Weird Shit Velcro – Stories About Navigating The Human Landscape

I have captivated all of my friends and family for many years with my dating and daily life stories. Thus, this blog is my opportunity to share these amusing and ridiculous anecdotes with anyone who is interested, bored with their life, passing time or just has the awesome, shit ass luck to run upon it by chance. If nothing else, you will be entertained…start with March 20 "You will be entertained….too good to make up."


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Good vibes…and the GNN…

When I came up with the name of this blog it was because I do generally have “weird” things happen to me on a regular basis but things usually turn out ok in the end.  It’s just often a long windy, often semi-frustrating, road to get there.  I am throwing it out there that from here on out it’s only going to be GREAT weird shit (Greatshitvelcro…hum…a thought!). I am a bit superstitious but I feel like the fact that I have now thrown this name out into the universe I am having even more unusual experiences on a constant basis. That said, as you may have read, my wallet was stolen Friday night. The Dutchy had her wallet stolen on Monday on the subway and a girl I recently met walked out to her car on Tuesday and this is what she saw….Image

That takes some serious effort!  None of us have ever been robbed before – EVER!  Now looking on the bright side, they didn’t steal her car. I got my wallet back with my driver’s license and the Dutchy managed to cancel everything before too much got charged on her cards. I like to believe that things happen in 3s so we are done! And, as an evident side note, clearly crime is on the rise in NYC.

Tonight I stopped by Trip’s house, the trip tank as we call it, and Sophie the psychic (alias the Dutchy as you should know by now) was already there. We were discussing how we are all constantly bombarded with bad news but no one has ever created a “good news network” – GNN.  Often, all one sees, reads and hears about is bad news.  While these events are newsworthy and obviously important, given the overwhelming amount of truly crazy events that occur everyday all over the world why not promote good things that are occurring and change the mindset of what people find entertaining instead of providing ideas for would-be criminals?  I often feel like today the news provides information for would-be and plotting criminals to execute their plans or figure out how to make guns, bombs and other weapons. Why does the media promote this information? It is very frustrating to me. I know that if there’s a will there’s a way but we should be making it harder not easier for these nut jobs!

The three of us are passionate about the idea of a good news network (GNN) where programming includes people having fun and engaging in different types of social good around the globe. It can include social entrepreneurship but also those having a raging time in Ibiza or Antigua, hiking in the Alps or race car driving in Europe.  Promoting and exemplifying how good life can be and what many are doing with their time to better the world in some way, I think, would  truly start to change the mindset of what people find entertaining. And maybe what  young people who specifically seem to be heavily influenced my modern media (social and other), utilize as an outlet.    Somehow that conversation led to talk about the lottery tonight which was….Image

So the three of us picked numbers and the Dutchy and I went to buy tickets. We were too late to buy for tonight’s PowerBall but we still bought for MegaMillions and the next PowerBall. It occurred to me afterward that why aren’t all the people in the world who claim to be psychic or super-intuitive or tuned-in playing the lottery and winning??  Isn’t that sort of a no brainer? I’m just saying that if I was psychic I would definitely play!  I currently play all the time in fact. And, I have always said that I don’t need to win big. I just need a piece. I think 10 million would be great. I’m not greedy. I don’t need 100. 10 or even 5 would be life changing. I am happy to split with others….i just need a piece. Fingers crossed on that one.

On a great note, I have decided to sublet a place in Sausalito for three weeks in May and am very excited! It all happened very quickly and serendipitously last week.  Even though spring is trying to spring here in NYC, I am excited to wake up and look at the water, make some new friends, see some old and start figuring out what my next life steps are! I saw the following on my walk home tonight….things that made me smile….Image

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Happy almost spring in NYC!!  Go away pickpockets!!


