Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Feminism Didn't Think of Everything: Let Her Sit Down.

     I know I know I know. All people are beautiful. Hollywood and Madison Avenue's definitions aren't going to limit our definition of beauty. 

     Yielding to that point to all y'all. I maintain that most people don't want to be called fat or overweight or obese or gerthful. And you know what?  I am guessing despite us knowing that we are all beautiful inside and out no matter our appearance we wouldn't go up to someone and say, "Hey fatty, how is it going?" Unless of course fatty was the person's name (I'm sure it's Gaelic somehow.)  or some ironic nickname. 

     My point? Offer up your seat when you see a woman standing up on the subway or, if you live in a non-mass transit area,  any place where seating is limited.  We must go back to this antiquated custom  of giving up our seat to a lady if we want to avoid having to make judgement calls about who is fat and who is pregnant. What we do know is that a man is just fat he is not possibly pregnant--Science hasn't come that far yet, and if does I doubt men will ever take Science up on the offer. 

     Now, if you have a retail job, or bartending gig, or a job as a security guard at a museum wear your uniform when you're riding mass transit.   Donning your work clothes will let us all know you stand for a living and the rest of us will give you a pass for not giving up your seat for a lady. 

      So if you don't want to open a door or pull out a chair or walk on the street side of the sidewalk (or is it the building side?) if you don't want to pick up the check for dinner, if you don't want to let the ladies into the life-raft of a sinking ship first, or help her with her coat. Fine. But get your ass up because she might be pregnant.  Yes, even that 80 year old looking lady because science has come that far, and you don't know, she could just be a 40 year old with bad posture who refuses to dye her hair.

     Let's spare people's feelings and pretend everyone is with child. Can I get an Amen?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sports Ball every Tuesday

This Week Aaron, David and I talk sports like we do every Tuesday.  This is football heavy.  It's an hour long.

Monday, November 18, 2013

An Empty Mind Can't Empty Itself

     My idea for my return to the quaint old custom of blogging was to type each day about the wedding until the day of my wedding. Then I realized I wasn't that interested in my own wedding, so why would you be. I understand limiting the blog to an easily identifiable subject matter is how things are done. I believe we call it branding. However, if I was any good at branding I would be much further ahead financially. Instead of joining the world I can't beat I'm just going to continue to do my own thing in the corner like that spazzy kid at day camp.

     A somewhat popular life is to give up attachment to people, places, things, goals, wants (you know nouns). The idea is that if you don't care about the outcome or if you don't have wants you'll lessen your psychic suffering. OK.  Sure. I get it.  If I just go about my day not concerning myself with the outcome that seems like a way to avoid disappointment, jealousy, and self-criticism.  But, isn't the changing who you are a goal? And isn't having a goal an attachment?  Can't person fall into all the same pitfalls while trying to avoid the pitfalls?

     There I'd be looking around freaking out. I can't believe I still give a shit about achieving and attaining things.  When will I ever master this non-attachment philosophy? Look at Shelly.  She totally doesn't give a shit about anything. But really that's only because she already achieved her goals and her kids are grown. She can look all smug and self-satisfied, but I know the truth she was born with 10 times the advantages to not being attached. 

     I know when I'm finally free of my wants and desires then I'll be happy.  I can't wait to live in the present. My future will be so awesome when I'm living in the present not like all my years before where I was looking back and hoping for a better day.

      Oh wait. No. I'm doing it again. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I can't think like that. Oh shit. Now I'm not self-accepting. Ugh. I'm not self-accepting that I don't self-accept. So now do I just accept how I want to change? Or is the wanting to change the problem? But if I don't change then I'll still want a comedy career and a new filing cabinet.  My mind is a filing cabinet and once I take out all the files then life will begin a new.  So I just have to empty my mind. First I need to let go of wanting a mind.

     Man, I think I just save for a trip to New Zealand.

Friday, November 15, 2013

We're Back and Getting Married.

