Tag Archives: Georgia Ann

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Minutes spent commuting, daily: 150

I made my landlord cry. It wasn’t intentional, and I really wish I hadn’t. I was running late!

I blame it on BYOB. Setting an alarm on a Saturday is already tragic, but being woken up by a disrespectful roommate, her fat college friend and her VERY tragic divorcee mother on a Saturday is pretty much unforgiveable. On my way into the living room they all paused from their snacks and slack-jawed yockeling to say “Oh, we had no idea you were home!” as if that qualified for an apology, which was obviously never offered. What did I expect from three women eating M&Ms at 8:45 am?

mms1 I made nice with the friend and her mother and warned them that it was very important I leave the apartment by 10:30. They had to exit at the same time and assured me it would be no problem. …at 10:45 they all piled out of the bathroom, again offered no apology, and took off to buy tickets for the Rockettes.

Picking their hair out of the drain during my hot-water-less shower, I quickly decided I needed to get over it. Bad roommates happen, it doesn’t have to ruin my morning, even if they made me a bit late. I can be the bigger person. Not if they keep eating those M&Ms, but I can try.

Fortunately getting ready to head to Hoboken to meet Georgia Ann’s parents (who were spontaneously visiting from Georgia) is a very simple process: I don’t even have to bother with hunting down my coat, because I still don’t have one! Weather Man had sent me a thin spring jacket and the Professor had offered me his coats, but in a foolish attempt to avoid using men to succeed I denied both these offers and vowed to find a self-sufficient way to keep warm. Running everywhere works.

land Running out the door I ran into Landlady, the most extreme stereotype of a neo Jewish Brooklynite I’ve ever encountered. Armed with such golden phrases as “you’s guys gotta close the fuckin’ door”, this woman takes no shit from anyone and loves her “babies” that rent from her. She was also horrified to see one of her babies rushing into the 20 degree afternoon with no jacket. When she questioned me I briefly and politely explained that there had been a shipping snafu with the coat from Michigan and that my family couldn’t afford to ship it again. And then the real questions started, and before I knew it she was asking about my mom’s transplant and my ugly money situation. Landlady can relate, when her husband left her and her young daughter she struggled to make ends meet. She told me about spending the last of her grocery money to buy her daughter a Christmas present, and how she still couldn’t afford to buy the doll her daughter really wanted that year. Her eyes began to well up as she told me I could never understand the sacrifices my mother has made for me. I nodded and said that’s the beauty of unconditional love, and Landlady cracked a smile before breaking into downright sobs. I had said a magic phrase, and she sat on the stairs and told me about what a great boy I was. And how proud my family must be of me. And how late I was to meet Georgia Ann’s family. Fuck!

Having no luck with the bus and being confused by the Chinese vans (I know you can understand me, dammit!), I hoofed it to the subway and called Georgia Ann to warn her of my extreme lateness. She said it was fine, just hurry, and I bounded up the stairs to the subway to discover it completely barren. No Manhattan bound trains this weekend. Walk ten blocks further into Brooklyn, then head north from there. Great.

Two rivers is just too far to travel for sex. That’s why I can’t sleep with people from Jersey, I can only cross one river for play. Unfortunatley friendship knows no such stipulation and crossing two rivers to meet the parents of your best friend in the city is necessary. Even if the parents are “good ol’ boys” who’re now in their 60s, have never been to NYC in their lives, comlain it’s too cold anywhere outside of Georgia, and demand to know why you’re not eating any meat at lunch.

Though all those facts are true, Georgia Ann’s parents were also remarkably sweet people. Her father went out of his way to connect with me after lunch. I made coffee in her apartment and he asked if I was handy at interior decorating, which is fairly subtle for an older Georgian gentleman. Her mother was very interested in my job and what drove me to move to New York, and Georgia Ann just did her best to keep me from swearing. I only said “fuck” once in a three hour time span, I deserve some sort of medal.

After putting her parents in a cab for the airport Georgia Ann and I met up with her roommates, had way too much wine, and discovered that Ben & Jerry’s delivers. That’s right, delivery ice cream, one drunk dial away at all times. And her parents wanted to know why I moved to NYC!

rockettes21 The next day I received a call from my sister in Michigan, who was with our mom on her way to watch a touring version of the Rockettes. THE ROCKETTES. Except for one small problem, an uncovered pick-up truck lost a package which got wedged underneath a small car. In the blink of an eye four cars are piled up on eachother, one has flipped three times and precariously come to a halt, another flipped on it’s side and scraped 300 feet across the highway barrier, and one had been side swiped but never flipped. That was the one my family had been lucky enough to be in.

