Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hello, foolios! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. A. and I had an awesome time in Washington, D.C. (more details to come on that crazy adventure) and managed to scrounge up some last minute costumes for tonight. I was a black kitty cat and A.? Well let's just say I finally found my own secret agent man. We made our way down to Union Square to catch the freak show that is the Greenwich Village Halloween parade, but it was a mad house down there. Luckily, we were still able to meet up with Anonymous the lion & co. and enjoy the sights while narrowly avoiding being crushed by the crowds. We even scored free candy! No SweeTarts though. Mew...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Friday!

I got practically no sleep last night, but it wasn't because I gave Toby away. No, in fact it's because I didn't give him away that I didn't sleep well at all. After some last minute yes, no, maybe so on whether this chick was picking him up yesterday, I received a text late in the workday saying that she wanted to swing by later that night. Of course that meant I had to scramble to get him clean and ready, pack up his things, clean the house, fight back tears and ask A. if he could still come over for some support and comfort.

And guess what? She never showed. No messages, nothing. So of course once A. and I headed to bed Toby began his incessant barking...until 3 AM (he's never taken to people sleeping over). At that point I was at my wit's end and finally decided to take one for the team: at least one of us should get some rest for today's trip and I didn't want A. to suffer through this. So I dragged myself to the living room, plopped Toby on the couch and fell asleep with him. My neck is still in pain.

The best part? When I told A. about the barking and sleepless night, he hadn't a clue what I was talking about; he was damn near comatose through the whole ordeal. Grrrr...

By the way, what are you guys up to for Halloween? I want to get dressed up and head to the annual parade down in Greenwich Village, but I've no clue what to be! Well at least I'm ready on the candy front. A. and I just popped into Dylan's Candy Bar and stocked up on gummy bears and gummy lobsters. Too bad they probably won't last past this afternoon's flight down to D.C.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

Anybody else going to this weekend's madness in D.C.? I can't wait to see what they have in store for us (a supposed preliminary schedule just got out) and go sightseeing with A. I haven't been to the capital since the sixth grade and the only thing I remember about the whole field trip was wearing this silly straw hat as a fashion statement...


Monday, October 25, 2010

This is Going to be a Tough One

I've decided to give Toby away.

Admittedly, it's a thought I'd been visiting and shoving aside for the better part of this year. Even though I was freelancing and had "more time" to dedicate to him, I didn't. I spent my days at home, but my nights were frequently spent running around the city with friends and a new boyfriend who made it clear from the get-go that he did not like dogs. I'd hoped he'd come around to Toby or that Toby would grow on him, but 10 months later it's still a sore spot with me.

Meanwhile, Toby has been growing more and more unruly due to his pent-up energy. After I was laid off, I thought my new schedule would be great for him. "Now he won't be home along during the day," I figured. Yeah, actually it made him more needy. More me meant more playtime - time that I'd rather spend zoning out in front of the computer or working on a story. Awful, I know, but it only gets worse. His barking increased, my patience lessened, my escapes became more frequent. And still I couldn't admit that I was neglecting my responsibilities in favor of my new free-wheeling life. So I rationalized: even though someone else had my nights, Toby still has me during the day. Thing is just your mere presence isn't enough for a dog. I knew that once a new job popped into my life, something had to change.

I've already cried about my decision several times. Now whenever I take him out through our usual path - past the two bus stops, into the park, onto the dry patchy grass he loves so much and along the tree-lined residential street - or even think about the situation, I choke up. I know I won't be able to walk that route without wishing he were still pulling me along, pouncing on every leaf with more exuberance than I could ever muster. "What are you always so damn excited about?" I silently wonder and it takes all he has to sit still for a moment, tail wagging furiously, and stare back at me as if to say, "Life, silly!"

As soon as I hung up with the girl who will take him on Thursday (and hopefully keep him), I fell onto A.'s bed in a heap of tears. Even though I know he'll be better off with someone who will give him the attention he deserves, a piece of me still wants to be selfish about it, still wants to keep him just so I can stop feeling this guilty. "Does this mean I'll be terrible parent??" I asked as if failing as a pet owner means failing at being human.

