Coffee Table Declarations
Saturday, August 30, 2003
Well my roommate left today. It feels awfully empty in here and surprisingly, I'm a little lonely. I wasn't expecting that because I have always wanted my own place. It's hitting me now seeing her empty room and the living room with half the furniture missing. While making something for dinner tonight it was a rude shock to find that I am suddenly without a measuring cup! I guess I can't complain, it was hers after all.

On a whim I went to see a studio apartment this afternoon. It was just over my budget and way overpriced. It was in a building with a fancy name and was shown to me by a fancy lady who drives a Mercedes (perhaps becoming a realtor is the way to go). We walked down a hallway so dim that we couldn't see the numbers on the apartment doors and had to guess at which one it was. Upon entering, it looked just like a one bedroom apartment without the bedroom. Or alternatively, a bedroom with a teeny tiny kitchen and a bathroom. It reminded me of a college dorm without the requisite hotpot (for making Ramen noodles) and posters plastered to the walls. The teeny tiny kitchen was adorable, but lacking a dishwasher, disposal, or microwave - all modern conveniences I have become rather attached to. The building itself lacked parking, another amenity I tend to look for when deciding where to live. If I was interested I was supposed to give a deposit, on the spot, equal to one month's rent. Ultimately I decided to pass. I want my own place, but something tells me I should wait until I can afford one a little more comfortably, or at least one a little more comfortable.
Friday, August 29, 2003
Strangely, the world doesn't stop for you when you are on vacation. It should. Maybe then there would be enough hours in the day to do errands, go shopping, watch movies, take walks, and go exploring. Alas, time stops for no one. And with September first approaching rapidly, I still don't have a roommate lined up. So I have to take time out of my languishing and leisuring to interview prospects. And what a collection of prospects they are. Part of me just wants to invite them all to move in and start my own reality show. Part of me has lost the will to live with anyone but myself. The search continues...
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
What better way to spend a vacation than reading a good book? I highly recommend this one. You will get swept up in it before you realize what has happened. It is a great summer read. And to demonstrate why I love it, here is an exerpt:

"My advantage, I realized, was not only that I could embarass him or pity him, or recognize his foolishness - a supposed genius, a rich man with a young wife - not even the years I had left while his were spent. My advantage was that I knew what he was trying to do, here in his kingdom by the sea, where art was what he said it was and the limits of time and age were banished and everything was possible because everything that mattered was inside his head. My advantage was that I knew what he was trying to do - and I was better at it."
Monday, August 25, 2003
Dear Loyal Readers: If you are used to my daily posts, you may be wondering where I am. Happily enough, I am on vacation this week! So I may not get the chance to update as frequently since I am going to try to get out and enjoy the summer sunshine (instead of spending my entire day in front of a computer screen as I do at work). I will continue to post though so please stay tuned! Some upcoming entries will include a book recommendation, Katie's movie review, and the stress of apartment/roommate hunting as well as whatever other interesting anecdotes happen to come up. Talk to you soon!
Friday, August 22, 2003
So I decided to try my hand at cooking. Just a couple easy recipes. First I needed to make a trip to the grocery store. Unfortunately for me, being of the don't-buy-more-than-you-can-carry-into-the-house-in-one-trip philosophy, I had to make several trips. And this is no easy task. I have to park down the street from my building and then walk up three flights of stairs.

So my first culinary delight was a seven layer salad and it called for some onions. Why do onions make your eyes water and sting painfully? Really, I'd like to know. Is it the onion's defense mechanism to ward off predators or something? It was awful. I had to stop several times and step away from the onion just to regain the ability to open my eyes without searing pain.

My next question is, what is baking powder? Likewise, what is baking soda? They are obviously extremely important because they are called for in many many recipes. But does anyone actually know what they are? Or are they just thrown into recipes at random so chefs sound like they know what they are doing? "You will need a cup of sugar, a cup and a half of flour, 3 eggs, a half cup of shredded cheese, and a tablespoon of baking powder." What would happen if you left these enigmatic ingredients out? How do we know they are actually healthy for us and not some kind of chemical compound that in fact should never be ingested by anyone? Just something to think about.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Our 800 number is constantly getting crossed with others. I don't know why. It's just a fact of life I've come to accept. When someone calls asking to "order a cake" or "complain about something I ordered from your catalog" or report that "we are stuck in an elevator someplace in Miami", I know now that they have the wrong number, and quickly tell them so. I might add that the above examples are not fictious. They have all happened. More than once.

