Friday, September 29, 2006

Book Club Update

Well, for my book club of one, that is...

Memory Keeper's Daughter: "Eh." A little depressing; no character development (so you didn't really care that the peeps were screwed over); still an interesting read, but pay no attention to the "hype." not THAT worthwhile.

The Glass Castle: Great book-- definitely worth the time turning the pages (and I even read it on the bus-- a major feat for the girl who suffers from chronic motion-sickness. it was THAT worth it). Sad, heartbreaking, anxiety-ridden... you're rooting for every character-- good, bad and ugly.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

When You Are Old

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
and hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

-- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


It's premiere week! As much as I would like to pretend that I am an intellectual that only reads the NYT and books (although, I do read the NYT and books...), I must admit that I love TV. I missed some key premieres last week... ER, Grey's Anatomy (must I thank God for tivo once again?)... but I'm back on track, having nary a wayfare planned until, dare I say, Christmas? In any case, tonight I spied "Heroes" (promise) and the second showing of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (too long of a title, but as I'm still having "West Wing" and "Friends" withdrawal, I'm giving it a chance).

I think that the '06-'07 season has promise (the expert that I am). This week is "Gilmore Girls" and next week, the anticipated "Lost." And maybe I am the only person still watching "ER," but the season opener was pre-tee good. Ahh... fall... Love It.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Too Tired To Post

Clearly I've been too tired to post for a few weeks! Apparently the "wannabe" part of the wayfarer has been a little more true to life than in recent weeks. Today it took me more than 8 hours to get from NYC to Chicago... flying. Uggghhhhh. O'Hare is a nightmare. Delayed flights, 1 hour+ taxi lines (I took the El). Just shoot me now.

Travel nightmares aside, the weekend was a blast. One of my dearest friends' sister/s-i-l got married this weekend, and it was a big, multiple-day celebration. The thoughtful and generous person that she is (as is her entire family) she had picked out 4 different Indian outfits/saris for me to wear to each of the events for her wedding. What bride do you know would go so far as to even think about what her guests were wearing?

It was hectic and happy and fun and amazingly beautiful-- when was the last time you went to a wedding with belly dancers?!? It was wonderful to see M & C, who moved all the way across the country so I don't get to see them as often as I would like; G who was the designated driver (thanks, G-d) and constant source of entertainment; and, Buze and H who were great company and laughs the whole weekend.

I tried to get my phone to take photos of the belly dancers, but no such luck... damn cell phone cameras. So, you'll have to leave it to your imagination...


Monday, September 11, 2006

I Am A New Yorker

It's the 5th anniversary of September 11th. Of course we all know that. Even if we lived in a hole, the media coverage and people reminiscing with questions of "where were you...," there's no way that you couldn't remember... but truly, it's a date that no one will ever forget.

They said then that if you lived in NYC during September 11, 2001 that you were automatically a "New Yorker," even if you'd only lived there for a few months. It was a badge of honor; a badge of pride. I was late for work that day. My bosses were on a business trip in Asia and I had overslept. Starting my day with the Today Show, I was waiting for the weather report, but realizing I was really, really late, was just reaching for the power button when the special report cut into the broadcast with the news that what they thought to be a small plane had hit one the towers of the World Trade Center.

I stopped to watch the report, picking up the phone to call the office to tell them what had happened and let them know I was going to be late. I hung up the phone and stood in front of the t.v., bag over my shoulder, poised to walk to the subway. I watched the live coverage and saw the second plane hit the second tower. I picked up the phone to call the office and tell them what was going on and to get out of our midtown office building and try to get home.

I have never watched the post-event coverage; the documentaries; the recent movies. I could never bring myself to, nor could I ever follow the seemingly endless conspiracy theories expounded in the press. Seeing it first hand was enough; watching the live coverage as the shadow of the second plane skirted across my television screen and exploded into Tower 1; Seeing what seemed like paper floating out of the upper floors of the WTC and crying out in realization that they were bodies-- people who couldn't bear what they faced inside the building, thinking, and knowing, their only escape was to jump; Hearing the chirping sound in the erie silence after the towers collapsed-- the sound that the alarm that is affixed to a firefighter's suit when there is no movement makes so that rescue workers will be able to find a fallen comrade-- a sound that still brings me to tears and that I cannot bear to hear, even today; Sitting on my fire escape, watching the smoke billow from the WTC before it collapsed; Climbing to the roof of my apartment and photographing the smoke after it did; The sunset that night-- the most brilliant orange, pink and red peppered with gray and black-- from the fire and smoke emerging from the now commonly known "Ground Zero."

