This is how close the police helicopter was flying right over me tonight. The nice men with the guns waved to us, which was perhaps a violation of some Homeland Security regulation so pretend I didn't say anything at all.
If you don't count the film and the developing my Love Boat *deploys finger guns* outing was free. It was the only thing free I did today, though. Doesn't matter, the day was worth every penny.
Floor Barre: $15.50
Lunch with Auntie Chili: Priceless/$10
Getting my newly upped maintenance bill due to some tax skullfuckery: ~2 years off my life
Total: $25.50 (give or take)
Friday, August 31, 2007
Kath is on there somewhere.
Is big, no? I bet she's on the back, I mean stern, at that party where some band is playing "Red Red Wine".
Did you know that some fears can be inherited? That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Elephants? Buildings? Trees? Not a problem. Ships? Whales? Freak me out. Turns out dad saw the...er...some big cruise ship that was being renovated as a troop mover for WWII (Media Guy? Help me out here?) that caught fire while docked in NYC and sank. He saw it all keeled over on its side and it wigged him out. As I approached The Queen Mary 2 Electric Boogaloo tonight I got butterflies, like I would be somehow pulled into its vortex. It got better when I got up close, though. Which is weird but true. Still, that thing is so huge I can't even begin to explain and I'm sure these pictures don't capture it in a visceral way. Can you see those tiny people waving? Their friends were on the ground with me waving and having a shouted conversation with them.
The 'copter isn't actually landing on the boat, I just hit the shutter late. It's a police vehicle and it was flying around and around the ship as she departed. In this picture it's taking the turn around behind the ship. We could see the men with guns stationed in the open doors when it flew over us.
What do you think that square thing is? Clearly it had something retracted in there. Anchor maybe? I hope that Kath behaves. Maybe they'll make her walk that teensy plank on the right if she acts up.
I went nutso with the photos. I'd come to see if I could see Kath (mission unaccomplished) and to take pictures. I had the film camera and was clicking away. Then I started to feel guilty about all the film and development costs and tried to slow down. Almost immediately, though, I thought, "My grandfather would fucking love this. He'd want me to take as many pictures as I could cram onto the film. He'd be sorry I hadn't brought more film and more cameras and possibly a picnic." So I pulled out my digital too. I wanted to be able to share the experience here with some immediacy but also to take some higher quality shots of it all. These guys were one set of the guys at the bow letting the ropes go when the time came. Big ropes.
So all of these pics are with the digital and I'll have some more next week. Are you holding your breath? Be careful about that, willya? Just think nice thoughts as we watch the water churn up while the old girl gets under way. It seemed to be going very slowly but then I looked away for a moment and they'd moved quite far from the dock. With something that huge that also moves it really messes with your perceptions.
I stayed happily chatting with fellow landlubbers until the QM2 seemed a manageable size in the distance. Then I got on the manageably sized bus.
And I went home.
I was there Kath! I waved at a bunch of people on general principles. I'll leave the details of the story for you to tell. Hope you're having a glorious time.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
He doesn't have a cell phone and he didn't e-mail me the hotel info so I haven't heard how it's going but the show was ready so I'm sure it's been good. I'm wishing I could have been a fly on the wall over the course of a 2 week road trip/motel stay with 3 senior gentlemen actors. I think there's got to be a super screenplay in it.
I had to pick something I could feel good about after a day of posting my horrifying numbers. I tell you, navigating the world while holding a paper bag over your mouth and nose is not as easy as you might think.
This poor dog weighs as much as all the weight that I have lost. 18.5 pounds. Do his little legs even reach the ground?
OK, here I go, continuing the experiment:
Dinner and ice cream with Pony Express: $10
Now that I've done it the hard way, a spreadsheet and stuff, I'll probably stop trying to reinvent the wheel and go back to using Quicken so I can have it work out the categories and stuff. That's going to involve a whole new level of learning. I'll still use Excel to try to make a budget I'd like to stick to. Bleh.
Month July 25-Aug 25
Dining Out $236.79
Cable w/internet $113.91
Monthly Salary: $3500
What do you spend monthly on groceries?
It occurred to me that what I have categorized as travel was a credit card charge and I think it was actually the emergency vet charge for Emily. I'll have to clarify that.
Craft isn't like arts and crafts it's rehearsal space and photos and stuff. I could just as well have titled it Career to distinguish it from the J.O.B.
Yes, the health insurance won't be that bad every month since I had to pay a back month as well but it's going to be almost $1,000 since I got that honking increase.
If I wanted to be really picky I could count some of the out of home dining as gifts since I went to celebrations and I treated at least one person to dinner. That category also includes every time I bought a pack of m&ms at the drugstore or a bottle of water at the newsstand or anything that wasn't specifically bought in a grocery store for the purpose of bringing it home and stocking the proverbial larder.
Are you old enough to have had the experience of looking down at your hands when you wash them or your face when you're brushing your hair or even your toes as you put on your socks and thinking, "Oh, my god I am turning into my mother/father/Great Aunt Tillie"? When I look at this spreadsheet I get that feeling of panic and disbelief. This isn't my spending. I have investments, however small, and a savings account and I don't go on extravagant vacations or buy Canadian lottery tickets over the phone, so this can't be me!
But it is. At least this month it is. And now I have to figure out what to do with it.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I have finished the postcards and sealed them up in their envelopes. They ended up 2 sided with an origami crane tucked in to the envelope with them. I even had enough stamps for the US...wait! I have a bunch of odd postage lying around the house I'm sure I can work out the postage for the international ones and I'll put them all in the mailbox on the corner when I walk the dog tonight so they'll all get a Brooklyn postmark.
No! Sleep! 'Til Brooklyn!
I loved this project but I'm also glad to have it out of my hands a little early. I like the idea of the cards trickling in so it's good to get mine out now for trickle factor.
I got the google docs to work but then blogger screwed the pooch so I didn't get any more done on the budget but hopefully tomorrow.
Oh, and the Other Boss actually said this to me today:
"So tomorrow you go when?"
"Today at 4:30 and tomorrow around 3."
