Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dog Talk

Walking Hank is SO much easier early in the morning. By 9am, though, our neighborhood heats up with activity. From jackhammering the pavement outside our door, to people moving in and out of apartments, there is so much stuff that freaks Hank out, it's just easier to bite the bullet and walk the little darling as early as possible.

Hank hates things that roll. Suitcases, hand trucks, some strollers, and those wire basket carts used by the elderly and the laundry and grocery delivery people- Hank cowers when they pass by. In our neighborhood, babies and deliveries (the non-maternity type) are the norm, so we stay on our toes.

Hank also hates loud noises, which is especially inconvenient right now with the road work going on outside our door. We have to time our walks just right- we go out before the giant machines crank up, while the workers are still enjoying bagels and coffee from the Lenny's around the corner; and then we go out during their lunch break, when they are enjoying sandwiches and sodas from the Lenny's around the corner. (Lenny's is good, I have to say.) After lunch, they call it a day.

Hank is also not a fan of grates. Ever been to NYC? They're everywhere. If you're one of those people who doesn't like to walk on them, then you know how tough they are to avoid, and your traveling companion knows how irritating it is to walk with you while you try to step around them. Imagine if your feet were bare and really tiny, and that you had four of them. Welcome to Hank's world.

But don't feel sorry for him, and don't resent us. All these tormentors are canceled out by the big, beautiful, lush, cool, fragrant (for people AND beagles) park at the end of our block. Instead of dragging sweet Hank through the gauntlet of doggie dangers on the streets of the Upper West Side, we walk him past the Zeta/Douglases place, and take him into Central Park. From the discarded hotdog buns to places where other dogs have peed, there are so many things there Hank loves, he barely remembers the UPS delivery guy and the giant stack of boxes from Zappos.

It's a dog's life for Hank, and some days, it looks pretty darn good.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Way to Go, NY

Today is a great day to be a New Yorker, even a transplanted one. While I was asleep by the time the crowds were gathering at The Stonewall Inn, waking up this morning to friends' Facebook posts and the front page of the New York Times was something really special. And surprisingly emotional.

I really never thought I'd get married. It may have been a preemptive declaration on my part- saying it myself to save face, somehow- but I said it enough to believe it. And if I'd never gotten married, I would have been fine. I still would have had great friends, a fun job, creative outlets, caring family, furry pets, favorite TV shows, good food, sunny days, new car smells...all of it. But the planets aligned and pigs flew and Hell froze over, and one day- one fantastic, memorable day- I was married.

And it's been awesome.

Being married has been so much more than "playing house." More than the sharing of a bed, the division of chores, the syncing of calendars, the cooking of dinners. It's felt like a partnership in a more permanent way than if we were simply living together. It feels like people take us more seriously, somehow. That we are legit.

When we got married last year, our friends Tasha and Amanda planned our wedding/elopement for us. From finding an officiant and church, to booking hotel rooms, getting flowers, hiring a photographer, making dinner reservations...they did all of it for us, and they did it with so much love. At the time, even though it was the Best Damn Day of My Life, I remember feeling a little sad that Tasha and Amanda couldn't legally do for themselves what they were doing for us. There was some irony there. The bittersweet kind.

But today, what I've been thinking about the most isn't that there are 44 more states to go, or that tomorrow's Pride Parade is going to be a blast, or even that the elderly couple on the next block (Ricky and Jimmy) can finally marry after 40 years together.

I've been thinking that I'm going to get to return the favor. I may get to plan my best friends' wedding.

And it's going to be awesome.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Gym. Damn Her.

When you turn (insert my age here), everything falls apart overnight. Days are sprinkled with little discoveries like, "How long has THAT been there," or "Didn't that used to be up HERE?"

Whether it's walking past the Aerosoles shoe store and thinking to yourself, "Those aren't THAT bad," or realizing you've inadvertently taken advantage of a restaurant's Early Bird Special, age sneaks up on you very quietly, and long before you expect it to.

Around this time, when gravity begins to take its toll, and it seems prudent to invest in some REALLY good bras, one begins to panic, and one may spend her mornings scouring the gym's website for group exercise classes to go to- every day for the rest of her life.

Dean and I are members of New York Sports Club, and they lured us in by saying, "We have branches all over the city!" Really, they do. They are like the Starbucks of gyms. At first I thought, "Big whoop- I work from home. I don't care if there's a branch in Midtown." Well, much like those Aerosoles, I'm beginning to see the light.

There are 5 branches of NYSC within 7 blocks of our apartment. And when you reach the point when you are seriously considering the Groupon for Botox from the dentist's office, you realize that each branch has different classes at different times.

I have become a class chaser. While the NYSC on 73rd has Silver Sneakers Stretch Class at 10:30am (don't laugh- I watched it and considered it), I could go to Pilates Mat a mere 3 blocks away at the same time! No Abs class at 1:00 at 76th Street? No sweat! Head on over to Abs at 80th! They make it so easy. They make it TOO easy. I now have no excuse.

So, I need to find some clean gym clothes and head over to the 10:30 Pilates mat class, for which I have a reservation. Oh, yeah. It's fancy. And on the way, I will pass by the Aerosoles store.

And I will look straight ahead and keep on walking. I'm not quite ready for that just yet.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

No Tea for Me

I'm fortunate to be a company member of The Bats at The Flea Theater, and part of my job there is to work in the office a few hours a week. Sometimes it's doing research, sometimes it's typing, or sometimes, it's running errands...like today.

I had one very special errand to run. A very famous and much-loved, hilarious, playwright has a new play, and The Flea is doing a reading of it soon. So, I was handed a copy of this never-before-seen manuscript, and was told to deliver it to the home of a ridiculously famous (14 Tony awards) Broadway producer.

On the train ride there, my mind began to race. It went something like this: "I wish I hadn't worn Converse, I should have straightened my hair, damn this rain, I wish I had a bigger umbrella, stick to one side of the sidewalk lady, yuck my banana got smushed in my bag, so THIS is the Upper East Side, will he be home, do I leave it with the doorman, if I meet him what will I say, wish I'd seen Book of Mormon before now, Jerusalem was fantastic, why yes I AM an actor, of course I'll have tea with you, here is my husband's latest play- I happen to carry it with me at all times, thank YOU, that was a funny joke (tossing head back and laughing), tell your wife I'm sorry to have missed her, see you next week!"

As you can see, my imagination got away from me. The boring truth is that I left the script with the doorman, who may or may not have understood what I was saying. I did not meet the famous producer, and I certainly didn't exchange jokes with him over tea.

But I might start dressing a little cuter, just in case. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home

After being away from home for 2.5 weeks, I returned to our apartment to something unbelievable. Something I haven't seen in close to a year.

We came home to feline peace in our home. Tater and Dixie are friends again. No hissing. No swatting. No "you stay downstairs and I'll stay upstairs." We came home to find two cats who did NOT hate each other. In fact, they are sharing the same bed (see above.) Don't worry- they're fixed.

Our friend Holly held down the fort while we were away. Holly is smart, very friendly, and works at Trader Joe's. I'm not sure why this combination of facts is magical, but it is. Holly restored peace in the home. And she took out our recycling.

If I could only find a way to leave other troubling issues with Holly while I go out of town. But I'm pretty sure I'd have to take my regrettable tattoos with me wherever I went. For now, we'll just call her the Cat Whisperer, and will do our best to preserve the calm she left behind.

Thanks, Holly!