And on the thirteenth day, the giant mechanical crablegs munched some power line spaghetti and said, “Let there be LIGHT!”

After almost two weeks of darkness, the power was finally restored at my house this past Sunday! It’s so nice to walk into a warm, glowing home and not have to worry about boiling water to pour into my turtle’s tank anymore.

But the Leonids meteor shower  is going on right now, so I’m actually wishing that it would go out again and kill all of these horrible lights.

I just wandered outside a bit to try to spot some. I was standing out in the middle of the quiet, empty street wearing a short skirt and loooooong jacket with a comically large collar and enormous untied snow boots, bent backward with my eyes and heart pointed at the sky for probably about a half hour when an older woman walked out of a neighbors house.

“Are you okay?” she asked. I get asked this all the time. People take one look at me and assume I’m lost or otherwise in need of some kind of help.

I immediately straightened up and spun around to face the woman, now standing next to her car, and said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Without pausing to witness her reaction, I returned to my original posture in the same fluid motion.

Then as I shuffled backward toward my parents’ house, two deer ran right by me.

Also- I just found this picture on my computer:

Some girls take pictures of themselves with perfectly applied makeup, good lighting and pouty lips. I take pictures of myself IN MY FREAKING LAB GOGGLES.

goodnight everyone.

Crappy Halloween!

I’m a little behind on my Halloween post because my family still has no power from the Frankenstorm that hit the beast coast last week. Was it last week? I can’t tell what day it is without my google calendar. The Mayans would be soooo disappointed..

Halloween was canceled in NJ for the second year in a row due to freaky weather! At least this year I got to dress up before all hell broke loose.

Check it out..

I was a sphenoid bone for Halloween!!! My favorite bone in the human body, the sphenoid is a bat-shaped bone that sits inside your skull.

How freaking cool is that? As you can see, the bone has greater and lesser wings. I found a sweet skull bodysuit at a naughty girls shop in Bushwick and decided to build a costume around it. For my greater wings, I ripped a cardboard bat off of my apartment door and tied elastic to it. My lesser wings were the cat ears donated by my roommate.

Lesser wings:

And the tutu… well, I’ve wanted a tutu for a long time. I made it myself, and I do believe that it’s the best tutu I’ve ever met.

If anyone wants a tutu… I need work.

So, yeah.. the two storms that have hit my state in the past two weeks have made it really difficult/impossible for me to get to work. I can’t be clever or witty about this whole situation. It’s just sad. A lot of trees have fallen. A lot of people in my area still have no power. I know that people on the shore have lost… everything.

Burners Without Borders a wonderful organization that I volunteered with in Pisco, Peru, is surveying the damage to potentially set up a volunteer crew here. A large part of me wants to get the hell out of here. Head west, my friend told me, like Galadriel <3 But then there’s the guilt of knowing that this organization I helped with in a completely different country might be right on my turf, with my own people, and I want to bail to save myself? Does that make me a horrible person?!

I don’t even know if I could help here because all of my tools fit in a small box, but please click the link to see if YOU can. And if you cannnnn… DO!

Jerz<3<3<3

Getting my head shaved by three drunk Latinos

I have long, unruly, curly hair. My hair plays by its own rules, and any attempt to tame it results in horror. Sometimes, my curlz rock so hard I want to kiss them, other times, I just need a hat. The base near my neck gets unbearably knotty, and recently it’s been driving me batty. Due to the shape of my hairline and the natural curliness, it knots up instantly and no amount of detangler can cure it, as shown in Fig. 1 below:

See the mess I’m workin’ with here

I’ve gotten fed up and chopped sections off from this part before, but I finally decided that shaving it off was the way to go. First I was trying to find a friend with an electric razor, but then my awesome roommate suggested I go to one of the barber shops in the hood I live in. They would do it mad cheap AND I could get a sweet design.

“I WANT A BAT SHAVED INTO MY HEAD!” I squealed, hopping up and down in the kitchen. Just in time for Halloween, yesssss!

So after scarfing my giant burrito and chips tonight I sauntered into the barber shop down the street right next to the fried chicken place that also serves coffee and pizza. “Hi! Can you shave my head?” I asked the man sitting in one of the barber chairs.

