April 29, 2003

This poem, generated by a

This poem, generated by a link from from thomas ...

Yer Uncleforty is returning to
my closet,
hiding in one night
I worked out, MOOOMMMMMMYY!” Rustling outside
my dad up. to spare, send
it was
Ana Gasteyer. Add a year
and just come out there?”
but all extra karma for it. “
the drapes and a
half ago, we see Lord
of merlot, cabernet,
shiraz or not the blubbering mess been
a catching up over to be hurt,
me away and
hiding in the list of today
was going to the
hallway and stupid or even worse, tortured by and stupid or
chianti. How could hear
something out in the house.

When I was eight, a

When I was eight, a very bad man used to live in my house. I called him the burglar. Sometimes he'd be in my closet, hiding in between the shadows of my toys and clothes. Sometimes he would lurk under my bed. I don't know what he wanted, but I knew for certain he was going to hurt me and I wanted him to go away.

The burglar only came out if I went to sleep. So, of course, I couldn't go to sleep. And I couldn't get out of bed, 'cause then I'd get in trouble. I didn't know whether it was scarier to be punished (yelled at, maybe spanked) by my folks, or to be hurt, killed, or even worse, tortured by this mysterious man who was just waiting for me.

One night I saw him. And he wasn't just a man - he was a ghost. The ghost of Blackbeard the pirate. He was living in the grove of avocado trees that grew behind our back-yard. My mom used to make me climb that fence and pull avocados that hung on our side of the fence.

“If they're on our side of the fence, we have every right to them,” she'd tell me when I asked if I wasn't being bad by stealing.

Blackbeard had come out of the trees, walked down the slippery slope of ice-plant and spirited through our locked sliding glass door. My throat was tight and my stomach queasy. He was in the house and he was coming to get me. Maybe for stealing his avocados.

I was petrified, lying there in my bed, knowing he was in the house. He knew I'd seen him. If I moved, he would hear me and then he'd come and kill me or hurt me so that he wouldn't get caught. The more I thought about it, the more I heard things. The more I heard things, the more afraid I became.

I whispered out, ever so quietly, “Moooommmm.” Waking up my dad would be even scarier than getting the burglar's attention.

No response. But I could hear something out in the living room. He knew I was awake. He was definitely going to get me … I'm sure he was heading down the hall towards my bedroom.

I was crying now. I didn't care if I woke dad up. I yelled out “MOOOMMMMMMYY!” Rustling outside my room. A light came on. Mom rushed in, “Honey, what's the matter?”

“There's someone in the house,” I sobbed, “and he's going to get me.”

“Bobby, there's no one in the house. I won't let anyone get you.”

I was not reassured. This was not the first time I'd woken her up, afraid of burglars. But this was the first time she took me by the hand and said, “Come on, get out of bed, I'll show you.”

Oh no. She was going to take me out there and he'd see us both. We'd both be killed. I pulled the covers up to my neck and shook my head.

“Sweetie, I promise, there's nobody out there. Let me show you.”

I climbed out of bed, crying and sniffling. It was so dark outside my room. He could be hiding anywhere. I could barely walk. My legs were pajama-covered rubber bands.

We crept into the hallway and she turned on the light. We peeked into the bathroom that had a door in the hallway and a door to my parents' bedroom.

My dad growled, “What the hell's going on out there?” Now I was in for it.

“It's okay, Bill. Go back to sleep.” Mom put her index finger to her mouth, motioning me to stay quiet.

We walked down the hall. She opened the linen closet. Just towels and sheets. No pirates in there. We went into the small bathroom down the hall. Lights on. She opened the shower door, “See? Nothing.” My tears had stopped, but I still knew something wasn't right.

Into the living room … where he was. Please don't make me go in there. I tensed up, squeezed her hand harder and started crying again. She turned on the lamp. Everything seemed in order. She moved chairs that sat next to walls. He wasn't behind them. She rustled the ashes in the fireplace … guess he wasn't pulling a Santa and hiding in the chimney. She lifted the dust ruffle on the sofa and we looked under there

The curtains at the sliding glass door to the back yard were drawn shut. She opened the drapes and flipped on the light switch next to the door. The back yard lit up.

Apparently he'd gotten away and slipped back into the scary darkness of the avocado trees. I knew he was still out there, but somehow I felt better knowing he was out of the house.

