Twitter / atb20

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

bloggered out

yeah... i think i've hit the wall. not the good wall, mind you, but the wall that stops you dead in your tracks and tells you it's time to try something else. i will type here every once in a while if i feel so inclined, but it won't be anything regular or substantive... more likely just mindless ramblings that tumble out of my overcrowded, poorly-functioning brain. hell, that's what i've pretty much doing anyway, but from now on i'm relieving myself of any pressure to be consistent about it. hope ya'll don't mind. i still plan to be a regular reader, and perhaps i'll become a more regular commentor, but that's about it. now with all that talk of regularity... i'd best be on my way.
xo, moosk

Thursday, December 15, 2005

over the hump... sorta

haunted house
Originally uploaded by atb20.

i've made it out the other side... i think. no papers, finals, projects for a whole month... ahhh... then again...

last night my supervisor basically confirmed my suspicion that i am the least fortunate intern in the history of social work... i've had 3 emergency situations in 4 months... 2 calls to acs, and last night i had a potentially homicidal patient in my office... a teenager, no less. it sucks. i'm beginning to think that god (or whatever higher being i ascribe to) doesn't want me to be a social worker. i mean how the f-ck am i supposed to deal with this kind of sh-t?!? i want a job where i can go home and sleep at night, not worry about whether the adolescent i just met will kill someone because of something i did or did not do. i don't know how mil will deal with having other people's lives in his hands. this is bad enough, and i'm not the one holding the scalpel.

Friday, December 09, 2005

what the - ?

"Two weeks of treaty talks on global warming neared an end today with the world's current and projected leaders in emissions of greenhouse gases, the United States and China, still refusing to take any mandatory steps to avoid dangerous climate change."

winter is...

Bathesda Terrace
Originally uploaded by ryecroft.

...brief moments of beauty followed by days of grimey slush and cold noses.
i'm vershmeckled (my own personal spelling, thank you very much)... the brain is a vat of goo and the muscles i once knew have become useless lumps of flesh. i still have a final exam to finish and a brochure to type up on the perils of medicare plan d. woo-hoo... before you turn green with envy, i also just learned that the grant which supports my position (which in turn supports my education) has suffered a rather large cut thanks to some military operation in iraq and a hurricane that destroyed an major metropolitan area earlier this year... so, moosk's days of limited financial stability might be numbered.

since i'm tired and i still have miles to go before i sleep, i'll leave you with this link. buying gifts through the hunger site will make you feel good about the rampant consumerism that ensnares us all this time of year...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

first snow

trees at dusk
Originally uploaded by atb20.

so, this morning, mil wakes me up at about 7:30 to tell me it's snowing. i could hear that little bit of childhood glee of the first snow of the season... (mil and i are both from warmer climes, so real snow always comes as a bit of a surprise.) unfortunately, by the time i'd pulled myself out of bed it was mostly slush on the streets and a light dust of white on the rooftops... i guess you've got to get up before 10 to really appreciate it.
so, yeah, i couldn't keep myself away, but posting will still be slow... btw, i've uploaded a few thanksgiving parade shots to flikr if anyone's interested... we were forunate to have a nice (warm) spot about eye level with scooby.

Monday, November 28, 2005

please stand by

due to the onslaught of final exams and end-of-semester presentations, moosk's brain has experienced technical difficulties and is no longer in service. we hope to return you to our original programming after december 14th. till then, safe and happy shopping to all!

Monday, November 21, 2005


Ernst & Young
Originally uploaded by atb20.

it continues... the endless running, dripping, sniffling, deafening mess. a smarter woman would call a doctor, but that woman would also be willing to sacrifice an entire morning or evening to my PCP. i'm just not sure i'm ready to do that. nothing a good four-day weekend won't cure, right? right.
so, many of you have probably made it to the theatre to see the latest installment of the harry potter cinema series. i must admit, i too felt the draw, and actually made it there opening night thanks to the generousity and forethought of fellow fan. (thanks, ab!) while i wasn't as disappointed as mil, i found it to be a bit of a mish-mosh. nothing close to the cuaron masterpiece of "prisoner of azkaban" -- though not as hokey as the first film. individual scenes were actually quite engrossing, but the film came together in an awkward fashion. (kinda like my words.) i'm curious to hear what others thought since this wasn't my favorite book, and i know for many it was...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

whole foods + sunday evening = stupid

whole foods
Originally uploaded by atb20.

yeah... it was nuts. i don't know what part of me thought it would be a good idea, but i was in desperate need of vegetarian chili, and associated was all out. well, that and whole foods tortillas are muy, muy bien. so here i am a few nerves shy of a meltdown and a fridge full of yummy tortillas. i guess it all evens out in the end.

back when i was in high school, whole foods was just an old hippy hangout. lots of sprouts and organic granola in bulk. i loved it. it was the only place i could get a hummus sandwich while admiring the cute, scraggly-looking bagboys (give me a break, it was the 90s...). it was a far cry from the whole foods of today -- no jamba juice, no low carb sugar, no bugaboos clogging the lanes, and certainly no line stewards guiding hoardes of yuppies a half mile long. ah well... this is what i get for having the luxury of yummy, buttery tortillas around the corner...

Friday, November 18, 2005


Originally uploaded by atb20.

this month my fiesty, old grandpa would be turning 108. it's easy for me to keep track of how old he would be because he's exactly 80 years older than me. he was married to my youngest, and only living grandparent, the glamorous and spry grammie, who was a mere 62 when i was born (i'll let you do the math since ms. g would not be cool with my revealing her age -- even in a relatively anonymous forum like this).

grandpa died just before my 13th birthday. he had been in and out of hospitals since he was 55, suffering from maladies as benign as shingles to such killers as colon cancer (i think that was circa 1960), so it was a surprise to us that he went off with such little fanfare. one moment he was on the couch, needling my grandmother for not making his sandwich fast enough, and the next he was gone.

