Tuesday, December 31, 2002

We moved on up to our dee-lux apartment in the sky-hi-hi this weekend -- we finally got a piece of the pie!! All is semi-well in the new abode. We're having a few problems with keys and bathtubs and showers but that's it. I'll be completely satisfied when I'm unpacked (geez, where did I get so many books???) and the cable is installed, but the 25 minute commute more than makes up for that.

My friend Ken's motto today: "2003 is the Year of Me." I like it!

Friday, December 27, 2002

I'm currently waiting to hear from my landlord about the fire inspection that was to take place yesterday. If it passed and he got the certificate of occupancy today, we can move in. But if not, well, you know the story.

So I hear the Red Sox CEO is referring to the Yankees as the "Evil Empire". Sure George is in charge of a money-spending empire, that's maybe even a tad bit greedy. I'll be the first to admit they spend money, sometimes for no reason. Isn't that what owners are supposed to do? But Evil? Um, maybe this man should read the article about what Saddam Hussein's son does to Iraqi athletes and then we'll discuss what evil is and isn't. It's one thing for BoSox fans to jokingly refer that way, but to be serious about it is just kind of sick. Especially when the Sox make a lot of money and were simply out-bid for Contreras (who is also Cuban, and a few of my Cuban-background friends say that the Yankees are revered there, thus possibly spurring the pitcher to New York even more). Maybe he's just been watching too much Star Wars or something...

Thursday, December 26, 2002

It was easier getting into college than it is getting into this apartment...

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Yea! Colin from Real World Hawaii is back for the Real World/Road Rules Battle of the Sexes. I will be tuning in for sure now, as he's the only guy from either show that I still find cute, even after a few years. Note to self: make sure cable is installed by Jan. 6.

Santa Claus was very good to me. Not only did I get a bathroom cabinet from Target, but a tool kit for the apartment (because you never know when you're going to need a hammer and a level), bed desk, tall khakis from J. Crew that fit so well I'm buying more, and a ton of other stuff.

We went to Pat and Jim's for a Christmas brunch with the lord mayor himself, and the coolest thing happened when we pulled into the driveway -- there were real live wild turkeys (big ones, too) walking around on their neighbors lawn. Apparently, they come out of the woods and onto Pat and Jim's deck all the time. Thankfully, they weren't scary looking like turkey vultures, which also live in the area. And to think, they live only a few miles from us and the most interesting animals we get in our yard are the neighbors' cats.

And whoever signed us up for a Christmas Nor'easter should be smacked.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

My dad's been boycotting Kmart for a few years now because they stay open on Thanksgiving. Well, now that they plan on staying open for Christmas, I will never set foot in there again. How awful! To quote Dickens, "It's drudgery for the sake of it and an insult to all men of good will." I know (or at least hope) that the employees will probably get double pay, but still, there must be some pressure for them to work those days. I know I never got much of a choice when I worked in retail, and I worked semi-big holidays like New Year's Day and the Fourth of July with no extra pay. Are there no days anymore where people can stop the urge to make money?

Getting a Merry Christmas "Shut Up" today: Iraq, Trent Lott, the Jesus Freak (I think he was really handing tickets out for God) blocking the stairs of Penn Station today, and the select bitter athiests who try to take all the fun out of the Christmas season by spewing their superiority for not believing in anything. Well aren't you special? Now shut up.

My train was EARLY today. A Christmas miracle indeed!

Sunday, December 22, 2002

I saw The Two Towers yesterday (following like 8 or 9 trailers, as if the movie isn't long enough on its own) and it was just as good as its predecessor. I'm sure there are those who will disagree (though it had something like 100-plus good reviews and 4 bad on Rotten Tomatoes). I went on Imdb afterward and there were already 459 reviews posted. Movies that have been out for 15 years have only like 40 reviews, so this tells you something. And it is funny as hell to read reviews on Imdb. It's like the people who didn't do so well in film school or those who secretly yearn to be a movie critic have a field day. Just read the opinions that are WAY too long and you'll see what I'm talking about.

What I learned from the movie: Be nice to trees and don't piss them off. Also, just to note, I noticed that all of the main characters, with the exception of one, have blue eyes. I guess in some places having them means something deeper than my theory that people will think you're nice and sweet just for having big blue peepers.

