Friday, July 30, 2004

Do I Look Homeless?

I know I look a little worse for wear after suffering from insomnia most of the week, but this is ridiculous. Ran downstairs and to a Duane Reade in Penn Station to grab a soda for my mid-afternoon caffeine kick. I'm coming back up the escalator outside the building when this guy asks me for directions to Park Avenue. (Luckily he asked because he was ready to walk West and farther away -- it's already enough of a hike on such a steamy, icky day). Anyway, I give him directions, tell him the cross streets along the way, how far it is, how to get out of the maze of corridors to the street, what cross-street we're at, etc. And then he all of a sudden whips out his wallet and tries to hand a dollar to me! He was trying to tip me! I refused the dollar and he kept insisting and I kept refusing... it was so bizarre. I finally said emphatically, "no, it's really okay" and I guess he finally got the hint and stopped trying and just thanked me again, while I escaped to the revolving door of my building. I mean, it was a nice gesture but, sheesh! Do I look homeless or something? Now, if he had been offering me a beer, it might have been a different story.

Poor Joseph

From Julia's report of a race she did last night:

He says, "good job" or something like that. I said, "GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!!!"
Hahhahahahaha!!!!! As Cher would say, Poor Joseph!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Nice Thing to Teach the Kiddies

Waiting to board a LIRR commuter train this evening, woman behind me with two kids and a bunch of bags says to the kids, "now, when the doors open, just push and push." I turn around and give them a scathing look and say, "No. Actually don't push." Woman amends her instruction to the kids and says, "don't push too hard." Yeah, whatever. Great thing to teach your kids, you're more important than anyone else, just push your way in, the hell with other people.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Bit the Bullet

Well, I just bit the bullet and registered to vote. I had been putting it off since I moved to Queens because I know that this is one sure-fire way for the jury duty nazis to find me (especially once I actually exercise my right to actually go out and vote). But who am I kidding? I just can't not vote, it's too important, espcially this year. And for those who say that your vote doesn't count, particularly if you're not living in a "swing" state... don't you want to express your opinion anyway? There is something to be said about sending a message not only to the government and the country, but to the World. Especially those in the World who believe that we all agree with and blindly follow "The Shrub".

More on Room & Board

From their website (about the NYC store -- coming soon):


Room & Board To Open New York Store

Room & Board will bring its classic, simple home furnishings to a new store in the heart of Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood in early 2005.

The store will be located in the building currently occupied by office and home furnishings company Knoll®, Inc. on Wooster between Spring and Prince Streets. Room & Board plans to renovate the space in a way that preserves the integrity of the current building and its surrounding neighborhood.

Despite not having a store in New York, Room & Board has experienced strong demand for its home furnishings among New York residents.

"Our goal is to help our customers create homes that are beautiful, functional, comfortable and provide outlets for self-expression," said John Gabbert, founder and president of Room & Board. "Based on the significant interest we've already seen among New York residents, we expect our SoHo store will be well received and extremely successful."

Can't wait. Love their stuff.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


So, I was watching Queer Eye tonight and Thom was talking about the bedroom he designed for this week's straight guy and he said that everything was ordered from Room and Board, my favorite furniture store (my couch is from there) and that they're opening a store in New York. Happy, happy (as Julia would say).
I just don't wanna go to spinning tonight. It's pouring out, I'm tired, just wanna go home -- argh!

LIRR Sucks

Can somebody please tell me why the heat was on in my train this morning? I mean, it was cranking out of the vents along the window like it was the middle of January or something. Sheesh!

