August 31, 2005

Katrina Tears

The aftermath of Katrina is so devastating . . . my prayers go out to the Mississippi and Lousiana families whose lives have been forever altered by Katrina's path.

I watched an hour of MSNBC - Chris Matthews discussing New Orleans. Heart breaking.

I needed a break so switched over to "So You Think You Can Dance". Total bubble gum for the brain.

When I switched over to NBC for Law and Order it was actually more coverage of the hurricane damage. Just totally heart breaking.

Katrina and the Wave of Looting

The recent stories of looting, coming out New Orleans, in the aftermath of Katrina, are upsetting but not surprising. People are freaked out. I know there are people taking advantage of the situation by stealing things they could never afford, but I've also read that people are scavenging for supplies. Their whole world has been devastated. Have you seen the pictures of New Orleans? But can't you really be judgemental of people that are looting grocery stores to feed their families; that don't necessarily understand what's going on; that haven't been contacted regarding relief; that don't know where they are going to move; that are grief stricken because their homes have been destroyed; that have no electricity?
We're not there. We can understand from the comfort of our dry homes the images we see on our televisions - that New Orleans suffered great damage but we can't really understand what it's like to go through such complete devastation. I know I can't. I haven't experienced anything remotely close to that on the physical level. We don't know how we would behave or I guess most of don't know.

If my hypothetical children needed some food, water and dry clothes and relief wasn't coming fast enough I would have to find a way to get some. However, If my friend needed a television they would be shit out of luck.

Food, provisions, dry sundries - YES.
Electronics - NO.

August 28, 2005

The Progress Wedding

Well. We got some work done toward the wedding this weekend.

Saturday, I went to the bridal salon for my first fitting. Sadly, my sales person advised us to buy the wrong size which we bought in a larger size than my actual size and was still too small yesterday in spite of my loss of three inches from all measured points of my body. I was so mad when I tried on the dress and it was too tight in the hips - I started crying and clenching my fists. I was so mad, I asked to be left alone for 5 or 10 minutes. I was freaked out. We left with the seamstress assuring me that I will be a happy bride. I'm not sure.

I really didn't feel better until my mom and I went to a formal dress shop in Farmingdale, Long Island. When I saw that they had wedding dresses in my size on the rack I felt much better, because now I have a backup plan in case things don't work out with my dress and worse comes to worse, I'll just go up to Steinway Street and rent an ivory tuxedo dress.

Today went well. I hired a makeup artist and hair stylist for the day of. Here is how I'll look on the day of my wedding, minus the whole bridal getup of course.
Hair and makeup trial

August 26, 2005

Morning Walk - Captured Moments

I took a lot of pictures yesterday during my walk. My company is building a new website and I was trying to capture some of the hustle and bustle of New York. Here are some of the pictures that didn't make the cut. Well, most of them didn't but anyway. . . .

I mostly walked down Park Avenue. I got stuck walking behind these two guys. For some reason I couldn't get past them so I decided to make the best of it - by photographing their backsides. I liked this shot of their feet the best.

For the first time yesterday, I started to really pay attention to what's going on on Park Avenue. I had a job once in a great building on 46th and Park and used to know it pretty well, but it's been a while. The corporate art has changed quite a bit and is starting to get a little weird as you can see below. The Haring sculptures aren't that bad - I mean they are colorful and fun, but I think they are definitely out of context. They don't fit in with their surroundings although they do brighten up the Lever House quite a bit. This other piece - I was so distracted by it, I can't even tell you what building is hosting this large and creepy piece of sculpture of a half flayed pregnant woman.
Lever House Haringweird sculpture

Above the Met Life building (formerly the Pan Am building for those of you over 35 years of age that might remember the time when the airlines ruled the business world) Park Avenue is beautiful, below Park - don't even bother. If you come to New York, your visit should include a nice walk up Park Avenue starting at the Helmsley actually. This building at East 49th put flower pots on every lamp post. It's beautiful and adds quality to a normally stressful business commute.
Park Flowers

And Grand Central - it's a just a beautiful old building. Arches are predominant in the architecture giving the eye a break from the hard, rectangular buildings of the city. Also the height ceilings and marble walls not only make it cooler than the hot summer air around it, but also create a sense of space, seriously lacking in NYC. Space is a costly luxury here.
grand centralgrand central 2

59th St. Bridge

A couple of snaps from yesterday's walk.

