Saturday, December 30, 2006

Best President Bush Moment of 2006: Massages by Bush

Sometimes I think we are so lucky to have a President who gives us comedy. Think about it. Other countries have distinguished leaders. We have Cowboy George.

At this year's G8 Summit in Scotland, President Bush copped a feel to give a shoulder rub to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It was truly one of the most bizarre things that I've ever seen our President do. Makes me think though. I wonder if I could get Bush to stop by my apartment. My neck and shoulders are killing me.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Most Overrated Loss of 2006: Tower Records; Most Underrated Loss of 2006: Demotion of Pluto

Tower Records went out of business this year. Actually, I'm not really all that sad about it. If anything, I'm asking, "What the hell took so long?" Tower was always overpriced. Why would you pay $18.00 for a CD at Tower, when Amazon has it for $9.99? Other people would go further and ask, "When was the last time you bought a CD anyway?"

I will say though I was a little sad about what the loss of Tower represented for my neighborhood. I've written about this before. Tower Records is one of the few corporate merchants that feels like a local community shop. Cool people and insiders went to Tower. I rented my movies there because it was much cooler to say you went to Tower vs. Blockbuster for your movies. (Actually Blockbuster in my neighborhood left too, but I could care less about them.) Tower developed a sense of loyalty for a lot of folks, and people would even just hang out there for the whole evening. But really, Tower wasn't *that* cool. And the people who worked there, famous for their supposed knowledge of obscure music, didn't really know anything, at least the people at the Lincoln Center branch. Tower was supposed to be the champion of independent music, but every billboard in their window every time I walked by was for Beyonce, The Goo Goo Dolls and other established artists.

On the other hand, not many people, not even NASA, seemed to care that this was the year that Pluto was expelled from the ranks of planet. Pluto has always been the left-out "last child" and unglamorous of planets. It's small, far away, and has no real outstanding feature like rings or a funny name like "Uranus." Do these folks not realize that I memorized a rhyme in grade school for the nine planets, and now it's not gonna work?!? Poor thing. Pluto never knew it had it coming.

Later on, astronomers gave Pluto a reprieve and classified it as a "dwarf planet." Um, if I were Pluto, I don't think being called a "dwarf planet" would make me feel part of the family again. That's like expelling mayo from your diet, but then relenting to eat non-fat mayo. Let's join these guys and save Pluto.

Most Important Event of 2006 That I Still Don't Get: The HP Scandal

If you were to ever talk to me in person (or maybe you can tell from my blog), politics or current affairs aren't my forte, unless you consider the answer to "What the hell is in that hatch on Lost?!?" news. Most times, if I'm with friends and they're talking about the latest going-ons in the political landscape, I chime in and ask "Can't we talk about *real* stuff? Like Project Runway?"

This year, the media made a HUGE deal about the scandal over at Hewlett Packard. I understood the basics--that former CEO Patricia Dunn stupidly authorized the clandestine tapping of personal email and cell phone records of other board members. I don't doubt the seriousness of what happened (think to yourself what your reaction would be if you found out some stranger tapped into your phone records.) But the media really turned this into "HPGate" and images of Patricia Dunn flying off in a helicopter like Nixon flew in my head, courtesy of the media.

I guess I just saw this whole thing as paranoia getting the best of a corporate leader. I could understand Chairman Dunn's position. If I were head of a company, and I thought our company trade secrets were being leaked, I would definitely take some action to find out who. And while Patricia Dunn definitely played dirty (whether it was illegal is a subject of debate), I just didn't understand why this caused such national outrage. And what about the leak? What happened to the guy who leaked the secrets? Did he just get away with it, with Patricia Dunn as the HP scapegoat?

It was like the whole world investigated this--Congress, the State of California, federal prosecuters, the FBI, internal investigation....all focusing on this woman and ruining her life. And what got me is that I wouldn't put it past lots of these journalists who were villifying her to have done similar tactics in their careers. And we all know the government's position on tapping phone records.

Besides, based on my first paragraph, it's no surprise that I paid much more attention to "LycheeGate" on Top Chef more than "HPGate."

Most Newsworthy Third World Country of 2006: Thailand

Well, all the fame that Borat gave to Kazakhstan gave that country a strong push for this title, but I have to give the title of Most Newsworthy Third-World Country of 2006 to Thailand. Thailand had a big year. First, the world thought that we found JonBenet's killer when super-weirdo "I look like an alien from Close Encounters" John Mark Karr apparently confessed to killing the six-year old pageant queen. Then he got acquitted, leaving us all wondering why the hell he confessed to the murder if he didn't do it. But we did get to learn all about the great hospitality of Thai Airways' Business Class service.

Then, later in 2006, poor Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra became a Man Without A Country, when while he was visiting the UN in New York, he got ousted as Thailand's prime minister in a military coup. The press kept calling it "bloodless", which it literally was, to make it sound like this was a good thing, but somehow I doubt Thaksin felt better about the situation. I mean, everytime I hear the word "coup," I do not start getting nice touchy-feely thoughts. I was even worried about coups at my old jobs, but managed to butter up my staff with my witty old self. I know how to make people miss me.

Biggest Attention Hog of 2006: Star Jones

Things I cared more about in 2006 than Star Jones:

- what time it was
- whether I would make Premier status on United this year or not (I didn't)
- what kind of protein supplement to take--soy or whey
- my quest to find the best coffee maker
- if Betty on Top Chef really is schizophrenic and will end up stabbing everyone on the show with her knives
- my disturbing realization that instead of losing hair, I think I'm actually growing more hair

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006: A Year In Review

I love year-end review articles. I love reading other people spouting off what they thought were the best fashion trends of 2006 or who was the biggest dork of 2006. I even still have some year-end issues of Entertainment Weekly (my former Bible) and Time Magazine "Man of the Year" issues tucked away in my closet. I can't bear to part with them for some reason. Maybe I'll take them out and reminisce and laugh at how stupid we were five years ago because that's half the fun.

So I'm gonna try my hand at my own year end review. I'm starting a little late, considering that today is December 28, and despite all my best efforts, I still haven't attained "professional-post-everyday-blogger-status." But I'll try my best to share with everyone my best and worst moments of 2006. I'm sure not everyone will agree with my thoughts. Just be nice, everyone.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Back From My Travels (Confessional #2)

I'm back from all my travels out west. I was in San Francisco and then Lake Tahoe for some skiing at Squaw Valley. Both were good trips, except on my flight to SF I lost my iPod shuffle on the plane and no one turned it in. So I'm sure one of the flight attendants on Flight 91 is enjoying some nice tunes. But I wasn't too upset, since I had my full iPod with me. I belong to the race of iPod Zombies and go through life happily going about my business without regard to the rest of the world, all the while absolutely convinced that I am going prematurely deaf. Maybe that's why I don't like sticking Q-tips in my ear. And unfortunately, I know a little too much about the anatomy of the ear (one of the few things I remember from high school biology) and know that there are these things called cilia in your ear that flap around, and that too strong of a sound wave can break these things, causing you to go deaf.

So despite my full knowledge of my fragile cilia susceptible to being broken left and right by menacing sounds, I decided to buy some special IN-EAR noise-cancelling headphones to replace the only set of headphones that I brought with me on my trip that happened to be attached to my lost shuffle. It was a hard decision to make, since the symbolic white Apple headphones are a significant moniker for the iPod Zombie race. But I was ready to make the break. I also had to go to the Apple store to get my full iPod fixed because somehow, the right button on the scroll wheel had become permanently depressed, so my only three choices in listening to my music were fast forward, rewind or stop. And as appealing as some music might sound like that, I wanted to get mine fixed.

My friend and I went to the Apple store in Burlingame. By the way, if I ever live in Silicon Valley, I wanna live in Burlingame. It's such a nice little town, with enough retail and restaurants to make me feel like I'm not living totally disconnected from the civilized world. Burlingame gets an A+ from me. Furthermore, Burlingame had the first Apple store where I didn't have to wait like half a day just to get some service. I just went up to the Genius Bar and saw one of their geniuses and got my iPod replaced, all in about 10 minutes. So easy.