Today I received another wrong number call. It started like a sales call with the caller inquiring as to my well being. Rolling my eyes I replied with my most annoyed "fine, how are you?" I was startled when the caller replied, "Not so good actually. I was diagnosed with Diabetes today." I proceeded to listen to a sad story told by a sad man. I sympathized as best I could and then gently broke the news that he had the wrong number (I had determined that he was looking for his health insurance provider instead). I think he was a little embarrassed but he thanked me for listening before hanging up. I told him it was no problem. And it wasn't.
I need your input! Next week I am taking the entire week off from work, for no other reason that to decadently enjoy some nice, carefree, end-of-summer days. I want to plan some fun summery events for myself. Any ideas?
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
To pass the time on a lazy summer day, we are going to play a little game courtesy of Pinky. Here's how it works. Let me know if you want to play and I will ask you five unique questions of my choosing. You will need to put your answers on your own site or (if you do not have a site) in my comments so all can see. You also need to offer to interview others the same way and then you get to make up the questions.

Here are the questions given to me by Pinky, along with my answers:

1. What was the last CD you bought?

This question is harder than it appears. I can't remember the last CD I bought. There are two that I desperately want to buy but can't find in stores and may have to resort to buying online. They are Mieka Pauley and Lizzie West. The last CD that was bought for me was Evanescence and it rocks.

2. Do you remember your favorite outfit from when you were little?

This is a great question and I wish I could say that I did. Unfortunately, I don't remember my favorite outfit, but I do remember my least favorite outfit. It was a pair of plaid bell-bottomish pants and when I wore them the kids at school would call me "Katie the Brady Lady". Which segues nicely into question number three...

3. Does anyone call you by a nickname regularly?

There was a woman I used to work with who always called me "Katy-Did" you know, like the bug.

4. If you could wake up tomorrow with any professional occupation, which would it be?

Easy - award winning writer/famous actress, perhaps even starring in a movie about my own life, which was based on a book that I wrote. Or a singer. I love to sing. Either way I'd be rich. Which of course brings me to...

5. If you had a million dollars to give away, who would you give to first?

Wait, do I have to give it away? O.K. then, my family would be first (and this includes certain close friends who know who they are), and then I would carefully research different charity organizations to find the ones who most needed my money. Maybe I would set up a fund for young ladies like myself who cannot afford their own apartments and wish as hard as they can for a kind benefactor to come along and present them with a large sum of money. But yeah, charities would be really important too.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
O.K., admit it, you know you watched I Love the 70's last night on VH1. I know I did. And I was surprised and excited by the things I recognized from my childhood (even though I was not even born yet in 1970 - the first episode). Things like Lite Brite, Weeble Wobbles, Sesame Street, the Brady Bunch, Elvis visiting the Nixon White House, and the invention of the computer mouse sure do have a place in my heart. My favorite part however, was watching different people read aloud from the compelling and profound, "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret." I quite literally laughed out loud.
Monday, August 18, 2003
It looks as though I am famous and I didn't even know it. I started getting all these hits that seemed to be coming from a place called Library Planet. How exciting - I didn't even know there was a Library Planet! Anyway, I decided to check out for myself where these unknown visitors (librarian-aliens perhaps?) were coming from and surprisingly enough, on the Library Planet, I found my own words under the heading "An Unsolicited Library PSA". I'm sure the "PSA" stands for public service announcement.

If you've been a reader for at least the past couple of weeks, you may remember reading the entry you will see when you click the link to the Library Planet, and scroll down a little bit on the page. (And please do check out the link, as someone else was kind enough to link to me and I'd like to return the gesture.) I am very flattered! I just wish I knew the identity of whoever is behind the Library Planet posting so that I could say thanks!

