The Glory Days

With just a few days left of my first semester of graduate school, my mind-and part of my liver- are exactly 240 miles from NYU.

Maybe that’s way I’ve fallen victim to this kind of carelessness….

Special thanks to the homeless man who felt the need to point out my leg was bleeding.

Special thanks to the homeless man who felt the need to point out my leg was bleeding.

If only I could be as graceful as I was back in the day…

There's cake at the finish line...

There’s cake at the finish line.

Even though my resume has claimed a bachelor’s degree since December, I waited until this past weekend to fully celebrate the accomplishment with my friends and family in the place that will always be home- Castleton.

Castleton

As a freshman, I was often told that no matter the time of day all you had to do was look up and you would find me on a balcony, drink in hand. My only argument to this claim is that sometimes the balconies were locked in inclement weather. However, I also became friends with the people who had all the right keys and I’m anything but just a fair weather drinker.

Fortunately by the time I graduated I had abandoned these higher altitudes and buried myself in the basement of Leavenworth Hall to become a creature of the Communication Department who essentially breathed The Spartan newspaper.

Thursday nights were the only guarantee that I would leave this post, only to be found at Fishtail Tavern on Lake Bomoseen. A total dive bar with a smell that may be partially to blame on the number of Jameson drinks I’ve donated to the rug, but I’ve yet to find a bar in Manhattan better than Fishtail.

It's a rough initiation into this place.

It’s a rough initiation into this place.

Fishtail had a way of taking my money, fine motor skills, some memories, and on one occasion a single shoe. RIP blue Nine West heel- at least we went out tabletop dancing right?

I was fully prepared to make my return to the Green Mountains and walk across the stage with my best friends and to shake the hand of the president who is truly a gift to the College. I even made a checklist:

Cap and gown- check

Commencement tickets- check

Train tickets-check

Underwear-check

Good to go.

But the life of Molly is never this simple. A cab driver insisting on giving me a construction tour of Manhattan was not on the list, but did make me miss my train out of the city.

After sprinting the last three blocks and two avenues in the NYC version of Hail Mary attempts, I shamelessly cried in Penn Station and called my dad, because even at 22 I still see him as the man who can fix anything.

Jamarcus didn’t turn the train around, but he did point out that with two hours until the next one, I had plenty of time to calm down with a drink. And that’s when the weekend finally took the right turn.

I’ve had worse ideas than Long Island Iced Teas at TGI Friday’s before noon. Sitting at the bar I sparked up a conversation with a nice man in media on his way to a meeting with Donovan McNabb who picked up my tab. Who knew it would later be so easy to find someone with the last name Baker on LinkedIn? – Connected.

Soon after that I was northbound where two of my best friends picked me up in Albany to bring me back to the Castle. As we crossed state lines the air cleared and mountains replaced the skyscrapers that have become my day-to-day.

Reunited with the crew and even a few surprise visitors we made a final dive at Fishtail, where I escaped with both shoes and more dollars than I anticipated. Compared to Manhattan, Vermont bars are always on happy hour.

My day one girls.

My day one girls.

All of Team DeMellier hit the 802 on Friday. Spoiler alert: we managed to go the entire weekend without being kicked out of anywhere and without being banned from the state. Good work team.

While we waited for the tripod of Mom, Dad and Rob to arrive, Sarah, Mike and I got ahead of the game with some craft beers at Hop’n Moose Brewery in downtown Rutland. If you’ve never been to Rutland I promise you can’t picture it. So just think of all of the beautiful Castleton pictures I’ve posted and I think everyone will be happy.

We met up with the rest of the fam and joined five of my best friends and their families for dinner at Southside Steakhouse where we rented a private room.

Now we’re Irish, not rude. So we introduced everyone to the group before taking a celebratory shot of Jameson.

Because we carried Josh through college, right?

Because we carried Josh through college, right?

After dinner most of the group called it a night and made their way back to the Castle. The DeMellier’s weren’t quite ready to turn in and stayed out until after hours to introduce Rob to his first fried pickle experience at one of Rutland’s finest establishments, CJ’s Suds South.

