Saturday, September 29, 2007

face to face

i met a blog friend face to face today. it was a somewhat surreal, very positive and comforting experience. it is kind of incredible to know that i share some part of myself with other people through this virtual journal that at times seems so flimsy and unimportant. it is good to know that my reading other journals matters, and that mine is being read.

i am definitely a child of the 21st century, in that i met my last boyfriend online and now make friends through virtual channels. funny that these keys and this screen and the little signals the computer is sending through the air somehow manifest themselves in smiles and hugs and conversations and feelings. if i didn't live it, if i hadn't seen it, i'm not sure i would believe it.

i'm supposed to be gre studying right now, so that's what i'm going to do.


i know i am a part of it, the gentrification of harlem. i know. but i do try to do my part to invest in the community businesses as they are. in my last relationship i also assigned real feelings to certain spots and businesses in the neighborhood- they signaled times when i really felt like a part of something, like my life was a cohesive whole.

today i tried to go out to breakfast at one of the few spots that carries no negative connotation-- one of the few places we never had a fight, that never came into an argument. an unsullied spot. it was called harlem renaissance, and it was on 116th, near lenox. i walked up to the storefront this morning to find the security gate down and a for rent sign on the awning.

i actually had to catch my breath. i felt a tear. i am sentimental about places and what they mean and maintaining them and this place that meant happiness to me and meant love to me and meant community to me is gone.

i guess this won't be the last time, but it definitely caught me this time. as i move again, i hope there will be something left here in a year that i recognize. there's a good chance, though, that the gentrification will move on, and carry me in tow.

Friday, September 28, 2007

pretty friday

things are good.

though my apartment is a mess, and not fully packed, and when it is packed it will have many more things that i quoted to the movers, things are good.

though there is a risk of major drama with my current roommate sometime in the next two days, things are good.

though i won't be having much fun this weekend, things are good.

my job is good. i really like the people i work with, without having to qualify that statement. i like that. the work that i do is its own way, and i'm okay with that as long as i remind myself that it is just a means to an end.

my social life is good. i go home and feel like i have people to talk to, if i need them, and that my going-out can be as active as i want it to be. i don't feel like i'm dangling out in the middle of nowhere, with no one to support me. sadly, that is how i felt for a few months in there.

my money is good. i am not struggling for the first time in my 2+ years in new york city. i have enough money to pay my bills and eat and have fun without feeling a pinch in my pocket every time i turn around.

life is good.

good day for work-blogging

all the bosses are out. the mice will play!

i'm kinda sad that i missed the obama rally last night for packing my woebegone soon-to-be-former apartment. on the other hand, i'm really starting to be concerned about what i see as a prospect for overkill in terms of the elections. i'm not sure our cultural attention span is going to make it all the way to november '08.

i'm awake :(

what's wrong with me?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

a hot cup of tazo passion tea

is all that stands between me and sleep at work right now. not a good thing, i know. but. i. am. so. tired.

the last few weeks have been full of insomnia/fitful sleep because i've been dealing with a lot emotionally for the past few months. i am really excited to be approaching a location change for myself, because i think it will help put my mind and heart to rest.

a full night's rest would mean so much to me right now.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


i was walking down 31st street today when a woman called out, "i like your hair!"

i turned around to say thank you, and she said, "no, all jokes aside, it looks nice natural."

i walked away wondering what the joke would have been.

Monday, September 24, 2007

"live like a tribesman"

that's an actual line from the trailer for the discovery channel's new show, "last one standing." the other line from the website that stands out is "welcome to full contact cultures."

the show's producers try to make an argument that all "tribes" around the world share the ritual of warriors fighting for power. funnily enough, the contestants in this reality show are not being drafted into the united states military and being shipped off to iraq to prove that george w. bush and his america have "balls," but rather are being sent into rural tribes of brown people, having their faces painted, and wrestling in the dust.

as usual, westerners (the show debuted on the bbc last season) love to look elsewhere for "barbarianism." being farsighted, home is too close for us to see.

the past comes back to haunt :)

there's a new intern at my job that went to sarah lawrence. this is awesome, except for the fact that i studied abroad in cuba with sarah lawrence and the college owns a number of pictures of me during my "i hate the restriction of bras and refuse to utilize them" phase.

