30 August 2006

Weather report says no wind this weekend

Bummer. Will write more about what the last two weekends were like...

29 August 2006

Badass Tom Brokaw

I have a mancrush on Tom Brokaw.  I can't help it.  He's admirable.  He was an amazing anchor of the old-school variety -- newspeople that cared about actual journalism, not sensationalism.    My mancrush grew even more when I learned that he, Yvon Chouinard, Rick Ridgeway and Doug Tomkins are all buds.  How cool is that?

Anchor's Away

After two decades in the hot seat of American TV journalism, Tom Brokaw, 64, is stepping down as the anchorman of NBC's Nightly News on December 1. Don't expect to find him sipping piña coladas under an oceanside palapa; he's far more likely to be brewing cowboy coffee over a yak-dung fire. For years, Brokaw has unwound with the Do Boys—a gang of adventure luminaries that includes Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, climber and writer Rick Ridgeway, and environmentalist Doug Tompkins—kayaking in the Russian Far East, trekking across Mongolia, fly-fishing at his Montana ranch, and climbing throughout the West. MICHAEL ROBERTS recently talked to Brokaw about a life in which "breaking news" may simply mean the trout are biting.

OUTSIDE: What are you up to first?
BROKAW: I was thinking of getting a big hog, growing a ponytail, and getting a tattoo. But, uh, I'm probably not going to go that far. I'm heading down to Patagonia with Yvon Chouinard. We've been helpful with the Patagonia Land Trust. They've made some remarkable advances, and I want to see the operation. And Yvon and I always love to fall into a stream and fish and climb a mountain. He's got a peak lined up, but I don't know what it is.

You're just going to trust Chouinard?
No, I never trust him. The trick is to take Rick Ridgeway along—to be my anchor, literally. He once stuck his crampon behind me on a steep piece of ice, just in the nick of time. Yvon wasn't worrying about me.

And after Patagonia?
To New Zealand to fish. Then I'll try and get back to Mongolia with the Do Boys for a kayaking trip on Lake Hovsgol. It's a great lake—ten times larger than Tahoe. You can see down 300 feet, it's so clear. Only about a 100 people live around it.

"I was thinking of getting a big hog, growing a ponytail, and getting a tattoo."

Must be nice to be finally free of theNightly News.
In the past, I've always had to have that shortwave radio to my ear—or the satellite phone. And they all laugh at it. At the end of the day, I'm up on some peak trying to get the BBC World Service to see if we have to call a helicopter to get me out of there. If the world's blowing up, I gotta get back to someplace where I can deal with it.

So you're going to lighten your load?
I'm gonna try going ultralight.

Does that mean you're going to—
Freeze my ass off.

You've always had a passion for both the urban and the wild. How does that work out?
Every time I come over Wolf Point [in Montana], leading down to our ranch, my heart skips a beat. But when I come back to New York in the autumn and come across the Triborough Bridge and see the skyline, my heart skips a beat. That's part of being a complete person.

I imagine all your adventures have served as a restorative tonic to the high-speed life of a newsman.
It puts it all in perspective. Why was I getting so worked up over some episode in Washington or development on the political trail that turned out to be an asterisk in the long course of human events? When you get outthere, into the wilderness, you see all around you the long course of time. It puts you in your place, and that's very useful. Anchormen really need to be put in their place.

27 August 2006

Nesting funk

As I've alluded to, I've been feeling unsettled lately. My apartment is tiny, about 650 square feet which I share with my roommate B and her 9 year old shepherd lab mix, Mocha. The apartment isn't exactly laid out with the utmost efficiency. It's an old prewar building, so there's no concept of open architecture, light, air, space.

B's room is probably actually a den, not a real bedroom. She's managed to squeeze in a full size bed, two standing dressers, and a small nightstand, and that pretty much covers all of her floor space. The only place she can stand is in the center of her room, where she can reach out and touch her bed or either dresser. She doesn't actually have a closet, so has a series of metal shelves and hanging rods built into the wall above her bed. I guess she...lives in her closet.

Since B's room is so small, our living room is an extension of her room in some ways. In addition to her bookshelf and desk, our living room holds a couch, small TV stand, small side table, ugly coffee table, and two plastic storage containers (mine) that doubles as another side table. We manage to find storage where we can -- my sails are currently propped on either side of the bedroom door, and we have random things tucked behind the furniture (blankets, old computers, etc), stuck in the bookshelves, etc. Our storage/linen closet holds cleaning supplies like our vacuum, but also supplements B's closet, storing her luggage and winter coats. We use the space above our kitchen cabinets to store dry goods like TP, paper towels, etc. My kitchen stuff is sitting in the closet of someone else's apartment because there's no room for it in ours.

