September 23, 2009

September - Fall Has Fallen

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything. I don't apologize. There's no need. I don't even think I have readers anymore.

In case you still check back here from time to time, I'll provide you with a little update.

The summer was slow for me, regarding work. This allowed me to work a lot in the garden, go bike riding, play with the Wii, hone my cooking skills and get some things into order.

I finally pulled out the clothing that I need to get rid of and found a charity that I like. There is a veteran's organization that collects clothing for soldier families. And they'll pick up the clothes from our curbside. I like any organization that helps out veterans and their families. Unfortunately, I can not donate my toys because they are not properly labeled according to new regulations set up by the government. The same regulations led me to stop selling my dolls altogether, until I can figure out how I can comply with the new regulations.

I've pretty much stopped making my sock monsters. I've got so many now. So much effort and love went into making them I don't have the heart to throw them away or to even give them away. If this sounds like hoarding behavior, then you are correct. I used to hold on to things forever (like my old clothes), but I now know how to get rid of things. Hoarding is a very hard habit to break and easy to fall back into if I don't pay attention.

I discovered a new show about hoarders, called Hoarders. I've only seen one episode but it will easily become a guilty pleasure once I start recording it. Watching the show reminded me how I used to like to hold on to things. But now clutter drives me crazy. I'm always reorganizing our space so it appears less cluttered.

I started a project on Flickr. I'm posting a photograph of myself every day for 365 days, starting with my birthday. Technically, it's supposed to be a self portrait every day. The first one, Jon took and there's another one in there as well. But I'll try my best to adhere to that rule.

Gardening has been very entertaining although not always satisfying. While there is satisfaction in staring at a bed that has just been weeded and the soil has been turned, that satisfaction is easily erased when the weeds grow back. Jalapeno pepper plants are prolific producers. I have to keep giving them away. The same can not be said for my tomato plants which are not producing well at all. Forget the cubanelle peppers. Those hardly came in at all.

My flowers are doing well. And the little rose plant that was near death at the beginning of the summer is now thriving in its new location. I enjoy mowing the lawn with our little non-motorized push mower. And I get a strange satisfaction out of sweeping up leaves.

Our new apartment is a vast improvement over our last one. We get along great with our neighbors. And living near Astoria Park is more lovely that I thought it would be. I was expecting lots of noise from raucous kids but I was wrong.

So. If you still read this blog and actually care about the mundane details of my life, hopefully this update will suffice. Perhaps I'll start posting one post for every picture to match my Flickr project.

July 31, 2009

Wii Are Consumers

Jon bought us a Wii. We set it up last night at midnight and played with it for an hour. It might be the coolest thing we've ever owned.

After we set it up, Jon suprised me by showing me the Wii Fitness he bought us. We'll set that up today.

With this purchase, I really feel like we are true consumers.

July 17, 2009

Ripening Tomatoes

The first of my tomatoes is ready. I think it'll be a little tomato salad for lunch today.

Ripening Tomatoes

July 14, 2009

True Blood - Season 2

I'm completely hooked on HBO's True Blood. The show follows a mind reading 25 year old (played by Anna Paquin) who lives in a world where vampires are becoming accepted into American life. Vampires have come out of the closet and are trying to find their place in our world. The show is written by Alan Ball and based on a series of books that I haven't read.

Alan Ball really knows how to build, sustain and end stories. He's a good writer. I'm enjoying the show immensely.

I refrain from reviewing the show because people are still watching Season 1 on DVD. And here I am in Season 2 with all this knowlege that can spoil their own trip of discovery.

But if you would like to discuss the show, send an email to genxmisanthrope-at-aol-dot-com.

July 12, 2009

Off the Radar

Taking down my archives has had the effect of reducing the number of hits I get through search engines. Now that my archives are back up, I expected the that number to go back up to 100 hits a day but it still hasn't.

So. If you want to reduce the number of hits you get for something stupid you write four years ago, disable your archives for a a few weeks or so.

Back on the Diet

Well. It's starting to happen. The weight I lost is finding it's way back to my torso and hips. As of Tuesday of this week, I'm back on my controlled calorie diet. I still look okay but the weight gain is noticeable, to me anyway. I don't think anyone is really paying that close attention the comings and goings of my 10 errant pounds. But I see it.

Regarding my appearance, this past week is also significant because I finally gathered all of my size 18 and size 20 clothing into one large, clear recycling bag. The pile is significant. It's hard to get rid of this clothing. I was a certain size for so long. Even though I've been a smaller size for several months now, it's still hard for me to see myself as other than the bigger person I was. Therefore getting rid of the clothes that identify me as that person if very difficult.

