Sunday, October 07, 2007
My computer died. I lost everything. All of my lyrics, all of my song ideas, all of my pictures (which includes thousands from Africa), all of my school assignments, music...I haven't cried yet but I'm afraid if I keep adding to this list...
I am typing to you from a brand new $1,300 computer. It's nice, sure. But I want my dirty, cracked computer back. I made that comment to my roommate earlier and we laughed for awhile, but it's true.
This post, however, is not about my generally bad weekend; it is about Paul, the 58-year-old man from New Zealand that I met today at the Apple store on 5th Avenue.
After hearing the bad news that my computer was long lost, I stepped outside to call my cousin, Jesse, an Apple employee for some advice, and then my mother for some comfort. Then I walked back in to the store, ready to quickly grab a computer and go.
That is not what happened.
"Why did you bring that computer here?" He is a small man, about my height, with short gray hair and reading glasses resting at the tip of his nose. He is standing in front of one of the laptops, gmail open, and a briefcase with papers resting on the table next to him. He speaks with an accent; a few minutes later I learn he is from New Zealand. That, and about a thousand other things.
"Oh, it fell off my bed this morning and now I need to buy a new one."
We talk about the computer for about a minute. Then he asks if I am a student. "No," I said, "I graduated in May."
He asks me where I work and what music publishing is. Then he tells me he wrote a song called "Venus" and asks me what he should do with it. I give him the best advice I can, thinking this person might be a little bit crazy, but I am intrigued nonetheless.
He starts telling me about the song. He can't explain it the way he wants to, so he tries to find the common link:
"Have you ever been in love?" he asks.
I laugh, "No, I haven't."
The look on his face is pure bewilderment. "You haven't?"
I shake my head. He is looking at me in a very serious way, as if what is about to happen next might change my entire path in life.
"Do you mind if I told you a story?"
A strange man in an underground computer store on one of the busiest streets in New York City wants to tell me a story. This is about the moment that I start wondering if the whole reason my computer fell off the bed was for this conversation.
He tells me he was 19 years-old when Janice, a cricket player, knocked on his door to tell him she had accidentally knocked a ball into his yard. He said that he opened the door, looked into her eyes and he fell in love.
This is when he takes off his glasses, folds them, and sits them on the table. His face is red. There are tears in his eyes.
He tells me that they dated all summer, but there was a distance that made it hard for the two of them to travel at the time. But he loved her. Not just because she was beautiful, not because he "saw something in her eyes," not because it felt good. He really loved her. (He also told me that he didn't love her because they had "consumated"...because they hadn't. Little shocking, but okay, I get it.)
Thirty years later, he is working at a marina selling boats in London. He sees a woman with blonde hair standing on the pier and she notices him hop from boat to boat, appearing as if he knows what he's doing. So she approaches him with questions about sailing. He asks if she would like to join him on a short sailing trip, ("I wasn't hitting on her," he says, "I just always look for an excuse to sail.") and she agrees. Then he introduces himself.
Paul. She knows this Paul. She has seen him before...
"Paul? My name is Janice. Do you remember me?"
She introduced herself with her married name, but still his heart begins to pound. He realizes that he know two Janice's. Janice B. and Jancice T. Janice T...the Janice.
"Were you at once Janice B?"
"No, I was Janice Thompson."
This is the second time that the man standing in front of me in the Apple store begins to cry. I cannot take my eyes away from him. Not for one second.
He tells me that Janice's husband had just passed and that he himself was at the end of a strangling relationship. He tells me that Janice renews his hope and his gustow (they still did not "consumate"), and Paul begins to have a vision for a way to help poverty-stricken families around the globe. Janice inspires him and he spends everything he has, over half a million dollars, on funding this organization. All that he now owns he can fit into two bags. He is meeting with President Bill Clinton this Wednesday to present his ideas.
"Changing poverty into prosperity."
I am blown away.
"How old are you? 24?" He asks. I tell him I am 22.
"You are still young. But you are growing, and your friends are starting to get married, right? Well, you. You wait. It might not be until you are 35, but you wait. You wait for the right husband who will love you the way you should be loved. It will be worth it."
(This, by the way, is the second time a stranger has stopped me in a public place and told me something about my marriage should be like. The first was a security guard at a museum in Nashville.)
