Sunday, December 29, 2013

the best of

2013 was a big deal. further proof that 13 is the greatest number, and odd numbers are always best. but, as you already know, i'm flabbergasted by all that has happened this year. it's been a big one for me and mine. honestly, it has been the hardest year of my entire life...but also the absolute best. further proof that Taylor Swift nailed it.
it really was miserable and magical. and, considering this year, i have never been happier. probably because it's been filled with oh-such good times. 


January
trav came home! i remember we couldn't all go to the airport to greet him but we met up at the city creek mall. and i was so hyperactive and the world was just full of cotton candy and rainbows. we were so happy, us six, finally reunited after a year apart, and we just bounded about, too hyper to have any sort of normal moment. or an unblurry photo. classic. 

February
taking these photos. it was a hyper night that ended in, well, the most epic photos known to man.
and this all-american dance party.
video
and then, you know, Laura decided to leave me and serve god or whatever. it's fine. i'm over it. (just kidding--nothing but support and love!) but towards the end of February we had to say goodbye as we dumped her on the curb of the MTC. ash and cait said their goodbyes earlier, but just and trav and mel and me and the parentals all piled in a car and pretended this day wouldn't be the saddest ever. and it wasn't. it was actually the happiest. we were all just...happy. and hilarious. always hilarious. i mean, we're boyers. what else would we be?   

March
well, let's be real. nothing important happens in march. it's a horrible joke of a month and nobody likes it. 

April
last class! absolutely no trouble saying goodbye--more like see you never--to campus, classes, and books. 

May
i turned 22. the very year taylor swift happened to write me an anthem. and i think that means only good things. and it was a good birthday. i mean, i got to spend it with the people who loved me most. 

June
two words: Taylor. Swift. 




video

it was a perfect night. we dressed up like hipsters. went out dancing. had breakfast at midnight. there was no sleeping. and...my life changed as soon as that dubstep violinist came out.

July
oh, there was Stadium of Fire, Yosemite, Hawaii, San Francisco, Legends of the Summer, Lake Tahoe. it was the summer to end all summers.  and it was...fantastic.
but a favorite memory? the most savory of them all? eating those burgers at seven brothers in hawaii. mmm. i still dream about them. 

August
well, melissa got married. and her wedding was beautiful and fun and all that. but there was this moment that will forever be a favorite memory. it was before the reception started, but us die hard melbran fans (read: siblings) were there just hanging out. and travis got a hold of the microphone. and control of the sound box. so we turned on some JT. naturally. and we started a singalong to Suit and Tie. we were just interpretive dancing in the middle of the room with trav and abbey on the mic. and finally just and cait came in at the end with the "you are you are the love of my life" and we killed it. i mean, consider the following. 
^^ abbey was really feeling it.

oh, and i'd show you more photos of us being a big happy family at the temple post-wedding but, you know, someone refuses to show them to me.

also in august, I graduated. so that was a big deal, i guess (though the most anticlimactic of all ceremonies).  

insert happy dance. 


September
signing for my apartment. ah, such sweet relief. i mean, the battle was half fought. i might be unemployed (still), but...i gotta place to relish in my unemployment! 

and i really do love it. i lucked out with the location, the cost, the size. i mean, aside from a few heating issues that literally almost killed me (can one die from the common cold?), and those pesky rats making house in my ceiling, it's been practically perfect in every way. and, i mean, it's in new york. so...progress.

October
that one day I was so happy and everything about the city was beautiful. i don't think i've ever been happier. i mean, look at where i live.
boom. this is the view from where i work. err, intern. point is, it aint too shabby. 

November
macys day parade. That hyperness and actually feeling like I belonged. i mean, getting to say to a newscaster that you're from new york--it's a pretty big deal. #truth 

Also, there was a night where we were playing Heads Up (thanks, Ellen!) and we were all so hyper and loud. but we were doing animal charades so we had to make the noise so the person who was it could guess what animal it was. things like dog, cow, and then it was suddenly "fox". can someone say ringdingdingderingerdingding? Turns out, I can. 

pop culture saved the day thanks to yours truly.  

December
surprising my family. i mean, 1) because it was awesome (read here) and 2) because my family is the most important thing to me, and they proved why yet again this year. not to get all mushy and sentimental, but let's get mushy and sentimental. because i know i am the luckiest girl alive for having the family i do, for loving them all so unconditionally and so epically. i know not everyone is lucky enough to be close to each and every one of their siblings, parents, in-laws, and all that. but i am. and they're the best part of my life. even when we're spread across the world or growing up doing different stuff and wanting different things...i know they've got my back and, as anyone who knows me knows, i've got theirs. 

boyers are the best. and this year was great because of that. 

oh and then, of course, there was that moment of pure elation at christmas dinner when my eight-year-old cousin said he thinks of me as taylor swift cuz i look like her, and i just melted into a puddle of joy and warm fuzzies.

so let's end with some taylor swift sass. hats off to 2014. let's hope it's a good one.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

lol

i decided to surprise my family this christmas. well, my mom and i did (thanks, ma!). and it went off splendidly. because 1) i am a master liar and 2) see reason one.

i flew into little ole SLC at 2 in the afternoon. my parents picked me up and then we went on a lets-surprise-everyone pilgrimage.

step one. call them all to figure out where they are. justin didn't answer. ashley was at work. travis called me back. first target acquired.

