01 December 2007

I get it now.

.
Have you ever had a moment...
... when you realize that what you longed to have...
... ... was just a fantasy...
... ... ... just an ignorant... idealistic... foolishly optimistic...
... ... ... ... dream...

That not only will you never be a princess...
... but princesses never really existed at all.

... ... that dragons never flew...
... ... ...and unicorns never danced...
... ... ... ...and that kind of love they wrote about...
... ... ... was just a bunch of words...
... ... in a book...
... on a shelf.

That those ideals are unattainable...
... and dreams...
... ... just a wisp of imagination...
... ... ... that life slowly steals...

I get it now.

What I was hoping for
... praying for
... ... crying for
... ... ... was just a figment...

What is so easily promised in all the ads...
... so easily uttered...
... ... so flippantly promised...
... ... ... doesn't really mean much...

and in the end, there is no 'ever after'...
... the battles are faced and fought
... ... completely
... ... ... unromantically
... ... and unmagically
... alone.
.

30 October 2007

Pancakes.

.
My boobs hurt.

Last Friday, I went to the doc for random stuff, and he found a lump in my right breast. Nothing major, he said, prolly just a cyst. But with my family history, better safe than sorry. Whoopie.

So this morning, I was up at 5:45am to catch a crazy-hour train to NYC for a "we'll squeeze her in" appointment.

The usual paperwork later, I was escorted into the examining room, where the doc did a breast exam. Then...the fun part. The mammogram.

I've had a mammogram before - about 10 years ago after my mom was first diagnosed. But it still baffles me that they can actually do this to my breasts and still have them be attached to my body. I couldn't watch as they turned them into boob-pancakes this-way-and-that-way. Wow. Ouch. I'll never think of pancakes the same way again.

But after the doc looked at the first set of films, she wanted another take on another device, which the lovely lady told me would be "slightly more uncomfortable" than the first takes. (I think in helpful nurse-and-doctor language, "slightly more uncomfortable" describes what you feel when you amputate your arm with no anesthesia.)

After that fun time, she still wanted to check me out more, so we did a sonogram. First off, I can't tell you how depressing that my first sonogram of my life was looking for boob lumps. But at least it was "slightly less uncomfortable" than the mammogram / torture machine we started with.

The exams were quick - I felt like I and my boobs were on a conveyer-belt of boob-imaging along with about 30 other women in the office and their boobs. And in the end, $785 dollars later (why doesn't insurance cover this again?) the doc says my "denser than normal" breast tissue looks normal, and no bumps, lumps, or anything to be concerned about. See you next year.

I'm relieved - obviously - that the girls are healthy. But I had to take some aspirin for my poor boobs when I got back. And I'm already dreading next year.
.

10 October 2007

39 miles later...(part deux)

.

Yes, I know the walk ended a while ago...but it's taken this long for my sister and I to get back to the point that we actually want to remember it. We're still limping, and bleeding... but let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Checking in on Friday night was crazy - thousands of people, milling about the hotel, some still holding signs that said "Need $400 for the walk!" (we all had to raise a minimum of $1,800), and the lines for medical check-in, quick check-in, and yes, even the bathroom, was filled with pink-clothed people toting bags and baggage. We scooted through that, hoping the next day would be a little less overwhelmingly loud.

The early alarm on Saturday morning wasn't fun, but when we arrive at Pier 84 to check in for the walk at 5:45am, we were surrounded by happy, perky, well-meaning people who seemed to be bursting with energy. My sister and I were... cranky and cold... but happy to be there. After eating some rubbery bagels and canned OJ, we walked close to the stage for the opening ceremonies. I will be the first to admit that we did that in the hopes that being surrounded by people would block the wind and warm us up a little... but the front-row seats had some drawbacks which I'll get to in a moment.


To paraphrase a friend of ours who has done similar walks, we were probably prepared for the physical turmoil we were about to embark upon. We were not prepared for the emotional turmoil. We listened to moving stories of cancer survivors, both those in remission and those who are still living with the disease. We heard moving speeches, and held hands with one another, and were led in a few lame stretching exercises before we were given the go-ahead to begin our 26+ mile hike for day one.


This is where we goofed. By being in the front of the crowd for the presentation, we ended up being in the back of the crowd for the beginning of the walk. Not important, since it's not a race, right? Obviously you don't understand my sister and my sense of competition. It's far from passive. We spent the next 2 hours walking on the edges of curbs, cutting corners NYC style, and in general being fairly aggressive walkers in order to "get ahead." We succeeded, though later I would wonder at what cost to our long-term endurance.


On day one, we took a 26-mile long meandering path through some of the coolest, and weirdest parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn... Through Union Square, Washington Square Park, Chinatown, Little Italy, across a foggy Manhattan Bridge into DUMBO and back on the island via the Brooklyn Bridge, through the Flatiron, and past Lincoln Center to hug Central Park West up through Harlem, across the GW Bridge and finally arriving some place in NJ for our overnight camping.

The first 10 miles were tough, and if you had asked me at the time how I felt, I'd have told you I was an 8.5 out of 10. Looking back, I was closer to a 9.999. The hip hurt a little, and my ankle was twinging, but nothing that slowed us down too much. By mile 13 we were doubting the wisdom of our outing, and by mile 18, we were playing "which body part is killing you now?" regularly. My ankle was in constant pain, and the hip tendons (weird, right?) were annoying. sis' knee was acting up, and our toes were feeling weird.

By mile 20, we were wondering how the heck my sister's husband was going to run a marathon, since we were basically falling apart at the seams. The GW bridge offered a mental respite - as we crossed the truckers and cars blew their horns in support. But the 5 miles after that were pure and unadulterated pain. Most of it was downhill, which on initial thought sounds good, right? No, we decided long ago that FLAT was the least of the evils, while uphill came in second. Downhill was pure pain, and the only reason I wasn't limping was because both legs hurt just about equally.

Though it was excruciating, we were in good spirits, and didn't harp too much on too many things, really. After all, the pain of breast cancer and chemo makes our walk seem like a bubble bath...and that's really the point, right?

The camp was tent-city. And at first we lamented the fact that our little square of land was just about as far away from the central point of activity as we could get. Even walking to it - about 100 yards - was too much for us to think about, and we sat on the grass of the baseball field trying to figure out how to get there without actually moving. We couldn't figure it out, so we crept over, and found some nice Girl Scouts to set up our tent for us, and then hobbled to dinner, and hobbled to the medical tent to get ice. Curious about my new found ankle pain, I saw a doctor who, after some poking, diagnosed me with "tendinitis due to overuse." It's a good thing the consult was free, cuz I could have told her that. Ice packs were in huge demand, so we horded them.

One thing that did make us smile was that when we arrived at 3:30pm - after 8 hours of walking - almost none of the other people at the camp had actually walked the entire distance. Most had stopped and taken the bus from mile 13. While we knew it wasn't a competition, it just felt good to have accomplished a goal that day that was a significant achievement. It also made me feel pretty good about not being sure I would be able to walk the next 13 miles the next day. My ankle was killing me, and the hips were nearly immobile. Thank goodness for ibuprofen.

We passed out in the tent floor around 9pm, and slept a solid 10 hours. Thankfully we were away from the evening's festivities (and floodlights), and slept in relative peace. The only exception were 2 trips to the loo in the middle of the night (1/2 liter of water every 45 minutes will do that to you). The loo trips wouldn't have been important to write about, except that every time I had to go, I literally shuffled like a 102-year-old woman because of the pain. Except for a brief spat of rain, it was a quiet evening.

The next morning, we had recovered surprisingly well, though we decided that avoiding the pain killers would not be an option. Popping two more ibuprofen, and breaking down the tent, we headed to breakfast, and then proceeded to walk the 4 miles uphill back to the GW bridge. The uphill wasn't too bad, but the pain came back earlier than the day before, and basically the 13 miles on Sunday were similar to the second 13 miles on Saturday - painful, long, and hard. But at the end of the road, a cheerleader squad welcomed us across the finish line and we were congratulated by spectators, which made it almost ok.

It took a few days to get back to normal, during which time we realized (warning: gross stuff ahead) that we got blisters underneath our toenails. Sis' got infected, and later required antibiotics, but other than that, it realistically took us about 3-4 days to get back to normal-ish (except for the toes, which are still recovering.)

