normalcy is coursing through my veins
Friday, May 31, 2002
In honor of Bee Season, the "currently reading" selection at left, I offer you this ridiculous little spelling bee quiz. I think maybe these words are a little easier than those at the National Spelling Bee would be, but what do I know. (In case you're wondering, yes, I did get a perfect score.)

Thursday, May 30, 2002
I didn't want to come indoors from lunch today. I am daydreaming.

I want to be in England, at the park where I used to pay 50p to enter, sit in a folding chair, and read Virginia Woolf. I want to be waking up early with nowhere to go, wrapped in a down comforter, just discovering that it has snowed a foot the night before. I want to have already been on the beach for hours, hair all salty and nose sunburned. I want to be in a chilly movie theatre, wrapping my jacket around my shoulders like a blanket, watching black and white films. I want to be browsing in a nearly-empty used bookstore upstate, hiding in some back corner and surreptitiously sniffing the pages when I open the covers. I want to be at the Coney Island boardwalk on a Saturday afternoon, spending all my dollar bills on that game with the water guns and the balloons, trying to win some ridiculous stuffed thing.

Instead, one of the bosses has gone away on vacation, leaving piles plastered with post-it instructions on my (usually meticulously organized) desk. Thank goodness it's a short week and there's a half-day tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002
Beyond lather, rinse, repeat

I am a big fan of the John Frieda Sheer Blonde line of haircare products. Yesterday morning, I noticed that the tube of Moisture Infusing Shampoo I held in my hand had this as its tagline: "Formulated for dry, distressed platinum to champagne blondes." I laughed out loud in the shower because the absence of any direct mention of hair makes it possible to imagine that they are using the word blonde to refer to a person rather than a color. Since I am always a little dry and currently a little distressed, this shampoo is perfect for me on more than one level! It occurred to me that perhaps this was only amusing to me yesterday due to my sleep-deprived state, but I double-checked and it was definitely still funny this morning. I am giggling a little even now.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002
A Salon piece worth reading! (And I'm not just saying that because I know the author, I promise.)

Why I may be too tired to write anything else today (an explanation in the form of a timetable):
11:15 pm: Arrive home from dinner party.
11:30 pm: Crawl into bed with Atonement. Begin reading last 100 pages.
1:15 am: Finish Atonement. Spend a few moments being satisfied with self.
1:30 am: Turn off lights and pull up covers.
1:45 am: Turn on lights and set alarm. Turn off lights and pull up covers.
2:00 am: Turn on lights and rearrange fan so that is blowing a little more on me. Turn off lights and pull up covers.
2:15 am: Stumble from bed to bathroom in dark. Stumble from bathroom to bed in dark. Pull up covers.
2:30 am: Begin to drift off.
3:15 am: Wake up to man in street screaming loudly enough to be heard over noisily whirring fan. Listen to him scream, "Shut up, shut the fuck up! Shut up or I swear I'll fucking kill you!" Listen to crashing noises that follow screaming. Have internal debate about whether to look out window. Decide against looking out window. Wonder aloud to self whether police should be called. Decide against getting up.
3:30 am: Screaming and crashing abates. Begin to drift off.
3:45 am: Get suddenly nervous about being alone in house, as roommates are still away. Fear that screaming and crashing man somehow knows I am in house alone and may in fact be lurking downstairs, plotting my destruction.
4:00 am: Convince self that I am being ridiculous. Begin to drift off.
4:15 am: Sleep.
5:00 am: Wake up after having weirdo dream about giant insect-type creature flying around my room trying to bite me with giant fangs. Think that perhaps the child's perspective in Atonement has influenced my dream, because in it I was trying to protect myself from giant insect-type creature simply by pulling covers over my head, which, of course, would never work.
5:30 am: Look at clock in dim light of dawn. Rub eyes. Look at clock again. Groan at thought of alarm going off in two hours. Curse rising sun.
5:45 am: Kick one leg out from under covers. Roll over. Roll over again. Shift pillows. Pull curtain closed tighter so that less rising sun gets through. Begin to drift off.
6:30 am: Wake to sound that reminds me of small children banging wooden spoons on pots and pans. Curse children. Curse sun. Curse sleepless self.
6:45 am: Pots and pans banging noise gives way to sawing/jackhammer noise. Peer out window to see that major construction has begun on street directly in front of my house. Beat pillow against wall in frustration. Beat head against pillow in frustration. Close window. Burrow under covers and pillows in an attempt to muffle sound.
7:00 am: Realize it is too stuffy to breathe under covers and pillows with window closed. Reopen window. Re-burrow. Begin to drift off.
7:30 am: Wake to alarm making piercing sound not unlike that of wailing banshee. Come this close to smashing alarm against wall or throwing alarm out window at construction workers. Turn off alarm. Close eyes.
8:15 am: Look at alarm. In a voice completely devoid of any emotion, say "Fuck." Look at alarm again, just in case. Ask alarm to please turn itself back an hour or two. Try to will alarm to turn itself back an hour or two. Fail. Pry self from bed and into shower.
9:00 am: Arrive at subway station. Get on train. Get to station where I usually transfer and see that there are hundreds of people on the platform. Decide to stay on train I am currently on, even though it is not express and drops me off on the wrong side of midtown. Open Bee Season and attempt to read.
9:15 am: Give up pretense of reading and close eyes.
9:55 am: Exit train, begin walking across town to office. Stop at first cart and buy large coffee. Resist urge to down coffee in one giant gulp.
10:15 am: Arrive at office. Turn on computer. Paw through bag. Realize that I have forgotten both lunch and glasses. Resist urge to cry at desk.
10:30 am: Begin writing pointless account of sleeplessness for blog readers who will surely be so bored that they immediately drift off to napland. Curse boring self. Curse computer. Curse eyes for not functioning as well without glasses. Count down minutes to lunch.

