Monday, March 31, 2008

That's it! Nobody fucks with (name redacted)!

It was Friday evening, and we were stuck in the weekend rush to vacate the city, our small, white Suzuki struggling to weave through traffic, seaking out the path of least resistance. Finally, once on the Palisades Parkway, we settled into a comfortable cruising speed of approximately 65 mph.
Suddenly, from the front seat, I'm startled out of my revery by my father-in-law screaming, "Jerk!" He believes that the SUV behind us has put on his brights and is intentionally bothering him. He pulls over into the right lane so the SUV can pass - it's a BMW SUV with a license plate that reads MY2BABES.
In retaliation, my father-in-law puts on his own brights and rides the ass of MY2BABES, demanding to know, "How do you like it? Jerk!"
Minutes later, we pass the SUV, and I think, finally, the pissing contest is over. Little did I know, it had only just begun.
Brights glaring, MY2BABES nudges onto us until it's literally inches from our rear bumper.
"Motha' fucka'!" my in-law yells, and pounds on the gas.
The Suzuki speeds up...70...80...95...103 mph. We're weaving through traffic and the asphalt buzzing by beneath the car is making my spine vibrate. I look out the back window...MY2BABES has kept up with us the entire way.
My in-law jerks the car over to the side of the road, thinking that the SUV will continue on its way. No such luck...MY2BABES has pulled up behind us and is sitting there, ominous, its high beams illuminating the inside of our car.
"Motha' fucka'," my in-law reiterates, and peels back out onto the busy highway.
Looking back, MY2BABES is hot on our tail. Suddenly, I jerk forward in my seat as my in-law slams on the break, obviously in an attempt to scare MY2BABES (and, honestly, copying a move another car had done to us a few weekends previously when we had ridden that guy's ass at 80 mph with our brights on, again in retaliation for the other driver's having his brights on behind us at one point). Luckily, this particular idiotic stunt does not land us in a 20 car pile-up. We speed up to regain our ~100 mph velocity.
I now begin yelling our warnings, because the highway is starting to back up - we're approaching the round-about. We hit several cracks in the road, and our small car shutters. Slowing don to a mere 75 mph, our tires squeal as we enter the circle. I stare out the back window, hoping MY2BABES will be taking a different exit than we - but the lights continue to glare into our car.
Seeing that his insane speeds are doing nothingto deter the SUV, my in-law changes tactics - he slows down to 35 mph...the Palisades, at this point, is a single lane highway. Still, MY2BABES refuses to pass us.
Up ahead, we see the flashing lights of a police car. My in-law pulls over to the side of the road opposite the officer, forcing the SUV to abandon its intimidation. It finally passes. I breathe a sigh of relief.
Suddenly, I'm jerked back in my seat as my in-law, once again, takes off after MY2BABES.
By this point, I've become completely convinced that we were going to die. I'm screaming at my in-law, telling him that this is foolish, that this is just some ridiculous, testosterone-fueled pissing contest, that he needs to stop being stupid and realize that this was dangerous, and it's one thing if he was alone in the car, it's another when he's got his son and his daughter-in-law, and when we got up to the house I was KICKING HIS ASS!
We signaled to pull off the highway at our exit, and lo! MY2BABES was getting off at the same place. We approach the light at the end of the off-ramp, and signal, finally going our separate ways.
As we are sitting side-by-side at the light, I look over and see that the SUV's brights are off, and that one of its normal headlights is burnt out. He had been keeping his brights on so that he wouldn't get a ticket for having a headlight out.
The moral of the story? How the hell should know? I'm not an adrenaline junkie, and would be happy if my entire life passed without something like that happening again.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Princess versus MTA II

So, either I attract the crazies to me, or the MTA is strategically placing undercover agents in the stations it knows Il'l be using in the attempt to drive me insane...or disgust me to the point of unconsciousness.

I went out to dinner with my BF last night. Afterwards, we climbed the stairs to the el-train at 238th and Broadway. Stepping out onto the deserted platform, I look across to the other platform, and what do I see? Lo, the skinny, hairless naked ass of a grown man, twitching and jerking as he rubbed one off against the wall.

