Monday, 28 May 2012

NYC Day Trip: Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ

Grounds For Sculpture is a 42 acre sculpture park founded in 1992 by the artist J. Seward Johnson.  Despite being a mere 1-hour 20-minute train ride (plus 5-minute cab ride*) from New York's Penn station via NJ transit not a single one of my NY or NJ born friends knew it existed before I told them about it.  Score one for me.  I learned of it from a former co-worker who lives in nearby Princeton Junction and it's definitely worth a visit if sculpture is your thing.  I'll let the (many) photos speak for themselves, although sadly I don't know the artist for most of the pieces.

The people in the background of this sculpture make it look like the park was crazy busy, but it wasn't at all, it was a very mellow place to hang out, this was just close to the entrance before everyone went their own way. 

I love this couple, they are not perfect, but they seem smitten to me!!

A shady grove

The first of many J. Seward Johnson pieces, this one called "The Daydream" inspired by Matisse's "The Dance".  When I first came across this piece I thought it was a real person lying on the ground admiring the nudes.  Duh!!

I love the poppies around this piece

This one reminds me of one of Renoir's bathers, although I am not sure of the inspiration.  The pieces were numbered and we didn't have a pamphlet with the relevant info, but I'm assuming this is another work by J. Seward Johnson.

Ooooh shade!!  It was blisteringly hot today.

Somewhat phallic no??  Or is it just me?

We followed a path labelled 'Forest Of The Subconscious" and came across this glass box of babies!!

Creepy babies!!  What is that giant baby doing to that poor armless woman?  Kids!!

More J. Seward Johnson

The view approaching Rats restaurant.  Stunning, but why oh why would you name a restaurant Rats?  It supposed to be a good restaurant, but it was closed today so we didn't get to sample their fare, but...Rats????

I don't know what she's smoking, but she looks very zen!!

Another J. Seward Johnson piece.  This one is called 'Pondering The Benefits Of Exercise"

Stick 'em up!!

I'm not sure what's going on here, but I like it!!

A piece from True or False by Houston based artist Sharon Engelstein

This was one of my faves!!

A real peacock - not a J. Seward Johnson piece

The car in the previous photo and this chandelier are made out of...

...plastic water bottles.  The pieces are by NJ based artist, Willie Cole

I love this piece and the white one below by Willie Cole, they are made of SHOES!!!!  Amazing!!

Marilyn Keating in the upstairs area of the gallery

Walking back to the train station - it's a long way, don't walk - we passed this American Gothic inspired piece by J. Seward Johnson...

...and these Renoir inspired dancers

*The brevity of this $12 cab ride may lead you to believe that you can walk back to the Hamilton train station no probs.  It's further than you think.  Believe me, I made this mistake today, it was much further than I thought and I walk 5-miles to work every day, walking is my thing!!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

I must really love surfing!!

I made it out to Rockaway for my surf lesson today. Yay!!

Thanks to only 4 hours sleep on Fri night I was exhausted come Saturday and went to bed at 9pm last night.  I was out like a light, so even though I'd set the alarm for 6.30am I woke up naturally at 5.36am and was in the shower by 6am. I know, it sounds ridiculous that I shower before I go and frolic in the Atlantic ocean, but I like to get washing my hair out of the way while I still have the energy to do it.  Sometimes when I get back from surfing I only have enough energy to stand there for 15-minutes and let the water rinse the salt and sand away.

I decided today that I would forgo the 4/5/6 train in favor of taking the crosstown bus across 86th St, connecting to the local running C train at Central Park West and then hopping on to the express A train at Columbus Circle all the way out to Beach 67th St.  What could possibly go wrong?

I left my apt at 6.45am, my face slicked with Waterman's SPF55 sunscreen - the best you can get it you are a pasty faced surfer like me - and stopped at the Starbucks on 85th street to get a latte for the journey only to see the crosstown bus sail across 86th street without me.


