Subways: How Do I Loathe Thee?

Let’s talk about the New York City subways. And the NJ PATH trains. Let me count the ways I hate them.

One, yesterday morning I got an email alert saying that my train just wasn’t running at all. “Train service is suspended due to a track condition.” What the H is a track condition? Did the rats create a barricade? I had to take a train to World Trade Center, transfer to NYC Transit to get to midtown, and it took me twice as long. The trains didn’t run from approximately 8am through 9:30am. They were fixed just as the morning rush ended. Cool.

Reason two, rats. If you’ve never seen a Manhattan rat, you don’t know what horror is. These suckers are as big as house cats. I’m not exaggerating. I’ve seen them run across platforms, people jumping onto benches screaming. If I see a rat in the track, I jump a foot into the air. It’s just so disturbing. Recently, someone posted a video of a rat climbing on a sleeping man on the subway. Meaning the demon came onto a car and attacked a human. That’s a bold freaking strategy. (Don’t click that link if you don’t want to cry yourself to sleep tonight.)

Reason three, the inhumane cattle call in which I participate every morning and evening. I think of myself as a respectable young lady for the most part, but there is nothing remotely nice about my thirty minute journey to and from my job. It’s really not okay for them to pack the trains so full that no one can move. I mean if I try to scratch my nose, I would bump someone. Sometimes creepy men have to stand so close to me that I feel I should file a report until I realize they really have no choice. I could be a scary biker dude, and we’d still be standing ass to ass.
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Quarter-Life Crisis?

So on Monday, Miriam turns twenty-six. Four days later, so will Ellyn.

Miriam: I know I should have qualms about entering my “late twenties,” namely qualms about getting old, but dating a thirty-something really changes your perspective. I really never worry about being old. I’m putting that in the life-long feel-good benefits box of my relationship.

The truth is, I’m kind of excited. I like birthdays. I like excuses to eat lots of meat at my boyfriend’s expense. (He’s a vegetarian. And he’s a grad student.) This is the one day a year I get to choose any restaurant, and he has to pay. Last year we got oysters. This year, well, haven’t decided but I’m hearing good things about this place called Animal…

Ellyn: Animal… I’m sure Bryan will love that place. I spent most of this week looking for birthday party venues in New York City. My first idea was Carnival, but the place collapsed because of snow. Naturally.

I have no other ideas, because, in case you missed the memo, New York is not my scene. None of it. My friend wants to have a joint birthday party, which is cool, but he wants to go to a club. I’m more of the beach-tiki-bar type. I don’t like to give up control and let Shaun plan it, because he’ll wait until the last minute and I’ll worry about it until then. Not to mention I cry almost every single birthday. Last year, we went to Rosa Mexicano and I cried in my margarita for some unrelated reason. But really I was already overwhelmed with attention and overly emotional because it was my birthday and that meant I was getting older…closer to thirty…and death.
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Please Help Me Not Kill My Girlfriend, Round 2

Dear Ellyn’s Boyfriend,

My girlfriend has exposed all of my foibles for the world to read (though at least she has the decency to stop at the bedroom door). I’ve had a good dozen friends mention this blog to me, and how much they love reading about how I screw up. For a while, I had them all fooled about how together I am, but now they know the reality. The facade has crumbled.

Aside from changing my bad habits – and let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen – how do I live with the shame? And how can I keep this all from showing up in Google searches?

Publicly chastened,
Miriam’s Boyfriend

Dear Miriam’s Boyfriend,

Sometimes I think we are living parallel lives. lt’s like looking in a mirror, only not. On this weeks episode of blogger boyfriends I need to ask you about your west coast life, because my girlfriend is nagging me to move there. It’s my understanding that you grew up in Cali, moved to NYC, and then ended up back on the west coast in LA. What made you decide to move back to Cali ? What do you miss the most about NYC? Is the west coast really the best coast?

