July 29, 2008

Bandaids are for cuts and scrapes

Is my life so bland that the only interesting things I notice happen on the subway to and from work? That's a question for another day...

There were three loud, obnoxious PR/Fashion industry girls talking loudly on the train this evening about their jobs, their clients, their moves to Manhattan, so naturally I directed my attention to them. And I kept looking because I couldn't figure out if they were pretty or trying too hard, obnoxious or if I was just jealous of their "glamorous" lifestyles, younger that me or just more naive, dressed well or just a touch last season, had good hair or too much help from the curling iron...(Who am I kidding?....Its the latter on each count.)

When the youngest, cutest girl mentioned something about someone tugging at her dress, I turned to look. It was a drapey, red dress made of a very thin, springy synthetic fabric. Kinda shapeless but unique enough to be wearable.

The neck-line caught my eye, and then the outline of a bandaid caught my eye! Oh poor dear. She went bra-less and covered her nipples with bandaids, and the dress was so clingy that the outline of the bandaids were super duper obvious. The poor thing deserved a black bar over her face on the Glamour "Fashion Don't" pages. Her "friends" must have casually declined to mention this to her.


Just so I don't have awful karma and end up ugly and unloved, let me quickly describe the totally beautiful girl I saw on the subway this morning. She was a probably-not-American Asian girl in an effortlessly chic outfit complete with Chanel purse, but she wasn't dressed to flaunt herself--she just looked beautiful in her cream sheath dress with interesting pockets at the hip, and jeweled flat sandals. Even her eye makeup was discreet yet really captivating--she used just the right amount of white-ish/silver highlighter on the inner corner of her lower lids that brightened up her whole complexion. All the guys on the train couldn't stop looking at her. And she was reading National Geographic Traveler so she was smart too. That's beauty! (And proof I'm not a total hater.)

July 23, 2008

"I'll stand. I've been sitting all day"

Call me lazy, call me the Andy Rooney of bloggers (can you figure out why I'm earning this nickname?), but if given the option, I almost always prefer to sit than stand. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I am at happy hour with coworkers and there aren't enough bar stools to go around. Invariably, someone will announce that they don't need to sit because they've been sitting all day. Fine by me--that means I get the seat!

I just hate that line. Sounds a little self-righteous. And it reminds me of my penchant for laziness.

I always get a seat on the 6 train. I shimmy my way to the center of the car and snag an open seat as soon as someone gets up, typically after a stop or two. As soon as the train starts slowing down, I begin checking for people closing their books, putting their bags on their shoulders, tensing their muscles like they're going to stand up. I am so ready to pounce. My ride is 15 minutes, so, whatever, I prefer to sit.

Well, after work I was determined to get a seat as soon as I got on at 23rd Street. I was tired and hot.

I hastily went for the first open seat I saw---between a regular-sized dude and an obese woman. Not my best judgment, but I figured they'd both be able to move over just enough for me to comfortably fit.

Wrong! The hefty lady didn't move at all, and I ended up sandwiched between them, having to shrug my shoulders in order to fit without pressing too strongly against them. They were there first after all and I'm considerate, haha.

As we approached every stop I kept hoping that the woman or the dude would get up! I was super uncomfortable, but didn't want to get up and make the fat lady feel bad about essentially taking up two seats on a bench seat that typically holds 3 people with room to spare.

So I just stayed there until the lady got off at 77th Street, physically uncomfortable, sorry that I destroyed the roominess that the other two people were enjoying before I got on board, and grappling with whether I should risk hurting this fat woman's feelings by getting up for a new seat, and also wondering how this woman could be so large, living in Manhattan where climbing a stair or two and walking a block or two everyday is inevitable.

Okay, so I'm Andy Rooney. I accept it. At least I stayed on topic though.

July 17, 2008

In Disney for a Convention

So I'm in Orlando for a conference, where I'm exhibiting, giving a presentation, and sitting on a panel discussion. I was expecting a lovely "resort" experience, since the name of my hotel has the word "resort" in it.
Instead, I feel like I walked onto a cross between the Miley Cyrus show and the pageant scene from Little Miss Sunshine. Everything here is just a little trashier than you'd expect. My "resort" is really a series of motels--my room is a 7 minute walk outdoors from the hotel lobby, and upon my arrival at midnight last night, was told that a golf cart would take me and my bags to the room. Needless to say the golf cart driver was on break, so I was standing outside in the fog for several minutes angrily swapping away mosquitoes waiting for his return. (The octogenarian driving the cart has been doing the job for the past 11 years! Crazy.)
Due to hurricane/tropical depression/whatever Bertha, it is foggy and humid and rainy, and there are TONS of snails and bugs everywhere, and my "resort hotel" room is really a ground floor motel room with bad lighting and a door that unsafely leads directly to the outside world.
Oh, did I mention that I have no cell reception in my room?
...So I'm here for a conference and the convention center is connected to the "hotel". It is also hosting the National Dance Masters Competition, so there are little girls with cake makeup, leotard wedgies, and false eyelashes strewn about, teenage boys in tights, and old southern chain-smoking ladies stressing out about the timing of the classes and auditions.
But I am here for work, and though the work hasn't started quite yet I'm already feeling slightly famous. Since I'm a featured speaker (I'm giving a talk on how to write a personal statement and sitting on a panel about how to get a job with a liberal arts degree) I have a photo and bio write-up in the conference brochure.
Well, awesomely, my photo and bio are adjacent to the keynote speaker of the conference, Tim Ferris of "4 Hour Work Week" fame. I love this man! He is super famous and since my photo and bio is right next to his that makes me seem just as important and awesome as him. We'll be bff soon, and I'll be landing speaking gigs with huge honorariums in no time.

July 1, 2008

Ironic Subway Ride

There's something profoundly different between taking the subway home
right after work and taking the train home after happy hour. No, its
not that the trains are less crowded--it's that they're crowded with
drunk crazies.

Tonight was just ironic because there was a drunk and psychotic woman
on the train, talking to herself, cursing at random people--the usual.
And another woman comes on and starts talking to me about how this
woman is talking to herself and how she would never think to bother
people on the train like that.

Over the next 7 stops we talked about how she just sleeps on the train
when she's drunk (but never by sprawling out on the seat), how she
always wears a sweater as soon as she gets cold (tonight it was a
large american flag sweater), then she started speculating about what
would happen if the cops came and saw this woman drinking her beer and
spouting the f-bomb...She naturally transitioned to talking about
police brutality... We shared memories of Abner Louima and she quizzed
me on whether I remembered if the cop who initiated a recent incident
was black or white. Good times.

Apparently there was a recent incident where police killed a deaf,
mute, machete-weilding dude. She thought the cops should have called a
translator for backup before using force against him. Interesting
idea, but who am I to judge? Haha.

Anyways, made for a fun ride. I always like talking to randoms,
especially strange ones because it makes for a good story and you
never know just how lonely someone is and how helpful you're being by
being friendly. Maybe laughing with and being interested in what this
woman had to say was the kind of interaction she needed, or maybe
talking about other people's problems made her feel better about her
own. I guess that's not unique -- I suppose we all look for that type
of fleeting companionship/validation every now and then.
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