June 28, 2008

Work Your Way Through The Pile

I just read this article about how multi-tasking is making us less efficient.

I have a friend whose work philosophy was work your way through the pile, one paper at a time. This was a very efficient person who used to get lots and lots accomplished but not someone you would ever consider a multi-tasker. My friend may have been on to something.

I have a different friend who claims to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - whines about it quite frequently actually.

Perhaps this friend is showing signs of a new condition identified as "Attention Deficit Trait".

Read about it here - The Myth of Multitasking"


Hot, hazy and humid weather plagues us. Hopefully, tomorrow's rains will clear the air and next week we will enjoy nicer weather.

I have not been bike riding - mostly because of laziness, sometimes because of nervousness.

But I went out twice this week, both times with Jon. On Wednesday we rode all the way to Flushing Meadow Park. We stopped to rest at the Unisphere and while I was drinking some water I spotted a red tail hawk. It was perched on the branch of a tree located next to the entrance to the Queens Museum of Art. That was cool. Apparently, there is a pair nesting in the Unisphere.

Today, I'm working my last show of the week at In The Heights.

I've been lucky with my work schedule. Last week, right after the Tony's, I worked at Gypsy. Patti Lupone, Laura Benanti and Boyd Gaines all won awards for playing, Mamma Rose, Gypsy Rose Lee and Herbie respectively. When Patti Lupone made her entrance on Tuesday night within the first five minutes of the show, she received a standing ovation. She broke character for one second, bowed quickly to the audience and then said, "Save your energy." I know breaking character is bad, but she had to do something. It's a three hour show, and unions demand overtime if show runs long. It worked. Everyone sat down and the show continued.

This week, I've been working at In The Heights, which won awards for Best Musical, Best Choreography, Best Original Score and Best Orchestration. All the awards are well deserved. I wasn't particularly surprised that this show won for Best New Musical because it is. It's been selling out since before the Tony's. It's the hot ticket to get - all discounts have been discontinued. But I bet if you wait a few months (the show is not going anywhere) you'll be able to see the show at a discount. Tickets cost $122 for orchestra. If you're got the money go for it, but if not, just wait.

Next week, I'm working at Passing Strange which won a Tony award for Best Book of a Musical. I really, really like this show. And I also recommend this one.

Go see a Broadway show this summer.

June 27, 2008

Vexillia Sock Monsters Blog

I started a blog for my sock monsters, so you don't have to read about that here anymore.

Check it out.

Vexillia Sock Monsters

June 26, 2008

Pfli is a Star

Pfli has been featured in an Etsy treasury. Treasuries are chosen by Etsy members.

Check it out here. Ack!! Monsters!!!!!!!!

Who wants to be a millionaire?

I do. And I'm auditioning to be a contestant for that show on Tuesday night. I am starting to get really nervous and excited. First, I have to take a timed written test. Next, if I pass that test,I will be interviewed. Then, if that goes really well, I may be interviewed on camera.

*Deep breath*

I've been watching the show these last two weeks. The early questions can be really tricky. I'm hoping that if and when I get on the show, the tricky questions will be ones that I know the answers to or that I can guess correctly.

*Deep breath*

On my questionaire, where they asked what about me makes me unique, I answered that I make sock monsters and that I met my husband playing bar trivia. What makes people unique? Unless they are dedicating their lives to building wells in Ethiopia, people are pretty much the same. So hopefully, sock monsters will make me unique.


Schmooey and me.
Schmooey is my smallest monster yet. He's only 5 inches tall.
{You could see I got a little sunburn yesterday bike riding}.

June 24, 2008

New Monsters

HipHop looks like a bunny but surely he is not. He doesn't have a white fluffy tail. And he is missing a bunny's characteristic whiskers and pink nose. However, his monster genus has the same origins as a bunny. That's why they look so similar. HipHop likes carrots and is fiercely protective of whoever is taking care of him.

This is Pfli. He's a social monster which is why he is hanging out with the other monsters pictured. Although he is pink, he is very much a boy in that he likes to get into trouble - on purpose. We caught him rearranging the shirts in my dresser right after we caught him in the bathroom unrolling all the toilet paper.

June 23, 2008

We Had A Party

We had some people over on Saturday night and I think it went okay. If you weren't invited please don't feel bad. I was trying to keep the numbers down, so we could keep the noise level to a minimum. Everyone took off their shoes at my request, although I'm not sure how much that really helps. I offered socks to anyone who needed them. One pair of socks went home as a gift and the other - well, the other will be converted into a sock monster. We haven't had any negative feedback yet, so I guess we're in the clear. The last guest left around 11:40 so I think we succeeded in keeping within reasonably party hour guidelines.

Again, please don't feel bad if you weren't included. We'll be planning more intimate get-togethers with the people we couldn't invite, which is the type of party I prefer anyway. I'm not really into large social gatherings - especially hosting them. I find that very difficult. And you don't really get to talk to anyone. And very often you don't get to eat when you host a party. I think I ate more at my wedding than I did on Saturday night.

