Wednesday, December 30, 2009

perfect match series: i'm waiting...

With the holidays and hoopla, I'd almost forgotten about the bone marrow donation thing. Here is a brief update...

A few weeks ago I had blood drawn for confirmatory typing. At the time they told me it would take two weeks to get the results back because of the infectious diseases test they run. A few days later I received a letter from the donor bank saying that it could take up to a few months for me to hear about my results and whether I would be donating marrow. It seems that it can take weeks for the doctor to weigh in about whether I'm a good enough match and whether the patient is ready to receive the donation.

So now I sit and wait. If and when I am contacted for the next step there will be physical exams to take and procedures to have explained. For now it is anyone's guess...

Monday, December 28, 2009

post-christmas colds and quotes - a mishmosh of things

Seems I've come down with a nasty cold. It started yesterday and today I can't hear a blasted thing. So I'm vegging out in my dad's chair watching Season 3 of the Tudors (a Christmas gift from my brother) and eating a burrito from my favorite taco shop for lunch. A cold will not stand in the way there. I have also eaten entirely too many cookies and other goodies this week. I hate to turn into a cliche but it is Christmas and I am "home" so I'm indulging with every intention of going back to status quo once I am back in New York.

Christmas in this California household was filled with the usual: immediate family and lots of food. I tend to feel a bit blue during the holidays (all the hype and pressure perhaps) but am feeling pretty peaceful this year. We went to my cousin's house for a belated extended family dinner last night and one cousin asked me if I'm in New York forever. I always chuckle inside when people ask me this as if I really want to say to them, "You don't know what it took to get me here. I just got here. And here I will stay." Why would I leave? I really do love my life in New York, despite some feelings to the contrary every once in a while. I was thinking today as I was driving to get my beloved burrito that I do have the best of both worlds. A life I built with my own two hands in New York and roots in Southern California.

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I wrote that a few days ago and intended on finishing it but never did. My cold is better but sticking around and I just don't have the motivation to do the things I should - namely start cleaning out my old room here. My mom now uses it as an office and, rightfully and expectedly so, she wants to make better use of the space. So I need to get most of my stuff out. And yet here I sit watching Teen Mom online and sending e-mails. Oh well. I still have a few more days.

I'm considering trying Match again. As of late I have had some unexpected, albeit brief luck with this method of meeting people and I do wonder if the onslought of New Year's Resolutions and lonely onlys will work in my favor.

I know I have a New Year/reflection post to write at some point but I'll leave it now with these quotes. They really sum up so many things...

I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision. - Eleanor Roosevelt

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anais Nin

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shop Talk - Faves of 08 - Top 2!

The end of the year is drawing near so I suppose I should finish recapping my Favorite Books of 2008 before it is time to start on 2009's list. These last two were favorites for different reasons: one, because of its literary merit, and the other because of the effect it had on my feelings about the scientific, sociological and women's issues discussed after I'd read it. If you haven't noticed already, I mostly read fiction. I find it much more pleasurable to lose myself in character, time, and place than I do in facts, data, and non-fiction. Therefore, the one non-fiction book that graces this list does so for an important reason.

2. God of Animals by Aryn Kyle
*read in March of 2008*

This coming-of-age story is centered around twelve-year-old Alice who is growing up on her father's dilapidated horse farm in Colorado. The family is facing hard times so, to help make ends meet, Alice's father begins boarding horses for well-to-do clients. Alice's sister has run away to marry a rodeo star and her mother refuses to leave her bedroom. On her own, in a sense, Alice must figure out life and her approaching adolescence alone. I love reading great "first novels", especially those written by young people and this was definitely one of them. Alice is reminiscient in a way of To Kill a Mockingbird's Scout in that she has a childlike innocence but also possesses a great believable wisdom in her narration. The story is simple yet alluring. A sweet yet undoubtedly accomplished novel. Definitely try this one out if you want a great story that will echo in your mind for months to come.



1. Pretty is What Changes by Jessica Queller

*read in March 2008*

If you watch Gossip Girl you will be familiar with some of this
author's work. She is a producer on the show and her former writing/producing credits include favorites of mine: Gilmore Girls and Felicity, among others. I originally picked up this book intending to flip through it and glean some inside tidbits about writing for teen dramas but I was almost immediately sucked in. The subject matter is understandably tough: as a young single woman Queller lost her mother to cancer and then tested positive for the breast cancer gene. Though there were a few fun stories about her job it is the honesty and simplicity with which Queller narrates the book makes it addicting. Once you're in it (if you're a woman, that is, and maybe even if you aren't) you discover the importance of this topic and are glad for the knowledge the book gives you. Queller addresses issues of beauty and womanhood and how it is defined and changes as well as the issue of science, DNA, and the role the gene test has in informing one of her destiny. Needless to say I pondered these topics myself long after I finished the last page. The book struck a chord with me and I've since given it to many to read.

Every woman must read this book!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

California Christmas


Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Happy Holidays to all.

I made it home to California yesterday with no complications. By 3 pm Pacific Standard Time I was eating tacos outside in 65 degree weather. I'm home.

The last couple of days before Christmas is always hectic but when everyone goes back to work and it is just me and the dog, I'm sure there will be more blog posts from me.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

-M

Sunday, December 20, 2009

just like Charlie Brown


I'm feeling blue.

I've had a rough week and feel like I've been through the ringer. I feel like I'm at the end of my rope and am so tired of so many things. I don't know what to do differently.

It snowed here in NYC last night. I looked out the patio door this morning to see a fluffy blanket of snow covering our table and chairs. Still amazes this California girl every time. Wonder if it will ever stop...

I did laundry today and no one was there. They were all out sledding in the park, I'm sure, since the sun was out and the streets were glistening with powder. But even though snow is still a magical thing to someone like me, I can't shake the melancholy. I head home to California on Wednesday and I must say the timing is perfect. I miss my family and will be glad to get away and clear my head a bit. I am so looking forward to Christmas and celebrating the season with those I love dearly but right now I feel like the little Christmas tree on Charlie Brown. Small with only a few needles and Linus' blue blanket wrapped around it. All it needs is a little love, right?

To my fellow New Yorkers, hope you enjoy the last bits of weekend snow before it is back to the daily grind.

credit

Saturday, December 19, 2009

dating deja vu: what if my favorite season is cursed?!

Do you ever experience deja vu?

It seems I have the dating sort.

Last year I met Mr. West Coast, appropriately named Mr. West Coast because of his own ties there. Obviously we had something in common from the start and hit it off well. We met in October and by early December had been on several dates. Something seemed to be going a bit off by the end but I ignored it chalking it up to being a worrywart and wanting things to be too perfect. For the most part I thought they were until a couple of days before last Christmas he broke it off. He wasn't my boyfriend but I certainly felt dumped as I really liked him.

Fast forward to November 2009 and my first date with John Doe. He's nice, normal, and seems to see the world much like I do. I daresay we had that illusive chemistry! Date #2 is made. Also a hit. Hopes elevating. Date #3 goes smoothly (with a bit of awkwardness at the end but that's OK...) That was nearly a week ago and I haven't heard from him. I'm more than a bit confused.

The timelines for these guys are eerily similar. Am I just doomed to have potential autumn romances turn sour? This is a little freaky. Am I cursed or something?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

perfect match series: confirmatory typing


Since I am now feeling well enough to resume regular life, I figured I would do an update post for my bone marrow experience.

The next step in the process was confirmatory typing. I had an appointment on Monday morning at a lab across town to get blood drawn. Easy peazy. And it was. They did take 7 vials of blood though, which didn't really bother me... Little did I know that later that night illness would strike! I almost worry now that they won't match me but I think that just shows naivete and ignorance on my part.

