APRIL 2004
Thursday, April 29, 2004
The other day at work, I saw these two people in my building, and they were dancing. Not dancing as in, this is my favorite song and I am totally grooving. There wasn't even any music playing, but they were dancing like they were really into each other, and they were looking at each other very intently, and they were definitely having a moment. My first thought was something like, why don't I ever have moments like that? And then I realized that I am incapable of having moments like that, because if someone were to try and dance with me like that with no music playing, my immediate response would be, "What the fuck are you doing?"

On a somewhat related topic, the following was my response to a friend of mine earlier today after he told me that I can be a little harsh sometimes: "I am very charming. Now shut the fuck up."

Note to self: Don't be so harsh.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
I drove up to Grand Rapids for dinner with some friends tonight. One of my friends had an Italian phrasebook because she's practicing for an upcoming trip to Italy, and on the hour-long ride up, she read us some phrases in Italian. The book had everything divided up into categories: things like transportation, ordering in a restaurant, and hotel conversation. But the section that we were most interested in, of course, was the one titled "Sex." So we laughed as my friend said, in Italian, things like, "Do you have a condom?," "Let's go to bed," and "Please touch me there." There was the basic stuff that you might expect, but there were a few phrases in there that were just odd. The one that was especially funny was, "I would rather not join in, but I would like to watch." It made me wonder how Italians see Americans. I asked my friend if this was a phrasebook for single and loose women, but she assured me it wasn't.

It also reminded me that I've never been to Italy, even though I took four semesters of Italian and really want a Vespa.

Monday, April 26, 2004
Today was rather ordinary aside from the following two things: 1. I sold some film that I won about a month ago; 2. I made a kickass smoothie.

Sunday, April 25, 2004
Last night I was at my friend's house, and her six year old daughter came into the room we were in wearing silk pajamas. I made some comment about her thinking she was Hugh Hefner (six year olds do not get that joke, by the way), and my friend said something about how all little girls should have silk pajamas. So then I started feeling bad, because I don't think I've ever had silk pajamas ever, let alone when I was little. But then I remembered that I bought some silk pajama bottoms a few months ago and had been waiting until it wasn't so cold in my place to wear them. So I went home and put on my silk pajama pants and felt better about myself.

Other things I did this weekend, in no particular order:

  • Made tikka masala shrimp and broccoli. Was good.
  • On a whim, bought a book on instructional design. You know: the design of instruction manuals and those little graphics that show you how to use things. What kinds of things? All kinds of things! Typewriters, cup-o-noodles, condoms, you name it. Apparently, this is an art. Who knew?
  • Worked out three times! (Go me!)
  • Taught aforementioned six year old how to head a soccer ball.
  • Fed the ducks.
  • Fell asleep at 10:30 pm watching Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters after I wore myself out being pissed off because everyone on the show kept mispronouncing Alton Brown's name. (That name is to be said only with respect. Respect!)
  • Showed my Buddhist friend/computer client how to burn a DVD.
Friday, April 23, 2004
The first time I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I fell asleep. Not because it was a bad movie, you understand, but because I went to a late show on a busy weekend and just couldn't keep my eyes open. So last night I went to see it again before it was yanked from theatres, and I'm very glad I did, because it was beautiful. Jim Carey was excellent and convincing, and I didn't even mind Kate Winslett, and the writing was really good, and Michel Gondry is just brilliant.

I think it was good for me to see it again, because I've kind of been in an antisocial funk all week, and the story kind of fed into that, and it got me thinking about some things that I think I'd like to forget and if I really want to forget them. I think what didn't get worked into the storyline of the movie is how bad feelings, and therefore memories, of people and places and things tend to soften over time. At the time something hurtful is happening, the last thing I want to do is think about it, but with a little distance, it's never as bad, and it's usually a good "learning experience." If you permanently forget all the jerks you've dated in the past, for example, you never learn not to date jerks. (Some might say that certain people just attract jerks, but that's another story.) But still, by not bringing this up, it maybe emphasized just how much it sucks to have such immediate pain. In any case, good movie.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004
I'm excited for summer to hurry up and get here because I'll be taking two big trips. My first trip is a road trip to Atlanta and south Florida (aka "Derty Tour 04") to visit my friend Chris from college and to see my family and take care of some family stuff. My second trip is to Arizona and Vegas (Vegas!). I have never been to the southwest, and I'm very excited to go. But I have to fly down for that one, and I'm not exactly looking forward to that part.

