Dear Charlie,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'll never forget the first night we spent together. I was laying comfortably in my bed watching Keeping up with the Kardashians when I saw you for the first time. You scrambled across my floor so fast I thought that maybe I had imagined you, yet I knew in my heart you were there with me. You kept the shoes in my closet company, letting me know that they would always be looked out for. You ran across my kitchen floor, likely just making sure all food crumbs were disposed of.

When you disappeared for weeks, and sometimes months, I wondered if you would ever come back. But the droppings I found under my bed told me that you were there, watching me, the entire time.

You taught me that wearing Hunter boots and cleaning gloves at the same time while holding a can of raid would not make you leave me. Nor would the boric acid, or the mouse traps I laid for you. All the time, energy, and money I spent on you went to waste, it seems, but I know that you will develop a relationship with the next tenant.

Don't worry that I'll forget you. Whenever I walk barefoot to the bathroom at night, I know you'll cross my mind. And anytime I see a shadow or sudden movement out of the corner of my eye, I'll wonder if it's you. My family will remember you always, as well, as you and my sister developed a lovely bond when watching The Glee Project this past summer.

I wish you luck in the future. I know you'll find someone you love even more than me. Please understand that I can't bring myself to leave you my new address.


Becoming "ungreen"

I'm green.

Not queasy, but inexperienced. From my first day off of the reception desk until now I have learned so so much about this company and the programs they use and how this industry works. But I still feel so frustrated with myself that I'm so far behind.

I've started assisting an editor at work who works only on Avid. This is a problem for me since I have 5 years of Final Cut experience but know nothing whatsoever about Avid. In the past 2 weeks of assisting her, I've had to use Avid, After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator. How many of these do I know? ....none. Well, now I do know the basics of Avid and I know enough about After Effects that I can make a super with an alpha channel, which is good, but I can't help but feel so far behind. I had friends in college who knew these programs, why why WHY didn't I try to pick them up then?

My good friend at work, M, says "no one knows everything right away. I used to go home crying because I thought I would never learn this." That makes me feel better. For some reason programs like these have always been really difficult for me to learn. Ironic that I chose an industry which primarily revolves around them. I know I'll get there. For now all I can do is watch tutorials and practice. Nothing makes you learn faster than doing and this past week I've had to make some revisions which I found very challenging. But I'm learning!

The learning can't come fast enough, let me tell you. Hopefully once I get past my first year I'll stop making mistakes and start moving faster. Hopefully?

It's a girl!

Monday, August 22, 2011

So I've moved! I am now residing in a much better bug-free apartment. There are boxes everywhere and it's hard to walk across the living room....but at least the hard part is over!

Last night I slept soundly in a clean bed with new sheets, a mattress pad, and my comforter which I have not had in almost a month. I took my shower, got cozy in my bed with a glass of wine, and went to bed early. It was fantastic. Although I did dream that I found a bed bug. Finally I can go to sleep without my room mate in my bed, fear, or the use of medication!

And, in other news, I'm getting a kitty! The new building allows cats so of course I asked both of my room mates first thing if they would be ok with me getting one. They both were and I went straight to look at the cats at the nearest shelter. It was hard. I could easily take them all! In the bottom left cage there was a little gray cat with specks of gold throughout her long fur. She reminded me a bit of Sara so I suppose that's why I was drawn to her. She purred when I held her and licked my fingers when I put her back in her cage. She is a year old and was rescued from a hoarder. Her name is Pandora, but I think she looks like a Sasha. She is so beautiful with big green eyes and looks just like a little princess. I thought for a while that I might go see all the other kitties I could at other shelters, but I know I would just fall in love with all of them. Something about "Sasha" struck me so I put in an application for her and am taking her home!

I'm so excited to have a cat again, and I hope she likes to cuddle! I'm not sure exactly what day I'm getting her, but I imagine sometime in the next week. I'll post pictures as soon as I get her!

