Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Biggest Post Hurricane/Storm Gripe I've Heard From Most New Yorkers

Having to make our own coffee, because everywhere is closed this morning!!

I suppose if that's all most of us have to worry about life is pretty good :-)

Well it's raining...

....a lot!! But other than hearing it lash against the window it's been a pretty mild hurricane/tropical storm/tropical depression experience for me personally. I'm slightly disappointed not to have heard more howling winds outside.

I looked out of my window at 7.15am this morning and do you see that orange thing between the cars? The restaurant down the street had 4 of them weighting down the door to their cellar, so it must have been blown down the street during the night, but that seems to be the extent of the damage on my street, so all in all pretty tame thank goodness.

All I'm seeing from friends' postings on Facebook so far are reports of leaks and sleepless nights, but nothing more.

The eye of the storm is supposed to be passing over us right now so I'm sure as the morning progresses I'll hear reports of downed trees and power lines, but fingers crossed no casualties.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Not So Much As a Sniff Of Hunkering In Virginia Beach

Battened Down!!

So I'm not sure about the rest of the city, but there's a palpable air of excitement about the approach of Hurricane Irene (follow Irene on twitter here, she was in 'spin' class the last time I checked. Ho ho!!) on the Upper East Side. Some people are almost giddy in fact. It is quite thrilling I admit, as long as no-one gets hurt of course and I suppose fears are assuaged somewhat when you live in one of the gray areas on the evacuation map that isn't expected to be in any danger of floods as a result of storm surges and you get to ride out the storm within the comfort of your own apartment.

It was almost business as usual for me this morning; my 8.15am Total Body Conditioning class was still on at NYSC and there were tons of people using the treadmills on the main floor of the gym. Supposedly the location nearest me is operating as usual with the exception of the classes which are cancelled after 11am. I'm surprised they're not closing earlier. They normally stay open until 9pm on Saturdays and Debs told me yesterday that even though the worst of Irene was expected between 2am and 4pm on Sunday the city was recommending people not be outside between 9pm Saturday and 9pm Sunday, so how are the staff expected to get home, especially with the MTA stopping all services at noon today?? Hmmmm!!! Hopefully they will all be safe. Even the Fairway Market that had tweeted they likely wouldn't be open today ended up opening from 6am - 10am, although Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds were all closed.* I popped into Fairway and got a few bits - cut fruit, milk, tofu, the usual hurricane essentials ha ha - it was busy but not insane and the shelves looked to be as full as they usually are. I was reading yesterday that there were bread shortages, but Fairway had a decent amount this morning and there hadn't been a run on the beer aisle. Perhaps wine and cocktails are the drinks of choice for a hurricane. I've definitely seen a lot of Facebook postings from people planning to hit up the liquor store and stock up -
personally I'm going to have a teetotal hurricane experience - and according to one friend there were about a 100 people in line at the Trader Joe's wine store near Union Square last night. The line to pay at Fairway was pretty long too, but most people were pretty mellow about the situation and I got to check out some of the Upper East Side hotties while I queued. Silver linings ;-)

Anyway I'm pretty much all set for Irene. I've got 3 flashlights, lots of spare batteries, something like 5 gallons of bottled water plus a couple of large containers of tap water in the freezer should I need to use them for cooling other foods if
the power goes out. I heard on the news that Coned is considering preemptively cutting the power in downtown Manhattan below Canal St, which is the area they are expecting to be most at risk for flooding. I also have:

- Season 5 of Dexter on DVD
- Two fully charged laptops, two fully charged cell phones and a fully powered Kindle
- 4 Cadbury's Curly Wurlies
- Cans of tuna
- A loaf of wholewheat bread

I also have a bunch of fresh food that I've cooked up and just need to reheat, power permitting. I also plan to fill the bathtub with water later tonight, just in case I should need it for flushing the loo. Just have to pack my 'go bag' and I'm ready.

