Thursday, March 31, 2005

listen to your body

That's what people tell you. Eat when you are hungry. Sleep when you are tired. Drink when you are thirsty. If you crave cheese, you must need calcium. If you crave steak, you must need iron. Simple enough concept.

I have been listening to my body. My leg got injured running the great loop Saturday before last, I have not been running. (Calf sprain, no running and icing every night is the cure.) Because I am not running, my appetite has severely declined. Score!

My favorite new by product of reduced hunger? Combos.

I have never really been a combos eater. I don't buy, and if someone would offer me one, nine times out of ten I'd decline. So two days ago I'm in a rush, and decide to have a vending machine lunch. Combos looked like a lower calorie option, and hey, they are made with real cheese! Or at least a little bit of it, anyway.

I ate the combos for lunch. And was full. And satisfied. Amazing! So I had combos for lunch again yesterday. And then for dinner. I think I have discovered the new power food! Hey, if I'm full and happy, then I'm good! After all, I should listen to my body, right?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

secret identities

I am a member of the League of Extraordinary Petes. We call our selves peteys in honor of the Petey character in American Pie 2, as we often make asses of our selves semi-intentionally.

We each have all the appropriate superhero criteria. Mine are as such:

Superhero Identity: Rockstar Jones
Real Name: Bridget *******
Height: 5’3”
Costume: Purple lame Hammer pants, a leather jacket, booby shirt
Insignia: Her name and a music note
Powers: Fights crime with her coolness, looks good in all sunglasses
Weapons of choice: Synthesizer, bad jokes, long toasts, palm pilot
Weaknesses: Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, cutting her own hair

Having grown up in a religious Michigan household, Bridget found it hard to be who she really was. She feared the truth of her super secret self would be considered evil, the fruits of the devil. She spent years trying to cover up her true identity but once she moved out to NYC there was no need to hide. Underneath the nerdy mask lived…a rockstar.
Rockstar Jones emerged no holds barred taking the city by storm. She can party like no other, talk like no other, and download music like no other. She works hard and plays hard. With her synthesizer she plays tunes that puts evil doers into an epileptic seizure; she tells horrible jokes that make criminals cry.

You may laugh, but way too much of this is true. I have a whole manual for all the gals. This is what people like us did with our time before blogs...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

grrrrrl power

Summation of weekend as follow up to last blog:

All you can drink special at Buster's Garage did the job. What did the job even better was Pele who kept buying myself and my girlfriends pitchers once the special was over. He couldn't even speak English, he just knew that it was better to have us sitting next to him then the rest of the sausage fest at the bar take over our spots. Hats off to Pele! I spent a bit of the time talking to a single dad at the bar. He was feeling down and insecure about himself, so I listened for a bit and reinforced his confidence in parenting for a while. A fun moment in the conversation was when he was describing his nosey overbearing neighbor who gives way too much unwelcome criticism. His exact words, "I mean, she's over thirty, single, and never had kids. She's attractive, but obviously there is something wrong with her." I didn't stop to correct his error, but had a private chuckle. Here I am, fitting the criteria, but since I’m on his side... whatever, he just showed his ignorance. Later on when he asked me out I had to put him straight. I was nice, but honest. It was pleasant enough to be a shoulder for the evening, but I don’t want to apply for the job.

We then moved on to mr second degree of separation’s show. I do have to say, he can sing. He had some stage presence. I even found myself dancing a bit, it was fun. And I actively avoided talking and being seen by him, which was quite a feat since it was a VERY SMALL VENUE. We are talking a bar and four tables up next to a stage. The size was really good for the atmosphere though. I can say I would see him again. I still don't want to have a conversation with him. Just shaking his hand made me not want to read his blog for two days, and I enjoy reading it too much to have a whole conversation and then quit! I don't know why I have this strange compulsion to only read it when I am anonymous, but I do.

I then broke my Katz's cherry. I have lived in NYC for over four years but this is the first time I have gone to the world famous Katz's Deli. It was amazing. The pastrami literally melted in my mouth. I'm not even a big deli meat person, but let me tell you, that sandwich was heaven. By the time my girlfriends and I were done, it was 1:00 am and we were too drunk and tired to hit the second show and split up to take cabs home.

Yesterday was a blah day, watched a marathon of the first season of The Office, watched my first Fellini film, La Dolce Vida. My couch and I spent some good quality time together.

Today I went and saw Ms Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. I have a deep dark secret; I absolutely love the fist movie. I saw it in the theater, and enjoyed it, but did not realize how much until it was on constant circulation on cable. If I catch it on TV, I have to watch. So many themes really strike home for me. The ugly duckling concept, the idea that girls can get by in a guy's world, that women can be as capable at fighting as men, and that being strong and smart are in themselves sexy. The second flick was not as good as the first one, but still was enjoyable, I laughed out loud at parts. The nice thing about the sequel is it brought on a new moral that again brought a tear to my eye. Don't let society try to pigeonhole you into some Barbie ideal of beauty; you are beautiful as a real person. Makes me want to dye my hair pink all over again. So instead I just went and cut it all off. It's short, spunky, and by god I look more like myself than I have in months. It was fun to do too, since I used a razor to cut it. Rule of thumb, after you cut yourself twice its time to stop.

