Saturday, December 31, 2011

twenty eleven into twenty twelve

It's been a while again...

But it is the end of the year and, like every year and everyone, I am in a reflective mood.

I'm really excited for 2012. I plan on doing some amazing things including:

Taking a big trip (hopefully abroad)
Applying to go back to school part time
Approaching life from a "yes" perspective. I read somewhere that a great way to meet people in this crazy city is to say "yes" to everything. So unless it is financially, physically, or emotionally a horrible, horrible idea, I plan to do just that.

2011 was a good year for me. I overcame many obstacles. It was the first year I felt truly comfortable in my New York skin. I made strides professionally by expanding my skill set and confidence. I met someone I really enjoyed spending time with and felt I could fall for. I've always wanted that. And even though he didn't share the same feelings, it was a wonderful thing and I'm happy we spent the time together. I also realized that I really do want to pursue more education after several years of waffling and trying to figure it out. I'm really excited about it.

I knew 2011 would be good and it was. I'm looking forward to an even better 2012 and will go out and celebrate with friends tonight.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

sunday night "lightbulb moment"

Every once in a while I struggle with the loneliness that comes with living in this city of millions.

It seems counter-intuitive, as there are constantly people around and there are so many things to do and see on any given day. But the culture here can be isolating. The city is filled with Type A people who work too much, socialize in a very structured way, don't often talk to one another, and go about their lives just as I do. I realize this is a very huge generalization. One thing I love the most about this city is that there are so many different kinds of people. I always say there is at least one out there that walks, talks, dresses, and thinks like me.

It has been four years for me and some days I still feel like I'm struggling through year one. I've met some wonderful people, have made great strides, and have learned a lot about myself. But I often feel like there is much missing.

Today was a boring day. I wasn't feeling 100% this morning and was really tired all day so I decided to go with it and be lazy. I was looking around the internet tonight and thinking about how bored I was. My solution to boredom is usually to plan the hell out of the coming days and weeks. (Good and bad, I suppose.) I decided to Google "meeting people NYC." One link was a forum in which people discussed how hard it is here socially.

I don't know why but this made me feel so much better. It acted as sort of a lightbulb moment for me. I know I'm not the first one to move here, having not known anyone and struggle with putting down roots, meeting "forever friends" and dealing with dating. Logically this has always made sense to me. But I am extremely hard on myself and expect a lot from myself. Especially after four years. Reading the thoughts of strangers (written even before I arrived on the East Coast even) made me realize that my struggles and feelings of not "succeeding" where others have are completely typical and normal.

This seems so silly, especially as I sit here typing it out, but it is so important for me. Hopefully it will help me find a bit of peace in the paths I've walked down and find some patience as I move forward and undoubtedly encounter more difficulty--and more happiness.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

giving thanks for the blues

I'm feeling blue.

Something exciting, happy, and hopeful ended abruptly and I've been feeling cheated and miserable and feeling very sorry for myself--a lesson that nothing is certain in life and life moves on.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I miss my family. I wish I were home with them, making food with my mom, listening to my crazy dog bark and whine to come in the house, watching documentaries with my dad, going to the movies with my bro, and enjoying my loved ones. I will be here in New York instead, headed to the home of a lovely friend who is gracious enough to take me in on the day of thanks.

And today I am thinking about what it means to be thankful and give thanks, even when we are angry, searching, feeling alone.

I am so very greatful for the things I have--the spirit to want more and the drive to seek it out. The feeling of discontent because I know that life is rich and powerful, that perspective is essential, and that happiness is earned not handed out.

Tomorrow will likely be a more difficult holiday for me. I recognize this and accept it but I refuse to stick in it. I will gather my feelings and mine them for what they can produce--thoughtfulness, introspection, and ultimately humility.

I am well. I am fed. I am loved. I am able to do so much.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a night with anais nin

I love quotes. They inspire and motivate me. Some of my favorites are cynical (anything by Dorothy Parker), some are literary, but all keep me going because they speak to me. They put into words what I have trouble saying in that moment.

Tonight I'm stuck on Anais Nin. Here is my night. . .

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

I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.

We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

autumn

I remember reading somewhere about the Turkey Trot. I think that's what it was called... the dating phenomenon that occurs after high school when young couples split up to go off to college swearing they'll make it work. But the boy decides it isn't so he breaks it off with the girl around Thanksgiving--the first time they see each other again after the start of the new semester, new year, new life.

Over the past couple of years I've wondered if I have my own sort of autumnal issue. An Autumn Curse, if you will. I think I even blogged about this last year. Let me preface what I'm about to say with a disclaimer that I love the fall season. Like, love the pants off of it. I am totally an "autumn" color wise. My favorite color is brown. I'm a Virgo. Earth signs and all that rot. So fall = fave in my book.

But damnnit if I don't hate fall for what I seriously am starting to consider this stupid curse.

It all goes back 3 years. My first real fall season here in NYC as a dating person. Guy #1 and I met in October, dated. I swooned. A lot. He was great. He was a Left Coaster like me. I read into things. Saw things that weren't there. I was sporting some pretty spiffy rose colored glasses. He was great but he wasn't as into me as I was into him. He ended it a couple of days before Christmas. 2 mos into whatever it was. I was shocked. I cried and cursed him and threw myself into trying to find someone to replace him.

The next Fall I met Guy #2. I think it was November. He was friendly from the start, interesting and funny. We went out a few times. He was in the process of starting a new job. Red flag I didn't see. After a few dates he started blowing me off. Then he disappeared and things fizzled. I certainly contributed. Lessons learned. But I was still very surprised as I thought we had good chemistry.

Fast forward to September of last year. Guy #3. He was interesting. A former teacher. We had two good dates and a really awkward 3rd but I kept hope alive because I liked him. In hindsight, not as much as the others, but I was willing to give it time. He was definitely one of the better ones. The awkward goodbye after date 3 sealed it. He blew me off a bit and disappeared. Another one bites the dust.

That brings us to Guy #4. Freshly added to the "roster" last night. Things were going so, so very well. At least I thought they were. I was getting green lights all over the place. This was the best thing I'd experienced in a long time. I thought him a potential keeper. We were certainly headed in that direction. Until last night. It's not me. It's him. I won't say anything disparaging about him because the reason I am so crushed is because he is a wonderful guy. Really. One of the best I've ever met. We had sparks. I thought we were perfect for each other. It is him. I believe it and he took responsibility but it is a bit me too, isn't it? Because when it is the right person it just works out. It isn't so hard.

So I am 4/4. I won't give up on my beloved season yet though. I just know that September-December I'll be a little more wary.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

fly by

Hey there,

I've been so bad at the blog thing lately. Sometimes I wonder if I should just stop altogether....

Here are my updates:



  • Work is still very, very busy. I have a few trips coming up and am taking on more, which is good, but I've been so exhausted when I get home at night that all I can usually manage is to stuff my face in front of whatever episode of The Real Housewives is currently on. Yes, that is true.

  • Thus I have not been going to the gym very often. Shame on me. My credit card is pissed. It still gets charged for that membership.

  • I wish I could motivate myself to wake up in the morning and workout before work. I was really good at this during the Spring months (and by really good I mean I managed to do it about twice a week) but now I hit snooze 5,000 times before turning it off, falling back asleep and waking up late. Ha!

  • I'm in a voracious mood when it comes to reading. I think it is because it is relaxing. I just want to read all day and end up very sad when I get in bed at night, pick up my book, and find I can only make it two pages before my eyes are so heavy that I have to turn out the light.

  • I'm in the mood for historical fiction. First up, Egypt! I'm finally getting around to Mich.elle Mor.an's The Her.etic Qu.een. Last year I blogged about how awesome Mich.elle is and she found my little blog post (via the powers that be at Google alert, I can only assume). It was so exciting. I've previously read Nefer.titi and she has one more Egyptian book, Cleo.pat.ra's Daugh.ter. Then there's Mad.ame Tuss.aud which is amazing! Love all of them!