My room is slightly bigger, being 10' 5.5" x 9'7". There's two full walls of usable space, one wall with my closet and door, and another with two windows, one of which is the fire escape, so there needs to be a clear path from my door to that window. I've managed to squeeze a standing bookshelf, a small rolling filing cabinet, a small desk (about 2' x 2'), a bureau, and a rolling garmet rack in there. The space behind my bureau holds artwork I don't have wall space to hang. The space under my desk is occupied by a plastic filing box. My bed is lofted 14" so I can store documents in file boxes, linens, sporting equipment, skincare products, luggage, photo albums, etc in various boxes under it. My closet holds a trunk, various boxes, high end clothes and clothes that aren't in season, and any available space is stacked with shoes and handbags and more sporting goods. (And, I don't even own that many pairs of shoes.) The garment rack has my day-to-day clothes, which I switch out with stuff from my closet as the seasons change. The bottom portion of the garment rack contains more bags, soft luggage, etc. The wall next to my door is covered with notes to myself, book and restaurant reviews of places that I'd like to check out, and articles I find interesting. The first year I moved into this apartment, I donated about $1,700 worth (based on the Salvation Army's suggested price list) of clothes, shoes, bags and random household goods.

Essentially, I live like a crazy person.

Here is a picture of me.

One day, my landlord's going to walk into my apartment and discovere that I had been trapped in the apartment for weeks, crushed under boxes that B and I have been living around, and the only way I managed to stay alive was by eating random packets of ketchup I found under my couch.

So, I'm trying to decide what to do about this feeling that I don't live in a real home, that I feel constantly cluttered. Should I suck it up, hold out, and wait for the feeling to pass? Should I hold out for the day I can afford to buy my own place and do nothing? Should I rent a storage space, get rid of my broken down furniture, and drop some dime on real furniture? Would it be worth buying furniture if I don't know where I'll be living in a year's time?

Help. Suggestions would be nice before I start owning lots of cats and stocking up on old newspapers.

25 August 2006

If it ain't broken, why fix it?

Ok, let me just bitch for a quick moment...

I was checking my myspace account, and I saw a banner. I've probably seen this banner a million times, but never truly paid attention. It's right over the login area of myspace. I wish I had the foresight to save a picture of the banner so I could post it.

It was a picture of a cut man taking off a tank top, and over it were the words:

I kid you not.

I couldn't tell if it was a joke or not, so like a moth drawn to flame, I clicked on it. It took me to www.wealthymen.com. It was like watching an accident -- I had to see who would actually sign up on this website, and it wouldn't let me browse the postings without being signed up, so I signed up with a random user name and my spam email address.

Oh. My. God. Were these people serious?

The website contained people who wanted to hook up with rich people -- rich old dudes looking for young chicks, gay men looking for rich lovers, and people who wanted to be around rich people so they could get stuff. Interestingly enough, the wealthy men I saw on the website always described their ideal woman as someone who was smart/intelligent, grounded/low maintenance, beautiful/hot/sexy, and needed to be open-minded about sex. No matter how they phrased their description of their ideal woman, those were they key attributes.

Ok, let's be honest here. Those guys don't care if a woman is smart or low maintenance. They say that because that's the "nice guy" thing to do -- politically correct. If a guy's looking for a smart low maintenance woman, he doesn't exactly post a personal on

You know, I always had more respect for the panhandler holding a sign that reads, "Need money for beer" than for the obviously inebriated hustler on the street holding a sign that reads "Need money for food and shelter." At least the former is honest. Try following a hustler after he's got $20 and see if he walks into the nearest grocery store or liquor store. Life on the street is rough, and it's easier to handle while drunk or high than sober and on a full stomach.

Anyway, I digress.

My point is, the first two characteristics are obviously not important, so why lie? Instead of hiding behind polite, socially acceptable language, the personals might as well have read, "My ideal woman needs to be 20 years younger than me, smokingly hot, and want to sleep with me, because I'm rich and career successful. If I'm going to spend money on you, you better sleep with me and be good at sex. Thanks."

(By the way, career successful should not be confused with actual success. As anyone with a head on his shoulders knows, money or job title does not happiness or success make.)

It got me thinking though... I mean, I'm certain there are plenty of wealthy single women out there. Is there a corresponding sister website called WealthyWomen.com? Nope, no such luck.

So, I Googled "wealthy women dating site" and found a million dating and matchmaking services offering to match single women with wealthy men. There were tons of links to Russian Brides and hot/sexy/fill-in-any-arbitrary-porn-adjective Russian and Ukrainian girls.

Hmm, not what I'm looking for.

Then, jackpot: www.sugardaddies.com.

Now, I know what you're thinking - this still about wealthy men and single women and not vice versa. It's not.

There are two options: the user can be a Sugar Daddie [sic] or a Sugar Mommie. And, as someone browsing for a wealthy person, you can be a male or female Sugar Babe.

Finally, a website that doesn't just assume that all women want be taken care of by a rich man, but that some men may want to be taken care of by a rich woman. How refreshing.

But, bear with me here and let me take a step back and read what the intro page to the website says. The motto is "Where the classy, attractive, and affluent can meet." It then goes on to imply that millionaires, CEOs, Doctors, Lawyers, Models, Benefactors, etc. use this service.

I wanted to see proof of their claims, so I went to the testimonials page. The first testimonial read:

I just wanted to say thanks for your site. Although IÂ’m by no means wealthy ($120k a year) I was able to find on your site an amazing, beautiful, kind, bright and tolerant woman who is 14 years younger. We have been together for about 10 months. We just learned a couple of weeks ago that we are going to have a baby! We already have a puppy and are forming a family. I even bought a 4 door car! We couldnÂ’t be more thrilled. Anyway, Thanks again.

