There were never any good old days,
They are today, they are tomorrow.
It’s a stupid thing we say,
Cursing tomorrow with sorrow.
– Gogol Bordello, Ultimate
Okay, time for my Adventures In New Jersey. Here we go:
I have to say that my flight to New Jersey was, without a doubt, the best flight I have ever taken in my life – and it was free! I had the very first seat on the plane. For the first time ever, I did not have a dumb-ass layover at dumb-ass O’Hare. I had a great book to read. It was sunny and pretty outside. We had a perfect view of Manhattan when we flew in, and the flight attendant sat next to me and pointed out celebrities’ backyards. We arrived a half-hour early, exactly when Steve was pulling into the parking lot. My phone rang right when I got to Steve’s truck; it was my Grandma. She said, “I prayed that you would have a good flight. Did you?” Two thumbs up for Jesus and Grandma.
Here is the thing about extra-big cities with trains and subways and lots of pizza places – they all remind me of London. I love the feeling I get from those places, but it doesn’t wow or overwhelm me the way it used to. You know what did wow me? The pizza Steve bought me, and Bridget’s brownies. That’s the first real food I’ve eaten in months. Delightful. Jersey City reminded me of Marylebone. Frank’s apartment was pretty cool. We hung out for a while, and then headed to Brooklyn for the Found party.
Like I said, New York just reminds me of London. Scaffolding, subways, street vendors, fun purses, etc. It’s wonderful and fun, but since I’m from Missouri people expect me to go apeshit and gasp at everything and I just don’t. My city is probably bigger than yours, after all.
I DID love navigating through subway tunnels and running from train to train with Steve and Frank – it was such a familiar feeling and I was kind of overwhelmed with flashbacks and great memories of a perfect time in my life.
We stopped at the World Trade Center station, though, and that was sad and weird. Ground Zero looks exactly the same except there are some cranes and fences. I’m shocked that they haven’t done anything with it yet, and proud of New Yorkers for being brave enough to see that every day.
I still have blisters from the walk. However, Frank was a good tour guide and we got there just in time to see the show. Davy was nice enough to put us on the list. I was on The List at a New York party! We felt special, like the little boy in Almost Famous. The show was hilarious and Steve and Frank had a good time, which made me happy. Afterwards we had drinks and watched people play bocce ball and I got to spend time with Davy, who is like the nicest person you’ll ever meet.
I used to think I slept in London because I had no stress and a boyfriend. Now I know for sure that it was all of that city walking. I slept like a baby that night. The next morning Frank took us out for the Pancake Wrap, which is just as gross and delicious as it sounds: bacon, eggs and cheese, wrapped up in a big-ass pancake. It was glorious:
The Pancake Wrap makes me think of “The Pancake Rap”, which is not an actual song… just my idea for one. It would be performed by old school dudes like The Sugarhill Gang, and they would yell out things like “PANCAKE!” and “MMMMMAPLE!” Feel free to post your own lyrics in the comments section.
Steve’s place is farther away and is where I stayed for the rest of my trip. Usually when I visit a guy friend, I prepare myself for a messy apartment and overall grossness… but Steve’s place was really clean and felt like an actual home. His TV is as hot as mine. And look:
Who is that? Is that my dog from heaven? No, that is Steve’s roommate’s dog, Samantha. Samantha is the spitting image of my old dog Midnight, only twice as big. She looked, acted and smelled exactly like my old dog. I’m surprised Samantha didn’t make me sad… but she was so big that it made me laugh more than anything else. It truly felt like I was hugging a giant cartoon version of my old dog. How can you beat that?
Steve and I played mini-golf at Blackbeard’s Cave, and then kicked serious ass in the arcade. We got like a million tickets, thanks to Steve’s “Wheel of Fortune” skills. I traded my tickets for a heart-shaped bracelet and a finger puppet. Steve got an eye patch and a pirate-shaped bubble blower, which is when he said:
“All right… who’s ready to blow some pirates?”
That was the best thing that happened on my trip. In addition to mini-golf and the arcade, Blackbeard’s Cave also had a childrens amusement park. To my delight, I discovered that I weigh less than the limit for almost all of the little kiddie rides. The only ride I am too heavy for is the one where you ride through the woods in tiny little canoe, past a bunch of random statues like giraffes and… a T-Rex eating a skeleton? It looked so sweet. One day, you guys. One day I will ride in that tiny little canoe. The kiddie park is also home to the most terrifying trash cans ever invented:
Overall, my trip to Jersey was super fun. Here are some other highlights:
- Steve and I watched Season 3 of The Office in its entirety. Despite living thousands of miles apart, we can now say we’ve watched every episode of The Office together (at least until tonight, when the new season starts).
- Steve ignored a “closed street” sign and drove through, earning serious ticket-writing hand motions from the cop around the corner.
- I caused a sexy scene in a stairwell in Brooklyn, and got admonished by a waiter.
- I caused another sexy scene in a surprisingly clean co-ed bathroom (also in Brooklyn) and got high-fived by like three people.
- Frank bought me Pocky – it’s become a tradition when we visit each other. Thanks Frank!
- A boy kissed me and remarked, “I can’t believe you’re real!” I told this story to Vee and now she says it to me every day at work.
- I dashed barefoot across the World Trade Center subway station. Gross, but necessary.
- Steve and I discovered and mastered the World’s Most Complicated SeeSaw.
- Steve spent our entire hour at the playground laying on a slide in the shade.
- I went on the swings for the first time in over a decade and feared for my life.
- I called the Wawa grocery store “Wamu”, which made Steve laugh.
- Steve took me to work at his radio station. Steve’s job is very cool.
- Steve saw two female co-workers with the company trailer and said, “I bet they’re going to crash that.” They crashed it.
- I attempted to stalk Ray at a Barnes & Noble, and got made fun of by two old ladies who work there. I miss Ray terribly.
- Steve bonded with a stranger on the subway over the awesomeness of Surf Taco.
- I demanded to go to Surf Taco, and Steve took me there twice. He introduced me to The Maverick, which is delicious.
- Steve and I are equally amazing at Connect 4.
- On the airport shuttle back to my car, I got asked on a date by a pilot who looks exactly like Michael Cera from Superbad. And yes, he looked as adorable/ridiculous as Michael Cera would if he dressed up in a pilot uniform. I said yes. That’s where I‘ll be tomorrow night.
- And this hasn’t happened yet, but Frank will most likely leave me a smart-ass comment after reading the above bullet.