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7/31/00
OK, it shouldn't be this cool at the end of July - I should not have to wear a sweater to work. This morning was so foggy that I couldn't see the Woolworth Building out my window, and it's kind of hard to miss.

I bought the Jaws special edition DVD yesterday - I think that was the first movie my parents took me too. And I wonder why I hate the ocean. Heh. But I do love Richard Dreyfuss. Also went shopping at J. Crew (2 sweaters) and poked around Anthropologie, a store whose catalogs I love, and whose clothes I love for their style and construction, but I could never wear. But I love to wander arond the store. I also ran up to Aida to see if Jim was playing, but he had subbed out I'm guessing.

Had this weird dream last night, that involved working at a large company - where everyone was fired, yet gleeful about it (hrm...); skydiving - where there was a fire-y helicopter accident that I witnessed, and the cute blonde boy from an unnamed stock research company; and sleeping with Harvey Keitel, who I find only marginally attractive. What's up with that? It was weird, because the dream was so vivid (to the point where I thought I could smell the barbecue at the skydive, and I knew everyone's name, and I could read the writing on a letter I was holding. Very weird.

Mom is officially on crack. We're going to see Music Man again in August. Now there's a show that needs to offer rush tickets or cheaper seats or something, because, while Craig Bierko is a cutie and the orchestra sounds great (so nice to hear a brassy overture!), $85 a pop is just a tad expensive. That'll be a busy week - going to the Live/Counting Crows concert on the 22nd, Music Man on the 23rd, and Aida on the 27th. But then again, all of my weeks are busy.

How much do I love Sex and the City? According to the preview for next week's episode, Mr. Big is leaving his wife. He misses Carrie. I love this show. I can't say it enough. Love love love. Speaking of HBO... so we had picked HBO as our free month-long premium channel. When Time Warner and Disney had their spat, TW offered all of its subscribers a month of a premium channel, to make up for the 2 days that I missed Jeopardy, I guess. So we called to get HBO, and then decided that we really wanted to keep it. So we called to really subscribe, for the low price of $12.95/month. Not too bad, esp since we split it three ways. But on Friday, a telesales guy called to thank us for picking HBO as the free channel, and extended an offer to continue as subscribers for only $6.95/month! I explained that we had called during the trial to subscribe, and could they just switch the billing on our account to the cheaper plan, but he couldn't do that right there. So I called TW and explained, and she gave us HBO for $6.95/month. Kickass.

Oh, so my failed shopping quest from yesterday - I'm trying to find seamed stockings. Macy's didn't have them at their Hoisery World (or whatever they call the floor that has everything but what I want), so if anyone knows where I can buy some (stockings or pantyhose, whatever), let me know.

Sometime today or tomorrow, RCN is migrating my account to their system. So if this site is down for a bit, don't blame me. Blame RCN. Or blame Canada. That means I'll have a new email address, too, which isn't making me happy, as I've been eppie@interport.net for 6 years now.

OK, you all have to go enter this contest to win a free beach vacation. Actually, since the more people I refer to it means the more chances I get to win, you all have to enter so *I* can win a free beach vacation.

7/29/00
OK, so I survived the day in NJ - took the train out last night to New Brunswick, where I met up with Eric (Eve's brother) and Masha (his wife). We had Eve's surprise bridal shower today, and it was almost a complete surprise - she said that all week long, people had been acting "weird," which gave it away. Eve said the kicker was when I, the email queen, actually called her yesterday. Heh. But the shower was fun, good to see the bridesmaids and family folk again. But I am sick to death of seeing crepe paper streamers, let me tell you ;-)

Joegillis told me that I've been misspelling the name of my new favoriate boy band. It's 'NSync. 'NWhatever.

7/28/00
I can't believe I watched the 'NSync concert on TV. Made me so glad I was not there, as screamy yappy people annoy me. And I am still so congested. Bleh. I took nighttime cold pills last night so I could fall asleep. Still stuffed up today tho, and it's freezing as always in the office. I'm going a stunning look today, sweater, zip-up sweatshirt over t-shirt. It's completely non-fashionable yet really warm. I wish I had cut-off gloves to keep my fingers warm yet still let me type.

But it is Friday. I'm heading to NJ tonight, will be back sometime tomorrow evening. Must remember to grab allergy pills when I stop home after work, as being in NJ brings out my sneeziness and I'm already stuffed up. And I learned some new dumbbell exercises (exercises with weights, not with stupid people) yesterday at the gym, so that's pretty cool, too. I will be in shape! Yes! The coolest thing about the Sports Club is that they have these TV screen things on every torture device, with built in stereos. And they lend you headphones when you go, so you can bring tapes and cd's and just work out to whatever you want - it makes the time fly by. I actually ran yesterday on the treadmill, instead of just walking - but I don't have the stamina built up yet to run for more than a few minutes at a stretch, so I alternate. I want to go out and play frisbee again, that was fun and great exercise.

I started to read the new Clive Cussler book, Blue Gold on the train this morning. It isn't a Dirk Pitt book, but still. It's good stuff. It sucks that Hollywood made such a screwup with the movie version of Raise the Titanic, since Cussler has said they'll never make another movie of one of his books. And here I am, thinking Russell Crowe would make a great Dirk Pitt. Actually, Russell Crowe would make a good anything, come to think of it.

Today's work fun involves checking out demos of fund management software with the fund manager guy, to check out the functionality. I'm learning more about the world of venture capital than I ever knew before, it's great.

Ooh. Camcorder that I ordered is out of stock indefinitely. Guess I'll have to keep looking. Speaking of shopping for new things, I have to find a new ISP - Interport/RCN is so pissing me off these days. More than usual. Bleh.

Gym gym gym. All sweaty now.

Check it out - Mark Greenfield, my director, is quoted in the Voice. It's all about FunBox2000, baby.

7/27/00
Work party after work today - I'm staying til 8.30 and then must dash home for 'NSync. We're getting our new couch for our lounge delivered today, yay. I would also like to get to the gym today but I am so congested that I feel like I would drip snot all over the treadmill.

So I don't know what it is, but we, the apartment dwellers, are really excited about the 'NSync concert. Can't wait. We were watching on MTV last night and boy, that Justin Timberlake, what a cutie. I know I'm losing all credibility here, but whatever. I think Justin is only cute because he looks like my friend David Frost, who is also very cute. Well, that and the rhinestone bandanna. It will be lovely to watch the concert on TV, because I hate concerts, crowds, and screaming people.

OK, enough of that. End of teenybopper rant.

So we went to see Gladiator again last night - that movie is so so good. Defintiely a DVD purchase if and when it comes out. And my umbrella decided around 70th street that it was tired of keeping me dry, so it blew inside out for the last time and I laid it to its rest in a trashbin near the movie theatre. Good thing we have about 30 umbrellas in the apartment. So today is gray and rainy, too, and I have this overwhelming sense of congestion. My nose is incredibly stuffed up.

Everyone check out the Sunday Daily News this coming Sunday - I just got phone-interviewed about the Heather thing by the reporter - the piece is on Munchausen-by-Internet and Dr. Feldman's paper. Maybe I'll be quoted or something.

Worst part about sunburn - my chest and back are peeling, and my face is really really dry from having peeled. But as I am a sick person, I like peeling the skin off. It's icky, but I like it.

7/26/00
Rain, rain, go away. This is the kind of weather that I want to stay at home and enjoy, with a big bowl of oatmeal or something. I am feeling congested and my feet are cold. Bleh. I think I'm going to see Gladiator with Kenny tonight. My very own Mr. Big.

Called Blue Cross to get my correct insurance ID number, then called all of the doctors that had sent in claims and had them denied, so that should be straightened out now. They said my actual insurance card was mailed on the 17th, so it should be here any day now. Which is nice, because I have no idea what an MRI costs, but I'm sure it's not something I want to find out by having a denied claim arrive. Who knew it cost $150 for an office visit with my doctor? Or $83 to have a pap test done? How about we just raise taxes for say, Bill Gates, and do away with insurance? Bring back socialized medicine.

Retyped all of the London notes, so this page is complete again (not quite like Sweeney Todd's right arm being complete again, but something close). And now my hands hurt from typing. Doing some product research at work about Intranet software and also private equity VC-focussed apps that we could integrate into our intranet. Have to find shops to send RFP's to, but first we need to decide what tech angle we want to take. Sort of catch-22-esque. We're throwing our first work party tomorrow, and none of the people I invited can come - due to work or strong desire to watch the 'NSync concert on HBO or something. Whatever. This is why I have a VCR - I will watch 'NSync at my leisure.

Harry Potter books spark rise of satanism in young children. Why not? "'Hermione is my favorite, because she's smart and has a kitty,' said 6-year-old Jessica Lehman of Easley, SC. 'Jesus died because He was weak and stupid.'" I do so love the Onion, the new editions make Wednesdays fly by.

I got an email from Dr. Marc Feldman, who I had exchanged emails with a few years ago about the Heather Decker thing. He was doing a paper on online Munchausen by-Proxy, and wanted to get a copy of the H-files, so I sent that over. Hrm. Sorry, the "Log of Deception" as This American Life would say.

OK, another reason to vote Democrat this year (in addition to the fact that the democrats registered bushcheney.com before the republicans did), is that on the official George W. Bush site, Bush lists his third priority as "putting education first" - that's really funny.

Ooh: "Whistle Down the Wind is the only major West End show to have live snakes as part of the cast. 3 of the resident family of Bull snakes are used each performance and are kept at the Theatre in an especially temperature controlled vivarium. The chosen snakes each night depend on a number of things including where in its shedding cycle the snake is." Did I mention that I'm planning to see WDTW again when I'm in London in Sept? To both convince myself that it wasn't as bad as I thought, and to see Jerome Pradon in the lead. But the live snakes were pretty bad the first time around. Speaking of theatre to see while we're over there, we got tix to see Rent in Dublin - it closes the night we get there, so it's good timing. Unfortunately, as soon as we bought the tix, I read a really horrendous review of how they had restaged a lot and it was just not good, so my fingers are crossed that it will at least be... interesting. Perhaps Jen and I can use our minor celebrity here for evil.

I bought a camcorder - it's sweet. Found it online for $150 less than they were selling it at Circuit City for, so that's nice. It'll be great to take on vacation with us, w00.

later on 7/25/00
Whew, found a backup file at home of more of what I was missing, but not all of it. Maybe I'll just retype my London notes to fill it out, damn it. That is exactly what I'll do, just not today.

Had drinks with Andrew, who I met while skydiving, and spent a very nice few hours in the Heartland Brewery. It was much fun. And now I must sleep.

