Sunday, April 27

We now return to our regularly scheduled gripefest

In anticipation of my big move (yes, I plan to actually buy a home in the coming months) I'm gradually buying the bigger ticket items. A friend told me to do this to avoid a financial crisis worse than the average first time homeowners freakout. Because I've become such a spendthrift I've fallen out of the habit of buying. For instance, I've been meaning to buy my own printer for, oh, about 3 years now. I realize they aren't even expensive but I just haven't gotten around to it.

This afternoon I finally bit the bullet and picked one up. It's nothing fancy but it should do the job. This evening I dove into the unpacking and set up process for the printer. Everything went well until I got to the casually instructed "connect the USB cable". Umm, USB cable? What USB cable? I checked the first page of my installation sheet to check the contents and saw that my printer did not come with a USB cable. This is the second time this has happened to me. Are USB cables something people have lying around the house now? Are USB cables the new extension cords that people have in tangled piles in a closet somewhere? Somehow I missed that memo and I don't have a spare USB cable to "connect" to my new printer. I'm so annoyed! I have a couple of small USB cables but they are reserved for other uses. I need a longer, dedicated cable. (Story of my life. Sorry! I couldn't resist.)

The other problem is that the power strip I planned to use is a three-pronged number and I don't have a spare converter. I'm now living in fear that I'm going to blow up the house when I plug in another power strip. I already have one screaming night and day for my Tivo, TV, stereo system, DVD player and cable box. This house was built in the 50's and, I fear, can't handle another strip. Dad assures me that it will be fine. My plan was to power down the strip when no in use, which will be most of the day. It's supposed to save energy and I'm all for that.

I'm tempted to hop in the car and pick up a newer power strip with a two-pronged plug and the elusive USB cable. So far I'm resisting. It's not as though I have any printing emergencies to manage. I just want the dumb thing set up and ready to roll.

Because I spent less than planned on the printer, I also picked up some speakers for my laptop. They're cute and sound great!

I also finally got a flash drive. I've been wanting one for ages. I really hate going to Best Buy so I figured I'd just pick up supplies while I could and avoid another trip for a year or so. I also need a car charger for my cell phone but I remembered that I can get a discount so I resisted that purchase.

I couldn't find the flash drives so I approached the Mac friendly guy at Best Buy and asked:

Lucy: Where are the little memory thingys that plug in the side of the computer?
Mac guy: Umm, (reaching into his pocket) you mean this?
Lucy: Yeah!
Mac guy: Oh, they're called flash drives, thumb drives, blah, blah, blah...
Lucy: You mean you don't call them "thingys"?
Mac guy: Well, no but...
Lucy: You knew what I meant though.
Mac guy: (brightly) That's true!

When Mac guy saw me loaded down with a printer and heading towards the computer speakers he seemed more interested in helping me. He kindly offered to carry the printer to the register. He asked if I needed anything else and I said "yes, but I better get out of here while I can." He quickly said "I can set you up with a new Best Buy card." To which I sighed "I'm sure you could but no thanks."

I left with what I thought would be everything I'd need. *sigh* Guess I'll go to Target tomorrow during lunch to get the rest of my supplies. I'd hate to have to go to Best Buy two days in a row. I just know I might freak out and buy one of these, these, these or these. As if I need any of those stupid things. Where is that damn Eckhart Tolle book when I need it?

Fire Update

The fires have been moving Northwest of our home so we're ok.

My college roommate called this morning to see how we were doing. She currently lives in a high fire danger area and has been evacuated before. She understands the whole drill. I explained that we were fine but that I really wouldn't know where the fires were until I left in an hour. Once I got a good look at the damage, I called her back. She used to live close to our house so she knows the area very well. I told her that the end of the main street was completely burned (that's Santa Anita for those who happen to know the area). The hills west of upper Santa Anita are completely scorched. It's very sad. On the other hand, I was driving down Sierra Madre Blvd. describing the scene to her when I interrupted myself with a "OOOOOOH! Cute firemen!!!" My roomie laughed and praised me for looking on the bright side.

