Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Maybe I've only had this sleeplessness since law school. When we went to Myrtle, my problem was not sleeplessness. I slept for a good part of the daytime before we left for Myrtle. Then again, I drove the night shift, so maybe the Myrtle trip was just the exception. Because I did stay up late packing in college all the time too. But those times, I had SO much more stuff. Now the stuff that takes up all the room is just my hanging clothes!
Oh well. I should probably finish up so I get my 2 hour nap in. (That's not to say that this will be the last post for the night though...) This time tomorrow, I should be sound asleep, gearing up for the home stretch to Chicago. Whee!
Packing is so boring. Sigh.
* I'll add more to this entry when I'm not supposed to be packing. :)
Monday, August 30, 2004
When asking what Republicans can do to win the election, this person from somewhere in Arkansas wrote in that, if Republicans take a strong stand against immigration, they could win the election. Then he/she continued (paraphrased): After all, immigrants shouldn't be here since they can't and won't assimilate into American society.
What is this, the 1920s??
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Edited by request to add pictures (1:07 am): The lighting isn't very good, so the pictures don't look nearly as good as they did on TV. Photos are linked from athens2004.com.
All I've done for the past few days is pack and clean. I'm in the process of trashing a lot of stuff I have kept stored in my room for the past few years (if not more). It's good to have a cleaning binge sometimes. Very very useful for getting rid of clutter. Now, this is not to say that my room is clean and neat right now (far from it, it's sort of "in progress"), but I am proud of myself for taking the first step to throw things away. [It's sad sometimes though... I look at the course packets in the recycling bin and think about how much money I just threw away. But honestly, when am I ever going to read my course packet stuff again? (Now that I've said that, I'll probably have a need to, but seriously... when?)] My mom secretly snapped a shot of my room at its worst state this summer (I found it on her camera and it's embarrassing). I had barely been living in my room for weeks since it was the last few weeks of work and I was always out, so things were just dropped everywhere (get home-drop everything-sleep-go to work-rinse and repeat). Maybe I'll take a picture of it all "fixed up" when I leave and do a contrast QE-style (music and all). We'll see.
I've been watching C-Span for the past few hours since they were the only ones to broadcast the entire protest live. It was really interesting. There were so many creative and good signs, and I was really impressed by some of them. Sad part is that I can't remember all of them and I should have kept a running list! Maybe later I'll list the things that have stuck in my memory after those hours of coverage. But I do have to say, based on where one of the C-Span cameras was set up, viewers learned one distinct message: "Fox News sucks." :)
[Aside: C-Span is still on and they're taking calls from the Bush/Kerry/independent phone lines. This woman from Texas going on and on about Bush taking the city into his arms and blah blah blah and he went to war for New York, blah blah blah, and no one was marching like this in front of the WTC, was driving me crazy. I don't understand why people still think Iraq was responsible for 9/11. It boggles my mind!]
Off to clean up and pack some more... I'm sort of amazed with myself in how much I've been able to go through, even though there's so much more. Wish me luck with all of this summer cleaning!
Friday, August 27, 2004
We stayed at the Taj... where they taped the Apprentice last season! I got so excited when I saw the VIP registration sign.
For more photos from Atlantic City, go here. Enjoy! :)
Thursday, August 26, 2004
The Empire State Building, looking towards midtown, before leaving the city this afternoon.
It was a beautiful day today. I spent mid-morning strolling along Park Avenue on the Upper East Side, and it was so incredibly relaxing and peaceful. It was a perfect day just to stroll... with no destination in mind, enjoying the weather, taking in the sights of everyday life. Good weather, good places, good people-watching... it just doesn't get better than that. *contented sigh* :)
- Synchronized swimming is so hard. I didn't get to see the finals in the free routine (I don't even know if they aired today, but if they did, they were probably on Bravo, since NBC only shows certain things it seems), but watching the Russians in the preliminary was mesmerizing. They were just so perfect. I just don't know how you can do 4 minute routines like that in the water and still have so much energy at the end! The medal results were really no surprise though... but it's still amazing to watch. I really want to see the team routines. It would look just like old movies!
- I only saw 2 or 3 gymnastics routines from the gala, but I did see Carly Patterson fall on her butt. Oops.
- I missed most of the men's springboard diving because I was watching The Amazing Race. But TAR is worth it, every time.
- I did get to see Morocco's El Guerrouj win the gold, and I was so happy for him. I was also glad that NBC did a spotlight on a non-American athlete. It was so exciting to watch him win!
- You know, ever since I complained that Bob Costas was being overly melodramatic and moralizing in his closing monologues, they've gotten more tolerable. The one about El Guerrouj's phone calls yesterday was sweet, and the one today about the Polish men was fascinating. I think it was me... because I said something, the monologues got better. ;-)
- What explains the difference in physical appearance between platform divers and springboard divers? In any daydream I ever had about diving (over many, many years), I was always a platform diver. But who am I kidding... I can't even dive off the side of the pool.
- I was hoping that Kimiko Soldati would make the top 18, but oh well. :( But she doesn't look 30!! No way, that can't be possible.
- I could never do hurdles. I'd go straight into the first one, and cause a major wipeout. I was so excited for Joanna Hayes yesterday that I was hoping the race wouldn't get re-run.
- Athens is so beautiful. :-) The Olympics + The Amazing Race probably account for my sudden interest in researching airfares to and within Europe last night. Oops.
Okay... enough for tonight. Need to take Azure in for another visit tomorrow. Poor girl.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
You are Sloth!