Through some coaxing i got him to reveal his location: REI with his love doing some last minute christmas shopping. i told him how sad i was i couldn't be there, that christmas in new york wasn't enough to keep me from missing home. made some lie about brooklyn and donuts (that is always my cover story, because it is the most likely truth. oh...brooklyn donuts...how i miss them).

anyways. so we go to the REI, see his car in the parking lot and prepare for the perfect attack. but justin called me back then. so i had to answer, again trying to figure out where he was (home) and how long he'd be there (an hour) before telling him i was blowing him off for a friend (and donuts in brooklyn) and would talk to him later.

lol.

enter the store. i scan the room and quickly find my target. they are looking at sunglasses, so i crouch and weave my way through crowds and racks until i round the perfect corner and...like a lioness going for the gazelle, i leap out at them and yell "MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

this was travis

this was abbey

and i was shaking i was laughing so hard. it was hilarious. not to mention travis was modeling the most ridiculous glasses. and their faces--there was no recognition for a good fifteen seconds and i was all "oh my gosh they don't even care." and then it registered and the flabbergasted-ness set in.

perfection.

but we had our second mission, so we left to get to justin's in time. this target would be harder, i thought, since their home has a million windows and a glass front door. but the parents dumped me at the curb and i flew up to the front door, ringing the bell six times and turning my back so i faced a corner until i heard the door open.

"SURPRISE!"

this was justin

this was cait

and i was shaking i was laughing so hard.

and then it was off to the apple store to catch ashley. it was a little difficult to find her. i had to get her manager involved--but he was a peach about the whole thing--and he grabbed her from the back, saying she was needed out front immediately. i meanwhile was shaking off the advances of some random (i mean, hello, busy giving everyone heart attacks here). and then she rounded a corner and i was there.

"HELLO!"

this was ashley

i quote: "OH MY GOSH WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" and i was shaking i was laughing so hard.

then melissa was out of town, so that was no fun. but laura, being out of the country, called on christmas and i popped up when she skyped in. and then there were grandparents and cousins galore to surprise. and it was all grand and happy and fun. so. mission accomplished. 

talk about clever girl, eh? 
nailed it. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

it's christmastime in the city

There's no denying that it's pretty pretty. And even with the heating fiasco dominating all last week, I've been having a pretty fantastic time.

Seeing trees. 
Visiting Macy's Santaland. 
Looking at windows. 
Wandering the Christmas markets. 
Playing at FAO Schwarz. 
Watching movies. 

Oh the movies. So. Many. 

Miracle on 34th (new and old). 
How the Grinch Stole Christmas. 
Home Alone 2 (New York, people). 
Polar Express (bleh).
The Santa Clause. 

There may have been more thrown in there. It was Christmas overload. And then there is, you know, the musical selection. 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Thanks for that, Frank Sinatra. 
Baby, please come home. Oh my heart, Darlene. 
I'll be home for Christmas. just kill me now, josh groban. 
Bells will be ringing. For me and Bon jovi. 
Blue Christmas. Classic Elvis. 

Seriously, we should probably be concerned by how many classic Christmas tunes are about depressed people missing everyone.

Hey, at leat I'm in good company. 

But even with all that, I just can't believe it's actually Christmas. 

And maybe it's the sixty degree weather talking here (seriously--it's mindblowingly warm.) it just...doesn't feel like Christmas. 

Sadness. 

Maybe it's because I can't believe I've already been here four months. 
Or maybe it's because I'm still unemployed and my brain doesn't register time anymore as a coping mechanism. 
Or maybe it's because Christmas really is all about family and those warm fuzzies. 

But that may be the grinch talking. 

Seriously. I almost bawled at that part. 

And I know, I know I could have gone home. And I still don't know if I shoulda or if this is good for me. Still, it has made me grateful for family and so aware of the love in my life even so far away. 

And I swear I have been happy. This has been one of the best Christmases of my life. I am so grateful for friends and distractions and this big beautiful city so eager to drum up the festivities. It's been unforgettable so far and I think it will only get better. So, from me to all y'all, merry Christmas! 


Spontaneous Christmas caroling...to ourselves. 
The tree lighting with these beautiful gals! 
And then there's always this. Further proving that Nutella solves everything.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

hibernation

the fun facts of life in regards to living in the cold: 

even if I don't wear socks, I'm constantly wearing leg warmers. not even ironically. they are just that nice. 

i sometimes use my computer as a foot/body warmer. 

i bring my clothes with me into the bathroom and wrap them around the heater while I shower. no judgment. 

sometimes I hug my wall where a pipe runs through. it's warm and so it is my happy spot. 

my roommate plugs the crack at the floor of the front door with a towel every night. i need to start doing this with some of the windows. 

i have my super on speed dial because I'm always asking something about why it's so horrendously cold. 

i am seriously worried my fingers might fall off. 

i bought sweats for the first time in my life. fashion is out the window; I am all about being cozy. 

i'm happy to have a gas stove because it means I can warm myself by the fire. unhealthy, maybe. but effective. 

i suddenly drink hot chocolate all the time. And/or steamed milk. because life is better with a piping hot something in your hands. 

this is my life now. and I'm slowly coming to terms with it. 

slowly being the operative word.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

reflection

i really can't believe how quickly this year has gone by. i mean, thanksgiving happened. i didn't even see that one coming. And now it's december. already week into december. there's less than a month before 2013 is all over...and we have to start drawing ugly 4's in the year.

