Thursday, January 31, 2008


I don't get it. But I've let too many social-networking opportunities pass me by, so as of today, I'm making a genuine effort to be Facebook-accessible. So far I feel very popular and very professionally unproductive. If any blog readers want to join in the festivities, leave a comment!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Green with annoyance

A few weeks back, a friend and I decided to start mailing one another some of our favorite recent books so as to save money and trees. Of course, we're shipping these books cross-country, so the effort is self-negating, but it sounded good on (unbleached, post-consumer recycled) paper, so off we went.

Last week I brought Claire Messud's The Emperer's Children and T.C. Boyle's The Inner Circle into work to ship off. Except, I couldn't bring myself to buy a new box to ship them in, since that would probably negate the zero-sum-ness of our efforts. So I started scrounging around the office for a used box, but none was to be had. So I gave up that day, and the next and the next, because the whole task seemed too arduous.

Today I put "mail books" back on my to-do list and made it my first priority of the day (well, second, after emailing off a writing assignment that was already a day late). First I asked around the office for a used box -- nothing. Then I went to the post office to ask same. Nada. Then I went to the local bookstore. Success! The perfectly sized box. So I brought it back, packed up the books with used newspaper, and took the package down to the post office.

Except only then did I realize there were old mailing stickers on the box that had to be removed if it was to be successfully reused. So I harrumphed back to my office and spent the next 10 minutes magic-markering the label ito oblivion. Except it didn't really take because I had also taped over them, plus I got dizzy from the marker's fumes, which assured my personal destruction if not that of the planet. So then I grabbed a pair of scissors and spent the next half-hour scraping off the tape and then the labels, getting magic marker all over myself in the process.

Total time elapsed on non-work-related morning project: 90 minutes.

Also, my bra has suddenly broken (but not in a titillating way) and I seem to have developed a low-grade allergy to pistachios, a fatal blow to my afternoon snacking habits. Not a good day.
Thursday, January 24, 2008


As I'm admitted on this blog before, one of my longest-term guilty pleasures is "Beverly Hills 90210" reruns. Except, I've finally owned up to the fact that this may not be the healthiest preoccupation. Case in point: last night I dreamt I made out with Dylan McKay in a movie theater.

So to cleanse my soul, I'm watching a PBS documentary on Auschwitz right now.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008


In a fit of procrastination last week, I got on eBay and bid impulsively on a used designer handbag that I had no real interest in owning.

Cut to now: I'm 33 minutes away from owning it for a price I don't remember authorizing. Praying for a last-minute outbid here....

Update: 33 seconds....

31 seconds...

10 seconds....

Cra -- wait! Someone outbid me with 3 seconds to spare!

Goddammit. I really wanted that bag.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What Michigan primary?

Just watched the last half-hour of Die Hard. Some thoughts:

-I cannot not watch this movie when it is on. Other movies that share that distinction: Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman II, Titanic.

-John McClane kills more people in that movie than the terrorists do

-I wish Hans Gruber had his own radio show

-Did the late great Paul Gleason ever play someone professionally competent?

-The more I watch this movie, the more I become enamored with the throwaway lines of those about to die. My current favorite is the terrorist who is trying to shoot John around that boardroom table, then gets to the end and says, "No more TEEEEHBLE." Runner up: "You ahre a poleeceman. There ahre rooooles."

-When Argyle the limo driver punches Theo the computer nerd terrorist? Least disturbing cinematic black-on-black violence ever
Monday, January 14, 2008

Weekend wrap-up

Just got back from four days in Key West for its annual literary seminar. It was inspiring, intimidating, and imminently worthwhile.

The single drawback to my trip was having to contend, yet again, with my least favorite airport in the U.S., Miami International. I've now been to this airport eight times in the last nine months, and each visit has made me earn for the caustic small-town airs of Logan Airport workers. A brief rundown of its flaws:

-The high quotient of retirees in the airport means a large number of transport cars populate the terminals. Except these cars only run in third gear and careen around the terminals seemingly without brakes, announcing their presence with a thin beeping sound that totally undersells the danger hurtling towards you.

-Check-in lines are not well marked. Baggage screening lines are not well-marked. Terminals are not well-marked. Departure gates are sometimes not marked at all, causing certain travelers to, say, take a transport train back and forth a few times because she is confused as to where, exactly, her plane is departing from.

-Beer is sold in the terminals. This is good. However, 90 percent of those who partake in said offering are those who should not be drinking in airport terminals: prenaturally beer-bellied middle-aged male adolescents who probably can't wait to get to their final tropical destination so they can rush to the nearest retail tourist trap and purchase a "Will Your Boobs Please Stop Staring at My Eyes" T-shirt.

-When your airline loses your bags, which it will, all Miami airport workers will profess ignorance, then feign interest, then display annoyance, then send you to wait in a line where the counterperson will eventually profess ignorance, then feign interest, then display annoyance, before finally placing a call back to the person who sent you to that line in the first place.

Mostly though, the airport pisses me off because all of the lunch counters completely overcharge you for cafe con leches. Also, there are way too many neon lights.

P.S. I know this is a little wah-wah coming from someone who, less than 48 hours ago, was sitting at an outdoor bar situated on the Gulf of Mexico, eating a dozen oysters and washing them down with a favorite local beer while catching the end of the Cowboys-Chargers game (i.e. the final nail in Jessica Simpson's celebrity coffin). But 24 hours ago I was sitting indoors on the shores of the Boston Harbor, eying the fresh foot of snow outside my window demanding shoveling attention, and today I'm catching up on three days of backlogged work, so permit me a wee bit of wah-wah-ing.
Thursday, January 03, 2008

Wah wah wah

So, yup, one of my New Year's resolutions was to blog more -- 5x a week to be exact. And, yup, I immediately reneged on that promise all last week. In the middle of the week I began writing a post about why the dog was to blame for my procrastination, but I never finished it, and sadly, it wasn't even the dog's fault. And now it's a new week and I'm still tired and a little overworked and stressed out over a number of non-work items and all in all just in an icky frame of mind. And tomorrow I'm off to Key West for four days, which sounds lovely except for the fact that I'll be hauling my laptop down to do some backlogged work.

So I'm still going to try and blog every day that I can from now on, but beware that I'm going to be a collosal grump. So there. It's either that or shut this sucker down.