Tuesday, July 31, 2012

let me tell you about gymnastics

{I am writing this in honor of the women's Olympic team final, which took place today, of course, and which America won for the first time since 1996, which Alyssa not-so-kindly rubbed in my face. Funnily enough, I was very happy for them - I mean, they are "my" team, after all, right? And also, they kind of deserved it after coming up short in 2004 and 2008. I was sad for my lovely Russians, as you can expect, but surprisingly, not overly devastated. I figure this is because I already expected them to screw up, and then once I thought about it more, I realized that perhaps I subconsciously love Russian gymnastics because they are self-destructive, as am I. A match made in one effed up heaven! Freud would have such a ball with this.}

The first time I decided I would be a gymnast - an Olympic gymnast, at that - I was upside down. The 1996 Atlanta games were on television, 14-year-old Dominique Moceanu was performing one of the most charismatic floor exercise routines in history, and there I was, all five years of me, in a headstand, supporting my body against the foot of my parents' bed (or rather, "beds." At the time, my family was having a rough time making ends meet, and my parents had taken my mother's twin sisters' old beds and placed them next to each other to create a larger queen sized bed).

"I want to go to gymnastics classes!" I told my parents later.

"Me too!" my sister said.

"I want to go to ceramic classes too!" I added.

"Me too!" my sister said.

I won my first medal at seven or eight years old - a bronze for the floor exercise. I was particularly proud of myself, because not only was this my first competition ever, but I didn't even have my back handspring without a spot yet, even though I was a level four, and level fours were supposed to have their back handsprings without a spot, so if I won a bronze without it, I totally would've won the gold with it, I thought. The gold! Can you imagine? And better yet, I'd beat Becky, who could do a back tuck - a back tuck! In the air! - even though she was only a level four, and level fours weren't supposed to do back tucks yet.

One of my teammates, Rebecca - not Becky, but another Rebecca - cried because I'd won a medal, and even Michelle had won a ribbon, and she'd won nothing. I felt a little bad, but not really, because I was a child, and I just felt special, and duh, if Rebecca wanted a medal or even just a ribbon, she just had to quit complaining and get better.

After steadily building up my collection of silvers and bronzes, I won my first gold on the balance beam, at age 10, in Mexico. My sister, who also came to Mexico, had gotten sick from the water, and I was a little sad that she missed my routine. My dad videotaped it, of course, but he was so nervous the camera shook in every which way, so it was pointless. She would never see my gold medal-winning performance.

Also at age 10, my coach decided to teach me a full twist on floor. "Just turn your arms like this when your body has rotated enough that your eyes are facing the ground up in the air," he said, demonstrating a twisty motion with his body. "Then the rest of your body will follow."

"Okay," I said, because I was too scared to say, hey, I'm a little scared here.

I ran about five tentative steps. Round off, back handspring, back layout --- halfway up in the air, I imitated the twisting motion he'd shown me. Then things got a little too spinny, and then I couldn't see, and it was all a blur, and then there I was, on the floor. On my butt.

My coach laughed, arms up in the air, ecstatic. "Do you know what you just did?"

"Um. No."

"Two-and-a-half twists. Two-and-a-half! Not one! But two-and-a-half!"


"Ana!" he called to his wife. "We got ourselves a twister!"

From that day on, I hated twisting with a passion.

{to be continued? Yes, no, maybe? Thoughts?}

out and about with simba

30 min. run + a pit stop at Starbucks for unsweetened passion iced tea + 45 min. walk with Simba + hot oatmeal = the makings of a near-perfect morning.

nothing like a long walk with your puppy to soothe the heart.

it's my new favorite morning ritual.

Monday, July 30, 2012

a comprehensive list of my irrational fears

maybe this way, I can convince myself that they are actually irrational. I would like to sprinkle a pinch of humor to these, so take it all with a grain of salt.

but enough with the condiment metaphors.

that I am fat. That my thighs are fat, or my arms are fat, or my face is fat, or my left pinky finger is fat, or that a body part that is incapable of being fat is fat on me, simply for the fact that I am me, and therefore, I am inherently fat. That if I eat nothing, I will be fat, and if I eat everything, I will be just as fat, and if I become ill with a disease that causes one to lose weight, I will indeed still be fat. Fat fat fat.

that every creak or squeak or honk or subway passing by I hear is actually a mouse in my apartment. And the mouse will eat me. And I will die. Or the mouse will multiply into billions and trillions of mice. Kind of like that story I read in middle school, but with mice rather than birds. Clearly somebody is traumatized.

that I will never make it as a writer because I am actually a terrible writer and I am delusional to think otherwise. Or maybe I am a good writer, but I won't make it simply by virtue of being me. I'm not quite sure why, but probably because I am fat.

that every bad thing that happened to me is actually the product of my imagination. Kind of like Shutter Island. Or, kind of like what my mother told me all the time. "Oh, you were sexually abused? Liar." "Oh, I called you fat a hundred thousand times and this is why you don't eat now? Liar." Which I am not. A liar, I mean. But what if I am?

that people hate me and only put up with me because they feel bad for me. God, these people must be saints. Putting up with all my bullshit for years and years, and they don't even like me!

aren't the inner workings of my brain rather hilarious?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

why i write

The thing with me is that I don't ever suffer from "writer's block." I don't say this to brag, or in a woe-is-me-I-don't-have-writer's-block-my-life-is-so-hard kind of way, but I simply state this as a fact. I don't have writer's block. Ever. Much like I've never had a brother or like I've never been good at math. It is what it is.

