Tuesday, August 29, 2006

While the boss is away....

the Kai will....clean her keyboard? Day 2 of my boss' vacation. It's always a nice break when he goes away and things slow down, but around the second or third day I start to get a little stir crazy. Last time I pried ALL the keys off my keyboard and got the crumbs out and even did an alcohol wipe down to really get it clean. One of hte downfalls of eating pop tarts at your desk every morning are the crumbs. It's totally worth it though...nothing better than pop tarts and coffee in the morning to start your day. It's the breakfast of champions!

My friend at work who I chat with daily about photography is leaving the company and tomorrow is his last day. He inspires me to keep at it and always gives me good feedback. Hopefully we'll keep in touch, but it's not the same as being able to walk downstairs and chat and share photos. :-( Photo friend will be missed.

Now that I've crossed London off my travel list I've been thinking about where I want my next international trip to be....I've narrowed it down to either Paris or Thailand. I think I could get amazing photos in either place, but I'm leaning towards trying for Thailand first.....Any of my blog readers been there?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Body on the Tracks....AGAIN

As I swipe my card through the subway turnstile this morning, my cell phone starts ringing. Now when a cell phone starts ringing at 8:30am it is NEVER good news. As I scramble to answer it I notice the platform is STUFFED with people. It's my friend Republican M who lives on the 7 train, a few more stops farther out. Someone has fallen onto the tracks and they are trying to get the body off. Still awaiting the news if it was dead or alive.....I'd say "only in NY" but apparently it's not true. It happens in Oxford too. While Grace and I were coming back from our day trip to Oxford earlier this month, we were stuck on the train for nearly an hour, according to a conductor annoucement the delay was due to "a dead body being found on the tracks". Twice in a month? Is there some body on the tracks curse hanging over my head? Word to the wise, don't ride mass transit with me.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's Starting....

it's official....my coworkers are starting to take pity on me and set me up with their single friends.....I think I've hit a new low.

A perfect rainy Sunday

I got up......spent the morning laying in bed with my coffee listening to the rain and reading the Clinton biography....then put on Empire Falls (GREAT movie) and lazed the rest of the afternoon away.....the epitome of a perfect day!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yet AGAIN I was awoken by the construction crew working on the building across the street. They were unloading (a/k/a dropping off a truck onto the street with a loud BANG) steel beams at 6:45AM on a freaking SATURDAY MORNING. I was IRRATE! I've tried researching building codes and restrictions, but so far I haven't found anything. It can NOT be legal to start that early. So much for my weekend of relaxing in bed. I HAD to get out of the house, the noise was driving me crazy....I ran some errands went to the grocery store and the bank, came back and cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom and all before NOON! On a Saturday! Keep your fingers crossed they don't work Sundays.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Pop Pop

I started reading the Bill Clinton biography last night and the first chapter talks a lot about his father who died shortly before he was born. Something about it triggered memories of my grandfather.

My grandfather died very suddenly right after Christmas a number of years ago. With no signs or illness, he simply got up in the middle of the night, asked my grandmother to get him a glass of water and when she returned he had passed. I had given him and my grandmother a carved wooden cross that year. My grandmother put it on the bible next to him during his funeral. I don’t recall much at all from that day or the days surrounding, but I remember her saying to me that she was sorry we needed it so soon. I don’t know why that statement stuck with me, and I didn’t even remember it until I was reading this book. It’s funny how the memory works.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's about freaking time....


REVIEW: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

You know that gut feeling you get when you are left out of someone's inside joke? That is what you feel the entire way throughout this book. The story is about a group of students at a private boarding school in England in the 90s. They take classes, work on various art projects and attend something called "sales" that never gets fully explained. Seemingly they are normal students, even though their teachers (whom they refer to as "guardians") continually call them "special". It's not until 200 pages later that their uniqueness gets revealed. They all are working towards "donations", which is some kind of medical procedure, but again the details on it are sparse. The sporadic doling out of details and information is the most frustrating part of this book. Nothing gets fully (or sometimes even partially) explained. There's a lame attempt at a love story, but even that seems stale and unengaging. You can see where Ishiguro was going with the story, but he never quite made it there and the piecemeal writing left me with junior high flashbacks of sitting alone at the lunchtable. There are very few books I regret buying, but this is certainly one of them. It's definitely going in the pile for Bookins

My first library experience.......

