Monday, June 29, 2009

Whoever said the fastest way to a MAN's heart was through his stomach, obviously never met me...

I'm going to see this with my roommate tonight:

and I am happy to have plans on a Monday night that don't involve my pjs and my remote, however, I really want this:

BEFORE the movie starts at...

(well it doesn't start at 7:01 but close enough.) I have all the fixins at home and am feeling particularly domestic tonight. Shocking! Factoring in subway times and crowded NYC movie theaters I'm not sure it is going to happen. Hrmph.

But... if this is my biggest problem right now, I am a lucky duck.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Playlist: There was no white glove but there were plenty of sequins!

It is hard to believe I'm doing two posts in one day, let alone devoting them to the same topic. But this blog exists mostly so that I can record thoughts, events, and occurrences in the moment as this is a unique time in my life that I should document in some way...

That said, I was thinking about this yesterday:

I'd venture to say not too many young dancers growing up in the 80's and 90's can say there wasn't a Michael Jackson song in her (or his!) repertoire. Among the tutus, spandex, and sequins over 11 years of private lessons and subsequent dance recitals, I count three Michael Jackson songs on my list. There were four in my family if you count my mother, who took an adult Jazz class most of my young life. I love this. My mom rocks.

1. Smooth Criminal

This was the best one. It was my last year at a private studio and I was 16. It was a kick ass tap number -- so much fun. The costume consisted of a crushed velvet black dress, mesh like sleeves and, of course, the black hat cocked to one side.

2. Rockin Robin (the Jackson 5)

Raise your hand if you also performed to Rockin Robin at some point in your life. I was 9, it was a tap dance, and I had a red feather boa sewed across my butt. Surprisingly, this wasn't the most embarassing costume I wore throughout the years.

3. Dancin Machine (the Jackson 5)

This one technically wasn't my dance. I think I was 9 when I performed this with one of my oldest friends at the school talent show. She went to my dance studio but was in a different class. I'd go over to her house on Saturdays and she'd teach me the (jazz) dance. I borrowed a very 70's looking costume that one parent commented looked "painted on" (haha) from one of her classmates.

4. Black or White (mom's contribution)

They wore black and white striped jackets with huge shoulder pads. What a sport she was.


5. ABC - Jackson Five (my kids did this one)

I taught dance from the ages of 16 to 22. The best part was choosing the music, choreographing the dances, and choosing the costume. Somewhere in there I had a 7-9 yr old Tap II class that performed this song. It ended up being pretty cute but not one of my faves, I must admit. One of these days I will have to make a list of all the songs my kids performed to before I can't remember them anymore.

Where I was...

Thursday was kind of one of those days that will go down in the "Where were you when..." books much like the day Princess Diana died (I had just gotten home from a dinner celebration for my birthday) and, of course, 9/11 (I was on the West Coast then so I was sleeping. My dad woke me up and told me and we went downstairs to watch it on TV.) I'm not a rabid fan. In fact, as much as I love dancing to his music I found Michael Jackson to be a tragic character whose inappropriate behavior with children got him in trouble. Note to self: Never repeat this on a date with a rabid fan. I think my exact words were: "Yeah, I like his music but he's kind of a pedophile." I was half kidding. He did not think it was funny... There was no second date.

Anyway, here's my story:

I was at work when my boss came out and said, "Michael Jackson suffered cardiac arrest and is in the hospital." Hubub ensued and for the next hour various "news" sources were checked repeatedly, some saying he was dead, some saying in a coma, some saying nothing more than originally reported. By the time I left work, it was still a big question. I had my Happy Hour event to go to so I walked toward the West Side Highway. While I walked, I was on the phone with a good friend whose sister is huge MJ fan and was slated to go to London for his new concert in three weeks. I walked by a car wash (as there is not much else by the West Side Highway) where a worker there was playing "Billie Jean" loudly from the radio of a van. I asked my friend "Can you hear that?" He must have heard me as he said to me as I walked by, "They don't know yet, baby, they don't know yet." (He was referring to whether the King of Pop was in fact dead or not.) I responded, "That's true!" or something like that and continued walking. A few hours later, while at the event, a girl I was talking to excused herself and answered a phone call from a friend confirming he'd died.

Someone mentioned that this is the death of our generation's Elvis. I've documented my "Where were you..." story simply because I had one to tell.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

They'd be there for me... I know they would!

Yesterday I met up with a new-ish friend for lunch and we ended up on the subject of how we both watch Nick at Nite. I confessed that I've recently rediscovered The Nanny and that watching Nick at Nite reruns has the same affect as a baby blanket these days. It is so comforting.

