"Cath is in town this weekend and she's staying with us. She brought Steve. She's still not sure about him."

"How come? Haven't they known each other forever?"

"Yeah. Apparently he's not funny enough in social situations."

"Is he funny enough in non-social situations?"

"Yeah, Cath thinks he's hilarious."

"Wow. When did we get so particular?"

"Well, it used to be that Cath didn't think he was hot enough. So at least she's focusing more on other people's opinions about his inner quality."


Consider this your warning

Never jaywalk in Harvard Square.

Today J and I ran a bunch of errands: dry cleaners, CVS, Gap, Barnes & Noble. We ended with Blockbuster and the sushi case at Wholefoods - you can guess what our evening is going to look like. At one point this afternoon as we were driving around town, we were making a right turn on a green arrow when some pedestrians strolled across the street in front of us. They didn't have the walk signal, they had the red-hand-stop signal, so technically they weren't supposed to be going. J showed no signs of slowing down as we careened toward the family of four and they hurried to cross the street, parents grabbing their children's hands and breaking into a run.

"I hate it when people cross at this corner when they don't have a walk signal! It's so annoying! I don't slow down, because I'm trying to teach them that it's not their turn," J explained.

I didn't say anything.

"It drives me crazy. They mess up traffic. Sometimes I even speed up."

I bit my lip, but still kept my mouth shut.

"One of these days I'm probably going to kill someone, but it's the principle..."

This statement hung in the air for a minute.

"I guess it's not worth all the hassle of taking out a pedestrian just to prove a point."

I figured staying silent throughtout this one-man debate was my best strategy. Eventually rationality would win out.

"But one dead body would probably send a really strong message..."

I forgot. J has her own brand of rationality.



On Tuesday morning I'm leaving for NYC for five days for a national college health conference. I'm actually really excited about it. We're taking the train there, and I love trains. We'll be staying at a swank hotel in Times Square, so we'll be in a great location. We've been invited to lots of pharmaceutical company-sponsored dinners and those are always upscale affairs, which means we'll get to hit some good restaurants and order glasses of wine that cost what we'd usually pay for an entire bottle. R has some family in NYC and her brother is going to show us around some of the hot spots at night. So we should have lots of fun.

And as if all that wasn't enough, I just found out that Mookie is coming into the city to take me to lunch at the Carnegie Deli on Thursday. I love the Carnegie Deli!

Oh, and the conference will be a good learning opportunity. I meant to throw that in earlier but I got sidetracked.


You shouldn'ta said that

So last night after seeing The DaVinci Code BF and I got onto the topic of the G-man. We have different views on religion, though it's difficult to figure out just how different our views actually are. I'm not exactly a non-believer, but I'm certainly not your typical Faithful either. In talking about God, and without really thinking much beforehand, I f-bombed the Big Guy. As in, "F Him."

Silence followed.

Now, I realize that sounds just a little bit irreverent. (I think in that silence we were both bracing ourselves for a swift and mighty smiting.) But the context is important here. We were talking about people doing God's work - missions in the name of the Lord because it's presumed that those acts are what He would want His followers to be doing in His name. And I was suggesting that perhaps if God's so picky about how He feels His earth ought be run, He might want to just come on down here and handle some things Himself. If He's too lazy to do that, well, then, f*ck Him. I think the words "f*ck" and "God" aren't used very often together, because boy did that statement seem to ring out and hang in the air.

But why can't they be used together? Why can't I have expectations about my God? While BF stared at me, stone cold, I tried to justify myself. Though it seems irreverent, it actually is somewhat respectful (in my mind). I believe that if there is a God, then He can handle an f-bomb here and there thrown out by someone struggling to accept a very complicated relationship with Him. At least there's some energy behind it. My anger, to me, signals a passion that ought to be the cornerstone of any very individual faith. Plus, I think my God can swallow some back talk. Worship is one of the principles that I take issue with in religion - I don't actually believe my God would need me to fall at His feet before opening up the pearly gates to His Kingdom. I hope His judgments would be solely based on my humanitarianism. Otherwise, hello - ego!?!? I trust that my God is not arrogant. So that's my justification for talking smack about Our Savior: I believe that my God is a nobler god than a deity who demands unquestioning worship (or capital H's for that matter but I'm in enough trouble already). Which means that I think very highly of my God. I just don't fear Him. Thus the sass mouth.

I realize this justification isn't going to fly with everyone. I'm sure it'll seem disrespectful to some that I'm even writing about God in such familiar terms. But no one, and nothing, in my mind, is above some thoughtful scrutiny. I'm being genuine when I say that the comment wasn't coming from a disrespectful place. I question and provoke anyone I respect or believe in, because to me that's where real respect comes from - a labored decision, not a mandate. I just hold God in no exception.

Admittedly (so you can see that I'm not a total ogre) I'll agree that the comment was disrespectful to BF and his religious convictions, and thus should not have been made in his house. If I could take it back, for that reason I would.



This weekend I was away at my boss's condo in northern NH. Part of that time was spent with coworkers, part with JPow, and then the rest with BF (who drove up to meet me). You'd think the most consuming interactions that took place would have been with some or all of those people. But the relationship that got most of my attention this past weekend was my relationship with a two-mile stretch of hilly road.

