Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Working Girl

I started my first day of work on Tuesday. All I really have to say about that is: Really? Every day for the next forty years? DAMNNNNNNNN. Just kidding. Actually, I think it'll be a good fit for me even though I'm in the advertising department rather than the editorial which is where I want to end up. In the end, it's a good job at a magazine that I actually enjoy reading that was offered to me during a recession. I'd like to take this moment to thank my lucky stars. So, thanks, lucky stars.

I walked into work on my first day to find a barf bag in the inbox on my desk. "You'll need this" is what the note read. Hysterical. That paired with the Winston Churchill quote, "if you're going through hell, keep going," taped to my computer didn't sound too promising, but everyone, as expected (yes, including my boss), is really funny, nice, and welcoming.

All in all, I think it's the perfect place for me to have my first job.

The only thing I can complain about right now is the commute. It's about an hour total, mainly because I have to transfer trains and do a decent amount of walking (ironically, as I found out today, my flats are more painful to walk in than my heels). This commute rivals my old two hour commute on the good old Metro North, however, I've learned a few things about public transportation since I've been here.

I used to call the Metro North the "crazy train." I was mistaken. Perhaps a proper distinction should be made between the Metro North and the MTA in ticket prices. It costs $2 to ride the subway, and it costs upwards of $20-30. Now I don't want to stereotype anything, but it's a scientific fact that POOR PEOPLE ARE CRAZY.

Anyway, back when I was on the Metro North, I would find a seat and go to sleep. On the subway, I'm unable to fall asleep because of the fear that my belongings will be stolen, that I'll get sexually assaulted, or because a crazy woman with no teeth would like to serenade the entire car. This happened on my commute home tonight, and while I appreciated the selection of the song ("The Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston), her years of drinking grain alcohol and doing crack had done a number on her vocal cords as well as her non-existent teeth. Just saying.

And while I'm sure crazy people singing and everything else that's mildly amusing as a newcomer will quickly become, well, you know, fucking annoying, right now, I love all of this shit. I mean, how can you not?

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Monday, May 26, 2008

No Sleep 'til Brooklyn

Okay, so I've been a little neglectful, but of course, after permanently moving into the apartment in Brooklyn, I lost the battle with technology and couldn't get on the internet. I feel completely useless without the internet and I really don't know why. I make a big deal about having to check my email and then of course I finally check it and I have one new message from or some bullshit. Anyway, moral of the story is that I somehow was able to get online and I'm never turning off my computer again.

I digress.

I can't believe I graduated a week ago. My whole life is on fast-forward and while the forward-momentum is exciting, it's also a little terrifying. Whatever. I'll deal.

Within the week I was home, I got reacquainted with my Simpsons DVDs, hung out with my family, and got my first notification about student loan payments looming over my head. Sallie Mae, get the fuck off my back!

I also got a chance to hang out with all of the lovable jerks from RBR at one of my favorite Buffalo bars, the Pearl Street Brewery.
While we were there, I was told an interesting story:

My new employer called my boss at RBR for a reference. She gave me a glowing review and then, when the HR person asked, "is there anything else we should know about Amanda?" she responded with:

"Well, she likes to wear plaid shorts an awful lot."


The HR person reportedly responded with, "well, I guess we can't hold that against her."

My life is a joke. As always.

As I said, I flew into NYC for the final move-in on Saturday. On the flight, I was reading Curve Magazine. Not because I'm that gay, but because I got a subscription two years ago and even though I cancelled it (I think the magazine kind of sucks to be honest. The articles as a rule are really unimaginative- I thought lesbians were supposed to be clever?) they still keep sending me issues. Anyway, an article in the magazine detailed the largest lesbian library in the country. It is ten blocks away from my apartment.

How appropriate.

What's even funnier is that I ran into lesbian folk-poet
Alix Olson in the grocery store yesterday. This is progress from going from a small conservative town to a small conservative college expecting to find more than five lesbians (they were all on the rugby team, BTW- gross).

In any event, as Annie so prophetically said, I think I'm gonna like it here.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Graduation Recap

I am a college graduate.

Of course, Marist had to find a way to fuck with me in the last possible moment.

Marist was one of the very few colleges this year who used a pre-recorded system to announce graduate's names. At rehearsal, we were given line up cards with numbers on them. The numbers corresponded to our pre-recorded names. When we got up on the stage, we handed our card to a technician, they punch in our number, and our name is announced over the loud speakers. This system is a good one, as it speeds things up and also allows students with difficult names to pronounce a chance to have it pre-recorded correctly.

However, as always with technology, it wasn't fool-proof. But out of about 900 names, only 10 or so were messed up. I was one of them. Of course.

