Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Of The Most Useless Places I've Ever Been To

This week I am in Bushkill, PA in the heart of the Poconos for a conference. I must say that this place has to be one of the most boring places on Earth. I thought there would be lots of rallies against our leader, or some folks from Dunder Mifflin, but there's pretty much nothing here. This place is probably one of those places that lists "foilage" as a tourist attraction. I'm sorry, but looking at leaves is NOT something I would take actual vacation days off work to do.

Let's just say that it's about as exciting here as a vacation in your own backyard with a box of Zinfandel and a Norah Jones CD.

I think I need to find these guys to show me the wild side of Bushkill.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Official: We're In A Recession

I went to Magnolia tonight to satisfy my sweet tooth. I kind of hate the fact that I'm addicted to the Magnolia that opened in my neighborhood for a variety of reasons. I hate the calories. And I hate joining the masses in the dessert that really stopped being cool when Carrie Bradshaw started eating them.

Tonight, I just had a craving and picked up a couple. But I swear, the cupcakes are smaller. They look like mini-muffins now.

Or maybe I'm just getting bigger.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My New Suitcase

I've been taking some trips down to Philadelphia, or land of the Tastycake, as I like to call it, for work lately. I went to college there, so I know the city well. The day before my last trip down there, I decided that I needed a new suitcase -- one of those small carry-on, rolling things that most people obnxiously bring on to planes, even though I have never seen one of these bags measure even remotely close to the airline guidelines for carry-ons. Since I take the Acela down to Philly, I wanted a small rolling bag and give my shoulders a break from buckling underneath heavy should straps.

By the way, I must declare unequivocally my love for the Acela. I wish I could take the Acela to work! My work is all of twenty-eight blocks from my apartment, but the Acela sure would make that trip nice.

Anyhow, I digress. A couple Saturdays ago, I embarked on my mission. I SCOURED every store in the city that I thought would have a bag to my liking. Everything was either too expensive, too ugly, too crappy or just plain too big. Of all the stores I visited though, I didn't go to an actual luggage store. For some reason, the thought never occurred to me to go to one of those stores.

The next day, Sunday, I decided to head to Ambassador Luggage near my work. The freaking place was closed. What place closes on Sunday in New York these days? I even see dry cleaners nowadays open on Sunday! Anyhow, since I was leaving in a few hours, I had to get a suitcase fast. I racked my brain and realized that the closest luggage store was Tumi over in Grand Central Station.

I sauntered in and immediately knew that this Tumi store was so small that there was no way I could pull off my typical routine of not being noticed and not noticing anyone else. The salesguy immediately latched on to me and started showing me every bag they freaking had. He even sent his helper guy downstairs to bring up some more bags (uh, zebra print? No thank you.) He was turning customers away, and telling them to wait while he helped me.

He was actually a very nice guy, and genuinely nice. You know, not like those crazy people who are so crazy that they actually appear sane. The kind who people refer to when they are questioned about a serial killer who used to be their neighbor, and they say, "He always seemed so nice, so normal."

He did have his moments though. At one point, he instructed, "Let's walk while we talk." And I'm thinking, "Walk where? This store is like the size of a bathroom." Then at another point, I asked him if he had a suitcase in blue, and he pulled out a grey one and said "Here's one," as if they were the same color. I imagine this is what interacting with a dog is sometimes like when you ask one to fetch something.

In the end, I picked a suitcase. Throughout the 30-40 minutes I was pondering my choice, I didn't even think about the price. I guess it's been a long time since I've bought a suitcase, because I just about had a heart attack when he informs me cheerfully of some price over $1,000! At that point, I was too embarrassed to not give him the sale. I mean he actually turned away other customers for me!

I think I'll start bringing it to work because I need to get my money's worth.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Welcome Back (Sort of)

Over the past few months, I've been fighting a losing battle to keep this blog alive. Sure I post here and there once in a while, but I really want to get back to writing the poorly constructed prose for which I am now oh-so-famous. Actually, when I announced my hiatus back in June, I got a few emails from some of the friends I've made over the couple of years that I've been a member of the blogosphere like, "Hope you're ok!" Or "what's wrong? Come back!" While this quasi-personal relationship I now share with my readers is great and profound, it's also a bit intimidating because before my readers were random people who I only assumed existed. Now they're real live people with real live email addresses that I plugged into Google, Friendster or Facebook (NOT Myspace because we just don't want to go there) to find out what their real live faces look like. So maybe it's only weird because I don't understand the boundaries between "taking a compliment" and "stalking someone." Ok, this is so not coming out the way I had planned.

Is there a lot to write? The question should be when is there isn't? I feel a bit rusty and feel excited like "excited for a sale at Target" rather than "excited for a sale at Barneys." I'm confident the blogging bug will come back though.

So what have I been up to? WORK! And sadly nothing else. I contemplated buying a dog, but realized that I like big dogs and fitting a dog like a Bernese Mountain Dog in my apartment would be like fitting a horse, and would probably knock me over.

And here we are at my comeback post. I'm trying to be ironic or sarcastic or witty or any of those words that I've been called. Actually I don't think I really know what any of those words mean. I just know that I make lame attempts at all those things, and get comments like "HAHA. I love you." That's the formula and we're sticking to it.

I suppose if someone comments, "Haha. I love you," we could get the sarcastic irony out of the way.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Damn, Nothing Good Ever Happens In Coach

I'm not going to go into specifics, but let's just say that I had planned to have a relaxing flight back home, having been stuck in a crowded plane on the way to Dallas and in a middle seat, no less. I never really minded the discomforts these days of flying our skies, despite the endless cutbacks, crowding and overall rudeness of passengers. I boarded my plane tonight at ginormous Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. I flew Continental, which I don't usually do because I hate flying into Newark. When I got to my aisle seat, a guy was already sitting there. He jumped and asked, "Would you mind switching seats with me?"

I looked to where he pointed and said, "No way. I don't want a middle seat." His wife interjects, and pleads, "Puhleeezee! I really need my husband to sit with me to help me with my daughter!" I was too nice and finally agreed. Forget the fact that their daughter had to have been at least 8 years old, and not like a two-month old baby.

We took off and were on our way back to New York (well, Newark, which ain't New York) and my new oh so helpful seat neighbors kept telling me, "I would have never switched." Yes, thank you neighbors for making me feel worse.

So I had some cabin rage stewing in me like a volcano about to explode. After I got off the plane, I passed by the family and the woman shouts out "Thank you!" I replied, "Yeah, ok."

You would think that would be it, and I would never see this crazy woman again. But she wouldn't let it go. She screams at me, "You know, when you do something nice, you're supposed to feel good about it!" Whoa. Back the fuck up. I turned around, and said,
"Ok, first you're telling me where to sit, and now you're telling me how I should feel?"

Crazy woman: "Why are you whining so much?"

Me: "Because people like you who think having kids gives you special privileges."

Crazy woman: "Stop whining. You need to get laid!"


At that point, a Continental Airlines person came by and asked, "Is there a problem here?" I replied "I'm not arguing with this woman anymore". Then I just walked away.

I have to stop flying in Coach.