Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July - Any excuse for a holiday...

As usual this is Monday night that I finally settle down and attempt to scrounge my way through my memory to remember what it was that I did last week. I really need to start keeping a note during the week, and not leaving it all to after the weekend. Because then I have usually killed off a few brain cells, and it makes the process that little bit harder..

Anyway. I know that I spent most of this week being extremely tired. I had the worst night’s sleep on Sunday night. I had gone to bed reasonably early, but due to the extreme mugginess and the lack of breeze blowing through the open window, I proceeded to wake up every 40 minutes or so all night. Even the lack of covers and smallest pyjamas I own didn’t help. I should have gotten up and put on the air conditioning, but I am attempting to keep the cost down until I get the power bill in for this month, and we know how much we are spending on electricity. Luckily Miss J wasn’t staying at home that night, she was away with her parents, so she wasn’t disturbed by me padding back and forth to the bathroom in a confuddled state to splash cold water on my face in an attempt to cool down.

Needless to say, I awoke with my alarm at 7.30 feeling like I was surfacing from the depths of a very deep place. Urgh. I am not normally a morning person, at all, but I can rally myself together and get gone when I need to. This morning was a different story. Luckily I was able to take my time a bit and use the shower, as there weren’t too of us trying to get in. Struggled my way into my clothes and makeup and then shambled out the door. I found work quite difficult that day, mainly since it felt like my head was full of cotton wool. And this wasn’t even self-inflicted! It just goes to show what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. To cap it all off, I had a tutorial that night after work, which meant that I couldn’t even go straight home and vegetate in front of the TV. The tutorial was a discussion session based on the Race lecture we had had the previous week, (yes…THAT Tuesday) so I was actually quite looking forward to it, and wanted to get involved. Sadly that proved slightly less possible as my brain wasn’t working quick enough to talk over the people who were talking over me. It was still interesting though, and I got a lot of good notes out of it which should prove useful for my essay. (Which I must get started!)

Enjoyed the walk home, the usual, past Bryant Park and on down towards 33rd street to get the PATH home. It is always pleasant in the evening, usually much cooler (usually), and it is nice to have company to chat to. Arrive back in Newport and remember that my gym membership is due, so make a detour via the gym to part with $70 of my hard earned moolah. Nothing is more motivating to get your ass down there more often than seeing them write down your card number…. Especially when you get paid a pittance here!

The rest of the week was mainly spent visiting the gym, doing some food shopping and then falling asleep on the couch for the rest of the time. By Thursday though, people were getting geared up for the mini holiday. Since we were all getting Friday off (being the 4th) most companies were letting their staff go home early on the Thursday, us included. So the work peeps were able to leave by 1pm. Myself, 2 other interns, their colleague, their Summer Intern, all had plans to go out for some drinks to start us off. My Summer Intern, was off to meet some friends for lunch since we didn’t think we could get her in, as she is only 19. Which is a shame, as we get on really well and it didn’t seem fair to leave her out. In the end we ended up in the Hawaiian Tropic club in Times Square.

This was my second time there, albeit in the daytime. Still hadn’t changed a heck of a lot! You have your big screen TV’s showing baseball or whatever sport is on a the time, a bigger TV showing girls in swimwear gyrating to a silent beat, oh yes, and all the waitresses clad in nothing but bikini’s, sarongs and a strategically placed nametag. Just the kind of place to make you feel totally secure about yourself!! Lol. I had hoped that they would have left bags under the table to place over your head should you find yourself in such a place, but sadly they were not that considerate! Luckily any guys you are with are not looking at you anyway, so there is no fear of comparison. ;)

What the waitresses lacked in speediness, they made up for in lack of clothing, so when you started to notice that your drink was dry and got a bit grouchy, it was quickly forgotten when another was finally placed in front of you with a smile and a wiggle.