  • Russia is up next! If anyone has any other recommendations I'd love to hear them!

  • I'm still seeing the guy I was seeing the last time I blogged. Well "seeing" is not an operative word here, really. We're dating but our schedules are so crazy this month that we haven't been able to get together lately. This is very disappointing but I'm trying to be patient and am hoping things will continue to go well regardless.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

update...

Wow, I haven't blogged in a while (and haven't had a "real" post in even longer). Here's the latest. . .

I feel like I'm always reporting that I've been sick. But this time around it was a nasty little bugger that hit me like a mack truck with chills, exhaustion, fever, cough. . . the whole gamut.
I am happy to say that though I missed two days of work, I am well now. My cough is still hanging on (and causes me to get dirty looks from people on the subway and on the bus) but today was the first day I haven't really coughed at all. And it has been 2 weeks! My coughs always hang on until the bitter end but I daresay this one is on its way out. Fingers crossed!

Work has been INSANE. I'm so busy because (I guess) Fall is a very hectic time of year for me. I wouldn't know. This is my first Fall in this particular position. That coupled with missing two days and events that I'm responsible for that fall one right after the other. . . I've been very, very swamped.

Today is my New York-iversary. I've been here four years! In some ways it seems like much shorter or much longer but it is unbelievable in every way. I want to talk to that girl, the one who really didn't know what she was doing but wanted to do it anyway; the one who had a vague idea of what her life was going to be like but really had zero clue. Today is a very fun and special day for me and it always will be. To some it seems like a small milestone but to me it is huge and represents so much in my life, my growth, and my relationship with myself.

Last but certainly not least. . . I'm seeing someone. I feel like an eighth grade girl but I like him a lot and he likes me. We've been dating for a month but I feel like I've known him so much longer. I told my mom last weekend. I'd been waiting to see what would take shape. Telling her made it feel real. I've gotten so tired of talking about dating so when this first started up I had the "I don't care. I'm over it." attitude (not in a bitter way but in an acceptance sort of way). He and I hit it off from the very beginning. We'll see what happens!

Hope everyone is well! Happy Fall! I love this time of year and it looks like NYC weather is finally going to feel like autumn this weekend. . .


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

10 Day You Challenge - Day 8 - Books!












*BREAKING NEWS* I'm still sick. (And being a total and complete baby about it.)

So here we are. Day 4 of 10 Day You Challenge.

Books.

Everyone knows I love books. In fact, to the untrained eye, it might seem like I don't have many other interests. I read them. I collect them. I studied them. I work with them. My obsession dates back to when I was but a wee lass and would "read" books to
my parents.

I'm supposed to come up with four books. That's hard for me. So I'm going to choose the four that have had the most impact on my life, its course, and how I've gotten where I am today.


















1. Babies by Gyo Fujikawa

This was my favorite book when I was small. In fact I still know the first line: "Babies are soft, warm, and cuddly." only I couldn't say my c's so in our house it was "Babies are soft, warm, and tuddly." My parents still talk about (and do impressions of) the way my face would light up when I was read this book and how I would recite it back to them. I like to think this was what started it all...


















2. The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I was in fourth grade, the book nerd in me officially let her freak flag fly. I got really into our school reading program, Best Foot Forward, and worked so hard to earn the Big Sticks (popcicles, remember those?!), pencils, folders, and other prizes. I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and, since in fourth grade all California kids learn CA history, I became obsessed with all things olden days. My grandmother even made me a prairie dress. It was too big for me but I wore it anyway. I have such fond memories of rushing through my homework, laying on the couch and reading On the Banks of Plum Creek while drinking Kool-aid.

















3. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

I was a sophomore in high school when I was first introduced to what would become (and still remains) my favorite book. We read it in E
nglish during a seminar sets unit (in which we could choose to read one of five books and get in groups and talk about it and stuff.) The district tried to eliminate it from the curriculum shortly thereafter (due to somewhat graphic sexual content) and some of my class members went to a district meeting to defend the book. I didn't go but I now wish I had. (The book ended up getting put to 12th grade as an optional text.)

I have since read it again three times, studied it in college, and I've seen the author speak twice. She is awesome and oh so funny.

















5. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I wish I could say there is a book that made me want to become an English major. There really isn't. But books like Mark Twain's Huck Finn, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides made me certain I'd made the right decision. The best book I've read since I got my hands on The House of the Spirits all those years ago.

Likewise, I wish there was a book that I could point to and say "This is the reason I am in book publishing. This is the reason I made the switch to kids' books." There are many, many I have read and love over the years. But if someone were to ask me, I guess I would say "I'll start with these four... how much time do you have?"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

a break in our regularly scheduled programming...

I have the flu.

What's that you say? It is too early in the "season" for the flu? MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!

I blame the lady who sat behind me at the movies the other day, hacking and coughing all over the place. There were a total of 10 people in the theater. She totally could have sat away from other people.

My weekend has consisted of sleeping and watching movies. Yesterday I watched Romeo and Juliet (the Claire Danes/Leo DiCaprio version that always makes me flashback to my teen years) and then caught the Wedding Crashers on TV. This morning I watched Hall Pass and am about to settle into Fair Game (the Valerie Plame story starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn). I'm sure there will be more.

The only good thing about being sick is that you get a free pass to eat whatever sounds good. In my case it has been chicken soup and Haagen Das Cookies and Cream ice cream.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I fully intend to live it up next weekend. Good thing my bed is comfy.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 7 - 10 Day You Challenge

Not really sure why the image isn't working but by now you all get it. . .

Day 7 is food. I love food. I'm the girl who eats a brownie instead of downing a drink when I've had a bad day. When the food comes I ignore my cocktail or beer. I have a major major sweet tooth. It is a huge problem (so much so that I can't keep cake or cookies or ice cream in the house... I will gobble them up in no time!)

So I'm listing my favorite foods that I would eat every single freakin' day if it didn't mean I'd be 500 lbs, a couple of things I eat regularly, and what I would choose for my last meal. You'll notice some of these categories overlap.

5. cake - Love the stuff. I wish every day was my birthday so I could eat it. Birthday cake is awesome. As is german chocolate, red velvet, and this kind my mom makes called earthquake cake (it is like german chocolate cake but it also has cream cheese. OMG.) I'm salivating now.

4. apples and yogurt - I've been eating this since I was young. My mom used to cut up apples and put vanilla yogurt on top. I still eat this a lot. I realize that an apple is not the first fruit one thinks to pair with vanilla yogurt. I'll also add that I love blueberries and strawberries (any kind of berry really) with yogurt.

3. green beans and edamame - These are my go-to veggies. I could eat them by the truckful

2. a bean, cheese, and rice burrito from my local hole-in-the-wall taco shop at home - I want one now. I've been going there since high school. In fact, it still is a high school hang out... which makes me chuckle when I go there now. I make at least one trip every time I go back "home." They know me there and they know what I like. It is kind of embarassing because I rarely get anything else there. I once sent a burrito to my BFF for her birthday. It sounds gross but I overnighted it frozen and it made it (full disclosure: if it had had meat in it, I wouldn't have done it!). Best birthday gift idea I've ever had!

1. taco and enchilada plate from my favorite sit-down, family-owned Mexican restaurant at "home" - Last meal. I'd have 5. SO good. Then I'd have cake.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 6 - 10 Day You Challenge - Places

Everytime I sat down to write this one I wasn't sure which six places I should choose. I have lived in six cities (one in the Midwest, two in Southern California, one in Northern California, London--where I studied abroad--and then, of course, New York.) But everyone knows where I'm from and where I live now.

I thought about choosing the six top places I'd like to visit but I have already done that.

So today I finally focused enough on this and I decided to choose six of my favorite locations in Manhattan. . . In no particular order. . .

