31 January 2009

The fire department came over tonight

It was embarrassing.

I was about to go to sleep, and my carbon monoxide alarm went off. I opened a window and called 311 since I figured the City ought to send someone to check if the building is emitting odorless toxic gasses.

311 transferred me to 911, 911 transferred me to the fire department (literally two blocks away from my apartment). I told the fire department it probably wasn't a big deal, but my CO alarm was going off.

They told me they'd send someone to come look at it. That was an understatement. They sent a fire truck with ladders and stuff. I heard its sirens from a block away. The truck pulled up to my building with horns and sirens a-blazing. I heard the clomp clomp of firement in their fire paraphenilia coming up four flights of stairs and met them at my apartment door.

They checked my apartment for carbon monoxide (no danger) and concluded the alarm was old and I should replace it. I was embarrassed and apologized for having troubled them.

28 January 2009

"I want to go to there."

One of Liz Lemon's best lines yet!

I can't embed the video, but click here to see it.

22 January 2009

She said WHAT?

"You seemed depressed and half comatose."

I went to see my chiropractor today. I like her a lot; she's a really great lady. This is how our conversation went down before she cracked my neck.

Chiropractor: "How are you doing?"

Me: "Pretty good. I think this unemployment thing has been good for me. I make time to do things now -- I cook, read, see friends. I don't overschedule myself. I finally get enough sleep. I like this not working thing. I'm not a big fan of the no money thing though."

Chiropractor: "At first, when you told me you had been laid off, I was worried about you. You seemed depressed and half comatose, but now I realize that's just you when you're relaxed."

15 January 2009

Damn, it's cold out

Here are some pictures of animals enjoying the cold weather in Europe and zoo animals trying to cool down in Australia.

see more pictures

I especially like the picture of the family of otters that try to go swimming in a frozen lake. :-)

Can you see what I can see?

I couldn't.

Now, you try it. Watch the video and follow the instructions. Tell me the results when you're done.

I was sent the video, which then led me to this article on ForgetoMori. He has an interesting website, so I'll probably go back and read it regularly. :-)

You know?

In Ben McGrath's Eliza Dolittle column:

In 2001, shortly after being sworn into the Senate, Hillary Clinton gave a press conference to address questions related to her husband’s Presidential pardons. The Times observed that she used the word “disappointed” ten times, in reference to her brother, Hugh Rodham, who had accepted four hundred thousand dollars to lobby on behalf of a couple of criminals. (One was pardoned, and the other got out of jail early.)

Robin Lakoff, a professor of linguistics at Berkeley...was struck by the recurrence of something else: the phrase “you know,” which in her line of work is recognized as a “discourse marker” or a “pragmatic particle.” She...was moved to write an essay, “Now You Know About Hillary Rodham Clinton,” in which she speculated that even “very sophisticated and articulate public persons” might repeat the phrase excessively when feeling vulnerable.

Clinton’s “you know” count came to nineteen. Her possible senatorial replacement, Caroline Kennedy...met with a couple of Times reporters recently and said “you know” a hundred and thirty-eight times. Speaking to the News, and on NY1, she broke two hundred.

The effect...was...to recall what some commentators refer to as the “Roger Mudd moment”—a reference to the CBS correspondent who flummoxed Caroline’s uncle, Ted Kennedy, in 1979, with questions about his desire to run for President:

Ted: “Well, it’s—on what—on, you know, you have to come to grips with the different issues that we’re facing. I mean, we can—we’d have to deal with each of the various questions that we’re talking about.”

Caroline, on Ted: “I mean, he loves the Senate. It’s been, you know, the most, you know, rewarding life for him, you know. I’m sure he would love it to feel like somebody that he cared about had that same kind of opportunity.”

The Mudd parallel highlighted the strange tension in Kennedy’s nascent candidacy. On the one hand, her lack of polish, or media training, suggests an Everywoman appeal—the mother of three with no Washington experience, like a Sarah Palin for Democrats—while at the same time undermining the Kennedy mystique and serving as a reminder of the Bush lesson that dynasties can devolve (and not just into mangled English).

