Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Looking the Part

This morning I did something I have not done in a while. I got up early to go to a GYM CLASS. I typically like to work out on my own, but in my quest to get in "wedding shape" I thought a differential to my routine was needed, so I was up at 6AM and in class by 6:30AM.

I had never seen a morning class SO CROWDED. Seriously, about 30 women were already there, and there was no room for me and my mat. But space was found, and when I saw the instructor I knew why all these women were up at the crack of dawn to exercise. She was jacked! I have never seen a woman for tightly ripped in all my life. If I saw her on a dark street, I would have run... she could kick anyone's ass, and when class started she proceeded to kick mine.

No warming up in this class, it was "go mode" from the first count of 8. Every second we had a weight in hand, every moment I wanted to die, and every rep burned like the oven.

But when it was over, I asked her name and when she taught again. I am sure a few more ass whoopings will help me in my quest!

Monday Night at Pete's

When I first moved to the city, I was a lowly "Ad Girl" making a lowly salary. There were few things I allowed myself in the area of "luxuries" and even then my "luxuries" were hardly luxurious. I lived for bargains (still do!) and relished in them when they fit in my paultry budget.

But there was one thing I relished more than most, at that was Monday nights at Pete's Tavern.

Every Monday, Pete's has "Pasta Night" and my roommate Laurie and I would meet there almost weekly to enjoy this insane special. For just $9, you would receive a glass of house red wine, salad and bread and a huge bowl of pasta that could easily be stretched for 3 meals. It fit into my budget easily, and because the food and ambience this quickly became a staple of my first year of NYC life.

Last night, Josh and I retreated back to Pete's, and since it was a Monday night, and Pasta Night, I insisted we get the Pasta Special. Josh LOVES the veal parmigiana at Pete's, but for once I felt he needed to see the beauty in the bargain of $9 pasta meal. So we both had pasta -- linguine bolognese for me and angel hair marinara for him -- and it was a lovely meal and night. We topped the night off with Tartufo and Heroes. It was just splendid.

Sometimes as we move through life it's easy to get caught up in moving on up. The chicken and veal parmiana are easily better than the poor man's pasta plate, and I can easily afford more than the Monday night Pasta Special at Pete's, but I love to revel in the memory of my first year in NYC and see how far I have come.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It doesn't get better than Sunday brunch!

One of my favorite things about being a New Yorker is the institution of Sunday brunch. Yes, its common to also enjoy Saturday brunch, but its not the same as Sunday. And here is why.

On Saturday, its still a "work day", maybe not at the office, but in the household. People do laundry, grocery shop, run errands, etc. So maybe you do have brunch on Saturday, but its before or after doing your Saturday tasks.

Sunday brunch has a much more leisurely feel. No need to worry about laundry, as most laundry places take this as a day of rest. People bring the Times with them (and the Sunday version is quite thick!) and pour over the variety of sections, sipping coffee or a mimosa, while being very leisurely about their choice of brunch items. If there is an agenda on Sunday, its to look at apartments or shop or watch football or do nothing. Brunch tends to be a bit longer, the conversations a bit brighter and hopeful, and mood a bit sleepier and more cozy. Also, since Saturday tends to be the bigger night out, the stories on Sunday are much juicier.

This morning after a fun night out last night - MadMen Style! - I joined the girls for a leisurely brunch at French Roast. There was nothing hurried about our time together, it was just what the doctor ordered in terms of protein and girl time.

And that's the best thing of Sunday brunch, its the perfect start to a week if you are of the belief that Sunday is the first day of the week, and if you believe its the end, then the perfect ending.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Beep! Beep! Coming through!

Have you ever run into someone and immediately thought, "what in the hell is their problem?" That was my morning today, and I am still living in the aftermath.

To get people to a meeting this morning at the office, I went around the hallways with a cup of joe reminding everyone that the meeting was starting. As is usual with my role at the agency, my role was to loudly remind people, ie., nothing was being said in a passive "I am not here" tone. While rounding the corner of the 7th floor, out of know where this woman smacks into me, spilling coffee EVERYWHERE. Seriously, both of our shirts were destroyed, my hair was soaked, and while I am thinking "WTF??!!", the other woman shouts "Damn it! YOU'VE destroyed my shirt. I have to go home. I can't stay here like this!" All the while I am thinking, "You? YOU ran into me. I was standing here talking to people and YOU ran into me..." Maybe it is true that he who shouts the loudest wins, because she truly felt like I did this to her. When everyone watching saw it was the other way around... she was just obviously way more upset about it than me. So we both head to the Ladies where she is trying to fix her shirt, while I AM DRYING MY HAIR WITH PAPERTOWELS. Um, hello? Who is more put-out here? Plus, I had a meeting in 3 minutes.

