Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Decluttering Work: Pre-March Purging Begins!

It's still February, but I've jumped the gun and started my Month of March Purging a few days early by cleaning and decluttering my office. It had finally become too unbearable to go on with out taking some serious action. I couldn't exist any longer with a pile of papers and opened binders two and a half feet high on my desk, obstructing my view of the door and quite literally burying me alive.

With that kind of disorganization, is it any wonder that I had been feeling increasingly stressed about work during the past couple weeks? My work energy was probably stagnating, zipping back and forth between carelessly strewn papers like a thousand little pin balls with no place productive to go, dragged down under the stifling weight of piles of half thoughts and thwarted intentions.

In a two-and-a-half hour whirlwind of post lunch activity, I sent boxes of documents to files, trashed unnecessary materials, organized my cabinets and shelves, put papers in folders, and had my secretary make the all-essential redweld labels. Labels are crucial. I don't think I'm overstating their power when I say that labels can change your world. It's true.

The crowning achievement was moving my poor little, slightly sickly, but hardy bamboo plant out from its dark corner behind my desk top monitor over to the windowsill. The poor little plant had started to take on the aura of an animal trapped in a cage no bigger than the length and width of its body - it too had been stagnating, just like my work energy, only I hadn't seen it, blinded as I had been by the overwhelming piles of paper.

Both the plant and I are going to be much happier now at work. I can already feel it. My whole office feels more spacious, the floor is clear of debris, and the little plant has an unobstructed view of the Empire State Building and the chance for hours and hours of delightfully direct sunlight. Splendid. Now, let's see if I can keep my office decluttered at least through the end of March. It would be an amazing feat but I feel strong, focused, and motivated.

Must be all that energy I just set free.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Spring Cleaning Is Coming

Change is happening. I don't know if it has to do with the cosmos or some internal force. It feels though like I'm embarking upon some kind of Phase II in terms of life transformation, life transformation being perhaps too strong of a description. Life tweaking is probably more fitting. This time, it's not about purging my life of negativity or massively changing my daily existence, because I'm actually quite happy with how things are at the moment, and have been for some time.

It's more that I find myself - it feels like suddenly, although I'm sure this has been developing over time - with what feels like (though it's all relative) tons and tons of space in which to explore things and do things that I hadn't even considered before. I have space in terms of time, but I also have mental and emotional space, which is really cool.

All of this space in which to contemplate has lead me to a decision that might not appear all that significant, but which I am really excited about and think will have a rather profoundly positive impact on me.

I've decided that March is going to be a Month of Purging. It's perfect for a number of reasons. First, because my living situation is changing such that there will be a new beginning which will require and allow me to buy new furniture, paint, and explore the wide world of organizational containers and tricks - things for which I do not have a natural affinity. Second, because it will soon be Spring, and in preparation a large scale Spring Cleaning is just the thing to do. Third, I have boxes and piles of things, drawers full of products, thoughts in my head, and old patterns of behavior that I no longer need, and want to get rid off.

It's going to be a month of physical, spiritual and emotional purging, and I think I'm going to write a post each day describing one act of purging.

Anyone else up for a little Spring cleaning?

Friday, February 22, 2008

SATC Movie Trailer

I just saw the Sex and the City Trailer here (from Jezabel), and I'm not sure I'm overly thrilled, although I'm attempting to remain optimistic. It appears that Steve might have cheated on Miranda (but just once, as if that would ever make it ok), Big and Carrie's wedding gets all snafu-ed, Samantha leaves Smith (gasp!), and Charlotte, the mom of an adorable little adopted Asian daughter, becomes pregnant.

The whole Carrie/Big wedding snafu plot is a little tired. Didn't we just see that on Gray's Anatomy with Christina and Burke? It's also not very realistic - not that I would ever hold SATC to maintaining a consistent level of realism - given the length and intensity of the pair's tortured love affair, and the way it was resolved at the end of the last season with Big racing to Paris to profess his love to Carrie. They love each other, they want each other; would Carrie really mess that up by becoming a bridezilla? Maybe, but what is more likely is that Big's commitment issues resurface.

