Tuesday, May 30, 2006

some pics to go with the list

The Beach:Saying goodbye to Grandma at the beach house:

Memorial Weekend In Review: the highs, the lows and other nonsense in between

Memorial Weekend marks the beginning of the summer. There is pressure to do something great to kick off the lazy days. Hurry up and get somewhere so you can relax...........here is what I did to hurry up to get somewhere to relax.

  • worked until 9:30 pm Friday, I think I was the last person in the entire building to leave for the holiday weekend.
  • after walking a mere two avenue blocks up hill in the hazy, smothering humidity carrying two ridiculously heavy bags for a 3 day get-away, I was given a bit of advice from my Korean waxing woman who told me (or at least this is what I got from the gesturing and partial words) I needed to not sweat so much and I should try taking rests every 5 minutes and something about skinny but I don't think she was giving me a compliment about being skinny. I was offended and bewildered and decided it is time to find a new salon.
  • I was so upset by the sweating comment that I jumped in a cab and prematurely went to Penn Station to catch my train skipping a couple of essential pre-trip errands (pick up contacts, buy toothbrush).
  • Consequently, even after I found a pharmacy in the train station and bought a sandwich and snacks and even after I consumed the sandwich, I was still a good 40 minutes early for my train.
  • then the train was 15 minutes late.
  • was very productive on the train ride and billed two hours.
  • my train was nearly 30 minutes late arriving in Providence, RI which messed up the carefully crafted timing of my brother Jason dropping his wife off at her voice lesson, picking me up at the train and picking her up. We were late.
  • arrived at my aunt and uncle's beach house in Little Compton, Rhode Island just in time for dinner - perfect timing.
  • took a walk and ended up tracking no less than 4 ticks into the house!! One I found on my head, one on the kitchen wall, one in my bedroom (near my pants from the walk) and someone else found one on the couch where I had been sitting! Luckily none of them implanted themselves in my skin. close call.
  • dramatic power outage by simultaneous lightening and thunder clap
  • unfortuante coincidental low-battery signal from the carbon monoxide detector that was mistaken for the alarm system. much fumbling around in the dark to disconnect or muffle the beep to no avail. I went to sleep counting the seconds between the beeps - ten. Only to be awaken at 230 am by the house's alarm system when the power came back on.
  • mmmmmmmmm, blueberry pancakes for breakfast with Vermont maple syrup. Couldn't help myself and ate stacks and stacks.
  • had every intention of taking a serious walk, took a nap instead.
  • played soccer in the yard with my cousin's 4-year old son.
  • bonfire cook-out dinner on the rocky beach just below the house with the waves crashing close by.
  • made the perfect s'more for my grandma (and two for myself). she claimed she had never had one before and wasn't too interested until I explained it had chocolate.
  • race-horse rummy around the kitchen table with my grandma, Jason, Nadia and my aunt.
  • Grandma's alternating fiesty-ness and sweetness.
  • wandering around Providence, RI and exploring Brown's campus
  • trying to buy a ticket at the train station only to discover they were sold out until 10:30 pm!!
  • renting a car for less than the price of a train ticket and driving back to NYC through Connecticut at 25 mph then 75 mph then 25 mph intervals. I'm convinced that I-95 in Conn is the worst place to drive anywhere. No accidents. No road construction. CT drivers just like to stop and see who is getting on and off the freeway, don't want to miss anything, right?
  • returning home to a steamy city and sweltering apartment only to discover the air conditioner in my bedroom makes a noise that sounds like someone is pushing in a door buzzer and refusing to remove their finger. that has to be fixed immediately.

All in all a good weekend to kick off the summer.

