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So last night was Loraine Velez's last night in Rent, so Kenny and I (and the rest of the band, sound crew, and some of the cast) went out to celebrate and have a few drinks. And it turned into the night of meeting celebrities. Some of the cast of The Women was there, including Jennifer Tilly, who all the men were drooling over. So I took my big mouth over to her, introduced myself, and asked if she would come chat for a few minutes. Not a problem! She's a little ditzy but a whole lot of fun. She took pictures with everyone. And then, it turned out that the group of friends she was with included someone that all of the Sopranos watchers knew - Joey Pants. I had no idea, as I don't watch the show, but I knew him from a movie he was in. So again, I walked over, introduced myself, and asked if he was in The Goonies. He laughed and came over to have a drink with us. Also took pictures. He couldn't tell us anything about the next season of The Sopranos tho, but did admit that Stevie Van Zandt was a "fuckin' cocksucker" in his Italian Jersey accent.

Very fun night.

And now, Jen and I are getting ready to go party hopping tonight, waiting for Dona and Matthew to come meet us here at the apartment.

Missy and I both slept in this morning, and were woken up at 11am by the fire alarm in the hallway going off. We thought it was the alarm for the door to the roof, which has not gone off in three years, but it turned out to be the fire alarm. I had to go downstairs and wake up the super to turn it off. What's the point of having alarms (on doors or for fires) if no one responds to them! And it's like we have fire alarms when there are no fires, but when there WAS a fire, we had to discover it because we smelled smoke.

Patrick Stewart was fantastic in A Christmas Carol, just like I remember. And afterwards, Mom, Uncle Charlie and Aunt Joan and I went for dinner at Da Tommaso, the good Italian place on 53rd and 8th. Such good food, and I'm so full now. And of course, it's the one day where Missy brings home chicken to cook!

Now I'm off to meet Kenny after his show.

I am so tired. I just couldn't fall asleep last night at all - so I tossed and turned until finally I got up at 7am to go meet Dad at his apartment so we could catch the train to NJ. Made the 8.37 train, got to Matawan at 9.30 and Mom picked us up to drive down to Aunt Judi's memorial thing at some church in New Egypt, NJ. Middle of nowhere. So tired. The service was happily short, and no major trauma. Got to see my cousins again, and my (hot) cousin Michael's new baby boy, Riley, who is six months old and adorable. Cousin Jennifer also has a new daughter, Abby, who slept for most of the service.

After that, we drove back to the house, fixed Mom's scanner - there was nothing wrong with it, really, but I made it work with my magic touch. Had lunch, talked to the cats. Pixel was wandering around, and Mimi was hiding under the freezer. Sam was hissing at me.

Dad and I took the 3.17 train back, which was delayed for twenty minutes due to "engine trouble." When we finally did get on the train (a half hour late), they announced that it would stop in South Amboy (the next stop) and everyone would have to get off and take the next train, as the one we were on was going back to the yard for repairs. Lovely. So the next train wasn't for another half hour. South Amboy is where they used to change engines on the trains, from steam to diesel or electric or something. So there are all of these bars along Broadway that have backdoors onto the train platform. Dad and I walked into one for a drink and a snack, and to get out of the freezing cold ohmanIshouldhavewornpantsinsteadofaskirt and then made the train at 4.27. What a long trip to get back to NYC.

We had dinner at Dad's - pasta and this amazing meat sauce from Binghamton, and opened gifts. I am the proud owner of a new printer - which means I can stop emailing files to Dad to ask him to print ;-) I have to install the USB card and then the printer, hopefully both will work under Windows NT. If not, it's back to J&R for me Monday. Dad also got me flannel sheets, which I LOVE and they are going on the bed as soon as I finish my geeking out.

And then, sleep.

Tomorrow, I have to go pick up my camcorder at Circuit City before meeting Mom and Uncle Charlie and Aunt Joan for Christmas Carol.

I still can't believe that Kati, best friend of 25+ years, had never seen a Broadway show until tonight. She, Eve (other best friend of 25+ years) went to see The Producers tonight, and they both loved it. And to top it off, I called Kenny earlier today to ask if he could take us backstage at Rent after the show, so Kati could say she'd stood on a Broadway stage. So after our show, we walked down to 41st Street and met up with Kenny, and had a good time on the stage and backstage. Very cool.

Kati made these super bracelets for me and her and Eve, as an anniversary present, and she also made me a garnet and gold ring, and bracelet, since she said I don't own enough "Kati Jewelry" - so beautiful.