Lazy huh?? You're a bit slow in getting going - and tend not to do anything unless it is absolutely necessary. You'd rather sit around, watch TV/Sleep then go out and about with friends, or take part in a sporting event. On the positive side, you tend to be quite smart, as you spend a lot of time watching the News (!!) or on the computer, Also by conserving your energy, it's right there waiting for you when it's vitally important to get going. Consider possibly moving out of the room once in a while - and perhaps once a week trade watching TV for half an hour with a walk - and you'll be back on track. However, Congratulations on being the most intelligent of the 7 deadly sins...
?? Which Of The Seven Deadly Sins Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla
What do you all think - true or false?
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
In other business news, the Apprentice Season 1 is available on DVD, and you can hear Trump tell you that "you're fired" without even playing the DVD. The box talks. How great is that?? :)
Time for synchronized swimming on Bravo. :)
Went for some test drives, and sure enough, we went in a left circle at the end of a dead end street, and heard the awful noise. So now that sound is gone, but I still heard the chirping once on my drive home!! Going to drive around a lot over the next few days, and hopefully the chirping will be gone, so that Azure doesn't need another trip to the car doctor!
Edit, 11:48 am, 24 August: They're found!! Last time the posts were really gone. This time they showed up in edit posts, but when you "viewed" them, there were errors. But they're found! Yay!
So a preliminary question, how the heck did Alexei Nemov finish after Morgan Hamm in the high bar?! And a second, how can Paul Hamm possibly have the same score as Igor Cassina?? Were the judges even watching the same routines as the rest of us? My goodness.
So, a running lists of posts I've already told myself I need to write, but haven't yet finished/posted/written:
- Men's gymnastics controversies
- NBC Olympic coverage
- Friday night fright
- Restaurants from this summer
There's got to be more, but I can't think of them. So much to write, so little time!
Monday, August 23, 2004
I have no patience as far as finding out gymnastics results... I have the live scoreboard up on my computer right now, and really want to know how the guy got a 4.550 in his vault! I'm terrible... why can't I just wait until it's on TV later?!
- I was so happy for Dimosthenis Tampakos. (Yes, I looked up the spelling.) I can only imagine how proud he must have been standing there with his gold medal, representing his home country, and having the crowd sing the national anthem with him. It made me feel really good, and it's not my country! :) It's not like it's a medal in front of the home country, where the home country wins a lot of medals (like the USA or Australia). Those are still special, but this was sort of... extra-special, I think.
- Happy with the women's platform diving results. For whatever reason, I was rooting for Australia the whole time. ;-) Maybe it's because I think Loudy Tourky looks good. Haha.
- It took Alvin a while (because there are like no pictures of her!), but he finally found a picture of who we think has to be the cutest athlete in the games - Li Ya. She looks like she's 6 when she's out there.
- I can't stand Bob Costas's primetime closing monologues. Can we say melodrama?? His whole thing today on cheaters being a disgrace for all eternity was a little over the top. Sure, it's bad that it's defiling sacred space by having a winner who tested positive for steroids. But I don't need lectures on morality with my sports. Am I the only one who feels this way??
I'm sad that swimming's over. I think I like it much better than track. I realized yesterday that my favorite Summer Olympic sports (table tennis aside) all involve water or tumbling (or both!). I guess it's good that I didn't try out for the track team in high school, huh? ;-)
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Upon Arrival at the Room:
- I really don't want to go to this class. I can think of a much better use of my time for a Sunday morning and afternoon, and the weather is gorgeous!
- There are 8 booklets on the tables, and 7 seats taken. Great... it's a really small class and now I have to sit in the front.
- (Flipping through the book) There's "course agreements"?! And the agreements include active participation and no eating or drinking?? No way.
- How long before this is over....
- One of the course goals and objectives was "to understand how my attitude affects my driving." Instructor commented on how some of us probably didn't want to be there, but "this can be fun!" Hmm... I felt like he was talking about me, even if he wasn't looking at me. ;-)
- He said that going to traffic court to dispute a picture from a red light camera is an admission that you were the driver of the vehicle. Immediately my legal brain kicks into gear, and is like, not necessarily if the photo doesn't show a violation, and you're just arguing based on the physical evidence!
- Some things I learned about going the speed limit: If you drive at 100 mph, it's an automatic arrest. If you drive at twice the speed limit, they can seize your vehicle and you can be brought up on criminal charges. (See, I never cared to remember this because I don't drive at 100 mph or at twice the speed limit.) We also learned about how many mph over the speed limit you can drive on the service road and probably not be pulled over (*shh* and I'm not telling you how many).
- I was really getting unsettled by the drawing of a stick figure in a box on the board. I get it, you drive recklessly, and you can die. But I've had enough of death imagery for the past few days, and I don't want to keep hearing about people being in pine boxes. And bones being collected. And white sheets...
- The teacher referred to the story in the news about the New Jersey woman who ran back and forth over her husband 5 times and claimed it was an accident. He said it was premeditated. Now I didn't learn anything in crim law that I remember, but I remember enough to know that that doesn't necessarily mean it was premeditated. Many other possibilities, but I am not well-versed enough in them to say anything. (Wait until bar prep and then I'll spit some crim stuff out at you.)
- Dammit... people are walking in at 9:15 and 9:30?! I didn't have to get here on time??
- Anecdote: At a certain time every day outside one of the local intermediate schools, the school buses line up, put out their stop signs, and kids start boarding the buses. This woman would pass a bus, stop, look to see if anyone was coming, go, and do the same thing for each one of the 12 buses in line. They stopped her afterwards, and asked her if she knew what she did, and she did, and they asked her how many buses, and she said 12. Not only was that a hefty monetary penalty, but 5 points per bus. That's 60 points on her license for one block of driving past buses!
