Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I WAS In A Pretty Good Mood Tonight

Tonight, I made my first trip to the gym in six days. Due to my bubonic plague over the past few days, I hadn't been able to go.

After a pretty good four-mile run, I left the gym. On my way out, I checked my bad self in the mirror and have to say I was pretty pleased, considering that I've been sick for the past few days. I was looking pretty good in my new Barbour coat and my hair, for once, was actually doing what all that expensive hair product that I buy is supposed to impart. I felt loads better after breaking a sweat. Yay for endorphins.

I got home and sat down to a dinner of some finger-licking good leftover fried chicken that I made the other day and a baby spinach salad and parked myself on the couch to watch an episode of The Simpsons. I was finally kicking that cold to the curb and feeling normal.

Then I went to go check my email and got a really weird email from a guy who I've seen once or twice. We were going to hang out this Saturday and he sent me an email saying that he got the impression that I had lots of guys lined up and that he didn't feel it would be a good idea to meet up for dinner. Then he closed with "Have a good weekend."

WTF?!? First, of all, my social life is so boring, that a Librarian probably has more fun than I do. Secondly, this totally came out of left field and I don't know where he was getting his basis. I'm not even dating this guy, and he somehow rejects me.

Some people can be hyper-sensitive, or I don't know what to call this. This reminds me of a recent klutzy move I made while having dinner in Houston with a group of people--a mix of people who I knew and didn't know. I was squeezing some lemon into my iced tea, when horror of horrors, the juice squirted into the face of my neighbor. Talk about total delayed reaction. I had basically squeezed the entire lemon half before I realized. I almost died of embarrassment. Everyone at our table thought it was funny, but the guy who got lemon all over his face (and his glasses) was actually really mad and gave me the cold shoulder all night, despite my profuse apologies.

I honestly think sometimes that jerky guys exist just to give bloggers something to talk about.

Monday, December 10, 2007

How Fit Are You?

A friend of mine is one of those marathoners, constantly training for the next race in rain or snow, a lifestyle choice which I will never understand. Anyway, he told me recently that he has a resting heart rate of 60 bpm, which is pretty impressive, I think.

So I measured mine this morning, and saw that mine is 65 bpm. Hmmm. Not too bad. But, sadly, I don't think this is indicative of any superior cardiovascular conditioning. In reality, I think I've achieved this by the simple fact that I am forever in a constant state of nearly asleep, proven by the fact that I can fall asleep anywhere in under 5 minutes

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My Immune System Sure Does Like To Work

I haven't been sick since my encounter with Flu. But now Flu has sent his cohort, who I'll name "Stu." "Stu" isn't quite as strong as Flu, but he did make me cancel tennis for Saturday and Sunday, which sucked because I've been playing well, and am currently on a three-match winning streak (I'll credit my new Andy Roddick serve that I've been working on.)

Thankfully, Stu isn't nearly as bad as Flu. Still, Stu has made me feel like I started my day by banging my head against the wall 10 or 15 times, and then going about my day. But I did manage to drag my ass out the door and escape the layer of germ infested air in my apartment to meet teahouseblossom for brunch! It was very exciting for me to meet another blogger. Plus, she literally lives a hop, skip, and a jump away from me, so we really didn't have an excuse NOT to hang out.

So I did my best today to not look too sick (in fact, I wore my new Rag & Bone shirt jacket, a line co-founded by Natalie Portman's hottie new boyfriend, Nathan Bogle), but also not to look too healthy, which is harder than it sounds.

It's a delicate balance you need to maintain – the balance of appearance and actual degree of illness. I've given it a lot of thought (apparently) and can say that the trick is that you want sympathy; you want people to lower their standards and say, "Oh that's ok. You don't have to do anything. You're sick." But if you take it too far, you run the risk of being “that asshole who got me sick”, or worse, “that gross guy with the snot on his shirt.” You need to be clean, but not dressed in your best clothes; awake, but still slightly groggy; and, above all, you need to come off as though you are battling through your sickness for the greater good of humanity and for that shred of human dignity that won’t let a little mucus get the best of you.

So I did my best today to look a little grungy, but not too grungy, as I was meeting someone for the first time, after all. And I did my best to not be too gross with all my tissues and blowing my nose every five minutes, and yet still maintain my dignity (not that I've really EVER been that dignified.) And I think I managed to maintain the delicate balance required since I think I made a good impression, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself today at brunch, and meeting someone new for my future superhero troupe.

Now it's almost midnight and time for bed. But I'm going to bed realizing what an idiot I am, because I just learned that the Advil Cold & Sinus medicine that I've been taking all weekend expired in October.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I Confess

I was tagged a while ago by Christopher to answer the following questions...This is my second meme! (Here was my first one.) I'm gaining in-roads into blogger world. Woo-hoo!

Taken a picture completely naked? Nope.

Made out with a friend on your MySpace/Facebook page? Not yet. I actually can't stand Myspace because every myspace page I go to has music playing. Um, I 've got my own music, thank you. Why would I want to listen to yours?

Danced in front of your mirror naked? Nope.

Told a lie? Sure. Who hasn't?

Had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back? Yes...Story of my life, unfortunately.

Been arrested? Omg, I'd be pissing in my pants if I were ever arrested.

Made out with someone of the same sex? Uh, do you need to ask?

Seen someone die? Well, I skied past someone at Whistler one time, and there was a rescue crew around him. Later on, I found out that he had done a jump on his snowboard and landed on a rock on his chest, and had died. Pretty sad.

Slept in until 5pm? Embarrasingly, yes. I think I could sleep 12 hours every day if I wanted to.

Had sex at work? Nope, but have thought about it.

Fallen asleep at work/school? Yes, I took quite a few naps in the back row of classroom lectures.

Held a snake?
Nope. Snakes give me the heebie-jeebies. When I was little, I once ran over a snake with a lawn mower, and I heard some banging and then saw the two halves of a snake SHOOT out of the lawn mower chute. I ran over and looked and the two pieces were still moving!

Ran a red light? Yeah, and apparently, I had led a high speed chase for about two miles because I didn't notice that a cop was trying to pull me over. He hadn't turned on the siren, so I didn't hear anything, and I was just driving along. Boy was he pissed when I finally noticed and pulled over.

Been suspended from school? No, I was a good boy.

Totaled your car in an accident? One time, a moped smashed into the passenger side of my car. Who knew a tiny moped could do so much damage?

Pole danced? Nope.

Smoked? Tried it. Didn't like it.

Been fired from a job? Nope.

Sang karaoke? A couple times. And actually, at my friend's birthday dinner, the karaoke system had this interesting grading system based on a score out of 100 points. Me and another guy sang a Backstreet Boys song and got a 95! The highest score by far of the night and one of my proudest moments.

Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? Hmm. I'm sure I have, but can't think of anything at the moment.

Laughed until a drink came out your nose? Nah.

Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Sure.

Kissed in the rain? Sadly no. My life is not a romantic movie.

Sang in the shower? Nah.

Given your private parts a nickname? Nah. I'm kind of a prude, I guess.

Ever gone out without underwear? Not really. That kind of grosses me out.

Sat on a roof top? Sure.

Played chicken? I don't even know what this means.

Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? Well, I haven't been pushed into a pool. But I have FALLEN into a pool with all my clothes on. I can be quite the klutz. Well, actually one time was on purpose. I thought it would be fun to jump into the pool with my bike when I was a kid, and to be truthful, it kind of was.

Broken a bone? Sure. Read here.

Mooned/flashed someone? Nah. See my answer above about "nicknames."

Shaved your head? Not completely, but have come pretty close. I do think about it sometimes because putting product in my hair is a real pain.