"I don't know why I am doing this, but can I tell you another story?"
For the second time I smile and say, "Sure."
"The woman I am e-mailing right now, I met her on the train at Victoria Station." ("I've been there!" I say, "This summer!")
He tells me how they are the only two on the train so he sits next to her and says, "All the others are taken."
She is not a beautiful woman, he says, but she is kind and she is funny. They keep in touch and Paul tells me that he has fallen in love with her.
This, by the way, is the third time that Paul's face reddens and I see the tears form in his eyes.
He talks about how we have the ability to do much and when two people unite, the power between them is infinite. "And how can we fail," he says, "when the whole universe is based on creativity. It all began with creativity. These ideas I have are to better the world and I know that there will be hard times, but there is no possible way that I can fail. A door closed is another door opened. We have not been brought this far to fail."
"I can tell that you are a positive person, Brittany. Do you know how I can tell that?"
"Because you are still standing here."
(Are you sure that doesn't mean that I am just crazy?)
"I don't know why I am telling you these stories, but other people would have just gotten angry. Or they would have walked away and ignored me. You are not that way."
I am not that way.
But he doesn't see how annoyed I get on the trains when people talk to loud or stand in my way or cannot control their children. He does not see how I jolt by the woman who cannot carry her baby's stroller down the stairs alone.
I am not that way...
I know that nobody is perfect, not even this love fool, poverty hero from New Zealand, but here is the thing. We aren't that way. None of us. He is right, in a sense. We are not born to be that way.
He also tells me that it's just a computer and it's just money and that everything will be okay. Which is exactly what mom said.
"You might as well throw the damn thing to the floor again," he laughs.
"Because everything will be okay."
Posted by Brittany White at 9:20 PM
Saturday, October 06, 2007
I didn't know that the title of your blog really determines a lot in the blog world. I am dissatisfied with mine and I want a new one. But I can't think of anything.
Today I baked, did laundry, went to the grocery store, and ironed. One of my roommates said I make her feel inadequate. It is sort of strange being a Susy homemaker in the city. You have to walk to the store and you have to carry your laundry down the street and at the end of the day your arms hurt from all of the loading. Also, it is hot and it is October.
Well, in the theme of the day, I'm off to babysit.
Posted by Brittany White at 4:30 PM
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
We have all of them. We are in the process of de-cluttering our apartment to spray for bed bugs. We saw a mouse so there are traps all over the place. One of these traps caught a roach. The mouse is still alive and well...and decided to visit us during Pushing Dasies tonight.
Here are some photos if you're interested.
PS- Saw the Lady on the way home...happy.
Posted by Brittany White at 9:59 PM
The train that I take to work actually picks up at an above ground stop. It travels another two stops above ground, above traffic, until it plunges back into the underground. It is a local train, which means it generally is a longer ride than if I were to take the express, but I like this train because there is a moment, right before it dips into the dark, right after it passes a tall glass building, where I gain a little bit of hope and inspiration to help me get through the day. For about five seconds, I can see Lady Liberty. Cheesy? Well I'm about to get worse. She is this incredible symbol of American history and here I am, within view of her. I just feel like if she can stand there, bear the winter and the rain, then so can I.
Today I needed to see her pretty badly. The train was packed and I could hardly see through the swarm of people. There I stood, coffee in one hand, the other gripped tight to the railing, twisting my head around, hoping for a peak. Finally, the valley between the buildings, I stand up on my toes, ready to be inspired. And she is not there. The Statue of Liberty. Is gone. I'm freaking out. Shouldn't we tell somebody? F Train! Unite! Where is the Lady?
And then I realize. She has succombed to her only enemy.
A foggy day in New York town.
On another note, how do we feel about wearing yoga pants to work? I for one, feel good about it. Since I am wearing yoga pants to work today. But don't start yelling yet, mom, this is not relapse of me trying to sneak out to school in pajama pants. I paired them with a short striped dress and some sweet kicks. I almost look like a trendy, tight-wearing New Yorker.
I'll let you know if the Lady defeats the fog this evening. I am pretty faithful that she can make it through.
