The Journallers Do New York, Part II
Welcome for our second episode of The Journallers Do New York. Again, the following is not in chronological order.
I got to meet Kymm again, the first time at the Blair Witch Project opening night. She's quite a character! She has a delightfully boistrous laugh and she seemed never short of conversation. I love the little butterflies in her hair. I recently bought a package because they looked really pretty, but have no real idea of how I could wear them in my hair. Seeing Kymm gave me a few fashion ideas. Thanks Kymm! Her reading about summer in the city was wonderful and I loved how in-tune her reading was to the voice that went through my head as I read the same entry a few weeks before. She's got a definite "voice" to her material. Her reading of it was tremendously funny. I especially love the bits about the 104 because:
- I take the 104 a few times a week when it comes to my eastbound bus stop on 42nd street before a M42 arrives. It doesn't take my to my favored 9th Avenue, but it makes the required stop in front of Port Authority.
- I can recognize the "fair paid" beep sound and the "fair not paid" boop sound from 50 paces.
- RudyLandTM and especially Times Square is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Corp.
- Thanking the driver is part of my daily Good Deed(tm) mantra too!
- Mean bus drivers get snickers from riders. Yup yup.
Oh, and I eat frquently at the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream place she mentions (especially since it's one of those special centers that gives urban kids jobs and training and the profits go to programs for youth. I have no qualms spending my money there). I've been put off cones for several years now, but I'll dig into a small serving of Cherry Garcia or Phish Food or Mint Chip (which I can't find in my frozen foods section).
Dreama is someone that I've been wanting to meet for a very long time. We've conversed many times on ICQ and IRC (typically with her brandishing a mighty trout and wacking me with it because I say something vulgar or suggestive or silly) and she's very much a modern wonder-woman. She studied biology (so my botanical prowess powers don't faze her). She's a laywer. She has children (and is currently pregnant with another!). She's travelled all over the world. She seems to have seen it, done it, and bought the t-shirt. She's also very motherly and watchful, which is cool (although beware her trout). From our interactions, I had built a pretty accurate picture of what Dreama was like in person: funny and silly and jovial and warm. The only problem was that she sat on the far end of the table and I didn't get as much of an opportunity to talk to her and laugh with her as I would like. Her reading was sweet and a bit sad (for some reason, talking about partners makes me a bit sad. When she mentioned her husband, it makes me think of Mike and when he's not around, I miss him. When he is around, I then start thinking of life without him and I get just a bit melancholy). I wish I sat closer to her because when she read, I realized how bad the accoustics were in the room. Cafe Sha Sha is great when you're with one or two other people but in a semi-large crowd, it can be tough hearing the person on the far end from you. I've got to scope out a few coffeehouses for the next get-together and find a less accoustically-challenged place.
Earlier in the week, Dreama asked me if she didn't come to send some graphics on over to Kymm and I, being the ever critical eye, commented on the funky state of her graphics and how they didn't look as good as they could because of the file format and I suggested that she experiment a bit to get rid of text bleeding. Well, she told Kymm and Kymm yelled at me, although playfully, about it. A sort of "how could you say that to a pregnant woman!" I laughed about it and said something about it being my nature to do so. And it is. I guess I can't turn that part of my brain off that likes to help people, even if the help isn't wanted. Especially when dealing with the web, I see something I think can be improved and I'll comment on it... although I'm more open about it to my friends than complete strangers (the one exception to that is Scott's centering of text. I generally find reading large hunks of centered text annoying, but decided not to say anything about it because the effect it has on his single lined comments is worth and powerful enough to keep that format. It's a rare case which center alignment works better for the text than left alignment with the occasional centering for one liners... but I have a feeling that my opinion is biased because of habit. I expect his stuff to be that way and part of my mind has resolved that point to the extreme that anything else will look funny. So, although the centered text irked me, it stopped doing so after a while and by the time we were good enough friends for me to feel comfortable saying anything about it, it stopped bothering me). I'm not offended when someone says to me, "oh and I'm not looking for criticism" explicity and it's a good way of hitting the "automatic shutdown" criticism functions I seem to have. I might have gotten that from Mike. He's like that too. I show him something, indending for him to just read it and I get it back red-inked.
Tracing was someone that I forgot vital information about when I met her. I knew she was from Britain but for some reason, that fact was lost in my brain and I read her entries with an American accent. I was pleasantly surprised! I have a thing for British accents (Fish Called Wanda?) and it was a real treat to hear her read. She's a lot shorter than I expected her to be. For some reason, I thought she was tall (can you tell that I'm not good with size guessing?). Well, at least taller than she was. She has features that remind me of one of my best friends in high school, Pat: they both have roundish, friendly faces and prominent dimples that make them look younger than their age. One thing that I didn't realize before until she read her pieces were how "free associative" her entries. Instead of telling my what her day was like, they were the thoughts that went through her head and I realized that I was, in my own way, reliving her day with her with all of her frustration and anger and happiness. I loved the way her face scrunched up when she read about anger or the heaviness of her words as she talked about coughing.
