ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.

Monthly Archive: April 2008



April 2008



Movin’ on

Written by , Posted in Random

So, my friend Kate leaves for England Tuesday to (finally get to) live with her new husband, Richard. After just under a month of navigating various government agencies and immigration laws, she got her visa, and is now just a couple of days away from moving. Today we spent the afternoon chatting and wandering around the city.  

I’m so excited for her and Richard – they are two of the kindest, most genuinely caring people I know. I talk to Kate close to every day, even if it’s just to check in. We would hang out pretty much every weekend. My roommate is also planning a move when our lease is up. Since I’m more of a quality versus quantity kind of gal when it comes to friends, this is going to be a tough adjustment.

Since my lease is up in two months and my roommate is moving, that means that either I have to find my own apartment or I need to take this as a good opportunity to head to Seattle. With the realization that most of my friends are starting to flee the coop, I’m thinking: is it really time to head back to Seattle? The timing might be right from a real estate perspective, but really, is that a good enough reason?  

I believe I want to end up in Seattle, but maybe instead of just racing to the security of my Seattle friends (who are amazing and opening their homes to me), perhaps I should actually figure out what I want to do with my life BEFORE I quit my current job and flee from the life I’ve built here.  I have been living life like I’m planning to leave, and that’s been to my detriment. I’ve been working but not I’ve been thinking I would look for a job in Seattle, and if I couldn’t find one, just move there in July. But especially with the economy in the tank, hiring freezes in city government and layoffs on the horizon, it seems pretty silly to just up and leave without another option.

So, I am going on interviews (two in Seattle next week). But I need to take a deep breath and dial it down. I don’t need to make a decision tomorrow.



April 2008




Written by , Posted in Adventures

New York City. There are things to do here that I’m sure you can do in most big cities, but I didn’t really know of them independently. But luckily I have friends who do. 

So, last night, John, Dan and I met up at the Natural History Museum’s Planetarium for DJ Matthew Dear. Talk about an amazing space for an evening of fun music. The crowd was mixed – hipsters, B&T folks, hippies, overdressed couples on dates. But everyone was really nice. No one was acting like a jerk.  

Plus, we got in to see a planetarium show as part of the admission. For me, that was the highlight, because I loves me some hot planetarium video. Especially when narrated by Harrison Ford.



April 2008



Pope Time (like Hammer Time, but with a different costume)

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The Pope’s in town this weekend. He is staying just a few blocks from me, which I think is a bad idea, because that puts him in the Polygon of Destruction. What is the Polygon of Destruction? Let me explain.

Since I’ve lived in this area, a plane has flowing into a building, a crane has collapsed, a steam pipe has exploded, and there have been numerous bus accidents and building fires. I get pages about big jobs, so I do know that these things are happening more often in my neighborhood than, say, the other side of the island. But something tells me that didn’t factor into their planning for housing.  

Because of security, the police helicopter hovers over the “Papal Residence” when he’s leaving and coming home. So a few times a day I’m reminded that the Pope is on the move. Also? Work is sending mildly entertaining (in their superfluousness) emails every time the man arrives, leaves, or is en route to a location.

The emails did come in handy this afternoon. On my way to the park to enjoy the ridiculously wonderful weather, I saw the barricades along 5th avenue. I stopped and waited (for about an hour – yikes) and actually got to see, up close, the Pope, in the Pope Mobile. It was definitely a unique experience.

Fun fact! When the Pope came from JFK to Lower Manhattan via helicopter, there were two Marine Corps helicopters right behind. The first? Is to rescue the Pope if the helicopter goes down. The men and women on that helicopter are only allowed to go in and get the Pope out. The second is to come in after the Pope is rescued to try to rescue the rest of the crew. Huh. Didn’t know.

I do have a couple of issues with the visit. The first is the cost. I completely understand the need for security – this is a man who is an icon for many people, and who holds such importance for them. He is a target. I get it. But who pays for this? The City is facing a serious financial crisis, and is in the midst of a hiring freeze. If things don’t get better soon, people may actually end up being laid off. The overtime alone for the police for this event is easily enough to keep some people employed. I understand the need to weigh the positives and negatives, but it will be a shame for those who lose their jobs, possibly because money that would have been able to keep them employed was spent providing security for the Pope.

