Jul 08

A quickie before the gym

I had a second blog entry all ready to go last week, but for some reason I just couldn’t get it together to post it.

Last week I was really sick of school. Tuesday I skipped class. The night before I had taken a Benadryl – having run out of Allegra over the weekend – and was completely groggy the whole next day. I felt somewhat guilty ditching, but still had a lovely evening hanging with MB. Then the next morning it turned out the teacher had canceled class at the last minute. Woohoo, me!

I did make it to class on Thursday. The teacher felt she had to make up for class on Tuesday so we had just a five minute break, as opposed to 20, and we ended at 9, as opposed to 8:30. The class seemed soooo long. Usually we have our break at 7:30, giving us the opportunity to run out and get a snack. But she didn’t let us go till 8, and I was STARVING. I couldn’t even concentrate.

I talked to one of my other classmates, and she said she also feels saturated with this class. We agree we like the teacher, but it’s just a lot of information, and quite a bit of it is redundant.

During the week I was able to get m Allegra. Yay!

The weekend was pretty quiet. I have my final paper and presentation due this Thursday so I worked on that a lot, while MB started working on his book again. We did see one movie,
Transsiberian, which was HORRIBLE. It’s the first bad movie I’ve seen in a long time. Right off I hated most of the characters, and the plot was just ridiculous, and I didn’t understand the main character’s motivation. Anyway, I don’t recommend it, not even as a rental.

Saturday morning YP and I had our monthly photo excursion. This time the theme was the “Seedy Side of Central Park,” one of my stupid ideas. Walking around, we realized that the seediness had been cleaned up long ago, and ended up taking “gross” pictures of nature instead.

Sunday was lots of working, and I’m so glad because I’m almost done with my paper and presentation! And a few days ahead of schedule! I knew that I wouldn’t be able to write the paper during the week; after work I’m just pooped.

Now off to the gym.

Jul 08

The days were just packed

It was a fun and busy weekend.

Saturday, before we headed out to YP’s naked comedy show, we went to Sam Ash and got some gadgety electronic thing to feed MB’s music addiction. I don’t really get it, but he gets hours of fun out of it so that’s good.

There were a lot more people at the show than I expected. We got there early, and there was almost no one there. But then suddenly the waiting room was crowded.

Several guys got naked in the audience. Usually there’s just one weird old guy with a pageboy haircut, but this time three youngish men across the aisle from us disrobed. MB squirmed a bit.

“I hope they clean off these seats,” he said before I assured him that the nakedness was restricted to one side of the theatre.

The performers were also funnier than I thought (but just as funny-looking in their nakedness). We sat in the back since I was paranoid that the comic who embarrassed me so much last time would be there – and he was! Thank goodness MB was next to me.

After the show we went with YP to grab something to eat, then walked home together, very convenient since YP’s place is on the way to ours.

Sunday, after some work/lounging time in the late morning/early afternoon, we did some shopping, namely shorts for MB. I thought I had seen a lot of guys’ shorts at Urban Outfitters, but there were hardly any, and they were pretty pricey at $40+ each. We had much more luck at Filene’s – in fact the choices were overwhelming. MB got several pairs for $19.99 each.

I wanted some sandals so DSW was our next stop. No success for me. Although there were lots of choices, my size was nowhere to be found.

Later that night we saw The Wackness. It was quite good, better than I expected. Ben Kingsley in particular was pretty hilarious.

This morning I’m very tired. I’ve started taking the allergy medicine my doctor prescribed me. You may remember that I had this cough, and thought the inhaler she gave me might help. Maybe it did a little. But then one night I had a bad case of the hives (hives are a usual occurence for me), and popped a Benadryl. For the next day and a half, not only did I not have any hives, I didn’t cough, which made me think it was allergies after all.

That’s a long way of saying the allergy medicine gives me a restless sleep. I sleep but wake up every few hours. Annoying but better than coughing I guess.

Mar 08

Much weirdness

There is much weirdness going on here at work today.