                Well it's time to start up the old blog again.  It's been awhile since I posted. Since that last time I've posted I've lost all my readership. Can't blame them this isn't Catch-22 I don't expect people to reread these gems day in and day out. With no new content why bother?  Oh sure there are always new typos to spot in the old the stuff, but I get it you're all gone.  Then if you're not there who is you? It's getting to be like a time travel movie only lonelier.   

                Since last time I wrote Twitter has become all the rage and I'm not sure people read blogs anymore.  It seems people want to ingest other's narcissism and self-involvement in 140 characters or less.    Less nuanced self-involvement doesn't seem better, though.  You'd think it would and yet without the room to explain yourself you can't let others know you've haven't lost  perspective.  It just makes us all seem spiritually more gross.  I couldn't imagine the king of the entertaining narcissists, Spalding Grey, being as engaging in a 140 characters.  What am I saying? That I am now on Twitter because Elon Jame White made me.  He fake employs me as a real co-host for  This Week in Blackness's  sports show "Sports Ball."   My best friend Anna is also on Twitter. She had to be she was running for President last election cycle. She'll be running again in 2016.  My boyfriend Jack does not have a twitter account he has to stay off the grid now and then.

                And with all of you gone. I restart as I began,  typing from a cubicle into the ether to see if someone is interested.  At least my law suit is settled.

                I'm engaged to be married. No, unfortunately, not to Jack. Someone who is away that often  isn't great husband material. Husbands are good for reaching things that are placed up high and if the husband isn't there to reach the high things, well, then what's the point?   So it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, I'm marrying a tall man. 

               Sorry did I type "Husband?" I should type "Spouse."  For short men should get themselves a tall wife.  Two tall people really shouldn't marry one another, it just isn't fair to the rest of us. Sadly, they do anyway.  Two short people should definitely not marry one another unless they are acrobatic and are comfortable standing on one another's shoulders. 

                Anti-marriage people will tell you that you don't need a spouse you can just get a step-stool.  This is only sort of true. Having been short my whole life I've owned a step stool and they aren't always high enough. Of course the anti-marriage people will argue that you can just get a ladder. I say you never took a Theater lighting class in college. For if you did you would know that safety calls for a second person to be holding the ladder (yes, even an A framed one) while you scurry up.  If you're going to need the second person anyway, why not marry a tall person to split living expenses and use your ladder-storing space to store winter sweaters or coats?

                The anti-marriage people are usually ant-wedding people.  Me, I'm more anti-wedding industry. The wedding people are the party version of the funeral people.  They see you coming and they want to empty your pockets.  I called a venue  and told them I was interested in a Karate Banquet (yes those exist, I went to at least 6 of them.1) on a Saturday night. My mother called the same place and wanted a wedding on a Saturday . Guess which event was more expensive by like 30%?  So I get being anti that bullshit.  

                However, ant-wedding people seem to be upset that a marrying couple get to make a big show of their commitment, get special day and special party all for the no big deal of getting married.  Meanwhile, anti-marriage/wedding people get no such party or fanfare because they choose to remain single.  But I say, "Oh no no no  no no." A wedding isn't your special day. That is what birthdays are for. Your birthday is your special day and everyone gets those. That's when you invite your friends out to bowl or roller-skate and make it all about you.   And when your birthday ends in a zero like 30, 40, 50, 100. You get to have a really big party at a venue with an open bar, or a cash bar.  What's even better is that someone else might surprise you with it, meaning you don't have to be bothered with any of the tedious planning. ANDDDDD, you don't have to pay wedding prices to celebrate.

                Meanwhile, a wedding is all about everyone else.  If it were up to me my wedding would be a bowling, roller-skating, beach wedding. But then my mother would have a heart attack, which would mean no wedding at all-it's in bad taste to have a wedding when your mom just died. And, who would have the time? What? With all the mourning and handing over our bank accounts to the funeral parlor. You don't get gifts for a funeral. You get flowers which you can't sell to offset the cost of the funeral.So no, the wedding has to be somewhere my mother's heart can stand.  Also,  most of the elderly relatives wouldn't be able to participate in the bowling/skating,/beach fun. So no fun for anyone. We will sit and eat dinner and then dance badly. 

