Adventure, Dogs, Family, FUN!, Life, Memory Lane, New York City, Opinion, Overload, Photo Blog, Resolution, Road Trip, small joy, Social Media, South Bronx

The Hiatus

Thank the fucking stars that winter is, at last, over. For the most part, so is Spring. Although Springtime in New York City is generally a week of really great weather followed by either cold and rainy weather or hot and humid days that will never end because your office has yet to turn on the Air Conditioning. I read my last post, dated October 13, 2014, and wonder why the hell I was ever so excited for the end of summer 2014. I must also apologize, once again, for my absence. I had a few complaints from friends and their mom’s wondering if I might be dead. I am not dead, although after the past few cold, cold months, I feel a little corpse-like. With June upon us now I am basking in the hot, humid sun, getting ready to complain about different awful weather.

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I am cold just looking at this.

So, what have I been up to? October was an amazing month of visitors and travel. I stuck my feet in the Pacific Ocean as well as the Gulf of Mexico (both destination wedding related). Captain Clam and I visited 5 airports in the span of 10 days that month. We were exhausted and happy from adventure and catching up with old friends and family. Plus, I got to see Northern California, and I cannot wait to get back!

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Pacific Coast Highway

November was another month of bustle, traveling to Virginia for Thanksgiving, and celebrating my 33rd year. I am getting old. Fuck! Captain Clam and I adopted a foster dog, Nena, who slowly made us realize that we don’t want a dog, or probably children… eek!

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Hey! Watch your hands buddy!

December was a little more peaceful. We celebrated at home and cooked for about 13 friends on Christmas Day. We invented Bronx Fries, which is just essentially asparagus wrapped in bacon and scorched with garlic. We spent the New Year in my old Loft building with my good Friend Paul and his girlfriend, Ebonie.

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An extremely accurate representation of Ebonie & Paul from the Guest Book.

January is a month that I have forgotten most of. All I can remember was my New Year Resolution of replacing my mascara tube, which I have managed to procrastinate for 5 1/2 months. February is the worst month of them all, and this winter really gave it to us. If the temperature was above 20 degrees, I experience some sort of relief, like maybe I didn’t need to bundle up so much. But then the wind would blow and I’d immediately regret not wearing a butt scarf (essentially just a scarf that is tied around the butt).

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The First Day of Spring 2015, New York City.

At some point, we were able to find a home for a little kitten that our neighbor found. She had been smashed up a bit and needed some serious snuggling. Our friend Josh, who is the biggest softy ever, came by in the middle of the night, serenaded her with music on a broken guitar, and fell in love. He took her home that night and named her Prudence.

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Contrary to popular belief, Captain Clam and I are NOT an animal rescue!

During the winter, I became bored and switched my instagram name a zillion times. I settled on CommutersOnTheGreenLine, and have dedicated the majority of my posts to stalking strangers on the 4, 5, and 6 trains. Follow Me!

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February 19, 2015

In early March, I found myself shopping for a dress for an old friend’s funeral. That sucked more than I ever thought anything ever could possibly suck. The joy of March was driving down to MD to drop off the foster dog to her new owner, Rich. We (and by “we” I mean “the kitties”) finally regained control over the apartment. Hooray! We were also blessed with a trip to Wisconsin to visit the Captain’s Family Farm and B&B for his dad’s 70th Birthday. If you are ever in Wisconsin, in the little town of La Farge, please stop in and visit Trillium Cottage B&B. It is one of the most magical places I have ever been to and I can’t wait to get back there (they have miniature donkeys!).

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See? Magic!

May proved to be the busiest month yet, with almost every weekend spent out of town. Captain Clam and I went to Long Island for Mother’s Day and a spectacular family reunion where both of my sisters and their kids (and husbands) were gathered in one place, talking loudly with intense accents. At one point my dad pulled us aside and told us that my mom hasn’t looked this happy in a long time. I looked over to see her playing monkey in the middle with two of my nephews. She was giggling in her usual tickled fashion and was completely kicking their little butts at the game. She was genuinely, unabashedly happy.