Staying away from the Castle did have me sinking with more than just CJ’s Suds however, when another grad living in Ireland decided to crash the party now for two years running and sent me this text:

pete text

My bad because he’s the reincarnation of one of the best ’90’s bands.

spice petes

I caught up with the Emerald Isle surprise the following morning and crossed the stage without falling.

Jamarcus was a one and done on the pictures before he was ready for a beer on Lake Bomoseen.

I look like I can read real good.

I look like I can read real good.

And in a blur the weekend was over. I found myself once again saying goodbye to the friends that have become my family and the College that came to be home. I was Manhattan bound back to the #ManhattanProjectRedux life and excited to watch as my friends begin to turn the pages on the next chapters of their lives.

Castleton brought us together, has since sent us apart, but I know one day soon will bring us all back together again.

sibs pic

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The Underground Rail Road

Horse drawn carriage is my preferred form of transportation.

Horse drawn carriage is my preferred form of transportation.

If we’re being honest with ourselves, I think we can all admit that at one point or another we believed Harriet Tubman was a train conductor.

We may have even pictured her and Frederick Douglass as the original underground performers in these secret stations where they would sing field songs as passers by tossed tips into their carpetbags.

Ok so maybe that last part was just me. Sometimes I have an extensive imagination.

But I always pictured these stations how I pictured the New York City subway; charged with an energy that’s all its own. People, eager to get to their destinations, pass by in a blur, yet are still in step to the soundtrack of a violinist, who was probably on Carnegie’s stage the night before, but today chose to strike his strings on the train platform.

Then, life gave me a plot twist even greater than Bruce Jenner caliber.

bruceThe New York City Subway is nothing like Harriet and Frederick would have designed.

I’m sure it’s probably seen Olympians and I’m certain it’s seen transgenders, and now maybe even a combination of the two; but don’t let this glorify public transportation for you.

I’ve seen some things I can’t unsee.

The first time it happened, I thought finding a homeless man unconscious with his pants off was a little alarming, now it’s becoming almost a regular inconvenience that’s not even reserved to just the homeless.

IMG_0612

And public urination is borderline acceptable.

The other day a man was wandering through the car accusing passengers of turning him into a blood-sucking leech. Luckily he didn’t feel compelled to prove it and no one challenged him.

If I’ve learned one thing in my near three and half months of #ManhattanProjectRedux, it’s that the crazies are not just kept underground and they are definitely not just confined to Manhattan.

This was confirmed on a bus trip back from the Bronx, where I had spent the afternoon wandering Fordham’s campus. After almost four years at Castleton it was nice to finally be back on a true college campus.

Sorry NYU, but Washington Square and some purple flags does not constitute a campus. If this were the case I would toss some of my own flags around Union Square and declare it Campus Molly. But as we’ve already established my name is a drug and I doubt NYPD would believe me if I told them I was trying to make a college, not sell drugs.

Beyond giving me my true college fix, Fordham also gave me a little piece of home. Before enlisting in WWII my grandpa spent a semester at Fordham where he played football and was on the team with Vince Lombardi and the Seven Blocks of Granite. Though it will be 17 years this summer that he’s been gone, it was an uplifting feeling to know he had walked on some of those pathways all those years ago.

Seven Blocks of Granite Monument

Seven Blocks of Granite Monument

stadium

But then came the bus ride home to bring me right back down to the world of Molly where I was fortunate enough to be the solo passenger during the hour-long commute.

As we sat in traffic jams I was the sounding board for the drivers unending questions.

“Like, what really is normal?”

“What’s better, Match.com or Christianmingle.com?”

“Match.com has a six-month guarantee; but do you really need a guarantee when you’re with God?”

Obviously it was a coincidence that he told me he was 42 but only dated 22 year olds after asking my age. Because who follows that up with saying they live in their sister’s basement in New Jersey?

It must just be me because these encounters are not limited to just track or tread, they also find me by foot. If you’ve been reading along I’m sure you can already assume these run-ins go beyond Village cat calls and that one guy always wearing a burgundy suit in Bryant Park who keeps asking me where he can find the nearest smile.

Nope. Those interactions make a normal day.

