Giving

I admit as a New Yorker to never having seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, at least in my knowing lifetime.

It is possible that my parents took me before I was aware of things, like probably many struggling infants, fixated on a floating Snoopy in the sky.

But if so, these are memories only accessible through regression hypnosis, or at least a recounting to by my parents.

Yeah.

But I saw, for the first time, the floats coming up 10th avenue the night before Thanksgiving, a cordon mini-parade of sorts, rolling through midnight, police escorting, like some arcane gathering or the book of Where The Wild Things Are (not the shitty hipster-ass movie).

It was something that it was meaningful or wonderful to me (in the “full of wonder” sense of the word) seeing those floats pass by as I headed home from a particularly raucous sandwich-filled episode of The Chris Gethard Show. I felt like I was getting to see something hidden or cool. I felt that dormant, probably non-existent Snoopy-adoring child in me.

Or something like that.

Because as I “grow up”, what impresses me about myself is my non-chalance where before there was only chaos. When I get a 500-word explanation/pitch of why “we should be friends” on OKCupid, I just kind of sigh it off as silly. When I have a not-so great set on stage, I still feel good and goofy (though whiskey helped with that that night). Even my UCB 401 class, something that the last time I did it I was so stressed out on the pages of this blog feels nice and natural to me.

When I walked into my therapist office this morning, I thought about how much I had changed. Even though I’ve constantly thought of myself as relatively sane and well-adjusted, I started out two years ago as an angry, sharply-opinionated kid dealing with personal and professional traumas as well as the unsolved question as to whether anyone could love me.

Now, I’m a mellow still-weirdo, who’s done a decent amount of screwing (especially by former nerd standards) and consistently gets into less fights, less “battles”, less of the “proving himself” crusades I used to throw myself into as a crucible to prove my worth or reveal who I really was.

Two years ago, I went before a board at my school and told them if they didn’t heed my advice they’d have “blood on their hands”. Now, someone made a snide remark to my friend at a show and instead of instantly getting into a fight, I take a moment stare at the guy, ask my friend if he wants me to do something and wait for the asshole to dig his own grave (giving a “pedophilia” suggestion at ASSSSCAT and getting fucking reamed by families of victims at the intermission). For all my opinions and strangeness, I’m a much chiller person. Or maybe just more comfortable with who I am.

Which is not to say opinions or feeling strongly is a bad thing. They’re great under the right circumstance and I’ll still stupidly get into a cause to champion, or get hung up on the wrong girl or say my ex’s name as some freudian slip. These are the things that make us human. It is both full and childish, in a good way, to feel and react deeply. It’s what tells us we’re alive, that we’re capable of action, to do something, potentially stupid, and to see its results. We live by the fruits of our mistakes and the knowledge/nourishment we get from them.

So I guess that’s why I dug seeing those floats after the already silly and fun Chris Gethard Show. I guess that’s why I enjoyed some of The Muppets and all of Hugo. I suppose that’s why I still consistently eat Chicken Parmigiano and am shy about asking girls out on dates and feel this need to spill my guts to everyone here in (slightly) masturbatory fashion.

Because there always needs to be that kid inside us, capable of making mistakes, of taking foolish risks, of trying something.

Something capable of experiencing and creating the wonderful.

***

Looking at this picture shows how tenuous I feel about my sexuality when trying to explain to my friends that I do yoga.

Because they post things like this around and have saunas and an assortment of teas.

But it’s a nice other layer of structure and it kicks my ass.

And what can I say, I guess I like that.

I went out with my friend Frank and his assortment of online gaming friends (a “Korean korean” from Flushing, a waiting-for-deployment Army kid and his marketing-dept girlfriend) to Ichiumi, the fabled “sushi buffet” of my youth, a place where you can go to get an unlimited suply of sushi and Japanese/Korean food, both iffy in its health ramifications and delicious for the hard working-out 5-plate-eating Frank.

“Ha, Yoga’s for pussies, bro. Do some burpies.” He told me, before going on to discuss an online role-playing game they all played called “League of Legends”.

It is a bit, but what can I say?

I am not a flexible person and never have been. I always despised working out and most physical activity given the physical emphasis of my middle and high school, which I hated. I have always been tight and usually slumped over, my back and neck a tilting “C”.

