Friday, September 30, 2005

good as an abacus, if you ask me

i was trying to figure out how many days there were in September but was in a hurry and too lazy to look it up.

so i put my closed fists fingers-down and looked at the up/down of my knuckles:

JAN feb MAR apr MAY june JULY
AUG sept OCT nov DEC

(caps: 31 days, non-caps: fewer)

no idea where i heard this, but i think it was sometime in the '80s.

pretty handy.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


to everyone wondering where the heck i've been, i am not dying or ill or sad or anything, contrary to what you may have interpreted from saturday's post -- that was something i had to get rid of for eternity. but i always welcome good vibes and hugs with open arms, so feel free to throw those out there at any time and know that they're always reciprocated.

truth be told, i'm working a day-ish shift as of late (hey, anytime i have to be out of the house before noon is a dayshift for me). the getting up early is really cutting into my sleeping in time, which is REALLY cutting into my staying-up-all-night time and generally just putting a cramp in my nocturnal style. and the walking 20 blocks one way sort of leaves me pooped. on top of that, i'm entranced by an extracurricular project that there seems to never be enough quality time for, so i'm swamped, but for those of you who knew me in my prime, you know i wouldn't rather live any other way but sleepless and stressed out.

but don't you worry, this job is like the earth, unpredictable and ever rotating, so i'm sure i'll be cycled right out of this and back to dungeon duty soon enough.

i'm still faithfully trying to read your stuff, and laughing, even if i don't always get a chance to put in my two cents. i'm sad that i haven't been able to comment much, especially about my girl Ale's foray into the world of international radio and Omar's new photothingy (both of which i haven't even been properly able to investigate as of yet).

i miss all of you guys.

p.s.: congratulations to all my beloved sox fans! in this city, i have to claim neutrality, and i love it when any of our teams are doing well. you can thank the celebration of that as well as technical issues for the reprieve i got for this post as well as the heart attack i will have later because we have to do an insane amount of work in even less time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


few things bring more joy than looking into a gift bag and seeing the very thing you ogled all those months ago, but forgot to remember that you wanted.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

yours was the only life raft that didn't have a leak.

thank you.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Immutable, impossible, incalculable, insufferable

many times you told me of your favorite song
but i never heard it
even after i replaced the cd that was stolen

something struck me to look it up today
and even after all this time has passed
i can hear you speaking the lyrics
which you never did -- out loud

i imagine you saying them to me then
the thought blurs my vision
if only you'd have known
it would have made all the difference

Thursday, September 22, 2005

how the Internet broke my heart

**disclaimer** this is a true story. it may prompt you to take action. which may lead to frustration. continue reading at your own risk.

two years ago, a coworker and i were talking about old-school dance songs we secretly loved. after the obvious ice ice babys and bell biv devoe, i brought up a song that has always made me smile -- one that i rarely hear. i believe it's called 'dangerous on the dance floor,' by Musto & Bones. we reminisced about Rita and her remarkable moves, and i even admitted that back when i was 11, it took me a minute to figure out which article of clothing the 'over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder' was referring to (what can i say? i was slower then).

we agreed that those lyrics were pretty funny, and i wanted to check out the rest. i turned to my rock, my reliable, bet-settling, go-to pal: Google. it was a tricky search, so i put in phrases that included the title and what i could remember, the name of the album:'The Future is Ours,' Musto & Bones, and even their first names, one of which i think is Tony. i found the cd for sale, reviews, people referencing the song and lots and lots of message board comments.

but no lyrics.

'this cannot be!' i exclaimed. 'why, the Internet knows no bounds; it has EVERYTHING! you just have to know how to find it. i must be doing something wrong.'

i considered it a challenge. for two days only the bare minimum as far as actual work was done in my cubicle, where a legendary quest had begun. i tried different search engines, databases -- blogs, even -- but couldn't seem to find the gd words. i mean, the lyrics are compelling, they're fast and the song has a pretty good beat, from what i remember. why wouldn't some mope want to archive it for all eternity on the world wide web? But as the search continued in its fruitless state, i started to look for the why. all i could come up with was 1990. that's when it was made. and by the time the Internet was taking off, that was too soon to be considered 'old' but too old to be considered 'current.' besides, fans of that song would be way past that moony teenage window of excitement and devotion wherein people invest hundreds of hours posting lyrics when they first discover online publishing. plus, i'm pretty sure it was a one-hit wonder.

so, putting the fear of my own ineptitude aside, i picked up the phone to dial the second most reliable source of information: my local library.

'this is the library, can i help you?'

'hello, um, i have sort of an odd question. you see, i'm trying to find the lyrics to this, er, song from the '90s.'

'well, do you have the artist and title?

'yes. dangerous on the dance floor by Musto & Bones, off the 1990 album, the future is ours.'