Amanda is another person that I've been misreading, like Patrick from last entry. I am on her notification list and I've always got the impression that Amanda was a woman around my age, a bubbly and fascinating transfer student from Australia. I got the latter right, but she isn't the twenty-something exchange student that I thought she was. Probably that is caused by the fact that she met her partner online and that made me assume that she was a twenty-something student. Also, her picture online looks like someone my age, doesn't it? I admitted to her at the meeting how I always pictured her to be my age since she seems to be bubbly like me and enthusiastic like I expect 20-somethings to be. We all had a cool laugh about it and a few people admitted that they thought I was older! That's Mike rubbing off me. Like Tracing, she had a very cool accent. I loved the fact that she read an entry about meeting her partner and the anxiety of it all. It was extremely romantic. That made me dead envious, since I've met a lot of my exbfs online but it wasn't ever so climactic and exciting. It's because we were both really young and stupid and from the same hemisphere. Amanda's story is so much more interesting. She's very soft spoken, so trying to listen to her with the lousy accoustics of the room was difficult, but I could hear it and I was very glad of it. Towards the end of the day before I left, she brought out some lifesavers Australian candies. They were brands that Lifesavers make only in Australia. Many of them were fizzy which was really strange, yet fascinating. She gave me a candy of each type to sample. There was even one in a "musk" flavor! I'll give you an update someday on how I found each one.
This was the third time I've met One Mad Brunette (or Bethany... I hope I spelled that correctly). Each time I've seen her, she's always looked very fashionable and "in". Well dressed. Not a strand out of place in perfect hair. It's really amazing and cool. I've never really known anyone like that before, so I find her extremely interesting. As you can tell by this picture, again perfect hair, fashionable clothing. I loved her red body-hugging shirt she wore to the meeting with the chinese characters over her right shoulder. The first time I met her was at the bittersweets meeting... and then I saw her again at the 11:45pm premiere showing of Blair Witch (where she sat next to me and my group consisting of Kymm, Andria and Christine. She has a very deliberate way of reading and I enjoyed how she emphasized certain words in unexpected ways. Although she was closer to my age, I've always felt that she was kind of in a different world from me. Like Dori too. I'm not an urbanite and I felt absolutely hickish in my t-shirt and jeans.
I don't have a picture of Jami A. because she had to leave before she got a chance to read, which is unfortunate because I would have really liked to read her stuff. She reminds me a lot of Bethany and Dori. Sara commented how she looks like someone she knows and I nodded in agreement to mean that she looks like someone I know too. She's very stylish too and I loved her flattering outfit. She brought a non journalling friend with her and we exchanged smiles. She sat on the opposite side of the table, so I didn't talk to her much, but she was unnecessarily apologetic when she had to leave early. I've been reading her journal since then and I'm looking forward to meeting her at another meeting and having her read again. The voice she has in her journal intrigues me and I'd like to hear her read her material.
Colleen didn't read, I think because she was shy. It's a shame because she seemed really relaxed and not too shy when we started talking. She's another person with wide-eyes and youthful energy and enthusiasm. She looks a lot younger than 28 and, had I met her on the street, I would guess that she was either a college student or fresh out of college. Like Felicia, there's something about her that reminds me of Melanie Lynskey, but I'm not sure what. I've heard of her journal, Alone in a Crowd, but I had never read it and it was wonderful meeting her. It gave me the incentive to start reading her regularly (she updates every day like Kymm and Al! Yay!). I think that's what was really great about meeting people. For the ones that I already read, it made me bond with them. For the ones that I don't, it introduced me to them and now I read them.
We now return you to our regularly scheduled chronological order...
I settled the tab before I left (with a few people insisting on offering me something for the tab. I as extremely embarassed by this, especially since it was completely unexpected and it brought out the shyness in me. I think Sara would have stared me down if I tried to refuse her. Gah, Scott was right about her. You just can't turn her down! Thanks, everyone who offered me something. It was completely unexpected and I'm really thankful for it). I caught a taxi up to Port Authority with Felicia and we spent the time talking about web design and what she was interested in doing in regards to her future. It was pleasant and we split the fare. I walked her down to the corner of ninth and 42nd street where she was in sight of her car and I was right by Port Authority and caught the bus home. I surprised Mike since I was much earlier than I expected to be.
Looking back at the few hours we spent, I'm tremendously glad we had the reading, but I wish we started off quickly with the reading and then spent many hours afterwards socializing. Reverse the order that we did things. Plus, maybe we can make an afternoon of it. Meet at 2 and spend a lot of time together. An all-afternoon thing. Hm. My mind is still turning. Was it worth it? Definitely. I'll do it again. Check out the website for it for details on the next one.