Archive for July, 2006

Yep, my little 40-something pound lab ate our bedroom door. And I wonder why we haven’t been able to lease the house yet. The door remained in this state the whole three weeks I was out of town, not that we’ve had much response in the first place. Trying to lease or sell in the current housing market is an absolute pain. Funny, it’s the exact opposite in New York City where we’re trying to live.

When I finally dragged my ass through my front door four hours past my ETA, thanks to the new Worst Airline Evar, United, I knew I’d see a mess, but I was still a little surprised. She had been alone barely four hours before Laura came over to walk her and then called to let me know what happened.

I blame myself, since I broke her routine by closing the door in the first place. She wasn’t trying to be destructive, she’s just a dog and didn’t know what was going on. That’s me reaching for my happy place so I don’t start getting all pissy and resentful for having to buy, paint, and hang a new door. And in the end, how can you get upset with this sweetness?

I’m gonna miss my little psycho-killer.

In front of every great comedian…

…is a hungover chick with a rad cell phone.

Brian’s Comed-oake Housewarming Party, 6/24/06

1. The Neighbor Three Doors Down
I was walking my dog Zoey yesterday morning and saw a worse-for-the-wear pregnant lady up the street walking out of her house. In typical doggie-fashion, Zoey decided to take a giant dump in the middle of the said lady’s front yard. When my dog finished her business, I walked by the lady’s car and said hello to her. Instead of saying hello back, she replied in an unnecessarily confrontational tone, “You picked that up, right?” I suppose that simply looking at the bags I was holding weren’t enough of a clue. I held up the bag of dung as if raising a champagne glass for a toast and smiled. “Cheers, you fat fucking hag.”

2. The Guy at Marble Slab
Miranda and I walked into Marble Slab with a coupon for a buy-one-get-one-free ice cream cone. Miranda wanted a healthy cup of non-fat frozen yogurt instead of a chocolate and butterfinger-covered cone with the most calorie-laden ice cream inside it (which I ordered). So I presented the coupon and asked the guy if I could use the deal even though we were getting different things. He angrily muttered, “I don’t know what the deal is. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Miranda replied, “Read the coupon!” Oh my God! My friend is a fucking genius! We’ll be holding the Austin Chapter mensa holiday party at her house from now on, since she has all my Christmas stuff.

3. The Nasty Bitch Who Left the Mess in the Third Stall
It’s called a courtesy flush, asshole. There’s no law that says you can only flush once. If you still see brown, flush it down. You’re using a public bathroom with industrial-strength toilets, so be polite and take advantage of your power to suck hard literally instead of figuratively.

Hotel Colorado is the worst hotel in the world and no one should ever stay there. It’s worse than the Best Western in Pampa, Texas. It’s worse than the roadside Motel 6 in El Paso. Hell, it’s even worse than that awful beach house in Peru that didn’t have running water.

That is all. I was compensated for my trouble. :-)

Boulder/Louisville Courtyard Marriott, 7:30pm:

Ring ring.

“Hi, this is Kat Taylor in room 364. Could you please send up a bottle opener and some fresh towels?”

“Right away, Miss Taylor.”

“Thanks a bunch!”

Boulder/Louisville Marriott, 8:30pm:

“Where the fuck are my bottle opener and towels?”

Ring ring. Ring ring. No answer.

“What the hell?”

Boulder/Louisville Marriott, 9:00pm:

“Okay, fine.”

Throughout my extensive travels, I somehow acquired a lone Corona that I hid in my purse and planned to drink at a later date. Today is that later date. So, at 9:00, I walked to the front desk in my pajamas holding my beer and asked for a bottle opener. One of the hotel staff handed me a staple-remover with the words “bottle opener” written on it. At first I was unsure of its untapped potential (does that count as a pun?), but found that it actually works much better than an actual bottle opener due to its flexible two-prong design. It was such a brilliant surprise, I gave up on the towels. After all these years of cracking open a bottle of beer at the office, I never discovered the secret use of this trivial inhabitant of my desk drawer.

Another ghetto Courtyard Marriott moment: Also due to my extensive travels is a buildup of nasty-smelling laundry. I’ve been trying to exercise when I travel, and while I’ve had my laundry done once this trip, it would be silly to have it done again since I’m going home tomorrow. In order to keep my disgusting clothes from getting even more disgusting and mildewey, I decided to hang them around my room. But since there are a lot of them and they smell really bad, I hung most of them outside on my balcony, which faces the cute little courtyard that’s supposed to make this place seem nice and cozy and not off of a major suburban boulevard dotted with chain restaurants. I really hope it doesn’t get windy, and that the people with rooms near mine don’t have a need for used bike shorts and sweatsocks.

We spent a lot of time in Brooklyn this visit, which is kind of funny, because our sublet and future apartment are both in Manhattan. Most notably, we hung out with some punk rockers and went to a biker bar called Duffs.

The jukebox was on the level of our Austin favorites, Mugshots and Barflys. The crowd, however, appeared to have been pulled straight from Casino El Camino. So yet again, Gus and I passed the eve in a place where we stuck out like sore thumbs, simply because we don’t stick out like sore thumbs. Do I still have tattoo envy? You bet your tramp-stampy ass I do.

Speaking of tramp stamps, I was talking about tattoos with some Brooklyn folks and found that the term “tramp stamp” isn’t common used there. When I said it, my words were met with confusion and then laughter. Or maybe “tramp stamp” is just too hipsterish of a word for some people to pick up.

