At left: Feliz Cinco De Mayo! (Poster translation: "Before your celebrate, designate a driver." Oh, we did, as you shall see.)
The day after my birthday, it was work as usual. My door is untreated wood, and the first year it was installed, the grafitti artists tagged it like crazy. You can't get grafitti out of untreated wood, so I covered the door with paper. Students take pride is ripping it and writing on it. After work Monday, I had to re-do a bulletin board vandals messed up and I fixed my door by creating and laminating a large poster. The poster should protect the paper so they can't rip it.
Tuesday I thought I was going shoe shopping, but I didn't find anything that fit, so I went bra shopping instead. I needed new ones because of the weight I lost last year (I went from 36C to 36B). Because it's expensive, I've been replacing my bras a few at a time. Wow. This paragraph manages to be simultaniously mundane and too much information. Wednesday I went on a mini-spree at H&M to buy two pairs of pants, two spring dresses, and short-sleeve button front shirts in black and white (wardrobe staples!). All this was also necessary due to the weight loss. I like how I look lighter, and I feel more fit...I'm even starting to enjoy running a little. But it's been expensive! Half of my skirts are so loose that they twist around when I walk. The side seams end up in front.
Thursday I was supposed to clean and do laundry. Instead, I went out to eat with Tom. His allergies were acting up, though, so things were cut short. I was home in time to sink into bed and watch Grey's Anatomy. Then Friday I did the world's fastest four loads of laundry before meeting up with Laura, Carolina and Madrid at Three of Cups. My shrimp pizza was yummy, but I ate too much and it upset my stomach. I told them I was going home instead of staying out for drinks. "No! You can't go home!" I decided to cut to the chase: "Guys, I just puked in my mouth." "But you don't have to go home," Laura cajoled. I thought perhaps I just hadn't said it right, so I tried again: "No, seriously! I just puked in my mouth!!!" "Oh, okay, if you're sure you want to go home," Laura replied sadly. Hee. Once I got home, I took an antacid and felt fine.
Then Saturday, I went to JFK airport. Was I going on a trip? No! I was going to meet one of my bestest girlfriends, Rose. Rose is a wonderful girl I met in Spain. She's a native Southern Californian. She works for Planned Parenthood and is a high ranking officer (perhaps the highest ranking?) of the local NOW chapter. She's also an awesome dancer and speaks killer Spanish. She is, as we speak, in Spain working on her dual citizenship. This is possible due to her adorable Spanish hubby. Anyway, she had a layover in her San Diego-Madrid flight: a few hours at JFK airport. So I trekked all the way out there to hang out with her. I gave her a backrub and comforted her about her unusual transatlantic marriage. She gave me delicious Kinderbuenos (my favorite European candy bar) and comforted my about grad school in Virginia and having to leave my beloved boyfriend. We gave each other the world's longest hug when she had to go back through security to catch her flight. I'll miss her, but seeing her was so great! Every time I see her, it's like we were never apart.
After Rose left, I went to a Cinco De Mayo party at the home of Tom's friends, Sarah and Afton. The food, music and friends were great. Their dogs tried to eat Tom's pants. Oops. We ended up playing Password (or Catch Phrase or whatever). I was awesome at it, but I should probably have taken it down a notch. When it was time to go home, Tom had had a few drinks and announced, "Either you'll have to drive or we can take the bus." Thus began my first driving adventure in NYC!
I made Tom promise: No yelling at me. No making fun of my driving. This proved challenging from the start, as I am used to gear shifts attached to the steering wheel and his is on the floor. When I wanted to go in reverse, I ended up washing the windshield. Anyway, slowly but steadily I managed to get un-parallel parked! It was a standard parking job in NYC, but in Iowa it would have been considered a little tight. Also, it was on a hill. Even with the windshield-squirting, I was pretty happy with how things were going when there was suddenly an ambulance parked facing me in my lane.
"What do I do," I asked. "Go around it," Tom replied. But then I found that fire trucks were blocking the road ahead and to the right and there was no left turn. In other words, there was nothing to do but turn around. "Do a K-turn." I could not remember exactly how to do a K-turn as I probably hadn't done one since Driver's Ed. I forged ahead, anyway, and SQUIRT! accidentally washed the windshield again. I was trying to turn with these fire trucks everywhere, and several other cars were trying to turn, too, which made the whole process more perilous. Tom yelled a little, and I reminded him of my two rules (No yelling at me. No making fun of my driving.) He forced himself to be calm as I got the car going in the right direction. I calmly drove as the people around me...drove? Is that what you call it? Drivers in Brooklyn are CRAZY! I'd exclaim at some crazy maneuver they'd make, and Tom would reply, "It's Brooklyn," as if that explained everything. I got us back to Tom's apartment safely and even managed to parallel park. He managed to only make fun of me with his eyes.