Sunday, July 31, 2005

SETTLING IN

When I travel, it often takes me a while to settle in when I reach my final destination. Part of the reason is that I know it's not my final destination. My final destination is home again so often I think what is the point? All this packing, unpacking and repacking again.

While most normal people hit a hotel room and immediately stuff their crap into hotel dressers, spread their travel kit contents across bathroom countertops and hang their clothes within the hotel closets - I am quite the opposite. It's not until day two or three that I begin to settle in. Take things out. Make myself at home. Until then you can find me groping an extended arm into my wheeling suitcase reaching for my toothbrush only to zip it all up once again when I am finished.

I'm not sure where I developed this resitance to settling in. It could be as simple as being lazy. But I recall being like this in college as well. I went to an all women's college in the south where decorating your room was taken to the extremes. While the majority of the women were busy turning their freshman dorm rooms into mini B&B's - frilly throw pillows, leafy plants, wicker baskets full of magazines, etc. - I barely unpacked. By the time parents weekend came and my mother inquired about the three cardboard boxes still full and now serving as a night stand, I just shrugged and said, "What's the point? I'm leaving in a few years anyway."

E is a big inspiration in this area. Take for example our recent arrival in Maine. While the cabin hadn't been boarded up for the summer, it certainly needed some settling in. The moment we got here E ran about putting out lawn furniture, mowing the lawn, pushing curtains back and emptying the back screened porch of it's various contents - canoes, paddles, etc. He set up the hammock between two birch trees. He fixed the mini grill. He even put bird seed in the bird feeder. If it weren't for him, I'd probably be satisfied keeping my wheeling suitcase in the trunk of the rental car and curled up in the dark (curtains drawn) reading a book on a cushionless porch chair or even in the canoe.

Despite only being here three nights though, I am starting to see the point to all this. When you take the time to do these little things it really does matter. I feel much more relaxed then I might not having really committed to being here. For now I am off for a swim. E has wheeled the giant black inner tube down to the pond and I plan to joing him. Bob around for a while in the warm sun. Take in the mountain view. Settle in.

Friday, July 29, 2005

OFF TO MAINE



Thanks to the generous Clark family, we are off once again to our annual trip to Maine. I guess this means I have to leave my straightening iron and high heels at home. Just kidding.

Last time we were in Maine on the porch with this exact view- it was a rainy day. The cabin is usually filled with friends also visiting but this time it was only E and I. The weather was kind of cool and we lit a fire and were under a blanket. Ella Fitzgerald was on the radio. It was all very calm and peaceful...except for E who was squirming around like a newborn baby and excusing himself to the bathroom like...5 times every 5 minutes.

K: What are you doing? (After 5th time back from bathroom)
E: Ah...nothing. (wild look in his eyes)
K: (back to reading)
E: Hi.
K: (looking up) Um...hi crazy man. Are you getting cabin fever?
E: No. (literally looking drunk at this point)
K: (back to reading)
E: (squirm) Can you sit up for a second. I have something I want to tell you.

And then I sat up. And then before I knew it some words were exchanged, some Prosecco was drunk from plastic camp coffee cups and I had a beautiful ring on my finger. I said yes.

Then...

The rain stopped.
We went for a canoe ride on the lake.
We cooked a delicious meal of fresh corn and burgers.
We talked about our future life together.

Sometimes things in Maine are that simple.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

LIKE NIKE - BUT INSTEAD JUST DON'T DO IT

Just do yourself a favor. Don't ever go to a bar with the word 'zombie' or 'flaming' or 'tiki' in the title. Just don't. Because if you are like me, you will still be feeling the results of the festivities from the previous night. Currently it feels like an animal has crawled inside my stomach and died. Maybe a monkey.

This tiki flaming zombie place was the reunion venue last night for the Wine & Whining girls and I. As I've told you before, three of my girlfriends and I -W, D, and H decided to start a group that meets together (often at alternative apartments) once a month or so to well...wine & whine. We laugh more than we whine but still it's a great time to swap mags, eat lots of food, talk about sex, talk about our careers and try on one another's bras. Just kidding. About the swap mags.