Not a bad weekend, all told.

Friday, March 25, 2005


Tonight the world is mine. Or at least some drinks will be.

My mind is clear, my spirits are high, and my girlfriends want to go out for drinks. Gear up ladies and gentlemen; it will be a night out!

Starting at Buster's Garage for $10 all you can drink from five to seven. Good way to lube the gears for evening activities. (Note name of establishment and analogy used. I feel so witty)

Then potentially to see mr second degree of separation perform. I don't know if I will be able to look him in the face after reading his blog every day for two months. If the other blogger I read on a daily basis is there I'm doing shots.

The evening may be rounded out seeing another band, spearheaded by yet another mtv worker. I know it seems hard to believe so many people who work for mtv are into making their own music, it is a strange world we live in. This show is at midnight, so we'll see if my wallet and my liver can make it.

Tomorrow I am due to run the reservoir with one of my drinking buddies tonight. Think we'll make it?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

little day rebellions

There are many nice things about living in NYC. I am loath to admit it, but the cable is one.

We have all that fancy on-demand stuff. You know, HBO, Showtime, Cinemax have their own channels that act as a digital library of their programs. As a subscriber here you can watch any series or movie they offer at your convenience in your own time.

This technology has spread by now, as has the tivo clone DVR. It is nice and all. Now some newer things are popping up.

We have had the digital video store - like pay per view, but again you have VCR type control over the purchase for 24 hours. Now there are on demand channels popping up for the regular cable stations. HGTV, DIY, BBC America, Comedy Central - they all are offering on demand access to their programming.

The most fun of these is the AOL music channel. Videos and interviews and live music oh my! I just found a new band to love, Rise Against, a new punk band that has resonance to one of my all time faves, Bad Religion. The video is a clever depiction of a group of by day paper-pushers and by night urban anarchists. They go all over town spreading the truth, like writing "42 grams of heart attack" on a McDonalds billboard, putting "I've spent my entire life trapped in a cage" stickers on the information panels at the zoo, or drawing plastic surgery scar marks on an emaciated model billboard. Power to the people.

At the end of the video one of the weekday warriors walk by the CEO's office and puts the "I've spent my entire life trapped in a cage" sticker on his door.

Rather hits me where I live. All right, that's the last straw. I'm quitting my job and starting a punk band. Done and done.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

rainy days and mondays...

don't necessarily get me down. For some reason I just love dreary days.

I woke up this morning sad. I have had a bad couple of weeks, it is so rare for me to be depressed but it seems I have been on a roll. This morning I finally understood those song lyrics about finding the strength to go on. It was like my spirits had gained 100 pounds, it took concentration to move. It was like walking under water. Laborious.

After I got ready for work I logged onto to see the forecast for the day. The ultimate miserable day was in store - windy, damp, rainy/sleety/snowy. Due to get colder and windier as the day progressed.

Reading this made me feel a little better. Just a bit.

Throughout the day, people would stop in my office, look out the window and moan. Oh, what lousy weather. Wow, it's such a mess out there. Me, I kind of think like that blind melon song, I like seeing the puddles gather rain. There is something so soothing to me in seeing the world look as sad and mean as it can.

Eventually I left work, when I did the weather was so horrendous that I literally was holding my umbrella perpendicular to the sidewalk in order to prevent it from turning inside out. Three blocks into my walk, juggling my bags, balancing the umbrella, struggling against the strong winds and freezing cold precipitation, I discovered myself laughing.

And like that, the clouds in my mind lifted.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

photogenic proof

So I am a recent new owner of a camera phone, felt the need to document proof of my not so good friends, Winkin and Blinkin. The wrinkle twins. Evil bastards, they are! Posted by Hello

motivation part dos

Tonight was scheduled as my three mile "easy" run, not easy because it's an off day where I'm not running a super duper distance - eight weeks ago three miles was unfathomable - but because it was a scheduled easy pace of 4.8 mile per hour. I've stepped back my training a bit from the four months to a four hour marathon book based on my VDOT.

So it took me a good two and a half hours to get my sorry booty off the couch after I got home from work, thus ended up at the gym at about 8:30 pm. You know I'm really tryin to be a good trainee. Must. Run. Marathon.

Two miles into it I'm not feeling the energy, but am plugging along. Then I start thinking about my annual white water rafting trip in West Virginia. I have gone for about six years running now, and every year I have made and not accomplished one goal - to be able to pull my sorry ass back into the boat from the river after a voluntary swim. (We do get those chances) See, it's embarrassing that I'm supposed to be conquering the river, these class five rapids, but in reality without assistance of my friends I would become a buoy.