Despite the fact that I was still on the early side I didn't want to risk a long wait for the next bus, especially not after yesterday's Fulton St disaster, and getting out to the beach too early was far more appealing than not getting there at all - I could relax on the boardwalk and read my book - so I hopped into a cab and headed across the park to catch the C train.  After a few minutes waiting on the platform a train pulled into the station, an A train, with a destination of Far Rockaway in dot matrixed in LCD on the side of the carriage, a pleasing, but unusual sight, because the A train usually skips through the stations between 125th and 59th sts, because it is an express train, it's part of the deal.


"This is a Far Rock bound A train making all local stops" the female conductor announced.

All local stops!! Local???  Local, as in stopping at every single station out to Rockaway???  Sheesh, it was going to take forever!!  I was lucky I was early, I was going to need the extra time.

The train journey passed fairly uneventfully otherwise, which was nice, because you don't always get to say that when traveling out to Rockaway on the A train.  The route seems to attract a decent number of the psychologically imbalanced who have been released into the community and at some point on the journey someone will typically board the train and start shouting about something or another.  The last time I was on the train it was a middle aged woman with a walking cane who sang or talked incessantly about stabbing people.  I never quite know what to do in those situations, is it best to stay put and avoid eye contact, or is it better to move to the next carriage?  I never know if moving will attract the oddball's attention and just make matters worse.  It's always good to have a book to hide your nose in and hope that they won't bother you if you don't bother them, but thankfully I didn't have to be concerned with that today, today it was mostly people sleeping!!

When the train popped above ground at 80th street and Liberty Avenue it was lashing it down with rain. Ugh!!  No umbrella either, which is very unusual for this Brit.  Harumph.  The weather was not exactly what the reporter on NY1 had led me to believe. Cloudy, but less humid than yesterday were her exact words. I felt like turning right around and going back to bed.


Of course when you're in the water it doesn't matter whether its raining or not, but its off-putting all the same.  Maybe it would stop before it was time to hit the beach.  Maybe.  Fingers crossed!!

The train pulled into the beach 67th street station at 8.22am - the train journey hadn't taken as long as I'd expected despite hitting all the local stops - and I was still a good 40-minutes early so I walked a couple of blocks to the Stop & Shop to use the restroom and buy a bottle of water. There are no public bathrooms on the boardwalk at this part of the beach, I think the closest public ones are on the boardwalk at 92nd St. so its good to know about the facilities at the supermarket on Beach 69th St. and Rockaway Beach Blvd.  It's also a good spot to change into your nice clean and dry underwear after surfing if you are too shy to change on the beach.  Hey I hear you, I've occasionally done that when I've been out surfing in winter and my fingers are too numb to wrestle with my underwear while holding up a towel on the beach and it's too cold to ride all the way back to Manhattan in a towel dried swimsuit under my yoga pants.  You can also stick your damp bum under the hand drier and warm yourself up.  That would be a damp, but CLOTHED bum.  No-one needs to get arrested at the Stop & Shop!!

The rain cleared up by 8.54am, perfect timing, and so I left the shelter of the Stop & Shop porch and walked over to the beach to where 3 guys were waiting on the boardwalk for the surfing to begin.  Three more joined us as we were on the beach changing into our 3/2 wetsuits.  It's not quite warm enough to go without a full suit, but the gloves and bootees are off!! 

It was a great day anyway, the waves were pretty messy so I didn't catch too many, but it was a beautiful day to be floating about on the water and I met a bunch of people who are buying their own boards and are looking for friends to go surfing with, so we exchanged contact information and hopefully we'll get to go surfing together sometime soon.  I also scored a ride back to Manhattan with Richie which got me back home to my apartment on the upper east side and a delicious and healthy, late breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries, raspberries, a tablespoon of chopped walnuts and a tablespoon of fresh cream by 12.15pm.  Yay!!

360 calories of deliciousness!!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Dancing around my apartment to cheer myself up after a disappointing couple of days

Summer tune!!

