Wednesday, May 31, 2006

won't you be my neighbor?

Seems the apartment across from me is open. A decent sized one-bedroom place on the fifth floor of a walk up, all for a measley $1500 a month.

*non-new yorkers take your time to recover from Manhattan sticker shock*

Anyone looking? How cool would that be if a friend of mine was across the hall?


The wedding steadily approaches! My plans for the bachelorette party this Saturday are all coming together - bwa ha ha!

I need some input from you folks - seems my sister and fiancé are looking for some ideas for groomsmen gifts. Gift certificates, flasks, and golf paraphernalia have been rejected. Have you guys heard of or been part of any interesting ideas? Scho wants original, but I never hear what passes hands at these things.

Katie already has my gift, and she is really excited about it. A little too excited, I am suspicious...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

i hate mondays

I know today is Tuesday. I hate it anyway.

My new hire that was supposed to start today sent an email to my HR person yesterday saying he found another job. I of course found out after I had come in and went through a minor stress moment getting his workspace in order. Now I have another month until I get some relief, and that month is if I am lucky and agressive in my interviewing.

Worse, I found out someone I adore from work passed away over the weekend. He was diagnosed with cancer last year, and had gotten better. Now he is gone. I don't know the details yet, but I am guessing that if it wasn't cancer itself it was complications due to the chemo. For those ex-penguins, he was in Academic Marketing and his initials were DL. Truly this place won't be the same without him. Heartbroken, truely.

Today SUCKS. Thank god I'm out on vacation next week. I've never been this excited to head back to Michigan...

Friday, May 26, 2006


Over last weekend I read this book,

And it really got me thinking. It was one of those neon signs flashing at me, sometimes blinding but if I can just focus showing me a road.

At first I found the book trite and whiny. Blah blah blah so you started to drink as a teenager and drank a lot a couple of times. Thing is, once I got halfway through it some messages really started to resonate with me.

I am a drinker. If I was to define my self in a short paragraph that would definitely be in there. I see myself as a social being, and when I think of personal interaction on a friendly basis I immediately associate it with alcohol.

In the past I have been known to joke about wanting to be a cultured individual but always finding myself in a bar. All I know is that I LIKE the way I feel after I have had a couple of drinks. And after four, I feel like a million bucks, like I can fly and walk on water. But I also feel a deeper thirst at that point. It is the point that I have to stop drinking to avoid a hangover, but it is so hard not to cross the line, I want to so much. Literally after four there is nothing I want more than to keep drinking, and it takes me scraping together what is left of my poor supply of willpower to stop.

Luckily even in excess I retain my sensibilities. I never lose control, and rarely do I drink to the point of memory loss. Somewhere deep inside I have this internal compass keeping myself safe, as being woman in NYC losing my faculties could quickly become life threatening.

This book touched on the reasons that people drink when drinking becomes destructive. Not in an alcoholism sense, but more like stagnating life.

I have friends who don't like themselves, and drink as a form of self abuse. Or the friends who drink to lose themselves because they hate who they are. People who ALWAYS drink too much, go too far. Friends who experience beer tears. Even friends who drank so much they were near death.

When my friends have experienced these things in the past, it was normally discussed in a light hearted anecdotal fashion, brushed off as just one of the regular things about drinking. Ha ha ha. This book - for the first time that I can remember - pointed out that all of these things are a cry for help, and we have been socialized to ignore them.

But we shouldn't. Not that you should confront the person when they are drunk, but stop enabling. If you have a friend who is hurting him or herself, don't let the fact that they have shrouded their pain in alcohol confuse the issue. They still need help.

This book really threw me for a loop, it has had me questioning my motivations for drinking and what happens to me when inebriated. I still haven't gotten a solid picture, but starting the thought process has really illuminated things for me. And more importantly taught me how to be a better friend and human being.

Thursday, May 25, 2006



I knew a guy who used to use a straight that takes balls!

