Thursday, July 31, 2008

A wee bit of scottish humour..

Boab and Tam, a pair o' weegies, are in the pub.
Boab says tae Tam - 'Hey ho, whitdayaethinkomanewshoes'
Tam says 'fair gallus right enough but how come ye've no finished tying yer laces.'
'Naw naw' says Boab, ''I'm following the instruction oan ra bottom'
'Whits that?' says Tam,
Boab lifts his shoe to show him "Taiwan"

A Scotsman walking through a field, sees a man drinking water from a pool with his hand.
The Scotsman man shouts ' Awa ye feel hoor thatâs full Oâ coos Sharn'
(Don't drink the water, it's full of cow s ** t.)
The man shouts back 'I'm English, Speak English, I don't understand you'.
The Scotsman man shouts back 'Use both hands, you'll get more in.'

The local train stopped at a station long enough for the passengers to stretch their legs.Sniffing the pure, clean air with appreciation, a passenger said to the guard: ‘Invigorating, isn’t it?’
No,’ he replied. ‘Inverurie.’

Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, is being shown around a Glasgow hospital. Towards the end of the visit, he is shown into a ward with a number people with no obvious signs of injury or disease.

He goes to greet the first patient and he replies:"Fair fa' your honest sonsie face, Great chieftain e' the puddin' race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm; Weel are ye wordy o' a grace as lang's my arm."

Tony, being somewhat confused (very easily done) goes to the next patient and greets him. He replies: "Some hae meat, and canna eat, and some wad eat that want it, but we hae meat and can eat, and sae the Lord be thankit."

The third starts rattling off as follows: "Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty, wi bickering brattle! I wad be laith to rin an chase thee, wi murdering prattle!"

Tony turns to the doctor accompanying him and asks what sort of ward is this. A mental ward? "No," replies the doctor, "It's the Burns unit."

Two negatives make a positive but only in Scotland do two positives make a negative -
"Aye right."

A Glasgow woman goes to the dentist and settles down in the chair."Comfy?" asks the dentist."Govan," she replies.


You know your Scottish when....

You can say drunk in a thousand ways, here's just a few: badgered, bladdered, bleezin', blootered, hawf-cut, cabbaged, guttered, hammered, lashed, leathered, mangled, minced, rubbered, wellied, reekin', banjaxed, stocious, mingin', pished as a fart etc..

You see crazy placenames. For example: Kilmahog, Buckie, Auchenshuggle, Auchtermuchty, Alves, Ballachulish, Ecclefechan, Kirkcudbright and Lairig Grhu. Loch Lochy and Loch Oich also deserves a mention. But best of all: Loch Drunkie.. . . .

You can tell where another Scot is from by their accent. E.g.
Weegie: "
Awright pal, gonnae gies a wee swatch oa yur Record, cheers, magic pal"
Fifer: "Aye, that wifie is getting it oan wi a laddie fae the butchers"
Dundonian: "Twa bridies, a plen ane in an ingin ane an a"
"Furryboots are ye fae?, fair few quines in the night eh?"
Invernesian: "Ah-ee, Right Enufff! "How's you keeeeeepeeeen?". . . . . . . .
You are mentally prepared on bus/train for some neds to start blasting shit happy hardcore tunes from their little mobiles "Boom, Boom, (chipmunk) "When I was young and life was so wonderful (Boom) (Boom)". ....

You know ye cannae fling pieces oot a twenty storey flat, seven hundred hungry weans'll testify, to that. If it's butter, cheese or jeely, if the breid is plain or pan, the odds against it reaching earth are ninety-nine tae wan. .

You watch Scotland lose and take it on the chin, applaud the world champions and move on with a wee drinkie and a sense of perspective rather than the English approach of getting yir arse skelped by a tiny team then greeting like a bunch of weans for weeks all over the TV.

You can properly pronounce the following:
Kirkcaldy, St.Enoch, Sauchiehall, Auchinairn and AwFurF*cksSake....


I miss home!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Little brother visits the Big Apple

I ended up having a 3 day grace period from my last guests to my next one. My wee brother was coming out to stay with me on the Thursday after Souxie and MacV left. I was completely knackered after having about zero sleep over the weekend and then a really busy week at work in between. Lots of courses being run this week, so I was up at 6 most mornings and leaving NJ for 7am to be in the City for 7.45. Big week, as all the new hires for our graduate programs were starting this week, and we had to organize the Orientation programme for them. This consisted of 2 breakfasts, a speaker session, 2 training courses and a Cocktail Reception. Lots of preparation and lifting and carrying involved in this one.

For the Orientation, we made up 3 ring binders as welcome packs for all the new TA’s (Technical Analysts), OA’s (Operation Analysts) and MA’s (Masters Associates) who would be attending. This meant printing off all the information for 17 binders, making the cover page and spine and then stuffing them ready for Tuesday morning. Oh, and also making up name tags for them all. Tuesday went fine, it was the prep for Wednesday that was the killer. There was a speaker session consisting of 9 speakers from varying levels within the company coming to present to the New Hires. This meant that we had 9 presentations to print out, along with the agenda’s and other information to go in the binder packs. But this time there were 50 folders to make up. So that meant that after spending all day at another building at Lexington Avenue, I had to travel back to Long Island City and help make up the binders that Mr L and Summer Intern had spent most of the day preparing. I got back to the office at about 4pm and by 7.20 we had finished stuffing all the binders.

Mr L and I then loaded them into boxes and carried them downstairs to where we had a car waiting. When I say car, it’s like a taxi just a business version, so you get a black sedan. We were driven back into Manhattan where we were then faced with trying to get 5 boxes up to the 14th floor when the elevators were out of commission. Argh!! 20 minutes later, and a slight panic where I thought Mr L had gotten stuck in the lift; we made it up to the conference centre and deposited our goods. By this point it was 8.30. Home time!!

Back in early the next day for the session. We had some more last minute binders to stuff and then we helped ourselves to some of the breakfast that was laid out for the New Hires. After it was kicked off successfully, I headed back into Long Island to sort out some things in the office while the other 2 stayed at the venue to make sure everything was running smoothly. I came back in for lunch, nothing like a free lunch to a penny pinching student!, and then headed back out again. Only one stop on the subway, so it wasn’t bad. Spent the day making up name tags for the following evening’s cocktail reception and finishing off some invoices and evaluations from previous classes. I left work at about 7.30 and headed straight home. I was supposed to go to see a gig with Miss N, Ani DeFranco, but due to working later and feeling like I could barely stand up, I had to give it a miss. Sorry Miss N!

I arrived home at just after 8, and went straight upstairs. I remember getting changed out my work clothes and intending to go make some dinner, but after that things go a bit hazy. Apparently Miss J came home at 10.30 to find me asleep on the bed, fully clothed and still wearing my flip-flops! She had to wake me and tell me to get ready for bed. Which I did after looking blearily around me for a while and wondering what the heck had happened.

I had been very kindly given the following day off, so I slept in till about 10am before showering and then plonking myself in front of the TV with breakfast. Started getting ready for Wee Brother arriving, and then set off for the airport to collect him. No glamorous welcome here I am afraid. PATH train to Newark Penn Station, then public bus to airport. And the same home. Which means that it only cost $1.75 for PATH and $1.35 for bus, compared to the $50 it would cost for a cab. I am a skint student here, and he will be soon too, so I felt like this was the best option!!

Collected him safely enough and took him back to Newport. Our first stop was Target to get an airbed, as I hadn’t had time to go collect one in the last few days. Airbed, some food (as I knew he would eat me out of house and home pretty quickly) and a stop at the little Pizza Hut in the store as we were both starving at the point. Dumped all shopping back at the flat, took him on a tour of Newport and let him see the view from down at the water front before wandering round to the Morton Williams Supermarket and getting some more things to eat. He had his 12 pack of Mountain Dew and was already happy!

