Shit Gets To You

February 14, 2012

This was taken from the window of Lafayette French Pastries over on Greenwich Avenue.

I almost passed it after noticing it, just deciding to go on with my day. After all, Greenwich Avenue is one I pass through often, a quirky diagonal that I use to walk home from the Magnet on late weeknights.

But it just stuck as I saw it, it looked to egregious.

And after all, I do have a blog I have to supply pictures for.

But what really got me was that this store that already was calling out the extremely questionable logo “Say No to Obamacare and YES to COOKIECARE!” in it’s window along with an article from what looks like Talking Points Memo was the same goddam bakery that almost got rioted for making “Drunken Negro” cookies 3 years ago in “honor” of Obama!

I have linked to the article right there but I will include the picture just for goddam effect.

So, after a giant stink about this whole thing, you think the guy would back down. You think after a boycott of his business along with the VERY few supporters of racism and/or hardcore republicans in the quaint corner of the West Village that Lafayette French Bakery is located in, this guy would back down and stop doing stupid shit?

But no, he puts that ridiculous goddam poster in his window and I have to stop and take a picture.

Even though it has nothing to do with me.

Even though I have practice now calming myself and trying to take in the world as I see it.

Even though it’s cold outside and I have places to go.

Sometimes, you just need to feel it and fucking get pissed. To be in your emotions and screw everything else.

And accept that it won’t always make sense.

Today, I woke up on Valentine’s Day, Valentine-less.

Now, I have only had a Valentine who was a person who I was “with” (one time a girl gave my flowers away, another time a girl called another guy up to literally take her home from my apartment) one time in my life.

But for once, I didn’t feel crappy.

I looked at myself in the mirror and could see the outline of my abs, for the first time in memory. I weighed fine despite the orgiastic amount of dark chocolate I had consumed the previous evening. I had recent memories of girls flirting with me or at least looking at me in a different, more considering type of way.

I also just felt happier about my life and where I was in it. I’d let go of (most of) the terrible expectations of myself. I had a good community full of friends and something of a loose schedule in which I could fill my life. I also, through Yoga as well as Improv, had learned to feel the change in my body and mind, checking in with myself, becoming more patient, but also allowing myself to have fun.

Even my family problems had more distance than they’d had before as I allowed myself to see them from a distance, accept them and know whatever was going on would happen without the violent helplessness I used to toss into the mix.

It was nirvana by no means, but it was something to wake up with on a date-less Valentine’s day.

Until I thought about 10pm and realized I’d probably be date-less at Mustang Sally’s, handing out chocolates to girls at the bar without dates trying to get them home with me (where my 40-ish couch crasher is, which would be a problem, if it ever even got to that, which it wouldn’t).

Or when I sat in the back of a show at the Magnet getting angry at student-performers for not giving a good show, since the fate of the theater depends on them, which is ridiculous, because it’s a make-em-up class-show in a 40-discarded-terrible-movie-seat improv comedy theater.

Or even when I sat in the back of my first ever Advanced Study event at UCB and saw someone who had gotten passed out of a class I hadn’t and was lit anew with the fire of anger at my teacher, I was better than this fuck!, I wanted to scream, you goddam fucking moron!

And there I was. I had passed. My teacher was not a moron, anyway; I learned a lot in his class and he made his decision. Everyone was friendly here. and it was a great time.

But sometimes, even when you get happy with yourself for those changes, those pounds, how less hard you are on yourself, it’s good to just remember that there’s always a lot of fucked-up inside of you to go around.

Or at least inside of me.

I used to be proud of this kind of thing, righteous anger, I’d own in the moment, defend it in the moment after, it still has that force of justice or some sense of a burden lifted or self-validation.

But really, what am I doing?

I told my therapist today (and a girl over the weekend) that the difference between me now and me a year ago is that I’m not in as emotionally compromised a position. When we are centered and something pushes us, we have our normal reaction–happy, sad, angry, whatever–and then we step back and make a rational call, to the best of our sense, as to what our action should be.

i.e: If someone pushes me in a bar, I will probably get scared and angry, but then rationality will set in and I know I don’t want to fight anyone so I will try to apologize and extricate myself from the situation as well as I can.

But, if someone pushes me in that same bar and I am emotionally compromised–maybe angry at my family, sad at my loneliness, afraid for my life–if I have big, unresolved things going on, maybe I’ll push the guy back. Maybe I’ll yell at him. Maybe I’ll cry. I don’t know. The point is my reaction would be immediate and irrational.

There are degrees of this too not just in the physical choices or active choices we make outwardly, but in the inward choices we make for ourselves.

If that guy pushes me in the bar and I’m fine and we apologize to each other and everything’s good then I go on with the rest of my night relatively unfazed, barring shenanigans.

But if I’m not in a good place and that happens, maybe I don’t fight, but maybe I just get really angry, get really sad, maybe I dwell on strong emotions unhealthily.

There was a good article I read on burn victims and virtual reality treatment, which is more effective than morphine. The thought is if you are “in” your pain and can’t escape it, you shine a spotlight on it that makes it more pronounced in your psyche. But if you can focus outwardly or on other things, despite its presence (like even virtual reality), you can learn to manage something backgrounded.

The point that I am trying to make is that I still do tons of stupid things and I also still feel lots of stupid ways, I hold grudges, get angry, give rants. Also being defensive is another way around that, literally, you are trying to ignore someone or something trying to help you because it is too painful to admit your own mistakes or perceived failures.

The only way it seems like for this is acceptance and just noticing everything, bit by bit, as you live your life.

And also being okay with how fucked up I am.

So, I’ll go see people on Valentine’s Day. I’ll probably sit in that bar with those chocolates. I’ll try not to be pissed off at my old teacher, or at least try to remember how pointless it is.

I might even try to forget that stupid racist republican fuck over at Lafayette French Pastry, since he probably can’t even help the way he is, if he’s that far gone.

All of that and try to have fun.

Which I seem to be doing a pretty god job of.

Most days, anyway.

***

This sandwich was good.

I’ve been going to Better Being Underground over in the West Village forever and have plugged it many times here, but it really is close to my heart.

It’s secret, it’s hidden, the sandwiches are really good and they always give me extra pickles.

Other than the Fu Man Chu (a Korean BBQ-chicken Sriracha-Kimchi-wich) and the Whole Wheat St. Luke’s (a big piece of fried chicken with Peppercorn mayo and pickles), I had been looking for a new sandwich to get from there to expand my sandwich-y horizons.

This one comes pretty close to those two all-stars.

I wandered in, as usual. they complimented me on how good I look, as usual. They gave me a ton of pickles, as usual. And I ordered this.

Macerated (Smashed?) Chickpeas, some lemon, dill, mint, garlic, tomato, red onion and Kashekeval cheese on pumperknickel bread.

