Sunday, August 28, 2005

Day 3- Bagels & The W

Tried Montreal-style bagels this morning. NY bagel snob that I am, I actually enjoyed them. Sweeter and a little less dougy. The bagel place was in the old Jewish area (I even saw a mikvah that still appears to be in use)- home of both famed bagel shops, Fairmont (the one we tried today) and St. Vituear (sp?) and several of the smoked meat palaces.

W Hotel- AMAZING! (other than not having the room ready on time). I'm not hip or good-looking enough to be staying here. It's like I'm staying in a palace of runaway modernism. As beautiful as the place is some more functionality would not kill them. The purity of the bathroom would not be harmed too much if they added a few more places to hang a towel or bathrobe. Never the less the room was beautiful and luxurious*, complete with actually fast wireless internet, nightstands that light up internally, a faux fur blanket, comfy armchair, and beautiful fixtures. Fabulous robes, a and Aveda products awaited the weary traveler in the bathroom.

Underground city= mall mania. In Montreal's downtown almost all shopping malls are connected both underground and (when possible) above ground. That's something that one wouldn't find in the states. It is pouring rain right now, which made the underground shopper's paradise a good choice for today's activity. There is even a statue of 'Rocket' Richard in one of the malls (I'm not sure which one it was in the vast maze of indoor shopping). There are even people (troll people?) who never have to come aboveground for months out of the year. They live in an apartment building that is connected somehow to an office building that they work in and a mall where they can shop. (They must be very pale creatures).

One thing that I've noticed walking around Montreal for the past few days is how integrated of a city it seems to be (at least in my tourist eye view). One sees people of all different races and ethnicities interacting in social situations unlike in the States. The thing that seems to divide people here has more to do with whether you're Anglo or French than it does with race or religion.

Today at the food court I was getting falafel from the Lebanese place and the guy made it perfectly to my liking (not hot sauce or turnipsor other weird crap) once he understood that I was used to having them in Israel. He was like "Oh, you like it the correct way".

It is also safe to say that I'm probably the only woman ever to go into the (in)famous Montreal strip club, Club Super Sexe, and notice the Montreal Canadiens jersey hanging on the wall.

I tried the smoked meat that Montreal is so famous for. While I enjoyed the Montreal-style bagels because they were sweet, I disliked the smoked meat for the same reason. As a New Yorker I like my deli meats on the salty side.

*good job by the travel companion who got the room for a third of the rate by using Expedia

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Day 2- Old Port and CCA

Last night involved a lot of walking around the Latin Quarter and the Gay Village neighborhoods (oddly, didn't spot any rainbow flags). A lot. Went to a few bars- one was a college hangout (the hotel is near U of Quebec at Montreal- UQUAM) and another was a wanna-be biker/rock/American dive bar. Both had pretty decent music playing, lots of mid-90's tunes, no crappy electronic music (which Montreal is apparently a center of).

Today we're off to the Center for Canadian Architecture and the Old Port area. Maybe there will be more things in English there, as I have yet to experience the Montreal where everything is in both languages. People do seem very nice and would rather speak English to us. It's like they can sense my nonexistent French and are not pleased by my traveling companion's Anglo-accented French.

The Old Port was cute, but smelled like horse poop (think Central Park and its carriage rides). I do like how they turned the old industrial parts of the port into a park with bike trails and canals in teh old dry dock areas. Sort of like you tend to find in the old industrial areas of Germany.
The Canadian Centre for Architecture was amazing! The tour guide was great and very informative about both the museum building itself (hey, it is the architecture center) and the main exhibit- "the sixties: montreal thinks big", which is about the60's in Montreal and how Expo '67 lead to the city planning that makes up present day Montreal. Lots of politics and demonstrators and demolitions.
Dinner last night was at a cute tapas place on Rue St-Denis called Confusion. Tapas is all about sampling. I was brave and sampled my dining partner's venision carpaccio (essentially raw Bambi). I now know the meaning of the word 'gamey'. Food in Montreal is amazing in general. So many choices. A lot of Lebanese food- shwarma, falafel, and hummous galore!

This city puzzles me though. You can get perfectly decent shwarma or burgers at anytime of the night, yet the stores close at 5 or 6 PM. Insane. I've heard Montrealers complain about teh economy. Perhaps if stores stayed open later it'd bring a bit mroe money into the city.