Then we chatted about how since I now live in NYC, I see the show differently -- recognizing all the stereotypes of a Jewish woman from Queens; It's just that much more amusing. It's no surprise that watching movies and TV shows like this one gave me such a glamorized and Hollywood-ized view of this city. Take Friends for example. This has been my 6:00 pm, my Monday night mealtime buddy for years now. They saw me through college, were there for me when I needed to zone out and laugh at jokes and scenes I'd seen a thousand times...

I wish I lived in the Friends New York though. How great would it be to live across the hall from some of my best friends, be able to just hang out with one at the coffee shop downstairs, be able to fight with my roommate and know that she'd forgive me after the half hour was up. If someone was in the shower in my apartment, I could just go take one at Joey and Chandler's. Let's also not forget the built in love interest. Maybe I'd end up getting pregnant by my ex-boyfriend after one night with a bottle of wine... on second thought, that is too complicated for me... I'd rather be the Monica to someone else's Chandler. And don't get me started on that apartment. Two bedrooms, that skylight, that space! All in the West Village! Of course the writers had to specify that Monica was illegally subletting from her grandmother. There's no way a waitress and a chef who wore rollerskates and fake boobs for a living could afford that place.

It is becoming increasingly more apparent that I don't live in this New York. Still, it is nice to go to the Happy Hours, lunches and book club meetings - and I've met some great people along the way. Until I meet my "Friends" I'll have to settle for living vicariously through the TV set.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

two nights, one mission

And I chose to accept this mission...

Last night my good friend, "K" and I went to Happy Hour. I must say I love Happy Hours. The drinks are cheap and I'm home early-ish so that I can avoid spending $20 on an entree and eat my leftovers, plus I get to bed at a decent hour so I'm not dragging at work the next day. Boring, yes, but that's how I roll. K and I were supposed to go out on Sat night but it fell through so we decided to try Happy Hour to make up for it. The purpose, as K put it, was to "hit on guys". Yeah, we'll see. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not the "let's go to bars just to hit on guys" type but let's make light of our single situation shall we? It's all about keeping ones options open. We met at what ended up at a cute pub by Penn Station. Most of the men there were too old. We spent the night complaining about work, talking about our favorite love scenes in movies, and being thoroughly wrapped up in ourselves. Next time I think we'll try a different bar.

Today I received an e-mail from the speed dating company I used a few weeks ago. Apparently if they are running short on members of one gender the day of any given event, they invite people to come free of charge. These days, say the word "free" and I'm half way out the door. I tried to get a couple of friends to come with me but no dice so I did the brave "I became a NYC girl all by myself so I can do this all by myself" thing, put on my game face, and trekked downtown this evening. Besides, I received the rest of my shipment (including 2 dresses, a new pair of sandals and a new bag) so I donned the little black dress and the champagne colored sandals; It was a sign after all.

In short, it was fine. Unless a guy comes along and leaves me so breathless I'm no longer standing, I generally have this "meh" attitude about any sort of dating these days. Still it was good practice, interesting to meet people from differing walks of life, and I did meet a couple of guys I might like to see again (including one from my native state - the first of his kind in NYC, I'm convinced! Hint: think smack dab in the middle of this country - a boy, a girl, and a pug knows what I'm talking about. It's her home state, too!) The event ended swiftly at 9:3o, I was home by 10 and I sat eating my pasta leftovers while watching President Obama's Prescription for America. Oh yes, I party hard.

Have another Happy Hour event tomorrow. The proverbial black dress is making the rounds this week. Here's to hopin' this Happy Hour is especially Happy. It's gotta happen one of these days.

**got the pic here (via random Google image search)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday's child is full of grace.

A few random things for today:

I just got this in the mail from It's super cute. I'm very much of a purse/bag hound but I've been wanting to expand my repertoire. I've got more things coming!
I have challenged myself to have a "love story summer". Since the dating thing is slow goings I figured I'd to do what I do best and live vicariously through others with my nose in a book. If anyone knows of any great love stories, let me know!
I finished The Hunger Games and loved it. If you haven't read it, do!
Watched Rachel Getting Married last night. A couple of thoughts... Anne Hathaway did a pretty good job. I liked the movie overall and thought it was well done. I also thought the wedding ceremony scene was adorable and aspire to something like it - intimate and unique.
My boss told me earlier today that the NY Metro area is 2 inches from the record high rainfall in the month of June. We have had eight inches so far this month. Apparently it is supposed to rain later on this afternoon. I agree with Tudor City Girl, it feels quite like a rainforest these days.
That's it. That's typical. Back to my catalog copy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

speed dating is for serious people!

