I just realized that it's been about a month since I last posted here at the dinghy, which prompted me to reflect on just what I've been doing with all that time. . . .
Christmas was spent the same way last year's Christmas was spent: Hanging around my apartment, alone, dicking about on the internet and telling everyone I spoke to how I was "just about to go walk across the Brooklyn Bridge." I moved into this apartment five days before Christmas last year, and knowing that I was going to be spending it alone got me thinking that I should create a new tradition for myself, which would be to walk across the bridge on Christmas day. I imagined myself gazing out over the East River while reflecting on the past year's accomplishments and all the blessings in my life, and walking off the other end into Chinatown with warm yuletide feelings of thankfulness and self-satisfaction. In reality, my "Christmas Tradition" is apparently to just browse craigslist in my pajamas for hours in search of comedic gems (and dates) and talk a lot of game about walking over the bridge.
I did get to speak with every other living member of my family on Christmas (there are five of them; we're not a very formidable clan, except for my mother, who pretty much defines "formidable"), so that was better than nice.
AND later in the evening I had dinner with the ATL, who even came bearing gifts! "Listen here, if you don't get to be with your family on Christmas, you damn sure aren't gonna go without any presents to open." We had oysters and champagne and onion strings and wine and burgers with bacon and bearnaise sauce. It was fun and delicious, and the whole evening somehow managed to warm the cockles of my shriveled, black heart. In related news, I've been rockin that new Skeletonwitch CD pretty hard.
Then came the 30th, when a dozen of my closest friends (okay, two of my closest friends, as well as five people I hardly know and four complete strangers) gathered to wish N.Eck a happy birthday. We sat around a big, round table at Lil' Frankies, which has the worst name and the best Italian food of any restaurant in the East Village. Ray and I had scrumptious duck ravioli, and more importantly, I learned that the secret to appreciating the band Bright Eyes is to listen to them in your car while driving around Omaha, Nebraska in the snow. Also, receiving a bi-weekly paycheck from them seems to help.
New Year's Eve came and went with an anti-climactic sort of ppffffffftthhthht.... It was N.Eck's birthday, but we had already celebrated that, and nobody was really all that drunk, even though I worked really hard on getting us there, and when we thought we had found a new funny interesting stranger to welcome into our group she ended up getting lost in the crowd (or running like hell, is more like it). My night-long wild goose chase for the elusive and mysterious MB ended with a big, fat handful of nothing, as is par for the course. But we all had a great time nonetheless. Ray did an excellent job with the camera, as usual, making everyone look beautiful, even the ugly people -- see:
The first few weeks of January were spent mostly in Midtown Manhattan, entertaining the lovely ATL, drinking too much, and enjoying the life of the standard business-class hotel resident. You know those stories you read about people who live in hotels -- writers and artists and other "eccentrics?" Well, now I get it. I totally understand why someone would choose to live in a hotel. Only thing is, the Marriott Courtyard Midtown East ain't exactly The Chelsea. Also, Midtown sucks. I started to feel like my personality was being systematically hacked out of me every time an overly-made-up fur-clad middle-aged woman looked me in the eye while tottering past me on the street.
Turned out there was a hidden benefit to spending so much time in a black hole of vapidity: Returning to my neighborhood felt like some kind of triumphant homecoming: my creativity re-emerged with a vengeance, and after I spent adequate time with all the parts of my apartment that I had missed so ("oooh, kitchen, I love you so much, microwave me some Easy Mac, yeeeeaaaahhhhh..."), I sat down for a much-needed beer at The Gate and was able to complete my first fully-formed, coherent, publication-ready piece of writing in months. (This is not it.) Also, I like to bake biscuits in the middle of the night, and you can't do that at the Marriott.
Last night N.Eck and I ate at Mama's, our favorite spot for BYOB tall-boys and big, heaping plates of lukewarm delicious. He succeeded in getting my tiny pea-brain all addled with linguistic jargon, as well as securing my participation in some sort of glove-dropping social/linguistic experiment, which will probably be, like everything else N.Eck is involved in, fun as hell.
In other news, I'd like to know why my brushes with the Falcon are always so weird and awkward, when we clearly share the same sense of humor and many common interests, as well as being of perfectly complementary heights. Probably he just likes chicks who are prettier and skinnier than I. Also I am weird and awkward. And have zits.
Now it's time to clean my apartment and bake cookies. I'm so domestic! Pretty soon I will have to buy a crockpot and a housedress and relinquish my sensuality forever. But in the meantime I intend to perfect the hazelnut-butter chocolate chip cookie. Taste-testers are welcome to sign up via e-mail or text message, but be warned, the early bird gets the cookie.