I've been kicking myself all day though because I saw some weird guy sitting alone in his car near the top of Santa Anita and I wish I'd asked a cop to go question him. What kind of creep sits by himself at 9:45 am in the smoke of a wildfire? There remained the average looky- loos but they tend to come in packs or pairs. I don't usually see them sitting alone with their backs to the flames. My instincts went a little haywire when I saw him. It's still bugging me that I didn't say anything to anyone.

Dad decided to cruise out to San Bernadino to chase a bird while I made my way out to Sherman Oaks to do lunch and a movie with Tony. The flames seemed to be kicking up when I saw them from the freeway, and I considered going back home, but I had a feeling the firefighters had it under control. Turns out they didn't. Even now, it's only 30% contained. Drops were still being made when I got home in the afternoon but there seemed to be only a few smoldering spots on the hills at that time. Then again I have no idea what's happening in the canyons.

I wanted to take pictures but couldn't stomach the thought of being another looky-loo. I figure anyone reading this knows what burned hills look like. There was lots of ash on my car when I left this morning but I suppose you know what that looks like too.

I haven't heard much of the news on the fire but I think they suspect arson. I'm pretty certain it was deliberately set (just look at how green those hills are in the picture above). Setting fires is particularly disgusting to me. It's probably the most weenie of all crimes but also the most destructive. It sickens me. It's the work of a complete and utter coward. I really hope they find out who set the last fires and whoever may have set this one.

Saturday, April 26

Who's setting these fires?

KB called this afternoon and asked "Where are you in these fires?". "What fires?" I said. I walked to the front yard and saw a lot of smoke and, for the first time, noticed the helicopters overhead. I live in California so it's not unusual to hear helicopters overhead, I guess my mind just blocked them out. More than anything I was immediately annoyed because a couple of weekends ago I saw the same sight but behind my former junior high school. Not only had the school been on fire but the hillside above it was on fire. It was not a windy day and they seemed to have been deliberately set. I figured some idiotic kid, angry with school, had been setting fires. Both fires had been quickly extinguished and I hadn't thought of them since. But when a hillside, no more than a mile away, goes up in flames a couple of weeks later I can't help but be suspicious. It's too early in the season for wildfires to just spark out of nowhere. It was certainly a warm day but nowhere near as hot as predicted. Also, the hills are still green from the extra rain we had earlier in the year. Again, it's not a windy day. There was a bit of a breeze but it was cooling by the time the fire must have started. One of the good things about living in Southern Californian foothills is knowing that you've got some of the best equipped and most experienced firefighters in the country. These guys seriously kick butt. When I looked up and saw the ridge above my home on fire this afternoon it didn't really concern me. I was mostly mad at the idiot I figured must have started it. That was about 4:00 this afternoon.

My friend Sarah called around 8:00 pm and asked how we were doing. According to our local news the fire would be contained by 5:00 so I hadn't thought much more about it. I'd had a nice day of Coffee Bean, pedicures and lunch with Mom so I was in for the day within the confines of our air conditioned home. Again, I wasn't terribly concerned. We've lived through many wildfires and I've learned to not panic. The closest call/fire was several years ago and burned for a few days. That one woke us all up in the middle of the night because the house was suddenly lit up in a vivid orange as the fire crested the mountain ridge above our house. That light woke me through my shuttered windows. I'd never thought about the light of a fire before that night. I very familiar with the ash and the scent from wildfires but I'd never considered how dang bright they could be at night. While many folks are familiar with the sight of snow flakes in their headlights, folks in these parts are more familiar with the sight of ash in their headlights. I saw that familiar sight again tonight.

I finally became curious about the fire after Sarah's call. Mom and I hopped in my car and drove a few blocks away to check it out. It was really close! The whole hillside is still lit up but that isn't the disturbing part. The creepiest part of this evening is not the fire but the looky-loos. There is still way too much traffic in the neighborhood. I saw young fathers helping their children out of trucks (of course they were trucks!) to get a better look. There were police officers out for crowd control. Unbelievable!! Now, some may consider Mom and I to be looky-loos but I don't think it counts when you're trying to assess whether or not you need to evacuate your own home. I can still hear lots of those losers driving, way above the speed limit, past the house. I'm not sure what exactly they are here for. Are they waiting to see a home burn to the ground? Many of them have cameras. It's really weird and creepy. I felt like pulling over to say "This is my neighborhood, do you mind?!"

