Friday, February 29, 2008

Strangers on a Train

You normally don't talk to strangers on the subway. It's just weird to do so. When I first moved here, I once tried to strike up a conversation with someone ("How was your day?"), but was received with a frightened, stony silence, so I never did it again.

This morning, an old man near me was reading a Chinese newspaper. I can't read or speak Chinese, but the picture on the front page struck me, because it was of a funeral for a woman that I recognized.

I wanted to ask the old man about it, because I wanted to be sure. I don't know anything about Chinese celebrities, so the deceased could've been some other famous overweight woman with iconic eyeglasses.

This is one of those dumb Year of Yes moments. If I talked to this man, the worst he would do is ignore me. Or speak to me in Chinese. There weren't any real consequences.

On the other hand, if I kept silent, I could just look it up on Wikipedia a little later, but my social anxiety would've won a minor victory.

It took a little bit to get up my courage, but then I tapped him on the shoulder. "Excuse me," I said, and pointed to his newspaper.

He offered it to me (for some reason, subway etiquette deems it OK to ask for newspapers), and I turned it to the front page. "Lydia?" I asked, and pointed to the main article.

"Lydia." He repeated.

"She died?" I asked, which was kind of dumb, because no one puts up a photo in front of a coffin unless that person has passed away.

"Died," he said.

I thanked him and we rode the rest of the way in silence.

Rest in peace, Fei-Fei. You made many people laugh.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Crime Stoppers

Last night I called 911 to report what appeared to be a robbery.

It was around 11:45, which isn't too late, and it was on a heavily-populated avenue, as opposed to a more desolate street (Manhattan avenues run north-south, while the streets run east-west).

There were people around, there were cars driving, but something just wasn't right with the situation. My Spidey sense was tingling.

I passed a strange trio - a man with his back to a wall, being "talked to" by two men. They were examining a laptop and kept touching the lone guy's jacket pockets. I only caught a snatch of their conversation - I don't remember anything that was actually said, but the tone of it struck me.

Plus, it was damn cold out last night, so it'd be strange for people to be idly chatting on a street corner. They were taking their sweet-ass time, though, which made me feel it might not actually be a crime in progress.

At the end of the block, I turned to keep an eye on them and dialed 911.

What is ridiculous is that I was hesitant to make the call. I didn't want to make a false report. I thought that if I was wrong, I'd get in trouble somehow. But as Lynn pointed out (we were on the phone), it's better to be safe than sorry.

Worst case scenario, cops get there and nothing's going on. Best case scenario, bad guys get busted.

Also, Year of Yes. Just make the call and let the professionals sort it out.

As the two officers approached the men, I turned and continued walking toward the subway. I could say I left without watching the outcome because it was cold out or that my civic duty was done or that I'm not a voyeur, but really, I was scared that if I had made a wrong call, the cops would then come over and yell at me.

I know that's irrational, but still. Even if I was wrong, they wouldn't actually yell at me. And even if they WERE gonna yell at me, how would they know I was the one who made the call? They've got my name and number, but I'm just a random person on the street corner.

I wish this story had a more interesting or definite ending, but eh, that's not what always happens in real life.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sleep Regimen: Week Two Recap... and Beyond

I did pretty well last week, stuck to a 12-12:30 bedtime, more or less, and generally woke up on time. These are good, healthy habits, and even if it isn't always noticeable, they're probably beneficial for my ridiculous lifestyle.

Weekends don't count, and I promptly ruined the pattern by staying up way too late and sleeping in way too much. This extended into President's Day, and last night, I was up past 1 a.m. gabbing on the phone about things that need to be gabbed about.

Probably a bad idea for a weeknight, but I don't feel too tired today, which is an impressive sign.

My two weeks are officially up, so I'm free to return to my night owl habits, but I think I'm gonna stick with this sleep schedule for the time being.

I just wish it affected my life in a more obvious fashion, like I was full of amazing energy and felt wonderful all the time.

Still, having mornings no longer be an exercise in pain is pretty good.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lunchtime Dilemma

On Fridays in Lent, the cafeteria offers the Fisherman's Platter. $5.50 for a bonanza of fish sticks, cod, fried clams and shrimp (choice of two), PLUS Cajun fries. It's just not fair, that's so goddamn delicious.

But one of my goals in 2008 is to not be such a raging fatass, and I wasn't that hungry... mostly because I'd already had a huge breakfast of Waffle Bar AND Breakfast Bar (eggs and a sausage patty and a handful of tater tots).

