Where Do We Go From Here?

Six months ago, we packed up our lives1 in Colorado to move back to New York City. But maybe that old saying about how you can’t go home again is true, because in eight days, we’re packing it in (er, up) and heading for greener (er, snowier) pastures.

End of the World

NYC to Us: “Why You Want To Leave Me?”

Okay, you know that guy that in high school who’s like the hottest guy ever and when he looks at you your insides start turning inside out? And one day when he smiles at you and says hi and actually uses your name instead of just doing that stupid what-up man-nod that boys always do when they’re around their friends your whole heart is about to explode right out of your chest? And then one day you find yourself innocently making out with him behind the school and you don’t even care that everyone is watching, or that in one day this guy knows more about your undergarments than the sales girl at Vicky’s?

But then you stop kissing long enough to get to know him and it turns out he’s about as dumb as a box of hair and he’s mean to his little sister and he kicks puppies in his spare time and also, he hits on your best friend? But he’s still really really hot and he brings you a rose and a little white bear on Valentine’s Day and you kind of forget about the best friend thing until naked pictures of her show up on his MySpace page, and even then you kind of laugh it off because he’s still really really hot and the other night in the Taco Bell parking lot you were shivering so he gave you his favorite black hoodie that you sleep with now because it still smells like him, even though the whole school is talking about those MySpace pics?

Yeah, that guy.

Anyway, that’s kind of why we’re moving. Not that NYC kicks puppies or anything, I’m just saying. Home is not what it once was for me – for many reasons. Did you get that from my clever (albeit quite-a-stretch) analogy?


Where To?

In 8 days, Alex and I are wandering up to Buffalo. Before you say anything, let me assure you that any rumors you’ve heard about Buffalo are probably true, but feel free to ask if you have any questions or curiosities. We’re excited to spend some quality time up there, especially since we work from home and therefore don’t have to shovel snow. Our neighborhood has everything we could ask for — a farmer’s market, an independent bookstore, Greek diners open all night, multiple coffee places, multiple veggie restaurants, a kick-ass library, close to Wegmans2, and my baby brother who is as funny and talented as he is adorable (not that I’m pimping him or anything, but ladies, he’s single AND he’s not afraid to cry over girly YA books…)!

Expect lots of dispatches from the Queen City as we get settled into our new place in the coming weeks… just in time for fresh orchard apples and real cider, Halloween, and probably the first of many blizzards3. I’ve also heard rumors that a rabid squad of 20-somethings4 is conspiring to turn me and Alex into a couple of beer-drinking, bar-hopping, goal-post-climbing Buffalo Bills fans (among *cough* other things), but like I told aforementioned baby brother, we are the grown-ups in this operation, damn it, and we’re not above going all After School Special on the lot of ’em!

*cough* Kids these days!

So you’ll have those stories to look forward to. See, I told you after my long blog absence I would make it up to you! Well maybe I forgot to tell you, tell you, but I was thinking it, and now you’ll reap the bounty of my Buffalo-bound babbling all winter.

In the words of Napoleon Dynamite… “LUCKY!”

P.S. No puppies were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

1. By we, I mean me, Alex, our friend Criptoper, and two of Helicopter Pilot’s finest, who helped us drive 2,000 miles with severe hangovers and only to get grounded from Omaha, but we’re not bringing that up again!


See? Aren’t the adorable? And hard-working, too!

2. For those of you unschooled in the glory that is Wegmans, see here. My first real job was as a Wegmans cashier. They had all these tracking systems so they could time how long it would take us to complete an order, even if it wasn’t our fault that the customer was digging in her purse for change or coupons or her club card. It was very high-stakes for a grocery job. Anyway, Wegmans is much cooler now than when I worked there, but they probably still time the employees.
3. This is not an exaggeration. Ask anyone to share childhood memories of Halloween in Buffalo and you will undoubtedly hear words like “snowsuit” and “frostbite.”
4. Yes, your honor. That’s them.



