Archive | November, 2011

It’s officially Christmastime in the city

30 Nov

It’s time

29 Nov

GetUp! Action for Australia released this spectacularly poignant video a few days ago.  It’s phenomenal.

(Make sure you watch it to the very end!)

“Like, really rich”

28 Nov

Back at work today after having all of last week off (minus a few hours Monday afternoon for meetings), I’m admittedly having a tough time getting back into the swing of things.  So instead I’m laughing at a text I sent to one of the girls after she asked how my “staycation” was going a few days ago…

“Watching TV and going to make dinner.  I had a tough day – mani/pedi and a nap.  I’ve decided I need to marry rich.  Like, really rich.”

Sooo true right now.  If that doesn’t say a lot, I don’t know what does.  I’ve never been so glad to see the clock strike 6 pm!

Happy Birthday Bro!

26 Nov

Wishing my brother the best 29th birthday ever!

(With one of my favorite pictures of us as kids…)

(July 1984)

How I spent Black Friday

25 Nov

Working retail in college and before heading off to grad school, I’ve spent my fair share on the other side of crazy at the mall on Black Friday.  It led me to become someone who does not venture out on Black Friday.  In fact, I haven’t left my apartment since I got home from Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.

Here’s how I spent the day instead:

  • Stayed up until almost 5 am
  • Had a glass of wine
  • Purchased bargain books online at Barnes & Noble for toy drive
  • Watched SportsCenter
  • Congratulated myself on lack of hangover
  • Slept in and napped throughout the day
  • Made out with a boy.  Repeatedly.
  • Text one of my girlfriends about said make out
  • Drank almost two pots of coffee.  With said boy.
  • Put the final touches on yesterday’s post
  • Thought about going outside…then thought better against it
  • Still full from yesterday, finally ate a lean pocket at 6 pm
  • Channel surfed; settled on a Criminal Minds marathon
  • Got scared watching marathon
  • Watched outtakes from Bridesmaids:

What I am grateful for this year 2.0

24 Nov

Thanksgiving this year is very different than last because I’m different.  No longer focused on being thankful for “just getting through” or describing my friends and family as those who supported that survival, I can truly embrace that for which I am thankful for this year!

  • They’re the token ones to be thankful for at Thanksgiving but of course my family and friends!  The affectionate memories, funny moments, trips home, nights out and nights in, playful teasing and inside jokes, shared cocktails, dinners together and words of encouragement can all be summed up with this quote: “Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things.”
  • My second annual Thanksgiving dinner with my best friend and her parents at Blue Water Grill.  Or, as I like to call it: pumpkin ravioli wonderment 2.0.  I’ve pretty much been looking forward to this for the last 364 days.  Followed by a glass of wine back at my girlfriend’s place and another watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving when I got home, I’d call this year’s Thanksgiving a success.
  • Contently sleeping in the middle of my bed, no longer lonely that someone isn’t on the other side.  In that interest, putting last year behind me and embracing new opportunities not as distractions or strategies to “get through” but instead as novel experiences of my choosing and refreshing movements forward.
  • Blog love from both friends and strangers!  I received an email a few days ago from a reader in Australia full of words of encouragement and optimism.  Her P.S.S had me on the ground: “Fuck that fucking fucker of an ex fiancé. If you ever see him again tell him some random chick in Australia thinks he’s a douchebag.”

I am particularly grateful that I don’t have to make more of the holiday than I want it to hold.  So, I can also be grateful for the following superficially fun things in my life:

  • Just when I convinced myself that I could not possibly watch anymore TV, a colleague convinced me to Netflix Pretty Little Liars.  Oh. My. God.  And yes, it is about four 16-year-old girls and the mysterious “A” who threatens to expose their secrets, many of which they thought only their now dead friend Ali knew about.  I’m obsessed.  (By the way, is anyone else freaked out by the fact that Holly Marie Combs and Chad Lowe are old enough to play the parents of teenagers…?)

 (How creepy is this song??)

  • Spa package #3 at Euphoria Nails on 48th and 2nd.  I have officially left my $20 mani/pedi behind; first, because I live midtown and they’re harder to find, and second, because I have fallen in love with the spa pedicure, manicure and 10 minute massage package at Euphoria.  Oh course, I probably just jinxed it and will chip my fresh Thanksgiving mani/pedi before going to sleep tonight!

(Essie’s “sweet talker” color)

  • With the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on in the background this morning, this Justin Bieber commercial came on.  Just to clarify, I am not a fan of the “Biebs” or his music; his hair and clothes are irrelevant to me and my life; I don’t care about his baby mama, or lack thereof, drama.  I do however find this commercial hilarious – strictly for the actors playing the driver, stock guys and salesman – obviously.

 

 (For the record, I’m not a Black Friday shopper)

I am grateful for opportunities to volunteer and give back throughout the year and plan to focus on the following initiatives between Thanksgiving and Christmas:

Serving a (pre-) Thanksgiving dinner at a local soup kitchen: As I was assigned the role of stuffing scooper, I couldn’t help but think about the How I Met Your Mother season 1 Thanksgiving episode.  The following ensued when Ted and Robin volunteered on Thanksgiving Day at Barney’s soup kitchen:

Ted: “Hey Barne, what do you say you let us sub in for your scoop-stuffing for a little bit?”

