How to Ride the Subway in High Heels

42nd St-Bryant Park

As I teetered towards my subway stop, I debated my approach to my destination. Today is a “do it in heels” day after my flats got soaked in the rain yesterday.

I decide the C train is best, living at the end of the line has it’s advantages. It sits in the station empty until departure time and you’re guaranteed a seat, sitting is optimal when navigating the city in heels. It’s a longer ride, as it’s a local train and stops at every station, but I will sacrifice time in exchange for knowing I’ll have a seated ride.

When I get to the platform, the C is noticeably absent… but she generally doesn’t stay gone for long. I walk down the subway platform to where the front of the train will arrive, I know that all of my options for the rest of the trip are best served if I stay to the front of the train, and it’s more efficient to walk it while I’m waiting than to do it later. This will shave minutes off of your commute time, valuable minutes that you’re planning to squander on the local train.

An A, the express train arrives but I pass on her shorter but crowded standing room only ride in favor of the C’s longer seated one. She leaves me at the station.

I wait, and my desired C train stays away.

Another A arrives, so I take it. I waited long enough. I say a silent city prayer that someone near me gets up at the next stop so I can sit. I ponder my transfer options. To get to Bryant Park, I have several options…

One, screw the whole transfer nonsense and walk from 42nd and 8th Ave. This is my preferred option generally, I need the exercise but it’s not good for high heeled shoes or rainy days.

Two, get off at 42nd St and take the 7 train one stop. Good for rainy days, but bad for high heels. It’s nearly a block long walk underground and there’s a precarious steep ramp involved that I’m terrified I’m just going to topple over on one day.

Three, transfer to the B or D. This could be done one of three places, 145th St is no good because the transfer involves stairs. 125th is iffy because the train is likely to still be full. Lots of people get off starting at 59th St, it’s my best bet for a seat.

I choose option three… I get off at 59th St, and a minute later a B arrives across the platform. I get a seat, I go my two stops, and then I’m at 42nd St-Bryant Park. I note when I get off the train which car and door is nearest to the stairway so I can make for swifter exits in the future. Near the front, but towards the back of the second car… and this will bring me to corner of 40th St and 6th.

I note that the subway exit from the B and D is marginally closer than the nearest one off the 7 to the office. It only takes two street crossings to get to my office, where as the end exit off the 7 takes four.

These are all the little things you think about on the way to work at a new location, when you want to conserve every step. Soon, it will all become routine. I won’t even think about it.

Why I Hate Cleaning the Bathroom

Remember how I was so proud of myself for cleaning the bathroom something like 12 days ago?

Yeah… Now I remember why I hate cleaning the bathroom.

THAT ROOM IS FREAKING CURSED!

CURSED I TELL YOU!

I woke up bleary eyed on Thursday morning needing to pee, stumbled to the bathroom and got one foot in the room and suddenly my foot felt wet. I looked down to find a quarter of an inch of water on the entire left side of the bathroom (the side with the sink and toilet and cat box). I’m still not entirely sure what happened, but once again we had a flood.

An entire box of kitty litter landed on the floor because the bottom fell out when James picked it up to move it.

This is the type of shit that happens when that bathroom gets cleaned.

It’s like the room WANTS to be dirty.

Does anyone else have a room that seems to have a mind of it’s own in their house? That no matter what you do to it, it just seems to automatically revert itself into being a freaking mess the minute you clean it?

I Am Proud of My Size: The Burlesque Edition (Mildly NSFW)

I happened to be poking around my hard drive this past week when I came across a set of photos and a video taken at a burlesque show I performed…. which was… back in February according to the time stamp on these. It was the last time I did a new act and I’m pretty sure the last show I did was in March. Clearly, Roxy Bourbon needs a swift kick in the ass and to get back into the swing of things.

Photo Credit: Samuel Herbig

I always loved the artistic expression that one can achieve through dance and I absolutely loved dancing as a little girl but as I hit puberty, it was pretty obvious that my body wasn’t exactly the stereotypical body type that a successful dancer has. I was top heavy! As I entered into high school, my love of dance got overridden by my self-consciousness about my body and I ended up dropping it as an after school activity.

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Sunday Confessions #20: Finances, Opinions, Sleep, Facebook and Cleaning


1. When it comes to finances, I’m an idiot. There. I said it. Sigh. I’m at this point where I’m pretty sure I need to hire help because trying to deal with my financial issues pretty much sends me into a state of complete panic where I curl up into the fetal position and bawl my eyes out and refuse to listen to reason because I’m just so overwhelmed and confused regarding how I should handle things… However, I’m not sure how to even start looking for the type of service that I probably need… Are there accountants out there who specialize in dealing with severely anxiously mental financially challenged cases who probably are in need of therapy? How do you hire an accountant when your funds are running on empty as it is? WHAT DO I DO? I feel like I’m in this chicken in the egg scenario… I can’t hire an accountant because I think I have no money to hire an accountant, but I need to hire an accountant to figure out how to actually keep the money I earn.

