Thursday, June 30, 2005

So, I'm just wondering... Julia slept last night. I, for one, had a lousy nights sleep.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Freaking Strange People I Work With

There is this guy who works in my department. He's very nice, but he is practically certifiable. I used to sit near him, but finally had to move because all of the crazy noise that constantly comes out of his work space. Anyway, he just now went running down the hall past my cubicle slapping and hitting himself as he went. This is the kind of thing I deal with every day here. Sheesh!

Is There Such a Thing as a "Fast" Keyboard?

I swear there is. I just got a "new" monitor and keyboard and, call me crazy, but I'm convinced that I'm typing faster on this thing. Weird.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Spoke too Soon

My weather bug this morning says that the humidity is 100%. That's, ONE. HUNDRED. PERCENT. HUMIDITY. And it's not even raining. ACK! So, of course the train is late this morning. We stand there in the soaking humidity waiting and waiting and waiting. And, of course, I had been over five minutes early for the train, which means that I get to wait even longer in the miserable conditions. As we wait I get more and more agitated and pissed off. To make conversation, I turn to Michelle and say, "you know, the first Summer that I was riding the LIRR, I used to encounter lots of un-air-conditioned trains. In the past couple of years, it seems as if it hasn't been nearly as bad. I don't know if they've fixed the problem, or if it's because they now have so many more of the newer trains (that everyone hates, but at least the a/c usually works), but it's been better." Train finally comes and it's PACKED, there is no room in the first car. Go into the next car and settle in and there is NO AIR-CONDITIONING. At all. And very little space. And the car smells like sewage. Of course there was no A/C, I had just gotten through commenting about how the A/C situation on the LIRR hasn't been so bad lately. Sheesh. What a miserable, freaking experience. Also, a nice way to start the day in a completely horrible and pissed off mood.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Walking to the Train Station this Morning...

...was like walking through a swamp. ICK!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

NYC Summer Weather

I guess it's just going to be one of those Summers where it is constantly and unbearably hot & humid. Certainly it is, if this month of June is any indication. Yesterday was terribly hot and uncomfortable, but the weather reports had predicted that today was going to be a lot more pleasant. Well, I don't think that is going to happen, I was just outside and it is already over 80 with the humidity level over 70%. Oh the humanity!


Heh. I'm sitting in my kitchen, drinking coffee and blogging away, and I can hear Lola the Pug in the other room snoring. LOUDLY. What's she got to be so tired about? Sheesh!

Blogging, Blogging...

So, it's been a few days and I haven't blogged. But I'm up pretty early this morning, and the dog is not yet clambering to go out, so maybe it's time for a few words.

Legs Like Wet Noodles...

Thursday night I took this killer spinning class. We had a sub and she announced at the start that the class was actually going to be an "Interval Spin". Now, if you don't know quite what that means, let me tell you (and you really have to trust me on this) it is really, really tough! I used to take Interval Spin classes about six years ago when I was in great shape and, even then, the class would kick my ass. I could go out and run 13/15/or 20 miles or whatever, but that spinning class would kill me. So I usually took two of those a week (along with 2 other regular spinning classes). Anyway, an interval class focuses on very specific and timed periods of intensity, followed by very short and measured recoveries. Usually with escalating intensity, followed by decreasing periods of recovery. And the recovery is an "active" recovery, not complete rest, mind you. So, for instance, you might start out in 3rd position (which is a standing climb out of the seat) with the resistance at a 7 out of 10, and then you might double-time in the saddle for 30 seconds, then up in standing (second position, out of the saddle) at double-time pace for 30 seconds, and the full-out sprint in third position (standing climb, out of the saddle). And then at the end of that, you're gasping at around 85+% of heartrate max, you are "given" 30 seconds of "recovery" before you have to repeat the cycle. Only this recovery occurs while you are still in your standing climb position, at the same resistance -- you're just not sprinting or double-timing. Anyway, repeat this series of invervals a few times and throw in some extra resistance as you go along, some longer sprints and maybe a shorter recovery allotment at some point and different and creative intervals of a similar vein and, well, it becomes a gasping, sweat-flinging fest. Also add to that the fact that I am in terrible shape and you can maybe start to get the picture. I did it though, I did not sit out even one of the intervals, and I felt great afterwards.