I know, I know, it’s been ages. I hope you still remember me. Listen, I got back from that crazy tropical vacation in Buffalo about 2 weeks ago, and I justrightnowtoday finished thawing out.

I could write a whole book of poetry on how cold it was, using words like frigid and icewind and hellashiver, but you probably wouldn’t believe me. So, allow me to say it with the following 5-thousand word pictorial essay:


Blizzard Dance

End of the World



At least the music was good. Drinks, too, from what I remember.

*Covers mouth…*
*Withholds incriminating stories from HP groupie front-lines…*

You Are Now Entering the Spirit World

Getting to Buffalo in the winter (read: October through May) always presents a special challenge, including but not limited to such previously experienced setbacks as:

  • Sleeping on airport floors.
  • Sitting on the jetway for multiple rounds of de-icer.
  • Deplaning multiple times. To fly, or not to fly? That is the question.
  • Circling Buffalo International Airport for hours, hovering above hurricane-force winds. Look kids, there’s the Big Ben tower!
  • Being forced to land in Rochester and taking a bus up north.
  • Landing in a blizzard after the airport loses power. Um, are those seriously torches?

But last week’s outbound journey wins the Greatest Antarctic Adventure Ever award.

I’m going to skip all of the horrible details about getting on and off the plane 3 times on account of a supposed dead battery charger (not sure if the pilot was referring to the plane or his iPod, but either way he couldn’t get the part in time and we had to wait for a new plane) and get right to the good stuff.

See, no one ever talks to me in airports or on planes or in lines or in any public settings, like, ever. It’s like I’m wearing headphones. But not. So imagine my surprise when, as I sat on the airport floor awaiting the third round of boarding at DIA, a young man sat across from me and started a conversation! With me! La la la!

  • Young Man: Do you have a connection in DC?
  • Me: Yes, Buffalo. You?
  • YM: Belgium. But that’s only the beginning of the journey. The rest of it, well… you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.
  • Me: I probably would. You should totally tell me.
  • YM: It’s a special kind of journey. You can’t get there by plane or even by walking.
  • Me: *blink*
  • YM: Look. *procures multiple glossy brochures*
  • Me: *freaks out a little on inside; yet… strangely intrigued*
  • YM: See all these castles? Well, you can’t get in through the doors or windows. You can only get in through a special door in the spirit world. That’s where I’m going.
  • Me: *wonders if this is veiled cry for help; looks around for sharp objects*
  • YM: Hey, do you want to go to the spirit world with me? We can go right now. Right here in the airport. You and me. *smiles*
  • Me: Nah, I’m cool.
  • YM: All you have to do is look at this picture and chant with me. *strokes card featuring couple on horse; chants*
  • Me: *blink*
  • YM: Isn’t the material world frustrating?
  • Me: Not really. It could be worse.
  • YM: *clearly flustered* Look. Do you want to know about the two most important men in my life? They live in the spirit world. Would you like to hear what they have to say?
  • Me: No.
  • YM: Okay. I’m sorry I talked to you.

Ohmygod, whatever, Spirit Boy! First person in the history of travel to ever talk to me unprovoked and this is what I get? I’m like Lou Diamond Phillips in Young Guns when all his friends are on some crazy freaking peyote trip. “We’re in the spirit world, asshole. They can’t see us!”

Besides, it’s not that I didn’t want to go to the spirit world—because I kind of did—it’s just that I needed a little more information. Never take a ride with strangers and all that, you know? The brochures. The chanting. The zoned out monotone spell-casting. It was all just a bit creepy as far as recruiting strategies go. And I was about to point out exactly that, offering an alternative marketing plan via a multimedia presentation with cascading bullet points and pie charts, when I noticed a blond woman in black leather (The perfect travel outfit. Hot!) waving at me from across the gate area. I smiled a polite-but-disinterested smile and looked away, grateful for the distraction from Spirit Boy, who was now happily chanting at his horse-people card.