And no. I didn't take any pictures. It didn't even occur to me.

June 17, 2008


I'm very excited to have my camera back. I plan on taking some pictures later tonight. Of what, I'm not sure but I'm taking pictures.

Pink and White Sock Monsters

This is Petunia. She always does what we tell her and she never misbehaves. Note that she has fingers, which is a new feature I'm adding to my monsters.

This is Pflur. Pflur likes potatoes. And she loves talking about them. Last night, I ordered lemon potatoes from our local Greek eatery and she couldn't stop staring at them. I offered her one, but she can't really eat. Her mouth is sewn shut.

Camera Update

Our camera is finally back and it's working just fine.!!

Lost Season Finale

Jon and I finally watched the finale of the latest season of Lost.

I realized, probably weeks and weeks after everyone else, that the story that takes place after the Oceana 6 were rescued, was being told backward while the island story was being told forward, until they met up. That's pretty good story telling.

Then there was the present day story, the cliff hanger from last season that left us wondering who was in that coffin. We finally found out.

If you're like me, you may still be waiting until you're ready to watch the season finale and it's sitting in your DVR queue, waiting to be watched. I'm not going to tell you who is in the coffin. But I'm sure that spoiler can be found somewhere on the internet.

If you want spoilers, read this article by favorite TV critic, Alan Sepinwall.

June 16, 2008

Regarding the Neighbors

It occurred to me that I might have given the impression that the situation with the neighbors is more grave than it really is.

1. We knew moving in that there was the possibility that we would have to get carpeting if the neighbors complained about the noise.

2. We do not have to carpet the apartment wall to wall - just 80%.

3. We were advised that no further action at this point was necessary because the neighbors did not complain in writing. Speaking with the neighbors at this point would be premature. They have to get use to us. We have to get used to living on the fourth floor as opposed to living in a first floor apartment where there are no downstairs neighbors.

4. We haven't heard any knocking since last week.

5. Worse comes to worse we put some carpeting down or spread out some throw rugs, which is something we were considering anyway. It's not the end of the world.

Thank you to my friends for your advice and your concern but this is not what I would consider a serious problem. Although, I did appreciate the opportunity to vent.

June 15, 2008

Those Dagnab Neighbors

The neighbors skipped past talking to us and talking to the super and complained directly to the our building management about all the "noise we're making". The super informed us today that they called in a complaint this week and requested we get carpeting. But they did not make the request in writing, which is basically like NOT COMPLAINING AT ALL. Until they complain in writing, we don't have to do anything but once they do, we have to comply and get carpeting.

I asked the super if they were aware of this and he was pretty sure that they didn't. According to the super we have the right to talk to each other in our apartment. He also advised us not to do anything yet and just wait and see if there are any more complaints. I asked him if I could complain about the cigarette smoke that rises up out of their apartment and into our open windows. He shrugged and laughed because obviously I can't complain about that. But I would if I could.

He was upset that they didn't speak to us or even to him before bothering management. They really should have tried speaking to us first. Don't you think?

June 14, 2008

New Monsters

Jupiter likes to pretend he is from Jupiter, but he's just a regular old monster from Queens. I admire him because he has a great imagination. He also likes to pretend he's a robot.

"Slurp, slurp", he said. Slurp can only communicate by licking you. If you know morse code, you should be able to understand him by paying attention to his licking patterns.

Cy likes to tell corny jokes. He's outgoing and funny but one gets the distinct impression that he's overcompensating for his inadequacy. He only has one eye which makes him feel a little self-conscious.

Goose's neck became stretched out when he kept looking over the back fence to see what his neighbor was up to. Goose's snooping behavior got so bad, that his owners sent him to us.We run a school for mischievous monsters where they learn how to co-exist with others. Goose is totally reformed and looking for a new home.

I was trying to make a very small monster and in doing so, I made a little monster with no torso. He looks like an upside-down U.

Brargh is named for the sound he makes. He has a speech impediment. We tried to enroll him in speech therapy classes but he pouted and stamped his feet. Now he's home with us but we don't have any room for him. There are a lot of monsters here.

Glick likes to eat fabric. My husband and I think he's part moth.

June 12, 2008

Our Camera

The repair center in Laredo has our camera again. UPS shipped it back to them because they had the wrong information attached to our camera.

Well. We spoke with them again. They definitely have our camera and correct address information. They even have Jon's name in the system with a record of the repair. They told Jon this morning that they'll send us a replacement if they have to.

We should have it by next week.

I'm starting to think they suck.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

I do. I'm auditioning for the show next month!!

Dancing on the Ceiling

Last night after midnight, Jon and I were sitting in bed talking to each other, quietly. The lady downstairs banged on her ceiling five times which shut us up mid-sentence and we heard her screaming.

We were told that if anyone complains about our noise level we may have to carpet the place, so for me the cheapest solution would be the best.

