Haggis in the City

Reflections on Adulthood

Small things tend to jolt me into realizations that I must now, unfortunately, claim the label of “real person”. With this unenviable title come all the things many people associate with independence, freedom, and the American Dream (cue star-spangled banner), but really it just means that I now have to spend a lot more money on things that inconveniently are not that new Singer I’ve been drooling over.

One of these jolts came on Thanksgiving Day as I drove over to my parents’ house in Durham. I was still suffering a twinge of resentment towards the vehicle underneath me, having recently spent an offensive amount of money to fix elements of the car that I didn’t even know existed. A package of savory ham biscuits rested on the seat next to me, gently sweating in the heat of the morning sun. Fifteen minutes prior, a relatively decent bottle of wine had been expertly chosen at Whole Foods by the most knowledgeable looking of the random guys behind the cheese counter. (Credentials included lack of both noticeable body odor and bloodshot eyes)

The wine, the biscuits, the recently repaired car, and the fact that I had to drive 40 minutes home on Thanksgiving rather than groggily walk down a flight of stairs led me to the conclusion that I had somehow found myself dumped unceremoniously in the grown up category.

I was well-received at home; everybody seemed relatively excited to see me, and perhaps rather more excited to see the wine. Somehow, until this Thanksgiving, I had missed the memo that holidays are infinitely more enjoyable, relaxing, and pleasant when aided by a hefty dosage of alcohol. After hugs and kisses, glasses were immediately poured. It was wrapped in this warm comforter of Merlot that Nance found an entirely emptied tube of cat hairball laxative lying guiltily on the living room floor and covered in teeth marks.

A quick census of the zoo that is our house led us to immediately pin blame on Electra’s cat for the acquisition of said laxative. His digestive tract seemed to be intact but his mannerisms were far too prim to relieve him of responsibility. Our search for the ill-fated recipient of the tube’s contents continued tipsily around the house.

Then a deep and unhappy rumble resounded from the far end of the room. We all looked immediately towards the origin of the sound and found Holly, our extremely good-natured but needy lab mutt, with a slightly stunned and deeply alarmed expression on her face. Ears back, eyes wide, her bowels repeated their resolute bid for freedom with a noise like a baby pig in a blender.

Of course Chuck was immediately shoved into his winter coat, a plastic bag thrust in his reluctant hand (“he has to at least LOOK like he’s going to pick up after her”), and bundled out the door with the now extremely uncomfortable canine in tow. Fortunately, she was able to make it outside before her innards indignantly expelled the crux of the cat’s joke. The realization dawned on us that she would likely need to be taken out every couple hours for the next day or so until the effects wore off. Another glass of wine seemed called for.

This startled another jolt out of me as I recognized that conveniently I would not be responsible for “the dog we got YOU for Christmas!” and her current GI tract concerns; that charge was now squarely on The Rents. As Nance and I topped off our already full glasses, and snorted empathetically at Holly’s (and now Chuck’s) current misfortune, I decided that adulthood did come with a couple of useful perks.

-Prescott-

New York to Philly & Learning to Let Go

It has been far too long since either one of us has updated our blog. It goes without saying that a lot has changed in a mere short span of time. Perhaps the biggest change was the fact that Prescott & I have both moved out of New York: I to Philadelphia and Prescott to North Carolina. I’m here temporarily however and am already looking forward to my return to New York :D 

WAAOO — where do I begin? I’m writing this post mainly because I’ve been in a bit of a rut since arriving in Philadelphia, and I feel it’s time I should air things out. Looking back, it was a rough summer for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being in New York. I firmly believe there’s no other place out there that makes me feel more alive, more energized, more invigorated than NY. But things were hard for me for other reasons. Having just graduated college, I reached a turning point in my life, one that was unfamiliar, intimidating, and uncomfortable. I reached the end of a major road and for the first time in my life, I didn’t know where I’d be in September, let alone the path my life would take. It may sound exaggerated, but I truly believe this period of time is especially trying for people my age. By early June, I had reached a M A J O R funk. 