Friday, May 26, 2006

what a trip

walking back from lunch through the rockefeller center councourse I tripped going up the stairs, yes that is going up the stairs - I scraped both knees, an ankle and somehow my shoe fell off and I was sprawled out. Thankfully my skirt didn't reveal anything it shouldn't have and the only witnesses were a couple of female tourists and my friend who was more concerned with whether or not I had broken the heel of my shoe than the blood coming from my knee. We laughed the rest of the way back to the office about being klutzy and how the worst place to fall is on the subway stairs. The best part of the story is that while I was cleaning myself up with supplies from the first aid kit in the pantry I received this email from my witness friend:
If it makes you feel better, I got back and noticed bird sh*t in my hair. :)
That made me laugh some more and definitely made me feel a little better.

silly quiz

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find a line
"'Aging Schedule' classification of trade accounts receivable by date of sale." How nerdy am I that the closest book is the Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms?

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can
not sure what this is asking but I can reach the end of my desk

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
Today Show this morning as I was getting ready for work - I don't watch so much as have it on as background noise, plus I like hearing the weather and having the time and temp on the screen.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is?
11:40ish

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
11:54 a.m.

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
The Golden Age by Beck - new cd purchase, I've recently become obsessed with Beck

7. When did you last step outside?
8:50 to 9:15 a.m.

8. What were you doing?
walking to work

9. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
the brief I should be drafting

10. What are you wearing?
skirt, blouse, cardigan, heels

11. Did you dream last night?
not that I remember

12. When did you last laugh?
last night walking home from work around 11 pm talking to my sister on the phone. We were talking about our inside joke songs and after I was imitating one that my brother and I have (the song and the joke cannot possibly be explained or understood by anyone who wasn't there or possibly if you are) she asked if people were looking at me weird on the street. You had to be there but it was good sister fun

13. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
a calendar with elephants, a postcard with a llama sticking out of a cab, a picture of Southern Utah, some of my sister's art work, boring work reminders

14. Seen anything weird lately?
every time I step outside - this is NYC. Most recently I believe I saw the piegon lady on my way to work this morning. She sits on the sidewalk with a bag of bird food and the piegons flock to her and they eat out of her hand and sit on her shoulder. But I've been seeing her almost every morning for a year so she has worked her way in to the norm of my routine and I barely notice her as weird anymore.

15. What is the last film you saw?
The DaVinci Code

16. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?
a nice house for my parents and a great apartment with a terrace overlooking Central Park for me and probably homes and things for my siblings if they would take them

17. Tell me something about you that I don't know.
Here is a confession: I bought a Dixie Chicks song on itunes - it didn't sound country when I heard it so I was surprised they did it. Lullaby. I heard it on Medium Monday night and loved it. Check it out.

18. Do you like to dance?
love it. The other day I was struck with the memory - out of the blue - of going dancing with my high school friends. We were never good but we always had enthusiasm and abandoned all twinges of self-consciousness. When we stood in a circle laughing and imitating each other and those around us we bouyed each other up. It was group confidence. One might say we went a little far with that confidence at times - leap frogging around the church gym, always proud to show anyone, including the chaperones, we wore shorts under our skirts (out of protest of the skirt requirement) and even getting kicked out of an especially large regional singles dance in the early college years. I think that is my favorite dancing memory - yelling at the self-ascribed authority figure for dragging emily out of the dance and telling him I wasn't drunk and I would proudly take a breathalizer. I don't think he believed me. I still like to dance and I generally still manage to dance with abandon thanks to those amazing girls who taught me how to shake it.

19. 5 people who must also do this in their blog.
I'm not sure I have 5 people who read this but here is a try:
Tiff
Lizzie
Emily (if you are around)
anyone else who wants to try it

Thursday, May 25, 2006

out of town visitor


Lucky me - last night Michele was in town with her baby Annie. We got to catch up and Annie warmed up to me enough to let me walk down the street with her while she stared at all the bright lights. Don't you just love those cheeks? It is hard to resist kissing them.

my mother's unwitting french beauty secret

Like most 12-year old girls I was excited to grow up. I wanted to dress up, wear heels, wear make-up and go to high school and date. Not surprising, except to those who went to high school with me who will recall a granola girl of the early 90's in baggy cut-off jeans, a large striped t-shirt from the Gap and knock-off Birkenstocks with rag wool socks. . . no dresses, skirts or anything frilly, absolutely no heels and not a bit of make-up except for prom and a couple of other dances when my mom did it for me.