Slept naked? A few times, but I don't really like it because I get cold. Plus I've discovered these pj lounge pants made by American Essentials, that I swear, if I could live in them, I would.

Played a prank on someone? Sadly, I'm not very creative.

Had a gym membership? I'm addicted to Equinox.

Felt like killing someone? Clients, coworkers, friends...take your pick.

Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? Nope. Have they made me? Sure.

Cried over someone you were in love with? Yes.

Had sex more than 10 times in one day? Whoa. Is that even possible?

Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? I think I would pity someone who had these as a pet.

Been in a band? Yes, in Middle School, I was like Lisa Simpson and played the saxophone.

Subscribed to Maxim? Nah, the only magazine I subscribe to is New York.

Taken more than 10 shots of alcohol? Um, probably. But I doubt I would remember anything after taking 10 shots.

Shot a gun? No.

Had sex today? No. I'm as sick as a dog right now and SO not in the mood.

Played strip poker? Nope.

Tripped on mushrooms? No. Unless you count getting heady over truffles, then yes.

Donated Blood? Yes, but not in a while.

Video taped yourself having sex? Nah. I'm not very photogenic.

Eaten alligator meat? Nope. But I had crocodile when I lived in Oz.

Ever jump out of an airplane? No.

Have you been to more than 10 countries? Yep, and counting!

Ever wanted to have sex with a platonic friend? Um....yeah.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Speaking Of Hot Guys

The other day I was watching World Fashion Tour and got a glimpse of Karl Lagerfeld's super hot bodyguard.I can forgive the borderline silly penguin sweater and also having the responsibility of hanging around bitchy, silly Karl Lagerfeld as an actual job for looking as sexy as he does. Apparently, he's a former boxer and is straight. But one can dream.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Neighbors

After looking like a bombed-out, abandoned building for the longest time, the Hotel Empire (or actually now known as the "Empire Hotel") finally reopened a couple months ago. For such a prime location right at Lincoln Square, the site had really gone to waste for the couple of years it was closed down.

Now it's a slick, new boutique hotel with a very swank glass entrance and.....the HOTTEST doormen in the history of hotels. I don't know where these guys got their doormen, but it's like a revolving collection of hot guys every time I take a stroll through my neighborhood past this hotel.

One time, I was standing there so long, pretending to look inside the lobby, but peeking glances at the cute doorman, that the guy asked if he could help me. I swooned politely, bouncing around ideas of the "help" he could provide me, and said "Sorry, no" and continued on my way.

Now you guys know why I've been working from home so much lately.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Feasts

Thanksgiving is now over and coming back to work has been like a giant slap in the face. I actually had two Thanksgiving dinners this year. I cooked my own turkey and fixing on the Friday after Thanksgiving and had a couple of friends. My turkey turned out great, and I was quite impressed with myself, if I can allow myself to say so.

But the first Thanksgiving dinner I had this year was on Thanksgiving day where I went down to Union, New Jersey (well, in my mind escorted by protective services), and enjoyed a dinner where I chowed down on a huge pig. My friend's family had bought an entire roasted pig and served it alongside the turkey. I think I had about two bites of turkey, but at least two servings of the lechon pig. Mmmmm.

I had never seen one of these whole roasted pigs in person. It's very impressive--like Last Supper monumental, I think. It's so good, that it makes me want to wave it around in front of all the vegetarians in the world and eat it slowly, savoring every morsel. Plus the pig is just a noble animal and deserves to be the center of attention. Even Winston Churchill once said, "Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."

After dinner at my friend's family's house, I was too stuffed for dessert but was able to sample some of the hits and misses of the desserts TABLE that was presented. Of all the pies and cakes layed out on display, my favorite was the sugary, grocery-store sheet cake that someone had bought. I loved the balloons made out of frosting, one of which I thought was grape frosting, but was actually chocolate. And I am now actually slightly mortified that I actually thought that there was such a thing as grape frosting (which, in retrospect, sounds totally gross to me). But I suppose it's kind of cute in a I-thought-there-was-grape-frosting kind of way.

My friend had also cooked some stuff at his apartment in Manhattan. He cooked up a storm and had all sorts of salads, side dishes and two desserts prepared. His first dessert was a pumpkin pie. But my doofus friend forgot to put the sugar in! He opened the microwave, and found a full packet of brown sugar, and asked to me and his girlfiend, "I wonder what this is for?" I replied, "Um, it's probably for your pie." Next thing, we all heard "Ah, shit!" Even after putting sugar all over the top (and unexpectedly seeing it melt into the filling), it tasted like a mouthful of raw pumpkin.

My friend's other dessert was an apple tarte tatin, which I thought was pretty good. I liked the crust. But the tarte tatin did provide a priceless moment, when my friend's mom asked, "What is this? Is this supposed to be apple?"

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This Past Weekend's Awkward Moment, Sponsored by Alcoholics Anonymous

I saw an old co-worker of mine this past weekend, while waiting for the 4/5 train at Grand Central. He had lost a lot of weight and looked great. I told him so and asked him what was his secret.

He replied, "Oh I just got out of AA."

What the hell am I supposed to say that?!?! The inappropriate part of me kind of wished I had a drinking problem to get rid of because he made it sound so easy. The other part of me wanted to ask him since when was he an alcoholic because it was news to me. Was I supposed to congratulate him? I suppose when I told him that I thought he looked great, that served that purpose.

This doesn't really have anything to do with anything, and there's not much more exposition I can provide. Just thought it was worth mentioning.

Monday, November 26, 2007

My US Tour (Confessional #07: I'm A Points Junkie)

In the past two months, I have been to Indianapolis, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Houston and Boston. The reasons for all these trips vary from work to acting like Roger Federer while playing in tennis tournaments to unexpected layovers to chasing my precious Hyatt status. I'm a total hotel and airline points addict and so my recent trekking across the country has only added to my addiction.

But the best benefit to all my recent travels is a free membership to CLEAR. I became a free member through a Hyatt promotion, and was curious about it. You fill out a questionnaire and then complete an in-person biometrics scan of your retinas, fingerprints and other identification checks. As a total aside, apparently, a life of crime is not in my future (as I've realized before) because I scored extremely high on BOTH the fingerprint and retina scans meaning that I have very distinctive features for both attributes.

I passed all the background checks and am the proud holder of the Clear Fast Pass card. It kind of sucks so far because it's not really available at too many airports yet. But at least it's available at all three of the NYC airports (except it's conspicuously absent at the US Airways terminal at LaGuardia) and San Francisco airport. It saves so much time.

However, what I love most about it is the dirty looks I get when I'm escorted by the cheerful Clear concierges to the front of the line.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Turkey Vignette #5: The Finale


The wedding was for a friend from college--this very glamorous friend of mine who used to be a model and who is just the sort of person to have a destination wedding in Bodrum, aka the St. Tropez of Turkey.

Truth be told, by the time of the wedding, I was ready to go home. I was homesick and ready to leave. Looking back now, it's somewhat amusing to me that there was actually some debate in my head about whether to go. Going all the way to Turkey without going to the actual wedding would have been like going to Las Vegas, without gambling or going to Jersey and not shopping. It ain't right.

All in all, there was much buzz about this wedding. And it didn't disappoint. The wedding spanned four days on this seaside resort that made you think the wedding was actually an event to promote the hotel. It was pretty impressive, and much more impressive than the last wedding I went to where the main event was a chocolate fountain. I still remember it. Basically it was this cascading stream of chocolate where the idea was to dip bananas, strawberries, or in my case, cake, coffee, cookies, spoons or anything else that would hold chocolate. Then the most priceless moment happened. The bride came over to our table and started talking with us:

Bride: "So does everyone love the chocolate fountain?"