Shopping for a graduation dress in SoHo I nearly ran into a man carrying boa constrictors around his neck and stopping to let people hold them. It was in that moment I knew I wasn’t going to find a good sale.

I'm not a fan of live accessories.

I’m not a fan of live accessories.

Even in my attempts to be studious some of life’s greatest oddities sneak up on me. Walking out of NYU’s Midtown Center building the other night a tiny Mexican man dressed like Elvis in a dirty yellow jumpsuit darted in front of me to scream in my face.

Instead of being surprised I was mostly just relieved the Taco King didn’t touch me.

But given the chance, I wouldn’t change the unpredictability of #ManhattanProjectRedux. Every day I wake up excited for what this city has in store for me, and sometimes it really is beautiful…

park

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Quick Conversions

V-M DAY- IT’S ALL OVER

Caught the rat bastard!

Caught the rat bastard!

I believe this is truly the war to end all wars. Uncle Sam will soon be adding Victory over Mouse (V-M) Day to his list of Hallmark holidays. In 2016, memorial celebrations are expected to include over-priced string cheese and fondue dinners.

 cheese

In addition to putting another tally in the victory column for the red, white and blue, I have come to learn three very important things over my past few months of #ManhattanProjectRedux.

  • There’s a special place in Hell reserved for city dog walkers, who are more accurately city dog followers- the most dangerous thing on the Upper East Side is an old woman coming at you with an uncontrollable six foot rope that has four legs attached to the other end.
  • Always wear headphones and never smile when in a hurry, otherwise everyone will feel the need to stop and talk to you for the most bizarre reasons:

 “Excuse me, Miss, I’m stopping everyone wearing pink coats today.”

Really? That’s a small demographic so I guarantee the results of whatever you’re measuring won’t be an accurate reflection of anything. And my coat is salmon so I’d fall in your margin of error.

 And…

  • It’s good to get some time out of the city every once in a while.

This past weekend I had the chance to get away from the Manhattan mayhem and celebrate Easter with my family upstate. For all of you city dwellers with your perceptions of upstate, think upper and about a 4:1 cow to person ratio and we’ll be on the same page here.

Country sisters

Country sisters

By now I’m sure you can image holidays with my family are never dull. It’s safe to say that if it’s a relaxed and uneventful day then there probably isn’t a DeMellier present.

Like my first Christmas, my parents learned I was allergic to pine trees when I stopped breathing and my mom threw the entire tree, ornaments, lights and all, out the front door.

I spent a few days in the hospital and I don’t think my sister and brother will ever fully recover from coming home as a kindergartener and first grader to find their Christmas tree on the lawn.

Twenty-two years later and they still say I ruined Christmas and my dad still asks my mom why she didn’t move the baby outside instead of the tree. My favorite question is when I get asked if I’m the “Christmas-tree-on-the-lawn DeMellier,” because that’s usually followed by why do my parents live on an old Christmas tree farm now? Don’t worry I wasn’t a disease faking infant, I almost died around those trees, too.

But “almost” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, so Molly 2 Trees 0.

Then there was the time my mom tried to throw my dad a surprise party for his 40th birthday. If it weren’t so genuine it would be the worst idea she’s ever had.

In line with most of my childhood I was the youngest on the guest list at the age of four, putting my brother around 10 and my sister 11 years old.

The drinks were cracked, the house was full, my dad was surprised- and everyone should have been concerned that a DeMellier event was threatening to go off so well.

Cue sibling fight.

This was my phase where if my brother had it I wanted it- hence the bowl cut.

I look like a little boy Pilgrim

I look like a little boy Pilgrim

Apparently his Lego’s fell into that category that night. Never being one for subtleties I stole a handful right when he was looking and ran away. I took cover behind what could be in competition for the world’s largest and heaviest rocking chair. When I saw the husky guy chasing after me and I panicked and pulled the rocking chair on top of my face.

In retrospect there were a lot of other moves I could have made.

The chair broke my nose open and unleashed the bloodgates all over the party. My parents spent the rest of the night in ER while doctors stitched my nose back together and my grandparents kept the party going with their guests.