Afterwards, I went to go browse the headphones selection. I had a fair amount of options, from sporty Nike ones to huge-ass Bose headphones. But ever since my friend told me that Bose is "aspirational", I won't buy Bose anymore. I hemmed and hawed, and finally selected some headphones made by Shure. I had never heard of Shure before, but my friend assured me that they were "top of the line."

So I bought these ridiculously expensive noise blockers. Before, I go on, let me just say that the packaging for these headphones made me want to bang my head against the wall and jump off a balcony. These things were so hard to open! You would think they were wrapping a weapon of mass destruction. Anyway, back to my headphones. I suppose that in essence, the idea of in-ear headphones is to actually prevent you from going deaf, since you don't have to turn up your music as loud. My new headphones came with all sorts of sleeves to fit perfectly in your ear and form a tight seal so as to keep out external noise. And boy do these things work. I can barely hear anything from the outside world, and it actually forces people, like my coworkers, to tap me on my shoulder to get my attention. But I've noticed that instead of turning up my music at say a quarter of the volume, I'm actually turning it up louder so I can hear all the little details going on in my favorite songs. much for my deafness prevention.

So there you go. I'm afraid of going deaf. This post actually was supposed to be about my trip, but in truth nothing really that exciting happened. I did go to our company's Christmas party, which was a dinner-theatre thing, where I saw this half Cirque du Soleil/half vaudeville show and people like the World's Hula Hoop Champion at this place. But I preferred to come back from my blog break with some fodder for you all to think about when you're thinking about your aural safety. So next time you Q-tip your ears, think of me. And if you've read this far, thanks for staying interested.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Where I Am

I'm in San Francisco right now, listening to everyone complain about how cold it is here. Please. It's like upper 40s here. San Franciscans can be such wimps. Anyhow, I hope everyone in blogland hasn't forgotten about me!

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's Like I'm Drunk

Just got back from the optometrist. I decided to nix that test I took last year, because I didn't really have time today. But I did get my pupils dilated and I am struggling to see my computer screen as I type this. Getting home from my eye doctor was an adventure. A tourist today asked me, "Do you live here? Do you know where Times Square is?" I was at 50th and 6th Avenue, because my eye doctor is in Rockefeller Center, but for some reason I pointed these tourists towards 5th Avenue and 51st street. I was so disoriented that I gave her the absolute opposite directions. I ran back after her and was like, "oh sorry, it's actually that way" (picture me pointing randomly south and west.) She probably thought I was crazy, stoned or both, with my big black holes in my eye sockets staring at her. But really, I ran back after her because I didn't want her to think, god forbid, that I was a tourist.

Anyhow, more to come soon here on my blog, after my saucer-sized pupils shrink back to a normal size.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Things Like This Just Make You Want To Kick Yourself In The Head

It's like an episode of Antiques Roadshow, which I happen to love, especially when it turns out that the heirloom they brought in is actually worth about the price of a pack of gum. Anyway, some guy bought a Velvet Underground album for $0.75 at a flea market and then sold it on eBay for over $155,000!

I need to go treasure hunting at flea markets.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Site News

I've been getting awfully tired of looking at my blog template. I think my layout just screams "HTMLoser." So I want to try again at making my layout look like something special. But the last time I tried this out, I spent many hours learning how to add just a line break in HTML, and spent 45 minutes deleting the title, which I'm pretty sure you don't need to do.

Well, I'm thinking of trying again especially with this new beta blogger. I'm reasonably confident that my blog remodeling will produce a blog that will be aesthetically pleasing and have some pizazz to it. Then again, when I was little, I believed I would be on Star Search. Sometimes these things just don't work out.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Today's Confessional: The Book

So the second series in my blog, after my "Five Things About San Francisco," which I'll be updating pretty soon with #3, will be "confessionals" about me. Just some little quirky things about me to show the world what a weird guy I really am.

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that I like to cook a lot and like to talk about food. I know a lot about esoteric ingredients and different funky kitchen gadgets from hours and hours of watching cooking shows and reading cook books and magazines. However, you won't see me working in a restaurant at any point in my life. Not only was I too traumatized by The Restaurant and Kitchen Confidential, but I'm also not much of an innovator in the kitchen. You won't see me doing any Top Chef Quickfire challenges anytime soon. I would just freeze and crumble and serve a plate of crapola to supermodel Padma and hottie Tom Colicchio, who normally isn't my type, but there's just something about him...

But I am very good at following directions. That's one of my unfailing qualities. I remember one time when I was younger and learning how to ski, my teacher said to me, "Boy, Terence, when I tell you to do something, you do it." It gives me a degree of comfort to stay within the confines of instructions. So in cooking, I'm extremely good at following recipes, which can cause some problems. For instance, some of the recipes I have in my collection call for massive quantities. Like I have a recipe for a really good and flavorful Turkey Meatloaf which calls for FIVE freaking pounds of ground turkey. That's like enough to feed 12 people! But my directional conscience strongly starts to protest when I start making calculations to cut recipes in half. It's like I start shaking when I start to mess with the integrity of a recipe. I get over it though and move on and put my faith in the cooking gods whose main goddess must be Nigella Lawson.

So where do I get my recipes? I get a vast portion from the Food Network's iffy-performing website and print out anything I like. When I started my collection, I didn't quite realize what a project this was going to be. It was like that day I decided to make homemade ravioli and ended up devoting my whole day making over 100 raviolis. That was a PROJECT. I had flour all over me, and my kitchen looked like a war zone.

Remember *The Book* from The Devil Wears Prada? Well, that was the project I decided to undertake with all my Food Network printouts. After collecting a pretty sizeable stack, I needed to organize. The easiest method would have been to just throw them in a binder. After my years of working at a law firm, I am a binder expert, having made hundreds of them. But in reality, I hate binders. I hate how flimsy they can be; how bulky they can be; and how they can inflict actual bodily harm with their dangerous sharp & protruding edges. In the office supply world, I much prefer spiral notebooks for their compactness and portability. So my solution to my dilemma was to cut with scissors my Food Network recipe printouts to size and glue stick them into the pages of a spiral notebook. With a huge stack of recipes, this can take up a lot of time. Often times, you'll find me sitting on my couch with a venerable arts & crafts project in front of me, just snipping and pasting away. It makes my hands get a little tired, but it's the sort of mindless, repetitive task that I find pretty soothing. But there is a bit of a challenge at fitting all my little printout cards into the pages of my book.

My book has grown to be kind of thick now, and I didn't fully think it through because there is no rhyme or reason to the order that the recipes fall in my book, besides just being in the order that I watched them. But now that I've started, I simply just can't go back.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Cider House Sucks

Tonight I wasted 2 1/2 hours of my life watching one of the dumbest and most booooorrrriiing movies I've ever seen in my whole life. Seriously, The Cider House Rules bored me out of my skull. Not only are the characters utterly inane, but I think anyone who would actually see this movie for pleasure is in serious need of psychotherapy.

Wow, I haven't hated a movie like this in such a long time. I didn't know I had it in me.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I Should Get A Punching Bag

For my traveling computing needs, I have a 12-inch size silver Mac Powerbook. But my poor laptop fell on hard times a couple years ago, and has been abused ever since. I suppose that's the hazard of being an item of travel, especially traveling with me, since I have a habit of throwing things around and going through life in my general happy-go-lucky, disposable, accident-prone way.

Anyway, my laptop, over the past couple of years, has been dying a slow death. It culminated a couple of months ago, when the hard drive in my computer just went kaput, and I lost everything. Luckily, I really didn't keep much stuff on it, except for a few photos, but I'll survive without them. The hard drive's death must have been like the brain finally not getting enough blood and oxygen because, my battery at that point was so damaged that it gave me about 15 minutes of juice without the A/C adapter.

The beginning of all this damage started when I stupidly dropped my laptop down the stairs. The scene is like this. I was in Whistler, Canada, and I was returning my skis a day early. But the guy couldn't give me a refund for the extra day without a copy of my receipt which I didn't have in hard copy. So I ran back to my hotel, and grabbed my laptop, yanking the cord out of the wall, and ran back to the ski shop. Now I don't know why I was so excited. Maybe because I was so annoyed that he needed this when the guy had all sorts of other documentation like the form that I signed at the time I first took the skis. Or maybe it was his Scottish accent (foreshadowing of me and my experience with accents). At any rate, as I was taking the steps two at a time, with laptop in tow, it slipped out of my grasp and in my efforts to catch it, I actually bat it through the air, and my laptop hurtles down the steps.