7/25/00
I just scrolled down and discovered that I cut off the first 10 days of July in what must have been a freak cutting and pasting accident. That SUCKS. I've emailled interport support to ask them to send me a backup, but with my luck, they don't keep them. And I don't think I have a backup anywhere. Ack! So if anyone has a cached copy or something of July 1-10, please let me know!

So I went to the orthopedist this morning, who was terrific. After berating me for seeing a podiatrist, not a REAL doctor, about my foot, he proceeded to agree with me that the surgery wasn't done correctly, or something. So we made an appt for a heel/ankle MRI for next Wednesday to see what the deal is, and then a followup appointment for next Friday. They took x-rays this morning, and the orthopedist, Dr. Sands, said that if he had done the same surgery, he would have removed more of the bone. And agreed that I shouldn't still have this bump on my heel. So it could be an infection, or it could be that the surgery was just done incorrectly. And he can't understand why my PCP from Aetna sent me to a podiatrist instead of an orthopedist the first time around. Well, neither can I, but what can you do.

Oh shit. Concorde accident near Paris.

And on a cheerier note, the Secret Life of Spatulas - kitchen tools as sex toys, something sure to excite Jen, what with her spatula fetish and all.

Still waiting to hear from Interport about my backup file. I mean, what's the point in keeping backups if they can't restore the file I need?

later on 7/24/00
Jen and I won Rent lotto, which was very cool, as I was itching to see Norbert while he's back. And man, he is so damn good. Brought up the energy of the entire show and I really was happy to be sitting down front. He said he was glad to see us down there, too, and that was nice to hear. Talked to Dan before the show about Ina May's next CD, which they're starting to record next week.

Going out for a drink with a guy I met on the skydiving trip tomorrow after work, that'll be fun :-)

7/24/00
Ah, Monday. I'm catching up on email from the weekend and making plans to meet up with some of the people I met on Saturday. It was really such a great day. Yesterday, I slept, went up to Circuit City and PC Richards to look at camcorders (found a few models that I liked, am going to comparison shop online now), then did some grocery shopping, watched the rest of Patrick's Sex and the City tape (which didn't have the last 4 season 2 eps on it, so I was irked), and then watched the first half of the Fight Club DVD with the commentary track on. Then Jen and Missy got home and we watched the new Sex and the City, which contained about 5 seconds of Mr. Big. Love that show. And then fell asleep.

Crappy thing about sunburn - it friggin' hurts. I was going to go to the gym today but left my sneakers home, which is OK, as I don't feel like moving too much. And it hurts to lean back in my chair at work. Ow. I shall attempt to take my mind off the pain by thinking about what I want for lunch. I have no idea.

Peter put up two pix from the dive trip:

I dropped off my film this morning (I have no idea what's on the beginning of the roll that was already in my camera, guess I'll find out tomorrow) - will scan in the pix when I get them back. I have to go to go the orthopedist tomorrow at 11am, too, for the belated 2nd opinion on my foot. Fun fun.

This is such a good day. I had a terrific day on Saturday, met some very very cool people, made plans to go out after work tomorrow with one of them, and opened my email today to find out that Amazon has shipped the new Clive Cussler book to me, and it should be here, soon.

Shit, still have not heard back from Priceline about refund from non-trip to Chicago. Must do that tonight.

7/23/00
Well, I'm still sunburnt.

And I still love Mr. Big.

7/22/00
Ok, skydiving completely rocks my world. I had such a blast. I am also completely sunburnt, as SPF45 obviously doesn't apply to me.

So getting up at 4.30 wasn't that horrendous (3.5 hours of sleep? sure!), and cabbing it up to 39th and 6th wasn't too bad either. I was the first person there, but only by a few minutes. Peter and the geekfactory crew came down from their office as the school buses we had rented arrived. I helped load the buses with our coolers of beer and soda and water and plates, napkins, cups etc.

We left NYC around 6.30 and drove to Sussex, NJ, about 90 min away. I hung out for most of the day with Jackie and Irene from Xceed, and a handful of new friends that I met along the way. The ride out was mostly uneventful, had bagels and OJ and admired our bag o' gifts from our sponsors - t-shirts, foot cream, disposable camera etc. Of course, drinking all that OJ made everyone in our group have to pee really badly, so we were really happy to get there. As I am pushy (right), the three of us were in the first group to train and dive. We filled out our waivers (including a video of us saying "I [state your name] will not sue Sussex Skydive or anyone associated with it if I should die while plummetting to the earth," or something like that). And then we ran to the bathroom, and then we started our training.

Jackie, Irene and I went together. The training is a walkthrough of how you exit the plane, how to arch your body for wind resistance, how to land etc. Not too bad. We met our instructors who would be our tandem buddies (me to instructor: "How many dives have you made?" him: "This is my first, you?"). They're really funny - kept everyone at ease and made everyone comfortable. We got into our jumpsuits and harnesses ("Is that tight enough?"), and went to the planes.

Now, I was expecting an Army-sized plane to jump from, but no, these were little, smaller than Indiana-Jones-in-Nepal planes. They sat (on the floor) the pilot, and the 3 of us and our instructors. My instructor, Gino - big flirt. Really great guy, kept my mind off the fact that I was about to jump out of a plane. We flew (slowly) to 8,000 feet ("This is 5,000 feet? We're only halfway there?), and as we flew, prepared for the jump. It's really cold up there, wasn't expecting that. So we're on our way up... Gino pulls me onto his lap and attaches our harnesses together. On a tamdem jump, you're really close to your partner, so even when we were falling we were pressed that closely. Not that I minded, mind you. So we get up to 8,000 feet, and Jackie slides over to jump. And this is where I got nervy - because one second she's there and the next she's whoosh gone out of the plane. And then Irene went, and then me. You sort of slide over to the opened door (flap) of the plane, and slide your legs out, hands on harness. And then boom! Out you go!

I think I closed my eyes or screamed or something. We somersaulted for a few seconds and then righted ourselves and assumed the arched wind-breaking position. And freefalled for over a minute until we got to 5,000 feet. It was loud, like a wind tunnel, and my throat was dry the entire time. I didn't feel like I was falling at all though, more like a weightlessness sort of feeling. It was actually really peaceful. At 5,000 feet, Gino pulled the cord and the shoot opened - not a big bump at all, just a tightening of the harness. And instantly it's quiet. And you're falling so slowly. It was so peaceful. We adjusted the harness, and Gino showed me how to steer the chute with the handles, we spiralled and swung back and forth. Since we could bring the disposable cameras up in the air, I took a few pictures (which I will scan when I get them done). We floated down for about 5 minutes - we could see the airfield and the other planes, and when we got closer, our group, which was spread out on blankets and in chairs near the landing site.

And then, whoosh, a nice soft landing.

I loved it. I wanted immediately to go again.

And that was 9.30am! First divers of the day! We spent the rest of the day talking with others about the dive as they came down, reading, eating the yummy subs that our sponsors paid for, playing Ultimate Frisbee (a game involving more running than I ever want to do again), regular frisbee, and just hanging out. I met some very cool people (none of whom I could give a biz card to as I do not have any yet), but will hopefully get in touch with via the WWWAC. There were reporters from the Silicon Alley Reporter and Business Week there, too, and we got to talk to them about the dive. Everyone took pictures and video, and I can't wait to see how it all came out. SAR had a pro photographer there and I hope his shots came out good. I spent a lot of time playing frisbee with some new friends, and ended up burnt to a crisp - except for the areas around my tattoos which I was sunscreening religiously. Didn't realize that the rest of me was turning pink, including my face, until I looked in the bathroom mirror and decided to slather myself with sunscreen.

It took all day to have all 68 people dive, and we left to come back around 6.30, getting home at 8.30. There were plans to meet up at a bar in the village, but after coming home to shower and change and unpack, I am so beat that I am unfortunately going to bail and go to sleep.

All in all, it rocked - kudos to Peter for organizing the whole thing. I so want to go again, I really do. But right now, I'm tired. Oh, and did I mention that I am completely pink and crispy? And I feel somewhat in shape, what with all the frisbee and stuff.

Random quotes:

later on 7/21/00
Yeah, I should really sleep, but I wanted to write about another random moment in my life. So Mom and I went to The Music Man and it was so much better seeing it a second time. So we wait out at the stage door to ask Craig Bierko ("Is that a real tattoo? It's beautiful") to sign our playbills. And I hear someone call, "Catherine Skidmore!" And I turn around, and there's someone I've never seen before in my life, and he says, "I don't know you in person, just from your website. I'm Paul Woodiel." Paul plays the violin in the pit at Music Man, and (I know, this is a stretch) emailled me about 3 years ago to ask if he should leave the pit at Side Show to go over to Ragtime. I pointed that out and amazed even myself with my powers of memory. So that was very cool! And Mom wonders why everyone knows me... I wonder sometimes, too.

Anyway, gotta get up in 4.5 hours (wah) to jump out of the plane. I volunteered to be in the first group to train and jump, aren't I brave?

7/21/00
One more day until I hurl myself out of an airplane for kicks. Glad my insurance is paid up. It should be a really fun day, except for the part about being in midtown at 5.45am to catch the bus. Oh, and the bit about hurling myself out of the plane. Apart from those two things, it should be a fun day. Things to pack for tomorrow:

Because I am greedy and nervous, I have volunteered to be in the first wave of jumpers. I will get it over with early.

OK, cars that sit outside and lean on their horns annoy me. You can't possibly be in that much of a rush to go down 31st Street. Where are all of the cops who're supposed to fine you for noise pollution? Or to tow the guy who's ignoring the alternate-side-of-the-street rules and causing the garbage truck to block the street? Oh oh oh one of the drivers just got out to yell at the guy driving the garbage truck that's blocking the road. Oh this is fun.

So Missy and I are watching a video last night, and we turned it off, and switched on HBO to see what was on, and what do we see? Many many shots of people with pierced body parts, and people smearing each other with food, and this french guy who runs "les supermarches du sex" in Paris. I mean, it was after 11pm, but I didn't know they could show that kind of stuff on TV! It was really raunchy! If anyone has any idea what the heck we were watching, please let me know. If there was penetration, it would have been porn.

And as we're sitting here trying to think of a place nearby that has CNN (so we can watch our founders on the news at 11.40), all we could come up with was "sports bar". And that got me thinking about something I read the other day - about why Americans don't drink like the europeans do. We no longer have the glass of wine with lunch, or the deals signed over a three-martini lunch meeting. Is it because it's seen as sloppy or addictive? Whoever wrote what I was reading (and of course I can't remember), had mentioned a newspaper writer she knew, who would talk about having the three-martini lunch, coming back to the office at 3, and banging out his stories in time to catch the 6pm train home. So speaking of drinking, I was walking through Bryant Park with Kenny yesterday, en route to Starbucks for a frappucino, and we went past this outdoor bar they have near the Bryant Park Grill. It was PACKED with yuppie-esque people, it was nuts. Just totally crowded. I mean, I always wonder why I don't go out and meet people, and then I remember that I hate crowds, so you would never find me in a meat market like that.