I gasped, BF laughed. The dude looked at us over his shoulder, and you could see his right arm start moving even faster. I walked down to the end of the platform where I wouldn't have to see shit like that.

So, as I was saying, either I have terrible luck, or the MTA is setting up things like this for me on purpose so I finally crack and they have to lock me in a padded cell.

Venting...buyer beware

I have this weakness, see. I like rocks. I've been collecting them since kindergarten. Literally. As I've grown, my tastes have matured to the point where I buy the majority of my specimens on eBay. In the beginning of January, I purchased a specimen of red vanadinite crystals on barite. I paid for it using paypal immediately upon winning the auction. For all the other items I had won, I was contacted by the seller within a couple days. With this seller, I didn't receive any contact. A week went by, no contact, no rock. I started to get worried. I emailed the seller, no response. I emailed her again, no response. I requested her phone number from ebay and called her, leaving a voice mail. No response. Called her and emailed her again later that week, no response.

Another week goes by, still no communication from the seller. I figured this asshole has just taken my money and run. I contacted paypal and opened a dispute to either get my damn rock, or get my money back. STILL NO FRICKIN' RESPONSE.

End of January rolls around, and finally, my rock arrives. I close the dispute with paypal and leave a neutral rating on the seller's profile, because while she was a shitty seller, the rock was nice.

Fast forward two months. The seller leaves a neutral rating on my feedback in mid-March. "Impertinent" is the entire feedback. How is that fair? Was it impertinent to call, email and dispute a seller that didn't contact the person who bought an item? What the hell kind of service is that?

Anyhow, the seller's ID is netfrogmedia_com. She lives in Texas. Avoid her at all costs.

She can just stab herself in the ear with a sharpened pencil.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Business in the front, party in the back

This morning, on my way to work, I was sitting on te bus and staring blankly out the window onto 57th Street. Soooooo tired. But lo! Do mine eyes deceive me? A good looking, late 20's gentleman, dressed relatively nicely (khaki jacket, pants that are a bit too tight, but not in an ironic way, and a woolen scarf wrapped thrice around his neck, which I simply can't overlook) with, quite possibly, the most glorious mullet I have ever seen. The top was moussed to perfection, and the back, so straight that it seemed it was straight-ironed, flowing to halfway down his back. On his shoulders he carried a simple black murse, and a shoulder bag...with mickey mouse on it.

Now, I thought to myself, is it possible that this young man's style is ironic? Is he a hipster? I like to think of myself as somewhat of an expert on hipsters. There were several arguments against his hipsterdom, however. First, he was spotted on W 57th Street, well outside of hipster territory (usually below 14th street). Secondly, he wore his hair and outfit entirely without irony. Is it possible that I have discovered a new species of hipster? If so, I think I shall call it Princessa Pious Hipsterus. Characterized by its unironic, but socially awkward and somewhat androgenous clothing and accessories, and its retro, yet historically accurate - indeed, perfected - hairstyle, and its willingness to explore and settle within new territory, the Princessa Pious Hipsterus will for certain shed new light on the evolution mechanism deep within he ironic brain. I shall have to search out more examples of this strange new species and perhaps even write a scientific paper on it, cataloging its social, familial and hunting habits.

Dude, I'm like Darwin.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Literature review - personal insights

I know this isn't literature, but I enjoy reading psychiatric anecdotal accounts. This one, about a woman with twenty four separate personalities, was especially interesting. I never read these for entertainment, but for comradeship. I am not a multiple personality, but I am a borderline personality. I don't lose time when my girls take over, but I don't have any control over when it happens. Indeed, I rarely notice until afterwards that one of the girls has taken the wheel. What did I learn? Even though, when my mood is neutral, I can logically look at my different mood swings and predict which girl will take over, (i.e. Lilia comes out when she's scared or very loved), I need to find out why my girls came to be to begin with. Understanding their purpose is the first step to integrating them into me.

