Wednesday, October 28, 2009

As Seen on TV

At the gym this morning the video to Rob Thomas' new single Someday caught my eye. There was something very familiar about the street he was walking down. I knew I recognized it, but was having a hard time placing exactly which street it was. I watched for a few minutes until I finally recognized the Madison Square Park banners in the background and at the end of the video I saw the famous Flatiron building in the background.

That was it! I spend hours in Madison Square Park so I couldn't believe it took me so long to place it.

When you live in New York it's weird watching the city on TV.

There's the beautiful view of the skyline that you see in so many movies that you often forget exists because you never see that vantage point living on the island. Each time I see that I remember why people are so enchanted with New York and actually find myself thinking of the city as beautiful.

Before, watching TV shows about New York City didn't really mean much. Now it's kind of exciting for me to watch them and try to place the streets and landmarks. I watched an episode of Gossip Girl the other day that was filmed at the end of my block. I recognized Irving Place in an instant and then immediately remembered all the cones set up on the street a few months back.

Watching old Seinfeld episodes are almost always even funnier now because the references and jokes take on even greater significance once you also have to deal with all that comes with living in this city. The last time I saw the episode where Elaine gets trapped on the Subway on her way to a party I couldn't help but laugh remembering all the times the train stops in between stations and the train is so crowded you are being held up by the people next to you and all you want to do is make it to the next stop so you can get out.

Each time I watch these shows though I still can't believe it's the same place I call home at the moment.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Another time..another town..another everything - Shattered, O.A.R."

I posted these lyrics as my G-Chat status today. So very appropriate since I've spent the past few days revisiting the past.

I know I previously blogged about how I've often felt that I've lived many lives in order to get to where I am now. I often reference things I want to do in my next life, but I guess in a way, I've already been given the opportunity to live some past lives.

Would any of you believe the now Ivy-League employed Web girl living in Manhattan once helped milk a hundred dairy cattle? Or that she is the same girl who used to Karaoke on Monday nights at a really bad Mexican restaurant in her college town - (but always loved the company she was with :) while doing so? Would you have guessed that I used to file medical records for 8 hours a day and that was still one of the best jobs I've ever had? Do you believe that I've driven both a Ford F350 and a Mercedes?

Some of the previous versions of my life barely resemble my life today. I miss all of the wonderful people who were a part of each and every one of these experiences but I don't think I'm quite "there" yet. I'm starting to think about my next life...and another town, another place, another everything...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Slow Seduction

My friend Emily and I always laugh when she says the Boston Red Sox seduced her, but lately I've been giving a lot of thought to the concept of seduction:
Seduce: 1. to persuade to disobedience or disloyalty. 2. to lead astray usually by persuasion - Merriam Webster

When I first moved to the East Coast I had no intentions of staying out here. My plan was to complete my Master's program and then return back to Des Moines and find a job.

But somewhere along the way I've fallen in love. I've fallen for the Boston Red Sox, the way the East Coast works hard and plays hard, leisurely weekend brunches, beach weekends, train travel, and laying out in the park. It was a combination of all these small things that, over time, got me.

A good friend of mine just today told me that she is moving back to the Midwest after living on the West Coast for two years. She has bittersweet feelings about it and I know exactly how she feels. It's something no one else can completely understand unless they've left home and fallen in love with something else.

I still miss so very much about home and will defend it endlessly, but a part of me is now starting to realize that I may never be truly content there ever again.

It took awhile, but Em, I think I'm ready to admit the East Coast has seduced me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Attempting to Make the Midwest a Little Less Terrifying

As I've mentioned in this blog before, I get all kinds of responses when I tell people where I'm from. They range from off the wall to incredibly ignorant. I would then get upset and spend too much time and energy trying to correct their misconceptions. Eventually I grew tired of this and stopped. It turns out someone was listening...and that someone was someone I would have never expected.

One of my roommates is a native New Yorker. From the day we met, he declared the midwest to be "terrifying" and just "fly-over country". I continually tried to educate him on the midwest in general and Iowa in particular, but three years later it still hadn't seemed to matter. I assumed it was going in one ear and out the other.

But I was wrong. He came home from work the other day and proudly told me he had spent the afternoon telling his boss all about Iowa. What?!

Yes, it was true. They had just signed a new licensee from the Southeast corner of my state. His boss had the same typical reaction everyone does when they hear the word Iowa and, to my surprise, my roommate said he started telling him all I had shared with him in the past.

I guess someone was listening while I felt I was just talking to hear myself talk.

For anyone else who cares to listen:

Iowa is not flat:
"Despite popular perception, Iowa is generally not flat; most of the state consists of rolling hills. Prior[13] divides Iowa into eight landforms based on glaciation, soils, topography, and river drainage. Loess hills lie along the western border of the state, some of which are several hundred feet thick.[14] In the northeast, along the Mississippi River, is a section of the Driftless Zone, which in Iowa consists of steep hills and valleys which appear almost mountainous."

We do not all live on farms...and no one lives in a teepee:
"Iowa's population is more urban than rural, with 61 percent living in urban areas in 2000, a trend that began in the early 20th century.[45]"

"While Iowa is often viewed as a farming state, in reality agriculture is a small portion of a diversified economy, with manufacturing, biotechnology, finance and insurance services, and government services contributing substantially to Iowa's economy."

We do set some trends...the important ones:
"In the 19th century Iowa was among the earliest states to enact prohibitions against race discrimination, especially in education."

"As with racial equality, Iowa was a vanguard in women's rights in the mid 19th century.." "In 1847, the University of Iowa became the first public university in the U.S. to admit men and women on an equal basis.[92] In 1869, Iowa became the first state in the union to admit women to the practice of law, with the Court ruling that women may not be denied the right to practice law in Iowa and admitting Arabella A. Mansfield to the practice of law."
(all facts came from the great roommates' most trusted source of knowledge.)

There's much more, but I'll stop now just in case no one is listening.