But all in all, it was an amazing experience, which I'm hoping to do again...one day...far in the future. And next time, I'm getting stronger pain medicine to take with me.

07 October 2007

39 miles later....

.
ow.

(more details coming... once the drugs kick in.)
.

04 October 2007

Can you OD on Vitamin C?

.
The two-day "am I insane" walk starts Saturday... and - as my sister says - we're both in complete denial of its existence. The only training we've really taken seriously is the carb-loading part... oh, and I bought us each a pair of 'blister-resistant' socks. Hopefully that means it'll resist giving our feet blisters, as opposed to resisting giving the socks blisters. We did pack our bags today, which consisted of things like antacids, pain killers, muscle relaxants and water bottles. Note to self: Be sure to google the nearest location to the finish line where we can find a wheelchair... or a spa.

It's going to be fun, I swear... especially when it's over. And I'm sure we're over-packing or under-packing or something, but hey, what's an adventure without some element of surprise? I've also caught a nice little cold, so I have been slamming vitamin C... I kid you not, I have had - in the last two days - 7,000% of my recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C each day. I don't know if it's making me feel better (or maybe that's what's giving me these muscle aches and headaches?) but hey, it's worth a shot.

We're taking a camera, but I won't promise that we'll remember to take photos... or if - after walking so long together - we'll be able to stand each other long enough to ask to share the photos. But I'll see what I can do...

In other news:
- Yes, I'm still alive.
- No, I don't have an apartment... yet... but it's getting closer!
- My boyfriend and I are no longer together. Bleh.
- Work is nuts... but I still (mostly) love it.
- I suck at retail therapy.

Okay... that's it for now. I off to geek out for a while.
.

27 September 2007

three things

.
there are three things you should never do when you break up with someone:

1. spend the night alone at a ghetto hotel in a city you don't know

2. watch sex and the city - the one about how they're getting "old" (i.e. the same age as you) and are alone and unhappy

3. write a blog.

oops. note to self: follow own advice.

24 September 2007

Launches, Lurches, Lunches

.
Hello blogger-readers... it's been rather quiet on this front, I'll admit. The new job is crazy, but the beast launches tomorrow... so hopefully the internet won't blow up or anything. If it does, don't tell anyone it's because of me, deal?

I'll admit being kind of excited. It's kinda weird to have excitement about a job again.... and I'll also admit that I like caring about my job again. I need to keep this going for a while, I think. It is kind of hard to tell what your bosses are feeling about your work when they are thousands of miles away.

What else... in other news, the apartment-buying process is taking it's usual sluggish pace... but hopefully things will be resolved soon. I am not sure that buying a place that needs work was such a good idea at this point in my life. But hey, too late now. Low-VOC paint, here I come.

The 39-mile walk for breast cancer is in a week and half, and it's going to hurt. Badly. My sister and I decided a few weeks ago that we needed to "train"... and since then, we've probably walked a total of 20 miles. We did have a good two-day training streak - two days of 6-mile walks each. We were hurtin' though... and at the end, decided that we'll be fine, but we'll be sore. I mean, I'm excited at the challenge, and I'm sure it's going to be an amazing adventure... but 39 miles is a looooooong way on foot. Please feel free to stop along the route and bring us brownies... or adrenaline shots... or just a stretcher. After I'm done I'm going to get a brain transplant to make sure I don't have any of these stupid ideas again.

Other than that, depression seems to be the running theme in my life. I guess all the upheaval of the last 2 years is still draggin' me down. (*sigh*). Tired of this. Really. C'mon. Is this whole "depressed for 2 years" thing supposed to be a joke? Cuz I'm not friggin' laughing.
.

18 September 2007

What gets my goat...

.
Things that get my goat:

Being thirsty and having to pee at the same time.

Melting ice watering down a $12 drink.

Uptime and downtime being indistinguishable in their levels of stress.

Non-thong giving a wedgie. (Why else would you wear grannie-panties except to avoid a wedgie?)

Switching to online billing to save paper, and still getting junk mail from the credit card company. (I'm talkin' to you, AMEX.)

Being surrounded by people and feeling lonely. (And then being filled with guilt because I shouldn't feel lonely.)

People who claim online "friends" aren't real friendships.

Phlegm and swollen sinuses. (Really, what is the evolutionary purpose of a sinus headache?)

Computers that don't do what they're supposed to do.

Cleaning up my room, and then not being able to find anything I'm looking for.

Lies and the lying liars who tell them.

People who can't separate work and play... and people who can't enjoy that separation.

The fact that you can't have long fingernails and play the piano.

Places that run the heat or A/C based on the date and not the temperature.

Smokers.
.
.
.
.
.
.
I think that's it for now. Meanwhile, my sister and I are "training" for our walk in two weeks... yikes!!! Wish us luck!
.

13 September 2007

Best. Email. Spam. Ever.

> > ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE
> > * Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
> >
> > * Do you suffer from shyness?
> >
> > * Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?
> >
> > If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or
> > pharmacist about White Wine.
> >
> > White Wine is the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident
> > about yourself and your actions. White Wine can help ease you out of
> > your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing
> > to do just about anything.
> >
> > You will notice the benefits of White Wine almost immediately,
> > and with a regiment of regular doses you can overcome any
> > obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.
> > Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past, and you wi ll
> > discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living,
> > with White Wine.
> >
> > White Wine may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or
> > nursing should not use White Wine. However, women who wouldn't
> > mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.
> >
> > Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting,
> > incarceration, erotic lustfulness, loss of motor control, loss of clothing,
> > loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table
> > dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing
> > Karaoke and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and
> > Naked Twister.
> >
> > WARNING:
> > The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are
> > whispering when you are not.
> >
> > The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an
> > idiot.
> >
> > The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends
> > over and over again that you love them.
> >
> > The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can
> > sing.
> >
> > The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-
> > lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.
> >
> > The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are
> > tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.
> >
> > The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are
> > laughing WITH you.

12 September 2007

Yep, Nope

.
Yep, I'm still alive.
Nope, I don't have an apartment yet.
Yep, I'm still a redhead.
Yep, I love it and might stay a redhead for a while.
Yep, I still have a job.
Nope, I haven't stopped working since I started it.

And Yep, overall, I'm pretty happy....
... and in desperate need of a massage.
.

06 September 2007

A Conversation on Sharks

.
Nephew #3: (running to his mom, upset and on the verge of tears)
Mama, sharks can't go out of the water... But he says no, they can!
(points accusingly at nephew #4)

Mama: (to nephew #4)
Sharks can't go out of the water or they'll die.

Nephew #4: (puzzled)
But then how do they get on boats?

Mama:
They don't.

Nephew #4: (tears welling in eyes)
But Mama, they HAVE to...

Mama:
Honey, they can't.

Nephew #4: (pouting)
I don't wanna play this game any more.
(stomps towards tire swing)
.

01 September 2007

27 August 2007

Impulse Dye

I am not sure why I wanted to be a redhead... my sister is a redhead, so you would think that it wouldn't be such a mysterious color. But brown is just so... brown. So I finally did it. I dyed my hair red. And it is... interesting.

I went to a salon that a friend of mine recommended. Her hair is fabulously colored... she's Italian genetically, and now has very natural-looking blond highlights - so I trusted her recommendation completely. Now I know that you're supposed to have a consultation, and bring photos, and chat with your stylist about what you want. But all that seemed fairly boring to me. I basically thought, "I have hair. She dyes hair. I've never dyed my hair. Who am I to tell her what will work?"

I walked into the salon and the woman at front desk was very nice... "come this way, and I'll show you the elevator" and I was whisked into the conveyor-belt-atmosphere of the salon. I'm not kidding that there were at least 30 stylists/colorists at work on this bright, shiny Saturday morning. And there were at least that many clients getting their hair done.

So I asked the colorist - a lovely lady named Elena - what she thought about red. She said "I think it would be gorgeous! It would really compliment your eye color... oh by the way, do you have virgin hair?"

Virgin hair?

I'm going to *guess* that you mean that no colorants have ever touched my follicles. Sure enough, that's what it means. So I was about to pop my hair's cherry? How appropriate that I was asking for red.