I'm doing it in small steps. The next step is to find a comfortable way to discard my old clothing.

I recently took down all the listings for my sock monsters at my Etsy shop. Temporarily, I might try selling this old clothing through this venue. Some of it is quite nice. When and if that doesn't work, I'll start giving it a way. I'm just not quite ready yet, to throw this clothing into one of those Charity dumpsters.

If I know you and you're a size 18 or 20, and you're interested in looking at the clothes, please contact me. I'd rather give away the clothing to someone I know, than to strangers.

July 11, 2009


I am working two shows today which is another beautiful day. That means, I will not be able to work in the garden.

I did manage to water the flowers and the grass. I only misted the vegetables because I don't want them to get soaked. Too much water is bad. Humidity is good which is what I was counting on in July for nice big tomato plants but we haven't had too much humid weather. Not that I'm complaining.

This weekend, I'm working at Hair. That show that won the Tony for best revival. I think West Side Story was the better revival.

July 10, 2009


So. Jon and I have been living in this much better apartment for several months now. We are very happy with the apartment.

Everything is working out great. For a long time, the building across the street had a noisy garage door that squeeked every time it opened and closed but they fixed it and now it's like there is no garage door. It makes no more noise.

But just this week, a new problem has arisen. There is a neighbor in that same building, who has decided to start playing the bongos.

It's very annoying. Now. The building across the street is a co-op. I can't believe the co-op board approved a friggin' bongo player. I wonder if I can use that to my advantage. There is no way, people in that building will put up with a bongo player much longer.

And who the hell plays the bongos anyway?!?! It's the 21st freakin' century. He should be playing virtual bongos that no one can hear.

Beautiful Weather

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I spent the latter part of the afternoon, working in the garden. What a great way to spend time outdoors.

Here are some pictures I took a few days ago.

My tomato plants are doing okay but I'm getting impatient. They take forever to produce fruit and then it takes more time for that fruit to ripen.
Baby Tomato

My jalapeno pepper plants on the other hand are thriving. They have blossomed and now are producing many fruits. It shouldn't be too much longer before I'm adding fresh jalapeno peppers to my dishes.
Jalapeno Pepper Buds

I've also planted sweet basil. I'm not sure how it's doing. It is growing but some of the leaves are turning shades of yellow.

The other pepper plants I put in are the Cubanelle variety. I bought those at the farmer's market in Union Square. They weren't as mature as the jalapeno plants that I bought, so they will take a little longer to produce fruit. But so far they seem to be doing okay.Cubanella Peppers

Gardening is fun. I just got a couple of flower catalogs which are really exciting me right now. Flowers. I actually get to grow my own flowers. Life is good.

July 08, 2009

Garden Life



Last night, I had a dream that I was diagnosed with a fatal disease and given a week to live. My imagination picked Chronic Pulmonary Disorder, aka Emphysema. In the dream, I asked the doctor how he came up with that diagnosis and he clammed up - claiming that I was getting confrontational. The dream ended when I realized that this guy wasn't really my doctor and that I had to set up an appoinment with my own.

Weird, huh?

July 07, 2009

The Wedding of the Decade

Jon and I went to a beautiful wedding on July 2. It was held at the Capitale - formerly a bank located on Grand and Bowery. It's the most remarkable site - the type of place that makes you wish your job title were Location Scout. The interior was grand to the max. The main room was full of columns; the ceiling is made of stained glass; the vault is still in tact and used by the waiters as a changing room. It's beautiful.

Anyway, here are some pictures.
The first person to come up and introduce herself to me was this woman, wearing the same dress. I probably shouldn't really point that out. It was embarrassing but at the same time, it's funny. Right? I guess that's what happens when dresses are bought in department stores.
Same Dress

The ceremony was incredible. The bridesmaids looked stunning. And the maids of honor looked stunninger. The bride had her sisters and brother standing with her under the chupah which I thought was really beautiful. There were actually quite a few people standing up there. Two rabbis, four parents, three siblings - it was crowded under there. But that should tell you how loved the bride and groom are. The Rabbi that married them also married the bride's parents. (I know the below picture is small but if you click on it, you can see the larger version on Flickr.)
Wedding Ceremony sepia

I know you're all wondering what the dress looked like. It was hard for me to get a photo of the bride standing alone in her beautiful dress but here is my best effort. This is Jon standing with his beautiful cousin Daniela.
Wedding 10

People are also usually curious about the wedding cake. The wedding itself was so extravagent that I was surprised to see this simple cake. But then I shouldn't be. Because as extravagent as the celebration was, the new couple are pretty down to earth people.
Wedding 23

