Friday, April 20, 2012

I Hate Goodbyes.

I started this blog something like six years ago for two reasons: To feel like I was being heard and to impress a girl. Those are two big reasons people do anything.

Early on-- 7 blog posts in-- I realized that only two of my close friends were reading and I was clearly impressing no one. I continued writing because I was facing a lot of uncertainty/awkwardness/randomness/absurdity at the time and everything I was encountering highlighted for me that the ridiculous should be documented.

I owe a lot to uncertainty/awkwardness/randomness/absurdity. Whenever I sense them I know something worth noticing is present. If I had a muse she'd probably sweat a lot and struggle to order refreshing beverages because she could not for the life of her say "Arnold Palmer" aloud.

Blogs are pretty awesome. They're like the diary you always hoped someone would find-- not sharing everything, just enough so that you look interesting.
This blog helped me figure out the link between what I like to write about, and what people might find amusing. My goal was always to point out the ridiculous in hopes of smiling at it, and it felt amazing when it worked. I received calls from my mom when she laughed. I heard from my Grandma when she liked a post. My sisters shared with friends and buddies of mine asked with enthusiasm when we laughed about something, "Will this go on the blog?!" (Note: People will read your blog if you write about them.)

Perhaps the greatest example of the power of the blog came when I moved to NYC. I was at a birthday party for Brina's friend when a girl charged at me with an incredible smile and a hug I will never forget and said enthusiastically, "I read your blog!"

It was a big deal for me. HUGE. It blew my mind that someone I didn't know read this. (I was still very unclear at this point as to how the internet worked.)

For months after, I wrote for two big reasons: To be heard and to impress this girl. I wanted nothing more than to make her laugh. I wrote for her. If I received a message that she had liked something, the day was marked a success. She inspired me and we barely knew each other. Blogs, man.
Years later, by chance, fate, whatever you want to call it, we ended up living in the same city again and fell in love. Cliff Notes synopsis of that chapter of my life: Amazing.

Sadly and shockingly, that chapter recently ended. This has been a difficult year for me and I suppose it proved to be too difficult for the relationship. I try to hold onto the idea that things happen as part of a larger story, but that's hard to do when you're eating huge blocks of brie and watching a Long Island Medium marathon on TLC while sobbing. Sometimes when you catch a breath and feel that cheese pain resting in your belly, and that hurt pain resting in your chest, you wonder how the Long Island Medium fits into your larger story.
She would probably know.

So it's bittersweet and maybe even appropriate that this blogs ends now. I'm feeling a lot of uncertainty/awkwardness/randomness/absurdity right now and I know that means something new is on the horizon. I'm working on a second book and I'll keep you posted through my author page about future plans for a new blog. Follow here.

Here are some lessons learned over the years of this blog:
-Life is too funny to be ignored.
-When given the option to laugh or think, I'd prefer both.
-You should love somebody.
-I've never heard better advice than what my mother used to yell out to us as we boarded the school bus in the morning. "Be kind!"
-If you want to write a book, do it. People will read it. Promise.
-Happiness is people-watching, a cup of coffee, and remembering something nice.

I want to thank you for reading this, high-five you for commenting, and wish you all the best. When you see something ridiculous, smile. Life just winked at you.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

No Rest For The Weary.

I just had the most bizarre encounter EVER with a mattress salesman. Mattress salespeople have a distinct advantage in their line of work because chances are, you're not window shopping for a mattress.
"Can I help you find something?"
"No thanks, just browsing." [Cue bellyflop onto the Pillow Top.]
If you're in a mattress store, you need one.

Maybe it's because of this fact that their sales techniques are a little out of the ordinary. I once had a mattress salesman try to convince me to go with the mattress he was recommending by repeating over and over that I slept in the fetal position.
-I'm quite certain I don't.
-You do.
-OK, then I'll just buy a big bath mat. That should hold me.

But today's guy was the worst. Theeee worst. After running through the customary mattress jargon I said flatly, "Kenny, I'll be honest with you, I fall asleep on the bus, so just give me a number."
"Right well let's see here..." and then he started with notes and his calculator.
It's funny how something like a bed, which you think of as one single purchase-- "a bed"-- has like 5 separate prices plus tax. It's like when a dinner entree doesn't come with any sides. Just give me the full price for the whole thing, thanks.