They are testing my blood to determine how close of a match I am to the patient I've been matched with. Apparently there might even be someone out there who is a better match than I am which amazes me because as I was watching the blood fill the tubes (sorry, people but I'm not squeamish when it comes to my own blood...) I wondered just who this person is that I'm so randomly linked to in such a way. Yes, we are all linked, we are all one people, peace and love and all that but this is different than just having the same bone structure or the same blood type. This is a cheek swab turned chance meeting of two complete strangers who will stay that way throughout the entire process. As the donor I am entitled to know the age, sex, and illness of the patient and the patient will, in turn, be told my age and sex. That's it. So I wonder if this person is male or female. Is it a child or an old man? Is he or she Caucasian or black or Asian? I hope he or she has family close by right now, isn't in too much pain, and knows that even a stranger such as myself cares enough to wonder about him (or her).

The second part of the process is the testing for infectious diseases which takes two weeks. So while I am in California for the holidays I'm guessing I will get a call or an e-mail to find out whether I will continue on this journey with this person. And I really hope I get to.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

pity party for 1

fever this morning: 101.3
cab ride to the doctor because there was no way I was braving the subway: $12.14
minutes spent in the waiting room: 72
number of docs I saw: 3 (if you count the PA)
number of times I said, "I think I have strep throat": at least 4
number of strep tests they did: 2
throat pain on a scale of 1 to 10: 7
co-pay: $25
cab ride back home: $14 something
prescription: $10 (not bad)
number of times they played the same 5 Christmas carols in the waiting room and at the pharmacy: too many to count
ice cream for the throat: $5
gatorade: $2

the rising feeling that a good date begets illness or injury: priceless (unfortunately)

Friday, December 11, 2009

perfect match series: chronicling my experience with bone marrow donation

I've decided to chronicle my experiences here as a potential bone marrow donor. Even if I don't end up donating, it is still a process - an important and serious one at that - and I, for some reason, have been fortunate enough to be selected to save someone's life. This is a task I don't take lightly and something with which have been blessed not to have experience.

It all started when I signed up for the bone marrow drive at my office, something I've blogged about previously, only six months ago. Earlier this week I received an urgent e-mail from a representative with the bone marrow bank. I'm a match for a specific patient with leukemia. That night I talked to my parents about it. Almost right away I knew I was going to donate, if asked. When I signed up I asked what would happen if I changed my mind. The rep I spoke to at the time informed me that I could, however, it would be like getting someone's hopes up only to devastate them. As I said, this wasn't a decision I took lightly. I never would have signed up if I didn't intend to donate. The idea of saving someone's life is very humbling yet exciting. I've often spoken about my love for volunteering. This takes it to an entirely new level.

But as the process has become a reality and I've learned more about it, I'd be lying if I said I didn't still have reservations to overcome. And I intend to be honest about them here. For now, though, I first have to learn if I am a close enough match. So I am going for "confirmatory typing" on Monday. Having already faxed a multi-page health history questionnaire (very similar to one you might fill out if you were giving blood) I must go have some blood drawn so that the doctor may first test for infectious diseases and second determine if I am the best candidate to donate.

This is a slower process than I'd imagined. I might not be donating for a couple of months. It is all based on what the doctor deems best for the patient, their current health, etc. But first things first. A little blood donation never hurt anyone...

I will be updating periodically throughout this process and am happy to ask questions if anyone has any. Thank you all for your support. I am very excited (though a bit nervous) about this special undertaking.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

what's in a nickname?

I have French Furniture Guy, Saved by the Bell, and most recently the Cowboy (because of his Texas roots).

Yes, I'm guilty of naming guys I've dated. My dating blog haunt, Single-ish, talks about this phenomenon today so I'm reminiscing with my friend (whose current "beau" I also nicknamed).

Why do I do it?

I find that guys are all named the same thing (Mike, Joe, John) so it is easy to get them mixed up... especially when telling stories to and commiserating with friends. So until names like Vern, Alfred, and Elmer come back, I'll stick to giving them nicknames based on what they do, what they look like, and my first impression of them. At least for the first few dates or so.

Cruel and impersonal? Nah. I think it is fun.

I just never want to know what someone called me...

Anyone else out there do it?

if only...

Dear Santa,

May I please have this for Christmas?

I've been good...

Love, M

(credit)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

perfect match...

I found one. Or one found me.

Remember this? I volunteered for a bone marrow registry back in June. 6 months ago. I have friends who have been in the registry for years. Only 1 in a hundred or so people will be matched with someone in their lifetime. I was just notified that I'm a match for someone. There's a good chance I'll be donating in the coming months. The chance that I would even be notified (whether or not I turn out to be a "perfect" match and therefore donate) is less than 1%.

How's that for making someone feel special?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dear world, I'm feeling emo today...

Dear NYC cab drivers,

I realize that your job is hard and traffic here is nuts but the last two cab rides I took left me feeling incredibly queasy and crappy when I exited them. Braking hard and swerving so often that I get nauseous doesn't encourage me to tip you well.

Dear John Doe (aka last week's date),

Please call me. I'd like to go out with you again and this says something because, I don't generally like most guys I meet.

Dear knee,

I appreciate the fact that you are getting better little by little but please hurry up. I was stupid enough to look today while I was being weighed at the doctor's office and Turkey Day plus the lack of excercise this week... well you can guess... Plus I miss dancing. So get better pronto. I need to start moving again.

Dear Producers and Writers of My Sister's Keeper (the movie),

You kind of butchered the book, I'm not sure I like the Cameron Diaz casting but thank you for providing me with something interesting to do on my emo day.

Dear Jane Doe (aka former potential roommate),

Thanks a lot for backing out. I know we have a few more weeks before the current roommate moves out but now we have to start all over again.

Dear M (aka me),

Things are fine. You're employed, healthier than many, have lovely friends and a loving family. You're a good person and deserve good things. Be kind to yourself.

Dear Blog Friends,

Hope you're having a wonderful Friday.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shop Talk - Don't be discouraged! (Faves #4 & 3)

4. When We Were Romans by Matthew Kneale
*read in August 2008*

If you liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, you'll love this. Told in the voice of nine-year-old Lawrence, this book is charming and hauntingly good. Because Lawrence is nine, his spelling is off and his paragraphs are often filled with run-ons but don't let that deter you. He wonderfully narrates his own story as he and his mother and younger sister Jemima flee from his father (who Mom thinks is dangerously stalking them). But there is more beneath the surface. Travel with the trio as they go from London to Rome and learn what it is like in young Lawrence's mind. You'll fall in love with him, I promise.

3. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

*read in November 2008*

This book is quite a tome but in keeping with today's happenstance theme, don't be discouraged! It is part The Kite Runner and part Grey's Anatomy (ok, that part is just for the medical stuff) with a hint of Slumdog Millionaire thrown in for good measure. The story of two brothers, Shiva and Marion, who are borne out of a forbidden union between a nun and a surgeon and pretty much reared in the halls of a missionary hospital in Ethiopia, this book journeys from Africa to India to the U.S. It is beautifully written and its characters are unforgetable. Once you get into it, you won't want to put it down.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

knee

So remember that skating trip I talked about? Well I forgot to mention something...

I fell. Took quite a spill... and I landed on a knee that was already a little angered and now that knee is pissed! So here I lay immobile with a blue squishy ice pack instead of making the most of night at dance class. And I'm pissed. It was kind of just a matter of time, really. I first hurt my knee about four years ago when I fell down the stairs carrying an armload of laundry. It was a sprain and I had to take time off work because I knew working with children meant it was impossible for me to remain seated at all during my day. A few weeks ago during my brief stint with dodgeball I tweaked the same knee again and since then certain things have made it a bit sore.

