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I am...a New Yorker
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[Previous entry: "Composing Missives"]

Monday, December 16, 2002
Consorting with Humans, Imagine That!
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Buzzing...
That sound from my room twice a day is my new Sonicare. No, really.

Meeting...
Tracey is here from L.A. and I only now gave her the Sloan photos from May. Shameful!

Watching...
Eddie Izzard: Dressed to Kill with Ken. Like Jen, he went to the in-store a few weeks back. He said people were disappointed that Eddie wasn?t in T.V. mode, but that he was a good looking fellow anyway.

Bringing...
Holiday cookies!

Eating...
Yummy Thai chicken with Chinese broccoli at Joya on Court Street.

Walking...
Along Court Street for the first time in ages, probably since I lived in Brooklyn. I used to get heaping bowls of pasta at Sam?s while Pop and son flirted with me.

Printing...
Not my holiday cards, unfortunately. Lazy, lazy.

Cutting...
Off all my damn hair. Well, the half that hadn't fallen off.

Hearing...
"Oh, another new hairdo?" all day long. That's why I've been putting off the cut. It's just hair, people. It's dead.

I am...too much of a hermit at times. On Friday nights especially, I tend to stay in or paint all night at Our Name is Mud. I don't like to be surrounded by the B&T crowd in my 'hood on the weekend. Luckily, my Netflix DVDs came on Friday (so glad they have a distribution center in Flushing now), so I holed up in bed with my laptop.

. . .

On Saturday, predictably, I slept in. Initially, I woke up before 8, but, rather than make use of the extra time, I resented being conscious so early on my day off. I ended up sleeping until 11 and puttering around until 1 or so and finally going down to lunch. I had a lot on my agenda, but blew most of it off. Even with the looming transit strike, I couldn?t get motivated to wrap and mail holiday presents and will just UPS them from work and pay the mailroom, instead of waiting in line. If I have to schlep it all somewhere, might as well be to work.

The only thing I didn't blow off was the big, gay, cookie-baking extravaganza. My friend R, who I housesit for frequently invited me over to visit with one of his friends who was down from Connecticut for the weekend. I asked if I could bake cookies and he said yes, knowing he would profit from the bounty of holiday goodies. I even made some for his doorman Larry, who I see a great deal more often than I do R.

I was in total nesting mode and, after an excruciatingly long, strange stop at the twisty, turny, two-story Food Emporium, I had much to make. First, I stuffed a roasting chicken with lemons, limes, onions and rosemary. I slipped extra rosemary under the skin (I usually do that with lemons, limes and sometimes tangerines, but not so) and threw it in the oven.

I love roasting chickens and hadn't in quite some time. It's so simple, and it smells, looks and tastes like you really slaved over a hot stove. The rosemary is deliciously aromatic, seeping into the meat and sweetening it. Sometimes, I throw in potatoes and carrots, but we opted for Stovetop, which, naturally, I forgot to get at the store. I was dismayed at my inability to find nuts on the baking aisle, or any other aisle for that matter. New York supermarkets are small and weird.

First, I baked peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chip bar cookies with M&M baking bits and walnuts. Next, I made jam thumbprints, with grape jelly, strawberry jam and blood orange marmalade. I try to do different flavors, because they look more lovely in the box with different colors of glistening jelly on top. Unfortunately, R's coffee grinder worked all-too well on the nuts, practically turning them to nut butters, so after the first batch, it was too big a hassle to roll the dough in nuts. My hands were covered in nutty, eggy goop. Ick.

Between a post-chicken coma and the arrival of R's friend J, I was too pooped to get to either shortbread or checkerboard. I might ask to come back and bake during our Thursday night fest. Shortbread is pretty simple and yet people are oddly impressed with how pretty they are. I hit on the idea of making the shortbread rounds smaller (two small rounds per batch, instead of one large round). I hope the resulting shorter wedges are less fragile, so they will travel better.

There aren't any photos, but you can get an idea from the cookies I made two years ago and mailed to so many friends (and, I think, sadly, to a few who don't even talk to me anymore).

. . .

I planned to go back to R's on Sunday to make more batches and varieties of cookies, but I had trouble getting motivated. That turned out to be a good thing, as my friend Trace was visiting from La and called me from Charles and Bleecker Streets, not a 10 minute walk from my place, as I was getting out of the shower.

We met up at a local coffee bar and hung for a bit before she attended another event related to the wedding of a friend, which is what brought her back to New York, so shortly after the Sloan-steeped visit in May.

This actually worked out rather well for me, as I had plans with K in Brooklyn later that night and R's place is uptown and not near the F. Hanging with Trace kept me in my own 'hood and near the Freaky train.