Here is a picture of me with my mother-in-law and the bride. Yes. I agree my head does look exceptionally huge in this picture. But everyone else looks beautiful.
Wedding 9

At some point, Jon and I snuck away from the party and went upstairs to explore the building. Here is a shot looking down on the festivities.
Wedding 29

And here is the bank ceiling.
Wedding 30

This is the bride dancing with her father.
Wedding 26

One of Jon's younger cousins is a gymnast. Here he is doing an incredible back flip.
Wedding 11

Here is a shot of Jon and me. You can see in our faces how happy we were to help in the celebration.
Wedding 20

And the final image with which I will leave you is this one of the portrait that was being painted of the wedding. I didn't even know this was a thing that could be done. Four photographers, one videographer and an artist rendering the live events in oil paint. They are definitely the best documented bride and groom I've ever met and I wish them the most happiness.
Wedding Portrait  Artist

July 02, 2009

Congratulations Steven and Daniela

Congratulations Steve and Daniela
Last night Jon and I were guests at the rehearsal dinner for his youngest cousin Daniela. She's a very nice woman who is getting married to the nicest young man. It was the most elaborate rehearsal dinner I've attended to date. There were a lot of great speeches, fantastic food, and the party ended with a video presentation.

The video was comprised of photos of the both of them, including a couple with Jon and me which we were very surprised and pleased to see.

Tonight we're attending their wedding. It's a black tie affair. Jon has a tux and I have a beautiful cocktail length dress that I can't wait to show off. This afternoon I'm getting my hair and makeup done.

It promises to be a beautiful affair. I can't wait to see the bride's dress.

With their permission, I'll post photos this weekend.

June 09, 2009

Opening The Sky

In the wee hours of the morning, a great cracking sound woke me up. The most amazing thunderstorm I've seen in years happened just outside our bedroom window - yours too I imagine, if you live near us. I looked out the window and it appeared as if great streaks of lightning were striking the Triborough Bridge (now the RFK Bridge). Very exciting.

June 07, 2009

World Quizzing Championships

Yesterday, I participated in the World Quizzing Championships. Basically, it was 220 question test given in two parts over several hours. I'm not sure where I placed in the world wide standings but I do know that I finished in the bottom of the pack of New Yorkers who participated at Shades of Green.

That test was harder than the SAT's. It is the hardest test I've ever taken. I know that I am not a stupid person but this test really makes you struggle with you think you are. There was stuff on there I'd never even heard of. And that's okay. Because I don't study. If I were a more studious person, perhaps I would know more things. Also, if I had better retention, that would probably help also.

Congratulations to all the people who participated. And continue to believe in yourselves.

June 05, 2009

Napping is the new black

Two days in a row, I have taken amazing naps. It's probably the weather. Cool, rainy weather is perfect for napping.

I had a job interview this morning. I allowed an hour but I should have allowed an hour and a half. I showed up about 12 minutes late (not without calling first) but it didn't make a difference because I had to wait to be interviewed anyway. The guy I was meeting with was also running behind schedule.

I would be the assistant to a guy who runs one of the garages for an impressive NYC hospital on the East side of Manhattan. The job would be temp to perm which means I wouldn't get the full salary or benefits until I've worked for 65 days. It's full time - Tuesday through Saturday. I've thought a lot about the pros and cons of going back to work full time. The best pro is that I'd be bringing in more money than I am currently. The best con is that I will most likely gain weight which I do not look forward to. Hopefully I can avoid that. I have the tools to maintain my weight, I just have to use them.

The best part of my day had to be that nap. It's been a long time since I've napped like that - so deep that it was almost impossible to get out of the bed. If I hadn't set the alarm clock, I'd still be sleeping.

June 01, 2009

Happy June 1!

It's June 1st and the weather is perfect. Jon and I just did our first laundry since returning from our trip.

This weekend we did some gardening which left me with some very distinctive bug bites. Gardening at this point still means pulling weeds. Oh joy. We pulled out and hacked down the 3 foot tall mugwort that took over the backyard lawn while we were away. The lawn still needs a good mowing but it looks a lot more manageable now. And a lot of the old weeds returned although not as many as I was expecting. It's possible that the Preen I put down actually had some effect. Gardening might just mean reclaiming the garden from the weeds this summer. I might wait until next season to plant vegetables. This season is going to be flowers when we're up to it.