"If you want to cheat on that it's really fine with me."
hair combs, vitamin water, m&ms dark peanut (quite possibly the perfect storm of m&m technology): $5.06
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
In his daily (ish) phone call this morning the one boss asked how things are in the office and I displayed my underutilized vocabulary by listing 15 pseudonyms for quiet.
He said, "I don't know how [the Other Boss] feels but you should get out of there early this week."
I stammered something along the lines of "bluearaaaaghe, thanks."
Then I thunk upon it and thunk upon it and thunk upon it a bit more and I sent an e-mail that proposed leaving tomorrow at 4:30 and the next day (my last before my 4 day weekend since I don't work on Fridays, please don't hate me) at 3:00.
The Other Boss replied in one word. That word was, "Absolutely!"
I expect the One Boss to agree or possibly ask, "Why not 1:00?" but either way I'm happy.
Plans for the holiday weekend? Lunch with Chili's Seester on Fri and maybe a movie, a secret creative project and, you know, cleaning my apartment. Oh, and of course, laying around like a beached whale. Thank god I can get an early start on that!
I've been trying to assess my budgetary findings but my computer won't cooperate. I made fun of my boss last week for wanting to buy us both the new Macs for the office. This week I've been trying for 2 days to work on my spreadsheet at work (there's a number pad at work and a larger screen, much easier) but when I send it to myself there it comes up as nothing at all. I've tried it to my work address and to my gmail address and I think to my juno address too. Nuthin'. Tonight I try google docs and hope for the best. Otherwise I'll spend some time this weekend. Plus randomly today my computer's "dock" disappeared and pressing the code for "force quit" got me blue screen of near death. Turning it off and on was no help. I had to actually unplug it and walk away for a few minutes. Turned it back on and everything was hunky dory. Now I'm glad my boss is all about the new and shiny toys.
In the mean time:
Conveniently my postcards for the postcard swap are done and there are ten of them and here it is Tuesday. So here are the cards I will send out on Friday.
I think I'm going to put one full sized photo of my taking on the back of each one with my url and signature. I'm debating covering them with clear contact paper to keep them secure and I'll definitely be mailing them in envelopes. I have NO idea how I'm going to choose who will get each one.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Now I can't claim to be up on all the slang that kids use these days. I can't even claim to be up on all the slang that Brits use, well, ever but I do have a working knowledge and I'm happy to share it with you.
Read today on the internet:
"...the city, developer and contractor were at logjams about it."
No, actually, they weren't. While you may think it's going to give you some hipster street cred to throw in a Brit ref once in a while it make you sound like a silly ponce** when you use the wrong Brit ref.
Logjam = traffic jam
What you were looking for was probably loggerheads.
Loggerheads = at an impasse, having a disagreement, etc.
The designer and I are at loggerheads over the choice of wallpaper for the sitting room so I decided to meet him down the shop. Unfortunately my bus got stuck in a logjam in midtown and I'd left my mobile*** at home so I couldn't warn him. I was 45 minutes late, which didn't improve the situation.
*Prat = brat, idiot
**Ponce = overly affected individual, often with a gay overtone, see also Poofter
***Mobile = cell phone
Sunday, August 26, 2007
It's almost a universal truth that when you hear that in indie movie is good but you don't hear much else about it that Patricia Clarkson will turn out to be a major factor. The Station Agent bears out my theory. She is, of course, so good that it makes my insides a little watery and, as is often the case when Ms. Clarkson picks a project, so is everyone else.
That's how I spent my time, here's how I spent my money:
Chocolate milk: $3.00
Dinner w/Kath at the new Tapas place (veridict is good food, questionable service & management, ridiculous prices): $16.00
Drinks for a friend's birthday at a trendy Lower East Side spot: $16.00
Taxi home: $7.00
Things that I were automatically deducted from my bank account over the course of the month in question:
Automatic Investment Plan: $100
Monthly Checking Account Maintenance Fee because I dipped below the minimum balance: $10.00
Weight Watchers: $16.95
Automatic Deposit into Savings: $50.00
Friday, August 24, 2007
It's been a high emotion, roller coaster sort of a day, featuring only relatively everyday occurences. Just now my cable went out in a new and different way and I had a really nice customer service interaction with Time W@rner. So, like I said, freaky day.
High spendy, too:
30 Day unlimited ride Metrocard: $76.00
Luna Bars: $3.38
Dance class: $15.50
Ice cream for me & Teddy's Girl: $6.00
Waterproof sheeting to thwart cats: $58.17
TV Repair: $84
On the flip side, I also deposited my property tax rebate for some property owning incentive program that I don't entirely understand.
I've got three stories about why New York is a place that continues to surprise and amaze me.
Months ago now, I don't know why I haven't told you this yet, I was walking down Third Avenue away from work and I noticed a very large, perhaps even morbidly obese, man jaywalking across the avenue. He was using two canes and had his satchel hanging around his neck since he didn't have either arm free. It looked heavy. The light was with him but it was changing and anyone could tell he wasn't going to make it before traffic caught up with him. I noticed a police officer walking toward him. In Bloomberg's New York we have had crackdowns on a number of nearly forgotten laws, like jaywalking. A local actor was killed jaywalking a couple of years ago so it seemed, to some extent, to be a wise idea. Still, this poor man couldn't be expected to go even a few feet out of his way, I was already skeptical of his ability to reach the curb without a rest and this policeman was going to ticket him for jaywalking? That just seemed shameful. Then I saw the policeman raise his hands. He stopped the oncoming traffic so the older gentleman could finish crossing safely. Protect and serve, yes indeed.
This morning I was grocery shopping at a local chain on the Upper West Side. It's a family area and it's a popular store. When I got to the deli counter it was 3 people deep like a Williamsburg bar on a Saturday night. I dutifully took my number and moved out of the way to the opposite side of the aisle until they got closer to it. There was an older lady being served. She was number 77, I think, and she had a number of items to buy but that didn't stop her from helping to direct other customers in the proper etiquette of the deli counter. When she was finished she waded out of the group with her cart and came, quite literally, face to face with me. She looked up at me and I braced for being told off. I couldn't move back any farther, my back was already making spine imprints on a display of pita bread. She said, quite directly, "What number are you?" I told her, "91." She reached into her pocket and I began to rifle through everything my mother ever taught me to find something, anything, about how to politely decline a lint-encrusted peppermint from 1973 meant to occupy my lengthy wait. Instead she pulled from that pocket a small, pink, arrow-shaped piece of paper. We both looked down to see what number was printed on it. 82. She smiled mischieviously and pressed it into my hand. I was next and I was out of that deli crowd in 5 minutes.
