Category Archives: a day in the life

What I’m Doing With My Unemployed Life

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I’m about as useful an unemployed person as you thought I’d be. The other day, I met for tea with a friend who recently quit her job when her manager told her she was being put on probation for not being able to handle the four-other-people’s-work they had thrown at her, and she told me I need to do something great with my time that I wouldn’t do if I was employed, like volunteer or take up yoga. I’m obviously not equipped to, like, even be in the same room as homeless people who need to be fed, so I did 15 minutes of yoga on my Wii Fit and called it a day.


I wanted to be one of those people who continues to wake up at 7 a.m. to shower and get dressed so I can be in front of my computer from 9 to 5, applying for jobs like it’s my job. But from about Day 2, I fell into my natural cycle, which is going to bed at 4 a.m. and forcing myself to get up at 11 so I don’t accidentally sleep through an entire day and end up a vampire. I’ve been going into my old office to work on my resume and cover letters because all of my old friends are still there, and they’ve been saying really helpful things to me like, “Before I got this job, I counted up how many resumes I’d sent out, and it was over 80. And that was back when the economy was GOOD, so . . .” I decided with Ellie‘s help to try to get into the social media space since that’s basically where I am all day long no matter what I’m actually getting paid for, so I’m in the process of trying to convince someone, anyone, that my fifteen years of blogging will totally translate to killing it when it comes to managing their brand’s online presence. Everyone says I’ll eventually get a job through one of my friends, so get on it, loyal readers.

Here’s what I’ve been doing when not applying for six whole jobs:

• Going on long walks through my neighborhood to gather materials to pump up my Instagram feed, because I’m THAT DEDICATED to social media and would be really, really good at it career-wise.

• Immediately turning on “The Hills” on MTV when I wake up, despite it being fully available on Netflix and despite my actually having every season on my computer from when I thought I wanted to watch it years ago because I really loved “Laguna Beach” and don’t care who knows. MTV was promising this alternate ending to the series that I just couldn’t resist. And then I slept through it.

• Purposely going out on our roof deck to get skin cancer. I really like my Puerto Rico semi-tan, okay? And there were so many other people out there doing the same thing, and I wanted to yell at all of them that they were killing themselves.

• Cooking my meals at home, eating low-carb, and saving money half of the time but then spending the other half of the time with my friends at all of the restaurants Kamran and I didn’t get around to before he left and dropping $100 at every meal like I still have a job. But donuts4dinner lives, and my first review since the break was basically quoted in full by Eater, so that’s pretty hott.

from the night Andrew, Jack, Chantee, and I met Nik and Anthony for dinner at The Marrow

• Watching four seasons of “Breaking Bad” with my roommate/landlord/former co-worker/friend, Jack, that result in fights about whether or not Walt is an inherently bad person that result in us going to bed mad that result in apology emails the next day.

• Going to see Pacific Rim in 3D with Jack, Nik, and Chris on a Sunday morning so we could get matinee prices. It was Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots punching aliens in the ocean as envisioned by Guillermo del Toro and was exactly what you’d expect it to be. Meaning tons of plot holes, but who the eff cares.

• Also seeing Sound of My Voice (compelling!), For a Good Time, Call . . . (why don’t I become a phone sex operator with my BFF instead of getting a real job?!), Trouble with the Curve (terrible, awful, the worst thing ever), “Masterchef UK: The Professionals” (the best cooking competition show I’ve ever seen and makes all American cooking competition shows seem silly), Captain America (sure, okay), The Avengers (yeah, absolutely), Thor (NO!), Wreck-It Ralph (totally cute despite my innate disdain for children’s things), Oblivion (meh), and The Place Beyond the Pines (DRAMA).

• Hanging out with Kim nonstop since she and I are the only unmarried people in all of NYC.

I like that it looks like maybe Kim and I were at an art gallery here, but this is in the hallway of my apartment building on the way to get buffalo chicken quesadillas.

• Really, really desperately needing to be kissed but dreading absolutely everything else about going on dates.


It’s a croissant and a doughnut and is everything you want it to be. No, more.

Okay, there’s a lot more to talk about, but I have to go take a shower. At 2:25 in the afternoon. And by “have to”, I mean “totally don’t have to, because I’m unemployed”.

A Day in the Life

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Turns out I’m pretty terrible at blogging even when I tell myself I only have to post once a week. So here’s what I’ve been doing the past few weeks, in photos that you’ve probably already seen on Facebook or Twitter, but screeeeeeeew you.

