Thursday, October 30, 2008

Subway Confusion

Ok, so I was trying to figure out how to get to the Phillies parade by train and why was their subway system totally confusing me?!
Mind you, I've been raised on this crazy system with 5000 different subway lines:
Yet I can navigate that perfectly (except for when the MTA wants to throw a monkey wrench into the whole operation by screwing up the lines with their "construction"). And when my sis and I went to Boston University for their Open House weekend, my brain nearly exploded when I saw this simplicity. What?! FOUR lines??

Get out of here with that. Give me a real tangled mess to decipher.


Phillies Win The World Series!!!

So in case you didn’t know by now (because you’ve been clearly living under a rock), the Phillies won the World Series last night for the second time in its 126-year history!

I ended up going to Amateur Night at the Apollo and up until the last minute I contemplated heading out early to catch the game. Instead, I settled for an hour of good and God-awful entertainment and a second hour of bugging my friend Heidi to check the score on her iPhone. Mr. First also kept me updated with his texts (he was very nervous, btw).

The game picked up where it left off Monday night – 6th inning and tied 2-2. Then the Phillies scored a hit and the Rays tied it shortly after. When the show finally ended at 9:30 pm, the Phillies led 4-3 in the 8th inning. I just had to watch them win this thing, but there was no way I’d get home in time!

I said goodbye to the girls and sped off. I called him as I walked to the train station.

“Is it over??”
“No, it’s the 8th inning.”
“I’m not gonna make it. There’s no way I’ll make it.”
“Just find a bar!”
“I’m in HARLEM! I don’t know any bars here!”

By the time I got to the train station I knew what to do. I took the train two stops uptown to a neighborhood bar I knew would be showing the game. I dashed to one of the TV’s and there it was: top of the 9th, Rays up to bat, no outs. One guy managed to make a hit, run to first and later steal second. I held my breath when the last man came up. If by any chance he hit a homer, the Rays would be in the lead and possibly drag this back to Tampa.

Strike 1, ok, come on…
Strike 2, the anticipation builds…

The pitcher and catcher run in for a hug and soon all the players are running in to join them at the mound creating one huge pile of ecstatic Phillies. Like Jimmy Rollins said, the drought is over.

I just stood there staring at the TV, giddy and smiling. The volume was off and there was only a small group watching, but I wanted to take in the moment. I know I shouldn’t be celebrating; I haven’t suffered for a lifetime for this team (the first and only time they won the series was in 1980), but I’m mostly happy for those fans who got what they’d been waiting for.

After I passed by dad’s store (whooping and hollering and jumping around) and headed over to mom’s (for more of the same), Mr. First called to make sure I got home ok and wasn’t swinging from the light bulbs in drunken stupor.

“I’m good now,” he said. “I just wanted one of the Philly teams to win something and then to have it be my favorite team…”

And to have it for his 25th birthday, too? Yeah, he’s happy. So am I.

The parade is tomorrow and I just requested the day off. And then for Halloween night, I’ll be decked in red. How appropriate :)

P.S. World Series MVP? Cole Hamels.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Intro for the Newbies

[In order to fill new readers in on who I am and the characters in my life, I’ve created this mini Q&A between me and myself. I’ll keep it on the sidebar to your left so you can refer to it when need be.]

Ok, so let’s get started. Who are you?
I’m a 26-year-old writer in NYC. I work at a national women’s magazine and freelance for a couple other publications.

Sounds cool. Is NYC as marvelous as everyone says it is?
Living here is fun and having so many things available to you at any given time is definitely a perk. But sometimes it’s overwhelming and exhausting. I’m the type that needs to get away from the city every once in a while in order to appreciate how beautiful it really is (NYC during the holidays is no less than amazing)!

Are you an only child?
No, thank God. I would’ve been bored out of my mind. I have a younger sister and brother.

Tell me about your parents.
They divorced when I was 18. I see or talk to both practically every day though. I’ve always been closer to my dad than my mom, so when he moved out it was a huge blow for me. My mom has always been a tough person to deal with, but I have hope she’ll change someday.

Do you still live with her?
No actually, I moved out on my own this summer and that’s brought its own set of craziness as I do my best to semi-decorate when I have time, keep those creepy-crawlies out and complain about the lack of heat. Oh, and I don't know how to cook. Can I add that I still don’t know my neighbors’ names, but I know the smelly dog next door is named Rocky? Fun times.

