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1/31/06
I bought the DVD of Nine Innings from Ground Zero, but I don't think I can watch it. Even tho it's supposed to be fantastic and about the Yankees, I just can't watch anything about 9/11. It's been four and a half years but I still can't do it. I will, however, happily watch Michael's copy of Fear Strikes Out, which ended up in my bag during Tesse's move. He raves about it, so I'm excited to see it.

I think I've seen four of the Oscar nominated films. Of all of the noms put together, that is. Including visual effects. Four. That's pretty sad.

1/30/06
This morning this is too much! I put a note in to my director, telling her I'd be more than delighted to switch to 3-11 when the position opens up, and she seemed equally delighted to hear it.

I am doubly excited now, a friend who lives in FL is going to come over to Tampa so we can hang out on what I'm calling my "off-day" - that is, when I don't have to be at the park until 5pm.

1/29/06
I was absolutely meant to be a big truck driver. I love driving the big truck. I hate moving, but that's another story. I don't mind the packing and the unpacking, but the actual moving part, I hate. Tesse's all moved and getting settled uptown, and I am home and ready to collapse. Bath, nap, food and collapse. I have bruises on muscles that I didn't know existed. And Tesse is not allowed to move ever again. Ever.

Goe bless Missy for things like diet coke, cookie dough, shower curtain liner, the loan of her red sweater, and helping unpack. I'm so glad this weekend is over.

And so not glad that I have to work tomorrow. I'd better go to bed now.

And happy birthday, Dexter.

1/27/06
I tracked down a tape of the game from July 4th that Tanyon Sturtze started. Ooh.

And today I'm working 3-11, so I didn't have to get up at 6.30am. I got up at 9am instead, which isn't that much of an improvement in my book, but it helps. I have to put a bag of clothes together, because after work I'm picking up Karen at Old Bridge and driving her to the airport, and then staying with Tesse. Tomorrow is the big move from JC to Inwood, so I'd better have my truck-loading mentality in place. Hopefully we'll be done in time to catch the last performance of our friend Jack's show, Poe, and Sunday I'll either be sleeping late again or going to Ikea with Tesse for housewares. Or both.

1/26/06
Oh! I am so glad I didn't go into Psych nursing! So glad!

1/25/06
I didn't realize it until Tesse mentioned it - that today is the 10-year anniversary of Jonathan Larson's death.

1/24/06
It was so good to see Jay last night - he looks fantastic! We had a fun night at Marie's with Tesse, Duncan and the rest of the gang. I spent the night in the city.

David Wright - the only reason to watch the Mets - rang the opening bell of the stock exchange this morning. I wish I'd known, I'd have headed downtown to ogle.

I'm reading this book called Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking Outside the Batter's Box. It's fantastic, a collection of essays by philosophic-types about such quandries as: is the intentional walk ethical? what's defined as cheating in baseball? do Cubs fans teach us about religious faith? does Adam Smith's treatise on the individual acting in his own best interest contradict the team-player mentality? I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm also reading a bunch of books (not all at the same time) by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Good spooky thriller stuff.

I miss being able to pull my laptop into my actual lap and type. This having to sit up straight and use a keyboard means no more late-night online Scrabble playing. My back starts to hurt. But this computer is too sweet to not have.

1/23/06
Little kitty found a home with Steve, Seattle is in the Super Bowl (tho I could care less about football, it's just boring to me), and I have off tomorrow. Life is good.

1/21/06
Well, Jay's in town, and we tried to meet up. After work, I took some packing boxes up to Tesse's and helped her condense her living room into them, and then we drove into the city. We were supposed to meet Jay, Missy, Oliver, Noah and some others at the ticket lottery for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to try and win Jay a ticket. Well, we all showed up except for Jay, who overslept (back on NY time already!). So Jay got his ticket, and we all split. Tesse and I headed downtown to go back to Jersey City for dinner (and more packing) and then we were planning to head back in around 10 to hit Marie's for an hour or so. Well, we ended up sitting in traffic at the outbound tunnel, so we decided to stay in the city and eat at Caliente Cab and then go right to Marie's. Best laid plans etc. Dinner at CC was delicious, but 2/3 of the way through my burrito I was falling asleep. So instead of Marie's, here I am at home, ready to take a shower and go to bed.

1/20/06
Happy birthday, DMT! I miss you up here.

1/19/06
Our friend Amy, the cat-rescuer, passed me an adorable black and white girl kitten. Steve's going to take her, but I'm foster-cat-sitting for a few days until I can get her into the city. So cute. And she's developed this fantastic baritone growl when she sees one of the other cats. I know she's trying to be tough, but you can see how scared she is of these big cats. It's really cute. She purrs so loudly, too. Quite the little vocalist. I'm more than happy to spend my day off watching her scamper all over.

The tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is starting in Seattle this summer. That might be an added incentive to head west. Not that I don't have enough reasons already.

1/18/06
Aww, I guess Al Leiter won't be able to being me frosty drinks on the beach, since he's in the World Baseball Classic, too. So no Al and no Derek at Spring training, but happily, no Johnny Damon either. Lots of Tanyon Sturtze then.

1/17/06
I'm psyched that Tesse is moving to the 'hood. Or, rather, the 'wood. She's moving directly across the hall from Missy, making it a Friends-esque building uptown. I picked up a bunch of packing boxes (all labeled "diapers" and "bedpans") for her today, and ran them up to Jersey City after work. Had dinner with her and her soon-to-be-ex roomie at this fantastic Italian place in JC, and then headed home.

And I'm doubly psyched that Jay is coming back to town this weekend. It's a shame that it's my weekend to work, but we're going to try and get together for theatre Saturday night and drinks on Monday (since Tuesday is my day off).

1/15/06
Overnight, the temperature dropped to 29 and we have snow on the ground. NOW it feels like January.

My Spring training tickets arrived. We saw Will in Rent. I had the best pulled chicken sandwich at Virgil's. And I got to see Jen. All in all, a good weekend.

1/13/06
Friday the 13th AND a full moon. This bodes not well, for those who believe in that kind of thing. I had a great day - assessment class this morning and afternoon, and tonight I'm going to get tattoo #5 (why yes, an easy-to-decipher logo on my lower back that will thrill and amaze the masses in FL and let you know just which team I root for).

The Rent DVD will be loaded with extra features - including me!

1/12/06
Jersey Boys was fantastic! Definitely lived up to the hype. I thought all of the actors were terrific (esp Alison's boyfriend John, who plays the lead), and the musicians, especially the on-stage drummer) were first-rate. I'd definitely love to see it again. Any show that praises and mocks NJ is a winner with me. Plus, while I usually don't go for "jukebox musicals," the bookwriter did a great job integrating the songs into the plot. And I did an awful lot of "oh yeah, Frankie Valli sang that" during the show. Big thumbs up.

1/11/06
Ooh. Neal Huff, who I loved in Take Me Out is in a new play. I must go see it.

1/10/06
I like having a random day off, sometimes. Today I got to catch up on things like sleep; going to the post office; fixing the screws on the thingie between the car seats, the cover was coming off; scoping out the tattoo place in Keyport (yes, I'm thinking about #5); and reading the latest Better Homes and Gardens. There aren't many more relaxing ways to spend the day.

It'll be a theatre week - tomorrow Steve and I are seeing Jersey Boys, which I've heard is wonderful. Jen's down this weekend and we're going to try the Rent lottery for the first time in years, since Will is back in the show. And then Saturday night I'm going to try and see The Color Purple.

I have work tomorrow, and then an assessment class on Thursday and Friday. That'll be a nice break.

1/9/06
It's 56 degrees out. That's just insane. It's January. We're either going to have a very mild winter with no more snow, or we're going to get three feet of snow overnight next week. No wonder everyone I know is coming down with colds. This weather is nuts.

1/8/06
Happy birthday, Mom!

1/7/06
"Good morning, let the stress begin!" Someone has that taped up at work, and it just about sums up my day today. At least the time flies when it's busy.

I realized that it's true indeed that I haven't taken a real beach vacation in forever. And I've been saying for years that all I want is to lounge by the beach and have someone bring me drinks. I always pictured it being in the Caribbean, but Tampa is on the Gulf Coast and that's close enough for me. Perhaps I can have Tanyon Sturtze bring me drinks. With little umbrellas.

And if Tanyon isn't available, Al Leiter will be there, too. How exciting!

Two more months and I am on the beach. I'm worried that with the (so far) mild winter we've had, that we're going to get slammed with snow in Feb or March. All the more reason, I guess, to head south.

1/6/06
Going to Tampa! Spring break, er, training! I booked my plane tickets and bought tix for three Yankees games (vs. the Pirates, Twins and Tigers). Just have to do the hotel and car and find out if you can watch the team practice. I haven't had a nice, relaxing beach vacation in forever, this is going to be great. I put in for the four days of vacation time, and come March 6th, I'll be on a plane and in the sun.

Must buy sassy new bathing suit. And baseball mitt ;-)

later on 1/5/06
I'm content. And in my book, content = happy.

1/5/06
Jon Stewart is hosting the Oscars? Oh good, a reason to actually watch.

