Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Outer Banks

So I was talking to my running partner this morning, and he told me that he's heading down to North Carolina for the long weekend.

Ah, shopping for some furniture? says I.

No, heading to the Outer Banks. Why does everyone keep asking me about furniture? says he.

Then, at lunch, told this story to a co-worker, and she too did not get the furniture reference.

Looks like that lovely state is having a bit of a PR problem regarding one of its, um, High Points (hee). Or maybe it just speaks to the sad state of manufacturing industries in general in these modern times. Anyway, if you want to check out some great deals on fine-crafted furnishings this weekend, American's got a $99 last-minute fare from JFK to Raleigh/Durham this weekend.

Don't you love the way everything just comes together sometimes?

You may take baby steps, but your body doesn't

Babies will grow an inch overnight.

The bachelor has been going to the gym for months, and suddenly dropped 20 pounds.

I've been doing this training program since May. Suddenly this week, my thighs are hard, I'm doing three-mile runs with very few walking breaks, and this morning, I found my stride. Tight, efficient, no wasted effort -- it hardly felt like running at all. Now that I think I understand how to rest without breaking stride, I may run the whole way when we do the full loop of the park on Sunday!

And if I can drop 20 pounds by the end of the summer, I promise I'll start wearing those tiny bikinis again.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Get Thee to Kettle of Fish

...on Wednesday and see the lovely Sars read something.

Or maybe not. The last time I was supposed to atend an event with Sars, bad things happened.

Why I need to stop working in New Jersey really soon

Reason #287. (Mind you, I know some very nice guys from NJ, including the Bachelor. But still, please save me.)

Sunburned, sore, smelly and snarly

Yesterday I ran 3 miles in that 90-degree heat, then laid out in the park (perhaps a bit too long). Today I went to the gym on my way in to work, and wow does Manhattan smell bad on a summer morning after a parade weekend. Then for some reason, my hair, which you'd ordinarily have to bribe to get it to tangle, got all snarled up in knots as I tried to blow-dry it in the non-air-conditioned locker room.

I know I owe you all an update. I promise there will be more, but first I have to finish up my application to the AP.

Friday, June 24, 2005

About that creepy thing you don't want to think about....

Scroll down to the blind item labelled "Some engaging tidbits." And sadly, she might not even have been his first choice.

just because you're hiding in the woods...

... doesn't mean you don't wanna know what time it is, Sask Watch!

It's almost 4:00

Let's all hope we never meet a woman like this one.

When they ask me to choose, I will choose Hermes

God, I can't stand Oprah Winfrey. Have you heard about this latest Hermes incident? She shows up at a store after they've closed, and is indignant that they don't let her, and her entourage in. First of all, anyone who comes with an entourage, which is offensive in and of itself, should never be let in anywhere. Crowd control and all.

THEN, this self-admitted former crack user claims that THIS was "one of the most humiliating moments of her life."

This arrogant, self-important woman tries to "heal America" and is treated like some sort of spiritual lifestyle guide by millions of stupid housewives! I can't stand how much attention this woman commands in our society. They follow her like sheep. And now she is refusing to shop at Hermes anymore, and is planning to do an entire SHOW about this "incident," so of course this will negatively affect their sales to her followers. She's like a cult leader, and I think it's evil.

I think I need to go out and buy a Birkin bag (as Oprah just cancelled her latest order), or maybe a scarf, at least.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

not really at all about Bloomsday...

...nor bondage, nor even Heinekin.

We're all media whores

Okay, I can't help how much I love the Gawker, I'll admit it. So if the move to Manhattan is successful, will I be on here as well? Right now, the office in Journal Square doesn't make the cut.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

entertained by food

I say the mini-egg looks like a smurf; what do you think?

Friday, June 17, 2005

For any of you who don't read Gawker...

...or MediaBistro (I may be the only one among my readership!), this Billy Joel tribute is pretty funny.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Cool as a...

I am willing to reconsider my dislike of cucumbers in the interest of margarita research. Who's in?

Easy knitting pattern

Something you could make for the cold winter months. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

maggie vitello?

I keep getting hits over the past two days from google searches for Maggie Vitello. The web is a funny place....

I know I'm overdue

I know, I've been promising everyone a full update, since all I've been telling you lately in person is "it's bad." But it's so bad I really don't have time right now.

Short form:
1. Grandmother dying. Grandfather doing marginally better. Setting up hospice care; not sure when we're going to Chicago.
2. Work is hell. Here until 9 pm last night, and still can't dig out.
3. While I'm working on the highest profile project at the company, and the eyes of the owners and every major player in the brass are watching my *every* move, and I'm angling for a promotion -- this is an excellent time to be having a family crisis. Really.
4. Well, at least I'm not pregnant.

More soon, promise. Love you all; you've been so great.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

in the manner of...

