Daniella's Misadventures
Thursday, November 27, 2003
What I'm thankful for

I am thankful for my wonderful family who makes me feel loved and supported no matter what I do.

I am thankful for my amazing friends who are all so special and interesting in their own ways and who are truly the best people in the world.

I am thankful for my good job that is pretty interesting and allows me a lifestyle that is better than about 80% of Americans.

I am thankful for my future husband, who is truly the kindest, most patient man in the world and who is the reason I am as happy as I am. He makes every day something to which I look forward.

And, finally, I am thankful for all of you who find my ramblings interesting enough to read.

Have a wonderful and joyful Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 24, 2003

By the way, to celebrate my one year anniversary of quitting "that nasty habit," I have added a quitmeter to the bottom of Daniella's Misadventures. This way, I can see how much money I am saving, not to mention the positive health effects.

Of course, the twenty pounds that I've put on aren't on there... But, I vow that those twenty pounds will be gone BEFORE the wedding!
It's the final countdown....

In 30 hours I will be deplaning at Moisant Field, a.k.a. Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans. I have not been home since July 29th (118 days, not that I'm counting or anything!).

I will see my friends and family, enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, celebrate my second annual thirtieth birthday at Galatoire's, go see Rebirth Brass Band at The Maple Leaf, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers at Le Bon Temps Roule, get a perfect martini from Colleen at the Bridge Lounge and just generally feel that all is right in my world.

Then I have to get back on a plane and return to New Jersey... yuck.

Till then, blogging may be sporadic if at all... we are staying at my parents house and they have... gasp!... dial up internet service (really, Mom, how behind the times can you be? Dial up internet service!!@#@#??). I just don't know if I have the patience to use a 56K modem!

Have a great Thanksgiving and don't forget to raise your glass on Sunday for my second annual 30th birthday!
Friday, November 21, 2003
Men's command centers

I've been reading the Little Owl (le Petit Hiboux) for some time now, but this has got to be her best post ever. Read all about men and their command centers here.

This reminds me of a joke my mom (yes, THAT mom) told me recently:

A female brain cell accidentally winds up in a man's brain. She floats around and around and doesn't see any other brain cells. Finally, alarmed, she calls out,

"Hello? Is there anyone out there?"

After a really, really long time, she hears a faint response...

"We're all down heeeere..."

Hee hee hee.
I used to be a young person

In nine days, I will have my second annual 30th birthday. I'm not upset about it. Actually, the year that is about to end has been a really good one for me. I got engaged to a man who really makes me happy. I'm learning a lot in my new job. I started my MBA, which my company pays for. Things are pretty good.

Anyway, my back has been bothering me. My back has always bothered me to some degree or another. I had a pretty bad car wreck in 1996 and that made it worse. I settled out of court (it was the other guy's fault - he ran a stop sign) because I didn't want to be one of those people who sues if they get a bruise.

I wasn't in that much pain, so I settled for a fair value on my totaled car, medical bills, physical therapy bills and a little money for the inconvenience of missing work. I think after lawyers fees, I walked away with something like $700.

In the last few years, my back pain has gradually gotten worse. The last few months have been pretty torturous. I have a hard time sleeping and I can't carry anything too heavy. But I'm a former athlete who's starting to get back into playing soccer, I do yoga and, well... I'm young! It will pass, right?

I had several MRIs and my evaluation by a specialist was today. This was his diagnosis: I have the beginnings of arthritis on my lumbar area. He gave me a prescriptions for anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers and pain meds (non-narcotic as I requested). I will have to start going to physical therapy two to three times a week.

He added that this is exacerbated by the trauma suffered in the car wreck, but because I settled, I cannot go back for any additional money from the guy who hit me. Meanwhile, I'm in a lot of pain.

