March 23, 2008

Breaking guilt

The grandest of intentions. Spring break meant books and papers and time to put together resumes and cover letters, not to mention the occasional summer housing application and term paper.

But somehow I've put it all on hold to catch up with family, friends and sleep. Have I wasted this time? That is always the question, but I must answer with a resounding no.

I think taking a break during spring break is a healing thing. And this time apart from work will sustain me through the coming weeks of madness, which I couldn't avoid if I worked myself to the bone over break anyway.

There's always something to do--or maybe I'm just trying to rationalize all the hours I spent on YouTube.

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March 21, 2008

I feel bad about my (stiff) neck

I knew something was wrong the moment I opened my eyes.

So it's in that moment that you decide to move with purpose, inch by regrettable inch until you know the source of the issue. But I didn't get too far. I thought I was paralyzed. My neck hurt with that ache you know that doesn't go away for at least two days.

I slept on it "wrong". But I really shouldn't be blaming my sleeping position at all. I should be blaming it on the replacement pillow on my bed at home in Pa. The pillow itself is one of my dad's. The stuffing, literally, feels like cotton balls wadded together and flattened.

I'd debated packing one of my stellar K-Mart pillows (excellent stuffing a la jailbird M. Stewart), but decided against it because I thought I could bear the lumpy pillow for five short days. But I was very wrong.

As it was this morning, I could move my head from a forward position and then right, but to the left seemed a lost cause. This is such a hazard, especially when you're coming home from a three month Pennsylvania hiatus. People want to see you well. They want to know that you're thriving and okay back in the home atmosphere. They don't want to hear you whining that you can't look left without a severe pain in the neck.

I thought today numerous times about Nora Ephron's book entitled, I Feel Bad About My Neck. I do feel bad about my neck, primarily because at lunch today I couldn't look my mother in the eye without completely -- and awkwardly -- turning my entire torso toward her. I probably looked like a robot in conversation.

But after sleeping some this afternoon with a lovely heating pad and some muscle rub, I'm managing. I just hope it's gone by Tuesday. Friends and family will excuse my odd gesturing, but interview subjects may not be as forgiving.

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March 16, 2008

Must share: Izzard

I recently discovered Eddie Izzard. He's crass. He's British. He's so my style. Particularly because he's a transvestite--sometimes.

Oh, and he's also on The Riches, which I haven't seen yet, but am now compelled to because he skips his accent. It's fascinating when actors strip out their accent for roles. I think it's generally a shame for the Irish, Scots, British and Australians, but for everyone else, I say, go for it.

I just saw him with a friend at Union Square Theatre and laughed until I cried. And then I went home and watched him some more on YouTube.

Have you heard of him? Am I completely behind on Izzard love?

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March 4, 2008

The F-unny train

Sometimes you just have to write something down. Lots of strange things happen to me in New York City. I don't write them down most days. I just shake my head and walk on.

But tonight after screening a new doc, "Needle through a Brick" on the anticipated demise of traditional Chinese Kung Fu, I faced an unlikely ride home.

I took the F train, which I am getting to know very well. I hopped aboard at 23rd Street and was internally laughing--because you never laugh outwardly on the subway-o-serious--at the train operator. He was having difficulty saying one of the most common sentences in New York: "Stand clear of the closing doors." And I understand that he was probably distracted--maybe he wanted to say it with flair or he just had gummy bears on the brain. Nevertheless, I was laughing internally. Sometimes you can't help these things.

But anyway, I marked it on the next two stops that he was having issues with the same statement. The next time he said, "Stand clear of the cl---clos--clo" and didn't really finish. The doors just snapped shut. And I was thinking how funny it would be if some person were actually waiting on that statement and were shut in the doors and what an amazing case it would be to have a separate torso and legs person suing MTA, which is already supposedly hurting for money.

But as I was musing, I realized that my stop was coming up. Jay Street/Borough Hall. Great. It was a long day and I needed a cold chocolate milk from my fridge. I stood up, thinking about my chocolaty treat, and sauntered with the uneasy ease of a seasoned train rider to the door. And then my train operator didn't say anything. And we waited. Nothing happened. And then he said it with perfect ease: "Stand clear of the closing doors."

But they never opened. And he started up the train again. And we were headed to Bergen Street. I will spare you the fury of my fellow passengers at the next stop, which required a transfer. They lambasted our lackadaisical driver. I swear the poor man was probably tearing up behind his tinted goggles.

However, when we got to the other uptown side, they weren't charged, as they'd feared, by the kind MTA employee at the booth.

As I hopped on to Jay Street/Borough Hall for the second time in one evening, I laughed to myself--as usual. The city is loud and I am quiet. And it seems, if you take it in stride and learn to laugh--even when you're tired--life is a little simpler and the supposed inconvenience a little easier to take.

Oh, and I did get my chocolate milk. Sweeter and colder than it would have been a few minutes sooner.

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March 3, 2008

Pick your Dem. candidate: Mac or PC

I've been hearing a lot about style as a deciding factor for the upcoming elections, but nothing has caught my attention like this article in the Times about Obama as Mac and PC (pardon the pun) Clinton.

And I think the conclusions drawn about Obama's Mac style mimic what voters are thinking about him--he's cool to the core and easy for some to agree with, but questions about whether he is "enough" still remain about him:

While Mr. Santa Maria praised for having “this welcoming quality,” he added that it was “ethereal, vaporous and someone could construe it as nebulous.” He said there was a bit of the “Lifetime channel effect, you know, vasoline on the lens” to create a softer effect on the viewer.

But even more interesting about this article, is how easily we're applying computer branding to people who may be running the country. In some small way, the story is pitting the Mac people and the PC people against each other. Macs -- in many circles -- are considered "cool" and PCs rather square. So what if you're an avid Mac lover and hate Obama? Does that make you an awful Mac person? Or if you love Macs and Hillary Clinton--what happens then? Is there a Times-imposed contradiction settling in?

Amazing. And I guess my next question is: What would McCain be?

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