for as long as i knew him, he would croon in his gravelly voice: you'll miss me when i'm gone, baby. apparently, it was actually a song, but my grandpa wasn't much of a singer. he just wanted to make sure we appreciated his acidic wit while he was around. now that i'm older, i wish that i'd had more time to talk to him. he had such stories to tell. born in 1897 to immigrant parents, the youngest of 18 (or 17, depending on where you look) kids, he would tell stories of sleeping head-to-foot in his tenement apartment. apparently his father counted their feet when he came home to make sure they were all accounted for. i heard another story about the lickin' he got for stealing a nickel from his father to go see a movie. (he always claimed that my brother and i were lucky to have my "easy-going" dad around, because we'd have a lot more lickins if we were his kids. i always thought that was funny... "lickins.") we never heard much about his service in world war I and II, but he was there for both. (i wonder what he'd have to say about the sorry state of affairs that currently exists in iraq... hard to say.) later in life, my grandpa owned an italian restaurant in foley's square. he and his young wife were the lives of the party as they entertained famous judges, politicians, and scandal-ridden defendants from that day. i was most excited when he said that salvador dali came to his restaurant one day... "weird-looking guy" was the only quote i got out of him. as a younger man, my grandpa gave up on formal religion and lost touch with much of his family in the process. this came in handy, though, when he later met my grammie, a catholic-school girl gone bad. despite his distaste for religion, grandpa lived by the ten commandments ("that's all the religion i need."), and was quick with the lessons for us young folk "be a leader, not a follower," "listen to your father," and mil's personal favorite: "ugh, get that d*mn bird out of your mouth."*

happy birthday, grandpa. you were right. we miss you.

* author's note: the bird was never in my mouth.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


and what about this one...

and this one.

yeah, and this one is asking $479K...

metsfan, cat, ab, are you with me yet???

elegy... the real estate edition


here we have a lovely 1br apartment in the hip, desireable, mid-village area. asking $500K, this 480 sq. ft. gem would fit izzy and perhaps a couple more of her feathered friends, but mil and i would have to lilve with my folks...


this charming apartment in the idyllic, family-friendly park slope section of brooklyn offers slightly more space for your $500K. at 550 sq. ft., mil and i would have room to sleep and eat, but izzy might be consigned to the fire escape... and little'uns would be out of the question.


at 1,778 sq. ft. we've finally found a place larger than our current 1br. apt. far from stunning, this cute little home is near a quaint, historic town along the hudson river, a mere 40 minutes by train to the heart of manhattan. mil, izzy, and i would have plenty of room, and we'd even have some space for a couple of little ones. of course, we don't have $500K laying around, and this little house would probably require quite a bit of work to become the moosk family home... and there'd be a lot of 'holding it' with one bathroom in the house.


(go to the website to get the full effect.) so now you see my dilemma... not that it's an actual dilemma at this point given, (a) we don't know where mil will get into medschool, and (b) we don't have anywhere near $500K. but houston is eh as a city (though this house is definitely in the cooler part of town), and all of my friends (or at least the highest concentration of my friends) are here in ny. anyway, this is why i say i'll be happy to live anywhere, because despite the fact that i love nyc and i love my friends here, anyplace is cheaper.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Window bird
Originally uploaded by marissa b..

some days this therapy sh*t kicks *ss. i had only one client today, but she was my most difficult... today, i finally made some progress, felt that first bit of contact with someone who'd barely held my gaze the first few sessions. it was amazing... here's to hoping i don't screw it up next week.

Monday, November 14, 2005

nyquil... take me away...

so, here i am -- back at work on a monday morning and drugged to high heaven. how does that work? i took the nyquil fourteen hours ago and i still feel like i'm going to zonk out on my desk. my body is floating in teh cotton-y drowsiness that is night-time nasal decongestants. key word: nighttime. i'm supposed to function under these conditions?!? i would have used my love-child, the afrin, but i've used it at least three times in the last week, and i don't want to become any more addicted than i already am.... heelllppp...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

so, this guy walks into a taco bell...

another view of the park
Originally uploaded by atb20.

oftentimes, i write about how much i love this grizzly city. today was no exception. take a look... it doesn't get much more beautiful than this.

however, prior to a much needed saunter through the fall leaves, i met mil for one of our favorite outings... taco bell on fourth street. despite the college students and the multi-million dollar apartments, the village is still a rather colorful place. case in point, mil and i were dining at one of the small tables on the far side of the "restaurant." a large black man in a hoodie and with an intimidating, limping gait walks in and heads straight for the bathroom door. on noticing it locked, he yells over to the cashier, "the door's locked!" "yeah, it's for customers only." "well, i'm a customer!" "you have a receipt?" "i don't need a receipt!" the cashier dutifully buzzes open the bathroom door.

(i'm thankful that the cashier has the same sense of self-preservation i do.) about ten minutes later, mil and are finally breaking into the last of our gastronomic feast, and this ancient, hunched-over lady who had been sitting at a table nearby heads over to the bathroom door. she tries the knob unsuccessfully. she tries it again. still not opening. she then looks over to the cashier (a new one this time) who buzzes her in; however, the door still doesn't open. confusion ensues. mil and i commisserate, recognizing that the scary man has not come back out yet (now talk about scary -- what's that guy been doing in the restroom for ten minutes?). eventually, some guy knocks on the door and hears the guy in there, and tells the old lady, but she doesn't hear, so she continues to knock on the door and gets other cashiers involved in the effort with various buzzing and trying the knob going on. meanwhile mil and i are picturing this large man taking out the three-foot tall grandma as he storms out the restroom. fortunately, after five more minutes of this, the guy eventually came out, and despite a few choice words hurled in her direction the guy left her alone as he made his way out of the "restaurant."

Friday, November 11, 2005

hello, texas

Eastern Penn skylight
Originally uploaded by ClemieWynn.

your senators (and many others) just passed an amendment to withhold the right of habeus corpus for those hundreds of detainees in guantanamo bay who have yet to be charged with a crime...

