Welcome to the Dollhaus

The whinings of a twenty-something New Yorker who is enjoying her last months in the big city before heading cross country to big scary grad school.
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Dahl/Female/21-25. Lives in United States/New York/New York City/Upper West Side, speaks English. Spends 80% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection.
This is my blogchalk:
United States, New York, New York City, Upper West Side, English, Dahl, Female, 21-25.

  Currently have my nose in:

Rising Tide by John Barry

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
(To read on the side while I work on Rising Tide)

The rest of my booklist

Please take a hop over to my new site. Updates of links will be much appreciated. Its still kind of a work in progress, but I'll be posting over there from now on.

Weekend Fun

Oh, and I almost forgot that I had the best weekend hanging out with my brother. I got back from work Friday night to find my brother and his friends hanging out in the garden. We had been debating going downtown to the LES, but since they still didn't have power (and besides, the subway wasn't running!), we decided to go out to the bars in our neighborhood instead. But not until we finished a bottle of wine and all the beer left over from my parents party a couple weeks ago. In reality, there were four of us and I think we polished off 9 beers and a bottle of white wine, but my parents were amazed. Reminder: my parents, if they're splurging, might share a bottle of beer.

After we finished off the beer, and I finally consumed some dinner, we headed out to Amsterdam Ave, otherwise known as Frat Row. We decided to go to Jake's rather than The Gin Mill since Jake's is a bit roomier (i.e. cooler) and slightly less fratty (i.e. actually over 21). Before we went in, though, I predicted I would see at least one person I knew. Turns out I saw three, of which two of them lived on my ex-boyfriend's hall in college. Felt like I was back in Boston, but at least I could get away with smiling and mouthing hi without any awkward conversation. Anyway, it was fun hanging out with my brother and his friends. He's hung out with mine a lot, but it was probably one of the first times I went out drinking with his. Highlights of the evening: a tie. First was my brother and I kicking ass in darts against his friends. Second was a guy apologizing to my bro for hitting on me. And along that same line was the guy asking me straight up if he had a chance with me, since he had to go with his friends across the street, and me saying no - it was quite freeing. (Besides the fact that I didn't find him attractive, I think I was quite fair to him since I listed three solid reasons of why he had no chance - 1, that he was an investment banking intern, and therefore worked 60+ hrs a week, and I have now vowed not to date anyone who works more than me, 2, that he is getting his MBA in Chicago, ie not NYC, so would be gone in two weeks anyway, and 3, he was shorter than me).

Then on Saturday after my brother got his car inspected, we headed out to Queens with his friends to P.S. 1 for their Warmup series. When we first got there, it was really chill because it wasn't too crowded yet. My bro and I For a while we just hung out watching all the adventurous ones on the dance floor get down. Then I found Sam, who was there with some of his friends, and hung out with them for the rest of the time. The highlight was definately Prohibitied Beatz, who came on around dusk. They are a drum and bass type of collective, performing live. Very cool, but would have liked to see it a bit closer up, since it was quite crowded by that point.

After PS 1, I split up with my brother and his friends and headed down to the Bowery Poetry Club, which was hosting the 1st Annual Accordian Punk Summit. Definately an interesting event, and a couple of the bands were quite good, though you wouldn't have guessed by the first one. I don't know if it had to do with the acoustics or the band's lack of practice, but the first band was quite out of tune and not very punkish at all. The second band, Stupid, rocked and lived up to the concert name, though I may have been partial to them because of their free homemade stickers (duct tape!). And Corn Mo was a riot. His music cracked me up, both for its resemblence to Bon Jovi ballads as much as for its content. I would definately see both of them again.

Then on Sunday, I enjoyed a nice traditional NY brunch - bagels and lox. One of my brother's friends had never had it before, even though she's been living in the city for 6 months! And proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon trying to nap before swim practice and enjoying HBO's Sunday evening lineup. I don't know how I'll get through Sunday's at the end of this season. Anyone heard anything on the new shows coming up?

And since this week doesn't look any calmer, I'll have to wait till this weekend to catch up on sleep. There's nothing like free beer on a Wednesday afternoon.....

Blackout Aftermath

Ugh, I still have chills running down my spine.

After the blackout, I was a bit hesitant about the milk in my fridge. I'd only opened the fridge once, and its in the shade, so I was pretty sure things stayed relatively cold, but bad milk is pretty much my second biggest fear, behind huge crawly bugs climbing over me while I sleep. So naturally, on Saturday morning when we were looking for milk for our coffee, I made my brother taste my milk to see if it was ok. Which it was.

