Contact Conundrum

January 27, 2009

The following is a conundrum that I hate to admit I have pondered a couple times before:

After taking the contact out of my right eye tonight, I moved on to my left only to find, upon opening that side of the case, that the left contact was already in there. Baffling. This means that I must have stopped mid-ritual this morning and then walked around the whole day with only one contact in. And considering my vision seemed fine all day when I have an eye condition that renders me almost legally blind in the left eye when I look at things straight on without contacts, this seemed impossible.  And it had to be, because I didn’t have to make-out with my computer monitor to see it, like I do when I senselessly go to work without wearing my contacts yet would rather sacrifice my sight then wear my Tina Fey glasses.

So I fished around in my left eye just to make sure a ‘tact wasn’t hanging around in there and resigned myself to the fact that I had indeed done a really shoddy job of preparing myself to see things for the day. Until I put my glasses on. Then, while I could see out of my right eye, my vision was worse in my left. Something was wrong, and I couldn’t put my finger on it, probably because I had already done that and there wasn’t a contact in that eye. The first time I tried, at least. I fished for a contact again and found one. So then I had a left contact in my hand and in my contact case, next to the one for my right eye. So now I am at an unexplainable total of three contacts.

This is almost like the time in college when I actually wore three contacts at one time without knowing it, but this time my vision was too good for me to even think that I could have layered all of my remaining contacts into one eye. I mean stick 2 contacts in one eye once, shame on you. Stick multiple ‘tacts in one eye twice? Please. Don’t be absurd.

Anyway. This is a cold case. And I have to stop right here after reading this and note that if my mother actually read this blog instead of pretending to (I showed her my first post and she sat next to me reading the first two paragraphs for 10 minutes until I had to interrupt her concentration to ask her if she was ready for me to scroll down), she would probably say I should write about things that were a little less self-deprecating, because people who don’t know me might think I am seriously this idiotic. And this is mom code. She’s not talking about strangers, she’s talking about potential spouses. People who would read this and leave me to die a spinster. But I have news for her. People who don’t know me don’t read this blog. And, as she has so aptly proven, neither do people who do know me. But as a precaution, I will check the blog history on every iPhone that comes my way the next time all my suitors come to court. Then we’ll determine how worthless my dowry is.

But the point is this happened, so I am writing it down. I am spitting the truth, if for no other reason to prove that it is true what they say: like fine wines, people only get better with age. I did not put two contacts in the same eye this time because I learn from my mistakes, I’d say about 80% of the time. The only plausible explanation here is that one of my roommates is using my contact case for their left eye only.

Case closed.

MLK Jr. Day Update Update

January 19, 2009

Good news. It’s 11:08 pm, and the long night is over. The toilet has been fixed, and I am glad, because I don’t know if the gym is open all night on Mondays. I haven’t been to the gym in months and today I made myself go because the toilet died and there was no way I was going to Starbucks three times in one day. So I basically skated to the gym on the snow, used their facilities and then felt the need to validate the trip so I worked out for a while. All because of a bum toilet. And I’m thinking God has realized He can’t be subtle because I won’t get it, so He just shuts my plumbing down when it’s time to get my butt out the door.

Tony the Super never showed, but Pete the Fireman did, and he took a sub-par plunger (borrowed, because ours succumbed to the war effort this morning) and fixed the damn thing in 3 seconds flat, even though Charlotte had worked on it all day, with guest help from the neighbor on the fifth floor who brought a super-plunger and his expertise when it came to solving the problems of the “throne” as he called it.  I mean, we were all playing our A games, no doubt about it. Charlotte, Chad and our neighbor plunged. I made the “don’t use the toilet” sign, and as far as I’m concerned, it should be hanging in the Louvre.

I just let Pete know that it’s not that we weren’t strong, it was that the toilet was stronger. And he said the same thing anyone says to me when I can’t open a can of tomatoes: “I know! You just loosened it up for me!.” That doesn’t say “Don’t worry, I know you’re strong enough” it says “Not only are you not strong enough physically, but you seem to be emotionally weak as well, so I’m going to let you down easy. There, there, biceps.”

Pete opens all my jars of tomato sauce when I can’t do it. This is exactly why I must continue going to the gym.

