Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Terrible Day

Of course it's not impressive that my last post about Katrina was only expressing selfish sadness about the impact that it had on my long weekend. It's terrible what it has wrought in New Orleans and Biloxi and I have ceased my flip comments about global warming and your tax dollars at work. In case anyone is monitoring what has been happening in New Orleans, there is interesting and grave commentary about Katrina's progress here and here (read through the comments, and ignore the dumb tangent on Malcolm Gladwell and the health care system in the US.)

Also, the news from Iraq seems to be exceptionally awful as well. I made one donation to the Red Cross, and am looking for good war relief effort organizations in Iraq.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I had to do a group project in my spanish class this time around and I have to admit that I resented it mightily. Towards the end of the semester, I completely lost it with one of my classmates, as it was gradually becoming clear that it was going to fall to me to spend several hours designing and laying out a newspaper type publication. My anxiety was somewhat heightened by the fact that our teacher suggested on two occasions that we disband and join the other groups. Fortunately, my vacation and the due date for the project dovetailed neatly and I had a couple uninterrupted hours of struggling with Microsoft Word and its table functions. This evening the group received this email from our hard ass spanish teacher. For those of you who don't read spanish, it's along the lines of we kicked ass.

"He leìdo la revista de ustedes y, què puedo decir, està excelente. Felicitaciones. Me ha gustado mucho. Tiene coherencia, todos los artículos van muy bien con el propòsito de la publicación. Creo que han hecho un muy muy buen trabajo. Hay detalles especìficos en el texto de cada uno, cosas pequeñas (de gramàtica y tambièn deregistro --coloquial/formal, localismos y cosas de ese tipo), pero el conjunto es sinceramente excelente, sencillo, sin pretenciones, coherente. Me sobran elogios."

Katrina and the Waves

So, I was buying sunscreen in the Duane Reade when my travelling companion called to tell me that her flight from Boston to Ft. Lauderdale was canceled and its likely that mine was too. Naturally, everything into Ft. Lauderdale is put off. I got booked onto a flight for tomorrow through Cincinnatti, but really I am not very optimistic.

It's sad. Very sad. Because I've been planning this visit with friends for two months.

We will see what tomorrow brings.


I've avoided blogging for a few days, more than a few actually. Last weekend I was in Georgia for the wedding reception of my childhood friend. That was nice in some ways, but sort of wierd in others. Its funny how much you think about people that you spent so much time with as a child on a daily basis. It's nice when those people reach out to the adult you and you get a chance to see how people have changed and remained the same. In the end though, its a wierd excercise, because all the reasons why you ended up not staying in touch are still there. After awhile you run out of things to talk about, the parents of your friends are still crazy, and they are not your parents after all, so how did you get here eating lunch with them?

Of interest is that as part of the wedding festivites, I went to the oldest open saloon in the United States in Fernandina Beach, Florida and a couple days later was absently watching IFC, which showed Sunshine State by John Sayles. Two scenes between Edie Falco and Timothy Hutton are filmed in this saloon, just across from where I was sitting, so that was an unexpected bonus.

This week I have been on vacation in New York, but today I am going to Miami for the weekend. Unfortunately, it is looking like there are going to be rain all weekend. It's uncommonly lovely here in the city and I am flying into the eye of a hurricane. Nice. The friend's who I am travelling with are despondant [Edited to say, despondant, I first said desolate], and I've responded to that with invariable cheerfulness and good-naturedness, which is in truth probably really irritating. Denial can be a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Two steps back

Goal weight: 135
Weigh in 7/23: 143.8
Weigh in 7/30: 143.8
Weigh in 8/6: 142.4

Weigh in 8/15: 143.8

143.8 seems to be my default these days. Nothing much to report except that planning and circumstances overwhelmed more for a great deal of last week. I had a couple exceptional days towards the end, but overall, I did go back to my starting weight. It's possible I could be retaining water, blah, blah blah. I did go jogging, and that is worth noting.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Operation Rescue?