Somehow my laptop stayed powered on, and the screen was intact. But the poor casing had two massive dents, destroying the pristine silver skin for this item that was the centerpiece of my silver techie collection (camera, pda, phone).

So today, I got a call from the friendly folks at They're performing their magical surgery, and I'll get my computer back in a couple of days! But I feel bad, because I want a new computer actually, and so maybe when this is all fixed, I'll put this one up for adoption.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

All Historied Out

Tonight in my bouts of insomnia, I got hooked on The History Channel. Actually, I've been watching a lot of what used to be known as "The Hitler Channel" because it seemed like all they showed was stuff about Hitler or the Titanic. People were like, "Isn't there ANYTHING else in the history of the world that might be interesting enough to put on this channel?" But now, their latest theme seems to be DISASTER and civilizations ruined by natural disaster, but had it coming to them because of too much pride, greed and general evil mankindness, like they're trying to instill a mass panic in all of us. To play off on that, they were also running some specials on the Kennedys, so that you could learn about a family disaster. You learn that Lee Harvey Oswald was actually an excellent marksman and that three shots was definitely doable in 8.3 seconds and that Oliver Stone's magical traveling bullet didn't really twist the way that he said. What kind of world do we live in if we can't believe in the movies?

The History Channel has also taught me in the last few weeks that the hard hat was invented at the Hoover Dam by dipping two baseball caps in tar and letting them harden. I've also learned that during the 17th century the best time to kill buffalo to yield the most profit, was during the winter when the hide was thicker. And tonight, I learned about the four types of volcanoes (Continental Margin, Hot Spot, Ocean Ridge and Island Arc, in case you wanna know) and that the biblical mass Exodus and the parting of the Red Sea actually were probably based on real events that happened after the Thera volcano at Santorini erupted. Thera could also explain the myth of Atlantis, making it the catch-all explanation of volcanoes. I wonder if Thera could explain JFK.

But I think the most disturbing thing that I've learned from the History Channel is that while the Discovery Channel ends its programing at 2am, The History Channel ends at 3am only to return at 5am.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Today I'm sick and have no energy to blog. I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

One of Life's Great Mysteries

Observe the below phenomenon that takes place in gyms across the country every day:

See the red boxes in my handy diagram that I drew up? Out of a possible 48 lockers in my hypothetical gym locker room, nine are occupied, but more importantly, they're all clustered in little groups right next to each other! Why is that there could be three people in a 24,000 square foot gym, but in the locker room, all three people have lockers next to each other? Case in point: the other night I was at the 76th street Equinox at the very non-peak hour of 9PM. The gym must have housed all of about 20 people in all three stories that night at that hour. So you would think the locker room would be wide open space to lay out all your crap. But nooooooo. I inevitably find my locker sandwiched between two other guys and we're all vying for a foot of bench space and reaching over and around each other like kids in a heavy metal concert melee.

And you can imagine the situations that might arise. AWKWARD! Picture me sitting down and tying my left shoe, and then sensing a looming presence above me. I make the mistake of looking up and staring straight into the aged and wrinkly ass of some fat, naked guy. As it hovers above me, I'm screaming in my head, "Why aren't you moving????"

Of course that's probably *the* most awkward situation that would arise from this strange crowding phenomenon. Other, more tame, situations are guys just waiting impatiently for you to move out of the way; being able to open your locker door only 1/3 of the way because the other guy's locker is blocking it; or accidently swinging your back into the cute guy's head who happened to be sitting right behind you as you gathered all your things. But still, why on earth do we crowd around one or two lockers, no matter if the gym is packed full like sardines or virtually empty like it was a breeding ground for smallpox? Since I have way too much time on my hands (see above figure), I decided to hypothesize a bit:

We Emit Locker Crowding Phermones
Maybe the phermones that we ostensibly all emit are causing us to congregate around each other. If so, why can't my phermones match up with the hot sandy blond haired Skidmore shorts guy who I see at Columbus Circle Equinox a lot (my second crush after the cheese store guy)? Trade-in, please.

It's A Conspiracy
Every guy who walks into a locker room immediately goes on the hunt for the ultimate prize--the tall locker. Occasionally, he gets thwarted by those annoying dimwits who don't lock their lockers. Seriously, every time you open a locker, and there's stuff in it, you feel like someone's standing above you, saying "Gotcha!" The least these people could do is put their most valuable and interesting stuff right on top of their pile of clothes and other shit for easy access.

The tall lockers though, obviously, take up double the amount of space as the short lockers, and I assume they have some sort of regularity in their layout in a locker room, like every third locker will be a tall locker or something like that. But I'm just wondering whether this is all part of the gym's design to make us all a little too close for comfort.

Guys Just Like Each Other
I have no idea if this phenomenon happens in the girls' locker room. But if it doesn't, that would give some pretty hefty support for this hypothesis. Maybe our subconscious just commands us to pick a locker next to one that is already occupied, because we all just like getting along.

We're All Stupid
Sometimes I think I really overthink the objective of getting a locker not near anyone else. Every time I go inside a gym locker room, I try to carefully pick a locker that won't result in this problem. And so I pick a locker that actually is already next to a couple of occupied lockers, figuring that those people got to the gym before me and will hence also leave before me. But more often than not, that doesn't work, and I go back to selecting a locker in an uncrowded area of the locker room. Then I think, what if I'm thwarting the masters of the universe, and go back to my original plan. No, but wait, what if that's what they want me to think? As you can see, the debate goes on for a while.

So, as you can see, my critical analysis has come up with lots of plausible explanations for this great mystery. I don't know which to vote for as THE explanation. They're all just so reasonable sounding. Maybe I'll let my Magic 8 Ball decide for me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Decisions, Decisions

I can't decide whether to go to San Francisco next month for our company Christmas party. On the one hand, I kind of don't feel like going because I'm just tired, and our party is so late (three days before Christmas). And I don't feel like I'd be missing that much if I didn't go.

On the other hand, this is a free trip courtesy of my employer. And I do want the miles. I live for frequent flier miles.

Monday, November 27, 2006

What'd I Miss?

So Thanksgiving is over and we're all back to work now. I roasted a turkey for the first time this year. I'm sure that's drawing surprised looks from everyone who reads this given how much I write about food and cooking. I can just picture all the thought bubbles going "Really????" Well, I've roasted tons of chickens, both stuff and unstuffed, but doing a turkey has always seemed like so much work. And the thing is so damn heavy to walk home with. But this time, I decided to go all out and use my fancy Mauviel roasting pan to cook the lucky 10 lb bird about to become my Thanksgiving dinner centerpiece.

Well, since this was my first time roasting a turkey, I did experience some hiccups. I made the mistake of using the internal temperature chart that came with my meat thermometer, and not realizing that this chart was totally wrong and had temperatures way too high. I also forgot to think about the fact that the internal temperature will keep rising after I took the turkey out of the oven. You would think that after all my cooking and hours of watching the Food Network, I would know this. But alas, I learn by trial and error.

Despite being overcooked a bit, my turkey wasn't a total disaster and it was still pretty yummy. I happen to love turkey meat, especially dark meat. I also happen to love cranberry sauce, and despite my less than perfect turkey, my friend and I still had a pretty good meal. And I feel sufficiently armed to cook my next turkey, which I feel like doing every week from now on. And I may just do that. I'm gonna become my own turkey roasting machine.

At my old company, I used to have to work on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but my new company has the day off. So I had a nice four day weekend to relax and catch my breath. After Thursday, I still had about 3/4 of my turkey left, and so inevitably I nibbled on it Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I know there are lots of very creative Martha Stewart ways to use left over turkey, but I would just carve a couple pieces and eat it with my leftover stuffing and leftover string beans, which led to my problem over the weekend. I really intended this past weekend to catch up on all the little things that I've been meaning to do for the past month, like wash my bathroom mats, put up my ebay auctions and clean out my closet, but I didn't account for the turkey-induced coma that I would be subject to for the entire freaking weekend. It had been a long time since I had eaten this much turkey (a year, in fact), and after lunch, I would be KNOCKED OUT. I felt like I had been drugged, and probably would have slept through World War III during my turkey naps. It's just too bad that I don't have a boyfriend to take advantage of somnambulent state.