I wrote my first novel when I was 12 years old. It was about a young girl in Austria during the Holocaust (I went through a Holocaust phase, you see). The thing was over a hundred pages, and realistically, it probably sucked pretty bad. At one point, the document got so big that it crashed my computer and I lost it all.

The truth is that I always have way too many words in my head - sentences, sometimes, or paragraphs, even - that are just begging to be put down on paper. I form the prose in my thoughts before I've even considered that, hey, this would be a good piece to write. Life happens, so I translate it into words. Sometimes these words sound pretty. Others, they don't. But they must be written down. It never feels like a chore.

by me

She finds
Quite as satisfying
As the hours spent writing
Inside her head

Take the other night, for example. We're out and about, at a club in the West Village. My best friend from high school, Erika, dances with a hipster and grabs him by his suspenders. We all laugh. It's really hilarious, isn't it? But all the other girls move on. I don't. I make it a story in my head; I give it words. I think, this is something worth writing about.

On Friday, while out on a freelancing assignment, I met this photographer. He asked me what I hoped to do with my life. Write, I said. I can freelance. I can write fiction. Whatever. Preferably, a mix of both. Perhaps it's ridiculous, and maybe even a little pretentious (because who am I to make it as a writer when so many others haven't?), but I want to make a living off of writing.

"What do you want to write about?" he asked.

I don't know, I said. I like art. I like travel. But mostly, people. I want to write about people. 

And the things that happen to people. Their stories.

I hope I'm good enough to do that.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

in which i have a life

last night, Erika danced with a hipster. She grabbed him by his suspenders. HIS SUSPENDERS. This is the quality shit that sitcoms are made of (too bad no one makes sitcoms anymore. I could totally write one).

to any kind souls that read this, my instagram is @debbiele03. I'm not very interesting, though, so don't bother.

anyway, that got me thinking. White boys (and girls, sorry) really can't dance, can they? I mean, I realize that is a pretty gross overgeneralization, and I think white people are cool and all, but come on. Get with it! Us, on the other hand, Erika and her Latina friends and me with my half Middle Eastern-ness and Costa Rica growing up-ness, we were just totally killing it on the dance floor.

it felt good to feel young for once. I should try it more often.

(it also felt good to discuss moving to the West Coast. Erika's in Los Angeles, which to be honest I'm not remotely interested in, but I do have my eyes set on California...hm)

Friday, July 27, 2012

my very serious olympic wishes

Today I considered writing a post titled “a comprehensive list of everything that’s gone wrong in my life this summer,” mainly because last night a pot of boiling oatmeal exploded ALL OVER my hands (what happened was that Simba was being SUCH A PUPPY – not in a good way, either – so I was distracted and then boom). Now I am covered in sweet second degree burns that hurt SO bad.
So the point is that I was going to write that post, but then I thought, girlfriend, get a grip, and then I remembered the Olympics start TONIGHT, which is not only a really exciting turn of events, but also a lot more fun to write about.
Growing up, I was dead set on being the best gymnast that ever was and winning the Olympics. I was well on my way (just kidding; probably not), until I was molested at age 14 and decided to take my anger out on gymnastics, which is something that I totally still regret.
That’s okay, though, because I can live vicariously through NBC’s Olympic coverage, which, biased as it may be (ugh. AMURRRRRRRICA), is still kind of cool.
Anyway, it wouldn’t feel right to not write a post about my wishes for the 2012 Olympic Games. Because I’m a creep that has serious Olympic wishes.
Correction: serious gymnastics Olympic wishes. Who cares about everything else? Not this girl.