After my mother’s transplant a slew of medical complications became apparent, including enlarged organs that mean the slightest jarring could cause intense internal bleeding and kill her. My sister pulled a screaming woman from a car in fear that it could explode, called an ambulance, and dialed me knowing that if anything had ruptured internally our mother had ten minutes to live. …Never has a hangover in Hoboken been so overshadowed. A few hours later and I was in Brooklyn, talking with my mother, who was safe in the hospital and undergoing tests to combat some accute kidney failure, but otherwise in good health. Thankfully.

A few days later and Georgia Ann was in a cab herself, headed to Connecticut to visit friends. I had the option of staying in Brooklyn and being painfully alone for four day or heading to upstate New York to hang out with BYOB and her friends. I chose the soul crushing lonliness.

I woke up Thanksgiving morning and braved the massive crowds (apparently the Asians love Thanksgiving, who knew?) after finding out both of my Chinese delivery restaurants were closed for the holiday. Great. An hour later and I was seated alone in an otherwise packed Vietnamese restaurant, literally wedged into the corner table and watching what can only be called “Vietnamese Idol” on the television. I ordered my Thanksgiving bean-curd and poured a cup of tea as the kind restauranter explained that he had to take the extra chairs from my table, there were simply too many families at the restaurant. I’m pretty sure that’s when one of the singers did a cover of “Open Arms”.

Since Landlady thought all of the roommates had left for the long weekend our heat wasn’t working properly, so I made the most of it by baking cupcakes and sitting around a space heater for a few days, reading old magazines and working on crossword puzzles. Somewhere during the third DVR’d movie of the day, I realized I had received a package in the mail the day before and had never opened it! I did have something exciting to be thankful for, unopened mail!

Before slitting the box open I saw that it was from Georgia Ann’s family, which was incredibly surprising. Inside the box was a Christmas card and a handwritten note from her mother, which explained that they were impressed that I had done so much on my own and that they felt I shouldn’t have to struggle to get by simply because my family can’t afford to help me out financially. The note asked that I simply accept the gifts in the box. Underneath the card were two brand new half-zip sweaters, in well chosen white and brown, both very thick and soft. How sweet of them! I was genuinely touched by their unnecessary kindness.

sweater Grateful that the unexpected gifts were modest enough to accept, I shivered next to my space heater and ate another patheta-sad Thanksgiving cupcake. I grabbed one of the new sweaters and pulled it over my head. And that’s when I saw it. Underneath the two sweaters, a brand new black leather Kenneth Cole winter jacket.

And for the first time the facade began to break down. I grabbed my phone and called my home in a hurry. I wanted to hear the familiar voices of my familly, my mother’s voice would be tense because of the stress of making Thanksgiving dinner and my sister would be irritated that the parade on TV had too many commercials and my uncles would be getting high in the carport. I wanted to admit that I wasn’t doing as well as I said I was. That moving on your own to the country’s biggest city is hard. That not having the money to travel to visit loved ones or even afford multiple meals a day is tough. Admit that I, Burkeman the Wunderkind, was struggling. To tell them that New York is everything I hoped it would be but that you have to admit that life isn’t effortless, that roommates suck sometimes and friends have more money than you do. I wanted to talk about the chance that I might fail for the first time in my life and sometimes it’s scary. Sitting on the floor, next to the space heater, wearing a sweater from someone else’s mother, alone, surrounded by cupcakes that I couldn’t afford to frost and left-over bean curd, I called home for the first time in weeks. But of course no one answered. My sister wasn’t worried about the parade, my uncles weren’t high in the carport; my mother was sitting in a hospital bed in Henry Ford, getting tests run on her spleen. I hung up the phone, looked at my new jacket, and admit that my wave of self-pity was already over. These 8 cupcakes aren’t going to reluctantly eat themselves.

[but it’s to no avail and i don’t want the bail, i promise you everything will be just fine]


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Days Until Halloween: 342

I throw up when extremely angry.

This action is not often coterminous with this emotion, but they happened to coincide on an eventful week.

After making nice with Weather Man I was extremely excited for his visit over Halloween weekend. We had a good fight, which meant the only piece of the puzzle left to fill in was the make-up sex, which I’m pretty sure is the best part about getting in fights. 90% of the time I apologize is just for sex. You do the same thing. However, I had a few days left before Halloween on Friday. I still hadn’t put together my costume, as my friend’s veto-ed my idea to go as Tiger Woods for the millionth year in a row. And my suggestion of dressing as Seal and Heidi Klum was a no go, considering none of my accompanying friends were blondes and I didn’t feel like putting my face into an inferno. Plus I can’t sing.