Well, my turkey is gone now, and I'm trying to get back into my routine. I actually had a blog post today about a completely different and un-Thanksgiving related topic, but I couldn't get blogger to post this very artistic diagram that I spent the morning drawing to illustrate my point, so that will have to come later. In the meantime, hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Why I Was So Tired Last Week

Last Friday, I got home around 1AM and collapsed in my bed. I had a long week at work, with clients screaming at me, and me in turn getting career blues again and severe pangs to leave my company. Friday was a fun-filled day of getting a RUDE ultimatum from my client about something our company needs to do, and then fighting the crowds at Grand Central on my way home. I went to the gym for a little bit to go for a run, and then changed and hightailed it down to Chelsea to see Shortbus. I knew what this movie was about and was kind of expecting to be squirming a little bit at the graphic sex scenes. But really, I thought this movie was a total snooze-a-rama. I just thought it was really long and I felt like the characters were beating their problems into my head with a sympathetic, but very heavy bat. For instance, I just wanted to scream at Sophia, "I GET it. Can we PUH-LEEEZE move on?"

Anyhow, I got home after the movie, and even though I was dog tired, I couldn't really get to sleep. I kept tossing and turning because my mind was just spinning as I was a little buzzed from the couple of beers I had that night, and I was still thinking about everything going on at work. But I had another source of total anxiety that night. My cleaning lady was coming the next day and was STRESSING me out about her arrival. Now, I really like my cleaning lady. She's very trustworthy and works really hard. She cleans in places around my apartment that I didn't even know needed cleaning. The couple of times I've been here when she cleans, she's always sweating after a day of cleaning my apartment like she's gone through about five spinning classes . She also helped me out around my apartment when I got out of the hospital last year after my broken arm, since I was still in a lot of pain for a while and only had use of one arm.

So last week, when I asked her to come over, she asked if I would mind paying for an extra couple of hours because she wanted to do a thorough cleaning to get me "ready for the holidays." I didn't bother to tell her that I wasn't planning on having my apartment be a bed & breakfast for guests over the holidays, and it would still just be me. But I said "Sure."

Then, on Friday, she emailed me some instructions and a shopping list of all these cleaning supplies to buy. Whoa. Some of this stuff I had never even heard of. I went to Duane Reade and was looking around for the stuff. I even had to call her to make sure that I was getting the right thing. She was totally getting me all worked up about this. I felt like I just totally cleaned out the cleaning supplies section of Duane Reade, like I was stocking up for a household services convention.

Well, it turned out great, because I came home on Saturday to a sparkling clean apartment, and I'd take cleaning lady stress over work stress any day.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Latest Update on My Crush

So I move really slow, but I finally found out my crush's name who works at the cheese store. Now, next step: find out what team he plays for. I'll probably learn that next Christmas.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Day At America's Mall

Blogger really effed me today with some sort of mystery ailment. Don't they know that blogging is far more important than actually working?

But now the blogger "maintenance" (picture me making air quotes), which I think was a vast right-wing conspiracy to get me to actually do my job, is over, and I can update everyone on my boring life for the past few days. I am always amazed how I manage to make my life sound scintillating in this blog (well, I suppose that's all relative). I've entered another busy spell at work, having to wear a suit to work, and having a constant red light blinking from my blackberry visible through my pant pocket like Rudolph. Somehow through my occassional periods of blogging absence, I've been able to retain a somewhat captive audience through some magical colorful language while writing about what I do, which isn't really that interesting at all nor does it serve much purpose, except for giving me fodder to weave into cute stories for this blog. Anyhow, at the end of every week, I'm all set to have an exciting weekend, so I could come back here and yarn tales of adventure, debauchery and maybe even some crime. But usually by Sunday, I've settled down, exhausted, but wondering why I was so exhausted because I really hadn't done anything of consequence.

Over the weekend, I traveled to the mighty Mall of America while visiting my friend in Minneapolis. It's not all that it's cracked up to be, which I guess means that I'm not really a member of "America" since this is after all "America's Mall." But this mall is definitely huge. Some stores even have multiple branches inside. Like, I think there are actually FOUR Godiva stores all in this one mall. It's even got a cute Camp Snoopy amusement park and I got to experience the classic mall autograph signing when I saw James Lafferty from One Tree Hill and that kid who plays "Mouth" signing autographs to a gaggle of girls.

I'm a pretty die-hard shopper even though I hate trying on clothes. And even in this bastion of middle America, I was able to find a few things. My friend apparently, is not much of a shopper, and would even wait outside for me while I was inside a store browsing to add to my stupendous wardrobe like he was part of the abandoned straight male friend club. But there was something very exhausting about my whole day there, and after a few hours, my eyes were starting to glaze over. Spending 4 hours in a shopping mall without seeing natural light or a window anywhere can start to make you go crazy. I'm surprised National Geographic hasn't done a show on the human rituals that can take place in a mall.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Land of the Lumberjacks

I'm leaving for Minneapolis today to visit a friend. I've never been anywhere up in the northwest part of the country and am curious to see what it's like. But I did read that Minneapolis is another city to commence building of a free wireless network for the entire city. Yay for wireless!
Wish me nice flannel thoughts while I'm up in the Twin Cities.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

You Go, Queen

So last night I saw Helen Mirren going on with her bad self as Queen Elizabeth in The Queen. I've always liked Helen Mirren and in this movie, she really did more than an impersonation of QEII, so much that you really felt like you were in her majesty's presence. The movie begins with the landslide victory of Tony Blair and then gunshots immediately to the death of Princess Diana. Now I have to admit, Diana's death was not a really seminal event for me, so it didn't really resonate with me as much as with other folks who perhaps were a little older when Diana married and became the vessel to carry on the Windsor line or when Diana finally left Charles and became the jet-setting charity working divorcee. But the movie really shows the effect her death had on the British people and gives an accurate and more importantly fair portrayal of QEII herself, and you leave with more of an understanding about why her response was so slow and what she was struggling with. She wasn't a cold monster at all, just a product of the life she was born into.

Everyone else in the move is portrayed just as how I would imagine. Prince Phillip is an idiot and I'm sure there's a long line of people, including the Queen herself, who'd like to throw him off a bridge. Charles is like this petrified mama's boy who's terrified to go against his mother. And Tony "Call me Tony, not Prime Minister" Blair was just odd.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Again, Sorry For the Lack of Posts

Every once in a while, I post a "Sorry for the Lack of Blog Posts" entry. Just going through a dry and busy spell right now. Feeling kind of blah and uninspired and I don't want to leave you guys with crapola to read. Maybe I just need to clear my head from all this dating and job hunt stress. Plus a couple weeks ago, I had a pointless, passive-aggressive fight with someone I used to be close with that left me in a pretty pissy mood.

Hope everyone's enjoying Fall. Also, thanks to everyone for all the comments and emails!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Need To Take A Course

I've been so blah lately, and my blogging has suffered. The words aren't flowing as easily from my fingers as they usually do. I've been kind of discouraged by my career and personal life and just not feeling like doing much of anything. I should get out more and enjoy all that New York City has to offer, but I'm so sedentary lately.

Things would be so much easier if I could win the lottery. Well, I'm sure a lot of people would say that. So every once in a while, I say to myself that I'm going to invest in the lottery. But every time I go to the store, my mind starts spinning. The lottery is so confusing! I want to choose the one with the best odds to get the most bang for my buck, but there must be like 50 different games sitting behind the register. I kind of like the scratch games because they're kind of more fun to play. I mean, who doesn't like scratching that silvery film? But there are so many freaking games. And the ones with drawings have drawings every day it seems, and I never know which drawing my ticket is for. I feel like doing the lottery is another full-time job.