Cassie asked for a picture of the new spire on the 1 World Trade Center building, and I delivered, because I can see it out the window at work. Have I mentioned I live in New York City? That’s weird.

My college friend Sandy got a job here in the city and visited with his wife a couple of weeks before he officially moved. I met them for brunch at Montmartre in Chelsea and had something boring and low-carb, but his wife had these corn pancakes:

Sometimes it gets sort of foggy outside the window when you work 25 floors up. Right below these buildings is the charging bull sculpture that every tourist in the world has touched the genitalia of. There’s also a bronze sculpture of a man in the Time Warner Center that has turned gold in the penis from so many people touching it. Stop it, weirdos.

I don’t get tired of seeing this thing. I know it’s a gross display of American power, corruption, and excess, but it sure is pretty when the light catches its faceted sides:

I went to Ohio and texted my roommate:

While I was there, I went through my great-aunt’s scrapbooks and found this picture that’s supposedly me at 14 months, but I’m just not seeing it. Everyone on Facebook claims the eyes give me away, and I guess I don’t disagree, but I kind of feel like I’m such a nondescript baby here and grew up to be such a descript adult, you know? I guess maybe this proves that my hair is my entire personality. I’m not even sure my mom brushed mine here. And now she’s dead, so I can’t even give her a hard time. #deadparentproblems

Speaking of descript babies, that’s my grew-up-to-be-perfectly-normal-and-not-a-serial-killer uncle in the middle there and my dad on the left and his sister on the right. My dad is wearing a bowtie. And here I thought all of the guys I’ve dated have been exact opposites of him.

I shot a wedding while I was there, and it was KIND OF A BIG DEAL, but I didn’t have any pictures of that on my phone. I did have a picture of my stepbrother’s baby, though, who I did a shoot with the day before I left. And who is perfect. It’s so strange to not want babies of my own but to edit pictures of this kid and think words like precious, angelic, and whatisgoingonwithme.

Here’s a beaten-up farm cat to cancel the baby cuteness:

I came back to NYC, and it was still foggy. This is a building going up near my apartment, and all I can think about when I look at it is how there are suddenly going to be hundreds more people trying to get on the subway with me every morning. It’s strange to imagine where these people come from. SOMEONE is filling these new buildings. Ohioans, all of them.

It was my friend Nik’s birthday, and I went to Louro with him and our friend Anthony, where we had cardoons, which were terrible, and maple bacon donuts, which were incredible. But all I took a picture of were our drinks:

The weird part about being single is that I don’t technically ever have anything to do on a Saturday night, so when other single friends call my landlord/roommate/co-worker/friend Jack up and ask us to go to dinner on an hour’s notice, we just kind of shrug and do it. This was from a night when Jack, Jeff, Anjam, Gherald, and I went to Joya for Thai food down the street from our apartment and then went to a bar where Gherald told me the watermark I use on my photos is generic and the table we sat down at had this ticket on it:

Jeff did a photoshoot for Gherald’s company, and I was the girl who held his reflector for him. This is akin to being a boxing ring girl, but I wore much higher heels and a much skimpier bikini.

Three of my favourite dudes at our first archery lesson together:

We went to the Brooklyn Promenade to celebrate there being sun. This is what it looks like when Nik celebrates:

Jack did somewhat better (in his new glasses):

I’m sure the look on Andrew’s face was downright gleeful:

Nik again, pretending to be troubled:

Right before he bombed my beautiful flower photo:

I learned how to use the panorama function on my phone in the kitchen at work:

And then I learned how to use my new 10-20mm f/3.5 lens at Grand Central, where I found this adorable old sign about personal checks:

Anthony, Nik, and I went to Louro again for a guest chef dinner with Ken Vedrinski from Lucca in Charleston, SC. The gnudi was huge balls of cheese stuffed with mushrooms. My life is so good.

Bridgette moved back into town after two years in Paris, Chantee was visiting from Philly, and Jeff is also black, and I’m pretty sure that was the entire reason for this picture:

Bridgette, Jeff, and I went to see the new Star Trek movie in a theatre attached to this ridiculously clubby hotel with lights under the couches. Everyone says the first one was better, but I think they were just upset that the second one made them cry.

