Twitter / atb20

Thursday, December 14, 2006

izzy fix

so much more exciting than skiing...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

phew... (almost)

sorry i haven't been around for a while. it's been a tough week so far, but we've gotten our first bit of good news, and it looks like my family and i might soon be able to stop holding our collective breath. but i'm not one to go counting chickens, so in the meantime, i'll just say that we all deserve a nice, large glass of wine tonight... i'm not really sure what else is going on with me. i know that christmas is coming, and i have only knit about half of the things i'd planned to. fortunately for me there's some of those folks who were slated for homemade gifts will be getting silly little tchotchkes from fred instead. it might not be much, but it's probably more useful than whatever i can knit.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

giving in

so, i did it. i caved in and got dvr. i love it. mil hates it (and loves it). i can watch roseanne and spongebob and the daily show and changing rooms (or "cheenging rums" as i like to say), and i can record one of them if i'm not home or something better is also on. it's heaven! i was debating it for a while. i prefer real life to television, and i don't want to have kids who spend their childhood glued to a tv. but then again, i hate commercials and appointment tv... so the benefits seem to outweigh the costs... for now.

i've also discovered youtube. i can now bore you with videos of the minutia of my day. yay! today's videos are of my ski trip last spring to get you in the mood for winter... bon hiver!


Friday, December 01, 2006

so different... and yet so similar

i was reading this editorial on hugo chavez on i found it interesting how many of these descriptions could just easily be used to describe w.

at home, he has forged an intensely ideological, combative, and intolerant regime, brandishing polarising rhetoric to divide and incite social classes and mobilising the tools of the state to suppress and persecute his opponents.
- roger noriega

. . . his refusal to leave behind the polarising discourse; surrounding himself with people who are unable to treat him as an equal, and his desire to perpetuate himself in power and centralise it.
- margarita lopez maya

in his mind, there is no-one above him. no-one tells chavez what to do. that makes him a very solitary figure - one with no commitments. . . . they know he does not make compromises, because he feels he has a mission ahead. so, he has left behind many of those who have started the process with him.
- alberto garrido

ok. maybe not altogether similar:

the political transformation in venezuela has been possible because chavez led "from the front" and challenged elite vested interests.
- julia buxton

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

resistance is futile

so, i went to houston for thanksgiving. it was nice and relaxing as it should be. i partook in excellent thanksgiving fare in addition to the requisite tex-mex and bbq outings later in the weekend. i even saw an old friend while i was in town. quite surprising since none of my old friends live there anymore. i guess great minds think alike... as they say.

one of the highlights of my journey down south was getting to spend some quality time with little miss squiggly pants. at 4 months her personality is bubbling over with giggles and cuddles. she's so sociable that she has a hard time falling asleep for fear of missing something more exciting. even when sleepy, she offers coy smiles and warm snuggles. i must admit that i was a little jealous when my brother & sister-in-law whisked her back to california. my mother and i briefly planned an abduction, but we figured we'd be found out. i guess we'll just have to wait till their next visit. in the meantime the tick of that incessant little clock is getting louder, but i'm doing everything i can to quell the noise. i've got hawaii to look forward to... and mil's acceptance to med school... neither of which make this a particularly good time to increase the size (and expense) of our family. i've uploaded a video of lmsp to, but it's private, so if you want to see it, send me an email with your youtube id, and i'll add you as a friend. it also co-stars the screen-stealing stylings of our very own milhouse vanhouten. you know you want to see it...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

from my turkey to yours


happy thanksgiving, ladies & gents. i have much to be grateful for this thanksgiving. in addition to my personal good fortune (good family, good friends, great husband, nice life, pain-in-the-ass bird...), i'm also grateful that come january, we'll have a democratic(ish) congress. and while i doubt that means we've wiped corruption out of the house and senate for good, at least we have a few more checks and balances than we've had for the last 6 years, and almost anyone can be grateful for that. one of the things that i hope to be grateful for next thanksgiving though, is an end to the genocide in darfur. the images and stories that come out of that region of africa are nothing short of horrifying. i'm going to be bringing it up at our thanksgiving table, and i hope you will, too. has a post called "materials for thanksgiving action" that's worth checking out...

and here are some photos to get you in the mood for the holidays... (larger versions are on flickr)

central park

white flower

sheeps meadow



Monday, November 20, 2006

playing catch-up

so it's been over a week since my last post... and that wasn't much of a post. i think i'm not much of a blogger. i try, but sometimes the words just don't come, and i'm not one to force such things. life is busy... there is a great deal of knitting to do and several good shows in our netflix queue... and "heros" and "studio 60" (or "60 rock" as i tend to call it) and "the office" and "america's next top model" (don't ask me why). i think i've become a little slow thanks to watching all this television, and i still want dvr... what's wrong with me?

Friday, November 10, 2006

mil's dinner

Originally uploaded by atb20.

hard to believe that a man who calls this "dinner" would marry a onetime vegetarian.

Friday, November 03, 2006

just what we need...


Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said earlier this year the US was losing the propaganda war to its enemies.

The newly-established unit will use "new media" channels to push its message and "set the record straight", the Pentagon's Mr Ruff said.

"We're looking at being quicker to respond to breaking news, being quicker to respond, frankly, to inaccurate statements," he said.

A Pentagon memo seen by the Associated Press news agency said the new unit would "develop messages" for the 24-hour news cycle and aim to "correct the record".

The unit would reportedly monitor media such as web logs and would also employ "surrogates", or top politicians or lobbyists who could be interviewed on TV and radio shows.

i love the strategic placement of the quotes.

the flight of thought

it's amazing. two seconds ago i had a brilliant idea for a post. but between the time that i got up off of the couch and the time that i logged onto blogger, i completely lost that thought. scary... i think it's the whole not working full-time thing. five out of seven days a week, i wake-up when i feel like and do what i feel like. so far, i have not felt like cleaning my apartment, and only once this week did i feel like going to the gym. sad.

oh, i remember what my "brilliant" idea was... i was going over to the bird to give her a kiss on the head and she turned and bit me on the lip. it made me realize that i need to find a bird whisperer. my bird is that pink maltese, kisses, from the dog whisperer. she's pink and she's a little pain in the ass. she pecks at my feet and turns on me at the least provocation. i need to learn how to be the leader of the flock... anyone have any ideas? mil's suggestion is the spray bottle, so we now say "no" and spray her when she's doing something she knows she's not supposed to do (e.g., pecking on toes or playing in the refuse underneath her cage). it doesn't work too well because she knows when we've got the water bottle and when we don't, so she decides when she's going to listen and when she's not. then again... she's a bird, not a dog. so maybe i'm just stuck with a pesky cockatoo.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

we're going to hawaii!

we just booked our tickets and condo in kauaii for next summer. woohoo! now if only i could find the job, so we can afford it...

Monday, October 30, 2006

the prom is over

i just got back from california last night. it was a quick trip for a prom. i know -- it doesn't make much sense... i've been out of high school for 11 years, but for as long as i can remember, my friend -- let's call her prom queen -- has been talking about proms. she charmed me into joining her for such craptastic movies as "she's the one" and "never been kissed." and when she finally decided to marry the man of her dreams, she only agreed because he was willing to do it prom-style. pq definitely pulled off quite a prom, and it beat the socks off of my high school prom despite the fact that my date stood me up (for a biochem exam... sigh).

anyway, it was a fun weekend, but i'm still a little wiped from 12 hours of travel. i will be recuperating by reading this. apparently, the 109th congress is even more craptastic than "she's the one."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

don't call it a comeback

bush-oil sign
Originally uploaded by atb20.

so... sorry for the lack of updates. (what is it about coming up with a name for a blog that reminds you of songs you haven't heard in 15 years?) i'm finding that less time in the office = less time online. it looks like i might have something to occupy my time soon. the thing with the townhouses that i mentioned a while back seems to have finally come to fruition. i'm still trying to figure out the logistics. fortunately, my part-time job allows me some time to volunteer to help these guys, but i need to figure out how it fits into my long-term plan.
outside of work, i've started volunteering some of my time to calling members to try to recruit them to make calls to voters in hotly contested congressional districts. the sad thing is that while i've managed to recruit a few complete strangers to make calls, i haven't managed to recruit my own husband. i'm still trying though. if any of you guys are moveon members, i apologize for those of us who might be calling you at inopportune times. be nice. i hate cold calling, but i hate bush more, so this is what i have to do. if you're like me and interested in helping the "get out the vote" for the midterm elections, check out call for a change...

