Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Pantrygirl, unplugged.

I’m a total weenie. This morning’s routine was a little off-kilter. Add to it that I needed to be in the office early and you can understand why I left both my cell phone and pda at home. After my pre-requisite stare into oblivion, I decided to check my appointments for the day. I unzipped my bag and to my horror, the pocket for which I place my pda was empty. You know the close-up of Janet Leigh’s face when the shower curtain is pulled back? Imagine that face on a mass transit bus. My world literally stopped for a brief moment. I imagined my little pda on my dining room table crying like a baby for it’s mother. Then I looked at the next pocket, figuring I can at least tell my husband to put my pda back in it’s charger. Gasp! It was empty too! Two abandoned children, cold and alone wishing for the warmth of my palm. The attachment to my appliances is quite scary.

It took all my will to not get off the bus at the next stop and sprint back to get my precious babies. That’s when I realized it’s time for another session of ‘wireless’ living. I know I’ve written about these sessions but I’m too lazy to actually look for the reference. Besides, if I actually find the last time I did an wireless session, it will only show me that I need to regularly have these sessions.

A “wireless” session, is when I turn off my cell phone, put away my pda and turn off my laptop and go “wireless”. I try to do these for an entire week to get the full effect. Now, some of you may totally freak out at the prospect. Many of my consultant friends think I’m insane for doing this. Others, understand my need to not be ‘online’. Others probably think this isn’t a big deal. For an electronic fanatic, like myself, this is a very big deal. For one week, the only way a person can contact me is through my husband. Ok, I do check my voicemail to ensure my boss isn’t going to fire me. My IM is turned off. No emails every 5 seconds. Luxtv, our workday newscasts, programming by Lrudlrick, is turned off. No breaking news alerts. No surfing of any kind. It takes two to three days for the withdrawal symptoms to subside but I’ve gotten better.

So what the hell do you do? Well, I read a good old fashioned newspaper and if something happens after the newspaper is printed, I can read about it the next day. It’s not like the troops are going to be shipped home in one day. I catch up on my articles and magazines that have been stacking up in my workbag and my magazine rack. I do an errand I’ve wanted to do but haven’t had a chance to. For example, organizing my pictures from the year before or cleaning out my DVD and CD collection.I don’t know what possessed me to buy Bell, Biv, Devoe. I also venture out more and just enjoy the outdoors. I take long walks with the pooches and head downtown and just walk around Union Square and Chelsea.

Try it. It is the most liberating feeling to know that the world hasn’t stopped going a 80 miles an hour but you can and the world doesn’t tilt on its axis. It’s also a humbling experience.

Here is today’s ethical dilemma. I promised my cousin, I’d call him today at 11 to coordinate where to meet tomorrow. It’s now 11. I don’t have my cell phone. Ethically speaking, I don’t believe it is a person’s right to use the company phone for personal long distance calls. So what do I do? Ok, I used the phone but only for a few minutes. I made sure it was a quick, meet-me-here, bye.

Where was I? Oh yes, so I think it’s high time that I do another “wireless” session.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Is it just me or has the rain caused more muck to form on the sidewalks? I generally like spring showers. It usually wipes the nasty smog and biological waste away. So far, this year’s spring showers seem to be pulling the dirt up out of the sidewalk and allowing it to congeal into grainy sidewalk sand art. The crackle under my feet is quite disconcerting. Even my dogs refuse to walk on it.

The grassy areas haven’t started to grow yet so right now it’s just mud now. My poor pooches are left walking in zig zag patterns to get to the curb to do their thing. Yes, my dogs are curbed, thank you. If you have a dog and you live in the city, do the kind thing and teach your dogs to pee on the curb. No one wants to be walking into a pile of pee, even if it’s soaked into the sidewalk.

Mr. Weatherman says it’s supposed to rain again this weekend. Fine, let’s hope this rain clears away the winter remnants. Pantrygirl is tired of sounding like she’s doing a soft shoe.

Dat dear is a moo-zum. Deem got fancy pikchurs.

I’m probably going to sound un-kullchurd but I haven’t hit a museum in over a year. With that said, my cousin from the Midwest is coming by to visit and he loves museums. He’s asked me to show him the new MoMA and probably the Met. Sure, I said. So now, I’m trying to figure out how to do both in a day without killing ourselves getting cross-town. Should we start on the westside and move east or start east them move west so we can just hope the train home easily?

Sadly, just like the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, museums have become one of those places that I rarely visit. I know it’s a shame. There is so much in the city that I walk past during my daily errands without a thought. Meanwhile, hundreds of tourists are flocking in droves to see these attractions.

So I ran through this whole list of upcoming exhibits to find some interesting attractions. My cousin will definitely dig the Miramax exhibit at MoMA and I found out that the The IN-complete History of Monty Python will debut this Friday, April 1st of all dates at the Museum of Television and Radio.

With spring upon us, I’m going to make an effort to check out a few exhibits this spring and summer. If I’m going to talk about the cultural benefits of living in a big city, I should actually make an effort to see them instead of reading about them. I already missed Basil Twist’s Symphonie Fantastique twice.

This spring, pantrygirl will not complain about the long lines at the museum and go and get a bit o’ culture.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Food makes everything seem better...

People ask me how I feel about the situation with my mom. Sad. That’s how I feel. I feel horrible that it has come down to this but I also realize that I cannot continue to allow her to affect me the way she does. No one can know what she expects of her children. She has grown a kidney stone of anger inside of her.

I didn’t think that her not sharing Easter with me would affect me as much as it has. I’m not sorry I didn’t beg her to come. I wouldn’t have wanted her to be there if she didn’t want to. It hit me like a ton of bricks Saturday night when I realized my friends and family were happier and had more desire to see me and visit me than my mother. I can only hope that things can only get better.

This weekend was a wonderful weekend. OCD pantrygirl was fulfilled, family pantrygirl was content and Donna Reed pantrygirl was satisfied. Hubby and I miraculously completed 80% of our spring cleaning. The apartment is so clean of clutter, it prompted my husband to change his tune about us having little space and needing to look for a house. We’re still looking but he’s not as gung ho about moving so soon after our last move.

Friends visited us on Saturday evening and I spent a wonderful time catching up. Family was visited on Sunday. I like big family gatherings. They remind me of my childhood and annual trips for family reunions. After the 80’s, those disappeared. Now I only see my entire family for funerals and weddings. Sure we meet up occasionally, if one visits, but those are infrequent. I miss them. So when we get together with Lrudlrick’s family, I get a sense of that again.

Finally, Donna Reed pantrygirl was in full force. I didn’t get to make the 4 pastries I wanted to but I did make three: fudge, raspberry coffee cake & chocolate dipped jam cookies. I didn’t get to bring the fudge because it hadn’t set yet. My co-workers were thankful for this and have been munching down the fudge.

BTW, have you ever noticed that in the 50’s, everything was ok, as long as there was food? I was watching Howard Hawk’s Monkey Business again and couldn’t stop laughing at Ginger Roger’s character. Whenever she couldn’t solve her husband’s dilemmas, she’d offer him food. If it wasn’t eggs, it was coffee. Everything looks better with a full stomach. Lrudlrick laughed and told me I belong in the 50’s. I’m constantly making something to eat for him. He swears I’m fattening him up for the kill.

All in all, I had a very nice weekend but Lrudlrick and I can’t wait for a lazy weekend, a weekend filled with sitting on one’s ass, flipping through the Times and doing absolutely nothing.

NYC Hero #607: The Mom and Pop Hardware Store

One of the unsung heroes of Manhattan is the mom and pop hardware stores. Yes, we’ve got two new Home Depots in the city and they are good for the occasional nut and screw (dirty)but nothing beats the local hardware store for your apartment’s needs. Since we’ve moved to our neighborhood, we’ve had to replace many a cabinet knobs, bathroom fixtures and closet brackets. Since we live in a pre-war building, many of these parts are quite old and are not stocked at a mega-chain like Home Depot.

