Adventure, Christmas, FUN!, Holiday Season, Long Island, Stereotypes

Your Long Island is Showing

Happy Holidays!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can finally give into the Christmas season that has been calling since long before my Jack-o-Lanterns were even carved. Captain Clam and I spent a relaxing couple of days at my parent’s house out on eastern Long Island. My sister lives right across the street from them, so I got to get my “nephew on” while I was there. I have a 6 year old mad man and a 7 month old adorable (but very rude) baby who keep me busy whenever I visit. I was a very happy Auntie and the Clam was overjoyed to discover his baby whispering talents.

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Whisper. Whisper. Rude Baby is now asleep!

As soon as plans are made with my parents, there are weeks of confirming that we are, indeed, going to pay a visit.  Every week my mom will ask me “Are you coming for Thanksgiving?” And I answer, “Yes Mom” in that sarcastic little kid voice that we all have when we say yes to our moms when she asks a question that has been asked one million times.

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CAT PICTURE!

Once it’s down to the wire, we check the weather and train/bus schedules. I am always on the train an hour AFTER the train I intended to be on. I don’t even lie about trying to be on time anymore. I even tell my parents the time of the train I WANT to be on and then the time of that train that I will most likely be on. There is just something in my brain and body that prohibit me from leaving the house on time. And no matter how much I prepare I am always late, I always over pack, and I always forget something. This year it was pajamas.

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It’s always this time of year when I talk to me family the most. Between my birthday, my dad’s birthday, and all the holidays, we all call each other a million times to say hi or solidify a loose plan. It’s this time of year that my Long Island really starts to show. Whether it’s from the phone calls to an over serving of eggnog, that ear throbbing accents falls out of my mouth and I just can’t do anything about it. It would also seem that the closer I get to the homestead, the more lazy my language skills and manners become. It’s a Long Island thing.

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Greetings, Douche Bag!

It seems that as soon as I step foot on that train to Ronkonkoma, a switch flips in my soul. I am homeward bound and hurtling towards my roots at 75 MPH. Out comes the beer and that harsh accent that makes us all feel a little bad ass and sound a little trashy and undereducated.

If there is one thing that my family is, it’s Long Island. Captain Clam has invisible ear muffs because we are just SO DAMN LOUD when we all get together. It’s true. All Long Islanders are. I don’t know why, but it’s inherent throughout the native population of Nassau and Suffolk, and being around anyone from Long Island somehow makes me very comfortable. We could live on opposite ends of  Island, and somehow still have a connection.

“Oh, you’re from Long Island? So am I. Where abouts?”

“Levittown”

“Oh cool. I’m from Riverhead.”

“Oh wow, that’s way out there.”

“Yeah, it’s not too bad.”

BOOM. Immediate Facebook friends for life.

Riding on the train towards home, I always feel like I never left and the people have never changed. You can find many of the same characters who are named Theresa, Joey, Bobby, or Jamie (or something like that). We all talk with our hands and say ridiculous things way too loudly. Most of us are crude and censor-less. We say things like “Douche bag” and “asshole fuck face” in front of babies and grandmas. I have no idea why that is, but it just is.

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There are a few (but not many) stereotypes about Long Islanders that are not true. We are not all rich. There are very few places where the rich reside, and most of us are middle class hard working schmucks who want to live near the ocean and the farms on our 1/8th acre of semi-suburban paradise. Of course, Long Island is a very expensive place to live and property values are sky high due to the lack of space available, but it somehow seems worth the expense.

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Another falsity… All Long Island girls have tramp Stamps… NO! Well, I have one, but it was pretty cool in 2002 (but mine is terrible and I hate it and can’t wait to get  it removed). In case you DO want a Tramp Stamp, the are only two suitable tattoo parlors that you can go to… Lou’s and Cliff’s. That’s it, argument over.

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I wish my Tramp Stamp was this awesome…

Now, there is a mystery surrounding the Uncle that everyone has who works in Sanitation. NOPE. Not buying it. Unless sanitation is code for some illegal activities (which it very well could be), then this is another Long Islandism that is simply not true.