(worst. number. ever.)

but I've just been thinking about everything that has happened and how strange time is--that it can seem so fast but cover so much all at once. i mean within a year we have...

my brother came home from afghanistan, met the love of his life, somehow convinced her to marry him (just kidding. They're perfect for each other), and now they're about to seal the deal (literally). well, that's happening in january. but barely. so we'll count it. 

my other brother and his lovely wife bought a house, which is adorable. and built a staircase, which is amazing. and got grown up jobs. props to them. 

my sister got engaged, graduated, got married, and started life a school teacher. 

another sister got a mission call and abandoned me in favor of the big guy for a year and a half. it's already been--what? nine months? but time won't go fast enough on that one....

my mom graduated to become a master massage therapist, got a bionic hip too. my oldest sister totally rocked this life thing putting me to shame with her healthy ways and fashionable Ellen-like style. and my dad turned 60. Which is a feat all in itself. 

oh, and i finished school, kept the dignity of commencement--graduated college (so high school can suck it) and, oh yeah, moved to new york city. because life just wasn't exciting enough I guess.

did i get a job? no.... way to rub that one in. but baby steps! and the year ain't over yet, people. i've got three weeks. what am i waiting for?

i dunno. something amazing, i guess.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

autumn wonderland

this is the greatest place on earth in the fall, i'm sure of it. i'm obsessed with it. i love it. i mean...just look at it.


and beautiful weather too. top that. i mean, this is from an obsessively indoor person. one usually miserable outside, especially if there's ever a chill. but now i crave long walks and days spent entirely outside. i actually grin, really, kicking up leaves and bundling up with scarves and leg warmers just to justify more time outside. 

i can honestly say fall is now my favorite season. 

at least in new york. 

nay, especially in new york. 

oh, new york. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

burgeoning.

we all know i have a sister-in-law i'm crazy about. i seriously can't imagine my family without her. like, how did we manage that for so long? i love her, i got another awesome sister--how much better can the world get?

well, see, i have another brother.

and he went and fell in love.

and so they went and got engaged.

which means they'll be getting married.
abbey olson soon-to-be boyer
while i'm happy my brother met the love of his life and convinced her to marry him yadayadayada, the really important thing here is--i get another sister! and i happen to love her. because she's sweet and spunky, she's got mad style and killer skills (i'm on a roll with the s's here).

and today, it happens to be her birthday. which is the point of this post. because i am a family-oriented person. they are my people. my best friends. my rock and my foundation. i love them all, and even though i'm way over here (living a pretty fab life) i miss them like crazy. her too.

as fate would have it, she and cait have actually been best friends since...birth, pretty much. seriously. 
now they'll be sealed forever, married to brothers, living in the same house even. how is that fair? it's not. but i'll allow it because, as aforementioned, they're pretty much the coolest.
and they were kind enough to let me edge in to their circle, little sister style.

so, sister to sister? happy birthday, abbey. welcome to the family!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

getting to the good stuff

there are a lot of things I'm bad at in this life. math, mostly. and...all of math's friends. but I'm also bad at small talk. painfully so. it's a flaw often mistaken as shyness. and maybe it is. a little. but mostly it's boredom. and impatience. and a general lack of interest. 

don't know how to do the whole hihowareyouhowwasyourdaydidyoudoanythingfun thing. i dunno, i'd just so rather know a person than pontificate in vague ways over how "fine" their day was. and I think it comes down to the fact that...those little things? that's not what i care about. 

coming to a new city and building a new social group is hard. but I think it's most frustrating because it can feel like a process of being tagged and labelled and shelved. it feels scripted--rehearsed, this getting-to-know-you dance. 

Hey, I'm Shelby. I recently graduated, just moved to the city, living in Harlem, looking for a job in publishing. Yeah, I'm liking it. Yeah, I know it will work out. Yeah, I'm keeping on keeping on. 

but that's not how i identify myself. i don't feel any attachment to career, degree, position, income, pedigree, whatever. maybe it's just me, but that's such a simplistic, shallow, superficial sort of identification. i'd so rather know a person. and you don't know a person until you know the why behind the whats. the drama behind the scenes. the stories behind the facts. 

you know? 

so. what questions would I rather ask? i'm glad you asked, cyberspace. because, boy, would I be good at small talk if this sort of randomness was on the table. i'd be the best conversationalist this world has ever seen (well, probably not for real, but, hey, a girl can dream) and i'll prove it to you. 

questions I'd ask if it was socially acceptable to ask these sort of questions. 

What was the first book to make you cry? 
the house of mirth. i got it for Christmas when i was sixteen i think and i just curled up with it that afternoon and didn't put it down til I was weeping and wailing and weeping again. it was painful. but I loved it. 

When did you stop believing in Santa? 
i had my suspicions for a few years, but a friend mocked and then obliterated my innocence and hope when I was...twelve. no judgment. 

What is the most willfully rebellious thing you've ever done? 
ah, well. my rebellious phase hit when I was seventeen and consisted of me watching pirated movies online and not telling my mom when I watched moulin rouge for the first time. oh, and I bought an r-rated movie the next year. quite the scandal, i know. what can I say, I'm a rebel without a cause. 

If you could go anywhere right now no strings attached, where would it be?
right now? Italy. i think I'd like to wander alone in Italy. it sounds warm and sunshiney. and laid back. like everything's bathed in a gold and rose sunset all the time. plus, pasta. and gelato. 


Where did you find yourself? 
london. somewhere between St. Paul's and Picadilly Circus, right after spending the day alone, not talking to anyone, and being okay with it. 

What's one thing you're so happy you did even if no one else was?
cutting my hair short. i don't look back on those years with any sort of pride. i don't think I really looked all that good. but it changed me. i think every girl should cut her hair short once. because no matter how silly it sounds, it is liberating. you have to learn to love yourself outside the traditional definition of what's pretty and what's attractive and what's feminine. you don't have the weight--literally--of expectation on your shoulders. you just are you, free if distraction. some people hate it. they really do. but those people aren't exactly the people that matter. i seriously think it was the best thing I could do as a teenager. 

