I didn’t used to like zombie or any kind of horror movie, but I’ve changed. Finally, in my thirties, I embrace zombies! In the 70s, zombies used to kind of wander around at the pace of sleepwalkers and their victims, instead of easily outrunning these flesh-eating predators, would become paralyzed by fear and inaction and just bump into walls, making themselves easy targets for the undead.
In “28 Days Later” (which I saw after my Chipotle margarita and is not a great flick and presumably a worse flick than its predecessor “28 Days Later”), the zombies don’t meander aimlessly — they freaking sprint! They’re downright Olympic-quality athletes, people! There’s a scene, where Robert Carlyle is racing in bright daylight away from a zombie-invested house in a pretty English country setting, and on the horizon of the hills is a full line of zombies marathoning at full speed to his fresh blood! The palpable anxiety on this actor’s face and the 60 zombies after him set to a great rock song was an awesome distraction from office politics! Neck biting! It’s way distracting from run-of-the-mill stress.
This picture, coupled with the hilarious “Shaun of the Dead,” has confirmed my zombie love for life.
After an awfully stressful work week (last week) thank goodness I have pals to kick back and blow off steam with. Admittedly, Chipotle is a Disneyfied funhouse, but really, I would drink almost anywhere that offers $3.95 margaritas. We were getting so giggly and rowdy we were concerned about getting kicked out. It is a brightly lit, family-style corporate dining establishment after all, owned by McDonald’s no less. We pity the fools at Quiznos, man, drinking their sodas. After one margarita, I was ready to go home. Par-taaaaay! Senior citizen style, yes!
Oy, my job is insanely busy with both stuff to get done and internal politics, including a mind meld between my bosses and my main competitor. We might have to sue the previous tenant of my parents’ place to get money they owe. I need about a kabillion hours more of sleep.
But at least I had a good hair day. Seriously, it looked really good. Gloooorious. See? There’s always a silver lining.
When I do tree pose, why do I feel like the Towering Inferno?
Why do the gym mats have to smell like feet?
Why do I eat a gigantic meal an hour before I go to yoga?
I’m trying to find volunteer work. I have this fantasy where I run a writing workshop for 13-year-olds, and we exchange meaningful moments and leave indelible impressions on each other’s lives, but in Brooklyn, which has like the highest concentration of famous, established writers in the world apparently, there’s a waiting list. Like I’m trying to work for free, okay, but it’s still like competitive to do that. I have to wait six months to hear if I can do some measley copyediting because Paul Auster is teaching the kids right now. Jees. Both great, and jeees. This cool nonprofit, 826 NYC, is partnered with McSweeney’s, one of those literary mafia outfits. What the. It’s like wanting Dunkin Doughnuts coffee and all that’s available of super mochatto mochiatto frappe cinnos.
Apparently, the men in my office get together and talk about the bods of the women in the office. There was one group email that circulated commenting on the view of one set of “beautiful cantaloupes” during a photo session. Various young ladies have complained about one person in IT who loves to call them all “sexy” and “baby” and complain about being married. I was a little shocked to hear this goes on, from people I know and who have been perfectly nice to me. My husband’s reaction to this was to shake his head and say “why are people still eight years old.” (Sensitivity Points for Husband.) There was one guy who is such a lonely oddball that he gets inebriated at office functions and hits on everyone (the old throw-everything-on-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks technique). At one such event, he actually massaged my back while I was talking to friendlier colleagues, causing me to say “Lots of inappropriate touching going on right now” while dissolving into uncontrollable giggles. (Um, I’m eight years old.)
I don’t know what to think. It sort of is sexual harassment — not the “Disclosure” kind starring in Demi Moore and Michael Douglas, in his favorite kind of role of being a victim (See
“Falling Down,” where he gets victimized by and then turns his anger on every minority group. Poor rich white man. Pleeeeeeease.) More annoying than threatening. I don’t think we all have to ignore the fact that we have bodies, but it’s funny how some males still don’t see how this might be somewhat offensive to the ladies, and I don’t understand why more people don’t hit on me. I still have it going on. (ha ha ha ha) And that’s the other weird side of this equation. I’m passing that age where people look at me, and not that I was ever Prom Queen, but there’s definitely something about being a young woman that draws people’s eye and they do stop looking as you age. Isn’t that weird? It’s like when Shirley MacClaine told AARP Magazine that she feels invisible, especially after working with Cameron Diaz. Oh my god, I’m like Shirley MacClaine.
