normalcy is coursing through my veins
Thursday, January 31, 2002
There is another new link at left (see, I've been too busy at work lately to post, but I'm at least kind enough to point you to other sources of entertainment--how thoughtful, no?). So meet george jetson..., otherwise known as Meghan, cousin of Sarah. Ah, welcome to the incestuous world of blogging...

Wednesday, January 30, 2002
There is a new link at left, to Mark's site. Mark is an old friend of two of my good friends. I met him at the pineapple girl's birthday festivities last weekend. Somehow, in the midst of much celebratory drinking, it came up that several of us had weblogs, and addresses were exchanged (Yes, I realize how geeky that makes my friends and I sound, but I don't care. So there.). And somehow I actually remembered the address. Anyway, check it out. The 'weblog-ish thing' is quite funny. And there is a neat-o lending library that I know you will all want to borrow books from. Run along now, kids.

So the building where I work is right next to the Waldorf Astoria, where the World Economic Forum is currently being held. This morning I had to take a different route from the train to work due to things like this. They're not kidding about the cops being out in full force--streets barricaded, traffic stopped, police officers stationed at various rooftop points on the hotel, providing them with a lovely view into some of my co-workers' offices. We like to wave at them. You know, to convince them that we are friendly people and not the security risk their suspicious gazes imply we might be.

In addition, the hassle required to leave and return to the building seems to have encouraged more people than usual to patronize the cafeteria upstairs, thus resulting in a massive line for the quesadillas that were the most appealing thing on the menu. And let me tell you, these banker men we share the building with, they might make my yearly salary in an hour, but they don't quite seem to understand the concept of 'line.' (Although they do understand 'leverage' and 'selloff,' which they were yelling at each other about over my head).

I guess I shouldn't complain too much though. As Liz has already pointed out, all of this hullabaloo does mean that our offices are being closed Friday. I heart paid days off that come out of nowhere.

Tuesday, January 29, 2002
And speaking of board games....
This list is great. My favorite: Really Fucking Sorry

Site of the day (inspired by Bill's post about Word Freak):
In case you didn't know, I love Scrabble. I especially love winning at Scrabble (Oh yes, I am one of those competitive people. I have been known to do obnoxious dances upon getting a triple word score. I am not above gloating.), but I like playing regardless. I inherited my Scrabble obsession from my mother, whose insomnia I also inherited. It started as a distraction; whenever both of us were up late and restless, we would play. Then it became a ritual. We bought the deluxe edition. The one with the board that has raised plastic edges to hold the tiles in place and that swivels for easier viewing. The one with the velvet bag for the darker-varnished tiles. This is a serious board game, let me tell you.

Next came the dictionary. Our Merriam-Webster's College Edition was out of date and falling apart. We had to replace it. Much debate took place over the Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary versus other, more traditional tomes. Finally we agreed that we would play by the rules and get the Scrabble dictionary (although I am still suspicious about some of its entries, as they seem to be in direct conflict with the rules printed on the inside of the box lid, but whatever, who am I to argue with the Scrabble gods? If their affections are fickle, so be it).

With all the necessary items in place, we settled in to play. Several nights a week during my later high school years, my mother and I would convene around the Scrabble board in the hours after midnight. We still dust off the board when I am home for the holidays or a weekend away, always long after my father and brother have gone to bed. I should thank her for encouraging my obsession with words (as well as my aforementioned obsession with winning--we were pretty evenly matched and I was always trying to edge her out for the points lead). Yes, mom, I will admit there have been other Scrabble partners since, but none so loyal as you :)

So anyway, in celebration of my enthrallment with clicking lettered wooden tiles into place, I was thinking I should buy a T-shirt. They sell them here. They say ridiculous things like 'It's your word against mine' and 'Wanna play?' I am especially amused by the scoop-neck ringer tee and the form-fitting women's tank top that (I quote) 'runs very small.' I think I'll just stick to the plain old t-shirt, but it's good to know that there are options for those of us who are geeky and bookish, but still want to show off our curves.

Monday, January 28, 2002
I had forgotten how much I loved the Pippi Longstocking books growing up until I read this. Very sad indeed.

I wanted to be Pippi when I was a girl--independent and free-spirited (and with a monkey for a pet!). I think she was what started me wearing pigtails at seven years of age, even though I had objected to my hair being put up in any fashion before. I read these books over and over and over again. I don't know where they are now, probably packed away in a box in my parents' house somewhere. So now I'm thinking about buying this....

