Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The bathroom is out to get us. Yes, it's true. The shower has taken sides with the toilet and launched a full scale attack on the RM this morning. I stood, helpless on the other side of the poorly locked door, as she battled the water. Bravely she stood her ground cursing the evil shower head as bottles of shampoo and body wash threw themselves toward her unsuspecting toes.

You see, we have bad plumbing in the giant tub preventing us from using any of the piping into the tub itself. Instead a hand-shower-head-hose-thing has been rigged to hang precariously from a rusty hook. So, after vaulting into the tub, positioning under the water can be a challenge. More specifically, the water will do one of three things: 1) not hit you at all, 2) hit half of your body at a time as the hand-shower-head-hose-thing will be leaning to one side, or, and this is the worst 3) will blast you straight in the eye and shoot out the other side of the tub through the flimsy shower curtains to completely drench the bathroom.

To add insult to injury, the toilet likes to join in this hilarity at regular intervals by draining slowly then suddenly pumping water into its tank and draining cold water and pressure from the shower. This joy leaves you slightly scalded and with shampoo in your eyes.

I'm just waiting for the sink and/or medicine cabinet to engage in the fight of bathroom vs women. Oh, you laugh, but I know it will happen. One day the sink will explode and the medicine cabinet will crash to the floor. It will happen at the most inopportune moment when one of the two of us is in the shower screeching from scalding water. I must convince the RM of this plot against us and plan a preemptive strike against the sink. I really feel the medicine cabinet is more of a follower and won't really to anything without the sink. Yes, the sink. Now, to my plan...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Message

"Hi Ldbug, this is Mom. We're in Nevada. You're Dad called earlier and left a message on your phone but we couldn't hear it so I'm not sure if it worked. I'll call you from Grandma's when we get there tomorrow evening. Ok, love you, bye.

(background) Well, I just don't know how to turn it off.

'hit that button'

Which button?

'that one, the red one'

There isn't a red one.

'yes there is, let me'

(some shuffling) 'did that do it?'

I don't know, the light's still on. Here let me.


Is it off?

'well if you'd just wait'

Why are the buttons so small.

(sigh) 'I don't know..'" END OF MESSAGES

My parents got a cell phone since they're traveling for a few weeks. I listened to this little diddy the other night. My Mom did manage to call me from the cell at another point and a good portion of the conversation sounded a little like this "Can you hear me?" "Yes, Mom I can hear you." "Because I'm just talking into air, talking into air.."

It's good they've made the first move toward cell phone ownership, but I think they need a little help. For instance, 'couldn't hear the message'? Since when do you actually hear the message you leave on someone else's phone? And then they seem to have difficulty pressing 'end.' Maybe they should've gotten a larger phone, one of those '80s style so they feel like the device is more substantial.

Oh well, I'm sure by the end of the trip they'll have a slightly less tenuous grasp on the technology.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sniffles 'N Poker

Although still sniffly, I refused to skip my Saturday run. The first long run in awhile, I was sufficiently sore by the time I boarded the train for the most southern tip of Brooklyn to win myself some spending money.

After a slightly creepy walk from the train, I arrived mid-sneeze at the poker venue for the evening. As this is New York, most of the guests chose to arrive at least an hour late. Finally settling into play, I came to the sad, sad realization that I was playing with true novices.

And the only thing worse than playing poker with beginners is playing poker with loud, intoxicated beginners.

And the only thing worse than that is attempting to explain the rules after each hand over the shouting.

And the only thing worse than that is playing with people who keep getting up from the table.

I'm not sure how I managed to remain as calm as I did. Probably the only thing keeping my growing frustration in check was the fact that I didn't have much energy left. Well, that and there was money on the table.

I knew I could win. I knew as long as I played smart, which is hard with beginners, and got lucky, which is also difficult, I could win. Unfortunately, luck didn't show up to the party until late and I lost hand after hand. The hard kind of losing too.

Like when you have a full house, and the person to your right has a higher full house.