Drinking from the bottle...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I sat there. Room empty but for some dirty pink sheets on a bed, a dresser, vanity, and a clothing rack. Ok, ok and a TV. I was watching Burlesque (you KNOW it's a fantastic film) drinking cheap Cabernet straight from the bottle. A high class moment.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Saturday was hell.
Woke up at 6:45 and fast-walked up to my new apartment. Arrive just in time to meet the two guys from Sleepy's at 7:10. Thank god I woke up on time! They were there to deliver a new box-spring my mom had ordered for me; the bed bug expert had recommended I throw my old one out. Let them in the apartment, put the box-spring in my room and got out. Went for a coffee and got a little reading in before I had to meet my new room mates back at the new apartment to sign the lease and pay September's rent. At about 10:15am we signed the lease. Went to the bank to get a bank-certified check (since apparently personal checks aren't worthy...makes sense since I'm pretty sure my check would have bounced...) but the bank was closed. Ugh. Went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get some new, non-blood-stained sheets (stained from the bed bugs....not my sisters will laugh at that one), and went back to the office to tell them that I had no money for them. Not a big deal, give them the money on Monday. Go to my new apartment, cut the plastic off the box -spring to use on my current mattress. Walk back to my current shit hole of a living situation. Pack up boxes. Run out of boxes. Run out of paper towels. Run out of bubble wrap. Feel completely overwhelmed like "OMFG what am I doing here how can I do this all by myself my life is a joke." More boxes and bubble wrap arrive that mom ordered for me. Pack those boxes. Try and pretend that I can fit everything I own into cardboard boxes. Lay down on bed with feeling of accomplishment. Realize that in my closet is a bag of coats that I had sitting on bed when I had bed bugs. Take coats, 2 duffel bags, and two pillows to cleaners. Dry them for 30 minutes. Buy bottle of wine. Go back to cleaners. Pretend I can carry two giant heavy bags of double-bagged clothing back to my shitty apartment. Realize during this journey that I just bought a bottle of wine yet have no glasses or wine opener. Swear out loud. Drop bags. Get to apartment, find out my wine has a twist top (!!!!!). Take apart my bed, vanity, night stand, and dresser. Vacuum extensively. Spray down with all-natural bed bug spray. Pack for a few more minutes before giving in, opening my bottle, taking a giant swig, and calling my mom to order me take-out since I have no internet. Sit back, watch Sex and the City on my dirty bed, drink straight from bottle. Relax. Cannot take shower due to the fact that I have packed everything but decide it's ok since I'm throwing these sheets out anyway. Eat Thai food. Pass out.

Sunday was hell.
Wake up at 6:30. Throw out sheets. Maneuver bed-bug infested box-spring mattress down 40 steps and onto the street. Decide that it would be best if neighbors did not know it was mine and drag/push it down sidewalk (hence ripping bed-bug cover, rendering it useless) until I reach light-pole away from apartment. Abandon disgusting box-spring. Pack everything leftover into computer bag. Go to Coffee Pot to get coffee and breakfast and use ATM for cash-only movers. Closed. Go to Amish Market for coffee and croissant. Go to Coffee Pot to use ATM. ATM has $100 maximum withdrawal. Curse. Go home. Finish coffee. Movers arrive. They are nice...jam everything into disgusting van and go to new place. Move in very fast. Go back to old place. Find that K has, again, left door wide open even though she is not there. Say silent thanks that I am no longer living with her. Discover my grandmother's ring on my vanity that I know was not there before. It is actually my sister's ring currently and she has been searching desperately for it. It is Victorian, very old, very dear to us. Curse Kristen for stealing it from her for 2 months, but decide not to say anything because, really, what's it going to do? Run up and down stairs. Decide that I will have dropped 10 pounds and 2 pant sizes in one day. Ass is firm as a muscle-builder's bicep. Say fuck you and flip off old apartment. Go back to new place. Finish moving in. Withdraw $300 from my dwindling account. Give to movers. Go back to new place. Set up bed, unpack 7 boxes. Try and put furniture in places it won't be in new roommates' way. Decide I am hungry. Go to Trader Joe's. Discover there is no wine at that location. Find wine store on way back to new apartment. Buy bottle of Concannon Pinot Noir. Am excited that I have found bottle of Concannon- first in the city. Go home. Watch True Blood. Open bottle of wine. Drink out of glass from old apartment that I find in box with shampoo and conditioner. Feel somewhat accomplished.

Moving day: Over.

Unpacking....entire next week.

