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2006-01-21 - 12:07 p.m.

...catching up...

I woke up in a bad mood today, perturbed by everything in life - from K to work to futile thoughts of how I've wasted my life - even the cats were irritating in their refusal to eat the catfood I laid out for them. Everything seems to be sparking an unpleasant memory - tapping into an old and longstanding sense of insecurity. I originally started to write out these feelings, but I decided that I would be adding fuel to the fire.

It's been a while since I wrote here. Last weekend was a long weekend because of the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday. Good thing, too, because I needed the extra day to recover from my Saturday. I went to see a wonderful theater showcase on the Upper West Side with J. It was a series of David Ives One-Acts. I was unfamiliar with his work and with this troup of actors - they were splendid, hysterically funny. My favorite was his dramatization of three chimpanzees - named Kafka, Swift, and the third I've forgotten - locked in a room at typewriters, trying to type out Shakespeare's Hamlet, full of near-misses. My second favorite was "Philip Glass buys a loaf of bread" - a brilliantly choreographed parody of the modern composer, excellently timed, and probably the only One-Act out there with a musical score. Sadly, we went on closing night, because it is a performance I would see multiple times - not often that you see such a good combination of acting, writing, choreography, music - in a small theater.

The evening, however, didn't end until 6am. J came back to my place and we started to watch a movie, and then we got into an argument, and then we resolved the argument, and then we sat around and chatted some more so that we didn't end on a sour note and then J drove home at 6am in the snowstorm (I am not heartless - I offered him a guest bed but he turned it down.)

I'd prefer not to rehash the whole argument because actually I was very pleased that we were able to step back and talk through a few things and eliminate some recent tensions we've been having. Rather I'd like to dwell on the most insignificant irritation of the evening:

I've come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in the world: people who comment during movies, and people who likes silence. Oh yeah, the third type is the grey area. I fall in the grey area: I don't mind a few comments as long as I can hear the dialogue.. but J TALKS DIRECTLY OVER THE DIALOGUE through the ENTIRE film. He says that he does this because he has a group of friends in the movie business. When they get together to watch a video, they do it for the purpose of commenting on the technical aspects of the film, the dialogue, the sound, etc. I sat there thinking, "how could you possibly gain any insights into the film's dialogue if you talk so much that you miss the plot of the film?"

He and I have had this little discussion before. In fact, we seem to bicker through the whole evening. "Do you have to walk me directly through the mud puddles" "Could you hurry up with that, please??" It's not a negative type of bickering - we are having fun. As he puts it, we're an old Jewish married couple from Brooklyn. Lots of bickering and no sex. Question what you will of his metaphor, he means that we are a stereotype.


And then last week I actually went into the city two more times - once to have drinks with people I've never met but know from my college fraternity (yes, fraternity - a co-ed literary fraternity, and we were meeting to raise a glass to our patron saint). The second time was to take our department technician out to dinner. Both evenings were in the East Village - perhaps my favorite part of Manhattan for little dinner places.

But I've come to a sad realization about NYC. Yes, it has a 'great' public transportation system. But it really takes at least an hour to get anywhere. On the weekends (normally the only time I go), it takes me 90 minutes to two hours to get around. I think it's worse now than it was even two years ago. I realize that the reason I don't go to Manhattan and enjoy the city is because it just takes way too much time and money.

When I moved here, I had to choose between living near my work, or living near fun. I couldn't imagine having to spend 2-3 hours everyday on the subway, just to commute to and from work. And so I chose to be near my workplace (which, incidentally, is happily situated as far as one can possibly be from a subway line in NYC, thus maximizing its inconvenience). So I have chosen affordable rents, space, trees, and convenience to work over being able to find a convenient 'third place' to keep me sane. As a result, I just haven't found NYC to be a fun and inviting place. Life isn't perfect, but maybe I'd make different choices the next time around..

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