{please ignore any spelling or format errors. the computer I'm using doesn't seem to like Blogger much}

Friday, August 26, 2005

Day 1-Arrival

I`ve arrived! The hotel has a slow-ish computer in the salon. (See how French I`m sounding already?). The keyboard is odd, many different characters than on a strictly English keyboard. Montreal is kind of chaotic, but organized. Lots of people, most of whom seem to dutifully obey traffic signs and signals. The border crossing was weird, it kind of felt like waiting in a very long and slow line at a tollbooth, yet there was no toll to pay. Instead, we were asked by a pleasant young woman (who appeared to be around my age) in a uniform with a gun strapped to her waistband about any firearms that we might be bringing in with us (none) and what were we doing in Canada (playing tourist).

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cuban cigars & maple syrup

I'm off to Montreal for a few days. It's the largest French-speaking city outside of Paris. Yet it's gastronomic culture centers around Jewish deli food (smoked meats and hearty breads) and bagels. I guess not all the French are anti-Semitic.

I'll try to blog, as the hotel is supposed to have high speed internet access.

Potential Darwin Award winner

This RI resident has to be a potential Darwin Award winner. According to the Providence Journal:

The police are investigating whether someone deliberately poisoned a beer that an avid runner apparently found near Moonstone Beach.
The state Department of Health contacted the police Sunday night after being alerted to a possible poisoning victim being treated at South County Hospital, Sgt. Thomas A. Owens said.
Ivy Darigan, wife of Michael P. Darigan, told officers that her husband became violently ill Sunday evening immediately after taking a sip of a beer he had found a month earlier on a run near their summer home at Carpenter's Beach Meadow, according to police reports.

Ivy reported that her husband experienced burning in his throat and stomach and said "I think I drank some poison." The beer was one of two remaining in the six-pack he had found.

Who drinks a beer that they find on the beach (or on a bench or the mall parking lot)?...especially since friends and family describe this guy as a "health nut"?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pod people

This place is a lot looser than my last station. When you're owned by a giant lightbulb company, as the last one was, things tend to be more codified and less is left to chance (that's their intent anyway...). I'm not sure what to make of my new company as a company just yet. I did learn today that there is also a tradition of ice cream on Fridays in the summer. I wonder what the holiday parties are like?

I have now become a pod person. Worse, I have to share a work area (all very nice people that I share with, but nothing beats your own space to spread your stuff out on). I miss my desk and the modicum of privacy that my cubicle afforded me.

Why am I still here?

OK boss, you encouraged me to use this to blow off steam about work....I'm going to do that now.
I have been up since 3 AM. It is now 1 PM. (Thank you. The bagel did help to sustain me this long. No sarcasm.). My shift is supposed to be 5-9 AM. I'm not sure what's going on. Is this just a quirk today or will timing always be this off? I'm glad for the extra hours but my body is so not used to this yet. It is screaming for sleep. Well, it's more like softly whispering since it's too tired to scream.

Its not that I don't like it here. I do. I appreciate my job. I just need time to get used to the rhythms of a new place and to the rules and systems of a new corporate owner. The lightbulb company ran a pretty tight ship, or at least appeared to. There were, like, systems and charts and measurements for everything. And my former boss was very involved in governing my schedule ( a little to involved for my taste most of the time). I'm not used to all this freedom and trust.


I have been up since 3 AM. The noon news cannot be over fast enough. I have never wanted to tumble into my bed and drift off to sleep so badly as I do right this moment.

I guess my glorified nap last night didn't really work.

Musings: 4 AM

Hurtling through the darkness to work at 4 AM I pondered the following.....

  • do truckers still use CBs?
  • there were far more cars than I imagined. I thought it would just be me and the truckers. What kinds of jobs do all these other drivers have requiring them to be at work so early?
  • a local college radio station plays some good jazz and blues (versus their usual alternative format)
  • this is gonna suck in the winter
  • there's a lot of roadwork going on at night
  • not many commercials on the radio
  • the long drive sort of wakes me up, then my brain can sort be function by the time I get to work
  • I hope I'm awake enough. I could not fall asleep last night, since it was only 9 PM when I tried, and thus ended up basically taking a glorified nap.