Regardless, I am thankful because without this I was looking at a 5:30 am arrival time at work tomorrow.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Update

January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Update.

11:34 am: Wake up in the midst of a 3 alarm toilet clog. Only toilet is irreparably damaged. Tony the Super is M.I.A.

12:17 pm: Embark on trip to Starbucks to make use of facilities and get coffee for myself and Brenda.

12:22 pm: Characteristically long line for Sbucks nasty bath. Wait in line.

12:35 pm: Still waiting! Really? Really. Staunchly defending my territory as the third person in line for the last 10 mins.

12:39 pm: 2 squares of toilet paper left. I save one for the little girl behind me. I have secured my place in Heaven.

12:42 pm: Leave Starbucks, drinks in hand.

12:47 pm: Make it past the first apartment building door before dumping Brenda’s cinnamon dulce coffee in its entirety into entry right in the threshold of second door. Climb 100 stairs for paper towels. Imagine lawsuits.

12:53 pm: Clean freezing coffee without a hitch. Walk down street with dripping paper towels, Starbucks bound. Forgot keys.

12:58 pm: Order same drink as 15 minutes prior. Guy in tracksuit from the bathroom line recognizes me. Glad I didn’t put real clothes or makeup on today. I see familiar people and realize that if they do recognize me, they must think I am someone’s assistant or a film PA who can only carry two coffees at a time (and doesn’t know about coffee holders) and must make a return trip. They are wrong. I do know about coffee holders, yet can only walk and carry one coffee at a time.

1:10 pm: Return to apartment and call Brenda to let me in. She can’t find my keys. I mourn the loss of my New York Public Library key card. And will someday also miss my gym membership key card, but right now, it’s only because they have a bathroom. Brenda lets me in.

1:15 pm: Sweat through shirt on the stairs. Enter apartment, rip coat off. Find my keys in the kangaroo pocket of the college sweatshirt plastered to my body. I am an idiot.

A Night at the Ballet

January 17, 2009

Last night, I went to the New York City Ballet and all I got was an invite to the inauguration.

Jen and I went to see Coppélia, which is the story of a magician/inventor who creates a life-size doll that fascinates the people of his small provencial town. It’s a comedy and it was excellent, and besides the fact that I got tossed around like a ragdoll for 20 straight minutes by all the rich people in the lobby at Lincoln Center, it was a really fun and unique experience and something I would love to do again soon.

It also explains why  I ended up in a bar in a turtleneck sweater.

Post Ballet, we were supposed to meet Ashley at for a birthday party at Galway Hooker but first met Chris and Yvonne at the Gingerman down the street to warm up to that kind of atmosphere (Yvonne had seen some unsolicited crotch last time she was there) so beers were in order. After the first round, we snagged a table right next to three guys who were closing a monster tab. Two of them were from Washington D.C., and after ten minutes of basketball trash talk we were ordering Lemon Drops and making plans to go to the inauguration.

(Side note: They guy next to me went to Kansas and could not admit that Syracuse beat Kansas in 2003 to win the National Championship. I tried to help him but his answers were always so pithy. “Well, it wasn’t that simple…” Yes, I told him, it was that simple. Either you won or you didn’t. We’re looking for a one word answer here. Yes or no. Three letters or two, I said, and you are looking for two. I wasn’t inviting him to a game of charades, I was basically trying to shed light on his severe denial. And he works for the government!)

The part of the night which I would consider to be the denoument, or turning point, if you will, was when Ash walked in from Galway Hooker next door and asked what was up with the “graveyard” of discarded 5 Hour Energy bottles on their table, and if their hearts were okay.

I spent the rest of the evening in verbal joust with the guy next to me whose name I don’t know. (Sarah 1; “Craig” 0) while the guy next to him kept telling us he was a drug dealer, when in reality he is a pharmacist. Clever! We all thought he was gay until he reached out across the table to Ash and yelled “Have dinner with me!”. Which was almost as shocking as when the guy sitting next to him, who we also thought was gay, repeatedly asked Yvonne to kiss him. The Jury will be out forever on this one.