Table: "Oh yeah, it's great!"

Bride: "Isn't it! (to a married couple at our table) Did you guys have one at your wedding?"

Wife at our table: "Uh, no..." (a little confused.)

Bride: "Oh..." (She walks away from our table.)

Wife: "What the hell was that?"

Back to the Turkey wedding. After three days of drinking, dining and dancing (including some belly dancers who put on a show for us, and who I discovered still wear they're masks even when they're not working), it was time for the show. The wedding ceremony was like out of a movie. It was so amazing that I can't even make any jokes about it. The ceremony took place on a pier that jutted out over the clear blue Aegean Sea. The small string quartet started playing Pachelbel's Canon, and the bride walked down a long set of stairs down a dramatic cliff. As she walked down, I caught a glimpse of the groom who was tearing up. You could cut the mushy feelings with a knife, but it was all so sweet.

I know mostly my blog is filled with wise-cracking comments and silly jokes, but I'm going to depart from that for a bit and take this opportunity, without trying to be too sorry for myself, to say that watching all this made me think a lot about my own life and current status. It wasn't anything earth-shattering or new, and I won't go into it too much for the same reasons that I forced myself not to think about it too much, and instead just think about how happy I was for my friend.

So even after I got back to the US, I was in a bit of a daze, and that also partly explains why I haven't been blogging that much. But now enough distance has passed (and I've finished my US and world tour) to get back to my old self again.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Love My Hour

Since our Indian Summer finally ended, and the weather turned cold here in New York, Daylight Saving could not come soon enough for me, since there was no longer a compelling reason for me to be outside. Maybe that's all I needed to get me to blog more--more time in my day. Think of all the time I have now. For instance, I'll show up at work only half an hour late, which isn't bad considering that I'm usually an hour and a half late, so really, I'll be an hour early.*

Happy Daylight Saving!

*Before everyone thinks I have either way too cushy of a job or slack off like a total bum, I do stay late at the office.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Turkey Vignette #4: I Like Me Sweets

Scene: Before coming to Turkey, I thought Baklava was an oozing pillow of goodness only from Greece. I had no idea that you could find it in Turkey too. So of course, I had to find a bakery in Istanbul.

Before I go further, let me explain how I feel about my past history with Baklava and desserts in general. Unless you really dislike honey or nuts, there's really not much objectionable in the flavor profile of Baklava. I have to admit, that I never liked Baklava too much before because I always thought it was way too sweet. But as I've gotten older, I've noticed that I've developed a bit of a sweet tooth. Well, I still put enough salt in my food to make a mockery of the words, "high blood pressure." However I also realized lately that I want no part of a home absent of desserts. Desserts are your nightly reward for having survived another day. It's part of life.

I also think the moment you gain the ability to make your own dessert or even more demonstrative, buy your own dessert is nothing short of life-altering. Growing up, most kids, including me, ate whatever your Mom fed you. You could either have that, or a bowl of cereal, or go fuck yourself. When you finally leave the house, you soon learn that you can have cookies and cake whenever you want. And I think second to the first time you buy your own alcohol, buying your own cake must rank as any person's most prideful adult moments. When I realized this, I think it was the closest I've ever had to what religious people call an epiphany. Nothing says independence like buying a cake WHEN YOU WANT ONE (my A&E biography would be riveting, I know.)

While I understand that I really can do this anytime I want to, I also understand that I can't exactly eat a cake everyday without turning into a cow, and also it's a special event to be taken seriously, and having one every weekend would render buying your own cake not so special anymore.

So of course in Istanbul, I had to get some Turkish desserts (but not Turkish Delight, which are these nasty soapish, jelly candies that taste like poison). I dragged my friends to this bakery on the Istekal Caddessi, the main drag of Istanbul, which I read about in my guide book. The place was packed like Pinkberry, but I eventually got someone's attention.

Me: "Can I get a small box?"

Clerk: "What would you like?"

Me: "Oh. Hmmm. I'll have two pieces of that. I'll take some of those over there. Oh and a couple of those. Yeah, three of those..."(I was pointing wildly at everything behind the glass, eventually getting a sample of every Turkish cake they offereded, including all 4 kinds of Baklava.)

Clerk: "Is that all?" (He weighs the box, and I see '2.27 KG' flash on the scale.) "Your total is 30 Turkish Lira."

Me: "Saoul" ("Thank you" in Turkish)

I walk back to my friends who kind of have their mouths agape.

My friend, S: "Geez, how much stuff did you get?"

Me: "Oh I don't know. I just got a sample of each. I thought I was supposed to fill up the whole box."

My friend, S, laughing: No! You just get however much or little you want. You don't have to fill up the whole box!

(I blush, thinking about how stupid I can be.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Turkey Vignette #3: Up Yours Too!

Scene: My two friends and I are walking to the Hagia Sophia. It feels like it's about 5,000 degrees, and we all feel absolutely disgusting. We're chatting away while walking under the blazing sun. Then, all of a sudden, this old Muslim woman and gives us the following gesture.


Me: "What the fuck was that?"

My friend, S: "Uh. I have no idea."

(We continue with our sightseeing. Later on, at hour hotel, we talk about the thumb's up we received).

Me: "What the hell was that woman giving us the thumb's up for? Did we do something?"

My friend, M: "You know, I think in Muslim countries, giving the thumb's up is like giving the middle finger."

My friend, S: "What?!? What the hell were we doing?"

Me: "I have no idea. We were just talking. Maybe she just doesn't like Americans."

My friend, M: "Well that was kind of stupid. She's trying to insult us, and we don't even understand what she means."

Me: "It's a good thing we didn't understand, because, let me tell you, in those type of situations, I have a mouth."

(We all triumph in our intellectual superiority, but wishing that it really meant something.)

End.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Turkey Vignette #2: Turkish Fashion

Scene: My two friends and I are waiting to get into the Sultanahmet Mosque. For the past 30 minutes, we had been hearing the Islamic prayer chants, calling for prayer, and we had to wait until everyone was done. My two friends, both of whom are female, had dressed for the occassion or had brought items to make them look the part. One friend was wearing pants that day, even though it was about 5,000 degrees outside, while the other friend had a brought a long black scarf so she could wrap it around her legs. I, on the other hand, am wearing a polo shirt and shorts. We are all feeling sticky, gross and more than ready for a shower.

Me: "Oh, finally, they're done. We can go in now."

(We approach the entrance to the mosque. My friend gets out her scarf, and starts wrapping it around her waist. We all untie our shoes to put in bags provided by the mosque.)

Me, pointing to my shorts: "Are these ok?"

Entrance guard: "Yes, yes. Go ahead." (Then the guard looks at my friends and points to them.) Wear this. (The guard gives both my friends another two scarves each.)

My friend, S: "Put this on? Where?"

Entrance guard: "Over your head."

(We enter the mosque and step on to a very plush carpet. The place is cavernous, and it's at least 10 degrees cooler inside. I'm bouncing around in my socks on the thick carpet, and spinning around, and looking up at the walls and ceiling.)

Me: "OMG. I feel so much better in here, and this carpet is so comfortable."

My friend, M: "Terence, you're running around like this is Romper Room."

Me: "Well, look at all the kids in here. It's like a big Rec Room. There aren't any pews here like in a cathedral. Just all this open space that begs for running around."

My friend, S, laughing: "Terence, you should just chill here for the rest of the day in the mosque."

Me: "Hmmm. That's a good idea." (I looked at my friends then, and just realized how crazy they looked. Picture two girls dressed in western clothes with mismatched scarves draped over their heads and their legs and ankles). "By the way, you guys look like bag ladies."

My friend, M: "Thanks. Damn these scarves stink."