After we parted ways, Kenny and I went out for a drink around the corner from the theatre, to catch up on what we're doing. He thinks I'll be a super nurse, too. In the "out of nowhere" category, he suggested that once I'm done with school and my three years of indentured servitude at the hospital that's paying my tuition, that he and I move to New England together! Out of nowhere! I mean, we both want to move there, and we're good friends and have known each other for a few years and dated for a year, but that was really out of nowhere. We have six years to figure that out tho. I doubt it will seriously happen, but it was a nice thought to have. We're going to go out Sunday night and catch up some more.

Oh and I ran into James on the subway platform when I was going up to meet Kati and Eve for dinner. Small world.

later on 12/27/01
Whew, lots of updating for today.

So on the flight out to Seattle, I watched something like six hours of U2, which was fine by me. While I was out there, I bought the DVD of their Elevation concert, which I did not go and see while it was in NYC, because I hate crowds. Anyway, love the DVD, I watched all of the concert footage tonight, several times. While drinking a bottle of Zinfandel and pondering why Bono is so sexy. He reminds me of Kenny. Who I have to email tomorrow.

I didn't realize Missy was back in the city as of today - she came in around 1am while I was watching U2, scared the crap out of me! Anyway, she and I are going to go out Saturday night, after Dad and I have dinner, to catch up on things.

a bit later on 12/27/01
Ahhh, sleep. Much better.

So we didn't end up seeing Lord of the Rings in Seattle, so I'll have to do that here. We spent yesterday chilling in the house, and watching DVD's.

At the airport, check-in was easy and no lines, so I had a few drinks (I do not have a drinking problem) in the airport bar, and then popped a sleeping pill for the plane. Unfortunately there was a crying baby behind me, and an "unaccompanied minor" who liked to bounce his seat right in front of me, so I couldn't actually sleep. Hence the zombie-like zone I'm in right now. But sleep helped.

I have to go out and pick up my (fixed) camcorder from Circuit City today or tomorrow. They've left me about a dozen computerized voicemails reminding me to come and get it.

Oh so I got into BMCC (amazing what I find in the mail pile once I open everything), but was turned down for financial aid. No big surprise there. I should call them tomorrow to let them know that I will not be attending. New Jersey, here I come.

I love LUSH. While Corrie and I were in Victoria, I bought this amazing hand cream that smells just like a vanilla milkshake. I want to eat it.

And let me just reiterate that Russell Crowe is a sexy bitch. I told Anthony (who was in A Beautiful Mind with him) that Russell had better come to his New Year's party this year. He will be mine - oh yes - he will be mine.

Home. Sleep.

They raised the taxi fares from JFK to $35, so I had to borrow $10 from Reza, our doorman, to pay my cabbie. Now that I'm home, I've already gone to the bank (to repay him), had my brows done, dropped off my film, and bought wine for the New Year's parties we're going to.

It's 11am. And now, I sleep.

Merry Christmas!

We got up at 9 or so, and opened presents, and then I went back to bed for two hours. The party last night was a lot of fun, and it was great to see all the people I had met back at St. Patrick's Day, as well as meet a lot more. Corrie's sister Cheryl and I hit it off, she's a trip. And also a nurse. It'll be cool to have new sisters-in-law soon.

We went to dinner-and-drinks (I do not have a drinking problem) at Corrie's Uncle Bob and Aunt Janeen's house (aka the Bobfather and Shorty) - what a blast. We also watched some propaganda video about the Seattle Mariners having won 116 games this season. Whatever, the Yankees kicked their ass in the post-season. Bob and Janeen have this super house with view of Mount Ranier and the Sound, very peaceful out there on their deck. And the food was terrific, too.

Me and Peter and maybe Dave and maybe Jim are going to catch the 4pm showing of Lord of the Rings tomorrow at Cinerama, the big movie theatre here. And then we're off to the fondue place that Mom recommended for dinner, then I'm off to the airport to head home on the redeye. Love JetBlue, hate that they only fly once a day between NY and Seattle.

Cheryl invited me for the bachelorette party before the wedding - I can't make it out for the shower in Feb (too many theatre engagements that weekend), but she's going to let me know the dates for the other party. I also got invited (by everyone) to come out in August for the Dave-Matthews-at-the-Gorge concert and RV-weekend trip, which'll be a blast. Once concert tickets are purchased (sometime in April) I can plan that more. Since I should have all of August off between moving to NJ and starting classes, I can come out for a longer trip. I love coming out here.

