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.