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Labor Day Angst

How was everyone’s Labor Day weekend?  I spent the weekend in Saratoga, NY with my parents.  Whoever said three’s a crowd, must have stayed at the same Comfort Inn we did.

Don't let the spaciousness decieve you!

Since we went to bed at 11 most nights and my mom is prematurely deaf, I had a lot of time to ponder the meaning of this holiday weekend by myself.  I had never really given Labor Day much thought.  I actually could have sworn it was in May.  Turns out, this day marks more than just the end of white pants.  After reading a few articles online, I was surprised to discover Labor Day was first introduced in 1882 in NY to honor American workers and labor unions.

I feel like a fraud.  As an unemployed recent graduate, I had about just as much of a right celebrating this holiday as Lady Gaga had dressing up as a man to hand B. Spears her lifetime achievement award.  And no offense America, I am not the only guilty one here.  Labor Day is the victim of serious holiday neglect.

C'mon Gaga, just let Britt be normal for once.

Labor Day is supposed to be a day of rest for Americans who work long hours to support themselves, their families and our country.  Sadly, most workers don’t get the time off.  Looking back on my weekend, I realize I took for granted all of the people working at groceries stores, restaurants,  coffee shops and so on and so on.  I probably shouldn’t have gotten so mad at the Greyhound bus driver for being late and maybe I should have tipped the waiter a little more today as he served me fruity cocktails.  I wonder when the last time they got a day off from work….

I’m usually not the sentimental type but the guilt of this superficial holiday continues to build as the minutes slowly pass on this bus ride back to nyc.  Boarding the bus, I handed the bus driver my ticket, saying “Is this all you need?”.  “All I need?”, she laughed.  “I’ll start with a vacation.”

I hate to say it but I doubt her, or the majority of American workers, will ever really get the appreciation and gratitude they deserve.  I guess my post is somewhat inconclusive seeing as I have no almighty solution to the labor problems.  I have no answer to the crazy unemployment rates.  I don’t have a thought-out health care initiative plan.  And I certainly can’t afford to buy the bus driver a vacation.

I can only think that the real solution starts at the human level in our everyday interactions with one another.  No matter what your job, work is work and we can all think of things we would rather be doing.  Rather than taking frustration out on our fellow workers, maybe we could find some unity and comfort in one another.

Basically, I am just asking that from now on, when the Dunkin Donuts worker refuses to put 5 splendas in your small coffee, you promise you won’t curse at him.  You won’t tell him that he’s not doing his job and should mind his own business.  You’ll even stop badmouthing that Dunkin Donuts to all your friends and neighbors and admit you may have made some false allegations about the workers and/or franchise itself.  Instead, you’ll thank him for being concerned about your health and a potential artifical sweetener overdose.  Wait….that does happen to you guys too right? 


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Dear BK, I apologize.

So maybe I’ve been a little hard on my Brooklyn confines since I started blogging.  I decided to end August on a cheerful note by sharing a day in my (running) shoes as a venture around Prospect Park.

I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier but I live about 4 minutes from Prospect Park.  It’s basically Central Park without all the commercialized hoopla–it was even designed by the same guy in 1865!  Yup, I did my homework.

  Enough of the history lesson, I know everyone prefers the treadmills with built-in tvs so they can watch The Food Network, anyway.  Today’s run was pretty basic.  I did a loop around the entire perimeter of the park which gave me a chance to capture some of my favorite things nearby.

This is my favorite house I’ve seen so far in Brooklyn.  I have no idea who lives there but I like to imagine this is where Kate and William will stay if they come visit Brooklyn.

Here’s “The Pavilion” movie theater in Park Slope.  It reminds me of a place Seth would want to take Summer to the movies in an OC episode.  Inevitably, she’d stand him up and Seth would end up crying as he watched  Glee 3D all by his lonesome.  Dear Seth, I too cannot find anyone to watch Glee 3D with me…I know your pain.

Then, I ran through a really big puddle and got mud all over my brand new running sneakers.  How embarassing……

Especially since I was trying to impress this cute guy running next to me. 

Luckily, I found some peace after my humiliating puddle accident near the pond (which I’m sure has a more official name).  It is a really nice place to…..and….do…..or maybe…. OK, so I don’t know exactly what the point of ponds are for leisurely purposes but I did meet an Amish family having a lunch picnic by the water and took a picture for them.  I didn’t have the heart to tell them I couldn’t fit all 13 children (my you know what hurts just thinking about it) into any of the 4 pictures I took for them.

And last but not least, a swan.  In the Buddhist book I’m reading, The Buddha In Your Mirror, it says “one should be like the swan…gracefully floating above the water, while kicking like hell below!”  I don’t know how true that is but then again, my mirror needs some windex.