It didn’t help that things were so on-again-off-again between me and my former flame…to protect his privacy and ego, I’ll refer to him as Damien (yes, I’m making a reference to the devil). Damien and I entered a long-distance “arrangement” for the summer. We literally used the term “arrangement,” people, which is as scary and alarming as it sounds. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir for a lot of you girls, but Damien’s fear of commitment was so strong that we had to resort to a new vocabulary system (UMMHM, this should have been a very early sign for me to RUN as far and fast away from him as I possibly could). 

Damien spent the summer home in Panama while I was in New York. Our “arrangement” (insert: relationship) was entirely based on BlackBerry Messaging (bbm) [side note: I am now switching over to the iPhone not because it’s technologically forward of me, but because I need help getting over my ex- yes, these are the extreme lengths I must resort to]. It was extremely difficult for me to carry on a long distance relationship, and I found myself counting down all summer for the week when he would arrive in New York to visit me. We had a splendid week together, but it was, as most things are in life, short-lived. After Damien left New York, I made a big decision to end things with him and to put myself and my needs first for once in our relationship. It was a big choice, one that contrasted with what I felt deep down in my heart, but one that I felt was ultimately necessary in the end. I couldn’t wait in limbo any longer, wishing & hoping that he would say and give to me what I wanted for so long. 

Damien was caught off guard by my decision and I listened to him cry on the phone, telling me he wanted us to be serious…wanted to give us a shot…wanted to commit to “us”. It didn’t feel right at the time, but once again, my emotions took over, and I said OK. I trusted that he was serious when he put those words and thoughts out there. But what I learned only three weeks later (when, I should add, he returned to his SOPHOMORE year of college) was that he did not think his decision through and that he did not, in fact, want to be in a relationship with me at all. So alas, to make things short and sweet, it’s August…I’m still in a rut…and I’m utterly and completely heartbroken. 

OK let’s make a quick flip to a month later…now it’s September and I’ve moved to Philadelphia. So let me edit my list here: I’m heartbroken, I’m lonely, I’m lost—> I AM IN A HUGE RUT. In all seriousness, though, the hardest thing for me to face was the fact that I had allowed someone (Damien) to break me down to a point where I lost a true sense of my self worth. I recently traveled back to my alma mater for our Homecoming weekend, and I realized how tainted my last semester of college was by my sour experience with my ex. I left the weekend feeling like it would be a very very long time before I’d ever return to DC again… The reality though? This is my BIG BREAKUP. And everybody has theirs. There are times when I feel as though he’s taken things from me I’ll never get back, but there are other times, such as now, when I feel I’m at a crossroads, one where I’ve learned that letting go (however hard it may be) may teach me perhaps the biggest lesson in my young life. 

What might the lesson be? That I can’t put myself second, or third, or last for a day longer. I spend so much time thinking about what he’s doing, what he’s thinking and each and every second that I do this, I neglect myself. My wise friend recently told me that I have been digging myself deeper and deeper into this rut, but that I, at the end of the day, hold the shovel. And it feels like time to start finally digging myself out. This was a big event in my life, in the sense that I met and devoted so much of my time and emotions to someone who was immature and insensitive, and neglected so much of what I wanted and what I valued out of a healthy and well-rounded relationship. So I guess the point of this post is to declare that this is me accepting that it’s time to let go…completely, entirely, fully, wholeheartedly, and to really be proactive about finding what it is I want and need most in my life. People have told me this countless times, but this is, after all, the way you learn lessons at the end of the day: the hard way. 

Now it’s November, and yes, I’m definitely still in a rut, but I’m saying it’s time to surrender digging. It seems to me like it’s pretty easy to dwell on the negative things that happen and to go over and over countless details in your mind, but that it’s equally as easy to let these things go. Sometimes, you can’t find reason or meaning for certain things that happen to you, or certain people and relationships that enter your life, and perhaps the best thing to do is to quit searching for reason and meaning in these things. It may, in fact, be most appropriate to let such things go. It’s time I leave the bad where the bad belongs and to find myself once again in the midst of it all. So here’s to that. Here’s to me trying.