{1} If Mother Russia does not win the gymnastics team competition (tacky Eurotrash bangs and all), I will cry bitter tears. I know I am totally being a traitor, especially because EW THE COMMUNISTS, but Russia and I have engaged in an illicit flirtation for several years now (full disclosure: I own a vintage CCCP sports jacket that I purchased on eBay. SO THERE). If Russia wins (which won’t happen, because those starved Commie gymnasts just love to self-destruct on the beam), this flirtation might just turn into a full-fledged passionate love affair. I JUST LOVE RUSSIA THAT MUCH.*
*I am no Communist. I traveled to Cuba once and returned home with amoeba in my appendix, so that kind of officially turned me off the system forever. Also I care about human rights and stuff.
**For the record, I am fully aware that the Soviet Union no longer exists. I am not stupid; I think I may just act it.
{2} I hope Gabby Douglas does well, just because she’s cute and sweet and cute and sweet people deserve to do well, I think.
This cute and sweet people deserve to do well rule should apply in all aspects of life. Not only the Olympics. Do you hear that, God? Good.
{3} However, I have to grant an exception to Viktoria Komova, because I don’t care if she is a bitch – she better win her fair share of gold medals. Which also applies to Aliya Mustafina. MOTHER RUSSIA FOR LIFE.
{4} I am absolutely indifferent toward the Chinese, although I do hope they are not all like five years old, mostly because it really irritates me when Olympic standings are changed like ten years after the fact. Like “oh you cheated ten years ago? Haha, well joke’s on you because the gold is no longer yours! It’s now x country’s! Haha!”
That is totally inauthentic and really annoying.
{5} Finally, I want some good old fashioned NBC fluff pieces. Like this or this or this. It’s like the excitement of gymnastics and the drama of Dr. Phil, all wrapped up into one. TOTALLY better than The Bachelor.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

the one where i am excited because erika will come to town

(truthfully, this should be "the one where I am excited because Erika is in Jersey and I will kill her if she doesn't come into the city and see me because I am lonely" but that is far too long, no?)

I had such a brilliant idea earlier today. I had the following conversation in my head:

"Wait, hold up!"
"I should name my blog posts after Friends episodes! You know, 'the one where __'"

obviously this wasn't such a brilliant idea, because it is never a brilliant idea to rip off a TV show that everyone else has gotten over except you (sorry. Still waiting for the 11th season). 

but do you see the irony there?


Erika is not only the future Chelsea-Handler-meets-Ellen-Degeneres (except, not a Jew or a lesbian) but also my best friend from high school (or, more like "my only friend from high school," mainly because I was too anorexic and weird to have very many friends back then. You know how it is in high school). Since my graduation three years ago (she is a year younger than me), we have been really bad about keeping in touch. In fact, we're horrible at it, which doesn't really make sense since we're both on Facebook and cell phones exist. But we have this sort of unspoken agreement that even when we don't talk in months, we will still be soul sisters until the day one of us kicks the bucket. It's a nice arrangement, really.

circa a really long time ago. Look how cool we thought we were! It's adorable. Kind of like when you think about Justin Bieber and you're like aww, I just want to pet him like a puppy (no? Just me?). 

Personally, I think the reason we are such good friends is because one time we had a sleepover and rented the movie The Quiet, which was so strange and disturbing that watching it was almost like signing a contract with blood - there's just no turning back from shit like that, you know? Like, after you've been through The Quiet, you can't not be friends (let this serve as a lesson to you all: never ever ever ever watch The Quiet under any circumstance; it's as binding as marriage in Saudi Arabia. Also, I could not look my dad straight in the eye for months).

are you guys excited for me? No? Whatever! I don't care. FRIENDS EXIST. Loneliness be gone.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

shit dogs do {shit my dogs do}

first off, I would like to say that it would've been so clever of me to jump on the "shit ___ say" bandwagon with this post (albeit a little late, like three years late or something), but unfortunately dogs don't say, they do. But of course, since I am a crazy, crazy dog lady (think cat lady, but a cat lady that prefers cats with wagging tails, because that way you just know that it can't secretly be mad at you), I just had to write a post about the bizarre things that have happened with the hundred or so dogs I've had (just kidding; at last count, I've had eight dogs throughout my lifetime, I think, and five at the same time. Five! That was cray cray. But I promise I ain't no animal hoarder).

first, there was Korrelon, which is roughly translated into "one who runs fast," but spelled incorrectly, with a "k" instead of a "c" (like Khloe Kardashian, for example). This is when I was in Costa Rica, and my Spanish was the best it has ever been. My sister and I are real trendsetters in the dog naming field (there is a "Justin Bobby" to come, like from The Hills). Korrelon was bitten by poisonous snakes twice, ran over by a car, kicked by a cow (Costa Rica, remember?), tangled on electric wire, and attacked by a dog that I am still convinced was really a wolf (the bite was so deep that the vet had to sew his muscle back together). But my favorite memory with Korrelon?

He humped the other dogs all day long. This was, of course, before my sister and I knew what sex was, human, canine, or otherwise, so we would burst into fits of hysterical laughter and exclaim in between short breaths, "Korrelon plays so funny!"

He played funny, indeed. He played so funny that he got like ten other dogs pregnant (no one ever neuters dogs in Costa Rica). I wonder what half dalmatians*, half mutts look like?

*of course he was a dalmatian, since we bought him at the time when Cruella DeVille was all the (infamous) rage.

then there was Joyita, one of Korrelon's many daughters, which we kept. Joyita means "little jewel," which is a really dumb name, wouldn't you agree?

there is not much to say about Joyita, though. She was a straight up bitch. I've never liked female dogs since.