                Then all of a sudden your father decides he has to invite his whole platoon from Korea.  Despite you not having met these men ever, despite my father not having seen these men in decades, and despite they were in Korea during the Vietnam War, so they're not so much a band of brothers as they are a band of second cousins and distant acquaintances.  And they must be invited otherwise my father's feelings will be hurt.  Which is crazy because dad's feelings have been hiding in his Korean barracks for 40 years. (Note I did not say foxhole because it wasn't really needed at the time.) Which means now you can't have a smaller wedding at a cute restored carriage house, you have to have a bigger wedding at a place with less character.

                The list goes on and on, like not being able to afford a summer or fall wedding so we have to have it in the winter, which means we now need to become pagans so we can pray to the appropriate gods who deal in snow and blizzards. The popular gods of today are useless in weather as they deal in everyday suffering and Cancer. Of course our winter wedding has to be after the Superbowl if we don't want half the wedding hiding out in the bathroom watching playoff games on their phones when they should be dancing and pretending to enjoy it. 

                "So why do it?" Anti-wedding people ask.  Because I really want a standing mixer. And because weddings and funerals are the rare times that people stop with the rat race, take a breath (a possibly resentful one) and make time to see each other.  And so I take their needs into consideration, which is something I don't do for my birthday because everyone is too busy to come to that.  

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

I have a website now

I know I haven't updated in a while. My man gets in my way and I'm being sued for non-artistic reasons.  Once that's settled I'll feel better about sharing my most intimate details again. Meanwhile, I have a website. I know it's very retro of me.  Here it is Rachael's Website.  What's great is that the website links to this blog. I'm like the movie Looper only digital and not well publicized. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Two Twenty Five is a lot for Some People

