Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Awww, NUTS!

I used to be able to name every nut that there was. And it used to drive my mother crazy, because she used to say, "Harlan Pepper, if you don't stop naming nuts," and the joke was that we lived in Pine Nut, and I think that's what put it in my mind at that point. So she would hear me in the other room, and she'd just start yelling. I'd say, "Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut." That was the one that would send her into going crazy. She'd say, "Would you stop naming nuts!" -- Best in Show

So, there's been all kinds of press in the health world lately about the sheer awesomeness of nuts. They've got fat, but it's the good kind of fat, so it'll leave you satiated but your heart will remain healthy. They're crunchy and filling, an excellent source of fiber and protein that nothing had to go and die for. I've never been one to ignore health world press, being that I work in said world, so I went out and jumped on the bandwagon. I went to Target (or, Tar-Zsay as I like to call it...) and bought a giant tub of mixed nuts. Cashew nuts, almond nuts, filbert nuts, brazil nuts, and pecan nuts, to be specific. Great, soluble protein. The only problem? I can't stop eating them.

Sure, nuts are healthy. If you eat like 15. I can't seem to do that. I sit there placidly, masticating nuts (they have such a satisfying crunch!) until my jaws ache and I have consumed considerably more than the suggested serving size of 1/4 cup.

The nut bucket claims it contains about 26 servings. It's almost empty, and I know that I've sat down for a nut-eating-session far fewer than 26 times. Now, a few times a hungry Sean has joined me to worship at the Temple of Nut (It's a 2 pound bucket. Hell, I invite all of my readership to come by for a snack...) but enough of those times, it's been just me, glutting in indolent self-pleasure.

I can't seem to stop it with the nuts. Most nut-gorging sessions end the same. After consuming massive quantities of aborted fetal plant life, I look up at Sean and plead: "Take the nuts away from meeeeeee!" He usually obliges, but not until my stomach is feeling dangerously full. I've even tried to limit my nut intake, to take out just a serving and then put the rest away.

This doesn't work. I guess whoever suggests ploys like this to limit food intake is stupid enough that, upon putting something away, they immediately forget where the offending item is located. Not so with me. I know exactly where the nuts are; right in the top cabinet; and I immediately retrieve them after a too-small nut snack (Not to be confused with a too small nut sack. Although I'm not sure which of the two is worse.).

As we speak, I have just finished a nut glut. And now I'm heading to the gym. There's no way I can possibly run on the elliptical long enough to make up for the 8 million calories in nuts I just consumed. My ass is doomed.

But when I get home, I can eat more nuts.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Question for the Ages

What is with those single shoes you see on the side of the road? It's a constant thing, glimpsing a solitary shoe lying, alone and stoic, on the shoulder.

How do they get there? Does someone pitch a single shoe out of a car window as he or she speeds past? And if so, why? Is it the shoe of someone they've a beef with who is sleeping soundly in the back seat, oblivious to the impending shoelessness? Is it just an extra shoe that they found stuffed into the glove compartment?

Did someone walking by experience sudden, unexplainable massive foot growth that forced them to immediately pull off the offending article and throw it down upon the gravel-strewn earth?

Is a higher being leaving shoes around in various locations on the earth, linked together in some sort of code to produce a message about the meaning of life and our place in the world?

Where do the fucking shoes come from? And why is there always only one?

Thursday, January 22, 2004


Still no phone, no computer. We've gotten word that they will be arriving in February. I guess with all the new people starting around the same time, someone somewhere got confused and thought there was a duplicate order. I would like to state, for the record, that there was not a duplicate order. And now I am computer-less.

I would like to request a moment of silence to mourn a loss. Those of you who followed the now-defunct Disserto may have been familiar with The Senorita, the sassy travel bug who made it from the mainland to Hawaii and back, and then back to Hawaii yet again. Well, it seems that someone pillaged her current abode, making off with the cache's contents (including The Senorita). Her ward, the Senor, will not be consoled. But I like to imagine her proudly displayed on someone's dashboard in Hawaii; glowing brightly in the dark.

(If that made no sense to you, don't worry. It really doesn't make any sense at all.)

We're thinking of getting our cat, Tivy, a cat. He spends long days alone in the apartment, living a double life as a secret agent. Or just sitting around wishing that he were bigger so he could eat us. We're not really sure which. But, we think that he could perhaps benefit from some additional feline company. Anyone have any thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks of 2 cats v/s 1?

My parents are getting ready to go on a cruise to the West Indies. I'm bitterly envious. Belize! Cozumel! I actually had the opportunity in my undergrad years to take part in a lengthy anthropological field study in Belize. I turned it down, in part, because I would have to leave before my graduation ceremony, and I really wanted to take part in that. It ended up that the expedition ran out of money and got pushed back, and it was too late for me to rejoin. I've always regretted that I didn't do that. Damn.

The Lost Glove mentioned in a previous blog was heroically retrieved by one Sean. Thank you, honey! The scarf thanks you, too.

And now, I will return to figuring out ways to appear busy so I will not be assigned useless brainless busy work to do until my training is complete and my computer arrives. In the 13 days since I finished my stint at the last job, I've suddenly become too good for useless brainless busy work.

Monday, January 19, 2004

It's Different Here

It's different here in my new department. One would scarcely believe it's the same company.