The ironic thing is that when I saw this show on the Discovery Channel about lottery winners, it seemed like the stupidest people in the country end up winning the lottery.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Two Holidays

Happy Halloween to everyone. But the more important holiday is Happy Daylight Savings Time! We all know how I feel about that holiday.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Project Runway Retrospective: The Models

*Sorry about the weird formatting below. For some reason, I can't get rid of the staggering.*

I’m suffering from Project Runway withdrawal. It’s over. *Sniff.* I can still hum the candyland-techno background music to Uli’s beach-y Miami runway show, which I loved, and am still wondering what the hell happened with Michael and why he didn’t realize that his collection was hoochie in a major way. Ah, what am I gonna do without my Project Runway?

This season was the best ever, with more drama, more plot twists and more crazy characters than ever before. This season also had models who actually talked, and while the model competition, if you can call it that, has always been much less dramatic than the show producers make it out to be, the models really turned out to be characters themselves. Since you can’t find much information on the models, I decided that I would sit down today and sum it all up so we can all share in this under-served part of the whole theater of the absurd that is Project Runway.

Best Walk

Like many people have said, I hope Jeffrey gave that Saturn roadster to Marilinda. This girl went from nowhere to working every garment she wore like she was the Calypso Queen at Carnivale. She really saved his ass. Check her out in that picnic tablecloth couture dress gown. She was fierce and a half.

Worst Posture

Clarissa was like the comeback model of the season. She was first in danger when stoner Bradley almost didn’t send anything out for the dog challenge. But Clarissa lit the fire under Bradley’s ass and Bradley ended up creating something that made Nina hail the fashion gods ("we would shoot that in Elle", which doesn't mean much because everybody reads Vogue). Then she survived Angela's weird Count Dracula cocktail dress. And finally, Michael ended up picking her after Uli got the Zuli in her and stole Nazri from him. But it’s too bad Clarissa has the worst posture of any of the models I’ve seen on the show. She looks like her mom made her wear any outfit she’s wearing.

Most Deserving of a Spin-off

The gaping hole of shock formed by Amanda’s mouth when Michael picked Clarissa over her was priceless. But in the end, it turned out good because I think Amanda would have been totally embarrassed to wear one of Michael’s Russian call girl dresses, and ended up rocking it in a nice breezy outfit by Uli. Still, I was pretty disappointed when she got auf’ed because that meant that I would never hear the end of the story that she started in the work room during the Marilyn Monroe challenge. I mean, did her boyfriend get her the ipod or not? I am still DYING to know the end of the iPod story that she was telling Kayne while she was talking in that way where she keeps on talking tilsherunsoutofbreath and then takes a huge gulp of air and continues. Project Runway sure gave us a cliffhanger.

Best Rack

Now this girl wasn’t one of the regular models during the season, just actually in Uli’s show. All I have to say is how high are those things?

Favorite Guardian Angel

In the black and white challenge, Laura was down in the dumps because of a “scathing” review from the last couture challenge, which in all honesty, I thought Laura was really over-reacting about. I never really thought she was in any danger of being auf’ed. Vincent clearly was gonna go. Anyway, here was Laura, down in the dumps, sobbing, depressed, pregnant, hormonal, trying to make the best damn black and white cocktail dress that anyone has ever made. It was like a movie. Laura was at rock bottom and then rises to the occasion and wins the whole thing, but she got some help along the way from her fairy godmodel, Camilla (who is from Uganda, by the way, which I think is really cool). Camilla, who was subtitled, which I guess Bravo did for those of us who don’t speak “model”, gave Laura some advice and then Laura wins the whole challenge!

Props also to Camilla for helping Angela sew some of those cabbage size rosettes to the hooker day care center outfit for the dog challenge. Wow, this model can sew too? She’s got skills.

Best Gratuitous Display of Skin

When homegirl ripped off her skirt to show us this bikini during Uli's show, that was seriously hot. I think every guy or girl, gay or straight, stood up and noticed her.

Worst Walk

What was up with this model? She must have known she was wearing the worst dress in Jeffrey’s collection and decided she didn’t need to bother working it. But seriously, thunder-thighs here was walking down the runway like a duck on crack.

Most Likely To Kick Your Ass

Overall, I thought all the models this season were pretty good, and it’s really too bad that Project Runway did some arbitrary bullshit like picking the next two auf’ed models by drawing their names out of a bag?!? But there was one model who just looked kind of drag queenish to me. Check out those Angela Bassett-worthy muscles on Javi. This girl looked like she could kick my ass. When I see her, I think of Aunty Entity from Mad Max.

Second place I’d have to give to Uli when she marched down the runway in the dress she made for herself during the Jet-setter challenge. All of a sudden, images of high kicking German soldiers dressed in amazing technicolor dreamcoats and marching up St. Tropez went through my head.

Best Auf'ing

When Lindsay got jettisoned for Nazri by Uli, Lindsay gave her own fantastic Auf Wiedersehn to Uli. You can FEEL the death glare as Lindsay gives Uli a kiss goodbye, which is about as friendly as a kiss goodbye in The Godfather. Poor Lindsay. She was the master of the “sleepy-eye” look whenever she walked. I missed her.

Most Typecast

I have no idea where Nazri is from, but I kept wondering if Nazri was sick of her hair being massively fro’d out for every episode like Foxy Brown. Not that it looked bad. I’m just saying, mix it up a little.

Best Amateur

It’s clear that good genes run through Robert’s family.

Worst Amateur

Even though Uli did a great job with Kayne’s mom, doesn’t anyone else think that Kayne’s mom looks like Sam Kinison? You need to smile!

Most Shafted

Poor Alexandra. I hope being called zaftig and the deadly “plus-size” on national television didn’t drive her to an eating disorder. Everyone will agree that her low point arrived when she came walking down the runway with her Minnie Mouse bow in the hair. And as much as I liked Alison and completely disagreed with her auf’ing, I thought Alison placed a little too much blame on Alexandra in her exit interview for losing that challenge. Hey, Fattie Minnie Mouse picked you to work with during the icon challenge. You should be flattered.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Trader Joe's: New York's Happy Grocery

I'm a huge grocery store fan. Getting groceries is one of my favorite things to do and I love checking out weird and interesting new ingredients and filling up all the little plastic baggies with exotic produce and picking out Grade A cuts of meat and fresh seafood still glistening from the sea. I'm a veteran of most of the grocery stores in the city and all the major gourmet grocery stores in New York have good and bad things to say about them.

But I had yet to go to the latest West Coast invasion after Whole Foods and Jamba Juice, Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s opened on St. Patrick’s Day, but it may as well have been Trader Joe’s Day because the entire city pounced on Trader Joe’s as soon as they opened their doors. Seven months later, this place is still more crowded than Macy’s on the day after Thanksgiving. There are still lines to actually get in the store, and once inside, you see a mob clamoring over spinach & artichoke dip like another Katrina was coming.

That’s the mentality you need to shop there. TJ’s keeps you on your toes. You have to adopt a Soviet mentality to shop there, meaning that when you see something you like, you have to HOARD. Products appear suddenly and then disappear before you can ask one of the excessively good TJ shelvers where’d it go. And while the Hawaiian-style chips are still around in TJ’s repertoire, you gotta be aggressive and grab every bag in sight while they’re still there. Shelves go bare at Trader Joe’s, like natural-disaster-area-emergency-evacuation bare. I thought about getting some frozen artichoke hearts, not because I needed or even really like them all that much. I made a tour of the store, and when I got back to the frozen foods section, all the bags were gone!

But all is not lost in the Trader Joe’s experience because the staff really tries to make you feel like you’re part of some pluralistic utopian community that farms together and milks cows together. Shopping there is like being with Amnesty International. You get the impression that everything was made or baked by some sort of activist—like the corn chips were made by Native Americans protesting for their rights and the garlic hummus was made by sympathetic Muslims committed to equal rights for women and the Irish soda bread was made by U2 GAP red-shirt groupies who took a break from marching for Protestant-Catholic peace to bake bread or the chipotle salsa was made by Mexican-Americans standing up for the rights of migrant workers.