- There's this woman in the class that won't stop talking. She has a comment about everything. I don't think her mouth ever closed between the talking, coffee, and donuts. Aiya. It doesn't stop!! So we had to rate compared with other drivers, how we rate our driving skills. I learned something from law school! I remember learning that 80% of people think they drive better than average (and he later read this statistic). So this woman thinks she drives like a 10 (where 10 is the best), even though she talks about how she weaves in and out of traffic. Hmm.
- Great. He just wrote "Speed Kills" on the board. Yes, this I know, but do I need it glaring at me in green and white?
- I am sick of hearing about the pine box!!
- Helicopters and planes really do check your speed by radar. I guess I shouldn't have mocked the sign when we drove through Virginia on the way to Myrtle.
- This class reminds me of why I didn't like sitting through classes in high school. I am so glad that time of my life is behind me.
- 10 am: this elderly Asian woman walks in. She can barely walk and sort of hobbles over to her seat. Is it possible that she can really drive?!
- We learned where the red light cameras are on Staten Island.
- Nice... the teacher witnesses a couple having a fistfight while he was driving. Yikes. Has it really only been an hour?
- I don't need to know that the loudmouth woman drives naked under a coat. Even if she is joking.
- Anecdote from someone in the class: He works at the firehouse, and they didn't like one of the chiefs there because he had a BAD attitude. So they keep their keys in the firehouse, and the car on the street right outside. Right outside the firehouse is a red light camera. Apparently, the guys at the firehouse took the car and drove it through the red light 12 times waving at the camera. Oops. ;-)
- He said we get sun glare in the car because the window is dirty. Is that true?
- I guess this class is good training for my last year of law school and sitting through classes I don't necessarily like.
- The firefighter has good stories.
- 95% of police officers on SI show up for traffic court, so you don't want to go to court over a ticket.
- There was a taxicab that was a decoy car giving out tickets, but the local paper did a story on it, zooming in on the license plate and everything, so they had to swap the cab and use a different one.
- One important thing I did learn about is dialing *77 when an unmarked car pulls you over so you know it's not suspicious.
- One of the questions in the book was, "What are some of the negative effects a collision could have on your life?" My written response, "Uh... death?"
- I ran across the street to get a bag of Combos. (Well, a snack, and it ended up being Combos.) I used to get these all the time at Krauszers in college, and now I don't know how I liked them.
- On the way back from break, the loudmouth lady said she likes the teacher because he's "someone who gets you talking." Well, um, dear, I'm sure this isn't one of your problems.
- We watched the Disney cartoon "Motor Mania," and (besides the tips on red light cameras and speed traps and *77 and the good anecdotes) this was my favorite part of the class.
- After the cartoon, we watched this Penske-sponsored seatbelt thing. It was so sleep-inducing. I get it, seatbelts are good. I already knew that.
- It's freezing in this room. I'm wearing jeans and bundled up in a jacket. The loudmouth lady never once said it was cold (many others did) and she was wearing tight black bike pants and a t-shirt. And going to the bathroom a lot. The bathroom was in the little classroom. For me, unless it was an emergency, it would be too weird to go to the bathroom during class when it's in the same room. What if you could hear the person in there? Eww.
- The teacher was talking about how when you drive long distances, you should take a break and exercise to wake up. Loud lady's comment: "Driving can be relaxing." Uh... where did that come from and how is it related??
- Anecdote: Over by one of the bridges to New Jersey, this man in a small car fell asleep, went over to the other side of the road, and got hit by an 18 wheeler. The driver of the truck was flipping out because all he could find under the truck was the rear of the car. The front of the car was gone! Our teacher had reported there, and followed the tire tracks which led to the bushes. There he found, as if cut off by a razor, the front half of the car... and the driver sound asleep at the wheel. He didn't even wake up from the impact! The teacher and a cop shook the guy to wake him up, and he said there had been no accident. They then asked him where the back of his car was. He turned around and was like, "someone stole the rear of my car!" Unbelievable... hit by a truck, car cut in half, and he's sound asleep in the car. Yikes.
- Why are some of these people laughing at people who fall asleep right away and anywhere?? It's a medical condition, and it's called narcolepsy!
- *yawn* I'm so tired ... yippee, we're talking about road rage. *yawn*
We got a lunch break and I got a slice of pizza.
What I learned after coming back from lunch break:
- What people think of the terror alerts
- About the machine that vaporizes alcohol for people who don't like the taste, and about bars offering it
- How the loud lady doesn't understand why people could run on the treadmill and drip with sweat, and keep running
Less stories after lunch break, because we wanted to get out so we actually read through the material quickly.
- Learned about where this cop sits off one of the exits on the expressway, and people average 30 miles over the speed limit. He stays there 5 days a week writing out tickets. That means people are averaging 70 on the service road!
- Hmm. That's twice now that we've gotten the same line about leaving your kid in the car and making 7-11 a drive-thru because the kid hits the gear shift.
- After lunch, time is going quite slowly. It's only 1:20 pm. It's never going to end. Look, the last person (the elderly Asian lady) is finally back from lunch. (We were supposed to be back at 1 pm.) She really can't walk well. I don't know how she drives.
- If you try to touch a blind person, their seeing eye dog might bite you very hard.
- Loud lady really isn't stopping talking... this really feels like high school.
- Some excuses our teacher has heard when people are caught DWI in a crash: "The tree ran across the road." "The overpass wall was running across the highway." Sheesh, do people really think they'll be believed?
- Substance questionnaire question: T/F: "Alcohol is classified as a stimulant." Elderly Asian lady says a resounding false! I don't know what was up with her after lunch, but any question we skipped on the pages she would raise her hand and ask for the answer, as if she was recording the answers for an official record or something.