A bizarre combo.

But an intensely delicious one, kind of like a Mediterranean sandwich explosion, greasy, bound by the dark Rye bread, full of crunch and juice from the pressed tomatoes.

Mix and match it half-and-half with the Fu Man Chew.

That’s what I do.

Blue.

***

BETTER BEING UNDERGROUND

The Kashekval (Chickpeas, Kashkeval Cheese, Tomato, Red Onion, Lemon, Dill, Harissa)- $10 bucks

St. Lukes Pl. bet. 7th Ave South and Hudson Sts in the basement of a brownstone.

1 to Houston St. ACEBDFM to West 4th Sts.

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My Encounter With A 65 Year-Old Man And Other Strange, Sad Stories

January 14, 2012

Like most things, in my life, it started with me looking at my phone.

It was a long day.

Even though I had decided before my trip to France that I would let things crescendo at the holidays before picking up at a more serene pace upon my return, I found myself swept into more and more action upon my return to New York City.

It was good, as my father would have noted to me. I like that, the sweep of activity, finding myself thrown between class and performance and work and friends, finding myself exhausted at the end of the night to wake up early with a purpose.

But I guess it all felt both welcome and sudden and sometimes I just found myself tired.

This was one of those times.

It was 7pm, heading uptown after a twice-a-week midday class. I had to drop off some DVDs in my most despised of neighborhoods: the Upper West Side, a bastion of snotty, self-righteous families and terrible, over-priced food. Needless to say, after a day of already working and a class where (as evident here) I put a lot of attention in to, I was exhausted and ready just to see shows.

Looking back on it, wondering why I was looking at my phone, I would point to the reason I used to give for looking at my phone in classes and inappropriate situations; that is, looking at my phone is a way to separate myself from the present, to detach, to not be there, or to avoid pain.

Such things can be deleterious, but they’re also human. It was late, I was tired, I was carrying my overly-heavy backpack going on a task I didn’t want to do at a time I didn’t want to do it.

So, when I went to cross Amsterdam Avenue looking up only from my phone to see the light had changed. I was surprised when instead of moving out of my way or brushing past, the man who walked near me in the crosswalk decided to push me so hard with his shoulder that what with my big backpack and my lack of attention, I fell on to the asphalt stunned.

A moment. And my brain vanished.

And I pushed myself up and turned around, catching up, to the man who pushed me over who kept on walking. The 65 year-old man in the cap.

“What the fuck is wrong with you man? What the fuck is wrong with you?”

He turned around.

“No. Stop, what the fuck is wrong with you? You pushed me into the crosswalk!”

“I wasn’t the one who wasn’t looking where he was going!” He replied.

“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” I replied, drooling at the mouth, spit flying. “THIS ISNT A FUCKING MORALITY LESSON YOU PUSHED ME INTO THE CROSSWALK, I COULD HAVE FUCKING DIED YOU PIECE–OF SHIT!”

All the time I was waving and gesticulating my bag of DVDs I had to deliver as I raised my arms in anger.

By the time I noticed it, the energy had shifted. People were gathered round. I was just holding myself back thinking how easy it would be to slam Mad Men Seasons 1 and 2 into this old asshole’s face as I saw the fear on it, as I felt my outrage, as I saw the fear of the people around me.

“GET THE FUCK. OUT OF MY FACE.” I said and turned around and walked into the crosswalk to wait for the light, which had decided in its unassuming way, to trap me there for a time.

“This man is obviously sick.” The 65 year-old man said, before probably walking off himself. I didn’t turn back.

As I walked down 79th Street, I delivered my DVDs on the next block.

“Who is this for?” The doorman asked and I replied. “What’s in here?”

“DVDs.” I told him, adding. “They might be a little wet, I just got knocked into the crosswalk over on Amsterdam.”

But he didn’t reply.

Walking down the street, down 79th, then Columbus, adrenaline raged through me and it was difficult to think, thoughts washed over my head, with meaning and intention, the looks on the onlookers’ faces, thinking I was assaulting this man, knowing that I nearly did, that no one helped me out of the crosswalk that, serious, fuck the Upper West Side.

I didn’t know what to do, I paced and walked and didn’t get on the train.

I phoned my parents and was brusque and upset as I can be when I don’t know what to do.

I stopped at Shake Shack and got a Black and White milkshake which was delicious and drank most of it in an act of self-reward and self-destruction, knowing both that I needed it and I would feel bad about it later.

It was delicious though and maybe all that hot fudge calmed me down.

All this past week, I’ve been talking to my friends about grace and how I admire it, the quality I most desire and what I struggle with. I find out I didn’t get into a class that I wanted and how do I find a way to see it as a gift? How do I forgive my family members when I fight with them? How do I live with life, in short?

I’ve been reading Chris Gethard’s book, which I bought on Tuesday, on a whim looking for time to kill between therapy and lunch and started reading it on the train and in Indian restaurants and in down time, quick drinking like soup.

And the book, which is full of anecdotes from Chris’s life (called “A Bad Idea I’m About To Do”) is all about that, the strange stories from Chris’s life of mental illness, dumps and rejections, near-brawls and intense embarrassment, but simultaneously, it’s also about the way that the worst moments in the moments, become stories to share and to learn from, moments of reflection, now or later.

For instance, as Chris described in his story “Nemesis”, syndicated on a past episode of This American Life, an asshole roommate of his who bullied him, stole gifts from his family and turned his other roommates against him in a whole year of college, revealed only much later that he was jealous of Chris because even though he was doing a ridiculous and mediocre college short-form group he had auditioned for 3 times unsuccessfully, he was pursuing comedy and the roommate never had the balls.

“I’ve become better about forgiving people.” Chris says. “Because I realize I don’t really have enemies in my life. I just have people who are somehow more miserable than me.”

All of the things in my life point to this. My trip to Paris, taking everything as a  gift. Realizing I have a wonderful life, full of friends and opportunities, the same one that leads me to be tired and upset some times.

Still I dwell on those moments, the class I didn’t get into, where I felt betrayed by friends or colleagues. Why is it so easy to dwell in self-pity or anger, I wondered, as I went upstairs to write this post.

The only thing I can come to is that self-pity or anger both involve not reckoning with the responsibility to be open and to be changed. They’re passive ways that degrade you more subtly than the “burden” of trying to deal with what is and move on, or better yet, learn and make it empowering.

As I go on today, as I tell that story, feel bad for myself or good, it’s at least something to remember that I can take from Paris, meandering, that the turn you’re forced to take can be a path of great discovery, in life, in improv, in anything. As long as you see it as a gift, or see that enemy, more miserable than you.