New York City the self -proclaimed "Greatest City in the World." Sure it's expensive but that money pays for non-stop excitement-even at 11:00am on a Saturday morning in the safe neighborhood of 59th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.
The Commute
Rachael Parenta
Saturday August 6, 2011  11:00am. 
My boyfriend, Patrick, and I are on our way home from work.  I work with moving companies, which specialize in corporate moves, disconnecting and reconnecting the moving employees’ computers.  Yes, this is a job.*   My job requires me to crawl around under desks, and I dress appropriately for the task at hand.  I’m wearing baggy, camouflaged, cargo pants I bought at a store called Phat Alberts* in their boys section ($10), perfectly complimented by my company issued gray golf shirt ($0).  The shirt sort of fits my five foot one inch frame.   It looks like I’m wearing an older brother’s hand-me downs.   Patrick who stands a foot taller than me also dons the grey, company-issued, golf shirt. We are one of those adorable couples who wear matching outfits.  Just to complete the picture that is us, I have my brown curly hair pulled back into a bun. Patrick doesn’t have enough dirty, blonde hair to pull into an anything.
On this day we work near Lexington Avenue and E. 59th street*.  Sak’s and Brooks Brothers are located here.
Patrick passes through the turnstile ahead of me with ease and waits, lost in his thoughts. I stand with my metro card* in hand ready to swipe it at the turnstile.  I continue to stand in the non-crowded, subway station repeatedly swiping my card. The little, swipey machine mocks me over and over as it tells me to "please swipe again at this turnstile." “You’re going too fast.”  Swipe. “No, now it’s too slow.” Swipe. “No, you didn’t swipe it with enough class.” Swipe.  “Again, for the cheap seats in the back.”  Swipe. “Try flicking your wrists.”   Yes, through all the fare hikes the NYC MTA* has levied they have yet to upgrade their magnetic strip reading device.*  I think to myself,  I'm lucky that a bunch of ambitious, in-a-rush New Yorkers aren't in back of me telling me to fuck myself!  
Silly and optimistically, I count my lucky stars so soon. As I battle with the turnstile I notice a woman standing in front of me on the other side of the turnstile. Kind of like if one of us was visiting the other in prison.  She seems to want to exit the subway platform, but she does not move to one of the many empty turnstiles to my right. Weird. 
Finally, the steel Praetorian Guard of the 4,5,6,Q,N, R trains reads my metro card and let me pass.  
However, this lady does not let me pass.  She mumbles something at me that I cannot make out.  I just keep walking down the subway platform toward the stairs that lead to my train, ignoring the pale lady with dull, orange hair.  She follows me, her chunky body surprisingly nimble.  She starts out behind me standing near the turnstile to all of sudden inches from the right side of my face. She repeats her inaudible utterance toward me. What do I do?  The only sensible thing.  I yell in her face, "WHAT?!" and run.  She follows me. I stop running. I could keep running but that means running down to the next level where the QNR trains travel. Running down a flight of stairs is dangerous. Then of course I could run all the way downstairs keeping my footing the whole time only to have to stop and wait for my train to arrive. It’s a Saturday I could be waiting until Monday for a train.* Will she follow me on the train? Will I have to out run her when I arrive in Flatbush?* No, I’ll just stop now.
I assess she is not a panhandler. Beggars in NYC don’t chase you.  Instead, a person in need asks for money.  Then you either give it to him or her, ignore the person, or say, “No.” Next the individual walks away or lets you walk away. This is a city of 8 million people someone else will be along shortly.
Why do I run? I don’t know.  I’m stopped by random strangers all the time. Usually people want directions.   It’s one of the many burdens of looking non-threatening; if only I were long-legged and sexy people would be intimidated by my beauty. This is the first time I respond with a 17 yard dash.  Maybe it is the way the pupils of her green eyes looked kind of like “Children of the Corn” eyes.  Maybe it is her own horrible outfit:  too tight, jean shorts and an ugly white t-shirt, which was tight in all the wrong places. Maybe it is everything put together. My instincts said to run, and those instincts were right.
She gets in my face and yells at me for yelling at her. I try explaining to her this is New York and her behavior is threatening.  Yes, I’m trying to rationalize with a person whose two eyes refuse to focus on the same point.  As quickly as a speed ball stops a heart she randomly changes tactics. She starts telling me a sob story. She tells me all she needs is some help. And then she keeps talking. I now know more about this woman than I do any of neighbors and none of them have ever chased me.  She hails from South Boston, she claims she is pregnant, which explains why her shirt fits weirdly. She is on her way to her first-born’s birthday party.  Apparently, she and her mating partner don’t want to let a single egg go unfertilized.
11:10am (the sob story)