Somewhere in junior high I lost interest in it all. Partly due to lazieness. In the morning I would stay in bed until the last possible moment, then I would roll out of bed, brush my hair and teeth in a mad rush and go directly to school without breakfast. To keep the morning rituals to a minimum, I would shower the night before and kept very low-maintenance long, straight hair. I gave up on perms after 8th grade and made it through the late 80's and early 90's with only a year or so of attempting the big curled bangs that never gained the loft that seemed so important in those years. Failing to cooperate, I allowed my bangs to just curl under or lay flat - constantly cursing my hair line for not being attractive enough to allow me to ditch bangs altogether. No spiral 90's perm for me. I wanted the easy route. I liked sleep and wanted to keep my morning routine to somewhere around 15 minutes from the last snooze to walking out the door. Make-up seemed like a frivolous extra step with little utility.

I know this frustrated my mother. She wanted me to try a bit more. She would optimistically give me the free sample bags she got from Clinique bonus days hoping I would experiment. I never did. At the same time my mother always explained that make-up is to compliment your features, not detract from them. She often told me the secret is to apply make-up subtely so as to appear natural.

During my freshman year of college, Wednesday night was the hot night to go dancing at Rocky's, the lone dance club in Cedar City, Utah. My roommates and I would all go which meant 4-6 girls showering and getting ready all at once. Inevitably I showered first and was ready a couple of hours before it was time to go. All I had to do was pull on a pair of jeans, pick out a shirt and brush my hair.

Ready.

My roommates took quite a bit longer than that. The more outfits they tried on, the more make-up they applied and the longer they spent in front of the mirror fussing and primping, the worse I felt about how I looked. I tried to answer questions such as "do these earrings go with this belt?" and "should I tie this shirt around my waist or does it not go with my shoes?" but really I was completely lost. How did I know the answer to such questions? My earrings were three mis-matched dinosaur studs or tiny silver hoops. I owned one belt I wore with everything. I only owned a couple of pairs of jeans and both were much larger than my thin frame (I say longingly!!).

Predictably, I was lured into the primping. I began experimenting ever so slightly. I learned that a little mascara and eye shadow made my eyes stand out. I distinctly remember a guy in my major asking me what I had done differently because he had never noticed my eyes before. It was only one of two compliments I ever received at Rocky's (the other from a half-stoned guy that told me I had "kick-ass hair," I guess because it hung down to my ass). From that point forward I wore make-up - not much of it and not every day, but I wore it.

One of the best compliments I ever received was from a then-boyfriend who didn't think I ever wore make-up. As a result of that and my mother's advice, I have always favored the natural look while recognizing my skin could use the concealing and enhancing benefits provided by make-up.

So imagine the validation I felt reading the Thursday Style article in the New York Times entitled "Sans Makeup, S'il Vous Plait". The article is all about how French women (and men!) favor the no make-up look and indulge more in facial treatments to shrink the pores (a beauty secret I'm desparately searching for and would welcome any tips). My favorite quote from the aritcle: "American girls worship the cult of the 'ideal woman.' No part of the face seems to be forgotten. And when you use too much makeup, it means you are hiding from yourself." I guess I'm only hiding from myself a little bit. . . and not at all at 10 pm when what I applied at 8 this morning has all faded away.

I need to thank my mother for teaching me to use make-up sparingly with the goal of looking as if I am not wearing any at all.

Monday, May 22, 2006

somewhere like Utah. . .

