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 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.