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Scary Squirrel

Yesterday morning, Jon and I walked by this scary squirrel - eating into a sound blanket.
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Then after he caught me taking his picture, he ran down to the sidewalk and started charging toward us. I thought he was going to take my camera and smash it in on the ground to destroy the evidence.

August 25, 2005

What's The Magic Word?

So far, so good.

The day goes well.

We walked the walk - Astoria, 59th St. Bridge, Chelsea.

Work - easy day, going well.

Other people? Well - I just came back from buying a bottle of water. Several people got in the elevator with me. I pushed 5 and two others pushed the button for their floors. One guy muttered "three". Of course, I responded by just pushing 3. But as soon as started out of hte elevator, I said to the others, in a tone loud enough for the exiting guy to hear - "He could have at least said 3 please." Then I muttered the word punk just as the door was closing, hopefully loud enough for that punk to hear me.

Honestly. My passive aggressive behavior notwithstanding, could that punk have been ruder?

I don't think so.

August 24, 2005

My Wedding Shoe

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Myrna Loy
You scored 19 grit, 23 wit, 33 flair, and 38 class!
You are class itself, the calm, confident "perfect woman." Men turn and look at you admiringly as you walk down the street, and even your rivals have a grudging respect for you. You always know the right thing to say, do and, of course, wear. You can take charge of a situation when things get out of hand, and you're a great help to your partner even if they don't immediately see or know it. You are one classy dame. Your screen partners include William Powell and Cary Grant, you little simmerpot, you.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the Classic Leading Man Test.

The Classic Dames Test

E = MC Hammer

The above was the name of the winning team from last night's trivia game. It was also the name of my team. I don't mean to brag but we scored 43 out of 50 points, a minimum of 10 points ahead of the second place team. We had an excellent combination of people, although two of them spent most of the evening catching up with each other and not contributing much at all. But that's okay too. Because we all love each other and that's all that matters.
Getting home from trivia was not so much fun although I did discover that from W. 4th the D train runs express to the 34th St. station on 6th ave. where I transfer for the N or W trains. That said, the D train pulled in seconds after I arrived at W. 4th lulling me into a false sense of optimism about how the trains were running. When I did transfer at 34th street I had to wait at least 10 minutes for my N train. Not that is a terribly long time but IT FELT LIKE A LONG TIME DUE TO THE INHUMAN STENCH AND HEAT OF THAT PLATFORM. People were wilting all up and down the station. It was hot, hot, hot!!! Did I mention it was hot? Because it was and very. Once the train got there and I escaped the OVEN into the blissful cool of the air conditioned car, the train moved slowly through the tunnels meaning that by the time we reached Lexington Avenue, the train was packed. This is because when trains move slowly, people gather in large groups waiting for the slow train, so at every station you pick up large groups of angry, hot and sweaty, tired commuters.

I was sitting so that's good but I was squashed so that's bad. I did get home eventually but it took a long time and I was uncomfortable. I was home by 10:30, considering I started out from W. 4th at 9:45 - isn't really that bad.

I just hate that 34th street station.

Morning Walk or Feeling Groovy

Jon woke up early so he could walk me to work this morning. The weather was perfect - cool breeze, blue sky, light fluffy clouds. It took us exactly 2 hours. We walked over the 59th Street bridge again. When the traffic is moving it's very noisy. I prefer the noise level when traffic is at a standstill. But it was a good walk overall.
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August 23, 2005

The Progress Wedding

My dress is finally in. I got the call yesterday. First fitting is scheduled for this Saturday, so I just need to lose 40 more pounds by then. Wish me luck!!

August 22, 2005

Death of a Shopping Cart

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I moved into Astoria 12 years ago - a studio apartment in an old building in a nice part of town. It was my first apartment - well, the first time I lived on my own. My family was supportive and they gave me gifts to make my life easier. One of those gifts was a shopping cart from my Aunt. I don't know how old the shopping cart was, easily 20 years old when she gave it to me. About 3 weeks ago, that shopping cart fell to pieces while Jon was bringing home the laundry. But don't be sad, because yesterday Jon bought us a new shopping cart. It's nice - turquoise with a rubber grip. We should have it for the next 30 years.

