Sunday, February 26, 2006


A quick update, since I should go back to work: San Juan has been great. This hotel has been amazing.  My only complaint is that you can hear your neighbors talking and their TV pretty loudly through the adjoining door. It's not just that it's noise - it's noise that was loud enough to wake me up because it's almost like they were in the same room.  Thank goodness it was only 10-15 minutes before my wake-up call, but still - this is me we're talking about. I don't get up with the TV, the radio, screeching beeping alarms... but I woke up because they were talking really loudly. I wouldn't care that much on vacation (or maybe I would, since I would be paying for the accommodations), but I have to get work done in my room, so I hope that while I'm having breakfast, they go to to the pool or something. I think they did. :)  But ... *yawn* ... definitely not enough sleep last night. Judging from all the typos I'm making in this entry, doing my work should be... fun.
I've been here since Thursday night but I'm still in "pinch me" mode.  Craziness.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Wake-Up Calls

The wake-up calls at this hotel are the best.
Usually it's some setting on the phone and when you pick up there's no one there. Here, it's a real person (or people rather, as I got 2 different people), and they offer to call back in 15 minutes.
Since I sleep through like 5 alarms at home each morning and one of the only things that gets me up is periodic phone calls, thank goodness for these types of wake-up calls!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Hello from San Juan

It's been a bizarre two days.
Yesterday, at work, within the span of about ten minutes, things went from disgusting to pretty awesome.  When I got to work, I had smelled really bad cigarette smoke, like someone was smoking right next to me. I just sat inhaling secondhand smoke for about an hour, not knowing where it was coming from, until I finally figured out that an inconsiderate smoker had dropped a burnt out cigarette butt into my pants cuff during my walk to work that morning.  I was completely disgusted by the whole thing.
Less than ten minutes later, I got a phone call about an assignment that would send me on a business trip to Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico?!
I never expected that. If you had told me last week that right now I'd be sitting in a hotel in San Juan, I'd have looked at you like you were crazy. But here I am, in tropical San Juan. Yes, it's for work, but it's not exactly a horrible place to travel to for work. At least it's warm. I was so giddy because the second you walked off the plane you could sense how warm it was. And considering I've been craving a beach for the longest time, hopefully I'll be able to take a picture of one while here. I've seen it at night since I took a walk around the property, but it's got to be gorgeous during the day.
This is still so unbelievable. Everything happened so fast that I can't believe I'm really sitting here in San Juan writing this. Such a strange few days.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

American Idol 5.11

I watched American Idol last night after I got home from work, and it didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would.  Then again I fast forwarded through all of the post-singing Ryan Seacrest interviews that didn't involve comments from Simon. I love Simon Cowell.
If I were to pick the 6 girls that I think should go on to the real show, based on last night, it would be (in no particular order) Lisa, Paris, Mandisa, Katharine, Ayla and.... I have no idea. Maybe one of the blonde girls? There were a whole lot of people that I didn't remember seeing on the previous episodes, and that's a common gripe during seasons of AI.  The judges pushing certain contestants on us, etc, etc.  Oh well. Let's see if these 5 make it through to next week, and then if anyone next week sounds good enough to join them.  And please, someone get Brenna off my TV. She really irritates me!
My prediction is that I think it's going to be a non-minority male who wins this year, based on past winners and race and gender.  But then again, that's what I thought last year, wasn't it, and Carrie won?  I could vote for a crooner though. That would be great. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Last night I dreamt that a bunch of us were playing tennis in the produce section of the grocery store.
It was complete with dialogue and memories of how all the fruits and vegetables were set up and everything.
Weird. I know.
And it wasn't set up like a tennis court. We were all just sort of all over the place, hitting the ball back and forth, not really a game. And stationed all over the large produce section.
But what I can't remember is whether we missed the ball and ended up destroying any of the produce. Hmm. I hope not!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Love Profiles

A couple more quizzes before delving into leftover eggplant parmigiana and watching DVDs (I love Presidents Day):

Your Candy Heart Says "First Kiss"

You're a true romantic who brings an innocent hope to each new relationship.
You see the good in every person you date, and you relish each step of falling in love.