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That is NOT my uncle!

I have been reading up on “You know you’re from Long Island if…” blog posts, and some of them are just plain stupid. I DO NOT have a Billy Joel “sighting” story (although it would be nice to have one), and have never had a problem “Changing trains at Jamaica.” No, I don’t know Lindsay Lohan, but do find the Hamptons  to be a snooze-fest high school reunion (I’m more of a North Shore kinda gal anyway). And saying “Strong Island” is super douchey. We are douchey enough, so we avoid that phrase altogether.

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The full extent of our douchiness.

Long Island is a great place to be, and even though I live in Brooklyn currently, I am STILL technically ON LONG ISLAND!! No Brooklynite or Queens dweller wants to admit this fact… Why? I asked Captain Clam. He told me that Long Island is like being in New Jersey, but Seven times worse. But how can that be? I simply don’t believe it and refuse to hanker around with any such thoughts.

Long Island is Long Island. It’s super special and super douchey, just like any hometown in America. What I do love about Long Island is the dark, starry night skies and the fresh air that smells like bonfire and fresh seawater wind. There are expansive Ocean Beaches, Rocky Sound Beaches, Lakes, Rivers, The Bay, Farm Stands, Buffalo Farms, Duck Farms, Adventure Land, Splish Splash, Aquariums, the Long Island Medium, Pine Barrens, Roadside F-14’s, National Cemeteries, JONES BEACH, Petting Zoos, Vineyards, State Parks, Whale Watching (should I keep going??)  … Plus, WE HAVE THE BIG DUCK!!!

And you really just can’t beat the accent.

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Happy Holidays, Long Island Style.

Tell me, what do you love and hate about Long Island?

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9/11, Change, New York City, South Bronx

My City of Change

Cindy-Sherman

Cindy Sherman

My childhood dream was to live in New York City. I wanted to be an actor and a fire-woman and a lawyer and a hippy and an artist and a flapper all in the same moment. Truth is, I didn’t really care what I was, as long as I was here.

The city has always given me a sense of connection. I remember coming in on the LIRR Ronkonkoma line from Long Island and smelling newspapers and popcorn at Penn Station (every now and then I catch a whiff of that and I am 10 years old again). Every once in a while I am overcome with the nostalgia that my former life was once played out on the silver screen with New York City as the timelessly sexy metal and stone backdrop (jazz, of course, being the official soundtrack).

New York City has always been waiting for me. I will believe that always no matter where in the the world I may be. It is always hard to leave, but very easy to come back. The city itself calls to me. There are places and times that I revisit over and over again; Minetta Lane in Early Spring (where that one little bend in the road makes me feel like I am in 1920’s Paris), Poets Alley in Mid-Summer (where my lover holds my hand and I wonder how the leaves could ever be so green), Bleecker Street in Autumn (where the youth swarm the city to revive some life and style to the already teaming energy), and St. Mark’s Place (anytime of year, where I reminisce with old friends and wonder what that bohemian neighborhood would have been like if I had lived there once upon a time ago).

This city is somehow always and never the same. It is it’s own universe, changing it’s face and the attitudes of anyone who wants to be or is part of the city, even if for just a moment. New York City changed me more times than I can count, and that is before I ever even lived here. The beloved skyline is always changing…. sometimes because of progress and sometimes because of tragedy. I could never forget September 11, 2001. It is a story for (and of) our time. I remember not believing that it could be real, even a week later, driving over the Pulaski Bridge with an iron fist pressed into my stomach. I am still filled with sadness during this time of year, but always find warm hope in the light-filled memorial downtown.

That day, New York City changed everyone’s lives, it changed the world.  And even with that horror in the back of my mind, I still couldn’t fight it. I turned my collar up, rolled down my sleeves, bought some mousetraps, and moved to this manmade paradise.

