Sunday, August 31, 2003

Damn. Lost the Lottery again! Guess I'd better stop shopping online for an Upper Westside apartment. So disappointed.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Today was surprisingly and horribly hot. I thought that it was supposed to be a lot cooler by today, but it sure didn't turn out that way. I had hopes of a nice, long walk/run combination in the park, but a walk of a couple of blocks to do some errands killed that notion. I am just hopeless in this kind of heat (the humidity is extremely high -- which really makes it unbearable for me). Instead I opted for some house-cleaning, which while not very exciting, makes me feel like I accomplished something today. Also, I feel a little more peaceful. Clutter and dis-organization stresses me out (which can explain why I am usually stressed out). Anyway, things are clean and put away. For now. AND the cable guy came! I spent some time queuing up recordings of various TLC programs I never seem to be able to catch, as well as some day-time stuff like Dr. Phil and Oprah, etc. (not sure how much of the Dr. Phil and Oprah I'll end up watching, but this way I have the option.) I'm so pathetic.
I somehow made it through the Friday workday without perishing. Watched the Two Towers last night and am now waiting for the cable guy to come. Excellent.

I hate my upstairs neighbors. Well, I suppose I shouldn't say hate, but my resentment is growing by the week. They have a young child (like a year and a few months old) who has recently progressed to running. Around the apartment. ALL the time. And the thing of it is, these people. Have. No. Rugs. (or carpeting). This of course is in addition to the tendancy to drop hard objects (I'm guessing blocks) on the floor repeatedly. Not to mention the parents' habit of stomping around, dragging furniture and god knows what else. There are two adults and a child up there. In. A. Studio. Apartment! They are driving me insane.

I had really hoped that they would go away for this weekend, but no such luck.

Friday, August 29, 2003

GAD! Yet another interminable friday afternoon desperately waiting for 5 o'clock. Will this day ever end? I think all other departments have left at this point. Sucks to be us.
Why do I have to look at this everytime I go to Yahoo or MSN or anywhere else today? I mean, I. Really. Don't. Care.
On the cusp of a holiday weekend and everyone is leaving early (flush with eager plans for a fun-packed weekend, no doubt) and here I sit stuck next to my phone because of a system problem. My manager (who is home) has to keep calling me as we try to fix this thing. Ergk! Just an ordinary, crappy day for me.
OMG. I was just in the Ladies Room and someone was in one of the stalls lighting matches -- too funny.
I'm so very, very happy that it's Friday AND that this is a 3-day weekend. woo! I don't even care that I have absolutely zero plans. Oh, well I do get to feed Carolina & Janos's wacko cat (they're going away for the weekend). I guess that's something.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Damn I've blogged a lot these last couple of days.
I experienced a new cell phone annoyance today. I've noticed this trend of using famous classical musical pieces in lieu of a phone ring. As irritating and borderline appalling as this is, the irritation factor reached a new high today when someone on my train ride home had their phone ring set to a polka tune! I mean, where is it going to end???

Something else noticed on my ride home this evening. Two people sitting across from me. One is riding to Forest Hills, which is about a 6 mile ride. The other is riding to West Hampton which is about a 100 mile ride. Forest Hills boy is charged $9 for the trip. West Hamptons boy $22. Is this the New Math? Or am I really that bad at word problems?
Well, I think I've finally pretty much finished my application. The Project Manager did another review today and he seemed pretty pleased with how quickly I have been able to incorporate his changes and suggestions and also had some nice compliments about the way I handled some of the functionality, appearance, help, etc. So this afternoon I was able to add it to the application "tree" so that it can be presented to the users at our status meeting next week. At last some of my work will be implemented. This has been a long process and there is still lots of work to do (I should get another related assignment either tomorrow or Tuesday). Our Director wants this to be fully-functional and ready for rollout by January 1. Sounds like it is a long time away, but it really is not, in the World of Software anyway.
Rant of the Day: The person who sits in the (open-air) cubicle behind me who is eating extremely strong-smelling Indian food! ARGH!!! This is just wrong on so many levels.
Is it bad that I gossip about my friends in my blog? Email me and let me know what you think about it. Or comment ("Shout Out")
We heard recently that there are not going to be any raises here. For the third year in a row. Bastards. (I need to get out of NYC, it's too expensive here)
Julia commented (in response to a blog from yesterday):

|Ohhh! Keep us posted on this one. I love juicy gossip. Especially if I can meet them one day! LOL! Deb, the next time we come to NYC, you, Steven and Rose, me and Joe, are gonna meet Carolina and Michelle. That way, I can know you is dating whom, etc. It would be better to meet the married boyfriend, too!

