the.applied.process.

wit. honesty. everyday ramblings.

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Thank You

“Thank you, thank you very much for comin’ out this evening.”

It’s been 31,556,926 seconds, give or take a few thousand, since I arrived here. Yes, today IS my one year anniversary with the love of my life, New York. A brief story of how it started? Well it was indeed September 11, 2001 when that tragic incident that changed the lives of so many people in a gargantuan way, also started the spark that burned the forest inside me, and to this day I haven’t managed to put it out. In my case, I was on my way to high school when I heard it. My parents, coincidentally, were on their way to Europe and had had a pit stop in New York a few hours before the attacks. I just got to school and heard people saying: “there’s been a terrorist attack in New York! two planes crashed into the World Trade Center!”. “The what?!” was the first thing I thought.

Of course we spent the whole day watching the news and covering every single aspect of the event. The who’s, the what’s, the where’s, the when’s, the why’s. I remember watching the replays and, being my usual little detached self (or having my standard late reaction I should say), thinking: “that is unbelievable! but the colors are kind of pretty.” Now a days I know not to even think of uttering such words because I treasure my life, and the date holds a completely different meaning.

And here’s where the fascination started. Not just with 9/11, but with the city that, although I knew well about, I had always dismissed as just another big city where King Kong climbed a building, where the ghost busters exterminated a giant marshmallow man, where that awful iguana-esque godzilla from the remake gave Matthew Broderick a headache, or where Carrie Bradshaw wrote about sex (yes, I guess it is nature and not nurture).

I compulsively bought book after book about New York, paid a pretty penny on ebay for issues of the Times and a couple other news papers dated September 11, 2011, and spent countless hours on the internet reading every single thing I could find about my future home. I was smitten.

My first time visiting was the next summer with my Dad when, after literally being obsessed with the city, I had decided I’d go to Parson’s for school, and I wanted to check out the campus. That never happened, but that’s another story. I remember, being complete amateurs, renting a car (because we were going upstate at some point), and staying at the Hyatt on 42nd with my window facing the Chrysler building. I remember dragging my dad and his colleague up and down 5th ave as this little queer Mexican boy went into every single designer flagship store from Armani to Zegna dreaming of one day having my own store there (gross!). I remember tricking my dad into going to the meatpacking to Jeffrey to try and score a pair of D Squared jeans (at the time, one of the only places that sold them stateside). I remember the overwhelming joy you feel the first time you’re standing in Times Square at midnight. I’m going to stop now because I’m about to get teary eyed.

I didn’t go back till ’06 I believe, but from that point on I spent every single break I could visiting my ever growing group of friends I was already amassing and starting my ever growing, never ending love affair with the big apple.

Finally, after a long courtship and often cheating on my ex multiple times with my new “boyfriend”, I told him I was leaving with or without and decided to make the move. Last September during fashion week, I booked a flight, stayed with ‘Mexican Paddington’, got a broker, found a place, and a month later I was back with my mother unpacking and setting up my North Williamsburg one bedroom. I flew back to LA, tied some loose ends, and then placed ‘Toto’ in his pet carrier and boarded the plane. I never looked back.

For the most part, I believe this blog describes most of my many anecdotes I’ve experienced. Some good, some bad, some happy, some sad, some scary, some exciting, but each and every one making me fall more and more in love with New York.

And the thing is, this city has that. There is no other place I can think of, other than maybe Mexico city, where it pains me to leave; where I truly appreciate the things others claim to hate; where I’m constantly stimulated and surprised by everything and nothing at the same time; where it just feels right to be. Milton Glaser is a genius. “I LOVE NEW YORK”.

I’m sitting here, in the job that I love, waiting for the man that makes me the happiest, just feeling like the luckiest person in the world. Almost speechless and on the verge on a writer’s block, I find few words to describe my emotions. This place is, after all, only completely understood when you’re actually here. Books and movies don’t do it justice.

But my point was: it’s been a crazy year and I just want to thank everyone and everything that’s made it possible. Thanks to my new friends for the drunken nights we’ve spent. Thanks to my coworkers for making me eager to go to work every morning. Thanks to the smelly bums that make me feel at home when I’m on the train after I land from a flight. Thanks to the European expats who give the city such diversity. Thanks to the tricks who’ve made me freak out the morning after. Thanks to my boyfriend who’s made me believe in love again. Thank you all, and here’s to the rest of my happy life.