And why should I think it would be bad by today (beside the fact that in NYC, milk seems to have a lifespan of 3 days on a good week)? I smelled the milk and it seemed ok, so I proceeded to pour it into my cereal bowl. Clunk, clunk, clunk. That's right, its not a good sign when your milk more closely resembles cottage cheese. Now that I've sufficiently grossed everyone else out as much as me, I can start my work day.

Surviving the Blackout

So I managed to make it through the blackout safely, though not with great inconveniences. Since the trains were down, I offered to give all the other Manhattanites rides into the city, but we were a bit hesitant to leave since the traffic was pretty bad in Westchester and we had heard that there was no inbound traffic on any of the bridges into Manhattan. So we hung out outside the office for a while, and then another coworker who I had never met before who happens to live just a few blocks from me decided she was going to brave the traffic. By that time, there were only five of us who lived in Manhattan and one decided to stay over in Westchester, so rather than taking two cars, the four of us decided to go in her car and leave my car at the office. Despite all the warnings about no incoming traffic, we were able to get into the ciyt without any problems whatsoever.

However, when the power came on at 6 am this morning, I had the delimma of how to get into the office. None of the trains were running, and I didn't have my coworker's phone number. And I could take a bus if I got to The Bronx, but I didn't know the schedule and didn't know how I'd get there. And I could have stayed home but I would have to take time off since most people in the office drive normally and wouldn't have problems getting to work. So I ended up borrowing my brother's car. He got in safely last night from Chicago, and the only reason he even knew there was a blackout was because I called him to warn him (though he probably would have figure it out by the time he hit the city). And he was originally going to get his car inspected today, but given the lines at all the gas stations, that was probably not going to happen, so I'm driving my old car from college again. Let me tell you that for all my bitching about my car, it would be ten times worse if I was still driving that old thing.

So now I have to slog through this day and try and get some work done.......those of you in the city, enjoy your day off and think happy thoughts that you're not in the office like me.

Will This Week Ever End?

I can't believe that this week isn't over yet. Have been way too busy this week at work, which has apparently been playing with my mind since I'd been doing diddlysquat previously. But today my brother comes in for a long weekend, so I have something to look forward to since I haven't seen him since March.

It's Over!

All's well in the dollhaus as I have completed my first triathlon without dying! I was pretty happy with my time, especially since the bike portion was way harder than I expected, and during the run I didn't feel like I was about to have an asthma attack, always a good sign. This was probably because my legs felt like Jell-o, but hey, whatever takes my mind off my lungs. And best of all, now I don't have to feel bad about sitting on my ass while I should be working out.

What Am I In For?

Tomorrow I'm doing my first triathlon, which I am so not ready for but its pretty short so I think I can make it through. I am sooooo glad though that I am not doing the NYC Triathlon, which is also tomorrow (while convenient, its twice as long as the one I'm doing so I didn't want to commit to something that long). Because of all the horrible rain we've been having over the last week, the water quality in the Hudson River, where the swim portion of the tri was to take place, is literally sh-t. New York has their sewer system combined with the stormwater overflow system, so when it rains hard, the sewers overflow into the river. And as a result, the officials canceled the swim portion of the tri and made it a second run instead. And since swimming is my strong suit, so I would have been basically screwed. So wish me luck!

P.S. If you have time today or tomorrow and are in nyc, go see "No Such Roses" at the Henry Street Settlement - was great, much better than I ever expected (fof was the writer and director of the show so got dragged by f)

Another Movie I Can Cross Off My List

"This film evokes the feeling of wasting a rainy Saturday afternoon."

And even though it should be raining all weekend, I still won't be wasting my time on this.

More Hype

Turns out two of the guys I met at the bbq over the weekend were on Good Morning America on Tuesday in a piece on Metrosexuals. The problem with metrosexuals is that no matter how straight you know a guy is, if he's getting facials and manicures and spends more time is hair than you do on your whole morning routine, the question will always be in the back of your mind.
Another Reason to Hate the MTA

Not to keep harping on all my car issues and the inconveniences it brings, but....

One of the joys of my commute to work on public transportation is the need to take a Westchester commuter shuttle from the train station to the office. Theoretically, if you buy the bus ticket with the train ticket, you get a discount, but the MTA and the bus line are cheap and when you buy a round trip ticket, you only get one discounted bus ticket. Therefore, you get off the train, hand the bus driver your bus ticket (which looks almost identical to the train ticket) and you're set, but when you return, you have to pay $2 to get on the bus again.