When I get home, I have to start putting together my nursing school application and study for the pre-admission test. But not this weekend - first I have The Producers with Kati and Eve on Friday night (we called all of the Marshalls yesterday to wish them a Merry Christmas), and then Saturday is Aunt Judi's memorial (we're staying for the church part, not the dinner part, what with family members who don't speak and all that), and on Sunday, Mom and I and Uncle Charlie and Aunt Joan (my great uncle and his wife, actually, who I adore) are seeing Patrick Stewart's Christmas Carol. And somewhere in there I have to bring the cats back to the city. I hope they enjoyed their week in the big house with Mom's crazy cat.

And then it's New Year's Eve, and I have a concert and two parties to stop by. So hopefully after all of that is taken care of, I can hunker down with the nursing school application!

Off to bed - a relatively early night after last night's party.

later on 12/24/01
Technically it's Christmas, so Merry Christmas - tho it still doesn't feel like it!

Vasili was a no-show for dinner. What a shame. There goes my chance to hit on the cutest guy in Seattle (but dumb like brick, also a shame).

I feel like we did nothing today - we were in our pajamas all afternoon, while getting the apartment ready for the party, and now that it's midnight and the party is winding down, it's like we did nothing at all and I'm ready to crawl back into my pajamas and go back to bed. I tell you, I am really enjoying my sleep these days. Must go take Paxil and fall into bed, once things quiet down!

Peter's friend Dave (also unemployed) and I may go see Lord of the Rings on Wednesday during the day, before I leave - gotta love the unemployment thing.

OK, we have to have words with whoever's controlling the weather. It's another gorgeous day outside - nice and sunny with no clouds. I have to stop taking sleeping pills at 4am when I can't sleep (and my brain is so addled that I don't realize I'm taking one), since I slept til 1pm again. When I woke up, Peter and Corrie were finishing up some cooking stuff for tonight. We have to use the neighbor's stove to do some of the re-heating, since the kitchen here just isn't big enough.

So much food, can't wait.

Vasili coming over for dinner, can't wait.

I must've brought the good weather with me. It's warm and sunny and the skies are blue today, absolutely beautiful. I missed the early part of the day since I slept until 1pm tho. Mom called and told me that I missed Derek Jeter handing off the Olympic torch to Mayor Giuliani. Drat.

Today we did all of the preliminary cooking for tomorrow's big dinner. Potato pie, spinach dip, ziti, baked peppers, antipasto, bruschetta etc. Tomorrow we make the prime rib.

Stopped by neighbors Scott and Martha's house (everyone here is a couple, that drives me crazy) for Scott's birthday. And even tho it's only 9pm, I'm beat. We were going to go see Lord of the Rings but that never happened!

later on 12/22/01
And I thought I only went out drinking late in New York...

So Pete and Corrie and I had this really great dinner at this steak place (The Brooklyn), and polished off two bottles of wine. It was really good. Then we went to Niko's for a drink, and I wanted to wait for Vasili (cute guy) to show up. He didn't come, and Pete wanted to go to bed, so he gave me directions to come back, and we drove to the house to switch cars. I went back to Niko's and hung out with Stacy (Jim's girlfriend, who is really cool). As she and I were getting ready to go and bring Christmas cookies to her favorite cop down the street, Vasili showed up. I decided not to go and bring the cookies, but rather (at Stacy's suggestion) stay to have a drink with Vasili. He and I talked for like an hour, and really hit it off. Jim reminded me that cute and dumb go hand in hand, which is so true. We really had a nice time, and then he said he had to get going. I suggested that I come with him, but we ended up going our separate ways. I invited him to our Christmas Eve dinner, and he's going to come.

I drank some Diet Coke and hung out with Stacy for another hour or so, and now I'm home and need to get some sleep. It's almost 3am.

Happy birthday Trisha!

Last night we watched DVD's and ate pasta on the couch (did I mention that Pete and Corrie's house has a downstairs basement thing that's bigger than the entire upstairs? It's a rec room with storage room and computer room connected, and a ping pong table, plus an extra fridge - which is stocked with beer and soda for Monday's big Xmas Eve dinner). Anyway, so we hung out downstairs watching DVD's last night and had a blast. And went to bed at like 10pm. I can't understand why doing nothing all day made us all so sleepy.