“Do you see, honey? There's nobody in the house.”

She squeezed my hand again and I nodded. We walked back through the dining room and into the kitchen. Mom asked if I wanted some water, and I nodded quietly.

I got my water and she took me back to my room, turning off the lights as we went. I was still a little shaken up, but much better than the blubbering mess I'd been before. She sat with me until I fell asleep.

Talking with Mom the next morning, she half-convinced me that Blackbeard had been a dream. Didn't he look an awful lot like that pirate in the Disney movie we saw a few days ago?

Blackbeard never bothered me again, but I still had some burglar issues. And every time she'd make me pick avocados, I'd be sure to toss a couple back over to the other side of the fence … just in case the burglar was still watching.

And I still don't like avocados.

What's that on your head

What's that on your head ...

Just when I thought I'd never find a fitting birthday present for C.B., this flipped into our lives. Theatrical hijinx (and high hair) with Ms. Sedaris and friends on 5/17. Done. What could be more entertaining?

Note to the Peachtree boys (Hi Philth) ... they're coming to your town for two nights at the end of May. Tickets go on sale May 1.

April 28, 2003

Can you imagine this casting

Can you imagine this casting catastrophe ... Celine Dion and Andie MacDowell together in, well, anything? Bad enough that they're both on separate TV commercials, but combined in one project?

The horror.

Seems blogging was the pits

Seems blogging was the pits this weekend. Perhaps you should invite him to the next saturnalia.

April 27, 2003

Finally. A proper Spring day

Finally. A proper Spring day ... and on a weekend to boot. Very pleasant indeed. Larry and I had 2 hours to kill during the open house today (anybody wanna buy a condo?), so we took a nice run down to Battery Park then walked/ran back. Ran into Ted and spent a half-hour catching up with him -- which sliced 30 minutes off the run. Thanks Teddy.

Other adventures included a tour through the flea markets over on 6th/24th. We were looking for flats of flowers to put in pots on the balcony, but found all kinds of unbuyable crap instead. Took a stroll through Old Navy. Saw the cutest little barefoot kid in a stroller and smiled all stupid-like, as one would do when looking at a baby. Baby's mom, who looked kind of familiar, gave me an odd look -- like "why are you staring at my baby?" Replaying the scene on my inner-TiVo a few minutes later, I realized mom was Ana Gasteyer. Add a minor celebrity sighting to the day's list of events. Which, come to think of it, makes two for the weekend. Cruised this really cute salt-and-pepper haired guy on 8th ave Friday evening and realized, after passing him, that it was Campbell Scott. Yum.

The rest of today was a plethora of procrastination. I'm supposed to be writing a piece for my non-fiction class, but everytime I get started on something I think it's trite and stupid or not worth any time in pursuing it. Probably like this post. So then I start on a different topic and think, no that's not good either. No worries, not due till midnight tomorrow.

The only drawback to the day was about an hour ago, when I thought I'd like a smart glass of red wine while I watching the sun set. Quelle empty wine rack! Not even a split of Gallo to be found in the house. Beer, white wine, vodka, champagne ... all fully stocked. But nary a drop of merlot, cabernet, shiraz or chianti. How could this happen? Clearly we need a better inventory control system.

So I armed myself with a Michelob Ultra, left over from Scott and Kate's visit a couple weeks ago and snapped some pictures of the sunset, just to see how this posting pictures thing works on Blog*SpotPlus. Oh yeah, I upgraded to that today in one of my better bouts of procrastination.

And that's what it looked like off my balcony a short while ago.

Overheard at the diner this

Overheard at the diner this morning:

Somebody's Aunt from Queens: So, do your parents still live in England?
Boy in Booth: Actually, I'm from Australia.
SAQ: Oh! Did you see Lord of the Rings? It's so beautiful down there.
BIB: That was filmed in New Zealand.
SAQ: Ah, Australia, New Zealand ... that whole little area down there is gorgeous.

April 26, 2003

Have you seen this? If

Have you seen this? If you live anywhere close to NYC, do yourself a favor and go have a big grin. I double-dog dare you not laugh out loud.

And if you don't live near NYC ... plane tickets aren't that expensive. There. Now you have a reason to visit.

April 25, 2003

And I am telling you

And I am telling you ...