I also don't necessarily buy that Steve would ever cheat on Miranda. She's never been my favorite, maybe because I'm a lawyer and I don't like the strong-woman-doesn't-want-to-be-a-mom-lawyer stereotype that she represents (my issues, not hers, and I'll save them for another time). I also never thought she was attractive, which I know is a very shallow thing to say. I'm not saying Cynthia Nixon is not attractive, but the way they styled her at times was simply hideous. As a character as a whole, I just never got the appeal. Steve, on the other hand, always seemed completely smitten by Miranda, so the idea that they would settle down, move to Brooklyn, be living the nuclear family dream, and then he would cheat doesn't ring true. On the other hand, they had their fair share of problems too so maybe some of them festered. We shall see. If Steve did cheat, I hope that Miranda dumps him on his ass and moves back to the City.

Samantha... Well, I don't have all that much to say about Samantha, in part because the trailer didn't give us a lot of hints about her part of the story. We see her with Smith in the bathroom, and then later we see her checking out a lot of men. Maybe she's with Smith, maybe she's not. Apparently she's still thinking about sex a lot, and apparently she's cancer free, which is good.

Charlotte has always been my absolute favorite. I love her. She's romantic, sweet, and classy. I noticed the trailer gave us glimpses of her daughter and glimpses of her pregnant belly, but Harry was no where in sight. I'll be pissed if Harry is no longer with Charlotte.

Regardless of the plot, I'm looking forward to this movie as another opportunity to revel in SATC. It's going to be like an extra, extra-long last episode, and even if it's not smashing, it's still going to be thoroughly entertaining. Hopefully the movie - although the trailer makes me wonder about this - will not destroy all the happy endings that the season finale left us with. So many people hold a view that the girls should not have all ended up "happily ever after," all with significant others. I vehemently disagree. That's what they wanted, and that's what they got. What's wrong with letting women get what they want? Personally, I'm all about love triumphing. If that's not what it's about, what's the point?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Who Will Cook: Part II

This topic, that I've recently begun thinking about with more specificity, what shall I call it? What tag does this fall under? I'd prefer not to name it "Gender-Wars" as I would hope that the exploration of these issues would not have to be tinged with a confrontational tone. "Parenting" isn't quite right, because cooking dinner, though arguably part of parenting, is much broader than that. It has to do with the division of household labor/nurturing/care-taking between a couple, something which could come up in a couple living together (I suppose), but seems to really crystallize as an issue to be dealt with once children get tossed in to the mix.

"Gender" is too vague, and also almost a red herring, because although gender has lots to do with this, it just as easily could have nothing to do with it. And, call me naive, but I'd like gender to have a very limited role here. I'd like, in my relationship if I were to have children, for the division of labor not to be about fixed gender roles but rather about the individual people in question and their needs and wants. I'd like the division of labor to take into consideration questions like, who is more suited to cook, who knows how to cook and who doesn't, who would like to stay at home or work outsidef of the home and why and what would that look like, what do the individuals care about and what do they want to pursue in terms of their professional goals, and how can the division of labor incorporate those goals? (I say this, but I also feel the way I just framed it sounds far too rigid, artificial, and formulaic than I would like it to be).

In other words, I'd like the division of labor, to the extent it occurs, to be tailored around the specific needs and desires of the individuals involved, and not based on any fixed notions of what's expected from one as a result of their gender. That's the basic problem with gender roles - they obscure the individual beneath a cloak of societal expectations based on the shape one's genitals, and in so doing often - mainly with respect to women - work to limit the ability of the individual to realize their full potential as happy, fulfilled human beings.