KILLED IT. “It” being whatever smallcutefurry animal we’re imagining this target as. Ignore that fourth arrow that’s almost completely off the paper; I’m sure that was Jack trying to hit his target next to mine and missing by that much. The best part of archery, aside from my being really ridiculously good at it, is that we have to take a car to get there. This particular Sunday, it was raining, and we first went to another archery place that was full and then had to get back in the car and drive even farther, and we were listening to a 90s Pandora station full of Nirvana and Soundgarden and Tool, and it was glorious for someone who hates driving but loves being driven.

Kamran set up a photoshoot for me in his former firm’s office so I could get this shot for him to decorate his new California office with. I’ll show you the real-camera version later, because it’s sort of epic.

The upstairs room at our go-to happy hour bar has this upstairs room with Victorian furnishings and an indie rock playlist. Probably going to have to bring a model back here immediately to take advantage of these cool lights, because Nik’s grimace isn’t cutting it for me:

After archery one weekend, Anjam drove us in his navy blue SUV with the chocolate leather seats and the moon roof (sorry, can’t help myself) to SriPraPhai, which has the prettiest little curry puffs:

Jeff, his girlfriend, Jack, Ash, Michael, and I went to Medieval Times, which is a completely real place in New Jersey and not just something you see in movies when you’re a kid in Ohio, and when we got back to Brooklyn, Jack and I walked to the Promenade and saw this, which I assure you pictures can’t even begin to capture:

Jack, Nik, Kim, and I drove to Connecticut last weekend for a party with Jeff, Anthony, and Anjam at our friends Ash and Michael’s apartment, and this was the view leaving the city:

While we still had the rental car from our trip to Connecticut, Jack and I drove to the not-at-all-subway-accessible Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, where we bought Maine- and Connecticut-style lobster rolls from the Red Hook Lobster Pound and ate them on a pier overlooking the place where the Hudson and East rivers meet. Summer, you guys.

In keeping with the theme of me not being horrified by seafood, I also ate this fried fish sandwich at Schnipper’s in Times Square with my new friend Sarah, who is originally from Ohio and is therefore genuine and earnest and basically had me telling her my deepest, darkest secrets within five minutes of our meeting.

Have I mentioned that Jack has a robotic vacuum cleaner? It does a great job of allowing us to be lazy, but I sometimes get freaked out when I come home and see shoes in weird parts of the apartment and assume someone’s hiding out in his bedroom and waiting to strangle me but had the decency to remove his shoes first:

And now I’m going to Ohio until Sunday to shoot another wedding and my very pregnant friend. LIFE.

A Day in the Life

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The Kamran’s Last Week in NYC edition:

• Tuesday, we went to dinner at Louro, which is owned by a chef friend of ours and can be summed up in three words: asparagus ice cream:

• Wednesday, we went to Soba Totto for their lunch special that includes a rice dish, a bowl of hot or cold soba, pickles, and salad. The food is deliiiiicious, but the best part is seeing how the different people around you eat their soba. There are the people who use their spoon to gather some broth and then use their chopsticks to add some noodles to the spoon. There are the people who eat some noodles and then slurp some broth. And then there are these young Asian dudes in crisp black suits who don’t talk for an entire hour while they bury their heads in their bowls.

• Thursday, we went to Mission Chinese Food. It’s originally from San Francisco but opened here a few months ago to long lines and hugely hyped reviews. IT IS AMAZING. Wait for my review.

• I have no idea what we did Friday night–probably watched “Shark Tank”, knowing us–but I can tell you that we ate Cambodian sandwiches from Num Pang. They were out of the corn-on-the-cob we like with the spicy mayo and the coconut and, you know, lightly apologized for it. They probably didn’t realize that was MY LAST TIME EATING THAT CORN EVER. Unless I take a half-an-hour subway ride. For corn.