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That is one Happy Momma!

The following weekend, one of my Best Pals since forever got married in Baltimore, so we road tripped out there and Airbnb’d it 2 blocks from where the Baltimore riots had taken place a few weeks earlier (Captain Clam and I are gluttons for adventure). Of course I cried at the wedding because I am a wimp, but Elyse BFF was certainly the prettiest bride since Cleopatra married Mark Anthony (or since J-Lo Married Marc Anthony…).

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Meet the Meyers!

I would also like to take this time to brag about what a hunk my Clam is in a suit!

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The cutest clam in town!

Memorial Day Weekend was spent in the woods camping at Clarence Fahnestock State Park, as an early Birthday Gift to the Clam. He’ll be 32 in a few weeks! The last weekend was spent prepping for a Jumble Sale that we have been organizing with some friends in our Community, presented by the South Bronx Yard Exchange and hosted by the Mott Haven Bar. The Sale coincides with the Mott Haven’s killer Brunch, so feel free to come by for the sale (June 6 & 7) and stay for some Eggs Benedict and Bloody Mary Specials!

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Subliminal Message.

So, what’s coming up for these summer months? Well, June is filling up with the Jumble Sale, Shakespeare in the Park, Groupons for a Yankees Game, Clam’s Birthday, an illegal rooftop garden, and a bunch of other blog posts that I have had in the works for a very long time. As promised, Like a Truck Driver is set to be published within the next week or so, and I am working on another gem The Noise Hole to keep you entertained while you are supposed to be doing paper work or checking emails at your boring job. Early July boasts an epic camping trip in New Hampshire and Acadia Nation Park in Maine, so that should keep my brain from exploding for a little bit longer. Stay tuned!

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Adventure, Community Garden, Dogs, Drink, FUN!, Garden, joy, Life, Overload, Save The World, Spring, Things to Do, Today was Awesome

Project: Community Garden 6.7.14

What a fun fucking day! I had visited the Union Square Farmer’s Market again yesterday and picked up the items below from Patchogue’s own Fantastic Garden. I was a little mad, so I felt that I deserved flowers out the wazoo. I may have gone overboard… totally worth it.

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Today’s lovelies include Early Sunrise Tickseed, John Proffit Ice Plant Delosperma, Red Valerian Jupiter’s Cock (just kidding, Jupiter’s Beard) Centranthus, Early Sunrise Coreopsis, Zagreb Threadleaf Coreopsis, and shrubs that I don’t know the name of.

We woke up late today, probably a little hung over from the mystery shot of whiskey from a good friend down at the pub last night. We motivated, and spent nearly 3.5 hours in the garden today. Captain Clam was quite the machine, and I am so happy to have his motivation (and other things) in my life. Our “grand garden” is becoming a reality, and he has just been the best these past few weeks. Considering that my back is “out”, The Captain has had the greatest enthusiasm and has been supportive with the garden and other home stuffs. He hasn’t  yet had to wipe my ass, but I’m sure he would if I needed it.

ANYWAY, today was Fucking awesome. I can’t even begin to explain how many people we met. Most people had the same questions, which include:

Are you doing this for yourself?

Are you funding this yourself?

What are you doing?

Why are you doing this?

Is this for the city?

Do you have a cigarette?

Of course most people were full of compliments and very happy to have the neighborhood being cleaned up and respected. Our answers to the questions were so easy.

No. We are not doing this for ourselves. As much as this benefits us as two people who seek relief from our own vices, we really want to make a nice, safe place for a community of dog walkers, grandmas, babies, toddlers, grown ass men, hopefuls, dreamers, and anyone else who needs a place to go and get lost and find themselves in nature… one little flowering plant at a time.

Yes. We are funding this ourselves. We have spent just under $100 for what we have already done. We look for things in the trash and gladly accept donations from our neighbors, which have included 0ld baby crib pieces and water from the hose. The garden is community based, and will be suported by the community via labor, donation, and whatever can be salvaged from what others are discarding. Maybe that’s gross to you, but please know that we wear gloves and aren’t particularly picky.

