Twitter / atb20

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.