According to the latest weather report Irene has apparently been downgraded to a category 1 hurricane, but we can still expect 40-50mph sustained winds, with the potential for 80mph gusts. Later in the day on Sunday we're expecting sunshine and a high of 81F, which just seems bizarre. The city is taking it extremely seriously anyway, too seriously some say, speculating that Mayor Bloomberg is very keen to avoid another f*** up on the scale of the mismanagement of last year's post Christmas blizzard. Better safe than sorry in my view. The fact that some residents of low lying areas that are under mandatory evacuation order are deciding to stay put just beggars belief.

"I built my castle, I gotta protect my stuff," said one buffoon who plans to ride out the storm in Far Rockaway.

How exactly is he expecting to protect his possessions from a hurricane? Is he under the impression that if he lays on the top of his stuff he can stop it from blowing away? Board up the windows and get yourself to a safe(r) area you big numpty; your stuff isn't worth having if you're dead!!!

Other than watching back to back episodes of Dexter I plan to get my domestic on this weekend and have a whole pile of clothing that's either missing buttons or has come undone at the seams, so it's on with the TV and out with the sewing kit and then cleaning, so that the place gets a good scrubbing before my parents arrive in a couple of weeks. Bring it on Irene, hopefully it will be a storm in a teacup, but stay safe kids!!

*Make my OWN coffee??? Seriously ;-)

3pm. It's excruciatingly humid but very quiet out there right now.

P.S. In other nature related news there have now been TWO large sharks spotted off Mission Beach in San Diego. Two!!! There go next week's surfing lessons for sure :-(

Friday, 26 August 2011

Irene Schmirene

The media is quite excited by the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene, but I've not seen any of my colleagues muster anything more than a shrug, although the city does seem to be taking it incredibly seriously. All subway, rail and bus services are being suspended at noon tomorrow, which is having a knock on effect on local businesses and services having to close since their employees won't be able to get home and Fairway grocery store just tweeted that they are likely to be closed tomorrow and encouraged people to shop today. Hmmmm!!

The more I read online the more nervous I get about the windows being blown in and I must have checked the evacuation zone map 5 times already despite the fact that it doesn't change and my apartment is multiple blocks away from even a green evacuation zone and is highly unlikely to experience any flooding as a result of storm surges, but still...

Okay enough anxiety...I'm disconnecting myself from Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Oh great, now I'm reading that a San Diego beach was evacuated after a possible large shark sighting. There go the surf lessons!! "Oh shit," was Megan's response, "but if it's your time, it's your time. At least it would be cool to be eaten by a shark."

Um...I bloody beg to differ, it would NOT be in the least bit cool to be eaten by a shark!!

Megan: if it's our time to be eaten by shark or blown away by hurricane, it's our time to go.

Me: Yeah I suppose, but I think it's been close to 2years since I've gotten any, I can't die re-virginized. Let's go see who's left on the creative floor. The gorgeous grey haired bloke you like was here earlier, you could try him ;)

Megan: haha!

P.S. Just heard of a tweet that the CVS pharmacy on 42nd and 10th Avenue is out of paper products. Loo roll hoarders abound!!!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


I love Bombay Bicycle Club!!

Okay so I know it's a long range forecast...

...and that it's about as accurate as the weather forecast, but still I was pretty impressed when I saw the estimated swell height for Rockaway Beach on Sunday at noon per the chart below.

19 feet!!!

19 feet!!! Can you imagine? That's Hurricane Irene for you. Seriously if we expect to even come close to waves that large I'm expecting some poor bugger from the news to be dispatched out to the beach to report from the scene. I think it was barely 1.5feet when I was there last Saturday. I keep checking the forecast as I had been hoping to take another lesson this weekend to get in a bit more practice before my lessons in San Diego* next week, but even on Saturday they are forecasting 7 footers, too much for this novice, but I'm tempted to take the train out there to watch other people try.

*My father, who has the physique of a heavier George Costanza, plans to join me for a surf lesson or two in San Diego. I was kind of joking when I suggested it, so I am a bit surprised he's actually up for it, but good for him. I just hope he has medical insurance.


Earthquake in NYC, just a small one, but still, an earthquake!!! The office was all a flutter for a good 15 minutes. I was walking purposefully back to my desk at the time and one of my colleagues said that the water in her glass moved and for a moment she thought it was ME!!! Cheeky be-atch!! What am l, the T-Rex off Jurassic Park!!!!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Story Of My Life

I was perusing a few surfing forums yesterday for some information and came across this post on Smash Surf about a couple of surf related films that are showing at Anthology Archives next week. I sent the info to Megan as I know she's really into all things surf related* at the moment.

