31 May 2007

Why I Was Fired

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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....

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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!)
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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

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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!
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21 May 2007

Salad Stress

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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.
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20 May 2007

Turn right at Heathrow...

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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?
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16 May 2007

New Toys...

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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!!

15 May 2007

Dream life

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Nah, life's not perfect... but who would want it to be? I do have my ups and downs, I'll admit (and today was no exception), but overall, I'm feeling like I'm in a good place now. Empowered and enlivened - ready to sculpt the shape of my future, and simultaneously accept what life deals out and go with the flow.

The only thing that's messing with my head is my dream world. (Which culture is it that thinks that the dream world is just as valid of a reality as the waking one? I think I read that somewhere.)

Last night, in my dream life, my boyfriend from high school was walking down the hallway in front of me, saying hi and schmoozing with everyone - a serious car salesman type of guy. And I kept trying to catch up to say hello, but he was walking far too fast, and the crush of people seemed to conspire to keep me lagging. It morphed into a situation where I knew I was being followed by someone with less-than-noble intentions. But there was no sense of dread - I felt like I could defend myself if necessary - but I called 911 anyway, and asked them to send help. They refused to send anything other than an EMT-in-training until I convinced them that it was more serious.

So I turned suddenly (hoping to catch my stalker by surprise and thus gain an upper hand) and the scene suddenly swapped to a burnt-out hull of a building in a post-apocalyptic war scene, where a group of "us" (I am not even sure what defined "us") were being held captive by "them". (Do you remember the 1984 movie "Red Dawn"? Wow, talk about flashbacks. It felt like something along those lines, where we were watching a guerrilla war go on in a valley below where we were holed up.) I don't remember being afraid, exactly, but there was a definite sense of watchful expectation - a kind of out-of-the-ordinary, building up of tension and the anticipation of an inevitable course towards an impending (and probably violent) action... I could smell the smoke, feel the gravel under my shoes, and hear the gunfire and people yelling as they approached our camp. It was startlingly real, and fascinatingly tactile... and then...

...I was awoken by nauseatingly mundane sounds in my apartment...

...exceedingly anti-climatic....

...humph.


But lest you be disappointed, boys and girls, don't worry - today was 89 degrees, sunny, and it was National Chocolate Chip Day. And really, how can you complain about anything on National Chocolate Chip Day? I'm off to dinner... sushi tonight. Yay fish.
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14 May 2007

Tagged!!

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The pseudo-underground networking amongst bloggers creates not only unwritten rules and etiquette about blogging... but I have now for the first time, experienced blogger-spam! Femminista "tagged" me the other day with a Seven Things meme. I'm not sure where this came from (and I've never heard of a "meme," nor do I know how to pronounce it), but I'm game for new adventures... so here we go:

These are the rules:
Each player starts with seven random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. You need to choose seven people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!


For inspiration, I looked up "seven" and found lots of fascinating factoids out there that I could use as a launching point for my seven things. There are seven areas in liberal arts (natural science, social science, political science, history, writing or literature, mathematics, and art or music); Shakespeare divided the course of human life into seven ages (infancy, childhood, the lover, the soldier, the justice, old age, and death); There are seven colors in the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)... it goes on and on (seven deadly sins, seven wonders of the ancient world) and there are some random ones that for some reason fascinate me (there are seven openings in the human head, seven points on a sheriff's star, seven stellar objects in the solar system visible to the naked eye (sun, moon, mars, mercury, jupiter, venus,and saturn), and that seven is the most common number chosen when people are asked to pick a random number between 1 and 10.)

Of course, then it came time to write my seven things, and I was suddenly stumped and couldn't think of anything the least bit creative. And I'm PMS'ing. So I decided to go with what life is handing me and stick to the PMS theme:

1. I love the combination of salt and chocolate... chocolate covered pretzels are one of my favorites, and Chubby Hubby ice cream is simply divine. I prefer dark-ish chocolate, but really, anything will do. I also have an irresistible craving for Tostito's Hint of Lime tortilla chips... but they make me feel kind of icky afterwards.

2. I don't cry very often - it takes a lot to set me off. But sometimes it only takes a Hallmark commercial, or listening to something by Michael Nyman (or apparently watching Gladiator) to bring on the tears. Random, I know... but there's no room for logic here.

