Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I Unknowingly Traded My Ponies for a 9-5.

I'd like to, eventually, be what most people would consider an interesting person.

For clarification purposes, let me provide some synonyms:
- Fascinating
- Riveting
- Compelling
- Captivating

I could go on, but if you really need more, just Google it.

It's not that I think I'm a terribly boring person, it's just that after a few years of being in the "work force" I realized that it's really hard to have hobbies.
Looking back on it now, it seems like my life up until age 23 basically was a hobby. All I did was fart around. Everything was breezy and exciting and I didn't do a single thing I wasn't interested in. I was going to be a freelance writer and a performer and just whatever happened, happened.

Then Sallie Mae was like, "lol."

So I went out and stumbled through a number of jobs until I landed in one I am ok with enough to keep doing. It was not long after adapting this 9-5 type of routine that I realized how hard it is to have hobbies. My days all looked very similar.

6:21am- Alarm goes off and I immediately hit snooze, understanding that when I told myself I was going to get to the gym by 7am, I really knew I meant 7:20am.

8am- I get home and shower rapidly, half-heartedly rub make-up all over my face, comb my wet hair, and take a long look at myself in the mirror. Once I've taken it all in, I let out a nice deep sigh and think to myself, "Welp, this is as good as it's going to get."

8:30am- Run around doing things I know I should have just done the night before (make lunch, tidy my room, finish finding Waldo), then put my shoes on, happy that I'm going to be on time for work.

8:31am- Realize I still have something else to do that will make me late for work.

9:05ish am- Arrive at work where my boss will inevitably make a joke to the tune of, "Thanks for joining us." At which time I will wave my hand and grumble.

9:05am-5:30pm- Black out.

5:30-6pm- Leave work, try to avoid eye contact with the soldiers of God lining the entrance to my subway stop, get on the train, and head home.

6:15pm- In a Superman like fashion, change from business attire to my pajamas.

6:30pm- Tell myself I'm going to have a little snack and accidentally fill up on an entire box of Cheez-Its.

7:00pm- Eat dinner anyway.

8:00pm- Somehow the Law and Order theme song is on, my pants are off, and I know I've given up on the night.

I feel like at least some of you know what I'm talking about.

I've been in this routine for about 2 years now, and I am finally ready to hobby up. But I'd been out of the game so long, I decided to turn to the Internet for some suggestions. I searched, "popular hobbies."

The results were ridiculous. They were all way too expensive (traveling, motorcycling, plastic surgery) or complete excuses for hobbies (sleeping, fight club, dating online).

You know what? Dating online is a hobby. It's called Tinder, and it's a great way to have weird fun right from your couch. There really is something oddly satisfying about you and a stranger agreeing that, based on vague pictures, you would definitely at least consider touching each other's butts. I don't have one, but I play with my friends' sometimes.

A Tinder account, I mean. Not butt. I have a butt. And I don't play with my friends'.

Anyway- it all seemed nuts. If these things could be hobbies, maybe I already had a bunch of them, but just didn't realize because I was so used to doing them all the time. So, I decided to look up the definition of hobby.

Hobby- (n) 1. An activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.
                  2. A small horse or pony.

Based on definition 1, these are my current hobbies:
- Cleaning my apartment.
- Rearranging my bookshelf.
- Watching the same movies over and over again.
- Consumption of wine, craft beer, and fancy whiskey.
- Snacking. (see 6:30pm)
- Taking extremely hot showers with the window open a little.
- Online shopping without the buying part.
- Learning about Outer Space and the Ocean, but only in small doses because it makes me panicky.
- Acting retired.

Based on definition 2, I don't have any.

The good news is, at least 4 of the activities on my above hobby list often involve my friends. And since my friends are interesting people, I'm happier having them than hobbies my friends find interesting.

I'm just trying to make myself feel better. Cut me some slack. And anyway, I can always go out and purchase a small horse or pony.

"Lol."- Sallie Mae

Friday, January 16, 2015

I Might Start a Cult.