Thursday, May 23, 2002
Bursting with fruit flavor

Just to give you an idea about my office: A group of us just spent a good ten minutes standing around debating what the mystery flavor in the giant bag of individually wrapped Starburst fruit chews might be. I stand by belief that it's some kind of melon mixture, though it has been insisted by others that it is, in fact, grape.

Editor's note: It has apparently been confirmed via the Starburst website that the mystery flavor is actually raspberry kiwi. After knowing what it is, I can, of course, taste the raspberry plain as day. Ah, the power of suggestion.

Not so pretty in pink

So I've gone from having a cold to being weirdly stomach-sick. Either that or the sushi I ate last night was of questionable quality. Anyway, I'll spare you the details. The only reason I'm bringing it up in the first place is that this morning my roommate spent a good deal of time coaxing me into taking Pepto Bismol. Now I know it's supposed to help with the stomach-sickness, but I have a serious aversion to the stuff. Its flavor is what I imagine pink candy Valentine hearts that have been left in a plastic baggie on a car dashboard on a very sunny day and have melted down into liquid and then coagulated after the sun went down might taste like. That's what I was thinking about on the train ride this morning. And then I got to work and saw that Mighty Girl had just yesterday posted something about the vile concoction, thus validating my desire to blog about the topic.

I would also like to add that the list of warnings on the side of the bottle is one of the longest I have seen on any non-precription medication. My favorite: "If taken with aspirin and ringing in the ears occurs, stop using." My dramatic reading aloud of said warning list led Tom to track down his copy of Steve Martin's Pure Drivel and read his warning label piece to me until I warned him that the hysterical laughing was not helping with the stomach problem.

Despite all of my whining and complaining, the two spoonfuls of the noisome potion that I managed to choke down succeeded in making me feel better enough to drag myself into the office. Now if I could just get rid of this pesky ringing in my ears...

Wednesday, May 22, 2002
Warning: This post contains Buffy and Star Wars spoilers (Not that you probably haven't already heard about one or the other, but just in case)

The one good and interesting thing about last night's two-hour Buffy season finale was when Giles came back to fight evil Willow. I felt the same way about Giles's appearance as I did when Yoda entered to fight Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones. Like, huh, maybe there was a reason I just sat through hours of boring exposition. Maybe.