We are making a garden. We are playing in the dirt. Today there was some day-drinking from paper bags going on. We are trying to make a place for people to feel welcome and think “Oh hey, that’s really nice!” We are doing a community service. It isn’t even court appointed. It’s a little selfish, but at the same time, it’s for everyone. We WANT you to come and visit the garden… spend time there, share your stories, come and help…. be a part of something important.

We are doing this because: WHY THE FUCK NOT? How many people do you know who live in a huge city who have a yard or garden? Nature is so much more important than most people realize. To be able to transform a desolate, littered space is such a blessing for me and Captain Clam. We revel in the dirty work  and hope to inspire other to follow suit.

No. This is not for the city. You’d have to be a real asshole to reprimand anyone for planting flowers and making a space beautiful. If you do, then you are a DICK… and probably don’t have a grandma. I feel sorry for you.

Yes. We can share a cigarette. Always.

So. Today’s journey started with a hangover and the passion of a Clam. I might sound a little wispy and in love, but that’s only because I am. Today’s gardening started with a few beers and a gross amount of hope. We headed out and saw some people sitting under the overpass getting their car repaired. I thought that they were BBqQ-ing, but I was sorely incorrect.

We said hello and started digging, pretending they weren’t there. At some point, we needed beer, and I ran to the store, making sure I asked everyone in the vicinity if they were in need of anything. I ended up buying a bunch of waters for the mechanics, and some beers for the gardeners. After I returned, brown bag and all, I made sure to give the gal waiting with her boo a giant beer. My only words were: “Just take it.” And she obliged. I think her boyfriend was happier than she was. She may have also needed a massage.

Long story short (as if that is ever a real thing), we kicked ass in the garden. We met so many people, a lot of them neighbors, who were very interested in helping out and had advice on different programs we could get involved in to receive free supplies and plants, etc. We met a neighbor who lives below us and we are getting ready to head down there right now to share miojitos and horror stories.

Today was fantastic. We had received an old crib from our neighbor, which The Captain made into stairs:

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That’s a baby crib.

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That’s a baby crib.

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That’s a baby crib.

There was a ton of progress today. We planted the flowers and some shrubs, and realized that the “soil” was just sand and rock clean fill. We built a moat/irrigation system for watering, and are fairly confident that it will be effective.

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A River Runs Through It

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A River Runs Through It

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A River Runs Through It

There was a particular amount of testing done on the new watering system, with at least 3 runs to the local car shop to gather water in a 5 gallon Great Bear Jug.  We are confident that the plants and flowers will thrive with the new configuration. We also hope that they don’t drown to death.

I have a lot to say today, and don’t have enough puts-pa to get it all out. We were in the garden for 3x longer than usuall. We met 1 million people. We are sore and sweaty and sunburnt. And we are ridiculously happy. At this point, all I can do is show you this:

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BEFORE

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AFTER

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PROGRESS

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A Sexy Clam!

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An exhausted Clam… still sexy.

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We are about 10 bags of garbage, 2 palettes, 1 baby crib and $80 in plants deep.

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Just for fun, this is where we started almost 4 weeks ago. It might not look like much to you, but it’s pretty awesome. And yes, I wish we still had Max here.

 

Lots of progress going on here today. We look forward to showing you more. Please stay tuned for more #Garden134 Updates, and keep it real. That’s important. Time to go tend to this sunburn. Heyo!

Also, PS… what important things have you been doing lately to make your community a better place to live, and thrive and just be?

 

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Dear Crackhead, New York City, Overload, POOP, Sarcasm, Thank You

A Thank You Note to the Crackhead in my Stairwell

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Dear Crackhead in my Stairwell,

Thank you for the “good morning” the other day. I really needed that. I also really appreciated that you offered to clean up the mess you made with the toilet paper and tampons strewn all over the place. Thank you for mopping with hairspray, making the floors so sticky. And thanks for the the nasty broken earrings all over the place. How many piercings do you have?