Discussing price, Kenny warned me that it really wasn't possible to get the number I wanted. I should mention, by this point I was 100% convinced that this man was insane. His desk was sandwiched in between mattresses and overflowing with garbage. Sitting behind him were nine empty 2-liter bottles of Diet Coke and I'm pretty sure he drank them all today. He talked like a robot and kept shaking his head saying, "I've never, ever, ever, seen that price. I have to call the big guy (God?!) but I know he won't go for it. I'll really have to beg. Beg like I've never begged."
Kenny was starting to scare me.

I know these calls are always baloney, but Kenny took it to a new level by proceeding to have an entire fake phone conversation with a non-existent person over his bluetooth earpiece. I know it was fake because he never once paused so that the big guy on the other end would have a chance to speak. I tried to interrupt him 3 times so he could stop embarrassing both of us. At one point, I asked if I could talk and he whispered, "No, bluetooth. Oh wait, you CAN give her that deal?! Jessica! He said he'll do it!"
I ended up passing because I didn't want to think about this weirdo every night before I went to sleep.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Finally, Someone Who Gets Me.

Exchange that took place with an elderly woman I sat down next to on a bus yesterday:

Woman: Are you going dancing?!
Me [Laughing]: No. No, I'm not going dancing.
Woman: Well, I guess you just have that persona.

I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the ride.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Why You Going To The Airport?

Flying somewhere?

Have you ever noticed how many birds are at the airport? Sparrows are always at airports as they tend to be anywhere with high ceilings (mall food courts should really have something called sbparrow--am I right, ladies?... cough). There was that whole Canadian Goose in a jet engine fiasco, and I once saw a bunch of pigeons walking around all the seats at my departure gate at JFK like they were waiting to head to Boca.

This concerns me. I can't get my deodorant through a carry-on screening, but the birds are free to fly. Also, carrier pigeons are like a REAL THING. How do we know these birds aren't up to something? I can't go past a checkpoint without being stopped, but no one questions the birds who breeze right by.

Just had this phone conversation with my sister who's at the airport:
Brina: They made me put all my bags into one bag.
Me: That's annoying.
Brina: Maybe next time I'll train a bird to fly through with my carry-on.
Me: At least your toiletries.
Brina: Pardon? Ooh, no, that's not my bag. I believe it belongs to the bird.
Me: But seriously, terrorists could train those birds. Don't say "terrorist" at the airport!
Brina: What?
Me: [Whispering in a panic] Don't say terrorist at the airport. I was worried you were going to repeat what I said.
Brina: Why are you whispering?

I get nervous about Big Brother. And birds. And baggage fees.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Day Late and a Story Short.

Or rather, three weeks late, a short story.

Alex, you won the contest and as promised, I wrote you a short story. I hope you like that I mention your name a lot.

Here you go:

I once had the opportunity to meet a very well-known and beloved spokesperson on a beach in Fiji. It was a chance meeting, like something made for the movies. But what started out innocently soon gave way to a torrid love affair that lasted six days/five nights. With the combination of the local food, high thread count hotel linens, exotic beach drinks, and the air of mystery that surrounds all spokespeople, something happened in those six days that I have never told another living soul.

But I shouldn't be writing about myself right now.
I should mention someone named Alex.

Alex was born in the early 1970's but has a baby face that still requires him to show ID when buying light beer. He eats two large meals a day and even if he doesn't want it, he likes restaurants to offer bread. He routinely browses the selection at Redbox machines but never rents anything. Before getting out of bed in the morning, he lays perfectly still with his arms at his sides and convinces himself that he could be a successful luge competitor. "It's just lying there. I could do that."

At one point in his life, Alex thought of becoming an attorney. But the idea of having a closet full of striped button-down shirts worried him. Always at the dry cleaners. Always unwrapping his wardrobe from plastic. Taking anything out of plastic coverings annoyed him. That's why he never rented from the Redbox.