I’ll bet. So tell me, who’s T?
T is my therapist – as in psychologist.

Oh, so you’re crazy.
No! Sometimes the habits you form as a child just to get you through hard situations do you more harm than good. Plus, it helps to just talk things out with someone who’s unbiased. At first I was apprehensive about sharing all this, but if it helps someone else open up then so be it.

Anything else?
Yeah, I recently found out I’m severely allergic to some grasses and trees, that my blood pressure tends to drop and that I’m anorexic due to my underweight status. I’m not trying to be thin, but when I get the blues I lose my appetite.

Geez, is there anything that isn’t wrong with you?
Well I am kind of awesome.

Sure you are. And who’s Mr. First?
He was my first and only boyfriend. We were friends in grad school, secretly liked each other for months, didn’t tell each other until we moved back home, got together soon after, did the long distance thing for a year and a half, almost moved in together in January and then broke up on Valentine’s Day.

Yipers! What happened?
A lot I guess. It was amicable and for our own good, but it’s been hard nonetheless. I’m still not completely over it. We still keep in touch, but it’s becoming more and more sporadic. Time does that I guess.

So have you dated other guys since?
No, no. I’m not ready and I think it wouldn’t be fair to the next guy. I’d just compare the two and the bar’s been set pretty high. Sometimes I think it’s best to be alone for a while and figure out who you are first and right now that’s what I’m trying to do.

Don’t you miss the affection though?
Yeah, I do. Especially when I come home late at night and realize that I can’t call up the person who used to wait up to make sure I got in safely. Well that along with 5000 other moments.

Ok, I’ll stop with the mushiness before you start tearing up here.
[smirks] It’s ok. I’ll be fine.

Btw, what’s up with cheering for the Phillies? Aren’t you from NEW YORK?!
That would be Mr. First’s doing. I cheer for them and hope they win because it would make him unbelievably happy. Plus, it’s been fun butting heads with my dad (a big Mets fan) this whole season.

Aww, I don’t know if that’s totally sweet or utterly pathetic.
Me neither.

Would you like to add anything else?
Not really. I’m still young and still have a lot of questions myself so I’m learning to be patient and wait until I’m ready for the answers. No easy feat if you know me!

Biz Quiz

A winner will be randomly chosen from those who submit the correct answer. Contest is open until midnight EST tonight and the answer will be revealed tomorrow at noon. The winner can then e-mail me his/her address so I can send over this week's prize. Good luck!

Prize: A set of ten postcards from the Mexican Calendar Girls: 30 Postcards collection published by Chronicle Books. Honestly, I found these in my cubicle drawer when I started working last year and instead of throwing them out I kept them. Now they can be yours for the low, low price of zero dollars. ¡Que caliente!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Rain, I Hate You

Thanks to Rain the World Series has been delayed just as soon as the Tampa Bay Rays tied the game 2-2. So for now it's suspended in the sixth inning until who knows when (as in it could be in a couple hours or another day). Helloooo some of us have work in the morning! Now I have to watch news instead. Boo.

You know what was nice about the game though? Cole.

UPDATE: So this so-called news wants me to believe there will be wet snow tomorrow. Lies!

GAME 5 UPDATE: The game has been officially postponed until tomorrow night. Argh, now I don't know if I'll be able to watch it unless I race home after my session with T :(

UPDATE FOR THOSE WHO CARE: Game 5 will resume Wednesday night in Philly at 8:37 pm EST. Again, I won't be home in time to watch it! Go to the Apollo or World Series...Apollo...or World Series...

I'm No Rachael Ray

Can someone please tell me how I managed to screw up Pasta Sides?? Seriously. The instructions are simple:

1 In medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to boil.
2 Stir in contents of package. Continue boiling 7 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
3 Let stand about 2 minutes. Stir and serve.

I'm positively hopeless. You'd think I'd be able to handle blogging, e-mailing, watching the World Series and "cooking." Instead I ended up running to the stove to keep the water from spilling over and then wondering why there's soup instead of pasta in the pot. Pouring in nearly two quarts of water instead of cups will do it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

World Series Game 4

Ok, how awesome was this game?! (That was a rhetorical. I'm sure none of you actually watched it.) The Phillies won yet again after hitting four (FOUR!) home runs and three of those times men were on bases.