"(e) no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to consider -

1) an application for a writ of habeas corpus based on policies established by the Secretary of Defense under Section 1071 (a) of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2006 filed by an alien who is detained by the secretary of defense, or

(2) any other action, challenging any aspect of the detention of an alien who is detained by the secretary of defense as an enemy combatant."

thanks, lindsay graham, for making america a little less free.

see obsidian wings for more.

old friends

kiddos (circa 1979)
Originally uploaded by atb20.

bro, showgirl, & moosk in the radioflyer.

yeah, those were simpler times. my biggest concern when i woke up in the morning was whether showgirl would be home when i ran over to her house at the crack of dawn -- this was always indicated by the garage door. open = home. closed = not home, sad moosk. (btw, it's really weird to refer to a three-year old as "showgirl." perhaps i should come up with a new moniker -- especially since it's been over a year since she's been in a vegas show. somehow "p.e. teacher" doesn't have the same ring, though.) over the years, showgirl and i have straddled ourselves on opposite sides of the country. she in vegas, me in new york. we've also followed quite different pathways: at 19, showgirl became pregnant with her older boyfriend's child. she left the comfort of her small texas college, driving distance from her parents and younger brother, to pursue love in las vegas. unfortunately, love didn't pursue her, and at 24, she was a divorced single mother with a smart, sassy, four-year old daughter. if you met her four years ago, you wouldn't know how she did it... she spent her nights doing acrobatics at a show on the strip, and during the day she worked furiously toward her BA in education, all the while caring ceaselessly for her young daughter. meanwhile in nyc, moosk was living the carefree life, working in theatre during the day, going out to drinks with friends in the evenings, and cozying up with mil in a parent-subsidized apartment in the west village (that i miss sooo much) on the weekends. now, once again, showgirl and i find ourselves in similar points in our lives. she was remarried this spring, and mil and i married the summer before. she is now gestating baby #2, as mil and i try to figure out when baby #1 will come into the picture. though still thousands of miles apart, it is interesting how our lives have come back together.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

new york in fall

Pears & apples
Originally uploaded by vermilionink.

one of the things i love most about living in new york city is the prevalence of fresh fruit. surprised? seriously, every morning i walk by a stand that sells fresh fruit on the street corner... bananas for $.25, pears for $.50, and the apples... don't get me started on the apples... the harbinger of fall... they are amazing. this year, i am a big jona gold fan. a month and a half ago, i wouldn't have had a clue what jona gold was... one of austin powers lady friends? seriously, it's good stuff.
so... yeah... i'm brain dead. i've lost it. remember back when i could type a complete sentence and it would make sense? yeah. that doesn't happen anymore. i miss my brain. it was fun while it lasted. oh, yeah, i remember what i wanted to tell ya'll. a fun little tidbit from class courtesy of the world health organization. in a quick and dirty comparison of healthcare in france, israel, and the us, the us fares particularly poorly... for example, in israel, the life expectancy at birth is 80 years; in france, 79 years; in the us, 77 years. in israel, child mortality is 7 boys or 6 girls per 1000; in france, 5 boys or 4 girls per 1000; in the us, our child mortality rate is 9 boys or 7 girls per 1000. israel and france both have universal health coverage, and they spend $1890 and $2736 per capita on health respectively. in the us, we spend $5274 per capita on health -- that's 14.6% of our GDP as compared to israel's 9.1% and france's 9.7% -- all for a system that's ranked 37th in the world. that means that much poorer countries are keeping their citizens healthier than our expensive, elitist system in the united states. sad, eh? do with it what you will...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

you don't have to be freud...

yellow & black
Originally uploaded by atb20. figure out this dream.

mil and i are getting ready to leave for a conference in atlanta, when i realize that i don't know exactly what time the flight is. i look at the clock, and it's 12:30pm, and our flight is at 2pm... uh-oh, when's the next flight, maybe we can book that one? wait... i haven't booked any flights yet. i haven't booked a hotel either. i don't have a bird-sitter for izzy, and we should have left a half an hour ago! at which point the alarm goes off, and i wake up in a panic to start packing. it takes me a moment to realize that there was, in fact, no flight, no conference, no hotel... but, oh yeah, there was...

freud would probably tell me this was about some fears about my sexual performance, but i'll take it at face value: i'm still a little eeked-out by that darn hotel cancellation.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


park slope in fall
Originally uploaded by atb20.

thank you, election day... the random holiday our school allows. of course, i still have field, so my reprieve is all too brief, but i've already voted and vacuumed the apartment (let's not mention that i should be working on my midterm due next week), and here i am writing in my blog.
despite my brief bout of self-pity, the weekend was actually quite nice. it started when my friend, astrophysicist came over with the fixins for tofu curry and the first season of "lost." -- i'm a lucky lady. (mil and i are now thoroughly hooked.) saturday we went to a friend's baby shower, and i saw "jersey boys" with crimson. sunday i got to enjoy a gorgeous fall day in brooklyn with the gals. all in all it was a fun if not too successful weekend (namely because i got about five minutes of homework done.)

anyway, i knew you were dying to know what happened... so there you go. here's to a happy election day for all!

Monday, November 07, 2005


so, things are better today. my boss (#1) never ceases to surprise me. he's a hard-liner, known in the department for his uncanny ability to pitch a fit when he feels like it, but whenever i start hating myself for being a dunce he says something nice and charming... like this time, after a weekend of pouting and self-pity, he said he could tell from my email that i was wasting my limited energy feeling bad about this hotel business and that i shouldn't -- all would be ok. phew.
now that that's off of my mind, i'm once again wondering what's next. what the hell am i going to do with myself once this school thing is over with. how in the world am i going to be wife, mother, and primary breadwinner once mil starts school? has anyone mastered this? as daunting as life is now, i can only imagine that it will get more so once mil and i decide to procreate, yet i can't imagine my life without little mils and moosks running around. i feel like the world of today is utterly inhospitable to families. if you want to be taken seriously in your given industry -- man or woman, you're expected to forsake all other obligations in deference to the almighty dollar. (and the d*mn republicans think that homosexuals and abortions are the biggest threat to the american family...grr...) i'm sorry, but i've spoken with individuals all over the economic spectrum, and none of them have mentioned the fact that homosexuals can adopt children or raped teenagers can get abortions as their primary difficulty in raising just, capable children. no, of all the issues my friends, family, and acquaintances have mentioned, time and money are the common denominator. no parent i know complains of spending too much time with their children. why is the american system set up such that people must chose between their families and their careers? isn't the ideal situation one in which we can have both? time with our families -- to raise them with values, humility, and self-esteem -- and time to earn money and satisfy our own individual potential? i guess what i'm saying is that i want to turn this personal frustration into action. i want to find a way to use my social work skills to approach business in america... now if only i could figure out how...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

momentary dispair

izzy 1
Originally uploaded by atb20.