I like to indulge in a waffle on Fridays, and I felt the Breakfast Bar was deserved because last night's macrobiotic dinner (at Angelica Kitchen) left me too hungry and too healthy.

So I gave in to the waffle, but lunchtime offered this chilling challenge... Do I get the Fisherman's Platter anyway? Or do I stay true to my desire for a healthier body, and just get a thing of soup?

And again, that's what the Year of Yes is all about. It's not just the grand, exciting adventures, but it's also the tedium of being a responsible human being for the greater good. THE GREATER GOOD.

I will say this, though, the soup was pretty satisfying.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


By the time I'd gotten off from work, it had stopped raining, so I didn't melt and die.

Also, despite having an average bedtime of 12:30 a.m. this week (I'm not following through so well on the whole midnight thing), I woke up this morning before my alarm went off and felt pretty refreshed for the first time in forever.

Who woulda thunk?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's Raining (Not Men, Not on Prom Night)

I really don't like the rain. Everyone who knows me can vouch for that. I'm like a cat that way, or the Wicked Witch of the West - I absolutely hate getting wet. It makes me melt and die.

It's raining in New York City, and it's gonna keep at it all day. Usually, I'd just hide indoors until my workday is over and then rush home into dry clothes, but not today. Because today I have to run an errand. An errand, damn it.

This is what the Year of Yes boils down to, really. Not extravagant activities or amazing adventures, just me doing what I gotta do, regardless of outside circumstances.

So if I've gotta rely on a blog to get my lazy ass out in the rain, then so be it, Jedi.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sleep Regimen: Week Two (plus Gorilla)

I made up for a week of healthy sleeping by sleeping horribly this weekend. 4 a.m., 5 a.m, you name it.

Nevertheless, on Sunday night I was in bed by 12:15, and I was rewarded in the morning feeling weak, feverish, and all-around sicky. This is yet another sign from the cosmos that I should give up this reasonable nonsense, but I will persevere, damn it.

I'm still gonna go back to bed after finishing this post. That sort of knocks the entire regimen out of whack, but I feel it's permitted under these circumstances.

Also, because several people have asked, "What was up with the gorilla costume?", I'm including a pic.

This was for an online show I've been co-writing and working on for the past several months called "Cakey! The Cake From Outer Space." We needed several costumes for this season's finale. Once we got ahold of a gorilla costume, I agreed to wear it.

I can now finally add "Gorilla" to my resume.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sleep Regimen: Day Four

Heather summarized yesterday's post like this...

"After three days of going to bed at a reasonable hour and NOT engaging in a silly song-and-dance with my alarm, I woke up today and...still don't feel like a completely changed person. That seals it for me; there is ABSOLUTELY NO MERIT to this whole sleep schedule thing. Also, I am cantankerous and old."

Well said, Heather!

It bears mentioning that this week has seen less headaches at work and less being tired in the late afternoon/early evening. I have to admit that there's the slightest possibility that this might be due to my change in sleeping habits.

Also, today was the first day I didn't wake up totally tired. In fact, I kind of woke up like, "I'm done sleeping and am ready to start my day!" Only not that chipper. I guess it was more like, "I'm ready. Let's get this over with."

So I guess there's been some progress.

Maybe instead of doing this for two weeks, I'll stick with it for Lent. That'd be something. (I'm mostly thinking this so I don't have to give up any of my good vices.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sleep Regimen: Day Three (plus Dinner)

I feel like this sleep thing isn't working. I'm writing this bleary-eyed and in bed, and I feel even more tired than usual. Come on, I got my 7.5 hours, what's the deal?

Last night I was pretty plum tuckered out, too. I'd been running around for most of the evening doing things that had nothing to do with Super Tuesday, and at midnight, I gladly turned off the lights. But now I'm wondering if I somehow don't get more rest from playing online Scrabble.

I'll persevere, but in the meantime, here's a Year of Yes dilemma I had to face yesterday...

I didn't have much of a lunch, just some soup. And then I was crazy busy after work, so I didn't eat dinner. This isn't uncommon, because even though I always eat breakfast (on weekdays, it's a cup of fruit and a glass of orange juice, on weekends, I splurge on an incredibly unhealthy Dunkin Donuts sausage, egg and cheese on a croissant) and lunch (whatever they're serving in my building's cafeteria), I skip dinner a good 50% of the time.

