Wednesday, November 30


February is my 8th anniversary of living in Astoria. When I decided to finally get my own place in 2003, I was hoping to stay in Brooklyn. At the time I was living between my grandmother's old apartment in Bay Ridge (she passed away a couple of years earlier) and my parents' house in Jackson. I LOVE Bay Ridge, but it was too far from the city for me. I targeted areas a little closer like Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, and Prospect Heights, but the rents were already jacked up after 9/11 and I couldn't afford it.

My friend Gerf was born and raised in Astoria and suggested I check out the neighborhood. My immediate thought was, "Ugh, I fucking hate Queens!" Besides my post-college beer garden shenanigans, I had only been to Queens a few times on my own, once to go to an outlaw (illegal outdoor rave) under a highway overpass (a story for another time), another after a rave in Manhattan led to an acid party at some guy's apartment, and I'm pretty sure once to buy coke, but I didn't get out of the car. Not only did all of my Queens interactions share recreational drug use, but they also shared getting lost. "How can 76th Street be next to 49th Street!?!?!" "Why the fuck is there a 63rd Rd/Ave/Dr right next to each other!?!?! Did Queens run out of numbers!??!"

Out of desperation, I checked out Astoria in January 2004. I found a broker named Eugene who was SUPER nice. He showed me one small apartment that I'm pretty sure was near the post office on 43rd and Broadway. You know how it is in foreign neighborhoods; I had no idea where I was at all. He then showed me another apartment at the top floor of a three family house on 37th Street and Broadway. I said no way, I'm a loud drunk that would wake up the entire building. He laughed and said thanks for being honest because it was HIS building and lived on the first floor.

Last came Delilah Foray (4A). I fell in love with her immediately. A nice one bedroom on a quiet street between the R/V/G and N/W trains, three to four stops from Manhattan. Prime location, good price. Top floor of a sixteen family stand-alone building. Roof access. I moved in a month later.

I didn't really hang out in the neighborhood too often since all of my friends lived in Manhattan, but I did enjoy walking around. Astoria is known for a big Greek population, but that's more on the Ditmars side. On my side of town there are tons of different cultures and ethnicities: Polish, Croatian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Italian, Russian, Irish, Asian the list goes on. I remember feeling I was one of the few natural blondes, if not the only one. I don't mean this in a bad way; it was nice to be in a melting pot.

A year later I started working at Company. A lot of my coworkers lived in Astoria too, so it was the first time I really had a social life near home. I guess it was around then that I noticed I had neighbors who were my peers. I enjoyed living among a small group of twenty-something newbies and long time Astorians from around the world.

Fast forward to now. The secret of Astoria is out! Yayboo! Booyay! I'll admit it - I'm torn about the yuppie influx. I'm sure that's how people felt when I moved in. It's all relative.

The Yay!: I barely ever go into Manhattan on the weekends now that most of my friends live in the 'hood. A ton of cool new bars and tasty restaurants are opening up. The subways and streets are always crowded, making the area safer late at night.

That last bit being said, the Boo!: Unfortunately the bad part about being the hot place to live means crime is on the rise.

I heard from a few people that Astoria used to be a pretty shitty neighborhood. Gang violence was common as recent as the 90s. There are projects in Western Astoria; my friend Jules and I made the mistake of walking over there once thinking it was the way to the park. It was not. I don't want class and race to cloud my judgment, then again I don't want to be naive and unsafe.

While I grew up in buttfuck Jackson, NJ my parents and family were raised in Brooklyn. We came to the city at least six times a year, so my parents made sure we had some basic street smarts. I get the feeling the new Astorians do not have any. Do not be fooled, people. This is still NYC. I don't know everything and hell, I have just as much of a chance to be mugged or robbed, but here are some of my observations and opinions:

1. Don't live in a desolate area just because the rent is cheap. Thieves know there are a ton of iPeople in the area. They could break into any apartment and easily walk off with five or six electronics. The number of reported gropings has risen recently, too. It could happen anywhere, but staying in populated areas will hopefully decrease your chances of being attacked. I advise friends not to live too far west of 31st Street on the south side of Astoria Blvd or below 36th Avenue. It seems anywhere east and north of there is okay, although I don't suggest going too far past Steinway because there aren't any subways north of 46th Street. Living near mass transit is best because there will be more people.

