December 31, 2003


I'm heading out to Long Island for a festive New Year celebration with the Goodmans. While there, I will be in a "NO INTERNET ACCESS ZONE".

Before I leave, I want to wish you all a HAPPY, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I also want to wish all our service men and women stationed all over the world but particularly the Middle East, a special HAPPY, HEALTHY AND SAFE NEW YEAR!!! Thank you for your service this year and keep up the good work.

Good will toward mankind and peace on earth.


Trivial 2003

The year 2003 is coming to a grinding halt.

Professionally this year has been a struggle.
(Eventually, I was able to secure a decent job but it took some doing.)

Personally, it has been a miracle.

And I owe it mostly to bar trivia.

I started keeping this web log around the time that I started going to trivia. This is not some happy coincidence. It is through someone I met at trivia that I learned about the phenomena of blogging. I would not have started keeping this blog, for what it's worth, if it hadn't been for the above mentioned person.

I made a whole bunch of new friends, due to trivia. It's amazing how many great people I have met as a result of attending a weekly activity that I enjoy. I even found romance. (I'll link later to romance's weblog, granted he's not embarrassed by this reference).

NB: There are people mentioned in this post who do not attend trivia but I credit trivia with it due to the butterfly effect of meeting the person who was patient enough to explain the term blog and kind enough to introduce me to the blogosphere. It's also worth mentioning that not everyone I've met maintains a website or keeps a web log so I was not able to link to them. I feel shy about mentioning names because I'm not sure how those people would feel.

Several years back, I started taking acting classes to help me with being more outgoing. That led to more socialization as well but not it the same way. I don't really enjoy acting so doing scenes every week was like torture. Admittedly, the practice of appearing in front of a group of people every week helped me in other ways. It's probably what led me to becoming a teacher, actually. Teaching was partially inspired by having directed some scenes in an off broadway showcase which I produced with some friends from acting classes. But teaching did not turn out to be the answer either.

Anyway, through trivia I have been able to make friends, appear in front of groups of people through the magic of co-hosting, and satisfy my craving for insanely detailed conversations which others would most likely find mundane.

Through trivia folk I've been learning that people are not defined by their jobs. Okay.....I learned this before trivia but somehow that lesson was reinforced by talking to new people. I've met quite a few people, who slog through their jobs daily to get to the fun stuff they do later that day.

Without delving too much further into myself for the benefit of making this point, that advice about doing an activity you enjoy to make friends and find romance, is true. Sometimes, like me you have to participate in many other activities (I only told you about the acting. there are others not worth mentioning) to settle on one you really like but hang in there.

Keep trying. It's just harder for some people but eventually you'll find your niche (if you haven't already found it).

December 30, 2003

In Dreams

I had an unusual dream last night. Actually it is the usual type dream for me, but perhaps unusual for others.

In the dream I was vacationing in a bucolic setting, in a house with several other people. Somehow, two of the people from a vacation house down the road ended up dead in our house, although I'm not sure how and the dream turned from our milling around pleasantly with people to one of having to hide the dead bodies.

I was very calm in the dream. Having accepted this reality, I came up with a plan that made it seem like an every day chore, like running an errand. I disposed of the head and hands in the garbage outside figuring there would be a garbage pickup that day. Meanwhile one of our other friends was mowing the incredibly overgrown grass which had grown as high as an elephant's eye. Before disposing of the body I did a systematic cleaning of the house, utilizing all of my knowlege I guess that I've acquired from watching hours of "CSI" and "Law and Order", getting rid of all trace evidence of our existence.

While this cleansing was going on the parents of one of our friends showed up spontaneously, so then the dream became about keeping the truth from the parents. For example, they would walk near a blood stain that hadn't yet been cleaned I would have to hope they didn't see it. And they also walked near the garbage with the head and hands, so I remember worrying about weather or not the garbage was starting to smell like decomp.

There were other parts of the dream which involved driving around on some other kind of adventure but I don't really remember that part. The part that sticks out the most is what I just described.

See that world. New Yorkers have dreams also.

December 29, 2003

Official Day Off

As I have mentioned before, I am enjoying my Christmas bonus of days off.

Today is what I would consider an official day off because there are people at my office.

I slept until noon. Something that only happens to me when I've truly had a chance to relax which is something that only happens to me after a fourth day off, which was yesterday.

I probably would have slept longer if my super, who apparently also has the day off, didn't decide that this would be the day he set up a saw horse beneath my kitchen window and cut up a front panel of some random car. Yes. I am upset about this. It seems that my days off coincide with my super and that on his days off he gets enjoyment from doing very loud home improvement work.

Anyway, not to dwell in anger, I decided to continue my internet adventures by linking to links posted by various hosts I've added to blogroll.

The Anonymous Blogger, in his most recent post, included a link to a spectacular review of the movie "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" by Ain't It Cool.

I've seen this movie. I though it was fantastic but the person who wrote the review did such an excellent job of breaking the movie down and celebrating it's genius that I recommend you link to it. Honestly, the man could teach a class in film at my alma matter, SUNY Purchase.

Without further ado, here is the link to what I consider the best movie review ever written.

Feminist of the Day

This day's feminist of the day was a martyr whose last name was Perpetua.

The feminist of the day feature is very cool because it changes automatically. The only problem is that comments attached to the feminist of the day don't really fit once she has changed.

I am leaving this note here as a bookmark so you can read the comments posted by my friends.

December 28, 2003

Nigerian Spam Scam

If you have been following Caren's web log, you know that she sometimes brings attention to the phenomena of Nigerian Spam letters.

Here is an example from Caren's sight:

12/21/2003Today's affirmation, as received in my e-mail:

I have the pleasure to share my testimony with you, having seen your contact from the Internet. I am Barrister David Johnson, the legal adviser to late Mr. and Mrs. Andy Brown, an America couple that lived in my Country Nigeria for 30 years before they both died in the plane crash late last year. These couples were good Christians, they so dedicated their live to God. And as matter of fact, after I sold all their properties, I realized more than $3,800,000.00 (Three million hundred thousand US dollars...I asked God to make his choice and direct me to a honest Christian or the chosen ministry that deserves this fund by his Grace. I then came across your address on the Internet as I was browsing through a Christian site, and as a matter of fact, it is not only you or your ministry that I picked on the Christian site initially, but after my fervent prayer over it, then you were nominated to me through divine revelation from God.

And here is another:

Today's installment from my e-mail:

I am Dr Luisa Pimentel Estrada, the wife of Joseph Ejercito Estrada,former president of Philippines. I have children with my husband Jose, Jacqueline and Jude.Two sons and a daugther.This mail may be coming to you as a surprise or an article but it is very real.I gave the mail to my daugther Jude to send the mail to any contacts she sees and may be a God fearing person will listen to our plight.I will want you as the receiver to read through it and think very well if you can help or render us any assistance. My husband Joseph Ejercito estrada was elected as the 13th President of the Philippines in May 1998 by the people of Philippines due to his popularity in the film industry...the way things are going with us,my husband decided to let me know that he deposited some money with some Banks .These funds are presently deposited in his private Bank accounts, Three in whole, one in Europe,one in Central America and one in the Bahamas and all deposited in our name. The Fund in question is put all together exceed One hundred Million. 45 Million USD deposited with a Bank in Common Wealth of Dominica,30. Million USD with a Trust Company in Europe - and the Bahamas- 35. Million USD. ...I would want us to be in partnership in any good business you may suggest in your country. Please handle this transaction with maturity and sincerity.

Best Regards,
Dr Mrs Luisa P.Ejercito Estrada

Following Caren's lead and in the spirit of keeping the public aware of such scams and schemes to take advantage of our good natures and to rob of us our money, Jon, host of Of Moops and Men published this timely Nigerian Spam Scam letter in his post entitled Have a Happy Nigerian spam scam New Year which follows.

He writes:

Discovered too late for Christmas, but too good not to pass up ... the following comes from the always dependable

Dear esteemed personage of US residency:

I am writing to you in strictest confidence on a matter of the utmost concern and urgency.

My dear employer, Mr. Santa Claus, who slaved all his life to give away toys to the good and deserving, was tragically ambushed in a sleigh which also crashed over a rooftop and ploughed into a manger display unfortunately killing all the occupants. Luckily, he was prepared for this unfortunate event, having been warned by an elf only two days earlier that this might happen.

He had prepared partly for the transferal of his entire remaining estate of 75 million toys to be placed in the hands of the Rudolph International storage in Toytown, Nigeria. The account requires that for safety, all the toys are transferred as quickly as possible to a UK home garage to prevent the bad children from getting any benefit. (these are the rebels that caused the

I need your help, and will give you 35% of the toys, after you pay me $3000 on deposit to help me pay the costs of transferring the toys. I am, you see, destitute since this tragic event ....

Awaiting your reply


Mr. Iman Elf

December 27, 2003

Time off

Faced with time off I am overwhelmed with choices.

What do I do?

On today's list is going to the library to research a writing project.

Will I do it? I don't know.

Also on the list is fulfulling my basic human needs.

Will I do it? I don't know.

Brushing my teeth is high on that list.

Will I do it? Yes. I know this much is true.

What else will I do today?

December 26, 2003

Friday Five

I found something interesting looking at Santosh's Vault.