Mom and pop hardware stores still have these items. They stock the items they know the neighborhood needs. In my neighborhood they do everything. They can take deliveries from UPS for you. They make keys. They sell kitchen utensils. They offer decorating tips. (Thanks again for suggesting a black toilet seat in our blue bathroom. It looks great.) Sure, when you first look at these places, you can see layers of dust and dirt all over the stock. It creeps me out too. But build a relationship with the owner and forget trying to find the t bracket you need and just show him the piece or describe it and I guarantee he will duck his head in the back for a quick second and come out with the exact parts needed.

Why do I bring this up? Because my husband and I have spent three days walking around the city with burnt out specialty bulbs looking for replacements. I stopped off at our local hardware store this morning and left with plenty of bulbs to keep our home lit for the next year. So, thank you Geo and the crew for always having what we’re looking for. I should have never doubted you. So what if I’ve actually witnessed two cave-ins because your stock is piled haphazardly on top of each other. It’s all good. You seem to know where everything is and that’s organized enough for pantrygirl.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Social graces of an amoeba.

I wish I had a camera today. I’ve been explaining to people that my bathroom is in another building. All the buildings are connected so it’s not like I have to go out to potty. I have two options: one bathroom is right next to the Dean’s office so every VP is in there. Personally, I don’t want to be doing #1 or 2 next to my boss. The other bathroom is in the lab rat building. To get to this bathroom I need to pass this giant computer room (imagine magnetic tapes galore), a radiation room, two nitrogen tanks (5’5” tall), a heat room and a cold room.
Whenever I tell people this, they don’t believe me. Next week, I’m going to have to photograph this for you.

Aside from the lab rat that didn’t wash her hands after using the restroom, they generally keep to themselves. However, the other day, I used their elevator to go up a floor to attend a meeting. The doors opened and there were three labrats. Two were males and one was an Asian female. As the doors closed, one of the males said, “Have you people heard of stairs?” I turned to the portly rodent and smiled a gross characterization of a Chinese person smiling. I giggled, put my hand on my mouth and said, “Apparently you haven’t.” and got off at my stop. I suppose social graces aren’t needed when your days are spent staring at Petri dishes.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Houston, we have liftoff...

Today is Thursday and I finally got a hold of my mother after three days of attempts. In a nutshell, I was so busy with work that when I dialed the number, I was too busy to palpitate.

At this point I have to admit that I wrote cue cards. Yes, I had to write topics to discuss and answers to potential questions. I used up my topics within the first 5 minutes. As for the answers, they never were used. She didn't mention my husband. She didn't mention my job. She didn't mention my brother. She did however allude to the fact that my relationship with my father-in-law was better than ours. (Sadly, she's right.)

When she got on the phone I told her that I tried getting a hold of her for three days.


I asked her how she was.


I asked her what she was doing for the holiday weekend.


I asked her if she’d like to attend Easter mass.

Why? I’ll just sit there like a dummy. I don’t go to church. What would I do there?

pg: Since everyone [my stepdad, my brother and me] is going to church, I thought it would be nice for all of us to go together. We can grab something to eat afterwards.


Is your brother going?



pg:You don't have to give me an answer now. If you want to come, that would be nice.


pg:So. How are you and Joe?

Same old. Same old. Where do you get this idea that me and Joe are having problems?

pg:I didn’t. I just asked how you guys were doing.


pg:So. Are you getting ready for Aunt Susan’s visit?

Get ready for what? They come. They come.


Why do you go to church anyway? Don’t you spend all your weekend’s with [your stepdad]?

pg:Visiting Staten Island is a one day thing and besides, church is only an hour.

So you do visit your father in law?

pg:Yes, when he asks me to and we’re available.


Every week?


Every month?

pg:No. Occasionally. He calls and asks us to come over and if we can, we can.

Well, I feel sorry that he has no holidays. I’ve become my family’s burden.

pg:Excuse me?

What? You don’t understand? Your stepdad has to drive me to the doctor’s on his day off. I rely on people now.


Besides, I can’t go to church because your brother is taking me to the doctor’s this weekend. I need to see him before he goes on vacation. So sorry.

pg:It’s ok. Just thought I’d throw it out there.

And if no one can take me then I’ll find a way.


prolonged silence

pg:Well, I better be going. I need to finish some things up at work before I head home.

k. Bye.

Right now, I’m still consuming it. Maybe after my commute home I’ll have some thoughts. Right now, the only thing I can think of is how defensive she was. My thoughts as they flow………

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Is anyone home?

After a long discussion with my brother, we agreed that I need to be the big person and open dialogue with my mother. We also agreed my mother has a double standard when it comes to me and him. So I'm going to suck it up and call my mother. Now, I hate to say this but things have been peachy since I imposed the no contact rule. Frustration and anger have been at all time lows in my life. I know that waiting for my step-dad to join the bandwagon is unrealistic.

So, I'm going to call my mom. I won't go into the issues just yet. I'm going to just play it casual with her and get off the phone before the blood pressure rises. My brother promised to be home for her tonight. We guarantee she'll pose some questions to him. She won't go into detail but she'll ask. Wish me luck…………….

No answer. Isn't that always the case. I called my brother who said that she should be home. He suggests I call my stepdad to let him know I'm calling. I swear this is the most retarded thing I've every heard of. In order to call my mother, I need to brace my family members that I plan to call so they can walk on eggshells for 3 weeks because of the onslaught that will ensue. It's bloody ridiculous.

I'll try again in 30 minutes. I forgot how ridiculous it was to try to get a hold of my mother. It's not like she has three million ways to get a hold of her. There is one way, the phone. However, she either doesn't hear the phone or feels she's not in the mood to talk to anyone who isn't in her la-la land. She'd get upset I didn't call her. Meanwhile you spend three days trying to grab a hold of her and when you do get a hold of her it's like talking to a mime, on the phone.

Today is Wednesday. This is my second day attempting to reach my mother. Since it's Wednesday and her husband is off of work, I'm going to assume she's out of the house. I'll give her a buzz in the early evening.

This is incredibly ridiculous. Folks, do you see the agita I get and I'm not evening conversing with her yet. I have to suck it up and be the bigger person and I'm getting the acid reflux for it.

Lrudlrick has completely washed his hands of the lunacy. He sees that I've been a happy camper for quite some time. My health is good. I'm smiling more. He's just afraid I'll wind up pissy again because I've decided to try to open dialogue with her. He was the first against closing the door on my mother. He said no matter what, I needed to keep it open for my own sanity. However, since I've stopped communications, he's noticed the opposite effect.

Most people would probably feel guilty but I haven't. The only one I feel for is my brother. I told him if mom is not confronted, it's going to make his life a living hell when he decides to settle down with someone. Without mediation, this is going to fester.

I got a hold of my stepdad. He asked who I was and said he didn't know who I was. After three mentions and a description, 'daughter', he asked me why I was trying to call her. He then told me to call her at night around 5 or 6 o’clock.

Folks, I hate this. I really hate this.

First calls made at 5pm. No answer.

It’s not 7pm and I have to head to a meeting. I’ve tried calling the time he suggested. No answer. Is this a fruitless cause?

Monday, March 21, 2005

A shave and a haircut...

I'm not going to add my two bits in on the Schiavo case. I'm not an immediate member in this tragedy. If you know me, you know how I feel. Besides, there is too much emotional, bias and non-factual accounts floating around in the media.

However, I will suggest those interested in the case(s) read the rulings. Matt Conigliaro has an excellent site with a timeline and the court rulings.

If you are too busy, just read the first ruling that snowballed into the massive amounts of appeals. Judge Greer cites his reasons eloquently.

If you're interested in a bioethics discussion of this, check out, Dr. Maurice Bernstein's blog.