(I chuckle to myself at the arbitrariness of the advantages of being a male.)

End.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Turkey Vignette #1: Would You Like Some Bread With Your Butter?

I got to Istanbul really late around 3AM, local Istanbul time. My connecting flight in Frankfurt, where I had originally planned to spend the night, but instead just passed through, was delayed. That gave me time to catch my breath after the little run I had taken from my Milan flight gate. To get to my Istanbul flight, I had to get to the opposite end of the airport, and there's no little train or anything connecting the two sections. It was so far, I thought I was walking to Istanbul.

I finally got to Istanbul, safe and sound and got my bags and into a cab with relative ease. The bellman helped me with my bags. When we got to my room, I started to open the door, and then turn around and raised my finger to my lips and said to the bellman, "Shhhh. My friend is sleeping." Then my friend pipes up and shouts "Don't worry! I'm wide awake!"

It was around 4AM, and I needed to sleep, but my friend and I of course spent the night chatting away, and she was telling me about her first day in Istanbul. She walked around and saw some sights and then had dinner in the hotel. She got all dressed up because she thought the hotel restaurant would be crowded. Instead, there were all of two people there, she told me.

Scene: At the dinner table, in a business hotel in Istabul, my friend, S, is contemplating what to have from the Turkish buffet. After an indistinguishable moment of careful consideration, she decides to start with some cheese and cuts her self a piece. Everything is very serious, as this is a vignette, after all.

My friend, S, sits down and lays her napkin on her nap. She picks up a piece cheese and tastes something creamy and greasy in her mouth. It was butter!

(Sidebar: Writing this, I am reminded of my friend who liked butter so much, I think he'd probably have a snack of butter and salt, because he was too lazy to make popcorn. He also like butter cookies, like those Pepperidge Farm chessmen, which alarmingly taste way too much like butter.)

Discretely, my friend brings her napkin to her mouth and spits the butter snack into her napkin. She bravely finishes the rest of her meal.

End.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

TCho Walks the Catwalks of Milan

Before I arrived in Istanbul, I spent a couple of days in Milan for a brief shopping excursion. I kind of had a crazy flight itinerary, where I flew from JFK into Istanbul, and then back West to Milan via Frankfurt. Needless to say, I was pretty exhausted when I finally got to Milan.

Let me tell you, Milan Malpensa airport is freaking far from the actual city of Milan. By car, it takes about an hour to get to downtown Milan, and the cab fare can be over 100 Euros. The best option to get to downtown is to take the Malpensa Express train, but that had stopped running by the time I landed at around 12:30AM. Well, resourceful me had prearranged a car and soon I was on my way downtown.

Milan is a pretty boring city. Other than The Last Supper and shopping, there is nothing to see or do. I am glad to have seen The Last Supper even though I had to hoof it there to the chapel where it's housed. When I left my hotel that morning, I asked the bellman to point me in the direction of the Santa Maria della Grazie. He kind of pointed left, and off I went. But after a while, I realized I should have asked him to be a bit more specific because I had somehow started walking on a street going south instead of west. I retraced my steps and finally got to the chapel and ran inside, all sweaty and breathing heavy, frantically looking around for a big painting.

The reason for my panic was because you have to make an appointment in order to see The Last Supper, and if you're late, tough. You don't get to see it then unless there's an opening later, which is doubtful. All the guidebooks say you need to reserve your ticket ahead of time and they're right. But what they really mean is "Reserve your ticket before you come to Italy, doofus." There's usually a 4-6 week waiting list.

As soon as I entered the chapel, I was like "Where the fuck is this thing?" I went down the aisle, took a tour of the quick hall, went out to the back to the gardens, passed the gift shop and cafeteria, with no Da Vinci code primer in sight. Finally, when I passed through the gift shop for the fourth time, I dug out my guide book and pointed to a picture of The Last Supper to the old woman gift shop lady, who in turn dug out a post card to show me ANOTHER building that I had no recollection of. My Italian isn't what it used to be (and it used to suck), but even I understood that there was some other mystery building and I was in the wrong one.

I ran outside, and saw the building (actually, I think the correct term is an refectory), and rushed inside. I kind of had to beg and plead, but they finally let me join my group late. Soon enough, I was inside and standing 5 feet in front of The Last Supper.

It was worth the effort and the drama of getting in. There are all sorts of impressive things about The Last Supper. First of all, the thing is freaking big. I don't know what size I thought it was, but I was pretty impressed. Secondly, to hear how that The Last Supper somehow survived during a WWII bombing (the ONLY wall of the building to do so) makes you wonder if there is a such thing as "divine intervention."

Then, finally, you wouldn't be American, if you didn't look for Dan Brown's Last Supper imagery--like whether John is really Mary Magdalene, or who is holding the knife and if there really is a "V" between Jesus and John the Apostle. You can see all that, but it's easy to forget about it all (and plus I hate that book), and just look at all of the figures. You can see the emotion in each of the disciples. It's almost too difficult to describe it. You just need to see it.

The rest of my stay in Milan consisted of shopping and visiting a friend. I bought some nice leather things at Trussardi and Valextra, a pair of pants at Cruciani, and saw a coat at Etro that I would have given my right hand for, but they didn't have my size (sorry for the name dropping.) I also met up with a friend of mine and he showed me around a bit.

My visit ended with a rejection by a Japanese tourist couple. I was walking around the Duomo plaza, the main square in Milan, and asked a Japanese guy if he could take my picture. OMG, the guy just shook his head and walked past me! How fucking rude! Or maybe he was just a master of dark comedy. Who knows.

When I get my ass in gear, I'll have the one picture of me that I did end up taking that day posted here.

More to come from TCho European edition!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sometimes I'm Just A Tired Wombie (Not That I Have Any Idea What A Wombie Is)

I know things have been a little slow and off schedule here, and I wish I could say that I had a very good reason for it. Like that I've been busy with another project or something. I was thinking of some possible projects that I wish I could say that I've been working on. For instance, it would make me sound so over-achieving if I had been working on a book. And better yet, it would be cool if I could say that it's some sort of project that I couldn't really talk about. Like some secret habit of mine. I was trying to think of all the possible activities: 1) new TV season? nah, all the new shows, except Chuck, suck this year; 2) Fantasy Football? I don't even understand the real thing, and as far as I'm concerned, Fantasy Football is like a lame version of Dungeons & Dragons, except with a ball; 3) new job? Sadly, nothing has been going on, on that front; 4) new boyfriend? Well, I was kind of seeing a guy for a couple months for a bit, but he ended up being a real jerk, and I don't hang out with him anymore.

The truth is that I've just been tired. After my tour of Europe, I headed out to middle America, and then out to the West coast again, and I only just got back last week. I didn't expect to take this long of a blogging break, but here's my first post to welcome me back (a pretty uninspiring one, if you ask me). Sorry to disappear on everyone both as a blogger and reader. Hope everyone enjoyed the extra three minutes a day (if I posted daily) they didn't spend reading my opinions and misadventures and did something productive instead, unlike what I did with my three weeks.

Monday, September 17, 2007

They Really Want Me To Move

Normally, at 7AM on weekdays, I'd still be at home. I'd probably be making some coffee or sitting at my computer, getting myself ready to work at home in my pjs.

But nooooooo. Instead, I have this incessant drilling and banging going on directly outside my apartment building at the old Red Cross building that makes me want to throw heavy things out my window and yell at them, "Your death was so three seconds ago." Had I known that the Red Cross' departure would come to this, I would have been leading the rally on my street to keep the Red Cross there, despite their annoying street parking habits.

