Friday, February 29, 2008

February 29th

There haven't been many of these in my life - only 10. My friend Kim was born on February 29, 1976. Technically, she's only 8 years old (that must feel strange). So looking back on my life, I was curious what I did on the years February 29th came around. Admittedly, it's a short list:

2004 - The Oscars were on this night. I returned back to DC from a weekend at my parent's place. Had dinner at Lauriol Plaza with Ex#4, then watched the Academy Awards at home.

2000 - Went to Baltimore to assist on a photo shoot for Guilford Pharmaceuticals's annual report. Came back to DC to attend the local AIGA seminar at the Mayflower Hotel.

1996 - Worked at my Gap store from 12:30-9:30. Vice President Peter Brooks visited the store. Attended friend Monica's Absolutely Fabulous party. My friend Joey called from New Orleans.

1992 - Classmate Mary's One-Person Show at ShenU. Friend Corey had a party at his house. Afterwards, Ex#2, Matt, Joshua and I drove to Deer Park Lodge to hang out with friends Matt, Jeff and Akili.

1988 - Worked from 9:30-5:00 at Peskin's, then drove to Ex#1's house for the night in Sterling, VA (140 miles).

1984 - Play practice at 7:00 for Senior play Harvey.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Five Dollars

I got an expense check from work for $270. With only one day in town before heading back out again for several days, I decided to just cash the check at my company's bank rather than take a cab to my bank to deposit the check.

So I went to Chase Bank to cash the check. The teller asked me if I had an account with them and I said no. Then she said, "You know there's a $5 charge."

"For cashing a check?"


"For cashing a check drawn on YOUR bank where you can look into the account and see that there is a balance?"


"What's the $5 cover?"

"Well, it doesn't cover anything."

"It's a surcharge?"


"For what?"

"To cash the check."

"Because I don't have an account?"


"So where does the $5 go?"


"Yeah, where does it go? How do you account for it?"

"I don't know that?"

"Pizza party, perhaps?"

"No, sir."

"Can you waive the fee?"

"No, sir."

"Would you if you could?"


"I just think it's ridiculous."

"Yes, sir. Do you want to cash the check?"

"Do I still have to pay $5 to do it?"

"Yes, sir."

"Do I have a choice?"

"You always have a choice."

And with that, I walked out of the bank with my $265.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Splitting Up

The BF and I have reached a new maturity level in our relationship. Tomorrow, we are splitting up. It's been about two months in the making, but the timing just didn't work out for us so we had a conversation and realized that he should go his way and I will go mine. And it was good for us to be able to . . .

. . . wait, what? . . .

No, no. I'm talking about taking separate vacations. You didn't think I meant "breaking up" did you? Silly.

I am going home to visit my family for a few days and The BF is going to visit our friend Matt in Hawaii. I was invited to go to Hawaii too, but I feel like it's time for me to actually spend some quality time with the parental units and the siblings. A lot has happened back home that I feel I need to be home for, and to do this I need to give up a tropical vacation with the man I love. And because he loves me, he understands I need to do this. Like I said - a real maturity in our relationship.

I'll miss him, naturally, and I know I am missing out on a fun experience with him. I am glad he decided to go without me because it would bother me more that he didn't go because of me. Besides, the opportunity will come around again. And really, it doesn't really matter where we go together - he's constant fun.

So for the next few days - aloha!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Old Designers Never Die...

Goil Amornvivat, who introduces himself as “Hi I’m Goil! Like gargoyle!”, was one of my favourite designers on Bravo's lame Top Design (which I hear they are mistakenly bringing back for another series), even if he cracked under pressure. His ideas always struck me as so completely innovative and, for lack of a better term, freakin’ cool.
I’ve also recently spotted Goil on TLC’s Trading Spaces. He really has lasting power in the industry, which I think qualifies him as “fabulous.” I’m not going to lie; if Bravo gave Goil his own show, I would totally watch it.
I'm glad he's landed on television again in a design capacity. As far as I know, he's the only one from the original Top Design that acquired such a deal. And even though this will make me sound like I'm a thug from Jersey, "You go, Goil!"