Dreamgirls is returning to Broadway. Do you think producers can get Queen Latifah to play Effie? Submit your casting choices here -- best new cast list wins a fabulous prize. Entries must be recieved by next Thursday, May 1.

Also in today’s Times: "A Taiwanese woman put a mask on her kitten to protect her against SARS." Poor critter ... my kitty would never stand for that.

And an email greeting from a dear friend in the land of the Maple Leafs -- "Subject: Toronto, the ghost town!! (At least I can put my feet up at the theatre!!)"

April 24, 2003

About a year and a

About a year and a half ago, we were in Lauderdale and ran into some friends from the city.

"You know, we see you guys outside the city more than in it. We should get together at home more often."

Everybody agreed, but we're all busy with work travel, other engagements, theater, etc. Busy, busy, busy. And so it was decided that we'd make a standing date for cocktails and, perhaps, dinner. The Last Thursday of the month at 7pm. Venue to vary. And with that, LT7 was born. So now at the end of each month, several of us get together and catch up over a few drinks. It's never the exact same group (usually 5-6 people from a list of about 15), people just come if they can, but it's never been a bad time.

Tonight's adventure begins at The Monster. Stop by and say hi if you're so inclined.


I got an early morning phone call today, an inquiry about the ad we placed for the condo in Ptown. Half asleep, I gave the guy as much information as I could and told him we'd call him back. He said he'd rather call us. Whatever. Then he started asking me about where I worked out, yoga classes, massages in New York, massages in Ptown, who I liked, where I went, etc. Don't know what's more odd: him asking me all these questions, or me actually having a 20-minute chat with a stranger discussing who gives the best rub south of 23rd street.

April 23, 2003

Don't know how long it'll

Don't know how long it'll stay there, but CNN's homepage has this picture of people trying to get through the airport. Check out the background activity -- those are some dedicated musicians.

When I think back On

When I think back
On all the Mac I heard in high school ...

Anybody else (besides my sister) think their new single, Peacemaker, owes some of it's nice bright colors to Kodachrome?

Shiny Happy Blogging It seems

Shiny Happy Blogging

It seems people have their share of woes out here in blogworld. But this guy is a welcome antithesis. All is going great for him and it's a pleasure to read about. Perhaps we should go to California and rub him for good luck.

Congratulations on the house ... and the job ... and just everything!

April 22, 2003

If it were any more

If it were any more gray outside, I would swear I'd woken up inside a black and white movie. I wish the tornado would just come, whisk me away and land me in a world of technicolor.

Speaking of Oz, I dreamed I was in New Orleans last night. Blanche was getting ready to do a show, but it was only for hotel guests so I had to buy a room. Ended up getting the last room in the place, which was in the basement. Hello??? New Orleans doesn't have basements. Who wrote that dream? My subconscious needs a fact checker.

Today's New York Times tells us the Internet is losing the battle against spam. Keen sense of the obvious.

If you have some good energy to spare, send it over to Cincinnati. Some people very dear to me are going through some rough times and they could use any and all extra karma for the next few weeks. Lots of peace going out in pink bubbles over the Queen City.

April 21, 2003

Looks like a nice day

Looks like a nice day outside and my horoscope says

"The Stars collaborate with you for your best day in ages. As the center of gravity, you attract all the goodies that you can stand. The material world has never seemed friendlier."

Okay then, bring it on.

April 20, 2003

It's good to be home.

It's good to be home.

Left Ohio yesterday morning and went to the Jersey shore for a lovely dinner party. Met all kinds of new fun people and had a beautiful, albeit slightly hungover, morning walk on the boardwalk today. The beach is so restorative. And less than 2 hours from home. An easy drvive back to the city and now I'm back in the thick of Manhattan. Yay.

I'm coming up on a fork in the road. One direction will lead me back to healthy eating and some combination of running, gym, yoga, etc. I'll lose this flab around my middle, have some more energy and probably feel a little more focused and centered.

Going the other direction will be to say "ah, fuck it all" and explore the wonderful world of beardom. I could choose to just be fat and happy.

Where are those cheesey poofs?

April 19, 2003

I'm never up for the

I'm never up for the sunrise. It's so quiet (except for the birds outside -- still haven't found the volume dial on that nature thing) and peaceful. All three kids asleep, no TV, no Playstation. This is lovely.