Barney: “Ha-haa you want to scoop stuffing on your first day out??  ‘Hello NFL, can I be quarter-back this Sunday?’ Dude…”

Participating in a holiday party at New Alternative for ChildrenNew Alternatives for Children provides innovative, high quality services in support of birth, foster, and adoptive families who are caring for children with special medical needs at home.  As volunteers we’ll be helping to run the day’s activities, interacting with the children and their families and helping with meal service.  This is a new population that I’ll be working with but definitely looking forward to the opportunity.

And finally through my office, ‘Tis the Season to Give Back!  I’m thrilled to be helping to coordinate the following holiday drives.  (To my NYC friends: if you’re interested in participating, just let me know!  I’m more than happy to help connect you with our drives!)

  • Gift drive for Covenant HouseCovenant House meets the basic needs of homeless youth in North and Central America by immediately providing them with nourishing meals, clean clothes, medical attention and a safe place to stay away from the dangers of the street.  Donated gifts will go to homeless children, boys and girls, ages 12-18 that stay at Covenant House.
  • Toy drive for Toys for Tots: The Toys for Tots Foundation helps less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of the holidays; the primary goal of the annual toy drive is to deliver, through a new toy at the holidays, a message of hope to children that will assist them into becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.   Donated toys will go to boys and girls of all ages in need in the New York City area.
  • Coat drive with New York Cares: New York Cares is the city’s largest volunteer organization, running volunteer programs for 1,200 nonprofits, city agencies and public schools.  To meet the growing demand for winter coats and help the 18.7% of NYC families living in poverty, New York Cares runs a city-wide coat drive every December.  Their 2011 goal is to collect 100,000 gently worn coats this season.

Finally, like one of my favorites, Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper), I am grateful for the era of videos going viral on YouTube.  This one felt appropriate to share today:

And I would be remiss not to ask if you saw Jason Witten take down one of the Dallas cheerleaders on the sidelines during today’s game!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

A middle school field trip and me

22 Nov

After stretching across my bed at 9:30 pm last night – “just for 20 minutes” to let the Excedrin ward off the onset of a migraine that had been threatening me all night – I woke up to the sound of my (assumingly drunk) roommate’s key in the front door at 3 am.  Now wide awake, I made my way through last night’s episodes of Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie, How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls, eventually admitting that I was up for the day.  I checked my work email, wrote a little, ate a slice of cheese and willed USA to kick off a Law & Order: SVU marathon (unsuccessfully until 8am).  By the time I started to brew coffee at 7:20 am, I had fallen victim to cabin fever.  At least I was drinking coffee out of my new Buffalo mug so that kept me content for an additional 15 minutes:

In those 15 minutes, I started to devise a plan to alleviate my stuck-in-the-apartment boredom.  I had made plans and personal appointments for yesterday and tomorrow, purposely leaving today free.  I figured I could have a “New York City” day, taking in a museum or starting my Christmas shopping.  But then I just had absolutely no interest in schlepping around the city.  What had I been thinking?  Why was I acting like an amateur?  Today starts an incredibly busy week-long, tourist-dominated period, highlights of which include the Thanksgiving Day parade, Black Friday sales and next week’s tree lighting at Rockefeller Center.  Nope, I would be staying reasonable close to home today.

Close to home, close to home, close to come…the movies!  Yes, that’s exactly what I wanted to do this morning.  There are several movies out that I want to see and Kips Bay theater is only seven blocks from my apartment…oh, but it’s Tuesday morning and all my friends are at work.  Having never been to the movies by myself before, I quickly typed Fandango into my browser and purchased a movie ticket – for one – before I could psych myself out.

Waiting in the theater for my movie to start, I realized my friends were going to be disappointed on two fronts:

First, I was seeing The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.  I just could not bring myself to go to a movie theater and not see it.  (But I promise I’ll see it again girls!)  And in case you’re wondering, yes, I am 30-years-old and love movies inspired by adolescent book series.  I read and loved Harry Potter and Twilight and Hunger Games.  I have Night Circus downloaded on my kindle too and can’t wait to start it.  (I tried not to let the fact that there was a middle school field trip several rows behind me bother me too much…)

Second, I was in a movie theater without champagne.  (A staple with the girls!)  I have to admit that I thought about it, but boozing up alone at 10:30 am watching a movie based on books for teenagers just felt way too inappropriate.  As I handed my ticket to the ticket taker, she glanced at my Dunkin Donuts coffee cup and reminded me that outside food and drink are not permitted.  I looked her in the eye and politely replied “I’m 30-years-old and here to see Breaking Dawn at 10:30 am on a Tuesday.  Alone.”  She handed me back my ticket and told me to enjoy the movie.  Little did she know that I also had a ziploc of contraband grapes in my purse.  Ha, sucka!

I’m hoping it was the novelty of seeing a movie during the middle of the workweek that was so much fun and not simply seeing it alone.  If so, between this and my intense fear of ever having to share the remote control again, I might be single forever.