Like when you have a pair of jacks and the guy across the table has queens. It was that second big hand that almost did me in until I realized, amid the shouting, the river card (last card) had given me a straight. I had the jack. Ha! One down, took him completely out. Then the hostess found herself out of the game. I let the others fight it out for a bit, then won another big. OK, doing well. Now I was getting there.

Unfortunately a guy who actually knew how to play had shown up late giving him the edge and he was slowly collecting chips. Soon it was down to the two of us.

Great. I'm sneezing, and this guy has me dead to rights.

As luck would have it, the cards fell my way on one last big hand. He still had a lot of chips, as did I but being nearly 1am, we called it a night and split the pot. The only hurdle left was actually leaving the party. I considered crashing on the couch since I wasn't too keen on wandering a strange neighborhood to ride the subway this late on a Saturday night. One last shot of luck, the late guy also was heading for the same train as I was, and headed further north than I. So escorted by a polite Russian/Canadian, I arrived safely to my stop, $20 richer.

Not a crazy night, really, but I'm not complaining.

Friday, February 23, 2007

While I would like to report a novel or hilarious tale to you today, unfortunately, my roommate (RM) brought some exotic bug back from *gasp* Chicago. So I am feeling under the weather, tired, feverish, sniffly. RM hasn't even left the house in two days, obviously her exposure was much more potent.

I, on the other hand, have been struggling through work. With two hours to go, I'm having delusions of my air mattress visiting me at work, "just to catch up."

Hopefully this day will hurry up and end. Hopefully the presentation I'm preparing won't look like I'm doped up on NyQuil. Hopefully my air mattress will return to the apartment before I do as I'm looking forward to an early night.

Plans for tomorrow include a long run, then poker at a friends. If I sleep enough, I'm sure I'll be up for some insane fun tomorrow which I will dutifully report on Monday.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

About a Plunger

Everyone's done it, everyone's experienced it, everyone knows the feeling of the need for a plunger. A common occurrence that can result in panic, worry, and terror.

Last night I arrived home and took a moment to utilize the facilities at my apartment. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing more than a brief moment in time....until the flush.

And then, then that moment arrived. The one when panic takes hold.

I watched, horrified as the toilet flushed, then proceeded to overfill. What? Why? I jerked around and with a sigh of relief found the cat unflushed. So he didn't cause the clog then how? The question died as I realized something of more importance, the bowl couldn't hold another drop of water and began spilling over the edge.

With a shriek I dove for the plunger. My hand closed on air as we do not, apparently, have a plunger.

Ok, contingency plan, I ran down the stairs to our neighbors. Frantically I explained my situation, but they only shook their heads. In utter dismay I ran down to the landlady's but she either wasn't home or had decided to silently mock my plight from behind her closed door.

So, I did what any perfectly normal person would do.

Clad in slippers, I sprinted to the nearest store, raced through the store, said a silent prayer when I discovered three, brand-new plungers awaiting their moment to shine. Deciding that I only needed the one, I ran to the check-out counter. Waited patiently as the customer in front of me rambled on about something or the other to do with the newest flavor of chewing gum, then triumphantly presented the plunger to the checker.

He was unimpressed.

I nervously shuffled as he expertly took more than the required time to scan the item and ask for $4.89. For a plunger? I only hesitated for a moment then threw the money at him and bolted.

The race back proved harder as slippers are not all that comfortable to sprint in and the way back was uphill. I was not to be deterred, however, and pressed on.

Taking the stairs one at a time (I was in slippers!) I arrived at the scene plunger in hand and proceeded to plunge. A moment later, the crisis ended and I was left there, standing in a puddle of water, dripping plunger in hand, a bead of sweat on my forehead.

Not one to miss an opportunity, I dumped a pint of Lysol on the floor and mopped the floor to a nice lemony shine. We now have a plunger. And I am the master of that plunger.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Staten Breeze

What is a better way to spend an afternoon than on a free ride out to Staten Island? Well, I'm sure you might have a better idea for example: 1) spending time with family, 2) taking a day trip to the country, 3) ski trip, 4) going to a movie.