99 cent stores

One of the many cool things about living in Astoria, Queens is the over abundance of 99 cent stores. You can't walk two blocks without walking past one. Saturday was no different. Near the post office on 21st street, an Indian family converted the C-Town into a ginormous discount store. They are still getting things together and until they do, the store is really charming. Because for right now, they still have signs like this
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and this
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August 20, 2005

Lazy Saturday Revival

It's been a while since I've had a lazy day. I started by watching Kill Bill after I woke up. Again, it wasn't a truly lazy day but if you look at the condition of our apartment you would definitely think so. Anyway. Here is the sequence of my exciting day in New York City.

woke up around 9:30
watched Kill Bill around 10:00
went to the post office around 12:30
went to the gym around 1
went to the grocery store around 2
unpacked groceries around 3
watched Devil's Advocate around 4
internet around 7 and here I still am.

Tonight will involve gathering and sorting laundry, cooking Tilapia in one of my new cool pans.

I'll cook it with butter and garlic while the rice cooks itself in my new rice cooker and prepare some asparagus on the side. There might also be a salad depending on Jon's appetite.


August 19, 2005

The Progress Wedding

I set up a trial with a makeup artist recommended by my hair stylist.

The day the makeup artist tries her hand at my face, is the day my hair stylist will find the right hairdo for my veil - my veil is being lent to me by sweet sister-in-law and it should match my dress perfectly.

Morning Walk

60th St. and Fifth Avenue down to 25th and Broadway.

Everyone is Fried by Friday

I am so glad it's Friday. Not only is it the end of the work week, but it is also pay day. Image hosted by

By show of hands, let me see who doesn't like to get paid. That's what I thought.
Jon and I walked over the 59th Street bridge yesterday morning. It was such a beautiful morning. Jon woke up really early to keep me company on the walk which was very supportive. I bought a cool new toy to keep me company so I can take exceedingly long walks by myself. Turns out jogging on an elliptical machine 1 hour at a time isn't enough for me to lose more weight, so now I'm going to try exceedlingly long walks to see if that does this trick. And what better time of day to walk than in the morning. One day I'll be thin and hopefully that day will be the day of my wedding.

August 18, 2005

Winner of Caption Contest

Banana Man
That's not a Banana in my pocket, that IS my pocket.
author of
New York White Trash
oddly obsessed with Banana Man

Christopher Walken for President HOAX

If this source is correct, the website announcing Christopher Walken's bid for the 2008 presidential election is a hoax.

I'm actually a little bummed. I think I would have voted for him.

The Progress Wedding

Moving forward slowly.

I talked to my hotel today and tied up some loose ends.

My dress is coming in next week. Hopefully.

The deejay - we started those discussions last week.

The temple - we'll be discussing the final touches with the clergy and the catering staff shortly.

It's coming's coming together.

August 16, 2005

Random Picture

Saratoga Mask

Christopher Walken for President 2008

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I couldn't believe it (pause) when I saw one of the campaign (pause) posters on someone else's website. I thought for (pause) sure it was a joke, that someone was making (pause) fun of the upcoming 2008 election.

But (pause) yes. It's (pause) true.

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Christopher Walken is indeed running for President in 2008.

August 15, 2005

Saratoga Springs

A Day At the Races
This weekend we went to the race trackin Saratoga Springs. Jon's been telling me about how on Sundays the track has giveaways and that people pay the $3 admission just to get whatever the giveaway is and then spin around and pay admission again to get another souvenir. Turns out the technical term for these people is SPINNERS. Turns out that yesterday was blanket day and the track was giving away these chinzy red Saratoga blankets. You wouldn't believe the MOB that showed up. I saw some of these SPINNERS walking away from the track with up to 20 blankets. Several people on line and Jon commented that they've never seen the track this crowded, that it's never like that, that usually they just have to wait a minute or two before they get it. But Sunday was blanket day.