I watched some of the
Naudet brother's updated film on CBS tonight. They were filming a documentary of a probie firefighter's (Antonios "Tony" Benetatos) academy experience and first blush with being a firefighter when the attacks occured. They could very well have sold their footage for a great deal of money-- but they didn't. They donated the footage and didn't take a dime for it... heroes, perhaps, in their own right.

I remember the World Trade Center... I remember the time I spent there; never expecting that it could be a site of so much pain... so much death. In college, I sang there with my acappella group; I stayed at the Millenium Hilton, across the street from the WTC, which was all but destroyed, for the final "hurrah" with my roommates in the Spring of senior year; I saw Eddie From Ohio perform at Borders in the basement of one of the towers; and often shopped in the mall in the basement when I had a dentist appointment at 26 Broadway; I met friends for lunch in the park between the towers, where all the street vendors and food carts convened; and I remember the night GCC took me for a romantic dinner at Windows on the World... and we were confused about how to tip the multitude of waiters-- the head waiter, our waiter, the host and the sommelier (and he called his mom to check). It was inconceivable that these buildings-- fortresses, really, could be so vulnerable; that all those people could perish.

I was lucky. I don't know anyone who died on September 11, 2001. But I know many who did. Friends who lost friends, co-workers and family members. GCC, a NYC Police Officer, was supposed to have been in court in lower Manhattan that day, but thankfully it was canceled and he was safely at home, asleep after having worked a double in Harlem. I, and his family-- who were all out of town and frantically calling me when they couldn't reach him, was relieved. If he had been at, or near, court that morning, he would have been one of the first responders to the scene. When I did finally reach him, I remember being in tears that he was okay; and I remember he being frantic that he couldn't get into the city to help. M.L., pregnant with Max, walked home from Soho, all the way to Astoria. Before the phones went dead, I was able to get in touch with C.M. who had made it home but couldn't reach M.P. We later learned that he had been trapped in his office building which neighbored the WTC when it collapsed; after being dug out he walked more than 5 miles home, covered in ash and soot, and upon arriving home, got into his shower, fully clothed, turned on the faucet and sat with the water pouring over him.

I haven't actually been in NYC on September 11 since that fateful year. In subsequent years I was traveling for business... and then I moved away. But it's not something I'll ever forget. I always joke that, when asked, I don't know where I'm from. But in my heart, I'll always be from New York... and NY will always be a part of me. A lot of it has to do with going to school in NY state and moving to NYC after graduating, and the combination resulting in the discovery of who I was and what I was made of. But some of it, too, is September 11... living through it and feeling the connection and camaraderie with fellow NYers. Sure-- time has progressed and life has resumed; but those who lived through it? Lived in NYC during that time? It's a connection that we'll always have... no matter how much distance we put between us; no matter where we move. It's something that will always be a part of us.

People think I'm crazy because I love NYC so much... "Why would you want to live there?" they ask. "It's so expensive, dirty... people are so mean." The reality? I can't believe that I ever left. It's the only place that I've ever felt was mine; a place where I belong; a place that I almost feel guilty for leaving. But in my heart, I know that I'll go back. Despite its faults, expense, general craziness, NYC is a place where so many people, of varied backgrounds, sensibilities, and, well, homes, come together to find a common ground; a place where all of these people who strive to be, and accomplish being, "individuals" can still come together and rejoice in being a single thing: A New Yorker.

"I don't think it's so much the severity of an event that alters who you are; it's how you interpret it that changes who you are."-- Tony Benetatos

"The legacy of the World Trade Center should not be one of death. The legacy of the World Trade Center should be life-- and humanity."-- Naudet September 11 documentary

Sunday, September 10, 2006

On The Road Again

Just when I thought that travel was gearing down for the year, I'm off again on Monday-- this time to Telluride, CO. It's a work trip, but the only good one that I get to do-- the site visit in anticipation of my company's annual ski shindig (last year held in Jackson Hole, WY). I've never been to Telluride, so am looking forward to it... and who knows? I may just have my very own Suri sighting.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What I Hate About Stupid People

Well, I guess it's that they're stupid.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Last of the Gentlemen

Our man, Andre, lost today... it was an amazing match, and he fought hard. Just when you thought it was over, and he was done, he'd make an amazing play, running from behind the baseline to actually get a shot that just grazed the tape, and hitting a winner. AMAZING.

He cried at the close-- the emotions overwhelming him finally, the 24k fans standing ovation, too much too bear. His farewell speech heartfelt and dedicated entirely to the fans who he noted, he "stood on your shoulders..." to get to where he is today.