Elena said she knew the perfect color. I said "no strawberry blond" and she said "I've got it, don't move" and ran off into the back room. The door was cracked, and I could see rows and rows of boxes, presumably filled with hair color. She was gone for - I kid you not - 20 minutes, and I thought perhaps they simply didn't have any other hair color other than blond. Maybe she had run down to the local CVS to pick up a bottle of $8.99 John Frieda Radiant Red. (Maybe she did.... who knows. I wish she'd have told me - it'd be cheaper that way.)

Finally, after I'd had plenty of time to mentally back out, opt in, chicken out again, and do a gut check, she returned with a small bowl of raspberry yogurt. True enough, my "perfect color" (according to the stylist) was "way in the back, under some boxes" (let me guess - boxes of blond?) She'd mixed it up and was ready to go. I just hope it hadn't expired... who wants moldy yogurt in their hair?

She first spread what felt like Vaseline around my hair line and over my ears (not a very pleasant feeling) then proceeded to unceremoniously paint raspberry yogurt on my scalp. It was a very odd feeling. It was like having cool mud slathered on your scalp. First reaction: "EWWWWW".

Yes, at first, it was gross feeling, but it's kind of like mixing ground beef with your hands - after you resign yourself to the feeling, it can be quite a fascinating sensation. And the sound... do me a favor, and stick your hands into some yogurt sometime and squish it through your fingers while you lean your head very close... every once in a while, spread some on the tips of your ears. Odd.

Once she did my scalp-parts, she told me to walk over to the rinsing sink because she wanted to "pour the rest on"... and sure enough, she poured the rest over my head. Imagine a cool bunch of... well... raspberry yogurt being literally dumped onto your head and massaged around. It's like the grown-up wet dream version of a 6 year old's mud-fight-in-the-back-yard.

Then, my head was wrapped in plastic, and I was stuck under a dryer with some magazines. I felt like I should have been in a hair salon in the 1950's. This is the first time I actually looked around at my fellow salon dye-victims... And I realized that I was the only one in the salon who WASN'T GOING BLOND. I felt like I was in a room of clones... and I was the only one not going blonder. 30 women in the room, and all of them were some shade of blond-ish-ness. Eerie. Stepford Wives. Big time.

After my timer buzzed (yes, I did have a timer, and yes, it buzzed), they took me back to the sink and "reclined" me into the rinsing sink. But something kicked me in the back. Oh wait! It's a massage chair! At this moment, I think I have finally realized why so many people on this planet get their hair colored... for the massage chair. And for the "conditioning treatment." The woman who rinsed my hair color out, and conditioned my hair gave me a head massage. If I wasn't straight, I may very well have run off with this woman... as long as she promised to bring the massage chair.

She rinsed out the yogurt, wrapped my head with a towel, and then brought me over to a mirror and plopped me down and said "okay, dry your hair out, honey" and gave me a hair dryer and three brushes. Dry my hair out? I gotta do it myself? Didn't these people know that the last time I blew dry my hair was about 1 year ago? Okay, here goes... unwrap the towel, and ...

I giggle. I'm not naturally a giggler, but I started giggling, and I couldn't stop. I looked like I'd spilled Pom juice on my head... my hair looked BLACK. I started blowing it dry, and besides the fact that I think half of my hair fell out in the process ("that's natural for some follicles to release the hair") my hair was slowly turning from Pom juice color to Crayola brick red color. I started laughing... and I couldn't stop. The rinse lady came over at one point and asked me to stop laughing. I didn't.
The colorist finally took pity on my pathetic, giggly attempt at blow drying my falling-out-hair, and took over. She blew it out a little more, and I couldn't stop staring at myself in the mirror. I loved it, but MAN it was STRANGE and completely unnatural looking.

I left feeling a little buzzy, and as I exited the salon, the woman at the desk who had escorted me to the elevator said, "Oh, My, GOD! You're RED!" and she poked the girl next to her and said "When she came in, she was blond. But now she's RED!" I imagine she's never seen anyone leave the salon red before. They've all been blond.

Later that day, I went back to my sister's house. She said she liked it (and I believe her, even though she may be lying), but the best comment came from my nephews:

Nephew #1: Hey Beth! Oh wow. Look at your hair!
Me: What do you think?
Nephew #1: Well, Mom said you were going to come back with red hair. But it doesn't look red. It looks... WEIRD.

Nephew #3: Beth, your hair is red. But a funny red. Not like mama's.
Me: What do you mean "funny"?
Nephew #3: Funny. Like a good funny.

My sister told me I had to wear more makeup now. After all, she said, "Your hair is like a new, bold accessory. You have to dress for it now."

It's true. So now I'll have to ask my fashion peeps what makeup and earrings go best with a Crayola "Brick." And according to my sister, I apparently I can't wear my favorite maroon skirt any more because it's too "matchy-matchy." Oops.

It's going to take me a while to get used to it, but believe it or not, since it's on my head, I don't really see the color that much (usually it's pulled back off my face.) I tend to forget about it, but whenever I walk by a mirror, I am rather startled and can't stop staring. I must look really odd on the subway staring at my reflection in the glass. But that's OK.... I like it. A lot.

(P.S. Don't forget to wash that yogurt off your ear.)
.

26 August 2007

#57 - Check

.
So I can now check #57 off of "The List" which is Be a redhead... what do you think?


Before:
After:

The stylist said it really brings out the green in my eyes... uh, I mean... in my rubber-duck-shirt.

.

22 August 2007

Escape to Alcatraz

.
I know, I know... the blog has been quiet. But a quick life update: I love my job but it's crazy busy and I nearly had a mental breakdown last week (but no worries now...). The social life is crazy but who cares, and there's so much on the horizon that I can't keep up... The bad days are still pretty bad, but the good days far outnumber them so it's all getting better. Overall, all is well with the world, and the forward focus is beginning to become a fabulous reality.

My new favorite headache: Popcorn, by Hot Butter. Dunno why... it's like crack for eardrums (though I know it drives the boy crazy... sorry.)

Anyhoo, I did manage to escape to Alcatraz for a few days last week, after my training week in San Fran. Here is a quick n' dirty look (and yea, I know there's schmutz on my camara lens... so shoot me.)

The Isle itself:
"Only bad people help bad people escape..."
The welcome sign... (yes there were Native Americans there in 1969. Google it for details.)
Sparse quarters...
At the intersection of Broadway and Times Square:
The recreation yard, where apparently, many very competative and intense games of bridge were held regularly. Peek
Cells on top of one another...
The old Warden's house (I think):
It just doesn't look like it's that far away... I can see how they thought they could make it to the city...Entrance to Admin:
I like this shot... taken from the dining hall:
The Guard Tower:
Blah blah blah
Alcatraz Island is now a bird sanctuary. Lots of birds here. And lots of bird poop.



14 August 2007

Toys...

Oh, what is it about new electronic gadgetry that gives me such a thrill?! Really, after the angst of shorting out my cell phone last night by dropping it in the bathtub, I went out and bought the phone that I've been lusting after...

(Wait... I feel the need to back up a little. First off, no, I'm not that desperate to stay in touch with the world that I have to keep the phone by the bath... I'm just desperate to stay in touch with one person in particular - The Boy - so back off the whole "geez, can't you live without your cell phone for two seconds?" commentary, 'kay? Second, no, I didn't get the iPhone, which I still don't understand why you people with actual human-sized fingers are fascinated with. I met the iPhone. I played with the iPhone. I used the iPhone to make a call. And while I may risk being stoned to death here by the masses, I have to say that the coveted iPhone still seems - gasp, dare I say it? - very limited to me in terms of actual functionality, durability, and, to be honest, intuitive functionality. Plus, it only works with AT&T cellular service? Huh... what-ev-er. So until the iPhone technology - and the stupidity of exclusive carrier rights - catches up to the normal workings (and digit size) of modern humans, I'm going to curb my techno-lust for that little gadget.)

So back on track, yea, I guess I did fry my phone in the wonders of a lavender-scented bubble-bath. Oops. So after spending an hour on line at the wrong store, I finally tracked down a Verizon store and after a little flirting with the customer-service-dude, I managed to score an "early upgrade" price tag on my new phone (as opposed to the "new phone cuz you're an idiot" price tag that the surly customer-service-dudette quoted me at the other desk) and viola, new technology! I was so excited I could hardly bring myself to remove that weird protective sticky-plastic-cell-phone-condom-stuff from the screens and buttons. (But I did.)