Oh ya. I can do this.

The Move: A Prequel

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Moving with bed bugs. Or should I say, without bed bugs. Is this even possible?

I don't know. But you can bet your ass I'm trying my hardest to accomplish it!

I spent Monday and Tuesday hauling the majority of my laundry over to the laundry place a few blocks away. I put everything (including my dry-cleaning) in the dryers for 36 minutes. This only cost my $1.50 a cycle, thank god, as I am currently broke due to the fact that I had to pay August rent at my current apartment, prorated August rent at my new apartment, $150 credit check fee, deposit on my new apartment, AND September rent. Exhale. That's a lot of money for someone who makes just enough to not be considered poverty.

So I have embarked on my master "moving without bed bugs" plan. It goes as follows:

Step 1: All this week, get as much out as possible. Take all high-risk items (curtains, all clothing, towels, etc.) to the laundromat at put in dryer on high for 36 minutes, ensuring the buggies are gone. Double bag in plastic garbage bags and duct tape closed. No bugs in! Throw out rug, and all unnecessary pillows. It's just stuff. Even though it's my grandfather's stuff. *Pang of guilt* It's just stuff. Repeat. It's just stuff.

Step 2: Steal boxes from work and bring them home. Store AWAY from bedroom and use duct tape to tape all corners and both open sides completely shut. Spray EVERYTHING with bed bug spray (environmental safe, I might ad) before inserting items into boxes. Keep AWAY from the bedroom.

Step 2.5: M was nice enough to drive me home from work yesterday and help me bring my 9 bags of clothing and bedding to my new place. She likes it and says she can't believe I've been living in this hell hole. Hey, me neither.

Step 3: The day before the move: vacuum like it's the plague. Vacuum everything and anything. All furniture, floorboards, the mattress, everything! Promptly through away vacuum bag. Use the Shark to steam EVERYTHING. Furniture, the mattress, everything. Promptly get rid of towel used to shark. Use bed bug spray and drench everything I own in it. So what if I smell like vinegar? Do this to each individual shelf, drawer, and bangle until I'm SURE they are not there.

Step 4: The morning of: Throw out sheets. Throw out box-spring. Repeat spraying process. And, finally, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE!

This has become my personal action plan, and all that I can think about. I will beat them I will I will!

Changing Tides

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One thing I learned the hard way in college (an probably one of the more important lessons I learned) is that if you aren't happy you need to make a change. And this change cannot be made by anyone but you. You can ask your friends for advice all you want, but eventually you will just become the person to avoid. It's like when someone is overweight and constantly complaining, but they don't work out and eat lots of potato chips and cupcakes. Or something.

I wasn't happy with my living situation so, when the opportunity presented itself to get out, I took it. I was feeling stagnant at work so I worked my ass off, talked to the boss, and got a promotion. I'm currently in the process of becoming a first assistant, so I guess I'm kind of in the middle of getting another sort of "promotion."

Sometimes it's easy for me to get down on myself, especially when everything seems to go to shit at the same time. But sometimes I have to tell myself something my mom told me once, "this too shall pass."

After every winter is a summer, and the harsher the winter the more beautiful the summer becomes. Every challenge is just a lesson to be learned in life. If you can handle this, you can handle that. If I handled that, then this shouldn't be such a problem.

Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked. All I know is that in the next few weeks I'm moving to a new an improved apartment, and I seem to be making a leap in the workplace. The feelings that I had just a few weeks ago are gradually subsiding.

Spring has arrived.

M&Ms: The Battle

Monday, August 8, 2011

One of the benefits of working in post production is that there is a lot of free food. Free lunch everyday, free dinner if you work overtime, and free snacks.

One of the downsides of working in post production is that there is a lot of free food. Unhealthy, fatty, sugary, loaded-with-high fructose corn syrup- kinda food. While I'm not one to crave the salty snacks available (cheez-its, potato chips, and chex mix do nothing for me) I do so badly crave sugar. Specifically the jar of M&Ms that tempt me with each passing.

The jar itself is see-through, allowing one to see it's contents perfectly displayed, like a magical swirling rainbow of chocolaty delight! From within their glass prison, the tiny drops call to me, "please eat me! I'm so tasty! You Will know stress no more once you've had a handful!"

