Randomness or Randomosity or Something

1. I wonder if I can convince one of my friends to deliver McDonalds to my office, because today's free lunch is sushi, which is doing nothing to cure my rampant Tanqueray/Camel Light/Unidentified German Pilsner hangover. I can't leave the office as the Yammerer is off today, and if no-one is here to answer the phones for the CEO, Managing Director, General Counsel, CFO and COO, apparently, the world will end.

2. While we're discussing hangovers, why doesn't vitaminwater make a flavor called 'hangover'? Maybe I'll write them a letter this afternoon.

3. Why can't I remember the introduction to the A-team any longer? I know the theme song, but I used to be able to recite the beginning part verbatim ('In 1972, a crack commando unit...')

4. Are the flip-flops that I'm wearing suddenly business-attire appropriate just because they are sparkly, and therefore, more dressed up than, say, your average pair of flip-flops from Old Navy?

5. Is it a sign of maturity or just stubborn pride that I avoided drunk-dialing M last night? Despite the fact that yesterday was just One Big Conspiracy To Remind RidiculousChick of M And Make Her Sad?

6. Were the signs that I experienced yesterday (my iPod - on shuffle - playing three Dave Matthews' songs on my way to work, my boss receiving a package from Oregon, Gawker mentioning the bar where we met, guys in the office across from me quoting Gladiator all day, Goonies on television last night) an indication that I was supposed to call M? Did I fuck up my (already admittedly bad) karma by not calling?

7. Will anyone notice if I fall asleep at my desk? What if there is drool involved?

8. What are the odds that I will ever successfully complete the crow pose during yoga, even though my 'core' and my 'arms' are not what one would call 'strong'?

9. What are those little particles floating around in my 'Rescue' vitaminwater?

10. Is it 5:30 yet?



Every morning, while I am getting ready for work, I watch VH1. I don't know why. They play the same videos every day, only at slightly different times. The past couple of weeks, the 7:30-8:00 am rotation has been Coldplay's "Speed of Sound" (please stop whining), Kelly Clarkson's "Behind These Hazel Eyes" (I like this song *ashamed*), Greenday's "Holiday" (love watching the Greenday boys, but Billie Joe still looks like a fetus) and some fucking Mariah Carey song which annoys the crap out of me, but I still watch because I think that the mansion shown in the video is in Montclair, and that I used to jog by it when I lived there.


This morning, VH1 played the video for this song twice. Twice within the same hour. And (again ashamed) I kind of like the song, but the video is Truly. Sucky. Has anyone seen this? First of all, Natasha Bedingfield seems to have some sort of facial deformity. She looks like, I don't know, a dinosaur or something. Anyway, the "premise" or "plot" of this video starts with Ms. Bedingfield waking up in her bed, snuggled up with a boombox. Yes, you read that right. Then she goes to a boardwalk, where she is singing/asking for change with the same boombox, but no-one seems to vibe with her groove. In frustration, she kicks the boombox, which suddenly goes all 80's squiggly cartoon-like, and grows little legs. Now people are smiling and giving her money. I guess this is because of the now-animated boombox. Then other boomboxes in the vicinity morph into cartoons and grow legs. She finishes her boardwalk performance and walks home, followed by a mini-parade of boomboxes.

Uh oh. One of the men (Is he a break-dancer? I'm not sure) from the boardwalk is also following her. He seems angry that she left with his boombox. He confronts her, and I wonder if the video is going to get all West Side Story-Jets/Sharks-knife-fight (I can only hope because a stabbing would make the video interesting). In a shocking turn of events, the boomboxes turn out to be protective, and two of them rush the man, knocking him over. She continues home, walking by what looks like, at my best guess, a prostitute, who also has a boombox, which (surprise!) grows legs - oh and the legs have the same fishnet stockings as the bystander/prositute. At this point, I'm questioning what kind of town this is, what with the prostitutes/bystanders/threatening break-dancers where everyone seems to own a boombox.

Rather anti-climactically, she arrives home and has some sort of dance party with all the boomboxes. And I am enraged. What the fuck is this? This video is about light-hearted fun (I guess) but it just makes me angry. What's my alternative? Any suggestions for my morning entertainment?



I'm trying to cut down on the amount of cigarettes I smoke. In order to accomplish this goal, I've resorted to several (ok, only two) tactics. One is to develop a list of the pros and cons of smoking.

Pros: provides multiple breaks from the drugery of my temp job, goes well with drinking, time waster, serves as an middle-of-the-night alternative to staring at my ceiling or tweezing my eyebrows

Cons: cost, tarred lungs, general feeling of unhealthiness, feel like a loser when I wake up and have a cigarette immediately after getting out of bed

The other tactic (this week) has been to leave my pack of cigarettes at home so I won't smoke during the day. So far, this is what has changed a) my consumption of cookies from the work kitchen has doubled b) I smoke more when I get home to relieve the day-long cigarette deficit and c) I sit at my desk for 9 full hours per day.

