A Queens Kind of Party

A Queens Kind of Party

 

A friend asked what Franco and I do these days.

I said, “Nothing really. Just read and drink coffee. Sometimes we see other humans, but mostly we just read and drink coffee.”

Gone are the days of drinking until 4 a.m. (though we’ve had nights like that). Or lying around recovering from nights like that (I guess one can’t exist without the other). Or riding planes, trains and buses en route to and from each other (because, hey, we live together now. WOO.).

Which means we have more time to do the things we do by ourselves, together.

I know what you’re thinking.

You’re in New York! Aren’t you supposed to have lofts and go to parties in lofts and know people who know people who have parties in lofts?

Sorry, my friend. It’s not that kind of story. This is a Queens kind of story. An I’m-livin’-in-the-same-apartment-as-my-invisible-Greek-landlord-who-lives-next-to-some-gruff-but-nice-older-Greek-Italian-gentlemen-who-hang-out-on-the-stoop-all-day-talking-all-kinds-of-politics-and-societal-situations-but-still-remember-to-say-hi kind of story.

And in my story, we party, all right. We just do them alone. Or with one other person. Preferably somewhere quiet. Definitely air-conditioned.

At our parties, instead of drugs, we got sandwiches. Instead of kegs, we got coffee.

And for entertainment, we got them all. Fiction! Nonfiction! Sometimes with pictures.

So, hang onto your trousers. I’m about to show you a weekend in the life of us.

It doesn’t get any more exciting than this. Continue reading “A Queens Kind of Party”

Grad school…

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Takes a lot out of you. 

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Which is why you need lots of coffee.

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On most days, I make  (meaning I press a button) coffee to-go. But on this day I’m on spring break, so I get to drink out of a mug.

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As well as eat cereal out of a bowl while, get this, taking my time.

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I spent most of break on this couch. I read a lot and wrote a lot and slept a lot. I originally wanted to take a trip, but turns out being a grad student means having very little money. Just like being a professional means having very little time to spend that money.

The universe thinks it’s funny.

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Being a wallflower goes against what our professors tell us. The industry doesn’t favor wallflowers, they say. We must seize the day. Say our piece. Be in people’s faces.

But I think that assumes too much. Wallflowers see the world differently. They listen and absorb, and speak only to add value. They too seize the day, say their piece and get in people’s faces. Just sneakier. And, dare I say it, smarter.

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A reminder there’s life elsewhere.

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This needs no explanation.

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Postcards from different places, mostly New York, quotes and, ahem, manifestos, drawings by me and others, and some ad-like objects from first semester.

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My apartment has become a shrine for all the things I don’t have time to read. Here lie the magazines I subscribed to back in the days I had just a little more time to read them.

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I love that desk. It just sits there, looking pretty.

So there you have it, friends. I’m still alive. I still have much to tell you.

The one not defining thing I love about New York

The thing I love about New York, or should I say one of the things since this thing isn’t necessarily the one defining thing I love about it, is that it’s full of surprises.

Last night I had one of those hellish nights in which nothing really went my way. My body, ragged from four hours of sleep, was against me. Sunday not caring it was Sunday, and me having to work through it, was against me. And the subway, perpetually under construction and leading a rousing game of “Let’s see how many times we can make Karen transfer in what should be a 30-minute trip,” was against me.

In the morning, I fared no better. I had more work at the office and laundry (one of those frustrating New York things you can’t do on weekdays unless you don’t mind spending your post-work fatigue watching telenovelas or an extra $25 or so having someone else do it for you).

I carried the cart and its me-sized bags down three flights of stairs before stopping at the lobby long enough to think: It’s Labor Day. Which is kind of a holiday in some circles. Is the laundromat even open?

Fumbling through my always frozen BlackBerry, I tried to find the phone number for my usual local laundromat.

But which one was it? There are like, I don’t know, 30 in a five-block radius. No matter. I picked the first one that came up in search results, convinced its comrades kept a similar schedule.

Irregular hours, said the automated voice.

And the others?

BlackBerry. Ever frozen.

Fudgefudgetyfudge.

I lugged the cart and its me-sized contents back up three flights of stairs, stormed through the apartment, searched for the number on my laptop to no avail, resolved to walk the three or four blocks to see for myself, maybe grab a cup of coffee just to soothe my soul, perhaps some breakfast too, and hopefully stumble upon a laundromat open long enough for me to cross off one thing on my to-do list.

Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.

Four. letter. words.

Scowl scowl scowl.

And then I found this. I never did do my laundry.