It’s no wonder my sister is the favorite child.

Over the years we’ve improved our social graces to a degree and mostly avoid surprises. However, in true DeMellier fashion it was no shock when this Easter turned out to be more than just a ham dinner and ruthless egg hunt.

I talk to my parents on the phone almost daily and a few weeks ago I was wrapping up telling my dad all about my day when he replied in a very serious tone, “Now, Molly, there’s something I need to tell you.”

I immediately made a mental list of all the people who were potentially dead.

“I’m getting Baptized Easter Sunday.”

Well that took a turn for the better.

He failed to mention that he was getting a trifecta more mind blowing than the Holy Trinity and received the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation in one shot.

Being open to the conversation about his conversion from Protestantism to Catholicism he answered most of my questions right away.

No, I couldn’t be his godmother. No, I couldn’t call the event the Marksism. Still no even when I clarified the “ks” spelling to differentiate between him and Karl.

Strangely, the one question that was ignored was when he would be receiving Reconciliation, or First Confession.

Joking aside, I’m truly proud of my dad for committing to his faith and joining the Church. It’s where I learned my sense of community, and though he wasn’t officially a member until recently, it’s a community I have always considered him to be a part of.

Every little girl idolizes her dad. He is her entire world, her everything when nothing else makes sense. As I’ve gotten older the jokes have gotten more brutal, but this vision hasn’t faded. I’m everything that I am today because I’ve been blessed with such an amazing role model and friend in him.

As I returned to the city Monday morning I replayed the weekend in my mind, knowing that this was just another community that is soon to gain far more from my dad than he will ever take from it.

easter

Spring is almost here and things are heating up in the city. Stay tuned, the best guac is yet to be shared.

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How to Drop a Guy in 5 Ways…

I lead a very unique lifestyle.

If you’ve been reading the blog and this comes as a shock to you I suggest you pause, move your cursor to the red box in the corner of the page, click on it, and sign yourself up for the next available reading comprehension test in your area.

For those of you still with me, my social scene inevitably opens itself up to an interesting world of dating and other pursuits. As Taylor Swift once said, “You know I love the players and you love the game,” so here is the #ManhattanProjectRedux “How to…” of that game.

Inspired by the 2003 film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, I’ve mastered How to Drop a Guy in 5 Ways. Unlike, Andie Anderson however, I don’t have to go to Staten Island or wait a week and half to get the job done, even with the tough to break hipster Osama Bin Laden look-alikes in the East Village.

bin laden

The foundation of these steps is key. Always go out with your wingwoman who knows your plan and how to properly execute it. A good wingwoman knows the answer to the basic question before the night begins; are you two going home with 99-cent pizza, or something hotter?

But it was 99 cents...

But it was 99 cents…

The best wingwoman knows when you need her to swoop in and save you fight or flight style and when to flutter away so you can get to spreading your- wings.


How to Drop a Guy in 5 Ways…

1. The Contact Con.

The simplest of moves, The Contact Con, allows you to be proactive rather than reactive. This is to be used when you notice a pair of eyes on you that you want to avoid. Also important to note, guys who fall for this ploy typically don’t have a high interest level.

First drop you eyes to the floor. Widen your lids and stroke the eyelash closest to the guy with your index finger and thumb. Do all of this while moving away from your admirer to avoid.

If you’re feeling ready for the expert level you can try adding a few steps.

First, add a strong blink while opening your mouth, locking your jaw and flaring your nostrils. Any bats hanging around in the cave will be sure to catch his eye as you drop yours to the floor and continue into this subtle but powerful move.

2. The Lost Puppy

Once again, a simple but effective play in the “free me” game. This card is to be played when you’re alone and need an escape before you get sucked in. This is where you swallow your pride and act as clueless as Sarah Palin in a 2008 interview.

giphy (1)

Dart your eyes around the room and say, “Oh no! I lost my friend. I’ll be back.”

[Exit]

The key is to leave before he has time to respond and suggest helping you look for her. Saying you’ll be back also allows you to play the field a bit and if the competition is weak, play fetch.