2. Be nice to your neighbors. Common courtesy goes along way. I've seen plenty of the new Astorians push pass a woman struggling with a stroller up subway stairs or not hold doors for people. Be polite. Having a strong sense of community and togetherness keeps the neighborhood safe. You never know when you might need help. Pay it forward.

3. Girls, watch your purses. If you put it behind you on a bar chair, be sure there's a coat on top or your friends are surrounding you. If you are at a sidewalk cafe, don't put your purse on the street side of the table. Someone can easily grab it and run off.

4. This I can't believe...DON'T RUN AT NIGHT WITH HEADPHONES ON. Hell, try not to have headphones on at night at all or at least keep the volume down so you can hear if someone's behind you.

5. I've seen at least two or three people leaving an ATM actually counting their money for all to see. This is not Ohio. You are not getting into your car and driving away. Everyone knows if you've gone to an ATM you have cash on you. Don't be dumb.

6. Don't spit on the sidewalks. It's fucking gross. Also, don't litter!

Okay, I'm done. Ruth Clare Jenkins (my 81 year old alter ego) has taken over!

Truthfully I'm not sure what's happening to me lately. Earlier this year I learned what it's like to lose something. Now I find myself more aware, sentimental, kind, and invested. My home is a part of this. I love Astoria. There is definitely a change coming to the neighborhood and I want to do my part to ensure it is for the betterment of everyone.

Friday, November 25


I don't have celiac disease, but how strange is this?

Tuesday, November 22

Can't keep up?

As you probably gathered from my last post, MDLL and I are back together. Sort of. Don't worry; I can't keep up either.

The weekend after Halloween we had an amazing talk. He is moving forward with the divorce and it should be processed by the end of the year. He shared some very intimate and loving things, too. (I'm keeping them to myself. Nyah, nyah!) Last week we had a very good email discussion about things as well. We're moving in the right direction.

I'm sure I've quoted Albert Einstein*'s definition of insanity numerous times on Thighs. I guess that's what insane people do. This quote hit home with me in regards to my relationship with MDLL.

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results."

The insanity cycle:

1. We have an amazing time for 4-6 weeks.
2. We ignore tough discussions because things are going so well.
3. Something happens where one of us (me) can't ignore our issues anymore.
4. We talk, hit a wall, and break up because I don't know what else to do.
5. A week or two goes by, we miss each other, talk, and get back together.
6. Rinse and repeat.

One could say if we stayed broken up, the cycle would be over. While true, it's unrealistic. We're in love. We'll always go back.

The real problem is Step 2. We are INSANE to keep ignoring our issues and expecting they will resolve themselves on their own. If we want to be together, we need to work on our relationship together. He's willing, I'm willing, so let's do this.

*Some sites say this is really a Ben Franklin quote. The internet has too much garbage. Gah!

Monday, November 21

Blasts from the Past AGAIN

Three ex-umm...what do I call them? They definitely aren't ex-boyfriends as I only dated them for at most six weeks.

Three ex-MEN have not only come back into my life, but now live within walking distance. You're going to need the Thighs Guyde for this.

The Gentleman moved around the corner four months ago. Literally around the corner. I can probably look into his bedroom window if I wanted. We see each other in the street at least once a month. I still find him attractive and boring. Such a shame.

Mr. J moved from Brooklyn to about ten blocks away on my street. I was walking down the subway stairs when I looked across to the other staircase and there he was, walking toward me. If this was a romantic comedy, the music would have started and we would have rushed into each other's arms. That's how ridiculous the timing was. It always is with Mr. J and I, though. I'm actually not surprised when I randomly see him once a year. We said the obligatory (?) "Let's get a drink." and went on our way. That was three months ago. In usual Mr. J fashion, I haven't heard from him. I'm okay with this.