This jar is also equipped with a lid. I swear no matter where I am in the building I can hear this lid being lifted, a kind reminder that they are there waiting for me.

I like to have them at 3pm. Just a few hours after lunch. I wait for the clock to hit 3 and I know, that part of the day has come!

I eat them with tea. English or black with a drop of milk, preferably. My mouth is warm and the chocolates melt faster- the best thing ever! I'm very particular with my M&Ms, as everyone at the office knows. I like to divide them into their colors- blue and green are my favorite. I then line them into triangles by color, with all of the m's facing the right way. One by one, I eat them down until I have equal amounts of all of them. At this point, I eat one of each color, evenly, until they are all gone. So satisfying.

What isn't so satisfying is that the jar is always there, and once I have a few, I always, without a doubt, want more. There is no lock. The jar doesn't require quarters, nor does it dispense in small amounts. It's all up to me to exercise self control. You can guess how well that goes.

About a month ago, I somehow quit the habit. I stood staring at them- the glittering, delicious bastards, but chose their neighbors, the nuts, instead. For four weeks I avoided their pleading gazes, until they gave up on me altogether and my cravings for them were no longer there. I was feeling very proud.

But then, a relapse. Last week I was so stressed out with the bed bugs, apartment hunting, and work worries, that I completely caved. I said to myself, "you're having an awful week. AND it's your birthday week. Go ahead, have some."

I quickly finished off the last of the plain m&ms by the end of the week. No!! My addiction is back! Everything I had worked towards-gone!

This morning I wasn't going to have any. Then I had 5. But I plan to put a stop to this! I'm eating nuts and drinking tea and downing water to avoid them. I will perservere....right?

Words of encouragement appreciated.

The Birthday Blog

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A friend of mine, and fellow Leo, recently made a very interesting blog posting and I've decided to copy her. After all of the shit that's gone down in the past month or so, it couldn't hurt to take a step back and look at 24 crazy things that have happened in the last year.

1. Got my first industry paycheck for freelance editing.
2. Worked 17 hour days at an internship and as a server, sometimes not getting home until 4am.
3. The job fell through, so I quit my serving job and traveled around Scotland for a month.
4. Got hired as reception at a post house- hope revived!
5. Moved to a new apartment in New the snow.
6. Got promoted to junior assistant after 3 months at reception.
7. Learned how to dress like an adult- thanks mom!
8. Learned how to battle, and become less afraid of, cockroaches.
9. Learned how to accept, and come to live with, Charlie, the waterbug aka "toe-biter." Seriously, google toe-biter.
10. Made amazing life-long friendships with my coworkers.
11. Learned how to patch in the machine room, convert all kinds of files, capture dailies, and assist editors, among other things.
12. Seen my first New York snow and thought it was beautiful.
13. Walked through tiny pathways in New York snow and thought it was awful.
14. Lost my childhood dog, Gracie.
15. Spent a day reading in the fall leaves of central park.
16. Found my favorite lounge in New York.
17. Learned how to live with someone opposite of you.
18. Learned how to ask for what I want both in life and in the workplace.
19. Been on many, many bad first (and last) dates.
20. Broke up with and made up with my best friend.
21. Discovered/battled bed bugs!
22. Perused craigslist like mad to find a new place.
23. Cried. A lot.
24. Found an awesome apartment that I can't wait to move into which will save me money and is in a better location.

If I can do all of this in one year (not to mention everything I've done in the past year and a half), I think I'm going to be ok.

I never expected moving to the city to be so hard. I always knew it was what I wanted, but I just thought I'd get here and everything would work itself out. I suppose it has, it's just taking so much longer than I'd like.

I hope that 24 will be better than 23. As amazing as 23 was, I'm really ready to feel settled! I'm ready for a period of calm. I wonder what next year's list will bring. 25?? Gahh!

From Rock Bottom to Cloud 9

Friday, August 5, 2011


After feeling like my world was going to end, and that I needed to move back to California, my life has turned around.

With everything that's been going on (bed bugs, roommate issues, boy problems, frustrations at work: I'll delve into this later), I was feeling like giving up. It was like everything that would go wrong in my life did, including the guy I was dating who, it turns out, wasn't really looking for any kind of relationship, just sex- surprise surprise. I mean, can things get much worse?

