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10/31/08
I had a strange dream last night. I was in Australia with my brother Peter. And we were wandering through this incredible apartment building made up of modular blocks. Everything was cube-shaped and primary colors. And we kept getting glimpses of this bridge out the windows. It was arched at the top, and covered in what looked like wispy mesh, reaching up the sky. Then the dream changed and I was in a school that looked like where I work. And I was supposed to proctor an exam, but I kept popping into other rooms because I had a crush on a student, and wanted to help him cheat.

And then I woke up, and now I must become an evil stepsister.

Picked up my last paycheck from the per diem job today. What a relief.

later on 10/30/08
Oh, I am stuffed with pasta. The three options for the unlimited sinfonia de pasta were spaghetti with basil/tomato sauce, fusilli with brocolli and EVOO and garlic, and sweet potato gnocchi with a wild boar ragout. Delicious all. Plus wine, plus dessert. Dad and I practically rolled out of Becco.

I drove in early, anticipating traffic, and of course, there was none. So I had time to run by and have my manicurist do my nails black, for Halloween. They'll match my dress. And after dinner, I stopped at Marie's to drop off the DVD for Jim, but I was so tired from dinner that I just stayed long enough to pee, and then left again. Minor traffic on the bridge after the Holland Tunnel, but after that it was smooth sailing.

And gas? $3.59 a gallon in the city. Guess they didn't get the memo.

The FAN reports that the Yankees may be looking at Manny Ramirez. Keep looking. In fact, look right past him. I couldn't handle that.

10/30/08
Now I'm thinking Cinderella's evil stepsister. Kind of. Because I have a long black evening dress (thanks to Eve's wedding), and I found a cheap tiara and cheap sparkly jewelry at Claire's in the mall. What else does an evil stepsister need?

Gas is $2.39 a gallon. I thought this day would never come. Still costs too much to fill up the car, tho.

OK, off to the city for pasta and such.

10/29/08
Damn you, Brad Lidge! You were so due to blow a save, but NO - you had to go and close it out for the Phillies to win the Series.

I checked with HR, I'm going to do all 3-11 shifts (except for the one 11-7 on my weekend, like I've been doing). That's kind of a relief, it's what I wanted to do. Also put in my vacation time requests for January and March. And asked if I could still do the 11-7 on Thanksgiving (instead of my now-scheduled 3-11) so I can do dinner at Aunt Barbara's. Will find out on Friday, I guess - since I picked up Friday as an overtime day. Gotta find a costume. I'm thinking witch.

Off tomorrow tho, yay.

later on 10/28/08
The weather did not permit - game off! I'm kind of glad, because I had my orientee with me at work, and it might have been awkward to say, "OK, we're all done now, I'm going to sit down and watch the game for a while. Amuse yourself." Actually, it was a nicely uneventful day at work, good times for doing an orientation. And the new nurse is excellent, she'll do fine.

Tacos sure were good.

I'm working tomorrow as an overtime shift, then off til Saturday. I'm going to take Dad out to Becco on Thursday for the delicious pasta (as a late birthday present), and then I'll probably stop by Marie's for a bit. I have a DVD to drop off for Jim Allen.

I signed up for a bunch of overtime shifts in November. When I got back my printed November schedule from HR, it shows 3-11 instead of 11-7 for the alternating Thursdays that I'll be working. The original schedule we discussed had 11-7. I'd really rather do the 3-11, but she had said it wasn't available. Left a voicemail asking her about it, and to let me know so I don't show up at the wrong time!

10/28/08
Um, what is this white sleety crap coming down from the skies?

Go get your free taco at Taco Bell! It's only between 2pm and 6pm, so hurry. Don't let the "snow" fool you.

I got my flu shot yesterday. And surprisingly, I don't feel flu-ish today. My arm is sore, tho. I'm glad I got the pneumonia vaccine last year - this is the time of year that I got pneumonia (twice!). Let's hope it stays far, far away this winter.

