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June 2004

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06.25.2004 - - - 12:49 PM
My mom was instant messaging me yesterday, and she brought up the AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs list. She made me guess what the number one song was, and after wrongly guessing "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic (it was #14), I got "Over the Rainbow" (with a couple of hints). My mom was shocked that there was nothing there from Music Man, Carousel or Oklahoma. Hello, people! Leaving out classics like "Till There Was You," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin',” is a travesty! Shame shame!

After I was done being appalled by missing songs, I started to look at the other lists AFI has. I came across their 100 Years...100 Laughs list. Basically, the list of movies the great minds at AFI think are funny. Lots of them are, actually. But I take issue with Mrs. Doubtfire being ranked 67th. I take exception to it even being ranked, actually. That movie...well, it sends me into a murderous rage. When it came out back in 1993, my brother and I were the last two people in the world to see it. Everyone said it was just the best movie ever, so we were excited to see it and laugh and laugh and laugh. Instead, we sat there, mouths wide, at the "jokes" the audience around us was cracking up at. A "run-by fruiting?" THAT IS NOT FUNNY!!! Gah. Maybe it was just over hyped, I don't know. No, I do know. It's just not funny! I have tried to watch it years later, and it just repulses me. I like Robin Williams and Sally Field, so it's not them. It's just the movie. And to see it ranked ahead of movies like Caddyshack, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Fargo makes me insane! Oh, my blood pressure! Rising, rising! Especially when al my friend who read this say, "I love Mrs. Doubtfire!" Friends, do not tell me this until after my birthday, okay? Thanks.

Speaking of my birthday, which I don't think I have mentioned here, it is on Sunday! Yay! I love my birthday, and all birthdays in general. Earlier today, my co-workers surprised me with cupcakes and a lovely rendition of "Happy Birthday." I almost ruined the surprise, though. Apparently everyone knew that cupcakes were scheduled for 3:30, but right when it was time to set up the cupcakes, I decided I was tired of sitting at my desk and started wandering around the office, bugging people. I settled in my friend Al's office, about 5 feet away from where the cupcake party was supposed to go down. So she and my friend Miss I started stalling me from going back to my office while the cupcakes were set up in the kitchen area. When I felt like I had bugged Al enough, I said I was going to go back to my desk and started to head back - in the direction away from the kitchen! So Al told me to walk with her to someone else's office, and I did - right into the kitchen where everyone was waiting! It was so sweet, I've never had people at work do anything for my birthday and it meant so much to me! I love the people I work with, I am lucky that it's such a cool, awesome group.

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06.23.2004 - - - 9:18 PM
Maybe I haven't mentioned it, but I love my birthday. It's only four days away. FOUR SHOPPING DAYS AWAY. So, yesterday, a package addressed to me arrived at my office. Nothing new, really, since I get CD packages almost every day. This one was different, though. My mom and dad had ordered me a dozen tamales from my favorite place, Corn Maiden Foods. What a yummy, wonderful present! I immediately called my friend Molls, who is also a Cali kid, and we ate two of them right away. So good, just like I remembered! I have 10 left, and I am totally going to horde them. You must be Tamale Worthy! TAMALE WORTHY! You know, because I can't buy more.

The tamales came in a Styrofoam cooler, packed with ice packs to keep the tamales frozen. I wanted them to stay as cold as possible on my way home (it was really hot out yesterday), so I decided to carry the whole cooler home as opposed to just the bag that was on the inside. I couldn't believe the looks I got! I could tell that everyone who looked me up and down was dying to know what was in the cooler. My name was written on the outside in big black letters (spelled wrong, by the way), so along with my messenger bag and running shoes I definitely looked like a courier. Annnnd, since my exit off the 6 is right across from a hospital, I had someone ask me if I had an organ in my cooler. Oh yeah, people who take organs for transplant use THE SUBWAY.

Along the birthday front, I have gotten some awesome presents so far. My parents totally hooked me up with two cute shirts, a Sex and the City DVD set, a gift certificate to a spa, a cute dress, a hat, and of course, the tamales. This weekend, The Boyfriend comes! On Friday, to be precise. I can't wait for him to get here! That will be the best present ever. Happy birthday to me (in four days!)

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06.18.2004 - - - 5:35 PM
Something glorious happened over the weekend. My air conditioner was installed! Okay, that's the happy ending. Let me back up a bit. The weather here in New York is disgusting. It is so humid that my apartment becomes a sauna. It is no fun to try to apply makeup when sweat is dripping down your face. The last time The Boyfriend was here, he couldn't take the heat and bought a fan. The fan helped a bit, as I would basically carry it with me around the apartment, but I knew it wasn't going to cut it when I had guests. As much as I didn't want to buy an A/C, I knew I needed one.