But I did spawn a new phrase: "Oh, right, it's Thursday. Thursday is the new Friday." It was pretty scary.

So Mom called, and Grandma can't make it to the city to see Music Man tonight. I told Mom to take Jen so they can revel in their love of Craig Bierko, but Jen has to go to a Yankees game tonight. So after much arm-twisting (right), I'm going to see the show again. And then going right to bed so I can get up and jump out of a plane.

Mmm, gym. Sweaty. I love that the NYSC has a cd/tape/TV system there, and they'll give you free headphones to use. So today I powerwalked (we're alternating cardio with actual weight stuff, in my ideal world) to the Aida cd for a bit, and then did the powerwalk thingie with arm torture devices to the first few tracks of Superstar. Whew. I think I will go snack on a Powerbar now.

I'm making a deal with myself. If I can go to the gym at least 3 times a week, and quit smoking, too, I'm going on vacation to Everest Base Camp. I kid you not. I should find out where I can take wall climbing classes. Does anyone know where you can take classes in the city? I know there's a wall at 66th and bway, but I know nothing about it.

And now I've just polished off half a bag of Cheddar Sun Chips and no longer feel so buff. But never fear! My quest for health will continue!

7/20/00
Did I mention that we went inside Gramercy Park? It's beautiful, I want it. And once we were in the park I had this overwhelming desire to thumb my nose at the people outside, but quickly squashed that thought.

So last night, on the way to the Players Club, I stopped at the bakery because it smelled so good. And they had these cute frog cupcakes that were adorable, so I bought them for me, Jen and Missy (who got home last night, but was sleeping when I got in, so I haven't seen her yet). The frogs are stuffed with this almond paste sugar-y stuff. I made it through about 3 bites - whew!

The weather is beautiful and sunny today, making us all wish we had a wireless LAN or ethernet jacks out on the deck at work, it's so nice out. My quest today, in addition to sketching out the first round of our database schema with Evan, is to look for development shops who specialize in Linux/PHP/perl development, with experience in Intranet work. If anyone out there knows of good shops, drop me a line at work.

Mom's ordering tickets for us to see Hakan in The Merry Widow at the Met. For those who don't know, Hakan is the Swedish baritone that Mom has the hots for, yet will never speak to. I think that runs in the family. And it's all my fault - about 10 years ago, I asked Mom to tape an opera off of TV that sounded interesting - The Ghosts of Versailles - and not only was it a great opera, Mom called to tell me that she was madly in love with the lead, and was planning to move to Stockholm to be near him. Well, almost. We've now seen him many many times in NYC and in Chicago, and he's going to do this opera in the winter, and then something with the Chamber Music Society in Feb. Some group in Boston is also doing Floyd Collins, one of the best shows that Jen and I know, in Feb, so we're trying to find out exactly when so we can get tickets. We saw productions of Floyd in Philly and in Virginia, would be great to see it again!

Hey, cool. The only place I'll go to church now has a website. Heh.

later on 7/19/00
OK, I'm really tipsy, and shouldn't be typing. Met my new friend Don, who I've been emailling for a while, and we went to the Player's Club, which is the coolest place ever. It's a theatrical private club founded by Edwin Booth and Mark Twain, and it's just the best place. Used to be Booth's private mansion, and it's beautiful. Don gave me the tour and we saw the skull that Booth used in the graveyard scene in Hamlet. The bar has the "you shall not budge, you go not until I set you up a glass" quote over it... I love it. He said he would sponsor me for membership once he's been a member for 6 months, how cool would that be? While we were there, I met Jana Robbins, who I saw in Gypsy a few years ago. A lot of well-known theatre folks belong there. Oh, I can't say how wonderful this place was. It's a MANSION! We walked all over, saw all of the portraits on the walls, hung out in the Booth Room... oh, it was so beautiful. I would so love to join and be able to hang out there all the time... well, we'll see.

Other than that, I'm really tipsy. I picked up really cute frog cupcakes for me, Jen and Missy, since Missy got home tonight, but it's 11.30 and I just got home and they're asleep already. I hope the cupcakes keep til morning!

OK, sleep.

7/19/00
Went out after work last night with former Xceed coworkers, including a good friend who was fired yesterday. I wonder what's up with that - firing all of the people who open their mouths to tell management what's on their minds. They canned 10 people in LA last week, and 9 in NY yesterday. Perhaps the rumors I hear about the company being acquired are true, and this is just to get ready. But it still sucks when I have friends there.

One of the cool things about going out last night was taking another brand new number 6 train from 28th to 14th. They are so sweet. And it was nice to see my coworkers again (well, former coworkers, Karen's the only one left at Xceed) and down a few pints of cider during happy hour. It was lovely to see that the check for 9 pints for our table came to $18. I had forgotten that Tuesday nights are the best time to go to the John Street Bar and Grill.

So they couldn't figure out this insurance thing, and I have to decide if I want to pay $50 to fill my prescription, and then submit a claim, or just not fill it and not notice a possible improvement in my joints. I think I'll wait until I go to the orthopedist on Tues, and perhaps by then I'll have mt insurance card, which the drug store had better accept. I'm not too keen on the idea of taking the anti-inflammatory pills, which will give me stomach cramps, three days before I jump out of a plane.

Must fill out pre-performance eval sheets today, listing work goals etc. It was pretty funny - at our new employee orientation for Jen and Evan on Monday, we went around the table so everyone could introduce themselves, and Ben asked everyone to name what animal they would be. And 90% of the table came up with something slothful, lazy and serene. Much joking about how this is not a motivated group ;-) But frankly, I'm so tired when I'm not at work, that all I want to do is really sleep and eat.

Today is gray and cold. It will probably rain. Bleh. Going out after work with someone I have never met, so if I never write here again, it's because my body is chopped up into little bits in a trash can somewhere.

It's raining. Bleh. Can I call it or what?

Going to have dinner with Kenny tomorrow after work, and start the legal-paperwork countdown.

Xceed fired Eddie Hartman! OK, that pisses me off. Unless, of course, he got a generous severance package, which is why he wasn't going to quit. But to find that out by emailling him and having it bounce is just not cool. Hurry up and call back, Eddie. And speaking of friends who've fallen off the face of the earth, Sue is still alive, tho swamped with work - I couldn't do the LA commute like she does every week, that's just too much time in the air for me.

7/18/00
Oh, so I went to Anil's last night after work, too. Saw a bunch of the usual suspects that I run into there (Mike who has one of my favorite paintings on his arm, Bill with his whole body tattooed), and Anil took some pics of my right shoulder/arm. He's got quite the setup of photography equipment now, it's a change from when I met him a few years ago and it was just the digital camera.

I'm still reading Working - it's such a perfect subway book, since all of the chapters are relatively short and easy to read. I'm really digging it. And it's interesting to see how much things have [changed/stayed the same] in the past 30 years, when the book was written. The folks over at Word put out a book (which I also have and have already read) called Gig, sort of an updated version, people talking about their jobs in 1999. I love reading about how other people live, because I forget that not everyone does what I do. I also forget that most people have never been to New York and think it's all impressive, which it can be, but isn't always. These are the people that tend to get in my way when I'm trying to go somewhere. Or stand there on the sidewalk gawking. Or can't figure out how to fold a subway map. Or just walk too darn slow. Ah yes, summer in the city - one of our many tourist seasons. We're having fun picking out the locations they use on Sex and the City - for example, on one of the season 2 episodes, they went to dinner, in the summer, somewhere near the Marriott in Times Square. And there was no one around. Sure. I've never been near the Marriott, except at maybe 4am, when there was no one on the streets. Perhaps they were having dinner at 4am, too. Note to tourists - the Marriott on 45th street has lovely bathrooms on the 8th floor lobby level. I should really put out a list of acceptable bathrooms throughout the city, knowing that you can pee at the Strand on 12th and bway has to count for something.

I love vibrating cellfones. Not that I have one, but coworkers do, and they're just fun when they buzz and go scooting across the desk.

Ooh, I did not know that Chris Noth was on Law And Order for 5 seasons. It amazes me how little television I'm down with. Or up with. Or whatever the phrase is.

later on 7/17/00
Oh, I do love Sex and the City - we watched more of the second season tonight. Love Mr. Big, in a vague kind of charming way. The actor who plays him, Chris Noth, is doing a show this fall, Best Man, which I must see now. Tho one thing about the show, how come they never pick up any really sketchy guys? Frankly, I've met more sketchy guys than normal guys, and they aren't people I'd want to bring home or go home with. And while in an ideal world, I'd have the apartment to myself and be dating a lot more (I hate dating, at least dating new people. Or maybe just trying to meet people to date), I wouldn't bring home so many people I'd just met. I must be getting old. Or not old enough.

So we watched the episode where Charlotte has this guy who fixes things (like hooking up the TV) around her apartment, and we're like "um, why would anyone need a guy to do that kind of stuff?" and then we realized that we know quite a few people who are incapable of fixing things and basic carpentry. So along that line, I spackled the bathroom wall and rehung the shelves, and Jen fixed the curtain rod over the sliding doors.

I have a toothache. Must inquire of Drew, our HR guy, tomorrow about how to see a dentist and not pay outrageous amounts of cash. And find out what the deal with my prescription-filling is, so I can get to work on my anti-inflammatory-ness.

7/17/00
Things that suck:

Things that don't suck:

So I'm in the middle of reading Working, by Studs Terkel. It was written in the early 70's, and the first section is interviews with people who work in agriculture and farming and steel mills etc. And I wonder, what with all of the new media htpe and job market, how many people are really going to stay working as farmers? Or steel mill workers? I wonder if there's going to be a massive lack-of-farmers in 20 years, and if the price of everything we eat is going to rise, because no one wants to raise cattle anymore. I have no idea why I thought of that, but I did.

We booked our hotel for London and reserved our car for Ireland. Getting closer and closer... Now we just have to get our theatre tickets for Witches of Eastwick and The Beautiful Game, but we have to figure out when we're going to see them and if Tim wants to come. I am almost tempted to see WDTW if possible, because I like Jerome Pradon, who's taking over as the lead, but it really was so horrendous when we saw it 2 years ago. I'll have to dig out the tapes and replay it to remind myself how bad it was.

7/16/00
The Music Man was cute - a little dated for my tastes, but really well-done. Mom and I went for really good italian afterwards and I am so full.