Met some cousins out at a new bar downtown last night. It's in the corner of the old Federal Reserve building. Amazingly high ceilings, dark wood paneling, (loud) piano music. Kind of an upscale setting. But the people there ... oh my. Apparently the help wanted ad for the place must have read something like: "Seeking vapid women with a penchant for peroxide and silicone. Must dress provocitavely and not be in a hurry to sell cocktails." They were sweet enough, but not the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree. Shiny and colorful perhaps, just none too clever.

I think everyone should spend Happy Hour on Good Friday at a hooker bar.

I'm never up for the

I'm never up for the sunrise. It's so quiet (except for the birds outside -- still haven't found the volume dial on that nature thing) and peaceful. All three kids asleep, no TV, no Playstation. This is lovely.

Met some cousins out at a new bar downtown last night. It's in the corner of the old Federal Reserve building. Amazingly high ceilings, dark wood paneling, (loud) piano music. Kind of an upscale setting. But the people there ... oh my. Apparently the help wanted ad for the place must have read something like: "Seeking vapid women with a penchant for peroxide and silicone. Must dress provocitavely and not be in a hurry to sell cocktails." They were sweet enough, but not the brightest bulbs on the Christmas tree. Shiny and colorful perhaps, just none too clever.

I think everyone should spend Happy Hour on Good Friday at a hooker bar.

April 18, 2003

I think they should change

I think they should change the word suburbs to subbirds -- it is so noisy here in the morning. Where's the volume dial on the nature recording that's blaring outside? I'm used to car horns and fire trucks. Who knew all this nature could be so loud? It rained last night and my sister's back yard is a green, foggy, dewy forrest. I could probably take a picture and put in in the dictionary under verdant.

This is the calm before the storm. I'm in charge of the 4-year nephew and 6-year old niece for the rest of the morning. He's had his Lucky Charms and is now watching Dragontales (looks horrible). She's still sleeping. Today's scheduled adventures inlcude Easter Egg dying and a much anticipated painting of Uncle Bobby's toe nails -- Miss M. wants my nails to match hers, at least she did last night.

April 17, 2003

I'm in KY, so I'll

I'm in KY, so I'll slide in a quick blog entry before heading back north to Ohio.

The good news:
1. Mom's angiogram turned out fine. She can officially cross "heart trouble" off her list of ailments.
2. Some radio station in the middle of Kentucky is still playing Landslide by the Dixie Chicks. Apparently not all middle-American program directors have bought into the alleged boycott.
3. My upgrade for the flight home has already gone through.
4. Cigarettes cost less than $3 a pack down here, compared $7/pack, at home. At that price, it's rude not to smoke.

The bad news:
1. Still don't know what's really wrong with her.
2. It's pouring and I hate driving in the rain.
3. I bet I'm going to hit rush hour traffic.
4. I'm smoking too much.

The odd news:
Had a really vivid dream last night that I was great friends with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Turns out they're the funnest couple, AND the relationship is purely platonic because he's gay and she's just a big friendly beard. I think he loved me. We all went to a party and Chelsea Clinton was there, with a really fetching new long blonde hair and a fierce young Queen Latiffa-esque best friend. We all danced and then shared some laughs with Bill and Hillary.

I'm left wondering what's being pumped into the air at the Louisville Hyatt ... and how do I get some in a bottle to take home?

More later from the Buckeye State.

April 15, 2003

Said goodbye to the houseguests

Said goodbye to the houseguests this morning. My cousin, his wife and their 10-year old daughter (who turns out, for those keeping score, is my “first cousin once removed” and not my “second cousin”, as I had previously thought) came in from Cincinnati on Friday night and spent a long weekend in the city. It was a great visit -- museums, theater, good food, fun times. I got to reconnect with Scott and Kate (who are always a guaranteed grin) plus see a glimpse of Manhattan through the eyes of a pre-teen girl. I still say there’s some truth to the theory that the only thing separating (early) middle-aged gay boys and teenaged girls is that we have bank accounts.

Anyway, on my commute to the office, I was really struck by a sense of family, and what warm, fulfilling feeling that can be. My thoughts turned to my folks and my sister, and the odd dichotomy between being emotionally close but physically far away. How it’s good to be removed from the day-to-day drama, but that I should make an effort to try to close up some of that distance … either through phone calls or visits.