On Saturday I went to yoga, had brunch with Brauny, and hung out with MDLL at Crazy Ass. MD was headed to a party around 9pm, but I was beat and decided to go home. Wouldn't you know it, I ran into another ex-man...Krull. For those who don't remember, Krull is a really hot ginger bartender (or was a bartender) I met at a friend's wedding about four years ago. I really liked him a lot, but it didn't work out. I don't think he was interested in dating me long term and looking back I wasn't in any condition for a real relationship either. I was still a batshit Jedi-slut then.

I felt like we had a nice connection. I always knew we'd meet up again, like there was some unfinished business between us. I think it's about inspiration. We both love to write; maybe we end up encouraging each other to do so. He's also a free spirit in the way I'd like to be. While I consider myself a free spirit in some ways, I am definitely grounded in the physical world. I've lived in the same apartment for eight years. I bounce around from company to company, but I'm still 9-5 corporate. From what I know of Krull, he's a world travel and an experience junkie. If there's something new or cool to do, he's game. At least that's the impression I get. I hope I'm the same once I pay off my credit card debt.

We stopped and talked for a few minutes. He was with a girl. I'm not sure if they are dating. He now lives five blocks away from me. We traded numbers and talked about getting a drink, but unlike Mr. J who, at this point the idea of annoys me, I'd really like to reconnect with Krull.

I choose to believe people from my past show up for two reasons: to teach me something and to validate I am in the right place at the right time. Yes it's possible to read the above and say, "Well duh, of course this would happen considering Astoria is the hot new neighborhood and you have at least 100 ex-men to run in to." Bygones.

Each time I talked to one of these guys, I thought one thing...

I love MDLL.

Thanks Universe for making this clear!

Friday, November 18

Holiday Cheer!

Am I boring you with my positivity yet? This blog is more interesting when I want to kill myself, isn't it?

YAAAYYY! I am SOOOO excited for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, everything this season. Maybe it's the love in the air. Maybe it's because I had such a shitty first half of 2011. Maybe it's because I wasn't into the holidays AT ALL last year, so I'm making up for it now.


I'm going to make my living room a winter wonderland. I might even buy a real tree! I am geeking out over the amount of arts and crafts I want to do over the next three weeks.

***Attention Bear Family: If you are reading this, invite me over because I want to see Ev and meet Silas!! Gah!***

Rippie bought me samurai sword lessons a few months ago. I FINALLY feel well enough to take them! Tuesday was my first one. It was pretty cool! I wanted it to be a bit more authentic, though. Something like this:

Rather than this:

It wasn't outside and no one was in a suit, but you get the picture.

I have two more sessions left, then I get MY OWN SWORD! Woooooo!!

Tonight I'm heading to Jersey City to hang at Stacie's new pad, tomorrow is YOGA, and Sunday is a lovely brunch with the Company gals. Maybe I'll start my arts and crafts this weekend. I am very much excited. Hooray!

Thursday, November 17

Giving thanks...

I'm creating the habit of giving thanks for a few things every day, whatever happens to strike me mid-afternoon. This week so far:

11/15/11 - My health, my happiness, my job, Rem, samurai swords

11/16/11 - Cee, MDLL, gchatting with Juniper and Bacon, Kate Bolick's article, bananas, my autonomy at work

11/17/11 - Color Buddies!, my post-conversion downtime, my daily morning phone call to my mom, hand lotion, tacos, my daily lunchtime walk with Rem

Obviously I am feeling VERY grateful for my friends and job. Yay to both!

You were right, Juniper. That gratitude crap IS something I love!!

Wednesday, November 16

Everyday I'm Shuffling...

I can't get enough of this video!

Monday, November 14


I'm still on such a high after my awesome weekend. I feel so good!

There is one problem. I can't shake the anticipation of a low coming. Isn't that sad? There's this nagging fear in the back of my mind holding me back from fully enjoying and extending my happiness.

If I let go and allowed myself to be happy, what would happen? What am I afraid of?

Will people think I have a superiority complex? I'm bragging? I'm disconnected from the tragedy and suffering in the world? Does it matter what others think?

If I anticipate a low or something bad coming, am I inviting it? If I don't anticipate it and one comes, will it hurt more because I wasn't prepared?

Does anticipating anything really make me feel prepared or is it calming my fears of being unprepared? Same difference?