The starting point of the question should not be: You are a woman, so I expect you to do "X". The starting point should be: How can we balance things so that we are both happy and fulfilled individuals? The bottom line is that I'm going to be a good mother, and my partner will be a good father, if we are happy with ourselves and our relationship. If I'm happy working outside of the home full time or part time or not, and vise versa, as long as I'm happy, I will be a great mom. If, however, I'm not happy, my kids will feel that and they won't be happy either, not to mention my partner. There are so many uncertainties in relationships, but I think one thing is certain - a relationship will not be healthy and successful unless both parties to the relationship are happy and fulfilled.

I know that a couple can agree on many things ahead of time and think it's extremely important to discuss these types of issues early on in a relationship - if for no other reason than that it helps you grow and deepen your own thoughts on these issues. But, the only thing you know for sure is that change will happen, and as a friend of mine was saying, about the only thing you can do is work on being flexible, trusting, and good at communicating. You can't plan everything out (although that would be nice), but you can commit to solving together the many unforeseen issues that will undoubtedly arise. It's all about being a united front with both people having each other's back and supporting one another, and committing to that for the future.

Sounds fabulous, I know, but it still leaves the question that started all of this hanging out unanswered in the ether. Who will cook? I still don't know.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Who Is Going To Cook?

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to have children at some unspecific point in the distant but not too distant future. Also for as long as I can remember, I've been aware that I had no idea how logistically it was all going to work out. I've always wanted to have children while I was "young," and many years ago I imagined I would have been married with 4 children by now. It's laughable in a cute way, this idea that we can plan with such specificity our fates, and the timelines by which they will materialize.

From my wiser vantage point at 33, I can't imagine having children now, let alone 6 years ago. It's incredible to imagine myself as a mother with a six-year old. What kind of person would I be now? Would I be sitting at this desk in this law firm? Living in New York? Feeling delighted about the most perfect purple bag that I purchased a week ago with my cousin on a perfect shopping day? Be dating the man I'm currently dating?

Probably not. Or, perhaps if all those things were destined to happen, perhaps they would have happened regardless. In any event, I think there is no doubt that I would be quite different in certain respects, such as how I spend the majority of my time, the thoughts that take up space in my head, my plans for the future. I'm under the impression that having a little creature depend on you for their existence is a fundamentally life-altering experience. One that turns the world colors, to be sure, but a colorful existence is not all rose-tinted and purple sparkles. It also includes slashes of flourescent organge and splashes of mule-puke green; colors I could do without in my daily existence.

Some things I could do without might include cleaning up after someone other than myself, becuase to be quite honest cleaning up is not my favorite thing to do. Nor, is doing dishes, cooking, or managing a household. Could I do all of those traditionally female jobs? I suppose so. Do I think it's essential that someone do those things? Yes. Would I be happy if they were my primary responsibility? I am not sure, but I have a strong suspicion that the answer is no. I do not want to be placed in a cage, gilded and covered in satin pillows though it may be. I want to be free...

Clearly, there is a certain element of my being that is fluttering around like crazy at the moment, freaking itself out about imaginary shackles that may never materialize, thinking about freedom and liberty and individuality and independence and experiencing flashes of exploding fireworks behind my eyelids at the thought of anyone wanting to imprison any human being - especially ME - into a box with a preordained shape called "woman" that is not me, that is not a woman in the full, whole, human sense of the world, but woman sucked dry of her essence and straightjacketed into a collection of chores men would prefer not to do. I do not want to be straightjacketed into anything. I want to be loved for who I am. Period.

Someone is flipping out and needs to r-e-l-a-x. Someone needs to enjoy the moment and have another conversation about these things before imagining that the pnly current available option in the current scenario is: Housewife. Otherwise known as SAHM. Relax Buttercup, relax. Nothing is preordained; at least not in this department. These are things people discuss. These are things about which compromise is supposed to be reached.

