Thursday, June 29, 2006

Feminists eat polenta too

Tonight, I had my third truly amazing New York meal, this one at a restaurant right by my house called Cookshop. The first two were not chronicled, but one was a truly over the top meal at this 'deconstructed farmhouse' called Mas with my friend from SF, Adam. The second was a Bistro Burger at Corner Bistro, a New York institution I've wanted to try forever and finally did after a Wharton happy hour that went on a bit too long. Eat a Bistro Burger. Even if you're kosher, it's a lifechanging experience.

But tonight at Cookshop I had yet another incredible meal, perhaps a bit more refined than the Corner Bistro but every bit as satisfying and surprisingly affordable. Apparently, Gloria Steinem agrees, as she enjoyed dinner at the table three inches from mine. The weirdest part about it was she was having dinner with two younger women (relatives?), and they were giving one of the women gifts, and one of the gifts was a girly pink t-shirt. You just don't think of the most famous living feminist as someone who gives girly pink t-shirts. I'm sure it had a really powerful message written on it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sunset in the City

Today while wandering around trying to get to a movie on time, a mission completely thwarted by faulty online showtime listings, I turned down an avenue and saw the sunset for the first time since I moved to New York. It was spectacular. The sun was this massive red circle sandwiched by skyscrapers on either side. Just amazing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Have Terrible Vision

In a mad rush to max out my vision plan, I ended up getting contact lenses on my very last day in San Francisco, which is coming up on almost a year ago.  This was my second time getting contact lenses, as I came relatively late to the I-can't-see-without-making-the-oh-so-attractive-squint-face party.  The first time, it was no big deal, so I didn't build in any buffer time for "are you kidding me with this prescription?"  This turned out to be a bad call, as it was immediately clear that my new contacts did not meet my vision needs.  I assumed I was having difficulty adjusting to a new brand, since the glasses I got at the same time from the same optometrist worked like a charm.
Fast forward one year (almost!).  I kept reordering the same contacts because I no longer had vision coverage, and I just got used to the fact that I couldn't see.  I finally decided to celebrate my new income by treating myself to an eye exam and a new prescription.  The optometrist was this charming little old Italian man.  He used my name after every question: "Which is better, 1 or 2, Julie?" which never got grating.  And I told him I brought my old prescription with me, but he insisted on waiting until he figured mine out to look at it. 
When the moment of truth came, his jaw dropped.  He said that my left eye was exactly the same as what he thought, but the prescription they had given me for my right was way off.  He then checked it again and came to the same conclusion.  He insisted I'd have to get new glasses too, and I explained to him that they were fine.  Dubious, he made me put them on this contraption that figures out a lens's prescription.  Sure enough, my glasses prescription matched the contact lens prescription he was about to give me.  The only thing that didn't match was the prescription I had been given a year ago.
SF residents- that's the Site for Sore Eyes on Sansome.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

38% Dixie

I am definitely a Yankee. And y'all?

This is news?

I listen to NPR in the morning in attempt to have some real content in my life.  Full disclosure: I read US Weekly and In Touch at the manicure shop, and a search of my browser's history, while porn-free, would be embarassing to anyone who has any respect for my intellect, unless they thought intellect comprised 'celebrity gossip' or 'news about TV shows'.
This morning, the New York NPR affiliate* ran a story that I guess fell under the auspices of crime reporting.  The story was that area police love one aspect of ganster culture: baggy pants.  Apparently, the popularity of 'so baggy you can see my underwear and the crotch area is near my knees' pants has made criminals much easier to catch, as they either trip, get caught hopping fences, or can't run at all in their getups.  One policeman (from Greenwich, Connecticut) said that when he gets these guys subdued post-pursuit, he suggests they buy some tigheter pants.  I wonder what his stand is on front pleats.
*I am assuming this was a local story.  If I'm wrong, as I have not yet memorized the flow of local/national back and forth in this market, please let me know.  If this is a national story, I'm not ever joining an NPR affiliate again.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Meet the Mets

I attended Tom Glavine's tenth victory game yesterday (first in the majors) in the blazing-hot sun.  That means I have yet another baseball stadium I can cross off the list.  I believe that puts me at nine, and I can add 'ate a Nathan's hot dog' to the list of truly New York things I've done this summer.  I also stayed out past 4am (a near impossibility in San Francisco), but that resulted in yet more hoarseness. 
An update on my mocking of the fans of Fenway from back in July.  It appears that San Francisco's aversion to 'doing the wave' is an anomaly.  My mother has assured me it's alive and well at Chavez Ravine, and the Mets fans actually cheer louder for the wave making a full rotation around the stadium than they do when one of their star players hits a grand slam to take the lead.  I believe this Bay Area lack of waving at games is because we think we're more refined than everyone else, and we never ever want to appear uncool. 
Finally, I'd like to congratulate my Dodgers for being swept by the icky A's.  Bravo, boys, bravo.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Excel Again

I'm trying to figure out one of my work projects, the one based on data analysis.  I feel so tantalized because I know I can do all this in excel, but I just don't know how.  I've spent the last hour trying to teach myself how to do a pivot table, and it almost does what I need, but not quite.  It's really frustrating.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I just found out that the best deal in our subsidized cafeteria is the frozen yogurt.  I got a large cup of strawberry yogurt with as many rainbow sprinkles as I wanted (those who have yogurted with me in self-serve situations before know this to be a ridiculous quantity) for ninety cents.  The only downside is the cafeteria closes at 3, and everyone knows 3:30 is the perfect time for the yogurt break.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

On second thought....