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Nike Race in Central Park

I ran a race on Thursday night in the extreme heat & humidity. That night was just about the worst a NYC Summer has to offer. Extreme humidity (over 90%), extreme heat (around 90 degrees), a murky, swampy quality to the air that makes you want to run, screaming, for the closest air-conditioned building (preferably one where you can get a cold beer). I had been dreading this race all day long. The ten minutes I had taken to walk Lola at 8:00 that morning had been a torturous, sweat-flinging event, I couldn't even imagine how I was going to run 3.1 miles. I got to the Park that evening with plenty enough time to use a porta potty and mill around people watching. One thing I noticed was that there sure did seem to be a disproportionate number of people in the 20s (in my opinion), all young and attractive and in shape. 'Ugh, what am I doing here?' I thought to myself. Soon enough, the 10K race was off and it was time for the 5K participants to line up. I positioned myself in the proper place amoungst the thousands & thousands of race participants. This event was so much bigger than I had expected, it was almost like lining up for the marathon, there were so many people. Took me about 2 or so minutes to cross the start line and then we were almost immediately on a big climb, up the toughest hill in Central Park, "Harlem Hill" (also called "The Great Hill"). My one and only goal for this race was just to run up this hill in it's entirety without slowing to a walk at all. There were many people all around, some walking, some running, some doing a combination of both. I just dug in and concentrated, passed a good number of people and just kept a very slow and steady cadence forward and upward. I tried not to think about how hot and miserable it was, I was already completely drenched in sweat and it was only getting worse, but just set my sights on the top of that hill. Harlem Hill is steep, but it is also long and winds around a long curve, it just seems to keep going and going up. The last time I ran this hill in a race, about a month and a half ago, I was only able to make it about halfway or maybe two thirds of the way up. So I just dug in and kept going. Hot miserable, in oxygen debt. Slowly, the top of the hill seemed to get closer, at some stage I realized that I was going to make it. Dug in and continued to power up, not thinking about what I was going to do beyond that point. Well, I made it! The first time I had run that hill in it's entirety in about 5 years. I was pretty proud of myself, especially given the miserable conditions of the race (and my own wimpiness in the heat & humidity). I reached the top and did not walk at all, but was able to keep on going, down the hill and up the next two hills on the course. I was so proud of myself with this effort, I was pretty much at the upper limits of my current ability and endurance, I managed to ride that edge through the huge hill and the next couple of moderate hills after that. I finally did have to succomb to a walk break. Still, my endurance wasn't entirely shot yet and after a brief respite, I was able to continue running on the out and back portion of the course. Came around the turn-around still running, and then into the 102nd Traverse shooting us over to the East Side. It was somewhere in the Traverse where my endurance really gave out. The Traverse in this direction is a subtle uphill, not much of a big deal, but when you're at your limit, you can really feel it. The last part of the Traverse goes a little more steeply uphill (still, not really that big of a deal usually) and this is where I gave in and had to realize that I was just dead. The heat was making me feel so wretched (my face was so hot, it felt like it could explode, the sweat was pouring in rivers down my arms and legs and through my hair and down my face into my neck) and I had pushed my pace and my ability at this stage in my training as much as it could be pushed, I think. I walked up that short hill. Near the top of that hill and just before the second band on the course ("Flock of Seagulls" had been the first band, just after we passed over the Start Line) I started to run again knowing that it was mostly flat and down hill until the end. I felt about as powerful as a wet rag, but I managed to keep going through the flat and down the long down hill. Near the bottom of the hill where the course flattened out again, I had to take yet another walk break, before psyching myself up for the last .1 of the course, run up the beginning of Harlem Hill (yes, again) and over the finish line. Managed to even pick up my pace marginally for this last little climb to the end. Once across the finish line, I immmediately felt shakey and dizzy and had to make a real effor to keep my rubber legs moving forward for fear that I would otherwise just topple over. Anyway, all-in-all, I was really happy with my effort for this race. My time was dismally slow, but was actually about 4 minutes faster than the 5K I did in May. I was able to run the Harlem Hill in it's entirety and did not collapse at the top, but was able to continue on through the next few hills. I really did run most of the race, just a few short walk breaks marred my effort, a real improvement over the 5K in May and the NYRRC Anniversary race I ran on a very similar course in the beginning of June. Lastly, I do not deal well in the heat & humidity at all, so I was especially grateful to be able to put forth a solid effort on such a brutal day. Overall, I was happy with my race.

After the race I regrouped with Ellen & Ken, Harriet and Daniel (who all also ran the race) and we all enjoyed a wonderful dinner near the race finish, in honor of Ellen's birthday. It was a good night.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

so busy today... no time to blog.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Okay, why is my cubicle so bloody hot??? And why is my chair so bloody hard and uncomfortable??? (Even though I've requested another one, a replacement has not been provided. Bastards) ARGH!!!! I was talking to my father the other day and he was telling me how he had recently read an article (either in the NY Times or Wall Street Journal, I can't remember which) about all these people who sit in cubicles and how they're all going crazy. Yep, that's me. Thanks for pointing this out.

Monday, July 19, 2004

What a great run tonight -- wee!
The Government forgot what year 9/11 happened. Morons.