I'm a horrible sick/injured person. When I first moved to New York I was sick for almost two months straight. First with a horrible cold, then with the stomach flu (over Christmas, really) and then with bronchitis, the residuals of which lasted for weeks. It goes without saying that I was miserable but what I remember most was being terribly, terribly homesick. When I'm ill I want my mommy. I'm three years old again and I cry because I don't know what else to do. When something hurts I just wanted to be waited on and big girls who move to New York all by themselves usually don't have people to take care of them. I didn't, anyway and aside from a wonderful roommate who got me a fresh ice pack and the bottle of Aleve out of the medicine cabinet, I still don't. Things like this make me feel alone. Things like this remind me I'm alone in all of this.

So though the skating was totally worth the angry knee, I'm pouting and really wish someone would make me dinner.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"I wish I had a river I could skate away on..."


"It's coming on Christmas. They're cutting down trees..." - Joni Mitchell

I left the house today and noticed that the lean-to forests of Christmas trees outside many a Duane Reade and CVS drug stores have sprouted up around this great city once again. Christmas is coming. Wow.

The biggest proof is the fact that I went ice skating today! There are various places to go in New York: Rockefellar Center, of course, but also Wollman Rink in Central Park and Bryant Park...where I went this afternoon. Bryant Park is probably the best because you don't have to pay for admission, just skates. I donned a gorgeous pair in bright blue and hobbled to the rink. I hadn't skated since the time my friends and I went at Alexandra Palace in London during my semester abroad. I did try to learn to skate backwards but it was entirely too crowded and I feared taking a little kid out as I wobbled along the ice. Still Frank Sinatra sang in the background and I took in the cityscape around me.... Pretty cool.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

grace

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

My roommate and I trudged through the crowds tonight to view the Macy's Parade Balloon Inflation. Completely nuts but so much fun! It is #1 in my 10 things I'm thankful for tonight...

1.


I hate Spongebob but this picture makes it look like he's trying to eat the crowd.


Just one image of the amount of people lined up. Yes, we were kind of insane for going...



2. dance classes and rediscovering myself in the studio.

3. my education - The only thing that, now that I have it, cannot be taken away from me.

4. my brother - Even though we don't talk much when I'm not "home" (he isn't much of a phone person - typical guy) he is kind and thoughtful person and the best guy I know.

5. hope for the future - Who knows where I'll be in my career and personal life 5 or 10 years from now but I know what I want and I'm hopeful that I'll get there.

6. my job - I got a great job with a great company right out of the gate. While every job has its downfalls, I work with a fun group of people, many of whom have supported me within my position and who have also become like family.

7. babysitting opportunities - They have afforded me the new clothes, nights out, Happy Hour drinks, yummy dinners, plane tickets, and random things I might not otherwise afford. I get to hang with cute kiddos, get paid to watch HBO On Demand and spend time in some great apartments. But most of all, they have given me something familiar in what was, at first, an unfamiliar city.

8. the ability to travel - past, present, and future. I believe studying abroad in London when I was in college made moving to NY indirectly possible. It also gave me the travel bug and the desire to experience something outside the status quo. Though I've only made it to Washington, D.C. this year, I have big, big dreams for the future and I cross my fingers and toes that they come true!

9. comfortable jeans

10. my comfortable bed!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

gratitude

I've noticed that some in my blog roll are doing "thankful" posts. One person had the idea of doing 10 things today, tomorrow, and Thanksgiving Day. I think it is a wonderful idea to think of 30 things I am thankful for and perhaps it will give life a bit more perspective (and who doesn't need to be reminded of how lucky they are from time to time?) so here I go for Tues...

I am thankful for...

1. the food I just put in my stomach. It is so basic and I take it for granted three times a day, every day but there are those in the world who don't go to bed with stomachs full. So when I feel gross or "fat" I just remember that I could be starving like so many are.

2. my DVR. I've waxed poetic about it before. I went from no cable TV to the ability to record and rewind a pleathora of channels. 'Nuff said.

3. autumn in New York. Oh, how I love this city.

4. things that make me laugh, like The Office.

5. a family I am close to. I was talking about them tonight and felt a swell of gratitude over how much they have supported me over the course of my life.

6. great friends who will text you back with an answer when you ask how long one should wait before they assume they have been stood up.

7. The fact that I wasn't stood up tonight. And had a nice time.

8. toothbrushes, toothpaste and other personal hygiene items. They just make life more pleasant.

9. BOOKS! Can't believe I got to #9 before mentioning this one. They have truly made my life what it is and made me who I am.

10. the bravery and confidence I have gained with the realization of a dream and the reality of that realization. I do the best I can with what I have and on a great day I am so thankful for all the experiences I've had; good, bad, and ugly.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"How many ounces are in a cup?" and other pre-Thanksgiving adventures

I just got back from grocery shopping for Thanksgiving with my roommate.

I went without a list.

I'm lucky I didn't hyperventilate right there in the store. It is especially fun looking like an idiot while trying to decide how much shredded cheese to buy. I'm normally OK sans list if I'm not cooking. But I'm cooking and maybe it is minimal but right now I feel so stressed over money, things we bought, things we might have missed, etc.

I also feel the compulsive need to check my bank balance.

T-minus three days and counting. Here's to hoping I'll make it.

And to think that today someone actually asked me how I remain so calm all the time. Oh, if they only knew what goes on in my head...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

my weekend was, November 20-22

I started doing "My Weekend Was" posts to extract the simple small moments from the regular occurrence that is "the weekend". I guess the purpose is to point out that even in the hours that are boring, taken for granted and sometimes disappointing, there is always something positive to be found. Or it is just a fun and quick way to sum up the best parts of the best part of the week. Feel free to do them as well. I find they are fun to look back on when hindsight is always 20/20.

My weekend was...

finding cathartic moments while painting murals at a public school.

spending hours on the phone catching up with my best friend, who has been MIA at military training for weeks.

dodging Christmas carols on the radio (seriously!) at the laundromat by enjoying the crisp sunny weather outside and chatting on the phone with my dad.

another lesson in what I don't want in a guy. (ie. commenting on whether I am drinking or not drinking doesn't win points with me. I don't care if I'm in a bar. If I want water, I will drink water.)

a new turkey meatball recipe, a bundt cake, new faces and a potluck dinner.

spending a Friday night laying on the couch with a three-year-old telling stories to one another. My favorite: "There was a duck who opened his mouth and there was a submarine and the submarine poked his eye out." Hers not mine.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

lessons for this reformed dating dummy: links for single ladies

A little peace of mind. Not to wear my heart on my sleeve or anything... OK! Moving on.

So very true! I'm trying to remember but I don't think I've ever experienced this. It really makes sense, though. Thoughts?

Bringing new flavor to "Soup for One." - I just ordered this book! I've loved Judith Jones since I saw Julie & Julia (she originally published The Art of French Cooking) and learned that she fished The Diaryof Anne Frank out of a pile and, as an editorial assistant, convinced her editor to publish it in the U.S. Wow!

