July 31, 2006

Congratulations Kissyfur!

Filed under: PolenNews — Twin A @ 3:15 pm

Huzzah! Kissyfur has just won Teachers and Writers’ Bechtel Prize, “an exemplary article (or essay) relating to creative writing education, literary studies, and/or the profession of writing.” They give her mad loot! She gets the essay published in the Teachers And Writers journal! A chorus of trumpets across the land! Pigs make love to bunnies! Bullies forget who they were extorting lunch money from, and resolve to protect the frail and elderly instead!

Mad props yo!

PS the Bechtel in this prize has nothing to do with the Bechtel of the Big Dig and massive exploitation, war profiteering, and general evil across the world. Don’t worry.

PSB Guest Post #2: Drop in Guest

Filed under: PolenNews — Twin C @ 12:03 pm

Friday night I decided to stay in and have a quiet night at home. Things have been hectic lately, and I needed a night of peace. At 12:15 I was just thinking of heading to bed, when I heard a horrible series of crashes and blood curdling screams. I ran down our hall, dialing 911 as I did, sure a drunk neighbor had fallen down the stairs to the roof. But when I opened the door, there was no one there. But the screams and now crying continued. And as they say in the horror films, suddenly I realized the screams were coming from my own apartment. The skylight in our bedroom. Oh. My. God.

With true dread, I opened our bedroom door. But all I saw was a young girl sitting on the floor of our bedroom, on top of a bit of laundry, crying hysterically. But there were shards of plexiglass everywhere. And a gaping hole where our skylight used to be. The young girl (drunk - duh) had stepped back onto the skylight, and fallen 12-14 feet to the floor of our bedroom. Truthfully, I expected to see blood and a horror scene of mangled limbs but instantly it was clear that, though she probably had some broken bones, she was alive, breathing, evening moving a bit. 20 panicked/hysterical friends of hers and 10-12 (I lost count) emergency personnel in our apartment later (not to mention, according to another neighbor, the entire street being blocked off for over an hour), she was taken out on a big stretcher.

Before that, though, in the midst of all the chaos, came the dreaded question from the cops: “Whose apartment is this?� I reluctantly raised my hand. I was then told I had to “come out in the hall and talk to the big boss�. The big boss turned out to be a very small woman cop. She was very stern.

Officer: Is this your apartment?

Me: Yes.

Officer: And this is your party?

Me: No.

She then looked at me really closely and realized what I was wearing – pajamas.

Officer: So you were just sitting at home in your pajamas and then a girl fell through your ceiling?

Me: Exactly.

The cop then started laughing really hard, and then I started laughing really hard, I mean it was absurd!

She and I went upstairs and continued the conversation while staring through the gapping hole in the skylight, watching the paramedics strap the girl to a board.

And then, as quickly as it had all started it was over, and I was alone in our apartment. Brent, our sweet neighbor from next door, came over and had a glass of wine with me (I needed a drink at this point) while I waited for C to get home.

C was a total hero and taped up the ceiling and cleaned up all the mess while I called Jon Levin (who is on the lease) in Portland. I slept fitfully.

The next day the doorbell rings. C opens it and sees two young girls. One of them is holding a dozen roses in a lovely vase. She says, “Hi, my name is Ania and I fell through your roof last night. I’m so sorry�. (not a sentence you ever think you’ll hear in life).

And here’s the thing – SHE IS FINE. Completely fine. Not a scrape. Not a single bruise. Saved no doubt by the very alcohol that sent her plummeting. Her butt was a little sore. That was it. No one could believe it – no the paramedics and cops or the guy who did the MRI or the guys who x-rayed her entire body. She walked away. A miracle.

The two girls (my neighbor whose party it was also came up) were lovely. Very apologetic and sweet and mortified and offering to pay for everything. We showed her where she fell. Piecing together what she remembers with what I heard and what the guy who was talking to her on the roof and saw her drop into nothing heard, we think she fell and at first hit our dresser (unfortunately pulverizing our desk fan in the process – the fan was one of the few casualties of the event), then fell to the floor. Like me, she remembers a one, two, three (skylight, dresser, floor). We hugged. She was visiting from Australia for a few weeks – doesn’t even live in NY.

As I said to both her and the cops, “You gotta love New York City.”

P.S. This morning when we came out there were cops everywhere and an ambulance with a guy strapped to a stretcher – only this time it was just a movie shoot.

Sing it, Noam

Filed under: PolenBabble — Twin A @ 3:47 am

Chomsky sings the blues.