Posted By: Julia 8/28/2003 7:44:48 AM|

My response:

NAH! The married BF is relatively anti-social (remind you of "someone's" ex we used to know?). She used to bring him out when our group used to do happy hours on Fridays and I don't think he has ever said two words to me. Total non-personality on that one. But never-fear, I'm sure I will have plenty of future gossip as Michelle will be moving into my apartment building in the next month or two. She is buying Carolina & Janos's apartment. They are moving around the corner to a bigger place (they just had a baby).

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Woo! I just ordered the Time Warner Cable's equivalent of TiVo -- so excited! An additional $6 something a month, but I don't have to buy a $300 piece of electronics. They're installing it on Saturday. I am such a TV freak.
How is it possible that today is only Wednesday??? I mean, really?
Went to lunch with Carolina today. Had wrap sandwiches and gossiped about our friend Michelle who is "secretly" back together with her old boyfriend (who is still married btw). Now I want some chocolate.
I was trying to figure out why my arms are sore today, and then I remembered that I did upper-body weights before Spinning class last night. Duh.
Chrissy is complaining about how it is supposed to rain all weekend, spoiling her Hamptons plans. Ah, boo. At least the weather will make no difference at all to me as I plan to loaf and watch movies all weekend -- most notably, "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers", so incredibly psyched for that. I just hope that I get it by then (it's on it's way from BestBuy).
Nice and empty train this morning (AND it was actually a minute or two early). There is lots of space, I grab a completely empty 3-seater and sit next to the window for a change. Wouldn't you know it, this COW gets on at Forest Hills and wants to squeeze into my 3-seater with me (and someone else she's with). I said NFW (mumbled something about being claustrophobic) and got up and found another seat. I'm so pissed. I hate being squeezed into a 3-seater in the best of circumstances (I usually avoid them at all costs on the trains going home, but my morning train is empty enough that you usually only have to share with one other person), but this woman was huge. I mean, have a little decency about where you try to squeeze your ass -- argh!

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

OMG! They totally filmed part of Queer Eye at the Pottery Barn where I used to work! (literally, the PB at Lincoln Center, Manhattan) Just had a scary retail flashback, I may need a moment...
Made it to Spinning somehow and it was hard! Maybe because I haven't spun in a couple of weeks and the spinning I did on vacation was easier than the classes I get at the NYSC. Made it through somehow and then went for a couple of beers with Ken & Ellen. They leave for vacation tomorrow. Again. They haven't even had time to unpack from their last trip. Bastards.

ooooo, time for Queer Eye...
Okay, I've just reserved a spot in tonight's Spinning Class. Now I have to go.
I had horrible nightmares about tornados last night. Again. This is a recurring theme for me, but I hadn't had one in a while. Of course, I made the mistake over the weekend of watching a documentary on tornados, so that could have been a contributing factor to last night's bad dreams (ya think?). I should know better. This morning I still have a slightly suppressed feeling of being inconsolably frightened. I really should have known better than to watch that movie. I'll never learn.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Rather than just coming home and sitting like a lump watching Oprah or Seinfeld repeats or something, after having turned down the invitation to the USO, I decided to take Lola to the Park for a walk. It's supposed to get very hot and humid again later this week (big surprise) so I figured it was best to take advantage of the nice weather (not to mention the longer days) while we could. On the way out the door I ran into Carolina on her way down to the train to meet her mother. I decided to walk with her there before moving on to the park. Odd decision as her mother usually scares the bejesus out of me. But once she showed, I didn't stick around long enough for her to latch on and give me any unsolicited, er, advice.

After that quick encounter, we were on to the Park. Putting a damper on our little outing is the fact that there have been a few rapes in this area lately. A couple in the Park. This is so despicable and makes me so mad that I just can't even talk about it. So Lola and I stuck to the main drive of the park, staying away from the bridle trails, which are our favorite. Still it was a nice enough walk.
Well, today didn't end up so badly afterall. I think it is always the anticipation of Monday that is the worst. Kind of like going to the dentist or the gym. Or in my case, to my parents'. Actually, that last one IS always as bad as anticipated. But you get my drift. Anyway, I fixed the thing I broke on Friday, only to create new problems for myself, but at least I know what is causing the current problems -- it's just something I have to work through. Kinda like working out a puzzle. Friday's thing was a whole other kettle of fish.