And for a little humor... (I'm becoming worried about how often I have this song in my head. Every night before I go to bed, it never fails... Hmm...)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

answers revealed

1. My question what can someone usually find you going on a weekend in the city?
Drinks? Dinner? Park?
Well, I tend to spend a lot of time on the Upper West Side. Sometimes I go to Good Enough to Eat for brunch (my fave restaurant), sometimes I go for walks in Central Park. Sometimes I head up to the Bronx or Harlem to volunteer. I love going out for drinks and dinner but have been doing it less lately. In terms of nightlife, I tend to just go with the flow though am most likely to be found in pubs or fratty-type bars than I am in clubs or in the Meatpacking District. I'm a paranoid person so that's as detailed as I'm going to get.
2. What do you miss most about Cali? People don't count!
I miss the hole-in-the-wall burrito place I've been frequenting since high school. The guy there knows me and knows what I like (bean, cheese and rice burrito - I'm a simple girl) however I do not for the life of me know his name. I have been going there for years and I now feel it is too late to ask. I always go there when I go "home".

I also miss driving down 101 with the windows down and the music up - in December. Well, year round but it is particularly awesome during the winter. I miss the convenience of a car (usually when I'm doing laundry here or grocery shopping) but for the most part I'm glad I don't have to deal with the hassle of owning one right now.

3. What brand of flip flops do you love the most?
OK, I'm going to show my cheap side and mention here that I do not wear $50 flip flops. To me there is just no point. So I do not have a brand. I just get what is cute and fairly inexpensive. For the longest time in college I loved a pair I got from American Eagle (was big into AE for a while). I wore the living daylights out of them. Now I have a cheap-o pair but since I really don't wear them as much I feel it is more necessary to spend money on boots than flip flops. I hate the plastic kind (they have to be cloth between the toes) so it really just depends on what I find.

4. What are your "deal breakers"?
I mentioned deal breakers in this post so I figured I'd lump this in. I'll give you a preview of the serious and the silly...

He must be driven - I am a very driven person. I would not get along with someone who had no goals, was lazy about life, etc. Whatever he's into I'd rather he be passionate about it. Bonus points if he is a transplant and was driven to move to NYC for work or something related to that. But I've talked about that already.

He must be compassionate - I want someone who cares about others and does what he can to help people. His family and friends are important to him. He would give someone the shirt off his back. Maybe he volunteers, or if he doesn't, he is modest and humble and generally sees the world, and the people in it, in a way that is very similar to the way I do.

He must look good in a baseball cap - I have a serious thing for them. 'Nuff said.

He must be fairly masculine - Read here to find out why. I'm pretty sensitive to mannerisms though. It isn't that he has to be a beer guzzling, sports watching, machismo type guy (I'd rather he not be, in fact) but feminine mannerisms really bug me.

Thanks to everyone who commented and inquired. Feel free to shoot any more questions my way.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

judgey judgerson

I like to think I'm not a judgmental person. I give people the benefit of the doubt, try to be nice to everyone, and am empathetic (to a fault, most of the time). But today I caught myself doing something I hate: judging someone else's food choices.

It isn't really a secret that I hate going grocery shopping. Here in New York, with super small aisles, insane costs, and limited choices, I dread it. I also don't like it when people comment on what I'm purchasing at the check-out stand. Granted, New Yorkers tend not to give a rat's but this was more prevalent in California where the employee had a son who went to the same high school as I did and so on and so forth. I just can't help being paranoid (yes, this is a weird paranoia) that people are juding what I eat. I encounter this quite frequently when eating with colleagues and friends who are very health conscious. Lately I'm making a more conscious effort I'm trying to get my daily dose of fruits and veggies in lately but sometimes I just want to eat mac and cheese for lunch and nothing else. Don't judge me for it.

Today I was in our little kitchenette (there's one on every floor) about to heat up some homemade butternut squash soup. (Don't get too excited, I didn't make it. I went to see a friend's new condo on Sunday night and she cooked for me and sent me home with a Tupperware container full.) As I was waiting for the microwave to be free I noticed that a co-worker was defrosting what looked like a very sad frozen dinner. God help me my first thought was "That's not food." Then I felt ashamed. I've been known to eat some Marie Callendars or DiGoirno in my life but this one definitely was the inexpensive kind. I'm going to hell for being such a hypocrite.

So I think I've divulged enough, now it is your turn. What do you judge people for? C'mon, everyone does it. Spill.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

orphaned suitcase

I was in Atlanta for work this weekend. For a little over 48 hrs. A whirlwind trip. But I'm back in New York now and thankful for my weekend - which has just begun. Slept so hard last night it was almost painful to wake up.

This morning I left my apartment to go get a bagel from the cafe up the street. In the hallway of my apartment building I saw a black suitcase. I checked the tags and noticed it had been sent via the same airline I flew and had come to LaGuardia airport from Atlanta. No ID tags. My building is small with not many apartments in it. I knew the odds of this being a coincidence were slim. The airline probably misdelivered the suitcase to my address. I figured I'd call them just in case when I got home.

I returned home just a few minutes ago after being gone for about an hour and the suitcase was gone. Did I imagine it? It has been a long and exhausting weekend and a mirage isn't out of the question. So strange...

How has everyone else's weekend been?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shop Talk - Beaches and Mountains (2008 Faves #6-5)

6. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
*read in September 2008 during a work trip to El Paso, TX*

No one better captures a moment than Ian McEwan. I loved Atonement and loved this one. It is the story of a young newlywed British couple and the first night of their marriage. True to the time period in which the book is set they are inexperienced, reserved, and do not communicate well. What occurs is a simple yet vivid account of what goes wrong and why. This is a love story in its most real form and while some might argue that meloncholy does not a love story make, the book contains a heartbreaking gorgeousness all its own. Like I said, no one but Mr. McEwan could do it...

5. The Invisible Mountain by Carolina de Robertis
*read in December 2008*

The Invisible Mountain is as lush in character, plot and language as the South American landscape in which it is set. De Robertis’s novel traces the stories of three generations of women: Pajarita, the baby who went missing only to be discovered in a tree; her daughter, Eva, a rebellious poet who finds love in the most unlikely of places; and Eva’s daughter, Salomé, who risks her life hiding weapons for guerilla rebels under bed. Gorgeously lyrical and rich, it was reminiscient of two of my favorite authors: Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

what can I say?

I'm feeling random tonight.

I love this quote today...
Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, Who are you as a person? That’s the advice I would give to women: Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. Look at how the guy treats his mother and what he says about women. How he acts with children he doesn’t know. And, more important, how does he treat you? When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good. You should never feel less than. You should never doubt yourself. You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole. And if you’re in that relationship and you’re dating, then my advice is, don’t get married.

- Michelle Obama


I agree with The Bobby Pin, her girls are in good hands. What a wonderful role model.

I'm loving this song tonight...



I'm wondering...

Anyone have any tips on investments? I recently decided I should do something with the Roth IRA I opened a while ago (oops!) so I took the plunge today and invested in some stocks. I quickly discovered I need to do my homework. There's a reason I don't work in finance... I feel a bit weird asking for books (or links maybe?) that simplify the process without dumbing down - I do work for a publishing house after all - but let me know if you have some good ideas!

What are all the single girls (and former single girls') methods when it comes to letting a guy down easily. It seems like I often find myself in a situation where I need to say "It's not you, it's me." Usually, I give the guy the benefit of the doubt and since I am so nice I always feel like a horrible person when I avoid him. Yet after a couple of dates, how much explanation is necessary? I've told half truths to be kind, said "this isn't going to work for me" used the "I'm just really busy..." excuse (which makes me feel like a RAT because it is such a cop out and I've been the victim of the same excuse) but I think no matter what I say it will always be weird. Just curious... What do you all do?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

weekend revelation

I had a revelation last night as I cooked pasta in someone else's beautiful kitchen while their 8 month old slept and I sacrificed yet another Sat night in the name of a few more 20's in my pocket. I was washing the strainer and as I lifted the red and white striped towel to dry it a voice in my head said,

Be kind to yourself.

