Monday, August 30, 2010

miscellaneous monday: the sunday edition

1. It is 12:29am in New York so I guess it is a Monday.

2. It is also my birthday in New York. :)

3. I am watching the Emmys and LOVE Mariska Hargatay's dress and am thinking it would make a beautiful "wedding dress."

4. The other day my mom commented that I'll be 30 soon. That's crazy (and not exactly true, I have a few more years) but I think my 30's are going to rock.

5. I have just a couple more days of vacation left. Why are they never long enough?

6. Had dinner with a childhood friend tonight. I have known her since I was 4 yrs old and we aren't super close in that we talk all the time but every time I see her it feels like home.

7. I spent two days of my vacation helping my parents fix up my childhood home (which they still own and rent out) because their last tenant trashed it. And I mean TRASHED. What a mess. I feel awful for my parents.

8. Off to play Scrabble with Mom! We know how to party.

Friday, August 27, 2010

forgive the nerdiness. i know not what i do.

I feel like all I do here these days is complain. Was getting ready to write a long post about how irked I am at a co-worker who messed up in a way that might mean I get blamed and might make my work look sloppy, however, I then remembered I am on vacation. I am in sunny California. And I have had enough of the bitching and moaning, the trials and tribulations.

So I come to you with hat in hand and a confession:

I... have a problem. I, M aka flipflopsonlex, have a serious shopping problem.

Allow me to rewind a bit. One thing about being in suburban California is that unless someone lends me their car for the day, I am generally housebound. Today, around lunchtime, I was seriously craving a Coke Zero and hungry too, so I decided to hoof it to the Panera Bread in the shopping center closest to the 'rents house. I love Panera and never get to eat it. Two birds. One stone. I'm going to skip over how ridiculous I felt walking down the busy street to get there as NO ONE walks anywhere here and the yummy turkey on country bread, apple and coveted Coke I had for lunch while people watching all the fresh-from-the-beach families clad in their typical So Cal summer garb.

I'm going to skip to my trip to Borders.

I love bookstores. Even the chains. I often go there after work to relax, browse, make lists, and be around people without the hassle of the hustle on the streets. The other day I was fingering a couple of paperbacks in an NYC B&N but refrained. I'm in the middle of The Girl Who Played With Fire and brought two other books with me for this trip because I couldn't decide what to read next. Figured I have to get through two six-hour flights somehow.

So why on earth would I walk out of the bookstore 45 mins later with two new paperbacks in tow? WHY would I purchase books when I have shelves of unread ones both in my apartment and in my cubicle at work. WHY would I purchase books at all when I work in publishing, know people in publishing and can pretty much finagle a way to get most anything for free. (Shhh! I don't like to abuse these powers. I only use them for good, I promise!)

The answer is: because I can't help myself. Because I got it in my head the other day that one of the aforementioned books that I read in 9th grade English and remembered liking HAD to be my next read. Because I'm currently obsessed with mass markets (in layman's terms those are the chubby squat editions that are most commonly romances and thrillers - but sometimes companies produce them for great literature too! - and retail for about $7 or $8 a pop) as they are just so handy! Because once I located said edition (Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees) I remembered how much I've been wanting to read The Poisonwood Bible and how long that has been on my list. So I bought both of them. Because to me, buying books is the equivalent of what some women feel when they go shopping for clothes or shoes. Things get cloudy. Greed kicks in. I start envisioning a gorgeous home with a little library filled to the brim....

Sorry, I blacked out there for a moment.

At least I didn't go to Target. Then I would have been in serious trouble. I may love books but I love me some Target and I miss not being able to go nearly daily and get my fill of consumerist gluttony in every shape and form. Plus it is coming on Fall and I need new clothes and shoes. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days

It has been the longest three days of my life.

Yes that is drama queen talk but I'm not kidding. Here is the VERY SHORT version:

Sunday night: Apt floods again. Through my CLOSED bedroom window and my roommate's open window in her VERY cluttered room. Other roommate and I have to practically wedge ourselves in against the window and throw ourselves out of it to remove AC. Can't really do much else as water continues to flow through closed windows. Super is MIA and management company closed. Sleep upstairs as my room is basically unlivable. Water all over my bed.

