Sunday, September 30, 2007

New York I love you but you're not San Francisco

My Friday night sleepover with my dear friend Ricardo was just what I needed to get me out of the nobody-loves-me blues. We drank two bottles of wine, milky white sake, danced in the kitchen, and made pastel drawings.

Yesterday I made myself exhausterhausen bumbling around the Dumbo arts festival with my best school friend Beauty. I love Brooklyn; it reminds me so much of San Francisco, just the neighborhood feel, and all the self-conscious hipsters brown-bagging everywhere.

After being groped at a Polish bar playing Dire Straits and an incredible volume, we went to a birthday gathering at the three-week old Gutter in Williamsburg, a great bar with eight lanes of bowling pleasure. We couldn't get in on a lane, but it was a pretty chill scene, and pretensions were minimal for Williamsburg, from what I understand. Everyone seemed on the short side, and someone allowed me to eat two cupcakes.

This morning, I got an expensive Priority Mail package from my friend Michelle in San Francisco. Inside was this piece of cardboard:

This made me unspeakably sad. They had a party last night at my old apartment, and I would have much rather been there than at Gutter, having five-to-ten-minute conversations with people who I will probably never see again. I wrote a letter to my friend Neal, cried, and felt better.

Friday, September 28, 2007

sex, love affairs, and loneliness

I woke up feeling like crap today and blamed it on going to bed feeling depressed last night, which I blamed on drinking too much Wild Turkey with Boy the previous night. Like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with The Booze, the love side consisting of (a) its legal status and socially accepted nature, and (b) its perfect fix with my oral fixation; and the hate side consisting of (a) its unpredictable nature concerning the morning after, and (b) the gut it seems to be producing.

My Wild Turkey evening produced the hunger hangover effect, where all I wanted to do yesterday was eat starches: cookies, pizza, pasta, apples, potatoes, and bread; and today all I want to do is continue eating. This leads me to believe that it wasn't really the Wild Turkey looking to be absorbed out of my bloodstream, but a deeper hunger that has to do with loneliness, in the physical and emotional senses.

It has now been two months since I've had sex; the last time being in the wee hours of Thursday, July 19, three days before my departure from San Francisco. And also, like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with sex, mostly consisting of (a) I love it when it's with someone I love, and (b) I hate it when when I'm not having it.

Of course, there is a whole spectrum of loves and hates in-between, including thinking I miss it, when I'm actually missing love, and this is what I think I'm missing lately.

In the past year and a half, I pretty much doubled the number of men I've slept with in my life from about 10 to about 20, in a more or less conscious effort to try and habituate myself to thought of being with other men after breaking up with my boyfriend of three years. I'm not a very good one-night-stand-er, but one of my biggest mantras in life is Fake It Till You Make It, and I figured that if I did it enough times, I would not only get over the whole association of love with sex, and be better at enjoying random sexual encounters. Then I would be a truly liberated woman.

Well, that worked and it didn't. Although I feel a lot more comfortable sexually and have learned to enjoy sex with people I don't necessarily care for, I also realized that sex isn't as big a priority for me as I assumed it would be at this time in my life, and I'd rather not have sex at all than go through the hassle of random sex that has a fifty-fifty chance of being good. I guess this shows that I'm not truly sexually liberated, because if I were, I wouldn't think that good sex is something that happens accidentally, it would be something that I would be in control of. But I'm just not, and men have much more control in bed than I do, both physically and mentally. I also hate the condom dynamic, the fact that I always have to ask for it, and more often than not, compliance with this request is accompanied by bitching or whining. I have a hard time standing up for myself in bed, and I have to admit that sometimes I let myself be coerced into having unprotected sex, because I don't like being made to feel like a whore. There's this huge mindfuck that only whores wear condoms, because decent people don't have diseases.

I could go on forever, but basically in moving to New York, I decided to put my easy-breezy days behind me and stop sleeping with people just for the sex. I've decided to earn good sex, and surprisingly it has made my dating efforts much more stress-free. Instead of wondering, "Hm, do I want to sleep with this guy?" I go home at the end of the night, and I don't wake up feeling any sense of regret. It also makes dates more fun for me, because I'm not seeing the whole evening as some kind of pre-sex farce; it's actually an event in and of itself, leading to the nothing else. I like that feeling. It's not a question of where we'll end up...because we're already there.