1. Posman's Bookstore in Grand Central Station - I always go here when I'm at Grand Central. I'm not sure why I love it so much. It is like any other independent bookstore. (I was thinking about it today when trying to remember the title of a book I saw there the last time I was there. It has a brownish-tannish covor, a woman on the front, and I believe it takes place during WWI in Europe. It is driving me nuts so if anyone has any idea, please let me know!)

2. Central Park's Turtle Pond - You can see Belvedere Castle from the grass by turtle pond and, if you're lucky, a little guy might come up and say "hi." I also love meeting people in this area as it is smaller than The Great Lawn and easy to find one another.

3. Central Park's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir - The views from the reservoir are gorgeous. A couple of years ago on Thanksgiving my friends and I went for a walk after dinner. I'd never been after dark before (and would certainly not go alone) but it was beautiful and very serene and quiet.

4. The Hudson River Walk - This runs from Chelsea down to Battery Park. I love the views of the Hudson and New Jersey. If you can't tell by now I love to walk around.

5. Bleecker Street in the West Village - Well, I guess this can be extended to the West Village, period. But Bleecker has a special place in my heart because it was my first residence (for a one month sublet) when I first moved to the city. I especially love walking past all the shops and brownstones and down the cobblestone streets in the Fall.

6. Blockheads - Good food and $3 margaritas. Several locations. Done.

Of course there are many, many more places I love. These are just the beloved ones that came to mind first.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 7 - 10 Day You Challenge





I'm a day behind but who cares?


Sometimes what I want feels like it changes by the minute. Some are big and some are small. And I am hungry right now so some are food related...


.7. WANTS


1. A turkey club sandwich with potato chips from Grey Dog Cafe (This one is seriously my #1 want right now...)


2. A burrito from my local taco shop in CA


3. A nap on the beach


4. More time in the day to get my work reading & my for-fun reading done


5. Money and time for an amazing European vacation


6. A vacation, period


7. To have my cake and eat it too...



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Days 9 & 8 - 10 Day You Challenge



.9. LOVES



1. Central Park in the Fall



2. My dog's soft ears and the way he puts his head on my lap when I pet him



3. The Barnes and Noble New Releases table



4. The feeling after a good workout



5. My mom's voice over the phone



6. My dad's text messages--emoticons and all



7. The childhood memories I have with my brother



8. London and the stamps in my passport



9. The smile on my face after a good date







.8. FEARS (in no particular order)






2. Lakes and other bodies of water in which I can't see the bottom



3. That Snooki and the cast of Jersey Shore will never go away



4. That kids will grow up running their fingers across iPads and other devices more than they will turning pages of books



5. Mice and rats (as evidenced recently)

6. Birds freak me out a bit too.



7. Driving other people's cars



8. Things I think are normal for a single gal my age




Monday, August 29, 2011

10 Day You Challenge!

I'm hopping on the bandwagon too!








#10 - SECRETS



1. I really don't like avocados or sushi. I usually don't tell people this because I get teased for being from CA and not liking avocados and people here love their sushi.



2. I love when people compliment me for being brave for moving to NYC all alone without a job but at the same time it makes me a bit uncomfortable--like I'm bragging or something.



3. I was born 8 weeks premature. But was the biggest baby in the NICU. I joke and say I've been strong willed since before birth.


4. I have an almost unhealthy fear of snakes. Like it freaks me out when my brother's ball python gets even remotely close to me.



5. I have three reoccuring dreams: (1) I am in a car and I am driving really fast and either can't or won't stop (sometimes I'm being chased by the police.) (2) I am being made to return to high school to finish a class (usually PE, science or math) even though I am an adult and have graduated from college... Most of the time I haven't been doing my homework either. (3) My family has to move back in to our old house and I move with them even though I am a "grown up" now. (This one is newer.)



6. I had my appendix out when I was 16. Beyond that I have never had any major surgery or broken any bones.


7. I want to marry a British guy so I can live abroad and raise kids with little British accents.



8. I don't just babysit for the money. To quote part of a line in Juno, I like being a piece of furniture in their weird lives. I think I sometimes crave being around families because I'm here solo.



9. I really didn't like high school or college. Both of them. I know I'm supposed to think back on those days as the "best in my life" but honestly I would rather pay rent, work, etc. than do it all over again.



10. Sometimes I think about "outing" myself on this blog. Posting pics and real information about myself. Then I chicken out.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

she was here and now she's gone

My hurricane weekend was...

Here is the list of things I did while waiting for Irene:

Taped the basement windows, just in case.
Froze water in the freezer, just in case.
Watched half of Beaches on TV.
Watched half of Bride Wars on TV.
Found a bunch of decks of cards and played solitaire.
Made pasta for dinner.
Tracked the storm online.
Bugged my friends by sending them texts and emails asking them how they were enjoying the storm.
Chatted with my roommate.
Watched Bend it Like Beckham.
Talked to my cousin on the phone for a bit.
Ate ice cream.
Painted my toenails.
Painted my fingernails.
Ate more ice cream.
Cleaned the kitchen.
Watched 500 Days of Summer.
Went to bed.

Woke up at 4 am when Irene came.
Pulled my furniture away from one of the walls when I noticed the window was leaking on my desk.
Went and slept on the couch in the living room because the rain and wind was keeping me awake.

All in all, she wasn't bad to us at all. Just a few leaks in the apartment, which is great. The neighborhood was virtually untouched, except for several downed trees and one light, which I saw while walking around this afternoon. Central Park was closed but lots of people were jumping the fence to get in. We all had cabin fever.

Others in New Jersey, Westchester County, parts of Queens, etc. weren't as fortunate as we were. There are people without power, flooded areas, but luckily it wasn't as bad as they expected it to be. Some people are saying it was anti-climactic. Cynics are saying they told us so, that New York was over reacting. I say that it is better to be safe than sorry. That even though my home in upper Manhattan wasn't affected, there were people whose homes and neighborhoods were. The focus might be on Manhattan because it is Manhattan and because MTA was shut down, but there are other boros, the local news (which broadcasted warnings, updates, and other types of "fear mongering" reaches those who really did need the information.

Of course I will always remember where I was when Irene hit. I'm sure people will talk about how it was a big deal for nothing. And for me it was. I'm glad about that.

Hope all my fellow New Yorkers and East Coasters weathered the storm just as well!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

come on, irene?

Unless you've been living under a rock you know Irene.

The chick who ruined many a weekend plan, including mine. The gal who shut down the entire MTA system (buses, subways, and all) in NYC.

The reason Grand Central station is quiet and vacant tonight and I am sitting on my couch eating pasta, drinking wine, and watching Bride Wars tonight.

So much love for my family and friends across the country tonight. I've recieved texts, calls and Facebook messages checking in on me. I am fine. She is coming but I do not live in an evacuation zone. I'm just hoping my basement level does not flood. It isn't fun when it does.

A text I recieved from my dad last night. And I quote...

Tips for storm:
1. Fill bathtub with water for flushing toilet in case water is shut off.
2. Freeze water in case power is lost to keep food cold.
3 . Duct tape all window panes diagonally then horizontal and vertically in case flying debris hits glass.
4. Stay away from windows during storm.
5. Duct tape around basement windows to hold back water from over filled window wells.
6. Have plenty of batteries.
7. Charge cell phone.
8. If evacuated: take passport, Social Security Card, other important papers & medicine.
9. Call home when you can.
10. Love you! :-)

That's it. The whole thing. In one text with punctuation and capitalization. I love my dad.

Stay safe East Coasters!

Monday, August 22, 2011

summer is fading

How is the summer almost over?

Only a few more weekends until it "officially" ends.

I spent the last two weekends away from the city--working, reading, cat napping, waking up at 5am, then 6am, then 6:15am and, finally, 6:30 before dragging myself out of bed and putting on the TV for the kids I was nannying for. Sleeping with a kid in your bed is hard!