Want to know what Market Research is saying?

Oprah in the 'hood

What's this I hear about Oprah spending a month in a housing project in Chicago? Apparently it's part of a documentary focusing on the housing crisis in inner-cities. Ms. Winfrey, shadowed by bodyguards for her own protection, will live in an apartment building in a tough area of Chicago. Details were not available.

Will she continue work on her program? Will she be at her office or at meetings? Will she spend actual time in the apartment? Will she be given a stipend to live off of?

At a housewarming party this weekend, we were speaking to a NYC public high school teacher who said it's difficult for us to understand the plight of an inner city student. He's inundated with angry parents who do not understand why he tells his students they have potential. We couldn't decide if it was a cultural issue or a pride issue. He noted that in his classes, he finds that there is a high percentage of Black and Hispanic males who hide their achievements. He's generalizing here folks, so take it with a grain of salt.

Personally, I'd be highly upset if my child's teacher told him/her that they didn't have any potential. I could not imagine being upset at a teacher for telling my child with application they could be an engineer or an astronaut or whathaveyou.

I suppose pride could be a factor. I can see parents becoming defensive. "Who are you to tell me that I'm a bad parent?" "Who are you to tell my son that he can be do better than I can?" Now I'm not a parent but at some point, you have to realize it's not about you but your child and making a better life for him/her.

Star Wars III = Titanic in Space. ???

"The final Star Wars movie will be an emotional "Titanic in space", according to director George Lucas." --

Thanks for turning me off, Mr. Lucas. Please don't go the way of Mr. Cameron. The man has been transfixed by the Titanic. Ask his ex-wife. Perhaps it's too late for you but I'm not going to lose hope.

Newsradio finally announced! May 24th release!

Before I forget, Newsradio fans, the moment we have been waiting for is here. The official release date has been announced! Season 1 and 2 will be available on DVD on May 24, 2005.

Get all the Bill McNeal you'll need. I'm particularly psyched that there will be audio commentary for 20 out of the 29 episodes.

Hey, Seth McFarlene, did you hear that? The dead silence in the Family Guy DVDs is unfulfilling. Why don't you release a special edition for adults only? I know they edited your commentaries but we're all adults.

Benchpressing TP

As I said before, we have tp issues. This weekend Lrudlrick came with me to the supermarket to buy some household staples. We got to the toilet paper aisle and found a single package of our TP left on the shelf. Actually, it was on the floor. I lifted up the 12 MegaRoll of BearAss and nearly got a hernia.

The old lady next to us stood there with her mouth open as my husband caught me from a near fall. As we turned the corner to the bread aisle, she was still standing there in disbelief.

There wasn't any weight on the packaging so we took it home and immediately proceeded to weigh the sucker.

Weighing the MegaRoll. Lrudlrick likes the clear shot of the bear hugging the roll of TP.

Here is a close-up.

6 lbs 6 oz.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, our TP weighs the equivalent of a newborn baby.

BTW, I just want to rave again about my hubby.

The man knows how to keep me happy. Keep your mind out of the gutter folks. This is a pg-rated rave. That scale is a brand new present from Hubby. Just another kooky measuring gadget for pg to play with. Guess, I'll be playing with pound cake this spring.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

When Animals crap: Animated and Live Action

It’s 11:48pm and I’m bored. Sure I can flip through the many articles I clipped to read or I can read one of the five books I have on my nightstand but instead, I’m here on my laptop.

I started out flipping the channels. I gave up on finding anything interesting and decided to flip to old faithful, TCM. Arsenic and Old Lace is always on. Anyway, right now I’m watching Famous Movie Dogs, one of the short ‘One Reel Wonders’. That’s entertainment, folks.

The reason I decided to pop by was my toilet paper. I was in my bathroom brushing my teeth. Since I’m heading to the drugstore tomorrow, I did a quick review of what I need to pick up for the bathroom. That’s when I eyed the toilet paper. See, I can’t just buy any old tp. I need to buy the It-can-withstand-a-bear’s-ass tp. I’m not the only one with toilet paper particulars.

The need to buy toilet paper made me think of the annoying Charmin commercials that permeate the air. I don’t know what’s more annoying, the male singer’s voice or the bear cha-cha-ing his ass on my television set. At this point, I must disclaim that I occasionally do the cha-cha when I see the commercial. I only do it to annoy Lrudlrick who dislikes this commercial as well. As with everything that happens in the bathroom, one thing leads to another. [On a totally unrelated note: You must add The Fixx’s song to your playlist for any racing game.]

Going back, so here is a brief list of commercials I loathe and love. Disclaimer: I am a complete DVR addict so I rarely see commercials, so 1) there aren’t many on my list and 2) they’re probably really old.

  • Nextel’s rappers in a studio

  • Forgive me as I show my age but I’m not sure if these guys are actual rappers. That’s not the annoying part. The annoying part is the ‘beep’. See, I have a Nextel and although I love the direct connect functionality, I hate that everyone in my office can recognize that someone is direct connecting me because of the darn ‘beep’. Then there is the catchiness factor. I don’t know a single sentence but I find myself humming it randomly. I’ll even throw in a “southside, eastside, worldwide.”

  • Geico’s Tiny House

  • I’m the first to admit I love the Geico guy. Not the gecko but the blonde guy who reads viewer mail and goes around telling bad jokes and bedtime stories. The rest of the Geico commercials I can live without. However, Lrudlrick loves the ‘Tiny House’ ad. He loves it when the wife says, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” He laughs a hearty, face-turning-red type of laugh. Ok, all of Lrudlrick’s laughs are face-turning-red laughs. That’s what happens when your 96 US / 108+ Euro Bright.

  • Father jumps down flight of stairs for video game

  • I don’t know the company this ad is for nor do I recall the name of the video game. However, the image of a 40+ man jumping down a flight of steps to beat his teenage sons from getting to the new game seemed very Lrudlrick.

  • Gap’s SJP ‘I Enjoy Being a Girl’

  • Damn you Sarah for ruining a Peggy Lee favorite of mine. When I first heard the commercial I smiled at the 50’s reference then I looked up and saw you and your trenchcoat. Your speak-sing rendition killed the thrill. It’s not that I hate you. Just stick with your Manolo’s and stop fashioning up my Gap standards. It’s bad enough I pay $60-70 for a pair of jeans. I don’t need your salary for a commercial to further inflate the price.

  • TemperPedic beds

  • We tried one of those beds when we were mattress hunting. It’s like sleeping in a coffin made of packing foam. The commercial starts with an annoying alarm and a woman groggily hitting the snooze. “Do you find yourself hitting the snooze?” Hells yes. Name one person that pops out of bed during the first alarm buzzard and skips to the bathroom. The day I skip to the bathroom is the day I go all William Foster.

  • The NYC2012 commercial

  • At first, I didn’t mind it. I thought it was cute. Now, every morning b/w my ‘In the Papers’ and ‘Weather on the 1s’ I have to hear the Olympic theme in multiple musical genres. No wonder NY-ers have low enthusiasm for the Olympic bid.

    That’s it for now. It’s late and time for the dogs to leave their secret messages for other dogs. Cha Cha Cha.

    Friday, March 18, 2005

    Is that a banana in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

    "It was a yellow, plush, child's toy banana," Petrone said. "It had a smiley face on it." -- Sgt. Roger Petrone Jr., Greenwich CT Police.

    When I read this, I thought of Johnny Carson and the flasher skit. Moment of silence for Mr. Carson, folks..................

    On a technical note, is it considered flashing if you're fully clothed but exposing a 'banana' boner?

    Warming the abode...

    We’ve been invited to an apartment warming this weekend. It’s for the couple that lived above us. They are originally from Wisconsin or some farming state that slips my mind. He’s an artist and she’s a software trainer for a pharmaceutical company. They are here for a year and have decided to hop around Manhattan to check neighborhoods. They lived in our area for 6 months and now have decided to check out Union Square. What do you give a couple whose permanent residence is another state? Last time I went into their apartment, there were no plants or decorations. Would it be impolite to bring a plant?