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The Divorce Gift! A GREAT idea….in my opinion anyway…

Jimmy Kimmel mentioned tonight that there are some things that he hates about weddings. Well, you know what I hate? I hate that there is no such thing as a divorce gift. Not for the people who get divorced.  Rather for their poor loyal friends or at a minimum for those who were in the wedding party who have been supportive and listened to all the bitching and moaning for however long it went on – sometimes it has been many, many, many years.

I think that when people get divorced they should buy every member of their wedding party a bottle of Jack or Cristal or something that says “thanks for listening to all my bs and putting up with me for all these years….oh and for the engagement, shower, wedding and baby gifts.” WHY IS THERE NO SUCH THING AS A DIVORCE GIFT FOR THE FRIENDS THAT HUNG IN THERE WITH YOU!?

God knows I have been in 10+ weddings and worn dresses in almost every hideous shade of the rainbow in a variety of styles that designers should just be shot for creating. I have helped plan, paid for and attended engagement parties, wedding showers, bachelorette parties, weddings – both local and destinations far away, baby showers, christenings, after the birth baby gifts and the list goes on. I have patiently listened to umpteen stories, handed out tissues, become a soggy shoulder for tears, gone out drinking and done too many shots in comradeship with unhappy male and female friends, provided legal advice (I am luckily a non-practicing attorney), provided names of lawyers, found shrinks for kids, marriage counselors for the unhappy tortured couple, mediators to try to work it our amicably etc – you get the picture. But I have wondered for years about why no one has come up with the idea of a divorce gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it should just be something that says “thanks for hanging in there through all of the shit with me.” It’s just an idea…..thoughts? Anyone? Bueller?

I happen to think it’s a good one…..and long overdue!  I think I am owed at least a case of Cristal by now. Damn.


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Who knew that getting robbed last night would be better than tonight?!! Another interlude or two with New York city’s finest…

As of now I am starting to write a column on here from time to time that simply states “you know it’s time to leave New York City when…”

  1. You have a ton of fun dancing with a cute 27 year old and then you get robbed on Friday night, report it to the police, find your own wallet (sans cash and cards) in a trashcan that neither the bar manager, bouncers or police bother to look in and end up going to bed close to 6AM after spending an hour and a half with the police while simultaneously canceling every credit card you can remember you had in your wallet.  The only details I can provide about my male friend, Peter, who was with me are that he is an old “friend” that I have known since college, he wouldn’t dance and was supposed to “watch” my purse but put it on a hook and basically got hammered and neglected to remember what I had asked.  Hence my wallet was stolen.  My little dancing king and his friend became suspects and they had to strip in front of the bouncers to see if they had my credit cards and $300 cash on them. It wasn’t.  What an effing night.
  2. On Saturday night you attend an interesting fundraiser for two musicians from Russia, one of which won an award today at Carnegie Hall for being an extraordinary international musician and you end up with friends of friends in your car (i.e. strangers) going to a club (which you aren’t sureyou want to go to) and you get pulled over at a check point in the meatpacking district (where you knew something was up when there were cops everywhere and every street was cordoned off but you didn’t listen to your intuition and no one in the car agreed) and have no ID because you were robbed last night and then have to take six breathalyzers, YES SIX, because none of them “worked”. Thus, you have to speak to a variety of officers to explain that you are in fact sober and finally you reason with them enough to explain that this is a waste of your time and theirs (and taxpayer money) and you talk your way out of getting arrested.
  3. When you have more interludes with the police in a month than you have had in 13 years of living in Manhattan!!!

 

I learned tonight, that after three breathalyzers generally in NY one gets cuffed and taken in. Luckily, I dodged a massive bullet.  It would have been a long night in the clink after last night. Probably any night in the clink sucks and I have always maintained, and always will, that I don’t need to experience that.  The list of reasons to leave continue to pile up.

So I drove away smoothly and swiftly.

Came home with dear friend Trip (who showed up at the end of the breathalyzer extravaganza) in tow and I poured us a nice Johnny Walker Double Black. Neat. AHHHHHH…life in the city.