And I thought, I would never be as mean to someone as I so often am to myself.

So as this weekend draws to a close; a weekend that didn't go as planned, that left me feeling inadequate, I will carry this new mantra forward.

And I encourage all the Type-A's, perfectionists, own-worst-critics...hell, women in general to do the same.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy 100th post to me!


I just realized that my last post was my 100th.

I can't believe I've had 100 posts worth of things to say to virtual strangers but in honor of this auspicious occasion, I think I'll try my hand at a Q&A. If you have a question, ask me. I will answer.

Last night ended up being a huge bust which, for someone who does not take disappointment well, was well... disappointing. I was so ready to go out and have fun with friends and when people bailed and my night then became movies on cable TV, I was bummed. I hope everyone had a more interesting night than I did.

I was thinking about the date that I broke. I really did feel bad. Everyone's response to that is always "that's because you're so nice." Too nice, perhaps. But NY is teaching me how to be a little more mean. I'm a bit tired of dating. A lot of the dates I've been on this year have been blind and personally I think blind dating is a bit like being paired up in college with roommates you don't know: it has the potential to be awesome but rarely is. I don't know, my co-worker married a guy she met on a blind date. I'm constantly hearing success stories from online dating, but I guess it isn't my medium. The more I think about it the weirder my "deal breakers" are getting. Right now my thing is that I want a transplant, preferably one who is also from California. Of course I just want a nice guy. But I so often relate to fellow transplants. They just "get" me.

What are (or were) your deal breakers? Questions, anyone?

I'd rather go blind than on another blind date

Friday, November 6, 2009

How do I love thee Friday? Let me count the ways!


T.G.I.F. folks!

Saying that reminds me of when I was little and I would settle in to watch the Friday night line up on ABC: Full House, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters and then later on Step By Step, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, etc. I realize I am dating myself here so I will stop.

Speaking of Full House my new thing is to read books I wouldn't otherwise purchase in the aisles and halls of book stores. It gets me out and among people and nary a week goes by where I don't want to go and ooh and ahh over things at B&N anyway. So I decided to hunker down with former FH kidlet Jodie Sweetin's memoir this week. And might I say that it is pretty sad. I idolized her as a little girl and while it was refreshing to realize that yes, stars are "just like us" (not to quote U.S. Weekly or anything. Nope, I didn't just do that!), I'm surprised that she lived through the amount of drugs and alcohol she put in her body. I sincerely hope she really is doing well now.

I realize that was all very random but that is the mood that I am in today. I cancelled a date I had tonight. I just wasn't excited about it. I'm just not that into him. I feel like a rat but it is better for us both in the end. I'd rather go out with my girl friends which I fully intend to do. After I lounge around first, watch Greys and The Office on hulu.

T.G.I.F!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

capitol memories and wish lists for Santa


I spent this past weekend with my roommate in Washington, D.C.

Last night I discovered Picasa's collage making capability. This is the result of both.

Images are from the Capitol building, US National Holocaust Museum, Vietnam Memorial, Smithsonian American History Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and Library of Congress.

Since it is "Thankful Thursday" I'd just like to say that I'm going to be materialistic today and express my thanks that Christmas is just around the corner because I am asking Santa for a crockpot and dance classes! I attended my second tap class last night and realized how thankful I am to be dancing again. I really missed it so much. There was a group of little dancerettes from Hershey, PA in my class and though a part of me wished I could go back and do that part all over again (perhaps I should add that to my Wishful Wed post!) I know no one could pay me enough to live puberty and teendom twice. I also saw someone from So You Think You Can Dance there. I love this city.

The other night I made a shepherd's pie for dinner and I realized that I do like cooking and want to do it more. It is just hard to find the time. So, I'm going to get myself a little crockpot and start using that. This Christmas, Santa, it is all about self-improvement!


Wishful Wednesday - Shoulda, woulda, coulda...

Jumping back on the Wishful Wednesday bandwagon...

"I wish I could re-live..."

Oh goodness. How much time do I have for this one? I guess when it comes to questions like this one always thinks about regret. But as much as I regret certain times of my life, I would never go back and do them again. So I've chosen two very influential times in my life for this question.

First is my semester abroad. I went to London for three months. I was 20 and had previously been living at home going to college so this was my first time "away". And I went far. I was homesick a bit but also met some great people and had a wonderful time. It was my first city experience and I wholeheartedly believe that it prepared me for life in this big, bad city. I'm from the 'burbs. It was a big deal. I fell in love with that city though and though at the time three months was enough, looking back I wish I could do it again and stay longer. I'd see more of Europe (I did see Amsterdam, Belgium, Paris, Prague, and Venice though), worry less, and love it all over again. I have not ruled out living abroad again and I secretly have it in my head that I will find someone whose job prospects take us there and I will live a lovely ex-pat life for a few years.

Secondly, if I could, I would re-live college - the second part that is. (I transferred during my junior year to a school in Northern CA.) This isn't because I had so much fun or because I want to go back but because I would use the knowledge I've gained since I've graduated and make it a bit easier on myself. Most people love college. I did not. It was hard for me. I was impossibly hard on myself, stressed out all the time, studied too much, never really found my place, and a bunch of other things that really affected me. But I was determined not to be a quitter, to stick it out, to get a degree from that school. As I said before I don't really want to go back. I would not want to relive it at all but if I did, I would do some things a bit differently. But I know that my experiences there made coming here possible as well. Had things been easy for me I would probably be living in California, working at a job I don't like, and would never have realized that New York is home. It was tough. I learned I was made of tough stuff and can get through anything. For that, I don't regret a thing.

So what about you? What would you relive?


Monday, November 2, 2009

Shop Talk - Meloncholy but marvelous! (2008 Faves #8-7)

8. Unaccustomed Earth by Jumpha Lahiri
*read as part of my book group in May 2008*

This collection of short stories is beautiful, and virtually flawless. Taking the reader from Seattle to Cambridge, Thailand to India, Lahiri explores the complexities of relationships: family, friends, lovers, spouses, etc. in what are simple yet touching narratives. While the whole collection has a tone of melancholy, her ability to pinpoint human interaction and emotion is spot on. I couldn't put it down.



7. Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
*purchased in the DFW airport for a flight from Dallas to JFK in September 2008*

I've read a lot of Holocaust fiction but I have never read anything that sucked me in as completely as this book. It tells the story from the other side - a German Studies professor whose mother moved them to the US after World War II (but who never spoke of her life in Germany during the war) comes face to face with the past she never knew. The only clue she has is a photo of herself, her mother, and a Nazi officer. Both a heartbreaking love story and a great historical novel, this one reads a bit mainstream and mother/daughter fiction-y at times but is nonetheless very good.

shameless plug for a pretty dress!

My fellow Californian, Natalie, is offering a wonderful giveaway today via her blog, The Bobby Pin.

A dress!

Modest in style, the selection from Mikarose is especially perfect for work. I see several I'd love to wear myself. Be sure to check them out!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

tea for two and two for... me


Last night I boarded the express train on a well-frequented subway line with giddyness. I got off at Times Square and while the hoards of theater goers, tourists, and slow moving folks (gah, I am a New Yorker now!) were pretty much as annoying as usual, it was because I couldn't wait to get where I was going. Last night I took my first dance class in over a year! It was like I was clad in my pink tutu all over again.