Last Friday my secretary and I were chatting away about various things as one is want to do to make Friday pass by faster and the weekened to arrive sooner. At one point she asked me where I was from or where my parents live or something to that effect. When I disclosed Utah as my place of origin she burst out "UTAH, really?!?!?" and started laughing. She then went on to explain that whenever she and her husband think about running away and starting a new life they say "maybe we'll just move somewhere like U-tah" (with a big sarcastic emphasis on the U) and then they bust up laughing at the absurdity of it. Great to know that my home state is their inside joke.

International Food Festival


Normally a crowd of this size would make me anxious and irritable and send me running in the opposite direction. But this crowd was for the Hell's Kitchen food fest which comes only once a year for two days - well worth enduring the crowds. Besides, when you are strolling through it doesn't seem all that bad. I spent Saturday sharing ribs, calamari, fried plaintains, fruit and fresh squeezed lemonade with a friend. Then Sunday I recruited another friend from church (bad me) to go back for pulled pork sandwiches and sweet potato fries. She really wanted to try the deep fried oreos - I was afraid but also intrigued. So we went searching for them, when we finally decided only one more block . . . she saw the funnel cake stand where she claimed they were made. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) they were sold out. We decided to stick with the fried dessert idea and purchased a bag of deep fried dough things (that were kind of like donuts) rolled in powdered sugar - or more acurately thrown from the vat of grease into a brown paper bag full of powdered sugar.
I clearly enjoyed mine. I guess it really doesn't take a lot to make me happy - just some greasy fried food sold on the street!

Friday, May 19, 2006

my watch stopped

I came to work early this morning so I would have time to eat breakfast before the 9 am meeting that never happened. I usually leave home at 8:50 and arrive at work around 9:15. So I needed to move everything back a bit. This morning I left at 8:10 and was at my desk with my oatmeal by 8:30. My walk to work was rainy but I was wearing my new rain boots and listening to my Rain playlist so I didn't really mind. There were fewer people on the sidewalks to avoid - the piegon lady wasn't sitting on her corner but there was a large group of European tourists standing smack in the middle of the sidewalk in front of their hotel, clustered under the awning, waiting for their tour bus or tour guide or something. It is a rainy Friday.
When I arrived at the office, it was nice and quiet and I thought how productive I felt to be at work early. I got my oatmeal from the cafeteria and settled in to read emails, several poems (thanks Tiff!) and possibly the Times. One of the partners I work for stopped by to question why I would be here early when I circulated a memo by email at midnight last night. She complimented my work. I felt good. We chatted about various things starting with work related state court appearances and then moving on to her kids, college dorms and restrictive rules. I saw the other partner I was supposed to meet at 9 arrive and I glanced at my watch - only 8:35. It didn't dawn on me that I arrived at 8:30. But when the conversation wrapped up and I looked again at 8:35 on my watch and compared it to the 9:20 on my computer, I realized something was wrong. My watch had stopped.
Luckily there was no meeting, I didn't miss anything.
But now my watch is stuck at 8:35. This is a problem because a) I can't go anywhere without my watch and I feel naked without it, call it a control issue if you must but I really need to know what time it is - at all times; and b) I am really bad at running errands such as replacing watch batteries so who knows how long I will be stuck in this state.
At any rate, even with the bad omen of stopped time and the drearieness of the rain, I am happy it is Friday and am looking forward to the weekend - maybe I will buy a watch battery.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

mother's day

My aunt received the best possible Mother's Day gift ever this last Sunday. She and her husband were told they had been selected to be adoptive parents - she was told she gets to be a mother at 42. My aunt is 11 years older than I am and 11 years younger than my mother (her sister) and has always been close to my family. We were roommates in Provo my first year of law school and we became closer as adult friends - not just as aunt and niece.

She was single until almost 5 years ago when she was married at age 38 - ancient in Mormon world. I have never been to a more joyous wedding. I will never forget her smile that day - she glowed. I cried through the whole ceremony out of pure joy for her to finally get this blessing that she had waited so long to receive.

At 38, with a personal and family history of "female problems" she knew the odds of getting pregnant were not favorable. After surgery to remove a large growth, she and her husband became more serious about adoption. After at least four years of waiting and wondering and weighing the pros and cons, no one was sure they were still going to adopt. No one wanted to push or intrude or pick at a sensitive subject. My family is good that way.