So anyway, me being me, offered her a tshirt from a fundraiser from a few week's ago. She then had the audacity to ask if the agency was going to pay her dry cleaning bill? SERIOUSLY? Her shirt was basically a men's button up, hardly the type you dry clean. But she asked the question...

So now 7 hours later, I am still sitting in my coffee stained shirt -- I have been told it looks very designer! (Yeah right, does all designer clothing come with this foul smell?) And I have had to explain to all my interviews today what happened and why I am a mess. And my hair reeks of coffee.

What a day! But honestly, what can you do but grin, and wear it!


Every once in a while I love to do things that make me feel like a kid again. Forget the grown-up pressures of plannig a wedding, looking or an apartment or job woes, and head into some sort of wonderland. Last night, I did just that. My cousin and friend, Mary, and I got tickets for Mary Poppins on Broadway, and our moments of reliving childhood began.

The show was amazing, just as expected. And I realize that as old as I may get, there are a few things that will never change:

1) I will always want to sing along to any song I know.

2) A good musical will always beat out the best play.

3) Seeing someone fly will always make me believe in magic... and most likely make tears spring to my eyes.

4) I will never be able to spell supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

America's Biggest Small Town

He did it. Obama won the presidency last night. This was definitely the most I have cared about an election, and it was thrilling to see my guy come out on top.

I am EXHAUSTED from a night of celebrating. Like any other event, NYC does election night well...or at least when we win. Given the Democratic nature of MOST NYCers its not like when the Yankees or Mets win, because only half of the island is cheering, last night the ENTIRE CITY was ONFIRE FOR OBAMA! The cheers started around 9PM when Ohio was called, and could be heard in apartment bldgs, restaurants, street corners, etc. The momentum just kept building and before you knew it, it was an all out street party!

Its night like last night, where New York really shows its colors and its all pretty amazing to be apart of. The city of millions having one voice? Wow. Hearing the cheers from the other parties surrounding us, only made us more excited. And that excitement spilled to the streets, and filled everyone with the hope for change, well, that Obama has made us believe in.
Its a tremendous time to be an American. Senator Obama, thank you for allowing us to believe!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

And I'm Proud to be an American....AND A NEW YORKER!

This morning, MY ROOMMATE had me up at 5:50AM and out to vote. Very early indeed.

But if truth be known, Josh got up to vote at 5:50AM and I was way too excited about today's election to even try and sleep. When we arrived at our polling place (literally 50 feet from our Apt... isn't city life grand?), I was shocked that about 50 people were in line ahead of us.

Ladies and gentlemen, Senator McCain did not cause this to happen. And truth be known, it is probably just the nature of democratic NYCers to get up early and go vote to make sure their vote is counted. But I think part of this turnout is a result of the fantastic campaign my candidate (OBAMA! OBAMA!) has led. People (very much like me) who were never caught up in politics because candidates never seemed relevant or interested in my issues, have been pledging their support for OBAMA for months now... and I sincerely hope that when all the votes are counted at the end of the day, he is our next president. This morning I was so proud of my country to allow him to go this far in the presidential race. I was so proud to cast my vote. And I was so proud to have the choice.

Like anyone, I want my guy to win. And tonight, if that happens I don't think the words are "Go-BAMA", but GO-AMERICA. Its been a long time coming, that's for sure!

Monday, November 3, 2008

My favorite past-time

I have never been one to read the newspaper on a daily basis, or even read the news online except for very specific needs. Needless to say, my news consumption is very different than those that live around me (or with me -- hi, Josh!). But the one thing I LOVE TO READ more than anything else is my sister's blog and I love it even more when she posts photos of Ramsey, who is the cutest thing ever! See?

This past week Tara was in Watertown, NY to welcome her husband home from Iraq, and there were NO photos of Ramsey on her blog. My week just wasn't complete! Thank God she's back, so I can continue to see Ramsey grow and approach his first birthday!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Tara's blog:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Give Blood, Save a Life. But can I get my week back?

Two days I gave blood at the blood drive at work, which was maybe my 3rd or 4th time doing so. I was a bit weary, as last time it took them an hour to get a pint from me, all the while I was in a mild state of panic as a needle was protruding from my arm while this hour ticked by. But I know its good for someone of my blood type (0+) to give as frequently as possible because 86% percent of the human race can accept my blood, so on Tuesday I let them tap my vein again.