I arrived and laced up my tap shoes just as the previous class was wrapping up. I was taking Beginning Tap and this was Advanced Beginner. I stood between the vending machine and the bench with other dancers of all shapes and ages wondering who was a newbie like me, whether these tappers had years of experience or whether they were just starting out. As my teacher let her class out I had flashbacks of releasing the gates on throngs of three-year-olds replete with pink parapharnelia in varying degrees of flare and sparkle. I missed teaching in that moment and wondered why I hadn't stuck with it all - the classes, the performances, the instructing. Damn it, why did I get a boring desk job?

My class began and I was wonderfully wrapped up in the warm-up exercise of tapping toes and heels, listened attentively as the assistant instructor explained the difference between a "stamp" and a "stomp" and will admit I felt a bit like a liar (hiding my years of experience) as we practiced single pullbacks. The best part of the class, however, came at the end when my instructor (who I have decided I heart) informed us we were going to do a soft shoe. She taught us a combination full of front essences and all sorts of lovely sounding and feeling things which we then did about 20 times to an instrumental version of Frank Sinatra's "It Had to Be You". Ahhh, total bliss. This was more like it.

I exited back onto the city streets feeling refreshed and dodged in and out of theater goers once again as I made my way to the subway feeling refreshed, both body and soul. Yes, it is cheesy and schmultzy but I'm totally psyched to go back next week. I think I'll try jazz...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shop Talk - Books That Will Ruin Your Life (aka My Faves from 2008)

Last week I mentioned a few of my favorite books and I got a lot of great feedback. I think I've mentioned before that I read like a fiend and I'm also a nerd who loves to make lists. Put these two things together and you have lists of dozens of books I've read - good, bad, and really bad - dating back to 2004. But I won't subject you to all that. Seeing is how 2009 is almost over, soon I will have the list of my Top 10 Faves for this year but here they are from 2008, a couple at a time.

10. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
*Read in May 2008*

Part historical fiction (you'll find I love it) and part present-day "ripped from the headlines" murder mystery, this book is steeped in American religious history. Ann Eliza Young was the "19th Wife" of polygamous Mormon Church leader Brigham Young when she broke with the church and began speaking out against the plural ways of its leaders. Jordan Scott is a young former member of the FLDS who returns to his secluded hometown of Provo, Utah after his mother is accused of murdering his father. Not only did the Oprah watching, tabloid reading, sensational story hound in me love this book, I was glued to all the "research" Ebershoff did. Then I discovered the Wikipedia entries, news articles, etc. were all penned by Ebershoff himself and added another layer to this complex and addicting story. I also had a chance to meet the author who regaled his audience with stories of the lengths he went to researching this book. Impressive, beginning to end!

9. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
*Read in June 2008 as part of my book club*

This guy puts my nerdiness to shame! Oscar is overweight, he loves Star Wars, he's obsessed with girls and he's Dominican. Poor guy. He dreams of being the next Tolkein but he just can't get it together. And he really just wants to find love. Who can't relate? His family is dramatic and the generation-old "fuku" curse isn't helping matters either. Junot Diaz is a wonderful story teller. The book is infused with Dominican history as well in nice little end notes that at first are lovely and entertaining but when they are longer than the book's actual text, they get annoying. Here's a hint: you can skip them for the most part.



Anyone read anything good lately?

Monday, October 26, 2009

how's about cookin' somethin' up with me?

I'm in a huge cooking rut...

In that, well, I don't. Cook that is. At all. And for the couple of meals a week I drag my butt in the kitchen it usually goes something like this: boil water, dump in pasta, drain, open jar of sauce, combine and voila! Fancy, right? No wonder I haven't gotten my cookbook deal yet.

I used to cook. Once upon a time I was ambitious. I tried new things. I cooked at least 5 meals a week and sometimes not just for myself! I baked cookies, stacked leftover dishes in the refrigerator, and buzzed around a kitchen like I belonged there. Well, semi-belonged there. I'm not a pro but I used to try. Now my kitchen is large enough for me to stand in (just stand), I have three roommates, and I'm spoiled. I just don't care. I can get an awesome burrito around the corner, my office has a cafeteria, and the bodega around the corner is open 24 hrs a day.

I might be able to get myself psyched for a little culinary delight if I also wasn't sick of everything in my very limited repertoire. Not only have I been eating the same things for years, it is just me so leftovers are plenty. When I go to the grocery store to get the things I need, I have to remember I'm going to be eating whatever it is I prepare for about a week after. I also have certain self-imposed restrictions. I don't do have complicated cooking instructions, thousands of ingredients or, for that matter, expensive ingredients.

So all you chefs out there (esp. single girls like me who cook for one) feel free to pass along ideas and recipes. I can't eat any more salads with chicken or spaghetti with meat sauce. I need variety. I need flavor. And I need motivation to stop spending my paycheck on burritos and deli sandwiches.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play..."

If you guessed Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat as the source of that quote, maybe you are as big of a book nerd as I am...

That quote basically describes today though it ended up being very fun despite the horrible weather. It rained off and on but the majority of the day was spent in a public school cafeteria making arts and crafts with a few dozen kids from low-income households. We made "avatar" masks and the kids had to talk about what special abilities their avatars had. One kid made a Michael Jackson mask, complete with black long yarn for hair and a black hat. The resemblance was pretty good. Another kid made a "Freddy Krugar elephant". That one was my favorite. We also taught the kids about the way masks are used in cultures around the world. After seeing a photo of an Indian mask, one little girl at my table emulated what she saw and made her butterfly mask half black and half blue. So cool to see they get something out of it. They were all really good kids, too and the program was great.

Next on the agenda was a birthday party but I had a couple of hours to kill before I had to get to the Lower East Side so I ate lunch in Columbus Circle and slowly made it down there. I was still about an hour early but at that point the rain had slowed so I ducked under an awning and called my mom to catch up and then celebrated my co-worker's birthday with drinks at a great little bar. I was planning on going to a housewarming party in Brooklyn but when we exited around 8pm it was pouring. Despite my little $5 street umbrella I was soaked and sloshed to the subway in my wet boots (they have holes in them - not the best all weather footwear but they were hand-me-downs and they're cute). Once I realized my socks and coat were soaked, I nixed Brooklyn and took the subway home but wasn't in for long. This time I went a few blocks down to my favorite diner where I ended the night eating a burger with my roommate. Perfect ending to the day. Glass half full.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thankful Thursdays 10/23 - Friday Future Tense Edition

Since I missed Minnesota to Manhattan's Thankful Thursdays, I'm doing a Friday edition, Future Tense.

These are all things I am thankful for and looking forward to in the future...

  • My upcoming trip to D.C.! - If anyone has a message they'd like me to pass along to President Obama, I'll be taking a meeting with him so feel free to let me know.
  • A promotion at work - I know times are tough and it isn't like I expect this to come any time soon but I am a good worker with an excellent work ethic and once that train rolls in, I will be so grateful for it!
  • Holidays with my family - I'm so happy I am able to plan and facilitate homecomings so often (3 times per year at the moment). Though I'm missing out on Thanksgiving with the fams, Christmas will be extended, extensive, and exhausting (in a good way!)
  • My NYC Orphans Thanksgiving - While it is a month away, I am already excited for the "orphans" Thanksgiving my roommate and I are planning. It will be full of expats and fellow transplants and is bound to be interesting and fun.
  • And last but not least, what kind of single girl would I be if I didn't put in some sappy something about finding Prince Charming? - I'm burned out on the dating front and fear I may be in jeopardy of becoming a dreaded "serial dater" but I'm so thankful for the contentment I feel at this moment and for the idea of what is to come in the future. I often have to take it hour by hour so it is important to pause on this. The future will be great.

Alright, that's enough sap-in-list-form for the week. My weekend will be full of friends, busyness, kids, and relaxation. So, let's do this!