Here I am thinking of the trip, and start imagining myself with JLo type abs navigating the river. Then I picture myself waking up in the morning, looking at my rafting companions, and suggesting a morning jog over the very very hilly terrain. You know, because I'll have about three weeks left before the marathon and the inclines will be good training. I can picture their newfound respect in their eyes for my super duper fitness.

Suddenly I'm at the gym running in perfect form, practically high stepping it the rest of the distance. It just comes down to that positive visualization now, doesn't it?

Monday, March 21, 2005

no day but today

I have a little trick I use to break myself out of my blues. And it works like a charm.

No matter how down, sad, lonely, or just plain tired I am, I lay down, close my eyes, and play the soundtrack to Rent, the musical. Some days I only need a few songs, some days the whole soundtrack.

Mind you, I may live in New York but I am not a theatre person. I barely tolerated Miss Saigon, have no desire to see Hairspray, and just plain did not like the theatre version of Chicago. Dramatic theatre? My money is better spent on beer.

For those of you unfamiliar with Rent, it is the tale of various artists living on the Lower East Side of New York, struggling with their art, their poverty, and the AIDS epidemic. It is a modern day adaptation of Puccini’s opera, La Boheme. The resounding theme, at least to me, is to appreciate every day of life; you never know when it may be your last. In short, "no day but today." This is even more poignant as the creator of the musical, Jonathan Larson, died of a brain aneurism on opening night. The timing and the unpredictability of his death are overwhelming. For more detail, the play synopsis and the story of its creation is available on the website.

If you have not been fortunate enough to see the play, take heed, it is finally being converted to film! Even better, most of the original cast has been contracted to appear in the flick as well - including some faces you the common TV viewer will recognize . I am absolutely ecstatic about this news, and can't wait to see it in the theater and own the DVD.

In the meantime I still have the actual soundtrack to listen to, and it’s nice to know that I'm only two hours and six minutes from inner peace.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

ghosts of make outs past

He was the department head of the group parallel to mine. I was an assistant fresh out of the box, working for the company a whole four months. It was St Patrick's Day, four years ago. I had been in the city five months, just out of a two year relationship, a little insecure but ready for action.

We drank a lot, flirted a lot. He had to leave, I walked him out.

"I can't do this." He said.

"Yes, you can." I replied.

It was hot, it was definitely good. But at that point in my life I was inexperienced in the invite home. So he went his merry way.

We talked on the phone. I asked him out, he said sure but then blew me off. I got angry, insulted.

Six months later I got over it. We became friends. We joked about our past. Good thing too, since our departments merged, I kept getting promoted, and almost reached his level. At this point I am somewhere between being a manager and a director of the dept.

Last night I went to his good-bye party. After 13 years he has decided to move on, start a new venture. Mostly due to changing political climates. As I was preparing to leave, he grabbed me in a big bear hug and breathed in my ear "Let's have sex - we have both wanted it for so long, let's get it out of the way."

I will admit there is an attraction there, but he has a girlfriend. And I am no longer that wide-eyed girl fresh to the city. I know his flaws too well, and the intimacy has bloomed into a friendship, not a romance.

I laughed it off, said we would keep in touch. It is the end of an era, with him leaving the company. I will miss him, but I have to wonder if the main reason will be because when he is gone the last of the existence of the early version of me is gone. The silly, flirty, throw caution to the wind me. I miss that girl too.

Friday, March 18, 2005

sneaky google ads

I don't know if you noticed, but I have a banner on the left hand of this blog with ad links. I signed up to put them there because I get like a penny if someone clicks on one. So far I have made, let's see, oh yeah - nothing.

That's okay, I'm not writing this for the money. I have notice that the ads tend to be related to the contents of my blog.

When I first started posting they advertised tax software. For the past month or so, they were listing running stores. I kinda liked linking to runner supply places, I felt kinda sporty.

Now the links are pointing to anti age creams. One little blog about four wrinkles and that's what I've been reduced to.

Well, at least they aren't alcoholic anonymous sites.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

doctors suck

I saw my general surgeon this morning, a follow up due to my weekend trauma.

First I had to explain my complete medical saga to the latest chief intern. Again. Guaranteed every time I go to see a doctor or end up in the emergency room I go through the ten-minute schpiel (NOT exaggerating time here) at least three times.

So the intern says that since my blockage cleared up on its own he would not recommend any action until it happens again.

Not acceptable, say I.

We'll talk to head of surgery, says he.