I started the Mad Men series on Netflix, a great book called The Ni.gh.t C.i.r.cus that I am really enjoying a lot and watched the same Carebears DVD 653 times. I sang songs, caught kids as they jumped off pool's edge with an exhilarating leap and ate my weight in Goldfish crackers, strawberries, cheese, and salt and vinegar potato chips (the last of which I am thoroughly addicted to.)

I took the Monday morning 6:20 bus back to the city with all the finance husbands, crashed in bed Monday night, squeezed in a happy hour for my alma mater's NYC chapter, didn't grocery shop, neglected my gym membership, ate pizza instead, and did the weekend all over again.

I thought less, breathed more, cared not a whit, well maybe a momentary bit, and told myself I'd return to paradise again--more on my terms.

I vowed never to have four children under the age of five. Never to have four children period. I turned back the biological clock about five more years.

I returned to the city, went to work, contemplated my bank account, honored my savings, planned beach trips and fireworks...

all for the rest of the summer.


Friday, August 12, 2011

r & r - sort of

This morning I was commuting to work, per usual, via one of MTA's lovely express then local subway trains. On the platform waiting for the local train I saw a HUGE DEAD RAT.

I literally gasped "Oh my God!" out loud and almost ran to a different area to wait for my train.

Lately, Manhattan has had me cranky. People are loud in the morning. I vote for a no-talking-before-9-am-on-the-subway-don't-you-people-get-the-ettiquette-of-it rule. The homeless man who frequents my block has been extra pushy. I know he knows me. He sees me every day. I never give him money. He usually accepts it but lately has been asking for "Just a dime! Just ten cents!" And everything is dirty and stinky. And there are dead rats!

Duh. You say. This is New York.

I love this city. It is my heart. It is my boyfriend. But...

It is just all kinds of gross in August.

So thank goodness I get to get away for the weekend! Last year I was lucky enough to be asked to take on nanny duties for a family at their house in the Hamptons. Yes, please! I loved it. I got to enjoy a gorgeous house, a great pool, the beach, and some cute kiddos. So when I was asked back this year, I didn't hesitate.

I took the train out today, arrived as it was cooling off but still sunny and gorgeous, and even got some pool time in this afternoon. Score! I will be reading non-work books (think, Tina Fey), chasing kiddos around, trying not to eat all the ice cream in the house, and getting some nice quiet in.

Seriously, the silence was so loud in my ears this afternoon. No wonder I wished I had a masseuse on retainer last night when I was getting into bed. Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing to myself if I notice the quiet so profoundly when I leave the city. As in, I am so used to the stressful noises, activities, etc. that I don't even notice anymore...

That's a thought for another day. I must go relate to, I mean laugh along with, Tina Fey.

Friday, August 5, 2011

friday night five

1. I'm home alone tonight. I love that this is so much of an event that I feel the need to announce it to the world every time it happens.

2. I'm enjoying my time by eating cereal, watching my Netflix movie (Last Night - I thought it was good and of course the actors are entirely too good looking for their own good), and day dreaming (or is that night dreaming?) about where my life is going to take me in the coming months.

3. I'm feeling the urge to do something new. Start new writing, spend time with new friends, meet new people, etc.

4. Our little mouse friend is no longer with us. There was a simple memorial service the other night after I had the pleasant task of laying him to rest. (I was the first one home that evening. Lucky me!) Snap traps do work. Go figure.

5. I think this is going to be a largely quiet weekend. I think I will spend most of it listening. We'll see what I hear...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

a manhattan tail

It has happened again.

It was only a matter of time.

I have a new roommate. Well, a temporary one anyway.

Last Monday my roommate and I were chatting in the kitchen when she screamed bloody murder. That's right. A mouse. Lucky us.

I think I previously blogged about the mouse problem I had in my old apartment several years ago. This time around we think it is just one little guy who came in through our doors when we had them open all day long during a recent shindig we had for some friends. In fact, we dare say we disturbed his lovely mouse home outside on our patio in an attempt to make it look less like a weedy jungle.

We were unsuccessful in catching him last week so we bought some traps (the kind that don't work) and called it a night. I hadn't been home for the evening in a while and no one had seen him. We were hoping he'd politely let himself out.

Nope.

Last night roommate and I were watching TV when we saw him scurry into our fireplace. It was 11:30pm. We knew we had to try and trap him and get him out. So we gathered the mouse-catching essentials: a big cardboard TV box, several Tupperware containers of various sizes, a copy of US Weekly with Kim Kardashian on the cover, a CB2 catalog, gardening gloves, a flashlight, and I donned my old gross sneakers because if the little guy scurried across my foot without protection I knew I would be losing my ish completely. We sealed him in the fireplace with the TV box and just stood there like deer in headlights, afraid to make another move. Other roommate came home and she, being much braver than the two of us, got down to business, trying to coax him out. He didn't move. There was an unused pile of wood in the fireplace and we knew he was in there.

She even enlisted the help of an innocent passerby who had just come home from work. Poor guy was good sport about it and we met a neighbor. (PS - This may be why she had a boyfriend and the other two of us don't... Just sayin'.) By 1am there was still a mouse running free and I had to go to bed. I think I finally got to sleep around 2.

Dear Mouse,

We didn't want to hurt you. Next time you choose to come out please be mindful of the time. 8pm is perfect. Any later and you will be calling my office and explaining why I am late the next day.

xo,

M

PS - So sorry about the forthcoming glue traps. Don't tell PETA.

Monday, August 1, 2011

monday's three songs

With the amount of time I spend walking around with earbuds in my ears (Shh, don't tell my mother! Everyone in NYC does it!) You'd think my life had it's own soundtrack.

And that's the way I like it...

Because music is to my soul what books, dance, sweat and sun are. Nourishing.

I've been listening to these three songs on repeat as I knock out this day. (Ignore the videos. YouTube is the easiest way to share!)

Lights - Ellie Goulding

She is my new musical obsession. Her cover of "Your Song" makes me cry. Makes me believe it. I always thought Elton's version was kind of cheesy but this version makes me fall in love with a yet-non-existant person every time...

But that's not the song of the day. Here's Lights:




Let Go - Frou Frou

When the movie, Garden State with Natalie Portman and Zach Braff came out, I saw it in the theater and immediately fell in love with the soundtrack. I've loved the song ever since. Every once in a while I rediscover it.






and finally

Bright Lights - Matchbox Twenty

I'd forgotten how much I loved this song when it first came out several years ago until a couple of weeks ago when it popped up on my Pandora station.



What are your three songs today?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

small summer update

It has been forever.

I've been busy.

Between babysitting, work, Happy Hours, movie and beach going, I'm wiped out so today I am ignoring the gorgeous sunshine and am tempted to go get ice cream and eat it while watching Lifetime all day.

I've been on a few dates with a guy but I don't think it is going to go anywhere. Another reason for the ice cream. I had high hopes for this one but we don't have much in common and after a couple of good dates, it just doesn't feel right anymore...

Generally speaking though everything has been really good. I'm just trying to enjoy the summer and am headed to the Hamptons in a couple of weekends for a job. I'm pretty excited about it.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

midnight musings

If you're trying, you're doing a great job.

I stole this from another blog. It isn't my quote and the context from which it was taken has nothing to do with me or my life right now.

But it still fits.

And it makes me smile.

Monday, July 11, 2011

miscellaneous monday - the hot as hades edition

1. It is stick-y here.

I went to the beach yesterday (woohoo!) and burned my white little self. Oy. My own fault. I did not reapply enough. It was so much fun though and I was once again reminded how good the beach is for my soul. Makes me wonder why I chose to move somewhere where the surf and sand is at least an hour away by public transportation when I was ten minutes away from it California.

2. I'm going to a Harry Potter trivia event tomorrow and I am so excited!

3. I am feeling better! Hooray! No more coughing and I have my energy level back.

4. Today I went to the gym for the first time in a few weeks. Eek! Got some work to do.

5. I have an event for work tomorrow and I'm nervous. This is the first one I've been entirely responsible for. Fingers crossed it goes well!

