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K___ E____ lives with Episode 1, K____ M_____. For the better part of a year and even after what I declared a masterful Thank-You note, K___ and I didn’t seem to talk much. No Facebook friendship, no “Oh, hey! It’s been a while! What’s up?” at get-togethers. Nothing. It took some reflection on my part to realize I’d definitely talked shit about her while she was in the room New Year’s Day 2009. So I sat down and crafted a masterful Apology note. Next thing you know, we’ve scheduled an interview at the Silver Moon Bakery, which, although it does have some excellent offerings like King Cake and lavender cookies, does not have seats. So, once again, we found a nearby Starbucks. Miss E_____ loves history, has excellent taste in books (at the time she was carrying around a copy of Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and prepped by reading Episode 1. Her answers were generally surprisingly quick, but the more we talked, the more I came to realize that the quickness was not just the preparation but also the very good chance that she’s much smarter than I am as well as a better New Yorker.

Chris: Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
K: Ernie. I loved Ernie so much when I was younger I wanted to name my younger brother after him.
Chris: You had the option to name…
K: My parents asked; they said, “What do you want to name him?” and I said, “Ernie.”
Chris: Wow, that is a lot of power.
K: Unfortunately, he was not named Ernie.
Chris: Well…did they go with Bert?
K: I wish.
[Both laugh]
Chris: So why just Ernie and not Bert and Ernie?
K: I have no idea. I think Ernie was just more all over the place. I identify with that. He’s kooky and lovable.
Chris: He’s definitely the cooler and crazier one while Bert is sort of conservative and uptight.
K: I wanted to name my brother Ernie, so every year for his birthday I tell him, “You could have been Ernie. Earnest E_____.”
Chris: [Laughs] What’d he turn out to be?
K: D__ E_____. D__ E_____ was born on Christmas Eve.
Chris: It’s…so much more alliterative.
K: I know! He’s very much into literature now, all this post-apocalyptic stuff at Holy Cross.
Chris: [Laughs, thinking about how he’s into literature and post-apocalyptic stuff but not at Holy Cross] The strangest thing…Alright, um, what is your favorite movie?
K: [Pauses] I have many.
Chris: Top 3?
K: Probably my most favorite recent move is The Darjeeling Limited.
Chris: That was an excellent movie. Wes Anderson and [Mumbling] uh, assorted characters…[Confidence regained] I really loved the cinematography. Beautiful.
K: I also liked Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Chris: Right, Jim Carrey. Classic. Hilarious. Well…
K: No…
Chris: Romantic…
K: Yeah, I was going to say, “Hilarious?”
Chris: Okay, it’s not laugh-out-loud, uproarious, but it is a little…
K: It’s a little dark.
Chris: Some black humor.
K: Let’s see…I can’t watch chick flicks. I can’t watch scary movies. I just like the ones that make you think.
Chris: I can’t stand scary movies.
K: I will be up until three in the morning watching Disney movies.
Chris: I have to put a put a blanket up over my neck so the vampires won’t get me.
K: So no Twilight for you?
Chris: With Twilight, I just find it childish. It’s not Harry Potter, so it’s not cool. [Yes, I’m aware of the irony of this statement.]
K: Watch what you say to one of my roommates about that.
Chris: I tend to avoid discussing all things I dislike with girls since most of the things I don’t like are just Twilight and Lady Gaga.
K: I don’t think you can hate on Lady Gaga too much.
Chris: We don’t have to fight about it, it’s just…I don’t agree with everything she does.
K: Being in PR, though, I see it from a different perspective.
Chris: Right. She makes…
K: She gets her name in the press.
Chris: Exactly, she is a PR machine, she’s really doing a great job for herself, her music, her career, her albums, her visuals…she’s got it all encapsulated. She’s doing a great job, but I’m not going to go out and buy the album. But that’s just me. [That is, I don’t like her, but I don’t hate her—I get my fill of her every time I’m listening to someone else’s iPod]
K: [Possibly disgusted by Chris’ willful ignorance and “Not a Gaga Fan” bandwagon membership] If I had to pick another movie, it would be Roman Holiday.
Chris: Oh! I still haven’t seen that one. Cary Grant?
