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January 2004

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01.28.2004 - - - 5:00 PM
The snow hit, and it hit before I got home yesterday, damn it. When I got on the subway, not a flake was in sight. When I emerged about 15 minutes later, it was a freaking storm. I swear, seriously half an inch had fallen in those 15 minutes. I was not happy to be walking home in that mess. It was coming down HARD, and the flakes were HUGE. When it snows like that, I get nervous crossing the streets. The visibility is bad for everyone, cars and pedestrians alike. I'm always worried that some car will skid on the ice and plow into all of us crossing the street. By the time I made it home, I was COVERED in snow. It had made its way down my coat, into my pockets, and soaked the bottom of my pants. Damn you, Al and Chris! You said it wouldn't snow until later! I was unprepared and I was pissed.

When I got home last night I turned on the news to see if Chris was on apologizing about the early arrival of the storm. Instead, I was greeted with the newscasters announcing that all public and parochial schools were going to be cancelled for today. Awesome! That had to bode well for me. First, my company has an emergency number to call whenever something like bad weather or disaster happens. I figured I would call the number in the morning and it would say that work was cancelled. It had happened before! And second, since I live across the street from a school, that meant there would be no kids screaming in the morning while I tried to get my last bits of sleep. If I got to sleep in without school...oh, that would be sweet. As I was getting ready for bed, I called the number just in case the powers that be had already decided to cancel work. Why wake up early if I didn't have to? The message said, "All North American Offices are operating under normal conditions. This message will be updated should any changes occur." Obviously they hadn't changed the message. I went to bed and I seriously had dreams about what I would do with my snow day. I think in my sleep I invented lots of different drinks that involved snow. When my alarm went off, instead of hitting snooze I hit redial on my phone. Same message. Then I was at a crossroads. Should I get up and get ready or go back to sleep, confident that work would be cancelled? I got up, mostly because I had to pee, and I looked out the window at TONS of snow. I was certain work would be cancelled, but I figured I would get ready anyway so I could get an early start on the day. Periodically during my preparations I would call the number. Just before nine a.m. I called one last time and got the same message. Damn my company not canceling work! And, because a lot of people here are lazy, they used the snow as an excuse for not being able to come into work. So, it's a ghost town around here. I was here early, damn it! Give me my credit.

In other news, last night I made cookies. I made the frosting a couple of days ago, and I've been eating so much of it that I thought, hmmm...maybe I should make the cookies that go with this. So I did. It was a sort of dress rehearsal with these cookies because I'd never made them before, and I wanted to make sure I was any good at them before I made them in a couple of weeks for The Boyfriend. Despite my lack of cookie sheets, a rolling board, and a cooling rack, they actually came out very well. I brought in some to work today and I got lots of compliments. Yay! I was happy. It was my little treat to all the people who braved the snow.

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01.27.2004 - - - 4:36 PM
We here in the Tri-State area are preparing for a little thing called a "Nor'easter." A Nor'easter is a bad ass, Samuel Jackson style storm that kicks your ass and steals your woman. I think it's an NBC thing, though, to have those ridiculous storm watches. I love watching the news when I'm getting ready in the morning, the newscasters here freak out just like in LA. But, unlike in Los Angeles, when the weatherman says it's going to snow or rain, it does. In LA, it's about 50/50. I'll get mad at Chris Cimino and Al Roker, though, if the snow hits before I get home. I was assured by Chris and Al that the storm would not hit until tonight, so I selected a pair of shoes and a coat accordingly. If it starts snowing before then, I'm going to have a hell of a time getting home. Not to mention the lack of a hood my coat has, which is somewhat necessary in the snow.

When I was looking up the correct spelling of "nor'easter," which I now realize I have been distracted from, I discovered a fun new internet toy! Sort of like those desktop pets, but with a point. It's a Weather Bug. It's pretty cool. It keeps the temperature for my zip code in the lower right hand corner of my desktop, near the clock, and when there is a weather alert, it chirps! I like things that chirp. Currently, it is a sweaty 24 degrees outside.

For lunch today, some of the finance people and recording admins and I went to a Mexican food restaurant down the street. One of the recording admins is from So Cal as well, so we were skeptical about how good the food would be. Well, it was better than we expected, but it still wasn't anything special. Oh, how I miss California-style Mexican food! I know there is a more specific term for it, but I can't remember...my dad will have to remind me. However, just because it wasn't the greatest food doesn't mean I didn't eat a good portion of it. And now, my stomach is not happy with me. I feel soooooo full, in a bad way. Remember when I said I was going to eat well for my trip to Miami? Well, no, you wouldn't, because I only said it to myself and I don't think I've mentioned that here yet. I'm going to Miami in March for a conference. There. And I said I was going to eat healthy because, HELLO, bathing suit! Well, I guess I've thrown that out the window.