Amidst all the fluttering, I've been challenged - really for the first time - to imagine how exactly I envision raising children. I want a full life that includes a relationship, family, children, friends, me-time, and fulfilling work. By work, I do not mean that I necesarily need to or want to excel at a specific career. Rather, I want to do work that fulfills me, something through which I can be challenged and stimulated mentally, and through which I can contribute to the world. Ideally, that work would be in the area of women's human rights because that is trully what I am passionate about. I don't want that passion to die at some point in the future because I've fallen in love and decided to have babies.

I guess that to the extent I have envisioned things, I've envisoned me being busy, walking down an urban street on my way somewhere, with two little girls with long braids at my side. They are about 6 years old, creative and smart, and so is their mommy (smart and creative - not 6). It's a pictue of a whole woman, who is a mother, but also an individual with passions and goals - passions and goals that I imgine would serve as good examples for her children.

What I do not envision is giving up my passions, staying at home in isolation, devoting 24-7 to the needs of a little human being with no respite, having no time to myself, and suddenly becoming June Cleaver. It's not going to happen. In order for me to become June Cleaver, I would have to do the equivalent of giving myself a lobotomy and replacing my brain with a totally different woman's gray matter. I just don't see it happening.

But, if the woman and the man both want to pursue their passions, and if they both want children, and if the man only wants to contribute 25% to childcare and managing the household, what is a woman to do? How do couple's balance these things? And, why are there so many Stay At Home Dads who experience statying home not as imprisonment, but as liberation? Is it because for SAHDs, it's clear that it was a real choice for them, and that no one forced them to assume a predestined role based on their gender?

To all the SAHM, many of whom are my friends, am I totally off here with this rebellious anxiety? None of the women I know who stay at home, all of whom are wonderful, intelligent, dynammic individuals and incredible moms, would do it unless they wanted to, I believe. So, they must not experience it as imprisonment. Maybe it's because they worked through all of these questions and came to a decision that worked the best for them. I, however, am just on the brink of considering these incredibly complex issues, and haven't the foggiest clue as to how to resolve any of them.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why I Love NY: Reason #1 (Bagels and Delivery)

This is not the number one reason I love New York; it's just one of the many reasons I love it. I'm calling it #1 because it dawned on my today, in my slightly hungover state, at 1:20 pm in the afternoon, as I was letting the hot water wash over my face in the shower, waiting for the corner deli to deliver my toasted everything bagel with a slice of melted swiss, tropicana orange juice, and coffee, that it might be fun to keep track of things like that. The random New York city specific things that delight me, from the most simple and mundane to the more extraordinary.

I thought it would be fun to see how many reasons I could post about in a row. Or maybe it wouldn't be in a row, maybe it would just be something I could keep track of. I bet I could get up to 100. Easily. Maybe 1,000? It might be kind of an interesting feature to blog about. On the other hand, I've started blog features before with great expectations, only to let them fade away. There were the posts about goddesses and daily doses of positivity, for example. But, reasons I love New York, a perspective that finds it way in to many of my posts naturally, might actually work. It also fits with the general spirit of the blog: to be present in the now and to enjoy the moment.

At the moment, I'm in New York, I'm being present, and there's a lot to enjoy. So, why not write about it?

Here goes: Reason #1 Why I Love New York:

This morning, I slept late, until almost 1 in the afternoon to be precise. I had woken up earlier because of the strip of bright hazy light shining through the crack in the eggplant-colored curtains, but then rolled over and buried my head beneath my feather-filled pillow and drifted back to sleep. Thankfully, my head didn't hurt, because I had taken a motrin along with a tall glass of water sometime in the early morning hours. I've become such a light weight. Only 2 and a half glasses of wine and I'm done. Well, 2 and a half glasses of wine and staying up until 5 in the morning. Then I'm done.