Leather Woman immediately grabbed up her bag and crossed the gate to meet me. Great. Another one! When she arrived exactly in my personal space, I noticed the teetering, and the fumes (speaking of the spirit world). She put her arm around me as if we were old chums which, according to her, we were.

  • Leather Woman: Ohmygod, I totally remember you!
  • Me: You do?
  • LW:: Yes!
  • Me: From where?
  • LW: Ohmygod! From the bar! *points down terminal; nearly topples*
  • Me: I wasn’t at the bar.
  • LW: Yes you were. And I remember you. Because I could never forget someone like you. Therefore, I remember you! *ponders the mystery of it all*
  • Me: I promise I wasn’t there.
  • LW: *looks momentarily disappointed* Oh, okay. Well, you should have been! That’s where we all were! *gestures wildly at other awaiting passengers; almost topples again*
  • Me: Cool.
  • LW: I know… you should totally go to the bar right now!
  • Me: Nah, I’m okay.
  • LW: Fine. Well, either way. I will never forget you!
  • Me: Awesome. Good luck getting on the plane.

At this point I’m like, please can we get on this fucking plane please please please? And guess what? We did! And after only a 4-hour delay and a near-death experience on the DC to Buffalo prop plane that was doing a little seesaw action on the landing, I arrived in Buffalo just after the airport re-opened from an earlier ice storm. My little brother was there to greet me.

Helicopter Pilot

The drummer, Scott? He’s my little brother. When we got to the bar, because what else do you do in a blizzard, he handed me a drink.

  • Me: Thanks.
  • Rock star baby brother: Don’t be like our other sister, Steve.* Keep up, okay?
  • Me: *downs drink in single sip, Buffalo-style; cuts hair into attractive lady-mullet*
  • RSBB: Sweet.

I’ve been in the spirit world ever since. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so judgmental.

*Steve is actually our brother. But last month, after spending the night hugged up around the toilet in my little brother’s apartment after only 2 nights as a groupie, and then going home to mommy’s house to “sleep it off,” he become known as our other sister.


Don’t be a vacation-hater, but check out the Weather.com forecast for my upcoming trip:

Buffalo Forecast

Does this town ever see the sun? There isn’t enough room in this little blue suitcase for all the layers I need. And what’s up with that “Light Wintry Mix” on Monday? Is that, like, a dance track? A snack food?

And don’t even get me started on the number of days listed in this supposed 10-day forecast. I guess they figure if you’re going to Buffalo in February, all of your brain cells are diverted to the important job of keeping your organs functioning in the cold rather than high-level math.

Personally, I don’t need brain cells on this trip. I’ll warm right up when I start bustin’ my moves for that Light Wintry Mix.


Either way, wish me luck. I don’t have furry snow boots and I’m only bringing one roll-aboard suitcase. Hopefully there is alcohol in my future.


*Club song. You know the one. Usually followed by something like, wa wa, wa wa wa wah — BASS! BASS! BASS! wa wa wa wa wa wah — ooo-eh ooo-eh…

Old Man Done With It

Colorado has had the kind of winter that out-of-towners (wrongly) associate with us, and we residents (she says indignantly, as though she’s lived here more than 4 years) let them keep on thinking it, even though our weather is actually rather Californiaesque. Not this season, though. The snow from the Woo-Hoo Holiday blizzard still lingers in dingy gray mounds on the frozen tundra otherwise knows as everywhere. Still, I had high hopes for an early spring this week when we got into the 50s, basking all-smiles under that bright yellow California-dreamin’ sunshine!

But noooOOOOOoOOO!

I left work at 4:30 today. My commute is 8 miles. 30 minutes if traffic is “bad” on the way home. Ask me what time I got home tonight. Go ahead, ask.

*Folds arms.*
*Waits patiently, yet irritably, anxious to give you the answer in exchange for some undeserved sympathy.*

What’s that? You want to know what time I got home? Oh! 6:35 pm.
That’s 2 hours and 5 minutes.
Also known as 125 minutes.
Also known as 7500 seconds (yes, I did that in my head and yes, I AM smarter than a 5th grader).
Also known as ohmygod I’ve never had to pee so bad in my life.