I went on my first, and possibly only, date from my speed dating adventure. I say "possibly only" because I'm feeling a bit defeated tonight. But as my mother tells me again and again, "Tomorrow is another day Scarlett." and I am perhaps the most strong willed and impatient person on this planet so who knows, I might give it another go. Why not, right? In this city of 7 million I am outnumbered and I have to utilize all my options.

So, back to Monday... We had agreed to meet for coffee after work. I mentioned in an email that I didn't know where he worked but that I am in the midtown area so I figured we could go to one of the thousand Starbucks. Keep it simple on the first date... He didn't really commit to much, just kept saying "Whatever works best for you," which is sweet but not quite what I was going for. By the time we worked out the logistics and I got in my skirt, top, cardigan and ballet flats and found that he arrived in a t-shirt, jeans and ball cap. Huh? When I queried him about it he quickly admitted that he had misled me. Turns out this guy, who I had referred to as "the Brit" (guess why...) is not "fresh off the boat" as I had originally been led to think. He's still circling the Harbor.

That is, he still lives in London and was here on "holiday".

He told me he's working on a screenplay about speed dating. Apparently, I'm fodder for his potential movie. While some people would have freaked out, it took me a while to really react. We ended up walking around the city with our tall iced teas talking awkwardly. After an hour I had to pee, was hungry, and was feeling a bit like he wasted my time. So I told him I was going to get on the subway and bid him adieu. He seemed a bit miffed and I felt a bit rude but I owed him nothing, especially since I was never going to see him again.

Back to square one...

I bet you'll meet someone as soon as you stop thinking about it, which is to say, probably never

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"The more boys I meet...

...the more I love my dog."

I need me some puppy love. I miss my dog terribly. I knew if he were here with me a) there wouldn't be enough room in my apt for me and b) he would drive me absolutely bonkers. My previous dog experience in the city has shown me that I can only really take care of myself at this point... and at times, barely that.

Still, I miss the big oaf, sitting on my feet and drooling on my lap when he comes in refereshed from the water bowl. He turned 11 a couple of weeks ago laying around and soaking up the Southern California sun in my parents' backyard, blissfully unaware of how much I really did miss him on that day. Sometimes I think if I got a dog, I could redirect my restless energy onto walks, dog parks, dog meet ups, etc. But again I refer to my previous post...

Until I'm ready for a canine companion I will have to settle for seeing my pup every few months or so...

August 1998 - 9 1/2 weeks old on the day we got him (left)
July 2008 - 10 yrs old and still a puppy! (right)

tut tut... it looks like rain

This has been a week of embracing my flaws...

It's been raining on and off here in New York for the past couple of weeks. Don't get me wrong, I should be careful what I wish for... I definitely prefer this to the heat.

Here's an actual text message conversation I had with a good friend of mine:

friend: This is so sad - i am watching 8 hrs of true blood with my sister

me: I watched steel magnolias, 2 lifetime movies, the new show about sextuplets, bridezillas and the nanny yesterday.

This girl's got nothin on me. I can waste time with the best of them. In my defense I did have the day off and it was raining out.

Did get out today to see August: Osage County. Clair Huxtable has a foul-mouth side and plays a wonderful dysfunctional matriarch. Made me feel quite sane and quite functional. Any New Yorkers (and anybody really) should see it if given the opportunity.

Despite the rain, I'm in a "stay tuned" kind of mood. Things are changing. Here comes the sun...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

three cokes

I'm in kind of a funky mood tonight so in an attempt to distract myself I shall tell you all a funny work-related story.

My company has a cafeteria in its building. For me this means the (sometimes rare) occasional high school/college flash back like lunch experience with co-workers from this department or that. My fellow dept members often head down to "the caf" in a hoard and eat together in a conference room upstairs right next to where we all sit that I have affectionately deemed our "caf". Since this isn't high school there isn't much to report with regard to drama, interesting occurrences or cute boys (it is publishing after all...) I did, however, upend a salad once while I was trying to close the lid of the take out container causing the whole thing -- lettuce dressing and all -- to become floor food. Many thanks to the wonderful caf staff for not making me pay for the salad even though I tried to.

