Sunday, April 20, 2008


Yesterday it was in the 70s, so we went for a nice walk through the park. It was so exciting to be outside in the warm weather (since it's supposed to be cooler again starting today) but I think it's had an adverse effect on my allergies. I have been taking my allergy medicine regularly and had some in my system yesterday when I was outside, but this morning I am all stuffed up and it feels like allergies. There was so much pollen outside yesterday and we were getting pelted by all the tree blossoms blowing around, so it was probably pollen overload despite the medicines. Probably didn't help that I think the blossoming trees are really pretty, so went to go take a lot of pictures of them. I think I should go wipe down my camera before I forget. Ugh, I want to be able to breathe!


According to the tv's guide, Shop NBC is supposed to have a notebook
computer store right now. I turned to it and they are selling a ruby
and diamond ring.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


If I ever go to a QVC taping, I'm going for the dining show. They get
to try all the food! First the whoopie pies and now the chicken

Cream Pies

Have you ever had whoopie pies? I had never heard of them until this
QVC show. And the host was completely surprised that one of the
callers had never had one before.

Now they're selling big Nathans hot dogs. The host is all, "Look how
big that hot dog is in there!". Ha.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


From what I saw of the debate, ABC should be ashamed. This was disappointing, frustrating, aggravating and at many points, useless. The country is in trouble, and this is the crap you choose to ask about? Seriously? Keith had the right word for it: "tabloid." I wish I could go along with the ABC boycott but I really can't because I love too many shows...

Monday, April 14, 2008


Things I currently don't understand:
1.  Why it's wrong to say that Americans are bitter when they absolutely are.
2.  How some polls show over 20% of Americans that still believe Obama is a Muslim after the entire Rev. Wright controversy.  And why it would even matter if he were.
3.  Why I bought a salad of edamame, black beans and corn and why it was the main part of dinner.
4.  Why American culture doesn't permit more vacation taking.
5.  Why I just can't get it right in the morning in the shoulder seasons when selecting which coat to wear.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Cure for falling asleep?  Ordering some spicy larb gai.  I'm awake now!

Airport Drama

I hate going to the airport without having checked in for my flight.  Whether I can print the boarding pass or not, I strongly prefer checking in in advance.  I know where it comes from -- back in 2004, Continental cancelled my confirmed reservation (with a seat assignment!).  I could have checked in before going to the airport, but I didn't, and therefore, didn't end up going to Pittsburgh.  These days, I always check in early if I can.
Last night, I heard on the local news about issues with American Airlines.  I was set to fly American today, and the aircraft affected was the type of plane I was scheduled to be on.  But when I checked my reservation it said it was on time.  The first leg of that flight number (from St Louis to Chicago) was cancelled, but the leg from Chicago to NY said it was still on time.  I checked in, printed a boarding pass in the hotel lobby, and checked up to the moment I went to sleep to make sure my flight would still be on time.  I went to sleep thinking, maybe my flight wasn't affected.
I got up around 6 and checked on my blackberry, and found out that my flight was cancelled.  They knew about this problem yesterday; why did they let me check in?!  After sitting on the phone with the travel agency (good thing this went through the travel agency and not American directly, or I would probably still be on the phone), I got a confirmation code for a United flight and headed to the airport.  I was prepared for chaos, but figured that I was already in a better place since I had been confirmed on an airline that wasn't cancelling all its flights.
The travel agent had told me to go to American first to confirm that my ticket was being moved to United.  I walked in and it was just as bad as the pictures showed.  Hundreds and hundreds of people stranded and on line.  I was rescheduled on a 10 am flight and it was a little before 8.  Looking at the line, there was no way I was going to make it.  I checked with an American rep and she told me that if I had a confirmation code, I could just go to United and they would take care of everything.
I ran over to United through the underground passageway, the whole time just thinking about how I could have gone to United in the first place.  When I got up to ticketing, I noticed that the lines were so much better.  There was room to breathe.  No news crews with their bright lights shining and video cameras pointed at people's faces.  Unfortunately, the people working there were sending people onto all the wrong lines, and after 15-20 minutes of waiting on the line for "real" United customers, I had to go to the much longer line for the "American" United customers.  Apparently a confirmation code wasn't enough to check in without special assistance.  You needed an "eticket" number.
By the time I got to an agent, I knew there was no way I was making a 10 am flight.  (It was after 9:30.)  I doubted I could even get out of the city today.  I started thinking about how I would have to work remotely again and get another hotel room (although that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world).  When I got to the agent, he first tried to tell me that I had to go back to American to get them to call the ticket over, but there was no way I was going to trek all the way back to the American terminal to face what surely was a 500 person line (at least) at this point, a few hours later.  A couple of calls to the help desk later, and somehow they were able to get my reservation over and get me onto a noon flight.  With an aisle seat!  I was so, so, so grateful.
It was like a club in the airport, everyone talking about how they had been cancelled off of American and moved to United.  (Made me wonder how empty United's flights had been and also realize how lucky I was to have even made it to Chicago the day before.)  There was the woman who told people she had gotten 6 boarding passes.  The person who stayed up all night and immediately rescheduled her flight as soon as the notifications went out, yet still didn't have a ticket number.  The couple who couldn't make their morning flight to California because the line had been so slow, and the next flight was at 8 pm but was full.  Everywhere people were talking about the American cancellations.  When I eventually heard that over 800,000 people were affected, I could definitely believe it.
I was so grateful to get on a flight today in the middle of the chaos that I was even amused that I got selected for special screening.  Amused until I had to wait for a female to do the screening and watched all these men get to go first as my bags sat there on the wide open table.
I eventually got back to NY before 3:30 and back to the office by 4:30.  Although I got so sick from my taxi ride that I ate half a bag of Starbursts to try to cure the carsickness and bought potato salad to steady my stomach after I hit unmoving land.  I'm at the too exhausted to sleep point, but I hope it passes soon because I am so exhausted and need to go in early to get all the stuff done that I couldn't get done today.  With that, good night!  And good luck to all those stranded American passengers.  I think this is going to go on for the rest of the week, and they are predicting a nightmare for anyone flying any airline.  What a mess.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


