Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My time in The Big Apple. Alternately titled: Do you remember that time that I almost died?


When I heard that BlogHer 2012 was in New York City (aka. The Big Apple) this year, I knew that I was meant to attend. I like apples. I really do. When I was growing up, every day I would eat one apple and two chocolate chip cookies as an after school snack. I did this because I was hungry and those things taste good to me; especially the part of the cookie with the chocolate. I figured that they might have chocolate in New York, too.

It took me a week to pack my luggage, making sure that I would look fresh and fashionable while keeping my luggage under the 50 pound weight limit. I carefully refilled my tiny tubes of moisturizer and cleanser and the variety of "girl Shit" that I feel that I must have with me in case of a hair or skin emergency. It took me hours to book tickets and sign up for the conference. I browsed the conference schedule to contemplate how to spend my time. I looked at the map around the hotel to see what I should do while visiting. I made a list and checked it thrice. I bought a new canister of mace and packed my favorite knife, because not only am I a Funny Bitch, I'm a feisty bitch. I fought the acid in my stomach from the anxiety of the impending trip schedule with lots of Tums. Then on Thursday, I woke up at 1:20 am, poured coffee into a mug, pulled on my new cowboy boots and drove myself to Denver International Airport. Surprisingly enough, at the asscrack of dawn, traffic was light. I found a parking spot so close that I just knew my guardian angels were helping me with this trip to visit New York and experience all of its over stimulation and grandeur.

When I breezed through the bag check line and headed to security, I was feeling confident. Maybe even a little cocky. In my head, I was thinking: This travelling shiz is easy breezy! I'm doing this like a damned professional! Fuck yeah! I ROCK!

Then I got to security.

Apparently, in all of my planning, purchasing and printing, I didn't read the airport's 3-1-1 policy. The screening lady that was studying my facial and hair operations and emergency situations bag looked up and asked me, "How MANY of you are traveling?"
I stared at her like a deer in the headlights and quietly said, "Just ...me...?"
She motioned to a guy and they bowed their heads together in a private, conspiratory conference. Then she sternly said, "Follow him."

I grabbed my boots and purse and followed the security officer to a private corner so that together, he and I could talk about my problem with product whoring. Instead, he informed me of this elusive 3-1-1 policy. Then he made a show of lecturing me with very kind eyes and sent me on my way. With all my  goopy, goppy, wonderful girl stuff. Still winning.

The flight was on time and tolerable, even with an obligatory bit o' screaming baby.

Then I got to LaGuardia in New York. When I went down to get my bag from the luggage carousel, I noticed signs portraying a slick, used-car-salesman-esq man. They were warning signs about not getting "taken for a ride" by con-artists offering to drive you. I snorted to myself at the naive people that would fall for a scam artist in a plaid blazer and applauded my own shrewd intelligence. Then I grabbed my 47 pounds of wardrobe and 18 pounds of beauty necessities and boldly walked outside into the swampy armpit of humidity that is New York to catch a cab.

As I was striding down the sidewalk toward the yellow cabs, I heard a friendly looking man say something in an accent. I turned and asked, "Did you say taxi?" and he said, "Yes. Follow me." I asked him about his accent and he informed me that he was from Brazil. Then he relieved me of my heavy bag and together we were walking. And we were walking away from the yellow cabs and crossing the busy street. And we were walking on into the dark underground parking garage made of concrete, past the commotion of the airport, past all of the taxis, past many lonely, empty cars. We were walking into the dimly light, almost empty garage. We had already walked past all of the people that could hear my cries for help. And we were walking and walking and I started to realize that I was potentially getting taken for a ride by a man who had the bag with both my mace and my knife, not to mention an entire new wardrobe. But he was not wearing the plaid blazer that the signs had indicated! And he looked so friendly! And he was Brazilian! I both read and watched Eat, Pray, Love and had decided that I loved Brazilians! And I thought to myself: I'm going to die at the hand of a Brazilian and I hope Elizabeth Gilbert knows that it is her fault.

So I said, "I'm feeling uncomfortable about this! Are you with an actual cab company?" and he replied, "I'm a private driver. I will show you my papers in the car." and then I wondered how hard it would be to knock him over to get my bag back and run. But he seemed so NICE and I was kind of tired from waking up at 1:20 a.m., so I continued to walk with him by default of my own laziness and the nagging fact that he was Brazilian.

And as we approached the big dark blue Suburban with the tinted windows, I wondered if there were door handles on the inside, or if they had been removed. And he opened the door and showed me his papers and his ID. And I pretended to look at them as I scanned the interior for bloodstains, rope, duct tape, body parts, men in dark glasses or clowns, and when I didn't see any I decided that it was fine; because I was wearing my cowboy boots- which are my equivalent of a superhero cape.