2. That last post was way more opinionated than I usually get here on AuthExp and I’ve spent a lot of time feeling anxious about it since I posted it. Regardless of whether or not you agreed with my conclusions or not, did you guys enjoy reading that sort of thing? Sometimes I feel like I want to get a little more opinionated about stuff around here but I’m freaking terrified of putting myself out there in terms of political and religious beliefs because I tend to consider that sort of stuff in the Extremely Private category, but considering there’s so much bullshit out there these days I think there needs to be healthy discourse about issues.

3. I really really really want to be asleep right now, but I know it’s not a good idea. There’s an appropriate xkcd for how I feel about sleep these days…

My sleep schedule is SOOOOOOO messed up right now. Most of the week I found myself waking up in New Zealand. I had a day where I didn’t sleep for 24 hours. I had a day that was relatively normal and I woke up at 9am. I tell myself that as long as I’m not required to be up for something specific, I should just roll with it and be asleep when I want to be asleep and be awake when I want to be awake, but I still find myself beating myself up for not having a “normal sleep schedule”.

4. Perhaps I’m slow, but I just figured out that you’re able to like other Facebook pages with your own Facebook page. I hadn’t been liking blogs on Facebook because I didn’t want my “real life profile” getting cluttered up with stuff that I truthfully only care about when I’m really bored and need entertaining (not to say that I don’t care about all of you, but I tend to overfollow on my social networks because I like to be randomly entertained by lots of different people). I am so excited about this because it actually gave me the incentive to start using my blog’s Facebook page more. So, come on and like me over at http://www.facebook.com/authexp and see additional content… like posts that I’ve found worthy to share that other people have written.

5. I really need to motivate and clean Room A. Yes, some of our rooms in our apartment are referenced by letters. Really, it’s just the first two little rooms that we reference this way… Room A is my storage room and Room B is James’ storage room. Mine has all my random crap that doesn’t have a home yet because we don’t have enough things like bookshelves…. plus that’s also my closet for all my hanging clothes. I’d go take a picture of it… but I’m tired and lazy and don’t really want to show you a picture of a room that I can’t actually walk in because there’s so much crap until after I’ve cleaned it… So, you know… I can show you before and after pictures. But it’s a mess. And I’ve been putting it off. Needs to happen.

BONUS: This is my 20th time participating in the Sunday Confessions linkup!

On Including Those Who Feel Unincluded: Thoughts on the Cranston, RI Father/Daughter Dance Cancellation

Edit: Just found out that this post was featured on BlogHer, see the post over there here.

I ran across an interesting blog entry today called Empowering Our Children Through Disappointment which was telling the story about a recent news story about how a school had cancelled a father/daughter dance because a single mother in the community complained because her daughter didn’t have a father to attend the dance with and posed the following question:

Are we creating survivors of our children—are we empowering them to overcome the hardships they may face in life—or are we coddling them against things that might sting a little at the time, but will ultimately teach them valuable lessons?

I felt myself torn.

On the one hand, I agreed with her and most of the comments that followed that it seemed unfair that one parent’s complaint could ruin an entire event that might be fun for everyone else. I thought it was quite a valid suggestion that perhaps the school could have suggested that the daughter bring another male role model from her life… maybe an uncle or grandfather or family friend.

I agreed with the point that life isn’t fair. That sometimes things happen in life and you’re going to feel left out or put in a situation where you’re made to feel weird or different.

Then I thought of my partner and how one day his dad up and decided that he didn’t want to be a father anymore and told him never to contact him again. He was 11. He hasn’t spoken to him since. That’s not fair.

Then I thought of a story I was told by the woman who was my first grade teacher (she and my mom are good friends) where she was teaching a unit to her first grade class about family, and after the first day one of the little boys in her class was sobbing.

“Why are you crying?” she asked him.

He told her through his sobs, “Because I don’t have a family!”

Taken aback, she asked, “What do you mean you don’t have a family?”

He explained that he lived with his Grandma and Grandpa. He had drawn the erroneous conclusion that he must not have a family because they’d only talked about mommies and daddies that day. She had to explain to him that just because his family didn’t have a mommy or a daddy didn’t mean it wasn’t a family.

Then I thought of that cute guy in Iowa that I can’t remember his name but he’s all YouTube famous from testifying in front of his state legislature about his wonderful loving two moms that should be able to marry.