for a while there, i had myself convinced that i was making it all work... the school, the internship, the work. i was worse for the wear, but i was doing it. i was going to have an msw without the crippling student loans and then, next fall, i could rest. then yesterday i got an email from my boss... it was a simple, pleasant email -- just checking to see why he received a charge for a hotel he didn't stay at. somehow this little, one-sentence email sent me into dispair because despite the fact that he cancelled this trip months before he was supposed to take it, i entirely forgot to cancel his hotel reservation, forgetting, in fact, that i ever made a hotel reservation. will this omission cost me my job? likely not. what it cost me was my sense of capability, my sense that i was superwoman (as my pajamas told me i was) and i could keep all these balls in the air without diminishing my performance at any one of them. what's frightening is that this omission happened over a month ago when i was still functioning at a higher level. at this point, my back aches, my head aches, i haven't exercised in years, and i have this cold or allergy or something that keeps me permanently stuffed up. on top of all this, i think i've seen mil all of five hours this weekend. he works till 8:30pm friday night, gets up for a 9am dentist appointment on saturday and comes home from studying at 8pm while i'm out at a play with a friend. this morning he awoke at 6:30am to get to his first MCAT prepcourse which will keep him out of the house till after 4pm. i don't know how he's doing it, but the fact that he's even busier than im just makes me feel worse. i want my weekends to be a release from my busy work week. i want to be able to make plans to see friends or go apple-picking upstate or see my folks and know that my favorite person will be able to do those things with me. instead i have to choose: do i make no plans so i can see mil for the few minutes that he's home or do i make plans and miss him when he has a brief break from his busy schedule? i sound so selfish when i write this because i know he's even busier than i am and therefore things are likely much more difficult for him (hell, he doesn't even have the luxury of that choice), but some days i just feel like roadkill, and as empathetic as i try to be, i can't help feeling sorry for myself.

tomorrow's another day, though. and i like to believe it can only get better...

Friday, November 04, 2005

the end...

Originally uploaded by Isus. not in sight.
in day-to-day life, i think i'm a reasonably sane person. for better, or for worse, i tend to be on the boring side of normal. i don't save my navel lint, or talk to myself in public places, or wash my hands 100 times before leaving my apartment. hell, the other day my father asked me what my worst childhood memory was, and all i could come up with was the time he called me "sh*thead." (and that was a joke -- one he'd love to tell you if you're interested.)

that said, when i go to sleep, i turn into a veritable loon. mil and i have had our worst arguments in our sleep... last night was no exception, except i have some memory of what happened. i was dreaming that i was seeing a child who's mother thought he was possessed. she had me watch this video of the kid standing at the top of the stairs saying "redrum" in a really creepy voice (it was a dream, people, so don't fault me for my lack of creativity). in the dream, i was very rational, referring to television programs, etc. that could have caused this kind of behavior, but i was creeped out enough that as i was analyzing this child's behavior i was forcably waking myself up. as i was gaining consciousness, i heard a man's voice talking as if a radio had been left on in the other room. it was hard to make out, and i was trying to figure out where the voice was coming from as i realized that it wasn't a man's talking, but my husband snoring. since i was still in my insane, sleep state, i was convinced that mil was trying to gaslight me -- or more specifically try to make me possessed. i was convinced i was going to start seeing satan's face in the shadows of our room a la "the exorcism of emily rose." fortunately, as the sleep-state faded reason returned, and i offered mil a loving nudge before returning to slumberland.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

propanda is fun!

if you aren't a regular reader of sweet juniper, may i highly recommend dutch's most recent post on rob pongi. now that's some creepy sh*t.


Originally uploaded by atb20.

picture this: drool oozing out of a slack mouth, hair in shambles, dark circles under the eyes... that's how i feel. i can't remember what happened five minutes ago, let alone yesterday (about which i'm supposed to be writing a process recording - blech.) i'm staring straight ahead figuring that somehow i'll survive till thanksgiving, and then.. and then it's only a couple of weeks till winter break. hallelujah! (moosk finds religion.)
has anyone seen the ads for next week's "trading spouses"? i didn't see this week's episode, but i saw an ad for the culmination which happens next week. if you see this ad, if you see this woman, remember this is who wants to decide the reproductive rights of all american women... this is the kind of person who wants homosexuals to be confined to second class citizenship. i'm not sure if it's scary.. or hilarious. perhaps when you're done crying (or screaming) you just have to laugh.

Monday, October 31, 2005

happy halloween

Originally uploaded by atb20.


so true... so true...

mil and i spent yesterday sleeping late, eating yummy egg tacos and fake sausage, and watching zim, but thankfully, yesterday was the end of daylight savings time, so even after all of that, it was only noon. we still had plenty of time to carve our pumpkin and kick around some fall leaves. we even went so far as to punish ourselves by visiting the puppy store on the east side. it was nice...

now it's monday -- even more beautiful than it was yesterday, and i am consigned to my underground dungeon. to add insult to injury some alito guy, nick-named "scalito" thanks to similarity to scalia, was just nominated to o'connor's seat on the SCOTUS. it just ain't fair...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

a lesson learned

just because a film has a picture of a clown on it's cover, doesn't mean it's going to be cute or funny. remember "it" -- was that funny? "saw"? yeah, i didn't think so...

i should know by now that fellini is not known for his uplifting films, particularly any of the ones that star giulietta masina. visually stirring? yes. light? not so much. if you are looking for a break from those morbid, irksome characters of "six feet under," fellini is not your man.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

danke schoen

brr... it's chilly out there. i walked mil to school this morning, so he could meet up with his orgo study group. (the man is nothing if not serious.) on my way back, i discovered that not only had fall come to central park...