Once we got back home, I unpacked the 2nd bag that Wee Brother was carrying with him. All my stuff!!! Mum had packed most of my summer clothes into a second duffel bag for him to bring out to me, So now I have more shoes, tops, skirts and underwear!! woohoo!! I won’t need to go shopping for months now! Brilliant! The evening was a quiet one as I stood and did all of last weeks ironing along with all my new stuff, as he watched tv and then we both went to bed reasonably early.

Friday morning I decided to do the Midtown tour with him. We went out for breakfast near 14th street and then walked towards the MetLife building to Grand Central. Went in, took some photos, walked back towards Bryant Park, into Times Square, visited some of the shops, had some lunch, walked down to East 47th street to see the YMCA that I stayed in (ahhh nostalgia…), walked along 2nd avenue and waited in the lobby at work for my work mates to finish. We all went to a pub along the way for some dinner and drinks. Unfortunately since they had come straight from work they were all looking very smart, while Wee Brother and I had been walking about in the heat all day and looked like something the cat dragged in. Niiice. Still, was a fun evening and my manager actually paid for it all, which was really nice of her, even though she wasn’t there. Afterwards, Wee Brother and I took a walk around Times Square to let him see it all lit up, before heading home to Newport. Watched some TV with Miss J and then went to bed.

Saturday was supposed to be an early start, but I was so tired I found it difficult to get moving. All 3 of us decided that we were going to go to Coney Island since it was a blisteringly hot day. We left NJ at about 11.30 and got to Brooklyn at around 1 I think. Found ourselves a nice spot in the sand near the shoreline and planked our towels down. Miss J hadn’t been to Coney before, so she wanted to go down into the water as soon as we got there. Left Wee Brother with the towels and went in for, again was supposed to be a paddle but ended up, a swim. Came back out and lay down to dry off. Enjoyed the next couple of hours, just laying out, reading a magazine and eating some Pringles. After we packed up, Wee Brother and I were going to go on the Cyclone rollercoaster, but the queue was horrendous by that point, and we had to get back to prepare for the party we were having that night, so we gave it a miss. Which is a shame because I think he would really have loved it! When we got in, he went back out for a run around the waterfront at Newport, informing me that he did 8 laps of the front and then ran up all 27 flights of stairs to get home. Craaaazy boy.

My roomie had decided to host a ‘Potato Party’ in our flat that night. The premise being, that you had to bring along some dish that was made from potatoes. Only one person actually followed the rules and brought along a dish that she had cooked herself. Everyone else either brought a bag of crisps or nothing. Although 'Nauld did bring a bottle of vodka! Ingenious.

After a bit of a slow start, people started turning up. Some had intended going out afterwards, but by the time we realized it was after 11, noone could be bothered going anywhere. In the end, some of the guys, Miss J and I all started playing Bullsh*t at the table, which descended into a complete farce. Especially when 'Nauld got so drunk he told us he was putting down six 4’s! Eventually we all migrated outside to the private courtyard between the TJ and JM buildings and continued to have a drink out there. Miss J went upstairs and got Mr O’s guitar, so we were all listening to him play and before attempting to sing along. In the end we all just sat and listened. The party came to an abrupt end when the sprinklers decided to turn themselves on at about 3.30am, causing us to bound up from the grass and stagger to the shelter of the tables. Thanks to Mr N daring Miss J and I to run through them, and us being drunk enough to do it, we ended up a little bit soaked!! Miss J then had an ‘discussion’ with the doorman about the other doorman lying to her about recycling….before we went to bed.

Woke up at about 12.30 on Sunday and didn’t feel all that good, so I was a little bit grouchy towards Wee Brother most of that morning. Mainly when he had the audacity to ask for some of my Eggo waffles (Which admittedly he paid half for) when I was trying to make them for myself. Sorry bruv.

We took the train into Rockefeller and then (very slowly and quietly) had a walk about the plaza area. From there we walked to 5th Avenue and attempted to go into the Abercrombie and Fitch store to get him some aftershave. There was a queue outside it! Since when do you queue to get into a store? So we left it and went into the World of Disney instead! Got some presents for people and generally had a nosey about at all the cool stuff. How come they don’t make all of the tshirts in big sizes?? I want them!! Stomach soon alerted me that it was getting close to dinnertime, so we took the train back home and got dressed for dinner.

Went with Miss J to Chili’s down the street from us. We all had ribs, which were absolutely delicious. Had a half rack with Brown Sugar Chile rub and some Margarita Chicken, which I ended up taking home with me for dinner the next night! Miss J had the same, but with steak and Wee Brother had a whole rack, plus a gigantic chocolate dessert. Managed to avoid the rain coming on as we got home later.

Monday we headed straight to 5th Avenue and attempted A&F again. Still a queue! Walked up to the entrance to Central Park instead and went into F.A.O. Schwarz toy store! Awesome store! Lots of toys and sweeties!!! Wooot! I did come across the ‘Poofy Pop’, which was intriguing, but ended up just being a long Flump curled up on a stick. Let down! The upstairs part of the store was all giant cuddly toys and dolls by the gazillion. On the way back down I took some photos of the huge dinosaur stuffed animals that were set out in a Jurassic Park style layout. Our next stop was the Apple store next door, which is set into the ground. It is actually quite cool inside, but we weren’t buying anything, although I saw a really cool graphics tablet for editing photos, so we didn’t stay long. Picked up lunch in the Café Metro that I had visited with Souxie and we took that to Central Park to eat.

By this point the temperature was fairly rising, so after passing Abercrombie and noticing the queue had reduced enough for us to pop in and get his aftershave, we took the subway to World Trade Centre to let him see Ground Zero. I think he was fairly moved by what he saw, and I think I seemed a bit unconcerned to him. But I have seen this sight quite a few times now, and even though I was shocked when I first saw it, I don’t seem to have much reaction now, but I sat and let him go look.

On to Century 21 to let him do some shopping, which he made good use of. Managed to pick up some hoodies for about $14 to take to Sweden with him, along with a couple of t-shirts. I then packed him onto the PATH train back to Newport while I headed back uptown to meet my role-play group for my tutorial class. Since we had done almost no research and have had no practice so far, it didn’t go that well, although it wasn’t that bad either. Afterwards Mr D and I went into Times Square to do some last minute shopping for his brief return home on Tuesday. I love wandering Times Square at night, so it ended up being a really fun night. Got home and found Wee Brother had been to the mall and bought some more things. Again, everyone gets to go shopping but me!!! Sat up and faffed on the computer and spoke to Miss J when she rolled in at 1.30 after seeing Batman at the Imax.

Tuesday we decided to try Top of The Rock, which is the observatory deck at the top of Rockefeller Centre. Open air (well through glass anyway!) views 360 degrees around Manhattan. The view was amazing; it was just a shame that it was so smoggy that day compared to the others. We climbed the 3 different levels and took about a gazillion pictures, including the cheesy set up one of us sitting on the girder with NY backdrop behind us.. that’ll keep Granny happy anyway!! Next up was Empire State, although only to do the SkyRide on the 2nd floor rather than the observatory. $35 a head to get in and the ride only lasted about 10 minutes. It was quite good, but not worth the entrance fee. It was basically a moving seated platform that you watched a birdseye view of NY from and was narrated by Kevin Bacon.. woo!! Lunch in subway afterwards and then a wander around Macy’s and Old Navy before going home. I went to Target to print off some photos for work, while Colin went on another run.