I handed the technician my line up card, and he must have punched in the wrong number. I'm standing on stage and "RYAN J. WHITE" is announced over the loud speakers. Clearly, I am not Ryan J. White. The president of the college handed me my diploma and told me not to worry. Then, finally, the technician gets it right and my name is announced. However, not without a nice echo/reverb.

This is how my name was annouced:


The minute I get off the stage, I get a million text messages from my friends, all saying something along the lines of "this WOULD happen to you."


The day after graduation, we drove into Brooklyn to drop the remainder of my stuff off. Unfortunately there was a marathon in Chelsea that blocked off the Battery Tunnel. We drove around for 2 hours (probably the duration of the race) until we could get into the tunnel and get to Brooklyn. I don't care what cause that race was for, but I hope everyone dies from it. THAT'S HOW PISSED I AM.

We left Brooklyn at around 4pm and drove straight home to Buffalo, getting home at midnight.

Throughout all of senior week, I have to admit that it didn't really hit me that college was over. I guess I wasn't sober enough to think about it in depth. What scares me is how I'm caught by emotions sometimes. For instance, I'm not someone that you'd see crying at graduation. Rather, I'm someone who you'd see the next day, at a McDonald's in Brooklyn, crying by the ketchup dispensers. GET IT TOGETHER. That's what I try to tell myself anyway. Of course, once I was alone in my car, sans the annoyances of my family, I cried like a fucking baby for the majority of the drive. And even with that release, it still doesn't seem real to me. I don't know if it ever will.

I'll probably just wake up one day in a few months and realize, oh my god, this is the rest of my life.


Friday, May 16, 2008

So Long, College

I've mentioned before that I'm the [former] editor-in-chief of my college's magazine, The Generator. For three years, I've been at the helm of this publication, and it's been a shitload of work, and quite frankly, a lot of headaches that I didn't need. That said, however, I did enjoy working on it, otherwise, I wouldn't have put up with all of the bullshit. I'm proud of my work, but I'm relieved that I don't have to deal with it anymore. What follows is the last article I'll ever write for it:

So this is it.

The last article I will ever write for the Generator. You're all crying, I know. But wipe those tears out of your eyes because they'll all get in the way of you being able to read my witty yet cheesy send off as the Editor-in-Chief of Generator Magazine.

I struggled (ie: thought about it for more than five minutes) with whether or not to make the cover story of this issue graduation. After all, there are three classes that are not graduating this semester. The fact that the cover story is the class of 2008's graduation lends itself to my egocentrism. I'm graduating. And as you've seen from all of the articles written by our graduating seniors on staff, once graduation is hanging over your head, it's all you can think about. So the cover story seemed appropriate. And hey, I do what I want.

Actually, I take that back. In high school, I was voted "Most Likely to Tell it Like it Is" (shocking, I know) and yet, four years after my high school graduation, I'm decidedly more PC. After all, as a non-crazy person, you need to be able to exercise some restraint. Put simply, college has taught me (among other things) that you can't always do and say what you want to.

In brainstorming ideas for this article, I was tempted to write an article titled, "Get Bent," where I would malign everyone that I don't like. While potential lawsuits for libel that such an article would bring were a semi-deterrent to scrap the idea, the main reason why I opted against the treatise on my enemies was simply that I don't want to deal with the drama.

Drama, of course, is something prevalent in nearly everyone's lives, especially in college, when you're drunk all of the time and living on top of each other. That said, let's face it. College was a cakewalk. Sure, there have been hard times. The loss of a friend, a bad break up, etc., but in general, it's likely that your biggest problem of the week was deciding whether to go to Darby's or Rennie's on a Saturday night.

Now we're facing actual problems such as getting a job, paying the rent, and figuring out how to survive a 60 hour work week, slaving away as someone's lowly assistant.

The reality of all of these things would make any student want to curl up under their college-issued, extra long twin bed with a bottle of Bacardi and cry themselves to sleep. But reality is, in fact, here, and you can't escape it (unless you're going to graduate school).

It's like that Vitamin C song, or "The Sunscreen Song" or any other lame, trite song that seeks to sum everything up with meaningless platitudes. I really don't want to go there with this article, but it's hard not to wax poetic when something so good is ending.

And in saying goodbye to our easy, safe college lives, we're giving up more than night class and townhouse living. We're giving up the hyper-sociality of college. Think about it. How likely will it be that you'll be able to go to a bar in the new place you wind up after college and know everyone there?

I could go on, but I don't want to be depressing. College is a great period of your life, but I think a lot of us are ready to move on to other exciting things. That said, I guess it's time for me to wrap it up and get sappy and cliche.