Alex works as a fact-checker for an online political magazine. He starts most of his sentences with, "I was reading an article..." He stretches a little before making a point. He likes hats.

Things happen to Alex in the same way things happen to all of us. He tells a good joke every so often and remembering how people laughed makes him smile. He finds a new band before his friends and tells them to check it out. They end up forever associating that band with him. He meets a girl who makes everything more interesting and sometimes watches her put on her makeup when they're getting ready to go out. He's happy in a way that doesn't require him to think about his happiness.

Sometimes Alex starts a sentence with the intent to voice an unsaid thought.
Straightening his back a little by rolling his shoulders, he instead mentions something he has recently read.

Friday, February 24, 2012


So, this exists.
I saw a commercial that said something about pancakes inside of a waffle cone, so naturally, I googled it.


This entire meal is called a Pipsqueak Breakfast and has something to do with The Lorax and IHOP's attempt to plant 3 million trees. (Psst, IHOP-- stop using paper placemats. There's your trees.) The meal is described as scrambled eggs with creamed spinach-- served with a ham quarter and a Rooty Tooty Bar-Ba-Looty Blueberry Cone Cake.

Note: If you were able to read that last bit without going back and saying it again out loud, you have more self-control than is necessary.

Note 2: I have not stopped saying ham quarter since reading this five minutes ago.
-Can I borrow a ham quarter for the meter?
-Just gonna grab a roll of ham quarters for laundry.
-Q: Why didn't the pigs tape the barnyard recital?
A: They didn't have a hamquarter.

That last one is a stretch.

But my main area of interest here is the pancake stuffed in a cone. I'm a huge fan of self-contained foods. Falafel wraps? Sign me up. Burritos? My great love. Ice cream cones? Obviously. When I saw the commercial I wondered how no one had ever thought to stuff breakfast inside of a delicious and crunchy waffle cone before. More specifically, I wondered how I had never thought of it.

Pancakes or waffles is such a common breakfast tossup. Why not have both? And why not eat them both out of a cone? Why the green eggs and ham aren't also shoved in the cone, I'll never know. IHOP really missed the boat on that one. It would be like Lady Gaga's version of pigs in a blanket. She'd call it, "Chicks n' oinks in a Snuggie Spaceship." And she'd wear it on her face for an hour before eating it.

But I digress.

The slogan IHOP is using for these meals is, "Have a Lorax meal today, Hooray!" But again, I think they missed the mark. The slogan should obviously read, "I can't wait to get totally drunk and order that pancake cone."

And on that note, a flashback:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Well, Yum.

I popped into a little beauty supply store to buy some shampoo and the two ladies working there were deep in conversation, hovering over a list. They looked up at me and said, "We'll be right with you" before looking back to their list.

-OK, don't forget to order the 7-layer cake. You have that, right?
-Yes, I ordered it. The 7-layer cake, cotton candy, the pomegranates, I have all that.
-How about the sangria?
-Yeah, I have sangria and margaritas.

Standing at the counter waiting for one of them to ring me up, I said, "Sounds like a fun party!"

Neither one responded, so I decided to say it again. "Sounds like you're planning quite the party!"

Taking off her reading glasses and slowly making her way to the counter, one of the women flatly replied, "We're ordering lip gloss."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Death And Taxes.

After literally just filing my income taxes, I stepped out onto the street and was nearly run over by a car.

How To Embarrass Yourself In Public.

This is part one of a 6,382-part series.

Yesterday I went to a new place to get a haircut. It was a quiet little salon with really chill stylists who talked in soothing tones about homeopathic remedies. I had to fight the urge to laugh when a discussion about homemade sponges went on longer than I would have preferred.

-Just put oatmeal in a sock, it's wonderful.
-Take an old sock and just put the oatmeal in there.

But having a professional shampoo your hair will relax just about anyone, so by the time I was finished, I was feeling mellow and calm, and to be honest, kind of craving some hot oats.

My backpack was on the floor near one of the sofas in the waiting area, so I grabbed it and made my way to the counter to pay. Just as I was throwing it over my shoulder, I saw something out of the corner of my eye trailing at my feet and then it seemed to jump onto me along with my bag.