My favorite person of the night was the angry octogenarian. We noticed her because she was the only one in traffic honking her horn at the cop. She leaned on the horn and yelled in a disgusted tone "How am I supposed to get home?!" I can't wait to be that old and livid. She just didn't give a damn about the crowds or the fire, she just wanted everyone to get the hell out of her way.

Mom has had some sort of strange laryngitis lately. If stopped by the cops our plan was to have mom say, in her raspy voice, "I need to get home to my respirator." Luckily the cop who stopped us was too freaked out to question us. He just said they weren't letting people through. I said "Ok, we'll just go around." He nodded and seemed happy to have us turn around. We didn't have to use Mom's fake respirator excuse.

When we got home Dad was on the phone about some bird. Mom didn't let the phone to his ear stop her. She rolled in and started describing the whole scene. I then heard her laughing and walking away. Apparently Dad was pointing to the phone as if to say "I'm on the phone, just a minute." but Mom kept on talking. Eventually he casually said into the receiver "Oh, there's a wildfire a few blocks away." To say Dad is nonchalant about our local fires is an understatement. Once a police officer told us to leave because of a mandatory evacuation. Dad talked to neighbors and learned that a different officer told them we were under a voluntary evacuation. We didn't leave. That was the night the house turned bright orange. I can tell you with some authority what hell must look like. Is it the inside of your house lit in bright orange firelight? No, it's your Dad arguing with the young officer at the door and hearing him dismissively say "I've been hiking these hills for 50 years. That fire is two ridges away! We're not going anywhere." I always get mad at those people who don't leave their houses but now I wonder if they've been told one too many times to leave by a naive and ultimately incorrect cop to evacuate. I'd never want a firefighter to have to rescue me because I was too stubborn to leave my home after being warned it might burn to the ground. However, I also don't like the idea of having only 5 minutes to evacuate my home only to learn later that nobody else in the neighborhood was told to leave.

I just looked up the fire online and there is apparently a mandatory evacuation nearby. I have my windows open and can't really smell the fire from inside the house. I like to think that means it's blowing away from us. I can't see it either. I just hope everyone makes it through the night all right. Maybe it's time for some Tylenol PM so I can sleep...

Wednesday, April 23

Good day

The meeting went very well. The big creative genius is actually a very warm and kind man. We all felt immediately comfortable around him. He was so excited about his new project that he showed us about 15 minutes of it. I LOVE it! I'm very excited about it and can't wait to see the whole thing.

We were almost immediately broken out into smaller groups. While I wasn't assigned to the creative genius' group I did brainstorm with another giant in his field. He too was a gentle soul and a lot of fun to work with. I think I came up with some very cool ideas and had a good time contributing.

I hope some of my ideas actually get made. Although our target market is children, I came up with ideas of stuff that I wanted. I even told my group that. I said "This is for me. I want it!" They agreed.

Wish I could tell you more but... Well, let's just say you're in for a treat in 12-24 months. Trust me!

Tuesday, April 22

Huge honor... sorta freaking out

I've been invited to a brainstorming meeting tomorrow morning with the owner of one of the most famous creative minds in the world. It's a huge honor but I'm sorta freaking out.

On the bright side, I doubt there will be any math involved.

Wish me luck.

Monday, April 21

Days of Summer

They're making me do math at work and I resent it. I was a journalism major because it required almost no math. I've hated math ever since the 2nd grade when my evil teacher, Miss Scott, ruined it for me. She'd assign math homework then, the next day, make us sit in line while she graded our homework one person at a time. She wouldn't explain what we did wrong, she'd just say, or write,"Wrong" in orange ink and point to the end of the line where we'd have to cluelessly rework the problem and start the process all over again. How is that teaching? I complained about her to my parents but I think they chalked it up to typical childhood grumblings. The next year, my Dad ran for, and won, a spot on the Board of Education. Miss Scott really changed her tune after Dad won. That made me hate her even more. Even as a kid I hated a kiss ass. Still do. The very first time I uttered the F-word it was in reference to Miss Scott. I stand by my choice.

