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Posts from June 2005

Making the Blog

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(courtesy of Gaping Void)


Very often, when I attend an event, or go on a trip, or have a conversation, someone will ask, "is this going to make the blog?"  For example, I went to a family wedding in DC last weekend, stayed with my friend Christopher, and hung out by his pool with some friends, and until this moment, it never "made the blog."  Why?  It's not because it wasn't a great weekend (it was), or that I didn't take any pictures (I took one or two).  It's because I never really decide exactly what I'm going to write about until I actually sit down and write.  And if my writing takes me in a direction other than a recap of what I've been doing, so be it.  So if you've spent some time with me, or had a conversation with me, and it doesn't "make the blog," remember -- it's nothing personal.


Culture Shock

Many of you have been asking me how the new job's going.  The short answer it that it's great so far.  They're so excited that I'm there, everyone's very welcoming, and now that I'm past all of the orientation and training, I'm starting to dig into the actual work.  I have experienced a wee bit of culture shock, however.  Not in a bad way, mind you.  Keep in mind that my last office only had about six people in our New York office.  The new office?  Well over five hundred.  And although at some point soon I will have administrative help, I don't yet.  What this means is that I have to navigate the various processes that exist for things that may sound simple, but aren't, like ordering supplies or printing a letter on letterhead.  Now, ordering supplies may seem quite easy.  I looking on the handy-dandy intranet under "supplies" to figure it out.  Step one -- fill out a supply requisition form.  I have no supply requisition forms.  So for me, step one was to call supplies and get supply requisition forms.  I'm used to walking over to a cabinet and grabbing a handful of file folders.  Once I got the forms, I happily filled one out, and have received almost everything I ordered.

One other nifty part of the new job is the cafeteria.  Not only is it fairly cheap (I don't think I have hit $5 yet on any one lunch), and convenient (you can put money on your ID card and use it like a debit card), but it's actually quite good -- I've been very impressed so far, but then again, I'm sure that after eating there five days a week for a while, one might get bored.  I'll have to keep alternating with places in the new 'hood, like the Pampano tacqueria.  I will admit, though, that there is a bit of that junior-high cafeteria anxiety going on -- I still don't really know many people, so I've been eating alone.  Over the next few weeks I'm sure this will change -- I'm about to set up meetings with about thirty different people, all of whom are working on pro bono projects, and tomorrow I'm going to a summer associate event.

On an unrelated note, I have two words for you: Black Pearl.  Get the lobster roll with some extra drawn butter.


Consumerism

CheezballsI had never been to a Costco before.  Well, I had been to a BJ's Warehouse, but it was well over a decade ago, so when I had the chance to do the weekly shopping for the beach house with John, I jumped at the opportunity (plus I was in charge of Saturday night dinner, so it made sense for me to go).  John and I were shopping for 20 people, but as we wandered through the aisles of enormous jars of mustard and 2 lb blocks of cheese, I couldn't help but wonder who else was shopping with us.  Folks with large families?  Who else could eat that much, really?  And even if you were buying six-packs of smaller canned goods or paper towels by the dozen, you had to have somewhere to stash them.  Unless I seriously cleaned out all of my closets, I could never store that much in my studio apartment.  I suppose that most of our fellow shoppers weren't facing similar storage dilemmas.

CostcohaulGranted, not everything was in huge sizes, but I was strangely tempted by some of the things there simply because of their size.  I saw a woman with a five-gallon plastic jar of cheez balls which, for some reason, I wanted desperately.  Of course, after thinking about it for five minutes (and picturing cheez balls being thrown all over the house), I realized that it wasn't the smartest purchase option.  Two cartfuls later, we were on our way back to the house on the ferry.  And boy, did I make some killer shrimp tacos (with a grilled pineaple salsa that is destined to become a house staple).  Pictures from the weekend are here.


One Down . . .

and hopefully many more to go.  I made it through my first day at the new job.  I was on time (even got up for a run before work), got taken out for a delicious Indian lunch at Dawat (I have escaped the culinary hell of the Penn Station area), received a welcome gift of a humongous golf umbrella, was even able to find my way from the ladies' room to my office (and back!) without getting lost.  Very exciting.  Thanks to all of the well-wishers. 