I bombed one show last night that “mattered”, had a great show that “didn’t” and felt great after both of them.

Why?

Because my life is silly and strange. Last week, I got heckled at an ASSSSCAT show, played ping-pong with my buddies and some comedy legends and somehow won a Mercedes-Benz bling medallion and then got to watch or do comedy all the rest of the week.

If something bad happens, maybe I’ll feel bad, but what a chance to see my life for what it is.

So fuck you, 65-year-old man.

But also, you know, fuck me. Or life’s good.

Or whatever.

🙂

***

SHAKE SHACK

Black-and-white Milkshake (the best)- $5.44

NE Corner of 77th St and Columbus Av.

1 to 79th St, BC to 81st-Natural History Museum


On The Chopping Block

October 19, 2011

I found this outside my house the other night and just felt like climbing it.

A stacked pile of sheet-metal, probably once covering the road repair work taking place on perpendicular Prince St, built-up into what would have made a really awesome ramp for some skateboarding (longboarding?) kids in an attempt to jump both a motor-scooter and a car, or maybe just a good excuse to skateboard on top of some cars.

I just walked up it and jumped off in a nice display of something to do on a walk home.

If Matt Chao had been around, he would have referred to it as a display of “ninja-ing”.

But it was just me, so it was just walking up some shit.

Did I say I was feeling happy with my life?

I guess I have some excuses.

Nice things have been happening for me.

A funny sketch (more on this later) that a friend  from my improv team, Charles Rogers, directed went up and I was pretty proud of my performance and how it turned out.

I got put on a mini-sort of sketch team at the Magnet Theater which is actually kind of a big deal to me.

The Magnet Theater is a place I respect that has become sort of a home base for me, a place I go when I’m depressed or have nothing todo, or just to sit or use the bathroom. The little mini-sort-of team I got on is one of the first times I’ve been recognized as somebody sort of “cool” there (other than the generally supportive atmosphere) and it means that I get to put up sketches, I get to write them, have a deadline. The other people on my team are really talented performers most of whom I know and respect. It seems daunting but was fun and Armando Diaz, my teacher, is there directing everything and my sketches I was trying to kill before reading, even got some laughs.

Of course, I can’t feel good about myself without killing it for me and, the way I see it, unlike the other guys who were all invited because they were funny, I kind of emailed Armando on a tip from my friend Teddy (who had been on a team before) and just said kind of :

“Hey need anyone to write sketches? Because, uh, I’ve done that before. Yup.”

And I’m guessing the thought process was something like:

“Sure, I guess. Why not just invite him to this thing I invited everyone else to?”

But it felt good to sit in that room, to know I was on my first sketch team, that somehow I snuck in to this weird pseudo-thing.

I felt back to the place in my life where I was doing things and gaining pleasure from that.

It was nice to feel.

But then again, my romantic life continues to go nowhere.

I tried throwing myself back into online dating, OKCupid or whatever, but it just seems too weird to me still, too much of an emotional commitment. My therapist put it that I lacked the “emotional stamina” for it and that seems about right.

I asked a girl out the other night and she took about 3 minutes before saying no and somehow that period of contemplation still rests on me, somehow seeing that someone actually took the time to think about it before coming to the decision that this (read: me) was probably a bad idea.

I’m seeing my dermatologist tomorrow and I’m going to tell him that I want acutane, the strange, synthetic form of Vitamin A that apparently cures acne forever though there unsure why.

Part of the reason is easy, I’m cursed with acne on my back and shoulders, making it hard to sit in a chair sometimes (you wonder why I don’t get dates) and occasionally I get those big gross pimples (“cystic acne”) on my face and neck and they don’t go away and can’t be easily squeezed as I used to my teenage-brand.

But the other part seems more self-destructive or self-illuminating (self-clarifying?).

Now that I’ve lost a bunch of weight, now that I feel again like I’m doing something with my life, performing and learning (as opposed to just learning), I’ve got a job (still, for now) and a witty disposition, I guess I want to strip away all those venal things that could turn away people until I just get a solid judgement for me.

The acne on my back is invisible (except when I talk about on these blog pages) to everyday people, but the acne on my face sucks. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a real jawline, to be able to shave? Wouldn’t I look nice?

I want to reach that point again where I can look in the mirror and find myself attractive without too many qualifiers, where I can find and appreciate the distance between my perception of myself and how others perceive me. It’s an informational tool, but also some sort of self-destructive request.

That is, I just want to see someone look at me and reject me for all the progress I’ve made. Or accept me.

A reminder: Of course all of this is silly. As I’ve said before, my mantra is there is “No Honor, No Shame” in attraction. Some people like to fuck in Elmo suits. Some people like super-models. Some people have elderly fetishes or role-play. Attraction is a relative thing and you feeling attraction or receiving attraction (or the inverse) has neither honor nor shame to it.

But just as I’ve said before, when you choose to change your appearance, you lose the strength and happiness that comes with not giving a shit and it cannot be regained.

As my friends Jon Bander and Matt B. Weir and I discussed as I distracted them from writing for their new show (“What To Get”), it’s just like learning about movies:

A child or an uneducated adult appreciates a film as an act of magic, feats which they cannot possibly reproduce given unto them.

Someone however who learns about narrative or filmmaking or even just reads a lot, soon loses that magic as they see the craft, the seams, the tricks being played on them, the audience. They can never again experience that same ignorant or innocent magic of filmmaking. But they can see a movie they love and get close, they can see something that takes them away.

An adult’s appreciation vs. a child’s.

I want to get to that place where I can respect myself again. Where I can see myself and think I’m attractive, that there’s nothing wrong with me. That what I have is acceptable.

It’s a difficult place to find or to be.

My doctor’s appointment is tomorrow.

***

So as I said earlier, more on the funny sketch later: My dad didn’t find it funny.

“That was really intense.” My dad said on the phone about my performance. “But it wasn’t supposed to be funny, right?”

“Ok, Dad, I’ll talk to you later.” I replied.

“Why?” He asked. “Wait was it supposed to be funny?”

“It’s fine, talk to to you later Dad.” I replied.

I hung up and then again he called me and eventually I just did have to flat out explain to him that yes, it was supposed to be funny and that no, he did not find it funny, and that it’s okay, it doesn’t make me feel great, but that I’d rather not talk about it or go through the inevitable series of reconsiderations or “Well…” statements that accompany parental recriminations.

Of course this later came in the form of my mother calling me and saying:

“Nick, I just wanted to call to let you know, I saw that video of you and it was REALLY FUNNY. Catch that? I thought it was REALLY FUNNY. I just wanted to make sure you understood that.

“Yes, Mom.” I replied. “I’m actually about to go to class.”

And the point was taken.