"Let's go," said Megan about 10 seconds after I'd pressed send on the email. "Are you in? I'll buy the tickets now!!"

Seriously she is REALLY into surfing just now.

The cost of the ticket includes complementary beverages provided by Barefoot wines as well as nibbles by Kind Healthy Snacks and VitaCoco (whatever VitaCoco is when it's at home. Are they the people that make those frozen muffin tops?)

Hmmmm, let me think, free wine plus a high potential for cute surfer boy eye candy...count me IN!!!

Here's a 2 minute trailer for one of the films. It appears to feature men from 70s/80s video dating sites spliced with surfing (!!!). The dating aspect hits very close to home at the moment given my current experiences with OkCupid and To be honest it almost feels a little *too* relevant right now, although I especially like the man dressed as a Viking!!

Thanks For The Dinner & The Sex from Waves Magazine on Vimeo.

*I enjoy all things surf related too, especially the ultra cute surf clothing that makes me look sporty and athletic and like I know what I am doing. Seriously we went to Boarders Surf Shop in Rockaway the other day and even though Megan asked all the questions, the young lad behind the counter addressed most of his responses to me.

"You looked the part, you were wearing Rip Curl board shorts," said Megan

Oh well, if that's all it takes to be a surfer... ;-)

P.S. A normal seeming man from Brooklyn emailed me via OkCupid today. Fingers crossed!!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Far Rockaway Outing

So no not much news to speak of re: online dating. I did get a few winks as a result of updating my photos and tweaking my profile last week, but they were primarily from out of shape men in their fifties who look older than my 60 year old father. Nooooooo!!! Am I expecting too much do you think to meet a man around my own age who is similarly interested in being healthy?

Truth be told I think I am expecting too much, at least where online dating is concerned, since I strongly suspect that men within 5 years - give or take - of my own age are not entering search criteria to look for 40 year old women - and OkCupid's research blog sort of backs me up on this one - so it's tumbleweeds out there quite frankly, and while I personally would not feel comfortable being one of those women who lies about her age I can completely understand why some women do it. It happens quite often as far as I can tell, well okay it happens to Nigel a lot (Nigel: about to turn 50 in 2months; dating search criteria women age 36-42!!!). He's always telling me about dates he's been on where within 15minutes of them sitting down to have a drink or some food the women will say, "um...I have a confession to make..." and it's always that she's shaved a few years off her actual age.

To give him his due Nigel doesn't seem to mind it too much - I think he's used to it now - but I personally hate the idea of starting out with a lie.

So this weekend I made up the surf lesson I'd missed due to illness last Friday and despite being one of those awful morning people - although you'll be pleased to know I'm not horribly perky about it - getting up at 6am on a Saturday to take the A subway train out to Far Rockaway for a 9-11am surfing lesson was definitely no picnic. It was so worth it though, I had the best day yesterday.

Happily Megan decided to join me for my lesson at the last minute so I didn't have to make the early morning trek out to Beach 67th street on my lonesome. The lesson was great fun. There were roughly 16 people who rocked up for the 9am class and for the most part we were all complete beginners. Megan probably had the most experience having taken 5 days of lessons in Costa Rica in May and then a week long surf camp in Bali in July, but otherwise the rest of us had either never taken a lesson or had taken just one or two. Well three in my case, but I didn't fess up to the instructors that I'd taken any, preferring to keep their expectations on the low side.

It was a different set up to my lessons last month in Santa Monica where I'd worked one on one with Dane, my instructor, and where I'd had a lot more help getting out to the right spot - okay I'll admit, he pretty much did all the work, there was no paddling out for me - and then he'd given my board a hefty push to help me catch the wave. This time we had to paddle out ourselves, although the waves were pretty small, so it wasn't anywhere near as strenuous as it could be, but I did learn how to turn myself around by making circles with my hand - "egg beaters egg beaters," our instructors would shout at us. Apparently you're supposed to paddle out sit and watch the horizon for a good wave and then when you spot the one you want to catch you're supposed to egg beater your board around speedily to face the beach and then start paddling hard to catch your wave. As far as this novice understands this is all supposed to happen in minutes, nay seconds, but it takes me a good 3 minutes to get myself facing the right way ha ha!! Oh well, I'm only 4 lessons in, I am sure it takes a good while to get used to it.