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Dr. Seuss dating book and a retro look back at times past! Your straight is soooo circular…

Who thinks this is a great idea?!  Please do respond.

Sam I am.

Green eggs and ham.

I thought it was my fate as I was captivated by my enticing date.

He was smooth, he was cool and then he ran out of fuel.

Who knew dating was so tough?

How can it still be so rough?

I thought he was nice but his words made me think twice…

Then I went to his house.

And he became a louse!

Ok a few real quotes – quite inspirational I must say!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
― Dr. SeussOh, the Places You’ll Go!

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”
― Dr. Seuss

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
― Dr. Seuss

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
― Dr. Seuss

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
― Dr. SeussHappy Birthday to You!

If you couldn’t tell I was somewhat transported back to my childhood tonight and realized how awesome being a kid is, especially when I grew up, and if only i knew it then. My friend Mark, who I mentioned, is kind of a trip. In fact we had “Girls night at the Trip Tank” and from here on out he will be nicknamed Trip.

So Trip has two kids – who are pretty awesome and I was transported in an absolute instant back to the happiest days of my childhood. His daughter had an Easy Bake Oven. I haven’t thought of this in years and as a real tomboy I never liked dolls or Barbies but I LOVED my Easy Bake Oven.Image

And Operation…Image

And of course we cannot forget Looney Tunes and Tweety!

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As I said to Trip, your straight is so circular. And that sums up the night! Happy dreams all!


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My Evening of Being Grateful…and Reflection….Oh and Sophie the psychic is back in town!

I am going to my first meditation class ever tomorrow night which for a super type A personality is sort of a big deal. I am not even sure what meditation entails but I think I need to calm my overactive mind. I promised myself during the cancer experience that I would learn to meditate so I signed up on Monday and am taking the plunge. I say this as I write at 3AM! My internal clock is totally screwed up – I have always been a night person but this is sort of a disaster and the fact that my apartment is about 90 degrees isn’t helping! Gotta love the idea of a coop-op – the board gets to not only choose if you can buy and sell your apartment as well as your neighbors but also decides when the heat and a/c work. All for a large monthly fee. It’s perfect.

Also, the Dutch psychic left my house about an hour ago – it was a long evening. She got back in town from her weekend away and, as we had emailed several times to follow up on our initial “meeting”, we agreed to have her come over.  I didn’t know it was going to be a “work” session that included my dog’s past and then mine.  Apparently, I am supposed to open my mind to becoming some sort of “media queen” to disseminate information in a different, more relevant manner via an innovative platform that I allegedly will create.  Maybe it will come to me when I attempt to not think of all the things I could be doing or should be doing while trying to meditate.

I will admit that since I was in high school I felt like I have been put on the planet to make something significant happen or as I generally say to change the world in a meaningful way. I never have been the “get married, buy a house, have two kids, take two week vacations annually and die” sort of person – no offense to anyone who has done or is doing all of that because I think it’s great. I just know I would have gotten bored. I am still looking for the love of my life though so let’s not set that aside.   Nor was I the person who in 8th grade said I know I want to be a doctor like a classmate did and she is now a very successful physician.  I have always been trying to figure out what I am meant to do and perhaps that’s why I have always found solace in volunteering my time.

Anyway, we will see what comes of the Dutchy’s predictions. I will have to re-listen to the recording.  Yes I recorded it – I will never remember all the shit she said  – are you kidding me? Not only was it was long, in-depth and, at this moment didn’t sound all that accurate but also she used some other worldly terms that I have never heard. Quite a learning experience at a minimum! But I will continue to share – if nothing else it’s amusing. 