Having spent the first 21 years of my life living in places with built-in air conditioners, I had totally taken being cool for granted. When I moved to Hermosa after college, the ocean breeze was more than enough to keep the temperature down in the summer. So, I was an A/C novice. I started asking around, but everyone I knew had an A/C that came with their apartment. Boo! Then, somehow I remembered that Best Buy sold things other than CDs, DVDs, and pricey yet seductive audio equipment. I went to their website, and saw they not only had affordable air conditioners, they also had FREE SHIPPING on all air conditioners! The Gods were smiling on me, to be sure. I am all about free. On the website, I calculated how long it would take to get my freely shipped A/C...and discovered that it would take between 3 to 9 days! No! Nooo! I needed it immediately. Ky was in town, and I was sick of waking up in the middle of the night feeling like I'd just gotten out of the shower. I saw that there was a small box that said, "in-store pick-up." There is a Best Buy in my part of the city; I would be able to get it right away! Plus, in-store pick-up was also free. I clicked on the box, and got an email later that day saying my A/C was ready to be picked up! Woo Hoo!

I left my office a bit early that night to ensure I would have enough time to acquire and install my new little box of love. As I was leaving, one of my coworkers said, "you're going to carry an A/C home? Down 8 blocks and over 4 avenues?" Um...okay, so it wasn't the most well-thought plan. I realized I was going to need someone to help me carry it home. Ky! I was counting on him being able to meet me at the store. While I waited for him to let me know if he could meet me there, I went in to the store and picked up my box. The nice woman behind the counter looked at me and said, "there is someone here to help you, right?" and then gave me the once-over. Beeyotch, I could totally carry that shizznat if I wanted to! She then said that one of the workers could help me get a cab. Ah, that's cool. So I decided to do that and have my brother meet me at my apartment, forgetting that cab prices went up last month, and at 7 pm it costs a dollar extra (don't ask). My cab ride, going those 8 blocks and 4 avenues, ended up costing me $12! And the cabby didn't even help me get my box out of the trunk! Beeyotch.

I hauled the box out of the trunk and then sat down on my front stoop, waiting for my brother to call me back. He did, and said that he would be back at my apartment about 40 minutes later. That meant I would have to either sit there in front of my building next to my A/C box, or I could heave it up the five flights to my apartment. After enduring 10 minutes of looks, I finally decided to carry the box up the stairs. It actually wasn't all that heavy, 45 pounds. I've had suitcases that weighed more, no joke. I was so proud of myself when I put the box down in my apartment! Strong to the finach 'cause I ate me spinach. I looked at the measurements on the side of the box and then compared them to my window. Yes, I know you are thinking, why didn't you do that before you bought the thing, lame ass? Well, there were two models by the same company that cost the same amount, and one of them had the measurements and one didn't. I assumed they were the same size. So I got out my handy tape measure, and measured the width of my window. I panicked - it was too big! I almost burst into tears...okay, I did burst into tears. I was covered in sweat! That does things to your brain. I called my dad in a weepy state and told him that I thought my A/C was too small. He asked me if I'd measured from the sill or from the actual window when it was open. Um...no. Crisis averted! However, I had lost my confidence. I didn't install the A/C that night.

The rest of the week, the weather was really cool and I didn't need to install the A/C. Then, last Thursday, my parents came to town to celebrate my birthday (early - it's still 9 days away!). I showed my dad the A/C and batted my eyes and did all that stuff that daughters do, and he said he would install it. However, I needed to get permission from my building, and I had to make sure it was okay that I installed it in my fire escape window. A couple days later, with everything A-OK'ed, it was a go. My mom and I went out for a little shopping excursion while my dad stayed home. When we got back, I walked into my apartment expecting the usual wave of hot, stuff air. Instead, I was greeted with a cool, casual caress. My A/C was installed!

I can't believe how much of a difference it makes. I keep a window open in my bathroom, so I leave the door closed when the A/C is on. The bathroom is at least 20 degrees hotter, peeps. Unbelievable. And you bet your ass I leave it on 24/7. I have free utilities in my building, so while I had a waiver in my lease that made my rent go up $26 when I installed an air conditioner, it is totally worth it and I am totally going to get my money's worth. People! Now I can apply my makeup without sweat dripping down my face! I can apply makeup without sweat dripping down my face while I WEAR SWEATS and it's 90 degrees with 90% relative humidity outside. I am free! FREEEEEEEEE! And so, so cool.

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06.15.2004 - - - 6:19 PM
I have talked about my caffeine problems many times on this site. Two years ago, I decided that I was going to cut out all caffeine in my life. This was huge because I am massively addicted to coffee. Not just the caffeine, but also the taste. I could drink coffee all day and night, and in my most insane moments, I would. I drank it so much at some points that it no longer had any impact on my state of alertness - I would drink a cup and go to bed 10 minutes later with no ill effects. Then I started thinking that maybe that was a bad thing, and I went cold-turkey. I switched over to decaf, and while that was healthier, it didn't taste as good. I slowly stopped drinking coffee all together. Around that time, my doctor told me to cut out all caffeine in my diet. Done and done. For several months, I was living the golden life, the caffeine free diet. Then, I moved to New York.