3. I kind of like my once-a-month gift of "larger than usual" boobs... but it admittedly hurts to work out or run at those points. Still, I overall appreciate the fact that I sleep on my stomach without any problems.

4. Every once in a while, I go on a Windex kick, where I'll literally wander around my apartment and Windex any and all surface areas. (I will even sometimes Windex the floors, because I hate vacuuming and mopping that much.) I'm trying to switch to more environmentally-friendly products than Windex, but so far, the best I've done is switch to recycled paper towels. Sorry, Earth.

5. I loathe shopping for shoes, jewelry, or clothing... until about this time of month. Go figure.

6. I've never had to take Midol or anything for cramping... but I'm finding that as I get old, I get more and more sensitive to medications in general. Usually I only take about 1/2 dose of anything (like aspirin or cold medicine) and that does the trick. I've found that it's true with alcohol too, with two beers making me very very happy. Apparently this sensitivity is a Capricorn thing.

7. Recently I have been craving blanched spinach with a little bit of salt or lemon juice. I have no idea why, but I can literally eat 4-5 servings of the stuff in one sitting.

There. Pretty useless information, I'll admit. But that is where my brain is today...

The second part of the assignment admittedly stumps me. I don't know seven bloggers, much less seven people I can "tag" by leaving comments (except on myspace, which I am so over. The only reason I leave up a myspace profile at all is because I have friends from high school and college who have found me there.) So instead of blogger-spam, I'm going to have to "tag" people with good old fashioned email spam. Sorry, y'all...
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13 May 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I love you, mom...

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11 May 2007

100th Post

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Apparently, there is some underground blog rule that when you post your 100th blog, you have to write 100 things about yourself. While in the process of reading this blog, you've probably learned more about me than you'd like already, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately, I could only come up with 17 things on my own, and most of those were pretty lame. So I looked up "100 Random Questions" on Google and I let someone else come up with a list for me. But if there's anything you'd like to know about me, just ask... I'm not shy...

Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4. "a 10% profit.) Pierre loved doing" from The Landscape Diaries, Garden of Obsession by Gayatri Carole Rocherolle.

Stretch your left arm out as far as you can, What can you touch? Mustard, newspapers, People magazine, my work ID, a water bottle, an organic Fiji apple, my cell phone, my letter opener, some bags made out of sails, Whole Foods bag with laundry soap in it, a "Field Guide to Birds of North America" book, a poster that says "Add Pips".

Before you started this survey, what were you doing? I was in a staff meeting... booooring.

What is the last thing you watched on TV? An ice cream commercial. It made me hungry.

Without looking, guess what time it is 12:40pm

Now look at the clock. What is the actual time? 12:46pm (I always run about 5 minutes late, so that makes sense.)

With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? People talking in the kitchen about their weekend plans, the door opening & closing to the bathroom, a phone ringing, the air conditioning vent, CNN International yakking about some warehouse fire, some birds chirping outside.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing? This morning - walking to work. It was beautiful, but very very humid...

Did you dream last night? Yes...

Do you remember your dreams? Yes... most of the time. (I remember a recurring, serial dream of my childhood that involved Sam the Eagle from The Muppet Show turning all of my friends into stone by looking at them. It kinda freaked me out.)

When did you last laugh? This morning!

Do you remember why / at what? Yes... I have laughed several times today. But most recently, I was laughing at this

What is on the walls of the room you are in? Two calendars for work, a "check list" of adjectives ("Authentic, Essential, Distinctive, Inspiring", etc), a stencil of a Jolly Roger skull-and-crossbones pattern, a cue card that says "Next Yo-Yo", a dry-erase board with list on it ("Chocolate Chip cookies, Perennials or Annuals, Strawberries, Hanging Baskets, and Harry Winston"), and a staff phone list.

Seen anything weird lately? Of course I have! I live in New York! This morning, on the walk to work, I saw a man wearing a heavy parka jacket, scarf, earmuffs and a hat... and wearing plaid shorts with flip-flops. He was pushing a cart with a little dog in it who was yapping at every other dog walking down the street.

What do you think of this quiz? So far, it's pretty pedestrian.

What is the last film you saw? The Fugitive on cable. GREAT film!!!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? With someone who loved me more than anything else in the world.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? A plane ticket... or twelve. And I'd find someone with a ton of student loans and pay them all off anonymously.

