Change, Compromise, FTSF, Humor, Memory Lane, Opinion, Project, Rules To Live By, Sarcasm, Save The World

Never Gonna Happen

I compromise all the time. Like, I’ll take a pair of dish pan hands if Captain Clam does the Kitty Litter, or I’ll be the designated driver if Captain Clam does the Kitty Litter, or I’ll sort the recycle/dump the garbage/mop/sweep/dust if Captain Clam does the Kitty Litter…  I would basically compromise anything to get out of shoveling cat poop, except for the following…

I won’t drink and drive. Ever. I won’t even sniff a cocktail if I know I am getting behind the wheel. I don’t believe in it and think if you do drink and drive, you are a dumb asshole.

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This graphic is too ridiculous not to use.

Nothing will never, ever compromise my stance on Cheese. If it were human, I’d marry it. I eat cheese just about everyday. It makes me happy!  The same goes for Pickles and Hot Sauce.

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32 oz. of heaven. I own this bottle.

I will never stop using curse words. I can’t compromise what comes naturally to me. I do, however, do my best not to curse around children and old ladies, but every once in a while a “fuck” slips out. Shit happens.

I don’t compromise on zombies. If you are a zombie, I will remove your head.

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If I can’t see the bottom, chances are I will not be swimming. I don’t compromise on murky water. If something is touching my leg, then I need to know what it is. Zero Compromise. Zero. Two things happened to me when I was younger that changed my outlook on swimming. One of them was my dad.

We would go to the Jersey Shore every summer. I was fearless, chasing waves on my boogie board, digging in the sand where the water turned to foam, and swimming out past the point where I could stand up. There was one cloudy day when the waves were just too much for me to handle. Well, my dad thought otherwise and dragged me out there with a boogie board. At first I screamed and cried, and then gave in. I thought after one run I could escape back to the beach blanket. As I rode a huge wave in, my board slipped out from under me and dug nose first into the sand. I then plowed into the rear end of it, knocking the wind out of my little body. My day was ruined.

About a year after the bogie board incident, I was swimming in the calmer waters of the Peconic Bay and a crab bit me. After that, it’s been an aquatic life of water shoes, dips up to my knees, tropical beaches where the water is clear, or strictly swimming pools. I do sometimes venture out above my head, but then seaweed touches me and I am headed to shore. It boggles my brain to think that I used to dive head first into the Peconic River  without second thought to the turtles and leeches and other weird grimy stuff that might get in my swimsuit. Now those memories fill me with terror.

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You never know what’s lurking.

I will never EVER catch any food items in my mouth. If you throw a cheesy puff at my face, I am going to duck and get very serious rather quickly, preaching on the dangers of catching food in your mouth. I will most likely tell you this story: I was in Middles School and realizing quickly that I was finally growing into my awkward teenage body. My coordination was on point and I never really got into the whole “pog” thing. I thought it would be awesome to throw some popcorn in the air and catch it in my mouth. I was pretty cool until about the third piece of popcorn. It went right into my lung. I choked and choked until I coughed out a soggy, embarrassed piece of popcorn. I can’t even be in the presence of food catchers. They make me nervous. I can’t trust them.

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I couldn’t even make it through this episode of “The Office.”

I don’t compromise on beer. If it’s there I will drink it, unless it’s dark. Guinness is like steak and eggs – heavy and unnecessary (have you ever thrown up steak and eggs? No thanks).

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WHY?

Lastly, I can never compromise the Golden Rule. I can’t understand how lots of people go through life being complete assholes to everyone. Jerks, Racists, Meanies, Bullies, Punks, Narcissists, Know-it-alls, Blockheads, Pricks, Shits, Schmucks, and all encompassing Doo-Doo Faces baffle me in their behaviors (pranksters are okay). I find general goodwill  to be effortless. It’s an effort to be an asshole. If you are going out of your way to do the wrong thing, you are a DICK. Boom. No compromise.

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Wil Wheaton says so.

Things that I will never compromise on might seems silly to most, but deal with life and death and complete panic (come on, seaweed touching my legs, no thanks!). Of course the cheese thing is just common sense, as is the golden rule. Compromise is important, but not when it comes to personal conviction, morale, or the safety of others…. or pickles. Pickles are good.

 

 

 

 

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Adventure, Change, Community Garden, Dogs, FUN!, Garden, New York City, Recycle, Save The World, South Bronx, Spring, Things to Do

Project: Community Garden 6.20.14


Holy Mother of Pearl is it hot out! This week has been an up and down weather event! On this beautiful last day of Spring we decided to venture out to fill in the mystery hole (yes, it’s as dirty as it sounds) and fix the places that were plowed over by a city truck. Yes. A truck drove into our garden and did this:

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Of course we can’t be too mad because the truck is very wide and we are probably (most likely ) trespassing. The flowers that were run over seem to be okay, but we are considering transplanting them to avoid any future destruction. They also seem to be thirsty in their current location, so that is also a factor. Perhaps next time.