People are weird. All of us. I'm not talking weird like in the individual special flower way. I mean to say that we're a bunch of creeps with secrets and strange habits that we all know are better kept to ourselves or at least within the confines of our own homes. As you can imagine, I am no exception to this rule.

For example, if I don't follow the same steps every time I shower, I'll end up forgetting one. If my hair gets washed before my body, there's a solid chance my body won't get scrubbed at all and I'll never make a dent on that temporary tattoo of a dolphin that I drunkenly bought at a bodega while I was waiting for a mortadella sandwich.

Even though I know that we're all allowed to have these little quirks attached to how we move through the world, sometimes I think I might be taking it too far.

It never starts out as oddly as it ends. I'll just be lying in bed, fantasizing about waking up to find out that work was miraculously cancelled for the day, when it will dawn on me that I should set my alarm on my phone. So I do. I set it based on whatever time I need to get up in the morning. I factor in if I'll be going for a run, or making breakfast, or maybe finishing the episode of Law and Order SVU I was watching but knew if I finished I'd be too scared to sleep. It takes place in NYC you know. Where I live.

Then I'll put it under my pillow and pull it right back out to make sure it's set. I see that it is and I put it back then remove it another time to check, knowing full well it's definitely set, but maybe for PM instead of AM. This may happen up to 3 more times. At which point I convince myself I'm being ridiculous and also feel pretty good about inadvertently doing 5 crunches.

Bed also provides me with an excellent opportunity to replay conversations I've had over and over again. Why did I pronounce coupon like q-pon? I never say it like that. I feel like I was definitely the only one who said it like that and now everyone thinks I can't read.

Luckily I have the most stellar group of friends in the world, and I when tell them I have made this fatal social error they assure me that no one noticed and stop being dramatic. Then I calm down and shortly after start to worry that no one notices me. Then I start to think that I'll probably accidentally try to act cool next time I see everyone.

So the next time I see everyone I act uncool on purpose because I don't want them to think I'm trying to act cool.

You're probably wondering what sort of things I do and ways I act when I am intentionally acting "uncool." I can't cite any examples, but am told that nobody notices a difference. The cycle begins again.

My life is very stressful.

More than anything, I have this one tendency that really get's me wondering, am I insane? Am I perhaps a sociopath who missed her calling and should drop everything I'm doing right now and start a cult?

That tendency being that I have an innate ability to act like an entirely different person depending on the social setting I'm in. It's not calculated or even intentional. It's as if I black out and become this giant schmooze monster, capable of out schmoozing anyone I come into contact with. When I exit the conversation, a confused wave of terror washes over me as I come to and realize I don't know what I said or why I said it but everyone seems to be ok.

One time in high school my tennis coach said he would be happy to see his daughter grow up to be like me. The other parents told my mom I was so "generic words for outgoing and lovely girl." When I got home, in so many words, my mom asked, "Who are you?"

I don't blame her though. For those of you who didn't see me through my teen angst, I was listening to a lot of Straylight Run at the time. You know what I mean.

Or just the other day I was on the phone at work talking to a coworker I'd never met in person, giving instructions on something to help her out. In the background I heard my boss laughing. I asked him, what? He said, it's just funny. I said what's funny? At which point he said, hearing you talk on the phone. You're like another person.

Oh, is it funny? Or am I distantly related to Ted Bundy.

So I leave it in your hands. If I'm not crazy, and these are all just silly little "things" I do, good for me.

If I am crazy, keep your eyes peeled for my cult. It will probably center around raising money to donate to me for my student loans so I can feel free enough to speak to the universe and make all of your wildest dreams come true. I can't explain exactly how I'll do it, but it's sort of like how Pocahontas could paint with all the colors of the wind. Just trust me.

There will probably be jello, too. I love jello.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sorry I Touched Your Tit.

Happy 2015 y'all. I hope you welcomed it warmly and with people you like. I personally had a great time. I accidentally ate too large of a serving of mashed potatoes with dinner, then had to drink coffee at 9:15pm in order to make sure I could stay awake for the toll of midnight. Just before the ball drop, I ventured to a bar in Brooklyn with a few of my nearest and dearest, at which point we observed a fire lick up the side of a building across the street. Someone decided to #laterGrinch and light a discarded Christmas tree on fire next to a pile of garbage.