Tell me something about you that most people don't know. I eat Dannon coffee yogurt every morning. It's an addiction. I have no inclination to stop. And I was royally pissed off when they went from 8oz containers to 6oz containers. (*pout*)

If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do? I would make sure that children never suffered from hunger, fear, sickness, or abuse.

Do you like to dance? Absolutely! (But am I good at it? Eh... )

Would you ever consider living abroad? Absolutely!

Does your name make any interesting anagrams? A tamable zinc teen heel he (is that interesting? Not really.)

Who made the last incoming call on your phone? My lawyer. That's depressing.

What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? A video clip of Jane Fonda doing her entire interview with Steven Colbert while sitting on Steven's lap (on The Colbert Report.)

Last time you swam in a pool? Last summer

Type of music you like most? I like loads of music - it depends on my mood...

Type of music you dislike most? Any music that demeans women

Are you listening to music right now? No (unless the CNN theme song counts)

What color is your bedroom carpet? There is no carpet in my bedroom

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do? Have the only key.

What was the last thing you bought? A Dannon coffee yogurt on the way to work this morning (I told you, it's an addiction!!)

Have you ever ridden on a motorbike? Yes... I have driven one too.

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? I've been sky diving... but for some reason, bungee jumping is too scary... (I never said I was logical.)

Do you have a garden? Only vicariously through my sister and her family... but one day, I'd love to have a little garden. I dunno why... I think I'm getting old.

Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? Yes.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? It depends on who's with me when I wake up... (*wink*)

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be? Just one? Jesus. And I'd make sure we ate more than wine and bread...

Who sent the last text message you received? A boy.

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Any travel agency

What time is bed time? Depends on the day... early is about 10-11pm, otherwise, 12 or 1 am.

Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? No.

How many tattoos do you have? Two - but they're right on top of one another, so technically, only one.

If you don't have any, have you ever thought of getting one? Moot.

What did you do on your last birthday? No... I can't answer that. It's just sad. No comment.

Do you carry a donor card? Yep.

Who was the last person you ate dinner with? Chris, a picnic in Madison Square Park.

Is the glass half empty or half full? It depends on what's in the glass... :-)

What's the farthest-away place you've been? Turkey, I think...

When's the last time you ate a homegrown tomato? Last summer

Have you ever won a trophy? Yes... and I hope to win another on June 14th...

Are you a good cook? I can cook a few things well... but not many. I'm getting better!

Can you pump your own gas? Of course!!!!

If you could meet any one person (from history or currently alive), who would it be? And what, I don't have to have lunch with them this time? Okay... um, Abraham Lincoln.

Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school? Only during hazing.

Do you touch-type? Yes.

What's under your bed? Drawers (my bed is a dresser)

Do you believe in love at first sight? Not really. But I do believe in lust at first sight.

Think fast, what would you like right now? Mint chocolate chip ice cream milk shake.

Where were you on Valentine's day this year? At a steakhouse with my girlfriends.

What time do you get up? On early days, around 6am. On regular days, around 8:15. On weekends, around 9 or 10.

What was the name of your first pet? Cassie

Who is the second to last person to call you? A boy

Is there anything going on this weekend? Fondue night with the girls, and Mother's Day with my sister. Oh shoot, I gotta get a present!

How are you feeling right now? Good. My neck hurts a little... I could use a massage...

What do you think about the most? Food. (I'm hungry)

If you won big in the lottery, how long would you wait to tell people? About 3 seconds.

Who would you tell first? My sister

What is the last movie that you saw at the cinema? Uh. I honestly don't remember. I think it was something animated.

Do you sing in the shower? No.

What do you do most when you are bored? Write.

What do you do for a living? Tell other people what to do.

Do you love your job? Sometimes

What did you want to be when you grew up? A space alien (mostly because I wanted to have my own space ship)

If you could have any job, what would you want to do/be? World-traveling, altruistic, charitable multi-billionaire

Which came first the chicken or the egg? The egg... of course!

How many keys on your key ring? Two

Where would you retire to? A cruise ship going around and around the world.

What kind of car do you drive? Whatever I rent.

What are your best physical features? You'll have to ask someone else that question.

What are your best characteristics? Honesty and optimism.

If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would you go? Everywhere I haven't been yet.

What kind of books do you like to read? Sci-fi, fiction, history, fantasy, educational...