There have got to be more stories. I remember more! But I've been writing this post for almost an hour, and I think it's gotten quite long. More posts on more exciting topics later. Here, the anecdotes are just interesting. Hope you've had a more exciting day than I did!
It's unfortunate that we didn't get to see some great platform diving in the women's semifinals today because we could only see the Americans and the people Sara Hildebrand had to beat to make it into the finals.
It's unfortunate that I have to spend six hours of my day tomorrow sitting in a defensive driving class to lower my insurance rates (since I don't need to take points off my license or anything), where I will inevitably be bored out of my mind.
It's unfortunate that almost all the chews left in my bag of Starburst candy are orange flavored.
It's unfortunate that my car is still at the service center awaiting its inspection, since the inspection machine is "broken" and my car can't be on the road without a new inspection sticker.
It's unfortunate that I still have so much in the house that I want to clean, but so little time left, especially with the waste of six hours tomorrow.
It's unfortunate that I didn't make it into the city for my Urban Decay makeover today.
I know there are bigger problems in the world. But like the title says, small unfortunate things.
Saturday, August 21, 2004
They're showing the men's trampoline gymnastics right now on NBC, and this stuff is hard. I know jumping on a trampoline is hard to begin with, but with all these flips and having to compete in it - it's so precise and so difficult! I wish I had gotten to see more. Then again, I also wish they were showing more diving at times when I'm watching. All I seem to catch are gymnastics and swimming, not that I'm complaining... but I want to see more diving. I missed all the synchronized diving and that makes me sad.
Anyway, back to trampoline gymnastics... it's just the qualifying, but it's so much fun to watch!
[More posts to come later on last night's scary experience, and the controversy over the men's gymnastics all-around. Maybe. :)]
In other news, I lifted a heavy box of files down the stairs this
I just get so excited whenever I get a room on Priceline, even if it's the second in as many days, that it wakes me up! What can I say? I lead a very exciting life... and am easily amused by the smallest pleasures. ;-)
Thursday, August 19, 2004
6:22 am: Woken up.
6:45 am: Leave for Hyundai, driving back and forth from the house.
8:04 am: Come back home.
8:30 am: Asleep. Knocked out. Don't hear a thing.
11:00 am: Start hearing sounds from downstairs TV.
11:30 am: Finally woken up.
We were on line by 7:15 am. It's close to 2 pm, and the car's still not done yet. (Apparently we were in the third "round" of cars to be allowed into the service center.) And my mom's car was supposed to have less problems than mine. We bring mine in tomorrow... think it'll be done by the time I need to head back to school? ;-)
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Bloomingdale's Lady ("BL"): Here, come try Burberry Brit.
(Mom walks over to BL, who grabs a bottle of cream and slathers it all over Mom's left hand. She then takes the spray perfume bottle, and a huge burst of fragrance hits Mom's hand, right on top of the cream.)
Me: (to Mom, kind of joking, seeing how much the lady sprayed on to her hand) I really hope you like that scent!
BL: (with snooty, semi-authoritative tone) Why wouldn't she like it? It's the best-selling Burberry fragrance globally, and everyone loves it.
Me: (what I said) Right. (what I should have said, dripping with sarcasm) Right... of course she would like it. Because if everyone else around the globe likes it, she has to like it. Why didn't I realize this earlier?
BL: This is also an excellent fragrance for men... (in my head: yadda yadda yadda)
Mom: (sniffing her hand) Is this a women's fragrance that you put on me?
BL: (kind of bitchy now) Well, yeah. What do you think? I'd spray a men's fragrance on you?? Anyway, come over here, we're giving this bag for free today, if you buy something... (more yadda yadda yadda, her voice just had that effect)
At this point, I pulled my mother away, because I did not want to hear any more bitchy remarks out of that woman. She was so snotty!! Her logic... I must like Burberry Brit because everyone else likes Burberry Brit. I smelled it on my mom's hand and I'm really glad I didn't put it on. I went to Sephora, and instead put on Ralph Cool. Much better (for my tastes).
And then tonight, at Carvel picking up ice cream sundaes, some girl (looked like early teens) came up to me with a half-eaten sundae and said slowly -
"I got this just for you." (long pause) "Not."
Then she ran out with her friends, laughing as if this were hilarious. I was speechless - not out of any sort of shock or horror - but because I was dumbfounded that someone would actually think it was funny. Because it was so stupid! And wasn't saying something followed by "Not" what people used to do a lot when people our age were in junior high school?? It can't possibly be back in again now. Ha. Stupid.
I can't believe I have to get up tomorrow at 6. That's like, earlier than I got up for work all summer after the first couple of weeks. And for the next two days, so that we can bring the cars in to Hyundai for check-ups. Wheeee. I guess I'll be napping through mid-morning sprawled out in front of The Price is Right. :)
Monday, August 16, 2004
Watching the Japanese men on the high bar was absolutely thrilling. They are so talented... and so fun to watch. It was exciting watching the Japanese on the high bar, the Chinese on the pommel horse, the Romanians on the rings, and the Americans on the parallel bars... and South Korea, well, we never saw them on TV (here... unless they were on before I got home from the gym). I love watching gymnastics... I just have no talent of my own. ;-)
Hahaha... Bob Costas just used the word "indefatigable." Nice.
I love watching the Chinese men's gymnastics team. And the Japanese. And for days now, all I've talked about is how unfortunate it is that that poor Chinese man can't compete for the gold on the pommel horse. His routine was hot today. Poor man. He's like my favorite, solely because of the pommel horse. Haha.
Watching swimming is pretty exciting too. :) I'm just upset that I keep missing all the synchronized diving! I love Olympic diving!
