Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A good deed

Today I got cash at the Whole Foods in Union Square and shoved it in my pocket, sat in front of the park and ate my sandwich with a friend, and got on the six train and went to spanish class. I am always late for spanish class and today was no exception, and I hate being late to it, so I was running madly across 42nd street. I had just reached the building when some tapped me on the shoulder and handed me the $40 and the cash receipt I had put in my pocket. I was too astonished to even offer him part of the money, which would have been a nice gesture. I guess maybe I had some good kharma coming back to me today.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Off the Hook

It's really beautiful outside. It's too beautiful, as in you must be outside or it means you are wasting your day. I made the perfect cup of coffee this morning and then I went for a forty minute run, and then a thirty minute walk and then did crunches and stretches in the grass. Forty minute runs are a big accomplishment for me because I am often not quite in good enough shape to keep going for that long, but also because my left foot sometimes starts radiating pain just below my toes on minute 25 or so. I've got a good pair of shoes, and my foot cooperated right up until the end of the run. But when I put some weight on it during a stretch, I couldn't do it. I'm now icing it, which always seems to help, but I think this means I can forego salsa class. It can wait until Monday.

I have blogged about it before, but Achtung Baby is a good workout album as well as a good post break-up meditation, and it treated me well this morning. I keep wondering when the post-break up period is going to come to an close. It might be that it will happen just the second I fall in love with someone else. Or it could be that even though I know we were ill-fated and very unlikely to be happy together, there was a special and unique connection between us unlike any other in the world and when that comes to an end it requires a respectable mourning period. (For him of course, he brought a clanging shut to the mourning perhaps four to six weeks after with the inauguration of a new relationship. I'm not bitter, exactly, just curious as how he could let go of the bittersweetness so quickly.) So the question for me is, what is the mourning period? How long does it last?

Work and play

It's a long holiday weekend and I am trying to get myself together to do a big cleaning. Also a big run. (A big run for me, that is.) Also, I screwed myself on the holiday part of things because two weeks ago, I insisted that I must do x, y, z in the office and got myself reprimanded for I don't know what exactly, stepping on someone's toes, stepping out of my role, some silliness like that. It came down to power and ego. But now the deadline is Tuesday for this thing I said I must be allowed to do before we do y or z. So Monday when everyone is grilling tofu pups on their fire escapes, I will be writing a memorandum.

Another option for the day is a salsa class. But it's with a teacher I don't know. It's scary. Maybe I will drag myself down there anyhow.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I can't remember if we said goodbye

Big Bad Love was on IFC tonight. It's cool. A little odd. There is a scene where a state trooper and someone getting a ticket do an impromtu tango, and lot's of other good music, including Steve Earle and Tom Waits. So I enjoyed it. I was too tired to go to salsa workout tonight. I went home and ordered sushi. But I went for a little jog, so that is worth something. It takes exactly fifteen minutes to run to the foot of the hill that the Cloisters is on, and exactly fifteen minutes to run back. So that is what I did.

John Stewart is in reruns AGAIN this week, so I don't know what to do with myself in the critical hour when midnight approaches. I did call my father and read him the AP story about the narrowly avoided legislative showdown, which for the life of me I cannot see why I should think it is a good thing. (He did, naturally.)

Monday, May 23, 2005

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

I know Wilco made a silly and arrogant documentary about the making of it, and it's been touted from east to west as the best thing as sliced bread until everyone is totally tired of it, but Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is really good to listen to when you are feeling blue.

What was I thinking when I said it didn't hurt?

Some noise and then some quiet

Saturday around noon I took the subway downtown and was entertained by this baseball team from Washington Heights that was enthralled with this Italian woman who was on the train. They all got on at 168th street and I heard one of the men ask her something in Spanish. When she told him she didn't speak Spanish, she was from Italy, their ears all kind of perked up and they all started asking her questions. What followed was like a talent show. Between 145th and 59th they literally took turns dancing and rapping to impress her. She was staying with friends in Washington Heights, she explained and she made the error of saying she didn't like the men in that neighborhood, she like didn't like Dominicans, with a little wrinkle of her nose. That provoked a series of guffaws and hoots, and pleas from the guys in the group that were Dominican.