It was back to work for me on Wednesday, and a whole 40 emails and voicemails to catch up on, so I was in for twenty to 9 and stayed till twenty to 7. Wee Brother had been on one of the bus tours all day and visited almost every part of Manhattan and all its boroughs too. We met in Times Square and he took me to Planet Hollywood for dinner, the generous wee soul that he is. Actually it was pretty nice of him, and I did say thank you :). I always find that Planet Hollywood is overrated when you go in, and it was pretty much the same as it was the last time we were there 7 years ago. I think I prefer the Hard Rock Café, having been to the ones in Miami, Paris and Orlando. Just need to do the NY one now. Still, had a pretty tasty BBQ cheeseburger that was scoffed in record time, after the ‘blow your head off’ Buffalo wings that we had to start. Phew…. These were hot!

Back at work again on Thursday, while Wee Brother stayed in Newport and just visited the mall and walked about before his flight. Sadly I was unable to get anymore time off to take him, so I left him my keys, which he left in the flat (the door locks when you shut it) and took himself off to the airport. I got home at 7pm to find that the wee lad has left a card for all my flatmates saying thank you. When I open up my drawer to retrieve my keys, i find another card from him to me thanking me for the last couple of days and a dvd for me. awwww!! Finally hear from him to tell me that he is at the gate and ready to board the plane. He will land at Amsterdam for a couple of hours before heading back to Glasgow. Then he has 3 weeks left before he moves to Sweden for a year on his eschange term at uni. I can see mum having a few issues now that the house is finally empty for the first time ever!! I can see my emails from her getting more frequent!!

On the whole It has been a exhausting, busy few weeks, but it was so nice to see people from home. Although I will admit I am happy to be back to my routine and having some time to myself again! Who'd have thunk it?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Glasvegas in New York!!

All that previous excitement over, it's back to work on Thursday. On Friday I have a half-day as 2 of my best friends are arriving in New York!! Wooooot! I head off at about 2pm to Times Square to get them in their hotel. I am advised that they are staying in the Sheraton, but some planning monkey decided to put two Sheratons across the road from one another and not advise me about that fact. Souxie ends up having to come and get me after I wait in the wrong one for 20 minutes. I guess I realised just how much I missed my friends when I saw her come in the door. We immediately did the hug thing and then we both started crying. Hug, few words, hug, few words, hug, hug, hug, and then sniffle. I'm sure the people in the lobby were extremely amused by this girly display of affection. lol. Hey it's been 3 months since I've seen my best friend! Give a girl a break!

We wander across the road to the correct hotel to meet MacV and Mr J who has come down from Rhode Island for the weekend. Hugs for them too. And a handshake for Mr J's friend who is there too. MacV is slightly manlier and doesn't do the sniffle hug thing when we meet. Which is a good thing, as I probably shouldn't be set off again. All of us decide to go have something to eat, and then Souxie and I end up going back to her hotel room so she can have a shower while the boys have lunch. Girlie chats in the room, then down to meet them again. All 5 of us head off to 14th street to find a few bars to have a welcome drink. Find somewhere inside and air-conditioned to have our frozen margaritas. Very nice. Sadly for Souxie, having fasted for an entire day due to getting over a stomach bug, they were a little strong. Cue much giggling and hilarity.

We go to another bar that Mr J knows, 'The Lamb and Slaughter' which is a little dark and has lots of were-wolvey type paraphernalia adorning the walls. That might get a little creepy when you are really pished and it's dark inside and out. Lol. Decide that we are hungry and have some food. Afterwards we have a walk down to Second Ave in an attempt to find one of his favorite bars. Can't find it. In the mean time, we stop for a slice in a particularly good Pizza place that has actual chicken slices on the pizza. Snarfle our way through them and go back on the hunt. From what i can remember we ended up in a Red Sox bar for a pitcher and Mr J tries to get us to have a shot of whisky each. He ends up having at least 3 of them as Souxie and I do the 'bleaugh' thing. :)

By this time, jet lag is starting to severely hit Souxie and MacV so we decide to get a taxi home and leave MrJ and friend to it. I get dropped off at Herald Sq en route and make my way to Newport and let them sleep. Saturday morning, I am up and out by at 9 and head to Times Square to meet them. Much frustration, as most of my trains aren't running and I end up sweltering in the subway station waiting for them to turn up. Arrive at hotel and text message comes through advising that they are actually on 14th street having breakfast and do I want to join them? Argh!! Would have saved the subway fiasco!! Never mind.

They soon arrive and then we hit 5th Ave for some serious shopping. Or they do. I just observe and lament my lack of cash monies. Abercrombie and Fitch was the first requested stop and having never been in before I was a little bit agog. And a little bit out of place in my non-preppy outfit. Mind you, the amount of out of work models that were staffing the place soon took your mind off it! MMmmmmm :) After some serious shopping in there, we have some lunch and then some wanderings about 5th and Park avenue, before heading to 34th St to look for some new camera's. Sadly the store is closed, as it is the Sabbath :) This causes much disappointment, and so means that Macy’s needs to be the next stop. We park MacV in Starbucks with his laptop and Souxie and I head upstairs to look at the clothes.

Slightly distracted by the sheer amount presented to us, we get rather carried away and forget all about MacV...Whoops! A text message announcing that he is bored and wants to move on prompts us to stop trying on everything in sight and attempt to find him. By the time we do, he has already found and bought a camera from the Electronics section and is now wanting to look for some clothes. We split up again, he hits GAP and a few others, while we go to Forever 21, Aldo’s, American Eagle and then drag ourselves back to another Starbucks to meet him.

If I remember correctly, we had had enough by this point, and were getting rather hungry. Back to Times Square and to the hotel where we dump the bags and walked to Ruby Foo’s for dinner.
Awesome restaurant! Chinese/Thai fusion place where all the meals are shared. You can order starters, sushi platters and then usual entrees like Peking Duck, Szechuan Chicken and other yummy dishes. You are supposed to just dive in with the chopsticks and take what you can wrestle from your dining partners. I have to say, Sushi aside (as I don’t like it), the meal was delicious. Very impressed with it. Nice shout from Souxie there. Might also be a good place to take the parents so they can buy me dinner sometime!!

Meet up with Mr J and his friend afterwards with the intention of saying goodbye as he was off to catch his bus back to Rhode Island. Have a coffee in Starbucks, had a hug and then we walk back to the hotel to get changed for going out.

3 of us fight over the shower in the room, and upon emerging I hear that Mr J has called. He missed his bus and is now looking for somewhere to crash for the night. So it looks like it is going to be a crowded room tonight as I also have the intention of crashing! In the end, all of us showered and changed, we take a cab to Ludlow with the intention of visiting CakeShop again. Unfortunately, we soon discover that it is gay night. Souxie and I get distracted by the rather cute topless guitar player and only then notice the fully grown man in the sailor suit behind him…. This rather gives it away. Meet up with some interns outside with the idea of going to Annexe to do some dancing, but most have other plans.

So in the end, the 4 of us go to a bar that Mr J knows, A2 (bordering on the edge of Alphabet City) and have some drinks and random photo taking there. By about 2.30 the jetlag is starting to tell on the other two, so we make a move to go home. Hitting Duane Reid for some water, cookies and sweeties, Souxie and I totter along the street and gawp at the lights before entering the hotel. Mr J and I sneak in by pretending that we are just visiting, while MacV orders some extra blankets and pillows with the pretence that he and Souxie are just really cold!