Also, I'm having trouble with yahoo. It's not sending some of my messages. So i'm not ignoring people, it's all technology's fault.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Back when SNL was consistently funny, Eddie Murphy played an inmate who had written a poem called "Images". For some reason, I found this the funniest thing and memorized it at the age of 9. I'd forgotten about it until getting kicked out of my old apartment and the current teeth-grinding situation. Now, I'm not about to go out and murder my landlord, but I just found the poem fitting. And it's funnier if you imagine Eddie reciting it.

Dark and lonely on a summer's night.

Kill my landlord. Kill my landlord.

Watchdog barking. Do he bite?

Kill my landlord. Kill my landlord.

Slip in his window. Break his neck.

Then his house I start to wreck.

Got no reason. What the heck?

Kill my landlord. Kill my landlord.

C-I-L my land lord!


Guess who isn't moving today or tomorrow, as she was supposed to? Right, ME! Yes, it got pushed back to next Friday and you know what? I am not pleased.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Remember how I said celebrity activists need to shut up? Well, I'd like to amend that. I'd like those going off on diatribes about the rights and wrongs of war (like Viggo Mortensen has just done for the last 10 minutes on Charlie Rose, making me finally shout "oh just shut up already" even though I agree with some of what he is saying) to be allowed to run the government for a few days. Yes, I want the likes of Charlton Heston and Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon to see what it is like to have the huge responsibility of pleasing all the people in this country and see what they come up with.

If it ain't the politicians trying to convince you, it's the actors/singers/writers pushing their ideas on us. And while everyone has a right to their opinion, I'd really like to see someone do it in a non-condescending manner (Mortensen makes it sound like all Americans are a bunch of idiots, when we really just want all of this to go away just as much as he does. Does he think that just because I'm a copyeditor and not an actor that I am not informed? His beef was that people last year were comparing the Fellowship of the Ring to how Americans were feeling at the time about "fighting evil", and I'm sorry, but it did evoke a few feelings of wanting to do the right thing, not bombing kids like he's saying. OK. The soap box is cracking with Viggo's weight and mine, so I'm going to step off.) and stop acting like we're a bunch of cult followers that they've been hired to deprogram.

In other news, I'm declaring Elijah Wood a sufferer of Big Blue Eyes Syndrome.

And in other news, sometime within the next 48 hours, I should be moving. Should is the key word here. We are in Karen's Moving Universe, after all, and I don't want to jinx it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Some of the pregnant couples they get on A Baby Story are so freaking creepy and nauseating. It's one thing to be excited about your baby and talk to your kids about adjusting, but take your kids to therapy to preapare for a new sibling??? And then the couples who coo and talk sweetly to each other during the labor drive me nuts. Every couple I know wasn't exactly into savoring the moment and making it as Seventh Heaven as possible, more like semi-scared and hoping for a healthy child above all else.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Des and I are quite enjoying being ladies of leisure. Today, we braved the mall (my third time in three days) where there were way too many baby carriages/strollers, employees in bad moods and deals galore at Old Navy. And Chik-Fil-A (Tonya, did you know they have party platters!!!??? If only it was at the Newport Mall...) for lunch, of course.

And if anyone is looking for a good laugh, I'd suggest watching VH1's I Love the 80s. They got great responses from a wide range of celebrities on all things 80s (The Members Only jacket segment during 1981 was pretty funny in itself) and the era itself is just comedic on its own. Is it me or did the 90s not produce anything pop-culturally exciting, with maybe the exception of Grunge rock and Beanie Babies??? Nothing that compares to The Safety Dance and Smurfs and Atari...

Sunday, December 15, 2002

I don't know what it is about me and alcohol, but even if I have just one (REALLY strong) drink, I can't sleep more than 5 hours that night. So I'm completely wired right now after last night's apple martini at Dexter's b-day celebration. The drink bowled me over so much (and I can handle my alcohol, so this tells you something. So, if you want good, strong drinks, may I recommend Lush on Duane St. in lower Manhattan) that I think I had insta-hangover because I got a headache about two hours after consumption. I had to leave the soiree a bit earlier than I wanted (I'm sure I missed table-dancing or all the other really fun stuff that happens after I leave things) because I wanted to sober up and drive home safely.

