Monday, November 5, 2012

Holy 90s, Batman (Boots!)

I am in love with these boots. They're from Big Buddha*, and I bought them off the DSW website. I had a $20 coupon on top of my $5 birthday coupon, so I basically got them for half price. They have the basic shape of ankle-height Doc Martens, without the price tag or dead cows, have a good tread and are on the wide side, which makes them really comfortable for me.

This is what they look like when not covered by jeans:

It's love.

*Big Buddha didn't give me anything for free and aren't paying me blah blah blah blog disclaimer.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

This is what happens when you put a fat ginger in a lady Link costume

Awesomeness is what happens.

Remember How I Moved? So That Didn't Work Out

Two months and two days ago I moved in with a roommate. One month ago I moved back in with my parents.

I probably should have known. When I got there on moving day to discover the cleaning she promised to do hadn't happened, or when I had to live on mac and cheese for a week before she made any room in the fridge, or when I had to pitch in to clean half the fridge (something that was I promised would be done before I got there), or when I had to step over dirty underwear in the bathroom every morning, or when I got lectured like a child for buying too many rolls of toilet paper at once, or when I had to endure endless snark about my Keurig, or when I got lectured for sliding the couch less than a foot. Or maybe when I texted to warn her that some things had been slid around when I mopped the entire apartment and got a reply telling me that was "not cool" and to move everything back to where it had been.

But no.

I tried to stick it out.

Until I committed the horrifying error of coming home exhausted (after two nights in a row of getting in at 11 PM and getting up to leave again at 6 AM) and forgot to bring a box in from the hallway. Oh, the horror. That was when I got lengthy texts accusing me of treating everyone else like a servant (you know, minus that whole mopping the entire place and always being the one who takes the trash out thing). Actually, the texts came AFTER she pounded on my bedroom door after midnight yelling about it.

A box.

Then my reply was to remind her we'd had a conversation about her lecturing me. And she said it wasn't going to work out. So I called my family. She wanted to discuss when I would be leaving. I discussed it. With my father, and then my brother when he fortunately was available with his car to help me get my stuff out.

I was evicted, via text, for forgetting we had a package in the hallway.

By someone who is rigid and unyielding, but simultaneously disgusting and a complete slob. So I'm staying with my folks again, and next time I find a place I will be living ALONE.

I lasted about the same amount of time the Lutz's put up with 112 Ocean Avenue. I'm not sure which scenario is worse.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I'm Moving!

Yesterday I found a room. Obviously I'm not going to give away the exact location, internet creepers, but it's in Queens, and it's a small but cute room that's a really good price with someone I already know.

The block.

The room.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Jumping the Gun

I admit it: I haven't even found an apartment yet and I packed some stuff today. Not a lot, and nothing I can't live without for awhile if that's what it takes, but I was bored and I had both energy and boxes, so I went for it. Basically, I just took some things off the walls.



It was mainly taking the tchotchkes off those shelves and cleaning off my desk. I also reorganized inside that silver drawer thing and the two black boxes (under the Eleventh Doctor) on my desk.

I really hope this place tomorrow works out.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Not a Scam!

I have plans on Saturday to go see an apartment with an available room. The other people living there sound awesome, the rent is reasonable and the location is good.

Living alone was my top choice, but if these ladies are as friendly and chill as they seem via email, it could be good for me. My one fear with living solo was becoming a hermit, so maybe with a couple of people around that won't be as big a risk.

The only thing I haven't asked is about pets. Zelda is staying with my parents (she's too attached to my dad not to live with him, and I've made my peace with that), but I was thinking that I'd like to get a cat at some point. I guess I'll just have to find out and if they say no then I'll decide if it's a dealbreaker.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Hunt Begins (with scams!)