Also, since I actually encouraged someone to go out and buy one of my fave new books (Swimming by Nicola Keegan) with my Shop Talk post, I am thinking I'm going to try to do regular book related posts. I'm kind of a reference desk of knowledge so if anyone has any specific requests, please do let me know!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Yes, it does say SAMPLE on my back."

The other night I pulled all of my winter clothes out of my closet and did the ol' switcheroo - packing up the summer skirts and tees and hanging up the sweaters and tucking the scarves into my dresser. While I love fall and am kind of excited to get to wear sweaters, I came to the following conclusion: I hate all my fall and winter clothes. Then I remembered how depressing switching out my clothes can be. I mean, imagine what it is like when on Christmas you expect to see wonderfully crisp new clothes and you open a package to find a two seasons old long sleeved tee that is faded and was originally a sample so it has the word "sample" written on the small of the back (so you can only wear it under sweaters.) Not good, right?

When I first moved here I lived in a sublet with a very generous girl who bequeathed me two pairs of gently worn designer boots (that I have worn the living daylights out of) and whose former roommate was a beauty editor at Vogue who left tons of stuff behind. I combed through the piles of clothes, found a couple of things that would fit my normal sized body, and walked away from that month-long situation with many samples of lotion and fancy European "sun cream" in my possession. Since money was tight, I told myself I wasn't going to go nuts buying weather appropriate clothes. But let's face it, I'm from Southern CA where it is 72 and sunny year round. My version of warm outerwear was donning a sweatshirt over a short sleeved tee. In December, no less! But like a good thrifty girl I wore hand-me-downs and those samples for the past two Fall and Winter seasons. Yet pulling that stuff from the back of the closet just depressed me. According to the confirmation email I received last night, I have two pair of boots on their way to me via USPS. Those were my big purchases. But there is a hole in the sleeve of my comfy Gap tee and that sample shirt is just sad so I might have to get my wallet to give a bit and buy some new sweaters and long-sleeved tees. Nothing too fancy here. I'm going for quantity at this point.

Anyone have any suggestions? My "style" is comfortable and versitile. I'm very casual but have recently adopted a more "girly look" (and by girly I mean wearing tops with ruffles and dresses). I need things I can pair with jeans or pants to go from work to weekend. Feel free to link me if you feel so inclined.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wishful Wednesday - I'm ready! Let's go now!

I have decided to participate in "Wishful Wednesdays". Who knows, maybe putting some wishes out there will make one or two of them come true.

This week's question is:

"I wish I was going on vacation tomorrow to..."


Santorini, Greece

I've blogged before about how this is my #1 spot and how I've been considering vacationing alone at some point. I met a guy on Friday who just got back from a solo European trip. My roommate's co-worker recently went to Montreal by herself. Maybe I'll do it. It is out there now.

Where would you go if you had your wish?

Participate next week at The Seattle Smith's.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I choose my choice...

This weekend was brought to me by the letter "R" for restlessness...

and the number 3, for the hour at which I went to bed both Fri and Sat nights.

Do you ever have a day where you just can't put your finger on how you feel or why you feel that way? I've been having a lot of those lately...

Yesterday afternoon I went to a friend's apartment and watched as she baked and cooked us dinner. All the while chatting about pretty much every feeling under the sun.

Remember that episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte responds to the shock that she plans to quit her museum job to become a stay-at-home wife by proclaiming, "I choose my choice!" K and I talked about the idea of choosing to own certain situations in your life and thus making them positive rather than negative. Case and point, my singlehood. She pointed out, quite smartly I might add, that I am picky. I knew this already but having someone affirm it in such a way has me thinking about how I have chosen my choice to stay single rather than end up with someone I'm not crazy about. In the end it is a decision (whether conscious or not) I have made rather than something that is happening to me. The control freak in me likes this and I'm trying as I might to run with it. I dare say this is helping me...

I challenge everyone to try this and see where it gets you.
Oh, and I promise I don't live life and walk around this city thinking of Sex and the City episodes... Well, maybe not all the time.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

thankful thursday - trying for a glass that's half full

Feeling particularly disgruntled right now so I figured I'd take a page out of Minnesota to Manhattan's book and make a list of things for a "Thankful Thursday".

Tonight I am thankful for:

Thursday night TV - Flashforward (my new fave), Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice.
the fact that I have the day off tomorrow!
the sense of empowerment I felt when I quit something I didn't like and decided to re-embrace something I love. (Thanks for the support!)
the good friends I've found at work. They definitely help keep me afloat sometimes.
the fact that even when I'm having a "glass half empty night" I know that I'm going to find someone... I know that. I do.
having a warm bed on this cold night.
the love I have for this city, my home.

*photo credit

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

learning to be an imperfect quitter

Today, I became a quitter. I wasn't raised to be a quitter.

When I was 12 my best friend was on a basketball team coached by her father. She asked me to be on the team and, of course, I was thrilled at the idea of doing something with her. Little did I realize that I did not have the coordination or depth perception to get the ball to the hoop. I ran down the court like a ballerina. I made one Hail Mary basket that entire season. Each day before practice or a game I would be a bundle of nerves, worrying about embarrassing myself or getting run over by one of the only two other teams in our division - a cohort of color-coordinated teenagers who stood a foot taller than most of my team and had been playing together for years. They creamed us. I played through the season but, needless to say, did not return. I knew my place was at the barre. I'd toughed it out because I didn't want to disappoint my parents. And, I think there were the makings of a stubborn perfectionist in my teeny twelve year old body. Oh, if I only knew then...

As a basketball player I made a good dancer, which was much closer to a calling than my stint on the court. Easily mortified, I was the kid who wouldn't dance in front of her technically superior classmates. Instead I said I had to go to the bathroom and counted up to three minutes. So it came as a shock to a few when I told them I joined a social sports league this Fall. I thought it would be more social (you know - laughing, joking, and built-in Happy Hours) than it was sport but I forgot one tiny detail... the intrinsically competitive nature of men. Having not played since my playground days I was understandably nervous when, at the first game, the cute boys on the other side of the court at PS Something or Other hurled those dodgeballs at great speed. I may be quite the dodger but I throw. like. a. girl. I survived though and was happy to buy myself a $3 beer and retreat to a corner booth. Until the time rolled around for the next game... This afternoon I finally admitted it to myself. This isn't for me. I didn't want to go. So I didn't. I quit social sports.

Now I am a grown up who lives her own grown up life so since I spent my own grown up money on this I figured if I wasn't having fun, I have better things to do with my time. I felt like a ballerina basketball player once again. Today I threw in the proverbial towel and went to Happy Hour with K instead. Hey, that's what I was in it for anyway... Despite my propensity to feel like a failure, I'm sort of proud of my resignation. The perfectionist in me cringes a bit but I've decided I'm going to do something more "me". I'm going to take dance classes instead. Rather than worrying about meeting people, impressing others, and trying not to show my discomfort I will try to decide between taking Broadway Jazz or Tap first. Despite 15+ years of experience, I will start over as a beginner, and it feels pretty good right now.


**Thank you to everyone for your encouragement regarding Bachelor #1. I am not counting him out yet, I'm just keeping my hopes in check because I have a tendency to be disappointed very easily - especially where guys are concerned.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

three strikes and...

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my version of The Dating Game!

Last week I had 3, count 'em THREE, dates. Mind you, this is not at all typical for me. In fact, it is not typical for me to have three dates in one month, let alone one week. It was just how the dice rolled.