Eagerly awaiting your reply,
Ellyn’s Boyfriend
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Growing Up Is Hard to Do

This week we were G-chatting about how hard it is to be grateful and happy in our fortunate lives in NY and LA. We’re trying to decide how to stop missing what we had or looking forward to things we could have in order to appreciate the present. If you have any advice for us, please comment. We’re desperately discontent this week.

Miriam: Moving to LA has been incredible and surprising and challenging — in other words, life-changing, which is undeniably good for the soul. But the hardest thing about it, hands down, has been letting go of my friends back home. Or coming to terms with the fact that we’re all changing and the roles we play in each others’ lives are shifting.

In my fantasy world, I get to have all the wonderful things I got by moving to LA, only the tremendous friends I left in New York live here too. Because back in New York, I was actually lucky enough to literally have a group of Friends-friends. Rare, I know, and frustrating, because seriously who actually has the perfect group of friends who live nearby and are just too TV perfect to be true? But oh my god, how I treasured them. And still do. Only now I get to miss them like hell all the time and it blows.
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When In Doubt, Throw Him Out, And Other Sisterly Advice

Dear Chana, Tali, Susan, and Sarah:

We love being the biggest sister and all, and we definitely love all of you, but we’re getting kind of tired of giving you the same old boy advice all the time. So we thought we’d put together some handy feel-good tips for the blog, and you could all stop harassing us. Sound good? Great.

1. When going through a break-up or dealing with rejection, believe us, you’ll get over him. And when you do, you won’t remember what you liked in the first place. It’s annoying and seems like it takes forever, but it doesn’t. You have to go through this crap in order to get to the good stuff. Oh and it’s not because of you. Don’t let anyone determine your self-worth — we know you’re the most awesome, beautiful, smartest people alive, and we promise a guy will notice that (and be ready to handle it) in the near future. You just have to believe that about yourself too.

2. In college, realize that you’re probably dating guys who are also in college. We know, duh, but we’re saying that 20-year-old guys are children. You can’t expect them to know what you need or want or be in a mature relationship with you. They’re not mature. They don’t know what they’re losing by acting like losers. If you have him in your phone as “DUI Mike” or “Beer Bong Ben,” just delete his number. You’ll thank us, especially when you don’t have to wake up and look at your outbox full of drunk texts you never should’ve sent. (If you’re not convinced, just ask Miriam. She can tell you some pretty horrifying stories.) If he does decide to text you one day, it will be wonderful when you text back, “Who is this?” The best.
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Please Help Me Not Kill My Boyfriend, Micromanagement Edition

Dear Miriam,

I used to think I had decent fashion sense, but then I moved in with Shaun. Whenever I try something new on, he always has a “needs improvement” comment. The other day I was about to buy a sweater, until he looked at it and just said “no.” I (should) appreciate the brutal honesty, but I’ve lost my fashion confidence. He tends to say what he thinks no matter what! How will I ever go shopping or get dressed and feel good about it again?

Are you sure I look okay?

Dear Ellyn,

I’m worried about Bryan. He made a spreadsheet for my birthday present. In one column, there is a list of all the things I want (a cappuccino machine, which apparently comes with a multitude of accessories and options), and in the other column there is a list of all the money I’ve been given for it. He also has spreadsheets documenting his tax deductible receipts and every single movie he owns. When do I stop admiring his organizational skills and start researching the side effects of OCD? And how do I inject some romance back into my friggin’ birthday?

Why is everything in rows and columns?!
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When Ellyn Won $500 and Miriam Stopped Speaking to Her

We realize we’re writing about the Super Bowl a day later than everyone else, but this way we figure you’ll have had plenty of time to digest all the other post-game reactions and can focus your full attention on ours. That and we needed to go to bed immediately after it was over Sunday night. It was all so overwhelming! Have we mentioned we’re geriatrics?

So now that we’ve recovered, here’s what the beautifully refreshed ladies of JFKLAX have to say:

I, Ellyn, despise football, and Miriam was ready to kill me for saying that even before I texted her that I accidentally won $500 Sunday night. Ironically, I tend to win every bracket, bucket, and bet I place in the sporting world. Which is even funnier because my uncle often puts the money in for me so I forget I even have anything on the line until I’ve won. So the whole actually watching sports part is a complete bore to me.