The "Shambino" story has put me right back on the New York Post again. Read its daily gossip column. It's awesome.

Dodgers are on top of the NL West! Woo hoo!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Icky New York Post

I generally read the New York Post Page Six gossip column every day.  But now that I pass newstands that actually carry this paper, I may be off giving it any of my readership.  It's a paper know for its sensationalism and extreme bias (and its great gossip columns), but nothing prepared me for today's cover image.
It's the close up image of Al-Zarqawi's dead face (like on every paper), but they've added a cartoon speech bubble coming out of the mouth.  He's saying, "Warm up the virgins!"

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Day 2: Electric Boogaloo

My health continues to improve, though I think I'm scaring the other interns with my grotesque cough as we are in such an enclosed space together. However, I still have the appetite of an Olsen twin.

As for work, I'm settling in OK and feel like I might be able to figure this job out. The hard part seems to be figuring out all the different people and their roles. A big part of this internship isn't just how well I do on my project, but how well I meld with the organization as a whole. Networking is a big part of that, and strangely enough, has never been my forte. Sure I'm chatty cathy once I'm comfortable, but I'm not so hot at the approach and just dive in. I'm especially handicapped in this scenario because the company as a whole, or at least my division, seems quite women heavy (not filled with heavy women). Set me down in a room full of men, and we'll be talking sports in no time. I have yet to figure out the surefire icebreaker with women.

Today we had a surprise baby shower for a woman in my group and an item on the buffet table led me to one easy icebreaker topic: cupcakes. Women love cupcakes, and women love to talk about cupcakes. These were the size of my head, and I could barely finish 1/4 of one before a tragic accident caused a meeting between the ten pounds of frosting resting atop the remaining cake and the wall.

Monday, June 05, 2006

How to Succeed in Business

I'm pretty sure I have the recipe for a successful first day of work:
1. Arrive on time - check!
2. Have dizzy spells due to your lack of eating and mixing of four over the counter medications- check!
3. Speak in a voice suggestive of Harvey Fierstein after smoking a carton of cigarettes- check!

I'm pretty sure I rocked the place.

In all seriousness, I did attend my first day of work. About two hours of it was spent filling out forms, and the rest was spent meeting people and trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing. The other MBA interns started a few weeks ago (a last batch starts next week), and they assured me it takes at least a week to figure out what's going on. My manager gave me a totebag overflowing with information and office supplies (the key to my heart-- I love office supplies to a ridiculous degree. I have notebooks I snatched from supply closets years ago but can't bring myself to use because they're too pretty. One of the ones she gave me looks likely to meet a similar fate.), and I spent about half my 'free' time reading that, the other trying to get on email, etc.

So far, it's one day at a real company and it already feels different. This is 58 times bigger than any company I've ever worked for, which is not trivial. The processes are really complicated, but the benefits and perks, especially those for full time employees, are incredible. There's a gym, a cafeteria, and discounts on all sorts of things. The intern program is crazy. The calendar they gave us with all the intern events, some of which are specific to the 18 interns in my group, some of which are for the who-knows-how-many interns in the entire New York headquarters, is packed every day. I'm definitely psyched for the Yankees/Braves game in a few weeks.

The office itself is beautiful. It was a bit eerie to be that close to the World Trade site, which is right across the street. In my office building there's an Ann Taylor, a Banana Republic, a Gap, and about eight zillion other stores. Unfortunately, a post-work visit to these revealed that I somehow missed the fun summer business casual season and we're on to ugly faux cruisewear. Assessing my clean clothes situation, I think I have about two more outfits before I have to repeat. Yet another way to make a good first impression.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I Have The Plague

My first weekend in New York has been spent in bed. After knocking out what I believe to be a nice case of strep at the beginning of last week, I finally came down with the cough everyone else on my trip had on Friday night. I couldn't move at all on Saturday, nor did I have any voice. Today I managed a CVS run and picked up about 10 over the counter medications. I also ate my first food today, and have stayed awake for more than two hours at a time. This should make for an interesting first day at work tomorrow.

Am I allergic to this apartment, New York, or just the idea of working again?

Friday, June 02, 2006

By the way, go to Rio

NYC Living

I'm home, stepped off a Varig (ARGH!) redeye this morning and am currently in the twelve square foot cubicle I'm calling home for the summer. To be fair, my studio is bigger than I remembered. However, I currently lack linens and need a shower like nobody's business. I am also exhausted and a bit overwhelmed that I live here.

Final Rio updates, along with a photo of the least disgusting meal Varig ever served me (figures that's the one I have my camera out for) very soon!