If I had known then that I'd actually have to use math on my grown up job I might have made more of a stink. I might have expressed concern for my future. Then again I didn't know about the Internet back then. Now I just look little formulas up or ask a co-worker. Turns out most folks at my level are unhappy about having to do math again. It feels like a punishment.

Tonight I promised myself I'd leave work at a decent time. I did. When I got home I didn't want to bother with dinner so I had cereal. A fine meal if you ask me. As I plopped in front of the tv I saw that Wheel of Fortune was on. It immediately occurred to me that as much as I hate math on my job, I'd hate Pat Sajak's job even more. Seriously, that poor man must be going out of his mind by now. I know he makes some decent dough but can you imagine what must go through his mind while taping that show? He can't possibly really be upset when those poor saps spin a "Bankrupt" but he has to act empathetic. And what about all of that money people waste on vowels? I watch about 4 minutes of The Wheel per year and its enough to make me crazy. We've all seen a board that spells out "Asshol_" and the moron proudly says "I'd like to buy an "u" Pat."

Ugh! How can Pat stand it? He must want to scream! I know money is great and all but no amount of money could persuade me to do that job for so many years. Pat wasn't even around for the fun years. Remember when contestants could go "shopping"? I loved the shopping part of the show and pretty much jumped ship when they stopped the shopping sprees. That was in the pre-Love Connection days with Chuck Woolery. Remember "For $200 I'll take the monkey statue, Chuck."? Most times my brother would counter "For $50 I'll take that blow job from Vanna, Chuck!". It was wrong but it always made me laugh. Those were the days of Summer when Mom and Dad were out or at work. My brother and I would both sleep in then run into each other in the kitchen where we'd make our bowls of cereal and meet in the living room to catch some Gidget and My Three Sons. Ahh, those were the days. I started working at 15 and worked each Summer from then on, but I still fondly look back on those days of no bills, lots of Gidget and few worries. Ah, to be a lazy teen again.

Not for a million dollars, Pat.

Sunday, April 20


I had every intention of blogging from Milwaukee last week but found myself working online until late into each night. I liked Milwaukee though. I had two of the best nights of sleep I've had in ages. My room was nice and extremely quiet. My meetings went well but my flight home was a nightmare. A crazy drunk lady slobbered and slurred words a few rows in front of mine for much of the flight and was arrested when we landed. I heard she tried to use the restroom during our landing and I guess that didn't go over too well. The kid in front of me bobbed to what I imagine was loud hip hop on his iPod. The guys behind me slept for the beginning of the flight but woke after an hour and spoke loudly over the even noisier engines for the rest of the flight. I was trapped in a window seat next to a lunatic obsessed with her ugly Coach bag. She clutched that bag while she slept then propped it on her seat tray and admired it. She didn't seem to want to put it on the floor so she fondled it most of the time. It was weird. The kid in the aisle of my row scored some run to go in his Coke but I'm certain he was under aged because he admired his drink the same way the strange lady gazed at her bag. There was no movie on the flight and I couldn't watch the movie on my iPod because didn't sync it correctly. I listened to a few episodes of This American Life (The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar and The Spokesman were particularly fascinating. At the very least, listen to the story told by Joe Lockhart as told on The Moth. How to Rest in Peace was great but terribly disturbing. That's the thing about that show, it's always thought provoking, often funny, but sometimes profoundly sad. Still, it's always worth a listen. Get the free podcast on the site or on iTunes. You won't be sorry.) and played solitaire on my iPod instead. I've decided my iPod is an absolute Godsend in those situations. It's sort of acts as my blankey while on the road, except I don't stare at it and stroke it like the bag lady. Since that flight I've downloaded Scrabble to it. I also downloaded Under the Tuscan Sun because I never get tired of that movie and I'm sure I'll find comfort in it next time I'm trapped. I'd like to add Pride and Prejudice as well but it doesn't seem to be available yet. The flight from hell landed around 11:30 pm Thursday night so I got to drag myself into work late on Friday and leave a little early. I feel like I'm still recovering in terms of sleep.