Also... is it bad that I felt happier leaving the dentist than I did leaving my haircut?
Sunday, August 15, 2004
I don't want to write my IP paper. I don't even have a topic yet. But I am back to work at my Continental letter. Whee. I took yesterday off, and instead went through lots of files, threw out lots of paper (such a cleansing feeling!), and watched the Olympics. Poor Chinese man who messed up on the horse - I felt so bad for him. Didn't do much else yesterday besides drown my sorrows by shopping at Filene's Basement and dining on enchiladas. (I've agonized over this sentence: can someone grammar check it for me? And not using Word...)
Back to the letter... you can tell I wanted to post even though I had nothing to say, and my entire crafting ability is going toward the letter (so this doesn't sound like such a well-written post... not that the rest were either, but ... you know what I mean). Best Buy has a hot 2 for $15 sale - I'm excited. It was 3 for $20 last week, but these movies are better choices. Yay! I am such a DVD addict. :)
Friday, August 13, 2004
It's a very long story... I can tell you about the woman who shouted at me, "you don't gotta know my name! What you gotta know my name for??" and the supervisor who refused to look me in the eye as she told me that one seat on a plane was cancelled due to weather, even though the flight was going to be leaving. The story just might take awhile, and right now, I'm drafting it into a letter. I think I've filled my "bad customer service" quota for the month - can I have it easy for the rest of August now? Please?
This I know for sure... Continental is going to hear it from me.
Flight Update: My flight is still supposed to be on schedule; I'm planning on leaving the house soon. (So, probably no blogging until I come home.) I'm not sure if it's actually going to leave on time though, since the flight from Providence to Newark has been delayed 20-30 minutes waiting for "inbound aircraft." Originally, the delay for that departure was 2 minutes, but that's now developed into 32 minutes. We'll see what happens!
Thursday, August 12, 2004
... and I'm watching the weather forecast, wondering if my flights to and from Pittsburgh this weekend are even going to take off. Bonnie and Charley, are you really going to ruin my weekend?
Inbetween all the wondering, Amazing Race Insider Video will keep me busy. (Warning: Opening this link will open the videos and the video may start to load. This is not just a site. Haha.)
There are men outside fixing our garage door trim. Wheeee.
Blogging (even about nothing) seems to be getting addictive. Hmm. :)
I swear the sky looked green yesterday at one point during the torrential downpours. Thunder shook the house; there were many bright flashes of lightning. I got stuck in the pouring rain after picking up my pictures at Costco. The rain went from zero to high speed wipers as I turned the corner. The umbrella couldn't keep my legs from feeling like they just got out of the shower, and I was so glad I was wearing large heels so that I didn't have to sink my feet into the river that I had to cross to get from the street to the sidewalk. Flash flood warning, yes indeed.
Thunderstorms are always fun to watch from indoors... especially from behind a large window. But getting stuck in it outside, being pelted with the raindrops and shaken by the thunder... well, that's a lot less fun.
In drier fun yesterday, I was at my aunt's house in Jersey, so we got to go to Trader Joe's. I love Trader Joe's. They have these awesome pita chips with parmesan, garlic, and herb. Mmmm. Although all I could think about the whole time I was eating them with hummus (which was good, by the way), was that they would taste excellent with white bean dip. (Thanks, Fresco, for intriguing me with white bean dip!) Also picked up the usual: bags of Nasi Goreng, biryani, and chicken fried rice, other snack food (brownies and cheese crunchies). I also got this chickpea salad that looks incredibly delicious.
For lunch, we went to Baumgart's in Ridgewood. What an interesting place... looks like an ice cream parlor in the front room, and serving American diner fare, Chinese food, and sushi. Talk about fusion, and not within the recipes (like all those "New American" places). I had a salad with mixed greens, grilled chicken, goat cheese, and tomatoes. It was very good. I seem to eat a lot of salads in restaurants nowadays - am I rebelling from my overindulgent lunches over the summer which, although excellent, can only be described as decadent? I think I like the simplicity of salads... and also the fact that they feel like "clean food." (Does anyone else have this feeling - like certain foods just make you feel clean and healthy? This may warrant another post sometime.) Yum.
In other news, I'm still sore from Tuesday's muscle conditioning class. I am so out of shape... so in the past 5 days, I've done 2 days of aerobics, 1 day of muscle conditioning, and 1 day of yoga. Must get in shape now. Let's see how cardio boxing goes today. ;-)
Off to fix stuff around the house... how was your day?
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
(ETA: It's so strange that I'm posting to the void of cyberspace my thoughts on this show... where anyone who might actually read it might not have even seen the show... rather than just waiting/formulating a post for a message board where people could actually read and comment on it. Oh well.)
Thoughts, from start to finish:
- I really don't know how the moms are going to get around Cairo with no money... that seems awfully hard.
- It is so awesome that they get to go into the Great Pyramid to the center to get their clue!! I'm so jealous.
- I hope the fact that the cousins speak Arabic isn't going to help them at all. Of all the teams that I want to have advantages, they are not one of them.
- Detour: sheep or water... hard choice. I think the water one would frustrate me because you'd have to make more than one trip, and I love sailing and being on the water... but I don't know if I could handle being around the goats. Maybe I'd be allergic too. ;-)
- All of these ancient Egyptian places look so cool!! Really makes me want to go to Egypt and visit, even though I got scared of actually going there (to ancient sites) by MacGyver.
- I would not be a good person for this Roadblock. Good eyes? Depends. A lot of patience? Ehh... I'd end up like Linda sitting there at the end ready to tear her hair out.
- I want to sail on the Nile!
- Although it wasn't a surprise who got eliminated, it was still an awesome episode!!
