342: the lone pilgrim, pt. 3

Originally uploaded by missjasmine.


a. Dre: I kinda tuned out your grad school conversation with Olivia because I felt very unintellectual and dull, being a working girl and all. What have I been studying since finishing college but US Weekly? I didn’t want to bring the level of discourse so low that you’d need a magnifying glass to see it.

b. Nick, Nadine, Grace, Jeff, Sean, Michelle, Patrick: It’s a good thing I’m not allergic to cats, as I spent a lot of time sleeping or otherwise communing with your felines on this trip. I’m still not a cat person, though Scrabble, MungoToe, Freddy, Thelma, Louise, Sammo, Betsy, and Mango did their best to win me over. Especially Freddy.

c. Patrick: Seriously, you should come out for Easter. Bring Anna with you. We’ll go to the Jackie O. exhibit at the Field Museum, then get you some hipster cred with a night of drinking at the Skylark.

d. Nadine: I used some of that Aveda lavender spritzy stuff Sunday afternoon. My hair was all soft afterwards, which was annoying as my mother would not stop pawing my head.

e. Jacinda: I think we should seriously consider visiting PHL for the Dali. Or we’ll give Detroit another go very soon. Those polar bears are waiting for us.

7. feting the flip (2/18)

I woke up late enough to miss seeing Sean and Michelle out to work but early enough to catch “Starting Over” with Freddy over a bowl of chicken soup. A resident of the SO house had to help an outsider de-clutter her house in order to graduate. I didn’t stick around long enough to see if she succeeded in her mission, as I had to get myself a cheap mani/pedi at the closest cheap-o nail place on 5th Avenue. Getting my nails done was cheaper than I had thought — $16 for both a manicure and a pedicure. Never mind that the manicure is chipping, and that my hangnails are positively ragged, it was still a ridiculous bargain. And my hands still look better than they did last week. On the way back to Nick & Nadine’s, I stopped off for some KFC. I ate my chicken at the apartment while we soothed Scrabble who, according to the vet, had bad knees and would have to take some meds. We petted the cat, waited for Mike Noonan to arrive from Philly so he and Nick could see the Gates before the evening’s party. While the boys were gone, Nadine took my measurements so her mum could get to work making me some skirts. This required me standing around in my underpants, so I am convinced all the measuring was really just a ploy to get me pantsless. Kavanaugh, I’m on to you.

Nadine and I picked up dinner at Joya before the party, so we were full of pad thai and green curry when people started turning up with six-packs of beer. Music played on the stereo as we got a game of Trivial Pursuit going (my team lost). Jen talked about moving to Germany while Natalia and Michelle berated Sean about his questionable dental hygiene. I smoked a few cigarettes, made faces at people across the coffee table, and chatted with Mike, who may be the nicest boy in the world. I was tempted to sleep on the air mattress, which I would have had to share with Mike, that night, but I decided to help Michelle get Sean home instead. I curled up with Freddy again, and fell asleep at Sean and Michelle’s.

8. slow (2/19)

a. In pursuit of cheap shower curtain liners, Nadine and I visited Century 21. We took the long way to the store, strolling down Broadway so we could stop at the SoHo Sephora to look at lip gloss (Nadine is still looking for the perfect matte red to wear on her wedding day) and concealer (my breakouts are awful this week — thanks, Aunt Flo). SoHo is a huge mall, full of underfed fashion types and suburbanites still wearing low-rise jeans. We stopped at a street vendor’s table to examine her inexpensive jewelry, where I bought some cheap earrings and Nadine found a gorgeous necklace of oversize black and white clear beads. Suitably accessorized, we moved on, ambling so I could enjoy a hot dog while we walked. The sun was shining, I had concealer daubed on my spots (my new concealer of choice is Benefit Galactic Shield in 3), and I rocked my new earrings down Broadway.

b. Century 21 has a separate annex for their shoes. This annex was thrilling, not only because it was a veritable cavern of footwear, but because they had a wall of Sigerson Morrison pumps and strappy sandals. They were still expensive, though.

c. Predictably, I flaked on Michelle and spent the evening eating roast chicken with soba noodles (prepared by Nick — yummy) and learning how to play Mille Bornes. My first turn got me 4200 points — a near perfect hand, as Nadine pointed out. It still took me four turns to get those last 800 points, as my subsequent turns were so-so.