I had a nice weekend but still feel tired. I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall with Heidi and laughed a lot. Shandon was right, it's funny but forgettable. It's one I'm sure I'll watch again on cable. I watched The Assassination of Jesse James but the Coward Robert Ford this afternoon. I really liked it. As usual, I was doing other things while it was on but what I managed to see was good looking. I didn't wait to see who the Cinematographer was but he/she did an great job. The Direction was interesting too.

I've come to the realization that I'm very stressed out at work (yeah, I'm a brainiac for figuring that one out). My boss and I are short handed and are covering a LOT of territory. I know I've been getting in early, working late then doing more work at home. I've vowed to at least stop the working in the evenings habit. I'm going to crash and burn if I don't take it easy. I finally realized that even if you like your job it can still stress you out. I saw my doctor a couple of months ago and my GP when I had that terrible flu. They both asked if I was under any stress and I repeatedly told them "no". I now realize that's not true. My boss is having some health issues, I've had some strange symptoms and another co-worker is dealing with ulcers. We all like our jobs but obviously something is going on. Before I left on Friday, I told my boss to get out of there to go home and chill some wine. We then admitted that we are both under a lot of pressure but that it will get better soon. We've chosen a candidate for the open position in our group now HR needs to make it official.

I don't normally get the Sunday night blues, and I don't think I quite have them now, but I do wish I had another couple of days to sleep and read. I've been good about ignoring my Blackberry during personal time but I did sneak a peek at my calendar. This week is light on meetings but I know the days will fill themselves quickly. The best news my Blackberry had to share was that I don't have to travel for a couple of weeks. That's good. While I enjoy travel, it can often be exhausting. I think I'll book my flights tomorrow so I can get those aisle seats while I can.

Saturday, April 12

Good to know

I flew home today. It was a packed flight but I got a window seat. About 15 minutes into the flight, the movie I was watching froze. I called a flight attendant for help, she got to talking to the worried Dad standing nearby and, long story short, I swapped window seats with his son so he could sit closer to his sister who is terrified of flying. When I got to my new seat the movie selections were all messed up. There were lots of decent movies to choose from: Sweeney Todd, There Will Be Blood, Juno, Atonement and so on, but none would work for me. Guess what I could watch? Just guess. The only three movies working on my monitor were The Golden Compass, The Water Horse and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Dammit! I caved and tried to watch The Golden Compass. I got about 15 minutes into it and quit. You know it's a bad film when a woman trapped in a window seat for 6 hours would rather quit than sit through it. I gave that stupid Water Horse a try but sort of fell asleep and missed the first 45 minutes. I eventually regained consciousness and watched a couple of hours of Deadliest Catch.

At the end of the flight I had the window shade down and didn't know we were so close to landing. My whole row jumped when we hit the ground. I looked down and noticed that the nice woman sitting next to me had a Delta badge and a Captain's hat.

Lucy: Are you a pilot for Delta?
Pilot: Yes.
Lucy: Oh, I LOVE hearing a woman's voice over the PA as a pilot. It makes me happy.
Pilot: Yeah, we're only about 4-5% of the pilot pool right now but we're out there.
Lucy: Well, I always appreciate it when I hear that a woman is flying.
Lucy: So, do you think this guy is a Navy pilot? (sort of nodding towards the cockpit)
Pilot: (laughing) Yeah, probably.
Lucy: He sort floored it on takeoff. I thought 'Ok now, take it easy hotrod'. I guess that's what happens when you're used to landing on a postage stamp.
Lucy: Are you Navy?
Pilot: I'm Air Force. I'm still active. I'm on reserve.
Lucy: You can fly with an airline and be on active duty?
Pilot: Yeah, so many pilots come from the military that they're pretty flexible. They're great about letting me leave when I'm on active duty. Then when I get back they book me right away. It's really nice.
Lucy: I've always wanted to learn to fly.
Pilot: You should! It's SO MUCH FUN. I love it!
Lucy: So how to you choose the airline to join?
Pilot: Well, my Dad was a Delta pilot. You really look for the right culture. Delta has great hiring practices and the highest standards. (Good to know.)
Lucy: Are you going home now?
Pilot: Yeah, the whole crew is. We flew out yesterday but they didn't have a plane for us to fly home with so were dead heading together on this flight. The flight attendants are back there (pointing behind us).