Last night was a special reunion since we hadn't seen one another in a REALLY long time. Ok - a few weeks but still. H was just back from being in Barcelona for a month. W just got back from a photoshoot in Croatia and Italy. And D had been traveling back and forth from the Hamptons with a new guy we heard all about. Me - I just walked in from midtown Manhattan. While they all shared tales of their sexy adventures, I got to tell all about my commute to and from Penn Station each and every day at the exact same time doing the exact same thing since I last saw them. It was great.

On my walk home I ran into an old guy friend of mine from college who worked for Lucky Magazine:

K: Hey! How are you? Good to see you. Are you still at Lucky?
G: No.
K: Oh wow. Is this a good thing?
G: Yes. Things were starting to get 'unlucky' at Lucky.
G: Currently unemployed.
K: So how do you feel now? The whole summer off not working thing?
G: Lucky.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO DATE ME

I will sleep so soundly at times that I will do strange things. I will get up in the middle of the night and put on your hiking boots and grab the mop and stomp my way to the kitchen looking for water. Or like last night I will wake up, head to the shower only to 'come to' and look down to see that I am in fact wearing a clean pair of your boxers under my nightgown.

THE EYEBROWS WILL HAVE TO WAIT

The other night - after heading to the subway having finished one gazillion errands around the hot, sticky city wearing tight fitting, black, Seven jeans - ugh - bad call - I ran into an old friend - New York based, South African born, celebrity make-up artist Layla.

The first thing she noticed were my eyebrows:

L: K? What's happened? (running her fingers over them)
K: I know. I know.
L: It's horrible. Let us go for drinks at once to discuss.

The combination of her serious tone and her South African accent, indicated that Layla might just have to perform an emergency eyebrow plucking on me down some New York side street. She had her makeup kit with her afterall. The very same kit worth THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS that she once left in my posession and I stupidly left overnight by mistake in my UNLOCKED office.

At the time, I recall waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat having realized what I'd done. I'd not only left a makeup kit worth thousands of dollars in my unlocked office but I'd left a long line of people in jeopardy - mostly Layla. Flashes of Lindsay Lohan with a unibrow came across my mind. Leonardo Di Caprio with uncovered zits for his upcoming movie premier. Diane Sawyer with cheap, Duane Reade style, hooker makeup that Diane applied herself in desperation so she might deliver the morning news.

Luckily when I got to the office the kit was still there. I recall a co-worker that walked by and looked at me strangely - a grown woman kneeling on the floor clutching a black, duffle bag full of makeup in her arms like it were a teddy.

Three raspberry/blueberry mojitos later Layla was off to her next appointment. Before leaving she passed me her card:

L: Sorry darling but your brows will have to wait. I'm due uptown. (Insert celeb I am not allowed to say) needs an emergency mustache wax. If I don't get there in time things could get ugly.

It was great to see Layla despite our short visit. Despite the fact that the next time she sees me - I'll look like Andy Rooney.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

DON'T MESS WITH THE FORMER BAR GIRL

Tonight E and I met our friend G for some beers at a local bar in Brooklyn. G is husband to one of my best friends. Going out with him is like hanging out with my best friend just once removed and minus all the hummus and US Weekly mags.

C was working. She works in a bar among her many other talents and commitments. It is a hard job and every weekend despite knowing her schedule for years I call her on the same night each week leaving the same annoying message, 'Hey, want to join us for drinks at a loud bar?' Duh.

Working in a bar is a hard and an annoying job. I know because I've done it before. In my case I was required to wear tiny, inappropriate clothing and pretend I liked people. It wasn't a good fit for me on many levels. First of all, anyone that knows me knows I get grouchy and tired after 9PM. My nickname in college was 'It's bedtime'. (You think I'm kidding) My 3am shifts were killing me. There were times my boss would find me leaning against a wall like a horse - asleep while standing.