For readers who know me, take one guess as to what I thought it was.

A cat. Obviously.

For readers who don't know me, it's important to know that I'm afraid of cats and have a history of them following me. Anything you need to know about this topic can be found here.

So as I saw this thing leaping onto me, I yelped like a little baby girl in the highest pitch I can reach, "THIS DOESN'T BELONG TO ME!"

Every person in the tiny calm salon stopped what they were doing and turned to look at me. The music even seemed to stop.
I took a deep breath and composed myself.
I slowly turned my head and looked to the floor only to stare at the children's scarf that had caught on my bag.
It hung from my shoulder strap down to my feet like a limp boiled noodle.
I licked my lips, nodded my head, and slowly untangled the scarf before placing it back on the waiting room sofa.

When I returned to the counter, bright red, I sheepishly said, "I thought it was a cat."

I paid and left.
I won't be back.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Read an interesting article in the NYT about mindful eating; thinking more about the food you're eating while you're eating it in an attempt to practice gratitude and moderation.

I'm always onboard when I hear about stuff like this. Serving food is the fastest way to grow disgusted with how people eat. Servers have a unique experience in their workplace in that they not only have to ignore how gross their clients are, they have to pretend that their behavior is perfectly acceptable. Maybe strippers have this experience as well. So when someone yells at you with a mouth full of food asking for another Coke, not only are you forced to check your natural reaction to dry-heave, you're actually preconditioned to smile. An overly enthusiastic, "Of course!" always means, "Thanks for not waiting to chew! I would have been sorry to miss your request for a ninth refill, you beast."

I'm guilty of this too, don't get me wrong. When I get a burrito, I grab a corner seat and face the wall. It's not pretty. If I'm unsure about a new cereal's ability to remain crunchy in the milk, I'll finish the bowl faster than you can say cerealously. And a sleeve of Thin Mints is the actual serving size for Thin Mints. I once heard someone say they could only eat two thin mints before getting full and I never talked to that person again. Why am I going to waste my time on a liar?

But gratitude and moderation are good things to practice. So after reading the article, I put it to use. I decided to start small, just with a snack, and by using stream of consciousness, attention to detail, and small slices, it took me seven minutes to eat a banana.

Here's what I found out by taking seven minutes to eat a banana:
1) That gross eating a banana noise is only heightened when you try to get in 25 chews per bite.
2) You can't really chew a slice of banana 25 times. After one bite it's the same sensation as chewing yogurt. You start to think to yourself, "Why am I still doing this? I'm not even chewing at this point. I'm just moving my tongue to the roof of my mouth. Is this what it will feel like when I don't have teeth? Why won't you have teeth? Maybe I'll live so long they'll all fall out. You'll live that long and yet there will be no advancements in dentistry?! Finish this banana and go floss immediately."
3) You become mildly self-conscious that you're talking to yourself.
4) No you don't. You talk to yourself all the time. Eating alone only makes you talk to yourself more.
5) You discover that the marks in the inner banana peel made by the knife grow darker with time. You decide that if you were ever kidnapped in the jungle, you would leave notes for your rescuers using this technique. When you're eventually found, you'll be praised for your ingenuity and also have incredibly healthy potassium levels. A win-win.

Mindful eating was an interesting experience, but if you're going to try it with soup, better make it gazpacho.

Monday, February 06, 2012


The winner of the blurb contest vote is Alex! Mer, Dana, and Bridget, thanks for playing but you didn't even vote for your own suggestions!

Alex, let me know who to make the book out to and get ready for the best short story you've ever read abut yourself. Or at least get ready to read a short story about yourself.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

They're Little Footballs!

I'll be live tweeting (all tweeting is live, right?) throughout the Super Bowl because beer and snacks make me chatty. In an effort to avoid annoying people, I'm just going to type whenever I have a random comment instead of saying it out loud.

You can follow me here:

Go sports!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Blurb Contest Vote!

The blurb contest went about as well as I anticipated. (Thank you both for playing.) And I realize holding a vote on a Friday is the worst day of the week for people to see this, but what can you do?