So today starts Peter's four-day weekend, and he's out food shopping for Monday (we have like 16 people coming over), while Corrie and I finish wrapping presents. Tonight I'm taking them out for dinner.

I went to see A Beautiful Mind today - the only theatre playing it is in the Pacific Center mall, which is just PACKED. I'm so glad all the Christmas shopping yesterday. Driving downtown was full of traffic, but it wasn't bad coming back to the house. The movie was so-so, not as good as I'd expected, but still enjoyable. Love Russell Crowe. Our friend Anthony is also in the movie, so that was cool, too. It just wasn't as based-on-the-book as I expected it to be, they tried to make it much more "action adventure," which didn't work for me.

It doesn't feel like Christmas weather out here either - today's not as cold as it was yesterday, and surprisingly, there's no rain.

I grabbed some extra blankets last night and felt like I was sleeping inside a cocoon. I'm sleeping so well lately, and I love it.

Corrie and I did the last of the last-minute shopping today, out at the mall (where I spent Mom's gift certificate on more Chanel, a new hat, and a wallet to replace mine that was falling apart). Corrie found the rest of the things she needed to get Pete, and now I think we're all done! Not too much traffic. Well, not bad for freeways on Dec 21st, anyway.

OK, so I lied. I'm keeping a text file site update which I'll put online when I get home again.

I hate Peter's split-keyboard thing, I can't type on it!

Anyway, got here really late Tuesday night, after a super flight on JetBlue. They had 24 channels of digital cable, including one that was running U2 concert stuff and interviews. So I watched six hours of Bono - a man so sexy that it hurts.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I slept until 1pm, and then unpacked and put all of the presents I brought under the tree (which is a palm tree with chili lights - you know we're on the west coast). Dad asked me to bring out his gifts, too, so instead of just one carry-on, I had to take two suitcases full of presents, with clothes tucked in around the edges. Then, since Peter was at work, Corrie and I hung out and caught up. Pete came home, we had dinner, and then went to Tower Records (to buy DVD's) and over to Niko's, where Jim works. I hadn't seen Jim since he and Pete were in London and we all met up, he looks great and got a promotion at work. I fell head-over-crush with the owner of the bar Vasili, who's the cutest thing in the world, and told Jim we have to go back to Niko's on Saturday when he'll be there again. Hee.

We stayed out really really late last night, which did not bode well for getting out of bed this morning. Especially since Corrie and I had plans to go to Victoria Island today. We managed to inject somee coffee into our veins (I only ever drink it when I'm out here) and made the (ack) 8am ferry over. It was a two and a half hour ride on the boat (they offered Dramamine at 25cents a pop if you needed it). We played cards and then napped for an hour. Victoria was super, we went shopping all over the place and found some great Christmas little gifts. And I went to the LUSH store - love the one in London, they don't have them in the US at all. Stocked up on good smelling stuff.

We had lunch at a Mexican place, which amused the heck out of us, since well, we were in Canada.

By 2pm, we were tired from not getting much sleep and from walking around, so we did the typical Canadian thing of sitting in a bar with drinks, watching hockey on TV. We're so funny. I love Corrie, I'm glad she and Peter are together. And it was cool to hang out with her today and get to know each other better.

We took the ferry back at 5pm, and got home in time for Friends - I think all of Must-See TV is a rerun tonight tho (so it is a darn shame that the cute guy isn't working tonight ;-).

Tomorrow Corrie and I are going downtown to Bon Marche (big store like Macy's, and Mom got me a gift certificate that I must go spend! She's also going to take me to the bridal shop to see her dress. She tried to draw it for me in the bar last night, but she draws about as well as I do, which is to say "not at all." And then we're going to veg out and watch DVD's - have to watch Shrek, which I've never seen, and Moulin Rouge, which she and Peter have never seen.

Tonight we're just hanging out with some friends, and chilling with the TV. Early sleep tonight, that's for sure - the jet lag is killing me! But it's good to be here, and it isn't raining too much right now.

In keeping with the tradition of planning another trip before the first one is finished, Jen, Missy and I booked our plane tickets and hotel for New Orleans. We're going down in January because Missy has a grad school interview at the University of New Orleans. Jen's never been, and I was only there once but loved it. Last time I went tho, it was the middle of the summer and about 200 degrees, so this should be a nice change.

Tickets are on sale for The Last Five Years - the new Jason Robert Brown show, the one that James and I went to Chicago to see. Can't wait! Just bought tickets for the first preview.