I hated being called 'Miss' and being poked in the ribs. I hated the credit card machine and chasing after drunk people to be sure they signed the slip. I hated not knowing drinks as well as I should have so when someone ordered a 'Texas Mexican, dry with two O's' I'd walk away annoyed thinking, 'Couldn't you just order a frickin' Stella?' I especially hated the chicks. The chicks that ordered sticky, smelly, liquid Jolly Rancher cosmos with a sugar rim. For each cosmo I served, I wanted to personally ruin each and every one of their lives by telling them Sex and The City was no longer in production.

I alse hated the leery men. The men that asked for my number. The men that asked if I had a boyfriend. The men that would call me over to their table 'just to see my pretty face'. Ugh. The men that had the nerve to ask me what I was doing 'after my shift'. After my shift asshole? After my shift I'll be on my hands and knees at 3am in a dress custom made for Anna Nicole Smith - mopping up the VOMIT your drunk, frat boy buddy left as a gift for me on the bar floor. But hey...when I'm done I'll give you a call.

Eventually we finished up our drinks and walked outside. I trailed behind E and G as G finshed up his amusing story about being nicknamed 'glass jaw' by his fellow Canadian hockey teammates due to all the injuries he suffered throughout the year.

And then it happened. As we stood outside among a pack of annoying frat guys that were neither coming or going, I got hit with the number one flashback from my working in a bar days. A grown man's hand on my right butt cheek giving it a squeeze.

K: EXCUSE ME! Did you just put your hand on my ass?
FB#1: Ah..no. (hahahaha-nudge friend)
K: ASSHOLE. I'm talking to you. Did you just touch me?

(E and G not having seen this walk up wondering what was happening)

FB#2: Leave him alone. He's drunk.
K: FU buddy. How about he leaves ME alone because he's drunk.
FB#1: (still laughing)
E: What's going on here?
K: This asshole grabbed my butt.
E: You did what?
FB#3: Dude, it's cool. My buddy is drunk. Sorry about that. He thought it was me.
K: So you're telling me your buddy thought my ass was yours.
K: Oh Ok. Now I get it. Give me a break.
FB#1: It was just a brush up.
K: Oh really? Excuse me but I think it was MY ASS. You think I'd know.
K: Let me ask you something (in the face of the guy) do you have a sister?
K: How about a mother? Do you have mom?
FB#1: Um...yeah...I mean...
K: Would you like a strange man to grab her ass?
FB#3: It's cool. It's cool. We are really sorry. Really.
K: Ok. Well then think about that and don't do this to women.

Then we parted ways. The frat boys and their posse.
And me, E and glass jaw.

Friday, July 22, 2005

ME IN HIGH SCHOOL



I was too busy to post yesterday and today as well. So here is a scary treat for you to enjoy in the meantime during my writing absence.

This is a photo of me in junior high school. (bottom far left) As you can see from the photo - times were rough. First off, my own mother didn't even teach me about eye brow plucking. I find this cruel and unusual punishment. I look like my Long Island Junior High School's Latvian exchange student.

Secondly, that hair. Oh god that hair. It's like a triangle. I look like a man. I look like that really hot guy in high school who had super long hair and then decided to get it cut but couldn't quite go 'all the way'. You know that guy. Everyone knows that guy.

Thirdly, that sweater. I blame Benetton for an entire closet of entirely too expensive ass clothing that couldn't even dress up a nice Latvian boy like me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I SPY

Last night I had the good fortune of riding the one hour train home from a long day of work with a family of four - two of which were Satan's offspring ages three and six. Within moments of boarding the train and judging by the looks of my fellow passengers, I knew this crew had already taken over and we were in for a long, long ride.