To recap, late last week we found out that five out of ten team members are being moved to another team. Our boss, who is a horrible micromanager with terrible judgement (ie, he wanted to kick off our sales presentation in Vegas with a Bush impersonator introducing our team – yes, FOR REAL) went around to each of us to tell us what was happening, but we never had a team meeting.

He set one up for this morning, but when I got here discovered that it had been canceled. Apparently he’s sick with the flu and will be out till Thursday.

Umm, how does he know he’ll be sick till exactly Thursday? “I’m scheduled to be well . . . now.” Anyone else would have said, “I have the flu, I’m definitely out today and tomorrow, maybe I’ll be back on Wednesday.”

Other dirt I got from my boss’ admin, who is also my friend:

  • He had a meeting with a VP in human resources on Friday. It must have been important because he was off-site and drove back into the city just to have this meeting.
  • Tomorrow he has a “personal and confidential” meeting on his calendar.
  • Today at 5 what was our whole team has a meeting with the Senior VP of our group. That is, our whole team minus our lame boss, who although ill could have easily called in.

Those in combination with the scheduled out sick thing makes for much weirdness around here.

What I’m hoping is that they’ll fire him or at least move him elsewhere in the company, and that we all end up reporting to someone else. Second best would be if I got a new job. Third best would be if I got canned because the severance package is sweet.

Worst would be if things remain the same.

I’m excited by the shake up. I kept thinking nothing was ever going to change unless I got a new job. The only annoying thing is that one co-worker who has been moved to the other team is starting to transition her stuff to me, although I’ve gotten zero direction regarding what projects I’ll be taking on, or if I’ll even have a job, or what my job will look like.

In other news, my weekend was very nice. Saturday morning I met up with YP to do our monthly photo assignment. This is just for fun and way to get us out there and taking pictures. Back in January we made up several “themes.” Last month it was Reflections, ie, taking pictures of anything with a reflection. This time it was I Spy. In other words, “A is for. . .,” “B is for. . .,” which I’ve noticed quite a bit on Flickr. It was fun though I got only as far as K. YP got to J.

But before that we had breakfast at Cafe Habana, where I inhaled steak and eggs, and had a celebrity sighting: Ian Wright from Globe Trekker! He is probably my favorite host, along with Megan and Justine. The other hosts are sort of annoying. Ian was with a bunch of other Brits, and looked a bit older than he does on TV, or maybe I just tend to catch earlier episodes. He was wearing an orange sweater with a hole in the elbow, which made him seem down to earth.

That night MB and I saw Jar City, a crime thriller out of Iceland. It was really good. Kind of reminded me of Seven but less gruesome. The grossest thing was what Icelandic people eat – yuck, sheep’s head! (I couldn’t find a link directly to sheep’s head, but here is one on Icelandic cuisine, which apparently also includes cured ram testicles and putrified shark. Mmm, rotten shark meat.)

Another funny thing was that I was freezing in the theatre, and then to see the Icelandic landscape with everyone walking around in giant sweaters and parkas just made me feel colder.

Sunday MB and I did some work, then walked around the city. Although it’s warmer, it’s still quite windy. I’m tired of the cold; I hope it’s on its way out.

Jan 07

Evidence of my indulgence

better against a dark background?

So we have, from left to right, top to bottom:

(row 1) kimchee, cucumber, spicy preserved radish
(row 2) fermented soybeans, spicy fish, unidentified vegetable
(row 3) pajeon, soondooboochigae with rice, rice with beans

I barely made a dent in the sides and ate none of the rice with beans. The soondooboochigae alone was a challenge to finish.

Now I have leftovers galore.

Dec 06

My journals, my life

Christmas was quiet (read: boring) at my parents’. The downtime gave me the chance to look through my old stuff, yearbooks, photo albums, and most of all, journals.

Somehow my parents and I started talking about the schools that my brother and I got into. I, for the life of me, couldn’t remember beyond three. So I looked back in my journal and found the forgotten college that had accepted me.