To be honest, I'm not happy I stayed up until 5 in the morning. It's rather silly and I think I'm too adult for that at this point. Staying up until 5 in the morning really negatively impacts one's ability to maximize the day. I should know; it's 4:32 in the afternoon and I have yet to leave the house. I missed the knitting store's opening hours. Again. I've tried to go three times in a row, the last three days and I've missed open hours by mere minutes each time. I need yarn because I've been wanting to knit. Babies are popping out of all my friends, so any knitting that I would do in the baby blanket genre would have a purpose. It wouldn't be empty knitting, soothing and relaxing, but easily put aside. But, before I can keep my hands busy and my mind calm with stitches, I need some good quality yarn, and for that, my friends, I need to go by the knitting store when it's open. Maybe tomorrow?

Let's go back to 1:30 in the afternoon, after I had my shower, while I was feeling slightly hung over, but thankfully not sick, and Reason #1 Why I Love New York. I thought to myself, as I do when I've had a little bit too much to drink, that the most perfect thing in the world would be an egg and cheese on a toasted bagel with coffee and orange juice. Doing a mental inventory of the kitchen and a quick status check of my relative desire not to cook, I realized my kitchen was lacking bagels, cheese, and milk for my coffee, that I had coffee but in order to make it I would have to clean the pot, and that the orange juice in the fridge was past it's due date. I contemplated getting dressed and starting my day, maybe preparing for a day of shopping, but then instantly dismissed it as fool hardy. I then contemplated throwing on a pair of boots and my jacket over my pajamas and braving the cold to fetch some food. My craving for an egg and cheese and coffee was strong, but the thought of going outside was singularly unappealing.

Then, a moment of brilliance struck. I recalled that the deli on the corner might deliver. A quick search on the internet got me the deli's number and within a minute I was placing my order. 10 minutes later, a delivery man was knocking on the door of my 5th floor walk-up, warm toasted bagel, coffee, OJ, and milk all packed neatly in a brown paper bag. Five minutes after that, I was comfortable ensconsed on the couch, sipping my coffee and enjoying the perfection of my egg and cheese. There honestly is nothing better after a night of over-indulgence.

So, there you have it. Reason #1 Why I Love New York is that with just the effort of a phone call, you can have an egg and cheese and coffee delivered to your door within 10 minutes. It's awesome.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Despite being still slightly full from the chocolate-covered strawberries that were delivered - to the delight of my coworkers (and me) - to my office yesterday afternoon, today I'm not thinking about hearts or chocolate or even relationships. Instead, I'm thinking about babies and pregnancy.

To be more precise, I'm thinking about all of my friends who are currently in states of pre, post, and not-quite-yet birth. Forefront in my mind is my friend Wood who is past her due date and waiting expectantly for the birth of her second child. Apparently, waiting for an overdue baby is a somewhat trying experience. I've heard talk of castor oil, which just makes me cringe. Wasn't that what people used to give children a spoonful of back in the day for saying a bad word? I talked to her the other day and I asked her how she felt. She said, "Pregnant."

My little sister, about 5 months away from Wood's current condition, is totally different. I asked her if she felt pregnant and she said, "No," and then added with a touch of humor, "I just feel fat." Which, though a very different sentiment than "Pregnant," managed to capture a similar feeling to Wood's comment. They both have been in a sense taken over, at least in body, by the experience of pregnancy - something I gather is unavoidable, and something which kind of freaks me out. Wood's the most even-keel, balanced individual I know - if she's reached the end of her pregnancy rope, I don't think it bodes well for those of us with more limited reserves.

Speaking of freaking out, I finally connected with my friend Simone, who gave birth by herself, with only her boyfriend in attendance, to a little boy on Christmas Day. When she first told me she was planning to give birth on her own, out in a little cottage in a tiny hippy town outside of San Francisco, the first words out of my mouth were, "How far away are you from a hospital?" Giving birth by yourself?? That's a subject worthy of it's own post, and perhaps I'll discuss that at a later time.