Reward (and the Price to be Paid)

We all felt so great after spinning, in fact, that we decided that we would forgo our usual beer or two at a local bar and head on up to Ellen & Ken's roofdeck to drink some beer there. Ken had just that day made a beer run (the latest special was Alexsander Petrouvski Russian beer) and so we were able to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful night while drinking Russian beer, while Ken served us various selections of BBQ that he was cooking right there on their Webber. Ah, it was heaven. Well, heaven until I looked at my watch at some point and realized that it was 11:30 PM. Yikes! So, it was a mad dash to Penn Station and I was lucky enough to be just in time for the next train (it could have been a bit of a wait, if I had hit it wrong) and so I was home by around midnight. Of course, I can never go straight to bed in these circumstances, so I had to putter around at home for an hour or so. Needless-to-say, I was exhausted and not at 100% capacity on Friday at work. Still, I managed to get a surprising amount of work done. I think plunging myself into my work and keeping myself busy all day helped to stave off total exhaustion. Once I finished what I was working on, I basically crashed. So, yesterday was about catching up with sleep, milling about the apartment and doing some simple tasks, like laundry. It was a good day for that sort of thing anyway, it was really far too hot to get out and do much.

Changes on the Horizon... ?

So, I've had a lot on my mind lately. Dissatisfaction with the way things have been going at work recently, unease with my future in my current situation and my growth potential, complacency with my job and responsibilities, unhappiness with where I'm living and the lack of life quality it offers. I mention all of these things here from time-to-time. Anyway, I don't want to say too much here because you never know who is listening but... it is possible that I will have the opportunity to apply for an incredible job, working for this fabulous company, located in a place where I would just love to live (and where I actually have more family than I do in the NYC area). The position would be a big step up from what I am currently doing, but using a lot of the skills, knowledge and experience that I've earned in my current job. It would be a lot more money. Enough that my money worries would basically be no more. My debt could be paid off relatively quickly, I could save some real money, I could take decent vacations and probably buy a house (if I wanted to go that route), I could actually hope to retire someday (in the vague, distant future). The thing is, the job would be a HUGE step up for me. A truckload more of responsibility, far more diversity in the scope of things I would have to know and have my hands on. The expectations of me would be presumably very high. I have varying degrees of experience in most of the areas that it has been laid out to me that the position would cover, I just don't know if my experience and knowledge is enough, and that is a scary thing. Although, I have to remind myself, when you get to a certain level in the job market, your knowledge and experience is, of course, very important, however a company is also just as interested in who you are and what your potential is, and how that all fits in with the company and the specific group that would be taking you on. People can be trained afterall, but you can't really change personality and attitude can usually only be changed marginally (or at least change can be elusive). Another problem for me is the fact that I have worked for my current company for sixteen years. Just typing that amazes me, I can hardly believe it. Anyway, having worked for a company for so long (especially a quirky, privately-held, software company) you become comfortable with the corporate structure, the culture and internal politics, who the players are, the expectations and where you fit into it all. Thinking about stepping out into a whole new environment after so long is frightening. Yet also very exciting. I guess, my biggest question to myself is, "could I do this job?", "Could I thrive in this situation?" I don't know, but very little is ever gained by playing it safe and never taking chances. I certainly wouldn't even be in the position to even consider this job had I not taken the chance, oh, about 10 or 12 years ago and moved to a technical department on the faith that I was going to be able to become technical. I could have crashed and burned there, that's for sure. Anyway, it's not as if anyone has offered the job to me yet, I am just, possibly, going to be given the opportunity to apply. There will be a long road of (presumably intense) interviewing before The Job even became a possibility. I mean, I haven't even updated my resume yet. But anyway, this is all on my mind. Heavily on my mind. Scared and excited and worried and hopeful and lots of other emotions swirling around. Anyway, LOTS to think about.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

News Flash!

The train this morning was… ON TIME! It’s like some kind of miracle or something. That damn LIRR sure does keep you guessing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

hmmmmmm, fresh strawberries are gooooood…

what's not so good is dropping said fresh strawberries in your lap (especially while wearing light-colored pants). Sheesh!

and for the second day in a row...

…where the fuck was the fucking train???? ARGH!!!!!! #$@*&%^#$$#@!%^ LIRR!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Back-Handed Compliment

On my way back through town after a long walk/run with Lola-the-Pug, a group of people are on their way into a restaurant. One guy has to pause as his party continues on in and stop me to exclaim, "'He' looks just like you!" Uh, thanks. I guess.