Oh! My weather bug just chirped! It's soothing, like a cricket. Let's see what my alert is...ah, crashes involving snowplows have claimed the lives of three people within a few hours of each other. That is something I don't believe I have ever read in my life. Ah, also, Mayor Bloomberg is considering canceling school tomorrow. No fair! If the kids get the day off, I want the day off! Stupid kids. Wow, I just read that the city assigned more than 2,000 sanitation personnel to report for the 7 p.m. shift. That's a lot of people. You see children, the garbage men often drive the snow plows and help with the salt. It's multi-tasking at its finest! Hmmm... "Bloomberg said a lot of salt remains on the streets from earlier storms. The city has used 250,000 tons of salt so far this season, but still has 120,000 tons available." Holy shit! That is a lot of salt! I can't believe they've already gone through that much. They'd better get more.

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01.22.Monkey 3:30 PM
Happy Chinese New Year! It's the year of the Monkey. My friend Al and I were joking that we were going to date all of our paperwork today 1.22.Monkey. I have on a couple things that weren't important, but when I got to writing checks for my bills, I reverted back to 2004. I like writing Monkey, though. According to the horoscopes, if you are born under the Monkey sign, you are charming, energetic, and the original party animal! Wow. That's a good sign. My sign is the Goat, which makes me creative, esoteric, and a lavish gift-giver. Um, okay. Well, I would say that's mostly true...not esoteric, but the other things. I love giving gifts. And, my most compatible signs are the Pig and the Rabbit. Guess who's a rabbit? The Boyfriend! Damn psychic Chinese peeps. Where are my red envelopes? I want to go to China Town this weekend for the parade, hopefully I can find someone to go with me. In honor of the Year of the Monkey, I am posting another picture of my sock monkey, the Dread Pirate Mills. Isn't he tough?

Today I have been nursing an upper back/shoulder/neck ache that has been threatening to turn into a full-fledged headache. Last night I had one of those experiences where it doesn't matter how you lay in bed, you just can't get comfortable. I'm sure that has everything to do with my achy-ness today, but it doesn't make me feel any better. Plus, being stressed about stuff doesn't really help. I've been stressing about money more than usual lately, probably because I finally sat down the other day and made a budget. It's a little scary when you look at your money like that. I've started looking at Craig's list for random jobs, but since so many people apply for those, I'm not holding my breath. Damn moving expenses and moving to a new city and not getting paid a million dollars like I should be. I'm going to have to think of something, though.

Yesterday I managed to wake up on time, so I was able to take my time getting ready. I actually pulled out the curling iron and put a little bounce in my hair. It wasn't anything special, but based on the reaction I got from people at work, you would think that my hair normally looks like crap! I seriously had ten different people comment on or ask me about my hair. Jeez, people! What's wrong with wearing it straight? Just wait until the summer when I can come in with wet hair. The days I dry it everyone will probably fall all over themselves. Weirdos.

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01.20.2004 - - - 5:57 PM
Has anyone noticed that my posts out here are much later in the day than when I was in California? There IS a reason for this. Here, in NYC, everyone comes into work later. It is common to go over to someone's office at 11 to find that she hasn't come in yet. Because of this strange phenomenon of late arrivals, later departures are the norm. I started out the job by coming in at 9:30 and leaving at 5:30. I quickly learned that, even though I'd been at work a full hour and a half longer than everyone else, leaving at 5:30 was not cool. Most people left at 7. SEVEN OH FREAKING CLOCK! I hate this. Granted, I'm not rushing home to meet anyone, so it's not really all that much of a problem. It just makes my awake time at home shorter and more precious. I love my awake-at-home time.

More freezing temperatures here in the East. I'm done really complaining about it, because it seems that the more I complain, the more bad weather comes. I will say, though, that there is nothing worse than sleet. It's just ick. Today on my lunch break I took a quick jaunt up to 67th street so I could place an order at Pottery Barn. As I walked back to the office, I delighted in one of my favorite cold-weather activities: Kid Watching. I love watching little kids when they're all dressed for the cold weather! They are so cute. I saw so many today, I guess I was out during prime child-walking hours. It cracks me up to see these tiny people wearing so much gear that they can't even put their arms down! Most of the kids seem totally oblivious to the cold and are running around as if it were 80 degrees outside. But then, every once and a while, you'll see a kid in a stroller with the most miserable expression and it just breaks your heart. I always want to bend down and say, "it's okay, I'm cold, too." It's like when you see small dogs shivering in the cold. It just ain't right!