Later this afternoon Teddy's Girl and I were headed home from Bittersweet with the creamy taste of ice cream still on our tongues. As we approached the corner near Who's Your Doggy we heard a man across the street shout and fall to the ground. the neighborhood is home to a few men of a similar age to this man who have schizophrenia or Tourette's or other disorders that cause shouting and odd movements. I assumed he was one of those. Teddy's Girl, always more appropriately interactive than I, picked up our pace a bit to see the man fully. He was seizing on the ground having fallen straight down on his face. I followed her across the street and took Teddy as she approached the man. The delivery men at Who's Your Doggy were close on our heels, a crisply dressed gentleman of about our age was already on his phone to 911. Everyone had advice, "Don't move him!" "Roll him over!" "No!!" A man from a work site down the block came running up, he knew the injured man and he just screamed "CALL 911! SOMEBODY CALL 911!" We assured him it was being done. The man calling 911 offered tissues, another woman passing by pulled a towel from her gym bag, the friend laid the man's head on his hat. Only Teddy's Girl was touching the man, though. She soothed him with gentle hands on his back, she gently rotated his head when he began to aspirate the blood from his clearly broken nose and scraped face, she tried to wipe some of the blood off so he could breathe and she reached into his pocket to find his phone and see if it indicated a family member to call in an emergency. The 911 guy got cut off. The injured man woke up, he panicked and he began to fight. A delivery man tried to hold him down. His friend kept telling him to stay down but refusing to touch him and telling us he was going to fight. Teddy's Girl spoke calmly to him, telling him that help was on the way. He couldn't hear or understand and he bagan to run away with his friend and the delivery man in pursuit. 911 Guy got 911 back and was able to use the phrase, "fleeing the scene." Here's a tip, if you're ever having trouble getting help at the scene of an accident use that phrase because a car full of burly plain clothes cops like an alternative cast of The Shield arrive in moments. The man had returned somehow and they helped corral him and were able to keep him down long enough for him to understand what was going on and that help was on the way. Then they immediately began passing around the hand sanitizer. Teddy's Girl asked for some and got a modest amount. As the paramedics arrived and the policemen clearly had things under control the crowd began to disperse. I stayed there with the dogs so Teddy's Girl could go inside to Who's Your Doggy and clean herself up. Before we left we were able to reinforce for the paramedics that the man had definitely had a seizure. He was denying it since he didn't remember anything, which seems unsurprising, why would someone remember anything that happened while they were unexpectedly unconscious. We walked off and, I'm sure, soon after the ambulance drove off with the man on a stretcher.
At the height of the encounter a woman walked through with her dry cleaning. Straight through, staring at the man who sat on the steps covered in blood, oblivious to the policemen with burly kevlar-clad chests and badges ablaze, seemingly unaware that she might be interfering with the paramedic trying to speak to the injured man. 911 Guy had to warn her off of stepping right into the pool of blood on the sidewalk.
So, sure, more than likely in another town or city you aren't going to see something like this much less be a participant in the drama. Here's the thing, though, what if it were you? What if you were walking down a rural road with a pastoral scene of afternoon sunshine ahead and you had a seizure, likely the first one of your whole life? Who would see you? More importantly, who would help you?
It's no surprise to anyone who reads here that I love New York. I have more to say about some FDNY issues that I've been thinking about all week so I am, admittedly, more open to the I Love New York moments this week but it's days like these where I can understand why it might not be your cup of tea but how can you not admire what it is, warts and all?
An incredibly mundne yet highly disturbing. I agreed to do some surrogate gestation for an ex and his wife.
Even in the dream I couldn't figure out why I'd said yes.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I put up a bunch of Flickr pics if you like that sort of thing. Still haven't decided on the upgrade thing but I'm leaning that way.
It's partly waiting on the budgeting question of course. I also found a flaw in the listing of my expenditures. So far I've only been listing payments that I've had to make physically or online, things for which I have had to take action. There are some payments that happen automatically. They are few but they are relatively significant in the grand scheme of things and I haven't been listing them. I'll hit the bank site and list those tomorrow or Saturday.
As for today:
Fro Yo: $3.75
Cat litter: $11.91
Today my Auntie Blanche turns 97.
It's hard for me to write about her without thinking of a time when we won't be celebrating her birthday. Of course she stopped going to the dentist when she was 80 because she didn't like it and she didn't figure she'd be around long enough for it to matter and then had to go back and get extensive dental work at the age of 85 (and 86 and 87) to reverse the neglect so there's really no telling. There have been plenty of other changes since her 80th birthday as well. The picture above is from a trip to Wa1-m@rt in May where the aides helped some of the residents of Auntie Blanche's home to try out the powered shopping carts. She had a great time and told me later, "It was nice to be able to drive again." Apparently she only ran into one display and it was at a very slow speed so no harm done. She learned from it and moved on. Years ago when I was first driving she told me how she learned to drive a car. She bought her first car and insisted that the salesman give her a lesson before she departed. Way before the whole mandatory driver's ed stuff we have now.
I gave Auntie Blanche a call today. She'd had mom and Judi visit last night with a dozen yellow roses, a birthday tradition that Auntie Blanche started before any of us was born. This morning someone had brought her to breakfast at Friendly's. One gentleman took her to the hair dresser. ChemE's dad had already paid for her wash and set and the stylist gave her the trim as a birthday gift. Judi picked her up and took her back to Friendly's for lunch then they went back to the home to partake of the spoils of the monthly ice cream social. ChemE's dad was coming to get her at 5 to take her to a nearby town for a BBQ at another adopted family's home. One of the things that was hardest for Auntie Blanche to adjust to when she moved into this home a few years ago was the way they make you get up in the morning, every morning, for breakfast. She's always been relatively late to bed and late to rise. We joke about it now that she's adjusted even though she still doesn't like it. Today I said, "I hope they let you sleep in tomorrow after all this excitement." She said, "I can't! I have to work!" She runs a rhythm band for the other residents and they meet every Friday at 10am and birthday, even one's 97th is no reason to slack off. She is, I believe the oldest resident so she's compelled to set a good example.
