Thursday, November 26, 2009

I couldn't make this shit up if I tried...

Last night as I returned home around 12:30am (my usual arrival time after work--I am rapidly becoming completely nocturnal) I was understandably surprised to discover that the entire sidewalk in front of my building was blanketed with broken glass. Much more than could come from a busted car window, or even a busted store window. It was as if a glass factory had exploded overhead, and its shattered entrails were now crunching beneath my feet as I made my way warily toward the entrance. The path leading to the front door was similarly strewn with glittering detritus, though here it had been swept up against the walls, like so many leaves in a gutter.

The door to the building was open. I entered, checking my mail as if all of this were a completely pedestrian state in which to find my home, then turned to discover that the floor, and the stairs leading up to my side of the building, were soaking wet.

I stopped at the bottom of the stairs to scrape broken glass from the bottom of my boots and glanced up at two men standing outside the first apartment.

"So, er... what happened?" I asked casually.

"Fire, on the third floor."

"Um... what?"

I made my way up the stairs, sloshing in water and wondering what I would find on the third floor.

Not much, as it turned out, other than the Super talking to another man, and a smell much like a recently doused camp fire.

I made my way up another flight and on the fourth floor I found what I was looking for: Information, courtesy of the posse of fellow tenants gathered there.

Apparently, there was a 2 alarm blaze on the east side of the third floor, at least three fire chiefs had been through to check it out, and the entire building was without running water because the firemen had hit a pipe somewhere.


After chatting over the drama with the people who'd actually been in the building, I made my way up to my own apartment... to find my front door missing a considerable chunk of paint where it had been pried open--for whatever reason I could not then say--and held slightly ajar by a crappy old umbrella that had fallen from its perch inside and lodged there.

Fearfully, I opened the door, but nothing appeared out of place (or any more out of place than it had previously been, my apartment being a bit of a wreck at the moment) and my cat was, thank goodness, still inside.

I closed the door, checked the level in my Brita pitcher, and got ready for bed. Then it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to check and make sure I could still lock my door, rather than discover a broken lock in the morning when I tried to leave for work.

This was, I must say, the best idea I've had in a long time, because lo and behold when I went to open the door to test the lock... nothing happened.

And by nothing I mean... NOTHING. The knob would not budge. I was, effectively, locked in my apartment.

I immediately called the Super, who assured me that "a guy was going around checking all the doors" and would help me.

Two hours later I gave up, emailed my boss with a heads up that I would most likely be late for work, and went to bed amidst the sounds of hammering and shattering glass coming from below, where god knows who was doing god knows what in the wake of the inferno.

This morning I woke up and called the Super once again.

"Hi, It's Froggy in [Apt Number] again. I'm still locked inside. I need to go to work. Could someone please help me?"

"Oh, oh, yeah. You're locked out?"

"No. I'm locked in."

"You need me to bring you a key?"

"No. No. A key will not help. The fire department broke my door and I am stuck INSIDE my apartment. As in, I cannot get out. I am trapped."

"Oh. Oh! Okay, I'll be right there."

Shortly thereafter he arrived and managed to break my door open, whereupon he disassembled the entire knob/lock mechanism and proceeded to fuck around with it while the increasingly potent smell of day-after-fire wafted through the open doorway and into my apartment, saturating everything, while I amused myself with an entirely-inappropriate-for-reproduction IM conversation with The English Ex (which was, without a doubt, the highlight of my fucking day).

The knob was only half attached and not even remotely functional when an electrician arrived downstairs and the Super left, promising he'd be back soon.

Forty-five minutes later (and already half an hour late for work, nevermind the 45 minute travel time and the fact that I still had no running water and would therefore have to wash my face and apply make-up once I got there), I called him again to remind him that I was still without a functional front door, at which time he finally returned, with another man in tow, and between the two of them they managed to rig my door so that I can at least lock it behind me, but the result is that the entire assembly still needs to be replaced.

I thanked them, raced out the door to work, my bag laden with toiletries, and finally made it through the door 1 1/2 hours late, and 5 minutes before we opened.

Good. Freakin'. Grief.

Oh, and did I mention that, throughout the entire morning ordeal, the lack of water ALSO meant a complete lack of what might be an even more vital necessity? I am referring, of course, to COFFEE.

Now, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am incredibly thankful that it was not my apartment that caught fire, that aside from a pervasive scent of doused camp fire, my belongings are not damaged, and that my cat did not escape during the ensuing mayhem during which I was not present, but still, I can't help but ask...

