Tuesday, November 30, 2010

motivations on change

Last night I watched Amelia via Netflix and came away with a newfound respect for this incredibly brave woman. Not only did she, quite literally, spread her wings and fly, she did so as a woman during a time when women were not thought capable of doing men's work.

And as I do for most movies I watch, I took my fascination to Google and came up with this quote from Ms. Earhart:

I had this in my head as I ponder recent decisions I've made to change direction of my day-to-day and, therefore, the course of my life. Change, no matter how much one wants it, is difficult. And learning to embrace it for all that it means and all that it could mean requires that you take the bad with the good.

I don't know exactly where I am going with this except to say that even good choices are hard. Even good times bring difficulties, a new set of worries and opportunities. I don't mean to be pessimistic or go looking for negativity. I am not a peppy person. I like (hope, really) to think I am a realist. I'm not much of a dreamer, but I am a flyer. Because when all is said and done and change is changing and move is moving, the reality is what you are left with and extracting the lessons from it becomes the juice that powers everything.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

give me a q and i'll give you an a

I have always said, since day one of this little blog thing, that I mostly blog so that I can look back years from now and remember the bits and pieces of what these last few years and this NYC adventure have been like for me. So I decided tonight to take a peek at last November and December's posts and it doing so made me feel like this year has just flown by! I can remember those feelings and those moments almost exactly. But I will surely wax poetic about that later.

The real purpose of this post is because I came across my Q&A and I figured, "Why not?" I'll do another and see what kind of questions I get...

So if you fancy it, please do give me a few preguntas. I'll give them my best shot.

Read last year's questions and answers here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

thanksgiving weekend

Things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend:

1. Target. Black Friday. 1:00pm. Not a total disaster. I had gone a couple of days ago and we decided to brave going back today so that I could possibly save money on the dress I wanted for my first day at my new job. We went back and the dress was not on sale but I got 2 DVD's, a sweater, and a top that were.

2. That said the toy aisle was a bit nuts. So this year I am thankful for being childless.

3. My Verizon wireless rebate card which made me feel like I wasn't spending a ton of money anyway.

4. I also purchased a bunch of things from the New York & Company website yesterday because everything was 50% off with free shipping. So, of course, I bought twice as many things, including a much needed new winter "puffer" coat.

5. Mexican food on Thanksgiving instead of slaving over the turkey and potatoes. Since Christmas at my house is basically Tgiving part deux in terms of food, this was a perfectly lovely and welcome alternative.

6. Being able to break out the flip flops once more before the snow season starts. Though Mother Nature I must say... 80 degree weather this time of year is a bit much.

7. Rupert Grint's burgeoning muscles in Harry Potter 7, Part 1. Ron and Hermoine just make my little teenaged heart go crazy. Like omg.

8. Drive-thru's. I realize they are the epitome of laziness and the beacon of obesity, however, going through one with a Christmas tree in the passenger side of the car is pretty fun.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

not sleeping

It is 1:15 am in New York.

And 12:15 am in Texas, where I am right now after I flew in tonight to spend Thanksgiving with BFF. She lives in a gorgeous 3 bedroom house. Alone. Her master bedroom is the size of my apartment. The apartment that I share with 3 other girls. I just keep repeating to myself "I love New York. I love New York."

I should be sleeping right now. I'm exhausted after my flight. Here's a tip to those of you traveling for the holidays (or ever for that matter.) Remember that there are people sitting around you who might not want to hear you talk about custody issues, surgeries, and other personal details with your neighbor (whom you just met, I might add) for FOUR HOURS STRAIGHT. As a matter of fact, no one wants to hear another person's voice for four hours. Period. Say "hello," chat for a bit, and then shut it so other people around you don't have to pay six bucks for the TV and jam their sound-proof headphones in their ears just for a bit of peace. Of course, this did not happen to me tonight.

I'm a bit cranky, yes. I've been going non-stop these days. The cat is out of the bag now so I might as well share it here. I got a new job. My last day was today and I start my new job at a new company next week. This weekend I plan on living like an "unemployed" person. Not that my job is stressful at all really. I hardly save the world. Yet I feel I am being called to watch hours of movies, eat good food, and lounge around. Yes, it is Thanksgiving and I would probably normally do that but this time I don't have work hanging over my head. This is the first time since my last college summer break that I haven't been working hard at school, working hard to get a job and move, working harder to get a job and move, working hard at my job, working hard to get a new job, etc. And I intend to enjoy it.

