Twitter / atb20

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?)