Friday, August 31, 2007

Remote Post: on the highway

It's nice to be here, in the back seat, my stepfather driving west on
836. My mom is asking me about Chevy's, the Mexican restaurant we
just passed, and then we remenisced about El Torito, the long gone
Mexican joint my parents and their friends used to go to, me in tow
looking forward to the chips and salsa, wondering if I'd be allowed to
order a shirley temple.

I like knowing what road I'm on, where it leads to, where I'm going. I
love the familiarity of this place.

I'm starved and we're going to hit Pollo Tropical (chicken on the
grill!), my favorite fast food joint for some rice, black beans, yuca
and plantano maduros. Nothing like having dinner at midnight.


Sent from my iPhone

Remote Post: Delays

Right now I'm sitting in a terminal at JFK airport. I'm in gate 35 for
American airlines which isn't my gate but the one heading to Zurich.
There's an interesting mix of people here from various ethnic
backgrounds, most of whom have a vaguely European look about them.
Mostly they are better dressed than the average American traveler.

I'm also here at this gate to take advantage of an outlet to charge my
phone (as I type). It's this little cafe-like table with a pole of
outlets that's now completely full (I'm the only one with a seat
because this is the only chair near it. Mostly mac users with iPods or
laptops). The other reason I'm here is that my flight is delayed for 3
hours due to mechanical problems. Well. At least I'm not spending 3
hours on the plane waiting on the Tarmac.

I had fun at the agent desk whipping out my iPhone and asking them
about Rule 240. (sorry can't add a link here). People oohed and ahhed
not over the phone but at me when I was calmly throwing questions out
about availability on other airlines, flight number for the plane
arriving and in flight time, going on orbitz and letting the agents
know that orbitz was reporting that 5 seats were available on a delta
6:45pm flight. Shit like that.

Yeah, didn't get me anywhere but I had some laughs with fellow
passengers, one of them bellowing "rule 240 in effect" repeatedly. I
should have suggested we all get drinks.

I did walk around the terminal for a bit. It seems newly remodeled.
Where is the section of JFK that has that distinct design?

No hassle with the security theatre. Had I known that it would have
been so easy I would have packed my 4 oz sunblock.

Ok at this point I'm rambling. I'm going to check on my flight.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

you voted...

and by 1 point you suggested that this blog remain anonymous. I'm still not sure what I'll do, but thank you for voting.

I planned on doing a post on my pet peeves but then I forgot and got lazy. And then last week, I planned on doing a post about this Spiegeltent party K. and I went to. Too much time passed on that one. Argh.

I'm going on vacation Friday (to Miami) and hopefully will come back refreshed. I totally need a break.

I will play around with some of the layout and tools now, though.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wanderlust

I have wanderlust in my heart.
Every once in a while I want to quit my job, not renew my lease and
buy an RV and go around the country. Why wait until I am of retirement
age? It would be nice to have the freedom to go anywhere, pick and
choose what state I'm in the mood for and then just drive there.
I'm not talking about a rinkydink motor home either but one of those
class-A bus-like RVs with a nice sized interior. Imagine driving
around the states in that? The kind of motor homes stars have?

Then reality creeps in. First off, isn't the rest of America filled
with republicans and walmart? What exactly am I going to do once I
pull into an RV park? Is it safe, and is it only filled with
retirees? Won't I get bored after a year, which is why the elderly
have RVs because how many years are they going to drive around anyway?
And then, how am I going to pay for gas and food? I guess I could
freelance every once in a while to pay the bills. Plus, I'm afraid of
being attacked by a bear and don't RV folks go to camps and national
parks? I'm quite urban. Oh hey, won't I have to deal with my own
sewage? Ewwwwww.

Seems more and more like a fantasy rather than an implementable plan.
I don't know, but I'm enjoying looking at Winnebago's website.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Picture post: my desk

I'm at work right now playing with my iPhone (after I ate those
chips). Here's a pic of my desk.

Sent from my iPhone

MSG! Yum!

This is an empty bag of Lay's sour cream and onion chips. This is my
third bag this week and I had Monday off. This could easily turn into
an addiction. Why are these so good? Why can't I just eat one? Because
no one can, kid. No one can.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

identity vs. anonymity

I originally set up my blog under my known username (my email address name), but changed it to I'm not a plastic blog. I couldn't decide if I wanted people to know that I was writing this blog. Everything would seem so open and I would be easily be searchable on Google. That can't be good, I thought.

Then I read this article today about a woman who wanted her son's name to be easily searchable on Google, one that was uncommon and visible online. Interesting. Here's a quote from the article:

In the age of Google, being special increasingly requires standing out from the crowd online. Many people aspire for themselves -- or their offspring -- to command prominent placement in the top few links on search engines or social networking sites' member lookup functions.

Here I am in complete anonymity, with a very unusual name and an unusual username and I'm choosing to keep my identity hidden when others are going out of their way to be visible online. Part of me does want to be searchable. I do want an internet history of my thoughts and writings. I do want my friends to easily find me. What am I afraid of?