Suspended game in the World Series, the rain was just coming down in buckets in Philly last night, and I guess they didn't want to prolong the agony (like on Saturday night, where the game didn't start til 10pm and didn't end til nearly 2am, thanks to the rain). So they're going to finish it tonight, weather permitting. I'll watch at work if I can.

Some of the teams are starting to release their Spring Training schedules. I'm hoping to get to see the Angels, Mariners and/or Cubbies when I'm out in Phoenix. Tickets usually go on sale in January, so I'm just futzing around with tentative plans until then. I really don't have too many thoughts on Phoenix besides seeing the Rent tour, going to Taliesin, and seeing four games or so. Spa day at the resort, I suppose. Tour Bank One Ballpark - sorry, Chase Field. And just relax.

I think it is almost flannel sheets time. Yay!

Somehow, the VCR thinks it's already daylight savings time, and is an hour behind the right time. I'm just going to leave it - since we set the clocks back this coming weekend anyway. It's my last weekend before I change my schedule, which means I go right into my six-days-in-a-row deal next week. It won't be too bad, since I worked six in a row last week, and am doing five in a row this week (doing Wednesday as overtime). And I'm not actually doing the six next week, because I took Wed the 5th off for the opera. And then? A scheduled weekend off! Tesse and I are going to roadtrip to AC and take advantage of a free hotel room at Bally's. And I think I have $25 in free cash waiting for me, they sent a postcard in the mail today.

To quote Bounce, "I love hotels. It makes the towel thing so much easier."

10/26/08
Come on, Tampa. Come ON!

I completely forgot to write about Baltimore. So - Baltimore.

So, Tesse, Brian and I made the trek to Baltimore to see Take Me Out. Oddly enough, it was at the same theatre in Fells Point that Tesse and I saw Parade at several years ago. I wish I could say it was a stellar production, but I found a lot of fault with the direction (mainly the pacing) and a lot of the casting choices. Since I hate it when other people get inanely detailed on topics I don't care about, I won't expound any further.

After the show, we walked to downtown Fells Point in search of crabcakes. We had gotten into town with only about 45 minutes to spare before the show, so there wasn't time for lunch, just a quick snack at the local bodega. We ate dinner at a bar/restaurant right on the water - the crabcakes were - of course - worth the wait. Since it was still reasonably daylight, we walked (and walked and walked) to the Inner Harbor, and then down to Camden Yards, which - altho it was locked up for the offseason - looks just as good empty as it does during the season. Long walk back (I have blisters). I had forgotten that Fells Point and the Inner Harbor are not right next to each other.

I managed to drive the first half hour or so, and then Brian offered to take over. Tesse was dozing in the backseat for most of the trip back (it was a long day, we left at 9am). No traffic at all on the way back to the city, so I dropped Tesse off at her apartment (completely spacing on the fact that I left her CD's and a book I wanted to lend her in the car), dropped Brian at the subway, and drove back to NJ.

Beautiful day for a roadtrip, but a long one.

later on 10/25/08
Yeah, I was close. The signing is at 7pm on the 5th, and it's at the Borders inside the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle.

At least I got the date right. I won't be able to make it - while Melissa and I met on the Rent line, I really do have an aversion to waiting in line (with a bunch of Harry Potter fans), and I'd like to get to the opera on time, since I'm really looking forward to this one. So I told her we'll have to get together some other time.

10/25/08
Holy cow, my friend Melissa Anelli wrote a book about Harry Potter! It's good to make money on your obsessions ;-) She's actually doing a book signing at B&N in Columbus Circle on November 5th. That's the day I'm seeing Doctor Atomic at the Met, so I might be able to swing by - the signing is at 6pm.

10/24/08
I enjoyed Illyria, but not as much as the reading of it that we went to a few years ago. I can't put a finger on why, but I just felt unfulfilled. Too many songs "illuminating character" as opposed to "advancing the plot," perhaps.

The rest of the day was fantastic.

Mom was saying she wanted to find the original Michael Keaton Batman on DVD, but couldn't. Lo and behold, I found it, and it came yesterday. And funny thing, today was the birthday of Bob Kane, the comic strip artist who created the character. So we watched that this afternoon, before I headed in to the city.

