when i don't have to go to work.

I sometimes make plans to walk the Brooklyn Bridge with S. It's a done deal until we step foot into a stationary store and/or locate a happy hour somewhere with four dollar margaritas. To shake things up a bit, I'll do something crazy like give the bartender my phone number or blow $100 on dinner afterwards cause that always seems like a good idea when you're trying to teach yourself a thing or two about saving money.

But mostly on my days off I have breakfast twice and I study Facebook like I'm still in college and I have a very important paper due the next morning. I tell myself I should get up and be productive, but then I cave into something as horrific as watching The City on Netflix, and it makes me feel terrible inside, so I only watch four more episodes and then I look around me and realize that if I were to suddenly die from some random freak accident, I would probably die again knowing people saw what a state I've been living my day in. So I get up and tidy the room. Pick up the the one or two raisins that fell from my midnight swoop of trail mix the night before, make the bed, maybe do some laundry. You know. Get my shit together. And in the process start considering what few hours are now left of the day and how I've limited my oyster.

I start thinking about the few friends I've made thus far and what they might have on the books for the evening. Chances are there's a gay club waiting to bedazzle the night and how fun would that be, except the idea hardly amuses me, no matter how hard I try to get amped about it. I'm tired of drinking. I don't even like it. At all. And though it would be nice to find myself surrounded with people, I don't particularly feel like talking to any of them.

So instead I make plans to fly solo to Barnes. The bookstore is always a great idea. I don't think anything quite fulfills me so simply as holding a hot beverage while taking inventory of all the interesting titles I wish I had the jail time to soak from cover to cover. I met someone once who said the same kind of thing. I remember getting goosebumps from the excitement in sharing such a hobbie with somebody. We used to go to Barnes together a lot. And let me tell ya- there was something very endearing about the way we'd sit there and get lost in our over priced pulp fictions together. At moments he'd break my escape, by rubbing my back or running his fingers through my hair. But I'd keep reading. Or maybe I'd tilt my head slightly to let him know I was there with him in that space between ficton and reality. Sometimes, I recall those times and I miss them. Really tho, I just miss having someone to hold my latte while I go pee.

It's dark out now. I've made a purchase and the only logical option I have is to begin the trek back home to Astoria. But I'm out now and there's foundation on my face and long lasting mascara on my lashes and I've read a thing or two that's got me feeling all inspired. Suddenly, returning to my dismal four by four living space, however tidy and slightly warmer it is at that point, seems incredibly lame. I live in New York City now. It's not even ten and surely there's something going on in this town. But I don't know where to even begin looking, so I just start walking. I walk for blocks and blocks. I walk and walk and at moments slow down as I pass a crowded bar. I consider the possibilities of just walking in and having a drink. But I've never felt comfortable just walking into a bar and sitting by myself. The only thing that ever comes out of that is texting the very same people whose plans I had already figured out and decided I wasn't interested in, liking everyone's recent instagrams, and finally paying for a drink that I didn't even really want to begin with. So I don't go in. I just keep walking. Some live music or something would be nice, but I don't find any good vibrating beats beneath my feet before I end up just hoping on the nearest N train. For a hard moment I'm disappointed. Maybe I should have just gone out with my friends to the gay club.

It's midnight when I return home. I take my coat off and I toss it onto the bedroom floor. It's an old coat that I don't care about and I've decided that now the room's too clean. I swoop up what's left of the trail mix, dropping a single raisin to cuddle up against my coat and I check Facebook one last time for the day. Someone else just posted their marriage photos. Cute.

My sister is online. I say hi and we chat for a little bit. I tell her how much I miss her and I tell her for the 29837th time that I can't wait for her to come out and visit me. She's doing really good. She just got some great notes from a casting agent and made a bunch of money bartending this past weekend.

I think about how far we've both come. From round one of LA to Orange County to back to Ventura to now.

I get a text message from Steve. "Hi."

 Some characters in life are just constant, no matter where you go.

I find myself lost in a blog post, the menu on Netflix, some old e-mail accounts I thought would be interesting to go digging through before I finally respond with a "Hello."

"Do u wanna live in Costa Rica for a month or two?"

I've been quite the Yes Man lately, but it breaks there. Tho Costa Rica would be nice.

It's almost two now and I'm sleepy. Somehow I manage to convince myself to get up and brush my teeth. I think about the whole day I had off from work and I'm glad I didn't go to the gay club. But I definitely should have squeezed the gym in, or gone to the High Line, dang it, that's what I should have done. I keep meaning to do that. Well, next time. Next time, Brooklyn Bridge and High Line it is. I'll bring S with me.

I write something short and far from eloquent in my journal and then turn out the light.


shoots and ladders.

Sebastion Reiser

As you all know, back in January when I started this blog, I decided I was going to try this thing called go celibate for an entire year and keep all things highly platonic. In a serious attempt to prove I wasn't totally humoring myselfI wrote an entire piece about it. 

