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Miss Peach

Like putting a good belt on a cheap dress

Take Two

Friday, March 31, 2006

Though I haven't been blogging about it, the mouse issue continues. Originally, I decided that if I couldn’t eradicate them from my apartment, I would at least eradicate them from the blog. But then Maliavale suggested a sidebar, and, well, good idea! So thanks, Maliavale!

I should also note that I’m hoping this will end up being like the previous sidebar, Most Ridiculous Law & Order Quote Heard Recently. I have no idea why, but the second that went up, I somehow stopped encountering the show altogether. I guess Gen was watching while I was gone or something, but I haven’t seen an episode in months. So, if logic follows, I will put up a sidebar, and the source will disappear. I am desperately hoping this will prove to be the case. You know, like the bathroom rule? The second you get up to head to the ladies’, your food comes. Or something.

If this works, I'll be taking sidebar suggestions, by the way. I could even do one for you! Though I'm thinking the next one will be "Credit Card Watch" and then maybe the balance will magically disappear!

Because March Madness Only Made Me Want More Brackets

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I've gone and gotten into March Madness again this year. I do it every year. I don't pay a lick of attention and then I'm all, hey, it's March Madness! And then my office pool sheet—which is a big to-do here—rolls around, and I have to enter and don't know who's good or bad, so I email my friend Zach who is a sports freak, and he sends me his bracket, and I copy some of it and alter a lot based on my funky, illogical, borderline ridiculous allegiances. I refused to let Duke go all the way because I hate Christian Laettner, and yes, I’m aware he played for them a long time ago. And I didn’t even let UConn get past the first round because a girl I HATED from high school went there. It’s this type of reasoning (or lack thereof) that drives my father insane. While I was home, my dad and I watched the UCLA-Memphis game—in a bar populated by solely UCLA grads, you would think, from all the screaming—and the conversation went like this:

Dad: So how far did you have BC going?
Me: Out after the first round.
Dad: To the Pacific Tigers? I mean, it went to double-overtime, but still. I wouldn’t have made that call.
Me: Bastards at BC didn’t even waitlist me.

Anyway, back to the bracket: I know its borderline cheating but trust me, I never come anywhere near winning. Until this year. Because it has been a wild ride, because no one could have called this, I am in third place. Don’t worry, I won’t win because I picked Villanova to go all the way, and they aren’t in it anymore. But it’s been such an exciting tournament (Double overtimes! One-point spreads!) that I’m already anticipating the sadness I’ll feel when it’s all over.

So, in its place, I thought I’d draw attention to another bracket. It’s decidedly more refined, but it’s really just as fun. And most of the reviews are hilarious while all are insightful at the very least. And it is just so beautifully arbitrary. And it in the first round knocked out two books that I am so pleased are gone it’s just, well, wrong.

First: On Beauty by Zadie Smith. I am going to just come right out and say it. I. Cannot. Stand. Zadie. Smith. I don’t know why. I have only ever read one of her books, but I hated every second of White Teeth with a burning, fiery passion. I read it while abroad and would sit on the Metro, read a paragraph, roll my eyes, and repeat. Thankfully, I was in France, where this type of behavior is not only tolerated but encouraged. But good god, I finally put the book down after coming to the realization that I had read three-quarters of it and I didn’t give a rat’s ass what happened to any of the characters. It was the, pardon the pun, white hot book of the moment, with its trendy different colored covers, which annoyed me too. (Don’t ask about Everything is Illuminated. It’s a more vitriolic rant than this one.) This could be a post on its own, so I’m just going to stop there.

Second: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I didn’t read this. I didn’t even read the flap copy of this book. But I found it so annoying that one publisher would spend practically their entire marketing budget on one book, touting it as the next Da Vinci Code, that I hated it before it even went on sale. I know. It’s short sighted of me. But there are plenty of books I have to read, and I think I’ll be skipping this one.

But anyway, back to the Tournament of Books. Download a bracket and make your picks! My money is on Saturday by Ian McEwan or Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro. And, yes, I did look at who won the first round. But did you really think I was going to enter into a tournament involving brackets and not cheat a little bit?

Wouldn't You Like to Be My Neighbor?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It's things like this that make me love New York:

Crazy Man #1 on the West side of Broadway, while holding a copy of the Bible above his head: Jesus Saves! Hallelujah! Jesus LOVES you! Hallelujah! GLORY! GLORY! GLORY!

Crazy Man #2 on the East side of Broadway: Oh, shut UP!

CM #1: GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! (repeated without pause)

CM #2: I SAID, SHUT UP!

CM #1: GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! (continues)

CM #2: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Where WAS God when Katrina hit, huh? SHUT UP!

CM #1: GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! (repeated until I entered my building)

Annnnnd.... scene.

I'm headed to California for about a week, so things here will be quiet. I plan on not checking email, not worrying about work, and not giving into my desire to check my work email just in case something requires my immediate attention.

Oh! And eating In-N-Out, laying in the sun, going to Disneyland with Dan and Darren, requesting my favorite meals from my parents, and indulging in MUCH champagne.

