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Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Time Event
11:45a
I listened to Dean's Martha Stewart show but couldn't relate to pet discussions (supporting friends goes only so far) and switched to Howard. After an interview with Darrell Hammond (funny impressions), the discussion ended up focusing on Howard 100 news staffer and my former co-worker "High-Pitch Mike." Mike was a very good sport while they ragged on him in a hilarious segment.

I had a Fresh Direct order coming between 2-4. My doorbell isn't very loud and I almost missed them last time (they came early and I was asleep), so I went downstairs around 1:30 to tell the concierge to CALL when FD came so I'd be sure to know they were there. This is not hard because the desk connects to everyone's phone. He wrote this down.

About 20 minutes later, the doorbell rang. They were early. No phone call. I was in the other room listening to the radio, but did hear it. Either the guy downstairs ignored my request, or misunderstood and thought I was telling him I was expecting the delivery and to let the guy up, or maybe was on break. Anyway, no harm done.

Weird ad for Sunsilk hair products: a drawing of a whip and a high-heeled boot with lettering in the boot saying, "My frizz is so wild even a dominatrix couldn't tame it."

Online weather said it was in the 60s and I wondered if I'd need a sweater, but wore just a skirt and blouse. It seemed very hot and humid so I'm glad I didn't bother. I got to the Ziegfeld for the movie and Helene was already in line. People nearby had white food containers with meat and white sauce, and I realized the (reportedly) best halal stand in the city was nearby. We were joined by 2 other puzzlers who wish to remain anonymous, and didn't mind the long wait because the company was good. A guy was passing out flyers for another movie, but you had to be 17-34, which none of us could pass for.

The line was moving very slowly and it didn't look like the movie would start on time at 7. They were checking carefully for recording devices and making people check computers, though I saw lots of cell phones once we were inside. By the time we got in, the only seats for 4 together were near the front on the side (the balcony was reserved for VIP tickets), but it wasn't bad. They started with 2 kid comedians who didn't seem ready for prime time, but who knows, in 10 years I could say I saw them when.

Finally the movie. "Ratatouille" (whose brilliant idea was that title? - hard to say and harder to spell) was cute, a little like "Flushed Away" but better. But I had a hard time getting over the fact that these were supposed to be RATS, especially when large numbers of them swarmed around. Ewwwww. We were curious who did the voices, and the credits showed some big names.

The consensus afterward was to go to the Burger Joint in the Parker Meridian, which only has hamburger, cheeseburger and grilled cheese, not my first choices of cuisine. But I was willing to try it. When I worked at 59th and Park, people made special trips there for lunch, and it has a great reputation. The place is like a speakeasy, with the entrance hidden in a dark corner of the hotel lobby. Inside, it's an old-fashioned hamburger place, kind of cool. I had a plain hamburger. We had a booth under a wall signed by celebs, including Robin Byrd with a drawing of 2 eyes - oh wait, those aren't eyes. We didn't sign, despite our great celebrity. I was taught that you can always go to the ladies room in hotel lobbies, but this place required a key card (which we got from a guard).

We walked across 57th, passing fab-looking people coming out of the Eartha Kitt 80th birthday concert at Carnegie Hall, but no one I recognized. I stopped at the Associated, picked up prepared spinach rolls and eggplant parmesan, but they had no raspberry juice so I put back the dishes (too fattening, and I had plenty of food at home) and left. Even though it was after 11, I took the bus up since it was a nice, warm night and lots of people were around. Between the large number of at-homes I did in the morning and the social activity later on, it was a busy day.
11:43p
There's always something to kvetch about.

This week the puzzles were ready early (yay) and I went to do them at the Times. Before that, I stopped at the 42nd St. P.O. but it was unusually crowded and I didn't feel like waiting. At the Times, I had a hard time reading the puzzles because the lights were too dim. This may have been true before and I didn't notice, but the two rows of lights near me were definitely dimmer than the rest.

I called (after getting switched a few times), and they said this is controlled by computer and they'd have someone come up. While I waited, I went to an empty, brighter desk nearby and solved the puzzles. Eventually I saw an engineer, who was actually there to see about the air conditioning. Come to think of it, it was kind of warm. He had gotten my message and said he'd look into it later. I'm wondering if the sunlight from the windows is triggering something, but the lights were bright further down at the same distance from the windows. I guess it's a good thing I'm not there all the time, though I had been thinking it would be a good, nondistracting place to get work done.

We've never figured out why I can't send out puzzles from the Mac at the Times, and have to recopy everything to my Windows PC at home and distribute from there. Nicole from Digital came down (now that we're finally in the same building) and attempted to fix this. We made sure the preferences had the timer OFF, since that was one of the issues. We also previously had problems with special characters and people not being able to open the files. I sent a test file to Nucky, who opened the file, and said the accents and other marks looked OK and the timer was not running. Fingers crossed, I sent a puzzle to the entire mailing list - only to hear that the timer was running for a Windows user. Grrrr.

Maybe this doesn't matter, as long as the timer isn't running for a file posted on the server, as opposed to a file received by e-mail. We're looking into having me directly post these files (I already do this for the Sunday print puzzle, and learned how to post the Java acrostic files), so we need to make sure the timer still works.

Back home I thought I'd try a Lean Cuisine panini I got from Fresh Direct, only to find it's microwave only and I don't have a microwave. It's possible there will be future work in my microwave-containing office, but right now this item is useless. I wrote to the manufacturer asking if there's any other way to cook this, and to FD asking for a refund.

I got an e-mail from my TV org. for a screening of "License to Wed" tonight at 6 or 7 (it wasn't totally clear), and was tempted to accept. The Sunday puzzle actually came last night, and I processed it early this afternoon. However, I didn't know if the dailies could be done in time so didn't reserve the movie. Good thing, since I didn't get out of there until 8 pm. Oh well, can't go gallivanting to movies when there's work to do. They have an alternate showing, but that conflicts with another movie I already booked through a different organization for later this week. Feast or famine, as always.

I need to go feast on something other than chicken panini.

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