Auntie Blanche has always, above all, set a good example. She's proved to us that one doesn't have to be a parent to raise children and that a blood relation isn't the only or sometimess even the strongest connection one can have. She is, I realize now, a master at balancing the work one must do with the work one loves to do. She wanted to go to college and she wanted to be a music education major. With her diploma in hand and the country in the midst of a depression it was another ten years before she landed a teaching job in a school. When I asked what she'd done for that decade she alluded vaguely to living with her parents and teaching piano lessons and helping around town. Her sense of humor has remained intact throughout a life peppered with both successes and setbacks but lived happily on her own terms. One little woman in tennis shoes (she still walks about a mile a day) has taught, touched and improved more people than I could possibly list.
And she's not done yet.
Dear gentleman in the Post Office line this afternoon and everyone like him:
We are very pleased that you enjoy your residence in France. We applaud your finding a living situation that you feel is highly superior to the one you previously tolerated which, we assume by your accent, to have been in the United States, most probably in New York. We request, however, that impromtu lectures, like the one delivered this afternoon, on the superiority of your current home to ours here in New York be discontinued until you have obtained the proper manner...we mean, permits. In return we pledge not to steal your wallet, get your big old Fronch address and stand in a public space where you are trying to conduct your business delivering a similar lecture on the superiority of New York living.
In addition we would like to remind all visitors to New York that the next time you motherfucking stop in the middle of the dick sucking sidewalk for no earthly, clit biting reason your ill-gotten visa will be summarily revoked and you will be transported immediately to JFK International Airport to await your previously scheduled flight back to the homeland. Your luggage will follow at our discretion.
Hazy, Hot & Humid Regards,
The New New York Board of Tourism
We already love New York. You don't have to.
Chili and Gerry have been talking a lot about change lately.
I bring you a pertinent exchange from The Gilmore Girls.
Luke: It's the same car.
Lorelei: It's not the same car.
Luke: What do you mean?
Lorelei: What do you mean? It's different.
Luke: It's not different it's just a newer model.
Lorelei: No, it's different, the steering wheel, the seats are different, the cup holder's different.
Luke: OK, they've made some improvements.
Lorelei: They've made some changes!
This gives me hope that I might actually be able to grow up to be Lorelei Gilmore.
13 Reasons That I Should Vacuum My Bedroom
1. A month ago I shattered a vase in my bedroom. (Not on purpose, just things happen.) I thought I'd cleaned it up well but last night I crawled into bed and my foot hit something sharp and there was a piece of glass sticking out of it. I guess I didn't clean it up as well as I thought. Blood. Dripping. On the floor. Crap.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Do you ever notice how we often teach children the precisely correct way to do something rather than teaching them to do it as we do it? Things like answering the phone or completing shopping transactions or simple greetins. We adhere to the principles of our lesson just not to the exact directions, we prefer to follow the spirit of the law rather than the letter. It makes sense since one must learn al the rules before one can bend them.
I frequent a store in the neighborhood where a pleasant tween is being trained to handle the cash register. I am terribly impressed by both her teachers and her work. She's polite and precise and asks all the right questions. "Would you like a receipt with that?" She packs the bags well and is both quick and efficient. She's also been taught how to look up the various prices of the wares so she's actually equipped to help people rather than being given busy work to keep her from being a pest. This young lady will go far if she's able to translate these lessons into other parts of her life.
Sushi Lunch with the Norse Girl (Yay!): $10
Pet food of various types and prices: $32.73
That would be the guys at the TV repair shop that Alex and Kath clued me in to. The dude called me earlier even than he said he would and gave me this information:
"The repair will be $96 minus the $20 deposit you gave us for the estimate plus $8.04 in taxes for a total of $84.04. Would you like to make the repair?"
"Yes, please. How long will it take?"
"Would you like to pick it up tonight?"
WOULD I MOTHERFUCKING WHAT?!!? I'm sorry, I can't hear you, the sunshine that's radiating from your butt is interfering with the signal.
I actually can't pick it up tonight but they'll have it for me tomorrow night if that's what I prefer.
I think I'm in love.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Quick, quick before I go sleepy bye here's the spending for today:
2 rolls of film developed at the slightly lower quality place: $21.65
Supplies for the postcard swap: $17.32
Estimate for TV repair (I should hear the result tomorrow afternoon0: $20.00
Pizza & Beer for Alex's awesomeness: $10.50
I'm irked. I have irkage. Things, they irk me.
When I got my first cell phone I lived under the Yankee principle of buy-the-best-quality-and-use-it-forever. I passed the "New Every Two!" date without a second thought because I'd bought a high quality, sleek, lovable phone that I would use, perhaps forever.
Then the battery died.
It cost less to get a new phone.
I got a new phone that was mildly cutting edge and has a lot of features that I don't use. I'm pretty sure that the camera lens is entirely gunked over at this point. It was nice as a novelty but it's plastic and sort of bulky and my boss who had recommended it to me almost immediately switched to a sleeker way high end model. So I've been waiting with bated breath for "New Every Two!" to be up.
Last week it was up so I went today to check out my options. The options are fine, I'm willing to take any suggestions if people have what's-in-your-network opinions, my only real requirement is Blue Tooth compatibility.
I didn't sound very irked yet, did I?
Did you know that no matter what brand or model of phone I get, even if I stick with the same brand I have now, that I will have to get entirely new chargers for my phone? Even if I got the crappy, non-blue-tooth-compatible free phone I will have to spend money for different chargers so I can use the aforementioned phones. Do you know how many chargers I have? Purchased, free with purchase, begged, borrowed or stolen I've got one that's plugged in next to the bed, one in the travel kit, one to charge in the car and I'm pretty sure one random extra floating about. Oh, and I think I gave one to my mother.
Screw that, I'll just keep my frumpy phone until it wheezes and dies and I'll try to make sure that happens in tax free NH and I'll make my exchange there.
Fucking cellular phone companies.