And the Question for this Morning Is...

…Where the FUCK is(was) the FUCKING train! ARGH!!!!!!!! Rat Bastard LIRR!



You Know When...

…You’ve been spending too much time at work and/or not enough time at the gym when you repeatedly try to show your work id to gain access to the gym, while not understanding why the gym receptionist is looking at your id blankly and at you strangely. Monday spinning was good though, the really tough instructor was absent so we had a substitute – a nice reprieve, I didn’t know how I was going to handle her class last night, had she been there.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Note to Self

Why can't you remember that wine is not your friend? Stick to beer, you know what to expect from beer. Feeling really special today.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Can Someone Tell Me Why

While sitting on a nicely air-conditioned train this evening (on a relatively mild, low-70s, day) I all of a sudden became so unrelentingly hot that I felt that I would surely burst into flames at any second? Don't tell me it's hormones, please don't tell me it's hormones. I know, I know, it's probably hormones. UGH!

I don't know why I can't make myself remember how good I feel after exercising

Had a very pleasant Spinning class last night -- I really like the Thursday night class. Thursdays instructor really does a very well-rounded class (there is a little bit of everything), I always come out of there feeling like I've had a great workout, yet her class is not so overwhelming that I dread it. I wish she taught on some other nights at that location. Spinning was followed by two cold beers at a local bar. I think we showed incredible restraint.

On an unrelated note:

I have been struggling for months writing SQL queries to pull data for many of these reports I've been writing for one of my Business Intelligence projects -- I have had no class in SQL query writing, nor do I even have a book, so it's been a real struggle, especially as the table structure for this one project is very complicated (and more complicated than it needs to be, I might add -- and I'm not the only one who thinks so, but now we're getting into politics so whatever). Anyway, I've been trying to write some SQL functions not even knowing the syntax (and I've been doing okay considering) but this morning, finally, in desperation I went to a director in my group and asking if anyone here has a "freaking SQL book on query writing?????" and he says, no, but everyone just uses this great online book that comes with the Query Analyzer. Uh, huh??? Now I don't know if I should feel incredibly stupid for not discovering this great tool that has been at my disposal for all these months, or angry & bitter that no one has told me about it (because, believe me, I've been complaining about not even being allowed to take a class in this stuff). And here I am doing random Google searches every day trying to sniff out examples of what I need and I had this resource on my desktop here all along. Anyway, either way I feel like a total idiot. Duh!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2005


The oppressive, stifling heat in the North East has finally broken! I feel like a new person. Seriously.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Putting Things into Perspective

After my whiney post last week about being snubbed by some women in my department at work, I received a phone call from a former friend of mine (S) who wanted to let me know about some parties that were happening over the weekend out in the suburban NJ town where I grew up. The parties were all surrounding my high school reunion which she assumed that I already knew about. I didn't (nor did I care to know).

So, S and I used to be pretty good friends, but over the years we have drifted apart because of our different lifestyles and circumstances. She is a stay-at-home mom living in the suburban town where we grew up and I, well, am not. S was also the type of overly-dramatic friend that used to gravitate to me (or did I gravitate to these kinds of friends? I've never been able to figure it out). I'm the quiet, shy, introverted sort. I tend to be somewhat socially retarded. However, I have found myself many times in my life with these extremely extroverted friends. The kind of people who must have major drama going on in their lives or they're not happy. S was probably the most extreme example of this. She couldn't just have a boyfriend, but would have to have an abusive, jealous boyfriend who she was sneaking around on. She didn't just have a job, but a job where her boss was hitting on her, and where she was being sabotaged by everyone else in the place. She didn't just have a husband, she had a husband with Mafia ties who would kill her (literally) if she tried to leave. I could tell stories about visiting her in NJ at the house she shared with her former (Mafiosi-wannabe) husband and having to sneak out of the house, rolling the car down the driveway to meet some other guy at a club, she ditching me there as soon as she hooked up with the guy. Even up until a few years ago I could have a conversation with her on the phone for over an hour and hang up realizing that I had never even said one word about myself or about what was going on with me (not that it was ever much in comparison to her drama). It was an exhausting friendship and one that I just did not have the energy to cultivate, finally. We never had a falling out, but I just allowed things to fade. I handled it very immaturely by not returning phone calls, not letting her know when I was going to be in the area, etc. Kind of the way you allow a romantic relationship that is not clicking to fade away. I've found in my friendships like this (and there have been others) that it becomes very one-sided, that it is all about the one person. I look up one day and realize that I don't have a life, that I'm living vicariously through the drama of the other person. Anyway, I decided at some point that these kinds of friendships generally aren't healthy for me and so, I just decided to gently let go of my friendship with S. We still will talk on the phone from time to time, and I feel no need to hurt her by declaring that I no longer want to be friends. I think by now she's realized that we live completely different lives.