Since 1) my family is a couple thousand miles away, 2) the country is expensive and far away, 3) I left my skis at my parents, and 4) I can't find a decent movie theatre in this city, I thought, "Hell, why not!" and boarded the ferry with THE SOUTH for a chilly ride past the Statue of Liberty.

Seemed appropriate since the next day was a national holiday anyway. How better to spend the day before Presidents day than glimpsing our nation's most recognizable symbol.

So that is what we did.

Of course, being too cheap to actually take the ferry to liberty island, we flirted past the Statue on the free ferry which actually does give you a pretty decent, though fleeting, view.

Once at Staten island, THE SOUTH and I decided to actually check it out seeing as neither one of us had actually visited Staten before.

Sadly, I can report there isn't much to see. But I can tell you where to get a decent sandwich, beer and listen to Ace of Base. Ah, yes, it appears we lunched in the '90s. And you'll be happy to know the sandwiches are significantly cheaper, as is the beer, and Ace of Base pretty much sounds the same.

We left after dark and caught a glimpse of the Statue all lit up, torch and all, then headed to a speak-easy in Manhattan. An honest to God speak-easy. Of course it's legal now, but still hard to find. Just a dark door on a non-descript neighborhood street.

I was slightly disappointed that we didn't have to know a special knock or something but regardless, it was a pretty interesting place. The walls were plastered with pictures of famous writers who had frequented the establishment in the past, and the micro-brewed beer wasn't too bad either.

We crossed midnight into Presidents day as true Americans having viewed the Statue of Liberty, rocked out to Ace of Base, and sampled the brews at a bustling speak-easy.

picture courtesy of

Thursday, February 15, 2007

One or the Other

I had intended to post a letter to SAMSUNG about their less than par products, but having just spent the last hour on the phone with my credit card company, I think I'd prefer to write to them today.

Dear Credit Card co.,

You are a tricky people. How exactly do you manage to train your staff so expertly in the skills of misdirection? I actually am impressed. I could be angry, mind you, but really, I'm impressed. In order to emphasize my appreciation for your staff, I have included an excerpt of a conversation I had with one of your many lovely sales people this morning.

*Jill: "Good morning, I'm with credit protection and I understand that it is your wish to cancel the credit protection on your card this morning."

Me: "Yes please, I would like to cancel the protection since the fee is a bit too expensive and I was not aware this feature had been added to my card."

Jill: "Well first, let me congratulate you on getting this far. Most people give up after the first two or three transfers, that is assuming they make it past the recordings."

Me: "Why thank-you! I do pride myself on the stubborn will to save money."

(we exchange a hearty laugh together)

Jill: "I will need you to, of course, re-confirm your full name, mother's maiden name, permanent address, mailing address, phone number, pet's name and blood type before we continue."

Me: "Certainally...(classified) that all you'll need? The last sales person requested an oath to turn over my first born to your company."

Jill: "Yes, it's simpler here, we've already weeded out the faint of heart at this point."

Me: "ahhhh"

Jill: "So I understand you wish to cancel the credit protection?"

Me: "Please."

Jill: "And were you unhappy with the benefits?"

Me: "Well, Jill, to be honest, I just caught two charges to my card from California, as I'm in New York and could not have made those purchases, I feel the protection has let me down."

Jill: "I see, but there are other benefits to the credit protection. These include a free waive of fee for any first marriage, divorce, and entry into graduate school."

Me: "Interesting, I did not know that. But as I've been married, divorced and to graduate school it seems any benefits do not apply to me."

Jill: "Ah, but what I can do for you today is to lower the cost of your monthly fee to half of what you are paying."

Me: "As tempting as that is, Jill, I am not receiving any benefits what-so-ever for this service so it seems silly for me to keep paying for it even at a lower cost."

Jill: "Well, it's not silly to us."

Me: "No I would think not, but I would still like to cancel the protection, please."

Jill: "Alright then, there is an added benefit I could add leading to a fee exemption upon purchase of your first home or boat. Additionally, I would lower the current fee for you to half of what you are paying and in that way we could continue to bill you for a service you don't really need, OK?"