In the 'karma is a bitch' department:
I took a sick day on Friday even though I wan't exactly sick. Exhausted, yes. Hungover, oh yeah. And a friend from out of town was staying with me, so there was brunch with her as an added incentive. But now I am actually sick, complete with aches and fever. And where am I? Sitting at my desk, trying in vain to concentrate, all the while knowing that this is my payback for playing hooky.

Thursday, January 24, 2002
Ask her if she's a pineapple...and then wish her a happy birthday! Woo-hoo, celebratory drinks tonight.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002
Busy, busy, I am. So there will just be a list today. Actually, two lists, but they are related.

Foods I really like (and sometimes even crave) that most people I know do not:
brussels sprouts
lima beans

Foods I do not care for (which I am often mocked for not liking):
ice cream
milk chocolate (dark is good)

Tuesday, January 22, 2002
New links at left: Ferra (via Cate and Sarah) and Jules (via high school).

My office is freezing. It has been for the past week or so. And it's not just me and my bad circulation either. Everyone is walking around in their jackets or with scarves on. Indoors! So this morning I decided to take action. I called the lovely office services man to ask him if he could kindly turn up the heat. He gave me this "Sure, I'll look into it" line, but his tone implied that his true message was clearly, "Put on a sweater, bitch, and leave me alone."

Sunday, January 20, 2002
I've been meaning to mention this for a while now and keep forgetting: my friend, Julie, recently started her very own blog. Pretty soon I will have turned everyone I know into a blogger. All part of my secret plot to take control of the world. Bwahahaha...

Facts about my weekend thus far:

1) I woke up yesterday morning with "Who Let the Dogs Out" in my head. If anyone has any suggestions for ensuring that this never EVER happens again, please let me know.

2) I have been having dreams in which bare feet play an integral role. The first occurred Friday night. In this dream, Sarah and I were walking around barefoot in the snow. We weren't homeless or forced to go without shoes, we simply weren't wearing them. And we did not seem to mind. That is, until we arrived at the grocery store and I suggested we go in. At that point, we got into a huge argument over whether the store would allow us inside without shoes. I insisted it was totally normal, but Sarah refused to go in because she did not want to risk being kicked out. There were words exchanged. It went on like this for quite some time. I don't remember how it ended.

The second dream occurred last night. In it, I was on the subway and I was, you guessed it, barefoot. This time I kept getting the feeling something was off, people were looking at me. And when I stepped off onto the platform, people pointed and stared. Someone laughed. I walked slowly through the crowds, gradually realizing that I had forgotten to put on my shoes before I left the house. But I felt like home was too far away to go back for them, so I just kept climbing up the stairs to the street.

Any ideas what all this barefoot business is about?

3) I auditioned for a VH1 game show yesterday. I didn't mean to, it just happened. Well, more like Sarah made it happen. She's an expert convincer, that girl. We were buying CDs at good old Virgin megastore (why do I keep going back there?) and there were signs advertising open auditions for a game show about movies and their soundtracks. We wandered over to the cafe to check it out, and somehow I was being convinced that this was a good idea. Then there was a pen in my hand and I was filling out a form and then hamming it up for the camera. Oh yes, now there exists videotaped evidence that I am a huge dork. This will be the tape they pull out when I am famous and giving a talk show interview. You know what I'm talking about, played specifically to embarrass the guest--old screen tests, commercials for cleaning products, B-movie bit parts in which the guest sports bad hair and botches his/her one line. Or VH1 game show auditions. Tee hee. (Funny side note: They asked me what my favorite 'Behind the Music' was. When I hesitated, they told me it was okay to admit that I'd never seen it, and, if I'd had any pride at all, that's exactly what I should have said...but instead I admitted that I've watched it every time I've flipped past. Strangely addictive, that show. )
Sarah's comment: You're gonna be a star.
My comment: No, I'm gonna be a contestant.

4) I watched Rosemary's Baby last night. I have made it my personal mission to watch all the famous movies that everyone but me has seen. I did not love this film. Appreciated, yes. Loved, no.

5) I went for a walk by myself in the snow last night. Only two or three cars passed me on the street, and I saw just one other person during my wanderings. It was quiet and the snow was new enough that mine were the first footprints on the sidewalk. I was positively giddy at how still and pretty it was. Part of me wished that there were someone with me to share in my giddiness and then part of me knew that if there had been someone there, it wouldn't have been quite as good...because the giddiness had to do with being able to pretend that I was the only person for miles.