I popped over to Union Square Market on Wednesday to pick up some new additions. The garden is looking a little yellow these days, so we were hoping to add some purple, white, and green to make it a well-rounded display. Here is what happened next:

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Shasta Daisy “Lacrosse” and a bunch of New Guinea Impatiens of various colors (NOT YELLOW!).

Today we vowed to get that hole built up. I carried our supplies over to the heap (minus the 5 gallon jug of water that Captain Clam so victoriously lugged) and a palette was recovered from the back of Dino Gadget (our pick-up truck). I had been on an adventure to rescue a neighbor and her groceries when I spotted a pile of pallets outside of a Burger King on 149th Street. I dragged the Clam there later that evening and we recovered a few of these wooden boxes for our little diamond in the rough project. This might be the only time that Captain Clam ever said “Thank you Burger King!”

So we toiled and dug and raked and sweat into the evening. It’s still amazing to me how an hour and a half and a pallette filled with some plants can change your day and the neighborhood that surrounds you. It was so depressing walking by that giant hole everyday, and the inner sense of fulfillment is so grossly satisfying that I can’t even begin to describe it. Seven (7) people stopped in their cars/trucks/vehicular transports and shouted the most encouraging things to us. “Good Job!” “Nice Garden!” “Keep it up!” Maybe it’s just Friday and everyone is driving home and are in a good mood, but it was so meaningful coming from strangers. I don’t even know if they live in the neighborhood.

Today’s achievements include filling in the strange hole, adding a new palette garden, repairing the damage done by the drive-by, and fixing the moat system, which was working well until the flash flood rain storm came upon us last week. We have also befriended the car shop downstairs, who lets me use their hose and bathroom when it’s absolutely necessary.

Without further rambling here is our progress:

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WAY BEFORE!

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WAY AFTER!

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BEFORE (MAX!)

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WAY BEFORE!

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DURING.

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AFTER.

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BEFORE.

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AFTER.

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GLAMOUR SHOT.

We still can’t believe we are actually doing this! We are covered in dirt and enjoying a well earned can of cheap beer. We can’t reiterate just how much we love the South Bronx and  what is is like living here and working out way into a very unique community.

Stay tuned for more #Garden134 updates, as there will be more to come very soon.

 

 

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Adventure, Change, Death, Life, New York City, Spring

it’s over

The past three months have been a long, hard road. I can’t say that it wasn’t worth it, but I can say that once it’s finally over, the time spent will not be missed or thought of fondly. Today’s big announcement might be obvious to some and completely overlooked by others. Maybe you care too much and have been counting the days right along side me. Maybe you don’t give a rats ass that today is the day that things start to get better for me, and you, and, well, pretty much everyone.

For a while there, I thought I’d never be warm again. That maybe I would spend the rest of my life an unhappy, rigid, cold bitch. Today marks the day that my soul comes out of hibernation, awakening to sunrises of hope and sunsets of molasses. I have been looking forward to this day since the days actually felt like were starting to get longer; those not-so-long-ago days when I lived a helpless existence in Brooklyn, and now I thrive in The Bronx. In just a few short weeks, there will be total and absolute freedom from the icy vortex of the past. I am raising a beer in honor of a little bit of joy for me and all mankind. Let us toast and celebrate.

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Gratuitous Cat Picture.

Happy fucking Spring! I have waited for this day for too many days to count. This has not nevesserily been the worst winter I have ever experienced, but it has certainly been the coldest. I never ever ever thought that I could actually get used to walking around in 14 degrees F weather. Wind chills of -15 degrees? No problem! My secret this winter is what I have so lovingly come to call a “butt scarf.” I considered patenting the term and making millions, but it’s really just a scarf that I wrapped around my butt. I also battled the cold with the usual ton of layers, tights and knee highs under my pants, a hat, and lots of snuggling (and maybe a sip of brandy or whiskey in my tea on the weekends). I ruined one pair of shotty rain boots and have completely destroyed my black Converse sneakers, but I have prevailed and look forward to kissing winter goodbye. I even found a way to wear a hat so I don’t like a 12 year old boy.

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Captain Clam is from Winsconsin. The upper midwest obviously got their asses beat this winter. This past northeastern winter seemed like a mild winter according to what the Clam was accustomed to. I asked him how it’s even possible to get used to being this cold. He responded, “This? This is nothing. Try -60 degrees F. That’s something you never get used to.” I can certainly believe that and hope to never have to experience it unwillingly.