'i totally remember that song! man, when we were in college, we'd always dance to that one! ha ha! i haven't thought of that song in years. 'she's dangerous on the daance floooor, dangerous!' '

'yep. that's the one. i just can't seem to find the lyrics.'

'oh, don't you worry; i'll find them. it should be easy. is there a number i can reach you at this afternoon? oh, this will be the most fun thing i've had to research all day.'

yeah, so she called back. to say she'd had no luck.

i still persevered for a couple weeks after that, but never did find the lyrics. it was a difficult moment in my life. you see, the two most reliable sources of information had failed me. my foundation was shaken. and it took a good long while before i could trust google again, however, i can't complain; it hasn't failed me once since. but now i know it's not omnipotent. it was a little like that time when i was 15 when it started to sink that my dad doesn't know everything, afterall. it was a crushing blow.

i had tucked this away in my memory until just recently, when i was talking to a very savvy computer person. i casually mentioned how google had failed me, and he immediately scoffed. so i challenged him to find the answer, even promising to be his best friend-- a reward i don't just throw around. he came back just as frustrated and jaded as i am. if you're reading this, my friend, i know you haven't totally given up on the web. i'm sorry, buddy.

it's a bitter pill to swallow, but sadly, i have learned: even The Internet has its limits.

Monday, September 19, 2005

vocal showboating

so last week at the office i overheard some coworkers talking. there was a story in the newspaper about the ridiculously long line of contestants aspiring to make the cut at the American Idol tryouts. one woman started asking people who walked by which song they would choose to sing as a competitor.

one guy my age said 'old man river.' the woman sort of scoffed at that and thought it silly that he'd pick such a dated song. but dude has a thick baritone speaking voice, it seemed a natural choice. he followed that up by saying he doesn't really sing. yeah, sure he doesn't -- he just had an answer ready? check his back pocket for the sheet music. regardless, it was smart move; you never want to arm a coworker with the idea that you sing (very bad in cases of christmas parties, especially). everyone else said they had no idea. smart answers, but also LIES. c'mon, people. i refuse to believe that even those who claim inability to carry a tune can't come up with something. then again, i even sing along with commercials. bad ones. and let's not even get started on my rap-along skills ('mumblemumblemumble, uh, um... WOW HOW NOW, WOWHOWNOWBROWNCOW!')

god bless those who put up with me.

the first thing that came to mind for me was that old standby, 'killing me softly' in the style of lauryn hill. i love that one. and my heart leaps at stevie wonder's 'if you really love me.' mariah carey's always fun, too, but i can't always hang with accuracy on the superdupermelismas, so i probably would have to go with something much more straightforward, karen carpenter-style, like 'merry christmas darling' or 'superstar,' but ole boy rueben already covered that one. then there's pretty much anything by sarah mclachlan or la oreja de van gogh and hundreds others i adore bellowing along to.

the more i thought about it, the more reality started to settle in -- i pretty much should keep the singing to small enclosed spaces like cars and showers. but hey, the brainstorming made dungeon duty move along a little more quicky.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

as if the long stretches of uncomfortable silence weren't bad enough

i swear to God, if one more person who swings by the dungeon office with the intention of 'keeping me company' asks if i'm single, i'm going to amass the horde of fictitious boyfriends and husbands i have been telling them about all these months to seriously kick. some. ass.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

c urse of the spotted tongue

(thanks to DCveR, who brought up the topic; i got to thinking. i happen to be very superstitious, but it's definitely a cultural thing. i know it's crazy, but at the end of the day, i need as much luck as i can get.)

When I was younger, I remember my ethnic parents arguing and my father warning my mother not to c urse him with her tongue. It sounds ridiculous, but it fits the bill of most superstitions. Somewhere up the line in the motherland it is believed that people who have what looks like freckles on their tongues are capable of cursing people.

Mom doesn't put much stock in it, but she admits to predicting things in the heat of annoyance. Like when my Dad was overly babying his new car, she said, 'Just watch, you're going to get a big dent in that thing.' And soon enough, a runaway grocery cart hit its mark.

I have a spotted tongue, too, as did my grandmother. Once a doctor told me it's a discoloration of tastebuds and completely harmless. I never thought much about it after that until a vacation with friends to a sleepy island off the coast of Italy.

It was a dream trip come true; a friend had hooked us up with a gorgeous villa on the beach and the latest Jaguar to roll around the island in for an obscene deal. On our last night we went to a club to celebrate in style. Only I felt like a pack mule because person number four had asked me to hold gum/cigarettes/wallet/keys in my purse -- the burden that came with taking the wheel of such a fancy car. But by then the ride was over and I was irritated about hauling around all that stuff. I said, 'You'll see. You'll regret making me carry all this crap when someone takes this bag!'

I guess the thieves kept a better eye on it than I did, because that's exactly what happened. who knew that someone could reach under the table you were dancing on and completely gank your stuff?