14 January 2009

New Yorkers are Resilient (aka self centered and annoying)

Recently, New York Magazine did it's annual Reasons to Love New York issue. I was amused by Reason #59. Because We’re Resilient:

... In other words, New Yorkers are preternaturally resilient. And that’s not just romantic, self-flattering I [Heart] NY bullshit. Psychologists define a resilient person as one who after experiencing a trauma has one or no symptoms of post-traumatic-stress disorder. A Columbia study of New Yorkers a few years ago found that 65 percent of us were certifiably resilient following 9/11—as were more than half the people who’d actually been in the Trade Center buildings during the attacks. But the study’s finding I love best describes what kinds of 9/11 survivors were least affected, the quickest to bounce back, the most resilient: the so-called self-enhancers. They, according to the psychology professor who ran the study, “are somewhat grandiose. They are preoccupied with themselves, they score high on measures of narcissism, and the research shows pretty clearly that they are annoying to be around.”

Even animals are feeling the effects of the economic recession

Check out this video. It's worth it, I promise.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has asked for help to save local zoos and the NYC aquarium from severe budget cuts.

13 January 2009

Why do you wear so much purple?

A while back, B started downloading episodes of GG to watch on the bus on her way to J's house every weekend. As a result, she got me hooked on the show as well.

A show about a bunch of mid-20-somethings who play teenagers in high school that live the lives of jaded mid-30-year-olds is completely unrealistic but guilty fun. There's tons of soap opera drama and angst.

I'm glad the GG writers have a sense of humor about their show too. In this scene, Chuck Bass, 17yo debonair playboy, is at the reading of his father's will. It's just before Chuck is about to inherit 1 billion dollars and a portion of his father's multinational corporation, and Chuck is talking about how he's always been a disappointment to his father...

10 January 2009

I have no running water

The water main on my block is broken. Copious amounts of water is gushing from fire hydrants down the street. Men with powerful lights and big machinery are desperately trying to find the source of the break. They've dug a ginormous and jagged hole in the middle of the street right in front of my apartment building.

It is freezingly cold in NYC. I have no running water or heat (we are radiator heated).

I'm reminded that I'm lucky to have the priviledges and amenities that I do have, because in some places, people must walk hours just to haul a bucket of water back to their homes. I too often take modern conveniences like running water, electricity and the internet for granted.

Ok, off to the corner bodega to buy a few gallons of water so I can flush my toilet, have water to drink and brush my teeth. I have a date tonight, and who knows when the water will be back on? Perhaps we can block off the water spilling onto the street and make an ice skating rink!

04 January 2009

It's as good a sport as any other!

OMG, I loved this documentary. I can't believe how hard jumprope is -- gymnastics, dance, cardio and stamina all at the same time. These people are true athletes.

Cooking Sundays

Since I've stopped generating income (I am starting to track how many different ways I can say unemployment without actually saying it), I've been eating at home a lot more. Well, actually pretty much all the time.

It's unusual coming from a person who used to only keep a carton of egg whites, a box of All Bran and some mixed greens in the fridge because she rarely ate at home. When I did eat or cook at home, it was just scrambled egg whites over mixed greens which I ate standing over the kitchen sink.

Now that I actually cook at home, I find myself getting sick of the same old same old. I've started planning my days and meals, keeping a mental grocery list, and getting creative with how to use leftovers.

Today, I made chocolate pudding -- dessert for the next three days. For lunch, I made a bacon, pear, egg white, grilled cheese sandwich. Pears, cheese and bacon sounded so good together, and I was pretty happy with the results. Ok, the egg whites were kind of random. But, I had to pretend to be healthy somehow!

03 January 2009

So, ya wanna gang out?

According to my Blackberry, the word "hang" isn't a real word.

The letters "G" and "H" share the same button on my Pearl 8130, and whenever I text the word "hang," the auto-correct feature changes it to "gang."

Since I've been laid off, I've just been hanging out. I mean, ganging out.

Vote for this cool design

J's sister designed the coolest tee, and she needs us to vote for it on Threadless.

it could be so nice - Threadless T-shirts, Nude No More

02 January 2009

Lifetime TV

Pooks was unable to make it back from Long Island in time to meet me for dinner tonight. Without the added incentive of having to meet someone for food, it was far too cold out for me to motivate to join friends in Brooklyn or Queens for drinks, etc.