I’m planning on being home for a couple days this weekend, tying a trip to Cincinnati onto a business trip to Louisville. Mom had decided to take Friday off to spend some extra time with me, which is good but perhaps getting close to overload – I always look forward to spending some quiet time w/ my sister and her kids, and getting everybody together often results in more chaos than quality. I thought it might be nice to go for a drive with Mom and visit some Aunts and Uncles – just have some one-on-one car time and knock out a few family visits as well.

So I’m feeling pretty good about things. I’ll spend some time with everyone and not be overwhelmed or try to plan a big shindig. And it’ll be good to see Mom on her own for a bit. She’s still young (60), but she has her health issues. Some are certainly legitimate, but some are overblown, perhaps a little attention-seeking.) This is the woman who has phoned, “just to let you know I think I’ll go to the emergency room if I don’t feel better in a few hours.” I love a pre-planned emergency.

Oops, negativity. Release that. Hold on to these warm feelings and going to spend some quality time with her, ‘cause you never know when the next trip home is for an unexpected funeral. Oops, more negativity … perhaps a trifle morbid, but that’s what passed through my head.

The phone rang here a little while ago – caller ID says it’s a 513 number, which means Ohio. A closer look reveals it’s my sister calling, no doubt to confirm arrival times.

“Hey, just want to let you know I just left Christ Hospital and mom’s been admitted. I’m sure you’ll be getting a call later on tonight.”

“What’s wrong?”

“They’re not sure, it’s probably nothing, but they want to run some tests to make sure she’s not having a heart attack. It could very well be bad reflux.”

I ask what kind of tests. Turns out they’ll do a cardiogram and, if warranted, an angiogram. The doctor assured both my mom and my sister that she didn’t suffer a major coronary, but they wanted to take a closer look.

We went through a similar scenario several months ago. Horrible chest pains and pressure, a trip to the emergency room, a couple days of tests which led to the conclusion that nothing was wrong. Go home. Watch your diet. Get on an exercise program.

I’m sure she’s fine. I’m sure that she could be taking better care of herself. I’m sure she’s in good hands and that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I just wish I hadn’t had that funeral thought this morning.

Poodle breaks Old Yeller's heart.

Poodle breaks Old Yeller's heart. Thanks Ron for sending this over.

April 14, 2003

Nothing like having houseguests to

Nothing like having houseguests to shake up a routine.

We had a proper dinner last night. At home. It involved shopping and cooking and then cleaning up. There's this large oval wooden thing just outside of our kitchen. It's pretty much a resting place for the cats. We cleared it of scads of unsorted mail, a few old magazines, the Sunday Times and random pocket detritus. In place of all that, we set down some placemats, napkins, silverware, a few candles and plates of hot food. Then we sat down and ate. The cats were a little confused, but we had a good time. Kind of like dining in a restaurant and ordering a family style meal, but without actually leaving the apartment (except for the grocery shopping part).

Very enjoyable. I'll have to try it again soon.

April 13, 2003

It's so beautiful out today.

It's so beautiful out today. Went looking for some flats of impatients and geraniums, but I guess it's still too early. No terrace gardening this weekend.

Saw Gypsy last night. Still in previews and it's not the train wreck that's been rumored, but the tracks are a little wobbly. Hopefully, Ms. Peters is holding back until the opening. Scary that she went up during "Some People." Doesn't open for a couple weeks ... plenty of time to learn the lyrics. To a standard. All in all, I think it needs more of an edge and Rose has got to be a little more monstrous. It's almost there ... just left us wanting a little more. Julie Halston is a luminously understated Electra. And if all Tulsa needs is the girl, may we kindly suggest a mirror? He'll be all set.

Prediction: it may be a mild dose of ipecac for the critics, but the crowds will love it. It's way better than Annie Get Your Gun.

We took my cousin's 10-year old daughter -- her first Broadway show. That's pretty cool. I didn't get to my first Broadway show till I was 23. Waited outside the stage door for autographs and everybody was really gracious, which was nice. Best moment was when Barbara Walters came out after a post-show visit, befrocked in a beautiful red leather coat, and some lady yells out to her, "you were wonderful in the show."

I'm pretty sure she didn't play Mazeppa.

April 11, 2003

Just finished watching this for

Just finished watching this for the first time. I'm not sure how it had slipped by, but it definitely warrants repeat viewings.

In fact, a sordid party just might be in order.