Apparently, no one else on the NJ Turnpike was as worried about sobering up as I was because the Alcholic Asshole Brigade was out in full force, one dude (going probably 85 or so)so much as bumping me out of my lane because he didn't realize the one he was in was an exit. So while I was chugging Pepsi and ingesting Dukin Donuts in the Hoboken parking garage, praying that my blood alcohol content was normal, it seems all the other jerks on the road were having a few more rounds.

PS -- Dexter, Vicki, what did my early exit make me miss???

Thursday, December 12, 2002

OK, OK. It's time for everyone to stop whining about smoking/not smoking in New York City bars. I can see both sides of this case. I've said that the mayor's office is completely hypocritical because they claim to be worried about keeping people healthy with clean air, but do nothing about the pollution (especially from city buses) right outside the bars on the street. And as a nonsmoker, I'd feel so much better about coming out of a bar and not having to go home and shower right away just to get the smoky stink out of my hair (not to mention not having a sore throat and chest the next morning from the second hand shit). So my solution to all of this? Both sides, stop whining. Because you're not hearing each other and not making a good case for yourselves.

Bloomberg and Co.: Stop whining that bartenders' health is at risk. We all know you're control freaks and this is your way of flexing that muscle. If you were really concerned about people's health, you'd be doing more about the air pollution over all, and anyway, won't there be more people at risk on the streets with all the people smoking outside of bars?

Smokers: stop whining that it's winter and too cold outside to smoke. You're not exactly coming across as the righteous side when you say this. Wussy is more like it. You smoke while walking the streets (and litter the sidewalk with butts, but that's another rant), and will go outside of your offices to smoke in 10-degree weather, but you can't put your beer down for five minutes to take a few drags outside?
Thank you, Mike Lupica for hitting the Pete Rose nail on the head.

Also, is Selig trying to win some kind of popularity contest? I think he wants to be known as the greatest commisioner ever. I have news for him -- the only reason a strike was averted was because 1)it was only a year after Sept. 11 and 2)both sides knew the fans weren't going to take their shit anymore. It has nothing to do with his smarts as a leader, no matter what he wants to believe.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

I think someone I know is celebrating a big birthday today...hmm. No, not Jermaine Jackson...Not Donna Mills...oh yeah, it's Dexter, and he's turning the big 3-0! Happy b-day, Dex!!

And I'm wondering if Janeane Garofalo watches the same news I'm watching. Last night, she was on some show complaining that the media doesn't cover people who want to keep the peace instead of going to war with Iraq. Every time I turn on the news, I see people protesting, or having a 'die in' or something to that effect. And as I usually do when I see protests of any kind, I have to wonder if these people have jobs that they can afford to get arrested and miss work for a few days...

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

AUUUUGGGGHHHHHHH.....Three, count 'em, THREE news copters are circling overhead right now. I keep expecting Dan Rather to walk by in fatigues and announce "From Vietnam, this is CBS news."

The first helicopter left last night at 11:30, after the NBC (not Fox and Penny, but just as annoying) newscast. Yes, I had my sleep interrupted an hour because it was a slow news day. And this morning, the two other copters joined it for some pre-dawn hovering at 5:30, a half hour before I usually get up. My dad is wants to call the networks to tell them off, because, really, does the rest of the world care if my neighborhood has been half evacuated (the one thing I can't complain about for my family, thankfully) and that the street is almost completely gone?

Wait, oh my god, I think they're gone! It just got very quiet. I hope somebody came and shooed them out...

Monday, December 09, 2002

You know what's worse than not being able to shower or flush the toilet when a nearby water main breaks? The helicopters. Yes, there's one circling so low over my neighborhood right now, I can hear the blades whooshing. It woke me up from the first early slumber I was getting in a while. And so help me, if it's the Fox Channel 5 News crew, and Penny Crone is reporting, I will throw something at it.

The flooding is going on literally two blocks away and it looks really bad. It's cut off water to a huge chunk of town. All the houses on the street got flooded and I'm not banking on having any H2O anytime soon. My parents decided to bring in some snow from outside and melt it in the bathtub (a very funny moment in the Bischer House, especially when my mom started heating the snow in soup pot) so we can at least have some water to flush the toilet.