Monday: Go to management company. Our rep is pretty nasty to me. Tone of the conversation (thought she doesn't say this of course) is "Why are you bothering me? This is your fault." I had reported it last time but no one came to help. I get the song and dance repeatedly from these people throughout this whole thing that the super came but we weren't home. Story changes to the super came and saw someone (he is lying, no one saw him) leaving as he was entering the apt. I am in tears as I go home to meet the super there.

Super comes to apt and does nothing to fix it. Clears storm drain outside my window (basement level) and leaves. 10 mins later I have 6 inches of water outside my window. He is an ass and is blaming us for not sweeping and letting leaves get the drain. Informs me it is our responsibility to clean a STORM DRAIN.

Can't get a straight answer from him or even get through to management company. Sit there helpless and calling every 15 mins. Plumber shows. Can't reach the clog. Has to come back the next day. Has to tear into walls. At this point I know there is no work for me today or the next day. Roommates can't/won't be there and it is left up to me as I don't trust the super or management company to do diddly squat at this point. More tears. Do 5 loads of soaking wet towels and wet clothes. I go to the office around 10:30 and get home about 1 am because I HAVE to do work. I am leaving for vacation the next day and will be gone a week. The whole day I have been in contact with my boss about what needs to get done before I leave.

Tuesday: In bed at 1 but can't sleep so I'm up until after 2. Roommate who is out of town for work in NJ for 2 wks texts me frantically at 4:30 am. I'm awake and go back to work from 6-9 because again, I have to work, but have to be there too. At this point I am the only one really running this ridiculous circus. Owner shows around 9:30 and I almost kiss his feet once he starts ordering people around like he's God and they listen to him. There is talk of cleaning crews, electricians, patching and painting, and making it better than it was before while 6 guys are in my room tearing into my walls. Feels like Christmas.

I got on a plane at 5pm last night to come to California and have NEVER been so excited to sit in a tiny seat for 6 hrs. Roommates are in contact and say that painting has been done and that things are returning back to normal.

That is the short version. And yes, New York, I still love you. You're pushing your luck though.

Friday, August 20, 2010

make new friends

For the past few weeks, I have been going to a group for twenty-something women who are "new" to the city (liberties taken with the word "new") and are looking to meet people. The group is great, well organized and I've met some really sweet girls.

But making new friends is like dating.

I'd forgotten this.

I am always for new friends, new experiences, and new people. It isn't like I haven't been taking advantage of meeting new people over the past year but ever since a good chunk of my New York City support system fell apart (yes, that sounds a little dramatic but, to me, that's what the loss of two good friendships at once felt like), I have been trying to "put myself back out there" in an attempt to rebuild one.

And rebuilding something so important and complex takes effort and time.

It feels like a break up and like I am testing the dating waters again. It is annoying.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

decision made

On Tuesday night, I went to a dance class taught by an instructor I've taken class from a handful of times before. Because of this, I have gotten to know her warmups pretty well. During a plie combination to Beyonce's Halo (of all things) I was struck with an overwhelming feeling of peace.

You can't put a price on that.

Forget the gym. I won't find peace there.

Thank you to those who commented on my previous post debating whether I should give it up. I have since realized that I am incredibly fortunate to, at my age, have the options I do and the classes that are available to me. I won't be able to dance like this forever so I should take advantage of it.

oh, the places i'll go

I'm feeling a bit down in the dumps today so I am cheering myself by planning imaginary vacations. Here are my top 5!

1. Mediterranean

Above is a shot of Santorini, Greece, a destination that has been numero uno on my list for YEARS. I would love to travel throughout the region though and specifically want to hit up Rome, Florence and the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Spain, Athens and the Greek Islands in Greece and I've also most recently added Turkey to my list.