I was fascinated by this woman. She was very young. She joined the Air Force about 11 years ago so she must have been around 30. She said she wished more women would become pilots because they're really good at it. Women tend to be great multitaskers and that's apparently what flying is all about. She said working in a male dominated field could occasionally get old but that it was mostly great. I told her that women like her make it easier for the up and coming women pilots and that I hoped it wold be closer to a 50/50 ratio of men:women pilots in my lifetime. She agreed that there was no reason that couldn't happen and that she was always telling women to try it because she really felt they'd love it.


Friday, April 11

So, yeah, Picasso had some issues.

This morning's meeting went very well. I think it was worth the trip so that's good.

Even more important, though, was the much anticipated visit to MOMA. My verdict: I loved it! About every 5 minutes my brain would seize up and scream something like "Holy crap! It's Starry Night. The real damn Starry Night... and it's not on a mug!!" I've always liked Starry Night but I must admit that up close I thought "Yeah, it's a little loopy. I sort of understand why folks freaked out about it back in the day." Still, it's amazing to stare at. My brain also dug up the title Broadway Boogie Woogie, which I recognized from across the room. I also saw some Seurat, Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollack, Picasso, Miro, Monet, Matisse and the uber cool Frida Kahlo just to name a few. I'm still recovering.

I've seen pictures of this Kahlo self portrait dozens of times so the real thing called out to me from across the gallery. It was smaller than I would have guessed.

I also realized that the only thing that apparently stuck with me from college was my modern art class. I was familiar with so much of what I saw today and even knew the names after all these years. I'm so proud of myself. I thought the only thing I'd learned in school was my social security number. While I may not love solid black "studies" on canvas, I admire the guts it took to be the first hang it on a gallery wall, especially 100 years ago. The same goes for Dadaists. It may have been a kooky movement but they had some fun, shocked some folks and did it all first. I sort of love that.

I saw Jackson Pollock's One: Number 31. The guy's work continues to be controversial but I must confess that standing in front of it is impressive. One: 31 happens to be enormous and it has an impressive presence. I really liked it a lot. I sat and stared at it for quite a while gazing at the splatters, trying to decipher which came before the others. I wondered how long Pollock worked on it. As I left I heard a teenager come around a corner and exclaim "Man! That must have taken forever!" I was glad he noticed.

Of course lots of modern art is bullshit, but most of the stuff at MOMA is very cool. I was looking at a painting of Matisse's French studio while listening to the audio tour. The description on the wall quoted Matisse saying "Where I got the color red—to be sure, I just don't know." Then the audio went on and on about how "red represents what must have been stifling heat in the Summer months, blah, blah, blah...". I thought 'dang, the guy just said he had no idea why he chose red, stop second guessing him.' That's the part about art that sort of cracks me up. People love to project theories on art when sometimes a color is just a color.
Joan Miro's self portrait was incredible (now there's another one with issues). I NEVER would have guessed that I'd like it. Photos of it make it look gruesome and flat but in person it's remarkably intricate and actually possesses an unexpected beauty. I stood and stared at that one for a while too. Looking at it (below) is like seeing it through a Vaseline lens. You can't imagine the amazing details that make up this image. There is so much going on here:

After my brain had recovered from seeing Starry Night I turned around and discovered my new favorite Van Gogh. Turns out I love the portrait of his postman. Again, the pic (below) is absolute crap but in person it's truly amazing. The brush strokes and colors are gorgeous. Believe it or not, even the beard is beautiful.