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a romantic dinner your sweetie cooks for you

Your flirting style: friendly and sweet

What turns you off: cynics who don't believe in romance

Why you're hot: you always keep the romance alive

Your Five Variable Love Profile

Propensity for Monogamy:

Your propensity for monogamy is high.
You find it easy to be devoted and loyal to one person.
And in return, you expect the same from who you love.
Any sign of straying, and you'll end things.

Experience Level:

Your experience level is high.
You've loved, lost, and loved again.
You have had a wide range of love experiences.
And when the real thing comes along, you know it!


Your dominance is medium.
You tend to be the one with more power.
You aren't a total control freak in relationships..
But of course you don't mind getting you way!


Your cynicism is low.
You are an eternal optimist when it comes to love and romance.
No matter how many times you've been hurt - you're never bitter.
You believe in one true love, your perfect soulmate.
And if you haven't found true love yet, you know you will soon.


Your independence is low.
This doesn't mean you're dependent in relationships..
It does mean that you don't have any problem sharing your life.
In your opinion, the best part of being in love is being together.


I watch curling over breakfast. Not today though, because I am off from work because of Presidents Day. Yay! I did such massive cleaning over the weekend that I actually need today to recover from the horrible allergy attacks!

You Are Curling

What you lack in athleticism, you make up for in concentration.
And while curling isn't much more of a sport than bowling, you *can* win a gold medal for it!

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Who would have thought a couple of weeks ago, when it was 60 degrees out and I walked around with no jacket, that there would be over 20 inches of snow in New York City so soon?

I guess the Staten Island groundhog was wrong. :)

I was excited about going out to my parents' house this weekend because of the snow. I would get a good workout by shoveling (and I definitely need it), and hopefully get some good pictures of snow. I haven't been in good snow in a while. Being in an apartment in the city during light snow doesn't lead to very good pictures. And it was only supposed to be 8-12 inches, so not too bad.


The noreaster became the "blizzard of 2006." I couldn't believe it, because I remember the Blizzard of '96 and that felt 10 times worse than this. This looked like nothing compared to that! In 1996, we couldn't get our front door open, because the snow was so high that it was up to my chest and pushing against the door. Next to '96, this looked like nothing. It's a lot of snow, and it's been pretty windy, but it wasn't that bad, was it?

Then again, our power did go out at 2 am for a couple of hours, but I just pulled myself under the covers and went to sleep.

So we did our shoveling and dug out the cars. The house gets the drifts, so there was so much snow on top of the car. I'll post pictures of that as soon as I blur my license plate. It looks pretty cool.

This was my Sunday :)

Friday, February 10, 2006


The French version of gmail has such a pretty word for trash. "Corbeille."
French makes lots of things sound so pretty. Although whenever I try to pronounce things I feel like I'm contorting my face and mouth in strange ways and it sounds terrible.
I tried operating gmail in English (US) yesterday to try to chat, but although I had "Chats" among my folders, I did not have chat capabilities yet.  So why should I stay in English? I switched to French. I even tried English (UK) but that didn't even have a chat folder. Sounds like a US-bias to me.... I mean, what's the real difference between English (US) and English (UK)? I think they could easily chat with one another.
I'd personally rather use English (UK) so that I could see words like "organise" instead of "organize." I think it looks nicer. Like "theatre."  "Colour."  I'll stop now.
Who knows. Maybe I'll end up switching languages every week. That could be fun. ;-)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sticky Darts

I don't think using GPS adhesive darts instead of car chases in LA is a bad idea.  But the CNN headline made me laugh. "L.A. to end car chases, zap fleeing cars with sticky darts."  Sticky darts

Fun with Languages

I've been playing around with the language setting on my gmail again.  I've had it in Italian for a long time (maybe a year? how long has it been around in Italian?).  Now it's in Swedish. :)

Monday, February 06, 2006


I held my breath through half of Grey's Anatomy. Oops. Can't wait until next week!

But some quizzes before heading to bed, not sure how I feel about the results:

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.
You're always willing to lend a helping hand.
In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going.
"15 seconds to showtime!"

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have low extroversion.
You are quiet and reserved in most social situations.
A low key, laid back lifestyle is important to you.
You tend to bond slowly, over time, with one or two people.


You have medium conscientiousness.
You're generally good at balancing work and play.
When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.
But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.