If unfamiliar with the contest, I asked people to come up with random blurbs for Open-Eyed Sneeze that were as good as Maurice Sendak's blurbs for Steven Colbert's fake book.

So without further ado, here are the entries. Please vote for your fave so I can send the winner a prize. Thanks!

1) "Realizing my online college diploma was printed on the back of a grocery store paper bag really put me down in the dumps...until I discovered this wonderful book!"

2) "Reading Open-Eyed Sneeze made my head hurt less than trying to complete a Sudoku puzzle."

3) "If the summary of Open-Eyed Sneeze had not mentioned "Full House" I would have loved to have read the novel and would have gotten a kick thinking up a catchy blurb. Instead, I've been busy watching every season of the ABC hit on Netflix."

4) "Reading this hilarious account of post college life was a fantastic break from applying to jobs on the same website cops use to entrap middle aged sex addicts."

5) "The shoe-loving baby monkey of your dreams"

6) "Adorable little girl saves mother's life via pizza slap to the face."

Those last two were random headlines someone thought could fit as blurbs.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Thoughts From Jury Duty.

Jury duty is like a hospital's waiting area but with slightly less coughing. The quality of the magazines provided is similar, you're surrounded by a pretty interesting cross-section of people, there are sandwiches in a vending machine, and the basic idea is to sit tight because it's going to be awhile.

I showed up to jury duty early yesterday, hoping to make a buddy so I would have someone to talk to throughout my long day. When the guy I was sitting next to didn't say "bless you" after I sneezed, I figured I wouldn't waste my banter on him. A woman sitting across from me looked familiar so I told her so, but she quickly dismissed it by saying she didn't recognize me. I gave up. I decided to lone wolf it through my day at the courthouse.

After filling out surveys and hearing a speech about what we were doing there, a video was played for the large room of potential jurors to watch. The opening closed caption sound effect read [Thunder. Lightning.] followed by a scene of people dressed like druid warriors chasing each other through the woods.

I took a deep breath and got up to use the restroom. While I was slightly interested to see how the filmmakers would segue from this opening scene to a modern day jury of our peers, I just couldn't do it.

By the time I came back from the restroom, Ed Bradley and Diane Sawyer were discussing the history of juries. I noticed that most people in the room were watching the video while breathing through their mouths. As I looked to the screen, I decided that this experience would be 300 times more enjoyable if I had a free donut to eat. (Note to local governments: Consider this.)

A man sitting a few tables away from me was reading a Glenn Beck book. Was he serious or just trying to get out of being selected?

Diane Sawyer explained the roles of the people in a courtroom. The shot of the court reporter was particularly hilarious; just banging on the little typewriter as fast as he could. He was clearly an actor, not a court reporter, and wasn't even trying to pretend that he knew how to type. I imagined him saying, "La La La!" as he quickly hit the keys.

A scene in the video showing the attorneys included a sidebar. I imagined myself on a jury during a sidebar exclaiming, "Need I remind you, Your Honor, secrets don't make friends. They break them." And then the entire courtroom would cheer. And the guy sitting next to me would say, "bless you" even though I hadn't sneezed.

Another closed caption read [Banging the gavel].
It could have also read [Hanging a picture] or [Someone's at the door].

The video also included juror testimonials:
-When I received my summons I said, "Why me?"
-My heart sank when I found out I had to come here.
-Jury duty is a pain in the you know what.

I wished all of these people had been played by the druid characters.

Diane Sawyer reminded us of the importance of jury duty and said, "You're not just sitting around."

Seven hours later, after just sitting around, we were dismissed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blurb's The Word.

Stephen Colbert's interview with writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak was absolutely brilliant and I particularly loved the blurbs he offered for Colbert's first children's book, I Am a Pole (And So Can You!)

"The sad thing is, I like it."- Maurice Sendak
"Terrible quality of ordinariness."- Maurice Sendak
"Supremely ordinary."- Maurice Sendak

This got me thinking. I don't actually have a written record of blurbs for my book. I think it'd be cool for promotional purposes, but mostly, I have really funny friends and I think you guys could come up with blurbs as awesome as Sendak's. (BQ, I'm looking at you.)