First off, the children were on their backs on the floor of the subway car. Looming, detached, Dad just kept saying, 'Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up. Get up.' and then after that didn't work he changed his tune to 'The floor is dirty. The floor is dirty. The floor is dirty. The floor is dirty. The floor is dirty.' Dad was a weird guy. I guessed he was a dentist or a man that perhaps worked solely with the elderly. He was tender-ish but couldn't relate to kids at all. They stared up at him like he was their giant hero and he just stared down at them like 'what is this thing you call kids?' It was like watching an awkward first date.

Mom on the other hand looked like she'd had enough. She was sweaty and silent and sat clutching the stroller. She had a far off look in her eyes and stared what appeared to be somewhat shamefully at her misbehaving family. Secretly I guessed she thought, 'It's your turn now you frickin' jerk. I don't care if you are a 'big time dentist' that 'works with the elderly' - it's your time to deal!"

Finally after letting the older boy run three times from one end of the subway car back again all the while screaming at the top of his lungs, "WOOOOOOAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" Dad tapped into something he must have learned in his yuppy crash course on 'How To Deal With This Thing Called Kids' seminar from years ago.

D: Hey you guys, want to play 'I spy?'

Within seconds it was as if he'd turned into the Pied Piper. The kids sat down and were quiet for a moment before it all began again,

D: Ok...I'll start...I spy..
Kid #1: NO I'LL STARTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!
Kid #2: Cookie?
D: No. No cookie. Ok...ok...ok...ok...ok. You start.
Kid #1: I SPYYYYYYYYYY... (glancing over at me with cold stare) something GREEN!!!!!
Kid #2: Cookie?
D: No. No cookie. Um...(Dad staring over at me) 'That lady to your right in the green shirt'

WOW DAD! GOOD GUESS FOR A 40-YEAR-OLD MAN! How about you do your wife and fellow passengers a little favor and NOT be right for once and extend the game a bit!

Kid #1: DADDDDDDDDDDD! Your not supposed to guess it!
Kid #2: (pointing down at some garbage) Dinner?
D: No. Not dinner.

Well let me tell ya. I spied something too. And it was the entire frickin' family getting off at York Street and that alone people, makes me the winner.

SOMEONE SPECIAL

Last night I was in bed reading Bruce Chatwin. E was out in the living room on his computer looking at his photos of bicycles and intersections (don't ask). And Jane the orange tabby cat was sprawled out on the bathroom floor like a bear rug because it was about 10,000 degrees in the apartment. And that's with air-conditioning.

We were awaiting the arrival of one of our dearest friends D who was sleeping over after band practice. D has been going through a bit of a relationship bad time and has certainly done her share of couch surfing over the past month. My heart feels for her. During the breakup of my marriage, I crashed on many floors and couches and beds. I like to share with D the time I consider a turning point during that period. I was sleeping on the bottom bunk of a family friend's 12-year old girl's room thinking, "I'm a 27-year-old woman sleeping in a bunk bed full of Beanie Babies. What have I done with my life?"

We are always happy to see D. Last time she came I ordered a giant spread of food and E danced around with his ipod and a sweatband around his head trying to make her (us) laugh. It worked. This time as we awaited her arrival, we heard the front iron gate squeak and out of nowhere E jumped out of his seat from the computer and started singing at the top of this lungs,

"SOMEONE SPECIAL! SOMEONE SPECIAL IS HERRREEEEEEE YES SHE ISSSSSS YES SHE ISSSSSSS!"

I began to feel quite special myself because of the pure nature of the song. It was a happy tune. It would make anyone feel special.

E continued as he threw open the front door,
"SOMEONE SPECIAL! SOMEONE SPECIAL IS HERRREEEEEEE YES SHE ISSSSSS YES SHE ISSSSSSS!"

and now added a Jiminey Cricket style dance just short of a top hat and cane.