I have a ton of errands to do today, and then I am off to Seattle! I'm not bringing the computer with me, so I'll see you all on the 27th!

It's rainy and cold today - and I hear Seattle is the same!

I'm juggling on whether to take the laptop to Seattle with me. I finished James' typing thing in like 20 minutes, it was much easier than he or I thought it would be. I definitely have to pack the Palm Pilot charger and cellfone charger, in any case. I packed for my trip today, and since I'm bringing presents from me and Dad to Pete and Corrie, I had to pack both suitcases, and 80% is presents. I was cramming clothes in around them. Next year, they're getting mailed.

Jen and I celebrated the rainy weather by going up to Tea&Sympathy (for cream tea - tea and scones! so good!) and Myers of Keswick to get chocolate and - for me - mince pies, which I have just eaten two of.

What's the deal? I keep reading that Paxil etc. will make you gain weight. But while I feel like I've been stuffing my face lately, I managed to lose five pounds since the last time I was in NJ (we have no scale here, but Mom has one). That's so strange to me, but I'm not complaining about it.

Talked to both Kati and Eve today about seeing them next Friday, after I get back. I made us dinner reservations, and we're seeing The Producers that night.

Keith and Ngoc's Christmas party last night was a lot of fun - so many packed into their apartment! Luckily they have a huge place up in Inwood (as far as you can go on the A train) so there's lots of space. They made a ton of food, and everyone brought stuff too, so most of my evening was spent in a food coma).

I got up at 9am this morning and took a shower, and then went back to bed until 11am. Took the train to NJ with Pixel and Mimi. They hate getting in the cat carrier but once they were in, they were quiet all the way to NJ. Once we were there, however, Mimi hid under the bed and Pixel yowled and scratched. We had to keep them in my room (well, my brother's old room, to be mine when I move home in July) because we had allergic family members over - fifteen people at Mom's for pre-Holiday dinner. Lots and lots of food, and it was really nice to see everyone again.

On the train home, the cute guy next to me asked what I was playing on my Palm Pilot (Bejeweled) so I beamed it to him, and he gave me a version of "Breakout" (from Atari? Remember?) in exchange. Very fun!

And now, I'm tired. Tomorrow I have to pack for Seattle and do all of these pre-trip errands. I'll probably take the laptop to Seattle with me, since James asked if I could do some typing work for him (from home! or the road!) for Scholastic.

Aw, Trisha and I went to see Kate and Leopold, which was enjoyable because:

but that was about it - otherwise it was just a lark. There were a few things missing from the script, and it ran a little long, but we still enjoyed the eye candy.

Tomorrow is Keith and Ngoc's Christmas party up in Canada (aka Inwood), can't wait. We still need to figure out what we're bringing - I think soda.

Today's minor pain-in-the-ass trauma was such: Jen and I were sitting on the couch this afternoon, and we heard yelling outside. Not too traumatic, because there are usually people talking to each other across the open-air part of the building. But then they started getting louder and louder, and yelling AT US - "Hey girls!" etc. Very annoying. We couldn't tell where they were, so I went on the deck and spotted this guy, holding a pint glass of (probably) beer, smoking a cigarette, up on the roof of the building. No one's supposed to be up there. So I went downstairs, and told the doorman, and he told me where to find Santiago, the super. I found Santiago, and told him, and he said that someone else in the building had complained about the yelling earlier, but when he went to the roof, there was no one there. So I told him that the guy was up there right now, and he came upstairs with me. And got the guy off the roof. We still have no idea who he was or why he was drinking and being a pain in the ass on the roof, I'm sure it's someone who lives here. Anyway, that was our pain-in-the-ass trauma of the day.

later on 12/13/01
OK, so it's not that much later, but it's 1am and Jen and I are really really drunk.

So Dona threw this amazingly cool party for the finale of this TV show The Amazing Race and we went, even tho we had never seen the show really - well, I think we watched it twice. Anyway, it was really cool and full of fun people. She had five of the pairs of contestants show up - including the winners, Rob and Brennan, who are these really cool and cute lawyers from LA. Jen and Dona and I took pictures with everyone - even Mitchell from Survivor, and you just know we'll look at the film and go "Who the hell are these people?" but it was pretty cool anyway.

We had the longest cab ride home (during which Jen decided to scare me out of my hiccups - and it worked!) and now I just want to sleep.

And I've been playing phone tag with Kenny all week, which can't be good.