In those entries I also found that I obssessed a lot about the homework I should have been doing (nothing’s changed) and that I didn’t do so well in calculus. I got a 4 on the AP exam so I always remember doing well, but while I think I ended the year with a B, I got a lot of Cs and a few Ds beforehand.

I constantly worried about studying for AP bio, which I only sometimes did, and about getting praise from my writing teacher. I had a wicked crush on a guy named Ben (my real-life friends will know who that is), which dissipated and turned into a crush on a guy named Steve.

I read about the time SG and I had dinner at the Scanticon Hotel in Princeton. Escargots and filet mignon – fancy! Coincidentally ES was there too with a couple of other friends, and they kept stopping by to chat. They ended up going to a comedy show and hanging out with some college guy in his hotel room. I wonder if she rememebers that.

I forgot how much I wanted to go to the college I ended up going to. I mean, I loved it, but I didn’t remember how passionate I was, how I equated getting in with dreams coming true. “Who knows,” I wrote. “At this rate maybe I’ll win the Pulitzer before I’m 30.” Sorry to burst your bubble, young Anna May.

On Christmas Day, I had lunch with another high school friend. AY, who lives near the where we all grew up, is better friends with ES and someone I usually only see when ES is around. But when we all saw each other this past Thanksgiving, AY was very enthusiastic about hanging out again the next time I was home.

She knew only that I was divorced, not why or how. So over buttermilk pancakes and bacon – well, I had buttermilk pancakes and bacon, she had soup and salad – I filled her in. She was very sweet and sympathetic. I think a couple of her friends have gone through tough divorces/break-ups.

The last time we saw each other, before this past Thanksgiving, was Thankgiving weekend 2004. I can remember the day clearly – the cafe where ES and I met her for lunch, hanging out at her condo afterwards, much of it in her bathroom for some reason – but till later wasn’t clear on the year.

AY said that day she could tell something was up with me. She said, “Don’t get upset but I thought, Anna May looks old. I thought you looked about 40.”

The first thing I thought was, God, I hope that was after the affair and not before! And the first thing I did when I came back to New York? Check my journal: whew. That weekend was indeed November 2004, which was several months after the affair. Plus I was probably exhausted from Thanksgiving itself.

I said, “I don’t look 40 now, do I?”

“No, no!” she said. “You look happy. You look like yourself again.”

Since she was so blunt about my looking bad, I can only assume she’s being honest about how I look now.

I didn’t realize how much the ordeal showed on my face. People at work suspected, and obviously friends who hadn’t seen me in some time could tell. I don’t remember looking at myself much during that time, not like now when I wake up every morning and scrutinize every wrinkle and dark spot. Maybe I had some trouble looking at myself back then.

Thank goodness for my journals. They’re there when memory fails me and to remind me how life comes in waves, good, bad, mediocre, horrible, wonderful, and that right now I’m in pretty good shape.

Dec 06

Soooo tempting

I’ve emerged from my cave and finally taken notice of the Nike + iPod Sport Kit. It’s the recent ad that’s gotten me, featuring a guy running on a treadmill against a movie screen to this catchy tune, which has a pretty cool video involving, yes, treadmills (one take, people! it’s done in one take).

The thing about the sport kit is that I’d have to buy a Nano. I already have a Mini, but I’ve had it for about 2 years now, and the battery’s wearing out. Like I’ll charge it all day and it’ll last only about two hours, while when I first got it, it’d last up to 5 or 6.

~ ~ ~

In other news, on Saturday I went to the 11 Spring Street open house. For those who don’t know, 11 Spring St. has long been a sort of graffiti landmark. Artists have come from around the world to make their mark.

To honor its place in the artworld and as a part of New York history, the owners invited street artists to do up the inside of the building before beginning renovations. Two months later they opened the doors to the public, hence the open house this past weekend. Renovations began today.

Hours were from 11 to 5, and I got there at about 11:30. The line went around three square blocks. Crazy! I waited for about an hour, taking pictures all the while.

