JUNE 2002

Sunday, June 30, 2002
Spilled some water on the carpet earlier today. I ran down the hall to grab a towel, ran back with it, and tried to blot up the liquid. And then the strangest thing happened: the towel got soaked with the water, but the carpet was completely dry. How ever so very very odd.

Dealing with an icky summer stomach flu. Yech.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002
I caught a few minutes of that American Idol show, and while I think it's mostly crap, it's nice to see Paula Abdul getting some work. That Justin guy on the show reminded me of someone, but I couldn't figure out who. Then it hit me, just after dinner tonight: it's Sideshow Bob!

Long day dealing with slow clients who just can't seem to get their shit together. I'm more amused at it than anything else, probably because they pay me the same whether I'm doing work or just sitting around.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002
Went to see the local baseball team play last night. It's not the majors, not AAA, or even AA. It's the Frontier League, which I think is class A ball. Basically, a step up from high school. This was the second time I've gone to a game. The first time had more errors than a little league match, but last night was decent: high score, and some relatively exciting plays. The ballpark isn't exactly Shea Stadium -- the fans aren't nearly as rabid as they are at big league games, and there's no big screen to watch the instant replays, but they sell all the requisite ballpark food to make it feel somewhat authentic.

I spent the better part of this evening at Kinko's. I had what should have been a ten minute project, and it took over an hour. I don't even want to discuss it, but as I've said in this space before, the employees there are only slightly more competent than lobotomy patients. I so fucking hate that place.

Sunday, June 23, 2002
The tip of the day: Even if your friend has five pounds of shrimp, even if he tells you to eat as much as you want, even if you really really really love shrimp (and all seafood, for that matter), even if you're super hungry because you haven't eaten since breakfast and eating a lot of shrimp sounds like a slammin' idea, it's a good idea to stop eating after a handful. Oof. come my Gold Box disappeared? Come back, Gold Box. Come back.

Saturday, June 22, 2002
If you write grants, are thinking about writing a grant, or are just interested in issues of language and linguistics, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation has some interesting and helpful reading for you. In Other Words: A Plea for Plain Speaking in Foundations is a wonderful resource for strengthening your ask without sounding cliche. Bad Words for Good, which I have not read yet, looks like a part two. After spending most of yesterday proofreading the most jargon-laden grant ever written, I urge you: if you ever have to ask an organization for money in writing, read these essays. They're free.

Thursday, June 20, 2002
Had a fun, unexpected, and exhausting day in Chicago yesterday with -- of all people -- my boss. The purpose of our trip was to record a dress rehearsal of a dance program by The Urban Bush Women, which was extremely cool. We also got in some sightseeing, walked around Navy Pier and Michigan Avenue, and I got a kickass sushi dinner out of it at one of these places where you pay a flat fee, they send the sushi around on a conveyor belt on these little plates, and if you see something you like, you take it and eat it. It was like a really good dream, where I'm eating good sushi and there's more good sushi floating before my eyes.

Now, of course, I'm thoroughly wiped out from all the walking, but I have decided that I need to spend more time in Chicago.

Monday, June 17, 2002
Part of me feels gratified by Apple's switch campaign. I've been a Mac user all along, even before I bought my first one in 1993. My parents even bought us an Apple IIc when my brothers and I were younger. I defended Apple when all they were making were those crappy pizza box CPUs that had no juice and crashed twice hourly. I stuck by my Performa for years when everyone told me that I had to upgrade to a Pentium. I held out when everyone said the Mac clones would all but destroy Apple, and that the smart thing to do would be to just buy a Power Computing machine and succumb. Eventually, though, it worked out okay for us Apple devotees. The computers got better, the clones lost, and the whole Firewire thing rocks.

But part of me hates the switch campaign, with all these geek-chic people with their little glasses and their thin faces and their whole "I'm cool because I just got a Mac even though four years ago I was making fun of Apple relentlessly and didn't think their computers were worth the beige plastic in which they were encased."

I almost think Apple should do a campaign based on people who have been Mac users all along. Rather than a switch campaign, call it the stay campaign. I'm envisioning it as being in the same vein as when Jenny Jones has those shows where people who were nerds in high school are now really good looking and successful and come back to stick it to the person who bullied them when they were teenagers. So instead of "look at me now," it's, "Yeah, you made fun of me when you got your new 486 and I was using System 7.1, but now you're buying an iBook with OS X and you love it because it's so much better than Windows, and I'll bet you're sorry for ever saying those mean things about me and my Performa." In fact, I'd like to volunteer to be the first person to appear in one of the campaign's commercials: me, wearing khakis and a tshirt, holding my iMac up on my shoulder like an oversized boombox with a couple of firewire cables around my neck, some fun techno playing in the background.

Sunday, June 16, 2002
Still nothing good in the Gold Box. Drat.