They were charmed by her, I was charmed by them being charmed by her. I couldn't tell if she liked the attention or was actually a little overwhelmed by it. That kind of thing all the time would be tiresome, I imagine.

The rest of the weekend was quiet. I did have some communication with my ex, which frankly was just very sad all the way around. I go for weeks at a time where I am totally resolved and know its for the best and then suddenly out of no where, I can't stand the fact that I can't talk with him. (But I really can't talk with him now, that would be a disaster.) I had no idea it would be this hard to let go of someone. Even with the full acknowledgement of everyone involved that there isn't any way that it would work out.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Rich Text File

The problem with dating is the fact that it usually involved break-ups. And the thing about break-ups is that they continue to suck for months and months after the fact. So after weeks of circumspection and feeling better and knowing in your heart it is all for the best, you suddenly realize you are still raw and hurting and miss talking to the person more than you possibly could have imagined. And you really can't call them up and talk to them, and you know from experience that emailing is also something of an excercise in torture. Smart people would leave well enough alone and wait for the feeling to pass. But I am not a smart person. Living in modern times, I experimented with text messaging my ex last night. I probably shouldn't read too much into the eight word answer I got back, but it seemed to speak volumes about the degree to which he was moving on, and was preoccupied with new issues and problems, and not necessarily all that interested in hearing from me. I mean, it's natural for people to feel that way, but its still somewhat jarring. So the question is, is communicating with one's ex via one's blog also sort of a bad idea? Discuss.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Home again

D.C. was apparently not worthy of comment, since I didn't see any reason to blog at all for five days. I finished my second conference and got back to work and plunged into all the other things I have to do. I taught an English class last night which was fun. Although I did all these drills where everyone said, "I am wearing red shoes. You are wearing red shoes. She is wearing red shoes." And so on. I was starting to hate myself for putting these nice people through this excercise.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Here today, gone tomorrow

I left New Orleans after visting a graveyard and walking around the Garden District. I had lunch in this old timey diner near my hotel. Now I am in DC for another meeting, which of course starts at 8 am tomorrow on a Sunday. I need to find a profession that allows me to go to meetings that start at 10 am.

Updated to add: I can't complain. This trip has really been super low stress and its fun to visit places and stay in hotels you could never afford if you were on your own dime.


I am down to my last few hours in New Orleans, and I am perched at the little cyber area in the exhibition hall, so I will make this quick. Last night I went to Napolean house and pretended to read Como Agua Para Chocolate in Spanish in the little courtyard. I descended further into gratuitous touristica when I went to Cafe du Monde and at three (count them three) beignets. I was on the phone with a friend of mine who was horrified by the possibility that I might return to my hotel room at a decent hour, and wanted to me get in a cab and go to some bar that might be called Rubyfoo or might be called Rubyfruit Jungle in the West End or "no, wait," he said "it is West Town." I did in fact call information but only found Ruby Tuesdays. I didn't want to wander to far afield and end up on my own, looking for a bar and coming up with nothing. So I stayed in the French Quarter. I went to hear some jazz in the Palm Court Cafe, which was very entertaining, they had Dixieland jazz and this gospel singer, who even sang some Hank Williams. Most of the people in the bar seemed to be locals and perhaps even regulars. There was this one woman who was particulary fun to watch because although she was likely around 73, she was dressed in this seafoam green dress and strappy high heeled red sandals. She was totally drunk and sort of weaved and bobbed around the restuarant, pulling the busboys and dishwashers out of the kitchen to dance with her. I met this nice woman, about my age, who talked to me about the weather in August and French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest.