I spent my first 7 years shacked up in a raw, industrial 2,000 Sqft loft in the South Bronx. I made art and the best of friends and neighbors, collected way too many things (like cats and couches and holes in the walls) made at least 3 tons of tacos, and never once ever realized that I was changing; life was changing. It wasn’t until I moved to Brooklyn that I saw a very different me. Like a mountain growing over the course of millions of years, it was a gradual growth that I barely saw happening. I can’t really say exactly what happened, but somewhere along the way I grew a pair of balls that were larger than the ones that I thought I could grow (or even needed) and stopped taking so much shit from friends, family, and even people I didn’t know. It’s an amazing growth and people love me for who I was and who I have become.

This city has made me tough, but not aggressive. I am still a sweet and shy girl from Bumble-Head, Long Island who loves kittens and sad movies and nerd talk and Jay-Z collaborations. I still say good morning to strangers in my neighborhood or on the way to work in Chelsea. I still excuse myself when someone won’t get the fuck out of my way on the train and most definitely wave to kids on school buses or peering out of apartment windows (is that creepy?).

This city hardens you, but not to be jaded, just smarter, more careful, and down-right sassy as hell. You can still be a push-over, but know when to use that little knife you’ve been carrying around in your purse for the last 7 years (and it really does come in handy if you need to open a box or something).

Change is always happening. It is the inevitable force that keeps us all on our feet. Sometimes the dream will sway you, and sometimes it is just the circumstance.  From time to time I dream of a big farm in Maine (with horses and zebras and chickens and a gratuitous camel), but I know that’s just the homesteader that I once was in a different former life. So, to my dear, sweet New York City that I’ve pined for since before the first time I ever smelled Newspaper and popcorn, I love you. Please keep the magic and the madness, and keep me safe and sound and somewhat lost and I will never forget you.

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Adventure, Employment, Today was Awesome, Unemployment

Fully Functioning: Day 1

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Today felt like the first day of school. I spent a “wild” weekend with my parents and sisters and their kids, getting tan, swimming at the beach, and drinking my face off at the Polish Town Fair in Riverhead (serious shout out to Long Island). Then I recovered, came back to reality, got a hair cut and had all the unwanted hair removed from my face (mustache included), went grocery shopping, did laundry, and prepared lunches for Captain Clam and myself. I even laid my clothes out for the day (undies and all).

Trying to sleep all night was like being a kid waiting to go to Great Adventure the next day…. you can’t fall asleep and have a really hard time waking up (certainly not at 6am (boo hoo whaa whaa)). Of course, I made the mistake of watching a delicious show called Sons of Anarchy right before bed, so my mind was racing with thoughts of Jax Teller and the adventure that awaited me today in the wonderful world of gainful employment. I was also writing this post in my mind (it was much better in my head at 3am. Sorry, friends).

So, on 3 hours of sleep, I kissed my gorgeous Captain goodbye at Atlantic Terminal and ventured to Union Square to start the next chapter in the saga of my life. This is turning out to be quite an interesting book. How wonderful it is to work in a factory again. Of course I work in the office, but to be a part of a factory and to have sagging, creaking wooden floors under my feet and sewing machines running and human machines doing…. it’s a great feeling. It’s also a great feeling not to dread going to work everyday because the people you work with are selfish, snobby, rude pricks. Of course it’s only my first day and I may feel different once I get the hang of everything and all of the personalities I have to interact with. But today was a great day, not like previous first days that I have had where it was gloomy and awful for the first week and beyond.

Having gone through a shit fuck of a job with a beyond horrible boss and mediocre co-workers (with a few exceptions, of course), and then battling unemployment and the depression that accompanies it, I am so happy to be where I am – and in a factory no less. Funny how a fully functioning upholstery/seating/drapery factory can withstand the economy on 18th Street in Manhattan, but a poorly run factory in LIC, Queens (lame) can’t handle the pressure (or is run by some maniacal illusionist who has no idea how to run a business or read spreadsheets or emails with financial information in them or just plain read emails in general) and is “forced”  to outsource it’s overly priced seating items to China. Burn.

Rant ranted.

And Funny… Captain Clam is now working in a factory, too (oh, as Design Director!(what?!)). We are gonna have the best nerd talk ever during the next few years. Yay! When we went shopping on Monday, Le Clam purchased new slacks, shirts, and shoes. Today he was such a handsome piece of ass. Of course he told me that dress shoes aren’t for him and he felt like he was wearing ski’s all day, but I did have a hard time letting him get off the train without making out for at least one million minutes.