Actually, if you're interested in learning a little about Singapore, Mr. Santosh is currently spending his winter break there. He just wrote today that he's planning a side jaunt to India. I always enjoy his entries. His link is to the left but if you are just too tired or lazy to scroll up and over you can also click here.

On his site, every week, young Santosh posts a quiz by the Friday Five. I thought I'd give it a try. It looks like a good writing exercise. So here I go:

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
My biggest accomplishment was leaving my cave and becoming the social butterfly I've dreamt of becoming my whole life.

2. What was your biggest disappointment?
My biggest disappointment is that I'm officially one year past the age limit for joining the FBI.

3. What do you hope the new year brings?
I hope that whatever is brewing in IRAQ (a situation I still don't fully understand) is resolved soon and the young men and women serving there can return to their countries unharmed.

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?
I don't make resolutions and don't believe in it. I strive to be the best I can be all year round. I have a life list that is constantly being revised and updated by which I try to live my life.

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?
I plan to spend New Year's Eve with family and loved ones.


After my failed attempt at resolving my Simpsons Hit and Run problem and after two incredibly competitive games of Scrabble, the time came for J to leave and for me to do my laundry.

As soon as I got there, I became "agitated". There was a couple there, doing their laundry, as if the laundromat were there own personal laundry room. They had taken over two baskets with the bars for hanging clothes. This woman had 20 shirts hung up all nice and neat. They were using two folding tables. They had taken over 9 dryers. And the most annoying thing was the husband was just sitting there doing nothing.

Of course, the woman probably just told him to sit there and keep her company and not to touch anything because she likes to do laundry herself but I was just so annoyed at the space they were taking up and his just sitting there meant that they were going to be there that much longer. I was so upset my head felt like it was in the spin cycle with my delicates.

Eventually, they left. And I relaxed into the nice rhythm of folding laundry and making things neat. I never put this together before but when I'm upset cleaning or straightening up makes me feel better. It's the mindless action of a repetitive act that I find most soothing. It's as if my internal chaos has been externalized into the chaos around me and somehow, clearing away the mess is like folding my errant emotions into neat little piles.

It's a Wonderful Life

Something wonderful happened this morning. I woke up after 9.

I worked on my computer for a good part of the morning. J gave me The Simpsons: Hit and Run, computer game. I can't wait to play it but there is something wrong.

When I click on play in the launch menu, my computer gives me a message that it is committing an error and the game shuts itself down. I'm so bummed because I can't figure out what's wrong. I ran the programs one runs when trying to detect a problem but all systems are running fine. If you know what the problem is please email me at

I took a break from it for while to play Scrabble with J. I've truly met my match. He's an amazing player. He is by far the smartest person I know and possesses an expansive vocabulary (can you see the little hearts floating around my head?) . Playing SCRABBLE with him will definitely help me improve my game.

December 25, 2003


Earlier today, J pointed out that when I call Viggo Mortensen, Vito Morgensen that I am committing something known as a "SPOONERISM". This was the first time I've ever heard this word.

He even mentions it here.

*Psssst! Don't tell anyone but I think he likes me.*


Scrolling through Blogger's list of Websites they've noticed recently, I stumbled across this one. It a soldier's recounting of Christmas on the front lines.

Could you imagine what it would be like to be stationed to fight on Christmas in the land from where most biblical lore comes? Read this and you don't really have to imagine.

It's profound.

Of Kings and Things

In keeping with the king movie theme today, on the tellie, as I write this, is the movie "King of Kings", a movie narrated by the great actor/writer/orator Orson Welles, produced in the year of our Lord, 1961.

I'm not exactly sure what the movie is about but it may have something to do with the son of God or son of man or something like that.

From the way things are going, it doesn't look like it is going to have a happy ending.

"The Return of the King"

The movie was wonderful. You will find no spoilers here. I will tell you that of the predictions I made as to the movie's plot points, only a couple were correct.

In the spirit of not giving anything away, the movie seemed to focus male friendship, much like the critically acclaimed and very enjoyable "Master and Commender".

Both movies focused on men finding friendship during battle.

Propaganda through fantasy and adventure films. . . .hmmmmmm . . . .I'll have to explore this further.

Merry DAY OFF!!!!

Like any good jew, I will be at the movies today.
I am going to see the final movie in the "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy, the RETURN OF THE KING.

I haven't yet seen it but this how think it is going to go.
* Sam and Frodo continue on their reverse quest and encounter obstacles.
* Evil dirt monsters will continue to try to eliminate the race of human.
* Elves and humans will battle together in one last stand against the evil
blackness spreading across middle earth
* The extremely hot Viggo Mortensen will have hot elven sex, hot human sex and then be restored as KING of AROGON, PARAGON, TARRAGON (whatever).
* The Wizards of White will have the best fight scene.
* Frodo will lose finger.

I really, really need to read the books. I think the movies would be more enjoyable for me if I would just read the books.

December 24, 2003

Christmas Eve Morning.

It is a warm and rainy day in New York City. People generally want snow during these holidays but I'm happy with rain. Snow is pretty for a few moments around here but then it starts to melt and the city becomes very difficult to navigate.
I am alone again in the office.
I am getting things done.
I love this holiday even though I've never celebrated it because it is time when you can clear the piles off of your desk.

It is a little bit quiet though, and a little boring. The quiet is kind of distracting. I've got nothing to work against.

December 23, 2003

A Voice From the Past

When I got home this evening, a pleasant surprise was waiting for me. It was a phone message from one of my oldest and dearest friends, Josh. Josh is married, with a new baby and living in Thailand.

He got married at least five years ago and I haven't really spoken with him since 9/11.

It's not good or bad that we drifted apart. It's just how it is sometimes.

I will now the tell you the nice thing about having a good friend like Josh. You can go ages without speaking to one but then when you do, aside from all the catching up, it's as if no time has passed once you've had a chance to talk.

I'm sorry I missed his call but I did email him and hopefully I'll hear back from him soon.

Josh. If you are reading this, I love you, I miss you and I can't wait to hear from you and I can't wait to see pictures of your nice family.

Jesus turns 2003

Jesus Christ, son of God and savior of humanity, confided Monday that He is not looking forward to His 2003rd birthday, saying that He is "really dreading turning the big two-oh-oh-three."

I know just how you feel.

Hang in there, Jesus.

2,003 isn't as old as you think.

You'll see.

Grilled Cheese/Pop Culture

Sing us a song, you're cholesterol
Sing us a song tonight.
Now we're all in the mood for a heart attack
And you've got our hearts stuffed real tight.

Now for something completely different

I am proud to be a part of the grilled cheese wave.

My own special ode to grilled cheese later.

I have to go to work to man the phones. I'll be the only one there for a few hours this morning.

December 22, 2003

When Comfort Foods Attack.

Today, was a good work day; busy but not too demanding. But gastronomically, it was kind of a disaster. I was little bit hungry, earlier than usual today so I decided to order a variation of a breakfast sandwich I have been ordering for the owner. Every so often he asks me to "order him up the usual". The usual is a toasted bialy, lightly buttered with one slice of swiss cheese. I ordered one with one slice of provolone. It was yummy but not too filling; a perfect prelunch meal. Then, one of our vendors, sent us a gift plate of cookies; delicious, rich buttery cookies. Fantastic. Here is where the disaster begins. My boss and I went out to get her something to eat for lunch. Not being hungry, I passed. This was shortly after my provolone bialy. But M didn't finish her lunch and she had hardly eaten any of it. So, before she threw it out, I volunteered to eat her roasted pork.

Then, we delved into the cookies. Not being accustomed to eating multitudes of sweets, I crashed about 1/2 an hour after stuffing my face with the rich, buttery treats. I was tired for the rest of the work day. I blogged somewhere between 6 and 6:30. That's when I told you about my plans for Barnes and Noble.

Barnes and Noble was a little bit too crowded to be enjoyable so I rushed ahead to my next plan. I thought it would be nice to top off my visit to Barnes and Noble with a nice dinner at Chat and Choo, one of my favorite little comfort food places. Too bad that it was crowded. Because I had to go to Mayrose, which is normally a restaurant whose comfort food I enjoy. I got the cob salad which I love. I was little bit annoyed because they served the salad to me with the dressing on the side. I didn't ask for the dressing on the side (rant brewing on "on the side"; stay tuned). That made the meal less enjoyable because all I could think about was how annoying it was that I had to toss my own 10$ salad. For 10$ lettuce, I should have to do as little work as possible.

Anyway, to make a short story long, I think the dressing combined with the cookies, the pork and the provolone made my subway ride home intolerably long although it was probably the fastest ride i've had in three days.

All is well now. I'm home, I'm changed, more comfortable, and finished with food for the day.

Maybe next time, I'll should stick with some good ole' grilled cheese. That with a good bowl of soup is all the comfort you need.


