November 27, 2006

I'm moving to Mexico . . . and getting stoned.

Interesting article. Highlights below.

Can't Get No Satisfaction
In a culture where work can be a religion, burnout is its crisis of faith.

Today, in New York City, everyone knows that the ones “screaming and cursing these motherfuckers for calling me with their goddamned problems” are as likely to be hedge-fund managers as any species of do-gooders. Burnout is the illness of just about any averagely driven, obsessive New York professional. Bankers, high-tech workers, advertisers, management consultants, lawyers working in their mustard-lit honeycombed Hades—all of them are as likely to complain about burnout as schoolteachers and social workers. In 21st-century New York, the 60-hour week is considered normal. In some professions, it’s a status symbol. But burnout, for the most part, is considered a sign of weakness, a career killer.

. . .

And Farber often calls burnout “the gap between expectation and reward,” which may have the most relevance to New Yorkers. This has always been a city of inflated expectations. People with more modest aims for themselves seem less prone to disillusionment.

. . .

Pines’s work has also shown that people in fiercely individualist societies are more prone to burn out. “I once did a study comparing Mexican college professors to American college professors,” she says. “The Mexican burnout rate was lower. To them, the kind of lifestyle you describe in New York is insane. At noon, you come home, eat, and see your family. It isn’t even a question.” In Israel, she adds, she consistently found lower levels of burnout than in her studies in the United States, even though the lives of its citizens are tangibly threatened in a way that most Americans’ are not. “And one explanation I have,” she says, “is that it’s because of the existential threats to our daily lives. You feel your own life is more significant.”

. . .

If one of the surest recipes for burnout, as Michael Leiter has said, is the sensation of inefficiency—particularly if we’re still expending energy and seeing little in return—then there may be something about the modern office that conspires to burn us out. In 2005, a psychiatrist at King’s College London did a study in which one group was asked to take an IQ test while doing nothing, and a second group to take an IQ test while distracted by e-mails and ringing telephones. The uninterrupted group did better by an average of ten points, which wasn’t much of a surprise. What was a surprise is that the e-mailers also did worse, by an average of six points, than a group in a similar study that had been tested while stoned.

That’s right. Stoned. Those people were literally burned out, and they did better.

November 20, 2006

Happy Shmappy.

Dude . . . I just had to schedule a SuperShuttle pick-up time of 5:30-5:45 a.m. for Wednesday. Holy fifth of Jack, I'm going to need a nap.

I love the SuperShuttle. They're friggin' great. $22 for a trip from Manhattan to JFK?? And that's with gratuity included. LOVE.

I'm SuperExcited (I'm such a tool) about going home . . . even if I have to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn for it. I can't wait for some lounging around, no work, messing with my niece, messing with my Mum, getting my Dad cranky, playing some cribbage, eating and drinking as much as humanly possible in one sitting . . . oh, and the giving thanks stuff. It's going to be superb.

I love this time of year.

Man, I'm a loving SOB tonight, eh?

I don't love the filthy little asshole though. He's still making himself unpleasant. Not. Cool.

OK . . . Wow, this was a lot of nothing. I'm off to watch women rip each other apart and whine about some man who couldn't give a shit.

OOH OOH, and Studio 60 is on, too. Life, well, it just couldn't get any better this evening.

hip hip

good guys: 1
bad guys: 0

November 19, 2006

Smell my pants. My pants smell funny.

FOR FUCK’S SAKE (does that apostrophe belong there?)

There’s a dead mouse stuck in between my kitchen sink and the wall. The space between the sink and the wall is about 3.5 feet tall and a quarter inch wide. The only way to get the filthy little asshole out is to remove the sink/cabinet . . . at least this is what the maintenance man told me. I called the emergency line this morning because when I got home last night, my place stunk. After the smell didn’t go away overnight (not for lack of trying with candles, incense, liquid plumber (thought it was a “drain” problem), open windows, and a little airwick thing that managed to make the smell even worse by making it floral), I really thought an emergency call was needed. BUT, as said, the sink/cabinet has to be removed . . . and that can’t happen until Monday (if I want it to at all) . . . so the maintenance guy buried it with caulk. Yup, entombed the sucker with caulk. The smell is mostly gone but I’m still getting wiffs of it when I approach the sink area. And I can’t relax. I know that filthy little asshole is rotting away in a little corner of my apartment and all I can imagine is that its filthy little asshole relatives are going to come looking for him soon. Oh good God . . .