Not one to handle needles well, this time did not go as well as last time. Granted it was quicker, but only because I became the irate and panicked patient that sits up and demands they remove the needle from my arm. It hurt! Plus they lied to me, telling me the pain would go away. No it doesn't, even after reading People from cover to cover. When the magazine ended, so did my time on the donation table. Or so I thought.

As soon as they pulled the needle out, I almost passed out. I became nauseous. They laid me down. They brought me a soda and told me I could not get up until I drank it all -- keep in mind they just laid me flat on my back and put my feet way in the air, so obviously they wanted me to get abs of steele in order to drink the Coke they brought me.

After this mild drama ended, I went back to work. Or at least tried. Since that moment I have been extremely fuzzy headed. I have overslept my alarm the past two mornings, I have not been to the gym, and last night I got tipsy after one glass of champagne!

So now as I get to work to begin all I have to do, I feel so drained and tired... and I haven't done anything yet! I know its good to give, but honestly if I feel so crappy I wonder if my time couldn't be better spent running the blood drive vs. being a patient. I mean, they gave me a coke, a cracker and a 'thank you' for donating. What I really need is my energetic life back!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Southern Side of Sullivan Street

When you ask me where I live, I would tell you in very New-Yorkese that I live on W. 3rd street between Sullivan and Thompson Streets. Having lived here for almost 4 full years, I often consider myself to be an expert on what goes on and whats new up and down "my streets."

But in typical New York fashion, a venture through "my hood" today turned into an exploration of the unknown as I ventured to the less visited southern sides of the streets I call home. First, I wandered down Thompson - past Bleeker, where I normally go left or right - in search of a new a new tailor. (End of summer sales left me with a few fixer ups, and with my current tailor in retirement mode, I needed a new one.) And a new tailor I found, as well as some hefty tailoring fees. But that was neither here or there given that I had paid next to nothing for the dresses.

So I continued my adventure to Houston, where I took a right to head back to the office. Something when I approached Sullivan seemed to call my name, so I took a left to cross Houston, and my adventure began.

In the course of a city block, I found a new sandwich place to order lunch from, that also makes a mean iced coffee AND its 4 blocks closer to the office than my current establishment. Also, there was an adorable brunch spot that was just begging for the next rainy Sunday morning where you can sit in its windows and watch the rain hit the pavement, while savoring a latte and eggs Norwegian, and perusing the Sunday Styles section of the NYTimes. Across the street was a new fabric shop that piqued my curiosity to fancy up our apartment; and two doors down was a new bar that I had never heard of but looked great for a happy hour.

I don't know when the last time I walked down this part of Sullivan Street, but it was like another world. Without even leaving my neighborhood I was transported to a street of unseen delights all set for the taking!

Its amazing how fast things can shift -- and no pun intended -- in a New York minute. From thinking I knew everything there was to know about my neighborhood of SoHo/Greenwich Village to feeling like I was transported to the UWS where I know nothing. Suddenly, there was a new love for my hood, a new spring in my step and a bit of pizazz in the air... Something new was just lurking around the corner, and a search for a new tailor led the way!

Its easy to get stuck in habits - from venturing to the same coffee spot every morning, to waking up at the same time everyday just because you are too tired to change the alarm. That's what these things - like a new tailor - force, is that we step out of our comfort zones, explore the things we know a little deeper and truly get lost in the unexpected.

Granted, not every search for a launderer leaves you feeling like you found the pot at the end of the rainbow, or maybe even a rainbow. But it adds more texture to your surroundings, and makes you realize all the things you don't know, and that feeling of innocence or maybe its re-entering your world, can be quite spectacular. Much like the southern side of Sullvan Street.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Let it Rain

Despite the fact that I am a sun-filled Leo by birth, and a sun worshipper by trade, there is nothing more soothing to me than a thunderstorm. One that is filled with gigantic, pounding raindrops, lots of lightning and the roar of thunder. When the sun-filled skies turn to the deep menacing grey and the storm rolls in, I turn to the most introspective of places and find myself wanting to get soaking wet, open the windows and let the storm take hold. To me its the most therapeutic of sounds, almost as if the world is making all this noise, and I can be quiet and just enjoy the feeling it has on me.

I realize many people do not have the same thoughts about such moments -- Wanting to run inside vs. having the rain soak their clothes. But I am different, and I guess thats what makes me, me.

Today my weekend of nothing began with a trip to Hudson Pier to soak up some sun. The sun was shining, the air was hot and it was everything I wanted. Yeah, New York! And around 3:30PM I headed back home, and hit a street fair on my way back to the village. In the time it took me to buy a pashmina and have a conversation with my friend in San Diego, the blue skies were less sunny and a storm was on the horizon.

I came home, opened the windows, and prepared for the storm.