This morning, Jen and I went to the NYTW community day thing, at least until I had to leave for The Music Man. We got there at 10.45, expecting to be really early, but there was this LINE down the street, which was rather daunting. Luckily, the first people in line were our friends Sean and Tracy, and they were kind enough to let us hang out with them, so we managed to get seats right down front. It really pays to be as well-known as I am, sometimes ;-) It was great - Claudia Shear from Dirty Blonde (which I have not seen yet, but want to), and then most of the original Rent cast was there, too. There were only one or two (OK, one) annoying people there in the audience, and luckily I didn't know who she was, as I had left the whoopass at home.

Back to work tomorrow... and then over to Anil's to have him take pictures of my arm.

7/15/00
OK, one pint of cider should not knock me out... must be the getting up at 6am that did it.

I'm annoyed at Duane Reade - they wouldn't accept my insurance because our company is based in MA, not NY, or some such stupid reason. Our HR person, Drew, is going to call Blue Cross on Monday and find out what the deal is, and where I can get my anti-inflammatory drugs. My joints are all out of whack today because it's raining and humid. We decided not to do Winter's Tale today because of the rain. So we'll probably end up watching the rest of the Sex and the City or something.

7/14/00
Happy Bastille Day. In keeping with tradition, I taped over the camcorder tape that held my and Jen's Paris video (already transferred to VHS, lest our memories of every single stone staircase we walked up be lost).

Did the Aida rush line with Jen this morning, and was almost caught for the first time with my outdated student ID ("Hey... this says valid [x years ago]" "Yeah, I graduate this year."), but the woman at the box office looked at our young, innocent faces and figured we couldn't possibly be lying about our age already. Ha! I was falling asleep until we scored caramel frappucinos from Starbucks - the only coffee beverage I can stomach, and it really isn't coffee. Funny moment of the morning - Jen, wearing hat with logo of recently closed show, goes to Starbucks, and the woman assumed she was in the show, and gave her a free frappucino, saying how sorry she was that Jen was out of work now. Very funny.

Went to Dr. Stein this morning for a checkup (I'm healthy, haven't mysteriously grown 6 inches as suspected) - tho they drew blood to check my thyroid, and I'll know about that in a week. He referred me to an orthopedist about my foot - going in a week and a half to see him. Dr. Stein also prescribed an anti-inflammatory med that might make my heel stop hurting, and will at least make my knees stop acting like a weathervane. The downsides to taking it are no alcohol (I'm starting tomorrow, as tonight we're going to O'Lunney's), and it might cause heartburn or indigestion. Anyway. Going to take it until the orthopedist appt, and see how it works. Dr. Stein also showed me some foot stretching exercises, but it's stuff I'm already doing, which isn't alleviating any of the soreness.

Caught the JCS perf at the South Street Seaport, as timing worked out that I could make it after my doctor's appointment. They sounded great, barring some mic difficulties. Lots of kids out today from summer camp or something - they were all over the seaport, and all over the bus I took up to work. Jeez.

I'm feeling cleavage-y today, and that never happens (I am just not a cleavage person). How come I can't remember to wear this dress when I'm seeing people I want to notice? Hrm. Disclaimer: not that my or any other cleavage should be the first thing noticed, but hey, it happens. We watched the rest of the first season of Sex and the City last night, and some of the second season (thank you Patrick!), and I'm still loving it. Mr. Big = still typical male (older, married, hmmmmmmm....), but still oh-so-attractive. Sigh.

Missy and her mom should be back on Wed or Thurs from their trip. I figure they either had a really good, bonding time, or Missy whined the entire time and acted like a spoiled brat. I'm sure there was much drama, and I'm sure we'll hear all about it. But it sounds like a very cool trip that they had planned. Big old stuff up the wazoo. I can't wait to see Ireland's big old stuff.

7/13/00
Happy Thursday the 13th. I'm going to try and make it to the pool class at the gym at 1 - brought my swimsuit and gym clothes to work today.

We got our tix to see Summer of '42 up at the Goodspeed in CT for August. We saw a workshop last year that was a lot of fun.

Ha! Take the slut test. No, I'm not posting my answer. But 20 other women in the world said, in response to the last question (what famous person would you sleep with?), "Liev Schreiber". And I was all excited that I wasn't the only one, until I saw that 30,000 people said Brad Pitt. He just doesn't do it for me. The slut test is from the same people that bring you the Ask Jesus page, they're really funny. You can see what this page would look like if you asked Jesus to modify it. Hee.

Whew. Made it to the gym, but didn't do the pool thing. And man, that was the first time I went since before my foot surgery in January. I'm so beat... ow.

w00 - Jen and I booked our plane tickets between London and Dublin on the lovely-sounding RyanAir - has a nice, Irish ring to it. One step closer to having the trip planned... now we can do London/Dublin hotels and car rental etc.

later on 7/12/00
It's technically still Wednesday, it's only 10 min til midnight. Went to see Superstar tonight, was happy to see the understudy board. And I was glad that I brought a shawl with me as they really crank up the AC at the Ford Center.

The rest of the week is looking uber-busy. Tomorrow I'm meeting up with my friend Patrick, who does some very cool planetarium stuff, after work. In addition to the cool planetarium stuff, he's a geek like me, we've known each other for many years from Vox, and he has amassed a large collection of Sex and the City episodes on tape, and I'm going to borrow them. Then Friday, Jen and I are getting up to get rush tix for Aida - we're going with Dona and MissyMink that night. During the day I have to go to Dr. Stein to get a podiatrist referral. Post-show, we're going to O'Lunney's, where I will fail miserably at my quitting-smoking quest as I down pints of cider. Saturday is another early-ish day, we're getting up to get tix for Winter's Tale in the Park, and seeing it that night. I haven't decided if I'm going to see Eric on in JCS yet, but that'd be my afternoon if I do. And Sunday is a brunch-y theatre thing at 11.30, then meeting Mom for The Music Man. Busy busy busy. And Sue is coming to town this weekend, too, I hope she can make it to the brunch-y thing on Sunday, it'd be great to see her, since I didn't get to Chicago (and she wasn't there anyway, nevermind).

7/12/00
I had the weirdest dream last night. It jumped back and forth between Jen and I trying to get from London to Dublin, but not in a really stressful way. It was a lot of us walking around going, "I think it's over here." And then there were scenes where I was looking through an old bookstore with mom, and found a bunch of Hardy Boys books that were really cheap, but we were obviously not in this country and I couldn't figure out how to buy them. And then there was a bit with Gabriel Bryne - don't ask where that came from - and we were having lunch. So I went back to our apartment, where Jen was scouring the bathroom floor, and she said that it was clean enough for us to leave now. We emptied out a few boxes that had Missy's earrings in them and I put on a pair of really ugly beaded ones. I grabbed the vacuum to do the rugs, and she went to do laundry. And as soon as she left, someone tacked up a note about there being an ax murderer on the floor, and we should evacuate. Suuure. So I walked out into the hall, locked the door, grabbed the notice down, and saw a line of people waiting to get on a bus, I guess to evacuate. I waited for Jen to come back with laundry, and we all got on the bus, which drove down some non-city streets until we got to this mansion-esque house, which is just where an axe murderer would live, if you ask me. And we go inside and they ask everyone to sit down and not be scared. And then I woke up.

What a weird dream.

Oooh. I got to ride on the new 6 train this morning - it was clean, quiet, cool, spacious, lots of room, wider doors, I loved it. I would have loved it more if the guy next to me hadn't gone on and on about how soon it would be before it was covered in grafitti. But apart from that major pessimist, the ride was smooth and pleasant. This is the second test of the new cars - they ran a few of them on the 2/3 line a few years ago (and I got to ride one then, too!) - I hope they finally start to build them and replace all the old cars, the new ones are so sweet.

Quick! I'm quoted on the front page of Obscure Store today. Well, I'm impressed. I love that site - the oddest stories etc culled from newspapers and sites around the world. It's as good as the Onion because it's real.

Speaking of fun, you can read this site as if I were writing with a Cockney accent. Hee.

Oh Lord, I just love to mock this site, because they can't speak english. They're also the company that was posting about hiring people under 30, but just go read their site, it's very funny.

Oh, and coworkers Evan and Jen actually start on next Monday, we're just all confused around here. Will be nice to have another techie in here (and he's Irish, yeah baby), but things are kind of slow around the tech dept, as most of the client work we're focussed on is strategy or design related for now, and I'm feeling a bit under-used. And I really need to hit Rat Shack and get headphones tomorrow.

7/11/00
OK, so I made the Border's staff go hunting "in the back" for the Wild Party cd, but it's in my hot little hands (or rather, my hot little cd player) now. My headphones are crap tho, so I really should have bought a new pair while I was out (these are my crappy walkman headphones, not my good stereo headphones, which are home with the box radio). The recording is great - my only regret is that the actor I liked best played a mute ;-) But it's as good as I remembered. THIS is a production that should have played longer, or gone to bway instead of the LaChiusa schiesse.

Oh, happy happy. Just found out that the branch of Sports Club near work, to which I belong (but to which I have not gone in 6 months due to inability to wear shoes), has a pool! A pool! And they do Aqua-cise classes! I'm so there, gotta dig out my swimsuit.

Coworkers Evan and Jen start tomorrow, it's starting to feel office-like in here. We went to buy our conference room table and chairs yesterday (and on the way to the Door Store, Coworker David and I both noted that really fat women shouldn't wear spandex pants with thong underwear - it is just not attractive), so we actually have furniture now. We're throwing a party on the 27th to welcome everyone. Must set VCR for 'NSync concert that night ;-)

later on 7/10/00
So, Jen and I BOTH win Rent lotto, and for casting reasons, decided (at 7.45) not to go to the show. So we came home, and watched Sex and the City, which I, being in a cultural vacuum, have never seen. But Dona gave us the DVD of the first season and IT SO ROCKS. I love this show. I love Mr. Big, yet I hate him at the same time. Yet I am oddly fascinated. But anyway, the show rocks, and mid-way through the 3rd episode, Jen and I acted on our months-old urge to subscribe to HBO. Well, that urge is really us sitting around going, "We should really get HBO." "Yeah, we should really call one of these days." So we finally called, and signed away another $13/month to Time Warner. But now I have a premium cable channel! (and of course, we turn off the DVD and go to see what's on HBO, and who should be there but Craig Bierko! in some bad sci-fi movie! Which Jen is now glued to, even tho the plot is unknown.)

Anyway, now we can watch Sex and the City, The Sopranos, bad sci-fi, and of course, the live 'NSync concert on the 27th. That Justin Timberlake, what a hottie ;-) Well, not really, but he looks just like former coworker David (another David!) from Mercury7, and he wasn't so bad himself.

7/10/00
Well, check that - two new coworkers are not starting today, and we don't know when their start date is. I mean, I'm sure Ben knows when their start date is, but he isn't here today :-) Jen and I are trying Rent lotto tonight and then going off to plot our full-frontal attack on Ireland. We have to plan a route that will be full of wide open roads, as neither of us have driven on the left-hand side of the road before - at least, not on purpose.