6. I made a Two Princes (by the Spin Doctors) station on Pandora tonight. Love! I love 80's music but I'm definitely a 90's girl!

7. I went to Staples on the way home from work tonight and saw a ton of moms and kids shopping for what I assume are back-to-school supplies. Seriously?! Is it really that time again? No way.

8. That's all she wrote!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

done

It has been a week. I still have a cough.

I've entered my third weekend of "illness" and am very fed up.

There are certainly worse things in this world. I am not throwing myself a pity party. I'm hoping the roughly 13 hrs of sleep (yes, 13) that I got last night help. I plan on a repeat performance (less an hour or two) tonight.

Go away, stupid cough. You have made your mark. I've got plans next weekend so you'd better have your ugly face gone before then.


Monday, July 4, 2011

my 2011 independence weekend was...

  • downtime (and lots of it!) - due to a cough that just would not go away! (Thank you DuaneReade Doctor on Premises program. I love my antibiotics!)
  • eggs and pancake time - I had no appetite all weekend until last night really when I got a hankering for eggs and pancakes. So I skipped over to the 24 hr diner and sat at the counter reading my book and eating.
  • because-i-can time - TV marathons, air conditioned bedroom, naps, and reading
  • money makin time - because I want to do more than just "get by."
  • sunbathin' time - I spent today in Central Park with a friend by Turtle Pond soaking up the rays and sweatin' up a storm. (I don't think I will ever get used to the "sweat-behind-your-knees" type of humidity they got goin' on here.)
  • Turtle Time - We spied a turtle who had come up from the pond onto the grass and proceeded to make the rounds through the park for his adoring onlookers. I really was worried about the poor little guy. He seemed lost. (Pst - If you watch The Real Housewives of NY, that last title was for you.)
Happy Independence Day to you all.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

four 4ths

Hi everyone,

I've had a cold for the past week and a half. It is hot outside. You do the math.

I'm trying to enjoy the holiday weekend anyway and plan to spend significant parts of the next few days reading The Story of Beautiful Girl. Thanks, MCW, for putting it on my radar.

One of the most interesting things, I think, about holidays is their ability to make you remember details of what life was like exactly a year ago. The other day I was thinking about my last four 4ths.

I spent my first one in California, actually. I'd been there for a work conference so I stayed on for the holiday weekend, spent it drinking daquiris and playing Scrabble, and spying on fireworks between the trees in my parents' neighborhood.

#2 is my favorite so far. My friend Annie, who no longer lives here, came over and we played cards on my patio while eating chips and salsa and drinking beers. Then, along with one of my roommates, we went to her friend's party just a few blocks up from me. We ate burgers and climbed up on the roof to watch the fireworks from all directions.

Last year was a toughie. I was having a rough weekend but went to Montauk for the 4th anyway. It took forever via LIRR (Lesson learned! Never again.) and was a very long day. Sunburns, sand, seven am to midnight. The beach was fun and I'd never been to Montauk but I am SO glad that things are so much better this year!

Not sure what I'm doing this year. I made plans with a friend to go to the beach, however, we'll see how I feel. Stupid cold. Maybe a repeat of fourth numero dos is more my style this year.

Where were you four 4ths ago? What do you have planned for this weekend?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the one where i break everything

It is 12:22 am and I should be sawing logs... Or well on my way.

Especially since I have to be at work early tomorrow for a meeting.

But it is hot in my room tonight and I am still geared up from the last few days I have had.

It all started on Friday when I discovered that the "click" function on my new MacBook's trackpad (because, to me, 14 months old is still a baby) was no longer functioning properly. So I took it in to the Apple store on Sunday. Turns out it couldn't be fixed and since it was no longer under warranty, I paid to have it replaced.

Luckily, they had an appointment open so I had it done the day of and resolved to just forget it ever happened. I tend to think that that is the best way to deal with expensive surprises. That way I don't hyperventilate.

Then today I decided to actually go somewhere on my lunch hour and head to DSW to try to find shoes for a wedding I have this weekend. The line was long so it took a lot longer than expected and I was rushing back to the office. Long story short, I dropped my smartphone on the sidewalk and completely shattered the screen. As in giant spiderwebs of expensiveness and heartache. I was devastated. This thing isn't even a year old.

I'm still so worked up about this stupid thing that I am not remotely tired. I spent the afternoon weighing options, considering pleading with Verizon to sell me a new one at the upgrade price, Googled and read subsequent discussion forums where people told their similar tales of woe and others scolded them for purchasing a $500 phone and not getting insurance (Nope! I didn't get insurance either! Smart me!) I consulted Motorola about how much it would cost to fix the screen, looked on eBay a bit for used ones, felt sorry for myself.

In the end I will pay the price to have it fixed or replaced with a used one (because God forbid I actually give up this phone and go back to a flip phone!), charge the card, and resolve to forget about it. Just like the time I lost my entire DVD collection on a plane or the other time I left my iPod on a plane. Lost that too. We don't speak of these things. I have since learned my lesson about planes.

Perhaps I need to learn my lesson about extended warranties and insurance too.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

getting goofy over summer

Happy Father's Day to everyone. It was a beautiful day in NYC today. And I had a lovely chat with my dad on the phone tonight where I heard the story of how my brother and I got him the same thing for Father's Day! Too funny!

This weekend I explored two new parts of the city! Yesterday I spent some time in Battery Park City, hanging out with a fun five-year-old at splash parks (a concept entirely lost on this beach-going girl before she moved to the concrete jungle). Today I walked home from the Upper East Side and the route took me through newer parts of Central Park: The Conservatory Garden, Harlem Meer and North Meadow.

Love. The. Park. Makes me wonder why I don't spend every single weekend there.

Where did this weekend go?? I'm in the mood for picnics, cool drinks, bbqs, laughs and lots of friends. I'm going into this summer with the highest of hopes. Yep, it is going to be sunny.

What are you all looking forward to this summer?

"In summer, the song sings itself."
William Carlos Williams

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

my weekend was: more prose than poetry

Happy Hump Day!

I had a crazy busy weekend last weekend and have had a busy week this week so I am just now getting to writing about it.

On Friday I got off work early (God bless the publishing industry for having "Summer Fridays!") and was super productive for the rest of my day. I went to the gym, did laundry, made dinner, and FINALLY put away all my winter sweaters and clothes and got out the rest of my summer stuff from which I've been pilfering for several weeks.

Saturday morning I got up pretty early for a Home Goods shopping event. My bud Summer invited me to it and I was thrilled to be included! We all arrived at the beautiful new Upper West Side HG store at 8 am, chatted for a bit, met our hosts and hostesses, and enjoyed refreshments. We then were turned loose in the store with a $50 gift card for an hour and a half. I must say, I wandered around for a good hour feeling completely overwhelmed. I tried to think of things I really needed for my apartment. Since I live with roommates, we all contribute to common areas and therefore have a lot of stuff. For my bedroom, I do need a couple of things but wasn't able to find things that suited me.

In the 11th hour I ended up grabbing a dutch oven, which will be given to a friend as a wedding gift, and a couple of new pillows for myself. Practical to the very end. Yep, that's me.

Thanks to Summer, Home Goods and Blog Her for a lovely event! I had a wonderful time and very much appreciate the opportunity!

After my morning shopping spree, I went home, changed, and went to the gym. I was exhausted after this so I chilled for a while before heading out to a friend's BBQ in Brooklyn. I never made it there. I tried. Really I did. But the weather was bad, I'm not familiar with Prospect Park and by the time I would have gotten there I would have had to turn around. I don't do well in Brooklyn (direction wise). This is very embarassing. I need to work on this.

