Sunday, April 25, 2010

Full Speed Ahead

People ask me all the time how it is that I can work as many hours as I do and still manage to breathe.

This week has been proof of just the way that happens, and none of it is because of me.

First of all, I am way ADD, and if I am not working intense hours in multiple places, I am more than bored, I am miserable. I don't do well with downtime. This is why I manage to fill my "downtime" with activities that stimulate my mind, and remind me of why I am here (God, praising him, serving him, etc...)

So in his way, God allows me to get by in a routine that is not only "survivable," but it is actually enjoyable.

Thursdays and Fridays are extremely long on my new schedule. Basically, after getting home late from church on Wednesday, I have to be up early on Thursday to hop the train to whatever school I've been assigned to for the day, only to run to the train after school so I can be at Barnes and Noble as close to my originally scheduled time as possible. Then, I work a full shift and get out after close, meaning I usually get home somewhere around 11:45. The next day, the exact same thing has to happen.

This week, I was assigned a job in my neighborhood for Thursday, which meant two things:

1.) No train for me to get to school
2.) No train for me to get to Barnes and Noble

Not using the subway gives more time to play with, as I didn't have to leave until much later, AND, I was able to come home for lunch (and take a nap....).

THEN, on Friday, I got out of work almost three hours earlier than planned. This enabled me to have an hour of time to myself in Downtown Brooklyn before heading off to Barnes and Noble. In that hour, I sat on a bench in front of Borough Hall in the sunshine while listening to the tunes of the keytar across from me, as a man used it to play everything from Michael Jackson to John Mayer. They were also filming Law and Order Criminal Intent on the street corner, where I saw Jeff Goldblum (who will forever be, to me, the quirky guy from Independence Day).

SATURDAY, I went for a run, which I planned on only doing for twenty to thirty minutes, as I haven't been keeping up and am out of shape


I ended up along the waterfront in Red Hook, which is now my favorite place in New York City. It's full of little bakeries, view of the harbor, old trolly cars, gardens, adorable houses, cobblestone streets, abandoned coffee factories... you get the point. There is apparently a man who sells key lime pies there that are supposed to be the best in the city. That's my next adventure. I then walked up Smith Street to work instead of Court and did some shopping both there, and at the Fulton Mall.

I call that a Saturday.

To round it all off, I have two days of subbing and Graffiti ahead of me, then I'm running to the airport, and hopping a plane to Chicago, where I plan to be completely lazy and unproductive for two whole days with my bestest friend in the whole wide world :) I see lots of really bad nineties movies in our future.

After Chicago, it's Mississippi for a wedding, some quality family time, and some adventures with friends I don't see often.

All in all, if you wonder how my schedule stays balanced, realize that these fantastic little breaks are constantly interspersed in there somewhere. It keeps me going. You just have to be willing to recognize those times. When you're life is overwhelming, be mindful of even the smallest breaks you have, and take the opportunity to thank God for them. Then, use them to take advantage of the places, people, and situations he's put into your life.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tattoo Art and Subways

I have a fascination with tattoos, and an inability to stop looking at them when I am on the trains.

I can spot a good tattoo (and a bad one) from across the car, and immediately, my eyes are drawn. I analyze, I wonder about the person on which it's drawn, I compare it to their clothes, and their hair, and decide if it "suits" them. I sometimes even wonder what tattoos people are hiding. I can't help but to think that all those yuppies in sports-coats have to have a tattoo or two, or many, hidden under their pressed collars. Bad tribal from a late-teenage beach trip? The name of a girlfriend who has since dumped them? Perhaps even something beautiful that they are not at all ashamed of, like a flower that reminds them of their grandmother, or a cross that reminds them of their savior. Maybe they just have it in a discreetly hidden place.

Either way, I can't stop looking at those you can see. If it's visible, I'm gonna look at it. If you have a tattoo on an open area, be prepared, because chances are, I'm staring your way when you walk through the doors of an F-train (or an A-train, or a 6-train, whatever I happen to be riding).

All of this tattoo-gazing has caused me to start recognizing people. I saw a blue star-design on this girl's foot that I KNOW I've seen before, and I looked up, to see a forearm tattoo that I immediately realized belonged to my upstairs neighbor. The more staring I do, the more I start to notice things I've seen before.

Once, I was riding the E-train with a friend up the west side, and I couldn't stop staring at this tattoo that was barely poking out from someone's shirt. I wanted to find out what the rest of it was. What else was hidden behind that black t-shirt sleeve? Only then, did I realize that it was in-fact, my friend's new tattoo that he hadn't bothered to show me yet.

I really think I might have an addiction.

One of my favorite mindless pastimes is to google "bad tattoos" and see what happens. I shall show you a few examples:


All that to say, if ever you are in New York, and you've forgotten to bring a book on a long subway-trek, look around you, you're bound to find some entertaining body-art to keep your mind going.