Friday, June 13, 2008

How to Live in New York

In August, I will have lived in this thrilling city for six full years. That's four longer than I ever imagined, and days like today make me feel that I could live here until I am 100 (as long as I can spend the winters on Jax Beach!). The weather today was warm and sunny, with a hint of a breeze, the perfect weather for strolling around and meandering wherever the wind blows. So at 4:00PM I left my office, and never returned... and simply went wherever the streets took me. (Which is mostly true, minus the fact that I had a dress appointment at 4:30.)

After my appointment, I restarted my affair with the city. I wandered the streets, stopping for an ice tea here, and to window shop there. Not caring about the time, or whose call I had missed. I went to stores that I had read about and left in a few minutes finding nothing there. I returned to favorite stores and spent many minutes looking at the same things I always do. I wandered home and felt very complete for a day well spent and an afternoon playing hookie.

Tonight, I grabbed a sandwich from my favorite sandwich place and headed to the park to savor the night time air and hear some tunes from the local musicians who hang out in WSP every night. I ate in quiet solitude, lost in my thoughts and the musical notes adding a nice soundtrack to my mental rhythms. Finishing my dinner, I sighed, as I watched homeless men jamming to the steel drums, a woman beside me on her laptop busy with work, and a family of four all worked up over a spilled ice cream cone... and I smiled to myself and shook my head... only in New York.

For it really is only in these huge metropolis cities where people of all walks of life come together, if only in passing, to share a bit of each others lives. Its only in cities like this that sitting on a park bench can be your nightly entertainment. And its only in cities like that you find that limitless ability to recreate yourself in almost every breath taken.

Someone once told me that you should never love something, that doesn't love you back. And in night's like tonight as I give myself to my city, I am the most loved person in the world.

My Guilty Pleasure

I am aware that America is getting fatter by the minute. I have read Fast Food Nation. I have seen Super Size Me -- twice. And, I watch the Today's Show every morning where nutritionist Joy Bauer instructs American moms' on ways to get their children to eat more nutritous options and lead more active lifestyles.

I am aware of all these things, and yet on nights like tonight I head to what I fondly call "my dirty little secret". Out my apartment door, to the right 1.5 blocks and another right half way down the block, and there she is... Subway.

There is something about the sandwiches there that cause me to head there at the slightest twinge of a hangover. A night of drinking, equals a Subway turkey-and-provolone-with-all-the-veggies-on-whole-wheat-bread... and sometimes toasted! Its the best taste to me, and I savor it like you would not believe.

Tonight, while Josh is playing basketball, I ran to my dirty little secret, and got a sandy to go, and sat in Washington Square Park and listened to the local musicians strum away... while ranch dressing and pickles trickled down my face and threatened to ruin my white t-shirt. I didn't care though. I was in absolute heaven!

Now I realize, given the other fastfood options, that my choice is not the worst. But there is something about knowing I am indulging in "fast food" that makes it seem a little worse than it is, and makes "my dirty little secret" so much fun to keep!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back to the Beach

Two days back from sunny Florida, and my mind is still trying to get off the beach and back to work. Mentally sunning myself from the happy time I spent with a special friend, doing the things I like to do -- spend hours in the sun, break for mojitos, ride bikes until the sun sets, and then enjoy easy conversation over wine and watch movies. Its the perfect life for me, and the life I love.

Six years in NYC is a long time. Four years longer than I planned to stay, and I do love my city life. However, as I know, I am an explorer and I know there are many types of life to explore. And maybe this beach life is something I want to explore more of...

As I contemplate my future in the city, it becomes less certain when I think of giving up my humble abode in the west village. Because once that is gone, more things will change. That will be when my 10 minute walk to work becomes a 30 minute commute. When the quaint coffee shop around the corner is replaced by obnoxious Starbucks. When my view of blue skies is shadowed by skyscrapers, and my Saturday's in the park become obstructed by the many tourists that flock there way to the bigger parks of Manhattan. My city life has been great... but as I watch as May comes to a close and each morning is still in the 50s I don't know how much longer I want these cooler temperatures and pricier life.

Maybe a sun-filled life is what I seek... and maybe now is the time to do something about it...

Friday, April 18, 2008

I think I can! I think I can!

I have been training for the ING 1/2 marathon since my last glass of champagne on New Year's Eve. I have been doubly excited for this because my oldest friend, Warren James Thomas, is running this too. Warren has come so far in the fitness category, I wanted to be there to witness his special moment, and decided to run along with him.

Training for the race was fairly easy. I would train at the gym because its cold in New York during the training months. I would watch my political commentary shows on Sunday mornings as I ran along. Piece of cake!