Once you'd paddled out and turned around, you then had to paddle over to an available instructor, or one would call you over - there were always a good 4 or 5 of them in the water helping the group out and one of the instructors told me after the lesson ended that they always try to have one instructor to every 2 to 4 people - who would look for good waves for us to catch, then it's paddle, paddle, paddle, UP....and wobble and fall into the ocean :-)

I also learned, and experienced, all the joy that is known in surf terms as 'pearling' - although given this is also slang for certain sexual activities Megan and I were a bit 'ewww' regarding the use of this particular terminology - but in surfing terms it's when the nose of your board dives below the water, usually because your weight is too far forward on the board and you get thrown. To avoid it you can scoot back and arch your back so that your weight is to the back of the board, but it's all easier said than done when you are actually in the water, although I did manage it once with an instructor's coaching and he said I did a good job, so there's hope for me yet. I think all the back strengthening exercises I do in Pilates helped a lot.

Anyway after 2 hours of falling off my board I was famished having had not so much as a sniff of coffee before my lesson, because I don't want to find myself in dire need of a bathroom mid-lesson. I know, I know, I could just tinkle in the ocean - Megan admitted that's what she does. I know, ewww, but I am sure she is not alone, but what can I tell you I just can't physically bring myself to do it. I tried when I was in Santa Monica, but I just couldn't even though I was desperate to go having had a large latte a couple of hours before, however I realized if it was to happen I'd have to really concentrate and force myself and then the expression on my face would totally give away what I was up to, so I personally find it's best to avoid eating and drinking anything for a few hours ahead of time, because I'll tell you this for nothing, laying on a surf board with a full bladder is not in the least bit fun.

We headed up to Beach 106th Street - about a 30minute walk - for a well deserved latte from Blue Bottle Coffee and I split a cheese, plantain and avocado arepa with Megan from Caracas Arepas. So delicious!!

Whiskey the rescue dog, a lovely sweet Beagle mix, waiting online for her cup of Joe.

Whiskey sported a Yankees cap to shield her eyes from the sun. Apparently the sun is very tough on dogs' eyes and can cause cataracts. Who knew? Not me obviously.

Hammocks are available for a post lunch snooze after you've enjoyed your Arepas and coffee.

Hibiscus soda. Mmmmmmmmmm

Lining up to order at the Rockaway Taco shack at Beach 96th St and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

Cute bearded hipster blokes man the shack kitchen.

Fish tacos are the classic choice, and very tasty they are too, but they are deep fried and I was in the mood for something a little healthier so I plumped for the deluxe* tofu taco (left) while vegetarian Megan had the quesadilla with cheese and plantains (right).

*deluxe tacos are $4 and include guacamole. I could eat one right now!!

We ended our beach day with a beer at the Bungalow Bar & Restaurant before catching the subway back to Manhattan.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Putting a bit more effort in

So yesterday I decided that I needed to make some changes to my online dating profile to see if that would I had better luck in attracting normal blokes, so I spent some time tweaking my profile on Match and OkCupid.

I have to say Match has not been great for me at all so far and I ended up cancelling my membership after the only men that contacted me were all really far away: Idaho, North Carolina, Ontario, Toronto, Switzerland. Yup, Switzerland...not even on the same CONTINENT!! What is wrong with these men? The Swiss guy even went so far as to email me twice to try and set up a meeting when he visited NY for a week. Um....!!! I never responded. Before you ask I did double check my profile to make sure there was no weird zip code setting throwing everything off and no, it's all fine, there just seems to be an inordinate amount of men interested in the idea of a long distance relationship I suppose. Anyway I've cancelled my membership with Match for now, but I still have a few weeks to go so I thought I'd make an effort.