The cynical part of me couldn't help but wonder, when he wrote, "We just learned a couple of weeks ago" was it an accidental, surprise pregnancy? And, I'll not even bother to discuss the "14 years younger" and being "together for about 10 months" parts, because it's self-evident what's wrong with those statements. Poor kid.

Well, at least they've found true love. Good for them.

All this got me thinking...you know, things haven't changed that much. Women still look to security (or material goods). A lot of women still think the only way to make it is to marry rich, and maybe that's the way most women make it. Or, at least it's the easiest way for women to make it. If it's worked for thousands of years, why change it?

Except that just because its tried and true or has "worked" for thousands of years doesn't mean it shouldn't be changed. It's like the difference between blood letting to get rid of an infection and taking antibiotics. Sure, people were blood letting for thousands of years to varying degrees of success, but antibiotics work better.

For every girl who meets a sincere, nice, genuine and wealthy man willing to provide for her, there are many other girls who will never have the opportunity discover their own strengths, resourcefulness, or potential because they're waiting for Prince Charming to come sweep them off their feet and rescue them like Richard Gere did to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. And, in their search for a rich man who'll want to take care of them, they'll meet plenty of men who will try to take advantage of them, exploit them, and use them. They may never meet Prince Charming, but they'll have sold their souls, their goals, their selfworth, and innocence for a Gucci bag. It seems like it could be a sad use of a life.

Also, I found it interesting that there just aren't as many dating services for single men looking for wealthy women. It makes me wonder if men feel insecure in a relationship when women make more than they do, and if so, why. I've a few dating horror stories, and there have been times when I've been on a few dates with someone, and once he finds out where I work, he immediately assumes things about my paycheck and lifestyle. Or, all he wants to do is talk about my job or how much money I make, how much my things cost, etc. Things usually break down from there.

I have to admit, despite my determination not to "settle," I get discouraged. I have to remind myself that I don't want to date anyone that is obsessed or insecure that I might make more than they do.

I have a crush!

I think I might be on the way to being in love.

I'll definitely admit that I am obsessed.

I mean, look at it.

What's not to love about this sailboard?

It is so utterly hot.

It's supposed to be extremely easy and fun to sail.

It's just beautiful.

And expensive.
So very very expensive.

I'm looking for an used older model.

24 August 2006

Rhode Island

Island Sports just called to say my roofrack and quiver bag aren't in yet. Guess it's not worth making the drive all the way to Newport.

It's unfortunate, as I was looking forward to the roofrack and bag so I don't have to make the choice between friends and equipment when I go sailing.

Here's a picture of my car, the Puny Pony. It's the little one on the very right. [Picture removed for the Pony's protection.]

I took this picture almost two years ago - the City of New York issued me a parking ticket for something like $80 (I can't remember the exactly amount) because I was diagonally parked in an area of the street that did not have a sign that said I was allowed to do so

It was both confusing and annoying because, in case you can't tell, all the other cars to my car's right were diagonally parked, and no one else received a ticket.

I took this picture and sent it in with my contested ticket, and the judge lowered the ticket amount that I owed to something like $65 (I think) but ruled that I was still in violation because there was no sign saying diagonal parking is allowed.

To this day, I'm still confused and annoyed about it.

Almost as annoyed as the time I was ticketed $80 something for not paying the meter while parked there. Except that I was parked there on a Sunday and the sign next to the meter said 1 hour meter parking except on Sundays. When I contested the ticket, the judge ruled that I was in violation of metered parking and that I had to pay an additional $15-20 (again, I can't remember) on top of my initial ticket cost for contesting the ticket.

The parking ticket system is a total scam here, and a major source of revenue for the City.

23 August 2006

In the "Program"

I'm sorry, I've been absolutely remiss in my finger exercises lately (as some of you have reminded me). Life has been crazed lately. Oh, when I say life, I actually mean work, which just goes to show how much of a life I have.

I want to share some news: My managers recently announced that they pulled some strings, and I'm now part of the "Program," Class of 2006!

(Ok, for the communists/socialists out there who have told me that I'm on the path to becoming an oppressor, this will probably cement that belief. Just know that I'm not oppressing anyone. Honest, I'm just a pawn!)

To provide a little context, each year a list of participants in the "Program" are distributed firmwide -- it's a way of announcing promotions and of welcoming recent business school grads to the firm. It's competitive.

When I accepted my current job, I was told I was ineligible for a promotion because I ranked in the third to bottom quartile compared to my peers and my group at the time didn't want to put me up for promotion. In many ways, taking my current job was risky; it was looked down on as an operational job, and I would be a junior man on the team again. Also, my peers were getting promoted, but I would have to repeat another year.

But, what did I care? I sucked at my job, hated going to work, and my boss was an assface. I had 80% of a mind to take my bonus, travel for 3 months, learn to surf, windsurf, learn to paint, temp, work at starbucks...something... Then, I met with my now managers, ADubya and Marj, and had a great feeling about them. The responsible 20% of me convinced me to stick around and try it out. After all, there is nothing wrong with changing my mind down the road and leaving if things didn't work out. It's part of the human condition -- sometimes a blessing, sometimes a curse. Anyway, I rationalized it by telling myself having a steady paycheck meant more travel and windsurfing.