Joyita and Korrelon did the nasty (geez, was Korrelon like a frat boy douchelord or what!?), and Snoopy was born (the first normal name of the bunch, however generic). Just as medical history predicted (or so I've heard, since I don't know squat about medical history), Snoopy was a little...no a lot...slow. I mean, slow doesn't even cut it. He was nothing short of a moron. And also, he looked like a bulldog a little bit, which makes me wonder if Joyita was, you know, making friends behind Korrelon's back (is this really surprising, though? Her father was getting intimate with her; it is no wonder that her escape was to become a slut).

And Snoopy? As I said, the kid (or dog, whatever) was real, real dumb. Like, other dogs would be trying to fight him and he would just sit there wagging his tail until they were done eating his flesh or something.

You want to hear something funny, though? Snoopy's vet would swear on his life that his name was actually "Goofy." Um, no it wasn't.

Nala was a beautiful, yet completely deranged, golden retriever. Her original owner couldn't handle her, so my sister begged and begged until we adopted her. Truth be told, I didn't want her. She was psycho. Psycho, I tell you. Kind of like an awkward, clumsy mammoth that did not understand his own strength (sorry, I had to bring mammoths into the conversation. I always forget what "furry elephants" were called, but now it is here, recorded for prosperity).

Eventually, we couldn't deal with her either.

The people that lived upstairs at our apartment building had an award-winning husky, so I got it in my head that I just had to get one. As luck would have it, my fourth grade substitute teacher was selling husky puppies, so I went over to her place one weekend to check them out. I set my mind on one particular puppy, and my dad and I went to the bank so that we'd have the money to pay for it.

By the time we got back, someone else had already bought it and taken him home. I cried for days. Finally, my dad took pity on me and set out to find baby huskies for sale (in Costa Rica! In that heat!). Eventually, he found one. We named him Nevito, which means "little snow" (there we go with those fabulous names again).

The most bizarre thing about Nevito? My mother actually liked him. I try not to hold that against him, may he rest in peace.

One by one, the dogs died off (sorry, how morbid), mostly due to snake bites. In early 2010, we got a Yorkie, Justin Bobby (not Justin Beiber. Justin Bobby from The Hills. This Justin Bobby. I believe this has been our most brilliant dog naming decision yet).

What bizarre thing does Justin Bobby do? Many a thing, that's what. But my favorite? Acting like a kangaroo. I mean, he jumps just like a kangaroo when he wants our attention (not that I've ever seen a kangaroo or anything). I wish I had a video to upload. It's hysterical.

Then, my boyfriend and I had another husky, Mikos, for a while. I don't feel right making fun of him since he died a very sad tragic young death due to a genetic disease. But I will say this: Mikos is hands down the smartest dog I've ever had, amen.

And that brings us to Simba. He is quite the strange little man, that one (also, before I changed his name to "Simba," his name was "Little Man Charger." Like what is that? I guess it's not just my sister and I that suck at dog names). There's the obsession with playing with tape, even though it hurts him when I have to rip it off his fur. Or his refusal to sleep anywhere other than on my head.

Or the way that he makes out with my finger when I give him a little peanut butter (a boy after his mama's heart, I see).


this is a completely meaningless, useless post about hair. However, I am currently dealing with a much too healthy 5:00 a.m. round of nausea and insomnia, so I really cannot be bothered to think. I have no shame in my game, kids (kid? I have like one blog reader, and that reader is probably just me).

anyway, the point of this post is that I finally got my extensions. And look! They match my real hair just perfectly, which actually really doesn't matter, because if anyone does say, "I like your hair!" or "wow you have beautiful long mermaid-like hair and also you are the most gorgeous person I've ever met and you grace Planet Earth with your presence" I will respond with a "thanks but it's fake!" just because I wouldn't feel right not doing so, in the name of full disclosure and all that. And also, I just don't think it's okay to take credit for someone else's hair. You know?

you did good, Angelo (can you think of a more fabulous name for a hairstylist? Because I sure can't). Rizza in the West Village; check it out.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

what to do when you're broke (read: a writer)

and so, it has been decided (in my head at least; no important formal announcement was ever made, mainly because I am not a formal important person): after college, I will pursue my dream of becoming a writer (I will freelance, work on my fiction, the works) and running this baby that my friend Alex and I started a few months ago. Basically, I will be poor (at least at first). Having grown up with a father that runs a very successful business (I know, I reek of privilege. I'm gross. Sorry), this is really scary. So, because I am a planner, this is my plan to not end up starved and homeless.

{1} move in with my boyfriend. This is not really because I want to save on rent (although that is a nice perk, I must say), since we've been talking about this for a good two years now, and we did technically live together at one point (we're a way better team together than apart). But you know.