April 10, 2003

Ran into Crickett on the

Ran into Crickett on the way home, who reminded me that Connie Cat and June Bug are in the city that care forgot, getting ready to host the Trailer Park Beauty Pageant. Ah, good times at Good Friends. I was a "celebrity" judge last year and would that I could be there again for the festivities. If you or you or you stop by the pageant, please tell Connie and June "meow" from Bea Movie.

Sent Crickett off to work and sauntered over to his bar for a couple beers, the best potato skins this side of the Atkins Diet and awfully good conversation with Miss Ruth Dickey. World traveleing fashionista C.B. showed up after a bit and regaled us with gifts from Milan. For those keeping score, we're pleased to note the author/pubkeep (as well as several patrons) is still smokin'. And the half king doesn't look half bad doing it.

Times Square street vendor last

Times Square street vendor last night: "We got leather bags, we got cloth bags, microfiber bags, animal print bags, Prada bags ... only thing we ain't got is tea bags."

April 9, 2003

This is pretty brilliant (thanks

This is pretty brilliant (thanks Mermaniac). Looking forward to seeing it on Saturday night.

"We're all damaged, aren't we?

"We're all damaged, aren't we? In our own way?"

Wow. Joe Egg is quite the evening of theater. Eddie Izzard, in men's trousers, is wonderful ... but the star of the evening is Victoria Hamilton. She was amazing. Funny and heartbreaking. Brava.

April 8, 2003

Started a writing class this

Started a writing class this week -- a 10-week nonfiction course. Just when there's a lot of uncertainty at work and there are several projects that could very easily go into backlog -- hey, I know, spend some cash and commit to something new!

So the discussion inevitably turns to the dialogue between the inner "critic" and the inner "creative." Somebody brought up The Artist's Way and morning pages as a way to get through that. I think the morning pages are a great tool. Sadly, I was never a morning person.

One key that, I think, goes right along with the morning pages concept is to just sit down and develop a steady practice. Natalie Goldberg talks about that in Wild Mind. Another key is to follow Anne Lammott's advice and give yourself permission to “write shitty first drafts.”

That's a hard one ... my inner censor has quite a bit of the perfectionist in him.

Memo to self: a third key is to quit reading all these books on writing and just sit down and keep writing.

April 7, 2003

It was a good night

It was a good night for celebutantes, if not a really horriblly (dis)organized event ... Diane Sawyer, Rosie, Nicole, Baz, Cynthia Nixon, Lauren Bacall, Marlo and Phil, Marissa Jaret (yay!), John Waters and a song by K.D. and Tony Bennet. All good fun and for a very good cause. If you don't already have a favorite charity/organization, give this one some thought; they do good work. Again I'm struck by how eloqent Joan Garry is. I think she's one of the most determined fighters of the good fight.

Happy that this won.

And if they give you an award, try to be a little gracious ... like Ms. Sawyer. Or Ms. Walters last year. They were very classy.

Feeling a bit out of

Feeling a bit out of sorts today, like something's not quite right. Maybe it's the fact that for the past several hours I've only been able to see about 3-4 blocks north because of all the snow that's dumping down on Manhattan. Maybe it's because both the coffee maker and the Diet Coke machine in the offfice are broken. Or maybe it's because, as I just realized in the washroom, I've had my belt on inside out all day.

Just a few more hours till the the GLAAD Media Awards. It was a great event last year, hopefully this year's party will be as good. At least I'll be properly belted.

April 6, 2003

About an hour ago, I

About an hour ago, I was on the treadmill at the gym. I looked up at one of the televisions and saw a statement from NBC regarding the death of David Bloom. I was shocked and saddened. I certainly never knew him, but would see him on TV all the time, especially during his weekend gigs as cohost of the Today show. He was this friendly guy, sorta cute, affable as the day is long. And now dead, covering the war in Iraq. I finished up my workout, showered and walked home, the whole time growing sadder and having this sick feeling in my stomach.

Why would he want to be over there in the first place? Why would anyone? He's got a wife and kids here in the city. What would possess a person to go from a decent, albeit kinda cushy job at the studio in Rockefeller Center to the front lines of battle? The glory? The thrill? The dedication to his profession? Then I thought of the Newsday reporter, Matthew McAllester, and an interview I saw with him the other day. He was imprisoned, and heard the screams of other prisoners being (at best) beaten, if not tortured. When asked his next plans, he basically said to "get back to work" and continue his coverage. Are these guys brave and dedicated or out-of-their-mind thrillseekers? I don't know. And I'm not certain I get it.