I have this unhealthy fear of flying. Actually, if you ask me, it's very healthy. I don't see anything right or natural about hurtling human bodies at 700 miles per hour through the atmosphere at 30,000 feet. The human body is not designed to move at 700 miles per hour, nor is it really designed to exist at that altitude. I'm all for technological advances and ease of travel, but flying just makes me uncomfortable.

Last night I finally booked my flights. I have a tendency to put off booking flights because that only confirms that I'll be on a plane in the foreseeable future. I had to do it, and I got a really good deal, but booking a flight for me is time consuming. Yes, I know that travel websites have made the whole process easier, but it doesn't work that way for me. First I find the flights that will fit my schedule and see what airline they're on. AirTran is out, as are any other airlines that I just have a bad feeling about, rational or not. Then I look at the type of aircraft that will be flying each flight. DC9s? Hate them. They're old and rickety. A320s? I once saw this documentary about how it took Airbus like a dozen times before they got the autopilot mechanism right, and how that model has had a number of severe diving and climbing incidents, so that's out. 727s? No thanks -- nothing from the 70s. And so on. I also look at the accident reports for each plane model, find out where the planes are made (did you know that those new commuter Embraer Jets are made in Brazil?), and see how many of that particular model are in the fleets of commercial airlines. It's mentally exhausting, and it doesn't make me feel any better about the process, but see, these are the games I have to play with myself.

So yeah, I got tickets on ATA, and they weren't too much, and I had my brother confirm that ATA was indeed a good airline and that the planes were nice and new and didn't look like they were repainted Eastern jets. (I had to wait for him to tell me this before I booked the flight.) I know that this is all sort of crazy, and that I probably should get some sort of counseling, but really, I don't think it's all that bad. It's not like I absolutely won't get on a plane, and I don't have seizures during take off, and I don't get my drug rep friends to give me Xanax samples to take before boarding, and I certainly don't drink on the flight. I tried that once, and instead of being just scared, I was drunk and scared, which was somehow worse. I always get through it, and it's never as bad as I think it will be, and I think the anticipation is probably the worst part. But I hate flying and avoid it where I can -- hence all the driving home to New York instead of just hopping one of those Brazilian Embraers. Still, when I do fly, there always seems to be a nice person sitting near me on the plane who is willing to hold my hand or tell me that everything's okay or distract me with stories. And then I get to wherever it is I'm going, and I always think, oh, that wasn't so bad, but then the return trip is all turbulent and I get home and feel glad that I don't have to fly again for a little while.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Tuesdays are usually really long days for me. I have to be at work at 7:30 in the morning, and we have a Tuesday night class that runs until just before 9. By the end of the day, I'm pretty exhausted and kind of scattered. So today as I was leaving, I closed the door and then couldn't find my keys and thought that I had locked my keys inside the lab. So I called after the guy I work with, who himself has a full time job outside of teaching and only works late on Tuesdays, and he came back down to unlock the room for me. We both looked for my keys for a few minutes and couldn't find them. Then I realized I had them in my pocket the whole time. Boy, I can be really dumb!

It reminded me of the time when I looked all over my apartment for my glasses and then realized I was wearing them.

Monday, April 19, 2004
Very cranky. Not much to say today, I guess. I even let my writing class go after 45 minutes. I wish I had a big clawfoot tub so I could take a bubble bath.

