Friday, January 7, 2011


In life there are drivers, and there are riders. I am an awesome rider. Level 12 Golden Rider status. I can road trip like nobody's business. I make mixed CD's, I bring snacks, I know games, I can navigate, I will feed the driver Cheetos one by one so their hands can remain at 10 and 2, and I can hold my pee like a champ. Not having a car is like a dream come true. I don't need ANOTHER SET OF KEYS or have to pretend like I know how to parallel park. All I have to do is keep up with a little yellow metro card that fits oh so nicely in my wallet (brightens it up too), and I can go anywhere!
We live at the very tip-top of Manhattan in a lovely little area called Inwood. We are the last stop on the A-train, which is awesome because when in doubt... just hop on an A heading north and we can make it home from anywhere. It's quite a life saver after some wild nights down town. Did you know they even provide a wake-up service if you fall asleep and do not get off? Yes, it is true- somebody will come and yell and shake you! And people think New Yorkers aren't friendly... For the record- I have yet to take part in the complementary subway wake up service but I have seen it happen many times.
Ok, who wants to hear the story about my first subway ride? You do??! GREAT! Keep reading friends!
I was going to meet a long lost friend of mine who had been living here for years. Buddy was going to be heading to work, so I would be tackling this adventure on my own! He was nice enough to show me how to get a metro card and I totally watched a few people go through the gates so I'd know how to pass as a pro. It would NOT be me jamming up the line- I could just see it- angry people pushing and cursing and throwing things at me... calling me names like "tourist" and yelling "go back to Texas!" The horror!
Everything turned out great and a fun evening was had by all! I believe this was the night I found my roomie playing stickball in the middle of the street with some Austrailian guys and a Dominican guy around 2 a.m. Needless to say we took a cab home :)
The A-train is closest to us and pretty much gets me wherever I need to go, but sometimes certain trips call for the 1. I like the 1-train because it runs above ground a good bit so you get cell service. In my first attempt to get to the 1, I was walking...walking... looking... navigating... stopping... staring at the guy with the bloody shirt emerging from the stairwell... Yep, I was witnessing my first fresh stab wound! I wasn't really sure what to do. So I followed suit and kept walking... Then it hit me- I didn't see anyone running away with a knife, so the stabber was probably still down there. Great, I was going to be a part of another Law and Order episode... I had to think fast! I got on the train and tried to look poor and sickly. Nobody wants to stab a sick girl.
I love riding the subway!

Sara vs. The Apartment Building

There are so many thing that I didn't expect when I moved into a building... first of all calling my new home a building. I am used to a house. My house. With one key to let me in. Thats it. Here I have a key which I must use to get me through two sets of doors... then another to let me into my apartment... plus a mail key. I can handle a separate mail key... But the other two I had some trouble differentiating between at first. Also I found myself looking like the Farside Cartoon of the kid pushing the door at the School for the Gifted when the sign says "pull" because you have to push our doors when unlocked...and clearly I tried pulling... everytime.
Next obstacle: the radiator. I grew up with central air and heat, so when that thing started hissing it just about scared the crap out of me. Then I was constantly worried about anything touching it or within close proximity catching on fire... ya'll know how much I like fire! So yes, it took some time for me to trust this loud hot thing and not peek out of my room every 15 minutes during the night to see if any of our possessions were up in flames.
Along with the radiator comes the poles that run through the kitchen and bathroom transporting boiling hot water. Yeah- step out the the shower, reach for a towel and touch one of those bad boys with bare skin... you'll only make that mistake once.
The day the guy came to fix the dishwasher made me feel like an idiot all over again. There was an obnoxious buzz so I spring to my feet and jetted to our door. The annoying buzzing did not cease and Buddy yells from his room for me to let the guy in! I yell back that there is nobody in the hall... I'm thinking more doorbell than outside buzzer. Duh- people buzz from outside... not just anyone can walk in... that's why I have so many damn keys... Ugh. I felt pretty special, I mean, I've seen Seinfeld... I should have known what was up. All in all it was a success because Bob made it indoors and the dishwasher cleans like never before. Also, any time that deafening tone plagues my ears now I can take immediate action!
Our building was advertised as having laundry available. Two tiny washers and two non-drying dryers don't cut it. They also steal your money. I prefer my corner laundromat. It has black lights. I thought that was a nice touch. I haul my bag in, load up 2 washers, snag a prime spot behind the folding station, and read. You see some pretty interesting things at the laundromat. I had a toddler try to steal my detergent and my book. Then I watched a mom strip her kids and throw all of their clothes in the machines. I also had to move a sleeping baby in a stroller to get my clothes out. I looked around to try to find the parents of this kid but I had no idea who or where they were. So I just stood there wandering whether or not I should alert anyone to my relocating the baby. Nobody seemed to give a crap so I just sent him flying down the aisle. He didn't wake. :)

