Walking with my head toward the sky

When you walk through the streets of Manhattan, do you ever notice the people around you? Do we ever take the time to lift our heads and our noses up from our phones and just really see the people or the buildings?

I will admit that on days when I am stressed out or feeling insecure, I will walk with my eyes glued to the screen of my phone, but I do my best to keep foot traffic flowing and avoid bumping into strangers. No one is perfect.

During my brief walk from Bryant Park on 42nd to the Fred E. French Building on 45th, I noticed that everyone walking next to or in front of me was staring down at the screen of their cell phone or behind the viewfinder of a camera. A young girl was moving at such a pace that she tripped into a woman because she never looked up – not once. She never thought to take her eyes off the screen and stop texting to check to see if someone was in front of her.

Texting while walking really grinds my gears. I cannot stand being stuck behind someone who is moving at a snails pace because she has her nose in her phone. In this digital age, it is so important that you look up and take in the sights once in a while. Not only is it rude, but it is actually dangerous! The New York Times, the Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, USA Today... the list goes on. These major journalistic outlets have studied this exact topic and have shown just how dangerous this nasty habit is. Take a look at this video:

NYT Texting & Walking

In Gait & Posture, Eric Lambert found that texting while walking produces navigational errors and that gait velocity is reduced when using a cell phone to text or talk. (2012) When you are looking down, you are limiting what can be seen around your person. You develop multiple blind spots, whereas there would only be one if you walked with your head up and watching for danger. Basically, walking and texting is like you are wearing a blindfold and you are prone to serious injuries. According to the NSC (National Safety Council), between 2000 and 2011, walking while using your cell phone accounted for 11,100 injuries.

There is also the courtesy factor.

It is completely inconsiderate of texters to come to a complete stop in the middle of a busy NYC sidewalk, staircase, or entry-way. Blocking foot traffic in Manhattan is a dangerous all by itself, but then you factor in that people are not even noticing that bodies are moving towards them!

What’s the considerate or proper technique you may ask. Well, you should really pull over to the side of the sidewalk, complete your text, Google searches or whatever you need to look down and view and then proceed down the street. Practicing pedestrian etiquette will allow for others to continue walking without obstruction and will lower pedestrian accident rates.

“Petextrian” accidents have risen to more than 3.5 percent, according to a report by the GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association). Teenagers make up more than 40% of these accidents because they cross streets while texting and cannot detect the oncoming dangers while being distracted by mobile devices. Of course, driving while distracted or impaired will ALWAYS be the number one cause for accidents, texting while walking is a menace to pedestrians just trying to make it to the end of the next block.

Please, next time you are out, do me a favor – pick your head up and notice the world around you. Notice the world outside of the cell phone!

Counting the days

My first graduate class starts at the end of this month, and I am nowhere near ready to be back inside of a classroom quite yet. I need to figure out if I am going to do the whole laptop in class schtick or my classic hand-written notations approach. I prefer not having the distraction of my laptop for class, but after a full day of work will my brain be able to keep up otherwise?

What should I do?

I am enrolled, part-time, in Pace University’s Dyson College of the Arts & Sciences Book Publishing Certificate Program. This could lead to big things in the publishing world, in terms of my career. On the other hand, it could show me just how much I do not want to work in there…though, I doubt it. The trick is going to be working my full-time job and going to school two nights a week. Luckily, I just found out that I have July 4th off for the holiday. Bully for me!

I am starting with one course: The Principles of Publishing. The textbook cost me about $27.73 on Amazon, depending on who is selling the book to you. Compared to my Undergraduate textbook costs, that was a bargain! Check out Publishing: Principles and Practice by Richard Guthrie if you are looking for an interesting background on all things publishing.

American-born and humiliated

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Muhammad Ali’s son was stopped and questioned at an airport Friday for the second time in recent months, his attorney said. The attorney said Muhammad Ali Jr. was questioned at a Washington airport before he was allowed to board a flight home to Fort Lauderdale, after meeting with lawmakers to discuss a…

via Attorney Says Muhammad Ali’s Son Stopped Again At Airport; TSA Says They Only Confirmed His ID — CBS New York

A Sticky Situation

I don’t normally use this as my diary, but tonight I feel the need to because I need to get somethings off my chest. On New Year’s Eve, I made a wish. I wished to have my Zack back. I told myself that it was impossible and that it would never happen because he and I had not spoken since September when he just vanished. Apparently, the universe responded to me.

[Enter New Year’s Day, stage right]

Zack makes a comeback…

I had already decided that 2017 would be the year I learn to let him go and then there he is, blowing up the locked screen of my iPhone. I jumped so hard when I saw his text messages that I dropped that iPhone onto my grandmother’s ceramic kitchen floor. The screen of my iPhone 6 is cracked now. The thing that frustrates me is that, since he and I have reconnected, nothing about our dysfunctional relationship has changed – he is still a workaholic with no ideas how to behave in a relationship. Every morning, I wake up with a painful headache and I know it is because I spent 8 hours of sleep subconsciously hoping he would change overnight.

He is 29 years old and he just does not understand. How do I make him understand? I already gave up the love of my life once. I really do not want to do it again. As long as we continue this ghosted relationship, then I suppose I can do it at some point. Once my eyes meet his…it’s game over.