I like reading these psychiatric accounts because I enjoy reading about their treatment, and the methods they used to get better. I was extremely impressed, and someone discomfited, by the amount of interest The Flock's author took in her patient. I appreciate all the therapists she went to that didn't believe in her diagnosis, didn't listen to her when she felt she was in crisis, and just thought she was being manipulative.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who knows a multiple personality (now called dissociative identity disorder), and even to anyone who knows a Borderline personality. It won't make it any easier to live with, but it will make it more understandable, and that's really all you can ask.

Princess versus the MTA

All along, I've always considered my arch-nemesis to be a person. This morning, I realize that it's not a person, but the Metro Transit Authority of New York City.

Let me explain. Since moving to this ridiculous city in 2002, I've been accosted, frightened by, and followed by fellow passengers. I've been made to feel stupid by MTA employees. I've been made late, lost, sent to the wrong part of the city, all because of inaccurate signage in various subway stations or bus routes. Sure, sure, blame it all on my inattentiveness, but I'm convinced that the MTA could be much clearer in its instructions to passengers.

This morning, I was running about ten minutes late. It doesn't seem like that big of a time crunch, but if I leave my apartment at 7:30, I will get to work by 8:30. However, if I leave at 7:40, I will get there at 9. So the fact that I left at 7:50 today, dude, not cool.

I didn't get down to Columbus Circle until 8:35. Stupid subway didn't come for forever. As luck would have it, however, the M31 bus was there at 57th Street waiting for me. Yay. So I got on, procured a seat and took out my book. I vaguely registered that the driver was all of a sudden laying on his horn and we weren't moving. I didn't pay much attention, because this kind of crap happens all the time. I got lost in my book.

I emerged from my chapter 20 minutes later and looked out the window. We were still at Columbus Circle. What the hell? I thought. I realized the driver was still laying on his horn. I looked out the front window of the bus, and see this black SUV parked in the bus lane, and the bus was literally on his ass so close, we were stuck. Obviously, the driver was trying to intimidate the SUV into moving out of the bus lane, but to no avail. Five minutes later, a DOT worker comes up to the bus and pounds on the door. The driver opens it and the dude boards.

"What the hell are you doing?" the DOT worker yells. "There's no one in that car!"

We've been stuck behind an SUV, trying to get it to move out of the way, and there was no one in the driver's seat!

I look at my watch: 9:00. I was supposed to be at work right now. The ride from Columbus Circle to my hospital is a 30 minute ride with no traffic, so now I was going to be ridiculously late.

So thanks, MTA, for making my morning so exciting with your idiotic drivers and their idiotic antics. I hope that strike two years ago was well worth it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

In the country

Driving down off the mountain

Driving down the street

Otterkill Farm

Trestle on Otterkill

Donkeys, don't ya know

too cute

A little compassion, please is one of my very favorite websites ever. I have learned more there than probably from all my classes put together my first semester in college. A recent article published on the website paralleled my situation a couple years ago, but one of the comments to the article hit such douche bag proportions, that I'm kind of left at a loss for words.

This woman who was recently out of college had a difficult time getting a steady job. I can relate - the job market is tough. She had her student loans through Sally Mae - a private lending firm. After she graduated, they wanted her to make $400 a month payments, which, honestly, is outrageous for someone right out of college. They've threatened to garnish her wages, and frightened her so badly, that she's changed her phone number so they couldn't contact her. Now that she's gotten a steady job, and has had to it four months, and is ready to start making payments on her student loan - just not $400 a month - she wants to speak with them about arranging income-based payments, but is afraid to contact them for fear that they'll either make her pay the full amount per month, or garnish her wages.

This is the comment that got posted:

"Why do we place such an incredibly large financial burden on those who are going to significantly help the economy"

Apparently not so much in her case, since she can't even get a decent job. Lenders ought to ask about the student's major before lending the money.

by jimv2000.

How does he know what her situation is. And lenders ought to ask majors before lending? So, what, no loans for liberal arts majors? How does he know she's not pre-law?