Friday, October 13, 2006

the dream lives

since his blog seems to be a relic of a bygone era, i thought i'd let those among you who care know that mil's dream seems to have been revitalized... while we all knew he had it in him, it seems he finally kicked some mcat ass. yay, mil!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

the world can't wait

Originally uploaded by atb20.

yet another good use of a day off in the middle of the week... rallying against the bush theocracy. up until i got a block away from the meet-up location in front of the un, i still wasn't sure i was going to do it, but i'm glad i did. i've felt pretty pissed about the latest news from washington... from the senate's approval of a bill that strips all non-citizens of the right of habeas corpus to the revelation that condi rice new about 9/11 two months before it happened to the selling-out of the legislative branch of our government to the highest bidder (bill moyers' documentary last night was frighteningly revealing). i have become too quiet, too complacent, and when a woman handed me a flier for the march yesterday, i knew i had to go. not that marching in a relatively small rally is enough, but i needed to do something... and i need to keep doing something until i see a change in the direction that our country is heading.

anyway, thanks for giving in to a little lefty idealism there. we'll be back to our regularly scheduled program next time. oh, and in case you haven't seen it, is worth checking out... it's some of the best news around.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

feelin' fine

snow monkeys
Originally uploaded by atb20.

have i mentioned before how much i love working three days/week? if i could afford to, i'd totally do this for the rest of my life. unfortunately, i can't afford to, so i've either gotta look for another part-time job or a new full-time job. ugh. how did i get so unmotivated? why does knitting on my couch with my bird on my knee or sketching a bridge while perched on a rock in central park seem so much more fun that anything that i could potentially get paid for? i wonder if it's that whole external reward thing... if you get paid for something, it must not be fun in the first place. hm... i don't know.

last week i was good. i dedicated many hours to trolling the internet for jobs and even went to a rather lousy career fair on campus. (is it just me, or is it thoroughly depressing to print out pretty resumes and get all gussied up so you can sell yourself to some 22-year old who you find out has only been working at the company for 3 months and has no decision-making power whatsoever. i had one guy tell me he couldn't even give out his card.) btw, hf, i have not given up on the career fair in general, but i have realized that they're designed primarily for informational purposes, not networking...

anyway, after that event, my self-promotion efforts have fallen flat. like i said before, i'm enjoying this whole 3-day work week. it's a hard thing to give up just so you can pay the bills. yesterday i went to a jazz 101 class with my mother and next thursday i have plans to volunteer at a phone bank for so much more fun that polishing a keyboard for a living.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


so, i sit here writing cover letters, reviewing my resume, and perusing job listings while listening to the whining drone of honking horns outside my window. is this any way to spend a day off of work? of course not, but having taken a look at our joint bank account recently and the mounting pile of secondary applications (which come with their own secondary application FEES) that mil still has to fill out, i don't have much of a choice.

today basically ended my hope for the recruiter position. they offered me a job, but it was at a lower level than they had discussed earlier, and it included "some administrative tasks." that's pretty much all they needed to say. if there's one thing i know about myself, it's that i'm not cut out for another year of "administrative tasks" (i.e., scheduling someone's meetings, answering their phones, filing their papers... blech). so, it's back to the drawing board. if anyone has any good ideas, i am open.

i'm actually a little relieved. i feel like they gave me permission to say 'no,' and 'no' is probably the right thing for me to say. as hard as i tried, i really couldn't picture myself there, and now i can spend my time trying to figure out where it is that i can picture myself. the tough question is how can i find a place that fits my personality and is still willing to pay me lots of money...

Friday, September 22, 2006

i was going to write about the morality of torture, but i decided to write about knitting instead

i've been hungering for a pair of comfortable, funky wrist warmers for the winter, and i just happened upon this pattern. i'm hoping that i'll be able to make them work with the yummy yarn i have left from my little pinafore project. i'm still eagerly awaiting the day i get a photo of the lmsp donning her aunt's loving work, but no pressure, no pressure...
since tuesday, i've begun to enjoy my less than full schedule. it's amazing how easy it is to go from guilt-ridden to footloose and fancy-free if you just put your mind to it. and put my mind to it, i did. yesterday, i packed my day so full of enriching activity that i had nary a moment to feel guilty for not being at the office. i even spent some quality time in central park attempting to sketch the bucolic scene before me. it didn't work so well. i've learned that i'm much better with a camera and photoshop than a pack of pencils... and i'm okay with that.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

lady of liesure

this is so bizarre. i am home at 11 o'clock on a tuesday morning with "love lettuce" on my face, watching "the view." i don't know what to do with myself. i've done my yoga, had my coffee, showered, and now i have the rest of the day at my disposal. i could lay on my couch all afternoon eating bonbons and reading blogs for all the world cares. you'd think it would be paradise, but the puritan guilt is eating me alive -- i should be looking for a job, i should get some work done, i should be meditating on my future... at the very least i should be finishing up that skirt i started knitting in december... and here i am watching a daytime talk show with my face covered in green slime.

izzy on the other hand loves this. she gets me all to herself for four out of seven days a week. right now she's trying to figure out how she can hobble me by eating off my toenails, so i can't go back to work full-time.
speaking of laziness and caving to the power of mass media. mil and i watched "deal or no deal" for the first time last night. i had heard others remark how intriguing the show was, but i could not buy it... "you mean they just decide whether they want what's in their briefcase or whether they want to make a deal? and that's an hour's worth of television?" and there i was, sucked in, watching this obese teamster from staten island decide whether he wanted $400,000 or what was in the case. it was televised crack, i tell you. realizing how quickly my mind can turn to a puddle of goo is a scary thing...

Friday, September 15, 2006


yeah... i'm sorta being sluggish with the whole blogging thing. i've actually got far more free time than i had over the summer, so it doesn't make all that much sense. except maybe it's that whole laziness begets laziness... and several interviews at the same company has killed my excitement about the whole "new job" thing. and ann richards died... and that just makes me depressed. she and molly ivins were some of the very few reasons i had for be proud of being a texan. well, i've still got molly.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

scar tissue

Originally uploaded by champy1013.

so after five years, i'm still not sure how to make sense of what happened on 9/11. and i definitely don't know how it should be memorialized. it seems to sneak up on you when you least expect it as it did for cartoonsite. one minute you're on the phone with your boss talking about what needs to get done, and the next he says "it's a gloomy day." at first i thought he was talking about the weather... i honestly asked him, "is it raining out?" it took me a beat to remember the date. again this morning i was catching up on my BBC podcast from yesterday as i walked to my 8am interview, and suddenly they're playing sound clips from that morning five years ago. even last night, moments after drifting off to sleep, i awoke standing at the bedroom window screaming "what's happened? what's happened?" just because a firetruck blared its sirens as it sped past our open window. i was still shaking with fear as i returned to bed. i don't know how many times i've done that since 9/11, but i know i never did that before. little things change while the big stuff stays the same -- corrupt politicians, war in lebanon, poverty, torture... it's difficult when i really take the time to remember that day and that week... wondering if life will ever return to normal... if i'll ever feel safe again. in general, i'd rather not. that's why i've kept my distance from the movies and the news reports. i don't need bush or abc to remind me what it was like that day. unfortunately, i remember all too well.

Monday, September 04, 2006

road trip

desert road
Originally uploaded by atb20.

suddenly i feel very stationary. after ten days on the road, stopping in a new town every couple of days, life in the old apartment just seems very predictable. a road trip visiting family and friends (with babies) may not seem like the ideal vacation for most, but after many months of hibernating in the city, a road trip was exactly what we needed. and as much fun as it was to catch up with the west coast relations, it was equally as much fun to sit in our gas guzzling suv rental (we requested a compact, thankyouverymuch, but the rental company only had various shades of gas guzzlers on the lot) with some drive-thru del taco on our laps and coldplay on the stereo. there's a hell of a lot of nothing on the road between las vegas and the bay area, but after being in nyc for so long without a break, "nothing" was a nice break. i'm finding myself a little itchy to get back on the road and go someplace new. there are many gorgeous places in driving distance from the city, but mil has just started school again, so weekend trips will likely be few and far between. in the meantime, i'll have to use my fertile iamgination (and cartoonsite's blog) to transport myself to picturesque new englandy towns.