Monday night I realized how grateful I am to be in the place where I am now, how far I have come from one year ago and how fantastic it is to look toward the future.  I spent my evening listening to stories of cancer patients and survivors being read aloud by actors at Sloan-Kettering.   I volunteered at Sloan-Kettering for the last 12+ years and, only last year as a patient, did I learn about this wonderful program they have called “Visible Ink”, a one-on-one program for patients to write and to be mentored.  I suppose one bonus of having cancer was that I was privileged enough to become a part of this wonderful community of talented writers.  This was it’s fifth anniversary and annually they publish an anthology of stories that “honor and celebrate the human spirit.” This year’s book is 325 pages short. Sadly, I am not included because I couldn’t get it together by their November deadline as I was going through treatment.  But next year for sure!

As I sat on the steps of the auditorium (I was late and all the seats were filled), I laughed and cried as I listened to many funny, witty, sad, reflective, courageous, loving and painful stories about people’s lives that included love, loss, relationships, coping mechanisms, bonding experiences and cancer.  My life has changed in so many ways in the last 18 months and there is some comfort in hearing about others whose lives have been changed by this insidious disease.  I was particularly touched by one story of an eight-year old boy who was given two weeks to live before he arrived at Sloan and told his story through the lens of his 23 year old eyes.

At the reception after the reading, I spent the majority of my time talking to Kayla who happens to work for my oncologist. Kayla was one of the cheery voices and faces that got me through last year but I never really had more than a brief conversation with her until that night although apparently I offered to give her my dog at one point – I don’t recall this but he was even more difficult than usual last year so I assume it was true.  I met her boyfriend, Peter, who was warm, engaging and also, it turns out, a fellow cancer survivor.

A little while later I found myself having drinks and a bite with Kayla, Peter, a new Aussie friend of mine who I was meeting (whose daughter works at Sloan apparently I learned) and another guy Sam who Peter had befriended (another survivor I surmised).  We shared some stories and chatted. Just before Sam left he mentioned something about his specific cancer and being 8 when diagnosed.  I immediately knew it was the boy from the story and confirmed this with him while walking around the corner of the bar to give him a hug. His story of being a child with cancer who just wanted to play but instead saw many friends pass was told with such humility and courage that I was thrilled to meet him. I later sent him an email that included the following:

“I admire your courage and your ability to skillfully convey your gratitude and your pain all at once. I did read your ‘reach the day speech’ and having volunteered in pediatrics for years I understood it and know that all kids want to do is still be kids. Even when they have cancer.”

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I am just starting to figure out who I am again and grasp “the new normal” as people call life after cancer. I am not sure what that phrase means but I have heard it repeatedly of late and I am starting to think that perhaps I should Google it. I imagine it is probably different for everyone so, for now, I am taking it a day at a time and starting to enjoy picking the paint for the blank canvas of my life. I think my goal is to make my “new normal” surpass the old not-so-normal by leaps and bounds!  I am starting the climb….


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I planned the meeting, you’re seeing sophie the psychic, everything’s happening!

My friend, Mark, emphatically made this statement during our second glass of wine at my house and my Thursday night out began.   I don’t know about you but I didn’t even know what that sentence meant and I am not sure that I do now. But it sounded enticing.

We took a cab to the UWS.  Now I must admit, that I am a bit of a planner. I can roll with it and go with the flow as long as there is some sort of end game in sight. Although I shouldn’t sell myself short because I had two weeks of no real plan in SF and I figured it out day by day. Anyway, I was a bit on edge Thursday night as I was waiting for some medical test results and I was very thirsty. The kind of I-need-booze-to-kill-the-mental-pain-of-what-I-may-learn-when-the-biopsy-results-come-back sort of thirsty.

The alleged psychic wasn’t ready when we arrived at her building and Mark, not a planner I learned then, had no idea where to go. I marched us to the closest bar/restaurant as I was in semi-desperate need of a beverage.  For someone who has never been a big drinker I am probably at an all time high in terms of alcohol tolerance and this night it was mandatory.

