Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Cultural New Me!

One of my big New Year's Resolutions is to really take advantage of all the great free cultural happenings that are literally happening everyday in NYC. I feel like I've gotten myself stuck in a rut of going to work, going home, having something to eat, going out for a bit too long , yadda yadda yadda, go home go to bed, and repeat.

So this year, on top of get in awesome shape, improving my vocabulary (my word of the day is upbraid, thank you and travel more, I am going to try to get to more events, book readings, signings, art gallery openings, etc.

Last night, I got to work on my resolution and well, knowing myself and my friends, wound up being just as I would have imagined.
Last Wednesday-ish, my friend E sent a link my way for a book reading / signing down at McNally/Robinson's (an independent bookstore) featuring the author Rob Sheffield who wrote "Love Is A Mix Tape". I didn't actually read it yet, but it looked good and the story sounded interesting, so why not?

So after work, Nina, Mary, and I headed out into the cold to the book signing.

Around 5:30 we met in Union Square, and after Nina's demand of sushi, we went over to this place Japafonica (I'm guessing the wrong name of the restaurant, but whatever, I barely remember names of anywhere I go or people that I meet. Unless there is something so striking and I loved it or was something I super hated, my brain immediately discards all details).

We sat down, blah blah blah, took a look at the menu and it was....SUPER expensive. Like to the point of discouragement. Isn't the point of sushi to get a whole bunch of different things. The rainbow roll was like $25. Come on. I settled for a tuna roll, house salad, and steamed veggie gyoza, and the girls got a couple rolls. And obviously, a nice glass of wine.

We finished up, and then headed over to the bookstore.

I'm not going to get into the reading. It was your typical reading with a mixed audience of people who were so into themselves and seemed to have to compete with one another on who was the best well read and who was the quirkiest of them all. Then you had the people who didn't look artsy creative and obviously literally just came from work - and that would be us. I swear, walking in was sooo awkward and probably every eye in the room looked up at us a with a silent message of "ugh. what are they doing here?"

Regardless, good reading, a super hot possible Aussie dude gave me his business card, AND I got my book signed, which in my nervousness (I don't know why authors make me nervous) blurted out that I didn't read the book, that I was there because it sounded great, goodluck on the book tour, and a big overly excited Congratulations! And p.s. this was all being said with a creepster smile splashed across my face.

So good old responsible Mary waves goodbye and heads back to Jersey City, while Nina and I hop on the subway and head to the bar P.S. 450 (is that right?) which is owned by her bosses of the Volstead.

On the way, E calls, having finished drinks and appetizers with a friend, and she came to meet up a little while later.

Where do I begin to paint the story of this night?

P.S. and Volstead are owned by the same people that own Red and Downtown in Red Bank, so they all share kinda the similar theme. After ALL the time I spent at both places in RB, it kinda felt comfortable - creepily - familiar.

The place was a good crowded, meaning there were enough people to not feel wierd for being the only ones there, but not to the point of not being able to sit down or move about. The people were all around our age, a litle older,well dressed and businessed up. I felt super frumpy, wearing the scraps of my closet, due to the fact of not doing laundry for about three weeks. Earlier in the day, Nina was complaining about what she was wearing too, but then there she was looking cute in party shorts and boots and I immediately felt like a school teacher from the Midwest.

So we sat down with one of Nina's friends from the bar who worked there and just got off and started drinking. I guess fairly heavily because obviously we needed more and more wine and it wasn't Wednesday or anything. 20 minutes later , Nina started dancing and let me know that:

"If I had to kill you I would. I love you so much that I'd even eat you if I had to"

Thanks Nina.

Meanwhile, E was crowded around by two guys, one of which was there for Nina (someone she met while working and appeared to be cool), but he wasn't in the long run (this is being said me, not her. She still thinks he's a nice guy). I thought he was booooring and a creepster, so I spent the rest of the night bullshitting with Nina's work friend Robert. I apparently told him that I was actually a school teacher and probably based on my outfit, believed me (I later informed him I lied and he was actually surprised).

So for the rest of the night, this was how it was. Me bullshitting with Robert, E crowded, and Nina. Hmmm. Where was Nina? I think she was just taking dance laps around the bar stopping here and there talking to people who she knew.

I did appreciate the free drinks from the guys swarming E. I guess they were hoping that at least one of us would get drunk enought to go home with them. Sorry boys. You basically wasted your money on us because that definately wasn't going to happen. I would love to know, from the guys point of view, the motive of buying the shots. Is it to be a gentlemen, to get girls drunk, or simply to keep the energy level up? I know that when I buy people shots, its because I want to get them drunk (haha sorry) as well as keep the party going. But, as a guy. I wonder. Is the reasoning still the same?

All of a sudden it dawns on E and I that we actually have to be up early in the morning for work. Oh that's right. So we say our goodbyes (Nina opted to stay and hangout with work friends) and we somehow or another got back to Hoboken in one piece.

When I got home, I went to my room to put some comfortable clothes on. Um hello shorts that I wore to pilates the night earlier and a tank top that didn't really fit. Really? I opened the door to the apartment and a blast of smoke puffed into my face. Hmm. Who has been smoking in my apartment? It's new roommate Ben! Sitting alone at kitchen table , to my knowledge, drinking wine. I attempted to make small talk and bullshit with him, but high and/or drunk Ben was not having it. So in the weird awkward silence made myself a cup of tea, which I never drank, played with my other roommates kitten for a few minutes, and then off to bed I went.
9am....a text to E saying, "Tell P Gold (my boss) I'll be there at 11".
9:30...threw uggs on and a sweatshirt and ran across the street to pick up 40 pounds of laundry (ahh the joy of having someone else wash and fold your laundry.
10:00....time to go to work.

Nights like that almost make up for the fact that the following morning was bleak and uncomfortable. I can only imagine where we will be going next..

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