We also played some miniature golf on Randalls Island. That was fun although I was expecting the type of miniature golf that comes with wind mills and clown faces. They were just miniature greens. After playing golf we shared some Hoegaarden at the Beer Garden down the block from us. The weather turned out quite nice last night.

Have I recovered yet from our travels? Not quite yet. It takes me a good week, usually, to get back on a regular sleeping schedule. But I'm almost there. I am sleeping the required 8 hours. But I'm still going to bed very early and waking up very early.

May 28, 2009

We are back

So. We're back.

We spent a couple of days in Paris. We spent one week visiting my family.

It's always good to see family.

My grandmother was glad to see us. She really likes Jon who learned to speak quite a bit more French than the first and second times we visited.

I already miss them. They are the nicest people you could want for family.

I always hate leaving them yet I always find it comforting to be home; to be back in our own bed.

Pictures will follow, most likely on Facebook.

May 19, 2009

We Are in Paris

We arrived yesterday in Paris. We saw the Luxembourg Gardens. We're staying right near by. I took pictures but accidentally erased all of them this morning.

Today we went to the Musee D'Orsay. And I got my fill of great art. Tonight, we're going to see the Eiffel Tower. And then tomrrow, we're headed up north to see my family.

May 15, 2009

Star Trek

Jon took me to see the new Star Trek film.

It did not disappoint. JJ Abrams seemed to go out of his way to get the Star Trek lore accurate and what wasn't could be explained away by one of the premises of the film.

I'll wait until more people have seen it before I start in on the spoilers. It's still a little too new.

I will say this. The casting is great - especially for McCoy. The story is great. The Leonard Nimoy cameo was well thought out and worked well within the context of the story. The special effects are terrific.

Look for the guy in the red shirt.

May 13, 2009

Ha Ha

Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'

A Change

I've been playing with the idea of changing the blog around. You may have noticed it looks a little different. I guess I'm sick of all the searches for Willie Aames; the book cover for the first Tarzan book; Superman and Lois and all the searches for any TV show I've written about particularly the episode of the Sopranos where Tony kills Christopher. Those four subjects are what brings the most people to this site.

Now if you come here, I'm pretty sure you're coming here because you know me and you are interested in seeing what I'm up to.

Here's what I've been up to.

Jon and I went to my parents' house. My parents were watching my niece and nephew for my brother and his wife who are renovating their new house. It was a fun day. My niece is just the cutest two year old ever. My nephew is five years old now and he speaks in complete sentences. He's even reading already. So smart.

My nephew and I spent some nice time together. We watched Feivel Goes West on VHS. I noticed for the first time that voices were provided by Dom Deluise and Jimmy Stewart. Of course I haven't seen the movie in forever. We also worked together in the garden. I taught him how to identify and pull wild onions out of the ground.

My niece adores Jon and pronounces his name perfectly. My name has always been challenging for little children. She pronounces it Va-ee.

Later in the day, my brother and sister-in-law met us at my parents' house and we all had dinner together.

Jon and I spent a good day together doing lots of things we enjoy. First we went bike riding. Then we went for a walk. Then we worked in the garden (which at this means pulling weeds still) and then we attended a Monday night trivia game at Shades of Green. Our team won (as if you had to ask).

Last night I worked at a show which will remain nameless for now. I handed out a whole lot of headsets. Only two people complained. They sat in the only two seats where the headsets weren't working. Those two people were offered a solution by the house manager who gave them different seats but they chose to leave anyway. The play ran longer than advertised and even though it started at 7pm, I didn't get home until after 11. It was a long night.

Today we are planning on getting a product called Preen which stops new plants from germinating and should take care of our reoccurring weed problem. Once we put that into the ground, we won't be able to grow plants from seed but we will be able to put in plants that have already been established.

Have a nice day.

May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

For my mother, mother-in-law, my aunts and aunts-in-law, my grandma in France, my cousins and cousins-in-law and my sister-in-law.

For all the mothers celebrating their first mother's days.

To all the women who wish to be mothers.

To all the women who have been adopted as mothers by younger friends.

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

May 09, 2009

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

I just saw Phillip Seymour Hoffman - the second time this month. He was trying to get a taxi in midtown and he wasn't having any luck. That makes me feel a little better knowing that even celebrities have trouble getting cabs. The first time I saw him was at West Side Story. He asked me where his seat was and I told him as much as I loved to help him, I didn't know where his seat was.

He seemed like a good guy. I don't think people realize what a big star he is because he was incredibly unencumbered by fans. I understand if people don't recognize him from his theater work or the smaller films he's done but he was Mission Impossible III, which I've never seen, but that was a huge movie.