I am so tipsy - must sleep. Must finish drinking this glass of milk tho, and eating this handful of Honeycombs - breakfast of champions.

My Aunt Judi's obit was in the local NJ paper today - the memorial service (no funeral, she was cremated) is after Christmas.

Mom and I had such a great couple of days in the city, that was really fun. But we did so much walking around! I called her this morning at the hotel and we decided not to go church hopping, because we were both in pain from yesterday. So we just met up at the theatre for Aida, which was highly enjoyable. We also decided, while we were up there, that we just couldn't bear to sit through Thou Shalt Not again, but they don't give refunds, just a form so I can take the tix back and (joy of joys) exchange them for another date in the future. How exciting. Really.

We had dinner downtown at the Waverly Inn, which is in this beautiful carriage house from 1840 or so. Fireplaces, low ceilings, the kind of house that I'd want to buy, but only if it were in the woods. We also talked more about my moving home and where to put all of my stuff and furniture and books. I'll have to find some book-packing boxes to start taking those home when I get a chance.

And my new VCR is here! It's so nice, and not-broken like the old one, which is a big plus. It's a lot quieter, too. I missed having it.

I am now all finished with my Christmas shopping, too. And everything is wrapped.

And I am so excited that HBO showed the first episode of Six Feet Under tonight - that was the only one I'd missed last season.

So I opted out of staying in the swanky hotel, and am crashing at home tonight. My feet are TIRED from all the walking we did.

We went to see the Here Is New York exhibit in SoHo - it's all photos taken by ordinary people of the September 11th attacks and cleanup. Some really good and intriguing photos. I had prints made (you could order copies) of three that show the towers being standing, hit, and falling until they were gone. Not that I could really hang them anywhere, but they'll be useful in having to show people in the future. To remember it by.

We also went to the MAC store so I could buy lipstick, and the Evolution store to look at all of the animal skulls and freeze-dried mice, etc.

Then we walked north to Washington Square Park, and over through the village to Tea and Sympathy and Myers of Keswick, to do some "English" shopping. Found some cool Christmas presents (including some weird sausage, bacon, potato and beans thing called "The Full Monty" which I bought, wrapped, and gave to Will tonight, hee). We hit a toy store for a few more gifts, and then brought all of that home since the bags were getting a bit full. Went back out to J&R, where Mom bought herself a Christmas present - a scanner and a Palm Pilot, both of which I'll get to hook up when I'm home on Sunday (family dinner).

It was back uptown next, to look at Macy's and Lord and Taylor's windows - remarkably it wasn't too crowded. Went to Rockefeller Center to see the tree (it's big), and then we went to check into Mom's swanky hotel du jour on 56th. It was so nice to sit down for ten minutes and rest my feet - my heel had started to bother me from all the walking.

Dinner at Le Madeleine, and then Metamorphoses, which was as good as the other two times I had seen it. It's really one of the best shows I've seen this year.

Tomorrow is a double-header theatre day, but first we want to go up to St. John the Divine cathedral, a place I've only been once, despite having lived up near it for two years.

Mom and I did our big Christmas thing today - well, day one anyway. We walked around downtown and Ground Zero, and way way west to look for the Christmas Tree that they put up. You can see it, but it's beyond where pedestrians can go. Then we walked up to SoHo and had a drink at the Cupping Room Cafe, before cabbing it downtown again for dinner at Delmonico's - very very swanky. After that, we walked around the Seaport and then came back to the apartment to open Christmas presents (I LOVE the la Boheme snowglobe that she bought me).

We also agreed on ground rules for my moving back home next summer when the lease is up, and talked about nursing school some more.

Tomorrow we walk around and look at touristy stuff. I am bringing a big stick to beat off tourists with.

Earlier in the day, I did some more Christmas shopping and picked up VHS-C tapes for my older camcorder, since my new one is still "in the shop" - they had to order parts. I'm also still waiting for to deliver my new VCR, since the old one is still "broken."

later on 12/9/01
What was I saying about sleep? I couldn't keep my eyes open this afternoon (it's 10pm now). I was supposed to meet up with Jen and Dona and Whitney for dinner - Whitney's back in NY for the weekend - but I was just immobile. I took a nap from 4pm or so and just got up a half hour ago. Today was a completely wasted day, but whatever - it's not like I have anything to really do.

My cousin Mark got accepted into NYU, which is super. He'll do well there.