The cool thing was, even though I was ineligible for a promotion until a year into my new job, ADubya and Marj promoted me six months in. It was half a year after my peers had already been promoted, but to echo the fabulous Mr Ed, the horse that's more than just a horse, a promotion is a promotion is a promotion (unless it's Mr Ed's promotion). And, I wasn't going to complain about the slight bump in my paycheck either. But, the real effect it had was how good it felt to do something I was halfway decent at and liked (most of the time). I really like my team, working for and with people who believe in me and have no problems providing incentives so I would continue to stay encouraged and motivated.

When I was promoted, I was told that I was ineligible for the "Program." It probably had to do with my poor reviews from my old job, the fact I was supposed to be ineligible for a promotion, and also because I wasn't part of the normal hiring cycle which started in August. Either way, ADubya and Marj told me that the most they could do was the promotion, but I wouldn't be part of the program and shouldn't sweat it.

So, imagine my surprise when I got an email from HR welcoming me into the program for this year's new class! ADubya and Marj thought this would be something I'd want, and they told me that this was their way of keeping me encouraged and motivated.

They sure do know when to throw a dog a bone -- I've been so overworked lately that I've been saying things like, "Are you there God? It's Me, Margaret."

Just kidding.

Here's a picture of me at work.

During really stressful (aka annoying) moments at work, these are the pleasant thoughts that run through my mind:

"What the fuck am I doing here?!?!"
"I could be doing something else right now. Something more fun."
"I could be in Hawaii!"
"I could be getting more sleep!"
"I could be outside!"
"I don't get paid enough to put up with this crap."
"I better get paid this year, or I'm leaving."
"I hate everyone."
"I'm not answering that call."
"Why am I getting this email?"

And the list goes on and on.

Also, my living situation's been wearing on me lately. I've been feeling the urge to live somewhere with a sense of permanency. You know, paint the walls, hang paintings, put up shelves, buy and mount a flat panel tv, own real furniture / dishes / nice pots and pans (instead other people's cast-offs and my post-college Ikea furniture), have a washer-dryer in my apt, and a small home office separate from my room with a real desk, drawers, shelves, filing cabinets, etc.

Yes, in case you thought you misread, I actually said FILING CABINETS. It's a testament to how boring my life has become (or, how little space I have in my apartment) that I dream of a day when I can live somewhere where I have room for filing cabinets. Ridicule me all you want, but when I get my filing cabinets, I'll be more organized than you. So there.

Ok, I think what started this was the whole laundry situation, which totally blows. And, I wouldn't let the lack of small home office be a dealbreaker. I mean, a home with a den is baller, and deep down inside, I'm just a simple South Carolina country girl, so I'd be happy with a home without one.

I've been looking at 2BR, 2BAs in Queens and B'lyn (as I fully expect Bren to move with me if I go and she's still living here) but, in case any of you have been looking in the area lately, the real estate situation is out of control. So, I keep squirreling money away (by squirreling, I mean buying windsurfing gear) and hoping for a day when I can unpack all my boxes and hang my paintings and finally buy that flat screen 42 inch plasma tv and some filing cabinets.

18 August 2006

Lockamy and the movies

Lockamy's last day of work was on Wednesday. Either she's extremely mature for her age or I'm immature (I prefer to think the former), but she was a great person to sit next to so she'll be missed. I normally don't warm up the strangers at the workplace the way I did to her. Obviously, she feels the same way. Can't you tell by the expression she gets on her face when she talks to me?

She heads back to school next week, so I wanted to hang out before she left. She, one of her friends from high school, her two sisters and I went to see "Superman Returns in 3D" at the IMAX theatre in Lincoln Center. Her sisters are very sweet and smart -- fabulously precocious characters. And Lockamy is a very caring older sister. It was great to see the three of them together.

We got out late, and on the way home, Lockamy's youngest sister half fell asleep on the train. Guess old people wear out kids too.

As to what I thought of Superman Returns, laugh all you want, but I'll own up. Brandon Routh as Superman is kinda hot. The weird thing is, I don't think Brandon Routh the actor/person is hot. I think he's very handsome, but he's too pretty, too perfect, which makes him...kinda funny looking. Plastic.

Ok, look at it this way: If Anne Hathaway and Michael Imperioli had a love child, it would look like Brandon Routh. Just think about it for a second before you shoot the idea down...

Don't tell me you can't see it...

As Superman, however, he was super sexy. But, what I think I probably found sexy about him was the idea of a person like Superman (without the super powers). A guy who's smart, strong, has a lot of integrity, is loyal, honest, lives a lifetime of service, and is willing to sacrifice himself to protect those who can't protect themselves... Dude, that is hot. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to have smokin' blue eyes like Routh has in the movie. Although, I thought the Clark Kent character was a little cuter than Superman because the sexuality wasn't as blatant, and that in itself is kind of hot.

17 August 2006

Skidrow is one of the "new Ivys"

according to August 28th's Newsweek.