I really did my best not to complain about the weather this past winter. Yes, it totally sucked, but what good is complaining gonna do? I promised myself to complain less this year, especially about things that are out of my control (like the weather), and somehow that helped me through the many snowstorms and tragic disappointments of having to wait for delayed trains and canceled outings. All in all, I am proud of myself for sometimes being able to enjoy the past season and making it through like a champion.

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Winter 2013 felt just like this snowman.

Winter in New York City is always hard. It’s ugly. Everything is wet and dirty. Their is very little beauty to enjoy when a black sludge covers everything and your feet are soaked and frozen to death. I used to have a car, so getting around was easy. Now, I walk everywhere. I have adapted to appreciate the good days and learn from the bad days. I admire people who ride their bikes to work, even in the harshest of wintery assaults. I wonder how we ever survived these situations without modern convenience and why the taste of inconvenience turns people into raging crazies. For New Yorkers, winter turns into a 4 month funeral. We all dress in black and grey, still mourning the loss of summer, even though she is always in our hearts, will always come back to us, and will make us complain in the same exact way. It’s too cold, it’s too hot, and we are always Goldilocks.

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Day 1 of Spring always wakes me with this urge to look for flowers or the spark of a tree’s rebirth. I have already peeped a few signs that the change has begun, but now I will hunt for proof that this long, cold wait has not been in vain. The sun is out longer, and even though I wake up to the crisp, dark morning air, I still get a sense that the sunrise is warmer and happier than it has been in a long time. And so am I. You’ll see. Everyone will be a little more joyous everyday. Coming and going will start to get easier. Winter coats will turn to rain coats, trench coats, light sweaters, and thin ponchos (ponchos? really?). The air will change and take with it the bad mood that has been conjured by the dark side of time.

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The first signs of natures emergence from hibernation.

Pretty soon all those hearty, meaty, fatty dinners will be replaced with salad, beans, and tofu. My skin will stop peeling and will glow with sunshine’s kiss. Red wine at home (alone) on a Thursday will be replaced with ice cold white wine and tapas al fresco with friends on a Tuesday at 8pm. Mornings will be easier to tackle because the air is freshly scented with dew and delight. I can sleep in a few more minutes because I won’t have to dry my hair or put on a gallon of makeup to hide my winter flesh. The little things become so much more important and the big things get the appreciation they deserve.

Of course I am letting this whole Spring thing get away from me. Late March is hardly a magical wonderland of joy and it’s still gonna be cold and damp and grey for just a while longer. Then there will be a little spot of color here, then a little spot of color there. Pretty soon, life will be filled with mental images of how beautiful nature is and winter will be a recent memory of a trying time that was totally worth the wait.

Read more about the equinox HERE!

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Adventure, Change, Life, New York City, South Bronx, We're Moving

It Ain’t Where You’re From

Rakim once rapped “It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.” Of course that might not be a direct quote because rap songs don’t normally use proper grammar (it messes up the flow), but it’s close enough that the translation is not lost. Lately I have been nowhere and everywhere. You may have noticed the little sabbatical from my postings (which totally kills my 100,000 word goal for the year), but I’ve been busy. Super Busy. Super busy looking up this Rakim/Phil Collins Remix:

Now, onto the point… Captain Clam, the kitty brood and I have finally moved from our shoe box Brooklyn studio to a real 2 bedroom at the top of 66 stairs in a 5 story walk-up in the South Bronx. We are about a 10 minutes walk to everything except the basketball courts. There are a few of those all around the area, which means I will be brushing up on my game of HORSE as soon as Spring decides to roll it’s lazy ass over, finally allowing for that glorious sun to shine on my pasty skin.

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Not us, but you get the point.

Moving is stressful enough. Mix that with February and an icy cold Polar Vortex breathing down your neck and you have a recipe for panic and super panic. Captain and I were fortunate enough to schedule February 22nd, which turned out to be the nicest day in February at a balmy 50+ degrees. My credit card company had extended my credit, so we decided to spoil ourselves and hired a moving company (I know, how adult of us). We ended up using Moving Your Way Moving Company and it was the greatest $625 I have ever been obligated to repay. A 5 story walk up was no match for us and our gallant friends and their children. This company was everything that YELP said it was and more.

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I have moved three times in the past 2 years. No matter how much practice I thought my experiences gave me, it was still not enough. The Captain and I started packing a month early. We spent all of our money on the 1st months rent, deposit, and broker’s fee (it’s so expensive to move in NYC), that we only wanted to spend money on groceries and toilet paper until we were out of Brooklyn. We started collecting boxes from work or on garbage night. If you have ever moved or collected boxes from the street (even if they said “Corona”) you begin to see every box everywhere, size them up for durability, and determine if they’re suitable to be a book box or if it’s better as a record box. Is it too wet? Is it dirty? Are you going mad? Yes. Yes you are.

