Saturday, August 30, 2003

Oh, how I hate Fox's coverage of baseball. Does it tell you something when I watch a game with the volume off? And the game hasn't even started yet? Yes, because Fox, with the exception of Kevin Kennedy who just blew off the David Wells fiasco as nothing to worry about, just annoys the crap out of me. Anyone who has read this blog in the past during playoffs knows what I'm talking about.

Today, they try to do this "funny" clip of two kids, supposedly the Yanks and Sox's GMs, playing chess. So Lame. Just give us the game, Fox.

Then I notice Jeannie Zelasko, who ranks 4th outside the Fox Annoyance Trinity of Steve Lyons, Tim McCarver and Joe Buck, has grown her normally short, darkish hair long, and dyed it blonde. Fox network decision? Probably. This is the network that puts pretty women in front of weather maps for football games, after all.

I may attempt to put up the volume and count the bitter anti-Yankee comments coming fromt he crew today, but I have to leave early for the Cyclones game. I could miss, like hundreds of comments in that time. Maybe I'll just watch the game with the radio on.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

OK, can Madonna sell out anymore? First the whole Gap thing, then macking with Britney and Christina? Maybe the male set found that sexy or something, but it just reeked of trying too hard for PR if you ask me. On all three sides. Now we'll never be rid of them, or for the next few days anyway...
I finished "The Lovely Bones" on Monday, and I'm really beginning to wonder if I'll read a good adult book this year. OK, the book started well, but it just didn't do it for me. The premise is an intriguing one, but the resolution is like "Oh, sorry for having bothered you for the last 300 pages but we're not going to give you an ending that matches the beginning of the book in terms of pace/action." I can't consider it a good book because it was only three-quarters so. Sorry, Oprah.

I take that back, I did read a good book this year -- Cold Mountain. It's been made into a movie with Jude Law and Nicole Kidman (which cracked me up because the main characters are both from the Southern US during the Civil War, but that's why it's called acting, I guess) so I'm hoping it stayed true to the novel. Go read it before the movie comes out, though, just in case.

I was so disappointed when I went to the bookstore the other day and didn't see anything that grabbed me. Everything out there now is literary-wannabe (lots of LOOOOONNNNGGG descriptions and weird, maudlin characters) or chick-lit (bad Bridget Jones rip-offs). I lose interest in half the books I start after the first few chapters (especially the bad chick-lit) because I sit there thinking "Haven't I read this before?" So I resort to teen fiction (for research purposes, of course) and find myself more fulfilled. Go figure.

But I didn't buy anything in the bookstore because I'm supposed to be working on my own teen book. So if you see me reading anything that isn't my own work, take the book away from me and hide it. Especially since I find myself picking up teen books and being freaked out like "Oh my god, what if this has the same plot as mine and I didn't get off my ass soon enough??!!!"
So, according to the thermometer I bought yesterday (with a few ponchos), it is 70 degrees in my meat locker, um, office. There is no way in hell it is 70 degrees in here. I'm thinking 55 is more like it. Because when it's 70 degrees, my fingers don't get numb and have trouble typing. At 70 degrees, my nose doesn't get cold and I don't need to wear a sweater. When it's 70 degrees, the whole office doesn't need space heaters, which have now been outlawed in our igloos, um, cubicles. So either the thermometer is defective, or the sun makes a huge difference on a 70 degree day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Maybe it's the frosty temperatures in my office, but I'm really looking forward to Christmas. We were talking about it last night, from Christmas cookies to Christmas trees and carols and I got all ready for it 4 months in advance. Melissa, who's Jewish, is all excited to celebrate with us in the apartment, especially the tree-trimming part. I don't think she knows the torture of trying to get a real tree straight in the stand, but there's a first time for everything. I just can't wait to make those Snickers surprise cookies again. I'll have everyone over when I make them because you have to eat them while warm -- heavenly. Just like fried oreos, but not.