No traffic at all. I parked downtown in my usual lot. The attendant knows me - he said, "Sometimes this girl says she'll be back at midnight and she comes in earlier." I guess that's knowing me! I told him that hey, sometimes the Yankee games get rained out and I come back downtown earlier than planned. Had plenty of time to go get my brows done and a manicure. I only managed to scuff two nails (jeez, and I let them dry forever!).

While I was there, a lady from a new hair place came in and handed out discount fliers. She had these really nicely printed postcards for the salon. It said the discount was "for new costumers only." Whoops.

I helped some lady get to the subway, too. She was walking a step behind me on Fulton Street with her other tourist friends, and I heard her say something like, "It has to be around here somewhere. Let's just stop and ask somewhere." So, nosy girl that I am (so true! ask anyone!), I turned and asked what she was looking for. And pointed her to it.

I took the A train up to Chelsea (ran into Marie's pianist Darren on the street, small world moment of the day). Stopped in at Rite-Aid and found a nail polish that's close the the candy-apple red I'm wearing, so I can touch up the smears (or just re-do them all). While I was waiting for Tesse to get out of work, I popped into Dallas BBQ to use their bathroom and enjoy a frosty pina colada (brain freeze). When she called that she was on her way over from work, I walked crosstown to the restaurant we were going to go to. And I could not find it. I called her and said something like, "I'm standing on 10th and 22nd and I just do not see it." So I waited for her to come by the corner and she immediately spotted it, tucked in between two other restaurants.

Tia Pol turned out to be a TINY place (which is why I could not find it), and it is indeed a small gem. It's a tapas bar. We literally sat at the bar because it was so crowded, and oh my, it was delicious. We started out splitting three dishes (the special of the day - zucchini croquettes, potatos in aioli sauce and chorizo sausage), and ended up getting more of the croquettes and dessert, too! We shared the almond cake and the whatever-it-was made from red wine sorbet and Coke. Oh, we were in food heaven, and must go back with more people to order more dishes to share.

The show, as I said, was underwhelming. I texted a friend who had been in the reading, because they completely changed his character, and it didn't work for me at all. I don't know, it just didn't do it for me. Maybe it was the food coma, too!

So, safe and sound back in NJ (no wait for the subway, no traffic at all).

And it was a good hair day, too. Because it's important that I share that with you.

10/23/08
Like they said in Clerks: "I'm not even supposed to BE here today!"

So I went in to work at 2pm, for the Employee Recognition ceremony thing (I was getting my three-year pin). When I was getting ready to leave, my unit manager said, "Wait! Can you stay 3-11?" Apparently one of the nurses had an emergency and had to call out at the last minute. I borrowed a scrub top from the HR woman, who has a stash in her office, and made do with my jeans and comfy shoes. And no makeup or hairspray. No one noticed.

My next paycheck is going to be awesome.

So that made six days in a row. It's a good look at how my new schedule is going to be, because I'll be working the Sat (double)-Sun-Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs in one week when I switch over (and Mon-Tues-Thurs night in the other week). I will definitely not be working tomorrow. Mainly because I'm headed to the city to see Illyria with Tesse. We saw a production of it a few years ago, and really enjoyed it, so we're back for the "revival," as it were. Got to go in early, so I can hit the cheap Korean nails-and-brows place, and then go uptown for tapas and theatre.

I realized today that I have been writing crap on the Internet for fifteen years. Ouch. I've only been archiving the past eight or so, but man, fifteen years. I was reading old entries - I noted in June of 2000 that I bought enough "Happy Daisy" shower gel at Bath and Body Works to last me until 2010. Scary. I just ran out. Should have bought another bottle. Anyway, I used to write down more of the daily irrelevencies, probably because I was less employed and therefore had more free time to do interesting things in! But whatever. Like Sondheim says, "Good times and bum times, I've seen 'em all and my dear, I'm still here."