3. The Name Exchange

This move steps it up a notch and requires a little preplanning with your wingwoman for the perfect execution. The name exchange brings all theories of girl code to light and acts as a secret form of communication.

When you and your wingwoman are approached by a guy, or pair of guys, and you don’t have time to fully assess the situation, your introduction will tell it all.

If you’re interested and want to talk to the guy give your wingwoman the heads up by introducing yourself correctly. If you know right away you’re not interested in the guy and you need your wingwoman to help you out exchange your name for a new one.

Warning: If you’re staying in one bar for the night, stick to one fake name. Things get complicated when you’re walking around a confined space being called Michaela, Lexi, Blair, Anna, and Jessica…or so I hear.

4. The Sip and Dip

Slightly more assertive than the previous three, this move is to be used on the guy who won’t take no for an answer and insists on buying you a drink, so you accept. After all, it would be heartless to completely destroy his ego and your bill can really rack up if you’re buying your own drinks all night.

Position yourself behind him when he orders the drinks. This forces him to pass the drink back to you. Nine times out of 10 he will pause before he turns to grab his own drink. This is where you make the sip and then dip away when he turns his back.

5. The Number Fumbler

Number 5 is for the stage 5 clingers. Those guys who are determined to get your number and won’t let the conversation die until they get it. They’ll even go into depth as to why they should have your number after you first turn them down.

Desperate? Yes. Entertaining? Usually.

The set up to this move defines the rest of the play. Turn down the first number request and also say your phone is dead. In further pursuits he will suggest you give him your number anyway and you can text him back when you get a charge.

This is where you play your trump card.

Agree, but give him a number that you know off-hand and isn’t close to yours. Gone are the days of completely throwing a guy off by changing one number; I think Charles Darwin did some studies on this evolution of male communication after his work with the finches.

Leave him with the fake number by saying you need to find your friend with your charger and you’ll text him soon.

Unfortunately, including 911, there are only a few numbers I know as well as my own. A little overuse of this move on St. Patrick’s Day revealed me to my scapegoat and now Tyler won’t stop texting my brother looking for Michaela.

Guesses on the number round or name round we were on?

Guesses on the number round or name round we were on?

For successful dating and relationship tips you should probably read another blog, but to keep up on the latest of #ManhattanProjectRedux stay tuned for more guac to be shared.

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March Madness

2015 Big East Conference Tournament

If Britney Spears could make it through 2007 than I’m sure Jim Boeheim, like the rest of us, assumed everyone was in the clear.

britney spears 2007

Like a Britney Shears Google search, the Syracuse coach is learning that the past is never truly buried. Though the statistics have not been fully collected, most Orange fans would argue that Boeheim’s life as this drug-addicted pop star’s near doppelganger has been enough punishment.

Brit and Jim

It’s ok guys, 2007 wasn’t a great year for anyone.

The NCAA has yet to review this new evidence, and thus allowed a self-imposed ban from the national tournament for the Syracuse Men’s Basketball Team. Boeheim and the boys may be out of the Big Dance, but my March will surely have some madness.

With the Annual College Media Association Conference being held in midtown throughout the weekend, pieces of my high school and college worlds collided to partake in the #ManhattanProjectRedux mayhem.

I’ve found few others who have academic intentions that begin with a pen and transition to liquid inspiration as quickly as mine do, but I took the alumni initiative to teach a few lessons this weekend.

The weekend kick-started on Thursday, when I brought my former roommate and best friend Kaylee to sit-in on one of my classes at NYU. Preparing for the grad school application process, with NYU on the list, she wanted to get a feel for the classroom dynamic. In my transition from upstate New York and Vermont to Manhattan, I anticipated making some adjustments. What took me by surprise, however, was being the minority in most of my classes.

Fun fact: There are more Meng Zhang’s in the NYU email system than there are Molly’s. I checked.