Sunday, April 18, 2004
Kill Bill Volume Two was unbelievable -- easily one of the best movies I've ever seen. It truly is just classic in every aspect. It tied everything together from the first movie, and the story was perfect. David Carradine was brilliant, and I'm surprisingly into all of the cheesy kung-fu-type stuff. The borrowing from various genres was also really well done. And, Tarrantino managed to pull off about two minutes of nothing but audio with a black screen. Two whole minutes of nothing but listening, and it worked beautifully. I don't know what else I can say about it, except that I'm going to see it again very soon. There's been talk about a volume three, and even though I think one and two complete the story, a third volume about the Bride's motivation and her relationship with Bill wouldn't be bad. As long as Tarrantino doesn't Godfather 3 it. Please, Q: don't go casting any family members. Besides, Uma kicks butt.

Unfortunately, when I went to see the movie, there was something wrong with the projector, and it had this weird tremor the entire time that made the frame shake slightly. And the projectionist framed up the last reel all wrong so that the top/bottom line was through the center of the frame. Very annoying, but my friend and I complained afterwards and got two free passes each (which I will use to see Kill Bill again, I'm sure).

Friday, April 16, 2004
Last night I had two really strange dreams, both involving unusual modes of transportation. In the first dream, I was taking the Concorde to Paris. I've never been to Paris, or on the Concorde, but no matter. In my dream, the speed of the flight, along with my knowledge of the fact that the Concordes have been grounded, along with my very real fear of flying, caused me to have a massive anxiety attack in the aisle of the plane, and I was shaking and sweating and all around miserable. I don't usually have anxiety attacks, and I woke up a little freaked out. I went back to sleep and dreamed that I had a Segway, but I couldn't balance it and kept falling off and landing on my face. What does it all mean? I have no idea. I don't know all that much about dream interpretation, and from what I do know, when people have dreams about transportation, there's usually a train involved. Somehow that doesn't seem the same as falling off some newfangled upright scooter.

Thursday, April 15, 2004
Finally, a nice and warm day! In honor of the much-anticipated season, I have a written a rhyming couplet (non-heroic type):

Winter is over! How do you know?
Look down, silly. I painted my toes.

Just got back from seeing The Ladykillers, and it was really mediocre. It's good to see Tom Hanks doing comedy instead of that overly-dramatic Green Mile stuff, but it was no Money Pit (no I'm not kidding). Tomorrow, though, will be spectacular because I am going to the 11 o'clock of Kill Bill Volume II. That's 11 AM, player. I have to go pop Volume 1 in the DVD spinner now to make sure I remember all the finer points of the story and enjoy Volume II as much as possible.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004
A few months ago, you may remember, I interviewed fellow Ramapo High School victim Andrea (aka "Walnuts") over at Voices from the Balcony. Today, the tables are turned, and 'Nuts has come up with a list of questions for me. So here we go.

So Amy, although it was a few years apart, you and I went to the same high school and thus have the same mascot -- a gryphon. I was never fond of having a mythological creature as my mascot. How do you feel on the subject, and what would be your personal mascot?
Actually, I always thought it was cool that our mascot was a gryphon. All those other schools had either stupid animals (junior high was a panther, remember?) or politically incorrect stuff like Indians. We got a crazy impossible genetic hybrid of a lion and an eagle, and I thought that was neat. But I can tell you that no one ever knew how to pronounce gryphon, and that kind of bothered me. It's like Merv Griffin, not GRY-fohn. I'm not sure what my personal mascot would be. My first thought is to have a cartoony version of me with an abnormally large head, kind of like the old Mets mascot, or the big head setting on NBA Street for PS2. But my head is one of the few parts of my body that's proportioned correctly, so maybe I shouldn't mess with it. Besides, I think seeing a muppet version of me with an abnormally large head would freak me out (not to mention the lasting effects it might have on small children). And I look enough like a muppet already. So I don't know if I'd have a mascot. Maybe some version of the Atlas thing, but really, I might prefer to not have a mascot. I'm sorry, that was lame.

