An Embarassing Moment for Starry Eyes

Starry Eyes attends a weekly gymnastics class in lieu of going to a gym to get her work out on.  While she is not going to be competing in the Olympics any time soon, she is an exceptionally good gymnast.  Although, you should keep in mind that this assessment is coming from a Spaz who doesn't even have the ability to perform a somersault. TFS.  SE called me last night to tell me about a small faux pas she committed during her last class. 

Perhaps before I continue with the story it would be wise to provide you with a little bit of background information on this chick.  If for no other reason than to provide a few more laughs at the expense of one of my best friends.

Starry Eyes and I met during the spring semester of our freshman year at college.  We were fortunate enough to have a class together (during which I persistently badgered her to go through sorority rush) and after a series of fortuitous events she ended up receiving a bid to my sorority and the extraordinary friendship that we still maintain was set into motion.  A lot of people would describe their best friend as someone who is on the same page as them in life or that they have a lot in common with.  That is not the case for Starry Eyes and myself.  In fact, we may as well be polar opposites.  But like one of my favorite pop idols, Paula Abdul, once said
"we come together cuz opposites attract."
SE is the type of girl that, if she could remember, would always make sure to be wearing a skirt and stilettos when filling her car up with gasoline. She has never taken any illegal drugs, although she kept me wildly entertained while I was intoxicated during college by performing her hilarious impersonations of various cast members from both MADtv and SNL. Her hair and make up is always done, she grew up as a Jew in a predominantly WASPY town, has had a boyfriend for like a century and has no desire to have children .  Starry Eyes is flighty yet brilliant, a dichotomous dame as Wild Child so cleverly put it by incorporating her love for alliteration.  If not for an interest in  fashion and shopping, a desire to take over the world, similar business ethics and views on religion, an ongoing passion for studying western philosophy and the simple fact that while we are both off the wall we manage to keep each other sane, our friendship would not have survived this many years.  I have told her numerous times that she is my therapist and during college we referred to each other as "key chain" because we never went any where without the other.

I was with her when she got yelled at by the small gas station attendant after she overflowed her fuel tank in Providence while the two of us, clearly oblivious to our surroundings, sat in the car listening to whatever rap music, probably Chris Brown, this dainty white girl had blasting from her radio.  SE was the first one on the scene when I ever so gracefully fell down the steep flight of stairs from the third floor to the second floor in the haunted mansion that eight of us inhabited senior year and checked on me at least half a dozen times to make sure I was alive.  Starry Eyes was also the only one who always knew where my keys were hiding, because even back then I lost them quite often. I know that she stays up all night, wears only one contact lens and like me, wears a retainer every night, but I digress.

On this particular day at gymnastics Starry Eyes noticed her class had a new member; a ridiculously good looking male specimen was in attendance. SE was determined to show off her skills for this guy, forgetting for just a millisecond that she has a boyfriend. I mean, is it really so bad to flirt with a good looking stranger by performing "tricks" while wearing clothing only appropriate for gymnastics (and other activities requiring flexibility) during a class?? Anyways, SE strutted her stuff over to the uneven bars and prepared to do a move that she tells me is called a "cast to a free hip circle."  This is a move that she does often and was confident enough in her ability to perform it successfully that she was certain said hottie would be impressed.  Up she goes, she has two hands on the bar and prepares to flip over it-  but! instead of going around the bar, she launched herself a little too far and landed on her face five feet away from her intended landing destination.  Starry Eyes was kind enough to provide me with a photo of her war wound.

Hahaha! Oh! Starry Eyes, you're lucky you're pretty!!!


Where'd All The Good People Go?

Have you ever felt like you were being torn in two directions?
Maybe you are at a crossroads between two job decisions, two choices of university or some other life changing factor?
Or maybe its deeper, maybe its so deep, maybe sometimes you feel as though you are torn between the person you are and the person that others perceive you to be or expect you to be?

The older we get the wiser we get or so its been said.  It does makes sense though, in fact it makes so much sense.  We get older, we learn more, we experience more - therefore we are wiser.

I do believe we go through phases though and that the definition of wise can be interpreted in many ways.  Intelligence could be measured by SAT scores, GPAs, general knowledge, street smarts, knowledge of trivial facts, of science, of math, of art, et cetera.  Regardless, the older we get, the longer we have lived, the more we know.

From what I have gathered over my 25.8 years of life is that the most important thing to do is to be true to yourself.

