Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bad Habits

My brain is just not working today. Probably has something to do with the fairly large quantity of Yeungling I consumed last night.

I met up with a friend of mine--let's call her A--for drinks. She was meeting up with another friend of hers--we'll call him Friend of A--and invited me along. There was a time when I would get excited when A invited me out to meet one of her guy friends, until she tried to hook me up with her ex boyfriend. That was weird. So I thought nothing of it, but lo and behold Friend of A actually turned out to be cute. And not an idiot. Impressive for a single man in NYC (or at least among those I usually encounter).

We hopped around a few bars, including the one staffed by The Bartender, who I dated briefly and who, once we'd slept together, proceeded to systematically bail every time we had plans. A dick move, to be certain, but the up-side is, whenever I'm in his bar and wearing a short skirt, he gives me free beer. Really, I think it's a fair trade.

So between free beer and the fact that Friend of A kept telling me how pretty I was (I'll take "pretty" over "hot" any day), I fell into my usual zone of poor decision making and agreed to go home with him under the stipulation that I would not sleep with him.

I'll let you guess how long my resolve lasted. Really, I'm so predictable.

So, the breakdown. Pros: Thankfully, this was not a repeat of the Irishman incident. Maybe not the best ever, but at least not a new contender for the title of Worst Ever. And this one doesn't seem desperate and is actually fun to talk to. I gave him my number, but lord knows if I'll ever actually have time to go out with him should he call.

Cons: he's young. Then there's the fact that I slept with him the first night we met, and history has shown that this does not bode well for the future. And I did have to murder super-roach in his bathroom around 1am (fucker was tiny and WOULD NOT DIE).

Also, as much as I bitch about being single I've come to realize that I am a total commitment-phobe. Whenever it looks like a guy might actually like me, my brain immediately catalogs a dozen previously unnoticed flaws and convinces me to head for the hills.

And I think that in my drunken state I may have warned him that I'm a total cynic and have tons of issues, so we'll see who runs away screaming first. Anyone care to make a wager?

In the meantime I think I'll test the theory that a shower and a nap can snap me out of my hungover torpor and into a more productive state of mind. Homework calls.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Grad Students Shouldn't Be Allowed To Have Cable

Because I've gotta admit that lately... I really really LOVE television.

Grey's Anatomy season premiere? Awesome.
Heroes season premiere? Awesome.
Private Practice? Better than I expected.
Gossip Girl? My new guilty pleasure.
Kid Nation? Okay, okay, I admit it... I think it's evil, but I kinda like it.
Moonlight? Sorry David Boreanaz, this vampire is sooooo much hotter.
House? Okay, I forgot to DVR you, but I will atone!

And the crowning glory...?

Thanks to modern technology (I love you DVR!), I just watched the series premiere of Dirty Sexy Money and Oh. My. GOD.


I don't know if I have ever been so entertained by the opening 5 minutes of a TV show, EVER. I was laughing my ass off by the time the title screen arrived. I must have shouted "Oh my god!" at the TV at least 10 times. Even if Peter Krause didn't arouse dirty fantasies every time he enters my line of sight, this show would still be fabulous.

And Donald Sutherland, I have always loved you. (Ew, not like that!). You are just freaking awesome. That is all.

So in conclusion, Television, our dysfunctional relationship seems to be reaching some sort of zenith. You keep me from doing the things I should do, the things I need to do, yet I love you anyway.

And you love me. I know you do.

(In my defense, I did read 20-some pages of school work before settling down with the remote and the remainder of the $5 Bordeaux, but still...)

Come on, oh fellow inhabitants of the blogosphere (dear god, did I really just use that word? must be the wine talking...), I know I'm not the only one to fall victim to that siren song. What are your Fall favourites? Come on, my DVR list isn't nearly full enough...

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Guess who's landlord didn't finish re-tiling her bathroom today?

At least I finally made them a key so I don't have to leave my door unlocked all day whenever they need to work in here.