    I really don’t know them. They knocked on the door one day to tell us they just moved in. I know this sounds very suburban. I was deathly ill so the following weekend we knocked on their door with an apple tart and had tea with them. I know. I know. We would occasionally see them in the elevator or at church. We did the obligatory wave and smile. Then they moved two weeks ago. We said goodbye to their 6am bathroom and shower and thought nothing of it. Then I get this invitation in the mail to their housewarming. Obviously we struck a cord with them. Maybe it was the apple tart. So now I feel like I should be some sort of ambassador to NYC.

    I guess a water plant might work. They seem to be the only plants I can keep alive in a NYC apartment. I’d bake something but next week is Easter Brunch at our cousins and I hope to make pastries. What kind of pastries, I have not yet planned. Could it be the OCD is waning? Nah. I’m just to busy and it’s low priority. I’d like to make bite size pastries but time may not allot it. We’ll see.

    Oh, and I’ve been trying to get this blender for another housewarming. My friend just bought a two bedroom in Brooklyn. Thoughtful as she is, she told me she wants a blender. A blender she shall receive. I haven’t had a chance to go downtown to pick up this blender. I considered mailing it to her place but it just seems cold. So I might drop it off at her job. I suppose having a 4’9” woman lug a blender on the train would be cold as well but at least I get to see her expression from joy to ‘crap-I-have-to-lug-this-thing-on-the-train’. Ah, the little things.

    Thursday, March 17, 2005

    Anyone know a good raindance?

    More research today. In between work, I’ve been looking up living in Jersey and commuting. As long as your near the rail lines, it doesn’t look too bad. Lrudlrick and I have been polling our co-workers and most say it takes 45 mins to get to midtown.

    Lrudlrick tried to pull a guilt trip last night. He mentioned how we sprung P-man from the pound when he was 1 so there was a high probability that he had a backyard for a good year. It would be unjust for us to deny him another backyard. Of course, I look down at P-man and he’s looking up at me with those big eyes and I’m all melty-woman.

    But enough about moving and cost of living in the city. I’m wishing everyone out there a Happy St. Patty’s Day. Have a green beer for me. Personally, I’m not into that green beer but after three or four, you don’t care what the hell it is.

    So I walk into work this morning, wearing my green turtleneck in honor of St. Pat’s. I walk past the assistant’s and notice that one of the assistant’s is wearing the same exact turtleneck. I hate when this happens. Thankfully she was wearing slacks and I’m wearing a skirt but still. I’m sure men don’t mind this but it irritates the crap out of me. Then during lunch, I’m on line for my usual salad when a girl walks by wearing the same exact turtleneck! I felt like we were walking advertisements for the Gap’s 2 for 1 sale.

    The last time that happened to me I walked in to find a colleague, a male one I might add, wearing the same outfit. Blue ribbed sweater, white collared shirt and dark blue pinstriped pants. Do you know how traumatic it is to find that you are wearing an outfit essentially a man can wear?

    I am getting tired of the winter weather. During the winter, I’m relegated to slacks, slacks and more slacks. Sure I wear an occasional skirt but not like the spring, fall and summer. Being the shoe fiend that I am, these 3 seasons give me an opportunity to wear my babies. In the winter, it’s boots, boots and more boots and not the pretty-I’m-4-inches taller variety. I’m quite happy that 97% of the snow has melted and the grime is slowly being washed away. City winter street grime is disgusting. Decomposing garbage and waster litter the streets. The smog we inhale becomes visible. I know it’s supposed to snow this Sunday but I’d just like one good rainstorm to wash the city clean. After all, it’s about time.

    Sign O' The Times... BYOTP.........

    I thought my office's budget was bad. According to this article, Buffalo county's employees are bringing in TP. Meanwhile, my requisition for blank cd's is still in pending status. It has been two months. Either they up the file transfer capabilities in our mail server to above 3MBs or they give me a server to allow secured data transfers.

    Jackson's collection...

    I'm not going to go into the absurdity that is the Jackson trial.

    However, I read the list of porn found in his house and aside from the fact that he's got alot of porn, he obviously needs a 'Porn Buddy'.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    Meet my motley crew...

    “This one over there keeps a look out. Always watching.” – plumber

    I just have to pop in to say how much I love my dogs. Each has their unique personalities. The one the plumber is referring to is P-man, aka Rump Roast. Ever since we adopted him, he’s very protective of us and our home. He also likes kids. Well, tolerates kids. During a visit from my newborn cousin, he sat around the bed as he was sleeping as if on guard.

    When strangers come into the house, he’s the first to bark and will not leave the stranger alone. He will follow you and sit by you, keeping a watchful eye to make sure you’re on the up and up.

    I guess this trait, which he passed onto Z-girl, makes them the anti-social crew that they are. At the dog park, they prefer to be outside of the dog park versus inside with the other dogs. As if being outside meant dominance over the wrangled cattle, they parade around the perimeter with their chests held high as if they were the herders and the dogs in the park were the herd.

    They generally prefer to show their dominance vocally. Unfortunately, Z-girl’s Cujo-like bark scares the crap out of most our neighbors. The local stray likes to follow the other dogs but Z-girl won’t have it. She can smell her a block away and will stiffen and growl to let her know to keep her distance. Z-girl is a bit protective. If she was a human, she’d be Melanie Griffith. My girl dog is a dumb blonde who is protective of her hot Latino husband. Well, she’s a dumb blonde and her hot Latino husband is an Asian mix and is well, he’s her brother.

    I still can’t pinpoint the human equivalent of P-man. He’s protective of family. He’s quite proud. He sees himself as an equal to the alpha-dogs yet whines like a baby if the alphas happen to be enjoying a nice piece of steak without him. Oh, and he likes cheese. I pulled a block of parmesan out the other day and before I could close the fridge door, he was sitting next to me waiting for a few slivers. Any thoughts?

    30 years in the city and I feel like I'm getting evicted.

    I was a bit exhausted last night but I cannot recall my husband telling me that the plumbers would be at our house at 8:30 and that I can leave them at our house alone when I went to work.  Lrudlrick swears he did.  I'm not disputing it but I would never feel comfortable leaving my home and my two dogs with a stranger no matter how nice he may sound.  Guess it's a New York 'trust no one' attitude that's been bred into me.

    So here I am at home.  My VPN doesn't connect right on my laptop so I have to use the clunky desktop to work.  My boss sends me an email about how keeping track of consultant requests is imperative.  I want to retort that if the consultants centralized their requests we would get a better stronghold.  However they are contacting every department and to have me call every department and blindly ask if the consultants have requested data from them is not only time consuming but depicts our office as inept.  However, I still need my job and will thusly report to her what I have received as requests and results from the departments and continue trudging along in my coalmine.

    BTW, yes, I do realize that I have of late been moaning about my job.  I just never thought I'd be part of the bureaucratic bull that is prevalent in high level departments.  I always thought I'd be a peon IT/IS person.  I liked being the person behind the curtain.

    So I have an 11 o'clock conference call but no data or documents to assist me.  The guy I need to speak to loves the sound of his voice and I'm just being all bitter pantrygirl.  I feel like I'm a female version of Bad Santa but without the booze, cigarettes and poppers.  Ok, I lied.  I've been sipping daiquiris and margaritas for the last two weeks.  I'm usually a wine or beer girl but lately I've been hankering girlie drinks.  Makes me think of KITH's 'Girl Drink Drunk' sketch.  BTW, what the hell is a Chocolate Choo Choo?  Sounds mighty tasty right now.  God, it's only 9:47am.