Mr N was VERY generously buying the drinks for us, so we made a start with some beers and then moved onto the cocktail menu. I do have to say that the Blueberry Mojito’s were very nice. Sadly, since we had worked through our lunch break in order to be let away early, it was now 7 hours since I had last eaten anything. Wuhoh… yup. I was causing amusement again. I am such an embarrassment. And here is me thinking I was getting better! Apparently not so. The rest of the group left soon after and visited the next-door ‘Lace’ club (I’ll let you take 3 guesses what type of club that was) before they were going back to Astoria to a beer garden. I decided that I wasn’t up for dollars in the waistband and trotted off further into Times Square. Unfortunately the combination of the heat, the crowd and the alcohol wasn’t making me feel too good, so I scouted out the nearest Starbucks to buy some water and something to eat.

Felt a little bit better and attemped to make my way back to 33rd street to head home. Managed to locate a V train, wobbled on and came out at Herald Square opposite the PATH station. Since it was still only about 3.30pm I decided that some shopping was in order. Hit Macy’s since it was right there, and spent 20 minutes going up and down the escalators in an attempt to track down the shoe department. Unsuccessful. Removed myself from Macy’s and instead went into Daffy’s which is a kind of designer outlet store. Also nice and air conditioned!

Left about an hour later clutching a new purchase of a dress I intended to wear that night and was starting to feel a little tired. Hopped on a PATH and arrived back at the flat to find Miss J, her sister and my RA in situ in the bedroom. Sat and chatted to them for a while before I eventually succumbed to sleep and conked out on the bed for a couple of hours. Woke up to Miss N calling me to ask when I was coming over at around 8pm. Feeling slightly more refreshed, I had a shower, donned my new dress (was it really that short when I bought it? Eeeep! That’s tipsy shopping for you!!), took one last blast of the air con and made my way up to Mr C’ flat for some drinks. After some chatting and a rather insightfully helpful conversation with Miss A, we made our way downstairs and headed off to Orchard Street to go to the Annexe. Apparently there was meant to be a NME indie night, which we were quite looking forward to, especially after the success of our welcome night party there. Sadly this wasn’t to be. The upstairs portion of the club was shut and we were directed into the basement. Where they were most defineltly not playing indie. Hmph.

We stayed about for a bit, mainly due to the promises of the current Dj that the other one was arriving in ‘just 10 minutes’! Met some Glasgow boys, who were friends of Miss N’s over on an unrelated visit, but popped by to say hello. Billy and Bernie I believe, was very nice to hear a familiar accent, and Bernie even knew where my village was! So had a chat, a bit of a dance and then they left for the Meatpacking District. We made an exit soon afterwards, due to the dire direction the music was taking. Took a taxi to Greenwich to go to Fat Black Pussy Cat, where we knew the house band was playing. Sadly when we got there it was already about 1.30am, so they were just wrapping up.

2 of the girl's ordered Cosmopolitans at the bar, which apparently wasn’t to taste, and I soon found one of theirs in my hand with an order to drink it because she didn’t want it. I think the first sip seared off my taste buds so much so that I could drink the rest without wincing. Miss A then poured half of hers into my glass, but I couldn’t finish it, as it was truly foul, if effective. On the way out at around 2.30, we lost a few members of our crowd but some of us still felt the need to have a dance since that was what we had set out to do. Some of the girls had met some guys in the bar who had said they knew a good club to go to. And this is where I did my first Fairly Stupid Thing. Since there were just the 3 of us girls, I had some presence of mind to grab the nearest guy that I knew and tell him he was coming with us. We ended up getting into the car belonging to these guys and being driven to a club nearby. I now realise why people say that alcohol can totally strip you of reason. I would never have done that had I been sober, but it seemed perfectly reasonable at this juncture. It turned out all right, and they guys were fine, but it could also have not been so.

And yet, when I read this back I sound like a right fuddy duddy. How else do you meet people? I guess I just haven’t managed to turn off my warning light yet! Once in the club we found a salsa room up the stairs, which was absolutely heaving. Started to dance and was joined by a guy who started to show me how to dance properly to the music, i.e. with the proper steps. Really enjoyed it, so I might go back there at some point, if I can remember how to get there! Got back on the PATH at around 4am and stumbled into bed soon afterwards. Didn’t awaken till ten to twelve the next day where I joined the rabble in the kitchen having a fry up. Scrambled eggs and bacon. Mmmmmm.