Tales in over-reacting: About ready to take a hostage...

...Most likely a high ranking employee of UPS or the MTA after yesterday's shit-show regarding my surf board delivery and then this morning the MTA thwarted my attempts to get out to Rockaway and take a 9am surf lesson.  Grrrrrr!!!!  This is despite checking the MTA's own website for service advisories...all fine there, the A train was running to Beach 67th Street without a hitch, a slight issue with the 4 train only running as far as Brooklyn Bridge meant I wouldn't be able to connect directly to the A at Fulton St, but no probs there, I could easily walk from the Brooklyn Bridge station to Fulton St station around the corner and catch the A.  Easy peasy!!

Hmmmm but not so fast little fishie, the MTA has other plans for you, like blocking every f**king entrance to Fulton Street station with construction tape so that I couldn't gain access to the fricking A train.  I wandered around the warren of streets in the Financial District looking for an available entrance to access the A train.  Given the website didn't show any problems there must have been some way to get in, but nope, zip, nada, nothing.  I even asked a cop - silver linings he was a helpful and attractive cop who didn't look as though his main food group was donuts - but he just scratched his head and frowned.  Seriously, would it kill the MTA to put up a few signs, or write something on their website that informed riders that access to Fulton St station was suboptimal?

I huffed and puffed my way up to the A train stop before Fulton St at at Chambers St, but by the time I got there I knew I was looking at arriving in Rockaway at close to 10am and would lose an hour of my lesson.  There's nothing I love more than getting up at 6.30am on a Saturday to get out to Rockaway for 9am only for the MTA to f**k it up.  Grrrrrr!!  I texted surf school owner Frank and managed to rearrange my lesson for tomorrow at 9am* instead, so all is not lost.  Fingers crossed the conditions will be decent.

I appreciate that in the scheme of things I have a first world person problems, but I was irritated all the same.  I flopped on the couch when I got back to my apartment and watched Brad Pitt kill some Nazis in Inglorious Basterds.  I felt a lot better after that!!

See!!! Nothing to indicate that there will be problems catching a train at Fulton St.  They lie!!  Bastards!!

*I shall know better tomorrow, I'll take the cross-town bus and catch the A from Columbus Circle.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Oh UPS, how I despise thee!!

See anything wrong with this picture?  For one thing it's not a photo of my newly purchased surfboard so that's definitely one thing that's wrong with it, instead it's the tracking details for my newly purchased surfboard that I stayed home all day to wait for.

UPS, why oh why oh why oh...etc would you have a representative call me yesterday to schedule an appointment to deliver my surfboard between 9am and 3pm today and specifically ask if someone would be in to receive the delivery, when you knew full well that was never going to work out given the location of the truck - and please don't tell me you don't track the truck, because we all know that you do.  Seriously the fricking truck didn't arrive in NJ until 5.45pm this evening, so why schedule the delivery for earlier in the day. Even now, at 7pm, the tracking still indicates that delivery will be made today.  Hmmmm!!  Somehow I doubt it.  Are you expecting me to wait in all day tomorrow too, because I can't do that I have plans, and I can't just take time off work willy nilly to wait around for you.


The last time I had to wait in for a delivery from UPS the guy stuck an attempted delivery notice on the front door of the building and didn't even ring the bell.  I was sat upstairs waiting like a big eejit!!  Ugh, I hate UPS!!

Working too hard, vacationing, dating & buying my first surfboard!!

Ohhhh, where does the time go.  I started this blog post way back on April 24th and now here I am more than an entire month later and it's been languishing untouched in my drafts folder.  Here come the excuses....