I'm off to find a poncho tonight. Rain is promised for parts of the weekend and I just know it'll be when I'm on my work outing to see the Brooklyn Cyclones (Don't worry. I won't root for a Mets farm team.) play Saturday night or Sunday night when the roomies and I head out to see Springsteen. Ponchos are geeky, but I'd rather see what I paid for and look stupid than get soaked.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

I need y'all to save Oct. 3 or 4 for a celebration of The Chicken and the Yankees. The Chicken's birthday is Sept. 30, but that's a weekday and who wants to party on a weekday? So, the date itself will be one of the above, depending on 1)IF the Yankees make the playoffs (I'm not a cocky SOB, you know) and 2)IF the Yankees make it, IF they are playing on one of those days. Which they probably would, but you never know in a 5-Game series. I'll let you know further details as the playoff picture gets clearer. And The Chicken wants me to tell you he is registered at the Yankees Clubhouse store, but I'm telling you gifts won't be necessary. He is a chicken, after all.
When I told Carolyn that the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew had been discussing the possiblity of making Jorge the American League MVP this season, she was like "We are so having a party if he does." We'd have a blown up picture of the man of honor, a disco ball and streamers and a special playing of the slow jam "You Are My Catcher" which is really a rip-off of Freddie Jackson's "You Are My Lady." Carolyn even suggested we invite Jorge, which would mean we could e-vite, like, the whole Yankee squad. That would be awesome. As long as Melissa agrees with the whole thing of course, but she and The Chicken are best buds now so she'd probably say it's OK.
I don't think I've ever been so horrified by a radio ad before as I am with the EFFEXOR XR ad I have to endure once, sometimes twice, a morning while I'm getting ready for work. It starts off with this woman, who's trying to sound all concerned and caring asking "Hey, you there. How are you feeling? OK? Not bad?" then goes on to say something like "Is that how you really want to feel? You know, symptoms of depression..." What the hell? Now if you're content with life you need to be medicated? I'd think the questions "Are you feeling sad or frustrated all the time" or "do you have suicidal thoughts" might apply more. I swear, the rate at which people in this country pop pills to numb themselves is absurd. I understand the people who really need the drugs -- they usually have a chemical imbalance and this is the only way to help. But people who are feeling "OK"? I'd be more worried if we had to be insanely happy all the time. And if you don't think this is a money-making scheme, think again. They're trying to make people who are content think they need something more so the pharmecutical company can line its pockets. That's just sick if you ask me.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Note to Sex and the City: The Knicks don't play in August. Just because it's mostly a female audience doesn't mean we don't pick up on this stuff. Duh.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

The Chicken shows you how to survive a blackout.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Note to the Yankee bullpen: "Come on people, get it together!" TM, Tonya. Whatever their issue is, they'd better get over it and fast. Because come playoff time, you can't expect your lineup to go out and score 12 runs every night so you can give up 11. It just doesn't work that way.
Wow. I started this blog two years ago today. So much has gone down since then! Except the Yankees winning a World Series, so let's hope that changes this year.

I'm on the hunt for an "I Survived the Blackout of 2003" T-shirt. It must say those 6 words, and would preferably have a blackened-out NY skyline. There's an "official" one being sold in some city stores and online, but it has the word "Historical" on it and that just takes the fun out of it for me. I felt funny admitting this to people, but everyone I tell is like "I want one too!" so I don't feel so bad. It would be great if I could get one for The Chicken, who, by the way, took some photos that night while I was stranded in Manhattan. I'll post those later...
I saw the most horrifying thing on TV last night -- Newlyweds, with Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Because I don't think I've ever seen someone as spoiled as the new Mrs. Lachey. The girl whined the whole episode about not having a maid, like it's necessity everyone has in a house, like a refrigerator or central heating. I was impressed with Nick for a little bit -- he knows how to do his own laundry and iron and clean, but then he thought paying a maid 20 bucks an hour to clean up his and spoiled wifeypoo's mess may be too much money. I know celebs have the big bucks to spend on a maid and all, but jeez. Even Jessica's parents thought the cleanup of the house (a mess made by two people, but you'd think there were 20 living there the way everyone made such a fuss) was too much for just their little princess. Hello? It's called divying up the chores like every other husband and wife in America. Or at least those who live in the 21st century. God forbid anyone lift a finger to help themselves...