Then I thought of all the kids who’ve lost a parent in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Then I thought of all the kids who’ve lost a parent to cancer.

And I know what you’re thinking… What does your boyfriend and that little boy and a guy with lesbian parents and a bunch of nameless faceless kids with dead dads have to do with a father/daughter dance?

Well, I’ll tell you what. You could slide that girl into any of those situations and have a kid who’s in pretty considerable emotional pain who might need some extra encouragement to want to attend something called a “father/daughter” dance because she might not want to draw attention to the fact that her family isn’t one that has a mom and a dad. Maybe this child needs to know that her family isn’t less of a family than anybody else’s family.

I felt that the blame fell on the school. Why did the event need to be cancelled? It could have just as easily been expanded to be a dance for young ladies celebrate any roll model in their life. Why did it necessarily have to be their father? Why did it even necessarily need to be a male role model? And then I wondered… Why aren’t the boys in this community being invited? Don’t they have families too?

That’s when I asked Google. Obviously, I was missing some details.

Apparently, this was a little more political than just a single mother filing a complaint with the office and the school rolling over and saying “Oh, you don’t like it? We’ll cancel it for you.” She had the ACLU backing her and she was taking on a long-standing tradition in Cranston, RI of a father-daughter dance and a mother-son baseball game. They make a case that these events are gender discriminatory. Maybe sons might want to play baseball with their dads. Maybe moms might want to go to a dance with their daughter. Maybe sons might want to dance with their moms. Maybe daughters might want to dance with their grandfather. So on and so forth…

I almost don’t want to link to a news article because as one might expect, since the ACLU is involved… They’re all a little more than sensational. This one seemed a little less bad than the others.

So, maybe mom didn’t humbly voice her concerns and came in with guns blazing or maybe she did originally and got ignored and that’s why she involved the ACLU, that’s an unknown… Maybe that sends a message that she didn’t want to play nice and wanted to ruin eveybody’s fun, but I honestly don’t think that’s the case…. It to me sounded more like she wanted to ensure that everybody who’s a part of this school’s community felt included AND got to attend the event that they were the most interested in.

She wasn’t trying to destroy a tradition, she was trying to make a tradition better. It seems pretty obvious to me that these events were probably originally begun in the spirit of celebrating family, and I don’t think the changes that the lawsuit proposed were detrimental to the spirit of these events.

The mistake, at least in my eyes, was made when the school district just decided to take their ball and go home. What message does THAT send to our kids? That if someone challenges the status quo to make something better and so that more people can participate without feeling like they’re an accepted member of the community that it’s okay to just walk away and say, “Okay fine then, we won’t play cause we can’t do it our way!” I think that sends a way more selfish message.

And I dunno… maybe it’s just me… but the whole thing made me think about this guy named Jesus who I read about in this book called the Bible who was really good about making people who normally felt like they were being excluded from stuff because they were different somehow feel included in whatever was going on. I mean, sure… I doubt Jesus would have enlisted the help of the ACLU if he was a resident of Cranston but I think he would have wanted everyone to have felt like they had a place and were included. Maybe that’s something that the residents of Cranston and the school district there could aspire to. I know if I lived in that community, that’s what I’d want.

Today Is What It Is

The waves of anxiety are crashing over me.  I feel like a terrible weight is sitting on my chest.  I argue with myself whether it is better to go outside and take a walk around even though there’s nowhere to go or to just curl up in bed and retreat inside of my mind for awhile and probably fall asleep.  I know myself, I’ll probably opt for the nap.

There were tentative plans for dinner tonight with a friend, plans I will likely cancel because I do not have the money for such things…. plus, there’s the whole weight on my chest issue, this feeling that makes me want to stay in.  It’s not that I don’t want to be sociable, because I do… It’s just days like these are hard to pull it together. I’d rather someone come here and make me dinner, because the idea of putting on real pants right now seems too difficult.

I search for why I’m feeling this way.

It’s likely the money…  We’re in the waiting game now.  The project has been shipped to the client and the bill has been sent. There are a few clean-up tasks still left to do that I keep dragging my feet on doing, because browser compatibility is probably one of the most degrading tasks in web development.  I’m just waiting for a check now, and I’m down to my last $20….  This last stretch before a slightly indeterminable payday which will likely be sometime next week is the worst.  It makes you feel like a failure because you couldn’t keep enough money in your bank account to keep yourself comfortably covered…. and you want to go buy groceries, but you can’t because the boyfriend took back the money he’d left out for groceries several days before. I’m not mad about it…  it was his money, and it seems selfish of me to be tired of eating the chili I’ve been eating for the last three days.