Irked I tell you.
Ten Things Tuesday
1. My new loofah scrubby thing: Ah...my smooth, smooth skin.
2. Wicked, the book I'm reading: It's denser and more complicated than I expected and it's making me tired but I like it.
3. Rain: I kind of love a nice steady but not aggressive rain.
4. My scale: Even though today is not a weigh-in day I used it. I'm trying to scare myself into being more focused toward hitting the goal.
5. My new handweights: Been using them for 10 or 15 minutes every day. It's sort of fun and I'm already dreaming of waving in a sleeveless shirt without embarrassment.
6. Lottery ticket: Audio Girl came back to the office yesterday and we're celebrating with scratch off tickets today. (ETA: We did not win. Sigh.)
7. My new grown up person belts: Now my pants stay up and I don't look like I'm trying to smuggle a waist's worth of cassette tapes out of the store.
8. My grandmother's wedding ring: The ring I chose to wear today.
9. Sweater: Something I shouldn't be wearing in August but I am.
10. Soy sauce: Something I could have used just a little less of on my weird fish lunch concoction. Oops.
What are 10 things in your Tuesday?
Monday, August 20, 2007
I've got something inspiring for you. I read this poem a lot in school when I was in London. I still love it.
|A Forsaken Garden|
|Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)|
Manda clarified herself a little. I'm still het up, but I'm not the only one, and she was nice about it and other people were much more eloquent about it so....I'm trying to drop it.
In other news...I was worried about the pooch. She had a bad fall trying to get up on the bed a few days ago and then she wouldn't try again. But last night I gave her the invitation and she was fine with it.
See what an everlovingly normal day it's been?
Alex agreed happily to help me hump the TV to to the repair people tomorrow. Heartwarming but not so exciting.
Maybe I should have gone all child-free ranter on you just to keep the excitement alive in the relationship. Gert and I had a nice chat about it over at her place, though, you could check that out.
Here's the thing, I spent my creative brain energy writing on Medea for 45 minutes since we didn't have rehearsal tonight. Sorry, it's that balance thing that parents have to do, only I'm doing it with writing...or something.
$15.26 on groceries today.
I tried to spend more on 2 rolls of film being developed but I went to the lower quality place and they couldn't turn it around in a day I guess. My Lucky film came in the mail from Heather today. Thank you Heather!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I am extremely lucky friend-wise. If I've got trouble with something I almost always know someone who can do that. Or at least someone who knows someone who can.
The TV died. On the way to the mall I told Kath and she said, "Oh, you're not buying a new TV today. Call Alex." Alex knows a repair shop. Now the question is, will Alex help me get my TV there in a timely fashion? I suspect he will. He's awesome like that. In the meantime I have pseudo-stolen Pony Express' TV since she's on vacation. Then I folded like a shitty poker hand and told her. She's cool with it. In case you were worried.
Miflohny told the Media Guy that I was having trouble with my photos and sizing and being a Mac user. He sent me an e-mail with links to super simple instructions on how to resize them. He even included quotes from the instructions in case I was too intimidated to use my pointer finger to click the link. It's like he sees into my very soul. I did it once with just that quote before actually going to the linked instructions so I could check out some more specific stuff. They don't call him The Media Guy for nothing.
All this re-sizing allowed me to upload some new pics to Flickr. You should go check them out.
Ok. Well, all the uploading me put me square in the middle of the fine print for Flickr. I've read a certain amount of their fine print. The print I did not read was the print that said that the free account only allows you to see 200 photos. It hides the rest until you delete some more recent ones...or upgrade to the pro-account.
With the pro account I could upload as many as I want and they could all be viewed. I could upload files of any size so the whole re-sizing tutorial would be an unused skill, but better to have a skill and not use it than need it and not have it. I could separate the photos into sets so you would know generally what the frak was going on in my head when I was taking the photos. "Clinton Hill walkabout 082007!" "Brunch Club" "Me, me, me!" or whatever.
It's $24.95 for a year of a pro account ("That's $2 a month!") or $47.99 for 2 years ("That's even less per month!"). Advice? Thoughts? Comments? I welcome them all.
Expenses of the shopping-focused day:
TP, hand weights, picture frame, kitchen organization tools, cleaning supplies, 2 belts (yay!) at the Target: $102.45
More kitchen organization supplies at Bed, Bath & Beyond: $36.81
Bottle of water at the Home Depot: $1.98
Brunch with the Media Family (The Miflohny Family? I've never monikered the whole family before): $15.00
Just by chance this has been a weekend where parents I know have been calling me to share a meal and talk to them and their kids. At the same time I've read 2 blog entries about parenting. I've read approximately a quadrillion entries about parenting but these 2 happen to be pertinent.
Before we start remember these things you know about me:
1. I don't ever want to be pregnant.
2. I really like kids.
3. Though I can see myself in an adoptive parent situation it's becoming increasingly clear that that isn't going to happen.
4. I think that's OK, and my life is OK.
5. A significant chunk of my upbringing was done by women who didn't have children of their own.
Laid Off Dad wrote about a book he read that poses these questions:
"According to several studies, parents find child-rearing, and the quotidian selfless drudgery therein, far more unpleasant than they thought. Yet when people are asked about what makes them happiest, most say "having children.""
The LOD then posed some questions to the general readership of parents about their reasons for having children and their general level of happiness. Manda replied and this is part of her reply:
"I can't imagine why anyone would want to go through life without having children. My children seem to give everything else in my life meaning. Without them, my life would just be about me and I guess that seems shallow now that I have kids."
I'd ask you all to go read the entries and respond in comments because I can't form words. I open my mouth and only flames come out.
I'm going to Tarzhet wth Kath. We decided that if we worshipped at the altar of Tarzhet and went while everyone else is at church we'd have fewer people to navigate. (Notice I didn't say "just a few" I said "fewer.")
I had a small list of necessaries and nice-to-haves that I was going to get. I wasn't going to get out of the store for under $100 probably, especially when you add the browsing factor, but it wasn't going to be too bad.