The library near me is TINY, but I managed to get two movies and the Bill Clinton My Life book. I've been wanting to read it, but hadn't wanted to actually buy it. The two movies I got this time were Empire Falls and Better Luck Tomorrow. Two movies and a book and I get to watch/read them for free!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why Why Why am I watching this?

I HAVE to change the channel. Watching this Girls Next Door show (the show about Hugh Hefner and his 3 girlfriends) makes me crazy, yet I can't turn away. I HATE this show, I hate this man....I hate what he represents, and I hate myself for participating in the spectacle! THIS is exactly why I can't find a date....because all men want a bimbo playboy bunny and I'm just a bookworm with some extra poundage.....Rargh!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Something I've never done before...

....well at least not since high school.

I got a LIBRARY CARD!! London took a toll on the finances, so my book buying habit is going to have to be curbed for awhile. Mostly though I got the card so I could borrow movies. I've been in a movie watching mood lately and this is a free way to rent to my hearts content!

Anyone got any good movie recommendations?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

No more?

I came to the conclusion tonight that there are no men left. The remaining single men in NYC are either just looking to hook up, are crazy or are so arrogant that it could be ANYONE sitting across from them, as long as they got to hear themselves talk. Rargh.....sigh oh well. I get that it's supposed to be hard, but it shouldn't be THIS hard......

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm sick.

I suffer from a disease called "Powerpoint Perfectionism".

My boss wants to give a Power Point presentation to the company and has me in charge of it. I've now been sitting here for HOURS adjusting fonts, centering text and finding cool graphics. Not because he asked me to (he said it was fine), not because it didn't look good before, but because I think it's FUN.

I need professional help.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Back to Normal

Grace has left, the jet lag has subsided and I've (mostly) caught up at work. Finally after almost two weeks I'm returning to my normal routine. I even squeezed in the gym last night in hopes of getting back on track with that. All I need now is to catch up on my sleep and I think all will be well. I was supposed to have a date this weekend but now it doesn't look like it's gonna happen. The guy asked, I said yes and then I never heard from him again. I suppose it's only been two days, but it's a little dissapointing. Ah well. (Cue "Another One Bites the Dust").

Got to chat with Aaron the other day briefly which was nice. With the time difference between here and Iraq it's rare we are both online. He even sent me an email saying how much he liked my photos from the trip which was so nice....after Chicago boy and my dad had been less than supportive of them the night before, I had been feeling a little down about it. He also said he had gotten the letter I had sent him from London. I couldn't believe he got it so fast, until I remembered we were actually on the same side of the ocean for once, so the mail was probably faster. LOL

My sister leaves for her second year of college next week....I can't believe she's almost 20.....in my mind she's still 8. I think she'll always be stuck at that age for me. It was the year I left home, so it was the last age I saw her regularly at. Now when she talks about having a bf/fiance and going to college I'm thrown off, I keep thinking she's talking about her barbies or her dolls....They grow up so fast....

The simple things....

It's amazing how something so little can make me happy....After dragging my exhausted self to the gym last night I accidentally found myself on the EXPRESS 7 train (I live on the local stop) which meant I ended up past my stop and had to take the train back the other way. I got right to the doors of the train JUST as they closed. The (rare) sympathetic train conductor opened the doors again so I could get on! Such a simple thing, but it TOTALLY made my night.

Don't think it made up for the 7 mile walk to work in December during the strike though.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

After SIX hours of waiting in line, 1.5 hours waiting on the plane on the ground, seven hours in the air and two hours of customs/baggage waiting, Grace has arrived back in the U.S. from London! Hurrah!!!!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Good Vibes Needed

Everyone send their good vibes to Grace, who is currently still in London and will be attempting to fly back to NY in the coming days!! May she return back to me safely!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tales from London