Organised chaos next, as again we all fight over the bathroom and then decide where we are going to sleep. Since MacV and Souxie paid for the bed, it only seems fair *Grumble* that they get that, so Mr J and I are on the floor with the extra blankets and pillows. We all crash out pretty quickly without noticing if anyone snores. Next morning, surprisingly without any noticeable joint pain from the floor, we pack up and shuffle our way out to get some breakfast. End up down near NYU in a wee café where the girlies do French toast and Omelets. Mr J finally decides to leave us for real this time. Lots of hugs and then he strolls off seemingly unaffected while Souxie and I wave furiously behind him.

Next plans are to get me a new camera. So back to the store we go. End up with a Nikon 8megapixel in a snazzy shade of plum. Very happy! Awesome zoom, better scenic settings and a 2G-memory card, all for under $200! I can tell that I am going to become a little bit snap happy in the coming days! Newport is the next stop, so they can see where I live. We dump all the shopping in my apartment, give them a tour, and introduce them to Miss J, who has just woken up due to a particularly heavy one the night before! A tour down by the water front to see the view, photos, photos, photos, and then onto the mall for some more shopping. We arrive back at my apartment laden with bags and cause Miss J’s eyes to pop out her head!

MacV very kindly offers to check over my computer while he is there and manages to install about a gazillion updates that I had been neglecting to do. Needless to say it is now working brilliantly! Thank you!!! Also play with camera on various settings and steal all of his photo’s from the weekend.

Gather belongings and are soon City bound. We have plans to eat at Houston’s steakhouse, which is situated in the Citicorp centre, but by the time we are ready it is already 10.30pm, and of course once we walk there and arrive they are no longer serving. We cab it back, and end up eating in TGI’s in Times Square at about 11pm. Not quite as classy as intended, but it is food!! I pick up all my junk from their hotel room, including quite a lot of clothes that Souxie brought over for me from home and are too big for her. The ‘donate to your fat friend’ fund is gratefully accepting all contributions!!

Struggle onto PATH train at about 1am, hindered by the massive carrier bags that I have. Swipe my PATH card, beeps to let me in, get stuck in the turnstile due to bags, barrier then locks and then I am now locked out for 20 minutes owing to ‘swindling-prevention’ system that the cards have. Need to buy a one-way ticket. Stand in queue to pay my $1.75 ticket, manage to get through the gates this time and hop on train. Attempt not to fall asleep on train and crash into bed upon return. Shattered!!

Sadly it is up and at ‘em early the next morning. Need to get ready for work, but first am meeting MacV and Souxie for breakfast somewhere on Lexington Ave. Have a nice healthy brekkie of watermelon and corn muffin, whilst drooling at their egg and bacon bap with pain au chocolat… hmph. We subway it to Long Island City and I show them my building. At this point I start babbling utter gibberish because I know I have to say goodbye and I am trying desperately not to burst into tears. Souxie knows this and just looks at me. MacV gives me a hug and is all sympathetic until I pull away and he notices that I got lipstick on his brand new shirt…whoops. Alas I cannot be apologetic enough as Souxie and I have already started crying. We do a replay of the hug, hug, sniffle, and hug thing of earlier, but this time it is worse. I walk them over to the subway stop and we soon start again.

I guess I didn’t realize just how much I missed my friends until that moment. I know that I have started to be homesick recently and I was getting a little down for a bit, but at this point it really hit me just how much I had been craving the familiarity and closeness of my mates. There is no one else in the world who understands me as much as Souxie does, and there are no others else that put up with me as much as the two of them, and of course Mr S, who still needs to come out! It was just so nice just being able to be completely me, and not worry about people finding me weird or a loser or whatever. These guys already know I am all of the above and they deal with it anyway, so I don’t need to watch myself. Plus without all their encouragement I wouldn’t be here in New York either. So it felt really good being able to show them what I do everyday and that I have settled in and made friends here. Despite all of that, there still feels like a part of me is missing most of the time. As much as I have made friends here and they are brilliant people, they still aren’t quite the same. I can’t quote one of our films or TV shows and have them answer me back in kind (Azzabajjaan!) or have a crazy episode without totally weirding them out. But then I don’t think I would want to be able to, because then that takes away from the uniqueness of what I have with the same group I have been friends with for the last 10 years. And it means that the next time they visit me, it will be just as much fun.

It took us about 10 minutes to actually say goodbye, mainly entertaining the security guards and passing pedestrians in the process. Both of us were in real tears and at one point when I had walked away, I saw her crying against MacV so I went tearing back again. Eventually MacV stepped in, turned us back to back, made us say goodbye, pushed me off in the direction of my building and took her down to the subway. As I walked away I turned round and a wee man on the street told me that I had just missed them waving at me. Sniff!! I trudged up to my office and crept into my cubicle to have another cry. At this point, Mr L (intern I work with) pops his head over and asks if I’m ok. This just leads to ‘yup’ sniff….’Mmmy fffffriendsss have jjjjust lllleft!!’ sniff sniff etc.. he looks like he wishes he hadn’t asked, and disappears back into his own cubicle.

I end up being immersed in work all day, but get set off again at my class that evening when I realized they would be at the airport and someone asked me what was up. Argh.

In the end I had an amazing time with them, and I wish it hadn’t been so short. Hopefully there will be more visits and with Mr S in tow too!! But I am so glad that they came out to see me and I got to show them what this year is going to be like for me. Susan told me that she was proud of me, but I want to live up to that and show her that I made the most of being here and that I have moved on from being the mouse that I was before. Fingers crossed for that transformation!! I guess I will have to see how that one develops, so stay tuned!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

I can't believe how manic this week has been. I wrote this last week, but didn't have time to edit it or post it. After all the non-stop 4th of July weekend, it was nice (kind of) to get back to work on Monday and just relax a little bit. Sadly, I managed to stay awake all Sunday night, again. I think TPTB just want me to feel like a truck has hit me come Monday morning. Which always improves on the normal Monday morning feeling!

Nothing of note really happened Monday or Tuesday. Role-play meeting on Monday evening. Confirmed that I am indeed playing the part of Abraham Lincoln and I will need to do some research on his part in the Succession of the Southern States. still working on that one.... Missed PATH train on Tuesday, but gained massive bruise on hip from whacking off a barrier in the skirmish to get to the doors before they closed. Unsuccessful, managed to wrangle bag out from vice like grip and watched Mr D pull away while Mr R and I waited for the next one :).

By Wednesday things were busying up at work. I had an event to attend early Wednesday morning, and then the Mets game during the evening. Sadly the day started off in a very poor fashion.

Clearly karma striketh... although for what I am unsure...
Was up on time (6am) left the building on time 7.10am. Even had a bite to eat. Filled a water bottle. Got to Path station. Rummaged around bag looking for PATH ticket. Hand got a bit damp, figured I had brushed off a wet tree or something on the way in. Whack bruised hip off turnstile on way through (I now have a lump from Tuesday night and the colours are phenomenal), attempt not to squeal in pain. Stand on escalator. Realise leg is wet.


Look at handbag and see water dripping out of it. Open bag. Locate miniature swimming pool gathering at bottom. Stupid bottle is leaking its entire contents into my handbag. Over everything. Manage to salvage phone, ipod, wallet and diary into lunch bag. Stand on platform and tip bag upside down to watch water pour out of it. Stand on PATH with some friends and watch rivers of water run across floor towards people's feet. Said people look at me as if to say 'Did you know your bag was leaking?'
Yes!! I know!! :(
Remove myself from train and leave unexplained puddle in my wake. V train pulls into station the minute we hit the platform. Too good to be true. We get on it. I have 30 minutes to spare. Train stops 30 seconds into tunnel. And doesn't move for 20 minutes. For the second time in 2 days. Train ahead has automatic brakes on and they will have to send someone out to investigate it.