If I could say one thing to the people who still have time left at Marist, it's that your GPA doesn't matter as much as the friendships you've built, and honestly, as much bitching, and crying, and over-dramatization that will go on, everything will be okay.



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Goodbye to the Karaoke All-Stars

I've mentioned before that my friends and I are regulars at wing/karaoke night at a local bar. Last night was our last one ever.

I'm not one to get very emotional, but all of the emotions of leaving everything behind are starting to hit me. I mean, I'm actually graduating in four days. Where did
four years go? Oh yeah, I drank them all.

But really. We sang our two favorites, "All or Nothing" by OTown an
d "It's All Coming Back to Me" by Celine Dion, but things started getting really bad when we sang that ridiculous song by Vitamin C, "Graduation (Friends Forever)." We all make fun of it because it's so trite and ridiculous, but there we were, the entire bar, singing along. Some people cried. I didn't. But it was honestly, really, really sad.

I also take back anything negative I said about PJ the DJ. Sure, he was grumpy and a grade-A douchebag at the beginning of the year, but he came around, and dubbed us the "All or Nothing All-Stars." H
e scooped us up into a big bear hug (emphasis on big- he's like 300 lbs) and said he will miss us. We'll miss you too, PJ the DJ. Fo real.

Here's a photo montage from wing nights of the past. I'm going to grab some tissues. Actually, I'm going to grab a beer. The senior bar crawl starts soon, after all.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hello Senior Week, Goodbye Liver

I graduate from college in six days, and I have absolutely no responsibilities. I'm taking this opportunity to get even more drunk than I usually do. Bad call? Probably.

My nights are spent guzzling beer and downing shots while my days are spent laying in bed watching the first season of
Murphy Brown on DVD (shut up, it's a good show) and eating tons of carbohydrates. This is the life.

Aiding my ridiculousness are the really cheap graduation drink specials at all of the bars. $3 pitchers and $2 jager bombs? Am I in heaven? Clearly I didn't know where I was that fateful night, because I resumed my drunkwalking. This is the second time I've done this.

Let me just say that I am continually astounded by the fact that even when I'm really, really drunk I can:

a.) put on a Golden Girls DVD
b.) check my email
c.) change my clothes

and yet still end up in my housemate's bed rather than in my own.

Apparently, I also went into my other housemate's room, stumbled in through the door, and leaned on her bed. She said "this isn't your room, Amanda" and I said, "I KNOW" and stormed out. Then, I guess I went into my other housemate's room and got into her bed.

What am I doing with my life?

Oh, right. Loving every minute of it.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Musings on Senior Formal

My last formal dance was senior prom, where I took my female best friend as my date and wondered why everyone thought I was finally acknowledging my obvious homosexuality (the photo above was from prom- note the taffetta and the pimp stance).

I went to prom because my mother told me that if I didn't go (like she didn't go), that I would regret it. So I went and had a decent time, slow dancing with boys that have since came out of the closet, and not drinking alcohol because I staunchly believed I didn't need to drink to have a good time (18-year-old me hates 22-year-old me, by the way).

So now my college senior formal is upon me and I'm amazed at how big of a deal everyone is making of it. It's like prom all over again. Listen, people. This is not prom. Your parents aren't going to be taking pictures of you and your hair doesn't need to be in a professional up-do with flowers and gemstones featured throughout.

Much like all of the events planned for Senior Week (the booze cruise, various bar crawls, etc), there is only one goal: drink your fucking face off. As far as Senior Formal goes,
we are all going to look good for about 15 minutes and then open bar will occur and we'll all be so drunk it won't matter what anyone looks like.

This is why I don't think it's neccessary to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress that is likely going to be spilled on, thrown up on, and be ripped off of your body (if you get lucky) by the end of the night.

I decided that I would wear my go-to black cocktail dress that is fancy enough and yet incredibly comfortable. For a split second I entertained the thought of wearing a burka. How awesome would that be? I wouldn't have to worry about anything but my eye makeup. Then I got realistic and decided to go with the cocktail dress.

I only had to buy a small clutch. My criteria for the clutch was that it had to be red (to match my shoes) and it had to be able to fit my flask. Classy, I know, but open bar is only for an hour and a half, people. Maybe we should do a case race beforehand?

Anyway, as life has a way of being ironic, this time around, I am completely out of the closet and taking a male date, rather than being in the closet and taking a female date like the last time. Unfortunately for me, my male date, though being traditional, wouldn't put up the $70 for my ticket. Why, you may ask? Well, at this juncture, we're all broke as hell, but I really think the reason why he wouldn't thrown down is because he knows he's not going to get any.

