December 31, 2008

The last day of the year

Since this is the last day of the year, it's the last post of the year. I may have taken a hiatus from my blog, but life has been filled with things to talk about. Time is what's been lacking. I am currently writing this from the Holy Land. Unfortunately, there's a war going on now. The war like all wars is stupid. People that don't have value for their own life shouldn't make decisions for others. 2008 was a year of loss for so many of us. It took so many loved ones away from us, people that cherished life and had a desire to live, while others are strapping on bombs and blowing themselves up.

On the way to the Holy Land we spent a day in the city of Love. I am in LOVE with Paris. It's just so ummm . . . Paris. We took an overview trip around the city and have a picture next to most famous landmarks, but 10 hours doesn't give the city justice.

Either way, I am preoccupied now, I'll to write some more in a bit, but Happy New Year. May 2009 be a year of gain and not loss. May you and yours be healthy and may this world see clear and peaceful skies.

Shalom.

December 18, 2008

I wish I had something smart to say.

Something smart...
Something smart...
Something smart...

Nope, nada, not today :)

Ideas welcome.

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December 11, 2008

I hate this year, united airlines and pretty much everything else at the moment...

I'm # 4 on a standby list for a 7:35 flight...otherwise, I'm scheduled for a 9pm flight (with a $150 change fee)...the 3 flights before mine were delayed...4 flights this morning were cancelled and I didn't get on a flight that was supposed to fly out at 5:30 but flew out at 6:50 because I have checked in a bag...because "I can't voluntarily separate from my bag"...if they lose it, that's okay!

And now the 7:35 flight which I am NOT guaranteed a seat on is delayed half hour. Now the screen says I'm #9. Great!

Traveling has become so cumbersome, the lines out of control, the staff cut and the ones that are left are incompetent. They charge you $15 to check in a bag, $39 for an exit row seat and deliver zero service. The pilot just got himself a hot dog and standing by the gate talking on the phone. Now that sure makes me feel safe. Yet my bottle of coke was mistaken for a granade. My bag had to be searched and coke tossed out.

So voluntarily separating from a suitcase I can deal with. Involuntarily separating people from those they love is unfair, unjust and just plain wrong. My condolences are with those that have lost someone today. This year has been emotionally difficult. It separated a lot of people from those they love. It took my grandmother. Yet, for better or worse, I'm not sure, this life does go on. When the end of the year nears, people can't wait for it to be over, to start fresh. Yet, the same sh*t happens year in and year out just to different people. The last two years have been hell, but maybe the bull will be bullish. Nobody can bring our loved ones back, but maybe
He can take our prayers to them.

To everyone that lost something in 2008 - keys, sanity, apartment, love, hope, a job, health, a mother, a grandfather, a grandmother. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May 2009 be a year of gain and not loss and may I get on this flight, please!

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December 4, 2008

Some Humor

as we are preparing for the holiday season, Santa's Gmail:
















another great one from http://xkcd.com/

December 2, 2008

Precious Life

We all know it. We've heard it a thousand times. We've even said it. Yet, seldom do we realize it. Each passing year, month, day, hour, minute, second, our lives are passing us by. We must prepare for the worst, hope for the best; live each day to the fullest without any regrets.

How realistic is that? How naïve? Where do we draw the line? How do we say goodbye?

Pust zemlya ey budet puhom. My heart and deepest condolences are with you.

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December 1, 2008

Turkey Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other musings

So the long weekend came and went (rather quickly, if only the weeks flew by like that). I had big plans for getting things done (like my laundry, for example) and of course, no such thing happened. I had two turkey dinners with family, played Buzz (the modern version of Trivial Pursuit), ordered in sushi with friends (twice), saw a movie, got done with the first draft of CR pix and just bummed out at home -overall a successful weekend. I did no shopping as I think you have to be close to suicidal to shop on Black Friday, but I did manage to snag not one, but two pairs of Choos at Saks today for a ridiculously low price. Of course, I'm uber excited and uber tired as busy season doesn't seem to end and I'm forced to watch SATC reruns into the wee hours of the night as no new episodes of Lipstick Jungle (please don't cancel it) and Starter Wife did not air on Friday (not only do the shows run on the same day, but they have the same days off!!) I think that was the longest run-on sentence imaginable. Oh well. I speak what's on my mind. Well, no. I have a bit of tact and respect for people I associate with and I'm long past airing my dirty laundry to anyone with a sense of smell. The mundane things I can blog about, the personal, well that stays personal.

As for my laundry, hopefully I can get it done today because considering that I have another flight to catch this weekend, a few birthdays to celebrate and a plethora of work and pre-training, as usual I'm short on time. The propeller in my behind may not work nearly as fast as it used to and now I may actually enjoy spending a day laying on the beach doing nothing or even a day bumming out at home, I still love the hustle and bustle. That's why I love NYC. There's always life in the city, there's always commotion, there's always something going on and no matter how many bolts there are on your door, how tightly you close your blinds or how hard you try to push the world out, there's still life peaking through. Even though, you want to run from everyone and everything, there's always someone knocking at your door. It's only your choice to answer it, however.

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November 26, 2008

Catch Phrases from CR I don't want to forget

That's awesome! (a phrase used very often)

Jesus Christ Lizard (because it actually walks on water)

Oh-My-God Bridge (there was a lot of these - no borders, one lane, one wrong move and you're in the water)

Da Sasha? (a phrase used exclusively by Inna, but rather frequently)

Con Mucho Gusto (in response to our frequently used Muchas Gracias, and that's as far as our Spanish went)

Costa Rican Adventures

I'm flying over Cuba on my way home from the tropical paradise of Costa Rica. After 11 days of no service, I'm finding it rather difficult to use my blackberry, but I want to blog before I get back to the hustle and bustle of Nueva York. I love New York - nothing beats it, but vacationing is ALWAYS nice. Our flight is over an hour ahead of schedule, which is great considering I'm working tomorrow and then totally enjoying Turkey Day weekend.