You have low agreeableness.
Your self interest comes first, and others come later, if at all.
In general, you feel that people are not to be trusted.
And you're skeptical that anyone else really feels differently.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is low.
You're a pretty conservative person, and you favor what's socially acceptable.
You think that change for novelty's sake is a very bad idea.
While some may see this as boring, many see you as dependable and wise.

Your Love Life Secrets Are

Looking back on your life, you will have a few true loves.

You're a little scarred from your past relationships, but who isn't?

You expect a lot from your lover - you want the full package. You tend to be very picky.

In fights, you love to debate and defend yourself. You logic prevails - or at least you'd like to think so.

Break-ups can be painful for you, but you never show it. You hold your head high.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Yay for:

- The Budweiser stadium "wave"!

- Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean... the "hot cast"

- McGyver is priceless :)

- The multilingual cheer to beer

- World Baseball Classic

- Grey's Anatomy being on later tonight... I can't wait!


The next set of commercials... except I've gotten so used to tuning out when the commercials go on (or more often, fast-forwarding on the DVR), that I've been forgetting to watch!

The good ads: Clydesdale kid pulling the cart with his parents' help (I can't help it, I love the Clydesdales); working with monkeys and jackasses (heehee!)

The OK ads: Moto Pebl (nice looking, but nothing amazing); Sharpie click pens (I remember it was OK, but I can't remember it now); Nationwide (the Fabio thing... somewhat amusing, but eh)

The not-so-good ads: The birth of H3; PS: The New Clean; Taco Bell crunchwrap

Agh, ABC! Quit it with the Lost promos! Everyone's already watching Lost, you don't need to keep promoting it! Especially because I scream and mute the TV every time!


The commercials between the last post and the halftime show:

The good ads: Sprint (I would love to throw a phone at someone's head! Hehe!)

The OK ads: Poseidon (but I don't want to see it); Gillette Fusion (I liked the blast of the two colors together), Disney World (nothing exciting, not like the "I'm going to Disney World!" one)

The crappy ads:; (boring)

And there was an extra-long Lost promo, so I went to go hide. Sigh.


23) Shaggy Dog: I had issues with this movie as a kid; definitely not watching it now.

24) Kermit and the Ford hybrid: I like Kermit, but I thought this was boring too. (Do I just have a really short attention span?)

25) Michelob tackling ad: Amusing.

Back to the game! Maybe I should stop doing this, as I'm finding most of them boring. Maybe I should only blog about the good ones....


14) Diet Pepsi game: Now the Diet Pepsi can isn't singing but in a movie with Jackie Chan. They're going to keep these up all night? Great.......

15) CARS!!!!!!!!!

16) Dancing with the Stars: Umm, Superbowl... you should be featuring more Jerry Rice in the commercials, not necessarily girls in glittery outfits!

More game, in which I also read with one eye about TAR9. Yay TAR!

17) Clydesdales streaker: Hehe. I'm sure I mentioned my love for the Clydesdales.

18) Mobile ESPN phone: Kind of boring, and it looks like it cost a lot of money to make!

More game, more TAR9.

19) Careerbuilder: The monkeys are back!!!!! That was great. Just turn the graph upside down!

20) Escalade: Bored again.

More game.

21) MI3: Looks fun, but I cannot watch Tom Cruise anymore without seeing the CRAZY.

22) Dove self-esteem fund: I think it's a nice thing to do, but I'm not sure that it's really going to do anything. But since I don't know much about it, I shouldn't say much about it.

Blah blah blah. There have only been a few good commercials so far. (In my opinion.)


Moving on...

6) Toyota Camry hybrid: Blah blah blah blah blah. I have nothing against hybrids, but that ad was just boring.

7) FedEx caveman and dinosaurs: Heehee. I was very amused. I think more than the magic fridge.

8) Bud Light grizzly bears: Amusing, but I didn't think it was that memorable.

FedEx always seems to come up with good commercials. Last year, weren't they the ones that listed all the elements to a successful Superbowl commercial?

9) V for Vendetta: It was already on the list of movies I wanted to see, and it still looks good.

10) Diet Pepsi brown and bubbly song recording thing: Eh. Boring.

And Seattle scores! Hehe!

11) Aleve and Trekkies: Being a Star Trek fan, I wish this ad had been better.

