Wednesday, September 09, 2009

New York City Haiku - Long Hiatus Edition

After a two and a half year hiatus of the blog, I am attempting to get back into the swing of things and thought I would open with a rousing New York City Haiku post.  This is probably lamer than I intended, but after so long not writing it's really the best I can do.  I've experienced a number of changes over the last couple of years, which is inevitable but in my case not always easy.  More to come I hope!

Sex And The City
Filming in front of office;
Not Cool! Such a pain.

Tourists in the street-
Oh my, very tall buildings.
It's lunch - out of my way!

Real monk seen on 5th,
Long robe, belt, and wooden cross.
Does he have I-phone?

Lost in Central Park?
Surprise after twenty years,
Yet it still happens.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

New York City Haiku - The New Job Version

I am trading jobs and Cupcakes - it's now official. I will try to keep writing as much as I can, when I can, but for now I leave you with a few haikus of the new job version:

One very nice thing
About the new job will be
Finally, straight men.

Corporate dress codes will suck;
Oh! I have some pantyhose,
That's a real good start.

Shorter commute - yay!
Significant pay increase.
Year end bonus too.

I will miss people;
Ten to twenty year friendships.
I'm not dead, just gone!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fresh Hell - Change Is Good Yet Scary

I think now is an appropriate time to write about change. I've grown into a person not entirely comfortable with change. I like routine, I like ritual. If I oversleep on a workday or even cadge an extra 10 minutes on the alarm snoozy, I end up rushing through a part of my day that really appeals to me, namely my morning routine, unchanging as it seems to be. And of course feeling deeply resentful that my cherished routine has been disrupted.

Change in personal relationships has also proven a stumbling block. Intimacy is difficult for me - my initial reaction is to perceive attempts at intimacy as legitimate change, which then sets off the "danger ahead" warning bells. My first instinct, sad to say, is to immediately back off and possibly avoid disruption of a delicate status quo, resulting in friends and lovers being kept at arms length.

Change in professional endeavors has been difficult to embrace. I enjoy working with the same bunch of people, as often as I'd like to wring their necks, and I have to my detriment remained in somewhat "dead end" jobs through fear of change. Eventually, the downside of a bad job will overcome its clump of positives and I have been able to move along in my career, but my history shows a pattern of more gentle pushes a la corporate downsizing as opposed to pro-active moves of mine.

Of course, this reaction isn't at all rational, it's a mindset more suited to a backwards-looking-barely-sentient-mammal.

What's bizarre is I espouse the philosophy that the only constant in the world IS change, and if that seems curiously at odds with my behavior perhaps I can explain it by confessing that I eventually adjust by being dragged kicking and screaming through most changes. I get there eventually, but it's usually painful.

And change is afoot chez Fresh Hell. I've accepted a challenging and enormous new job and I am honestly unsure whether the blog will survive. Similar to the proverbial old dog I've been alternately terrified, excited, thrilled, paranoid, and anxious, moods I swing through sometimes on an hourly basis.

So I can't say yet that I'll shut down the blog or will continue albeit on a very limited basis. Time will tell, as it does most things.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

This Week in Its Briefs - Starched Out of Recognition

1. One of Mr. FH's favorite nieces is due to have her first child anytime between March 15th and 24th - we wish her the best of luck for a safe and trouble-fee delivery. Mr. FH and I are already two times a great uncle and great aunt, and this new baby marks the the third addition to the next generation. Much happiness to Rym and Lyes and their new little family.

2. Snow has finally come to New York and it isn't wholly unpleasant - there's a lot of slush, many unplowed sidewalks and the attendant annoyance, but...the snow sure was pretty when it was falling early last night - all one could see was a gentle and generous coat of crunchy white stuff on lawns, roads and cars. New York is always hard on snow - it turns from a pristine magical landscape to trodden sodden streets after only a few hours, so any chance to experience the wonder of a fresh snowfall is eagerly awaited.

3. A dear friend will arrive next week for his annual pilgrimage to New York for business reasons, which affords me a rare opportunity to enjoy his company, stimulating conversation, some reminiscing and an always memorable dinner.

4. I'm immersed in a very creative project for Cupcake Emeritus which has been occupying a lot of my time; I've taught myself a new program and am able to satisy some creative impulses at the same time.

5. And for the rest - well, the earth keeps spinning, although these folks, Completely Out Of Their Minds, would argue that it is not so; time marches on, tax time appears right on schedule, and the only constant we can really count on is change.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

In Which Our Heroine Peers Towards The Future

Posts have been sparse recently, and I confess my usual complaint of writer's block has little to do with it.

Of course I've been feeling hourly outrage at the purely asinine hijink "stylings" of the current president and administration as they relate to current events in the Middle East. I'm amazed (and I really shouldn't be) that the Military Channel actually features television shows all about the war in Iraq - it's not even over with, the body not yet warm and already some scumbag executive is making a buck out of it. Ptooie!

Other current events, cultural oddities, and horrifying news stories do capture my attention, but it's more difficult than usual to turn my reaction into posts.