So my friend Lares asked me to go with him (and another friend, Lou) to the US Open after work today. I had to say, "no thanks" as I am really not much of a tennis fan, nor am I a fan of going out on a Monday. Apparently there would have been free food and booze, and while that is tempting, I think I am better off heading straight for home. I suspect things could have gotten ugly had I had access to free beer after a woefully boring weekend. Speaking of woefully boring, I have become woefully boring myself. A few short years ago I would have jumped at a chance to do something different, tennis fan or not. Especially if it involved booze. I am just getting horribly old and dull.
Oh what fuckery. I fixed the problem with my application, only to break something else. Heh.
AAAUUUUUUGGGGHHHH! These florescent lights are sucking my will to live!!!!
I know it is a total cliche, but I am always so depressed on Mondays. This monday is no exception. The skies this morning were bleak to match my mood. And my program is still broken -- GAH!

Sunday, August 24, 2003

It's a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day here in the NorthEast. Why can't Summer here always be like this? I think I feel Fall in the air -- yay.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Why is it that no matter how busy I am at work during the week, no matter how caught up in my job I get, that once Friday afternoon rolls around, I am sitting on the edge of my seat watching the clock like a kid two seconds before Summer Vacation? It never fails. It's not even like I have anything at all planned for this weekend. Just a lot of loafage, as usual. If I'm motivated, I may actually get around to finishing my unpacking from my trip.
ARGH! I was so happy with the progress I've been making on my project this week and now I've gone and broken something and I can't really figure out what. So annoyed. I wonder if it is best to just cut my losses and revisit this again on Monday. I'm so tired of looking at code and so desperate to fix this now that I'm liable to do further damage. Wish I could just say, 'I'm done for the week' and then go home. But no, we're treated like a bunch of kindergartners here, g-d forbid anyone leaves before 5 PM (or even at 5PM, for that matter) -- oh the horror.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Went with Carolina for a pedicure at lunch. We managed to get there just before the worst of the rush. As we walked in the door, there was Chrissy having both nails and toes done, so we had an old-fashioned girls' outing (haven't had one of those in a long time). As the groomer was finishing my toes, she said, "nice color!" I replied, "you always say that! Someday I'm going to walk in here and you'll have to say, 'really ugly color -- bleah!' " She just laughed at me.
Annoying chick on the train platform this morning. Stands practically on top of me, long, fake platinum hair, long, fake nails, tons of sickeningly sweet perfume. Walkman cranked up really loud, but she still manages to get on her cell phone and talk. Had she been smoking, the annoyance would have been complete. I saw this other guy too this morning. Wearing a really cheap, NYC Souvenir shirt. So cheap, that all the buildings dipicted in the drawn skyline where in totally the wrong places. Also wearing a really tacky souvenir hat to go with it, as well as a fanny pack. I wouldn't have mentioned this guy, only I saw him on the platform yesterday as well and he was wearing the exact same thing. Where do these people come from?

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Sure was a slow email day today. Also, I didn't have internet access for a good portion of the day! It's all probably for the best as I was pretty busy and was able to get a lot done. However, I couldn't do any weblog browsing while I ate my lunch -- doh! Ran across the street hoping for a pedicure but the salon was already packed at 5 to 12 and there was a wait for pedicures -- GAH! I never wait for peds, I'll just come back another day. Oh well, at least there was no line at the salad place for a change.
Today was a somewhat important day for me at work. Not Earth-shatteringly important, but still significant as the project I've been working on for the past few months was being evaluated by the Project Leader. If found very lacking, this news would have quickly traveled back to my immediate boss as well as the Director of my department. I think a bad review of my work could have actually threatened my continued employment here. It certainly would have affected my future involvement with this project and others like it. Complicating my performance on this project is the fact that this involved developing a whole new set of programming skills, in addition to adhering to a methodology that I am completely unfamiliar with. Additionally, I've had a lot of side projects thrown my way during the course of my time working on this thing, which at best is distracting, but also changes my focus from time to time, interrupting the learning process, not to mention my effectiveness in making progress. Anyway, the evaluation of my work came back pretty positively, but also with a large list of things that need to be changed, added or fixed. I'm actually pretty happy for this list as it means I will be pretty busy for a while. Most importantly, I am ending this workday with a good amount of relief.
Last night for dinner I had a Sapporo beer and two Weight Watchers English Toffee Ice Cream Bars. Yeah, I'm single.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Why, oh why does the cleaning lady insist on wearing such cheap-ass, horrible perfume. And copious amounts of it? And why does she have to start with our department for that matter? When all the surrounding departments leave at the dot of 5 and would not have to be subjected to her wonderful choice in fragrance -- gah!
Oh. Good. Lord. I just realized that I forgot my bra for Spinning tonight. I'd say I could wear a regular one (opposed to the sports bra I was supposed to bring) but I'm not wearing one today. Naughty.
Ok, so the Blackout of 2003. Well, I wrote about the unannounced fire drill we had had at work on Thursday morning. Complete with dire warnings about planes flying into buildings (basically, we're on our own in such a case). Fast forward to 4:0whatever that afternoon. Both of my ears simultaneously pop, there is a slight electrical stutter and everything immediately goes dark. Also a bell on one of the emergency exits starts ringing. People mill around like what the f*? We wait for announcements, there are none forth-coming. I make a quick trip to the ladies room, only to discover that there are no emergency lights in there and thus it is pitch dark -- uh, no, too creepy, but thanks. Pack up my gear and see two friends, Chris and Bern headed for the stairs so I join them. We get about 3 flights down when I decide to go back for the running shoes I have stowed under my desk. I had a feeling there was a hike over the 59th Street Bridge in my future. Grab the shoes, bolt down the stairs again and past the stream of people, catching back up to Chris and Bern. Down the 27 stories. It wasn't so bad. I remember having to do this once or twice in our old building up the block -- that was a lot worse as the stairwells were a lot narrower.