Sit and wring out various possessions and create another river down middle of subway carriage. Amuse everyone. Get off subway, enter building. Put bag on x-ray scanner, leave damp patch, glare at security men and dare them to mention it. Go upstairs, place 45 name tags in alphabetical order. Smile and say good morning. Mostly ignored. Leave. Go back to subway. Get on only un-air-conditioned carriage. Swelter. At least it's only one stop.

Arrive at desk. It's still only 9.05am... Attempt to dry off handbag through out the day and do the rest of my work. Also discover why bottle leaked. Only put wrong damn lid on the bottle didn't I??? sigh.

Summer Intern, fellow interns Mr L, Miss S and I get ready to head off to the Mets game that evening. Get the 7 train all the way to Shea stadium. Miss S and I spot the Science Towers near the stadium that are in the first Men In Black film (the ones that turn into the spaceship at the end of the film when the big buggie thing is trying to go home), and get very excited. Noone else does...

Join throng entering the stadium and wander round to our section. We are on third base. Miss S and I come up with various innuendo based comments about the security guards frisking everyone as they come in... I believe 'Miss S gets felt up at 3rd base' was one of them. :) Mature as always! Sit in our seats and proceed to watch the game. Have to ask Summer Intern to explain the rules of the game, as we watch what appears to be 3 strikes and the batter isn't declared out. 'Its a ball', Summer Intern explains patiently... yes I am aware it's a ball, they are hitting it... 'No.. a ball is where the pitch doesn't fall in the correct area over the plate'. ...oooohhhhhh... and so it makes a little more sense now. Stupid Ilinga

Witness a home run, and everyone gets a little over-excited, including Mr L who advises the Giants to 'Eat That!!'. hehehe. Eventually the rain come on big time, we are so high up that we are under cover, but eventually the wind turns and we start to get wet. This leads to my Facebook status of ‘Ilinga was at 3rd base with the Mets tonight, but it ended up a bit of a damp squib and she left disappointed!’ We found it funny at the time! Soon enough we decide to make a run for it, especially since it is almost 9 and Summer Intern still has a 2-hour jurney home. Miss S and I arrive home about 10 due to the Hoboken trains not running and our line being stowed. And toasting!! Bed and fall asleep almost as soon as I hit the pillow.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July - Any excuse for a holiday...

As usual this is Monday night that I finally settle down and attempt to scrounge my way through my memory to remember what it was that I did last week. I really need to start keeping a note during the week, and not leaving it all to after the weekend. Because then I have usually killed off a few brain cells, and it makes the process that little bit harder..

Anyway. I know that I spent most of this week being extremely tired. I had the worst night’s sleep on Sunday night. I had gone to bed reasonably early, but due to the extreme mugginess and the lack of breeze blowing through the open window, I proceeded to wake up every 40 minutes or so all night. Even the lack of covers and smallest pyjamas I own didn’t help. I should have gotten up and put on the air conditioning, but I am attempting to keep the cost down until I get the power bill in for this month, and we know how much we are spending on electricity. Luckily Miss J wasn’t staying at home that night, she was away with her parents, so she wasn’t disturbed by me padding back and forth to the bathroom in a confuddled state to splash cold water on my face in an attempt to cool down.

Needless to say, I awoke with my alarm at 7.30 feeling like I was surfacing from the depths of a very deep place. Urgh. I am not normally a morning person, at all, but I can rally myself together and get gone when I need to. This morning was a different story. Luckily I was able to take my time a bit and use the shower, as there weren’t too of us trying to get in. Struggled my way into my clothes and makeup and then shambled out the door. I found work quite difficult that day, mainly since it felt like my head was full of cotton wool. And this wasn’t even self-inflicted! It just goes to show what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. To cap it all off, I had a tutorial that night after work, which meant that I couldn’t even go straight home and vegetate in front of the TV. The tutorial was a discussion session based on the Race lecture we had had the previous week, (yes…THAT Tuesday) so I was actually quite looking forward to it, and wanted to get involved. Sadly that proved slightly less possible as my brain wasn’t working quick enough to talk over the people who were talking over me. It was still interesting though, and I got a lot of good notes out of it which should prove useful for my essay. (Which I must get started!)

Enjoyed the walk home, the usual, past Bryant Park and on down towards 33rd street to get the PATH home. It is always pleasant in the evening, usually much cooler (usually), and it is nice to have company to chat to. Arrive back in Newport and remember that my gym membership is due, so make a detour via the gym to part with $70 of my hard earned moolah. Nothing is more motivating to get your ass down there more often than seeing them write down your card number…. Especially when you get paid a pittance here!

The rest of the week was mainly spent visiting the gym, doing some food shopping and then falling asleep on the couch for the rest of the time. By Thursday though, people were getting geared up for the mini holiday. Since we were all getting Friday off (being the 4th) most companies were letting their staff go home early on the Thursday, us included. So the work peeps were able to leave by 1pm. Myself, 2 other interns, their colleague, their Summer Intern, all had plans to go out for some drinks to start us off. My Summer Intern, was off to meet some friends for lunch since we didn’t think we could get her in, as she is only 19. Which is a shame, as we get on really well and it didn’t seem fair to leave her out. In the end we ended up in the Hawaiian Tropic club in Times Square.

This was my second time there, albeit in the daytime. Still hadn’t changed a heck of a lot! You have your big screen TV’s showing baseball or whatever sport is on a the time, a bigger TV showing girls in swimwear gyrating to a silent beat, oh yes, and all the waitresses clad in nothing but bikini’s, sarongs and a strategically placed nametag. Just the kind of place to make you feel totally secure about yourself!! Lol. I had hoped that they would have left bags under the table to place over your head should you find yourself in such a place, but sadly they were not that considerate! Luckily any guys you are with are not looking at you anyway, so there is no fear of comparison. ;)

What the waitresses lacked in speediness, they made up for in lack of clothing, so when you started to notice that your drink was dry and got a bit grouchy, it was quickly forgotten when another was finally placed in front of you with a smile and a wiggle.

Mr N was VERY generously buying the drinks for us, so we made a start with some beers and then moved onto the cocktail menu. I do have to say that the Blueberry Mojito’s were very nice. Sadly, since we had worked through our lunch break in order to be let away early, it was now 7 hours since I had last eaten anything. Wuhoh… yup. I was causing amusement again. I am such an embarrassment. And here is me thinking I was getting better! Apparently not so. The rest of the group left soon after and visited the next-door ‘Lace’ club (I’ll let you take 3 guesses what type of club that was) before they were going back to Astoria to a beer garden. I decided that I wasn’t up for dollars in the waistband and trotted off further into Times Square. Unfortunately the combination of the heat, the crowd and the alcohol wasn’t making me feel too good, so I scouted out the nearest Starbucks to buy some water and something to eat.

Felt a little bit better and attemped to make my way back to 33rd street to head home. Managed to locate a V train, wobbled on and came out at Herald Square opposite the PATH station. Since it was still only about 3.30pm I decided that some shopping was in order. Hit Macy’s since it was right there, and spent 20 minutes going up and down the escalators in an attempt to track down the shoe department. Unsuccessful. Removed myself from Macy’s and instead went into Daffy’s which is a kind of designer outlet store. Also nice and air conditioned!