The other issue is that the man is treated like a rock star. People are selling tee shirts and all sorts of Pope items. Isn’t that a pretty severe form of idolatry? I’m not Catholic, so I’m not speaking from a place that really understands what the Pope means for these people, but as someone with more than a cursory understanding of Christianity in general, it seems like all of this pomp and circumstance is a bit ironic.



April 2008



Friday night’s alright for watching movies – Wristcutters: A Love Story

Written by , Posted in Reviews

It’s a movie with the cute kid from ‘Saved’ (Patrick Fugit), Shannyn Sossamon, Tom Waits, a Bussey kid and Will Arnett.


What, you need more?

Zia (Patrick) cleans his room, and then kills himself. Which sends him to a purgatory where everything looks like the drive south on interstate 5 near the grapevine. He has to get a job (Kamikaze Pizza – heh), lives with a roommate played by someone who was once on ER, and goes to a pool hall nightly, where he meets his Russian friend, whose whole family is actually there after individual suicides.

Zia finds out his ex girlfriend killed herself, so he sets out with his Russian friend to find her. Along the way they pick up Mikal (Shannyn) and road trip ‘east’. That takes you to about 20 minutes in – the rest I’ll let reveal itself.

It’s an interesting premise – what if killing yourself really just made everything worse? Only not even bad, just sort of depressing and bleak and tiring? No one can smile, and there aren’t stars. But there’s still TV, and people still have sex. It’s like the way some people think life is, only because they’re making it that way for themselves.

I’m going to recommend this one, because it does touch on some pretty interesting themes, it’s well written, and the ending, while possibly predictable, rings true to me.

Oh, and yeah, Tom Waits is in it.  Which is reason enough for me to see anything.



April 2008



Music, Magic and Make Peace

Written by , Posted in Adventures, Reviews

Last night was the Jason Mraz concert. It was at Highline Ballroom in Chelsea, way over between ninth and tenth avenues. I got in line around 6:30, and was inside by about 7:45. I almost didn’t get in – I had a printed ticket from the pre-sale, and apparently they had wanted people to just give their names (I always like having a paper copy), so they nearly didn’t let me (and the poor girl I sold the extra ticket to) in. Thankfully for me, I had the credit card I used to purchase it, which they could match to the four numbers (and my name) on the two printouts.

Once inside I was really shocked at how tiny the place was. It probably holds maybe 400 people. There are tables and they serve yummy food – I ate with a couple of girls I met in line before decamping to the main floor. Just that kind of crowd – really friendly, happy people. The show started with a little magic from Justin Kredible who is, as he says, like a magician, but cooler. And he was pretty damned entertaining. He served as host for the evening, as it really was a big show.

First up was The Make Peace Brothers, kind of folk-rock happy guys. They played a quick set, but it was really upbeat, happy, and quite lovely to hear. Plus, they were adorable to watch. After another bit from Justin Kredible, we were treated to Bushwalla. How did I not know about this person already? Seriously, he’s outstanding, and I enjoyed every song he and his group performed. His backing band included Jason Mraz in disguise. It seemed pretty obvious, but I don’t know if everyone picked up on it at first.

Finally, after another Justin Kredible act that was wicked impressive, Jason came on stage. So good! He opened with “Plane”, a great song from Mr. A-Z. I found this video from when my sister and I saw him in Austin.

He played a few of his hits, including “Remedy” and “Geek in the Pink.” Most were songs off of his new album, being released next month. His song “I’m Yours” is so happy, I listen to it when I’m in a bad mood and it calms me right down. The concert was being filmed for the AOL music sessions, so hopefully I’ll get to see it all again soon. There was a great encore with everyone on stage, and then it ended with a big sing-a-long of one of his most beautiful songs – “You and I both.”

In trying to figure out the best way to define the crowd, I would say it was similar to folks I’ve seen at Dark Star Orchestra or other jam-band-type shows, but with a bigger dose of Williamsburg Hipster. Young, happy and just looking for good music and good people. Everyone was really happy and dancing around and just enjoying the show and the people. In fact, here’s my favorite example of the crowd. There were a few douches there, and it’s a tight space, so at one point someone was having trouble getting out of the way of one of the douches. And he said “get the fuck out of my way.” At a ‘normal’ NYC event the girl would have turned around and read him the riot act. Instead, she just turned around, smiled and kind of shook her finger at him to say “c’mon, man, we’re all just here to have fun and love and enjoy the show.” It shut him right up.