(soooo witty...)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Today I saw DTH guy for the first time since the break up.

It was rough, but not for the reason you think. It was rough because chemistry was never a problem.

Literally we spent thirty seconds together. All pure professional business. But how do you turn off your libido?

Seriously, just seeing him turned on the same receptors as before. It is like I have to retrain my libido not to ignite when he is around. I guess that makes sense, whenever you stop seeing someone you relearn what touching is appropriate again.

Thing is, I start thinking of maybe a hookup or two, here or there. Then stop. That isn't fair, sending mixed messages and whatnot. If there is anything I have learned over time, it is that no guy can deal with having me in a casual (aka physical) relationship. I realize that sounds weird, but if you know me then you realize why it adds to my constant singledom.

On the bright side, and totally not related to the above rant, I came up with the conclusion to my sister's wedding speech. The speech is NOT ABOUT ME. The whole concept is to celebrate my sister via my voice but not drawing attention to myself. (Thus my challenge? Hello??!!??) I think I've got it. And I am so psyched. :)

Those of you not coming to the wedding but hanging with me (Tuesday the 6th or Wednesday the 7th) you get to hear me practice. I have no places to match those dates yet, so if ya'll have suggestions post now or forever hold your peace. These are my two free nights from wedding responsibilities, so bring on your unanswered questions and random thoughts to post.

I say...

Has anyone noticed besides me that the Superman trailer has the EXACT SAME SOUNDTRACK as Battlestar Gallactica????

I'm just sayin.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


In my life I have been on many road trips, and there is one thing I know for true - the majority of these united states are covered with country music. As much money and fanfare that is made around hip hop and/or pop culture, when you are in a car driving, 95% of the time you will only find good ole' american grand ole oprey.

Tonight I was watching the Country Music Awards for a spell. I caught the Brooks & Dunn song "Believe". It was pretty moving. Not so much because the concept of faith in the afterlife is so meaningful to me, but for whatever reason in watching them perform I could envision Everyman USA and his simple faith in heaven.

Immediately I was put in a place sitting next to a cowboy - somewhere but really in the middle of nowhere - noting that deep look of faith in his eyes, like he held a secure inner peace drawing from his confident knowledge. In my mind he nodded at me accepting my lack of faith, and I nodded back accepting his abundance of it. It felt safe and warm.

A song that can bring on a whole daydream like that is quite something. Hells bells, I even got goose bumps.

This nation was founded on religion, the driving need for people to follow their faith. I can see how such a truly american art form as country music could be the best way to communicate just that. Boy these guys nailed it. Heck, I may even buy my parents the CD.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Oh, you don't understand what patience is. No no no, you don't.

I have earned my sainthood, holding back as much as I have.

That's right, I have been letting my eyebrows grow in.


You may scoff, but it has not been easy walking around in public with shedding caterpillars crawling over my eyes. I mean, wearing my bangs long to hide them also obscures my vision! Think of the danger I have been in!

All so I can have them professionally shaped. Man, if they end up looking the same after I shell out some beaucoup bucks I will be pissed. It is not like I need an exercise in discipline, I have a marathon coming up to do that.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


My brain is awash in thought. I think all that brainstorming broke it. Either that or opened it back up after being shut down for too long.

Do you ever feel like you walk though life and things keep happening that look like big neon lighted arrows pointing THIS WAY? Over the weekend I think I have seen seven of them. It is like being on sensory overload.

Not that this is a bad thing, I like change, challenge, and development. I just have to figure out how to get where all those arrows are pointing. They don't seem like divergent directions, more like landmarks on a trail.

Oh, how vague and mysterious. I'll get more specific when I nail each arrow down.

Friday, May 19, 2006

no idea

From my Word Origin Calendar, this one is sooooo off the wall I just had to share.

  • Dutch hunters originated the practice of using cages hung over water to attract and trap wild waterfowl. The Dutch words for "the cage" are de kooi, which drifted into English in the 1600s as a single word. Eventually, the usage shifted to refer to a more generalized practice of luring game.