Left about an hour later clutching a new purchase of a dress I intended to wear that night and was starting to feel a little tired. Hopped on a PATH and arrived back at the flat to find Miss J, her sister and my RA in situ in the bedroom. Sat and chatted to them for a while before I eventually succumbed to sleep and conked out on the bed for a couple of hours. Woke up to Miss N calling me to ask when I was coming over at around 8pm. Feeling slightly more refreshed, I had a shower, donned my new dress (was it really that short when I bought it? Eeeep! That’s tipsy shopping for you!!), took one last blast of the air con and made my way up to Mr C’ flat for some drinks. After some chatting and a rather insightfully helpful conversation with Miss A, we made our way downstairs and headed off to Orchard Street to go to the Annexe. Apparently there was meant to be a NME indie night, which we were quite looking forward to, especially after the success of our welcome night party there. Sadly this wasn’t to be. The upstairs portion of the club was shut and we were directed into the basement. Where they were most defineltly not playing indie. Hmph.

We stayed about for a bit, mainly due to the promises of the current Dj that the other one was arriving in ‘just 10 minutes’! Met some Glasgow boys, who were friends of Miss N’s over on an unrelated visit, but popped by to say hello. Billy and Bernie I believe, was very nice to hear a familiar accent, and Bernie even knew where my village was! So had a chat, a bit of a dance and then they left for the Meatpacking District. We made an exit soon afterwards, due to the dire direction the music was taking. Took a taxi to Greenwich to go to Fat Black Pussy Cat, where we knew the house band was playing. Sadly when we got there it was already about 1.30am, so they were just wrapping up.

2 of the girl's ordered Cosmopolitans at the bar, which apparently wasn’t to taste, and I soon found one of theirs in my hand with an order to drink it because she didn’t want it. I think the first sip seared off my taste buds so much so that I could drink the rest without wincing. Miss A then poured half of hers into my glass, but I couldn’t finish it, as it was truly foul, if effective. On the way out at around 2.30, we lost a few members of our crowd but some of us still felt the need to have a dance since that was what we had set out to do. Some of the girls had met some guys in the bar who had said they knew a good club to go to. And this is where I did my first Fairly Stupid Thing. Since there were just the 3 of us girls, I had some presence of mind to grab the nearest guy that I knew and tell him he was coming with us. We ended up getting into the car belonging to these guys and being driven to a club nearby. I now realise why people say that alcohol can totally strip you of reason. I would never have done that had I been sober, but it seemed perfectly reasonable at this juncture. It turned out all right, and they guys were fine, but it could also have not been so.

And yet, when I read this back I sound like a right fuddy duddy. How else do you meet people? I guess I just haven’t managed to turn off my warning light yet! Once in the club we found a salsa room up the stairs, which was absolutely heaving. Started to dance and was joined by a guy who started to show me how to dance properly to the music, i.e. with the proper steps. Really enjoyed it, so I might go back there at some point, if I can remember how to get there! Got back on the PATH at around 4am and stumbled into bed soon afterwards. Didn’t awaken till ten to twelve the next day where I joined the rabble in the kitchen having a fry up. Scrambled eggs and bacon. Mmmmmm.

Spent most of the day pottering about the flat, before heading over to the mall for a brief while, snaffling some nice dresses and then heading back for some dinner. Miss N, Mr D and I set out to go to Liberty State Park, which is in Jersey and about 10 minutes away from Newport, where they were going to have a fireworks display. There is the most amazing view of the Statue of Liberty as well as downtown Manhattan. There were fireworks going off in both directions, so we saw them silhouetted against the Manhattan skyline and also from the Jersey side. Faffed about with my camera on various settings in an attempt to capture them, but it wasn’t playing ball. Sadly the rain had been going this entire time, although only light drizzle, and the temperature was still warm. So the three of us just walked about without bothering with umbrellas.

My camera finally decided to co-operate at some point, and I got some half decent photos, as well as some fairly shoddy ones. Have decided that I need a new camera, as soon as possible! After the fireworks, we all wandered back towards Jersey City through the marina in order to avoid the crowds. Arrived back in Newport a little damp but with plans to go into Manhattan. These plans changed approx 3 times in twenty minutes and ended up being that we were going to watch a dvd at Mr D’s place. Which again didn’t happen due to a sleeping flatmate on the couch. Got home bout 2am, and then sat and altered photos till gone 3.

Woke at quarter to one on Saturday morning (how is it only Saturday?!?!), and slouched in front of the tv eating Froot Loops and watching Step Up until I felt awake enough to have a shower. Was supposed to go on a pub crawl with Miss N and her Glasgow mates, but that didn’t happen in the end. Instead a few of us all went to the Cake Shop on Ludlow to see some bands. Now I thought this was just a cute sounding name for a bar or club to watch some live music. Not so!! Walked in the door and there on the counter are cupcakes!! And cookies!!! Wooooo!! The girls helped themselves to some brightly coloured cupcakes pretty quickly. I had a sweet cream cheesy topped one and a massive ice tea, which I brought downstairs to the bar with me. Only $7 to get in, which is very reasonable I thought!

The venue downstairs was on a slope so you could see the band better and had some seating too. I decided to lay off the alcamahol as I was still feeling a bit ropy, so I stuck with my ice tea. Very rock and roll. 5 acts, and they were really good. Lots of different variations of music, and the final band even added a bit of brass. Not quite Reel Big Fish, but along the same genre. Ended up meeting the bassist of one of the bands in the queue for the loo. More than likely was only talking to me so he could skip the queue in front of me as they were due up on stage! Nice guy anyway! Looked better with the geetar too! ;)

Got home about half 1 and fell into bed. Decided to set my alarm for Sunday and woke up early enough to go to the gym. Spent an hour in there, and felt much better for it. Came home and proceeded to become glued to the couch watching Wimbledon with Miss J. Now I am not a tennis fan, but even I became excited watching that final! And not just because of Nadal’s guns!! (Have you seen those biceps??? Hooya!) Finally moved ourselves after calling mum and hearing her mourn the defeat of Federa. Miss J and I went for a wander down to Starbucks and sat on the front for a bit, having a giggle and generally disrupting the quiet of those wanting to sit on the benches in peace. I don’t know why we have those conversations in public! Sigh.

Made some purchases in the local supermarket, while we are trying to be healthy. Ended up getting a stock load of food for only $30 each, which comprised of apples, cherry’s, grapes, fresh meats, potatoes and fruit juices. Which was a pleasant surprise compared to the supermarket we usually head to. Made 4 different types of chicken stirfry to freeze as lunches for the next week, (when I start, I really go for it!) and then we settled down to watch a film with some popcorn.

Had another horrendous night’s sleep last night, appears to be becoming a Sunday tradition, so today was horrible too. And as it is now ten past 12, I am going to attempt to get some sleep as I have another lecture tomorrow.

So kudos for getting through this monster of a post. Not that you should expect anything different now!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The best laid plans of opportunists

After last weekend, I was looking forward to having a relatively quiet time this week. I was still fairly tired, and really needed a few early nights to try and reset myself. Of course, the minute I tell myself that I need to relax and just go to bed... i jinx myself. And then it never happens.
After work on Monday I intend on the early bed (first attempt), go home and remember that I have a whole basket of clothes to iron. sigh ok, so I start that. Distracting myself the entire time by playing Stephen Lynch video's on YouTube and going back to the laptop to hear it better. This adds approx 20 minute to the almost 2 hours I spent ironing. I am standing next to the aircon in my room because the heat is becoming unbearable and I can feel myself starting to become crabbit due to tiredness.