Not only did I move to New York, but I moved to New York in the winter. It was cold out, and I was trying to adjust to the three hour time difference. At first, I drank hot chocolate. Then, one fateful morning, I dragged myself into the kitchen at work only to discover there were no hot chocolate packets. I moaned to whoever was nearby about the lack of warm chocolatey goodness, and whoever it was replied,

"There are a bunch of mocha packets right here."

Mocha...chocolatey goodness...in coffee form. I would only have one packet. I hadn't had coffee in so long, one cup would be fine. So I had it. It warmed me to my very soul, and soon I noticed I was typing with renewed vigor. The next morning, there was still no hot chocolate. No matter! There were still plenty of mocha packets. The day after that, I didn't even bother to look for hot chocolate, going straight for the mocha. And so it began...my renewed caffeine addiction.

I soon realized I was back on the juice, and this time it had a hold of me good. I started getting the shakes when I didn't have it. I would dream of that moment in the morning when I would grind fresh coffee beans. To paraphrase the great Frank the Tank, it tasted so good when it hit my lips. I struggled with my addiction, trying to get it back under control. I tried putting the coffee grinder up and out of the way, thinking that my laziness would trump my need for speed; it did not. I tried giving away my coffee beans; my aunt would send me more. I tried switching to Chai Tea; I started craving the tea in addition to my coffee cravings. I finally threw in the towel, deciding when the time was right I would finally be able to give up caffeine. Someday, the willpower would come, just like when you finally don't cut your growing-out bangs. Today, I am happy to report, is the day my body finally said, "enough."

The day didn't start that way, though. Since I started going to the gym before work, I haven't been drinking coffee until later in the morning, once I arrive at the office. I didn't go to the gym this morning, however; I filled that void with a sweet cup of coffee. When I got to the office, I made myself a nice cup of cappuccino on our new machine. I came out of a meeting and made myself a double cappuccino. I walked down the hall of my office, and I started thinking about how awesome it would be if I did a baseball-style slide right there. I stopped, calculated the hallway's distance and how much speed I would be able to build up. I considered my jeans and lack of socks. I contemplated a thigh slide so I would slide farther. And then, I realized that I was TOTALLY HIGH ON CAFFEINE. Who thinks about doing a baseball slide down the hallway of their office at 11:30 on a Tuesday morning? I mean, who seriously, earnestly thinks about it, all the way down to doing head math? I knew I'd lost it then. Tomorrow, no caffeine.

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06.10.2004 - - - 5:03 PM
What a crazy week I've had, peeps! Enough of the small talk, let's dive in. On Friday, Walshy came across a slew of free tickets to the No Doubt/blink-182 concert out in Holmdel, NJ. I'm a big enough ND fan to have their promo photo up in my office, so Walshy knew I would be in for the trip. He gathered up a few more people and we headed out to Holmdel. Um, it takes a long time to get there. We left the office at 6, and we got to the concert around 8:15. Unfortunately for me, No Doubt went on first that night (they alternate with blink), so by the time we got to our seats we'd missed the first 20 minutes of the concert. I was bummed, but what could I do other than ROCK OUT? So I rocked baby, rocked steady, through the rest of their show. After No Doubt was done, Walshy and I went to the refreshment area where we enjoyed giant beers until it was time to go. After another two hours, I was finally home. I dreamt about No Doubt! I did. In my dream, I got to the show on time. Aw.

After a scant amount of sleep, it was time to get up and get ready for the Belmont Stakes! My friends Handle and Motown met up, bought some tasty treats, and jumped on a train out of Penn Station out to the race track. On the train, we met up with two nice groups of people: the first group offered us each a beer, and the second group offered us seats and more beer. I love new friends! The trip on the train was quick (only two beers long), and before we new it we were filing into Belmont Park to find our other friends. They'd managed to stake out an awesome spot on the lawn right in front of the track. Woo! We had a blast eating and making new friends - it was a giant tail gate party and everyone was rooting for the same team. There were only a few minor bad points: 1) someone told me that I couldn't wear jeans to the park, so I had a skirt on and it was 60 degrees. At some point the skirt snagged on something and, by the end of the day, my skirt was ripped from hem to waist...leaving my rear end flapping in the breeze. Thank goodness I had a sweater I could tie around my waist; 2) Reagan died that day, but by the time they announced it at the park most people were too drunk to properly participate in the moment of silence. I myself was busy trying to cover my butt while simultaneously dialing my parents to find out if it was, in fact, true that he'd died; 3) Smarty Jones didn't win the Triple Crown! If I'd known he wasn't going to win...well, I still would have gone because it was so much fun. But I would have worn pants, damn it!