So, what do you think? I put up a poll to the left. Let me know your thoughts. Please feel free to comment. A lot of you like to send me private emails with your thoughts and while I welcome that, you are also welcomed to interact with me here.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The best school no one has ever heard of

Back in 1992, I received this issue of Sassy magazine that had an article, "The Seven Most Innovative Colleges We Could Find." This is how I found out about Eugene Lang College. The author, Allie Merriam from Fashionista.com, generously took screenshots of the magazine, but I'll retype the blurb on Lang as it's hard on the eyes:


Forget all that collegiate stuff - I want earnest feminist dialogue

Out of all the colleges here, The Lang College of the New School For Social Research is probably the least collegiate in feel, located as it is in a five-story building in New York's bohemian mecca, Greenwich Village. Ther are no sports teams, no extracurricular activities, no all-campus parties and only 400 students. But who cares about all that when you've got so many amazing classes to chose from? I got so jealous looking through the course catalog: "Inventing Reality: What to Believe in What the Media Tells Us," The Shaping of the Modern City," "Anthropological Perspectives on Gender." Tasty. There are majors in Lang - they're called concentrations - but you don't have to take a huge number of classes in a department to fulfill your degree requirement. Also appealing: there are no boring, overcrowded introduction to/"101" classes here - all classes are seminars. This means they're small, reading- and writing-intensive, and very discussion-oriented. "Classes tend to be really inclusive," says Alice, a recent graduate. "In any given literature class, you could get a really good dose of feminism and history too." Often seminar classes go so well that professors and students continue to meet informally long after the class itself has ended. And if you don't want to be taught by a procession of staid old tenured men, Lang is a dream. "I'd guess that 90 percent of my classes were taught by women, so you don't get much of that weird, male-hierarchy stuff," Alice says, "and the teachers all tend to be feminists."


I liked what I read and attended Lang in 1994. It was really the best school no one has every heard of.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

10 Good Reasons You May Not Want to Have Kids

Hilarious list from Dirty Writer...You may or may not have figured this out: They are born knowing nothing. A blank slate. This means that you have years, possibly decades before they have anything insightful or interesting to say...

read more | digg story

Welcome to America

When writer Elena Lappin flew to LA, she dreamed of a sunkissed, laid-back city. But that was before airport officials decided to detain her as a threat to security ...

read more | digg story

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Staying Gold

I know this is a bad thing to say, but I think smoking still looks cool. I know, I know, that’s horrible, and I don’t smoke, never have and never will, but on the right person in the right setting, it can be so bad ass and sexy. I was walking down the street Friday and this guy came out of a store, flipped open an old fashioned lighter, lit his cigarette and leaned back against the brick. It looked so cinematic. I wish I could have that quality sometimes (that quality being considered cool by other people) which Simon Rich captured very well in last week’s New Yorker.

I noticed how my default behavior whenever in a group of people I don’t know is to assume the role of the outcast. Thursday I went out to see one of those outdoor movies in the park that the city does during the summer. I wasn’t very social and to be fair, it seemed like the girls that were there were talking to those that had come with them, so I wasn’t being terribly rude, but I became very aware of my behavior when my friend engaged in conversations with the other girls around us. Her body language was open and inclusive and she would turn her head and make eye contact with me, signaling that I wasn’t being left out. Consciously or not, she exuded inclusiveness and I was struck as to how morose and misanthropic I can be, and how I let a definition of myself from 20 years ago still impact the way I behave today.

Outcast. The word that can sum up my junior and high school experience. The girl with the notebook who sat either in the stairwell alone or in the journalism room to eat lunch. How something that I felt defined me in 1987 can still feel so relevant in my life 20 years later is mind blowing (as is the fact that that was 20 years ago). Yet, here I am, 34 years old and still feeling like an outcast. Once defined by others now I self-define. I’m the one that keeps it alive after all of these years. Now I cultivate this image of myself and being an outcast has become a badge of honor for me, a source of pride. I’ll define myself first, I’ll set myself apart, no, fuck you I’m better than you, I can’t get hurt by you.

I haven’t had a lot of friends. I’ve kept the numbers small and manageable and shied away from accumulating acquaintances. While there’s a lot more to why I do this, my high school experiences of feeling like an outcast is a major factor. I think about the vulnerability of that young girl and how hurt I had been, how I had to build up this armor and keep most at arm’s length and wave only a select few in. I had once compared my friendship style to an exclusive boutique, one where you had to ring a bell and not everyone is allowed in. Look what that says about me. Do I want my friendship style to be a Wal-Mart? No, but I could ease up the barriers of entry a bit and be more open. It doesn’t have to hurt me to the core if someone doesn’t like me or want to be my friend, but I won’t even get to that point if all I do is stand in my metaphorical corner smoking my metaphorical cigarette and pretending like I don’t care about anyone or anything.