Thursday, April 7, 2011

such a big emergency

My mother sometimes uses her cell to call my dad downstairs, which interrupts Jeopardy! but it must be done because it's such a big emergency.

Mom: Do you know how much Matt Lauer gets paid?

Dad: Three million dollars?

Mom: SEVEN TEEN million.

Dad: Wow.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

the bottom of the bottom

My parents are away and I'm watching movies. Saturday night!

I thought, since this site began with a dating theme and circles around to it again and again eventually, that I'd share the following: I took myself off a certain dating site. And I feel great! I now only make plans with people who know me for real: friends. I have oodles of space to think, to write, talk on the phone, drink coffee, aggravate those around me, obsess over travel plans, an upcoming roadtrip. I spend my time with my dog and my family. I go on walks. More walks. I look at portland craigslist. A lot. I read whole novels and occasionally, I socialize. Why just today I fixed a poppy seed bagel with homemade pecan pesto and slices of sweet potato on top. Also, I blended a smoothie and made a dessert out of pistchio gelato, whipped cream and dare I say it, a sprig of frozen cookie batter. Yum. Soon, I'm going to try my hand at a pizza from scratch. I cannot be stopped.

But I must share a mini-epiphany, if only to help some hapless souls in the single world...

While walking in Brooklyn I was talking to my brother and he asked which dating site I'd been on.

OK Cupid.

His response was to halt, and I mean come to an immediate, dramatic stop on the sidewalk. The screech of crappy brakes in the distance.

And then he told me:

Dude. That's the bottom of the bottom.

Apparently OK Cupid is where singletons go to dip a toe in the dating pool but not dive in. It's for those of the recent break up, it's for those looking to just fuck around or joke around or fool around, or generally act like idiots and not really have relationships. After all, it is free.

All I could say was oh.

Does this mean I have not given NYC men a proper chance? Could my experiment have some skewed variable and not all single men in NYC are in their 40s, drunk-texting and standing women up while also have drug, alcohol abuse/dependence and various mental health diagnoses?

Perhaps. But I'm too tired to try another site right now. That would require effort. Maybe on another day I'll feel differently about it. For now-

Pesto? Or, tomato sauce? Goat cheese or mozzarella?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

File under: Dietary Indiscretion


For days A. was having bathroom emergencies, as in dia....I won't finish it, lest I embarrass her. Each time she had an issue she jumped all over whoever was home and made her needs clear, lest no accidents actually in the house. Still. Poor fuzzy baby.

One day I examined a terrible poop. In it was a mysterious substance, tiny yellow dots and mucus. After some sleuthing, it is now clear that A. was eating the leftover birdseed my dad had been sprinkling on the ground near the feeder. Why? Because birds shouldn't have to work so hard to eat.

A common phrase around here is: Did you feed the birds?

My mom's hesitant answer today was no. It was clear that her being remiss one day in her feeding duties coincided with A. having a normal bowel movement. Coincidence? I think not.

I am relieved. Cracked that case!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Freddy The Mouth

My dad has alternative names for our neighbors. Some have been neighbors for decades, and have real names but who could say what they are. And does it matter?

Sometimes when I take A. for a walk, return home, and say I ran into someone in the neighborhood and chatted, there will be guesses as to who I saw. My mom or dad will ask, "Was it The Windmill? Or do you mean Pedophile? Or Nut-job?"

1) Pedophile: just because someone's accused of something doesn't mean they did it, but it does mean they get a new name! As in, "Pedophile's friendly to you? He's not to me."

2) Nut-job: a man who did not offer dad a ride from train many years ago and speaks to self loudly. Nut-job.

3) The Windmill: a senior lady who power-walks through the development, pumping her who arms, fists included, to gain speed. Hence, windmill.

Then of course there's the neighbor who refuses to put her teeth in. Not so hot. And the crass neighbor who moved; the one with dirt beneath her fingernails.

Lest I forget Freddy The Mouth. A man my dad knew from the train a long time ago. He liked to talk, so he gets a special nickname.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Best Use of Our Time

The last on-line date I went to was a coffee. The man was a bit petite, not particularly cute but okay, bearded and mildly interesting. He works in advertising and is having some personal issues with a co-worker. I had a good time during our hour together, though my socks did not fly off (as in knock your socks off), but good enough. Good enough for a second date. During the date (Cafe Grumpy, Park Slope, so at least I had a tasty latte with foam shaped into a leaf) he mentioned that if I'd like to go out again I should let him know because he would like to. Do you know where I'm headed with this? Because I think you do.