It might be the sound of the men in the backyard that I don’t want to be there.   They speak in a mix of Spanish and English, and I struggle to figure out what they’re talking about. I pretend that they’re up to no good, that they’re drug dealers and thugs but I don’t know if that’s true.  I’m afraid to go to my window and tell them to go away in case it is true.  And then I feel horrible making the assumption that they might be dangerous, because they might as likely be nice people who like to head out to backyard and smoke weed after work.  I can’t begrudge anyone that, really.  But, I still don’t like strangers being in my backyard, the yard that my window sills are the sills that the strangers lean upon.  I get up and put on music to drown them out.  Today I pick an obscure defunct band from Toronto called The Brown Hornets. I can still hear them out there though.

There’s a laundry list of things I should be getting done, but I can’t bring myself to do any of them.  Today, everyday things are too hard. I have to settle for just existing, just being.  If I do that, I know the weight will lift and I’ll be back to making a hack at getting things accomplished.  I remind myself that this is alright. That feeling guilty about what today feels like is just going to prolong the suffering.

Today is what it is. Tomorrow will be better.

My Cat is a Pizza Thief (and Can Open the Fridge)

So yesterday, I ordered a pizza and some mozerrella sticks.  I ate the mozzerella sticks for dinner and put the pizza in the fridge, and then sometime late at night after much drinking with James and Jed…. Jed and I ate a slice each. So, there were six slices of pizza in the fridge.

When James woke up this morning, the fridge door was open and the pizza box was on the floor and the cat was chowing down. He deemed that there were two pieces salvageable and put the box back in the fridge.

Some amount of time later…. Half an hour, maybe. I went to the bathroom and discovered the same sight, and screamed bloody murder. This time, no pizza left untouched.

I went and dropped my keys off with the landlord, came home and ran into Jed on the street picking up his laundry, and he tells me he was up several times over the course of the night and found the pizza box on the floor. He’d just assumed at first that one of us had gotten so drunk that we’d forgotten to close the fridge, but after it happened a few more times and he found chewed pizza he suspected the cat.

IMG_3812

After James left for work, I caught him opening the fridge again. So, I duct taped it shut… but forgot to do the freezer. He opened the freezer and took out some frozen hamburger meat and was chowing down on that. So, I had to duct tape that shut too. We’re obviously going to have to install some baby locks.

What’s the naughtiest things your animals have done?

No More Cone of Shame!

Good news on the cat front! Logan has had his stitches removed and has rid himself of the cone of shame! The biopsy came back showing that he only had an infection, no lymphoma! We’ve got antibiotics we have to give him and we have to bug bomb our apartment because apparently we have fleas. Grr! Fleas! *shakes fist* (Then again, it could be worse… it could be bed bugs.)

He’s in much better spirits since getting that cone off of his head. The last couple of days were kinda tough. He was really tired of it and took to knocking things over for fun… Yesterday, he broke a wine glass and today he was knocking over my teakettle while I was on a work conference call.

No More Cone of Shame!

Thanks to everyone who sent their well wishes for the kitty, I know I didn’t get around to emailing any of you back, but the thoughts were much appreciated. I’m so glad that the cat ended up having a (mostly) clean bill of health!

Blogging Goals and Going to BlogHer

You know the Universe/God works in mysterious ways when you find your first neighborhood friend via Instagram because you ended up following them on Twitter to enter a giveaway on their blog (or maybe someone they sponsored blog, who knows really…) and then you recognize a rather unmistakable landmark in the background of a picture of their child which prompts you to ask the obligatory first getting to know you NYC question, “What neighborhood do you live in?” Turns out, the same one.

This is how I met Courtney of Baxtron Life.

After scheduling and rescheduling a coffee date a couple of times based on shifting commitments and thunderstorms, we finally met up on Tuesday evening for coffee and people watching and talking about blogging and about a billion other things.

One question that she asked really stuck out to me days after we met… What are your blogging goals?

It was a pretty apropos question considering that a rather large women’s blogging conference called BlogHer kicks off tomorrow and it’s probably a question that I’ll get asked about a million times while I’m there on Saturday because.. well.. That’s totally a blogger ice breaker type of question.

I was caught a little bit off guard by it and found myself saying, “Um… uh… I don’t know.”

It’s not like I’ve never thought about what my goals are for my blog, but more like… My blog is my hobby, it’s fun time for me, and really my only real goal with it is to just keep on writing content that’s hopefully good and people are interested in reading. I don’t really have any aspirations for greatness.