ARTHRITIS??? I'm 30 years old! This is so depressing. When did I get so old? People my age don't get arthritis! I might as well give up and start drinking prune juice and going to early bird specials at the Picadilly. Is the "young me" really gone?
Ok, Ok... Aren't we taking the Metrosexual thing a bit far now? Loews Hotels now offer a "MetroMan Special" -- this is an overnight stay including a "two-hour tasting meal, etiquette info, wine knowledge, manicure or pedicure, haircut and shave and a consultation with a personal shopper. For even more enhancements, there's also the Metro Man Deluxe. It's two nights which builds on all of the above services, and adds things like waxing, a facial, dental bleachings and more."

So, ladies, send your shlubby husband to Loews and he comes back as pretty as a gay man, only STRAIGHT! Ain't life grand?
Thursday, November 20, 2003
Blogpimping... the new word!

Thanks to the ever original Kara at Coffee Achiever for coming up with a great new word about people that post on topics that they do not care about in order to drive traffic to their site. Read all about it here.

It's just not fair... she always comes up with the best stuff to write in her blog... I bet she gets more sleep than I do!
Everybody knows, I'm way cooler than you

To continue from yesterday's quiz about what kind of hipster I am..... Here is how YOU can be as cool as ME... all you need to do is click here for the tools to get you started.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Oh, I'm sooooo cool

The Low-Fidelity All-Star: he was born with the cool, and it's totally natural.  He runs the gamut from Hipster Supreme (only they can ingest as much coffee as he) to the geeky hipster%
You are the Low-Fidelity All-Star. You were born
with your cool, and it's totally natural. You
run the gamut from Hipster Supreme (only they
can ingest as much coffee as you) to the geeky
hipster (Mario Kart, anyone?).

What Kind of Hipster Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Houston, we've hit 2,000!

Hits that is....see site meter.

So, in honor of my 2,000 reader (hopefully, you're not the person who googled "scorpios attitudes during sex" to get here!), I present....

Your moment of Zen

Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
The Reason My Blog has not been up to snuff

I don't know if you have noticed, but I haven't been as eloquent lately. You may be wondering as to the reason for this. Well, there are two reasons. Their names are Cali, heretofore known as The Small Evil Cat (SmEC) and Frank, heretofore known as Big Fat Lazy Cat (BFLC).

In New Orleans, we had a two bedroom, two bath apartment. The cat litter lived in the stand up shower of the second (and mostly unused) bathroom. The cat food and water lived on the bathroom counter near the sink. On the floor was a large laundry basket with old towels piled in it. The cats knew how to open the various drawers and cabinets (which were empty). It was basically cat paradise. The cats had the run of the apartment all day while we were at work and all evening while we were home. At night, however, when we retired to our bedroom, the cats retired to their cat paradise bathroom and the door was closed. This arrangement worked well for everyone involved, particularily me, as I am a terribly light sleeper.

Here in New Jersey (aka Hell), we have a lovely two bedroom apartment. It has a great big, beautiful eat in kitchen, hardwood and marble floors and it is on a quiet street. What it does not have is a second bathroom. The SmEC has a new favorite game. It involves scratching on our bedroom door while meowing very VERY loudly at 1:30 AM, 3:30 AM, 4:45 AM and 5:30 AM. Then, when I come out cursing, she runs away and hides. As soon as I drift back to sleep, the process begins again. She, needless to say, finds this oh-so-much-fun. I am not nearly so amused.

I don't know what to do. Our apartment has an open floor plan, which means the kitchen, dining room and living room all lead into one another. Our bedroom is directly off of the living room. I can't put them in the spare bedroom due to BFLC's taste for computer cords (i.e. he will destroy our two computers which live in the spare bedroom). I cannot put them in our only bathroom because I don't want the litter box in there. The cat litter currently resides in a small storage alcove behind our refrigerator. This area is too small to close the cats in (its about 2X3 feet and only waist high) -- it would be cruel. I don't have a solution to my problem.

All I know is that I haven't slept more than three consecutive hours in about six weeks and I think I may be going mad without some quality sleep. I may be becoming homicidal...
If you don't already hate POTUS, you will after...