This is the second year in a row that I have come to Chicago for this
event, and the second year in a row that my flight back has been
cancelled. Last year it was due to weather (it snowed) and this year
it's the mass American cancellations. Time to go rush to the airport!

Monday, April 07, 2008


1.  Why did the cleaning person, right in front of me, wipe the dried out fruit fly carcasses off my office windowsill onto my dark colored carpet?
2.  Why do the fruit flies like my office?  I don't think it's anything that I have in it, as I never had this problem until I moved to this location.  Maintenance claims that the fruit flies eat some poisonous glue and fly upstairs to die.  Or something.
3.  Why do we call it "beef" instead of "cow" or "pork" instead of "pig" when we call other things by their actual name, like chicken, duck, lamb, turkey?
Just wondering.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Favorite Foods

Last night over sushi, I was trying to come up with a list of my 10 favorite foods.  Not foods from any particular place, but foods I really like.  It's really quite hard!  But here's what I have so far (in no particular order):
1.  Japanese potato salad
2.  Scallops in black pepper sauce
3.  Larb gai
4.  Mango with sweet sticky rice
5.  Tacos
6.  Sushi (no, I cannot narrow this down)
I know that "tacos" and "sushi" don't really seem fair as responses.  And yes, I was tempted to say "Chinese noodles" which is just as unhelpful.
I need to think about this some more.  But first I have to get lunch.  I wish it were warm enough to walk over to Cafe Zaiya.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Calorie Counts

New York passed this law recently to require certain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menu boards.  While I am completely in favor of giving people information, there were a number of reasons I thought this law was illogical:
1.  Selective application.  It only applied if you were already putting the information out there and if people could already get it.  Only those restaurants for which I could already find information were required to do this.  It's like a penalty for disclosure.  What about all the unhealthy places where I couldn't find the information I wanted about nutrition?  If people really wanted to know what was in their food, they can already look it up - either at home OR at the place itself.  It's just giving you information you can already get, but putting a burden on that selective group of establishments.
2.  Focus solely on calories.  There is a lot more to nutritional information that a calorie count can't cover.  What is wrong with the boards on the wall that give you a better picture of what you're eating?
3.  Illogical for places like Chipotle and Subway.  How is a calorie count on a menu board going to actually differentiate between the person who orders a burrito with rice, beans, chicken and lettuce and the person who orders a burrito with rice, beans, chicken, lettuce, 4 scoops of sour cream and 2 handfuls of cheese?  It can't.  Or between the worker who likes to put 2 scoops of sour cream vs. the worker who likes to put a half a scoop?  It doesn't make any sense to require this of places like this, with literally hundreds of variations.
Apparently the requirement got pushed back for the menu boards because of the restaurant challenges.  Can't say I blame them.  60 Minutes did a piece awhile back about how silly this was to try to do and the number of variations you'd have to put up on menu boards to even start to provide an accurate picture.
But apparently Chipotle has already switched their boards.  And as an example of how silly this is, please tell me what added value you get by knowing that your burrito has between 430-930 calories.  Seriously.  How is that going to impact your food choice?