I hate the Tuesday after a long weekend. It is so hard to get back into the swing of things, and your internal clock is totally thrown for a loop. Is it Monday? Is it Thursday? I'm all out of wack. I have been craving a grilled cheese sandwich like it's my only chance for survival. That's weird! I don't normally crave grilled cheese. I blame the three day weekend. The other weird thing is that no one in my office seems to know where I can get said grilled cheese sandwich. Doesn't that seem a little odd to you? This is freaking New York City, how does no one know where I can get a heart attack sandwich? Unacceptable.

I'm so glad American Idol is back! My TV nights are so happily full. I love being able to come back to my apartment knowing that I have something to do. When I don't have something to do, I usually go buy something and construct it. Take, for example, this shelf thing. I needed it, of course. But I went and got it during my lunch break last week and had it delivered later that day. I didn't need it right away, per say, but I needed something to do that night! I was pleased with my handiwork. Note on the top of the shelf is my Sock Monkey, the Dread Pirate Mills. He has a peg leg, and he's not afraid to use it. He keeps everything in the kitchen in line. Don't mess!!!

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01.16.2004 - - - 5:33 PM
I am happy to report that I am not being a wussy Californian. These are RECORD cold temperatures out here, people! I've had numerous people come up to me and say, "I've lived here for x amount of years, and it's NEVER been this cold!" or "You picked a great winter to move here!" I get the feeling that anytime the weather is crazy, be it freezing or humid, everyone is going to come over to talk to the Cali girl to see what she thinks. Well, as long as people are talking to me!

I have a confession. I bought an iPod. And I LOVE it. It is the freaking coolest thing on the planet. Every night I go home and rip CDs and load them into my wonderful little jukebox. Before my iPod, I was lugging 6 CDs with me to work, along with a CD disc man, and it sucked. The CD player would skip every time my bus hit a bump or the subway went over rough track. My iPod never skips. It never stops playing my sweet, sweet music, unless I want it to. I listen to it on the way to work, then plug it into my stereo at my desk. It's on random, so I will go from Rufus Wainwright to Fleetwood Mac to Blink-182 to Monster Ballads. I am telling you, an iPod is worth the investment. Especially if you have a Best Buy card and you can get no-interest financing! God bless it.

It's a long weekend. I don't understand you crazy people who have to work on Monday. My brother K has to work on Monday, and that's just silly. Embrace Martin Luther King, Jr! I'm trying to figure out what to do with myself this weekend. A lot of the people I know out here are going out of town, so it will be a bit lonely. It will be freaking cold, though, so maybe I'll just kick it in the apartment with my iPod. Oh...that sounds sad. I'll find something to do! I know I'll go watch football on Sunday. Things will shake out, I know it.

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01.13.2004 - - - 5:22
Just when I thought I had a handle on the weather, it got ugly. Last week when I got back from California, it was about 50 degrees outside. Not exactly warm, but when you realize that when I left New York for Christmas it was 30 degrees, and when I left California it was 40 degrees, so this was a change for the better. I even went out my first night back with only a cardigan on! I knew it was a fluke, but I just didn't expect what was to come.

On Monday of last week, I went to work wearing a long sleeved fitted t-shirt and a coat. No hat, no scarf, no gloves. And I was fine! I couldn't believe it. I bragged to some of the people at work about how well I was adjusting. I talked about how when I was back in California, it was unseasonably cold, so I never had a chance to thaw out. While everyone seemed appreciative of my efforts, they all had a little smile. Each person was quick to point out, "Just wait, you haven't seen anything yet." I didn't think anything could be worse than the blizzard I endured my first week here, so I just rolled my eyes at them all.

As the week went on, though, the weather got progressively colder. Still, I didn't think it was too bad. I wore the comfy new scarf that T and Gi Gi gave me, and I was sure to zip up my coat and wear a hat and gloves. Then, on Friday, it hit: the wind. Now, I don't know about you, but the closest I had ever been to a wind chill before this weekend was a slight breeze when I was laying on the beach. This wind smacked you in the face. This wind knocked the air out of your lungs. This wind chilled you to the bone, mocking your jacket. It didn't care how many layers you had on. The wind was Kryptonite, and everyone was Superman. On Saturday morning, I had on six layers and I was still so cold I wanted to die. When I woke up on Saturday, the temperature was zero. Zero degrees. And that WASN'T COUNTING THE WIND CHILL! Just awful, and it was like that all weekend.