And just as I thought the fire was going to rage out of control, a large woman came storming out of the bar with two fire extinguishers and attempted to quell the flame. She was strong, determined, and if I had to guess, of German or Dutch descent, with a perfect uptown fade.

She failed, but the fire department showed up and everything was fine.

Not too long after, I was lurking in the back of the bar waiting for my turn at karaoke when I saw her walking past me to put the empty extinguishers in the back. I looked at her and said, "Hey, you're a hero." She laughed, we exchanged pithy banter, and just before she left she made a hand gesture that ended up resulting in full graze-like contact with my left boob.

We stood for a minute in silence until she said, "Sorry I touched your tit. Happy new year." She walked away and the MC called me and life went on.

But after "Heart of Glass" ended and I put the mic down, I got to thinking about her touching my tit. I mean, it was completely accidental. But at the same time, she touched my tit. And sure, that's happened to me before. However, most of the time when my tit is getting touched, I have some sort of say in it. Much of the time, it's partially my idea. That's life though, isn't it? This woman got to second base with me and I didn't even see it coming.

Then I realized, "sorry I touched your tit" is basically a metaphor for my philosophy on life. Rarely plan, seldom think ahead. I just go on touching and apologizing.

So in the spirit of the new year, I'd like to talk about some of the happy accidents I experienced in the last. I know that it would be more typical to talk about what I'll be doing this year, but I have no idea what I'll be doing this year.

Let's have some fun. Why don't I tell you about it like a bunch of movie trailers. Yeah, Gab! Good idea.

2014- The year I attempted to spend a summer without air conditioning, and eventually snapped.
Summer lovin'? More like summer oven. You'll break a sweat laughing at this hilarious romantic comedy about a girl and her AC unit. 

2014- The year I went to Iceland.
Last Spring, find out what happened when Gab travelled to a land of gnome homes, natural salty hot springs, and a food pyramid that contains only meat and bread. Also Bjork. 

2014- The year I went to Cape Cod during Bear Week with my mom and little sister.
Who needs a buttery lobster roll when there are hairy bear rolls aplenty?

Enjoy the visual for a moment.

2014- The year I got a corporate job.
This thriller will have you on the edge of your seat as you watch what happens when an English major figures out her skills are useful in other settings than poetry workshop and finds a way to go to bed without having nightmares of defaulting on her student loans. 

2014- The year I read The Hunger Games series.
Follow Gab on her journey as she realizes she'll never be Katniss, just as she could never be Hermione...

2014- The year I took my 3 year-old niece to the Bronx Zoo for a day.
Ever been tired? Really tired? Well not as tired as you'll be after watching this action packed adventure between an aunt just trying to be the cool one, and a 3 year old on a mission to save the world by telling each stranger she sees not to talk to strangers and rescuing every foreign object she can by putting it in her mouth.

Seriously though, I have no idea how my sister does that all the time.

2014- The year I got back to my blog.
Watch this heartwarming story between a girl and her own self unfold as she wistfully lays out random stories onto the internet, in hopes of joining the rest of the universe in its quest to be a stahhh.

I think I feel done now. I mean, I did other things last year, but it's like when Forest Gump was done running.

Alright 2014, sorry I touched your tit.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

All I Want for Christmas is Everything I Don't Already Have

Christmas is a stressful time. I think we can all pretty much agree on that.

Unless of course you don't celebrate Christmas, care about people, or are generally a perfect person.

For those of you who are not perfect, the different factors that induce the yearly holiday stress are innumerable. You don't have any money, don't have the time, don't know what to get, or who to get for. Are you really not supposed to buy your significant others family gifts and if you are, is it ok for them to be as lackluster as the ones you buy your own family? The list goes on and on.

For me all of those struggles are very real, but an additional struggle I grapple with yearly is the desire to buy myself things. There are so many things that I desperately want, but will not buy and feel like I can't ask for.

I won't buy them because I have something comparable that gets the job done. Or I know in my heart that whatever it is is impractical or impossible. Usually it's just that I can't justify the cost and am convinced that if I keep holding out the price will eventually drop to a number I like.