Once I got home, I looked up the story on Mr. Bloom. Turns out he had a pulmonary embolism ... not killed in battle. I'm still sad for him and his family, and somehow relieved that he didn't suffer some awful death, getting blown to bits by enemy (or worse, friendly) fire. But that leaves me to question the whole idea of embedded journalists. Are they there to give us the story, or are they there to get killed and make the losses more "personal" to those of us at home?

I'm genuinely sad and angry over the casualties (100+ coalition forces and 1,000+ civilians). However, up until this afternoon, I never felt sick about it, or sad/angry enough to think I wanted to cry. That didn't happen until one of those losses was somehow a little closer to me (albeit not truly close at all) because I'd seen him on an often stupid morning program, while I was drinking coffee and rubbing the weekend sleep out of my eyes.

I don't know, maybe that makes me shallow. And maybe I'm not so brave or dedicated, because I can't imagine wanting to be over there. So here I sit, not so deep, not so dedicated, just hoping for peace and the safety of everyone out there -- whether they want to be there or not.

April 4, 2003

From Reuters: Bush's order allows

From Reuters:

Bush's order allows the Health and Human Services secretary to decide when a quarantine is needed. It calls for the "apprehension, detention or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission or spread of suspected communicable diseases."

I love martial law.

Friday Five 1. How many

Friday Five

1. How many houses/apartments have you lived in throughout your life? At best count, an even 20.

2. Which was your favorite and why? A tie between where I am now (convenient location; it's a little small but a great home base for travel; fairly quiet; lots of sun) and the apartment on Rue Royale (great balconies; beautiful wooden floors; high ceilings; lots of space; sanctuary right in the thick of the French Quarter)

3. Do you find moving house more exciting or stressful? Why? After doing it too many times, I pretty much hate it. I'd rather have a root canal. Really. It takes less time and you get over it much faster.

4. What's more important, location or price? Location, location, location.

5. What features does your dream house have (pool, spa bath, big yard, etc.)? Outdoor space, levels, high ceilings, fireplace(s), beach access, lots of light, quiet, in or near a city, big kitchen, cozy zen room, lots of "flow," rooms for guests. Acutally I have several dream houses/flats in mind, depending on the season and geographic location. I want a place in NY, a place by the beach, a place in the country and a place in another country. I guess the real dream would be to have several fantastic places, each with a secret transporter room, tucked inside a giant wardrobe or hidden behind a phony bookself.

Had the tv on this

Had the tv on this morning, trying to hear the weather report. I now know more about upcoming metrological conditions in Baghdad than in my own zip code. And, thanks to some overplayed commercial, my earworm du jour is "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini." The day can only get better.

April 3, 2003

This Easter, I'll have lived

This Easter, I'll have lived in New York City for 10 years. I have worked in this midtown office building for the last five, and gone up to the cafeteria on the 35th floor an average of 3-4 times a week. I pick up my food, stand in line at the cash register and sometimes look out the south-facing floor-to-ceiling windows. It's pretty routine.

Today I saw the Statue of Libery, sitting there in the harbour ... all that water surrounding downtown. And this thought flashes into my head, "Hey, there's the Statue of Liberty, and this city's an island and I live here. Cool."

It's not that I forget where I live, it's just that sometimes I'm pleasantly reminded.

April 2, 2003

Had a conference call this

Had a conference call this morning for a global committee that I sit on. Talked a bit with a Hong Kong colleague, and things are pretty weird there. Apparently the office has been divided into 3 groups and they're not supposed to interact with the each other. Surgical masks everywhere. How's that for a surreal Survivor-gone-awry team building exercise? It's all very science fiction.

If that happens here, I hope I get to pick the groups. Plenty of people I'd rather not talk to.

April 1, 2003

Mamas, don't let your babies

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be crazy

The Naked Cowboy has made his return to Times Square. Yup, 38 degrees out (feels like 31 w/ windchill), snow a-flurryin' and he's standing on the corner of 45th and B'way in spurred cowboy boots, hand-painted Stetson and BVDs, just a strumming and and a singing. Cold and hot, all at the same time.