Game 4 final score: Phillies 10, Rays 2

The Phillies are now one win away from the World Series Championship and they have a chance to do it on their home field tomorrow night at 8 pm (before heading back to FL if need be). Cole will be the starting pitcher and so I've added his picture to this post. That and because I just like looking at him :)

So it's bedtime and back to work tomorrow. Did you all enjoy your weekends? Mine was just a blur of shopping and baseball. Not bad, I think!


Sauciness, Awards and Prizes

It's a lovely start to Sunday when you wake up and realize your blog is considered a saucy one! This week I'm one of the Saucy blogs of the week on The Secret is in the Sauce (SITS).

I joined SITS last weekend when I found The Button (above) on several people's pages. It's a blog dedicated solely to help those addicted to comments. Here's the five step program:

Step 1: Check in daily to roll call (comment on the daily post)
Step 2: Visit the blog of the person who checked in before you to say hello
Step 3: Visit the featured blog of the day and shower that blogger with love (aka comments, comments and more comments)
Step 4: Visit saucy blogs of the week (like yours truly's)
Step 5: Participate on all the awesome giveaways they hold

Seriously. Why didn't I find this sooner?

So to all you new sillyheads coming by way of SITS, welcome!

Also, last night Susanna-Cole from Girl Meets NYC awarded me the I Love Your Blog Award! It's a cutie petutie one and I thank her so much for giving one to me (especially since I think her place is no less than fantastic what with those pictures and inspiring posts. She always has me thinking about my own actions).

In turn I shall give this award to curious girl, {sugarlens}, fancy feet and mindless junque (by Heather, one of the creators of SITS!)

Congrats ladies :)

And finally, I was chosen to Pay It Forward by Maki from w/ Love, Sincerely- Posh Mom's Diary earlier this week. So I in turn have to do something nice for three other people. So here's what I'm going to do:

As most of you know, I'm going away in two weeks for my solo escape to Cancun (eeeeee! Cannot wait! Anyway...) I definitely don't want to leave you guys without your daily dry toast for five days and I definitely don't want to park my butt at a computer during my vacay (Ok, I do but that's because I have problems) so instead I'm looking for guest bloggers. If you would like to write a sweet little entry about ANYTHING (so long as it's PG-13 and non-boring-as-all-get-out) please leave me a comment on this post. I'll choose a whole slew of you on Friday, provided a slew of you are interested, and will ask you to e-mail me your entries by the following Thursday, Nov 6th so I can schedule it in.

And out of those who participate, three will be randomly chosen to receive a little souvenir from Paradise and will be asked to Pay It Forward to three more people. So you get to write for me, you get to shamelessly plug your own blog/advertise whatever it is you're selling on Etsy, and you might win a little prize while I keep my readers entertained; it's win-win!

So let me know if you're interested! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday :)

World Series Game 3

"Yes! Yes! Yes!"

That was all I could say when the Phillies broke the 4-4 tie at the bottom of the ninth to win Game 3 of the series! On their home turf no less. Thank the good Lord!!

I've been unbelievably tired most of the night (it's 1:50 in the a.m. folks) due to an incredible shopping spree my sis and I had today. Then Mother Earth had the cojones to rain on the night the Phillies would be playing their first World Series game on their field in 15 years. So the game was delayed by an hour and a half. Great game, but I'm glad they didn't have to go to extra innings. Btw, Jamie Moyer (above) was nothing short of impressive. That old man never ceases to amaze me (because he so old and yet so good). I still love Cole though.

Game 3 final score: Phillies 5, Rays 4

Two games down!! Game 4 later on tonight :)



Thursday, October 23, 2008

World Series Game 2

Argh! I knew it. I had the audacity to go out after work for a coworker's bday and missed most of Game 2. Now the Phillies are losing against the Rays. But of course as soon as I get in and flip to the game the Phillies hit a homer and score their first run of the night. Too bad it's the bottom of 8th now :(

Plus I'm semi-tipsy because my alcohol tolerance level is embarrassingly low (only had one drink and I was good for the night) so my lucky charms aren't working to their full potential. I had fun tonight though. Saw old coworkers/friends/Ryan from Single-ish again/other magazine writers/etc. My job is so cool sometimes :)

Game 2 final score: Rays 4, Phillies 2

Ugh...but can I add that the two runs the Phillies scored happened as soon as I turned the TV on? Thanks.

It's so bedtime. Drinks after work + Thursday night = no fun Friday morning

Gee, I Wonder Who's Going To Mexico...

