Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Free Chapstick!

Woo-hoo! I went to a company benefits presentation today and one of our insurance carriers gave us free chapstick. Yay! I'm a total lip balm/chapstick person. I have around 10 tubes of them at any one time to go in my coat pockets, backpack, work bag and on my desks at home and work.

I sometimes tell people how I think I'm a very boring person. Case in point here. Free chapstick tubes are the type of things that excite me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Sometimes I'm Too Nice

Today, I went to the UPS store around the corner from my office here in San Francisco. I don't know if it was her or she's just indicative of people in San Francisco, in general, but I dealt with THE MOST incompetent person ever to work in a UPS store. Here are some examples of what "Tory" did to turn my UPS visit into a 40 minute ordeal, all just to send a package:

-Asked me for the recipient's driver's license number. the hell would I know that? I'm returning something to a store, not a person. And who in the world knows your driver's license number by heart? I don't know any of my friends' numbers, not even my own...

-Asked me for mine. Why the hell does she need to know this to send my package? Does she need to see my traffic violations?

-Asked me if I had a girlfriend because she found out that I'm a fairly good cook (I was sending something back to She said she would never let go of a "cute guy" like me.

-Kept clicking some button on the computer that erased all the info that she entered. She did this twice and she typed SLOW.

-Kept picking up the phone that someone else at the store had placed on hold because the phone kept beeping. I was like, "hello, the phone is beeping because the person is on hold, but NOT FOR YOU."

The manager finally came over and finished my package in about two minutes. I was too nice to really lay it on her, but I was fuming. Well, at least I'm over it now.

Oh my god. I hate incompetence.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sorry for the lack of blog posts...

To all my loyal readers: I'm in San Francisco now on business, so I apologize for the scant entries. But I'll try to post at least one or two this week!

Hope everyone has a great labor day weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"Celebrity" Sighting of the Week

While walking west on 14th street, I saw D-list celebrity Robert Verdi yapping away on his cell-phone with his trademark sunglasses perched on his bald head. I'm not gonna start hating on Robert Verdi in this blog entry. Yes, he can be quite obnoxious and elitist for no real reason, but he looks like he's having fun and making a decent living, and so all the props to him for succeeding at what he likes doing.

But I have a confession to make. I have always wanted to be stopped by him for his "Where'd Ya Get That?" segment. I don't know if he still does this, but I used to see him on Full Frontal Fashion stopping random people on the street to ask about their outfits. I'm a bit of a clotheshorse, actually a lot of one. You might even call me a fashion-monger. Seriously, they call me the "best-dressed" at the office. Of course, having the superiority complex that I can sometimes have, I play off any compliments about the way I look with non-chalance. "Oh this? I've had this forever. I don't even remember where I got it from," I say or if I'm feeling particularly proud of my ensemble that day, I'll reply to "You look nice" with "I KNOW."

I've literally traveled the earth in pursuit of an exclusive designer item. I’m not trying to brag, but I do think I have impeccable taste. I keep all sorts of catalogs in my desk drawer that I whip out every time I’m considering making a new purchase from abroad. Among my many famous purchases, I’ve ordered shoes from Tanino Crisci in Italy, a wallet from Goldpfeil in Berlin and a travel wallet from Valextra.

Some people have a dream to get into college. Some have a goal to become president. My goal? To be on “Where’d Ya Get That?”.

So This Is What It's Like to Be a Mugger...

I have never mugged anybody, but I now know what pepper spray feels like. Last night, I was chopping a thai chili pepper and then made the mistake of trying to take out my contacts. Can you say...dumbass?

I had washed my hands before I attempted this, but I guess some chili residue was still on my fingers. As soon as I touched my eye, I felt excruciating pain. I backed away from my sink and tried to pry my eye open, but it was clamped shut. My eye and nose were soon stinging and felt like they were on fire that water would not dissipate. I bent over the sink and furiously splashed water in my eye to get rid of the horrifying agony. Finally, the pain and stinging subsided. My t-shirt was soaked and there was water all over my bathroom sink counter. My face was all red, and I was exhausted.

