Thursday, March 29, 2007

An actual mass email our office manager sent out last night...

Hello All,

There was apparently a bleeding accident in the larger of the two single-stall restrooms.

Out of consideration for your fellow co-workers, I implore you to please clean up after yourself or immediately request some assistance.

Please do not leave the restrooms in a condition that you would not like to encounter.

Thank you for your cooperation.

EWW! What?!

I hope whoever had a "bleeding accident" is okay, but I'm glad today is my last day.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I’m feeling very mislead by movie trailers lately…

I generally trust my instincts on films, but I’ve been thrown by a loop of late. In celebration of my leaving, I’ve gone with coworkers for two “movie lunches” in the past week. One being The Namesake; the other was Reign Over Me.

Now, when I first found out Mira Nair was making The Namesake into a movie I thought, “Gee golly, what a horrible idea. I really like that book, but there is no way they can translate that into a good film. It’s a sprawling narrative about a family. There’s no real plot arc, etc.” But then my coworker Pam showed me the trailer online and it seemed so lovely that I decided maybe I was wrong. Well, I should have gone with my gut. The Namesake is horrible. Please don’t go see it. I’ve told this to two other friends and they refused to believe me. My goal is to prevent at least one more person from wasting their money on a sub-par film. Go buy the book. It’s good. The film is NOT. I went with two people who had NOT read the book and they also hated it, so it has nothing to do with having read the book or not. It just sucks.

Conversely, the trailer for Reign Over Me in no way got me excited to see the flick. In fact, I thought it seemed pretty awful, dull and cheesy. However, my dear friend Emily, whose movie opinions I very much trust told me that I should go see it…and I’m so glad I did. It was the best movie I’ve seen in a while. Very nicely done. I cried approximately 14 times, but it was not overly cheesy (except the VERY last couple minutes).

In summary, please go see Reign Over Me and NOT The Namesake.

That is all.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Nothing goes better with NCAA Basketball than POUTINE.

I'm pretty stoked that we've managed to have poutine pretty much once a month...thank goodness for Canadian friends. Someone always seems to be going, coming or having parents in who can bring us cheese curds. I'm a lucky gal.

We each got to split an order this time...Not only did Vanessa and I polish off all the wings, we were also the first to finish our poutine. Girl power.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

dumb badgers.

Friday, March 16, 2007

What the dilly, yo?!

Just to give you perspective, compare the height of the snow drift outside my door to this sneaker...

Geez Louise.

I am also upset about Illinois choking at the end of their game. They totally ruined my bracket...and sense of pride. Steph said she LAUGHED when she saw that I picked Illinois to win. It would have been so nice to rub that one in... Damn you, fighting Illinis. Curses. This is what I get for having Big Ten allegiance. However, I'm still winning our pool- HA! Especially awesome because I only watched three regular season games...DOUBLE ha!
I got a new job!

[Cue KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See" Ugly Betty style]

That's all I'm gonna say about that because, well, people get fired for talking about their jobs on blogs.

I'm excited to start in two weeks, but it is weird to leave the job I've had for two years (so long!).

It is time to say goodbye to my trusty cube:

Goodbye, boyfriend wall, where I post pictures of my crushes a la a 7th grade locker...

(Yes, that's Jake Gyllenhaal, Elvis, Steven Colbert, Demetri Martin and Seth Cohen)

Goodbye, ANTM Pool bracket and plant that will not die no matter how much I don't water it...

Goodbye, favorite lunch/snack stops like Lahore where I can get real chai and samosas with all the cabbies...

Goodbye, old nasty PC that gives me headaches and all the fortune cookie fortunes that give me daily inspiration and teach me Chinese (Baseball in Chinese is Bang-qiu)...