Anyway, a couple of years ago she called me after a long period of time of no communication at all. In the couple of years since I had last spoken with her, she had been through a breast cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiation, masectomy. Basically, she had been through Hell. Her life had become a real drama of the kind no one ever wants to experience. In our conversation on Friday she revealed to me that she had recently been to the Mayo clinic to consult about possibly having some reconstructive surgery done, but that it turned out to be impossible because her masectomy was so radical (basically there is no muscle at all left on the chest wall). She remained (always) very upbeat about it all, thankful that she is here. That is one thing I have to say about S, she always was very upbeat and energetic. That call from her on Friday really put my petty little problems with the personalities at work into perspective. So, there are people who don't like me here, there are far worse things in life. They can have their clique, I enjoy my work here and have a good working relationship with the people who matter. More importantly, I'm healthy and have options in what directions I can go in life. Life could be far, far worse.

Friday, June 10, 2005


So Sick of This High School Shit!


My group at work used to be such a congenial bunch. Everyone was friendly and helpful, we routinely all went out to lunch together or out for drinks after work. My best-friend-for-life Sandra worked here and there were a couple of other female colleagues with whom I was pretty friendly. The rest of the group was men and we all got along and functioned well as a team. Well, more and more the dynamics of this group has deteriorated. I blog about it a little bit from time to time. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I just put my head down and work with as little interaction with the people around here as possible. I talk to a couple of people in the group when I need to for work-related stuff, but that’s about it. There is a new generation of women in this department now who are some combination of bitchy and silly. They group together and spend a lot of time at each others’ desks whispering and gossiping and bullshitting and they band together like a high school clique. I hate these kinds of games and pretty much refuse to play, plus I think it’s completely unprofessional (you don’t see men doing that kind of crap around here). When presented with this cliquish attitude I tend to retreat even more into my introverted nature. This morning I was in the pantry on our floor making my cereal. A couple of these chicks came in and no one said a word to me. A third one joined them who did say hello to me and chit-chatted for a second (she is also one from the “old” generation when the group still operated as a team). The Giggler came in and joined the clutch of tittering and BSing. Then the one chick pulls out some Tupperware and starts cutting up some cheesecake that she brought in to share and starts offering it around to everyone. To everyone except me. It was so glaringly obvious that I was being completely snubbed. I don’t really care about the stupid cheesecake, but it’s just the principle of being so blatantly excluded that really gets under my skin. I feel so demoralized by it all, I feel like I’m invisible around here sometimes.



Thursday, June 09, 2005


Went Spinning tonight and I mustn't have ever worn the shorts I brought with me spinning before because they caused me to chafe in places you don't ever want to chafe -- GAH! Sadly, there was no beer after spinning tonight either. Good workout anyway.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005



Chrissy has been regaling me for the past week or so with stories of a couple with whom she is friends who are moving to the Upper Westside of Manhattan next month. They found an apartment, were approved and are now all excited with anticipation. It all just makes me so incredibly jealous and wistful for my old Upper Westside life. Since she’s told me about this, I find myself in my free time scouring both the Real Estate section and my own personal finances hoping to see something that would make such a move possible. It’s a pipe-dream of course. I just don’t know if I could ever justify that amount of money spent on an apartment (a rental, no less) even if all of my debt was completely paid off. Maybe if I was making significantly more money. I do know that I could not go back to living in the same broke-ass, desperate state I was in the last time I lived in Manhattan. It sure would be nice to live close to Central Park again though.

Testing my Blog-by-Email set up. Weee!!!!