I think I need this book. Lord knows I've been rather vocal about the lapses of others lately; I probably should make sure I'm up to snuff before I say much more.


It occurs to me that Thursday is ....


Last year I was in Dublin, and this year I might be in Chicago (things just took a turn for the worse, grandmother-wise). But if I'm here, I need a plan. Anyone have any suggestions for how to celebrate dear Poldy and Jimmy?

Also, what better day to drink whiskey? Are you listening, Irishman?

a hot dilemma of operatic proportions

So, it's like 95 degrees in the shade out there. Tonight, the Met is putting on a free performance of Puccini's Tosca in Central Park. I love opera under the stars, but Central Park is a big heat vat.

Does anyone want to check it out with me? If so, comment or e-mail. If not, I'll have to find some air conditioned recreation.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Take a class

Here's a very interesting graphic on How Class Works in America. Since we are a new and improved society, we like to think that we are classless, that all are equal. But we know that's not true, and lately class struggles and definitions have been all over the media.

Paul Fussell wrote a great, if slightly out of date, book on the subject a while back that is at least as dead-on as the Times chart. More recently there was The Rise of the Creative Class. And you can never do wrong with good old Edith Wharton.

As for me, I did pretty well on the intereactive Times chart, but only because they weren't taking into account how often you talk about your sex life in a public forum. Clearly that would have knocked me down several points.

good thing I wasn't drinking milk...

...or it would be out my nose and all over my monitor right now:

"Gingrich was smirking at him playfully. 'Kofi,' he said from the corner of his mouth, 'You’ve been bad. Very bad.' "

Friday, June 10, 2005


Hideous apartment, hot, hot bod, but can't believe he didn't get arrested for sudsing up the fountain water, or for publicising that he did it. I once almost got arrested for wading in the Navy Memorial fountain in DC, and I was fully dressed and soapless.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

hey, don't talk about my husband like that!

"My sperm was 'well above average'! My count was 105 million! What's yours, George Clooney?"

baby, baby

Two friends got additions to their families yesterday:

Jodi has a new niece, Zoe. 6 lbs, 15oz, red hair, born at 11:30 Wednesday night.

And the bachelor has a new nephew, Ian. No details on that one, sorry.

Congratulations, happy families!

Scientologists in love

Concern over the young lovers has become an activist movement.

losing it

Last night, in a lovely bar on the LES, I totally lost my shit at a dear friend. It was good that it happened, he understood why I was upset and hugged me and apologized, and we are so much the better for it. But it highlighted an issue that it would probably be worth mentioning here as well.

When I have major shit going down, I don't really talk about it, I just deal with it. The stuff I talk about during difficult times is the minor crap, because that's easier. Bachelor problems, Tom and Katie? Sooo much more fun to talk about than illness and death.

Now I know this doesn't make me unique. Lots of people cope/avoid like this. But lately, when I only tell my friends about the minor irritations, a few have been responding by giving advice or telling me what I "should have" done, instead of being comforting and supportive. Certainly they would never act like this about the big stuff, but what maybe none of us were aware of was that the minor stuff was standing in for the major. So when I whine that "my new shoes hurt my feet," it's because I'm not saying, "I'm afraid that my grandfather might die soon." And what I need is a "Poor dear" and a hug, not to be told that I should have bought more sensible shoes. When I want advice, I do ask for it, but sometimes I just want support and love.

Please let me make it perfectly clear that only a few people have been doing this, and I do know that they love me regardless. My friends are magnificent and so patient and giving with me (as in Monday's Perfection post); some of us were just having a miscommunication.

So, in the interest of better communication, here's a more complete update on all the shit that's been going down to date.

My grandfather is still in the hospital. He had a tracheotomy, because he'd been on the respirator for so long that not only was it irritating his mouth, but he was running the risk of permanently damaging his vocal cords and losing his speech. Now he seems to be doing better lung-wise, and they're trying to wean him from the resp. But now they've found gallstones, and they're trying to decide whether or not to remove his gallbladder. The question being: is it worth putting him through the trauma of another surgery, the third in a month, for gallstones?

Two things really worry me about this situation --

1. We keep getting these panicked reports from Chicago that this time it's the end, and then it's not. Which is emotionally draining, and also makes it hard for us to know how to react. What will happen when it really is the end? Will we be able to recognize it? Will we believe it?

and 2. the continual addition of problems to his roster, despite him then overcoming each one, is really making this feel like the end to me. First he went into the hospital for bronchitis, then it was pneumonia, then they thought they'd found a perforated colon and did emergency surgery, then they discovered that it wasn't his colon, it was a stomach ulcer, then they couldn't get him off the respirator, then they did the trache, now he's doing better with the resp but they found gallstones...what's next? How much more can he take? He is 90, after all.