My lovely work friend Tilly decided we should brainstorm a few costume ideas for the both of us as we downed a few beers with the rest of the work assistants. However, once we left worked and arrived at Publichouse we found a bar dressed up as a personality-less pit stop and waitresses already in costume as Stoli Girls. I don’t really like girls, but I’m a huge fan of stoli, so a few friendly jokes into the conversation and I found myself getting free shots from women wearing fur caps. Tilly was downing the wine and next thing I know I’m revealing terrible pieces of my past to coworkers who can barely stand up straight. In fact, the only people not teetering were the Stoli Girls, who got us all into this mess! Tricksy russian vodka women and their sneaky free liquor ways… While explaining to a coworkers exactly what amount of mushrooms constitutes “trafficking” I took a moment to turn around and check on Tilly, who was attacking our co-worker with her lips. Poor Brendan has been harboring a crush on Tilly for some time now, and he did his best to resist.

Brendan: Ummm, I’ve got to tell you that I’m not comfortable with this. I’ve only had two drinks and I’m pretty sure you won’t remember this.
Tilly: (Surly) Ummm, I’m pretty sure you’re cute.
Insecure Brendan: Um. Thanks, you’re cute, too.
Tilly: That means you’re comfortable with it, I won’t tell.

And that’s the last thing I really remember. The next morning I woke up wearing my shirt and tie on top of my recently purchased bedsheets and surrounded by McDonald’s bags (Oh, Burkeman, I know better…). That morning at work wasn’t as dreadful as expected, and I received my official invitation to join the Tuesday sales meetings, which means the management sees me as becoming a full on salesman within the next year! I was enthused, though groggy, along with the entire assistant task-force who was reeling from the night before, most of us not entirely sure if we embarassed ourselves or not. Accept for poor Tilly, who was completely unaware of her behavior. Lucky bitch. My McDonalds shame was unavoidable.

Burkeman: Do you remember making out with Brendan at the bar?
Tilly: …My eyes hurt.

That night I ransacked every second-hand store I could find in the city to find tiny women’s shorts and a white polo shirt (along with some sweat bands). After surviving another day at work I threw on my costume and met up with Weather Man, who had made his way to NYC for Halloween!

With my tennis raquet in hand the conversion was complete, I had officially become Arthur Ashe. Only with shorter shorts and sass. Arthur Ass, maybe. Whatever. Weather Man didn’t feel like putting together a cohesive costume, so when people asked why he was wearing a cape he would explain that he was Dracula. The next person who asked he would explain that he was a Cardinal. Then a Count. And so on. By the end of the night he was drunkenly telling people in Splash that he was versatile. The costume took a life of it’s own.

Weather Man and I went to watch the parade, which was the wonderfully debaucharous spectacle that I hoped it would be. People dressed as Batman and Robin were classic, Joker and Sarah Palin were unoriginal, robots were retro fun, and anything home-made was awesome. Although I’ll admit, the vampire with the upside down blow-up doll caught even me off guard. And the over-sized hairy ass (complete with hole, for viewing purposes) was in such poor taste that it was delicious. The crowds were epic, the night was reasonably warm, and the booze weren’t hard to find. Only once did a complete stranger touch me inappropriately. Victory.

With a sexy Spartan, a thong clad Gladiator, a glittery GI Joe, a versatile “dracula”, and one very realistic naughty school girl (who happened to be off the boat from Japan), I paraded my Arthur ass all the way through Manhattan as the tail end of the parade, sliding under the barrier to join my friends who had been marching for hours already. The waving crowds from the barrier cheered for costumes they enjoyed and the lights and sights all blurred together until I found myself inside an overrated dance club with a devil who’s pitch fork was a little too close. Fortunately I escaped my dance hell without a problem and the next thing I know it’s November first, I’m safe in my bed in Brooklyn, and I’ve shaken a hangover off with some hard earned make-up lovin’. I love Halloween!

That morning I sat in the living room, still wearing my sweatbands, chatting with Straight Boyfriend (who hadn’t shaken off his hangover after spending the evening as a Zombie Hunter a la Shaun of the Dead) and BYOB along with her Boy Du Jour, who had been watching movies all night. Our chats turned into long conversations and the next thing I know it’s late at night, we’ve watched Rosemary’s Baby and just started Shortbus. Early in the movie (when Jamie cums on his own face in the opening montage) my roommate’s started to realize this movie wasn’t the standard popcorn flick. And perhaps they realized that Weather Man, who bought me the movie, wasn’t the standard visiting boy. It’s strange how unimportant moments (like movie cum shots) help illuminate something deeper (like the depth of the relationship your roommate has with another human). I think that’s the point of art, to express things in unexpected ways. Sometime during Shortbus the graphic sex acted as a Jackson Pollock, and that evening BYOB actually went out of her way for the first time ever to admit that my life wasn’t as two dimensional as she had thought. I might not be a real person to her yet, but at least she sees me with 3-D goggles these days. She had even skipped a friend’s b-day party to watch movies with us.