Me: (soft laughter) "No just cancel it please."

Jill: "So we are going to go ahead and add the boat purchase fee today then."

Me: "No we are canceling the protection today."

Jill: Pause

Me: "Please cancel the credit protection."

Jill: (sounding hurt and defeated)"The cancellation will go through in 2-3 days and you will see it on your statement."

Me: "Thank-you."

Jill: "Please call if you want the boa-


As you can see, your people are resourceful and willing to put every moral in jeopardy to make a sale. Please pass along my apologies to Jill, and congratulations on succeeding in duping so many other of your customers into adding credit protection to their card on the off chance they may purchase a boat in the next 30 days.



*name changed to protect the crafty sales-person

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

To the bone

I skinned my knees last night while chasing hot-running-man in the park. It could've been worse. My gloves were nice and thick so my hands avoided injury, but my running pants are none to heavy so my knees (and pants) took a good beating.

Well, serves me right for paying more attention to the hot ass then all the tree roots along the dark running trail. Right, because I can see in the dark.

The guys keep telling me "oh you'll know the path once you run it enough!"

Yes that's right guy-who-ran-into-tree, I'll know the four mile, ever changing dirt trail and all the under/over-growth in the dark after

I did finish the run, though, I never give up when properly motivated.

A snow storm rolled in shortly after I limped home. A really great storm which has turned into freezing rain. So much fun to go hiking around in. Snow on the ground, ice bullets raking your face.

Happy freaking Valentines day.

The good news is I have a phone interview for grad school coming up. The bad news is my phone is dead. So, I payed an exorbitant amount of money for a new cell phone from Verizon. Rip off.

If they actually had those stupid network guys following me around I might be OK with the outrageous price of their phones. If SAMSUNG (the cheapest phone in the store) actually made some sort of quality phone, I'd be OK with paying for it.

Instead I get a fancy looking, weak signal, piece of crap phone. Yippy. And I did wander to other stores looking for a cheaper phone, no such luck. My best bet, at this point, is to try and thoroughly dry out my phone. RM and I tried baking it, took the thing apart and went at it with Q-tips (a wonderful invention) but the phone still has water coming out.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have 15 days to unload this enormously expensive shit SAMSUNG back to Verizon. I swear if that network guy were to show up right now....I'd SAMSUNG him out the window.

So have a nice Valentines kids, and no worries on this end, I'm about to tuck into some chocolate fondue, courtesy of the work-place. I'm sure that'll cheer me right up:-)

THE SOUTH was kind enough to offer me his flip-flops as my feet are numb and soaking wet. That's nice. Don't think I'll take him up on the offer, though. Dry socks work better.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Out of Order

How does one damage their phone?

Why drop it in a bucket of water of course!

But back up, what, you say? In a bucket? Full of water?

Why yes! Of course, that's the best way to create a short that will dim the screen and cause the phone to tremble at irregular intervals.

Now, why a bucket.

Well, silly, that's how we fill the tank to the toilet!

Fill the tank?

Certainly, why? Does your toilet magically fill up all on it's own? Pfst. What a silly notion.

And you had the phone near the bucket because...

Well, it's all quite simple I was on the phone, chasing the cat who is fond of tipping buckets of water, and, well, it's all quite self-explanatory, really.


So why, exactly can one find water-proof watches, radios, cameras, disposable cameras and not a water-proof phone? Why, I ask you, why?

Daily Note on THE SOUTH: He is wearing plaid pajama pants underneath his work pants presumably due to the cold...that or he is intending to take a nap at some point during the day and would prefer to be comfortable.