click here if you're interested in the brief road trip slide show.
on the work front, i finally heard back from the executive recruiting firm while i was in ca. i was glad to know that they hadn't forgotten about me, but at 8am on vacation, i wasn't very coherent. all i know is that they'd like for me to come and start there part-time to see if the job is for me. sounds good, right? i'm already spending the money in my head... $50/mo for tivo/dvr. regular manicures and pedicures. oh, and a trip to hawaii next summer. that's the big one. mil will be getting his ba, and i'll be turning the very ancient 3-0 (ack!), so it seems like an expensive vacation is in order. of course, i'm still awaiting confirmation of the part-time job at this point (while they told me that they want me, they haven't yet told me when and for how much), so i haven't written any checks yet. i'll keep ya posted.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

little miss squiggley pants

i finally met little miss squiggley pants (aka my niece, aka lmsp). it sort of felt like internet dating in that so little of the person was contained in the pictures i'd seen. she was so much cuter in person... so much sillier and squigglier and gassy. my brother is convinced that she can already talk, stand, and compute the square root of pi -- just like any proud father. apparently, she says "ap ap" when she looks at the fan (though i did not hear it in my four days with her), and she is referring to the fact that the fan is an appliance. not bad for 6 weeks, eh? we're expecting a harvard m.d. by 2007.

we also saw two other babies on our vacation (hence the subtitle of our west coast trip -- "baby tour 2006"). my cousin's and my oldest friend's. both had boys, and they dwarfed lmsp by many ounces. all were cute and well behaved.

otherwise the trip was a success. no car wrecks despite 2 nyc drivers clocking in over a 1000 miles. i saw 3 good friends, 6 in-laws, 4 cousins, 1 sibling, and 1 niece in 10 days. i will try to get some trip pics online tomorrow...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

the old me

i'm falling back into the patterns of a non-student. i forgot what had motivated me to start grad school in the first place... the desire to grow a little, learn something new, try on a new hat for a change. now that i'm back out of school i'm rediscovering that familiar longing. i want to try baking again... making elaborate meals just for the fun of it. i also wonder if perhaps i should have taken courses in computer graphics or landscape design while i was still a full-time employee here. as my age creeps higher, i still can't seem to imagine what a dream job would look like. i'm much more the type for a dream hobby. "job" just makes me picture being stuck in an office for hours and hours, days and days, weeks and weeks, until next thing you know your fifty years old and wondering where your life went. hell, i'm 29 years old and wondering where my youth went. wasn't i just that fresh young thing out of college with nary a wrinkle to my brow? how could seven years of adulthood meandered by unnoticed?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

save the children, knit

as if by magic a friend emailed me this link yesterday. anyone else a knitter? or know one?
btw, i've come up with a new resolution for myself (perhaps magic will help with this one, too). i need to go to hawaii. fate, i can be found one storey below ground at approximately 43 degrees north, 75 degrees west. i can be at newark airport with bag in hand in three hours flat.

Monday, August 14, 2006

thoughts on knitting

i've decided that from this point on i should only knit things for babies. i knit a whole dress for my niece in a matter of maybe a month... and meanwhile i've been working on a skirt for myself for the last eight and a half months. and after all that time, i'm maybe halfway done. my patience is wearing thin.
for those of you on the east coast, i hope you were able to spend a good chunk of the weekend outdoors because the weather was just dreamy. the arid breezes called-up visions of falling leaves and pumpkins. mm... i was ready to grab my leather jacket and some warm apple cider...
for those of you who used to keep track of mil's comings and goings via his practically defunct blog, he'll be giving that mcat a double-take this weekend. wish me luck!

Friday, August 11, 2006

guess what movie we're going to see tonight... here's a clue: ab & mil picked it. this was my first choice.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


it's me! over here. that's right. i've managed to remember that i have a blog. not sure how long it will last, though mil and i are seriously considering making podcasts to put on youtube. what do you think? far more entertaining than my usual meandering ramblings... and mil's usual silence. any intro episode suggestions?
anyway, my masters work is complete, so now i get to sit by the mailbox eagerly awaiting my my degree. ok, so i'm not sitting by the mailbox... i've got far more important things to do... like find a job. one that doesn't bore me to tears, pays me lots of money, and makes me feel good about myself... hmm... tall order. i was reading this interesting article in the times, and it made me worry that if these really smart, highly qualified women are having a difficult time finding a job that is suitably challenging, high-paying, and part-time, wtf am i going to do when i have kids? i don't know, but i sure as hell am going to stay far away from "the street."
so, i have a niece. did i mention that? yeah, she's pretty darn cute. mil and i are heading west in a week and a half so we can finally meet her in person. ichat is great and all, but they still haven't figured out how to teleport small children across the continent... maybe in ichat 4.0.
um... yeah, that's all i can think of. so... stay classy, san diego.

Friday, August 04, 2006


so, yesterday was my last day of field. it was a rough one... not for the usual reasons, but because i had to say good-bye to some people i've become very close to. it's amazing what happens when you spend an hour a week with someone talking about their hopes and fears and daily struggles. one young client started crying, and that almost brought me to tears as well. there was little comfort i could offer when all he wanted was for me to stay... a child who's had more upheaval in the last six months than i've had in my whole life. what could i do? i'm graduating, moving on with my life. i almost lost it again in my last meeting with my supervisor who offered me a hug and "best of luck with your future." last summer i couldn't wait to get out of field. my final ride home on the d was like heaven... i think i might have been singing. this summer, i just feel lonely and sad, and i just want to go back next wednesday and see my clients one last time... give them one last hug. it's a weird feeling to just walk out on people you've spent so much time getting to know. i'll likely never see or hear from any of them again. i won't know how their first year of high school went or whether they got that job they've been waiting to hear back about. i know i'll get over it, move on, etc., but all of the people i've met over the past year will stick with me, and my world is just a little bigger because of them.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

posty posterrific

here i am... sitting at my computer... still not really coming up with anything to post about. there's no news on the job front other than i've made an appointment to spend some quality time at the office of this executive recruiter person next week provided my jury duty doesn't extend beyond the 3-day mark. mil is still studying up a storm for the crap-cat. and we played hooky from the city over the weekend, so we could sit in the pool at my parents place and play ping-pong with the metsfan clan. and it was good.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Follow Your Dream
Originally uploaded by AliceinW.

not feeling very talkative this week... so i thought i'd share someone else's photograph. kinda says it all...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

she's here!

baby b has joined the ranks of the eating, breathing, pooping, tooting, burping humans. weighing in at 6 lbs. 9 oz. and i-don't-know-how-many-inches-because-it-was-3am-and-i-was-half-asleep-when-i-got-the-call, she's a lucky little camper. she's already being doted on by two loving parents and four teary-eyed (if a little sleepy) grandparents. i'm sure that they're more than making up for my absence. unfortunately, modern technology didn't work in my favor, so i've yet to see the little lady, but i've been standing sentry by my laptop just in case.

Friday, July 21, 2006

she's coming...

my niece is coming! my niece is coming! unfortunately, i'm a continent away, so i'm going to have to enjoy the festivities via isight. my brother got his new macbook just in time, so while i won't be able to hold her for another month, i will be able to watch my brother get used to holding his first child and see my parents ogle over their first grandchild thanks to the internet. it should be quite an experience.


while it pales in comparison, i also had my first job interview of the season yesterday. i'm still trying to figure out how i feel about it. i think it went well, and since my dad made the introductions, i think i had a leg up on the competition. my concerns are really about myself, my capabilities, and what i want to see happen in the next few years of my life. it's a position that would require jumping back into the corporate world with full force. it would make use of my social work skills, but would require an additional skill set i haven't quite mastered: sales skills. the upshot is that i would work my way toward a very handsome salary over the next few years. the downshot (does that exist?) is that i will have to work my butt off for it and try to get in touch with my inner salesperson (without losing my soul). that also means that the wee milmoosks might have to wait a little longer than expected to greet the world. hmm.. much to mull... fortunately, i've been offered the opportunity to be a wallflower for a few hours to see just how soul-sucking the job might be. seems like a smart place to start.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


i imagine people going about their daily lives... working, buying food, taking care of their families, when suddenly every semblance of normalcy is ripped apart by the sounds of missles striking buildings not too far away. homes, restaurants, schools, office buildings quickly become indistiguishable piles of dusty rubble.

my sympathies do not lie with israel or hezbollah or lebanon, but the people of all faiths and ethnicities who get caught in the crossfire. i have a hard time understanding the level of hate that must permeate the region in order for the kidnapping of two soldiers to lead to the deaths of 224 people -- and that is only the latest count. i cannot fathom the level of anger a person must feel to put a whole country in danger just to make a point. what i do understand is that hate breeds hate and anger breeds anger, and violence just begets more violence. it's hard to see how this will end without shattering the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, and it's devastating to see what could have been the tenuous beginning of peace fall apart literally overnight.