You have served me well, cube, but it is time for me to make my mark on a new claustrophobia-inducing space. Good luck and God speed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I just got a text message from Emily that she passed Goldie's Tattoos, the Southernmost tattoo parlor in the USA...AND where I happened to have gotten my tattoo back in 2003. You see, we were on spring break...and I am SO not the girl to be getting a tattoo on spring break (I didn't even drink back then!), but before we drove down to the Keys we were staying at Emily's house in Naples and she just happened to mention that she saw Goldie's Tattoos every year down in the Keys and had always wanted someone to get a tattoo there AND always one to respond to a challenge, I volunteered. Besides, I really had wanted to get a tattoo for a while. The only reason I hadn't gotten one before is I never could decide what I wanted. And so the girls and I set about deciding what I should get. Debbie suggested that I should draw something myself and I liked that idea, so I started doodling little designs that all turned out to vaguely reminiscent of dancers...of Matisse dancers...and so I thought, "Maybe I'll get a Matisse tattoo!" I started Google image searching Matisse artwork to pick something out, and ended up at a page of Picasso line drawings- BLAMO! I was reminded how much I have always loved the Picasso line drawings and realized how great one would look as a tattoo. I searched through all the drawings, but one just popped out at me as MY TATTOO and my friends agreed it was absolutely me. The Face of Peace. I collect artwork from all the places I travel and almost all the pieces are women's faces in extreme close up- with particular focus on the eyes. God knows why, it's just something I've always been drawn to. I also liked the idea of having a tattoo that represented peace. Not only was I actively involved in a conflict resolution program called PEACE by PEACE (or Peace Games) in college, but we were at Emily's house in Naples that week when the first attacks happened in Iraq. Apparently, some other folks were inspired by this Picasso work at that same time.

Anyway, that's the story of my tattoo, which I love dearly. I'm very jealous of Emily down in the Keys right now. Fishing, water skiing, eating good food, enjoying the peace and quiet and beautiful scenery....yum.
Set your DVRs, people!

From the Major League Eating email list:

"Tune in to Spike TV at 7:00pm EST on Saturday to see the world's top Major Leage Eaters battle it out for supremacy in corned beef and cabbage, doughnuts and jalapeno peppers. This elimination tournament will start with eight gurgitators, but only one will be the Chowdown Champion."

Now that's what I call St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Steve Earle is great.

(Picture from Grey Fox this past summer)

Went to see him tonight at Blue Note with his wife Allison Moorer (who is also lovely). Apparently he's been filming The Wire and also will be coming out (in theory) with a new album in September. I took a particular liking to "The Galway Girl" ...maybe cause the chorus went, "And I ask you, friend, what's a fella to do 'Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue." Okay, so I'm only faking the black Irish look, but I'll take it anyway.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Another lovely day.

It's funny how 50 degrees can feel so warm.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

With such balmy weather, how could today NOT be perfect?

It started with "drunken brunch" at Essex, followed by the inevitable trip to Economy Candy. Sufficiently hopped up on sugar, we went to see Joel's sculpture at the New York MFA exhibit.

..and then got some more sugar in the form of Slurpees from 7 Eleven. MMMMMmmmmm.

7 Eleven is the best place ever. They really just think of everything- like providing mini marshmallows to put in your hot chocolate or coffee.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The New York Times says BBQ is So hot right now. (Thanks, Heather)

So How come I've only been to two places on their list?

According to them, "These were the best barbecue places in a sampling in and near New York City":

BIG W’S ROADSIDE BAR-B-Q 1475 Route 22, Wingdale, N.Y.; (845) 832-6200.

BLUE SMOKE 116 East 27th Street; (212) 447-7733.

DAISY MAY’S BBQ USA 623 11th Avenue (46th Street); (212) 977-1500.

DINOSAUR BAR-B-QUE 646 West 131st Street; (212) 694-1777.

MO GRIDDER’S BBQ 565 Hunts Point Avenue (Randall Avenue), Hunts Point, Bronx; (718) 991-3046.

PIES ’N’ THIGHS 351 Kent Avenue (South Fifth Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn; (347) 282-6005.

RANGER TEXAS BARBECUE at Legends, 71-04 35th Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens; (718) 803-8244.

R.U.B. 208 West 23rd Street; (212) 524-4300.

SMOKE JOINT 87 South Elliott Place (Fulton Street), Fort Greene, Brooklyn; (718) 797-1011. PETER MEEHAN

I've been to Smoke Joint and Dino. I must say, I'm disappointed they don't have Pioneer Bar-B-Q on the list since that's my (convenient) go-to option. Especially since I don't really find Smoke Joint to be all that spectacular (it's good, just not GREAT). Anyway, I think my new challenge will be to visit all the establishments on the list- who's with me?
Grilled Cheese (Holler, Kraft singles!)

& Tomato Soup...

The perfect meal on a cold winter's day...

I'm really into the Pacific Natural Foods Organic Creamy Tomato Soup that comes in a box. With a little cock sauce (Sriracha Hot red chili sauce), some salt and black pepper it's really tasty.