Last night, just after I turned out my light to go to bed I received a text message from my dad: "Risa Lennard getting baby boy. Premie now intensive care St. George. Probably will b ok." My parents just bought new cell phones and for the first time have discovered text messaging - usually with pictures. It has been fun. But this was not the type of news you text. I called home and explained this and to get a more complete report.

This morning I called my aunt - once again she was overflowing with joy. Yes, there are some complications with insurance coverage and he is in intensive care but she is a mother and nothing can overshadow that. Once again my eyes teared up as she told me about how it all came about. She is focused on being grateful for the blessing. I should learn from this.

I've always admired her strength and her ability to stay strong despite the lonelieness of being single so long, all the time saying I could never do it. The last several years I have thought it sad that she moved from one difficult trial to the next of not being able to have a baby. I have worried my life could follow the same pattern. But why should I? She is focused on the positive side and has been blessed for it.

I cannot wait to meet my newest cousin Peter Jacob.

hang-ups

I just got off the phone with the Boy. Yes, THE Boy, the cause of considerable drama of my not so distant past. It was our second conversation in under twenty minutes. Confusing, I know. Let me back up.

Ever since we broke up, probably once a week or so a missed call with his name shows up on my phone. Sometimes I see that he is calling and I contemplate answering and he hangs up before I pick up. Other times I try to answer to put an end to it but again he hangs up before I pick up. It stopped for a while and then resumed last Friday. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and brush it off as an accidental dial. But this was getting to be too much. Has he not realized that cell phones have caller id? What's more, he must realize that his name is in my phone so each time he hangs up I know it was him. Modern society has wiped out many of the telephone hang-up games we played in junior high and high school.

Last night I was exhausted for no reason at all. I left work around 9:30 and walked home talking to my dad who was particularly chatty because my mom was at some relief society meeting and he was lonely or bored and needed entertaining. When I arrived at my apartment I switched from the handheld receiver to my bluetooth ear-piece so I could change my clothes, straighten up my bedroom and get things done while we finished our conversation. When our conversation ended I was on the couch and my phone was left in the kitchen out of arm's reach.

Shortly thereafter my phone rang. Not caring to get off the couch I tried to answer with the ear-piece. No one was there. Thinking it was a problem with the ear-piece I forced myself off the couch to find the phone. And there it was - 1 missed call. Strange, it only rang once. I hit select to see who hung up and low and behold it was the Boy. Knowing this could not be another accidental misdial I took the phone with me back to the couch and soon forgot to think as the tv wiped out my brain activity.

Until the phone rang again.

Once.

1 missed call.

That's it, I decided. I'm calling him back. He answered, he was all normal and nice to hear from you but I'm about to run into institute class can I call you later?

No, you called me - twice. And hung up. Why?

His response: I was nervous.

He rushed off the phone with the confusing promise to call me tomorrow - which is today. When I returned from lunch I noticed my cell phone:

1 missed call.

Plus a text message - from my lunch date (not a real date just the boy I had lunch with). A few minutes later I realized there was also a voicemessage. It was the Boy. He finally left a message and didn't just hang up.

I called him back. It was awkward. He explained that he had listened to a voice message I had left on his phone during the break-up where I told him he never listens. He said that is true and apologized. He went on to tell me that he moved to California and rambled about nonsense. When I thought we were finally going to end the conversation, he said

"You always seem to want more. You give off the impression you are wanting or expecting me to do or say something more."

He called me. He is the one asking to be friends on different coasts. He is the one prolonging a one-sided conversation with no point. How could I be the one wanting more? But the truth is I did want more. That was the key problem with the relationship. I wanted more understanding, I wanted more disclosure, I wanted more excitement, I wanted more romance, I wanted more depth, I wanted more tenderness . . . it wasn't there.