This same sentiment did not follow me to race day however. March 30 in Atlanta, GA did not present the usual spring like temperatures. N-O. The temperature was 44, and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

This was just the beginning of lengthy list of things that seemed to go wrong.

1) I never found my stride, or that mythical runners high.

2) There was no mile markers between Mile1 and Mile 4. Honestly, if after Mile 1 the next marker said Mile 2, I was quitting.

3) There were hills. There were no such things at my gym.

4) My knees were falling apart.

5) It was cold.

6) The only thought running through my head was "if you can do this without stopping, the marathon is not in your future!"

So I finished the race in one piece, and could barely walk for 4 days. But I did it. It doesn't seem so daunting looking back, and a full marathon doesn't seem so formidable. So maybe I will find my stride in November as the New York Marathon comes into mind again. There hasn't been much I haven't been able to do once I put my mind to it. And this is easy, right? Just one foot in front of the other... and watch out for the hills!

Flying the Friendly Skies

I love to travel. I love going new places, trying new foods and cultures, seeing the world from a different viewpoint, being in another world – if only for a little while. And I am really good at it too… I am not a difficult person to deal with, I like people and have a genuine interest in the world. Me and traveling get along like peas and carrots.

However, my love of travel forces me to constantly deal with my biggest pet peeves: people in airports and American Airlines. Let me explain.

People in airports are idiots. Most of them do not travel regularly and therefore treat everything like its a first time experience. They take photos of everything, including baggage claim, the hotdog vendor, and the taxi driver. They get hostile for no reason. They talk LOUDLY on cell phones. They want to yell at airline security for making them late, and create more of a problem for everyone else. And the worst, they put their bag in the overhead bin 10 rows before their row just to ensure they have a place to put their luggage. Which causes someone like me – who sits as far forward as I can – to store my bag in the back of the plane which causes me to be the last one off the plane. The exact opposite of what I was doing when I sat in the first row!

But people in airports are not as bad as American Airlines. I cannot stand this airline. If you have ever been to the AA terminal at Laguardia, you understand what I am talking about. This place is always a zoo. People are standing and sitting EVERYWHERE. There are never enough seats, or any decent food options to enjoy while you wait for your flight – its either the hotdog place or the pretzel place, neither of which is appealing, not to mention the nutrition value.

Then theres the flight process. AA is NEVER on time. And no matter how many sign-ups you do on their flight alert system, they will not tell you your flight is late until you are already in a cab headed to the airport. And then you are at the airport for an extended amount of time wanting to sit but not being able to find a spot, and wanting to get some real food but being stuck with a junky pretzel or crappy hotdog.

All of this happens before they switch the gate 3 times, which is super annoying, because if you have managed to snag one of their coveted seats you then have to give it up to go to the other gate where you are sure to stand, or be stuck sitting on your suitcase, wrinkling every article you preciously packed.

Then when its time to board – at the much delayed time – there is for sure to be even more of a delay because the crew doesn’t get the ball rolling until the time the board says the plane will depart. Most of the time they don’t speak loud enough on the microphone to be able to be heard so people stand about creating more of a hazard for others.

Its especially troubling on a day like today when I have been looking forward to a trip home for so long, and I am arriving almost 2 hours late, which means I won’t get to see my nephew tonight, and my stepdad will be hungry. It makes me feel bad, and that is what I hate most.
I will always travel, and I will always be forced to fly because I love the people in my life and they are far away, and the places I love to go are even further away. But I will not be happy about flying American, and whenever I am forced to, I will always say to myself “I told you so”… because I always know what I am getting into anytime I hit "purchase" at www.aa.com.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

After the Break-up

After a span of 3-months, I am in a very difficult position that any other woman in Manhattan would find equally difficult. Given the split of me and my hairdresser in early December, I am in need of a haircut and no where to go. And this is not just any kind of relationshp... I have lived in New York for 5 1/2 years, and have been seeing the same hairdresser for 5 of those years... This is not something easily replaced, and not something I trust with just anyone.

I have simple hair. Its straight. The color is 100% natural and doesn't require any work, but i do like what the sun does in the summer. Its easy to manage, so why did Alma (my dresser of 5 years) find me and my hair so difficult?

And I guess the answer is as simple as my hair. We didn't get each other.

I could go in for a cut with a picture, full-on description of what I want, and a week later I would be headed back in a frustrated manner wanting her to fix the damage.

Likewise, from my perspective, she used her "haute" salon as a place to gab about her nights out, dating Michael Jordan (he's old right? and, um, married?) Or a fab party that I was not invited too, but she and her Armenian princesses were going. wearing ridiculous costumes... WHILE SHE WAS BUTCHERING MY SIMPLISTIC HAIRSYLE INTO SOMETHING I DID NOT WANT.