The rest of the weekend was spent with Weather Man and Georgia Ann, touring Manhattan and eating brunch and buying scarves from roadside stands and whatnot. We saw the Christmas sights in Manhattan; the ice rink at Rockefeller Center, the site for the soon to arrive 3 story Christmass tree, the Radio City Music Hall (home of the Rockettes!), constructed our own adorable Build-A-Bears, and even tried on clothes at Saks 5th Avenue (the jacket I wanted was only 800 dollars… right). Saks was a bizarre experience, as I have spent enough time avoiding wealth in Brooklyn that the sight of $500 hats in Manhattan threw me off my game entirely. I cannot earn my sense of superiority until I own that jacket!

Monday night I was just getting used to be without Georgia Ann, Weather Man, and wealth when Straight Boyfriend and I got a strange phone call from BYOB. Or at least from her phone, apparently BYOB had gotten incredibly drunk and some complete stranger pulled her off the subway and walked her partway home. We rushed out of the apartment to collect the pieces (and stray chunks) of BYOB from the stranger, thanking her for being kind enough to bring our roommate back and for being extra nice by ensuring that a more rape-friendly stranger hadn’t plucked her off the subway.

In what shall now be known only as Vomicon ’08, BYOB barely made it into the apartment before spewing all over the bathroom: the sink, the tub, the floor, pretty much everyone except for the toilet. Hours later I was trying to clean up chunks of Wendy’s fries and pulling a nearly unconscious roommate out of the bathtub and dressing her for bed. The next morning she hadn’t cleaned up a thing (or regained consciousness) and I began to get increasingly irritated. What was this girls problem? She discounted my relationships as trivial and sexually based, talked exclusively about herself, ditched friends in exchange for passing relationships, and got so wasted on a Monday that she couldn’t get herself home (without giving second thought to how easily her safety could’ve been compromised). But now, not even an apology. My anger began to stir and as I turned on the shower water I started to brew.

Unfortunately so did the stew-like chunks of vomit that were collecting around my feet, and as the steam rose it brought the smell of hot re-heated up-chuck with it. I was so angry I had it up to my eyes, or at least up to my throat, as the smell of puke triggered my own gag reflex and sent me straight to the toilet to mimic BYOB’s early antics.

At least I made it into the toilet.

By the time I made it into work I was calm and collected, almost glad to be at work. I had somehow even beat all of my bosses into the office, which never happens! But I quickly realized I hadn’t beaten them into the office, they had beaten me into the board room- I missed my first ever sales meeting because I was busy heaving last nights dinner! FUCK!

A cup of coffee did nothing to calm my nerves and anger, so I grabbed an emergency cigarette (hidden in plain sight on my desk) and headed outside to watch my stress go up in smoke the way my morning had. Until I stepped out of the building with a Marlboro light in my mouth and see my manager, Hundo, outside as well. That’s when it becomes acheing clear that my secret smoking habit isn’t so secret in Manhattan. Vom.

[i gotta get my shit together, cuz i can’t live like this forever. i’ve come to far and i don’t want to fail. i’ve got a new computer and a bright future in sales]

A Tale of Two Cities

Days Since Leaving New York: 92

Pussy is a total turn off.

I think that’s been a fact in my life for years now, but never moreso than lately- when my roommate, BYOB, brought home a new cat to celebrate her new relationship with an old friend. I doubt the relationship will last, but the cat- that cunt will still be in my apartment for months. She’s super tiny and super cute, which makes it all the harder to hate her. When she was born there were a few berthing problems and as a result she has some scratches on her cornea which limit her vision…. we named her Leela.

leela-futurama So while the adorably near sighted mini-beast careens through my apartment and antogonizes the cat that we already had (Suki, an unassuming but shed-tastic cat), BYOB chooses to slather it with love whenever her boyfriend du jour is unavailable. The newest quagmire BYOB has waded into is with a friend of 5 years, and now that the relationship has gotten physical they’re both under the belief that it is likely a perfect emotional match as well. They’ve yet to date but they’re picking wedding dates. Not really, but they’re moving so fast before even discussing what they’re doing that even going on a date would feel cataclysmic. Not that it’s currently a problem, this new boy would first have to dump his current girlfriend to start dating BYOB. So they’re in limbo, too far into a relationship that has yet to start and stuck in a relationship that’s too inconvenient to end. Meanwhile, my greatest concern is that the cat still hasn’t mastered the litter box concept.