Oh wait, that'd be me!! Yup, in two and a half weeks yours truly will be headed to Cancun for five days of total relaxation. I bought my ticket yesterday afternoon and cannot wait until I've left all this stress behind (though it'll be hard ignoring my hotel's wireless service).

This will be the first time I travel out of the country by myself, but I feel like I need to do this. In fact, I've been feeling this way for many months now. It's half me wanting to run away from everything that's been bringing me down and half me needing to prove to myself that I can jet set and manage in foreign territory on my own. Yeah, there's the chance that I'll get depressed alone out there, but I could also use this opportunity to center myself once again.

Back in April, my coworker introduced me to these Zencasts that were absolutely wonderful. I'd walk through Central Park and play it on my iPod. I wrote down the following quote from one of those podcasts:

"If you're always moving and acting and doing, you don't really have to confront yourself and meet yourself. But if you really sit still sometimes, suddenly all this energy doesn't have an outlet in a sense. And so you get to see it."

So I guess what I've been needing is stillness (which is quite hard to manage in this city). I've been feeling so lost and this constant moving and keeping busy (so I don't have to stop and think) is exhausting me even more. So maybe I can meet myself again in Mexico and figure out where I want to be.

Plus, I have this fantasy of going to a fancy restaurant dressed to the nines and feeling completely at ease as I request a table for one ;)


World Series Game 1

Game 1 final score: Phillies 3, Rays 2

One game down!

MVP of the game? Cole, of course ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First Off, I'd Like to Thank God...

Well Anonymous is not the only one winning prizes around here! Last night, Kelsey at K is…Not your Average Girl gave me my very first blog award (left). Yay! So now I have to list six things I love and then pass this on to six other blog peeps :)

I Love…

1 Writing
2 Internet surfing ‘til my eyes fall out and checking my e-mail every five minutes (haha, just kidding! It’s every two…)
3 Spooking the bejesus out of my 57-year-old mom (I really need to stop though)
4 Walking through the park while listening to music
5 Blue things…
6 But I only like red candy (mmm, there’s just something about that artificial cherry flavor!)

And The Winners Are…

1 Joyce at {sugarlens}
2 Heidi at Fancy Feet
3 Valerie at being red
4 Lisa at curious girl
5 Susanna-Cole at Girl Meets NYC
6 Heather at Mindless Junque


CONGRATULATIONS: A certain Anonymous has won this week's prize (You're lucky I know who you are because you're the only one)! But no more anonymouses from here on out, got it :p

Latin Superstitions

In Latin America it's not just about black cats, broken mirrors and Friday the 13th. Here's a list of all the other things many of us had to worry about! Parents swear by item #13...and I think I might too :)

(Btw, thanks to those who helped me out with the article. If it didn't make the list be sure to add it on there!)


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biz Quiz

A winner will be randomly chosen from those who submit the correct answer. Contest is open until midnight EST tonight and the answer will be revealed tomorrow at noon. The winner can then e-mail me his/her address so I can send over this week's prize. Good luck!

Prize: This 12x9 in. "Ladybirds" art print from is the same one I have framed in my bathroom. It's cute, colorful and I love how the unconventional ladybug right smack in the middle of the pack has dashes above her so you can add your own name!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Sex & Fear

Last week, the budding relationship between mom and me almost derailed when a certain topic came up in our phone conversation: sex...and whether my younger brother was having it.

[sidenote: ew?]

Anyway, I've always accused her of being way more liberal with my brother (a boy) than she is with my sister and me (we're girls, by the way). When she approaches him about it, she showers him with condoms and words of caution (I might be exaggerating here). When she found my birth control pills last year she flipped her lid and went ballistic (definitely not exaggerating here).

Our "sex talks" (if you could even call it that) were usually something along the lines of:

Mom: If you have sex you'll get AIDS and die.
Me: Thanks...

The only contraception she ever gave me was straight up fear. Sex was always something bad, something a proper young lady shouldn't even be thinking about before marriage. It was such a taboo subject that it was never something we could talk freely about. I remember it took days before I was able to give her my permission slip for sex ed class in junior high. And we never talked about it again.

Kind of sad if you think about it. Maybe that old school mentality that prevails in my culture is the reason why so many young girls end up pregnant. They can't talk about these things with their own parents and so are forced to figure things out on their own. Or worse: from their just-as-clueless classmates.