So I'm looking for an apartment. I've been staying at my parents' place for *mumblemumble* years and with the start of my Ph.D. program, it's time to move on. I should be getting a corrected award letter soon (back story: LIU had me in the system as an undergrad, so the first financial aid letter I got was wrong), so I started sending emails and making calls about ads I saw. One of them I knew was too good to be true (a 2 BR in Queens for $850 a month, ha) but I sent an email anyway because I was morbidly curious about it. This was the response (names and contact info redacted):


I and my darling wife are very happy to inform you that the apartment  is still very much available for rent, my intentions and plans is to give out  the apartment to a Reliable and Responsible person  that would be able to take  proper care of the lovely home. It's indeed  a lovely and comfortable home and available to move in as soon as possible, i pray that May the Peace of the almighty Lord be with you for  considering my home.

Fees needed to move in:
Monthly Rent: $850 (Including Utilities)
Security / Deposit:  $500.
2 Bedrooms
2 Baths

2  Bedrooms
Hardwood Floors
Big Living Room, Kitchen
Brand New Cabinets, Electric Cooker & Refrigerator

I  would like you to know that i am giving this lovely apartment out to you because i have just been appointed by the United States of America Government as the head of ANTI-TERRORIST monitoring squad (Zone D), and i  have been posted to West Africa for special duty in the international airport so as to search and to monitor every one traveling to the United  States of  America to avoid another terrorist attack. My appointment will last for 5 years before rounding up the program.

I would like you  to fill the below  details:

FIRST NAME:_________
MIDDLE  NAME:_________________
LAST  NAME:__________________
KIDS___  (YES/NO), HOW MANY________
HOW LONG?_______
DO YOU SMOKE?______________
DO YOU DRINK?_________

I  will need this information because my family and i won't be moving back  to the apartment whenever we're back, there is no Registration fee. The  Security Deposit would be needed as a Security Bond in order for the keys and the Lease Contract agreement to be sent to you. Electric Bills and water bills have been paid for, so i would also need to send the receipts to you.

I would like you to know that you are free to contact me at any time. After i receive these details, i would get back to you soonest and then let you know my terms.

Feel free to contact me on my direct Phone Number:  [two overseas phone numbers, which is a GIANT red flag]

Greetings from my lovely wife.

I hope to hear from you  soonest.


I also got another reply that wanted my credit score info before they'd move forward and linked me to an obvious scam site to get it (one that redirected me to a Google search instead of actually going to a site). I guess I'm 0/2 on the apartment hunt so far.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Urban Hiking

I sort of went hiking yesterday. By that I mean I went to the Ravine in the middle of Prospect Park, which is almost like real nature. Well, it's the closest you get in the middle of Brooklyn.

Officially, I was taking pictures for Brooklyn Based, but it was also just nice to wander through the woods. It was a good 10-15 degrees cooler once I got into the wooded part, so it was a pleasant walk.

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's Official

I know I announced my intent to get my Ph.D. in the last post, but several days ago I got the official letter in the mail. No going back now!

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Change Will Do You Good

I've done a lot of griping on this blog about unemployment and the ennui it causes. So I'm making some changes. No, I haven't found my dream job. But I've decided to go back to school.

So I'm starting in September, and I'll be pursuing a Ph.D. in Information Studies at Long Island University.

There's still a lot to fall into place in the next two months, so I'm a little terrified. But also excited. I still have to figure out an assistantship, and maybe a temporary summer job so I can have some cash saved -- since there's maybe $180 in my bank account right now.

And I'll need to find an apartment. Since I'll be at the CW Post campus, not Brooklyn, I need to live somewhere accessible to the LIRR. Right now my parents' place isn't great. I could do it, but it would not be very convenient. I'd rather find a place in Queens that's closer to the train. Also, it's beyond time for me to move out.

So that's that. Things are happening, and I hope everything works out.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Public Fatness

So, I hear all the time about fat people being subjected to harassment and ridicule for daring to be out among the general population. For some reason, it hadn't really happened to me (as an adult, let's not get into childhood bullies). OK, once a guy told me I needed to exercise more, but it was a cheap comeback because I yelled at him for riding his bike on the pedestrian path on the Manhattan Bridge. I'd never experienced an unprovoked attack until today.

See this guy? I was standing on the F train today, with my dad, headed to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade (my dad was headed elsewhere). I had my earphones in, enjoying some quality time with most recent SFH album, when my dad pointed to this guy and said "I think he'd trying to tell you something." So I took out my earphones and looked over. The guy made a little running motion, then mouthed "one hour, every morning."