Instead, I cleaned the bathroom, swept and mopped the bathroom, kitchen and my bedroom floors, made crabcakes and steamed asparagus for dinner, and baked banana blueberry muffins from scratch. All while I polished off a ginormous bag of Hershey's kisses (B, I hate you for leaving them with me.) and watching Lifetime TV.

I don't get Lifetime TV. So far tonight, I've watched two movies about high school girls that are social outcasts due to their size. By the end of the movie, the overweight girls have managed to overcome adversity so that their peers see them for their true selves and not their fat. Yet, during the commercial breaks, Lifetime runs ads for a new reality show about a group of overweight women that dislike being overweight and will have a personal trainer who'll work with them to lose weight.

First, why is Lifetime TV so obsessed with fat women? Second, the movies are all centered around the idea that fat people should be liked for who they are, not the way they look. Yet, Lifetime will be premiering a reality show that says otherwise.

Methinks Lifetime is a bit too judgemental about other people's weight.

Not getting arrested seems like a good start to a new year as any

Happy 2009!

New Year's Eve was quite an adventure this year. I'm not sure how things got so crazy that I almost got arrested -- maybe it had to do with the knowledge that I didn't have to go to work on January 2nd so I wasn't worried about being completely hung over on January 1. Or, maybe I just don't have a reason at all. Because I swear I didn't think I had had that much to drink until the next morning when I could barely make it out of bed.

My night started out tame enough with an early dinner and mojitos at Son Cubano with Pookie, A and W.

After pigging out on awesome Cuban food, we headed to Carroll Gardens to M and L's apartment. Recently engaged J and C were there as well. Some rum and cokes were consumed.

I left Brooklyn around 11pm so I could drop by A's event. He and a friend were hosting a dinner party at an apartment right off of Washington Square Park. Unfortunately, I couldn't hang too long as I had promised I would meet B so we could cross into the new year together.

I headed to the Red Lion around 11:30. B was already waiting for me with J, P and J.

It was hot in the Red Lion. Much dancing ensued, which didn't help. Hence, copious amounts of scotch were consumed (courtesy of J) in an effort to counteract the heat, and probably because I wasn't thinking about how much consumption was occuring.

We left the Red Lion around 4am. Shortly afterwards, I was almost arrested. But, I wasn't arrested.

Not being arrested seems like a good a start to a new year as any! Happy new year!

For more pictures of New Year's Eve, click here.

01 January 2009

He said WHAT?

"You're an idiot," said the policeman that had been yelling at me for some indeterminate time. He and five other policemen gave me stern, angry looks and then walked away.

Or maybe I walked away. I can't remember it very well. It was 4am on January 1, 2009, and I was B-E-A-T. I was lucky I wasn't called worse. Spending the night in jail would have been an inauspicious start to a new year.

After a hectic night at two New Year's Eve parties in Brooklyn and the West Village, I eventually landed at the The Red Lion where I counted into 2009 with B and J. Somewhere on my way home from Bleecker Street, as I waited for B and friends to catch up to me, I thought it would be a good, no, GREAT idea to check if the police golf cart I was next to was locked.

Well, the door wasn't locked.

I opened the door and then I shut it. Thanks to my tiredness and impaired judgement, I didn't think it was a big deal. I was feeling GREAT -- I got to see tons of friends, and I had had a martini over dinner (courtesy of Pookie), a scotch at M and L's house party in Brooklyn, and four or five scotches at the Red Lion (courtesy of J).

I walked away from the golf cart and would have forgotten about the whole thing if it weren't for the six policemen that had started to run towards me the minute my hand touched that vehicle. To my hazy memory, they suddenly appeared out of nowhere, yelling at me. According to B and J, they RAN towards me.

"Why did you open that door?"

"What did you think you were doing?"

"What were you going to do?"

I was confused. I mean, I didn't even get IN the car! Why were they so upset? I was just checking to see if the door was locked!

They looked at me like I was stupid. Which I'm chagrined to say I was. They called me an idiot. Which I was. I was then summarily dismissed. Dismissed by six angry cops.

Happy 2009!

Happy new year!

Cartoon courtesy of Stu's Views.