What is your favorite time of the day? Depends on what the days' plan is...

Where did you grow up? All over the East coast, really... and I'm still growing up.

How far away from your birthplace do you live now? A couple hundred miles

What are you reading now? This questionnaire

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Neither, really... I am more of a mid-afternoon type.

Can you touch your nose with your tongue? Yep, but not without squashing my nose first. *edit* - I just tried it, and I failed! So I have to change my answer to NO.

Can you close your eyes and raise your eyebrows? Yes... are there people who can't do that?

Do you have pets? Not yet.

Where is your best friend? Probably picking up her kids from something.

Do you collect anything? Memories and life lessons.

Are you someones best friend? I certainly hope so!!!

How many rings before you answer the phone? Depends who is calling... ha ha

What is your best childhood memory? My mom waking me up in the morning to go to school. I hated that she had to wake me up so early, but now when I look back on it, I cherish it.

What are some of the different jobs that you have had in your life? Dog washing, ice cream scooper, corporate intern, media trainer.... etc etc etc.

Any new and exciting things that you would like to share? I think I've realized that I want to have a kid... eek. (I'm sure the urge will pass soon, though. That's one perk of being a fickle female.)

What is most important in life? Finding, sharing, and living with contentment and joy.

What inspires you? People, kids, nature, art... life inspires me.

(Phew! Was that boring enough for you guys?)
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10 May 2007

Musical Musings

Several weeks ago, I saw the musical "Spring Awakening". I don't know if you've heard anything about this show, but it's quite ... interesting ... and addressed no shortage of social issues, including (but not limited to) teen pregnancy, back-room abortions, parental pressures, peer pressures, societal norms vs. social revolution, religious intolerance, suicide, homosexuality, teen angst, sex education, intellectual revolution, death, and emergence of underground 'hippy' counter-culture. (And all of this in the context of an awesome Duncan Sheik soundtrack.)

But in a flash of realization this morning, I finally figured out the moral of the musical:

Be gay.

Be gay and nothing bad will happen to you. What do you think?


In other musical news, I went to the opening night of 110 In The Shade at the Studio 54 / Roundabout Theatre Company last night on West 54th. Four-time Tony award-winner Audra McDonald played Lizzy, and just blew the stage away. Her performance was perfect, and her singing was awe-inspiring. John Cullum was also good, (though I still have a problem seeing him sing when all I can picture him in was Northern Exposure) but didn't command the stage like Ms. McDonald did.

The rest of the show was just OK, I'm sorry to say. The music was OK, the chorus was OK, but the plotline dragged a bit, and I found myself a bit bored. The second act was better (mostly because it was shorter and featured more of Ms. McDonald), but I think the problem is more that I'm personally not so keen on "love story" musicals. Call me anti-romance, but there it is.

p.s. Looks like I'm not the only one with this opinion: NY Post Review

In other random-thought news, it's a muggy day in NYC... but it's warm, so I'm tres happy.

p.p.s. This interview between Steven Colbert and Jane Fonda is one of the funniest pieces of television I think I've ever seen... .

08 May 2007

My job is OK today

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Today, I ran a taste-test of 11 types of chocolate chip cookies from the best bakeries in Manhattan. (Of course, all the bakeries sent extras, and most of them were freshly baked... and warm. Yummmm.....)

This afternoon, I was also an expert in basil... and last week, knew just about everything there was to know about mixing lightweight concrete and planting shallow-rooting plants like ferns.

Before that, it was succulent plants - types, care of, how to make cuttings of, and create a living wreath with sphagnum moss. Before that, a very thorough lesson on bonsai trees - both tropical and hardy versions. I've learned how to make chalkboard paint, become versed in the numerous applications of eco-friendly bamboo - did you know it is a form of grass, is used in China as replacement for steel beams in buildings, and can be made into clothing? I know the basic guidelines of the ancient Japanese art of Ikebana floral arranging. I've bleached shirts, exfoliated skin, moved a $40,000 book that weighed nearly 90 pounds, and learned the history of the yo-yo. I've held baby binterongs, hissing cockroaches, rescued grayhounds, owls, falcons, 200-pound snakes, and monkeys. I've played with technology prototypes, met Olympic athletes who have just won their gold medals, and tasted cuisine cooked by the finest chefs in the world.