  • Huh.

    Oh, and btw, according to the AP American corporate workers spend an average 25% of their work day on the internet. The UK lady quoting this to me seemed shocked, but me....not so much. ;)

    Thursday, May 18, 2006


    So the big forum thingy is over, and let me tell you it was quite a ride.

    Pretty much every minute of every day was planned out for us. We moved from breakfast to meeting to lunch to meeting to orchestrated dinner to sleep. We were assigned a core group and when away from them assigned to other groups to mingle with.

    I met the most amazing people from all over the world, and some pretty terrific ones from here in the states. I now have a place to stay in Hong Kong (score!!) and friends to meet for drinks if I hit the UK or France. It really brought me back to high school and college, where I hung out with all the smart kids. It isn't that I don't feel I belong in the class, I just feel like they care a lot more about getting ahead. They work harder and try harder. For me, it is not so much that I want the brass ring as I just enjoy getting good grades.

    There was lots of free food, and plenty of free booze. Last night after the dinner event I even dragged a group to my favorite dive, Rudy's, and we stayed out until after 2 am. The hangover was pretty horrific today, but fortunately I was able to keep my lunch down for when Marjorie Scardino sat with my table to go over our innovation. Oh, and then right after when John Makinson had a little catch up session with us Penguin folks. Really, I hope the stench of jagermeister coming out of my pores was not too overwhelming for them.

    It probably will take another couple of days for the whole experience to gel for me. Attending something like this really puts you at a point where your head has a tendency to swell. If anything I really don't want to walk away with an over-inflated sense of self importance. So for now I am left not knowing if this was something done to groom me or really to use my knowledge and enthusiasm to squeeze that more much lifeblood out of me.

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006


    I am smack dab in the middle of this corporate forum. All they have us do is brainstorm, then filter down, then brainstorm, then filter down....ALL DAY LONG.

    When we are not ruthlessly running our brains, we are networking with each other. Seems there are about 100 of us from all over the world, and even though our groups don't work together we need greater connectivity. My boss thinks this thing is exciting and great, I actually dream of going back to work. There you get occasional moments of simple thought.

    At least I am getting free meals and booze out of this. That is something. Yay company sponsored alcohol!!

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    random acts

    Watch out for the guerrilla gardeners.

    It seems that this group of people in the London area sneak out at night and plant things. They cultivate public areas, for no purpose but civic pride. They even do “seed bombings” as a quick hit when they don’t have time or cover for a main operation.

    How cool is that?

    And no, I am not interested in starting one here in the city. Albeit I would support them here, I am not quite the green thumb kinda gal.

    Saturday, May 13, 2006

    closer to fine

    Growing up I always felt like an outcast.

    A tomboy amongst girlie girls, an intellectual in a blue-collar town, an atheist raised by devout Catholics. In high school I hung out with the drama club, the uncool honor students, and the non-catholocists in the all girl catholic high school.

    Not so much to be a rebel, as a blind effort to find a place to fit in.

    At one point I realized that I might not fit anywhere, that there was no hole to fit my peg. It happened somewhere around the age of 16 when my cousin Steven introduced me to the Indigo Girls.

    To be honest, the Indigo Girls saved my life more than once. It is more than their harmony and their musicality; there is something in their songs that speak to me. The most important in my youth was this song:


    I'm trying to tell you something about my life
    maybe give me insight between black and white
    and the best thing you've ever done for me
    is to help me take my life less seriously
    it's only life after all

    well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
    and lightness has a call that's hard to hear
    I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
    I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it
    I'm crawling on your shores

    I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
    I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
    there's more than one answer to these questions
    pointing me in a crooked line
    and the less I seek my source for some definitive
    (the less I seek my source)
    the closer I am to fine
    the closer I am to fine

    and I went to see the doctor of philosophy
    with a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
    he never did marry or see a b-grade movie
    he graded my performance, he said he could see through me
    I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind
    got my paper and I was free

    I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
    I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
    there's more than one answer to these questions
    pointing me in a crooked line
    the less I seek my source for some definitive
    (the less I seek my source)
    the closer I am to fine
    the closer I am to fine

    I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
    to seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
    and I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
    twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
    and I went in seeking clarity.