Sitting at my desk . . . .waiting for the worms . . . .to come.
I'm going to the Barnes & Noble at Union Square, after I finish up here,to look at magazines and have a cup of tea.
Tomorrow there will be only two people in my office. Myself and the owner of the company. My boss is leaving for vacation at 4 am tomorrow morning.
In anticipation of the inevitable lull our business is experiencing because or the X-mas holiday, both the owner and my boss have gathered many little things for me to do. So, while every thing will be quiet, I will be remarkably busy.
Perhaps when I get to UNION SQUARE, the Farmer's Market will still be open. Maybe there will be a few vendors who decided to wait until the last minute to close shop. I could use some fresh leeks.
I am still waiting to meet with my boss. There will be two days when I am here without her so I need to speak with her about what to expect and about what will be expected of me.
Every office I work in I usually find I am in a different office but encountering the same personalities. It's actually refreshing that my nice boss' personality varied.

Le Weekend

Monday morning is here yet again. Again, it has arrived too quickly after spending a pleasurable weekend living in New York City.

I was so fried on Friday night (a day I like to call FRIED day), that there wasn't much I could do except blog and sleep. I spent Saturday finding the component's of J's Hanukah present and then getting ready for our date on the top of the Empire State Buildling. The Empire State Building was pretty incredible. I've never been up there at night. Downtown and East Side views were better for the mere reason that the Uptown and West Views were freezing. The Hudson was kicking up a wickedly cold breeze. We each made an elongated penny and if you've been paying attention we both blogged from the 86th floor observation deck where they have pay-as-you-go internet service terminals.

I was dressed up so pretty but in the end it didn't matter because I didn't take my coat off once for the cold. My enjoyment of the evening was also impeded by the incredibly adorable but uncomfortable shoes I was wearing.

I don't understand why they hurt my feet. The heels were only an 1.5 inches. Theoreticlly those shoes should not have pinched but alas...they did.

No bother. It was still a lot of fun.

Yesterday was a wonderful day. J came over with the NY Times. We did the crossword puzzle and shopped on the main shopping strip in Astoria.

And now it's Monday morning, and I'm delaying my departure for work by intently writing about my weekend. But now I'm done and I have to leave.

How was your weekend? I can't wait to hear about it!

December 21, 2003

Ms. Fonda was the Feminist of the Day

Today, was Jane Fonda's birthday and previously was listed as feminist of the day on this site and others.

If you have any opinions about Jane's traitorous activities and/or comments during the great American/Vietanamese Police Action/Conflict/War (aka the Great Rice Battle), please keep them to yourself or post them below.

Jane Fonda embodies the spirit of American Capitalism and is a fair representation of at least 1 per cent of our population.

I'm not clear why she is considered a great feminist of our time. She got her job because of the influence of her father and she married above her station in spite of the fact that she's had a successful career. Sounds pretty old fashioned and non-revolutionary to me.

I guess the lesson here is that half of a percent of American women should have equal access to that 99% of the wealth. . . even if they marry into it.

December 20, 2003

Top of the world

I am now blogging from the 86th story observation deck of the Empire State Building. Jon is standing right by me.

Romantic? Well. It might be too cold for romance and I forgot to wear practical shoes. but......yes......still romantic.

I Heart New York.

"I Want That One, Mommy!!"

Do you think politicians collect dolls?

Well, I do. I think that they collect dolls like the currently sold out George Bush Aviator Doll and the captured Saddam Hussein Doll.

I think instead of Barbie's Town House they have Bushie's White House and that they make the George Bush Aviator Doll jump up and down repeatedly on Saddam's lice ridden head. (not that there's anything wrong with that).

The "Oy" sen Twins

I just found out from Caren's site is that the OLSEN TWINS will be attending NYU shortly.

I don't know if the city is ready for the onslaught of media the OLSEN twins are going to receive living in New York City.

Don't they have colleges in Canada?

Welcome new reader

I just found out I have a new reader in France. It is my very charming and recently married young cousin.

I will not say his name for fear of embarrassing him but welcome young cousin to my web site and I hope you caught a big fish this morning!!!

December 19, 2003

Emperor of His Empire

My very nice boss gave me a gift for the holidays.

In the gift box I found bath stuff and knick knacks but mostly love.

It was nice of her to give me a gift. She makes feel appreciated and like she's my friend as well as my boss.

She also gave me her executive pass for the Empire State Building which expires at the end of the year. She can't really use it again because she is going away for the holidays.

If my boyfriend is reading this, you should stop right now because I want to take you to the top of the Empire State Building tomorrow night and it's supposed to be a surprise.

Hee hee.

Slice O' Life

I left work at 6:30pm

I walked through my front door at 7:45 pm.

That is one of the joys of living in New York City.

An incident delayed the trains. Then the train I was in was emptied of people because of a problem with the doors.

The train was stuck under the East River because of the delayed train we had to empty.

Life in New York isn't always so romantic, hence my previous post where I expressed a desire for a more romantic life.

But, on the other hand, for four stops, I was stuck next to famous actor Ben Chaplin. Standing shoulder to shoulder with him in my crowded train, we were equals as we held on to the same pole for balance with one hand, a book in the other. He departed at 42nd street. I imagine he is currently performing on Broadway.

That didn't exactly make it worth the 75 minutes commute home but it was fun.

That's also very New York.

Romantic NYC

I was discussing the importance of romance with someone the other night. I've never been the sort that really is impressed with romance so naturally that is why I think about it all the time. I've come to this conclusion.

Our daily lives can pretty tough here in NYC. Subways, homeless, the stench of urine, foot traffic, traffic traffic, waiting on lines everywhere. Most people dislike their jobs and if they don't dislike them at least find them stressful or distasteful or boring. This is why I think romance might be important.

We need a special place in our lives, in our days, to help make things nicer.

I salute you Romance.

I am actually going to try and get my boss' pass to special activities in the Empire State Building. Perhaps, I can surprise my boyfriend with something romantic.

My other theory about ROMANCE is that men are more into it than women.

Let me know what you think.

December 18, 2003

Grinch me. I Must Be Dreaming.

I accidentally stumbled upon the Grinch Who Stole Christmas this evening.

What a nice surprise?!?!?

As I get older I notice different things every year I revisit this Christmas classic.
Here are some thoughts that occurred to me while watching this perennial treasure.

1) The commercials they show during the Grinch emphasize what Grinch finds most distasteful about Christmas...and that would be the commercialization of Christmas. Ironic . . . n'est ce pas?

2) The Grinch has a dog. His dog is so faithful. He'd do anything for the Grinch, including superseding the strength in his small dog frame in order pull a sled heavy with the Who's stolen happiness and Christmas cheer. So how bad could the Grinch really be that he commands such loyalty? I realized tonight that he's just a lonely monster who wants everyone to be as lonely as he. So the opposite is also true, meaning he wants to be rescued from his bitter loneliness. He is hiding up in his cave. People who hide, want to be found.

3) I wish I had a 39 and half foot pole.

4) Wouldn't it be great to blend Christmas villains into one movie? Such as combining Scrooge with the Grinch and in the end the villain never really understands the true meaning of Christmas. I want a Christmas story with a sad ending, where the Christmas villain holds on to the notion that Christmas has been blown way out of proportion and perhaps should be toned down a bit. In this movie, the villain is the hero because he is able to think apart from the herd and not live a a falsely happy life just because it's Christmas.

5) Nobody made up nonsense words better than Dr. Seuss which oddly enough reminds me of a teacher I worked with when I was teaching. One of the scarier things I learned as I was exploring this truly noble profession is that New York City teachers aren't always the sharpest crayons in the box. They certainly are well intentioned but . . . . .

This teacher always referred to Dr. Seuss as Dr. Zeus even spelling his name as if this genius of children's literature were a god. Not that he wasn't but you know.....very scary.....don't send your kids to a New York City public school. Finding out who your child's teacher is, is not unlike eating a box of chocolates.

Flu Dialogue

Flu. Come here.....we need to talk.

Closer, closer......okay, okay.....that's close enough.

I noticed lately that there is no chemistry between us.
Maybe we should just be friends.

What? Are you still here? Didn't you hear me? I don't want to see you anymore.

What? Don't make me hurt you......No. Stop. Get off me!!!!


Yes.....No... No... Don't cry flu....don't cry........ I just don't want you around me. Don't worry.....I'm sure someone else will find you attractive (yeah, right). See that guy over there in the timberland boots wearing the fleece lined denim jacket and no hat, scarf or gloves . . .with his hands jammed in his pocket . . .yeah. . .that one, the one with the mullet, freezing to death......he's just begging for you to visit with him for a while. Go with him. It's okay.....go ahead......ugh!!!

Now what's wrong? I'm sure he'll be thrilled to meet you, now go.

Gosh!! You are pathetic. Get a hold of yourself, flu.

I'm done being nice. You can go away now, flu.

Good bye.

An office a day, keeps the apple away

So. The bath helped. It was really, really, really hot.

I'm in the office. Someone else made coffee today. That's part of my job to make the first cup of coffee of the day so the fact that someone else did it kind of made me feel the littlest bit better.

I need to get a lot done today but still have a low impact day. Is that even possible?

I figure if I'm going to be dizzy and achy, what's the difference between feeling that way at home or at work? Yeah. Okay. There is a bed at home. That's true. But I'd probably be writing at my computer all day anyway, with naps in between writing spurts, but napping.....ahhhhhh, napping......

Spin Doctor

I woke up this morning and my head is spinning. It's spinning like I've been drinking all night yet I haven't had a drink since Tuesday night, a beer to help me relax before trivia. My stomach is making noises a human's stomach should'nt make. Is this what the flu feels like? it's been at least two years since I've felt this bad.