I can't ask for them because they're mostly extravagant cleaning gadgets I've seen on infomercials, very specific styles of socks and underwear that reveal too much about my personal life, or toys suitable for boys ages 10-17.

But this is the Internet. And because it is the Internet I can do and say whatever I like without the fear of repercussions or embarrassment because I don't have to see any of your faces and if you choose to say anything at all that I don't like or disagree with I can chalk it up to cyber-bullying and my mom will reassure me that you are probably just jealous of how smart and pretty I am.

So, without any further ado, here is my fantasy Christmas list.

1. A Shark Steam Pocket Mop- It just seems like it's more sanitary and efficient than the weird sponge on a stick I bought at the dollar store.

2. Super Smash Bros Melee for Gamecube- Because my mom decided I no longer wanted my N64, and sold it at a garage sale without my consent back in '02.

3. N64

4. Harry Potter to be real.

5. A pocket watch- I know it's impractical, but I don't care. I just like watches.

6. A glasses rope- Practical, but most people find this wish to be lame. Although I do have one friend who told me that it's fine because her dad uses a glasses rope and he's a boss. A. Boss.

7. Collecting Pokemon cards to be cool again.

8. A telescope- Deluxe. I know this is too much to ask. Last year I just asked for a NASA t-shirt instead. Compromises.

9. Tiny Socks- Brand does not matter as long as they are well made and can't be seen no matter what sort of trendy booty or flat I am wearing.

10. A dentist that doesn't scare me or have a team of assistants dedicated to making me feel like my teeth are going to rot out of my head because I don't floss enough.

11. A houseboat- Marina fees included please.

And that's it. I know right now, my close friends and family are borderline annoyed with how serious they know I am about each item on this list.

Conversely, I too am annoyed that none of them will just break down and get me what I want instead of insisting I'll love a gift certificate for laser hair removal. Or perhaps a wireless mouse.

Anyway, I hope you all got everything you wished for this year, and more than that, I hope you made a few wishes come true.

Imagine a shooting star now.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's Ok if I Have No Desire to Run a Marathon as Long as I Eat Kale, Right?

I'm in my middle 20's.

For some, this statement causes outrageous feelings of resentment and the urge to tell me I'm just a kid with my whole life ahead of me and make sure I don't get married because it's the biggest mistake I'll ever make while simultaneously asking If I have a boyfriend and do I think we'll get married.

Or if you're my Granny, you want to know when a young, beautiful girl like me will find a nice rich man, preferably who plays for the Yankees, while simultaneously asking if I've gained weight. And let's not forget the grandkids. She already has a bunch of them, but has no trouble using the "I'm not going to be around for much longer card" on me. My Granny is using her eventual death as a tool for her peer pressure.

People are really asking a lot of me. I'm just trying to make sure I remember to put a bra on before I leave for work.

It doesn't help the pressure when I see people from home marrying their high school sweethearts. Yes- without even trying anyone else. I will probably lose at least 10 friends on social media for that sentence.

I've seen a lot of other things start to change outside of the weddings and babies. It's become common to have a self-involved blog about nothing and it seems like everyone grew a beard.


The most prominent trend I've noticed recently is that a vast majority of my peers are deciding to get right with their fitness and health. I'm down with that. That is cooool with me. But I can't deny, some of it is beyond me. Surpasses my understanding. Just doesn't even interest me at all.

For example, Crossfit. Changing people's lives left and right. Empowering the once weak and getting otherwise finicky digestive tracks regular. For me, it sounds a little scary.

Or hot yoga. If I'm going to have speedo-clad men bending over in my face and accidentally wicking their sweat onto my body, I want to have complete control over exactly who those men are. The closest thing I've ever done to hot yoga is cleaning my apartment without the AC on, and that was hard enough.

But out of all of the fitness trends I see moving through my social circle, the marathon running is definitely the most intimidating. I see those "26.2" bumper stickers and think, "26.2 times more insane than me."