After a roach crawls over your nearly-bare sandled foot just before a giant rat dashes out from behind a smelly trash bag in front of you and then you must go sleep in a bed full of bugs who bite you while you sleep, your clean, comfortable, beautiful, spacious home in California starts to sound pretty good. After all, my family is there, my friends from college, and most of my high school friends too.

"That would be giving up," Mom says.

Ya, ya.

I began the dreaded craigslist search on Tuesday. Emailed a bunch of people at various locations. Heard back from almost none except for the "just go to this website to find your credit score" fakers.

But then, yesterday, I made an appointment to see an apartment on the Upper West Side. My old stomping grounds! She was so nice! We have so much in common and the apartment is fantastic. Gym and laundry in the building, with a cute courtyard and a 24 hour desk to sign for packages and such. A lot of students from Julliard live there since it's right next to Lincoln Center.

I was wowed. I told her right then that I wanted it and I was ready to put down whatever money they needed. The room is big and comes with a closet! A real closet, oh boy!

She said she had some other people to see but she would let me know this weekend. Lucky me, she emailed me today and told me I got it! YES!!!

I'll be living within my means, in a great place, AND save money on a gym and laundry. Score!

I'm moving on the 15th of August! I couldn't be happier. For the first time in a while I'm starting to feel really good about what I'm doing. I think this is a place that I could consider a home; a place I will want to stay for a while, rather than just 6 months.

Now....moving day. It's going to be long and hard. Up and down the stairs, lots of packing. And, for the first time I'll be doing it all by myself. But I think it will be worth it.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

I never thought it could happen to me!

After catsitting on the Lower East Side for two weeks and finding myself bite free, I was sure those nasty mosquitoes who had been biting me were retired for the summer. This may be true, since it's been a while since I've had a mosquito bite. But the first night I spent back in my own bed, I knew I was being bit. I was itching and scratching everywhere, and I couldn't force myself to sleep.

Finally, at 2am, I threw my covers off and turned on the light. And what did I find tucked in the corner of my sheets? A tick sized bedbug! I quickly killed it with a paper towel only to find that it was filled with my blood.

Well, there was no way I was sleeping now. I sat on my computer for the next 2 1/2 hours researching bedbugs. Gross! I'm so clean! How did I get them? From the cruise? From the building? Should I go to work the next day? How can I get rid of them? Ugh!! Why did this have to happen on my birthday week????

The next day I successfully left a message on my landlord's phone after being hung up on three times. I was finally able to talk to someone in the office who sent over an exterminator, meaning I had to miss a big chunk of my workday. He told me that I had a minor case, and not to worry about the majority of my clothes, though I did have to bag up everything in the bins under my bed. He did find one and it's eggs living in my box springs. I've never seen anyone spray so much...extermination chemical! He COVERED my apartment. Of course, I told him that even if he needed to spray my silverware it was fine with me, just get them out!

Well, I put bed bug encasings on my mattress and boxspring, and took my bedding to the dry cleaners. When K came home we did the same to her room. Unlike me, her bed is made with wooden slats, which we can't cover, so she's been sleeping in my bed with me.

This whole experience has brought us back together. We were able to talk through everything and I definitely feel like we're healing. We're both fighting a war against the same devil!

K actually went around asking the other tenants if they have experienced this problem. Turns out, this building has had bed bugs off and on for months, even though K and I signed a paper with the landlord stating they had no knowledge of bedbugs. We found our out!

We called the landlord's office and complained immensely! K was able to get him to tell us that we didn't have to stay and that we could likely get our security back if we wrote him a letter. You bet we're writing him a letter- a very strongly worded one!

So now we're left with this: we're both moving, separately from each other. I hope to be out of here as soon as possible and into my new place. It's just going to be rough to hire movers and pack up all this stuff, not to mention continuing with weekly exterminations until we know the bedbugs are gone for sure. I've had no bites for the past three nights, and I'm feeling very good about our situation now.

So please, craigslist posters, respond to my emails! I need to move. And please don't charge me more in rent than I can afford. Thanks.