- Colin/Christie: + (I like them... they may be aggressive and he may be mean sometimes, but I like how they're playing the game... and how they don't like the cousins. Haha.)
- Chip/Kim: + (Wholeheartedly rooting for them along with C/C and B/N.)
- Kami/Karli: + (I don't really dislike them... and I kind of want them to stay longer [but not at the expense of any teams I like] because they are so darn clueless and that makes it really funny.)
- Brandon/Nicole: + (They just seem really nice... although I'm not sure what's up with the preview for next week.)
- Mirna/Charla: - (They grate... they get on my nerves... she thinks she's always right and that everyone else is jealous of her... sorry, "honey," they just think you're obnoxious and rude.)
- Linda/Karen: + (I don't like them as much as C/C, C/K, and B/N... but I do like them a lot, and think it's awesome they were able to get back into it even though they had no money! That shows a lot about them.)
- Lance/Marshall: ~ (Never really liked them a lot, but never really hated them. Although with his injury... I kind of hoped for their sake that this was their ending week.)
There are my thoughts... now if anyone's watched the show, feel free to comment... I wonder if anyone has. :) I'm off to finish the laundry, so I don't think I'll get to TWoP before there are like 40 pages to read. ;-)
It's always dangerous when musicals get made into movies. Chicago was excellent; I also enjoyed Moulin Rouge. But no matter how the end result turns out, I have to say this: the trailer is beautiful. Watch it. :)
I was rooting for the guy to take the money and run. I saw most of the first half of the summer's For Love or Money, back when Preston was choosing and Rachel was the most evil contestant. Then the producers brought her back to do the second half of the summer, and all I could think was that I wanted the guy who she picked to choose the money over her. The editing from the first half made it seem like all she cared about was the money, and if the guy picked her this time, she could get a million dollars... from what I saw of her in the first half, why would I want her to get that?
Sharp contrast from last year when I was rooting for Erin to take home the 2 million dollars. But I didn't ever hate Erin... and she was never portrayed as an evil money-hungry person. Granted, she chose the money over Rob, but who wouldn't? Okay, that sounded harsh. But I can understand that decision. And in the end, she walked away with 2 million dollars. (ETA: I know it was a different situation, since Erin didn't have to choose between the money and Chad, and we don't know what she would do there, but still.) And they are still together. Living together. And according to one magazine, rumored to get married sometime in the future. Which is nice. More than I can say for The Bachelor (not The Bachelorette).
It's totally against my nature to root for someone to pick money over love. In most circumstances. But this is television... edited television... with people who have known each other for about three weeks and started their entire "relationship" on a falsehood about money. Erin and Chad as the exception, it seems like no good can come of that. I know all the dating reality shows nowadays want to have lots of twists and turns, but maybe (hopefully?) this one has been played out for good.
I think that Saw looks frightening. The site was very dark, but I persevered and opened the trailer. I don't even think I made it a third of the way through before I got frightened about potential nightmares, and I shut it off. I usually skip trailers for horror movies... but I rarely stop a trailer before the halfway point (if at all). I don't think I want to see this... whatever it is actually about (I hadn't figured it out by that point, but the sound/music and the imagery already was enough for me).
About Batman Begins, here was my thought process: (1) How did I not even know they were making this movie?? I'm not that clueless; (2) I've seen every other Batman movie, so I might as well see this one too; (3) I've got to check IMDB to see who this actor is; he's kind of cute [Follow-up: It's Christian Bale.]; (4) Oh no wonder I didn't know about it yet... Summer 2005.
The new Shark Tale trailer rocks!! I'm so excited for this movie.
We Don't Live Here Anymore looks like it could be a good movie as well. I didn't know anything about it until watching the trailer, but it looks like it could be very well-done.
The premise behind The Forgotten is sort of frightening and chilling. Someone erasing children from your life? *chills* Now I need to watch a happy movie trailer to erase the eerie feeling I got from watching this one. (Which makes me think I'll be skipping this movie, even if it's well-done.) Spongebob Squarepants should do the trick.
So, I guess from all the trailers above, the one that sparks my interest is Shark Tale... but that one I knew about already and was excited about already. I think I used to have a much higher threshold for suspense in movies, but now it's dwindling. I'm starting to lean toward lighter movies, movies that aren't so dark, movies that have happy moments... Interesting.
... Ooh... I found a couple more that I didn't see yet. I'm interested in Ocean's Twelve, but all the trailer does is list the names of the people involved. I think I've seen this trailer for The Polar Express before, but it's one of those where it never hurts to watch it again. ;-)
Okay, enough trailer watching for the night. Anyone have any opinions on any of those movies?
Monday, August 09, 2004
It's hard to do creative writing while in law school, especially the first year. You learn how to write legal memoranda, how to draft briefs... how to rid your writing of passive voice, nominalizations, and all those other things that gave your previous writing style. You read cases, you write case briefs, you go through legal writing classes, and your time is so taken up with "mastering" legal reading and writing that by the time you want to start doing creative writing, you probably should get some sleep because classes start in less than six hours. Unless you're really disciplined, your habit of creative writing could really get sidetracked.
Which mine did. When I used to walk around campus in college, I almost always had pen and paper with me. I would get hit with inspirations to write by all sorts of things around me: my freshman year window, spring weather, even listening to certain music while gazing out a dorm window. Sometimes, during the summers, I would find myself writing on restaurant (paper) napkins, jotting down ideas before they escaped me. [Aside: I find it funny that I had to specify that these were paper napkins since so many of the restaurants from this summer didn't have paper napkins. ;-) ] I don't do that anymore.