We hung up.

A few minutes later, he called again and asked me "why are British kids always missing teeth in movies?" He thought our call ended on a low-note and wanted to be a bit more upbeat when we finished talking. I think he is hung up on me, on the relationship, on what might have or could have or should have been . . .

He told me to call him sometime and before I responded he said he would call me again soon. I said good-bye.

Then I hung up.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I give up

I am html stupid. I just spent the last 20 minutes trying to be clever and make a link to this article in the New York Times and apparently I am incapable. I got it to look right but now it won't actually link!! So try this instead: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/21/books/fiction-25-years.html?ex=1147838400&en=f19bce957b85fb2e&ei=5087%0A

my new reading list

I was very disappointed to discover that not only have I not read the winner but I have only read one book from the list of the New York Times

Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years


Even more disappointing is that one book, "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien, is buried down on the "following books also received multiple votes" list. I read it in college and remember it quite well. I stole the title of one of my posts from it. It is a unique perspective on the Vietnam War - I recommend it. I haven't even heard of most of the other books listed. Although I do own the winner - "Beloved" by Toni Morrison - and it is in my stack of 3-4 books to read next (it has probably been there about a year). Luckily I just finished a book Saturday so my decision is made. Next up: Beloved.

What have you read on the list? Any recommendations?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

thank you

isn't it surprising what a profound effect those two words can have? Today, for no reason at all, I received a thank you note in the mail. It was from my visiting teaching companion who is also on the family home evening committee with me. She wrote:

"You're so on top of it all and I'm continually impressed by all you manage to do. I really appreciate all of the hard work you put forth toward fhe and visiting teaching! For the first time I really feel like visiting teaching is more about being friends than checking off a list."

I am usually so focused on what I'm not doing - I'm not exercising, I sent out those bridal shower invitations late, my house is cluttered, I never prepare a lesson for visiting teaching, did I mention not exercising enough? - that I forget to allow myself some credit and satisfaction for completing the things I finish or might be doing right. It made my week to have this sweet note waiting in my mailbox Friday evening. I love people who send thank you notes, that is another thing I should try and be better at!

writing in my head

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep I drafted the greatest blog posting in my head. I considered rolling over and grabbing a pen and paper from the nightstand but I knew I was only moments away from sleep and I had already stayed up too late.

For some reason my greatest moments of clarity occur in three places:

1) my last waking thoughts before I give in to sleep, but only if I'm not trying to think;
2) in the shower - so much happens in my head in there; and finally
3) walking through the City with my ipod. Listening to music relaxes my mind and frees it to allow creativitey to flow, it is my best meditation time.

Unfortunatlely, as you will note, none of my inspired circumstances include sitting at a computer with a blank computer screen. Likewise, those moments of inspiration and clarity are quickly lost because the spell is inevitably broken as soon as I step out of the shower or into my apartment or office or obviously when I succomb to sleep. For my birthday last year my sister gave me a small mole-skin notebook, the famous Hemingway notebooks that have cropped up in bookstores everywhere recently. I love it. I love that she included a few sketches and a beautiful message to me in the front. I carry it with me everywhere. I generally jot down quotes I like and on rare occasions I am able to capture the elusive spurts of creativity so I can savor my thoughts and feelings later. I need to use it more often.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

jumbled

I've spent a lot of time with my thoughts over the past couple of days and yet I have had a difficult time sorting them out and coming to terms with what it is I am feeling or thinking or wanting. I am sitting here hoping words will come that will help me clarify whatever it is that needs to come out. It isn't working.

I think one of the things that has been bothering me recently is the constant struggle to maintain a strong and beautiful image of myself amid constantly conflicting images and messages both internal and extrnal, real and imagined. I would have thought that by this stage in my life I would have found security and a comfort level with who I am. Yet, when I force myself to step outside my comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory without external reinforcement, I am at a loss. I am not just saying I become insecure about how I am dressed or how I look. It is more than that. I lose confidence in what I have to offer and as a result I become drab and flat. I can feel it happening and become powerless to change direction.