But, getting back to my conversations with Simone, she finally told me the whole story of her baby's birth which included lots of blood, pushing, exhaustion, and time alone riding through contractions as her boyfriend slept on a pallet beside her. It also included talk of tearing, the very thought of which makes me nauseous (and afraid). Her intention for her birth was not to view it as a painful experience, but rather to see it as an "intense" experience. For the first 20 minutes of our phone call, she kept describing the birth as "intensely sensational," every time I asked her whether it had been painful. Finally, I asked whether she had screamed during the "intense sensations," and she said, with conviction, "oh yeah." No doubt about it, it was painful.

Pregnancy is one thing, birth is another, but then, after all that the end result is a child. A creature wholly dependant upon you and its father, and looming before you decisions about divisions of labor and how each of you will balance the responsibilities associated with nurturing a new life. I was speaking with a female partner the other day and the topic of maternity leave and women leaving the work force to stay at home with their babies came up. It's funny, in a twisted slightly alarming sort of way, but everytime I think about being forced to stay at home in isolation, just me and a baby, with no adults to talk to, my mind congealing into jello, becoming exhausted from caring for a baby 24-7, I start to get a little feeling of suffocation.

Now, granted, I'm not looking at the picture as a whole and I'm making many assumptions. Certainly, the feeling of suffociation receeds when I imagine the scenario more fluidly, and eliminate the idea of being "forced" to do anything. It also fades away further when I imagine myself surrounded by a good support system, my family, my friends, and a partner.

I'm a whole person with passions and dreams. I have a body and a mind that are my own and that I need to nurture. I'm not at all ready at the moment to sacrifice them for the needs of another creature, which is the definitive fact that tells me I'm quite far away from being ready to have a child.

All of that being said, the female partner that I was talking to yesterday, in response to me talking about suffocation, said: "But, when you have a child, all of that changes instantly and suddenly you can't imagine having had those thoughts. Suddenly, you see colors and realize things were only in black and white before, and you feel that you were put on this earth to have your child." It's quite a powerful sentiment, one shared I think by all the young mothers that I know.

One day hopefully, I'll be among them, but for right now, I'm going to relish this black and white world.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Friends At Work

I am absolutely, ecstatically delighted because another part of my master plan just clicked in to place. One of my close friends, Essa, who suffered through with me working at my old firm, The Law Firm From Hell, just started working at my new firm! I'm so excited for her that she no longer has to subject herself to that toxic, dismal, soul-crushing environment, and I'm so excited for me because now I have yet another one of my closest friends working with me! Yay!

I love, love, love my new law firm. Eight months in to it and I LOVE IT. Quite a difference from my last firm where, on the first day, I felt as if a piece of me had started to die a slow, miserable, suffocating death. Now, I am literally filled with warm, fuzzy gratitude to my new firm on a regular basis. They saved me from the Law Firm From Hell, they are normal, wonderful human beings, and they have allowed me to work with some of my closest friends. First there was Em, then there was getting to know all of the other awesome associates who work here, and now Essa has joined the crew.

Seriously, what could be better than coming in to work every day and working with your friends? Ok, maybe having a spa vacation with all of your friends would be better than working. But, short of a vacation, working with your friends in a positive environment, in a place where you genuinely feel happy to come to work every day, pretty much takes the cake in terms of a daily working existence.

I'm so happy and grateful at the moment, I'm moved to say: If you are in an unhappy place, get out. CHANGE THINGS. They can be better. A lot better. You won't regret it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Weekend Redex

I had a rather self-indulgent weekend that consisted mainly pampering activities on Saturday and wandering through art museums on Sunday. I hadn't intended to be so decadent on Saturday, but it just so happened that a dire need for a manicure and pedicure coincided with the date of a facial I had scheduled weeks ago, so I ended up doing them all on the same day. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon, I must say.