I came home, relaxed some more, and headed out at 8 for dinner and dancing as part of my good friend's bachelorette party. Fun was had. I had Jamie Foxx's "Blame It" in my head for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday I did nothing for most of the day, headed to the gym around 6 and ended up watching about 5 hours total of the Real Housewives franchise. Yeah, I did...

Since it is Wednesday, I am now looking forward to this weekend, which is shaping up to be busy as well... As we all know, I like busy. Busy is good.

Have a good week everyone!

Monday, June 6, 2011

the perfect storm

You know...

I really hate using this word here. I try not to. But today I just feel like it. I'm talking about the F word. And I just want to scream it to the world.

I am FRUSTRATED.

I had such a bad day today. I can think of a billion ways in which it could have been worse and I know many, many people who have it worse off in life than I do. I'm fortunate and blessed--was given a good life and have made a good one for myself with what I was given. But you know those days when a case of the Mondays, Murphy's Law, and a short, short fuse collide?

That was today.

I woke up in a bummer mood. I had a date yesterday that was seemingly great on the outside but about 2/3 through I knew I didn't like him. This might not seem like a big deal to some but when it feels like it happens all the time things get magnified. The thing is that I totally expected to like him. Damn...

So I was in a pity party mood this morning and still am. I'll get over it. I'm SUPER stressed at work because it is like everything collided at once. I have had two events that I've been working on and we had to postpone one for various reasons so I'm dealing with all of that. I'm behind schedule on several things and then, of course, other things don't stop coming. I like my job and can handle the more stressful days but it just seemed like a lot today...

Money is tight. I always worry about money but never have I been so excited for a paycheck. Only a few more days until I get my next one. My goal is not to have to dip into my savings and I find myself doing that more and more lately. The tide will turn, I'll work more and spend less and it will be fine but it is stressful to constantly worry about it in this expensive city.

It is like a perfect storm. I went to the gym tonight to try to work some of it off but I must be dehydrated because I didn't get very far. Plus it was crowded and I didn't feel like waiting for a different machine so I just left, came home, and ate.

I don't like to wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm a pretty private person so the fact that I have a blog on which I can complain (no matter how anonymous) is something. And ever since I found out that I'd been found I often get paranoid that people I "know" are reading and judging my every complaint, every comma.

Today was just one of those days. So now I'm going to go get some chocolate, get in bed with a movie, and hopefully go to sleep early...

So I can start tomorrow fresh--with a workout in the morning.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

the melody of eharmony: this girl's case study (part one)

You know the saying. . . Opposites attract.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I'm attracted to in a guy and what kind of guy I think I'll eventually end up with. In my mind's eye he's friendly and personable but fairly private. He's a guy's guy with a softer side that comes out every once in a while. He's intelligent and well spoken. I could go on and on.

I tend to think since I'm on the quiet side I will end up with someone who is more outgoing and brings that out in me. I tend to be Type-A about stuff and I think my guy might loosen me up a bit... I joke and say that I'd better end up with someone who is good at math... otherwise my kids are screwed.

So when I decided to try eHarmony it was in large part due to the fact that it appears to be a rather large sociological experiment. And I'm curious. And I'm single and seeing more and more wedding photos and baby pics on Facebook. You get the idea. I'd avoided the site for a while for personal political reasons, however, I decided to give it a go two months ago.

For those of you who don't know, eHarmony's thing is that they match you based on what they call "29 dimensions of compatibility" rather than letting you have-at-it with a giant database of dudes. Before I signed up for a paid subscription, I filled out a personality profile and answered questions about the ways I communicate, my values and habits, etc. Then I had the chance to review my matches, delivered right to my inbox. I'd learn a guy's first name, age, and location as well as his answers to various questions like what he can't live without, the first thing someone notices about him, etc. I also answered the same types of questions for my profile.

I took the plunge and signed up after finding a discount coupon online. The site ain't cheap. They advise giving the site at least 3+ months. I signed up for a one-month-at-a-time subscription and ended up giving it two months before I cancelled it last week.

eHarms has 3 steps of communication. If someone strikes your fancy you can send them three multiple choice questions to answer (that you choose from a list of questions). He answers them and then sends you his three questions and you answer back. After that you swap your list of 8 Must-Haves and Can't-Stands. Then come the "open ended questions." You can select from a list or write your own and then he fills in the answer in a little box. I alternated between the pre-selected questions and writing my own. Then after that they think you're trustworthy enough to let you email one another.

I must say this guided and slow way of communicating with someone only appealed to me only on the basis of curiosity. Otherwise, it seemed to prolong things. I was interested in how the site chose guys for me. A guy's answer to a question along with the questions he asked me were telling. Generally speaking, we toed gender lines. I was interested in knowing how driven he was and good communication was on my must-have list. The guys tended to ask me how often I laugh (Read: "Are you a stick in the mud?") and physical chemistry was a must-have. (Naturally.)

Overall, I gave it two months and I think that's enough. I'm not sure I'd try it again but I have learned never to rule anything out when it comes to finding the right person for me. Once upon a time I decided that was going to include this type of thing. I still fight with myself over whether it is something I want to be doing. A lot. Bottom line: I don't think it's for me and would reconsider giving it another shot... This is getting to be a long post so tomorrow I will tell you why...

Monday, May 30, 2011

we do redo

Happy Memorial Weekend everyone!

I'm being a huge lazy bones and haven't been running (as much... some), I've been eating like mad, and am currently drinking a Pepsi Throwback (made with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup... Not sure I like it better but whatever. It is what is in the house.)

I've also been going through the boxes and boxes of books of mine that I have here at my folks' and picking out books I want to reread. I suppose that means this year's theme will be great re-reads. I know I've said this before. I settled upon Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende--who is, by far, my favorite author. I've seen her speak in person twice. She's brilliant and hilarious. Her first novel, The House of the Spirits, is my favorite and (in my humble opinion) her best work but I'm remembering how good Daughter of Fortune is. I guess that's why Oprah picked it for her book club...

Here is my full (so far) reread list:

Portrait in Sepia - Isabel Allende (kind of goes with DOF)
The Kitchen God's Wife - Amy Tan (I love Amy Tan and have read most, if not all of her books.)
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Falling Angels - Tracy Chevalier (I talked about her the other day and keep thinking how much I remember liking this one.)

Bibliophiles, what books have you read that you would love to read again?

Have a great and sunny day!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

city musings from suburbia

The more I come home to suburbia, the more I realize how drastically different my life is in a rumbling, living, breathing city.

Here are a few reasons:

1. In the city we have these wonderfully magical things called bodegas (like mini-marts or convenience stores, if you will.) Found on nearly every corner, many bodegas are open 24/7 and while a jar of peanut butter tends to cost $7, they are super useful for chocolate cravings, soda runs, and those "oops I didn't have breakfast so I'll pay $1.50 for a granola bar" mornings. My bodega is great. The guys know me and the lady who works on the weekends always talks to me about the weather. The other day I was about the purchase two items when I realized I only had enough money for one. I told the cashier I only wanted one because I didn't have enough money and he said, "That's OK. You pay later." I jokingly said, "Yeah, it's not like you won't ever see me again." To which he replied, "I see you every day." While I'm not sure how much I like these guys knowing my horrible compulsive snacking habits, there is comfort to be found in such small things as this.

Today I decided I wanted a Diet Dr. Pepper (ugh, my biggest vice) but there wasn't one to be found in the house. So I had to drive to a nearby gas station to pick one up. Oh the horror.

2. The comforting sounds of the city. I'm used to the sirens and plethora of other noises now. The first time I came back to sunny So Cal after my big move it was too quiet. The silence rang loudly in my ears. Now I'm used to both but this time, between the partying house next door, the ridiculously loud crows that caw every morning, and my crazy dog barking, I long for the city quiet.