We get out and there are 1,000s of people teeming all over the place. No one knew what to do and there was no way to really find out what was going on. Chris mentioned something about going to a bar, I made a half-hearted agreement, although, my instincts were telling me the best thing would be to start to move East and make for getting out of Manhattan. Something told me that this was not going to clear up quickly or easily. Besides, I only had $4 on me and Chris had none. She mentioned borrowing money from me if we could get to an ATM. Uh, yeah, you can borrow money, but ATMs run on electricity. Finally we go to the newstand in front of Penn Station where she borrows $60 from the news agent there. She's obviously a good customer (all those cigarettes and scratch-offs). I convince Chris that we need to get out of this neighborhood and that maybe we can talk a cab into taking us out of the City, maybe even to Kew Gardens. Yeah. Right. On our way up West 32nd Street, we run into Jeff, who also has to get out our way. He signs on with us and we're on our way. As luck would have it, Jeff has a radio walkman and so can listen from time-to-time to news updates.

At the top of the block, we stop at our first deli and Chris and I each buy a "tall-boy" beer. With a straw. We're both such a class act. From there it is a job negotiating the streets and the masses of people and trying to make headway. Along the way we try to flag down various cabs and private cars with no luck. All the cabs were out of service and taking no passengers. I still don't understand that at all. So we keep walking. By the time we make Second Avenue, the pedestrians have taken over the streets, as well as the sidewalks. Once we get to about East 36th or so, the vehicle traffic is for the most part gridlocked behind us anyway. At one point, I was on a slight hill in the middle of Second Avenue, and I turned around to look behind me and at the sea of bodies claiming the roadway as far as the eye could see, reminded me of running the NYC Marathon and seeing the mass of people on First Avenue. But more so.

By then, Chris and I had finished our second beer, so we needed a pit-stop. We walked into a bar where business was in full-swing and used the bathroom. While there, I also changed into the gym clothes I had in my backpack. It was so HOT that day and walking made it hotter, of course. No reason to be more uncomfortable than I had to be. Once in the gym clothes, I was all set. We bought more beer (I think Jeff was a little appalled) and continued on. At this point, Chris is pretty buzzed and so is freely flinging insults at the cars/cabs that aren't picking us up. We pass some bars where people are sitting outside, drinking beer and watching the parade go by. I express a wish that I still lived in Manhattan and could do the same. We get to the bridge and we are on the top level, walking on the roadway. The walkway is on the lower level, but there are more people than cars at this point and the walkers are moving faster than the cars are anyway, so it works. So weird to be walking up the curving rampways and to look down the canyons and just see people in the streets everywhere. The walk over the bridge is pretty hot, but I'm distracted by Jeff's gossip. His father is the owner and president of our company, so he knows a lot of stories. Chris is pretty drunk at this point and hurting as she is wearing sandals with heels. As we wind down the bridge ramp on the Queens side, we notice a cab company under the bridge. When we hit the street we head in that direction thinking that we can maybe find a cab willing to take us somewhere. Somewhere around here Chris announces that she has to pee again and that she's just going to squat inbetween two parked cars. Uh okay. I think Jeff is even more appalled and I get roped into "blocking" her. Blocking her???? you could have fit a whole other car inbetween the two cars she chose and it is still broad daylight. She doesn't care and just drops trow. I attempt to "block" while trying to avoid being peed on. Oiy.