Friday, February 09, 2007

This century is: A construction worker and pals ordering "A grande non-fat vanilla Lattee" at Starbucks

Fate's cruel humor is: Weird guy from coffee shop on your train when man with beautiful eyes has yet to make an encore appearance

Motivation is: Hot very fast runner man in front of you during your run -- I managed a 6minute/mile average for almost 3 miles last night due to that inspiration

Luck is: A decent bottle of red for $7 in New York

Cheap amusment is: Silently debating if you would "Rule the world" if some world tragety happened and only you and those on the train are left. Also fun to pick the cutest man onboard as your "Right hand man"

Daily Note On THE SOUTH: His term for that horrid feeling when you know you're going to be sick is called "the warm spits"

Thursday, February 08, 2007


About this time last year I found a soaking wet, shivering little kitten on my doorstep. Last year was a rough one for me for many reasons, one of which includes I was in Memphis. I'm far away from that place now, happily very far away!

Everything is different now, I've got some new possibilities opening for me. I have the best roommate ever, I may be on a budget, but so are most people, especially in New York! I'd like to say I moved on all by my-self, but not true. Nope, I attribute at least a little of it, to that furry little creature who has taken over my apartment.

He's the one who yowls when he hears me unlock the door just upon arriving home.

Who purrs to sleep on my stomach at night.

Who shreds toilet paper then professes his undying love for me in the form of purrs and snuggles probably to prevent me from shredding him.

He's the one with enough static in his tail to power a small nation.

He's just a cat.

Who listens to my stories, sings with me (always off tune), and is there when I just want to hold a little furry thing.

So I probably would be fine, and still here even if that cold kitten hadn't turned up. Still, I needed him to find me, to rely on me, to cuddle and purr and scare away the ghosts at night (Ok, so I'm afraid of ghosts, shut up!) Here's to our little furry friends, cats, dogs, ferrets, bunnies, uhhh we'll even include the non-fuzzy kind as I'm sure some of you are into lizards and fish.

On another note, I have decided to add a short on my young work colleague almost as a daily thing. He's the most interesting oddity in the office. We'll have to come up with a nickname for him, I'll ask him:

He has chosen the nickname THE SOUTH Incidentally he has a blog too, really interesting reading.

So for today's note: THE SOUTH wears flipflops while in the office because he prefers to type without shoes on.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

All in the Eyes

Ode to man with gorgeous eyes on train:

Oh man with beautiful eyes

I see you and try not to stare

You see me and pretend not to notice me trying not to stare

The train moves

You are tall

But not too tall

I question your choice of jacket

You glance at me again

I catch your eye

The attempt not to stare begins anew

They are so green

Well, maybe a bit blue

It is hard to tell in the fluorescent lighting

Damn the fluorescent bulbs

Damn the fluorescent bulbs

The train rocks

I accidentally elbow you

There is a moment

"Excuse me"

"It's OK"

You smile

Oh those eyes

Politely we avert our attentions

The train stops

You leave

Damn Bergen street

Damn Bergen street

I sigh

I will remember our times

Oh the poor choice of jacket!

Oh the slight elbow jab!

What fun we had

I will remember fondly

Our brief time together

Oh you man of beautiful eyes

You man of beautiful eyes...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Didn't need it anyway

This morning, the RM and I left for work at the same time -- a rarity in a house of two girls, one bathroom and two lovely snooze buttons. We both wait until the last minute to get up, then it's a gamble as to who will get into the bathroom first.

In any case, we left together this morning chugging up the street through the cold, me without my lunch, RM without her date-book, neither of us willing to go back for these forgotten items. As we arrived at the train I could hear it pulling up. Now, sometimes it's really the train on the other side of the platform, so you end up running, get through the gate and down the stairs before realizing you were running for the wrong train. This morning, though, we ran for a reason.

I got through first as RM frantically searched for her Metro card. I ran down thinking I could hold the door, but alas, as RM ran down the stairs the doors closed on my arm. Damn train. There are some trains with sensors in the doors to prevent any loss of limb but not this one, oh no. This train decided it would be more fun to try and remove my arm, the hand of the man next to me, and leave us dismembered while RM looked on in silent disappointment.

Ok, so I didn't really lose my arm, but it was close.

A train pulled up right after the evil one, though, so RM was able to catch the same transfer as I and we arrived to work at the same time.

On another note, our toilet is broken. It's loads of fun. We get to fill the tank manually with a bucket after each flush.