I emailed him in couple of days later, said I had a nice time and would be up for going out again. The response? First he wrote that he wasn't going to respond to my email but then thought maybe he should and that he did not think it would be the best use of our time to go on a second date. I couldn't help but write back that, look buddy, I hadn't registered at Pottery Barn just yet, but I thought we had a semi-pleasant conversation.

That goes in the whatever column.

In the WTF column, a guy I showed my apartment to, for a sublet, began asking me out via texts. When I met with him to show the apartment, he seemed hyper, manic, or on drugs like coke or in need of drugs, like for ADHD. He bounced on the balls of his feet exclaiming that I charged too little for the sublet and he paid $500 more for a box in Nolita. He used the bathroom (suspect, right?). Then he left and a week later he invited me to a party, then drinks, then dinner, then drinks again. Each time I said no thanks.

Finally, finally, in a moment of pure shoulder shrugging who cares, I agreed to one beverage on a Sunday night at Temple Bar. After we made the plans a friend asked me to go climbing in Brooklyn I said I couldn't because I had other plans. Do you know where this story is going? I bet you do.

I show up, he doesn't. I send a text: the place is closed, meet next door? He responds suggesting the Boom Boom Room. I question if this is code for something gross. I don't understand. I try to assume it is an actual place and text back I don't know it. No response. I say to myself I was 10 minutes late and he gets 10 minutes more then I'm gone. I hop on the subway, waiting for my chariot at Penn Station and the texts begin to flow. Sorry, sweetie. Where are you, girl? Then the drunken voicemail, slurring, the works. Dozens of texts continue for a couple weeks until I text him that I'm moving back to the West Coast to be closer to my fiance. He wrote back immediately, oh come on.

I met this man for five minutes to show him a sublet.

This is all to say I'm depressed. Men, if this is the level of quality you have to offer, count me out.

I'm participating in Operation Cheer the Fuck Up. I have to give B. credit for the idea and title. It goes like this.

1) Take self off dating site.
2) No dating allowed.
3) Move back to Portland.
4) That's all I got.

Friday, February 18, 2011

our big slave

Me: I get it. You're done.

Mom: Believe it or not, I wasn't pushing that plate toward you as a hint.

Me: Oh no (loading dish into dishwasher).

Mom: You're not our little slave.

Dad: You're our big slave.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Good Shabbas, Bitch

My dad's best quote this week, "Good Shabbas, bitch!" This is in relation to the neighbor at my old apartment who may or may not have reported my dog to the coop. We're B-----s, we don't need such a prosaic and pedestrian thing as proof! They are very religious Jews which led to a conversation about compassion, lack their of, and smiling faces in the hallway paired with a certified letter from the coop board. My dad suggested a new greeting the next time I see my neighbors, which I hope will be never. I also have to share that four years ago the walls are so thin I could hear this couple yelling at their son non-stop, shit like, "Because I'm your mother" and also having sex, and then the woman crying afterward. Sadly, I heard the same exact sounds a couple of weeks ago - as if their lives had become frozen in time.

Do whatever the hell you want but do I have to hear about it?

Makes a couple of barks and yips not seem so bad to me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Something Awful Just Happened in There

After the first date-yoga date we went to Bark for hot dogs. Can you spell romance? But it was fun. Date was able to do yoga @Park Slope Yoga Center, near the infamous Nazi food coop, but at one point, while sweat dripped down his chin and plopped onto his masculine gray mat with the palm tree silhouettes, he turned back to me and raised his eyebrows. After, I asked if he was okay and I told him he did great (true) and he responded that it was no problem, really, tomorrow we were going skiing. Insert devilish cackle....mwa ha ha.

Down the block we ate at Bark, casual. I found a dog with cheese and bacon tasty (pig on pig), but the kraut dog better and the fries just the proper consistency. After all the water I drank, I needed to use the bathroom, and a woman was leaving as I was going in. She stopped me, placed a hand to my upper arm and looked into my eyes,"Something awful just happened in there."

