Little surprises have a way of spinning one’s miserable day completely around, making a comparably awful day in Manhattan closer to being bareable.
Friday was my last day as a CNN intern. Needless to say, I was to sad to be leaving. To make matters worse, I never got a chance to experience anything other than panic and disappointment throughout the day. My workload was fairly mammoth and my patience had expired days before along with the carton of 2% milk I bought last Sunday , a casualty of my final exams, papers and multimedia projects.
And for the brief second I was in the bathroom (after like 17 cups of barely palatable Keurig coffee… way to splurge Ted) I missed out on meeting Maria Shriver who was in my news room for all of 15 seconds. All I wanted to do was go home and begin working on my night cheese.
But instead of going home, I ended up at NYU to grab my last pay check which apparently hadn’t arrived because of a clerical error. I figured I’d end up watching People’s Court and sobbing into my night cheese if I went home, so I stayed to work on some personal projects in peace. The place was all but abandoned; why would ANYONE hang out at school on the last day of the semester other than me? What is my problem?
To my (anti) chagrin, New York Times Magazine “Consumed” columnist, Rob Walker –one of the writers I intend to surpass in greatness– was not more than 20 feet above me discussing his predilection with American consumerism to a crowd of marketers and media hounds.
And at least one dumbfounded fledgling journalist.
Something I appreciate about Rob Walker is his ability to poke fun at how Americans perceive themselves, especially the aspects of what they consider to be their “brand.” Many people –myself included– are under the impression that what we purchase defines who we are. You see this a lot in New York (and in college:) the stores people shop at, the clothes and merchandise they buy, the clubs they’re seen in are all a simulacrum of their constructed personality.
I’d go on, but it’s complicated. Read Walker’s last column about big Cheetos here.
Odd celebrity sightings is something that happens in New York all the time and it’s one of the reasons this city is unparalleled in it’s cool. Your heros will appear out in the world like regular people, just the like the US Magazine “Stars: They’re Just Like US” section. All too often they go where you go, which is odd because you’re there too. My roommate recently was at a pizza parlor in the East Village with Juliette Lewis. My co-worker saw Whoopi Goldberg in Whole Foods buying oatmeal. I keep seeing the red-haired Verizon Fios guy on the L Train. I’ve gotten used to this and now I can typically walk up to famous people and say “Hi” without feeling like it’s an earth-shattering, bowel-disrupting event.
Before leaving CNN, my desk was directly outside of Roland Martin and Jeanne Moos‘ offices. Anderson Cooper walked by every 15 minutes or so. And this all became normal after a dreamy period of adjustment.
Seriously. Courtney Love could sit next to me on my flight tomorrow and I’d probably still find a way to fall asleep.