It's a conspiracy to drive me up the walls.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I Like Being A Bum

I do plan on writing about my adventures in Europe eventually, especially now that i've kicked my jet lag to the curb. In fact, I plan on writing a series of vignettes or short, impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment or give a particular insight into a character, idea, or setting, according to Wiktionary. So brace yourself for some intense stories that I'll write in between searching for a new pizza peel to go with my new pizza stone and cleaning out my tennis bag, where I found the four lemons that I bought two days ago.

Before I delve into writing my next great and highly anticipated series, I have to comment on this recent arctic freeze that has hit Manhattan. All of a sudden I can't wear shorts and a t-shirt to the gym when I go on the weekends from my apartment. This leaves with me two options: 1) wear street clothes to the gym (who the hell chose "street" as the proper adjective for regular clothes? I'm not a hooker.); or 2) wear sweatpants or track pants over my gym shorts.

I do the latter, like many people, but with track pants. I could wear sweatpants and come off looking like the guy who can't, as Seinfeld would say, "compete in normal society," who's miserable, but wants to at least be comfortable. But I won't wear sweatpants in public for that very reason.

When did wearing sweat pants in public become a bad thing? I have a couple of pairs that I wear for sleeping, and one time I mustered up all my courage to wear them outside so that I could pull off this "I'm so cool, I don't care" attitude. Well you know what I found out when I went outside? Wearing warm sweatpants in cold weather is FUCKING AWESOME. I'm not even remotely kidding. It's like being out in the cold, but enveloped in this toasty, warm fleece blanket. It's the closest a human can get to recreating the feeling of being in bed in an outdoor setting, without actually being in an outdoor bed.

I was totally enjoying myself on my way to the Equinox at the Time Warner Center (home of Anderson Cooper. Swoon.) I was working from home that day, so it was the middle of the week, and there were lots of people who were dressed nicer than me in their work clothes. Well even if they weren't in their work clothes, they still would have looked more polished than me.

At this point, I felt compelled to make these people aware that I was dressed like this because I was going to the gym, and not because I'm unemployed or the Gap was having a sale, and this was all I could afford.

I started stretching my arms, doing shoulder and tricep stretches. Then I started to jog, even jogging in place, while waiting for the light. I was kind of bobbing my head, side to side, like I was waiting to enter the boxing ring. When I actually got to the gym, I was out of breath and felt like I was in a sweat pant furnace. I was so out of breath, that I kind of garbled with "Thank (alien-speak)," when the gym front desk girl wished me a good workout.

In short, I ended up looking like a douchebag who was overly afraid of wearing sweatpants in public. I'm not sure if my experience really proves anything except maybe I shouldn't be let out in public by myself.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Need Some Viagra

I got back Sunday from my jet setting across Europe. When I finally got home, I thought I was going to kiss the tarmac at JFK. I was just so homesick and could not wait to get back to New York. While Milan, Frankfurt & Istanbul were fun, I missed New York oh so much. For example:

  • My doorman. I almost gave him a hug when I saw him. He completes me because if he's not there when I come home every night, how would I get in?
  • Tourist pinball. In the morning, I get to shove tourists out of my way. I suppose this could apply to any town or city where you live, but in New York, it's a past time.
  • New York Smells. As bad as Chinatown can smell, a crowded subway tram in Istanbul is 10 times worse. Let's just say people in Istanbul have interesting bodily scents.
  • New York City tap water. I can actually drink the tap water in New York. Now, I actually can only remember drinking New York tap water maybe three times in the 8 years that I've lived here. But staying at a hotel in Istanbul where bottled water is 12 YTL (about $8.00) in the minibar, while on the street it's about $0.30, made me take a pledge to appreciate New York City tap water.
I'll stop there because I've gotten into trouble for bitching before, and also I'm kind of rambling incoherently at this point since my mind is still entering this weird jet-lag induced limbo at about 7:30 each night, where I'm too tired to sleep, and at the same time too tired to do anything else but sleep. The upside to this is that I get up at 5:00AM, fresh as a daisy, not that I get anything accomplished between 5:00AM & 8:00AM, unless you count going through my DVR as an accomplishment (I do.)

But as I was researching this evening jet lag remedies, I came across this article. Ah, Viagra. Awesome way to kill two birds with one stone.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Istanbul!


I've been in Istanbul for two days now after a stops in Milan and Frankfurt. Now I'm finally here experiencing life as a Turk, drinking lots of Turkish coffee and eating lots of baklava.

Will blog more soon, but hi to everyone from Turkey!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Back From Out West

I'm back from San Francisco. The trip was fairly uneventful, if only for the fact that I was really lame and did nothing after work. No going out for me last week due to a nasty summer cold that wore me down all week. It seemed that my immune system was ready to stop vacationing, after my body enjoyed being sick-free for the past year.

Being sick in a hotel is really not fun. You're in a strange bed in strange surroundings in a strange city, and it all feels kind of sleazy. It's like I had embarked on an affair with a guy named "Flu." (This is one of the few occasions where a girl would serve better. "Flu" is like "Flo". Get it? I'm so smart.) It's like Charlie Sheen once said in the classic Terminal Velocity, "For a woman I never slept with, you sure fucked me pretty good."

I actually was feeling better this past weekend, but "Flu" either relapsed himself or sent his cousin to have his way with me because today I felt awful. From 7AM - 5PM today, I think I got out of bed all of three times. The first time, I nearly tripped over my own two feet because my legs felt really shaky. I've watched more episodes of Will & Grace (5) than ingested items of food (2); gone through more sweat soaked t-shirts (6) than hours spent in a non-lying down position (2); and questioned the need to go on living (5) more than I actually felt like I was living (1). The ordeal came to a head today when my fever broke, and I briefly considered what I could leave in my will. Not much, unless you like fancy oils and fancy clothes.

Today, TV was the only thing I had going for me in my life. Although, to be truthful, that's not really different than any other point in my life. I have watched: Everyday Italian, Will & Grace, The Golden Girls, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Cosby Show, some random cartoons on The Cartoon Network because I was too tired (i.e., sick) to change the channel, and some random episodes of Law & Order. At least I think it was Law & Order. The narrator's voice kept lulling me to sleep. Then there's the movies - so many movies. Let's just say that I am now qualified to join the Hayden Panettiere fan club after watching all of Ice Princess and Bring It On: All or Nothing. I'm pretty confident that this will prove useful to me at some point in my life. I know it.

So here I am, feeling 100 times better and parked on the couch catching up on emails and blogs. I survived. I kicked "Flu" to the curb and have joined the healthy again. Of course, to celebrate, I'm now watching Cruel Intentions 2, which I'm very ashamed to say that I've seen before. But I completely forgot Amy Adams was in this! At least she ended up getting an Oscar nomination. Sarah Michelle Gellar has kind of disappeared from the face of the earth (I've kind of been wondering if she has like a real job now? Like maybe a Financial Planner? Or maybe she owns a day spa?)

Well, it's getting late now, and so bedtime for me. I'm glad to be back home now, even though I need to fumigate my apartment tomorrow to get rid of the three foot layer of bubonic influenza crud that I am sure is still lingering in my apartment.

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's Already The Middle of August And I Haven't Posted

Just wanted to let you all know that posting will probably be a bit sporadic in August. I've been stinking busy at work, and I am just mentally and physically exhausted. And in August, I'll be doing lots of traveling, stopping in San Francisco (which is where I'm at right now), Milan, Frankfurt and then finally Istanbul!

Plus right now, I feel like crap due to some germ-carrying passenger on my plane ride out West. I think I've ingested enough alcoholic cough medicine the past couple of days to stun an unsuspecting Tara Reid. (Wow. I've stooped to making Tara Reid jokes. That's one step away from Paris Hilton jokes, which is one step away from doing addition on your fingers.)

