Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 219: In the park

Late October sun
All cares are forgettable
On a clear blue day

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 218: Love hurts

Sandpaper kisses
From a most beloved tongue
Followed by a bite

Five years ago I met the love of my life. No, not Intrepid Boyfriend (he showed up two years later). I'm talking about Ferocious Tabby. It was serendipity that made me lock myself out of my old apartment, and foolishness that made me think maybe I could climb a drainpipe to get in. When I got to the back of the building I heard a noise like a baby bird. I moved aside some leaves and sticks and uncovered a gray kitten so tiny that at first glance I thought "Ew! A mouse!"

Little did I know that that tiny kitten would grow up to be Ferocious Tabby: 13 lbs. of fury, defender of the homestead, fuzzy alarm clock, professional pigeon stalker, and all-around Brooklyn bad ass. I'm so lucky.

I can't believe I just haiku'd about my cat. I need a job.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 217: Lookin' good!

A frowsy woman
Steps out for a cigarette
In her red bathrobe

As I walked past my Russian neighbor in her ancient robe and slippers, enjoying one last cigarette before retiring for the night, I couldn't help but admire her confidence -- if not her fashion sense.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 216: Morning obstacles

Your rush hour backpack
Knocks small children flat as if
They were bowling pins

Ah, the rush hour backpack. Sure, you think it's too much trouble to take it off and set it on the floor, and what do you care about some stranger's eye? I'm also a big fan of the rush hour yoga mat, the rush hour smelly breakfast, and the rush hour double-wide stroller (lest I be accused of baby hating again, let me make it clear that I know it's really, really hard to travel around this city with small children, and that strollers are often the only viable option if you want to be able to leave your house. But have you ever been on an F train in Brooklyn at 8:30 in the morning? They're like medieval battering rams.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 215: Dog envy (again)

Our laughing eyes meet
Over your dog's yellow back
His wet brown eyes smile

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 214: What a charmer

A man with a snake
Draped across his broad shoulders
Cycles through the park

I really wish I were quicker with my camera phone.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 213: Watching, waiting

I park on a bench
Looking for a slow moment
In a hard, fast world

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 212: the cruelty of children

A man tries to sleep
In the sunlight as children
Throw garbage at him

I wanted to strangle them with the sleeves of their crested prep school blazers. Instead, I asked them how they could possibly treat a fellow human being like that. They found my question hilarious. I guess that was my answer.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 211: Rain dance

I'm a sodden mess
My forgotten umbrella
Is laughing at home

Also, I smell like a wet sheep.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 210: Practical AND aerodynamic

A sidewalk chasm
claims my granny cart's right wheel
I am airborne

So are my groceries.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 209: Sympathy, Exhaustion, Insomnia

A small sigh escapes
From a mother absently
Pushing a stroller

She looked so sleepy and wistful. I think she was daydreaming about switching places with her two children for a few minutes. I for one wouldn't mind being pushed around the park in a stroller until I dozed off, and I don't even have a baby keeping me up at night. I look at a woman like her (a mom who looks genuinely nice, not the bossy and entitled type that you see so often around here) and it makes me think "wow, I have no reason to feel tired."

Although in my defense, being unemployed and frighteningly broke does severely impact one's ability to sleep. Especially when your dreams involve muggers handing you an eviction notice as they beat you up and take your wallet.

Day 208: Bargain hunting fail

Even castoffs from
Your brownstone castle are far
Out of my price range

I've been haiku-ing far faster than I've been posting lately. Recently, Brooklyn Heights hosted a neighborhood-wide stoop sale in conjunction with the Atlantic Antic, a massively popular street fair that gives me severe agita . Brooklyn Heights is a gorgeous , affluent *** neighborhood full of palatial brownstone townhouses, many with historical and architectural significance.

However, these people could learn a thing or two about stoop sales. I walked by a stoop sale where a woman was looking at a glass candy dish. Nothing fancy. The kind of thing you'd expect to pay $1 for at a stoop sale in most places. When she asked the homeowner how much the dish was, the answer was $30. She put it down like it had bitten her. The next door neighbor's cheapest stoop sale item was $150. No, not $1.50. One hundred and fifty dollars.

***And yes, the property in the link above rents for $11,500 a month. I guess price tags like that skew your perception of reality. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a $300 salad fork to sell.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 207: Hand in hand

A small quick-eyed girl
In a pink plastic raincoat
Clasps her father's hand

She was just taking it all in.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 206: Blue on blue

Bright sunlight cascades
Off a sea of broken tiles
A trash mosaic

I think they were a casualty of the ever-present remodeling in the neighborhood.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 205: Burning questions

To stay or to go?
How can we afford to live?
Yet how can we leave?

Intrepid Boyfriend and I are in a bit of a crisis right now. I've lived in Brooklyn for over 5 years; IB for a little more than 3. We love our very small, comparatively affordable apartment. We love our building, which has an elevator, a non-creepy laundry room, and the kind of superintendent that other renters in this city dream about. We love our neighborhood, Kensington, which I think of as Park Slope's secretly hip maiden aunt.

Here are some things I don't love: Our increasingly futile search for even the most humble jobs in the legal field. IB and I thought we had enough in savings to bridge the gap between graduating from law school and finding jobs. Guess what? That gap is more of a chasm, really. I don't love the fact that the only job I have been able to find is a part-time position that is not in my field, and for which I receive an embarrassingly low hourly wage. But the thing I love least of all is being told that said hourly wage, while laughable when measured against rent and student loan payments (forget about groceries, utilities, and transportation) is enough to take us out of the running for any kind of publicly funded health care program. Strike that. The thing I love least of all is this feeling that I am completely powerless to change any of these things.

So, we are faced with a question: How much longer can we live like this? Meaning, how much longer can we afford to live in New York City? It's not a question of refusing to apply for certain jobs as a matter of pride. Neither of us has much pride left, and we get a lot of "we can't hire you because you have too much experience" or "you'll just quit when a law job comes along" when we apply for non-law jobs. We can't even find temp agencies to take us on.

It's starting to look like our only option is to move in with my parents, who live in another part of New York state (about as far as you can get from New York City without leaving the state), and to live there until we can find jobs in another (cheaper) city.

We've made a home here. It's not perfect, but I'm not sure I'm ready to uproot -- especially when the job market doesn't seem much better anywhere else. Is it worth it to pay more than we can afford to live where there are more jobs, but also more recent law grads vying for them? Or is it better to move someplace significantly cheaper where there are fewer jobs, but less competition?