But I digress... the one interesting thing our caf offers is "Three Cokes Guy". Given this name by a member of my dept. this guy purchases a heaping plate of food, sometimes a banana or two, and always three Cokes, every day. He then sits with his buddies, barely touches the food, wastes a huge pile of napkins and drinks his three Cokes. This irritates my co-worker to no end as he thinks it is wasteful. He even wrote a comment for the comment board about how the cafeteria should better regulate their food and discourage TCG from misusing resources. My question is -- why three Cokes? A bottle of Coke costs .25 more than a can. While not equal, one bottle is around the same amount as 2 cans of Coke, so purchasing a bottle of Coke rather than 2 cans would be a bit of a savings. I have a slight cola addiction myself so I get the draw, but what is so great about three cans of Coke?

So far there has been no response to the co-worker's complaint. I'm sure the next time I head downstairs for lunch and sit in the general vacinity, I'll catch a glimpse of that row of red cans...

Photo credit goes to Andy Warhol. It isn't three Coke cans but it's pretty close and I'm a fan.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

would you do it?

What's cool about working for a big corporate company are the little things that happen on an almost weekly basis: food drives, blood drives... basically any kind of drive you can think of. Today while on my way down to grab a late lunch, I registered with a bone marrow donor bank that had set up shop in our building.

I signed a piece of paper that says I'm willing to give my bone marrow if I am tested to be a match for a leukemia patient. The odds are 1 in 100, in a lifetime. So I rocked a cheek swab thus handing over my DNA and got this awesome sticker and a little pin for my efforts. When I got back to my desk I was talking with co-workers about it (because who misses a round red sticker on a black top?) One was feeling guilty she didn't get downstairs to sign up and the other felt it was a bit too much of a commitment. She compared it to giving a kidney (half in jest) and while it is not as invasive at all, I can definitely understand why someone wouldn't want to do it.

So for the one or two readers I might have I ask, would you do it? No judging at all - to each his or her own.

Monday, June 8, 2009

weekend playlist

Friday night: Stop, Hey What's That Sound - Buffalo Springfield

Betcha can't guess why this song is my Friday night. It was pouring rain outside so I went straight home after work and couldn't really be persuaded to leave. My roommate and I ended up watching the 2nd half of Legally Blonde 2 on TV while eating dinner... This song was included in the movie. Not quite the same meaning when you consider it is played over a scene with lots of sorority girls taking on Washington for animal rights but hey...that's cable TV for ya. I finished off the night by watching The Nanny on Nick at Nite. Wild night at home for me.

Saturday: Poker Face - Lady Gaga
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion (and other songs from a certain soundtrack)

I took advantage of getting my official city girl self out of Gotham for the day by volunteering to accompany an after-school group from a PS down on the Lower East Side to Bear Mountain State Park. I got to sit in the sun, see some trees, and witness a gaggle of little girls sing the chorus to Poker Face on the bus. So cute.

After a trip to our favorite diner down the block, roomie and I settled on the couch for another chick flick. Bet you can guess what it was... What is it with me and couple influenced entertainment these days? Could I actually be embracing the romantic buried deep down inside me?


Cherish - Madonna
Baby, Baby - Amy Grant
What A Feeling - Irene Cara
Rhythm Nation - Janet Jackson
Take On Me - Aha

To get myself in a fun mood for the speed dating event (I'm trying to be more "zen" about dating) I played some songs from a playlist I made that reminds me of my childhood. I am really dating myself here...

I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry

Katy Perry was playing at the lounge where the speed dating event was held last night. the song that won't go away! I met 23 guys in roughly an hour. I "picked" 7 out of 23, only really one or two of which I'd really like to see again (the others seemed nice so we'll see). Now I have to wait to see if they pick me. If they do the site releases both of our email addresses. (I'm having flashbacks from participating in sorority rush. I didn't even make it all the way through. I dropped out on the third day. Haha!)

It was interesting to see who was there. I didn't really talk to the girls but the guys were mostly new and there were a lot of people who had just relocated from different countries including 3 British guys (!) and one guy who hasn't even moved from Amsterdam yet. One guy asked me straight out if I was religious then informed me he's an athiest. My roommate (who was also there) told me he asked her and she said that she's Christian. He then asked her if she'd consider changing her mind or try to get him to change his mind. If that doesn't deserve an OMG, I don't know what does! Needless to say he was a bit socially awkward.

Good times...

Friday, June 5, 2009

I've got the jar of Prego!