I'm about to get into a scalding hot bath and then I'm going to pretend like I'm not sick and go to work anyway.

This is because my boss is going on vacation and I want to help her clear her desk before she goes. It's good for her and good for me because I'll be her next week when she's gone. If I can just hang in there until next Wednesday, I'll be fine. Because I have off from Christmas Day until January 5th of next year. There will plenty of time for rest and recovery then.

Wish me luck.

December 17, 2003

Tuesdays With Rice

Perhaps you read earlier that I wasn't feeling well, yet again. Welll. I decide to fight the flu once again using my good old fashioned version of Jewish penicillin. Inspired by Maurice Sendaks children's book (which I found cleaning up two nights ago) Chicken Soup with Rice, I decided to eat my very own chicken soup with brown rice. My version came out great. I added 10 cloves of garlic and four different of pepper, varying in both heat and color. And I didn't use anything with lemon, as a matter of fact I didn't use the recipe I linked to at all. I have my own secret recipe. You have be related to me to get the recipe and know me personally to eat some.

Anyway, if this doesn't help combat the flu for another day or two, I don't know what will.
About Tuesday Night Trivia:

I co-hosted with Jill. It was surreal. Caren wasn't there so I kind of filled in for her. I got off to a rocky start but eventually I developed a flow and it went a little better. The spotlights seemed exceptionally hot and bright for some reason. Caren's are some pretty big shoes to fill. She makes hosting look so much easier than it really is. I felt the crowd's missing her as I stumbled through the evening's festivities. Anyway, most memorable about last night were the team names. As you can imagine, quite a few were about Saddam Hussein.

Here they are (with the final rankings):

9th - CO$T:Children of Strom Thurmond (last place prize of chocolate bar.)
8th - Mucha Lucha
7th - Only Losers Meet on Friendster (our choice for best team name)
6th - It Saddam Shame He Got Caught:AKA Saddam, Me and Gommorah
5th - Up Tikrit Without A Weapon of Mass Destruction (close second for best team name)
4th - Crazy Saddam ~ His Prices are HUSSEIN
3rd - 100 Years of Flight; 99 Years of Peanuts You Can't Open (winners of $10 off their bar tab)
2nd - Give Us $1 Million or You'll Never See Caren Again (winners of $15 off their bar tab)
1st - String [Saddam] Up & Get It Over With (winners of $25 off their bar tab)

A Letter to that Random Guy at the Bank

Dear Random Guy at the Bank:
Why were you filling out your forms at the teller's window? Didn't you know that between 12:30 and 1:30 is when most people go to the bank for their bosses to make deposits? Couldn't you ask about the change of address form with a bank rep at one of those nice desks designed to assist bank customers, one of which you are clearly? Didn't you see the line of angry and impatient people standing behind you as you smiled your innocent yet annoying mid-western smile making small talk with the average looking teller?

You have no right conducting business this way in a busy city, in a busy bank.

Fill out your forms at the counter like the rest of us.

Aping Saddam

I noticed that it didn't take long for the Saddam jokes to get started. I object to this and here is why:

1) It's not funny that he is a mass murderer.
2) It's not funny that he is almost died in that hole
3) It's not fun and it's not funny.

It's too soon to make fun of him, too fresh. Too raw.......I know you guys are pissed and there's nothing wrong with that. Be pissed. He's an ass.

Just don't rush to make light of such a serious situation.

There will be time for that later. Remember, we have still have a lot of young men and women serving over there and what they are doing is not fun or funny. Respect their missions and their youthful altruism by not making light of the SADDAM thing now.

Yes. It is all connected believe it or not.

Work gets in the Way

Well. I am working, so I can't really update anything now, can I?
You'll just have to wait so stop pressuring me (in a whiny tone).

*I will say that my head hurts which has absolutely nothing to do with last night's trivia match but I like to share so you can feel my pain. Yeah.....It might be time for more coffee.*

December 16, 2003

Quite Wicked

Quite Wicked did a nice job of posting the transcript from Paris Hilton's appearance on Dec 7 Saturday Night Live.

Click here for more.

It's chock full of well intentioned double meaning.

December 15, 2003

Monday Madness

There isn't really any Monday madness. I just like the way that sounds.

Of course, what happened on my subway ride into the city this morning could qualify as madness, but you are probably tired of hearing about how bad the NYC subways are. Actually, what happened was quite dull, but delayed my trip in by 20 minutes making me 15 minutes late for work.

The suspense is killing you isn't it? Well, that's how I keep you coming back.

December 14, 2003

NY Times

I plan to go out one time today and that is to pick up the New York Times and buy toilet paper. These are two things I fear I can not live without today.

Okay. Here I go. I'm out the door. I'm fighting blasts of biting cold air. I'm loving it. It's so wonderful.

Okay. Now I'm really going.


Hey guys!!! Look What I Found!!!!

I was surprised to learn on Caren's website that it was already snowing and that former Iraqi leader Saddam Husseing has been captured.

Saddam Hussein was found hiding in a hole, bearded and dirty. Two reports I just read said he's chatty and cooperative. But I guess being a dictator isn't that glamourous after all. Hiding in a hole. It doesn't get any worse than that unless of course you count the death of your two sons. Yeah. He's getting a pretty bad beating.

I'm still not sure whether or not what we're doing there makes sense but at least the military accomplished one of its goals. I need to hear more about it before I can claim pride in our government for devastating the Iraqi people and their countryside for reasons I still don't exactly believe.

But I will say that I'm proud of the young men and women who are in Iraq fighting for what they believe in because what they believe in is "U.S."

Thank you.

December 13, 2003

They're gone.

My friends are gone. (sniff) It was strange. Tonight, as I was watching them getting ready to go out to a party in Long Island I was amazed at the amount of effort they put into getting ready. It wasn't only the bathing and the hair drying. There was the make up and the questions of what looked good with what and discussion of what shoes would be worn if this shirt was worn with these jeans. It reminded me of when we were in high school and they would do the same thing. I was never that type of girl and watching this ritual made me feel a little sad that I'm not overly concerned with which earrings would match my shoes if i wore that shirt with those jeans. We are all so different yet remain so close. Amazing.

While they were getting ready, I cooked for them. That was nice. When you live alone, you don't get do that too much, you know take care of people. I made a delicious meat loaf (which is something I haven't made in 7 or 8 years) and a lazy ratatouille (meaning I left out the eggplant and didn't peel the tomotoes). They are both very nice women. One is a mom with two kids and one is an aspiring actress pursuing her dreams in L.A. Being the oldest of the three I feel a little bit proud of them not that I had anything to do with how they turned out but just because they grew up into great people. I hope they feel the same way about me.

I love my friends. We all gathered early in the evening at a nice italian restaurant called Cascina near the theater district to celebrate Lilo's birthday. Afterwards we moved the party to O'Flaherty's on restaurant row. It was great to see everyone last night. I was especially happy that some of new friends were able to meet my old friends. Sometimes it's nice to gather the friends I have made in different corners in a central place. Thanks for coming. You three know who you are and I don't want to embarrass you by naming you. It means a lot me that you were all able to make it.

Today, we went into the city so we could visit some New Yorky places, like Tiffany's and Tiffany's. It was cold and crowded.

I'm invited to a great event this evening over at Rififi's, my friend Dawn's POP GEAR but I'm sad to report that between last night's festivities and this afternoon's adventure into the heart of the Fifth Avenue I'm just exhausted.

And a Happy New Year.

Nothing brings in the holidays like a good antisemitic message. (via Vidiot, via MeFi)

Gee. To think I almost forgot my place in this world full of Jew haters.

Aunt Flo

My Aunt Flo finally stopped in her for monthly visit this morning. I've actually been a little cranky and anxious this week in anticipation of her arrival. Some people actually noted a change in my attitude that they recognized as being a result of Aunt Flo's visit. Today isn't going to be easy. She's already making me feel a little tired and sick to my stomach. Hopefully, she'll ease up on me in a couple of days or so.

My friends don't seem to mind that she's here. As I mentioned before Lilo and Kathy are here. They are my oldest friends in the world and it's been a long time since the three of us have been together like this.

We're planning on going into the city. Tiffany's is on the agenda (always fun whether or not you're visiting from out of town). If I had my druthers we'd stay in our pajamas all day and make meatballs and cookies. So, it's a good thing I have two friends that are extremely outgoing and upbeat. Aunt Flo has me a little down but I'm sure they'll help me navigate our tenuous relationship.

That's what friends are for!!!

December 12, 2003

A New Blogging Friend

I recently found out that a link to my page has been added to a new web log called Of Moops and Men. If you look to your right, you can see that I've already added the link to my list of interesting links.

But it's worth a mention because it's just a gosh darn fun blog where the writer shares his comical views on today's headlines. The fun thing is that these are headlines that come in on the wire services but are often overlooked for "more interesting" news.

Join me in welcoming this new wit to the Blogosphere and enjoy.

My new friend is an excellent writer, an excellent writer. (10 minutes to Wapner)

Today is Friday.

Today is Friday, Friday, Friday. It will fun day, fun day, all day long.

What a great day to have off!!!! The sun is shining, the birds are singing. Did I mention how comfortable my pajamas are.