The only down side to my visit was the prevalence of amateur photographers. I happen to really love looking at art up close as well as from a distance. This is a challenge when there is someone constantly backing up trying to take a photo of everything. A long time ago I gave up taking pix of art and most tourist sights. There are excellent professional photographs of most every type of art, architecture, photography and so on. There is no way to capture the green hills of Ireland or the brush strokes in a Van Gogh so I don't bother anymore. I try to enjoy those moments as the come. Whether it's visiting MOMA or going to my nephew's Little League games I try to pay attention, enjoy and not obsess about trying to somehow capture the moment. If you're busy capturing the moment, you're probably missing it. I saw a lot of that today. I'd say the vast majority of MOMA visitors where busily scanning galleries for art they recognized then quickly snapping pix without really seeing much. I guess it all goes back to that whole "being present" thing that I'm working on. I wandered around and just took in the sights that really moved me. In the photography gallery I enjoyed some Diane Arbus, Stieglitz and Dorothea Lange. They're not for everyone but I liked them.

I saw Henri Matisse's Dance. It's also huge and so much more vibrant than any photos available online. It's not a favorite but it sure made my brain freak.

So that was my MOMA visit in a nut shell. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Archtecture/Photography floor was in the middle of a new installation which was a bit of a bummer. *shrug* Oh well, I'll be sure to go back when I have the chance. Of course, next time I'll probably check out The Met or The Guggenheim. So much to do! So much to see! I love it!

Thursday, April 10


I flew with Delta today and really liked it. Apparently the 737s from LAX to JFK (and visa versa) are all former "Song" planes. Remember those? I'd never been on one until today but I dig 'em for a couple of reasons: 1) they actually offer a selection of freebie snacks (unlike United) and 2) the individual monitor in the seat in front of me. I was able to watch live television and a selection of movies. I watched both I Am Legend and There Will Be Blood. Two very downer choices, I realize, but I liked them more than I would have guessed. On the way home I'll be watching lighter films like Martian Child or maybe August Rush. I've seen a bunch of the other offerings. All in all, it was a decent flight. I'm apparently easily bought by a couple of ginger snaps and movies. Oh, and the best part was that I checked in online yesterday and selected an aisle seat in an otherwise empty row and it remained empty for me today. Woo hoo!!

I'm staying in a new hotel. The room is tiny, but it's New York so I'm not surprised. It's very nicely decorated and even has a iHome station so I can listen to my iPod on speakers. I ordered some dinner, which was good, except it took an hour to arrive. I was, however, annoyed by my "Mixed fruit and berries plate". It was $12 (you heard me) and was four small slices each of cantaloupe, honeydew melon and pineapple and NO berries. That's a ridiculous price for a fruit plate but a couple of trips ago the same (ludicrous) price got me the best fruit bowl I've ever had. Don't you hate ordering fruit and getting melon? It's the loser fruit that always annoys.

After dinner, I decided to take a quick shower. Unfortunately my room does not seem to be hooked up to a water heater. I've learned that you often have to let water run for about 5 minutes to get hot water in these old buildings. It kills my poor California-girl-water-saving heart but must be done. Well, I let that water run for about 20 minutes before I realized I'd be taking a damn cold shower. It made me very cranky. I called downstairs and asked that someone come up tomorrow, while I'm gone, and fix it. If I have to take another cold shower tomorrow night I'll freak. It's now 11:45 pm and I have to be in the lobby at 7:00 am. I'm finally getting tired.

I'll let you know about MOMA tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 9


I've not been able to update here as often as I'd like because of work. I'm getting in at 8:00 am and getting home around 8:00 pm then working online for a few more hours. The good news is that I got a nice raise and they say I'm on track for a promotion. (We'll see.) The best news is that we are going to get another Manager in my group which will really help with my travel and workload.

I'm off to New York tomorrow then Chicago next week and San Francisco in early May. I'm NOT flying American tomorrow so I'm hoping that means I'll actually get there and back.

My laptop will travel with me so, time permitting, I'll update from there. I've decided to hit MOMA. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 7


I'm still here, I'm just busier than I've ever been at work. I mean crazy busy. I'm becoming one of those freaks who takes a couple of days to return calls. I hate those people but I barely have time to go to the bathroom much less call folks between non-stop meetings. I got home at 8:00 pm tonight and still have lots of online work to do. I'm so tired though. I think I'll just go to bed early and try to get to work early. Good thing I (usually) like my job.