Later on that night, I did pretty well in a potentially stressful return to UCB classes, a place where I have a problem feeling judged and saw a fun show with my old teacher (the wonderful Cheslea Clarke) and my new teacher (Brandon Gardner, who seems like a pretty nice guy), where my friend Jeff got to get up and play somehow with Ben Schwartz and Neil Casey, both a pleasure, and I had to stand outside explaining to people I knew from high school the etiquette of OKCupid in front of (but not to) my old high school crush.

“Look, the way it works,” I explained. “Is that you can’t just go and tell someone that you’re not interested that you want to be friends with them. If they just put themselves out there and had that expectation and you rejected them, fine no problem, but to say oh let’s hang out, is to say ‘I’m so awesome that even though I just rejected you and you are probably crushed you want to hang out with me despite that.”

That last part the crowd’s talk just seemed to part so my old crush from high school could hear.

But that’s good, fuck her.

I mean I’m sure she’s a nice person so I’m sorry, world, but really, I’m sick of people acting emotionally oblivious in dating situations.

Just not feeling it any more.

Yeah.

***

Sometimes, I just want to do something nice for myself.

There are those days, you know?

I was up early, I trapsed all the way to NYU, hadn’t eaten in over 12 hours in preparation for a fasted blood test, was wandering the streets woozy having only eaten a post-blood test banana I had been carrying around for an hour.

And I saw Les Halles right there on Park on my way to the train.

And just decided screw it, I’m going.

I don’t care if everything comes with “frites”.

My one concession to my diet was asking for whole-wheat bread for my sandwich, since it tastes great and that isn’t the fun part anyway.

My waiter somehow found it (despite it not being on the menu) and brought out my simple chicken sandwich, deliciously prepared.

As I sat on that Park Avenue sidewalk, my ‘wich was the envy of businessmen, passersby.

I relished my frites dipping them each individually, crunchilly into the waiting ketchup,

The herb mayo even complimented the sweetness of the whole grain bread.

I polished everything off with gusto.

And damnit.

I still weigh the same.

***

BRASSERIE LES HALLES

Sandwich de poulet, Frites: quatorze euros

À Avenue Parc entre les rue vingt-huit et vingt-neuf (28th et 29th)

Prenez le metro sixième (6) à la rue vingt-huit (28th St)

 

 

 

 

 


I Need A Vacation

September 19, 2011

I found this glove on Gay Street today as I walking in the brisk fall cool of New York City.

Normally, this would be something that would delight me, a morning excursion discovering a surgical glove left somehow inflated on a car-less road on Gay St in the West Village, right near where I grew up.

And I guess I did take some pleasure in it and had to fight the will to tweet it as “Found on Gay St: [picture]”.

But the thing is, that’s my will nowadays, stemming out of my life in improv, out of my blogging and social media connections, out of having to react to people I don’t know telling me on the 12:08 subway “I went to Pop Burger today because of you” and other people not giving a damn.

There’s a sense in my mind I have to have a reaction to everything, a line, an explanation. I’m playing scenes, writing things in my real life, something I used to think was real cool, but now I can identify the problem with:

I have too much to deal with.

This might seem strange now coming from where I am in my life. Unlike previous points where I was super-depressed about my failure to live up to director-ly dreams, to times where I had that angst about meeting people and having a community after college, to the many, many times I felt anxious about my lady-situation…

Well, I am better with most of those things right now, or at least more calm.

But that need to react to have something right away, it stops me from being able to filter what I can deal with in my life from what I can’t.

In the past few months I’ve over-committed to classes, to trying to find someone, to projects that my friends and others have asked me to, because I feel that pressure to react right away, to say yes, to make something, to seize the opportunity, I’m 24, come on, let’s go.

But on Saturday morning after waking up after doing two improv shows, with a two hour rehearsal before and work before that, with trying to arrange dates–

I woke up and wasn’t awake.

I drank coffee, I ate breakfast, but I just couldn’t wake up.

And in was in this moment, this bleary Saturday where I went to do even more improv practice and more socializing, that I realized I was just doing things for the sake of doing things. And I didn’t know what I wanted. And I just wanted to get out of here.

My parents had been urging me to go on a vacation.

I called up my boss, whom I actually admire, and asked him where he went when he was 24 and needed a break. What life was for him then, what was necessary.

“Well if there’s someplace you want to visit.” He asked.

“There’s no place, I’m just 24.” I repeated.

“Ah yes.” He replied. “Twenty-four” with that emphasis.

And he had stories about Paris and about other places but Paris stuck and I just felt without a plan, I should go. Who knew?

It just seemed like something a vaguely-writery 24 year-old who didn’t know what he was doing would do, someplace he would go.

I would buy Chester Brown graphic novels and read them in French cafes. I would walk around Paris with my solar bag and feel super-cool.

I would eat Pain Au Chocolat and drink espresso. I would get a list of places from people I knew on where to visit. I would stay in some hostel.

Upon communicating this to them, my parents, who had been searching for what I had stated I had needed from them: some purpose for a vacation, booked me a flight for the dates that overlapped with my boss’s vacation and I was given some reviews of hostels.

I had had the idea at 1 and by 5 my journey was set and I was writing lists of things to do on my iPhone and wondering if those cassette tapes still existed people listened to at night to learn French while sleeping.

I wondered how much my terrible high school French could get me by.

I went to a nearby American Apparel and tried on medium-sized turtle necks and slight vees only to find out that while I could fit into a medium it just hugged the gut that was still there.

But the large was too large which was nice.

So much for hipster vindication.

A week ago, I didn’t want a vacation. There was so much to do, so many classes, events, people to meet, life to be had.

Today, I feel like counting the days, I can’t wait as people pitch me ideas and ask for pitches, as I slowly reach my threshold for improv, as I stare back at the ground at New York City and feel less excited by a wonderful discovery, less able to feel and appreciate, less aware of the dynamic.

“The first sign of madness,” My boss told me. “Is when you don’t leave the city for a few months. The second sign is when you decide it isn’t necessary to.”

In some ways, I feel better as I mentioned.

I have a job I don’t hate. I’m turning in to some kind of a performer. If I’m not happy romantically, I’m putting myself out there (and trying to fit into American Apparel).

But there’s still that need, that lack of hesitation. I’m still not centered in a place that’s right for me.

I saw  “Sweet and Sad” today at the Public Theater, which the amazing Jay O. Sanders, a neighbor and a kind man to me, did a wonderful job in.

In that play, a family tries to deal with love and loss on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. By the end, nothing is resolved.

There was no allegorical truth to the play, or if there was, it wasn’t in focus.

It was more just the way we talk to each other. The way we are. The way we try to deal with big things in our lives and patterns.

It was true to that.

And sad and sweet.

And I felt changed seeing it.