    Hold on.  My data finally finished extracting.  Have to import it now.  Ok, it's importing.  Where was I?  Oh, yes.  So one of
    my problems, according to my mentor is that since my background is in IS and I don't delegate the data extractions and instead do it myself.  I know this is an issue but I can't stand waiting for data I can get more readily than waiting for someone to pull the data.  I know I need to learn to stop doing that.  I have enough on my plate.  This position requires delegation of duties so that I can manage the entire project.  I should not be digging into the trenches with everyone else.  How do I break that habit?

    Now, don't get me wrong.  My mentor isn't the type to sit on her behind and watch everyone do work.  She gets in there too but she said, the trick is to get in when it's needed not as the first step.  I've got to learn that.

    So back to the plumbing issues.  I know this is a common issue with pre-war buildings but for the amount of maintenance I'm paying for this apartment, we sure have a lot of service issues.  I've had more service issues in this apartment building than in any other and I'm including apartments where the super was non-unionized illegal immigrants.  As Lrudlrick said to our board president, "I've lived in rat holes with better service staff and less physical condition issues."

    Which leads to one of Lrudlrick's reasons for us to move to a house.  Like I said last night, I never thought I'd be a 'grown-up' with a house.  It just sounds too adult.  Another issue is the leaving the city.  I love the city.  I love knowing that I can go out to the bodega at 11pm to pick up ice cream.  I love knowing that any place, any culture, practically anything you wanted is a bus or train ride away.  NYC is filled with alienation yet togetherness.  We're packed so tightly together.  Even though we live separate lives, we're all doing the daily grind in some shape or form.  We know more about our neighbors than we think.  I know that Indiana Jones to the left of us travels a lot and teaches at Columbia.  I know the couple to the right of us has taco nights and their toddler just had a birthday party.  Heck, I know my neighbor upstairs wakes up at 6am every day to go to the bathroom.

    In the suburbs, you don't get that feeling.  At least from what I see.  Everything is socialization through gatherings.  Neighborhood raffles and fund raisers are when you get to talk to your neighbors.  I'm sure Lrudlrick doesn't see this as an issue, until it's time to pool together for the holiday light show.  I'm just afraid of alienation.  Which leads to Lrudlrick's suggestion of Staten Island.  His father is there.  Now, here is my problem.  He thinks that his father will be there for us to help us if we live closer.  I doubt this.  He claims I only know the man for 9 years and don't truly know him for who he is.  Fine.  I won't go into that but in the 9 years we've been together, he has never offered to help us when we were saving up for our first apartment.  He never offered to come over to visit.  He finally came to our place last year for the first time.  He didn't go to our wedding or his birthday party.

    Of course I have other apprehensions about SI.  The location.  The resale value.  The location.  The school system.  The commute. 
    The location.  The residents.  Have you walked down SI's Broadway?  I swear I may have counted one full set of teeth from the lot hanging around. 
    When the ratio of wife beater shirts to full sets of teeth is higher you truly question the area.  Now, I know there are nice places in SI but every time
    we are there, the traffic is excruciating not to mention the fog of mediocrity.  Mediocrity isn't right.  How do I explain it?  SI to me is the rest area on the highway from New York to New Jersey.  Who wants to live in a rest area? 

    NOTE: Again, complain away if you must.  I'm entitled to my opinion.

    So here I am looking up Long Island, New Jersey and Westchester.  Our key concerns is commute time, market value and crime rates.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Anyone know of a good book or article on the transition from city living to suburban life?  What if suburban life is not for me?  God, it's sad that it's come to this but the sad truth is the cost of living in NYC is too high for the middle-class.  Unless your last name is Broderick or Parker, you can't live in NYC, raise a kid and have enough for retirement years.

    BTW, anyone know the tax differences b/w Jersey and New York?  Do I really get socked for working in the city but living in Jersey?

    I never thought I'd even be thinking of going this route.  I'm going to down a couple of donuts to drown my sadness.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    Tired Eyes...

    Late entry today. I was stuck on a spreadsheet crossmap that took all day. By the time I looked up from my monitor, my eyes were bloodshot. I looked like Wily E. Coyote after being run over by a truck.

    I've learned to not take my boss' responses personally. See, my boss is the type of person who tells everyone their first draft is wrong. It's not personal. She does it to everyone. I've learned that you can have 50 drafts of one report and she'll still think it's wrong. The latest report was a listing of all requested documents from an outside consulting firm. This firm has taken liberties to ask everyone instead of centralized requests. My boss expects me to find out all the requests and check on their progress. However my boss gives data out to the consultant without informing me. So, I'm supposed to keep tabs of stuff that is requested yet don't know what has been completed. Either way, I lose. Anal-retentive pantrygirl is taking it in stride though.

    So Lrudlrick and I discussed his sudden urge to go suburban. Personally, I cannot picture myself doing the adult thing and buying a house. Apartments are different. They aren't as permanent sounding as a house.

    Monday, March 14, 2005

    It takes two to tango

    "If you want to have kids, you have to be serious about where you want to live." - Lrudlrick

    So ended our trip to visit his father. Two things irk me about this statement. Firstly, "If I want". What the hell does that imply? That implies that Lrudlrick does not want kids and that I'm pushing him to have kids. Secondly, "be serious about where I want to live." I've been serious. Before we moved into our apartment, I told him, that we should get a two bedroom. Not only for possible offspring but for parental visits. At 30, I should not have to give up my bedroom so that my MIL can sleep.

    Let's start at the beginning. Do I want kids? They'd be nice but the financial and emotional commitment is hard for me to get over. When I was little, I thought it would be ideal to have three. I also thought I'd be a lawyer, mother and part time model/crime fighter. I blame Charlie's Angels and Wonder Woman. Today, the whole idea of having kids terrifies me. Oh, I'm over the physical issues I had with an 8 lb watermelon popping out of my body. I have now come to terms with giving up the pretty high heels and the cute handbags. I'm now focusing on the financial and emotional aspects of spawning. Now don't give me the whole, "It's the best thing in the world." line I hear from every other new mom out there. That kind of peer pressure won't work here.

    I just want to know how people can raise children in NY without breaking the bank. Ok, we splurge a bit with electronics. We can cut back but mortgages, insurance and maintenance fees alone are astronomical. What about those who are one income families? My colleague is the sole bread winner for a family of four. Four! Two adults and two teenage boys! Teenage boys! Have you seen teenage boys eat? Food alone requires a small loan for teenage boys!

    I digress. So do I want kids? Yes, financial worries and all but not until Lrudlrick starts offspring conversations with 'Us' or 'We'. I will not be the reason why a mini-Lrudlrick or mini-Pantrygirl makes it's way into this crazy world. If this means we will never have children, so be it. I can spend my life quite happy and content as we are. Children would just be a new chapter.

    Which leads to where we live. I love our neighborhood and if possible I'd stay. Also, it's been one year since we moved into this apartment and I'm really not up to another move so soon. Moving is very tiring for me. Lrudlrick doesn't see it like I do. I must have everything packed a certain way and I must know where everything is at all time. Not only does the OCD hit extremely hard during this time, my possessiveness about strangers 'rejecting' our apartment kicks into full gear. Let's admit it. Whenever prospective buyers tour your house, there are only two possible
    outcomes, they reject you or they covet you. Most times, they reject you. I don't need that kind of pressure while packing up junk I've accumulated and trying to raise the money needed to pay the down payment for another pad.

    Again I digress. When we were looking for a bigger apartment in the neighborhood, it was under the understanding that it would be a 2 bedroom apartment. At this point it may be wise to explain that Lrudlrick is the type of person that will make a decision to do something and do it, rather quickly. I prefer to weigh my options and take my time. Finding an apartment is tiring, especially when you feel pressured to make a decision. We finally decided on our current apartment because it was bigger than all the two bedrooms we saw. We decided that if necessary, we can wall the living room to create a guest room. Now, Lrudlrick suggests I 'get serious' and realize that we need to move to someplace bigger.

