Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Life and Times of Robert Murray

Yesterday I began Googling the names of people I know *don't pretend you don't do it,* because I was bored. Typically, I just Google someone's name and see if I can actually find a reference to the person I know. Yesterday, however, I became bored with this more quickly than usual and was about to give up when I had an epiphany. I should use Google Images to find PICTURES of friends and loved ones. This yielded an endless amount of entertainment, for I did not actually find pictures of people I know, but pictures of their dopplegangers instead.

My boyfriend's name is Robert Murray. Below is his story, told with images from Google and a little creativity on my part. Remember, all pictures are of "Robert Murray."

The Life and Times of Robert Murray
as told by Robert Murray

I was born a poor Ukrainian child. My mother stayed at home with me and my five brothers. I rarely saw my father. He worked long and hard to support our family.

When I became old enough, I started ice skating for money. The first few gigs were free, but when they realized my talent, they started throwing money at me. People knew my name and it felt good.

Ukraine had grown too small for Robert Murray. Or had I grown too big for it? I needed more space, new scenery, a big pond. My big pond was called the USA. I had dreams of becoming a male model. I moved to Florida, shaved my head, and became very tan. I was pursuing the American Dream.

This picture is from the only shoot I worked when I was young. It was a cologne ad with a reminiscent feel, a memory of days gone by. They said I was too genuine, too enthusiastic and they called me fat.

I had hit rock bottom. I developed an eating disorder and an affinity for facial hair. I wanted to throw myself in front of a train. I became a school teacher.

That year teaching gave me inexplicable joy. I loved my students the way I've never loved anyone before. It made me reevaluate my life. It made me question everything I knew. It made me realize that there is a place for middle aged men in the modeling world.

The work was a little slow at first, but then it came more and more. Life is so good when you are in a glamour profession. Everything is available for your consumption. The world is your oyster.

The older I get, the more work I get. Period. Here I am modeling JC Penny's "Summer Sunsets" line.

When I was a small child in the Ukraine living with my large, impoverished family, I don't think I could even imagine this kind of success. No, I don't talk to my family much. No, I have never been married. No, I can't afford that hip replacement. But what's the big deal? I'm livin' the life. La vida loca! This is it people. This. Is. IT.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ready, Set, PHOTO!

This is a very big week for me. I have crossed two things off my "Coveting" list.

The first strike was "a great job."
I have been hired on as a sales rep for a theatrical lighting company here in the city. I will have health insurance and even a 401K. I could not be more thrilled. My boss appears to be a very good-natured man. I start October 9th.

The second, and most interesting, cross from the list was "a digital camera."
So, now I'm addicted to EBAY. My mother would have a thing or two to say about that, but we just won't tell her. If she catches wind of it, here's how the story goes.

Maybe I researched new digital cameras. And maybe I signed onto EBAY, just to browse, of course. And maybe I found a perfect camera. And bid on it. And WON IT! It was perfectly innocent and very rewarding *the bidding was intense y'all.*

My camera comes to me this Friday and I cannot wait to start snapping those moments that, up until now, would be great memories if I had not been too drunk to remember. It is true, the main purpose for my owning a digital camera is to document the time between my first drink and my head hitting the pillow.

I do, however, really want to document more than just crazy nights out and the occasional rowdy cookout.

I've become very intrigued with the idea of creating photo essays, a set of photos that conveys an idea or feeling. Maybe it is because I've been wanting a new camera for months, or maybe it is because I've felt the need to express myself more artistically. Regardless, I think this is the perfect occasion to have my very first, long awaited, LOVE, SUZY STYLE: CONTEST.

*read in cheezy DJ voice*
That's right folks, Suzy's very first contest. And you, creative reader, can be a part. Please submit titles or ideas for a photo essay in the comment section of this post. Suzy will choose the most interesting/feasible idea and create a photo essay based on that concept. If she gets no responses at all to this post, she will create her own concept and you can all go to hell.
*end DJ voice*

Either way, in a couple of weeks I will post the final draft. It may very well be based on crazy nights out and/or a rowdy cookout, but hopefully if you get involved, I'll branch out a bit from my usual subjects.

Oh, it is so exciting I can hardly stand it!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Things That Have Been Going on in My Life as of Late

In no particular order...

I went to my second job interview with a lighting company this past Tuesday. I am waiting to hear back from them, but it felt good.

A friend had a gallery opening last Saturday at PS 122 in the East Village, where he was an artist in residence for one year. The reception was the first time I have ever been on a roof in New York City. I saw the sunset.

I attended a burlesque show at a bar in my neighborhood. This is the second show I've seen there and both were absolutely amazing. I now harbor a small, discreet desire to become a burlesque dancer.

The "t" key on my keyboard is sticking and it is a bitch to type anything.

As a favor for a good friend, I was in an 8 minute short film that is being submitted to Sundance. I had one line, "Not so institutional." Those of you who know me know I am no actress, but I enjoyed being on the "glamour" side for once instead of being a techie.