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

I wonder if you can have a "perfect storm" at work. That seems to be what happened the past few days. Everything was going so smoothly last week, for the last issue and the one we had to finish early this week. Then the blackout hit. We lost Friday (we didn't get power till late that night, and a few people came in to finish last week's issue and were here till 3 a.m.) and so yesterday became sheer hell because we had to cram two days of work (actually three days' worth since we are on a short deadline) in one day. I worked almost 12 hours, eating both lunch and dinner at my desk. Today promises to be worse. Yay for blackouts and early deadlines!

I got to see a bit of I Love the 70s on VH1 last night, and while I can't relate to it like I did with the 80s (because my memory didn't start kicking in until about 1981), it's pretty funny. It promises to get better with things like Disco and Fantasy Island coming up....

Friday, August 15, 2003

So here’s my rundown on yesterday’s events.

Sometime after 4: I’m trying to fact-check something online and the Internet ceases to work. I ask my officemates if they’re having trouble and they are, so we just assume it’s a normal problem. Then the interoffice e-mail stalls, with this weird message no one has ever seen. We’re still thinking it’s just us because computer problems are the norm.

Then the lights start to flicker. This happens twice before they go out entirely. Interestingly, everyone in the office laughs despite it being our deadline day. The phones are also dead.

The rumor mill starts churning out the story that all of Madison Ave. is out. I try to call Carolyn and Dexter (both nearby) on my cellphone, but nothing is going through. The last time his happened was Sept. 11, so it’s a bit disconcerting.

Tonya and I go in search of C batteries for the radio on my desk and start singing “The Final Countdown” because it’s so appropriate after we hear that the entire Northeast is without power, and nobody knows why. We all stand around for a while, joking around wondering what to do.

Oddly enough, people seem to realize that even after only 20 minutes without power that it’s serious and we’re told we can leave. In. The. Middle. Of. Deadline. This is about as rare as C batteries in our office. So Tonya and I find Ken, and Rana from Long Island who has no way home, and instead of saying “We’re heading for Ve-nus,” we sing “We’re heading for Jer-sey.” Our plan of escape is to get the ferry all the way on the other side of town. So we get outside and it’s like a street fair on Madison Ave. With no working traffic lights. It’s absolute chaos, but everyone’s in pretty good moods, what with getting out of work early despite being trapped on Manhattan.

So we get to the 38th Street Pier and holy cow is it packed. I later hear the line for that particular ferry was TWO MILES long. I saw the pics on the NY Times site today, and I didn’t realize it looked THAT bad. Anyway, nobody knows which way to go, nobody can really move for that matter, and after about five minutes I decide to walk the few miles to my cousin’s apartment on the Upper West Side, despite the heat. I have never been so glad in my life to be wearing sneakers. And a dress, as I’d contemplated wearing pants the night before. Times Square is jumping. Lightless, but jumping. I only stop once in my Odyessy, outside the Fox News building to read the headline thingy where it says the blackout isn’t the work of terrorism, but a “glitch”. Oh, and delis are selling ice cream for a dollar and every phone booth has a line.

By 6:30, I’m in Central Park, my cell phone decides to work for a minute and I manage to get in touch with my mom, who tells my cousins I’m coming. She has no idea where my dad is and I tell her I bet he goes to Hoboken…I get Dexter, who is on his way to the Seaport to catch a ferry (he gets on no problem, unlike the throngs at 38th) and he has no idea where Vicki is.

When I get to my cousins, they are way mellow and people on their street are partying. They get a radio going, and on 1010 WINS, I hear the situation called “The Blackout of ‘03” for the first time and it just sounds so weird. And then something even weirder happens -- it gets dark and you can see actually stars, lots of them, in Manhattan. Vicki calls to say she’s heading downtown and that people are price gouging – selling bottles of water anywhere from 3-10 bucks. Assholes.