***

I’ve already tweeted about this and I’m not even going to post a picture, but briefly, I’m not “retarded”.

Often in my life I miss social cues and I call out myself (as do others) for particularly being unable to detect sarcasm.

My own blood today posted here taking a comment from one of my blog posts on a different site showing someone who thought I was an inspiration because I seemed to have some spectrum of autism to them.

I don’t have autism or Aspberger’s. I’ve been over this. I have a very nice therapist I meet with weekly. We’ve discussed this. I think she would probably goddam tell me if she thought this was the case.

In fact, my ex and I bonded in a bar the night we met over the fact that people had accused us of having Aspberger’s and then ended up being a long fruitful relationship, so I guess there’s that.

But last week I was going to post a non-malicious blog post and I got in a fight with my father about it where he said “I thought you had tact” and it just pushed that button of thinking I didn’t have these instincts, that there was something wrong with me that not even I know. I was angry for days.

It’s a scary, twilight zone-y type thing.

The only thing I can really say on the subject is that I am who I am.

And really, fuck you people who call me that.

Thanks.

***

To be honest, I was biased against this sandwich.

I had eaten a delicious 10:20am Brunch with my pops over at The Dutch, which I somehow convinced him to do despite not wanting to eat anything, full of Fried Chicken and vinegary-cole slaw. It was yummy and a frickin’ abbondanza of food.

It was around 1:20 and I probably wasn’t due to eat until later.

But there were plans. There was a play to see. Maybe there wasn’t time.

So I went to ‘wichcraft.

As a rule, I don’t give a damn about Tom however-you-spell-his-name, hadn’t gone to any of his places and had gotten a chickpea sandwich there in my college days that had made me nauseous.

So I don’t know why I went for a sandwich there at all and particularly not Chicken Salad, which I usually abhor as being some mayonaise-y three-day old mush you’d see at a deli under plastic wrap.

But they said roasted tomatoes and multigrain bread. And pickled onions. And all that was good for me.

And I had just eaten a honey-butter biscuit (bad dieter).

So I tried it.

It was yummy.

Light mayonaise, the sweetness and texture of the multi-grain bread, tomatoes and juicy red pickled onions providing some flavory and crunch. Endive for even more texture.

Low on calories, high on flavor.

It filled me up and I didn’t feel bad eating it.

And so look at me now I sound like a diet infomercial.

I’ve become what I hate.

I need a vacation.

Oh wait.

***

WICHCRAFT

Free Range Chicken Salad w/Roasted Tomatoes, Pickled Red Onions and Frisee on Multigrain- $10.50 (tax inclusive)

8th St bet Mercer and Broadway. (multiple locations)

NR to Prince St. 6 to Astor Pl.

8th St near University Place


Dating

September 3, 2011

A lot of annoying things happened to me this week, but the worst was done by someone who didn’t even mean it. Who meant well. I’m sure of that.

Then again, when people make me feel bad, I’m sure they don’t usually mean it. I wrote a tweet coming home drunkenly on Thursday saying “In real life, people can be cruel but they’re rarely mean”.

I then proceeded to vomit up a bunch of red wine, try to shower the puke out of my nose, played another half an hour of video games and went to sleep.

But the point wasn’t lost on me; Not since middle or high school to people just come over and push you or call you a faggot or something like that. People aren’t mean often, in ways that are transparently so, save for a crazy person or an angered pedestrian/driver.

No, more often the people are cruel in doing actions that might seem normal, but that hit the emotional crux of what someone is feeling in a way the person enacting the cruelty doesn’t necessarily know or empathize with.

Being mean is just saying or doing something obvious to effect your feelings on to someone else. Being cruel is making that person hurt while they believe they might deserve it.

This “worst thing” was real bad in that way, in that it seemed so obviously to come from a place of concern.

A fellow improviser had sent me an email telling me that “from reading your blog and your tweets it seems like you’re fixated on the idea of having a girlfriend”. They made it very clear that they didn’t presume to have the knowledge to help me as such, but here was their friend’s blog complete with “dating tips for nerds”, a self-help style odyssey in eight parts. This person now writes for “OverthinkingIt.com”, they told me.

The subject article was “Thought you might want to read this”.

I should specify that on this day, Thursday, I had already gone on a first date with a nice-enough girl, made plans for second date and then had her email me telling me:

a. “I am not available on Saturday, I told a friend I was around that day so she takes priority.”

and

b. “I didn’t feel that spark when I was with you so I’m not interested in continuing things romantically. I am sorry I didn’t express that when I was with you.”

As I walked along that Thursday, everything seemed to pile up on top of each other.

The date seeming good, having to reevaluate as bad. The curt email. The unconnected/connected email suggestion that I needed “dating tips”.

The fact that was the third girl in two months to tell me she wasn’t “interested romantically” in me.

By the end of the day, I was calling my father angry about my job somehow, for some minor shit, enough that he had talk me down and I had to admit that I had had a bad date.

I went to drown my sorrows on Thursday in improv. I went to the Magnet and sat there and watched show after show. Sebastian Conelli, an improv friend from Staten Island, showed up there, with two even more Staten Island-y looking people in tow. Andrew Parrish showed up and caught a show.

I was wrestling with whether or not to drink, but decided on the red wine, not to break my diet and drank about four glasses over 4 hours, enough to make me sleepy and a little more ready to laugh.

The vomiting was unexpected when I got home (probably a result of my relative abstinence and diet), as well as the tweeting, though I guess it shouldn’t be.

When you set your conscious mind at avoiding something, your unconscious, just like a good improv partner, goes straight for, attacking it.

Because as I walked home that night, as I got off the phone with my dad earlier, as I thought about in the spaces between shows, between drinks, or just zoning out into my mind as thoughts took over, I just kept wondering: what’s wrong with me?

That’s that picture, that thought going through my head as I used the Photo Booth feature of my computer to take a picture of me looking at other Photo Booth pictures from my computer.

There it was: I’d lost weight, I could see my face narrower. I had a decent job, in a creative field. I was performing in New York City. I was on television in a bunch of big and small ways. I was a sweet guy and odd and self-conscious. I was present and not looking to fuck a bunch of people behind other people’s backs. I was me. I had these good things. What didn’t I see?

The sadness in my eyes, pretty apparent. I took a few pictures before I was able to weed out ones that at least seemed appropriately sad without being weirdly angled. But it was always the same way, smile or no.