9. the gift (2/20)

I spent the afternoon at the Brooklyn Museum, looking at the Marilyn Monroe exhibit and taking pictures of pieces that caught my eye. A John Koch nude. A bronze gate. A Lichtenstein painting to send to Andrew. I tried in vain to find thank you gifts for Nick & Nadine and Sean & Michelle in the museum gift shop, but the selection of stationery and glassware didn’t really speak to me. On the way home, I stopped at the Korean deli one last time where a few stems of yellow ranunculi leered at me from a plastic bucket. Brought these home, arranged them attractively in a glass pitcher, then waited for my parents to pick me up and take me to their own apartment for the last day of my vacation.

Nick said he enjoyed having me around, and I nearly wept, I was so delighted to hear this. Here I was feeling bad about drinking all their diet Coke and invading their privacy and stealing the heart-shaped Champagne flutes they got from a bridal registry event at Crate & Barrel (okay, Nadine gave ’em to me, but still), and they were all “Oh, we love the Jasmine.” As if the party they threw in my honor, and the invitation to stay with them in the first place, weren’t enough to clue me in to the fact that they are as much my family as anybody who raised me. Nick & Nadine, and Sean & Michelle, rule. My friends rule. Brooklyn rules. Trivial Pursuit rules, as does dollar hot dogs off the street, hipster bakeries in Red Hook, Kim getting into vet school, the flirty old Italians who own the meat store on Smith Street, the new Chinese immigrants who offer manicures for so very little money on Fifth Avenue, the cute-as-hell coat check guys at the Brooklyn Museum, the compact yet fabulous bathrooms at POD in Philadelphia, the new Target on Flatbush and the old Pentecostal church on Wolcott, the Gates in Central Park, and the guys who sell batteries on the subway. Everytime I visit New York, I find more reasons to stay. And I always find it harder to fly back to Chicago, parental aggravation be damned.

10. noodle casserole (2/21)

All I did at my parents’ was write two, count them TWO, flip fronts, eat too much of my dad’s chicken noodle casserole, and log everything I consumed in the food diary I’m keeping as part of the Self Challenge (http://www.self.com/challenge). I’ve never kept a diary like this, so it was amazing to see how many times I eat when I’m bored. It was almost enough to get me to go outside and exercise. Yeah, almost. By the time I emerged from my noodle stupor, it was time to leave for the airport and return to a colder Chicago.


“Well, like all writers, I feel like I have this other, inner life. I’ve always felt like I should be somebody else — I should be more brash or ambitious, or I don’t know. I feel like I’ve got a lot of secrets. I don’t, but I feel like I do.” (Chang-Rae Lee)

The Buzzcocks – What Do I Get?; Alex Chilton – Kizza Me; PJ Harvey – The Mess We’re In; Ashford & Simpson – Found A Cure



~ by Jasmine on February 22, 2005.

2 Responses to “342: the lone pilgrim, pt. 3”

  1. I can’t resist a cheap mani/pedi either. Sometimes I bring my own good quality polish to control the chipping, but the hangnails are a problem I can’t remedy.

  2. And what kills me is I remember thinking, “Better pack that bottle of Essie Ballet Slippers!” the night before I left for New York. And the thought is pretty much where it ended. I totally forgot the bottle in my drinking/packing frenzy.

    I’m going for another manicure this weekend, as the hangnails are driving me crazy. I think I’m going to start a hangnail watch on this or JasmineShops, to better keep track of my manicure woes.

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