If I lost my job, my home, or possessions, I could handle it because I have a great support system. If I found myself without support and had to live on the streets, I think I could manage. Absolute worst case scenario, prostitution. I hear I give good head.

If I died, I'm dead so it doesn't really matter. If someone close to me died I would be devastated, yet comforted by my choice to believe they would be sent to a better place and their spirit is with me when I need them. (High five, Grandma!)

Broken hearts, broken friendships, crappy jobs, depression, a prolonged sickness.....been there, done that and survived.

So what is it?


I think I got it. See, this is why I love writing. I find my truths.

It's me. I'M the one with the problem. I don't think I deserve to be this happy or blessed.

Why? Why don't I feel worthy?

I did something as a kid I regret. I didn't know better, it happened to me, and I can't take it back so why can't I forgive myself?

I was really mean to this guy Allen in high school. He Facebook friended me and writes on my wall, so it sure seems like he's over it. Why aren't I?

I don't give to charity or volunteer anymore. I can easily start now, so why not do it?

I feel guilty. I feel guilty for everyone else who is not as lucky as I am. I was lucky to have parents who sent me to college and are extremely supportive. Where does the line between luck and hard work get drawn? Wasn't it me who graduated, got and kept a job, paid the bills, made friends, and created my life? Do I feel guilty because it all came easy? Is that a bad thing? Am I an asshole?

My relationship with my mother is a ZILLION times better than it was when I was younger. I don't blame her for what happened, but I know my self-esteem still suffers because of the shit she pulled. My level of self-worthiness is reflective of hers. I have to remind myself I am not her.

I don't believe in one god. I named my God Shian ("I" in "Shan") because I believe there is a Larger (being/deity/spirit/whatever) in all of us. (Shizza has changed into an angel with a raging three foot blurple boner.) Shian takes on many forms, lately the Laughing Buddha because that guy cracks me up. I no longer consider myself Episcopalian or Catholic because I do not agree with organized religions' doctrines. A person of true faith would accept how another lives without judgment. Devout followers seem to forget this and in my opinion, seem to embarrass themselves and their religions on a daily basis.

The reason I'm bringing religion up is because there may be some of that Catholic guilt mixed into why I can't accept happiness. Ever notice how many Catholic churches have Jesus crucified above the altar? It's there TO REMIND YOU HE DIED FOR YOU! Isn't that awful?? No wonder we feel guilty! Why wouldn't they have a nice statue of him rising from the grave? You know, something uplifting? At some point, Christian religion became a sign of not only hate-mongering, but also suffer-mongering as well. You can't live the good life because then you're not serving God. I decided this is bullshit. Shian tells me life is love. I like this idea so much better.

Phew! There. I'm pretty sure I covered every reason as to why I am afraid to be happy. I'm checking to see if I still need to anticipate a low....

Soul scan. Check. Mind scan. Check. Heart scan. Check. Face scan. Smiling, so check.

Okay. I think I'm ready to be truly happy now. Yay!

Sunday, November 13


I am so grateful today. It's an unbelievably powerful feeling.

The past few days were filled with good health and good friends. I feel so blessed, lucky, and fortunate.

This weekend I went to yoga, shopping, Times Square for Super Marioland, ate tacos on 10th Avenue then walked back to 6th, visited Furball and his family in the Bronx, had late night drinks at Crazy Ass, visited with Jacks and her family, walked through Central Park from 89th Street down to 57th to the subway, and am now sitting in the home I love, watching the Giants, sharing my thoughts with the blogosphere.

Only five months ago I was barely able to get out of bed.

I am soul-crying. I've needed it. It's a shame I had to go through such a physically, emotionally, and mentally trying time to get here, to appreciate my life.

I'm glad I finally made it.

Monday, November 7


I haven't been feeling well for over a week now. My throat was killing me, I lost my voice, my sinuses are throbbing, and I was up coughing through the night for a few days. I can't tell if it's a cold or allergies. Maybe it's both. Every year I get sick around Halloween and Christmas, so this is nothing new. I am nervous this is the start of being sick for another eight months, though.