Needless to say, I think I have finally given up on Buffy. Next season it's nothing but Gilmore Girls and Smallville for me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002
Even worse than those stupid spy-cam pop-up ads

So I'm reading the online obituary of Walter Lord, after someone informed me of his death. As I am reading the first sentence of said obituary, a little car begins driving around the screen, right through the text and everything. It might even have been making "vroom" noises (I can't be sure, because the sound on my computer is currently muted, but I wouldn't be one bit surprised). Now it's one thing for a miniature advertisement car to go zipping across, say, a silly little Salon news bite--in fact, I almost expect it at this point. But vrooming across the Times obituary of a prominent historian? Leaving tiny virtual tire tracks behind? I am more than a little appalled. C'mon people, have some respect for the dead.

I am sick. Let me let you in on a little secret about me: I have no patience with being sick. I don't like to be lying around doing nothing unless I have chosen to do so of my own free will. Forced inactivity (not to mention general achiness and stuffiness) makes me cranky and miserable. So then I end up doing things (for instance, cleaning the entire house) that do nothing to speed the recovery process along. I should probably not be at work right this second, as everything handed to me is greeted by the same look of wonder and amazement (You have tasks for me to do? Wow, imagine that.).... Well, at least it appears to be wonder and amazement; it's actually congestion and dizziness. But I don't think anyone can tell the difference. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to crawl under my desk with my cup of chamomile tea.

Friday, May 17, 2002
Telephone admonishment

Close to the top of the list of phone calls you really don't want to receive is the one from your gym, questioning your extended absence from their facilities.

The message says: "Hello, Jackie-O, this is Colin, the friendly owner of that gym you joined a while back. I just noticed that it's been several weeks since your last visit, and I wanted to check and make sure everything was going okay for you here and that you'd like to continue your membership. Please give me a call and let me know if there is anything I can do to make your experience with us more pleasant. May I also remind you that you have yet to take advantage of the free personal training session we offered you when you signed up? If you'd like to set an appointment for a training session, I can help you out with that too. Thanks, Jackie-O, and I hope I see you or speak to you soon!" (Not kidding, you can just hear the exclamation point in his voice).

Translation: "Hi, sloth-girl, it's Colin from that gym you joined a while back. God, I hate making these calls, in this fake radio-announcer voice, but it's part of my job and I've been drinking power drinks all day, so the fakeness comes pretty easily! I noticed you've been too lazy to drag your ass to the gym these past few weeks, so I thought I would take this opportunity to remind you that just signing the papers and paying the fees will not have the same results as actually setting foot in the gym. Perhaps signing up for a specific appointment, so that you would be held accountable for your attendance, would help motivate you. If not, maybe you want to rethink your membership--not that we're not happy to accept your charitable donations. I mean, if you want to throw away sixty-five dollars a month, that's fine with us. So yeah, I hope we see you soon. Although we probably won't recognize you. You know, because it's been SO LONG. Hehe, this is actually kind of fun. Anyway...Later, sucka."

Digital reprobation

I pay most of my bills online. I'd like to pretend that this is a result of some plan to be efficient and balance a budget, but really, it's that I always wait until the last minute to pay them, and online payments process a lot faster than postal mail payments do.

Because this afternoon has been relatively slow work-wise, I decided I would do my bill-paying from work. When I tried to log on to my credit card site (which shall remain unnamed, for fear of a sudden and inexplicable increase in my APR) , I kept getting an error message. I then investigated their troubleshooting section, where I found a message explaining that a firewall may be preventing me from accessing my account. Okay, fair enough. But then, the last sentence in the section reads: "We also suggest reviewing your company's policy for using the Internet while at work." That really irks me. You know what, evil credit card company? You suckered me into this card when I was eighteen and too stupid to know better, you charge exorbitant interest on my debt every month, and you collect a nice chunk of my measly paycheck each time it arrives. So I think you're about the last place I want to hear ethical judgment from, thank you.