Head of surgery comes in and lays it out like this: Yes, I had a blockage. Yes, it is an adhesion. In today's climate, adhesion repair surgery is only done under duress, on a need to address basis. Need to address being defined as a blockage that lasts over 24 hours. No surgeon will do a damn thing if I go through anything less. I could show up in the hospital once every six months for the rest of my life in extreme pain, but if the blockage clears up in less than a day they will send me on my merry way.

At this point I start to cry. See, I thought I was done with all of this. My entire adult life has been spotted with emergency room visits, and I will tell you honesty, the blockages all cleared up in less than 24 hours - all except the one last year that I got sliced open for.

Seems chiefs of surgery don't like crying. He tells me to get dressed and we can discuss in his office.

I take a lot of deep breaths, compose myself, go to his office, and start crying all over again. I explain to him I understand why he won't/can't operate; it’s just hard to hear that I have more pain to go through. With no idea of what limit. I can watch what I eat, take care of myself, hell - run a marathon, but will eventually end up being sick. A bit of a shock to hear.

He stops and asks me if I have someone I can talk to.

I look at him, confused. Professionally?

Yup. He tells me I am clinically depressed about this and need to see a shrink. My friends can try to listen and help, but they can't nod and say yes enough to really help me get through this ordeal.

I know that there are a million worse things I could be afflicted with, and that I am very fortunate to have what health I do have. But I still can't stop crying. I had to record three different voice mails to my bosses to let them know I would be out for the rest of the day, because I broke down in sobs with the first two attempts.

Since have taken a long walk home, and have started to self-medicate/celebrate St Paddy's day. I will go out with my friends tonight and celebrate life, which is truly the best cure for all.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

paid programming

I have four wrinkles.

I have named them: Winkin, Blinkin, Nod, and OHMYGODIHAVEWRINKLESIAMGETTINGOLDIAMANCIENT!!!!!!!

I always seem to have a hard time getting to that last name; don't know why that could be....

I jest, getting older is not being dead and that is pretty cool. Inevitably in the aging process I'm going to wrinkle and get gray, sag and get rheumy. I'll just drink more so when I look in the mirror it's harder to tell because there will be two of me. My own personal soft lens. Kind of like when I used to watch Moonlighting, and the camera would show Bruce Willis in sharp focus, then turn to Cybil Shepard and she would kind of be glowy and fuzzy, then turn back to stark clear Bruce Willis again.

Seriously, I mourned getting old hardcore from the time I turned 29 until I reached 31. Then I just said “eh”. Can’t fight father time. Stopped caring so much. Really enjoy joking about it, though. Except when my sister mocks me, so quiet you McGee!

All the same, I went and bought an anti-winkle cream system from the TV. Really, is $30 too much to pay for a placebo that gives a little peace of mind? A little confidence boost shot in the arm?

Priceless, say I.

Anyhoo, happy pre-St. Paddy’s day! I'll be a good little leprechaun and bring home some good drunken stories tomorrow. With any luck, they will not involve bodily fluids. I do have to work Friday, after all.

Erin go braugh!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

science experiment

So maybe yesterday I sat and watched Alias for ten hours straight.

One has to wonder, what kind of side effects would this induce in an individual? Today I have noticed the following:

There exists in me a strange compulsion to buy and wear numerous wigs.

I have a strong desire to learn how to parachute into remote locations while wearing an evening dress under my jumpsuit.

Practicing remaining underwater surviving only by breathing the air out of car tires seems tantamount.

The fact that I am as of yet unable to throw a 250 lb man over my shoulder gives me great shame.

The company I work for is publishing a new book called "Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter", which presents the argument that all the so called crap the younger generation does that wastes their brainpower actually is pumping up the brainwaves. The author touts video games and television shows as true genius making machines.

When I first heard about this book I have to admit I scoffed; then I became intrigued. This book is presenting a real theory, not a joke. I mean, really, how much information have I gleamed from fiction in my life?!?! Movies, sitcoms, videos...immeasurable wealths of knowledge gleamed from pop culture. The author, Steven Johnson hypothesizes that the influx of information and stimuli actually end up increasing our intelligence.

Awesome. I think I'll stay home this weekend to watch the complete third season of Alias. Girlfriend needs to study for the GRE's.

Monday, March 14, 2005

unlimited sick days

Thank god I have a salaried job. I was just reading up on abdominal adhesions, and I quote:

"Abdominal adhesions can be treated, but they can be a recurring problem. Because surgery is both the cause and the treatment, the problem can keep returning. For example, when surgery is done to remove an intestinal obstruction caused by adhesions, adhesions form again and create a new obstruction in 11 percent to 21 percent of cases."

Talk about a never-ending cycle. It is a very good thing my employers really like me a lot. Instead of just putting up with my bouts with illness wishing they could get rid of me, they pray for me to get better. A good position for me to be in.

Oh, and having health care is pretty nice too.