After class we high tailed it to the west side to meet the group for happy hour before going to Madison Square Garden for the Creighton vs. Georgetown game of the Big East Tournament. Somehow, in a bar of media conference attendees wearing socks with the Yik Yak character they had gotten for free, I took the brunt of the jokes for carrying a binder. Unfortunately, I know that’s not the first or the last time I’ll have school supplies in a bar.

girlsbar1

A $12 pitcher special has a way of slurring speech and time, so we didn’t quite make it for the tip but I’ll credit us with seeing both halves. Also, a plus on the night is no one got a nosebleed in our section, but the altitude did leave us feeling parched at the buzzer so we wandered back the Blarney Stone Pub to rehydrate.

cheesedave

Before calling it a night the allure of street meat caught a few and gave some Castleton-goers their first falafel experience. The verdict is out on whether it’s the beer or New England accents to blame for the pronunciation coming out “flappel.”

Everyone has a hidden street meat weakness.

Everyone has a hidden street meat weakness.

I’m convinced that people who say “Early to bed and early to rise” miss out on all the fun of my “I’ll sleep when I die” philosophy. Olympians can have their Wheaties, the Molly Marathon runs on the cheapest cup of coffee I can find.

Out of bed before the sun was up to relieve the New York City lights, I made my way to the village to put in my last few hours of work for the week. By noon I was off the clock and in Trader Joe’s Wine Shop stocking up of the next round. I’ve never credited myself with having a refined pallet, so I checked out and headed back uptown to meet the group at Grand Central Station with a few bottles under $6.

When I’m in a good mood I imagine the main concourse of Grand Central is like a modern day Pentecostal experience, but most days I liken waiting in the crowd of foreign languages for the train to being worse than purgatory. I don’t feel unlike a Christ figure when I drink that much wine, so Friday was a good day.

Once everyone found their way to the station we hopped on the 5 express to the Bronx to spend the day at the Bronx Zoo. Thanks to my Hop Stop app for putting the entire trip on a very accurate time line, it seemed irresponsible to not take advantage of the travel time to power hour.

girlszoo

“Where the animals?”

After a little wandering through the Bronx we finally found the zoo and spent the afternoon as some of it’s only visitors. As one of the only attractions in the Bronx, the zoo did not disappoint in its blend of ecosystems from around the globe.

Obviously, we imitate the animals very well.

Obviously, we imitate the animals very well.

From polar bears, to free roaming peacocks, to monkeys and tigers we were always surprised by what was around the next corner- I’m sure the map that came with our tickets would have prepared us but as I’ve said before I can’t read those.

tiger

I think this was actually a deleted scene from The Lion King.

I think this was actually a deleted scene from The Lion King.

With plans to meet the rest of the Castleton conference attendees for dinner reservations, we left the animals in the Bronx and took the train back to Manhattan. Still holding onto its roots from the original Little Italy, Forlini’s Italian restaurant is a Jamarcus DeMellier find in Chinatown.

Arriving with time to spare before meeting the rest of the group we made our way to the bar. When we become fast friends with bartenders they also usually become our best friends. Needless to say we added Martin to our group and somehow our sangrias refilled themselves.

Cheers to Martin and the Zoo Crew!

Cheers to Martin and the Zoo Crew!

Around a table that was anything but carbohydrate-deprived the group swapped city stories. We parted ways after dinner, but put off the goodbyes until the next day as they packed up their car in a midtown parking garage.

I left one party to welcome another and made my way to Penn Station to meet my brother who was in the city for the night. Ending the weekend on a high note, he saw my apartment and neighborhood for the first time and I gave him the Molly version of the NYU campus tour.

I may not cut my hair to look like him anymore, but having the opportunity to show him this new phase of my life, if even for a short while, was irreplaceable. My career goals aren’t fully defined, but my #ManhattanProjectRedux ambitions are to follow in my siblings’ footsteps.

Our twinning it era...

Our twinning it era…

I hope you’re not thinking the weekend took too much out of me. This March might not be orange, but mine is always green so stay tuned for more shenanigans wilder than the legends of the Cliffs of Moher.

Cliffs

It’s no wonder Irish eyes are always smiling with sights like this.

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Of Mice and Manhattan

Happy Friday! Except to my practicing Catholic friends; who are inevitably kicking off their weekend slightly protein deprived as they hit chapter three of the 40 day Lenten saga.