I went back to reading. Then I heard some muffled talking and heard E quietly shuffle back inside. He came into the bedroom a bit red in the face:

K: Where's D?
E: Um...that actually...wasn't...D
K: Who was it?
E: ...Heidi the landlord....taking out the garbage

All I can say is the term 'busted a gut laughing' is not even good enough to describe how hard I laughed. And when D arrived moments later and E reinacted the entire event with his dancing around and me in my pjs and Jane the cat meowing and D laughing - I was thankful for what I was finally doing with my life. Having one.

K: I think I have my blog for tomorrow!
D: (cracking up)
E: GEEK

Sunday, July 17, 2005

THE PAUSE

This weekend was a wedding weekend no matter how you spun it. As I said to a friend recently, no matter how cool you are as a person, no matter how NON ’wedding like' you think you are – come time for your wedding trust me. You will freak out too.

When I say ‘freak out’ I want to be clear. It’s not an ‘OH MY GOD WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN’T AFFORD A HEART SHAPED ICE SCULPTURE AT THE RECEPTION’ freak out but rather a 'how can we pull off a fun, mellow, affordable, delicious, awesome night for a number of our closest friends and family?' It's hard and a lot of work. A lot. But I'm positive in the end it will be worth it.

Props to the person that left a suggestion on my blog to check out the designer in Brooklyn to make me a dress! I went there and she was great. I started off like a brat telling her all the things I DIDN'T want - no way man never nope not in this lifetime no way uh uh nope - and ended up with all of those things and more. Lesson learned? Trust the woman who went to Princeton and FIT and knows what the hell she is doing. Mmn, K?

Then I ran around Brooklyn in the heat to check out places for people to stay when here for the wedding. Despite drinking what I thought was plenty of water I was dehydrated and on antibiotics and crabby and tired and only ate a bagel all day. I stopped on a stoop down an empty street to put on some lipstick and cool off. I was approached by a creepy man who raped me with his eyes and pointed to a closed warehouse building.

CM: They open today?
K: What?
CM: They open today?
K: I have no idea.

And then I left.

Then I walked to the Brooklyn brownstone B&B. BUZZ BUZZ. I was distracted by the dirty door handle, the number four peeling off the sign, cigarette butts on the walk and faded Chinese menus strewn about the front step. BUZZ BUZZ. No luck there. A later voicemail message from the B&B owner said they are out on vacation all week. Huh.

And today we met with the woman that will marry us. She is an inspiring, amazing, calm and powerful presence. Like Maya Angelou with dreads. Loved her. She asked us questions that weren't too lame but meaningful. At one point I got teary and E ran to get a fistful of Marriott Hotel paper cocktail napkins so I could dab my eyes. (PS-we are not getting married at the Marriott) By the fourth or fifth question though related to 'love' and 'us' - I found myself getting a little gagged out. I chimed in,

K: Um...yeah. Can we ax this question and put something funny in instead?
L: Ah...sure. What did you have in mind?
E: (blank stare)
K: I mean...nothing over the top like...squirting carnations...just...funny.
L: Oh ok. Well sure!
E: (whispers) OK Carrot Top the comedian

When finished we walked over to the reception place and discussed everything from menu to flowers etc. All I can say is thank goodness there was booze involved in the process. As our friend/restaurant owner reminded us in her toast when we sat down to discuss everything,

"May you remember to find the pause in this process of planning. That moment that reminds you why you are doing this and what truly is important here."

Cheers to that.
And cheers for all those extra Marriott napkins stuffed in my purse.

YOU PEOPLE ROCK

Thank you to all of you that left a comment in yesterday's post about who you are, where you are, what you do. You all are far more interesting sounding then I'll ever be. For those of you that didn't get a chance to leave a comment I would SO appreciate hearing more about you so there is still time. Again, I thank you for all the nice feedback. While I was set out to figure more about YOU you helped me figure more about ME and this writing and this blog. And for this I am grateful.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

KDUNK POLL

Hi. It's me KDunk.

I am conducting a little poll. My goal is to have every person that looks at this web site today leave a comment.