Posted by Brittany White at 1:13 PM
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Here is my desk:
Do you see my cactus? Yea! Love it. I've put up a few pictures and organized everything...it's getting there.
This is the corner of my area and my view to the right. That door is the VP of business affairs office, whom I assist.
The other side...
The CEO's office, whom I also assist.
And now, a few pictures of my room. It's far from finished, but I'm just really proud of this Africa photo grid that I just finished:
Hi! That's the ribbon I bought at M&J.
It looks sad. I want my bed!!
Posted by Brittany White at 9:06 PM
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
There are some things that I do not like in New York. Like moving. And how it takes weeks. But there are other things...
Two days ago I had my groceries delievered to me. Yes. Rang the doorbell and carried the whole thing up and sat it on the counter. Online grocery shopping is going to be my new favorite thing when the temperatures drop here.
M & J Trimming. Ever wonder where Calvin Klein and Donna Karen go for supplies? Well it's this place. It's in the fashion district and it's a short walk from where I work. I always wanted to go there but had no reason. But I needed some ribbon to hang a mirror with, so yesterday I went on my lunch break and got some beautiful deep red satin ribbon. Check this place out:
Blick. This website does not do the store justice. I needed an exacto knife for a Pottery Barn inspired photo project I am working on and stopped here on the way home from work. It's in NOHO (North of Houston St. as apposed to SOHO...South) which is a really cool area and let me just tell you. They have the COOLEST art supplies. Tons of canvases. Must go back soon.
Here is what the NY store looks like from the outside.
Also found out our closest grocery store (about 1/3 mi. away) delivers for $2 when you check out. Worth it!
Posted by Brittany White at 8:30 AM
Sunday, September 16, 2007
What a weekend.
I wheeled the dresser down in some partial rain and hit a few snags but I made it. Even manouvered around the couch stuck in the stairs and got it in the apartment. It's great. I love it.
My bed arrived! Yep. It came in 3 boxes. Box 2/3, box 2/3 and box 3/3. See anything wrong? Well I did when I opened two boxes, each that had a ladder in them. You don't need two ladders for a lofted bed do you? Nope. They sent me an extra box 2/3 instead of box 1/3. All this time waiting...and I am still waiting. And it will be up to two weeks until I get box 1. ADSJFBLAJKDGI;AIDSFUIASDFJJKBAG. Mad.
But it will be okay...
Today we got a new couch. Movers brought it up and got the other couch out of the hall which we sold to some Bulgarians on craigslist for $50. We also got three bar stools and a bookcase for total about $90 at Target. We had a crazy "cab" ride back (it was actually some guy in an SUV?). Target in NY is CRAZY and really annoying sort of.
Anyway...the apartment is coming along and we are in love with it. I promise there will be pictures soon.
Posted by Brittany White at 10:40 PM
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Aunt Christine tagged me for a "meme" which I have never heard of in my whole life, but I have chosen to participate:
You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
Players - You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
At the end of your post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
R - REALLY dumb. I am really dumb because I am about to wheel a dresser half a mile down the street that I am buying from someone on craigslist. Also because I spent my Friday night with my roommate trying to move a couch down two flights of stairs that it does NOT fit through. The results:
This is as far as we got. So what happens when I try to move my dresser upstairs and when my bed gets delivered later to day AND when our brand new BIGGER couch gets delievered tomorrow? Hmm...really dumb.
O - ORGANIZED. Because that is what I am trying to do this weekend, get the apartment organized and really stinkin' cute.
S - SIMPLE. I love the magazine Real Simple.
E - EXCITED to watch Felicity season 3 while I am waiting for my bed to arrive this afternoon. Excited for my bed to actually arrive. Excited to babysit for two little girls tonight on the Upper West Side. To me, this is a fun Saturday.
So Christine, you think you have no blog friends? Well...unfortunately the only blogs I read are yours and Perez Hilton on occasion. Since I don't think I could tag Perez, I'm going to try something different. I want the first four people who read this blog to leave me a comment with your middle name meme. Mom, I really want you to do this because your middle name is ELIZABETH and that is just crazy. Same for Lauren. Tracy would be easy because she's just Beth. Anyway, four people. Leave a comment.