3. I love me some driving. Seriously. I do. My love of getting behind the wheel, pumping gas, and using my turn signal didn't surface until rush hour involved bodies packed in a subway car. Nowadays I grab the keys to someone's car whenever I can. Early this evening I was feeling cabin feverish having spent a large part of the day around the house and my brother's car was available so I decided to go to Barnes and Noble to check out what's new. Yes, while on vacation I think about books and peruse the shelves to pay attention to trends and new releases (and covet many, many pretty covers).

I can go to B&N in New York. I can go to an indie in New York. I can go down the hall and grab a book from the "take shelf" in New York. But I always love to go book shopping when I get home and I was looking for an excuse to drive around. The suburbs also have these things called shopping centers, in which many different (chain) stores are grouped together around a giant parking lot. After B&N I went next door to Ross where I bought a couple of things and then drove to pick up my dinner--a burrito from my favorite hole-in-the-wall place. That's another thing about suburbia... they don't deliver anything but pizza.

4. Yesterday I went for a run up to the elementary school. I marveled at the tell-tale signs of suburban splendor. The rows of mailboxes with their little red flags. The vanity number plates on houses. The outdoor ornamental lawn chairs that no one ever sits in. Along the way I passed a few fellow runners who smiled and said "hi" to me. In New York, the only person who talks to you on the street is the homeless guy who asks you for 50 cents for a cup of coffee outside the subway. Yes, this is cliched and yes for a split second I wondered why they were talking to me. It was a classic "you are now a hardened city girl" moment.

5. Last but not least... life feels slower. It really does. I know I'm on vacation so I am out of my routine but I have gotten so used to everything buzzing by and staying in step with it all that when I stand back and look at it I realize just how much happens, how much I see, how much I ignore, and just how much I love it.

Remember the Sunscreen Song? In it, the guy said to live in a city at some point in your life but not so long that it makes you hard (I'm doing a horrible job at paraphrasing it but it goes something like that.) Today while I was driving around I considered how much more city I have in me. I have been saying lately that it is one lease at a time. But the city is so much a part of me who knows what will happen. And I like it that way right now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"i'm your biggest fan. i'll follow you until you love me... "

A conversation I just had with my dad:

Dad: I like Lady Gaga.

Me: You do? (surprised) What song is your favorite?

Dad: I don't know. I don't know any of her songs.

Me: (laughing) Then why do you like her?

Dad: Because she's weird.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

my weekend was... in numbers.

100 minutes--of hilarity. I invited some girls over on Friday for pizza and The Hangover. Love, love, love it all. Low key nights with friends are the best.

29,000 steps*--running on the treadmill, walking to the volunteer site, walking through the park when it turns out the volunteer project was cancelled, walking back uptown to my neighborhood.

four hours spent lapping up the gorgeous sunshine in Central Park while people watching, visiting Strawberry Fields, reading on a lovely park bench by the lake.

seven digits... that I gave to the guy who hit on me while I was sitting on the park bench. He texted and called yesterday. I don't really want to go out with him. Hmmm...

15,000 steps*--running on the treadmill again, walking to my friend's apt, taking her dog out for a walk in the park, heading home.

Three hours and fourteen minutes left in the weekend. Sad!

What was your weekend?

*I know the number of steps I have taken this weekend because I've been wearing a pedometer as part of a corporate challenge thing in which my co-workers and I "walk across the world." We are currently in Fiji. I believe the team that gets there first or gets the highest number wins something. I honestly don't remember. I did it for the free swag. (Only half kidding there... It is kind of cool knowing how much I walk in a day.) Oh, and I've rounded the numbers.




Thursday, May 19, 2011

where were you when...: the book nerd edition

I'm a huge list maker and a huge bibliophile.

I'm a huge nerd.

I've kept a chronological list of all of the books I've read since 2004. When I joined goodreads.com in Spring 2008, that list began being housed on the internet. When my laptop crashed last year, the lists from the previous years (all in gorgeous Word/Excel docs) were lost. Tear.

Every once in a while I take a peek back at what I was reading this time last year, and the year before, and the year before and try to remember what I was doing around that time. So I thought I'd be an even bigger nerd and share:

2011 (Today)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (reread)

I've posted a bit about my rediscovery of this wonderful book here and I'm still plugging away at it. (I'm distracted every day by things I have to read for work.) I first read it in September 2007.

2010

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier (UK Edition)

I brought two books with me to London last year and by my 3rd or 4th day there, had read them both. (I have a long plane ride and a relatively lengthy train ride to Bath as well as my well-formed habit of reading on public transportation to thank for this.) I'd also known I wanted to purchase a book while I was there. Most books in the UK come out only in paperback. The cover art is often different and sometimes the title is as well. I loved browsing bookshops and noticing the differences.

So whilst in Paddington Station waiting for our train to Bath I bought the UK edition of The Girl With the Pearl Earring author Tracy Chevalier's newest novel. I believe it had yet to be published in the U.S. at this point so I was feeling pretty spiffy. I read it on the plane ride back to New York. It is the story of "two eccentric women searching for fossils on English beaches" and while it wasn't my favorite of hers (I've read all the others) I'm happy this souvenir sits on my bookshelf.

On a very unrelated note... Can I travel abroad again? Soon? Please?

2009

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

You can find my review of that one here. I remember reading this while waiting for my friend to meet me to stand in line and rush tickets for Billy Elliot on Broadway. We quickly found out that only students can rush for that show so we went to dinner instead. The two of us saw a few shows that Spring/Summer and then at the end of the Summer she moved back home to Florida. I miss her. She was one of my first friends here.

2008

The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine by Somaly Mam

This is the story of a woman who was sold into prostitution at the age of six or so and her fight to free herself it and help other girls and young women throughout the world. A heartwrenching and at times too-tough-to-read account (I had to put the book down and walk away for a bit a couple of times), this book is so important and Ms. Mam is truly an inspiration.

I don't remember what I was doing when I read it but I do remember that when BFF came to visit me for the first time in NYC, she read it while she was here. She and I were uber tourists, going through the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Top of the Rock, Central Park, and more like madwomen. So much fun!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the cycle

Date #2 happened last night.

It went fine and I had a nice time.

I'm open to a 3rd.

But I'm feeling frustrated and burnt out. And I'm tired of feeling this way. It happens often. I go on a couple of dates, it stops being fun, I stop going on them but then start up again because well... that's what you do. It is going to happen some day and some day might as well be today, right?

And I tend to do this thing where I don't give up. I'm too stubborn to. It is both a blessing and a curse in life.

It is time to hibernate again.

'Til next time...

Monday, May 16, 2011

monday, rainy monday

It is horribly rainy and disgusting outside today. I forgot my key card to the building on my desk on Friday. These two things made me a bit of a grumpus this morning as I hauled it into to work with my broken umbrella, my bag, my extra canvas bag with my lunch in it, and my crazy frizzy hair. The hair is now up in a ponytail. I think that is going to be the look of the week as it is supposed to be rainy all week.

I had a low-key weekend. I sacrificed it to job numero dos and some extra cash in my pocket. Every once in a while I have weekends like this. I won't lie... They depress me a bit sometimes but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I'm supposed to have a date tomorrow. Supposed to is the key phrase here. It is a 2nd date. I have leveled hopes. On our first date he called me the most normal girl he had yet to meet here in NYC. Even though he's only been here 5 months, I took that for the compliment it is.

Oh how I wish I was in bed reading right now!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

my may weekend was...

. . . an exercise in organization.
. . . a last minute pocket full of Jackson's.
. . . a cab ride home, quick bite, change of clothes and a bit of mascara and another cab ride into the heart of my youth.
. . . a forgotten ID. No entry.
. . . a last-ditch effort at saving the night and a glass of wine and chat with a good friend.
. . . Madison Square Park and a view of "Echo."
. . . the time to work out, do laundry, and cook--all in one day!
. . . gorgeous spring weather, always alarm clock-free, and entirely too short.

What was your weekend?

Friday, May 6, 2011

I just went. . .

. . .on the most awkward date ever tonight.