He held up his hand, all five digits outstretched. “No hablo ingles,” he said, motioning with his hand once more for me to wait. A few minutes later, a couple of other dudes came back from the deli on the corner. “Hey baby,” they greeted me. I assume they worked there.

None of them spoke English very well, and I’m not fluent enough to understand Dominican or Puerto Rican Spanish (they speak waaaaaay faster), but one of the men was able to translate. The guy who actually shaved my head didn’t seem to know what I meant by “bat,” so I had to draw a picture.

“Head too skinny.” Was all I could understand.

Heart broken, I asked him to shave my head anyway. After tying me up in the barber cape, this guy walked over to a mini fridge in the corner, removed an uncovered Styrofoam cup, and offered me some rum.

“No thanks, I’m good.”

He spent about 15 minutes, three different razors, and numerous consultations with the other two men on this project.

I started wondering if maybe he was going for the bat shape after all. I mean, what else could be taking so long? Finally, the translator told me I have a “nice point” and asked if I wanted him to keep that.

Point? Uhhhh, yeah, sure, that sounds good. Make my hair pointy… wtf?!

I didn’t know what was going on. It was all up to them. At one point, he took out a straight razor. I thought about the rum. I thought about Sweeny Todd. I thought about my delicate neck. I swallowed hard and just bowed my head. This might have been the bravest thing I’ve done since moving to Brooklyn.

Then he dug around in a drawer and pulled out a styptic pencil. He cut me! I’m bleeding! It was not bad. I’ve gotten all my Hepatitis vaccines. I think maybe I’ll schedule my annual HIV test this week.

When he finished shaving and cutting me I pulled out my wallet. “No charge, don’t worry.”

AWESOME! I gave him a tip and skipped on home. I was wearing my hair clipped up in a messy bun, and the dude never removed the hair he had detached when shaving it. So I was left to pull the loose clump of hair out myself after I got home. It was… disturbing. I hope to never pull such a large clump of hair from my head ever again, but it was kind of an interesting one-time experience.

The fur ball

If anyone wants that… you’re a f*ckin freak. It’s sooooo soft.

The end result

Personally, I don’t think my head is too skinny for a bat, but what do I know? Maybe it was just beyond his scope of hair-shaping expertise and he didn’t want to look a fool in front of the crazy white girl. I’m happy with it. It feels so nice and fuzzy and I think it’ll help a lot with my knot issues. You’re welcome to pet and feed me treats.

xo

 

This is just a perfect example of why I love Salinger so much

“Did the tigers run all around that tree?”

“I thought they’d never stop. I never saw so many tigers.”

“There were only six,” Sybil said.

“Only six!” said the young man. “Do you call that only?”

“Do you like wax?” Sybil asked.

“Do I like what?” asked the young man.

“Wax.”

“Very much. Don’t you?”

Sybil nodded. “Do you like olives?” she asked.

“Olives–yes. Olives and wax. I never go anyplace without ’em.”

“Do you like Sharon Lipschutz?” Sybil asked.

“Yes. Yes, I do,” said the young man. “What I like particularly about her is that she never does anything mean to little dogs in the lobby of the hotel. That little toy bull that belongs to that lady from Canada, for instance. You probably won’t believe this, but some little girls like to poke that little dog with balloon sticks. Sharon doesn’t. She’s never mean or unkind. That’s why I like her so much.”

Sybil was silent.

“I like to chew candles,” she said finally.

 Featured image by Shane Gorski

“How come every blonde girl runs?”

– some non-blondes talking shit about the new little white girl running through their neighborhood.. for no reason.

So the Leadville Trail 100 race happened this weekend. I also ran my first legit “long run” of 2012. 11 miles. More than half of the year slipped by before I pushed my mileage into double digits.

Slacker. I don’t know exactly why I’ve been taking it so easy this year. Maybe because I was working in retail and standing for long periods of time? Maybe I was excited to have time and energy to hike with friends or go to a show? Maybe it was just laziness? Either way, I’ve been much more disciplined about running recently and decided it’s time for a new goal.

