Today I read in the paper that the ratings for NBC's Olympic coverage are the lowest ever (see my rant yesterday on this). Ha! The bad news is that they mostly made their money already on this one: they paid $705M for the broadcast rights but have sold $900M of advertising. The good news (of sorts) is that they also bought the rights to I think the next three as well, but will have to sell ads at a much lower rate because the response to Sydney has been so abysmal. As much as I take pleasure in their misfortune, though, it doesn't fix the problem of how we U.S. types can ever expect to get decent Olympic coverage without a satellite dish. Sigh.

This morning: I emerge on the street to find the sidewalk and many of the cars coated in a thin dusting of white stuff. It's not snow, or a very proactive salting of the roads. It's...well, it feels like shredded Styrofoam. All along the block. As if somebody emptied the Styrofoam peanuts from a big package into the Cuisinart and then unceremoniously dumped it from the roofdeck. And just on our block. It's terribly odd, and it's not going to go away anytime soon, either: that stuff sticks to everything. Standing in front of my apartment building this morning blinking away in the sunlight in disbelief I felt like Mulder:

What the hell happened here last night Scully?

Coffee bar dog sightings: 3. One nervous skinny black dog, vibrating at about 2, maybe 3 Hz, sniffing the butt of a cute little white terrier with those adorable little chops on either side of its mouth. Over to the side, one enormous black dog (ride-able by small children) who appeared to be contemplating which of the smaller dogs to eat for breakfast.

The new store in the neighborhood is a Marc Jacobs. They're open for business now, after that ostentatious grand opening party. It's basically a big glass air-conditioned box with a couple of post-soviet-trendy looking guys who have chiseled looks on their faces and attitudes like anemic (yet expensively dressed) security guards. Plus there's the tinted glass, which adds to the effect, which is: please don't come in here. That's the vibe you get. We are armed under these sporty but minimalist blazer-vest combinations. It gives me the creeps.

6:00: OK, I have an announcement. This will not come as a surprise to people who have used it, but all you allergy sufferers out there: Claritin is a miracle drug. My co-worker (who does not partake) has been suffering from allergies for the past week (the pollen count always spikes up in early fall for some reason). I, who usually have similar problems this time of year am now on the drug, and it's as if I don't have allergies at all. Believe the hype that Schering-Plough keeps pushing. It rocks. And their patent expires in the U.S. in (I think) two years, so it will be cheap on top of all this. (In the U.K. you can get it at Boots over-the-counter as "Clarityn". 5 Quid for a weeks supply. Same stuff -- loratadine.) All you people staring at this through sniffles and red eyes: use it. It works wonders.

Dammit. I forgot to check the don't add to new writeups box. OK, note to self. Suggestion for E2: Add a I-take-it-back-it's-not-supposed-to-go-to-new-writeups button. I'm getting that sumbit sinking feeling...