And... ooh, this is like extra chocolate sauce on a sundae... it came with a built-in GPS!!! Oh I'm SO screwed when the 2-week free trial runs out on that little feature. I played with it until the battery died. And even though the locator is a little off sometimes (weirdly haunting female GPS voice: "Proceed to Vessey Street"... Me talking to my phone: "I'm ON Vessey Street!")... it was awesome, and lead me quite nicely from (yes) Vessey Street to the West Village with very few problems.

Aaaah, this is the thrill one receives while indulging in ones geeky tendencies... And it almost makes me think that my subconscious dropped my (old, crappy, not-having-a-keyboard-when-you're-texting-kinda-sux) phone in the bubblebath on purpose... but don't tell the dude at Verizon that...

P.S. I recycled my old phone. You can do that, you know... just take it to any cell place and they're required to take it. It's better for the environment than tossing the things in the land fills, and they recycle used phones for people in need. Just sayin' that if you're going to indulge in geeky tendencies, make sure you also indulge in good causes at the same time.

Peace out... and text me if you're bored.

13 August 2007

egg-zausted

.
hey y'all...

i know that i've been sadly remiss in my blogging duties... there are no excuses except that i am simply exhausted. the trip to san fran was fabulous (except for a few weirdos - see the previous posting)... but otherwise, the new job is awesome and i'm seriously having a fabulous time. i'm so excited and energized and invigorated ... but the travels back to the right coast were exhausting, the upcoming workload is daunting, and a few emotional things on the home front are definitely draining. i'm quickly coming upon what will be one of the most painful and awful and unfair moments of my entire life, and even just the anticipation of the event is sucking life out of me. grrrr.

this, combined with the 'no home' factor is a bit weary, and having been forced to rely upon the generosity of others to this extreme is creating a constant guilty feeling that is making me act ridiculously (walking 2 miles home at 1am from the train station with a rolling suitcase? pricelessly dumb.) i wonder what my brain is thinking sometimes.

that being said, i love being back in NYC. my new job allows me to wander about the city and find super-cool, uber-fabulous places, and today i took a trip out to williamsburg (brooklyn) for dinner and two desserts... (hey, i could get used to this kind of research!)

still, sitting still at night by myself isn't relaxing... and my back is killing me from the stupid suitcase safari. for the first time in about 2 years, i wish i had some brainless tv to watch.

i need a massage.... badly....

(later that night...)
so... i decided to take a bath. and while i was running the water, The Boy called, and set the phone a-vibrating... and *ploop* right into the bathtub it went. one phone... drowned. it spit sparks at me and everything... very impressive stuff for such a crap phone.

end result - dead phone. and i think we can safely assume, ladies and gentlemen, that i am experiencing a personal revolt against my person lead by the small electronics of the world. i'm going to go to bed before my ipod decides to poison my Pom juice.

bytes, unite.
.

10 August 2007

San Fran - WTF?

.
So. San Francisco... We gotta talk. Cuz seriously - I gotta ask you a question.

You have a gorgeous city. The architecture is stunning, the restaurants are fabulous, the music is incredible, the bar scene is seriously hot, the touristy stuff is cool, and the laid back intellectualism is awesome. Your weather leaves a bit to be desired, but I can overlook that.

So my question is...

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOUR MEN????

I have lived in NYC for 12 years. I have been in San Francisco for four days. And in the last four days, I have been heckled, harassed, stalked, followed, had my butt pinched, and had drinks spilled on me by more men than in the last decade in the Big Apple.

What, exactly, is supposed to be appealing to me when a taxi sedan driver pulls up and says "Hey baby, you look great... like you're ready to go salsa dancing... wanna ride with me?" First off, I'm wearing a business suit skirt that goes down to my knees, sneakers, a sweater, and a scarf - I do not look anything like I'm going salsa dancing. Second, do you honestly expect me to say "yes"? Really? Am I supposed to be flattered that your overweight ass is staring at mine and you're actually holding up traffic while you follow me down the street? And third, you want me to now GET... IN... YOUR... CAR? Are you friggin' kidding me?

If I walk by you on the street while you say "Hey baby, you looking for a date?" and I ignore you... do you think I want you to follow me for three blocks while you keep asking? And when you ask me "how you doin'" and I say "I was fine, until you started harassing me," is that not clear enough that I would really appreciate you leaving me alone?

If I'm at a bar, and you spill a drink on my shoulder (on purpose - yes, I could tell) and I say "No, I don't want you to buy me another drink"... do you think that's an invitation to keep following me around the bar and trying to spill a second drink on me in a lame (and really unimpressive) attempt at starting up a conversation? Hint: It's not. And here's another helpful hint - take off the wedding ring when you're trying to pick up women. I've had enough experience as a victim of a two-timing bastard to know that's the first rule. (As an informative aside, the second rule is don't use the cell phone that your wife pays for. Just sayin'.)

So San Fran boys, let me give you a little piece of admittedly unsolicited advice from NYC... unless I make a great deal of obvious eye contact (combined with a smile and not a scowl), offer to buy you a drink, or flag you down while you're driving a taxi, then the answers are "I'm not interested," "I'm definitely not interested," and "No I won't get in the car with you" to whatever it is that you're shouting in my direction.

Take a hint... back off! I guarantee that you'll have a much better chance at getting laid that way.
.

07 August 2007

Updates & Adventures

.
Whew! Gotta love life... it keeps you on your toes...

I started my new job today... (technically, I started yesterday, but that was basically a cross-country "commute" day to California where I began actual "training" today.) Besides the obvious contradiction in starting a "save the environment" job with a cross country flight (I'll be making up for that carbon load for a while, I can feel it), I am having an AWESOME time. The company is inspiring, the job is fantabulous, and I have an amazing amount of control, creativity and crafting to do in the upcoming months. Technically, the launch is end of September, but there's so much to do before then it's kinda creepy...

The up side - I have so much to look forward to and so many exciting things that I'm responsible for... this is the first time in a LONG time that I've felt inspired and creative and excited about my job... YAY! (The pay cut is incidental - after all, I've tried the "good paycheck, crap job" combo, so now I'm going to try the "crap paycheck, great job" route... and so far (the first 36 hours) have been perfect. Hee!)

The old life is nearly concluded, and the future is wide open. Just a few more days until the old apartment is sold, and the baggage is out the door.... Then, it's on to a new apartment for myself, and the road ahead is truly paved with dreams.... no regrets...

The adventures, ladies and gents, are just about to begin... and life... is... just... GRAND...

(I blame my flippantly optimisitc mood on a killer beverage I had this evening - which was definitely not organic - and the fact that a crazy boy is actually flying out here so that he can be with me for one day.... wow, not used to someone putting in that much effort into me... kinda weird.)

31 July 2007

Masochistic Hair Stylist

.
I got my hair cut today. And I think my stylist was taking out her life frustrations on my head... my scalp is still throbbing.

I'm not a wuss when it comes to pulling hair. For my entire life I've had long hair (except for one unfortunate experiment with the "short hair is easier" myth in college - and no I don't have photos. I burned them.) With said locks, it's inevitable that you have to be rather stalwart, since it usually comes with plenty of painful associations. A few examples that come to mind are:
  • Boy on bus in 7th grade pulling my hair from the seat behind me. I caught him at one point and dug my nails into his hand. Yes, the hair pulling was annoying, but he suffered more than I did. Aaah, a feminist even then.
  • Hoodie- or turtleneck-induced "rat's nests" at the base of the neck, usually occurring in the winter months, and taking about an hour to release the hair, usually accompanied by much swearing and the desire to take a scissor and just hack the sucker out (after all, who would notice? It's underneath the rest of my hair!)
  • The classic "fell asleep with gum in my mouth and then it fell into my hair" issue. I don't even want to tell you how we got that out... but I will tell you I smelled of many choice chemicals for a few days.
  • Catching hair in car doors or closing windows on a few choice strands while cruising around town. (And why is it that the hairs that get caught are directly attached to the nerve endings that shoot pain into your eye?)
  • I grew up with a sister. We didn't wrestle, we pulled hair. 'Nuff said.
So the point is, I'm not a hair wimp. But yesterday, after returning from Africa (where the shampoo was as gentle as turpentine), I decided that I needed to clean up the crackly ends of my locks that felt more like straw than actual human hair.