...What can I say, it's been crazy with the new job as we are so short staffed, so days working from 7.30am to 10pm have not exactly been uncommon, so by the time I get home I am so not in the mood to sit down at a computer.  Hopefully more reasonable hours are on the horizon though as we've finally got approval to hire another equivalent to me plus two junior people so fingers crossed we find people soon.  My boss actually interviewed a former colleague and friend of mine, Sarah, on Monday and they both really liked each other - I felt like a matchmaker as I facilitated them meeting and then they both emailed me their positive impressions of the other ha ha.  She is currently employed by another company within the same network, so apparently there are a few rules governing that transition, but I'm hoping it can be worked out, since she would be able to take over as the lead on one of the two large clients we have because I really struggle to devote time to as the other large agency client sucks up all my time.  I also interviewed another guy, Dan, for the position yesterday - I was a last minute switch for my boss, who was supposed to interview him, but got sucked into a meeting he couldn't get out of.  Anyway Dan happened to have worked with a former colleague and friend of mine from the UK who is a bit of an industry big shot these days.  It's a small world eh!!  Dan was perfectly pleasant, but I didn't get the most positive vibe about him being a good fit for the position, he felt a little too junior to me, but then I don't want to come across as being biased towards Sarah - I'd really rather keep my distance from this whole hiring thing when a friend of mine is in the running if the truth be told - so despite some misgivings I recommended he come in again and to meet my boss, however I followed up with the Big Shot to see if he had any feedback he could share and he echoed my feeling that Dan was a nice guy, but not the most strategic and on the couple of occasions he'd asked him for stuff to support new business pitches he hadn't followed through with the right information and Big Shot had ended up doing the work himself.  Hmmmm!!  I'm going to sit on this information and see what my boss thinks after meeting him.  Sarah is coming in on Wednesday to meet a bunch of other folks at the agency, so I'm hoping she'll wow them and they'll make an offer.

Anyway other than the crazy volume of work it's all going well at the new agency and I feel pretty settled despite the fact that today sees me complete just 12-weeks of working there - and one of those weeks was spent on a surfing vacation in Nicaragua.  Seriously I feel like I've worked there a LOT longer, I even have an office crush, a creative of course, I do love my creative boys, who I noticed because he checked me out a few times and I thought he was very sweet and artsy looking.  A perusal of the company intranet revealed that he's actually an Executive Vice President, Group Creative Director.  Holla, an EVP GCD!!!  I'm aiming high with my crush this time ha ha!!  He sits down the hall from me in a shared office and I've noticed he hasn't been around for a few days, knowing my luck he's probably vacationing with his wife!!  Work-wise it's a bit different to previous roles as it's mostly digital, so good for broadening my experience in that arena and I have to say it's nice working in a smaller organization again.  It's about a third of the size of the previous agency I worked at and I just never really appreciated just how many layers of bureaucracy there were until I left.  Even though I was pushed out rather than jumped I am soooooo glad it happened, because I had a serious case of the comfort factor and I probably wouldn't have left had someone not put a boot to my arse.
I've actually been in touch with a bunch of my former colleagues, including my former team, and people are not happy at the old place, in fact one of my former team has already left and started a new job and the friend of mine who was put in charge of my team, recently resigned to take a position elsewhere, although the last I heard from her she said she was having some visa transition issues and was ready to turn down the offer, but I'm not sure whether that was a heat of the moment comment or whether she really intends to turn it down.  I know she hasn't been happy at the old agency since the reorganization that occurred after my departure as she's never really wanted to manage a team and refers to the guy who became her direct manager, as "a total douche."  It's funny actually because this guy was an Associate Director when I worked there and was rapidly promoted to Director due to all the new business work he did - an employee who worked on a successful new business pitch was always valued at a much higher premium than an employee who was effective at retaining high paying clients, which is where my skill-set lies - and has since been promoted to Senior Director and put in charge of a large portion of the team by the Head of Dept., despite the fact that he'd only ever managed one junior employee.  Apparently the Head of Dept. had some issue with too many people reporting into him, so by putting The Douche between him and the team he's managed to reduce his direct reports from an overwhelming 5 to a more manageable 3.  

Five was too many?????  Seriously!!!  Man up for God's sake!!