In other news, I had a nice time on Sunday until the smack down. Oh, did I forget to mention the smack down at the liquidation sale? Oy! I met a friend at the old Macy's to get some deals. I headed straight for the handbags and my friend ran to grab some clothes. I eventually made my way over to her and we stood in line for a dressing room. A sales associate pointed me towards a room and said "There was a lady in there but she went to find a different size and we haven't seen her in a while. She's taking too long so ahead and take the room." I stepped in and immediately saw an almost full iced coffee. I turned back and asked "Are you sure? There's a coffee in here." The sales associate assured me it was fine. I had bought a few handbags downstairs so I plopped that shopping bag in front of the closed door thinking, if that lady comes back, she'll feel resistance and knock. Well, she came back all right but she did NOT knock. She just burst into the room as I pulled a silk blouse over my head and said "This is my room so you can go now." What the...? As if her rude tone wasn't enough, she then picked up my shopping bag and hurled it into the hallway. (I know!) I was shocked... then I LOST IT. I started shouting "Don't throw my stuff around. What's wrong with you?!" She then sort of dismissed me by waving her hand about 2 inches from my face. I WAVED back in her face and told her to knock it off. She sort of flinched, as if I were the lunatic, so I waved again because I sort of enjoyed scaring her. Meanwhile the other ladies in the dressing room started shouting out at her "She just did what the sales clerk told her to do. Leave her alone! Yeah, you took too long!!!" While I appreciated the support, I started grabbing my stuff out of "her" room when I heard my new friend Mary (a nice lady I'd met in line) call out "Baby, you come change in here with me. She's craaazy!" I headed for Mary's room and changed with her. I helped Mary zip up her dress and we assessed each others clothing choices. It turned out to be a nice bonding experience once that LUNATIC left. I've never met a more rude person in my life! I knew about the sale because a friend works at that store and was good enough to give me a heads up. I left a message for her saying that somewhere there was some hilarious video of me fighting with a whack job in the ladies dressing rooms.

On the way home I started getting concerned because that's the second time I've gone off on somebody in the past few weeks. What's going on? I'm usually a pretty normal woman. I then decided the bursting in on me and throwing my stuff around was indeed inappropriate and that few people who would have kept their cool during such an exchange.

It was worth it though. I got some great deals. I spent WAY too much money but it was all on work related things. Yes, bags count! I need to keep a professional image after all... I know, I'm grasping at straws here but whatever. I'm getting a decent tax refund this year so I'm not feeling too guilty. I've not been much of a shopper for the past few years, guess I made up for it yesterday.

Man, what a day. Guess I need to read more of the Eckhart Tolle book. Be present, be present, be present... *sigh*.

Saturday, April 5

The good, the bad and the ugly of my day

The good:
I got a new phone and assigned a couple of songs to folks in my contacts list. I thought of the last song on earth my brother would allow on his iPod and assigned it to be his ringtone. What did I select? Freedom by Wham! It will make me smile every time he calls.

The bad:
Shandon has the flu. We had planned to see Stop Loss but I know that flu very well and there's no way she'll be seeing anything this weekend. I know when I had it, all I wanted to do was sleep. I did get some good reading in though. I hope you feel better soon, Shandon!

The ugly:
While shopping I saw a shocking sight, almost as bad as the bug trotting out of my dessert. While in the produce area I saw a normal looking older woman. "Normal" that is until I glanced down. This woman had the longest, old, yellow toe nails I have ever seen. The sight of them almost made me gag. I'm serious. Of course, I immediately thought "Maybe I can get a picture for the blog. They'll never believe this!" but then I remembered that I don't know how to turn off the sound on my new phone and it would have made that tell tale fake camera sound. Damn, foiled again. You really wouldn't have believed it. Those things couldn't fit in shoes so I suppose that's why she was wearing sandals on a cold overcast day. *shudder*