It's appropriately mentioned in the same issue that has TERROR NOW on the cover. When "terror" strikes, we all respond differently. Newsweek ranks schools.

16 August 2006

G responds to Saturday night dinner and a movie

"U wrote all that??? How do u have the time?

And “Half Nelson” was a documentary!!! :-) and in this case I lost precious time watching it … maybe not brain cells, but time is precious!!! I could have gotten a salt scrub and make myself feel good :-)"

Patagonia Summer Sale

Check out the website. I love their capilene undies. They are so comfy and flattering.

Fran-o, I'm sending you a rashguard.

14 August 2006

Saturday night dinner and a movie

G. and I did dinner and a movie on Saturday night. It was good to get caught up. We haven't seen each other in ages. We talked normal stuff: diet, training, windsurfing, weight, muscle mass. Yeah, when you talk with G, that's pretty much normal talk. An insult for him goes something along the lines of, "Oh my god, she is so not hot. I bet her body fat is over 30%." I'm absolutely serious.

He's bulked up a lot the past few months and is now focused on his upper arms, since they've been slower to build muscle than the rest of him. When he describes it to me, I picture a huge T-Rex with tiny skinny sticks for arms. In reality, his arms look fine. Just like normal people arms. Frankly, I think he's huge and might start to look ridiculous if he gets any bigger; he has the natural build of someone long and lean. But hey, whatever makes him happy. I guess all bodybuilders start out somewhere. As KR describes it, it's like he has reverse anorexia. Irregardless (to borrow a word from George Dubya), he gets laid a lot more than most people, so I don't think he cares what people say about his body. Oh, I forgot to mention: he's a playa.

Dinner was G's choice: Breadbar at Tabla. Fusion Indian food -- something new for me. We started with the Tandoori Flank Steak, Rosemary Naan, and a selection of peach, tamarind, and (the obligatory) mint chutnies. After all, what's Indian food without mint chutney? While the food was solid, there was nothing particularly outstanding. The beef was dry and would have been better served spicier and rarer. The naan and chutneys were good, but not worth returning to Bread Bar for. Anyway, try eating naan with a body fat conscious, anti-carb workout freak who watches your carb intake like a hawk and admonishes you to eat more protein and less bread every time you take a bite and see if you really enjoy the experience. Right.

For our large plates, we shared the Bread Bar Chicken Tikka and Pulled Lamp and Mustard-Mashed Potato Naanini. The only think unique about the Chicken Tikka at Bread Bar was the quality of the chicken; better than most Indian restaurants in New York (white meat, boneless, all natural chicken). However, Chicken Tikka is Chicken Tikka no matter who you are, where you are, or the adjective or noun that precedes the name, so no suprises there. The Pulled Lamb and Mustard-Mashed Potato Naanini, however, was a pleasant treat. It's the only thing we tried on the menu that night that I'd recommend -- tender marinated lamb sandwiched between layers of mustard-fragrant mashed potatoes and wrapped in naan bread. It was the Indian fusion take on shepherd's pie, or the equivalent of Taco Bell's quesadilla wrapped in a taco wrapped in a chaco wrapped in a chalupa wrapped in tortilla wrapped in your grandma's blueberry pie.

Total bill for two: $92.00 + tip
Food: good but not spectacular. not worth the price
Service: excellent

After dinner, we cabbed it over to the Angelika to watch Half Nelson. To give some context,G. and I had a conversation about which movie we wanted to watch earlier that day. It was an epic struggle:

"So, after dinner, wanna watch a movie, bebe? I really wanna see 'Step Up'," G says in his Eastern European accent. He's Macedonian.

"Maybe. There are a couple of movies I'd like to see. How about 'An Inconvenient Truth'?" I'm not sure I want to watch a movie. Do I want to sit in one place for an hour and a half or more?

"No! None of that hippie, non-profit, documentary crap you're into." This sounds much more polite when it's coming from an European. Or, trendier at least.

"Ok...well, how about 'John Tucker Must Die,' 'Miami Vice,' 'The Devil Wears Prada,' 'Pirates of the Caribbean..." I'm trying to find some middle ground here. G. will be the first to admit he is extremely shallow, but at least he's hot (as he constantly reminds everyone), so it doesn't matter.

"Uh, I've been unemployed for the past three months. I've seen those already." Rat bastard goes my inside voice. Let me explain: G. used to work for a hedge fund. Then, he got a better offer to go work for another hedge fund except that he had a non-compete, so he had to wait 3 months before he could join his new firm. 3 months where he was paid not to work. 3 months where everyone had to hear him talk about how bored he was because he had nothing to do during the day. Yeah, that's right.

"Instead of those movies, why don't we go see 'Step Up'." When hell freezes over.

My foot goes down. "No. That movie is the same movie as every other dance movie. Two people from opposite sides of the figurative race/social/economic tracks find common ground in dance, they end up falling in love against all odds be it parents, friends, social status, etc. It's always the same movie. I'm not paying $10 to watch that movie. It's a waste of money, and it'll be out on cable in a week." Rational arguments first...

"What are you talking about?!?! The movie got good reviews! What's better than two hot people dancing?" He's lying. I read the review on CNN that morning, and it was mediocre.