I wanted to pick an appropriate song for the title. Jay Z’s “Thank You” came to mind because, although the lyrics make little sense, he’s one of those people that you just automatically attach to New York. One of those household names like Anna Wintour, Derek Jeter, Rudi Giuliani and, mark my words, one day: my own.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! You’re far too kind. Hold your applause, this is your song not mines.”

TBD

Last Friday half of the royal Mexican family was coming to town to visit. I, of course, went to work for most of the day, and it was a long one. I finished a bit late and decided to stay even longer because I was going to meet my dad and my sister for dinner as soon as they arrived around 8 pm. Per my boss’s suggestion, we went to Saxon + Parole on the Bowery and Bleecker.  The place was super packed, and I was a bit afraid that my unforbearing father was going to have a moment and refuse to wait more than the time it’d take them to set up a table. Luckily, my boss knew the manager and he managed to score us a table rather quickly.

Dinner was what I’d expect. Good food and some intense exchange of point of views. Whenever family’s in town, I don’t usually have your standard “relatives visit” shenanigans. To begin with, it is never a planned event. It happens very spontaneously and random. We rarely bond over stupid pictures of Times Square or strolls down Central Park. We never disrupt our daily lives or take days off from work. We are more about staying in separate places and meeting for a meal or two per day, and then calling it a night.

Despite our atypical behavior, we are very close, and thus the dinner conversation revolved around commonly touchy subjects that we’ve all been desensitized from and often rationalize and find the logic behind them. We talked about my parents’ ongoing on again off again marriage, my sister’s antisocial behavior, my brother’s pre-diagnosed Asperger’s, and my overly open and often graphic description of my new relationship. I love my family.

Henceforth and always with a plan on mind, I decided to butter them up a bit with some alcohol. I have to mention that neither of them are drinkers, so it only takes a drink or two to get them lulled. My scheme involved taking them back to Brooklyn to meet ‘Nickle’ for the first time so that the ice would break and we’d have the much less awkward scheduled official “meet the parents” dinner the day after. I was a bit nervous that my charming lush would already be a few shots past due, but I was willing to risk it. If they want to meet the man I’m in love with, I want them to meet him without a disguise.

After dinner and before Brooklyn, I received a call from ‘The Wife’, who had just gotten into town, instructing me to meet her close to my work for a drink before her and her friend, too, headed back to my neighborhood with us. We obliged and had a margarita at Sweet and Vicious. By this point, my almost exclusively sober father was already drunk dialing my mother, and my often shy, ESL sister was articulating complex sentences in her second tongue. It was time for the third act.

A few minutes later we stumbled upon my babe and his friend outside of our usual spot. Jackpot. The Cuban nuclear missile crisis was averted and the tension was nowhere to be found. Again, it was all in my demented head.

As expected, the “we’re only coming for one drink” turned into 3 or 5 plus a photo booth session, and and almost tragic ride home (they were drunk and had no idea where they were going), but all in all it was a great time. ‘Nickle’ and co seemed to like my blood, and that was the point of my plan.

The remaining diplomats headed to Union Pool for a night cap. I fail to remember if I even had a drink there, but we didn’t stay long, I had a ridiculously long day the next morning. We went back to ‘Nickle’s’ for bed and I donated my bedroom to ‘The Wife’ and her friend. ‘Titi’, who’d been in town since Wednesday from Sweden, had dibs to my couch.

Saturday, as stated, I had a hell of a long day. I started really early (by my standards) at 8 am. I had to go to the British Airways headquarters to do a special project for them that I thought would only take a few hours, and then I’d take the rest of the day off with the excuse that I was going to hang out with my family, but really with plans of seeing either ‘Fixie’ or my babe. Unfortunately, I was there till 7 pm with only one cigarette break and with no time for lunch (priorities).

As soon as I decided to call it quits and before finishing the workload, I left to go home, shower, and meet ‘Nickle’ to then meet my dad and my sister for an excellent dinner at Cafe Boulud. Again, the beginning of the night turned out into a success. We had exquisite food, drank well mixed drinks, and chatted effortlessly. After a few hours we left and my family hastily jumped on a cab and disappeared without even a hug. Expected.

‘Nickle’ suggested we walk to The Seahorse Tavern for a drink and then figure out the rest of the night. A drink with ‘Nickle’ or me is never just a drink. Six shots, four beers, and an intense somewhat pointless and repetitive conversation later we were on a cab on our way home.

Part of the reason why I’ve highlighted our drinking is because of nights like this where, in the absence of copious amounts of alcohol, we wouldn’t be having this situation and, as stated, it got repetitive and thus pointless… but we carried on and left it at that, just another drunken night.