But back to the high school thing, I wasn't bothered so much by our mascot as I was by the throngs of losers we went to school with. How on earth did a pair of classy broads like ourselves end up in pre-calc with such clowns?

While we're on the subject -- do you have a theme song? Can you hum a few bars?
I think my theme song changes every week. This week it is "Don't Worry About It" by N*E*R*D, especially the part where they repeat, "She's bad-bad-badass." I'm singing it right now. Can you hear me? If it doesn't sound good, it's because I can't sing.

Also, you now are an award winning documentary filmmaker. This leads me to two questions. One, like those kooky Fiestaware people, is there something you collect that you would be embarrassed if people found out about? Number two, who chooses your soundtracks? (I'm looking for a new sideproject and it's always been a dream of mine to pick appropriate pop music for a movie.)
Yes, oooh, look at me, the award winning documentary filmmaker. Yeah. Anyway, to answer the first question, the only things I have in quantities that might be considered excessive are the following: books, CDs, shirts, and flip flops. I don't think I collect anything embarrassing. from old boyfriends and boys I liked but never dated? But I don't think that's weird. When people come over, they often are impressed with the amount of computers and computer-related equipment I have, but I'm not embarrassed about that either. ("Wow, you have a lot of computer stuff for a girl.") Nah, I think I throw things out or give them away more than I collect them.

As for the second question, I guess I choose my soundtracks. But in the interest of avoiding copyright violation or paying royalties, I try to use as little pre-recorded pop music as I can. I'm in agreement with you in that I'd love to pick fun pop songs for a movie, but at this point, I don't have the resources to do that. So, I either make my own tracks using Soundtrack or Garage Band, or I ask someone to make them for me. The music for my documentary was created by the lovely and musical-genius-like Jonathan Hughes, who is my good friend from college.

Tell the viewers at home a little bit about how a nice Jewish girl from Rockland County winds up in Kalamazoo via Buffalo (and If I'm not mistaken Toronto?).
Let's see. I left Rockland County after graduation, because as you know, "there's nothing to do in Rockland County" (that is the unofficial county motto, for those who are unfamiliar with the NY area). I went to Buffalo for college. I never lived in Toronto, but I visited lots of times, especially in my pre-21 days, because you can drink in Canada when you're 19. Anyway, after college, I went to Maryland for grad school. After I got my MA, I moved to Kalamazoo. Why? There was a boy involved. Now there is no boy involved. Alas, I am still here. However, the plan is to complete the journey and head back to NewYorkNewYork very soon. So there you have it. And incidentally, you know there's no such thing as a nice Jewish girl.

Do you have an iPod? If so, I want the last 5 songs you listened to on it -- and if one of them is Pat McGee, lie to me.
Hell yes I have an iPod. If Apple makes it, I have it...or want it very badly. I've had an iPod since August 2002, so it's a second generation one, with the touch wheel and the buttons around it rather than on the top. I mostly use it in the car on long trips, and since I just took one, I will give you a rundown of what I listened to the most. It's more than five, and some are whole albums, but anyway:

  • All of Dear Catastrophe Waitress by Belle and Sebastian
  • All of Give Up by The Postal Service
  • All of Downtown by Marshall Crenshaw
  • All of The Black Album by Jay Z
  • All of Fly or Die by N*E*R*D
  • "Bright Future in Sales" by Fountains of Wayne
  • "Fat Mama" by Herbie Hancock
  • "That Thing" by Lauryn Hill
  • "The Way We Make a Broken Heart" by Roseanne Cash
  • "Chicken" by Maceo Parker
  • "Follow Through" by Gavin DeGraw
Sorry, no Pat McGee. Who is that? Is he one of those wuss rock girlymen that my brother listens to? If he is, I can't believe you just asked me if I listen to him. Come on!

Did you just lie to me?
I don't think so. I truly have an iPod, and I truly don't know who Pat McGee is.

