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.