Oh and btw Match, don't think it's gone unnoticed that the matches I am receiving after cancelling my subscription and saying no thank you to renewing at 50% off have exponentially increased in their attractiveness!!! Either Match was holding out on me before OR - as Orla suspects - these are fake profiles and these attractive men that are supposedly a good match for me don't actually exist!!


Between you and me I wouldn't put it past them.

Megan had decided to invite a few of the girls over for dinner at her place last night - amazing ricotta crostini with honey and toasted hazlenuts. Mmmm - so I got ready a bit earlier than I needed to and before I left I fiddled about with the auto-timer on my camera and took some snaps of myself in my strappy sundress - slightly more flesh on show than my other photos, but nooooo nothing slutty. For goodness sake, what kind of woman do you take me for!!! - while my hair and make up had yet to be messed up by the elements and uploaded the best of those photos along with another one of me on the Inca Trail - looking active, but not too smelly I hope - to both Match and OkCupid and then left for dinner where I had a fabulous time talking crap for hours on end with the girls and selflessly helping Megan rid herself of some of the many bottles of wine she's accumulated over the years before she moves out of the apartment she's currently still sharing with her ex-fiance, because she doesn't want to have to pack tons of wine up and pay to move it.

By the way can you IMAGINE that particular living situation, sharing a one bedroom apartment with your ex-fiance? They rarely see each other because their schedules are opposite, but still, it can't be a barrel of laughs eh?

Anyway when I checked this morning I was pleased to see that I'd received two messages from prospects via OkCupid **AND** had been made a FAVOURITE by another OKC member plus an actual real live New York residing member of - a very very cute one too - had also sent me a message.

Yay!! My plan was working!!

I mean, so what that one of the OKCupid messages was from a 23 year old - seriously 23!! I'd exchanged a couple of emails with him too before I realized too. He wasn't the most verbose individual so I'd decided to read his profile for some background information and well I was a bit shocked to say the least when I saw his age. In my defense he doesn't look that young in his photo; or that the man who favourited me had the profile name 'Nudesunlover'** - no prizes for guessing what he likes to do on weekends, although I can't help but wince at the thought of him getting sunburn on his sensitive bits. Yikes!! Although nice for him that he doesn't have a farmer's tan I suppose if you're into that type of thing; or that the cute man from Match ended up asking me - after 2 somewhat saucy emails I'll admit, although he started it - if I'd meet him for sex. I mean it's a start right? A step in the right direction? Ha ha, ohhh you have to laugh!!

**Not his actual profile name of course, but close enough for you to get an accurate picture of his interests.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Hee hee!!

Bit late to this particular party not having any of those fancy cable channels on which to enjoy Flight Of The Conchords, but Scott Mills brought it to my attention this week. LOVE IT!!

It's an excellent piss take of this ball of cheese!!

What's that weirdo smiling at?

So I ended up missing yesterday morning's surfing lesson due to illness. I'm not sure what was going on, but I woke up to my alarm at 6am feeling queasy, had some tea and dry toast in the hope of calming things down and about 15minutes later I ran, nay sprinted, to the bathroom and - sorry TMI I know - threw it all back up. Ugh!! My balance was also seriously off kilter too so popping up on a surf board was out of the question - I tried a few test pop ups on my bed* and uh-oh, so not good. On the positive side I did feel very very thin as I laid on my futon watching Live Free Die Hard - gotta love free movies on demand - so perhaps it's not entirely impossible that I might lose 5lbs and slip into that bikini in San Diego in a few weeks. Silver linings!!

The surf school were kind enough to let me reschedule my lesson for next weekend without forfeiting any deposit, which was very nice of them and I am hoping my friend Deesha will be able to make that lesson too. She's expressed a keen interest in giving it a try and said she's free next weekend and the following one, but unlike me she's not one of life's morning people, so I think having to get up early on a weekend to take the subway out to Far Rockaway will be a deal breaker, but I'm hopeful I can lure her there with the promise of Caracas Arepas and Blue Bottle coffee - the best!! - as a post surfing treat.