    I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
    I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
    yeah we go to the doctor, we go to the mountains
    we look to the children, we drink from the fountains
    yeah we go to the bible, we go through the workout
    we read up on revival and we stand up for the lookout
    there's more than one answer to these questions
    pointing me in a crooked line
    the less I seek my source for some definitive
    (the less I seek my source)
    the closer I am to fine

    the closer I am to fine
    the closer I am to fine
    ~Indigo Girls, words and music Emily Saliers

    This song has gotten me through more dark parts of my life than any other.

    Tonight it came on while DTH guy and I were breaking up, and I started to tear up. Because for whatever reason, I cannot be normal, and I really wanted to be. Not that DTH guy is normal, just that being in a healthy relationship would be.

    Here I am, remembering not to question, but accept who I am. And then I will be closer to fine.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006


    I just worked until ten o'clock and then walked home. It has been quite a while since I have worked quite that late. Occasionally I get an eight o'clock-er in here or there, but this makes the night extra special.

    Not that I'm complaining. You know if I stayed that late there was something important I was working on, and I was able to finish it. The sense of accomplishment, to me, is worth the overtime. Oh, and the relief that it is done. The sweet, sweet relief.

    And now I am home, listening to some sweet tunes on my super duper awesome imac drinking a cool refreshing gimlet.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    pick me up

    I came in this morning angry.  Last night I was up past two am imagining all the rants I want to have at various people in my life.  You know, the nemesis, the boss, blah blah blah.  This continued as I commuted to work.  Literally I was one of those people walking the streets of New York talking to myself.  Classic.
    The frustration was building, you could see the steam coming out of my ears and my boiling point about to top over.
    Until Ali girl came to see me and tell me her fantabulous news!  (Which if you know her you are just going to have to ask her yourself.)  Needless to say, her news is so wonderful and the enthusiasm so contagious all of the bad mood was alleviated.
    Now that is some good news!!  Yaaaaay!

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006


    For you New Yorkers, if you are looking for a little something to do this Thursday I have a little party for ya. Just promise me you will try some of this or this.

    Did I mention open bar? Oh yeah, makes it all worthwhile...

    (Don't forget to RSVP, and make sure you say that "Erica the All Powerful" sent you.)

    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    net worth

    I'm going to share a little secret with you - I have been broke all of my life.

    Okay, not so secret. If you know me this is not new knowledge. I have never traveled outside of the USA or Canada, and the majority of my continental travel was aided by me being a flight attendant for a year. I never owned a new car, and the car I did had often had all kinds of fun "quirks" like having to roll down the window to open the door or a layer of glass missing from the windshield or having to spray lighter fluid on the air filter cold mornings to start the car praying that it didn't back up and start a fire as it was oft to do. (Nothing like beating down an engine fire on a cold Michigan morning to get that blood pumping!!) My furniture still consists of hand me downs and college level quality. My clothes are Old Navy and Gap.

    This is no one's fault but my own. Granted, according to that book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" some of this is learned behavior. But my choosing to move away from home at twenty, change my career every year or so, and put myself through college and pay tuition for NINE YEARS might have something to do with it. The fact that when moving to new York I refused to live in a borough and kept myself in poverty by paying exorbitant rent just perpetuates my continued self-effacement.

    I have to admit, I wear my destitution like a badge of honor. When I made my first real career change, leaving General Motors and a potential life of comfort being an engineer, I consciously chose an adventurous life over a well moneyed one. About four years ago when my debt reached a level that put me in panic mode because I had started to get all kinds of collection calls and had put my credit in the toilet. I had just let it get out of control, burying my head in the sand. At that time I got smart.