Friday, July 14, 2006

work schmerk

i don't know why, but this last month of work seems like it's going to last an eternity. it's so hard to be almost out the door... i feel like i should be more excited, but given that i don't know exactly what's going to come next, it's hard to be. it seems that i might have the option to continue working for one of my bosses on a part-time basis which wouldn't be bad. i'd still have some benefits (though i will actually have to pay something for them), and i'd have some clue as to where the money will come from for our west coast trip next month. and i will get a chance to take it easy for a while till i fill the slot for the other part time job. on the other hand, i don't know what i'd do for that other part time job. i could look for something in social work, or i could try something totally new... there's a definite lure to the whole "making real money" thing, but the part time job could actually make social work a little more financially appealing (though still pretty far from "real money") since i'll be getting paychecks from the other job, too. ahh... so many decisions. i guess i should just be glad i have options. i'll keep you posted if any decisions are actually made.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

recipe for a happy marriage...

... or strawberry risotto.

last night mil and i decided to celebrate our anniversary on the cheap with a romantic homemade meal. we even went so far as to sit at the dining table instead of the coffee table as we usually do. of course, that doesn't mean that we didn't watch hell's kitchen while we consumed our romantic dinner... an addiction's an addiction, you know.

anyway, the one somewhat fancy meal i know how to cook is strawberry risotto. it's a recipe ms. cartoonsite introduced us to a few years back when we were looking for an exciting summer meal that didn't require leaving the confines of our air conditioned apartment. i was surprised that red meat mil was even willing to try such a fanciful dish, but like most things, after trying it he was hooked. here's my somewhat mangled interpretation of that recipe:

5 c. chicken or veggie broth
1 small yellow onion chopped
2 T olive oil
1 c. arborio rice
1 c. + chopped strawberries
3/4 marsala wine
3/4 c. grated fresh parmesan (plus more to garnish)
1 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste

heat the broth in a saucepan to boiling, then keep at a simmer for the duration. you can make the broth with veggie or chicken stock, too. in a deep frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onions over medium heat. stir them for a few minutes until they start to turn golden. add the rice and the strawberries. stir for a couple of minutes and make sure that the rice is coated in the oil. add the marsala wine and salt and pepper. cook till the wine evaporates. start adding the vegetable broth 1/2 c. at a time (i use a big ladle to do this). you want the broth to slowly absorb into the rice, creating a creamy texture. wait till the liquid is gone before adding the next 1/2 c. of broth. continue doing this for 25 - 30 minutes until the rice is the texture you like. once it is creamy and soft enough, remove the pan from the heat. stir in the butter and the parmesan. serves 4. (or two if you eat it like mil and i do.)

just to show how romantic (and cheap) we really are, my gift to mil was the book that inspired this very, very sick game. as you can imagine, the book is also very, very sick. just the kind of thing my baby loves.

Monday, July 10, 2006


2 years ago today, mil and i waded into the waters of wedded bliss...

mil thought it would be a great anniversary treat to get a tattoo of the roman numeral II for our second anniversary. i wasn't quite game. not because i've got anything against tattoos, but because i've gotten used to my body as it is... ink-free. while mil's managed to get 5 tattoos in his relatively short lifetime, i've only gotten up the guts to get a measly navel ring. i wasn't sure that at 29, i was ready to do something that most people start at a much younger, more impetuous age. that and i really wasn't sure how i would break it to my parents. i still get sarcastic comments on the navel ring every now and again, and i've had that for eight years. no doubt my father would pummel me with an endless barrage of questions. ("so, why did you think it'd be smart to get a tattoo? how old are you? you realize that thing is never going go away?") even as i play with the idea after passing a particularly dingy-looking ink shop, i start thinking about where i'd want such a tattoo. on my wrist? no, too obvious. on the back of my shoulder? nah, mil likes 'em where he can see 'em. on my ankle? no, too common. i blamed my indecision on the location, but in truth, it was the idea of it that wrankled me. i'm just not the type.. whatever that is. at least that's what i thought until i saw how hot wood looks with her new tattoo. she's my age, and she pulled off a colorful number while her young daughter played with blocks in the lobby. maybe if i have a kid, i can be that cool, too. not bloody likely though.

Friday, July 07, 2006


this morning i took some time to clean out my old address book from the computer i have passed on to the woman who's replacing me. it's amazing the emotions that are recalled as you look at the names of people you haven't spoken to or thought about in years. the addresses had been collecting since my senior year in college when i first got my palm pilot. since then the information has been downloaded onto various computers where it accumulated more names and addresses since forgotton. anyone remember "kick ass ben"? he was there... an old fling from college? he was there. woody allen somehow made it into my palm with what is sure to be a long since discarded phone number. i remember seeing his name in my first boss's rolodex, sure that i'd have occasion to call him for some lofty business purpose, i filed it into outlook which eventually ended up on my personal palm device. funny how his and jack lemmon's were the only phone numbers that survived that job. i don't even have my boss's number anymore. another nostalgic item was the phone number i once received for an old, elementary school friend i'd lost touch with. i'd left a message for her once several years ago and never heard back from her. i haven't tried again, though i've googled her several times in hopes of finding some less personal means of communication.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Village Remix
Originally uploaded by dualpupil.

this weekend an old friend came into town. mil and i used her visit as an excuse to try to get free tickets to shakespeare in the park. at 8am saturday, well before the city streets became thick with traffic, we were seated at the foot of an acorn-encrusted hill just north of the delacorte theatre with a couple of cups of coffee and a pack of pop-tarts. the five hour wait proved profitable, and we left with three tickets to the scottish play starring a tasty and talented liev schreiber. we spent the duration in between chomping big nicks burgers and wandering the village. we found some scrumptious ceviches and stopped in at my favorite pet store for a visit to the birdies in the back. the weather was perfect -- warm with a bit of breeze. during the show, it was hard to imagine a better setting for burnham wood than the trees perched on the edge of turtle pond. afterward, we saved up just enough energy to meet mj for a drink before crashing to bed. all-in-all it was the kind of day that reminds you why you're willing to pay such exhorbitant rent...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Columbia University
Originally uploaded by Sciamano.

if all goes well, today will mark the last assignment i need to complete for my masters in social work. it's hard to believe after all of the foot-dragging that it is finally here. yay me!

on the other hand i still haven't figured out exactly what i will do once my job finishes out at the end of the summer. i would like to continue to get paid and get benefits, but i'm not sure for what. anyone want to pay me to bum around on my couch and play with my bird? i'm very good at that.

Monday, June 26, 2006

the smells of the city come sifting through trees

i love this city just about as much as anyone, but there's a certain stench that takes over on hot, humid summer days that cannot be accounted for just by the mounds of trash rotting on the sidewalks, the overwhelming b.o. of the man whose arm arcs overhead on the subway, and the sticky trails of dog pee adorning the columns in front of our building. somehow everything that reeks comes together to create a special aromatic medley that can only be described as "new york in the summer." it's not a constant -- it will come upon you surreptitiously in moments of quiet reverie, as you stroll past a starbucks or hike into the sun from the subway stairs. as you gulp that first breath of fetid air, a wave of nausea strikes fast and hard. your only hope is that your next step will take you out of the cloud of ny stench... and into a welcome pocket of clean air.

Monday, June 19, 2006

sunshine, rollercoasters, and good friends

coney island thrills
Originally uploaded by atb20.

that's really all you can ask for in a birthday weekend. if you click on this photo, you might just be able to make out metsfan, mil, and me plummeting to our near demise. we roasted in the sun and consumed hotdogs, ice cream, and some scary looking thing called a meat patty (or something of the sort). ms. cat claimed that they were quite tasty if you didn't look at what lurks beneath the flacky yellow crust. i stuck with chicken sandwiches, and i think my stomach was grateful for it. anyway, for those of you who haven't been to nyc's most ghetto beachside amusement park, i do heartily recommend it. i've never seen so many pregnant young women leading large broods of toddlers this far from utah. quite a treat!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

not photoshopped

empire state building
Originally uploaded by atb20.

mil and i went for a walkabout last weekend. we started at home, stopped by tiffany's to use a store credit from back in the wedding gift days, and finished the day at my favorite pet store in the village... with a necessary stop at mil's favorite fast food joint. i thought of ms. cartoonsite as i scarfed down my 7-layer burrito. healthy stuff. anyway, en route we passed a few of new york's non-monuments, including the one pictured above.