12) Ameriquest defibrillator: So wrong, but so funny. They were good last year too.

13) Bud Light guys on the roof: Not very funny.

Agh! Had to skip the Lost promo because I haven't seen the past 2 episodes on my DVR. Really need to watch those soon...

So at this point, 1st quarter almost over, the only ones I really remember are magic fridge, FedEx and dinosaurs, and killing the bug with those heart pad things. All the rest? Nah.


Some comments on the early commercials:

1) Bud Light hiding beers: Mildly amusing, but just ok. For some reason, it made me think of the Careerbuilder monkeys.

2) Whopperettes: Dancing girls dressed like parts of a burger and its toppings... I had a skeptical look most of the time, until I started laughing about the fact that all the girls were jumping on top of one another to form the burger and started wondering if that was any guy's daydream.

So far, nothing really good...

3) Sierra Mist gets taken by the TSA: Not very good. And it also makes the TSA look worse, since they were wearing the logos on the uniforms. Did they get TSA permission? If so, why would they let Sierra Mist make their image even worse?

4) Bud Light magic fridge: This one was actually pretty good. I thought it was funny. Only one so far.

5) 16 Blocks: Alvin and I agree. This doesn't look like a very good movie.

But the magic fridge was pretty good :)

LX Pre-Kickoff

Do the pre-kickoff commercials count?

Because, if so, I think the Tostitos Scoops one was dumb and that woman should slap all her idiot co-workers, and I thought Jessica Simpson was singing about "bops" or "bots" and not "bites." She looked really overly made-up too.

But I do love this "I'm going to Disney World" commercial.

Slip and Fall

Today, there was a slip and fall. In the grocery store.

I was going down the aisle and was about 3 feet from rounding the curve by the cans of soup and was thinking about whether I wanted minestrone or lentil, and the next thing I realized, I hadn't made it to the end of the aisle but instead had slammed down on my hands and knees on the floor.

I looked up, amazed. I knew I was a klutz, but what did I do? Trip over my own 2 feet? (It's been known to happen.) I didn't see anything on the ground, but as I pushed myself up on my hands, they felt all oily and gross.

After I went to get one of the employees to call someone to clean it up (or at the very least, put out a cuidado sign!), Alvin told me that when he had been in that part of the aisle earlier, someone had been cleaning up a spilled bottle of duck sauce.

Well, that explained a lot! Namely, why I didn't see anything on the floor to be careful of, and why I slipped. I was so close to the floor when I realized that there was a spill that I was able to see all the oily and greasy swishes all over the floor. I guess the guy had decided mopping was the best way to clean up duck sauce...

As we waited for them to come (and bring some towels), an employee waited, telling some people not to go over the area. But he forgot to tell another woman, who slipped, almost fell, was able to grab her cart for support, and threw a fit that no one warned her. I felt bad, yes, but no one warned me either, so there was a limit to how bad I could feel about the whole thing.

Eventually the manager came over, and of course, I'm sure you can imagine what was going through his head, "potential lawsuit." We swapped numbers. I asked him if I would be able to clean up my pants and shoes (soaked in duck sauce - gross!), and he said he could spray them but it might get too slippery and I'd fall again. I declined, although what I was really hoping for was a small pack of complimentary detergent. After all, I did fall on the floor... and it wasn't from a predispostion for clumsiness, as many other people were also slipping and the manager couldn't believe they had left a condition like that in the aisle.

But honestly, not that big of a deal. I'll have a pretty big bruise on my knee, and maybe a couple of sore muscles, but what good would it do to make a big deal out of it? It's not like the time near Christmas a couple of years ago that I was in a Bath & Body Works, and one of those gift sets in a Santa carriage with wheels rolled off the top shelf and whacked me so hard in the head that I fell on the floor speechless and crying.

I think it must be the whole "going to the grocery store on Sunday morning" thing. It's crowded because of the new ads, and people are in a rush and careless and breaking things. While going to the checkout line, my mom almost slipped on detergent that was in front of one of the lines, and then an employee did fall while walking by. And then while checking out, there was a mop call somewhere else. What a mess.