The only other time I have ever felt eye pain like this was when a couple years ago, I used expired contact lens solution, which actually I never knew expired, and as a result got an ulcer in my eye. I came into work, and people were like "Dude, what's with your eye?" because it looked like I had pink eye. I had to put in drops every 20 minutes and ointment every hour and couldn't face any light since the light hurt my eye so much. So I had a fun evening sitting at home that night in the dark, listening to the radio (couldn't turn on the TV because of the light) with my drops in hand.

Well, now this chili incident has educated me further. Before now, I hadn't fully given up the possibility of leading a life of crime, but this episode has sure set me straight. Klutzy moves like this are probably the reason why I don't get invited to fancy parties.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

My High End Toothbrush

About a month ago, I forked over $100 for a Sonicare Intelliclean 8500 toothbrush. This thing has changed my life. This device is right up there with the iPod, peanut butter and Tivo (well, I don't have Tivo, but I imagine if I did, I'd have another epiphany) as best inventions ever. This brush is really the iPod of toothbrushes. I bought the top of the line model because I was so enraptured with it. I think it brushes something like 33,000 brush strokes per second and my mouth feels CLEAN. It has a cool charger and the brush just sits on it (no plugging in any cords) like a dental totem. It also has a timer that beeps every 30 seconds so you fully brush every quadrant of your mouth. Wow.

If you haven't joined the Sonicare club, join now. Regular brushing is for the Amish.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Sale at Ann Taylor

Everyday, I walk by Ann Taylor at 68th & Broadway near my apartment. Whenever I walk by, I always think of the time when two people at my old work were wearing almost identical bright pink sweaters. And better yet, one of them was a guy (albeit, he's gay.) I said, "Why are you guys wearing the same sweater?" Then I asked, "What, was there a sale at Ann Taylor?"

I teased this guy for the next few months about his "Ann Taylor" sweater.

Watching Some Concerts on TV...

I have to fly JetBlue a lot, much to my chagrin, because that is my company's preferred airline for cost reasons. However, I've always had problems when I fly them. One time, the lovely folks at JetBlue had the nerve to tell me that I checked my bags too early! That's why my bags got on the earlier flight to Boston. Geez, the nerve of me. I've also had seat issues. It seems my seat always gets double-booked with someone else, and more often than not, I get stuck with the crappiest seat on the entire damn plane. And don't get me started on the clientele. Ew...budget travelers, little kids. Bleh.

Everyone who likes flying JetBlue always talks about the DirecTV service. I've always maintained that it's nice, but I wouldn't go out of my way to fly JetBlue just for that. I usually sleep on planes (which is probably why I've never been hit on by any cute fellow passengers). But while flipping the channels on DirecTV on one of the many flights I've taken to Oakland, I came across some music channel that shows live concerts. I kind of tuned in, but just in passing because I was really sleepy and wanted to get some sleep. Soon, though, I was glued to the TV set. I remember the first concert I saw was Tina Turner. Now I have never been a huge fan of hers. I don't have any of her albums or anything and I barely know what songs she sings. She's always seemed so "adult contemporary" to me, which I guess is the genre that she caters to now as opposed to her "What's Love Got to Do With it" and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome days.

Well, I got really into this concert. Before you know it, I'm singing and bopping along to all of Tina's songs, surprised at how many songs I knew. Ms. Turner really knows how to put on a show. I hope I'm in as good shape as her when I'm in my 60s.

I liked the concert so much that I even wrote a letter to JetBlue asking why this channel isn't on every flight I take with them. Well, they told me that DirecTV only shows this channel on weekends. I responded saying that as silly as it sounds, I choose JetBlue solely for that one channel. I wish I could get it at home. This email exchange between me and the JetBlue guy is actually funny for another reason. Me and this guy actually became email buddies and wrote back and forth for a while. Maybe we'll go out for a drink sometime and maybe he'll turn out to be gay and single and of course cute.