I don't know if it's because I'm more plugged in (cell phone/iPod), because I have more to do or more on my mind when I'm walking around (pure wandering v. running errands), or because I just haven't put time aside to write. I used to be really good about it in high school - I wouldn't allow myself to sleep until I wrote something in my journal, and if I didn't have time to write that night, I'd make myself catch up another day. After PROP started in college, there was no more of that catching up. It was usually more like "write in your journal when you have time or when you get a surge of emotions." But there was other creative writing going on then... not just my journal... so it wasn't like I just wasn't finding time to write anything at all.
Unlike now. Before this blog, the old one was a little haphazard. I wrote sometimes. I made lists. I took a lot of quizzes. Occasionally, I had something interesting to say. I didn't get hit with inspirations for topics all that often. I'm so out of practice. Back in college, I regretted not taking Daily Themes, because I thought it would really help me improve my writing style and skills. Now? Now, I don't even think I could handle a week of Daily Themes. Not with how out of practice I am.
So, now that I've vented about how much I regret letting my writing go, what's the plan? Besides writing more and finding more time to write... I'm going to try to write consistently. I'm going to try to set aside time to write. I'm going to try to write on all different things. That's where you come in (if there's even a "you" that's reading this; I could be spewing thoughts to empty cyberspace for all I know) - I'm taking suggestions. No guarantee that I'll write on them, but maybe they'll wake my brain up. (Hmm... we'll see about that part.) But mostly I guess this post is about accountability. I've put it here in black and white (or considering my color scheme, I guess maybe some other hues), and I'm going to try to hold myself to my word. Wish me luck. :)
Maybe I'm getting this from TV shows or novels, but what happened to the days when someone would enlist a friend, someone they knew and trusted, to do this sort of rescue call thing, and would only do it if absolutely necessary? (At least there's some interpersonal connection and bond-building going on with that type of experience.) Or how about just suffering through a bad date, excruciating as it may be, to learn from it and move on? Or even relying upon yourself and your own ingenuity to figure out how to get out of a sticky situation? (Or in the cases of some of the alibis, how about just not cheating on your spouse? That could be a good place to start, rather than relying on someone else to give you an out.)
Am I just idealistic in thinking that people shouldn't be relying upon their cell phones to get them out of situations that make life interesting? I guess Escape-A-Date just wasn't made for people who think like me. ;-)
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Notes from around my world:
- *yawn* Now that I have an iPod, I get less sleep on the bus. I remember the days when I used to be completely passed out on the window (gross, I know) for a good half-hour straight, and I don't think I'm in as deep a slumber anymore. Now I mainly sleep through Brooklyn. ;)
- Jennifer Garner's "13 Going on 30" came out today on DVD! Yay!
- Lots of police in hard hats and carrying assault rifles (I think that's what they're called?) walking around with all the other cops near the new police parking lot (half of the block on Lexington between 53rd & 54th).
- The highlight of my work day (not lunch, just work) was sending an email with voting buttons, high importance, confidential, with replies to multiple recipients. (And getting all the replies!) Yes, I'm a dork and easily amused.
- Lunch today was at Asiate in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (in the Time Warner Center). Not only is the restaurant so beautiful with a gorgeous view, but the food was so yummy. I'm going to need to expand on this further another time (when I don't need to be sleeping... and figuring out what I'm going to wear for the rest of the week).
- I stumbled out of work today arms full (and going to ache tomorrow..) with stuff that I cleaned out of my desk. *sniff*
- Post: The Amazing Race 5.5 to be written soon.
- Bill Clinton is on Letterman right now and I'm totally sucked in. He's making me laugh. Laughter is good. They were talking about how hard it is to find time to write everyday. It's so true. Writing is a craft, and I'm so out of practice from not writing original things in so long. And it's so hard to get back into the habit of writing. (I'm sure my style has also completely changed.) Bill Clinton is just so impressive. Sigh. Completely different from the current "President."
Off to finish packing and head to sleep... how was your day?
Monday, August 02, 2004
It's not like you can do anything to stop a terrorist attack if it could happen; it's just that when you walk through a building daily, it's a little unsettling that it's being named as a target. So today, streets are closed, cops are everywhere, doors are locked, stores are closed, public atriums are closed, and people on the bus do nothing but speak hysterically causing me to up the volume of my iPod in an attempt to block them out. Everything at work seems quite subdued, especially compared to Friday... amazing how one little press release from the government can make things not so much fun anymore.
Almost feels like we are living in a war on the homefront ... waiting for something to strike, never knowing when, never knowing where, but feeling the anticipation in the air that something is imminent. It's such a sad and depressing feeling. I got it this morning when I walked out among locked doors and lots of parked police cars outside the Citicorp Center. I got it today as we listened to news radio all day with a view of the target. I felt it when I saw the flares and the police cars checking all the cars being sheparded into the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. I felt it when I saw the cop blockade and all the news cameras along Broadway in the Stock Exchange area. It's such a suppressing feeling and it can completely take you over... sigh. It's so hard to feel so helpless. One day at a time...