...but the annual halloween fest had come as well, including a virtual pumpkin patch.
pumpkins around the fountain

i love this time of year in ny. this is why i left texas. we didn't have fall in houston -- we had summer and "winter." no cold snap where the leaves turn brilliant shades of orange and yellow. just green, then brown, then gone. halloween is my favorite holiday in new york because it isn't really cold yet, the tourists haven't started flocking to town, and all the youngsters put on ridiculously adorable costumes and prance around the park.
little pumpkin

Friday, October 28, 2005


Venice: Grand Canal
Originally uploaded by Henk still here.

i started a post about the lack of news coverage of the florida hurricane... you know how people in the most populated areas in florida are looking forward to a month without electricity or running water and you can't find it in any major news source. i just couldn't get into it, so...

i'm happy right now. i lived through my first acs report. it's friday. mil got a good grade on the physics exam he thought he bombed, so he's happy, too. i'm married to a kick-ass (if a little too busy) guy. i have friends i really enjoy. i have folks who like to hang out with mil and me, and take us out to fancy dinners on occasion to remind us that there restaurants other than "new taco express."

the only thing that eats into my happiness when i have a moment of worry to spare is the lack of money... not that we have much time to spend it, but it would be nice to at least be able to dream about a romantic trip to italy or a weekend getaway to maine. as it is, we're not sure how we're going to get to the last wedding on our schedule. last night over (a lovely french) dinner, my mom said, "oh, did you know we're going to paris?" "um, no." "the other weekend we were out with our (other semi-retired) friends, and one of us said -- 'hey, why don't we all go to paris?' and we said, 'why not?' so we're going in december. we're going to stay at the george sanc." "oh... that sounds nice." "i found the best dress, too..." it's amazing how easily my once bohemian mom has settled into the new york scene i can only dream about. i still like to live vicariously, imagining that someday mil will be a wealthy neurologist and i will be regaling our kids with stories about how we are jetting off to ravello, and staying at palazzo sasso, and i have the best dress...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

night and day

Originally uploaded by Kanko'.

it's amazing to me that they can call lowfat yogurt and full-fat yogurt the same thing... i can enjoy both, but if i'm expecting full-fat, and i get low fat, i am always sorely disappointed. if, like me, you've stuck to low-fat since the diet craze of the early 90s, it's time to try yogurt's most fattening and delicious incarnation -- whole milk yogurt with cream on top.... mmm.... heaven.


ok, so i needed to stop seeing that post that refers to my acne -- specifically since the way that i titled it, one would think that i had acne all over my back (rather than that the acne i once had was "back" -- ahh, d*mn homonyms...).
so back to my usual flavor, i met a kid the other day who remarked that i had grey hair and he hoped that i knew it. gotta love those adolescents trying to stick-it to us old folks. i was, in fact, well aware that i have grey hair, and i find it distinguished. i actually can't wait until i have a full head of gleaming grey strands (and it looks like that will be happening any day now thanks to my daily stress level) -- brown is just so "last year." anyway, so adolescent then went on to ask how old i was. when i told him, he guffawed, "28!?! 28?? i thought you were like 40!" great... more proof that my body is growing to match my emotional age...
final note on "six feet under." mil and i just finished watching the fourth season, i believe. i was a little disappointed. i've heard the series finale is quite a jaw-dropper, so i will most definitely netflix season five, but i feel like all of these plot turns and twists take away from the character development. i mean they just dump so many ridiculous fiascos on each character in every episode (at least in seasons 3 & 4) that you rarely get a glimpse of who these people were before their father died, and why you should give a sh*t what happens to them. i remember really connecting with the characters at the beginning of the series, but now they are so frail and pathetic that i'm ready to watch them die and end their misery. maybe that's the point. happy. time to watch more family guy...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


baby ensemble
Originally uploaded by atb20.

i've noticed that i spend a great deal of time writing about how old i've been feeling lately, so i thought i'd spend a moment today writing about how i've regressed -- specifically on my epidermis. somehow at age 28 i have redeveloped acne that i haven't seen since age 18. thanks to the hormones i took in my single years, acne became a thing of the past. now that i've shunned hormones in favor of more natural, less protective birth-control methods, they've become a thing of the present. perhaps it was giving back all the clogged subaceous glands that were subdued by the progestin and estrogen i ingested during those years. i don't know, but it sucks... having grey hair and acne at the same time.
perhaps you're wondering about the little purple items shown above. they are the culmination of a weekend of knitting... (and, yes, it was fabulous.) together, they constitute the cutest things i've ever knit.

Monday, October 24, 2005

city living

view from our apartment
Originally uploaded by atb20.

i began to sense that i wasn't destined to be a manhattan girl forever when a friend who years ago left the city for a more idyllic setting came to visit and remarked how awesome our view was. my response was, "really? -- you have an ocean outside your window, and you're admiring our view of the time warner center??" i was perplexed. high-rise living was not what i had in mind when i first moved to nyc. i had visions of life in a tenement building or brownstone with a flower box outside my window and a quirky neighbor. i pictured weekends spent sipping coffee at the diner a la suzanne vega's "toms diner." or weekends on a parkbench sifting through the times with an old friend like paul simon. in part these visions came to life. i've sat in many diners and on many a park bench in my day but still haven't had the pleasure of a flower-box and my neighbors rarely say more than 'hello.' there's no kramer who barges in unannounced or weekday lunches with the gals in some trendy village cafe. i love new york, but i'm still trying to fit it into that eighteen-year old's vision of what it should be. maybe it's time to cut bait and move out to cheaper quarters? or maybe it's just time update my vision?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

beginning of the end

Originally uploaded by Petri Tuohimaa.

some folks point to the frightening number of human deaths at the hands of mother nature in recent months as foreshadowing of the end of days. perhaps there is some truth there... doubtless, human beings will eventually die off -- quite possibly at the hands of mother nature as a big ole f- you to all those folks who didn't "believe in" global warming. but, personally, i don't think that's the biggest sign of the coming apocolypse. for me, it's situations like these that foretell a fate worse than death:

- an individual living in my building (and therefore wise enough to hold some kind of a job and feed him/herself on a regular basis) left streaks of dog feces in the elevator for friends and neighbors to enjoy on their way to work on friday morning. my guess is that informing the doorman of a "clean up in elevator #3" was just too far out of the way for him/her.