Have you read Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Closterman? If yes, talk to me a little about his LA Lakers/Boston Celtics theory of race relations. If no, stop the interview immediately and go out and get the book right now. Go, now. I mean it.
No I haven't read it, but I just now ordered it from Amazon, and I will gladly discuss his writings with you at a future date at the Manhattan sushi bar of your choice. Well, except for that new swanky one where it's $400 to sit down and eat whatever the chef gives you. But any other.

Now for the important questions about life. Pick one or the other and give a minor explanation please:
Dennis Kozlowski or Martha Stewart?

That Kozlowski guy gives me the creeps. Definitely Martha Stewart. Leave her alone already. Who else will teach us how to make marshmallows from scratch? These are important life skills, not so much because you learn how to make marshmallows, but because the bringing together of gelatin and sugar to form a whole really symbolizes the bringing together of people in unity and...oh I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about. But definitely Martha.

Jimmy Fallon or Will Farrell?
Oh, this is a tough one. Will Farrell is funnier, but Jimmy Fallon is dreamier. See, this is bad, because I don't want to base this on looks, but I suppose I will. Okay, Jimmy Fallon, but only because he can play guitar, and I could be his drummer/girlfriend.

Kate Winslet or Kate Hudson?
Bleh, neither. Sorry, that whole Titanic hysteria was blown way out of proportion, and Kate Hudson just looks strung out. I think I just don't like Kates. I'm not a big fan of Cate Blanchett either, although she was pretty good in The Shipping News until her character drove off a bridge. Wait, I take that back -- I think Katie Couric is kind of cool. Does that count?

Planner or Palm Pilot?
Planner/calendar, but my schedule is mostly in my head. I have a pretty good memory, so that method usually works well for me. I sometimes use iCal, but mostly it's either my brain or a regular ol' calendar and a marker. Enough with the Palm Pilots already. Oooh, oooh, let me get my stylus out. Just stop tapping on that thing and write like a person.

The Apprentice or The Bachelor?
I was sick of Donald Trump by the time I was 12. I'm not a huge fan of The Bachelor, but given the choice, I'll take the latter. I didn't find any of the producers' choices of men all that appealing (Bob? Please), but have you seen this new Giants quarterback guy that they have on there this season? He's Bacheloriffic.

Road Rules or Real World?
Real World. On Road Rules, they have to live in a camper. I do not camp. People from Rockland County do not camp. You know that.

Rocky Road or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough?
Rocky Road, because I have a chocolate addiction problem, and there's not nearly enough chocolate in the chocolate chip cookie dough for me.

And last but not least, Evan or Randy?
(Note: Andrea is referring to my foppish younger identical twin brothers.) Dude, my mom reads this (and she still calls them "the boys," by the way -- isn't that funny?). I can't answer that! I will say that Randy has significantly better taste in music and is more industrious, but Evan can do all that cool chiropractic stuff to my back, even though I laugh the whole time he's doing it, because he's my little brother and it's weird to have him put a knee in my abdomen and crack my spine. And Evan came with me when my documentary was in a film festival a few weeks ago, but he lives in Chicago and is geographically closer. Randy did buy me lunch last week and let me stay at his apartment for two days, though. Okay, they are equally dorky and cool.

And there you have it. Big ups/props/whoop-whoops to 'Nuts for coming up with the questions.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Can't you see it? These signs pointing toward what is now New York's premiere observation deck are all over midtown. It might seem strange at first: how the hell can you miss the tallest building in the city? But when you realize that there are tall buildings four to a city block for a mile in each direction, they all start to look the same, and even when you look up, the height kind of collapses on itself and it's hard to tell which one is the tallest. When I was three or four, my grandfather stood with me right in front of the Empire State Building and told me to look up, and I clearly remember being unimpressed. When you see so many tall buildings, what's another? And, I think when I was three or four, I was more concerned with the guy selling pretzels on the corner than I was with some tall building. Yeah, yeah, the building's tall, but those pretzels are the size of steering wheels!

