Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Year-End Craziness

I'm having a crazy week at work with all the end of the year stuff that comes up with my job. This is generally a good thing as it makes the time, in what might otherwise be an incredibly dull week, go quickly.

Made the mistake of stopping in at Macy's on my lunch hour the other day in the hope of maybe finding some shoes I might like on sale. Well, I did, but when I asked harried salesperson if they might have them in my size, she looked at me incredulously and said "NO!" in the most distainful, scoffing tone imaginable. As if I must be the most stupid person on Earth for even thinking such a thing. Well, I have to admit, even attempting to go to Macy's this week was a pretty stupid endeavor.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Best Comments Ever

This weekend:

Friends of my father's who came to Christmas Dinner. They were just back from a trip to London and a transatlantic crossing on the QE2. When asked what they liked to do for fun, they said, "we like cocktails."

Tanya, Lori's daugher, explaiming over her kitschy oven timer (one of her many gifts), "Apple Man": "I love Apple Man! I don't need a man as long as I have Apple Man!" My response: "Well, in that case, I hope Apple Man comes with some special attachments."

Holiday Blahs

I seem to dislike the holidays a little bit more each year. Each season I just feel little bit more alienated, a little bit more removed. No longer having a mother really hit home this year. I sat in my father's living room after having opened my one gift, watching Lori's daughter opening gift after gift with her mother's comment on each, "oh we were in Seattle and I saw these earrings, I knew you'd love them." "We were in" (someplace else) "and saw those earrings, and I knew that you would love them too." "Oh I saw this sweater" (book, necklace, whatever) "and knew it would be perfect for you." I sat there and became more and more depressed. It wasn't about material things, or who got more gifts, but about having someone who knows you well, who thinks of you throughout the year and gets excited finding something that is right for just you. I think the thing about Christmas is that it amplifies your feelings. If you are happy with your personal life, you feel happier. If not, you feel even crummier about everything. I also find that when I feel that my life isn't the greatest, it is sometimes hard to be around people who are happy, and my father and Lori are that. Deliriously happy.

I know, I know, I sound like an ungrateful, sullen teenager. But it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Legend of the Chair

Luminita was down here visiting yesterday and she made a comment on the fact that I have two office chairs jammed into my cube. So, I had to tell her about The Hardest Chair on Earth and how when they finally replaced it (after months of requesting a replacement) they brought the oldest, most beat-up and stained chair they could find and so (since I was on vacation when this occured) they left the old, hard, chair too, in case I thought the replacement was the worse option of the two. Well, it's not, however, I've been reluctant to get rid of the Hardest Chair on Earth, just because I want people who visit me to experience it for themselves. Anyway, I told Luminita all this and then she told me about how she got really lucky with her chair upstairs. Someone had left the company and a rumor got out that there was a good chair somewhere and she was the lucky person who found it. I said that there has to be something wrong with this scenario when a "good" (comfortable) chair is just a legend in the company. It's like a search for the Holy Grail or something around here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Don't Look Back

An ex-boyfriend IMed me today, one who I really liked and always regretted things not working out with. It took every bit of will-power I possess not be more than just friendly and neutral with him. I so much wanted to ask how he was, what is new, and let's get together for a drink, etc. But I held strong, was courteous, friendly, but not encouraging. As hard as it was at the time, I'm really proud that I didn't cave and become the gushing wimp oozing the unspoken desperate plea, "lovemelovemeloveme" that I would have been with him just a couple or years ago.

No Holiday Season is Complete...

...without some drunken stumbling around the City.

The Good:

- Unlimited Chicken Tikka Marsala
- Free beer
- Sitting with and talking to a couple of Project Managers I don't usually have much interaction with.
- Sitting with and talking to my Department Director, who I don't get to interact much with on a daily basis.
- Going to Rancho for margaritas after lunch.
- Watching my manager, drunk off his ass (lightweight that he is) from said margaritas.

The Bad:

- Somehow realizing too late that our Department Director was buying margaritas for everyone, after I had already paid for mine.
- Trying to have deep, meaningful conversations about politics, religion, working mothers, my choice to be child-free, while under the influence of too much tequila.
- Somehow spending $30.

The Ugly:

- Stumbling down Amsterdam Avenue at 6:30 PM with Department Director, a Project Manager and Lou (colleague) drinking Heinikens from a straw, hidden inside a paper bag. What a class act. My how we have fallen from the years of Christmas parties at The Plaza, The Pierre, Ciprianis, The Rainbow Room, etc. Sheesh! I'm too old for this shit.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Indian, for Christmas?

So today my group here at work has our little holiday outing lunch thingie at an Indian restaurant, all the way up on West 100th Street. Somehow Indian food does not conjure up a festive Christmas-y kind of feeling for me. And I guess there were no suitable restaurants in any of the 60 or so blocks that would have been a more appropriate distance from/to our office? But at least there will be some free beer and we get the afternoon off, that's really all I care about at this point. I've alread canceled Scary Spinning for tonight. It's scary enough stone cold sober, can't imagine what that class would be like after drinking beer all afternoon.

