Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

NOT "happy holidays" , even though the people "Happy Holidays" is supposed to protect is people like me, the poor little-Jew girls who don't celebrate Christmas. But saying "happy holidays" is kind of pathetic when Hanukah was basically a month ago and it's not like I was wished "happy holidays" then and I basically forgot it was Hanukah in general. And Kwanzaa does NOT count as "happy holidays" because as we white people have whispered for quite a while, 'who actually celebrates Kwanzaa?.' I've yet to meet anyone who JUST celebrates Kwanzaa. It's like a whipped cream holiday---basically an addition.
So anyway, I agree with Bill O'Reilly and his War on Christmas and I'm so over saying Happy Holidays for the end of December when what we really mean in Merry Christmas, although I did sign all of my work-related e-mails "happy holidays" for two weeks as to not seem unfriendly.

anywayyyy, even though my Hanukah was a non-event, my Christmas was nice. My dad and brother met me in Midtown and we saw "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" (pretty cute) and ate Chinese food. Even though like all people who want to pretend to be real New Yorkers, I hate Midtown, it was a really nice place to be on Christmas Day. A lot was open, and especially with the weather good, a lot of people were around. I feel like Brookln basically emptied out over the weekend, since everyone went home for Christmas. It was so weird. Kind of fun. My roommate and I went to a bar at 6pm Saturday because we were so bored. Umm, and any straight girls out there, if you are interested in getting the affections of guys, perhaps go to a bar at 6pm on Christmas weekend. I haven't gotten so much male attention since being a white girl in Zambia.

Then last night aka Christmas Eve, after working from home during the day, I went to my friend Odette's family Christmas party in NJ (she's the one I met in a coffee shop in San Francisco, and we're still friends which is really cute). It was fun, even though it was basically a high school reunion for her friends so I ended up hanging out with her sister and friend who see each other often enough that they include me in their non-catchup coversation. I didn't sleep over because my dad and brother were coming in today, but I should have. Especially because taking the train home I got off at Penn Station. Did you know there are TWO Penn Stations? WTFFFFFF? I got off at Penn Station, NJ. in Newark. UGHHHHH. And I didn't know when the next train was coming bc it was late so I had to pay the $50+toll and tip and ATM fee since I didn't have this money to get me to Manhattan, where I still had to take a subway, since getting to Brooklyn would have been $20 more, but at least he dropped me off at 14th &1st. Anyway, super-stressful experience, and I almost considered selling an armchair on Craigslist to make up for this loss of cash, but today I came to my senses and realized the chair, which my mom had gotten as a handmedown and was about 15 years old, would have only fetched $20 and just put the chair on the street where a neighbor could take it (which is a really cool thing about NYC).

And I am obsessed with money I realized. That's what the horoscope I took on the way home from Alabama said, and I laughed it off. But it's so true. I think about money all the time. Not about being rich, but like, that losing $60+totally stresses me out.
Oh, we got a couch, which is why we got rid of a chair. And Crystal put it together while I was in NJ which was really amazing and nonstressful.

so i can handle my life and I din't think I'm as crazy as this entry makes me seem. But maybe I am.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Today I went to Ossining for the day to participate in a special edition of the book club: the mother-daughter one. It was really wonderful since I love all those girls and their moms.

And it was weird how an hour north of the city it's all snowy and wintery. When I was waiting at the train station to go back to the city I asked "is this going to ny?" And the guy's like, "you mean grand central?" But in a way where he wasn't particularly trying to be helpful, more like "umm, you're in ny already" and I wanted to be like "I'm from here, but in this context you knew what I meant."

I'm happy I'm not still living at home and seeing my ossining friends I'm one of the first to "get out" yet I like being in the city but sometimes I feel like living in williamsburg and nyc in general is wasted on me. I only like going out in limited doses, ditto shopping, and I don't take advantage of all the cool different things there are to do. And living in ny is hard and stressful and I feel like quality of life is less here than other perfectly nice cities. So, and I know I'll be in ny for at least the next couple of yrs, and I'm totally not depressed or anything and think this is the right place for me right now, but I think in the longterm new york will not be sustainable for me.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Remember yesterday how I told you a guy who looked like Bono told me "I'm not who you think I am?" and I, and my editor and my editor's boss who was also there decided not to believe him?

It turns out this man was telling the truth...Thewashingtonpost.com reports:

Bono at BWI?! Well, Sort Of.
We should have figured there was a professional Bono impersonator out there! The FauxBono who drew a crowd and posed for pictures at
BWI Monday night was Pavel Sfera , a 42-year-old former property manager turned U2 frontman look-alike. He told us yesterday that for years people noticed his resemblance to the Irish rocker (they've never met); he finally decided to go pro (sunglasses, rosary, guitar, stubble) in 2000. "I make a living -- it's a humble one, but a living," said the Los Angeles-based Sfera, who was in D.C. to schmooze the USO and was trying to get permission to visit troops at Walter Reed.
Oh, and Sfera says he never tries to fool anyone, but half the time, people don't believe him when he says he's not Bono: "It's that willful suspension of disbelief." So he usually doesn't say anything -- just poses for pictures, and signs "Love every day" and "Be happy" when asked for an autograph. "I'm very gracious with people."

