Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stayin alive

Well, it's not much better now than it was before the other assistant started. Not sure how long I can do it. I sleep all the time, if I am not eating delivery (too tired to light the stove) or working. I sleep in the subway, then I sleep on the sofa for hours, then sleep for hours more in bed, often amounting to 10+ hours on days off and then I get up feeling like I've just recovered from the flu, tired in my limbs, dizzy, and feeling drugged, and I simply cannot budge for hours after waking,

Apart from the hypoglycemia, you all know how much I love food. Whenever I go out to eat now, I'm almost obsessed with it because at work it's something I have to sneak in - a granola bar in one minute or a bit of pasta in five minutes. So before I'd go, "Mmmm, food!" but now I'm all, "Foooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

This work, it's just relentless and not a place where you can walk off for 5 minutes unnoticed. There's no buffer of people or space. And as I have Friday off, work Saturday, and have Sunday off, there is no time buffer either. I can't do anything out of the ordinary because I don't have two consecutive days off. Whereas on weekends you spend a half day recovering if you need to, and then get on with things like having a life, now I simply have no time. So I can't stray from my routine. I can't stay with friends or go out of town or stay out late...

So now the question is, how do I find something that balances the repetitious boredom of a desk job with the repetitious variety of this job?

In other news, I had dinner with Captain America (remember him??) on Wednesday as he was in town this week for work. It was nice to catch up and he wanted to meet me a couple more times but I was usually too tired or the scheduling was wrong.

Because I'd been trying to meet up with Jo and Dave since Thursday, and we managed that on Saturday evening. You should have been there, Matt. It was so great to finally meet them! I had meant to last March when I was in Dallas but was prevented due to family crises. Jo is so chatty and amiable, and she can really tell a story.

We were in the East Village at a tiny wood panelled pub with religious murals on the wall (because it was called a Cathedral of Beer). There was an orderly line at the bar, wonder of wonders. What's more when the voices got too loud and shouty as they usually do at pubs, someone or two would Shhhhhhhhhh and the volume would go down for a while until the next shush was needed but nobody got angry or annoyed.

(I'm discovering that New Yorkers are good at following rules: I can't find any of the free commuter newspapers lying around anywhere! People actually read the public announcement ads in the subway: "your city, your litter". Not honking except in cases of emergency. Not eating on the subway. Not spitting where people will walk on it. Not cussing in public that much. Still haven't seen anyone get arrested, mugged or shot. Most of the sirens are fire department or ambulances. Lines at bus stops remain orderly even when the doors open, so you keep your place in line. And people have more patience.)

Anyway, back to meeting Jo and Dave.

Along with two of Dave's childhood friends who also happened to be in town, after the pub we went to a Mediterranean bar and restaurant which smelled so good I wanted everything on the menu. I had a French martini (had chambord in it) and two yummy starters:

tuna tartare with avocado, cilantro and fresh chili on thinly sliced fresh beet and cucumber, topped with toasted slivers of baguette and lambs lettuce

deep fried baby artichoke on a bed of romaine lettuce with shaved manchego cheese and spicy marinara sauce. Addictive!!!

I became so engrossed in enjoying these delicacies that every time Dave addressed me he had to call me more than once out of my little world and once Jo had to poke me! This has HONESTLY never happened to me before. Sorry, y'all!

On Friday the weather was very English, which was ironic as I was meeting someone from a London media co in SoHo. It was about 70 (which feels chilly after the hot summer) and the sky was letting out a substantial autumn rain, rather than the usual short storm burst.

However, over the weekend we were back up there and had the same temps as Houston (86F, about 30C) and it's humid.

Speaking of Houston, they were pounded by Hurrican Ike, but apart from downed trees, wind and lots of rain, they escaped most damage and everyone I know is fine. It's Galveston Island that suffered the most starting with storm surge flooding while Ike was still all of 500 miles away.

Anyway, on to lighter topics, my friend Vera came to spend Labor Day with me. She's having a stressful time right now with a photography exhibit in France which she is not present to oversee. So once she'd made her phone calls, she was thankful that we had a quiet and peaceful time just relaxing and being in each other's company.

We went for a walk by the water of course. I love taking photos of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge:



NORWEGIAN CRUISE SHIP KNOCKS DOWN BRIDGE (just kidding, they build them purposely low enough to pass underneath)



---Which is your favorite?


Anonymous said...

I love the VISTA WITH TREES - you have a great eye for photography -- even if you only have FOOD on your mind! I was wondering about Captain America and if you'd meet with him again. And voila! There you are, meeting up again :-) I'm glad to see you had a little energy to go out but I do hope you find something a little more amenable to living and not barely surviving. HUGS.

meimei said...