When I was walking around on Thursday, I thought I would write this post and it would be angry, a diatribe against women, singling out all the people who made me feel bad that day, all the women who’ve ever made me feel bad or less than who I am. A giant fuck you to these bitches, these dumb cunts who wouldn’t fucking look at me now, preferring someone more forceful, but once they hit 28 or 9, flocking to me looking for that guy who wouldn’t treat them terribly, victims of their own love-hangover. I was their B plan, I thought, that must be it, a thought only confirmed by the married women who come up to me on the street or in front of bars and flatter me and tell me “Women must throw themselves at you, you’re so handsome” because they want that attention from me that they no longer get from whoever the fuck they’re stuck with. They see the sadness in my eyes. They know I’m easy prey.

But having written that and being unexpectedly taken back to that swell of emotion, I know the fallacy of it. That any such “theories” or “dynamics” about women or anyone really, are just ways of rationalize and making sense of the irrational, the many and countless ways that selves can interact and touch. If someone isn’t attracted to me, that’s great and they should own it. And I too.

These things I talk about, that I’m angry about, not only should I not be angry about them, but they don’t exist.

There is no grand overarching theory, there are no rules or “what women want”.

In short, there is no centralized problem with any of this, which means there’s nothing I can fix, no “thing I shouldn’t say”, “shirt I shouldn’t wear”, no “girls are crazy” or any of that.

Which is both freeing and awful, because it means I’m not doing anything wrong.

It’s just life.

No tips necessary.

Which means, conversely, that all those women have their own reasons, their own world, their own individual natures and specific whatever that ends up as it does to me.

That’s cool.

No apology necessary either.

When I said that the “dating tips” email that I got on Thursday was the worst thing that happened to me that day, it was because it made me think that it must so obvious to people that there’s something wrong with me. That I’m damaged, or crazy, or out of control.

But the truth is like my friend Andrew Parrish told me over GChat the other day, when I asked him how he was coping in the wake of his recent breakup.

“I’m feeling okay.” He said.

“I feel like shit.” I told him. “What’s your secret?”

“Nothing.” He said. “Just don’t feel like that isn’t normal. Because whatever you’re feeling is normal for you.”

***

So how do you get over a day like Thursday, going everywhere bad from bad dates, to unintentional belittling, to throwing up a bunch of red wine and some leaf-like things I didn’t know were in me?

I don’t fucking know, but I feel a bit better.

Sure-fire non-lame-o Matt Chao sent me a text and we got breakfast at the Sullivan Bistro, a Goat Cheese and Spinach Omelette with Wheat toast and Home Fries I ate maybe 5 of, if I’m being honest with myself.

I had a nice iced coffee with milk and splenda.

I did some improv and fooled around with some friends.

And a bunch of us hung out after and ate some food.

And I got good lunch too with Matt, from Pepolino, the place my boss had wanted me to try last week, but I had ditched in favor of a hotel Mexican restaurant (Sorry, Jason).

It was a little pricey for me, and a little cheat-y in terms of my diet (Pollo Milanese is breaded, after all), but it was a nice big meal, on a nice fall day.

Fall, my favorite season, had come to New York City, as we sat outside, in the sidewalk cafe.

And there I was, caffeinated and sleepy.

Sitting across from a great friend, hearing his dating problems and references to web comics and Nathan Fillion from “Serenity”.

And for that meal and for the day that came after it.

Things returned, as they do, to being right with the world.

Thanks guys.

-Nick

And P.S.- Don’t take that lady stuff so seriously. I don’t actually think you’re all cunts.

Alright, just saying.

Thanks.

***

SULLIVAN BISTRO

Goat Cheese and Spinach Omelette w/Home Fries and Toast- $10

Sullivan St. bet Houston and Prince Sts.

1 to Houston St. ACEBDFM to West 4th St.

PEPOLINO

Milanese di Pollo w/Marinated Leeks and Wild Rucola- $17

West Broadway bet. 6th Ave and Canal St.

ACE to Canal St. 1 to Canal St.

 


Marathon

August 13, 2011

I was going to start this post differently, but instead I’ll start by pointing out that I have one guy I know who writes a blog about going on a hundred dates with beautiful women who are all attracted to him and a girl I know who writes a blog about why do all men suck and I don’t have a boyfriend, etc.

Part of me feels like the two should just fuck and get it over with (or their blogs should fuck at least) and part of me just feels like it’s 1:45 in the morning and I’m just making connections that don’t bear relation to the world.

That said, welcome to the blog somewhere in between those two, in which I am a young man (guy) who goes on not so many dates and less wonders why he doesn’t have a mate than spends an awful lot of time bemoaning how ramblingly pathetic he may be.

Attractive, I know.

But you’re here reading.

So there.

Point for me.

Why I’m up this late is the 13th Annual Del Close Marathon (and my first), in which I volunteered to stand around and see shows as a festival volunteer, in order to get a pass to see more shows, not as a volunteer.

Oh yeah, I also get admitted to the party space where I can drink “free beer and alcoholic punch” all weekend, which is actually a pretty damn good perk, a near–infinite open-bar, except oh yeah, I’m on a diet and I can drink neither beer nor “alcoholic punch”/ In fact, up till yesterday, I couldn’t drink anything at all.

Which is to say, I graduated the first phase of my low-carb diet on Wednesday, having shed 11 pounds and made it to the second stage, which is to last a couple months, until I reach my target weight, the big two-oh-oh.

But having graduated to that second stage, I find myself saddened by how much it resembles the first. I can’t even eat a whole grain sandwich, but merely one slice of whole grain bread until several weeks in. I can’t drink but for red wine in moderation. Shit, I can’t even find anyone to drink with.

I stood in the back of the UCB Theatre for around 8 hours watching show after show, stone-dead-sober as bad improv piled up in my sinuses like pollen, needing to be cleansed by air and space, by lack of exposure to more improv, but I was there watching and watching. After all, even if it rains of a spring day, you still have your allergies. The only thing that keeps them out is some time inside with the air conditioning or some medicine, which booze-wise was not available.

I had had a conversation with my friend Jon Bander the other day and later with the vet-funny-man Kevin Cragg about the same thing: Improvised comedy works on the subversion of tension and expectations that comes from you, the viewer, thinking that the people you are seeing cannot succeed in making you laugh, since they are making things up on the spot. But as you learn the craft of improv and see more and more professionals, doesn’t that tension change or slacken? Don’t improv comedians become just like stand-up comedians: people who you have an expectation of to make you laugh? Does improv, in a sense, stop working after a while?

Bander gave a conditional yes to this point of view, explaining his own estrangement from seeing shows, from being there, from his younger days of waiting 4 hours in that Sunday-night line in front of the UCB. He was burnt in a way and it took more to get him there, like a writer, or an addict. Kevin on the other hand, another improviser I admire, and a man of his own subversive funniness, compared it to the adult appreciation of filmmaking one gets through studying film, where some things fall away, but:

“You still love the things you really love, don’t you?” He asked me. “That’s how it is.”

