bag and I waved the receipt around. It's good we didn't get caught because we saw several cars with boots on them. Take that Publix!**

Lesson Learned: If you're sneaky enough, you can get away with only paying 12 cents for public parking. 


Date and Time: Sunday, September 26th at 5:22 PM
Location: the Popeyes at the airport (that's right, 1) I ate at Popeyes 2) on my birthday...) 

Random Guy: "You did a number on that chicken, girl." 
Me: (Embarrassed laughter) "I was hoping no one would notice."

Lesson Learned: People in Atlanta are pretty observant and not afraid to let you know.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

You would think last night was Friday...

Nothing like wine tasting on a Wednesday to shake things up a bit... add your co-workers and boss, and you have a recipe for an exciting night (or a drunken mess). So many hilarious things were said, but thanks to all the wine that was consumed, I can hardly remember any of it...

Date & Time: Wednesday, September 22nd from 5:30 PM-???
Location: Hudson Terrace 

Liz (at my dancing) No, you have to dance so that just your ass moves.

Girl who works there with a clipboard and a really short skirt (said to Rishauna): Um, those tables are reserved for a private event. Maybe you can sit there until they come. You can ask one of the two Mexican guys running around, cuz I don't really know.
** Really?**

The following are not quotes, but other highlights of the night:
- Connie (my boss) talking to one of the Mexican guys trying to get us a table (she's Mexican so she thought that might help our situation... it did not).
- Everyone giving us their extra drink tickets... we had plenty of our own, yet random people would walk up to us and just hand us tickets. I mean, did we look like we needed it?
- Viv stealing the cheese plate from the JetBlue jerks and then offering it to people not in the cabana section
- Rishauna doing the splits... twice.
- Parmesan truffle french fries (yum!)
- Watching lightening through a glass roof.

Lesson Learned: Six drink tickets really are enough.

This is probably a good representation of the amount of wine all 6 of consumed last night.

Then on my way home today:

Date & Time: Thursday, September 23rd at about 5
Location: Uptown C train

Guy on train (said to standing lady):  Do you want to sit?
(I was not looking at him and then I saw that he had a chair with him)
Standing Lady: Haha, no thanks.
Guy: Well, I just thought I'd offer since it's here and there's no where else to sit.

Lesson Learned: Bring my own seating on the train if I want to make friends.

This is not the man or the chair, but apparently this happens more often than I thought.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The MTA likes to make my day that much longer...

I knew something was wrong when I got to the subway platform for the C/E train and there was an A train just sitting there...

Date: Tuesday, September 21st at about 4:25 PM
Location: Sitting on the A train between the 23rd and 34th St Stations

Train Conductor: "I apologize for the delay. All A/C/B/D trains will be running local to 125th St due to an investigation at 103rd St. I repeat, all trains are in a conga line since they are all running on the local track. We will be moving shortly."

Conga line? Really? Is that the technical term they use at the MTA? Thankfully, the train I was on went express and I got home sooner than I expected. My commute should only take like 35 minutes max... it took an hour. The best part? I checked out the 103rd St station as we passed by and there was nothing going on.

Lesson Learned: Don't believe anything that's announced over the PA on the subway. No one knows what they're talking about.- AND- always bring some form of entertainment (e.g. iPod, book, etc); it will keep you sane.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Edition

I held out on posting because I knew the weekend would have a lot to offer in the form of interesting interactions. Here are some gems from the past few days:

"You fancy." ~ Said to me on the street by some guy simply because I was carrying my dry cleaning home. Little does ol' dude know, I go to the dry cleaner approximately once every three months... I guess that makes me fancy (only in Harlem...).

"I only lie in bed." ~ Sammy, drunken hot mess of a guy at the bar that looked like he stumbled straight out of an episode of The Jersey Shore. He was hitting on my friend Rachael. Not sure what the deal is, but 2 guys called her a liar. Do men think this is a fun way to flirt with women? (FYI: It's not funny or cute, so stop it)

Guy with thick Southern accent: (GSA): I just moved here from Georgia
Me: Oh really, how long have you been here?
GSA: I flew in today at 3:22 PM
Me:  Oh, so you literally just moved here. Haha. Have you ever been to NY before?
GSA:  No. This is my first time.
Me: Good luck. It's not like Georgia... at all. 

Josh C2 (lol, only Alli can understand this): I'm from Rego Park, in Queens. Do you know where that is?
Me: I know some areas of Queens, but I don't know exactly where that is.
JC2: Its where the tornado hit last week.
Me: So is there a huge gaping hole where Rego Park used to be? 
JC2:No, but we got hit pretty hard. There are cars that were broken in half on my block.
Me:  Wow, that sucks...(Because what do you say to that?)

Spanish Tourist (she was part of a group of 4... oh yea, and Spanish as in from Spain): Um, can you help us?
Me: I can try.
ST: We are looking for the (insert intelligible words here in broken English)
Me: Huh?
She tried again and then we just stared at each other for a good minute. I used the word "calle" which was NOT helpful to anyone. Then she got a map from one of the guys with her. I pointed to where we were and tried again to see where they wanted to go.
ST: The (intelligible words again) church for the gospel.
Me: Oh, a church (Mind you, there are probably 25 churches (literally) within a 5 block radius of where we were). 
I pointed them in a general direction and wished them luck. They picked the wrong NYer to ask for help. It made me really want to brush up on my Spanish.
** I was sitting on a bench eating my hangover cure breakfast and I had noticed a ton of European tourists getting off the train at my station, but I couldn't for the life of my figure out why all these people were coming from far and wide to kick in Harlem on Sunday morning. Then I met this group and I guess hitting up a church in Harlem is a "must do" for tourists. I thought that was really cool. They couldn't understand English very well, yet they wanted to go hear the gospel at a church. Apparently some things transcend language. 