Who do you wish you could be for one day? 
taylor swift. easy. I'd wear pretty lace sundresses, and flowers in my hair, and I'd just bake and craft and gab about pretty boys with fabulous best friends. maybe go to some epic social event wearing some perfect Ellie Saab dress and just killing it at life in general. 

If you could bring one fictional character to life, who would it be? 
t-rex from Jurassic Park. 

just kidding. we wouldn't survive that. but I would like to marry mr. knightley. if that's an option. 

Which three celebrities would you have to a dinner party if you could invite anyone?
if we're talking fun times/best friends, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Taylor Swift. 
if we're talking romantic possibilities, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Gosling, and, today I'm feeling...Tom Hiddleston. 
if we're talking interesting conversation, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, and Benedict Cumberpatch (though, let's be honest, that would be romantical too). 

Has there ever been a moment that made you believe in destiny? 
london. for a lot of reasons. 

Would you rather be a wizard or a time traveler? 
wizard. always and no question. at least of the harry potter variety. 

If you could time travel, but not change history, where would you go? 
america during the revolution. i'd really like to know the founding fathers and if they really knew what they were getting into, what their motivations were, what they were really like. and to just see that crazy story unfold... i mean, they really knew how to rock the boat. 

One dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
chocolate ice cream. can't go wrong with a classic. 

What time period of fashion do you wish would come back? 
late 1800s for girls. because I love a good bustle and a wide sun hat. and for guys--just suits today. like, if every guy had to look fresh out of a GQ shoot with tailored preferably three piece suits--and trench coats--life would be...beautiful. 

Do you have a theme song? 
i get attached to songs really suddenly and very obsessively. currently, i'm listening to Lorde's "Royals" on repeat. literally. but one song that i consider my anthem..."We Are Young" by Fun. mostly because i first heard it during a very traumatic time in my life and it made me feel like i should be dancing around a bonfire on top of a mountain while watching the sun set. in other words, it just gets me. 

If money wasn't an issue, what would you do with your life? 
i'd live in a fabulous house on a huge piece of land where I had space to myself but wasn't more than a quick ride--be it jet or car--to the city. i'd lounge in huge rooms with crown molding and hard wood floors and tall ceilings and big windows. like some Jane Austen heroine. but with more online shopping. like a Hamptons socialite. and i'd only worry about writing. or I'd dabble in photography. and I'd spend most of my time in a fully stocked kitchen, baking any and everything that caught my fancy on Pinterest while I watched classic black and white movies on a huge projection screen...or danced to top 40 music sans judgement.   


***

and...that's me. don't you feel like you know me more? i think we should all work to add a little more inventiveness to the meet-and-greets we face. everyone has a story, and it's usually more interesting than, well...fine

at least i'd hope so. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

today was a good day

falling in love with new york has been surprisingly hard. i came here a little disillusioned. i mean, life here is hard. new york can be pretty impenetrable. and my first few weeks...pretty miserable. ...and surprisingly dramatic. can someone say oi vey? preferably without threatening legal action. but that's a story for another time. because today? today was a good day.

i fell in love. 

people think new york is dark and dirty, uninviting, maybe imposing, with tall, cold buildings that block out everything. keep your head down, keep moving--but it's more than that. the hustle and bustle is there. for sure. but it's all...lively. supercharged. excited. frenzied. vibrant. alive. and i love it. 

i love the way sunlight dashes between the glass buildings, the light ricocheting down skyscrapers and across avenues, spraying a million colors and shades and shadows a million different ways. 

i love seeing an imposing new glass and steel tower next to a pre-war red brick walk up. with a gothic church thrown in for good measure. i love the metal and stone and brick and concrete, in a city so desperate for life they put a tree in random corners, the dirt puddling and leaves wilting on every muggy day.  

i love the yellow taxis and the black sedans and the fancy sports cars. i love that the city streets seem so crowded, i wonder where everyone parks and why anyone bothers with a car in the first place. 

i love brushing past crowded corners as tourists bundle together, a nervous crowd unsure where to go and unwilling to be the first to take a step.  i love seeing red city tour buses full of people taking pictures of random corners and buildings and people that they actually know nothing about, so removed from the reality of it. what they see and what i see is totally different, and i love that most of all. being the one looked at rather than the one looking in. 

i love the lights. the insaneness of how bright everything is even at night. how nothing seems to settle down, but everything is still inviting even in the dark.

i love how loud it gets. how on every street corner, someone is shouting. or a subway train rumbles under foot, steam rising from the ground. or the honking and the wailing and the rushing noise that fills the air. there's no quiet, but the rhythm still feels peaceful.

i love being pushed around by people so eager and ready and determined to get to their next destination. how every red light is a life crisis or a personal affront. there's a desperation to move, to never settle, and it's an energy that fuels the city. a constant pulsing down every block, every corner, every street.

i love the accents. the personalities. the nationalities. i love that everyone has a story completely separate from anyone elses' about how they got here or what they're doing or where they're from.  

i love the food. good heavens, the food. i've had waffles that melt in your mouth. lemon bars that make your toes tingle. cronuts--they taste like heaven. cupcakes. doughnuts. ice cream bars. rice crispy treats. frozen yogurt. popsicles. ...and repeat. everything so new and fresh and delicious. with so many options, it's less commercial or corporate. these are passion projects. from people who love food. and it pays off. 

