New York

A couple of months ago I joined hundreds of New Yorkers in celebration of Margaret Atwood’s birthday. I sat in the audience, by myself, as Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman engaged in witty conversation, running the gamut from books to politics to film to America. Something Ms. Atwood said resounded so poignantly, it moved me. Mr. Gaiman told her that he counted her as one of the few role models he could look up to, for she was a poet, a screenwriter, an inventor, and an author of speculative fiction as well as historical fiction.

Shirley Manson is a rockstar. On Friday night, three of my friends joined me for the Garbage concert at Terminal Five in New York City. The concert hall was chock full of fans, most of them longterm fans such as myself, and the energy was a palpable buzz that pushed and shoved its way through the crowd. The two hour show was frenetic, and our voices were hoarse, and aside from a few drunken idiots who didn't listen to their bodies yelling “no more”, there were grins abounding. The night was a perfect alliance of music, best friends, nostalgia, dancing, singing, joy, and New York City.

Over the last two weeks my friends and clients have been asking if I have made any New Year's resolutions. I guess that is a standard go-to query directly after January first, and I wonder how many people proffer similar responses. How many people talk about diet and exercise, going to yoga, reading certain or more books, traveling, making more money, caring less about money, finding more alone time, being more social or less social depending on which way the pendulum swings. How many people make promises? To themselves, to each other? Or review promises from the years past?

Justin is a man, but almost a boy, or at least he looks more like a boy when you get up closer. His beard is deceiving, his big worn hands are deceiving, his homeless status is somewhat deceiving. On my first go around, I saw a dark head tilted down into a jutting collarbone, dwarfed by a large cardboard sign that said, "Anything helps" (anything helps, need work, I am trying to pull my life together, please) I made it three stores down before I turned back. When I addressed him with my perky and sunny "Hi" he immediately looked up.

Last Wednesday I went to my first audition. You heard me . . . AUDITION. Am I an aspiring actress? Nope. Have I ever done this before? Not really, unless you want to count the church auditorium before my freshman year when I auditioned with my then boyfriend. (We nailed it, by the way, and went on to wow multiple church audiences all around Orange County.) Am I currently funemployed with occasional open afternoons on my hands? You got it!

I just want to make sure we're on the same page.
Or: It's becoming obvious we're not on the same page. Would you mind flipping to mine?
Or: I want this to appear like a mutual decision, and I hope you fall for it.
Or: I thought we'd discussed this already, but it appears you need to be schooled again.
Or: So, listen, open up and expose what you are feeling (I will take it in), then sit back and accept how I want things to be.
Or: Do you like me? Then nod and agree, “Totally, we're totally on the same page”.

I resisted Facebook for a long time. I remember using words like “lame” and “trendy” and “not gonna last” when my friends first started peer pressuring me to join. But then, I caved. And now, I post photos on Fbook on a regular basis, and I love looking at friends' photos, and I certainly am entertained by the ridiculous comments that my hilarious friends post on my photos. But. But! Facebook is of a certain strain of evil that is weaved into our world so deftly it is disguised as fun. One obvious element is the fact that it can be (and is for most) a total time suck.

Alas, I have no fun stories to relay. This is good news, folks, because it means I have only been going on good dates. Lovely dinners, delicious brunches, good company, blah blah blah. No gun-toting punks with poor grammar and horrific spelling. No recent vomiting (thank God) to report, and no strange experiences to share. I know I should be happy that the dating gods have smiled on me these past couple of weeks, but I can't help but feel a little despondent that my fodder jar is so empty.

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