Also, please share any movie recommendations you might have. They really do need to be accessible via Netflix instant viewing. To give you an idea of the breadth of my taste, last night while organizing my room and packing I watched Defiance and Searching for Bobby Fischer. Both are great movies and I recommend them.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

gearing up

Took this from a car driving by Macy's at 34th St. tonight.

They are ready. So am I.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

royally obsessed

I fear I might have a new obsession.

This one just might surpass yogurt parfaits, playlist.com, and TV shows on DVD.

I'm talking about the upcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

I'm not exactly sure what it is. I was never this way with his parents, or any other "celebrity" couple for that matter. I remember when Diana died I watched the funeral procession with William, Charles and Harry walking behind her casket on television. But I never swooned over Wills (well, not that much) and certainly did not stock up on all things "Lady Di" like the girl in my study abroad program who spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars shipping memorabilia home.

But I watched the Dateline special last night, click on all the People.com stories and links about them, and almost sought out my very own replica of her engagement ring, which formerly belonged to William's mother. Almost.

I don't really get it. All I can say is he's a cutie, she is gorgeous with such poise and fashion sense, and they are adorable together. And her hats. I love her hats. They make me want to attend polo matches and sip Earl Grey from dainty teacups. Calgon take me back to London! I want to attend the wedding in St. Paul's or Westminster Abbey (or wherever it may be.) I want to buy cheap things with their faces all over them. OK, maybe that last one is taking it a step too far.

Am I alone here? What are you currently obsessed with? Perhaps it will make me feel more normal.


Monday, November 15, 2010

"pay no attention to that man behind the curtain:" an open letter to michelle moran

Remember that line from The Wizard of Oz? I thought of it immediately once I decided to write this...

My recent post about some of my favorite books caused a bit of excitement in my universe. Turns out the very talented Michelle Moran found my little ol' blog! *Squeal* She asked around a bit about who I could be and while I really had to fight the urge to identify myself, (I really did want to jump up and down going "It's me! It's me!") I must say I like that line between my personal and professional lives and this blog belongs squarely in the former. So in response...
Dear Ms. Moran,

I'm thrilled and honored that you found and enjoyed my post. I feel so fortunate to be able to encourage good books and reading every day and being able to meet authors whose work I love (however indirectly that encounter may be) is really icing on the cake. I really admire your talent for blending history and fiction and wish you the very best of success with Madame Tussaud.

PS - Can I please marry Henri? Please?

I think that was my first fan letter ever. I'm off to write John Krasinski now.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

shop talk - books that will ruin your life: historical fiction edition

I haven't done many "shop talk" posts at all. I call them "shop talk" because I work in books. I talk about books (without really talking about them) practically all day. I read constantly. Shop talk. 'Nuff said.

Earlier this week I posted about the great book I'm currently reading, Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran. It is available next February and just might be the best piece of historical fiction I've read thus far. I'm a huge fan of the genre and have read my share of the princesses and courtiers stories. This one touches on royalty but the "heroine" is a wax modeler living during the French Revolution. And it doesn't hurt that her love interest makes me swoon a bit. He was definitely written by a woman.

Reading this book has me thinking about my historical fiction faves so I thought I'd share my top 6 just in case some of you float in the same literary boat as me and are looking for some ideas. And feel free to add to my list if you feel so inclined!

6. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - This biblical read is told from the perspective of Dinah, daughter of Jacob who appears briefly in the book of Genesis but, according to the author, has no voice of her own. A really interesting look at what life might have been like for a woman in Biblical times.

5. Nefertiti by Michelle Moran - The title says it all. This book follows the story of the Queen of Egypt, Nefertiti, but the fact that it is told by her sister makes it all the more interesting. I wanted to see the pyramids and sphinxes before this one but reading it made me really want to go to Egypt!

4. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff - Read my review of this book here. They also made a Lifetime movie out of this one. Not the greatest though... the book is MUCH better.

3. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin - Read my review of this book here. This one combines history and classic literature. Triple love.

2. The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory - This one is every historical fiction lover's staple. England's Henry VIII had six wives. And several mistresses. One of these was, Mary Boleyn, who just so happened to be the sister of his most infamous wife, Anne Boleyn, mother to Elizabeth I. This was the stuff of soaps before the days of TV. Can't get better than that.

1. Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran - OK, I'm going to go ahead and put this one in the top spot. I just love the different layers of this book. Tussaud's Wax Museum might be a cheesy tourist trap now, but it was once the center of news during the French Revolution. I can already see the movie.

If you take anything from this post, it is that Michelle Moran is an awesome historical fiction author. There are so many more great books beyond these. Happy reading!

Monday, November 8, 2010

"every step of the way, we walk the line"

OK, I'm back with more music. Music Monday. Yeah, that's what I'm going to call it, I think.