Monday, August 22, 2005

So much to do

It's 8:30 PM and I'm trying to figure out what time I should go to bed to make it to the station for my 5 AM shift.

I'm also trying to pack and plan for a trip to Montreal at the end of the week. Plus the 7:45 AM meeting I have on Thursday (so silly, it was originally my idea to make these meetings earlier back when I had to be at work at 9AM....back when work was only 10 miles away...), as well as having an appointment to take my car to the mechanic that day. I think that I need a vacation from my upcoming vacation.

Off & Running

New blog name experiment #1.

Off And Running... = I'm now entering the Grown Up phase of my career. Meaning, I think that my current job is something that I am more inclined towards and am more excited about (as opposed to the last one). I think that this is a step in the right direction and the job sort of came up out of the blue and I started it way sooner than I expected to, so I'm Off & Running...

Picture It- MIT Chapel

Picture It- Strata Center at MIT

(you can also check out some pictures taken my friend on his cell phone- not bad quality for a cell phone)

A moment to breathe

Whew! I finally have a moment to sit down and work on some stuff at the computer (blog, bills, photos, etc....).

What an eventful weekend. A friend came to visit and I took him to Cambridge to see MIT and the new Strata Center (designed by Frank Gehry). (Pictures to come soon). It is such an amazing building- it seems to undulate and move. We got to go inside the normally tightly secure building since someone had left a door propped open. It felt really open and airy and light on the inside, not the norm for a building full of computer people. I was fortunate to get a picture in the serene MIT Chapel (designed by Eero Saarinen) before we were chased out of there. We also checked out the famous infinity building, which really did seem to go on forever as we tried to find our way out onto the quad.

We walked down Mass. Ave to Harvard Square and Harvard Yard where we saw a large group of foreign parents and kids (mainly teens...ack! Did I just refer to teens as kids? I must be getting old....) touring the school. Well, actually, they were all just standing in front of the library and staring at it and taking pictures of it. I didn't see a tour guide or anyone who looked official but I can only conclude that's what they were there for....anwyay, it seemed logical at the time....

I start my 5 AM to 9AM shifts tomorrow. Scary, the idea of being up so early, but I guess I was bound to have start them eventually.....

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Disengagement: Baptism by fire

I've started this new job smack in the beginning of the Gaza Disengagement. My knowledge of Hebrew and other things Jewy made me feel useful this morning during all of the breaking news from Gaza. (I actually have to pay attention to the news for this new job).

I don't pretend to understand the complexities and nuances of Israeli politics, but I do know that the images I've seen in the past few days are heartbreaking. It was odd this morning to see the action at the shul in Neve Dekalim start to slow down. People began to wonder why and all of a sudden I realized that it was around 5pm in Israel- time for Maariv (evening prayers)- and soldiers and settles began to pray-not quite the most organized prayer service ever, but it did cause things to calm down a tiny bit.

From Haaretz:

Female soldiers and police officers broke into the adjacent Ashkenazic synagogue where the women protesters were located and removed those who had barricaded themselves in the building. The women soldiers had agreed to wait until the end of prayers before entering the synagogue.

I find this an interesting contrast between the sexes- that the women agreed ahead of time to wait until after the prayer service while the men....well...I'm sure you all the footage.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I think they trust me

I did so well in my training this morning that they left me alone for a little over an hour this afternoon. I even managed to fix a typo on the website. Go me!
I am slowly meeting people here. Being new is always a bit weird at first. I’m usually pretty outgoing, but I do feel kind of shy in this new environment. I’ll talk to strangers in line at the supermarket, but only because I’m sort of stuck in close proximity in that situation and I’m really only speaking to them because they are standing next to me.
Here I have yet to actually need to interact with the majority of the news staff, so I just kind of haven’t. I hope they don’t think that I’m rude or something (if they’ve even noticed that I exist- I say this not out of insecurity, but because this is a busy place with freelancers and interns and etc passing through). And then there is the weirdness of sort of getting to know a person only to realize that you have no idea what their name is (or they don’t know yours) and then you pass the point where it is acceptable to ask someone what their name is without looking like an idiot.
My old workplace had this board with labeled pictures of every employee. This was both good and bad:
Bad- a lot of the pictures where about 10 years old and no longer actually resembled the employee.
Good- you got familiar with who worked in what department, how to spell everyone’s name correctly, and, if you were lucky, you could use the picture to identify the employee.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

"I am the gate keeper"

{Please try to keep the keymaster jokes to a minimum. Thanks}

I had my first day of training today. It went well. I like the new station. Part of what I'll be doing involves the news ticker, as in I get to decide what goes on it. I get to be the gate keeper of information that is seen by our many viewers. I'll try not to let the power go to my head.