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Hunting for boxes is one thing. The hunt, however, stays with you for weeks after your move. You also begin to see moving trucks everywhere all of the time. You might even find yourself checking out the trash for things that others are throwing away because they’re moving. You have to smack yourself for even thinking about other people’s discarded treasures when you have your own treasures to let go of. Plus, it’s not all that cool to hang out by the garbage pile (somehow I know this).

Once you begin tearing into your closets and drawers, you tend to find lots of things you thought went missing or have no idea where they came from. There are countless AA batteries and buttons that have fallen or rolled behind a chest of drawers or under the bed. There are the endless stragglers of tampons and single packet panty liners that bribe their way into the strangest places, especially purses that you haven’t used in years. Pennies. They are everywhere. Remote controls? They are in abundance and don’t belong to anything that you currently own.

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Tampons, business cards, pennies and old candy at the bottom of a purse you don’t even remember owning.

My greatest cleaning hardship is finding tons and tons of envelopes that have been opened and are now empty. Receipts are stuffed all over the place for things consumed long ago. Old pay stubs from former employers haunt the crevices of junk boxes, alongside business cards, expired gift cards, and a few of those letters that your mom has a tendency to send every other month (you know the ones that you run into just when you need that blast of encouragement).

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Then there are those junk drawers full of nails and screws, old pens that don’t work so well anymore, long forgotten holiday and birthday cards, and a mysterious collection of renegade beers caps magically glued to the inside. There are cabinets and closets filled with old journals, stuff from college, a zillion pictures, old medicines that “might still be good” because they only expired 2 months ago (even thought they’ve been in your possession for 4 years) and, of course, the always elusive piece of something that was a broken part to something else and you could never remember where you stored it (it was in a box inside the closet in the bag of bags).

At the end of packing, you are always so confident that everything is packed. My many moves have taught me that it is never this way. There is always a mad dash at the end, where random bags are filled with this and that and all of those. Somehow it is all so disorganized when it feels the most organized. Then your head explodes and you realize that you’re okay. It’s all just stuff.

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The move went smoothly, with one or two hiccups that sent me into panic attack mode, but we made it thorough. We went back to our old place to clean up and catastrophe struck. His Clamminess went to Brooklyn early to get started. While he was throwing garbage out, a gust of wind blew through the place and slammed the door… with his coat and phone and keys  inside. When I finally showed up, he had been locked out for 3 hours. Since we had married our keys for surrender to the landlord, my keys were also locked in the apartment. The Super (bless is tiny little soul) did not ever have a copy of the key and was not willing to help. He did, however, send a very sketchy fellow down who proceeded to break into the apartment (just short of busting the door down) so we could start what was meant to already be finished. 

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And seriously, that was the worst part of the move.

Our greatest challenge as of right now is finding enough furniture to fill the space and store our belongings. We are also having some issues with the heat, but our new Super is kinda super, and the space is starting to feel like home. The baby lions have made themselves extraordinarily comfortable on the piles of things yet to be placed in their place. I often ask Captain Clam, “How did all of this happen?” And all he says is “About 2 months and $7,000.” Every night, I poke my head out the window, look left, and soak in the nighttime skyline of the greatest city in the world and all I can think is “$7,000 well spent.”

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A small exaggeration, of course.

And that is where I’m at.

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Adventure, Change, Journal, Memory Lane, New York City, poetry, South Bronx, This is my Soul, We're Moving

Memory Lane Journals

I always rethink the gratuitous “I’m sorry,” epsecially when I am writing, since it makes me look guilty of something. I am sorry for too many things these days that are not anything I have control of. My last two blog posts were either heavy or sentimental, and I really didn’t know how to follow with such deep, personal expression until I saw a dead pigeon outside of a restauarnt in the South Bronx last week. I saw it and thought it was a dirty hunk of ice/snow until a customer came in and was like, “hey, you know there’s dead pigeon out there.” I learned that it was s sick or super cold bird (since the high had been 18 degrees in NYC ) and he curled up and died alone. My heart broke a little (ok, a lot). I don’t ever want to be that pigeon.

Anyway. I am guilty since I haven’t posted as often as I’d like. I am only about 6,000 words into the 100,000 word goal for the year. Despite being in a weird winter funk,  I’ve been busy. You might even wonder why I was in the South Bronx…. Captain Clam and I were applying for and depositing on a little slice of heaven to rent until we can’t afford it anymore. That’s right, WE ARE MOVING! I can’t even believe how exciting that is. I didn’t want to announce it until we had signed the lease, but I am spreading confidence into the universe today and am pretty much already moved into the new place (in my mind at least).

