Friday, April 29, 2005

Today is the last day of my extended unemployed-but-still-getting-paid vacation. Weekends don't count, as there will always be weekends. On Monday I start my new job in the city, and it's going to be much busier and more difficult than my previous job. Task-wise, my last job was very similar, but the pace was often languid, to say the least.

I have been doing a lot of organizing and sorting in prep for my leaving my apartment to its own designs for a few months (with periodic check-ins). I dropped off 26 of my 28 plants (I counted, just for fun) at a friendly co-worker's house yesterday. I also had a fun dinner at Thai Garden with A and T. Saying goodbye to them was hard. Harder even than saying goodbye to Thai Garden.

Today I am going to drop a bunch of stuff off at the Salvation Army, I'll try out my awesome new Swiffer Duster, I'm going to do a complete kitty litter clean, and maybe vacuum (maybe tomorrow for that), and then tonight there will be dinner with friends at a restaurant and afterwards there will be frivolity and drinking and semi-madness.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I was told that the weather was going to turn crappy tomorrow, so today I went on my favorite hike on the Mt. Tom reservation. I've taken a ton of photos of it, so this time I took just a few. It's a great time to go stomping around in the woods because things are growing green, yet the mosquitos aren't flying.

Shadowy trees:

Shy Flower, figure one:

Shy Flower, figure two:


Saturday, April 23, 2005

It turns out that being unemployed while waiting for a new job to start is kinda boring. I mean, it was fun the first week. However it is still way better than actual working.

The apartment I am going to sublet comes with linens (sheets et al). A couple of ladies I know have suggested it would be "gross" to use them. They are clean, though, so I figure it's like staying at a friend's house; are you gonna wash the sheets they provide you, even though they said they were clean? Hmm? ARE YOU?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I have been on an imposed vacation for a week now, and am starting week two of three, so I have been spending lots of time not in front of my computer (happily). All of this is to say that I am sorry for not writing sooner. I picked the second apartment I mentioned below - the expensive Gramercy Park one. Even with the crazy price, I have enough of my "allowance" left over that I can buy my car a parking spot in a garage over in Brooklyn, a mere 15-minute subway ride away.

I went to the library and looked for information on the area I'll be living in. The only thing of interest I read was in a book written by Shackleton (not sure if it's the stuck-in-Antarctic ice one or not) in 1917 or so. He praises the park itself, mostly because of the fact that it's surrounded by a heavy iron fence and is only accessible with a key, meaning that the people in the nearby tenements in the East Village can't get in and dirty it up. Sigh. I told my brother-in-law that I want to have lots of guests in for picnics so we can "reclaim the space." We'll play salsa tunes on a boombox and smoke and spit on the ground and drink. There was a suggestion made that I make dozens of copies of the key, mark them as to what they unlock, and leave them around the city. I will neither confirm or deny that I would ever do such a thing.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Happy Ruination Day, everybody! (This song happened to play during my three-hour ipod-on-shuffle drive last night.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Hi there. So, my company, following the rule of "the higher up you go, the less you have to pay for things," has alotted me a relocation budget for my summer living expenses. And here I am in NYC, looking for a short-term furnished sublet apartment. It is just as difficult to find as you might think. I walked about 235 miles (approximate) in Manhattan today, looking at places. All were your typical shoebox-sized places, but that's okay for four months (most of my belongings are staying elsewhere).

If you visited a 10-story building and were looking for apartment #23, what floor do you think that would be on? Two? That's what I thought. I walked into the elevator-less building and looked at the apartment numbers on the doors of the first floor and noted they were single-digit - 1, 2, 3, and 4. Huh. On the second floor, after finding 5, 6, 7, 8, it hit me that the building's numbering system was much simpler than I had imagined. Yep, it turns out, 23 is on the seventh floor. The bedroom is the size of a full bed plus an 18-inch border of floor around two sides of it. And the window looks out onto the roof, which would be fine, but means the machinery pumping air through the building is two feet from your bed. The living room is an okay size (about two parking spaces-big), and it's in the Village, and the furnishings aren't terrible. And at $1800, it's a bargain. I am serious. See how I am already thinking like a local?

The other place I saw today that didn't give me visions of myself composing suicide notes inside of them was a very, very small (I mean really, really small) sixth-floor place with nice, funky furnishings, windows with nothing but views of other close-by building walls, that happens to be on the magical Gramercy Park block where only that block's tenants get keys to access the pretty and well-manicured park in the middle. That one is $2400, with a one month's broker's fee - so $3000 a month, really. But the location! And the key to the park! And the elevator!!

Real estate is fun and everything, but having to make the decision between the lesser of two evils is my least favorite kind of decision. And I get anxious deciding whether puppies or kittens are cuter, so you know this is hard for me. I'm going to see some places tomorrow morning, hopefully, and might have to come back this weekend to see some more. Unless I just pick one of these two.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

If you do not know what a Scopitone is, you should. From the Scopitone blog, a clip of an article from a 1964 issue of Time Magazine:

"In some 500 bars, restaurants and servicemen's clubs throughout the U.S., the center of attention these days is a monstrous new machine called Scopitone. It is a cross between a jukebox and TV. For $.25 a throw, Scopitone projects any one of 36 musical movies on a 26-in. screen, flooding the premises with delirious color and hi-fi scooby-ooby-doo for three whole minutes. It makes a sobering combination."

The films themselves are also called Scopitones. They're low-budget and creative and strange. There are a bunch of websites about them, many in French (they started in France - go figure) some of which have the actual films online. One of these is Bedazzled, which is a sister site to the scopitone blog, and has lots of other amazing bits of film and music ephemera (just click back to the main site).

Here's an excellent representative, as is this one.

P.S. Even though this one may not be a Scopitone, it is glorious: Oh, yes.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Big news 'round these parts: The venture I've been working for over the past nine years is being terminated as of the end of the month. Luckily, I already have a new gig lined up, the one that takes me to NYC for the summer. My co-workers are not so lucky. It's very sad and disappointing; we're a little dysfunctional family, how dare they ruin what we have! So, yeah. That's what's up.