Monday, December 20, 2004

A Better Mood

Well, I was pretty much in a crappy Monday-mood today, but I came home and ran on the treadmill for half an hour and then did the elliptical machine for another 20 minutes. Had the apartment gym to myself the whole time too. I feel a lot better now. Ahhhhhh.

Now I'm going to eat asparagus for the second time today. Good thing I love asparagus.

I Hate Commuting

Especially this time of year. When you're just dealing with other commuters, it's not so bad, since you're all usually somewhat sympathetic to each other. But this time of year, you get the holiday trippers, people dragging their kids in for whatever Christmas show, people traveling, housewives schlepping in for shopping, etc. and the attitude that some have is beyond belief. This morning there were delays on the LIRR system-wide because (of course) it was cold. Typical. As a result, the train that finally stopped this morning was packed. Michelle and I shuffle through looking for individual seats. She finds one, I move on, spying one a little farther along. 4-seats in the section, one inside one which is empty. I ask to sit there, and this woman, who has one those duffel bags on wheels on the floor wedged in front of her making the empty seat somewhat inaccessible says, "there is no room". But I don't back down, I say, "I'm sorry, but you can put that in the over-head rack. This is a commuter train, it's crowded." So she hoists this thing up on her lap and hides her face behind it. I snuggle in cozy and comfortable with my book and enjoy the ride. Every single seat was taken, people were standing in the aisles, yet this woman thinks that her bag is entitled to a seat. People!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I Suck

So, I ran a 4-mile race today. In the chilly, but sunny NYC morning. Got up at some ungodly hour, rode the LIRR in. Walked up the Herald Square, took the N train to 59th, switched for the 6 train and took that to 86th and from there, walked to 89th to the NY Road Runner's Clubhouse and picked up my chip and number and t-shirt and then I walked (the equivalent of) 13 more blocks north to the race start. I was early, of course. Milled around for almost an hour to try and keep warm and then it was shuffle to line up amoungst the hordes joustling for a spot. Found Harriet a couple of moments before the race too. I always find Harriet. Anyway, and then we start. I initially left Harriet behind me and things went well for, oh, about the first mile. Managed to pretty much keep going. Managed the hills alright. Had my new MP3 player on and so the music managed to inspire me a bit. At some point around here, Ken and our friend, Ron, who is visiting NYC for the weekend, caught up and ran with and around me for a a little while until they pulled away. After the hills on the West side drive, the side stitches started. Ellen passed me somewhere in the downhill before our turn East. Somewhere in the 72nd Street Transverse, Harriet passed me. I managed to stay semi-close to her for a little bit, but then she too was gone, gone, gone. I walked, I ran, I tried to pace myself behind people. But all along I was just thinking, I suck, I suck, I suck. As bad as my running was this Summer and in the early Fall, I've actually gotten worse, which is (really) no wonder given my sloth-like behavior lately. It sure was depressing. Demoralizing. It was a relief to finally finish that damn race. No euphoria for me, just self-loathing and relief.

I need to turn this trend around. I'm horribly out of shape. Fat. Not only do I feel icky, can't run or do the other things I want to be able to do, but emotionally, I don't want to do many things now. My sister wants me to come out to Taos in January to ski when my father comes out and a big part of the reason why I really don't want to (in addition to the fact that it would cost a fortune) is that I'm just. Too. Damn. Fat. It's humiliating. I have no ski clothes that currently fit, not even my ski jacket! I would have to rent equipment where you have to rattle off your weight for all to note, I just can't do it.

I. Suck.

I guess I know what my biggest New Year Resolution is, sheesh!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


So, I couldn't resist. My father had wanted to know what I wanted for Christmas, and so I told him where to find my Amazon Wish List so that he would get an idea of what kinds of things I might want. We did this last year and it took a lot of the stress out of holiday shopping for him -- my mother used to do all the Christmas shopping, so he is definitely out of his element there. Anyway, I couldn't restrain myself and had to go look up my list without the holiday filter. The default (filter on) will show your list regardless of status (whether something has been purchased or not). Well, I turned off the filter and now see that I am getting a pair of running shoes and the new George Foreman Next Generation Grill with Removable Plates for Christmas. I guess he didn't go for a Flat Screen TV (I want one for my kitchen) or the Dyson Animal Vacuum. Drat. It was worth a shot anyway.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Popcorn for Breakfast

Okay, it is 10 AM and there is already someone in the pantry here at work microwaving popcorn. I mean, blech!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Good News

I ran into my neighbor, Jerry, this evening and he told me that he heard that my upstairs neighbors are moving. I said that I knew that they were trying to sell their apartment, and he said that they told him that they think they've found a buyer. Wahoo!!! I just don't think I can take much more of the incessant stomping, pounding, running and screaming from up there. Hopefully, whomever moves in next will be lot quieter and more respectful. Well, and hopefully not have a 2-yearold hellspawn to wreck havoc on the peace of their neighbors.