i love that it's mid october and i'm still in short sleeves. fall in new york is beautiful. the coolness settles in slow, sneaking into the city day by day. everything feels crisper, but it's still wonderfully pleasant. it's like i've never experienced fall before. in utah, it comes fast and hard, suddenly dumping frost and snow...and then apologizing with a few weeks of muddled confusion. but here? it's 68 degrees and i'm still smiling. 

i love that i'm a part of it. coming here, i was kind of unimpressed with my story--small town girl from utah, unemployed and a little naive. it didn't seem that interesting. but the more people i meet, the more i realize--everyone has a story. and to make it out here? that's adventure. i'm glad i was a little stupid, buying a one-way ticket without really knowing what i was getting into. 

and i love that i'm out here now, struggling and striving and all that stupid stuff. i've met so many cool people. and new yorkers can be pushy and cold and impatient (hey, let's be honest, maybe that's why i fit in so well), but they are also loyal and proud and eager to let you into their lives. every time i meet someone new, i'm so excited. really, i'm always excited. because nothing is ever boring here. everything's an adventure. not always a good one, but an adventure nonetheless. 

i love that. 

i love that i feel settled here. that i don't always have to pull out my phone to navigate. that i have favorite corners to visit, or opinions on where to eat. that i feel comfortable wandering neighborhoods or getting home late.

there's a sense of home here that i never got in provo. every apartment i had in college, it felt temporary. unimportant. not mine. but here, i mean, i don't plan on staying in this one apartment forever...but it still feels like home. and i like it, being nestled between two subway stations so i'm close to everything, caught between two churches where i hear gospel choirs pouring their souls out each sunday, rooted in this crazy awesome city that has a way of sneaking up on you until you forget everything bad it ever did to you and you just feel, finally, like a part of something. 

because this city has its flaws. in fact, half of everything i just listed can get on my nerves at any given time. and don't even get me started on the centipedes. 

/shudder

but it's like a moody toddler that way: you can't help but love it, even at its worst. and today? today wasn't bad. 

today was a good day. 

a very, very good day.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

because i have nothing else to say.

this is a story i wrote way back when i went to byu (so long ago) and was desperate to imagine up some drama in my life. sometimes (read: all the time) byu/provo/utah/mormon culture can feel very cookie-cutter, white-bread, all-too-predictable. i rebelled in strange ways, perhaps. my inner feminist came roaring up and never went away (praise the heavens). i fell in love with movies telling a different story (like Silver Linings Playbook or even The Grey). i fangirled over eminem and jay-z, pulsing to their music as if i could relate. i went to london and paris just to remind myself the world is a big, big place (fairly pretty, too). and i wrote dramatic stories that no one could relate to, just because I liked the idea of challenging...someone/thing. and this is the first go at it. adult language and all. 