Thursday, May 16, 2002
"And I love you and I want to
shoot all the superheroes from your skies"

It's been a morning filled with Neutral Milk Hotel, inspired by the fact that I was introduced to someone called Naomi last evening. As soon as her name was uttered, the song "Naomi" started playing on the internal stereo, and I knew I was going to have to dig out the CD when I got home.

I was thinking last night, when I was trying in vain to fall asleep, that I kind of wish that Jeff Mangum lived in the apartment below mine. Then I could hear him singing through the floorboards while I was drifting off. I am sure that the insomnia would disappear if only he would move in downstairs.

Well, at least it was something new

The scene: Beautiful and sunny morning. While walking to work from Grand Central, a young editorial assitant, Jackie-O, wearing sunglasses to shield her from the glare off the office building windows, decides she will stop at Pret to buy coffee instead of drinking the office crap as usual. When she sets her cup on the counter, Counter man rings out her purchase.

Counter man: Let's see, one small coffee. That will be a dollar nineteen.
Jackie-O: [fumbles in bag for wallet, produces wallet, fumbles in wallet for change]
Counter man: [points at her sunglasses] You're ready for the sun, huh?
Jackie-O: [continues trying to locate nineteen cents, which has fallen out of broken change pouch in falling-apart wallet and into bag] Uh, yeah, I guess.
Counter man: [nervously] But the sun's not ready for you.
Jackie-O: [trimuphantly drops nineteen cents into Counter man's outstretched hand] Oh, I don't need a bag, thank you.
Counter man: I said, the sun's not ready for you. [pauses for response, but, seeing none, continues] 'Cause you're too bright.
Jackie-O: [picks up coffee cup from counter] Uh. Oh. Have a nice day?
Counter man: You're pretty, I mean.
Jackie-O: [thinks I get it, I'm bright, remember?] Uh, thanks.
Jackie-O turns to exit.
Counter man: [calls after her] You're really pretty.
Jackie-O is creeped out and flees, sad that she may have to send someone into Pret at lunchtime to buy her sandwich for her.

I guess I should give him credit for at least saying something more polite than "Nice ass," but still, I don't have any capacity for dealing with uncomfortable attention before nine in the morning....

Wednesday, May 15, 2002
I had sort of resigned myself to accepting that Jeffrey Eugenides might never write another book. Thankfully, I have been proven wrong. Very exciting news indeed.

The film education of Jackie-O

I am ashamed to say that there are rather large gaps in my film knowledge. I have not seen many of the well-known films that are pretty much unanimously acknowledged as great. I also know next to nothing about film terminology. Dialogue will stay with me forever (here we go with the word fascination again), but I fear that I often miss visual stuff. Or if I catch it, I don't have a name to place on it. I know what I like the look of and what I don't, but I don't always know why.

Since I don't like not knowing things, I have begun the long process of schooling myself. Or, perhaps more accurately, I have enlisted the services of Professor Lee (and his DVD lending library) in this lofty endeavour. It began months ago with Sullivan's Travels. It continued with the Billy Wilder double feature I already wrote about. Last night there was His Girl Friday and selected scenes from It Happened One Night, which were enough to make me want to watch it in its entirety as soon as possible. Tonight there may be a big-screen viewing of The Lady Eve at Film Forum before heading to Terra Blues to see One Ring Zero play. You should go hear them play if you are in the area, if only to see the zydeco tie in action.

And yes, this link-filled post is a shameless attempt to distract you from the fact that I have nothing witty, wise, or interesting to say today. Is it working?

One more reason to love The Onion: Humorous advice columns that make lit geeks laugh out loud.

Monday, May 13, 2002
Subj: The twitcher speaks
(excerpts from Gabrielle's email response to my exploration of her newly-developed tic):

"I would say for the record that I am only a left-handed winker. I have no ambidextrous skills in that area. And when I pontificate on this developing habit, which definitely has had a few milliseconds to shine already this morning, I always think of the phrase, 'It seems like a good idea at the time.' I see this as the bottom line in my inability to shut it down. I think things may occur in this order: there is the idea, very subtle and mostly unconcsious, then there must be a moment where my brain says to my eye muscle, 'Okay, it's a go...' and then the wink, and then the realization of the wink in its materialization, and then some degree of embarrassment or regret. Then, the whole thing starts over.