Today when I came out of my class, I felt a crushing loneliness and wanted nothing more than to be in my old apartment in San Francisco, crashed out on the couch with my roommate, missing the physical comfort of draping my legs over someone, leaning on someone's shoulder, kissing them on the cheek, holding their hand, etc. I missed my Love Affair intensely, and closed my eyes as I walked down 123rd Street, remembering what it was like to lie in bed with our limbs interlocked and my nose nestled in that perfect place against his neck. I missed my ex-boyfriend too, even though we broke up almost two years ago, because he was the last person who loved me.

I am a fucken love junkie. It kills me, but it's true. It kills me because I think about love more than anything. I care about love more than sex. When I'm dating someone, I care about my boyfriend more than my friends, even though my friends always outlast my boyfriends. I will do things for my boyfriends that I won't do for myself (like quit smoking). I spend more time thinking about past, potential, and imaginary love than I do engaged in my $36,000/year master's program. And it's not an exciting, passion-filled obsession. It's a boring obsession that means nothing to anyone except for me.

I mean, I just moved to The Greatest City in The World to attend a world-class school, and all I want to do is find my next great love affair. I try to fill my life with intellectual pursuits, literature, music, and my social life, but all I really want is to fall in love. And this state of affairs makes me feel extremely lonely and deeply misguided.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Best Dive Bar in Manhattan

I think it's funny what constitutes a "dive bar" in Manhattan. For me a dive has to be small and "cozy" to the point that it's impossible to negotiate without touching someone else if there are more than 10 people in the bar. It also has to be dark and kept up like to about 80 percent of its operating standards. I like to see duct tape on the seat, sneeze spray on the jukebox, etc. The bathroom either has to be way too bright, and slightly rank, or even darker than the bar, not in an attempt to hide its griminess, because dive bars don't make a concerted effort to do anything to maintain their appearances. If they do, they are a faux-dive hipster hangout, and although this is a valid class of bar as well, it's not dive city.

Billymark's West in Chelsea has all sorts of proclamations of being the "best dive bar in Manhattan." It is not a dive, though, according to my standards. It is way too large; the service (brother Mark of Billy and Mark was behind the bar last night) was way too friendly; the bathrooms smelled strongly of bleach, and it was very clean. While it's true that a crackhead tried to hassle Boy for a minute and ended up swiping some tips off the bar before Mark asked her to leave, the bar scene was jovial and well kept, and the jukebox made me happy by playing Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, and some late-era Beatles.

Boy and I sat at the bar for four hours and ran up a $65 bar tab. I still can't get over how expensive it is to drink in this city. I am used to getting smashed with $20 off well tequila at Amber in San Francisco. Of course, that is not counting the drinks the bartenders and my friends would bring to me. I probably didn't get trashy off $20 as easily as I'm remembering.

I wanted something sweet but my only girly drink is a sidecar, which I shamelessly ordered and couldn't back up. So I drank Wild Turkey instead. Mark told me about the time growing up he stole a fifth of Wild Turkey from his father's liquor cabinet, and when his father noticed it missing, he showed up in his room with two glasses and a bottle of Wild Turkey and said, "So you like Wild Turkey so much?" And proceeded to make him drink the whole bottle with him. I've also heard this parenting technique when it comes to stolen cigarettes. Apparently it's quite effective.

I felt compelled to tell my own wild turkey story, which brings me and my ex-boyfriend to a field in Napa Valley, where we were walking around taking photos in the beautiful light. Wes was impressing me with his wilderness knowledge and pointing out the various rabbit and deer tracks visible in the mud when we came across some really large, deep, three-pronged tracks. He half squatted down to take a closer look at them, and was wondering aloud, "What the hell kind of...giant...bird?...could have made these?" And suddenly a loud, gobbling, herd of wild turkeys swarmed past us. Yes, a herd. If birds are running on the ground, they lose their flocking rights.

We then went to the Cheyenne Diner on 9th and 33rd and had huge goblets of red wine ($4.50) and pretty decent (but not at all spicy) buffalo wings. Poor Boy must have been trashed by this point. He'd already stopped trying to keep pace with me at the bar, but decided to get in on the cheap diner wine. As if we weren't being honest enough (we'd spent a cliched hour talking about anxiety, depression, and the pharmacists...I mean psychiatrists who love them), we decided to start talk about our first impressions of each other and how he thought I was crazy/intimidating and I thought he was uncomfortable.