Oh ye, so about Costa Rica...it was a vacation of many firsts, many extremes, many good people and many good times. I saw a volcano for the first time. Moreover, Volcano Arenal is active and although it was pretty hazy the two times we attempted to see it, we did see the lava flowing. We never made it to Paos because of the crazy rain and wind knocking down trees and blocking the road, but there's always google. We survived a mild earthquake which supposedly rippled all the way from Panama and measured 2 on the Richter scale. We white-water rafted and ziplined (I almost peed my pants, but had a blast). I woke up with a fever of 101.1 my first night in CR and drank Theraflu religiously for the first half of my trip.

I realize that I'm jumping all over the place (as usual), but the last 10 days have flown by and I'm just trying to recollect the details. Issimo Suites was amazing - I've never received such courteous, wonderful and with a sense of humor service as - did there! As with everything there were a few glitches (a toilet that didn't always flush, a mouse that beat me down the stairs), but from the welcome Mojito to the departure chocolates, everything was beyond great - a 10 meter view of the jungle and ocean, a two-floor jacuzzi (not that I'd ever get into one) suite, amazing food and a truly wonderful staff. The owner, Timothy was cool too - he introduced himself, talked with us for a few minutes and went to work along with the construction crew renovating his hotel. Whenever we saw him, he chatted with us, gave us some advice about what to do in the area and proceeded to work. Although, we never saw the monkeys that he promised, we know they were there :). Nothing beats boutique service! Oh and we met some really interesting couples - around mid 40s from New Orleans - the girls are all friends from high school, one of which now lives in CR (for the last two years) because her husband is a developer - the other two couples (one of which are also contractors) came to visit and white-water raft. They were all obviously well off, but very down-to-earth athletic and just all around great. So after Issimo and Manuel Antonio, the attempt to see Poas, we arrived at the all-inclusive Papagayo Hilton.

I don't know what was in the water, but I had the runs, so my all inclusive alcohol option was pretty much a waste after the first day of pineapple malibus and rums. By the way, the pineapple in CR is AMAZING as are the bananas, I swear that's all I ate! So at the Hilton we met more really cool people - a bunch of guys working for the US Coast Guard fixing planes, a couple from Chicago where he sells nuclear medicing and she is a tri-athlete (aka stay at home mom), a couple from Vancouver, traveling with their very adorable kids, where he just created the company that allows hotels to make travel reservations (earning $10 Mil a year in revenues) and she was a really cool Kiwi that hugged the porcelain after one to many shots of tequila (but really clarified the difference between Aussies and Kiwis: Kiwi girls put out, Aussies don't). Oh and Taylor, the 4.5 year old adorable son is "pretty sure that you don't have to pay for a babysitter", every fruit is his favorite and "they travel quiet a bit". As for the Coast Guard, Speedy was hysterical and Nate was a really cool suite mate that missed his photographer wife after being away from home for almost a month (isn't everyone a photographer these days?). It seemed that we were the only ones actually paying for our room at the Hilton, but regardless it was totally worth it - the black sand beach, the volley-ball game that made my necklace snap, the kayaking, the safari of bugs I've never seen before outside my room, the frog in the bathtub and the grasshopper the size of my thumb (I'm NOT exaggerating) on the bed, the hike to the food area on a 33 acre property. Oh and there was Rod the Continental steward that promised me buddy airfares to Paris for $300...a girl can dream, right? And it just hit me, Nate looks like Matt Damon - I couldn't quiet place it
before...anyway they just served airplane food that I won't eat, but I wanna catch some zzz's before work tomorrow...more to come, especially after I go through the 2000 pictures I think we took - the monkeys having sex, the crocodiles, the beautiful scenery and the only other thing that I forgot to mention (well, not the only, I'm sure), colones are worth nothing - all prices are in USD and they prefer taking $ to their own currency and you get a better rate using $ then colones -
weird...oh and we had to pay airport taxes at the airport (in addition to taxes paid when purchasing an airline tickets), my ATM card stopped working (I think they saw way too many transactions in CR and tried calling me to verify, but given the fact that I was actually in CR and with no service (Verizon lying bastards), they probably put a hold on my account - oh well, I guess ill deal with that in NY...and now I actually am flying over Havanna, Cuba and I could see it from the left side window, too bad, I'm sitting on the right. :)

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November 20, 2008

Another cool day!

I´m not sure if anyone is following my blog while I´m away, but I´m so overwhelmed by all my experiences that I must write it down before I forget it all.

Today we went white-water rafting and boy was it fun. It was such an adrenaline rush and just all around fun. Also went to the butterfly garden and saw some really beautiful butterflies and a strekozel. Tomorrow, we´re going Zip-Lining (look it up) . . . We met really cool people from New Orleans and everyone is super friendly despite the dirt roads (not sure what one has to do with the other). I think I´m writing a whole bunch of garbage right now, but it doesn´t matter, I´m having a blast! Off to bed to get ready for another active day, hopefully without any earthquakes or electric outages (as happened during dinner)!

November 19, 2008

A Day of Adventure

So I went to sleep early last night . . . then got up and walked down 4 flights of stairs to wish my very close friend a Happy 25th Birthday . . . except, her birthday is on the 20th and not the 19th, but I guess that happens on vacation . . . which is a good thing :)

So after sending my birthday wishes to two of my friends a day early on FB, I went to sleep to be woken up at about 2 a.m. because my bed was shaking and the cups from my theraflu and tea were dancing on my coffee stand . . . there was an earthquake . . . 2 on the Richter Scale as it turned out, so that was fun . . . then we got up at a quarter to seven to go white water rafting! That´s earlier than I get up for work!!! It was AMAZING!!!! I´ve never done it before, but the 15 mile strech was scary and fun and just all around awesome!!! Now shower, lunch and off to the butterfly garden!!!