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We came home after the apartment viewing (and some happy hour wine and beer and oysters) and started organizing and throwing things out. Every time I move, it is THE BIGGEST walk down memory lane that I could ever wish for. I have been coming across some great memories these past few days. At my 30th birthday party, I had a card making station. These are cards that were made that would put Hallmark to shame. I even have a card from the Legendary DJ Jazzy Joyce, and I don’t even remember her being there! But… she was. I have come across so many things that remind me that I was super cool at one point. I even found my watch, which was missing for a week or so.

Since we are moving to the same neighborhood I used to live in, I am pretty sure I will still be “cool,” but in a 32 yr old kind of way. I am feeling so bittersweet about going back, but I really HATE Brooklyn. It’s just not for me. It’s great place, but I really don’t belong here. I lived in The Bronx for 7 years and never felt like I was out of place. I go back there to this day and am filled with disgusting amounts of energy ( and copious amounts of beer) and am surrounded by such comfortable friends, both new and old. There is no place (for the time being) that I would rather live. Plus, a two bedroom is so much more appealing than the sardine can studio Captain Clam and I are currently sharing with our animal roommates.

ANYWAY… I came across my journals from long, long ago ( like, 4 years +), and have been reading them. All secrets out, I have always wanted to be writer. This blog might be the closest I ever get… But I was reading this stuff from years ago, and was shocked at what I was saying. Of course, I had a few beers and was cleaning and thought that all of my words were complete poetry (and some of it is  poetry)… I thought I’d share with you.

Some of it’s a little “debbie-downer,” but it is definitely a reflection of what I was going through during those years. I was sick and sad, stuck in a relationship that was never going to go anywhere. I was almost finished with school and had no idea what I was going to do with myself (as if that is ever gonna happen!).

So here goes. Stephanie Janecek (copy written, so don’t copy me) is open to the public: vulnerable and naked (in a metaphorical sense, of course, also, I usually have no pants on when I am writing these blogs).

2007-ish

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The drop of a hat

The drop if a dime

You held the rhythm

I held the rhyme

How sweet life was

Back in time

When music was simple

And love was sublime

2008

Awake

Awake.

All night.

How clever of the sun

To creep through the window

So slowly

At such an ungodly hour.

My eyes hardly blink

And I find

Allah in my rolodex,

Buddha in my reflection,

And Jesus in my rearview.

They show up

Uninvited.

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The music played

And I fell in love with the night

So sexy, with arms embracing

My cold shoulders.

I flirted relentlessly

Hoping the wine

And my smile

Would  steal the show.

The harmony persisted

And my face

Became a memory

Lost in a Cabernet Cabaret.

Summer 2008

Anguished children

neighbored by the beaten

raped

murdered,

The river has dried

And driven

Nature to be a fantom memory

Along with humanity

Compassion,

Equality.

Darwin’s theory

Takes an economical twist

Excluding the Rich,

Spoiled…

Greedy.

Victory does not come to those who deserve it,

But comes to those

Who pay for it.

2009 – ish

Haiku 1

Golden sunshine sky

Lazy afternoon cocktail

Careless summer ease

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Optimism Chart

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Exclamation points!

February 2010

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The talking machine is on again.

Mundane things have become so important.

I don’t leave my house,

And yet complain about the weather.

March 2010-ish

Haiku: Cat

Golden eyes open

Greets the day with purr and mew

Then goes back to sleep.

April 2010

Haiku: Music

Save my soul old friend

Count the days until the end

You…. stuck in my head.

I’ll save some of these little gems (and longer entries from my train adventures) and share on a rainy Saturday after the move. For now, my old notebooks are headed for a cardboard box labeled “Books.”

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Adventure, Bucket List, Change, Holiday Season, Life, New Year, Resolution, Weight Loss, Yoga

2014 Resolved

Happy New Year, everyone! You ever notice how people write “New Years” with the “s” at the end? That drives me fucking bananas. There it is. My first published curse of 2014. It’s good to be alive.

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I almost hate those days between the day after Christmas and New Year’s Eve. They are forgotten days where we all scramble for no good reason. That’s when the top 20 mash-up remix of all the top songs are played over and over again on the radio ( because people still listen to the radio and LOVE mashup remixes!). There is also the magic of BuzzFeed to let you know the greatest kitten moments of 2013 and Instagram’s tribute to your top liked pictures… etc. It’s a great way to reflect on 2013 without having to think too much, but still be sentimental (but not really).

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Gratuitous Kitten Picture

I don’t like to make resolutions, because I don’t keep them. I get over it after about a week… BUT THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT! I say that every year with the greatest of intentions. Somehow, as I do every year, I hope this year is different, but can’t promise myself that it will be.

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A Happy Homie.

January 5 started a very long wagon ride for me. I can’t tell you how depressing my lazy 2-week vacation was and how much beer and cheese I consumed. My big plan is to detox for a bit and lose about 60 million pounds by February. I know this is unrealistic, but most New Years resolutions are, so I am in a sense, being realistic.