It was funny because the last time I went to have a facial at this place was way back when, just as I was quitting my job and before I left for Mexico and India. The facialist was so cute because she remembered that I had been in the middle of making a number of life changes and wanted updates about how everything had gone and how India had been. I was flattered that she remembered so much, and it was fun catching up with her and hearing about the changes she had been making during the last few months.

Among other things, we talked about how freeing it can be to purge your environment of materials that draw you back into emotional spaces that you have left behind; how purging your space of toxicity impacts you emotional well-being. Fox example, she ended a long tortureous, on-and-off again relationship with a guy approximately 6 months ago, and she still has all these little reminders of him around her apartment like letters and knick-knacks. I suggested tearing the letters up or burning them, and smashing the knick-knacks - all deliciously satisfying, cathartic ways of moving beyond memories of the past. She said she wasn't ready for that yet, but had been thinking about gathering everything up and putting it in a box, just so she wouldn't be involuntarily accosted by memories on a regulatr basis. I told her I thought it was an excellent idea. Purging takes time and you have to do it when it feels right; it can't be forced.

Sunday, I had brunch with my girl friend, Sage, and then checked out the Guggenheim and the Neue Gallery. The Guggenheim has a really cool exhibit by a chinese artist that consists of a pack of 99 life-sized wolves - that look like the real thing - running up a section of the spiral path of the museum. It's cool because you can walk among the wolves and get the sense that you are actually standing in the midst of a pack of real wolves. It was kind of disconcerting, but really cool at the same time. As the exhibit continues, the trail of wolves takes off into the sky and you can actually walk along the path under the pack of wolves, staring up at their bellies and anatomically correct undersides. At the end, it's quite jarring because all of the wolves crash into a clear plexiglas wall and end up in a distorted heap of mangled bodies. The exhibit was supposed to allude to the Berlin Wall and represented the disasters that can occur from pack mentality.

The Neue Gallery is a small gallery that is currently featuring the work of Gustav Klimt, an Austrian artist that I really like whose paintings are intricate, beautiful pieces covered in vibrant colors and bits of goldleaf. In addition to some of his most famous paintings, the Gallery has many personal photographs of Klimt, his family, his models, and fellow artists - all of which were interesting because they give you a sense of who he was and the environment in which he was creating his art. The Gallery is also showing many of Klimt's sketches, many of which depict women in quite scandalous (for that time and arguably for now as well) positions, such as naked and pregnant or with their legs spread touching themselves. Apparently, he shocked Vienna society with his first depiciton of a pregnant belly. Bravo Klimt!

By the way, I also saw "There Will Be Blood." Daniel Day Lewis's performance was fantastic, but thats no surprise because he's wonderful. Stay alive, I will find you! Sorry, momentary Last of the Mohicans' flashback. Anyway, other than him, there is absolutely no reason to see this movie, so spare yourself the pain and cross it off your list. It was ponderous, heavy, depressing, and way too long. If I hadn't been sitting next to a very cute man, I might have been tempted to leave. As it was, I was almost perfectly content, despite the movie.

The only thing marring my sense of tranquility at the moment is a rather massive looming concern about my living situation. The short of it is that I might have to move by the end of February, which for those of you quick with the mental math gives me approximately 3 weeks to find a place, pack, and move. Kind of stressful, no? We shall see. There are a few things up in the air, but I've started to weigh my options. I could fight to stay in the place but it would be a big time-suck filled with negative energy, and I'm not sure I want that kind of drama in my life. In fact, I know I don't. I just don't think it would be worth it. If I don't fight to stay there, I then have to find a new place, which could be really stressful, but could also result in me finding a great place and finally, again, having a place all to myself. How awesome would that be? Awesome. Ah, to be able to decorate the place how I want it, to be rid of furniture that's not mine, to be able to take a bath whenever I want to... all these things could be mine.

If only New York wasn't such a god-awful place in which to look for apartments. Not even the sub-prime disaster that is affecting housing prices all over the United States and impacting world markets has brought prices down in the City.