Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sometimes God has a strange sense of humor

I'm a bit of a closeted hypochondriac. It's not something I readily admit, but I've been known to cancel plans if a friend is coughing heavily or avoid them altogether should they have contracted the flu in the last six months. Now that the weather is too warm for gloves—meaning I actually have to touch things like door handles and subway poles—my hands are cracked and dry from using too much Purell. So naturally, I've been fascinated by this honeymooning jerk off with a deadly strain of TB who eschewed his doctor's advice against flying and jetsetted around the world, thanking the powers that be that I did not fly Air France on my recent trip to Marseilles.

Fast forward to this morning, where I'm avoiding work by running out for a bagel and then eating said bagel while reading Gridskipper, which tells me that Patient X spent an undisclosed 72 hours in Manhattan. Intrigued, I click on the link where Chris Mohney helpfully tells me, "So if you stood in line at Essa Bagel in Murray Hill on May 25 with some other guy who was coughing a lot, you might want to, you know, get yourself checked out."

I'll give you one guess where my freakin' bagel came from this morning.

UPDATE: Patient X now has an identity and CNN has a good roundup of all the infuriating details, including insight into this dude's sense-of-entitlement douchebaggery.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

France-y pants

Some highlights of my cruise from Savona to Marseilles: being surrounded by skinny French women eating carb-laden, buttery breakfasts, which meant it was OK for me to do the same; getting mistaken for an actual Italian (somehow it makes me feel so sophisticated--a rare occurance); free massages; spending QT with Ma Merritt; and surviving my first cruise without contracting norovirus. In all, a success! More exciting pictures here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


So I’m at work today, bored out of my mind because I am the one person on staff who doesn’t have a trazillion fazillion things to do. Either I’m very efficient, or such a horrible writer that the ad people have trouble selling my section. It’s probably both.

As I’m lamenting this fact, I check my personal e-mail only to discover that one of the worst writers I’ve ever worked with recently landed a somewhat coveted gig. My first instinct was jealously, as I recalled the thousands of résumés I submitted to said company with not even so much as an acknowledgement rejection letter. That was the sucker punch…

Then, for good measure, came the swift kick to the stomach. My next e-mail was in regards to a freelance article I’m working on. My PR pal thought I might find this interview subject intriguing: “My client, More Successful Than You, is the youngest national news anchor at Major News Outlet You Would Kill to Work For,” she wrote, adding that success is in her blood, as—in addition to MSTY winning her own smattering of highly respected journalism awards—her father also once was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. Oh, and she speaks 16 languages and is only 22.

“Sure, I would love to speak with her,” I replied, “so long as she doesn’t mind me wallowing in a few drinks during our little Q&A session.”

So hooray for all of you who, when you name your place of journalistic employment, someone says, “Hey, I know that!”

Thursday, May 03, 2007

It's so hard to say goodbye

I've just been dealt a devastating blow. The time has come for me to depart with one of my closest companions: The Jeep.

My mom just called with the news that someone is interested in buying it. I knew this time would come, but honestly, I didn't think it would happen so soon. No lie, I gasped when she told me.

After the Big Move, it didn't make much sense for me to keep the Jeep in New York. The city annoyingly has alternate side of the street parking weekly, if not daily (I don't know, I never checked), and given my travel schedule, I'd have to hire someone to move it or else match my monthly rent in parking fees. So off to my parents' house it went, along with the other things I've recklessly and not always willingly abandoned over the years.

In order to fully understand the magnitude of this, we need to walk down memory lane. This was my first big purchase--the first thing ever that I bought and paid for all on my own.

Every month for six years, I faithfully wrote checks for $168.51 to Onyx Acceptance Corp. to make that car mine. (Those checks are burned into my brain, because the amount was so big to me at the time. Oh, foolish youth.) It wasn't a fancy car--air conditioning was its only amenity--but it suited me fine.

Together we took mundane trips to the mall, work and the like, although strangely the Jeep didn't seem to enjoy our longer hauls as much as I did. There was the time I got a flat tire in the middle of Bumblefuck, Pennsylvania and mine and Ilyse's boyfriends at the time had to change the tire in the darkness of a Sears parking lot because the employee refused to change the tire unless I bought four news ones.

Then there was the time, about an hour from my destination of visiting Melissa in Providence, Rhode Island, that my car started smoking and eventually stopped working on I-95. Poor Dad had to drive three hours to come get me and tow the truck home. However, on our final and most recent three-hour jaunt for a weekend in Atlantic City, the Jeep gave me no problems. Its almost as if it knew. (That's us on our last trip, above.)

So the Jeep has been at my parents' since March, nosed between the shielded Mustang and my father's 22-foot truck. From what I hear, it hasn't seen all that much action in the last few months, so it's probably best the Jeep moves on to someone new. I'm glad that after 16 years (nine of them in my hands) its in relatively good enough condition that someone else wants to give it new life.

I know its completely ridiculous to sentimentalize something like this, but I can't help it. It's like having to give up a cherished pet because you're suddenly kicked out of your house with no where to go. (Oh, wait.) Also, ridding myself of my car officially cements my status as a New Yorker (that, and the dumpster diving I took part in a few weekends ago) and that's an unnerving feeling.

Now, my mother said I could take time to think about it, but I told her to do what she thinks is best. Some things are just better left unsaid.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Yes indeed-y, its pious vegetarian time...

This is why I don't eat meat:

People have eaten millions of chickens that were given feed tainted with recalled pet food, federal officials said Tuesday...

I have enough to worry about in life without meat, I can't imagine how much more worrisome I would be if I did consume chickens, cows and pigs. (Now, before you freak out, actually click on the link and you'll see the lede finished with: "though they said the threat to human health is minimal." I was going for shock value, there people. Now where do I sign up with PETA?)

People often ask me why I gave up meat and it's always a hard one to answer, because though the explanation is simple, people usually don't get it.

Sure, I like animals, but I also really like bacon (though I can't recall the last time I had it). I read "Fast Food Nation" several years ago and that was partly what pushed me off the purely plant-eating cliff, but it's not as though I'm protesting weekly outside of local slaughterhouses.

No, the reason I gave up meat is because it grosses me out. That's it. There's no "Save Wilbur" or otherwise worthy cause involved, it's simply a matter of taste. This is usually where people cock their head at me with a puzzled expression of "my, what a high-maintenance crack head."

To further complicate matters, I often add that I do sometimes still eat meat, albeit in small portions. My mother's amazing parsley bread contains chopped pepperoni and Jay makes these life-changing risotto balls with shreds of prosciutto. Both are made so rarely, they're hard to pass up and I never do.

People are even more surprised when I say I'd eat red meat again before I eat chicken. I still crave burgers and steak now and then, so I know I'll go back to eating it eventually (maybe), but I think chicken has left my system forever, never to enter again. For starters, I can't stand that it's white, and therefore resembles (to me) human flesh. I also can't stand that under cooking it can cause severe intestinal distress and if you've ever witnessed my skills in the kitchen, this will make sense. In fact, the few times I cooked chicken for myself and my roommates in college, I sat up half the night waiting to hear them all rushing for the bathroom because I didn't cook it thoroughly enough. I find life is much easier not having to worry about such things as poisoning your friends.

So again, we see that I managed to turn something that is supposed to be for the better good of all beings everywhere that are happy and free, into something about myself. Hello again, selfish!

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