I even told him that I was not planning on keeping up with my CL dating binge while seeing him, because although it was my right, I didn't think he would be comfortable with it, and I didn't want to make him uncomfortable or have to lie about it. It felt a little strange to say this, because it's my prerogative to date whomever I want, and I certainly don't owe anything to Boy. I guess it was my drunk-yet-careful way of telling him, "Look, I like you."

Monday, September 24, 2007

insomnia overkill

Last night was the worst insomnia I've had in months. I was still awake at 6 a.m. when my neighbor's boyfriend left her place. It was a good thing my first class was at 11 instead of 9, because I was able to get in about 2 hours of patchy sleep before getting to campus.

I had to show my ID at the campus gates because the President of Iran was speaking there today. We could hear the uproar from our classroom; all the windows were open in honor of the beautiful weather, and it made me pissy at the school that we were sitting in the classroom talking about pretty straightforward process outlines of urban planning instead of what was going on outside, with its contentious nature and high relevance to life.

I decided that if I took a nap, I would probably fuck up my sleep clock for the rest of my life, and am desperately trying to stay awake until 11 p.m. But I also can't afford to not sleep for two nights in a row, so I made myself a revised insomnia dinner, consisting of two baked turkey wings (fat/bone:meat ratio 9:1), a salad with tomatoes and feta (instead of the recommended baked potato with a shit ton of cheese), and a giant chunk of cheap, yellow gouda. Then I drank a bunch of red wine and smoked while looking for a good dive bar at which to meet Boy this Wednesday (tee hee!). Since we pretty much live in different states--he's on the Lower East Side and I'm in Washington Heights--the middle ground is the greater part of Manhattan.

Tonight Neighbor's boyfriend knocked on the door and, thinking it was Neighbor, I hollered at her to come in and instead I had a semi-awkward conversation with her boyfriend while sitting in front of my laptop, smoking in my underwear. Yes, I would rather pretend that it's normal to conversate in my skivvies than to leap up at the sight of him to scramble for a cover-up. I'm still on the fence as to how I feel about this guy, and I don't want to give him the satisfaction of embarrassing me, so I just chose not to be embarrassed.

Of course, something similar happened last year when I was just visiting and staying with them on the futon. Instead of hobbling into the bathroom (I was on crutches) to change into my pajamas, I just fumbled around on the futon, and of course he emerged from the bedroom at that moment to say goodnight. I think that moment might have had something to do with why he popped the threesome idea on her later, so I hope the same thing doesn't transpire tonight. I've already said no to one guy this week, and I don't like doling it out any more than I like receiving it.

Maybe I should start wearing more clothing at home. But...ugggh....that's one of THREE perks of living alone, the other two being that I can smoke indoors and that toilet paper seems to last forever.

she loves me

I have this on-again, off-again relationship with insomnia, which apparently leads to hyper-blogging. The good news is that if it's not too late, I can call California.

While looking for more insomnia information tonight, I came across a website called that had an insomnia support group with 918 members. I can just imagine 918 people online typing "can't sleep, you?" "no, me neither." It's actually probably a pretty lively chat room, if in fact there is one. I didn't bother to check.

A few years ago, I quit smoking and joined QuitNet, which was a lot like that. It sent you daily affirmations and gave you a count of how much money you'd saved and how many hours you'd added onto your life. I logged into the chatrooms when I was fiending and they were pretty rowdy. 'Course then I picked up smoking again, though I still occasionally get "quit anniversary" emails from them, reminding me that if I had just stuck with it, I would now have been smoke-free for a few years now.

Anyhow, on daily strength, they've got probably several hundred online support groups. The biggest community I saw was for Depression, with 11,146 members. Next was Breakups and Divorce, with 6,739 members. A lot of obscure diseases only had 1 member (isn't that just a big fuck-you to someone who already feels estranged). Bedwetting had 60 members (that probably isn't a big bonding point, I'm betting that a Shame community would have the same amount).

Fructose Intolerance had 9 members.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

He called me!

I thought Boy would wait a few days before calling me, like he did last time, but he called to make sure I got home okay last night and to make plans for this Wednesday night before he goes out of town.

I like that.