my nipples are like freaking plates.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

brain burn

16 hours of gre prep in two days really takes it out of you. take my word for it. after 4 hours of each math and verbal test prep both yesterday and today, i feel more comfortable with approaching the gre in three and a half weeks or whatever it is, but also just so completely tired. i can't believe it's just 9 pm. i left kaplan at 6:15 and it felt like 11:30.

good night.

life of the party!

life of the party!
Originally uploaded by hopesterry
hair down. it's getting long, no?

btw, terry's title for this photo is terrible exaggeration. it was a bar full of latin american tourists and two other black people besides myself, both young men from alabama, one of whom felt that it was okay to pull out 1) the robot, and 2) his personal usher/mj impression, just because he was in PR and thought noone would know the difference.

i know the difference, my friends.

pensive in puerto rico

Originally uploaded by hopesterry
i hate that "my hair flattened because i was laying on a towel" look!

Friday, September 21, 2007

i could punch this chick in the face

first time i've ever actually used the word "chick," by the way.

i'm starting to think that i'm cursed. this last 12 months has SUCKED, hard, and i'm not really sure when things are going to get started on the up-and-up.

basically, i'm angry because my current roommate fucked up my chance at finding someone to take over my room in this apartment through being her usual, stupid, self-serving self. so, i stopped payment on my rent check.

boo-yah, bitch.


is going to be a busy month.

i'm moving, then i am BUSY!

between standardized tests (NYSTCE and the GRE) and work trips, I will not be free for even one saturday in the month of october. bleh.

i'll be in LA, DC, Chicago, and Baltimore, all within a two-week period. it's going to be a little crazy. all i can consider, though, is my dire need for work pants, and maybe another blazer/jacket thing. i don't know how i'm going to keep myself looking decent. :p

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


i've been thinking about this post nonstop for the last hour, so i hope i can get it out of my head and onto "paper" in a way that does it justice.

an hour ago, on my way up lenox avenue to sign the lease for my new apartment, i walked past a young black man

**pause- nigel barker just did the STUPIDEST commercial for the new season of america's next top model. WOW**


back to business-
an hour ago, on my way up lenox avenue to sign the lease for my new apartment, i walked past a young black man outside a funeral home. he was maybe 25. not dressed, particularly, i think he was wearing a black tshirt and some jeans. what caught me was that he was crying. can't-keep-it-together tears. i-just-lost-my-best-friend tears. my-mother-has-left-me-alone-in-this-world tears. the-person-i-loved-most-is-gone tears. he looked up, looked into my eyes, and they said that whoever he has lost was precious.

i experienced my own sort of grief this summer. a grief that became all-consuming at times. to pull myself out of the depths of my pain, i would try to remind myself that other people hurt worse. that my grandmother is now living alone for the first time in over 60 years after the death of too many of her children, her relatives, her husband. that i had students who have lost their parents. that people lose romantic partners that actually loved them or deserved the love they received, that losing someone who was actually able to make a commitment would be so much worse than what i lost.

i realized today that grief, while it can catch you and pull you down, can also be a liberating force. that grief, unlike happiness, will never let you down. from the bottom we can only rise. letting out the pain can release you from it, and then you are free to approach happiness again. the road to that happiness is often long and painful, and by no means easy. and, if you're me, happiness can, after time, seem scarier than grief does.

i've always been one to hate balloons. why? because they inevitably pop. or sag. or fly away. happiness seems to me to be a balloon. too fragile for my liking, and the pop is always a disturbing surprise.

maybe the trick is to have many balloons in the air at once, and to be sure to consistently cultivate new balloon "sources." not to put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

so i continue to try to figure this whole grief thing out. mine, after 3 months and lots of bad moments, seems to be subsiding slowly but surely.

putting more balloons in the air. that's my plan.