My stylist (who shall remain nameless), started out well, even though avoiding catching the comb in hoop earrings seems to be a perpetual challenge for her (note to self: next time you're entering haircut combat, remove all jewelry.) But the pain really started when she started blow drying. As anyone with any hair probably knows, wet, sticky hands running through your hair is NOT pleasant. Add scorching hot air and it's enough to want Novocaine scalp injections.

Then came the combing... and apparently in style school, the remedy for tangled hair is to pull really hard until the knot (or the hair) comes out... preferably with a large-tooth comb that has no flexibility whatsoever. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point, she had a professor for whom having a piece of bloodied scalp stuck to the ends was worth some extra credit. This went on for about 30 minutes.

I was never so happy to be done with a hair cut. And I was never more perplexed as to why this torture would cost me $80 (and you want a tip for this????) My head throbbed for hours. And while I've been known to be slightly sarcastic in my humor, I am not lying when I say that I took an aspirin later to cure my hair-cut hangover headache.

I was thinking of dying my hair red in the next few weeks... but maybe I'll find a gentler stylist before I do that. One that uses a chainsaw or something.
.

30 July 2007

When you just can't choose pink

When they said "Pick a color", I just couldn't bring myself to say "pink".... this is the end game:
(at least it wasn't my hair... this time)
.

23 July 2007

Jobbity job job job!

I am officially (almost) employed! I just accepted a job offer... and it's one that I'm very, very excited about. I start in two weeks... yay!

Let's have a drink to new beginnings, new friends, new directions... Oh, life is most excellently good, ladies and germs... I am happy.

So stop smoking, eat your veggies, recycle... and smile.
:-)
And for the sake of being repetitive and annoying, here's my Africa blog again:
http://beth-in-africa.blogspot.com

22 July 2007

Puter puter puter

Dang, not having my computer working is frustrating... but I've been making progress on my Africa blog. It's much longer than I had anticipated, but it's giving me a nice distraction from the annoying realities of life. Aaaah, isn't denial blissful?..... :-)

http://beth-in-africa.blogspot.com/

The blog is fun, and I hope some of you are enjoying it. I took WAY to many pictures, and am trying to keep it down to the interesting ones, but every sunset was more gorgeous than the last, so what's a girl to do but annoy the online world with it? The only regret was that I didn't have someone to go with me... it was simply too romantic for words. Oh well - no sense crying over lost causes. I'll just have to make a plan to go back one day... But I promise when I'm done with the novel-length blog that this is turning into, I'll create a shorter version for you too.

Meanwhile, I'm living at my sister's house, and got on a massive cleaning spree yesterday. I Windexed and 409'd the crap out of her kitchen and downstairs, and the place looks all shiny-happy. If I'm borrowing her house, I may as well earn my keep, right? I think they may want me to mow the lawn at some point. Fun stuff, this domestic suburban life. I do miss my chinese delivery, though.

In other news, a boy is returning to NYC on Tuesday. I'm also slowly recovering from jet lag (I woke up at 6:30am instead of 4:30am this morning - progress!) and am working out fiendishly. I "ran" to town and back today (how far is that? It felt like 10 miles, but it was probably about 1.) I have decided that in general, I suck at running. I am much better at useless things like karate and dumb workout videos. But I do need to do a little work before I have to walk 39 miles in October. Oh, how I dream of an apartment big enough (and a wallet thick enough) to buy an elliptical machine!!! But my bro-in-law gave me a great training tip - run into town, then stop at the Starbucks, pick up a latte, and walk home. "It's a nice long cool-down" he says. Hee. I like his way of thinking.

My motivation: Brownies waiting back at the house. (The other motivation: the boy. (*grin*))

20 July 2007

New blog for Africa

.
The jet lag when traveling west is fabulous! I was up at 5:30am and have been terrifyingly productive this morning. I'm slowly making my way through the photos (thanks to my sister who said I could monopolize her computer for a while.) It's taking me a while to get through everything, so I've started a new blog for people who want the LONG version of my journey:

http://beth-in-africa.blogspot.com/

It took me two hours this morning to edit everything together for just the first two postings, so forgive me for the slow progress. But I'll be adding the days to my journey and I hope you find it an interesting read! Right now, I'm off to take a walk to town and run some errands before it gets too hot.
.

19 July 2007

Returning from the other side of the planet

.
I have officially returned from the other side of the planet! I admit that I did attempt (once) to post a blog during the one day that I had internet access in Zimbabwe. But because of the political and economic strife there, the power was shut down while I was working on it and it never made it up.

Africa was - to unfairly summarize - indescribable. It was a trip of a lifetime, and it has moved me to the point where I'm still trying to grasp everything that I saw, felt, smelled, and ate. The animals were spectacular, the scenery was exotic and beautiful, and the people were some of the most moving I've ever met. Their stories are inspiring, tragic, hopeful, and humorous... and I will be sure to share them with you soon. I'm still having culture shock after being in the bush for several weeks, and the sheer opulence of the U.S. is rather startling after witnessing such poverty.

I took over 1200 photos, and I kept a journal through my trip, which I'm planning on sharing with you. For those of you who want the long version, I'll be working on it... but I'll also provide a Cliff Notes version to those with shorter attention spans. Stay tuned for that in the coming days.

First, though, I have to unpack my bag (yes, I made it under 26 pounds!), do laundry, get a few groceries (though my sister and bro-in-law left me one coffee yogurt in the fridge for this morning - dang, I love them so much!), and figure out how to get the 1200 photos off of my camera and into my 'puter... which is still in a box in the basement. But stay tuned, dear friends... life is getting interesting.
.

22 June 2007

Tutaonana baadaye

We have made it, ladies and gents! The apartment is packed, and the last remnants are to be shoved in the back of my sister's van in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, to be shipped to CT for indefinite storage. Then, I shove myself and my 26 pounds of luggage into a van, head to the airport and spend way too much time on a plane... destination: Johannesburg.

The obvious impending news is that I'm leaving for Africa in one day... whoo! But there are so many other events on the horizon that I feel like my brain is being pulled in a million directions. It's fabulous... I'll post it all when I get back, or when things actually get finalized to the point of actual newsworthiness. Until then... tutaonana baadaye...

21 June 2007

Counting down...

.
Two more days until I board the plane! Wow, I can't believe that it's here. It's amazing how fast time flies when you're not paying much attention to it.

The preparations are almost done - although since I"m limited to only 26 pounds of luggage for the entire trip, I'm having to do some juggling and wardrobe acrobatics to figure out how to make that happen. So far, I think I have about 40 pounds of luggage... and I haven't packed a toothbrush yet. So today is paring-down time, as I try to remember what I brought to Guatemala last year and didn't use. The trick this time is that it's "winter" in Africa... and while one would expect it to be quite warm anyway, apparently the overnights (and our 'sunrise safaris') may be as chilly as 35, while some days are reporting a high of 85. It seems strange to be packing a bathing suit and a scarf.

The movers came on Tuesday and they were brilliant. They started at 8:00am and were finished and in the truck by 8:40. It was a whirlwind, and the guys were very nice. I don't watch much TV (or, I thought I didn't), but it's still strange not to be able to have a television in the apartment. Even though it was never on, the place seems oddly quiet now that it's not available. I've been streaming NPR on the 'puter for the last day just to keep some current events information in my brain. The movers brought everything to the storage unit, which was nice, too, but a tad more expensive than I had anticipated and in a strange part of town. Oh well, such is the way in NYC I suppose... and that's why priority #1 when I return is getting a place to live and some income.

Off to pack... or, "de-pack", as the case may be... ;-)
.

18 June 2007

Thoroughly NYC weekend

.
There are times when NYC is a total drag - too many people (Times Square at 7:45pm), too loud (semi truck horns), stinky (cigarettes and rotting garbage), snobby (all I asked for was a glass of water), sticky (I don't want to know what that is on my shoe)...

