Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Sniffed Elie Wiesel’s Coat

Elie Wiesel - Holocaust survivor, Nobel Laureate, author of 40 books, professor, and political activist – spoke last night at the synagogue where I work. I was responsible for coordinating the event – yowsa.

After schmoozing at a pre-reception with big donors, Mr. Wiesel headed to the green room (my shared office). Mr. Wiesel asked that I track down his coat (somewhere in the building) and have it ready for when the program ended so he could leave right away (he made a wind sound, like, “phhhzzooop,” to convey the speed at which he wanted to exit). He had a flight to catch; I get it.

I found his coat and carried it to the room through which he would be leaving. In that little room I had a moment where I thought, “Oh my God. This is Elie Wiesel’s coat.” The man who recently went to Auschwitz with Oprah. I wonder if he wore this coat with Oprah. What should I do?

I sniffed it – no smell.

I held it up to get a good look – nice coat. Burberry. The name Elisha Wiesel (a Yiddish variation?) was embroidered on a petite label, sewn just above the tag on the inside of the coat.
Should I try it on? No, no.

I placed it gently on a chair and resumed rational behavior.

Just before he went on stage, I asked Mr. Wiesel if he would mind autographing something for the synagogue. He didn’t mind the autograph, just the fact that I mispronounced his name. He corrected my stress on the “W” by saying, “VEE-zull.”

I meet an icon and the strongest memory I’ll have is of him correcting my speech. Story of my life.

I said, “I’m sorry, Mr. VEE-zull.”

He said, “Hmmp, VY-zull?” as if he wasn’t even sure if it was pronounced VEE-zull or VY-zull. What was certain was that the letter “W” should not be pronounced in the way an American, native English speaker (like me) would intuitively say it.

On his way out, I handed Mr. Wiesel his coat – no “thank you” offered (yes, I expect everyone to be gracious) – and didn’t utter a word or a “W.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Brazen Breakup Prose

I've been busy writing this and this, so I haven't had much time to chronicle the absuridty of my life. I'll be better; I promise.

So as not to leave you holding your breath (right...), my sister decided to borrow my bike (that I never use) and ride it - in our apartment building - along the carpeted hallways - at 11:55 pm on Sunday night. We're bad. We're so, so bad.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Week in the Story of My Life

Monday: Hosted an event at work for an author/environmental activist who gave up riding in cars for 22 years in favor of walking and also took a vow of silence for 17 years. Being a walker myself, I asked him which shoe he most preferred. He gave me a long answer.

I went to the press-only sneak preview of a new exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. I am not a member of the press. My badge read, "PRESS."

Wednesday: Attended a networking breakfast at The Caucus Room. I left feeling like I was a super delegate.

That same evening I went to a reception in the Capitol, where I felt certain that, indeed, I was a super delegate.

Thursday: Over dinner, my friend told me that she got a $15,000 bonus. The check was in her purse. I told her that I got a $2,000 bonus at my last review. She paid for dinner.

Friday: I berated my co-worker for tapping his fingers on his desk. Thoughts of a corner office with a door and deadbolt abound.

Friday, May 16, 2008

My Words Are Like a Gypsie

They keep on moving. Check out my post on Brazen Careerist.

Warning: The post does not include the words, "Story of my life." I know, it's rough, but there's a time and a place for everything.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Words Travel

Mine do, at least. Check out my first post for the website about a superhero whose domain is love or the lack thereof (appropriate for me). If you come across any interesting articles or news about love/dating/relationships/smooch-material, do pass on. Story of my life musings to come soon.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why These Men Will Never See Me Naked

I’m a firm believer that misdirected attention is a strong current that pulls my chances of ever finding a loving relationship out of Cupid’s reach. The following vignettes are true instances of men – whom I would never bring home to Mom and Dad - showing me unwanted attention. All occurred within a span of one (1!) week, just to drive home the point that I surely must have assaulted someone in another life to have such tainted love karma.

● Leaving the grocery store, a homeless man standing outside the exit asked me for money. Rain + hands full of groceries + concern for safety as a 5’2” woman pulling her wallet out at night = motivation to just keep walking.

“Can’t I even get a hug?” he shouted after me. I grimaced in his direction, provoking him to call out obscenities about my body. Glorious.

● A garbage truck drove by me as I was walking to work and the man hanging off the back blew kisses at me. Right, like I would ever go for someone who didn’t wear their seat belt.

● The student teacher assisting in yoga class checked me out as I rolled out my mat. Throughout class he gave new meaning to the term “hands-on assists,” introducing his hands to my hips, upper thighs, and the outer edges of my ears (weird).

When I was in
Paschimothanasana, he squatted behind me - placing a foot to the outside of each tush cheek – and pressed his belly (Buddha-esque) against my back, pushing forward to ease me further into the pose and apparently accomplish his own ulterior motive. Gross.

● On the metro home after my invasive yoga class, an Irish man leaned over to me and said, (read in your best Irish accent) “You have a striking resemblance to that woman in the poster o’r there.” Oh, you mean the woman who’s twice my age with crows feet, a side part (and a barrette to boot), and is endorsing asthma medication for her five year old son? Why thank you. Story of my life.

Obladi Oblada.

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Single Commotion

I was feeling a little bored at work recently – more so because I was tired and felt like I was useless in my lethargic state, less so because of my job (which I really like).

So I did what anyone else would do; I went on Facebook. I noticed that my profile seemed a little more robust than those of my friends, compelling me to delete some Jackie-facts. I removed the notation about my being single because I'm always single; it's a given, basically.

Well, this caused a bit of a stir, in the form of three people almost immediately contacting me – two from across the ocean (how I love me a European) – all male, one gay (story of my life).

Why such an interest? I wish I knew.

One inquiry came from the live-in beau of my co-worker, another from a gay best friend who wouldn't have me (I might have suggested it), and the third interest in my status change was from someone with whom I shared a memorable embrace on a small island off the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia in the wee hours of the night. Ok, so maybe it's a good thing that he cared.

And then when I was checking in this afternoon for the Avon walk for breast cancer that I'm doing over the weekend, the song with the dominant lyric, "Been around the world and I, I, I…I can't find my baby," was playing.

It occurred to me that this is my theme song. I'm well-traveled – 17 countries have my footprint (18 in June…Opa!) – and I have not a baby to show for it.