I'm not entirely sure what was going on stomach wise, I don't suspect anything that I ate, I think I was probably just run down, nevertheless I am taking things easy and swearing off the drink and foods that could potentially unsettle my stomach, like the bag of wasabi peas I just threw out because they were batting their eyelashes at me and giving me that come hither look, wasabi+iffy tummy=not a good combo and I knew I would give in to temptation if I did not take drastic action.

By 3pm yesterday I was about 90% back to normal - managed to keep down a potato - so I kept my dinner plans at Madera in Long Island City with Melissa and Orla and decided that I may as well keep the brunch date I had scheduled for today at 1pm with Brooklyn Mike at Max Brenners** - I'd been tempted to cancel given the state I was in - however Brooklyn Mike had other ideas as when I got home from dinner with the girls I had an email from him saying "I'm sorry, but I have to cancel our date tomorrow as I have started seeing someone, Mike."

Now I know this is entirely the wrong attitude, but I couldn't help but think "Yayyyyyyyyy!!" when I saw his note. Nothing against Brooklyn Mike who seemed like a nice guy based on the emails we exchanged, but I'm feeling a bit worn down by the whole online dating thing at the moment, although I'm trying to stick with it since you've got to be in it to win it right and you never know when the right person will come along, but between ketchup boy last week; Pedicab Owning bloke who left me perverted emails and texts - I blocked him sharpish; older surfer bloke who turned up 30-minutes late and barely shrugged an apology; Joe who turned up to our date wearing a t-shirt that looked like it had been lining the dog basket only hours before; the background actor who talked incessantly about himself as if the whole date was a dry run for an upcoming interview on Inside The Actors Studio and....well you get the picture and it's exhausting!! I was flipping through Time Out New York when I got home last night for weekend inspiration and had to laugh when I came across a listing for a free discussion
at the New York Public Library next Wednesday: "The Evil Men Do: Inside the Mind of the Sexual Predator," where a panel of crime writers speak with a psychologist about what it means to dive into the mind of the deranged. I think attending that would be all I'd need to push me over the edge of never dating again. Ha ha!!

Speaking of men I bumped into my ex, Tel Aviv, last week as I walked home through the park after a Total Body Conditioning class. I'd walked into the park from West 68th street, right by where Tavern On The Green used to be and I noticed this guy about 20 feet in front of me staring intently and smiling in my direction.

"What's that weirdo smiling at?" I thought and then immediately dismissed the fact that he was looking at me and decided he must be smiling at someone behind me, but as I drew closer it became apparent that he was staring at me and as we drew level he turned said to me "really, really, it's been so long that you don't recognize me?" which is when I clicked it was Tel Aviv ha ha!! Clearly a boost to his ego, not. Well to be fair it has been almost 4-years since we dated.

We caught up as we walked across the park to East 72nd street. He's doing well, he seemed much the same except he's now married with a 7-month old daughter and living on the Upper West Side. I think that's why I didn't connect the weirdo smiling at me with it being him since I never expected to run into him uptown. He lived in the Financial District when we dated, so seeing him above 14th street was out of context for me. I had to laugh when he gave me shit for working too hard and not having enough fun in my life. This from a man whose idea of a fun weekend was to go to the Borders across the street and sit in the cafe reading IT books!! Please!! As we closed in on 72nd and 5th he turned to me and said that he really wanted to apologize for the way he ended things.

Sigh, eyeroll.

"It's fine, it was 4-years ago, it's water under the bridge," I responded
"But I want to apologize," he said
"Seriously, there's no need."
"Well, okay, I admit, I need to apologize to make myself feel better."

Yeah, whatever, go ahead apologize to absolve your own conscience then. Seriously why do men feel the need to do that so long after the fact? It's not in the least bit meaningful to me 4 years down the road, it's better to just shut up and leave it be to my mind because quite frankly I'm only going to think less of you for indulging your own need to clear your conscience and not being man enough to say something at the time of the break up, but hey, you go ahead.

*Fellow pop-up practitioners I came across this handy tip for practicing pop ups on your bed via the ehow surf tips video and here - the embed code seems to be a bit iffy - below as a good way of simulating the instability of the ocean and I've found it to be an effective way to practice.