The other unfortunate side effect is that I race home after work to have a cigarette, which is a problem when you consider that Home can only be reached after a mile-long walk across Manhattan while we are in a severe weather alert because of the 107 degree heat index.


I think I need one of these masks.


Well, the First Year(s) are the Hardest Part...

As of this Friday, I will have lived in New York City for one year.

Graduate school, otherwise known as The Reason Why I Live In The City (and I need to keep reminding myself, it's not The Socializing or The Drinking), was tougher than I had expected. Last summer, I remember receiving my class schedule and cackling, thinking about how easy it would be compared to getting up every morning and being at work by 8:00 (or, who am I kidding, closer to 8:30 on most days). Heh. I am nothing if not a jackhole. I didn't count on muddling through the required reading - usually 200+ pages of dense text per night. Or how long it would take me to remove the massive writer's block that had developed in the 10 years I had been out of undergraduate school. Or my confusion in trying to follow the nearly incomprehensible class discussions about racism and social welfare policy while at the same time attempting to overcome my lifelong fear of public speaking by volunteering to participate in those discussions.

I also didn't predict becoming what I had dreaded - The Graduate Student. For most of the year, I desperately needed a haircut. I hardly ever applied make-up. I started wearing sweatpants to class, and my face broke out. The cleanliness of my apartment degenerated until it could have qualified as a superfund site. My eating habits went to shit, unless daily visits to the school vending machine where I ate Mix N'Yogurt while chugging a Diet Coke with Lime are to be considered a diet plan.

I moved into the city convinced that this was the end of my dating life. Everyone had stories about how hard it was to meet people, and I truly believed them. (In retrospect, I'm not sure why I thought it would be harder to date here than in suburban Jerz, where everyone is either married or very, very young. Or a guido.) I briefly dated my friend BG; that ended when he drunkenly announced that he was falling in love with me and then promptly disappeared for the next 10 months. At the end of the summer, I was with S, a Republican who was in NY visiting his best friend, my good friend, JP. A scant two months later, I hooked up with JP (awkward!) which resulted in a duplicate walk-of-shame up 10th Avenue where I passed a nun, presumably on her way to church to pray for my black, black soul (I blame the entire incident on an afternoon Yankee game, a schoolwork-light weekend, and unlimited T&T at Doyle's). While all of this was going on, I joined Match.com, where I was obsessed with a really intelligent, funny artist for about three weeks until I realized that I wasn't attracted to anything other than his mind, and went on a date with someone who later e-mailed me to ask if I "minded" if we did not become "lovers".

November arrived, and I reconnected with JJT when B came into town to run the marathon. I had known him in high school but we had not stayed in touch. I was convinced that our meeting again was fate and I constructed an elaborate romantic scenario for our future. Unfortunately, JJT was...not so much on board with this vision, and we dated for 3 bumpy months (I should have realized the futility of our relationship when he demonstrated a strong committment to his omnipresent blue hoodie and weekly binge drinking). I knew it was over when he failed to call me for a week. I was proud, however, that a few weeks later, I managed to resist calling him at 4:30 am after a long night of drinking on the LES just because I was near the Williamsburg bridge, and could presumably walk to his apartment (my friend JT calls this my "superior critical-thinking-when-drunk skills". Heh.)

In late April, I met M. We dated until he decided to move to Dallas. And then decided to break up with me in early July, one full month before the move. I'm trying to stop thinking about him, but I don't suppose that listening to this song continuously is helping that process along.

It's been a sad year. A joyously happy year. A crazy year. A quiet year. And I wouldn't change a thing. Maybe that incident with The Republican.


Monday, Monday

*Sigh* I really don't want to be here today.

The Yammerer, who sits directly next to me, Wont. Shut. Up. Every story is a) at least 25 minutes long, b) about stuff that I don't even remotely care about and c) never cut short by my not looking directly at her, nor responding. Seriously? How devoid of social skills do you have to be to not pick up on my complete lack of interest? Some of the mentally-ill-formerly-homeless tenants that I worked with last semester had more of a grasp of social cues. A sampling of the "conversation" topics this morning:

a) a full recount of her dinner last night, and her dessert, and the fact that she was up until 4:30 am because she felt sick

b) the possibility that her cat is injured due to her dog jumping up on the bed and landing on the cat, followed by a description of all of the surgeries previously undergone by said cat

c) her aborted attempts to get a manicure yesterday

Maybe I should look on the bright side. As my Dad mentioned yesterday the men here are very likely to make a very high salary. Ooooooo. Maybe I can get one of them to marry me.