"No, if I watch it, I'll lose brain cells and end up stupider than I already am. Let's find something that we both agree on." If I watched that movie, I was going to walk out of the theatre severely retarded. Movies like that should come with surgeon general warnings.

"Ok, how about 'Step Up'?" I roll my eyes.

"I can watch 'Little Miss Sunshine,' 'Another Gay Movie' (yes, it's really a movie), or 'Half Nelson.' 'Half Nelson' just came out and it sounds really good."

"What's 'Another Gay Movie'?" He looks it up. "What else is playing at that theatre? Maybe we can go see 'Step Up'... OH MY GOD, I think there is gay porn playing at that same theatre! We are not going there to watch that movie. Someone might hit on me!" Ok, I live in a gay neighborhood, but it's not really an issue for me. "How about "Step Up' instead?"

I stay silent.

Then, "I think I read in Men's Health that the Half Nelson is a sexual position. That might be interesting..."

"Um...G? I don't think that's what the movie's about. Why don't you read the review? It's about a drug addict."

"Ok, let's do that one, because I don't really want to watch 'Little Miss Sunshine'." Deal.

I thought "Half Nelson" was fairly good. Ryan Gosling does a decent job playing a bleeding heart liberal who can't cope with reality. G. absolutely hated it. He is now accusing me of taking him to a documentary.

Next time, he's picking the movie. I can only hope that it's not a lame-ass dance movie.

SPOILER AHEAD. Don't read on if you don't want to know plot details.

Ryan Gosling does a decent job playing a bleeding heart liberal who can't cope with reality. Reality being that his parents are still stuck in a past life when they were war protesting hippies and don't realize that they have a drinking problem. They're so self-absorbed they're blind to the problems of their children. Reality being that he has an addiction but thinks that it's not an addiction or a problem and that he can handle it by doing enough crack to get by. Reality being that the world can be a cold, uncaring, unfair place, things don't always make sense, that people deal. He can't. By day, he's an underpaid, unconventional teacher that inspires inner city middle school students to think outside the box. At night, he's a basehead. He tells everyone that'll listen, "the kids are the only thing keeping me sane." At one point, he talks about rehab programs, claiming "the program works for some people," but it doesn't work for everyone. It doesn't work for him, but he's got it under control. He manages in other ways and does enough just to "get by." It becomes evident as the movie progresses that he has nothing under control. Every time he can't deal, he turns to crack, alcohol, and anything that's readily available. It's interesting to watch the struggle between his ideals and his addiction.

12 August 2006

Exhausted by clean clothes

Laundry in my building can hardly be called laundry. To give you a better understanding of what I'm talking about, first know that my building has six floors with 6 units per floor. We have 3 washers and 2 dryers from the 1970s in the basement. Usually some combination of the 5 machines isn't working. Ok, you do the math.

Since there are so few working machines, doing laundry can be an adventure. I like washing clothes late Friday nights, around or after midnight; by then, everyone has either left town for the weekend or gone out for the night. I started laundry last Friday around 12:30, and to my surprise, two washers and both dryers were in use. I take the last washer, but realize it's broken when I return 30 minutes later and my clothes are still sopping wet. I can't tell if the machine actually washed my clothes or not and the other washers were now free, so I rewash everything.

At 1:30, I return to find that both dryers were still in use. I open one of the dryers and check the clothes -- as I suspected, the dryers are broken. They are only blowing cold air. No wonder the dryer's been running for hours at this point.

I give up. I take my wet clothes up to my apartment where I proceed to hang them off every available surfance. On doors, on hangers, on my drying rack, on the radiators... I turn on the A/C and go to sleep. It's 3am. Laundry can be exhausting.

If women ruled the world

I'm going through my Hawaii pictures right now, and I just came across a picture from when J. and I went to Jamaica in June. We swam with sting rays.

The ray I'm holding is female. The males are smaller - a largish male is about half the size of the ray I'm holding. Which makes me wonder:

In nature, it seems that females are usually stronger, larger and dominant. But, when it comes to humans and what we value in western society, the ideal woman is smaller and more submissive than her male counterpart. Do we have it backwards? Should women be the ones to rule the roost?

I know it exists. Some native american tribes were matriarchal. And, have you seen a traditional asian family? Grandma bosses everyone around.

So, do we have it wrong? After all, I'm sure you've heard "If women ruled the world, we would have no wars." But, is it true? Certain events run through my mind -- the Crusades, Jihad, and American Oil Wars... What would the world be like if women ran it?

11 August 2006

Undercover Kitten

Story from the AP:

"Fred was a rescued stray when he was enlisted by law enforcers in February. He posed as a would-be patient to help police nab a man pretending to be a veterinarian.
He got his due at a press conference, where he sported a tiny badge on his collar."

Fran-o, I thought of you...

Fat kid at heart

That's how Lockamy describes me and my eating habit.

So far today:
6 egg whites
1 container fage yogurt
7 strawberries
7 pieces of bacon
2 servings of Honey Nut Cheerios
2 servings of shrimp stir fry (snowpeas, water chestnuts, carrots, bok choy)
3 chocolate chip cookies. I was feeling generous, so I gave my fourth one to ADubya
1 shortbread cookie with jam in the middle

I guess I like to eat.