Tomorrow, Mom's coming into the city for a mid-week holiday jaunt. Since we're doing cheap-Christmas this year, she said that what she really wants to do is go and be touristy, see the tree, the store windows, and some theatre. Fine with me - I think I'll deal with crowds better this year :-) So tomorrow we're having dinner and opening Christmas presents (small stuff, cheap, remember?). Tuesday we do touristy things, and then we're seeing Metamorphoses, which I love - she saw the same director's Oddesey in Seattle and enjoyed it, so I think she'll enjoy this one, too. Then Wednesday we're seeing Aida at the matinee and (ugh) Thou Shalt Not at night. And Mom pricelined swanky hotels to stay in, so I'm hoping to stay in swanky hotels with her. Love swank.

On the other hand, sleep is overrated. When I got online last night to check my email, I ran into Jon, who had also just gotten in and he suggested that I come over. I wish I'd known he was awake before, as the Thirsty Scholar is close to his apartment. But alas. So I got up there at 3am and promptly fell asleep. Jon is wonderful in that he will let me sleep all morning, and his apartment is dark and cozy and womb-like, so it wasn't a challenge to sleep in til noon today. I could have slept all day in there, except that he had to get up for brunch at 1pm and really, sleeping all day is too decadent, even for me. I'm glad I went up there, since he's headed home to CT and won't be back in the city until the 20th, by which time I'll be in Seattle.

Love this weather - it's brisk and cold and gray! Love it.

Great article by Liev Schreiber in the Times today.

later on 12/8/01
So after our day of being totally lazy, Jen and I went to see Summer of '42, which is a totally charming musical, and I'm not just saying that because we saw all of the workshops, and then we went out drinking at my favorite East Village bar, the Thirsty Scholar (where the bartender is named Declan, can you believe that?) and we had a super time and now it's 2.30am and we need sleep.

Ocean's Eleven was so good - what a well-written, clever movie. We all really enjoyed it and I want to see it again.

We are having the most unmotivated day down here on Gold Street. Missy took her GRE's (and got a 1510! Go Missy!) but now we're just sitting around the apartment all day.

My aunt Judi passed away this morning, of colon cancer.

In other news, I spoke to the admissions department at the nursing school today - I can indeed have my references written by employers as opposed to teachers. And they do offer scholarships to children of hospital employees, as well as "indentured servant" type deals where the hospital will pay tuition if you sign an employment contract for X number of years once you graduate. Have to get accepted first.

Off to the movies (Ocean's Eleven) with the girls!

Happy belated birthday to Michael Dale! I didn't know it was yesterday. Christmas spirit! We got yer Christmas Spirit right here! No, seriously. I followed Jen's lead and did all of my Christmas cards today (if I didn't send you one, it's just because I ran out of stamps, it doesn't mean I don't love you), and wrapped all of the gifts I've bought so far. All six of them. It's a poor Christmas this year.

I also got the application from the nursing school in NJ today, so I started to fill that out. I called their admissions office to ask (or rather, leave a message) about who I should get recommendations from, since I haven't spoken to any of my high school teachers since... 1992. I think I will be the oldest student there. I have to finish the application, get new copies of my transcripts, get a money order, schedule the pre-Nursing exam, and secretly switch my residency back to NJ so I can save money on tuition. It shouldn't be too hard to get a NJ driver's license again, and switch some of my bills there. Unlike CUNY, they don't have a form for proof of residency, so I wonder if they will even check - I'm using the Matawan address on the applications. Maybe that's good enough.

I hate crowds. I hate people. I want it to be colder than 70 freakin' degrees out.

later on 12/5/01
Well, it is not a good technology week for me! After churning loudly for weeks and making weird noises, my VCR died tonight! Aaaaaah. I mean, I've had it for six years and lately it's been working overtime, but still - it's dead! I am buying a new one and they are delivering it to me.

In good news, Steve and I had what we like to call "Steve and Catherine" time out in Queens. We had dinner (steak, rice, peas) and wine and cheese and watched Bridget Jones's Diary which I just love, and bitched about men. Steve has two adorable cats and one anti-social cat. I was going to feed them while he's in London next week, but his friend Sam is actually going to stay in the apartment for the week, thus freeing me from the trek to Rego Park every day ;-)

Steve, David, Jen and I went to see Thou Shalt Not (with yet another set of purchased-before-seeing-the-show tickets) last night, and while it wsan't as horrible as I'd been expecting, it still isn't good. Jen and I were humming the "Tugboat" song all day, which just sent us into fits of hysteria when we got to the theatre, saw Steve, and he started singing it, too. What a horrid show. I can't believe Mom and I have to see it next week.

