It's so hard for me to not talk about people. It's not like I would ever give away trade secrets or talk business, duh, I'm only concerned with inane human interactions. But innocent as that sounds, relaying conversations is exactly the kind of thing that could come back to haunt you. So, after today I vow not to talk about work at all in any context, but must mention a few overheards first. This wasn't an overheard, but a told to, and it scared me because a women who has been here a long time was giving me the scoop on how it all went bad with my predecessor and her supervisor and how they either quit or were fired (quite some time ago and not at the same time) I didn't quite understand the story but I liked the details of how the person who I think might be the former me "went down to a size 4 from the stress." Wow, I hate stress and am now very nervous, but I've never been smaller than a size 12, so that's very exciting news. I'm waiting for the dramatic weight loss to ensue. I have to remember that I don't work with librarians anymore so nitpicking, precision and memory for detail aren't common traits. Twice in two days, two separate individuals (not speaking to me) mangled movie titles, and that makes me nuts. One was going on about wanting to see Breakfast in Paradise (Breakfast on Pluto), the other hated The Stone Family (The Family Stone). My ears almost started bleeding. One of these same individuals was recommending books to her assistant whose son won't read and suggested Roald Dahl (which the advice receiver had never heard of and that made my head hurt a little) but the bizarre part was how the woman was trying to trigger the other's memory/recognition by tossing out random titles like The Witches and Holes (which wasn't written by Roald Dahl). Uh, there's this obscure book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that the general public is probably pretty familiar with, if not only due to the recent Johnny Depp movie. Ok, no more. From here on out I'll only complain about myself. And yes, as always, I'm troubling my own person. This morning I inexplicably woke up in what I guess they call a cold sweat. I was freezing and drenched, my pajamas (yes, I wear pajamas) were soaked through, my sheets were wet.. It was really kind of scary, and I recall this happening maybe once before in the past few years. I've also had a horrible overheated, sweaty sensation practically every morning for at least a couple years, but nothing like this. Now I'm totally convinced that I have cancer or AIDS. Or a severe anxiety disorder that affects me even as I sleep. I'm really getting annoyed with myself because I've managed to develop a new severe phobia since Tuesday when I started my new commute. I get off at Lexington and 53rd and it's one of those really deep in the ground stations so it has a super long escalator (or a super long staircase, depending on your activity level) more like you'd see in London. I've never had any issues with these before, but the escalator is giving me wild panic attacks, primarily going up. It's kind of outrageous because I know rationally that I'm not going to fall off it (I first noticed this phobia in S.E. Asia where they have really vertical malls and to get up to like the tenth floor you weave up and up on too-exposed-for-me escalators where you can see all the way to the bottom, totally inducing vertigo. I attributed this unbalanced, about to fall sensation to perhaps a use of shorter arm rails, like more of the body is over the top of the sides than in America, or maybe it was metrically built, also causing disorientation from subtle different-ness) but I start to sweat and feel like I'm going to throw up or faint and the only thing that makes sense would be to sit down (which worked when I had a freak out on Coney Island's Wonder Wheel) so as not to see any movement. It's so bad that I'm stressing about the impending escalator for most of my subway ride. It feels like the ascent goes on for eternity, so yesterday I tried walking up to speed things along (they really need to take a cue from Singapore whose subway escalators are oh so slightly faster than ours though even New York transplants don't seem to notice this) and it only made it worse, I was convinced I was going to slip backwards. I guess the worst case scenario is that you do fall backwards. It's sardine packed, so you'd definitely smack the person behind you, but it's not like you'd end up at the bottom, I don't even know if there'd be a domino effect. The person behind might push you and be pissed if they were strong or fall and cause more problems if they were lighter (more likely). Tomorrow I might try the stairs, but I know this won't be a solution because it's the steep angle and the length of the passage that makes my brain freak out, not the mode of transport. Ha, many hours after I wrote this, I went to dinner at Grand Sichuan on St. Mark's and ended my meal with the following fortune "There will be someone sharing your warmth." Does this mean I'll be sweating for two this evening?