P.S. Met some really cool people from New Orleans that are staying in our hotel . . . one of their friends lives here, her husband is a developer . . . interesting stuff . . . anyway, ta ta for now!

November 17, 2008

CR Day 2

So after a loooong day of no sleep, flying, sight-seeing, hot springs and all around excitement, I didn´t sleep half the night because I had the chills and a fever. This morning, I woke up with a fever of about 38 or 101.1 to be exact. After a few advils and some TheraFlu, I felt better but had planned on staying in. I´m glad I took the trip to Monteverde, although the 100km journey took about 4 hours to complete in each direction, given the winding dirt roads (on which one wrong turn can send you flying off a cliff), I missed out on the ziplines, because I felt really weak. I´m using the hotel computer, hence no pics, it´s been raining most of the day today and now, I´m just about ready for bed.

November 15, 2008

Costa Rica Day 1

So, we made it on our red eye flight, drove through some crazy local roads, saw beautiful flora and fauna, had a great and it started raining while we were eating, by the time we were done the rain has stopped! Our hotel is 10 times more beautiful than the pictures. Our room has a view of the Arenal Volcano, we´re heading to the hot springs now and then to see the volcano erupt, if it clears up. Pix and commentary to follow!

Off we go, Ta Ta for now!

November 5, 2008

I'm tired of politics. . .

In response to a blog post, written by an African American peer who is so proud that Obama is now president. What does it have to do with her? What does it have to do with anyone - hard work is rewarded. Chris Rock said it best.

The president elect should be elected based on his policies and what he can do for his country and not the color of his skin, his gender, his age, etc. Minorities are the majority of this country and I hope that Obama won on his merits and not his skin color. Even though, I am more conservative than liberal, I agree with a lot of Obama's policies and strongly admire his leadership skills. I don't care that he's half black or half white. I don't care that he has a Muslim name while he's a Christian. I don't care whether he's a man or a woman, I care that he will do good for this country as a whole, not just the poor and not just the rich. I hope he stands by Israel as promised, I hope that people that work hard get rewarded. Social reform is necessary, but should be based on necessity and the urine test. I went to Business School, I don't care about the details, I care about the bottom line.

November 4, 2008

Food for thought...maybe I'm just hungry

So I finally met the recruiter that's been annoying me for some time. Yet, it's his persistent personality that made me meet him, as opposed to anyone else. He intrigued me, so I guess, in that at least, he's good at what he does. Yes, there's plenty of opprtunity, but when is a good time to jump ship? Am I ready? No. Will I be ready in a year? Who knows? Will I make manager in two years? Possibly, but probably not. A million by 35? A girl can dream...

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November 3, 2008

Another Funny Comedy Club

I've been bad!

I've also been a Geisha (for Halloween that is). I never liked Halloween and as it always falls on a weekday, I've never done anything [fun]. Well, this year Halloween was a Friday and not only did I dress up, I even took a day off work. I wanted to rest and ended up waking up at 7 am, running around and having an unproductive day. We made reservations at STK because it's smarter to pay for dinner than a bottle, but argued with them for hours on Thursday because they refused to honor the request. Anyway, long story [as mine usually are] short, we had dinner, but because we had to wait for our table for an hour, we got free drinkies (ie persecco) then another round of drinks as well as dessert on the house. Someone came up to our table every ten minutes to make sure that we are okay, but in the end wanted to force us to buy a bottle after all. So, we had another round and went on our merry way...

...The entire city was a party zone...everyone was in costumes...or should I say scantily-clad girls and made-up men roamed the streets of NY...it was great, I've never seen anything like it...the traffic on Seventh Avenue [parade route] was horrendous...ten minutes a block...but it was Halloween, everyone was jolly, drunk and looked nothing like they do in real life...












P.S. STK has awesome, gorgeous private rooms, the prix-fixe sux, but may be worth arguing with them to order from the menu!!!

What else is new? Had my first photography lesson with Dina. She's awesome, but I'm still confused about the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO...of course, I forgot my keys and was therefore locked out of my house and was therefore without my camera taking a photography lesson. But hey, everyone knows I'm special. :)

Work is crazy again. No its not "busy season," but projections are nuts, the client is insane and I'm losing my mind in the process...(Trying to book a vacation (or two), figure out where to go and on which dates, plan New Year's and Julie's bachelorette) oh and tag my (aperture/shutter speed/iso challenged and blurry) Halloween pix on Facebook. Whew!

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October 29, 2008

So I got lazy...

Blame it on the post busy-season slump, the cold weather or my still hectic schedule but I haven't written or read anything in weeks. I've been busy getting cultured in other ways. I saw three shows last week: Tale of Two Cities, Hairspray and Spamalot. I took my first photography lesson (without my camera) yesterday. I figured out where I am going for Halloween and who as. And, I actually blogged this morning, but to add insult to injury, the post didn't save, oh well, it probably wasn't good anyway.

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October 21, 2008

A million by 35...

As October 15 neared the calls/emails/invitations on LinkedIn tripled. They all sound great, but how do you choose? I'm not in the market for a job, per se, but some offers sound quiet tempting. Of course there are the mass emails that everyone in our group gets, but then there are the private messages that say, "we want you." They [recruiters] are ego boosters that make you feel confident, but somewhere in the back of your mind you know that if you get hired, they are making a hefty commission.

There's one recruiter, that's a bit friendly that I've been speaking to for about a year now. He's charismatic and has Big 4 experience, so that makes him a bit more trustworthy. He always gives me a big head, but today he told me not one, but two interesting things: (1) a competitor firm is looking for tax people and offering 20% more (I interviewed with them when I was doing my MST and didn't get hired) (2) "stick with me and you'll be making a million at 35, and you can
quote me on that."