So, the other night, I watched some performances from Live 8. Now I won't go too much into the B.S. behind this concert because it's been talked about to death. But I mean, first, come on, raise awareness? What wonderful lukewarm sentiments. Having watched "Live 8," I can't really say I'm more "aware" of poverty. Secondly, the concert was supposed to be a message to the leaders of the G8 to shape up and forgive the debts of Africa. While noble, the developed world has been giving money to Africa since the beginning of time. People also need to focus on world commerce and the actual government infrastructure inside Africa. It's gonna take a lot more than a concert, obviously, to even take a stab at helping the situation.

I don't want to sound too churlish or cynical. Live 8 had great intentions and I don't doubt Bob Geldof's sincerity (although a Nobel Peace Prize sounds a bit like overkill). I'm a bit dubious, though, of some of the other stars' reasons for being there especially after it was reported that every star got lavish gifts which I'm sure gave the corporate sponsors a nice tax write-off (in Philly, the gifts were valued at $12,000 per artist). I just hope that not too many people came away from the concert with the belief that all it takes is throwing some money or forgiving debts to "Make Poverty History". That's an utterly naive notion.

Some people, though, can only be reached through popular culture, and if this concert got some people thinking, that's a good thing. In any event, as a concert, Live 8 was great, and while watching, I became enthralled again with another easy-listening diva. Annie Lennox (introduced by a very gay looking bleach blond Brad Pitt at London--actually Annie and Brad could have been twin sister and brother) was great. Although, I have to admit, she could take it easy with the "wooh, wooh" and "la la la" noises she makes with her chirpy voice. That aside, I was singing along to "Little Bird" & "Sweet Dreams" like her biggest fan.

Some of my other observations:

- Stereophonics (London) - These guys were the ultimate in cool, dressed in all black with black sunglasses. They sang "Maybe Tomorrow" with so much emotion.

- Will Smith (Philadelphia) - He had some great beats, and he was so clearly proud to be host in his hometown. It was great when that drum corps marching band came out when Will was singing "Switch."

- Green Day (Berlin) - I love Green Day's latest album and the band has made a great comeback. They were awesome in Berlin, and Billie Joe's jet-black cabaret hair-do is perfect for the Berlin scene. A-Ha (Berlin), right before Green Day, was also great "taking on" everybody.

- Shakira (Paris) - Her new song, "La Tortura", is so catchy and I'm singing along even though I don't speak or understand a word of Spanish. But, I swear, that girl has like acrobatic breasts or something. Reminds me of those bodybuilder guys who could flex and gyrate their huge man-boobs.

- Jann Arden (Toronto) - I remember liking her song, "Insensitive," from the early '90s. But she sounded like a dying cow here. Someone put her out of her misery. Ditto for Dido (London). She sounded like a muppet. Sarah McLachlan (Philadelphia) did the best job out of everyone at the "I'm a strong, independent, socially-conscious woman" persona and her angelic voice was perfect. Mariah Carey (London), on the flip side, was pathetic during her interviews while trying to talk about the cause, but in reality promoting her album and showing off her two sizes too small dress. And not to be outdone, Celine Dion (Toronto, but really Vegas) did a lame-ass satellite appearance from Caesar's Palace. Oh my god. Of course you're gonna get booed.

- Scissor Sisters (London) - Jake Shears looks like he'd be fun in bed.

- Duran Duran (Rome) - Someone needs to tell Simon LeBon to e-nun-ci-ate. You couldn't understand a word he was singing.

- Rob Thomas (Philadelphia) - He said the strangest thing. He compared poverty to "two 9/11s a day." Kind of a weird and heavy-handed comparison to make.

- Robbie Williams (London) - I miss Robbie Williams. He is soooo cute. And he does a great show. He can totally hold his own against a crowd of 1 million. I only wish he had actually sung more. He kept doing that annoying thing of pointing his microphone to the crowd so we hear them sing.

- Bryan Adams (Toronto) - I used to be the BIGGEST Bryan Adams fan. "Summer of '69" is one of the best singles ever recorded, I think. After trying to stay relevant with current music trends as evidenced by his really lame 18 Till I Die album where he looked like this creepy, sleazy perv, he finally has a cool song out now, the anthemic "This Side of Paradise" and his raspy voice sounds great. I can't say the same thing though for his current tour partner, Def Leppard (Philadelphia). They sounded like wheezing aging rockers.