But on balance, it wasn't a bad weekend so far. Made it to the (hopefully) last of the 1st year NJ CLEs, brought back my car, and got to practice about 2 hours of piano, which I was craving all week. During the week at work one day, I was listening to classical music on the radio and Moonlight Sonata came on, and my fingers started moving, and I just really missed playing. (It's been a couple of years, at least.) Next up - watching the Superbowl and Grey's Anatomy. Trying to figure out what the best way will be to blog about the commercials. Last year's entry was really long. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Yum yum, I love empanadas.

I first heard about Empanada Mama around the time of the bar exam. I think I read about it in some NY magazine or maybe the NY Times. I remember that it caught my eye because it was near the passenger ship terminals, which is where I was assigned for the bar exam, and all the past times I had been to the terminals, there was never anywhere that I could think of to eat nearby. (Of course I worried about what to do for the bar lunch! It's not like I was taking the exam in a hotel and could keep a stash of food in my room. Instead 3000 of us were all going to be streaming out of the same place at the same time, looking for energy food!)

Tonight we went to the restaurant for the second time. (The first time was in the fall soon after moving in, and we've been meaning to go back again sooner, but often get lazy with so many restaurant choices on the blocks inbetween... especially when it's cold!) It was delicious.

They have the "classic" type of empanadas (like pollo and queso), but also some more "exotic" empanadas, like those filled with cheeseburger or peanut butter & bananas. I got the spinach & cheese in wheat flour and a chicken in corn flour; Alvin got the Polish (sauerkraut and sausage) and cheesesteak. And then - since I didn't remember these being on the menu last time - we split a chicken arepa. So good, and so inexpensive for so much food!

Now, arepas have their own story. A group of us went to Miami during senior year of college and happened to be there during the Calle Ocho festival. They had arepas there, and I've had a thing for arepas ever since. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

But back to dinner. We didn't just stop there. We had dessert. :)

Dessert empanadas!

Last time, we tried guava & cheese and (I think) fig caramel & cheese. They were actually pretty good. I wasn't sure what to expect with the guava/cheese mix, but it's very good. So good that I planned from the beginning to order it for dessert. Alvin tried the plaintains & cheese one for dessert this time. Maybe one day we'll go there and just get dessert empanadas. They're yummy.

And I really should be sleeping right now, as it's 1:15 and I need to be awake in a little over 5 hours for "stupidclass." I think I'm still up because I'm so excited that tomorrow is the last one, but I need to remember that it won't be the last one if I can't get there in time!

Good night!

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I just got smacked in the face with a book.
Totally my own doing, of course, as I am a huge klutz.
I was on the phone, and taking down a binder from the top shelf.  On top of the binder were 4 large paperback volumes from the stupid CLE class. I figured I could easily slide the binder out, leaving the other volumes on the shelf, even though I was balancing on my toes and trying not to let my headset fall off my head or out of the phone jack.
No such luck.
The binder came tumbling down along with a few other books. (Prompting me to then worry about the books landing in the fruit I had brought down from the conference room.)  One smacked me on the top of the head and fell on the floor (the largest).  Another smacked me, binding-first, in the eyes and then off my nose.  Two others stayed on the shelf.
It is ten minutes later, and I am still sitting here in disbelief about the fact that I managed to hit myself in the face with 2 books while on the phone. (And carry on a normal-sounding conversation without evidence of pain!)  It still hurts!


I was bad.
I am trying to get back in shape and fit into all the clothes in my closet, and what do I do?
I eat a Krispy Kreme.
Why why why did they put 2 boxes of Krispy Kreme in the floor pantry area??
I haven't had a Krispy Kreme donut in ages, and I couldn't stop myself before it was gone! Sigh. No self-control.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Today at work we did a 6 hour training session on presentation skills. I never knew how draining and exhausting critiquing yourself and being self-aware could be.

It was one of those seminars led by communications consultants, talking about your professional appearance, organizational skills, answering questions and the like.  It was useful, mostly for the professional self part, as you get to figure out all the little things you do with your eye contact, your hand gestures, your voice, etc.  But it was quite tiring.

I could have listed most of the things I do that I don't like already.  But now I have it to examine on a take-home DVD. Woohoo.

Luckily I had yoga this evening to dispel any of my thoughts about how I appeared on camera.  Not sure I want to play that one again for a bit!