It clicked that he was telling me I needed to exercise more. So, loudly, I said "Are you telling me I'm fat?" Obviously, I am, and I know that, but I thought that would catch the attention of more people around us. My dad was like, "Is that really what he said?" So I (still loudly) said "He's telling me I need to go running every morning."

So I turned to the guy and said (yes, still loudly, and well enunciated) "That's none of your business." He got a little flustered and apologetic, but I continued, "You don't just make comments on random strangers' bodies."

At that point we arrived at the stop where my dad was getting off, and after I said goodbye to him I moved to another part of the car. But I also took this picture, because people who harass others on the subway don't deserve anonymity. If I knew this guy's name I'd say it. I'd tag it and post it everywhere, so whenever someone Googled him this came up. But I don't know his name, so all I have is a picture.

It's just another reminder that if you dare to be fat in public -- especially if you are a woman -- your body is not yours. There are people who think that because you are out of the norm, you should hear their opinion and "suggestions" for your body and your life. Because they assume they can tell how you live based solely on how much adipose tissue resides on your body. Of course, this happened in a city that wants to legislate away fat through arbitrary things like soda and bake sale bans.

Luckily, I am very confident in my body -- the one I've been living in for 28 years. I know that I am fat. I know my lifestyle, my health, my limits. I am not going to share any of that, because it's no one's business but mine. But because I am content with myself, I look back at this incident horrified at this guy's gall, but not feeling any worse about myself. If I were more sensitive about my appearance, this might have ruined my day. I hope he's never done that to anyone who might really suffer a blow to their self-esteem from it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I would swallow my pride

So I went to see Eve 6 on Monday night. I was basically satisfying a need from 13 years ago, but it rekindled my love of their music.

I was really, really into their first two albums (which are self-titled and "Horrorscope" but I tend to refer to as "the one with the fly" and "the one with the blue chick"), but not so much their third, so I kind of forgot they existed. Don't get me wrong -- "Inside Out" is on every list I make, mental or otherwise, celebrating the 90s. But I neglected the rest of their catalog.

The self-titled album is a really solid pop-rock, bordering on pop-punk, record that's got great songs from beginning to end. It's got a youthful vibe (which makes sense since they were young when it came out) but it isn't as obnoxiously and deliberately immature as, say, Sum 41's "All Killer No Filler." "Horrorscope" has a different sound. There's more of a pop bounce with some creative use of autotune as an aesthetic device.

The third record, "It's All in Your Head," didn't grab me as much. The single "Think Twice" is alright but the sort of possessive vibe that comes across in the chorus kind of rubs me the wrong way. I haven't really listened to the new comeback album, but what they played live from it sounded really good.

I will complain that the opener wasn't great. I didn't see the first band, Fall from Grace, save for the last song, which wasn't enough to form an opinion, but the second one, The Audition, was annoying. Maybe I'm biased. My opinion of their vocalist went plummeting downhill the second he made fun of moshing and called it "so 2002." But I found them to be generally insufferable. I did laugh pretty hard when he ripped out the crotch of his skinny jeans, though.

And I seriously don't know how to act in crowds where you can't elbow people. I don't go to a lot of non-punk gigs.

Monday, May 7, 2012

This is what I do when I'm not working

I've taken up sewing. Not in any technically-inclined way. I'm certainly not headed toward a stint on Project Runway or even one if its copycats. But I've busted out my sewing machine (OK, my mom's; mine is in storage) and I'm hacking some things together.

It started because I was cleaning out my drawers and realized I have roughly 17 trillion t-shirts that I don't wear, mostly because they are ill-fitting. My initial plan was to make a quilt out of them, but there are so many that I could probably make several king-sized quilts, a dozen pillows, and enough tapestry to outfit a small castle.

I started with pillows. I thought I'd do this so that I could use shirts that have printing on both front and back, like tour tees and the grimy old thing from my graduating high school class. I've made about six of those now.

Then I got a little sidetracked. I haven't been working on the quilt or many more pillows, but I've been working with the shirts I'm still wearing.