- Stevie Wonder (Philadelphia) - He gave an awesome performance. He can still wow a crowd, but what was with the all-white uniform for every african or african-whatever nationality performing at Live 8? From that Ethiopian girl who came out with Madonna (London) to that Senegalese guy who did a duet with Dido, they were all wearing white robes or caftans or whatever they're called.

- The Cure (Paris) & UB40 (London) - It's great to see them still around.

- Snoop Dogg (London) - I'm sure he's got lots of connections from his ex-con, drug-dealing days. We should send him and his thugs to find Al-Qaeda.

- Dave Matthews Band (Philadelphia) - Dave Matthews played in my home town before his band got big, so I grew up with them. Their set was ok, but I am so tired of their jamming. End a song, damn it. They just go on and on and on. Also, I can't look at them the same way ever since they dumped feces into the Chicago River.

Other good performances were given by Sting, Madonna, Jet, Keith Urban (best Aussie country rocker I've ever heard), Razorlight, U2, The Killers, Toby Keith (I might be becoming a country music fan), Coldplay (the duet with that guy from The Verve was very cool). The Pink Floyd reunion, on the other hand, was so underwhelming. They sounded like crap. Also I don't know what Travis was thinking doing a cover of "Stayin Alive". I think I would have liked to have seen Kylie Minogue perform at one of the Live 8 concerts. She could have replaced Faith Hill (Rome), which was just bizarre. Didn't realize there were a lot of country music fans in Italy.

Anyways, back to the original topic at hand, I like watching concerts and I love listening to music and have a very eclectic taste. Songs have a great way of attaching themselves to a special memory, which makes them so comforting.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

So Funnizle

In case you wanted to learn some jive, here's a good site to visit. It reminds me of the "I Speak Jive" lady from Airplane.

Yeah, I could use an edge to the way I talk. I thought about changing the way I walk, but this is so much better.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Plates Should Stay In, Not Come Out

A few weeks ago, I decided to spend my evening after work cleaning my apartment. I got really into it that night. First, I made a trip to Rite-Aid and bought about $80 worth of cleaning supplies. I never knew there were all these new attachments for ths Swiffer now! I couldn't make up mind on which I needed, so I bought all of them. I do things like that. For instance, if I can't decide on which color shirt, I'll just buy all five colors. I came home with my goodies in hand, ready to start a night of cleaning.

Man, did I clean. I spent about five hours cleaning my apartment spic and span. I was delving into crevices and corners that I didn't even know my apartment had. I scrubbed and wiped and mopped up everywhere till my apartment had that lovely combined scent of Pledge, Murphy's Oil Soap and Windex. I can't remember the last time my apartment smelled and looked so clean.

This all probably took longer than normal because of my broken arm. At that time, I still didn't have much movement in my arm and so it was hard to use. The culmination of my cleaning efforts that night focused on my microwave. Since I've started cooking a lot, I decided I needed more counter space and tried to figure out where my microwave could go. I looked around and realized the only space I really had was the top of the refrigerator. So up my microwave went. I grabbed my step stool and lifted the microwave from underneath with both arms. I struggled with it because I really couldn't give much support with my lame arm. Finally, I got it up there and I was out of breath, but also pretty pleased with myself at my clean apartment and my new countertop space.

The following week, I saw my orthopedic surgeon. After he took my X-ray, we could both immediatly see that one of the plates in my arm was peeling off my bone. My doctor didn't seem to be so worried though. And I'm thinking "Why isn't he more alarmed??? A plate is COMING OUT of my arm." Then I thought back to the microwave I lifted and was thinking, "Crap, I knew I felt something when I lifted that thing." I had also lifted in the previous weeks a couple of water cooler bottles and some heavy grocery bags. All my friends asked me "Did you tell your doctor this?" But I was too embarrassed to say anything about my lifting to my doctor because I didn't wanna get yelled at.