The Wild Party cd gets released tomorrow - the good one, that is. Hopefully the Border's next to work will have it so I don't have to run all over the place to find it. Also supposed to meet up with Eric, Eve's brother, after work tomorrow - turns out he works about 4 blocks from where we live. Then I'm going to meet up with Kenny to catch a movie uptown, he took the night off from work.

Interport blows. They're migrating all users to rcn.com (who had acquired them), and of course, they're having problems with my account and authenticating it. Ugh. Whatever, as long as they don't start charging me, and they fix their downtime issues, I'm fine. But since they can't authenticate it, they can't manually switch it now, and I have to wait til the end of the month. Guaranteed, I'm going to have problems and lose files on July 31.

7/9/00
Saw The Patriot this afternoon, and that's $9.50 I'll never get back... it was so not what I was expecting that I was tempted to go sneak into Gladiator down the hall. But by the time it was over, I was sick of sitting in the air conditioned theatre, so I came back downtown. I mean, I do love Mel Gibson, but this just dragged. And I felt badly, too, because I found the bad guy attractive. Hate when that happens.

200 pages to go in Harry Potter - it's fun so far... I want to go back and reread the first 3, I feel like I rushed through them.

Thought about catching JCS today, but had no desire to sit through both Glenn Carter and a Judas understudy that I didn't want to see (reg. actor out, actor I think is a babe not on either), so I came home to curl up with Harry Potter and catch up on video watching. What I love about summer is the wearing of skimpy, tattoo-showing clothes. I got stopped more times today than usual to answer questions about my arms ("Oh, can I see?" "How far does that go back?" "Did it hurt?" "How old is that?" "Wow, did you get that done here in the city?" "Is that real?" - the usual). I must also be giving off the vibe of "helpful new yorker" these days, as I got stopped twice on the subway to give directions somewhere - I wasn't impressed that I could give directions to Chambers Street, but I was impressed that I could help this woman get to some street in Brooklyn. I mean, it's Brooklyn, I can count the number of times on one hand that I've been there ;-)

Back to work tomorrow... we have two new people starting - Evan and Jen - both from CBS! So they know the Xceed team pretty well. Should be a lot of fun.

It's really sticky out (or it was, it's 9.30pm now). Considered chopping off hair, but it looks horrible short. Also considered going back to dark brownish reddish color, maybe in the winter. Wish I could get my hair to do what I want, but my bangs seems to fly all over, and it's too fine to leave down, especially in this weather. I'm still feeling like I went through some amazing growth spurt, since this dress I'm wearing seems a few inches shorter, too. Perhaps the cats have learned to sew and are sneaking into my closet when I'm not looking.

Must go take shower, slather self with Lush products, and finish off young Mr. Potter.

[insert 2 hour break]

OK, finished the Potter. God DAMN, and they're calling it a kid's book - full of dark themes and pure evil. I love it. I'm really glad that they're so popular and turning more kids onto reading... when I was in elementary school, I used to get yelled at for reading Nancy Drew books in class, and made fun of for spending all my free time and lunch breaks in the library. Not much fun to deal with at the time, but boy, am I glad now that I've always been a reader. And as Eve's mom used to say to my mom when I was caught sitting up under the blankets with a flashlight, better that I'm reading than out causing all sorts of trouble. Or at least, that's what she told me she used to tell my mom. Or some variation thereof.

Jeez, I'm reading reviews of the book, and stories about kids who're talking about it, and one 12-year old said she felt like Harry Potter because "everyone wishes they had a different life; it would be better." Was I that unhappy when I was 12? Are all kids? What's with this massive "grass is always greener" thing that's going on? Maybe I'm old and complacent, but no matter how bad it is, it could always be a heck of a lot worse.

Yeah, I probably was that unhappy at 12.

7/8/00
100 pages into the new Harry Potter book and it's as good as the first three so far. Woke up at 11.30 this morning, and FedEx had already delivered it, yay. Love Amazon. Alas I didn't dive right into it as errands called - I took a stack of books (that I will never read again, or hadn't read in the first place) up to the Strand on 12th street, ran into Mike from The Naked Show - he works there, cool. I guess we were both at a loss for names, because I stood on line going, "That guy looks so familiar," and he greeted me with "Hey, Light Girl" - and his nametag read "Oberon," so I was totally at a loss. Heh. Then walked up to midtown, through a street fair and two flea markets, checked out TKTS and decided to see Les Mis.

Les Mis was my favorite show in High School - Mom and I must've seen it 30 times together in 3 years. And it's not as enjoyable anymore - the cast is nowhere near as talented as it was 10 years ago, and the show seemed to drag. I spent most of the time watching it thinking about the actors who used to be in it, wondering where they were (except for Hugh Panaro, we know where he is), and trying to cast my ideal cast. Oh, well. Still one of my favorite books, which I've been meaning to reread. I started rereading it a few weeks ago but got bogged down in work etc.

Am dubbing a copy of Witches of Eastwick for friend Eric as I read Harry Potter - seems that a show about witches is ideal listening for a book about a wizard. I like the bit I read online somewhere that if JK Rowling, the author of the HP books, wanted to be subversive, this would be the chance to do it. Here's a book that's having a 5-million book printing in the US and UK, guaranteed to be snapped up by parents and kids (and people like me), with no advance copies, no reviewers copies, no snippets leaked to the press etc. Wouldn't it be an ideal place to put out ideas that parents wouldn't want their kids reading? What if Harry smoked dope? Was gay? Ended up being a 40 year old single man who liked musical theatre? The possibilities are endless...

I got my insurance info paper (not the official card, but the signed form) yesterday, so I can go to checkup #1 on Monday morning, and call my PCP about a checkup and referral to a podiatrist. I'm really thinking that this surgery wasn't done right - my heel shouldn't hurt after 5 months, and there shouldn't still be a bump on my heel. So I want to follow up with a different podiatrist and get another opinion on it. The last thing I want is to go through surgery again and be on crutches, but I'd prefer not to be in pain when I walk.

Listening to Songs for a New World while I read... pretty good stuff so far. And Mimi wants to read along with me, or at least sit on my book, and she's taken to licking my arm lately. Usually she nibbles on fingers or noses, so the skin-licking is a nice change. Except cat-sandpaper-tongue tickles. They had the homeless-kitten people outside at Union Square again this afternoon... I so wanted to bring home one of the babies, they were adorable. If I had a bigger apartment (and the knowledge that Pixel and Mimi wouldn't be jealous), I'd have another cat, but alas.

later on 7/7/00
I guess if I were really nuts, I could go to the bookstore to buy the Harry Potter book about now, but it's already on the way from Amazon, and it's not like I could stay awake enough to read it if I had it now. I'm zonked. Just finished the latest Nora Roberts book - yummy. Can't wait to go to Ireland now.

Coworker David and I picked out a stunning conference room table for work. We're throwing a client (off, Mimi is trying to lick my fingers as I type) party on the 27th, so we have to get the office in shape. I've been slowly bringing in my tech library to fill up the bookcase in our room (to give the appearance that we're ready for work ;-) It's looking great. Had big meeting today about the company extranet, which will turn into one of those projects that gets out of hand because everyone has something to add to it.

Had dinner with Kenny, made plans to go out Tuesday night to the movies (but first I have to meet with Eve's brother after work on Tuesday for a bit). Thought about seeing JCS tonight but was really too tired to sit there, and I wanted to get through the Nora Roberts book tonight. Which I did, so I'm happy :-)

Night.

7/7/00
Got our T-1 at work! It's so zippy!

I hate shoe shopping. I mean, I like shoes, but I hate shopping for them. I really like things that're simple, and most sneakers these days aren't simple. So I go to Foot Locker on 34th street after work yesterday, pick out a nice simple pair of walking shoes, and ask for them in a 9. The very unhelpful clerk brings out the wrong pair. Then he goes back and returns again, saying "we didn't have them in stock, so I brought out this pair instead." Which was not what I wanted. They weren't helpful, so I left. Went across the street to the Athlete's Foot (what a name!). So much better! I told the clerk what I wanted ("Hi, I had heel surgery, it still hurts, I need something with lots of shock absorbtion and well-padded in the heel"), and he picked out two pairs that I might like. They only had the first pair in 8 1/2, which I tried on but were too tight, but lo and behold, the second pair (Nike walking shoes) were in stock in a 9. And they fit really nicely. They're such an improvement over my crappy no-padding Old Navy ones. They're also really white and make my feet look huge, so I'll have to wear them around the apartment until I break them in.

Unfortunately, wearing the no-padding Old Navy sneakers yesterday killed my feet and I'm not having any fun walking today. I'm supposed to get the insurance form (not the card, just the form with the info) today from our HR guy, so I can call Dr. Stein to make an appt and have him refer me to a podiatrist.

Last night (after shoe shopping), I went to dinner with Jen, Dona, MissyMink and Whitney. Had lots of chicken and ribs, and then went uptown to Xando to have S'mores (because we live in a city and do not have handy campfire, they give you the pu-pu-platter-esque S'mores platter to make your own). However, when we got to 76th and bway, we discovered that Xando was closed for renovations! So we decided to go downtown to the other Xando (near my office), but first, we went to the Body Shop, where Dona managed to talk the clerk into selling her the last of the discontinued perfume scent that she loves (she was so excited to find it, just like I was excited to find that Bath and Body Works had more Happy Daisy!). So we ended up downtown, eating S'mores until we burst, and made plans to take MissyMink to Aida next week. Jen and I thought about second-acting a show (since it was only 9), but sadly couldn't think of anything worth second-acting.

Tomorrow morning I should wake up to find the doorman clutching my copy of the new Harry Potter book. That means I should probably read the Nora Roberts book tonight - I'm getting backlogged on reading, so I need to catch up. Almost done with the Pilate book, which is getting better and better as I read it - but it's one of those books where I need a block of uninterrupted time to read it, so I don't feel like opening it on the subway where I'm only going to have a few minutes to read. Hee: Secrets of Harry Potter IV. Really cute.

Got our Priceline airline tix! Which reminds me, I need to call cust service and check about getting my Chicago hotel refund - I think it's been two weeks since they said they would call back and I haven't heard yet. But anyway. Sept 7-17, London and Dublin. The only crappy part is that we're flying all day Thursday to get there at 9pm. But the good part is that we're flying on Virgin and it's non-stop. No layover in Canada. And we fly back at night on Sunday, so we still have all day there to catch a show or chill out. Now it's time to plan the specifics. I still wish I could live in London so all this travelling around would be easier.