I asked someone in Accounts Payable how’s life and she said “I’m alive, so life is good” (which is almost redundant. heh heh, i’m so petty) but I instantly wished to have a similarly, no-nonsense attitude. Why not? I go to the gym, I have a job, I have a home, I have a husband, I have access to a multitude of Yuppie services. Yo, I’m like loaded, people! I’ve got nothing to complain about.
And yet…I’m so good at it…
I’ve had Mom Friends for a while. I don’t mean like my junior high school teacher whom I still talk to and who is 82 or 1,000 or something, but the Mom Friends my age. It’s slightly freaky when your pals start reproducing. It’s a sign of what–adulthood? Yet another hallmark that seems to happen so easily in the movies but in real life seems unacceptable or unbelieveable or just I don’t know, not what you think it would be. Friendships change. I don’t know what it’s like from the Mom Friend perspective (and I suppose I will some day) but from the perspective of the friend-with-inactive-womb, it’s a shift that sometimes puts a bump or a permanent stop to the friendship.
Keeping up with Mom Friends requires you traveling to them (understandable) and spending the much of the time fretting over the baby rather than talking to each other (also understandable). Having a baby is consuming stuff, and kids require a LOT of attention. And they’re so tiny. (Oh god, what if you drop one.) That part doesn’t bug me. I get that part. (I actually am a fan of kids — some of them. With some, there’s an insta-bond; others seem like blank-faced pigs in a blanket.) But sometimes there’s a faint whiff of “Some day you’ll understand” from your Mom Friend. She has advanced beyond your realm and is only able to fully connect to other Mom Friends, and sometimes, that makes me sad. It’s sort of like the pals you lose when they fall in love. When single, they’re reliable and like steel-rod-loyal, but once coupled, they disappear like, I don’t know, alka seltzer dissolving in water (i’m really low on similes right now. sorry). Or it’d be like if all your friends move to Philly and started talking about cheese steaks all the time. What would you do then? Mom Friends like other Mom Friends because they have much in common. Like one of my Mom Friends, who is still quite dear to me, is a Mom to two kids and sees ghosts in her house. And now, she’s completely enamored with another Mom Friend who happens to be a Psychic and can cleanse her house of spirits as well as discuss the merits of Timeouts. How do you beat that, people?
It’s a long life (knock on wood). People come and go, and sometimes come back again. I mean, we all kind of take turns leaving each other, right? I’m just getting used to it and I’m not always so dang melancholy. Maybe I’ll just go give myself a timeout.
My mom is going to Korea for a few weeks and wants to borrow some clothes.
“That fine, Mom, but sometimes, I don’t really wash them.”
“Just do a sniff test.”
I gotta say I actually like living in Brooklyn. I’ve lived there for almost two years, and I think I’ve finally gotten over Manhattan.
It was bad at first. I had moved out of tiny, two-bedroom (360 square feet, no closets; shower in the living room, etc.), six-floor walk-up, rent-stablized West Village apartment begrudgingly. Even though the paint was peeling, the mice ran rampant inside the walls, and the entire building felt like it was sinking, I still loved it. It was the West Village, man! You can see celebs there! You can pay $2.50 for a Magnolia cup cake! You can walk along the gentrifed West Side Highway park and ignore the mild sewage odor and pretend you were in San Francisco! I guess it was time. At some point, I might be pregnant, and unless my husband is willing to piggyback me up six flights, I just can’t pull it off.
Once ensconced in Brooklyn, we were in a new world of space and quiet and it creeped me out. It reminded me of the suburbs, and I felt hopelessly stuck. Somehow, though I had spent so much energy to get away from my suburban roots, I came smack back to it. What is thing, these quiet streets, with these trees all over the place? I missed Manhattan terribly. I imagined all my friends having raucous good times, creating exciting memories from nightlife pursuits I was too far away to experience (I live like 20 minutes from Manhattan). The subway commute to work was longer. I couldn’t visit my old neighborhood–too painful, it was like going through a breakup, and I didn’t want to be reminded of the good old days..
But suddenly, in year two, I have fallen in love with my neighborhood. I mean, I can jog on the sidewalk and not have to dodge bodies. It’s nice to wake up and not hear sirens. There are a lot of cool volunteer organizations in Brooklyn, tons of writing groups and theater people. People are friendlier in Brooklyn. Isn’t that weird? But it’s true–folks are less guarded and actually look at each other when passing. And these trees are like growing on me.
I still can’t wander in the West Village without feeling pangs of melancholy, but…it’s okay. At least, I’m healing. Ha ha haha.