2. South Africa

My dream is to one day take a volunteer vacation to the country and work in a township school for a bit. Sights wise, I want to see Table Mountain and go on safari!
3. Egypt

I think I would feel like I had really lived if I were able to see the Great Sphynxes and pyramids of Egypt.

4. St. Lucia, Carribbean

Someday I will go on an incredibly romantic getaway to some tropical island. Right now, I hope it is in St. Lucia.

5. Hawaii

I have never been to Hawaii and when I go I want to do it up right.

I have made it my goal and priority to figure out away to do another international trip next year. It is going to take a lot but I'm going to make it happen.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

acceptance looks like this...

I will struggle for peace daily.

I'll fight for happiness hourly.

I seek serenity nightly.

And I will always wake up and do it over again.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

eat, pray, kiss

Yesterday was a great day.

I woke up and did my laundry (not so fun but important, of course) and then I came home and immediately changed for my dance class. After a fun class, I headed back to the 42nd Street subway stop in Times Square and came upon this:

Unfortunately, this is not my photo as I didn't have my camera on me and my cell phone is from the Dark Ages. The statue reminds me of this one in San Diego:

Nope. Didn't take this one either. I do have photos of it though from a couple of years ago but they are on my old computer.

I also saw Eat, Pray, Love this weekend. I didn't particularly care for the book and, without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it, the movie was (of course) a Hollywood-ized version of the book. Made it look so easy to just pick up one's life and live for a year in three different countries while meeting wonderful people along the way. No culture shock. No other issues that aren't anything but emotional ties to one's past. The whole thing was so glamorized (not that I expected anything different) that I'm sure many a "housewife" tonight is wondering why she didn't do that before settling down.

Tomorrow is another week. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, August 13, 2010

if you were me...

I have a slight dilemma.

I've mentioned here before that I began taking dance classes again last Fall. After 15+ years spent as "a dancer," I abandoned my former hobby when college classes called and had not stepped foot in a real studio in about 5 years. I started off slowly by taking tap but now enjoy standing in the back of my beginning jazz classes and working up a sweat while being completely upstaged by pint-sized pros half my age.

That is, when I can find a class that works with my schedule.

The awesome thing about NYC is that is the dance mecca and I can come to any ol' class I want any ol' time I feel like it. During the summers, when I benefit from publishing hours and thus summer fridays, I attend my favorite class on Friday afternoons every other week. But with the month half gone, this is going to stop soon and I will be struggling once again to find classes that fit in with my busy schedule, making the difficult choice between dance, social life, and work (as I had to today when I decided to accept a job tomorrow night instead of going to dance as I had planned. Ugh! Saturday nights are always hard.)

I love it though. I may stand in the back and not be as flexible as I once was but it reminds me of home. It is home.

But it isn't enough. Some weeks I don't go to class because I can't find one that works with my schedule with an instructor I like at my level. Or, if I go to class, an hr and a half (a week, that is) doesn't feel like enough exercise for me. Sometimes I work out at home or go running in the park. Sometimes is the key word there. I need more flexibility and more options. I need a gym.

I wish I could afford both but I can't. If I get a gym membership I can't really afford to pay steeper class fee (that's without the pass discount) to dance once every week or so. My roommate just keeps telling me to take the "dance" classes they have at the gym but all dancers (or former dancers) out there know that it ain't the same thing. At all. And if I'm being completely honest with myself, I am most likely to start out well with the gym but get bored and let it taper off. At least with dance I love it so that motivates me to go when I don't feel like it. Albeit not as frequently since I have to schedule in specific classes.

I can't decide and my dance class pass is almost up so after I get back from CA I want to make a decision for Fall and get my blood going more frequently.

What would you do? What do you do to get your heart rate up?

friday, here's what i love

The It's Friday, I'm In Love Series


Home Sweet "Home" in Southern Cali

I leave in about a week and a half


The chorus to Love the Way You Lie - Eminem feat. Rhianna

The subject of the song is intense (as is the video, you've been warned) but if you can divorce the fact that this is an Eminem song and look at it as a representation of dynamics and what happens in an abusive relationship, it is really powerful. I just love Rhianna's voice in the chorus. The rest of the song is just OK by comparison.