Losing My Social Worker Card

Last Sunday morning, I was a little cranky. This was attributable to a number of factors:

1. The day before, JP and I had gone to the Met and bypassed the art to go directly up to the roofdeck, where, despite the 90 degree weather, we chugged multiple glasses of wine. Slightly warm white wine. This was at 2:00 pm, and we both had eaten nothing that day. We then stumbled around the museum, mocking the art, and then left for an early cocktail party. On the way to the subway, we stopped at a pub and had two more drinks. Once we reached the party, we both poured with a liberal hand. At 8:00 pm, JP went home (wise boy) while I decided to follow the crowd to The Metropolitan in Williamsburg for more drinking. So, to put it mildly, I was hungover.

2. I am, by nature, cranky.

3. I had somehow managed to gain 10 pounds and 3 additional facial blemishes while sleeping.

I had agreed to make pasta salad for a BBQ I was attending that night, but had none of the ingredients, and thus had to leave my comfortable, air conditioned apartment, and journey to the Food Emporium which is 3 (long) blocks away. I had only traveled about 1/2 block and was already dripping with sweat when an (apparently) homeless man asked me for a cigarette. I was smoking in an attempt to curb my rampant hangover. Bad Idea.

"I'm sorry, I don't have one." Which was true; I'd left my pack at home.

I continued walking, and heard him say 'I know you have them'.

I was suddenly furious. I whipped around, stared at him, and shouted

"I don't fucking have them! Ok? I don't!"

He looked shocked. Another man walking by also looked appalled. I continued my walk up the block.

And then it hit me. I had my iPod on, pretty loud. Maybe he hadn't said what I had thought he said at all.


My Awesome Job

When my first year of graduate school ended, I carefully weighed my options for summer employment. Or maybe not so carefully; most discussions took place with my friend DJ (also in grad school) over cocktails while avoiding the completion of our finals. Giggling, we considered catering, waitressing, or bartending. We gave some (serious) thought to a theater production entitled Social Work! The Musical, to be accompanied by a documentary-style film which would chronicle our efforts to bring our genius to the masses. In the end, when finals were over, and we still hadn't secured jobs, we decided to temp. Temping, we reasoned, was perfect. We could make some serious money and, as an added bonus, possibly meet cute corporate boys. Since we were off from school for the summer, we wouldn't have to come home and face 200 pages of reading for class the next day. We could go out! We could explore the city! It would be fun! It would be amazing! We could even borrow a (circa 1980's) video camera from my parents and document our sure-to-be-hilarious experience.

I obtained the name and number of an agency from MS, who temped for years. DJ and I scheduled our interviews the week after school ended. My day came (DJ had gone the day before, and had warned me) and I dressed in my best suit (who am I kidding, my only suit) and made the trek across town. I was greeted by tests. Loads and loads of tests. Filing, typing, and the entire Microsoft office suite. I was then escorted to a meeting with The Placer. She informed me that I had scored a perfect 100 on my filing test and that the rest of my scores were 'excellent, excellent' and that she would have 'no problem placing me'. She then leaned forward, with an intense expression, and scrutinized my face. Very solemnly, she asked:

"Do you think you could take out your nose ring for the summer?"


Now, I guess this was a semi-reasonable request. Not a big deal. But I love my nose ring. It's cute, it's small and I got it when I had finally decided to leave The Job From Hell and go to graduate school. It's symbolic of that transition, leaving the career I had stumbled into after college (and, somehow, had stayed in for 10 years) to assessing my life and choosing something that would bring fulfillment. Aside from these considerations, I wasn't sure that I could get it out. However, fearing the wrath of The Placer, I agreed.

I left the agency, and 10 minutes later, got a call on my cell phone.

"Hi, it's me."

Me? Who was me? I didn't recognize the number.


"Listen, dear, can you work tomorrow?"

Ohhhhhh. It was The Placer. How had she gone from being mildly disapproving to someone who would call my phone and announce herself as 'me'?

Due to my seriously awesome filing skillz (yay! I know the alphabet!) I had landed a job at Up-Their-Own-Ass investment house. Thus began my experience in hell. Serious hell. When I arrived at said firm, I was led to a stack of papers that was almost as tall as I was, and told that my job would be to file them. Easy, right? Sure. Mind-numbingly easy. Except for the fact that the files were already over-loaded, and prying them apart ripped my cuticles to shreds. At the end of my first day, I was bleeding. On my second day back, I put bandaids on all 10 fingers in an attempt to protect my hands. By the fourth day, my back was sore, my fingers were so raw that the bandaids weren't working any more, and I was BORED. I had been trapped in a silent, still file room for 4 days with no human contact. The Placer wasn't sympathetic ('They pay well...blah blah...free lunch...don't show them an unhappy face...blah blah blah...representing the agency...blah').