People were losing their minds for these blankets. We waited on line for an hour before we got to the admission gate. When we were getting close I turned around and shot this. Look at those faces. There is not a happy one in the bunch. Or actually there is ONE happy one in the bunch and I think it's because she is eating ice cream.

For the most part it wasn't that unpleasant. The weather was nice and the people around us somewhat amusing. The only unfortunate part was standing behind this guy. Even from behind I could tell he was a little unfriendly.


Oompah Loompah Doopity DUPE

I've got another riddle for YUPE.

This guy liked the movie Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory so much, that he lied about being in it for years.

August 12, 2005

Harry's Burrito's - Interior

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Harry's Burritos - 75 W. 3rd Street

I like to come here before I host trivia at the Baggot Inn on Tuesday nights. I usually sit in the far corner where I can be alone and unwind after work and gather myself for the evening ahead of me. I like everything on the menu but I am especially fond of the avocado salad, which consists of crunchy romaine lettuce, sliced avocado and salsa dressing.

August 6, 2003

I missed my own BLOG's birthday. Shame on me.I started this blog in August 6, 2003 because some people I met and like also had blogs.

Here is a link to my first post.

Reading it this morning, I realized I wrote longer posts in the beginning. Now, I generally keep it short because I don't have as much time as I used to. Like right now, it's after 8 and I'm not dressed yet because I've been surfing blogs and thinking of this topic for this post. So, I have to cut this short and get dressed.

What will I wear today?

I don't know. I was thinking of wearing a dress because I wear them so rarely except for this week.

Wednesday - skirt.
Thursday - dress.

August 11, 2005

Who is Banana Man?

My picture of a man dressed as a banana has sparked some sort fanaticism for someone named Banana Man, but I'm not sure who he is. So I googled him and I'm still having trouble figuring out who he is.

IT could be this guy.
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or this guy?
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or this guy
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or this guy even.
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Triffids Dry

Well. I finished Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. It was awesome. The author took me back in time to a place he invented. It really is a good piece of 1950's dystopic sci-fi. You will read this book and believe that the majority of mankind was blinded by a mysterious comet shower and that ne'er do well plants are taking over the earth.

This week's book of choice is DRY by Augusten Burroughs. It's the continuation of his memoir. I've never been addicted to alcohol, I hardly really drink much at all. This book is about his struggle with alcholism. He writes in a way that makes his life relatable. I've only just started the book. If you have ever had to deal with anxiety, lonliness and/or depression, you should be able to relate to the book as well.

Caption Contest (continues)

The contest is still open. Below are some of the submissions.

Banana Man
Banana Power!!!

Trying on bridesmaid's dresses is so hard. Next time I'm going to Macy's

Potassium strikes back...
Peel this, punk!

This goes to prove that you are what you eat.

That's not a Banana in my pocket, that IS my pocket.

August 10, 2005

Getting Over the Hump

Monday night - 3 hour meeting with our DJ
Tuesday night - hosted Tuesday night trivia

Wednesday night?
Watching TV.

I finished Day of the Triffids. It was excellent. The author transported me back in time to a world he invented - a truly great piece of dystopic 50's sci-fi. This week, my book of choice is DRY by Augusten Burroughs, a continuation of his life's memoir.

August 09, 2005

Tuesday Night Trivia

Dear Diary,

Tonight I hosted trivia with Caren. It was fun.

There were many people there. They had fun. They were nice.

Before trivia I was at work and I worked the whole day. I am tired.

After work, I had dinner at Harry's Burritos. I had a burrito. It was good.

Good night.

August 08, 2005

The Progress Wedding

We just had a meeting with our dee-jay to start planning the music for our wedding. We enjoyed listening to the different music we could use for the different wedding activities we have planned. We chose the song for our first dance; made some preliminary choices for my dance with my father and Jon's dance with his mother; considered some clever selections for cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet, and throwing the garter; started planning the music for the reception, etc.

What a relief. I feel like we got so much done tonight. I have three meetings set up with florist for Sept 3 - meetings that my mother and I will be attending together. Our photographer is already on board and should be giving us our engagement photos any day now. My dress should be coming in soon. The temple is reserved and has been. The caterer is ready to go. Now we just have to work on the small details like hair and makeup, wedding rings, etc.