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.  Stay tuned for my adventures at Costco, even more pictures from Kismet, and a summary of a very provacative dinner discussion on marriage on which I'd love your input.


Back in the Saddle Again

Hey there, strangers!  I'm back from a week on Fire Island filled, as always, with friends, fun, food, and frolicking on the beach.  A trip to Costco was also involved (my first-ever) -- more on that to come.  It was rough to peel myself away from the beach, so I softened the blow a little by scheduling a maaahhhvelous and incredibly luxurious massage and manicure today thanks to Ms. Alice Ayers, who traded me a gift certificate to Cornelia for an Elvis Costello ticket.  Thanks again!  As I lounged, post-massage, sipping detox tea in a chaise in their gorgeous "relaxation library,"  I couldn't help but fantasize of having spa treatments much more often.  Sure, I'll get a manicure or a pedicure once in a while, but generally at the corner nail joint, but massages definitely need to be higher up on my priority list.  Just probably not at Cornelia, sadly. 

So, I came back to find that my plants aren't dead, which is nice after a week away, and I just received Hi '05, the 2005 annual CD compilation from my friend Ryan.  That man is pure genius.  Someone must figure out a way to pay this man for his creativity and sheer dedication to this project:  six -- count 'em, six CD's with a "five" theme, plus his design and photos.  Incredible.  Anyway, I'm starting the new job bright and early tomorrow morning, so I'm off to figure out what to wear and get a good night's sleep.


Things You Shouldn't Say on a Date

I'm not drunk enough.
My butt itches.
I've got to go -- my Mom just called and it's my night to empty the dishwasher.
What was your name again?

Compiled by me, the Lovely Miss Katie, and her brother Mark, over dinner at BLT Fish.  Thank god I've never actually heard any of these on a real date.  Yet.  Please feel free to add to the list -- I'm sure you've got some good ones.

Wine with Swine with Danny MeyerAnyhoo -- I'm off to Kismet later today for the rest of the week and through the weekend, so if my posts are light (or non-existent), that's why.  And if you want to see pictures of the rest of my weekend: the BLT party (black tie, lingerie, toga) and the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party (one of the highlights was the "wine with swine" class taught by Danny Meyer of Blue Smoke), here ya go.  Have a great week!


It's the Little Things

If you're a woman reading this, odds are you're wearing the wrong bra size.  Really.  My mom and I went to The Town Shop, legendary for fixing undergarment woes, and we both discovered we were wearing the wrong bra size.  They take one look at you, ask you what size you have on, and then say, "no, sweetie, you should be wearing" (insert size you didn't even imagine you would wear).  The right bra in the right size is an amazing thing -- it's  . . . dare I say it . . . comfortable.  Straps don't slip, wires aren't poking, no need to tug it down.  Absolutely incredible.  Not to mention that my mom treated me to the most gorgeous bra I have ever owned and cute panties to match (thanks, Mom!).  I'm tellin' ya -- between that and the pedicure I got the other day in a glistening, sparkly red color called "After Sex,"  I'm feeling pretty good.  Today it's off to MoMA with my Dad and Bill (who has today off from his job for something called "Brooklyn/Queens Day"), then The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee tonight.  Not quite as sexy, but great fun, nonetheless.


Obsession

Part of the plan this week during my time off is to clean house and get organized.  I've admitted to myself that I most likely won't get to cleaning out my closets (although I am buying more hangers and an over-door shoe rack), but I am starting to go through the many piles of paper that seem to creep their way into my life.  Recently, I have become obsessed with an organizational/personal productivity blog called 43Folders.  Not only am I trying to adopt some of their tips and tricks to get organized, but I have been reading David Allen's Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, which is referenced frequently on 43Folders (note -- the title of the blog is a nod to a month/date tickler file -- a key instrument in staying on top of things).  I went out and bought a box of manilla folders and a label-maker (my new best friend), and I have already tidied up a huge stack that was hogging up the very limited free space on my desk.

After spending hours purging files and filing/archiving email before I left Pro Bono Net, I realized that part of the beauty of a new job is a clean slate -- I figure that I should get organized at home so that when I start work, I am already starting off with good better organizational habits.  Any tips/tricks from the peanut gallery on how to get and stay organized and productive?