7/6/00
Wow, could I have been any more incoherent last night? I really did like Contact, especially the last two pieces (that is, 2/3 of it). I think Karen Ziemba was good, but not good enough for the Tony - so she probably won for past body of work (same with Stokes winning for KMK this year - I'm sure it was more for Ragtime than KMK, which was good, but not that good). And Boyd Gaines is a babe (remember, I have odd taste) - at least I liked his character. And I loved the third piece ("Contact") - didn't realize it had an entire story etc, rather than just dance. It was well-done. Still not sure that it's a musical tho.

I still can't believe I'm going to jump out of a plane on the 22nd.

I want to go check out Winter's Tale in Central Park - maybe I'll go over the weekend as it looks like my schedule next week is really full. They're also doing Julius Caesar next month, directed by Missy's boss and starring Jeffrey Wright, and I want to see that, too. Still crossing my fingers that Liev Schreiber will be in the cast, as rumored by Missy way back when.

Jen and I are starting to plan our Ireland trip in full-force. We want to travel via London so we can catch a few shows and go to Hampton Court Palace, and then fly in and out of Dublin in the middle of the trip. We're planning to rent a car (look out, Ireland!) and drive from Dublin to Waterford, Ardmore, Cork (Blarney Stone! as if we needed the gift of gab!), Shannon and back to Dublin. So we're at the Priceline step of the trip, to make sure we can get to London affordably.

I'm wearing sneakers today. And my left heel is hurting like crazy. I really need to have a chat with my podiatrist, as soon as I get my insurance info and a referral from my PCP. Ergh. You would think that after 5 months I'd be able to wear shoes comfortably, but alas. So I'm going to go to Foot Locker after work and see if they have comfier sneakers, as mine are from Old Navy and cheap.

later on 7/5/00
Contact good. But I'm still not sure if it's a play or a musical. I'll stick with "dance play" as it's billed... I raelly enjoyed it, esp. Jason Antoon, who just made me laugh.

7/5/00
I need to go clothes shopping. Either I grew a few inches in the leg or all of my summer dresses have shrunk - it seems like they're all a bit shorter. Yeah, lame excuse to shop, but it's true.

Going to see Contact tonight - the non-musical musical, should be exciting. I'm really looking foward to it. And then tomorrow we're having dinner with MissyMink, who's been trapped down in Trenton for years and years and we haven't seen her in forever. Missy (not MissyMink) is going to Italy and Greece with her mom for 3 weeks (very cool, wish I had enough time off from work to do that), they're leaving in the morning. Her mom came in today and is staying over so they can get to Newark bright and early. I hope they have a safe trip and find lots of handsome italian men to bring home. Of course, with all the sailors around, who needs to travel ;-)

OK, off to meet Kenny for coffee (sorry James, you're never around when I want quality time), and then to Lincoln Center for the show.

7/4/00
Happy 4th of July! Perhaps I'll celebrate by going to see The Patriot. First off tho, I'm going with Dad to this tall ships thing down at the battery. I hope they have food. It's 9am, which is way too early for me to be up on a day off. And I want to watch the Macy's fireworks thing on TV, as they're showing the clips from Music Man that they taped at the library, so I have to see if I can spot Jen et al in the audience.

Just got back from OpSail and watching the tall ships - how gorgeous! If I wanted to pick up a sailor boy, this would be the time to do it, what with all the ships docked down at the seaport etc. It's a mob scene out there tho. Since Dad is on the downtown alliance, we were invited to a private party to watch the ships come in down at the Battery. It was nice to be at the party instead of out with the mob watching... I could get used to that kind of preferential treatment ;-) It was really good - they provided food (breakfast AND lunch) and binoculars to everyone at the party, and we watched all 27 big big big ships come in. There were military planes flying over, too, including the stealth bomber which was neat looking. Anyway, it is a mob out there - with the ships docking at the seaport, everyone's down there. And there's a huge street fair on Water Street, so that's all crowded, too. I think I'm going to go uptown and watch The Perfect Storm. Or The Patriot - depends on what I'm in the mood for. And then the fireworks on TV.

Have I mentioned that it's a mob scene outside? We watched the fireworks on TV, complete with sound effects by opening the door to the deck. We can hear the fireworks, but not see them, since the deck faces the wrong way. Ended up seeing The Perfect Storm tonight - not bad, but I didn't know how it ended, since I couldn't make it through the book. When it came out, I had just finished reading the Jon Krakauer Everest book, which was so good, and I didn't think that The Perfect Storm lived up to it - I put it down in the middle. The movie was good tho - good effects, and made me never want to set foot on a boat ever again. Was going to sneak into The Patriot as it was starting right after Perfect Storm let out, but they had ticket takers watching the entrance like hawks, I guess everyone had that idea. Saw preview for a movie about Pearl Harbor, starring Ben Affleck (love) and Colm Feore, who I saw as Claudius in the Public's Hamlet and he was in Titus, too. Love love.

Back to work tomorrow... not really in the mood to work. At all, not just tomorrow. I've decided to renew my pledge to marry into money and spend my days getting manicures and being a woman of leisure. I'm just really tired, and trying to figure out what I'm going to when this internet thing doesn't pay my bills anymore. Depressing, I know. Am eagerly awaiting stuff from Amazon, as they've sent me stuff I backordered a while ago as well as some new books, and the new Harry Potter book coming via FedEx on Saturday.

And oh! I do love Lush stuff! I wish they had stores here. Masqued face with green lumpy "Swamp Thing" face masque, showered with Lush shower gel, coated face in Lush skin cream, pampered skin with Lush body powder, and massaged achy footsies with Lush foot cream. Yummy! Smell good!

I can't believe I'm going to skydive. As we were descending into Montreal, I noted the speed and height thingie on the video screen, and as we passed 10K feet, I said there's no way in hell I'm jumping out of a plane from this height. It'll be interesting... I've got another 2 weeks or so to get my courage up.

7/3/00
I'm home! Did you miss me? I certainly did not miss being away from a computer for 5 days, it was a nice break. And I took many many (many) handwritten pages of notes while in London, and will put them here as soon as I get them all typed in... but never fear, I'm still alive. A bit tired, after spending all of yesterday on a plane (and with 6 hours of delays in Montreal, grr), but alive. I'll try and get the London notes up tonight.

Apart from London stuff... Saw Gladiator with Dad today, even better the second time around. And then went up to Times Square and had dinner with Kenny - it was packed because there's some pre-4th-of-July concert going on IN Times Square, so the streets were closed off and there were people all over. And then it started to rain, which was not much fun at all. And of course, my umbrella is here at home. And I am soaking wet.

So... London. This is transcribed out of the notes I took on the trip (which are very messy and very spread out all through this notebook I have). I hope it isn't too incoherent:

6/28/00
Happy Birthday. NYC to Newark. Traffic, traffic and more traffic = headache. Cabbie decided to go out Lincoln Tunnel instead of the Holland, which led to us sitting in traffic. It took us an hour and a half to get to the airport, luckily he stopped the meter when we got off the turnpike.

Plane delayed for 30 min. Plane delayed for 90 min total, with the time we spent sitting on the runway waiting to take off. I'm travelling with the entire South African judo team, in their matching sweatsuits. Cute guy, woo woo. Going to Halifax with the steward who wants to be a comedian ("If you have trouble stowing your bags, the captain would be happy to help you, he isn't too busy yet" "Flight 654 to Barbados... sorry, Halifax").

Let's sit here for another 30 min on the runway, shall we?

Read cool article about SeaLand, a principality off the coast of the UK, which is setting up an offshore data haven ala Cryptonomicon. Very cool. Right next to an article about the UK implementing some sort of wiretapping which will monitor net.traffic. Not that cool. I do love USA Today - they've got the article about Village Ventures, complete with pic of founder Bo.

Flight to Halifax all of 90 min long. Probably could have driven there faster.

Lost sight of the SA judo team, which sucks because there was cute guy making eyes at me on the flight. And I guess he read my name off the customs card or something because he said "excuse me, Catherine," as he passed by me outside customs. Oh oh oh.

Oh! Waiting to board London flight, and there they are. I ask cute guy if they're going to London but no, they're boarding at the next gate to go to Deer Park, which sounds like it's somewhere in Canada. Oh well.

On the plane to London... if our friend Will were a Scottish rugby player with bad teeth and a killer accent, he'd be hitting on the chick two rows up.

Check that, this is the plane to London via St John's Newfoundland. Canada sure is big. Sick passenger in Halifax, she isn't flying, so they had to wait to deplane her bags since they can't fly with bags that belong to someone who isn't on the plane. Delay.

6/29/00
Thursday morning - Heathrow! I've missed it! Yummy pasty british boys all over ;-) Mistaken for a native by some chick in the airport, who wanted help with the payphones. Surprisingly I was able to help. Called Tim at work but he wasn't there. Forgot that Donald Sutherland/John Rubenstein play was here, forgot that Whistle Down The Wind was still playing - still the worst thing I've seen. Pick up tube map, realize later that it's in French. Maybe it's better that way - there are lots of loud americans around here. Cute french biz guy across from me on the tube.

Dropped off bags in hotel lobby as I can't check in until 2pm and it's only 10. So off I go!

National Gallery - saw the Da Vinci Virgin with Rocks (?) painting, which is my choice of paintings if Anil can do the miniature for me. Also Seurat! Bathing at Asnieres! And several studies for the Sunday painting. Beautiful museum. I brought the Rick Steves London book which gives a good quick walking tour. Heading to British Library as recommended by his book next. Called Tim, agreed to meet around 3, will pick up tix to Witches of Eastwick on my way back into town. British Library - has early Gutenberg Bible, the death warrant for Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex, Hamlet! Da Vinci notebooks, Canterbury Tales, the 1410 printing, and the original David Copperfield serials. Now this is a place I could get used to ;-) From a sign in the bookshop I see that I missed Simon Singh (author of the Code Book) by 2 weeks - he was here doing a signing.

Checked into the World's Smallest Hotel(tm). Staying out in Bayswater - close to 2 pubs, a net.cafe which I will avoid, post office, off-license etc. About a 10-min walk from the tube stop.

On tube to meet Tim. Dapper looking guy in black and white pin-striped suit, pink checked shirt, and black and pink tie. Also man with the world's tackiest toupee. American guy singing REM songs on the platform.

Tim didn't tell me he works as far as you can go on the tube and still be in London. Sort of the equiv of going to Flushing, Queens. Whew. Except that the rooftops with chimneys remind me of something out of Mary Poppins. I love the tube. The trains are clean, the seats are fabric, they run on logical schedules, there are LED screens in the stations to tell you when the trains are coming, and they announce the next stop for you. Love it.