But, when you gotta go.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No Nonsense

No Nonsense? Sheer Endurance? Beautifully STRONG, Beautifully SHEER

Pantimedias Transparentes y Fuertes

My mom left a package of these in my old room. Hint anyone? I'm afraid peach pantyhose is not sheer, unless my skin is now orange. It's more of a pasty white like milk or bleached bread. And in this environment it's only getting more translucent. Speaking of unhealthy glows, I had my third interview yesterday in which "my office" would be in a basement.

I hate basements! In this last interview the director told me that she was excited that the whole organization would be moving across the street this week.

"Great," I said then asked, "so does that mean your office wouldn't be in a basement?"

"Precisely," she said, big smile. "But my staff would still be in the basement."

I glued a huge smile on - thank you Crest Whitestrips - and said, great!

I think she believed me.

On the crosstown bus at 116th street in Harlem a little girl next to me asked her mom if noses have hairs inside. Then, as if on a great escapade or research project, she began to pick her nose in earnest.

Love the bus.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

fancy hangover

Two dates a week goes cross-country. Last night, fancy cocktails at a fancy bar with fancy man. Now, I have a fancy hangover.

It's official: I can only drinks two drinks. I hear you: did you specify Grey Goose, drink water, eat dinner? Yes, yes, and yes. But I have no tolerance.

Exercising helps hangovers, or so I read so...I tried to sneak in the gym this morning, but they have a thumbprint system to gain access. I pressed my nose to the glass, hoping someone would see me and let me steal some exercise. But no luck. Gym was empty.

So, last night, Temple Bar. Aside from needing a flashlight to see, I love this place and remember it from years ago with the popcorn and salty sticks in tiny bowls (thank you, A. for jogging my memory), elaborate cocktails, post-work Brunette Quartet times. The cocktails are now $12 and well made. Also, chicken wings: messy but worth it and guacamole: I've had better.

My date was incredibly good company, albeit 25 minutes late. Since I'm often late, I didn't really mind and he was traveling from Washington Heights, which to those of you not in NY, is far, quite far. I hovered over a party that was on their way out and snagged their chairs. I wasn't going to pay for my beverage, so why not get the most spendy? Lemon Drop for me, extra sugar on the rim please.

My date was lovely. Divorced. Not a hair on his head. Cute glasses. Funny. Smart. Touched my arm at multiple intervals. He was a journalist and switched careers, as I did, so we had some common ground and he's funny. He may be more friend than husband material, but that remains to be seen. And shouldn't there be some overlap?

This afternoon it's on to Date 2. Different guy. It's a first date yoga class.


Friday, February 4, 2011

He Has a Car!

What do you do when a man you’ve been on two dates with asks you to go skiing in Vermont for a long weekend? Please keep in mind, I understand this is a good problem to have. But! This was the French guy who wanted to by friends. That other F-word. No man wanted to be my friend when I was in my 20s.

This perplexes me. I received the email invite to Vermont which then morphed into Maine, both starting as roadtrips and ending with cheap JetBlue flights. Now, French man is afraid of flying. So, would this mean that as the doors closed, I’d be left with a guy I’ve been on two dates with, who wants to just be friends, having a panic attack on me?

But, as any New Yorker knows, an invitation to flee the island is huge. And a car?

I, of course, ran this by my mother: two dates, friends, trip to Vermont, four days. Her response? I have skis and boots in the basement!

Perhaps I overreacted and my joie de vive was in limited supply. My own Law-N-Order-SVU addicted mother would go! Then, I asked my dad if he knew about my recent invitation and his response: I’m really glad you decided not to go. You don’t know this guy. What if you don’t get along? Then my brother’s response: I’m not a good person to ask, I’ve just watched 3 episodes of 48 hours and it’s all about these missing women and these guys who they thought were really nice.

I get a text while at Wal-mart from French man. I tell him: I’m at Wal-Mart, don’t judge. I need to time to think about this trip. He’s offered to pay for most of it…this guy that claims to want to be friends. Hm. After an hour and a half he texts again: Over an hour at Wal-mart? Now I’m judging.

Lesson? Not really.

I just decided not to go. It’s not that I have any scintillating plans here , but I’d rather be a little bored and comfortable in my environment than in a car with a virtual stranger who may or may not want to stop at a bathroom every two hours, listen to bad 80s songs, eat copious snacks, procure Coffeemate for me, understand my need for a fan, melatonin, earplugs, eye-mask, lavender balm, noise/sound machine and a warm cup of milk at bedtime.