Now, all I have to do is everything I planned on doing but, gosh, it's a day off.

It'll only take me one hour plus half to do the laundry: the towels, the sheets, the blankets, the comforters and maybe even the pillows (cold and flu season is here. Unless your pillows are stuffed with feathers [yuck!!] there is no reason for you not to wash them). But somehow, I think it's going to take longer because I have to prepare emotionally (sounds like as good an excuse as any other).

The coffee is brewing. Yesterday, this web log served me as a sanity saving device. Today, it might be more of a procrastination device.

Oooo!!! The coffee maker just gurgled "I'm done making your coffee now" so with any luck and a little bit discipline this will be last post of the day and my last trip down the information superhighway.

Have a nice day friends. Have a nice day.

December 11, 2003

two bits to five

picture me: wildeyed and crazy; delirious with fatigue; running around the office like a madwoman; wielding a sharp weapon and ready to strike... that is how i feel on the inside.

in actuality. i am composed, sitting at my desk, calmly typing while the minutes tick away but i show my rebellion by refusing to capitalize any letters in this post. only 15 minutes remain until i am eligible for parole. at such time my sentence will be reviewed. it will be decided whether or not i am to stay behind these walls another hour or be released early for good behaviour.

tomorrow, i have the day off. i requested this in order to ready myself and my home for my visiting friend who i haven't seen in two years. i am looking forward to her visit and i am looking forward to a three day weekend.

how much longer will i have to stay here? this will be determined by my finished-work to finished blog ratio. my inbox is almost empty but i am jonesing for the calming effect of collecting my thoughts and presenting them here, which is why i have chosen to extend my work day.

my thoughts are calming, my thoughts are calmed............


December 10, 2003

Cig - a - rest

I have to stop a moment.
I have to interrupt my workday to tell you how hard it is
to get through this day without smoking.
I am trying people.
I am trying. I barely made it through yesterday.
I finally broke during the break in trivia.
I smoked a Parliament Light and it was wonderful.

When I got home, I smoked a few of my Camel Lights. Also, wonderful.

But I decided to see how long I could go again without another nail in my coffin. I was fine up until an hour ago and now that achiness that I get from not smoking has combined with the fluish achiness I've been living with for the last week to make me entirely achy, cranky and miserable and desirous of a cigarette.

Maybe some chocolate would help.

About Last Night. . .

I only have two things to say about trivia from last night.

1) My team lost. We came in 5th.

2) I got rid of my FACT OR CRAP game. I volunteered it as a prize. The person who won the game was thrilled. But I'm even more thrilled to be rid of it.

December 09, 2003


If you go to Tuesday Night Trivia tonight, I will see you there, I promise.

(tee hee hee)


I've Lost that Fluish Feeling

Well. I am still sore about the neck and shoulders but I have pretty much lost that whoozy feeling that I described last night. I think I have escaped what the news has been reporting as the most deadly flu ever, (aren't all flus the most deadly ever) yet again.

What I don't understand is this. If you have had the flu before, wouldn't your body have natural antibodies against the flu? I think that is the idea behind the flu vaccine. They collect different flu germs, mix them together into a vaccine and inject it into your body to help you develop antibodies against whatever new flu virus is out there. That is why I won't get the flu vaccine. I had it once as a kid and once as an adult.

Will I get the flu again? Is it possible? Wouldn't having had it before put the same antibodies in my system as the vaccine that is currently running out?

While we're on the subject of the vaccine, I heard this morning that the government supply of flu vaccine is running out. People are clammoring to their doctors' offices to get what remains. If this flu can kill people and the government and scientist know it, wouldn't it behoove them and everyone else to make enough for the entire population? So with this said why is BUSH even wasting his time on the SPAM bill? He is most likely going to sign it in in January this in if I heard my radio correctly this morning.

I know SPAM is annoying but it's not a deadly virus with the potential to wipe out large parts of the elderly population.

December 08, 2003


flu. i think i have the flu. i've been fighting it for the last week or so but it's a losing battle. the achiness is spreading from the top of my head to the middle of my back. my head feels woozy and my eyes are starting to burn. boy am i glad i was able to get my groceries and clean my house before this thing hit. it sucks to be sick in a dirty house with no groceries.

if anybody is interested here is what i did tonight after i work. i went right to the grocery store (yes, the one where i used to work), picked out my favorites and arranged delivery. then I came home and wrote my rueful email.

and then for no particular reason (other than being angry at the world) i started cleaning my house like a lunatic. i stopped when the groceries were delivered. i cleaned three heads of lettuce and socked them away. i ate a little sandwich and then continued cleaning my house.

then i cleaned my face and now i'm doing another facial. this weather is brutal on my skin. pretty soon it will be time to peel off my mask and moisturize 'til all the dry is gone. is the best part. i smoked. after not smoking all felt great!!!!

hey, maybe someone will surprise me and retore my faith in humanity but until then i remain misanthropically yours.

December 07, 2003

Central Park

Last night I went to see the movie Master and Commander which I recommend strongly. I don't care who you are or what your taste is in movies. You will enjoy this flick.

On other weekend activities, I'm sorry to report that Jon and I did not get to go ice skating today at Wolman Rink. In spite of my previously written about reservations, I was actually looking forward to it. But the cold weather was just too daunting, encouraging us to stay inside and do crossword puzzles.

But don't despair.
We did get out and enjoy the crisp air.

Jon and I went to a great restaurant on the UPPER WEST SIDE of Manhattan called Cafe Con Leche. The brunch was delicioso. I had the Mexican Omelet which came with salsa and guacamole. It was an omelet wrapped around tomatoes and peppers. I also two of the best cups of coffee I've had in weeks. Jon had the Try Our Eggs in a Hole. I'm sure you've made this yourselves. It's bread with a hole ripped in which you cook an egg. His was really good as it was served over the most delicious corned beef hash ever made. (i'm not exaggerating)

After that, since we were already out and about, we decided to go to Central Park and see it's wintery beauty. And it was worth the cold toes and the red ears. The park was really beautiful. The fresh air was the fresh cold kind that makes your cheeks pink and makes your lungs feel clean and the people that were there were having a great time. Children sledding, people skiing, owners playing fetch with their happy dogs (using snowballs I think in some instances) and the reservoir was breathtaking.

That is the first time I've been to snow covered Central Park and I wish I'd had my camera.

I'm home now, eating lemon chicken soup from Pinnochio's in Astoria and trying to warm up my toes.

I'm looking forward to watching ANGELS IN AMERICA tonight. After I get off line (it's 7 pm here), I'm going to plan my week ahead. My very good friend Lilo is coming into town this week and I want to get my house ready for her stay. I haven't seen her much since she moved to the west coast five years ago and I can't wait to see her this weekend.

Stay warm and toasty. It's going to be a cold one tonight.

December 06, 2003

Anonymous Blogger talks about dating

My blog friend, Anonymous Blogger has recently been writing about dating. His most recent entry is about the excuses women give when they don't want to see him anymore.

So, to sum up:
1. "No chemistry" - a lame "excuse"
2. "Let's be friends" - a lie (unless actually followed up with communication)

I feel bad for the Anonymous Blogger because these are actually lies that people tell when they don't want to see someone again. But hopefully the following explanation will help to relieve some of his angst.

The above terms are part of this society's unwritten social code. This is language that everyone understands. I think people say these things because they just don't have the heart to say to someone, "THE TRUTH IS I JUST DON'T LIKE YOU." or "YOU'RE NOT GOOD LOOKING ENOUGH FOR ME." or "I JUST FIND YOU BORING AND I DON'T SEE THIS GOING ANYWHERE." in the case of "No Chemistry".

"Let's be friends" is the nice way to say, "You'll never hear from me again."

Having to reject someone, if you are a nice person, is just an absolutely aweful thing to do.

I would guess that if ANONYMOUS has been hearing "Let's be friends", he's probably been picking nice people to go out with.

I want to tell him that he should keep trying. Eventually, he'll hit it off with someone. Finding someone to be with romantically is just more challenging for some people, myself included. Some people have it easy and G-d bless them but others just seem to have a harder time.

Have faith. If there was someone out there for me, there definitely is someone out there for you.

I won't give you that lame advice like "JOIN AN ACTIVITY YOU ENJOY DOING SO YOU'LL MEET LIKE MINDED PEOPLE" which of course will eventually lead to romance according to the sages who espouse this wisdom. Actually, in my case it was true, but it took years of joining different activities before I actually found like minded people and was able to reap the social benefits.

I can only say, have patience. Everything works out in the end and that the FATES (those impetuous bitches) work in mysterious ways.


I woke up early this morning, some residual insomnia from my insomnia days, when I used to wake up at 5 am (4 am daylight savings time) for absolutely no reason. So I blogged and then I watched WIT.

In 2001 Emma Thompson, Mike Nichols and HBO made a movie out of the play WIT by Margaret Edson. The story is about a English Professor who is dying of Stage 4 ovarian cancer.

It's a wonderful play, as wonderful as a play about death can be and the movie is my favorite produced by HBO. Watching it, I was reminded how upset I was at the Emmys for that year that Emma Thompson wasn't even nominated for her performance in the movie.