The brief family visit went better than expected. My dad and my sister showed a side I’d never seen, both because they actually got drunk and let loose, and because for the first time ever, they were very open talking to me about my boyfriend and asking to know all the details with honest curiosity. I’m not sure what the future holds, and it’s scary in many senses, but at least I can be sure that if need be, he can come home with me to open arms and a tiny chocolate on the pillows.

Be Still My Heart

“I was running late for work so I didn’t change my shirt. The evening’s drinks left a lingering taste in my mouth.”

I have a boyfriend.

This post will be short and different. It is only about one day. It is also not only about the day, but about my reasoning and feelings about what the day implies. It starts like so…

‘Nickle’ woke up and left for work. I dilly dallied all day not being able to get myself motivated enough to do anything productive. I, of course, had not written, which should’ve been my priority but lately my mind’s been anywhere but present. Between anxiety, boys, and anxiety over boys, I’ve been a complete mental wreck. More than my usual self.

So I wasted the day hating myself a bit for doing so, but also thanking myself for having a day of nothing. Sometimes I forget that, although I thrive on stress, I am only human (despite sometimes not believing so), and as mortals do, I have the physical and mental need for rest.

Again, I wanted to see ‘Nickle’, despite not wanting to want to, so I made plans with him to have a date night. He had work till 6 and then he’d come meet me in the West Village for dinner and we’d ride our bikes together to the movies and then home. I did as instructed and took the ferry across the East River and into Manhattan to bike down to West 4th and Jones St. to Las Ramblas, a decent tapas place I’d been once before. He text me to let me know he was running late which was great because I was too. He showed up later than I expected and for a second I freaked out and reverting to my usual “worst case scenario” stance, I thought something had happened to him. Luckily, he was fine and we ate some muy deliciosa Spanish cuisine. I smile a lot when I’m around him.

After dinner, we walked down to TriBeCa to pick up his bike from his workplace. It was a nice autumn walk that ended with a tour of his office, and a kiss in the elevator (his first one there, he claims). We biked to the movies to see the new Ryan Gosling feature “Drive”. I had googled a bunch of other movies to watch, and this specific one was low on my list, mostly because ‘Jose Maria’ wanted me to watch it with him and I didn’t so I was just being stubborn and trying to prove I didn’t want to see it. However, as it is common when you like someone, his wish was my command.

We sat in theatres and I freaked out a bit. I have no clue why it keeps happening, but it happens. Often. Unexpected. Crippling.

I had a long battle with myself for most of the movies trying to concentrate on what I was watching, and also focusing on remaining calm and not showing the storm of anxious emotions I was experiencing inside. I kept trying to convince myself I should just call it quits because after all, I like to be alone and I believe I should. It was not a fun two hours. Regardless, I enjoyed the time spent with him which is the weirdest thing.

We left the movies and I called ‘Jose Maria’ who’s been frantically texting and calling. He asked us to join him and his friends at Ten Degrees. I asked ‘Nickle’ if he wanted to and he said he’d go for a bit because he was tired. We walked our bikes and smoked our way to the bar.

Upon arrival, ‘Jose Maria’ was with two girls I’ve met before. Both of them were curious about this new man in my life. Both of them gave me approving looks. We had a few drinks there and between smoke breaks they tried to squeeze out of me whatever gossip or tidbits I could offer. I told them I liked him. I told them I wasn’t sure where it was going. I told them I’d let them know what happened. This time, they approved verbally.

One by one the girls and ‘Jose Maria’ left, the bar closed, and we decided to take the train back to Brooklyn. I wasn’t really feeling the bridge that night. We made our customary pit stop at The Abbey before heading back to my place.

Despite having a few drinks, I was not feeling as drunk as I usually am. I was in a good mood and I was smiling a lot. I decided to take a leap of faith and tell him that I wanted to really date him. I’m not sure if he understood where I was going at first, but then I referred to him with the magic word and he was on board. We were now officially boyfriends. Naturally, we fooled around that night and it was great. There was something in the air that night. I passed out in his arms.

Wednesday I woke him up uttering the phrase “Good Morning Boyfriend”, which felt right. Whenever I ask him: “Why me?”, his answer always is: “You fit”. I can’t really grasp that concept completely because I’m still in disbelief this man likes me so much. It is not that I don’t believe I’m a great catch, but I also know I’m kind of crazy, and I don’t think he’s spent enough time with me to feel the way he does. I just want to make sure he knows what he’s feeling and he isn’t just idolizing me because he’s been single for a while.