Saw Kissing Jessica Stein last night. Not at all bad -- some really nice shots of New York, in fact -- but I had a few problems with it. Mostly, it came down to two things. Problem number one: I've been friends with several lesbians, even one or two who didn't fit the softball-haircut stereotype, but never in my life have I heard lesbians discuss what color lipstick they wear. In fact, I don't think any of my friends who are lesbians even wear makeup. Granted, I'm sure they're out there, and I very well could be wrong about this, but it just didn't seem representative to have one high heel-wearing, lipstick-blending lesbian, let alone two, let alone two who were dating. Problem number two: It just didn't seem realistic that a middle-aged Jewish woman from Scarsdale would accept her daughter's homosexuality (or bisexuality, or whatever). Again, I could be wrong, but again, not representative. Not that movies are all about being representative. Whatever.

Thursday, June 13, 2002
Have you seen this new Gold Box feature on I mean, have you seen this? Holy mother of Ghandi, it's like Let's Make a Deal! Amy, it says to me, you can buy this great nose hair groomer for only $17.99, or you can have what's behind door number two! It offers you five bargains a day, and you have 60 minutes to decide to buy it. If you don't, you pass on it forever. Well, actually, it's not that great -- you only get five offers a day, and so far I haven't been offered anything that I'd really buy, except maybe a chef's knife. No CDs, no books, no DVDs. But still, what a brilliant marketing tool to get you to visit the site daily. I typically only go to once or twice a week at the absolute most, but now -- oh hell -- I'll be there every day.

On a completely different topic altogether, I'm generally not a fan of chain restaurants, mostly because I don't like the sameness of them all, but I must admit that P.F. Chang's China Bistro is remarkably good. The place doesn't exactly smack of authenticity (since when do the Chinese have a dessert called the Great Wall of Chocolate?), and the line cooks there probably wouldn't know real Chinese cuisine if it were brought it on pilfered Ming Dynasty servingware by Chairman Mao himself, but the food at P.F. Chang's tastes good, and you just can't argue with that. Also, it's a lot less annoying than all the fake Australlia-isms at Outback and the obnoxious in-your-face Eye-tally-anno bullshit at the Olive Garden.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Had a weird and interesting evening in that I was sitting in an outdoor hot tub with five of my coworkers, including my boss. And no, I don't work in the adult entertainment industry. It was like something straight out of Boogie Nights.

Monday, June 10, 2002
Quiet please. You can do a lot of things in Manhattan, but one thing you absolutely are not allowed to do is honk your car horn. Do it, and you get stuck with a fat fee -- or so the sign says. You wouldn't know it, though, from all the noise. I have serious doubts as to whether or not this law is actually enforced. It seems like the NYPD should have more important things to deal with than an angry resident in a Jag who just got cut off by a tourist from Kansas who doesn't know that it's illegal to turn right on red in New York City.

I think I like writing this site better when I can riff on a photo. Just seems more interesting. Then again, so far I've put up photos of New York and my trip there. It might become snoresville once I start posting photos taken in Kalamazoo.

Sunday, June 9, 2002
Have a seat? The drive from Kalamazoo to New York is about 12 hours, and I found that I prefer to do it alone. Sure, it might have been nice for someone to take the wheel for an hour or so after lunch when my blood sugar dipped and I felt like napping, but otherwise it was much better by myself. No one to put on a CD I don't want to listen to, no one to bitch when I scan the radio, and no one I had to talk to.

Ohio isn't too long -- about three or four hours across the top -- but Pennsylvania goes on forever. And the little towns on the exits on I-80 can be so backwoods, by any standards. When I pulled off to gas up and re-caffeine-ate myself somewhere in the middle of the state, I saw this huge rocking chair on the lawn behind the travel plaza. When I took the photo, there were people who appeared to be locals all done up in Sunday dress looking happily at it and eating ice cream cones. I kind of felt bad for them, just because their hometown is so boring that they have to resort to driving to the gas station up the road to gawk at giant furniture. "Ooooh look Caitlin honey, isn't it such a big chair?" How ever so very Prairie Home Companion. I snapped the photo and got back in my car.

Saturday, June 8, 2002
Just add gin. I can't remember who took me to Zabar's when I was a kid, but I do remember the entire place smelling of cheese. I hadn't been to Zabar's, the upscale grocery that all the rich upper west side Manhattanites send their housekeepers for a loaf of bread, since I was in high school, if not earlier. I always kind of enjoy going to the supermarket, mostly because I really like food, so I had a good time walking around and checking out the eats. The olive bar, at right, was particularly impressive. (I guess if you don't like olives, it's nothing special.) And the pre-packed sushi in the refrigerator case looked better than the sushi at the one sushi bar in Kalamazoo. Even the take-out stuff, a.k.a. home meal replacement items, like stuffed peppers, grilled teriyaki salmon, and a dozen different types of grilled chicken, looked restaurant quality. And no, the whole place didn't smell of cheese, but whew -- that cheese section sure did.

Thursday, June 6, 2002
Finally back from NY. Shopped a lot (a lot), went to the Hayden and the Bronx Zoo, and finally got a decent slice of pizza. Also took a lot of photos, some of which I plan to post in a couple of days.

Started my summer job yesterday. They gave me a Palm m500 and a big office. As far as desk jobs go, it's not bad, but it's still a desk job.

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