Now that I’m home basking in the warmth of my apartment with the thermostat cranked to a balmy 82 degrees, I can laugh about this evening’s commute. In that spirit, I dedicate this post to my cousin Ben (who goes to school in the middle of NY state where it’s much colder than California, Colorado, or Fargo, my cousin Kate (aka BFFFF, who also lives somewhere in central NY where it’s so cold she can’t take her twin babies outside, and recently reminded me just how resourceful our mothers were, and by resourceful I mean ghetto…), and, the never-ending winter of 2007.

Bims’ Top 10 When Yo’ Po’ In The Snow Family Traditions*

  1. Cold feet? Not for long. Line your boots with a couple of Wonder bread bags (tip: remove bread first). Sure, your feet sweat like the swamp thing and after about 5 minutes smell like an old brewery, but ain’t no water gettin’ in those boots.
  2. Did you know that if you have a wood-burning stove in your downstairs living room, there’s no need to use the actual gas furnace ever! Why, that little cast-iron box and three pieces of semi-wet wood generates enough heat for at least 8 square feet. The night before school, simply drape your clothing on chairs and move them as close to the stove as possible. In the morning, run downstairs and put on your clothes, hot as fresh coals from the fire. Yeah, you’ll suffer a little 3rd degree burning on one side of your body and feel nothing on the other, but it’s worth it for those 5 extra minutes of heat.
  3. Got siblings? Perfect. Nothing warms the cockles of the heart like pummeling a little brother or 2 into the cold cold ground and leaving him for dead until way after dark when the dog has to go sniffing around for ’em.
  4. No one likes snow sneaking in her jacket sleeves. Frozen wrists be gone with this neat trick: cut 5 finger holes in the toe part of old knee socks (no need to match as long as you have 2). Put them on each hand like a pair of gloves and pull them up to your elbows.
  5. Dogs. Not just for petting, anymore. If you’re small enough, you can tie just about anything to the dog and he’ll pull you around the snow on it.
  6. Think hot showers are an instant warm-me-up? Think again! Hot showers are winter’s evil temptress. As soon as you turn that water off, and that cold bathroom air hits your skin, fughettaboutit. You might as well be naked in Siberia. Plus, you’ve just washed off that layer of grime – the only thing protecting you from the harsh elements. Best to skip a week and opt for perfume, the shower alternative.
  7. Don’t you hate when your brother tries to shove snow into your jacket from the top? Now you don’t have to care! Just take an old turtleneck, preferably one with little whales or teddy bears on it, cut off the arms, and slit the sides. Now you have this little bib-like thing with a neck warmer. Stylish and smart – who knew?!
  8. Moon boots are the bomb. When you finally find the right pair, even if they’re 4 sizes too big, snap those babies right up. You can where them for 8 years, including on dress-up day at school when you forget your dress shoes and end up in a frilly pink princess gown with giant red and yellow moon boots.
  9. When you really have to pee, it’s best to wait until the last possible second before bursting into the house and trying to get out of all the aforementioned accoutrements and head-to-toe snowsuit. Extra points for yanking the snowsuit halfway down but leaving on the wet moon boots to tromp through the house on your way to the bathroom.
  10. Who needs a real sled when you have a broke down ol’ laundry basket and a belt you stole off a dead guy? Yes, that’s the Bims, circa 1977, with mom. Click on the photo at left for the close up and witness a bit of history, as this is the exact moment in time when the phrase WTF?!?! was invented. By me. I think the jelly of my eyes was frozen. Two little white ice orbs rolling around my head as I’m pulled through 4 feet of snow in a plastic laundry basket. W.T.F.?

Hey, we made our own fun back then. And being dragged around in a basket without having to pull over on some treacherous highway to pee was way better than my drive home tonight.

Enjoy the rest of the season. As they say in upstate New York… stay warm out there!

*True, each and every one!