I ought to change her name to BYO-Boy Problems, because that is currently the only thing she is capable of discussing. If we’re not talking about her new pussy then we’re talking about who’s in her old one. Ugh. Fortunately I have a burgeoning work relationship to keep me afloat, a newly formed love affair with Tilly. Working with Tilly is exactly like working with a Chucky doll from Child’s Play- though she looks adorable, you can rest assured that 100% of the time she will do the completely inappropriate thing. I’m in love.

tilly Along with Tilly, I still have Weather Man and Georgia Ann to calm my nerves as I settle into the new home, which after these last few months is beginning to feel like a real home instead of a temporary hostel. I’ve finally purchased sheets, a light for my room, found a place to put my clothes, and  even reassembled my broken doorknob (kind of). After nearly six months in New York I have a home. Now all I need is a few boys to help wreck it.

And that’s exactly what happened. Only a few days before his anticipated arrival in New York I phoned Weather Man. Instead of a happy reconnection with someone how has become one of my best friends, I found myself hours into a drawn out argument with someone who has become one of my only ex’s. Not quite sure how that happened or when it happened, but as the conversation about emotions and betrayal and abandonment (and ultimately symantics) escalated, it was clear that this was not too friend’s merely feeling combatitive. After a year of watching Weather Man put himself together following a terrible break up I was fearful of watching him get his heart broken agian. To prevent his heart break at my own hands, I shut him out of mine completely. Try pulling at that thread in one conversation.

One cell phone battery and a large bowl of macaroni ‘n cheese later, we were better off for having gotten into the emotional slugfest. Strange how fights have to break out before I allow myself to say the most loving things. Being loving can mean doing harsh things, and sometimes harsh conversations actually provoke the most loving responses. It makes sense, boiling water yields soft macaroni, right? Maybe I’m just hungry for more of that mac n cheese…

Meanwhile, Georgia Ann and I celebrated the existence of my new sheets by fleeing them and heading into Manhattan to catch a Mirah concert. The Highline Ballroom looked sparce when we first arrived and listened to No Kids (a surprisingly fun batch of nerdy kids with electronic instruments and a River’s Cuomo fashion sense). By the time Mirah took the stage the place was packed with a strangely diverse group of hardcore lezzies and softcore indie kids, young and old, who just wanted to listen to her soft voice and a guitar. It was the best 15 dollars I’ve spent in the city to date.

dc After saying goodbye to Georgia Ann I got a call from a dear college friend who enthusiastically informed me that she had moved to DC, to the exact niehgborhood I had spent months living in. During the hour long ride home I thought about my conversation with Weather Man, about my goals for this city, and about whether or not my time in NYC is becoming a failure. In only three months in DC I had met a fantastic group of friends that I still care about, reluctantly gotten into the most serious relationship I’ve encountered in years, been offered an incredible first job, found a city that felt like home, and scored a posh apartment (albeit with a pedophile, but still, sliding glass doors).

After six months in New York I barely have bed sheets. I rent an apartment wedged between unfriendly ultra-convservatives and ESL Chinese families, a job in a cubicle next to a woman who believes Sarah Palin is a god, a close friend who cannot be trusted if a bottle of wine is within arms reach, a roommate who cannot stop talking about the ridiculous boy problems she creates, a fledgling casual dating relationship with a man who teaches special ed, and a city that still feels closed off in many ways. I thought I was saving Weather Man from hurt when I closed my emotions off to him, but perhaps when I turned my back on Washington DC I left a large part of my resiliency and charm behind me.

Of course the fifteen minute walk from the subway to the apartment was made in the rain late at night. Of course BYOB wanted to talk about her latest web-chatting catastrophe with the boy when I arrived home. And of course I found myself sitting in my room wondering if I was worse at finding my own way than the blind kitten curled up next to me. That bitch.

[i abdicated, now i’m just a prince without a land. my subjects all adored me but for this i had them banned]

In Search of Lost Time

Days without an update: 18

Wow, time flies when you’re on drugs. At least I think that’s the case for my opioid addict boss, Hundo, who didn’t realize that it was no longer August. He was blind-sided by the Jewish New Year and took off for the holiday, leaving me a few work days without visiting every Duane Reade in the city. Happy New Year!

I haven’t behaved much better than (allegedly) Hundo has, with my alcoholism lapsing into black outs all over the city. Thus the lack of updates, time for both blackouts and recovery is all my social calendar can handle.