Smoke and Shadows
I listen to them make love with sickened disinterest. They are all giggles and breathlessness tangled together, their bodies banging against the stall doors. I kneel on the ground, my body sprawled across the toilet, the vomit still boiling in the pit of my stomach. The tile is cold against my knees. The porcelain is hot under my arms. And the groans of the couple next door turn animal at the end.
            I hurl again.
            Finally, in a burst of loud laughs, they finish. He stumbles out of the stall. I hear him zip his pants. He doesn’t wash his hands. He just chuckles and leaves, not even bothering with a goodbye. The woman doesn’t seem to care. She lets out a dramatic sigh—something loud and reaching, high-pitched and final. And then she comes out, the stall door banging behind her.
I turn my head slowly to look under the door, watching her put her shoes back on, her knees slightly bent as she bounces on one foot, tucking her other into a narrow stiletto, almost tripping as she pulls the strap around her ankle. She laughs wildly, switching feet to put on the last shoe. 
And then I vomit again.
She stops laughing. I’m not watching—my head is buried in the basin of the toilet, my eyes closed shut against the sting of the flood of alcohol that has just betrayed me—but I hear her come closer. And then she knocks.
“You okay?”
I think I groan. Her laugh is uncomfortable.
“Sorry. I didn’t know anyone was in here.”
I roll my eyes, but I shouldn’t have. The dizzying motion makes me dry heave. She groans, a sympathetic noise echoing through the hollow room.
“Do you need anything?”
I groan again.
“Are you here with anyone?”
I suddenly think of their sweaty bodies rubbing against each other next door, the fastest five minutes barely climaxing. I wonder how many people have had sex in my stall. How many bodies contorted against the toilet, pressed to too-small walls. And I vomit again. But nothing’s left.
She pushes the door open and I’m surprised by how the light pours in. Even the music seems louder, pulsing through the bathroom walls sounding like a heartbeat tight against a chest. The sort of rhythm you’d hear after running—no, after making love, falling on each other and hearing the heart pound, the beat bouncing through you, becoming a part of you, actually absorbing you until you doubt you could ever breathe shallow or slow again.
It’s how I feel now, except empty.
“Oh, god, you look awful.”
I remember who’s standing over me, the stranger who gets breathy when she makes love. I actually blush as I roll my head to look at her. But she doesn’t seem embarrassed. She picks at a nail bed, staring at me with arched brows. Her eyes look cat-like, the bright green drawn out with purple shadow layered dramatically across her eyelids. The dress is silver and barely there, hugging her and showing her off, like a less-pretty best friend playing wingman to the real star of the show. I’ve never seen someone so comfortable so close to naked. I want to say she acted like she was born that way, and I just smile at my own joke.
And then I retch again. I heave, my body aching to ruin me, to throw everything out, but there’s nothing left to give. And suddenly I’m crying, my face buried in my arms.
The woman sighs behind me. I think she’s leaving. But I feel her lean over me. She smells like sweat and roses. I notice her arms glitter.
She flushes the toilet and then hands me a roll of toilet paper.
“You look like hell.”
I consider laughing but the thought makes me sick.
“I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure you don’t have to empty your whole stomach to lose a few.”
I shake my head, struggling to find my voice. Finally, it comes back to me.
“No, I’m sick.”
“Disgusting, actually.”
I turn to stare at her, gaping tiredly. Her eyes lock on mine, nothing passing through them, and then she laughs. It echoes through the room, ricocheting from the mirrors and the stalls, distorted by the time it comes back to us. And then she kneels down next to me. I push my hair out of my face, straightening warily as she carefully tucks her legs under her, her skirt inching up even more.
“God, though, you do smell awful.” She laughs again. “Remind me to not get whatever you had.”
I groan, thinking of the endless shots the bartender had poured and I’d gulped on an empty stomach. She nods at me, pulling a joint out from her bra. She puts it in her mouth and waits expectantly. I just watch. Finally, she waves a hand.
“You’ve got a light?”
I shake my head. She nods hers.
She takes the roll and spins it between her fingers. “So if it’s not your fat thighs that sent you here, what is it? Some ex? A broken nail?” She laughs. I’m getting used to the shallow noise.
I watch her carefully, finally shaking my head and frowning. “Do you really wanna sit here talking to me? I’ve got vomit caked to my mouth and you…. Isn’t your boyfriend waiting or something?”
Her forehead creases, and then she laughs. “Boyfriend? That shit?” She laughs. “God, no. I don’t have that bad of daddy issues. He was just some piece of ass on the dance floor. Felt like taking it slow for a minute, you know?” She winks at me. I scoff.
“It didn’t seem too slow.”
I think I’ve hurt her feelings because she stays quiet. And I look up, meeting her eyes again. And then she just throws her head back and laughs.
“I like you,” she said finally, still playing with her weed. She nods at me, “You’re funny. Kinda pretty, too.” She puts the joint back in her mouth. “So what are you doing in here?”
I shrug, finally sitting up. The motion makes my head spin so I straighten, scooting along the floor until I find the other wall of the stall. I lean against it, sighing in relief as the cold metal skates through my shirt and down my spine.
Finally, I open my eyes. Maybe because of the way she watches me, waiting, but I suddenly feel a thousand confessions itching to come out, to finally be heard. 
“You’re what—20, 25?”
She blushes, smiling coyly, only shrugging her shoulder a little. I laugh, a soft scoff sliding roughly out of my nose. I wipe a hand across my mouth and stare at the silver wall behind her, wishing suddenly my life hadn’t come to a point spent retching in a toilet with a girl who still smelt like sex.
I think I might cry again. 
“Well," I say roughly, "You hit thirty, then thirty-five, and suddenly everyone’s measuring you up. Every year counts. And you take stock of your life and realize…none of it matters. You’ve failed to do something—anything meaningful. Can’t even impress one person for one minute.”
Her smile falters. And then it’s back. She nudges me with one of her heels. “It can’t be all bad. You obviously know how to have a good time.”
I laugh. “Is that what this is?”
She smiles. “Well, I mean before ending up here—you were having a party, you know? Go big or go home! You just didn’t make it that far.” She giggles. She rolls her head along the wall, turning it up to stare at the ceiling tiles. “Life can’t be all that bad.”
I sigh. Everything’s still a little fuzzy but I focus on the red paint chipping off my fingernails. It’s halfway gone and practically useless and I can’t stop staring at the jagged stains still clinging to my nails.