So when she found those pills, yeah, I thought I was going to wake up dead the next morning. But it was also a huge relief; I was finally free. I didn't need to keep trying to fit into her mold of what makes a "good girl."

So, how'd your parents talk to you about the birds and the bees (if at all)? And parents, how do/will you approach your kids about it?


Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Got My Hair Did

Ok, so I decided to just go out and get my hair done anyway (btw, way nicer outside than in my own apartment). I haven't trimmed or blow dried it since March and I've been wanting to see how long it is now. Plus, I totally needed a pick-me-up and sometimes a little pampering is just the remedy a girl needs. Am I right or am I right?

Hmm, how should I pamper myself tomorrow? And the day after that...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Where's The Stinkin' Heat?!

Can someone please tell me why I have to wear gloves at work and at home? The apartment that was once a furnace during the summer has now turned into a complete icebox. Freakin' ridic...

WARNING: Am seriously cranky after sleeping with said gloves on and still shaking in my jammies. Got work to do and it's too cold to concentrate (or maybe that's me procrastinating). I'm not even going to get my hair straightened as previously planned.

*But mostly I'm cranky because I had a dream with Mr. First and it always sucks waking up after one of those...

SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Glory Hallellujah I got heat!

The REAL Palin On SNL

Sarah Palin will appear on tonight's Saturday Night Live. She arrived in NYC this afternoon to practice for the episode (and beg viewers for votes). We can only hope Tina Fey will be joining in too. Check here tomorrow morning for clips...or you could just watch it for yourself at 11:30 pm EST on NBC :)

UPDATE: Tina Fey's on!! With Sarah!! Dear Lord they're twins...

Ok, it was a total letdown. Sarah only spoke a bit in the opening and in the second sketch (Weekend Update) did practically nothing. Boo, I expected so much more. SNL did NOT milk this although I'm sure they tried to get more out of this golden opportunity. The opening sketch was pretty funny though. Why? Two words: Tina Fey.



Am I Going To Hell?

Dear Panhandler on my train,

I hear you. I see you. But I wish you weren't here. I never know whether to help you or turn away. You make me argue against myself because even though you try to pull at our heartstrings with your just-out-of-prison-got-nowhere-to-go story, a part of me doesn't fully believe you. Blame the man on the 1 train whose wallet gets "stolen" every other day.

I can't fact check you or look up your records. I'm even skeptical about that limp of yours. I want to help you and wish better for you, I really do, but I don't want to be taken for a fool. Are you really going to use our money for food or are you going to smoke it all tonight?

And what sucks is that you might actually need help and are doing your best to get your life back together, but I'm more concerned about feeding some addiction you might have. So I'll consider offering you food, but you're not getting my change.

Maybe I'll go to Hell for this or maybe I won't. But if I do, maybe I'll see you there if you lied to all these people who gave their money to you.

All my best,


Unfortunately, nobody answered correctly! Boo. Oh wells, maybe you'll have better luck on next Tuesday's Biz Quiz :)

Here are some more pics of the area:

Public Speaking FREAKS Me Out

Which is exactly why I thought it'd be a great idea to participate on the alumni panel for my grad school's info session this afternoon. We're supposed to share our experiences during and after participating in the program and prospective students will be able to ask us questions afterwards.

Can someone please tell me what on Earth was I thinking?? I can't speak in front of three people let alone 15! (Which is exactly why I became a writer.) Sure I thought, "This would be a wonderful opportunity to break out of my shell," but the last time I thought that a strange guy appeared in front of my building ;)

This is pretty much the thought process when I have something I want to say (and it has not changed at all since my high school days):

"Hmm, I have this sorta awesome idea I've been thinking about...Eh, I'll just wait til everybody stops talking and then I'll jump in...Eeeps! Now it's way too quiet. I can't say anything now. Maybe later...Man, just go for it! Nobody else seems to have a problem talking, do they? No. So just say it...But maybe it's a stupid idea anyway. It'll never fly...Yipes! Let me look away so they don't ask me what I think...OMG!! That's what I was gonna say! Of course it's a great idea! Argh..."
Seriously, every single time.

I know the only way to get better at public speaking is by...speaking in public, but I just wish the whole process wasn't so nerve wracking for me.

Wish me luck?