I think the biggest side effect of the Paxil, that everyone's mentioned to me, has kicked in. I've started feeling pretty detached - or aloof - from everything going on. Which in some circumstances is an excellent feeling - like when I have to walk past the WTC or deal with crowds or when I'm getting ticked off, instead of pouting about it I'll just zone out - but when I really want to get into something, I still feel distant from it. I have to call Dr. Stein this week and talk to him about it.

The more I think about moving to NJ when the lease is up, the more I like the idea. I'm kind of ready for a break from the city. It'll be nice to still be close enough to come and go as I please tho. Mom said she read an article about adult children moving back home - the "boomerang" generation, it said. She's going to bring it in next week when she's in the city. I just think school in NJ would be less stressful than going here, and I'd be able to relax and take a break from all the stress here. Oh and I'd be able to have a car! I miss driving. I miss roadtrips.

And maybe after I have my RN license, and I work for a few years in NJ, I can get my license in Vermont and move to the middle of the woods like I've always wanted to.

And have I mentioned that it's December 5th and it's 70 degrees out? Love it!

Well, my meeting at BMCC was pretty unproductive. The advisor I met with is in the middle of advising actual, enrolled students. So I had just enough time to ask my big question - which was "Do I need to attend for another entire semester just to take the chemistry pre-requisite, which is required to start the pre-clinical program?" And the answer is "yes," which means three years of college. Hrm.

Trisha's signing us up for the Secret Santa program at NY Cares. We decided - that is, me, Trisha, Jen, Dona et al - to do that instead of getting gifts for each other. So we'll help out some of the underprivleged kids around the city this year. Trisha faxed in the form, and they'll get back to us with gift suggestions so we can then go shopping.

Both of the benefits we went to today were a lot of fun, and we got to meet Will and Lori's new baby, Gracie, who's just adorable.

I called the X School of Nursing today, too, where Mom went to school, to have them send me a catalog and application. I'm trying to weigh the costs of living in NYC for another three years (which if I'm not working, I can't afford) vs. moving to NJ for three years and going to school there. I'm also going to ask Mom to ask at the hospital where she works, which is affiliated with the school, if the hospital does any kind of tuition deal where they'll pay if you work for the hospital for X number of years, and I'll ask the school if they have any kind of discount for alumni families (one of the nurses Mom works with thinks they might). It's another option. While the tuition in NJ is a bit higher, the rent would certainly be a lot less expensive, and it's still close enough to the city to get back to when I need it.

Happy Birthday, Eve.

I was up so late watching CNN that I slept in til 2pm again today. Tomorrow I have to get up earlier, as I have a noon appointment at BMCC to talk to the nursing coordinator, and then I have the BC/EFA Gypsy of the Year benefit and then another benefit at night that Will's doing something it. Long day. But that's all tomorrow.

I have been cracking my toes all day. It feels good.

I didn't get out of bed until 2pm today.

Last night was a full moon. As Jerry and I were walking from the theatre to the Grey Dog, I looked up, and there was the moon. Almost immediately it was covered by clouds, which kept passing by the moon in a very hazy manner, and it looked as if the sky was a theatre scrim, with all these layers of barely-lit clouds.

I had a weird navigation thing last night, too. As I'm sure I've said before, I usually look for the WTC when I can't figure out which way is downtown - a good way to orient myself. So I took the train to Houston Street, and the exit is on Houston and Varick. I always get confused as to which way to go, so I looked around for the towers - no luck. the tallest building I could recognize was the Woolworth Building, which ordinarily is dwarfed by the WTC. It was a little odd.

However, this is the happiest day of my life, kind of. Our neighbors in 715, with the annoyingly obnoxious children - the ones who clog dance, drop bowling balls, and scream, the ones for whom I had to call the "obnoxious loud noise police" on - appear to be moving out! I am going to be able to enjoy my sleep for the first time in a long time! Oh happy day!

But with every happiness comes a little sadness. My camcorder gave me a weird error when I tried to load a tape in tonight, so I called JVC, and they told me that it would need repair. So I took it up to Circuit City with my warranty and they're going to fix it, but it'll take a week or so. Bummer. Glad it's under warranty. I have no idea what caused it.

I'm off to keep flipping between CNN and MSNBC. I wish people would stop blowing shit up,


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