We spent the entire night scouring the edge of the weedy roadside for possible discarded items, breaking the Jag's window to get our passports from the glovebox, having it towed away because the spare key was on the mainland and spending the night on the curb because we had no key to the villa. I went home with no money, no camera, few souvenirs (most were in the trunk, which we couldn't open without the high-tech key), and a little voice in my head that kept saying, 'you did this to yourself.'

Moral of the story? Don't scoff at superstition. And don't cross me.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

conclusions you jump when you're in third grade

i went into the bathroom at the office and noticed that the seat was up in the stall. for a split second, i was transported back to the beige and concrete bathroom of my grade school where i had first seen a public commode just after a cleaning crew had been through. my thought: 'eiw. boys must have been in here because the seat is up. gross.' i checked; all of the stalls were like that.

i was so disgusted that i held it for the rest of the day.

this was odd because the men in my family have always been good at never leaving the seat up; i have no idea where i could have gotten such a theory, except maybe television. and seat up/down doesn't even affect me anyway, because i have been indoctrinated with the hovering technique since the day i hung up my huggies. nevertheless, it's odd what goes through your mind when nature calls.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

i've been quiet, but WTF

it's bad enough gobbling up every latest detail about the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. it was definitely hard to fully enjoy vacation knowing that thousands of others don't even know when their next meal may be and didn't have a place to sleep. and it's personally terrifying to imagine that the baby brother would have been in the area had he not transferred to a new school. his new city was also affected, but they managed to get to a friend's house in florida during the brunt of the storm. not everyone was so blessed.

so many sides of this situation are absolutely mind boggling. especially the monsters that desperation has turned people into. it reminds me of Blindness by Jose Saramago -- well written and captivating, however during the time i read it, i was jumpy, sullen and distressed by what the characters were capable of. and that was fiction.

the relief efforts are wonderful; it's awesome that people are coming together to help. but shouldn't that kind of unity be expected? Homer mentions a comment the mother of the president made about the situation. Barbara Bush is pleased about the help people who have come to her state have been getting, but her way of saying it just makes it all the more apparent that people of privilege really don't understand much about how the other classes live. maybe those comments were blown out of proportion, but here's a woman married to and mothering leaders and used to being in the spotlight.

maybe if people put more effort into doing instead of saying, it'd make more of a difference.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


what a way to kick off a vacay! friday i flew out for an extended weekend of Sempre Primavera-style raucous relaxation. though that may sound like an oxymoron, i can't think of a better way to describe such a fabulous time. this is what i learned:

day 1: welcome to the jungle, we got what you need

* lack of sleep cannot stand in the way of a grand vacay
* the best hostesses know the first thing to get for a guest is a drink
* a crowded intersection off Times Square is peoplewatching paradise
* it pays to have friends with a good sense of direction
* there are few places in the world where you can: have a beer in a down-home openwindow joint, walk a ways for shi-shi wine at a marbletopped bar, stop a little farther for a chardonnay by a fountain venus, stuff your face with tapas (excellente) sangria (no tan buena) and find yourself at nostalgic, delicious dinner in good company followed by an evening of bootyshaking to some seriously rocking old skool beats. all by way of walking.
* rolling luggage is not so fun in subways plentiful with stairways
* most people's gut reaction to seeing the statue of liberty from a boat: 'that's it? it's so tiny!' no exceptions here
* real friends don't mind driving while their passenger is sleeping with her head back and her mouth open

day 2: it's like sand in your shorts

* cadiz brings good luck in the state of n.y. (but sadly, not to the workplace)
* kindness toward strangers can lead to discounts (!)
* bringing a book to the beach only results in getting pages wrinkly and gritty
* seafood tastes infinitely better when you're not landlocked
* there are surprisingly many places sand can hide in a bikini
* spicy pineapple in rice can be very tasty
* there are swans at the brooklyn boardwalk
* a neighborhood becomes amazingly interesting when a native is your guide
* almond and pistachio gelati = yum
* leaving brooklyn? fuhggedaboutit
* cruising home on a curvy road with minimal traffic, singing to old favorites at the top of your lungs ROCKS
* it is physically possible for the nocturnal to be asleep on her feet at 8 p.m., given the right kind of itinerary