Bachelor #1 and I got dinner on Monday. I met him a couple of months ago. I liked him then and liked him more after the date was over but he is busy, has a lot going on, and though I do think he is interested I haven't heard from him. He actually doesn't live in Manhattan so I am not super optimistic that this one is going to work out but it was nice to feel that chemistry with someone. I would definitely like to see him again but who knows... It is always the ones you like who never call, right ladies?

Bachelor #2 didn't make me a fan of his from the start. After being a bit of a pain in terms of planning, we met up and ended up going for coffee. This turned out to be the shortest date I've ever been on. It lasted less than 45 mins. I referred to it as "mutual disinterest". We parted amicably I think and I was amused by the fact that he really did not seem that into me and our romance was so very shortlived. I happily relayed the story to my BFF on the way to the subway and spent happily jealous of Pam Beesly instead.

Bachelor #3 was quite nice and impressive in the beginning but the chemistry that I dsecribed with #1 really wasn't there. As I've said, that pretty much makes or breaks a date for me. I was disappointed but decided to put it aside and focus on getting to know a new person while enjoying a great new restaurant. At least that helped me through. I opted to go home rather than go for drinks after and though I feel badly about it because he does seem like a nice guy, I don't think I will be seeing him again. Back to the drawing board...

It seems I'm 0 for 3 this time around but none of my meetings went like this!:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

midnight ode to my jim

I just got through watching last night's episode of "The Office" and I am in full-fledged swooning mode wanting a Jim Halpert of my very own. Seriously. Is it weird to be completely in love with a fictional character? I know I'm not the only one though. Thousands of girls must have tuned in, eyes green with jealousy and Cinderella complexes heightened, as Thursday night's favorite sit-com couple tied the knot with a parody of Chris Brown's Forever and the YouTube wedding dance in the background - as only the office staff could do it.

I'm kind of the Pam Beesly of my department. I have curly hair about the same color, dress pretty moderately, and though I don't answer my phone saying "Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam." I often feel like my department's version of a secretary - that is, I am the most junior member. So where is my Jim I ask you? I want someone who will cut his tie with a pair of scissors because I'm knocked up, hormonal and crying over a torn veil (ok, maybe not the first part but as Michael Scott says, it isn't the 1890's people!) Add to that having to babysit a co-worker with an injured scrotum. I would cry too, Pam. I would cry too.

Loved it all. And even though I know he's not real, I go to bed hoping that like Santa Claus, winning lotto tickets, and calorie-free burritos, Jim Halperts really do exist.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

shop talk - some of my favorite books that all coincidentally have blue covers

Yesterday I had lunch with my boss's boss's boss (did'ya get that?) and there was much talk about my position, how I came into the industry, what I love about my job, etc. We talked a lot about books - how we love them and love bringing them to people - and now my mind is swimming with all the great reads I've come across this year. I keep a running tally of the books I've read (I do love lists so it is no suprise) and have done so since 2004. At the end of the year I will probably post my top 10 list but here are a few I've loved lately that I feel might translate well to the blogosphere:

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

This one is like Sex and the City meets Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It chronicles four young women who become friends at the all-girls' Smith College and in alternating voices follows them through the before and after; the good, bad and ugly. But more than just your average chick lit read, this book tackles more than men, dating, family and friendship drama. It also addresses feminism and even sex-trafficking. Lest you be swayed by that last one, this is definitely an addictive read that will make you want to call all your girl friends and will have you wishing you went to Smith and lived down the hall from these girls.

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

One of the perks of being in the book business is that you have access to many books before they are released. This one actually isn't out until January, but if you love historical fiction, children's books, and Alice in Wonderland, you'll love this one. It is a novel based on the life of Alice Liddell, the young girl who was the inspiration for Lewis Caroll's Alice. The book is haunting, intriguing and will have you Wikipedia-ing its characters late into the night after you've finished.

Swimming by Nicola Keegan

I love books with strong, well-written characters and Pip definitely a badass. I also feel like I'm in great company because I endorsed this book right around the same time Judy Blume did. Woohoo! Pip is a young girl from a small town in Kansas with big Olympic dreams. Even in the face of family drama, she doesn't quit. Nevermind the fact that the cover makes me long for summer, this is a wonderful read.


Addition by Toni Jordan
Lisa Grace Vandenburg loves order. She counts everything, knows obscure facts about obscure historical figures, and struggles every day to keep it going. That is, until something somes along that she can't control: love. I really did feel like I was getting into this character's head. Funny and charming, this book will stick with you and you will find yourself relating to Lisa in one way or another.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

just another Wednesday

This is the city that never sleeps. I can have both Mickey D's and my laundry delivered. There are thousands of restaurants, Broadway shows, and millions of people to talk to.

And I am b.o.r.e.d.

I got home around 7 tonight with nothing in particular to do other than cook and eat dinner. After I settled in bed to watch Sunshine Cleaning. Good movie by the way - see it. Now I'm watching Modern Family (also good - see it) but through it all I'm dying for a little friendly company. Someone to argue over stupid things with, talk about my day with, annoy incessantly with my chatter. Normally, my trusty, lovely roommate fills this void. But she is home visiting fam and my other roommates tend not to be so good at the talking to me part, so here I am trying to come up with some new boredom busters. Makes me want to go back to my rut list.

I'm up on my Gosselin gossip (Seriously, Jon and Kate, consider your 8 children before you air your dirty laundry!), I've browsed the blogs, read my weekly copy of TimeOut magazine, overanalyzed my single status, contemplated calling my folks, had two ongoing conversations with friends via text, blah blah blah.

What do you do when you're bored?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

lessons for this reformed dating dummy, vol. 1


Last night I went on a date. I met him a couple of months ago on what turned out to be a very fun night. Since it was a first date, and I like him so far, I had the mandatory butterflies and worries but it turned out to be a great night. After I got home, I was reflecting on what the process of dating, as much as I hate it, has taught me about myself and what I'm looking for in a guy:

1. I like gentlemen.

I may be a modern woman but there is nothing classier on a date than a guy who says "After you.", opens a door for me, and yes, pays for dinner. The willingness to fork over cash for my food isn't a requirement for a great date, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Having "gone Dutch" my fair share of times, I admit to feeling disappointed when someone has not offered to foot the bill and I also admit to having let a guy I have no intention of seeing again pay for my drinks. Usually, I feel bad about this unless he is a total jerk, in which case it makes me feel a bit vindicated. As awkward as the inevitable end-of-date-reaching-for-the-check will he?/won't he? is, it is not a requirement, nor a means for elimination. But it certainly scores the boys points.


2. There really is no discounting chemistry.

In my opinion, there is little rhyme or reason for why I click with some guys and don't with others. Some might be interesting, attractive, personable, friendly, funny and great on paper but if he carries himself a certain way or holds his fork another way, it is a turn off. Before I paint myself as an incredibly picky person, I will say that while I am selective, just because I can't stand the sound of a guy's laugh, doesn't mean I'm not open minded. Sometimes I tell myself that maybe the chemistry will develop, that the laugh or the way he holds the fork will be come endearing. This is how I dated a guy I didn't really like for a month last year. But when it's right, it's right. Sitting across from someone and feeling the ease with which the conversation flows really helps with the hopeless feelings a string of dud dates will bring. And this all just reaffirms what I've already discovered to be true: chemistry is so important to me.


3. Dating blogs are filled with good tips.

I should have read this before last night. Next time I won't pick a sports bar.


4. There will always be awkward silence.

Eventhough we had a lot to talk about last night, there were definitely moments of awkward silence. While family, TV, movies, and other safe and standard topics are all well and good sometimes you just don't know what to say next. Sometimes it is weird. I'm learning to go with it.


5. It really, really helps if you find him utterly adorable.

'Nuff said!