Fair Warning

Anyone who is even thinking of having a child should read this essay.


The other night I was walking Lola in the rain and I noticed that this big, black SUV with tinted windows was stalking me. I was putting my key into the back gate when one of the car windows rolled down and this woman calls out to me, "excuse me, excuse me! Can your pug come over and say hello to my pug?" I turned around and there was this enormous, fat pug hanging out of the window. So of course I had to turn around, drag Lola over there and lift her up so that she could say hello to this fellow.

Pug owners are strange. Once you own a pug, you literally freak if you see another one. It's like this bizarre sub-culture or something.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


This should be enough ranting for a week:

Rant: Business Wear

I've ruined no less than 6 shirts & sweaters sitting at this damn cube desk because of the angle you have sit at to use the computer which has be positioned in the corner because the monitor takes up so much damn room. Somehow my elbow on my right arm rests on the desk in such a way that rubs right through the arms of every shirt and sweater I wear to work. We better get raises this year or I'm not going to be able to afford to keep coming to work!

Rant: Personal Space.

What is it with people invading your personal space anyway? This morning on a gloriously empty train, I have a whole 3-seater to myself. Chick gets on, and sits, not on the other end of the 3-seater, but in the middle seat, right up against me! What's up with that??? And then she proceeds to powder and paint herself with make-up for the entire trip (if I had ended up wearing any of her blush, there would have been hell to pay).

Rant: People Who Litter

Seriously dude. Is it really necessary to throw your damn trash on the ground with no regard whatsoever? Especially when there is a trash can about 5 feet away?

Rant: Holiday Music

Okay, I can handle a seasonal song here or there, but the rock/pop station I listen to at work has suddenly (without exaggeration) turned into the "All-Holiday-Music-ALL-the-Time" radio station. Literally. I don't think I've heard one non-holiday song since Thanksgiving. Can't change the station because it's the only real thing that will come in on my radio and I don't want to turn it off because I really like the "white noise".

Rant: My Father

Having dinner with my father and Lori (his wife) tonight. It is Hanukkah after all.

Rant: Money

Waiting for my stupid, little company bonus that I get this year for having worked here for fifteen years. All $300 of it. I know it's pathetic, but it's better than nothing and I want to know when I'll have it.

Rant: My Damn Self-Evaluation

Which I finished yesterday, thankfully.

Rant: Queer Eye

So, I watched the Queer Eye Christmas Special the other night and I have to say that I was not impressed. So you helped a couple of rich yuppies decorate their mansion for Christmas and then threw a fancy brunch for their rich friends & family. All the while their bratty kids screamed their demands for what they wanted (I mean one kid, when asked, said she wanted a "real" American Express card -- WTF???) I think surely, they could have found a family far more deserving to help out.

Rant: My Computer

Which is so old that I couldn't even load an upgrade version of XP (TG Staples took the software back -- they were very nice).

Rant: the LIRR

Just because no rant is ever complete without a complaint about the LIRR.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


I just had a memory from Thanksgiving. It was after dinner, some people were still eating desert or whatever, and Julia and I were sitting over on the couch. Joe's mom comes up to me with a sad look on her face and starts talking about Lola and how sad she is and how she's watching everyone and on and on and I have no idea what she is getting at. Finally she asks if she can give Lola a piece of cheesecake! Cheesecake! To a dog! Boy, did Lola have her completely snowed. I laughed out loud and said, no, I didn't really think that was a good idea. My dog is good, I'll have to say that for her. Of course, she knew just who to test her wiles on too. Although, based upon our experience with The Incredible Farting Pug on the trip home, I wouldn't be surprised if she had ended up having some cheesecake after all.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Head Fog

I've been up late the past few nights trying to figure out how I can make this MP3 player (that I got for my birthday) work. My machine at home is a relatively old laptop running Windows 98, and most of the applicable software for dealing with audio files really wants Windows XP. One of the reasons why I decided on this particular MP3 player is because it is Win98 compatible. The problem is, every site that I can find where you can purchase downloadable music only provides the files in .WMA format -- which is not compatible with this player. Apparently you can encode .WMA files to MP3 if you use Windows Media 10 -- which is only compatible with Windows XP!!!! It's so. Damn. Frustrating. I just wanted a little, light player that I can run and work-out with. So now I've been searching high & low for a site that will allow me to download music in MP3 format. I thought I found one last night, but the music ended up being by some bullshit cover band of popular songs. Grrrrrrrr. So I've been up late every night between installing and uninstalling of various software, web searches, music downloads, my machine crashing, etc. and I'm exhausted and frustrated and cranky and pissed off. Computers are so cheap right now, that I'm thinking maybe I should just buy a desktop, network it with the laptop, set up a wireless network so that I can browse with the laptop from wherever in my apartment and be done with it. Anyway, now at work I have to convert some of my data extraction applications to SQL, it's a big, complicated job and I can't concentrate because I am in a brain fog due to the exhaustion of dealing with this every night. So irritated. ARGH!