When I think about running a marathon, my first objection is the running. I do not like to run. I do it, but the whole time I'm having to flex my imagination. I'll listen to a song and pretend it's about me. Like something obvious such as Jay-Z's, "Hard Knock Life." Or perhaps that I am performing it.  For that, the song that comes most immediately to mind is Celine Dion's, "That's the Way it Is."

One number that I can use for both fantasies is the Bee Gees rendition of "More Than a Woman."

The next mental block is the distance. 26.2 miles is a long distance which means a long time. What does one think about for all of that time? How do you stay motivated? Before I even say this, I know it's a bad attitude, but I feel like I would get bored. Or just spend 22 of those miles trying not to cry.

Even though I am naturally resistant to many of the healthy lifestyle changes I see all my other 20 something acquaintances adapting, I am still making an effort to get on board.  I drink seltzer water instead of soda and will myself to believe it tastes just as good because the bubbles are really what I'm looking for. I still have not tried to make myself believe I am gluten intolerant because never will I ever. Nor do I intend on giving up anything enveloped or at least blanketed in cheese. But I  do try to eat mostly organic when I can afford it, and when I can't, I buy brown eggs to trick my mind.

Beyond any of my mind tricks, I know for sure that I'm doing something right because I eat kale. And I don't know any of the facts about why, I just know that kale is a big deal. I put it in my smoothies, I eat it on sandwiches, and occasionally on its own, topped with some kind of creamy dressing and bacon.

I am just now realizing that I only eat kale when I can hide it in the other things I am eating.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Pun intended.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

There Are No Losers, Only Different Degrees of Winner.

"To whom it may concern:

If you've made it this far, then I will make the assumption that you feel like this concerns you. This is your last chance to set it down and walk away. If you want to know what it's about, I don't even know yet so I can't help you there and, quite frankly, I really don't want to.

Make Good Decisions,


-Gabrielle Albino, February 20th, 2006.

What you just read above is a word for word excerpt from a page I wrote in one of my journals when I was 16. I go on to say,

"Words are useless. These words are useless and I am so for writing them. In all of my uselessness, I have come to know my place. Let's face it, I'm a 16 year old girl that goes to high school and is just as mediocre as everyone else."

That was almost 10 years ago.

Exactly 7 years, 1 month, and 6 days ago, my dad died and that was relatively horrible.

Every year around the time of my dad's death, I tend to find myself getting all weird and introspective. I do things like ponder the meaning of life (is there one?), along with other unusual activities like painting my nails and trying to make myself like cabbage.

This year, I found myself doing my annual ponderfest and I wandered back to a place I find myself often. I'm talking about the place where I remember that writing gives me a certain, unexplainable frisson. So amidst the spiral of nostalgia, I decided to take a look at some of my old journals.

When I read them now, I can see that I was always a well of raw, untapped talent.

October 3rd, 2007

"I haven't been feeling well lately. I think it's from gas."

I'm sure you're thinking right now about why I don't spend all my time writing pure gold like that for the masses. I'll tell you why- BECAUSE GOLD IS WORTH $$$ AND UNTIL I GET MINE, YOU CAN FORGET IT.

That's not true except for the part about gold being worth money. Speaking of money, I'd like to take a quick second to post my own little advertisement, which I hope you will be patient with in exchange for me not having any actual advertisements on this page.

If it helps, read this in the voice of a woman doing radio commercials for a local car dealership that her uncle's friend owns.

Are you incredibly wealthy? Have you always wanted to give away several thousands of dollars to a stranger out of the sole desire to be philanthropic? Would you definitely be interested in living out that lifelong dream with a sort of plain, sometimes disagreeable, lover of labrador retrievers? Then look no further, I'm your gal. Contact me in anyway humanly possible. 


Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The real reason I don't write all the time is because it's hard and I don't have a ton of extra time outside of work and life and I often make excuses when I am afraid of making myself vulnerable to failure. I'm sure you know the feeling. It's like when you think you want to try rollerblading because you used to do it and it was exhilarating. But then you remember that one incident when you were 10 and fell on your face and bit through your front lip and your little sister started crying and shouting, "I don't want you to die!"while you spat blood all over your driveway.

It's exactly like that. You know.