Maybe he didn’t think it through.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'm ready to live on a Farm

That's all. That's it. Had a date with a psychologist at the Coffee Roasting Plant on Orchard and then went next door to some Austrian place. Strange. Two hours felt like four. Time stood still. And yet, I'm not quite sure he knows much about me. I put this in the category (yet again): I'd go on a second date if he asked, but not feeling overwhelmed or excited.

Again, my repeated exposure theory. Sounds like flashing someone, but really, it's just that internet dates don't work well for me because I need to meet someone repeatedly before feeling anything for them and vice versa. So why go? Good question!

Where's my farm?

I love my gumpion too.

Where to begin? I'm writing this blog from my old LES apartment. My dog and I lasted one full week before receiving a certified letter from the coop referring to the dog forthwith heretofore albeit referred to as "The Dog" making it clear that The Dog would need to vacate the building. As if! I can only compare this to our beloved old block in PDX where neighborhood children would frolic, skipping down teh block holding hands and calling out "Hello A" to my furry baby who was manning the window, growling at old ladies zooming by on Jazzies.

So, whether I stay or return to Portland here I am subletting my old place again. 8 people are scheduled to check it out, which means half will show, I predicted. But so far, everyone has been here. Some prospective tenants reveal a little too much, as in one guy who I thought was a touch hyper and said he was in recovery. Fine. Just don't tell me.

But, onto other realms: dates. Met N. for drinks at Sycamore. She always picks great places, and soon this will be her neighborhood. 2 glasses of Prosecco and shared some hard pretzels with people at the bar. Apparently, pretzels are a commodity at bars. I liked the little flower shop in front and I like this strip in Ditmas Park. N. and I discussed a rather pervasive problem in NYC: Whiney Little Bitches. That's you, people! Men! So, as a good friend in Portland asked me recently: how are the men in NY compared to Portland? Can't say I'm impressed, seems like a bunch of hot messes here. I can't say I've really experienced the WLB syndrome yet myself, but I agree it is out there.

1) Date with T. Day date, fine. Met at The Strand and walked his dog to dog run at Union Square. He looked maybe 5-10 yrs older than his photo. But nice, nonetheless. At one point he flung the leash in the air, t o play with his dog, and the metal part HIT MY HEAD. I tried not to scream, OW! But he saw the look on my face and I was rubbing my head.

Injury Number One (more to come)

2) New Year's Day. Wake up feeling semi-awful. Two text messages from T. One, indecipherable, done at like at 2am. Next one, "J. love your gumpion." I texted my brother: hey, what's gumpion? He explained that with iphones it's easy to make a mistake like that and he prob meant gumption.

I love my gumpion too.

3) After drinks with N. we went to visit my husband (he just doesn't know it yet) at Castello Plan. Ben Neeejrigurjoepweoieuthjqgfosda - some Danish type of name. Who wouldn't want to marry a man who brings you pumpkin gnooci, some crazy ass mushroom cheese plate and a wine I now forget but from Washington state of course. It's so small and well lit in there.

4) My brother's girlfriend told me over dinner that she had to tell me something and she would tell me after she finished her glass of wine. She finishes one. She finishes two. Finally, I remind her, thinking naively hey maybe it'll be some good news. Why? Why do I have this pollyanna take on life. Is it ever good news? Ever? Nope and not this time either. In a city with over how many singletons? Turns out that years ago she went on a date with Israeli guy. Not the end of the world. But when you start think that she went out with him and now goes out with my brother and i went out with him...well, it's just a small, incestuous circle.

5) Had two dates with a hipster who owns two bars in Brooklyn. I'm looking to meet someone and bring him back to Portland. He - ridiculously - wants to meet a woman and bring her to Colorado. Whatever, buddy. Get a clue!

6) Coffee date today with a psychologist. He is probably totally screwed up.

7) Going back to my night out with N. last night. After leaving her I walked back to the subway stop, and on my my slipped on some ice. My wallet and cell flew up and out of my purse. I got myself together, looked both ways - good nobody laughing, acknowledging, helping, fine, let's all pretend that didn't happen. But then I walked right past the subway (3 glasses of wine), luckily a guy with an MTA jacket pointed me in the proper direction and it was only like 9:30.