K: No, Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. It’s okay [that you haven’t seen it].
Chris: They’re riding around on a Vespa, right?
K: Yes, that’s one of the scenes. It’s a classy movie.
Chris: Classy broad for a classy movie.
[Both laugh]
K: When I see modern chick flicks, I’m just like, “Oh, God.”
Chris: Have you seen Definitely, Maybe?
K: I’ve seen parts of it. I’ve heard that would be one I could get behind.
Chris: I watched When in Rome and I found it to be…
K: [Scrunches face in disgust]
Chris: Yeah, that’s the face I had when I came out. I feel like a lot of chick flicks these days are overly gushy and romantic and just…cheesy.
K: I need something smart. Did you ever take the film class at Holy Cross? I can’t remember his name now…
Chris: I didn’t take it.
K: He just made me love films. I took it my last semester of Holy Cross. It gave me a new perspective about movies.
Chris: Have you seen All about Eve?
K: No.
Chris: Well, that’s my favorite movie. It’s basically just all dialogue and it’s all about movies and…Eve.
K: Wasn’t that a remake?
Chris: [Perplexed] No. Not that I know of. There was a remake? Uh, it’s from like…the thirties…black and white…uh…
K: I’ll have to look this up.
Chris: It’s very, very good. You like smart movies—it’s whip-crack smart. Almost even a little diabolical. Lemme see here…Do you have a favorite band?
K: I really like Kings of Leon.
Chris: Excellent choice.
K: I got turned on to them two Novembers ago and I haven’t stopped.
Chris: With the…was it their third album?
K: They’re on their fourth, I believe.
Chris: Right, they’re on their fourth, but which song was it…
K: Current favorite is “Fans.”
Chris: Third album, Because of the Times.
K: Yep, “Ragoo,” and “True Love Way.”
Chris: “Ragoo” has a little piece of my heart…like, forever.
K: Really? [Laughs] I also like, on their fourth album, “Manhattan.”
Chris: Yeah, that one grew on me. I was really there for the first four songs and then “Manhattan” would come on and I would be like, “Weeeeeelllll, alright. I’ll give you a listen.”
K: [Laughs] I do have to say, and I think my favorite part of the last album—and I can’t remember the name—on their last song…
Together: “Cold Desert.”
K: Yep, just how it cuts back and they do a kind of encore.
Chris: [Laughs]
K: [Smiling] I love it, I love those guys. I’m so happy they won Grammies.
Chris: Did you get to see them when they came to Madison Square Garden?
K: No, I really just started to get turned on to them before Madison Square Garden and I was going to buy tickets, but, at the end of July, I got laid off.
Chris: [Inhales sharply]
K: Had to kind of cut back on my funds. You know, maybe pay rent.
Chris: I hear that’s pretty important. I also hear it’s pretty expensive [from Episode 1].
K: Maybe eat.
Chris: I was going to go, but I was working. I did have a friend who went and he was saying that their actual encore was…you know…
K: “Cold Desert?”
Chris: Phenomenal. No, no, no, it wasn’t “Cold Desert,” but it was…the drummer comes out on stage, shotguns a beer, throws the can against the wall and just starts playing. I think he said it was “Use Somebody.” Starts the drumbeat and then everyone comes back out…
K: I love those guys—I think they’re great. I’m so glad they came around; our generation needs someone like that. We can’t rely on U2 forever.
[Both Laugh]
K: Because they’re gonna die.
Chris: Well, I mean…
K: Eventually.
Chris: Not in our hearts.
K: No, not in our hearts.
Chris: Just in real life.
K: We need someone kind of…
Chris: Youthful?
K: Mmhmm.
Chris: Southern?
K: Americans would be nice. I also like Muse, but…
Chris: Oh. Oh, my; excellent decision.
K: My other favorite is probably David Gray.
Chris: My goodness, you’ve stumped me. I don’t…
K: He’s more folk.
Chris: Is he like…Okay. Is it acoustic guitar…
K: Yeah. You’ve heard the song.
Chris: …singer/songwriter…
K: Yeah. “Babylon.”
Chris: Oh, okay. I know who you’re talking about.