Barbara's Puffins Cinnamon Cereal

Old picture. The box is different now but I've had this at my desk for breakfast every morning so far this week and it is quite tasty!

What do you love this Friday?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

care to share a tidbit?

Today the lovely Summer posted a fun piece of info about herself, so I figured I'd join in:

I participated in sorority rush. Well. Kinda.

So I am kind of a biter but Summer's sorority admission reminded me that I almost was in one myself. I was a transfer student in college so my family thought it might be a good way to meet people and coaxed me into giving it a shot despite my protests that it probably wasn't for me. I signed up, I showed up for a couple of days, got called back to a few places, and then about three days in I quit. It was my birthday and I didn't want to spend it getting dressed up and talking awkwardly with other girls while I tried to convince them that they wanted me in their group.

In one sorority house, we were all greeted by a girl who had so obviously had her lips done about two days before (now that I think of it she kind of reminds me of Heidi Montag version 2.0) and when we went to visit the president in her room, I was greeted by tons of pink and ruffles and a brunette Barbie straight out of Stepford Wives the College Years.

Contrastly, my favorite sorority was one that seemed full of "girls like me" and the ones I met were super friendly. I have always wondered if I would have gotten in, would have made good friends, would have been happier because of it. Do I regret my decision to be a sorority rush dropout? Sometimes. A little bit. In general though I always knew I wasn't the sorority type and years later it doesn't seem to matter much at all to me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

miscellaneous monday: the tuesday edition

Yesterday I did my "Can Do Anything" post so I'm mixing it up a bit this week and today's post will be a miscellaneous monday: the tuesday edition! Can you feel the excitement?! I sure can.

  • Some of you posted about the loss of your blog friend, Bumpkin, and I'd just like to say my heart goes out to you. Really.
  • Does anyone watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey? Holy trainwreck Batman. I am feeding into all the hoopla by watching the ridiculousness but last night's epi in Italy was just funny and stupid all at once. These people are just an exercise in cliche.
  • I just might be one of the last people I know (working in publishing, that is) who has not yet read the Steig Larsson series (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels) and I am happy to report, on my third attempt, I am now thoroughly immersed in book number one.
  • I am currently obsessed with the chorus of a Jason Derulo song that was covered in part by Imogen Heap in her song Hide & Seek.
  • I'm also looping Michael and Janet Jackson's Scream while I knock out things at work.
  • Yes, I'm random and I've had entirely too much sugar and caffeine today.

Monday, August 9, 2010

do anything: monday affirmations

So here it is. The first of my "affirmations" posts. I've decided to call this series, "I can do anything good!" in hommage to Jessica, the little girl who inspired me to promote self-affirmation on my blog weekly. Here is her video, in case you missed it:

"I can do anything good!" is a Monday installment during which bloggers post one or more self-affirmations. I hesitate to use that word as I know how some people cringe at all things self-help. But really this is just something to start your week off right, focusing on the positive and helping to build one another up.

Each week has a different theme, however, anyone who participates is welcome to deter from the theme and post as they need to. It can be silly or serious, small or large. You may be the world's best baker of chocolate chip cookies or it may be about how much you love your dog. The important thing is that this is something you can go back to when you want to (or need to) get a little perspective.


Today's theme: Monday

Mondays are rough. Most of us don't want to go back to work no matter how much we may like our jobs. And sometimes, the problems we so gleefully abandon on Friday are there to greet us on Monday. Today I discovered I'd made a few small mistakes. It happens.

I do my best and my best is different every day.

What do you tell yourself to get through Mondays? Post your answer on your blog and link below!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

august is the new july: my weekend was...

