Everything Church

What I’ll miss: The church hodgepodge
1. Teaching early-morning seminary. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Those young people are extraordinary: smart, spiritual, hilarious. Also, I developed a couple of crushes on students and chose a few favorites, which I know I’m not supposed to do, but I couldn’t help it.

2. Teaching nursery. Kind of like teaching seminary, but with more snacks and less verbal skills.

3. Sheer talent. So maybe we have a few professional performers in my ward that like to sing extra slowly to the hymns or make up their own little obbligatos. I mean, it’s pretty, but it’s also hilarious. I mean, who needs Carnegie Hall when you have a professional trumpet quintet to accompany the ward choir? Or singers who sing for the Met at the church Christmas or Easter concert? Sometimes it’s excessive, but more often it’s quite moving. I’m spoiled.

4. Wacky sacrament meetings and awkward Sunday School moments. People say some crazy things at the pulpit sometimes. They burst into song or say that God rocks or talk about strip clubs or accidentally say orgasm instead of organism. Or they attribute their paying tithing to the fact they don’t have to pay alimony.

What I won’t miss: The church hodgepodge
1. Teaching early-morning seminary. When it was cold, and dark; and if the kids seemed resistant to being taught any particular morning, or if no one showed up, those were rough mornings.

2. Teaching nursery. I know I unnecessarily caught respiratory diseases from handling snotty children, as cute as they were. And they were SO cute. Insufferably so. Except that sometimes I suffered, with a cold, or bronchitis.

3. Sheer talent. You’re with the congregation, people. I know you sound amazing. Stop with the excessiveness. Stop performing already.

4. Wacky sacrament meetings and awkward Sunday School moments. When false doctrine starts spewing from people’s mouths to make the room uncomfortable or to stir doubt, that’s annoying. It seems to happen at a higher incidence here than anywhere I’ve been. We’ll see what Provo’s like.

On the Streets

What I’ll miss: Zipcar
Pretty cool car-sharing company. Gas and insurance are included. Convenient. Allowed for many roadtrips and moving between apartments. I’ll always associate Zipcar with New York City.

My first real Zipcar experience was a second roadtrip to Maine. Here’s the travelog.

What I won’t miss: Driving where I’m really unfamiliar
I’ve had too many close calls and scared too many friends. I’m somewhat used to driving in the city, but when I’m in the outskirts, I’m downright reckless: rolling stops, illegal u-turns, occupying two lanes, following too closely. Maybe my city driving experience is the problem. I need to keep my perfect driving record, please.


Last Surviving Helper Pic

What I’ll miss: My first Halloween in the city
Yes, those are my crossed legs. He used to have a round, red nose. And a small upward curve for a mouth. When I researched him for construction, I truly appreciated the fact that he only has four fingers. I liked being able to visualize something and have it materialize. He looks a little beat up here, but he’s still very recognizable. I miss him.

I won that ward costume contest, by the way: Friday, October 31, 2003; Manhattan 6th Ward.

What I won’t miss:  Lame Halloween Dances
Not all of them were lame. Just a couple. They’re not worth describing. They’re not worth reliving the misery. I can’t subject myself or you to that.

Still, Still


What I’ll miss: The city that pretends to sleep between 2AM and 6AM
I love that time of day.  The city’s pulse slows way down, it gets way quiet; it cools off. It draws a deep breath, and sighs heavily, with a sense of relief, and maybe a little forlornly, too. The contrast with the rest of the day is just too rich not to notice. At this time, the city exposes its heart, and I fall in love even more.

It’s an awesome time to write, by the way. All the city’s electricity from the daytime funnels into my brain, and inspiration flashes in sparks and arcs, like one of those fun plasma balls. Intoxicating.

What I won’t miss: That one time when I was out too late
Speaking of, here’s another thing about this city: it doesn’t sugarcoat your mistakes. That was a rough night, people. I kind of staggered home. Then, I vomited.

It only happened once, though. A long time ago. Good thing.

Old Company

What I’ll miss: Old, beautiful buildings that are also bomb shelters
I’ll miss the architecture and gargoyles and raised columns and sconces, all out of stone or marble. That kind of workmanship is rare these days. I’ll also miss the old-fashioned elevators and the dark basements where the laundry rooms are. I don’t know, it’s nice knowing I’m safe while I sleep just in case there’s a nuclear attack. You never know.

What I won’t miss: Time Warner Cable
I hate that company and its virtual monopoly on the city. I hate their customer service. I hate that maybe I had plans to spend time with a friend and she was on the phone with that company that gave her the runaround for way, way too long and they upset her. I could go off, but I won’t. I slept maybe two hours last night, and it may not be entirely TWC’s fault, but that’s who I’m blaming.

Saturday in the Park


What I’ll miss: Central Park
I love that I’ve covered a fair amount of the park. I love that so much of the park is left to discover. It waits for me to return, in the dead of winter, as spring unfolds, as summer stretches, as the trees become drowsy and start losing their lashy leaves, hues bleeding to brown. I don’t know if I’ve ever outright professed my love for Central Park, but here it is. Operas/concerts/picnics/races/Shakespeare in the Park. Ice skating; strolls with friends; walks and talks and softball and photographs. I walked its perimeter my first Saturday in the city: 7 miles, by myself, and a blizzard came through only two days before. I caught a horrible cold. I caught another bug, too, almost seven years ago. I haven’t been able to get rid of it, but I know that I won’t want to.

What I won’t miss: The south end of Central Park
I don’t like where the horse carriages congregate. Especially during the summer. If you’ve been there, you’ll know why. If you haven’t been there, you can figure it out.

My Weary Head

IMG_0556 by you.

What I’ll miss: Becky’s couch
I was there when Becky bought it. We threw a party in honor of it. Many guests have slept on it. It’s where I’m most comfortable playing Wii. Whenever I sleep over, this is where I sleep most of the time. It knows me. It appreciates me. I’ve never drooled on it. I’ve personally never made out on this couch, but I’m sure lots of making out has happened on it. Quite sure. We’ve prayed on it. We’ve eaten on it. I was there when we took the broken legs off and made it a low-ride, ghetto couch. It’s very comfortable, and it’s almost like a black hole, where the actual sitting position is the event horizon, and it’s virtually impossible to get off. We’ve read excerpts from books and emails and taken French lessons on it. We’ve had band practice on it. No other couch in the whole universe has the same history as Becky’s couch. I’ll miss who I got to sit with for hours on end. And eat with. And play Wii with. And read with. And listen to music with. And cry with. And tackle. And hug. I love that couch and everything it represents.

What I won’t miss: Becky’s rollaway bed
I only slept on it once, and it folded around me like a taco. It stands for stupidity and irresponsibility, and I wish, for everyone’s sake, for it to go away forever. Even into a real black hole.