After a fun few hours of banter it was time to hightail it out of there, so I walk out of the bar behind everyone else only to find Ash lying on the ground outside, screaming “I WAS PUSHED” in the shadow of the bouncer who was motioning to us to shut it down. And for the record, she was pushed. We weren’t that drunk. Just in a hurry. So my hypothesis after investigating the scene is that we just mowed her down.

I also may have flexed my bicep and kissed it at some point in the evening, but the only thing I’m really sure of is that it’s not a good night unless a male I don’t know describes me as “intense” to my face in a bar. So considering that we ended the night at both a Papaya Dog and McDonald’s, this was a great night. I was reflecting on just that when Brenda and Pete walked into the apartment at 3 am and found  me watching music videos and eating ravioli with my coat still on on the couch.

I never do this.

But it’s fun every once in a while. And I cannot wait to go back to the ballet.

Math Update: The Ides of January

January 15, 2009

This morning I went into the bathroom and my toothbrush was wet and I hadn’t used it. And considering the previously presented evidence (that being that I didn’t use it last night, either, because I was busy using someone else’s, so it shouldn’t have been wet anyway) I believe this validates my rant about the rash of hygiene crimes going on in the apartment. If I was in law school, like I obviously should be based on my ability to see straight through crime and make the right case every time, I wouldn’t even be home enough to use a toothbrush and maybe would be better off for it.

Point is, I had to gargle Listerine and wait to come to work to use my work toothbrush, (which I also had to replace recently because of pneumonia), and to my complete surprise, have arrived to find that not a single one of my dwindling number of coworkers has taken the liberty of opening my desk drawer and using it themselves. And I am glad, because at this rate, if that were the case, I’d probably just walk straight into traffic on 6th Ave.

And, now that I’ve had a night to subconsciously mull this over in my head, I can’t believe I didn’t see this whole thing coming. It’s one of those things that seems so obvious looking back. I have a Duane Reade in my office building. I don’t even have to go outside to get there, and the toothbrushes are right inside the door. My mom keeps giving me toothbrushes for free and I doubt my sister has received a single charity brush (but I think that has to do with pity), and in my stocking last year Santa/my mom brought me (and ONLY me), a space age, battery-operated UV light combo travel case/toothbrush disinfector from the Container Store. Moms. How do they know? (Santa clearly has a list that he checks meticulously. But I digress per usual).

Should it really be so hard, taking all this in, to predict that I would be buying 35 toothbrushes between November 2008 and February 2009? No. It seems obivous in retrospect. I didn’t need Nostradamus to realize I’d be sharing toothbrushes with everyone and their moms. How did I miss this?

Regardless, someone is still using my toothbrush.

Math.

January 14, 2009

Okay. I need to get this out of my system right now. Here is a little math problem that continues to perplex me:

Q: If 4 people live in an apartment, and there are (unexplainably) 7 toothbrushes, 5 tubes of toothpaste and a tongue scraper in the tupperware canister suction-cupped to the tile  wall in the bathroom, how many times will I change my toothbrush design, yet continue to brush my teeth with other people’s toothbrushes?

A: Trick question. It is not quantifiable. I do this all the time. And it will never stop and this is how I know: I have changed my toothbrush twice already because some dental poser keeps getting the same toothbrushes as me. Who could possibly be changing their toothbrush as frequently as I pointedly have? It is a senseless act but someone is doing it and it is driving me to the edge.

First, it was the clear Oral-B with the blue rubber that my mom gave me for free. And good samaritan that I am I tossed it so we wouldn’t get confused in the apartment. And this was after I dropped an identical one in the garbage which is stupidly situated right under the toothbrush tupperware/disease dish. Then it was one of those Duane Reade Reach impostors which I selected with the green rubber on purpose, because it’s ugly and noone in their right mind would want one like it. And I apparently was right because the person who then bought one and put it in their mouth and then into the toothbrush tupperware (thus essentially putting it in my mouth) must be crazy because they got the soft firmness which is like rubbing a chamois cloth on one of those baked on grease dishes you see in Cascade commercials. 

And that is why I was frustrated when I put it in my mouth tonight. I have to assume that no one is actually doing this on purpose, but that leaves only one highly implausible scenario – that being that we keep going around in circles, each tossing our toothbrush when another one like it comes along, only to buy another one that matches someone else’s, creating an endless cycle. This is what hell must be like.