... but there are times when NYC basically rocks my world. Last night, I went to The Public theater to see Passing Strange, a rock-out modern musical by Stew. It was an absolutely incredible experience. The theater itself is a gorgeous space, formerly a public library. The staging of Passing Strange was brilliant... a tale of a musical maturation of a young boy who travels around the world to learn about "art" and find "the real", all while his mother - back in Los Angeles - also struggles to find herself and love her child while he rebels against her.

The music - awe-inspiring. The cast - brilliant and painfully talented (I think I may have a crush on *all* of the the women in the show, especially de'Adre Aziza.) The staging - inspirational - with a 180-degree theater (and we had seats nearly ON the stage), every inch of the theater was used beautifully. The lighting - artistic and minimal, but expressive and appropriate (the lighting designer was the same for Spring Awakening, which also featured inspiring expression by bare bulbs of all colors and types. Very cool.) The show - sexy, funny, poignant, moving, probing, jarring, and introspective... Daniel Breaker's character's journey through the maturation of his artistic expression opened up a fabulous conversation afterwards with my companion about the meaning and relevance of art, growing older, personal expression and finding what's "real" in the world... a challenge which the narrator - Stew himself - expresses with painful self-analysis at the conclusion of the show. (I do want to note that calling Stew simply "the narrator" of the show thoroughly under-represents his powerful presence, wit, and brilliant musical interludes throughout the performance.)

After the show was over, we walked through the warm streets of the Village, and I was totally energized by the emotions invoked by the show. We strolled to the West Village, and had a delicious late-night dinner at a local restaurant, talking about heavy issues in light-hearted ways. Sitting in the open window, we shared a beer, ate garlicky food, and took in the sights and sounds of the West side's sultry Sunday evening pace, after which we joined in, walking down the streets together. Quite possibly, ladies and gentlemen, I have experienced the perfect New York City evening... and it definitely did not suck.

In other, far more pedestrian news, the movers come tomorrow to put my life in a 5'x5'x8' storage facility box... and I have rarely felt so liberated. To finally be physically seeing the results of over a year's worth of trying to "move" forward... tomorrow, the journey literally begins.

The weather is warm, the sun in shining, emotions are high...

Life... is... good...
.

17 June 2007

Updating...

I've been sadly neglecting the blogging lately, admittedly because I've been distracted with packing, moving preparations, and overall lack of blog-worthy events happening in my life. I'll also admit that last week was a pretty extreme emotional rollercoaster, with some pretty low moments. But somehow that's alleviated itself, and the feelings have swapped into a more upbeat rythm in the last few days. (I will fully admit that maybe that has something to do with recent social interactions with a specific person, but that's for later. For now, let's just say walking around New York City is so much better when you're holding hands with someone. *smile*)

I did see "Company" on Broadway the other day, which was a thoroughly enjoyable, if disturbing, view on relationships, marriage and singledom in New York City. I've also been doing a lot of reading lately, though for the life of me I can't figure out where I've found the time to do that. I forget how much I enjoy reading the Sunday New York Times. (I also forget how good I feel after I do a workout, but a regular return to that routine is going to have to wait for post-safari.) But most of the last week has been spent cleaning, organizing, packing, repacking, and preparing for Africa.

As for Africa, I can't believe that I'm actually going - it's been a dream for so long that to think that it's going to be a reality is almost too much for me to process. It's such an abstract idea and long-held goal that to reach the point where I'm boarding a plane for the continent has not sunk in yet. Africa - and staying in an overwater hut in Fiji - have been the two places that have been on my list since... well... since there *was* a list. Fiji I'm saving for a honeymoon (aren't I optimistic?)... but one dream coming true is so exceedingly liberating and exciting that I can't begin to describe how bizarre it feels to say "I'm leaving for a month-long safari in Africa in 6 days." Joy!!

New favorite magazine du jour: Wired (which doesn't replace my always-fave Discover).
New favorite TV show du jour: Who's Line is it Anyway? (the original version from London, which doesn't replace The Daily Show, but is better for lifting spirits during depression spells.)
New favorite song du jour: Sea Lion Woman by Feist (inspired by an old folk song. The dance track version - which is also awesome - is only available on the album download though, so I'm passing on that for now.)
.

09 June 2007

Gettin' old...

.
After four straight days of massive progress, massive box-moving, and massive upheaval of my life's acquired piles of 'stuff', I kind of crashed a little bit today. I did manage, this morning, to go through all my paperwork and files, and clean out the old stuff and organize the new (as well as make a respectable load of shredded papers that I'm saving for packing up the fragile items.) But it wasn't nearly as visually productive as previous days. There were a lot of emotionally-charged items that I saved from last year that were cathartic to shred, were difficult to deal with. The lack of progress doesn't bother me too much, though, because my back is killing me from moving around my overstuffed boxes yesterday. Ugh. I feel old. (I should learn that filling boxes full of books isn't a wise move. But I haven't learned that yet, and re-packing *anything* at this point is simply not an option.)

So this afternoon, instead of packing, I rode the train north to babysit my nephews while my sister and her husband enjoy a night out at a restaurant that doesn't have paper table coverings or crayons (a rare event in their lives.) I figured that if I'm going to be moving in, I should at least give them the perks of free babysitting while I'm here. Plus they bought me pizza so it's the least I could do.

Tomorrow is a BBQ at a friend's house - and a day off from packing until Monday. Next week, I also need to decide if I'm going to replace my desktop PC (which has been acting decidedly ornery lately) with another computer... and if I do, should I get a Mac laptop or another PC desktop? The laptop route makes sense (since I'm sure I'll be moving into a postage-stamp-sized apartment eventually), but the point might be moot if I don't get a lead on a job sometime soon. Still just window shopping at this point... but if it's going to happen, I will need to clean up the 'puter, back up the files, make sure everything works on the new system, and then donate it... all in the next 2 weeks. Phew!!

Okay, I'm off to brush four sets of teeth, read a million books, and try to get 4 boys into bed before they convince me that "ice cream IS allowed in bed! mom let's us do it ALL THE TIME!"

p.s. Only 14 days left until I leave for Africa... excitement!
.

08 June 2007

Living room

.
Wow. Moving sucks.

And for the record, living room is MUCH harder to pack than wardrobe. There are lots of emotionally-charged items here - more so than in the closet. And not nearly as much Salvation Army stuff to donate, which makes me a little sad that I couldn't fill up the suitcase again. But I barrelled through, after a bit of a late start (breakfast with a friend), and decided to start by piling everything into the middle of the room and taking a look at the entire bunch before diving in:
Three and half hours later, things looked much worse (see below.) But my sister encouraged me via email, and I took a quick field trip to the bank to turn some collected change into bills, and that re-energized me (along with a brownie-snack).Oops, I got slightly distracted and was trying to be artistic with my new camera for a second....End result, after 6 1/2 hours straight of packing is a 80 pound bag of garbage, a few items for the women's shelter, a pile of books to donate to the library, and 4 packed boxes. Oh, and the random pile of stuff on the right is stuff I'm taking up to my sister for storage / gifting / etc.

At some point soon, I'm going to have to work on organizing the stuff for my Africa trip a little better, though... think all that stuff weighs less than 26 pounds? Somehow I doubt it...
For now, though, dinner, and maybe a quick trip to the local Mexican restaurant for a pina colada. Anyone want to join me? (After I shower, of course. I kinda smell funny.)
.

07 June 2007

Summer wardrobe

.
Packing continued in earnest today, aided by the fact that I could actually SEE progress yesterday (provided that you opened the closet door.) Today was a bit more complicated, since it involved packing up the spring/summer wardrobe - a wardrobe that I happen to also be wearing, and simultaneously using as a basis to pack for my trip to Africa. Plus I needed to keep a few items out of the boxes in order to take to my sister's for post-trip (since after several weeks in the same 3 pairs of pants and 4 shirts, I'll have no desire to have anything further to do with them except perhaps watch them burn in the fire pit.) So the usual three piles turned into ....


  1. Items that will be put into storage
  2. Salvation Army donation pile
  3. Throw away (today, nothing was thrown out! Yay!)
  4. Things to bring on my trip to Africa
  5. Stuff to keep at my sister's for when I return
This made things a bit more complicated, and I found myself at times simply staring into the closet with a blank look on my face trying to figure out how all of this was going to actually happen.