Thank you for the puddle on the floor of the landing. I always thought that was my neighbor’s dog. I also love getting letters from my neighbors on the necessity of keeping the door completely closed so we don’t get “undesirable” people in the building. I’m glad you had a warm place to smoke your rocks and dispense your aerosol hairspray disinfectant.

Thank you for throwing the bags of garbage all over the place outside of my building. Us tenants love to wake up on Mondays and Fridays to see that you have taken up collecting cans again. It makes us feel good that toiling over sorting our garbage is going towards a good cause. The clear bags that we sort our recyclables in are obviously too much for you to handle when you are high on a Thursday afternoon. I am sorry for the inconvenience. I shall make it easier for you next time by just leaving piles of garbage loose in the streets. I will lure you there with a trail of quarters, cigarettes, and wet shit smears that have been rained on and tread through the streets by pedestrians. Nobody really likes their shoes anyway.

Thank you for breaking the glass door at our entrance when it is 18 degrees outside. I really appreciate coming home to glass and soggy shit at my front door. I don’t mind too much when the halls smell like weed, but when the halls are filled with smoke and the smell of burning plastic, I begin to worry. Please, be safe.

Yours Truly,

Apartment 4F

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Adventure, Autumn, Christmas, Holiday Season, Overload

Merry Effin’ Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The leaves are turning and the smell of burning wood is in the air. Mornings are darker than ever as we wait for daylight savings time and snooze just 9 more minutes, hoping to be cozy enough to drift back to sleep for what feels like an eternity. Halloween has sulked past us at a blistering 65 degrees, and we are barely into the eleventh month when Christmas throws up in our faces.

Merry Effin’ Christmas.

I Love Christmas. My favorite day of the year is Christmas Eve. There is magic and mystery. Love is in the air and everything smells like pumpkin spice and spearmint. The only problem is that it’s too early to smell Christmas. I am still reeling over the fireplace/dead leaf combo. Snowmen are not quite in my forecast just yet.

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WooHoo! Autumn!

Two weeks ago, my neighborhood put up the street decorations. While I love the sense of community and festivity, I hate that one holiday is celebrated for two months. I understand the big to-do about Christmas… it’s a time of reflection and fellowship with family and friends. You get fattened up for the winter on chocolates and cake (and that badass stuffing that your mom makes). You gather with loved ones and exchange good tidings and cheer. You drink too much wine and reminisce of Christmases long long ago. There is always that one fight (or “debate,” as my Dad likes to call it) that happens, but all ends up fine and well in the end.

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I mean, Seriously? The Leaves haven’t even changed color!

In reality, that is no longer the case (well, maybe the wine part is accurate because now you drink out of blind rage from the awful experience that Christmas has become). The joy of Christmas has been stripped down and bastardized into a commercial frenzy for the mindless consumer. We wait in lines on Black Friday, a day given to most of us to enjoy and relax with our families. Instead, we fight with other shoppers over the last Tickle Me Elmo gadget (wow, am I dating myself there?), stress ourselves out over not finding the closest parking spot and having to settle for the third closest parking spot (seriously, I thought they saw my blinker), and get all hot and sweaty (not to mention bitter and resentful) walking around crowded stores with bad music and complete chaos.

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There are two scarcely known bank holidays between Halloween and Christmas. One is Veteran’s Day (11/11) and the other is Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November). While that last statement is purely sarcastic, it is metaphorically true.

Unfortunately, Veteran’s Day is not anticipated for two months, nor is it commercialized… you hear very little about it. Why is that? I usually make it a point to call my dad and wish him a Happy Veteran’s Day. He thinks this phone call is a little weird, but it is a great excuse to get to chat with him. Sometimes I get a Naval Fleet story, but I usually get a sports story. So what. Moral of the story: Call your dad. Thank a Veteran.

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Thank you, Veterans!