Balloons may have replaced doves as the sign of peace in St. Peter’s Square following the seagull and crow double team attack of 2014, but Matthew, Mark, and John are still calling for the resurrection and I’m pretty sure Luke added the bunny, so hide the eggs and get ready for that April 5th ham.

Since my last post #ManhattanProjectRedux has been at full throttle. I have been front row for a subway serenade about Jihad John and Barack Obama, spent a night drinking IPA’s by the pitcher that had me seriously considering a juice cleanse the next morning, and a had a shopaholic relapse in H&M where I convinced myself I found happiness in a salmon colored blazer.

Fact: I went to three H&M stores in one day before I bought that blazer.

Fact: I went to three H&M stores in one day before I bought that blazer.

And in the meantime I have waged a war.

The first attack came near midnight this past Wednesday. Neither of us anticipated the other.

As I sat at my desk, finalizing a paper before bed I saw him out of the corner of my eye. Hardly bigger than a matchbox car, the brown mouse sat fidgeting at the corner of my closet.

We locked eyes, stared each other down, and I’m certain he cued fighter music from beneath his fur as the strength of the silent gaze grew stronger, neither willing to break.

My contacts dried and I was the first to blink. In my moment of weakness he scurried into my closet around my bins of underwear. Upon which I immediately decided I would cash in my free Victoria’s Secret panty coupon first thing in the morning.

With clear intention to destroy my impromptu shopping plans he darted from my closet and stopped to catch my eye one more time to claim his victory.

Mouse 1 Molly 0.

He may have won the battle but I will win the war. Traps have been set and before long the incinerator down the hall will be his entrance into Hell.

I'm sorry it has to end this way Mickey...

I’m sorry it has to end this way Mickey…

Needless to say #ManhattanProjectRedux has brought me to abandon any expectations of ever having a normal day. But aside from my rodent rants, the truth is I have dreamed of living in Manhattan since before I was allowed to cross Main St. in my hometown without holding my dad’s hand.

Flashback to Chenango Valley Travel NYC Christmas Trips with my dad.

Flashback to Chenango Valley Travel NYC Christmas Trips with my dad.

Even after I discovered that my parents had lied to me most of my childhood and FAO Swartz was not actually a toy museum and they could have bought me that life-sized giraffe I always believed was an exhibit, I still had a passion for this city.

In December 2001, two months after the terrorist attacks, I signed the firemen blankets at Ground Zero and felt the despair left in the rubble of my future home.

The newly constructed Freedom Tower in World Trade.

The newly constructed Freedom Tower in World Trade.

Not only is New York the city that banded together to rebuild itself after the greatest tragedy to have struck my generation, but I’ve also found it’s the city that rural and urban dwellers alike find any reason to visit.

Watch out- March posts will have their fill of guest appearances.

To kickoff the month and fill my fridge my parents came into town last weekend.

Capturing a moment outside St. Patrick's Cathedral with my mom.

Capturing a moment outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral with my mom.

So naturally, Friday night was spent in parent-prepping my apartment and destroying my latest manicure with cleaning products.

By now I’m sure everyone is well aware of the recent #dressgate scandal that swept the web last week and left even the biggest Crayola fanatics questioning their color identification abilities.

Forget your expansion box with the sharpener conveniently located on the back all of you yellow-green, green-yellow decipherers; cyber space just ruined every coloring book you’ve ever made a scribble in.

What do you see?

What do you see?

However, the lesser-known story is that my dad, a naturally black man named Jamarcus, is the living example of this optical illusion.

Do you see a white or black arm? #armgate

Do you see a white or black arm? #armgate

Although the full data has not been collected, what we can tell, thanks to #dressgate, is viewers that see a white and gold dress see white man while those viewers that see a black and blue dress see a black man.

"Who's the weakest link in this picture?" asked Jamarcus.

“Who’s the weakest link in this picture?” asked Jamarcus.

Until #dressgate informed the world last week of optical illusions, whenever I tried to explain to those, who I now know as “white dress viewers”, that my dad, Jamarcus, is black I was almost always met with the question: “Than why are you so white?”

Yes, I’ll admit I’ve had some varying responses to this question.