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Since moving to Brooklyn, I have been ALL-OVER-THE-PLACE with my priorities and I certainly haven’t been feeling like my Type-A self.  I guess it has something to do with that August itch (don’t worry, i got it checked out) of fall coming and school starting.  It’s a scary thought to not have the class schedule structure in my life that I have relied on for so many years.

I considered a Billy Madison ‘back to school’ approach but frankly, I’m way too broke and I actually like post-grad life.  Ifso-facto, I am setting out to find structure in my everyday Brooklyn life…something to ground me regardless of my job, my paycheck, the weather (natural disasters and all) and a slew of dating disasters.

If you are still reading this, you’re probably thinking “Why the hell is this whiny brat telling me about all her soul-searching problems?”.  Don’t worry, this is a one-time deal.   I am only making this entry to hold myself accountable for a much neglected priority in my life: Blogging!  I started blogging as part of a class assignment and I immediately became an addict.  It is a great way to keep in touch with friends, release excitement or frustration, take life a little less seriously and do what I love most–write.

Here you have it:  I, Stephanie Bousquet, solemnly swear to make blogging a priority.  It may be once a week or it may be twice a day.  It might be really funny or it might be me complaining about the Flatbush subway system.  No promises you will like it, but I do promise I’ll keep the entries coming regardless.

For now, I’m attending to some other priorities in my life; grocery shopping (yes, I have decided to learn how to cook) and the gym with my personal slave driver Jillean Micheals.

While you sit in anticipation of my next blog entry, enjoy one of my latest obsessions, Bruno Mars, as he sings about Brooklyn.  Notice when he mentions Flatbush and go easy on his appearance in the video–we’ve all been the victims of a bad spray tan once in our lives.

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Pick Up Lines

Which is worse; the pick up lines people use everyday OR my responses? 

Pick up line #1

Guy with mad game: Hang up the phone, girl.  You’re boyfriend called me earlier and said he’s cheating.  Come home with me.

ME:  It’s my mom. 

Pick up line #2

Guy with mad game:  Do you have a boyfriend?   

ME: Yes.

Guy with mad game: Do you have a husband?

ME: No.

Guy with mad game: Then why won’t you ever drink wine with me?

ME: I’m really really sorry.

Pick up line #3

Guy with mad game: Girl, you must be from out of town.  Where you from sexy?

ME:  No, actually I live right there. (Pointing to my building….and then realizing it….and then googling a locksmith)

Pick up line #4

Guy with mad game: Look at those legs!  You must be working out, girl.

ME: Yeah, you too man!

Pick up line #5

Guy with mad game: Excuse me miss…Excuse me…Miss….Can I ask you a question miss?

ME: Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii (continue until voice cracks)

Whoever said you shouldn’t talk to strangers was probably someone who tried to spit game on me.  To all guys with mad game, please don’t lose hope.  I promise your pick up line attempts will not always warrant as awkward, uncomfortable responses as they did with me.  My sincere apologies……    

P.S.  I’m busy busy working on a long piece on Subway etiquette (or lack thereof) so I apologize for my blogging absence every now and then 😦  I swear I really do get bloggers’ guilt!

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Now that I have sent at least one copy of my resume to every employer/scam artist/craigslist groupie, I finally have some free time to blog!  Luckily, you didn’t miss out on a whole lot.

Flatbush has been a ghost town this past week thanks to the scorching temperatures.  I quickly realized that as soon as temps hit 90 degrees, daily life in Flatbush comes to a screeching hault……

Local performers and hooligans flee their stage at Prospect Park…..










Garbage-men claim “it’s too hot” for trash pick-up…..










Car-owners can’t bear the heat long enough to finish painting their cars….










Fruitsellers abandon bags of questionable-looking canteloupes on the sidewalk……










EVEN the Trinidad sno-cone man, a fixture on the Flatbush street-vendor scene, has disappeared.  He was unavailable for comments and/or photos but I’ll keep the updates coming.

(not the Flatbush sno-cone vendor)








As you can see, it’s a sad time in Flatbush.  Luckily, there is supposed to be a bumpin’ hip-hop concert in the park this Saturday.  It features Lyricist Lounge, Raekwon, Smif-n-Wessun and Joel Ortiz.  I know none of them.  Regardless, I am sure it will be quite an entertaining evening and the neighborhood will be in rare form.  Wish me luck.

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Liquor Stores

Some people cherish french cinema, gourmet cooking or vintage cars.  But being the classy girl I am, I personally appreciate a great liquore store.