{2} become a crazy coupon lady to save on groceries. I am actually not quite sure how this works, but I'm sure a friend or two must know.

{3} don't eat out. Don't order in. Only very, very rarely. I think I am good about this already. Also, stop being a lazy bitch and cook. In other words, stop buying pre-made meals or eating oatmeal with a banana and soy milk and peanut butter for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not so much because the latter is expensive, but because that constitutes an incredibly unbalanced diet, and who wants to be poor, starved, and unhealthy?

{4} constantly remind my dad that I am his favorite child. Just kidding. Sort of.

{5} learn how to paint my own nails. And in that same vein, forego those glorious ten minute massages at nail spas (sorry, I am an anxious person and I cannot help myself, I swear) and make Mike fix my back. He's strong; I'm sure he's got it.

{6} thrift. But not too much. Turns out it adds up. Who knew?

{7} stop buying people random shit because I am a good soul and do it out of the kindness of my heart.

{8} make peace with the fact that Simba will be my only therapist for years to come because I am too poor for a therapist.

{9} search high and low for freelancing jobs and convince editors and publishers to hire my sorry ass.

{10} get a temporary job at a writer's center or tutoring kids in writing or at a book publisher or writing for a nonprofit or translating (this is when living in different countries growing up comes in handy, I see) until I have enough to get me on my feet. Because eff it, I will be a writer if it's the last thing I do (also, I have to mention that there are plenty of crappy writers that made it, so I can too. Which by no means disqualifies me as a "crappy writer," because I may very well be just that).

so there you go. I'm gonna make it. Screw you, odds.

Monday, July 23, 2012

a breakup letter to nyc

{inspired by this breakup letter to Los Angeles. Thanks Alyssa for directing me to that website! So much good stuff}

dear NYC,

I wanted to fall in love with you with every fiber of my being. I truly did. I longed to fall in love with you and your independence and wonderful boutiques and plays and nightlife and opportunities and every-man-out-there-for-himself and navigating the subway like it is no big deal and your skyscrapers and if you can make it here you can make it anywhere and street fashion and endless cuisine to explore. For a while there, I even thought I might be in love with you, but here's the harsh truth, New York: I loved the idea of you. I loved the idea of the person that I could be with you.

Here's how I really feel, New York, but don't worry - it hit me like a ton of bricks too.

I am always lonely when I'm with you. I feel isolated and sad. That independence that I always longed for? It's nice, sure, but I feel detached from everyone around me. In the hustle and bustle of the city, I am just one person among millions. I am small. I crave human connection, a sense of friendliness and community, and you just don't have it, New York.

you are gray, New York. I love color and beauty and vibrance, and sure, you are nice and majestic, but your palette brings me down, like a perpetual rainy day. Where is the rainbow after the storm? Does it exist?

you are dirty. I realize I may be biased because you just put me through a rodent infestation, New York (thanks for that!), but face it: you are dirty. And neat freak that I am, I just can't have it.

moving from one place to another? Nearly impossible. Traffic jams, subway track changes and delays, the inability to hail down a taxi...It's frustrating. I feel trapped and claustrophobic. And ironically, I have no issue with public transportation - in fact, I don't even drive - but having no freedom to just go has me gasping for air.

I live in a shoebox, and I am paying an arm and a leg for it - an arm and a leg that I cannot afford. I'm all for "roughing it," New York, but I could have a better standard of living elsewhere and pay much less for it.

I know I've only lived with you for months at a time. Perhaps if I stuck it out for a year or two I'd feel differently. I understand that, New York. But you know? I am not willing to sacrifice my happiness for a year or five or even one more minute so that I might someday find true love with you. I am just not.

this might not come as any consolation (of course not! After all, I am just one among millions. You will never remember me, New York, and that is reason enough for me to leave), but I will always love you, if only as a friend. I will come over and play sometimes after I leave in August. After all, there is no place like you.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

simba child {or: why getting a dog was the best idea ever}

let's be honest. Few things are bringing me joy at the moment. I feel stuck, at a crossroad in my life, confused, anxious. I am out of place. I'm lonely. And it's been a horrifically hard year. I lost my mother, a dog, an apartment, and was very sick for a long time.

I'm not asking for pity - really, I don't want it, at all - but my God. I need a freaking break.

but then there's Simba. He's cute, funny, sleeps on my head every night, has this cute little sigh thing he does when he realizes it's late and I don't want to play, and he loves me, even when I leave him all day for work...or for Syracuse (long story. I am a horrible dog mother. I cried. BUT. He had enough to drink and eat and so many toys because his mommy spoils him rotten). Also, the other day, he played with a roll of tape when I wasn't looking (psshh, bad Simba!) and had white tape taped all over his body. He looked like a mummy, that one. It was both incredibly sad and hilarious at the same time. I had to chop a good amount of his fur to get it off...I mean, I wasn't going to rip tape off his butthole...you know?