So, I'm quoting him, if nothing else...I can reread my blog in 10 years. The offer does sound extremely tempting though, but am I ready to switch? Should I switch? I am getting offers when people are getting laid off, am I being greedy? Am I that good or is the economy really not that bad? There's a guy standing next to me reading a book called, Millionaire...me, a millionaire by 35...hmmm...I can also be partner by 35 (if I don't make anymore enemies with my managers).

When is a good time to leave? Is it smart to jump one Big 4 to the next? Does anyone have any unbiased advice? What about being my own boss? Having a social life? Family life? Grrrr...decisions don't get easier with time, they get harder.

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October 20, 2008

This is cool.
I got an invite to contribute to a blog community of Twenty-Somethings. It's flattering to know that strangers are reading my blog and are interested in what I have to say. They even followed up, because I don't remember reading the email last week. Well, like with anything, before I sign up, I have to do some due diligence and find out what's there to read on the site. I was surprised to find some very interesting reading. For example:

Crystal Ball
30 Books
Is there really such a thing as soulmates? Really?
One line stood out from this post, "...You can only get hurt by people who mean a great deal to you." My own definition of love and soulmates changes through the years. I used to be on the debate team, I can argue any side of the argument, but that line just hit home. To be continued . . .

October 15, 2008

Because I'm too lazy for overheardnyc.com

And this is a real waker-upper, "If I got my girl pregnant, I wanna have at least like 5Gs."

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October 14, 2008

What's easier?

While walking through the paths of Mohonk, Robert Frost's poem kept coming to mind:

"Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by"

But do we really take the less traveled road or do we often take the eas(ier) way out? It's easier to give up then to fight for something. Yet, it may not be easier to live with that choice. Whether we are dealing with fighting for life, for love or for Madonna tickets, should we fight till the end or does there come a point where it's
better to let go-to pull the plug, to move on, to go out drinking instead? Do we really let go? It depends how we define letting go. Is giving up the same as letting go? Is moving on the same? Is giving up really the easy way out? Again, I think it all depends on our definition, and there are many synonyms that don't quiet sound the same...

...What's worth fighting for?

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Mohonk in pictures












October 13, 2008

from fiords to foreplay

Friday birthday dinner at the Woo was followed by an early mani/pedi, breakfast with Julie and eight hours of searching for Madonna tickets. To my great disappointment, I didn't get tickets to Saturday's concert (f***ing scalpers), but ended up going out with a bunch of friends to (where else?) Anyway. Six, quickly turned to eight, to ten, to fifteen and at this point, I really have no idea who was there. It was a good time. We drank, we talked, we laughed and we woke up at 7:30 am to go to Mohonk. The morning started off with the "wrong" bagels, conversations about the fiords & world's tallest mountains and sleepily arriving at this estate. A day of hiking, picture-taking (photos to follow on fotki) and good company left us exhilarated. It was something different, something fun, something active and something to let me practice with my new camera.

The ride back wasn't terrible either, despite the 4(?) hours of traffic. We played "Dead Man" (a game I swear Dasha invented), argued about Route 17, discussed some people we knew and the difference of foreplay for men and women, amongst other things. We talked about relationships, paying for sex and the reasons people cheat. It was a great time and I'm sure most of you would rather hear about foreplay than fiords, but as with all my good stories, "you just had to be there!"

October 8, 2008

Gmar Hatima Tova

To everyone I may have hurt of offended in the past year, I am sorry. May everyone have a healthy, happy and prosperous year and be inscribed in the book of life. For those, that are fasting, please have an easy fast.

October 3, 2008

The Problem With Politics...blogging on my new berry

...I'm not sure how my bb is relevant, but I decided to share anyway. Okay, so politics. Politics [insert definition here] is supposed to make things run smoothly in order to achieve a common goal - the betterment of a country, a planet, a corporation. Yet, somehow politics is dirty and disgruntles people more than it helps them.

Take politics on a smaller scale - a fairly small tax group in a Big Four accounting firm. The workers are disgruntled, the management is overworked, the process slow. This isn't helping anyone. When employee moral is low, the work product is not up to par. The problem is management. Managing people is a talent. Regardless of whether you are the president, an ambassador, a CEO or a lead on a project, management is half skill, half talent. Appreciation is key. The goal of a good manager is to relate to his people, to acknowledge their strengths and reward them for their accomplishments. This does not mean that there are no bad employees, bad citizens, etc. A manager besides managing people must manage time to yield an effective work product in an efficient manner. Working until 2 am every day for a month is not effective, nor is it effective when people come to work at 11am, chat all day, have dinner, go to the gym and work 10 pm - 2 am.

Dinner time. More to follow, thoughts welcome.

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October 2, 2008

Seasons

For the first time in my recent memory, we actually have autumn. We didn't go from blistering heat to unbearable cold, we are transitioning. Many people, however are having a hard time transitioning their closets. New York weather has always and will
always be unpredictable, but that's not an excuse to be wearing flip-flops when it's 54 degrees outside. Similarly, when the weather drops from 80 to 70 degrees, it doesn't give you an excuse to dig out your Uggs or Valenki.

New York is a city of contrasts and if you think you haven't seen weird just get on a rush-hour train. For example, there's a man sitting across from me who is perfectly color-coordinated - wearing olive green pants with a buttondown shirt that's just a shade (or two) lighter. Topping his outfit off. is not the rings and bracelets on his
hands and not even his yellow tie, but a matching fedora hat. (I think he felt me blogging about him and got out on the last stop). Within my field of vision are sneakers, loafers, flip-flops, boots and the ever-famous Tory Burch flats (what's up with EVERYONE wearing them? They are not that cute!). There are T-shirts, long sleeves, trench-coats, wool coats, sweatshirts and blazers.

My own closet went through a major overhaul last weekend as I was off and the seasons changed. Now I can wear all my cute jackets and shoes. This is the best weather for shoes as long as it doesn't rain! And even if it does, I have a great pair of boots! I love fall.

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September 29, 2008

Something smart?