It also made me understand that I'm not the psychotic girl who runs away from any guy who's interested in her, because I was kind of feeling that way about CL date 6, with whom I also went on two dates, one that ended up with us getting very drunk and making out, and a daytime date the following day where I insisted we take the Staten Island Ferry. (Yeah, I'm a big public transit nerd. Somehow boys like me anyway.) I'd mentioned something vague about being free tonight, even though by the end of our second date I was feeling a little over him already, and the fact that he texted me the next day several times weirded me out and led me to believe that (a) if he liked me so much, he must be a loser, and (b) I will not be good at finding a hibernation partner if I only like the boys who don't show interest in me. So, the earnestness of Boy inspired me to cut the cord on CL date 6, and when he texted me with "what's your bad self up to tonight?" After googling "how to reject a guy" and discovering that honesty was the best policy, I wrote back "hi CL date 6, Im not sure how to say this but i have to. i met someone recently and im trying to do this right with him and dont want to dick you (or him) over. You are an awesome guy and i hope we can still chill sometime."

he wrote back, "no worries. thanks for being honest."

I feel good about this whole situation now, and I'm excited to see Boy on Wednesday. It feels fucken awesome.

Boy 3:2

My CL posting was flagged and removed after it had been up for about 10 minutes. WTF? Apparently someone took issue with my assessment of the CL dating scene. Kind of disappointing. But then again, I promised myself to stop posting for a while, especially because no matter what I post, I seem to get the same kinds of responses from the same people. Maybe if I let it cool off for a while, I can return to a new set of onlookers.

Last night I went out for a second date with my third CL date since coming to The NY. I was surprised I even went on a first date with this guy, as he ignored my age requirement, and from his photos he looked too clean cut for me, and a little innocent/naive. But his emails to me seemed sincere, and although I do go for the edgy/moody/cynical boys, every time I meet a guy in a tee-shirt and sneakers with a little-boy smile, I think of my first love (who, incidentally, got married a few weeks ago). But I felt like Boy had some kind of personality, and I don't like to rule anyone out because of age. I went out with a 36-year-old guy earlier in the week, and while I didn't feel anything for him, it was a fun time and he was a good tour guide.

Our first date was nothing spectacular, but I found him fun to talk to, and we argued about monogamy, which is one of my favorite topics of conversation. He was intrigued by the variety of drugs I've consumed in my life, and because I was drunk by the time we got to this subject, I got on my professorial horse and gave him a run-down of why I've pretty much stopped smoking pot, why I prefer acid to mushrooms, and why I will continue to do cocaine liberally even though I don't understand what it does to me. Much like cigarettes, I just have to do more and more coke if it's available, without deriving much pleasure from it.

At the end of our first date, I felt like Boy was entertained by me, but I couldn't tell if that's just because I had been entertaining myself all evening with my comparatively risque lifestyle, sounding much more hard than I actually am, and when I told him to call me as we parted ways, I wasn't actually sure if I meant it. I typically like guys who seem a lot more experienced than me. But I liked the fact that he argued with me, and voiced differing opinions, because a lot of guys think that any kind of disagreement will endanger their chances of sleeping with you.

So we met up in Union Square Park early yesterday evening without any plans other than to perambulate for a bit, probably eat some food, and then part ways around 10 p.m. so I could attend a get-together at a classmate's apartment on the Upper West Side, and he could do whatever it was he had planned for the evening. We ended up taking the Air Tram to Roosevelt Island, which was really fucken cool, and then going to a diner in the area.

I love diners, mostly because it's an excuse for me to get a burger and a fountain soda, and because my expectations are not too high. The Ritz Diner did not disappoint in that sense, with its harsh light and Whitney Houston stylings. At dinner I became very aware of the fact that I am not a sexy dinner companion, because I have a tendency to take huge bites, talk with my mouth full, and drop half my meal down my cleavage. Somehow we managed to talk about how our lives seem so unfocused and non-traditional compared with those of our families, and wondered if our parents ever had sex with anyone other than each other.