Sunday, August 01, 2004
My old cell phone (Nokia 6610), which I dearly cared for, has been falling ill lately, and as such, I have gotten a new cell phone. Well, relatively new, in the sense that it's not a new model at all (it was one of the ones I was considering when I got my new Nokia), but it's new to me (got it from a family friend no longer using it). My old phone had a big crack in the screen so T-Mobile didn't let me get a new one under my warranty, even though I wanted to turn it in for mechanical problems and not the darn crack. (Problems like, say, not always ringing and the buzzer not always working. Lately the battery has been refusing to charge when it feels like it, and when the battery's almost dead and I plug in the charger, it tells me it's full. Right.) So my colorful Nokia with its built-in FM radio and speakerphone and tons of other cool Nokia stuff will now be resting indefinitely. I've moved on to the Samsung phone in the picture. (I wanted to call the phone Sammie, but then I thought that would be too cheesy.) Hopefully now I'll actually get all my phone calls. :) Then again... that will only happen if I feel the phone when it's in silent mode... so we'll see. ;)
Here are my first impressions on some movies based on the trailers I saw today (I'm including the trailers I saw in the theater)... I've starred the ones I want to see (** for really want to see, * for would be interested in seeing - not sure if in theaters or on DVD) ... it seems like a shorter list than the "want to see" list I had before the spring and summer movie seasons:
- * Team America: World Police: Comes out in October, from the South Park guys. It looks interesting.. I'd be curious to see later trailers of it before deciding whether I would pay to see this in the theaters. It looks different though which can be refreshing. And if it's from the South Park guys... maybe it'll be good. :)
- Superbabies Baby Genuises 2: Was there a 1 of this movie? I don't remember it. Anyway, it looks like it would be really entertaining and fun, and I would enjoy it, but I'm not sure I'd pay to go see it. (Maybe rent it?)
- Wicker Park: With Josh Hartnett, I think I'd be too scared to see this one.
- ** First Daughter: Comes out in September, with Katie Holmes. SO CUTE. It looks like a chick flick, and I love Katie Holmes, and the movie looks so incredibly sweet.
- Suspect Zero: Looks frighteningly suspenseful, not sure I would see it.
- Paparazzi: Chilling in a different way, a little too Princess Diana-ish, and cuts a little too close to reality with the fact that the paparazzi really IS like that and it's scary.
- Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: Saw an earlier trailer for it, but I don't get it now. I thought it was going to be like Superman, but it doesn't look quite like that anymore.
- * Collateral: I might be interested in seeing this one - even though it's suspenseful, it's a different kind of suspense than the other ones I'm too scared to see.
- Kinsey: Want to see more trailers... looks interesting.
- * Meet the Fockers: Watched the trailer for the title, realized it was a follow-up on Meet the Parents, it looks amusing.
- A Dirty Shame: Looks interesting, still need to learn more about it to figure out whether I want to see this NC-17 (!) rated movie.
- * Christmas with the Kranks: This looks really amusing, and I love Christmas-themed comedies for whatever reason. How many times have I seen Santa Clause?
- ** Shark Tale: DreamWorks animated movie, there's been lots of trailers and publicity for it, definitely want to see this - Finding Nemo but not.
- Little Black Book: I'm up for most romantic comedies. :)
- * Friday Night Lights: Also a sucker for sports movies.
- * Wimbledon: Could be cute. [Aside: how come half the time when I load a Quicktime movie, it never loads the whole thing?!]
I achieved my goal of the weekend, which was to go see The Manchurian Candidate in the theaters. I thought it was a quite powerful movie, one that's not just entertaining but that makes you think about it long after it's over. It's a very different movie from the 1962 movie (which was one of my favorites of all-time), and I think, while you can draw comparisons, in the end you're evaluating the movie on its own terms as if it's an entirely different movie and not just a remake. I'm still thinking about the movie, so I don't have a well-formulated review in my head and won't be writing one now, but I would definitely be interested in hearing what others have to say about the movie.
I didn't recap my thoughts on the first 3 episodes, but I figure the St. Petersburg leg is as good a time as any to start. :) I just watched the encore presentation of the episode tonight and it was quite fun. (I LOVE THIS SHOW! :) ) Since I've got to sleep soon, here's just some quick thoughts and how I feel about each of the teams at the end of episode 4:
- A lot of teams seem to have learned more Spanish words while at the pit stop in Bariloche. Could they not do this in Uruguay?
- I would go berserk on a 20 hour bus ride to Buenos Aires. And those long flights from Buenos Aires to St. Petersburg.
- Russia looks freezing. I hope no one forgot winter coats.
- I want to take one of those vodka shots! They looked like so much fun.
- Having to eat 2 lbs of caviar is frightening. I would never have been able to do the Roadblock and we would have lost.
- The palace in Pushkin is pretty. :)
- Chip/Kim: + (I didn't like them in the cab "fiasco" but I do now.)
- Colin/Christie: + (I don't like it when he yells at her, but I generally like them.)
- Brandon/Nicole: + (He was really sweet to her when she looked like she would pass out.)
- Marshall/Lance: ~ (That's the symbol for neutral... They can be obnoxious sometimes, but I don't hate them as much as some other people seem to.)
- Kami/Karli: + (I actually like them, unlike a lot of others it seems. They are very competitive and intense, but I don't see how that can be terrible in a race..)
- Linda/Karen: + (They seem like so much fun.)
- Charla/Mirna: - - - - - - (I saved the worst for last. My goodness, I can't stand listening to her whine.. and the editors are doing a great job of showing how she glares at other people and is generally obnoxious. That article saying people don't like Mirna because she's a strong woman? [Oh no, this sounds like Omarosa again..] Puh-leeze... people don't like her because they wouldn't want to be cooped up in a room with her!)
Poor Bob and Joyce... They, along with Brandon and Nicole, were probably my favorites going into this episode and they got eliminated. (And stupid CBS ruined the ending because it could have been a non-elimination leg and I wouldn't have known otherwise had they not said they would talk to the losers on the Early Show!) Last week, Jim and Marsha were my favorites and they got eliminated. (Having nice teams getting eliminated with really sweet last lines makes me cry every week.) Maybe I should stop having favorites. I think right now I just have a strong NON-favorite. They annoy me so much. But don't let this ringing endorsement of that one team keep you from watching the best show on television this summer. :) It really is fantastic and it deserves the Reality Show Emmy - you should be watching! :)