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»08.31.02 12:43 a.m.

It's been forever since I've been here. Betcha didn't miss me. Not to worry, I probably won't stick to blogging long this time, either. An update: doing some crazy stuff at work that scares the crap out of me. Our associate creative director left our company today and my boss and the other acd have been encouraging me to take the job. I told them they were nuts (but I was intrigued) - I had never written ad copy in my life. So, yesterday I wrote my first ad. It was scary and exhausting and exhilarating and cathartic and I doubted myself through the entire process. I got through it, and you know what? The creative director was impressed.

I'm also taking an online fiction class. I love it. Fiction isn't so scary when it's broken down in little chunks. I've read some incredible short stories in class - pick up a copy of the Best American Short Stories if you're into short fiction. Just like this little site, taking a fiction class online lets me hide behind a keyboard and avoid eye contact with all of you.

It was nice chatting at you. I won't tell you I'll be back soon. I hate lying.

»06.12.02, 4:54 p.m.

Work sucked today. We laid off four people in our group. Since I couldn't concentrate, I read stories on this website referred to me by my friend Rachelle. The woman who runs this site updates it with short fiction stories. I liked reading them, and it inspired me to write one myself. You may have noticed that I have 'fiction' in my nav bar and the page is blank. You may have been frustrated and let down by this experience, and I don't blame you. Then, some of you smarter ones may have thrown some conjecture at this perplexing little dilemma and realized that I am someone who wants to write fiction, but feels an extraordinary amount of intimidation when confronted with the actual fiction part. And you'd be right.

Today, if you click on the fiction link in the nav bar, the page won't be empty.

»06.09.02, 6:59 p.m.

On Saturday, I cruised 7th Avenue, stopping by my usual weekend haunts: the flea market between 1st and 2nd (one day, I will buy that afghan carpet with the tankers and missles on it); Artesana, to make sure my armoire hasn't been sold to someone else (it's salvaged teak with flowers carved into the wood - gorgeous); Starbucks, for a coffee frappuccino. But, this weekend was a little different. Found a sporting goods store on 10th, and picked out a bathing suit, goggles and swim cap. And I went home, changed, and headed back out to the Y.

The pool at the Y is pretty small, only 4 lanes. I plopped myself down in the slow lane and an old guy next to me points out a swimmer in the next lane. "She's been complaining about how warm the pool is. Someone should shut her up." With that, he sinks below the surface and pushes off. His head doesn't surface until he's on the other side. Impressed.

Well, what the hell, I thought. And started to swim the breastroke, the only stroke I can do comfortably. As it turns out, swimming is pretty hard work. But I was sure time was flying and my muscles were working overtime. But when I looked at the clock, it'd only been 15 minutes. Unfazed, I continued...even sneaking into the medium speed lane. I had just flipped onto my back and was struggling through an ass-sinking rendition of the back-breastroke when I slammed into another swimmer. I apologized profusely, assuming it was my fault. And, of course, she thought it was my fault, too.

"You have to tell people when you come into the lane!" she snarls at me. I recognize the swim cap. It's the same woman who's been complaining about the water, which for the record, is a comfortable 88 degrees. I apologize again. She whips off her goggles and keeps her eyes trained on me. I wonder what else I can say to somehow make this horrible gaffe somehow less...horrible. I tell her it's my first time at the Y, and that seems to soften the blow. We continue swimming side by side in the lane, but I feel her glare channel through the too-hot-just-perfect water and wonder if she'll recognize me without my goggles and swim cap.

I think 30 minutes is a long enough time to swim. I hop out and head for the showers. Naked women, everywhere. Some women naturally love to walk around locker rooms naked. I think they're born that way. I am not one of those people. I'll be an exhibitionist only if I can pretend like no one is watching - like walking in front of my open bedroom window at night. Not at the locker room. So, I hide behind my towel and get dressed superfast. I'm headed out the door when I recognize the ferocious swimmer I bumped into just ahead of me. She holds open the door. I say thanks. She says, "No problem" and smiles. Off the hook...for today.

»06.06.02, 5:16 p.m.

OK, it just dawned on me that summer is only 112 days long (starting from today). To read 60 books in 112 days, I'd have to read a book every other day, and then some. Not happening. Girlfriend has a life, ya know!?! The problem with me: always setting lofty goals and reveling in their perfection. Then, I realize they aren't attainable and I don't like the more realistic alternative. Then, I abandon the idea all together because if it can't be perfect, why bother?

My shrink would blame this on my oldest-female-sibling-perfection complex (called OFSPC for short). The OFSPC causes suffers to feel the urge to be perfect in all instances, fear failure of any kind and behave in a manner they think is expected of them, rather than how they feel. Do you know anyone like this? They're probably the oldest female sibling in their household. Go ahead, ask around. All of my female friends are the oldest siblings in their family, and all of them suffer from OFSPC.

But, I didn't wind up $3,000 in debt to my shrink for nothing! I WILL pick a realistic number of books to read! I will not be disappointed because I physically cannot read 60 books in a summer. Now I just have to pick them. I What could be the most perfect way to pick them... ;-)

»06.05.02, 6:26 p.m.