My weekend was...
  • discovering my limits during a Friday afternoon dance class. I might not be a "young dancer" anymore but it is still fun! My poor knee couldn't handle the floor work though.
  • catching the fireworks on Coney Island having just eaten my first real Nathan's hotdog.
  • chatting with a nice guy who I never would have thought would be "my type."
  • taking my first trip to Williamsburg and counting the hipsters.
  • a slice of pizza at 12:30 because we had 20 minutes until the next L train.
  • relaxing away a Saturday - just enjoying the solitude.
  • recognizing the roots I've put down while shopping for a friend's engagement gift and hoping the train to go to her engagement party.
  • playing with my roommate's dog and realizing how good it would be for me to have one of my own.
  • eating brunch with new friends.
What was your weekend?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Where have all the cowboys gone?": mid-year reflections on the dating game

Another day, another chocolate chocolate chip muffin.

Yes, that's right.

Last night BFF (who lives in Texas unfortunately) and I were discussing the inevitable dilemma of dating. I was talking about how it doesn't make sense to me that a co-worker of hers met his girlfriend on an online dating site mere seconds after he relocated to Texas yet I have been trying forever to no avail. She astutely pointed out that while there are a large number of "normal and nice" girls on these websites, the numbers just aren't there for guys.

It is repeatedly said that the number of single women outweigh the number of single men in New York City. I may have pointed this out here before. Apparently, apartment building after apartment building on the city's Upper East Side are full of young, eligible twenty-something chicks. I should know. I used to be one of them.

The other day roommate (the one I currently see and talk to the most) and I were trying to decide if we wanted to attend a huge speed-dating event next week. She had gotten a coupon for discounted tickets and I thought it was really cool that the event is attempting to make it into the Guiness Book of World Records. When would I have another chance to be a part of something like that?! When we went to purchase our tickets (two of the 500 spots allotted for women that matched 500 spots allotted for men) we paused to take in the numbers... Almost 300 female tickets had been sold to just over 100 male tickets. Ultimately, we decided to forgo this event. Fun as it may turn out to be, I'm not wild about the idea of spending money for a dating event just to meet women. Besides I've done the speed dating thing before. This was just going to be for fun.

I'm not shocked by these revelations. Though non-conventional ways of meeting people (such as online set ups and other matchmaking "schemes") have become less taboo, just how many guys do you know who will throw their hats in the ring? So what's a girl to do? Sure these stories are fun and all well and good but they bring me back to the crux of my position. I work in an industry that is about 75% (if not more) female. I have few male friends and many of my female friends are in the same boat I am (or are happily ensconsed on shore and have exhausted their resources). When meeting new people is tough and going out is complicated it is frustrating.

And so I ask, with my tongue ever-so-slightly in my cheek, "Where have all the cowboys gone?"

And where can I get me one?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

sometimes it's hard to be a woman...

Ladies, do you ever reward yourself for being a woman? What I mean is, certain days come along and you say "I'm craving it. I'm going through hell for the next few days. Screw it." You know what I'm talking about. It is gouche, I'd imagine, to mention the affliction by name on one's blog.

I just ate a giant chocolate chocolate chip muffin (basically chocolate cake) for breakfast and am washing it down with a Coke Zero.

Whatever. Being a girl is rough. I deserve it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

my affirmations

"My house is great! I can do anything good!"

My mom works in escrow within a real estate office. Last night she and I were talking about how difficult it is for real estate agents to face rejection after rejection (this applies to any one working in sales, really) and how they employ affirmations to help them get through it. So much of life, especially starting a new one from scratch somewhere, is about rejection. So much of dating and friendship is putting yourself out there and facing up to the rejection you feel when things don't go the way you think they will, someone doesn't love you the way you love them, you are betrayed or hurt and experience loss and grief.

Last night I posted the video of that cute little girl doing her affirmations in front of the mirror. I think I also mentioned here before one evening I spent with a three year old little girl who had yet to be tainted by self-doubt, disappointment, reality and proudly announced to me that she is "good at everyfink" in her sweet little British accent. As a woman I know that it is often harder for us to build ourselves up. We feel the pressure to assert ourselves but also are more sensitive and emotional. We want to be successful but many of us want to be mothers and have families. We want to be well-liked, loved even, but also are told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, put on our big girl panties and deal. I'm generalizing here but there are so many outside pressures and disappointments that we all face and I personally have been facing lately.