Now we are about to feast on salad and make tomorrow’s lunches. Oh how I heart sandwiches! I can’t wait to fall asleep and wake up to an amazing new place to work and a new dynamic group of people to get to know. Thank you friends and readers for being so awesome. And you’re welcome for me being just as awesome as you.

I love you.

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Opposites Attract

Things That Don’t Mix So Good

This post goes out to my mom, a sassy, yet extremely polite, little lady who gives the best damn hugs and head rubs in all the land. If you ever meet her, she will make sure you are well fed… and that’s an understatement.

Undoubtedly , there are things that are in the natural world, spiritual world, and technological world that simply will not mix. Here are some of my latest findings. I know how curious you are, since I am so cool and all.

Moms and Computer Machines

This little tale is what inspired the blog post you are currently reading. I hope my mom can forgive me, as she explicitly asked me not to write about the incident, when during said incident, I told her I was going to blog about it.

I called my mom asking for a favor. I have to prove to my Credit Card Company that I am indeed collecting unemployment and am eligible to not have to pay monthly payments until forever. I do not have a printer to print out the Official Benefits Page (I effing HATE Unemployment), so I give mom a call and email her the page. Of course she obliges my request (because she loves me so much). She has to go upstairs to her computer room, wherein lies her “new” computer. The computer wants to update 1 million applications. We wait…. and wait…. ultimately the file will not open. So I send her the file in a different format…. three times. Then we check her “other” computer. Still no success.

Long story short… After three emails, 12 different ways of trying to open the file to print, one dead cell phone, yelling and screaming into speaker phone, sweat, tears, and about 9 hours, she calls me back to let me know that my sister (love you, Chrissy) came over to help her and all she needed to do was download “Adobe Player.”   Thanks, Mom!

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Mom, You’re the Best!

Deadlines and Poor Internet Speeds

It is seriously like your computer KNOWS just how stressed out you are when that deadline is lurking. I swear I give off an electric energy that makes my computer either NOT work or the internet ceases to function properly until I calm the fuck down. WHY?

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Oh My God, are you KIDDING ME?

Bras and Heat Waves

OH MY GOD!! Please make it stop!

As soon as you hit a certain age (30, which is the new 25) you sweat like all the sweat that you ever had in your whole body has never let itself loose. Any movement makes the ducts flow, dripping saline and grossies, and you are left with boob sweat and stained t-shirts and ruined dresses and poor self-esteem.

And when you do take your bra off, you realize just how big your boobies actually are and you praise the gods for the heat wave… until you need milk and eggs and cheese. Then you go to the store and forget you have no bra on… and even the girls are looking.

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WooHoo! No Bra!

Whiskey and Wine

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Gaaahhhhhh! I am such a mess!

DON”T EVER DO IT.  It’s just ugly… like Angry, Sad Crying on Valentine’s Day. True Story.

High Heels on a Picnic

This action is actually Do-Able, if you are careful, play your cards right, and simply don’t give a damn about the shoes you have on. Any situation can be overcome with a little bit of grace.

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Strawberry Fields Forever!

Every year, a Strawberry Fields Picnic in Central Park (Manhattan, duh) is held and hosted by me and a group of friends (who are now scattered across the country and world). This year, I did an early Spring Picnic. Captain Clam and I needed to get out of Brooklyn and see some old friends. Of course, Central Park is a reasonable meeting area for our  (generally) debaucherous gathering.

What I didn’t depend on was the attendance of my good old friend from Long Island popping in with her New Girlfriend. Of course she had RSPV’d via facebook, but facebook is so unreliable when it comes to me and event planning. Everyone is a liar or a pessimist these days. ANYWAY, the new girlfriend shows up dazzling (!) as if she is meeting the most important people in the world (OMG, me!). So here she is, buxom, beautiful, totally confident, wearing full make-up, toting replica pearls, and dragging along a bag full of quiche (qhiche!!)…. and wearing heels. Not little heels, but HEELS. I do believe I  made a joke about it (someone had to), but I definitely made sure I could get away with the joke before it fell out of my foul mouth. See was game and totally wonderful!