I don't know about you, but I am scared. We are living in very interesting times, my friends. While that can be said for any generation, this is 2008 and this is where we are. I am not proud to admit that I haven't been following the news half as much as I should, or at all, but I know that we are in the middle of a financial crisis and it is scary. When the Dow falls 770 points in one day it is frightening and you may think it doesn't affect you, but it does. It affects all of us. When financial giants go under, unemployment
skyrockets, inflation rises and interest falls, in an election year, nonetheless, the results aren't pretty. My 401(k) is down 10% and I realize that on the grand scheme of things it may be nothing, but my 401(k) is at a bank which was bought out by another bank for about a dollar a share. (Is that the going rate these days?)

There's two major issues that I have - (1) I want to vote. I think that each voice (collectively) makes a difference. There's nobody to vote for. Presidential candidates aren't running on merits of their political accomplishments or goals for the betterment of this country and planet. They are running on hidden agendas, the downfalls of their opponents and the money of lobbyists. Now, here's a bright idea - instead of spending all this money on your stupid campaign and bashing advertisements, pump it into the economy by building a school (or donating to one), provide homeless housing or prolong unemployment compensation in these troubled times. I am sure that such investments would be better for the community, the country and your campaign.

Politics is dirty. It has always been dirty. So is Wall Street. We all want to live the "American Dream" as Adam Smith had envisioned it, but we have to play fair. I am a strong proponent of Darwinism in economics, but I also stand by the 10 Commandments and just downright human decency to lend a "helping hand." Not all of are meant to be millionaires. Those that are, congratulations! But if you get to be a millionaire on everyone else's merits but your own, you may be considered a smart businessman, but a jackass in my book. I have a lot more respect for the self made people in this world then those that are born with a silver spoon. I also think it's great if you are born in a "red shirt" but learn the value of it. As usual, I digress.

Politics, economics all very controversial topics in which, I am by no means an expert. I can't even provide a truly educated opinion, because I am not truly educated in the subject matter. I, like with most posts on my blog, deliver it how I see it. I see that we are living in very interesting times and I am scared.

P.S. I just re-read my post and I can't remember issue # 2. When it comes to me, I'll blog because I like the flow and don't want to edit. That's my stop. Happy New Year!

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L'shana Tova

May your hair, your teeth and your face lift. May your abs, and your stocks not fall.

And may your blood pressure, your triglycerides, your cholesterol, your white blood count and your mortgage interest not rise.

May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastroenterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber, and the IRS.

May you find a way to travel from anywhere to anywhere during rush hour in less than an hour, and when you get there may you find a parking space.

May this Yom Tov, find you seated around the dinner table, together with your beloved family and cherished friends, ushering in the Jewish New Year ahead.

May what you see in the mirror delight you, and what others see in you delight them.

May the telemarketers wait to make their sales calls until you finish dinner, may your checkbook and your budget balance, and may they include generous amounts for charity.

May you remember to say "I love you" at least once a day to your partner, your child, and your parent(s).

May we live as intended, in a world at peace with the awareness of the beauty in every sunset, every flower's unfolding petals, every baby's smile and every wonderful, astonishing, miraculous part of ourselves.

Bless you with every happiness, great health, peace and much love during the next year and all those that follow.

May we and all of our loved ones be inscribed in the book of life.

September 28, 2008

Restaurant Shopping

NYC has a gazillion restaurants - cheap restaurants, expensive restaurants, themed restaurants, ambient restaurants, small restaurants, large restaurants fill-in adjective here restaurants. I've never had trouble finding a restaurant to eat in the city until I started to look for a place to have dinner with 20 of my closest friends. I, without exaggeration, probably have a menu from a third of the restaurants in Manhattan. Apparently, when you hit anything above 8-10 people you're in the prix-fixe category and that usually sucks. Some places wanted as much as $5,000 (in addition to food), some offerred a terrible menu and some wanted to seat an extra five people at my table. I settled on Japonais with a prix-fixe dinner menu in a semi-private lounge area with open bar, good company and a great time!
Thank you!



September 26, 2008

Obsessive Compulsive

So Blogger has a new feature that allows you to subscribe to blogs that you're following. Yes, I'm aware that you were able to do it before via RSS Feed or the archaic way of bookmarking things, but this feature is pretty neat since it lists all blogs on your dashboard with the latest posts. Let me tell you, I've been following a lot of blogs. I also joined Twenty-Something bloggers and found some cool blogs as well. Do I have a tendency to be obsessibe? Not at all! Compulsive? Never! Yet, I've been enjoying reading and following and looking. Just felt like sharing!

Here's a really cool one I found: http://postsecret.blogspot.com/. It even has a FB fan page. Obsessive? Compulsive?

September 25, 2008

A joke for today's times . . .

Fridkin, thanks for this one!

A little boy goes to his dad and asks: “What is Politics?”

Dad says, "well son, let me try to explain it this way: I am the head of the family, so call me The President. Your mother is the administrator of the money, so we call her the Government. We are here to take care of your needs, so we will call you the People. The nanny, we will consider her the Working Class. And your baby brother, we will call him the Future. Now think about that and see if it makes sense."

So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what Dad said. Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him.

He finds that the baby has severely soiled his diaper. So the little boy goes to his parent's room and finds his mother asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny's room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes back to bed. The next morning, the little boy says to his father, "Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now."

The father says, "Good, son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about. "

The little boy replies: The President is screwing the Working Class while the Government is sound asleep. The People are being ignored and the Future is in deep shit.

Valenki

I got this link through my ever-so-thoughtful google quick links. Why the hell would you need Valenki in the states? Then again, Uggs became so popular despite their ugliness, maybe the valenki & galoshi will catch on as well. I mean who wouldn't want to walk the streets of Manhattan sporting a hammer and sickle on their shoes.

Dear Tech Support

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from
Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition,
Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as
·
Romance 9.5 and
· Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as
· NBA 5.0,
· NFL 3.0 and
· Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0
no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Signed,

Desperate

____________________________________________________________
DEAR DESPERATE
,

First, keep in mind,
·
Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1.