Oh and the cute waiter (not bartender, that was my bad) from the Dublin House called me to make dinner/lunch plans. Just goes to show that wearing scrubs can be attractive. Who knew?

So today's plans - cleaning out my laptop so I can get it to Michael, making plans with the waiter for dinner/lunch (it's a mad mad mad mad text messaging world we live in), dinner with Aunt Paula, Uncle Joern and Mom to celebrate Mom's upcoming birthday, and getting a good night's sleep.

Oh and the Rent documentary is done - they're going to send me an advance copy. I can't wait.

Spring training starts on Valentine's Day. How romantic is that! I've never been to Tampa. Priceline says it's less than $200 to fly round trip. I wonder if I'll have vacation time by then. I wonder if all the Spring training games sell out really quickly. I wonder if I'll be cast on the YES Ultimate Road Trip. I wonder if Aaron Small will be starting or in the bullpen this season.

Oh good, the Brian Roberts elbow update from www.orioles.com:

Roberts was in town recently for the team's holiday party and briefly met the media for an update on his condition. The second baseman said that his rehab from left elbow surgery is going well so far, and he also said he doesn't anticipate missing much time once Spring Training starts. However, time will tell on that front, and Roberts was candid about his immediate future.

"You can never predict two months from now. We're certainly very positive that we're on schedule," he said. "I saw my doctor and he didn't see any reason why I won't be ready to go. I probably won't be going 100 percent by the first day of Spring Training, but if I'm ready to be playing by the middle of Spring Training, I think that's plenty of time."

The injury -- which happened with two weeks left in the 2005 season and prematurely ended Roberts' career year -- hasn't interrupted his offseason routine. Baltimore's leadoff hitter said he normally doesn't do much hitting until Spring Training starts, and since the injury happened to his glove arm, he can progress to throwing drills whenever he feels comfortable.

So what does that mean in the big picture? At this point, not much. It's difficult or impossible to tell whether he'll be ready for Opening Day, and even if he is, the rigors of playing every day can't be simulated. Roberts will be protected as much as possible, but ultimately, only he can gauge when he's ready to return. After that, only fate can tell if he'll hold up all season.

1/4/06
Hurray! I got my work weekends switched (so Mom and I can roadtrip now). This means I'll work this weekend and then be off every other one, starting next weekend. So Jen - I can do the Rent lotto with you when you come in next weekend. It's been so long tho, I forget what time it's at.

Oh and I have tomorrow off, too, to make up for the extra weekend day I'll be picking up on Saturday. How cool is that.

I emailed the YES Network to say that Friday is too short notice, so hopefully they'll have another casting thing that I can make it to.

Brokeback Mountain was just fabulous. I loved it. And I ran into Dexter (from Marie's Crisis) at the movies in Red Bank - how funny is that). But I adored it. Karen and her friend Barbara and I went for drinks at the Dublin House, a restaurant/bar near the movie theatre, which was equally fantastic, and had the added bonus of a cute bartender. I slipped him my number. Can't hurt.

later on 1/3/06
I got an email from the YES Network, asking if I can come to a casting session for the Ultimate Road Trip '06 on Friday. I wrote back and said only it were after work - unless I can convince HR to let me work a double tomorrow or Thurs, or to let me work Sunday in exchange for Friday off. Maybe they'll have a later session, too. I wonder tho, if I were cast, would they pay for the tickets I've already bought for games? ;-)

1/3/06
A one-track mind? Me? Just trying to not-think.

In my continuing quest to be fiscally conservative, I picked up tickets at the Camden Yards one-day pre-sale for loyal (ha!) Orioles fans. Going to two games in September, a Sat and Sun pair. It was tempting to buy tickets for the Monday night Yankees game and then turn around and root for the Orioles to beat the Red Sox on Tuesday night, but I figured a weekend is easier to manage time-wise. So, gosh, it'll have to be two Yankees games. Plus, the weekend after that trip, Missy and I get to watch Boston lose right here in NY. Camden Yards is beautiful, and besides, that's where I was waved at by Tanyon Sturtze.

I wonder how Brian Roberts' elbow is doing.

I have an entire day off and I'm not sure what to do with it. In my old-world terms, I got up early, just before 10am. In my new-world terms, I really slept in today. And it's rainy, so this is really a crappy day to have off. I'd go to the movies, but I'm doing that tomorrow with Karen (gay cowboys plus catching up life-since-graduation, here we come). Maybe it's just a day to curl up on the couch with the cats and a book.

later on 1/2/06
I worked four hours of overtime tonight, and now I'm watching the '98 Yankees-Padres game. This DVD set is amazing.