Monday, September 17, 2007

and so our work has meaning

today, one of tanenbaum's peacemakers, ricardo esquivia of colombia, came to visit and to speak with the staff about his work and his experiences as a mennonite preacher working for peace in colombia.

i don't often have the feeling of being in the presence of a holy person, but today was an exception. to meet a person as beautiful as ricardo is a true blessing. afro-indio, son of a leper, taken in by mennonites, and now working with both guerrillas and paramilitary forces to try to effect change. and working from a pluralistic, all-encompassing position that tries its hardest not to be prejudicial towards anyone, not withstanding the violent parties with whom he has audiences.

still drying the tears from my eyes.

puerto rico!

rich port, alright.

jacque, i've got your rum!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

new subtitle.

i'm quoting myself!

after a weekend in which i felt apart emotionally a bit, and let my anger and broken heart and fear of a life of solitude get to me, i decided that instead of looking to others for answers, i should maybe look to myself. noone knows my last relationship better than i do because i didn't tell anyone what was really going on.

as i plan to move out of this apartment, i am realizing that this past year has been one of the most challenging of my life. i have had two bad living situations, a deeply painful relationship, and have substantially changed my career path, and every step of the process has challenged me in ways that i've never been challenged before.

i've learned that standing up for myself, making changes when i see something isn't working, and not being afraid to change are things that i need to get better at. i need to speak up more often, i need to let go, i need to take chances and not let others' determination or personalities scare or coax me into silence. i can't be afraid of making people angry. i have learned a lot, and as i approach my quarter-century birthday, i know...i know i'm growing up.

this is a good thing, but it's also a difficult one. my life isn't where it's going to be, i've just begun on my way. no need to have a husband, or a set career, or a permanent home.

this is a stop on my journey, not my destination.

i would be sad that this is a bad review, but

it's so poorly written that I can't tell! i saw "this woman's work" last saturday and truly enjoyed it (see my other blog for a more specific outline). i'm not sure what claudia la rocco thinks, but maybe you can figure it out?

"Showcase for Choreographers Who Are Works in Progress"

the babies stole britney's rhythm,

and they refuse to give it back. :(

i think the baby weight is admirable- she is a mother of two, and she looks like it. but the completely lethargic dance moves? the lack of any singing, at all?


if there is any real evidence of our growing up, it's the demise of britney spears and lindsay lohan's careers (along with my and my friends' attainment of our personal and professional goals ;)). i saw the "ricki lake" performance where britney first premiered, and even that, in which she was wearing a white lacy bra that showed pitifully through her white shirt, portrayed a bit more charisma than the VMAs this weekend.

i hope her sons never have to see this.

Monday, September 10, 2007

she has a black butler

probably shouldn't go into the details on this, since it's milk money related, but i went to a fancy dinner last night at which i was greeted by a black butler (a la geoffrey on fresh prince) at the door. i sat in a living room with a view of manhattan, and then enjoyed a five course dinner served on fine china with gold-plated silverware. no, i was not at a wedding, i was at a "working dinner" with presidents of universities and banks and nigerian peacemakers.

this new job brings some interesting new trappings...

back uptown?

so just a few days ago i was randomly trolling craigslist apartment ads like i do every once in a while, and i ran across an ad that i thought looked fairly interesting...

so i replied.

three days later, i think i have a new apartment! back on my old street, in a beautifully renovated brownstone (the picture of which refuses to upload properly). and it's cheaper! yay!


i'm a happy camper.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


this is kinda what i want to do. i think.

i want to do it, just better than it's currently done, and i want to be an independent consultant. i think.

now, this, of course, does not fit my other plans for grad school and general career pathways at ALL, but then that's what real life is, right? it doesn't always go to plan?

so i've decided to save the bitter posts for my other blog

only happy(ish) thoughts here.

Things to look forward to-
  • maybe a new apartment? in a more desirable area? for less money?
  • maybe a new roommate who isn't a psycho, unemployed liar?
  • maybe a lead on a new career- a good conversation with jaclyn last night gave me some insight into the possibility of working for myself one day, doing something that i really enjoy!
  • maybe relearning to be self- and friend-sufficient, and to forget all the crazy "i'm not good enough" bullshit i have conditioned myself to believe over the last year...

Friday, September 7, 2007


the last two days at work have been entirely unproductive. entirely.

why, do you ask?

because i've been hungover from what you would think was a crazy drinking binge on wednesday night. what pisses me off, though, is that wednesday night, while it did involve drinking, was not a crazy drinking binge! yet here i am, still tired and still mortified by the silly things i did while drunk, all from three drinks that shouldn't have been quite such a big deal.

now, as happens so often in my silly little inconsequential life, i'm trying to shake off the embarrassment and keep moving.

pretty sure i'm staying away from boys for awhile. also may have found a new apt option, which is exciting.

back to curriculum editing. blah.