Most of my friends disagree with me and see his point. That morning, I kind of did too.

“And I thought: be still my heart. This could be a brand new start, with you. And it will be clear if I wake up and you’re still here with me in the morning.”

If I Had a Heart

“If I had a heart I could love you… if I had a voice I would sing”

After my half day long right angle trip (LAX-FFL-JFK) to New York I made it back safe and sound but somewhat insane. I cabbed it home and quickly acclimated myself at my apartment before rushing to work a couple hours later. We had a big event that night and I got there just in time to put the finishing touches and have my usual whore’s bath in the bathroom before looking presentable for the guests.

Despite the wishy washy rain, the event went great. I’d invited a lot of people who didn’t show up, but ‘Nickle’ did towards the end which made me smile. I wanted to get feedback about him from my coworkers. He left a bit before we finished. I told him I might meet him later but to be honest, I had my own plans to go see DJ. I went to the after party and drank a few free whiskey gingers as I waited for the monsoonic rain to stop or slow down. After realizing it probably wouldn’t, I stole an umbrella and started walking to “church” until eventually I found a cab.

The night was customary. Hung out with the bar staff, flirted with DJ, ran into guys I know, some guy tried to snatch DJ, the usual.The trick in question this night was a Spanish expat who lives in London and knew DJ from his many work trips over there. He was with some other over-the-pond fashion queen who was incredibly drunk (or on drugs), and at some point in the night managed to fall face first and bust his lip. I was a bit drunk and ready to call it a night when my feral alpha male instincts kicked in. Wednesdays are my unofficial days and although we have nothing established or set in stone, I take the liberty of expecting to be the one who ends up in bed with DJ over any other trick who might try to. If I’m there, he’s mine. Any other day, you are more than welcome to have him.

The bar started emptying out quite early. At around 3 am DJ decided to leave. I was outside with the Spaniard and his numb sidekick with the blood red lipstick. DJ offered the trick to take him out since he was from out of town, but somehow he made it subtly clear that I was the flavor of the night. With hopes that he might change his mind, or that he might join us both, he abandoned his injured comrade and came with us. All is fair in “love” and war.

We walked over to an almost empty The Cock, stayed for a drink and went home. In his last attempt to win the battle or at least join the allied forces, the Spaniard tried to unsuccessfully kiss us both. He had no chance. There was no battle to be had in the first place.

Without any sexy time, we both passed out fairly quickly.

Thursday I woke up early with plans to go home, defibrillate, and get back to my regular schedule. I soon remembered that my regular schedule is different Thursday mornings. After a quick jerk off session, DJ suggested we get breakfast together. Being a sucker for reassurance that I hold the bull by the balls, I agreed. We walked to a local cafe and ordered some food. I teased him about the quasi secretive way he goes about his boys. It is sort of an unspoken rule that we don’t make it utterly public that we’ve been hanging out for so long. He doesn’t flaunt other boys in my face, and I don’t either. It’s refreshing to have someone like him. I also found out he’d hooked up with the Spaniard before. I was not surprised.

We left and walked towards my work. Halfway there he took a detour to the bank and we kissed goodbye.

Upon arrival, ‘The Cock of the North’ giggled at the fact that he could smell the sweat I perspired during my walk of shame. The day was busy but not too bad. I hired an intern. I left on time, went home, showered, and headed out for the uneventful Fashion’s Night Out. To be fair, I didn’t give it much of a chance. I just went to the OAK party, walked down Mercer terrified at the ridiculously long cues outside most stores offering mild sales and free drinks and, despite having made tentative plans with “The Lady of Derbishire’ to meet up, I sailed through the seas of amateur fashionistas all the way down to Chinatown to meet ‘Fixie’ and his best friend who was visiting for a drink at Apotheke. My night took an interesting, yet pleasant, turn.

We sipped on a cocktail, and opted for dinner. Noodles. Then I suggested we go to “church” for some free Jesus Juice as ‘Handsome Wednesday’ was bar tending and had promised he’d pour, and I quote, “free and heavy”. We made it just in time for the last half hour of his shift. The young pup was clearly inebriated and kept handing us drink after drink free of charge. The total cost of getting us sloshed? a fatty tip.

I’d been texting with ‘Nickle’ about potentially meeting him because his best friend was also in town. Coincidentally, he was right up the street at Phoenix. ‘Fixie’ and his friend chaperoned me to the bar and dropped me off to a somewhat sloshed ‘Nickle’ and a profusely plastered best friend. They invited me to a bar in the Meatpacking for more free drinks. What kind of girl turns that down? I obviously tagged along.