As long as my brain isn't working, I'm happy. Maybe that is the key to true happiness. Stop thinking so much. I feel very zen.

In that very zen state, I offer you the best joke of the year (to date), as recalled by Stephen Lehman:

I'm reminded of the tale of a german count who was something of an American West afficionado. He determined one day to visit the Lone Star State, selecting as his destination, for its evocative name, the small, south Texas town of Roundup.

The impending visit from European nobility set the townspeople abuzz with plans and preparations. The city council determined to treat the Count to a genuine Texas barbecue. This was to be followed by a symphony concert in order to prove, they hoped, that they weren't entirely devoid of an appreciation of high culture. They selected for this performance the greatest symphony of all time, Beethoven's Ninth.

Plans for the barbecue continued apace; after all, the folks of Roundup well knew how to throw a party. The concert was a different matter, however, and preparations were fraught with challenges. First of all, not only would the budget not allow the hiring of an entire chorale for the final movement, but there was no room on the stage of the high school auditorium for both musicians and vocalists. To solve this problem, it was determined by council vote that only four singers would be hired--two male and two female--and that an intermission would precede the final movement to allow the janitors an opportunity to push the musicians' chairs and music stands in tightly enough to create room on the stage for the vocalists.

As the day of the Count's visit approached, the musicians practiced furiously. All was going well, except with the bass players. Marginally talented in the first place, the bass players also had a taste for Texas night life, such as it was, and were spending more time honky-tonking than practicing their instruments.

On a blisteringly hot day in mid-July, the Count arrived amid much hoopla and fanfare. He was presented the key to the city, dined on the finest in Tex-Mex cuisine till he could literally not consume another bite, and escorted with appropriate solemnity (in the mayor's '78 Cadillac, with steer horns on the hood) to the high school auditorium for the culminating event. Despite the heat, the auditorium was packed. The tiny, ancient ventilation fans at the windows tried valiantly to circulate the air.

Backstage at the auditorium all was not well. Fifteen minutes before the concert was to begin, the women vocalists arrived stating they had not heard from the male singers all day and had no idea of their whereabouts. Young boys were promptly dispatched to locate them. Five minutes later, the bass players showed up in a state of advanced inebriation. They had apparently had a trifle too much fun at the barbecue and could barely stand up. Finally the concert had to begin without the male singers; they were nowhere to be found.

Under such adverse circumstances, the concert progressed remarkably well until the intermission prior to the final movement. As the musicians enjoyed a much needed respite, the janitors prepared the stage. In the course of moving the chairs, however, one janitor inadvertantly knocked over the conductor's stand, scattering the sheet music. Embarrassed and flustered, the janitors gathered up the music, bound it with a string and placed it back on the conductor's stand, telling no one of their misadventure.

The curtain opened for the finale. The two women vocalists stood alone on the stage. The conducter raised his baton, and...suddenly an electrical surge caused the ventilation fans at the windows to whine piercingly, the blades spinning faster and still faster, until smoke began to exude from their overwrought motors.

Now picture this situation: It's the last of the Ninth. Two men are out. The basses are loaded. The score is tied, the Count is full, and the fans--ah, the fans!--are going wild!

1/2/06
My mind is clearer now, as they say.

That's right, I WAS in bed at 9pm last night. After dinner, I watched the '96 Yankees-Braves game 4 (how odd to see Mariano Rivera not closing) and fell asleep.

And because of my switching of my holiday schedule, I'm off again tomorrow.

1/1/06
OK, happy new year again. I had a fantastic, low-key time up at Liz's with the gang. Stayed over at Missy's, and grabbed brunch with her this morning. Really nice time. I have yet to straighten out the boyfriend deal. I know what I want, but I don't know how to get it. And I know what I *really* want (who, rather), but if I think about it too much it'll never happen.

Resolution? To be more fiscally conservative - that is, pay off my debts. Overall accomplishments for the year? Graduating, converting, and being really happy in general with who I am. I've always said you can't be happy with someone else unless you're happy with yourself, and you know what? I'm really happy with myself. I know what I want.

Goals for the day? Updating all of these pages for the new year header and footer info, laundry (oops, someone spilled something wet on my "I had a date for NYE but got stood up" dress last night), watching Fever Pitch, which I got back from Missy last night. I think those are noble goals.

Scoped out the Yankees schedule, and found out when our tickets are for (that's right, 13 Friday night home games). We don't have a game against the Mariners, so I bought a pair for a Tuesday night game to see them, but we do get to see the Yankees beat the Red Sox, Mets, White Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Angels, A's, Royals, Twins, Marlins and Devil Rays. Some of them twice!

-catherine

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