July 30, 2006

Over the Weekend. . .

Filed under: PolenPoker, PolenBabble — Twin C @ 8:35 pm

Let’s start with the first half of Friday, shall we? After work I headed over to Kid Dynamite’s for some poker - I’ve been there a few times before, and I’m not sure if it’s the competition (certainly tough) or bad luck, but I’ve managed to get stacked (lose my entire initial buy-in) in less than an hour each time, forcing me to go hit the ATM (my personal “walk of shame”) before heading back in to do battle. This time, I swore, I would do better.

Well, this time it took two and a half hours, and to my credit, I think I got it all in with the best hand, but lost a coin flip. I shortly thereafter lose another buy in when I lost another coin flip (to Kid Dynamite himself, who was gunning for me when I got him to lay down a better hand earlier in the evening. To be honest, I was surprised he had the better hand - I thought I had the best hand at the time, and gave off that energy, getting him to lay down). My third buy in dwindled dangerously low, but I managed to battle back to only losing a little more than my initial buy in. Not great, but not horrible. All in all, a fun but tough game. I really enjoy playing at KD’s table - I feel like I learn a lot, and hopefully don’t look like too much of a donk.

We ended at 1:30 a.m. When I checked my phone for messages, I had one, from PSB, asking me to call her. As soon as possible.

What happened will be her second guest post. It’s a doozy.

July 27, 2006

Suckers! Free money!

Filed under: PolenPoker, PolenBabble — Twin C @ 4:46 pm

Two weeks ago I got an e-mail from an online poker room I use but haven’t been on in a while. The e-mail said, in a nutshell, if I earn 300 “frequent player points” (given by how much rake they make off of a specific hand, which for the player could be 0, .1, .25, .5, or 1 per hand. 0 or .1 point was most typical, involving either everyone folding to one person, or two or three people seeing the flop and then folding to whoever bets it) by the end of July, they would give me a free buy in to a Sunday night weekly $100,000 guaranteed tournament (normal buy in, $109).

So I got to work. I had about $200 on the site, and could play up to three tables at once (site limitations, not mine). So it was a lot of .10/.25 NLHE and some .25/.50 NLHE, the bigger tables played a little more tentatively in order to not take any big hits and drain my bankroll.

I hit the mark last night. I really should have been up in cash as well, but I took some HORRIBLE beats last weekend (on the smaller tables, fortunately, and I was able to eventually win most of it back), so I’m actually down to about $180.

The tournament money (not good for real cash, only tournies) is now in my account. I’m wondering if I HAVE to play the $100,000 tourney though - I might be better off playing 5 $20 dollar tournies instead. . .

Of course, how often do I get to play “big money” tourneys? Not that often. Although I should probably start trying more.

I’ll decide by Sunday.

UPDATE: I didn’t lose $20, I actually made $11 - my original balance was lower than I thought. And I was credited $109 in tourney money. I think I’m much better off playing a bunch of smaller ones or trying to satellite into the bigger one instead. Either way, SWEET!

July 26, 2006

Another plug for MOMA

Filed under: PolenBabble — Twin C @ 5:50 pm

I got to crash a “team building” event today - we went out to lunch at Rockefeller Plaza, then went to “Top of the Rock”, an excellent observation deck. We then walked over to MOMA, which is showing an AMAZING exhibit on Dada right now. I especially enjoyed it as I had studied Dada back in college, and did some extensive research (and wrote a pretty lousy paper) on George Grosz, and there were a huge number of paintings, sketches, and other pieces by Grosz. Awesome. There was also a painting I had seen at some point a while ago in a magazine (I think) called “The Skat Players” by Otto Dix, which I thought was neat as I had learned to play Skat at some point (and have since forgotten) but I had no idea it was a Dada piece, and yet there it was.

So go to MOMA and check it out.

(I’m always happy to go there and see “The Starry Night” and “The Persistence of Memory”, too.)

My mind is officially blown.

Filed under: PolenBabble — Twin C @ 5:07 pm

LITE FM just played “Crazy”.

No, not Seal. Gnarls Barkley.

July 24, 2006

Nice presents.

Filed under: PolenBabble, Kvetch! Kvetch! Kvetch! — Twin C @ 4:40 pm

Yesterday I turned 35. PSB had some lovely folks over for a little rooftop gathering on Saturday night to welcome my birthday in, and fortunately, the weather cooperated, so we were not forced into the apartment the whole time, which would have been possible but uncomfortable. Yesterday was spent relaxing and recovering, and getting my ass kicked online for a little while.