Okay, hotshot. Drawing on your knowledge of arithmetic, karma, retail trends and communicable diseases, here’s the bonus section:

Q: Considering consumer purchasing patterns and all rubber colors on the Reach impostors at Duane Reade, how many weeks will it take me to contract a disease I can never get rid of?

Q: Approximately how many roommates contracted pneumonia from me at least once by sucking on my brush or making me snack on theirs by copying me? That is karma pneumonia. And the follow up – When will I get it again? And will I have enough money, after buying toothbrushes, to afford the Levaquin? If you answered yes to this question, you obviously don’t know what I do for a living. If you answered no, please move on to the final question.

Q: If my apartment remains at a steady temperature of 95 degrees (and suffers “Sahara Spikes” in the summer) how soon will they find my body?

Cavities are the least of my worries.

I will find out who did this.

Juliet and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very-Bad Day.

January 3, 2009

Juliet has been one of my best friends since we were 15 or 16. She loves to dance and has the heartiest laugh on the planet which makes me envy her because a) she laughs a lot and b) it means that she must have lungs of steel, which makes my left lung especially jealous because it is still coming back to life from pneumonia. Juliet’s mom, Val, is an english beauty queen who sends Juliet homemade birthday cookies every year with elaborate sugar decorations on them. When Juliet was at camp for her birthday, Val sent cookies to everyone in her cabin or leadership development group, so I made sure I stayed friends with her on August 2nd for the next three summers, at least.

Juliet can speak turkish, is allergic to bees, and loves to have international romances. And has an uncanny way of effortlessly mixing pictures of lingerie parties and wholesome family holiday fun on her Facebook page. I don’t hate her cause I ain’t her, but she better hang out with me sometime soon.

Jules, let’s go for tapas!

Anyway. She is a teacher at a school in the Bronx, and when she’s not doing that I’m pretty sure she is dancing, baking cookies or having a positive mental attitude. Or going to Dubai, but we can delve into Juliet’s “Life List” in a different post. Point is, one day that school got broken into, so I comforted her the way every good friend should: through g-chat. I told her the following story spontaneously through g-chat, (2009: the year I get my act together) and she converted the whole thing into a note on her facebook page. That’s an absurd amount of right-clicking, but Juliet does shit like this with a bird on her shoulder. This is why I love her. And if it wasn’t for her, I would have forgotten how absurdly I use my time:

Juliet and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very-Bad Day.
One day Juliet woke up in the east seventies in Manhattan. It was a crummy day but the weatherman on TV said it would get better, and Juliet woke up happy everyday, anyway, so today was going to be a good day! Just like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that! Juliet didn’t even care that it was a Tuesday!

That is how it started, anyway.

So just like every other day, Juliet packed a nutritious lunch, finished with a perfect serving size of cookies she had made from scratch, just for good days like this one. (Now the adult reading the book can deduce, just from what has been said, that Juliet must eat cookies everyday based on a simple if, then statement: If Juliet bakes cookies for good days, and everyday for Juliet is a good day, then Juliet must eat cookies everyday. This is the transitive property of baked goods, where tasty delights are a function of moods and emotions.)

Juliet brought her lunch to the school where she was a teacher. She loved her job, but today things were different. Today she found that someone had broken into the school and stolen lots of the school supplies in many of the classrooms. Juliet felt violated and angry, and sorry for her students and for the other teachers who worked so hard. This was not turning into a good day at all. This, Juliet thought, was turning into a very bad day. Her cookies didn’t taste so good today, she thought, so she decided to cancel them out by going to an overpriced gym. But when she got to the gym, she found that the overpriced gym had lost all her information, yet remained overpriced! Oh the humanity. 

Now she wasn’t smiling, she was frowning. And as we all know, frowns cause wrinkles and make people look old which makes them sad. Frowns also utilize many many more muscles than smiles, yet still don’t count as exercise! An ironic tragedy. It seemed that the only exercise Juliet was to get today was a hearty laugh, but even she couldn’t muster one up. Because she usually laughs heartily at least 2,000 times a day, Juliet thought she must be sick. So she went to the doctor.