I call my mom later to check on the status of my dad and I was right – he came to my apartment, but no one was home. My mom said he was calling from one of my neighbors’ apartments and I was like “Holy crap, Dad’s hanging out with Sasquatch!” but alas, he was on the third floor. That would’ve been so awesome, though.

Carolyn calls to say she waited on line at the 38th St. Pier for 5 hours and then had to walk home from Weehawken. Vicki gets dropped off at the North end of Ho and has to walk all the way back down. Yes, lots of walking was done yesterday. I try to sleep, but it’s useless. With the window open, I can hear all the party people downstairs on the street and let me just tell you, they put Sasquatch and Co. to shame. These people were screaming, singing, cavorting, what have you till 1:30. And then the news helicopters started zooming in and hovering overhead at 4:30 a.m.

At 6 a.m., the power is back on on the Upper West Side and I hear the PATH is running, so I walk the almost four miles to the 33rd St. station. The power is gone when I get past Lincoln Center and 6th Ave. is the dirtiest I’ve ever seen it. There are people sleeping on the sidewalks that I wrote off as homeless people but when I get home I find out it was commuters. Oh, I am SO glad I don’t have to ride NJ Transit anymore.

I got home at 8:30 today, having logged a little over 8 miles in walking. And on virtually no sleep, so passing out will be an option tonight. It was a fairly tame blackout in all, but I could do without another one for a while.
F*&#ing deadline. I may have to go into work tomorrow...
Whooooeeee! We should have us a blackout more often! I think I walked like 8 miles in the past 18 hours. I just got home to Hoboken, where we got power at 7:15 this morning. Carolyn got in at 11 last night, after waiting for the ferry for 5 hours. My dad waited for 4 hours (and got to Hoboken to find me NOT here), Tonya and Ken also waited for 4 hours. I, seeing the mass of wall-to-wall-to-river people, opted to walk the 40 blocks to my cousins' where I stayed till this morning. I'm now wondering if we have to go to work because we left in the middle of our deadline. I don't think we have power though...I'll add more about seeing the lights go out on Broadway later, when I've gotten some sleep (party animals and helicopters kept me awake) and my sanity has returned...

Thursday, August 14, 2003

A great story from the San Fransisco Chronicle about embracing the idea of being childish every now and then. Who says that when you reach a certain age that being silly should be out of the question? It's like the people who go to a baseball game and don't even sing along to Take Me Out to the Ballgame. They always bug me because I have to wonder, where is there sense of fun? When did everyone get too cool for happy time?

This is why The Chicken is so great. I can tell right away if a person is Too Cool or In Tune with their silly side just by their reaction to him. And I will pass judgement on these people, because, seriously, I don't waste my time with those who lack a sense of humor. Poo-poo on them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Check out where I live (and the home of many of my ancestors, for that matter) tonight on Channel 13. For geographical interest reasons, I think it's only on in the NY area. I don't think people in California care about The H.O.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Remind me not to put so much faith in people to have common courtesy. Thanks.

I am so craving a Friendly's peanut butter cup sundae right now....

Monday, August 11, 2003

I go to the Yankee game Saturday (many thanks to Carolyn's dad for the tickets), and The Chicken makes a new friend.

Friday, August 08, 2003

The best things about having a day off:

Getting to watch VH1 Classic all day long.

Getting to stay up late the night before while watching the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, (the one you had to watch in high school English class that made you think "Wow, I actually understand Shakespeare" and "Man, Romeo is hot.") and realizing what an excellent movie it is overall. And Romeo is still hot.

Not having to be at the office, where someone got fired yesterday and all the bad karma floating through the air.

Getting to work on your book, which is now exactly 100 pages long. The book that will hopefully get you away from the bad karma office setting.

Getting to control the temperature of your environment, instead of freezing your ass off for 9 hours.

Getting to do whatever you want. Sigh.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Everybody sing!: IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! Do-da-do-do, do-da-do-do-do, do-da-do-do, do-da-do-do-do....
The Chicken answers his fanmail.
There I was, all excited that the Yanks dealt Mr. Personality for our old pal Jeff Nelson, and Mo blows the save. What the hell is wrong with him? And I don't mean that in a mean, demanding way. Seriously. There is something wrong with him. Whether it's age or an injury or something mental, this isn't the normal Mariano Rivera. I hope someone gets to the bottom of this and soon.