If anyone tells you that you need a year to plan a wedding, they are wrong. The only thing that might take a year may be getting the place that you absolutely have your heart set on. But if you are pretty easy going about the locale or you're not that fussy about your dress, then you really can do it in a few months.

R.I.P. Peter Jennings

1938 - 2005

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He quit smoking 20 years ago and lung cancer still got him in the end. If you haven't quit smoking yet, you should . . . right now.

August 05, 2005

Day of the Triffids

Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince was a good book. I finished in about five days and that's no small feat considering I was reading it mostly only during my commutes to and from work.

After a two day wait, following the end of HP, I picked up a memoir I had been reading before HP's arrival - Growing Up by Russell Baker. While charming it wasn't holding my attention. I didn't know what I was going to do.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comUntil two days ago - when Jon brought me a great book from the library. The book is called Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham and it's an absolutely brilliant piece of 1950's science fiction. When I was kid, every now and then the movie based on the book would play on television and this movie was the kind a kid like me would find utterly fascinating. It was about the Earth being taken over by enormous walking plants after the planet's inhabitants had been mysteriously blinded by a meteor shower. I remember this movie as being fantastic but I think others categorize it as some kind of "B" horror movie. The movie tells the story a little bit differently than the book and I can already see the book is better.

If you are looking to buy the film Day of the Triffids, it's very expensive but it's worth it. If you're looking to read the book, you can get it free at your local library.

August 04, 2005

Martha, Martha, Martha

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Martha Stewart can't keep herself out of the news.

The latest?

Her house arrest has been extended 3 weeks - until the end of August.


The reports I read don't say why although they allude to a Yoga class she was seen attending and on offroad vehicle she was seen riding.

Whether or not these were violations is not known.

August 03, 2005

Snuppy is not a play on Snoopy's name

It stands for Seoul National University puppy. Korea cloned a dog and for some bizarre reason they chose an Afghan Hound.
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Personally, I would have gone with something smaller and less hairy like a Chihuahua.

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Easing into Wednesday Morning

I'm sorry I missed Tuesday Night Trivia last night. Two very good friends of mine hosted but alas between worrying about the wedding, stressing out about getting into shape and just feeling generally blah last night, I couldn't gather myself enough to get there.

Regarding worrying about the wedding. . .I am working on it so I know there is no need to worry but there is always the fear that I'm not working hard enough.

Getting in shape . . .I thought by working out last night, I might alleviate some of that stress hoping that the blah feeling that led to feeling ill would vanish. It worked. I worked out on the elliptical machine for 50 minutes. About 40 minutes into it I started getting that runner's high feeling. It took so long for me to get there and then it only lasted a little less than 10 minutes. I ran into my trainer who has officially adopted me as his older sister now and programmed my new cell phone number into his Blackberry type device.

On the way home from the gym I ran into an old teaching friend who I haven't spoken to in three years. She was well and it was nice to catch up with her. She filled me on who is doing what and how much worse it is at the old school I taught at now that the teachers are using some new mandatory pain in the ass curriculum, probably the same CRAPPY curriculum I was using at the CRAP school I taught at in Long Island City.

So now it's Wednesday morning, I'm at the office and my boss is not. He is taking a well deserved vacation. Nobody works harder at this office than he does. With that said, I hope to get a lot done this week for him. Cleaning files, compiling lists of things to do and then crossing things off the list when I'm done, etcetera.

But I'm easing into it. I felt so much stress yesterday, I'm hoping for a low-impact, stress-free day today.

August 02, 2005

Under control

Dress - the salon will call me when the dress comes in. there is still time.

Flowers - started making inquiries

Dee Jay - made appointment to see him on Monday

Hotel - my amazing Maid of Honor is taking charge

All the other details will get done.

Wedding Freak Out Time

Dress: Ordered months ago, still not in

Rings: Not yet

Flowers: Not yet

Hotel: Still trying to add more rooms to the block

Invitations: Not yet

Ushers' Tuxes: Not yet

Invite List: Still not finalized

Dee Jay: Hasn't been returning our calls

Photographer: Okay. That part is fine. Whew!