So I'm reaching out for your help. If you've read the book, could you leave a blurb either here on the blog, or on my fb page, or in the Customer Review section on the bookstore's website?
I'll love you forever (that's a long time) and all the blurbs will be put to a vote and the winner will receive a copy of the book plus a short story written about them. You love to read about you!

"But Jess," you say, "I've already read your book and don't want another copy."
To which I reply, "You don't have friends? Give it to one of them."

Up top internet high-five of thanks in advance.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Don't Refuse To Accept That This Is Not Butter.

You know when you're searching for a book in a library and you have to say the alphabet aloud over and over as you walk through the rows? I obviously know that f comes before g, but I'll be damned if I can remember it without whispering the song quickly to myself.

Well, multiply that speedy whisper by a thousand and you have an idea of the schizophrenic mess I looked like in college while taking exams in my logic classes. The idea was to prove if a statement was true, but all you really need to know about these tests is that they consisted of A LOT of double negatives. Not not A LOT. There were so many negations in these exams that I had no choice but to read everything out loud so that my head didn't explode.

It went something like this:
"If not A is true then A is not true, false, so not true, then not not A is not not not...." [Boom.]

It was during this time that I seriously tried to get the double negative "NOT!" craze going.
"You look good! Not! (pause) Not!"
"You look nice."

But to this day whenever I hear someone use a double negative I get a really distant look and go off into my head stringing together groups of nots. Not knots, but nots.
[Boom. ]

So since the first time I heard Meredith repeat the bit about I Can't Believe It's Not Butter from The Vicar of Dibley, I've been unable to shake it. Sure, I forget about it from time to time, but one mention of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and I can't not start saying it.

I was watching this clip again the other day and I wondered if any other food could get away with a similar name. Would anyone buy something called, "What Do You Mean This Isn't Meat?!" or "But It Feels Like Cheese!"?
I doubt it.

The Wikipedia page for I Can't believe It's Not Butter has a great list of the imitation knock-offs:
  • "Butter It's Not!"
  • "Isn't It Butter?"
  • "What, Not Butter!"
  • "Could it be Butter?"
  • "You'd Butter Believe It"
  • "You'd Think It's Butter!"
  • "Unbelieveable[9] [sic] This is not butter"
  • "Not Butter But Better"
  • "Tastes Like Butter"
  • "Is it Butter?"
  • "Utterly Butterly"
  • "Better By Far"
  • "This is not Butter. It's Butterific!"

This is probably my new favorite list as far as lists go. But also, I think these names could be used for almost any product and still be not false.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Who's Jim Jebow?

I know an athlete has made their presence known outside of the sports world when my mother mentions them. I wish I had a picture of what my face looked like when she asked me a few years ago, "What do you think of Ochocinco?"

I was at a complete loss. I remember feeling my brow actually cramp up in confusion.

"His receiving game?"
"His dancing!"

And you could have knocked me over with a feather when she told me Lamar Odom got traded to the Mavericks.

"Mom, how do you know that?"
"E! News. It's actually pretty sad for Khloe. What's she going to do in Dallas?"

As far as my mother is concerned, sports only exist in relation to Dancing With The Stars or the Kardashians.

But Tim Tebow she knows. Everyone knows Tim Tebow. Call it what you want, but he's got a great story it's entertaining as hell heck. The fact that my mother watched last week's Broncos game says everything you need to know about the hype. People are on board.

So because Tebow is completely unavoidable, I've been conducting a social experiment to see how people react when I gently ask, "Who's Jim Jebow?"

The short answer: They are not amused.

If you want to hear Tim Tebow's name pronounced slowly and with condescension, ask about Jim Jebow. Even my mother, who is pretty much the most patient woman in the world, snapped back, "T-T-T-Tebow."

If you conduct the experiment yourself, let me know the results. I'm interested.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Giving New Meaning To Steamed Dumplings.

My sister recently moved out of Queens and into Manhattan. For all the reasons that my entire family will miss Astoria, one was less obvious until staying with her over the holidays: Take-out.