UPDATE: Ok, I'm still alive guys! Luckily there was a classmate of mine as one of the six panelists and he pretty much summed up what we went through very well. Which is good because I fleeewww through my experience. Fleeeewww! And there wasn't anybody there interested in our program in particular. We just sat at a long table up front and there were less than ten students at the session. Hooray! I'd consider this a success, no? (Oh and we got a free t-shirt- hollerations!)


Friday, October 17, 2008

NYC Street Quiz

Real quick: Who can tell me from what corner in Manhattan did I take the two shots below? From this spot you can see the tops of both the Chrysler Building (left) and the Empire State Building (right) clearly in the distance. Comments for this (and all subsequent quizzes) will be hidden until the answer is revealed Saturday at noon (so no cheating). The winner will be randomly chosen from those with the correct answer and I say winner because there's going to be a prize on Dry as Toast for the first time everrr! I just have to figure out what it is really...but I'm sure I can dig something up!

And depending on how this goes/what fun (read: cheap/free on my end) prizes I can dream up I'll consider giving goodies for future Biz Quizzes (the Where in the World's are too hard for you out-of-towners). Contest closes at midnight tonight...good luck!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Don't Let Your Child Go Blind!

If you have a little cutie petutie in your life, read my story on protecting your child's vision, when to schedule appointments and how to get your little princess to rock that eyewear!


Oh Snap, Tagged Again!

So I've been tagged again- this time by the lovely bookworm merc3069 at BookBitten! This 4x4 is such a fun one, I've been secretly hoping I'd get to do it at some point in time. Oh! And I totally took that image from RiverMist Expressions when Franco posted his set of answers. (Hope you don't mind!)

[Cue the drum rolls please...]

Top Four Wishes

1 I wish people would stop hurting each other.
2 I wish it were above 10 degrees in my cubicle.
3 I wish I was finally (and consistently) happy.
4 I wish for an infinity number of wishes.

Four Places I Want To Travel To

1 Italy
2 Greece
3 Spain
4 The moon

Four Careers I Want To Be Involved In

1 Magazine writing
2 Creating greeting cards/ arts and crafts
3 Photography
4 Storm chasing (or race car driving, whichever makes my adrenaline levels shoot through the roof)

Four Things I Would Like God To Say At The Gates of Heaven

1 "There are no tears in Heaven."
2 "Jesus really is my homeboy."
3 "Despite what those previously tagged bloggers may think, I'm not a raging alcoholic."
4 "You just got PUNK'D! haHA sucka! Now get back to work."

And the four peeps I'm tagging on this one are:

Jess at Smiles in Easy Open Packages
Heidi at Fancy Feet
Suz at Alive in Wonderland
Tooj at Circling the Square Table

So get to it! (Please?)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Phillies Win!!

The Phillies are heading to the World Series!!! Eeeeeeee!! This could quite possibly be the first World Series I'll watch in its entirety since the Yankees faced off against the Marlins back in 2003. (Btw, what ever happened to Aaron Boone?)

Ok, now I know absolutely none of you give a crap about this, but if you knew how excited I am right now you'd make an attempt.

So go ahead. Humor me.

In the meantime, I'm going to call dad to see if he's started crying yet. haHA! Um, I mean...poor guy.

Game 5 final score: Phillies 5, Dodgers 1

P.S. Needless to say, Mr. First is happy. He got his birthday wish two days early :)

P.P.S. Dad's fine. I think he had already come to terms with the fact that his team sucks. If not, I'll make sure he gets there.



Such a shame I'm lactose-intolerant, but at least I still get to enjoy my fave flavor: mango sorbet (but it has to be Haagen-Dazs...shhh!) :)

So, Did You Play Today?

During my lunch break yesterday I popped into Toys 'R' Us to buy myself a little sumthin sumthin. Why? Because why not, so stop asking questions.

I think we should still buy ourselves toys (right now I'm referring to the PG kind, of course) long after we've "grown up." The simple act of playing takes us back to those worry-free days when our main concern was packing as much fun into today as possible. Now it's all about today's work, tomorrow's errands and what we want to accomplish next week (unless that's just me). Is it any wonder so many people are walking around completely stressed out and on the brink of a burn out? (That would be no).

Yes, we all have responsibilities and to-do lists (hee hee), but try adding in a little playtime every now and then and you'll see that not only will you feel better once you inevitably go back to work, but you'll be working towards a more balanced life. As they say, all work and no play is pretty damn lame.

So what did I end up getting? A rubik's cube! I'm secretly hoping there's a genius hidden inside me and clearly the way you test such things is by how fast you can solve this puzzle. Anything less than "super fast" is "borderline moron."