Injury Number 2.

8) When i first arrived to NY, a man followed me out of the subway. At first I was totally annoyed and stopped walking. I hate it when someone has to be on my heels like that. Get away! But he stopped me and said excuse me and said I just think you're beautiful and I know this is a long shot but I wrote my number down if oyu ever want to go on a date.

I had just returned to NY and when I told Y. this story she was like: yeah, it's that just arrived thing, you've not been beaten down by NY. Not, gee you're lovely and that's flattering. But you know what, I think she's right. This city is hard and I'm left wondering...

What did I do with that guy's number?

Monday, January 17, 2011

All We Are is Trash in the Wind

A. was all wound up, barking and growling late in the afternoon yesterday. Hopped onto the chair. Put her snout to the window. Grrrrrrrrrr! Trash bags caught in tree limbs.

One bag freed itself and was sailing through the air and then floating up and falling down. I watched her eyes follow it across the sky. It must have looked like a live thing.

She'd spied what every New Yorker is familiar seeing, but was all new to her.

The International House of Dating

Have you ever moved back to your old apartment? It's strange thing. I lived here (on the LES) for four years before moving to Portland. I didn't yet have my dog. I was in a relationship (it was torturous, but that's not to say I don't miss the torture). I had not yet lived in Pacific Northwest. I had been in NYC ten years, since I was 21, really much of my adult life.

Let's just say I wasn't thrilled about returning. I wanted to be in Brooklyn, near my friends and near Prospect Park. But after shopping around, I couldn't find much out there and without a job I was hesitant to sign a new lease.

No dogs are allowed in this building. So each time A. lets out a chickeny little bark - baH! - I try to quiet her down. She receives a glob of peanut butter each time she perks her ears and does not bark. And all the same noises are here: the old bag in the apartment above, who may be 200 years old and doesn't ever leave. I hear her every foot step. But I'm listening to music to drown it out and so A. will sleep. Her little beady eyes are finally closed. Someone sent me music by Hello Saferide & it's good, while my computer was opening it as an attachment, out popped itunes where 365 albums live. Hadn't realized that had been transferred from my old laptop. Nice!

Onto the skinny. Dates:

The Israeli guy is in the mix. A morose fellow. Had a nice dinner, talked about love. He's not been in a long relationship. He was honest and direct and I like this. But the cultural impasse may be too great. He spoke of not wanting to come to the LES because it was out of the way from where he was and I was headed west anyway. Shouldn't you WANT to go out of your way for a date? Dude, get a clue. It told him so and he did.

French man. Two dates. Between date one and date two there were at least a dozen texts and a couple of phone calls, all initiated by him. But I drank two IPAs with him after a movie and felt downright drunk for five minutes and then ill all the next day. The worst of all worlds. We had an odd conversation about romantic relationships whereby I found myself asking: have you ever cheated on someone? Of course he had. Why would I ask such a question?

Since there was no text the next day, I assume he was not interested, so I sent him an email suggesting friendship and he was on the same page. But I am left with the question of what are men expecting a date to be like? I feel like I fall short of whatever those expectations are and especially if the guy is looking to settle down, they have impossible standards. And if when we talk about other people, we're really talking about ourselves...maybe I'm the one with impossible standards?

No, scratch that. I think the dilemma for me is that it takes a long time yo get to know the layers people have, and in the dating game it seems there needs to be an immediate fix.

So, The International House of Dating is closing its doors. That was brief.

Took A. for a big run in East River Park this morning, where she found an empty baseball field. She rolled all over the snow, snout first, barked at passing ship, met furry friends, and got lots of compliments from strangers and even treats from a construction worker. I had been so worried about how she'd react to the city. But she loves it: she chases pigeons and the streets are lined with trash and pizza.

Maybe Aggy's my soul-mate?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vinegar Removes Salt Stains

A pride of cats. A pack of wolves. A herd of deer. I've learned a few things lately. Upon entering the mini-park near my parents' house, A. spied a herd of deer. Not one, not two, not ten, but more than five. Of course she was off-leash and for a solid few seconds she moved fast, as fast as a butterball shape or keg-with-feet, really, can move. And the deer stood still then turned, galloped back into the forest on their ridiculously long, spindly legs.

