Category Archives: daily misadventures

Old and New

Been awhile, huh?

When last I posted, I was unaware that my entire life was about to change in the space of a month.  Right about the time SB and I started apartment hunting to move in together, I found a new job faster than I could have ever imagined.  In the space of a week I moved to the Financial District and started working at a nonprofit based down there.  The new job and cohabitating have both been great for me overall, but both had a pretty steep learning curve, and the complete overhaul of professional and personal life at once meant a lot of routines and habits got pushed to the side as I sorted out how my life worked in this new era.

But things have finally settled into something approaching a steady rhythm , and I’ve been slowly reclaiming some of my old hobbies and projects, and also creating some new ones.  This blog is sort of both.  I’ve been trying to encourage myself to both write and read more.  When it comes to reading, I’ve been particularly behind on contemporary fiction.  So I decided to read the entire Bailey’s Prize longlist this year, reviewing the books as I go.  I get to read a bunch of outstanding new novels by women, and I get to stretch my writing muscles a bit.  Hopefully someone out there gets to enjoy it.

I’ve already read one book from the list, so that review will be coming shortly.  In the meantime, you can see the full list and my progress on The Bailey’s Reader tab at the top of the page.  A key subplot at this point is how long I will have to wait for Station Eleven to become available at the library — I’ve been on the waitlist for a month already and have in that time gone from 411 to 298 on the list.  How many other books will I read before I actually get to the top of the list? Will it break the record four months’ that I waited for Wolf Hall?  Stay tuned!

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Three Sentences I Have Uttered Today That Tell You Everything You Need To Know About Me

1. “No, no I did make a purchase from Canada yesterday. It was yarn.” *

2. “I could totally watch three spring training games at once right now.”

3. “Oh my god, Kristen Bell is on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me this week?!?”

 

* As said to my bank’s fraud prevention rep, by way of explaining that one of the three questionable foreign transactions on my card in the last 24 hours was actually legit. Don’t worry, everything’s fine and I’m kind of super impressed with my bank right now.

The Summer Sandwich Project, Part 1

Since we don’t get lunch service at work in the summer months (a fact of life I have conflicting emotions about, given the amount of administration an operating kitchen requires), and the UES remains a difficult place to purchase an affordable and efficient lunch, I begin each summer vowing to take my own lunch at least 4 days a week. Of course, by August I’m usually so sick of all my usual lunches that I’m going out most days anyway.  In an attempt to prevent that this year, I’m trying to come up with a new sandwich for each week’s lunch (since most packages of ingredients I buy are about a week’s supply).  These are my June sandwiches (only three because I started the project mid-month):

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A Short Play About Junk Food

Me: You better take those jellybeans with you, I don’t need any more Easter candy.

SB: No way, I’m leaving them here.  This is payback for you leaving the Double Stuff Oreos at my place last week. I ate the whole package!

I should object here that he ate the full package minus the 4 cookies that were in my Oreo sundae (our Valentine’s Day dessert, and why I brought the cookies over in the first place). In other news, our respective attempts to eat healthier are … not going so well.

 

About that Very Big Baseball Game That is Happening Tonight

These are the opening lines of the email my friend Sarah sent me at 11:43 PM Thursday:

Hey sorry about the cardinals! The only good thing is it won’t conflict with Stevie Wonder.

At 12:51 AM Friday I wrote her back:

I think you reverse jinxed us.

So, thanks to the weather postponement on Wednesday, and whatever the hell happened last night to save the Cardinals from their final strike not once, but twice, the first Game 7 in almost a decade is being played in St. Louis after the craziest World Series game I have ever seen and I HAVE PLANS.

Not, “oh I can reschedule because I can do this some other time” kind of plans, either.  Once in a lifetime, seeing-Stevie-Wonder-in-semi-private-concert-at-the-Waldorf-Astoria-for-free plans.

Stupid Mother Nature.

So here’s what’s going to happen:  I’m going to SB’s for the first hour of the game, then running to the Waldorf Astoria (it’s a short walk) for the concert, while SB DVRs the innings I’m missing, then coming back and trying to catch up.  You are probably better off not texting or emailing me until the wee hours of Saturday morning, but I’m going to turn my phone off just in case.

Also I may be wearing a Halloween costume.  I bought it for a party a few years ago, a party that was also scheduled on the day a Game 7 might have been played, had one been necessary.  In 2006.

How People Come to Attach Undue Importance to Batting Average

Sus came for a visit this past weekend, so Friday night she, SB and I went to CitiField for the Mets-Angels game. It turned out to be a beautiful night for baseball, despite the fact that in the process of getting from work to the game I got completely drenched by rain once, avoided a second soaking only because of a well-placed scaffolding, and nearly got my eye poked out by an oblivious idiot with a golf umbrella (who did not even pause in his stride after sideswiping both Sus and me hard enough that the bouncer at a nearby bar asked if we were all right). Anyway, I ended up alone in my seat for some time while SB and Sus went to fetch food from the Shake Shack stand beyond the outfield (though they ended up with Blue Smoke, because the Shake Shack line was ages long.  Citi Field isn’t even opening all of their regular concession stands at the moment, but the outfield area is thriving).