TV night was at my house this week. I'm still in the running to win the ANTM pool, but meanwhile, they seriously need to give Natasha and Sarah the boot. I'm sorry Natasha's a mail-order bride and all, but really she's clueless and Sarah's just boring as all get out.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

In case you've been wondering what liberty tastes like:

I never thought one day I’d be visiting a friend in prison, but life has a way of surprising you like that. Sure enough, Saturday morning found me on the Metro North with Stefan headed to the New York State Eastern Correctional Facility to “celebrate” our old roommate’s one-year anniversary in prison.

You should know that the prisoner in question is a good and smart guy- a smart guy who made some decidedly stupid decisions. He was born and raised in the Bronx and ran with a pretty rough crowd. I think he had done some dumb/”bad” things when he was younger, but by the time he was my roommate had really straightened out and was moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, he still had one foot in the old lifestyle, struggled with alcohol dependency, and, the real kicker, had a fondness for guns. None of these things were apparent the majority of the time I lived with him. He was a nice guy, totally respectful, didn’t drink that much and certainly had never mentioned anything about a gun. Toward the end of my/his time in the apartment his parents started having some troubles and he started drinking. This was the first time I saw his “other side.” When he drank he became a totally different person- he would become paranoid and dark- and I admit it was scary. However, that was only a few weeks before he moved out so it didn’t really effect my living situation and, again, 95% of the time he was a great guy.

Anyway, after that, we weren’t in touch very much- we only saw each other a few times a year at parties and I otherwise only heard what was going on with him through Stefan. It was Stefan who told me a year ago about his arrest. He had turned himself in after, drunk, he went to the Sprint store he worked to yell at his ex-girlfriend (who had cheated on him) and ended up shooting the wall with an unregistered gun. He in no way was trying to hurt anyone, he was just trying to be threatening, but he was convicted of illegal possession and received the minimum 3 year sentence. May it be noted that I in no way support a) having weapons in general b) having unregistered weapons c) shooting off guns in public places. However, it’s sad to know that someone you know as generally a great guy is sitting in a prison somewhere.

To get to the prison we had to take the train to Beacon and then drive another 45 minutes northwest. A long haul, but inconvenience is a pretty selfish excuse when your friend is in jail. I must say, I wasn’t mentally prepared at all for the visit. As soon as we got there I realized I hadn’t given much thought to the reality of visiting a friend in prison. It was rough.

The first place we went to was a big fortress-type building where we were told our friend was not located, so we were directed down the road to another facility. This new place was one of the most upsetting parts of the visit. We were certainly the only white people waiting in the freezing cold room, and most of the other people there had babies and/or small children. There was no corrections officer to be found and one only came in every twenty minutes to announce whose turn it was before immediately hiding away again so as to not answer any questions or take down new names. After an hour of waiting, we finally got to the window to find we were, yet again, in the wrong place. Our prisoner was in “The Annex”- but, luckily, that turned out to be a much friendlier place.
The actual visiting area was a large room with tables, vending machines, and board games for kids to play with. There was even a man who would take a Polaroid of a prisoner and their family to commemorate the visit. It was definitely hard to watch the other visitors interact with their imprisoned loved one. It was also bizarre to watch the prisoners go into the “Frisk Room” (labeled as such with a large sign) before leaving and realize what happened in there.

The actual visit with my roommate was good but slightly awkward. He seems to be very busy, teaching a GED class to other prisoners Monday through Friday and attending substance abuse classes at night. He has been lifting a lot of weights, so he’s definitely beefed up, but he says he hasn’t had any fights and has gotten along pretty well because he’s smart and generally keeps to himself. He’s currently in a special program for substance and/or spousal abusers that will last for a year. After that, he can apply for work release and will be up for his first parole hearing in October 2008. At that point hopefully he can get into a halfway house in NYC so he can be at least partially back into a “normal” lifestyle.

Overall, it was an eye-opening experience and I’m glad I went, though I wish I didn’t have a reason to.

Not exactly my usual light/fun blog material, but there you go.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

AND I was right.

Man, how was I to know from just a picture that Kathleen was as dumb as a pile of bricks?!

Good thing I have one more pick still in the running. The way this is going, Whitney will probably be eliminated next week. I just figured maybe Tyra would have a plus sized girl win since she's so "fat" these days...