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Oh, I got this.

Eventually we came back to Captain Clam and my BK studio to catch up. We ended up playing the “BEST OF BOTH WORLD’S DRINKING GAME“. It’s the double Start Trek TNG BORG episode drinking game that I made up. You drink whenever anyone says BORG. It’s dangerous. I am still finding replica pearls in my apartment!

Car Keys and a 12 Pack 

Unless you’re hanging out with 12 people for at least an hour, DON”T DO IT. It’s dumb… and so are you (if you do it).

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 Strong Accents and Telephone Calls

Wowzers. I just can’t do it.  My old Landlord is Isreali, and I would make him meet me so we could talk. I had no idea what he was saying when we were on the phone. I have a heavy Lawn Guy Land accent myself, so it’s like a turkey and a chicken talking (does that even make sense?). It’s not happening… It’s like calling an American based company and getting an “outsourced” employee. The American Dream is spreading! Sadly, I am void of accent comprehension. It’s not anybody’s fault.

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I’m sorry, can you please repeat that?

Cats and Cats

I am a crazy cat lady. You did not hear it here first, unless you never met me (a future blog post is in the works). I love cats and I love MY cats…except Squirrel, he’s a dick, and he belongs to Captain Clam.

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I might be pretty, but I’m still a dick!

Squirrel was acquired during the small amount of time that Captain Clam and I lived in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. He showed up so cute and little at our window one day. We fed him and eventually let him in and he peed on our bed.

When we had to move, he was still a little baby. Captain Clam was in love with him and I couldn’t say no… so we took him to the neuter van (ASPCA.org) and brought him into the family. My older cats hated him… and they still hate him one year later. Sadly, the little bastard hates me too, and all I want is a good snuggle from time to time. He eats my plants and terrorizes the geriatric cat population. It sucks getting old.

Shout out to Wee, Mr. T, and Merdok. Don’t let Squirrel Bring you Down!

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Tequila and Anger 

DON’T DO IT …Unless you really just wanna dance!

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Good Shows and Bad Endings

This heading is self explanatory. But let’s recap, shall we?

Merlin – skipping ahead for no effing reason = not cool. And what happened to the white dragon?

Movie: City of Angels – Are you serious? I started crying from halfway through the movie until the very end! WHY?!

Lost – Just plain stupid. Wasted my time imagining the possibilities.

Arrested Development – Should have just left it where it was. Or maybe it was because I watched that last Netflix season in one day…. Sadly, I wasn’t entertained.

Nip/Tuck – Where was the drama in the ending? BORING!

Movie: Cabin in the Woods – So good until the end. LAME! But thanks for the Sigourney Weaver Cameo!

Sopranos – LAME. Sorry. Please don’t give me concrete shoes and RIP Mr. G.

Smallville – We never really got to see you fly! Why Not? Whaaaa!!!! ‘Nuff Said.

Movie: The Ledge: First of all, Jax from SOA would never do that! Or would he for Tara? I don’t know! BUZZ KILL… Did you REALLY have to kill him at the end?! So LAME! But Liv Tyler was a beauty, as usual! Damn.

The Tudors Why not just go on to the end? Kill that cheating bastard? History demands his death!

Dollhouse:  Why was this show ever even canceled? Eliza Dushku is so hot right now! And this show could have been even hotter. 2 seasons?  Gross.

Prison Break – Seriously. How many prisons are you planning on breaking out of? And REALLY? You can remove tattoos just like that? BORING… and NOT TRUE.

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What the….?

I know, I know…. I only touch the surface and there are a lot more incompatible things in this world. It’s a weird world though. Luckily, you can disagree with me, or even add to my obvious very in-depth scientific research. I’d like to hear from you. There are some things that don’t mix, but sometimes they do.

I love you.

Thank you to My Sweet Mom, Carol, of course, Priscilla and JoJo, My kitties, Isaak, JKwasna, JDHuizing, LTDan, GBueche, and Captain Clam.

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