Making a “packy run”, as CT-folk like to call it, is really an underrated experience.  I always find a way to turn a quick trip to the liquor store into an hour-long event.   My eyes light up like a kid on Christmas morning when I spot a glorious red shopping cart outside a liquore mega-store.  I know this is gonna be good.  Rows and rows of cheap wine, holiday gift sets of oversized Baileys bottles and all seven flavors of alcohol whipped cream!?  If this isn’t heaven, I don’t know what is.

Naturally, I was excited to take a looksie at the liquor stores in Flatbush and give them my own review.

First of all, going to the liquor stores in Flatbush is a form of 21 plus window shopping.  The entire store is covered in plexiglass, leaving only a 5×5 foot space for customers to stand.  Behind the plexiglass are large dusty shelves filled with bottles of wine and liquor.  There are usually two or three workers shuffling from bottle to bottle as customers point their finger in every direction.  It is somewhat reminscent of John Travolta’s disco dancing moves in Saturday Night Fever.

I know the plexi-glass is a safety precaution and cuts back on theft…yaddah yaddah yaddah.  But is it just me, or does it feel even less safe knowing the workers need to be protected by 3 inches of think plastic? Don’t the windows cause more issues?  I mean….if I go into a package store pissed off in need of some vodka stat and then I see this enclosement around the alcohol…I’m not going to smile and go for a walk in the park.  I’m going to get MORE PISSED OFF.  Don’t remind me that you are so scared of my drinking habits that you have to hide behind the windows.  And c’mon, don’t be selfish…you could AT LEAST leave the alcohol on the outside so I can read the back of wine bottles and bullshit about the varietal grapes used in a 7.99 cabernet.  Now I have to admit to everyone in the liquor store that I like to drink $3.00 bottles of “Hot Sex”.  Yes, “Hot Sex”.  Do you have any idea how uncomfortable it is to say that surrounded by a large crowd of your slightly-buzzed neighbors?  “Excuse me, can I have some Hot Sex?”  Let me just say I only ordered this once and I have since then learned my lesson.

On the positive side, prices are good and the store hours are even better.  Nothing is better than snatching a night-cap bottle of 99 bananas on my way home at midnight.  What can I say, I like to go out with a bang.



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Lacking depth perception, i am not only a terrible badmitton player but also the world’s worst driver. Because of this, I have never had an attachment to cars.  Flatbush’ers, on the other hand, take their automobiles very seriously. There are strict community regulations all car owners must follow.

Below is an (un)official copy of Flatbush Automotive Law:

1. Automobile Protection
“The Club” is the main way of protecting against car theft. Apparenty this device works best on cars with little to no monetary value because the less the car is worth, the more likely “the club” can be found on the steering wheel.

Luxury cars, which line the curbs outside laundromats, barber shops and jamaicaan restaurants, do not need any theft protection. For some reason,they can be left with doors unlocked,windows down and music blaring and no one will lay a finger on the vehicle.

Beanie baby theft is a budding concern for Flatbush car owners and local officials are working to stop looters from snatching the plush bears, ducks and dogs that decorate back seat windows. (refer to car accessories)

2. Driving Protocol
When operating a motor vehicle drivers must adhere to a distinct code of conduct. Sunglasses must always be worn by at least 2/3 of passengers in the vehicle. Music must always be playing at the highest decibel at all times of the day or night. If you are unsure what is acceptable music, resort to playing “Ms. New Booty” on repeat.

Backseat passengers also have specific roles in the driving experience. First, there must be more than 3 people in the back seat. It is imperative they keep the windows down and yell at least one comment, greeting or phone number to everyone that walks by. If the passenger happens to know someone on the sidewalk, the car must continue driving and the passenger should scream the conversation out the window until he/she is out of sight.

3. Car Accessories/Detailing
Last but not least is the matter of car decor. Every car must have a signature touch to make it stand out from other cars. Popular decorations include dried flowers circa 1985, extra-large flags, seat pillows and of course, stuffed animals. It is recommended that car owners remove all stuffed animals from their childrens’ rooms and put them on the dashboard.

Car exteriors also deserve special attention.  Windows must be completely black.  Not tinted; BLACK .  No one should EVER be able to see into the car…except for the 23 hours of the day when windows are rolled down.  Decals and license plates are also held in high esteem.  Identifying phrases and titles really add personality to the car.  For example, that blue jetta hatchback would just be your run-of-the-mill car without neon yellow “ISLAND BOI” decals slapped on all door panels and bumpers.  And how would anyone know you loved Betty Boop so much if you didn’t have a Betty Boop license plate frame, bobble head and fur steering wheel cover?  It’s all about making a personal statement.





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