But there, I just did it. So if everyone could please applaud me and award me with accolades for my effort, it would be appreciated. Because in this day and age, there are no losers, only different degrees of winner.

And if you liked what you read here, keep your eyes open for my next post, which I haven't totally thought up yet, but will likely be about how Beyonce's song, "Drunk in Love" could easily be about me and a box of Cheez-Its.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The NYC Subway: A Test Tube for Humans

Now that I've  been a city slicker for a solid half a year, I feel it is appropriate for me to say I have sufficiently experienced the wonder that is the New York City Subway system. If, by chance, you are a person that has visited New York City but has had the fortune to travel strictly by cab, you're really missing out.

Like many new-to-New Yorkers, I'm somewhat...monetarily challenged. That means the only way I'm not traveling by public transit is if I'm walking. Or that disillusioned guy at the bar thinks taking a cab with me means he's coming home with me, and ends up offering a ride. FYI, the ladder basically doesn't happen. 

By basically I mean never. 

All this being said, I spend a lot of time riding the subway. In that time, I get to observe a plethora of different things and people, and I often find myself wondering about human behavior. One thing I've specifically noticed is that everybody is either too scared or not scared enough of everything they encounter while riding.

I often see people sleeping on the subway. Not resting their eyes or relaxing, but full-on sleeping. Why aren't these people terrified? 

There are the obvious dangers involved: getting robbed, cut, or any other manner of assaulted. But worse than that, think of who might sit or stand next to you while you're being rocked to sleep by the trains' gentle swaying. For example, that girl who finds no issue with blasting Beyonce's, "Irreplaceable" on repeat loud enough for us all to have the pleasure of being informed that, to the left, to the left, everything we own is in a box to the left. Which, rather ironically, speaks volumes to the homeless guy who seems to have a real talent for falling asleep, waking up with a boner, and then traipsing about, loudly yelling something in gibberish. Or that person who had a nice big plate of broccoli for lunch. 

Yes, I'm talking about farts.

Very recently I was sitting in one of the seats closest to a door. A younger man, about thirty, was leaning up against the metal bars at the edge of the bench. To paint a clear picture, I was face to butt with this man. Then, in what was nothing short of a sensory ambush, I found myself neck deep in his fart cloud. His rank, invasive fart cloud that I couldn't call him out on because he kept it quiet. It's true, I have been a MTA victim of the "silent but deadly." If only there had been a way for me to spot he was a fart blossom. A gas master flex. 

On the flip side, I also see people afraid of things that, to me, seem totally irrational. I once saw 5 people come to sit in a seat next to me and turn away because there was an empty yellow Starburst wrapper on it. These people were so sure about this being good enough reason not to sit, that it got to the point where I started to become afraid of the Starburst wrapper. 

I'm sure you're thinking...Um, Gab? There's no chance you considered they didn't care about the wrapper, they just didn't want to sit next to you, is there?

No, there isn't. 

Haters gon' hate. 

Another thing to be discussed about the subway is the entertainment, both intentional and unintentional. It's a rare occasion my ride home from work isn't interrupted by 4 teenage boys shouting, "EXCUSE ME LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, SHOWTIME SHOWTIME. WHAT TIME IS IT? SHOWTIME."

Oh. I thought it was 5:30. 

Then, they proceed to blare some hip hop music and pull off some of the most impressive pole dancing I have ever seen. Honestly, I cannot believe the way some of these boys work the pole. In the words of Akon, "I see you windin' and grindin' up on that pole," and I do. 

But I don't want to love them. I just want to be sure none of them kick me in the face.  

And of course, my trip to Brooklyn wouldn't be complete without a Mariachi performance. Gracias, pero no tengo dinero extra. Lo siento. 

Perhaps best and last thing I'd like to discuss about the subway is its' capacity for sparking romance. There are so many interesting people, all forcibly too close to one another, just waiting to cross paths and swap life stories, or maybe just cop a feel. Their eyes panning the car, wondering, is that my soulmate?  Did he just meaningfully gaze at me?

I mean, who doesn't fall in love 45 times a day on the subway?

Oh, that's just me? Well.