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Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Time Event
2008 begins
No summary of 2007. As I said in a comment, the main big thing was that I finally started using my terrace.

I don't think anything can top 2006, but I also thought that in 2001.

I don't like to make resolutions, but it would be nice if I finished the reports on the NPL con and Stamford before they come up again. The tournament isn't that far away.

I had zero plans for New Year's Eve, and it's just as well since that's not a great night to be out. I turned on the TV (which thankfully works) to watch the ball go down. I had to switch away from Dick Clark because it was just painful. There was a lot of noise and shouting around the building complex, and I could distantly hear fireworks. New York has so much energy.

Earlier in the evening I got a call from an unfamiliar voice. It was S, who had first contacted me when she graduated Barnard 20 years ago and was starting a job at MetLife, where I was at the time. I knew she'd gotten married and lived in NJ, but had not been in touch in a long time. She was going through her phone book and saw my name. She now has 3 kids and is returning to the workforce after 10 years off. She did not know about the movie.

I then decided I wanted to see an old SuperCalc file where I recorded the movies in the Media Educators Series, so I can get the ones I missed from Netflix or on TiVo. I still download their schedule every year even though I'm no longer a member (couldn't get there regularly early Saturday mornings), because they had a great selection (no "Wordplay" last year, though). I have a box with old floppies and it's amazing how much junk is on these disks (old Prodigy Howard Stern room and AOL NYT crossword chats, anyone?). I also have a SuperCalc file tracking my weight that would be interesting to resurrect (I keep Post-Its on the wall near the scale for newer weights, which eventually I'll enter in Excel).

Unfortunately, Web research says SuperCalc files can't be read by Excel versions past 1995. To read them, I'd have to load SuperCalc itself. I do still have the disks but would rather not install such an old program. I also have my old computers, but one is definitely near dead, and the two older ones haven't been hooked up for years. I'm not even sure where the cords are. There's a service that will convert these files but they want $240 minimum, hardly worth it.

I loaded the file into Excel anyway and among the tons of gibberish are the names of the movies, so I spent a lot of time extracting that text. There was other stuff on the spreadsheet, mostly determining if the cost of the series was worth it. I could do without all that if I just know what movies to see. So that was my exciting New Year's Eve.

I had to go to the Times today. It's just as well the puzzles were a little early, since I've been getting up late in the afternoon and if it were tomorrow I might miss the deadline. I worked on New Year's Day in the past and remember there being food in the newsroom. In the new building, I didn't know where to look. As I got off the elevator, a woman walked by carrying a plate of food, but I was too shy to ask where she got it.

The printer/computer connection (or lack of it) has been fixed, but the printer was low on toner and printed with large white gaps, making the puzzles un-doable. Shaking the cartridge didn't help, so I had to go to the backup printer which is smudgy but readable. I have no idea where supplies are kept, so I couldn't replace the cartridge.

After I finished work, I went to the far ladies' room in the hopes of seeing food laid out along the way, but no luck. I looked down the open area to what I think is the newsroom but saw nothing obvious. I walked around my entire floor and there definitely wasn't any food, but I didn't go forage on other floors since by then I had my coat on and was on my way out. I have a recent Fresh Direct order at home, but free food is so tempting.

In Times Square, I saw no evidence of last night's mobs. In the past, stray pieces of confetti whizzed by, but tonight it seemed cleaned up. I took the IRT up to Broadway, but the supermarket there was closed, as were many stores. Another supermarket was open, but they had nothing I wanted. I didn't really need groceries anyway, and made a veggie casserole with the good, melty cheese. I usually use one green pepper and 3 zucchinis, but they gave me tiny zucchinis, so I cut up some carrots.
Waking up in the dark
I really need to change my schedule of sleeping all day and getting up very late in the afternoon. This is fine for working at night or going to movies (which I'll be doing a LOT of in the next several weeks), but not for a crossword tournament.

My hairdresser Ron sent a notice that he'll be away skiing from Jan. 18-Feb. 4. This is probably where he was when I couldn't get an appointment before Sundance 2 years ago. He'll be back in time for the annual pre-tournament haircut.

I read "The Other Side of Mulholland" by Stephen Randall, another tale of evil Hollywood where everyone is lied to and used. Twin brothers - one gay and one straight - navigate the world of entertainment, celebrity journalism, and teaching the kids of the rich and powerful. Very enjoyable.

There was a last-minute change in one of the puzzles that required me to use InDesign on my laptop. As long as the iBook was on, I tried accessing Puzzle Society and found it was even slower than on my PC - so slow the page timed out. So it's not just the Java on my PC that's making the site really slow.

Re today's NYT crossword: A lot of people didn't get the O-bow (oboe) theme. And I was surprised people hadn't heard of Gwen Verdon or Chita Rivera. I've known them for years. One of the first movies I ever saw was "Damn Yankees" (with Gwen), and the "West Side Story" Broadway soundtrack (with Chita) was a staple in our house.

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