- a man on the subway friday evening, who was playing his music so loud i could hear if from several seats away. this is merely bothersome, as was the fact that he chose to grunt whenever anyone sat down on the bench he was on because it meant that he might have to splay his legs only two feet apart instead of his more comfortable three (nevermind that the entire train was packed door-to-door). no, what made me fear for the fate of mankind was when he chose to shove his bag into an elderly woman's back as he attempted to dash out of the packed train. the shove was so forceful that the woman arched her back and gasped in surprise, to which the kind man responded, "f- you lady -- maybe if you moved outta the way!"

- the final indicator of doom is actually an event reported by a third party, and to maintain anonymity, some specifics are left out. a friend mentioned to an acquaintance that they should go out to celebrate a recent achievement in acquaintance's life. friend, being somewhat of a gastronome, had previously mentioned one of his favorite snazzy restaurants, so it was agreed that that's where they should go. not wanting to dine alone with acquaintance, friend invited a couple other acquaintances that they had in common in order to mitigate some of acquaintance's less pleasant qualities. dinner itself was enjoyed by all, and acquaintance partook of several glasses of pricey wine. as the check came, friend asked acquaintance how he'd like to pay for his portion, and acquaintance responded, "i'm not paying!" with a look of shock on his face. friend grasped for a response, "um, i hadn't planned to pay for you... i can treat you to your wine, though." (nice gesture to no avail.) "no. i am not paying for this. you said you were taking me out." at this point he is getting quite worked up -- to the point where the others at the table are uncomfortable and people in the restaurant take notice. acquaintance is so unwilling to pay for his meal that one of the other guests offers to chip in on his meal to end the scene. friend, not wanting to upset things further, declines the offer and pays for the entirety of acquaintance's meal and wine -- much to the chagrin of his fiancee (and primary breadwinner).

no, these events are not as frightening or humbling as the events of recent months, but they serve to prove that there is some basic sense of respect and decency missing from a portion of the human population. as this proportion grows, my hope diminishes. perhaps that commune idea wasn't half bad...

Friday, October 21, 2005

rambling wo-man

Cow & Tree
Originally uploaded by DaveC71.

all's quiet on the friday front. i can barely keep my eyes open and all i want to do is be lazy and watch movies, and i can't believe it's only 4:30. how is that?? i feel like it should be 6:30.
here are the movies that i would be watching if i could be... and, yeah, i'm not limiting myself to movies.

1. amelie
2. x-files
3. beautiful girls
4. shopgirl
5. the squid and the whale
6. six feet under
7. ma vie en rose
8. blue... and red... not really white.
9. secrets and lies
10. when harry met sally
11. coupling (season 3.. or 4, i forget)
12. splash
13. love, actually
14. um... anything

and i'd be knitting... this.

you'll be happy to learn that today i woke up on time and i showered. yes, i think a pat-on-the-back is in order...

has anyone here ever thought about checking out of society and starting your own commune? you know raising your own cows and chickens and sheep (for the wool, of course)? keeping a seasonal vegetable garden in your backyard in vermont or something? having a neighbor with a vineyard or a brewery, so you can spice things up every now and again. sometimes it seems like a good idea. yay, and now it's 5:10!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

office mate

pink & grey blur
Originally uploaded by atb20.

so this little goober is with me today. since i forgot to turn on my alarm and woke up about ten minutes before i was supposed to leave, i skipped the shower and the usual izzy cuddle time. out of guilt, i brought her in to work with me -- because she's such a great help, you know. first, she proceeded to take my breakfast and smear it all over my notebook and me. then part of me channeled mil and said, "hey, why don't you put her in her cage while you eat breakfast?" she wouldn't have any of it with wings and yogurt flying everywhere.

after breakfast was eaten and dishes (shirt, and notebook) were cleaned, she was freed once again from her torturous cage. (for some reason, while her cage at home is a safe haven from the scary noises of sneezes and telephone rings, this office cage is pure hell and requires constant running around and banging of the beak against the bars until either someone allows her to be freed or she figures it out for herself.) anyway, after all this productivity, izzy decided that she needed to sit on every surface of the office, including, but not limited to, my chair, my desk, my keyboard, my knee, her cage door, the floor, the printer, the book shelves... you get the idea. yes, and now i'm writing in my blog, so enormous productivity all around.

Monday, October 17, 2005

recycled coeds

Originally uploaded by Je m'appelle Sheri.

so, walking through the picturesque fall campus this morning, i briefly recognized a scruffy young fellow from my philosophy major days. just last week i saw my friend, politician, walking in front of me in his trademark track pants and lanky, self-assured gait. the strange thing is that neither of those people i remember still go to school here -- they haven't for over six years. but these same archetypes still exist in the columbia undergrad student body of today. moments after seeing scruffy philosophy major, i crossed paths with the buff, jock-lady basketball players. at least that's what they would have been in my day. they still travel in pairs... it's strange to me that the undergrads look so familiar to me. it's as if time has stood still and only i've gotten older. what's more frightening than running across reincarnations of friends and acquaintances, is that someday i'll find myself face-to-face with the me of six years ago. what will i think of what i see? most frightening would be to run into the me of six years from now and find her still frequenting the same campus (with the same pathetically small paycheck).

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Country Road
Originally uploaded by Jeannot7.

as i think about what the next few years are going to be like for mil and me (and how they are right now), i wonder why i feel so compelled to have children so soon. yes, 28 is precariously close to 30 when female bodies may or may not start making childing more difficult. yes, several close friends have become pregnant in recent months, and it seems quite exciting. but realistically, many women have children long after 30, and many more of my friends are nowhere near childing. chances are these are just rationalizations of more ingrained life changes.

perhaps its the first "tick" of the infamous biological clock. possible. it's also possible that the successful completion of life task #1, "find a mate," has left me ready for life task #2, "make babies." this seems rather reasonable, too.

the question for me is: who's right? the instinctual me that wants to make babies and be this inimitable earth-mother, planting a vegetable garden in the backyard (that doesn't exist) and knitting baby clothes while mil teaches them their abcs. or the rational me who realizes that it will be years before we can afford the money for a backyard and the time to sit and teach our kids their abcs. is it thoughtless and selfish of me to want to get started in less than a year?

at this point, i don't know, but i'll keep you posted. now it's back to all that school-work that does nothing to pay the bills.