So far I seem to be good. I've had another X-ray since then and the plates and screws haven't moved anymore out of my bone, so I won't have to have another surgery. I told a friend about my whole plate dilemma, and he proceeded to tell me that one time he had plates come THROUGH his jaw. Great, that's just what I need to hear to make me feel even better.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Water Rules

Today, after a really active day, I went for a run. I had already rowed a boat in Central Park with some friends (well, I didn't actually row with my broken arm, so the girls rowed), done some work, played tennis, brunched with some friends. Then around 5PM, I decided to go running. On Saturdays, I usually run 2-3 miles on the West Side Highway and then stop at W. 16th Street, so I can visit the Farmer's Market at Union Square.

I was PARCHED after my run. It was so humid and I'm surprised I made it the whole way. I probably would have car-jacked a Poland Spring truck if I had seen one. As it was, I approached a hot dog stand and bought a bottled water and drank it in about 10 seconds. Then I bought another bottle and did the same thing. All in all, I bought four bottles and drank them all in about 4 minutes.

I think that would have made a nice commercial. It was made for TV.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Food Phases

When I find a food that I like, I tend to go overboard and then I'm sick of it after a couple of weeks. My friends would tell me "Geez, when you like something, Terence, you kill it!" For example, there was that month when I had rotisserie chicken everyday and was making a tour of every rotisserie chicken place in the city. There was also that week that I had Chipotle for lunch and dinner everyday for a week (which my friends found disgusting). Oh and the time when I loved these bags of cinammon pita chips so much that I ordered a whole case. Then there was that time when I discovered roasted beets. At my old employer's cafeteria, roasted beets were served every day. I'm talking those deep magenta colored beets with sliced raw onions. I kept wondering who ate those? They served them every damn day! Finally, curiousity got the better of me, I got some of those beets. The first time I took a bite of a roasted beet, I thought to myself, "Hmmm....not bad." I actually had this idea in my head that beets were spicy but then I realized I was confusing beets with radishes. Eventually I started having them with every dinner I had in the cafeteria. But I still felt like I was the only person eating them. I'd ask people "Do you eat beets? Don't they look weird to you or even kinda gross?" My friends would respond "Well, then why are you eating them?" "Oh well, I kinda like them," I said.

Well, right now, I'm having another craving and I can feel another food phase coming on. Except I can't get this food item now! I am SO craving Clementine oranges right now. I'm talking about those really sweet, easily peeled, tiny oranges that are so good but only in season in the Winter. I really wish I could buy a whole crate right now.

*Sigh*, I guess I'll get a tangelo. I like those too.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Grace Period Over

I used to work at a big Wall Street law firm as a Case Manager and managed a large staff for large litigations. It was long hours and a lot of work, and after six years, I was sick of it. I found myself a new job in the tech industry but still working with a lot of law firms. However, at least my hours are sane now and I can rebuild my life.

Like with all new jobs, I had a grace period, and with my broken arm, I got even more sympathy. But now my grace period is over, and I'm starting to be given, horrors of all horrors, real responsibilities. Since I know I don't have a real passion for this industry, I really miss my period when I was just the "newbie" who didn't know anything. I mean I work hard and all and do the best job I can. It was just nice to not have any real stress and just do what people ask and work for only about 5 hours a day while the rest of the time I'm surfing the Internet or chatting online on AIM.

Those days are gone now, and I'm feeling it. Today, I'm having the crappiest day at work. I screwed up one of our projects and the client was so mad that he emailed the whole world at our company including the CEO! Who does that? Well, actually, I knew some associates at my old job who would do that too but I was "established" at my old job and had allies elsewhere in the firm when push came to shove.

At the same time, the fact that I miss my days of being a cog worries me somewhat. When did I ever lack so much ambition? I keep telling myself that it's because I have no passion whatsoever for this industry and to a large extent, that's true. But a small part of me constantly worries that I'll become complacent in my current job and standard of living. I really need to get my act together and get that MBA that I've been "pursuing" for the last couple of years.