Being single requires constant self-pep talks. It is truly exhausting.

There is so much more spinning around in my head but it is all sounding far too depressed and that isn't really expressive of my mood. I am contemplative . . . pensive. . . just trying to understand myself and how external and internal forces shape my actions.

that guy in the bubble



Some of you may have heard about David Blane's latest stunt. He has been living in a bubble for a week or something like that. He is using my favorite place in the city as his forum - Lincoln Center, a short 10 minute walk from my house. So yesterday I snapped a few photos as I was walking by. I chose to use the zoom and not stand in line to gawk. So strange. But the most confusing part is how ABC is turning his next stunt of attempting to hold his breath in the bubble for a record 9 minutes into a TWO HOUR special!!! Hmmm, 9 minutes hyped into two hours? I don't believe I will be tuning in.

Spanky's BBQ

The other night I was meeting a friend for dinner in the Times Square area when I saw this. Unfortunately, when I snapped the photo the flames were no longer spilling out the side of the garbage can. I LOVE that the ad on the garbage can is for BBQ. It almost made me think the fire was there on purpose. I may have to go try Spanky's BBQ.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

something new

When I was buying my lunch today at the oh so glamorous cafeteria, I asked the cashier what the new Coke drink was that was on display next to the orange and grape Crush in tall glass bottles. She told me to take one to try - free. Not being one to turn down free things in fancy bottles with enticing labeling, I took one (nearly toppling the entire case of glass bottled beverages in the process). I inspected the lable and all it said was "carbonated fusion beverage." Intriguing, but it didn't say what Coke was fusing with. I hauled it up to my office along with my sandwich. I was immediately interrupted with a phone call and lunch was delayed another 20-30 minutes until my once hot sandwich was soggy and cold. Finally, I opened the fancy glass bottle with the cool label and tried it. It was an unfamiliar taste I couldn't quite place and yet its scent was familiar, then it hit me - the smell was coffee.

What do you get when you cross Coke and coffee? A carbonated fusion beverage called Blak. I suppose the name should have tipped me off, a clever allusion to black coffee I presume. I have taken a few more swigs, contemplating whether or not this new fangled beverage is off limits. I'm undecided since the ingredients list "coffee extract" but I don't know what that means. I'm not even sure whether I like it or not but I can say I feel a little bit rebellious taking furtive sips every so often.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

down side of spring

  • allergies
  • fickle weather
  • allergies
  • spring fever - stuck indoors unable to enjoy the sun
  • something I like to call SADD - Spring Attention Defecit Disorder, I have difficulty accomplishing anything because I want to be outside
  • spring cleaning
  • did I mention allergies and the fact that I was only able to wear my contacts for an hour today and even after removing them my eyes remain blood shot and leaky and I am exhausted despite sleeping 8 hours - spring allergies are the worst

There really aren't any other downsides because mostly spring is great and the only reason I even thought of this list is because I am stuck in my office suffering from allergies when I have not seen a tree, flower or even a blade of grass in who knows how long so I'm really confused as to what growing thing is causing my throat to close, my chest to tighten and my eyes to water. Whatever it is - it really needs to stop. I mean it. Go away pollen.

Monday, May 01, 2006

writing club pays off, err sort of

I just spent the last hour of my afternoon with the self-acclaimed "Legal Writing Pro" who I suspect was paid some large fee to read a slew of boring legal sample writings and sit one-on-one in a conference room telling associates how to improve their writing. Read - why their writing sucks and what they need to improve to make it as a lawyer. Late Friday (after over a month's notice of the need to send in a sample) I pulled something out of my archives and emailed it to the Pro for his perusal pre-tutoring. My hour of intensive writing workshop consisted of about 10-15 minutes of adding structure to reduce rendundancy and about 20 minutes of discussing bad writing we had encountered. I saw that my sample had some red marks on the first page but nothing serious. When I returned to my office I looked through his squiggles - some of which I could decipher as + marks, others were just inexplicable underlinings and an arrow pointing to an indecipherable word at the end underlined twice that either says "digh" or "ugh" or "high" or possibly "hug". My interpretation of both the indecipherable scribble at the end and my non-substantive workshop: you are a damn good writer and there is very little I can do to help you improve.