...this. This administration will do anything to get a few more campaign contributions!
Monday, November 17, 2003
Oh, yeah... THIS is why we listen to NPR....

I listen to NPR to send signals of culture and sophistication to prospective mates, right? Oh, wait.,.. I already have a mate. Gee, I must like NPR. And I'm not even that old yet!
Friday, November 14, 2003
Hey, kids... Wanna know what's cool? Old Navy says... it's getting drunk!

Last night John and I were watching Friends (I know, I know... it's completely jumped the shark, but we watched it anyway). Twice during the episode we saw a commercial for Old Navy sweaters which I found really, really disturbing.

The scene is a bunch of kids in the back of a limo. The background music croons... "well, the weather outside is frightful, but the BAR is so delightful..." Then it shows two of the kids attempt to high five one another and miss... everyone looks drunk or high. Then the window of the limo opens and Lil Kim leans in and says, "Ya'll ready to party?"

Now, I'm sorry... Old Navy sells clothes to mostly juniors. This isn't exactly career wear. I would guess that their target demographic is teenagers.

Does anyone aside from me have a problem with this ad? Am I totally misreading it?
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Please, please say it isn't sooooooo

I was watching MSNBC at lunch in the break room. My eyes recoiled in horror as a commercial came on which featured Sam Waterson shilling for some discount brokerage house.

Jack McCoy -- doing a F$%@KING commercial? What is this world coming to?
Ok, people... now we're taking it a bit far, aren't we?

This reminds me of the time the cashier at Winn-Dixie on Veterans Blvd in Kenner, LA had a name tag that read... "Hi, my name is.... KOTEX"

I work on the 13th floor of a large office building with a great view of Lower Manhattan. Today's weather forecast calls for wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour.

You know how in some movies when they want to show the passage of time, they speed up views of the sky and the clouds all move at a hyperreal speed? Well, that's what it looks like out of my office window today. It's pretty cool.

On Parents and Blogs

In a typically Onion-esque satire piece, they article linked above follows the story of "Kevin" a thirty year old guy whose mom finds his blog. It's hysterically funny. Read it.

Now, I know my mom and, occasionally, my dad reads my blog. There are sooo many hilarious stories of my goings on that are never blogged about for precisely this reason. There are just some things that a parent does not need to know about their kid. Even if that kid is a grown up, who has not lived with the parents in 13 years.

So, I self edit. Just know this... my life is quite a bit juicier than I blog about. And you can all thank my mom for denying you reading about that!
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
The Shimmering Temple

Last night I went to my shimmering temple to Consumerism -- The Mall at Short Hills. I'd been there before, mind you, but it was with John who glanced at his watch and wouldn't let me try on things that I could not afford.

Apparently, men don't understand the absolute need to try on a pair of Coach kid leather elbow gloves in lemon yellow. Just because they are $400 and we cannot afford them does not mean I don't want to try them on, dear!

So, anyway, last night I went there with my co-worker, who is even more of a trooper than I am. All I can say is WOW... Just look at this store line-up:

A Pea In the Pod
Abercrombie & Fitch
Adrienne Vittadini
Agatha Paris
Ann Taylor
Anya Hindmarch
April Cornell
Arden B
Armani Collezioni
A|X Armani Exchange
Bailey, Banks & Biddle
Banana Republic Men
Banana Republic Women
Bang & Olufsen
Benetton Kids
Betsey Johnson
Black Hound New York
Body Shop, The
Bombay Company, The
Borders Book Shop
Bose Stereo
BOSS Hugo Boss
Brooks Brothers
Bruno Magli
Charles David
Children's Place, The
Cole Haan
Crabtree & Evelyn
Crane & Co. Papermakers
Crate & Barrel
Discovery Channel Store, The
Dolce & Gabbana
Eileen Fisher
El Daws Cashmere
Francesca Romana
Franklin Covey
Gap Kids
Gap, The
Georg Jensen
Georgette Klinger
Godiva Chocolatier
H by Tommy Hilfiger
Innovation Luggage
J. Crew
J. Jill
Janie & Jack
Jimmy Choo
John Varvatos
Johnston & Murphy
Judith Ripka Jewellery
Lillie Rubin
Loro Piana
Louis Vuitton
Lucky Brand
MAC Cosmetics
Max Studio.com
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Neiman Marcus
Nicole Miller
Northern Lights Fur Salon
Occhiali da Sole
Optique by Lenscrafters
Papa Razzi
Pelle Line Shoes
Pildes Optical
Polo Ralph Lauren
Pottery Barn
Push Pedal Pull
Restoration Hardware
Saks Fifth Avenue
Sharper Image
Speedo Authentic Fitness
St. John
T. Anthony
Temple St. Clair
Tiffany & Co.
Via Spiga
Victoria's Secret
Zeller Tuxedos

I do not have the words....
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
American Exceptionalism?

I was listening to an interview on NPR this morning. The interviewer was speaking to John Parker, the author of this article in The Economist. The author asserts that the widening gulf between Europe and the US is a result of American attitudes that have always been there, but were overshadowed by the mutual threat of the Cold War. Now that the threat of the Soviet Union is gone, the huge societal differences between Europe and America have come to the forefront. I am, of course greatly simplifying Mr. Parker's article. Go read the story for yourself by clicking the link above.

However, I was greatly disturbed by something that Parker said in the interview, which I have not been able to find in the article, nor anywhere else on line this morning. He stated that a Pugh poll found that over 70% of Americans believe that you must believe in God to be a moral person. As a member of the teeny minority of people in America who does not believe in a deity, I'm shocked. I've always considered myself a very moral person. I don't lie, cheat or steal. I treat others as I want to be treated, but most people don't believe me to be a moral person? How do the rest of you feel about this?

If anyone can find a link to the poll John Parker referenced in the NPR interview, please e-mail it to me or post it in the comments.
Friday, November 07, 2003
The Online Auction From Hell

From the files of Who Would Buy That? comes the best e-bay auction I've seen in a while. Be sure to read the whole thing.
It's how much? HOW MUCH?!??

I've been seeing commercials on TV for the Borgata in Atlantic City (I am refusing to add the link to this post in protest!). I thought it might be fun for John and I to go check it out some weekend in December. We're pretty broke trying to save money for the wedding, trying to save money to buy a house and trying to eek out a meager existence up here in New Jersey (the land where everything costs three times as much as it cost in New Orleans) and I thought it would be nice to get away. My rather limited experience with casinos (I've been to one in Biloxi, MS) made me think that it might be a cheap getaway for us.

So, I searched for a room for the Saturday after Christmas. I thought we could drive down Saturday morning, make fun of all the gaudy neon, eat at the cheap buffet, have a romantic sojourn in the hotel room and check out on Sunday. Guess how much for a king, no smoking room?

C'mon, guess...

No, really, guess?

You want to know? Well, it was $425. FOR ONE NIGHT. I kid you not. I wouldn't pay that much to stay in a palazzo in Italy. I certainly wouldn't pay that much to stay in some gaudy hotel! YUCK!
Your Horrorscope

I am stealing this from here, who stole it from here, who stole it from here. Don't you just love the internet???

AQUARIUS (1/20-2/10) You have an inventive mind and are inclined to be progressive. You lie a great deal. You make the same mistakes repeatedly because you are stupid. Everyone thinks you are a jerk.

PISCES (2/19-3/20) You have a vivid imagination and often think you are being followed by the FBI & CIA. You have minor influence on your friends and people resent you for flaunting your power. You lack confidence and are generally a dipshit.

ARIES (3/21-4/19) You are the pioneer type and think most people are dickheads. You are quick tempered, impatient and scornful of advice. You are a jerk.