Oh lord, now the damn helicopter is hovering over one spot and really starting to piss me off...
The only thing I kept thinking last night during the Sopranos was that I hoped a nice big fictional Hurricane would hit Sea Bright and wipe out their new house (especially since it would probably get flooded in the first torrential downpour) and the smarmy-ass lawyer's house. Why? Because both are obnoxious WEBS and we don't need any more of them!

Sunday, December 08, 2002

So help me God, if you are a spammer and reading my blog only to send me your junkass mail, don't do it. Especially if you have the 'click here to be removed from this list' thing going only to not have it work (usually because you provide a fake e-mail address). By law, you are supposed to have a means for people to be removed and if you're reported enough (which I do every so often), well, I could only hope you get shut down.

If you're part of this annoyance to make money, please get a real job. Do you REALLY think I'm that much of an idiot to buy something from an ad I received via e-mail? I have a mind of my own. Stop wasting your time and mine.

Friday, December 06, 2002

Dude, my friends need to start getting blogs. Because I go on all these other people's blogs and they look so smug, with all the links to their friends' sites. It kind of pisses me off, like "ooh, we're so cool becuase we were all English majors who think our writing is hot shit so here's links to all of us ." And I know my friends are NOTHING like the pretentious English majors I hate (and never was, thankfully. When our professors would ask "so what did this-old-dead author mean when they wrote this?" and all these whacky ideas got spewed back, I would say "Maybe they just meant what they wrote and there's no deeper meaning." Professors hate this response.) and their opinions need to be out there in the world. Only Hollis (Grad school and working) and Amy (new baby) have a viable excuse for not keeping one.

So here's your weekend assignment, amigos. Go to blogger.com, pitas.com, livejournal.com, whatever, and start writing down your thoughts.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

My office is nuts right now because they're letting us leave at 3:30 -- and it's DEADLINE DAY. This is monumental, people. When the announcement came down, it was actually met with laughter -- the disbelieving kind. Because we NEVER get to leave early. When my partner heard the office was closing his response was "What office?" Let it snow, Let it snow!

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

For some of the best comedy this year (and most of it unintentional) give MTV's True Life: I'm Getting Married a watch. From the Staten Island/Italian groom threatening to "cut" and "gut" (he actually screeches the words "Do you know who I am?", so he's either watched way too much of the Sopranos or he really is mafioso) his not-so-punctual limo driver to the fashion-showesque commitment ceremony reception for a gay couple in Ohio to the Florida bride who gets her cake changed semi-last minute because of a bad dream (and doesn't understand why she's charged double), it's hysterical. And if I ever dream of spending 100,000 bucks on my nuptials, smack me. Hard.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Can someone PLEASE tell me why I have such rotten luck when it comes to moving? In an effort to contain my anger, I am putting together a list of events to support my case. I hope my readers understand where my angst is coming from.

1)8/97-8/99 I have the space cadet leader of landlords. She accuses each of my roommates and myself of not paying rent at some point during our time there. When we explain that we paid, she finds the rent check a few hours later. She stuffs our water bills in our doorway, usually on windy days (the bill flies away unnoticed), then she demands to know why we haven't paid our bill. When we reply we never received a bill, and several others in the complex do the same, she never bothers to figure out a new way of giving us the bill.

In this apartment we have the exploding toilet; the leaking toilet; the gas leak; the spontaneously combusting bush; the heat breaking down both winters; the dishwasher and garbage disposal ceasing to work; the crappiness of the rugs (which were pure shit when we moved in) getting blamed on us, and when we pay the money out of our security deposit to get new rugs, they are not replaced for the new tenants.

2) The Astoria apartment hunt -- I get rejected from one place because the landlord thinks I don't make enough (when I really make more than enough to live on). I put down money on another only to be told that the landlord promised it to someone else. I put down money on a place only to be told that the realtor wants his 875 dollar fee, plus the security deposit IN CASH. They give me a hard time for being hesitant. When I demand my money back (screaming), saying their dealings are shady and I'm not carrying THAT MUCH cash in my pocket in New York City, I get laughed at and cursed at and told that they're glad they didn't have "someone like you" living with this saint of a landlord.