I've also been told that Head of Dept. doesn't so much as wipe his own arse without first running the decision by The Douche and that everything is now run by consensus.  A former member of my team told me that the pair of them are so close that he sometimes imagines drawing a heart around them ha ha!!  I actually liked The Douche when I worked there, he mostly kept himself to himself, but when he did come out for drinks he was always a good laugh, so it's weird to hear numerous people I respect, whose opinion I trust, and who I know thought well of him 6-12 months ago, now describe him so negatively.  From what I'm hearing he seems to have undergone such a personality shift that it's almost as if he's incurred a serious head injury that's affected his personality, like that straight Welsh rugby player who broke his neck, suffered a stroke and lapsed into a coma - a seriously bad day - and woke up as a gay man, quit his banking job and became a hairdresser - naturally the Daily Mail has all the deets - except in The Douche's case he got promoted, went to bed and woke up an arsehole.

In other news I was in Nicaragua in mid-April for a learn to surf week, a trip I originally planned to take with Megan, but which I ended up taking alone after we had a falling out when she told me that she was "distancing herself" from me while I was going through the stress of losing my job, because she found me hard to deal with.


When I reminded her that during her time of stress 6-12-months earlier - she called off her wedding with her fiance - that I'd put a roof over her head for two months when she was between apartments she responded that she had paid me rent.


Uh-huh, I beg to bloody differ!!

Now she did write me a cheque for $1,000 when she left, however this was not something that was discussed upfront, nor was it something I expected, instead it was a cheque she left for me when she moved out, a gesture I appreciated after 2-months of having her as a house guest and while $1000 sounds like a decent amount of money the rent on my apartment is $1950, the gas and electricity amount to $70 per month and the internet/cable is $140, so $2,160 per month or $4,320 for 2-months, which is significantly more than $1000.  Not that I didn't appreciate the $1000, but it was a nice gesture, not rent. if she wants to throw in my face that she paid me rent then she needs to double the cheque she wrote.

Anyway that all happened in February and after being told that she was "distancing herself" I really haven't been in the mood to reach out and restore the friendship because I don't think it's salvageable for me.  I mean it's one thing to be ignorant of the fact that someone you consider a friend is not going to be there for you during the tough times, it's quite another matter for them to tell you flat out that they won't be there for you.  There's really no coming back from that for me, so although I occasionally miss certain aspects of the friendship, I'm very much of the opinion "what's the point?"  I just don't see the point in being friends with someone who I know won't support me during the occasional tough time. I've since run into her at Pilates class and things were perfectly cordial, but I really wasn't interested in having a longer conversation.

The upshot of our little skirmish is that I flew to Nicaragua alone and spent a week as the only woman, and only beginner, at surf camp.  I was like the camp little sister.  It was an amazing trip, although in hindsight I think I would have felt more at home going to one of the all female surf camps I was so keen to avoid when I was researching the trip.  I always feel like all female surf camps give off a certain new age self-discovery vibe that I'm really not down with - I think it's all the yoga classes - although weigh that against a bunch of blokes who talked incessantly of getting "barreled" and the joys of spear fishing and I would have gladly traded that for some hippy dippy chat with a bunch of women looking for the meaning of life.  Admittedly that quick summary a little unfair to the boys I spent the week with, as they were fantastic and being the only beginner among guys - mostly from California - who'd surfed for a decade or more meant that I didn't have to get up at 4am everyday to beat the crowds to a break named Freight Trains - so called because if you are caught in the 'impact zone' (where the waves are breaking) then it's like being hit by a freight train*  and I received one-on-one surf tuition twice a day at the beach break 200yards from the house, however I suppose when weighing up the lesser of two evils I am a girls' girl and I would have been more comfortable had there been more women and more beginners among the group.  I think I would have appreciated advice from female surf instructors.  Next time I'll know better.  I'll also know to pack copious amounts of insect repellent since I got eaten alive by the little buggers.  I had so many that when I started this post a month ago that I tallied my bites:

2 on my face
4 on my left arm
3 on my right arm
10 on my back
1 on my left leg
2 on my right leg
2 on my left foot
9 on my right foot

WTF!! 33 mosquito bites!!  The week after I got back I was so sleepy at work - most likely from the shock at not spending several hours a day swinging about in a hammock - that there were moments when I was convinced I was succumbing to malaria.  This was after overhearing one of the surf guides tell someone at the camp that the issue with malaria is that it's hard to diagnose because if you are infected you just feel tired all the time.  Clearly malaria was why I was feeling so damn exhausted!!  What is it they say in statistics, correlation is NOT causality ha ha!!  Obviously my malaria turned out to be a touch of hypochondria, although more than a month later I still have a few remaining scars, thanks to some overly long nails and a habit of scratching myself in my sleep at the time I was bitten, they're fading though, so hopefully they'll be all gone in time for summer.

It was a good trip anyway, such a change from my usual vacation - which I typically spend zooming around some urban locale - as there really wasn't a whole lot to do other than sleep for 9-hours a day, surf in the morning, lie around and read my book for a few hours, play with the puppy - or rather stop him from nipping at my ankles; that dog seriously needed a chew toy - surf again in the afternoon, read my book some more, have dinner, chit chat to the guys, go to bed at 8.30pm and then do it all again the next day.  It was such a departure my world that when I got back to New York I felt as if I'd been away for much longer than a week and it surprised me that no major changes had occurred to my surroundings while I was out of the country.  I would look at the construction site for the 2nd Avenue subway at the end of my block and feel disbelief that it still wasn't finished.  The MTA is saying 2016 if you can believe it, pht!! 

Andrew from Santa Monica surfing Freight Trains.  I had a fantastic view from the boat!!

Deano, the camp pup, a Rottweiler mix.  Hopefully he'll get over those ankle biting tendencies before he gets much bigger. 
The view to the left from the upstairs veranda

The view to the right.  The beaches were deserted.  Northern Nicaraguans weren't really into swimming or surfing, so I usually had the beach to myself

Sammy, the camp piggie.  That's the surf camp in the background.

Frankie the surf camp deer.  Gorgeous, but very skittish.  The camp animals were named for the Rat Pack

After a week of sleeping an average of 9 hours a night it was ironic that when I got back to my lovely comfy bed in New York I couldn't sleep for the first few nights.  I felt like I was floating on a surfboard.  It was such an odd sensation that I couldn't relax and fall asleep.  It also hurt to sleep in my usual position of lying on my left side owing to a huge bruise on the upper outside of my left thigh - I think from being hit by the board.  I always find it weird when I have these massive bruises and absolutely no idea how I got them, but I'd place money that it was from the surf board - and bruises on my hips, knees and ribs from surfing in nothing more than a rash guard and board shorts.  Tropical locations are all well and good, but there's something to be said for the protective properties of a wetsuit.  I also a bruise on my right eyebrow where I'd caught the edge of the board as one of the instructors and I were trying to get through some rough waves and it shot back.  Fortunately he was holding onto the board so it could have been much worse, but still it hurt.  Seriously between the insect bites and the bruises I was a mess.  Remind me why I surf again ha ha!!  If I were a horse I would have been put out of my misery.  When I finally did fall asleep that first night back it was only to be awakened by the sound of a woman laughing loudly and I recall wondering, as I rose from my slumber, who was out on the beach in front of the house at that time of night.  I felt very disoriented when I opened my eyes and realized I wasn't at surf camp in Nicaragua anymore, and that it was just a bunch of noisy drunken idiots stumbling out of the bar around the corner at 3am.  Harumph!!!  