OK, it's 2am and my paycheck cleared direct deposit, I can rest easy now. Must curl up with blanket-made-of-cats and sleep now.

10/22/08
I'm working 3-11 as overtime today, which is nice. They called this morning and asked if I could come in. Low-stress night.

The guy from Steiner Sports would only meet me halfway on the Jeter pic price. I said, "no thanks, I'll wait and see if you can get a better deal than that." How cool would that be?

Go Rays! I'm going to try and watch parts of the game during my breaks at work.

Remember, when all else fails, give the gift of poultry for the holidays.

10/21/08
Gave notice, feel much better.

I was woken up early by the ringing (er, buzzing) of my phone. Repeatedly. First it was someone looking for "Camilla." Then it was Carnegie Hall, looking for money. Then it was the rep from Steiner Sports (who later sent an email apologizing for waking me up at 10am, and asking if there was anything I had my eye on, because maybe he could work "a better price" - I pointed out the Jeter pic). Then it was for "Camilla" again.

But all of the calls just put me in a cranky mood for work, because I couldn't get back to sleep (and I was up til 4am, so I needed it).

10/20/08
I'll have to give notice tomorrow - the people to whom I need to give notice were both out today. It gave me time to type up a letter of resignation, which is always good.

Went out for drinks (and nachos!) after work with the Filipino crew from work. I'm not used to being the loudest person in the group.

My signed photo of Mariano arrived today - it's already framed and in a place of honor on my wall. Oh, Mo. I wish I could afford the signed pic of Derek Jeter jumping into the stands (from the 7/1/04 game vs. Boston), but jeez, $600? I can live without the Carl Pavano signed baseball, thanks.

Just have to work tomorrow, and then I have three days off. I'm looking forward to two nights of AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPION DEVIL RAYS baseball in the World Series. And then Friday I'm going to the city to see a show with Tesse, and I think stop downtown to get my nails and brows done. They need it. This time, I won't rush out so fast that my nail polish all smears.

10/19/08
Holy shit! The (Devil) Rays are the AL Champions! Never thought I'd write that. And even better than Tampa Bay winning the ALCS? They had to beat Boston to do it. I'll have to make a "Thank You Tampa Bay" banner to bring to Fenway next season. Now I'm really looking forward to the World Series.

I'm quitting the per diem. I've just had enough. Going over tomorrow to talk to HR.

10/17/08
Goddamn freaking Red Sox. Down 7-0 in the seventh, and they come back to win it. That's OK tho, since Tampa Bay is still up three games to two. Come on, Rays.

Worst night ever at the per diem. I don't how long this is going to last.

I've decided on my "farewell to the Stadium" memorabilia: a signed photo of Mariano throwing the last pitch. I ordered it from Steiner Sports yesterday. And no sooner than I clicked "order," and the phone rang. And it was someone at Steiner Sports. I said to the guy, "Wow, that's eerie, since I just ordered something from the website," but the call was not related at all. They were just calling to thank me for past orders and give me a direct line in case there was anything they could help with in the future. Still, eerie timing.

I went to Michael's (the arts and crafts store) to pick up a frame that matches the other ones I have. Why pay $75 to have Steiner frame it, when I can pay $25 and do it myself?

There's a product called Bacon Salt. Seriously.

Can you believe it's been 18 years since the Bay Area quake that interrupted the World Series? (yes, that is how I remember the devastating quake, because I was watching the WS on TV when it happened.)

10/16/08
Happy Anniversary to Jen and Sean and Eve and Mark (and to Aaron Boone). Can you believe how fast time is flying?

While I'm sad that Torre and Manny won't get to dance on Boston's grave in the World Series, I'm happy for the Phillies. Especially since I've actually heard of most of the Phillies and have been to their park a few times. Now my fingers are crossed for Tampa to beat Boston tonight - I'm working the overnight shift at the per diem job, so I have to find a TV that gets TBS, to watch the end of the game. I hate how they start at 8pm during the playoffs.