Turns out that someone I know from the old station I worked at does some freelance stuff at the new place, so I'll be well informed of the gossip and goings on at the old workplace. The new boss is cool. The few people that I've met seem nice. Bearing in mind the new boss might be reading this, I have to say that there were some very nice looking men at my new place of employment. That said I usually have a policy of not dating or whatnot the people I work with. If things don't work out it can be very awkward. For me to become involved with a fellow employee there's probably something pretty irresistible about them.

I already don't love the commute, it's like 70 miles round trip and my car is kind of old. Moving closer to work might be preferable. I'll give it a month or two and see where things stand.
Moving brings its own set of complications, aside from just the actual move. You have to find all sorts of new things- dentist, doctor, hairstylist (I'm particularly picky about this one), place of worship (if you do that), etc...


I start training at the new job today. I had a dream about it last night. In the dream it looked different than in reality, mostly because the parking lot was huge and there were these giraffe lamps all over. Not really sure what to make of that.....

Monday, August 15, 2005

Any suggestions....

...for a new name for this blog? Since I now have a job, for which I begin training tomorrow, I don't think I'll be slacking anytime soon.

I actually had an idea really good name for it in the shower a few days ago, but being that there is nothing to write with (at least not in my shower) I cannot remember what my brilliant idea for a new name was. Don't you hate when this happens?

Picture It- Casinos

Some of the tasteful decor at Foxwoods

The Rainmaker during a show

More trout. Reminds me of an Orvis store.

Chihuly tower sculpture

Wombi Rock

Faux town inside of Foxwoods

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Gambling Away A Saturday

Not really, nless you count the $7 I lost in the slot machines.

Blogger lost my original post about my day at the native American casinos in CT. So here are a few thoughts while I try to recover my originals. Pictures to come soon as well.


  • tackiest place I've seen outside of Disneyworld
  • lack of ambiance
  • seemingly random set up, afterthought, no forethought to construction, hodgepodge
  • neat sculptures exist in random places, mainly hotel lobbies
  • ergonomics toilet seats, very comfy
  • lost $7 in slot machines
  • bad music playing loud over 'casino noises'
  • didn't make it to museum, sad about that
  • Hard Rock Cafe- bad waitress, decent food, good music
  • Rainmaker statue is something you'd find at a chain restaurant like the Rainforest Cafe, kind of cheesy up close

Mohegan Sun:

  • way more organization, forethought in design
  • more ambiance, good lighting
  • a little tacky, but architects took tribal traditions into account with the design, which is cool and meaningful- Taughannick Falls, Woombi Rock, Wolf's Den, the round casinos- but can also be confusing- on Christmas Day (where else is open for Jews to go to?) I spent 30 minutes looking for my friend at a gaming table
  • better shops
  • Uncas American Indian Grill- yum (interesting to note- they refer to themselves here as American Indians, not First Peoples, Native Americans, or First Nations)
  • I love the Dale Chihuly sculpture in front of Taughannick Falls

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Job

I've accepted a job offer!

I think that my new boss will be OK with my continuing to blog, as long as it's not about work. I guess I'll have to change the name of this blog or something now.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

This is not a jungle gym

Since this is a work-related blog I thought I'd regale my dear readers with some tales that I collected while working at a large pharmacy chain (when I was paying my post-college retail dues). I mainly worked in the photo and general front of the store. Sometimes the pharmacy would borrow me if they were swamped (not to dispense meds...Only to work the register).