April 29, 2009

Spring Cold or Swine Flue

I managed to remain cold free the entire winter so it makes sense that as soon as the weather started turning nice, I would catch a cold. A week ago Sunday night, I developed a tickle in my throat and the rest is history. I was congested all last week.

This week the congestion is coming and going but now I'm coughing. For me, coughing signals a cold on its way out. So hopefully, I won't have this cold too much longer.

Today is a congested day.

April 18, 2009

Moderated Comments

Has anyone else been getting excessively spammed in their comment section?

I was. So now, I'm using Blogger's Comment Moderation function.

I apologize for this because I know it kills the spontaneity of leaving comments but I was getting really tired of the spam.

April 15, 2009

West Side Story

This week I'm working at West Side Story. Last night was my first night there.

It's very good.

The Spanish speaking characters speak Spanish to each other. This is difficult to understand but makes perfect sense, that when alone, people who speak Spanish would not speak English with an accent but acutally converse in their native tongue.

Karen Olivo plays Anita. I am a big fan of hers. She dances great. She has a great sense of humor. And she's really good at combining acting with singing. She's the whole package and she's a lot of fun to watch. She originated the role of Vanessa in "In the Heights" where I first saw her.

Last night's show featured the understudies in the leading roles but if I hadn't known that I wouldn't have been disappointed. But I am looking forward to seeing the regular leads.

The dancing is spectacular. The sets are minimal. The performances are consistently great. The music is tremendous and the orchestrations are emotionally charged.

My only point of reference is a performance of West Side Story at Hofstra University, that I saw many, many years ago, by the Grey Wig theater group. As enjoyable as that was, it was not a Broadway production. It wouldn't be fair to compare.

If you were to ask me if this production was worth the full ticket price, I would have to advise you that West Side Story is definitely worth it.

Note: My favorite number in West Side Story is the "A Boy Like That" duet with Anita and Maria. Last night, I cried because it was so moving. The actresses were that good.

April 14, 2009

Home At Last

It's nice to finally feel at home in my home.

It's so quiet in here right now. All I hear is the hum of my computer's harddrive, reminding me that I should probably blow some air in there to make sure the fans don't get clogged up.

Normally, this time of day in our last apartment, the children's grandmother from upstairs would be returning with her charges in a flurry of noisy activity. Today, at the same time, I heard the guy upstairs walk on a squeaky floor board. The floor board squeaked once. Maybe, I heard him talking on his phone but that was so faint, I can't even be sure the noise came from him. Maybe it was television.

I've been sleeping later and later every day - except for Sunday to Monday. In the wee hours of Monday, I woke up and had to lull myself back to sleep on the couch with the help of the distracting television. The brief attack of insomnia could have been brought on by the impending interview I had later in the morning - or it could have just been a random attack as happens when you have problems with sleep.

The interview went so well that I came across as overqualified for the position. No need spending the energy on describing to you this job which I wasn't sure about anyway because I'm not getting it.

Besides, tomorrow I have a second interview for a job I'm seriously considering. It's a phone interview. I have to call in at 2pm. It makes sense, since most of the job will be spent talking on the phone.

April 11, 2009

Weekending - April 10, 2009

This was a somewhat busy week.

Monday night, as I mentioned before, Jon hosted a trivia game. I played on a team with my friend Kory and his girlfriend. We came in third place out of four teams. Not my best showing at trivia, but then again my most knowlegeable teammate was hosting the game and couldn't play with me.

The rest of the week:
Tuesday, I ran errands in Astoria, using the bus system which takes a lot of time but does get you where you need to go. One of those errands was finding a hand rake so I could do some gardening in the front yard. At this point, gardening involved cleaning up leaf litter. Tuesday I spent an hour gathering my third bag. The front yard is starting to look better but still needs a lot of cleanup.

Wednesday I dedicated to Passover at my parents' house in Long Beach. I got there early in the day so I could help my mother and we worked together to create a successful Seder. For me, the preparation is the best part - especially when you have somebody with you.

Thursday, my mother dedicated to helping Jon and me with our window treatments. This involved a lot of driving around. My mom and I went to Home Depot, spent some time getting blinds for our windows. She and I hung the blinds, then we hung a curtain, then we went to Staples so I could print out multiple copies of my resume for Friday's interview. She was with me the whole day. She's a good mom.

Friday, I dedicated to my job interview. Even though it was at 11:30, I left the whole day open for it because you never know if you're going to get that second interview on the same day. But it wasn't necessary because the interview went quickly. And I still got the second interview. Yay! That is scheduled for this coming Wednesday. After the interview, I came home just in time for Time Warner Cable's 5th visit to our house. Jon and the technician finally found a solution for frequent and annoying internet outages. Last night, I was incredibly bored which coincided with being incredibly tired so. It worked out.