I did my usual high pitched shrill yell, passed down from millions of generations of pissed off Jewish women who have found various portions of their homes destroyed by children and spouses: a broken tile, a cracked window.

Lucky for us, A. stopped mid-run. She is an excellent listener. My dad and I were pleased. That incident has been about the most excitement my heart has had in months. Here is a brief run down of recent events/thoughts though:

1) I have gone on 5 consecutive dates with the same man. Including New Year's Eve. Mazel tov! I like him, but I don't know if I like-like him. He is Israeli but after all my kavetching, I'm not sure if I'm ready to wear his pin, or does he wear my pin? I don't remember.

2) I have three apartment options come February, when it rains, sometimes it just rains all day (Portland version). One option came from my hair stylist. See? It always pays to get your hair done nice. And now, mine is back to a chestnut brunette instead of fly-girl orange. And as B. said, when you put out the feelers...

3) Very little to no job options based in NYC. This is annoying, frustrating, embarrassing, depressing, and I'm hoping a part of the learning/growing theme of this blog entry. When I'm wildly successful, perhaps this experience will help add to my character & spirit and I'll look back on it and say, "Gee, remember when nobody wanted to hire me and now look at me? Look at me! Towel boy? Would you refresh my Amaretto Sour please? And two maraschino cherries this time. Chop. Chop."

I'm picturing Sunset Blvd, Gloria Swanson.


One of the highlights of the move was my stay in Ft. Greene Brooklyn for five days. Listen, I know horrible things happened during this blizzard but for me, it was my first time alone in months. MY FIRST TIME ALONE IN MONTHS. A shangri-la. And when my brother called to say they'd be a day late because their flight was delayed in the midwest? I did my best not to break out in song and dance until after I hung up, then flung myself wildly upon various pieces of furniture and rolled around. Of course I missed my dog, but that meant I could watch the next 13-30 episodes of In Treatment.

That one night I ventured out was a mistake. An old colleague and friend generously offered to meet me at No. 7 (restaurant). Brave lady. From my brother's apartment it's a mere 4 block walk but she had to take the subway from Atlantic Center. I certainly did not have all my snow gear, to which my brother told me later - that's the survivor's first move? Look through the stuff in the apartment? Everyone knows that.

I did not. And by the time I arrived at the restaurant my glasses were snowed over, the ends of my hair dripping wet and my toe tips, numb. My Calvin Klein leather boots had acquired ugly, little trills of white salt stain lines that would only worsen in the next few days. Later, I would learn: vinegar removes salt my dad would say, like a charm. Or in Bronx-accent speak, chahm.

Anyway, I asked the people outside, smoking under the scaffolding, where I am? They laughed at me. Then with me. Inside, with the heat on full blast, my glasses steamed immediately. Eye-wear was useless! Why had I never had my eyeballs operated upon? But no, I couldn't do it! Plus, everything was a lovely, dimly lit ball of color. How beautiful the world is when you can't see the edges! Oh, there was my friend at the bar at least it looked like her: her sleek, black hair in two perfect, glossy, straight stripes, her red sweater looking ironed, and her coat...dry! How did she pull that off?

We ate...what did we eat? I remember fried broccoli. Yum! I remember red wine. I remember walking home alone in that snow, the wind smacking against my face. I remember it was dark. I was wearing my mother's cool looking, 25 year old leather, unlined driving gloves. My old, crappy, plaid, thin scarf that I bought in Soho on the street maybe a decade ago - I'd draped it across my face. Useless. The only thing I wore that was helpful was, as an NYC lady can tell puffy coat! Like wearing a down comforter with arms cut out. Also, something I bought on the street, only in Chinatown.

The wind was so strong that by the time I made it to the front door of the brownstone (after heisting my body weight up the snow-filled stairs, clutching at the banister, picture a crazy angle, like my upper torso because of the wind, leaning back, while my legs are inching forward), I was out of breath. In fact, on the street, my breath caught several times, trapped in my chest. My hands were pink, near red, shaking, shivering cold and because of that, it took a long time to locate the key and actually get the key in the lock.

Once I got in the first door, there was a second door requiring a different key. And once I got through those two doors, there was a flight of stairs, and yet another door, the front door to the apartment, which needed another key. Procured!

Once inside, I'd tell people it wasn't so bad, really, it was sort of beautiful.