RAF Museum - where Tim works. Lots of planes! It's huge! And we saw the Enigma machine, which was really my entire purpose for coming. Heh. We did this stomach-churning flight simulator which made me think I never want to be a pilot, not even on a little plane. That, and I failed all of the "Who wants to be a pilot?" kiddie games. Whoops.

Really good sushi, better than what I get when I order in here.

World's Smallest Hotel room also has one towel. Square. Remind me to pack my own next time. Also pack washcloth - what with fear of sticking face under water, I miss having mine.

Witches of Eastwick - from the program, we think it's going to be a hoot. Never saw the movie, so it'll be all new to me. The director of the director of the Signature Theatre near DC, where we saw Sweeney Todd and Floyd Collins - very cool. It's 7.15, we're going in.

Oh that was a really fun show! The leading guy was out and his u/s was fantastic. That's a role that Stokes was born to play. One of the women was played by Maria Friedman, who walked a fine line between annoying and really good in the Joseph video last year. And Bob Crowley, Aida designer and winner of recent Tony Award, was the designer. The set was beautiful. Not the best thing I've seen but really a lot of fun - we really liked it.

It's past pub closing time (11pm, ha!) so no cider for me tonight. But that's OK, I'm really tired after flying and not sleeping too well on the flight. Tomorrow is Star Wars exhibit, the wheel, and Hamlet in the evening. Sleep.

6/30/00
9.30am, on the tube. Requested a wakeup call so I could get breakfast before going to meet Tim (we're meeting on the tube platform so we can go to the Star Wars thing). Woke up on my own at 6, must've somehow realized wakeup call wasn't coming, and kept waking up every 20 min. Was right - no wakeup call... Must check into alarm-ringing capabilities of Palm Pilot.

Ooooh. Starbucks. Tea. Caffeine.

Drizzling steadily, which means I'm really in London. It started to rain after the show last night, but I didn't have my umbrella with me (I do, now). So last night I stopped in at the gas station near the tube stop to get a plastic bag to put my stuff in (went to Lush and bought goodies during the day), and to cover head in.

Oh, the Star Wars exhibit rocked! They had costumes, sketches, matte prints, the podracer from the newest movie, lots of video about how they did certain things... it was very excellent. They had a 2-CD rom set with lots of info that I really wanted but couldn't rationalize buying. Also it had a warning label on the side with a list of countries not to sell it in, and USA was on it - so I was offended. Heh. Barbican Center - where Les Mis started, that's where the exhibit was. Saw ad that said Steppenwolf Cuckoo's Nest with Gary Sinise is coming here this summer, but I'm not bitter, oh no.

Too many Americans with loud children here. Going to the Wheel (London Eye) now. Tim says there are no trash cans on tube platforms because people used to put bombs in them. And what was that I just read in the papers about increased violence in the UK?

OK, so we're not going on the London Eye Ferris Wheel, as there's a guy standing there with a "Sold Out All Weekend" sign - that'll teach us to book in advance. So we walked along the Thames and passed an orchestra from Wisconsin, who was playing a brassy version of Ricky Martin's "Ole ole ole". Heh.

Passed a guy wearing an Aida shirt. so I stopped to ask where he had seen it - New York. I asked what he throught, and he said, "I hated the show, but I liked the art, so I bought the shirt. Funny, I loved the show but wasn't thrilled with the art, so I did not buy a shirt.

TGI Friday's for lunch! Not far from Cats - David Beame would be proud. Really slow service tho. We're off to Westminster Abbey after lunch.

Walked to Buckingham Palace on the way - my lockpicking skills failed once again to get us inside.

3.44pm. Well. Westminster closes at 3.45pm to prepare for mass. This is just not our day! We tried to point out to the guard that it's 3.44 and there's a minute left, but he wouldn't have any of that. I knew there was a reason there was no line.

Walked (!) to Harrod's (feet... hurt...), which happily was not closed or full. Bought cookies in the food hall. On the way, we passed the house that Chopin lived in, and also the theatre where La Cava is playing. Bought tickets for tomorrow night. This'll be the weekend of new musicals. The plan is to tube back to Covent Garden, try to get tix for Copenhagen matinee tomorrow, sto by Lush again (I think when Jen said to pick up "Cajun" face scrub, she meant "Gumbo", as they didn't have anything called "Cajun", but a closer perusal of the catalog in the hotel last night revealed "Gumbo", so back we go). Then to the Globe!

But wait! Decided to wait until tomorrow to see about a matinee as exhaustion might mean a late start. And Lush! Closed early today for inventory! We are thwarted all over today. Will try tomorrow pre-dome. I'm worried that with our luck, Hamlet will be cancelled.

But here are! Bought program for 2 pounds and rented butt-cushion for 1. 3.5 hours of hard wood seats.

Oh, trumpeters in the house to sound the start of the show.

Great production! First intermission (after "The play's the thing, wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king.") More cut lines here and there than overall cut scenes. They actually included the Cornelius/Voltemar (?) and Reynaldo scenes, which I've never seen before! All of the actors are great, tho I think Horatio is a bit too old to be a school-chum of Hamlet's. And Mark Rylance as Hamlet is fabulous! There are 3 girls down front in the standing area who are drooling on his every word and man, I know just how they feel. If Liev Schreiber was doing his Hamlet here, I'd be paying 5 pounds to come stand front and center every night. Can't wait for the next act. Surprising how many people around my age are here after work, on dates etc. There are so many people down there standing that are really into it, and I know I would be too, if I lived here.

Love London. Must convince Village Ventures to open an office here. Second intermission (after "Do it England, for like the hectic in my blood he rages...", which is where they broke the Public Theatre's version when I saw it (for the only intermission in that version!). Mark Rylance is really really good! First Hamlet I've seen that really regrets the death of Polonious, very emotional. Glad they put in the Cornelius etc. scenes, as they really show the passage of time. Without them you have you idea except for the "twice two months" etc. It's really great. A bit chilly tho, as we are outside and up top. And we're near the thatched roof. Speaking of, they use real cannon in some of the scenes, remindming me that the original Globe burnt down when cannon in Henry VIII (?) struck the thatch. One more act to go!

Can't believe it! They cut the "How all occasions do inform against me" monologue! No! Loved the graveyard scene, had tears in my eyes. Excellent. Energetic duel and final scenes, the energy was up up up. Great curtain call - jig w/ skulls on sticks, mocking death or what have you. Favorite line from the peanut gallery: (onstage): "Here comes young Fortinbras etc. to claim the lands" (audience member): "Who's Fortinbras?" Now, you know, if they hadn't cut that last monologue, they might have gotten it. That's my only gripe. Nice foppish Osric, and they did the verbal jesting between Osric and Hamlet so well!

Overall, just as good as the Public's version, except for that cut, and seeing it done here was so so so amazing. So glad we went. Want to see it again. Now.

Making another stab at Lush tomorrow AM, then meeting Tim to go to the Dome. If time permits, I may catch a matinee, but not sure of what just yet.

Am writing this on the tube platform post-Hamlet. Tall guy, face unnoticed, just walked past and said, "That's a lovely stance you've got there." Oh lord. We need better accents at home. Or I need to be here more often. Better quality of good looking men in suits here,too. And greater percentage of dark hair/blue eyes that I so love.

7/1/00
Doesn't feel like July at all. Feels like typical London - cool and rainy today. Couldn't drag my ass out of bed this morning, so I am running late to meet Tim. Also forgot tape recorder in hotel, so I have to see how much time we have to get it before La Cava. Probably no big loss if I don't tape it, but still... must find caffeine, too.

Also missed complimentary breakfast by oversleeping, but no big loss, as it was very disappointing yesterday. In fact, the hotel overall is very disappointing. Budget, yes, but that's about all that's good about it. Next time - hotel with more than one towel, alarm clock or dependable wakeup service, and decent breakfast. That's all I'm asking for. Note to self, when insurance card comes, go to podiatrist. My heel is aching inside and doesn't feel right. Still can't wear real shoes and it's been 5 months. So yeah, I'm still wearing sandals, and this is definitely a walking trip.

I really need to move here one of these days. Dave was talking about moving to Paris to do theatre, and it's tempting to say, "Take me with you."

The Dome. OK, it's way too crowded in here. I hate crowds. And lines. The dome is like a cross between a museum and an amusement park, with exhibits all over. Some really cool stuff but way too busy and noisy. I'd enjoy it a lot more if it were less crowded. Everyone working here is very overfriendly. I sense a lot of unemployed actors here (hey, maybe the cast of JCS can come work here, ha ha). Going now to watch the Millenium show, some sort of gymnastic air show. Neat.

Good show, still too crowded for me. Apparently it is USA day here at the Dome, so I got a picture of the White House and some postcards from Chicago. Oh, the irony. Anyway. I have this urge to go home and clean the tub and soak in it. All of my joints are aching. Never realized that sitting on the wooden benches at the Globe would wreak havoc on my knees!

La Cava - well, not the greatest thing I've seen but not horrible. The music was pretty and well sung, but seemed to drag along at times. Not much chemistry between the two leads. The girl's father reminded me of Russell Crowe (sexy sexy man) in Gladiator, sans animal pelt. Lovely set, complete with turntable ala Les Mis and destruction by fire ala Martin Guerre.

Felt bad for one of the spot ops who was either very shaky or had a bad light. Then felt bad that I was noticing that. Ugh, loud Americans on the tube. I don't really notice tourists at home unless they're standing in my way, but they are all over London. And being summer, it's very crowded everywhere. Must teach Tim to walk through crowds more aggressively.

Went to pub after La Cava, much needed, but I am so tired that I could barely finish my pint. I need to take longer trips or try not to do so much. I'm glad I have a long flight to sleep on tomorrow. But am flying home via Canada, which means I fly for 6 hours, end up in Montreal, and still am not home. Oh well, by this time tomorrow I'll be well on my way.

New ALW show opens in September - maybe when Jen and I do Ireland, we can fly in via London to come see it. Can't be worse that WDTW, after all.

I think Hamlet was the theatre high point of the trip, and not getting killed while crossing the street was the high point overall (always a concern for me here). But maybe I'm getting too used to travelling here - it seems like visiting any other city. Not that I don't love it! Anyway. Tired. Almost to Bayswater, my tube stop, and then the 10-min walk to the World's Smallest Hotel(tm). I would comment that my handwriting is getting worse and worse from being on the train and all, but since I'll be typing all of this up when I get home, it doesn't matter.

Oh, we did make it back to Lush today. And to the hotel to get my tape recorder. Not that I'll be playing La Cava over and over, but you just know that if I had forgotten it, the show would have been the best thing I'd ever seen.

7/2/00
Of course, the day I leave is warm and sunny. Slept til 11, checked out (finished packing first, thankfully I brought a smaller bag inside my carryon, lots of Lush shopping to fill it up - my bags will smell nice now).