• Saturday afternoon, we met our friends Anthony, Jeff, Nik, and Marko at a sushi buffet called IchiUmi for Kamran’s farewell lunch. (My roommate, Jack, was out of town. I know you’re all in love with him and would have noticed his conspicuous absence.) We ate something like 240 plates of food. Everything tasted better than ever, as everything had all month long. Kamran tried on Anthony’s sunglasses to prepare him for his new life in sunnier climates:

I had asked Jeff to help me move my things from Kamran’s apartment to mine, partly because he’s strong and partly because he’s nice and mostly because he has a car. But over the course of the lunch, everyone else was somehow convinced to help me out (well, except for Marko, who was getting ready to defend his dissertation and thought getting a PhD was more important than schlepping my underwear across town), so I suddenly had a gaggle of movers and Anthony’s car, too. And thank god, because what I thought were a few boxes turned out to be several boxes, a dresser, a nightstand, two ottomans, and a zillion bags stuffed with shoes and toiletries at the last minute. We hadn’t told the building about my move in the hope of avoiding having to get permission from anyone and to avoid the $50/hour fee they charge to use the freight elevator and just walk out the front doors with all of my stuff. But of course the doorman saw through us the moment we asked to borrow one of the rolling carts and told us we needed to use the freight. So we loaded everything onto the carts and rang the bell for the freight elevator, and the porter stepped off and said we had to write him a check for $50 before we could go any further. So Kamran paid $50 for a trip on an elevator for me. And what a ride it was.

Kamran rode with Anthony and Nik to give directions, and I rode with Jeff and was of course the one who got us lost. Never trust a person who drives a car twice a year. One of my biggest annoyances living here is cab drivers who ask me how to get to my apartment. Um, take the 4 train to Brooklyn? I wouldn’t be in a cab if I had a car, buddy! Now do your job. Anthony and Nik went to get coffee while they were waiting for Jeff and me to arrive, and then Kamran had to watch their illegally-parked car, and Jeff had to watch his illegally-parked car, so I was left to bring everything up to my apartment on my own. But of course the doorman at my building was kind and helpful, because it’s Brooklyn.

Anthony and Jeff left in their illegally-parked cars while Kamran and Nik came up to my apartment so we could order banh mi and watch the new Louis C.K. stand-up special and hang out on our roof deck

watching the sun set:

When we got back to Kamran’s apartment that night, it was so weird to look around and not see any of my stuff. When we first started dating, I would haul a bag of clothes from my apartment to his every time I stayed over. Eventually I was staying over so often that he bought me a dresser. And then I filled the dresser so full that I started stacking my clothes on a table beside it. And then another table next to that. And then a chair. I had my laptop there. The scrapbook I was working on. All of my camera gear. My birth certificate. That’s how moved-in I was. So it was strange to be at his apartment and have clothes for the next three days and nothing else. We watched movies and ate one of my favourite meals, the quesadilla enorme from Baby Bo’s Cantina:

• Sunday, we took a walk to Beekman, the secret park we discovered a couple of years ago and have been walking to all of the weekends. There are waterfront parks near me in Brooklyn–much bigger, nicer ones, actually–but this one was ours. I got pooped on by a bird as I was passing under a tree, which is the only thing that could’ve logically happened my last time there with Kamran:

• Monday morning, I took the bus from Kamran’s house to work for the last time. I got the most perfect seat in the front by the window and thought about how it was my last ride on the bus and was nostalgic for a moment until I remembered that I would be going home on the bus, too. So I stopped looking out the window and enjoying the sights of 2nd Avenue and read my book instead. But then Kamran asked me to meet him in the Flatiron after work so we could return his cable box together right off the 6 train, so I didn’t get to ride the bus home for the last time. I’m sure I’ll get over it. Someday.

His movers had come that afternoon and taken what seemed like almost everything away, but “almost everything” still left, like four hours of packing and cleaning for us. I took his plant, and he posed with the gigantic Scooby-Doo that took up half of his 275-square-foot apartment for seven years but that he wouldn’t throw out (nor give to Jeff, who really wanted it) because he swore he was going to someday mail it to the ex-girlfriend he had won it with in Atlantic City. YET ANOTHER UNKEPT PROMISE COURTESY OF KAMRAN. j/k, j/k.

The first pictures of Kamran I saw before our first date included Scoob creepily looking over his shoulder in his old Princeton apartment. But we still left him by the freight elevator to be tossed out with the day’s leftovers. JUST LIKE OUR LOVE.

We ordered our favourite Greek dinner from The Famous Chicken Place,

and had to, like, actually sit and talk to each other with the cable box already being gone. For the six and a half years we were together, his kitchen table was the same as his computer desk (studio living!), but with his computer gone, we talked about eating at the table for the first time ever. And then we ate on the couch like always. He texted the guy from his floor he’d made friends with to see if he wanted to say goodbye to us, and I was hoping to run into the girl I had casually talked to in the hallway for two years and had been meaning to become friends with but hadn’t, but the guy didn’t text back, and I didn’t run into the girl and didn’t even really know which apartment was hers, so that was that.