What is perhaps most fascinating, and mostly uninteresting to me, is why the idea pops up to begin with. What is the impetus? What need is being filled? I think you may be on to something with hoping to see the world a different way. I have no further light to shed on the topic and therein lies the need for keeping with the therapy for now."

Friday, May 10, 2002
Facts and fictions about a friend:

Gabrielle is cutlivating a tic. It involves a three-quarters-scrunch of one eye, usually the left, although I suspect she switches off every now and again, to keep things interesting. It is almost a full wink, but not quite. Just enough to make you wonder.

If you caught her eye in a smoky bar, you might think, "Hey, that girl just winked at me, I'm hot stuff." Of course, you would be mistaken. She's not winking at you, kid. You're not even close to cool enough, I can tell you that right now, so just stop it with the bragging to your friends.

She's not even doing it on purpose. Well, she is, but not in the way you probably think. She started testing it out and now it's become a habit. It's not like she's making fun of those with bona fide tics. It's not a sociological experiment either (no x variable = wink, y variable = bystander response). She doesn't want you to pay attention to her not-quite-wink, so you can just stop staring already. No, this tic is the product of boredom. Specifically, office boredom. Grey walls and flourescent lighting can drive a girl to such behaviors.

It starts out innocently enough. While staring vacantly at the yellowing art print just beginning to detach itself from the wall directly across the room, she realizes she has ceased blinking. It has been minutes now since her eyes have moved at all. She thinks, "Maybe if I close this eye just a little, everything will change." And maybe it will. Maybe things look kind of interesting with one eyelid fluttering close to closed. Or maybe there is some satisfaction derived from the control necessitated by such a carefully planned movement--a thin flap of skin and lash moving ever so slowly downward, almost meeting the lower lid, and then suddenly upward again. It takes skill to do this just right. There is positioning involved. This not-exactly-wink requires great concentration. It takes practice. It is a meditative activity. It's like yoga, possibly requiring lessons from a master practitioner.

And so, after completing the first perfect tic, she is exhilirated. She thinks that this will help pass the time. She tries it again in a couple of hours. Maybe someone at the copy machine catches her and makes note to ask around about the new girl, the one with the tic. Maybe it goes unnoticed. The day goes on. She finds herself doing it while sitting across from me at dinner, while ordering drinks from the bartender, while watching the band play. It is unnatural, true, but she does it without thinking. She knows that this is quickly becoming a problem, but doesn't seem to be able to stop.

I consider this strange affectation. This is not something as innocuous as nail-biting or hair-twirling. This winking could have consequences. I find myself imagining men following her out of bars onto the street, her standing there perplexed as they ask her for her number. Or someone in a meeting offering up an idea and her saying, "That's great," but then winking as though she were only offering her agreement sarcastically. I am suddenly worried for her. I stop my laughing and teasing. My voice takes on new seriousness. "This has to stop," I say. "I know," she says, and then she winks.

The Brits have way better junk food than we have here in America. Need proof? Heinz Tomato Ketchup Crisps. I do not particularly like potato chips (nee crisps), nor do I care for ketchup, but these are amazing. I am also a fan of the Cheese & Branston Pickle flavour, though I prefer to eat that combination in sandwich form. Would anyone like to buy me a plane ticket to go back to England for a while? I miss it so. Oh and while you're at it, if you could rent me a fabulous apartment on North Parade in Bath, just like the one I had when I lived there, that would be just peachy.

Thursday, May 09, 2002
New favorite search request leading to my site: pictures of toothbrushers

Now I know there are reasons my site comes up, but that it is the only site that comes up seems odd. And I'm sorry to disappoint, but there are no pictures of toothbrushers on normalcy. Perhaps you should mosey on over here, where you might have better luck.

Oh no, I just had a terrible thought. What if there are toothbrusher fetishists out there looking for photos to add to their dirty little cache? Tell me it isn't so?