I was thinking of carpet tiles. Does anyone have any experience with these? Are these good sound insulators?

June 10, 2008


This is Cy. I made him two days ago. He's my second cyclops.

Life in the New Apartment

I have been sleeping so much better in our new bedroom. It could be the novelty of being in a new space; maybe the quiets; maybe the fact that we finally got our bed off the floor; maybe my cool new curtains. I'm not sure why but I guess I should enjoy the fact that I can actually sleep well now and try not to analyze the situation and put pressure on myself to continue sleeping well.

The apartment came with two 220V air conditioners and they working really well. They're keeping the temperature nice and cool but not too cool. We don't want to be part of another severe Astoria blackout. There have already been some in Brooklyn, the Bronx and New Jersey.

Yesterday, Jon and I hung up the rest of our artwork which has given the apartment a lot more personality. We have to get some more - lots of wall space to cover up.

June 07, 2008

Hillary is Out!!

Hillary Clinton is officially out of the race to the democratic nominee for president.

Blah Blah Blah

Saturdays always feel super long when I'm working. I'm in my favorite internet cafe right now, doing something I enjoy and yet time still feels like it's passing slowly.
It's hot outside.
Check out my listing for Sylvia. I stuck her on my Etsy site before I left for work.
One of the secrets of success for Etsy is to post at least one item every day. I've started working on another new monster to keep up that pace. I try to make two a day but that's not always possible.
I'm reading a book called How Not To Write a Novel. It's a good book. I'm learning that I when I write, I make lot of the mistakes described by the authors.
I'm tired and whiny.

Allergies, Subways and Mroop

Anyone else having a hard time with allergies?
I'm working at Jersey Boys his week which means one thing. After each show, I have to take a late train that is always SRO - standing room only.
This is Mroop. I finished him yesterday afternoon. Mroop watched his first baseball game last night and exclaimed a great love for the sport. He developed a fierce loyalty for the Mets even though they lost to the Padres.

June 06, 2008

Just One More Thing

I saw the nutritionist yesterday for the first time in three months. I haven't lost too much weight since we've come back from our vacation in Costa Rica but I haven't gained any weight at all. My glass is half full!!!

But here is the news that I wanted to share with you.

When I first saw the nutritionist in October my BMI was 32.5 and I was holding 43.9% body fat. Yesterday my BMI was 27.3 and my body fat is 36.1%. Normal body fat percentage for my height is between 23 and 33%. I'm almost there.

I've lost 31 pounds total.

The reason I haven't lost much since our vacation is I haven't been following my diet as closely as I should. Plain and simple. No excuses.

When I follow the plan I lose weight. So, I'm back to counting my food and being diligent about when I'm putting into my body. I have a four pound weight goal for the next four weeks.

Stuff and Things

Too Much Information
Yesterday morning, I was playing a game online called QWERTY on Pogo.com. It's a bastardization of Scrabble. One of the nice features of Pogo games is that you can chat with your opponents. My conversation started slow with questions about my age and where I lived. My opponent shared her location, her age and then she started sharing incredibly weird and personal information. Apparently, she makes her husband sit down and pee and told me he [cleans himself] like a good girl. Then she told me he likes to wear her underwear. So I told her he wasn't that unusual, that lots of men wear women's underwear which is true. She must have seen that as some sort of challenge because then she proceeded to tell me that he likes to wear tube tops, that her beautician friend had just given him a shag haircut, that he likes to wear makeup and that she had just bought him a pair of high heels. I finished our game and politely bowed out for fear of learning something about her husband beyond his benign cross dressing habits. I wasn't freaked by the description of his behavior as much as she relished in telling me about it as if she were humiliating him by sharing this information. Blech.

Camera Saga
The repair center in Laredo, TX sent my repaired camera to the wrong person at the wrong address. It took me 15 minutes on the phone this morning to figure out what happened to my camera and get the situation rectified. Hopefully, we'll have that by next week because I really miss my camera. I still have my backup which takes beautiful pictures. The battery dies so quickly though. I took 15 pictures this morning and the battery already needs to be recharged.

Jon and I visited our parents in Cortland this last week. The visit was lovely. My in-laws have a really amazing new dog. She's the smartest dog ever and I could see her participating in agility races or bringing joy to people as a therapy dog. In either capacity she would do very well. Maybe she could do both. They should enroll in dog college or something - that's how bright she is. The commute home was brutal. Our home bound bus was an hour late picking us up and took hours and hours to get us back to New York. We always seem to get stuck at the Lincoln Tunnel whenever we make a trip like this. We could have flown to England in the amount of time it took us from start to finish.

I sold another monster this morning to a lovely lady in the U.K. With that sale Vexillia officially has gone international. The monster in question was named Mlurp. And this morning I added three more listings to my Etsy site.

Haymaker and Little Haymaker were made especially for Father's Day.
Haymaker and Son 2
Clyde has a secret penchant for torturing flying roaches.
Clyde Face

Broop has a big head and a little body.
Broop Face