Okay, yeah… sure… It would be nice if my daily pageviews would be in the hundreds instead of being somewhere in the 80-100 range for a day when I post and in the 20-40 on a day that I don’t (though, it’s an improvement in numbers based on what it was a few months ago) and I watch my stats with curiosity to see what sort of topics people respond to and what people don’t. (Apparently, everyone loves Sunday Confessions and when it talk about blogging and working from home but don’t give a shit when I talk about music.) and it would be nice if some day my Feedburner stats would climb into the hundreds (right now it’s fluctuating between 40 and 50). However, I don’t really let any of that dictate what I do and don’t post… I just write what I want, and hope for the best. If one of my posts is good enough to be passed along, I hope people do so.

I also don’t tend to have a whole lot of interest in participating in a lot of the popular self-promotion activities that bloggers seem to do… I don’t have a shop of handmade goodies for giveaways to bribe you to follow me and I don’t really charge for advertising slots because I don’t care about the money because I mostly swap. I mean, I guess you could pay me… but I’d rather swap than have the money. Half the time I miss being put in my sponsors featured posts because my inbox is so full I miss the call to write up anything self-promotional about myself and while I have good intentions to write guest posts for people, I usually end up backing out because.. well.. I barely have enough time to write my own posts, never mind posts for you, too… and sponsored posts? I’m only marginally interested at this point. I’m super picky about that sort of thing.

I mostly try to just grow my readership base by trying the best I can to reach out to people with the time I have. I’d much rather make friends with people and inspire people to do what they want to do with their lives than have lots of readers or make money.

All of that out of the way, I was a little intimidated to pull the trigger to go to BlogHer. Not like that’s unusual, most all of the first timers are publishing posts this week about how they’re nervous and everyone who’s been before is all reassuring like, “You’re going to have an amazing time!” It was more sticker shock. In the midst of getting ready to move, let’s just say… Dropping dough for the Saturday day pass kinda hurt a little, granted I keep telling myself that I’m paying way less than most everyone else who’s going to be there because they’re all on a little conference vacation and have to pay for a hotel and stuff… which, I won’t lie… I’m a little jelly because conferences are so much more fun and retreat-like when you’re not running home to sleep in your own bed.

And there’s the fact that most of the conferences I’ve attended in the past are tech conferences, not blogging conferences so I’m a little more used to being a woman in a sea of men rather than a woman in a sea of women… which means I kinda care what kind of shoes I’m going to wear and that’s a little weird.

But it’ll be cool. I’m not worried.

If you’re going and you want to meet up on Saturday, feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@nikkiana) and if you happen to have a +1 to a party on Friday, feel free to invite me as you’re date. ;)

This Is What Happens When I Stay at Home on a Friday Night

Every once in awhile, no wait.. I’m lying… I do this quite frequently, I go on a blogger binge. This is when I’ve exhausted the list of blogs that I follow on Google Reader, Hello Cotton and Bloglovin’ and just start randomly clicking on any link that I can find that goes to another blog in search of a the mythical holy grail blogger whom I will fall in love with instantly and we will be BFFs the moment I comment on her blog and we’ll live happily ever after in bloggy internet bliss.

AKA, I’m unicorn hunting.

The trouble with this is somewhere into the second hour of looking at blogs, I tend to get really jaded and start finding ways to actively dislike just about every blog I click on, and I feel this sense of dread because every link I click on seems to set off things thing in my brain which says, “Nope, I’m not anything like her.”

My evening went a little something like this….

Click. This woman is really into running, my hips feel like they’re going to fall of when I run. Nope, I’m not like her.

Click. This woman has kids. Nope, I’m not like her.

Click. This woman has used the word Jesus in her blog post about a dozen times. I am really not like her.

Click. This woman lives in East Bumblefuck. What could I possibly have in common with her?

Okay, I’m bored now… Let’s stalk Twitter… Olympics, Olympics, Olympics. OH SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY.

Click. Hmm… This one likes yoga. Maybe… Follow. No, wait she has kids.

Click. This woman only eats kale and vegetable smoothies. Nope.

Click. Oh god, what the fuck is that font?

Click. This woman owns dogs. Nope.

Click. Why is this woman posting so many pictures of her self in different outfits? Nope… But wait, she has a giveaway. Follow.

Back to Twitter. ARE WE STILL FUCKING TALKING ABOUT THE OLYMPICS?! SHUT UP ALREADY!!

This went on for… oh… somewhere in the range of about… eight hours. Well, minus the half an hour that I managed to pry myself away from the computer to read some of the last Hunger Games book… but yeah, about eight hours straight of me comparing myself to what basically amounts to a 30 second first impression of probably hundreds of women around the world.

And basically because I want an IM buddy on a Friday night. (Do bloggers still do that?)

Yeah… I’m special.