Yesterday was no exception. And by the end of the day, as I staggered home at around 11 p.m., I was pretty darn hungry, or, as I like to call it, "hungy." I usually don't eat too close to bedtime, but I was hungy, and I could totally get a Dunkin Donuts croissant on the way home from my subway stop.

"Come on, Year of Yes," I told myself. Whenever I try to convince people to do something nowadays, I use "Year of Yes" as my primary argument.

In this case, though, I knew full well that saying Yes to Dunkin Donuts isn't to avoid saying no out of laziness and fear, it's because I have horrible eating habits and am a ridiculous person.

And so I came to a literal crossroads... would I turn left and get the croissant, or would I go right and head home? I'm still not sure which choice was the "Yes" answer. I guess turning right, because it'd mean choosing to be healthy instead of indulging in garbage.

In the end, it wasn't the desire to be healthy that swayed me, it was the fact that I'd been carrying a large gorilla costume all night and didn't want to carry it anymore. So in a way, my laziness helped me do the right thing.

Oh, and as I said, the gorilla costume had nothing to do with Super Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sleep Regimen: Day Two

After reading my last post, Sarah said to keep the faith, it usually takes two days for a change in sleep patterns to start affecting you.

Two days later... I'm still not feeling any different.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sleep Regimen: Day One

Last night, I got home from a Superb Bowl party just minutes before midnight, and I'm proud to say I was still in bed by about 12:15.

Football normally isn't really my thing, so saying Yes to the party wasn't that easy (my Sunday was a long day of rehearsals and filming). But I decided that supporting the Giants with my friends was better than a quiet evening at home with Tony and Angela, so indeed I went.

And was it ever worth it! There's no need to recap the game - if you care, you saw it and you know what I'm talking about. If you don't care, then you don't want to read a recap. But the food was most delicious and it was nice spending time with people that I usually only see in the World of Warcraft.

Anyway, this post isn't about the Giants' victory, it's about my victory over sleep. I'm pretty proud that I got home, showered, and then decided not to check my email or blog about what a good sleeper I am. I just went to bed.

After some harrowing dreams, I woke up to sunlight. The lack of a 6 a.m. alarm made me think I overslept, and I was ready to chalk this experiment up as a stupid, stupid failure. But it turns out I woke up a few minutes before my 7:35 alarm.

This doesn't mean I got out of bed, hell, no, I just half-slept until the alarm went off, and then spent a few more minutes lying around, for good measure. Thankfully, I didn't fall back asleep.

My new schedule has resulted in ample time to write this entry, but, honestly, I don't feel any better than I normally do. Even if I'm making better use of my time, I'd rather have spent it lying around.

I hope I feel differently after the two weeks are up.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Sleeping is both one of my best friends and one of my worst enemies. I love sleeping, absolutely love it ("That's where I'm a Viking," says the Simpsons database in my head), but it messes up my life more than anything else.

Part of the reason is because I'm a night owl and keep ridiculous sleeping habits. It's a paradox, I love sleep, but I hate going to bed. I'm like a little kid that wants to stay up and see what's happening, even if it's just wasting hours playing Scrabulous.

I rarely go to bed before 1:30 a.m., and then I always regret it in the morning, when I have the following waking schedule....

6 a.m. - First alarm goes off. I turn it off and fall back asleep. I've done this for at least 15 years - I love waking up when it's still dark outside and knowing I have another hour and a half for precious, precious sleep.

7:30 a.m. - Second alarm goes off. I reset it for 8 a.m. and fall back asleep.

8 a.m. - Third alarm goes off. I either get into the shower, or reset it for 8:15 a.m. and fall back asleep.

And this is why I'm so tired all the time.

I end up desperately needing a nap after work, and, like last night, I usually succumb to one. This is always a bad idea, as I lose precious leisure time to exercise and play guitar and catch up on episodes of LOST (I'm on the third disc of Season Two, so no spoilers, please) and finally watch that DVR'd episode of Who's the Boss where "a hungover Angela remembers kissing Tony... but nothing else."

My co-worker Sarah says this lack of sleep could be the cause of my frequent headaches and other ailments, both major and minor.

On her suggestion, I'm going to go to sleep at midnight every weeknight for the next two weeks, starting Monday, February 4. I'm not looking forward to this test, but I'm gonna do it, anyway.

Also, I think I'm gonna just use one alarm, 7:45 a.m. And wake up no matter what.

Wow, just the thought of this makes me want to go back to bed. But I can't and won't... because I'm at work. If I was at home, on a rainy day like today, I totally would.