We made a trip to the lobby with as much as we could carry, and then I waited downstairs while he went up for another load, and then he waited downstairs while I went up for the last load. I took a picture of the apartment completely empty (I have to do a separate blog post on that because it’s so hilarious/sad) and a picture of the closed door for the last time, and you can faintly see the yellow stain on it that may or may not have been pee but that we didn’t clean off in all of those six and a half years,

and then we went to the doorman to leave our keys. He asked who they were being left for, and Kamran said, “Oh, um, the landlady, I guess. I’m moving out.” And the doorman was like, “Oh, really? Well, sad to see you go. Good luck with your new place!” And we were like, “Yeah, thanks for calling up to us every night when the delivery guy arrived with our dinner.” And that was to be the extent of our goodbye to the building.

It felt pretty strange to be leaving so unceremoniously after so much time there. I mean, it’s not like we were heavily involved in the goings-on of Tudor City–there were art shows and concerts in the park and building committees that we weren’t remotely a part of–but it’s also not like we didn’t know people there. People talked to us. People recognized us by our sweater vests (him) and our winter capes (me). People ran into us in the street and laughed about how funny it was to see each other in regular clothes outside of the building’s gym. We had wildly creative nicknames for people–The Tudor Lady (whose greyhound was named Tudor, after the neighborhood), The Crazy Lady (who stood outside with her mangy old bulldog and danced to music only she could hear)–and people would ask Kamran how his wife was and me how my husband was (awwwww (or barf, depending)). I kind of wanted some sort of send-off from Stacey with the red hair or the woman at the end of the hallway who always passed me in the morning in her yoga gear or even the asshole neighbor who would literally run into his apartment to avoid having to be polite to us if we nearly passed in the hall after he had taken his single empty can of Pepsi to the trash room. But no one was waiting for us with banners and balloons, so we silently carried our things to the curb and waited for a cab to take us to my apartment.

But then a moment later, the girl from the hallway came out to smoke, and we exchanged e-mail addresses. And then another moment after that, the guy Kamran had made friends with walked up, munching on a sandwich. We all stood around chatting and talking about future plans, and then the guy helped us load our stuff into the cab that pulled up. Well, first the cab driver said he wouldn’t take us and drove off. But then he stopped down the block, reversed, and popped his trunk open. CAB DRIVERS. We finally got to my apartment close to midnight. I think it was Kamran’s, like, fifth time there.

• Tuesday, Kamran came to work to say goodbye to all of my co-workers who actually like him better than me, and then we went back to my apartment to do laundry and eat one last banh mi. When we sat down to eat, I accidentally knocked his bubble tea to the ground, and it went eeeeeverywhere. Kamran, who used to act like I was the least-responsible person in the world whenever I spilled anything at his apartment, calmed me down and did all of the work of cleaning it up. And then we shared my bubble tea while watching “Deadliest Catch”, which we started watching together a few years ago and seemed appropriately epic for our end times. We cried and cried and then went to bed and cried and then held hands and cried and I told him not to say anything nice to me the next morning so I wouldn’t cry before work.

• Wednesday, I left for work knowing that I’d come home to an empty apartment. I hugged Kamran and closed my eyes for a second to enjoy it but then was like, “Shit! Shit! Don’t cry!” So I stopped thinking about it, kissed him, and left. It sucked.

A Day in the Life

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I’ve been expectedly terrible about writing my weekly life recaps, but here are some of the importanter events:

• My bedroom is teeny, so I bought a bed frame without an attached headboard to save room, but after two years, I’ve been craving something to bang my head against while listening to angsty music. Thinking a mirror would help make the room appear bigger (and allow me to judge how pretty I must look while sleeping), I set about finding one that was tall enough to be wider than my frame when set on its side but also wide enough to stick up over my mattress to give me something to lean against. Basically the only one that fit the bill remotely was the IKEA Mongstad, but it happened to be perfect. There’s an IKEA in Brooklyn with a free shuttle that leaves from my neighborhood, but thinking it’d be even easier to just toss it in a cab, I bought one off of craigslist from a guy on Wall Street and convinced Kamran to help me move it.

