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I am...a New Yorker
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Tuesday, August 6, 2002
Here to Stay, I Think
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Working...
But getting off at 5, woo hoo!

Singing...
"Pretty Fly for a Rabbi," from the moment my boss (a rabbi) said, "So, how's by you?" to a visitor this morning.

Darn that Weird Al and his catchy lyrics!

Posting...
Photos of my tiles, at last.

Discovering...
That "Greek" is, apparently, a euphemism for anal sex. That's a new one by me. For weeks, this guy I've been dating thought that's what the nickname of his predecessor meant.

Finding...
Photos I took of Rockefeller Center the day the Christmas tree arrived. I was disappointed and confused that I hadn't taken any photos of the plaza surrounding the skating rink filled with American flags (they are normally flags of the 50 states or gold and silver flags during the holidays).

Horoscoping...
Praise and acclaim come from both outside and inside your support group. All at once, you're doing everything right. Water moves Earth with irresistible force. Good advice is finally paying off.

You're not going to learn much more about each other by telephone or email. It's time to get up close and personal. Activities that you both love will bring you closer together. Even if romance never blossoms, you find a good friend.

Watching...
E! True Hollywood Story: Traci Lords.

Getting...
Accepted to San Francisco State, now that I found a job in New York. Oh, the irony!

It's up to you, New York, New York! (University...or CUNY)

Writing...
My statement of purpose for NYU, rather belatedly, I know. But they are still accepting for the fall, at admission events this week and next.

Dating...
New geek boy last night. He seems nice enough and we got along well. I'm always so reserved and doubtful, but he's a journalist and loves my sites, so he can't be half bad.

Every 5 years or so, I get my hormones all riled up and the sex is just oozing from my pores. What's up with that?

Reading...
I am Carbonated Milk.com, from Salon, which my date thought I'd enjoy. I nearly passed out laughing at the weird domains people have registered.

Yes, I realize the irony of that statement.

I draw the line at carbonated milk.com, but I am carbonated milk? WTF? I haven't been so perplexed since a man with a hundred domains offered to trade one of his for imericaonline. I told him, "But you aren't Erica!"

Marvelling...
Areas of the city I always considered distinct are starting to flow into one another. I think this is a function of being here a certain amount of time and seeing the city with new eyes.

Squirming...
Because I'm sore, in places.

Losing...
SomeCrazyDame.com to Internet hucksters in Hong Kong, although I sent payment in weeks ago and checked with Network Solutions that there was still time to do so. Fuck!

I am...not getting evicted, for one thing. During all that time off, I had one foot in San Francisco and, at one point, was so depressed I didn't leave my room for days or my building for weeks.

All is resolved, in terms of housing at least, and that's one less liability. That's where I'm at right now -- repairing what it took me 16 years to get broken and busted in so many places. My therapist said I laughed off my past too much, that the things that happened to me were terrible and not to be underestimated. I've long sought the balance between underestimating the damage and overindulging myself. It's a wickedly narrow path between the Schylla and Charibdis.

Indeed, I fixed all but two of the multitude of absurd mistakes that have been holding me back over the last decade. One is in process now and should be resolved by mid-August. When that's fixed, it ends a seven year block on my academic records at Cal State Fullerton, which is holding up my admission to CUNY and SFSU. The latter tentatively admitted me, subject to receipt of those transcripts by next Friday, which I don't think will happen. Never say never, of course -- I've pulled some miracles out of my ass recently.

This feels great. My goals upon returning to New York last year were to find a job, move into Manhattan, and start fixing past credit and educational mistakes so I could go back to school and get into my own apartment. One of the reasons I'm not too bothered by the pay cut is that it puts me closer to the threshold for low income housing. If I can swing that, I can later increase my income with writing, art and web projects.

I either had to earn 50% more than I was making at the last job to qualify for regular housing, or 25% less to qualify for low income housing. I'm at 13% less with the base salary at the new job. It appears I can get down to the level I need to reach with salary deductions for TransitCheck (I've wanted a job with that benefit for 6 years), unreimbursed medical expenses (new insurance only covers 20 mental health visits a year, while I want to go every week) and some other benefit programs I'm learning to make sense of.

OK, so I'm starting the "Grow up, already -- you're 30!" program nearly a year late. The important thing is I'm starting.

. . .

I lost track of things because I honestly didn't know what I wanted to do or even where. I fell behind, needlessly, I know. Looking back on my life, I see how the depression creeps in and steals from me what is mine to claim.

I'm glad I'll have this weekly check in with the therapist (though she is on vacation until the end of the month, oh the abandonment issues!), as I need to stay on an even keel. This will be the first time I've gone to school without the looming worries and realities of getting the shit beat out of me during finals week or worry about my dad dropping dead at any time (with the exception of the one semester while I lived with my mom, which only involved screaming everyday, no beating).

There will be academic pressures, to be sure, but that's nothing compared to the hell I lived through in high school and college. Even when I'd been on my own for years, if I wanted to visit my little brother, it was a good bet I was going to be beaten.

Indeed, it only got worse because I'd gotten out of the habit of all the beating prevention measures that were part of my daily life when I lived with my parents (wearing a belt, not leaving toothpaste in the sink, not smiling, not frowning, not talking, etc.). One of my father's favorite justifications for a beating was saying that I frowned. Since it was just the two of us most of the time, this was entirely subjective to begin with.

What's worse is that many of the things I was beaten for were things my mother did, almost as if she did careless, messy, childish things in order to keep the heat off of herself. It was a sick agreement they had, and I wanted no part of it. I can remember telling them that I was abused when I was 5, 6, 7 years old and they laughed and made fun of me.

At any rate, the point isn't whining about the past (though I've become concerned that the nightmares have grown increasingly worse since my father's death), but learning how it has affected me and fixing that.

. . .

Empire State Building at sunset

My cheapy digital camera is fine for self portraits or photos of people and on the street, but it fails to capture the beauty of things like the dramatic, moody sunset tonight.


Rockefeller Center at Christmas

Rockefeller Center last November, the day they brought the Christmas tree in from Wayne, NJ.  I'm so glad to find this photo, because I didn't think I had a clear one of all the flags around the rink.

I forgot I had a disposable camera with me that day. I tried to pick up the film a few times before the holidays, but that particular Rite Aid isn't well staffed and there's rarely anyone in the photo department. After a while, I just figured I'd forgotten about picking up the film, until they called me when I was at the family reunion the weekend before last. It's like Christmas in August.



Beautiful Weirdo tile

One of my tiles.  The background is a light tangerine orange.  I got the phrase from my ex-unboyfriend Eric, who said I have to stop falling for the "beautiful weirdos of the world," himself included, I suppose.

I find it terribly ironic that he'd describe them that way. If they're the weirdos, why am I the one who's been ceaselessly alone while they go on to marry, have kids and hold down jobs?



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