Sunday, September 10, 2006

My Vagina Lacks a Sense of Humor, Gold

You know how there are friends whose advice you can trust and friends whose advice you shouldn’t? Well, my friend Paige is my go-to when I need interior design advice—not so much when it comes to doctors...

It was time for my annual gyno check-up, and since I didn’t have a doctor I liked, I polled my girlfriends. I called Paige’s doctor since she recommended hers (glowingly), and, when I learned he took my insurance, I made an appointment. I had never been to a male gyno before, and although I was a bit apprehensive, I convinced myself that he was just as qualified as a female doctor, so I should just go.

After waiting about 45 minutes, I was brought back to the exam room, and I waited until the doctor arrived. Dr. G, a ruddy man with a bright white, wiry hair (a little on the Albert Einstein mold) in his mid-50s entered the room. Plopping my file on the desk, he said congenially, "So, I know you wrote all this shit down, but I haven't had time to read it, so why don't you just tell me why you're here?”

I explained that I needed a routine gyno exam so he started asking routine gyno questions. Apparently I answered them with some sort of accent because he asked if I was from the Midwest. "Kansas City," I responded, and he grinned at his acute auditory ability.

Then, after I told him the last time I got my period he started rubbing his face. Groaning, he said, "Ugh. What a long, long weekend I had."

"Oh, did you go somewhere?" I asked politely.

"No," he answered, "my 18 year-old son got into a car accident last year and he lost his leg and the use of his arms. All of his friends went off to college last week and he's stuck at home, trapped like a rat in a cage with my wife who's a visitor from another planet and won't stop nagging him."

Why do people think they can / should tell me things like this? What is it about my face that says tell me too much information I don’t want / need to know!

"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that," I said, saying the only thing I could possibly say.

"Yeah, well, he's a good kid; he's my hero." And with that, he pulled out a prom picture of his son with a date, a redhead. "Thought you'd want to see him since he's a fan of the redheads," he explained, as if it was a valid reason. I didn’t bother explaining that I dyed my hair, figuring he'd realize soon enough I wasn't naturally red.

When we were done with the questions, he excused himself so I could change into the standard issue paper gown. When he returned, he instructed me to lie down on the table so he could begin the breast exam.

"So," he said, placing a hand on my breast to feel for lumps, "Kansas, huh?"

"Yep," I confirmed.

Moving his hand to the other breast, he started singing the wicked witch’s theme song from the Wizard of Oz: Da-da-da-da-dum-DUM, Da-da-da-da-dum-DUM!

What the hell? I sat up, clutching the paper robe around me, wondering what I was supposed to do. He wasn't acting sexually inappropriate, but was definitely inappropriate. Before I could say anything, he called the nurse in, so she could be in the room while he did the actual exam. As I positioned myself on the edge of the table, he strapped a light around his head. "Got my light, guess I'm ready to go digging for gold!"

Yes, yes—he actually said that. Unfortunately, there was no real gold to be found, so, once again, I dragged myself out of bed at 6am to go to the day job.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Prologue - There's No Place Like New York

There’s No Place Like New York

I fucking love New York.
It is 3 something in the morning and I am dancing on the stage of my favorite club in my favorite city.
Everyone, everyone is here. We breezed past the door guys when I presented them with a smile and a handful of blow-pops. Commanding the stage is the guy in the suit, lip-synching to every Brit-Pop favorite the transvestite DJ plays. The Mick Jagger doppelganger is wandering in the crowd along with those guys from that band everyone is talking about; and somewhere is my faux stalker, the coat check guy, who we’ve avoided by stashing our hoodies in a corner so I don’t have to deal with his disturbing new nickname for me (Jen with the sparkly eyes).
My new friend Riley is dancing next to me. I am kicking out my fishnetted legs next to her fishnetted legs and we shake our hair – hers black and asymmetrical, mine red and curly – in time to the music. Even though I can’t see him, I know how Adam, my best friend and roommate, is dancing—he is biting his lower lip, leaning slightly backward, his arms outstretched as he shouts the words to his girlfriend, Lauren. We’re the common people Pulp is singing about—dancing and drinking and screwing—and all of it is exactly, exactly what I want.
It is dark and smoky and loud and crowded and perfect. I know my clothes and hair will smell like smoke in the morning; I know that I’ll be drunk and tired during the long ride back to Brooklyn; I know that real life exists outside Saturday nights at Don Hill’s; and yet, as I grab my vodka 7 off the speaker as Pulp mixes into The Strokes, I can almost remain in the moment forever.
In this instant I’m not thinking about my shit day job, what I’ll do tomorrow, who I want to make out with, or why I have yet to accomplish anything with my life—I’m thinking about how much I love this song.
I love this song! I love dancing to this song! I love dancing to this song in New York City!
This night is the reason I left Kansas. This night is the reason I love New York.
I fucking love New York.

Chapter Titles

You’re Not in Kansas Anymore:
How Drinking, Dancing and Debauchery Turned Me into a New Yorker

Prologue) There’s No Place Like New York
1) You’re Not in Kansas Anymore
2) Fishnets and New Friends and Forgetting Keys, Oh My!
3) Thinking Thin
4) There’s a Reason it’s Called Ecstasy
5) Death on the F Train
6) My Roundabout Success in the World of Online Dating
7) My First Day as a New Yorker
8) Soul Sucking Work
9) My First New York Halloween
10) The Gift that Keeps on Giving
11) I’m Dreaming of a White Trash Christmas
12) Reality TV Victory is Mine
13) If You Look Like a Leader, They Will Follow
14) Another Year Older, Another Year Drunker
15) Floating
16) Disgusting!
17) Walk Like a New Yorker
18) You Can Take the Girl Out of Kansas….
19) I’ll Get You, You Dog, and the Other Ex-Boyfriend, Too
20) It’s a Small Gossipy World After All
21) In My Day, They Called it Swinging
22) Let’s Talk about Sex, Baby
23) The First Day of the Rest of My Life
24) I am the Reason Punk Rock and Whisky were Invented
25) I Just Blew a Random in Peter Gabriel’s Apt
26) Am I Turning into a Girl? Or an Adult?
27) There’s No Place Like Home

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I Want A Book Deal

This is the blog I should have started nearly 6 years ago when I moved from Kansas to New York. Instead of writing a blog, however, I wrote in journals, in word documents, and in emails. I wrote and wrote and wrote until I wrote a book. If I had written everything in blog-form I might have had a book deal by now, but, since I didn't, I don't.

So, I'm going to share some chapters of my book here.

"You're Not In Kansas Anymore: How Drinking, Dancing, and Debauchery Turned me into a New Yorker," is a memoir comprised of 27 short stories. Ranging from 3 to 25 pages, each story furthers my quest to find my ideal job, my ideal guy, and ultimately, myself. While many of the self-contained pieces share how I flounder through post-collegiate confusion, the consequences (or lack thereof) of casual sex, and how I spend far too much time drinking, each story builds upon each other, charting my evolution from Kansas transplant to New Yorker. The fun and engaging pieces highlight the craziness of New York, but are relatable to anyone who doesn't know who they are, what they're searching for, or where, exactly, they will end up when they click their heels hoping to find their way "home."

Everything I've written is 100% true, real, honest, etc--the only thing I've changed are names.

In addition to chapters from the book, I'm also going to post some random musings, antecdotes, and general nonsense.

So, enjoy, and feel free to contact me at