I wish I could say that my life has been scintillatingly interesting. But it's been depressingly uninteresting. Since I've been so bad about updating my blog, I don't even have that to fall back on to provide some stories.

Hopefully, everyone will stick around, despite my lack of blogging recently. I think the first person to tell me that they'll miss my blog during my long periods of inactivity will get a French kiss from me. While I don't value my life according to my readership, I do miss blogging and the comments that I used to get.

So I hope everyone still checks in once a while. I'm gonna try to do another post or two this month. In the meantime, here's a picture of a puppy.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ok, So I'm An Idiot

My best friend from college just emailed me to say thanks for the good luck wishes on the Bar. But then he told me that the Bar exam was the middle of last week! Oh great. This past weekend, I was telling everyone "Oh, my friend is taking the Bar today" or "It sucks that my friend has to take the Bar on a weekend." I really could have sworn it was this past Sunday & Monday.

So I'll amend my last post to "Good luck to everyone who TOOK the Bar!"

Reminds me of my infamous Daylight Savings mixup.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday Groove - Good Luck If You're Taking the Bar!



My best friend from college is taking the New York Bar Exam right now. Poor guy. He's had to take the Bar exam twice now because he moved here from California. So he's had to study for the two hardest Bar exams in the country.

In May, he took me out to dinner for my birthday. We had a late dinner--around 9:00PM--because he was coming from a concert that his girlfriend's company was sponsoring.

When we sat down to dinner, my friend told me who they saw. Enrique Iglesias! OMG. I love him, even though his songs are kind of stalkerish (Example: "You can run. You can hide. But you can't escape my love!" Um, ok, STALKER.) Enrique is just so smokin' hot. In fact, he's in my "list" of five guys who comprise my "Top Five Guys I'd Do." The list has been pretty consistent over the past few years, and one of my stalwarts has always been Enrique Iglesias.

I told my friend this, who informed me, "You know, Enrique Iglesias is half-Filipino? His Mom is a Filipino model." He said this with some pride, since he, himself, is Filipino. When I heard this, I replied, "Really??? I didn't know that."

Pause for a moment while I sat there contemplating this new tidbit of information.

Then I said, "You know. I don't think he's in my Top 5 anymore." My friend asked, "Why?" I said, "Because now when I think of Enrique Iglesias, I just think of you," with a big pout.

I jest, of course.

Good luck to everyone taking the Bar!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Confessional #6: I'm Not A Morning Person

I don't know why, but in every job I've ever held, I've never had "Summer hours." Who gets those? And where can I get some?

I've been kind of stressed about work this Summer and feeling a little lost. But it's been so busy that I haven't had as much time as I would like for my some primary stress-relieving activites, like writing in this here old blog (I can see my monthly stats have gone down) and making trips to the gym.

I'm a pretty regular gym-goer, but I've just been so tired after work. As a result, I feel kind of out of shape, and I know I've gained some weight.

So I thought I would try to go to the gym in the mornings. I found out my gym actually opens at 5AM. Fuck, that's early. Usually I'm only up that early in the morning, if I'm heading to the airport or I've gone back in time 4 years to my old job, and I'm finishing up an all nighter.

I've tried this before. I still remember the first time I did it. When I got to the gym, the place is packed. Apparently a lot of people go to the gym at that ungodly hour. They're all "fit" and "healthy" and they purposely
wake up early to go to the gym. And the weird part is, they don't look sad about it. They genuinely look happy to be there. At the time, the only rational explanation I could think of was that all of these people had been in life or death situations and proclaimed to God, "God, if you save me, I'll go to the gym every morning for the rest of my life," and now they're just happy to be alive.

It is cool though to feel accomplished in the morning. You're like, "Holy crap. I can get a lot done in the morning!" That day at the gym, I decided to spend some time on the treadmill. I started walking, and soon got into a light jog. Finally, I kicked it into a run. At first, I was forcing myself because my legs were so uncoordinated. I was sweating, not from exertion, but from the fear that I would trip myself, and fall face first on the treadmill and be shot out into the middle of the gym floor. But before it got to that point, I got into a groove and was chugging along with no problem. 6 mph. Throw a little incline in there. 6.5. No problem. More incline. Bring it on. Finally I was up to 7.5 mph with 3% incline. People at the gym were starting to take notice. A small crowd gathered around me. I heard someone in the crowd whisper "Superman." A woman took out a poster board sign that said "RANDOM GUY ON THE TREADMILL ROCKS MY WORLD!" and throws her sports bra at me. I was a running god that day.

Of course it wasn't that good, but it was surprisingly not bad. Once I got home, I felt like I had accomplished more in two hours than I had in the entire day before.

But that day was three years ago, and I haven't been able to do it again since. Instead, I work from home two or three days a week (although surprisingly, I'm more busy when I work from home than when I'm at the office), shave once a week, and come into the office at 11AM when I do get in, coffee in hand, effectively giving everyone else in the office a symbolic middle finger.)

I guess I just need to take it one step at a time. I'll start slow, like maybe get out of bed at 5 and head on over to the couch. That's a good start to my new over-achieving lifestyle.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Panic! At The Movie Theatre

A couple weeks ago, I went to see Fantastic Four. I went with the same person who I went with last year. I suppose seeing both the premiere and the sequel with the same friend makes this our "thing" now. And after the movie, we went to dinner and toasted "Here's to a great third movie." We both can be quite lame.

Earlier, my friend had caused pandemonium. And I hate to say it, but it was kind of my fault. I had arrived at the theatre early that day and soon got my ticket and then went inside to save seats. I had a fair amount of time to wait because the train gods had smiled upon me on my way down to the theatre. I started to get kind of sleepy, and I knew I wanted coffee. My friend still hadn't shown up, and so i figured she could pick up a cup for me. In my own estimation, this is one of the most valuable parts of having friends - being able to ask them to get stuff for you. With people you've just met, you can't really get away with this, because obviously that's just awkward. Luckily, with "friendship" (or the same could be said for "love" or a "relationship") comes "convenience", except when that "friendship" turns into "bitter hatred and resentment", in which case the fighting and petty arguing can be decidely "inconvenient."

(Boy did I just go off on a tangent.)

Anyway, I texted my friend and asked her if she could get me a coffee. She texted back, "Sure." But then I texted her right back and asked her if she could stop at Starbucks instead because I realized that I had never heard of a movie theatre that sold coffee. Then, I asked if she could just get me one of those bottled frappuccino drinks because that would be quicker. After that, I still wasn't done, because then I texted her again to tell her not to worry about it. I'm an idiot sometimes.

The previews started and right at that moment, my friend ran in with my coffee! She kind of had an exasperated look on her face, and I found out later why.

Apparently, my coffee request was causing utter and absolute confusion at the concession stand. It turned out the theatre did sell coffee. So my friend went up to the cashier, and confidently asked, "Can I get a coffee please?" in a tone that suggested "You're welcome for giving you such an easy order. We can all use a break sometimes."

Well, what transpired next was mass hysteria. First, the teenage girl just stared past my friend, as though contemplating the enormity of the outside world, or trying to remember the next line in that Ciara song. She then looked at my friend and asked for the order again. My friend repeated herself, and then the girl said, "Coffee?!? Do we even serve that?" My friend pointed up and said "It's right there on the menu."

The girl turned around, and my friend saw the coffee machine which looked like it had never been turned on. The girl shouted out to another employee (I guess, the manager) "Somebody wants COFFEE!" as if my friend had just asked for frog's legs. The other employee screams out "Coffee?!? Who wants coffee?!?! I don't know how to make that! I wasn't trained for that!" The girl at the cashier turned to my friend, and said "I'm so sorry, sweetie. We'll get it for you right away." She then rushed off so she and her powerpuff coworker could figure out the coffee maker. My friend said you could see sweat pouring down their foreheads, like they were trying to figure out how to diffuse a bomb. Forget the movie; the drama that night was at the concession stand.