    I'm still trying to settle into this place and he wants us to move. I'm just tired and don't understand why we've had to move 4 times in 9 years with a possibility of 1 more before we hit our ten year anniversary.

    Here's the funny thing, he suggested a house. A house. For as long I've known him he's always said that an apartment was for him. I grew up in a house and know the weekend chores needed to maintain a house. I'm perfectly content having the porters shoveling the snow and the plumber fixing the leaky faucet. I don't need to bust my butt cleaning gutters and making sure the lawn is cut.

    Then, he mentions visiting open houses in Staten Island. Now, no offense to SI-ers but before Lrudlrick, I thought the city's Potter's field was Staten Island. I'd rather live in Jersey than SI.

    So, being serious, if I had to move out of my neighborhood, I guess I'd move to Jersey or Westchester. The commute would suck but nothing can beat my sweet bus commute now. I'd like to avoid the Bronx and Staten Island. Queens seems to far away. Brooklyn may be do-able. If Ed McMahon showed up at my doorstep with a big check, I'd definitely stay in Manhattan.

    The big question is, what has brought this whole moving-house-Staten-Island
    movement? Everything about this, aside from moving, does not smell of Lrudlrick.

    Sunday, March 13, 2005

    Modernizing the Bible

    "English is always changing. As a result, we must continue the work of translation to guarantee that the Bible is accurately communicated in the language of the day." -- describing the need for Today's New International Version Bible

    I'm sure I'll get flack for saying this but how can kids today misinterpret what stoning means in the Bible? One of the said changes involves defining what stoning is at every reference to avoid kids misinterpreting stoning with marijuana use.

    Personally, I would like to hope that reading comprehension is a fundamental taught in school.

    I can understand if this was marketed towards a younger audience, not for academic purposes of course. However according to the quick facts, this Bible is marketed to 18 to 34 year olds! Perhaps my parochial days are blinding me but there is something to be said about the traditional word. "The fourth watch of the night" fits with the time period. Understanding the culture and daily lives during the time period can pull you into the Word in no other way.

    Things I've learned about cohabitation and marriage:

    Things I've learned so far:

    • Your husband will not use a list for it's intended purposes

      Forget about making a list for your husband. It will get lost. It will be used as scrap. It will be used as an emergency catch-all for dog puke. It will be used as a refuse for used gum. However, the list of to dos or grocery items will not be used for it's intent nor will said items be done completely.

    • You will get used to the prolong periods of silence and/or obliviousness

      You know how they say that men don't understand why women want to know what's on their mind all the time? Well, after awhile, you'll begin to realize that men are actually thinking about nothing when they say nothing. Seriously. Pantrygirl, how can they not be thinking about something? Defies anything I can rationalize but heck, I'm a girl. I'm not suppose to understand these things. However, over time you actual accept this and grow to enjoy those prolonged periods of silence.

    • You will learn how to do things you would never think you would learn

      I never thought I'd have to learn how to use a wrench or know what a bit was or what an Allen wrench is. Through college, I'd ask guy pals to fix things for me. I thought, hey, having a man in the house means a live at home fix it guy. Now, my husband is great. He's installed a super deep sink and fixed my dishwasher. He's installed a washer and dryer and let's not forget the pantry he built for me. He is my handyman but my handyman like many contractors need incentives to finish on time. So I've learned how to fix hinges, tighten screws, hang a fixture and put a washer in a faucet. I know these are small things but pantrygirl does not have a penchant for manual labor. I am quite proud I've figured out how to do these tiny things and have decided that if I spawn my child most learn these to do's as well as how to make a kick ass chocolate fudge cake.

    • You will not grow tired of the lazy mornings in bed or the leisurely morning breakfast.

      There is nothing like waking up cuddled up next to your spouse. You want to be able to stay there just 5 more minutes. We also enjoy our weekend breakfast. Lounging around with the paper, enjoying a protein/carb-laden breakfast followed by an after breakfast nap. Ok, I know that sounds bad but we figure if we decide to have kids, we'll lose these lazy Saturday mornings so we better enjoy them now.

    • You will not grow tired of the routine 'I Love You'

      Lrudlrick and I, whether on the phone, on IM or in person always end our conversations with "Talk to you later. I love you." It just doesn't seem right if we don't.

    Friday, March 11, 2005

    Pantrygirl will be cheering when the Star Wars trailer begins. Please don't throw popcorn at her.

    Wow, I’ve buried myself into work and I still have a way to go. Still, I am feeling lighter and more relaxed today. It’s Friday, after all. I bought these star-shaped jelly filled donuts in to celebrate. Truth be told, I saw them at the grocery store and thought they were so cute I had to buy them. Then when I got home, I felt guilty that I would be the only person eating all 6 jelly donuts. So I had a change of heart and had to get them out of the house.

    Honestly, if people saw the junk I buy when I go grocery shopping, they’d think I was either a future diabetic or a heroin junkie. Last nights bounty included: Pringles Sour Cream and Onion chips, Entenmanns’s Raspberry filled cookies, a bag of snack sized Kit Kats, Ice Cream Sandwiches and the Entenmanns’s Starr Puff Jelly filled Donuts. I went to the store to buy string beans and steak.

    I start smart. My list always is along the approved dietary recommendations. Milk, Eggs, Meat, Veggies. But they hit you with those damn aisle displays. I realize I eat like a teenager with no concerns of heart disease or sugar comas. To be truthful, I ate none of my junk food items last night. I used my healthy items to make a nice meal and was full. Hubby snagged a few raspberry cookies but he deserved them.

    Yesterday, a line of plumbers, handymen and assorted gawkers came into our apartment to install a new shower. Our building is a pre-war building and the plumbing is atrocious. So after leak upon leak, they finally decided to give us a new shower system. Of course our bathroom looks like crap now. Lrudlrick had to work from home yesterday but it was quite difficult for him. See, the plumber’s assistant kept running back and forth from his van to our bathroom. Along with his tools he tracked dirt on our hardwood floors. Not just standard schmutz. I’m talking leftover snow, ice, smog wet black grey schmutz. We’ve learned in the past to roll up all our rugs and floor coverings whenever workmen are around. Still, the hardwood floors were literally screaming by the time they left. Hubby was following them around cleaning after them. They must have thought Lrudlrick had compulsive tendencies. He was unable to get to his work until 9pm. He stayed up and finally went to bed at around 6am. Lrudlrick says a quick nap may have been taken between 3 and 5.

    So we’ve got this new shower. It’s the kind that swivels up and down. Gone are our old fashioned turn knobs. With them we also said goodbye to scalding us whenever the toilet flushes. The terrible part aside from the aesthetics is our water pressure is squat. It’s like that Seinfeld episode. I can’t feel clean. A typical 5-10 minute shower is now inadequate in the rinse department. If I still had my long hair, I’d be in there a good 20 minutes just rinsing out the shampoo. Lrudlrick said it will be better once the dual shower head is installed. I hope so. I feel like Elf when he’s trying desperately to shower in the tiny shower.

    Tonight, we’re going to check out Robots. I’m a sucker for animation movies. I turn into a little kid. Plus, I’m dying to see the Star Wars trailer. I’m surprised there are so many tickets still available on Fandango. I’d expect the Star Wars fans to buy out the tickets just to see the trailer. I’m also interested in seeing the Ice Age 2 short film. Apparently they are showing it during tonight’s showing of Robots. We saw the Robots preview on Fox HD last week and it definitely whet my appetite. The whole transportation system reminded me of Pipe Dream. Actually, one of the interests that drew Lrudlrick and I together was cool animation videos. Lrudlrick and I swapped a few videos and we became fast email buddies. Ever since we’ve been together, we’ve checked out most animation films the first night of their run. It’s just a given. We’ll wait 6 months to see most movies but animation and CGI heavy movies bring us out of our cocoon. I’m not making a case against the whole ‘Geek’ classification, am I?