P.S. The hangover cure breakfast is a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll with a vitamin water. Try it; it works every time.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Because sometimes your Ecuadorian cab driver also makes pianos for Elton John...

Date & Time: Thursday, September 16th from 9-9:30 AM
Location: In a cab from East Harlem to Chelsea

I have moved more times than I like to think about in my less than 4 years here in the city. Moving in the city is a major pain in the ass for numerous reasons I will not go into (at least not today, haha), but my least favorite part is transporting large/numerous items in a cab. Today was my first day at my new school and I had the pleasure of figuring out how to transport the following items by myself: 2 large cardboard boxes (not really heavy), two large canvas tote bags (jam packed with crap and reasonably heavy), and a computer monitor and tower (these things are large, bulky, and weigh a ton). I managed to load all this craponto  a hand truck thing and then I conned one of the only people in the office to help me take the stuff downstairs so she can bring the hand truck back up (leaving the computer on the street? NOT AN OPTION). 

Here is where part two of this adventure begins: trying to get a cab. There were at least 3 cab drivers that slowed down, saw all the stuff I had, and kept it moving. I was annoyed. Hello? I'm still going to pay you the same as if it were just me and I'm not asking for help loading/unloading. Whatever... My assistant (ok, I feel bad cuz I don't know here name... I'm making it a point to learn it so I can thank her again and you know not be totally rude) mentioned that our agency uses a cab company around the corner and she just so happened to know the number off the top of her head. I kid you not, no more than 3 minutes after I hung up with the dispatcher, the cab rolled up. It was a small SUV which was pretty much perfect. 

This is when Marco entered my life...

After we were loaded up and on our way, the conversation began with him asking me if I voted the other day (which was funny because he didn't either, but his excuse was way better than mine). Then somehow we started talking about where we were from. It was at about this point, that he started referring to me as "Pretty"... like it was my name. He told me about how hard it was for him when he first moved to the city from Ecuador back in 1990. This is what he said regarding his embarrassment about not knowing the language and working custodial jobs.

Marco: "Believe me Pretty, it was very hard. I was so embarrassed. There were many times when the tears came down."
Me: "I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you." (such a typical social worky thing to say).

Ok, so now Marco has earned a special place in my heart for being vulnerable enough to share that with me. He then told me about how he started driving a cab and began working for this piano company. He builds pianos and repairs them. He said his company sells pianos to orchestras and Elton John. They range in price from $1500 to $45,000. About this time we exchanged names, but he still insisted on calling me "Pretty." Super awkward. He continued on about his faith in God and how he can't help but be happy and positive because he has so much more than others even if it isn't a lot. Marco gave me his card and I said I'd call him if I ever have the money to buy one of his pianos (which will probably be around never...). He helped me unload my stuff and then we parted ways.

I'm glad I met Marco. I started this blog not thinking I'd have stories like this to share, but Marco was a sweet spot in my mostly bitter encounters here in the city. 

Lesson learned: Believe me Pretty, sometimes having a conversation with your cab driver can make your day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sharing is caring...

For those of you that have never lived in New York City, you may not quite grasp the insanity that is this place. It's one thing to visit, it's another thing to actually be here day in and day out. There is always something going on; you can walk down a street and stumble onto a film set - or - a mariachi band may get onto your subway car when you least expect it (this usually happens to me when I'm exhausted after a long day and have a pounding headache). I have also had some of the most random experiences here. I've gotten into a cab once and my friend from grad school was the driver (What are the odds?). I also run into people that I know on the streets a lot more than you'd believe; in a city of 8 million people, you'd think you could be a little more anonymous (like I always say: there may be millions of people, but we're on a tiny island). Anyway, the point of this blog is to document some of the insanity I personally experience on a daily basis. 

For example, yesterday I had an extremely awkward encounter with a bus driver. I had my earbuds in (naturally, since NYers like to keep interactions with others to a minimum and to drown out whatever obnoxiousness is going on around you) and as I got on the bus, the bus driver motioned for me to take them out. I obliged (only because he's a bus driver) and he said to me, "You have got some nice toes." Really? What the hell am I supposed to do with that? Couldn't keep that comment to yourself homie? I appreciate the compliment, but not sure it was really necessary. 

So today marks the beginning of what I hope to be a daily account of my life here. Here goes:

Date & Time: Wednesday, September 15th around 9 AM
Location: 99 Cent Store on 8th Ave in Harlem

I was getting some much needed cheap cleaning supplies, when I had the pleasure of having an exchange with a crazy lady (who from hereon will be referred to as CL). I could already hear the craziness from about half an aisle away. CL was rambling to the woman behind the counter about something and the woman looked equally annoyed and terrified. The woman gave me this look as I set down my items on the counter. CL eyes locked in on me (I, being a trained social worker, avoided eye contact but didn't ignore her so as to not agitate her in any way) and she went in on my height... 

CL: "You're so tall. You know they have tall men out there for you."
Me: "Yep. I know." 
CL: "Oh yea, I bet those tall men love you... Are you a virgin?"
* Woman behind the counter looks at me to see how I'm going to respond...*
Me: "Um, that's pretty personal, so I'm not going to answer that."
CL: (After contemplating for a moment) "You're right, that is personal. Sorry. You are a nun. N-U-N."
Me: "Um... sure" (under my breath to the woman behind the counter: "Can we please hurry this up!?!?")
CL: (As I'm hustling out the store) "You take your time sister; you look good. Take your time..."

Lesson learned: Pay the extra $0.50 for your Ajax from now on; you end up paying more in other ways when you shop at the 99 cent store.