Monday, June 12, 2006

baby fever

anouk pinafore
Originally uploaded by atb20.

so, while i'm still getting used to the fact that it is not only okay, but desireable for people my age to start having kids, i did have a lot of fun playing with two wily little munchkins at the park yesterday while catching up with friends. shortly after wiping the drool from my hands and applying aloe vera to my sunburned back, mil and i had dinner with my 6-year old cousin and video-chatted with my other 2-year old cousin in california. all of this is coming together to prepare me for the joys of aunt-hood. in a couple of months this, my personal piece de resistance, will become even cuter with the addition of a real live, human baby. hard to believe it could get any more adorable, eh?
anyway, i'm trying not to think about what's going on in the world right now. i'm just trying to be thankful for my own good fortune and help the few folks i can. maybe next week i'll start thinking about politics and all of the shameful stuff that's happening at gitmo as...i... type..., again.

btw, don't ya love my new banner?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

this is why i love public transportation...

overheard on the subway this evening:

"if my guy was robbing banks for me, i wouldn't never leave him."

this was said by a young woman straddling a young man who at one point in the conversation asked for her name and another point discussed the real possibility of moving in with her and her 2.5 year old daughter. now if that ain't white trash, i don't know what is.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Originally uploaded by atb20.

so, it's now june. i should be spending what free time i have scouring and hospital websites. i should be hard at work finding future employment, and here i am sitting on my rear, looking at townhouses online. why? because my father has somewhat casually suggested that i might be able to go into business renovating townhouses with his assistance. apparently, some folks he knows are planning to start work on a couple of buildings in the west village, and what for him might be an interesting investment opportunity might, for me, be a great learning opportunity. at this point there are far more questions than answers: not the least of which is how would mil and i survive financially while i'm learning these valuable skills? and what does this mean for my planned social work career?

well, at this point, it makes most social work jobs look downright lousy. maybe its where i am in my internship... getting geared up for "termination" with my clients as two youngsters i've been seeing are still in serious jeopardy. the stress of this work is getting to me, and i don't know if i have the emotional reserves to deal with such difficult populations. granted i am only doing this two days a week at this point, so there is also the added tension of not really being available for my clients as much as i would like to be in addition to the exhaustion from switching back and forth between work, internship, and class. it's possible that these other factors are clouding my judgment of a career in social work.

but on the other hand, i've always found architecture and design interesting. i love wandering the streets of new york and seeing how people live, imagining myself preparing a meal in a sprawling chef's kitchen in a charming townhouse with immense casement windows facing a quiet cobblestone street. or lounging on a couch with a martini in a sparse soho loft with towering warehouse windows facing a bustling spring street below. whenever i see a stately older building suffering from years of abuse and neglect, i imagine grabbing a sander and some paint and bringing it back to its former grandeur. of course at this point i don't have the money or the time, so someone offering both would be a dream come true.

Friday, June 02, 2006

life is sweet.

mm... breakfast
Originally uploaded by atb20.

i'm a lucky person. i just wanted to be clear. despite my occasional lapses into self-pity or the moral outrage at the bush white house, i've been an incredibly fortunate individual. i've got an amazingly stable family, a supportive (and adorable) husband, and kick-ass friends. that said, the government of this country is crap. i'm not talking about the cuts to the homeland security funds for nyc (honestly, i couldn't tell you what they've been doing with them in the first place). i'm talking about the deplorable way our leader is handling the horrors of haditha and ishaqi.. blaming the troops for ethical deficits, when he has the greatest ethical deficits of all. the way troops behave in war is a direct result of the atrocities that they've seen and the attitudes and behavior that has been modeled by their superiors. these troops were not acting alone... they were acting in a way that reflects the environment they are in and the psychologically traumatizing events to which they have been subjected. that does not excuse their behavior by any stretch, but for bush to make statements about rooting out the individuals who are responsible without taking a moment to look in the mirror and see where they learned it, is like an abusive father wagging his finger at his son who beats his wife. and now they're going to employ ethical training...without taking a moment to understand why in three separate and seemingly unrelated incidents (at least of those that have been reported) several american troops have treated the iraqi people like target practice. this is not a matter of poor ethical training, it's a matter of being put in an environment where ethics no longer exist...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

on a lighter note...

mil and i spent the holiday weekend (and mil's first weekend sans homework) with my folks in the wilds of westchester. as an added bonus my grandmother was in town for a brief visit. i hadn't seen grammie since she was diagnosed with alzheimers a few months ago. i was prepared for the worst. between her poor hearing, breaking her back trying to move a couch, and her fading memory, i was expecting a shadow of the dynamo she once was. well, despite losing a couple of inches in a height and a bite-sized chunk of her joie de vivre, she's still the same sassy dame i met a few days out of the womb. her tap dancing days might be numbered, but it seems her ping-pong days have just begun. you've never seen a nonagenarian with such a wicked back-hand. i'm afraid that she'll be wiping the table with me next time she's in town (perhaps not a difficult thing, but embarassing nonetheless...).
grammie & wee moosk
in other news, my old buddy from my days in a wheelbarrow has had her baby... unfortunately, she's a continent away, so i have to wait to meet him in person. from what i can see, he's quite a cutie though!

Monday, May 29, 2006

memorial day

Displaced meaning.
Originally uploaded by Evan Lane.

it's difficult to know exactly how to be patriotic these days. so far today, i've been reminded of this devastating war more times than i can count... in the recently revealed massacre of an iraqi family by american troops... the story about pat tillman being killed in "friendly fire" instead of by taliban troops... the death of soldiers, members of the media, and more iraqis in a day that is to be set aside for rememberance... not to mention the physical and psychological trauma of those who've made it home... and those who will never see a loved one again thanks to an unnecessary war. despite this war which makes me question my country's leaders and fear the worst for the future of the middle east (and america), i am thankful. i am thankful to the many men and women who have volunteered their service and their lives for the freedom that many of us take for granted. despite the fallibility of our leaders, there are people who are so proud of what this country stands for that they will risk their lives for it when many of us (myself included) are happy to enjoy our hot dogs and apple pie with our families and let others fight for our right to do so. i only hope that through my life and my work, i can help justify those sacrifices.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


lately, i've begun thinking about the 2008 presidential election. it's still a few years off, but i need to have something to look forward to. (yes, i'm looking forward to this year's election as well, but i won't be able to rest easy until the bush is out of office.) perhaps i'm wrong, but it looks like hillary is the front-runner for the democratic nomination at this point in time. of course, 2008 is a long way off, and a great deal can happen before the democratic primary. the media circus is already beginning. we all remember the infamous howl that ended the dean campaign. though i think we can trust that hillary won't show such ebullience.

so, who is hillary? is she someone we can trust? (is there any politician that can be trusted?) is she a human being first and a politician second? will she stand up for the values of the democratic party: freedom of speech, reproductive rights, equality for all, and nationwide healthcare? why did she vote for the war in iraq? why did she denigrate young people? what does she stand for? these are all good questions and important questions to ask of a potential candidate. but my concern is that these questions are all secondary in the minds of the public. first and foremost in people's minds is the fact that she's female. if she were male, and all of the facts remained the same -- she stood by her spouse after a very public affair, she voted for the war in iraq, and she said that young people were lazy and needed to shape-up to help america compete in the new global economy -- (s)he would be a shoe-in for the democratic nomination. all of these matters would be debated briefly, and the fact that she's a brilliant, eloquent politician would remain behind. but because she's female, her motives have been questioned over and over again, and small issues that should not impact her nomination (namely the fact that she stood by bill after the lewinsky scandal), become all consuming in the public debate.

i'm still not sure how i feel about hillary as president -- i don't really trust her (but then again i don't really trust any politician), but i also don't know if there is a more qualified individual out there. i'd love to hear what others have to say. there is definitely more to the argument than what i have mentioned here, but my gut feeling is that if she had grey hair and a penis she wouldn't be subject to the same kind of scrutiny she's experiencing right now.

Monday, May 22, 2006

let the job hunting begin!

so, i've applied to my first real job. (thanks to ab for his resume review.) it was for a research associate position at a nonprofit focused on promoting women in the workforce. i actually felt that it was fate stepping in to intervene in my whole internal career debate. lately, as i've begun to think about my future as a working mother, i've also been thinking a great deal about the plight of the working woman and the working parent. it seemed quite fortuitous that as i flipped to pbs on saturday morning that there was a debate about the cdc designating all women capable of conceiving a child as "pre-pregnant" that caught my eye. shortly thereafter, there was a discussion of women lawyers making partner in far fewer numbers than expected that was based on research by an organization focused on advancing women in the workplace. sure enough when i checked their website, they were looking to fill a position in nyc at just my level. now i have to just wait and see if fate will continue to help by guiding my resume into the the proper hands. i rarely hear of anyone getting a position without an internal contact, but who knows.

of course this doesn't end the debate -- at least until i have a viable offer, but at least it gives me some ideas of careers outside of the typical msw route.