Friday, October 14, 2005

random thoughts on a rainy friday

Damp Crossing #2
Originally uploaded by waterhot.

- wantingness previously mentioned is greatly reduced by working two jobs, taking two classes, and two days of internship

- husbands are best enjoyed in person

- a rainy friday morning can be greatly improved by a cinnamon-cheese muffin and a cup of coffee

- rain (particularly dirty, city, work-day rain) is better enjoyed from indoors

- knitting is very healthy as far as addictions are concerned

- sleep should occupy at least eight hours of my day

Thursday, October 13, 2005

holy crap!

sometimes i'm just amazed by politicians... namely politicians who happen to be overtaking the american government these days. does this not go against every fiber of your being? red, blue, black, white, whatever?

a new orleans bus driver with intestinal cancer is seeking to continue his chemo while he is in baton rouge awaiting his return home and to his job. because his job currently doesn't exist, his health care coverage runs out at the end of the month. since this is only one of many cases like this resulting from katrina, the senate is attempting to meet the need:

in the senate, a bipartisan bill would open medicaid - the federal program created to serve the needy - for tens of thousands of displaced people like wilson [the guy mentioned above] for up to 10 months. the bush administration opposes that, saying it would create a major new entitlement. (LATimes)

yeah... all i can say is "holy crap!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

confessions of a rude subway rider

Lawrence West
Originally uploaded by photojunkie.

yep. that's me. that obnoxious woman who pushes past to get a seat on a crowded train. the one who guards her post where she knows the doors will arrive with a fury often reserved for lifeboats. the lady who sighs audibly when you take too long to find your metrocard as you stand in front of the turnstile. the one who said "f*ck" several times when the cops asked to search my bag when i was late to work. the lady who knocked your arm with a stray knitting needle -- several times.

i wasn't always like this. when i first came to new york, i walked a normal gait; i side-stepped oncoming foot traffic; i let everyone else on the subway before i started looking for a seat. something happened though in those ten new york years. it wasn't full-fledged till i started working in times square, but its roots began the first time i rode a subway. i noticed that no one else stepped aside for me. no one kindly offered their chair when they noticed i was lugging several large packages roughly equivalent to my body weight. numerous little injustices built up the rude new york woman i am today. on days when i'm happy and well-rested the old me sometimes peeks her head as i offer a seat to a pregnant woman or choose not slam my bag into the guy who rushes in through the doors before i've had a chance to exit, but she disappears just as soon as she hears a sigh from the woman behind her as she searches for her subway card...

Monday, October 10, 2005

monday morning, 11am

wee orange
Originally uploaded by •pearl grace.

ugh... monday again. alright, i was trying to stay positive, keep my eyes focused forward, and not allow more than a moment for self-pity. afterall, so many people go through so much worse... the people of northern pakistan, for instance. then monday hit -- hit like a waterballoon launched squarely into the back of my head. the weekend was lovely... even the sitting around the apartment on sunday writing my paper while mil studied-up on orgo. but i meant to do so much more. i was going to call my friend who has both family in paakistan and family displaced by katrina. i was going to call another friend whose father graced the inimitable pages of "Continental" magazine. i was going to make plans with astrophysicist whom i haven't seen in weeks... none of this of course happened. i miss my friends. i miss having time to see them and hear their voices. i miss being able to veg-out on a weeknight without guilt. i want to go on a hike to see the leaves in connecticut or pick apples in new paltz, but i have papers to write and mil has exams to study for. in addition to the lack of free time, i'm now at the point where i can't keep my two bosses straight in my head... which one's on vacation? who needs his earthlink updated? which one needs a ticket to california at which time...?

anyway, i need to stop. thank you for letting me vent. eyes are now firmly averted from my navel. (ten more months... ten more months...)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

dead can dance

Originally uploaded by atb20.

so we went... and it was as amazing as mil had made it out to be. maybe more so. rarely would i call a concert a religious experience, but this was definitely about as spiritual as i've ever felt. lisa gerrard's voice was nothing short of haunting -- i'm not sure i took a breath while she was on the stage. in addition to dead can dance, there was a full orchestra providing back-up. mil's face was lit-up the entire time. we were both completely enthralled, and i think my parents were as well.

the music is hard to compartmentalize. it is somewhere in the ethereal world between goth ahd world music with styles ranging from medieval to indian, to african, to irish folk, to country, to something that's purely dead can dance. really nothing to compare them to. if you're curious, amazon has a couple of tracks available.

Friday, October 07, 2005

my man

cue billie holiday.

my mil graduates to the 30+ club tomorrow. hard to believe that he was a mere babe of 25 when i met him. back then he was just recovering from a lifestyle of partying all night and sleeping all day with the beginnings of a normal 10-7 job. he lived in the far reaches of brooklyn with two cats and kleptomaniac roommate. his landlord was the barber downstairs who offered haircuts free of charge and only took cash for rent. his best friends were his barmates (including bestman) who had high OH tolerance and a taste for cajun. when i first met mil, i had nary a clue that this would be the man that i'd marry. hell, i wasn't even sure i'd date him given his party-boy lifestyle. fortunately, he adapted well to my lengthy sleeping habits and nerdy, ivy-league friends (though probably better to the latter than the former). he even dropped a nasty taste for menthol lights as he spent more and more nights at my cozy w. village studio. when i realize how different we were back then, it's amazing how much we've grown to be a part of one another. yin & yang. (or "john & yoko" depending on how you see it...) really, marriage just rocks.
the becco laugh

happy birthday, baby.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


this morning i was reminded (and i will not explicate further for the sake of my loyal readers) of one of my favorite lines from absolutely fabulous--
eddy: is that what you want, saff?? a normal, old toilet-going mummy? "where's mum? she's on the toilet."

ah.. maybe you had to be there...
here's a shot from the concert last weekend.

the killers in blue
Originally uploaded by atb20.