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While the most accurate description of my skin tone is actually porcelain, in the aftermath of the University of Minnesota’s move to remove race descriptions I’ll decline to comment on that further.

Gain exclusive live coverage of the #RodentRaid2015 and stay up to date on #ManhattanProjectRedux by following me on Twitter @guaca_molly21 and keep looking here each week to get your share of guac.

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Navigating and Nightlife

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In the past 22 years I have come to accept that I am a person of limited talents.

I credit eight years of a Catholic school education with my ability to draw a decent cartoon Jesus.

There better be tire swings in Heaven.

There better be tire swings in Heaven.

For one of my more envied talents, however, I can thank my older brother for teaching me to dangle my spit past my waist and suck it back up like Julian in “Big Daddy”. When I was 10 years old weighing in at nearly 13 times my age and hoping that one day I would be 5 feet tall, that trick was always funny. Today, as a 22-year-old single female, that’s obviously my most attractive quality.

Is obvious that I'm thinking about Tootsie Rolls?

Is obvious that I’m thinking about Tootsie Rolls?

Despite this very valuable skill set, there are still a few areas of my life where if I made some improvements my day-to-day would be a little easier.

The kitchen is arguably the most glaring of these areas. The first time I heated up canned soup on the stove I was so excited when it started to simmer that I splashed my spoon into the pot, took bite, burned my mouth and called my mom to tell her the news.

This was three weeks ago.

Since that breakthrough day #ManhattanProjectRedux has made significant contributions to the rise in Progresso Soup stocks. Also, in attempts to be more of a kitchen connoisseur, I have found that putting yogurt in the freezer does not make fro-yo or give you the feeling of having ice cream for breakfast.

Using #CookingWithMolly was also not my best social media decision of the week. Yes, my name is a drug. No it’s not a good pick up line at a bar. Thanks Mom and Dad, to continue the legacy when the time comes I’ll be naming your grandchild Angel Dust.

For more cooking tips and tricks, you should check out another blog.

Along with my kitchen incompetence I also cannot read a map. My dad, being fully aware of this, insisted that I get a compass to navigate my way around New York. He said it would be cool though because he found a compass app and obviously if you’re using your phone to do something it factors out any chance of it being considered weird.

If the life of Molly was simple, I would have let him download his app to my phone, tell him I used it all the time and text him in a few weeks saying my favorite direction to walk is southwest.

Instead I crushed the Eagle Scout’s heart and dropped even further in the favorite child tally by bringing him to understand that a compass would be about as navigationally useful to me as a barometer.

I fooled everyone in Paris. I can't even read French!

I fooled everyone in Paris. I can’t even read French!

My map reading abilities may be lacking, but five years as a bank teller made me an excellent counter so the New York City grid system has been working in my favor.

In getting to know the city I have also been trying to take advantage of all the opportunities it has to offer. Believe it or not, Manhattan evening escapades are a little different than in Vermont.

You can clean me up and you can take me out, but you probably shouldn’t.

I crossed the park Friday night to meet some friends for a Group Text comedy show on the Upper West Side. All I really ever want from life is a little whiskey and a little laughter, but it rarely ever stays at just that.

During one of the comedian’s bits she called me out as being the only single girl at the table but assured me it was ok because she could tell I’m “a fierce black woman in a white candy shell.”

In the weird comment category that ties with the time my guy friend tried to hit on a bisexual girl who said she actually found me attractive and proceeded to get drunk and tell me about how she “lost her lady card.”

The next night I took a break from the bar scene and went to Riff Raff’s Club with some friends from F.I.T. We met up with some club promoters, jumped the line and had free vodka cranberries all night.

From high school woods parties to VIP club status with this girl.

From high school woods parties together to VIP club status.

Riff Raff’s claim to fame isn’t that the bartenders try to pad their resumes or sound professional on Tinder by calling themselves mixologists, but they will paint your face, which after a few vodka cranberries always sounds like a great idea.

However, when I told the bartender to “paint me like one your French girls” that probably should have been an indication it was time for a little less vodka and little more cranberry.

I've had better mornings

I’ve had better mornings.

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