To ease my guilt of taking so much time off, I like to compare myself to mothers. I never have to come in late because the kids were behind; I never have to leave early for a parent teacher meeting; I never have to take a day off because the kids are sick. It is perfectly acceptable for any mother to take any amount of time off needed for their offspring. I would like to think that the time I take off to heal myself could be accepted in the same manner. I just happen to work very long hours when I am healthy, and then need to take longer periods of time off to recover from hospital visits.

I called out of work today (if you had not already guessed) because my abdomen is still sore. Stupid me bought the latest "Runner's World" magazine and am chomping at the bit to go work out, but must think healing first. If I am too sick to go to work I am too sick to play, that's what my mother taught me.

Guess I'll just have to watch the second season of Alias all over again. Poor me. ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I can take...

the pain, its the vomiting I can't stand. At least, that's what I told myself yesterday morning. I woke up with pain in my abdomen, unfortunately a familiar feeling for me. I was under the impression that this was going to be all over after my litany of surgeries last year.

Four hours later, the pain had gotten worse and the vomiting started in, I knew this feeling, it seemed like something was causing an internal blockage. I called my doctor and headed to the emergency room. When I got there they set me up to take some tests, but decided not to give me pain medication.

Two hours after that I was begging. The pain got progressively worse and worse, every minute seemed like an hour. I asked once for medication for the pain. Then I insisted. They eventually gave me morphine. Narcotics never felt so good. When someone puts morphine into your IV, you can feel the numbness pouring through your body, within seconds alleviating all pain. Sweet relief. Then you immediately become groggy and sleep for hours.

One set of x-rays, two CAT scans, and fifteen hours of emergency room fun later, my problem had passed and they let me go home. By the time they were able to set up my second set of CAT scans the blockage had gone away, and no definite answers were arrived at. The emergency room doctors suspect another adhesion, which may have gotten twisted off, causing blockage.

I lived for ten years with intermittent hospital visits exactly like this one, and don't want to do it anymore. Because of my little adventure yesterday, I had to skip the race today, as well as cancel a movie date scheduled for later today with a friend. Other people get a cold or the flu, I get intestinal blockage.

I am going to make an appointment with my surgeon to investigate potential solutions for this problem; I do not want to live the rest of my life having to go through the ordeal I experienced yesterday.

Friday, March 11, 2005

geek love

Okay, you may have thought I geeked out a bit when I was in ecstasy over my ipod.

Or when I bookmarked Wil Wheaton.

Or when I decided I want to be Starbuck more than I want to be Sydney.

Or when I freaked out with joy over Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

But you ain't seen nuthin yet.

At least, until you see the preview for Sin City.




This cinematography and direction is BRILLIANT. This is the most beautiful conversion of a comic book to film EVER.

Yes, I really am a girl.

mmmmmm beer

Do I have to drink?

The eternal question.

I was going to run errands tonight, but then got an email from a friend looking for drinking buddies tonight.

Next thing you know, I'm thinking to myself I should go out, since I'm running a race sunday (4 miles, oh boy) and won't be able to drink tomorrow night.

Like I have to schedule it in because it is necessary. I won't tell you how long the idea that I could just not drink this weekend took to cross my mind.

I can think of all the reasons I should not go out. Save money. Conserve calories. Prevent hangover. Get errands done tomorrow due to lack of hangover.

Yet I feel this magnetic pull towards going out on the town. Guess I'll have to flip a coin now, won't I?

camp stapelton

When I was sixteen I became a camp counselor. I got the gig as a "counselor in training" at camp stapelton, a charity camp for inner city Detroit children, for $75 bucks a week. Mind you, this was 13 years ago; even then it was not much.

The beauty of this job is that my parents never could afford to send me to camp growing up, so even though I was a responsible party, I got to experience camp, going away for a summer. I got to taste independence at a very young age.

Camp was female only, located on Lake Erie (one of the great lakes for those of you geographically challenged) about an hour and a half north of Detroit. Being that this camp was run by St Vincent De Paul and it paid so poorly, it was severely understaffed. Each cabin was supposed to have two adult counselors and one in training. We had only one adult counselor per cabin, therefore my role was to not let the kids know my real age or the fact that I was not quite legal. Especially since I was in charge of the 14 year olds. I and Sonia had the rule of twenty-two fourteen year olds for two weeks at a time, four groups total for the whole season.

I learned a lot that summer. I learned how to change a tire. I learned how to sing camp songs and build a campfire. I learned how to weave baskets and key chains.

Most importantly, I learned how to lead. Going into that summer, I was painfully shy and quiet. Being put in the position of authority for girls who were practically my peers taught me a few things about how groups work.

It taught me that if you want something to happen, stand up and start. Speak up. At camp it was as simple as starting the next campfire song or being the first at bat. I found that most of the time everyone wanted to say or do the same thing, but no one wanted to risk being the one to say something.

It taught me that people want to do well, be good; you just have to give them the chance. Many of these girls came from very rough backgrounds, and had been taught harshness as a defense mechanism. If you expect the best from people they are almost relieved to give it.