“The Road So Far…”

Here we are. December is finally here and everywhere I go I see Christmas. Honestly, I work so much that sometimes I cannot believe that Christmas will be here in only 15 days. Typically, this is my favorite holiday because I love hearing the music and seeing the decorations, but this year…I am struggling to keep moving. I have many decisions to make before the end of 2016 and I am having the hardest time balancing all of my responsibilities.

Every night, I come home from work – dead tired and defeated. I have not worked on my novel for four months, but luckily I was able to get the week after Christmas off from work. I anticipate many long nights of writing and re-writing.

Since my break-up with Zack, I have not been doing so well. I put on a brave face and I smile and laugh my way through the work day, but what I really  want to do is just curl into a ball and cry. I have been struggling to move on from him and from the memory of our relationship, but it is hard. Letting go of someone is really hard. I wake up every morning with this hole in my chest and sometimes I feel like I cannot take a deep breath. People keep telling me to just move and forget him. “He was a loser,” some say. “He was a jerk and doesn’t deserve you anyway!” Well, the truth is I was in love with that loser – that asshole.

Let me tell you something about Zack. He may not have been the best at actually being in a relationship and managing work and making time for his girlfriend, BUT he is one of the best men to ever walk into my life and I will miss him for the rest of my adult life.

He was warm and funny; childish yet filled with wisdom. He was level-headed and impulsive. He was quiet but opinionated. He never told me that there was something I could not do. Most importantly, he never asked me to be someone I am not. He appreciated the woman I was when we were together. He always made sure we had fun and he encouraged me to follow my dreams. I will never find another Zack and to be honest, I do not want to because I will forever measure that man up to the Zack I want to be with.

It sucks that he and I are not together anymore and I feel like I am drowning in an ocean of our memories, but I guess there is nothing that can be done about this now. It just sucks that now that I can move back to New Haven, we are no longer together. If only I had been able to move back there last year. We might have gotten our Valentine’s Day dinner.

The Five Stages

About three months ago, I made the decision to end my relationship.

It wasn’t healthy. No one was happy. And…let’s face it – it just was not working.

I spent a year and a half trying to find some way to make it work and I did all I could, but he did not want to put in the work.

He did not want to spend hours traveling to me. He did not want to take five minutes at night to call me. He did not want to use his breaks at work to text me “good morning” or ask my how my day is.  He did not want to make me a part of his world.

It’s never easy, deciding to break up with someone. Every day I feel this hole, this unfillable void, in my life and I miss him.

I wake up and I miss him. I ride the train and I think about him. I walk to my office and my mind is flooded with memories of walking places with him. There is not a day I don’t hope and pray that he would just text me and want to work it all out – but he doesn’t.

He may not know this, but he saved my life. He helped me find myself and question the path I was on. He encouraged me to try new things; he always told me I could do anything I wanted.

Without him, I would probably still be working on my Senior Seminar British Literature term paper.

Thank you, Zack…thank you for keeping me awake that night, even though I kept taking mini naps and you would have to keep calling me. Thank you for making sure that at 3:45 AM, I woke up from my nap and finished page 6. Thank you for acting as my silent support system as I finished my final exam paper for my Literary Criticism class. You were watching the Kurt Cobain documentary, but having you next to me kept me focused because I knew that as long as you were there that I would get the paper done. Thank you for coming to my awards ceremony when we had only been dating one week.

Humbati…you oaf. xo

An Amazing “Year in the Life”: Thoughts on the return of Gilmore Girls

Euphoria. Heartache. Fun.

Twelve hours later and there was never a dull moment in the lives of the citizens of Stars Hollow. Everyone was just as we had left them – Bootsy still ran the newspaper and magazine stand; Taylor still has his soda shoppe and the market; Gypsy is still keeping that old Jeep Wrangler running; Patty still teaches dance…everything is as it was in 2007.

It’s like we never left. Home is still where the heart is and my heart still beats strongly inside the gazebo of Stars Hollow. Watching Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino’s dream come true – hearing those four final words spoken was as much a miracle to me as it was to them.

When you watch Gilmore Girls, you ultimately end up contemplating your own life journey. It is  a very natural occurrence. Tonight, as my sister and I finished watching Summer and Fall, I could not help but think “god, I wish Aunt Jeanine were here to watch this with us.” My aunt loved this show and I know that she would have been waiting up till three o’clock in the morning to begin the binge, just as my sister and I had.

In 2007, when I lost the Gilmores…I also lost my aunt. She was young; I was young. One was a living, breathing woman and the other was my fictional family in television land – characters designed on a page of printer paper. In a way, I do not think I quite understood the grief that I felt after losing her. Watching this revival and dealing with the death of Edward Hermann/Richard Gilmore, has helped me a little more with her death because with this show…it is as if no time has passed, and I lost them both simultaneously.

I felt my eyes getting heavier as tears filled their corners each time the front doors to the Gilmore home opened up.

Although the revival used every second to tug at the heartstrings of viewers, it never forgot its roots – humor. This family has lost one of its pillars and, in a way, they lost themselves. The collective existential crisis ended up bringing all of the characters together in such a touching way. It brings me comfort to know that my beloved, fictional family is only human after all.