Ellyn Kills March Madness

For proof, here is my bracket from the NCAA Basketball Tournament in 2009. Want to know my strategy? Pick in a hurry on your way out the door. Choose the schools with cooler names. I won another $500 and, yes, everybody hated me then too.

I, Miriam, have nothing to say to my co-blogger on the subject of sports betting. Have I mentioned how much I hate her? And I adore football. In fact, the next few months between now and when baseball starts? Pretty much the most boring time of the year ever. I ran — and won — an all-girls fantasy league (sorry, co-blogger, that actually takes time and effort). So while you were hard core whining to Shaun the whole night about how you couldn’t even hear the commercials, I was blissfully eating chips and corn dogs and rooting against Rapelisberger. Seriously, FOX announcers, playing in the Super Bowl is not a redemption case for rape. At least Michael Vick went to jail!
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A couple years ago, Jude Law walked straight into me in SoHo and I almost screamed at him. Then I looked up and saw who he was so, yeah, I just kept walking. Back then, that was my best celebrity spotting — that and the time I got to interview the entire cast of Entourage at the Ziegfeld. Oh yeah, and I would see the Gossip Girl cast filming all the time, but that got to be boring. Fast.

And then, like most of my stories go, I moved to LA.

Not to rub the wonders of this warm and sunny city in all your snow and ice-covered faces, but celebrity sightings here? They rock. I may never get sick of them. Even if my writing dreams ever do come true and I actually get to work with celebrities someday. The sightings here are just so… serendipitous. Our first night out we saw James Cromwell, the bad cop in LA Confidential, which just happens to be one of my boyfriend’s favorite movies. And my first day writing at Starbucks Ellen Pompeo from Grey’s Anatomy walked in. Talk about fate.
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The Trouble With V-Day

In honor of that upcoming troublesome holiday (seriously, we can’t decide if we love or hate it), we decided to forgo our usual weekly “Dear” column in lieu of some good old-fashioned Valentine’s Day snark. But never fear! There’s still plenty to mock the boys about.

I heard a rumor that you loved Valentine’s Day as a kid. What’s that about?

Ellyn: It’s hard to say, but I had this sweatsuit, remember those? It was about 1992. Anyway, red pants, and a navy blue sweatshirt with red hearts on it. I wore it every Valentine’s Day until it didn’t fit me anymore. After that I always wore something pink and red on V-Day. Plus my parents always gave us a card and treat with dinner, and then every kid in my class had to give valentines to everyone else in our handmade little paper bags.

And since it was only 10 days until my birthday, I knew I was supposed to be born on Valentine’s Day.

I heard a rumor that you weren’t allowed to celebrate cause it wasn’t Jewish…

Miriam: Yes, Christian martyrs weren’t recognized in my house. We were too busy making martyrs of ourselves.

And all I ever wanted was one of those pink hearts cut out from construction paper!
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Nobody Thinks Your Baby's As Cute As You Do

Especially not us.

I (Miriam) swear the most effective way to prevent teen pregnancy is to put a bunch of teenagers on a plane and surround them with screaming babies. On all sides. For hours. Over multiple flights. Because that’s what happened to me last month and my ovaries have died. Literally.

OK, figuratively. I was never much of a baby person–save for a few of my friends’ very cute babies who behaved well and smiled at me when I held them. I’d get my baby fix (or as my bf, Bryan, loves to put it, “other peoples’ baby fix”) and leave happy because I’d gotten to play with it but didn’t have to go home with it. But this weekend we went to a friend’s party and walked into, oh, four babies, and I sort of wanted to hurl.

I (Ellyn) don’t hate babies or pregnant women. But I do hate when people post photos of their ultrasounds on Facebook and give details about their gyno appointments. It’s really creepy to see exposed pregnant bellies on FB. Actually any exposed belly. Save it for… I don’t know when that would ever be appropriate. There has to be some kind of Mommy forum that was specifically created for this kind of content. Oh wait, there are at least two.

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