And P.S. If you're ever feeling down, I suggest heading toward your nearest Toys 'R' Us. Nothing put a smile on my face faster than a child running for his life from a fool dressed in a giant giraffe costume...Is that bad?

UPDATE: Ok, so I can't solve the stinkin' thing as fast I would like, but at least I know I can solve those little linked toys fairly quickly. I just start banging and pulling on them 'til something happens. Too bad I'm pretty sure wild monkeys can do the same...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sammy, You'll Be Missed

Unfortunately, this post isn't such a happy one. T (for therapist for you newcomers) sent out an e-mail this afternoon. Her doggy passed away yesterday after a strange SUV drove into her driveway, turned around and left Sammy injured. T's companion for the past 15 years died in her arms an hour later at the hospital.

I know I've never mentioned her when I've written about my sessions with T, but Sammy was there at all but one of my sessions this past year. She'd walk around the room, lay around on the carpet, or play with her toys while we talked. She always greeted me at the door when I came in and cheered me up whenever those sessions got too rough. Halfway into the hour, she'd stroll over to T's recliner so she could be scooped up in her arms and snuggle into that chair. She was one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met.

Oftentimes when I was too upset to talk or even look at T, I'd just focus on Sammy and kind of zone out. I'd watch her wiggle around on her back just begging for a tummy rub (left). Or she'd just sit there, hair all over her eyes, and listen. I think she, too, was a therapist in a previous life.

Rest in peace, Sammy. Tomorrow won't be the same without you.

Apparently I'm "Nutty"

So today I got another comment about Friday's "I've Been Tagged!" post from David Donnell. Turns out he's the editor of Nuts in New York, a website about things that are...well...nuts in NY.

"Couldn't resist posting about you on "Nuts in NY," he wrote. "All in good fun, of course; your to-do list thing was SO funny."

First thought: Uh-oh...

Second thought [after reading]: Phew! I'm glad the man didn't rip into me for being a total weirdo, but mostly thank the Lord I chose a halfway decent pic for my profile. You imagine if I'd chosen some craziness like this?!

Thanks for the mention, David! You've got some funny stuff on there and I'm sure you'll never run out of craziness in this city :)

If you guys want some more nuttiness, check out this story my sis told me about earlier. Some foolio named his daughter Sarah McCain Palin as an endorsement because he didn't have enough money to send to the campaign. Oh, and why don't we add the fact that he did this behind his wife's back? I'd've ripped out his leg and beat him with it...

Biz Quiz

Monday, October 13, 2008

Btw, Happy Columbus Day

And that's as much as I'll say about this fake holiday. At least I had the day off (and I hope those of you who did enjoyed your long weekends). Feel free to read what I had to say about Columbus three months ago :)

Back to work tomorrow, boo!

So did you guys do anything fun? Please tell me you didn't waste it like I did by being a total bum...though it wasn't completely bad.

Flight of the Conchords

Have any of you heard of this show? I first came across it on this story assignment back in August and then turns out Mr. First absolutely loves it (totally not surprised). So he lent me the Season 1 DVD when I visited two months ago and I just finished watching the first three episodes.


This show is....ummm....insane? Crazy? Out there? And yet, I totally love it! Here's the premise:

Two friends/bandmates/roomies, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, from New Zealand have moved to NYC to find fame and success. Thing is they kind of totally suck. Their manager Murray holds meetings from his full-time job and tries to set up lame gigs for the band. Oh, and their fan base? Only consists of one fan (this creepy stalker chick named Mel who throws lewd comments their way in front of her nonchalant husband)! They try to make ends meet and adjust to life in this strange city all the while busting out with random songs that are both awesomely bad and hilarious at the same time. If you like Jimmy Fallon (remember "Idiot Boyfriend?"), I think you'll like these two monkeybutts.

It makes no sense and makes you say, "Whaaaa??" more often than you'll care to count, but it's actually pretty good. After all, they did snatch a Grammy Award :)

Btw, those are Bret and Jemaine's real names and Flight of the Conchords is a comedic band they created in New Zealand back in '98. The songs on the show are actually theirs and they've held shows throughout the U.S. According to their MySpace, Season 2 is in the works for Jan. of '09. In the meantime, catch reruns of Season 1 on HBO for insanity like this:

NL Championship Series Games 3 & 4

Argh, so the Phillies lost last night, but that was to be expected. Each time the Dodgers and Phillies faced off this season the home team won and since they're currently in LA for three games, I figured they wouldn't fare too well. And after I saw the score was Phillies 0, Dodgers 5 after just one inning, I knew it was a wrap. I just hope this home field advantage doesn't last through tonight and Wednesday night's games because then the Phillies will be in one hell of a tight spot when they come back home for the last two games (and they sort of kind of really suck under intense pressure).