Then last night as I was watching Into the Woods my TV turned into String-o-Vision. There's only a very small band of multi-colored light across the center of the screen. I turned the TV off and gave it an overnight rest. This sort of thing has happened before and that's helped. Not today. I'm now listening to the weather report on NY1, though if I nod my head really, really fast I can get a glimpse of the full picture. So I guess I'm probably going to buy a TV today, too.
Dear Financial Gods,
The message is "You can't take it with you, " right?
Saturday, August 18, 2007
But it seemed like it belonged here too.
"Stop me if I’ve told you this before. I don’t think I have but maybe, a long time ago, really anything is possible.
A little over a decade ago I was traveling around the UK with an ex. I had just finished a delightfully intense year of grad school, he was in the middle of a pretty hard core second attempt to get through undergrad and we’d gone straight from school onto this trip. About a week or so into it we found ourselves in Cork, Ireland. Cork is like….I don’t know, Cork is the Middle America of Ireland. It’s Irish and all but it’s the very mainstream of Ireland with all the chain stores and movie theatres and Boots pharmacies and things you can get pretty much anywhere else. There probably was cool Irish culture but we were tired and all our undies were dirty and our brains were fried and the urge to list the faults of the other one that had led to our break up at high volume was nearly inescapable. So we took a vacation from our vacation in Cork. We found a sort of dorm suite we could stay in with a kitchen and everything. We went to the grocery store and bought things to cook for dinner. We watched bad TV and went to a matinee of Judge Dredd and occasionally went to sit in a pub and drink beer and write all the postcards we’d promised ourselves we’d send home.
Sometimes on a longish vacation you need to take a vacation from your vacation so that you can properly enjoy your vacation and not hate yourself and your companions and the whole experience."
The "Somewhere Else" was at Chiara's place. She decided she needed to inject a little change into her life when she turned 30 so she moved to a different hemisphere. You should go read all about it.
I've gotten lovely offers of help on reducing photo size but from PC users. Do any of you know how to reduce photo size in iPhoto? I've hit every button and asked my question a few different ways in the Help section but haven't seemed to have gotten any further. I seem to speak a different language than any help program ever written. It's like I ask, "How do you make a loaf of bread?" and the only answer I get back is, "Eight." Bah. Humbug. I could pay the cash to upgrade my Flickr account, that would be the simple, throw-money-at-it solution. The easy way. That doesn't sound like me, does it?
Chocolate Milk (got $1 off for returning a glass bottle): $2.00
Friday, August 17, 2007
>wake up slowly and gently and not before 8am
>e-mail and blogs
>walk dog to park
>only takes 20 mins to get kitchen back to a semblance of workability
>shower and pamper
>dance class with delightful young guest students who restore my faith in the youth of America
>quick grocery shopping
>caught in big downpour
>but found a drugstore to buy an umbrella so only half soaked
>meet 2 friends for "coffee" (I don't drink coffee but no one cares)
>leisurely commute home where I weirdly miss a stop and end up going a different way than I thought I would
>e-mail, computer and delicious summer TV (I love Holly Hunter and her new show with my boyfriend Kenny Johnson [pictured])
>stroll with the pooch and chat with neighbor
>bad tv + blogging
>early to bed
Pet food: $18.73
Dance class: $15.50
Half Piece of Pie shared with a friend: $2.00
People, it's hot in my apartment. Really hot. Outside is nice, sunny, slight breeze, only a little muggy when you're in the sun.
In my apartment it feels like you're constantly standing inside a pizza joint on the hottest day of the summer. I'd rather be hot than cold but, damn, it's tiresome. I don't want to get up and do anything and I really need to get my ass up and do something.
Think cool thoughts, please!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
My grandparents on both sides were joiners. Between the five of them they belonged to Supper Club, Lion's Club, Rotary Club, Garden Club, Tuesday Club and Cemetary Club among others.
If you know me now you're probably not surprised to find that the very idea of most of those clubs give me an anxiety attack. Too much pressure, too many things scheduled in a week, too much preparation, too many people, too many rules, plenty of things for me to get nervous about. In this information age, though, I've found that I am drawn to join things, as long as they don't involve any of the above restrictions. As a result I've found myself joining clubs online. It's sort of clubby to have blog, it's clearly clubby to have a Flickr account, I've joined 2 groups through Chookooloonks, one is the Kind Journal Project and then another homemade postcard swap and recently I got in on the second round of free distribution of expired specialty asian film that Heather Champ has sent out (no word yet on if I was accepted).
There are 2 notable exceptions, though. One is Brunch Club and the other is Supper Club.
Pony Express and I had an idle conversation over 7 years ago about how we felt we didn't get out enough and definitely didn't see our friends enough because it all felt like too much pressure. To combat these perceived shortcomings we devised Brunch Club. Every second Sunday for the last 7+ years we've chosen a different restaurant and invited all our friends to join us. No RSVP is necessary, we aren't offended if you don't come we just want to create the opportunity so that we feel we've tried to see people and experience the city we love. It's one of my favorite things to do and it's deepened friendships and developed into that thing called tradition that I pine for.
Earlier this year I met a friend on the street and, on a whim, she invited me to a dinner she was throwing at her house for someone's birthday. I knew maybe half the small dinner party but we had a glorious time and the food was amazing. After our stellar evening Kath felt inspired to suggest that we start a Supper Club. We meet once a month, usually on a Thursday. We rotate houses and therefore chefs and it's been glorious. I've met new people and eaten new things and learned new things about the people I already knew. I've just come home from our latest night which was a rousing success. Dessert alone was a masterpiece! Raspberry sorbet and mango sorbet each served in a hollowed out half lemon and topped with a raspberry with chocolate covered Pocky sticks and a side of mini cannoli served on a plate drizzled with caramel sauce. You might want to lean back so that drool doesn't get on the keyboard.
Perhaps this joining thing is genetic. I'm willing to admit, however reluctantly, that I'm truly enjoying it.
Bottle of bubbly as my contribution to Supper Club: $15
There have been requests to see the jewelry that I keep talking about. Queen Bee is a Lia Sophia rep so she's my pusher. This pic is of the 3 pieces I bought recently, they're all going out of production which is why I ended up buying them all at once. Rockstar on my pointer, White Out in the middle and...uh...something with a glitzy name on the right. I'm not much of a bracelet person, I forget to put on necklaces but a ring makes me feel glam so I have a few.