I’m debating between trying to run an ultra and trying to run a sub-4 hour marathon. I’m leaning toward the latter because it seems way more feasible if I’m going to continue living in Brooklyn, and here’s why:

~ I don’t live near any trails, and I haaaaate long runs on the road. Yesterday I ran from my apartment, to Prospect Park, ran around the park a bit, and then came back. I got lost on the way back because I zoned out and stopped paying attention to the street signs. Hence 11 miles instead of 10.
~ I could accomplish this goal in a much shorter period of time.
~ Long runs take up a lot of time!! The more miles, the more time spent running, not to mention waiting for traffic and dancing around pedestrians.
~ $$ ultra registration fees are way more expensive, as is buying enough food to keep me alive while running 50 miles per week.

Running around Brooklyn is definitely interesting. Not my favorite, but you gotta do what you gotta do. It reminds me of running in Arequipa, Perú except less hilly, less dusty, fewer donkeys, and the cab drivers don’t try to run me over. I don’t get as many cat-calls or whistles here, either. Oh! and Brooklyn gets bonus points for always having a hydrant or fountain for me to run through when I get too hot!!!

This past week has been really stressful for me in my search for a job and trying to figure out the whos whats and wheres of my near future. One particularly rough day after a job interview I felt so frustrated that I had to run just to avoid tears and hysterics. I went from my apartment, across the Williamsburg Bridge, and back again. Approximately 7 miles. Normally, this would be no big deal, but it was the farthest I had run since moving to bk.

On my way back, I started to lose steam and felt really worn out. I focused hard on my posture and my breath. Running is like a moving meditation for me, which is one of the reasons I never bring music.  I knew that if I let my form get sloppy I would just be wasting precious energy I could be using to move myself back to my apartment, where food and a nice show were waiting.

And then I had one of my major epiphanies: Stop wasting your energy on actions that aren’t helping to move you in the direction you need to go.

Once in a while I learn a lesson while running. From what? I don’t know. Running gods? The chemicals that flood my brain after pushing myself through something not-so-comfortable? I’ve been able to draw so many parallels between running and life that I feel there must be some kind of little spiritual guru affiliated with the exercise who only appears to the weirdos who go out and do it for hours. I don’t know. The important thing is, this was exactly what I needed to hear at that very moment, and I don’t know how or if I would have gotten the message otherwise.

I love you, running Yoda.

If anyone’s interested for whatever reason, you can check my geeky running stats here.

This album got me through a really tough summer once.

autobiography of a punk rock yogi

I just knocked on the door of my roommate’s bedroom, wearing hobbit yoga pants and a tie-dye t-shirt (from the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture) to ask him if I could have my global warming mug (which he was using for water) back. Upon opening the door, he was immediately assaulted with rapid-flowing babble about how I was trying to make some tea and, “.. I’m, kind of attached to that mug because my brother got it for me for Christmas one year and I love the way the shore lines fade away when you add hot water… It just makes the tea that much more special.”

And then he just took a step back, clutching his chest, and melted into the floor because he couldn’t handle how goddamn cute I am.

Haha.

Between sleeping on my yoga mat and the amazingly inexpensive classes near my new place, I’ve gotten back into the yoga groove again. I’m not teaching, nor do I want to right now, but practicing regularly again has improved my everything.

I really think that all the hip openers we did today are helping me learn to walk in my new shoes.

These are my very first pair of legit HEELZ. They are my dream shoes. Everything I wanted: teal, faux snakeskin, they even got my name on ’em… so’s I dun fuhrget! LOL Oh, and plenty of space for my toes to splay. Lord knows I can’t tolerate tightly-bound phalanges.

I need to learn to walk in them for my cousin’s wedding at the end of the month. I assume they’ll be coming off once I start drinkin’ and dancin’, but I don’t have to worry about someone else taking them because.. they have MY NAME on them!

I saw one of my favorite bands, The Bouncing Souls, the other night at Brooklyn Bowl. I’m not going to review the show or anything because plenty of other people will do that, but I have to say that I haven’t had that much fun at a Souls show in several years.
They played the first song I ever remember hearing them play when I found myself at their set at the Warped Tour when I was 15 years old. It was true love from then on.

Get lost in it.

I like the venue a lot. We showed up kind of late, so I didn’t eat, drink, or bowl there, but I’m sure I’ll be back. The crowd was pretty good. Lots of people dancing and not too many jerks in the pit. Mostly skinny dudes and a decent number of ladies, which is a huge relief after so many big, beefy dudes started showing up to Souls concerts, getting wasted and throwing windmills in the pit like they were at a freaking hardcore show.