ADubya says

"...she is so anal and doesn't have enough to do, so she sits around and thinks up ways to be more anal..."

Come to think of it, I know people like that.

Wise words, ADubya.

09 August 2006

Come hither, said the spider

I lied

Yesterday was not a typical day. I worked until 3am, overslept my 6am alarm and was an hour late to work. I am so tired, I cancelled on Dave and think I'm going to bypass the gym.

My carbon masts made it!


08 August 2006

Nothing of importance

A day in the life...
  • 6:15 Bad hair and shoe dilemma. Is it ok to wear camel colored shoes with a black and grey pinstripe suit? I am not good at this matching game. Why is my hair so frizzy? Oooo, I like how the dry cleaner starched my suit; it feels nice.
  • 7:20 Arrive at work
  • 8:00 Breakfast meeting with clients. Brought intern and a large coffee.
  • 9:00 Meet with intern to answer questions. Have bfast now that client meeting is over.
  • 10:00 Conference call
  • 11:15 Conference call
  • 12:30 Respond to emails, vmails, and action requests. Answer random questions usually directed at manager, as she's in meetings all day.
  • 2:00 Quick lunch of odd bits of chicken, beef, rice, and broccoli rabe (I hate broccoli rabe) from the office cafeteria buffet. Pig slop. Respond to emails, vmails, and follow up on outstanding items. Manager still in meetings. She resurfaces every 15 minutes on the hour.
  • 3:00 Hungry. Have cup of tea and Hershey's Almond Bar.
  • 3:45 Conference call. Continue to respond to email while on call. Need to pee. Ask Lockamy to listen on the call while I run to the bathroom. Ah, much better.
  • 4:45 Hungry. Another Hershey's Almond Bar.
  • 5:30 Conference call. Continue to action requests while on call. Am asked a question, but have not been paying attention so have no idea what the question is.
  • 6:30 Respond to more emails, vmails, and review client issues/outstanding items. Hungry. Scrounge in drawer to find a half eaten protein bar. Eat that too.
  • 7:30 Oh shit, pilates tonight! Leave office in a flurry.
  • 8:00 Pilates. So relaxing.
  • 9:30 Home. Cook dinner (shrimp stirfry) while checking email and balancing checkbook. Decide to have jello with whipped cream instead. Dinner into the fridge for tomorrow.
  • 10:20 Off to the gym for a quick run. Watch the Flavor of Love over 2 miles. Flav, you better watch out. Them gold diggers just want you for your big clock! I said clock, pervert.
  • 10:45 Stretch while listening to 50 cent and...Journey??? Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world. She took the midnight train going anywhere. Just a city boy born and raised in South Detroit. He took the midnight train going anywhere...Don't stop believing...
  • 11:10 On the way home: Why do certain phrases state the obvious? "I hate to be the bearer of bad news." Who doesn't? I'd like to meet someone who says, "I love being the bearer of bad news." What about "figuratively or literally speaking?" "I literally weigh a million pounds." Are they being figurative? I've never met someone who weighed a million pounds. Is that physically possible? I am confused.
  • 11:12 Pet neighbor's cat.
  • 11:15 Shower. Yes, I do this occasionally. No, I do not always smell of sunblock.
  • 12:00 Check email. Log in to do some work.
  • 1:30 Housekeeper coming tomorrow, so put things away. Watch TV. Hungry.
  • 2:00 Off to bed for same groundhog day tomorrow.

Worm of a kind

I know this sounds gross, but... Dude, this is way cool. I want me some of these worms.

07 August 2006

The D & B report just in

According to Kevin:

"at the end of the night, we were up to 7000 tickets. and some random guy gave us 30 bucks worth of coins because [one of my friends] had a redsox hat on. it was pretty amazing."

You know what's pretty amazing? Two things:

1. Go Red Sox. (No, I am not being facetious. I am, however, sad b/c Johnny Damon is no longer with the Sox. I liked the mountain man/missing link look.)

2. At the rate of 7,000 tickets per visit, Kevin needs to go back to Dicks & Balls 10 more times before he can get the mini scooter. Just 10 more birthdays to go, Kev. Only 10 more...


I wish I knew something about cars. I'd do the Mongol Rally in a heartbeat. It sounds fun.

I know I only spent two weeks one summer there, but there's something about Mongolia that just sticks with you. Maybe it's the vast flatness, dark nights, and bright blue skies of the Gobi. Perhaps it's the breeze that carries with it the scent and taste of everything it's touched for thousands of miles, the knowledge that the same wind has been passing through for hundreds of years. Or, it could be the absence of human commotion, the harsh beauty of the land, the realization that it's just you, the occasional camel or horse. Silence.

Whatever it is, it's a relic of another time, of a place where one dreamt of greatness and its beyond, thymos ruled by might and cunning, and conquerors were forged. Chingiz Khan managed to accomplish a feat by even modern western standards.

Mongolia has a different place in modern westernized civilization. Its past is no longer of our world. But, I remember it always. Sometimes, I dream of it in my sleep.

06 August 2006

Early onset alzheimers

Check out Mindhacks.

Girls, now it's ok to be single in the city

Don't worry. Just remember when all else fails, there's always the The Rejection Line. Leave a message.