Minibio that was actually used:
*Editor's note: I was required to change it from third person to first person, which I was not happy about. In cases like this, I prefer to talk about myself as if I were someone I'd met on the street one day.*

I grew up in Mark Twain country, better known as Elmira, New York, and attended XYZ College in the Finger Lakes region. After graduating with a major in English/Creative Writing and a minor in Women’s Studies, I fled the wintry north country to settle in Brooklyn. I had a brief stint as a Barnes and Noble bookseller before cutting my publishing teeth as an editorial assistant at Publishing Company Y. Upon realizing that I was more a contemporary fiction than a science textbooks kind of gal, I came to Publishing Company X just over a year ago. I am partial to experimental fiction, memoirs, humorous essays, and women’s studies books. Some recent favorites that Publishing Company X has put out are blah blah blah blah. When I’m not reading manuscripts, I am working on my own writing, watching movies, or eating sushi. A Bleecker Street psychic told me I’m going to be famous one day, and I believe her.

p.s. The "blahs" are placeholders, but I kind of wish I'd left them....

Wednesday, May 08, 2002
I was recently asked to write a mini-bio as well as have my photo taken for this booklet that marketing is putting together for the sales reps in order to help them get to know the editorial staff a little better. It's like a college face book, only it's all lit geeks and no white-hats. Here's what I wonder: Will it work just like that college face book did? Will the sales force try harder to sell the books belonging to the most attractive editors? If so, I might be in trouble. And not because I'm unattractive, but because I am not terribly photogenic. The more posed the photo, the worse it gets. Somehow, my pre-planned smile always looks as if I have been caught in the middle of a really dumb thought. Or as though I can only breathe out of my mouth and so have to keep it weirdly half-open at all times. And if I don't smile and instead go for the serious face, it's worse. Think: "I just smelled something really awful" nose-crinkling. Or: "Get that camera out of my face, you bitch" sneer. I'm telling you, it's no good.

So, in lieu of posting godawful photos of myself, I offer you (drum roll, please)

Jackie-O's Rejected Minibios:
*Editor's note: Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent...or, more accurately, to ensure my ongoing state of employment*

Elmira gal about town Jackie-O moved to New York City during the oft-hilarious year of 2000. Since, she has lived all-around the Big Apple, in locales ranging from Williamsburgh to Park Slope. Her daytime activities include work and lunching with the inimitable Brenda. At night, Miss O lights up the town with her distinctive Northern-honed dance stylings. She likes chocky-bickeys and nibblebumpkins.

Jackie-O wants you to know that she loves you. She always has, from the time when she was a little girl blossoming in the wintry clime of Elmira, NY, maturing in the arctic clime of Geneva, NY, and finally settling in the urban clime of NYC, baby. If she had a nickel for every time somebody tried to stare her down on the street and lost she'd be rich enough to buy
you a house in Stamford. And she¹d do it, too, because she's just that kind of girl.

Jackie O grew up in Mark Twain country, better known as Elmira, New York. After schooling in the Finger Lakes region, she fled the wintry north country to settle in New York City. Before coming to Publishing Company X, Ms. O. cut her teeth at Publishing Company Y as an editorial assistant. Outside of work, she takes time to smell the proverbial roses, dance up the proverbial storm, and espouse using excessive verbiage. Ranking among her favorite literary genres are contemporary fiction, humorous essays, memoirs, biographies and dictionaries.

Jackie-O lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first novel.

Acknowledgements: The editor would like to offer her sincerest thanks to Lee for all of his help with this exhausting endeavour.

Thanks to Vilija for the link. I told her I was thinking about changing the subtitle of my site to "amazing tales from the shower."

Frightening fact of the day:
USA Today has a substantially larger circulation than The New York Times.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002
This store actually makes me want to get on an airplane, if only to have an excuse to use their fun products.