She is lost. Someone took her purse and her wallet. “Don’t you feel guilty now?” she asks. “Um, no.” I reply. And here I discover her motive for blocking the turnstile. She asks, “How would you like it if I took your bag and wallet?”  This is some sort of attempted mugging.  And that’s the thing, being mugged by a woman. It takes forever.  There is so much talking. “Dude,” I respond “I don’t have any money.”  Which isn’t entirely true.  I have three dollars in my wallet; that is in my black messenger bag; that is slung across my left shoulder.
 She continues the mugging by guilt trip and I think “Are you trying to mug me or are we breaking up.”  I walk away. She steps in front of me and takes a fighting stance.
My knight in a grey polyester shirt finally appears. Patrick steps in between us.
Patrick was waiting for me to beat her down. When I didn’t he thought maybe he should prevent me from receiving a beat down. 
My assailant changes from ex-con to doctor Phil and asks Patrick, “What are you doing with her? You could do so much better.”  And I was like, “Thank you. I knew my mother was wrong about him, he is a catch.”  I can’t wait to shove the opinion of a crack head in mom’s face. I guess Miss Southy 2011 figures if she can’t steal my money she can try to steal my man. I know dating in New York City is cut throat, but to have your boyfriend mugged away from you—only in New York.
 She remains in her fighting stance as she flirts with Patrick. Patrick tries to defuse the situation. He raises his hands and frames his face -- like a human sunflower. He stands between us. “Hey let’s all relax here.” Yadda yadda, Soothing soothing.
The emotional mugger, who I now decide looks like one of those third-party, mayoral candidates* and is as logical, would not be deterred.  She tries to get at me by going around my boyfriend. So I put up my fists. And she starts criticizing my fighting stance. “What are you doing? You don’t even know how to fight? You got to put your hands up like this." Rocky Marciano proceeds to bring her hands so far up that her elbows are by her chin and her forearms are completely blocking her vision.  I see my moment, not to diffuse the situation, but to prove that it is she who has the stupid fighting stance.  I reach around my boyfriend and push her hands in her face. 
Or so I wanted to. Instead I just feel a little hurt. She reiterates that she is pregnant. I snap back, “Pregnant or just fat?” Hey, she started with the insults.
I ask myself why am I not putting my fist through her throat?   Why am I standing here dealing with this?  It’s about ten minutes already.   We’re just standing here. I studied karate for 20 years. Yes. Surprise! I know how to throw a punch and a straight forward kick. This could have ended 8 minutes ago after she chased me. She is only 3 inches or so taller than me.  But no. I wasted 20 years of study, training, and practice.
We  are in this stand-off underground. Every now again a random person passes us and says nothing. They call no one.  And she keeps telling us she’s pregnant. I keep saying random things like, “How can you be pregnant? You’re drunk at 11:00am.”  Why the time of day she was drunk is supposed to disprove her claims of pregnancy I don’t know.   Patrick keeps trying to calm everyone down. She denies being drunk. In fairness she is probably on something illegal.
She does not walk away.  I will not shut up and Patrick still has his hands up—sunflower still in full bloom.
This thought does not occur to me “Well, she is between us and the track and we can turn around and run out of the subway station.”  
I notice there is an underground newsstand. Maybe the purveyor of the stand has a land line. My little legs make a break for the newsstand. I leave Patrick in the dark about my plan because she isn’t deaf.  She chases me. Patrick tries to stay in between us. But he can’t. And he can’t hit her.  He’s a 6 foot tall man.  He’d get arrested even though she was in the wrong. He might not get convicted, but who wants to be finger printed, and spend the day at the precinct as this all gets sorted out.
I get to the convenience store that really is just an alcove in the wall of the subway station.  Panicked. I ask the man behind the counter to call the cops. He declines. The phone hangs on the wall 15 feet in front of my face. His inertia mocks me.  Why can’t this guy be one of those blue collar heroes the Daily News* loves to write about? Dude, think of the free publicity.  Who wouldn’t want to buy a bag of peanuts from the “Subway Bodega Hero?”
She arrives seconds later and goes for me. I step back and throw a lame kick. I move backward while throwing it.  It lands in her abdomen, but not very hard.   Candy bars fall from pyramid of snacks for sale. The store owner yells at us to get out of his store. “Just call the cops. She’s terrorizing me!”  Patrick gets in between the two of us again. “No, get out. Go to the station agent.*” A little audience has gathered to see the free drama.  They kept a safe distance. I implore them to “HELP!” but they don’t. Now Ms. Crazy starts saying, “You kicked me in the stomach. I’m pregnant. All these people heard me tell you before you kicked me.”
“You attacked me.” I reply with incredulity.
“No. You kicked a pregnant woman.”
“I barely kicked you” it was a shameful kick, I’m humiliated by that kick.