I knew it was going to be big, but I might have underestimated how unwieldy 66 pounds (and 2 ounces) of 74″ tall, 37″ wide mirror is. Kamran and I had no problem carrying it downstairs, but the wind was blowing so much by the time we got to the street corner that I had a hard time staying upright with it resting against me while we waited for one of the big minivan cabs to drive by. Ten minutes later, we had seen a couple of them up the street, but they were snatched up by other people before they got to us. In the meantime, we had tried to hail some of the SUV cabs, but drivers were literally turning around in the middle of the street and going back uptown when they spotted the mirror. We thought about hiding me around the corner and trying to trick someone into stopping for just Kamran, but eventually a nice driver in an SUV stopped out of the goodness of his heart and helped us load the thing into his cab. Of course it didn’t fit. Once it hit the plexiglass partition that separates the driver from the back seat, a foot of it was still sticking out the back of the car. So we gave up, turned back the way we came, and took the thing on the subway.

We hadn’t brought gloves, and we hadn’t drank our protein shakes, so our hands were aching and our biceps were shaking by the time we loaded it onto the 2 train. I was saying things like, “If I have no problem carrying it this way, why can’t you just stop being a pansy and make it work?” And he was saying things like, “I’m a physicist. I’m pretty sure I know the best way to distribute the weight.” It was only two blocks to my apartment from the subway, but we probably stopped five times to yell at each other, but once we got the thing in place behind my bed frame, we were like, “Yeah! Teamwork!” And then we went out for bubble tea.

• My cousin, Ethan, and his wife, Katherine, stayed with me this week while visiting NYC for the first time. They drove to Pittsburgh from Ohio and then took a bus the rest of the way, arriving in Brooklyn at 3 a.m. Thursday. I had signed our spare key out for them with the doorman earlier in the evening, but the overnight guy somehow didn’t understand which of the exactly one keys he was supposed to give to them, so he ended up calling not me, whose name was on the sign-out sheet, but the owner of the apartment, who is my roommate, Jack. At 3 a.m. Having them here reminded me so much of my early days in NYC, lo those nearly eight years ago, when I would get on the subway going the wrong way and when walking anywhere seemed like such a hassle. I remember my first week here, when my boyfriend at the time, Todd, and I were trying to move out of the student housing at NYU he’d been in for a year and get our own place in Chelsea, and I felt like the walk from the subway to the realtor’s office could have taken two hours in the July heat. I later realized that it had been two avenue blocks. Which are admittedly equal to four or five street blocks, depending on who you ask. But still. Two.

• Kamran and I took our friends Nik and Jack to Momofuku Ko for lunch on Saturday. It’s our favourite restaurant in NYC. Period. We sat in the same place at the counter as the last three times we’ve gone, and the same chef we’ve had the last three times served us, and the soundtrack was The Beatles and LCD Soundsystem and The Beta Band, and I got tuh-RASHED on the wine pairings, and Jack and Nik didn’t complain about having to eat an oyster, and I’ll always remember that lunch.

“Momofuku” means “lucky peach”.

• “Game of Thrones” started up again. Like you haven’t heard. Kim has been coming over every week to watch it, along with an assorted cast of characters who have seen somewhere between all of and two of the past episodes. As I sat watching it last night in my thrifted orange damask armchair, I looked around the room at Kim and Jack and Nik and Chris and thought about how crazy it is that I was just, like, hanging out all normally in my NYC apartment with my NYC friends. I’m 99% sure Joffrey is going to die soon.

• My friend Jessica was in town from Germany a couple of weekends ago. She was an intern at my company for a year, and there’s absolutely no other way we ever could’ve become friends. We ate queso fundido and sang karaoke (Jessica likes to do the Ken part of the 1997 hit “Barbie Girl” while our friend Jeff does the Barbie part) and one friend developed a crush on another friend while that friend was busy developing a crush on a third friend, and it made me sad that our group of friends is probably legitimately too old to be hooking up with each other with abandon and without consequences.

• My friend/former co-worker Chantee was in town yesterday after having left NYC a few years ago, and we met up with Kamran, Jack, and Jeff for the whole duck at Momofuku Ssam Bar. They take a Long Island duck, stuff duck sausage under the skin, confit the legs, and serve it all with hoisin sauce and fried shallots and greasy chive pancakes and rice that soaks up all of the duck juices. There’s a reason the place appears on “best of” lists along restaurants like Per Se.