The blond, female, Czech bartender ignored me but as she served all the male patrons I became more irritable and hence, more thirsty. As I explained the concise reasons for my agitation to my new friend of the night “Scooter” who looked like a line backer, he expeditiously got the attention of the I-hate–waiting-on-other-women-bartender and got me a drink. I know some girls and ladies out there reading this have experienced this sort of discrimination so you understand and if you haven’t then you are damn lucky. I generally don’t use real names on here but I really can’t come up with anything better than the real name of “Scooter” for this guy…Image

Mark was a bit horrified by my behavior and thought I had alienated Scooter so he shuffled me to a table quickly as I reassured him that my aggravation was warranted. We needed another seat for the psychic anyway he said as he justified the move because we all couldn’t fit at the bar.

Back story on Mark…He is my semi-new but I feel like I have known him for a lifetime because we went to the same college and know all the same people, male (clearly!), architect, divorced friend who happens to meet a lot of interesting people. And he nicknames them – sort of like me!  In the two months I have known him, he has mentioned a Russian hypnotist who he hooked up with, a financial healer and a sex addict “friend” which I think for a guy who is recently divorced rocks!  Except, as he has mentioned many times, when a sex addict gets psychologically and/or emotionally attached it can be quite problematic.  I should mention that when we met randomly at a bar where we were both alone, the first words he muttered sort of under his breath as he tried to get a drink were “I hate people”. To which I responded “I am in touch with that emotion Have a seat.” Next thing we knew we played the name game from our alma mater and his close friends were good friends of mine. Small, weird world.  Maybe an hour plus later I was at his house around the corner drinking scotch on his deck and being invited to go skiing in VT with said mutual friends that weekend.  I do think people come in and out of your life for a reason. Or a season.

Anyway, finally his friend, the Dutch psychic arrived. We pleasantly conversed and ordered sushi. She was talking about Internet dating as she had met a guy and they both had talked about their spirit guides. Mark was surprised that she put that out there before she met him and, when I asked what spirit guides meant, her demeanor completely changed and she said she was connecting with my spirit guides.  Her eyes closed and her nose bewitchedly twitched. She asked questions out loud for permission to talk to my spirit guides and apparently a lot of information came through.

Now mind you, I had ingested several cocktails by this point and the restaurant was a bit loud so my processing abilities were somewhat compromised. The comprehension level was low as my buzzed state was coupled with the fact that the subject matter was completely foreign to me. Additionally, my buddy Scooter initially sent me a double shot of patron silver via our server which I promptly gave to Mark as I have had way to many bad tequila experiences which have put me off that specific sauce permanently.  Then Scooter came over to the table to see how I was doing and continually asked what he could get me or do for me and the next thing I knew I had another grey goose and tonic (two limes) in front of me and big, line-backeresque Scooter was practically sitting on my lap! Guess I didn’t completely alienate him I said to Mark. He was extremely nice although I think his alcohol consumption had surpassed mine exponentially during the time we were there.Image

One take-away from the psychic which she reiterated in email yesterday was the following: “In all of your past lives you were like a cosmic librarian. You are an information gatherer and disseminator.  You are capable of being a media queen!”

Mind you that this girl, to my knowledge, knew nothing about me but what I do for a living is essentially retrieve information, process it and create strategy and/or communications campaigns. I also have an immense cranial archive of a wide variety of information and topics. I did write her to ask if my theoretical (or real) spirit guides could help me out with the details on how to accomplish this and she said absolutely. So apparently there will be follow up meetings….and she was a cool chick aside from the nose twitch thing so I look forward to hanging!

Just another interesting night out in NYC. What can I say!?

PS – most importantly test results were all benign – THANK GOD! I truly have never been so happy in my entire life and will be embarking on some new things and travel in the near future so stay tuned!! This blog may become my adventures as I travel around the world!


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My life is a hurricane…

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I thought the Empire State Building looked pretty cool tonight with the top lit up in blue so I drove around, yes I drive in NYC, to try to find a spot to take a good photo with my high tech iPhone camera but these were the best I could do….

