26 June 2009


The company I work for put a freeze on raises and bonuses for this years because of the economy. However, they are perfectly willing to shell out the cash for alcohol and sanitizing wipes, and for that hand sanitizer gel. They will gladly weaken our immune systems because there is a pandemic, but won't put up the cash for a cost of living raise. I don't even feel like I'm benefiting at all because I won't use that crap.

22 June 2009

Subway Story

I was putting off posting this story because I felt that it was the kind of thing that came off better in person. However, I'm not going to deny the rest of the world by restricting my stories to people I see on a semi-regular basis.

We were on the subway heading uptown to the Guggenheim. My dad and I were sitting next to each other and my mom was across from us. The train was moderately crowded, so there were some people standing. One of those people was, well, I call him the Australian Urban Cowboy. He was a tallish, rangy fella. He was wearing what I've been calling a drover's hat but may be some other kind of hat entirely, worn carpenter jeans, a black shirt with a work vest (think Carhartt). There were earplugs in his ears, a chain on his wallet, and a lanyard around his neck. Attached to the back of the lanyard was one of those little blinky lights that runners and bikers use to increase their visibility. On his feet were what I thought were engineer boots. But after a closer look, I realized he was wearing black wellies with spurs strapped on. I know, I know. It's New York and the odd is commonplace and even if something is especially weird, I'm supposed to be all jaded and blase and not make any sort of fuss. Sure, the dude could have been a construction worker or something, but he wasn't dirty, or carrying a hardhat. His clothing looked more like he bought it secondhand. Y'know, old but not super crappy.

Well, I didn't make a fuss. I stared at the floor like a native and I'm so glad I did because if I hadn't, I would have missed what came next.
I'm gazing absently at this dude's spurs and I notice a sandaled foot edging closer to the AUC's boot. I nudged my dad. "She's not gonna...?" "Naw, no way!" We both watched, rapt, as the woman sitting next to my mom reached out with her silver-painted toes and ever-so-gently zzzzzing! spun the rowel of the AUC's spur. My dad and I stuffed fists in our mouths to stifle the gales of laughter that were threatening to break out. I snuck a glance at the woman and she had a smile on her face like sunshine breaking through the clouds. After the rowel stopped its spinning, the foot reached out again. This time, however, the AUC happened to glance down and the woman hurriedly pulled back her foot. Shortly after that, the AUC strode to the other end of the car and I saw the woman looking after him longingly. I don't think it was because she found him attractive or anything, but because she was so entranced by the spurs. Maybe she had never seen spurs before. Or maybe she had a torrid affair with a cowboy many years ago and the spurs made her remember those days fondly. Just one more thing I will never know the answer to.

16 June 2009

My Trip to Lower Manhattan

I spent some time in NY this weekend. We stayed at the Millennium Hilton across the street from Ground Zero. Call me callous or lacking in national pride, but I didn't really have any feelings of loss or sorrow. I was amazed at the scope of the construction that is currently going on, but I didn't hear the screams of the dying as I looked down on the site. Plus the place was surrounded by people with pamphlets purporting to tell the "truth" about 9/11.

Moving right along. Across Dey from the hotel is Century 21. While it once may have been New York's best kept secret; it's now a madhouse of bargain hunters. The building it is housed in used to be a bank. Now it's several floors of massive consumerism as designed by MC Escher. I went down several secret staircases to find the shoes but somehow ended up at street level. If I ever return to Century 21, it will not be on a Saturday and I will plan to devote (at least) the morning. Then maybe come back after a fortifying lunch at the Stage Door Deli. But I do get shopping burnout rather quickly so who knows.

I got a nice tour of the MTA. For the most part, we managed to figure out what trains we needed to take, but there were a few mishaps. For example, we needed to take the 2 or 3 over to Chelsea and I accidentally (and with the utmost confidence) led everyone down to the "L" trains. Oops. Luckily we managed to find our way to the correct platform with only a minimum of crotchety bitching from my dad.

We got to be among the first thousand people or so to walk along the newly opened High Line on Saturday. While there were several ways to exit the High Line (12, 14, 16, 18 and 20th), you could only go up at 12th. Apparently they are assessing the traffic before opening it fully. It was kind of nice to meander along what used to be an elevated rail line. Nature took back hers and now it's a skinny designer concrete path zigzagging between the remains of the rails and sprouts of greenery. After our wander, we ate lunch at a cute little Mexican place called Los Dados. Decent guac, yummy shrimp enchiladas, cute gayboy waiter, terrible sinks in the bathroom. Seriously. They were tiny and the faucet was on the side and you could barely get your hands in there. If you eat there, use the handicapped bathroom (y'know, if no handicapped people need it) because that sink is much, much better.