Good post on why NARAL would have been justified in not pulling their anti-Roberts ad. Myself, I personally can't see why this is any different from Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and if the right can play dirty and speak in half-truths, then why can't the left?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tripped Up

Salsa workout class at the Y went terribly last night. We were doing all this work on isolating the hips and the torso. I started out great, and my hips were swinging back and forth like everyone else's in coordination with my knees, but I have been experimenting with jazz shoes for dancing (I looked for a picture of the shoes I bought, but haven't found them yet) and my foot started getting really sore. By the end, I could barely keep up with what we were doing. I made up for it by swimming laps for twenty minutes or so after, thinking that a two-activity workout is greater than the sum of its parts. It did actually make me feel like a little bit of a bad-ass and afterwards I ran into one of the students in the class who very kindly said that I was doing fine.

Whenever I get into a situation like this, where I can't keep up with what people around me are doing, I get transported back to eighth grade gym class, when my survival instinct told me to check out of whatever was going on. There are lots of uncomfortable memories of this, running up to hurdles and stopping and walking over them, walking the cross country course because I got tired, the tumbling unit where we had to do cartwheels in front of everyone, and I just physically could not propel myself over myself on my hands. I don't want to wax too melodramatic over something as hackneyed and clicheed as eighth grade gym, but I think its important to remind myself that I am trying to go about responding to disappointment and frustration differently, by meeting challenges with open arms, rather than throwing in the towel and going home.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Summer bug

I went and saw this movie, Junebug, over the weekend. It's funny and sad and gets the at the details of life in North Carolina with remarkable accuracy.

Baby steps

Goal weight: 135

Weigh in 7/23: 143.8

Weigh in 7/30: 143.8

Weigh in 8/6: 142.4

Progress may have been somewhat undone by big starchy breakfast and a steady stream of snacking yesterday. Today I am trying to get back into my routine.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Toughest Job

Yikes. Starting in 2007, American servicepeople will be able to apply to the Peace Corps as one option for completing their service. Via my friend Michael.

Serious Film

I am going to see this film tonight. It's supposed to be very good and very upsetting.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Soap Opera Digest

WARNING: Spoiler Alert! If you watch Six Feet Under and have not yet seen this weeks episode, close your browser now. I'm about to give this week's episode away, and it's a big one.

I thought they handled Nate's death in an interesting way, both the circumstance leading up to it and the actual consciousness of death in which he runs into ocean, with his brother and his father watching him. I especially thought it was clever the fact that they presaged it by making him into even more of a dick than he normally is. When he told Brenda he was leaving her, I literally thought to myself, "god, he deserves to die." There is a very satisfying tension to having him fall in love with a Quaker and be so taken by her peace and goodness, that he initiates and series of terribly destructive choices that would have in the end proved disastrous for him and his family. He thinks he is moving forward, never realizing he is continuing in his same self centered pattern of always wanting something different than what he has. When he was with Brenda, he wanted out, when he was with Lisa, he wanted Brenda. When Brenda fell in love with the cute french horn player, he insinuated himself back into her life and then after they get married, he wanted Maggie. I really think the whole last season is about us getting to watch all of those characters continue to make the same mistakes over again, or repeat the mistakes of their parents. This is with the exception of Claire, who has improved markedly after getting away from her art school buddies. As I am writing this, I am realizing there is probably a bit of double entendre in the last conversation between Nate and Brenda. He didn't say he was leaving her for Maggie, he just said he didn't want to continue, so perhaps he knew on some level that he was going to go. I guess one of them had to die after all, since the show seems to be all about the never ending presence of death in life.

Any other Six Feet Under fans? Discuss.

Monday, August 01, 2005

No progress

No change today at ww. I don't want to talk about it.

Goal weight: 135
Weigh in 7/23: 143.8
Weigh in 7/30: 143.8

Grass is Greener

It's nice at 11:15 on a Monday morning in August when you are at work and your work colleague calls you from her vacation, where she is already in a limo with a martini in her hand.

Limo. Martini. Whatever. I'm going back to work.