I didn’t mind the wait except that it was colder than I expected so after a while I started to freeze, and then I had to pee. Oh well.

Inside, needless to say, was pretty darned cool too. A few of my favorites:

Afterwards, I stopped in Rice to Riches to use the bathroom. I’ve yet to actually try the rice pudding there. I was starving but resisted as that blast of sugar would have f’d me up. Instead I went up to Astor Place and had ramen and boba tea at Saint’s Alp. Then Whole Foods for a couple of Christmas items.

It was about 3:30 when I got home. I had left the house at 10 and was exhausted for some reason, but a good kind of exhausted. Later that night I met my mom at the Grand Central JFK bus drop-off, where we picked up the free shuttle to Penn Station. I got her on the very crowded train and took off.

Yesterday was a hermit day. I stayed in and cleaned like crazy. It was worth it. I love how my floors shine afterwards. I also rearranged and got rid of some books that I knew I’d never read or just didn’t want, ie, DK’s castoffs that he had given me. As the Gilmore Girls say:

Rory: “You know what it means when a man gives you a book.”
Lorelai: “That he’s already read it?”
Rory: “Yup.”

Should be quiet this week.

Oct 06


I was so psyched about not having to present at the meeting in Florida last week, then ended up having to present yesterday locally.

Although it turned out fine, I was still pretty stressed out beforehand, to the point that I took a Unisom the night before, not to help me fall asleep, but so that in the morning my nerves would be distracted by feeling tired and slightly spacey.

I’m starting to think I need to take a public speaking class. With my job it’s becoming more apparent that I can’t get away with not presenting. I hate that extremely nervous feeling I always get before I do it.

It doesn’t just go for presenting. I have this problem in meetings, in class (though less so), and sometimes in social situations in which I don’t know a lot of people or feel uncomfortable. It comes and goes. Perhaps I need to learn some techniques to make it happen less often.

People who aren’t shy don’t understand this, just as I don’t understand how one can be perfectly calm before going on stage. S. says he never feels nervous before a performance, just pumped and maybe worried that he’ll forget something, but not nervous like me. My fear is blanking or stumbling, and then getting those embarrassed looks from the audience.

I have to remind myself that I may be projecting, and even if they *are* embarrassed for me, it’s not because I blanked for a moment or stumbled, but because I probably look like I’m starting to freak out.

I thought about taking a stand up comedy class. S. has enjoyed his, and Mario Vasquez, this news reporter on CBS, suggested it in order to conquer fear of public speaking as well as to build skills for being an effective speech maker. He was an excellent speaker. Very natural and funny.

I’ve had this problem since I was kid. Throughout school we had to give oral reports and speeches, and I always did okay. Yes, I was very nervous beforehand but always did well, sometimes made people laugh. I don’t feel as successful with these work-related presentations. Maybe if I had something under my belt, like making people laugh from stage, then I’d feel more confident overall.

I was okay with teaching. In the beginning it was extremely nerve racking, but after a few weeks, I got the hang of it and it felt almost natural. Maybe because all I needed was a loose lesson plan, and then I was just talking off the top of my head. And people always had questions. I do better with just answering people’s questions than just lecturing.

The idea of a stand-up comedy class scares the bejeezus out of me. But some people are SO horrible. Cringingly bad. I can’t be worse than them.

~ ~ ~

On another note, my obsession with Flickr grows. I finally went “pro” and now have what seems like an unlimited capacity for uploading pix. Also, one of my photos got into Explore last week – yippee!

I joined a group, Mirror Views from a Street Mentality. I love taking pictures of reflections, which I often spot when I’m wandering around the city. So far I’ve sent two pix to them. Hopefully I’ll have more.

It’s come to this: I want a better camera. Mine is perfect for traveling since it’s so small, but because it’s so small, my pictures are not as sharp as they could be. And I have less control in terms of what I want to focus on. I’ll have to do some research on a fancier schmanicer camera.