And then the nice Brazilian man drove me in his dark blue Suburban to my hotel. And he pointed out the sites as he told me about his life and his kids. And he even invited me to climb into the front seat if I wanted so that I could take pictures. And by golly, I did. And it was pleasant. And I thought to myself: I'm such a savvy traveller!

If you ever find yourself in New York City and need a car service, just call Xavier at Elegant Limo and Car Service. His number is 1-646-500-3842. He has two kids in college, is a wealth of information about New York and he has a very clean Suburban, complete with interior handles!

I arrived at the hotel and met up with some members of the League of Funny Bitches. We decided on dinner at Wolfgang Puck's near Times Square. When we reached our destination, one of the fine bitches exited the cab to cross the street. I swiftly followed her and immediately heard a horn. I looked up and there was a trash truck about a block away, honking at me. I was already halfway across the street and I thought to myself: What the fuck, dude? I have plenty of time to cross. And I continued my pace. Plus I was wearing four inch heels and running was really not an option. As the garbage truck sped up, I continued bravely forward in my quest for sustenance and righteousness. As the motherfucking garbage truck hit the back of my skirt as he flew by me at a speed of what must have been 60 mph, I thought to myself, Are you fucking serious? I hate people. If I would have been a tenth of a second slower, or had I tripped, my life would have been over by the hands of some toothless bastard named Don who only finished 8th grade and picks up TRASH for a living. Don, or Duarte, whose ex wife was leggy and blonde and ran off with the cable repair guy. Don or Duarte or Harold, who was having a bad day so he resorted to hunting me down in the street like I had no business stepping in front of his precious smelly motherfucking truck when he was any ENTIRE BLOCK AWAY. And I thought, A trash truck? Really? That would be how I would die.My kid has been talking about growing up to be a trash truck driver for three years now. Beautiful.

But I didn't die. Instead I made it to the sidewalk, then into the restaurant where I drank three Cosmos to ward off the tremors that I had taken on after I was almost killed in the street by the grill of a fucking garbage truck that accelerated when the asshat driver saw me.

What does one do after spending all of their spending money on one meal that they were too shaken up to consume? Why, they wrap it up and venture out to Times Square, where the real shitshow happens. What do you get when you cross tourists, brightly lit signs and pregnant despondent girls in ratty Hello Kitty costumes with elbow tumors? You get a brightly wrapped package of sadness, self loathing and shame. I added to that unshakable feeling of more than mild discomfort when I not-so-slyly (three Cosmos take away my stealth) tried to photo bomb the "Naked Cowboy". Let me begin by saying that I have a bit of contention with said "Naked Cowboy". First of all, he is wearing some sort of underwear, Speedo, or stripper garment, thus making the "Naked" part of his title a bold faced lie. Second, a straw Resistol does not a cowboy make, believe me, for ten years I sold hats to douche nuggets that had never even smelled a horse, much less ridden one. Third, ew. Just.... ew. So said Naked Cowboy caught me photo bombing him and turned. Then he grabbed my hand, slapped it on his scantily clad ass and pulled my hair. I had no other option but to pose for the photo as my friends looked on in all consuming nausea and horror. This one occasion may have been the low point of my entire existence.... and I once was married to an alcoholic trucker with back acne... and have also passed out in the gutter of my lovely city then later puked in my own bed.... and the family dog once urinated on my back when I was a small impressionable child... and I once ate squirrel. To top it off, when I refused to give the "Naked" "Cowboy" money (because being a stay at home mom does not earn me any a great deal of cash) he shouted on at me about "entitlement!".  Entitlement, indeed.


I'm sorry about your eyes.
Isn't my skirt cute though?
Ann Taylor Loft.


So, to the Funny Bitches, I apologize that I made you feel like you needed to go home and wash the memory of that moment away with a Brillo pad, bleach and a fifth of whiskey. And also, I wish that I had put my hand sanitizer in my clutch before venturing out to Times Square. Lesion Lesson Learned.

And yet I still remain.

And this was only my first day in The Big Apple.

TO BE CONTINUED........

31 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Wow-we must be soul sisters-I once jumped in a creepy conversion van with two strangers I met in a night club to take a quick trip to Tahoe----my then-roommate (now husband) called me a dumbshit, and said I'm lucky I didn't end up dead, or stranded when I asked them to pull over so I could pee.

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    1. Conversion vans always seem safe to me! Your husband just isn't adventurous enough!

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  3. Johi... thank you. Because of your post detailing your near death experience in NYC you made me giggle after a VERY F-ing long day at work.

    Cousin Katherine

    P.S. Thank you for still being alive.

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    1. I'm always glad to brighten your day, Miss K. And I'm glad that I'm still alive as well!

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  4. Naked Cowboy use to come down to New Orleans during Mardi Gras every year, and I would back away in horror and disgust. Dude is creepy, and also sues anyone else who tries to "steal his idea".

    Glad you didn't die in New York! Can't wait to hear about more of your adventures!