TAURUS (4/20-5/20) You are practical and persistent. You have dogged determination and work like hell. Most people think you are stubborn and bull-headed. You are nothing but a communist.

GEMINI (5/21-6/20) You are a quick and intelligent thinker. People like you because you are bisexual. You are inclined to expect too much for too little. This means you are a cheap bastard.

CANCER (6/21-7/22) You are sympathetic and understanding to other people’s problems which means you are a sucker. You are always putting things off which is why you will always be on welfare and won’t be worth anything. Everyone in prison is a Cancer.

LEO (7/23-8/22) You consider yourself a born leader. Others think you are an idiot. Most Leo’s are bullies. You are vain and cannot tolerate honest criticism. Leo people are thieving and spend most of their time kissing mirrors.

VIRGO (8/23-9/22) You are the logical type and hate disorder. This nitpicking is sickening to your friends. You are cold and unemotional and often fall asleep during sex. Virgos make good bus drivers and pimps.

LIBRA (9/23-10/22) You are the artistic type and have a difficult time with reality. If you’re male, you’re probably queer. Chances for employment and monetary gain are nil. Most Libra women are sluts. All Libras die of sexually transmitted diseases.

SCORPIO (10/23-11/21) The worst of the lot. You are shrewd in business and cannot be trusted. You shall achieve the pinnacle of success because of your total lack of ethics. You are a SOB. Most Scorpios are murdered.

SAGITTARIUS (11/22-12/21) You are optimistic and enthusiastic. You have a reckless tendency to rely on luck because you have no talent. The majority of Sagittarians are drunks. Nixon was a Sagittarius. You are not worth the time of day.

CAPRICORN (12/22-1/19) You are conservative and afraid of taking risks. You are basically a chicken. There has never been a Capricorn of any importance You should kill yourself.

(By the way, I am a Sagittarius. What are you?)
The Friday Five

For lack of better today....

1. What food do you like that most people hate? Liver, brussel sprouts

2. What food do you hate that most people love? any sort of cola, root beer

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you? Russell Crowe

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find attractive? Rossy de Palma (the chick in Pedro Almodovar movies... there's just something fascinating about her)

5. What popular trend baffles you? Those giant pants that guys wear, high heeled tennis shoes or work boots (a la Jennifer Ho-pez).
Thursday, November 06, 2003
Nothing says 'lifetime commitment to monogamy' like showing lots and lots of skin

Thanks to the Coffee Achiever for directing me to this site purporting to have the Ugliest Wedding Dresses ever. Be sure to check out the post regarding the um, "Less Modest Wedding Gowns" - this is where the title of this post came from.
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
You're so vain... you probably think this song is aboutchya...

I'm not much of a wedding-y bride. I'm not wearing a big poofy dress. I refuse to wear a veil. I won't embarrass my single friends by making them line up to catch the bouquet. Don't even get me started on that weird passive aggressive mashing-the-cake-in-one-another's-faces thing that seems to occur in white trash weddings (what the HELL is that about, anyway?).

But... I want to look pretty on my wedding day. Not like a princess with an overblown white dress and hair lacquered to within an inch of its life, just pretty. So, I want get rid of the {gasp!} fine lines that have started appearing on my face. I want microdermabrasion.

Am I insane? Is this procedure safe? Does anyone know where I can get reliable information on the procedure (everything I see on the web is sponsored by one of the companies that produce the crystals or the machines or something)? Can anyone in the NYC metro area recommend a good dermatologist?

I need some advice. Especially if someone has had this done. I don't want to spend the money if it isn't going to make any significant difference in how I look.
Just in time for Thanksgivoweenmas...

It's the ever inspirational "What would Jesus do?" thong! Give your favorite bible thumping religious zealot one as a stocking stuffer! Or as a Halloween treat! Or as part of your Thanksgiving turkey stuffing! It doesn't really matter which because it's all one big holiday "season" now.
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
The Fabulous Brown Family...