And remember kids, libraries are cool!
Friday, August 15, 2003
Here's the question of the day: would you sleep on the street in exchange for a free summer Friday off from work? A friend of my roommate works in Manhattan. My roommate spoke to her around 4:30 and she was leaving the office to head for home. Her apartment is 40 blocks away and she had to walk. She lives on the 25th floor and therefore the windows don't open. That means with no AC, there would be no relief from the heat. By 11:00 last night, we still hadn't heard from her.

What's crazy is that some people, simply unable to get home, were sleeping on sidewalks in New York City last night. Watching it on TV, it looked like a cross between September 11th and New Year's Eve. I kept waiting to see either gray dust covering every square inch, or Dick Clark.

New York is a crazy city indeed. I once heard that the island of Manhattan is slowly sinking into the sea due to the amount of weight it holds. I have been there twice. The first time included a $10 cheeseburger in Times Square and a comical situation in which a third of our party jumped off the train at the correct stop, just in time before the doors closed, while the rest of us were stuck travelling another 10 blocks underground. The second time involved a tiny hotel room high above the street, more cab rides than I care to think about, and a passing glimpse of the Dakota - the one thing I wanted the most to see.
Thursday, August 14, 2003
I'm having one of those days. You know the kind. You wake up thinking it's Friday but it's only Thursday. You have a headache and a sore throat for no reason at all. It is hotter than heck outside but you know you can't complain because you've been complaining all summer that it's not hot enough. Your lunch plans fall through. Someone is prank calling your office or there's some problem with the phone, but all you know is everytime you answer there's no one there and this goes on nonstop for a good twenty minutes. You're trying to act like an adult, but all you want to do is pout. Or curl up in bed for a nap.

I would like to personally thank Pinky for her comments.
I saw a couple of interesting things on my way into work this morning. Keeping in mind that it is a beautiful, sunny day, the first funny thing was a woman walking down the street holding a brightly colored, open umbrella over her head.

The second funny thing was a dog running through a busy intersection, leash trailing behind, being followed closely by a woman, running to catch him. And yes, both dog and woman made it safely through the intersection, although it was a little nerve wracking to watch.
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Fed up with the same old selection in the cafeteria today, I decided to try the local house of pizza. Why does every town have a "House of Pizza"? In my town there is also a Falafel Palace, although rather than being palace-like, it is a small take out place. This is the place that has the creepy owner who sits on the street all day and whistles/yells to get my attention when I walk by on the other side of the street, pretending to ignore him.

Anyway, at the local house of pizza, I ordered a very well-priced lunch special - two slices of cheese pizza and a can of soda for $2.30. Sitting at the outside picnic tables, I opened my take-out box and was surprised to find that my two slices were drenched in cheese. I may as well have ordered plain melted mozzarella, because that's what it looked like. This prompted me to think about how pizza places offer extra cheese as a topping. I've always been somewhat suspicious of this. After all, how do you know if they are really giving you extra cheese, or simply pretending to and charging you a little extra for it? Strangely, I could've ordered extra cheese for my cheese-soaked pizza, if I wanted to.

There was also enough grease to fill a bathtub and bathe a small family of cows. (That is, if you were so inclined to do so. I am not.)

But it did beat another boring cafeteria lunch at least.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
If someone were to listen in on your phone conversations, you may get a bit angry. However, I suggest instead that you have a little fun with them! Here is a list of possibilities: You could say absolutely nothing at all for 3 hours and just sit there holding the phone to your ear while going about your business. Or, you could make silly noises back and forth with the person on the other end of the line and not actually use any words at all. Or, you could hold the phone up to the radio which would be tuned to a really boring talk radio program. Likewise, you may select some really bad music instead. Or, you could speak in a made up language such as gibberish or Pig Latin. You could have an in depth discussion about something really gross such as the intracacies of eating sheep eyeballs. You could read aloud from the dictionary or perhaps more appropriately, the phone book. Those are just a few suggestions. Can you think of any others?
Monday, August 11, 2003
There is a church around the corner from my apartment that always puts little phrases on a sign out front to catch people's attention. Sometimes these are words of wisdom, or just some thought provoking statement. I happened to be walking by last night and noticed that the sign said something I found kind of cute. It said, "Satan says, Please do not attend this church or read the Bible." For some reason that just struck me as funny - I think it was the polite phrasing.