I like underneath

Mark2 said...

Answer to job/fatigue problem = get a job as a Research Technician. There are plenty of such jobs in New York in the universities and in medical or biological research centres. Even more if you move to somewhere like Massachusetts.

Anonymous said...

Favourite photo : Underneath the bridge; I love the shadow on the bridge and that sunlight hitting the water below. The cruise ship - it looked so much like it was going to catch the bridge; I guess with a small number of visual references, like space, distance can be deceptive!

(also loved your foody photos - you always make my mouth water with them !)

Have a good day there

Jdid said...

you sound like you are on the brink of burnout. i'd be careful about that

Olivia said...

Nikki - yeah, quality of life is more important than ever, unless I want a London repeat.

When I loaded these pics onto my laptop I was amazed at how they came out. I barely paused to snap the tree and the underneath shots, as Vera and I were walking briskly.


Meimei - so does my roomie :)


Mark - are you Cafe or another one?
Thanks for the suggestion. I did apply to a position as a research tech at Mt Sinai Hospital but didn't hear back. Anyway that would be an even longer commute.

Massachusetts? Too much snow.

The search continues...


Wakeupscared - Or are YOU Mark? Or Mas?

The more I look at the underneath shot the more I like it too.

I enjoyed the varying scales between the ships and the bridge at different distances, etc.


Jdid - Hey, I remember you. Thanks for dropping by. I'm being as careful as possible under the circumstances...

Glo said...

Wow, that job is unbelievable. What the heck did they do before you arrived? That's probably why you're so busy ~ they've phoned up all of their piled up patients and are catching up with everyone now that you're there;) I hope you find something that is challenging, yet also within the realms of being humanly possible! Glad to see you managed to find some time to spend with your friends .... great photos.

I like the tree one because the tree, which seems to be part of the bridge, adds softness and life and also the underneath one because of the perspective. No wonder you like bridges since you're working in a dentist's office....sorry, runs away really quickly and hides. LOL

The Moody Minstrel said...

At least you're somehow finding some time in between your brutal work schedule to smell the flowers...or at least the gourmet food...and photograph the bridge!

I was afraid Captain America had vanished for good! I guess things aren't all bad, eh?

(Quietly turning green...)

meimei said...

sweetie you have to do whats best for you!

Olivia said...

Glo - Owwww good one!

The second assistant walked out yesterday! So it was just me for the rest of the day.
Then today another new assistant started, and as a result the dentist is pushing me harder, it felt like final exams or something.


Moody - why are you green? are you growing moss? feeling ill? turning into an alien? made of copper?


Meimei - indeedy :)

The Moody Minstrel said...

Eating too much seaweed.

(Nose grows three centimeters...)

Jo said...

Liv! I had such a blast hanging out with you! After seeing the food they delivered you I wished that I hadn't just gorged myself at a greasy spoon!

I meant to ask you about Captain America, but didn't know if it was a touchy subject with how things broke off in London. I knew that was a bit of a raw nerve!

Thanks for meeting up with us and having a drink or two (or three!) with a few Texans! Again, It was most delightful to spin a yarn!

Anonymous said...

Olivia, all of them are gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I think MM means green with envy...

AmitL said...

Hi,Olivia-the Norwegian cruise ship one was the best-quite an optical illusion.:)
Hey,nice to read about your job,and the lack of time.(I always prefer that,than sitting idle)..but then,don't stop your normal food routines.All the tiredness is surely due to the slack eating...what you perhaps need to do is,see how others manage,in the same job..and take some tips from them.Once the balanced diet returns,you'll be less tired.(I went through the same phase,so I know). Have a nice Friday off..hey,that matches our holiday here.:)(And,I also have Sat off,but,Sun working)Are you on any of the messengers?

Um Naief said...

i have two favorites. i really like the last one w/ the sun sparkling on the water..i always love that sight and then i love the one w/ the tree in it. very peaceful picture.

i think you're sleeping so much because you're over worked, and not eating enough to sustain you. i can't get over that they are working you like this. no wonder it took so long for them to call you back. no one had time to do it.

i think working in an environment like this isn't healthy. have you tried anything at the art places there? the museums or such? are you still keeping an eye out when you're out and about? i hate to see you so tired when you love life so much and enjoy spending time w/ your friends. it's like this job is sucking the life out of you!

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean (nods) it's nice that you were able to get such a variety of shots - today I'm really liking the sailboats; I must be in the mood for water (which is fortunate as it's raining outside!)

It feels like forever since I've been to your blog; I kinda dropped off the blog-o-sphere a bit of a while back - I'm glad you still remember me :)

take care there
and have a good day