Anyway, if you'd like to email him to bring to light his immense douche baggery, he can be reached at

Friday, March 21, 2008

One more reason Disney is evil

I found this little tidbit on

In the mid-1960's, a cartoon debuted in America called Kimba, The White Lion. It featured an orphaned white lion buc whose late father, Caesar, occasionally appears in the clouds to advise him. There was also a wise baboon that servedas Kimba's mentor. According to Disney's legal team, though, any similarities to Simba and The Lion Kingare purely coincidental.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Literature review

I am an avid reader, going through about two or three books per week, sometimes more. I finished the above book, "Mistress of the Art of Death", this morning on my way to work. It takes a lot for a book to get me to read it cover to cover. I was sad when this one was over.

It takes place in feudel England. A serial killer has been mutilating and killing children, and an expert in "death", basically a medical examiner, is sent from Sicily to assist in discovering who the killer is. The twist is that the expert is a woman, and in this time period, women are not allowed to practice medicine, and Jews have been accused of the murder, because the Christians of Cambridgeshire believe Jews to torture and kill children for pleasure.

The book also examines the hold the church had over its populice and the king, and how people reacted to papal rule.

Anyhoo, there is romance, intrigue, it is fast-paced, easy to follow, and the characters are relatable. I was immensely impressed with this book.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Balls are my business

We had a surprise 60th birthday party for my boss today. I still can't get over that we were able to keep it a surprise. He walked by my desk while I was writing out the invites, and a fellow faculty member called him to apologize not being able to come to the party, and he was like, "what party?". Not to mention the fact that everyone in the department knew about it, I cannot believe no one opened their mouth to him about it.

Anyhoo, this is the cake we got for my boss, because he's a ball doctor. Balls are his business. I love my office.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tickle Me Emo

This was, unfortunately, me as a teenager. Mom, I'm sorry.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Brain suckers

I overheard this incredibly asinine conversation on the subway this morning. It was between a young man and a young woman, both about my age. As I was eavesdropping, I was thinking, holy shit, this is really asinine, I should remember this so I can share it with my friends. Only, it was so incredibly asinine, that I can't remember the vast majority of what was said. I do recall, however, the gentleman saying, "yeah, my mom was hanging out with my dad, and I said to my mom, 'mom, you're, like, really intense,' you know?". And his female companion laughed with delighted mirth for some reason unbeknownst to yours truly.

Oh, and she was wearing a necklace that said "Zoe", either so she can remember her own name, lest she forget, or so she can remember someone else's name, which would be creepy.

Happy birthday, Albert!

Because today is also Albert Einstein's birthday. If you can find the pi in the picture, you're a NER-DUH

I have one, too

A further ode to pi...

In a round-about, not exactly, kind of way. Hey, man, chemists use pi, too. To, like, measure volume and circumference and stuff.


The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid term examination paper. The answer was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, which is why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law, which is that "gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed" or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, lets look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Teresa Banyan during my freshman year, "...that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you.", and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then option 2 cannot be true, and thus 1 am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.

The student received the only A.

In celebration of Pi Day...

Here are some answers by some frustrated high school students.

HAPPY PI DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What do you call the ratio of a pumpkin's circumference to its diameter?


That's right. Dorky mathematicians UNITE! Throughout the day, I'll be posting hilarious math jokes. Just watch me, suckers.

And for those of you who don't know, today is Pi Day. Because, duh, look at the title of this post. It's pi day because today is 3-14. Get it?

Still no? Pi can be approximated at 3.14. Approximated because pi is infinite, see. Transcendental, even. I proved it, once. In my college thesis. It was called "Pi". I'll send you a copy, if you want. It's about 76 pages.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Never Piss off the Secretary

There are certain rules I live by, and by which I think other people should live. Mainly (and I’m probably biased here), I think of all the people in the world you shouldn’t piss off, it’s secretaries. Because, honestly, you really think you’re going to get what you need by irritating the hell out of me?

When calling the doctor’s office to make an appointment, if I say, “My first available appointment is Tuesday, March 25”, don’t ask me if I might have something on Friday the week before. There’s a reason I said, “My first available appointment is…”. And please, please, don’t whine at me, “Oh, you don’t have anything sooner?”