So, now I feel like a girl of my mid-20's (which is no longer the case =0) wondering what is next for me. I remember feeling this way about guys when relationships would end, and the potential for what would come up next. But with my hair, I am less excited about the potential "excitement".

I simply want someone to get me and my boring hair. Is that really too much to ask?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cooking up a New Plan

This weekend started with a huge disappointment caused by the wintry weather that a city like New York is known for: Snow, ice, sleet, "wintry mix", freezing temperatures. For the first time in my 5 1/2 years, my office was closed for a snow day. Normally, such announcements would have excited me beyond belief. This Friday, this was the last thing I wanted to hear.

I was headed to Atlanta this weekend to see my family and watch the progress of the ever-growing Ramsey (aka Babe Ramz). I had a lot invested in this weekend -- emotionally, time-wise, money, - and my favorite - plans. With school/work closed for the day, I knew I was not getting to Atlanta anytime soon, and at 1PM Delta cancelled my flight.

This decision led to something I never find in my fast-paced life -- a weekend with nothing to do. I now had a blank canvas interms of my weekend plans, and I was not going to let such moments go to waste!

Quickly visions of painting the living room sprang to mind, as well as trying out some new recipes in my newly organized cookbook, and maybe having another couple over for dinner, and now I could get to my annual Oscar Party, and now I can train for the 1/2 marathon as scheduled, and now I can get focused on planning for Paris. My mind was in over-drive! A day with nothing to do is the best treasure to a super-planner like me... and I was determined to make it the best!

As Saturday came along, I was up early scanning the recipe books and picking out food combinations that should be pleasing to most, and making my shopping list (lists are another favorite if mine). 90 minutes later I returned home, loaded down with groceries for a feast, a gallon of paint, and an accepted dinner invitation by my cousin and her boyfriend.

By 3PM the living room was sporting a new shade of green, the pork tenderloin was marinating, and I was off to the gym for a training session. The day was going just as I planned.

8PM arrived and the little dinner party began. Dinner was a success. Fun was had by all.

Sometimes a change of plan is the best thing in the world. Expectations are dialed down. Creativity comes into play. Anything becomes possible. These possibilities are what make things, and life, more. And I feel that I got more out of my weekend by an adjusted itenirary. Granted, seeing my family would have been excellent, but given the situation, I made the best of it. And at the end of the week, or the end of the day, its a great thing to be able to say... about your plan, about yourself, and about your life.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Keeper of the Zoo

When people ask me what I do professionally, I often don't know what to tell them. At a cocktail party on New Years, I told someone I was the "Queen of Part-time Jobs," which made a lot of sense given my knack for getting paid for my passions on the side. Into this category falls mystery-shopping, tarot reading, TAing, and subletting. But what I do on a daily basis often is undefineable, because I do a little bit of a lot, or as my boss says "whatever comes up."

Given an average week at work, my job includes (but is not limited to) the following: recruiting, orientation, training, development, counseling, event planning, employee relations, internal communications, programing, research, surveying, and budgeting. Seeing all these things in action could befuddle most, given the hoops and ladders I must get through to get done what must get done. Sometimes I simply have to laugh at what I call work, because most of the time it really is fun, and I can't believe I get paid to do what I do. The other times I have to close my door and scream as quietly as possible because it seems like I work in a zoo, or something like that. Here's why...

1) There are giraffes. These are the people that are so busy thinking up "blue sky ideas" that they can't begin to see the little things (read timelines, deadlines, budgets) that keep their ideas from coming to life.

2) There are lions. These are the people that sit around roaring all day, about not much, but they make a lot of noise and scare the hell out of the rest of us, but truth betold, they have never bitten anyone.

3) There are rhinos. These are the people who take up space. They don't budge. They sit there. They are not funny. They do not say anything remarkable. They drink up all your favorite softdrink. Complain about work constantly. But don't do anything about their issues, and feel they need to make it yours.

4) There are parakeets. These are the colorful people of the office who come to work dressed to the 9's and sit around looking pretty all day. They are slightly more productive than rhinos, but mostly spend alot of time applying make-up, and primping in the bathroom.

5) There are bees. These people get things done. They buzz, buzz, buzz all day. They don't have time to see the world around them, but you can guarantee they have checked everything off their to-do list.

6) There are pigs. (these are my personal favorite to watch) They show up at any office social function, not to be social, but to take all that comes with a social function, i.e, food, drink and anything else that could be seen as "free". When food is served, they act like they haven't eaten in a week. Some take 2 plates. Some ignore the suggested small hors d'oevres plate and go for the big picnic size plate. Some take a plate and hoard it in their office. Some wrap it in a separate container and put their name on it for lunch the following day. Some ignore the food line all together and go behind the counter to sneak food from the unopen containers hoping to sneak the best selection.