I get to spend tomorrow evening in the company of the fabulous Brown family. There's cantankerous P. Brown (no relation to P. Diddy){about whom I found plenty of links, but I think he would killl me if I posted any of them... he's a low profile kind of guy!}, the brilliant artist C. Brown and the littlest Brown, also known as Academic Brown. Unfortunately, Author Brown is now Mommy/Author Brown and will not be able to be there.
Grammar Bitch

I have always been... how shall I say this?... sensitive to the improper use (or is that misuse?) of the English language.

My ex and I used to live next door to an elderly couple on Willow Street in New Orleans. This couple was remodeling their house by themselves and would work on it on most Saturday mornings and Sunday mornings. Early mornings (this was when I was still waiting tables and getting off work at 2 AM). Anyway, they would argue as many couples do when faced with home renovation. It was not their arguing that would wake me up at 7 AM -- it was their poor grammar. I would be in bed, with a pillow shoved over my head, silently cursing as I would correct their speech. I could never get back to sleep.

Once, when I was waiting tables at Kyoto, we had a busboy who was not particularly well educated. I asked him to refill iced tea on a specific table as the woman's glass was empty. His response nearly caused me to have a stroke. H said,

"She don't want no mo, I axed her!"

Anyway, the reason I brought all this up is that one of my responsibilities in my new job is to give the stock research reports that our company's analysts write a once-over for grammar mistakes before they get sent to our brokers. (No, don't ask... I will NOT give you any advance info on what stocks are being recommended. That's called insider trading and it's illegal. So, shut up. I won't do it, don't even ask.). I understand that these analysts are quantitative people and that their writing style will leave something to be desired, but nonetheless, I am continually stunned by the complete lack of basic grammar skills. Case in point,

"...the company representative who we talked to...."


Monday, November 03, 2003
Oh. My. God.

Since when does my former high school even have security guards? How could such a thing even happen at my alma mater? This was a school at which 25% of the seniors are National Merit Scholars. At which 100% of the graduating class went to college. A school that was consistently (throughout the 1980s and 1990s) named as one of the Top 20 High Schools in America. What is the world coming to?
The Irony of pre-wifey-ness....

The Setting: romantic, candlelit dinner for two in Manhattan

The Scene: our heroine and her intended are gazing lovingly into one another's eyes while our heroine recounts the following tale:

"So, we are going to go to yoga together on Sunday and then maybe grab a cup of coffee. God, I hope she likes me. I really like her! Wouldn't it be great if she and I got to be friends? I really hope she calls me and we get to be friends... What do you think, honey?"

Then it hit me... this is how I used to talk about guys. GUYS. You know, possible romantic connections?

I was all excited and a-titter about a woman who lives in the apartment below us. She is interesting and we are becoming friends (which I soooo badly need here in impersonal, unfriendly New Jersey).

So, I guess this is what its like to "forsake all others"? You get excited about making new friends. And that is really cool. Really, REALLY cool!

John said... "you're going to blog about this, aren't you?" You betchya, babe!
Weekend Wrap-Up

The Halloween Parade on Sixth Ave in NYC was a bit of a disappointment. There were some good costumes, a few great ones (the troupe of Michael Jackson dancers with a choreographed routine, the huge drag queen butterfly, a few others), but mostly run-of-the-mill stuff like vampires and devils. Bo-ring! Plus this was not a friendly crowd... If another person shoved me or elbowed me, I was going to punch somebody. All the bars were crowded and people did not have the sense of humor that I associate with Halloween. Oh, well... now I know.

However, our lovely, romantic dinner at Les Halles on Saturday night more than made up for my disappointment on Halloween. We celebrated John's 40th birthday in style (albeit a week late).

I have learned that I need to lower my expectations about New York relative to New Orleans. Although NYC has a great deal to offer, things here will never be done like we do them in New Orleans and in certain respects, will always fall short. I need to appreciate it for what it is, not stress over what it is not.

Damn, I miss home!