If you would like a few, or even just one, or if you're a bracelet or a necklace person or earrings, I have some nice earrings from LS, too, I suggest you go to Queen Bee's section of the web site, check out the catalogue and let her hook you up.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I got my photos processed to disc at a different place this week. Apparently they do higher quality work and now my photos exceed the 5MB upload limit for Flickr. It's also making it a bitch to upload pics here, which is not about size but I don't know what it is about. Is there a way to scrunch them down to acceptable size? Is it simple?
It turns out this whole convergence thing isn't just creative.
You know how sometimes you say things and then something happens and you have to eat those words or at least take a little nibble out of them? Yesterday I was jawing about hating shopping and about being a uniform sort girl and I fear I came off at least a little ungrateful.
After work yesterday I stopped at the PO in my teal v-neck t-shirt and my khaki canvas 5 pocket pants to pick up a package. It was a surprise from ProfDoc and what did I find inside? A few books I'd asked to borrow, a package of chocolate mint chip pudding (Who knew there existed something so delightful? Not I, said the Kizz.) and a pair of pants.
Yeah, new clothes just came to my door.
Sometimes she goes outlet shopping and she has my info on the clothes I like. (Note: I think now we could change my specs down to a size 10)
And you know what? I wore those pants to work today and I loved them and I looked awesome.
The cash count for today:
Paying Queen Bee for the jewelry she ordered for me, it was a few pieces for me that were going out of stock and on which I got a huge discount plus a Christmas present for my mom: $94.80
Paying ProfDoc back for some charitable work she did the leg work on: $20
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I'm having a ton of creative convergence lately. I'll write about it more in depth as soon as my boss does me the kindness of going back to his vacation and leaving me alone. Tonight's piece of it is a documentary I cannot urge you strongly enough to check out, Shakespeare Behind Bars.
In the mean time here are the numbers. Oh, and Gert asked what totals were so I just wanted to clarify that I feel like I need to record everything for a month before I look at totals. I checked back and I started this on July 25 so around August 25 I'll start looking at categories and totals and trying to draw some conclusions.
Paid off credit card (I think this was a rental car or some plane tickets or something from my travels this summer): $324.75
New notebook (I splurged on a fancy one that I really love): $9.74
Here are ten TV shows that I miss. They're probably all out on DVD. You should watch them. You know, if you'd like to become grafted to your couch like me.
I suppose many people tuned in for the main story but for me it was all about 2 words, 1 guy and 1 great character arc: Bright Abbott.
Aaron Sorkin x 3 (SportsNight, West Wing - up to his departure after season 4, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip)
If you don't know how I feel about the man by now you need to spend some quality time with my archives. If you don't like the guy and you don't see what the big deal is then I ask you to watch SportsNight. Just watch. If you don't skim through the entire series and feel crushed when it's over then you're not human.
Joss Whedon x 3 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly)
A male writer with a degree in women's studies who actually puts all his skills to work. He likes women so much he's even willing to indulge our inexplicable desire for the bad boys...to a point.
I don't mean to keep calling your humanity into question but if you weren't in love for at least a moment with either Pacey or Joey then you might be part Vulcan.
Amy Sherman-Palladino can pack more words and more pop culture references into 46 minutes than some writers pack into a whole season. She has to because she's got a lot to tell the world and all we can do is hope we can keep up. If that's not enough for you there's Lauren Graham who not only learned to keep up she taught us all her tricks along the way...and in 3 inch heels to boot.
It's not often that someone figures out a way to do something new on TV, I know. Rob Thomas looked at all the trends - crime process shows, mysteries, teen romance shows, long arc deep myth shows - and he combined them into one delicious cauldron of hot teens combatting the forces of evil with $20,000 state of the art listening devices. Edge of my seat, every week.
Joan of Arcadia
Here's another reason to visit the archives: if you don't know how suspicious I am of organized religion. Someone wrote a TV show about it. Then they occasionally dropped my beloved Mrs. Landingham from The West Wing in and when the execs canceled the show I almost wept.
Six Feet Under
It's possible that the series finale of this show is the best series finale ever broadcast. But it won't make any sense to you unless you watch the rest of the show.
Once & Again
I could have made this one of the "All shows by ____" entries. It's created by Marshall Herskowitz & Ed Zwick who also did My So Called Life, Thirtysomething, The Last Samurai among other things. I am a character driven viewer (also character driven in my acting, writing and daily life) and these men have made careers out of crafting brilliantly 3 dimensional characters who can withstand the necessary growth of a series. Then they cast truly stellar performers to bring those characters to life.
Not just because my boyfriend Lee Tergesen was on it, though that is a factor. Not just because my other boyfriend Dean Winters...or Harold Perrineau...or any of a number of other actors are on it. Because it took a small world and explored every blessed emotional inch of it with unflinching devotion. Also because the series finale left an opening for something more so that hard core fans will always be waiting to see if there's another episode in the pipeline. Bastards.
You know how sometimes, if something is a lot of work, even the nice things that people say are annoying? I've found that my pet peeve during this half year of weight loss is people who give a variation of "Don't you just feel grrrreat!" They are often, but not always, the people who extoll the energy boosting/skin clearing/money attracting virtues of exercise.
To be sure, I'd rather have this than the people who say somewhat accusingly, "Can you eat ice cream yet?" but still "Don't you just feel grrrreat!" makes me want to eat a chocolate cake.
'Cause, really? No. I don't feel appreciably better or worse than I did before. Hell, if you spent any time around me at all in the month or so before I learned to keep my trap shut you know that I felt worse, hungry and snappy and deprived on one level or another. I get a little kick out of seeing the pounds come off. I think that owes a certain amount to my love of closure and of lists. Another half pound is another check mark on the list toward closure and my Capricornian sensibilities treat that like a nice serving of linguine carbonara with garlic bread. As I've said before the sartorial ramifications of the weight change make me want to stab my jugular with a fork. No, I don't like going clothes shopping. Yes, I know that's weird for a girl. Let's just say, that's not a reward for me. The best reward I've had this week is a neck and neck tie between the box of Sno-Caps I had while watching Stardust (have you seen it yet?) and the brie and berry pancakes I had for brunch on Sunday. Unless someone else is going out and finding, buying and lugging home the new clothes it's not going to be a clear win for me. Once it's there, though, I will enjoy wearing the new item but I will still appear for work in my self-devised uniform of plain canvas 5 pocket pants and a jewel-toned t-shirt, no makeup, no jewelry.