Please note that Beer 6. 1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0-program These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary,
Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend:

· Cooking 3.0 and
· Hot Lingerie 7.7

Good Luck

Yes, another SPAM email, but I thought it was hilarious

September 23, 2008

"Writing is like prostitution. First one writes for the love of doing it, then for a few friends, and, in the end, for the money." — Moliere

Happy Birthday to ME!

Thank you everyone for calling, texting, emailing, seeing, congratulating, lunching, celebrating with me! Thank you for the presents, the attention, the love and the memories!










The Rest of the pics will be on Fotki

September 22, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!













Ах, эта богиня, прекрасная Алла!
Каких бы ты дел в жизни ни замышляла,
Добьешься всего и достигнешь высот,
И слава к тебе непременно придет.
Энергия в имени есть, даже сила.
Богиня судьбы это имя носила.
Свою создаешь, собственную судьбу
Своими руками, без надежд на толпу.
Тверда, и порой не хватает участья,
Простого тепла для семейного счастья.
А твердость ушла б, не оставив следа,
Коль друг добрым словом помог иногда.
И женщине сильной быть хочется слабой,
За женское счастье рассталась б со славой
И стала бы мягче, нежней и послушней,
Возможно, терпимее и добродушней.
И именно Аллочке в день именин
Удачи в любви пожелать мы хотим.

Сам себя не похвалиш - весь день непохваленный ходиш :)
this wasn't wrtitten by me :)

September 19, 2008

From a book I've been trying to get through for months. . .

"When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse."

"To the child, the genius with imagination, or the wholly untraveled, the approach to a great city for the first time is a wonderful thing."

"[She] shook her head. Like all women; she was there to object and be convinced. It was for him to brush the doubts away and clear the path if he could."

"She saw what [he] liked; in a vague way she saw where he was weak. It lessens a woman's opinion of a man when she learns that his admiration is so pointedly and generously distributed. She sees but one object of supreme compliment in this world, and that is herself. If a man is to succeed with many women, he must be all in all to each."

"She was no talker. She could never arrange her thoughts in fluent order. It was a matter of feeling with her, strong and deep."

"...He began writing her regularly-a letter every morning, and begging her to do as much for him. He was not literary by any means, but experience of the world and his growing affection gave him somewhat of a style...[He] surprised himself with his fluency. By the natural law which governs all effort, what he wrote affected upon him..."

"She increased in value in his eyes because of her objection. She was something to struggle for, and that was everything."

-Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie

. . . and this is only page 132 of 400 which I can't seem to force myself to read.

In five words or less. . .

it seems to be a recurring topic, so whether you know me, are related to me, love me, hate me, never met me, use the comment feature to please describe ME in five words or less. You can be anonymous, I don't mind.

/annoying/pretty/punctual/overbearing/fun/neurotic/boring/smart/perfectionist/crazy/loyal/beautiful/stuck-up/materialistic/outgoing/shy/bitch/blah/blah/blah

To blog or not to blog?

I write about random sh*t all the time. I write about how crowded the train is, now that school started. I write about global freezing, because whatever the "experts" are calling global warming, I'm always cold. I write about the crazy hours I work and the random stuff that happens to me. Yet, I always tip-toe around my real feelings and go in circles on subjects that really matter. I am scared. Scared, that people that know me personally won't look at me the same. Well, maybe that's not a bad thing, you say. Each of us has a persona that we've developed through many years of practice - maybe you're the I'm always nice despite myself; maybe the dumb blonde that's not so dumb; maybe the shopaholic with a good heart? I can't seem to classify myself because nobody is that one-dimensional, not even my examples.

I'm the workaholic, tough chick. I am driven. I dress well (by everyone's standards but my own). I am a go-getter and a loyal friend. I fight for what I believe in. So, how do I show a sign of weakness? What will that do to my "persona?" What will people think? I am sure that those of my friends/family that follow my blog are thinking, "we know your weaknesses, we know your fragility." I doubt anyone really knows. I don't want to share via public forum, maybe I really do need an anonymous blog - just for an unbiased perspective and it's cheaper than therapy.

--
Sent from Gmail for mobile | mobile.google.com

September 17, 2008

Will work for shoes...

Yes, that's me - workaholic who can't resist a beautiful pair of stilettos, boots, sandals, flats, etc. So after my wonderful aftertoon of drinking mimosas, nibbling on hors d'oeuvres while cruising around Manhattan mingling with my co-workers and our group's high profile client, I did what any sensible girl would do - I went shopping! (Was that a really bad run-on?) My feet were killing me from walking around in my Manolo's and luckily I bought a very cute pair of flats (amongst other things), which I wore straight out of Loehmann's. Besides, the fact that my feet were killing me, the flats are cute and I finally used up my store credit from last year, I got my 15% off birthday discount and who doesn't love a bargain?

Then, on to making a great "business" deal left me a few short blocks from one of the very best(est) shoe stores in NYC, Petit Peton [note to self, add hyperlink]. The guy forgot his name, again, damnit) was super helpful and why wouldn't he be, I walked out with [technically] two pairs of boots and a pair of Zanotti sandals to die for. So its
been a very productive evening, to say the least. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket? Happy (almost) birthday to me!

--
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September 16, 2008

Honesty, honestly

When I have nothing good to read, I write. Woland keeps giving me good ideas with his comments, so I continue with psychobabble...

So, do I talk honestly about myself? I do - to those that matter. Of course, my judgement gets clouded sometimes, but that's a whole different blog post. Should I write about honesty in general? That's pretty boring. Now, honestly where do I start?

I've been staring at my screen from Canal Street to Prospect Park and nothing. Maybe tomorrow.