The thing is . . . this isn’t the first “odor problem” I’ve had this week. No not THAT kind of odor problem, Cristina. Although this next sentence would make you think otherwise:

I Febreezed my pants.

Jeans, to be exact.

I Febreezed my jeans.

In the bathroom at work on Thursday.

Because they smelled like mildew . . . YES, it was the pants.

Apparently, when I did my laundry last week, air-drying my jeans wasn’t completed properly. Have no idea why . . . I normally hang-dry quite a bit of my clothing.

Anyhow, I didn’t notice the smell when I threw on the jeans 2 minutes before leaving my apartment for work. And I didn’t notice the smell when I walked to the bus, waited for it, and then got on. And I didn’t notice the smell when I got off the bus and walked into work. I DID notice the smell after I’d been sitting at my desk for 10 minutes. And after noticing the smell, I did a “what is that?” swivel with my head a few times. I didn’t REALLY think it was my pants until I got on the elevator with 5 other people and someone mentioned that it “smells like mildew in here.” Oh. My. God. THIS led to the Febreezing incident. I went and bought myself a bottle and spent 10 minutes in a bathroom stall spraying my jeans and waving them around to dry them out (FYI: you Febreeze clothing until it’s damp—this doesn’t lend itself well to quick bathroom Febreezing). Drying the pants took a little longer than I had time for, so I definitely wore damp pants out of the bathroom. But at least my ass had a lovely breezy smell for the rest of the day.

*I honestly can’t believe I just told the MILLIONS of people that read my blog about Febreezing my pants during work.*

It's all so interesting, eh?

So, my plan for the next three days (the last three days I am in NYC before heading to VA for Turkey Day with the family):

1. Talk to Management Company about filthy little asshole
2. Wash jeans and other “mildew-smelling” items of clothing
3. Invest in stronger perfume

November 15, 2006

dream a little dream

**The following was emailed to me this morning by my lovely friend Julia (aka Goolia). I found it so highly amusing, that I'm posting it (subject line included—check "title" of blog entry) for your reading pleasure.**


I had the craziest dreams last night. Everything was as it is, except not, you know? Like we both lived in the UES, but the UES was all residentially like normal life, not NYC. And we lived down the street…like four houses (opposite sides) from eachother. My place was blue and rundown. Yours was white with red trim. And I visited you, and your Mum was there except that she wasn’t your mum she was your MOM, bc she didn’t have an accent. And you guys were decorating. Your place WAS HUGE. For a studio. I mean, you had a separate room just for sitting that was painted this pinky-coral color and had really nice white wicker furniture in it (I said “Mandy, this wicker is SO nice” and you said “Yeah, like EVERYBODy doesn’t own the same set!”) and beside the furniture you had this long buffet table in the room covered completely with vases of the most beautiful flowers (and I was like “OHHHH, this is the flower room you told me about!”). And I also kept saying, “Mandy, you said this place was small! It’s not small, you should see the dump I live in.” But then I think I had to leave for some reason. It was spring and beautiful outside and we lived in a real neighborhood, with kids riding bikes and everything. But you were like “wait” as I was walking out the door, and you grabbed my arm. “Look, she’s coming back.” And it was your friend Christina (?) who I don’t know at all, but in the dream she was ALSO a neighbor and you told me she was so annoying and always mooched off of you, and you kept saying “look, just look at her…ugh, I hope she doesn’t come over.”

Your place was really nice, though I didn’t get to see the upstairs, where your bedroom was. And your mom left rather quickly in my dream. I think she was going to Duane Reade to buy you stuff.

The End.

**Isn't this email what dreams are made of? Fantastic. Super-fantastic.**

November 14, 2006