There will be brief and unrelated musings today.

re: Subway Veggie Delite subs: Best fast-food-type food ever. Cheap, yummy goodness. Heavy on the olives, please. We took the train into Manhattan last night just to get them.

re: Joan Cusack in Say Anything: How could she be uncredited? She's great. She has one of my favorite lines in that film, which is, "There's no food in your food."

re: Back to Basics Honey Hydrating conditioner: Smells so good, I kind of want to eat my hair. I won't though, don't worry, I have willpower when it comes to these things.

re: Origins Sensory Therapy Sleep Time: This stuff works better than the field of poppies in The Wizard of Oz. No joke. But I would recommend against somehow getting it on your comforter because you might just find yourself overpowered by the sleep-inducing fragrance, and then suddenly it will be 9 a.m. and you will be scratching your head and wondering why you didn't hear your alarm. Or maybe that's just me.

re: my impending fame: I'm still waiting patiently. I would make a very good famous person, don't you think? At the very least, I would have entertaining anecdotes to tell on talk shows, which is more than I can say for a lot of celebrities. So why haven't I been discovered? I keep striking poses in the subway station, but so far it hasn't worked....

Monday, May 06, 2002
"If you want me you know where I am
I saw your arms in a dream
And there were blue veins blue
Blue veins"

The Belle & Sebastian show was lovely. I think that's actually precisely the right word: lovely. They played beautiful, sleepy music to several thousand people. The crowd could have been a little more into it. In fact, Stuart commented that he had never seen "such a well-behaved group of four-to-five thousand people." I don't think that was a compliment. But they played for a solid two hours, which was nice, considering most shows I have seen recently have lasted about an hour. And they played a cover of "Stayin' Alive"!!! (complete with John Travolta strut). The live version of "Legal Man" was really good (all I could think this morning on my walk to work was "Get out of the city and into the sunshine, Get out of the office and into the springtime") and they played "Fox in the Snow," which made me very happy. I was a little disappointed that they did not play "This is Just a Modern Rock Song," which may be my favorite B&S tune.

Lately going to shows makes me irritable. I'm always standing next to (or in front of...or behind) some asshole (or assholes) who feel the need to make inappropriate comments, block my view, blow smoke in my face, etc. Yes, I am secretly forty years old....

In other news, I bought a tee shirt. I rarely buy concert tees, but this one was so nifty, I just couldn't resist. My purchase led to a debate about when exactly one wears tee shirts. I basically only wear them to the gym, but even then I usually wear tank tops. They're usually too casual for work (for some reason, I have no problem with wearing purple sneakers or a faded zippie sweatshirt, but a t-shirt seems totally inappropriate--don't ask me, I have no idea how I come to these conclusions). And then there's the weather factor. Either it's cold enough for me to be wearing a sweater or long-sleeved shirt or it's warm enough that I want to be wearing a tank top. So then I can wear a t-shirt under something else, but that may as well be a plain shirt, since no one ever sees it anyway. And yet I have about fifty tee shirts sitting in my dresser drawers. And I just bought another one. Hey, I never claimed to make sense.

Friday, May 03, 2002
On the agenda this evening:
Spider-Man! (Go ahead, laugh all you want to, but I'm really excited about it.)

On the agenda tomorrow (tentative):
BEA (Industry stuff on a weekend? I should go, but I'm having a hard time motivating. Convince me?)

On the agenda Sunday:
Outdoor brunch and Belle & Sebastian (Woo! Hoo!)

Happy weekend to you all!

This morning, when I had just stepped out of the shower and wrapped myself in a towel, a man came swinging through my open bathroom window. He came in feet-first, so he had no idea I was standing there gaping. When he crawled all the way through and saw me, he practically jumped back out in shock. And then began the profuse apologizing. Seems he is doing some work on the back of the building for the landlords (which I vaguely remember them mentioning to us) and needed to get in to go up onto the roof because there was some sort of problem with the pulley on the little cart thing he was on. Or at least that's what I was able to piece together in my half-awake, just-wanting-to-brush-my-teeth state.