I just finished skyping, ok face timing, with a dear friend in New Zealand who just had major surgery and, while in pain, she implied that although she has endured earthquakes, tough times and now serious surgery, her life doesn’t compare to mine which she categorized as a stage 5 hurricane.  I just looked up Katrina which was a stage 5….this is not a compliment and she knows me quite well. That said, it may be a semi-accurate description but the difference is you can plan for a hurricane and you know it’s coming. I never know what’s going to be thrown at me and I just have to duck, tuck and roll.

I have always said I was born in the wrong time. I was not meant to live in a time when you are with someone but they are not truly present. I was not meant to live in a time when the majority of communication is performed through a computerized device. I miss reading the penmanship of friends and lovers. I miss looking someone in the eye as they give me a firm handshake and actually engage in conversation. My mother always asks when I think I should have been born and I now say “think Midnight in Paris.”  Jesus, I sound like I am 80 and I am barely half of that but this is truly how I feel. I know I am in a HUGE minority here but it has to be said.

Today, I had a “I just saw my life pass before my eyes” moment while at the oncological surgeon and realized that even though my life is entertaining for others I am not really enjoying it or frankly living it.  You may have guessed this already.  I have my moments but I need to start LIVING my life ASAP.  I have worked from home for 12+ years and I am literally scratching at the walls like a mental patient to get out. I had an all time low recently when I realized I couldn’t get a job as a bar tender in NYC. I thought it would be fun and great to do one or two nights a week. To interact with people, get me out of the house, make some extra dough and not think about it when I leave.  Very different from my 16-24 hour a day corporate job that I have had for 12 years.  However, apparently in NYC people become career bartenders (who knew!) and one must have an extensive bar tending resume.  The icing on the cake was when I had to take a four page test, define grape varietals and foods such as tripe, sweetbreads, fois gras, braising, sauteing, duck confit – you get the picture.  I did quite well on the questions with regard to beverages and wine but not so well on the food part of said test.  I am basically a semi-vegetarian these days but even when I was a meat eater I was never one to eat organs nor did I even want to think about them.  I finished the test and told the manager that I didn’t even care if I got the job but I managed to pass two bar exams and I just wanted to know how I did.  He wouldn’t really comment except when he looked at the wine page he said it looked “great” and they would be in touch. That was two weeks ago. Nada. Ridiculous!

Anyway, you realize when you are on the other side of going through all this medical crap that your life looks nothing like it did before and that very few things really matter. At the end of the day when you die, the pile of money you made doesn’t matter. It may change the journey for sure in various and sundry ways but you can’t take it with you. What, I think, one will remember, or at least I will, is the people and animals you loved, the changes you made in other people’s lives and the people (and animals) who loved you and impacted your life.

I am fairly certain that at the end of the day or road or whatever you want to call it that you don’t give a shit that you hated your boss ten years before or that you bought three houses and had four divorces. Ok well the divorce part you might care about depending on how they went down but unless I get started soon I won’t know that feeling. My mother would on the other hand. Four marriages. Clearly the apple fell far from that tree.

I did, semi-jokingly, tell her this past weekend on our way to Easter dinner that I thought she was being very selfish by not agreeing to go into a retirement community so that I could find a rich husband who is close to death. [Laugh now] Is that bad? I am sort of serious. My brother found it quite funny but I think I laughed more. I am willing to try almost any tact to get my mom and stepfather who both have alzheimer’s out of their three story house plus I feel I should get one husband on a notch.

One thing I must say is that I crack myself up on a regular basis and there is nothing better than making a joke, laughing at yourself and saying out loud “I love me!” You gotta love yourself and although my life is nuts and I spend an inordinate amount of time taking care of my family and others I actually derive enjoyment from helping people. And from laughing. Laugh more, give a shit about most things less. Oh and cry less too. Tonight’s mantra. To be continued…

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