What’s most admirable in the cacophony of people ramming carts into each other, the line stretching the entire perimeter of the store, and the fact that it takes 20 minutes to get down an aisle is that you get the impression that everyone is happy to be there despite the inconveniences. The TJ elves could lead the entire store in a rousing round of Kum-Ba-Yah while they merrily stock the shelves with more of those exotic nut mixes. Kum-Ba-Yah, Trader Joe’s.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

School Identity Problems

Last week, I went to another event for my snooty faux-religious prep high school. We have a new headmaster who decided to make a pilgrimage to New York to meet all of us New York alums and make his show us all the new bells and whistles at our school and make his sales pitch to get more money out of us.

He was going through his powerpoint presentation of the physical improvements to the school when he arrived at the slide of our brand new football field, which I have to say must have cost a fortune. It looks like something a football field at one of the Friday Night Lights high schools because we certainly were not a football powerhouse in Virginia. Well, maybe we are now. I have no idea. Anyhow, we were looking at our new idyllic playground of artificial grass when one of my fellow alums commented on the gigantic "S" in the middle of the field. Now, my school was one of those classically elite private schools, so of course we had to be named after some random saint. So we all kind of gave a strange look, when she asked "Whose decision was it to use 'S'?" Someone chimed in "As opposed to what?" And she said "well, how about 'A'"? Everyone in the room, even the people visiting from Virginia, gave her a strange look, and we asked her "What school did you go to, Albemarle?" Which horror of horrors is a public school.

Sidebar: Later that evening I realized she meant "A" as in "Anne" since our school is St. Anne's. Looks like the joke was on us.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Creature Comforts Video

For those of you who can't see the below video from my "I Need Eh-Space" post, you can check it out here. So hilarious.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Now People Can Stop Asking Me...

So the new UN Secretary-General is going to be Ban ki-moon, one of my fellow South Koreans. His name makes me think of crazy Sun Myung Moon and his stadiums full of simultaneous marriage ceremonies, which doesn't really relate to anything to what I have to say about the new Sec-Gen. Anyway, this is a pretty big deal for any country, but this is probably the first time a Sec-Gen was selected from a country as politically charged as South Korea. Mainly because as many people have noted, this comes at a time when there's a literal mushroom cloud going on over the Korean peninsula with North Korea's nuclear test the other day.

I remember during the last North Korean nuclear crisis when Kim Jong-Il in his best Korean Sopranos lame spin-off voice was all "Ooooh.....Noooo, we don't have any nuclear weapons." People were all like, "yeah right, and your hair doesn't look like it belongs on a troll doll." But the worst was how some lame people would ask ME of all people, "so, where are they?" As if it were my uncle. "So, uncle, can you tell me where the nuclear weapons are?"

At least now people have someone else to ask who might have a better idea than me.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I once saw an episode of Creature Comforts late at night when I was in California visiting my friend from college. I had forgotten about it till now as I was perusing programs to add to my new best friend, DVR. OMG, I was in stitches watching this. I love the Brazilian mountain lion who "needs E-SPACE!" and who is NOT a veg-e-taaaarian". Yea, me too! I heard that the guy who did the lion's voice was actually the director's friend from Brazil who HATES England.

I wonder what kind of animal I would be. It would have to be an animal who dresses well, who looks and is intelligent, but is also a total ditz. Thinking cap on...ah. I think I would be a zebra. They have the classic black and white combination which is good in fall or spring and urban and suburban environments. They seem athletic too so they'd probably understand my running, yoga and spinning. So there you go. Next time you see a zebra, think of me.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Education at MOMA

A few weekends ago back in August (ok, I guess more like a few months), I did something cultural to deulde myself that I am in fact a cultured and worldly person who attends museum events all in hopes of getting invited to those outlandish benefit galas in 20 years. I chose the Museum of modern Art for my first visit to an art museum in New York in five years because I wanted to see al the cool design objects and i do like modern art, so of course I'll go to the place that has "modern art" in the name. I prepped myself the day before by becoming a MEMBER of the Museum. Yes, that deserves caps because it's just that impressive.

I went with two friends who work at the firm I used to be at. Well, actually, one of them now works at another firm in a job position more similar to my current job, and with just about the same ho-hum attitude towards it that I have towards my job. I won't rant about my job again, but how did I ever get pigeon-holed in this industry?

Before the museum, I made a nice lunch for my two friends. It was a pretty simple lunch of soup and salad, but with some pretty chi-chi ingredients like filet mignon (for the sandwiches) and a cheese plate with some nice wedges of Taleggio, Roncal and Cabrales cheese. Mmmmm. I learned long ago that the best way to cook for other people is to just cook one course and dump plates and silverware in the middle of the table and let everyone serve themselves. Or better yet, tell everyone to get their own plates and silverware. First of all, I am not a waiter, nor do I run a restaurant and so i don't want to feel like I'm running some home-grown version of Hell's Kitchen. Keep it casual, so I don't have to unnecessarily stress myself out and try to be the perfect host or leave the table and say something lame like "Don't have fun without me" like the Barefoot Contessa would say in her best control-freak voice.

So we had our luch. I had also made a dessert the night before. But I was kind of afraid to serve it. I made a Pavlova, but kind of accidently put almost double the amount of sugar in relation to the number of egg whites. My teeth still chatter thinking about the sugar rush. You might as well have injected yourself with Type 2 Diabetes if you were going to eat this. of course, I'm a weathered pro when it comes to sweet things, since I'm the one who puts sugars in a cup of coffee. Given that I didn't want to be responsible for any cavities or any cardiac arrests, I warned my friends that my "Pav" (that's the official nickname) had a TON of sugar. i also had to explain to them what exactly a Pavlova was. I told the whole story of how this chef in Australia (some say New Zealand) was so dazzled by the ballerina Anna Pavlova, that he created this ethereal, sugary dessert. Probably my friends weren't interested in the life history behind this dessert, but I fed them the story anyhow because that's how I sometimes get. I like to think of myself as a "worldly" (proud grin") individual brimming with lots of stories to tell everyone I know.

After lunch, we started hoofing it to the museum. Lunch took longer than I expected, and I wanted to at least have time to see at least one painting before the place closed. Plus I was expecting a welcome ceremony since I did just become a MEMBER. Unexpectedly, we ran smack dab in the middle of the Dominican Republic Pride Parade or National Dominican Republic Day Parade or whatever they called it.

Now, at the risk of starting some kind of trouble, let me say that the Dominican Day Parade is no Gay Pride Parade. whereas some New York City Parades tend to feature all kinds of talent- dancers, singers - and people of all ages, the Dominican Day Parade seemed to consist entirely of Dominicans who were 18 years old, in posses or couples, dressed in Dominican shirts and waving Dominican flags, on floats or on foot. Spectators became paraders, while other paraders lost interest, dropped out, and started yakking with the other 18 years olds on the sidelines.

We finally crossed the parade and arrived at the museum. Since I am a MEMBER, I got in for free. But the welcome ceremony for me was suspiciously absent. I suppose they didn't have enough time to prepare for my arrival. Next time, I'm sure they'll go all out. My friends' tickets were only $5, and so that was nice for them too--one of the perks of being associated with a MEMBER.

We then went upstairs to the galleries. I hadn't been in an art museum in three or four years. And I know this is a semi-obvious thing to say, but MOMA really has a lot of famous paintings. All of sudden, I had flashbacks to art history class that I took to fulfill my art requirement in high school. It was so cool to see all these paintings just inches away from me, that I had seen in so many books. My friends and I were first in the Impressionist and Post-Impressionish wings. We began looking around. Unfortunately, one of the members of our group was a lingerer. You know those types--the ones who just stand there FOREVER reading every single little placard next to all of the paintings and just standing around looking at every painting at a snail's pace.

While we dragged the lingerer through the museum, I began telling my friends some of the things that I knew about the art in front of us. It began casually when we saw a painting by Marc Chagall, and I said, "Oh Chagall. There was a famous Chagall painting in Notting Hill that was Julia Roberts's and Hugh Grant's favorite." Then we came across some Gustav Klimt, and I went "Oh....Helena Bonham Carter and that guy she was having an affair with and the sick wife went to a Klimt exhibition in Wings of the Dove." Then I pointed to another painting and said "Oh the couple in Six Degrees of Separation had a Kandinski in their apartment that Will Smith knew ALL about." I continued, "Oh I think that was the Picasso that Kate Winslet brought on Titanic." My friends at that point, were looking at me kind of strangely, "Wow Terence," they said. "You sure do know a lot about art. I'm getting so much out of this field trip.