For the record, I'm not really that arrogant about my writing, it is just a nice feeling to know the only criticisms were things of which I was already aware and it was just a draft anyway.

it's the thought that counts

Saturday night I had dinner plans at a friend's house in New Jersey. Despite the fact that I can see New Jersey from my living room, I rarely go. Call it prejudice, call it lazieness, call it a lack of motivation, it is what it is. Three of my closest friends in NYC are girls I met through my first job in the City. Two are engaged and one is all but (she has deferred one proposal and keeps the massive rock of a ring hidden in a sock drawer!). Over a month ago, after hearing that I was dating someone, one of the girls tried to set up a dinner with couples since I had now joined their ranks. The first date available was April 29th. At the time I questioned whether I would still be a part of a couple when the date arrived, although I think I was hoping it would last through the end of April when it was only mid-March because things were still new. The friend in NJ volunteered to host since she has outdoor space and a barbeque - something almost unheard of here. Miracously, we didn't cancel the event, although the girl who originally proposed the date could not make it.
So I printed my 3 pages of directions including maps and set off on my trek Saturday to New Jersey afternoon. I thought a great post would be a pictorial story of my adventure: walk to subway, subway ride, NJ Path train ride, walk through New Jersey mall, streets and park, etc. Well, I ran into one small problem with my great idea - I pulled out my camera and pushed "on" and nothing happened. I tried again and again before I realized how long it had been since I charged the battery. Instead you just get this very dry, non-illustrated account of my trip to NJ which was not all that eventful except for the part where I coveted their great house and furniture and lifestyle and trips and low-key way they are planning their wedding in a beer garden (actually garten) in Queens and the total coupleness of everything. Everything but the part about how they live in New Jersey.
I have experienced the same thing when I visit my other friend and her fiance in their great condo in Brooklyn. I mean how great would it be to have a washer and dryer in your apartment??!! They are getting married in the Carribean, I have until January to find a date. Know anyone who wants to go to Saint Lucia for MLK 2007?

p.s. I think I had about 3 phone calls while drafting this post and I'm not about to read it or I will probably just delete it. So my apologies for any errors or if it just plain doesn't make any sense - see title.

master procrastinator

the clock reads 20 minutes to one. I can barely keep my eyes open. I've spent the last several hours of a Sunday night reviewing the oh, so stimulating SEC filings of a bankrupt company and another related entity. Not exactly how I envisioned ending my weekend. Of course I had to end it this way because I spent the entire weekend avoiding this very task - cleaning my apartment, removing winter clothes from my closet and replacing them with summer clothes, attending parties and the most distracting reading a new book. Sometimes pleasure reading gets me in more trouble than anything else. I rarely stay up at odd hours, struggling to keep my eyes open to finish a movie (it has happened but rarely). Yet since the time I could read I would hide under my covers with a flashlight into the late hours of the night willing myself to stay awake as a book kept me riveted - nothing else quite as important as finding out what happens in "just one more chapter." I resorted to the flashlight under the covers after nearly catching my bed on fire by dragging a Raggedy Ann and Andy lamp under the covers to avoid my mother seeing the light under the doorway. I think I was only 6. In elementary school or early junior high when I was addicted to Sweet Valley High books I had a book lamp that attached to the book - this was the greatest invention for me - I didn't have to get out of bed after staying up through the wee hours reading. I would still get in trouble for staying up late reading but I think my parents realized this was a good avenue for my rebellion even when they had to endure the task of trying to pull me out of bed the next morning.
Enough reminiscing, 730 pilates will come extra early tomorrow..................
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