See, t-shirts don't fit me well. The ones made for women are often too small, and the ones made for men are cut for, well, male bodies. So I usually buy t-shirts up a size to go around my hips/belly, and am left with baggy, sloppy neckline and arms. To fix that, I cut the sleeves and collar, which curls and frays and looks sloppy.

So I'm sewing borders on my cut up shirts to make them look neater. Sometimes I use the same color, sometimes it's a decorative edge. (Part of) a finished product:

Today I decided to work on another one. I took my Choking Victim t-shirt, which I had cut into a tank top a long time ago. Now, I've washed and worn it many times, so the edges were already frayed and curling, so I had to work around that.

So I cut bias strips from other t-shirts, iron them lengthwise so they have a crease, and attach them to the shirt. First I pin one edge to the outside of the shirt, with a strip around the collar and each arm hole.

Than I sew them down. Yes, my mother's sewing machine is avocado green. I believe it's from the 1970's.

Once the first edge is sewn down and the pins are removed (I do that as I'm sewing) I fold the borders along the ironed crease and pin them again. Then I sew both edges together. I find it easier to keep the seams aligned if I flip the shirt inside out and sew from that side, but other instructional sites have said to leave it right-side-out. I guess it's a preference thing.

 Once that's sewn down, trim the edges and that's it. You might want to iron it so the border sits upright, but it will sort itself out after you wash it a few times.

This is a really easy thing to do. Seriously, I have no sewing expertise and I figured it out with a couple of instruction sites and trying it hands-on. And it makes my cut up punk shirts look a whole lot nicer.

Besides, I'm out of fiberfill and bed space, so I can't really make any more pillows.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Funemployment is a lie

That might seem a little harsh. But I keep hearing the term "funemployment" and to me, it's wrong (it's also short-sighted and privileged; we can get into that in a bit). For me, being unemployed has not been fun.

Since I finished grad school in December 2010, I haven't been able to find a full-time job. It isn't for lack of trying or laziness, contrary to some Republican 1% views. I can't even begin to count how many applications I've sent out in the past year and a half. I've tried for jobs that seem ambitious, jobs that I think I'm overqualified for, jobs that excited me, jobs I'd have to acquiesce to performing every day, jobs withing my field, jobs outside but vaguely related to my field, day jobs like retail and bartending, basically everything you can imagine. I've considered NYC Teaching Fellows and the Peace Corps as back-ups.

I've had some freelance work and part-time gigs, but still nothing lasting or full-time. And then, in March, the job that was my primary source of income (but still part-time) informed me they were low on funds and couldn't pay me. So I was let go, though with the caveat that they'd like me back if they got their act together and I was still searching.

So aside from a once-a-week unpaid knitting column, two short (volunteer) shifts for a punk news blog and the occasional photo slideshow (the only one that pays a little), I've been unemployed for nearly two months. It sucks. I've been sending out my resume everywhere that I can, and I've had two interviews -- one was on the phone, and I didn't make the cut to in-person, the other got as far as a writing test, but I still didn't get it.

I know, there are a few perks. I can sleep late and run errands in the middle of weekdays when the city is less crowded. But that's about it.

Want to hear the downside? I am almost out of money. I'm still living with my parents with no prospect of leaving any time soon. I feel like a worthless human being, who contributes nothing to the world. Basically, it's like I'm in a waiting room, biding my time until my life starts.

So I'm going this week to meet with a staffing agency. It isn't a career move. They only do receptionist and office work, and just temporary assignments. But it's something. It gets me out of the house and making a little money while I work on finding a longer-term position. I hope it works out, because I need it to.

I said we'd get to why the term "funemployment" is privileged and short-sighted, and here it is: anyone who can use the term is very lucky. You've clearly got something keeping you going, whether it's a trust fund or savings from a past job, or a supportive partner, or whatever. Many people who are unemployed are far worse off. I'm not including myself in that because I have parents who let me stay with them for free. But there are millions out there who are unemployed and having no fun whatsoever. They are losing their homes, relying on food stamps to feed their families, and falling way behind on bills. They aren't relishing in sleeping until 11:00 and wearing sweatpants all day. So that's another reason I don't like the term.