day 3: blackened catfish -- but on the beach, not the bayou

* waking up isn't so hard when you know you're going somewhere fun
* even if you get up and haul your booty out to a tourist spot at the dawn's early light, 500 people will have already beaten you to all the parking spots
* you can judge the caliber of a town by the number of coffeeshops it has (according to sempreprimavera rules, that is)
* sleepy diners often offer the best in food and atmosphere; plus you feel like you're in 'Gilmore Girls' but without that alien sense of conversational timing
* ferries are fun
* women in relationships take up their deathrays (often for no reason at all) when a certain iceblue-eyed, ringleted primavera girl enters the room. happened before my eyes-- twice
* everything's more fun on an island
* in the quest for fun and beach umbrellas, do not settle for the first overpriced specimen in the window; continue on and you will find a deal -- in the back corner of the hardware store
* a good way to make culture junkies trip in the sand is when the beach volleybolistas happen to mention Bra-siylll as they pass by
* pretending to be statuesque and confident is all good -- that is until you find yourself directly under a breaking wave, unable to avoid the impending wholloping that will leave you facefirst in the pebbles, limbs askew, hair plastered to cheeks, clutching your suit and praying it hasn't malfunctioned
* after such a thrashing occurs twice, it is time to adjust your gear, gather what's left of your dignity and stride back to the sand to lick your wounds
* nothing beats a good multipurpose pareo
* the first time you eat lobster, it should be with an ice bucket for the wine and a glorious view of the ocean -- even if it's only reflected in someone's sunglasses
* no matter how much you hide under an umbrella and slather on spf 60, you will emerge from two days on the beach thoroughly charred
* motorcycle boys sometimes have powwows at the little triangle between the highway and the turn off. one can only imagine they're discussing the latest in fashion and politics, but the question is how
* staten island is peaceful
* interest in watching 'short circuit' has nothing to do with ability to stay awake

day 4: dim sum, a-dim sum, shoobeedoowaaaah

* even jaded newyorkers can be shocked and awed by the sheer lack of human beings in the city the morning of a national holiday; tumbleweed may even have been spotted on broome street
* the asian lady on the corner may look sweet, but she's really propositioning you to come purchase some scandalously priced designer knockoff bags
* its possible to have a lot in common with someone save for your taste in diamond settings
* you can feel like a princess sitting at a palatial pink table and choosing items on a whim off a rolling menu -- until you realize you're so full they'll have to roll you out the door
* the day you come armed with plenty of credit and cash is precisely the day that nothing in the store will look even remotely appealing for purchase
* graffiti is wrong -- but it looks damn cool
* sipping pop out of a glass bottle while sitting at a counter facing the street, commentating on couples, cars, culottes, cuties and the like is the perfect way to relax your toes and bring a vacay to a close
* the last few hours are always the most bittersweet
* especially the journey to the airport
* the plane ride home is exactly the perfect time to start plotting your next excursion

much love and appreciation to the hostess with the mostest. Ale, you are golden, girl.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

maxxin on the chillaxin

sigh. weekend is over. i reached such a state of repose that all i want to do now is lie around and only move to change the channel or dial the phone. i have much to say about the activities of the last few days, but i don't want to ripple ale's flow, so i'll wait until the end of her installments to put in my say. (i'm a little fuzzy on the chronology, anyhow.) besides, it's going to take me several hours to drag myself out of the house and go to work tonight.

i hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Friday, September 02, 2005

time to cut off the supply

before a night on the town, a normal person might turn to her friend and say something like:

'you cannot, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, allow me to call xyz person AT ANY TIME after this moment in the evening. the SECOND i start to reminisce and/or begin to think that calling them is a good idea is exactly when you are to REMOVE my phone from sight and throw it into the nearest and deepest body of water you can find. got it?'

yeah, we've all been there.

however, i have a different kind of problem. you see, i got up at the bootycrack of dawn today, got on a train, walked 25 blocks with a heavy bag, ate lunch in the park and went to class. all this was before the start of my shift. so of course, 2 hours into it, i started to fade, and fast.

i reached for the cureall of the modern era: coffee.

as it turns out, that wasn't such a hot idea, as most of my starbucks fixes consist of steamed milk with a shot of something sweet, like almond. i save the big guns -- the mochas, the espressos, the macchiatos -- for special occasions like big late-night projects or ensuring i have enough energy not to fall asleep in my friend's birthday cake because i'm nocturnal.

today i figured i had an excuse because i have to leave for the airport at 6:30 and i get home from work after midnight and i still haven't done laundry. what i didn't bargain for is that a little cup of starbucks love can make me certifiably insane.

i twiddled. i fidgeted. i tapped. i bounced. i crossed the room at breakneck speed. i got a little bit of a stomachache that was only comforted by a box of animal crackers and a bottle of water. i panicked. i sweated. i made lists. i surfed the internet. but overall, i was completely consumed by an overwhelming sense of urgency. more than usual, that is.

so next time you happen to hear me say, 'dude, i really could use some caffeine,' i think you should stand in front of me, put your hands on my shoulders, look me straight in the eye and, in a firm and clear voice, yell at the top of your lungs, 'NO FREAKING WAY.'

believe me, i'll thank you for it later.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


i just received a very classy, personalized and jam-packed itinerary for a minibreak i have planned to the big apple this weekend. you may hear from me before tuesday, but i'm positive i'll have much to say after that. enjoy the weekend!