Physically I do not feel any of this "better" or "great" either. I still have sinus problems, I still have headaches which might be migraines, I still have dermatalogical, er, issues, I still get cramps. Yes, I still get cramps. Yes, I know that exercise is supposed to help. Guess what? Not a fucking cure-all. In addition to all of that I've got the occasional joint pain from all of my walking plus some blisters from same and there are...digestive issues. My body liked junk food, it was used to junk food and it's kind of pissed off that it's not getting much anymore. None of this worries me. I'm of an age where stuff like that happens and I'm still relatively lucky. It's just the age where you begin to notice some bodily betrayal.
I wondered this weekend, though, if I'm more tired than I was before. I took good, solid, 60+ minute naps all 3 days of my weekend. This would seem to contradict the "energy boosting" qualities of carrying less weight and executing more movement throughout the day.
While people are noticing my weight loss a bit more right now it's not like I'm being flooded with requests for friendship and nookie, either. I have not uncovered some mythical skinny girl attitude which allows me to just radiate confidence and charm now that I'm not hiding that light under the proverbial bushel (full of lobsters dipped in butter).
So, thanks and all. I do appreciate the sentiment, I promise. I like that people are noticing that I've accomplished something but let's not try to make it more than it is, OK? I haven't changed my life, just the size of my skivvies.
If I write an e-mail that asks for you to do something and tells you what that thing is why do you call me to ask what it is you need to do?
If you want the extra money from the matching gift and I fill out 3/4 of the form and write you a note showing you exactly which part I need you to provide information for why do you leave that blank and send it in anyway necessitating 3 extra rounds of work where, if you'd read my note, there would be none?
Is this "the new reading" like "the new math"? Are we reading only x number of words per communication and hoping for the best? If I am taking the trouble to write the words then please read them. It's not just a good idea, it's your job!
These 2 examples are not the only instances of this, they're just the only instances in the last 5 minutes.
Monday, August 13, 2007
So, I find this hard to explain outside of the wacky downtown theatre world but I went into rehearsal tonight. It's not like a script and blocking and memorizing lines and stuff. It's about concepts and movement and pictures and stuff. I'm working on Medea.
I did a 30 minute deconstruction of a moment in Medea for my senior project in college. (Do I sound pretentious and ridiculous enough yet?) Even then I knew it was more than I could chew to do the whole thing as I saw it. So I did this small piece, the piece that I was interested in and explored it thoroughly. (For the record that piece is the moment when Jason goes off to introduce himself to the King of Colchis and leaves Medea behind on the beach with the kids all alone and unprotected in a strange land.) Ever since then (Yes I've counted. It's 16 years.) I've been saying I'll do the full version. As a matter of fact Pony Express and I have been buying props and set pieces for 16 years under the justification that it's for when we do Medea again.
I've been trying to write the piece on and off, too. It's hard. Shocker. Peter Weekly said he'd be into going into rehearsal with me to try and shake the tree a little. So we started that tonight. It was scary and weird and I'm not sure what a fabulous job I did but it did spark some neurons.
The real key here, though, is what I feel like now. Magnificent! There's such a feeling of accomplishment in having done 2.5 hours of work on the project. I'm all excited purposeful and happy and ready to start my week. I feel ready and able to do anything!
So, what does that for you? (I'm guessing exercise/running will come up a couple of times. Maybe teaching a class. But I'll be interested to be wrong too!)
Present for someone who doesn't know how to read yet: $10.62
Another roll of film developed: $14.11
Rehearsal space + deposit: $65
There are some other numbers worth noting today as well.
I cashed in a liter of coins (God bless the Commerce Bank Penny Arcade free coin counting machine) for a total of $96.58.
Down another half pound to 135.5.
Usually I'm writing about me or about my friends and how you need to look at us but, I went to Shakespeare in the Park last night and had the opportunity to shake Jesse Tyler Ferguson's hand and thank him for all the laughs he's provided over the past year. This got me to thinking that, in case you don't remember, since you saw fit to cancel The Class all of these kids are available for work.
You know, just in case you wanted to cast some extremely talented people in your next project.
You're Alice's Adventures in Wonderland!
by Lewis Carroll
After stumbling down the wrong turn in life, you've had your mind
opened to a number of strange and curious things. As life grows curiouser and curiouser,
you have to ask yourself what's real and what's the picture of illusion. Little is coming
to your aid in discerning fantasy from fact, but the line between them is so blurry that
it's starting not to matter. Be careful around rabbit holes and those who smile to much,
and just avoid hat shops altogether.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
Thanks to Gert for this one. There are 64 different options with only 6 questions to answer, I loved this quiz.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
There's only one part of the day I'm regretting and that's the second mimosa at brunch. My brain is imploding and has been for like 7 hours and I fear I won't be able to sleep. I've taken on lots of water and 2 aleve and I may go with a slug of Pepto and an ice pack before I lie down.
It tasted so good.
ScooterFood (chicken kind is cheaper than the liver kind): $11.38
Brunch (Brunch Club, once a month whether you're ready or not): $26
Ice cream for my girl, Alita: $3
Bottle of water: $1.50
Taxi home from the theatre: $21
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Once I post this I'm headed out through the remnants of the block party to walk the dog. Let's hope it's all still civilized out there as well as properly lighted so I can keep the dog from scarfing the leftovers from the grills. I've been working one of those replacement diets where you give just something you know is safe then you add foods one at a time until you find the thing that's causing the trouble. So far we're OK with kibble, Scooterfood, and I'm about to find out if we're OK with Scooterfood treats. If so we add in the other treats I bought and go from there.
My life, she is exciting, no?
Chocolate milk for the week, one of the staples of my weight loss success: $3.50
3 cans of cat food: $6.70
Present for someone who might read this but will hopefully forget about it by the time it arrives: $10.87