Someone told me today that I reminded her of Marlo Thomas circa her "That Girl" period. Well, I guess we both have dark hair. And I do so love pop culture and the sixties. So all in all I did not mind the comparison, although I don't quite see the connection.

I can just imagine the search hits I'm going to get from this entry!
Friday, August 08, 2003
Remember that episode of Seinfeld when Kramer befriended the Japanese tourists and had them sleeping in drawers? Well, just this morning, a whole crowd of what looked to be Japanese tourists entered the lobby of my building. They stared in at me unabashedly, even as I stared back. Then the whole bunch of them numbering at least 27, piled onto the elevator, squeezing in like a group of college kids into a phone booth. Maybe it was part of the new "flash mob" craze. I never did see them come back down.
Thursday, August 07, 2003
I'd like to mention that seeing your coworkers all walking around in Hawaiian shirts is somewhat disorienting. And yes, it was planned.
Oh and by the way, you may have noticed a space for comments. Please feel free to add some.
I don't know what I'm going to do if I have to draw one more palm tree. We are having a Frozen Drink Festival this afternoon at work. We were broken into four teams and we are competing to make the best frozen drink. I was in charge of making coasters for our drink to be served on and I chose a tropical theme, without concern for the fact that I don't know how to draw a palm tree. But draw a palm tree I did, and then I drew another, and another, and another. Instead of getting better, each one I drew seemed to get more and more funny looking. It was almost as if I had already started drinking. Also, I added coconuts to the trees. Do coconuts grow on palm trees? I don't know, but they are growing on mine, on our coasters. It is nice to know that my salary is money well spent.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Speaking of being nervous, I forgot to mention that I've noticed that I talk a mile a minute when I'm nervous. I will talk to anyone about anything, just to fill in the empty space. Of course, there are some who would say I talk a mile a minute anyway, even not nervous.

And on the subject of talking, I have to admit that every now and then, particularly when I'm preoccupied, I will answer the phone but the words will come out all garbled like I have a foreign accent or I'm chewing something. When I actually am chewing something, then I just sound unintelligible. But I'll still answer, nevertheless.
I hate being nervous. Little things make me nervous. Things that didn't used to bother me. Things I couldn't even define my concern about, if you were to ask. I've tried all kinds of self-talk in situations such as this. I've asked myself what there is to be worried about. I've planned "outs" just in case. But nothing ever completely relieves nervousness. It's more physical than mental. Like a wave of queasiness that settles into my stomach and just sits there.

Even knowing that things usually turn out much better in reality than we worry about ahead of time, doesn't help. I think it actually reinforces worry. Almost like I'd rather overdo nervousness ahead of time and later laugh at how silly I was, than be completely confident going into a situation and then get tripped up by something I was unprepared for.

Oh well, at least I have a new lip gloss that I absolutely love!
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Decisions decisions... sometimes there are just too many things to choose and I've never been good with choices. I hate to be wrong and there's no way to predict where one path will lead. Therefore, I often wait for something to happen to point me in the right direction.

I used to see cows everywhere I was supposed to work. I like cows and it just so happens that my first job was at a school whose first incarnation was a dairy farm. Leaving my interview the first day, I saw a cow weathervane on the roof and I knew it was a sign. At my interview for my second job, on my way to the interview room, I was shown the kitchen and what was on the wall? Yes, that's right. A huge painting of a cow. I used to know where I was supposed to be at any given time, just by following the cows. When unemployed, I would go on interviews and friends and family would later ask, "Did you see a cow?"

I don't see cows anymore but I think that's because they have taught me an important lesson about following my own intuition and looking for the subtle validations that are hidden from the naked eye. I hope that the "cows" are helping me this time.
Monday, August 04, 2003
Something about the weather made it seem like the perfect weekend for watching movies and reading books. I was excited by my range of choice - three movies and six new books from the library.

