Wednesday, April 30, 2008

terrifying potential new development

Last night my boss called me and asked, "What do you think of kids?" Unfortunately, he wasn't speaking in a hypothetical way. There is serious talk of putting me in the kids department. On one hand, I know I would likely learn a lot, since it is the number one kids department in the country. However I fear the price would be my sanity and/or my desire to be a mother. The staff in that department is extremely knowledgeable about kids' books, but their primary skill (aside from being barely glorified child wranglers) is an ability to say the right things in the right way to high strung parents. "Is little Taylor reading at level?" instead of "Is little Taylor a dullard?" Pray for me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

next year's christmas card?

This was taken at a wedding in Colorado two summers ago and, as you can see, it was a magical time. We couldn't have better planned the picture that has since been dubbed, The Retard Orchestra Conductor. Thanks Neal.

Monday, April 28, 2008

new store, new weirdness

I started at my new store uptown today. I think it's going to take quite a while to feel comfortable there. In all there were maybe 4 or 5 people who were friendly and helpful. A few were cordial, but kept their distance. And there were about 4 or 5 who were overtly hostile, aka, "Hi, I'm Clockwatcher. Nice to meet you." " I know who you are." So, yeah. They all know that there are big changes in the works and like many people, they are very resistant to change. They also know that I was a manager that now has no home and I'm waiting to be moved back into my position. This is going to be a long month or two.

On the plus side, I'm thrilled to be back around the books. It was a drag to not know what was new and not be able to check out any book I wanted to read. One of the first things I did today was check out a new biography about Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon. Joni's Blue and Carole's Tapestry tend to outshine a lot of Carly's stuff, but I can never turn my back on the woman who wrote You're So Vain.

Oh, another thing about this store is it's our number one kids department in the country. As I told Jamie, it's like a toddler shitstorm is passing through at any given time. There were at least 35-50 toddlers hobbling around the kids department whenever I looked over. Every now and then one of them would escape and their negligent nanny wouldn't notice. That's when I get to go up to the slippery little sucker and say something like, "Where is your grown-up/adult/probably underpaid, but still inexcusably slacking caregiver?" *sigh*

Sunday, April 13, 2008

life imitating art

Junot Diaz recently was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. If you haven't read it yet, I'd recommend you do so as soon as you can. I read a load of books last year, but I didn't read anything quite like this. It's the story of a nerdy, obese Dominican immigrant in New York as he grows up and goes to college, while also telling the tale of his sister and his mother. The story is set both in the DR and NYC and despite being filled with horror and violence, actually comes off as a comedy. I only wish I spoke fluent Spanish because the book is littered with Dominican slang that I'm sure would be funnier if I understood more than just the proper definitions. Oscar Wao is notable for many things, but one of the more memorable traits is his colorful language. No matter how blue the language got in that book, I felt like I was so in it, that I didn't really notice, or at least, I didn't walk away from the book with that aspect being what I recall the most. But I just came across this interview with Junot Diaz from LAist and now see that Oscar Wao gets his language straight from the source.

thar she blows

So today I saw an iconic New York sight: a manhole cover that blew up. Today was my day to go in to work and do nothing and around 3 o'clock I started to smell something horrible and acrid. We have a debris container on the side of our building on 21st Street and the manhole directly next to it was smoking. Apparently there was an electrical fire underground and as I was standing there with the fire department the cover just popped straight up and barely missed a car parked nearby. It was great! Not so great was that I then was evacuated from the building and had to open the double doors in the front of the store to get the awful smell out of there. An hour and a half later, I was freezing my butt off and ready to smack someone. While standing in the doorway all that time (I had to wait for ConEd) about 50 people either tried to walk past me to go in to a demolished store or came up to me with a crestfallen look and and an inane comment/question. But not a single person asked if the employees still had jobs. That kind of irked me.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I'm on an Alfred Hitchcock kick these days. One of my favorite movies is To Catch a Thief, but I realized recently that I've actually seen very few of his films. I've never seen Psycho, for pete's sake. So I've been getting them via Netflix and enjoying them immensely.

Last week I watched Notorious starring Ingrid Bergman and my favorite, Cary Grant. It is set Rio and Miami and has one of the most fantastic drunk driving scenes ever put on film. Though as much as I liked the movie, it was nothing compared to last night's feature film, Lifeboat. It moves along quietly at first, as the survivors make their way into the lifeboat, but part of the way through there's a scene where a massive storm nearly overtakes the boat and I found myself actually shouting at the television "Bail! Bail!" All in all, a great movie. Next week is Dial M For Murder, which I saw as a teenager, but want to rewatch and Vertigo. Can't wait.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

One ringy dingy, two ringy dingy

I finally did it. I went and got a cell phone! I got one of those fancy phones with the slide out keypad so I won't have to mash the pad if I send a text message. I've been sitting here all night reading the manual and I still haven't figured out all of the features. All I know is I just checked my email. On my phone! Thanks for the sweet email Dad! Not that you'll be reading this of course, since Dads are strictly verboten from Clockwatchers. But thanks all the same. I'm giddy with progress!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Come on, really?

I am sick again or still or something. I got sick at the first of March, was sick for a little over a week, thought I was healthy for a week or so, when it then turned into a sinus infection. But not just any sinus infection; the most painful thing I've ever experienced where the maxillary sinus got infected and pressed upon the root of one of my teeth. Blindingly painful. Couldn't take the local train that ran under the river due to massive compression painful. A week's worth of antibiotics was enough to get rid of it for a while, but apparently not for good. Then last Friday I started to feel cruddy again and as of yesterday I had to go back to the doctor. My throat was so sore I could barely swallow, I was coughing, blah blah blah. This time it turns out it's a chronic sinus infection and I tested positive for strep. Awesome! I was supposed to be catering the NYC Bar Association's annual gala tonight, but the doctor very clearly said that, no, I would not be handling food tonight. So now I'm sitting here on the couch with a sore throat and some kind of weird swelling on half of my face. Maybe it's a reaction to the medication, maybe it's karma for secretly smirking at my own good health all winter.

On the plus side, my boss just called to ask me if I can work on Sunday. Work in this case being defined as showing up at 9am to let the demolition crew in and locking up when they're done at 5. He told me I can take a 3 hour lunch, go see a movie, bring my laptop, whatever I want. He also said I can take the day as overtime or take an extra day off next week. I think this will make up for the lost money from today's catering gig. Take that karma!