About a week ago I cleared time in my social calendar to meet with Georgia Ann, Times Square and a few other friends that I’d been neglecting. We all met at El Rey Del Sol on 14th and enjoyed ourselves, along with a pitcher of margaritas. Part way through the evening we began to notice that the seasons were slowly changing from summer to fall, that we’re all becoming more accustomed to the city, and that the guys sitting behind me were very attractive.

Ten minutes later I had become BFF with Carlos and whatever the other guy’s name was, and found my conversation at their table leading very promising places. My gaggle of friends decided to move on to Flannery’s (love it) and I decided to stick around for ten more minutes and a cigarette (which is practically unveiled code for “let me seal the deal first”).

The next thing I know, its 6:30 in the morning and I’m on the E train in Queens. No cell phone, no iPod, and no idea how this all happened.

After only an hour and a half of sleep in Harlem, the Harem awakens me and informs me that moving day is upon us, just like autumn weather and the winter of my discontent. I pushed through a brutal headache and managed to drag my roomies belongings down the steps of our fifth floor walk-up and into the moving truck before nearly passing out on a subway train to our new home in Brooklyn. Unfortunately surviving one headache meant sucumbing to a new one- Straight Boyfriend’s bed was too big for our staircase and could not be pushed up the one flight of steps into our new (huge and awesome) apartment.

There was a brief moment when I pulled the box springs over my head that I worried I might faint, but when Straight Boyfriend literally threw his bed and I caught it by the loose fabric and pulled it over our second story balcony everything turned out ok. Then I immediately collapsed on our new couch, physically exhausted from moving and mentally not quite sure what happened the evening before.

Eventually the clues fell into place- my friends had called all night because I had simply disappeared (though I lost my phone and couldn’t call them), my hangover never included the slightest twinge of nausea, my memory lapsed for an epic 8 hour span, my bar tab never increased during the night, and I only had two drinks of the margaritas…. at 9 pm! That does not explain feeling entirely out of your own body at noon the next day.

Too confused and perturbed to venture out on Saturday, I chatted with a friend over mimosas and goat-cheese omlettes about my night. The conclusion: rohypnol. Perhaps GHB. Either way, fantastic.

Less than a year in a city and I already can’t remember the boys I’m going home with.

Jokes aside, the entire event does shake your confidence. Nothing of the evening was out of the ordinary, nothing incredibly dangerous or unwise, just incredibly bad luck and the complete ignorance/naivety of a midwesterner attempting to meet new people and have some margaritas. The strange marks on my arm have healed, I’ve retrieved my phone after a lengthy time out of touch, and my friends have forgiven me for disappearing. I have all my money, I am disease free, I was not forced to ingest anything illegal, and I wasn’t sold into black market slavery (that would RUIN my night). I am pretty lucky for all of that, though. The next few weeks have brought a sense of normalty, and the new apartment is coming along nicely. I’m *this close* to buying a real bed! Party.

It’s a shame for the boys though, I would’ve spent the night without the drugs. Bummer.

[everything it seems i like is a little bit sweeter, a little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me]

The Fuck-Up

Day 100!

New York City kicks ass and, not surprisingly, no city kicks your ass quite like New York. The good days are great, and the bad days are so frustrating that you find yourself considering the benefits of someplace remote like Russia or the Northwest Territories or even Jersey. My bad luck in the past few days is actually karmic retribution for poisoning my body with booze and no sleep lately.

The weekend went well enough, with my good friend Trivial Pursuit visiting from Chicago to destroy my liver. After a hard night of partying in Brooklyn and waking up in a cramped trough full of lesbians (don’t ask), I drank my day away with Trivial Pursuit and learned of all her continuing boy problems. She has a knack for choosing losers who seem like assholes but can be quite charming when alone… or at least that’s the story she gave. This time around a combination of pizza at four am and a discussion about indie pop music left her near tears. Apparently Trivial Pursuit’s latest widget is a member of the Hush Sound, an altogether wonderful Chicago band that clearly has good taste in women. The tears kept flowing as I heard stories about tour buses and love triangles, of course in my mind the entire scene was scored with the song “Honey” being played over and over again and all the characters were actors from Almost Famous. Brilliant! I’m told most of the band is very nice. Still, it’s hard to believe when the smartest girl you know is balling her eyes out on top of a perfectly good piece of drunkenly purchased Fat Sal’s.