This is what living is, I tell you. Exhausted bank accounts, man-eating trains, and stubborn porcelain gods.

Monday, February 05, 2007

What an interesting weekend

Without going over budget ($11.77/day) I managed to have a fairly interesting weekend. Friday night I ended up in the office late which naturally led to a small bar near work with colleagues.

A slice of pizza later, and we landed in a college bar near NYU. Feeling a bit old and out of place, RM and I settled at the bar with our younger colleague who began systematically taking advantage of the shot special.

I declined the liqueur and stuck to cheep beer. It was truly a trip back in time. All those kids, none over 25 drinking as much as they could hold as quickly as possible. RM and I sipped our beer, sang along to some of the songs and happily accepted the consensus of the younger ones that neither one of us could possibly be over 23. Well, I can live with that!

We then took our now stumbling colleague to another bar where a young man had invited RM. Sadly that place was closed. Happily we found another where our now sloppy young colleague (YC) managed to get himself kicked out. We still don't know what he said.

In any case RM received a few more calls from her guy, and we left in search of him. While we never did find him, we did manage to be side-tracked by some hot foreign guys, always a plus on a NY night. After pouring YC into a cab, we grabbed a late meal, nothing wrong with waffles at 3am, and hopped the train home. Perfect.

Super-bowl Sunday roles around and RM and I went to a party hosted by an alum friend of hers. Interesting. I was warned these people would be pretentious due to their schooling. Not so. They were just nerds. Plain old, goofy sweater, short jeans, goofy hair nerds. Nothing wrong with a bunch of nerds. I tucked into my cheep Coors, and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

$0.43 under budget, and my team won.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Advertising Super Bowls

The super-bowl is tomorrow. Honestly, I'm not into the teams this year -- well, haven't been into any team for awhile since the Raiders just don't seem to be willing to make much of a showing anymore. Anyway, the roommate and I are heading to a little get together, her to cheer on the Bears, me to eat free food and drink free beer, and actually, I think I'll go for the Colts, just to be difficult;-)

Really, though, in the end it's not about the game so much as the commercials. The super bowl has turned into a joke. They're even having a competition to vote for your favorite super bowl commercial. Well, who would stoop so low....(I'm voting for the cavemen from Geico, love those guys).

picture courtesy of

Friday, February 02, 2007

For the season

Well, 4D switched home, so I think I'm going back to my original too...sorta. I'll keep this URL, but my name, pic, I'm re-adopting. As to the colors, well, it's the season, right? It's the month of Valentines for better or worse.


This is a tight month for me. After toilet paper purchase, after my bills, after rent (which will have to be paid at the next paycheck) I have exactly $11.35 to spend per day for the month. Good news, I didn't spend my $11.35 yesterday so my tally is up to a whopping $11.77 per day! Yippeeeee, now I can buy an extra gumball a day.

Actually don't need gumballs.

So, I guess I'm going to have to watch my pennies this month. That means only one coffee per day. Either lunch or breakfast. And lots of mac & cheese. And no going out, at all. I had a good weekend last week, though, so I got the party out.

Actually, the roommate and I hung out at the tea lounge, made friends, then hung out at a bar, made more friends, went to another bar, and finally wandered home about 3 in the morning to play poker with a Scottish competitor and using candy corn as the currency.

Good times, new friends and I'm satisfied to spend the month's weekends watching cheep movies, running, talking to the cat, reading and going to bed early. Maybe the stories won't be as fantastic, but maybe I'll lose a few more pounds and I'll definitely store up energy for March when I'm back in the green!!

Good thing this is a short month. (place in here a verrrrry longgggg sighhhhhhhh)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Down to the wire

It's that time.

The time when you know you have to buy toilet paper or resort to Kleenex. I keep forgetting to buy some. All week I've been meaning to pick up a stack of rolls, and all week I forget, get home and shake my head in dismay as the last roll continues to shrink. In a house of two girls and a cat with a paper fetish, you have to keep well stocked. This is it, if I don't remember tonight, the game is all over and the Kleenex will be the first to suffer...

picture courtesy of