Tuesday, May 18, 2004

New York, New York, It's a Hell of a Town

Hello. I am back from the Big Apple. Actually, just back. As in, a half hour ago. I have a bunch of thoughts, so I wanted to get them down while I was still thinking properly. This might be long.

[Sidenote: My dog had her puppies early Saturday morning, so I got to canoodle them for a little bit before I left. She had four--all black and white. Thankfully, it all happened without a hitch while I slept.]

Thought #1) When I was a kid, I used to watch musicals all the time. It never seemed weird to me that people were suddenly breaking into song at the drop of a hat. I think I've hit a new era, because I went and saw "Mamma Mia" (the ABBA musical) and everything struck me as really odd. Hello! He's singing "S.O.S." into your ear and you're staring at a wall! Duh.

Thought #2) I like myself better when I am in a city or travelling. Maybe that's not the way to put it...I feel a lot more like myself. Here in Arkansas, surrounded by hand-shaking churchgoers in a small town, I feel like the dark, brooding cynical one, standing out from the rest. Everywhere else in the world, it seems, I am actually a ray of sunshine. I crack jokes to strangers, pick up napkins other people drop, smile at the cranky subway guy, tell the punk chick that I like her hat. I do that stuff normally, but in the "Real World," I think it shocks people.

Thought #3) I am thankful for my job and my co-workers (well, most of them.) One night, two co-workers, my boss, my boss's boss and I all sat in a Starbucks and played a card game called "Scum" for two hours. I haven't laughed so hard in a very long time. Not chuckled. I mean, laughed. Man, I miss that. I used to laugh like that with my family.

Thought #4) New York is both over-rated and under-rated. It's not the sexy, sophisticated metropolis that movies and TV want you to think, but it is unlike anyplace else that I have ever been. My head is still spinning.

Thought #5) Everytime I travel someplace new, I am reminded that, in the words of Depeche Mode, "people are people." We are all just trucking along, hoping someone thinks we're special. Even if you are plastered all over Times Square, you are still just one of us. Even if you are Steve Martin (who I saw filming The Pink Panther next to my hotel! Sorry. Just had to throw that in.)

Thought #6) I've got a better idea of who I am going to be when I grow up.

Thought #7) Kids are funny. I was watching this 10 year old Korean girl do a little dance on the sidewalk, to ward off boredom. If you do that as an adult, people think you have a mental illness.

Thought #8) Ground Zero is a huge gaping hole in the earth now.

Thought #9) Even if you aren't afraid to eat or travel by yourself, thinking you've been left behind feels like crap.

Thought #10) It always helps to have a sense of humor. It makes life a whole lot nicer in the long run.

Thought #11) The New York Stationery Show is boring. Been there, seen it. The only interesting part was going to see the temporary booths of the little tiny artistic stationery companies. I like it because it's a whole room full of people who are chasing their dreams, even if they are dirt poor.

Thought #12) In life, you can choose to be happy or choose to be bitter. I'm not saying that we don't all have down times and rough times. And sometimes, the fight to be happy is more difficult because of your body chemistry, history or current situation. But truly, it's your choice. I sat on a shuttle to the show next to a co-worker. A co-worker who has made the choice to be bitter and conniving and miserable. And she has everything she could possible want or need. Two feet in front of me, I watched our female busdriver loving her job. She couldn't get the bus out of the parking space because another dude had parked it too close. After finally manuevering it around, she opened the door and hollered at the offender with glee, "You aren't allowed to touch my bus again! Ha!" She was just a happy lady.

Thought #13) I love cell phones. I love 'em.

I have more thoughts but I got up at 4am this morning to get to my La Guardia flight on time, so my brain isn't making all the right connections. I'm going to go take a wee nap.


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