6) I ate Velveeta Chells and Cheese for dinner last night. Nothing like eating little-kid food while curled up on the couch on a snowy night to make everything right with the world.

Friday, January 18, 2002
There is a large set of file drawers just to the left of my not-quite-cubicle. Large enough that they provide a nice tabletop surface where one of my bosses (the exceedingly messy one) likes to pile overflow from his truly disastrous office. Someone has done us all the favor of clearing off one-half of this space so that we might use it to do mailings or some other mundane task. Woo-hoo, I think, that's just great. Right. Except that, in the middle of this clearing sits a candy cane, unwrapped, with the stripes sucked off the hooked part. There is something very disconcerting about this, as if someone had to leave in a hurry, unable to finish their left-over-from-Christmas treat. It's slightly creepy. And I believe that it is stuck to the surface of the countertop (though I have not touched it to find out). We all look at it as we pass, some people shaking their heads, but no one has moved it. It has been there for days. I don't know what we're waiting for.

Thursday, January 17, 2002
If you live in the New York City area (or if you live elsewhere but feel like making a long distance call in the name of entertainment), dial this number: 212-479-7990. Possibly the best idea ever, I am totally going to start giving this out.

Last night, after dinner with my friend who was unexpectedly let go from her job (nothing like something bad happening to someone you care about to drag you out of your own rut---and I don't mean that in a bad way at all, we had a lovely dinner) I stopped at Virgin Megastore to (finally) buy the newest White Stripes album. (Yeah, yeah, I'm the last one on earth, I know). Lo and behold, what did I see on display? The complete first season of Buffy on DVD! On sale for the low low price of $31.99! This is, of course, the exact pick-me-up I needed. I mean, picture it, next Monday off for the holiday, curled up on the couch with some English Breakfast tea and Buffy on the television. Mmmm, aren't you jealous? Except I have to exchange it first. You see, it's a three-disc set...except mine only came with two discs. Grrrr. Now, this would not be so bad if it weren't for the fact that the last CD I bought from Virgin was damaged and had to be returned. And each time I go in to exchange the defective item, I buy something else. So I'm starting to think they're planting faulty merchandise to increase their sales. Well, I just wanted to let you know I'm on to you, Virgin, and you won't get me this time. This will be strictly an exchange. In and out. I'll close my eyes to avoid seeing your sale racks if I have to. I"ll stumble blindly through the store. Whatever it takes, I will leave with nothing but the pristine Buffy collection I deserve. I'll show you.

So it's been sort of a long week, hence the lack of postings...or perhaps the lack of substance within the postings. I have been working a lot, which is about 1/2 'I-have-so-much-shit-to-do-and-I-want-to-take-a-week-off-and-go-somewhere-warm-in-February' and 1/2 'I-am-going-to-stay-at-work-for-12-hours-and-avoid-my-personal life.'

I find great comfort in doing mundane tasks like packing up books and shipping them out. Things where accomplishment is easily charted, visibly noticeable. Look at that, boxes gone, check. I feel the same way about cleaning. Whenever I feel a little like my life is not completely in control, I like to do laundry. The process of loading and transferring and especially folding is very soothing to me. (Plus, there's that happy dryer sheet smell). This weekend rearranging the furniture is on the agenda. Probably some vacuuming too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2002
Oooh le tiger! My co-worker (who I always thought did not like me) just brought me a copy of stranger things happen. She had lunch with Kelly Link and remembered that I said I had wanted to read it. Neat-o. Oh, and that phrase, Oooh le tiger? Yeah, it's going to be sweeping the nation, I'm telling you. Just like baby fishmouth (pop culture points for you if you get that reference).

"I love any movie that has a retarded person working in Starbucks."
-- Chris Kattan on why he liked Sean Penn's I Am Sam, on

At first I thought you couldn't pay me to see this movie, but now I'm thinking it might just be an unintentional laugh-fest. Still, I think I'll wait for video...

Tuesday, January 15, 2002
The orange soda I got from the cafeteria upstairs tastes like cat food smells. Hmmmm....