After an entirely too early brunch meeting with Trivial Pursuit on Sunday we parted ways and I sat in my new Harlemn-centric apartment until receiving fortuitous news from my roommate, Straight Boyfriend, who had stumbled upon free tickets to the fucking US OPEN FINALS and happened to remember how I loved tennis. More than I even love nicknames! I even got to call Georgia Ann and rub it in her face that she wasn’t at Arthur Ashe while I was drinking vodka tonics (on a Sunday, thus the karmic retribution) and getting ready to see Serena kick Jelena Jankovich’s ass… then I called Georgia Ann back just to invite her, as yet another ticket was available. The entire experience was more incredible than I had thought; cheap food and fantastic seats shared with good friends and a great match up. I gave the over-under that Serena would take it in two sets, while a friend bet me a few drinks that Jankovich would take it in three. Georgia Ann was in a state of euphoria the entire time and never put her camera down, as we each yelled at the umpire whenever we felt it was appropriate. And somehow I accidentally ate a strangers entire bucket of waffle fries. Not quite sure how that mix up occured, but it was a tasty one!

By the way, Serena Williams and vodka-tonics were the evenings winners.

The next morning my body began exacting its revenge. After more than 3 months of constant social misadventuring and exploring a new section of the world known was Manhattan, my body has finally given out. Then again, it could have more to do with the fact that I’ve survived on four hours of sleep every night for over a week and drank 11 out of the last 14 evenings. That last statistic doesn’t bode well.

Needless to say, when I woke up I felt like I had lodged two golfballs in my throat (and not in a sexy way). Five hours after waking up I still didn’t feel like I had woken up at all, and the excess coffee that I chugged to catch a quick buzz proved to only wake up my slumbering intestines, which meant running to the floor below me to purge my alcohol saturated gullet (no one on that floor can recognize my fabulously scuffed up shoes). I survived the day at work and immediately went to my apartment where I could relax in peace, alternating between mini-marathons of Family Guy and the bathroom. Glamorous.

Turns out being sick in New York is just as dreadful as anywhere else. Only with people in the way. Which leads me to my next bout of bad luck-

Dear Bryant Park- please get out of my way. Your fashion week is likely fabulous (and accessorized with too many zippers) but you attract hordes of crowds who know nothing about fashion and instead far too much about Carrie Bradshaw, thus the bitchy gawker girls in Bryant Park who stand in my way while I go to work. Don’t these women have real jobs? And why doesn’t the city give you a complimentary battering-ram when you move here? I forgot about my bus ticket to DC this weekend, which might be emotionally damaging, but it will be nice to walk in a city without the urge use a flame thrower against the slow-moving public.

On yet another day of being ill while in the office (Office Illin’ as it has been dubbed by Steen) I discovered that I am quickly climbing the ranks among the more long term assistants at the company. Also, I discovered the new Jenny Lewis album doesn’t come out until September 23… the internet lied to me. I want the damn album now! I also want my lunch hour back, Barnes and Noble! Anyway-back to work. After the Jenny Lewis lunch time disappointment I got to meet a few clients from Seattle and had my first opportunity to swear at an assistant on the phone! It’s like being Ari Gold only with much uglier clients. And I don’t have my own Lloyd. I am Lloyd… sad. My toughest boss even complimented me today, and as we both put in a little bit of time after 5 o’clock it seemed for the first time that I was sure my no-shouldered boss liked me. He handed me a personal order he had sold and asked me to imput it as he grabbed his coat to go, and even stuck around a few minutes to talk, socially.

And that’s when I cost the company $52,000 in 30 seconds.

The mistake seems to be irreversible and no one is sure how it happened, but at 5:15 it became clear that I destroyed two orders that are (were?) each worth 27-thousand dollars. My boss, who’s comission went up in smoke, was not happy. Our friendship, coincidentally up in smoke, quickly devolved. The next 30 minutes were spent with my boss angrily trying to fix my mistake as I scurried about grabbing papers and making phone calls. He yelled “Lloyd!” and I scuttled my gay ass into his office for yet another assistant-like task. Fucking up paper work, pissing of the boss, all things I dread. Combine that with occasionally disappearing to the 21st floor to go to the bathroom… wreched.

US Open induced sickness, 3 months of over-extended exhaustion finally taking it’s toll, Bryant Park fashion gawkers, the great Jenny Lewis lunch time disappointment, a pending weekend in DC, and a 30 second mistake that may cost twice my salary. This is all Jelena Jankovich’s double-fault.

[why must I spend my time filling up my life with facts and figures that never add up anyway? they never add up anyway]

The Merchant of Venice

Day 59

There are approximately 13 million Jews worldwide. Most of them currently work in television.

I discovered these facts when walking down the street with my NYC accomplice JAP, a lovely LA girl with family money and challah to spare. 13 million is a staggeringly low number, it seems like there are more than that in New York alone, but she informed me of these statistics the other day as we strolled down 14th street and talked about how we were under-represented minorities in our fellowship. Only two Jews out of 30 students in a New York based media fellowship. Thats pretty surprising, come to think of it. Even more shocking, our fellowship only includes two gays… it’s television in New York! How is that possible? Under represented, certainly.