Friday night, we opted to do the tourist thing and headed down to the South Street Seaport. Had drinks (a Blue Moon) and apps (watermelon, feta, and red onion salad) at a place called Sequoia (I think) and then headed over to a brewery-slash-bbq joint for the main event. My dad and I had a pretty decent wheat something or other while my mom went for the IPA. Then I ate a shit-ton of ribs and had some cheese grits (tasted like cream of wheat with Velveeta mixed in). Then I exploded. It's a damn good thing we had walked about 22k steps that day.

Friday was a visit to the Guggenheim to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit. It was really cool to see models of the stuff that didn't get built like the crazy car park/planetarium and the rich person playground built into the hills of southern California. The Guggenheim is an awesome museum but walking uphill the whole way wears on ya. They were doing a promo and we got the audio tour for free but I managed to miss around 95% of it. The numbers you punch in to hear the info were not readily apparent so I gave up after a bit. As we were resting near the top of the spiral, my dad and I had a discussion about the best way to rollerskate down - you know, without killing yourself or getting arrested.

It was nice of the weather to cooperate. We got into Manhattan right after some rain and headed out Saturday afternoon just as more was coming in. Of course, it was raining pretty hard when we got into Hamilton, but as we were most of the way home, no big deal.

We also hit Battery Park and the Hudson River Park. I don't have much to say about that. Oh, and next time you're in NY, make sure to look for the little metal dudes in the subway.

10 June 2009

The Universe Is Laughing At Me

They are back. The terrible, lip-shredding, nearly impossible-to-lock, crappy, bane of my coffee-drinking existence lids.


On a happier note, we are back on Coffee-Mate brand non dairy creamer. The no-brand stuff we had makes the not good work coffee an exercise in gag reflex control. It probably won't last, but I'll take my wins where I can get them.

08 June 2009

Pointless Update on Stupid Things

Fantastic news! We have dome lids again. Which have a tendency to leak a bit if not put on just right. They aren't the same dome lids we had before, but it's still an improvement over the lip-shredding ones.

Who says Mondays suck?

A Post Just So I Can Say I Posted

I don't really have anything specific to write about...nothing new there. I guess the most exciting? interesting? good? news is that I'm starting to come out of the funk that has plagued me for the last six weeks. It's not that I haven't had my low points before; they just usually happen in the fall/winter months. I think this one hit harder because I'm used to being far cheerier (as far as that word can be applied to me) in the spring/summer months.

Quick poll: Who has a Wii? Those of you who raised a hand: Who finds that they try way too hard when playing games like Mario Slugger and have shoulder pain the next day? *cheepcheep Just me, huh? I don't know what it is about that stupid console but if there is throwing or batting involved, I'm going all out. It's the same with Mortal Kombat. I will twirl and kick and punch. Star Wars - I will attack you with my plastic lightsaber. Most of these games don't actually require you to move that much, but I suppose that moderation has never been my watchword. I would just hate to have to go to my doc with a raging case of Wii elbow.

Let's see...I think my pen pal is bored with me. As I wasn't expecting him to stay in contact after he got home, I'm not really all that bummed out about it. I provided a service and he no longer needs it. Honestly, I was surprised he emailed me at all after getting home. Anyway, I wish him well.

There's a project at work that I'm supposed to be getting trained on but something keeps thwarting my (tiny) efforts to get logged in. Which is fine by me. If Stoneface wasn't such an ass, I wouldn't be doing a job that the company wanted to hire someone full-time to do. Stupid pharma wouldn't lay out the $$$. Bitches.

There's a movie coming out this Friday that I'm super excited about. It's called Moon and it stars Sam Rockwell. Look at me! I'm the next IMDB! Anyway, the movie looks creepy and cool and I can't wait. Hopefully I'll be able to post a review. Not that reviews are my strong suit. I'm not one for analyzing stuff. I was the kid in English class who said "How do you know that's what the author meant? Did you ask him? Maybe the room is just where she likes to sit and isn't a metaphor for her being imprisoned in her delusions."

I told you I had nothing much.