I'm moved to tears everytime I watch the movie and the performance. Between the writing and acting, that movie should have won every available award. The play was given a lot of recognition and deservedly so. but why overlook the movie?

Antebellem Island

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if the South won the Civil War? Well, on December 3, THE ONION posted an article about Antebellum Island where producers created a SURVIVOR type show that explores this idea.

On finding a local the author of the article writes:
Scouts chose a tropical location after they failed to find an island in the Mississippi River with enough land mass to sustain the manufacturing-based economy of a country that did not begin its transition from an agricultural society to a modern industrial society until the early 1900s.

And on casting the show the writer says the producers said the following:
"In casting the show, we looked for people who displayed adaptability, good judgment, and impeccable hospitality," Davies said. "But we wanted to let the contestants' personalities shape the show. We didn't just look to fill the typical slots: plantation owner, houseboy, carpetbagger, and Uncle Tom."

December 05, 2003


Well dear fans, I just spent some time looking at another brilliant essay on the Lileks page. This one is a study of celery and it's effects on women's panties. In other words, for his fan base Mr. Lileks deconstructs the art work of Art Frahm.

All I have to say is funny, funny, funny.


First Snow in NEW YORK CITY

Happy First Snow!

So, I guess the weathermen weren't full of shit for a change

We have actually good snowman making snow. However, I'm sure many of you are thinking about how good this snow actually is for skiing as opposed to building snowmen.

Maybe, tomorrow, I'll go head over to BOHEMIAN HALL, one of the country's few remaining beer gardens and build a snowman while drinking BEER.

Happy Birthday, Margaret

Happy Birthday and welcome to the mid-thirties.

It's actually a pretty comfortable place to be and I wish you good health and much further success.

December 04, 2003

Members Only

from Jon:
Just to show you how juvenile a workplace I'm in, today a story came over the wire, about the 425 million-year-old penis.

An editor called out, "That's some missing link!" Simultaneously, and I do mean in perfect unison, a co-worker and I shouted "Missing dink!"

The Best

I find the best shizzle* on Vidiot's shizzle*. This is a link for the Bush Background Generator.

If you are wondering what it does, here is a sample generated for and by me.

*I'm not really sure what shizzle is but it seemed like the right word to use.

Another Gem

Here is another gem from my friend, the VIDIOT.

Try the Church Sign Generator and create your own church sign!

Happy Birthday Richard Pryor!!!

Happy Birthday Mr. Pryor. I wish you physical comfort and happiness. Thank you for your honesty and gift of comedy.

I learned from reading Margaret Cho's (one of my favourite comedienne) web log that today is Richard Prior's birthday. On her blog, she writes an open letter wishing him a happy b-day and celebrating the positive influence he's had on her life.

I learned from reading the other day that Ms. Cho keeps a blog. I was so excited to learn this, I visited, wrote her (or her manager rather) for permission to link to her site, which I was granted.

It's a pretty good site (not that she needs my help to promote her). You should check it out if you haven't already. On it, she lists press she's received, her upcoming schedule, interesting publicity photos and most interestingly her daily thoughts. Thanks for sharing, Margaret Cho. I'm glad to include you in my daily blogscape.

Just another Day

Just another day in New York City.

It was a little bit warmer today which can only mean one thing; a change in the weather is comin'.

Yes. Warmer weather usually means precipitation of some sort or another. Wouldn't you know it? There is snow in our forecast. Just in time for the weekend.

Jon and I are planning on going ice skating on Sunday so snow would make that just a little bit more fun.

Of course, I can't ice skate. In spite of years of trying at the Long Beach ice skating rink, I still haven't mastered the art of gliding on two thin blades.

Maybe that one rollerblading lesson I took two summers ago will kick in and keep from falling on my already tender ass.

I'll let you know.

December 03, 2003

Christmas Tree Lighting - Rockefeller Centre

The weather outside is frightful. Inside too, since my heat isn't working.

I am always amazed at the number of people who turn out for the ceremonial Christmas Tree Lighting every year at Rockefeller Centre. I used to have a job in the International Building (the one with statue of ATLAS in front). At that job, our Holiday parties were scheduled around the tree lighting so we could all watch it from the comfort of our office. You would think that it would be exciting except all that's really happening is someone is turning on a switch that engages the lights and the tree lights up. Oh yeah and people sing and ice skate as well.

There's no special arrangement of the lights as they seem to be strewn in a haphazard fasion. It's pretty much the same every year. Now I know this entry isn't doing much to promote NYC tourism. Please, if you like tree lightings this is the ultimate event. But I wonder how much fun it is for the 99,000 other people that gather that aren't standing right at the edge overlooking the ice skating rink. The crowds extend all the way to Radio City Music Hall and beyond. And people gather and wait for hours on end. On a day like today, that's dedication.

The Christmas Tree lighting I'm looking forward to this year is the one in Madison Square Park. The tree is standing there already, undressed and waiting, in the middle of the drained fountain. Around the tree, someone arranged 6 smaller trees which I imagine are going to be decorated as well.

I guess I feel less bad that a tree was ripped out the ground when it has smaller trees to keep it company. I never understood the impulse to rip a tree out of it's natural environment to transport it indoors or in the middle of Park from where it doesn't come. Don't feel bad for me if it seems like I'm not in the Christmas spirit. It's not really my holiday and doesn't mean much more to me than some days off and more crowds in the street.

With that said, there really isn't anything prettier than Christmas in New York City. Just when I think I've been here too long and I can't take another Yuletide season, I see some new pretty decoration in some beautiful lobby and I'm reminded that artists are generous and kind.

And people do seem a little nicer.

When met...

Thanks to the VIDIOT, I learned of a fun website called Astonishing tales where I was able to generate a screenplay based on my website. You should definitely give it a try.

If you would like to see how my website's screen play turned out, click here.

Tuesday Night Trivia - Update

Wow. Last night was bitterly, bitterly cold but that did not effect the warmth and affection of the crowd last night at the Baggott Inn. (Actually, last night's crowd was a little warmer than usual and by warmer, I mean rowdier.)

10 teams carved out of about 50 people drank and ate pizza as the evening's festivities were lead by Caren Lissner. With her usual aplomb Ms. Lissner welcomed the crowd and explained the rules before introducing her co-host, Rich Appel.

If you don't already know, the game is divided into five categories; General Knowledge, Current Events, Top Ten, Audio and Visual. During each round the hosts offer 10 questions which have to be answered on answer sheets. Being a team effort whispering is encouraged when discussing answers. After the first three rounds, the papers are traded, the hosts announce the answers and the papers are graded. The hosts do a tally at the end of all of this and announce the standings. Then the last two rounds are presented.

Usually the guest host, takes three categories. Last night was no exception. Rich started the game by reading 10 general knowledge questions which Caren followed with current events and the top ten list.

Questions I remember are . . . I don't remember any specific questions but the top ten list was . . . uh . . . oh shoot! Oh yes. The top ten list was from the year 2000 what cities' airports led the nation in arrivals and departures. I'm sure you will be surprised to learn that NEW YORK was not in the top 10.

My team. Well, I wasn't my usual diligent self this week and I did not send out my usual invititations to the usual suspects so I was at the mercy of the Trivia gods with regards to my team. This worked out well. Playing on my team were popular co-host Mike, Sarah, Graham, Corey, Sandy, Elliot and me. We did well. By the end of Round 1 we were in the lead with 20 points. This might not seem like a lot but considering the most you can get are 30 by the end of round 1 and considering we were leading by 5 points, I think that was pretty good.

It all changed in round 2. And this I remember well. The audio round were 10 very quick sound bytes. The part of each song that Rich chose for us was the 1-2-3 count down of 10 random songs. I think our team only got 3 out 10. The visual round were still shots from 10 old game shows. We didn't too badly on that round but still, we felt our lead was in danger.

We came in second place when all was said and done, edged out by one point by a married couple that played splendidly.

All in all, it was a good evening. The walk to the subway afterwards was bitterly cold and I fear that my achiness today results from that; flu achiness I'm afraid.

Keep your fingers crossed that it's just nervous tension making me sore and not that flu that I imagine is starting to get around.

December 02, 2003

Tuesday Weather Wrapup - New York City

partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear and dark


Perhaps by now you've all figured out which flower you are most like (see below).

Perhaps by now, you are just waking up.

Perhaps by now, you have worked at least 6. 5 hours of your 8 hour workday and you are ready to go home, get out of your clothes and get into bed.

Perhaps by now, you remember without my having to tell you that Tuesday Night Trivia is happening again at the Baggott Inn.

Hope to see you there.

December 01, 2003

American Museum of the Moving Image

To finish off the four day weekend, Jon and I went to the American Museum of the Moving Image (AMMI) in Astoria.

I wanted to show him the screen test for Linda Blair's makeup from the Exorcist (very scary). You've all seen that, right? Excellent, excellent footage, but alas, it was gone.

I wanted to show him the SEINFELD diner set. Gone. That was the museum's main draw for quite a while. But it was gone, gone, gone.