Thanksgiving is a different beast. We spend a whole day celebrating the things we are thankful to have, getting drunk on wine and turkey, watching football and the Macy’s Parade. The next day we go out and buy all the things that we will be thankful to have NEXT Thanksgiving in a midnight rush of complete madness, as if these items will never be on sale again or will no longer exist in a few hours.

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11:59pm or 4:03am

Spending time with family turns into spending time with strangers and spending a week or two’s worth of hard earned income. And even when you have exhausted yourself in the first day of the official holiday season, you are never finished shopping. There is always something that you have forgotten that simply cannot wait until after Christmas when it will be half price or completely irrelevant to the recipient. Even when you begin your Christmas shopping in October, you are never done. You also forget to calculate just how much you have spent and everyone gets way too many gifts (as if that is such a thing). And you always wonder why you show up to your family/friend’s house with 3 bags of gifts and leave with a bottle of wine and leftovers (hey, that is good enough for me!).

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This guy looks a little douchey, right?

Christmas has gotten out of control. I can’t imagine what the holiday would be like if (SPOILER ALERT) Santa actually did exist and managed to make and deliver all those gifts to good boys and girls. Life would be easier, if not better. The holidays would surround you in warmth and joy, not complete turmoil. Being good would reap its rewards, and karma would take a more tangible role in life. If you are good, then you get a gift. If you are bad, you get a lump of coal. Plus, Santa is doing all the preparation and all you need to spend money on is milk and cookies (and maybe some oats for those reindeer).

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Santa is on it.

I would love to know the exact moment when that Advertising Executive said “Here’s a thought. What if we commercialized Christmas?” That must have come right after “Let’s make a fake holiday based on Love. We can put it in February since that is the suckiest month of them all.”  I can’t imagine the other religious/cultural celebrations (like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) allowing their traditions to become so ridiculously overdone. Christmas has it’s own scent! And I am sure it is patented. It would seem that the economy almost relies on Christmas so all of these big businesses can meet their bottom line at the end of the Fourth Quarter. We literally need Christmas to keep the economy afloat? Really? Maybe. I don’t know. I may have just made that up, but it sounds like it could be true.

People, we are suckers…. Huge, gross, stupid, wasteful, stupid suckers. Why do we still have candy hangovers from Halloween and there are Christmas Songs stuck in my head? It’s November 1st, for baby Jesus’ sake! Ah yes. baby Jesus… the reason for the season. The Catholic/Christian meaning behind this specific holiday. I wonder if Jesus just has to have the new iPhone so badly that his entire existence relies on it.  Can you imagine that prayer?

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The Reason for the Season.

Dear Father in Heaven (AKA: Dad),

Please please please. I really need the new iPhone. It’s already been 2 months and Johnny has one and so does his sister. I promise to be good and make as much wine out of water as you’d like. I can throw a healing or two in there, if it pleases You.

Love your son,

Jesus

Yeah. I highly doubt it. As a fictional character, Jesus would be pissed with how his fictional birthday is currently being celebrated. Christmas is not about gifts. It’s about giving. You can give your time and love and groceries to the needy. You can volunteer to feed people you don’t know, or help out a neighbor who is down on their luck. You can be there for a family member to console them or just crack open a beer and share a good story and a laugh. You don’t need useless things. The latest gadget is not going to love you the way that a person can.

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Jesus’ first Selfie on his new iPhone.

Holy Christmas Rant. Christmas is still about 2 months away, folks. Let’s not lose our heads this year. I want to savor Christmas and get back the magic that was slowly lost in all of the hype. I am going to regain the Christmas Spirit by avoiding the crowds, surrounding myself with friends, family, and a little bit of solitude. The next month I will refuse to give into the early “Christmas cheer”, which resembles the fake smile on a mannequin. I will not sing carols until after Thanksgiving, and I will spend at least 10 minutes a day reflecting on the things I am thankful for, the people I am joyful to have in my life, and the places that I have been this year. I am looking forward to Christmas, but just not yet. I am waiting for the magic and mystery to come around. In the meantime, I plan on drinking wine, watching the leaves continue their ritual, and ignoring the Christmas Propaganda.

I love you.

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