It still amazes me that I can go to BJ's with the sole intention of buying a case of soda, and walk out $250 poorer. Was going to go to the mall to take advantage of a 20% discount at Bath and Body Works, but the financial damage for the day was too much.

Gas, however, is back under $3/gallon. Not that balanced out the BJ's spending, but still.

I need to get cracking on the leisure-time reading. My to-read pile is piling up next to my bed. I just finished Bobby Murcer's memoir, and am in the middle of Barack Obama's memoir. Both good reads, and I have some fiction lined up for when I'm done with this one.

10/13/08
Monday the 13th. And a full moon. I was the supervisor for the first four hours of the shift, and worked on my regular assignment for the last four. It was good exercise at least, I never sat down until 7pm, and then it was still fairly busy on my unit.

Busy is good, tho - the time flies by.

I completely forgot, tomorrow night is the CPR renewal class. I hope it goes by quickly, because it's scheduled for the middle of the shift. Luckily, at a time when we usually don't have much to do (dinner and the immediate period following).

10/12/08
A long day.

And congrats to my other sister Kati (the other Catherine) on her stupendous, yet-to-be-officially-announced news.

And my biggest decision of the evening is whether to curl up with Barack Obama or Bobby Murcer. Books, people, books.

10/10/08
Today is my three-year anniversary at my full-time job. And I love it there, I really do. It's almost six months now at the per diem, too. Tempus doth fugit.

It's my only day off until Wednesday, so I'm planning to do nothing except veg out on the couch and watch the Phillies/Dodgers and then Red Sox/Rays games on TV.

10/9/08
I survived the long term wing at the per diem - one nurse, three aides, and 66 residents. It was a lot less stressful than I'd anticipated. I had never worked there before, I'm usually on the subacute/rehab side. But it went smoothly. I had an orientee nurse with me, and she did a good job, asked good questions etc. And then this morning, another nurse from my fulltime job was there at the per diem to do orientation. It's a small world.

The oral surgeon's office meant it when they said they would bill my insurance for the anesthesia and send me a refund if the insurance covered it. Today I got a check for $208 from them. Pretty cool. It will go right to Visa. My upcoming vacation stuff is nearly paid off.

later on 10/8/08
My cousin Matt (at Rutgers) attempted to bike from New Brunswick to Matawan for dinner tonight. It's almost bike-able, and I think with better directions it definitely would be. I called when he was two hours late to see if he was under a truck or something, and wound up going down to pick him up about five miles away. Always good to see him.

The food at Rutgers sounds amazing. I should go back to college for the food.

I bought a book that's actually about Harvard, so next time I'm up there, I can actually know what I'm looking at. I have a similar one about Princeton, and yeah, am so lazy that I haven't made it down there, either. But I will. The last time I was down visiting Tesse's folks in Princeton, we walked around the campus a little bit, but that was a few years back. I'd like to get down there again - when it's warmer!

10/8/08
There were plans afoot to have a "goodbye to the Stadium" event on 11/9/08, but according to Mark Feinsand in the Daily News, those plans have been scrapped. Making the last event at the Stadium the game on 9/21/08 that we went to. That's really kind of cool.

I'm working 11-7 at the per diem job tonight and tomorrow night. So of course, it's noon and I'm wide awake. I'll have to squeeze in a nap later.

And no, I am not fasting for Yom Kippur. I have to eat (mainly to stave off headaches and because I have to stay up all night). But if you're fasting, I hope (to quote my friend Graeme) your fast is easy and meaningful.

10/7/08
I was very impressed with Barack Obama in the debate tonight, and decidedly un-impressed with John McCain. Altho, honestly, I didn't think it would be otherwise. I wasn't really undecided, but now my mind is dead-set on Obama. The American Nurses Association feels the same way.

Don't get me started on Sarah Palin. Ugh.

One person I know - well, one person whose website I read - was contacted about his season tickets for the new Stadium. Kind of - the Yankees called to say that they were processing his relocation questionnaire and would be in touch in 4-6 weeks about seating locations. I wonder if they're calling people based on seniority, or alphabetically or what, and when they'll get around to my name! And I wonder when they're going to say anything about selling the actual Stadium seats. I want mine.