So, obviously, I danced all night, falling at least four times (the floor was wet and slippery, aight?). At one point, someone kind of stepped on my ankle. Although I was (duuuuuuuuuh) wearing docs, it still hurt. A lot. I hopped out of the pit, dragging my foot on the floor like a wounded animal. I got really sad because I couldn’t put any weight on it at first and thought I’d be leaning up against a wall for the rest of the show, and then limping back to my apartment.

But then.. they started playing a song I really love. I did a few ankle rolls and jumped back in the pit. All of a sudden the pain disappeared.

I LOVE ADRENALINNNNNNNNNNE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the show, I was a zombie. Good thing I skipped pilates that day. I’m getting so  old.

Normally I have the kind of face and demeanor that leads people to believe that I’m friendly and approachable (but I bite). However, after a punk show, people treat me like I have a contagious flesh-eating virus.

I remember one time I was taking the train home after a show in NYC, by myself, and a nice-looking young lady sat next to me. Within five minutes.. she got up and found a different seat, in an entirely different car.

After dancing for a full set at pretty much any kind of concert, I experience this weird “coming down” kind of hazy state in which I don’t give a fuck about anything. I’m exhausted. My eyes may be bulging out of my head. My tongue might hang out. I stink like hell, covered in my sweat, your sweat, and everyone else’s sweat. I might have sticky beer breath. I might still be drinking. I miiiiiiiight be talking to myself, or maybe I just look so bad that I’m starting to confuse myself with that crazy homeless person at the train station. Bruises might be starting to emerge. I’m not sorry for any of it.

I watch Fight Club on a semi-regular basis.

Last night, a similar event occurred while my friend and I were waiting for the train. “That lady just got up and left.” “Yeah, that happens to me sometimes, I must smell horrible.” Hippie deodorant.

My friend danced the soul right off her shoe. Nothin’ a rubber band can’t fix.

When I finally got to my shower that night, I noticed bruises ALL OVER ME, including my back. I look like a battered woman. Not that there’s anything funny about domestic violence, but I’m kind of getting a kick out of people’s reactions whenever I wear a tank top. I just bruise way too quickly. Who knows what I’d look like if I hadn’t started taking Flintstones vitamins with iron?!

**side note** To my vegetarian friends, especially the ladies, you might have an iron deficiency. A lot of plant sources of iron aren’t absorbed as well as animal sources, so you need to get MORE than the daily recommended value! Turmeric is an excellent source of iron. You can add it to a lot of foods because it doesn’t have a strong flavor. Also- cooking with a cast iron skillet helps.

It hurts to sleep on the floor when you’re covered in bruises. Namaste muthaf*cka

Why am I the one always packing up my stuff?

I think I kinda like it, but I might have had too much.

Soooo I moved into a new place this past weekend! Technically, I’m only subletting for the month of August and if I find myself a job and continue to get along with my roommates, I might sign a lease.

A LEASE!!!!! omg

For the past couple of years, I’ve been in this free-floating, transitional phase. The mere thought of signing a contract, lease, or even registering for a race several months in advance riled me into a tizzy. As much as I love that lifestyle, I’m getting a bit tired of treading water. I feel ready to throw some roots down, and a year really isn’t too much time. Time. What is time? Okay, not right now.

So here are pictures of my new bedroom/yoga studio/dance floor/palace

My alien is hiding my french doors with clear glass windows.

I also use that hoop to open and close the vent!

My friend (the previous occupant) left those sweet JERSEY posters!

My original idea was to hang a hammock from the walls and sleep in that, but it turns out that this room isn’t structurally equipped to fulfill my romantic vagabond fantasies (sigh).
Plan B was to sleep in this blue foamy bean-baggish cushy thing here. I’ve slept on it plenty of times before, but felt way too much like a hot dog on my first night, so have been sleeping on the floor ever since. HAHA! I’m awesome.

If Fox Mulder doesn’t need a bed, I don’t need a bed.

Annnnnd that’s my office/greenhouse/movie theater/music box.

The high ceilings make the room feel so much bigger than the floor space. If I end up staying for a long time, I’ll probably figure out a more luxurious sleeping setup, but maintaining my precious floor space for dancing and yoga is absolutely crucial.