Oh god, I hope I'm not turning "aspirational."

Beware...The Witch Is Here

The other day, I got the most bizarre comment on my blog. I've deleted it since its appearance, but it definitely freaked me out. It was a long diatribe in response to my My New BFF post. I guess it was SPAM, but I have no idea to what purpose. According to the "Prophet",

Ulnar and radial bones are seat of the unholy monkey legions of scorpio - physical therapy = trick of the devil-christ to lure deceptor docs in white to blackness time shade midnight earth EVIL bastards fool-schooled.

WTF?!? I won't post the rest of the comment because it is LONG and to be perfectly honest, incomprehensible. It's like some strange stream of consciousness, schizophrenic statement trying to convert me to his (or her; the prophet says he is both male and female) beliefs, whatever they are.

Well, I immediately tried to investigate and didn't find much. The "prophet" has a blog with more crazy posts. And I found some other blogs to have been hit with a comment from this person. Whoever this person is, he or she definitely has a few loose screws.

Now that I've said that, I'll probably have a hex placed on me. This is actually the second time I've dealt with a witch. Well, I say that tongue-in-cheek, but we had our suspicions. At my old job, I used to have a temp who we thought was just plain creepy. She just had this weird LOOK and we were all sure she was a witch. I mean the real deal: casting spells, black cat, etc. She had a weird name too. I won't repeat it here in this blog, but it's kind of like what "Joey" from Friends said: "Chandler is the stupidest name I ever heard. It's kind of like chandelier, but it's NOT!"

I think the thing that convinced us was her message on a Congratulations card for a co-worker. She wrote "Your time has come." Whoa.

Well, I know rationally, this is silly, but legend just grew and grew and we accepted it. So when I got the comment from the "Prophet", I thought "Oh my god. Another witch." I was so freaked out by this comment that I wanted to take down my blog because I didn't want to be that accessible to freaks like this guy.

But then I thought of why I started my blog and why I've enjoyed this one month experiment in blogging. When I started this, I knew that I wanted it to reflect me and my opinions. I'm not much of a political or "issues" person, so I didn't want it to be too serious. I just wanted it to be fun, but thoughtful. I also didn't want my blog to be a list of grievances because that's no fun either and just sounds like whining. What I have liked most about writing in my blog is that it gives me an outlet to react in a more human way to situations I see or things I hear when the social dictums of discretion or professionalism prevent me from doing that. Also, as with lots of people, I think of my snappy commentary hours after the fact, so the blog is a nice way to catch up.

But most importantly, my blog has allowed me to share parts of my life and the things I have to say. I don't get to see my friends often (mostly because I have anti-social tendencies) and it's nice to know that at least some of them can see what's going on with me by coming here to my blog.

So I hope everyone's enjoyed it so far. I like what I've written so far and I think I've been able to find a niche for myself. So out of the millions of blogs out there, I hope people read mine. Write comments! Email me! Let me know what you think.

Monday, August 08, 2005


To continue my comic book theme in the movies, I saw Batman Begins at the Sony Loews Lincoln Center IMAX, despite my unofficial boycott of Loews theaters (I had an "incident" previously with Fandango). A few thoughts:

- This movie is scary! I jumped at the first scary scene and had to keep my guard up for the rest of the movie.

- Christian Bale has certainly done a nice job of growing up. I still remember him when he played that little kid in Empire of the Sun. He's such a hottie now and has a nice sexy voice.

- Was Katie Holmes at the end of the movie not wearing a bra? Either that or it was really cold in that scene.

- Seeing a movie in the IMAX version can be disconcerting. It's very loud and the screen is HUMONGOUS. Some of the heavy-duty fight scenes where the camera is flying all over the place can be a little disorienting. But the weirdest thing is the weird movie theater voice guy telling us to "Please use the upstairs exits", and "Please gather all your personal belongings." It was like this booming voice could just all of a sudden be heard from the sky. I was like, "Who is that? God?"