Furthermore, if you ask a question, such as, “should my husband get any testing before he comes to see the doctor?” and I respond, “no, the doctor likes to request testing once he’s examined the patient,” don’t say, “maybe I’ll email the doctor and ask him anyway.” DUDE! I’ve been working here long enough to know what my boss prefers and what he doesn’t! Stop second guessing me. If you’re not going to trust my answer, why ask me in the first place? Maybe you don’t believe me because I’m just a secretary, so how smart could I possibly be? It doesn’t occur to you that maybe I actually did graduate with a BA in mathematics, and might have more than two blonde brain cells.

So, seriously, shut the shit up stop arguing with me. This will go so much easier for you. And honestly, I’m more inclined to help you if you’re nice.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Strange potties

And as a reward for listening to my long-winded claptrap, I present you with...


Man, I'm tired.


I don't really know what to say. It's been a bad frickin' week. I lost someone very dear to me; she was far too young to go. The funeral was today, and there was a priest giving a service in the evening. I'm not religious, but if I was, I'm Jewish, so needless to say, I was a bit lost by all the standing and sitting and the call and response style prayer. He talked a lot about moving on from one part of life to another, and being at peace. I stopped believing in god when I was about 12. No one really swayed my opinion one way or the other, despite what various members of my family might think. I was just in a place in life where analysis, science and proof were very important to me. Religious, heaven and hell, god and what not, all seemed like a convenient excuse that people made up to explain what they could not. To give a reason to existence.

But, I, too, am human, and had tried to come up with a decent explanation to what happens to us after death. I think that being a ghost would be cool, but my analytical 12 year-old brain simply wouldn't allow such rubbish. I have since come up with a a couple theories, none of which involve divine reward or punishment.

The theory that I like to fall back on most is the most concise: think. What do you remember before you were born? (Take this moment to think about it...) Well, that there void in memory is what's going to happen after you die.

See what I mean? Simple, straight forward, logical. But I'm still left with the question: why? Why be here at all? My answer to this question came to be slowly, and has evolved over the years. It's not at all simple, and it's kind of rambling, so if you decide to read on, please bear with me, I'm going to state my case in the format of a mathematical proof (i.e. putting forth several statements, seemingly unrelated, and then tying them into one another).


A. Our bodies are made up of molecules. Each individual atom is part of something larger, that works with the rest of us to get our bodies up and moving and trying to make sense of the universe. Take the bacteria that live in our digestive tracts. They're just chilling in there, eating my digested food, helping me poo. They don't realize that they're part of the greater good of making my digestive tract run smoothly. Bear with me, I'm going somewhere with this.

B. All of the atoms and molecules that exist in the universe originally were created within the oven in the center of a star. The earlier the star existed in the history of the universe, the simpler the element (i.e. hydrogen, etc). Early star explodes, and those atoms go blasting hither and yon, only to coalesce into new stars further down the line. This new star takes these basic elements and fuses them into more complex elements, and when this new star explodes, those new, slightly more complex elements go blasting hither and yon, only to coalesce, yada yada yada. Fast forward to the beginning of our solar system, when the sun and the nine planets (yes, I know, I'm still not willing to give up Pluto, so sue me) were nothing but a dust disc slowly revolving in space. That dust came from that line of stars that made those ever more complex elements and then spewed them into space. Fast forward to November 6, 1980. My mommy gave birth to me. I am made of elements. Elements that had originally been created in stars billions of years ago. Hence, I am made of star dust.

C. There exists a Dannon yogurt that puts various bacteria into your system that helps boost your immune system, and that helps you poo regularly.

Postulate: Humans are the universe's way of learning about itself. (says Carl Sagan)

Argument: Since people are literally made of star dust, literally made by the universe, is it possible that we were put here intentionally? Created in star-labs so the universe could learn about itself? Are we just bacteria used by something greater to serve a purpose? A purpose so large, that we don't even realize that it's there?

I know it seems so far-fetched. I'm rereading that and thinking, good grief, what a pile of horse dookey. But what if the universe is like some curious child experimenting with its new existence? Toddlers put stuff in their mouths.

I'm just saying, if people can believe that some omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being created us in his image for no good reason, why couldn't this even be entertained as a credible possibility? It would, at least, give us purpose.

But then, it is 3:30 in the morning, and I've had a very long week, and a lot of quiet time to think about this.

See you in the next supernova.