“I’m thirty-five, right? And…it’s like everything I ever thought I’d be or do or have, none of it happened. And I really don’t know why. Maybe it’s my fault, a messed up childhood, my hovering mother, some vendetta god has against me—any of that tired crap people get to blame their problems on. But the point is…it’s like you’re caught running on a treadmill, just going, going, going, but getting nowhere with nothing ever changing except the pity in people’s faces, the judgmental whispers, the damn advice everyone wants to give.” I hate myself for it, but I can’t stop talking; everything's hazy and the words just keep spewing, a new sort of vomit. “And then, tonight, I decide to drown my sorrows with some girlfriends, but they all call to say they’re busy—that their husbands or children or jobs couldn’t spare them. So I became friends with the bartender until I wound up here, puking on the floor of some filthy club, listening to some dirty slut have sex.”
The air goes still. I suddenly remember I’m not alone or talking to myself—even just thinking, my mind spinning like it usually does. And I look up, suddenly scared of what I might find.
The woman stares at me, eyes eerily blank. She doesn’t move. Her arm is stretched out, resting on a knee, her hand frozen in front of her, the joint casually balanced between two knuckles. And then she laughs, something sad and low and frightened.
“You bitch.” She nods at me. Her words are cold but they sting. And she shakes her head, laughing again. “After that speech, you think you can pretend you’re better than me?”
I sigh. “I didn’t mean—“
She holds up her hand, silencing me. “No, you meant it. And maybe I am. I mean, I’m just some blonde who had sex with a stranger in a club. Forgive me for being such a cliché. But you’re just as awful—only, guess which one of us is happy?”
She laughs again. “I’m gonna get up and walk out, dance some more, drink some more, probably go home with another stranger just to sneak out of his apartment after and walk home to sleep in my own bed. And when Monday rolls around, I’ll get up and go to work. And you know what I’ll do? I’ll rave about the wild weekend and all the beautiful bastards I slept with. And you’ll find me back here again by the next weekend. With friends, by myself—who gives a shit? And you know what I’ll think of then? The sad, lonely, messed up girl laying in her own vomit like some broken dog or old man, crying about how her life means nothing to no one. So thanks for that, by the way. Now I know what I never want to be when I grow up.”
I scowl at her. “You think your life is so perfect now. But life—”
She cuts me off with a wild jerk of her hand. She leans closer, her eyes boiling. “Yeah, what? Life sucks? Life changes? Life matters? I’ve heard it all before. And you know what I think? Who gives a shit?” She laughs, moving back, shaking her head. “You’ve got to stop living for other people. One life is enough for them; don’t go wasting yours as if you owe them. You want to be happy? Be happy. You want a husband and kids and the goddamn picket fence? Then get it. But don’t sit here moaning about your shitty existence and drag me into it. Cuz from how you’d describe it, I’d rather be the slut in the stall with the stranger than the girl caught moaning about her life not being just like everyone else’s.”
My frown tightens. And I scoff, shaking my head. “You don’t get to judge me.”
She laughs. “Right back at you, princess.”
And I finally look at her. She smiles wildly, pushing her bangs off her forehead. They are starting to get sweaty, matting together in unforgiving strands. I suddenly notice a mole right under her eye. Her whole face is beginning to melt away, the makeup pooling hotly in the smallest of creases and curves. And she suddenly looks normal—like I could imagine her sitting at home in a pair of old PJs eating a burrito as a cat purrs nearby.
But maybe I just want to see something of me in her.
“What kind of pleasure do you get from living that way?” I can’t shake the awe that suddenly settles on me, making my voice soft.
She laughs, smiling brightly again, nodding towards the other stall. “You were listening to it. You tell me.”
I fight a blush, looking down. She laughs at me again.
“Anyways,” she says quickly, fluttering her hand as if to brush the seriousness away. “The way I see it, no matter what happens, it’s happening to you—not anyone else—so you get to decide what matters, what works, what you’re gonna do to get back at that bitch we call life. You either suck it up or make her suck it, right? So, my advice? Never let the bitch win. She always gets you in the end anyway. Might as well screw her with what time you’ve got.”
I don’t know what to say or think or do. I just nod, slowly. And she nods with me.
Suddenly, the bathroom door opens and three girls come pouring in, sweaty and laughing.
“Hey,” the woman sitting by me yells, pushing the stall door open. “You’ve got a light?”
They look at us and I suddenly realize how strange we must look, one woman in a desperate dress, the other in a pantsuit, each sweaty for different reasons, both sitting on the bathroom floor. The bunch of girls giggle at us, but one steps forward, silently offering a lighter.
“Oh, thank god.” She lights her joint and inhales, letting the smoke spin slowly from her nostrils. The other girls pretend to fix their hair and reapply lipstick, but they watch us from the mirror, finally leaving in another fit of giggles. I consider getting up and going out with them, but I’m too tired. And the woman across from me opens her eyes.
“You want some?”
I look at the joint, wondering what it feels like sliding down your throat. I’m already breathing it in. Maybe that’s why I shrug. She takes it as a yes.
“Here, have the rest. God knows you need it more than me.” She offers it to me after one more drag and then she stands up. I guess I’m surprised to see her leaving. But I don’t have any reason to ask her to stay, and I’m not sure I even want her to. So I just stare at her parting gift. I hold it between my thumb and finger, watching the way the smoke curls up from it, the white paper turning orange then black then ash, fading into nothing but a puff of grey.
The woman stands up, shaking the germs from her. “Hey,” she says, suddenly serious. “Lighten up.” And then she laughs, carelessly, tossing her hair as she gives her reflection a glance. She fluffs her hair and flicks a finger along her eyelashes. I watch as she notices the mole peeking out and quickly rubs the makeup back over it. And then she smiles. With nothing more than a wink my way, she disappears.
I imagine her back on the dance floor, her body gyrating to every violent jump of the music. She was probably one I’d been watching earlier, resenting the way she could go out on the floor alone and suddenly be hunted by every guy out there, each eager to chase her curves, following them slowly with each dip and dive to the pounding of the music. And I can imagine her picking one and chasing him into the bathroom, a stranger to make her feel something or maybe to prove something. That’s when I realize I’m the second one that night to say goodbye without even knowing her name.