-Hashemi-

"It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back so shake him off"

-Florence & The Machine

He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the days that their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.

—Gabriel Garcia Marquez

We are better than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.

—Outward Bound Student

Two days ago, I was dining at Cafe Gitane (my favorite!) with a friend when K’naan (you probably know him as the guy who sang “Waving Flag” for the 2010 World Cup) showed up. I have been a long time admirer of his music and documentary work, so I couldn’t believe my eyes when he was sitting a table away from me. He sat down, listened to the music playing in the background, and ordered a double espresso. I decided it was appropriate to “Tweet” at him while sitting next to him, so I said, “@Iamknaan I am sitting right next to you at Cafe Gitane!” (Embarrassing… I know). When he was done, I got up and asked to take a picture with him, and we ended up chatting for a bit. 
Later, he private messaged me on Twitter and told me he would love to see me again. I said I would too and a phone number exchange occurred so that I could quote “be sitting across from him ;)” next time we meet. 
The funny part of this story was that previously, I had been sitting at dinner, talking to my friend about how hard it was to get over my previous 5-month “fling” (I really don’t know what else to call it, people in my generation don’t date anymore, there needs to be new relationship vocab)…and how I thought it was so hard to meet people, despite the fact that I’m in New York. After pouring my heart out, the next thing I know is that I’m exchanging phone numbers with a famous singer! Ha. Life is sooooo ridiculous sometimes. What I’m trying to say is I’m basically famous. Basically… ;)
Things I learned: 
1. Don’t speak too soon. You may end up meeting someone the second you’re mouthing the words “I’m never going to meet someone…it’s hopeless.” 
2. Put yourself out there. Over & over again. Initially, I wasn’t going to approach him, but what was there to lose? Someone once told me to be a Go Getter, and it stuck. My life is so much more fun that way. 
3. The next day, I decided to learn more about K’naan…so of course, I visited Wikipedia, only to discover that he is married to a pharmacist & has 2 children! Lesson learned? Men are DOGS. All of them :) 
Click on the photo of K’naan above to listen to one of my favorite songs of his: “Take a Minute.” 
Mwa. 
-Hashemi- 

Two days ago, I was dining at Cafe Gitane (my favorite!) with a friend when K’naan (you probably know him as the guy who sang “Waving Flag” for the 2010 World Cup) showed up. I have been a long time admirer of his music and documentary work, so I couldn’t believe my eyes when he was sitting a table away from me. He sat down, listened to the music playing in the background, and ordered a double espresso. I decided it was appropriate to “Tweet” at him while sitting next to him, so I said, “@Iamknaan I am sitting right next to you at Cafe Gitane!” (Embarrassing… I know). When he was done, I got up and asked to take a picture with him, and we ended up chatting for a bit. 

Later, he private messaged me on Twitter and told me he would love to see me again. I said I would too and a phone number exchange occurred so that I could quote “be sitting across from him ;)” next time we meet. 

The funny part of this story was that previously, I had been sitting at dinner, talking to my friend about how hard it was to get over my previous 5-month “fling” (I really don’t know what else to call it, people in my generation don’t date anymore, there needs to be new relationship vocab)…and how I thought it was so hard to meet people, despite the fact that I’m in New York. After pouring my heart out, the next thing I know is that I’m exchanging phone numbers with a famous singer! Ha. Life is sooooo ridiculous sometimes. What I’m trying to say is I’m basically famous. Basically… ;)

Things I learned: 

1. Don’t speak too soon. You may end up meeting someone the second you’re mouthing the words “I’m never going to meet someone…it’s hopeless.” 

2. Put yourself out there. Over & over again. Initially, I wasn’t going to approach him, but what was there to lose? Someone once told me to be a Go Getter, and it stuck. My life is so much more fun that way. 

3. The next day, I decided to learn more about K’naan…so of course, I visited Wikipedia, only to discover that he is married to a pharmacist & has 2 children! Lesson learned? Men are DOGS. All of them :) 

Click on the photo of K’naan above to listen to one of my favorite songs of his: “Take a Minute.” 