I decided to approach dating with a renewed vigor about two months ago. I know I complain a lot about how hard dating is in this crazy city. I don't think one can understand it until she tries it. It is so odd to be surrounded by so many people yet not be able to find one who catches your attention. Not meet someone with whom conversation sparks and chemistry flies. In a way it makes no sense to me yet all the sense in the world. Some days I think I'll give up one of these days and resign myself to the fact that dating and coupling in this city is not made for me. There are too many factors that work against me and I'm a fool to try.

But I'm strong willed and I'm here. So if I'm going to be here then why not be here completely? If I feel like putting myself up for the possibility of one of the worst dates ever on the chance that it might turn out to be one of the best, why shouldn't I?

That's exactly what I did tonight--armed with a nonchalant yet friendly attitude, I made my way downtown to meet another would-be stranger for another date.

Oh wow. This one was a tad painful. It was so awkward. Like he-barely-looked-me-in-the-eye awkward. I put on my brave face, politely ordered a second glass of wine, and asked him about his job. I thought maybe he'd loosen up talking about it but it is just who he is. And there is someone out there for him.

And there is someone out there for me.

On my way home, changing trains at Times Square, I chuckled to myself for my luck. A big step. I'm shifting focus. I'm backtracking once again. This round is over. I think because I'd felt rejected by someone I really liked I've been looking for a substitute when I really should be looking to myself. Of course I've known it all along. I just had to feel it.

I'm still me. I'm still strong willed and I still have faith.

I'm just going to try that faith out a little differently.

Friday, April 29, 2011

friday, i'm in love

It's Friday and I love...


1. The Royal Wedding.

OK, I admit. I'm in love with it. Mostly because of this scene.

He is adorable. And they're in love. And it makes my cynical frayed heart happy today so that's all that matters.

2. Button-down tops

I'm wearing one today and this morning I left my apartment feeling like I really do need to buy more like it. It's almost seersucker looking... grayish blue and white with tiny stripes. I think it makes me look preppy and I don't really look "preppy" that often. I'm diggin' it.

3. Fun work friends

I feel like I'm coming more into my own at work and making friends, which is nice. Two girls in my department and I have plans for a Happy Hour next week and we were chatting about the morning's events in the assistant's cubicle this morning. I also now sit by a really sweet publicity assistant who greets me with a "Good Morning, M!" each morning. :)

4. Re-reading books

I'm loving A Tree Grows in Brooklyn the second time around. I'm considering continuing with my re-reading (seems a bit easier to take on "fun" books this way since I read so much for work) with The Book Thief next. What would you re-read? I love saying re-read. It is fun.

5. Fridays!

T-G-I-F! Tomorrow if the weather is nice I will probably just take a walk or two and laze around. Maybe get in some shopping if I feel up to it.

What do you love this Friday?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

natalie portman, kool-aid and running shoes: a miscellaneous wednesday

Because I know you are all dying to know...

1. Yesterday a colleague told me I look like Natalie Portman. This is not the first time I've been told that but it has been a while. I admit it made me feel great since she's super pretty but I don't really see the resemblance...

2. I've had a bit of the Kool-Aid. I've been semi-paying attention to all this Royal Wedding stuff. (OK, I watched 2 TLC specials while babysitting the other night. Sips, people! Sips.) I guess the romantic mush in me just thinks they are super cute. Plus the anglophile in me loves all things British and I really, really want to go back to London these days.

3. For all the bellyaching I did this past weekend about not being busy, my phone was blowing up (I hate that expression but I just used it. Funny how that happens.) on Monday and I got two sitting jobs for this week plus a dinner/drinks invite from a friend. Life really does come in waves, even the smallest ones.

4. Have I mentioned how much I love the fact that I am a regular gym-goer (again) yet? Well I do. It is amazing for me and I have decided to treat regular exercise like taking my medicine. It is so good for my mental, emotional and physical state and I have been so out of it (regularly, that is) for so long. Mostly because I didn't think I could afford it... Oh I long for the days when my Y membership only cost me $18/month.

5. Speaking of which, I'm in need of a good pair of running shoes that won't cost me a ton o' cash. If anyone has good recommendations for brands and/or stores, please let me know!

6. I've been trying to go on a date with a guy now for a couple of weeks. Our schedules never seem to work out. Mostly his because he has a crazy busy job and we have both been traveling lately. Sigh.

7. Speaking of dating, I've had at least four people ask me if I am dating or have a boyfriend in the past week. Is there something on my forehead?

8. Today I got a huge shipment of books in and organized them for contest winners of a sweepstakes my department did. I felt a bit like Santa Claus and this made me smile.

9. I'm headed "home" again in just a couple of weeks but it is a surprise! Shh!

10. Time to go sweat out the small stuff!

Monday, April 25, 2011

dear diary

Dear Diary,

Why are Monday's so incredibly painful sometimes?

This one is no exception.

Love,

Me

Saturday, April 23, 2011

tonight

I started out tonight feeling sorry for myself...

Sorry that I don't have family here to hang out with. That I don't have a significant other to guarantee that I almost-always have plans on a day like today when there were no special plans. Sorry that I didn't have a job tonight to occupy my downtime and make me some extra cash.

Sorry that I had no plans. Sorry that I didn't even really feel like seeking out plans with friends if it meant going out and spending money, braving potential rain, yada yada yada.

I was so easy to please today. I wasn't feeling contrary at all.

When it came to my attention tonight (as I was watching Bend it Like Beckham on IFC, I might add... I love that movie.) that I something unusual was about to happen, I became intrigued.

Tonight would be the first time in a long, long time that I would be home, in my house, alone. For an extended period of time.

I know I've mentioned it here before. I have three female roommates. I have my own bedroom, my own space and domain, but at any given time there is always someone home with me--or the potential of someone coming home. Roommate switches have happened lately and I have two new people with two new schedules living in my home. One is gone for the weekend and the other two roomies went out tonight...

I'm home alone!

Once I realized I could make fun of my lonely night I begrudgingly embraced it. I started by going to the gym and sweating out some of my frustrations. (Oh yes, I have become a gym rat. I gave in. I'm loving it. It is so very, very good for me.) When I came home I decided I was going to take a bath in our tub. I've never taken a bath in this tub. So I cleaned it first (Yeah, as I mentioned, three roommates!) and finished my book. It was lovely.

The rest of my night has been spent doing some light web browsing, eating a spot of dinner, and watching The Ten Commandments on TV. (I'd like to add an 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Overact.) After I'm done here I'll likely read until I get tired enough to fall asleep.

Tomorrow is Easter. I've got plans with friends for brunch and a movie.

I need to learn to embrace the solitude sometimes. Relax in the moment. Not make something out of good nothings. Tonight was a good start.

week of quotes - day 7

Maybe tomorrow I'll find my way
To the land where the honey runs
Into rivers each day.
And the sweet tastin' good life
Is so easily found,
Way over yonder...
That's where I'm bound

- Carole King

Friday, April 22, 2011

week of quotes - days 5 & 6

"When I get a little money I buy books;
and if I have any left I buy food and clothes."
- Desiderius Erasmus (also attributed to Abraham Lincoln)

Yesterday I ventured over to one of my old neighborhoods and discovered that an indie bookstore had opened up. I had a little time to kill before I met a friend for drinks so I wandered around inside. I quickly decided that while I don't really need another book on my bookshelf, I wanted to support my local bookstore so I purchased a "sale" book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.


I read thisbook the summer before I moved to New York and have wanted to own it ever since. (I'd checked it out from my library in California and vividly remember reading it in the cafeteria at my then workplace during my lunch hour.) I'm glad I bought it yesterday and am feeling quite in the mood to read it again.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"Won't sleep 'til I've had enough.
Won't sip my wine from no paper cup."
- Beth Hart

This one is by my favorite singer and from one of my all-time favorite songs: Delicious Surprise. To me it is all about not giving up.

As am I...