You don't have to say much. Just hello. Just 'I hate this blog.' Whatever you'd like. Although it would be amazing if you left me a clue to your age or where you live or what you do and a link to your site if you have one. Are you a dude or a chick? Why do you come here? What do you want more/less of? And if you know me tell me.

Please and many thanks.
xoxo

Thursday, July 14, 2005

PEOPLE IN LOVE

People in love should not be allowed to ride the subway. I speak on behalf of all grumpy morning commuters like myself. I can barely keep my eyes open and when I do the last thing I want to see is the equivalent of cheesy outtakes from some love movie where people are rolling in the sand. But on the subway.

It's too early in the morning for all this 'making out' and flirty staring contests. Yes. Ok. You are the only two people on this train that had sex this morning. Good for you! So what. The only word that comes to mind is CANOODLE. The world's worst word right up there with 'PANTIES' or even the name of that bagel shop in NYC called 'BAGELRY' (shudder) which makes me want to go home and take a shower every time I see it.

Yesterday's offenders on the F train, groped one another like a couple of horny monkies. The guy stepped on my pinky toe (twice) - both times because he was 'going in for a tickle' while the girl moved away giggling. A few moments later the girl dropped her umbrella on the lap of an equally annoyed looking guy next to me. And as if a subway car full of irritated stares alone weren't enough to burn holes into their skulls, they continued.

By the time I got to my subway stop, I had had more than enough. As I walked towards the subway exit I actually felt compassion for the rest of my fellow passengers that had to ride more stops with these two. Pushing my way past the girl - her body now wrapped around the subway pole as if she were seconds away from giving a lap dance - I overheard the following comment whispered by some tough chick with a BRONX T-shirt to her friend,

W: 'Yeah. You wait until her ass gets big and he stays out all night. Let's see you then.'

Monday, July 11, 2005

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

E and I do a lot of things together but working out is not one of them. In fact I hate the idea of working out at all which is unhealthy and bad and I know it. Sometimes I think if I had a 'work out' buddy it would be more fun so once in a blue moon I blame him for this. Blame him for not coming with me to the gym. Yes you. You are to blame for this butt and these thighs.

I also blame all the great outfits. Everyone has these hot gym outfits and I’m always the one with the black cat hair covered leggings, low top orange sneakers and an old ratty Jane’s Addiction T-shirt from 11th grade. I’m convinced people around me are wondering who invited the ‘gym class extra’ from an old John Hughes movie.

My biggest problem of all (besides the butt and thighs) is that I always have gym panic when I go. I never know how to work all the gear and am too ashamed to ask. One time I was ‘working out’ on some complicated gym machine – something with poles, moving ski legs and twisting hips type motion – it was like being thrown into a rusty Cuisinart. The entire time as I plugged away at it I kept thinking, ‘This can’t be good for me. It just can’t.’ About 20 minutes later the buff gym guy behind the counter walked over and said, ‘Want me to turn that thing on for ya’?

Someone point me to the medicine ball.

Last night’s convo at 3am in the dark,

K: Let’s go to the gym together.
E: (sigh) Here we go again…
K: No seriously. I think it would be so much better than going alone.
E: Yeah. You’ve mentioned that.
K: Come on! It will be fun.
E: ‘Honey, grab your duffle and soap on a rope! It will be fun!'
K: Plus I never know how to work the machines.
E: So your saying your true motives are for technical support?
K: (flustered) Well...um..maybe.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

CHAT

Last night after having a few drinks with a friend, I came home and somehow while checking email (furious clicking around the page) I unknowingly invited a number of random people to start a 'chat room'. ?!?!?! Those people were:

-a friend that works at the New York Times
-2 blogger acquaintances
-An ex-boyfriend
-A former college mate I haven't talked to in six years
-E's Fifteen-year-old brother

This resulted in a fast and furious number of confused responses from all parties saying 'what is going on!' and 'what are we chatting about?' and 'huh?' and 'how are you I haven't spoken to you in years' among a number of other gems.

And let me tell you...BOY did we all have a LOT to chat about.


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