Friday, May 19, 2006

"lost" it

if you had been a fly on the wall in the milmoosk household wednesday night, you would surely not be here now. proof positive that highly important regions of mil and moosk's brains have leaked onto our bird-poop stained futon: after enjoying a pleasant dinner with momma moosk at a neighborhood pizzeria, mil and i quietly enter the apartment at about 9:30pm. as soon as the door closed behind us we started singing "lalala... i can't hear you" and dangerously averting our eyes from the general television area while running about the living room accumulating assorted laptops and birds and quickly whisking them into the bedroom where the singing and eye-averting did not cease until the white noise machine was turned on and the simpsons dvd began playing loudly on the laptop.

why the all the hoopla, you ask? well, as you may know, wednesday night was the evening of a much anticipated episode of "lost", and not to be dissuaded from social contact, we agreed to dine with my mother leaving our finicky vcr in charge of capturing lost's moments of answers and intrigue. as dinner ended earlier than expected, we came home with half of the episode left to record. given the destructive proclivities of our vcr, we dared not touch anything within a five foot radius of the television for fear that the vcr would cease recording on sight. that said, mil is nothing if not an anal retentive tv-watcher, so we could not catch so much of a glimpse or syllable of the episode already in progress for fear that it would burn our eyes, ring in our ears, and forever tarnish our "lost" viewing experience. so, there you have it. we've totally and completely lost it... and we're no longer trying to find it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

graduation day

as i walked onto campus today, i was greeted by a sea of powder blue gowns. actually, as the subway hit 96th street, hundreds of well-dressed parents and significant others boarded the local train, leaving little room for breathing, let alone knitting. i was quickly reminded that today is graduation day. today should be my graduation day, but alas, i have two and a half more months of class an internship, and have to wait until october to actually get my degree. rather than walking down the steps in my cap and gown (that doesn't look all that much different from the one i wore seven years ago), i will be walking down the steps to the subway to head to brooklyn for the day. rather than sitting in the sun listening to some "words of wisdom" from the university president, i'll be holed-up in my dark, little office listening to an adolescent's hopes and fears... i guess i'd rather take the latter. far more interesting.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

immigration... shmimmigration...

that's what i think. mil and i took a few moments to watch senor bush attempt political slight-of-hand with this immigration nonsense. of course, after about two minutes of listening to that boob talk, our telivision practically changed its own channel. there are many good political discussions that tackle this issue at face value, but my whole gripe is why now? why this? illegal immigration is not a new issue or an immediate threat -- at least as far as i'm aware... why 6,000 national guards (or 156,000 over the course of a year)? why not just take the time to increase the ranks of the border patrol whose job it is to make sure our country's border is not porous? my answer: because that will not grab media attention. the president is currently under a major diversion campaign to distract the country from the horrible situation in iraq, the administration's slow, steady attack on americans' personal privacy, and the government's inability to protect us from the effects of terrorism or natural disaster.

Monday, May 15, 2006

i (heart) pbs

this weekend, while putting the finishing touches on the cutest baby outfit ever (d, if you're reading this, you're not allowed to click on the link), i learned how to make homemade gnocchi with pesto sauce and the basics of string theory. rainy weekends force me to hibernate, and basic cable doesn't allow me the opportunity to watch cartoons all day, so i was all about the public broadcasting service. who know that i would get to watch a world-famous physicist from my own alma mater, speak in laymen's terms (with funky, 3-d graphics for those of us with short attention spans) about the theory of everything. i learned that the physical theories that predict the behavior of subatomic particles do not agree with einstein's theory of relatively, and that while string theory actually encompasses both, it cannot be proven experimentally. pretty cool shit. a couple of weekends before, i learned that pollution might actually be protecting us from the full effects of global warming. all of this means that if mil and i become more liquid in future years, i might still avoid the temptation of digital cable and tivo. here's to hoping i stay strong.

fortunately, basic cable does allow some mindless entertainment as well. last night, mil impulsively switched to abc after "american dad" concluded and i set my sights on bed. but i was quickly sucked into the ridiculous plotline of "grey's anatomy"'s season finale. i mean come on -- an anal retentive medical student is going to break the hippocratic oath, easily risk any future medical career and her "boyfriend's" life, just to get him this heart... absolutely and thoroughly ridiculous... i've seen more realistic plotlines on "all my children", and yet, i'll likely be watching the conclusion tonight... no willpower.

Friday, May 12, 2006

i've discovered...

the mental elastic that used to pull my brain back to task after brief diversions (or interruptions) has worn through. anyone know a good seamstress?

delayed reaction

David Blaine makes "eye" contact
Originally uploaded by NYCArthur.

i had intended to blog about this earlier this week, but it turned into quite an insane few days... i'm just now catching up. for the first time mil and i decided to watch a david blaine stunt on tv. i don't know what provoked us, perhaps the proximity of the action and the fact that both of us were too lazy to wander the few blocks to take a peek.

first thing i should mention, in case there is any doubt about my general opinion, is that i think the stunt was stupid. to think that after 7 days of being fully submerged underwater -- which can and did have untold effects on his body -- you could hold your breath longer than the world record holder is simply narcissistic. i imagine the world record holder didn't just decide one day that he would try to hold his breath for 9 minutes and do it. he trained his body and his mind for the task and performed it while in peak condition. it was foolhardy of blaine to think that he had some special abilities above and beyond the common many just because he trained with the navy seals...

anyway, my real bone of contention with blaine is that he was putting his body through strain and physical peril for the sake of entertainment. it was merely coincidental that he attempted his "trick" a day after my father took a rather grim tumble from his bicycle, giving my mother, mil, and myself several moments of envisioning him dying on a bike path in front of us in the middle of nowhere. this experience gave me little patience for the foolish prankster risking his health and possibly his life in a fishbowl next door. i thought of the miners trapped in a toxic cave, facing imminent death, while this healthy young man used his body in a pubescent display for the masses.

then again, i was one of the masses... i could say that i was curious to see if he was really risking his life in this attempt or simply entertaining us with a magic trick. but in reality, i was just hoping to see a money shot of his terrible back-ne. no luck... i turned the television off as baine's ambulance rushed by our apartment.

Monday, May 08, 2006

not to put too fine a point on it

for some reason whenever i see that line, hear that line, or even hear something remotely resembling "too fine a point", i can't help but hear the entire lyrics to "birdhouse in your soul." ...not to put too fine a point on it, say i'm the only bee in your bonnet, make a little birdhouse in your soul... admit it, it happens to you, too, right? i can't be the only one.
anyway, on this occasion, the context of this line was an article in the times about contraception, and the emerging battle against it. apparently, abortion is only the tip of the iceberg. crazy christians (because "fundamentalist" just doesn't begin to cover it) are now planning to roll us back to the times of abelard and heloise when sex -- even within marriage -- was frowned upon except for the sole purpose of procreation. because as we all know sex is the real problem with america today. hey, i whole-heartedly agree that contraception is not everything it's cracked up to be. women can still get pregnant, and some thoroughly unwelcome diseases can still make their way past nonoxynol-9. what i don't get is the conservative theory that if we discourage use of contraceptives and abortion by making them harder to get and harder to learn about, then young people are less likely to be promiscuous. perhaps these people have thoroughly forgotten their adolscent libidos, but from my recollection, many of my peers had a healthy fear of pregnancy and stds, but they were still willing to gamble it all on a few moments of pleasure. fortunately, most of my friends had had a good sex ed class before that time, so they knew enough to wear condoms, and most of them made it through without an unintended pregnancy or a life-threatening std.