**His suggestion not mine. I did balk at his choice of restaurant since it comes across a bit theme-y for my tastes and I'm not a massive lover of sweet dishes which I am assuming are their specialty since the restaurant's tag line is 'Chocolate by the bald man', but admittedly I am a bit of a restaurant snob and he did win brownie points for actually suggesting a place since I find that most men ask me out and then ask me to do the work of coming up with a place to meet at.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Some people have real problems...

...but I'm going to complain anyway.

Ugh I felt like a total disaster this morning. I had to head directly to a client meeting downtown for a 2 hour discussion of marketing mix modeling - joy of my existence - and it did not help that I spent a good 10 minutes scrambling around trying to find my glasses - unsuccessfully!! I was so frustrated I almost cried, not that impending woman's week is making me overly emotional or anything.
Fortunately the presentation was projected on a massive screen and I got myself a plum spot right at the front, so I didn't have to squint too much. I was hoping to find my glasses on my desk when I got to the office, but it was not to be!! Harumph!! Maybe I'll find them under a cushion when I get home tonight.

The day has improved a bit anyway and I was feeling good about managing to graduate to using the 15lb weights on the chest flies at total body conditioning last night. Yay!! I'm trying to up the fat burning quotient a bit further over the next few weeks as I am still somewhat hopeful of feeling good about wearing a bikini when I am in San Diego in a few short weeks, especially as I just ordered a new retro polka dot one from that was on sale. I was 112lbs the last time I confidently bikini'd; I'm 117lbs now with a bit more of a belly pooch than I would like, but you never know, maybe I'll manage to lose 5lbs in the next 3 weeks. #Fatchance.

Cute eh*!!

*Although admittedly I am somewhat concerned about the size of those pants since they look rather large don't they, although I admit I sometimes hanker for the days when swimwear like this was de rigeur!!

P.S. A guy who was recommended to me as an OKCupid match by their algorithm has the handle "Meat[NAME]4Fun." I am not sure what to make of that, did he intend to write "meet", in which case he is a terrible speller or did he actually mean to write "meat"?? In which case...ooer, is that some modern sexual practice I am not versed in that the kids are all doing these days?

Megan thinks I should message him to find out more. Not bloody likely!! Anyway time for Pilates!!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Blimey!! UK Riots and OKCupid Date!!

I am just listening to/half watching the live BBC coverage of the riots in the UK. Mental!! I can't quite get my head around it, especially when they break from the doom and gloom of the day and a cheery Scotsman comes on and chats about the weather. Surreal, although the cockles of my heart were warmed when I saw people naming and shaming the culprits on Twitter (#nameandshame) and organising clean ups (#riotcleanup)!!

Ugh, what a day!!

On a personal positive at least I have vacation to look forward to as I am heading out west again in a mere 3 weeks - San Diego this time. I'm meeting my parents there for a week at the beach and more surfing lessons!! I am trying to eat v v healthy so that I feel good in my swimsuit, but I feel as if I am fighting a losing battle at the moment as woman's week is due on Friday - nice timing for my next surf lesson this weekend in the Far Rockaways #not!!!! - and I have the appetite of a hippopotamus!! I woke up in the middle of the night last night with my heart pounding only to be scared to death by a dark shape at the foot of my bed. I think I may have been having traumatic dreams having read about an instance during the Ealing riots - an area of London where I lived for 5 or 6 years - of a woman who woke up to find two men in her bedroom. Yikes!! Fortunately the dark shape looming over the foot of my bed turned out to be my vacuum cleaner. Phew!! Thank heavens it was nothing, but it still took a glass of milk - skim of course - and the last 5 of the Trader Joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups (333.33 calories) to calm me down. Ooops!!

So I had my second OK Cupid date with C____ on Saturday night. I really didn't want to go, but then I am never inclined to go on any internet dates, so I forced myself to meet him, because you never know right?


This time was perhaps one of those occasions when I really should have listened to that little voice in my head that said 'call it off, stay home, watch a movie, get some ice cream,' but instead I listened to the other voice that said "Oh for God's sake just go, it would be rude to call it off now and you never know, it might be fun, you might really like him!!"