I wish I'd taken a picture (or ten).

also, I really do have to apologize for this post...but I am like a smitten new mommy.

Friday, July 20, 2012


maybe what I thought I wanted all along isn’t what I really want. Maybe the best thing I’ve learned at these jobs is that this is not what I want do. Maybe I don’t want to live in New York City. Maybe I want to live somewhere just as artsy but more laid back and relaxing, where it is okay to not be anxious all the time. Maybe I really want to make a difference, to help people. Maybe I really want to write a novel – or ten. Maybe I want to devote all my efforts into this. Maybe I want to live in an apartment that isn’t the size of a shoebox and not have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Maybe I want to go down south. Maybe I want to go to street fairs and farmers markets and thrift shops, but also to the mall. Maybe I want to work for a nonprofit. Maybe I want to love what I do. Maybe I want to do something that actually makes me feel fulfilled.

I am at a crossroad right now. I was always so decisive. I had my life all planned out by the age of twelve. As it turns out, it was all just a crutch for my anxiety – a way to deal with the unknown. But you know what? Maybe the unknown isn’t so bad after all.

p.s. my heart goes out to those in the Colorado shooting. I actually know one of the victims personally - not well, but we work together at school. Luckily, it seems that he is okay - or at least stabilized. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012



the other day at work my coworker Natalia said that she'd just watched a really sad movie "directed by David Schwimmer...you know, Ross" (duh, of course I know Ross). I am a sucker for sad movies and anything Friends-related, so. I decided to give it a go myself.

you guys, this is such a good movie. The acting is amazing, the characters' reactions so realistic. I could relate to the plot a little too much, which made me sad. I guess the word I would use is "haunting." Yep. David Schwimmer is kind of amazing (also, did you know that he is on the board at the Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica? I have so much respect for him. I myself work in marketing and advertising at Syracuse University's advocacy center for sexual and relationship abuse and violence...)

I don't really know where I was going with this post, except, watch it.

Also, now I want to have a Friends marathon. To help with the "ick" factor and all. Seasons one through ten...go!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

10 things to do when shit goes downhill

{10} spin your heart out at cycling class. And then when a personal trainer offers you a free body fat test at the gym, say thanks but no thanks.

{9} open up to a coworker. Make them feel better about their life. Why not? Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves.

{8} plan a vacation to Myrtle Beach. And then book it. On a whim.

{7} get a makeover; switch things up. Like: dye your hair a dark chocolate brown (check), and then get hair extensions (soon!). Also, meet your new favorite hairstylist.

{6} try to reconnect with old friends. What is there to lose? Make an effort to see friends. You have them for a reason, no?

{5} listen to "What Makes You Beautiful" on repeat. This one's embarrassing. Also, "Boston" on repeat. And I hate Boston.

{4} get Simba new toys, even though he's been bad.

{3} write write write write write your little heart out.

{2} realize you're actually kind of amazing...

{1} ...and that even though you may be in Queens at a vet emergency room at 2:00 a.m. (the mouse saga continues), other people still have it way, way worse. Case in point: the 11 year old German shepherd next to us that had to unexpectedly be put to sleep.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

karma, and why it's a real thing

how do I put this? The last several days have been a nightmare, what with the mouse infestation and whatnot. Long story short: Simba and I had no place to live. We stayed at the Comfort Inn for several nights, racking up the bill. And I felt bad, because poor Simba was so confused. Also, carpeted floors and potty training, they just don't mix.

Finding an apartment in New York City? Impossible. Finding an apartment, last minute, in New York City? Are you crazy? That just doesn't happen. Trust me. I would know. After hundreds of calls to landlords and real estate agents (this is not an exaggeration), I was anxious, defeated, and tired out of my mind. Also, I needed somewhere to live by next week, because, you know, I have work and all.

On Friday, I had to check out of the hotel room by 11:00, no exceptions. So there I am like an idiot, carrying Simba with one arm, schlepping my shit around New York City with the other, and on the verge of a breakdown. I also had to pee real bad, but, you know, couldn't really take Simba into a public restroom with me. Which sucked.

Somehow we made our way to Columbus Circle, where this college kid stopped me. He was working for one of those child sponsoring nonprofits. We talked, mostly about how cute Simba is, and then he asked me if I'd be willing to sponsor a kid for $25 a month in a third world country. So I'm like, I'm already having a shitty day, so why not? Might as well do something nice for someone. It'll make me feel better.

Now I am the proud sponsor of an Indian child. I chose India because it was the only country on the list that has elephants. I just really love elephants.

Lo and behold, not even three minutes later, I get a call from an agent. They found me an apartment! In the West Village (I've always wanted to live in the Village because that's where they lived on Friends, you know?)! Where I can have Simba! And it's nice and clean and there are no rodents roaming around!

{hello West Village}

I was supposed to go out with a friend that's living in Brooklyn last night, but Simba and I were so exhausted that we zonked out as soon as we got home. Ahh well.