I have never placed judgment on anyone or disliked a person without reason.  To me, everyone is a friend until something occurs which would cause me to view them otherwise.  Ben Harper says it best,

Your choice is who you choose to be and if you're causing no harm then you're alright with me.
I had never experienced any sort of negative judgment against myself until I went to college.  To a lot of my friends that I made at my university, I was the first Jewish person they had ever met.  While most were accepting and some even positively inquisitive, others were quick to dismiss me.  One of my friends was even asked where her horns were!  My freshman year was also the first time I realized the negative connotation that was associated with being from Long Island. There is a stereotype that I was not aware of and even to this day, people that I meet that I think are above stereotypes and completely free spirited judge me. 
Not everyone from Long Island is a JAP or spoiled or self centered. Just as not everyone from Boston is pretentious or not everyone from the mid west lives on a farm.

I realized that when it comes to me and my life experiences its appears that people judge privilege.  They judge what they don't understand. 

I went to Israel two summers ago and a guy on my trip made me cry on the third day.  He saw me in the airport on the first day, sized me up with his eyes, saw what I was wearing and decided I was not worth getting to know.  He said horrible things to me and has since apologized and retracted all that he said and we are good friends now but it still hurts to think back to that day.

Sometimes I find myself lying or leaving certain details out when asked about my job or where I am from. Or, when I know I will be hanging out with certain people I will switch to a different purse or put on a different watch.  Tonight at dinner my friend J said to me,
You should never apologize for who you are or for the things you have been fortunate enough to obtain.  If someone doesn't take the time to get to know you than that is 100% their loss.
 Have I mentioned that I love this guy??

It just seems so ludicrous to me, so ludicrous that I find the need to describe it as preposterous that there are some people, some very well educated people that define people on the sole basis of materialism.  Even the least materialistic people I know judge others on materialism. 

Why must we conform? Why must we be confined to one specific box??

Wild Child was here visiting New York a few weeks ago. With her, she brought me a card.  Wild Child has always had a special knack for picking out cards that say the most appropriate things.  The card she bought for me says on the cover:

There Is No Equal To You
 and inside, part of what she wrote to me says:

One of the main reasons I love you is your ability to wear many hats - and wear them well.  Blogger, spaz, hippie, JAP, philosopher, music junkie, sexual deviant...I could go on.
Wild Child is one of the few people that truly gets me and that has a lot to do with why she is my hero.  I have friends that I have known for most of my life, very close friends, that still don't get me at all.  Some have even said,

You have a tattoo? You just don't seem the type?
My first reaction is always to ask what the "type" is of a person who would get a tattoo. But instead I say that yes, not only do I have a tattoo, but I have four.  If I am not the type who gets them, then how do you explain it?

Why does our society make it so that we have to be one certain way?  Why do we have to be either a Democrat or a Republican?  Why do we have to be a JAP or a hipster or a prep or any other title?  And why, once a title is placed on us must we conform to the statutes and limits that stereotypically define said group? 

Why can't someone support gay marriage and anti abortion?  Or dress only in Prada but also like to get stoned at Phish shows?  Or be an owner of a major corporation and like to play video games?  Or be a professional athlete yet also likes to discuss philosophy over whiskey at NYC speakeasies?

Don't answer "of course they can" without considering if you have truly given everyone you have met a fair chance.

I took a business meeting a few months back and the guy I was meeting with asked me what kind of music I liked.  I responded that I am not a fan of one particular genre of music, but rather, I like music that when I listen to it it either evokes some kind of true emotion inside of me or it makes me - a non dancer - want to dance my ass off. As an artist, he respected this answer.  Others do not, most others do not.

I just realized that it is after 1am and I should go to bed.  So dear readers I leave you with this:

Jack Johnson wrote a song titled "Good People."  In it he says,

Whatever you say. Turn on the boob tube, I'm in the mood to obey. So lead me astray. By the way now, where'd all the good people go?
 Going, going, gone...


A Lot A Bit Of Self Reflection

WARNING: This post is going to deviate quite drastically from my usual topics concerning my spastic life and irresponsible lifestyle. Please note that  I don't expect you to read it all the way through as I fear it has the potential to be dreadfully boring. But after a day of self reflection with Momo and some other situations that have come to surface recently, I feel the only way to clear my head and to actually do something about the way I have been feeling is to blog it.  Judge me if you must - but these are my thoughts. I am also not going to go back and edit (which goes against everything I believe) because I feel it is best to keep this raw and natural. So please forgive any grammatical blunders.

While sitting in Madison Square Park today with Momo we decided to count the statues of iron men that are located on top of the surrounding buildings.  My curiosity got the best of me so I Googled the exhibit to find out the artist's purpose for displaying them in such an odd way.