We arrived at the Brass Monkey with ‘Nickle’ and his friends for more unnecessary cocktails. ‘Occhio’ texted me to come meet us and he did. We stayed there for about an hour and then we decided to try and go to the Standard to check out the Fashion’s Night Out festivities, since it was right behind Brass Monkey. It was a bore. We left and went home. ‘Nickle’ spent the night.

Friday morning I had a deja vu moment when I woke up, jerked off with ‘Nickle’, and then had brunch at a local Polish dinner. I made it to work on time, and ‘Nickle’, who had previous plans of going to Montauk for a wedding, made it to his train the same. I was so busy thinking about my night that work flew by. I had plans with ‘Fixie’ to have a debaucherous toga party at McCarran park that night, ‘Jose Maria’ was flying home after being away for about 6 weeks and I was to meet him for his friend’s birthday party at some point, and I was wanting a day to myself to sleep with my dog which I knew wasn’t going to happen, not to mention the fact that, surprisingly, DJ stopped by (weird). Regretfully, the toga party did not happen because ‘Fixie’s’ visitors, all from North Carolina, were not up for it. Go figure. Instead, he invited me to his place to have some drinks. I agreed to stop by for a bit after work, but as soon as I got home I passed out. I guess I really needed that cuddle time with ‘Toto’.

After a couple hours I woke up and called ‘Fixie’ to see if I should still come. I took the L train to Bushwick, walked for 15 minutes through very scary Boricua infested streets and finally got to his place. I’d never been. Despite being severely eaten by the mosquitos in his backyard I had fun. I still love this man, but in a different, stronger way now. His friends were nice. It is always a culture shock to hang out with out of towners, because New York IS a completely separate country in itself. We act/think/drink/fuck/party/sleep/speak/etc differently from the rest of the world.

I finalized my plans with ‘Jose Maria’ and left to meet him. I took a cab to B Bar where we were to Rendez Vous but had no luck getting in so we walked to Boiler Room. We ran into ‘Salgadinho’, one of ‘Jose Maria’s’ suitors, and awkwardly said hi. Again, we didn’t stay for long. I don’t really like this bar so we left and went to “church” which I avoid on the weekends because the crowd is much different. I was surprised at how religious I’ve been lately.

At “church” I quickly spotted a guy that tingled my willy. He looked back and we made eye contact. ‘Jose Maria’s’ birthday buddy came by with the birthday posse. I went outside to have a cigarette and ran into ‘Handsome Wednesday’. I went back in and decided to say hi to the guy I’d eyed. I mentioned he was very cute, he said the same thing in return. I ordered another drink and ‘Jose Maria’ went outside with his friends. A few minutes later they came back but he didn’t. I had a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach that ‘Jose Maria’ was talking to the boy I planned on potentially pursuing. As soon as the thought went away, he walked in with him. I was a bit shocked and a bit annoyed, so I said: “Should I have to worry that I have competition now?”. He said: “No, we don’t l like the same guys”. I let it go and focused on my ongoing texts with DJ. He was at a boat party that was about to end so I told him to let me know when it did. He texted me he was home. I decided to go for seconds and left ‘Jose Maria’ to his new boy.

I told DJ about the night, he asked me who the boy in question was, but I had no idea. I’m sure they’ve fucked or something. DJ had plans to go to Fire Island early in the morning so we just slept.

The next morning we got ready, he packed, and I went downstairs to smoke and greet his best friend who giggled at the fact of me opening the door. I left them to go on their trip and I went on mine back to Brooklyn on a cab since the trains weren’t running. Thankfully, both ‘Nickle’ and DJ were away for the weekend. I was ready for a break from the boys.

“This will never end cause I want more… more, give me more, give me more…”

 

Hello world!

Although not my words (the title), that’s exactly how I felt today at 10:19 a.m. I’ve had an awakening. How long will it last? I hope a long time. It had been building up, and I’ve been having epiphany after epiphany. The best one? I think the name of this blog. I’ve been meaning to start a blog for a while now, but being the obsessive compulsive perfectionist that I tend to be, I couldn’t get myself to start it because no name was “good enough”.

Why “The Applied Process”? Because that is exactly what I plan to do with this blog. Record the evolution from not knowing exactly which direction to take, to turning all my talents and brain power into something worth my while, because ultimately, I have to please myself before I can please others.

Cheers. And let the unraveling begin.

– J.

 

 

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