Friday, January 30, 2009

Back on the farm

I took a day off from work today and, at 3:45 pm, I have yet to leave my couch. I've been watching television all day. Now, I'm flipping between Tool Academy (amazing) and Date My Mom (only because there was nothing interesting on PBS, of course). As this is my first time watching this show (read: not at all), I should explain the premise. Instead of going on dates with a girl his own age, the male contestant goes on dates with the daughter's mom to choose his later date, hence, Date My Mom. They always interview the mother and daughter before they go on their date, where it's their chance to say something corny like, "It's 2009, this boy's mine". Well, this one daughter looks at the camera and says, "This guy better be hung like a horse to get through THESE barn doors." ... um ... well ... (...) (...) I ...
I'm just letting you all know this is happening while you're hard at work, or watching Citizen Kane or reading the Collected Stories of Nabokav.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Outlook Not So Good

Next Monday night I set up my first appointment with a therapist. Nothing too dramatic to address on the Internet (I'm fine, I'm FINE, ok?), I've just never talked to a neutral party about any issues before. My work gives eight free sessions: you locate a doctor, get an authorization number and confirm your appointment.
Now, I'm a VERY organized person. I love post-it notes, file folders and label makers. I use my Outlook calendar for work and social appointments, in addition to my cell phone and a datebook I have with me at all times.
After a very stressful week working a gift fair for work, I came into the office with a full voicemail box and one message from my soon-to-be therapist. "Ah, yes, please call us back regarding your February 2nd appointment with [name redacted]." I called back immediately - as a very organized and "together" person would - and they had the nerve to tell me I never phoned them back to confirm my appointment.
I thoroughly explained to them all the steps I had taken to make the date (including my appointment confirmation number!) and it didn't matter to them. "Could you come in at lunchtime?" "I don't take lunches," I said. "How about February 9th? Could you come in at lunch then?" "I don't TAKE lunches!" I said, losing my patience. "Well, we will call you on February 3rd to confirm if [name redacted] can meet with you after work on February 9th." This is where I lose it.
I'm so tired that I just start crying on the phone, "You mean I have to call you to confirm if I MIGHT have an appointment and I had a confirmation number written in two places for my originally-confirmed appointment?"
I'm really hoping my new therapist isn't exercising some radical form of tough-love therapy. Don't you think the last thing you want to do to someone who needs to make an appointment with a professional is make them cry?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Chi: Unharnessed

I've been taking yoga classes lately as a part of the "New Year, New Me/Operation Hot Bridesmaid" campaign. The New Year, New Me part is to work on being calm and dealing with my stress/seasonal depression in a productive way, rather than shutting everyone out of my life except Ben and Jerry. The Operation Hot Bridesmaid is pretty self-explanatory. If you need some help, I'm going to be a bridesmaid in my friends' wedding in November and I'd like to be "hot" for lots of reasons I won't be listing here.
Last night I had plans to meet a friend of mine - who is also on a fitness quest - for a yoga class at the New York Sports Club at 49th and Broadway. I left work, headed to the gym in below-freezing temperatures, changed and went to the front desk to ask where the yoga studio is.
He looked confused (which wasn't initially alarming, NYSC employees are a different breed of dimness) and said, "There's no yoga class tonight." Ever eager to take all the blame on myself, I apologized for wasting his time, went into the locker room, got my stuff and headed back out into the cold. I walked a few blocks north to the NYSC at 52nd and Broadway and asked if there was a yoga class tonight. Of course not.
I asked the employee, at 5:43 pm, if he wouldn't mind checking on his computer to see where the 5:45 pm Vinyasa Yoga class was being held.
"What, like on the Internet?" he asked.
Apparently my focus and centering challenges decided to begin before I hit the mats with the class. Desperately trying to steady my eyes from rolling, I waited "patiently" as it took him, no joke, five minutes (with joke, 23 HOURS) to figure it out.
"Your class is at 49th and Broadway," he drooled.
On the verge of frozen tears, I walked back to the original destination, re-locked up my stuff and huffed my way downstairs to the studio. I couldn't concentrate during the whole class because A) I was still upset about what just happened B) it was incredibly hot in the studio and C) the woman next to me was breathing SO loud that I wanted to leave, buy her some nasal spray and throw it at her head. Ommmmm.
I tried to let it all go, but the universe was very persistent. I got home to make dinner (a balanced egg whites with light English muffin!) and the crumb tray on my toaster decided to empty all over my kitchen like it had just sneezed. I vacuumed it up and moved on. Ommmmm. After dinner I realized it was finally time to put the last of my Christmas decorations away (what?) and took down this bright pink tinsel tree I had on top of my cabinets in the kitchen. When I was taking it down, an ornament dislodged and shattered all over the kitchen floor. I vacuumed again. Ommmmm.
I'm a student in progress right now, but I definitely need to work on exercising more patience and ALWAYS doubting a NYSC employee.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Zombies 101

When I was in Chicago for work, I got to spend some time with my friend Ed who used to live in New York, but moved to Chicago this summer. Ed teaches at a local Chicago college, and next semester he gets to teach a pop culture class. When we were talking about what he's going to lecture about, he mentioned he wanted to teach one class about the popularity of vampires and their impact on pop culture. “Wait, wait, wait … that’s lame,” I said. "You HAVE to teach a course on Zombies."
My interest in the undead started when my brother gave me his copy of World War Z to read. Unlike the copy of Underworld by Don Delillo I've been borrowing for about four years now, I read World War Z in a few sittings.
Ed and I ended up talking at length about Zombies and their eventual uprising. Where we should be when it – not if – happens. I am so jealous that he’s getting paid to talk about this and other things that are important to me, like US Weekly and my new favorite show, Tool Academy, on VH-1.

Please see below for my suggested syllabus.
Suggested Reading:
World War Z by Max Brooks
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

Web Reference:

Audio Visual:
short length:
>Zombie American Chapter 2
Zombie American Chapter 3

feature length:
Shaun of the Dead
Dawn of the Dead

For keeping all your courses and appointments at hand:
Zombie Pin-Up Calendar

Thursday, January 15, 2009

We Want You!

Today is my first day back in the office after many days of traveling to Atlanta, Dallas and finally, Chicago. I came back to work today (two hours late, whoops!) with a full voicemail box. One of the messages was from a recruiter in the "Chicagoland area" who wanted to talk to me about a Vice President of Sales position she is looking to "network".
This is the first recruiter call I've received, but man, they clearly don't know who they're leaving messages for. Yes, my title at work includes the word, "manager" in it, but it is preceded by "assistant". No, "to the" is not in between "assistant" and "manager" either.
Having just been in Chicago while it was negative 8 degrees and I had a hole in my boot; I'm not itching to move there. Nonetheless, I was flattered.