Friday, February 15, 2008

Project Runway Finalists

So the producers of the show have done it again - rather than narrow the group of 15 or so down to three (as they say they will throughout the run of the show), they've selected 4 finalists. This time, though, Lady Seal says that two of the contenders will have to duke it out before the Big Show at Fashion Week by showing their top three looks to the judges. THEN, the judges will decide who gets to be in the runway show.

Right. Like they would ask someone to put an entire line together and NOT let him show at Fashion Week. Perhaps BRAVO won't air the fourth show on television, but trust - all four will show at Bryant Park.

The contenders: Rami, Christian, Jillian, and Chris.

The three who will be televised: Rami, Christian, and Jillian.

The winner: Rami, third. Christian, second. Jillian, first.

Even though Christian is the most talented, he will get second place, as is the tradition of the show. The most creative people always gets second place: Kara Saun, Daniel and Uli.

Wait two weeks and see if I'm not right. 'Cause I will be. I'm as sure of this as I am sure that Ricky will cry, Jack will camp it up, and Elisa will imbue the upholstery with the energy of the Goddess of Ghindy (God, I can't wait for the reunion show!)


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Forget everything I've ever said about loving The BF. Because it's all been replaced by hate*. Hate - because he has challenged me to Jetman on Facebook. And I have become completely addicted. I came home form work late last night, around 8:45pm (I have those nights sometimes). After walking in the door and making myself a sandwich, I commenced to spending the next 4 hours playing Jetman.

So far, my high score is 721. Impressive, you think, until you see The BF's high score of 3799. Suddenly my 721 is laughable. I can't figure out how in the world he got such a high score!? This game is supposed to be a stress reliever, but it seems to have the opposite effect on me. I need a Xanax after I play a few rounds.

*okay, I don't really hate him, but I'm gonna give him such a pinch when I see him.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Addiction

I'm obsessed with Fiber One Chewy Bars. Simply put, these are, hands down, the BEST bars to hit shelves in as long as I can remember. The nutritionals are more than on target (140 calories, 4g fat and a whopping 9 grams of fiber!), but the taste is what really gets me. They're ooey, gooey, sticky, crunchy and chocolatey. In fact, I think they taste better than any candy bar out there (yes, even you, 3Musketeers). I could probably do without the 10g of sugar in each bar, but with all the other good stuff, it's easy to overlook this one flaw.

And, in case you were wondering, there's no sign of Fiber One cereal (or anything that looks or tastes remotely like it) in this bar. Weird, but I couldn't care less.

Overall Score: 10!!! Run to the market and buy up these bars ASAP. Before I do.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Winter is hitting Chicago hard this year. Last year, the city received 150 complaints about potholes on city streets. This year, so far, the city has received 6,300 complaints. With a snowstorm dropping down every 4 days or so, the City has practically blown through its snow removal budget, having spent $14 million of its $18 million budget.

As of 11:59pm last Friday, Chicago had only 11 minutes of sunlight during the month of February. Yesterday, even though the sun finally came out, the temperature was -4 at 10AM. Factoring in Chicago's famous wind chill factor, the weather, at times, dropped to -28 degrees. The couple of times I've watched "Climbing Mt. Everest"-type shows, I'd listen to the climbers talk about how they were feeling. But it's unbelievable until you actually experience it:

All exposed skin hurts, like it's being stuck with pins.
It hurts to breathe; the cold air constricting your lungs.
Even standing up, it feels like there is a 100lb weight on your chest.
Your eyes water.
The mucus in your nose freezes immediately.
Your mouth goes dry instantly.
You become aware that you blink.
A tee shirt, thermal shirt, sweater, hooded sweatshirt, and pea coat aren't nearly enough.

Just standing at the bus stop this morning made me wonder why anyone would purposely subject himself to this and much, much worse just for fun?

Friday, February 08, 2008

It's A Quiet Thing*

When it all comes true
Just the way you planned,

It's funny but the bells don't ring.

It's a quiet thing.

I always thought when the day came, it would be a momentous experience for me. A big, proud achievement that I would shout from the rooftops that would somehow miraculously prove something to me - even though I have no idea what that "something" would be. But the day came and went, and there was no miraculous revelation.

When you hold the world
In your trembling hand

You think you'd hear a choir sing.

But it's a quiet thing.