Spent most of the day pottering about the flat, before heading over to the mall for a brief while, snaffling some nice dresses and then heading back for some dinner. Miss N, Mr D and I set out to go to Liberty State Park, which is in Jersey and about 10 minutes away from Newport, where they were going to have a fireworks display. There is the most amazing view of the Statue of Liberty as well as downtown Manhattan. There were fireworks going off in both directions, so we saw them silhouetted against the Manhattan skyline and also from the Jersey side. Faffed about with my camera on various settings in an attempt to capture them, but it wasn’t playing ball. Sadly the rain had been going this entire time, although only light drizzle, and the temperature was still warm. So the three of us just walked about without bothering with umbrellas.

My camera finally decided to co-operate at some point, and I got some half decent photos, as well as some fairly shoddy ones. Have decided that I need a new camera, as soon as possible! After the fireworks, we all wandered back towards Jersey City through the marina in order to avoid the crowds. Arrived back in Newport a little damp but with plans to go into Manhattan. These plans changed approx 3 times in twenty minutes and ended up being that we were going to watch a dvd at Mr D’s place. Which again didn’t happen due to a sleeping flatmate on the couch. Got home bout 2am, and then sat and altered photos till gone 3.

Woke at quarter to one on Saturday morning (how is it only Saturday?!?!), and slouched in front of the tv eating Froot Loops and watching Step Up until I felt awake enough to have a shower. Was supposed to go on a pub crawl with Miss N and her Glasgow mates, but that didn’t happen in the end. Instead a few of us all went to the Cake Shop on Ludlow to see some bands. Now I thought this was just a cute sounding name for a bar or club to watch some live music. Not so!! Walked in the door and there on the counter are cupcakes!! And cookies!!! Wooooo!! The girls helped themselves to some brightly coloured cupcakes pretty quickly. I had a sweet cream cheesy topped one and a massive ice tea, which I brought downstairs to the bar with me. Only $7 to get in, which is very reasonable I thought!

The venue downstairs was on a slope so you could see the band better and had some seating too. I decided to lay off the alcamahol as I was still feeling a bit ropy, so I stuck with my ice tea. Very rock and roll. 5 acts, and they were really good. Lots of different variations of music, and the final band even added a bit of brass. Not quite Reel Big Fish, but along the same genre. Ended up meeting the bassist of one of the bands in the queue for the loo. More than likely was only talking to me so he could skip the queue in front of me as they were due up on stage! Nice guy anyway! Looked better with the geetar too! ;)

Got home about half 1 and fell into bed. Decided to set my alarm for Sunday and woke up early enough to go to the gym. Spent an hour in there, and felt much better for it. Came home and proceeded to become glued to the couch watching Wimbledon with Miss J. Now I am not a tennis fan, but even I became excited watching that final! And not just because of Nadal’s guns!! (Have you seen those biceps??? Hooya!) Finally moved ourselves after calling mum and hearing her mourn the defeat of Federa. Miss J and I went for a wander down to Starbucks and sat on the front for a bit, having a giggle and generally disrupting the quiet of those wanting to sit on the benches in peace. I don’t know why we have those conversations in public! Sigh.

Made some purchases in the local supermarket, while we are trying to be healthy. Ended up getting a stock load of food for only $30 each, which comprised of apples, cherry’s, grapes, fresh meats, potatoes and fruit juices. Which was a pleasant surprise compared to the supermarket we usually head to. Made 4 different types of chicken stirfry to freeze as lunches for the next week, (when I start, I really go for it!) and then we settled down to watch a film with some popcorn.

Had another horrendous night’s sleep last night, appears to be becoming a Sunday tradition, so today was horrible too. And as it is now ten past 12, I am going to attempt to get some sleep as I have another lecture tomorrow.

So kudos for getting through this monster of a post. Not that you should expect anything different now!!

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