After the jazz place closed, I was heading down Decatur towards to hotel at a pretty close to decent hour and kept peering in little places to see if they might be worth going for a drink at. But I was getting sleeping and the fun of sitting by myself in a bar, looking expectantly for someone to talk with had exhausted itself for me, so I mosied on home. I was entertained all the way by the string of goth kids dressed in black leather bustiers and mesh, with big chunky boots that were obviously all headed for the same night club.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

And the walls come tumbling, tumbling

The wall separating the cliff I live above and the highway that runs along the Hudson River just fell this afternoon. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I am in the Louisiana. It is pretty disturbing to get a little query from my friend Jill saying, did you see this? From what I can tell they evacuated a building close to mine, but not mine.

Crescent City

Yesterday I alternated between singing Moon Over Bourbon St by Sting and some song I don't know the name of by Lucinda Williams about Lake Pontchartrain. I eventually did finally make it out of the hotel and I road the street car on the St. Charles line out to a local hang out called Delachaise (?)that was on the way to Tippetina's, which is a bar that Tom Waite's talks about in Down by Law. Along the way I ascertained that Tippetina's does not open til 10 pm and given the fact that I had been up since six, after killing a couple hours in a bar with the tourist magazine from the hotel and then the New Yorker I hung it up and went back to the hotel. But I had a good andouille pizza sausage pizza and some excellently drawn Hoegaarden.

I haven't seen much of the city, but the fact that the city relies overwhelmingly on tourism for its industry seems to have a big impact on how everyone interacts with you. The cab driver coming in from the aiport asked me where I was from and when I said I was from New York, he said, "Oh you are from the United States! This is not the United States, this is hell. It is a great place to visit and an awful place to live." He was an electric engineer in his own country, but works as a cabdriver here, and said that in the summer there is no one here and no work because it is so hot. It is true right now that there are tourists everywhere you go and there isn't even a big thing going on.

The best thing about being here after spending the last two months in New York, is that when you walk outside, it's warm. When you walk inside it feels pretty much like it did in New York, its not even 80 F and the air conditioning in on full steam. But it's just lovely to be able to walk around without a jacket.

"Go on back to Greenville...just go on back to Greenville..."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I wish I was in New Orleans

It's embarrasing, I am here in New Orleans for work, and I have only spent 25 minutes outside of the hotel. I am have been working like a dog, but am now going to explore the French Quarter. Work has been super wacky and not in a good way, so I suppose its to be expected, but now I am going out to eat some dinner.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


It's 11 pm and I am just getting started with packing for a business trip tomorrow. Lot's of craziness at work, now I am off to back to back conferences for the next week. It's a little daunting, packing for a week.


Lunch today did not go the way I had planned. My first mistake was grocery shopping in Whole Foods last night. I felt like such a shameless yuppie filling my little basket with overpriced prepared foods. Then this morning I realized that I am about to go out of town tomorrow and that I have to eat all this overpriced food I just bought. That seemed easy enough since I have both lunch and dinner out of the house to plan for. I made a sandwich and a salad, but accidently dumped a tablespoon of sea salt onto the lettuce. The sandwich I made went to the homeless man on the corner, who I always try to turn down, but apparently cannot avoid giving food to. I just ate my salad and the little packaged quesadilla that I brought for dinner and the inside of my mouth feels like I went swimming in Atlantic Ocean.

I'm ending sentences left and right with prepositions. It's something I should really be ashamed for.

Monday, May 09, 2005


I woke up sometime between four and five am and tossed and turned for an hour before giving up and getting out of bed. I'm writing in my blog, and counting calories, and matching my socks, but am now starting to get super sleepy. Technically the alarms doesn't go off for an hour and ten minutes more so maybe I can get more shut-eye. Insomnia sucks.

Low Rider

Yesterday I went shopping with an old friend who wanted a pair of low-riding jeans that would make her ass look round. We went to one of those stores on Broadway near Houston with walls of Levi's down one side and walls of Calvin Klein down the other. The young women that helped us were hellbent on finding the right pair of jeans for her and had an encyclopedic knowledge of the different styles, lenghts and brands in the store. My friend is always one to dress up a bit and on this particular Sunday afternoon, she was wearing sparkly stockings, knee high boots, and this short skirt. The first pair of jeans that she tried on looked unremarkable but fine. The girl in the back noticed she didn't like them, and said, "Why are you trying on those, those are too high-waisted for you." When my friend agreed that they weren't what she was looking for, the girl looked both of us over and agreed, "yeah those are the kind of jean you [meaning me] might wear, but not her." When I raised my eyebrows, trying to figure out whether I had just been insulted or not, she quickly said, "I mean, no offense." I suppose I could have been concerned about the implications of my wardobe, but I was soon distracted by the two women's conversation about exactly which part of my friend's ass looked flat on the second pair of jeans she tried on.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Saturday afternoon at the movies