Finish the ironing. Finally. Put it all away. Then remember that I have to use the screwdriver that we borrowed from the Housing Director to put together the clothes horse that Miss J and I bought about a month ago, and have been balancing clothes on precariously ever since. Now you would think that screwing a couple of little screws into a pathetically flimsy wooden frame would not be a hard task... wrong!! But then I can be the most incompetant person that I know sometimes. In the end I am sitting on the floor of my room, uncomfortably noticing that the floor needs a sweep (bleugh), trying to make the screw actually bite into the wood and not just slip into the plastic rod on the other side, cursing in frustration. Why do I live in an all girls flat?? Doug kindly offers to help, but since he is in frickin' Dundee, that offer is somewhat redundant (thanks anyway sweetie!). Eventually cobble the damn thing together, resist the urge to give it a kick for fear of it falling apart again, and return the screwdriver to the kitchen table. Decide not to attempt hanging the gigantic NY skyline photo that we have, for fear of knocking a hole into the flat next door. Will actually call someone of the Y chromosome for that one methinks!

After tidying up my mess, making lunch for the next day, washing my hair and doing a final obsessive check on facebook, I tumble into bed. And awake the next day at 6.30 in a gloriously good mood. and if you believe that, then you really don't know me. Luckily for Miss J, she was staying with her parents, or she would have been subject to my alarms blaring and me cursing as I stub my toe on the bed and shamble into the bathroom. Dress, breakfast and then flee out the door in an attempt to be at work for quarter to 8.

It works and I get there on time, sort out the training room, on me own for the second time I may add, get everyone in there, thank the conference staff profusley for not rearranging the tables overnight (loonnng story) and then collapse at my desk. Close up training later that evening, and then subway to Rockefeller to get to the Microsoft building for my lecture that evening. Am quite looking forward to it, as it is the Race topic, a subject I am fairly passionate about. Sadly, I start to doze off and probably make a amusing sight as I struggle to keep my eyes open while avoiding eye contact with the lecturer. I think my note taking suffered somewhat in that session.

Pad out of lecture room and meet Miss N, Mr C, Mr D and Mr R. All agree that we are tired and we are going to head straight back to NJ, perhaps tomorrow night? Yes good plan. (second attempt) Rest tonight. hah

At this juncture I blame Mr C for being the main instigator here. 'It's such a nice night, we should just have one drink and enjoy the evening.' A chorus of agreement follows. My befuddled brain is telling me that I really really want to go home and get some sleep, but the other little part is telling me to stop being such a loser and just go enjoy myself and not miss out. Stupid brain decides to obey the little voice and soon enough we are in Greenwich and in Off The Wagon. My second wind appears out of nowhere and I start to really enjoy myself. Luckily for us we seem to have landed in the middle of 'College Night' where the pitchers are only $8 instead of $14 like the previous Friday. Now this is when my stingy scottish roots kick in, courtesy of my father, it is more economical to buy myself a pitcher of beer for $8 than another soco for $7 is it not?? Well then. It's not an excuse, it's budgeting.

Conveniently enough, some nice lassies start coming around passing out some complimentary vodka shots. Passion fruit energy drink mixed with vodka. Interesting yet surprisingly tasty. With a brain kick, lol. Poor Mr R looked a bit dazed :) After that, we move ourselved upstairs so some could partake in a game of BeerPong, which I surmise is to do with throwing a ball into your opponents cup of beer, which they then must drink if you manage it. I have even less co-ordination than I have map reading skills, so I doubt it's something I will be indulging in anytime soon! Sit and natter with Mr C instead. Mr D and Miss N soon return as racous losers, and we do a round of stupid photographs until my battery runs out. Possibly from Mr D taking about 7 videos by accident.

Stagger back to PATH station where the floor looks mightily comfortable and wait until the train arrives. Highly eventful. Amuse the doorman by toddling in and then have issues locating my bed once I get in. Again, lucky Miss J!

Proceed to have a very quiet week from then on in. Work off bleariness on Wed by going to the gym with Miss N and feel much better for it. On the Thursday I am put forward to attend the course that I am organising due to lack of numbers. Once the paralysing fear has left my upper body, I start to enjoy it. Presenting with Success, a course that strikes terror into my heart. It involves standing up in front of strange people and having to actually talk to them. Did I mention I don't like doing that? I don't even like having to stand up and talk in front of people I do know, as the EJ staffers will attest to. if you remember my commission presentation then try to forget it!! So I am not a happy bunny. What also helps is that due to being late to bed after the gym on Wed, I went to sleep with wet hair and woke up looking like I had been electrocuted. Never of course thinking that I would have to present, I just went with it.

Now I find out I am being VIDEOTAPED while presenting!! whit!!! argh!!! Give a 2 min pres on the wonder of me, and manage to make them laugh, hopefully with me and not at me. Have to immediately watch the replay in the wee room next door. I sound like a petrified scottish hamster on crack... it's not pleasant. Must breathe in future. Have to give second presentation that afternoon. Since all the other participants are doing their practice for a important work review in a few weeks, I decide to do one on my business..Or at least my old business. Yes... diamonds!!! Stand up and give them a run through of the 4 C's, and all the other details they will probably never need. Try to imagine that I am talking to a customer and feel slightly better about it. Am told that I was actually rather good, if a little fast. Again with the breathing. I get lots of questions at the end, which makes me feel quite good, as i know a heck of a lot about something that they don't. Woot! Again the video is excruciating, but not as bad as last time.

Friday is Maroon 5 day!!!

Sooooooooo excited. Miss J and I both get up at 6am to get ready to go to Bryant Park. It is an absolutely toasting morning, muggy and clammy, so while everyone is in casual duds, I am in my trews and shirt/sweater combo due to the non-dress-down fridays. Argh. Anyway! Get to Bryant Park, and after a lot of faffing by the tech guys, Maroon 5 appear on stage. One word...BUFF!!!! Adam Levine is so fiiiiiiiiinne!!!!! All worth it in that single minute!! :) They eventually start playing and even though they only manage 3 songs I still really enjoyed it. Will have to find out where they are playing next. Got some shots, but I now realise that my camera zoom is pants and I will have to be getting myself a new one. Gonna need your help MacV!!!

Slouch off to work in a fug of Adam Levine lust and general heatwave. Cool down in the office before heading downstairs to the second day of the course. Had intented to at least have decent hair today, i.e. not curly, but the heat has seen that plan, taken it, stomped all over it, and then put it back on my head. Ah well. Give second presentation. This time with Power Point. I do it on Prestige Brand watches. So I have made slides with Tag Heur, Rado and Omega watches. (you proud Sheila? )and proceed to fandazzle them all with my indepth knowledge of chronometers, chronographs and automatic co-axial movements!!! felt very awesome. Again got lots of questions, including one about how to fix someones watch! heheh.. 'Well sir, how old is your watch? Has it has a service?? :) I left the day with my videotape and a overwhelming need to go fondle some expensive watches again. I miss my sparkly toys!!!

This evening I had thought I would be having a quiet night in at someone's flat, but end up on 1st Ave and 1st St (?) in an r'n'b club with 8 others. Have a little drink, do a little dance... and then go home. Knackered. Not really in the mood for it that night. Too tired. Plus I didn't know half of the music that was playing. As much as I love to dance, I sometimes need to know the song. Plus I was feeling like a bag lady as I had gotten ready in like 5 min flat and was probably frightening the general populus of the club. Took a long time getting home due to frickin' non existant subway trains. But bed was soon there.

Sat I spent at the mall with Miss J's parents. We all went for some dinner at Bertucci's later on. Mainly to get out of the rain as it started to hammer down and I had to go rescue them from Ole with some borrowed brollies (thanks Mr M!), before taking refuge. Then it was back to the flat to fight over the shower with Jill before getting ready for the flat party we were having. Some people turned up before I had even showered, so they got the hobo ilinga. Lovely.