Thursday Schmursday

Work sucked today. The UPS man held the package containing the printouts I needed hostage until 3:30pm, even though they'd been on his truck since 6:00 this morning. So while I am supposed to leave work at 4:00, I stayed until 6:00 completing my project, and then had to rush off to class.

To console myself I stopped at Astor Wines to check out the 10 Under $10 rack, from which I selected a random Spanish red with a nice looking label, as well as a $5 bottle of bordeaux that was displayed near the check-out... which I am drinking right now. I gotta say, for a $5 wine it's not bad!

On the up-side of life, a girl in my class complimented my outfit and told me that I always look "effortlessly cute." Well, this came as quite a shock to me! While I personally have always enjoyed my ecclectic fashion sense, the public at large has not always been so accepting... Could it be that my taste in clothing has finally caught up with the mainstream idea of fashion? Or is it the other way around?

I'll leave you to ponder that. I, along with my reheated leftovers and my $5 bordeaux, are off to watch the DVR'ed season premiere of Grey's Anatomy.

Bottoms up!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Crushes are Fun

I might be totally deluding myself, but I think The Maybe Crush timed his exit from class so that we would walk out the door together tonight.

Wait. That might have been me.

Either way, we were walking mere inches apart, but as I searched for some topic with which to begin the witty banter that would have him utterly smitten I was waylayed by the girl I usually walk to the subway with. Unable to devise an excuse not to walk with her, I thus missed my chance to engage the attention of the gentleman in question.

However, one of the non-straight boys in my class told me I looked fantastic, so I can only hope that The Skirt worked.

Sidenote: Ladies, much like TLBD (The Little Black Dress), The Skirt is an item that every woman must own. It is the one skirt that is classy enough to be worn anywhere, but still makes you look smokin' hot. Difficult to find, but oh-so-worth the effort!

So my plan to actually get to talk to The Maybe Crush was foiled for the evening, but rest assured I am working on another. I get the feeling he's a shy one, so it will take every ounce of feminine skill I can muster (which isn't much--ladies, a little help?).

Everything short of simply asking him out myself, that is. My deep-seated fear of rejection won't allow it. If I put myself out there without enough evidence that my overtures would be welcomed, I just speed up my inevitable rejection and then I have to go find something else to distract me from the fact that The One That Got Away has a new girlfriend :P

[Sigh], most of my Exes love me. Is it so much to ask the same of a man who's not a total fuckwit?

Radio Silence

Yes, I know, I've been MIA for awhile. I'll flatter myself that you missed me.

So this morning on my way to work, I actually got wolf-whistled by construction workers while walking down my street. Like any halfway decent looking girl in NYC, I've received plenty of cat calls and muttered sexual innuendoes, but never a genuine wolf whistle. I've got to admit that it made me grin a little bit. Mostly because I know I look hot today, and it was nice to be reassured. I've got a group presentation in my class this evening and even though I know we'll be fine, looking cute always gives me a little confidence boost.

Also, there is just maybe a little crush-in-the-making on one of the guys in my class. However, being that ever other guy in my program is gay, I'm not certain of this one's sexual preference. I figure if I can catch him checking out my ass in this skirt, maybe that will give a little indication of whether or not my fantasies would be better employed elsewhere.

Sneaky, right?

Let's see, other than that life has been pretty hectic lately. Yesterday I ran back and forth between 2 different buildings getting some paperwork signed for a 2 week intensive study abroad course I am dying to get into, only to turn in my application and learn that someone else filled the final spot that morning! Damnit! So I am #1 on the wait list. Watch, this will be the first year that nobody drops out.

Saturday I went to an engagement party for two very good friends of mine--also known as an "it's about fucking time!!" party. They've only been together for, oh, seven years or so. Wonder how long it will take them to get around to having the actual wedding? It will be an event worth waiting for, however, as these two throw the best parties of anyone I know--and this was certainly no exception!

The horrid former roommate was there, but I behaved myself. I merely had my quiet revenge for her recent shitty behavior by looking exceptionally skinny and having a great time. I know, I know, women are evil. But sometimes being evil is a lot of fun.

My bathroom is STILL not finished. They've re-tiled a portion of the wall, but still have to fill the areas that need tiles trimmed to size. Then grout. And they've cut out a piece of linoleum to cover the concrete floor (there go my hopes for a nice tiled floor... blast!), but they haven't glued it down yet. Also it was cut pretty damned poorly--there's a 1 inch gap that it looks like they plan on covering with an 8" wide strip--and you can feel all the lumps in the crappy concrete through the linoleum. Lovely.

And the medicine cabinet is still halfway between the toilet and the sink.

Honestly though, I just want it to be FINISHED already! I've been living in this place for a month, I would love to finish unpacking!

Bathroom griping aside, however, living alone has got to be the single most awesome thing EVER! I can walk around the house naked, leave dishes in the sink if I'm too tired to wash them at night, and when my cat starts crying outside my door at 4am, I can yell at her to shut up without worrying about waking up any roommates. I should have done this years ago.

On that note, it's back to work. Or back to school work masquerading as work, because right now I can't do anything until somebody else gives me the list I need... which I was supposed to have by the end of last week. And then by yesterday afternoon. I swear, deadlines mean nothing to these people.

Oh, and if any of you out there in cyber-land missed the season premiere of Heroes last night... SHAME ON YOU! So incredibly awesome there are not words to describe the awesomeness. That is all.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I have been stewing all morning. Actually, I've been stewing on and off since yesterday afternoon. I was debating whether or not to log on here and blow off some steam about what a petty, self-centered, spiteful, [insert your choice of rude adjective for nasty-unpleasant-female here] my ex roommate is, and whether doing so would make me just as bad as her...

Then I checked my email and saw that my friend's husband is being deployed to Iraq in January. They just had their second child.

Sort of puts my own bullshit problems in perspective, huh?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tampon Trouble -- is it contagious?

Once again I've proven that I suck at following my own advice.

When the Company Bitch told us about the bizarre tampon she received from a co-worker, I commented that I always have tampons in every bag I own, to avoid just such a debacle.

Except, of course, for today, when I apparently arrived at work carrying the one tampon-free bag that I own.

So I popped down to Duane Reade on my lunch break, grabbed a box of my trusty OBs, and was back in the office before you could say "fell off the roof." (Seriously, my 10th grade health teacher--who must have been, like, a thousand years old--told us that that was a euphemism they used in her day... WTF?!? The two don't have anything remotely in common!! Other than the fact that they both make you bleed... oh...)

Now, thanks to the joys of Seasonale, I only get my period 4 times a year, and it's fairly light, so it's been quite some time since I had to purchase tampons. So imagine my surprise as I hunkered down in the bathroom and read the following words emblazoned on the cellophane:


I'm sorry... but professional what?

Are there professional tampon-inserters out there that I've never heard of? And exactly how rich and/or lazy do you have to be to hire one? Or are you saying that this tampon is for professional insertion only, and if so, how do I know if I've received adequate training?

In the end I believe the "pro comfort" refers to the fact that OB tampons are now sheathed in a thin layer of some perforated, plastic-like substance--thought what exactly is "professional" about that, I couldn't say. I suppose it's meant to ease insertion, but really, I'm just worried that it will make it prone to slide out!

Too graphic? Sorry...

Still, all of this begs the question: are we so consumed with technological advancement that even femenine hygeine products aren't safe? I mean, I'm all for improving the performance of my computer, or sports car, or cell phone service; but for the love of god man, leave my tampons alone!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday Randomness

I have a cold. I feel gross and I'm a total space-cadet, but it's a bit too early to take my lunch break so here's a bit of randomness for you:

Last night I dreamt that I was sharing a very large shower with Mike Rowe, the guy who hosts "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel. Would that my real life held such appealing distractions!

I've come to realize that I loathe the word "Partner" as an indicator for one's significant other. I understand the need for it, I suppose. There is a woman in my office who has been with the same man for decades, but they've never married. He's not her husband, and "boyfriend" is an understatement, so I guess "Partner" it must be. Or for couples who are not legally allowed to marry but have made a commitment--but I personally would still use "husband" or "wife"... screw the government!

Or if you don't want to offend someone by assuming their sexuality. I mentioned to a girl in one of my classes that living alone was a fairly recent development and she asked "oh, is that a Partner-related development?" (ie- did i get dumped?) Okay, fine. I find our incessant pursuit of PC terminology to be, on the whole, like flogging a dead horse with a nine iron, but I appreciate the sensitivity.

In general, however, I find the term vague and frustrating. For example, there is a transgendered individual in one of my classes, and when she mentions her "Partner" I feel like she's just being sneaky about not revealing this person's gender! And this is a perplexing situation. I once dated a man who wanted to have a sex change, thereby becoming a lesbian. Really, it's a crap shoot.

Of course the girl in question has a right to privacy and is not required to announce her sexual preference to the general public. Then again, I'm a grammar nazi and hate using "their" when "his" or "her" is the correct term. Unfortunately, her privacy and my grammatical correctness are mutually exclusive.

One of my bosses just asked me to "make sure he gets" a bunch of info about a meeting I did not schedule. I indicated that I had nothing to do with said meeting and that the other assistant (sitting 4 feet away from me) is the one who would have that information. He says "do you want me to repeat myself?"

Okay smartass, but really, if you're asking me for information and I'm telling you that the person 4 feet away from me has it, doesn't it make more sense for all involved for you to expend the necessary energy to turn around (which you'd have to do anyway to return to your office), and tell her what you want? Rather than telling me, so I can tell her, so she can tell me, so I can tell you?


Wow, I didn't realize I was so cranky today. I think I'll blame it on the cold medicine.

Monday, September 17, 2007

In Memoriam

Last night I was very saddened by something I saw on the Emmys. And no, it wasn't just that The Sopranos being in their last season totally stole Best Drama from Heroes.

During the montage of industry folk who had passed on during the last year, I suddenly felt a lump in my throat. Don Herbert, aka Mr. Wizard, had died.

How could this be? And how had I not heard of it until now?

Mr. Wizard was a big part of my childhood. Every morning throughout elementary school, I would watch his show while I ate breakfast; usually non-sugary-cereal and half a grapefruit--would that I ate so healthily now!

Mr. Wizard is the one who taught me that vinegar and baking soda create a volcano of foam. That if you're reaaaaally patient, you can cook a hot dog via solar energy using a skewer and a cone made of tin foil (I never could wait long enough). He demonstrated an exponential chain reaction with a bunch of ping pong balls and mousetraps, and showed me how to use lemon juice as invisible ink (do you know how to reveal the hidden message?).

And yes, without Mr. Wizard I would not have set the bathroom carpet on fire at the age of 6, trying to make toilet paper flare up like flash paper.

But in addition to all this, I think the most important thing I learned from Mr. Wizard was Curiosity. As he demonstrated Newton's First Law of Motion with a marble and half of a paper plate, he taught me to question the why of what I saw around me. To inquire as to how things worked, and what forces in the world caused them to work that way.

For that, Mr. Wizard, I thank you.

Though I must say that the "magician" who came to my class in the third grade probably does not. Without your guidance, I might not have figured out how he stuck a needle into that balloon without popping it. You'd have been proud, it was even slyer than your scotch tape trick! Sure, I may have "ruined" the "magic" of it for the class, but to me the real magic was knowing how it worked.

I'm sure you would agree with me, Mr. Wizard.

What I wouldn't have given to be one of the kids who got to drop by Mr. Wizard's house and learn how different chemicals burn different colours, and build telescopes out of cardboard tubes.

Thank you, Mr. Wizard, for making science interesting--far more interesting, I must say, than most of the science teachers I have known.

Thank you, Mr. Herbert, for inspiring a generation of children to look beyond the surface, to search out explanations, to seek out the Whys of everyday life. I can only hope that there is someone out there to follow in your footsteps.

But I've gotta say, those are an awfully big pair of saftey glasses to fill.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Searching for the past

So yesterday during a slow moment at work I finally caved and joined Facebook

I initialized the account, accepted the 2 pending friend requests that immediately popped up, and then...? I immediately ran a search for my 8th grade boyfriend.


I did the same thing when I joined both MySpace and Friendster, which begs the question: why am I so fascinated with tracking down this boy (man)? Generally when I imagine the people I knew "back then," I imagine them fat and miserable, married to losers and with shitty jobs.

Clearly, I did not have a good relationship with many of the people I went to high school with.

Yet for him it's a giant question mark. Is he married? Happy? Successfull? And for god sake did he ever learn how to kiss properly?? (Much as I loved him, he was woeful in this department).

I can't quite pin down why he continues to crop up in my thoughts. Perhaps because he was my first love. That first boy you talk about marriage with, even though you are both far too young to have any idea what that really means. The first real kiss. Why does he still show up in my dreams from time to time, like he did a few nights ago?

I think maybe I yearn for a time when relationships were so much simpler. Where if two people each decided the other was "cute," suddenly they were "going out." You got the committment out of the way early and then worried about getting to know one another. And as much as I love sex, relationships were a hell of a lot more simple when your biggest concern was whether or not to let him put his hand up your shirt, and if you did, how much trouble would he have with your bra?

Obviously we can't go back to that. And as adults I suppose our relationships are much more fulfulling than their predecessors. I say "suppose," because I can offer no expert opinion here. My adult relationships, such as the are, have all been fairly shallow.

I just wish that, as adults, we could retain some of that wonder we felt in our youth. When it was all new and exciting, and holding hands at a carnival in the parking lot of a middle school was the height of romance--sneaking out of a dance to make out in the darkness the ultimate danger. We've become so caught up in the "adultness" of our relationships that we've forgotten why we used to want them in the first place.

Clearly I'm feeling confessional today, and more than a little nostalgic. For all I know my 8th grade love is now fat and bald and not at all the sex symbol of a 13 year old boy that he once was.

But if you see him, tell him to look me up.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Is Facebook inevitable?


I have been staunchly anti-Facebook from the beginning. For starters, I am already a devout MySpace junkie (aka "loser") and I really don't need yet another virtual community eating up time that should be spent doing things like, oh say grad school homework. Second, I wasn't in school any more.

Now suddenly I am in school again, and it seems that everyone I know is joining and pressuring me to do the same.

Just now I was taunted with the prospect of baby photos of the child of a friend who lives in Australia, so this is pretty much the only way I will ever see the kid! It's not fair!

So just how much pride will have to be swallowed to take what seems like the inevitable plunge? Probably not much, being that I just (anonymously) admitted my MySpace addiction to the general populace.

We shall see, I suppose... we shall see....

Sunday, September 9, 2007

After all, Man is a Carnivore by Nature....

The Standoff

The Thrill of Victory

The Agony of Defeat

(Clearly, I should not be left alone with the digital camera)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

This morning an Irishman woke up alone

I think I might have to fire my friends.

Really, by now they ought to know better than to leave me alone with any marginally attractive man with an accent. Particularly in an establishment that serves alcohol. Which is how I found myself staring at the ceiling somewhere around 4:30am thinking "you're in your mid-30s, you really should be better at this...."

And so, dear readers, when I awoke around 8am, cold, needing the bathroom, and still somewhat drunk, I was faced with two options: get dressed, go to the bathroom, come back and go back to sleep, or get dressed, go to the bathroom, and leave before the Irishman woke up.

I bet you can guess which I chose.

My (dubious) luck ran out, however, when I discovered the bathroom to be occupied. As I had no intention of sticking around to introduce myself to whoever was in there, I crossed my fingers that my hair didn't completely betray the previous evening's activities--decided that, in actual fact, I really didn't care--and quietly made my escape.

I've decided to chuck the phrase "Walk of Shame," as only once that I can recall have I actually experienced anything like shame during one of these desperate bids for freedom. Today, for instance, it was more like annoyance that I had to walk half a mile and catch a subway before I was allowed to go back to sleep.

Slipping and falling in a puddle in the subway station was really the coup de grace for the morning.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Bathroom update: Pros and Cons

PRO: Nice new concrete floor covering the abyss, shiny new copper pipes for sink plumbing.

CON: The frikkin' toilet is once again disconnected.

Also I would very much like to take a shower, but the last time I showered over a toilet was in Italy, and I really have no desire to revisit that particular experience.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

In the words of Homer Simpson... "Woo hoo!"

As of 9:30-ish last night, the toilet is back!

It's not pretty, but it flushes. Also my shower now drains like normal plumbing should, rather than 2 hours later and with much deposition of icky residue.

How long it takes the landlords to get a contractor in here to repair the walls and floor, reinstall the sink, and relocate the medicine cabinet so that it's over the new location of the sink (rather than halfway over the toilet), remains to be seen. The main thing is: I can now pee with impunity. Thank god.

In non-plumbing related news (yes! There is a world outside my bathroom! who knew??), tonight was my second class as a graduate student and it's finally happened: I am officially stoked! (And not just because I think the TA is kinda cute). After tonight's class I've determined that a.) all the people who said "oh! that's a really great class!" weren't just blowing smoke up my ass, and b.) it's going to be an excellent expansion of some stuff I did in my undergrad--ie, the undergrad work is the jumping-off point, and this class will be taking those ideas and exercises to a whole other level.

I really do hate the phrase "whole other level," but in this particular instance, it works.

After class I shepherded a bunch of my classmates over to our program orientation meeting (apparently I was the only one who read that email), which I feared would be as worthless as the last one I attended ("um, excuse me, but I don't understand... am I supposed to pull my pants down before or after I go to the bathroom...?"), but Rejoice! This session actually contained.... *gasp!*... useful information!!

We got to meet one of the other professors in the department, and learn interesting things like the fact that you have to apply to graduate! Good thing they told us, or I'd have finished up my credits and wandered off thinking I had a Masters. Silly girl, they don't just give it to you because you've done the work! You have to ask...

Also I've determined that I can totally wrap this baby up in one year. By the end of the summer term you'll be looking at Froggy, Master of Arts.

Ooooh, I like the sound of that.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Bathroom... still...

How is it possible that after another day's worth of work, my bathroom actually looks WORSE than it did yesterday??

Here was the state of affairs approximately half an hour ago:

I can only hope that all the loud noises that have since been emanating from that area of the apartment indicate that the overall situation is improving. I would really like to take a shower tomorrow.

The Bathroom, part 2

Well, I made it through the night without a toilet. Now I'm just hoping that I can make it to work before certain parts of my internal waste disposal system kick into gear (if you know what I mean).

This morning I washed my hair and upper body in the kichen sink. I felt like Kelly McGillis in "Witness," only without Harrison Ford standing by to gaze lustily through a half-open door.

Despite my whinging, however, I am trying to remind myself that while annoying, it's really all for the best.

Take, for example, the conversation the plumber had with my landlady last night, in which he said that this (see below) "had a crack in it" and would have to be replaced.

Now, given the lovely brown colour and the fact that I was still somewhat in shock over the state of my bathroom, I thought that it was just another support beam. I wasn't entirely sure why the plumber was concerned with the structural integrity of the house, but really, I had more important things to worry about. You know, like where I would be peeing for the next 24 hours.

Then this morning, as I tread cautiously on the plywood covering the abyss in search of q-tips, I took a closer look.

Turns out it's not a beam, it's a pipe. And this is the "crack"...


Given that particular state of affairs, it seems lucky that the only symptom I suffered was a backed up drain.

Still, I do miss my toilet. And my shower. And my floor. Keep your fingers crossed that the plumer is actually able to finish today as promised.

In the mean time, anyone feel like spying on my neighbors?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It's a good thing I bought a new digital camera today...

Because this is what I came home to:

Note the decided lack of such amenities as a toilet. And a floor.

Actually, that's a lie. The toilet is still here...

As is the sink.

And this. No, I don't know what it is either.

So it would seem that, despite working for nearly 12 hours today, the plumber was unable to fulfill his promise that I would have a functional toilet this evening.