My first European adventure truly was the trip of a lifetime. I had a great time and it was good to spend time talking with Grace without having to worry about cell phone minutes and battery life. I was worried the trip would be exhausting, but I managed to strike a good balance between experiencing London and relaxing. I saw some great Shakespeare and some interesting Shakespeare. I saw the Tempest at the Royal Shakespeare Company...they chose to set it in the arctic, so that was...um interesting, but I did get to see Patrick Steward as Prospero so that was cool. We also saw Titus Andronicus at the Globe which was really amazing. Seeing Shakespeare outdoors in the way it was meant to be seen was quite an experience. Also one of the audience members passed out near the end of the first act, so that was an added bonus. Grace had said people were passing out during the show due to the "gore", but as a former theatre major who knows how the "magic" is made, that kind of thing doesn't affect me at all. It was great and the guy was fine, he returned to his seat for the 2nd act. I spent a lot of time on the Riverbank near the National Gallery taking photos, but also did some of the typical tourist things. I took the tours of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Grace and I also happened upon the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace by accident. There was quite a crowd, so we didn't get to see much, but once it thinned out I got some photos. Grace took one of our feet which I thought turned out cool. It ended up being the only photo of the two of us we took the entire trip. We also took a day trip to Oxford which I loved. They have the BEST bookshops, and I loved the architecture. Also I got a dark chocolate covered shortbread square which was quite possibly the best thing I've ever eaten in Oxford, so it may be my favorite place ever. We wandered through a garden/church grounds there as well (I'll have to get the exact name from Grace). I got some of my best photos there I think. I'm still wading through the 400+ I took on this trip and post processing the RAW images, but overall I'm really pleased at the photos I got. Visiting Stratford was also great, though I was disappointed at how "commercial" it was. You wander down a street of lovely historical architecture and right by Shakespeare's birthplace and at the end of the road would be a Pizza Hut or Starbucks. It dampened the experience a bit for me. I also enjoyed visiting the Thistle pub in Stratford where Grace and I had post-theatre drinks a few nights. I'm still a little jet lagged and with the exchange rate I'll probably be paying this trip off for awhile, but it was well worth it. More photos to follow in the coming days! (I promise I'll spare you the pain of all 400 though) :-P
Found this over at a blog I frequent and thought I'd do it too. Enjoy!

1. One Book That Changed Your Life:
A Gesture Life by Chang-Rae Lee. One of the themes is adoption, and it really made me examine my feelings towards being adopted myself and recognize how significant of an experience it was for me and how it altered me.

2. One Book That You've Read More Than Once: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Though it's long, this book is an amazing story of friendship and tugs at my heartstrings every time I read it.

3. One Book You'd Want on a Desert Island: The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers. His books are complex and no matter how many times I read them, I come away from it with something new. A good book to be stranded with because it's quite long, but every time you read it it seems like you get a different story from it.

4. One Book That Made You Laugh: I Love Everybody (and other atrocious lies) by Laurie Notaro.

5. One Book That Made You Cry: Love you Forever by Robert N. Munsch and Sheila McGraw. It's a children's book, but I have memories of my mom reading it to my sister and it gets me for some reason.

6. One Book That You Wish Had Been Written: I wish there were more cookbooks that were geared toward cooking for 1 person and minimal ingredients. I'm not creative at all in the
kitchen and I'm not a person who has a lot of fancy ingredients laying around. I want simple healthy dishes that won't feed an army, but can't ever find a cookbook that suits my needs.
7. One Book That You Wish Had Never Been Written: Anything by Anne Coulter

8. The Book That You Are Currently Reading: Great Theatrical Disasters by Gyles Brandreth. This book is hilarious. It's about theatre productions where things have gone wrong and how the actors/technicians have had to wing it.

9. One Book That You've Been Meaning to Read: This list is LONG. I'd like to eventually make my way through Swan's Way by Proust. I'd like to go back and read the greeks again....basically I want to go back and read everything we read (or were supposed to read) in high school. I didn't do it justice back then and want to read them again now that I'm older.

I'm not officially tagging you, but I'd love to see your answers Caryn on this one.

Monday, August 07, 2006


I posted a few photos from my trip in the KaiNYC photo section. I took one card in RAW and haven't processed those images yet, but the second card of JPEGS I did a quick run through and posted a few. I didn't alter or crop these yet, but wanted to get a few up for all who were asking. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I'm back!

Back from London! My trip was absolutely amazing. LOTS of photos to follow in the coming days. I promise to blog all about it once I get over the jet lag and wade through the pile of stuff I'm sure awaits me at work tomorrow. I am off to drop into bed!