Why not do some affirmations of our own?

So taking my cue from the cute girl with the corkscrew curls, here are mine:

I love my city and the fact that I took this giant leap of faith to "make it"
I love my apartment. It is in a great location and very spacious for
I am a great friend. I listen, am reliable, and am nice to be
I have great friendships, many of which have lasted years.
I am a successful person and this is evidenced by the things I have acheived in my
I am driven to succeed and better myself. I may go through rough times
but I Don't. Give. Up.
I am always challenging myself and taking chances.
They may be seemingly small to some but they are big to me.
I have decided to go back to school part-time in the Spring for my Master's degree and am so excited to begin a "new chapter" in my life.
I will make a good girlfriend and a good partner to someone someday.
I am a good daughter and sister and a product of
a great family. I'm so fortunate in this regard.
I expect a lot from myself and others but I give a lot in return.
I volunteer my time to others and am concerned about their well-being.
I am great with children and that is a skill that not everyone has.
I may be serious and quiet but I am a realistic person who does her best to keep her feet on the ground, one foot in front of the other.
I love my hair. Most days.
I love that I can dance and still take dance classes.
I love that I love books and read so often.

What are your affirmations?

I am thinking of making this a feature, perhaps with a McLinky. Each week you can post one affirmation (or more if you want) and link to others to share. If there is anyone out there able and willing to make me a button, please let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at my brand-spankin-new e-mail address flipflopsonlex [at] gmail [dot] com.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I can do anything good.

My roommates had better watch out. I'm going to start doing this every morning!

miscellaneous monday

1. All my miscellaneous Mondays involve the Bachelorette. I'm watching the Season Finale tonight with a pint of Ben & Jerry's. Can we say self-medicating?

2. Does anyone know how to take someone off your Facebook news feed without blocking or "unfriending" them? There are just things I don't want to see right now and I know how to do it because I've done it before but I can't remember how right now!

3. 22 days until California blast off!

4. One of my roommates has her mom in town for the week and she is crashing at our apartment. Apparently she cooked and cleaned all day and now they are eating dinner together on our patio. I miss my mom!

5. I'm going on my first trip to the Hamptons in a few weeks. I'm excited!

6. I decided today I'm going to have another solo weekend soon where I just spend time with myself and do things to build myself up. Am considering making one of those things trying to rush a Broadway show.

7. I have eaten way too much ice cream.

8. Just solved my filter problem on Facebook.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

thanks and the weekend

Thank you so much to those of you who commented in response to my last post. It is never my intention to "whine" on my blog and your kind words mean a lot to me.

How was your weekend?

On Friday I had a date. I've been feeling very anti-dating lately but this guy had contacted me and asked me out so I figured, "Why not?" We decided to meet up at a bar in the East Village that I had never been to. I even tried going to a few places beforehand because I wanted a new dress to wear but I could not find anything I liked in my price range. I'd forgotten my lip gloss at home so I stopped by Duane Reade, bought some and applied it quickly before planting myself nervously in front of the bar.

Then he showed up and I knew within a few minutes that he wasn't for me.

Two hours later I was on my way home feeling just a bit deflated. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Yesterday morning I boarded the subway and headed up to the Bronx for a volunteering project. We took several children currently living in a transitional shelter on a big yellow school bus to the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus on Coney Island. The circus was in a blue and yellow striped tent and with the venue smaller then Madison Square Garden (where we took them last spring) we were really up close in the action. At one point, my buddy, a very shy girl who (for a while) I thought could only speak Spanish, looked at me and said "Can you do dat?" We were watching two guys do lots of martial arts and tricks with swords, bending rods, and one even jumped through a fiery hoop laden with swords - blindfolded.

Today I went to the beach in Connecticut. I tell you there are two things that elevate my spirit: seeing a new place and going to the beach. Today I got both as I'd never been to a Connecticut beach before. I'm already planning my next beach excursion.

Hope you all had a great weekend.