It taught me that most people want to be lead, and want attention from the leader. The smallest word from an authority figure means so much.

Of course these were children, and as we get older less guidance is needed for your peers. But inside of every adult is a fourteen year old, waiting for a kind word or for someone else to speak their mind.

With that idea in mind, I suggest, as an experiment today, to treat your workplace like summer camp. Say how cool your department is, and how the "rival" department is lame. Tell horror stories. Sing songs. Make smores. Remember you are all in it together. And don’t be afraid to be the one to lead.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

middle management

Irony of life: I worked my butt off crunching numbers, programming reports, and analyzing miles and miles of data so that now I can point my finger and tell other people to do it. In effect, I am no longer supposed to utilize the very talent that got me here in the first place.

Work smarter, not harder, they say. We shall see if my talents reside in delegation as well.

On a funny note, I heard something yesterday on NPR that took a whole day to sink in and strike me.

Last week the city was supposed to do a count of homeless people - not the ones in shelters, the population actually sleeping on the streets. I remember hearing about it a week ago, and thought it was interesting because they were going to plant a couple of fakes just to see how efficient the counting process was.

So yesterday Morning Edition stated that the count had been postponed from last week to yesterday due to inclement weather.

If the point was to count people who are sleeping outdoors...wouldn't it be best to count in the worse conditions?

Um, yeah.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

inclement weather

There is quite a significant snowstorm blowing outside of my window right now. It is very pretty. Mostly it is pretty because I am nice and cozy being indoors. If I was outside I might be concentrating a little more on being able to see through the blowing snow, staying dry, or staying warm.

When I was a flight attendant, back in the day, weather like this would obviously affect me quite a bit more. Delayed and cancelled flights, disgruntled customers, unexpected layovers in strange cities without luggage. Good times.

Although I never joined the mile high club, (I know I have let you down, so sorry to disappoint) there were a few good funny instances when I was a waitress of the air. My favorite involved a late night two leg flight. The first leg was about an hour and a half. I had a couple of gentlemen who decided scotch was their drink of choice, and had about five mini-bottles each. It’s all good; I can support having a drink or two. The next leg was a 20 minute flight, up then down. We get in the air, and the scotch had done a little more than expected to one of the men. He therefore had to visit the lavatory. Then he decided he could not leave it.

The FAA specifically states that for landing and take off all passengers must be wearing a seatbelt. You may or may not know this, but there is no seat belt in the restroom on a plane. So the conversation went like this:

Me, knocking lightly on door "Sir, I need you to return to your seat."
Drunken idiot, "I'm busy."
Me, "Sir, we are approaching the airport, you need to get out of there."
Him, grunting, "Just a minute."
Me, anxious, "I'm sorry, but you have to get out of there now."
Him, exasperated, "Obviously I can't."

That's when I called the cockpit to apprise the pilots of the situation. We aborted landing, and they announced to the entire plane that our landing was delayed due to the gentleman in the lavatory who refused to take his seat. We were going to have to be in the air for another 20 minutes to redo the approach. The rest of the passengers loved that.

For the most part I really hated that job, but it did have one spectacular feature. When you are a flight attendant or pilot most of the time in the air is spent above the clouds, which means you see sunlight every day. There is definitely something very cheerful in that experience. Pure, unhazy, bright sunlight every day has a way of keeping more of the blues away.

I guess I could move to California and have the same thing anyway, but really I’m Irish, my skin was not meant to experience to much direct sunlight. I’d become a cinder. ;)

Monday, March 07, 2005

deep thoughts

I love blogging at lunch. It's better than eating out or even drinking for an hour. The beauty is you sit back, reflect, and share interesting tidbits about your life, truly giving your mind a break from the stress or banality of work.

The party Saturday night was definitely a success. Libation guy did not show, and I did not hook up with anyone. I did the exact opposite - if a guy started to talk to me I was polite for five minutes and then ran. It’s like I was so worried about stepping on my friend's toes that I avoided all male contact. One guy I had been talking to at some point even later came up to me and accused me of deserting him! I felt pretty bad about that.

The Parlour was a good choice for the party, and the celebration ended being split between two floors. The downstairs had a cover band who reminded me of weddings. I drank a lot of beer and had a lot of laughs. I got to tell lots and lots of people about running nine miles earlier in the day, of which I was very proud. Overall a good night, but not really distinctive.

My Sunday was spent recovering from my Saturday. I laid around, ate, watched some movies. And thought.

I thought about how it is too bad I did not have a journal of any kind last year when I was going through all of my health troubles. Not only do I think it would have helped me get through that period a little better, but it would be nice to look back and see how far I have come since then.