Here's my personal summer challenge: the NY Times has a summer reading list. I plan to read every book on it (on the fiction list). There are over 60 books listed. I also plan to join the Y in my 'hood and become a swimmer. And document my family's geneaology online. I'm going to be busy. While all this must sound fascinating, there's a hidden agenda (with scorpios, there's always a hidden agenda). All of these things are relatively FREE! Or at least cheaper than some of my other habits, like eating out at restaurants with a Zagat rating of 20 or higher. Or polishing off a bottle of wine at said eating establishment. Or dropping a buck and change on new sunglasses. I'm really terrible with self-control. Wish me luck.

While I'm reading, I'll keep you all up-to-date on my progress. And try to share a bit of my feelings about the books I'm reading. As luck would have it, I was nearly finished with a book that coincidently, is on the NY Times Summer reading list. It's called A Multitude of Sins," by Richard Ford.

Will write more later. Must go eat now.

Back now. I already accomplished one thing on my list. I joined the Y this evening. Now, I just need a bathing suit, cap and goggles. So far, so good.

Anyway, about Richard Ford's book. It's all about adultery. I hate to boil it down to such a tired topic, but that's it. People having clandestine (or not) relationships. Ford is a great word stylist, so it's easy to forgive the topic. However, the characters repeatedly endure the same pathetic sort of suffering - the kind Ford feels most upper middle class Americans are capable of enduring.

I liken it to the steamy dog days of summer when I used to complain to my mother. I'm bored, I'd cry pitifully. Go outside, she'd say. But I'd loaf around like the world had nothing to offer me. Ford's characters are in a similar morose mind set. Their affairs, or their partner's affairs, do little to spur action. Rather, they seem to drag the characters down a slide of indeterminable slant. These middle-aged woe-be-gones are engaged in a never-ending game of Chutes and Ladders, sliding further into the quagmire of life-deadening paralysis.

Since I'm a new Ford reader, I can't say I caught on to the story syndication until the 4th or 5th story. I rather enjoyed the one about the woman confessing her affair to her husband while on the way to a dinner party at the man's home. While they're parked on the side of the road, contemplating what comes next, a pickup truck sideswipes a racoon. Phased, but not dead, the animal heaves off the road. She insists her husband go take a look at the dying animal. While he's obeying her, she slides into the driver's seat and slams his Mercedes right into him. And the racoon, too, I guess. Now, that's pathetic...and unexpected. And that was the last time anything unexpected happened in the book until the end, when a character falls into the Grand Canyon.

I didn't hate it. But...it wasn't a stay-up-all-night-cause-i-gotta-see-what's-next kinda read. You know the kind I'm talking about.

»05.30.02, 2:26 p.m.

The older I get, the worse I get at handling my booze. Two glasses of wine last night, and I'm wishing I was curled in the fetal position today. Not fun. I'd hate to think I might need to stop drinking. What fun would that be (be quiet, mom!)?

Today, my entire office watched the World Trade Center processional parade down our street. It was simple, yet moving. An ambulance carrying an empty stretcher, symbolizing the people not yet found, a large truck carrying the last piece of metal from the disaster site. Flanked by police cars, front and back. It was a fitting end.

There are some, however, who can't seem to let the tragedy go. Like the media, for example. On the Today Show this morning, Katie wouldn't stop talking about all the lives that were lost and all the families still mourning. The Today Show went on to interview people who'd lost family in the attack. It was like the past 8 months were a dream, and we'd never seen any of this before. Are they crazy? I'm so tired of feeling bad about 9/11. Isn't it enough that I have to fear attacks on my subway? Or worry about flying home to see my family? Do I have to continue to worry about those lost people, too? Worrying isn't going to bring them back. They are gone forever, and they will be remembered forever. But it's time to give life back to the living.

P.S. I'm drinking a ton of water, trying to ward away the evil hangover spirits. A side effect of water, as you are well aware, is peeing all day long. A side effect of peeing all day like is dry, chapped hands. I've washed them at least 6 times today.

»05.29.02, 5:31 p.m.

I got a manicure during lunch today. I felt a little guilty for leaving work to do something so self-indulgent, but the guilt quickly subsided once I sat down in that vibrating chair and put my feet in a warm bath. Getting a pedicure is something of a minor miracle. When they lather up your legs with lotion and massage your feet...that's my favorite part. No matter what salon I go to, the person doing the pedicure always hits my heel repeatedly - bang, bang, bang on the bottom of my foot. I wonder if they all go to the same class to learn that. 'Foot Massage for the Pedicurist,' 3 credits and a required exam. Well, whatever. It feels good. And looking at my shiny red toes has made me smile all afternoon.

»05.23.02, 5:34 p.m.

Wendy's Mastercard Commercial
One bunch of green onions: 40 cents
1/2 pound of bean sprouts: 60 cents
2 limes: 60 cents
1/2 pound of shrimp: $3
Rice noodles: $1.99

Scouring Chinatown for the ingredients to make your own pad thai: priceless.

»05.20.02, 2:40 p.m.

I opened a bag of Skittles and poured them out on my desk. There were twice as many grape Skittles compared to the other flavors. And my favorite flavor, Cherry, was completely short-changed. Only 8 in the entire bag. Bummer.

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 recently read
Multitude of Sins
Music for Torching
Hotel World
The Fuck-Up
The Handmaid's Tale
Kissing in Manhattan
Here is New York
The Story of Jane
Shopgirl
The Worst Case Scenario Handbook
A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You