Boy brought up an interesting dilemma about dating, and the question of how do you know when to stop looking? He framed it like this: Let's say you have 100 candidates to hire for a position. You get to meet each one for 5 minutes, and at the end of 5 minutes, you give them a score, and you say yay or nay. You only get to say yay once, and if you say nay, you don't see that candidate ever again. So your issue is this: how do you make sure you get the person with the highest score? If you meet one person, and rate them a 79 and say nay, what if the remaining 99 candidates are all sub-45? What if you hold out until the 100th candidate in the hopes of finding a 100, only to find out you should have taken the 88? His answer was that you decide ahead of time to interview a set number (say, 20), score them each and pass on all of them. Then, you begin interviewing and the next highest score you get, you hire. So I guess it's like defining a median, and then going for the next up. Kind of makes sense to me.

Boy brought up that we seem to have a shared neurosis for punctuality, because I had told him (repeatedly, it seems) that nothing irks me more than waiting around for someone to show up, and he declared that he was completely obsessive about getting places on time, and that even as a little kid, he was completely crazed if he thought he was going to be late somewhere. Compulsive behavior weirds me out, and instead of indulging people's weird idiosyncrasies, I am always trying to help manage them, and I was going to suggest that to Boy that he not wear a watch, as painful as that may be, to try and wean himself off of this time fixation, something that I made myself do. Then I noticed he did not, in fact, wear a watch for exactly that reason, and this made me admire him.

We ended up going to a bar, where we continued our conversation about dating, what constitutes a relationship, love, blah blah blah. I liked talking to him about all these things. At one point several things he said kind of came together in my mind and formed the thought that although I felt we were very similar, our lifestyles and personalities were a little conflicting, and the reason why he was interested in me was because he thought I was kind of wild, and was looking to invite some excitement and reckless behavior into his life. This thought lingered with me and when he said something that I perceived as adding to it, I told him flat out that I was kind of past my partying days and if he was looking for someone to corrupt him, I did not want to be that girl. It felt good to say exactly what I thought, and just as good to feel like he was being completely honest in saying he wasn't looking for that, and he was sorry if he had made me feel like some kind of means to an end. It's so rare when you can talk to someone with so little miscommunication. I often feel misunderstood because I can lapse into vague statements and really inadequate phrasings, mostly because I don't know what I want to say, or I figure no one's really listening so it's not worth the effort of trying to be clear. But with Boy, I feel like we're really striving to make ourselves understood, and it's working, and it makes us both feel more competent and comfortable.

We ended up hanging out until almost 4 a.m. He came with me to my grad student party, and then we attempted to go to another party on the Lower East Side. Since it takes me forever to get home, I crashed out at around five this morning and barely got up in time to get back down to the Village in time for a one o'clock brunch with my cousin.

I have to admit that I thought of Boy much during brunch, and wondered how long it will take him to call me again.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

just...can't...stop...Craigslist dating

For now, it's Craigslist dating.

Check out my new post, let's see if it gets better responses than my last two:

The Six Steps to Our Second Date - 27

Reply to:
Date: 2007-09-22, 4:17PM EDT

The Six Steps to Our Second Date

Step One: The Push
It’s raining and I’m bored because I live alone.

Step Two: The Post
I return to my craigslist addiction and post on women seeking men, that I am:
(a) 27yo SAF
(b) not of the agreeable, fair-skinned, petite, accented variety (god if that’s how stereotypical I am towards my own people just imagine what I’ll be like to you)
(c) a smoker, a grad student, with a personality that is stable in its unstability
(d) interested in contemporary urban fiction, most every kind of music, food, and sociopaths
(e) looking to DATE (what a fucken concept) a reasonably fit SWM, 25-35, with desires in life beyond getting trashed on Friday night and preparing for an inevitable return to the suburban lifestyle from which he came

Step Three: The Flood
Out of 50 responses, I get:
(a)5 cock shots
(b) 20 “hi, here’s a pic, let’s hang out” with said picture and no chance of getting a reply
(c)10 guys who write in ALL CAPS, or without punctuation indicating they are probably jabbing at a prehistoric Apple II with two fingers, the other fingers being otherwise engaged up their assholes
(d)5 guys who seem nice, but because they don’t attach a photo, I assume they are ugly or have some kind of hangup/shame about meeting people online, (while I obviously don’t) which is sad, because…they’re embarrassed of themselves. Gee, that’s sexy.
(e) 10 guys who seem to have a sense of humor, a decent face shot, who I write back to with a picture of myself

Step Four: The Filter
Of these 10 guys, five guys drop out after the first email exchange because:
(a) Despite me telling them I was not an agreeable, fair-skinned, petite asian girl, they did not believe me until they saw the photo.
(b) I am too cute and they get scared, because it can’t be that I’m not attractive enough for them.
(c) They can’t figure out that their email has a spam filter and never see my response.
(d) They suddenly lose their job and move to Pittsburgh.