            Her constant mentioning of her pregnancy was really weird. Maybe this isn’t a mugging but con. Her plan: to harass me until I beat her. Then she sues me for injuring her and her unborn child that doesn’t exist. She claims I caused the miscarriage, an extra $50,000.  Or she never actually sues me, but threatens suit in order to get paid cash on sight.    
She picked the wrong mark. I have no assets. Sure there’s my college education, but all that’s worth is a part time job plugging in computers. She’d be better off suing her crack dealer.
The news stand idea was a bust. No one helped us.
 I run again. She stops by the station agent booth. Good go report me, whore. You’re the one with criminal record. And again instead of running out of the station I run down the stairs toward the NRQ trains.   I don’t want to have to pay an extra $2.25 to get back into the subway. I figure we have time to wait for our train it’s going to take forever for the cops to come and her to file a report. By that time I’ll be cruising over the Manhattan Bridge. Huzzah!
The train arrives. We are about to get on the train.  Wait. Where is Patrick? He is still upstairs.  Apparently, he is distracting her and trying to keep her from coming down the stairs. How am I supposed to know that?  Unaware of what is going on upstairs I yell for him from the lower level platform. I yell, “Eileen! Eileen.” That’s the name his mother would have named him if he were a girl. I don’ want to yell his actual name. I don’t want her to know it. Shockingly, Patrick does not reply to “Eileen” being shouted.
 I can’t just leave him with the nut job. If I get on the train who is going to stand-by his side? Who will agitate her more while at the same time not subdue her?  The train pulls out of the station with none of us on it. Oh how I just want to go home.
They came down together, thankfully, not hand in hand.  Patrick again stands between us where she then starts trying to coax me to fight her. “You’re\a such a coward? You’re sucha pussy you have to hide behind your boyfriend?” 
"Uh. This is actually the gender appropriate response. I'm a girl.  I'm not supposed to have an ego so fragile that I can't walk away from a fight. You can’t emasculate me.  I was never born with testicles.” 
Another Q train arrives at the station within a couple of minutes. This one is going in the wrong direction to Queens*.  There are people down here waiting for the subway. They of course make their way to different cars as the Q train doors open. We take our Sartre play on the Q train to Queens. 
We stand near the doors. She has her back to the end of one bench. Patrick stands facing her with his back to me. I stand behind him with my back to the beginning of the next bench of seats. The handful of passengers in the car with us are very engrossed in their books, smart phone solitaire, and their music.
 We ride east through the darkness of the subway tunnel.  I guess the con is over because now she just tries to grab Patrick’s wallet out of his back pocket. But I stand right there. I pull her hand off his wallet.  I take his wallet and put in my messenger bag. I don’t put her hand in a wrist lock.    Now she grabs after my messenger bag. I take her hand off my bag. Oh the germs she probably carries. Ugh!  She never gets a good grasp because she has to reach around Patrick.
"Look, lady! I’m not willing to spend an extra 2 dollars to get away from you. What kind of money do you think I have?”  She tries kicking me despite Patrick being in her way.  She calms down for a second, collecting herself.
She whips out a hypodermic needle and waves it in Patrick’s face, “You don’t want me to stick you with this.” Patrick’s sunflower wilts as he says, “OK now you’ve threatened me with deadly force. I will punch you in the face.”  She puts the needle away and says, “I have no reason to live.”
Light begins to slide into the subway car. Sun! Hope! The train was in Queens on an elevated rail. Never have I been so happy to be in Queens.
“Queensboro Plaza next stop,” the PA system informs me.  You better believe it is!  I grab my cell phone and call the cops.  The human brain cannot multi task. To remove myself from the distraction that is this walking Lifetime movie I walk across the car to the opposite door. Oops. Now Patrick is no longer between us. As I dial 911 and try to talk to the operator as our assailant continues to assail me with kicks. Unable to talk to the  911 operator and defend myself the Ginger lands a kick on my shin.  “She just kicked me in the shin, “ I told 911.  I repeated “Q train at Queensboro Plaza” 4 times. It kind of reminded me of the turnstiles 30 minutes ago. The train doors opened.
She fled.  “She ran away,” I informed 911. We hung up. Of course the train doors didn’t close right away, “We are delayed. Please be patient.” *  She doesn’t return. We travel two more stops into Queens just to be safe.
 We wait for a train to Brooklyn.
One uneventful hour later we were home.

And of course through this whole saga of running, being chased, screaming to onlookers, "She's terrorizing me! She's terrorizing me," and the harassment by one crazy bitch, not one New Yorker did anything. No one even bothered to whip out a cell phone and record it. I mean that could have been my big break, a viral You Tube video. I could have been a guest on the Today Show or Letterman. They would have introduced me to America as the girl who wouldn’t spend an extra 2dollars and 25 cents to save her own life.