An Indonesian Layover

Dear reader(s), let me just start with get your mind out of the gutter.

After an amazing 10 day trip in Bali I have to go home – apparently I promised my boss I would be in the office on Monday.

My flight is timed perfectly to get me home to get a full eight hours of sleep before returning to the office. But because of that versus when  everyone else’s flights were I got to the airport eight hours early, and five hours before I can even check in to get past security – this is how airports roll outside of the US.

But because I am traveling outside the US I am not cramped on an uncomfortable seat grasping for wifi. I am lounging on a love seat at the Bintang Bar at DPS. I’ve had a lovely Balinese lunch with delicious pickled vegetables that should be on every menu. I got to choose wine from a decently sized wine list. I am relaxed and not being rushed out of my spot. I am considering another glass of wine – I have nothing but time and a comfortable seat. 

And when I do have to get up and use the loo it will be clean because they have someone clean it after every use. The bathrooms are as nice as the ones Charmin used to have in Times Square around the holidays.

The open air hangar has a nice breeze. I wonder if my boss would be okay with me working from here on Monday. 


Goldilocks and the Three Bears: The Dating Version

Once upon a time there was a blonde turned redhead who was single and in her quest to meet a guy and get to know each other as people and not fairy tales subjected herself to online dating. 

She came across a dating site that seemed to have a limited number of creeps and bots. It even had guys that would message more than “Hi”.

The first date was promising. He moved from messaging to asking her out and even planned the date. A plus when most other guys don’t plan and then ask for directions – have they ever heard of google maps? But he turned out to be a mansplainer and told her how to do the job she had been in for twenty years that he had never done. 

The second date never made it to an in person meeting. After reassuring him that despite traveling for worth every few months she did have time for someone in her life he set up a vague time to meet. Followed by texting of random pictures (thank goodness no dick pics) and then the question of – didn’t you like the photo I sent? Another assurance that it was a great picture was followed by a text of “I don’t think you are as in to me as I am in to you”. Her thought was “how into you can I be when we have yet to meet in person, isn’t it about getting to know each other and not basing interest on six photos and a three sentence profile?” Apparently she was supposed to have already pictured their wedding day. 

So instead of a date she treated herself to a late lunch, sitting outside in the sun and having a fabulous glass of rose. And also wondering “where the fuck is the god damn porridge and bed that are just right?”

Why I may be a little tipsy now

So my step mother just came up to me and out her hands on my shoulders and said “I think you may be a getting a little drunk”. 

Well fuck yes I may be.

I came up to Maine to see my family – really my step family. I don’t come up unless my step brother is here also. 

I am very wary of anything I do. I don’t want to wash the dishes in the wrong way. Should the fans be on during the day to keep the upstairs room cool or off to keep the electric bill down. Am I making too much noise when I need to pee at 3 am?

The answer comes in comments like that. I had one or two many drinks, my tunic is beautiful and hides my stomach so well.

So yes, I may be getting a little drunk right now. 

Eating at Black Tap

Saturday afternoon (and evening) I spent four hours in line waiting to eat at Black Tap. This is what I learned …

This is not a last minute let’s try and squeeze in a burger and milkshake before heading up to the Whitney meal. The minimum wait is an hour because you will need to start lining up before it opens to be in the first wave of seating.
Black Tap seats 16 and it takes about an hour to order and eat. So count the number of NYU students in front of you and estimate an hour wait for every 16 hipsters, a little more if they are tourists.

Bring the right friend(s). Who in your life can you talk to non-stop for three hours and then not be offended by when you both spend the last hour in line playing candy crush. Someone who is willing to stick it out and not suggest that you head over to Broome Street Bar.

Wear the right shoes.

Do not panic when you see people going right up the the door and ignoring the sign that says to get in the line that wraps around onto 6th Avenue. The guys very politely but firmly send them to the back of the line.

And they are very good about coming through to update you on the wait. It is oddly satisfying to know that you only have another hour but the kids at the end of the line have seven hours before yummy milkshake goodness. Not making that wait time up. 

There seem to be milkshake only places to stand at the window. You still need to stand in the big line, but the man in charge does ask if anyone is only there for shakes.

You can call ahead an order take out – but then you miss out on seeing how the shakes get made and a kick ass playlist. 

As long as one of your party is in line everyone else can go shopping or walk the neighborhood just be sure to bring back your place saver some water or a snack or a shot of tequila. 

Don’t lie about the number of peeps in your party. It will piss off everyone behind you. And there is no reason to do it since they wait until enough people leave to seat the next parry in line. 

There is a huge ass line. Don’t be that asshole that lingers.  