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    1. He is a special one. If I hadn't been comfortably numb I may have removed my 4 inch heels and sprinted by him. Damn booze.

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  5. Man I wish I had known you were going to that! I am pretty sure my friend Karin who I showed your blog to when I was still working at 451 Marketing was there. I would have made and introduction, you guys would have gotten along great! Can't wait to hear more about your adventures!!

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    1. I may have met her! Was she wearing a giant banana costume?

      Just kidding, but I totally saw someone wearing a giant banana costume.

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  6. Oh Johi, I love this post. I'm so glad you didn't get capped by the garbage truck man, and a vacay aint no vacay without a bit of accidental sexual harassment. Even though the sexual harassee is an obvious escaped mental patient. Hook us up with some photos yeah. I can't wait to see what fun you had in the Big Apple x

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    1. I had every intention of printing out a photo of you, laminating it and gluing it to a stick so that you could be there with us. I also meant to take a picture of Brock and have him personalize it to Noa and sign "Kevin Costner" at the bottom. But I'm a lazy asshole and I accomplished neither of those things. In my mind, they were both brilliant and hysterical.
      I'm glad that I wasn't capped by the trash truck either.

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  7. Oh my gawd. This is gonna get good! Love love love NYC!

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    1. The first day was the most magical. I don't want you to get your hopes up too high.

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  8. I feel that all of the world's ills should be blamed on Elizabeth Gilbert. Because. . .well. . .fuck Elizabeth Gilbert. I am so glad I finally got to see your pretty face and let you braid my hair and eat chocolate and buy shoes and all of the other ridiculously girly things we did this weekend. :) xoxo

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    1. Well, I am so glad that I met you because you are even more awesome in person than you are online (and that is saying a lot!) Your hair is so thick that I am still green with envy! I have procured the braiding pictures and if I can figure out how the fuck to get them off of my phone, I will share them.

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  9. Johi! Holy naked-cowboy-near-death (at least twice if not thrice by my calculations) experiences! I wish I could say I was horrified, but you're kind of my hero. That picture alone just made my life.

    Er, welcome to New York? At least no one peed on your back? Yet?

    Efffff...these comment things hate me. This is Jules (gojulesgo.com).

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    1. When I see your blog name written out it makes me want to grab pom poms and chant "GO Jules GO!" while doing a cheerleading jump. I just thought you should know that.

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  10. Naked Cowboy! Hopefully you didn't see naked cowgirl. I saw her once. Naked cowgirl is a senior citizen with pasties....

    Thank goodness you survived the ride to the hotel! It reminded me of when I got a private tour of a cemetery in New Orleans. The guy locked me in. I was like, "Oh my god, I'm going to die. In a cemetery. Isn't that convenient?"

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    1. Oh.... NO. We did not see her. I'm simulaneously saddened and thankful for that!

      Ummm... "private tour" of a cemetery? ick. I'm glad that you didn't die so that I could meet you for 3 seconds. :)

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  11. I'm so glad you weren't torn from existance by the trash truck! What a doucherocket!

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  12. I couldn't read it all because at some point I was laughing too hard to open my eyes wide enough to see through the tears pooled up and running down my face. I will have to try again later!! HIlarious.

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    1. Always glad to entertain with my assholey shenanigans.

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  13. That naked cowboy is a bitch (though he does have a kid in college too). I love this post, am thrilled to find your blog. I met you for a minute at the hotel bar Saturday afternoon with Misty, Jules and Thoughtsy. I was wearing boots, and you're awesome.
    (JM from accidentalstepmom)

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    1. Welcome, welcome! And I checked out your blog and ending up reading through about 10 posts! You are a fantastic writer.
      I'm glad that Naked Cowboy's spawn is persuing a higher education. That gives me hope that he won't stand in the street and yell at random, partially drunk women about entitlement.

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  14. Whoa... sounds like a little adventure. Jealous. I love NYC. I WANNA GO!

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    1. Adventure is my middle name. Well, actually my middle name is Sue.

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  15. BAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!! The first time I was in NYC I was told not to look anyone in the eye. Ever. Especially on the subway. But I didn't listen. But I totally should have. HA! I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!!! Can't wait to read what happens next!

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    1. I don't make a lot of eye contact. I'm always too busy judging people's shoes.
      Spoiler alert: Day 1 of the conference I don't even leave the hotel.

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    2. It took me a while to lose my humanity and stop giving eye contact to strangers. Now when I go on vacation I am a huge asshole because I treat people like a New Yorker. I gotta move.

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  16. When I first moved here I couldn't believe the asinine drivers (both taxi and non-taxi) in this city!!! Really? You can't calm down and let me cross the street...

    ... And then I drove in the city...

    When a 7 mile trip takes over an hour you better believe you want those pedestrians to GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE STREET!!! It's best to wait for the light. Like, for real.

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