Some thoughts:

  • The candy rack is not a jungle gym for your children.
  • Please don't involve me in your romantic/family squabble- "She (referring to me) said I'm right!"
  • I don't want to be heartless but I don't care what medical test you are coming form or going to. It's simply not my business.
  • Please don't pay for something with five dollars worth of change.
  • Don't look like you're going to actually hand me the money and then drop it millimeters from my hand....germ-phobic freak.
  • Don't hit on me and think you have a chance if you're old enough to be my dad...or grandfather. You're not as smooth as you might think that you are.
  • Pay attention to the sign on the counter. Chances are it says "register closed". Please pick another one without a sign in front of it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

# 5

A Job Offer has been extended to me! (And yes, I know that my potential new boss might be reading this...). I'd be the weekend PM Web Producer at a TV station in the Boston area. And the (early) AM New Ticker 3 days a week. Crazy hours, but then again it is television news, where a 9-5 day is a rare occurrence (unless you work in the sales department..which I have no desire to do ever again).

The station is located in one of the most attractive office parks that I've ever seen.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


I had yet another meeting today back at the old workplace. I really miss the people. Several people asked if my presence meant that I was coming back to work. Sadly, it did not.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Newport Folk Fest 2005

While this has little to do with my unemployment I thought I'd share some pictures from Saturday.

VJ Day

Tomorrow is a state holiday- VJ Day- the day that state and municipal employees of Rhode Island (and no other state in this country) take the day off from work celebrate, well, nuking Japan. They've tried to change the name of the holiday, or at least it's emphasis (bonus points to the state government for trying).

Sunday, August 07, 2005


Newport was amazing. I'm sick today. I'll write more tomorrow once the antibiotics kick in.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

It's 3 AM Yet Again....

...but this time I'm writing in the wee hours because I've been a busy little slacker this week. Had two job interviews - one was much more interesting than the other. I think that the second meeting on Wednesday with a TV station was much more up my alley for many reasons, one of which is that I didn't have to wear pantyhose to it.
I went to see Trey Anastasio in concert in Boston last night (lots of fun). And I'm off to Newport tomorrow (today?) at 9:30 AM for the Folk Festival. Then next week it's back to the job search grind and more meetings about the upcoming expo for which I am the Volunteer Coordinator.

Off to dreamland for me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


An interesting take on blog writing at ClubLife.
I often feel as though I am still trying to find my balance and my voice. Sometimes as I sit and write I wonder if what I'm writing is of interest or if I've just crossed that line over to just giving you the boring details of my day.

"Song of the Shrimp"

It was a lovely day in Boston. 89 degrees and sunny and there I was traipsing around the financial distric in nylons (toeless nylons, but none-the-less suffocating in the heat) and heels. Thanks to the wacky commuter rail schedule I had to take a train in that arrived at 1 pm for my 3pm interview. This gave me time to have a lovely outdoor lunch with a friend at the Milk Street Cafe.

My interview seemed to go well today. Mostly.Things did not start off well. I got to the office at around 2:40 pm. When I got upstairs they were alarmed at my timing. Not a good sign. I explained that I had arrived in Boston at 1 pm, had lunch with a friend, and then we wandered around a bit, but that I wanted to make sure I was not late for my 3 pm appointment. Someone there screwed up the scheduling because the person I was supposed to meet with didn't show up until almost 3:30 pm. He thought that I was supposed to meet with someone else there first. The other person had no idea what he was talking about. It has been my experience that some non-profits can be a little disorganized, but this was kind of odd.

Overall, I think that they were impressed with my media knowledge (such as complimenting their buying commercial time during the Daily Show and then giving them some more suggestions on how to reach a younger, hipper demo), the fact that I've managed volunteers before, and with the fact that I serve on a community board (gives me cred in the community services field I guess). I was troubled by the fact that they do not seem totally sure of what they want the job to be- the original description was heavy on community action/Holocaust/Darfur/etc programming and PR for that and also some senior citizen advocacy efforts- but then I was asked a hypothetical about how I'd feel if it were more media oriented (fine with me). I'm not sure what my overall impression was. I did like it when we were talking salary and they said that they like to make sure "its livable". That is important.

After it was over I just made the 5pm train home and ended up having to share my seat. Sometimes you get stuck with an annoying seat buddy, but he was nice to chat with. We spoke about the upcoming Newport Folk Fest, restuarants in New England, and Frank Black's cover of the Elvis tune "Song of the Shrimp".