10/6/08
I had no idea that American turkeys couldn't reproduce naturally. I wonder how they make turkeys. Butterball is hiding things from us, their factory must be a scary, scary place.

Yes, I've been reading the Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appetit, why do you ask?

10/4/08
They're doing Take Me Out in Fells Point (Baltimore). Right now! This month! Must roadtrip!

10/3/08
Yes, I got up before noon today. Amazing, I know.

My friend Jaime (who lives in Seattle) is in town for a week or so, so we got together for lunch. Went to Charlie Brown's (a NJ institution) in Highland Park. I told him his mother (who just moved there) must be the only non-Jewish person in the town. Highland Park (where Eric and Masha also used to live, also non-Jewish) is known for being an Orthodox haven in central NJ. Anyway, religion aside, we had a great time. We hadn't seen each other in probably 15 years, and hit it right off. I told him to look up Pete in Seattle.

It was errands day, too. Picked up my paycheck from the per diem (oh how I wish they had direct deposit) and took it to the bank, went to the post office, made deviled eggs (they look horrible, I am so not a cook), did some online shopping and vegged out on the couch.

It's getting colder out, which is fantastic. I love this weather, even tho it means I have to layer up in sixteen layers to keep some semblence of warmth. I wish I were the kind of person who had the attitude to wear a full-length mink coat, because I would buy one and wear it all the time. I would probably sleep in it. But I couldn't pull it off, so I can't buy one. Will stick to flannel and fleece.

I just read a terrific book about Shakespeare - a novel - which has some scenes at the Widener Library. it inspired me to dig up another book I had read which is also set at Harvard. Man, if I didn't hate the Sox fans so much, I would move to Boston. It's a beautiful city - excepting, of course, the aforementioned fans.

I don't understand how they do the "green screen" advertisements on the nationally televised games. It's up there with "how do they put the computerized line of scrimmage on the football fields?" Some things are better off unknown.

later on 10/2/08
I got my new schedule - I have my weekends back! Well, my every-other-weekend back! Starting in November, I'll have every other weekend off, plus every Friday and every other Wednesday off. I'm still going to do the doubles on the Saturday that I work, and then I'll work Sun-Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs 3-11 and have a three day weekend. The other week, I just work Mon-Tues 3-11 and Thurs 11-7. I can live with this.

I believe it's important to make up your own holidays. So, Happy 30th Anniversary to Bucky Dent hitting the home run over the Green Monster!

10/2/08
That'll teach me to sleep in. I got an email that I was picked in the ticket lottery for a chance to buy tix for NLDS game 5 (home game 3) in Philly, but when I got to their website, they were of course all sold out.

I called HR - she was able to give me one of the schedules I requested. It's written down at work, so I'll have to swing by and pick it up later.

Mom and I are off the Met tonight, to see La Gioconda, aka the "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" ballet opera. It's very long, so we may not make it to the end. She has to get up early tomorrow to go to Vermont, and I have to sleep late so I can stay up late for another double-header.

10/1/08
One of my short-term residents, who just went home, sent me a really nice "Thank You" card at work. It's the little things that make me love my job. I do wonder, tho, about some of my residents and what they think of me - there are three of them that always tell me, "Good night, and get home safe." Gosh - is it just a nice platitude, or have they heard something about my driving?

My friend Jaime, who I went to high school with (and who lives on the west coast now) is in NJ for the week. We're playing phone tag, but hopefully we can get together and catch up.

Miserable weather last night, it just poured and poured. Thunder, lightning, cats hiding under the bed - you name it.

I have the same two problems with the division series games on TBS that I did last year: the annoying commercials for Frank TV (with the annoying impersonator guy), and Tony Gwynn in the broadcast booth. But on the plus side, John Smoltz was doing analysis during the Phillies/Brewers game, so that made me happy. The scores of the games (and the winners for that matter) are insignificant.

-catherine

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