I said good night to Kevin in the awkward way I say good night to people who I think are obviously cooler than me and I said good night to Bander, that same way, when he told me couldn’t see any shows.

The next night there I was seeing show after show, burning out, until I saw “Horatio Sanz and the Kings of Improv” at the end of the night, optionally. It was fun and funny and unforced, in a well-lit non-basement, for a change. I talked with people who I knew who I hadn’t had a good conversation with before. A friend, Ritch, saved me a seat and a place in line for an hour. A friend, Mishu, gave me his extra ticket. A friend, TJ, told me how he thought I “got it” in a class I’d been struggling hard with. I felt good.

With this diet I’m doing, I’ve had a lot of feelings. My grandmother sent me an email tonight (something that happens now) saying that “you have set quite a goal for yourself” and te more I wonder about that, the more I believe it to be true.

I’ve strung together classes, improv and sketch, packing my schedule, attempting project after project, jobs and side-jobs. I’ve started performing in theaters and organizing groups. I even had someone I don’t know well, but respect as a performer, tell me I was “FANTASTIC” in caps like that in a show she saw me in. And I squeeze my belly and worry about food and wonder if I’ll wake up with all the weight back, all my effort in vain.

If all of this sounds like some sort of crazy metaphor or symbolism, maybe it is. Maybe it means I’m trying too hard, even as I always feel I’m not trying hard enough. I look at my friend Zac Amico who has an open mic he hosts on Tuesdays at CB’s now, who sells tickets at night, goes to open mics on his off time and interns a thankless job at Troma during the day and I wonder why I’m not doing as much. I wonder what my efforts add up to. I find excuses not to like myself.

And so I fill the time I would come to those realizations with things to do, with trying, so I don’t have to think about trying harder or why I’m trying harder or anything at all. I can think about rules, like improv, or a diet.

But the thing is, with both of those things, it isn’t about the rules. It’s just about being present and making better choices.

And knowing when to shut up and go home.

I started off this blog post, somewhat irrelevantly talking about the guy with his date-blog and the girl with her date-blog and how they should just fuck (or their blogs at least) and let the world get over it.

But the truth is (for whatever it means to say “but the truth is”) is that I wish I had that point of view. That certainty.

Because right now, what I have is not drinking in a room full of people.

And wondering what my life is about.

***

A quick addendum.

This used to be the playground attached to McDonalds I’d go to as a kid.

It was ugly and in fact it was part-owned by the city, though somewhat maintained by McDonalds.

I also remember it as some sort of hang out for druggies if I recall (my sister not withstanding).

It was torn down, bulldozers rest there and I’m not sure what it’s going to be.

I’ve become a more self-conscious person through all this everything.

And I don’t go to that McDonalds anymore.

Though I wish I could revisit that park.

Instead of looking at an empty lot, as I walk home, down 6th Avenue.

Just a thought, I guess.

***

I was invited by a comment on my blog to try this place and it was somewhat of a fiasco.

The woman asked if I could come there and that I should tell her when and I emailed back to her comment saying I’d be there in 20-25 minutes.

She wasn’t there in time (forgiveable) but I tried to go in there, on a slow morning, and order a Chicken Shawarma platter with no rice, only to be informed I could not do that, I had to order a salad and get the chicken on top of that.

I didn’t know why this had to happen, but I accepted it and grabbed the only salad I could eat on my diet and saw it topped with chicken, only to be charged extra when I asked for tzatziki.

“But tzatziki comes with the platter.” I told the kid behind the counter.

“Yeah but you got the salad.” He said.

Jesus Christ. You should just be able to get fucking tzatziki as a condiment at a greek fast food place.

Also, I wanted to bust out “Listen kid, I’m a food critic who was sent to review this place now give me the fucking tzatziki.”

But I said “You know what? I’m not going to argue.” and paid and ate some of the salad.

It was huge and good and I couldn’t nearly finish half, burgeoning with shawarma and “greek cheese” and shredded red onion and leafy greens.

I brought the other half down for my mom and she thanked me with email subject line “The salad was great!!!” later that day.

Also later that day I got an email back from the woman who invited me apologizing for not being there and asking how I liked the food.

“It was good.” I told her. “But you should tell your guy not to charge for tzatziki. It was kind of a hassle.”

I got an email back soon after saying:

“Nicholas. Glad you enjoyed the food. You switched from a platter to a a salad though and that’s why your tzatziki was extra.”

And I said to myself: “You know what? I’m not gonna argue.”

And wrote this post.

***

MAMAGYRO

Chicken Shawarma over Chopped Salad- approx 9 bucks.

Lexington Ave bet. 77th and 78th Sts.

6 to 77th St.

 


In Which I Try A Diet

July 27, 2011

This is dessert now.

What a world.

I woke up this morning with a Google Offer in my email box, which is sort of a non-shitty version of what Groupon, ScoutMob and all of those other companies have quickly become.

What it offered me (and what I took) was a chance to spend 10 bucks for 20 bucks worth of brownies at Fat Witch Bakery.

Now, I was still excited for this, but as I hobbled over to redeem my coupon with crutch-bowler Matt Chao, who’s house-sitting my parents’ apartment, it occurred to me, I didn’t even know when I’d ever be able to eat a brownie again.

Maybe I should back up. This is all so much for me. So many changes.

Even as I write this right now, my hypoglycemia is flaring up causing me to feel dizzy and strange, like some sort of sense of primal danger, no doubt caused by the carb-reduction of the diet I’m on, meaning I haven’t had a wheat, rice or corn product in over 24-hours, nothing with sugar added either.

My body must think something strange is going on as I attempt to trick it into digesting all the crap in front of my ribs and stomach. This was not the plan it thinks.

I think that too.

***

I used to tell people that I have a semi-hedonistic philosophy of eating and life, pretty much, too.

Do things that make you feel good, it goes, trying to adjust that directive for things that will eventually make you feel bad.

For instance, it might feel good to eat all of my delicious Alfanoose Chicken Shawarma platter at once, stuffing gob after gob of Chicken, cracked wheat, hummus, hot sauce and pita into my face and belly, but near immediately after, I feel stuffed and awful.

As simple of a realization as this is, it’s one I definitely didn’t realize until at least 18-19.

So, I had been growing in this pattern reaching ever so tentatively toward the future in my “what would make you feel worse” adjustments.

I realized my own latent lactose-intolerance and cut down on my dairy intake. I started eating smaller meals in shifts or phases in stead of eating one dinner, splitting up into multiples.

Always, I’d err on the side of that semi-hedonism if it teetered. Better to try the dessert or someone else’s food, or the new cart or shop on the block you were exploring, better to gain that knowledge and have the potential for discovery or transcendent experience.