Mwa. 

-Hashemi- 

Debut as a Movie Star (and by star I mean bit of planetary debris floating in space)

Disclaimer: this post is extremely long. I wont be offended if you don’t read it all. (yeah, no, you should definitely read all of it)

It’s a little bit hard to pin down what my roommate Collette (girl on couch currently sans flu) actually does for a living. So far, I’ve come up with actress, voice coach, small time producer, singer, bartender, casting director, renter outer of room, and cat-lover. Her most recent endeavor led to the production and casting of a music video for youtube hit J Rome. (I’m using the term “hit” very liberally here. I think all of his youtube music videos, in which he covers random songs, together total maybe 1 million views)

This music video happened to take place in my apartment yesterday. About twenty sweaty individuals set up a glittery background, aimed very bright  and very hot yellow and blue lights into various peoples’ eyes and had them “dance” (sway?) to the music of J Rome’s single (now actually on iTunes) “Beauty is Beautiful”.

The mix of people was pretty good. From the hipster asian cameramen/light assistants to what seemed like J Rome’s entire family, to the fabulous woman who brought us a ton of free food, to the very large and well-equipped wardrobe assistant, to, weirdly, Miss New Mexico, my closet sized apartment was jam packed. 

My room was almost immediately taken over as changing room/extra stuff holder. In fact, the first time I met J Rome he was very nearly naked. Which somehow fazed neither of us, what with him being just an extremely pleasant person and me being used to Andre (usually in various states of undress, constantly singing guy) waltzing around down to his skivvies.

Anyway, a few days before, Collette was telling me about this new project of hers, and that the main job she was left with was to find 10 people who looked very different from each other. She looked at me, astutely observed that I was dressed like a 12 year old boy with questionable hygiene, and asked if I wanted to be in the video. Having zero experience in front of the camera, no idea what would be required of me, and absolutely no acting ability, I of course said yes immediately.

Very quickly she relieved me of the notion that I would be able to dress up in some fabulous garb complete with hair and makeup artists doing a number on me. Instead she informed me she was trying to cast real people and that “you should wear something that’s just totally you”. [blank stare from me] “In fact, what you have on is perfect.” Great, not only am I going to resemble an androgynous hobo in my first claim to fame, but this is also apparently my “standard look”. Fortunately for me, this ensemble was easily reproduced and I showed up for my shot with zero fuss about putting something together to wear.

At any rate, they sat me on a stool to wait for the camera setup. I immediately of course settled into my typical legs open, slouched over stance, which they subsequently made me stick to throughout, with the explanation that it captured my personality. The “shoot” entailed me staring into the camera awkwardly for about thirty seconds for a closeup (thanks for the breakouts, NYC haze), then a longer shot of my bare feet (oops, should I have worn shoes??) and the rip in my pants which for some reason they seemed particularly excited about. Then it was over. Rinse, repeat, with the other medley of characters in the room: woman with cat, overweight curly headed guy, beautiful indian girl, a clothed Andre (usually in various states of undress, constantly singing guy), several of J Rome’s family members, and some other randos. Hopefully I’ll make it into the final cut.

They did a bunch of other stuff with J Rome and the main girl of the music video, and then were finally finished and out of there by 7pm. Long day, but ultimately a lot of fun and very interesting.

Things learned:

1. Try to look a little more presentable on the reg [ex. buy some pants that aren’t ripped; do laundry more than once a month; get a haircut]

2. Work on posture

3. Always say yes to casting offers. Free food is always a yes.

Conclusion: I’ll let you all know whether or not the video comes out on youtube, whether or not it makes it to MTV or BET, and whether or not it propels me into immediate Hollywood fame. (very probable) Also, Catie King, if you’re reading this, you are required to buy his single on iTunes even if you don’t like his song. 

-Prescott-

Photo Credit: Prescott

Photo Credit: Prescott

From BK to Manhattan, a Night Out in New York

The pro’s of living in Brooklyn Heights this summer are innumerable, and I feel so lucky to be living in such a gem of a borough. 