After the peeing incident, we notice a couple getting into a parked car, just up the street. Chris pulls down her skirt and runs up to them and manages to talk them into giving us all a ride. It's decided that Chris & I will get out in Forest Hills and that Jeff with go to Flushing. Chris still has to get home to Long Island from here and so, once in Forest Hills, we try to call her husband from a payphone, but there is no answer. We don't know what to do at this point, so we get another beer at another deli. I know I can walk home from here (it's only about two miles), but I'm worried about Chris. We walk up the LIRR platform and talk to some people who are waiting there. We come back down and talk to a LIRR conductor who is as stranded as everyone else and just as clueless. We go back to the deli and buy more beer (at this point, not to drink, but just in case there is no beer to be had later -- priorities). Chris finally decides that she's going to go wait on the platform with the other people. I try to talk her into coming home with me, but she wants to wait. (It turns out that she was able to get a ride with someone to Long Island about an hour or so later, so it wasn't so bad).

I walked home via Queens Blvd, because at this point it's finally starting to get dark and I know there will be more light there. I pass various business selling their products on the street. An Asian restaurant trying to unload some sushi, a liquor store who has mixed up some shots and is selling them for $1. I get home to discover a party going on in front of my building and in the backyard. I talk for a couple of minutes to Derek (a neighbor) and then go upstairs for a cold shower. I take Lola out and join the party in the back for a while. People are BBQing whatever was in their refridgerators. I go back upstairs and read by candlelight for awhile. And then I lay on the bed and read by flashlight. At around 10:30 PM or so, Carolina and Janos knock on my door because they were worried about Lola, not knowing if I had made it home. It turns out my dog walker had also shown up shortly after I had arrived home. Derek had let her know I had made it. It's nice to know that people will remember Lola though, should something happen. Anyway. Carolina and Janos talk me into rejoining the party out back, which is in full-swing. It's pitch-dark, so I don't mind going down in just a camisole top (and shorts), I know no one can really see me very well anyway. We hang out out back for awhile talking and drinking (this time vodka). It was actually kind of fun.

I woke up the next morning expecting the power to be restored, but no such luck. Later in the morning I walk with Carolina and Janos to the Park and then to Forest Hills where the power is ON. Bastards. We spend a good part of the day walking around FH and the Gardens and then finally back to Kew Gardens to discover that the power is STILL not on. We hear rumors that all surrounding neighborhoods are back on, just not us. I have visions of being that neighborhood you hear about, that still has no power days later, after the rest of the City is fully-functional. I become a little bitter about it. By now I'm very hot and missing my air-conditioner, not to mention cable TV. Stalk home, am fishing for ice for Lola out of the half-melted stuff that is left in my freezer when the power, finally, kicks back on. Around 3:30 or so PM (almost 24 hours later). Turns out we weren't even the last to get it after all, so my bitterness has subsided.

That night my apartment building has a great party in the back where everyone brings all their defrosted meat from their freezers. People are contributing filet minon, etc. which I happily enjoy. I contribute chicken tenders and garden burgers. I think I got the better end of the deal.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

We had a fire drill this morning at work. The fire official who addressed us capped off his little speech with the caveat that all he had just told us was contingency for a fire orginating within the building. He then went on to say that it does not cover a circumstance where, say, a plane flies into the building. I think he illustrated this scenario by describing how you might hear a loud "boom" and feel the building shake. I guess there is no contingency for the plane scenario. Great, thanks, I feel better about working in the heart of Manahattan now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Actually, I guess that's not really fair. It hasn't been that bad of a day, yesterday was A LOT worse. Trust me. It's just that vacation is over and it's back to dull normal. Still would like to win Lotto though.
BLUH, this. Must. Be. The. Dullest. Day. Ever. Not really, it just seems like it. Oh why can't I just win Lotto?
So there is this guy I see at my train station every morning. Nice looking, always very nicely dressed in either a great suit, or attractive and stylish casual clothes. He waits for the train every morning near where I wait. So I've had a chance to notice this, morning after morning he is standing there cracking gum like a 9-year-old. Every single morning. It seems so incongruous to the rest of his image. I mean, he's not just chewing gum, but cracking it. Loudly. I just don't get it. I wonder if he does this all day long?

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I really hate the first few days back at work after vacation. It takes me so long to figure out what I'm doing (and why all of this BS is important) and the days seem so long and I feel so, well, trapped. Guess I had better spin tonight -- so not in the mood -- gah!

Monday, August 11, 2003

Back to our regularly-scheduled blogging program. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I would be on vacation from August 1st - August 11th, oh well. If I have a chance, I'll maybe blog about it. Until then:

Old men in Speedo bathing-suits... WHY????????