On Sunday my brother Ky arrived for a week! He's here for work, but staying with me, so it's been cool to have him here. We've hung out a bit, including Monday night when I was lucky enough to be invited along on a fabulous dinner. Last night Ky and I went to meet one of our best friends from high school, Jordy. We hadn't seen her since Christmas 1996! So long. She just moved to New Jersey from Brazil to live with her fiancé, and they were in the city yesterday. It was so great to see her! I can't believe it's been so long. It didn't feel like a long time, though - we picked up right where we left off, sharing memories and catching up. We also finally got to meet her fabulous fiancé, Ro. I'm so excited that they are so close to me now and we can start hanging out all the time. Yay! Its visitor week: My boss was here from California for the last three days, and my parents are coming today to celebrate my birthday (only 17 days until the big day!). Whenever my boss is here, the days are insane. I barely have enough time to answer my email. I like it when he's here because it means there will be lots of lunches, and the days go by fast. But that also means no ME time, and damn it, I need that! I’ve made up for the lost three days of Me time by taking an hour lunch break, sitting in my friend's office for 20 minutes reading her magazines, walking around the office chatting with people, and generally staying away from my computer. Yay! That's what I get paid for, baby.

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06.03.2004 - - - 6:07 PM
People, here is a tip from me: if you are going to take an exercise class for the first time in, say, your entire life, think twice about it. Maybe try with something easy first, like Step for Kids. Or, try jumping around your home, twisting your body into weird positions and stretches. Whatever you do, just make sure you prepare yourself. Let me tell you a little story. The other day, I was sitting in a bar watching the NBA playoffs with a few of my friends, including the lovely H2. H2 and I were far enough into the beers to be talking about our work out routines at the gym we both belong to, and she mentioned that she took a fun class with a great instructor. I told her I was no good at classes, having all the coordination of a drunk three year old. She assured me that it was okay in this class, that it was mostly weights with a little bit of step. I was a bit worried about the step part - Woodsy and I took a step class in college, and I was so bad at it I actually injured my ankle badly enough to have to sit out of the class for two weeks! Which was awesome because I totally got to sleep in on those days. But I digress. So, H2 convinced me to join her in the class on Tuesday. It started out innocently enough. The instructor was a wiry Asian man who would occasionally jump into air splits. That should have been a clue that I needed to RUN out of there! He proceeded to lead us through 60 minutes of lunges, jumping jacks, punches, curls, crunches, squats, steps, pushups, and a bunch of things I don't have a name for. Five minutes into the class I thought, "my body is going to ache for the next week." So far, that prediction is right on the money. As I walked home from the gym, I could feel my muscles starting to stir. Walking up the five flights to my apartment, they started holding meetings. Yesterday morning, I could feel the revolt starting. Today, the muscles are fully in protest mode. They scream every time I move, punishing me for not consulting with them before the class. I learned my lesson, okay! Now stop hurting, I can hardly get to the train without stopping in pain! And you've been warned, muscles, I am totally going back to that class next week.

I saw Al Roker! Okay, it was in Rockefeller Center during the Today Show's taping on Tuesday morning, not just walking down the street. One of our artists was on the show, so I went down to show my support. Because it was cold and misting (on the first day of June! A travesty!), the crowd was small, or smaller than I expected. That made it easier for me to push my way near the front of the crowd. I was in the south end of the plaza, which wasn't the best place to be. Al, Matt, and Katie tend to stick to the northern end of the plaza, closest to the studio. At one point, Al wandered around just before a weather break, and he passed by about a foot away from me. He shook the hands of the two small girls in front of me, and then looked expectantly at me as if to say, "Where is your hand? Don't you want to shake the hand of The Roker?" But I did not extended my hand - I was frozen! Al was so close I didn't know what to do. I had my camera out with my hand on the button, ready to take a picture. I did nothing. Al stood there looking at me. I did nothing. Finally, Al looked away and moved on to the next group of tourists. Bust! I could have touched, photographed, bonded, with The Roker, and I choked. Choked! I have a problem with Today Show people. In college I had a friend who interned at the Tonight Show, and one night Matt Lauer was a guest. My friend took me to the show, and then back stage, where I had the opportunity to talk to Matt. But did I? No. I stared at him, I followed him around back stage and out of the building, but I did not utter a single word. I think I freaked him out, the crazy girl smiling with the wide eyes. He left so quickly! Even when my mom stopped Steven Cojocaru, I didn't say anything! For all of my love of the Today Show, I am scared to speak to the stars. The Today Show is my kryptonite!

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