The following are dream careers for me:
1. Broadway star (which I touched upon in my last post)
2. photographer
3. singer (can't carry a tune, though)
4. novelist (hopefully someday!)
5. book reviewer

I've got the last one going, at least... Here's something I wrote about my one of my latest reads: I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci

I’ve recently co-founded a book club consisting of friends and friends of friends, all female. This month we read half-food/half-girly-relationship-dating-and-boys memoir, I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. On Saturday we all got together on my friend’s rooftop and had a picnic while we discussed this read. Light and fairly breezy, this book is a typical 20’s girl pick. Giulia Melucci, fellow New Yorker and member of the single-and-dating-scene, chronicles several of her past relationships and the role food has played within each one. That is, she discusses whether or not the man she was dating at the time was a fellow foodie or a cook, whether he appreciated her cooking, and the pitfalls of dating said man.While the single girl in me enjoyed reading about the faux pas and foul ups of another, I felt myself evoking more of a schadenfreude feeling rather than one steeped and stewed in empathy. One great thing about the book is that Melucci doesn’t hold back. She is honest about her dating woes. Yet as a character in a book she becomes frustrating as she seems not to learn from her mistakes. (The girls at book club agreed with me on this.) Wanting to embrace the New York singles scene she dished quite a bit about the men in her life, while including recipes for dishes she concocted and fed them along the way. The recipes seem easy to follow (esp. for this non-cook) and a couple are cute and funny; one is called F-U Cake… need I say more?While I would have enjoyed more background on just how food has played a part in her family life and less about the relationship stuff, that’s not what the book’s about. And while I would have liked to hear more stories about one bad date, one great date, and the food that was digested in between and the author’s jumping from relationship to relationship made it difficult to follow a time line or glean from her a real perspective beyond the immediate, this is a fun read. Bring it to your book club and pair it with an Italian themed dinner. We had homemade lasagna, broccoli rabe, amazing garlic bread, cannolis and tons of red wine. Pasta and a jar of Prego will do, though!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

there's a place for us...

Last night I went to see a Broadway show... on Broadway. I love that I can say that.
Going down to 42nd Street is always a trip. Most days it makes me want to gouge my eyes out. I've definitely become a "look straight ahead, ignore the guys hawking comedy show tickets, and fight off annoyance at the lookey-loo tourists" kind of New Yorker. For the most part I avoid this patch of the city like the plague but every once in a while I make my way over there and remember the New York I knew before it become the forty block radius that is home, work, home again -- lather, rinse, repeat.

I don't know if I've said before how often this city changes for me. Every time I move, every time there is a significant change in my routine, and every time I'm reminded of what my life was (where it was) a year ago I view the city through different eyes. Nothing huge has changed but my perspective is fluid. So cool.

I love musicals. During my first trip to New York in 2002 I saw 42nd Street and Cabaret (with John Stamos, no less!) Then there was the time I saw RENT all doped up on painkillers after having my wisdom teeth out. I saw Movin' Out, Mamma Mia!, and most recently, Wicked at the Pantages in LA. In London there was the Lion King, Chicago, Les Mis, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Since moving to New York I've seen three shows (a feat, given my bank account. Gotta love the rush lotteries!) Spring Awakening was my favorite, In the Heights was awesome and, last night, I enjoyed the revival of West Side Story. I want to be Maria surrounded by all those hot bad boys and singing I Feel Pretty (in Spanish for this show!) with my girlfriends in my room instead of stuck at a cubicle with invisible walls. One of these days I will be a triple threat making me debut on the Broadway stage.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

one singular sensation

I'm a single girl.

According to this author I am on the "wrong side of 25 without a ring" or, I will be, come August. I'm trying to hang on to my gag reflex here...

Regardless, try as I might I can't seem to shake my single status. I go back and forth with it. I love that I moved to New York alone, learned how to manage this big, scary city alone, and proved to myself that I can do virtually anything on my own. Regardless, a nice date with a nice man in a nice pressed shirt would be well... nice. I've been on my share of bad dates since I moved here. Some of my stories are doozies. I've lamented with other single gals about just how tough the "dating scene" is in this crazy city. Since I've never been the bubbly, outgoing type with fellas lined up outside my door and a stick to beat 'em off with, I'd venture to say that finding a perfect guy for me would be tough anywhere (plus, a girl has to have her standards and I got high ones, dontcha know?) but it appears I picked the toughest place of all to finally pay attention to the other half of the population. Guys here are finicky; they are workaholics, they are jerks and commitment phobes. They know there are millions of other girls just waiting to be swept away so why get all bent out of shape over this one? They figure they have all the time in the world to settle down and, after all, this city is a playground with one bar after another to hit... same thing goes for the women. Did I catch all the stereotypes? I'm discovering they're kind of proving themselves true. But I digress, lest I be labeled a bitter man-hating bitch.

My roommate and I are going speed dating on Sunday, for kicks. Of all the things I've done so far in New York, I'm hoping this one will prove to be more fun than not.