Chelsea Peretti, one of the creators of the Rejection Line, also brought us Black People Love Us. Check out the Your Letters section.

Skull scarves are cute

It would have never occured to me, but I saw one at a boutique in Honolulu. It was adorable, and now I'm kicking myself for not bringing it back to NY.

Alexander McQueen has a gorgeous XL silk scarf that comes in a multitude of color combinations and retails for about $450, but with Pirates of the Caribbean and the recent punk luxe trend, good luck trying to find one in a store. A quick eBay search indicates bids at $600.

A less expensive scarf is the slightly smaller Tiffany Alana silk chiffon version, which retails for around $50. It would make a super cute headband.

Send me an email or post a comment if you come across and white and navy skull scarf.

Christian Louboutin

Are out for the fall. These wedges are super cute. They look like they'd be comfortable enough to wear to work and also out and about.

Hawaii pictures are coming soon

I promise. I'll try and do them tomorrow morning.

Is this irony?

Kevin -- one of the funniest guys I know -- had his bday party at Dave and Buster's tonight. And yes, I'll own up. I was there.

No, I'm not kidding. I really was there.

Do I think it's a little funny that the funniest guy I know had his bday at Dicks and Balls? Uh, yeah.

Most of his guests gave him their tickets -- I think he's pretty close to being able to get the mini-scooter for 65,000. I'm sure he can't wait.

05 August 2006

I'm not Dorothy, so stop calling me!

For over a year, I've been getting messages from a 310 area code number for Dorothy. They weren't just occasional voicemails that said, "Hi, haven't heard from you in a while. Hope all is well." They were voicemails that gave me the impression that 310 lady saw Dorothy on a regular basis.

It started off relatively straightforward,
"Hi Dorothy, I'm so glad you just moved here. Give me a call when you have a chance and let's get together."

Then, on a weekly basis:

"Hi Dorothy, I just got back to my apartment and am on my way to meet you. I'll see you in a few minutes."

"Dorothy, I got your message. I'm going to try you at the other phone number."

"Dorothy, I'm going to be a few minutes late. See you soon."

Since they were voicemails, I just deleted them but did nothing. I did wonder, however, why Dorothy and 310 lady never once had a "did-you-get-my-message" conversation. It would have been very clear at the point that, Dorothy did not get the message because 310 lady doesn't have Dorothy's cell number.

Lucky for me, 310 lady called on Thursday afternoon and I picked up. The conversation went like this:


"No! I'm not Dorothy, but I'm so glad you called!"
Maybe I scared her. I was really excited to hear from her.

"Dorothy?" Or, maybe I just confused her. She doesn't seem particularly bright.

"No, this isn't Dorothy's phone number. You've been calling my phone for the past year, leaving messages for Dorothy, but this isn't Dorothy's phone number. I've been getting those messages. Could you please stop calling me?" I hope she never calls me again.

"Uh, oh... Okay. Bye." Yessss!

Two minutes later, 310 lady calls again and almost immediately hangs up. I was so excited. No more messages for Dorothy! Until this morning (I'm still on Saturday), when 310 lady calls again.


"No, this isn't Dorothy. Please stop calling me!"

She hangs up on me. This time, I call her back and leave her a voicemail, "Hi, this is 917-xxx-xxxx. For the past year, you've been leaving voice messages for Dorothy at this number. I'm so glad that we spoke in person the other day, because I just wanted to let you know that this is not Dorothy's cell phone. I don't know Dorothy, and I don't know her cell phone number, but could you please delete my number from your phone and find out from Dorothy what her real cell number is the next time you see her. Thanks!"

Ah, nothing like a good day's work.

04 August 2006

The problem with chocolate

The problem with chocolate is that once you start...it's hard to stop.

According to The Exploratorium Magazine:

researchers at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, California [...] believe that 'chocolate contains pharmacologically active substances that have the same effect on the brain as marijuana, and that these chemicals may be responsible for certain drug-induced psychoses associated with chocolate craving.'

Ah, that explains so much.

03 August 2006

Lockamy thinks I'm crazy

I haven't been to the gym in days, and when I don't exercise, my energy levels get really low. To counter that, I eat crap, which in turn makes me more tired. As a result, I'm even less motivated to work out. It becomes a nasty downward spiral.

Today, I'm craving coffee and chocolate (having given up smoking). Lockamy suggested that I use my lunch break to hit the gym. Um...what lunch break? She's of the misguided belief that all employees are entitled to an hour lunch break and two 15 minute breaks during the day. Sure, it looks good on paper...but who actually does that? Everyone on the team works while eating lunch. If I started taking an hour off the desk every day, I'm sure it'd come up in my review and affect my comp, not to mention the hostility I'd receive from the rest of the team. I'd probably be asked to leave the firm.

But, to give Lockamy credit, I'd probably be a happier person if I could work out mid day. Healthier too. OK, I admit it. I'd be happier and healthier if I could leave early enough to hit the gym, eat dinner, and still get 6-7 hours of sleep. Right now, I'm averaging about 4-5 hours a night.

For the record, Lockamy is CRAZY. Take an hour lunch break? Pshaw!