End result: Success! (If you round up, which I do.) A few stragglers remain (a pair of sandals that are ugly, but waterproof, so may have some value while traipsing around Victoria Falls) but overall, a banner kind of day. And another heavily laden trip to the Salvation Army Women's Shelter. Today's stuffed-to-the-point-of-exploding suitcase load included:


  • 2 dresses
  • 1 sweater
  • 8 shirts/blouses/tops
  • 3 pants I'm too fat for
  • 1 pair jeans I'm too skinny for
  • 2 work blazers
  • 1 fleece
  • 10 purses/bags/totes (!?!!)
  • 2 scarves
  • 1 hat
  • 1 pair of pantyhose (unused, thank you very much)
  • 1 pair of dressy 'going out' shoes (they gave me too many blisters)
  • The remainder of the bottles from the collection previously mentioned, which came to 76 bottles/tubes/boxes (Yes, I counted them. Anything for procrastination.)
The apartment is a disaster area, but progress is being made. And can I just tell you, there's something extremely rewarding about taking a daily trip to donate to a shelter and unloading a MASSIVE suitcase full of stuff for a good cause. It made me smile the whole way home. (They were a little bummed, I think, that I didn't donate the suitcase... both times I've stopped by, they have asked if I'm leaving it as a donation, and eyed it longingly.) Still, it makes me appreciate what I have, even in this time of extreme personal life upheaval.

There is a lady at the shelter who sits at the front door - I think she's a resident there. A little lady, with white hair. Yesterday, I said "Hello!" and she didn't respond. Today, I said "Hello!" and she said "Hello" back to me. It made me smile.

Now, dinner and bed. I'm *exhausted*.

Tomorrow's task: Pack up the living room (including taking LARGE amounts of coins to the bank. Perhaps it was a bad idea to donate all of those tote bags today... hmmm.)
.

06 June 2007

Winter wardrobe

.
So today's task was to pack up all the winter wardrobe stuff. And by packing, of course, it means taking everything out of storage, pulling everything out of the closet, putting it out on the living room floor, dividing it into three piles: Salvation Army, Keep, and Toss. The apartment is a disaster. It's absolutely stunning to me how much crap can fit into such a small space. I mean really, this place is only 600 square feet... and half of it's not even mine!!

I'm happy to say that only 3 pairs of shoes were in such bad shape that they had to get thrown away. And I took one HUGE overstuffed suitcase load down to the Salvation Army, which included:


  • 14 sweaters (do I even *wear* sweaters!?!?)
  • 1 long knitted skirt (which I love, but was only worn once in the last year)
  • 2 sweatshirts (don't wear them, ever, unless I'm at my sister's house, where I freeze my tuckas off regularly, so I borrow her sweatshirts.)
  • 1 jacket (I bought a replacement this past fall)
  • 1 knitted poncho (remember when those were in? Very "Martha post-jail")
  • 1 pair of men's jeans (No, they are not my ex's. I honestly don't know whose they are... and clean up your dirty mind - they have been stuck in the closet for YEARS with no claims of ownership.)
  • 7 pairs of women's shoes (That's one-third of my entire shoe collection, ladies and gents! Be proud!)
  • 1 cordless phone and extension phone
  • 1 Yumi Katsura wedding dress with matching veil

I have to say, as much as it pains me to see my wedding dress "go" like that, I felt a huge wave of relief that it is all going to a very, very good place (the Salvation Army donation center is in the same building as a shelter for women, so I hope they get first dibs on the stuff.) This collection of stuff didn't include 2 more sweatshirts, 2 more sweaters, 2 blazers, and 70 bottles of beauty products that I simply couldn't fit into the suitcase. Those will have to go in the shipment to donate tomorrow.

All in all, I fit all of my remaining winter wardrobe and shoes (including formal gowns) into one wardrobe box, which I'm pretty proud of. Granted, it's pretty squashed in there, but hey, I'm a girl... what do you expect?

Tomorrow's task: Pack remaining clothing, shoes and bags (except for the stuff I'm bringing to Africa). And then get a margarita. Or three.

P.S. Totally random addition: Last week, the cleaning lady who has been with me for 5+ years was here for her last day. (Or at least her last day until I find a new home.) I have, over the last 8 months or so, slowly been replacing my cleaning products with more environmentally-friendly versions - mostly Mrs. Meyers Clean Day or Seventh Generation brands. Well, she LOVED them and has now swapped all of her own cleaning products to Mrs. Meyers, and is encouraging all of her other clients to do so as well. Yay Earth!
.

05 June 2007

Obscenity on the internet

.
I'm usually against obscenity on the internet. And honestly, I was almost too embarassed to post this online. But what I happened to find today in my cleaning up of my bathroom was absolutely gross, so I had to share.

So okay, I know I'm a pack rat. And I know that I work(ed) in a profession where this kind of product acquisition is pretty status quo. Keep in mind as you gaze upon this collection of beauty products that I had stashed in my bathroom that I have managed to gather over 125 bottles, tubes, tubs, and boxes in the last few years... and I never spent any money on any of it. There is probably $2,000 worth of goo on my kitchen table. I have moisturizers, soaps, anti-aging goo, lotions, wrinkle creams, exfoliators, foot treatments, eye creams, hair removers, hair creams, shampoos, bubble baths, bath oils, loofahs, makeup... You name it, it's probably in here, and I probably have it in three different scents...


None of this has ever been opened or used. None of it was purchased - it was all sent to me at work (with a few exceptions where they were gifts. If you gave them to me - sorry.) Now, if that's not obscene, I don't know what is.

Maybe I am high maintenance after all. (*sigh*)

Anyway, if you want any of it, just let me know.

And can I just say it's a nice coping mechanism to bury myself in physical labor when my emotions are a wreck. It's either a coping mechanism or total denial. I'll figure out which later.

Tomorrow's task: "Pack clothes, bags, and shoes - except what I need for Africa." Ugh. I'm going to need brownies for this one.
.

Spinsters and the pets that love them

.
After a full day of packing yesterday, I threw out 3 HUGE garbage bags of stuff, filled the shredder three times with old paperwork, filled my obnoxiously huge suitcase to the brim with donations for the Salvation army, and packed two (heavy) boxes for storage.

Unfortunately, I threw out 3 HUGE garbage bags of stuff, filled the shredder three times with old paperwork, filled my obnoxiously huge suitcase to the brim with donations for the Salvation army, and packed two (heavy) boxes for storage.... and my apartment doesn't look any different than it did before I started. Hrmph.

So in the interest of being very Capricorn (and unable to keep a train of thought from one room of my apartment to the next), I made a list of what I'm packing every day. And to keep me on track, I'm going to make the process public by listing the tasks du jour: (Yes, I'm boring. I've already been told that. Moving on.)

Today's task: Pack the bathroom


P.S. I had a revelation last night... I won't grow up to be a spinster with cats. Why? I'm allergic to cats. So instead of cats, it'll have to be... fish. I'll grow up to be a spinster with fish. One of those really big, huge aquariums with lots of pretty fish... and maybe a turtle.
.

04 June 2007

This is why my family rocks

.
The perfect email from my sister this morning:

I know it is rainy and yucky and you are not exactly chipper today because of it. But you MUST GET OUT OF BED.
We love you.


it worked. i'm up.
.

03 June 2007

Rainy day.

.
it's pouring rain in New York City.
the city lights shimmer on the streets.

i donated my wedding dress to the salvation army.
i sold my rings to a stranger.
i honestly hope they bring some joy to someone else.

but me... i'm sad tonight.
very sad.
it feels weak to admit that i'm afraid of being alone...
afraid of not having someone to share life with...
grow old with...
tonight, the feeling looms large.

the rain is appropriate, somehow.
.

31 May 2007

Why I Was Fired

.
For the last company picnic, management decided that, due to liability issues, we could have alcohol, but only one (1) drink per person.

I was fired for ordering the cups.......


(I'll miss you, Dan!)

30 May 2007

Glasses, revised....