In the meantime, my grandmother is all alone in their house with the nurses, and she's wasting away. Mum says that between Mother's Day (when we last saw her) and now, she looks like she's aged 10 more years. She just lies there, not talking, not walking, not even reading or watching TV. And I'm worried that in the midst of us trying to handle all these problems with my grandfather, she will just slip away and die while we're not looking.

Also, work has been nuts. My boss quit, which might mean I'll be getting a promotion, or I might have to quit myself, if working here without him becomes sucky. I really admired him, and he inspired me to stick it out here whenever I was frustrated because I felt like I could learn so much from him. With him gone, in the absence of a promotion, I don't know what my motivation will be. To add salt to the wound, the reason he left was because the major project I've been working on has been tearing the company apart. I know I'm doing a good job on it, and I know that everyone all the way to the top of management thinks so. But it's hard to accept that I'm struggling with something so incredibly hopeless that even my boss got sick of dealing with it and had to leave.

Then there's the car accident from back in April. I'm still dealing with the fallout from that, which continues to annoy. But on the importance scale, it falls squarely between death and Scientologists, and as such is still not worth talking about in either the serious or frivolous capacity.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Rock Swings!

Paul Anka covers 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and 'Eye of the Tiger' on his new album. I need this!

Stats are fun

My stats have been all full up this week with boys who've been repeatedly checking in to see if I've written about them yet. So..

Hi, boys!

There you go.

Lungooege-a Tuuls

The clue to what this accent is supposed to be is in the URL. Without that, I would have thought it was Scottish, for sure.

If you don't get it, here's a translation tool to help you out.

Right now there's some Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the logo because it's his birthday today, but that should be gone by tomorrow. In the meantime, anyone know what the first building, the yellow one, is? (yes, we know the other two, thanks.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

sensitive artists or nut job careerists?

I know I have a few readers out there who would agree with this assessment.

NASA naps (courtesy of haneway)

As I've said before, I have some crazy sleep disorder, and some very bad nighttime sleep habits. As such, I love a good nap. More people should nap! We should have nap time scheduled into the work day, like lunch breaks! Let's order hammocks for my office!

Or maybe I should get a decent night's sleep more often. Right.

perfection is...

....coming home from a really rough day at work to find a letter from my darling three-year-old "niece" (in that she calls me Auntie) in Florida. Just for me, just from her (though I suspect her mum helped her write the address on the envelope).

Also wonderful is getting off the subway after a really rough day at work, to find a message on my cell phone from an old friend, telling me that she loves and misses me.

And did I mention how nice it is, after a really rough day at work, to go to friends' apartment, and have them give you hugs, hand you a beer, order dinner, and listen to you vent on and on? With unquestioning support, and helpful perspective.

I love my friends.

Monday, June 06, 2005

A Literary Map of Manhattan

I hope they'll do Brooklyn next.

Squirrel Invades Park Slope Apartment

..and it wasn't mine, surprisingly. But, to be honest, ever since the rabid squirrel attacked in my Manhattan apartment, I've always been afraid he might follow me to Brooklyn to wreak more havoc.

For the record, if a squirrel does invade your home and terrorize your children, call 911. When I faced the Grey Menace that night back in Manhattan, first I called the precinct house directly, who said to call animal control or something. Then I called the SPCA (the only animal-control-type number I could find), but they were closed for the weekend. Then my neighbor, who told me to ignore it and went to bed. Then my super, who told me to call 911, but I wouldn't, because it wasn't life or death -- yet. So he came over. In the meantime, I called my ex-boyfriend, who stayed on the phone and tried to keep me calm. The squirrel attacked the super, we called 911, I remained hysterical, and the cops had a nice laugh at the crazy lady who was afraid of little furry animals. That hiss and attack. But the nice cops subdued the rabid beast and prodded it out the window with a billy club.

At least I think they did. I was busy hiding in my bedroom closet, per their request, because every time the damn thing moved I would scream bloody murder, and it was irritating the cops. They did lock the window for me before they left; I wasn't taking any chances.

Deep Throat stays in the picture

Doesn't he look a little like Robert Evans?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

am I missing something?

Remember Washingtonienne? The Staff Ass on Capitol Hill that caused such a scandal last year? I never understood what the big deal was. I mean, I never thought her blog was all that scandalous or raunchy. But maybe I'm jaded.

Anyway, her book came out yesterday (if you're wondering why I mention this now). A book-length blog that you get paid for; we should all have one.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Okay, okay, Woodstein confirmed

So yay to Vanity Fair. After two years of negotiations, they got the scoop of a generation. They even outscooped the Post on their own source!

Media Bistro and Poynter Institute were kind enough to send links to every story you'd ever want to read about this. We journalists are a bit obsessive; here's a sample.

Washington Post
LA Times
Chicago Tribune
Baltimore Sun
New York Times
Editor and Publisher
Huffington Post

Think differently about that burger

I have not got the words.