Thursday, December 27, 2007

#39 Bernie

You were born on the hard streets of Chicago, got a big break selling truck parts. Now you hire yachts on your leisure time. You frighten me a little. Napoleon complex, maybe?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

#38 Ben

You were once a hard-nosed editor, I am told. But I find it hard to believe. You walk slowly, don't ever seem stressed, and are smiling always. You are stranded in semi-retirement.

Sinking into a hole of homeownership woes

The shady handy-man who has no license is in our basement. The plan was for him to install a thing to keep sewage from backing up into our basement. A $2100 job, split between the four units. No big deal.

Now there's a well dug in our basement floor. And the handy guy tells us that our sewage pipe is old and cracked. Okay fine, so another $2200 split 4 ways to put a liner inside that.

Now he has just informed us that there is a sinkhole underneath the tree in front of our building. And basically, our sewage has been draining into an underground cavern for god knows how long. Which would explain why our basement smells like shit every time it rains.

So, we wait to hear what the city will pay for. Living in the most corrupt city on the eastern seaboard is perhaps going to cause us some grief in the very near future.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Four calling birds!

At the bar where we ate dinner -- and had several beers -- we sang 12 Days of Christmas in a round with the few other patrons and the band waiting to go on at 9. Twice. The second time was better. And the whole thing was actually quite heart-warming.

What's not to love?

I don't understand why there is never a single white person (besides me) when I go to Golden Krust. Sure it's a little over-priced for Caribbean food, but it's a far cry from fast food. And really, I'd say the lunch price norm is probably $6 now. The only drawback to my delicious jerk chicken over "rice & peas" (looked like black beans to me) was the jerk flavored reflux all afternoon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Yeah, yeah, I know. I never finished telling about India. I never even finished filling in all the days in my travel journal. And now the longer I wait the fewer details I remember.

At the very least, here are all my photos of India. And here are Jeff's.

Oh, okay NOW it makes sense.

I found out today what the rule is about packages leaving my office building.

We cannot walk out with a box ready to be shipped unless we get a form from our receptionist that basically says it's okay to walk out with a box. The receptionist does not need to know what's in our boxes, nor does he look at the contents.

The rules are more stringent after 6pm.

We can walk out with bags and suitcases, but no boxes. We can put boxes into bags and that will probably be okay. If it's a Macy's bag, they won't bat an eye.

I swear to god, this is what I was told.

So, basically, if I wanted to steal my computer, I need to do it in the middle of the day and put it into a duffel bag. Or, put it in a box and have the handy-dandy form.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My company has some nerve

OMG. I was just leaving my bldg with a package to mail to my 97-year-old grandma and was told I needed a pass. Burst into spontaneous tears. No dice. Was told I needed a pass. Not that I was even playing the tears card. I was just thrown for a total loop after trying to rush to the P.O. in time for the last mail out. (Didn't make it.).

Went back up and came down again after fruitlessly trying to find a security person to issue a pass (of course no one was there at 6:30). This time security wasn't looking and I made it out.

"This is your company's rule!" the guard yelled back at me when I had expressed shock. Oh yeah? Well my company should issue a fucking memo about that because that is ridiculous, changing the rules like that and not alerting anyone. I am steaming mad and I am most definitely going to complain.

Monday, December 17, 2007

#37 Ben

You asked me not to blow bubbles, which I resented. When I was out for two weeks, another coworker said you missed me. I've decided I don't mind sitting next to you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'm in the wrong business

Me: pretzel, please
Pretzel seller: 3 dollar
Me: 3 dollars! Oh come on. I'm a New Yorker.
Him: Okay, 2 dollar.
Me: Okay. Thank you. Do people really pay 3 dollars for pretzels these days?
Him: Vell, yes.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

#36 Ben

You were always old to me. Your armchair smelled like pee. You disliked our dogs, but you collected dog figurines made of china. You were my great uncle. I didn't love you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

End of fashion sense

I saw a woman wearing a shiny, black satin jacket with words written across the back in rhinestones. They spelled out "Apple Bottom" above a curvaceous apple (viewed from the side), the top of which did have a rather bottom-esque shape to it. The top also had a stem sticking out of it with several leaves, looking more like a splort than leaves.

#35 Ben

You were my first boyfriend. We met at camp and we saw each other a few times a year. You have a baby. You take us to dinner when you're in town.

Friday, December 7, 2007

#34 Barb

You tried out many faiths -- Protestant, wiccan, Moonies, etc. And then you wound up a UU, where you stuck around. You are a very outspoken Canadian luddite and perhaps a stereotypical librarian.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

#33 Babs

You were my mom's boss at the lingerie store, then became a realtor. You had a show cat and poodle. I was too young to understand why I couldn't play with them.

Done and done

Only a few more hours in India. Everything we do here tires us out in record time. Every hour or so today we had to stop to sit and have a snack. This proved slightly problematic since we were so done with Indian food. We finally tried fresh lime sodas today after we found out they have no ice. Turns out they are delicious. I am sad that I did not drink more of them.

I know I keep saying this over and over, but nothing really does prepare you for India. Even reading all about Jen's experience here this fall did not convince me just how much of a trial it is to be here.

Partly, I know that we should have spent less time in Mumbai, but because of the dates of the conference, we could not go anywhere very far or for very long. Staying mainly in Mumbai meant that we did not see a whole lot of beauty. We saw a lot of interesting things, but I would not describe them as beautiful. I realized that I need to experience a little more beauty on my vacations.

I would also prefer to be in a place where we can stroll around and find places to eat. It is infuriating to rely on a guidebook to tell us where any restaurants are and then for none of the cab drivers to understand where we were asking them to go. I'd say we had about 50/50 luck with cabbies not shaking their heads and saying no, they would not take us. Even the cool cab drivers did not know where most things in the book are located. And they would get exasperated at me for insisting on trying to find those places instead of just taking me to a rug store.

We do not regret coming to India at all, but we are so ready to go home.

#32 Audrey

My mom was your best friend. You married a jerk, had kids. He soon left. Then you married a man who made a ton of money and now you have multiple houses.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Y'all have put me under. I'm outta here!

This is not like us. We are ready to come home. We are not travel sissies. I can't believe that India won. We honestly had no IDEA how hard India is. I thought Morocco would have prepared me. It did not. Not at all. It's not the poverty. That, for whatever reason, I can handle. It's just how difficult everything is. You can't take a leisurely stroll ANYWHERE as far as I can tell. There are either no sidewalks or the sidewalk is built over a drainage ditch and is falling apart. Or, the area for strolling is right next to a foul-smelling body of water.

The interesting areas are the ones where we are unwilling to eat or drink or sit or pee or anything, really. The more sterile areas are crawling with tourists and those are the areas that are over-fun with street urchins trying to sell us their dirty drums or men trying to sell us gigantic balloons. I can only handle either area for so long.

India tests how much we are willing to rough it. Are we okay with the non-air-conditioned taxis with the dirty, dirty seats and the drivers who don't speak a word of English? Or would we prefer air-con luxury? Of course we would prefer the latter, but no a/c is okay for short distances.

We are now staying for our last 2 nights at a budget hotel near the Victoria terminus. The cool cabs do not line up outside waiting for the doorman to wave one over. We had it way too easy at the Grand Hyatt. It's not like we ever stay in places like that (except when Jeff's sent somewhere for work). But I have to admit that we got quite comfortable there. Although we really could have been in any country in the world.

The title of this post is from a news item from a month ago about a guy who I believe killed himself publicly and said this right before doing so. Jeff found this very funny and has been saying it over and over, especially these past few days. You have to know Jeff to understand why he finds it funny and why he says it ad nauseum.