Oct 06

Lovely low-key weekend

When will my complexion settle down? I have a pimple on my chin and mad wrinkles on my forehead. Are you a teenager or a 34-year old? Make up your mind, face!

Besides dealing with skin issues, I had a fine little lowkey weekend. My massage Friday night was very nice. The oil my masseuse used smelled excellent, sage and eucaplytus, I believe, though I could have picked two mintier ones, a grapefruity one, or one that was rosy (while I like roses in person, rose-scented items make me think of little old ladies).

She could totally tell where my problem areas were: behind my right shoulderblade – all that mousing – and between my neck and shoulder on my left side, ie, where I carry my bag. When she kneaded that area by my right shoulderblade, it KILLED, though in a good way, but on my left it just felt good. Guess it’s really tight over there on the right.

I swear I think she pushed all my cold toxins to the surface because the bug that’s been brewing all week has finally come to a head. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, though I feel better overall.

How I look on the other hand. I went to Sak’s to ask about these samples I received. The actual items are mucho dinero – like $200 for a little pot of night cream. No thanks! I did manage to wrangle some more free samples out of them, and for some reason she gave me a boatload for dark undereye circles. I’m sick! I wanted to shout. I don’t always look like this!

Saturday morning I was up early to help my friend snap some photos for promo materials for his next comedy gig. Took a lot – let’s hope some are usable.

I practiced using the “continuous” mode for the first time. Oh my God, so much fun. I tried it several times with him riding down the sidewalk on his skateboard. Flipping through the pictures quickly was like watching a little movie. I’ll have to find another excuse to use it again.

Did my beauty product run that afternoon. Besides Sak’s I hit Barney’s, and then I walked home. A beautiful but chilly day. I rested at my place for a bit before heading back out that evening to attend a concert one of my coworkers was performing in and had organized.

The performance was up near my alma mater so you’d think I’d know how to get there. But somehow I got on the wrong train and ended up in Harlem. Same street number, different avenue. I looked up from my book very confused and actually thought they had changed the name of the stop.

In the end I got to where I needed to go, and realized after that instead of a bus and a train, I could have taken one bus pretty much directly. Duh.

It was COLD that night. I had on a turtleneck, a track jacket, and a regular jacket. With my train mishap, I was a few minutes late and missed my coworker’s performance, but I’ve heard her sing before, and she was the only one I missed.

It was nice to get out and do something different. I don’t make it a habit of listening to classical music or opera, so it was good to expose myself to that. Plus I’m proud of myself for going even though I had no one to go with. I could have easily made an excuse about feeling sick and not wanting to go by myself, and just have stayed home and watched some stupid TV. But in going, I got out of the house, got some culture, and showed support to my friend and the arts. Woohoo!

Today was chore/errand day:

  • balanced my checkbook
  • switched my summer and fall/winter clothes
  • got some Chinese medicine from Chinatown (licorice tablets for my itchy throat, the only thing that’s ever worked for me; had to hit four herbal shops to find it)
  • picked up Asian groceries
  • checked out Kiehl’s (didn’t buy, must show some resistance)
  • bought some regular groceries
  • cooked this beef/vegetable/curry concoction that looks gross but tastes good and will last me another two or three days

I am also tearing through this latest issue of Granta. I think I was out of practice with reading. Now that I’ve fallen back in the habit, I feel like I’m reading faster. Or maybe now I’m just used to doing it in spare moments throughout the day – waiting for the train, on the train, a few minutes here and there at work – as well as large chunks in the early morning and evening. Now I just need to fall back into the habit of writing again too.

I realized only recently that I’m learning to live alone again. Not on my own, of course I know how to do that. I thought the only thing I had to relearn was dating, but what’s more important is knowing how to live alone well and fully, not waiting for the next Big Love to come along, or waiting for the next Big Anything.

You spend all your time waiting for the next Big Whatever, you miss all the Smaller but Still Important Whatevers that are right in front of your face.

Your pimply, wrinkly face. :)