When he walked into the locker room after his match and received a standing ovation from the players... a standing ovation from the press when he asked, "are you guys really going to miss me, or are you just acting like it?," and even from his oponent, and ultimate defeater, Benjamin Becker (but, how could the guy NOT be gracious and not get booed out of the stadium?).

But even in his greatness, one that in most people would go to their head and they couldn't help themselves but be total, superior jerks, Mr. Agassi is the picture of generous; of gentlemanly behavior; of heart.

My dad send me all the recent LA Times write-ups of the Open, and this commentary stuck out in my mind: "...Denis, who tells the story, said that even though Agassi had just had the injections in his back, whenever a woman arrived at his table to join the group, Agassi stood up."

In an age where politeness and chivalry just doesn't exist anymore (among men OR women), where people let doors slam in the face of others, where no one stands to relinquish their seat for an elderly person or pregnant woman on a bus or subway, Mr. Agassi, dismissive of the crippling pain in his back, still stands when a woman approaches his table.

The last of the great ones indeed.

Hocking a Loogie

Spit. Spitting. Probably one of the most vulgar things that someone can do. Now, I know that makes me sound old... old fashioned by all accounts... but seriously? Disgusting. And yet, people do it all the time. Joe Schmoe, walking down the street, not even pausing while he hocks one, thankfully into on-coming traffic (rather than in the direction of other pedestrians-- thank goodness for small favors, I suppose); Hip-hop mogul exiting his limo onto the red carpet, on national television (GROSS); teenage hoodlum on Michigan Avenue, hitting my shoe (noticing, with no apology). What IS it with people who feel the uncontrollable need to clear their phlegm-filled throats onto the street? On the sidewalk/out of your car window? It has to be one of the most repulsive things someone can do. YUCK.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Andre won. By the skin of his teeth.

And Marcus Baghdatis? Greatness in the making.

The Last of the Great Ones

I love tennis... I've always loved tennis. My introduction was my mother, of the "tennis Ahue's," playing doubles on weekends and my sisters and I being relegated to the playground on hot summer days. I vividly remember complaining on Saturday mornings during the "big fours" (which in my house meant Grand Slam tennis), because we weren't allowed to watch cartoons. Thank goodness for my mom's zealousness, which inspired me to #5 varsity tennis at good old GHS, and a love of the game that has lead me to follow tennis in every form... even dragging an unsuspecting boyfriend to the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI.

When I lived in NYC, I went to the Open every year. I remember the first year that G took me as a surprise... ecstatic doesn't even begin to explain it. So we had nosebleed seats... it didn't matter. Sitting in Arthur Ashe stadium among the other 26k fans is to date one of the most thrilling experiences in my life. I called my mom from a pay phone at Flushing Meadows, grinningly asking, "Guess where I am?!?!"

Andre Agassi is making a run for the championship... in his last U.S. Open ever. He's going out at the top of his game, like only a true champion would. But he is the last of the great ones... at least, in respect to the old regime... McEnroe, Connors, Becker, Lendl, Sampras (my all-time fave). What will happen when Andre retires and there's no one left?

Sure, there's Federer (who's my favorite "newbie"-- he has Pete's sensibility and, not to mention, is a phenomenol player), Hewitt, Nadal and Roddick. And to the new generation of tennis fanatics? I suppose, they are 'great ones.' But there will never be another McEnroe, Connors, Sampras, Agassi... let's all root for Andre and give a final nod to the true great ones.

Hello, I'm a Mac

While I don't know that anyone (or thing) can ever surpass my love for Sting, Apple comes pretty close. I love my Mac. In jest (and okay, in somewhat seriousness) I talk about my decision to spend an exhorbitant amount of money on a laptop being based on the fact that because I work for THE MAN in one of the most tedious industries known to man, my Mac keeps me legit... in that even if I'm spending all day in the most uncreative of environments, I can come home to my little piece of creative heaven and know that there's a piece of me still tied to some sort of aesthetic.

I stopped by the store recently to pick up a new case for my iPod, and they are even uber-efficient in person (and not just online). Clerks walked around with hand-held computers that had little credit card swipers (that's the technical term) so that you didn't have to wait in line to purchase anything-- just hand it over, they do the little transaction, scan your card and ask if you'd prefer to have your receipt e-mailed to you (because if you're a Mac owner, they have all of your info on file so when they scan your credit card, ta-da! You're all set). "Why yes!" I exclaimed, and upon arriving home and checking my e-mail, there was my receipt. Ah... the thrill of technology.
No viruses, no crashing, better resolution than my television. Not to mention a clever ad campaign... the "I'm a Mac" guy (Justin Long) happens to have gone to Vassar. So OF COURSE Mac has to be fan-tastic. Get on board-- join the revolution.