Most of my energies have lately been directed towards my homefront - I am on the brink of possibly trading in my current Cupcakes for an entirely new one - a bolder, more energetic and more dynamic Cupcake. It's an opportunity that could be extremely good for me for quite some time. The fat lady has yet to sing, however, so I won't jinx myself any further.

Meanwhile, I'm still reading a lot, regularly checking in with the ever-growing list of favorite blogs, sorting out various family crises, and generally focusing on keeping my head above water.

It's a dog's life, innit?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

File Under: Marriage, Ten Entire Years

Mr. FH and I recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. It was a trifle surreal, actually, to come to the ten year point, as in some ways it feels like our wedding day was yesterday, a day which recalls numerous fond memories for me. We had a very understated civil ceremony at City Hall, then a short champagne reception given by the best man followed by our own cocktail party reception.

With so many of our guests and Mr. FH in the restaurant business, it was a given that we celebrated in two elegantly appointed restaurants in New York. There was nothing traditional about the ceremony or the receptions, but every detail suited us perfectly, which was all we cared about. For example, I wore a winter ivory suit which didn't top the bill for the wine we served at our reception, and we spent money on a lavish appetizer spread rather than a photographer or band.

Ten years together is an accomplishment of which I find myself quite proud. These years have not always been easy, but they have been challenging, surprising, peppered with adventures; a relationship graced by joy, touched by tears, and immensely satisfying for me.

As in every marriage, there were many occasions when I wasn't sure we'd survive into the next day, much less another year, and occasions when we were both hanging on by the slenderest of threads. We've learned the valleys of despair are a glimpse into the abyss and that the hills of exultation are indeed the highest.

As they say, the secret to a happy marriage is to never go to bed angry. Our secret is that it is much easier to do when one partner works days and the other nights (and you both get a bunch of time with the bed all to yourself).

Thursday, January 11, 2007

This Week in Its Briefs - Way Too Tight

1. Right before Christmas a quasi-friend of ours (which is what I call the position between warm acquaintance and close friend) had a heart attack and spent the holiday in the hospital getting fixed up. The weirdness is that this guy is barely 40; he has a fairly standard list of vices but many people I know, me included, have the same list or a far more egregious one and toddle along just fine. I ran into him and his wife tonight and while he's on the mend he's not out of the woods yet, and is eschewing the caffeinated/nicotined vices while embracing the fruited/vegetable virtues.

2. There's a gigantic tree on my block that I pass on my way home every night. The trunk is so large that it's difficult to see around it, perched as it is on the grass verge between the sidewalk and the curb. I call it the Drunk Mexican tree. Why, you ask? Not so much during January but so many times beginning in late summer and even as recently as early December I would walk down the street on my way home and be surprised to find at least two or three Mexican laborers behind the tree drinking their cans of beer wrapped in paper bags. I'm sure this is an urban phenomenon but you gotta admit it is, on the Scale of Odd, very much a 7.5 out of 10. Why do they pick this tree to crouch behind? Are they hiding? If so, who are they hiding from? And why are innocent passersby like myself always surprised to see them?

3. I still have my Christmas tree and decorations up - this weekend I'll take everything down. We get a live tree every year, and the exercise of removing it from our second floor apartment is an annual chore that I quite dislike, especially if the tree is large. After many years in this apartment I have the process down to a science, but I'll never forget the dismantling of our first Christmas. We had a quite tall tree that year, and as I fussed about trying to figure out how to wrap it up and maneuver it down the stairs Mr. Fresh Hell took matters into his own hands. He calmly opened up the guest bedroom window and heaved the tree out onto the sidewalk, serenely deaf to my cries of "Wait!". Our apartment faces the street; I rushed to the window in time to see the tree bounce once on the sidewalk and fall onto its side, mercifully missing either random pedestrian or parked car. Needless to say I ran outside immediately and dragged it to the curb. Also perhaps needless to say Mr. FH is no longer a part of the de-Christmasing process.

4. I really hate that KIA car commercial that uses the "so long, farewell" song from The Sound of Music. Having knowledge of the inside workings of the advertising industry can be alarming on many occasions; this is one. That commercial doesn't exist in a vacuum and isn't created on a whim.

Some creative team thought up the idea and the execution, which was then pitched to the client. The client agreed to the execution of the concept and signed off on it, which leads to an actual TV shoot involving a director, actors, and actual money being paid to all. But it doesn't end there - post production editing, for of course more money, turns a rough cut into a finished product - this process shepherded all the way from beginning to end by beleagured agency account executives and again, the client, who at all points agrees that this spot should be made. There are also media decisions made about the frequency of airtime, particular network and/or time slot for the commercial, and I'm quite content to know next to nothing about that particular process.

Automotive advertising is a terribly complex beast of its own, however, and it's entirely possible that this process as I've described it happened within the space of two weeks, maybe less. That's a criminal lack of time in which to do great work, and it entails a huge number of man hours for the result. But if the result is this commercial?

High hopes for 2007, indeed. At the very least we should get some decent commercials out of it.