Where before the air was boisterous with loud complaining and thick with discontent; here it is peaceful and quiet, the dull din of office white noise burbling in the background.

Where before trips to the cafeteria meant an elevator jaunt down 6 floors to a sodium-laden greasy spoon; here it's a 2-flight skip down to a brightly-lit salad bar with a huge selection of flavored coffees and herbal teas.

Where before the people I passed in the halls were overweight, underpaid lifers in track pants or outdated jeans; here sleek svelte professionals glide by in silence, their gleaming highlights showcasing their perfectly-blown-out locks.

Where before, a stop by a coworkers' cubicle would reap a disapproving look, at best, or a question as to whether I "needed more work", at worst; here people happily discuss the movies they saw over the weekend, the newest lame reality show, what their kids did during dinner.

Where before, I was called over to coworkers' cubicles to explain complicated things like "independent movies" or "health-spend refund accounts"; here we casually toss out conversation peppered with acronyms like CABG, MI, EKG, CVD. And no one bats an eyelash.

Ahh, what a difference a difference makes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Life in the Stone Age

Day three at The New Job. Still--no computer, no phone. Not sure exactly when that'll be remedied.

The worst part isn't that I've got nothing to DO, it's that I have no means of making it appear that I'm busy. I can only re-read my notes from the various meetings I'm Outlooked into somewhere where my Outlook exists so many times. After awhile, I start to hang on the edges of my coworkers' cubicles and stare blankly over their shoulders. Some of the lucky ones actually have computers, for which I tease them mercilessly. Some others report that they waited 3 weeks before theirs arrived.

I'm debating about bringing in some of my grad school texts, to put up in my cube and make myself look important. And of course, as a reference tool for designing modules and writing scripts and crap like that. And convincing them to let me redesign the brochures, which look kind of like ass.

The good news is that the new building's cafeteria has a salad bar.

Friday, January 09, 2004


It's Friday and I'm wearing my Friday Jeans. I wear them almost every Friday. They're ages-old mens Old Navy jeans that sit low on the hip. The hems are frayed. Sean occasionally tries to squeeze into them, not understanding why there's a pair of jeans here that aren't his.

I drove Sean in to work this morning, jumping from the car to take the driver's seat when we got downtown. In the process, I managed to lose yet another glove. I have a series of lonesome gloves. A beige chenille one, a red and black striped one, a tan knit one. Now a blue and green and grey one. It really sucks when a glove jumps ship this way, especially when it leaves a scarf to mourn it like a lost child. You can never find the gloves to match the scarf again.

My nails are painted with the cheap Maybelline Wet Shine polish I picked up at Target. I'm trying to avoid caving to professional manicure hell. I've already fallen off the hair wagon, getting expensive highlights that lead to more expensive highlights. I mean, why ruin the expensive highlights with cheap haircolor? I fear it would be the same with the manicure.

I went to the Crate & Barrel site and once again debated about ordering the Calphalon professional frying pans. I really need a good frying pan. But again, I balked at the idea of paying for shipping when there's about 26 Crate & Barrel's in the greater Boston area.

It is as cold as fuck out. Fuck being bad when used in this instance.

I think I'm going to head out to run some errands, pick up some odds and ends, revel in the joy that is heated seats cranked all the way up. But I won't stay out too long, since we're meeting my old roommate at the Border Cafe in Harvard Square tonight to freeze our collective asses off till they let us in to partake of margaritas and chicken burros.

It's Friday, allright.

Monday, January 05, 2004


It is better in Florida than it is here. Of this I am certain.

Looking out the window today, at the damp gray sky where dreariness hangs like a tangible thing; I'd gladly jump ship and head south. In Florida, the days are bright and sunny, the sky a piercing blue so sharp it's almost painful. The scenery is verdant, the air warm and comforting.

We stayed at Sean's aunt's condo while we were visiting, easily the youngest people in the development by 50 years. Or more. But there were palm trees with Christmas lights wound whimsically around them, and the shrubs that flanked the buildings were hibiscus exploding with crimson and orange blossoms. The ocean smelled sweet and fresh, brilliant turqoise froth that lapped at your toes and beckoned gently. The sand was warm and soft and white, clean enough that you really didn't mind having to avoid the glassy blue man o' war jellyfish.
I dug my toes in and watched the waves swirl around them, hissing at my feet. There were at least a million stars gleaming in the sky.

I didn't want to come back.

It would be the same if we lived here, Sean protested on a Sunday. We'd be getting ready for work now, we'd have to get up and go to work tomorrow. We'd never be able to find a movie theater that was showing Lost in Translation.

But it would be 77 degrees when we got home from work, I said quietly. It would still be light at 5:45. There would be...color. And Netflix.

I don't really want to live in Florida. But right now, watching the sleet pound the office window, knowing it won't be fit to be outdoors for at least another 3 months, I sure as hell don't want to live here.

Friday, January 02, 2004

What Hollywood Has Taught Me This Week

1. That if you weigh more than 96 pounds, or could possibly have some semblance of hips and/or ass, or might be a size 6 instead of 0, you are fat (See Love, Actually) and should be called "plumpy" by your family.

2. That if you are a slobbering, old, drunk loser who frequently urinates himself, your chances of getting laid by hottie Lauren Graham (of Gilmore Girls fame) are damn good. In fact, it will likely happen repeatedly (See Bad Santa).

And they wonder where women get these self-esteem issues.