Of the remaining five, two others lose in the process because over the course of one more email, I realize:
(a) They’ve already lied to me once or ignored my age/weight/intelligence requirements, which were somehow masked in the first email
(b) They suggest meeting at some crappy sports bar where I will be unwittingly hypnotized by the TV and unable to carry on a conversation

Step Five: The Outing
Of the three remaining fellas, each one proposes a day, a time, and a spot to meet at, and I meet them there. They arrive on time, which shows basic respect and consideration, giant bonus points. We think to ourselves, “thank god they look exactly like their photo,” because there is no fucken point in sending your only good photo of you looking semi-thin from that flattering angle in that weird light. We throw back a few drinks, reveal basic information about ourselves, and then break out of the routine exchange to actually talk about how we feel about life. We have a good time because we are comfortable with ourselves and know how to carry on a conversation, and actually learn some random things throughout the course of the evening. After I feel like I’m getting too drunk for my own good, we part ways in our new mature phase of life with a kiss on the cheek, and each take the subway home, smiling.

Step Six: The Fallout
Of the two guys I didn’t really like in person but they were too dense/drunk to tell, they:
(a) email me that they want to hang out again and confirming my suspicion that they are too spineless to call me in person
(b) call me, indicating their strong interest in me despite my subtle cuts into their personalities, and of course I think they’re pathetic

Of the third and only guy I actually liked, he waits a few days, calls me with a specific plan to get together again, and we have a second date that it’s even better than the first.

This is how it works with me, in case you were wondering.

  • Location: this means you have to be able to count
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 429317443

The NY, The NY

I moved to New York about a month ago, and it's been pretty much exactly how I thought it was going to be: Constant sweat, vomiting on the subway, girly-shoe-induced band-aid attacks, and the occasional 3-second panic attack where I realize I chose to live in a city where I will constantly be groped by strangers and paying $12 for a 6-pack of beer.

All that, I am okay with.

What I wasn't really prepared for was how much time I was going to be spending online, because for the first time in my 27+ years of life, I am living on my own, and there are very few distractions in my apartment. There's pretty much me, my laptop, and my piano. And you can only play piano for so long.

When you live alone, there is no immediate standard to hold yourself up to. All my life I've been kept in check--both hygienically and emotionally speaking--by the people I lived with. Alone, I always assumed I revert to my natural vegetative state of horizontal existence, with an occasional trip to the refrigerator to add food scraps to the compost pile started under my bed. Ever since I was a kid, I've been bullied into some semblance of order by my parents and roommates.

Now, I don't know what all the other kids are doing, or if it's normal for the bathtub to not drain; there's nobody to ask. And there's nobody to ask me if there's a reason that my new paper bag collection can't be filed in the recycling bin; does it really have to go on top of my crumpled paper display, next to the showcase of the previous tenant's mail?

There's nobody to compare myself to. In San Francisco, my four-five roommates always provided me with a basis for comparison. Oh, I'm up before Lindsay. See, Dan didn't even come home last night. Man, Alita has been working for nine days straight. All this helped to keep my life in perspective. So maybe I partied (okay, drank) more than all of my roommates combined, but I still got myself off to work every day, and nobody complained that my shit was taking over the living room.

Here, I wonder. Am I a completely worthless slob? In San Francisco, being a worthless slob was being "down to earth." Here, where being a 23-year-old investment banker is about as common--and illustrious--as being a sex offender, I no longer feel down to earth, I feel like a loser that has run back to grad school about three years too late.

Did you know that in 2000, with Manhattan's population at about 1.56 million, about 22 percent of the population lived alone, and about 6 percent of the total population were women, aged 25-29. I'm not sure where the overlap is, but I'm guessing that the percent of 25-29-year-old women living alone is not very high. My next mission is to figure that out, and then to figure out how many of them are citizens, Asians, speak only one language, and college-educated. Then I'll finally be able to say that I am unique; there are only 7,000 people in my circumstances in this city. That will fill me with unspeakable pride.

In any case, women my age should not live alone. The world does not need more bloggers.