    Signs of Spring?

    Could it be that the days are finally getting longer? Last night was the first night, I left my bunker to a light sky. The sky was a gorgeous periwinkle. It was twilight and my hectic work day ended on a high note.

    Thursday, March 10, 2005

    Slap on the newspaper shoes, I'm the bag lady!

    I usually do not leave my workbag strewn with litter. Cleaning out my bag just slipped out of my mind until it slipped off my desk and its contents rolled out.

    Items found in pantrygirl's work bag:

  • Files

  • Filled with an assortment of photocopies of work related notes.

  • 2 packets of stamps

  • Both are half empty. One is Christmas ornaments.

  • 9 individually wrapped cherry lifesavers

  • Cherry kicks butt. I also like the translucent one but can't figure out the flavor. Anyone know what flavor the translucent one is?

  • earmuffs

  • We all know my lack of proper headgear for the winter months. I generally don't need a hat as long as my ears are warm. If my ears are warm, all is right with the world. So most of the time I wear my ear muffs. I still would like a wool hat. My husband reminded me that two Christmases ago he gave me a hat. Well, it really was this turtle hood thing. What's a turtle hood? Well, it's a hoodie and scarf all in one. It's fleece and super warm but you need to throw the contraption over you head before you jacket so you don't get any air pockets. Again, this hat is a bit too big for my small head. When I put it on, I look like a giant grey condom with a face. No lie. Now, the winter he gave it to me, there was an accumulation of over 50" of snow in NYC. So I did use it faithfully. Because of the condom head resemblances, I refrain from using it unless there is a blizzard.

  • usb cable

  • I don't even know why this is in there.

  • 3 bottles of Poland spring water

  • All three bottles have been opened. All three bottles have more than half of its contents left.

  • A book of fiction

  • Ok. I must shamefully admit now that I only have ten bloody pages left to read. It has been in my bag for a full month now. I'm going to hang my head in shame now...................... Moving on.

  • An oatmeal cereal bar

  • I keep it in my bag just in case I'm hungry. When I'm hungry, I usually grab the chocolate that's in my candy jar instead of the granola bar. Talk about lack of willpower.

  • various clippings from newspapers, magazines, internet etc

  • As I flip through things, I usually find articles that sound interesting but I don't have the time to read them. So I pull them out or print them out and shove them in my bag. I figure, during my commute, I can read them. What usually happens is I get on the bus and proceed to check my appointment calendar, make a to do list, check my email, read the article the lady is reading next to me then stare out the window. I'm going to hang my head in shame again ...................... Maybe I should add, read clippings on my to do list.

  • mail I need to act on

  • I figure if I leave the mail in my bag, I'll remember to pay my bill or call the company for info. This actually works. During my lunch break, I usually leave my speakerphone on as I wait in Musak Hell for the customer service person. By far the worst Musak Hell is the U.S. Passport info line. If I hear Mono-Beethoven one more time...

  • rebates I need to act on

  • Yes, we're rebate hounds. If there is a rebate on an item, you'll be sure pantrygirl will find it. It's a compulsion not an illness.

  • Several empty sandwich bags with paper towels

  • Dog owners in the city know what they are for. Moving on.

  • a box of matches

  • A remnant from my smoking years. After I quit smoking, our office parties were sans candles. Everyone expected I would have a lighter. After the third cake sans candles, I started carrying them around again. Besides, I've seen enough disaster movies to know that a box of matches comes mighty handy. It's also a great emergency nail file.

    Who names a nuclear site after a four door car?

    According to Reuters, a memo was sent to the Sudanese press stating the U.S. had conducted nuclear tests in Sudan. In actuality the tests were performed in Sedan, a nuclear test site located in Nevada.
    Now, I’m not sure if the U.S. Congress has hired proofreaders but that stenographer is going to be in the hot seat for a while. In stenographer chat rooms, this poor soul is getting razzed.

    Wednesday, March 09, 2005

    pg's thoughts on 24 (we've got another 12 to go?):

    It’s been awhile, but since we’re about midway through Jack’s day, I’ll come in with some commentary:

  • Let it be known that pantrygirl said it first, “Spawn is evil.” Ok, spawn isn’t always evil but it seems to lead to downfall at CTU. If you work at CTU, you better not have any family. If you do, they will be tortured, shot and/or killed at some point in your career. Hope the health benefits are good.

  • Am I the only one eagerly waiting to see Brit boy get tortured? And is it me or does his nose look like a mushroom? Oh, and you might not want to say, “I’ll do what I have to win Audrey back,” unless you are ready to defend your skinny self when the gunfire erupts.

  • Lord, I love Terrorist Mom's voice. If I smoked Winstons everyday from now until I turned 40, I still couldn't get that raspiness.

  • Now that they have systematically eliminated all women from leads on ‘24’, I wonder what the writers have planned for Ms. Dessler. Perhaps they feel they’ve done enough torturing on her from last season. Maybe being stuck in a chamber filled with flesh eating virii deserves some reprieve from bodily harm. I doubt it.

  • Ok, Almeida is back. We get it. He’s the Jack of the Season Two but Jack didn’t have a paunch and let the world see it. Tony, stop standing with your paunch hanging out. Every time you put your hand on your hip, it’s quite apparent Beer has been your confidant for the last year. Get a nice leather jacket and keep that thing hidden. No one wants a counter terrorism guru to have a paunch, unless your Lispy

  • See now, no one likes any of the characters in CTU. Lispy excluded. What shall we do? Let's bring back the old school crew. Ah, brilliant!

  • So did Lispy save his mom or did she commit suicide? Speaking of suicide, did anyone else feel like the writers couldn’t figure out what to do with Albino girl? And who leaves a mentally challenged girl with scalpels? Anyone else smell foul play? BTW, please don’t feel like you need to explain the whole suicide thing. Let’s just leave it as is and just move on.

  • Forgive me Mr. Ass Director but I can never remember your name. I usually call you Seal in my head. Anyhow, Seal, kudos go to you for showing that you are more than an assistant. Good job. That neck snap sounded just like my dogs back when he stretches in the early morning. You deserve a Jack Bauer award for holding the fort until the reinforcements arrived. Hip Hip.

  • Who else wants to see more Devane kicking ass?

  • The president seems mighty comfy in that Air force One. Sure he has to be within safe distance from any possible radiation but Palmer would have been at ground zero. That’s the kind of president he was and I kind of miss him. Kick the Allstate gig and come back.

  • Aside from spawn being evil, I’ve also learned that Los Angeles is the last place a person wants to be if there is a terrorist threat. If I was an analyst at CTU, aside from making sure they change the passwords and increase reference checks prior to hiring, I’d be the first to guess the party was going to start in LA. “We’ve intercepted a communication that says the attack will happen somewhere within the continental US but we don’t know where. Yes, Agent Pantry.” “I’m guessing it will strike in LA, sir.” “My God. You’re a genius!”
  • Coalmines, Thieves and Skirts, oh my!

    There’s nothing like a week off of work to remind you how much you hate your job. Ok. It’s not that I hate it. I just dislike the knowledge I need to do what I do to keep a roof over my head. Lesson learned: Pantrygirl prefers to sit in front of a computer and fritter away rather than meeting with people who, let’s face it are old enough to be her parents, talk about millions of dollars which never gets to her bank account. As my friend said this morning, “Honey, you are a programmer at heart. It’s another way of saying, you aren’t good wit ‘dem people skills.”

    Can you tell I’m having a doozy of a day?

    On the blog front, I’ve re-instated anonymous commenting for everyone. I took it down last week because some asshat decided to spam me with tons of Viagra sites.