Smart guy.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Baby Mama: Best Thing Ever

Many of you know of my obsessive love for Tina Fey. It's not really surprising. I mean, she fits all of the criteria. She's smart, she's funny, and she's something of a cougar. Not sure what a "cougar" means? Let's take a page out of the Urban Dictionary, shall we?

"A cougar is a woman who is 35+, sexually cunning, and prefers to hunt rather than to be hunted."

Okay, well I'm not sure about the last part, but I think there's something incredibly attractive about someone who has their shit together. And we all know that there are very few people in my age group who actually do have their shit together. And with the #1 movie in America, a hit TV show, and armfuls of golden awards statues, Tina Fey has got her fuckin' shit together. So hot.

So this brings us to my viewing of Tina's new movie, Baby Mama.

I have two weeks left of college, and I literally have nothing to do anymore. It's weird, because I'm usually juggling a million things, and now my only responsibilities are to drink heavily and wake up at some point.

The bar is low for the next two weeks, people, and I love it. So somewhere in between the binge drinking and nap taking, I found time to go to the movies to see Baby Mama.

It was fucking hysterical. Completely. Totally. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are the perfect comedy duo, and even the secondary characters are ridiculously funny too. Go see it. NOW.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Brooklyn Move-in Extravaganza

Okay, so yesterday, my father came up to Poughkeepsie, we loaded a rental van with all of my crap, and proceeded to drive to Brooklyn.

Well, I shouldn't say ALL of my crap. Most of it.

You see, despite paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a four-year education, Marist doesn't want you to drag your feet in leaving when graduation is approaching. So, they politely request that you move out the majority of your things BEFORE graduation and just keep the essentials to get you through the final few weeks. AND, to add insult to injury, I just found out that on graduation day, a Saturday, we have to be out of the dorms by 5pm. This puts a serious kink in my plans to have dinner with my family and then drink until I pass out that night. Damnnnnnn, Marist. Here's your diploma, get the fuck out.

It's like in the "Milhouse Divided" episode of The Simpsons, where Kirk gets fired from the Cracker Factory:

Kirk: So that's it, after 20 years, goodbye and good luck?
Cracker Factory CEO: I don't recall saying good luck.


Anyway, so we had to move most of my stuff to the new apartment in Brooklyn. Nevermind the fact that neither of us had ever made an attempt to drive into Manhattan/Brooklyn in our lives, or that we were driving a gigantic van. It was bound for disaster.

Here are some things I learned:

1. Jager Bombs and Move-in Day Don't Mix: I remember the looks on my friends' faces when they saw me pouring more and more jager into my cup before we went to the bar on Friday. I believe "your father's going to kill us" was said. But I was drinking Red Bull with the Jager. That makes it better, right? Right??? 6am doesn't look too good when you stumbled into bed at 3.
2. Sometimes Life Makes You Miss Out on the Fun: Putting that nightstand together becomes a lot less amusing when your friends are texting you from the campus crawl saying "we're trashed, where are you?" Wah wahhhh.
3. Think things through: did you really think you were going to make it back for the campus crawl when it takes 2 hours to get there and back, plus unpacking and building things? Idiot.
4. Target BLOWS: Hey, Target. I spent over a thousand dollars with you on furniture via your website. When I say I want a leather headboard, that doesn't mean I want a suede headboard. Let's go over this again. Leather does not equal suede. Also, sending me four left legs for the nightstand- not too funny, either. Ohhhh, they are SO getting a call.
5. My Father is Not Bob Vila: Yes, I understand that putting a desk together is particularly challenging. But FIVE HOURS worth of challenging? Come on. My new roommate was kind enough to help with the assembly of furniture. While my father was still screwing around with the desk, we put together my bed, a chair, a standing mirror, and discovered that the nightstand was faulty.
6. It Shouldn't Take 4 Hours to Get from Brooklyn to Poughkeepsie: On the way down, we made it there in exactly two hours. On the way back, we kept getting detoured because most of the ramps and tunnels we had to go through wouldn't let gigantic trucks through. Somehow, we end up in Midtown Manhattan at 8pm on a Saturday night. As you can imagine, it was glorious to sit in traffic forever, especially when we didn't know where we were going. Luckily for us, I enlisted Tim via cell phone to MapQuest where the fuck we needed to go to get back home. Four hours later, we were there. Success?

Despite the fact that the entire oddessy took 16 hours, I'm really excited about the apartment, the neighborhood, etc. From now on, though, I think we'll be taking the train.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hey Amanda, How are Classes Going?

A conversation with my professor in regards to my final project:

Him: How's it going?
Me: I'm struggling to care.

Moral of the story: