Thursday, October 27, 2005

She gives me money...

This is a picture of me striking a deal with my friend Tara. I said, "Let's dress exactly the same for the rest of out lives. If you deviate, I have full liberty to take all of your money." As you can see, she was very excited about the agreement.

Last night, instead of going to the gym, I bought myself a new toothbrush. In light of a recent study showing that gum disease can increase the risk of having a heart attack, in essence, buying a new toothbrush was just as beneficial to my heart as working out for an hour would have been. Next week, I will pack myself a bag for the gym and go buy floss.

And now, I will pose a question: Is it better to work under someone truly menacing or truly incompetent? Both provide ample opportunities for gossip and disrespect, but I have yet to fully understand their individual effects on my productivity.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I believe the children are our future...

If this image does not make you happy then you are a cold, hard person.

The weather has cooled down here in New York, and with the drop in temperature there has been a raise in my spirits. This morning I stopped and got myself an egg sandwich. I would say that inexpensive egg sandwiches are the absolute greatest thing about midtown. When I was in eighth grade, I was driving through San Francisco with my parents, and I remember looking out the window at a huge slab of concrete and thinking, "When I grow up I am going to live in a real city for a year." I pictured myself sitting in a coffee shop every morning drinking coffee, eating a croissant and reading the newspaper.

Here I am, ten years later, and I have been living in a real city for one year and two weeks. Instead of the real city being San Francisco, it is New York. The leisurely morning at the coffee shop with coffee, a croissant and the paper has been replaced with me on a bus, running late, reading celebrity gossip over someone's shoulder, and drinking green tea and eating a granola bar once I have sent the morning media monitoring report to the client. As it turns out, I do not like coffee, current events or getting up early. I am undecided about croissants. I love egg sandwiches. In fact, I would marry egg sandwiches if I could, but I don't really want to have to raise baby egg sandwiches. They are a handful!

Alright, stop distracting me; I seriously have to get some work done!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

It is difficult to find a gas station in Manhattan, but it is not impossible. It is easier to find one in Queens. I have been trying to talk a friend of mine into loitering at a gas station with me, and not only has he not agreed, he has not even addressed the fact that I have extended the invitation. So, that's enough. The friendship is officially called off and I am now extending this offer to the general public. By the general public, I mean the four people who read my blog. If anyone would like to loiter at a gas station, I am imagining an hour or so of sitting on the curb, eating Snickers ice cream bars and microwavable burritos and drinking beer out of a brown paper bag. We'll look tough and make up stories about the people coming to get gas.

Think it over and let me know.

Attached above please find a picture of me loitering at Owl's Liquors in Santa Fe. I would have liked to stay longer than the 20 seconds it took to take the picture, but it's not in a safe neighborhood.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Imagine my delight

Chinese chimp quits smoking after 16 years

Last Updated: 2005-10-03 11:13:52 -0400 (Reuters Health)

BEIJING (Reuters) - A chimpanzee in a northwest China zoo has quit
smoking after 16 years with the help of her keepers, official media

The staff, worried about her declining health, weaned 27-year-old "Ai
Ai" off tobacco by distracting her with entertainment and a tastier
diet, Xinhua news agency said.

"The zookeepers tried every way to divert the chimp's attention from
cigarettes: a walk after breakfast, a music session after lunch and
gym after dinner," Xinhua said.

She also got fried dishes and dumplings, as well as the usual diet of
milk, bananas and rice, said one zookeeper.

"I also put earphones on her so that she could enjoy some pop music
from my Walkman," he said.

"In the first few days, she squealed for cigarettes every now and
then, but as her life became more colourful she gradually forgot about
them altogether."

Xinhua attributed Ai Ai's habit to solitude and grief.

Living in a safari park in Shaanxi province, she had taken up smoking
in 1989 shortly after her mate died, it said. Then she had become a
chain smoker after her second mate died in 1997 and her daughter was
moved to another zoo.

Xinhua did not say who had first given cigarettes to her or kept
supplying them.

The Xian Evening News said the zoo was trying to find another mate for her.

A few thoughts:

1) Ai Ai lost two mates and her daughter. OF COURSE she took up smoking.
2) Although I am happy for Ai Ai's success, I really don't think replacing a tobacco addiction with a dumpling addiction is necessarily the answer. Maybe there should be a little less music and a little more counseling.
3) I appreciate the fact that Ai Ai was a casual smoker for eight years before the death of her second mate, when the smoking became a serious problem.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

And after all these years, forget about all the troubled times, the troubled times...

Happy Anniversary to me. A year ago today, I moved from Mission Viejo, CA to New York City, NY. I think that today would be a good time to tell the story of my move.

I took a red-eye flight from LAX the night of October 4. Since my flight did not leave until about 11PM, I had an entire awkward day to pass before I took off. I was already packed, what little I was bringing had already been shipped, I had said good-bye to my friends- I had nothing to do. I ended up watching MTV for a few hours, including one show about a blonde dancer who moved to New York City to try to break into the Broadway scene. I remember scoffing because she stayed for about two months before moving home. "Lightweight!" I thought. Oh, the arrogance of the ignorant...

Anyway, after watching TV all afternoon,I ran errands with my mom. We were both pretty depressed, so when I went into the drug store to buy mascara, she gave me money to pick up some beer. I think she meant for me to buy a six pack that the whole family could enjoy, but instead I chose two large Heineken keg cans. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. The cashier looked down at the mascara, lip gloss and beer knowingly, as if it was obvious to her that I was about to spend the evening trying to seduce someone.

I had dinner (and my keg can of beer) with my family, and then we took off for the airport. The good byes were sad but not overly drawn out. Before I knew it, I was on the plane falling asleep. I woke up once very early in the morning as we were flying over Long Island. A wave of panic unlike any I have ever felt rushed through my body, particularly through my upper arms. Was I crazy???? This was not the time to answer that question; I made myself go immediately back to sleep.

I landed in JFK around 6AM. I picked up my two suitcases and got into a taxi. On the ride to the city, I read a card that my brother had given me and ate a Cliff Bar for energy. I hate Cliff Bars; they taste truly awful, but I eat them because my brother-in-law does. I had the driver drop me off at Penn Station and I put my suitcases in the storage unit. I was supposed to meet my uncle at this exact location in about 12 hours so that I could head with him out to Princeton, New Jersey, where I would stay for the next week or two until I found a place to live. What was I supposed to do for the next 12 hours in a city that I had spent no more than six days in before moving there?

I decided to head to the offices of Ruder Finn, the place where I would start work in six days. I didn't want to go in; I just wanted to look at it. (One year later, I still come back just to look at it. No, I don't. They make me go in and do stuff.)

Once my only idea was over, I decided it would be a good idea just to walk. I walked from 57th Street up to 80th Street, and then down to Tribeca. My guess is that it is about a five mile walk. I took long breaks for lunch and then to read at the New York Public Library. I read part of Steinbeck's "The Pearl," and then I fell asleep with my head on a long table. The security guard woke me up by knocking on the desk.

At three o'clock, I met up with the only person that I knew in New York at the time, Ryan Burke. We had a late lunch/early dinner, but I was pretty disoriented and not very conversational. I hung out at his apartment until I took the subway over to Penn Station to meet my uncle.

And now here I am, one year later. I thought I would be really happy having made it to my year, the time period I set for myself, but I feel sort of weird. Weird but satisfied, because I just ate some tomato soup with rice in it.