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EEK!

When I started writing this blog, I had no idea how it would make me feel; how much sleep I would lose writing things in my head all night, how angry I’d be at myself in the morning for forgetting all the ideas I had just before my dreams hit, how much guilt I’d feel when I take too long to write anything, and and that overwhelmed feeling I get when I have too many rough drafts in the queue (queue is a hard word to know how to spell correctly the first time!). I really didn’t think this blog would be a thing past one or two posts, but I find it to be a nice outlet for whatever it is that ails me, as well as my incredible sense of sarcasm, wit, self-humiliation, and Captain Clam updates. Last year I wrote 38,291 words. This year, I want to write 100,000 words. It sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t that much, not for a long-winded clam lover like myself.

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Since I will be writing open letters to the universe so much in the next year, I really need to learn how to type properly. I have no idea how that lesson never crossed my educational path, but it’s probably time to figure that one out. I also would like to explore different writing techniques… I mean you probably don’t want to hear me bitching all of the time, right? Over the 2 week holiday, Captain Clam and I watched 652 documentaries. I do believe it was out of guilt for being so lazy (we now want to be Organic Dairy Farmers and smuggle Raw Milk into Georgia). These movies somehow motivated me to want to read more books this year (like actual page turning ink-on-paper books (because I like it old school)). Reading more is bound to improve my writing skills, and help me stop wasting time (did you catch the pun in there?). I will also consider magazines since they break up their words with pictures and little captions that I enjoy reading.

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Another gratuitous Cat picture.

Captain Clam and I bought a scrabble board from Rite-Aid over the holiday and promised each other to play more Scrabble. Of course we have NEVER played Scrabble together (ever), so then we simply promised each other to play it. Unfortunately, he has refused to play, so I have thus promised myself to be awesome and play alone as two people with their own agenda. I have been begging him to play all evening each night and even bribed him with a Netflix romantic comedy about British people road tripping (his pick). Within the first 15 minutes, a man was run over and killed by a camper. I will never fully understand British humor.

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Scrabble Dabble.

Captain Clam and I have been talking about doing some yoga. He showed me how he can lie on his back and bend his body in half, touching his toes to the floor above his head. I was jealous, so I tried it too. The result was not as inspiring and I quit before my back started cramping. I kinda just want to do yoga so I can show that Clam up. I used to do Wai Lana Yoga on (surprise!) Netflix, but then I got lazy and they stopped streaming it. It really was a great exercise in stretching, relaxation, and spirituality… three things that we both could really use in our lives this year. I’m hoping a burst in movement will inspire me to stop being a lazy cow….

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Yoga for Beginners and Clams alike.

Which brings me to the hardest wish ever…I’d like to be nicer to myself. As a woman, I am my own worst critic and enemy. It’d be nice to either suck it up and create the me that I want, or just be happy with who I am. I have resolved (for the time being) to stop complaining and just take life in stride with a smile on my face (since we all look so much better with a smile on).

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And I Love YOU!

Moving on…. Captan Clam and I need to move. We will do so this year, hopefully before the winter thaws out. We are looking into my old neighborhood, or somewhere nearby so I can fulfill one of my favorite wishes, which is to spend more time with my friends. The last year and a half I have been lost in Brooklyn, and not in a good way. I look forward to making up for wasted time and getting to know new people who love and admire the same people that I do. A move would also help us clear our closets and heads. We can start over by simplifying our belongings and getting rid of clutter.

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Once the Captain and I relocate, we can blow this Popsicle stand for the mountains in summer or white sandy beaches where everyone speaks Spanish. I need a real vacation. It’s been too long that I have been away where it didn’t involve seeing any of my family members or sleeping on a couch. We both need to get away so we can start having more realistic dreams and a broader theory of our own personal existence.

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Paradise might be nice.

With all that said, I would also like to learn how to speak Spanish so I can have a more authentic time on vacation and I can also pretend not to understand what is going on in the workroom at my job as opposed to actually having no clue as to what the workers are saying.

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This year I also need to get my hands on Troll 2. As part of my documentary-filled holiday, I came across an informational film about this cult movie. As a fan of really good bad movies, this is clearly a must see and I must see it.

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As far as my obvious Netflix addiction goes… I’d like to nip that quickly and waste my time making art or cooking delicious meals. While documentaries and ridiculous movies are alright, every night spent in front of a computer screen is not cool, especially when most of my day is spent rotting at a computer screen as well. In an effort to cultivate more of my hobbies, I have requested quotes from various voice coaches for singing lessons. If the budget allows, I’ll invite you all to my first show and check off one of the things on my To-Do List.