For some reason, these signs remind me of the part in The Dharma Bums when Smith is having anxiety about how he's going to get off a really high peak, and then realizes that it's impossible to fall off mountains you fool. I'm not sure why it reminds me of that -- maybe because in a way they both point out the obvious -- but that's what I was thinking about when I snapped this picture.

In completely other news, I got my tax returns back from my accountant, and I'm actually getting a nice refund! After all of my 1099s last year, I was concerned that I would owe a lot, and I had been putting money aside for the past six months in anticipation of this, but now I don't have to pay anything! Oh this totally kicks ass. Who wants ice cream?

Monday, April 12, 2004
Showing the love. In the '70s, I remember seeing the I heart NY logo mostly on shopping bags. I'm sure it was on other things, but for whatever reason, I remember big loud crinkly shopping bags with stiff twine handles bearing this logo. And I remember seeing them mostly at my grandparents' house. We'd go over there for dinner when I was really little, this was maybe before my brothers were born or maybe after, and they'd send us home with some extra cake and some magazines for my mom that my grandma was finished with and maybe a deck of cards, and they'd put all of this stuff in a big I heart NY shopping bag, and we'd go. I don't know where my grandma got those bags, but I remember she had them. And in my memory, the logo wasn't on anything else. I'm sure it was on tshirts and coffee mugs, but I don't know that I saw them.

I don't really know that people loved New York in the '70s. I'm sure they loved the idea of New York as a big exciting city, and if you could make it there you could make it anywhere, and if you walked down the street at exactly the right time, a Broadway producer would cast you as the lead in the new play at the Wintergarden. But in reality, New York was a little scarier than that. Before the city got Giulianified (there's now an Applebee's in Times Square), there were strip clubs and porn theatres and cocaine and that whole Son of Sam thing, and it was just dirty, and in the middle of it all were John and Yoko flitting around telling everyone that they loved them. Super.

But since the World Trade Center got knocked down, the I heart NY logo is everywhere. Sure, it was there before, and maybe I'm just more aware of it now, but it seems like you can't walk in the city without tripping over something with I heart NY on it and falling into a mountain of more I heart NY merch. The tshirts are four for ten in Times Square, but you can also get dinnerware and stuffed animals and shot glasses and cell phone covers and berets and knee socks and condoms and those one-piece baby things and neon signs and those beach paddleball sets and towels and bongs and slippers -- all with the I heart NY logo on them. I've only bought the tshirts, mostly for people who get my mail when I'm out of town and people who, when they learn I'm going to New York, ask me to bring them back something. I have an I heart NY shirt, but I don't even wear it, because I feel like it makes me look like I'm not from there.

So anyway, the picture, as you might have guessed, is from one of those touristy gift shops in Times Square. They're in every other store front among the ABC and MTV studios, Tad's Steaks, the tkts booth, and frickin' Applebee's, and you can buy all of the aforementioned things for just slightly more than it cost to have some poor kid in Uraguay make them. Oddly enough, they put your purchase in a plain, unmarked plastic grocery-type bag.

Sunday, April 11, 2004
Mighty indeed. Another installment in the fairly infrequent series of interviews with myself. (Ahem.)

So you're back from New York?
Yes. Drove back yesterday. Made it in 11 hours. Not too shabby. A little tired still. Short sentences are easiest.

Stop being silly. What's this picture over here? It looks a little familiar.
That's from under the Atlas across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral. I use a high-contrast image of the same statue taken head-on as the logo for this page. It's one of my favorite things in New York.

So what are you saying, exactly? That you carry the weight of the world on your back?
No no no. It's kind of like a reminder for me. Like, if I think I have too much to handle, here's some guy carrying the earth around. What I'm doing can't possibly be that heavy.

That's fair. So those mojitos from the other night sound pretty good.
Yeah. I probably shouldn't be updating the site while I'm drunk, but my judgment was a little impaired, so there it is. But it was fun, even if I was a little hung over the next day.

If you can't be hung over on spring break, then I don't know when you can be hung over.
I completely agree.