The road runs from JPow's condo to the club house and comprises three long, steep hills. The first time I tried to run those hills I failed miserably and arrived at the club house locker room sweaty and defeated. That failure was the fuel that fed my obsession for the remaineder of the weekend. I thought I'd die if I left Campton without conquering those hills.

Of course I did, in the end. Conquer them I mean. But poor BF and JPow seemed a little perplexed by my unrelenting tunnel vision. I'm not sure if either of them understood why it was so necessary. I'm not sure I understand it either. But when I finally ran the route in its entirety, it felt like I'd actually done something.


No self-esteem problems here

Today is my birthday and also our designated red day at work, which means I'm both dressed up and dressed bright. Red dress, red nails, red lipstick, heels - I pretty much hit ya in the face today. As I walked into our office building this morning, my favorite security guard was sitting at the desk.

"Wow, you smell good," he said as he swiped my ID card. "Is that Chanel?"

"Nope, Victoria's Secret," I informed him. "Very Sexy."

He smiled and winked at me suggestively. I got into the elevator and turned to a colleague from another department who arrived at the same time that I did.

"Very Sexy is the name of the perfume,"I told her, as I was working this out in my head. "If he didn't know that, he might think I was pointing out to him that I think I'm very sexy...?"

"It might seem that way," she agreed.

"Huh. Well that's just awkward."


Rearing its ugly head

BF is going to the Cheesecake Factory this afternoon to have a goodbye lunch for a co-worker on his last day at EC. And I'm feeling inappropriately jealous. I want to go out for lunch. I've had a rotten week. It's not that I don't want BF to go out for lunch without me. It's just that I want to be going to the Cheesecake Factory too. It doesn't have to be with the departing co-worker, because to be honest I don't like him very much. It doesn't even have to be with BF (although of course that would be nice). I just want to go. Probably because I can't possibly get away for lunch today, and I feel like I'm missing out on something. Like recess.

I've thought about texting him to ask that he bring me his leftovers, but I figure that's just too pathetic.

TD offered to bring me a Saigon sandwich from someplace down the street, but at this point I'm inconsolable.


What kind of person?

I'm going to say something I believe most people feel but few are willing to express because it goes against our educated, environmentally-conscious, card-carrying liberal personas.

I hate cyclists.

I'm imagining that people are going to get all tizzy about that. But it's true. I hate cyclists. I love the idea of them. But my approval only holds up at the philosophical level. When I'm in my car, I hate them. I hate that I have to worry about hitting them. I hate when they insist on riding in the street with auto traffic. I hate it when they don't signal. I hate it when they do signal because I don't know what the signals mean. I hate it when I have to pass them and I'm paranoid that I'll accidentally knock one over. I just hate cyclists.

Oh, and I also hate to recycle. But I do it, I promise.


A hazy Pinot fog filled with tutus and toe shoes

Last night after work my boss and I went out for Thai and then to a ballet at the Wang. Over way too much curry and (maybe too much) wine, we celebrated the near-end of yet another academic year. A little before seven we stumbled out into the warm night air and across the street to the theatre. The ballet was amazing. The dancers' feet seemed like instruments of music, as if the performance was just a physical representation of the sounds wafting up from the pit. You can get lost in a good ballet. It's like having an intricate dream while you're still awake. It's tiptoes in a world full of loud, clomping footsteps. Gentle beauty that doesn't stun, but mesmerizes.


Hey, has anyone seen my car? Oh wait, I remember - I parked it in the super crazy Euro car dispenser...

This is a picture of a new parking garage in Munich. Makes me proud to be German. Talk about efficiency. No wonder organization is one of my strong suits - it's probably genetically encoded.

This structure reminds me of the pods in the Matrix or The Island. Are those cars really living or are they just being brainwashed to think they're alive...???

Those movies bug me. The concept is supposed to be so deep and enlightened. But I can pretty much guarentee that we really are alive. If we were held in human tupperware storage someplace being brainwashed to be happy, there'd be more sex and fewer compromises.

I get the moral of those stories - that essentially we're all living our lives like brainwashed pods, not even realizing we're no longer autonomous beings. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yawn. People should focus on creating change within and around themselves instead of searching high and low for The Man Behind the Curtain. Society has to have structures - that's the definition of society. We're not helpless or powerless, we're just moderately constrained, like every other animal, by the will of our collective pack.


You can do better than that

From a daily email bulletin today:

A new series of beer ads from Miller depict men talking about manhood rather than featuring comely blonds or party-hearty young men, the New York Times reported May 1st. Miller says the ads, featuring celebrities like football player Jerome Bettis, wrestler Triple H, and actor Burt Reynolds, will focus on men who "have defined in their own way what manhood is all about."

"They are true men," said Miller marketing head Erv Frederick. "They all have a lot of substance, and they have their own unique personal style." The ads are staged like a roundtable discussion on topics like how to clink a beer glass. Frederick said Miller "wanted to move beyond that stereotype of men as sophomoric." "We're trying to position it as a smarter, more intelligent light beer," he said.

An in-depth discussion on how to clink a beer glass? Way to move past that stereotype, guys. How about creating a smarter, more intelligent commercial?