I can’t decide if I want to be her, but I stare at the joint between my fingers as I consider it.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

sister sister

I miss Laura today. I had a dream about her last night. It was simply lovely.

But i miss her crazy grin. Her deep set eyes. The way she knew she was just so cool.

I mean, come on. We're so cute.


Man, I love her. Halfway there. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

well, folksy folks folk

miley cyrus + mumford and sons. do i like it? i haven't decided. 

though i'd like to imagine mi-cy sitting on a bale of hay playing the banjo as a bunch (flock?) of ducklings scatter around a bunch (herd?) of cows munching by dawn's early light.   

home sweet home

Things that make me feel like a New Yorker. 

Avoiding walking down Broadway or having to go to midtown all together. 

Getting impatient with slow walkers and/or tourists. Though, seriously, they're always the same. 

Hating the wait at Time Warner with a disdain more befitting my feelings toward satan. 

Not looking at people on the subway. And ignoring people trying to strike up a conversation.

Waiting in line for a cronut. Even if it was towards the end of the hype. I still got it while it was hot! (Not literally, for a cronut is much too delicate to serve hot). 

Ignoring the crazies and/or catcallers. Also almost always one and the same. 

Not noticing the sirens and shouting an flashing lights late into the night. 

Hailing a cab with the simple ease of stepping into the street with my arm raised, not even glancing up until a yellow taxi is in front of me. 

Taking the subway to go grocery shopping, and carting groceries back home via the subway too. 

Not waiting for the light to change before I cross the street. I feel so BA every time I walk across the intersection like I own the place.

Eating at Shake Shack. 

Seeing a couple police officers stand by a definitely-not-empty body bag. ...yeah, that one wasn't so fun. But it happened.  

I guess that's life now. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

how you like them apples?

i went apple picking last saturday. i felt very new yorker. and it was refreshing, getting out of the city for some fresh air an wide open spaces--even that's very new yorker of me. 
pretty, right? like i was caught in a j. crew photo shoot. you know, wearing my boots and my forest green jacket. we picked those cortlands and macintoshes. walked around the orchards yonder. Wandered in and out round tangled trees heavy laden with fresh fruit ripe for the picking. Poetic, right? 

only problem?

it was a balmy 79 degrees. seems like new york doesn't know when to be Fall. but i aint complainin'. I mean, sure, taking off said forest green jacket greatly dehanced my autumn-time outfit. But it was a truly, wonderfully, beautifully perfect day. 
it was a ward activity. that only a dozen people showed up to. because we caught a train at Grand Central (i say things like that now) at nine a.m. and i guess...aint nobody got time for that. but i was happy to go. even though, honestly, i don't like apples all that much. aaaaaand we got a lot. but it was fun. and beautiful. and lovely. and the air really was fresh.

and oh. my. gosh. those apple cider donuts the orchards offered--TO DIE FOR. Donuts aren't real donuts unless they're from new york. 

there, i say things like that too. but it's true.

halfway there

so as you know, i got a place. a lovely place that i mostly adore in a city that i mostly love. this is mostly good. what was not good was the amount of my money swirling slowly down the drain as we failed, time and again, to find a roommate. seems in classic bad-luck-boyer style, i found housing just as the housing craze of the new season dwindled to a barely perceptible whisper. really, it was more like a yawn.

that's right, i go through the nightmare of too many people looking, not enough people selling, only to find out as we come out all sunshine and roses...that no one is looking and now everyone is selling.

classic.

insert another two nightmarish weeks of panicking as my bank accounts drained. like a water bottle draining after you've shaken a twister inside. girls showing interest, backing out, waiting for jobs, waiting for money--just waiting.

all of which is understandable and i cannot resent them for.

still. i'm over here waving in distress, my smile a bit crazed as i wish i could just scream "I REALLY NEED THAT MONEY BACK!"

and then it finally happened. after what felt like eternity trying to convince this girl to move in (without coming on too strong and, you know, crazy), she finally signed. yay! i got a whopping check to pay back what i put down on the lease so my bank account is happy too.

which is great because credit card bills are due. fateful timing? methinks so.

anyways. while this nightmare is over, another lives on: still jobless, still struggling, still tired of all the "have you found a job yet" questions. trust me, you'll know when i do.

so i still don't quite feel settled and it's still a little panicky over here (hence these morose-ly flavored postings) but i'm getting there. practically a new yorker. hopefully i'll earn the title sooner rather than later. because, i mean, it wasn't that big a payday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

maturity level 1000

i don't know why this is so funny to me.



but i watch it over and over.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

a little place called home

i got photos for all you crazies who somehow care. it's not much, but it's something. and i'm not living on a bench in central park, so it's enough of a something for me. So for the grand tour...
look! a kitchen! it might seem small to you suburbians. but, trust me, this is a big deal. it has a pantry? money, people. it even has a full-size oven. call the neighbors because we're having thanksgiving right here! seriously. this oven is huge. and new and shiny and beautiful and i may be in love.

hard wood floors throughout the place. is it glamorous, sure. and shiny, too. but oh boy the upkeep. it's been less than a week and i'm already crazy about the dust always and constantly visible. still, it sure is purdy. and, yeah, that's a fireplace. of course it doesn't work and never will, but that beautiful exposed brick--that's a hot ticket in this town. i can say that (exposed brick) and people's jaws will drop with envy.
and, sure, we have a table before we have a couch. it's like i always say: priorities! not really. the couch wouldn't fit through our tiny hallway so...we're working on plan b. still, there's a table.

the bathroom is a bathroom. it's small and it will be crazy to share with four girls. but everything's new so that's something. and if you know me at all, you know i'm a master at organization. these girls don't even know what's coming.

then there's a room off to the side. and another down the hall. but the true masterpiece, the great hall, the piece de resistance--that would be my room. ah, such splendor.
if it looks impressively huge, it is. and if you think, "oh, that's small" you're crazy. come to the city and i'll show you small. this room is tres gorg. unfortunately, it's not all mine. we're working on finding a fourth girl to share it with me because, oh yeah, i can't afford rent if it was just mine. but that's okay because there's plenty of room and i already have my gorgeous corner all my own.
exposed brick--that's right! exposed brick in my bedroom. living the dream, guys--a full closet. and a window nook just for me. why just for me? because i moved in first and i'm allowed to make executive decisions like that.

and i have the fireplace too. non working and whatever, but i put it to good use as a bookshelf-whatever-place. that's master interior design right there.

and here, here is where my beautiful parisian painting would hang if i had it. it would look beautiful--nay, glorious. alas, i left it at home. one day though. so, for now, this spot is saved.

so there you have it. you may now shower me with praise and envy.