Not having anyone to talk to, I could not help overhearing the conversation in front of me, carried on by a father and his young daughter (maybe 7 or 8), who was clearly attending her first baseball game as a conscious spectator.  Even though she seemed most excited at the revelation that Kesha was in attendance, the little girl did try to follow what her dad was trying to teach her about the basic rules of the game, with amusing results. Some highlights:

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A Short Essay on Bedtime and Nostalgia

We’ve reached the point of springtime where I spend most of the day in a pollen induced fog, only to wake up after the sun goes down and the air quality improves.  As a result I’ve been going to bed later and later, which just makes me more sleepy during the day, and so on.  So I’m determined to be in bed before midnight tonight.

I think I may have helped myself with this goal by watching a few episodes of Cheers on Netflix.  I remember virtually none of the Shelly Long seasons; Thursday nights at our house in the 1980s meant we had to get ready for bed as soon as Family Ties was over.  In those pre-VCR days, however, my parents usually left the TV on as they supervised our tooth brushing and pajama finding.  We lived in a small house and the sound carried pretty well; I wasn’t usually paying enough attention to make out the dialogue, but I knew the title song and end credits music by heart.  Hearing it again tonight, I was back in that little house, kissing my father’s cheek with its whisper of stubble, feeling the nubby pile of the carpet under my feet as I walked up the hall, finally launching myself into my bed as the headboard’s cupboard doors admonished me with their rattling.  A general overall feeling of well-being and peace: it’s a nice place on which to end a Monday.

When Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere hit Netflix, I’ll have a similar reaction. What part of that reaction is based in pure nostalgia, and what part is the gentle pace of those three particular themes, I’m not sure.  I could see children in 2011 having a similar reaction to The Office theme, perhaps, but not the frantic pace of 30 Rock or the moody non-melody of something like Bones  or Fringe.  Then again, parents of 2011 probably just DVR all their TV shows and play them after the kids are in bed. I would advise those parents that, if you hang pictures in your hallway, your 10 year old may try to use the reflection in the glass to “watch” TV just out of your sight when she is supposed to be in bed. Watch out for that.

A March Madness Post (Mostly) Devoid of Actual Game Commentary

Because my family has gotten so spread out geographically of late, I set up a private group on ESPN to run our annual bracket.  My parents are currently on vacation and not near a computer regularly, so this morning I had to pester them to send me their picks so I could set up brackets for them.  I can clearly remember being about 8 years old and Dad calling me while I was sleeping over at my grandmother’s house to get my picks. (Yes, my family has had its own NCAA bracket pool since I was 8. What?) I can’t decide whether I’m more amused by the role reversal or the fact that my dad sent his picks by text message, while my mom used the Gmail app on her phone.  I don’t think it’s even been a year yet since they got the Droids.

Continuing in the technology vein, how is it that CBS is lagging behind when it comes to making their regular shows available on the internet, but has such well-functioning and elaborate interfaces for live sports?  I don’t have that much bandwidth in my apartment, but with the new computer I’ve had very little problems watching any game I want.  I did notice that whoever designed CBS’s system this year made all the controls lock up every time they cut to commercial so you can’t just flip to another game every break — but since I’ve been watching two games at once all evening (one on the laptop and one on CBS on the TV) it’s not that bad of a trade off.

The only tiny complaint I have is that the live scoreboard that displays over the video if you watch the game on the web is actually live — which means if your video starts running behind (which mine occasionally did), the scoreboard can give away what’s about to happen. At the end of the Vanderbilt-Richmond game, I resorted to making the video full screen so I could hide the scoreboard, but I could only do that if I didn’t want to talk to Radio Brother or SB over GChat.  Still, it’s a very tiny complaint that is vastly outweighed by my delight in watching the cable channel games online with no restrictions — something I can’t do with ESPN3 or during the MLB playoffs.

Now, if you’ll excuse me Michigan State has pulled within 4 and I actually have an interesting game to watch.

Ooooh, shiny.

I got a new computer on Friday. It’s a laptop — I keep thinking of it as my very first laptop, but my first ever computer was also a laptop: it just weighed about 10 pounds more, had a 9 inch screen, and a 386 processor.  So I guess this is my “first laptop powerful enough to not require supplementary support from the desktops in the campus computer lab,” but that’s a bit awkward to say every time. Continue reading

Dental Damned

As a type-A eldest child, I follow directions to the letter, sometimes to my detriment. After spending much of my early childhood being told by the dentist to brush my gums more, I have now apparently spent my adult life brushing my gums too hard. Thus in the last 24 hours, I’ve acquired a periodontist and a prescribed electric toothbrush. I always assumed electric toothbrushes were one of those superfluous gadgets adding to everyone’s electricity bills (a belief only reinforced by the fact that Sainted Boyfriend has one, as he both loves gadgets and has electricity included in his rent) but apparently they are actually recommended if you are like me and can not be trusted to brush your own teeth properly.
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