I also heard something that I didn't know was possible: there is such a thing as too cold to snow. Who knew? Not this California girl. I don't like the snow when I am going to and from work, but I don't mind it the rest of the time. Yet today, I was crossing my fingers, hoping that the snow would come. This is because when there is snow, there is a cloud cover, and clouds keep in warmth! Luckily, snow came early Monday morning, so yesterday and today it has been back to a reasonable 35-40 degrees. Until tomorrow, when the vicious chilling cycle starts again. It's going to be a long winter.

I totally forgot to mention that my friend Bri got engaged over the holidays! We had a pre-arranged lunch date for two days after Christmas, so when the time came we met at a nice little cafe near where our parents live. It had taken me a few minutes to find parking, so I was flustered when I ran in and met Bri. We moved to get in line, and she said, "I have to show you something." As I started to ask her what, she stuck out her left hand to show me the most gorgeous emerald cut ring! I opened my mouth to scream, caught it, and squealed while I jumped onto her. I still can't believe she's engaged! I am so happy. It seriously made my vacation. I love her and Derek, her fiancé (oh man, she has a FIANCE!), and I just couldn't be happier. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I have to say, all of my friends who are married or engaged have the best person they could possibly be with, and I am so lucky to be able to witness the dating through the weddings (although, it does make me realize how far away I am...again). We are all so fortunate and blessed.

The cold is doing crazy things to me. Did I just say "blessed?" I'd better go get a Hot Toddy and put an end to that madness.

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01.05.2004 - - - 6:33 PM
Wow, that is the first time I have written 2004. Happy New Year, everyone! I am back in New York after a fabulous week and a half in California. I wish I could have been there longer, but New York City really goes to pot when I'm not around. It needs me. I hope everyone had a very nice holiday, whatever it may be. I personally feel that I should celebrate all of them...maybe then I would get more time off. Not that I'm complaining, because I know a lot of people who didn't get a week and a half off like I did. I just always want more, because I'm spoiled.

So, of course I did a ton of stuff. Let me list it out right now so I don't forget anything.
- had a good Mexican food meal with the family on Christmas Eve.
- stayed awake for 23 hours after arriving in California in an attempt to beat jet lag. Instead, I just drove mine and T's family crazy.
- spent a great Christmas with my family...until I got a little too drunk. Who does that on Christmas? Oh, I do!
- watched the first round of World Idol...also drunk, but I remember the good parts.
- saw "Love Actually" and liked it a lot.
- hung out with my cousin, Princess Leah, and asked her nicely to not show anyone the tape she made of me when I was drunk.
- gave D Wop her birthday present but never gave Hardcore hers despite the fact I carried it with me everywhere for a week.
- spent seven straight days with The Boyfriend
- had a fun night out with Bells and her B Fri eating pizza and drinking beer.
- ate yummy sushi with The Boyfriend and some friends.
- watched "28 Days Later" and got freaked out, forbidding The Boyfriend from making Zombie noises.
- finally had a Baja Chicken Burrito...oh, how I missed them.
- went to a nice dinner on New Year's Eve with The Boyfriend, Matty, Les, Woodsy, Chris, Robs, and Pinky.
- Rang in 2004 playing "Boxers or Briefs," answering questions like, "Osama or Saddam?" and "Lose an arm or lose a leg?"
- got up a few hours after I went to bed to miss Rose Parade traffic.
- walked MILES to see the Rose Parade.
- tailgated outside the Rose Bowl, and had the most painful bathroom line experience of my life.
- watched USC dismantle Michigan to win the Rose Bowl and the National Championship.
- Spent my last day in Cali running errands, watched The Boyfriend deal with a police officer, went to my last good Mexican meal with my parents & TB, had dessert with T, Gi Gi, E & The Boyfriend, and packed my suitcases while watching the DVD that comes with the "Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog" CD.
- Met up with an old high school friend on her last night of vacation in New York City, and we stayed out all night causing trouble.

Not a bad break, no? I could have done tons more, but I just didn't have enough time. I also got in some good lounging and sleeping time, but I could have used more! Who can't, really? My only complaint was the weather. It was warmer in New York when I was in So Cal. No fair! And now that I'm back in NYC, it's raining, and there is a lovely promise of 20 degree HIGHS for the end of the week. See what I said about New York going to pot? It's gonna meet the business end of my fist if it gets any colder.

So, 2003 was a pretty damn good year, but I think 2004 is going to be better, and that's even considering that I live far away from everyone. My, what a positive outlook I have, and I haven't even been drinking. I think I have the Baby New Year spirit or something.

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