Today, I've already done laundry. I woke up at 7 to do it and wouldn't you know it? By 7:30 the laundry was already crowded. Amazing since it opens at 7.

And now I've blogged.

Next on the list is ironing, Facebook and a shift of work tonight.

April 07, 2009

Shades of Green - Monday Night Trivia

Jon led one of 5 rounds at Shades of Green's Monday night trivia. Tony Hightower led the other four.

Both men did a great job.

My team came in third place. Our team name was "Birthday of a Nation" because one of our team members was celebrating his birthday.

Fun was had by all.

April 05, 2009

Creativity Returns

Moving out of our old apartment has improved my spirits. Improved spirits means writing on a regular basis can resume!! Depression can be so pervasive. I was depressed living in that old apartment. And when I am depressed I cease participating in activities that I find enjoyable. I should have known I was that depressed but I didn't until now. I just didn't feel like writing because all I could think of writing about was how unhappy I was. Of course, now I seem to be devoting hundreds of words, blogpost after blogpost, to my previous sadness.

But it's therapeutic.

And I might write a few more posts about it.

And I might write a few preachy posts about taking responsibility for your happiness, because Jon and I did that when we moved.

If you are unhappy in a situation - truly, deeply unhappy - to the point where it is effecting your life in a negative way, you are responsible to get yourself out of it or to change things. It's hard but that's what it means to take care of yourself, to work on yourself.

April 04, 2009

Shades of Green - Monday Night Trivia

Our friend Tony started a new pub quiz at Shades of Green in New York City. It's on 15th Street and Irving Place.

Jon is hosting with Tony and it should be good. Although I know Jon's category, he's not telling me what he's doing so I'm completely in the dark. Meaning, I can play on your team but you won't have an advantage. It's not cheating. Or if I play on your team, I could sit out Jon's round.

Anyway, just go and have some fun.

Shades of Green - 9 p.m.

There's No Place Like Home

I'm finally starting to feel comfortable in our new place. The old apartment is becoming a distant memory. Sleeping late is not coming naturally yet. I'm still on the schedule kept by the children of our previous upstairs neighbours. I wake up one minute before they do, expecting to hear the two year old falling down and crying or the four year old running and then jumping into his parents' bed. I'm conditioned in the same way I used to be when the alarm clock woke me every morning for my office job. One minute before the alarm clock would go off, I would wake up expecting it to ring.

There's nothing to wake me now except the expectation of something that is no longer going to happen, so hopefully, I'll make the appropriate adjustments and learn to sleep late once again.

With that said, I feel more relaxed than I have since before we moved into the "nightmare apartment". We only lived there 10 months but they were 10 long months, the last five of which were particularly hard.

Every day at 1 p.m., our downstairs neighbour would come home and start shouting at his wife or into his cell phone. Every morning, I could hear the two of them starting there day off on the wrong foot, always angry words and doors slamming. And when they had company, it used to sound like they were visiting in our living room, they were so loud. They also had an obnoxious habit of watching the same homemade video at the same time every day, loud enough that I could hear their recorded family members talking in a language that sounded like Greek. And they hated us. They were always banging on their ceiling because we walked too loudly. I'm still walking toe-heel, toe-heel to keep my footsteps quiet.

Every night, our first next door neighbour would have people over to watch her very sophisticated HD television with those speakers that can be placed anywhere but hers were placed against our shared wall. When her and her friends cranked that thing up, it sounded like they were watching TV in our apartment. And I would complain like the nerd that I am. But hey, we weren't living in a college dorm. It was an apartment building with rules about not make loud noises after 11 p.m. She ended up moving back to Chicago because she lost her job. She also ended up being the least of our problems in the end. She ended up spending a lot of time at her boyfriend's house. The noises that used to eminate from her place, disappeared.

Every day, our other next door neighbour would smoke copious amounts of pot - enough to stink up the entrance way to our apartment. Because of the stink, every night at 1 a.m., he would turn on his air conditioner which made sleeping in our former bedroom like sitting on the wing of an airplane. It woke me up every time it came on. I don't think I've had a decent night's sleep in months and months and months.

Now I'm sleeping deeply. I just have to work on sleeping past 7 a.m.

April 03, 2009

It's So Quiet In Here

It's so freakin' quiet in here. It's wonderfully quiet, like a hotel. You know how hotel rooms are really, really quiet? Well it's quiet like that. I'm having trouble getting used to it.