Those with good attention spans might remember that K is a fan of a friend's music and had offered me a ride home from a show down on the Jersey Shore back in September. I didn't feel comfortable trusting a complete stranger to get me home safely from the wilds of New Jersey, so I suggested we meet up a few times before the next series of shows and we'd each gain a show buddy.

I'm glad we met up, as we really hit it off. I usually have nothing in common with John's fans, besides his music. They always seem to be scary frat boys or red necks from New Jersey. I know, so unfair. But you know, I'm just not as forgiving about red necks as I once was. People like me have been here for hundreds of years -- get used to it!

Apparently, my sense of K's sanity was sufficiently satiated after that initial meeting. Indeed, although we talked about going to see a movie (he only wanted to see Bowling for Columbine or Harry Potter, both of which I've seen), I felt comfortable enough to go to his apartment.

We had fabulous Thai at Joya on Court Street, which I'd somehow never found on my wanderings when I lived in Brooklyn (I frequented another Thai and an Italian place a few blocks away). He said he was sure that he'd have something in his movie collection that I'd enjoy. Confidently, he asked my favorite movie. Of course, I gave my actual favorite, never mind that's it's too quirky for most people. But lo, K had "Harold and Maude" in his collection. On laser disc, no less.

Although I could have gone for an H&M pick-me-up, I opted for Eddie Izzard's "Dressed to Kill," because I'd seen bits and pieces of it on HBO and at Kim's Video last weekend in Alphabet City, but never the entire thing.

His whole bit about the fog in San Francisco and how it rushes by like it has somewhere to be was great. I miss San Francisco a lot, but it was great to laugh at the City's intrinsic weirdness. (Yes, he had a bit about people referring to it as "The City," to which K quipped, "No, that's New York.")

I know that when I write about my San Francisco daze, the City itself will be the star. It becomes a character. Add to that scads of hippies, too many yuppies, and large, visible queer and BDSM communities. This bizarre civic stew makes SF (don't call it Frisco) seem not of this earth. Sometimes I miss the hookers on my corner with their potty mouths while I buy Cisco and cheap Thai. I never see hookers here. Or strippers. In New York, they're more tucked away. Or perhaps I am.

Nevertheless, wow, I had such a good time. I've really got to get one of those social lives I've been hearing about, it's certainly nice enough to dabble in now and again. I had a lot of fun with M and her friends last weekend and the realization crept up on me that I should be getting out more. This is the time of year I start to regret question in New York, where it?s colder than July in San Francisco, and I hibernate a lot more.

I have a few friends here, but people are always so damn busy that sometimes I won't see my closest friends for a few months. Also, I have a couple of friends in NY who are also hermits (not to even get into how many of us have just been unemployed, bummed out or who will be one of the above soon), so it becomes a battle of wills at times as to who will come to whom and when.

This is all part of the richness, or quality of life, that has been lacking since I moved to New York that first time (much of it seasonal) and why I seek now to reinfuse my life with color, flavor and velvety texture. I don't have a favorite Thai place, or know where to get good dim sum or a good deal on shoes, nor do I have a special bagel guy or my bodega. I don't even have a favorite movie theater. I recognize more faces at such places when I visit SF, even 3 years after leaving.

I realize now that the famed hardness of New York shows for me in those ways; I need to find ways to personalize the city more. I have felt so crunched about money and have moved so many times, plus factor in my dad's death and the last 4 years have just been so unsettled.

After Eddie Izzard, K and I watched the last 20 minutes of Coffy. He was disappointed to learn he'd missed out on the blouse-busting catfight scene, but was consoled by seeing Pam Grier in what was left of her mini sweater dress after she kicked everyone's ass.

After that, we watched the last half hour of Possessed with Timothy Dalton, thinking it was going to be the spoof "Re-Possessed." As Dalton loomed and restrained the little, possessed boy, K and I made many shameful and very bad jokes about priests and little boys...substitute dialogue and the like. Ben Dover.

Then I got completely hooked on the Transit Strike Countdown Centers and the goofy people standing behind field reporters in Penn Station while talking on their cell phones and waving. One guy was on at least three different channels. It was really pathetic. But hey, I discovered that cell phones work by the Amtrak board at Penn Station, even though it's underground.

So sucked in was I by the utter lack of strike updates, that I suddenly realized it was 11:20 and, with no resolution in sight, I best get my ass west of the East River, lest I turn into a pumpkin at 12:01.

Nothing like a threatened transit strike to make one savor a ride back home on the F, hoping it's not the last. I stopped at the bodega just above the subway exit for goodies. My feet carried me almost automatically, and I arrived on my old, familiar doorstep and finally under my warm, flannel sheets.

[Next entry: "Lucky"]
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