The landlords have been nice enough to leave their apartment door unlocked so that I can use their bathroom, but a.) it's down 2 flights of stairs, and b.) I really don't need my landlords knowing that I am a freak of nature to who has to pee, like, every 20 minutes.

The plumber has promised that the work will be finished tomorrow. That doesn't mean my wall and floor will be intact, but I will at least have functional plumbing.

Baby steps.

The landlady says that they'll be hiring a contractor to come in and repair the walls and floor, as that is beyond her and her husband's capabilities (as if the easily deconstructed plywood walls in the hallway were not indication enough of their limited construction skills).

So I am hoping that the silver lining to all of this will be that, in addition to a functional drain in my tub, I might get some decent tiles to replace the shitty linoleum currently in residence on what remains of my bathrom floor.


In other news, my first night of class went well, and I am moderately less panicked than before. Granted, we just met with our subject librarian and learned about the myriad of research resources available to us--and DAMN! the NYU library is freaking HUGE!!--but all in all I'm thinking maybe I'll survive this whole grad school thing after all.


Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the bathroom.

Really, I'm only mildly panicked.

(So much so that I just published this post without actually typing anything in the body. Clearly, I'm on my A game today.)

Today would normally be a relaxing day here in the office. For starters, it is the first day of my school-term hours, 10am-4pm, which I can already tell I'm gonna love. Second, nobody else in the executive corner of the office is in today. There are: 2 vacations, 1 business trip, and 1 personal day, leaving Froggy here all by her lonesome, and finished with the one menial and laborious task she had to complete. Ahhhh, nothing to do but surf the internet and watch the last 25 minutes of the day tick quietly by.

So what, you may ask, is the problem?

The problem is that tonight is my first class as a grad student and I am bugging the hell out.

I shouldn't be, I know this. I'm a good student. Always have been. Hell, I only applied to ONE graduate school--one of 2 in the country that offer my specific program--and I got in! That has to count for something, right?

But that doesn't stop the nagging little voice at the back of my head that looks at my 18 page syllabus and wonders "oh dear lord, what the hell have I gotten myself into?!??"

Also there is the fact that, when it comes to certain things--like my education--I can be a bit, oh, let's say anal. At the beginning of my undergrad I sat down with the coursebook and more or less plotted out the next 4 years of my academic life. Not down to the minute or anything, but I knew which classes I was going to take in what year, and how hard I'd have to work to make up for the smaller number of credits I'd earn on my year abroad. I walked into my first advising appointment with everything figured out, much to the surprise--and apparent relief--of my advisor, who had clearly been dealing with panicked freshman all day.

And that felt good.

Now here I am at a large university--instead of the cozy, tiny-liberal-arts-school atmosphere I know and love--and they don't tell us ANYTHING. I feel like that panicked freshman who doesn't know what to do, because the answers aren't even out there for me to find on my own! There aren't even course descriptions in my department! My classes were chosen based on the title and comments like "oh yeah, that's a good class" from my advisor. I asked about the requirements for my degree (ie- what classes do I need to take?) and her response was "oh don't worry, you're with me, it'll all work out."

While the above might be my philosophy to life in general, it most certainly is NOT my philosophy in terms of the $35k in student loans that I took out to finance this particular year of my life. I want ANSWERS people! I want definites!

I want to go home and take a nap.

Oh, but did I mention that my landlady called at approximately 8:30 this morning to let me know that the plumber was coming today to tear up the floors in my bathroom and get started on the 2-day ordeal that is fixing my crummy drain?

I just hope he remembers his promise to reconnect the toilet so that I don't come home from my first night of class to discover that I must pee in a jar.

Monday, September 3, 2007


Yet another entry on the long list of reasons why my parents rock:  in addition to trekking up to NYC to be my personal slaves for half of the holiday weekend, they also brought me a big bag of freshly picked Pennsylvania sweet corn.

Now, to all of you out there who think you know what corn on the cob is, I must clarify:  you do not know the true meaning of sweet corn until you have had Silver Queen corn grown in the fields of Pennsylvania, and sold on a table at the side of the road for $3/dozen.  There is nothing like it in the world.