This is just a fraction of what I do for a living... and this is why I love it. Sure, there are times when I want to quit, take all my money, move to a small town in Colorado, buy a small house, get a dog, meet a boring guy, have dumb babies and grow tomatoes.

But not today.

Today, I'm eating chocolate chip cookies and doing okay dokay.
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07 May 2007

A promise made...

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(Warning - lots of psychobabble ahead...)

At a recent wedding I attended, the preacher - when extolling on the challenges of marriage - said something that piqued my interest: "A promise broken is still a promise made."

At first, I rather liked the phrase - it spoke of the virtues of forgiveness for errors made. It gives hope that two people may feel betrayal or loss or disappointment, yet still be able to look beyond it, open their hearts to ask for forgiveness, be willing to give that person the opportunity to earn it, and thus, reconcile. The idea that reparations can be made when even the most basic tenets of commitment to the promise are lapse is certainly appealing.

But is it really feasible? When the promise is broken, but no repair is possible, what happens to the promise then? The phrase then speaks of an unhealed rift that is never able to be closed... "A promise broken is still a promise made." If this is the case, how do you 'move on' once a promise has been broken? What if a promise is reciprocal, but not reciprocated? Can you ever, then, "leave behind" an unresolved broken promise? If you read the phrase in a different perspective, it becomes more of a mental ball-and-chain than a hopeful guide to overcoming strife. I suppose in the context of a healthy marriage, the theme is optimistically applicable... but in the rather messy reality of what my personal life has become, it seems to have little validity or application other than to haunt. I've had no choice but to give up on the hope that some promises broken would ever explained (much less repaired) and find some other external sense of resolution. (And finding a comfortable sense of resolution is quite different than finding "closure," I can assure you.)

Not that I don't have hope for a better future of "promises," mind you. I would like to think that I have not become such a pessimist or cynic that it's not within my realm of imagination to use this phrase in its optimistic, uplifting and strengthening interpretation... and hope that this will become applicable in my (not-so-distant?) future. Admittedly, I'll have to overcome many of my own not-small mental hurdles in the process (I'm workin' on that)... but as for my past, in trying to work the pieces together looking backwards, it simply doesn't seem to have a place... it doesn't fit... except to say that this will be with me forever.

The idea of "a promise broken is still a promise made" is ideal between two people who want and strive to live up to the expectations of their promises... and as well, the other, offended party is open to the idea of such reparations. But where does that leave the soul when the promise broken has no opportunity to be repaired? Is it inevitable that the reciprocal promise is then also broken? And is that a judgement? And if so, is it a judgement on the promisor, or the promisee? And is there a difference? (Or, am I so emotionally entrenched in the subject matter that I cannot reconcile this idea without it becoming a judgement, even if it's just one that I've created and forced upon myself subconsciously?)

I guess the idea of leaving behind such a broken promise - one made with such gravity, broken without explanation, and deserted without attempt at repair - is not something that one should expect to "forget." The experiences of my past undoubtedly will color my perceptions of relationships, trust, and my own self-worth forever, requiring more from the other half of any relationship than I am at all comfortable asking. In that regard, it makes sense that the phrase haunts. But dang it, I don't have to like it.

My hope - and my faith - is that the next promise made will outshine the shadows made by the previous one broken...

Here's to hope...
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06 May 2007

Gladiator catharsis

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It's been a rather mellow weekend for me, with a trip to the gardens yesterday, and street fairs / apartment open houses today. While it was a gorgeous day, and I did my 50 push ups, and 150 sit ups (and some butt exercises), I just wasn't up for the long-distance walk I had planned. The last 48 hours or so has been rather stressful and I've felt slightly overwhelmed for some reason, but honestly, I couldn't have specified why.

So this afternoon, I made pan-seared organic salmon (it's supposed to be a food that helps you when you're stressed) and some experimental microwave mashed potatoes (that came out rather well, I do say) and watched bits and pieces of Gladiator. While not usually a huge Russell Crowe fan, I do think that Connie Nielsen and Joaquin Phoenix give two of the greatest performances of all time all time in this film... and at the climactic, dramatic end (helped no doubt by Hans Zimmer's incredibly gorgeous soundtrack)... I burst into tears.... and proceeded to cry for 20 minutes.

Can you say "stress" and "burn-out"? I thought you could.