3)3/00-7/01 I have the lacking-in-English speaking landlord who stomps across his hardwood floor and plays the fiddle above my bedroom every Saturday and Sunday morning at 7 a.m. Also in this apartment, I have three floods (which the landlord says is because of on my using toilet paper and tells me not to use it anymore); no cable service for 3 months; recycling craziness; a fire in my microwave; and finally getting asked if I would mind moving because landlord's son needs to move into my apartment. Now, these people were very nice, for the most part, but you can't tell me they had kicking me out in mind after making 12,000 bucks off me from the beginning.

3)The bastard movers 7/01 -- I hired them a month in advance. They promised to be at my apartment at 9 a.m. They don't show up till 6 p.m. As I call to hound them several times during the day, the dispatcher gets pissy with me. Yes, he gets angry with me because they were stupid enough to book two moves in one day at the SAME TIME. I am now wary of movers.

4) The current situation ????? -- I've been *patiently* waiting to move to Hoboken for over a year now. When my roommates and I finally got on the ball in September and found a place almost instantly, I was psyched. We knew it wouldn't be ready for the original Oct. 1 moving day, and when the landlord said it would then be Nov. 1, we didn't have a problem with it. What day is it today? Oh, right, Dec. 2. The fact that I have to hire movers (again, mucho wary) on short notice and take the final vacation days I've been hoarding before my boss leaves for Christmas vacation is not helping matters. NJ Transit, guys who aren't interested in girls who live "far away", jobs who want you to come in early and stay, late not knowing about NJ Transit's unreliableness; wanting to hang out in NY but having to catch the last train out, etc. only aggravate this even more.

So can all of you out there please clap really hard, and maybe I'll get some moving good luck?
I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G. I HATE PSE&G.

Three guesses as to who is holding up my move today....
I'm overhearing co-workers discuss why fake Christmas trees are better than real ones and I'm still not convinced. For all the trouble a fake tree saves, it's so much nicer to have the real, slightly crooked variety in your living room. Even my mom ditched the fake tree in the dining room for a real one. I guess what it comes down to is how much time you can devote to your tree...a.k.a how lazy you are. I'm sorry, but watering it every day isn't THAT hard. And the "mess" of pine needles can easily be sucked up with a vacuum. And don't give me the "fire hazzard" crap. If you don't put the tree next to the fireplace and don't use it as an ashtray it won't burn down the house. In my book, the only times it's acceptable to go fake is if you want your tree up for two months or you're an environmentalist or if you're allergic to pine or sap or whatever. What can I say? I'm a traditionalist.

Can someone explain why CEOs never blame themselves for employees being laid-off? Like, when they say something along the lines of 'some people LEFT because of cutbacks,' isn't that a bit of a lie?

Another day, another Apartmentless day...

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Ring Ring Ring
Karen: Hello?
Apartment: Oh Karen, I really am lonely and would very much like you, Des and Carolyn to inhabit me and make me pretty with your furniture and decorations.
Karen: Well, Apartment, I'd like nothing better. But in this crazy reality we call Karen's Move, nothing goes according to plan.
Apartment: Isn't there anything you can do?
Karen: Unless you want me to physically threaten my landlord, the Hoboken housing inspector and GPU, I'd say it's out of my hands.
Apartment: Sigh. I really would like some tenants. It's so sad to be empty. The other three apartments feel the same way.
Karen: Don't worry, Apartment, we'll be there sometime before the next millenium.

*****
I'd say I got a lot accomplished this weekend. I built my own bookcase (well, I didn't saw the wood, but I hammered and used a screw driver and cursed a lot and put the thing together) and painted it (with crackle paint to give it that "weathered"/chabby chic look) and I still don't have enough space for my books. I guess I'll have to get another one...

And I finally saw Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and I must say it was better than the first, which I also enjoyed. I think as the books get kind of darker and the kids get older, the story is deeper. And since the the guy who did the recent, very good version of A Little Princess is on board to direct the next movie, I'd say there's more to look forward to. Now if only the next book would come out...