.
I've been writing a ton in the last few days - especially yesterday. But nothing I've written feels appropriate to post to the general public. But I know that a few of you are looking for updates on my life, so:

Glass half full version:
I'm heading to Africa for nearly a month. I was supposed to take this trip as a 5th anniversary celebration, but you all know what happened to that. But I'm taking the trip anyway. (And let me tell you - it's going to be AWESOME! Isn't Africa supposed to be the birthplace of the human race? Perhaps it will provide a cathartic rebirth of sorts for me as well.) I'm downsizing my crap (read: throwing out a lot of the "stuff" that I thought was important, but I've realized lately is just "stuff.") I'm on the knife's edge of getting out of a marriage that wasn't treating me the way I deserve to be treated, so now I get to find someone who will appreciate me. I was downsized out of my job, but I will find a better work environment - one that appreciates hard work, diligent thoroughness, and a good attitude, as opposed to complaining whiners who kiss butt instead of making progress. I have an absolutely stunningly amazing family who loves me and supports me (even when I want to stay in bed all day) and will let me be their full-time, live-in super-aunt-nanny (in exchange for room, board, brownies and lots of tickle tag).

Someone I was talking to yesterday told me that I seem to be the type of person that always lands on my feet. But really - do I have a choice? After all, staying in bed all day is only fun if there's someone in the bed with you.... hee hee


P.S. Really frighteningly weird horoscope today: "A new situation in your workplace means that you'll have more flexibility and freedom, but a few old structures might have to be torn down first. Knowing that you'll come out on top eases the transition." (hahahahahahaha!)
.

25 May 2007

The roof is on fire...

The wrap party was - well - a wrap party! The usual suspects drank too many margaritas (and rumors of the after-party's aftermath set the office abuzz today.) The food was fabulous, the view was spectacular, and the drinks were WAY strong...


But I guess the party got a little too hot a few blocks away, when the roof of a building caught fire... (two firefighters were slightly injured, but otherwise, no casualties, except the water tower...) We had quite a dramatic view for about an hour:

24 May 2007

Meeting Sim

.
Last night was another spectacularly "New York" moment... I was invited to a gallery opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art - "Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era". The fascinating collection of multimedia art and popular culture was rivaled only by the unique crowd that came to the opening gala. Present was every type of expressive artist personality imagined, including the not just the expected art society upper-crust, but also present were true-blue hippies (I think they were wearing the same clothing from 1969), young socialites, academics, stuffy know-it-alls, biker dudes, and even a few children (one of which was particularly enamored with a chair made completely of silk flowers.) The media exhibits were the most striking, with everything from visually violent strobe-light rooms lined with reflective Mylar that literally attacked the senses (epileptics avoid this one!), to the relaxing and trance-inducing work of Thomas Wilfred.

There were quite a few photographs and art pieces criticizing the Vietnam war, which were incredibly violent and visceral. I literally had to look away from them after the initial viewing because they were so disturbing. Many of the editorial posters reminded me of criticisms of the war today: "Why are we at war?" "When's it going to stop?" and a particularly poignant poster that read something along the lines of "Haven't we learned from the past?" These messages, shown - at times - adjacent to the more flippant displays, such as an entire room made from undulating shapes of neon-colored foam.

Overall, my first gallery opening was a fascinating, if slightly surreal experience. At one point, a gentleman approached me and my companion and said "What a lovely couple. Where are you going on your honeymoon?" (I told him that as of yet, I had not been asked a question that would warrant consideration of a honeymoon destination, so the question was moot.) He had ethereal tufts of shocking white hair floating about his head like a halo, and a white goatee to match. Dressed impeccably in an English riding jacket, with a flamboyantly colorful and oversized pocket kerchief (he made it himself), he opined that I was "wearing a great dress, but the summer is the time for color. Perhaps a periwinkle scarf - in a barely-there silk fabric that would float around your neck. Yes, that would be perfect." He then excused himself, and when I shook his hand goodbye, he said "Yes, it was very nice to meet me." Overall, the encounter fit perfectly with the slightly drug-induced feeling that the exhibition exuded, and when I chanced upon him later, I hesitated before asking him his name (how disappointing if it was something pedestrian!) But curiosity won - his name was "Sim." My only regret is that I didn't bring along my camera to snap a photo of us together. But perhaps it's best that he live on in my imagination... peace out...

On a far less cultured note, we wrapped up the season at work today - our last show just finished not 3 minutes ago (I'm watching on the internal feed.) I still have no idea if I have a job next week... I'm thinking that either way, the news will be a blessing. The anxiety of not knowing has been driving a spike of pain through my head for the last two days. Hopefully I'll hear the news soon (today?) about my future employment... and then - no matter which way the decision goes - I'll have a direction to aim my compass! I'll keep you all posted...

p.s. 30 days to Africa! Yay!
.

21 May 2007

Salad Stress

.
One of the best things about New York is the food. But over the last week or so, I've eaten like a horse (starting with a serious overdose of fondue last Saturday, steaks the size of Texas on Sunday, sushi until my stomach hurt on Wednesday, and pasta & brownies as a consolation for PMS on Friday) and haven't worked out worth a spit, except for a few random spurts of push ups here and there. So today, PMS has officially passed, but I feel the desperate need for an influx of healthy fare.

So I went to my favorite nearby salad place (keep in mind that salad places are like Starbucks - they are literally on every corner in New York City) to get a yay-good-for-me salad.

But the problem with healthy salads is that they're tasteless, so of course you have to choose a little something unhealthy in your 'fixins' to give it some flavor. The problem I have, when faced with a plethora of topping choices, is that if I haven't narrowed down my choices by the time I get there, I just panic and start pointing at things behind the sneezy-glass at random. So today I've managed to come up with one of the most unique salads ever...

Start off with small spinach as a base. I know I need an influx of greenery, so throw some peas in there. Add artichoke hearts, cuz they're super-yum. It's starting to look a little too green, though, so I tell the dude to toss in some roasted red peppers. I read last week that cranberries are supposed to be really good for you, so I point to the dried cranberries too. Throw in some feta cheese (because what's a good salad without cheese) and then mix with a fat-free raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Feta and peas?
Roasted peppers and dried cranberries?
It was all I could do to resist pointing to the chic peas.

This is, without a doubt, the Most. Random. Salad. Ever.
.

20 May 2007

Turn right at Heathrow...

.
The search for real estate began in earnest this weekend. And wow, what a weird, weird world. The rental market is a joke - what people are asked to put up with for 2 grand a month is appalling (400 square feet, 5th floor walkup, no light, old bathroom, no kitchen.) And in light of the horror stories relayed to me by my workmates of renting, I am reconsidering my decision not to buy.

So today, I went a'shoppin' with a real estate agent for apartments. Keep in mind that I'm downsizing significantly... I have about half the budget now, and while I have a great financial down payment, the month-to-month out of pocket is still limited. So today, I looked at a few 300-square-foot apartments that were tiny, but held a great deal of promise. My real estate "agent", however, is making me a little nervous. She informed me today that she's 21 years old, and has only ever handled rentals so far... This would be her first sale.

Eeek.

Now I know as well as anyone that you have to start somewhere... and the poor girl will have her first real estate transaction happen at some point. But a) why do I have to be her first, and b) why did she have to *tell me* that I would be her first?

I also have another reason to hesitate - I don't technically know yet if I'll have a job after June 1st. The entertainment industry likes to keep people on their toes like that... and year-to-year contract renewals aren't announced until the last day of production. So not only could I conceivably be out of my apartment in a few weeks, but I could also be out of a job.

Homeless and unemployed. Now what guy wouldn't be turned on by *that* in the online dating profile, eh? (*read in a slightly sarcastic tone*)

So my next thought - when I go to Africa in June, I'll just take the proceeds from the apartment, and - instead of turning left at Heathrow on the way back - I'll just turn right and keep going around the world... because hey, if I'm going to be homeless and unemployed, I may as well make the most of it, don't you think?
.

16 May 2007

New Toys...

.
It's only a few more weeks until I take my adventures to Africa (safari and giraffes, here I come!) My little camera - while fabulous - just wasn't going to cut the butter when it came to zooming in to capture decent images of faraway beasties. So I decided to bite the bullet, and bought myself a new toy (thanks to some recommendations from friends):
As a test run, I decided to test it out in the wildlands of Connecticut... Here's the wide shot...
And here's a zoomed-in shot from the same spot:
Not bad! Although I do hope that I'm not quite this close to any hungry lionesses or anything... yikes!


My sister, for mother's day, got a new toy of her own... let's hear it for chicas with electronics!!