Seriously Universe? SERIOUSLY??

I think I need a vacation from my life.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


First things first: Sorry, but I've re-enabled verification words for commenting. After "Anonymous" left what appeared to be an advertisement for Cialis on one of the better posts I've written (which, I might add, has exactly NOTHING to do with erectile dysfunction), I've decided it was a necessary precaution.

Not that I've been writing much lately. Then again, I haven't been doing much of anything lately, aside from work, sleep, and studying for the GRE.

My restaurant was written up in the NY Times a few weeks ago, and for two weeks after the place was an absolute zoo. While it was stressful at the time, my wallet was grateful--particularly now that business is slowing down again. It's not as dead as it was before, but doing the math on tips from this week versus the past two weeks shows that the paycheck is about to drop off again. Significantly. Sigh. Oh you far-off dreams of financial solvency... never, it seems, to be reached in this lifetime...

Other than work, grad school applications and GREs--and occassionally catching up on my DVR--consume the remainder of my conscious hours. Such a thrilling life I lead, no?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it looks like I'll be stuck working a double on Wednesday AND Friday, though thankfully we're closed on the holiday itself. I'll probably be heading over to the Lovely A's house to hang out with her and her boyfriend--I'm sorry, fiance, *grin*--who seems to be under the impression that he can cook a turkey in a crock pot. I'll be bringing pie. Then I'll head to PA over the weekend for a belated celebration with the parents, who are kind enough to postpone their own festivities to accomodate my crappy work schedule--one of the perks of being an only child.

I take the GRE on December 2nd (less than two weeks away, and my Math score still needs a boost of at *least* 60 points! ACK!!), after which my primary source(s) of stress will be preparing material for my MFA auditions, digging up my writing sample for my PhD applications (which, of course, only exists in hard copy and is buried somewhere in my apartment) and re-typing it, wondering how the hell I'm going to pay for all of these applications, and writing four Personal Statements distinctly tailored to each of the four programs to which I am applying.

So. In case you were wondering why I've been MIA lately, this is why.

Think if I ask Santa for more hours in the day, he'd help me out?

In the mean time, go read the post linked above and reminisce with me about the days when I actually had the time and mental capacity to write something significant. I'll be right there with you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I need a break from reality.  Sadly, the minor respite afforded by one of my favourite holidays did not last long enough to alleviate the current tedium of daily life.

Halloween has come and gone, and while the festivities were significantly tamer than in years past, I still enjoyed myself.

I went to the Halloween Parade for the first time, and despite the heavens' repeated attempts to drench us, it was still pretty rockin'.

It should be noted, however, that arriving obscenely early is crucial if you want to get a decent vantage point from which to observe. We had managed to station ourselves, despite a late arrival, on a high curb that afforded us a decent view over the heads of those in front of us... until the umbrellas went up.

I was, of course, appropriately attired.

Which may explain how, later, I inexplicably found myself walking in the parade as my friends and I struggled to find an open subway entrance.

Shortly (relatively speaking) thereafter, I found myself in the Bronx, where the World Series had significantly overshadowed the holiday at hand--unjustly, in my opinion. I mean, the Series goes on for seven nights, whereas Halloween only gets one! In such an instance of unequal time-sharing, one would think that the holiday at hand would take precedence. However, just try talking rationally to a Yankee fan. Go on, I'll wait here.


A fruitless endeavor, no?

Eventually fatigue and baseball overload, not to mention having my mid-section cinched in by a steel-boned corset, took their toll, and after narrowly avoiding smacking the idiot mentioned in my previous post, I took a taxi home and promptly passed the hell out.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pop Quiz

It's Halloween and you are in a bar, hitting on a girl in an elaborate costume. You ask for her number. She declines. You,

a.) shrug it off and continue making polite conversation, hoping to change her mind with your natural charms;

b.) go find someone less resistant, and more drunk, to hit on;

c.) start talking about how much you hate Halloween, because of the way other bars (not the one you are in) handle the holiday, then get offended when she points out that the problem seems to be yours, and that you shouldn't blame the holiday because you make poor choices of location in which to celebrate, accuse her of being overly sensitive, and warn her that she shouldn't get too excited about some things, or she won't have enough energy left over for other things in her life.

I'll just let you mull that over. Go ahead, take your time. Tune in tomorrow to learn the answer that absolutely will NOT get you in my pants, plus more Halloweeny goodness...