Here's the thing about stuff like that. It's really better just to apologize and then leave. But people always try to stay and explain. A woman once opened the stall door on me in a bathroom in the Barnes and Noble at which I was formerly employed (the locks there never did work so well...) Instead of just closing the door and walking away, she launched into the world's longest apology and then went into small talk to try to ease the tension--all of this while the door was still wide open--finally prompting me to calmly but firmly say, "Get. Out."

Oddly enough, I take this morning's incident as a sign that my luck is changing for the better, and here's why: With my usual luck, I would have been totally naked and in the shower, and then there would have been screaming and clutching and me falling and cracking my head while trying to wrap the curtain around me. Instead I had the good fortune to have just covered myself with towel. See, change for the better. Um, yeah.

Thursday, May 02, 2002
So I decided today, after repeated listens to the new album, that I really do want to see Elvis Costello live in June. Except I waited too long and there are no seats available. There are standing room tickets, but it would be silly of me to pay seventy-five dollars to stand, probably in some crappy corner with a pole blocking my line of vision, right? I need some affirmation here because I'm still seriously considering it.

You can go ahead and whisper mean things about me to your neighbor if you want to, I don't care, but I really like the new Gap commericals, especially the Coen Brothers-driected Dennis Hopper/Christina Ricci one. (thanks to slatch for the link)

I think Sarah posted something on a similar topic a while back, but I have been inspired to write about this today: Eating in the work cafeteria often makes me feel as though I am revisiting freshman year of college. Or high school, I suppose, although I was an overachiever who took so many classes that she didn't have a lunch for the last two years of high school, choosing instead to eat her sandwich quickly and quietly in the back of the calculus classroom or while others were warming up their instruments for band. So yes, let's forget I just revealed that, freshman year of college it is then.

There are the lunch cliques that form, people sitting in corners by themselves reading (though I suspect this is usually a choice rather than the imposed banishment it would have been back then), the preppy banker men and the casually dressed publishing kids--you get the picture. And today there is even a theme cuisine day! Get this, the theme is British cuisine. Yes, British. Having lived in England for six months, I feel as though I am allowed to say that "cuisine" is not the word I would choose. "Cuisine" implies something far more sophisticated than battered, buttered, and fried. I mean, we're talking about a country that deep-fries candy bars. (Not that there's anything wrong with deep-fried Mars bars, just that I wouldn't consider them cuisine). And the cafeteria staff is getting really excited about it too. There have been flyers posted around advertising it all week. I'm sure there will be Union Jacks plastered everywhere. I'm kind of hoping for the Sex Pistols or the Buzzcocks blasting from the speakers, but I'm guessing I'm more likely to get Robbie Williams instead.

And while I can sit here and make it fun of it all I want, I have to admit that I am excited for the agreed-upon one o'clock lunchtime. It's the same thing that inspired me, even after I had moved into co-op houses that allowed me not to have to take all of my meals in the dining hall, to go back once a year for carnival night. Cheesy as it is, there is something ridiculously fun about stuff like this, as long as it only happens every once in a while. So yeah, cheese and onion pasty and Heinz tomato soup, here I come.

The subtitle quote has been changed to reflect my excitement about seeing Belle & Sebastian live this weekend. It is also a particularly apt quote, especially considering that I am still not quite sure I spelled 'Dostoevsky' right.

Wednesday, May 01, 2002
This is not a good work week. Yesterday, there was the incident mentioned below. Today there have been a series of small happenings that have worked to make rather painfully apparent the fact that there is still a good deal of sexism going on in the working world. And the to-do list, it is not getting any smaller. Someone send me some bubble bath and a cheesy magazine?

Yesterday afternoon I had one of those incidents. You know, the incident where you are making a cutting (though not at all untrue) remark about someone, and that person comes around the corner all fake-beaming, says "hello" just a little too brightly, and then makes a comment that lets you know without a doubt that they heard every word. I won't go into detail because, knowing my luck, she'll stumble upon this site and then submit it to HR as evidence of my failure to bolster company morale, but I will tell you that I walked the long way around the floor upstairs just now so as to avoid having to slink past her desk. On the bright side, perhaps it will lead to me getting more exercise if I start treating the office like an obstacle course. Yeah.

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