After a long wait, Juliet saw the doctor, and he diagnosed her as having a case of the Tuesdays and slapped her with a large bill. She then realized he was out of network in her healthcare plan! So now she’d really have to pay! He prescribed a positive attitude and a nap, and from the sounds of that, Juliet guessed that those prescriptions would be third tier drugs and therefore not covered by her insurance plan.

“Drat!” she said. “This day really sucks!”

Juliet has sunk so low by now that she had resorted to the use of marginally accepted expletives in her daily vernacular. She decided to go home to her apartment, when she remembered that her rent was due and she was out of checks. So she stopped by the Bank of America and they charged her $5 to get new checks printed, but because the new checks couldn’t come in time, she had to pay in cash.

She opened her wallet and a moth flew out, leaving absolutely no cash in its wake. Her life, she thought, was becoming a cartoon.

So she went to the nearest ATM, nearly in tears, to withdraw the needed cash, but the ATM was incapable of giving that much cash to one person at one time. Juliet painfully remembered how exorbitantly expensive it was to live in a 10 x 9 cube in the highly inconvenient Upper East Side. Juliet trudged home. And to her hysterical surprise, a rain cloud the size of her person literally followed her home.

She felt like a care bear in hell. 

So she went to her live in super, Ned, who was also her landlord to explain her financial woes, but Ned, who you will recall was supposed to be “living in”, was on vacation in Florida. Which proved highly inconvenient, when Juliet got to her apartment and her hot water was not working.

“Live in landlords,” Juliet thought “are not supposed to go on vacation to Florida.”

Lots of things, she realized, were not supposed to happen. Schools should not be broken into. Gyms that exist to make you healthy, should not be so expensive you can’t go. And they don’t really exist to make you healthy, it dawned on her, they exist to make money, and that just shouldn’t be. They shouldn’t lose your information, and banks shouldn’t charge you for checks which really only exist to help you give more money away. Humans shouldn’t be able to forget their rent is due, and they shouldn’t have to pay such back breaking rents! ATMs shouldn’t be able to dictate how much of your own money they’ll allow you to have! They should be able to distinguish you from an identity theft and pay based on instinct. ATMs, Juliet thought, should be smarter. And most importantly, care bears shouldn’t live in hell, even if they are offered a good mortgage loan that may blow up in their face and cause a mortgage borrowing crisis that crushes the care bear economy.

Yes, Juliet thought, there are lots of things in this life that happen that shouldn’t, and lots of things that don’t happen that should. But sometimes, she realized, life just isn’t fair. So she went home and ate the whole batch of cookies she made, and reveled in the fact that she could make them, and they still tasted good, but had a greater appreciation for the fact that she should have thrown up, but didn’t, because sometimes things don’t work out like they should. Then Juliet went to bed. When she woke up the next day, she packed her lunch like she always did, sans cookies because she ate them all. It will still be a good day despite this she said. Then she went to school. And when she got there, the whole school was made of ice cream cake!
The end. Fin.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2009

Here’s the straight story on this: New Years Day has a way of depressing me that I am pretty sure has to do with the elevated blood alcohol level on the planet. Everything is closed, everyone is hung over, it’s hard to get a pizza delivered in Little Italy and it feels like Earth is waking up with a slice of bread, an Advil and a Bible stacked on its bedside table, like I did the morning after Ash’s birthday party in London. (And maybe, it’s also swearing never to drink Goldschlager from a test tube again, but I digress.) 

It’s stupid to feel down on New Year’s Day because it’s the beginning of new things, so I decided to cut the crap and just relax about it. I went to a fun little dinner party in Brooklyn for NYE and rang in the New Year with good friends and waffles. Then I made it home without seeing a single person puke on the subway and I knew it was on. 2009. A very good year. 

To combat the blues, I decided not to make a list of resolutions but rather, hatched this ingenious plan to simply get the year started on the right foot on Jan 1. It involved getting up relatively early, maybe asking for directions and then actually going to the gym that debits my credit card monthly, or trying that yoga place I’ve wanted to go to. Maybe get brunch with friends? After that, and wait for it now:  I decided I’d possibly hit up the Container Store to grab a bulletin board and shelf. I know. Nothing says New Years like the Container Store. Do not be fooled: This is a resolutions list parading around as a to-do list. Cliche. Unimaginative! All in an attempt to feel awake and alive in a world that I felt was probably in the kitchen chugging a Gatorade in its skivvies and preparing to make its next Facebook album.