Feeling Lucky

I am lounging on my couch with a glass of wine and leftover kale and artichoke dip. I got to spend the holiday with my best friend. I have been off all week and can sleep in tomorrow. My only obligations are walking a dog and buying work clothes.

I can’t imagine working at a job where I don’t have choice about working over a holiday. I was in Toronto last year for work and told the NY office that we would not get on a call over Canadian Thanksgiving (even if it is celebrated incorrectly – have the big meal at the beginning of the weekend dammit).

I also can’t imagine needing to work on Thanksgiving in order to make ends meet or to provide my family a holiday meal.

As usual I am seeing both extremes on Facebook. “OMG the deals are amaze balls” vs “Don’t shop until 2019 and not on a holiday”. I have issues with both, but I have more of an issue with the latter. The reason being the “we’re going to help you and actually screw you over” theme. Because it seems that everyone who wants stores to stay closed have salaried jobs where they don’t have to worry about their bank balance. But what about the people who need the holiday hours. What about the people who will be able to get a little ahead with the holiday pay.

No one should be forced to work on a holiday. But I hope that those who needed the income from working today got it and that it made for a better holiday. Also hope that the companies employing these people allowed for shifts that let them enjoy the holiday as well.

Grocery Bags are the Reuse in the Reduce/Reuse/Recycle Process

NYC wants to tax or get rid of plastic and paper grocery bags in an effort to reduce landfill. It won’t, and it could actually increase landfill.

Most people living in NYC use their grocery bags as garbage bags – we are REUSING. And with good reason. If you live in NYC chances are you have a small kitchen and whether you cook or just order in small spaces can get smelly if you aren’t taking the trash out every day. Grocery bags are the perfect size for this, they fill up and are easy to cart to the trash bins whether they are on your floor or down five flights of stairs. No one wants to cart a week’s worth of trash down five flights of stairs. It also eliminates the need for a garbage can that never really opens when you hit the foot pedal and that you stub your toe on when getting a glass of water in the middle of the night. Just hook a grocery bag to a drawer handle and you are good to go.

So without these bags that we are reusing, New Yorkers will need to go out and buy garbage bags which also go into landfills when thrown away. And the small bags are crap. You need to buy the big garbage bags to minimize any potential leaking or spilling. And with the small kitchen issue we aren’t waiting a week for them to fill up while our kitchens smell like a combination of leftover pasta with garlic and wings bought after coming home from the bar really late. So we will be throwing out mostly empty trash bags every day or two – potentially increasing the amount of plastic going into the landfills.

It’s also expensive to live in NY, using grocery bags for garbage is an easy way to save money that could be better spent on rent or food or invested for retirement. I have chosen to put my savings back into the economy by not saving it and spending on other things that I can’t remember.

Finally, we would not have the NYC of today without landfill.

Addendum: This has hit the news again in Gothamist. Agree with critics that it will be a burden on low income, especially when people can reuse grocery bags as garbage bags for free. I plan on paying the fee, it’s still cheaper than buying garbage bags which are $0.12 each even for the basic ones.

Food Changes the Tone

I got to the shelter really early for the volunteer session. Waiting in the front I could hear the women in the common room eating dinner and the conversation was charged – like the air right before a lightning storm. It wasn’t clear what the issue was, but I could recognize who was upset. Even the women who were trying to make peace had heated voices. It didn’t bode well for a session around team work.

As the rest of the volunteer group gathered we got different points of view from each of the women who came out of the dining room. Each one different and each one right in her own mind. It’s understandable that things that seem small to us are worth raising your voice about to them. I had the choice to move tables when I went out to dinner last night because the people next to us were being loud and we wanted to sit someplace quieter, these women don’t. They are living with a lot of rules and when they can exercise their own voices they do.

One of the women came out and asked us what we would be cooking that night. We weren’t cooking, the session was meal planning in order to drive team work but they had been told we would be in the kitchen. She marched back to the dining room loudly announcing that they had been misinformed about the night’s activity. Were they now going to be disappointed and not participate?

Our team leader started off by reading an article from the NY Times to get everyone thinking about food memories and the adjectives associated. Was it an occasion, comforting, celebratory. Was the food salty or rich or crisp or refreshing. You could see the women thinking back to memories of favorite foods and smiles on their faces. A calm started to replace the charged air.

As the women shared their own food memories a connected conversation started and we all saw commonalities across why certain foods brought us comfort – a tradition passed down, being with family. And also what makes us unique – did your mother make corn bread with creamed corn, how many different types of cheese in your mac and cheese recipe, blueberry or peach cobbler?

As we asked the women to decide on what to cook the next week and put together grocery lists for each dish the evening ended just as loud as it had started. But the noise was warm and joyful. Each woman chiming in with positive memories and getting excited for each other’s ideas and praising each other’s cooking skills.