With this said, when you have fifteen minutes to get to a dinner reservation on the Upper East Side (during rush hour traffic) with high school friends (who you haven’t seen in YEARS), Brooklyn, mis amigos, shows its Nasty side. 

Prescott & I begin our night getting ready, leisurely, wearing real clothes for once and high heels, a shocking twist from our everyday homeless-people garb. After painting on our faces, we look at the clock and realize… oh we have fifteen minutes to traverse two boroughs and cross the entire island of Manhattan. Figuring car traffic would be worse, we headed towards the subway. I’m attempting to move quickly in my heels, but looking like a waddling duck… NOT a good look. 

Finally, we make it into the subway with 10 minutes to spare & we’re feeling good until our bodies have calmed down and the sweat begins to pour out of every skin cell. Alas, my makeup clumps into a single sweat ball and slowly drips down my face…(severely limiting my chances of meeting my future husband at the Porter’s/Avon event we are attending later @ Dorrians).

Finally, the godforsaken express4 train arrives, filled with every other resident of Brooklyn who has decided to venture into Manhattan this particular evening. Prescott & I squeeze ourselves into the subway car which reeks of body odor and bad breath. YUM. Luckily, I was directly in front of a latino man who decided to use the packed subway car as an excuse to rub his hand repeatedly over my ass. Upon noticing this, Prescott nearly curb stomped him, LUCKY FOR HIS CREEP ASS, I talked her out of it. 

After a series of bad decisions, we are now on the local slow-ass 6 train, taking a nice tour of downtown Manhattan, nowhere near our dinner. The time is now 6:15 PM. The anxiety of being late (I admit, I have a problem) is all-consuming and as I am shaking, Prescott makes the verdict that we are going to get back on the express4 and take it all the way up to 86th street then get in a taxi to our destination on 79th street. 

FINALLY, we make it! Time of arrival: 6:35 PM. Half an hour late to the restaurant and we barge in, only to discover the place is empty. Scanning the room for our party, we realize no one else has arrived. ALL OF THAT STRESS…FOR NOTHING?! I had the urge to curse Brooklyn, but seeing my old friends trickle in minutes after I arrived in made me realize it was all worth it. 

Several pitchers of sangria, soco-lime shots, beer buckets, vodka sodas later… the night ends in excellent fashion (ahhhhhh, no need to divulge ;))

-Hashemi-

2 Gregs from Switzerland

Summer in New York City So Far, in Numbers:

Time Spent Here: 2 weeks

Time Spent in Current Coffee Shop: 1 week

Apartments: 1, Lower East Side, miniscule, only slightly shady, no A/C, hint of eu de feline lingering in the air

Floors up to Apartment sans Elevator: 5

Floors Able to Safely Make it up without fear of Severe Heat Stroke: 1.5

Number of Bedrooms in Apartment: 3

Number of Tenants in Apartment: 6     Collette girl with flu living on couch. decided I had good “vibes” and our “auras” would get along. done. apartment rented. ; Andre typically in various states of undress, constantly singing guy ; Greg [1] from Switzerland, black bearded ; Greg [2] also from Switzerland, red bearded, apparent bf of Greg [1]. wears booty shorts ; Cat I don’t remember its name. it’s probably 80 years old and doesn’t move

Jobs: 0

Leads: Several

Money Spent: $90000000000.00

Money Left: $0.02

Things Bought other than Food: High Powered, 3-Speed Fan (necessary). Sunglasses (also necessary).

Things Forgotten at Home: running shoes

Resultant Conversion Rate of Muscle to Fat: increasing exponentially

% of time spent Uncomfortably Sweaty: 75

% of time spent with Hashemis: 90

% of time I’m LOVING staying in the city: 95

(other 5% is made up of heat stroke, minor bursts of panic while contemplating funemployment, and the frequent small heart attack I suffer each time I hand my card/cash over the counter)

Current Rumination = To stay another month : To live at home for free - 51:49

(I’m young. I can be broke for a bit later)

- Prescott -