I thought about beauty. Specifically the standard and expectations our society holds us to. I look how I look, and while I can control my weight and muscle tone, the shape of my body and shape of my face are what they are, and how sad it is that so many people resort to surgery to alter what they have for some unrealistic ideal.

I thought about the fact that the main reason I am so nonplussed about looking old or older is because I have never considered my looks my strong suit. I am attractive, but in a cute, interesting way. It turns out that this makes me fortunate, as my intelligence and wit only grow through the years.

I thought about the fact that I am in love with the idea of people reading my blog. If I believed that no one was reading I would completely stop writing, like all the abandoned journals in my past. Weird that having complete strangers (and a handful of friends) read about my life validates me in some way.

I thought about friends that I fell out of touch with, the good ones, and resolved to contact them. Realized that doing so is utterly self serving, just wanting to know that they are doing okay for knowledge or historical sense.

I thought that there is nothing as sad as seeing a family torn apart - by a pack of wild wolves. (That was a quote by Jack Handy, I just couldn't help myself.)

Now I must turn my attention back to work and think about projections and costs and sales figures. Bummer. I like just thinking so much more.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

adventures on saturdays

Today is going to be a good day. Or at the very least, an interesting one.

I am supposed to run my nine miles today. This will be officially the longest distance I will have ever run (until next week - 11 miles, oye vay.), and am gearing up mentally for this.

The best way to cognitively prepare one's self for such an achievement is to - oh - not think about it. I have a distraction, so we are good here.

Tonight I will be attending the birthday party for two of my closest friends (my closest nyc friend and last roommate) at an UWS bar, The Parlour. This event is bound to be full of the best kind of people, and it turns out potentially a little bit of a good story. I was informed last night that a certain guest has been invited that will be of some interest.

It seems that while friend was out on a date last night, she ran into this mutual acquaintance of ours. A fellow that she, myself, and two of my other good friends all made out with on one drunken evening, and despite a couple of the girls trading phone numbers, we have not heard from him since. That is, until the coincidental run-in last night. Of course, she invited him to tonight's shindig. For the fun.

I have to admit, looking back on the evening I have a very very slight twitch of discomfort. Simply because somewhere deep down there had seemed to surface a competitive underplay between my friends to acquire the attentions of said gentleman. My last roommate wanted his attentions but did not have the audacity to mack on him, and towards the end of the evening caused quite a scene. The culmination of said undertone, really. Since then I have vowed to myself not to get myself into such a situation again. A couple of minutes of fooling around is not worth any strangeness between pals.

There is about a fifty-fifty chance libation guy won't show, and for the comfort of the birthday girls I kind of hope he doesn't. If he does, I will of course be my friendly self and entertain him if he is left alone, but no making out with him will occur this evening. Maybe with another random stranger, but not him...

Friday, March 04, 2005


Earlier today I was discussing my current running obsession with a friend. I was explaining to him of my goal to run the NYC marathon, and how I have already run my first race.

He said to me that he was surprised, because he did not quite see me as a runner. I asked why.

He then reminded me of a little story I had forgotten about.

We both play softball for the company team, which is actually how we originally met each other four years ago. Well, those several years ago I was quite unfit and about thirty pounds heavier. I was a great batter, good fielder, but my base running left something to be desired.

Specifically we refer to the one time I hit a solid line drive to left field - and the LEFT FIELDER threw me out at FIRST BASE.

This event was embarrassing when it happened, and remains a point of shame in my portfolio. I believe in taking your faults in pride, and can laugh at myself. In fact, I poke fun at my self fairly often. When this one comes up, I actually wince a little.

It’s a good thing to keep my feet on the ground though. A little humility never hurt anyone. :)


Someone needs to create odorless microwave popcorn so the people in my office don't want to kill me every time I pop myself a little snack.

Or I could come up with a patent and become a bagillionare!!!!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

locker room talk

I went to the gym tonight with my new love, my ipod mini. My workout was spectacular, I felt strong and oh so healthy. Surrounding myself with my music really helped me to focus and keep motivated. It was like I became pulled inside of my own impenetrable clear cell. (I am in a glass cage of emotion...thank you will farrell.)

One advantage to feeling so isolated from the population at the gym surfaced in a newfound confidence to look around me. My typical m.o. is to keep my eyes down or averted, no way no how do I risk making eye contact with someone. I have no idea why, but by removing all sense of hearing it seemed only natural for me to start observing the people around me.

You know what I noticed? There are a lot of really physically fit men in my gym.

This got me to thinking. (Yes, be afraid.)

A couple of my favorite shows on television, Queer as Folk and Sex in the City, have many times made reference to the fact that there is much male gay sex going on in the locker room. There is a common joke that gay men have better physiques then straight men, but hey, if you were guaranteed sex every time they worked out wouldn't you go more often?

So here I am looking around, and I have my suspicions that one or two men present just might be straight. And a whole new thought enters my brain.