I love my room, but there are so many crazy, fun, and interesting things going on outside of it, too. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE exploring new places. Most of my time so far has been spent walking around North Brooklyn, talking to any and every friendly stranger (not the hipsters, obviously, they don’t want to talk to me), seeking out the best coffee within a one mile radius, and locating a few good running routes.

duuuuuuuh, I mean job-searching. I’ve been spending several hours per day applying to jobs..

This weekend, I’m going to see the Bouncing Souls without having to travel > an hour to get to the show for the first time ever. I feel just as excited about this as when I jogged to the start line of a half-marathon from my apartment in Morristown. My 10-month-long suburban breakdown has come to an end!!!!

Yeah, so, I really like my new pattern of signing off with a song..

It’s all happening!

We break our lives up into various different epochs. I, myself, am moving through a lot of noteworthy changes.

Yesterday was my last day of the crappy part-time job at the outdoors store I had been working at. Love y’all, really ;) Tomorrow, I’m moving out of my parents’ house, again, and into a SAHWEEEEEEEET place in Brooklyn. We all knew it was gonna happen.

And today… I renewed my driver’s license!

I waited at the DMV forever, of course. Only the smartest cookies wait until the end of the month, right?

This event caused me to reflect on all that’s changed in my life since the last time I renewed my license, when I was 25, I think??

~Two boyfriends
~Four apartments, all with my parents’ house and various hostels as a stopover in between
~Disturbingly high friendship turnover I don’t care to count
~SEVEN jobs
~Classes at three different colleges
~Two cars, and a period of carelessness
~Four countries, three for periods of 10 weeks or more
~More miles traveled than I can count
~Thousands of miles ran, many barefoot
~ I don’t get carded anymore when buying cigarettes or alcohol.
~I’m evidently old enough now for guys in their early twenties to feel the need to lie to me about their ages…. I know I said i was going to be 27 before, but I feel very 24 right now.
~I stopped being afraid of ghosts, spiders, and love
~Saw mah first BEAR!
~ZERO publications, graduate degrees, husbands, Nobel Prizes, or children

Okay, I think that’s enough.

Friends, lovers, jobs, and homes all shape who we are at any given time. I feel like I’m always saying hello and goodbye to people, places and things, and the time in between is way too ephemeral. For some reason, that’s just how my life has always been. I’ve had so many last days at work and said goodbye to so many people I’ve loved intensely.

Fact is, I can’t sit still to save my life. I’m not the most nomadic person I know, but I’m definitely beyond restless. When my body and mind start to get bored, they wanna shag ass.

I freak out when I think about committing to anything.. EXCEPT FOR ONE THING… and now this is going to turn into a post about running.

Running is that one thing in my life that I will love forever and happily devote (at times the majority of) my time and energy to. I love it so much it makes me want to cry. It’s that one thing that I’m happy to start and finish, over and over, on my own free will, no matter how long or painful the experience in between is.

When I find a person or place that makes me feel the same way, I guess that’s when I’ll settle down.

Okay, I’ll leave you with another song:

KIMYA DAWSON, I LOVE YOU

Next month I will be 27.

But I’m 28 now. I’ve decided that this year I’m going to start aging in reverse. I mean, you hear people say things like, “Age is just a number” and “You’re only as young as you feel!” all the freakin time, so Warum nicht? That’s how you say “why not?” in German. I learned it from this awesome old man I work with last week. New favorite expression, so get used to it.

I’m not experiencing a mid-life crisis or anything. Quarter-life crisis? I donut know.. I do eat a whole lotta antioxidants so I might just make it into the triple digits. That’s a typo. I meant to type don’t, but donuts are funny so it stays.

Back on topic, I actually enjoy life a whole lot more now than I did when I was younger, and have no reason to believe that that’s going to change any time soon. I just happen to really like the number 27, so that’s what I want to be.

Next year, I might turn 26, but I doubt it. I don’t particularly like even numbers. Odds are more my jam, and 27 is one of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, 29 is nice too, and perhaps one day I’ll decide to go there, but for now I’m really feeling 27. Maybe I’ll die at 27.

I figure, with all the uncertainly surrounding the concept of time, I might as well start making up my own rules. If anyone wants to know my true age, I’ll tell them I was born in 1983 and let them do the math.