Here is a link to the exhibit itself http://eventhorizonnewyork.org/
From the point of view of someone on the ground, the statues look as though someone is on top of these very high buildings ready to jump.  But Antony Gormley, the artist, says that
 Isolated against the sky these dark figures look out into space at large asking: where does the humanity fit in the scheme of things?
This really got me thinking.  I have always considered myself as someone with a good head on their shoulders who knows up from down, left from right and right from wrong. But perhaps I am wrong.  I have the amazing opportunity to live in, what I consider to be, the greatest city in the world.  New York City is a place where one can accomplish anything and I am fairly certain I take that for granted.  While trying to locate the 31 iron statues with Momo we found ourselves looking up and realized we hardly ever do that.  We noticed bridges that connected buildings to one another, trees that existed high up on the roofs etc.  While these things aren't necessarily very important, it made us realize that we spend most of our days just getting by.  We move along with the fast pace of New York City and don't take as much time to appreciate the natural beauty in the simplicity of what surrounds us. 

When Wild Child came to visit we had an incident while walking to meet some friends at a bar.  A man was hosing off the sidewalk that we were walking on and shut off his hose as we passed by.  Wild Child thanked him.  I did not.  I don't consider myself to be a rude person, but by not thanking this man I was being extremely rude. It was as though I just expected him to shut off the hose as I passed.  I said something to WC about it, and her response was that she is polite.  Since then I have been very conscious of people doing kind things towards me, small or large, and make sure to say thank you.

A good friend of mine, JZ, just got back to New York after traveling around South America working in hospitals in the most devastating of conditions.  He would send emails about once a month to update his friends back home about his experiences.  His most recent stop was Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and the way he described the living situations there is not only too unbearable to even attempt to describe but it's almost hard to believe.  I always talk with JZ about how I admire what he was doing in South America and how I wish I could do something to make this world a better place but just don't have time.  He said to me last night, and has to me many times before, that not having time is not an excuse and that he doesn't know for sure why, but of all of his friends he really expects more from me. 

I shared this at the park today with Momo and I came to the conclusion that I really do want to contribute to making this world we live in better.  I don't think I have to travel to a different country to get this done as there are plenty of people who need help right here in New York City.  Of course I already make donations, I give that $1 at the supermarkets or at Petco towards animal shelters or whichever charity is being helped and I try and help out the homeless with whatever spare change I have in my purse - but none of this is enough.  I realize it is not only about money.  My biggest problem with donations is that I always want to give more and I just don't have more to give.  I have an English degree and am thinking I would like to volunteer at libraries or schools and possibly read to or tutor adults who have never learned to read.  The illiteracy rate for adults in New York City alone is extremely high, much higher than I would've expected. 

I move through life making spontaneous decisions and always searching for instant gratification. But I wasn't always like that.  I used to find excitement from being challenged, would sign up for more difficult courses in college or always choose the path least traveled, but since graduation I have lost my way.  I have since been complacent with where I was at, i.e. having an apartment, a job and living in NYC like I had always wanted. 

I have also spent a lot of my days hating on America and what it stands for, but this July 4th as the fireworks were going off and the bar I was at was playing "I'm Proud to be an American," I got to thinking, in what other country could I, especially as a woman, say out loud how I truly feel about our government?  I am fascinated by conspiracy theories and still believe our government is corrupt.  But we really do live in the land of the free. 

For me, it comes down to realizing that not all dreams can come true but we all can make some kind of difference in this world if we truly want to.  I don't think I will ever finish my novel that I have started and deleted and started again at least a dozen times since I was a sophomore in college, and I don't know if I will ever go back to school to accomplish my dream of becoming a professor of English at a university so that I can discuss my favorite books "The Great Gatsby" and "1984" with students that I feel will actually want to be in attendance.  I also don't know if I will ever be financially well off enough to open up/start up the foster home that I had always wanted to establish.  But I do know that I am extremely lucky to not only be pretty, kidding, but to live where I live and to be healthy and to have amazing parents that support me and a huge loving extended family as well as a ton of fantastic friends. I also know that while my current situation does not allow me to pick up and travel to another country to help those far less well off than I, there are those right here in the very city in which I live that need help as well - and I can, and will, do something about it.

I have been fortunate enough to grow up in a family that is extremely liberal and open to all different types of people. I admire my grandparents for being so excepting of having a gay son and two of their son's that married outside of our religion.  They grew up in a time where these things were not accepted by society (unfortunately they still aren't entirely) but showed us that true happiness is much more important than living your life for someone else.  About a month ago I got my 4th, and yes mom it is my last, tattoo.  It is written in cursive Hebrew which is essentially lowercase to represent the laid back low stress life style that I like to maintain, but what it says is "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?."  I just think it is important to be happy with yourself, realize all that you have, appreciate quality, not be judgmental, follow your dreams even if they can't be reached and support those that you love. I believe that if this can be done than the rest will all fall into place.

Sorry for the deep post. If you are still reading, I'd just like to say thank you for essentially listening to me ramble.  I promise to drink an exorbitant amount of prosecco tonight and follow up with a drunken, silly and spazzy post. :)