But the cathartic tears were eventually alleviated by the realization that I'm overwhelmed by the prospect of buying an apartment, and so I came to the decision that I'm just going to rent for a while. I stopped crying when I realized this (the return to non-eye-leakage aided by some photos sent by a friend to my phone)... and I already feel a TON better. (Actually, two realizations came through this - I'm going to rent, and I am in desperate need of more tissues.)

I'll feel two tons better when I treat myself to brownies and an early bed time tonight... now if I just had someone to snuggle, life would be perfecto. One step at a time, I suppose... one step at a time...
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P.S. A happy congrats to E. and A. on the new addition to their family!

05 May 2007

Weekend updates...

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The past two weekends have been stunning weather! So I went out... Last weekend, it was a trip to the zoo with my boyz:
They got VERY up close and personal with a gorilla who wanted to say hi....

...except for #4... this is as close as he wanted to get...
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This weekend, I met some faboo friends and we ventured out to the scary boroughs... to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens:
The cherry blossoms were at their peak...

... so P. and C. and I grabbed a spot of grass, threw down a blanket, slathered up with sunscreen, and totally stressed out...
Duck!
Call garden security! I found a weed!!!!
This one is for Deb...
I don't know why I only took photos of the stupid cherry blossoms... there were billions of other things in full bloom, including tulips. (But as P. noted, we were in sensory overload from the scents, sounds, colors and textures of the place, so when I go back, I'll try to take more diverse floral photos.)

02 May 2007

Modern dating: A parallel

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I was thinking the other day about the phenomenon of online dating. Since I haven't dated since my early 20's (which was - officially - about two million years ago), I haven't been privy to the evolutionary nuances of online dating. Apparently, since my early 20's, the population of online singles has 'Darwined' from the genus "weird, anti-social geeky dudes" to "everyone on the planet". And that's fine, I have no issues with that, except that it's taken me a little while to let that sift through to the recesses of my 30-something cortex. But I'm all good now.

What I do like about online dating is that the usual email correspondence to kick off the flirting is akin to the letter-writing of the days of yore. When a boy liked a girl, he would write her love letters, and hope for a return post. Similar in spirit to the email, I suppose. After all, in both scenarios, you choose your words and write your letter and send them off, hoping that you don't write anything so strange, weird, off-putting or otherwise lame that the other party will be suddenly uninterested. On the flip side, to return the sentiment with a response, you need to be thoughtful, funny, responsive, and interested... but not overreaching or overly eager. Overall, an interesting parallel to the old-time wooing of old. Sure, it's a new technology paired with new terminology and a penchant for informality and strange acronyms (LOL, TTYL, etc)... but the spirit of the gesture is the same. And I love it.

Why? Most of you know that I hate the phone. I use it as a tool - a function primarily of setting up further means of communication, preferably in person. Sure, if there's a distance between two people who like to communicate, then the phone is a necessary intermediary. But on a day-to-day basis, I generally hate calling people. (In fact, I disconnected my land line the other day, and now the only way to reach me is to call my cell. Besides the need to be suddenly more descriptive if I ever have to call 911, I have only experienced one down-side: If you misplace your cell phone in your apartment, there's nothing to call it with in order to echo-locate the sucker. A minor, yet surprisingly annoying side effect.)

Since I'm not a phone lover, and long-hand is far too difficult and not immediately gratifying, I'm officially addicted to emails. If it's not obvious from the 27 blog postings I put up in the 30-day month of April (gads, I hope I'm not boring to read), I have recently found a love of writing. And these postings are nothing compared to the number of ramblings that are too personal, strange, embarrassing, or obscene to post. And since I'm a bit of a romantic at heart (no, that part of me wasn't completely killed), the idea of the email being a means to express oneself a la the hand-written posts of old is rather... well... sweet.

So here's to emailing... and the romantic spirit of Times New Roman 10-point.

p.s. to the boys who call and I don't call back: don't take it personally... it's the means I'm adverse to, not necessarily the message.

p.p.s. It's amazing what I'll resort to when I'm desperate. Lack of mouthwash made me turn to a hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse this evening. Surprisingly tasteless, the only bizarre side effect was the bubbling that didn't stop for 30 seconds after I stopped rinsing. Bletch. And I have lost about 50% of the sensation on my tongue. Hope that goes away soon.
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01 May 2007

May Day...

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Happy Birthday mom...