Well. If you've been reading along then surely you've found word that my little science project has plummeted. And if you've missed word, then let it be known that I, jen, have miserably failed to stay away from the boys. 

I lasted a good five months without so much as having brunch with maybe one dude who I was reluctant to even climb into a car with. 

Then, much like the time Chandler had a cigarette to reward himself for not smoking cigarettes, I hung out with Steve.

And then I took an impromptu trip to SF where I met A, the Russian. Who did a marvelously fine job sweeping me off my feet in what I like to think was a pretty crazy twist of fate. I didn't even tell you guys this, but A actually flew down from SF to Ventura and spent my last weekend in California with me before I left. Very rarely have I ever had a dude come my way, let alone get inside an airplane to do it. You tell me how the hecks a gal is to say no to that? 

And now I've been in New York for nearly four months, and have definitely flirted my way into disaster with one pumpkin and totally embarrassed myself very recently with another. 

In summary, I've been very busy doing a horrible job avoiding the male race. So shoots to that.

But what I can say is this-- with only a month and half left of this year, I've given myself some serious time to not just dip my feet in several ponds, but not get lost or specifically glued to any one of them. I've enjoyed each connection as they've been bestowed upon me, without denying them or their significance, for better or for worse, for moments short or long, I've said yes. I've said yes without my usual agenda to commit, or expect, or sacrifice my own plans. I've managed to say yes while still staying single. And totally I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T. do you know what that means mang. 

minus my own house, my own car, and the two jobs.

Tho, I did have two jobs like two weeks ago, and I won't argue with the bad broad part, cause well. 

I kinda just got the biggest job promotion of my life thus far. 

I've been meaning to tell all of you, but really, it's taken me a couple weeks now to really grasp that a. it's actually happening and b. it's quite remarkable and also c. I will succeed and do fine. (insecurities get the best of me when big things happen.)

Today marks my third day training as a manager for my restaurant job. Of course, the anti-corporate America in me is banging it's head against the wall a little bit, but to deny an opportunity like this one, would be foolish I think. It's a very large corporation with pockets deep enough to secure me a nice apartment in the city, with salary, benefits, free sushi, the whole ninety yards.  + a promising future if I work hard enough for it. And so I've chosen to say yes again.

Kind of crazy how things continue to be working out. 

Of course, there's been a lot of the feeling homesick. The weight gain hasn't been delightful. And actually that first George pumpkin who followed me onto my 1 train did manage to get to me a little bit. More than I'd like to admit. But that's the first real slight heartache I've felt all year. And as far as my health is concerned, a little heart ache here and there ain't so terrible. I mean, it's not like I have a choice anyway. Ha- I don't know how to keep my heart anything but wide open all the damn time, I really don't, but I think it's better than all of those people who say no over and over, simply out of fear of rejection. Or disappointment. Or abandonment. 

Those things are inevitable and they will happen at one point or many points for ALL of us. I can't tell you how many times I've been disappointed. But it doesn't take away from all the soulful and ever-endearing moments I've shared with so many strange and wonderful individuals in my life. I wouldn't trade those glances, those laughs, those quiet duets for anything. 

Eventually, I know I'll find one that sticks. My darling dear, wherever you may be, your cold beer and Royal Tenenbaums Criterion Collection awaits you!

For now, I'm living the dream in NYC. Being a boss. Climbing ladders. Playing footsies wherever applicable. And saying shoots. Cause srsly- who the crap knew.


ok. time to get ripped. part two.

I had some legit canoli the other day in Little Italy. S and I were wandering about as we do on our days off together when I proposed we invite some gelato before dinner into our evening. And because there was a sign at the gelato shop that said "Best Canoli in Town" we thought, fine. Give us one of those as well.

It's too easy to say yes to food in this city. My conscious eating habits have gone completely idle and never have I ever seen this sweet tooth of mine prosper so shamelessly. It's been nice. Really nice. You bring me much joy, macaroons for breakfast, but alas, these fresh off the fork love handles=not cute.

I'm up 15 pounds now since I arrived in NY, and no, it's not the end of the world or anything. But girls will be girls. 

So basically I'm losing my shit a tiny bit, as I struggle to zip up my jeans and convince myself that oversized sweaters are the new sexy.

It's time for some serious Jennifer Lopez in the Enough to go down and I'm committed to making this my number one goal in the coming months. I've let too many emotions and expectations from various things get the best of me lately and I'm done with it all. It's time to toughen up, get moving and figure out how I can integrate my former workout routine here in the city. And yeah-- not eat nearly as many bagels as I have been. 

I wanna sign up for a half marathon and get back to running--would love some partners in crime if anyone in the city wants to train together. I think an accountability partner or two would do me some good. So if you're down, let me know, my dears! I'm game, in addition to hearing any suggestions, resources, tips you might have on how to stay fit in the city. Thanksss!