Did a quick check of my email from the net.cafe down the street - 88 messages in my personal acct, didn't bother to check work or reply to anything, will do that when I get home. And now, waiting at the tube platform to catch the train back to Heathrow. If the train ever comes, that is. I thought about typing all of this up at the cafe, but that to can wait til I'm home, which should be in about 15 hours, thanks to Priceline schlepping me through Canada.

And here comes a train, but not my line.

Random thoughts. Pepsi better than Coke here. Duty free had better have my shade of MAC lipstick, as I somehow lost my spare tube and have another 20 pounds leftover to spend. Apartment rentals about 50% more $, but if I had my same salary in pounds, I bet I could swing it. Oh, here comes my train - love the digital readouts that tell you how long it is timewise until the next trains. We could use that at home.

SO I had this weird dream last night - I had bought a minivan or something and was driving in NYC. And then I was with a group of people who were trying to defeat some sort of evil force. And I was trying to make a list of who was good and who was evil, and all I kept thinking was "I have to get my cats over to Mom's" - but of course, Pixel and Mimi were just sleeping outside in the snow, as calmly as ever. In the dream, I was writing down everything that had happened, like I'm doing here. And then I went to my old school in NJ, to look for Mr. Beadle, my old tech director, and found someone in the office who claimed to be him, but it wasn't really. And everything I had wanted to tell him - to thank him for encouraging me - it all just seemed insincere and I was embarrassed to be there. So I kept the conversation short and on safer subjects. Very weird dream.

Switched trains at Earl's Court, now on the way to Heathrow. Very bumpy ride. Very messy writing.

I'm glad I have tomorrow off, time to catch up on sleep. Planning to see Gladiator with Dad and get together with Kenny - maybe go to the Planetarium or something. And I should really rent Witches of Eastwick - the movie - since I've never seen it. Heh.

I love the ads in the tube for this allergy eyedrop. They have people dressed as large eyeballs harrassing the passerby, and the caption reads "Irritating Eyes?" - the one I'm looking at has a couple in a cafe and the 2 eyes are shaking marracas (sp?) at them. Very funny.

Almost 1pm, slogging towards the airport. Should get there with plenty of time before my 2.25 flight. I'm glad I don't have to check bags. Or at least I didn't on the way here, but now I have this extra bag so we'll see. I hate checking bags, I like to travel light (an envious trait! a week in one bag!). Tip: Don't pack anything you can't carry around with you. Must find food before the flight - I didn't have breakfast and I'm starting to get hungry.

My plane reading is a "biography" of Pilate that looked interesting. It's fun, because not much is known about him, and a lot of it is supposition and possible scenarios based on other people that lived during his lifetime. A lot of "this MIGHT have happened," or "this is similar to what Pliny wrote in this letter." So not a true biography in any sense, but it paints a good picture of the times.

Note to self - check if easyjet.com flies from London to Dublin or Shannon to prepare for fall in case we decided to travel through London instead of direct to Ireland.

Oh man, can't believe that I didn't pass a single food place on the way through the airport, except for Friday's which had this long line. Grabbed potato chips and a coke at the bookstore, along with new Bridget Jones book (in paperback! Sherry!). Hopefully food will not suck on flight to Montreal, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Oh board plane (window seat! no checked baggage!). Sitting next to budding videographer who is recording everything in sight. Managed to impress guy a few rows up by hurling my bags into the overhead bin (see that note about packing stuff you can carry).

I'm thinking that BJones book is better plane reading than Pilate for some reason.

Gah, 6.5 hours til Canada. Why is is always longer going home? Is Canada that big? Will I be able to sleep? WIll there be food service anytime soon? Will the people in the aisle sit down already so we can take off? OK, I'm ready to go home, can you tell?

2 hours into the flight - so glad we left on time (as opposed to the delays on the way here). Video boy is reading a book on Oliver Stone, and I'm halfway through BJ. Also feeling more nauseus than I've ever felt on a plane - don't know why. Made it through 3 bites of pale nasty chicken and rice dish and a few bites of bread. They're showing some obscure film (which I am obviously not watching).

Next time I fly somewhere, it'd be nice to go to Rekjavik or something. I'm tired of flying over Iceland and not stopping. Also not thrilled with the idea of getting off this plane and still not being home. I love flying, just not all day.

Ha! From Bridget Jones, on visiting Thailand: "Air is closest thing to warm water without being it." If I lived in London I think I'd have issues with the (relatively minor) dampness - I can just imagine a lifetime of aching joints and nasal congestion. Hopefully it'll be drier when we get back to NYC. Hopefully I'll remember where in EWR the bus terminal is, so I don't end up tied up in traffic in a cab again. But I doubt anyone will be on the road as the entire population of NYC is doubtless taking a long weekend for the 4th, except for me, thanks to inability to recognize holidays when planning vacation.

2/3 through BJ book, contemplating invoking my superpower of being able to sleep anywhere, but fear of waking up with stiffer joints is keeping me awake. Instead, I'm slouching with one foot up over the opened tray table and resting on the armrest of the seat ahead of me - hope my feet do not stink - and the other one on the floor, wedged between my jacket and bag.

Ah, instead of recent movie, they're showing "Some Like it Hot". Was that a Walter Matthau movie? Read in the Times while I was checking email that he had died. All I remember is that he was in the "Dennis the Menace" movie that I saw too many times while I was working on the show of the same name at Six Flags in 1993.

Finished BJ book. Almost as funny as the first one, which I now want to reread. Sad thing about being a fast reader is I have to bring more than one book on trips and carry them all over. Unfortunately I never plan on amount of reading time vs. amount of actually-coherent-hotel-time, so I didn't pick up either the Pilate book or the first book of Les Mis, which I also brought. Poor calculation on my part.

The bad part about writing this out by hand before typing... well, there are a few bad points:

Have to pee but do not want to disturb Video Boy who is engrossed in "Some Like it Hot". Also contemplating nap.

And wondering why I put all of these scratchings online instead of keeping a real journal. Blah blah.

Ah, made it to bathroom and back. I wonder why airline bathrooms have sticky floors. I'm sure if I could learn to keep my shoes on, I wouldn't have to wonder that. Similar line of thought, why, in public bathrooms, are the toilet seats in women's bathrooms sometimes... damp? Seems uncomfy to squat... OK, I'll stop that line of thought now.

Bleah - tried to nap but my contortionist skills seem to have disappeared with the onset of old age. Woke up (well, returned self to upright position) for snack (cold turkey and scone!) and to fill out customs forms for my brief stay in Canada. I think it was Oscar Wilde who said, "I have nothing to declare but my genius." And I'm sure the customs agents have heard it all before.

I would very much like to find a masseuse waiting for me at the airport to work the knots out of my neck and shoulders. That's what airports need - a spa for people like me with layovers. I should do relaxing spa-day again soon, I really loved that. Or perhaps I will just sleep when I get home until I feel more alert, and then soak in the tub - that sounds good, too.

I'm taking a wild stab that Montreal is in the same time zone as NYC and therefore it is 3pm EST. I'm going with that thought, because otherwise we should have begun the descent already. But that still means I won't be home for another 6 hours or so - what with the 3 hour (!) layover in Montreal and the flight to EWR and the bus to the city. I'm having a sugar craving and can't wait to get to Montreal and find something to snack on.

I've counted 19 pages of stuff written here already. Other things in the notebook:

OK, back cramp. Strrreeeettttch. I get frustrated with the non-actual-flying party of flying. I wonder how rich and famous I need to be before I can avoid things like traffic and delayed flights and cramped seats.

I also wonder how some women (like that one!) have the knack of being perfectly poised all the time - even while flying. If there's one thing that I am not, it's glamorous. I will never have the perfect hair-clothes-makeup that screams glamour. Especially while flying. Glamour question of the day - will putting on matte powder foundation dry out the oil on my face and stop it from breaking out, or will it block my pores and encourage it breaking out? See? These are the questions I just do not have time for. The answer is, after sitting in this plane all day, anything that makes my face less shiny is going on.

Descent into Montreal. Let me just state again that Canada is huge. And pretty, from the air. I mean, they did give us Celine Dion, but the country looks really nice. And half of the canadians I know are decent people. I just blinded myself by snapping up the window shade. Ow. Clouds = bright.

Oh, what a pain to leave Canada! Clear Canadian customs, check in to get gate info, fill out American customs and immigration forms, clear American customs, go through some FAA gate, find original boarding pass proving I am not originating my journey in Canada to avoid tax, and finally! Am having a soda and cigarette in the airport bar before finding sugar to fulfill craving. I tried to switch to the earlier flight into LGA, but no luck. SO I fly out at 7.15 (it's 5pm now) and get to EWR at 8.41 or so. I can't remember if there's a bus right to the WTC or if I'll have to go to Port Authority and take the subway home.

Canada is fun. I can pay for things in American dollars and get change back in Canadian. Can't wait to get home and clean the change out of my bag.

Well, check that. Flight delayed for unknown reason until 8.15. Aaah. I wish I had Sherry's phone# - I'd call and make her come to the airort ;-) I guess I'm just not having luck with the NY-Canada parts of this trip. Grr. Time to dive into the Pilate book - it's really a fun read.

Damn! Another announcement - delay is due to aircraft servicing and pushed back to 9.45! OK, I'm officially annoyed. Called 411 to find Sherry's number but as she just moved she isn't listed. What's the use of having an evil twin in Canada if I can't find her!

10pm. And no other flights into any of the NY area airports. Grr. Either wait and see if this flight is going to go, or if we have to wait and fly tomorrow.... ok, they found a pilot and we'll fly at 10.

Or 10.30. Delayed again. Spent a few hours in the airport bar with the other delayed passengers. They accepted our food vouchers, which is nice. Good time had by all. Met a very cool IT integrations woman who lives in NJ, a guy in fiber optics, a guy from Montreal and 2 guys from Trenton. Hit it off with the IT woman, Anne, she used to do theatre stuff and wants to see JCS of all things so we may go together. Hope I can read this to type it in as am 3 glasses of red wine down. If they delay the flight again I'll be sleeping here. It's 9.30pm now.

From hearing my co-passengers talk of Montreal, I'll have to visit someday. Sounds like a good city. And the airport sure is nice! The bartender kept the bar open for us (we tipped well) and now all we can do is wait to see if we leave on time. Very tired...

Finally! Took off at 10.30, landed at EWR at 11.30. Air Canada gave everyone car vouchers so I am in a cab on the way home now.

Spent a great time in bar... can't wait to get home finally and sleep. I had planned to type this all in tonight but that's when I thought I was getting home at 9. Long trip home and am exhausted. I've been awake for about 24 hours if I'm counting right and all I want to do is fall into my own bed with the kitties and sleep for another 24. And worry about deciphering this tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

-catherine

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