How do the straight guys deal with all the action in the locker room? Stereotypically jocks are a bit homophobic, right? And heaven knows new yorkers love their gyms, and new yorkers love their gays.


Potential scenarios:

Gay men cleverly hide all indiscretions and straight men are oblivious. (Possible, but unlikely.)

Straight guy turns corner in shower room and - whoops! - interrupts a couple. Does he pretend it never happens? Apologize? Get embarrassed?

Is there a code? What if someone makes a signal by accident? Or if you are not interested do you keep your eyes averted at all times? Is there a certain area of the locker room/showers that is reserved for special activities?

What if you want to pick someone up? Are people cool if you make a mistake?

It really comes down to this - are you a piece of meat as soon as you, a man, enter the locker room?

This whole quandary has me captivated. Why has this never been discussed before? If I noticed any lesbian shower activities I would discuss with my friends. Heck, if I walked into any public restroom and any kind of couple was getting it on you know I could not run fast enough to a phone. Or to my blog.

Oh, and don't try and tell me that everything I hear and see on TV may not be real. That is just silly. That's like saying Elvis is really dead or my parents weren't virgins when they got married.

But really, I want to know.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

drinking on the job

Back not so long ago when I was a waitress I had a handful of standard jokes. Just to keep things light, don't you know.

My favorite was used whenever I would approach a table to refill their water glasses. The joke could only be used once per table, and only if at some point while I was pouring the conversation had a lull. Typically the scenario would go like this:

Patron, noticing me refilling glass: "Thank you"
Me, smiling: "Oh, no problem. You know, I hear hydration is a good thing."
Patron: *chuckle*
Me, pondering: "Yeah, but you know, just wait. In a year or two it'll be bad for you. You'll see."

At this point a real laugh tends to surface. If not then I bring out the big guns.

Incredulous no sense of humor patron: "Really, I don't know about that..."
Me, concerned: "Actually, I heard on NPR that trace elements of various chemicals are being found in groundwater. These chemicals include caffeine, Advil, and Prozac. Right now the amounts are so small as to not affect us, but eventually we as a planet are going to be very energetic, pain free, and happy."

At this point they have been entertained, and my tip goes up by .001%.

The best thing about the joke is that my last statement is true. I did hear that on NPR.

My boss told me today that my company is abandoning the water coolers, going for some new zap cleaning technology to the faucet water. The reasoning for this has something to do with the bottled water not being as good for you as the de-ionized water.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, I'm sure it had nothing to do with actual cost savings.

Of course, the executive that decided on this change has his own supply of bottled water in his personal refrigerator, purchased on corporate card.

I am not afraid of ground water, but I have smelled the water that comes out of the pipes on the job, and am afraid. Is it possible to replace all consummation of H2O with diet soda? Fun experiment, let's find out!

(Side note: If this trend away from the water cooler continues across all corporations, HBO will have to come up with a whole new brilliant add campaign. Heads up Home Box Office!!)


It always comes down to one person, doesn't it?

If you go to a restaurant, one bad chef messes up your meal, and the reputation of that fine establishment is ruined.

You travel to a foreign city, the stranger on the street is kind and generous when you ask directions, it is a friendly place to visit.

Sure, you could go back to the restaurant or city and have a completely different experience the second time around, but won't there still be a pivotal person somewhere? Everything you experience every day can be destroyed or exalted because of one extraordinary person or moment.

I just watched the movie Troy, and it got me to thinking. Not because of great cinematic art, groundbreaking acting, or directorial brilliance. Because of the fact the story is derived from a timeless classic, The Iliad. I recall reading this book in college, one of the few titles I was assigned to in my life that I had not read already. I remember being blown away by so much the book had to offer.

The theme that really hit home to me tonight was how there have been leaders in the world, heroes. Hector led his army, inspired them, as did Achilles. Without these men their respective armies were lost.

Somewhere, sometime there must have been truly amazing, inspirational leaders. Legends were born of others, such as King Arthur, Jesus, Buddha. I know this lament must seem so tired by now, but whom do we have to look to now? Are our heroes of tomorrow weighed down by video games, television, and materialism? Are they lost in a sea of credit debt? Or have they just given up on a world that is too jaded to care?

Or maybe the real tale to tell was of how all the other characters had an effect on the life of the heroes. All those twists and turns of fate were not just wily wills of the gods, but a way to realize how we are all connected. The reason your food was crappy at the restaurant was because someone was rude to the coffee guy who messed up a girl's beverage who happened to be dating the chef who yelled at the prep cook who was so upset that they didn't notice that they were ruining your meal. Each person had to actualize the chain to tie the whole experience together.

Thus why this tale is so beautiful. You may believe you are a mighty Achilles or merely a foot soldier, but your life matters, it holds the same weight - regardless if your name ends up in a very long very old poem. So live like it. And if you have the courage, live like a Hector.