Obviously, this is also a lot more difficult when applied to life and relationships and all the rest. The future of a job choice or classes or move is much less fixed than knowing how you’re going to feel when you eat something.

But the philosophy is the same: go with your instincts, do what seems fun, but also consider what might not be over time, as a ratio.

(I’m fond of ratios.)

So what could change this philosophy? What could cause me to seek some change, or a diet? As many have noted who know me well, a diet seems particularly ill fitting for someone who is frequently labelled a “foodie”.

The prompt was as epic as the world, a universal theme shared around countries and nations, repeated clandestinely from caves to huts to tall buildings, over the long arc of human history. Among all things that divide us, what drove me was something elemental, striking and true:

I had a bad date.

***

Actually, the dates themselves were pretty good.

We talked for a few hours. We made plans after the first date. We both were excited. We laughed at some funny shows. We even did some kissy stuff (that last part makes me feel pretty cool).

But at this Live WTF with Marc Maron taping, that I attended four beers deep after running through Alphabet City and Park Slope, out of breath, annoyed at the subway and somewhere in the back of my mind wondering if my ex was going to be there, I got a text message saying that “we should just be friends”.

I had many feelings about this text message. On one level, I was relieved and thankful. I wrote a gooddam article about this stuff, clarity and all that. This was an ending, I didn’t have to worry about what she felt about me, what I felt about her. I didn’t have to decode our last date, looking for clues. It was clear and it was over. And if she’s not attracted to me, it’s much better that I know than her trying to awkwardly work it out herself the next time we meet.

On another level, fuck her.

We met on an online dating site, she’s saying to me that’s she’s not into me, but she wants me to be her “friend”? How shitty and emasculating is that? No one being honest with themselves joins an online dating service to make friends, they join it to find someone, to get fucked, or to send naked pictures of themselves to strangers and everything in between.

The thought that you’re asking me to be your “friend” reveals an amazing assumption that I frequently see when talking to women, namely, that the same person who finds that yin/yang of mind/body in you appealing enough to make an asshole out of themselves pursuing, would just be cool helping you move things or taking care of your cat.

It’s an assumption of astonishing vanity to assume that someone who seeks you out on a dating website is also in the market not to be dating you.

It was in this state, receiving my first “let’s just be friends” since the age of 17, at a show run by Marc Maron, a man who open antagonizes happiness and constantly brings up his weight, that I decided, much like I did when I started dressing better and taking care of myself 4 years ago (after much-worse lady issues), to turn to the funny friend beside me who’d invited me to the show, show him the text message and ask him for more advice on how he lost 120 pounds.

I just needed to lose 20. Just to know that I could look better and possibly have enough dates to not care about this sort of shit.

Also, for anyone at that taping or who hears it later, Seth Meyers was pretty boring.

My opinion.

***

So that’s how I ended up on a carb-restrictive diet, eating “No Sugar Added” Fudgsicles.

I can’t remember the last time I’d had one. It tasted pretty good, though as my “sweet treat” for Phase 1, I am allowed one of them per night.

Huzzah.

When I went in to get my brownies from Fat Witch, including a special PB+J “Google for You-gle” Brownie that came with my coupon, I ended up balancing them to get a bunch of the “baby” brownies thinking that whenever I did get in that next stage of the diet, maybe they’d let me eat the small brownie, since I didn’t know if I’d have the self-control not to eat the big one.

My therapist is of the opinion that I’m not fixated on my ex, which I worry about sometimes, but rather that I’m fixated on the idea of having love in my life.

“Before you had a relationship,” She told me. “You had a hole in your life, but you didn’t know what a relationship could be, so it wasn’t so big. The one you had was loving and full and unexpected. So, it’s only natural that when it leaves, it leaves you with a bigger hole than before, now that you’ve experienced what you can have.”

The whole thing sounds like it could be about butt-sex, but it’s true.

In doing this diet, which on the second (first official) day I have not yet broken, my friend told me to keep my reason in mind for doing it. That that would help me from breaking.

“To feel good.” I told him. “To feel better.”

In the only two days since I’ve started and since I’ve told people about the diet, I have people telling me on all sides it’s not enough, talking to me about lifting weights or bicycling or rock climbing or just cardio. My book recommends 20 minutes walking a day, which I already get, but everyone else tells me more.

When I confronted my friend Bobby about why he offers this advice now he said:

“Well, before your philosophy was not giving a fuck. And I guess there’s some respect for it. But now that you do, well, you should do it right.”

Such arguments seem well-founded but have yet to have had an effect on me. I’m not a superman like my friend Frank, who wears an armlet that tells him that his metabolism has so increased that he burns 4000 calories a day just walking around.  I’m not skinny or immune to food, like some of my friends. I’m not even that down or unhappy about who I was before.

I guess, in a way, that dumb fucking text message at the Marc Maron show brought me back to the biggest fear of my life: the regression into “Loser Nick”, the Nick from high school and middle school, the Nick who hated and protected, who stood no chance of finding love or happiness outside of an occasional weekend in Park Slope, an occasional trip to China Town or, later, a night holed up in Sam Carey’s apartment drinking crappy Rolling Rock and not knowing what to say.

I don’t want to be that person.

I want to know that I can love and be loved in return.

I want to feel good about myself, or feel better.

I felt like something should change.

So I grabbed some Fudgsicles from Gristede’s on my way home from a show.

I packed them into my mostly broken mini-freezer one-by-one.

I took one and had it, last night.

And it was good.

And it was.

***

If you wondering what my last meal for a while as a carb-eating free-man looked like, it looked like this.

It’s from the “Village Pourhouse” truck, which sounded pretty ludicrous to me as a truck did not sell beer should not call itself a “pourhouse”.

But what can I say: I wasn’t full after the Bistro Truck’s free but calorie-light turkey burger giveaway and this was 5 dollars.

What it is, is what you see, a small-ish Buffalo Chicken Slider and what appears to be some beer-battered french-fries, large wedges with a crunchy-ish crust.

For a pretty ridiculously premised food truck, the food was pretty good and befitting the last dance of a pre-diet fix.

My sense is that they should charge 7 dollars for 2 buffalo chicken sliders and fries and then they’d be in business.

Right now, as they themselves admit, they were just taking out the truck to see if it worked.

But for just food that’s bad for ya, but doesn’t taste bad.

Well, you want that sometimes too.

Even if I can’t eat it.

***

FAT WITCH BAKERY

$10-for-$20 Google Offer, including a “PBJ-for-You-gle” Witch- Here’s the link

In Chelsea Market (9th Ave bet 16th and 17th Sts)

ACE to 14th St-8th Ave

***

VILLAGE POURHOUSE TRUCK

Buffalo Chicken Slider w/Beer-Battered Fries- $5

Really no idea for location. I hope I see them again.