Monday, January 14, 2002
Perhaps you have noticed the link to Open Letters in the 'further reading' section at the left. If you have not yet checked it out, you should. Besides providing hours of procrastinatory material, it contains some really amazing little pieces. Like this one, which I have re-read many times. Or this one, which made me feel a little bit better today. Sadly, the site is no longer being updated. But there's enough there to keep you occupied for quite a while. And if you're inspired, you could send me a letter. I like letters very much.

Things to be happy about:
--I am drinking very tasty hot cocoa
--I scored 331 points in a Scrabble game with Sarah last night
--I am going to see Le Tigre with Liz on the 25th
(there will be dolling up beforehand, to be sure)
--There is Weezer on the speakers

Sunday, January 13, 2002
I'm so sorry
my spirit's rarely in my body
it wanders through the dry country
looking for a good place to rest
your head upon my chest...

you are worth hundreds of sparrows

I am sad and at the office trying to distract myself from said sadness. It is only partially working, and so I am taking a moment to express a little bit of gratitude. I owe a few people thank-yous:

Thank you to the man in line in front of me last night at the deli on the corner of (I think) 5th Avenue and Prospect Place, for paying for the box of tissues and bottle of water that I was fumbling in my wallet to try to find my money to buy. Thanks also for saying you were sorry I was crying in a deli on a Saturday night. I appreciated it even though I ran off instead of saying so.

And thank you to Kasey, who is only just getting to be my friend and shouldn't have had to deal with me in such a state, but who was still kind enough (despite my protests) to drag me out of my house late last night and buy me sushi and sake, which I consumed as she sang along with the terrible pop music that was playing in the restaurant. It was just what I needed, I owe you one, my dear.

Friday, January 11, 2002
I believe that there should be some sort of ordinance passed that outlaws the use of golf umbrellas on New York City sidewalks. Or, at the very least, requires a permit that can only be obtained by passing a rigorous spatial perception test. Surely there have been multiple eyes gouged out by misuse. It would be a public service to us all to make sure that these things do not end up in the wrong hands.

Thursday, January 10, 2002
At this moment, I am: exhausted and cold, mad at myself, using a letter opener to start peeling an orange.

I just feel like I should never leave my house these days.

Wednesday, January 09, 2002
There will be a reading tonight. It will be at the Community Bookstore in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Ben Greenman will be the reader. Reading will commence somewhere around 7 pm. I've heard rumor that this story will be read, although I make no promises, as I have nothing to do with the organization of said event. You should go. I'm serious. I mean, fly in if you have to, there's still time. Sadly, it has been confirmed that there will be no pumpkin pie. But Sarah, Lee, and I will be there...and isn't that reason enough to attend? I thought so, see you there.

Tuesday, January 08, 2002
In the kitchen area on my floor, there is a bulletin board where things that might be of interest are posted: the cafeteria's weekly specials, the evacuation procedures, apartment/roommate listings, volunteer opportunities. Sometimes there are even newspaper articles about the company. I recently noticed a lovely piece about my company's layoffs posted right next to the article telling of the $20 million bonus given to the head of the corporation who owns us. Ah, just warms the heart, doesn't it?

Monday, January 07, 2002
So I have this obsession with housewares and then lately with redecorating/rearranging. I don't know where it comes from. I was a child whose room was in a perpetual state of messiness. I was never particular about bedsheets, never begged my mother for one of those canopy beds that every other little girl I knew wanted. In the later elementary years, the decor consisted simply of a select few pinup pictures torn from the pages of such quality periodicals as Teen Beat or Superteen. These were later replaced by walls of books and sheets of white posterboard upon which I would scribble quotes from my favorite songs or passages from my favorite books. The early college years added photographs of friends and the same crappy art prints that hung in half the rooms on my freshman hall (although I am proud to say I never sunk to the level of Bob Marley paraphernalia or anything involving psychedelic images complete with prominently featured mushroom shapes).

Then, somewhere around my senior year (which was, not coincidentally, the first year I had a room to myself) it occurred to me that maybe it would be nice to surround myself with interesting things (and perhaps even things that went together), to pick my clothes up off the floor every once in a while, and to come to the conclusion that perhaps good decorating was not indicated by the sheer volume of stuff on one's walls, but by the quality and placement of that stuff. And so it began.