Okay, so I went to the dermatologist last week to finally get my skin (around my eyes) checked out to try and determine what is causing the FUEs. I had never been to these particular doctors or office before, what an operation it ended up being. First of all, my appointment was for 9 AM. I was there about 15 minutes early and, in the course of waiting for my turn, no fewer than six people came in with the exact same appointment time, for the exact same doctor. Right away you've got to think, 'over-booked???' Luckily, since I had been there early, I didn't have to wait too long. But, geez, once I was brought in, I felt like I was on an assembly line. First brought into one room where I was interviewed by a nurse who asked me the same questions I had answered on my questionnaire upon arriving for my appointment. The form I had filed out was even there, right in front of her. Then I was hustled into another room where there were three people, the doctor, a nurse and a physician's assistant or similar. I'm introduced, everyone is talking at once, my butt barely hits the chair when the doctor "diagnoses" my eyes as having dermatitis/allergic reaction to something. This diagnosis is made by him from across the room (no need for all the fancy equipment scattered around). I am then hoisted back up out of the chair, some samples of some cream and a prescription shoved into my hand, a request that I come back this week for allergy testing, and I am sent on my way with a, "nice meeting you, miss" from the doctor. I came spiralling out of the room practically dizzy. So, using the cream he gave me actually made my eyes worse, so I'm glad that I never got the stupid prescription filled (also, especially since the damn thing was supposed to run me around $100, on top of the $20 co-pay). So, this morning I came back for the allergy testing. After waiting 40 minutes or so for my turn to see the doctor, I am informed that they are going to put this test strip thingie on my back and that I will not be allowed to shower for three days. 3. days. Er, in case anyone hasn't checked recently, it's the middle of July.  Today the humidity level is ninety eight percent. That's 98. Hello???? Standing at the top of the subway stairs, I could feel waves of hot, swampy, humidity wafting up from the station. I was so hot while I was down there that I was almost ready to cry when I couldn't immediately find the stairs to get me out. When I freaked out to the doctor about the showering thing, she made some lame and vague comment about how I would still be allowed to use a wash cloth. Uh, yeah, that's a realistic option. I basically walked out of there (after another $20 co-pay). Even if I wasn't planning to run/spin/whatever everyday for three days, there is still no-freaking-way I could go for three days without showering. I mean, are they insane? I hate doctors.

Not on an Empty Stomach, Please...

Seen on my morning train today: man clipping his fingernails. I'm gagging again just thinking about it. (shudder)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Did anyone happen to catch the "UK Edition" of Queer Eye the other night? Well, I did, and I was NOT impressed. First of all, the guys really didn't have the chemistry or charisma or even the wit of the American Fab 5. But, the most disappointing part of the show, I found, was the home makeover. Basically, they threw a hammock, a sandbox and some outdoor seating in the backyard. They painted the bedroom, added some cheesy mosquito netting over the bed and framed stupid kids' footprints. And then in the den/playroom/living space... my God. Originally, they had a modern-looking red couch up there. The room wasn't really decorated, but it wasn't "hahhhhhrrrrrrible". Well. They moved the couch to a corner of the room behind a railing where it really can't be accessed and then they threw in 4 beanbag chairs in blue and red. And hung this stupid, blown-up picture of the two stupid kids. And that's it! The UK decorator-guy sure was no Thom Filicia, that's for sure. I could even have done better (and have). They did, however, do a pretty good job on the straight guy himself. He ended up pretty cute in the end.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Dragging Ass

Feeling really worn out and slightly icky, like I'm maybe getting sick or something. Could explain why I just have not been able to drag myself to a workout in the last few days. Not going to spinning tonight either. Still have work to do here anyway. Ugh.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Train Drama

So I get down to the LIRR area of Penn Station tonight to find that there are even more swarming masses than usual (never a good sign). Announcements are being made to not descend to the train platforms until your train is announced (most commuter trains typically use the same track each day and so, if you're used to a certain train, you can bypass all the Penn Station craziness by going directly to the track where you expect to grab your train). The announcement then goes on to state that some trains are being canceled and/or combined due to "equipment shortages". Equipment shortages? What? Did some trains go missing or something?

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Yoga is NOT for Wimps

Since I was already in Manhattan today for my massage and I had run yesterday, I decided to stop by the gym and take a yoga class. I've been thinking a lot about how I really need to incorporate something like yoga into my week for stretching, flexibility, strength, etc. Seems like it would be a good compliment to running. So the noon class at NYSC in Chelsea fit into my schedule this weekend, so I decided to go. Well. The first thing he had us go (after all that "OM" nonsense) was a headstand! I mean, dear. God. I, of course, opted to remain with all appendages firmly planted on the floor, thank you very much, but there was an amount of bodies crashing to the floor that was fairly intimidating. Although, not quite as intimidating as the people in the class who were actually able to do and hold this pose. From there on it was a series of transitions from one impossible pose to another, one meant to flow into the other with some degree of choreography. Yeah, right. I just held on as best as I could and watched what my neighbors were doing because all of the pose names were a complete mystery to me. All except for "Downward-Facing Dog" for some reason. I suspect that I ended up in that position more than was required (when all else failed, I would shrug my shoulders and go back to it). And the flinging of sweat was unbelievable. Poured off of me worse than in any spinning class. And it's kind of hard to wipe off the sweat that is streaming down your face in rivers when you are suspended in some twisted, unnatural position with all your balance and weight supported by your ten fingers. So the sweat just ran off of my face, splashing in big salty & oily globules onto my rubber mat, the stink of which was making me nauseous. I truly didn't know if I was going to actually make it through the class, but I did somehow. Turns out this was an advanced class. Oh. duh. Oh well, I somehow made it through, a shell of the person I was when I entered, but I did it. I wonder if I should try it again next week?
just whose bright idea was it to schedule a massage first thing on a Satuday morning in Manhattan anyway? sheesh...