The next song was written by Bob Dylan (for the purists) but has been covered by The Dixie Chicks and Sheryl Crow. If you aren't a Chicks or Crow fan, you can find the original on YouTube, I'm sure. I just like that the covers are more upbeat.

I can relate to practically EVERY SINGLE lyric in this song (and I've bolded my faves!). There is just so much truth to how I feel about my life, my experiences, and how I have handled them that I can't help pressing the back button on my iPod over and over again so that I listen to it repeatedly as I'm walking down the streets. Funny, as it has a country twang and this city is (mostly) anything but country. I'm going to post the lyrics and videos for this one.

Mississippi by Bob Dylan (covered by The Dixie Chicks and Sheryl Crow)

Every step of the way we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is pilin’ up, we struggle and we scrape
We’re all boxed in, nowhere to escape

City’s just a jungle; more games to play
Trapped in the heart of it, tryin' to get away
I was raised in the country, I been workin’ in the town
I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down

Got nothin' for you, I had nothin' before
Don’t even have anything for myself anymore
Sky full of fire, pain pourin’ down
Nothing you can sell me, I’ll see you around

All my powers of expression and thoughts so sublime
Could never do you justice in reason or rhyme
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well, the devil’s in the alley, you're kickin in the stall
Say anything you wanna, I have heard it all
I was thinkin’ 'bout the things that you said
I was dreaming I was sleepin' in your bed

Walkin' through the leaves, falling from the trees
Feelin' like a stranger nobody sees
So many things that we never will undo
I know you’re sorry, well I’m sorry too

Some people will offer you their hand and some won’t
Last night I knew you, tonight I don’t
I need somethin’ strong to distract my mind
I’m gonna look at you ’til my eyes go blind

Well I got here followin' the southern star
I crossed that river just to be where you are
There's only one thing I did wrong
I stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well my ship’s been split to splinters and it’s sinkin' fast
I’m drownin’ in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it’s light and it’s free
I’ve got nothin’ but affection for all those who’ve sailed with me

Everybody's movin’ if they ain’t already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Well stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interestin' right about now

My clothes are wet, tight on my skin
Not as tight as the corner that I painted myself in
I know that fortune is waitin’ to be kind
So give me your hand and say you’ll be mine
Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way
There's only one thing I did wrong
I stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Sunday, November 7, 2010

my weekend was... complete with googled images!

My weekend was (with images this time!)...

a relaxing Friday night at home with a great book. Historical fiction fans should check out Madame Tussaud when it comes out next Spring!

getting my domestic on in a friend's new kitchen, making cupcakes and cookies and watching You've Got Mail while we worked the icing/cookie gun. The thing is so cool!! We had a hard time controlling it so the frosting looked like chocolate Christmas trees on top of the little cupcakes.

catching Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake at NY City Center with margaritas and taquitos afterword. The corps of swans was all male instead of female. Really interesting and wonderful to watch. Then again, why wouldn't one like to watch a group of shirtless men with amazing bodies. Ahem, moving on...

working two jobs on opposite sides of town during the New York City Marathon and getting stuck at the route on First Avenue.

Walking 20 blocks up and then 30 blocks down as 40,000 runners passed me by. Yeah, I felt so out of shape next to them.

(images via google)

What was your weekend?

Monday, November 1, 2010

"i ain't got style like a magazine, i know my shoes don't shine..."

Last week I had this idea when I was trying to come up with something to say...

Sometimes, to preserve my own privacy, I cannot say what I really want to. I can't talk about the specifics, the difficulties, the excitement - the realest of reality.

Sometimes I wouldn't be able to put it into perfect words if I wanted to. I fancy myself something of a writer, always able to find a way to express what I'm thinking and feeling. But I find so much of my inspiration, solace and serenity in the lyrics of my favorite songs. There are those that are staples - the familiar and well-worn verses I turn to when I'm angry, frustrated, sad and need inspiration.

This week I'm going to share some of my favorites - the songs that have gotten me through my move to New York, hyped me up for job interviews, comforted me during disappointment and heartbreak, and motivated me to keep moving on even when I feel lost and alone.

I hope that some of you will find inspiration and comfort in one or more of these songs. They are meaningful, hopeful and so true (in my humble opinion).

As Good As It Gets by Beth Hart

Most people don't know Beth Hart and that is just why I love her. She had a song on the radio back in the late 90's (L.A. Song) but she is mostly popular in Europe (I think.) She's soulful, with a hint of Janis Joplin and "As Good as It Gets" just keeps me going when I want to give up and give in. "Until I break a sweat, it ain't as good as it gets."