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Along with saving money for moving and my fancy vacation, I’d love to have this awful tramp stamp removed from my ass crack. Twelve years ago I was much braver than I realized. My braveries now consist of considering the possibility of changing my hair… like getting bangs or letting the grey grow in. Or I want another tattoo and fear I have one too many. I have no idea. But what I know is that this horror story needs to go!

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Somehow a fart joke seemed appropriate here…

It would seem that we need to save a lot of money this year. My horoscope has told me that it is the YEAR for saving for Sagittarius, so I have decided to fall into a Facebook/Pinterest trap and go ahead and run my luck on a jelly jar and this:

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I do not think I will save $1,378, but I have named the jar “Adventure Fund” and can’t wait to see where this jar and 2014 will take me. So here’s a toast to a New Year to all of you. May it be better than 2013 was (since 2013 can kiss my ass).

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Loving puns.

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Adventure, Bucket List, Change, Contest, Humor, Lotto, Opinion, POOP, Winning

You’re a Winner

I have always been pretty lucky. When I was a kid, it seemed that any raffle I entered would be a winning experience for me. One time I won a bike kickstand at Bike Safety Day. My parents would take us kids to the Jersey Shore every summer and we would play games on the boardwalk. I’d come home with a zillion stuffed animals. Actually, we all would. The only difference between my sisters’ dolls and mine were how we won them. While my sisters would play games of skill, I’d play games of luck. I always had a knack for knowing what number to put my dollar down on. I once walked up to a claw game, stuffed a dollar in and instantly won a talking Steve Urkel doll. The claw went down and came up with a tiny piece of his rubber glasses holding on (almost literally by a thread). It’s like I just knew I’d win, so I played with complete confidence. Sadly, my 6th Sense has dimmed as I have grown older, but I do manage to carry some luck around with me every once in a while.

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He always made me feel like a winner.

Every time I play the Lottery, I am beyond sure that I am going to win. I immediately start planning my life as a millionaire, convinced that I could buy the entire state of Maine if I wait a few years before splurging and let my money sit and collect interest. When I talk to Captain Clam about it, he brings up all of the places in the world we could possibly live, if even for just a few months of our lives.

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Investing in Hope and Chance.

My first purchase would be a new pair of pants to replace the pair that I had soiled upon learning of my amazing luck. Then, of course, I would wear those pants to my new lawyer’s office to discuss what the heck was about to happen to me. I might buy a sandwich or pizza somewhere in between the pants and the Lawyer.  I am confident that I would opt to be paid out immediately, meaning I’d receive a little less that half of the entire sum after taxes (I’m okay with that).

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Poop Jokes: Around since the beginning of time.

My next order of business would be typing lessons. If you have ever g-chatted with me, you know I am a drunk kitten on the keyboard. I can remember having maybe one lesson as a child, but never understood how many hours of my life would be spent clacking away at plastic letters, so I never took typing seriously.

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Typing = Not Serious

My second order of business would be to move my home base. While the Brooklyn Studio apartment that Le Clam and I share with 4 kitties and 2 beta fish is very cozy, it also totally sucks. I think it’s fair to say that we deserve at least a one bedroom…. maybe even an extra half bath. I don’t know if we’d rent or own, but I would sure kiss this apartment (and most likely Brooklyn) goodbye.

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Fit for a Clam Fam.

The third order of biz would be to get the hell out of town. I don’t know where we’d go first (and I certainly don’t want you to follow us there) or how long we’d stay, but I do know that I don’t want to live life without seeing wild zebras or the Pyramids in person. I want to feel small and insignificant (more so than I do now).

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Captain Clam might be jealous, but the world will be our Oyster!

A priority would be donating some of the winnings. I would donate to my Alma Maters, SUNY Stony Brook and the Fashion Institute of Technology, and ask that they please design a bad ass bathroom with my name on it. Ideally the bathroom would be one stall with mood lighting and music playing, but that might be overkill (at least at Stony Brook). I would also hold a contest for prospective students who cannot afford school, but really really want and deserve to go. As a former Professional Student, I truly understand the passion for learning and the hunger of a starving artist/business school student. The contest would vary each year and would be the greatest contest of all time.

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There is precedence for this request… and that last name is so close to my own…. Perhaps bathroom humor runs in the family?

I’d also like to spend time on making art. It’s an activity that I love doing, but have had to give up for the past few months due to laziness and lack of creativity. I don’t think that money will inspire me, but it might help me inspire myself by giving me the resources to afford to even step out of my house.

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The good old days.

Of course I’d make Captain Clam an honest man and wear his pearl and become Lady Clam (if he’ll have the company of course). Then we could settle down and have an animal sanctuary in Alaska or Canada or somewhere cold (maybe even the entire state of Maine!). He has talked about wolves and snow leopards and I am thinking more of babies, but I’m sure our issues would be worked out rather harmoniously (as long as there are cats involved).