The Ultimate Puzzle

The time had come. No relaxation between driving and unloading. Thank jebus the first amazing thing I learned about New York is that you can hit up a bodega at anytime of night to restock on beer. So let the unloading party begin!
Let me give you a little insight into what we had packed in the truck- a full-sized couch, a large leather chair complete with ottoman (with one stray wheel- very annoying), 2 mattresses, 2 boxsprings, 3 dressers, a full-sized entertainment center, a small entertainment center, a 6ft bookshelf, all of my clothes and shoes, all pots and pans and plates, bowls, glasses, crockpot, toaster, liquor... blah blah blah an entire kitchen, all towels and washcloths and shampoos... same story- entire bathroom, a billion DVDs and most importantly... the Wii and Playstation with all necessary games and Guitar Hero hook-ups. Would you believe it that we didn't break a damn thing? I was super impressed.
Sooooo we got everything into the apartment, and then we just stood there. Mostly because we had no room to move. Luckily I kick ass at Tetris, so one at a time, we were able to move couches and dressers to make it to the kitchen or bathroom. We were up for over 24 hours and finally got a decent amout of crap in an appropriate spot... Night  one in NYC (it was probably the afternoon really)- I sleep happily in my own bed while looking out my own window onto my own fire escape. Then I realize- great- this is a Law and Order SVU episode about to happen... but then I didn't care because I was SO DAMN TIRED.
I don't believe I mentioned this before- but Buddy had to do all the work when it came to finding an apartment, and he could not have done any better! Our apartment is WONDERFUL! Everything fits well and its easy. So what if my room is the size of your closet? :)

I've been saying I'd blog... so here it goes

Ok- lets start at the beginning...
It was a warm fall evening in Richmond, Texas- a Tuesday I believe- it must have been because I was not playing trivia... I had just completed a culinary masterpiece of microwaved chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs when the phone rang! Little did I know that this call was going to change my life forever. Ok thats mostly BS except for the possible Tuesday and the nuggets...
I needed a change in a serious kind of way and one of my very best friends had been trying to get me to come visit him in NYC for months... so I decided all of a sudden to do one better and move there. I mean really, what did I have going on in Texas besides a job and a cute house and awesome friends? Ugh, who wouldn't think twice about packing it up and moving 2000 miles away to start over? Aaaaaanyway, I broke it gently to the folks who were more than supportive from the start (and by supportive I mean terrified and tearful.) Then I started telling other ppl... co-workers, friends, strangers in the check-out at Target, my dentist, the cop writing me a hefty speeding ticket... and everyone just stared at me in disbelief. Nobody thought I would really do it. Well if that wasn't motivation in itself... :)
The day finally came where Buddy flew in, we packed up my house in a week- which I really should have been doing in the months before, but come on- it's me... and held a last minute garage sale. Next thing I know we are renting our luxury ride (a 16ft Budget Truck- holla!) and loading that baby up for a cross country adventure.
Saying goodbye was tough. My family, my babies, my bestest friend... I teared up a good bit.
October 9, 2010- we set out- Buddy, me, and Billy the dog... I think we only had to make one unscheduled stop and the only place around was a sex shop called the Lion's Den. Hilarious. We didn't shop. We made it to Mississippi the first night and camped out. Setting up a tent in pitch black wilderness is not easy. Nor is sleeping in a tent with a dog. Day two/three- got up and made our way to the Smokey Mountains (which I kept referring to as the Rocky Mountains and most ppl thought I was an idiot. That's fair.) I think this was the day we lost the gas cap and had to find an auto parts store... We did two days/nights in Smokeys- hiked, camped, drank, started fires with questionably obtained cedar- pretty much had an amazing time. Day four- parted ways with the Smokeys and headed towards Gettysberg. We camped out at Little Round Top and did historical stuff the next day. Very cool little town! From there it was only 4 hours to NYC! Well, it should have been but New Jersey is a shithole and so confusing that we backtracked for about half and hour until finally making it accross a bridge or tunnel or something... $16 for a damn toll by the way. We arrived at home after 5 days of not showering and sleeping on the ground... and then had to unpack a crapload of stuff. An entire apartments worth of stuff...