But Yoga just seems so far away from the “machoness” and implicit judgement I felt at the gym. It’s just a bunch of people doing peaceful, but sweaty things. And while I don’t buy into the spirituality aspect, it does clear my mind. It feels like a nice release and more than that, it feels easy for me to continue doing it. I went three times last week and once so far this and intend to go tomorrow. I was disappointed to find out my studio didn’t have an iPhone app, so I could see the times more readily.

With the stress still at my work, I did Yoga yesterday and was much more happy with my free time than I usually am, since free time usually terrifies me.

I just got water at Ichiumi as Frank tossed back plate after plate, rushing against the 3 o’clock deadline when they’d toss us all out to prepare for dinner. We ended up badgering Frank into getting the new Zelda game, which I had been enjoying and while we explored the Saturday-time Manhattan Mall, still swarming from leftover Black Friday sales, Frank turned to me:

“So, uh, how much do you think a class at your place would be?”

“What place?” I asked facetiously.

“You know. Yoga. I just am tight and could use more flexibility.”

“Yeah, ok.” I said. “Pussy.” Under my breath.

And it took a little longer to find out.

Because they didn’t have an iPhone app.

***

Though I have mostly been cured of my hypo-glycemia by way of my diet, I was pushing it on Sunday when I waited till 2 to eat after waking up fairly early. In my defense, I was going to meet my sister to see Hugo at New York City’s greatest movie theatre, The Ziegfeld and I thought to go to the nearby hallowed-food cart, the great 53rd and 6th Halal Guys.

But I had been spoiled on them lately. Not that they weren’t still great (They were/are). Only that based on my routine I now get to have them at least once a week. They’re less of a treat and I’d actually already had a platter on Friday.

I had also been soured because I had tried to defuse the difficult-to-explain subterfuge of a cart that pretends to be the famous cart by isn’t by going over to that cart’s line and explain to the stupid tourists that they were in the wrong place, only to hear from some d-bag that he actually thought Tasty and Delicious was BETTER than Halal Guys!

“Dude, I’m a famous food blogger.” I whipped out. “I’m on TV for this shit.”

“Well, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” He said refusing to make eye contact.

Now, this is a point of pride for me because I felt as if I was doing a public service. Tasty and Delicious sells fucking HOT DOGS for gods sakes as no self-respecting halal cart should!

Fuck!

Anyway, the whole thing had left a sour taste in my mouth and as I did a nice Sunday three-mile walk to the Ziegfeld, I found a place that caught my eye in Bryant Park called Vegetarian’s Oasis amidst the gift-sellers and bag-handlers.

“Yeah, we mostly do music festivals.” The woven-shirt-ed lady told me. “Nearest one is the Electric. She said.

I got the Falafel Wrap, which of course came on whole-wheat, with tahini, “crushed pepper” sauce, fresh crispy cabbage, romaine and tomatoes. It was delicious and big, burrito sized and relatively inexpensive, especially for the neighborhood.

My sister, the semi-vegan, was somewhat jealous. I told her to try to get the falafel from the Halal cart, but she decided on a Jamba Juice instead.

“What, Juice is a meal.” She expressed when I showed my indignation.

She then proceeded to steal most of my small popcorn that I got at the movie theater.

But maybe I just should have brought her an extra wrap.

We’ll call it, a draw.

***

ICHIUMI

Lunch Buffet (Sushi and Japanese/Korean Hot Food, Dessert)- $22.00

32nd St bet 5th Ave and Madison

NQRBDFM to 34th St Herald Sq. 6 to 33rd St.

VEGETARIAN OASIS

Falafel Wrap w/Cabbage, Crushed Pepper Sauce, Tahini- $7

Inside the Market at Bryant Park near 42nd St and 6th Ave

BDFM7 to 42nd St-Bryant Park

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4 Responses to Giving

  1. Lisa says:

    I know it’s a quiet week–most of those who might usually comment are home eating turkey etc.–but this is a great, well-written, upbeat and terrific post. Keep writing and happy holidays!

  2. Crystal says:

    As always – love your writing! Keep it up.

  3. so funny I JUST came back from Bryant park where we ate the wafels & dinges right next to the Vegetarian Oasis… We were at a table with our wafel while a young girl ate her heathy wrap.
    Mrs. M.

  4. You lost me at “who’s done a decent amount of screwing” but quickly redeemed with “Dude, I’m a famous food blogger” and an immensely talented food report.

    You’re awesome.

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