So, that's where I am right now. I'm off to explore the neighborhood today, get some groceries, do some spinning, and maybe, if I find the energy to do so, rescue some of my stuff from my old apartment all the way on the Upper East Side. Ugh. Going there skeeves me out.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is that if you don't believe in karma, I think you're an idiot.

p.s. also, sponsoring a child allowed me to cross off #1 on my "things to do this summer" list. Nonprofit Kid and I are now texting buds. He is even looking into getting a girl puppy just like Simba. I said okay, but only if he names her Nala. Duh.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

in which swarms of mice drive us out of the apartment

Simba and I are having a grand old time here at the Comfort Inn. Turns out the mice decided to take over and eat all my food (including my favorite Justin's peanut butter and dark chocolate cups AND my Peanut Butter Puffins. What the hell!) and SIMBA'S FOOD TOO. Which pissed me off. Because you can eat my food all you want, but you don't mess with my dog child. You just don't. They also shat on my roommate's pasta. Mmm.

This is what I call an infestation. Otherwise known as "the plague" and alternatively called "I'm going to sue the landlord" or "the landlord is going to get one big fat bill in the mail for my groceries and hotel room expenses and possible medical and veterinary bills that may come out of this."

disclaimer: I either write this or I cry. Also, I'm homeless. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

rats. or mice, whatever.

so the other day, right? I'm having a highly intellectual argument with my roommate re: why I should let Simba sleep with me in bed at night, rather than in his crate (really, it wasn't an argument. More like me trying to justify the decision to myself, you know? I do that a lot).

I finally make the decision to sleep with him every night because (1) he's teeny tiny and won't grow much more (2) he doesn't have any accidents where peeing is concerned (3) we both sleep much better when we cuddle during naps than when he's hysterical in his crate at night (4) I want to sleep with him forever and ever because he's so cute and comforting

Weeeell. I thought, you know, I'd get a wee wee pad for him and place it right next to my bed in case he had to go in the middle of the night, because who wants to wake up with a puddle next to their head (or worse, pee in their eyes. That must sting)?

As I'm about to grab the bag of wee wee pads, I see a freaking mouse. Running away. In my room. And then I saw it AGAIN.

Cue: my roommate and I shrieking, screaming, crying, painting our nails to relieve our anxiety, hiding in Simba's doggie pen, holding on to Simba for dear life because obviously a three pound dog can totally protect us, calling every single 24 hour exterminator in New York City (none of which was really 24 hours, by the way)...

Ugh. So now in addition to worrying about being a bad puppy mom, I have to worry about a mouse eating Simba (hey, no one said my fears were rational). That's just peachy.

new york, i love you.

The first time I ever was in New York City was October of 2002 (well, technically, I may have visited the city once or twice when I was only months old, but that doesn’t count, of course). It had been a year since 9/11 and I remember feeling absolutely horrified at the thought of flying. Now I not only had to worry about the plane falling down from the sky, but also about explosions and terrorists.