--
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Alla will understand

I can't sleep, again. I woke up with the thought that I will undersand, because I always do. I understand why people don't come to my birthday even though they haven't missed any other events all week. I understand the promised phone calls that never come. "Why don't we go here?" "Well, Alla wanted to go there." "It's okay, Alla will understand!" There's a lot I want to say, but can't without getting personal and I have no desire for getting personal at 5 am, hope you understand because ALLA DOES NOT UNDERSTAND!

September 15, 2008

Money Matters

When it comes to money, there's never enough and it is always a sensitive topic. Money is almost as taboo as sex and everyone's always in need for more. Therefore, the only socially accepted markers of ones' income are all the materialistic things that one may acquire in proportion to their income and the outward appearances that cash may buy them. However, these "markers" seldom reflect the individual's true financial position.

Some people prefer to drive a "pimped out" leased car meanwhile living with their parents with not a penny to their name. Others will spend money on all kinds of gadgets that they will never use. Some mayinvest and some may travel, while others may just have a weakness for shoes. We are a consumer nation that lives in credit, so things we own are seldom ours. The house and the car belong to the bank as do the student loans and credit card debt at 18% apr. Smart. I once did a budget for a friend (and frequent commentor on my blog) and established that he spends $30K more than he makes. While the excel formula was wrong, I think it illustrates my point. Yet, when you're young you want to have the nice clothes, shoes and car. You want to go out and you want to have the latest "smart" phone to text your friends this evening's itinerary. Oh, and if you still need a place to live and food to eat then maybe the latest louboutins, benz and starbucks each morning just aren't for you. And since we are going down this dark, gloomy road, what happens if you lose your job, or your partner? You can't sell the apartment, 5 series and manolos. Yes, I'm being dramatic. That's what I do. I am also an accountant and a planner.

I love my Louis (whis is worth $150 more than last year) and I don't yet own Loubutins while rocking Manolos and Lorenzis. My car was nice 5 years ago when I bought it and not so nice 2 years ago when I sold it. I don't have a problem going out and don't remember the last time I couldn't go somewhere because I was broke. There are plenty of "nice" things that I'd love to own and many "exotic" places I'd love to visit. My bank account isn't suffering despite the pitfalls of the economy. I'm always the one to lend a friend a dollar or a thousand, yet somehow at the end of the day after working for 15 years, not missing a single social outing, dressing well enough to constantly receive compliments, owning an apartment and a car (yes, the radiator blew up), I'm still cheap. While many people my age are either knee deep in debt, living paycheck to paycheck or not working at all, I'm blogging about what most people don't want to talk about. Well, that's not entirely true, people want bling, everyone wants blings, few people understand the sacrifices. And maybe there's 1% or 10% that were born with a silver spoon, most people even the richest of the rich had to work for it.

Whether it was an idea that turned golden, a career that took off, a talent that was discovered or a deal that was sold, it happened partly through luck and mostly through hard work. I wish everyone to reap the benefits of their own hard work - it makes the Choos that much more comfortable, the Infiniti drive better and the apartment, "home".

The thoughts I get when I leave work at 7:30 on a very unproductive day. :) hmm, maybe it'd be nice to be a trophy wife. I could get bored, of course, of constant pampering, luncheons, auctions & fundraisers, beautiful houses & cars and a very shallow existence without any real friendship or love.

--
Sent from Gmail for mobile mobile.google.com

September 12, 2008

All this talk of memories . . .

makes me think of one of the best movies, The Way We Were. It was even cited in SATC, no that that's a requirement or anything, but no "memory" conversation is complete without:

September 11, 2008

never forgotten

sept. 11, 2001 is a day that a lot of people will never forget. it's a day that every new yorker remembers. it touched so many of us in different ways. as a comment on my blog by woland yesterday points out, tragedy brings people together. few of us will ever forget where we were, who were we with or who we knew that perished on that fateful morning. movies have been made and books have been written, but as is always with life, it goes on.

sept. 9 marked 22 years since my grandfather has been gone and i didn't even light a candle, as my grandmother always did. everyone in my family has different views of my grandfather. he was a soldier, a veteran and a strict man. yet, i remember him as the man who sprinkled me with sugar and told me that I'd be sweet forever. i remember bringing him bread to the hospital. i remember "tetya motya" and the red calendar pages. on a recent family trip, i learned things about my grandfather that i didn't know before. my memories of him remain unchanged.

September 9, 2008

Family Matters, Comment Frenzy, etc.

At one time or another, all of us judged our parents, siblings and other close relatives. Yet, as I'm coming to realize more and more lately, there's nobody that will love you, care for you and be there for you like your family. We all get preoccupied with the mundaness of everyday life and don't realize who is there with us through it all- our bad days and our excitement, through washing dishes and doing laundry, through birthdays and holidays - through life, and through
death. Many of us are fortunate enough to also have friends that become such an intricate part of our everyday lives that they become an extension of our families.

Like most families, mine is crazy in its own right. We fight. We laugh. We cry. We forget to call each other. We get upset at things others do or say, or don't do or say. We judge. But, we are all
connected and alike in many more ways than I think any of us care to admit. We lost a very dear person to all of us, two months ago. She was the matriarch that insisted on family outings and celebrations. She was the radiant smile and the voice of wisdom when most of us didn't care to listen, or have the time to stop by for an hour. She was lucky enough to raise two sons, five granddaughters and see four great-grandkids. I am proud to say that despite all of life's
hardships that my grandmother lived through, she instilled something great in each of us.

In the last two months, I got to know my family as I never did before. Through this hardship I wanted to be only with my family. I didn't run, like I usually do. I wasn't the rock for everyone around me. Everyone around me was my rock. Through several email/aim/face-to-face conversations with various members of my family in the recent months, I got to know a different side of them - a side that I didn't necessarily know existed - a side that was intrically similar to myself, but from a completely different angle.