K: I saw him in concert in Boston a couple months ago. Really good.
Chris: I know the song, I don’t really know him, his whole oeuvre.
K: No, that’s okay. I have a younger brother who’s into music and he’ll give me bands and I just…[motions, “It’s all over my head.”]
Chris: Yeah, I have a younger sister and it happens all the time. Is there anything you love unconditionally?
K: I’m so glad I read your blog beforehand so I could prepare for these.
[Both laugh]
Chris: The warm-up lap.
K: I have to say—besides the obvious—probably wintergreen mints. I don’t know why.
Chris: That’s an interesting pick.
K: Like, the wintergreen Lifesavers. I just find them delicious and even though they give me a stomach ache, I’ll still go back to them.
Chris: They give you a stomach ache?
K: After eating bag or so.
Chris: Whoa, slow down.
K: That or milk. I’ll always love milk, too.
Chris: So, maybe a tie? Or…one more than the other?
K: I drink like a gallon a week.
Chris: Me, probably like half a week. For a while, I was trying to get quarts…slow down
K: Nope, I need it.
Chris: It’s pretty important for breakfast, lunch, cooking…
K: I need it for everything. If I come back from a run then I’ll go water, but after a while, I’m like, “Oh, this’ll quench my thirst.”
Chris: I can’t re-hydrate with milk. It reminds me of college when I wasn’t drinking, I was playing lacrosse, I was on the team…and there was a drink-up.
K: Oh my God, I remember this.
Chris: I was the milk guy.
K: [Laughs] I remember hearing about this.
Chris: As a result, sports and milk…not friends.
K: Oh, I know that. But after you eat something really salty…
Chris: [Laughs] Do you ever add anything to your milk? Strawberry milk? Chocolate milk?
K: I’ll do chocolate milk, but that’s it.
Chris: [Flummoxed] No strawberry milk?
K: No strawberry. My mom grew up in Rhode Island so everything is coffee. When we were younger, we were eating coffee ice cream (when it wasn’t popular). She loves coffee, coffee milk, coffee milkshakes, so my mom would probably add coffee syrup to our milks but we wouldn’t notice.
Chris: [Awed] I…coffee syrup? [It sounds glorious. Want.]
K: I guess it’s a Rhode Island thing.
Chris: I wouldn’t say it sounds like a local thing, but it’s very…different [i.e., awesome].
[Both laugh]
Chris: I prefer my coffee to taste like my coffee ice cream.
K: Yes. Although sometimes you just really need something strong in the morning.
Chris: Yeah, particularly when you have to be at Victoria’s Secret to work.
K: Yep, or Anne Taylor and you’re supposed to be nice and sit there going, “Yes, let me take all your shit…”
[Both laugh]
K: “…while you sit there and scream at me.”
Chris: Yeah, the most frustrating thing about working in the service industry is how often I’m belittled or treated like a dumbass.
K: I just wanna throw a hanger at you but I can’t.
Chris: It’s frustrating that I have a bachelor’s degree…
K: …from a good college…
Chris: …and I’m getting yelled at by someone who [speaks to me as if they] might not have graduated from high school.
K: Yeah, it’s quite unfortunate, but I do think everyone should work in retail once in their lives because a) it humbles you and b) it teaches you how to sell quickly, how to think on your feet. You can only engage someone for two minutes. What they wanna hear; they hear.
Chris: It’s also made me realize that there’s only so much I can do to sell to them. It’s made me reconsider what’s important to different people. Many times when people come in, they’re coming in for what they want. Besides, I’m just a dude in a lingerie store. I can’t force this stuff down their throat.
K: We’re having that trouble right now. We downgraded a little and the new manager’s kinda pushing us, but we can’t force the customers to buy. It’s also interesting seeing this—as the new store opened—because it was an excellent example of what not to do in marketing.
Chris: [Laughs]
K: This new store was not promoted, wasn’t marketed (nobody in the neighborhood really knew what was going on); and now we’re not selling much. I’m like, let’s think about this: “A) We’re selling spring clothes in the middle of winter. B) Nobody really knew about this. C) Your clientele who used to come in all the time…isn’t coming in.”