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Could You Die?

Did I mention, in a misguided effort to stay as cool as possible, that I'm wearing a skirt today? With skinny girls this might actually work. But when you have large legs, your legs just end up rubbing together under your skirt causing friction and combining the heat of both appendages contributing to actually making you even hotter. I don't know why I can never remember this.


It is one of those Summer days that makes me absolutely crazy. So humid that even standing still, you're sweating buckets. It feels like you're standing in a swamp and, in NYC, you're not always blessed with air-conditioning everywhere you go either. My morning train is always late when it's hot like this (no idea why). I stand there sweating and stressing that the train that finally comes will be over-crowded with no A/C - neither of which happened today, but the stress causes me to sweat more. Get to Penn Station and the A/C there is murky at best with the heat rolling off all the open train tracks. Stop in Dunkin Donuts for coffee, where there is a line out the door, and deal with the no A/C at all in that store. No A/C plus all the machines and ovens, etc. running in a small space. It was at least 100 degrees in there (with no exaggeration) plus all the humidity we are enjoying on the streets today. This kind of day just puts me in the worst mood imaginable. At least I have no where I have to get to by subway today. That would truly send me over the edge, I swear.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Rant of the Day:

You're a stay-at-home-mom. Additionally, you have a relative visiting and helping you with the kid. Why does 6/6:30 PM on a Wednesday all of a sudden seem like the perfect time to not only do laundry, but to monopolize all of the laundry machines in the building? I mean, it's not like you couldn't do all your extensive laundry at any other time of the day. Preferably while the rest of us are slaving away in our putty-colored cubicles. I guess it would never occur to you that you might be inconveniencing many of your neighbors. But then again, you have a toddler in a studio apartment with no rugs on the hardwood floors, so I guess it really is all about you and your spawn anyway.

(but I'm not bitter)
Geez, I haven't written in a loooong time. I think it's a combination of being pretty busy at work, and not having anything much interesting to say. I've had a number of big projects dumped on me, and while for the most part I welcome the work and am happy to be pretty busy, I'm also a little bit overwhelmed as each is considered a "high priority" item. Additionally, there is the usual Quarter-End craziness to deal with too, so work is pretty busy. But mostly in a good way, so I'm not going to complain (for once).

Working out is going pretty well too. Managing to average three runs and two spinning classes a week. Strength training, however, has somehow fallen to the wayside with the onset of Summer. I was getting my weights workouts in on lunch hours three times a week, but with the heat now I can't convince myself to do all that running around and working out in the middle of the workday.

Have I mentioned lately that the LIRR sucks? Brand new trains (that, by the way, are smaller than the old ones) and yet I still end up in un-air-conditioned cars. Which, I have to say, really wasn't appreciated last night after my killer-sweat-fest-spinning-class, thank you very much.

So anyway, nothing is new. Work is busy, working out is clipping along. Trying to increase my running mileage (without a lot of success). And the LIRR sucks. That's it in a nutshell.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

People in Queens are Weird

Last night while walking home from the Park, Lola and I were strolling across the bridge that crosses over the LIRR train tracks. There was a woman about a third of a block away, we weren't really walking that fast (the workout was done at that point) so we weren't gaining on her or anything. But she kept looking over her shoulder at us. Finally she got off the sidewalk and stood in the street between two parked cars and waited for us to pass, while eyeing my dog. Lola just walked along, 'doh de doh de doh' wagging her tail and minding her own business. It was just so weird. Was she afraid of my little dog? I have never encountered such fear & suspicion of dogs in my life as I see on a daily basis in Queens. It just astounds me. Especially over a little dog with a friendly face and a waggy tail. And the thing with last night was, we weren't even close to this woman. She was pretty far ahead of us and it was fairly obvious that we weren't going to catch up to her (nor were we trying to). People in Queens are weird. I don't know if I'll ever get used to it.