I took a chance anyway and we met at Veselka's in the East Village, where we split a plate of pierogis and he ordered a burger and I had mushroom barley soup - I really wasn't so hungry. It was fine anyway, but I was pretty tired after the fairy elephant upstairs woke me up by stomping around between the hours of 2am and 5am - what was she DOING that involved her walking back and forth so frequently at such an hour? - but I made an effort to engage in conversation and ask him about himself, but he just didn't have a lot to say that held my interest and I just knew a 3rd date wasn't on the cards, especially when I asked him if he'd travelled much.

C___: Not really
Fish: Do you like to travel?
C___: Um, yes, I guess so

Fish: Where would you like to visit that you haven't been yet?

Wait for it....

…I am amazed I kept a straight face at his response. I mean seriously if you were someone who hadn’t travelled much in your life and a romantic prospect asked you where you would most like to go, essentially giving you the world to choose from, what are the chances you would respond as my date did and say.......

C___: Detroit



Now nothing against Detroit, I am sure it has some lovely bits, but that’s his first choice, out of everywhere in the entire WORLD???? The world!!!

I’ll tell you this for nothing, he won’t be getting any mini-break action with me if that’s his idea of an ideal destination.

I also did not appreciate the way he repeatedly dipped the fork he'd eaten from directly into the wide necked ketchup bottle to ladle ketchup onto his burger and then used the very same fork to cut the pierogis we were sharing - we ordered one of each flavour and were halving them - leaving the edges coated. Ugh!! Stomach churning!!

I am never ever eating ketchup in a restaurant again. EVER!!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Southern California Interlude

So a few days ago I returned from my very first trip away on my lonesome and, to coin a popular American adjective, it was AWESOME. I was in Santa Monica for three days and then headed to Vegas for a 3 day stay at the Venetian where I Pilate'd and pampered at the Canyon Ranch health club and swam laps in the early mornings before the pool got crazy and then replenished the calories I'd burnt at Bouchon!!! It was sooooooo good!!

The original impetus for the trip was to attend my friend Megan's wedding, which was to take place in LA on July 29th, and I had made plans with our friend Emma to attend the wedding and then drive to Vegas for a couple of days after wards, however about 3-months before the big day - and about 3 weeks after Emma and I had booked my flights into LAX and out of McCarren - Megan called off the wedding after realising that she and her fiance weren't even close to being on the same page when it came to marriage and children. I think enough was enough when he told her he'd always put his career first*. I dithered for a couple of weeks about what to do, but since I would struggle to use the vacation time I'd already accounted for I decided that as long as Megan was okay with it I would go to LA and Vegas anyway. I relayed my intentions to Emma who ummed and ahhed a bit about whether she wanted to go forward with the trip and to be honest I could tell she wasn't totally into it, having just met a new guy after the break up of her 5 year relationship with John and if I'm completely honest Emma wasn't my favourite person of late being somewhat self absorbed, although I'd been trying to give her a break owing to the demise of her long term relationship, but when she insensitively asked Megan if she'd been influenced to call off her wedding because of Emma's recent break up with John I realised there was a good chance I'd struggle to spend 6 days in her company and gave us both an out by telling her I was more than happy to go alone.

Anyway I have to say I had a lovely ol' time in Santa Monica on my lonesome, it all went much better than I expected, although I think having a surf lesson booked every morning was a good move on my part as it took up a solid 3 hours of my day. I loved the lessons, although to be honest...Pacific Ocean 3, Fish 0!! Seriously I got my arse kicked, although apparently the waves were much rougher than they normally would be at which is very much a beginners beach - unless that's just something my instructor said to make me feel better - and I got tossed from the board a lot, although the positive to that was that I felt very light and skinny ha ha. It helped a lot that my surf instructor, Dane, was a strong 22year old, long haired, classic rock loving Australian who'd worked as a life guard at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast and started surfing when he was 4. I had no doubt that if I were to get into difficulties he'd pluck me off the ocean floor by the scruff of my wetsuit no problem. Fortunately no such occasion arose and I got hooked. I've already booked myself a few more lessons when I am in San Diego in September and a lesson in the Far Rockaways next week. Eeek!!

*What a big eejit!!