At the time, I came to several conclusions about New York City. First, taxis drive around like maniacs (not an incorrect assumption, actually). Second, I thought, this is what you do in New York City: (1) visit Times Square (2) visit the Statue of Liberty (we couldn’t go inside then for security reasons, which only tripled my anxiety over the city’s safety, or lack thereof) (3) shop on 5th Ave. (and stand in line outside the Abercrombie & Fitch for hours on end, because obviously that was so worth it), (4) go to a Broadway show (5) ride a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park.
Dude, I was so wrong.
I do not – absolutely do not – claim to be an expert on New York. In fact, I’ve only lived here for months at a time, but there’s really no place I’d rather be. Every day, I keep discovering new little gems (some so much more well known than others) that just make me smile. The following is a list of my favorite places in Manhattan.*
*I have no clue why I'm writing this. It's not like anyone comes to my blog for hot tips (or for anything, really). 
A Casa Fox: I discovered A Casa Fox last summer, when I went on a quest to convince my boyfriend that Costa Rican cuisine is absolutely nothing like Mexican food (I lived in Costa Rica for a good chunk of my life). Located downtown, this restaurant is just hands down awesome. It’s a little crowded (but so cozy!) and usually packed (I wonder when they will invest in more waiters…), but the food (which is technically not Costa Rican, but rather, Nicaraguan – not that it matters, because the cuisine in both countries is practically the same) is seriously some of the best I’ve ever had in my life. Try their empanadas, and if you’re feeling a little frisky, their sangria. I swear it will change your life.
Fruit Serve: Once upon a time, I realized that I am severely lactose intolerant and/or that dairy triggers my Crohn’s disease in the most horrendous way, despite my state of perpetual denial (I really love cheese, okay?). Even though I can buy coconut milk ice cream at the grocery store and stay happy as a clam, you’ve got to admit that there’s nothing like actually going to a soft serve, ice cream, or frozen yogurt shop. Which sucks. But then I discovered Fruit Serve (admittedly on a day when I was not allowed any solid foods in preparation for a Crohn’s-related procedure), which doesn’t even taste as healthy as it is, and all my ice cream woes were instantly gone. I live for dark chocolate fruit serve with peanut butter sauce, strawberries, and banana. I mean, the staff there (both at the Upper East Side location and the Union Square location) practically knows me by name (and definitely by order). Oops?  
Baked by Melissa: If you frequent the city and you don’t know Baked by Melissa by now, you must live under a rock. I mean, baby cupcakes? Come on! Unfortunately, this new (or semi-new, whatever) no-dairy rule means I’ll have to settle (and I use the term “settle” loosely, because they are indeed delicious) for some Babycakes instead.
(I totally realize all I’ve talked about is food, which I suppose is fitting considering I think about food about 50 percent of the time. The other half of my time is spent worrying about the level in which I suck at life on that particular day. I wish I was kidding).
This is kind of embarrassing, so here are a few things I enjoy that are completely unrelated to eating:
The express 6 train: This is lame, yeah, but hear me out. Have you ever had to take the subway in New York City during rush hour in the summer? It’s probably the nastiest, smelliest, most crowded, and most uncomfortable thing you’ll ever do. For the longest time, I had no idea that I could take the express line home from work, just because I never thought to check the stops on the express train (I am so brilliant). And then one day I got on a local train but found out that due to construction (how long can you construct for, by the way? The MTA is always changing stops on me, and I do not appreciate it), it would only be making express stops. And one of the express stops was, coincidentally, practically right around the corner from my apartment. So the skies parted and there was suddenly sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and my life changed forever. Express, I love you.
Striking a conversation with street artists: We see them around New York all the time, but does anyone ever actually take the time to talk to them? Do it. Their lives are fascinating and their love for their work is both inspiring and incredibly infectious. I love it so much, which is why I would pee my pants if I actually got to do this for a living.*
*I did talk to one artist one time that refused to give me his name but said he would if he ever ran into me at night once I'm old enough to go to a bar. First of all, I am 21, and second of all, that was really fucking creepy.
Street fairs: There’s nothing like walking the streets of New York on a weekend and finding that you’ve landed right smack in the middle of a street fair. It’s so much fun, and there are so many colors, shapes, and little details to see and smell and eat (and if you’re anything like me – a compulsive shopper, that is – to buy). 
This shall conclude my mini list on my favorite things to do in the city. To make this productive (you know, rather than me just blabbering on and on), let's say I make a goal out of this? Like, add five new things to my list by the end of the summer? Yes? Okay!
p.s. how perfect is my life right now? I'm watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians (what? I have no shame in my game) and Simba is sleeping at my feet. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

things i need to do this summer

{1} make a new friend
{2} get a new ear piercing and find an elephant earring to wear on it
{3} learn to relax (especially about Simba. He's fine.) / take one day not to do any work whatsoever
{4} go camping
{5} go out for drinks with friends at least once a week. I'm 21. In New York City. Like, come on.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


So unlike humans, puppies love you unconditionally (even when they're a huge pain in the ass and refuse to pee anywhere but your roommate's carpet...oops). I've been feeling really lonely slash sad lately, so here you go. Meet Simba. He's really annoying and extremely cute, all at once.

Like, I really do not understand why he pissed all over Brittany's rug after I walked him around Central Park for an hour. Does not compute.

I have a huge (irrational?) fear that I will take after my own mother and be a terrible puppy mom (except she was a terrible human mom, so that's a little more serious, I suppose), but unlike her, so far I do seem to have the least bit of a maternal instinct, so we're off to a good start.

Friday, July 6, 2012

an intro of sorts


I'm Debbie (no one has ever, ever called me Hannah, unless they were joking. Even though I personally think "Debbie" is kind of a hideous name). I'm 21. I like writing, pretending I can illustrate, taking photos (especially with my polaroid and Instax Mini), spin classes, peanut butter (I eat way too much peanut butter...like, way too much), magazines (especially this one), wasting my life away watching House, my hamsa and evil eye tattoo, and wine, among other things.

I sometimes still struggle with my eating disorder (more thought-wise, but whatever) and anxiety, but yeah. This is not about that. I guess I just need to write. I blogged my way through my anorexia recovery and that was helpful (although I am very happy I deleted that blog), and since I still have issues...why not.

I'm living in New York City at the moment, which is kind of the best. My roommate has turquoise hair. I wish I was ballsy enough to do that (the most I've ever done is ombre. I am now a brunette with a reddish tint which is kind of a big deal because I've always had some sort of strange phobia of red hair - no offense if you're a redhead). I work a lot. And I like to unwind by writing. And blogging. Which I'll probably never do because my life is so busy.

So um. Yes. That's it. Hey!