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Apparently it IS a thing!

Another dream of ours is to own a vintage furniture shop. This dream will probably happen even if we don’t hit it big with 5 lucky numbers. You see, His Clamminess and I are huge furniture nerds. We met in a furniture studio and fell in love while talking about writing tables and chaise lounges (with or without tufting?). It’s all very romantic (as romantic as a Polished Espresso Mahogany finish will allow).

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It’s true… Clams included.

I do also think that somewhere between the orders of business 1 and 3 , I would abandon facebook. Sorry, but it’s none of your business what I am doing with my money, and I would just irritate myself if I became one of those people who boasts about how rich they are. Boasting about awesomeness is a different story.

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Of course our incredible families would reap from our ridiculous stroke of luck. They deserve SOMETHING for having to put up with the two of us for 30-something years. Clam and I are both the youngest of 3; his family is all boys, and mine is all girls. God Bless both of those sets of parents and siblings (I am at a loss in the picture department. Sorry!).

I have been reading up on winning millions and have come across stories where people ran through their money so quickly. I can see how spending money can become an easy task. I wonder what people spend their loot on, and look to celebrities and sports stars for assistance. It’s all CRAP for the most part. I’d like to think that money would not change me, but that would be a silly thought. I do, however, understand that money will not solve all of your problems, and you can only numb the pain for so long with huge toy purchases and other shit no one actually needs.

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I do not need this.

The following things would not be on my shopping list, as I feel no sense of need or desire for them:

Caviar – Please google “caviar” and see how brutal the process of harvesting the caviar is. No thanks.

McMansion– That’s so 2004. Plus, I doubt that we need 18,625 SQFT of inside living space. I am dating a Clam for Christ sake!

Tiny Forks– I don’t understand them, don’t need them, and don’t want them.

Super Duper Cars– I don’t have a car now. I don’t really need one, let alone 6 (can you imagine trying to park in NYC with that many cars!?). If I did buy a vehicle, it’d probably be a little pick-up truck. That way, I can help my pals when they have to move!

$450,000 Crack Party– Tyrone Biggums, as portrayed by Dave Chapelle, lost it all! According to my research, a lot of people who lose their winnings do so on account of alcohol, strippers, and bad decisions made on drugs. I love to throw a party, but I think I’ll stick to wine, beer, and fancy tacos.

Cosmetic Surgery– I don’t want to be any other character but me. I might, however, consider Lasers to permanenty remove my mustache, and also removal of my tramp stamp (since it’s no longer 2002 and I am no longer 20).

Friends– Because that kind of weird shit happens. No thanks. Buy your own damn drinks!

Among the obvious expenses (like paying off student loans and other miscellaneous debt), here is a list of Weird must-haves in my millionaire shopping cart:

An Awesome Sofa– As stated above, Captain Clam and I love furniture. I also happen to work for one of the best Upholstery Workrooms in the universe. I think we could get a bad-ass deal on something beautiful, and even add our personal touches by having Le Clam himself design the rump rester.

A Bad Ass XEROX copy machine/scanner/printer- This is the only thing that I miss from my last job. I still think about it quite fondly.

Instant Photo Booth- Sometimes I get sentimental.

A Tree Farm– I love trees! I want to grow and raise all kinds of wood species so we can built our furniture sustainably. It’d also be nice to eat some home grown apples and other yummy stuffs.

Stained Glass Windows – Because why not?

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz Painting/Drawing– Wanda is a friend of mine from half a lifetime ago. I met her because she was the previous tenant in my old Loft in the South Bronx. I have a few art pieces that were salvaged (one from the garbage and one was literally chopped out of a wall). I’d like to one day actually pay her for a gorgeous creation.

Well, this post has escalated out of control, but then again so has my imagination. On the eve of one of the largest Mega Millions drawings since the last largest Mega Millions drawing, I can’t help but be psyched. I never play Lotto (except for Scratch-off Fridays with Captain Clam every once in a while (75% of the time I win my money back – at least)), but I have a good feeling… kinda like I had when I walked up to the claw machine and won that Urkel doll. Even if I win my $5 back, I am content. If I win nothing, then I am out $5, but blogged up a storm, so it measures itself out somehow.

I am reading back and realizing that my dreams aren’t so far fetched. I mean, I already own some stained glass and just bought a really nice fancy futon (it has cup holders built in!). My advice to all of you, if any of you ever do win, is to sign the back of the ticket. I have seen too many documentaries about Lottery fraud (okay just one hour long show, but whatever) and I would hate to see that happen to me or you or anyone else (unless they were total dick-holes and deserved to be ripped off).

Mega Millions is 400 Million dollars, the drawing is Friday the 13th, and I’m feeling incredibly lucky these days… I better go find myself a good lawyer and sturdy pair of pants.

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