AWKWARD! I'm embarassed that I didn't fact check, and I trusted everyone especially the Getty photograher who assured me who was there who said, "It's really Bono" and posted the pictures on the Getty site. I wonder if they're labeled... hmmm. I called the ONE campaign to try to get a comment from the real Bono, but I doubt that will happen. I'm just glad I didn't put the Bono-sighting in the lede.

OK, and now is where I'm so glad I'm an "advocacy journalist" and not a "journalist journalist" because if I were actually working for a real newspaper or something I could quite-probably be fired.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

celeb interview!

So I was in d.c. marching in and covering a protest as per usual. I wasn't that excited since by now I've been to about one protest a week for the last 6 mths and was more excited to watch project runway w my northwestern friends in d.c afterwards (which also involved aids randomly). Anyway, this protest,This one was surrounding the AIDS crisis in Puerto Rico and how no one is taking blame even though there is much blame to go around. And it was actually fun and I think useful with raising awareness.

But anyway, as we're marching and chanting, this guy who looks like Bono stops by. I know! I found out today he was in dc for this launch of the one campaign's tv ads in iowa and nh. How random! Guy in charge talks to him, and then I ask for a quick interview.

Bono holds my hand in his leather glove and pulls me aside. I ask him if he knew about the AIDS crisis in puerto rico. Bono says, "first of all, I'm not who you think I am." Now all I can think is 'omg, what if it's not bono and is an impersonator? Just a guy who looks like bono and is playing along' so I'm only half-paying attention to whatever nonsequiter answer he's telling me.but then as he turns away and leaves I ask, "what's your name" just to be sure. He said "Paul" and my boss checked and paul is bono's real name so phew. And apparently real aida activists don't really like bono but I'm undecided about him.

Now I'm trying to figure out if bono's more famous than julie andrews so I can decide who the most famous person I've met is. I think we've decided right now bono is more famous, but history will judge Julie Andrews on top.

In other news I'm on amtrak back from dc (since blackberrying in transit is the only way I blog anymore) and I'm in the nonquiet car just in case I had to do an interview via cell phone. I reallyreally hope airplanes never allow cells bc that would suck. The guy in front of me got in a fight with his girlfriend about how she doesn't even fix him a dinner plate and he wants his $10 back and I think this fight is symbolic of larger issues.

Monday, December 03, 2007


I forgot the best part of the bus adventure so now that I'm in the terminal I'll tell you before I have to write an article (ugh, I've become such a working person)

When at port authority, I wasn't sure where to go and I looked lost as per usual. A man asked if I was looking for the airport shuttle. I said yes, to laguardia. He guided me where to go. The whole exchange took about 30 seconds. "Thank you!" I said.
"Can I have a tip?" The man asked, not rudely.
But also not rudely I said, "a tip? You just did something nice. I do things like what you did every single day and I've never once asked for money." He smiled sheepishly and we waved goodbye.

While what I said was totally accurate and I don't feel bad, it is interesting that when I was in south africa I would have (and did) tip people in the "informal sector"for doing things that in the us didn't warrent a tip because it was more common there and also my white/american guilt was running so high I felt it was the least I can do. But other than make me feel better what did those 5 rands (at that time approx 75 cents) actually do? I'm sure there's the rare story of a car guard (people you tip to watch your car) who saves up his money and put his kids through university. But not to sound so republicanesque but handouts or paying people just because you feel guilty does nothing to "break the cycle of poverty." Like I'm not saying eliminate welfare or anything and maybe I'm just thinking abt that nytimes article I read abt malawi which many of you prob read bc it was the 2nd most e-mailed article today.

Ok,that was really deep for a blackberry entry. Now I'm going to conserve battery, byeeeee.

blogging from the bus

I am on the bus from port authority to laguardia to go cover this conference in atlanta. One sign says "happy holiday" in red bubble letters (apparently no one got the memo abt hanukah and kwanzaa and that "holiday' is now plural). Another sign says (punctuation accurate) "Driver TIPS not included
In your ticket.
Thank you!!!!" And then there's a picture of a $5 bill. Is that an appropriate tip? I'm one of 3 people on a coach bus and the cost was $12 for the ticket. Hmmm
And I don't know how to expense a tip.

In the past I was righteously indignant about my organization"s "strong preference" that I take public transport. But now I'm less annoyed, since if I show some effort w the public transport I don't feel guilty abt taking a cab other times. Plus, going to ATL was MY idea. It's not like I'm doing anyone a favor by going, it's more visa versa. As long as I catch the plane I'm fine.

Wow, we're here already. That was quick.