After a great nights sleep, I got up a little early and took Lola the Pug for a bit of a walk this morning. I didn't really know what to expect for the weather since I had had my air-conditioning on all night and had not turned on the news, prior to leaving, but once we were outside, the heat and swampy humidity hit me like a ton of bricks. UGH! This is The Most dreaded weather for me. Still, I took Lola on a nice, brisk walk up to Forest Park and up and down a couple of the hills inside the park, before turning around and coming home. All together we probably did around two miles (all just walking, no running). Once we stopped walking, my pores opened up and the sweat just started pouring out of me. I took a lukewarm shower, blasted my A/C, took my time getting ready and gave myself some extra time to walk to the train station in an effort not to aggravate that over-heated feeling too much. Luckily the train was nice and cool and I don't have to walk anywhere from Penn Station. Now I'm going to sip cold water for awhile and try to cool down. I hate this stinking heat.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Spinning Again -- yeah

Ellen, Ken and I, by consensus, have decided to eschew
Evil Spinning Instructor (the Tuesday night class we used to go to) and so I decided to meet them for a spin tonight. Ellen had taken this class last week and said that it was good and I felt like it was a good way to start off the week, especially on such a muggy day where I was going to be hard pressed to talk myself into schlepping around outside for any length of time after work. Well. I couldn't believe how tough this class was! There was literally no break at all. We just kept climbing and increasing pace, and increasing pace and climbing. You could have wrung me out like a wet rag by the end of the class. It was oddly satisfying. Ellen said afterwards (when I commented on the "no break" thing), "oh yeah. I forgot to tell you about that." Sheesh!

The Summer Lovers

This morning I was in the pantry at work making my cereal and I was talking to a co-worker. There was also this chick in the room cutting up her grapefruit. This is the conversation that ensued:

C-W (to me): "Hi Deb, how are you?"
Me: "Hi, I'm okay and you? Oh you're probably loving life, this is your weather!" (I know that he loves Summer -- he's also originally from one of the Caribbean islands).
C-W: "Yep, I love it, and I know you hate it."
Me: "Yeah, I hate Summer."
Chick: (pipes up, completely incredulous) "You HATE it? How can anyone hate this weather???!!!
Me: "Well, I just hate being hot. It's the humidity that gets to me, if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't mind so much. Besides, in New York, there's no escaping the heat, with all the pavement everywhere, etc."
C-W: "Well, maybe (Summer in) NY is not for you." No kidding.

The chick then just goes on & on ranting to my co-worker about how she can't believe that anyone wouldn't just love this weather. I could hear her going on about it as I walked down the hallway away from the pantry. What is the big, freaking deal? I prefer Fall and Spring in NYC, so sue me. Why does everyone have to be just. like. you. Besides, if I were tall and statuesque (like her) and looked great in a tank top and short, ruffly skirt (what she was wearing) I might just love Summer too. As it is, I'm short and tubby and have horrible arms that I can't stand to show and I sweat a lot. I do like the long days and hours of sunlight, however.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Hot Summer Saturday

I was supposed to get up this morning, get myself together, get on a train and meet Ellen in Chelsea for a spinning class. Well, that didn't happen -- tossed & turned for a long time last night and woke up with a horrific, pounding headache (and, no, I was not drinking last night -- not one drop). So, in lieu of the spinning class, I waited until this afternoon and brought Lola to Forest Park for a long walk/jog. It was very hot today, mid to upper 80s with some amount of humidity, probably the hottest day so far this year. I wore my heartrate monitor and brought an ice cold bottle of water for Lola. We went for a few miles (somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 to 4) on the hiking and bridle trails of the Park. I allowed Lola off the leash for the parts on the hiking trails and she was very good and stayed right on my heels, regardless of whether the leash was on or not. For the portion of our outing that we were in the Park (the walk up there & back was warm-up & cool-down) I concentrated on keeping my heartrate between 135 and 155. When I was at 134/136 I would run, when I got up to 155 or so, I would walk. Of course, even just walking at a good clip up some of the steeper hills caused the HR to spike. Anyway, all in all, it actually felt like a good workout. Lola seems pretty tired now too, and a tired dog is a happy dog.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Getting Old

Okay so after spinning last night, Ellen, Ken and I went for a beer at this divey bar near Penn Station where we like to go. We haven't all seen each other in a while and we wanted to catch up, so we ended up having three pints each. I came home and sat around and drank this huge bottle of water before going to bed. So, why do I now feel like I was out drinking for half the night? Three light beers would have been like water to me a few years ago -- gah! Seriously getting old.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

It's a Miracle

I actually went spinning tonight. And, yes, there was beer afterwards. heh.