April 02, 2009

We Have Moved

On Monday, the move went smoothly the most part. With the blessed help of two friends, we were able to return the moving van by 3. The most stressful part of the move was moving the couch.

The mover's friend with the truck did not show up on Monday which was very scary. But the mover assured us that the couch would be moved the next day. When we double checked with him on the phone on Monday night, he did not sound 100% confident that his friend with the truck was reliable. So on Tuesday morning, as soon as the internet was enabled, I found four movers who could perform the task should we need it.

But it turned out not to be necessary.

We thought it had to be carried up and down 10 flights of steps and across the roof of our former building. Our movers managed to get the couch into the elevator. At first, I thought that we were overpaying because the move ended up being easier. But then the movers got to our new place. And guess what. The couch didn't fit through the front door.

The mover took our window apart and that is how our 85 inch long couch was transferred from the great outdoors to the cozy interiour of our new home.

It is now enjoying the same new quiet life we are.

March 29, 2009

Moving Day Monday

Monday is moving day and I'm a nervous wreck.

I'm not sure why really.

All that is getting moved tomorrow is the furniture. Everything else is already at the new place.

My parents came by today and helped us move every little thing that isn't furniture.

It's all set. We have plenty of help. We hired someone to move our couch. The U-haul is rented.

The new place is an absolute disaster. I started setting up the kitchen tonight but started to get overwhelmed. Hopefully, I'll have mostly everything put away and organized by the end of the week.

Social Saturday

Jon and I took a break from our monotonous moving schedule and spent the day with family and friends.

In the morning, we went to a Bar-Mitzvah at an Orthodox temple, where the women sat two stories above the men. That was the first time I attended a service like this. Much to my annoyance there was no ladies room up there on the third floor where the ladies were sitting. Our synogogue was conservative when I was growing up. Everyone prayed together and the bathrooms were on the same level.

The Bar-Mitzvah boy read his portion well and gave a lovely speech. The affair afterwards was at the Regency hotel on Park Avenue. The food was scrumptious but the affair was chaotic and crowded with people talking everywhere and children running around. It was possibly the most hectic Bar-Mitzvah I've been to. But it was great fun. We saw a lot our family which is very important.

Then in the afternoon we celebrated with our good friend on the occasion of her birthday. This party was at another hotel - the Algonquin - on 44th St between 5th & 6th avenues. I had two fabulous martinis and participated in several amazing conversations. It felt like a real good old-fashioned New York literary party. I remember attending one of those in the early 90's. What I mean by this is that most of the guests were writers and the discussions were superbly intelligent and challenging and friendly and all those other good things that make getting to know people interesting.

I was pretty wiped out when we got home last night. And it was absolutely fabulous not to think about moving once the whole day.

My parents are coming today. They have a car and I'm hoping that in three trips we'll be able to move our remaining boxes and our clothing. Maybe even our computers.

Tomorrow, ideally, Jon and his friends will only be moving our furniture.

March 28, 2009

Progress Apartment

Just about everything we own is packed into boxes. And a lot of what we own has already been moved over to the new place.

Before Jon and I rode our bikes over there yesterday, I thought we were walking half a mile, maybe 3/4 of a mile with our shopping carts to get there. But according to the reading on Jon's mile-o-meter, it is a fraction more than a mile.

Which explains why these little walks have been wearing me out. I thought I was walking 1 mile total round trip. Turns out every back and forth excursion is over two miles. That is why I decided yesterday, after my third trip, to just pack up what we had left and leave the moving for Sunday and Monday.

Today, Jon and I won't get much moving done. We received a rare invitation to a family event which we didn't want to turn down.

But tomorrow, my parents are coming - with a car. We plan to move the rest of our boxes and hopefully most to all of our clothing.

Imagine that. A car. We really should get one of those.

Monday we have an actual moving truck. We don't think moving our furniture will take that long.

You might think it's crazy that we've been making these trips all week. But I've moved enough in my life to know that any steps you can take to minimize your stress on "moving day" should be taken by the people who wish to have a quick move.

I have a headache.

A Suprising Number of Hits

I haven't been paying much attention to this blog, as you know. I hardly ever check the stats anymore. But last night, out of boredom, I decided to check how many readers have been coming here lately.

Yesterday, I had nearly 1,000 hits - all interested in a post from 2005 about Willie Aames. In June or July of 2005 I wrote about hearing his name mentioned in conjuction with Celebrity Fit Club and I posted a picture of him dressed like Tarzan.

He's in the news lately because he's fallen on hard times.