And then there are people like me, who fall in some other category of which I am not sure. We see the actions of all the above, but keep to our task at hand, trying to make the work place a bit tolerable for everyone. I can't help but laugh at what I witness on almost a daily basis. These people, moments and situations all add up and all add to who I am. And given the chance I wouldn't change my job, because at the end of the dayI really do like it -- no matter how many pigs, giraffes or rhinos I put up with. At the end of the day I leave this place feeling like I am more, and I have made a difference to someone -- and regardless of my title, that's a pretty nice feeling to have.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Being the product of a domestic goddess and a football coach its no surprise that when it comes to technology, well, I am technologically challenged. Unless a piece of equipment comes with one simple instruction for use -- such as, "Plug in" -- I require a little bit of testosterone help in order to get said piece of equipment up and running.

But not today. I had one challenge before me, and one challenge I was determine to win -- setting up our wireless internet.

Josh doesn't need wireless, as he gets to use the LAN line for his desktop computer. Preferring the more nimble aspects of a laptop, puts me in the "smaller computer category" and therefore forfeiting my rights to the LAN line because LAN lines are for the "big computers." Or so I have been told. Or actually, its what I tell myself to justify my continual argument that I need LAN line access because I have yet to figure out my wireless troubles. Josh is always willing to help. But also being the product of my mother, I like to think that I can do most things better than men, and if I do require their help its a result of being 5'3" than simply not knowing how to do something.

So today was my day. I was going to conquer the wireless internet issue that had been plaguing me for going on two years. I was going to figure out why the green internet light would not come on. I was going to figure out why when I went searching for wireless connections on my computer, my computer would search all night.

When Josh left for the gym, I promptly made a disaster of our recently cleaned living room as I dug through drawers for adapters with no home, cords that looked similar to those I had seen our IT guys at work tote around, and an old piece of equipment a past roommate had conveniently left. These pieces together did not seem like anymore of a solution, but I knew if I could get the order right I would have access.

Two failed attempts later, I realized a busted cable might be the culprit, so a trip up the block to ACE hardware (Ace is the place!) I had what appeared to be a true solution. And it worked! I did it, just as I said I would.

This feeling of being "reconnected" had been the theme of my weekend. Yesterday, two quarts of purple paint and a Norah Jones playlist on my ipod allowed me to reconnect to myself over an afternoon of hallway painting while Josh was at work. Time alone, and to myself is so much needed in my personal world. As those who love me will tell you, I go-go-go until I am about dead and then I throw a tantrum (usually full of tears, and a nobody-loves-me-demeanor), leaving any onlookers wondering what the hell just happened. I like to think in recent years I have gotten better at such moments, but usually when I have some time to myself I realize how close I was to a potential meltdown and how much better I feel when such feelings have subsided. A day of painting, followed by a ordered-in sushi dinner and "the Jane Austen Book club" did the trick, and now I am up to my old charades and smiling all the way.

A little down time, at both at work on Friday and this weekend, allowed me to reconnect with two of my life's favorite people. It was great to hear what they had been up to, and share and tell about my own adventures in life. Slowing down and touching base is always good for that too.

Now as I sit here, reconnected to so many things and people around me, I am eternally greatful for a slower paced weekend that gave me what I needed from life. I never realize how busy things are until I have a bit of contrast. And as I review my outlook of today compared to the start of the day yesterday, I realize that a day of "reconnections" was of pertinent desire -- and it wasn't just about connecting the great world wide web, but also of reconnecting to that "can do" attitude I have come to love about myself, and seemed to have disappeared behind a cloud. So now today, ANYTHING seems possible, and that's a pretty good feeling to have. Watch out world... I'm back!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lost & Found... and one smart cat!

You never can realize you've lost something until its gone; and that empty, sinking sensation fills your tummy. You can pin-point the exact moment it moves to "lost" from "not-found". Last week I discovered a pair of earrings have gone missing, and in my mind they are "not found" instead of "lost" because I have simply not found them yet. But this morning presented me with a different story.

Last night was Valentines's Day. Josh and I spent the evening out in Brooklyn, having appetizers and champagne and one of our favorite Italian restaurants (Scopello), attending a performance of MacBeth with Patrick Stark, and getting home past our bedtime. Having had espresso only an hour before, I was wired and sleep did not come so readily -- and once I found it, it didn't last long.
When I woke at 7AM, I knew something was wrong. Chloe (who is probably the smartest cat in the world) was up to her "bad antics" of throwing things off the nightstand to wake us up. She only does this when she is out of food and looking for breakfast, so I was surprised when I went to her dish and it was relatively full. She continued to follow me around the apartment as I tried to figure out what was not right.