In the end, I did none of these things.

Primarily because I woke up sounding like a 90 year old with a history of smoking. A bad cold. So instead, I took it easy. Ate a leisurely breakfast, surfed the web in bed, and decided to go out and rent a movie, which I would have done sooner, had I not sat up to discover that I had been sitting lying on an open ballpoint pen which was slowly yet productively bleeding thick black ink through every layer of my sheets. How?

ink spot 2009

ink spot 2009

I want to say I have no idea, but the logistics here are far from baffling: I had a pen which I must have had a mind to use until I dropped it and failed to go looking for it, which of course is a testament to my uncanny ability to focus. It gravitated to the whitest, most absorbent and only surface below me, and proceeded to ralph its contents out while I was none the wiser. There’s no mystery here. I watch CSI. The resulting shock on my face was unprecedented.

Where is a Bic when you need one? You basically have to pay those things to produce ink on paper and here I am sitting on an oil well determined to seep through a mattress. Woe.

Despite this minor setback (and the fact that the movie store was closed) the first day of the year was a happy one for me. There was no way I was going to the Container Store anyway. With their Elfa shelving sale going on? You must be crazy. That place was probably a zoo of good intentions. And I couldn’t speak as it was. And was dealing with a code black situation on my sheets. If that ink had gotten on my Westie dog jammies, there would have been hell. to. pay. But it didn’t, which is a good sign for 2009. I read the ink spot and it’s telling me that 2009 is the year I get my act together. No more sitting on pens for this girl. Scratch that off the list.

2009: The year Sarah gets her act together. And buys new sheets.

Here’s to a happy, healthy new year!

Sista shout out

December 22, 2008

baby love.

Happy birthday to the best sister and friend ever, who has given me enough stories to put in a blog I started only to neglect.

I love you Al! Here’s to another great year.

Keep it classy, Chelsea. 

❤ S.

this is how it is.

November 28, 2008

hi. so here is my story:

When I was seven, I started a newspaper on my block in small town America. I was the editor and publisher, and I made my friends (my sister and the kid across the street) work for me. We put out one issue and I wrote the cover story. It was about finding a dead bird in the Dakes’ backyard. I priced it at 5 cents and all the old people on the block bought it like hot cakes. This was the beginning of my journalism career.

Approximately 10 years later, a crow was found dead in the next town over. It was the first bird in the area confirmed to have died of West Nile Virus. Then a lot of journalists were writing about dead birds. Dead birds; it was a hot beat. Someone was ahead of the curve. I couldn’t have known to get forensics on that bird in the early 90’s. I mean, I was seven. I didn’t deal in knowledge, I dealt in nickels.

Then, there was this one time, I guess it was more like 4 years in the course of history, that revolved around an academic calendar, where I learned about magazine journalism and political science for a while. After it was over, I got a piece of paper valued at approximately $170,000, and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with that. This was the end of my writing career.

Until now.

I edit articles for my friends. I looked over a friend’s first book manuscript. I give them story ideas. Every year, all my parents’ closest Jewish friends come over for Christmas and they ask me if I have written a book. I have not. Whenever I go to this one bar, and see this one friend I haven’t seen in a while, he asks me what I am writing, and I always tell him I am not. Everyone has these ideas about me and writing, but the irony of it all is that I never write anymore. I have a bookshelf of empty journals. I work at three national consumer magazines in marketing. I know. I know. But this is how it has been until this minute.

Now I have written a blog post which I can reference in social situations just like these. Have I been writing? Yes, in fact, I wrote in my blog about how I never write anymore. It was on a Friday. November 28th. And I hopefully will keep writing things down so I don’t forget them, because I think that is one of the saddest things. To forget the things that make you the way you are. Especially if you find yourself constantly wondering how the hell you got this way. Which I do quite often, in fact.

I’ve heard it said that a journey of a thousand comments begins with a single post, and that what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within our blogs, so the way I see it, from now on every post will be the first post of the rest of my blog-posting life.

But this, this is the first of the first.