Yesterday, I followed those normally simple instructions, and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary until I got on the train to go home and the train conductor pointed out that I didn't have a valid ticket. Apparently in the morning I had given the bus driver my train ticket instead of the discounted bus ticket and they didn't notice! I relayed this info to the conductor, but he must have been the most unsympathetic guy ever cause he still forced me to cough up $9 (yes, $9!!!!) So, my total cost of commuting yesterday should have been $15, but ended up being $24. On the upside, next time my car is in the shop, I have an extra bus transfer I can use to save me the $2 I normally have to pay in the afternoon.

And to top that all off, one of the parts my mechanic fixed was supposed to be under warranty, since they thought they had replaced it earlier this year. As it turns out, they replaced the part next to the one previously fixed, so on top of all the other parts they replaced, I had to pay for that one as well. I am pretty sure that I have now spent more on my car in the past year than its blue book value......if it can only last me one more year.

To Change Or Not To Change

The past few days have been crazy at work, which is kind of nice for a change since I'm usually pretty bored, but quite annoying since my car has been in the shop, so in addition to working overtime, I have an extra hour on my commute each way (example: Monday I left my house at 6:40 and didn't get home until 8:45, but I only worked 9.5 hours). I suppose its just as well since the parkway I usually take flooded on Monday and was shut down, so it probably would have taken me just as long. Hopefully my car will be ready today - apparently all the repairs are done, but the computer they need to reset something so that my airbags work is broken, so my shop will probably drive my car over to another shop that has a working computer, like they had to do last time I had this problem. So wish me luck because I need my car tomorrow, or else I might get stranded in White Plains after my softball game.

Anyway, last weekend was fun and busy, but relatively uneventful. Went to see Pirates of the Caribbean and enjoyed it thoroughly, though some of the action scenes were a bit too long. Loved Johnny and Orlando and definately think that Johnny should attempt more comedy and less of the horror/suspense themed movies.

Then on Saturday I spent the day with my mom biking around Manhattan on the greenways and bike lanes. During this ride, I affirmed my belief that the west side is soooo much better than the east side since you can bike all the way from the Battery to Dykman St. on a bike path, while on the east side, you end up spending a large portion of it on St. Nicholas Avenue and 3rd Avenue. The ride took a lot longer than I expected, so I barely had time to shower before my college roommate showed up for us to go out to her friend's boyfriend's apartment, which is in my neighborhood, for a bbq on his awesome roofdeck. The bbq was much more fun than I expected, since it wasn't all lawyers (her friend and said boyfriend are about to go into their 3rd year of law school). And then Sunday was my mom's company's summer party, so I went for the free food.

So now that my car issues are worked out, my big decision is whether to keep Blogger, go with TypePad, or get another hosting service and use Movable Type. I get a 30-day trial with TypePad, so I'm going to tool around with that for a bit. I'm not sure I like that you can't edit templates, even though I'm no html pro, and I don't really want to pay for the Pro version. I do like the photo album idea though, so we'll see.

A Step Forward

I am very excited to see that the Port Authority seems to be moving forward in their design for a new Tranist Center. Calatrava's work is amazing and I think that along with Libeskind, the European architectural influence is just what the city needs.

Last year when I visited my brother in Chicago, we saw a tiny but amazing exhibit at the Art Institute about modern train stations. It made me quite jealous for the Europeans, though I was quite impressed by the designs for the new Penn Station.

I had the pleasure of seeing Calatrava's work in Lisbon at the Oriente Train Station, and can only hope that his work in NYC will be as representative of the city.
The Outer Limits

I don't consider myself a Manhattan snob. I mean, growing up, I was always willing to trek out to my friends houses in Forrest Hills and Park Slope, and even Rockaway on occasion. However, since I've moved back to the city, I just haven't had much need to venture out to Brooklyn, other than if I'm meeting my mom after work or getting my car from the shop. So you can imagine the rarity that I visited Williamsburg twice in one week.

I know I may be behind the trends, but I guess I just needed to check out all the hype myself. Granted, my first visit this week was to the primarily orthodox area, but my second visit was last night when I was dragged to open mic night at The Lucky Cat sponsored by Beekiller.net. I went because a friend of a friend was doing a reading, and my friend wanted to go so I said I go with her, partially just because I hadn't been to the heart of trendy Williamsburg and wanted to see if the hype was justified. And while the readings were ok and the music was ok, the people watching was great. Only one trucker hat in appearance at the show, but I think my favorite was the waitress/bartender who looked like a young Janeane Garofalo but with tatoos covering her arms.


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