In it's place, was displayed, on loan from Robert DeNiro's personal collection, wardrobe he has saved from various movies he's worked on. That sounds cool, right? But wait. Think about it. Not only has this man saved outfits he will never wear again but he loaned them to a museum for display. What exciting outfits were there you might be asking yourself? How about Mr Deniro's bathrobe from Awakenings or his pants from Godfather II. Even more exciting, one of his suits from Analyze That. But most exciting of all for me was a before and after version of a peach silk jacket from the movie CASINO. The before jacket was in pristine condition, the after version was "distressed", ripped and torn at the sleeve and a little bit dirty. Why save this? I don't know.

Before we went, I checked the AMMI site to see what special exhibits there might be. I was excited to learn that TIM BURTON's drawings were being shown. And they were exciting to see....all 12 of them. I'm sure he's drawn more, but the museum was only able to secure 12. They were able to get practically DeNiro's entire film wardrobe collection but only 12 Burton drawings.

The most ridiculous display had to be the STAR TREK figurines behind glass. It looked like someone ran down to KAYBEE toy store on Steinway, bought some figurines and shoved them under the glass as a last minute solution to the curator's problems.

There were some fun, interactive exhibits on the third floor which teach about the history and technique of film making and animation. For example. You can animate a 10 second cartoon...dub a movie...lay down a soundtrack...animate a face...pose in front of a blue screen...

That's worth the whole trip.They also have a real nice collection of old film cameras and sound equipment and televisions and some real neat old footage of different films and tv shows on display throughout the museum. and some of the permanent collection, is alright.

It's also worth a visit if you're interested in seeing some old films on the big screen and speaking with the directors of those films. I do believe Mr. Scorcese has been partipating in some PINEWOOD Dialogues. Check out their website for more information.

November 29, 2003


One of the fun things about depression is you get to catch up on your television viewing.

I just watched HBO's presentation of "Drumline" which I really liked.

It's the first movie I've seen about marching band. Now having been a band geek large it's nice to see that the sports movie world has grown large enough to include marching bands. Watching the movie I learned (or rather it was reinforced) that brass and drums are the most important instruments which makes my flute playing seem a little pointless, fun but pointless. I say this because you can't really hear the woodwinds above the brass unless of course you play the saxaphone but that's for another time. It's about time Marching Bands got a movie. After all the baseball, basketball, football, cheerleading, skiing, skateboarding etcetera movies, Marching Band got its due.

Being that I started playing the flute in 4th grade I marched in 9 Memorial Day parades, goodness knows at how many football and homecoming games and competed in at least 3 marching band competitions at Hofstra University.

I missed the competition my senior year because when riding my bike to join the band for the bus at my high school my big enourmous Q-tip hat got caught in the front wheel causing me to fly over the handle bars and landing on my front teeth, smashing my face and bruising my hands as well as other parts of me. It hurt. It happened 5 minutes from the school. I landed in front of Dave Farrante's house and his brother called my mom. When she arrived I expected that I would just wipe myself off and continue to the competition. I ended up at the hospital with nothing worse than two broken front teeth and a bloody mouth.

I was also in orchestra and in Senior Year I was the first flute. I played POMP and CIRCUMSTANCE at my graduation sitting in front in my cap and gown.

Good times, good times.

If you were or are also a member of the band feel free to contact me and tell me about your marching band or orchestra experiences. And when you do write, let me know if you want me to post your email or not.

I keep hearing that music programs are being cut all over the country. Maybe some good stories from people who benefitted from SCHOOL MUSIC programs will help the cause.

Freedom is Slavery

Another one of my readers offers up the following to this blog's ongoing discussion of the book 1984.
Anonymous Blogger's definition of doublethink needs tweaking. It is not precisely believing something to be true that you know is false, but something equally paradoxical. It's the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs in one's head at the same time, and accept both of them.

Essentially, this means one lets the Party think for you. If you can satisfy yourself that there is no objective reality, then there is no "truth" or "falseness" and anything can be true or false at the same time.

Orwell based the world of doublethink on Stalin's Russia and their dupes in the West -- who, of course, were famous for telling the most outrageous lies and seeming to believe them. We now know, however, that few of them were really practicing doublethink in the true sense of the world. They were either outright liars, who knew the truth but refused to say it, or powerless followers who just mouthed the Party line out of sheer fear of death.

I guess Anonyblog is anti-Bush because of his dismissal of U.S. foreign policy as doublethink, but this isn't the right description. If you think Bush is spouting untruths, then you should rightfully call it lying, not doublethink. Actually, one group of people in the world today who actually DO seem to practice doublethink are the United States' enemies.

I'm thinking, of course, about Islamic terrorists and their supporters. On the one hand, they believe the massacre of Westerners is a delightful thing. On the other hand, they didn't do it! It was the Jews' fault! So you have people who seem to sincerely believe that Bin Laden was a hero for attacking New York, and also that 5,000 Jews (or 10,000, or 2,000, or whatever) were given advance warning by Mossad and stayed home on Sept. 11.

Saturday blahs

I'm having one of those days where sadness prevails. My heart is heavy with I'm not sure what. I feel myself sinking, spiraling down deep into a well of tiredness. I'm not sure what is wrong. I thought working would help me get away from myself a little bit. It's helping, but just the littlest bit. At least I know I have nothing to fear at work on Monday because I'll be ahead of the game and that will help me rest easy on Sunday night.

Perhaps I just have the blahs and I'm hoping more than anything, it has to do with the weather. It's getting cooler and overcast. It looks like snow is heading our way. I haven't heard the weather forecast so I'm not sure but I feel it in my body and in my bones. Our bodies are the best barometers.

Yeah. That's good. For now, I'll blame it on the weather.

It's easier to feel victim that way.


The Anonymous Blogger (link to the right) offered this discussion in response to my post on reading 1984 (see below, in italics). In it, he elaborates further on the subject of dystopian literature.

Thank you for your input. If you would like to participate in this discussion, you can email me at the above address and I will gladly post what you have to say with regard to the below subject.


Orwell's 1984 was the first known piece of literature about a Dystopian future (a theme found throughout much sci-fi nowadays). He was very much influenced by the rise of Communism (even more evident in his novel "Animal Farm", which is also a good read). It's very much about the dangers of GroupThink. The concept of "doublethink", in which you believe something to be true despite the fact you know it's wrong, is still relevant today (particular with the President's foreign policy).

Fahrenheit 451 has many similarities to 1984 (other than the use of numbers in the title), but I think Bradbury was trying to present the idea in a different way. People in 1984 were afraid of the government and did what they were told. People in Fahrenheit 451 WANTED to not think and just watch their wall-sized TVs and not concern themselves with new concepts.

Orwell's society is forced. Bradbury's is (mostly) voluntary. A version of the future closer to Bradbury's can be seen in Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World".

The Story of Bread

Jon turned me on to a new link which I have posted to your right. It's and from what I can tell, it's run by James Lileks who is just funny.

Mr. Lileks version of the Story of Bread made me laugh so loud my neighbor came down to ask me if I was alright (this didn't actually happen).

I also enjoyed the post below.

Just because

just because it's funny.

thank you for yet another good laugh.

The Nightmare Before New Year's.

'Tis the season to be shopping. Fa la la fooey.

The holiday shopping season has begun.

Don't you love Capitalism? (bah humbug) Thank goodness Christ was born otherwise we'd have no infrastructure.

November 28, 2003

A Day Off

I did not go into the office.

I did not clean out my filing cabinet at home.

I did not take care of that paperwork piling up next to my desk.

I did not scrub my house from top to bottom (actually I did that yesterday).

I did take a nice, relaxing bath at 2:30 in the afternoon.

I did lie down on my couch and start reading my book.

I did fall asleep around 3pm and stayed asleep until 5pm.

I did listen to the rain for 10 minutes before I decided to get up.

Times Sq. sightseeing

If any of you are walking around Times Square, which otherwise should not be walked around in, make sure you check out the big Air France billboards at Seventh Ave. and 50th St. One shows a beautiful, goddess-like babe peeling an orange, out of which flies a jetliner. But you have to look at it closely to realize the unpeeled skin on the orange forms a perfect world map.

This ad alone goes many miles toward improving Franco-American diplomacy.


I am reading 1984 for the first time.

Somehow, I managed to skirt reading it in school. I know it's part of the curriculum but I was in all these English classes for advanced students that assumed I'd read a lot of books that we were supposed to have read.

The book is excellent. As much as I love science fiction that explores a future of incredible technoligical advances and utopian society scenarios, I also love the books that present an anti-utopian future. These books also include technological advances but the authors of these books imagine that technology will be used against us instead of to help us.

In 1984, Orwell imagines nothing good about the future and he anticipates that television will be used to spy on us instead of entertain us. Television is a tool the government uses to disseminate it's brainwashing propaganda discouraging individuality and freedom of thought and ideas.

Another author that imagines a dismal future is Ray Bradbury. In the story of Farenheit 451, the government burns books because again individuality is considered a threat.

In both, although I haven't yet finished 1984, the protagonist works for the government but starts questioning the vailidity of their work and mistrusting the government and ultimately this questioning of their world leads to trouble.

Anyway, I'm enjoying 1984. It's smart and interesting and I'll probably finish it before the day is over.

That is of course if I don't decide to go into work for a few hours, which part of me hopes happens and a stronger part of me is fighting.

November 27, 2003

Being Catty

It has come to my attention that readers have been discussing mistakes I'm making on my site. Actually, it's just one reader who is also a friend. I would invite this reader/friend to write to me directly when he finds mistakes I've made so I can remove them and correct them and not look foolish. I prefer that over finding out about them over drunken bar conversation.