    So the security show people asked us if we’d like to still audition for the show. (I’ve mentioned it before but I’m too lazy to reference it. A while back we were in talks with a producer for an American version of ‘To Catch a Thief’ where you allow a burglar to burglarize your home so they can show you how burglars can burglarize your home. I know. I know. Question away.) We saw a preview of it on tv and watching this family’s house get raided pissed me off. They had to meet the burglar afterwards. See, if I have to do that, you would see a freakin’ pissed off Asian woman screaming and giving the nastiest stares at the burglar. I mean, if I got so worked up over two batteries, how will I feel when they maraud my house. Aside from the violation, my OCD would cause serious anger. For god’s sake, they showed broken wine glasses and what not strewn all over the house. Sure a McDonald’s Mickey Mouse cup is nothing compared to the furs the woman on the show had, but damnit, it’s a collectible! So I’m disinclined to do it for the sole purpose, I’m afraid I’ll burst into tears on national television.

    Oh, I learned something about myself. I hate sewing. Seriously. I spent my childhood knitting ugly scarves and doing needlepoint. I did it because my grandma did it. I didn't know better. Well, this weekend I bought this skirt on the sale rack for $9.99. Just a simple black pleated skirt. Of course it’s too long for my frame but it’s $9.99 so I tell my hubby that I’ll hem it. I used to hem my skirts for parochial school. I can do this and look how thrifty I’ll be. Three hours and two pricks later (dirty), I’m seriously doubting my prowess. I must of looked disheveled in high school. Then again, the half dressed look was in. I was determined to finish hemming it for the simple truth that I couldn’t let my husband tell me that I should have just bought a skirt that actually fit and stopped being so cheap. I final finished the masterpiece and by golly, I’m so proud of it, I’m about to mount and frame the gosh darn thing. However, if I have a child and that child so happens to go to parochial school, her uniform is going to the Korean lady down the block for tailoring. Either that or she’s going to be wearing a floor length jumper until she grows into it.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    Welcome back...Welcome back...Welcome back...

    I'm back. :-)

    So last week was our anniversary week.  I took a much needed week off of
    work.  I woke up Tuesday smiling.  I haven't done that since I got
    this new job.  I hugged the dog and pulled her close to me.  Hubby
    kissed me good bye and I rolled in bed all giddy I didn't have to get up. 
    15 minutes later there was a knock on the door.  I thought it was
    Lrudlrick.  It was Pablo.  Now before you start thinking this is my
    Able who fixes the cable, Pablo is our super.  Of course, I have no glasses
    on, I'm in my pjs and the dogs are barking furiously.  I squint and try to
    hear him over the barks.  It seems that there is an in-wall leak in our
    bathroom that is causing some minor damage downstairs. 

    Remembering how our warnings about leaking went unheard, I told him to come
    in right away and assess and fix it ASAP.  Long story short, my first day
    off was spent dealing with a leak in our bathroom.  But I did get to put up
    more photos. 

    The second day off was spent dealing with the leak again.  The day
    before, Pablo couldn't find an Allen wrench that would fit our faucets. 
    (Lrudlrick doesn't understand the concept of a super not having the right tools,
    especially since we have three hardware stores within walking distance from our

    I did get to get my massage though.  Margaret gave me a relaxing Thai
    massage.  I highly recommend it.  It was much better than

    skullhead bonyhands
    .  The next few days I walked all over the city. 
    Eastside, Chelsea, Midtown.  I felt like Mary Tyler Moore.  When
    you're in the city without the rush to get to a meeting, the city looks much
    prettier.  I picked up the last piece of Lrudlrick's present and went to
    Home Depot to pick up more screws and picture moulding hooks.

    Lrudlrick luckily got our anniversary off so we started the day with a lazy
    morning big breakfast and exchanged gifts.   Ok, cotton anniversary is
    a ridiculous anniversary.  The closest I got to cotton was the tee shirt I
    wrapped the tickets and the Spam I got him.  Hubby gave me a new laptop. 
    Honestly, we'd be better off if each year was the 'electronic' year. 

    We ate dinner at Frankie and Johnnie's and made our way to Spamalot.  I
    disagree with many reviewers who said Spamalot is the new Producers. 
    Spamalot ain't no Producers.  The Producers brought back an old time
    Broadway that was sorely needed.  The Producers was written by a borsch
    belt Jew who was raised with a love for the old time Broadway.  Spamalot is
    camp.  Spamalot is British camp.  I love both for what they are. 
    Don't try to compare them.

    Spamalot is a great ensemble show.  Before curtain, Lrudlrick and I eyed
    the souvenirs and talked it up with the guy manning the counter.  Total
    geekiness came out.  Forget the suit and sexy art deco dress.  These
    are all allusions.  If Lrudlrick had his way, we'd be wearing Python shirts
    and walking around with fish.  Sadly, I pointed out unknown facts about
    some of the souvenirs to the souvenir dealer.  BTW, there is a backorder
    for the killer rabbit with the sharp nasty teeth slippers.  Please form an
    orderly line behind pantrygirl and no one will get hurt.

    Then just as the red wine and the geekiness were overflowing, some lady turns
    to us and says we're a cute couple and inquire if we have kids.  Lrudlrick
    responds, "No."  She then whispers to Lrudlrick that having children was
    the best thing that happened to her.  Thanks for bursting the high, lady. 
    Intermission came and we spied her daughter and my face did a Rodney
    Dangerfield.   Sorry, but it slipped out.

    I'd go see Spamalot again.  Maybe after opening night.

    Oh, Mr. EBay guy.  Yes, so there we were, waiting in the freezing cold
    to get a picture with Mr. Curry, Mr. Azaria and Mr. Hyde Pierce.  Mr. Curry
    is much shorter than I had thought.  Sorry but Dr. Frankenfurter didn't
    look 5'6.  Mr. Hyde Pierce looks like a Muppet.  Seriously, up close
    and personal, he looks like a Muppet.  He's got these lips that remind me
    of the slit mouths Muppets have.  So out comes the actor who plays the
    sissy boy who wants to sing and I scream, "Hey, EBay!"  {Dork}  He
    looks at me and smiles.  I was more excited that Mr. EBay guy looked at me
    and signed my program than taking a picture with David Hyde Pierce.

    If you don't recognize him, he's the guy in the EBay commercial where the
    woman asks where she can get a sports item and he starts singing "That's Amore"
    but as "That's on EBay" in this smarmy deadpan way.  You can check out the

    eBay commercials
    yourself.  On a personal note, my all time favorite is
    the "On EBay"  with the tubby black dude Fosse-ing it up.

    The rest of my week off was spent doing household errands and taking
    leisurely walks around the city.  Now, I'm about to say something that I
    thought would never come out of my mouth.  I kind of liked it.  I
    thought I'd be bored at home but I found it refreshing.  Even Mother Nature
    seemed content with me doing laundry and taking long walks.  Yesterday was
    a gorgeous day to do nothing.

    Then I went back to work today.  My butt was just starting to warm my
    seat up when the assistant plops a 5 lb stack of paperwork left for me during my
    vacation.  My phone was constantly ringing.  Consultants stalked me
    outside and inside my office.  Half of my boss' lunch fell on the floor. 
    The skies opened up raining down freezing rain, ice and snow.  Then at 3pm,
    our mail server zonked out.  Folks, pantrygirl is back at work.  Sorry
    for the howling winds and sharp rain drops.

    I'm back. Did ya miss me?

    Our anniversary week was lovely and I'll pop by to share the details in a bit. For now, I leave you with this little photo.

    That's on Ebay!

    Spamalot was Lrudlrick's big present this year. You'd think we'd be excited to see Tim Curry. You'd think we'd be bouncing up and down to see Apu in person. You would think the sight of Niles Crane in person would turn my knees to jello. Nope, it was the sight of the Ebay guy that got us all excited.

    Details to come...

    Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    Words to Live By

    We all dislike doing something. Something is communicated through it. You just need to listen.

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