Angela Chase Is My Homie

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I’m always in my head.

Whenever something big happens, I imagine Future Me reflecting on that very moment years later in full-on Angela Chase mode, narrating every furrow of the brow, out loud and angst-filled—all while I’m living it.

That’s what happens when you grow up on The Wonder Years. And Blossom. And Clarissa Explains It All. And, the great overthinker’s bible, My So-Called Life.

It also does a couple things to a young person’s underdeveloped brain:

One, you decide talking to yourself, out loud and often, is acceptable.

Two, overanalyzing becomes your default way of thinking.

And three, you kind of miss out on some things.

You preoccupy yourself with trying to figure out what everything means before it even has a chance to become anything.

You even set some ground rules.

Big moments, you decide, come with symbolic tchotchke like streamers and cake to let oblivious you know that THIS IS A BIG DEAL, IDIOT, PAY ATTENTION.

Little moments, meanwhile, have an easier time slipping by unnoticed.

In most cases, it’s fine. I mean, they’re usually boring and lame and why waste brain space on what kind of pants your neighbor was wearing this morning unless he was wearing, like, MC Hammer pants, because, AMAZING.

What complicates things is when big moments disguise themselves as little moments, only to reveal their true selves long after they’ve passed.

I’ve tried to remedy this by always carrying a camera or a notebook and pen. It helps me relive everything, over and over, the good and the bad, with the benefit of hindsight that I use to craft neat narratives in order to make me sound much wiser and well-adjusted than I actually am.

Those otherwise inconsequential MC Hammer pants? Now they’re a symbol of my lost youth and spontaneity and inability to say, “Fuck You, slacks. I’m wearing MC Hammer pants to work today.”

But just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, a transition rears its ugly head.

Neither big nor small, transitions are merely preludes to either.

Nowhere are transitions more apparent than in New York, where your favorite noodle joints, jobs, and friendships dissipate overnight, sometimes without saying bye. The city conditions us not only to accept it all with a stiff upper lip but also to expect them.

It’s why when the rare transition that you recognize as a transition passes by, in its really fucking beautiful kind of way,

you go outside

and take a picture.

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Better Late Than

In true Karen fashion, I’ve neglected to blog without much explanation. I could say I’ve been super busy, running to and fro, working nutty hours, forgoing sleep and rest. Oh wait, I used that excuse last time.

The only solace I can offer you, dear reader (note the lack of plural), is that when all else fails, I’m usually micro-blogging on Twitter. Need updates on my coffee habits? Read about the tragic loss of my Moleskine? Feel enraged over the unjust thievery of the Snuggie that was rightfully mine? All detailed in 140 characters on Twitter. Your excitement is palpable.

As to what I’ve been up to, well, let’s just say life. I’ve delved into a new project and have traveled here and there. Visitors are constantly coming and going. The free weekends I have I use to sleep or catch up with friends in the city (We really do have to – and I’m sorry for using this – pencil each other in). I was determined to update the blog over Thanksgiving break in Richmond (I had a week – a week!), but instead I caught up with friends and family. More Rock Band than actual writing was had, and I can’t say I regret it. To top it all off, I have to make time for visits by the hoodie-clad gentleman in this post.

Which brings me to now. Er, October. On a beautiful fall day, I took Lola and Phil to Central Park. Last fall I was a few weeks too late, and the trees were bare. This year, as soon as color returned to my neighborhood I grabbed my necessities – boy, dog, and camera – and headed out the door.

I’m notorious for my horrible sense of direction, and the only time it’s forgivable is when I’m in exploration mode. I pretend I mean to walk in circles, pass the same bush five times, and say, “Oh hey, that’s a neat bridge!” even after the fourth encounter.

Luckily, each Central Park visit is never like the last.

Though I love capturing passersby, Lola and Phil are my favorite photo subjects because they don’t mind when I trail them like a creeper. There’s also something about unapologetically invading someone’s space that’s so damn satisfying.

It’s so easy to lose all photo skills, at least in my case, after taking extended breaks. Some pictures were crooked or awkwardly cut off extremities, and I reluctantly banished them to the junk folder. This one survived, thanks to color.

To everyone else, Lola’s a hyper ball of fluff. When Phil’s around, she’s his shadow.

Setting up for her favorite pastime.

Score!

What’s that, girl? Timmy fell down the well?

Manhattan envy.