You know who you are.

New Link

I link to James Cassell's blog because I am interested in what this nice 15 year old boy has to say about his life and about the world. I find his niceness not necessarily refreshing because that would give you the idea that I am disenchanted about this current crop of teenagers.

Generally, I think that his niceness is reflection of what is right with kids today. He is an accurate representation of young adults we don't often hear about. He is an accurate representation of what it means to be young in American.

He links to a page by Marshall Brain who also has an interesting view of the world. So, I invite you to visit Marshall Brain's blog for a look into the interests of a creative and intelligent world of a 21st century teenager.

I hope that one day James realizes that I've linked to his page and that he tries to get in touch with me.

Thanksgiving Day

Today is Thanksgiving.

My friends Caren and Dawn wrote lovely posts about what they are thankful. They have inspired me to do the same.

I am thankful that I finally got a decent job and that I didn't have to move back home with my parents. At 36 years of age, one should not have to do that. So, thank you universe for setting into motion the events that led me to my current job.

I am thankful for my new friends. You know who you are.

I am thankful for bar trivia. I am having so much fun playing and co-hosting. I finally discovered something that I really, really enjoy doing with a group of other people. I never thought that would happen.

I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my unborn nephew (who will be with us shortly).

And most of all, I am thankful for blogging. Without blogging, I wouldn't have been able to write these words of thanks that you are now reading in the comfort of your own home only seconds after I've written them down. That's pretty exciting.

Parade coverage.

CBS is showing commercials for it's ice skating championship coming on sometime soon.

They announced,"It's the Russians vs. the Canadians!!!"

Hmmmm. I wonder if they are going to have French judges.

Random dialogue

Valerie asks: Notice how Littlefoot the dinosaur never gets older, even after 12 or so cartoon movies in "Land Before Time"?

Jon answers: Well, that's because it takes place before time existed! Duh!

November 25, 2003

Smarts on Display

On the evening before Thanksgiving, Wednesday 26th, 2003 at 7:30 p.m., people from all over New York City will be gathering at Dempsey's Pub to exercise their first amendment right to gather in a public place and participate in a peaceful demonstration of their smarts.

Drinking and Thinking, a weekly gathering of New Yorkers, led by Janet Rosen, a book agent and comedian currently appearing at various venues in NYC, will feature the co-hosting talents of Valerie Goodman, a young marketing professional and amateur writer.

Drinking and Thinking takes place every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Dempsey's Pub, 61 Second Ave. (between E. 3rd and E. 4th Sts.) Based on the "conventional" model of bar trivia, it features five fast rounds of 10 questions each. It's been going strong at Dempsey's Pub since February, when it was launched by Jon Blackwell and Janet Rosen.

November 24, 2003

Courtesy of my Mother

20 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and Point A Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with That.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone Has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch To Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For Sexual Favors"

7. Finish All Your Sentences With "In Accordance With The Prophecy."

8. Don't Use Any Punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10... Ask People What Sex They Are. Laugh Hysterically After They Answer.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play Tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Hard.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won!, I Won!"

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking Lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."

Monday, Monday, Monday

Good morning.
Today is Monday, November 24, 2003.

Today we will be invoicing, reconciling bills, filing, and entering hours from people's time sheets.

I am ready for it. This weekend was extremely restful and nurturing.

What a difference 2 days make, 48 little hours.........

Remind me to tell you all later about how I'm co-hosting at Dempsey's Pub, Thinking and Drinking, (trivia night) this Wednesday night coming.

November 22, 2003

Time Bandits

Jon told me today that he has a vivid memory of the 20th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination (by the way, that word always makes me giggle because of the recurrence of ass). This came up in conversation because I was talking about a startling realization I had earlier today about getting older but I'll get back to that. After telling me about this memory from 1983, he pointed out that in 2003 we are as many years away from the 20th anniversary as the 20th anniversary was from the event. That made him feel old.

Here is what made me feel old. I realized, walking through Madison Square Park, on my way to the subway after work, that the children I babysat as a teenager are all grown up and conceivably having children of their own. Also, the children I took care of at the Children's Center at SUNY Purchase (I worked with the two year olds) are probably getting ready to take their SAT's and preparing for college.


November 21, 2003

It's The End of the Week As We Know It.

Today is Friday!!

I never thought this day would come. I feel like I've been working for a month this week.

Now I'm looking forward to settling in for a wonderful Friday night. I will be joined later by that special someone on whom I'm counting for plentiful and meaningful hugs. Perhaps I will make my famous potato tomato soup for us to enjoy or perhaps I will order food in.

I've been eating out and ordering out so much lately, however, it might be nice to actually spend a few moments in my kitchen preparing a nice meal.

I have to start my work day now but I have a feeling I'll be visiting this site later to share my views on the current Michael Jackson situation. I'm so surprised at what is going on with him. I just didn't see that coming. Who would have thought that he would ever be suspected of and arrested for molesting children and cancer patients no less.

Later dudes.....

November 20, 2003

as written by M
(copyright 2003)

So your mommy told you not
to sit on a public toilet.
Some of you listened.
Good girls!

Some of you also listened to your mommy
when she repeated that ageless rhyme:
If you sprinkle while you tinkle,
please be neat and wipe the seat.

Good girls!

Some of you are very very very bad girls
because you didn't listen to your mommy about this.

Which makes it a very disgusting mess
for those of us
who don't do as our mommies tell us
and do sit on the seats.
And most of us do wipe the seats
(before and after)
because we know what it is like
to sit in your tinkle.

So please ladies.
Listen to your mommies.
Don't date bad men.
Don't do drugs.
Don't belittle yourselves.

And for goodness sake,

November 19, 2003

Happy Birthday Matthew!!!

Today is my little brother's birthday.

Join me in wishing him a beautiful day and a beautiful year to come, especially since he is going to become a daddy very shortly.

I'm very proud of him and love him a whole a bunch. (sniff)

Note this!

Today is Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday.
It will be a fun day, fun day.........

Awww heck!! Who am I kidding? It's Wednesday. It's the middle of the work week and I'm tired.

If you have been following my blog you know that I hosted trivia last night at the Baggott Inn. This was enjoyable.

I was in charge of three categories; general knowledge, top ten list, and the audio round. I guess I can post the questions. That would be the best way for the reader to get a feel for what happened. So here it is. My general knowledge round......

1. In what city is the Taj Majal located?
Agra, India
2. In filmdom, there is a legendary couple named Nick and Nora Charles. They were the title characters of the Thin Manmovies. What was the name of their dog?
3. What is the 5th letter of the Greek alphabet?
4. What is the French word for born often used to indicate a woman's maiden name?
5. In what popular tourist wine growing region will you find the towns of Calistoga, St.Helena, Oakville, Rutherford and Yountville?
Napa Valley
6. Volcanologists study, monitor and write about this volcano more than any other in the world. Name it.
Mt. Etna
7. She's been acting on Broadway and in movies since 1938. She won two Tonys, one of them for the role of Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", and has most been recently been seen guest-starring in "Oz." But she's best known as the co-founder, along with her husband Herbert Bergdorf, of HB Studios, an acting school in the West Village. Who is she?
Uta Hagen
8. They are the only brothers to play three at a time in the same team's outfield -- the San Francisco Giants in the 1960s. Who are they?
Alou (Felipe, Jesus and Matty. Felipe manages the Giants now)
9. 362 billion of them have been sold since 1912 making them the best selling cookies of all time. What cookie am I talking about?
10. What abbreviation is given to faster-than-sound passenger aircraft such as the late, not-so-lamented Concorde?

I fashioned the questions around answers you often find in crossword puzzles.

My top ten list was to name the 10 first ladies after Eleanor Roosevelt.

My audio round - well, here are the answers to that......
1. The Blue Danube - Strauss
2. The Messiah - Hallelujah Chorus - Handel
3. The Moonlight Sonata - Beethovan
4. The Valkyrie - Ride of the Valkyries - Wagner
5. Romeo and Juliet - Capulets and Montegues - Prokofiev
6. The 1812 Overture - Conclusion - Tchaikovsky
7. William Tell Overture - Rossini
8. The Flight of the Bumblebee - Rimsky Korsakov
9. Requiem - Mozart
10. The Four Seasons - Vivaldi

Caren, the master of ceremonies, took on the current events and Visual rounds. Her visual round consisted of 10 city maps, which the players had to identify.

A few people came up to me afterwards to compliment me on the classical music round. Usually the music is more contemporary (70's and 80's) so I thought it would be interesting to shake things up a bit and it worked out well. A couple of people tried to argue that Ride of the Valkyries was indeed "Flight", but I double and triple checked and I was indeed right. Indeed, the title of this movement from Wagner's Valkyrie is Ride of the Valkyries. So, if you were thinking about complaining, feel free, but you would be wrong.

All in all, this was a highscoring game, which didn't surprise me. Last night's group was very bright.

Next week's co-host is excellent. I don't know if he wants me to mention his name on line so for now I'll keep him listed as "next week's co-host". But I can guarantee you that you will feel challenged, smart and popular by the end of the evening. What more could one ask for in an evening's entertainment?