Game 3 final score: Dodgers 7, Phillies 2

Game 4 final score: Phillies 7, Dodgers 5

The Phillies are now one win away from going to the World Series since 1993! But I'm not mentioning that again to avoid jinxing it. Three more games to go...

P.S. My buddy Joey Chestnut is at it again. Dude ate 45 pizza slices in 10 minutes (ugh) yesterday and won the first Famous Famiglia World Pizza Eating Championship over in Times Square. I think I've finally come to terms with the fact that I will never beat him. Last month the kid ate 93 hamburgers in eight minutes. I don't even want to know how he feels afterwards, but he should totally be a spokesperson for whatever meds he must take.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mommy Dearest

My mother and I have a strained relationship at best. She raised us with an iron fist, rice and beans and a little thing called “fear” (as was she). I’d like to think we had a good relationship once upon a childhood, but I don’t remember. I can pull up snippets of fun here and there, but nothing steady.

Things only worsened after dad surprised her with divorce papers moments before the clock struck midnight New Year’s Eve 2000. That broke her. And like a sponge I soaked it all in – the crying, the anger, the pain. Whenever she’d call me at school, I’d bear through the hysterics until I felt just as inconsolable as she did. We’d do this everyday. I thought this experience was at least bringing us closer since she kept running to me with her tears and frustrations, but in the long run it only distanced us further.

It took three years before I inevitably shut down. All my emotions were gone. I didn’t care whether I was nice or mean; I just was. Days would go by without speaking a word to my family and I’d shut myself off from the rest of the world. If I could have dug a hole, I would’ve nonchalantly crawled inside it. I was exhausted from feeling so much and if I had to become empty inside to not hurt anymore then so be it.

I’ve only started to open my heart again two years ago and the process has been long and slow.

Still, it's been hard having your mother right next to you, yet as much as you’d like to you just can’t reach out. There have been many times when I wanted her to hug me, to stroke my head, to tell me things will be ok. That no matter what happens I will always have her. But she and I don’t have that bond that I’ve always envied in other families. Families where children share their events of the day, their hopes, their dreams, failures and successes.

I wanted my mom when I was eager to share the ups and downs of my first relationship. I needed her when I cried for days on end when that relationship ended. Yes, I had close friends, a caring sister and a father who too often tries to overcompensate on the parental guidance, but sometimes a girl just needs her mom.

Yesterday, I was feeling really blue and had another crying fit. For some reason I decided to call her and in turn she surprised me by coming to my apartment by herself for the first time since I moved out four months ago. (I live a 15-minute bus ride away and she’s visited only four times).

After she dispensed her usual “comfort” – in the form of sweeping, dish washing, and cooking – (mind you I’m crying on the couch and the first thing she reaches for is a broom), came what I really needed. She pulled me close, put my head on her lap and let me know that things will get better. She ran her hands through my hair and in between moments of calm and never-ending sadness I listened to stories she’s shared about a million times yet never seem to grow old.

It lasted about an hour, but it felt like forever. I ended up going home with her for the night where we spent the rest of the day with the house to ourselves, curled up on the couch watching TV with my head on her lap. I know it’s only a matter of time before it all reverts and she lets anger get the best of her.

But at least I got my mom for a day. And hopefully for a while after that.

So, I'd love to know: how are your relationships with your mothers?

NYC Children of the World

New York City photographer Danny Goldfield has taken on a wonderful project called NYChildren. Three years ago he set out to photograph a child from every country in the world that lives in NYC after hearing about the country's first post-9/11 hate crime. Out of 196 nations, Goldfield has just 39 more to go. He told the NY Daily News: "This project is about diversity. It's about peace and hope and about how emotions can be so common."

The images below represent children from Turkey, Sierra Leone, Mali, Myanmar, France and Ireland. Check out his site and his inspiring work and if you know a child who fits the bill for the remaining countries listed, let him know :)

Images: Danny Goldfield