This morning I made a really yummy, healthy breakfast, and I thought I'd share. I used two egg whites, a little milk, and two slices of high fiber flaxseed bread (it's good! I like the nutty flavor) to make french toast (with Pam, not butter). Then I warmed up about a half a cup of blueberries until there was lots of juice and mixed in two packets of splenda. Poured them on top and wa-la. It was sooo good. Do I sound like a health freak? I'm really not. I ate almost everything in the candy dish the other day at work. I think I go back and forth between two extremes as far as healthy goes.
Well mom wants me to blog about my experience with John Denver's brother. Maybe next time...I have to go get the dresser.
Posted by Brittany White at 9:14 AM
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Send Lauren a letter
Find a church
Get involved in a church
Join a choir
Make a photo grid a la the one I saw in Pottery Barn
Try writing another (better) children's book
Join a gym
Take a cooking class
Take a language class
Take guitar lessons
Visit Washington DC
Stop buying cheaply made clothes and be satisfied with fewer, nicer ones
Go to some museums
I have all these things in my head about what I want to do now that my evenings and weekends are free of any homework and I was tired of them swimming around and some of them becoming forgotten. So, hopefully I can start crossing things off this list.
Since I don't have a guitar here yet and I am sick of biting my nails, I've been letting them grow and using the really cool file mom gave me. It's weird.
The people that stand in the booths in the subway are generally...mean. I say generally because, of course, not all of the people that sit in the underground booths wake up with an incredibly sour disposition, but most of them just seem to. So today when I was riding the train home and I saw one of these "booth people" standing outside the booth smiling and saluting the driver of the train, it was just enough to make me feel really happy despite the dark, dirty underground. I noticed things like this a lot more often last year, when I knew that I would be here for a definite time. I'm going to try to still notice those things despite the now indefinite time...it's probably still important.
And if I seem distracted ever...it is because I am still addicted to Felicity. And Tracey, I will definitely let you know what I think of the end.
Posted by Brittany White at 11:14 PM
Monday, September 10, 2007
Saw him today:
I was going to Borders on my lunch break, which is connected to Madison Square Garden, where Oprah was filming a few episodes today. I don't know if Bono had anything to do with Oprah, but all of the sudden there were people and cameras, and I'm just trying to find a way into the bookstore, not realizing that I'm getting closer to Bono, but I was. I turned around and hey, it's Bono. Too bad I wasn't wearing my (RED) shirt.
That is probably because my (RED) shirt is still in Texas. With all my other belongings. Mother, don't feel guilty.
Can you tell that I'm restless?
So...what to say, what to say...I know! I love you guys and it is so fun to read comments from my aunts and cousins and friends because you are all very awesome. And to Christine, I promise to post pictures of the apartment by the end of the month. Because I want you guys to be so dang jealous of where I live that you just have to get on a plane and experience it for yourselves. Ha!
Alright, I'm a workin' girl. Bedtime!
Posted by Brittany White at 11:45 PM
Sunday, September 09, 2007
It's funny how whenever I set out to do something (mostly when I am alone) in this city, what I wanted to do in the first place hardly ever happens.
Last night I wanted to go to bed early because the week had left me just exhausted. I thought maybe I'd watch a movie to wind down, so I looked through my roommates' movies (since most of my belongings are still elsewhere) and found three DVD seasons of the television show "Felicity." If you haven't seen the show, here are the basics:
Bookish California girl graduates high school with plans to follow in her father's footsteps and become a pre-med student at Stanford. However, surprise, surprise, this is not what she really wants. So when her crush-from-a-far writes a nice note in her yearbook, she decides on little more than a whim to follow him to NYU where she eventually falls for her RA instead. That's how far I've gotten.
I should have been weary of my weakness to addicting television shows, especially stories about girls moving to New York and working at my favorite coffee shop (and it has been fun to see what Hollywood's perception of being an RA is). Basically, I will no doubt finish season one by the end of the weekend (there are only two more episodes to watch), thereby wasting my time watching a really likeable girl explore her life in this city instead of doing so myself. I feel a little guilty about this...? But the thing is, I just love stories. And sometimes, a good story is just what I need to really feel creative again, which is a feeling that I thrive on.