You wouldn’t know it from Jeff’s face here, but Chantee is one of those people who’s hilarious but never at your expense and only makes you feel good about yourself when she’s around. I wish my sense of humor was more that and less naming-all-of-your-faults-in-front-of-everyone-we-know, but my mother died when I was 18, and I’ve never recovered. Just kidding. Well, sort of.

• My stomach is tired.

A Day in the Life

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• Tuesday night, my friends Ash and Kim came over to . . . well, I don’t want to say they came over “to” watch The Skulls on Netflix streaming, because it’d be embarrassing to plan a night around a 2000s-era teen heartthrob secret college fraternity movie, but I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. Kim and I had basically spent the entire afternoon having an online argument about the types of people who have a list of celebrities they’re allowed to cheat on their significant others with–apparently this type of person is everyone but my BFF, Tracey, and me–that eventually escalated into Kim and Tracey–who have never met nor spoken before–exchanging words over a Google document the three of us were editing together and then somehow resulted in me telling Kim I’m ambivalent on whether or not she has a brain. Um, but The Skulls was surprisingly entertaining! I thought maybe Kim was speaking metaphorically when she said there’s a duel in it, but there’s definitely a duel in it.

• Wednesday: “Survivor”! “American Idol”! Have I mentioned that I’m aaaaall over this Burnell Taylor kid? He has such an interesting tone that I really think he can make anything sound good, even a song from a musical. This is the performance that really got me. Even Kamran likes him. I downloaded the “American Idol” app so I could vote for the first time ever this year. I haven’t, you know, done it yet, but I could.

• Kim came over again on Thursday night so she could tell me about the first date she had with a guy who asked her what her credit score is as a way of deciding whether she’s wifely enough. I won’t say anything else about the night so as to not lessen the impact of a man asking her credit score on the first date to determine if she’s good wife material.

• Friday night, it was unclear if anything was being done for happy hour, so there were just four of us left at work when we decided to go out. We work in the Financial District, so by the time we got to this new bar I wanted to try, it was so packed with suits we literally couldn’t get ten feet in the door. We went to an old standby bar instead, and my friend Jeff has an amazing way with waitresses without even trying, so we were led to this upstairs room filled with Victorian-ish furniture that was totally uncrowded and where they were playing everything from my iPod at a totally reasonable level: Cold War Kids, M83, Imagine Dragons, Band of Horses, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Passion Pit . . . it was, um, basically the best time I’ve had in a bar?

Nik and Jeff in repose:


• Saturday night, Kam and I went for a tasting menu at Tocqueville in Union Square, which is one of our favourite restaurants, one of the best restaurants in NYC, and one of the restaurants most deserving of a Michelin star that doesn’t have one. We were treated like a king and queen and then went home to watch “X-Files” and The Game, which I’ve basically been thinking about nonstop since, especially this song, which is so annoyingly and catchily 1960s.

• Yesterday, we watched Safety Not Guaranteed, which was adooooorable, and Midnight Cowboy, which was well done but totally depressing and made me feel like I will pretty obviously end up living in a condemned tenement building someday and almost killing children with stolen coconuts. Also, thank god Angelina Jolie looks like her mother and not her father.

Later in the afternoon, we went on a walk up the East side of Manhattan and into Central Park, which I’m using as an excuse to use my Adventure Time logo:

the Queensboro Bridge at the edge of Manhattan, looking over Roosevelt Island

a modern building with art-tastic balconies and doors

looking down the East River toward lower Manhattan

a crazy wild boar statue surrounded by all sorts of marine life and snakes eating toads and stuff

Apparently this is Sutton Place Park’s replica of Porcellino, a sculpture by Pietro Tacca from 1634. Bill Clinton liked it, too, although for a completely dumb reason.

a Colonial-looking house with a vibrant door

This place had a private drive and a private park overlooking the East River. A Latino-looking person driving a Honda–obviously the hired help–wanted to leave but waited to open the gate until Kamran and I were well across the street. We talked about how we spend so much of our lives feeling better-off than everyone everywhere else in the U.S. that it’s annoying to see someone wagging their rooftop solarium in our faces.

New Yorkers play tennis inside giant balloon-domes

Magnolia Bakery cupcakes from Bloomingdale’s

a store devoted entirely to buttons

Hans Christian Anderson in Central Park

apartment buildings on 5th Avenue behind the Central Park conservatory

the Alice in Wonderland statue, which is totally freaky and not at all for children


an elaborate temple on 5th Avenue

sunset over the Central Park conservatory