And major shout out to Tonya, who brought me back a really cool "If You Build It, They Will Come" magnet from her trip the Field of Dreams when she was in her home state this weekend. Makes me want to build a baseball field in my apartment building's backyard. Except our landlord won't let us back there, but that's a different story.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Another literary blowhard, Harold Bloom, denounces Harry Potter in the Atlantic Monthly. Note, that he just has to mention that he bought the book at an Ivy League bookstore. Aww, good for you. Second, he couldn't have read the first book because I don't remember anyone "stretching their legs" as much as he says they do. Why do these critics piss me off, you ask? Because in their mind, what I am writing (a lighthearted book about a teenage girl with typical teenage problems) is certainly "rubbish" too. No, you can never please all of the people all of the time, but there's no reason to be a pompous idiot:

So I went round to the Yale bookstore and purchased an inexpensive paperback copy of the first volume. I could not believe what was in front of me. What I particularly could not bear was that it was just one cliché after another. In fact, I kept a little checklist on an envelope next to me, and every time any individuals were going, as you or I might say, to take a walk, they were going to "stretch their legs." At the fiftieth or sixtieth stretching of the legs, that was too much for me...But of course, the Harry Potter series is rubbish. Like all rubbish, it will eventually be rubbed down. Time will obliterate it. What can one say?
So, I'm going to expose myself and say I really enjoyed The O.C. last night. So did Carolyn and The Chicken (who was watching in Melissa's place because she had work to do). It helps that the cute guy from Gilmore Girls is in it and playing a dorky and completely endearing character. It was so nice to watch a TV show with a plot, albeit a soapy, kinda trashy one, unlike all the reality fare they've been throwing at us all summer. I only hope it lasts...

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Why is there always either a bitch or a bully in every office setting? And even though the normal people in the office far outnumber him/her said bitch/bully ruins everyone's day? And it's not about taking things personally, lord no. This person is usually out to stab you in the back or just piss on you because of their own messed up psyche, and I've had it with both. But I am wary that they are everywhere, that there is no escape from this type of person. I just wish they'd all go colonize their own bitch/bully planet and leave the rest of us alone.

Please add "mind reader" to my list of should-have qualities...

Monday, August 04, 2003

I'm hearing these crazy rumors that The Dukes of Hazzard is heading to the big screen and I only have one thing to say about that: Sacrilege. Because any movie they make based on an old TV show usually mocks the original. And Bo, Luke, Cooter, Flash and Co. can so NOT be mocked. Can't we just let it live in our 1980s TV memory? Sigh.
I am so not having a good morning. The bus was late; Someone stole my keyboard and mouse and replaced it with a crappy, crusty non/working keyboard mouse; my light fixture fell out of my cubicle; bad stuff happened while I was away that I now have to be part of....this is probably the worst first day back from a vacation I've ever had. Except that for once, it's not freezing in my office....

Sunday, August 03, 2003

As I get ready to leave for D&V's to watch S&TC, I am remembering how disturbed I was by last week's episode. No, not that Berger left Carrie in such a rude way, but by Charlotte and Harry's engagement. I should hope that if I were to say such mean, downright awful things to the man I "love", that if he left me and then we ran into each other a few weeks later, that if I apologized, and that was enough for him to get on bended knee and ask for my hand -- I'd dump his sorry ass. Because I'd want a guy with a little more self respect than that. I have nothing against these two characters together -- but it would've been a bit more believeable (i.e. not cliche and so fairy tale-esque) if Harry gave her a bit of a harder time or it took longer for them to get engaged. I'm tired of the fairy tale ending. Things can end happily, but I'd love to see things be a bit more realistic, too.

The Chicken doesn't look to pleased with the outcome of today's game. I think he thought the A's won the World Series instead of a 2-1 ballgame in August because of the way they celebrated...