I'm sure whoever is finding me in their Google searches is greatly disappointed by the 5 or 6 lines I wrote that day.

Anyway, I thought you'd like to know that.

March 23, 2009


Good Monday to you all!!

I write this post as two little children run around upstairs creating the noises equivalent to that of two baby elephants.

I spoke with our new landlord. She is really, really nice. I had to ask her to move out a couple of items from the apartment.

Jon went back and forth all day yesterday bringing our stuff over but I haven't gotten up the motivation yet. But I did do our laundry which was really piling up.

My goal today is to clean the floors and measure the windows. I also have to figure out how we're going to get all our stuff into our smaller but much, much quieter apartment.

March 21, 2009

Saturday in the City

It's a long Saturday. That means I'm working two shifts at Blithe Spirit. HooorrraayyyY!!! But it's still a long, long day.

Our day got off to an early start when we went to pick up the lease for our new place. Jon and I tried out the new keys, took a look around and then swiftly walked back to our current apartment so we could go to work.

It's hard to believe that we are moving again, only 10 months after our last move. We really hope it will be for the best. We worked really hard to find this place.

We looked at a lot of apartments that we found on Craig's List. At first, we looked at as many apartments as we could listed under NO BROKER's FEE. We found decent apartments but none of them were quite right. If Jon and I were two friends looking for an apartment to share than any of the places we found under NO BROKER would have been find. But they weren't good enough for grown up married people of advancing years.

Once we decided to go with a broker, a whole new world opened up to us. We started seeing better quality apartments. We found a great broker and we decided on the one we'll be moving into slowly, starting tomorrow.

I took care of the utilities - we are keeping the same phone number. I still have to fill out my change of address info for the post office. We hired someone to move our incredibly large and impossible couch. And we have several friends helping us with the big move a week from Monday.

I wish I could fast forward to the part where we've been living there comfortably for a few months already. But that is the light at the end of the tunnel, isn't it. It's getting through the tunnel that's tough. Right?

March 18, 2009

Blithe Spirit

Work is picking up for me. This week I'm working 8 shifts at the Shubert Theater and I'm delighted that Blithe Spirit is playing - a positively delightful Noel Coward play. It stars Christine Ebersole and Angela Lansbury.

I've been looking forward to this show since I heard that Lansbury and Ebersole were going to be doing a show together.

Angela Lansbury is really great to watch on stage. She's amazing. It's hard to believe she's in her 80's. And Christine Ebersole is just delightful.

Well. Everybody in the play is great, to tell you the truth but I'm particularly fond of those two actresses.

Go see it.

March 14, 2009

The Dollhouse

I've been watching the Dollhouse - the new show by Joss Whedon. It's good. It stars Eliza Dushku who plays a blank woman who gets a new personality on every show.

It kind of follows the same model as Quantum Leap or Sliders but Joss Whedon has put his mark on the genre.

There is a lot intrigue but already the writers are going to the same old TV show plotlines that other cop/adventure shows follow. For example the last show took place at a Branch Dividian type cult compound.

As much as I like the show, I don't think it's going to live past one season.

March 12, 2009

Blogging - What's That?

It's amazing how much I've lost interest in maintaining this blog. I was so good for so long, blogging every day for years but I've lost interest in it lately. A lot of that could be because I've been a little down about not finding more work and living in this apartment. We liked the apartment at first, but grew to dislike it because of the neighbors. And regarding work, I was hoping to find a something that paid a little better when I first started looking in September, but my job search coincided with the start of the Second Great Depression.

But we are turning things around. Jon and I found a new apartment that will give us more privacy for less money. It's a little further away from the subway, grocery store and laundromat, but I'm willing to make that compromise for peace of mind and a better quality of life.

The apartment is pretty nice. It's the main floor of a three family house. Everything is new with the exception of the floors - fridge, fixtures, etc. And it's near Astoria Park which brings us a little closer to nature.

The best part is we won't have to listen to our downstairs neighbour coughing up his lung every morning or yelling at his wife. We won't have to listen to the little boys upstairs (as cute and sweet as they are) falling down and crying and running and riding their bicycles (not kidding). We won't have to smell our neighbors whacky tabacky or here his air conditioner coming on at one in the morning even in the winter time (I hate when he does that. It always wakes me up).

I'm glad to get out of here. It's a shame too. Because the apartment could have been nice had it not been for the shoddy construction that allows everyone to hear what everybody else is doing.

Maybe a new environment will be more conducive to writing.

And if you haven't checked out my sock monsters in a while, do. I've added a whole bunch. Vexillia Sock Monsters

January 23, 2009