I broke out in a vicious case of "long term hives." I had an allergic reaction to some unknown something, (most likely my cat.) I refuse to verbally admit that to anyone. I pretend the hives are freckles. It makes me feel better about the situation.

I have realized that the "t" key is possibly the most frequent keystroke I use when typing.

I went to a going away party for my friends, Paul and Nikki, who are moving to Scotland for a while. Paul got accepted to a furniture making program. I am in the early stages of planning a trip there for my birthday.

Because of the hives, I have been taking Benedryl. Because of the Benedryl, I have been sleeping a lot. Because of the drug induced sleep, I have been having crazy, drug induced dreams. Last night I was trying to save a sweatshirt from a summer camp, capture the flag style. My only enemy was one of those ghosty, screeching things from "Lord of the Rings."

I have been working a lot recently as an electrician. As a result, I am bruised, cut, and sore. It is 1000 times better than my last job as an administrative assistant.

Autumn is descending upon us quickly. I am falling in love with the concept of seasons.

My friend Jess recently moved to New York and it is wonderful to have someone to share things with again. Until I published this post, she was the only person, besides my boyfriend, who knew about my hives.

I am saving to buy a digital camera. These blog entries are on the verge of becoming much more visual.

I am happy here in New York. It is starting to feel comfortable.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Possibly Another Addiction

It started out as a normal morning.

I woke up as Robert was leaving the house this morning. I had the day off and my plan was to make the most of it. I was going to do some cleaning around the house, take a walk around the neighborhood, read some, maybe work on some projects that I have been putting off. It was supposed to be a very productive, yet relaxed day.

First thing in the morning I always check my email, the weather, and the handful of sites to which I am extremely loyal. This morning, however, with nothing in particular to pull me away from the computer, I decided to "surf" the web for a while. After a few games of Scrabble online, I got bored.

It is at this point that everything becomes blurry. Before I knew it, I had tracked down some supercraft website. I haven't crafted for years *those of you who are close to me probably have some relics from that time in my life I refer to as "high school."* It seems one of the major trends in "hipster crafts" *possibly an oxymoron* is clothing reconstruction. This process requires old clothes, sometimes a sewing machine, and a lot of creativity.

Like a mad woman, I pulled all of my old clothes out of the closet from the "give away" pile and threw them on the living room floor. I felt like Edison right before he discovered electricity, Bell when he got the idea for the telephone, the Olsen twins when they were on Full House. I knew I was on the verge of something amazing.

This is my cat, Mackie Di Pippo.

He now has a hat that was once the sleeve of my favorite sweater. I swear I don't know how it happened. One thing just led to another. I am very sorry.

But you just wait, I really will make something great. Something.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Thanks for the Advice, Momma!

My mother is an incredibly sweet woman. We talk on the phone nearly everyday; she needs the contact to ensure that I am still alive, and I think it is important to stay emotionally close to family. Mostly we talk about small things: plans for the day, what we ate for dinner, my brothers, blah.

Two days ago, in a conversation that was pretty average throughout, I mentioned to my mother that I started a blog. Then I had to explain to her the concept of a blog and my reason for wanting one, which, by the way, is supposed to be a writing exercise to keep me from getting rusty while I await acceptance into a journalism program *fingers crossed.*

Her response was one that I have heard many times, "Oh, uhh, mmm, okay," which I have learned to read as her way of receiving information and beginning to process it. I heard this response during the "Mom I'm moving to New York City" call, the "Moving in with my boyfriend you have never met" call, as well as in the "I started an online journal" call.

The element that ties all of these conversations together is not what happens in the moment of that response, but hours, possibly even days later. I inevitably receive another phone call, which poses itself as another of the average, daily calls, but in actuality is the result of her thinking about my decisions incessantly. She expresses to me in these exchanges her doubts, fears, and general feelings on how ______ will affect my life.

The blog response was a bit surprising, even though I should have expected it, because, in my mind, creating a blog as opposed to moving hundreds of miles away to the big city are two completely different scenarios, requiring different responses. Regardless, I receive this call from my mother in which she informs me, *I have inserted a photo to help your imagination, also read in a sweetly southern accent.*

"The internet is dangerous. You should be careful about who sees your information. A criminal could find you on there and pretend to be someone nice and lure you off to somewhere and steal you. People can lie on there, you know."

My mother views the internet not only as a gateway to knowledge, all at one's fingertips, but also as a way for low-lifes, degenerates, and other generally scummy people to extend their grasp on society, claiming the lives and reputations of "sweet, innocent girls" like me. I responded fairly rationally, because I am an adult *mother,* by explaining the difference between a blog and an online chat room, informing her that anyone with an intense knowledge of the inner workings of the world wide web could retrieve any and all information about me, and her, if they so chose, and assuring her that I was not going to get intertwined with a trap some pervert laid to ensnare helpless, eager teenage girls searching for attention. This calmed her, somewhat, into submission, but she reserved her cautions. And I can understand that for a woman who did not come up in the age of intelligence, and has refused to become a part of this age, it can be scary. I share this fear of the unknown, as well, and admittedly as irrationally.

So, for my mother, I want to insert a disclaimer, of sorts, into my blog.