After the July 4th holiday (and seeing the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Competition and the Macy’s fireworks on the East River), I worked remotely for a few days. Almost everyone my age has this ridiculously over-glamorized vision of what it means to work remotely. I had the opportunity to work remotely for Intuit after I left California for more money than a 24-year-old writer in Austin could possibly fathom. I turned it down because I like being able to go into the office, meet and greet people, go out to lunch, hang out, etc. I remember saying this to someone as I explained the reason for my current job and she replied, “I don’t need to use my job to make friends. I have plenty of friends. I’d much rather just sit in a coffee shop and do my work instead of going into the office.” As an aside, I briefly freelanced at the publication where this person was a full-time employee. I suppose it’s a good thing she doesn’t feel the need to make friends where she works, as I found her attitude rather abrasive.

Anyway, I may come off as a social mongoloid at times, but I actually take much pleasure in regular human contact. No matter who you are, I think your day is a little brighter, your mind is a little happier, and things overall are just better when you have people around you who like to stop by and see how you’re doing, or are simply physically present to offer and ask for assistance. It feels good to work on something side-by-side with another person, provided that they’re interested an easy to get along with, which most of my coworkers are.

The point of this long-winded diatribe is that working remotely is lonely. I knew it would be, and I’m hoping for the opportunity to travel for work more often so I can at least interact with customers and some of the other trainers on a somewhat regular basis.

A big reason for my extended trip, other than the innate enjoyment one feels when spending time with her signifigant other, was the Bloomberg company party. Holy fucking shit. The party was on Randall Island, just 20 minutes outside the city. To describe this party thoroughly would take all day, so I’m just going to list all the cool stuff we saw:

  • A beach with a volleyball court and full bar
  • A 50’s style diner
  • A ferris wheel, teacup ride, and kiddie rollercoaster
  • Bears
  • A Cirque du Soleil performer
  • A guy who painted an Elvis portrait to an Elvis song
  • Elvis
  • Tina Turner
  • A mermaid
  • A bunch of people dressed as flourescent insects on stilts
  • Sharks
  • Hula hoopers
  • Hula-hoop making booths
  • Dance lessons
  • Rollerskating (with skates for rent and place to do it)
  • Bumper cars
  • Alligators
  • Sharks
  • Face painting (the artsy kind; no dippy 8-color shit)
  • A living room with couches, lamps hanging from trees, and tea ‘n crumpets. Jolly good!
  • Hammocks all over the place

We went into it knowing there would be unlimited food and drinks of amazing variety and proportions, but it’s still hard to imagine the surrounding events and activities until you actually get to experience them. I could compare it to the corporate parties we had at NI, but even the chip on my shoulder isn’t that big.

People keep asking me how Gus likes his job at Bloomberg. I think they should just call him and ask him. (I hear he’s very approachable.) People should ask me about the parties at Bloomberg, to which I give a big thumbs-up.

I left for Colorado the next day. I was excited about that too, as our sublet made minimal use of the modern comforts of A/C, and I was looking forward to having my own bathroom.

For the next month, Gus has sublet another apartment in Nolita, a trendier and more convenient part of town than the location of his last sublet. It’s nice being close to more restaurants and subways, but it has also brought to my attention that Gus and I are Very Uncool.

As we walk through this part of town, we see all kinds of hipster fashions and punk rock styles. Everyone’s doing their thing and wants to make sure they look good doing it. That’s super, but as I strut around with frizzed out hair and a face covered in sweat (it’s humid as hell here), sporting an Aqua Teen Hunger Force t-shirt, I have come to realize just how nerdy I am.

It’s not that I’m afraid anyone thinks anything of it. It’s just an observation. And I think Gus has it right when he says that everyone’s trying so hard to work it because they’ve dreamed of living here all their lives and now it’s finally happening. They’re gonna make it! They’re so talented and original and amazing and they’re gonna get discovered! Yeah! (Pulled almost directly from a comedy bit by David Cross about people my age moving to the big city with a backpack full of shit and a dream.)

I think Gus and I share an equal amount of excitement about moving here: Moderate. Sure, this is a big move for us and it will be neat to live in a new place, especially a large city. I drained half my bank account just to secure an apartment here. But we don’t wake up every morning jumping out of our shit because we’re in the Big Apple. We’re as happy to be here as we were to be in Austin, which is as happy as I was to be the Bay Area, which is… you get the point. We see ourselves as people in a place doing stuff. We’re not going to conquer the world, we’re just going to enjoy getting some good pizza without having to drive all over the place.

That said, I walked to Gus’s work today. I didn’t take this route exactly, but that’s about how long it was. I made pretty good time. Since I was doing it in place of my morning workout (it’s still only about half), I’d broken quite the embarrassing sweat by the time we met up. I almost didn’t go into all the nice stores in Murray Hill after our Cuban feast because I was afraid the salespeople would be so grossed out they wouldn’t let me try on clothes. I tried to seek out other people with a trail of sweat down their shirt, but couldn’t find anyone. Long story short, I bought a ridiculously expensive pair of jeans, but then I found $20 on the sidewalk outside my building. That hardly makes up for the jeans, but it’s still pretty cool.

Making a king-size bed by yourself is more painful than most people might imagine.