Friday, May 05, 2006

!*%$#@& heels!

i don't know what sadistic, cheuvanistic crap-bag of a human being invented high heels, but let it be known that i, moosk, don't like you. i know, such vehement words... but they are deserved. this morning as i happily considered the beautiful phrase: high around 80 degrees. i quickly dashed to my closet to find the most summery of summer skirts. i found a lovely white, a-line skirt with dapper black stitching -- short, but not improper. proud of my accomplishment (as a long-time private school kid, fashion is not my forte), i reached to the back of my closet to blow the dust off of some appropriately summer-y shoes. i pondered my selection... dainty little white sandals with a slight heel or more clunky, cushiony gold sandals with more comfort and slightly more heel. of course i went for the white ones with a little push from the hubs ("you know which ones go better... but don't listen to me..."). mere moments after stepping onto the cracked sidewalks of new york, i regretted my decision. the tendons in my shins were aching with the effort and little red welts began to line the outsides of my toes... not to mention the clack-clack-clack of the shoe-heels being propelled groundward before the rest of my foot. so that brings me to now... about 4:05 in the afternoon and walking around my office barefoot. i'm not quite sure how i am going to make it home, but lord knows i will complain about it. and, sick man, (it was most definitely a man) who conjured up these attractive little torture devices, let me say this: i don't like you.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


sunday evening during something approximating dinner preparations --
mil: that's it! the ass effect!
moosk: so that's what goes on in your brain when it's not full of organic
chemistry transformations?
mil: pretty much

flashback to saturday morning --
mil: saturday night live should really make fun of these axe effect commercials. they're ripe for mockery.
moosk: they are?
mil: yeah, they could have it so that the guy walks down the street, and only
ugly women are attracted to him.
moosk: or little old ladies...
mil: or gay guys...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


before i return to my rousing game of "make some sh*t up," i wanted to let those of you who care know that i made a brief, celebratory visit to amcaf this evening. some of my classmates handed in their final paper of their msw careers, and we thought it was a good occasion to drink to the end of the world's most painfully boring class ever. "a toast to fighting every instinct in my body and NOT allowing my brain to succumb to sleep for an entire semester!" my classmates apparently got a great kick out of my unwitting imitation of the girl in ferris bueller's class who can't keep her eyes open. anyway, for those who haven't been, i must say that while the drinks aren't much better than they were oh so many years ago, the ambience at amcaf is thoroughly unrecognizeable. apparently, we were drinking in the "lounge." can any of you picture the word "lounge" having anything to do with the old dirty amcaf? neither can i? it was hard to put together the image i have of various friends (who shall remain nameless) getting shellacked on cheap pitchers of beer at what is now a trendy-looking tapas bar that serves leechi martinis.

Monday, May 01, 2006

ß∂Ω† 77771 7./

head crashing on keyboard... hope to return to the land of the living later this week...sٶisdr762 4l.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

a roll through the park

well, i didn't make it to the peace march this morning, and that was disappointing. it just seemed like it would cut into too much paper-writing time. i imagine there will be more... seems like there should be an extension for political activism at a social work school, but i guess i could have always been more prepared and started my papers last weekend. since i didn't though, i had to take a brief opportunity to escape the confines of my apartment. by 4pm it was impossible to focus on my paper any further, so i strapped on my rollerblades and took to the park. as a reminder for myself during those painfully long days strapped to my computer in the cellar of schermerhorn, here is a photo tour of my voyage...

further away
the cherry blossoms were still in bloom though the leaves were starting to sprout as well...

cherry blossoms up close

west side

i'm not sure what kind of tree this is, but it has the most beautiful purple buds growing all the way down the branches.

looking across the ballfields from the east side, just before coasting down "the great hill"

one of my favorite spots in the park... unlike the lower half of the park, above 100th st. is pretty peaceful and tourist-free.

i almost didn't notice this guy hiding in the tree. he swooped down to within feet of me as he tried to escape from a few pesky jays.

sheeps meadow
no doubt it's spring.

across the lake

bird in the grass


park enthusiasts will notice that i didn't get any shots of the popular lower east corner of the park. while beautiful, that area attracts more navel-gazing tourists than i can comfortably wheel around with my camera. in addition the entire area reeks of horsesh*t, so i try to get through it as quickly as possible. it was really a spectacular day for a rollerbrake though -- i hope my fellow ny-ers got out to enjoy the day.

Friday, April 28, 2006


well, if i'm gonna go for a walk tomorrow, this seems like a good excuse. any new yorkers want to join me??

imagining myself outside

Umbrian arbour
Originally uploaded by giles sanders.

hell, if i'm going to start imagining myself someplace i might as well go for the gusto. i shall imagine myself on our honeymoon terrace in italy... reading under the tuscan sun under the mediterranean sun... listening to the excited shouts of the local children standing on the cliff nearby: la medusa! la medusa! hearing the blue-green waves lap against the rocky ledge below... mil napping in the cool shade of the room... a belly full of tomatoes caprese and soury sweet peaches and pears. the breeze sweeping through the crisp sunlight blowing strands of hair into my face... the sparkling, crystalline water summoning me to challenge my fear of jellyfish... and dive in.
bringing myself back to reality, i can at least take comfort in the coming weekend. unlike last weekend, we should be able to expect sunshine and highs in the 60s. unfortunately, i have two papers due next week (in what will be the last week of my spring semester, yay!), so my outdoor time will likely be limited. though i plan to make every effort to fit it in where i can.
final note: for some reason, i'm not able to post comments from my work computer, so it seems that both mbajackass and cartoonsite have gone unresponded to.

c, thanks for the input re: bird adolescence... i've tried a "birdsitter" dvd to little avail. at this point i'm very tempted to post an ad on craigslist: "spf, 5, looking for friendship and maybe more."

m, no need for gifts -- thanks for offering though! many congrats!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

the terrible fives

when i took her to the vet a few months ago, i was told that she's in her adolesence and in a few years she'll calm down and become a more respectable member of the family. what they didn't tell me was that in the meantime she could get much, much worse.

izzy has officially lost it. she is no longer able to entertain herself in relative peace and quiet. if we are in the apartment and she is not either in our food or destroying one of our possessions, she is screaming and/or pecking at our feet. she used to have long periods of relative mellow-ness interspersed with brief bouts of flapping, screaming, and destroying. now it is the other way around. i'm not sure what to do with her at this point, and lord knows, mil is well past his "cool." any bird experts out there? is there something i can feed her? ambien? xanax? honestly, i think she just needs to get laid. any handsome galahs out there looking for a good time? she likes long walks on the kitchen tile and eating her way through cereal boxes...
in other news, mil took his mcat this weekend. that's eight hours of his life that he'll never see again (then again, neither will i). it was touch and go for a while there, but i think he's beginning to regain his usual spunk. he's still not sure how he did, so he's trying to get used to the idea that he might have to take it again in august... i guess i need to do the same.
i'm having some moments of inspiration re: the job search recently. after watching several episodes of the west wing, i'm thinking i might want to incorporate some policy work into my next job. i saw some interesting listings on monster for a political advisor for the mission of japan and a program associate for the council on foreign relations. sounds much more interesting than poorly paid social worker at underfunded clinic in the bronx...

Friday, April 21, 2006


yay ladies night!
yay martinis!
yay weekend!
yay samoas!
yay spring!
boo social work!

i made the mistake of going to an msw job fair this afternoon, and it was very depressing. everyone was nice and eager and talking about all the important work you get to do with cancer patients or adolescents or substance users. then i ask them about starting salary and they talk about their "competitive starting salary" of $46K, and this is from the hospitals which are known for their relatively high salaries. now, yes, i know that this is more than i'm making now and not a bad salary for tulsa, but in new york city, after taxes it barely covers the rent... on a 1br apt. back to the drawing board...
don't tell my boss (who's one of the founders of the cognitive tradition in psychology), but i'm learning to love psychodynamic psychotherapy. there's a certain artistic and intuitive quality that makes it more engaging than other, more "evidence-based" intervention techniques. it also uses the therapist more so than a more cognitive or behavioral approach. i am learning a lot about myself as i explore the various pathologies and neurotic tendencies of my clients. i always thought of myself as a fairly uninteresting specimen. my parents once gave me a cartoon from the new yorker with a college girl sitting in her dormroom writing a letter that says: dear mom and dad, thanks for the happy childhood. now i'll never be a writer psychologist. and i thought it was pretty much true, but as i go through the process of analyzing my clients, i realize that there's a lot of me that i've left unanalyzed (maybe for the better). i mentioned in an earlier post that i am more neurotic than i ever thought of myself as being. i tend to judge myself pretty harshly against a standard of perfection that i will likely never achieve. i think this is part of the reason i've had such a difficult time figuring out what i should do with my life. at some level, i've internalized my parents' hopes and desires for what i'd achieve, and they're not quite meshing with what i see myself enjoying. the difficulty is parsing out what is me and what is my parents and what is everything else.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

think happy thoughts

sequoia rays
Originally uploaded by zrim.