So I'll come back fatter and apparently hungover.

Ah, vacation. Have a good one everyone!

A Simple Plan

I, like most people, have low-level anxiety all the time. I think it’s my mind’s way of preparing—I imagine a few bad scenarios and consider what I would do and how I would feel should they come to pass. This is normal, confirmed by many psychological studies. You should check out this guy’s work. It made me feel MUCH better about it all.

As a result of this, I think, I like having contingency plans. I also assume it comes from growing up in Los Angeles and having had contingency plans for fires, earthquakes, and riots as a child. Nothing will scare you into planning mode for the rest of your life like your mom reminding you to call Grandma in Florida if there’s an earthquake and you are alone because the long-distance phone lines will have a better likelihood of working than the local ones. I was probably 6 when we worked that out. Oh, the many scenarios that ran through my little, imaginative head!

When 9/11 happened, I was reminded that it actually, really DOES make sense to have contingency plans, so I worked them out with friends here in New York. I had meeting locations mapped out for every eventuality: if I was at work and the incident was in midtown, head to my roommate’s boyfriend’s place in Gramercy. But if the incident was downtown and I was north of it, head to a friend’s place on 25th and 9th. I even constructed a very elaborate contact information sheet between several friends that had work, home, cell, parents, etc on it. You’re really impressed, aren’t you?

Most of those friends have left and I’ve become, to take a term from our head of state, a little less vigilant about things. I know that if anything happens and I’m at work, I will go to Darren’s because he lives literally around the corner from my office. But I’m not so sure what happens otherwise. But that’s okay, because I don’t know what this “incident” will be, so I have trouble preparing. I’ll just have to fly by the seat of my pants.

This doesn’t mean, though, that I’ve stopped this behavior. Let me assure you, I have several other contingency plans. Firstly, have you seen The Day After Tomorrow? Yeah. I know it’s like not physically possible, but believe you me, I’ve got a plan. It includes my roommate and I getting her car, packing into it with her sister and perhaps one other person, packing as many warm winter clothing in as we can (remember, we are reverting into an ice age in a 24-hour period—no flip-flops needed, people!). We also stock up with water, power bars, and all the cash we can get our hands on. Then, where we can, we fit in other valuables. We might need to hawk them for gas or something. Then we skedaddle over the GW bridge, and hit the first gas station we can (we’ll be packed in pretty tight, and New Jersey is ALL full-serve! That’s right—they won’t let you pump your own! Please don’t start talking about how everyone will be evacuating and no one will still be pumping gas and all that, it’s really more than I can plan for). And we get a lot of extra gas in those red containers and take those too. And then we point south and just GO. I have an aunt in Florida and friends in Texas, which are both below the line of permafreeze or whatever it’s called. So we’re totally good to go. I’d take you too, but we’ve only got a VW Beatle.

But that isn’t enough, my friends. The Discovery Channel has just opened up a whole new set of possibilities. Sunday, I watched the episode about the super tornado in Dallas and, well, I think we can all agree I won’t be moving there anytime soon. Though if I do ever move to a place with this potential, I’m so building one of those “safe rooms” into my home. Watch the episode and then tell me you wouldn’t.

And then today, on my way into work, I picked up an amNew York for some light reading, and came across an article referring to this threat (they don’t post the articles online, but it was saying that it’s going to happen, maybe even in 2006). I’ve been mulling, and I’m thinking my flushed out plan for what to do if we’re thrust into an ice age will basically work, minus all the winter clothes. Just board up the windows, pack a bag, and head west for a few days right?

Just wait until I watch the solar storm episode that centers around New York.

I Think the Margaritas Went to My Head

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I was at that big interactive conference over the weekend in Austin. It was interesting, provocative, mind-numbing, and I’m still processing it all. But the first thing I thought upon returning was, “I need a screen name.”

I’m slightly ambivalent about blogging, and it’s really kind of ridiculous considering I blog, albeit recently. It’s not like anyone was bugging me to do it or urging me to explore my creative side. So why do it? It struck me as the “fair” thing to do. Those blogs on the right? I read them every chance I get, and I get really frustrated when they aren’t updated for a few days. And to read about people without ever offering up anything of myself just seemed wrong to me. And thus, Miss Peach was born (the name, by the way, is based on the nickname my grandmother had for me.)

So here I am, blogging. And I’m not quite sure why, really. Because who cares? Why would anyone want to hear what I have to say? I’m not saying that so that the three people who read this will say, “oh, WE care!! We LOVE you!” (Not that you necessarily would, I’m just clarifying that this is not an insecure Miss Peach asking her theoretical boyfriend if she looks fat in these pants.) I just ultimately think it’s strange to fancy myself interesting enough—my views and stories compelling enough—for any other soul to spend time reading. Except for like my parents or future husband or something.

