Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Better to be lucky than to be good."

I have so much to write about New York, but it'll all have to wait because, tonight, THIS happened:

Yeah, I met Bunk FUCKING Moreland (a.k.a. Wendell Pierce) from The Wire. To borrow one of his own phrases, FUCK FUCKIN' FUCK! Sorry. Can you tell that I am out of my mind about this? The whole thing is probably not a big deal to those of you who haven't watched The Wire. If that's the case, I have to ask WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Do you not spend every waking moment in front of the television like I do? Do you hate great writing and acting??? Do me a favor. Turn off your computer, pull on your sweatpants, run to your nearest video store, and rent all five seasons right this moment. When you're done watching them (don't sleep till you're all finished, now), come back to this blog entry. I promise, even through your sleep deprived state, you, like me, will be excitedly dropping the f-bomb left and right, going "THE FUCKING PQK MET FUCKING BUNK MORELAND." Or perhaps it'll be done more enviously, like "THAT FUCKING PQK? SHE HARDLY EVER UPDATES! WHAT DID SHE DO TO DESERVE THIS?" After all of your ranting and cursing, you should probably check into a hospital because watching 60+ hours of television without food or rest cannot be good for you. Once you recover, though, I'm sure you'll thank me.

And how did this meeting come about? This evening I was treated to a play called Broke-ology. My benefactor (which makes it sound like I have a sugar daddy... which I do) told me that it was going to be a musical-- turns out, it wasn't. As much as my falafel-clogged heart loves a little song and dance, it did not go unsatisfied and it's strings did not go un-pulled. The play was amazing-- probably one of the best that I've seen so far-- and Wendell Pierce was the lead. After the show, it took me and my companions a little while longer to get up to the lobby (they're a bit older, you see) and who should be standing there when we finally arrived? Wendell and the rest of the cast (who were also freaking amazing, by the way)! Did I pounce like a crazy person? Maybe. Why do I look that way in the photo? Because I balled my eyes out at the end of the play. Seriously, there's a chance that people were embarrassed to be seen with me, I cried so hard. So, yeah. I don't look stellar, but that's not the point. The point is BUNK FUCKING MORELAND.

Monday, September 7, 2009

If I can make it there.

Hoo, boy! Has the last month been a whirlwind or what? I, for one, have been moving out of the house that I lived in for two years, transferring everything to my mother’s, wrapping up my job, packing up my suitcases, saying goodbye to friends, and moving my ass to New York City. I write you right now from my temporary digs in the heart of Harlem. A friend of a friend has been nice enough to put me up for a few weeks (mind you, I persuaded her with fists full of cash) until my lease starts in Brooklyn.

Leaving Madison has been a definite mixed bag. To put it lightly, I needed to get out. At least for a little while. Overall, I’m incredibly grateful to the city whose influence has given me so much. Still, Madison tends to breed a sort of complacency. So many of the people who live there have these brilliant minds, but no desire or motivation to do anything with them. Ultimately, that’s a choice, although the comfort of the city makes that choice exceedingly easy to make. For my purposes, my hometown has been seeming more and more limited.

Another reason to leave? Ol’ Rachel (much like Ol’ Yeller), one of my best friends for life, is heading out west to find fame in the publishing world. Doing Madison without her would be like Andy Bellefleur solving crime without Jason Stackhouse. Sure, Andy’s awesome on his own, but he’s somehow made even more incredible when Jason is around and vice versa. The fact that Rachel and I are moving to opposite sides of the country somehow seems easier than her leaving me to rot in Madison. We have to learn to content ourselves by leaving phone messages consisting solely of the Ferris Bueller Bee Bow Bow song and knowing that we’re both off doing the things that we set off to. That being said, WAH! Who am I supposed to watch True Blood with? Who will take me down a peg when I get too lofty? Who will text me when random celebrities die? Who will stick their gum on me like a big fat jerk? WHO, I ASK! WHO? I’m hoping that if I throw a big enough tantrum, she’ll say, “Screw California! I’m gonna move to New York to start the official Golden Prince of Scandinavia foundation with the PQK!”

Other people that I’m freaking out about leaving? Well, there’s my other BFF, Dustin. We probably go out for lunch twelve times a week and generally speak in voices that are not our own (Hepburn, for example). He’ll never laugh at my jokes when they aren’t funny (though he’ll sometimes laugh at how unfunny they are) and he’ll always come to weddings with me so that I don’t have to sit at the weird distant relative table with the rest of the freaks. It’s a little easier saying goodbye to him—it’s likely that he’ll come and visit me and I’ll see him for sure when I’m back in Madison this winter to finish my undergrad. And then there’s my mom. I’m already missing our afternoon trips to the coffee shop and have been calling her daily. There’s the rest of my family, too. We’re a pretty tight knit bunch, so not having them around has felt like a drastic change even if it’s only been four days.

Enough on what I’ve left behind. How about where I’ve arrived? As I mentioned, I’m currently staying in Harlem, which has been a pretty extreme culture shock. For the first time in my life, I’m the racial minority. What, you ask? Madison is not the center of cultural diversity? Feign shock, everyone, cause Madison is probably one of the whitest places on the planet. It’s pretty facinating seeing things from the other side—the ratio of white to Black here is probably 1:100. Needless to say, with my red hair and pale skin, I stick out like sore thumb. Often, I feel rather self-conscious—mainly because I don’t want to seem like a representative of the first wave of self-entitled young white people to move to the neighborhood and slowly raise the rent cost (although that’s probably exactly what I am). Ultimately, (much at the cost of my self-inflation) I’m forced to realize that no one really gives a shit about me as my neighbors (SURPRISE) have lives of their own that keep them occupied most of the time.

Let’s talk about the New York-y things that I’ve done so far, shall we? I’m gonna do a list of highlights because I’m tired and who doesn’t love lists? A-holes, that’s who.

-My favorite New York experience so far was probably my morning trip to the Fort Green flea market in Brooklyn. Being in Fort Green was love at first sight. Tree-lined streets? Check. Cool restaurants and cafes? Yes’m. Vintage clothing stands EVERY Saturday? Diversity? Brownstones? Yes! Yes! Yes!

-Central Park is about 10 minutes away by train. I’ve been going almost every day just to walk around and people watch.

-Met up with a friend who bought me a phenomenal bagel. That’s not a euphemism, but if I were you, I’d probably read it as one. Don’t be embarrassed.

-Had my work ID picture taken. It turned out foxy, obviously.

-Mayor Bloomberg welcomed me to New York, albeit unknowingly from about 20 feet away.

-Went the Western Indian Day parade today. Holy crowds! Did you know that the NYPD has it’s own Caribbean steel drum band? They do and they’re awesome. Another awesome thing: the New York Corrections department gets its own float in the parade.

-Fried plantains and homemade ginger beer at the parade. Thank you, Caribbean New Yorkers!

I know there’s more, but I’m really effin’ sleepy and I start work tomorrow.

Too tired think of a snappy send-off.