so, mil is counting down the hours to the mcat this saturday... and though i'm not of the religious sort (as is blatantly obvious in my post from earlier this week), i've taken to offering supplication to the little known g*d of standardized tests. mil has found himself seeking counsel from the buddha. and now i ask those of you who have some love for that mop-headed encyclopedia of useless movie trivia and simpsons quotes, i call my husband, to think happy thoughts for him this weekend. we'd be much obliged to ya.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

i've been blessed

someone here in the department has a girl scout for a kid, and that means i get to dine on one of my favorite springtime delicacies... samoas... it's been a while, kid, i'm happy to see you've come back.
i'm feeling motivated to talk politics what with the looming threats against iran and the whole controversy surrounding these generals who've spoken out against rumsfeld. but there is a part of me that's tired of complaining... i know the administration wants to paint all liberals as a bunch of screaming hippies, but really we just want a country that will make us proud to be americans and a world where our kids and our kids' kids can enjoy life in peace. i don't think that those desires really make us distinct from the conservatives in this country. i think it's more important to have a dialogue that shows our commonalities and allows us to open our hearts and eyes to alternative perspectives than to hurl labels at eachother a la o'reilly and randy rhodes. (honestly, i love listening to randy, and i think she's a smart person -- unlike o'reilly, but she's an entertainer. i don't think she's doing anything to encourage a dialogue.) i was listening to that paragon of democratic ideals, jerry springer, this morning, and i think i fell in love a little bit. the man speaks respectfully to everyone who calls into his show no matter what their viewpoint is, and he responds thoughtfully and intelligently. if you haven't tuned in to air america recently, his show's worth a listen (9-12 ET).

Monday, April 17, 2006


birch aquarium
Originally uploaded by atb20.

my cousin's little cutie, pictured here, can't quite distingush fish from sharks (or "shocks" as she likes to call them). i don't blame her... i think i was about ten before i figured that one out. (and whales are mammals?? you're kidding me, right?) anyway, we enjoyed an afternoon at the birch aquarium out of fear that it might rain -- of course, it turned out to be the most beautiful day of the trip. that said, my day was made when the kiddo here vehemently waved "bye-bye!" to every passing car as we left the aquarium. and when i say vehemently, i mean it was an order. bye-bye... bye-bye! BYE! BYE!

there and back again

so, as you can see, i didn't manage to post from california... you can probably glean from this fact that i also did not work on my various papers. fortunately, none are due this week. somehow the presence of my family makes it virtually impossible to accomplish anything substantive. i don't know how they do this. even my brother was parent pressured into playing hooky on friday. (though this is relatively simple... you just have to utter a simple four-latter word: golf.) i did eat well and get some knitting done. i had the opportunity to see my statuesque sister-in-law with a growing baby bump. and i finally got to tour the stylish suburban casa my brother and sister-in-law call home. makes me feel a little behind the game, but i guess that's the nature of being a little sister -- nevermind that my brother was much further along the path to adulthood when he was my age. he has that innate drive to make a living wage that seems to have passed me up.
so, for those of you who miss the presence of papa moosk in their daily lives, i thought i'd recount a bit of family conversation on the eve of "good friday." (please note: this conversation took place after moosk and parents sat on a plane for over eight hours arriving at their hotel at what would have been 2am ET.) my father, the paragon of tact, asked my brother & sil, "isn't good friday supposed to be the day that jesus died?" response: "yeah." dad: "well, that sounds pretty sh*tty to me. whey do they call it 'good friday'? shouldn't it be 'sh*tty friday'?" and my father doesn't say things quietly -- he says them for all to hear. and if he thinks that what he said was funny, he will repeat it over and over again. and he thought this was funny. meanwhile, the rest of us were scanning faces to see if anyone around us was sending evil karma our way.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

happy 201st post!

there was a period there where i never thought i'd see this day, but here it is... 201 posts. my baby blog is all grown up...
so, i'm a little ocd now with the banners. i apologize. i think the new tagline says it all. still, i will try to leave this one up for at least two weeks. i just kept seeing that cloud banner and saying to myself -- oh, i can do better than that. this one is courtesy of the world's most boring social work class. genuine doodle, folks.
finally, the reason for the new change of scheme is that i'm heading out of town tomorrow, and i feel bad leaving you guys to suffer through a long weekend without me. to those celebrating holidays, i wish you the happiest of easters and passovers. personally, i get to enjoy all of the feasting without any of the fasting thanks to a little thing i call agnosticism. i will actually be bringing the computer along to get some paper-writing done over the weekend, so there's probably a good chance you'll hear from me before monday.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

my emergence from the cave...

there are few moments more revitalizing than the first steps out of a dark, dank, cavernous lab into the brilliant sun of a midafternoon on a thoroughly warm and breezy spring day... so spring-like that the pink and white petals from the blossoms on the trees flitted to the ground in the breeze...

...and fewer moments more disheartening than the clank of the door shutting out the chirping birds and the laughing undergrads, leaving me alone with my computer monitor and the recycled air of my own personal dungeon.

Monday, April 10, 2006

i like to believe...

...that i don't care what anybody else thinks of me. unfortunately, i do. i often ask mil whether or not i should cut my hair or wear a certain outfit or write a certain thing in my blog. unfortunately, as well, he is rarely able to offer much more than a "whatever you want to do, hon." (okay, maybe that's a "fortunately").

...that i didn't care what anybody else thought of high school. for some reason, i always fancied myself "above the fray" because i was never popular and never made much of an attempt to be so. a more correct portrayal might have been that i was "beneath the fray" because, like many adolescent girls of my ilk, it seemed like it took a lot of work to become popular and i was lazy.

...that i am a generally nice person. the evidence is to the contrary. i rarely give up my seat on the subway to people loaded down with bags or groceries or the borderline "elderly." i purposefully walk into people when they don't make room for me on the sidewalk. and i've laughed at more politically incorrect "family guy" jokes than i'd care to mention.

...that i pull my weight at home. again, the evidence does not support this assumption. i don't know how many times mil has done my laundry or made my dinner or cleaned up after me, but i do know that the number far exceeds the times i've done so for him. all despite the fact that he currently has absolutely no free time.

anyway, just felt the need to clear the air there. anyone else have similar self-delusional thoughts?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

not working on my paper

this is a recurring theme here at elegy... me, sitting at home alone on a saturday or sunday, knowing that i should be spending time catching up on homework, but consciously doing anything but. you'd think that at this point in the game i would have figured out how to psych myself up to accomplish a little more than creating a new banner for mba jackass and playing with my bird on a rainy saturday. but, alas, i haven't. fortunately, at least izzy is happy for the attention. she's been her more adorable self most of the day, wagging her entire body for a soaking shower, playing bull to my matador as i fluff the blanket, and purring on my chest at naptime. now that mil is home, the day isn't showing much sign of improvement as he has decided to use this time to score the practice mcat he spent the first 8 hours of his day completing (note: his prep course will score the test by monday, but that's just not soon enough for my little masochist). here's to hoping i can do my part to distract him...

Friday, April 07, 2006

how much for zee little children?

in a move that surprised no one here in nyc, the city council approved the yankees bid to use public funds to destroy one of the largest public parks in new york city. in case you were worried about this being a bad thing, the parkland will be replaced by a new 53,000-seat stadium with 60 luxury sky boxes and 10,000 parking spaces when it is completed in 2009. phew... and i thought this might be a bad thing for the residents of the south bronx. i was busy worrying about the children of the bronx who already have the highest asthma rates in the country and probably the highest rates of child obesity and diabetes. according to the 2003 census, one third of the residents of central bronx do not get any physical activity and one quarter of the residents are obese. 41% of public elementary schools in nyc do not have regular phys ed classes. in addition to the lack of formal pe classes, many schools have eradicated recess due to lack of space or lack of supervision. 55% of nyc elementary schools have no access to a playground and 18% have no gymnasium. so, yeah, that's what the bronx needs -- a new yankee stadium.

oh, and for those that argue that the new stadium is a financial boon to the community... the yanks "will pay for the construction through $930 million in bonds issued by the city, of which $860 million will be tax-exempt. taxpayers will also bear some of the costs because the team will pay back the bonds through payments in lieu of taxes to the city." sounds good to me. maybe the yanks can donate some of that new income from the luxury boxes to the hospitals in the communities because according to a CDC report (2003), annual hospital costs to treat obese children and adolescents during 1997 to 1999 were $127 million, up from $35 million between 1979 and 1981. so, yeah, i can't really trump up pity for bronx councilwoman arroyo when she says that this was a tough decision for her. she seems more than willing to sell out the health of bronx children for a few short-term construction jobs.