I mean, it's not like I'm watching Martha Stewart 24/7 or running out to buy the next issue of Ikea Space, but I definitely go on houseware binges. Take for instance, the night before my last birthday. I went in to Bed, Bath, & Beyond to buy a mixer. That's it, a mixer. For the frosting. Two hours and a shopping cart full of kitchen items later, I found myself dizzy and confused, trying frantically to decide between tea lights and votives. After buying both (just in case), I called my friends and canceled my evening's movie plans so that I could lug my purchases back to my apartment and glory in finding them their rightful homes.

Knowing this about me, my younger brother was kind enough to encourage my habit by giving me a gift card for BB&B for Christmas. And this weekend, my dear friend Sarah accompanied me on my quest for the perfect shower curtain. She was patient as I spent nearly an hour wandering among the hanging samples. And then more patient as I carried the two I managed to narrow my selection down to around the store with me, periodically asking, "Which do you think would look better?" There was very little eye-rolling and only a few exasperated sighs. Besides, I discovered she shares my strange addiction, as we wandered around searching for the perfect bedskirt for her. We wandered, we discussed, we bought and then carried the goods to the crowded restaurant where we had dinner, struggling to find a place for them next to our tiny table. We ate and then, on a Saturday night, after parting ways, we both returned to our respective apartments and went about bettering the decor. Does anyone else thing this is just the tiniest bit strange? That a twenty-something woman in the supposed prime of her youth would choose to go home and do something so domestic as redecorate her bathroom on a Saturday night? Yeah, I thought so, but I am not ashamed.

Ugh, all-morning sales launch meeting. The room was too warm, there were no breakfast pastries. Thank goodness I made myself English Breakfast tea beforehand or I surely would have fallen asleep (and I would not have been alone--there appeared to be many present who had not ingested their caffeinated beverage of choice and were thus susceptible to sudden head-nodding, making for small comical interludes in what was overall a rather monotonous affair). I rushed to lunch immediately afterward and was then faced with momentous task of deciding where to begin my day at 2:30 in the afternoon. I decided to write some emails. And then make a phone call (or three). And now I'm writing this. Oh yes, today is going to be productive, I can just feel it.

Friday, January 04, 2002
My eyelashes are falling out. Not all of them, but more than should fall out in one day, I think. Is that a warning sign of some horrible affliction? Should I be concerned?

Hmmmm, my wallpaper has disappeared. The site where I got it from seems to no longer exist. There will be experimenting. It might get ugly.

Wednesday, January 02, 2002
I know it's not terribly original and I intended to post this prior to January 1st, but these are things I mean to do in 2002:

--get more sleep
--return emails/phone calls on something resembling a regular basis
--balance my goddamned checkbook occasionally
--stop over-scheduling my life (see also: stay home every once in a while)
--watch movies I haven’t already seen multiple times
--write, write, write...and then write some more
--read more non-work-related books
--spend less time at work
--stop making the same mistakes over and over again
--bring my lunch
--drink tea instead of coffee
--re-arrange the furniture
--go dancing
--resume yoga classes
--be smarter

The past few days (a summary):

My return to the city was lovely. Almost without fail, I find coming back from being away really disheartening. No one ever seems to be around and I end up eating sushi by myself in front of the television, convinced that no one cares whether I am here or not. Of course, I know that is not actually the case, but I always feel that way, I can't help it. But then this time there was dinner with Lee and his friend, Dave. We ate yummy Thai food and then Haagen Dazs ice cream. And not even in front of the TV. Mmmmm....

New Year's Eve was also quite nice. I met Sarah (whose birthday it was--it's not too late to send her birthday wishes, you know) out at Great Lakes, then headed over to Mary and Shula's apartment. There were paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling and a table full of cheese & crackers and veggies & dip. And sangria, lots of sangria. There was champagne at midnight and their new roommate kissed me (in a chaste New Year's Kiss kind of way, don't get the wrong idea) and then it was suddenly two and I was kind of drunk and babbling into the cell phone and then in a car on my way home. And then I was asleep.

The next day was spent welcoming my roommate home from Uzbekistan, grocery shopping and then drinking homemade Cherry (Diet) Cokes. Oh, and there was a birthday dinner for my friend, Susanna. But no karaoke, I just didn't have it in me.

No wonder I'm tired, it actually has been a busy past couple of days. Happy New year, everyone!

I'm back at work. I can tell already that it's going to take me some time to get back in the swing of things. I've processed my boss's expense account and taken care of a transmittal. That's plenty for today, right? Time to go home? Please?

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