I was laughing so hard when I heard this story. When we passed by the concession stand, I felt like going over and thanking them for my hard-fought coffee. I had to admire my friend's resolve. If I had been there, I think I would have gone back there to show them how to work the machine, and perhaps would still be there, sitting in a circle on the floor with the employees reading a children's book to them.

Or I quite possibly could have woken up in a mental institution, muttering "All I wanted was coffee."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Long Walk Home

Woke up at 6AM today after 4 hours of tossing and turning.

Got yelled at by my client when I was trying to help him and make things easier. Then had to endure countless conference calls and edit fun Visio flowcharts all day.

Had a job interview today that turned out to be tougher than I expected, but I think I did pretty well.

Waited in Grand Central for the S Shuttle when we all started to smell and see smoke. People started screaming at everyone to "Get out!"

Ran out of the station, on to the street and watched in amazement the geyser of smoke shooting up through the air after the explosion. People were weeping, and no one could make a phone call because the networks were all busy. Started the trek uptown and tried in vain to catch crosstown buses at 50th street, then 57th street, and then 66th street back over to the West Side, but ended up walking across the park and all the way home.

Got home at 7:30PM, all sweaty and tired as hell, with sore feet from my fancy work shoes. Pissed off that I didn't make it to the gym today.

At 10PM, I crashed and passed out. Woke up just now to read articles about the explosion and check more work emails. Looked at some reports for work and sent some client emails. Found out that I have to go to San Francisco sometime in the next couple of weeks.

What a day.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Two Years of TCho

So, apparently, I've been writing this thing for two years now. After a year (and recently too), I actually thought about quitting because my original purpose for blogging (bored at home from my broken arm) had gone by the wayside.

But I began to write with renewed vigor and have gained lots more readers. I guess my thoughts of quitting were like a seasonal malaise. You know -- you're sick of your job, nothing much is happening in your love life, you're sick of being tired all the time and there's only so many times you can write about your shopping exploits.

Then I started some series about San Francisco and myself which I still need to finish, got all crazy reminiscent about 2006, then American Idol and Project Runway crazy, then Cheese Store guy and British guy crazy, then new job crazy and then Arizona crazy, and as crazy as it sounds, I'm enjoying it more than ever.

I feel like I should do something though at the two year mark. I do have some ideas on a Word document for possible blog posts. Well, the word "ideas" is a bit strong. They're more like sentences that, at one time, I believed could be considered ideas. I can be quite retarded.

So from my "ideas" list...

  • My apartment: where Tupperware is saved from death.
  • Tense, like those moments right when you know you've just clogged the toilet. Tense indeed.
  • My pet peeve: naturally ugly people. I was in a pissy mood that day.
  • Overrated: listening to music in the shower. Also overrated: my "ideas."
  • It's like that feeling you get when you walk into a men's room, and there's someone in the stall. You know he's cursing you, and you can play this off in one of two ways: 1) you can hurry through, knowing this guy is in a cold sweat clenching back a shit; or 2) you can say "I rush for no one," and take your time. I usually write like I would talk in a conversation. But I'm not sure if I could picture myself using this metaphor, like "You know, it's like that feeling you get when you walk into a men's room...."
  • I really don't like this coworker of mine who keeps ketchup packets in his desk. But today I got French Fries for lunch and forgot to ask for ketchup. I was planning an entire post about annoying people at work, but I realized that was like saying cancer is annoying.
  • I woke up realizing that I left the keys the night before in my apartment lock. When I realized this, I immediately wanted to change the locks, because I was sure a Chinese delivery man killer had gotten past my doorman, removed my keys, gone to an all-night hardware store, made copies, brought my keys BACK (to avoid suspicion), and was planning on coming back later to take all my nice clothes. When I thought of this, I at first thought it was cute, and then troublesome, and ultimately meaningless.
  • I have much more trouble with button fly pants than a 29 year old guy should. Comment away!
  • I'm scared to think of what might happen to me with a few good nights sleep. It could go either way: either I could become astoundingly productive, and this blog could take on the quality of The New Yorker (if the New Yorker were funny, and wrote about frozen yogurt and mold and if I actually had "sources" and "informed opinions"); or, I no longer grapple with bouts of mania and self-aggrandizement, and I drop my blog altogether for more noble pursuits, like running a charity...or making a donation to a charity...or getting more sleep. I still haven't had a decent night of sleep in a while, and so it's safe to assume the writing quality here won't change anytime soon. Unless I stop drinking. So like I said, no time soon.
And if those aren't reasons enough to blogroll me, I don't know what are.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

What It Means To Be Flushing Meadows

Flushing Meadows has a soft spot in my heart for a variety of reasons. First, the obvious: it's the site of the US Open where I can see my favorite tennis players whacking balls on the hot hard courts, hopefully with their shirts off (well, the males.) But secondly, I always think of Homer Simpson dreaming of actual flushing meadows because he drank so much crab juice on their visit to New York that the site of a Flushing Meadows bus brings thoughts of hopping through rolling meadows with flying toilets fluttering all around him.

I had never been to the actual town of Flushing Meadows. On Saturday, I went out there for dinner to meet a friend. I was a bit curious about what to expect as I rode the lovely 7 train past Long Island City, Jackson Heights and other notable Queens enclaves. I know Queens is actually very diverse with lots of different ethnic groups, like the Greeks of Astoria, the Colombians of the Jackson Heights and the Chinese at my destination of the day in Flushing. But when I think of Queens, I think of:


and Italians screaming things like, "Screw you. You wouldn't know a good Manicotti if it came out of your ass."

Queens is also the birthplace of Vincent Chase and his Entourage posse. But when he delivers the last line in his movie, Queens Boulevard with such bravado "I am Queens Boulevard," I just don't think that's really something to brag about.

Having now experienced Flushing Meadows, I now know where the 8 billion Chinese people outside of China and Chinatown live. Coming out of the subway was like stepping out into Beijing. I heard there are a lot of Koreans there and lots of Korean businesses, but I didn't get to see them. I suppose with that knowledge, I myself, one day, can say "I am Flushing Meadows." I just think that line needs some more ooomph to it to make it more eloquent and descriptive:

I am "Kinko's."
I am "Fruits and Vegetables."
I am "7-Eleven."
I am "Blade, Boards & Skates."
I am "Glatt Kosher."
I am "Ray's Pizza."
I am "air traffic control."

I AM Flushing Meadows. Hmmm. That sounds pretty good.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pink-crapberry


I've finally tried Pinkberry. Seriously, after a while, so many people were asking me that I wanted to tell them, "I haven't been to Pinkberry yet. I'll go soon. So quit asking me if I've tried Pinkberry yet. And stop singing that stupid infectiously nauseating song."

I had been curious to see what all the hype is about because people seem to be climbing Mount Everest to get their hands on the stuff. For my first visit, I selected the Koreatown branch as the site of my first visit to the Pinkberry world. First off, the place was beyond packed, like a damn nightclub. The line was out the door and not to mention under some retarded layout because the line was supposed to be for two registers, but one register was basically unreachable because it was all the way over to the left directly behind the napkin bar and a mass of tables serving as an impasse.

I get to the head of the line and asked for a sample of the green tea flavor. EWWWWWWW. What the hell is actually in this stuff? It tasted like green sour spirulina. I opted for the plain flavor, which I assumed was supposed to be vanilla. While it wasn't as bad as the green tea, it still just tasted sour as opposed to sour green tea. I was thinking, how can 10 million anorexic women in California who eat this crap be wrong? Girls, you've disappointed me. I don't know what that stuff is, but it sure ain't frozen yogurt.

