It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Monday, June 17, 2013

Miss Utah answer

"What's easy in life...being critical. What's hard....chasing your dreams." 

This is a portion of my Facebook status today describing my thoughts on the whole Miss Utah flub during last night's Miss USA pageant. By now, I'm sure you've probably seen the clip where Marissa Powell is asked about income inequality. She struggled through the answer, and now today, everyone is talking about it. I've seen people make comments questioning her intelligence--and even the intelligence of all women in pageants-- and it's maddening.

It's maddening because I've been in Marissa's high-heeled shoes. I competed as Miss Wyoming in the Miss USA 2002 pageant and honey, let me tell you, there is nothing scarier than a) a row of judges all staring at you while jotting down notes b) dozens of cameras, bright lights and hundreds of stage hands c) thousands of people in a live audience d) the knowledge that 5.8 million people are watching you from home. Does anything about the previous description sound like the nurturing environment you need to articulate your thoughts about income inequality, DNA testing or wire tapping?

Here I am praying the judges don't ask me about Osama Bin Laden

I can tell you before I competed, I practiced for months for the interview portion. It was right after September 11th and the country had just declared war, which meant my Army brother was likely going to be deployed. It was also the time when Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl had just been killed, and as a fellow journalist, I tried to think of every possible question the judges would ask me about our increasingly turbulent world.

Finally after months or preparation and planning, I felt pumped and ready for the preliminary competition. In my new business suit, I went in and faced my judges, excited to answer any tough questions they threw my way. But instead, I got this....

"Jeannie, I see here you like to cross-stitch. Why is that?"

Um, what? Apparently, I had listed cross-stitching as like #71 on my list of extra-curricular activities, and some strange judge thought that was the best thing he could ask me. You might think I would have enjoyed such an easy question, but nope, I fumbled my way through, realizing I never thought about how to answer a question like that. (Thankfully, this was pre-Twitter and Facebook, so no one could write, "Miss Wyoming bombs during pageant Q&A.")

As I said on Facebook today, it's very easy to judge others from behind the anonymous screens of our computers, but I think we should all take a step back and think, "Could I have done better?" Instead of criticizing Miss Utah, how about giving her a little credit for doing something 5.8 million viewers at home could never do.

And perhaps the next time we screw up at work during a presentation or conference call, we can laugh and think--mistakes don't make us stupid. They make us human.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Temperature in New York City, Part II

Who knew getting air conditioning in a pre-war New York City apartment could be so dangerous?

In my last post, I told you about the incredibly hot weekend last weekend with temperatures in the 90's and no a/c in our apartment. On Saturday night, the thermostat peaked at 89 degrees. Holy moly! I literally laid on the couch all day and ate popsicles. It was too hot to do anything else.

Finally on Sunday, Mike came home from Chicago, so we decided to install our window a/c unit which had been sitting on the bedroom floor all weekend, taunting me with uselessness. The instructions said you should start by cleaning the window, so I did just that.
Nothing to see here

Yep, I cleaned the windows from the fire escape in my pajamas because it was too hot to wear anything else. (Anything legal, that is.)

Then as we were lifting the 67-pound unit into our window, Mike's hand slipped and before I knew it, it was a scene from a Martin Scorsese movie. There was blood everywhere, including in every slit of the a/c. It even looked like a part of his finger was missing.

Well, apparently in a time of crisis, I'm not exactly what you'd call a "Cool Kitty." I panicked, screamed, kept yelling "Oh my god, OH MY GOD!" and even blacked out for a few seconds. Luckily Mike was able to multi-task bleeding to death while calming his wife down. He serenely told me, "It's okay. I'm fine."

Thankfully, he is okay and still has all 10 fingers minus a few fingerprints. He also knows he can never murder me because his DNA is all over our apartment.

After the blood bath, we decided to call a handyman to finish the job. Hiring "Kimani" was the best $80 I've ever spent.

Now, I'm wondering what I'm going to do when we have kids, because I hear they bleed. A lot. And I'm guessing Kimani will not be able to bail me out then.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Temperature in New York City

"There's nothing quite like having back sweat at 10 a.m." Jeannie Crofts

It is HOT in New York City. After a wacky couple of weeks of up and down temperatures which included plenty of cold, jacket-wearing days, it is now in the "you didn't know you could sweat there" range. Yesterday hit 90 (which felt like 93 with the humidity and 103 with all the concrete) and today is going to be the same.

Now don't get me wrong, I love wearing flip-flops, short-shorts and tube tops as much as the next 34-year old who should have given up that dream years ago, but there's a certain kind of hot that even the skimpiest of outfits can't fix: the apartment with no a/c.

Of course, I wasn't expecting our pre-war, 1890 building to have central air, but we don't even have a window unit. I guess in NYC, that's the kind of item you take with you when you leave (along with bed bugs.)

On Thursday before the heat wave, I met Mike at Bed, Bath and Beyond so we could purchase our first window a/c unit. It actually worked pretty well: we bought it and then for an extra $15, the store delivered it the next day.  Two very, sweaty men graciously lugged the 67-pound unit up four flights of stairs.

But here's the problem: Mike went out of town that day, so we weren't able to install it. I opened the box that now sits on our bedroom floor, but when I turned the a/c on, it pumped out just as much hot air in the back as it did cold air in the front. It's basically the electrical version of a politician.

I tried calling a handyman to install it, but I must not be the only one in this "the sweat has now reached my butt crack" predicament, because he texted back at 1:30 a.m this morning, saying he is booked up until Monday.

So here I sit, looking like I just got out of hot yoga and it's not even 11 a.m. yet. Does anyone know if you can swim in the Hudson River?