Chris: Punxsutawney Phil said six more weeks of winter…shoulda known. [Laughs]
K: It baffles me, but I see it as a “this is what you don’t do.”
Chris: I think that’s one of the more important things I’m learning: there are so many things I can’t control.
K: Mmhmm.
Chris: I can see all these things happening, but the only thing I can do is tell my superior. I’m not in the PR department. I’m not managing.
K: [Laughs] I love it though when they start to consult me on the quality of the designs. I’m like, “Yes, corporate comes here all the time and asks me—what do they say to you?”
Chris: [Laughs, pauses for coffee] Oh, corporate.
K: I do have to say, though, one great thing about working in the store is it made New York more home to me. I would have just relied on the Holy Cross Bubble in New York. Wherever my friends moved, I would have moved.
Chris: Oh yeah.
K: It’s definitely grounded me a little more. I’ve met different people.
Chris: Yeah, the Holy Cross Bubble is so weird. For New Year’s I went to Boston and the Holy Cross people tended not to do much talking with the non-Holy Cross people…sort of insular.
K: I know some people infiltrate the group, but…I tried to explain it to a friend who went to a different college and just moved here: “Well, I kind of stay.”
Chris: “I have my friends.”
K: “And then other Holy Cross people will come in from out of town …do we accept them?
[Both laugh]
Chris: “They’re foreigners. They don’t know their way around.”
K: “I know we once knew each other…”
Chris: “Do we have to hold their hands?”
K: I have a disclaimer when friends visit—I love it when they do—but I am not going to Times Square. You go there on your own.
Chris: “That’s your thing. I’ve had my fun there…”
K: Oh God, I don’t even go there.
Chris: [Laughs] Well, that actually makes for a good…
K: Segue?
Chris: Transition. Yes, segue. Better word. What’s your favorite thing about New York?
K: [Gathers her thoughts] I think I have two favorite things about New York: that I can get on the subway and get off in a new place I don’t know anything about and learn about that neighborhood…
Chris: Oh, God yes.
K: …and when I see New York in movies, TV, pictures (of the Empire State Building, downtown, so on) and I get to think, “Oh. That’s my place.” Everything in New York is personalized; I love my social life.
Chris: So it’s totally accessibility and culture?
K: I moved to New York and I told my parents, “Five years and I’ll move back to Boston.” But I think it’ going to be more like ten.
Chris: I was terrified of coming here.
K: Really?
Chris: Everybody was always like, “Everything’s so big, there’s so many people, so many things are going to happen,” and then, after about two months, I realized, “I kinda think I wanna stay here the rest of my life.”
K: After a month I think I realized. For the first six months, all I was doing was getting on the subway, going to work and coming home. It wasn’t too bad, but I love it. Every interview I go on, I tell them, “I love it here. I like my social life.”
Chris: “I like being here. I like my friends here. I like being here.”
K: I tell them that. I also tell them, “I’m not leaving New York. I’m here for a while. I have a stable group of friends here.”
Chris: That’s the weird thing for me (if going home was to happen), it would just be friends from high school. Where’s the Holy Cross Bubble and how am I going to live without it?
K: That was hard for me because my parents live 15 minutes away from Holy Cross and I went to school in Worcester even though we live in a town outside. Even during the summers, I hung out with Holy Cross people because people stayed around. I don’t really keep in touch with high school friends; I have one really great friend that I became better friends with after high school, but if I go back, I won’t really have anyone from Holy Cross to hang out with. What would I do?
Chris: It seems like there’s a diaspora.
K: Thankfully, yeah.
Chris: Like everyone wants to…not live with their parents.
K: Where are your parents…where are you from?
Chris: I’m from Texas, they’re from here…I don’t know, they went where their industry took them, just as I [am making an attempt to].
K: Interesting.
Chris: I should end this, shouldn’t I?
K: That was the five questions?
Chris: That was it, yeah.
K: Wow.



  1. You don’t mention coffee ice cream and not give me a shout out. Blogging 101 chump.

    Your penalty is to move back to TX so your friends can see you more often.

  2. To avoid moving back, I’ve added a link that mentions you–Blogging 205. Enjoy and you’re all welcome to visit whenever.

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