There was no crossing days out on the calendar; no looming countdown; no huge celebration. But one day, sometime back in early to mid-December, some day that I haven't even really pinpointed yet, The BF became the longest relationship of my life. And it never even occurred to me.

There are no exploding fire works.
Where's the roaring of the crowd?

Maybe it's the strange new atmosphere

Way up here among the clouds?

And I think - no, I know - it's because this relationship is something completely different than anything I've experienced before in my life. It's the easiest thing I've ever done; it's almost as simple as just being there. So without the fanfare and all the hoopla, comfortable peace came into my life - like it's always been there. Because I just adore him.

But I don't hear the drums.
I don't hear the band.
The sounds I'm told such moments bring. . .

Happiness comes in on tiptoe.
Well, what do you know
It's a quiet thing

A very quiet

*Music: John Kander, Lyrics: Fred Ebb

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Baby News

On Monday, the day after the NY Giants beat the undefeated New England Patriot's in Super Bowl XLII, Pats players Tom Brady and Randy Moss both pulled out of this Sunday's Pro-Bowl game.

Brady's been cited recently as having a sore ankle, but I think the term "sore loser" is more appropriate. No actual reasons were given for either player, but it sure sounds like someone took his toys and stomped home. Message boards all over the internet are filled with people who can see right through this. Brady and Moss are paid to do a job, and because the outcome didn't go their way, they're opting not to do the work their job requires.

Let's see now, if I didn't like the way something was going at work, and then decided that I just didn't want to go to work anymore but still collect my paycheck . . . . . . yeah, that would never happen. But then again, my weekly paycheck isn't $280,000 either. That must be the difference.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This Year In Politics

Last year in politics, the catchphrase that we heard constantly was "retail politics". That was pretty much all you heard about; this year I have yet to hear these words uttered in any campaign. This year, I am actually hearing two new phrases that begin many speeches and harangues given by politicians: "look" and "you know".

"Look" as in "look, this is how it is..." and "you know" as in "you know, he doesn't know what he's talking about". I personally find both of these phrases to be condescending. I don't like them. They also tend to begin to answer a question that was never asked by way of changing the subject or diverting the issue.

I watched Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer on CNN on Sunday morning, and I counted a combined total usage of "look" and "you know" by 4 guest politicians 17 times. Is this something learned in business class, or just something you pick up when you cross the threshold to the Capitol building?

Look, someone needs to stop this habit.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I never thought I would write about something as banal as a cut on my finger, but here it is. I cut my finger, or more specifically, my right index finger, pointer finger, forefinger, digitus secundus, or even digitus II, if you will.

The cut is on the inside of the top knuckle, or more specifically, along the collateral ligament (see how much you're learning?). And for the most part, it's no big deal - except for the fact that I seem to use that particular point on that particular finger for absolutely everything. Normal, everyday tasks come to a halt so I can re-grip: holding a utensil, shaving, brushing my teeth, tying my shoes. Even clicking my computer mouse makes me blanch.

About the only thing my finger is good for right now is pointing, which I couldn't do if I lived in the Ukraine because they consider it a sign of rudeness. So until it heals, I'll just have to do everything with my middle finger - which will probably be cause for another blog entry.

Monday, February 04, 2008

[Not So] Super Monday

Poor Monday.

This must be a difficult year for February 4th. Being a Monday is never easy, but in 2008, being Monday, February 4th must feel particularly inept in the grand scheme of things. Why? Because it's sandwiched between Super Sunday's Super Bowl and Super Tuesday's 20 primary elections - two huge days in American history. To make matters even worse, these are not the only important days in the week. Here's the breakdown:
  • Friday, February 1st - Start of Black History Month in US; LGBT History Month in the UK.
  • Saturday, February 2nd - National Groundhog Day
  • Sunday, February 3rd - Super Bowl Sunday
  • Monday, February 4th - ...
  • Tuesday, February 5th - Super Tuesday elections
  • Wednesday February 6th - Ash Wednesday
  • Thursday, February 7th - Chinese New Year
Almost every day in a week is "super" for some reason. But nothing will come of Monday. It is a lull in the proverbial storm. But I guess it's all in the way you look at it. For perhaps it's the fact that nothing happening on Monday could be what actually makes it special.

Because, after all, when everything is super, then nothing is.