Over the years she lived in Astoria, Brina created an incredibly detailed binder of take-out menus from her neighborhood. Whenever anyone suggested take-out and vino, Sabrina simply handed them the binder and let them have at it. Numerous apps have now made something like this seem unnecessary, but trust me. With a group of people and different tastes, it's nice to have actual menus.

So when a bunch of us wanted to order Thai one night we played pass the iphone for awhile as we tried to find something close, something cheap, something good, and something with dumplings. (Note: Something With Dumplings is a good idea for a food truck. Don't steal it.) After about 40 minutes of this, Brina remembered that there was a pretty decent Thai place down the street. She called to place the order and I agreed to go pick it up.

Before leaving the apartment, she warned me that finding the place can be difficult.
This was our exact conversation:

Bri: You won't really be able to tell from the street that it's a restaurant. There are stairs on the outside and you have to go down the stairs before you come to it.

Me: OK, but this is the street address, right? That's the number?

Bri: Yes, but it's confusing. You won't actually see the restaurant.

Me: OK, I'm a big girl. I can figure it out.

Heading down the street toward the Thai place I paid close attention to the numbers. Seeing a large sign with the address on it I shook my head. Sabrina had made it sound like the restaurant was buried underground and I would never be able to find it without explicit directions. There was a GIANT sign with the street number on it visible from the sidewalk. I thought to myself, she must think I'm a complete idiot.

I walked down the outside stairs (as instructed) and into the building. I was immediately struck by how warm it was in there. They must have a big kitchen, I thought to myself. Then, rounding the corner to go down another flight of stairs, I passed a girl in a bikini. I should admit here that I had been drinking a little that night, so perhaps I wasn't as shocked by this as I should have been. I remember saying excuse me and thinking to myself that it was a little odd, but at no point were any red flags raised. Brina had made it very clear that I would not recognize it as a restaurant.

Heading down another flight of stairs I passed a counter with a group of people standing around but it didn't look like a pick-up counter so I kept going down another flight. With each step I took I heard a, "Hello? Hello?! Hello!" grow louder. Ignoring that and walking into the hottest part of the restaurant, I waved my hand in front of my face to clear away the heavy cloud of steam while looking for a host or server. Instead, I saw two older naked men.

Three things occurred to me at this moment:
1) This was not a Thai restaurant.
2) If it was, I would not be paying for our spicy broad noodles.
3) The angry "hellos" were for me.

Turning around to head back up the stairs, the man at the counter yelled, "Can I help you?!"
Thinking that the Thai place was obviously still somewhere in this building I said, "I'm looking for Thai pick up."

He shut his eyes and shook his head in utter disbelief and yelled back at me, "It's on the corner. Down the street."

When I made my way down the street (to a business with the SAME EXACT EFFING ADDRESS, I might add) I literally tiptoed down the stairs and into the restaurant.

When I returned with everyone's food I calmly explained that the neighborhood Bath-House and Thai restaurant have the same address but are located in completely different buildings.

This is where something like a binder full of take-out information helps the process.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Word Is Spreading Like A Warrior II Pose.

On our way to a fabulous New Year's Eve party, Nessa took advantage the overwhelming friendliness alive in NYC that night. Even people who would never dare say hello to a stranger, lit up and smiled when she shouted, "Happy New Year!" in passing. Every person she talked to responded. This was particularly amazing to me because as a server I struggled to elicit people's drink orders while talking to them at their table. "Hello?...." [Tumbleweed.]

Anyway, reaching so many people on the street with such a positive energy, she realized it might be a good time to get the word out about SIN Workouts. So after wishing people Happy New Year and getting a smile, she would say, "Check out SIN Workouts in the new year!" It was a pretty clever on the spot guerilla marketing campaign, despite the fact that everyone she was talking to was drunk. Regardless, we all started playing along and it was a nice way to pass the time walking to our destination.

Right before entering the house for the party, Mer stopped a girl headed to the midnight run in Central Park and asked, "Do you like to workout? Check out SIN Workouts." To which she replied, "Yeah! I've heard of that! Who invented that again?" To which all of us screamed, "SHE DID!" Turns out she had heard about it through a friend of Nessa's. But seriously? What were the chances?

If you're in NYC, I suggest you start your SINning now.