All in all, I really liked Batman. The story and acting were good and it really set up the upcoming sequels nicely. If only they had shown more shirtless scenes of Christian Bale and this movie would be a 10.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Too Much Information

On Friday, my next door neighbor invited me to a party for him and his girlfriend. During the evening, my neighbor tells me "You know, people in the building have been talking about you." I had no what idea he was talking about. I asked "Who?" "The doormen", he replied. "Well, actually just Kenny." "Yeah," my next door neighbor goes on, "Kenny asked me about you."

Well, apparently, Kenny asked whether I "belonged" to the building since I am only a lowly subletter inside a co-op. I'm a pretty quiet resident in the building and keep to myself. The doormen all like me and the ladies who run the dry cleaners think I'm cute (well, the new ones do, the old ones didn't like me, but more about that in another post). But one night I locked myself out of my apartment like I do once a month. I spent the night at a friend's place and came back the next morning and called a locksmith. The locksmith got my door open, but made a ton of drilling noise in the meantime. My door was open all right, and the lock looked like it had a bomb detonated on it.

Since I made such a scene in the building, some people complained. Some people also complained because I used to have a very bad habit of leaving my alarm on. One time I came home after a 2 week trip to find notes and voicemails from a furious neighbor.

All of these were accidents and none were my fault and I had forgotten about them. So when my next door neighbor informs me of the fact that Kenny is asking about me, I immediately panic. Why in the world do some people feel compelled to divulge information like this just to get someone worked up? Now I'm freaking out. Rationally, I know I won't get evicted because if my co-op board wanted to evict me, they would have done so long ago. Furthermore, "Kenny" has since retired. But I have no clue why my neighbor felt the need to share this with me.

Argh. I hope I'll eventually forget about this.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Dove Ads

I was walking through the long hallway in Grand Central from the "S" Shuttle to the station exit when I noticed that those Dove Ads with "real women" had been taken down. I've been seeing those ads every day. In fact, the whole city was canvassed with these ads. You can't escape the city without seeing one of the "curvy" women smiling at you in her underwear.

I found this statement from Philippe Harousseau, Dove's Marketing Director, about the campaign:

"It is our belief that beauty comes in different shapes, sizes and ages. Our mission is to make more women feel beautiful every day by broadening the definition of beauty."

The irony is palpable here: women are supposed to embrace their own “real beauty” and yet buy Dove’s cellulite firming cream because they hate their thighs. But only a real cynic would fault Dove for that. I mean they are a consumer goods company selling a product, so of course there will always be a little bit of conflict between their business and societal goals. Hell, if Dove thought that neo-Nazis would push thigh-firming cream, they’d probably feature them.

Yet, when I first saw these ads, I actually thought they were kind of creepy, especially the giant size posters in Grand Central. Walking through the hallway from the "S" shuttle was like walking through a Hall of Dove Women. Here were these women dancing around in their underwear screaming “Hey, check ME out.” If any of these women lacked self-esteem before they were picked, they certainly don’t have that problem now. The website is hilarious too. As you drag your cursor over, each model takes a seductive pose showing off her assets and then you can learn more about each one and you find out they are all indeed very real women—manicurists, students, waitress…

So when I first saw these ads, I wanted to laugh but not to ridicule them, but instead of the literal comic relief of seeing women dancing around in their bras and panties on my way to work. But as I started to see them every three blocks all over the city, I’d start to get this squirmy feeling. Something seemed out of place. I’m staring at this “big-boned” woman in the middle of Broadway and it was trying to project a serious message when all I could do was giggle.

Maybe I was just being immature or didn’t understand or maybe it was even the gay thing and I just don’t like staring at nearly naked women. In any event, the girls have grown on me and I even have a favorite one (Shanel, the manicurist).

I have to admit, the ads at least got people talking about Dove. When was the last time you ever read anything exclamatory about Dove soap? It seems so vanilla to me. But the ads even got me (obviously I am not Dove’s target audience) buying into the “hey, buy Dove products because you like them and they’re trying to be righteous” marketing plug. To buy Dove is to cast a vote for them.

So what did I do? I went out and bought some Dove dishwashing liquid.