This afternoon, I saw The Holy Girl at Lincoln Plaza. It's cool movie, a little bit unsettling, but not full blown disturbing. There is a lot about sex and religion and adolescence and its all filmed in an old-fashioned resort in Argentina, which serves as the backdrop to the story. It keeps you thinking about the people in the movie and their problems.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Something else to look forward to...

Stephen Colbert, (who once asked my boss during a Daily Show spot how many Nobel Prizes he has) is getting his own show to follow the Daily Show.

This is very exciting for me. I organize my late evening around Jon Stewart and Co.

Says Colbert: "We're going to deal with truth on my program," Mr. Colbert said. "We're going to catch the world in the headlights of my justice."

Via Julie Saltman.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Events Planning

Twice a year, in my job, I am responsible for putting together a meeting for a group of creative and humble people that receive money or have received money to do interesting and important things. I'm lucky to have responsibility and trust and somewhat free reign in how these meetings happen. I have a relatively generous budget to do this and a staff person devoted to helping me make everything happen the way we would like it to. I like these people and enjoy seeing them and derive a great deal of gratification from producing an event that is helpful and interesting. It's the best possible circumstance under which to have such a role.

These meetings, however, make me a tad bit insane. I am somewhat of a mess the day before and the day after. I obsess about the finer details of the conversation, the catering, the quality of the moderator, you name it. After all is said and done, I often find myself in the most inconvenient places in a puddle of my own tears. I once broke down in the middle of a party, in fact it was a salsa/tango themed holiday event at the United Nations . My boyfriend at the time whisked me out there and onto a bus heading towards home and very helpfully pointed out that it could be worse. I could work at the sporting goods store that we were driving past.

That is all to say that this is one of those weeks where I have this particular meeting that is crazy making. And I am starting to feel the crunch.


After my little victory on Sunday at the dance studio, I suffered a smack-down. Last night, I was back at the Salsa Workout Class at the Y, where we did some samba. Usually half way through the class we all go to the side of the classroom and dance forward across the floor, in some combination. I hate this part, because its harder to follow the teacher and it's too easy to bump into someone. It is visually arresting to see ourselves in the mirror when we all get it sort of right, this crowd of students dancing behind our teacher a la Fame. The smack-down came when had to do this particular samba step that was totally complicated. I couldn't do it, I couldn't even pretend to do it. I could sort of struggle through some of the other parts with some flailing arm motions that approximated what my teacher was doing, but this one step I just gave up on. The, later in the class when we went back to salsa, there was another little step that involved a hip roll, which also seems to be beyond me. I hate how ill-coordinated my body it. I just hate it. Also, I got a haircut which I'm not too fond of. It's that kind of week.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Another Sunday night at home

Today I went to church, which was good. It's hard to say that without kind of wincing, because I feel like it communicates this whole set of messages about the way I might think and what my priorities might be that are just incorrect. Saying, "today I went to church" rings of mom, dad, and the kids dressed in Sunday best shaking the pastors hand, singing hymns, reading the Bible and generally thinking about being the upstanding members of the community. And that's not what I'm about at all. But I won't belabor this point any longer. I did go to church. I had a hangover and I slipped out early to get to my salsa class, but I went, and I felt better for it.

What was really cool about today was the salsa class. Because nobody showed up. It was just me and the teacher, so I got to practice dancing with a partner for a full forty minutes. I made lots of mistakes and I have to give him credit for being tirelessly patient. I would get something right, and then get it wrong again a moment later, but I did get some things right, some of the time. And it was fun. It was really really fun, dancing around the studio.