A short while later, after a two-week work hiatus (which was fun at first, but then, really, how much time can you spend at the gym? Or cleaning your apartment?) I was "permanently" temporarily placed. I got an assignment for the rest of the summer. I work for a hedge fund. I've been here for 6 weeks, and I still can't tell you exactly what a hedge fund is. I can, however, tell you why I hate temping.

1) Clothes. My firm has a 'business attire' dress code. After being in graduate school for a year, this presents a significant challenge. My uniform of jeans and whatever shirt I've pulled off the floor isn't going to cut it. My mother suggested shopping for business clothes, but it seemed counter-intuitive to have to spend money to make money. So I muddle through, wearing the few remainders of the clothing from my old (pre-graduate-school) life, and always feel like a dork.

2) Boredom. There's not much to do (aside from the rare periods of frenzied activity) but to try to look busy. Companies want to know that they are paying The Agency for a reason. Your part in that contract is to look industrious. This blog is one of the offshoots of trying to look busy.

3) Menial Tasks. Answering phones, scanning, copying, opening mail, filing, travel arrangements, meeting scheduling. Very exciting.

4) Attitude. To most companies, you are Just a Temp and Therefore, Below Their Notice. You won't be there long enough to get personally invested, so they ignore you. At my current assignment, I'm pretty sure that 2 of my bosses don't actually know my name.

5) My Attitude. After being away from the corporate world for a year, I'm lost (aside from that, how corporate was Telecommunications Company anyway? When you're able to call your senior manager an asshole to his face, and frequently do, not so much). There's an entire language I've forgotten, a set of rules that I can't seem to get straight. At my job, I'm timid, I'm submissive, I'm cautious. I cringe at having to enter a meeting to give someone a phone message. I can't even make casual conversation without blushing and feeling like I am 15 years old. I hate going into the kitchen to get my free lunch every day, because I will have to interact with people. This is the hardest part, because I don't feel like me.

DJ was also placed somewhere for the summer, and her experience was even worse than mine. Most nights, we were too exhausted and demoralized to even get together for drinks. Our fun summer evaporated before it even began. This week, she left her job, subletted her apartment, and moved to Vermont until school starts again.

Me? I'm wallowing through. We get free lunch here, and it's Pizza Day today!



On Monday night, after realizing that my difficulty in sleeping was impairing my ability to function at the easiest job in the world (my current temporary assignment), I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought new pillows. Then I journeyed to CVS and purchased some Tylenol PM, which has been my savior in the past. I lugged my purchases home through the NYC humidity, which was kind of like walking through a bowl of soup. Dirty, dirty soup. With thousands of other soup-waders. I got home and CLEANED my bathroom. Not just any cleaning, but the organizing kind of cleaning. Where you sort things, and throw things out and make decisions like 'Am I ever going to use this sample sized portion of Murad face lotion, risking an addiction to expensive beauty products, or should I just bin it?'

By 8:30 pm, I am exhausted, there is nothing on television worth watching, and so I decide to take the Tylenol PM. I gleefully get into bed at 9:00, picturing how much more sane I will be tomorrow after 9 hours of sleep (no more bursting into tears!). I carefully get into bed, lie on my new pillows and...can't sleep. I finally get out of bed at 9:47 and decide that I am going to eat peanut butter, which IP at work recommended for insommnia. Somehow, this seems like a reasonable solution. When I get out of bed, I notice that, while the Tylenol PM hasn't helped me to sleep, it has certainly has impaired my motor functions. I feel like I am drunk, and I stumble into most of my furniture on my trip to the refridgerator. Once there, clinging to the door handle for balance, I gulp a large spoonful of peanut butter, which becomes lodged in my throat. So now, to recap, it's 10:00 pm, I still can't sleep, I'm dizzy and I'm eating peanut butter by the spoonful. When it is firmly lodged in my throat and I begin to have strange half-hiccups, I panic, which cues visions of me dying alone in my apartment and being discovered by the recovering heroin addict neighbors and/or police several days later in my sleeping attire, which is M's stretched out wife-beater undershirt. To prevent this tragedy, I drink a large glass of water, which helps somewhat, and decide to get back in bed. Because nothing helps the ability to swallow a large chunk of peanut butter than adding cold water to that mix and then lying down.

Two hours later, I discover that I have to get up to use the bathroom, thanks to that large glass of water. I interupt the plotting of my response e-mail to M's next missive, which has occupied the better part of the last hour, to journey to the bathroom. Still dizzy. Still stumbling. On the way back to the bedroom, I consider more peanut butter. Then I read the label on the peanut butter jar, and discover the amount of sugar in said peanut butter which I have just rammed down my throat. I'm never going to sleep now. I've just performed the equivalent of feeding a toddler 5 chocolate bars and then commanding naptime.

When do I finally drop off to sleep? Around 1 am. When do I wake up? Around 5 am. When does the Tylenol PM kick in? Immediately when I get to work and feel like I am swimming through deep water just to walk to the scanner.