mil and i are really excited about the one coming up though. it's going to be amazing. we're in the fifth row at radio city. tickets are still available if you want your socks knocked off.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


see that kid over there to the right? that's what i feel like... tongue out, minnie hat in hand, shorty-shorts still in style (nair not even necessary). that's why it's so shocking to me when i look in the mirror and see this strange old woman with crows feet slowly settling in, grey hairs peaking out at her temples, and worries about checking account balances. is it really possible that in two years my fertility will have peaked? married? you have to be kidding! high school was just a couple of years ago (or ten). i can't possibly be old enough to be married. new york is still this strange, hip urban jungle i fantasized about from my pink, suburban bedroom. it can't be "home."

anyway, it's times like these that i miss my epistemology class where i was taught that i have no way of proving that i exist let alone that i'm 28 years old. (what's 28 years old? my memory? my wardrobe? surely not my cells!)
everyday's like sunday. "win yourself a cheap tray." share some greased tea with me. everyday's silent and grey.

gotta love morrissey.
here's the photo promised yesterday, btw...

Water Lilly
Originally uploaded by Jason Hightower.

Monday, October 03, 2005


i'm here, but boy, am i tired. don't ask me why. i had a pretty easy weekend, did minimal homework, and enjoyed several hours of reading on the couch, but still i be sleepy. my uncle suggested i exercise. my response was: i wake up at 7:30am, get to work/class by 9, get home at 7:30 - 8:30pm, make dinner, and if i can hold my eyelids open, i do about an hour of homework before it's 11pm and i have to go to bed, so uncle b, where the hell am i going to find time to exercise? nice... and i wonder why he only comes to visit once a year....

still no photos of my own. i'm sure noone else cares as much as i do. i think of all those fun pics just sitting on my camera waiting anxiously to be appreciated. poor little dears... i need a self-emptying camera if any of you techie-types are reading. not one of those darn photo printers where you just plug your camera in and it starts a-printing, but a computer program that automatically checks my camera for new photos (without plugging the darn thing in!) and downloads 'em. now that'd be cool.
anyway, i'll do my best to update later this week. maybe i'll drop off a flickr photo or two to spice things up... hope ya'll are digging the extra-long summer in NY (you know what that means for winter, right?)

Friday, September 30, 2005

i love fishes...

is it weird that i've been singing that jingle for the last two days substituting things such as "i love widgets cause they're so delicious! i love wid-gets." Yeah... don't answer that.
btw, if you haven't checked it out, flickr's explore page is amazing. some of the most beautiful shots i've ever seen. (i've been bringing a few of them here, but there are many more to enjoy.)

things i love

- mac os 10.4
- free speech
- being able to marry the person i love
- no premiums on my healthcare plan
- having a fuzzy pet that i don't have to walk
- parents that want to spend time with me
- friends that invite me to free concerts
- firefox
- widgets (i'm going widget-crazy)
- friends who love me even when i'm not very good about calling
- a job where i can wear jeans
- fall... yay fall!

Originally uploaded by nihilante.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


tacoma 3
Originally uploaded by brain tunnel.

well, as you can see i still haven't gotten to uploading my own pics. i tried last night, but i still have all the pics from the vermont wedding on my camera, so it took much longer than i had the patience for.
so, life in the fast lane is actually pretty decent. i'm exhausted, and the cold that i had three weeks ago seems to be lingering on into infinity, but i like to be busy. it makes me feel like this year will be over soon.

this placement i'm in is kicking my butt. i currently have 14 hours of field, and i have 7 clients. i've got a pretty even split between kids, adolescents, and adults which is cool, but it keeps me on my toes.
can i tell you how annoying these phone menus are? "do you have a confirmation number? if so, please tell me what it is. for example, if you have the confirmation number you could say 'five' (long pause) 'f as is frank' (another long pause, so you can digest what she's saying, because, you know, 'f' is a tough one) 'g as in george' (pause) 'seven' (pause) 'a as in apple' (infinite pause) 'x as in x-ray.' (pause, cause you still might not understand what she means by "x") Please say the number now. if you don't have a confirmation number, please say, 'i don't have a confirmation number'" By this point i'm screaming at the stupid *ss voice lady because if i try to talk over the message, they will say (in the most polite of voices), "I'm sorry. I was unable to understand what you said..." and repeat THE ENTIRE MESSAGE. i think i went through this about three times before i started screaming "AGENT!" in the phone. i'd better watch out, i might be seeing a therapist of my own very soon.

Monday, September 26, 2005

swimming upstream

Nature is playing with colors
Originally uploaded by Linda6769.

i'm doing my best not to become a mouth-breather, but these allergies are really getting to me. i hate having to breathe through my mouth. though i hate it even more when i can hear myself breath through my nose, so for now, mouth it is. or maybe i should start working on gills...
today was one of those days that started with a bang. i'd just had time to pour myself a (much needed) cup of joe, when prof #2 called reporting "computer problems." usually, "computer problems" require a brief visit to "system preferences" or the "library" and all is well, but i knew all was not well when i saw prof #2's brand new screen bopping around like it was on crack. eight hours of "apple care" later, i have now requested a "dispatch" from apple. (they like to make sure that they're not wasting anybody's time but yours by requesting various tests and "repairs" before declaring it a "problem" worthy of a real apple technician.)
anyway, that's been my wake-up call from a relatively laid-back weekend with the folks involving open house shopping and multiple rounds of ping-pong.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Originally uploaded by Mary Catherine.

so, one of these days i'll get back to posting my own photos, but lately i haven't had the energy to load them off of my camera. in the meantime, i'm paying tribute to folks with more talent than me (and oftentimes fancier cameras).

blueberry pancakes are one of my favorite weekend treats, only recently topped by lemon ricotta pancakes, but those don't photograph as well.
the folks finally decided against going to texas for the hurricane -- i mean, wedding. this is good. it means they won't have to deal with airports during an evacuation order, and i might get to escape the city for a few minutes. here's to hoping rita is much kinder than katrina... it's already taken 24 lives in texas, and it hasn't even hit land yet. that's a good sign...
a little poi for the weekend:
you should wear with pride the scars on your skin
they're a map of the adventures and the places you've been