Then it hit me. Our apartment was much too quiet for one that houses two cats. Where was Jasmine? The feeling in the pit of my stomach, quickly told me she was not in the apartment. But where could she be? We hadn't left a window open, and the door was closed.

Josh was woken up quickly, and in charge of searching the house. In a panic, I through on clothing and tore out into the hallways. I just had to find her.
Not on the first floor, not in the garbage, maybe the top floor? So up the 6 flights I went. The higher I went, I realized the minimal options she had to go -- except in someone else's apartment.
As I approached the 5th floor, I stared in horror at the window. It was wide o
pen, without a screen or anything. This was not good. I peered all around the rooftops and alleyways below, and no Jazz. Only the worst flashed
through my mind.

I panicked, and quickly turned, only to realize I had run out of steps! And sitting on the last one, cool as a cucumber, was Miss Jazz. I scooped her up, and the tears began to flow. I was so afraid I had lost her.

Back at the apartment, our little family was back together again. But we will all remember the morning that Jazz snuck away, the fear of having lost her, and the happiness that warmed our hearts to have her back.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I've learned its hard to walk in snowboots...

If you have been paying attention to the weather, you know its snowing in New York. It snowed all day, and for the first time when it comes to foot attire, I was prepared. Leaving work and headed up to Columbia for my TA position, I coasted down King Street jumping in every puddle and snow mound I could find. Snowboots are great for energetic feats like this. One block later, I am on the subway and headed up to 116th street... or so I thought. The train decides to go express at 110th, but no worries -- me and my trusty snowboots have it made. Seven blocks to class and in less than 15 minutes, can I do it?

As typical with most New York subway scenes on a rainy day, people were everywhere upon exiting the station. The pointy things on umbrellas seemed aimed at my eyeballs. Only one path had been carved in the snow leading up the subway steps, and everyone going up or down was headed for that way. It was a zoo. And the walk up to 117th street was a sluggish one...one that was not made in 15 minutes, but 20...Because these silly boots that are supposed to keep me dry kept me from being able to walk straight or very fast.

Its this time every year, my sights turn south and I mentally start scheming up a plan to take me to Florida... permanently. I remember thinking this in February 2003, and five years later I am thinking the same thing. I want sunshine. I want warmth. I want to wear fun clothes, and forget there was ever a thing called a snowboot...

This becomes my cry every year this time, and I know that come February 2009, I will be sitting in this same chair, watching the snow fall and writing the same thing.

I am not ready to leave New York, and maybe I will never be "ready". There is something about living here that makes life worth waiting for, more so than any other city I have ever lived or been. Waiting for the subway instead of taking a taxi because you know in the end you will get there faster and save $10. Waiting for the Chinese laundry around the corner to wash my clothes because I know they will do a better job and its really no cheaper if I did it myself. Waiting for my sushi dinner to arrive because I know its better than most super-spicy concoction I can create in my 4' X3' kitchen. And waiting for the snow to melt into spring, because I know once it does my love affair with this terrific city will continue... and my struggle with snowboots will be a thing of the past. Well, at least until next year...

Friday, February 8, 2008


Being born under the sign of Leo, on a Tuesday, with the date of 8-2, its no surprise that the combination of 2's and 8's make me smile, or that a year dedicated to these two digits fills me with anticipation. So today, on a date dedicated to my favorite numbers, I am choosing to start my blog... Because I know this year is going to be spectacular and I need a place to record the moments I hold dear.

So welcome to anyone who cares to know what is going on in my little world...

And I say "little" because this blog, and this "world" is all about the little things that make my life happy -- the people, the places, the experiences, the emotions, the tastes, the flavors, the observations, the thoughts, and (of course) the little intricasities that make my world feel alive.

What you won't find in this blog: Lengthy political discussions open for debate, a run down of sports scores and athletes (unless it deals with the UGA Bulldogs, Roger Federer, or gymnastics), notes on cars I want to own (I live in NYC and do not ever want to have a car as my main source of transportation again), and overall, a very objective viewpoint (mine tends to be a bit more subjective and personal.)

But what you will find: the true and honest thoughts that race through my head, the silly things I find thought-provoking, my hopes and dreams for the future, and all my plans for travel and a life well-lived.

So join me if you will on my life as a blogger... The story may not be the most fascinating, but it is mine to tell. And if you want to listen, I am happy to share it with you.