I grinned proudly like Wallace. Yes, I know the IMPORTANT stuff about art.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Recap of Past Few Days

I've gotten into another phase of sporadicity (is that a word?) in my blog posting. Just getting busier at work and crawling out my hermit shell to actually be social and go out once in a while. So here are some of the things that have occupied my time over the past few days.

Kathy Griffin

Last Thursday night I went to Stamford to see Kathy Griffin perform. She was HYSTERICAL. She was true to form. The best thing about Kathy is that we're all Kathy's BFF. That night she let us all in, in rapid fire, on all of her little secrets. Sometimes she digressed because she just had so much to tell us. There were times that she seemed breathless because she was so excited to let you in on all the juicy gossip. She started the night by declaring that Oprah "thinks she's Jesus," and then told us a hilarious story about Gayle's trip to visit Oprah's dad and incurring Oprah's wrath. She quickly transitioned to Sharon Stone, Barbara Walters, Star Jones, Whitney Houston, Clay Aiken, the Olsen twins, Larry King, Katie Couric, the Scientologists and Ann Coulter.

But the funniest segment involved Kathy's Irish Catholic 89 year old father and 85 year old mother. If you watch "My Life On The D-List", you already know how Kathy's parents are elderly box of wine booze hounds who just do not care about the cameras. Kathy went on to say that no group takes the Lord's name in vain more than Catholics. To illustrate her point, Kathy tells how she tried to persuade her parents to accompany her on a lesbian cruise to Alaska with Rosie O'Donnell. Here's my paraphrasing:

Kathy's mom: What? A cruise. Oh my god. What in Jesus's name are you talking about? Your father is 89 years old. We can't go on any god-damn cruise.....What? Lesbians??? Jesus Christ, Kathleen! What the hell are you talking about? Christ, Kathleen, lesbians can't have childeren. There's gotta be a god-damn man in their somewhere......WHAT???? Alaska!?!? I am not going to any god-damn Alaska. Joesph, Peter, Mary...Kathleen. John [Kathy's dad], listen to this. Kathleen wants to take us on some god-damn cruise to Alaska where lesbians go to have kids...I know....I don't know what in Christ's name she is talking about. Kathleen, I'm going to have a drink...(click).
This escalated and escalated until Kathy's mom was swearing like a sailor. The audience was roaring.

Trip To DC

I went to DC last weekend to visit some friends and because I'm also such a hotel fanatic, visit the newly remodeled Park Hyatt in DC. Nothing much to say except that I went out to eat in Chinatown on Saturday night. And I discovered that DC's Chinatown has totally changed from a desolate street corner and sorry excuse for a Chinatown to DC's new hot spot with not a single Chinese person anywhere as far as the eye can see. Overall the visit was good. I did lose my glasses at the airport somehow. I was pretty sure they fell out of my pocket at the LaGuardia airport security, and so I went back to ask one of the TSA guys if anyone found my glasses. She didn't even look at me. Next thing I knew, she screamed "HAS ANYONE FOUND A PAIR OF GLASSES?" Still not looking at me, she asked me "Prescription or Sunglasses?" I said "Prescription." She shouts again "PRESCRIPTION GLASSES? ANYONE FIND THEM????" The entire staff and long line of people waiting to go through security turned to look at me. I felt like a spotlight had just shined on me and suddenly EVERYONE knew that I wore glasses, which for some bizarre reason made me feel sooooo self-conscious.

New Fall TV Season

There are so many good new shows on TV now. So far, ABC is the winner and will rule my evenings until next Monday when I get DVR! I finally broke down and got it. For years, I kept resisting it because I didn't want to admit to myself how little life I have. Previously, I had this very elaborate calendar with all my shows mapped out and careful pop-up reminders on my computer. But I decided that was so Amish and way too much work. Anyhow, I'll write more about my new favorite shows later, but I am loving Ugly Betty, Heroes, Six Degrees and The Nine. And Wednesday night is turning into a Salinger Party of Five reunion with Matthew Fox in Lost (the beginning of last night's episode was amazing) and uber-cutie Scott Wolf (can you believe he's 38?) in The Nine. Then there are my current shows like Project Runway and Lost which are in fine form. I'm overwhelmed.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Don't Have $5 For A Cup Of Coffee? Not To Worry At....Starbucks

I found this interesting article about how to go cheap at Starbucks. I support this fully and have respect for all those ingenious customers trying to fight against overpriced coffee from a company trying to make $2 over $0.05 worth of milk. Although, I have to admit from my very limited knowledge that I actually think Starbucks seems to be a great company to work for and they seem to give back to the community wherever they are. I also got a new found respect for them when I heard that EVERY employee of Starbucks has to work as a barista for at least a week before joining the company. So someone I know who became a lawyer at their Seattle corporate headquarters went to her local Starbucks and joined their team for a week. How cool is that? I should go work for them to fulfill my morbid curiousity of working in the Services industry, which somehow in my mind seems glamorous, but that's probably because I'm surrounded by spoiled lawyers who must have lived in caves before going out into the real world for their lack of social or even just courtesy skills.

But Starbucks has been slipping lately. That whole coupon snafu was really lame on Starbucks's part. Kudos to Caribou for honoring the coupons. And raising the price of coffee by a nickel? That's like gouging crack addicts.

For me, I just drink during the day (outside of work, I make my own coffee) that awful sludge that comes out of every office's favorite single-pod automated drink machine maker, Flavia. But I just drink that because I like the idea of a robot serving me coffee.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Busy As A Bee

I was just tired of seeing that "Mea Culpa" title everytime I opened up my blog. Not much has happened to me in the past few days. Just all of a sudden work got crazy and all my clients decided to band together and just dump their work on me. So I've been running around like crazy. And woo-hoo, by tomorrow, I'll have worn a suit twice in the past week. The first time was for a fancy demo of my company's "solution" to all your legal problems, and then tomorrow will be for a job interview. It's too bad I'm not that excited about this job, especially since I learned that someone I went to college with works there now, and I'd kind of prefer not to see him again. And given the relatively small size of this company, I doubt that would happen.

But I always have this thing about visiting another company or firm's office. I'm always looking around taking note of the style, the furniture, the views, the building, etc. And while I've never taken a job solely on my opinion of the company's taste level, it's always nice to be in a place where my taste level and the company's taste level just gel.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mea Culpa

My lame attempts at humor and insightfulness dependant on a high number of similes and copious amounts of run-on sentences seem to be taken without the grain of salt they require. Folks, my blog posts are usually more funny than ever serious. So just keep that in mind, especially to all the anonymous commenters out there who really should at least just email me directly and tell me who you are. If you knew me personally, you'd know that I'm just trying to be tongue-in-cheek and that I'm always very aware of how much I'm exaggerating and stretching the truth in my quest to be a superstar blogger (some more joking around for you.)

So if I offended anyone with my blog posts, especially about San Francisco's airport (more kidding), please forgive me. Obviously I'm not doing a good job of conveying how really not serious I am in my posts.

P.S., I really do love San Francisco like I've written in previous posts. I've even thought of moving there.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Five Things About San Francisco: #4 San Francisco's Airport is Messed Up

I've flown in and out of San Francisco Airport 30-40 times now and I've gotten to know the airport pretty well. Once in a while, I've flown into Oakland too, but that's only if someone has told me that the world will end unless I fly JetBlue, because I hate JetBlue and flying into Oakland is a huge pain. Actually before I delve into the mess that must have been designed by a moron on crack at SFO, I'll talk a little about Oakland. The thing about Oakland is that everything looks like it's in a sketchy neighborhood, with rusted metal, dilapidated houseds, and industrial warehouses as far as the eye can see. It looks pretty uninviting. The low hanging clouds casting a grey shadow over everything doesn't help. How does this city (if you can call it that) have a professional baseball team? I've even heard the stadium sucks (the SF Giants stadium, on the other hand, is beautiful and kicks ass). It looks like a morgue and the players posters are like smiley face stickers stuck on a coffin.