Anyway I am working from home today awaiting delivery of my new surfboard from San Diego!!  Whoooo hoooo!!!  I've been thinking of buying one for a while and solicited the advice of lots of surf instructors to narrow down the right board for an intermediate beginner, however there's a lot more to buying a surf board than you might imagine, so I've been procrastinating a bit trying to make the best decision.  For starters how long should it be?  Now as a beginner I need something that's longer - I started on a 9-ft soft-top foam board - because they are easier for catching waves and easier to balance on, but as you improve as a surfer you tend to go for a shorter board, so it's a balance between getting one that's long enough without being too long that I'll want to trade it in after a couple of years.  In Nicaragua I was on an 8' long 2 3/4" thick fiber glass board made by Portland based company Seaside that was 21 3/4" at the widest point in the center and the guys there told me that 8' was probably a bit too long for me and that they would recommend a board no shorter than 7', but no longer than 7'6" and no wider than the Seaside and with a rounded nose and tail.  Frank on the other hand - who runs the surf school in New York - recommended no less than an 8' board, however Kat, a 5'4" female instructor who works for Frank, said that 7'6" was probably a good size for me.  Essentially the shorter you go the more you have to think about the overall buoyancy of the board - or maybe it's density, it's something I didn't pay proper attention to in physics class anyway - so if you go shorter you might want to go for something that's wider, but then I'm 5' 1" and relatively small hipped, so I don't want a board that's so wide it's like sitting on a fat pony while I'm out there sat on my board watching for a decent wave.  "19-20 inches wide is probably good for you" Kat advised, "but I wouldn't go less than 18-inches wide or less than 2.5-inches thick."

Phew, it was a lot to take in.  Thankfully I wrote everything down!!  The other thing I needed to consider was whether I wanted a board made from fiber glass or epoxy.  I have to say that having used a fiber glass board in Nicaragua and then an epoxy board when I returned to New York I much preferred the fiber glass.  I'm no expert having only ever tried 2 boards, but the epoxy board is much, for want of a better word, floatier and I didn't like the feeling quite as much, but the benefit of epoxy boards is that they are harder to damage than fiber glass ones and I can live with the overly floaty feeling over the cost/energy of having to repair a board.  In the end it was a bit of an impulse buy as last week Rob - a guy I was dating - forwarded me an email from the San Diego based company, Degree33, where he purchased his board - which he loves - with details of their pre-Memorial day sale: 10% off all boards with a free leash and wax thrown in.  The email arrived at a point where I was just over the week and a gratuitous impulse purchase was just the thing to lift my mood so I threw caution to the wind and bought a 7'6" x 21 3/4" x 2 5/8" Degree33 Stepping Stone funboard for the bargain price of $360.  It's actually not a bad deal when you factor in that most new surfboards cost upwards of $400 and leashes cost $20+ plus if I bought a surfboard in NYC I'd have the hassle of having to take it home on the subway, so for $459 I get a surfboard plus leash and wax delivered to my door.  See how easily I've justified my costly impulse purchase ;-)

Did you also notice how casually I tossed in all the surfboard chat that I've been dating someone?  Or should I say *was* dating someone, Rob, a Texan surfer boy of Mexican heritage. It's kind of fizzled now, although neither of us has actually come out and said that it's pretty much done - communication clearly being one of the strong points of our relationship, ahem - but we had lunch last week and we were clearly in 'let's be friends' territory - leaving the path clear for the cute EVP GCD ha ha, I should be so lucky - but it's all good, it's been amicable and I don't have to stress out about running into him when I go surfing in Rockaway!! NEXT!! 

Anyway it's 10am and I suppose I should be working. Despite the 14+ hour days I've put in on numerous occasions I always feel guilty when I slack off, it's a short day today though, the agency closes at 2pm for the Memorial Day holiday and a lot of people took time off so I imagine the agency is very quiet today.

*I can only hope that there is a certain amount of hyperbole at play when surfers name their breaks because I really don't like the thought that they are being literal when they give reef breaks names like 'meat grinders.'  What sane person would want to surf that?  When I think of that name I keep visualizing that bit in the Pink Floyd video for The Wall where the kids are fed through a meat grinder.  Despite being a cartoon that video made me squeamish as an 8-year old!!