Good night, had some beer, chatted to some people, watched them all clear out as they headed to Brooklyn, cleared up the flat surprisingly quickly, then went to someone else's flat for about haf an hour before deciding that I was far too drunk and tired to be bothered. Left, pressed button, got distracted, got in lift, managed to decend to lobby when I actually wanted to go up, staggered in, showered, went to bed with good ol' facebook. again with the drunken facebooking..... Mr M comes to the door looking for his brolly that I had pilfered earlier. Give it back, have chat, don't remember too much of it, go back to bed. Sleep.

Wake on Sun not feeling too hot. End up at Pride Parade in Greenwich with Miss N in the afternoon. Watch the parade and wonder at the very varied outfits on display, and wander around some of the stalls in the markety bit before the heavens open and we get drenched. Some policemen decide to close Christopher St Path station due to the crowds, so we have to walk to another one. Can't find 9th so end up at 14th st. Get home, go to gym for hr and 1.2, go food shopping. Eat dinner. Watch Last Samurai on tv, feel motivated to go buy the novel again. (did I give you that back Sheila?) Manage to stay up till 1am chatting with Miss J, before getting to sleep.

You can probably tell I am getting a bit fed up of typing towards the end here. I apologise, but it is now a minute to midnight and I am tired. Wasn't intending to take this long, or write this much. But I think you know what I am like, and a quick discription is not my way. So if you have made it thus far then I congratulate you. You probably hate me now, if not all ready. If you have no idea what I have been rambling on about, that's what you get for being nosey :)

And with that I am off to aggrivate my flat mates by having a shower and then drying my hair at midnight...mwhahahaha.... ;)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Thunderstorms and Ice Cream

This week has been damp. The heat from the previous weekend carried onto this week. Except this time I had to dress for work and get there in the same temperature. Lovely. Luckily most of my journey is underground, which is fine once you are on the carriages as they are all air conditioned, it's just the waiting on the platform in the muggy heat that is the killer.

On Monday the air con at work decided not to work to full capacity, which made the afteroon unbearable, especially since the temperatures rose to 100 degrees in Long Island. Wasn't fun. The rest of the week was better since they cranked up the A/C. Tuesday was really busy as I was organising a training session for some senior people in the company. Breakfast for 40, lunch for 70 and supplying the training materials. Oh yes.... and making 70 fricking name tags for all the participants. As I had a ton of stuff to do, I was still working at 6.10pm, had to run into the city to get to my lecture at 6.30, which in itself was a nightmare because I couldn't find the stoopid building!! Afterwards we then found that the PATH we usually take was off due to a fire, so we had to get a subway to the World Trade Centre and get a PATH from there back to NJ. I had dinner and sat up till 1am cutting out aforementioned tags.

Set my alarm for 5am, on Wednesday, slept through it, Miss J woke me up at 6 and I bounded out of bed in a panic. Still made it to 5th Avenue for 7.15am and got everything set up. Majorly tired by the end of the day. The only thing that kept me going was snaffling all the cookies from the buffet that I had ordered. Ah the perks.. Still didn't finish till 6.

Thursday was quieter. Went into work at twenty past nine instead of my usual twenty to in protest of Wednesday (ooh I'm a rebel) and then sorted out the remainder of the mess from the training rooms. Had to travel back to the 666 building on 5th Avenue to remove all the trash and carry 9 table cloths back to the conference centre on 53rd and Lexington Ave. All on the subway. I'm just glad I have an unlimited subway pass! It's all glamour here... :)

Had full intentions of going to the gym after work, but was waylaid by Mr M in front of Ole Ole Ole, the local Mexican restaurant/bar, on the way back from the PATH station and was persuaded to partake in some frozen margaritas and complimentary tortilla chips. Due to that, I later ended up in someone's flat ordering Domino's. Which completely cancelled out any good deeds I had planned on doing in the gym. But was good fun none the less.

Friday went quickly, had lunch outside in the park, was lovely sitting in the sun and it made it feel less like work. All the interns were coming outside in their droves to sit on the grass, whereas all the New Yorkers were heading inside, clearly bored with this sunny weather. Pah...
Did my gym bunny thing on friday night, felt very virtuous. Even with the muscle bound weightlifters loooking scornfully at me with my puny 5lb weights... I'm starting small guys! I'm out of practice! Spent the rest of the night doing laundry and watching tv with Miss J.

I had my architecture tour as part of my course on Saturday. We met up outside City Hall for the start of the tour and then we set off. Walked up towards the Manhattan side of the first tower. The view from there was amazing, if a little hazy from the heat. Our tour guide gave us an explanation about how the bridge was constructed which was really interesting. We wandered to the Brooklyn Tower and had further information given to us. By this time the sun was really beating down, so the walk down into Brooklyn from the bridge was quite brutal. The tour consisted of a few more stops in Brooklyn Heights and then we were left to fend for ourseselves. As there was a group of more than 20 of us, we decided to split up into smaller groups and head for some lunch.

My lot ended up in a wee diner, which thankfully had air conditioning!! I had the breakfast, or brunch I guess, that I had been dying for since I arrived in the states. Pancakes, bacon and eggs.... drowned in maple syrup.... numnumnum!! And all for $7!! I got many a look off my fellow diners, mainly disbelief and disgust that I was actually going to eat all of it myself. And was I? Damn straight! But then I am a pie and you all know that, shame will come later :)

Walking off our brunch, we headed back down towards the beginning of the bridge, with the intention of walking back across it into Manhattan. Mr G came up with the suggestion of getting some ice cream from the previously recommended 'Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory'. It was situated down on the docks beside the bride. Also spotted what looked like a giant telescope emerging from the ground... looked very strange. Upon further inspection, it transpired to be an interactive video showing people in Tower Bridge in London looking back at us!! You walked up to the screen, looked in and saw people waving back at you! One of us stuck their UK Driving licence up on the screen and the London peeps started giving us the thumbs up, heheh. Mr G then riposted with a gentlemanly 2 finger salute as we scuttled off...we never saw the reply to that one.

The ice cream idea was still tempting, so we joined the queue, imagining that it wouldn't be long before we were eating some world famous ice cream... WRONG!! It took half an hour before we reached the front of the building, losing 2 of the group in the process. Once we finally got the ice cream it was extremely disappointing, I would have preferred Mackies!! Definetly not worth waiting that long in the scorching heat for!! Naturally, once we got outside, the sun had gone and the first rumbling of thunder had begun. Crap... all 6 of us started scarpering towards the nearest subway station only to find that there were no trains going towards Manhattan and we would have to change at another station. Of course the trains were stowed and it took a lot of shoving just to get on the train.

We had intended on going to Central Park for a concert that evening, but with the rain we decided to just head back to NJ. The rain on that side 'forced' the girls into the mall where we whiled away the rest of the evening. Once the rain stopped Miss S and I hurried back to the apartment block before it started again. I was halfway up in the lift before I realised that I had forgotten to buy cereal and milk for the next morning. Changed out of my shorts and sandals (clearly thinking this was smart... so I could make a run for it if it started to rain??) and into jeans and trainers, grabbed a raincoat just incase and ran back out the door to the wee shop just doon the road. Ten minutes later I emerged from the shop to fnd the sky had turned black and the rain was tipping it down, causing rivlets to run across the streets. Dumb-ass . Needless to say, I arrived back at my flat looking like a drowned rat and squelched my way upstairs and into my room. I actually wouldn't have minded getting soaked if i had kept my shorts and flip flops on, would have been less washing!! And the rain was warm, so it was actually quite pleasant. Felt like being back in Florida again!

Today was a lazy day, apart from hitting the gym this morning. Go me, Sunday morning and I was exercising! Went back to the mall with Miss J and then took a walk round Newport as it was so warm. I think work will be getting busier this week, so I am going to switch off the TV and head to bed me thinks. Have a tutorial tomorrow, so won't get in till after 9. The joys!!