At least SFO is in a semi-nice area down on the peninsula. It's near the town of Millbrae which has about a million Chinese dim sum places along with hordes of tour buses of Chinese tourists who seem to come to San Francisco to just eat their own food in a different country. Maybe it's an Asian thing. I know my parents usually like to only eat Korean food whenever we travel and we scour the entire town wherever we are for a temple to bulgogi and kimchi. Anyhow, traveling into SFO is like going through the labyrinth from Greek mythology. You have no idea where you're going. Signs to the same place are pointing in opposite directions, and if you ask, you'll probably get the wrong directions. And you have to walk what seems like miles past dangerous obstacles to get anywhere.

As soon as you land, the adventure starts. As you taxi on the runway, you realize that the pilot landed with about 6 inches left on the runway. After that, there's a gorge that makes the Grand Canyon look like a stream. I can only imagine what the pilot is thinking when he takes off. He's probably praying that he has enough momentum to lift off before the runway disappears.

Then you deplane and enter San Francisco Airport where I'm sure people go missing every day. I think the main problem is that SFO has been upgrading it's structure probably since the Wright Brothers. In fact, if SFO had offered its facility to the Wright Brothers, they probably would have laughed. After you deplane, you walk. Then you walk some more. And then some more. And then you walk and walk and walk. Sometimes you take an escalator, maybe even an elevator. You look out the window and you realize that you can still see your plane because you've returned to the exact same place you started from after walking for three hours. One time I somehow found myself in the parking garage, trying to get to baggage claim. And I swore I followed all the signs. Then one time, I was trying to get to the BART station, but found myself in some obscure place where I feared for my life after wandering around for hours and hours, and getting on countless escalators and elevators singing, "Climb Every Mountain" and going up, down, inside, outside, and up and down a couple more times. (Ok, so I'm exaggerating a little.) San Francisco Airport, at least, seems to have no shortage of signage, but it would help if the damn signs were right.

Getting out of SFO is more of the same, except I have to deal with the United ticket desk and the security lines. Now I have never had any problems with any individual ticket agents at the United desks. But my problem is that there are about 10,000 desks, but like two agents. So my status as a Premier Executive flyer is basically nothing more than a way for me to show all of the other passengers what a tool traveler I am. But the express lines is really a benefit that I really value and it would be nice if I could use it. Security is also a huge pain, if nothing else because the lines are always so long. I don't think any terrorist would ever try to leave through SFO because he'd kill himself first, just waiting in line.

There's that song "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." Well clearly the people who made the airport not only left their hearts there, but they left their brains there too.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Monday Groove

Here's some groove for a Monday morning. I wanted to post this directly to my blog, but is being screwy and won't recognize my blogger account credentials.

I came across this video after a weekend filled of looking at old videos of American Bandstand and Saturday morning cartoon-death knell Soul Train performances from the 70s. Some of them are hilarious. We sure could dance like dorks back then.

This is one of my favorite songs ever. Maybe because it was released the same year as my birthday (1977). I could just picture myself in the studio recording this song and belting it into a mike that of course drops down from the ceiling. Oh and of course I have to have the big ass Princess Leia style headphones over my ears, with my hands clutching them and head bopping along to the music. But, alas, I have no musical talent whatsoever, and so American Idol won't be knocking on my door anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sleazy Disney

This morning on the radio, I heard about the sleazy underbelly of working at Disney World as an intern. The guys on the radio were talking about what it's like to work there and a girl who used to be an intern there actually called in too to give her perspective. During the day it's some perverse puppet show with the mouse pulling all the strings and I'm sure feeding all of the workers there some speed or something in order to keep them going with the script. Disney works on a point system for their workers. Curse out a toddler and swat his ice cream to the ground? You lose points. Suffocate inside a hot Pluto costume head and fall over and die? You lose points. Didn't smile when you were handing out disney pens on that weird paddle boat thing to little kids? Well you probably made the mouse cry. The mouse apparently suffers from OCD, and if one worker isn't perfect, he cries. And if you make Mickey cry, well, you're screwd.

So on your first day of the internship, they bring in some guy who rambles on and on about Walt Disney and his vision and the rewards of the internship program. I suppose they make it heartwarming enough for you to really believe that all there really is behind the Disney corporate behemoth is a lovable friendly mouse bouncing around all happy and smiling like Santa Claus on Prozac.

After a day's work, the world of the Disney interns becomes a weird version of Studio 54. Think about your favorite Disney characters like Donald and Pooh, smoking, doing drugs and drinking. Then think about your beloved characters participating in debauchery like a Snow White and seven dwarves orgy, a Cinderella strip tease, a Chip & Dale gay romp in the celebrated jacuzzi of the intern apartment building.

Whoa. This is like Da-Vinci Code worthy insider information. My mouth was agape. I stood there frozen in front of my bathroom mirror in my boxers and toothbrush thinking about the dark side of Disney. Now I don't have any particularly warm & fuzzy memories of Disney World. But, oh my god.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bring On The Bubbly

While I was in Europe, I became an agua con gas afficianado. That's right. I've become a sparkling water drinker. I'm fairly ashamed of this. Drinking sparkling water is so Euro. Also when I was a kid, I thought sparkling water tasted like dinosaur pee or like water with an aspirin dissolved in it, and I hate to go back later and admit that I am wrong. Worse still, I've become a total tool by actually favoring Perrier over all the other brands out there. If I was going to go for a sparkling water, I should go for a good old American brand like Calistoga, which I'm sure our cowboys drink. Well, our cowboys in Aspen.

I've become so obsessed with Perrier that these days you'll probably find me liplocked to one of those curvy green bottles. Pellegrino, the other bastion of Euro water coolness, is always a good fallback choice. But in Perrier, I can really appreciate the aggressiveness of the bubbles. They just feel like they have so much more ooompf to them and dare your palate to conquer them. In fact, I took a small bottle of Perrier and a small bottle of Pellegrino home with me one day to do a showdown between the two and conduct some science. I wanted to test their bubble strength (clearly I have too much time on my hands). So I shook up the Perrier bottle as hard as I could and held it above the sink while I gingerly twisted the cap off. Water came spraying out as soon as I started twisting, spraying me and my whole kitchen counter, giving both of us a decent soaking. Then I did the same thing with the Pellegrino bottle. Pellegrino's performance was pitiful. Hardly any effervescing from the Italian seltzer water. If you need a bottle of water for a water fight, go with the overpriced curvy green French stuff.

Both Pellegrino and Perrier are mineral waters, which I suppose literally means dirty water that hasn't been cleaned yet. But it's those extra sulphites and salts and whatever else that add that extra special tasty or therapeutic something to these waters. So taste is another important quality. Both taste pretty good. The bubbles though taste finer and smaller in Perrier. I also used some guidance from Jeffrey Steingarten's chapter on water where he actually decided to make his own great-tasting water by buying an alphabet soup from the periodic table and mixing them with distilled water. Then I also came across the guidelines for what is apparently the preeminent water festival in the world held at Berkeley Springs. This quote taken from their handy guidelines stood out to me.

An aftertaste of wet dog or sucking on a wet band-aid is decidedly NOT desireable. that the water they drink in hell? What water tastes like that? Ew.

I also learned some stuff about tonic water because in Spain, they drink a lot of that stuff straight up. I learned, for instance, that tonic water is water with Quinine added to it, owing to tonic water's origins as a medicinal solution to things like malaria, not that I ever would go trekking the jungles of Africa with nothing but tonic water in my bag. Tonic water makes me want to gag. I can't stand tonic water, and wouldn't consume it unless I was dying of thirst on that creepy island in Lost and the Others were holding a gun to my head.

So after an afternoon of experimentation on sparkling water, I was left standing in the kitchen, mineral water drying from my t-shirt, satisified with the results of yet another one of my selfless acts to educate the public. I'm also starting to think of more ways to make my experiment more scientific. Maybe I should involve lightning somehow. Lightning always makes science more fun and cool. Good science always needs a good jolt of electricity.

Sidebar: I am dying to get one of
these. Wouldn't that be so cool? My own sparkling water spring from my own faucet. I could bottle it and call it TCho H2O.