Well, actually, Pinkberry's soft serve delicacy does taste like yogurt, which I guess is the appeal, besides the healthiness factor. It literally tastes as if you had taken a carton of Dannon and threw it into the freezer. But still, there was something weird about it. And even if it did taste any better to me, it's just yogurt, not some life-changing experience.

And the manager of the joint was a total douchebag, who felt the need to measure EVERY cup to make sure his employees weren't going over the weight limit. But the dumbass wasn't realizing how much this was holding up the line.

It made me think of a kid having his first cigarette, and it's horrible, and he feels like vomiting, but holds it in and puffs it a bit more because all the cool kids are doing it, and he wants to be cool too. Pretty soon, he gets used to it, and even enjoys the little buzz that comes with the habit. Before you know it, he's smoking two packs a week. But since everyone is trying to be cool like you, EVERYONE is going to buy a pack, and so there's a line at every cigarette store, streaming out the door, inching along every half hour. Another half hour passes, and he finally gets his medium bowl with three toppings of his choice, eating it outside because it's packed like sardines inside with other cool people. Pretty soon, the kid has an epiphany and wonders what the hell he is doing there because he doesn't even like frozen yogurt.

Friday, July 06, 2007

TCho Bonds With The Help


I've had a really long couple of weeks at work. Everything that could have gone wrong with my projects the past few days has, culminating in a high pressure meeting to review our service level commitments to our client. So work has really been getting me down lately, and my never ending search for a new job has been more and more urgent. I couldn't wait for the holiday so I could just forget about everything. And on Tuesday, I could also look forward to coming home to a sparkling clean apartment, since my cleaning lady was paying me a visit that day.

Earlier, that day, my cleaning lady called to tell me that she got to my apartment late, like around 3, and probably wouldn't be finished until about 9 in the evening. I knew I wouldn't be home till later anyway, so I told her that was fine. I had plans to go to the gym and get some groceries and drop off my shoes at the shoe repair guy, which i thought would fill up my evening nicely.

When I got home around 9:30, I opened the door to my apartment and scared the bejesus out of my cleaning lady. She was actually still there, and she kind of freaked me out too, because I wasn't expecting her. It was nice to see her though. I had some chocolate cake in the fridge, which I gladly shared with her, because I don't want to get fat. We talked about how much plastic surgery we thought Jessica Simpson has had and other matters of great importance. I helped her out a bit, and had to practically pull her down when she stood up on my air conditioner and leaned her entire upper body through my upper window to wash the outer side of my windows. Never mind that it was raining. I really did not want my apartment to be the site of New York's first cleaning lady-cide.

Anyhow, finally, she was done, with some help from me. She gave me my usual homework assignments and then off she went.

Then I spent the next hour moving back all the stuff that she so carefully rearranged, not that I wasn't appreciative.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Took An Unexpected Break

Sorry again for the blogging silence. I've had a ton of shit going on at work, and I'm exhausted. I should be able to get back to blogging this week. Check back soon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Why Are Guys Such A Pain In The Ass?

I don't write about my romantic adventures too much for a variety of reasons. First, my romantic life is virtually non-existent. I, long ago, got really fed up with the game-playing, the second guessing of everything about me and that I could possibly offer, and the plethora of losers out there. This experience didn't help either.

The second reason is that I just got got really tired of talking about it and thinking about it and obsessing about it. I even got tired of talking with my single friends about how they're single and looking for that special guy or girl. I just made a conscious decision to stop thinking about it and do the things I enjoy and enjoy them as much as I can--cook, work out, travel, play tennis, etc.

As all my readers know, I had been talking for a while with this British guy. We got on well, engaged in lots of innocent flirting and always had a lot to talk about. Things seemed to be going well. We liked each other a lot. He was creeping into my head more and more each day. So everything seemed rosy, and I have to admit that I was starting to get those funny feelings whenever I thought about him. But there were some warning signs, which I chose to ignore, perhaps because I liked him too much, or maybe because I under-estimated how much I liked this guy. I kept telling myself that this really wasn't a good idea because he lives in another city, had some "being out" issues, and seemed married to his job, which served as excuses for him being less considerate than what I would say is standard.

For example, one time we were talking on the phone, and his phone just cut off all of a sudden. I was like, "WTF?" I tried calling him back, but his phone went straight to voicemail. I gave up after a couple more tries, and just went to bed. I kind of expected an explanation the next day. Well, actually I was expecting an email or an IM that night, but I didn't hear from him until four fucking days later, and he didn't even mention it. Now, if I were talking with someone, and my phone cut off, I would be mortified, and would explain right way somehow and some way.--like send a short email saying my phone died or something like that. My British friend didn't provide any of that, and didn't even acknowledge it, and finally I asked, and he said something about his phone battery running out. Huh? Why can't you just plug in your phone?

This week, though, he got his final strike. My British friend was in New York yesterday. We had talked on Friday about his upcoming visit and talked about making some plans--dinner or something. I didn't hear from him for the rest of the weekend. Then on Tuesday, I IM'ed him, and no answer. I called him, and left a voicemail. No return call. I sent an email, saying "Hey, did you make it to New York?" No reply.

Now I know he was in New York, and I know that he was around when I IM'ed him because of his changing "status" on my IM client. I'm no James Bond, but I can figure that out.

I fucking HATE when a guy tries to put on a disappearing act and completely leave you high and dry and ignores you, without giving any sort indication of where he stands. It ANNOYS THE SHIT OUT OF ME. If you're old enough to date, you're old enough to tell a guy "No thanks." Don't put the burden on me to figure out how you feel.

I'm really disappointed. I mean I wasn't like head-over-heels in love with him, even at the time when I wrote my funny post about my seducing tactics. I was trying to be pragmatic, realist, level-headed and all those sorts of things. But this whole experience just makes me bitter about guys in general...again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday Groove

Here's another groove for a Tuesday. This is a performance of one of my favorite songs. And I am not ashamed to say that it's sung by two little girls (and it's from the the Pokemon soundtrack!), one of whom looks like a cocker spaniel in this video.

Anyhow, like most of my favorite songs, this one has a story for me. When I first started working at the law firm, after I first moved to New York, my late nights and 70 hour weeks started almost immediately. Our caseroom always had the radio on and I kept hearing this song. This song kept me company during those late nights.

But to this day during my constant battles with insomnia (oh it's so much fun getting nine hours of sleep over six days), I still turn to the girls of M2M.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Direct From Switzerland

A year ago when I was in Zurich, I stayed at a pretty nice hotel. And when I left, I took one of the water glasses because I loved them so much. I really liked them because they were really wide, and thus held a lot of volume, but not too tall, making them easy to clean.

I've been needing some new cups because for some reason, in the past two weeks, I have been breaking cups left and right. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I either keep dropping them or dropping something else on to them. And I am now down to only one water glass.

I remembered those cups in Zurich and sent an email to the Park Hyatt Zurich. The kind Purchasing Manager of the hotel replied back with this:

Dear Terence Cho

Many thanks for your Email. Please apologize the delay in reply as I was on vacation for a week.

The water glasses in our hotel rooms are made by SCHOTT ZWIESEL and the complete reference is:

Whiskybecher / Old Fashioned Iceberg
Ref. 652360

I attached a photo for illustration.

Hope this information is helpful for you.

Best regards,

[Name Omitted]

Purchasing Manager

PARK HYATT ZURICH
Beethoven - Strasse 21
8002 Z├╝rich, Switzerland
Let me tell you. This made my day. Finding these special Swiss water glass makes me feel like my life is so rich and full of purpose.