Now, exactly where all the homosexuals have disappeared to I’m not sure, but I’ve found all my Hebrew friends sitting right under my stubby-little-gentile nose. Of the 6 interns who work on my floor at *B& television network in Manhattan, 5 of them are jewish. FIVE! That’s a disproportionately large number considering there are only five of them left in the entire state of Wyoming. Turns out three of them all earned their internships through family connections with some higher-ups at the network. I’ve heard the Jews run Hollywood, but apparently they also run primetime television as well. The best part, none of them are even practicing Jews. Oye! So that’s why the descendents of David are underrepresented in my fellowship- they’re already working in television through family connections! Lucky schmucks. As an Irish Lutheran, I’ve got culture envy.

Not to worry, as the universe launched me some gay reinforcements in the form of my friend Weather Man, a former media professional who now dapples in internet technology. After a year of “friendship” and more than a few ups and downs, it seems as if the tectonic plates of our relationship have precariously balanced themselves for a brief time, allowing for a quake free weekend of boys’ nights out and the kind of conversation that can only be shared with a true friend. And anxiety. Lots of that.

Once before I was described as emotionally unavailable, which is funny because I’m perhaps the most available person in the world (except for my emotions). So as Weather Man began his torrent of “I love you”s and “I can’t stand being away”, I couldn’t help but think of anything besides being away. His loving grip became like a vice and I envisioned the concept of emotional claustraphobia, feeling your stomach and throat constrict- the more sweet his words were the more dizzy and overwhelmed I felt. What was supposed to be sweet and beautiful became dreaded and nauseating, which pretty much makes him the verbal equivalent of Janice Dickinson (eek!). But I have strong feelings for Weather Man… and I love Janice Dickinson… so what’s causing me to react to this intimacy the same way that guy reacted when he drank from the wrong cup in the old-school Indian Jones movie?

Word vomit.

That’s what makes me so queezy. I’m fine feeling these emotions for someone and perfectly comfortable knowing that he may feel something even stronger for me, but I just don’t need to hear about it constantly, bubbling out his lips like a fountain or raining down like the storm cells he used to forecast. If anything, I just prefer to talk about the warm front. Emotions aren’t scary, it’s the windy words that accompany them that make the thunder storm so noisy and frightening. But how do you tell someone that you cannot tolerate their emotional word vomit (hopefully not through a blog…  super eek)?

Fortunately many events that rescued me from the poems and soliloquies (moderate eek). Most notably the introduction of two of Weather Man’s close friends, who shall be dubbed Rick & Steve. They friendly and have settled in Manhattan as well. Unfortunately, they heard quite a bit about me (again, word vomit) before we met, so my introduction was followed with a knowing smile and a standard “Oh, you’re Burkeman” as if to say “so, you’re the face to the name I’ve been judging for the last year”. Greeeeat.

However, it’s hard to be the center of attention when you’re at a gay sports bar with a midget. Which I was. The friendly little person was a friend of Rick & Steve’s, and was a charming conversationalist even if he couldn’t see over the bar. The pint-sized pib-squeak of a homosexual may have been my saving grace, as engaging him in conversation kept me from being further judged by Weather Man’s friends (who’re still undecided if they should hate me and chase me with torches or love me and douse me with alcohol). I led them by example and doused myself with alcohol while chatting with the friendly little person, who turned out to be the most conversationally competent guy in the bar. By the end of the night Rick & Steve seemed to warm up to me and we even set a faux-dinner date for August when “life calms down” a bit.

Escaping the world of gay bars (which is uncommon for my time here in New York), I returned to the familiar territory of dive bars and met with my standard crew at McKenna’s for our LAST WEEKEND AS A GROUP. Tragic. McKenna’s low prices and stiff drinks quickly inspired the group to find a dance floor at Flannery’s… which just happened to be playing 80s music all night. By the time I got to Flannery’s the entire mess was on the dance floor and Take On Me was already in queue. Whatser Name was bopping around and on the prowl for boys, Times Square was doing the twist, Georgia Ann was going wild and shouting about calories, Stretch Armstrong was buying shots and the rest of the crew was breaking it down like the media nerds we are.

How could I resist?

Pouring myself into bed at 6 in the morning is always an exhausting experience, but with Weather Man in tow it was both physically and emotionally exhausting. It was hard to tell if the morning was going to bring word vomit or the real thing. That’s the danger of bingeing all weekend.

[there’s a gentleman who’s not so gentle cuz he’s too generous with his chit and his chat]