Tag Archives: times square

Work Diary, October 21, 2009: The Song Never Ends

8:00 AM – Waking Up to “Music”

I wake up to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” on the radio.  I don’t know it yet, but this song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.  Oh, joy.  I think I’d prefer the theme song to Lamb Chop’s Play-Along instead.

8:45 AM – It’s There to Warn Tourists

lamb-chop-puppetOn my way to work, I pass by a disturbing billboard in Times Square.  Of course, there are hundreds of billboards in Times Square, usually featuring Hawaiian Tropic girls and Calvin Klein models in their underwear.  This one, however, has a magnified picture of a bed bug.  It appears that bed bugs have become such a big problem that they warrant their own Times Square billboard.  I love New York.

10:21 AM – Wrong Number…

I get a call from an unknown number.  When I pick up, the guy launches into his pitch: “Hi, my name is Andrew Porter. I love the morning show.  I’ve noticed that Al and Matt dress in different suits every day.  Well, I own a custom clothing company… Wait, this isn’t NBC Today?… You’re not Al Roker’s assistant?… Can you direct me to Al’s assistant?… Well, goodbye.”  Click.

1:29 PM – Guaranteed to Suffer Injury Due to Karma 

a-rodIs it cruel to wish bad things onto other people? …Probably.  But, what if that other person is Alex Rodriguez?  I have an animated discussion with a co-worker about misfortunes that could befall A-Rod:  A-Rod breaks his leg.  A-Rod gets hit by a taxi.  A-Rod gets a shard of glass in his eye after an aggressive mirror kiss…  We’re not bad people.  But we’d just rather cheer for the Taliban than for the Yankees.

4:34 PM – That’s What She Said

We are having our monthly operating review with one of the senior executives of the company.  We reach a slide about demographics, which shows our increasingly male base.  Our concern is that we are driving away females.  The COO studies the slide for a minute.  Then she asks: “So, are women not coming at all, or are the men just coming on top of women?”  Pause.  “I didn’t mean it like that.”  Awkwardness.

TOTALS: 6 minutes lost trying to convince Mr. Porter that I was not Al Roker’s assistant, 100+ songs played to try and rid my brain of Miley Cyrus, and 1 extremely awkward meeting in which I strain a muscle from holding in laughter, because clearly — given my choice of music — I have the maturity of a 15-year old.

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Oddities in New York City

In order to live in New York City, you must have at least one of three attributes: you have to be a) certifiably insane, b) oblivious, or c) an icebox.  Why is that?  Well, let’s break it down:

If you are a) certifiably insane, then you will fit right in with the wackos and the strung-out boozhounds in the city.  In my ten months living here, I’ve seen the following oddities in New York:

  • nakedcowgirla gentleman jogging in a thong onesie
  • a person dressed up as Spiderman, casually walking down the street, as if window shopping
  • an older woman dressed as the “Naked Cowgirl” in Times Square, with very little covering her backside…

Of course, you can still survive New York sans-crazy if you are simply b) oblivious. By oblivious, I mean that you will inevitably encounter the following, yet you still won’t bat an eye:

  • sidewalkfeces of all kinds, including, but not limited to: pigeon, dog, rat, human, and hybrid combinations of all four
  • smells… bad ones
  • and many a sidewalk puddle so disgusting that, if you were to be splashed with its contents, would compel you to burn your clothing, and perhaps chop off any appendage that encountered the filth

Lastly, to live in New York, you also must become c) an icebox. This is not a suggestion; it is an actual necessity, especially in these recessionary times.  If you have a heart while living in New York, you will likely end up broke, homeless, or jogging in a thong onesie through the Upper East Side.  Since January, I have been asked for money by:

  • homelessjesussolicitors in the subway
  • solicitors living in the streets (one, with a pet rat nesting in her hair)
  • solicitors imploring me to help the children, support the troops, feed the hungry, cure cancer, go green, buy booze, and welcome back Jesus

The great thing about living in New York, though, is that once you get past the insanity, the filth, and the ever-present guilt (“sorry, I don’t have any cash, but here’s a cough drop”), you can pretty much put up with anything.  There is nothing out there that can make you feel uncomfortable, because we’ve seen it all, right?


Tonight, I was walking home from work when I encountered someone else who was walking step-in-step with me.  Now, this doesn’t seem all that strange… until you think about the unwritten NYC pedestrian rule.  The sidewalk is like a one-lane highway.  You don’t ever have two cars on the same side of the road, going at the same speed.  You either pass, or let the other guy pass.  But for three blocks, this woman walked right next to me.  I sped up.  She sped up.  I slowed down.  She slowed down.  It freaked me out.  Finally, I took a detour into Duane Reade to see if she would follow me.  But thankfully, she went on her merry way.

Is it just me, or is that whole scenario stranger than the 70-year old Naked Cowgirl?  Or… am I just heading down the path towards (un)certifiably insane?



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