Today I went back to work. The team that I support is having a meeting here this week, and so last week was spent ordering food for the meeting, arranging a cocktail hour, figuring out what fun things we can do on Wednesday, etc. Today’s lunch was to arrive at the meeting room at noon, and as they also chose last week to move my manager (hereby known as “M”) from a further building to a closer one, M had to choose whether or not to hold a mid-year review1 in her office or in the meeting room2 - she chose her office, which was crowded with moving crates but functional, as I will get to shortly.

In the meantime, no one was in our booked meeting room when lunch was delivered. Apparently, in the 30 minutes or so between lunch being delivered and my checking on the room, other employees went into our meeting room and took/ate various parts of our lunch, including sandwiches, a salad (but not the dressing), the dessert tray, and assorted sodas and waters. M, when seeing this, had a low level freak out, not so much at me, but at the situation, and I totally agreed. Luckily, the catering staff (who I am as nice to as possible whenever working with them - I literally know where my bread is buttered) came with all the items that were taken. I’m still so fucking shocked and pissed that people would do that. Fucking vultures. I like a free lunch as much as anyone, but for fuck’s sake, wait until the food is put in the pantry - that’s when you know it’s up for grabs. Don’t raid a fucking meeting room just because no one is there at the moment! I wish I could have walked in on whoever was doing it.

M has also asked me to help her unpack into her new office, which I just did for the last hour. It’s futile, because she has so many fucking binders and I don’t know where any of them are supposed to go, so I feel like whatever I do, she’s just going to want me to move when she gets in there once the meeting is over. So I stopped. I’ll do some more tomorrow. I’ll bet half of it could just get thrown out, anyway.

The cocktail party is tonight from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and I have to meet a new employee upstairs at 6:00 with her badge to ensure that she can get in. I was given permission to go to it, but I really don’t feel like it right now, free wine/beer or not. I just want to get the fuck out of here.

The Crankiest Polenberg At This Moment (most likely)

1 From which I am exempt from with her, thank the fucking lord because she books them for three hours and probably goes over. My other, more important, scatterbrained, over-demanding manager will review me instead in a few weeks. I can hardly wait.

2 The meeting room is back in her old building, because despite multiple attempts to book a room on her new floor, everyone I dealt with was completely idiotic and unable to help me do it, even though NO ONE could book a room in there until a few days before the meeting, meaning the space was open. Stupid fuckers.

July 19, 2006

Here’s What Makes Me So Happy At Work

Filed under: PolenBabble, Kvetch! Kvetch! Kvetch! — Twin C @ 10:56 am

The Top Ten list from Lite FM:

1. Like We Never Loved At All - Faith Hill (This song makes me want to cry. Not because it is sad. Because it sucks so much.)

2. Because Of You - Kelly Clarkson (This song is perhaps the worst song of all time.)

3. Black Horse And The Cherry Tree - K.T. Tunstall (I know this song as the “Whoo hoo” song. It’s almost tolerable. Almost.)

4. Who Says You Can’t Go Home - Bon Jovi (It’s not a great song, but I’m willing to give Bon Jovi an 80s music exemption.)

5. Bad Day - Daniel Powter (I have a bad day every time this comes on.)

6. You’re Beautiful - James Blunt (See #7)

7. Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt (This song sounds exactly the same as #6, and I think is about the same thing as well. I could do without both of them.)

8. Free Loop - Daniel Powter (This song is better than “Bad Day”. I think that’s all I can say about it. It’s okay.)

9. Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield (This song is known to me as the “feel the rain on your skin” song, which surprisingly is also hated by the person who plays Lite FM all day. I don’t think she hates it as much as I do.)

10. Photograph - Nickelback (Twin D’s favorite song. Not mine. I do a pretty good imitation of it though. Ask him.)

What’s so aggravating is that they’ll play five crappy songs in a row, then throw in “Brass in Pocket” or “Take it on the Run” or something else that I think is awesome. It’s like some kind of weird behavior modification - survive a load of crap and hear something you like.

July 17, 2006

News about an ex-Noder

Filed under: PolenBabble — Twin C @ 1:08 pm

As some of you know, Lou Genise, who was in Image Node back in 2001 (my first Burn) and 2002 (the year of Too Many [Lazy] Noders) became very sick earlier this year. It turned out he had colon cancer and after having his colon and large intestine removed due to complications, now has liver cancer as well, and is beginning chemotherapy. As Lou is an artist and does not have health insurance, someone put together a little website to help him out, if you are so inclined. (I was.)

Please click here to help Lou.

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