    My time was then spent joining a credit improvement agency, creating a budget, tracking my spending, and really learning where my money had been going in order to figure out what I had to do in order to stop my downward spiral. It was a rough couple of years, but although still in debt at least now I am smart with my money. I pay attention to where it goes, and that is half the battle. For a couple months I didn't go out drinking. I stopped buying breakfast and lunch every day and brown bagged it. I did not clothes shop for a year. Oh, and the big one, I lived and entire two years without ANY credit cards. Only the debt of the closed ones.

    After two years I was back in control, and for the most part my credit became good enough once again to be able to rent an apartment on my own in NYC. Which means something.

    One side effect of my journey was that I have learned how to pay attention to my investments. Mysteriously at one point I realized I had accumulated some money in my 401k. So I started to monitor it, and actually MANAGE my money. Yes, it helped that I couldn't get my greedy little paws on it to spend a cent.

    Today I went online to check the progress of my funds and had a revelation. Due to my careful grooming my little nest egg has accumulated to be more than my current debt.

    Yes, that is correct, today my net worth is not in the red. I am no longer worth negative money!! Okay, turns out it has been that way for a couple months, but I didn't realize it until today. Heck, I am proud of myself.

    Not to get carried away here - after all my goal is to eradicate my debt so that I can completely change my career and take a huge pay cut. But the smart way this time, by living within my means and even continuing to increase my savings. I don't have to be poor; it just took me a while to figure that out.

    Friday, May 05, 2006


    How appropriate, that this is what came up on my word origin calendar.

  • In Latin, the verb tumere means "to swell." From this came the noun tumultus, meaning "a disturbance." In another form, it was tumultarius, a term applied to a troop of soldiers raised in a hurry.

  • Okay, so that is kind of a boring origin. This week has for me has been quite tumultuous regardless. One of those Murphy's Laws kind of weeks, everything just seemed to go wrong. It cultivated yesterday when I had to fire someone.

    Letting an employee go seems to me like a milder form of divorce. At first you meet, feel each other out. Then you make a promise of commitment, and spend time growing in your new relationship. Over time you have your learning curve, bumps in the road, an occasional wrong turn. But if it is meant to be, you grow together and something good is created.

    Then as it ends, there is a sense of denial. Maybe if you try a little harder, maybe you are asking too much of the other person. It seemed to work before, what could have changed?

    Something big then happens, and there has to be a split. Even though it is the best thing to do, it is stressful and you cannot help but feel that somehow you are to blame, that it is your fault. You know that you both will be better off apart, that the status quo is actually at this point detrimental to both parties.

    That is the thing that always amazes me, that besides having to deal with the end of something you have to deal with the guilt of what happens to the other person.

    And the sense that you failed. You mistrust yourself because you picked the wrong person. How can you do better the next time? How do you learn to trust yourself again?

    Thank god for Cinco de Mayo and all the sweet, sweet tequila that flows therewithal.

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006


    Let me expound upon why I have a new nemesis. It is not only because she talks smack behind my back.

    All the back-stabbing put aside, it is that additional flavor of two-facedness that drives me batty. You know she had the nerve today to try and "chat" me up? You know, asking personal questions, interjecting what in her mind is witty banter.

    Dude, it is bad enough you don't have the courtesy to confront me to the face with items you deem as flawed in my work realm, but then trying to act like my best friend and cozy up to me?

    Pure, unadulterated evil.

    I was up for an extra hour last night thinking of ways I could get her fired. Then I realized how silly that was, I should just leave instead. Let her clean up her own mess, I say!

    Gotta work on my resume...

    Monday, May 01, 2006


    I have a new nemesis at work. There is nothing like having someone who should be on your team talk about you behind your back.

    Oh, what can I do to foil her evil plans? What superpower do I already possess?

    For this I have no bright side. Take that!!