What is off about this, though, is that I’m absolutely addicted to the blogs I read. I want to hear everything you all have to say. So why wouldn’t I think you might be interested in what I have to say? I don’t know. Also, it’s kind of analogous to wanting to hang out with me right? I don’t think it’s weird that my friends want to get together for dinner or drinks or go see movies or shop together. That makes sense. I can be good fun to hang out with, especially after a margarita or two. But through this screen and the filter of the web, it seems odd. Then again, all you all have to go on is Darren’s endorsement of me, and we all know he’s got great taste. Because he does. Seriously. You should check out his cd collection. I get giddy just thinking of the potential additions to my music library.

But I digress: after hitting a bunch of interactive-themed panels, and discussing various aspects of the internet with people I will probably never see nor speak to again, and seeing Dooce and Kottke on a panel, I’ve been mulling. And somehow, it led me to the necessity of a screen name. Which is sort of ridiculous given that I’ve already blogged using my real name. But I don’t know—it makes me feel better somehow.

Now I’m back at square one and are you even still reading? I do have more to say on all of this, and I hope it’s a wee bit more enthralling (mildly interesting would do!). So, more to come. I definitely came away from the conference with some (perhaps baseline to you) thoughts on blogging and related topics. But it’s just way too much for one post.

And (sorry Red, I’m breaking my promise!) there’s currently a mouse barricaded in my bedroom, so really, I gotta go home and deal.

I Apologize in Advance for the Whining

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Let me pre-emptively state that I know I am incredibly lucky and blessed.

That said, I’m in one hell of a funk. (And I'm inadvertently hungover. Someone who shall remain unnamed fed me over-tequila-ed margaritas last night. My, they were tasty.)

But back to my point. Things are particularly… overwhelming right now. At work, things are crazy busy and the stress has officially worked its way into my dreams. It’s never fun to have your boss serve you eggs while sleeping, is it? Even if you like your boss as much as I do mine.

A week and a half ago, a good friend’s mother unexpectedly died. It’s really sad and I am finding it hard to wrap my head around it all. My friend just got married a few months ago. And then this. It’s given me a lot of pause. But what just burns me is I couldn’t be there for the funeral. Well, I suppose I could have if I’d taken time off and spent the money on the ticket, but various things (like airfare and work) kept me from doing that. So I didn’t go, and I feel bad about that. I know she knows I am thinking of her, and we’ve talked, and I sent flowers, but still. I want to be there to hug her and try to take a bit of the load off her shoulders and I just can’t. And I think the one thing I have always been—despite my many, many other failures—is a good and supportive friend. It eats away at me that I am not being one now.

And there are other issues bubbling—friendships gone awry that somehow need to be addressed, this black financial hole I’m currently in (I can make it, I can make it), my anxiety and paranoia about an upcoming work trip, and the fact that I am suddenly freaking out about my future. Well, suddenly as in the past few months. (Is this the quarterlife crisis everyone talks about?) It’s all just little crap that adds up to me waking up on the wrong side of the bed every morning of late, snapping at my lovely, kind, considerate roommate, not making time to talk to my parents and friends, and just generally not being myself. It’s a challenge to be my generally happy and optimistic self these days.

But things just started looking up. I just got this in my inbox at work from my most favorite former roommate Em, who moved to back home after a year here and who I still miss every day at least three times, and fifteen times during every Lifetime movie I watch:

eri:
it should be illegal to miss you like i do. i should be arrested.
when are you coming to live in my basement?

Funk dispelled for the moment. Sun is shining. Good friends are the best, aren’t they?

I’m off to Austin tomorrow and not back for a few days. The sun is ACTUALLY shining there and it’s 80 degrees, so I’m hoping I’ll come back renewed, refreshed, and a little pinker. And then I have Disneyland with Dan and Darren coming my way. That's a day at the magic kingdom with two of my favorite people. Seriously, what’s not to like, right?

Technical Difficulties

Monday, March 06, 2006

My internet has been down at home, which is why I haven't been posting. Right now I'm posting from work which means I have .26308 seconds to write and publish. Eep!

I think our internet troubles are karma related. At our last place, we had wireless and we made it a secure network--smart for security, yes, but the real reason was that we didn't want "any of the bastards in this building bootlegging internet from us." Yeah! There were some really odd and rude people there.

Well, then we moved, and we got internet again, and made it secure again, and then realized there were a MILLION networks in the building so why pay when we can get it for free?

I think the guys downstairs are onto us, because their network keeps going all "closed" and "password protected" and then a few days later is up and running again. It seems to go down on Thursday nights and come back on Tuesday. That seems like a long way to go to kick us off the network--why not just MAKE it password protected?--so maybe they're having internet troubles too. Regardless, we don't have access at home, so we'll be calling good old Time Warner and getting set up again. Which means that in approximately 30 days, once they come out and misinstall it and we spend hours on the phone troubleshooting and then they send out another tech who figures out that the first tech never plugged in the unit (or something similarly stupid), we'll be up and running again, and things here will return to normal. Make that a mice-free normal. Yay! Intermittent posts to come in the, um, interim.

On an Oscars note: Yay, Reese and George! My obsession with George grows by the minute. He's a modern day Cary Grant (as Darren has said many a time) and I LURVE him. And I wouldn't mind being Reese if I could be a movie star, you know? Though I'd totally leave Ryan for George if I was.