So anyway, today. Today I had every intention of going to a huge BBQ for work, and I was really excited about it. But as it is my first weekend living in Brooklyn and I cannot yet gage time frames from here to various places, I was late getting to Grand Central Station, which was were people were meeting to get on a train and go to the BBQ. I figured I could just go alone, but when I went to call someone, I noticed my phone died. Which, by the way, has been happening way too much lately at the most inopportune times. So since I had no idea how to get to the BBQ, I thought I'd do something else (obviously), like go read in the park. But it was just so hot and, well, I don't really know what happened next. I sort of succombed to this dream state (because despite my exhaustion, I had only slept for five hours the night before) and I eventually found myself at Fairway, a really great grocery store on 72nd street. And on the West Side, or in my mind, "You've Got Mail" land. It's actually one of my favorite areas in Manhattan.
I was craving fruit, especially mangos. I love mangos since being in Kenya and I had a wonderful mango from a grocery store down the street the other day. So I bought two mangos, two pounds of strawberries, five kiwi (is "kiwi" the plural of kiwi? "kiwis" sounds strange...), and a brownie mix. Because I felt like baking but didn't want to lug all of the ingredients for homemade brownies all the way back.
Next, I came home and watched some more Felicity. And I took a nap. A late nap; one of those where you don't wake up until it's dark outside. I HATE those naps. Now it is 2:30 AM and I am disoriented and feeling a little sad about missing the BBQ, even though I am happy to have had some downtime.
I guess I am trying to avoid typing out diary worthy thoughts right now; I am more concerned about recording the events of the day-to-day than all my icky "feelings," but I cannot help admit that I seem to be in such a boring, melancholy state of "in-between" right now. I knew to expect it and yes, I know I have not even been here for a month, but I am so much more the person who wants to immediately settle into the next thing. Even something to put my clothes in besides my suitcase would make me feel like I was taking one giant step forward.
Oh well, that day will come. Until then, here's hoping for a more eventful Sunday and lots of witty, humorous blogs in the future.
PS- Did anybody notice how I diverted from the topic of diversion? To the side of me that pushes her glasses up her nose and snorts on occasion, that actually IS fairly humorous...
Posted by Brittany White at 2:11 AM
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Well, it seems the dust has cleared.
This Friday marks my three week anniversary at my job and...I finally have my very own room to sleep in.
Okay, so who thought finding an apartment in New York City would be harder than finding a job in New York City? Please. I looked at some pretty rotten places in between witnessing a drug deal and being followed by someone who kept yelling something at me about being white. I was constantly on the internet, e-mailing, searching, e-mailing, breaking down...and finally. A phone call from a friend from college and a few days later, I am living in a fabulous three bedroom apartment with three fabulous girls in the fabulous (safe) neighborhood of Park Slope in Brooklyn. And it is only a thirty minute train ride to work, which is faster than my Harlem commute. I tell you, I am in good hands.
I guess now I am just waiting for normalcy to kick in. It all still feels so un...permanent.
I forgot to mention that Target is a few stops away and it is on my way home from work AND there is a Guitar Center right by it. Target!!
Everyday all I think about is when all the things I've ordered from various furniture/housewares stores and all of the boxes from home are going to arrive. I know that "things" won't make this place a home, but those things do come with a sense of the people that have surrounded them.
But I am ready, I really am, to finally look out with no grasp of the end, and call this place home.
Posted by Brittany White at 8:32 PM
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I feel like I have just stepped back one year in time. I never decided to stop blogging (that is still a horrible word) after I moved back to Nashville and Texas, I just never really had the desire to keep it up. But I have been in New York for four days, and I keep thinking of writing. I think it's a combination of 1) knowing that my mother loves to read these and 2) things just constantly happen in New York that are worthy of writing down. So...I am going to write them down.
Here is some important groundwork for this next round in my life:
1. I now have a job where I was previously interning a year ago. It is a blessing. It is perfect. After three days, I love it, and I really don't think I'm being too overly optimistic by thinking that won't change two years from now.
2. I don't have an apartment. I am staying with my best friend and her husband of one year, and dog of a few months, in a studio apartment in Harlem.
Those are the only things I am thinking about lately; do well at my job, get an apartment.
And of course....breathe.
Posted by Brittany White at 10:35 PM