It's funny, although it takes a while to get through a book, (much longer than a couple hours for a movie) having six books waiting for me makes me want to rush through the book I'm currently reading, just to get to another. I have to realize that like opening Christmas presents, each one should be savored and enjoyed for it's own sake because pretty soon the whole pile of them will be gone. However, unlike Christmas presents, there is always a never ending supply of books to be found at your local library. Somehow I feel this entry is turning into a public service announcement about utilizing your local library.

I'm lucky because my mother works at my local library and has for the last 15 or so years. Therefore, not only do I not have to worry about returning books on time, but I couldn't tell you the last time I picked out a book for myself. Maybe, 1985? I can handle book recommendations from others, but aside from that, my mother simply provides me with reading material. And for the most part, the books she picks out are pretty good.

As far as movie rentals go, is it me, or does it keep getting more and more expensive? I rented two movies and I swear it cost $9. I thought it was more like $3 or $3.50 per movie, but I could be mistaken.

I will comment on two of the three movies I watched. This one was as strange as the website seems to be in the short time I perused it just now to get the link. There were so many elements to this movie seemingly thrown in at random. It was full of emotion, sometimes humor, and sometimes pity. It was entertaining but I certainly wouldn't classify it a "romantic comedy" as it was referred to. However, watch it if you're in the mood for something different that will make you laugh a little and think a lot in an attempt to figure out how it all fits together.

Secondly, I saw this much hyped movie (also with an interesting website). It was good but lacked depth. It was suspenseful, but of course, you know how it will all turn out. Although the girl at the video store said "This movie is soooo good! I bought it because I loved it so much!!" I should've just put it back on the shelf right then and there. But it was worthwhile if you're curious (as I was) how an entire movie can take place in one simple location.
Friday, August 01, 2003
You know those little ads that come in the mail showing pictures of missing people? I happened to see one today which had a picture of a young boy and an older man. At first glance, I thought that the older man looked like a guy who works in our cafeteria. Upon further inspection, I still thought it looked somewhat like him. The ad gives a number you can call if you've seen someone who's missing. I suppose people must utilize it, because I have heard that similar ads, as well as photos on milk cartons and the like, have helped in finding plenty of missing people.

What I wonder is how many not-so-helpful calls these missing people places get. Not prank calls - I won't even go there. I'm talking about for example, "Hey, I think I've seen this guy. He works in my company's cafeteria." Well, then what happens? They send a team of investigators to apprehend the poor unsuspecting cafeteria employee. They do all kinds of character assessments, background checks, DNA testing, and in the end, he's the wrong guy. Meanwhile his whole life has been turned upside down, not to mention all the time and energy wasted by the staff of the missing person place. But, I mean, it must happen right?

Once when I was in high school, I was hanging out someplace with some friends when a cop walked over to me. He asked if he could talk to me and led me aside. He then showed me a picture of a girl and asked if it was me. I'll add that the girl looked nothing like me, except for maybe a similar hair color. Well I told him that it was not me and he said "are you sure?" Um, no let me check... Of course I was sure! After giving me a long hard look, he seemed to believe me and explained that the girl was a runaway they were trying to find. It was all kind of scary. I mean, what if he hadn't believed me?
It is pouring outside and I've been sitting in here, watching people arrive soaking wet. For some reason it makes me giggle to myself - just a little. Why is it that people look funny when they're wet? Is it because you're so used to seeing them dry?

When it's raining this hard, being outside is almost a little bit daring. Like these people have just navigated their way through the high seas in a rowboat or something.

It's the type of day that I wish more than anything that I could spend at home, curled up in bed with a good movie. There are three good movies waiting for me at home so it truly is unfair that I'm stuck here, laughing at the unfortunate souls making their way through the downpour.

And lest you think I am unsympathetic, it is only good natured humor, not malicious. I was in the same situation a mere hour ago, arriving in sandels and without umbrella, completely soaked through and shivering cold in the unforgiving air-conditioned air.
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