Attention motivates me, as does appreciation. Today's frenzy of comments left me with a feeling of wanting to write more, to share more, to discuss more. (You can now subscribe to my blog, see bar on the right. For those of you that like to keep your presence on my blog, and in my life anonymous, you can do so anonymously). My grandmother, as I assume most women (and even men) loved attention. She liked when people called her, brought her flowers (she loved flowers), and spent time with her. She liked the warmth of the human touch, but it (as all attention) had to be genuine. She'd rather you come and see her for five minutes knowing that you want to be there, then stay 3 hours wishing you were somewhere else. I read her anecdotes from Russian newspapers that she collected and watched "zhizn' prekrassna" and news from Israel. I told her about my friends and she about my grandfather and hers. I ate even when I wasn't hungry. I always thought that there will be next weekend when I could hear yet another story.

Life is short. Duh! I'm so glad that Anna put the history of our family together that I keep planning to see "next weekend." I'm ecstatic that us girls are getting close, to some extent like we used to and to some like we always have and yet on a completely different level. Maybe it's because we're all adults now. Maybe it's because each of us has the matriarchial duty instilled in us. Maybe it's that we are a family and for the first time in a very long time, if ever, I really feel like one.

--
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Advertising

You know I love this stuff.

I blog, therefore I am

Although my "fan-base" has tremendously increased in the recent months, the commenting has significally decreased. I desperately crave the attention of my readers. Whether it's to say, "wow, that was a beautiful shot" (which I have received orally from so many of you) or "why are you writing this garbage?" I write because it puts things in perspective for me. My written language is better then my spoken language. And even though, I have a tendency to go in circles and travel in tangents even when I write, it's still much clearer than my mental jumble.

When I started my blog in late 2006, few people knew the word. Now, everyone's a blogger. Well, maybe not everyone, but two of my cousins have joined the blogosphere. It's nice when two of the more private people in your family decide to share their thoughts/feelings with the world. Hmmm....am I a private person? When I was younger, I was an open book for anyone who cared (or didn't) care to listen. As I got older, I became more reserved - yet I still need to hear myself talk to make any sense of what's going on inside me. Now, I'm usually more selective on who I share what with and then there's the great anonymity of the net. No, obviously not on my blog. There are others, far less, or rather far more personal, yet very, very anonymous. Why? Because sharing your real feelings with everyone you know is a lot harder than sharing them with random strangers.

--
Sent from Gmail for mobile | mobile.google.com

September 7, 2008

Insomnia

I'm so tired that I'm falling over my own two feet. Yet, now that I finally have a chance to sleep, I can't. I'm exhausted. I'm tired mentally, emotionally and physically. My thoughts don't let me rest. My short "relaxing" getaway last weekend went right out the window on Tuesday back at work. While today is Saturday, I kept thinking it's Friday and really it's 3:15 so it's already Sunday. Where does the time go?

I'll be 25 in two weeks, the "quarter-life" crisis, yet I think that I've been 24 going on 40 ever since I was about 15. I wonder if at 40 I'll be going on 80 or on 25. It'd be nice to live in reverse, knowing what you know to do things over. Yet, perhaps that's the beauty of life - not knowing - trusting your instincts, or not; making decisions; living. Why do I feel that I'm not living? I feel that I have everything that any "normal" person may ever want to have. Yet, something is missing and I wish I knew what it is. Maybe I'm over and maybe I'm under, but maybe the circular motion of my thoughts needs to end. I wish I could be a simpler person, then my life might be simpler. But, I don't take things lightly, I take them to heart. I analyze and over analyze every little thing. I wish everyone in my life would be healthy and happy and I feel that no one really is. I feel different. I always have. I want to be creative, yet I don't have the cajones to do anything exciting.

My escapism is reading - losing myself in a good book. For me, a book is good, I realized, as long as I can identify in some way with a character. If I can't, then it's not a good book, unless it's witty. I love dry humor and sarcastic wit, which is so hard to find these days. I finished The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was awesome. Quotes to follow. Promise. I don't have anything on my reading list. . .suggestions welcome.

If that wasn't totally random, then I don't know what is. I wish I was sleepy again, maybe I shouldn't have drank 2 cups of coffee. erf.

September 5, 2008

Its been a long short week

...And for me it still isn't over. My thoughts are a jumble, more so,
than usual. I'm over and under. I have the need and urge to write as
I am bored on an express bus that is currently under water (in the
battery tunnel). While I'm the only one that just managed to escape
from work, everyone is so super busy that they are running late. Is
punctually not a virtue? Back to sleep and to the recycling of my own
thoughts...

...Enjoy the weekend!

--
Sent from Gmail for mobile | mobile.google.com

September 3, 2008

Quote (or rather spam) for the day

Whatever you give a woman, she's going to multiply.
If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.
If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.
If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.
If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.
If you give her a little sadness, she’ll give you a load of grief. So,
If you give her any crap, you’re gonna get a ton o’ shit.

Love and appreciate all the women in your life.

The Best Cartoon EVER

Oooops . . . I forgot to blog . . .

. . .recently went to see the Dali Exhibit at the MoMA (highly recommended) and saw the best cartoon ever. Yes, cartoon. Apparently, Dali had collaborated with Disney to put together a cartoon Destino, the story of which can be read on Wiki but in a nutshell the project didn't get comleted until 2003 (yes, both Dali and Disney were long gone in 2003, but the legacy remains) . . .

I looooooooove Dali!

September 2, 2008

Family Fun 2008

If our radiator didn't blow up and if Danik didn't go swimming with his phone the trip might of been a little less fun. Yet, being stranded on Route 80 in the middle of a rainy night, getting a ride in a tow truck and then attempting to find the shop where we left my dad and Danik all proved for a good laugh. As did, the Lemon and Safari and how can I forget Destiny? Either way, the weekend was great and too short. Here are a few "artsy" pictures from our many "photo sessions". . . now, back to work.

For all pix, see my fotki account. Videos to follow on YouTube. Comments welcome and so is a new camera :-) My birthday is coming up, hint hint. . .

This is our "Lake House"