And to the kitchen staff at my favourite lunch buffet:  "Sweet corn" does NOT mean that you take canned corn, add a pound of granulated sugar, and then serve it up on the buffet.  So please, just stop.

I have furniture!!


I no longer feel guilty about having avoided the gym for several months, as this weekend certainly put the "Labor" into Labor Day!

But the results are stunning.  My apartment no longer looks like the residence of some poverty-stricken squatter who owns only a butterfly chair, a coffee table, and a very old television.  It now looks like the home of, well, an adult. Really, it's kindof creepy.

However, this remarkable transformation did not come about without incident--most of which centers around my couch.

My parents came up for Friday and Saturday to help with the transport and installation of furniture, as well as to bring some stuff that I'd been storing at their house--like the nice dishes I inherited from my grandmother, which I can use now that I no longer have to worry about roommates breaking them.

Friday was an exhausting day of hauling heavy furniture up the VERY narrow stairs of my building, but we rewarded ourselves with a nice dinner and several glasses of Stella.  All in all, it was a good day.

Saturday I once again dragged my ass out of bed alarmingly early for a weekend and trudged over to my parents' hotel for an expensive but excellent breakfast.  Then we began our trek to the IKEA over in Jersey. (Hint: it may be a bit further away than the IKEA on Long Island, but the sales tax is only 3.5% vs NY's 8.75%.  And they were offering 10% off for Students!  See, I knew grad school was good for something!).

We only got moderately lost navigating across Manhattan (what can I say?  I never even walk downtown, let alone drive there!), but the real fun began towards the end of our stint on the Jersey Turnpike.

The highway splits and one half becomes 78 W and the other 95 S.  Easy, right?  The sign says "95 S Keep Left," so we merge left.  No problem.  

About 50 yards later there is another sign: "95 S, Right Lane."  Ooookay, sure.  So we merge right.  

50 yards later, yet another sign: "95 S, Keep Left."  WTF??  But we merge left.  Again.  

Then, you guessed it, ANOTHER sign, this one telling us, yet again, that we should be in the Right lane!  

By this time my dad is swearing up a storm, as are all the other drivers behind us, one of which decides to display his displeasure by cutting in front of us, slamming on his breaks, giving us the finger, and then speeding away.

Like it was our fault that whoever placed those signs was clearly acting out some bizarre revenge fantasy on the drivers of New Jersey.

Note: he also mis-labeled the exit ramp signs when we finally got off the turnpike.  Bastard.

However, we finally made it to IKEA and all was fine and dandy.  I scored a couch, a bookshelf, and several very nice rugs all for a ridiculously low price.  I really do love IKEA.

Then they wheeled my couch out of the warehouse and it seems that "some assembly required" really means "screw the legs on;"  aka: "How the HELL are we going to get all of this in Blazer along with 3 human beings??"

So my mom sat on my lap in the front seat the whole way back from Jersey.

And we got stuck in traffic.

But the *real* fun began when it was time to get the couch into my apartment.

Now, I had measured the narrowest part of the stairway before selecting the couch, and I knew it would fit up the stairs.  And it did, with remarkably little difficulty.

We should have taken that as a sign, because when it came time to angle it through my oddly-placed front door, we hit a snag.

Actually, it was the wall.  Then the door frame.  Then the ceiling.  No matter how we repositioned the damned thing, we were always shy by about half an inch.

This is the point where most normal people would have given up, but not the P______ family.  We are stubborn bastards.  So as we stand in the hallway sweating and swearing, I look around and say, "you know, that wall right there is just a sheet of plywood nailed over a door frame.  If we took it down, that would give us an extra 2 inches of space to work in."

Which is precisely what we did. 

We took down a fucking WALL to get my couch into my apartment.

You know, I never thought it would turn out to be a good thing that my landlords are crap at renovation, but if that wall had been properly installed sheetrock, we would have been screwed.

But whoever rents this apartment after me is gonna have to buy that damned couch.