Yes. Well. Where were we? Oh right, New York. Did anything else exciting happen?
Nah, not really.

No Broadway shows, no celebrity sightings, no weird only-in-New-York moments?
No, no, and no. Sorry to disappoint. I did have a fun lunch with my brother and his co-worker Lauren, who is very cool. She even reads the site. We had Turkish food, which seems to be the "it" food of the moment. It was really good, but it's no Asian fusion.

Asian fusion is quite tasty.
You're telling me.

As a matter of fact, I am telling you.
What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Sorry. I'm tired. I was in the car with you all day yesterday.
You're telling me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004
After a long and weird day, I met up with my brother and a friend from college at this tapas bar, and my brother's fraternity brother was managing tonight, and he totally hooked us up with mojitos, and mojitos are really good! A mojito tastes like minty lemonade, but there's actually rum in it, but you can't taste the rum, and you drink one and you're like, hey, there's no alcohol in here, so I can have another, but halfway through another you're like, whoa, there is alcohol in here, and I'm a little drunk! Anyway, the tapas were good, especially the escabeche. I have no idea what escabeche is, but it had shrimp and olives and some plaintain mushy stuff and I'd get it again.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004
Of all the cool things about New York City, perhaps the coolest is that there are hundreds of wireless routers pushing out internet signals, and most of them are not password protected. So right now, I get to sit in my brother's living room with my iBook on his comfortable but weird-smelling couch with the Mets game on cable and use some poor sap's wifi for free. And the Mets are winning! Does is get any better?

The trip home is going well. So far I went shopping with said brother for fun new spring clothes (mostly in shades of green, for whatever reason), saw lots of family members, and made some kickass matzoball soup for all of them. Grandma would indeed be proud.

Friday, April 2, 2004
Finally finally finally it's spring break and I get to go home for a week. Plans include seeing every single family member within the metropolitan area, rockin' around in NYC, a visit up to a cool sprawling sculpture park if the weather holds out, and eating decent pizza, knishes, and Italian ices even though it's Passover and mom won't approve (hi mom!). I do have some kosher for Passover candy that I'm bringing home, so maybe that will keep everything cool. I bought it from the kid across the street. I felt bad, because we're really the only two Jewish households in the neighborhood, and if I didn't buy any candy from him, no one would have. Yes, $9 is a lot for a bag of bridge mix, but it made the kid happy, and besides, I like bridge mix. Anyway, I'm getting off track. Gone for a week, updates when I can find wifi spots, email access throughout, photos when I get back. Spring break!

Thursday, April 1, 2004
A new month, a new page, and no work for over a week! More than anything, I'm relieved that March is over. April may be the cruelest month, but March was by far the busiest. It was so busy, in fact, that I completely neglected my annual tradition of March Makeover. It's kind of like March Madness, except there's no basketball, and no betting at the office, and no upsets...okay, so it's nothing like March Madness. No, March Makeover is kind of like my New Year's resolution to eat better, work out more regularly, and just be better all around, except it's much easier for me to do it when I know I'll be wearing a bathing suit in the foreseeable future. But this March was kind of nasty and I had all kinds of stuff to do, and I probably drove everyone around me nuts trying to do it all, but now it's over and I can focus on all of the aforementioned Oprah-ish stuff.

So, instead of March Makeover, 2004's self-improvement program will be April Adjustment. Giving it a cute alliterative name helps me remember that I'm supposed to be doing it. As part of April Adjustment, I plan to exercise at least four times a week, stop eating deep fried stuff, exfoliate well (my face is still recovering from the stress hives of March), get plenty of sleep, and respond to anything that pisses me off with a convincing, "That's cool." Truly, Oprah would be proud of me. If I were on her show talking about this, she would probably call me sistafriend and tell me to go on with my bad self. And I'd tell her that she knows I will, and after we were done taping we'd go to a very classy bar and get Ketel One cosmopolitans and talk about Pilates and she'd point out attractive eligible men for me.

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