All in all, I think these ads are refreshing and certainly provocative. Some have accused of Dove being no different than any other company exploiting female sex appeal for the sake of a sale. But I really don't think people should take these ads that seriously. These "real beauty" girls got to have a moment in the spotlight and I hope they enjoyed it and had fun. Looks like they did to me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My New BFF

So my new best friend is my therapist. Note, I mean physical therapist because I quickly realized that whenever I said "So, my therapist and I..." or "I'm coming back from therapy...", people thought I was seeing a psychiatrist.

I started physical therapy about three weeks after my surgery. After my first session, I was nearly in tears. I couldn't do any of the exercises and I thought my arm was never going to get better. It was still pretty painful and I had only just gotten the staples removed from my arm about 2 days before that.

I'm glad that I really like my therapist. She and I have been working together to get my arm back to normal. Since I broke both the ulnar and radial bones and had two metal plates and twelve screws surgically implanted in my arm from my battle with the tire, it'll be a long and slow recovery for me. But the good news is that my therapist informed me the other day that I could cut back my visits to two times per week instead of three. Yay for me.

Throughout therapy, supination has been the hardest exercise for me. I can get my arm to about 75 degrees, as opposed to 180, and that's about it. It's really frustrating because I'm a pretty active guy and I like to play a lot of sports and go to the gym a lot, but can't do too much right now with my arm like this. And I especially need the supination to play tennis. So it's pretty depressing and fortunately I have physical therapy this summer to stop me from going crazy.

I've got a long ways to go and a lot more therapy to do. During our sessions we chat all the time. The other day she recommended that I get the Chocolate Babka at Fairway because I live near there. I was thinking "Babka? You mean that dessert from Seinfeld? I never knew that was a real thing." And then yesterday she was telling me how her husband is a screamer. He could drop something and he'd start screaming. She told me that if anyone ever heard her scream like her husband, it meant someone was killing her.

Anyway, my therapist and I chat all the time while I try to get my arm back to normal. It's like I have my own "Paulette" from Legally Blond to get me through it all.

Mr. Cool--Lance Armstrong

I saw Lance Armstrong last night on David Letterman. He was talking about how he wanted his kids to be at his final Tour. He really wanted his kids to understand what their daddy does for a living. His kids apparently used to think that their Dad didn't really do anything. "Oh yeah, my dad just sits around the house and goes on a bike ride once in a while."

Well, I'm glad he set his kids straight and showed them why he's not a bum, but instead the coolest guy ever.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Two Ice Creams Are Always Better Than One

This past weekend, I met a friend for an afternoon cocktail at The Boathouse. My friend was running late, and so I walked around for a bit until I came to a little Italian cafe on E. 73rd Street. In front of the cafe was an outdoor gelato stand. As I walked past the cafe, I slowed my pace and looked inside the case. Flavors like like Hazelnut, Amaretto, and Lemon teased me to stop and get a couple of scoops. I hemmed and hawed and decided to just keep walking. I was meeting my friend soon anyway.

I started thinking about a TV show that I had seen recently hosted by Giada de Laurentiis on The Food Network where the camera followed her all around while she was traveling through Italy. In one part of the show, Giada and her very cute hubby went to a local gelato place in Rome. As soon as I thought of that, my self-control disappeared. I turned around and briskly walked back to the gelato stand and got a scoop each of Brioche and Hazelnut. good.

With ice cream in hand, I walked over to the park and met my friend and headed over to The Boathouse. By the time, I met up with my friend, I had finished my ice cream and so my friend never knew about my snack. We proceeded to the Boathouse and had our drink. Having a drink at The Boathouse is very New York and Woody Allen and so are the prices. $11 for a drink! The bartender was calculating in his head and was mumbling "so that's $, wait...that'll be $22.00." Geez.

After my friend and I caught up and finished our drinks, we left The Boathouse and walked around the park a bit. With nothing to do, I slyly suggested we go for ice cream. I led my friend to the exact same gelato place that I had just visited an hour before! Luckily the attendant was someone different and so my secret was safe with me (at least until now). At least I got different flavors the second time!