I'm trying not to stress myself over it because then I'll feel worse. The only thing I can do is clear my schedule, take it easy, and rest. I'm at work today because I have therapy in the city tonight, so I figured I might as well come in. I'm tired, my face is scrunchy, my eyes are heavy, and my nose feels like it is made of cement. Hopefully the Advil and Allegra will kick in and help!

I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy I am healthy

Friday, November 4

Color Buddies tumblr!

I decided to create a new site from my Fun with Colors post. Check it out!

The tumblr isn't related to Thighs at all, mainly because this blog is still relatively private (read: MDLL doesn't know the link and my parents aren't allowed to read it).

I'm excited. Yay!

Thursday, November 3

Song in my head.

I read once that whenever you have a random song stuck in your head, your subconscious picked it because the lyrics reflect your thoughts.

I can't for the life of me remember what song was in my head yesterday when I was upset about MDLL. Today, when I am hopeful:

Celine Dion "That's The Way It Is"

I can read your mind and I know your story
I see what you're going through
It's an uphill climb, and I'm feeling sorry
But I know it will come to you

Don't surrender 'cause you can win
In this thing called love

When you want it the most there's no easy way out
When you're ready to go and your heart's left in doubt
Don't give up on your faith
Love comes to those who believe it
And that's the way it is

When you question me for a simple answer
I don't know what to say, no
But it's plain to see, if you stick together
You're gonna find a way, yeah

So don't surrender 'cause you can win
In this thing called love

When you want it the most there's no easy way out
When you're ready to go and your heart's left in doubt
Don't give up on your faith
Love comes to those who believe it
And that's the way it is

When life is empty with no tomorrow
And loneliness starts to call
Baby, don't worry, forget your sorrow
'Cause love's gonna conquer it all, all

When you want it the most there's no easy way out
When you're ready to go and your heart's left in doubt
Don't give up on your faith
Love comes to those who believe it
And that's the way it is

When you want it the most there's no easy way out
When you're ready to go and your heart's left in doubt
Don't give up on your faith
Love comes to those who believe it
And that's the way it is

That's the way it is
That's the way it is, babe
Don't give up on your faith
Love comes to those who believe it
And that's the way it is.

Tuesday, November 1


I find myself on Facebook, Twitter, and random sites a lot lately. I've never been a big websurfer (do people still say that word?), but I find myself waiting for comments and retweets like they are phone calls from a guy I like. I guess I'm feeling a bit disconnected and lonely now that MDLL is out of the picture. We texted everyday almost all day, so it makes sense I need to fill the void.

I'm also very me-focused. I want to talk talk talk and be heard heard heard. The usual. I don't think I've ever been this self-aware of my need to do/be both, though.

It's like my comment on Jezebel yesterday. I'm pretty surprised I wrote it because I hate comments, especially the ones that say, "I haven't read/seen/tried the book/movie or tv show/product you are discussing, but let me give you my two cents anyways." Really? You have nothing to contribute, yet you still feel the need to say something? I wonder if I hate those commenters because they remind me of myself in a small way. I don't think I'm THAT bad, but I do have a blog all about me me me, so maybe I am.

It's like hipsters. Everyone hates them, but why? My opinion is because they remind us of ourselves. Hipsters seem to think they are special and SO COOL for being different, liking or wearing things that aren't the "norm", yet seem to ignore the fact that their hive-mind elitism is just as bad as every other social group's. Let's face it, we all surround ourselves with people we can relate to and who validate our lifestyle. There's nothing special about this.

Today marks the birth of the 7 billionth person on earth. Think about today probably think a half of the population is on Facebook. Latest statistics show there are 800 MILLION users. That is amazing, but there sure are a shitload of people not on there. If someone is on Facebook, that means they are wealthy enough to either own a computer or a smartphone, educated enough to know how to use both, and also feel the need to be connected to something. While all FB users aren't EXACTLY the same, we do have these basics in common.

I don't know where I am going with any of this. I'm on my high horse standing on a soapbox.

Maybe I'll unplug this weekend. I have to still use my cell because it's the only phone I have, but I won't go on the internet. If I'm already feeling disconnected, maybe I should sit with the it and stop forcing a virtual one.