Monday, March 15, 2010

Every Thug Needs a Lady

I had a date this weekend. It was not a bad date, but my heart was not into the event. I was tired and upset- I had lost power the night before at a storm. Well, not me, but my apartment and place of work did, and I was looking at the prospect of living with my parents for a few days. So as I type this, I am sitting in a coffee shop a block and a half from my parents' in Brooklyn. I wish I could find a place like this in Westchester (although I could deal without the singing infants, but thankfully, I have headphones).
I saw Alkaline Trio on Friday, and while I really enjoyed seeing them, the show was just, well, pretty average. Do not get me wrong, I loved seeing this band finally- I have been listening to them for years, but the venue was nothing special. Also, with a band like Trio, with their ten albums worth of material, then they are no doubt not going to play everyone's favorite songs. They hit some of mine, but I really wished they had hit a few more. Oh well.
The low point of the evening was when this woman, obviously intoxicated, was flirting with me. I was not going to do anything untoward with her, but I would have liked to have gotten her number before her friend whisked her away. A yoga instructor. Who lived in Westchester. Who seemed impressed with my job.
Gotta move faster Alex, gotta move faster.
I did manage to see Cursive, finally, and damn, I do not know why I stopped listening to them. These guys kicked so much ass. Tim, the lead singer, just, well, gave himself over to the show, and it really looked like he left it all out there on stage. Good for him.
So back to the date on Sunday. A jDate, of course- although my first one in four months. She picked the place, and it was a nice lunch. Recovering from a cold and trying to figure out my plans for the next day in the back of my mind, my effort was misaligned. That being said, we did not click well. She was smart, valued education and helping people, and had great taste in movies and television shows. Oh, and she was absolutely beautiful.
So why did it not work?
Maybe because my mind was somewhere else, or maybe because we just did not have that spark. Perhaps it was because the date was on her home turf- someplace she was familiar with and comfortable, setting me on edge. It could be that I was just intimidated by her, which has been known to happen.
Is this dating? I do not know. I spent my teenage years without dating because I was an awkward and immature teenager. In college, no one really dated- people just got together. Now, I have to learn how to date while also trying to meet people. It certainly is an adventure, as my log of awkward dates continues to grow (and only a small percent are awkward because of something I do).
Makes me really wish I got that woman's number.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Victory Gin

My friend's wife murdered their daughter. There's no way around it- this is something that happened and has shaped the past two weeks of my life and will change everything going forward. I am putting it out there, not because I want to bring you down, but because it's something tragic that happened, that I was close to, that is affecting how I am feeling.

I have been making mistakes at work recently. I hate it, not because they are mistakes but because they are items I shouldn't be missing. I have no one to blame but myself, but I need to learn how to just accept them and move on. I love my job, I love my career, but I cannot let these things dominate my life.
My dad says, work to live, not live to work. I thought I was lucky, that I had found a place where my life and work could meld in a joyous way. While this has happened, I wouldn't call it joyous. The friend I mentioned, is also my coworker; his daughter a student.
Two of the people that reached out to me after the tragedy were Magic players. These are people who I share a game with, but reached out, not for advice on the game, but to console me. My life and work, they are inseparable, for now.
I feel, sometimes, that I never really get away. I live where I work- I have a phone that I carry with me all the time. I am constantly tethered to my desk. I finally got away, and went home for a few days and it was glorious.

I sat in traffic, anxious about missing the show. Drew told me I would have to get there early to make sure I got a spot in the loft. The commute had other ideas. Somehow, after the wrong turns and red lights (with a little help from Dad), I made it to the venue and promptly whiskey myself inside. I was person number seven.
The bands all kicked ass. The place was packed. I could not believe how much fun I had, and how I longed for such an event in Westchester. When one band laid into NoFX's "Linoleum" I launched myself into the pit, and barely left for the Menzingers set.
Let me tell you- I was a mess. Tank top and jeans, my Reeboks a dungy shade of gray from the bottoms of shoes and spilled beer. Coated in a layer of my sweat, a layer of sweat from everyone else, plus a fine mist of beer shower. The place was a whirling dervish of joy, and I long to feel that again.

I walked around my old haunt on Saturday, just happy to be able to walk around town. I went to a bar and had a delicious beer, and finally heard good music on the juke. The Ramones sang to me before the siren song of the Dillinger Four made me long to return. After a night out with my sister, I drove home on Sunday.

And now? Now I search everywhere nearby for something with character. I'm from Brooklyn, dammit, and everything here lacks soul. I want a coffee shop, not a Starbucks. I want to know that this bar plays Johnny Cash and that one plays the Ramones- I don't want them all to play Dave Matthews.
New York might be unique, but please, there must be people here that do not want the same old cookie cutter life, over and over.
I miss the city- I long for the smell of exhaust and the bustle of streets. I can't walk anywhere up here.

My life- it's not bad. I just miss my home town. Thankfully, it's only an hour away.