But at the end of the day, this is the solution. Is it ideal? Of course not, but I've questioned it so many times and made sure that this decision is mine and mine alone. I'd only grow to resent A. for it and though I'm reluctant to put it out there, you just never know where exactly a relationship might lead. As for those who've given me guilt trips over the situation, I guess it's easy to pipe in when they only see the little fur-ball every few months. I'd probably want him to stay too...if someone else had to care for him. I love the little monster so if that means I need to push my ego aside and admit that this is what's best for the both of us, then I just hope things work out just so.

Toby, thanks for pulling me out of 2008's sadness and through 2009's discoveries. This apartment is going to be much too quiet without you. Please be good.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Can't Seem to Stand Still

No, really! The last couple of weeks have been so packed that if it weren't for my phone's agenda, I would've lost my head by now. I thought I'd share some of the craziness via picture overload of the following events:

New York Comic Con * Greetings from MochiMochi exhibition * Martinique press event * Creative, Inc. book party * A.'s birthday! * a short contest (I was actually taller!) * a friend's reading * baby shower after baby shower (congrats to Anonymous' sis for her cuuute baby boy!) * writing group meetings * lots of baseball watching (P.S. I haven't watched a single Phillies game this season. Guess that phase is over.)

Not pictured above: figuring out cute work outfits, A.'s discussion group meetings and my newest card designs.
Coming up next: a weekend trip to D.C. with A., employee perks (I'm about to hit up every museum in the city) and perhaps a visit from Mr. First's mom...

Images: some taken by Anonymous and Zack Hample

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Monday Night!

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds. -G.K. Chesterton

Okay, okay so I totally missed Happy Friday last week...and a couple days before that. I'm still trying to adjust to my new schedule. Plus, I can't check anything fun at work (boo!) so that means no blog, no tweeting, no chatting, no nothing. I love that I feel so productive and actually have stuff to talk about with A. at the end of each day, but I feel way out of the loop! And now it takes extra effort to work on those side pursuits I was so excited about...

Are you guilty of these e-mail faux pas?
Some of these people are seriously sorry...and seriously funny.
How sweet is this candy "font?"
These whimsical pieces look like they jumped right out of a Dr. Seuss' book.
I've been wanting to switch my room's color pallet to black, white and red so I'm loving these rooms with pops of red.
Elegance meets trippy at the Murakami exhibition at Versailles.
Learn something new every day via creative illustrations. (Did you know Coca Cola kills insects?)
This little boy makes me smile. And want to do some stretches.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This Freelance Life

As I headed back to work yesterday morning and in the days leading up to it, I kept asking myself, "Did I do enough? Did I squeeze as much as I could into the last 10 months of freelancing "freedom?" I know I could have done much more, pursued more interests, visited more friends, been more selfish with my time, my life. But I also look back on that experience and think, "Wow, that was something..."

- I rode out my lay-off just fine by adopting an "I'm not unemployed, I'm a freelancer" mentality and supplementing my benefits with a steady stream of writing gigs.

- I came and went as I pleased. If the day called for writing and reading at the park, then so be it. Even though the no-strings-attached turn my life took was scary at times, hearing my friends gripe about their own 9-to-5's made it all the more liberating.

- I traveled as much as I could: San Antonio, Cabo, St. Lucia, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles. And that adventurous spirit is still dancing within me. In the coming months I'm heading to Washington, D.C., South America and back to L.A.

- I landed myself a relationship. Exactly three weeks after being laid off and amidst my new-found joie de vivre, I met A. My new schedule will take some getting used to, but I'm secretly looking forward to those "I miss you's."

- I laughed much more than I cried. I ate, I learned, I struggled, I questioned and good God did I play to the point of guilt. I started living again.

Still, outsiders believe freelancing is this beautifully romantic life where you sail with the wind and write in petite cafes when it's very much not the case. Freelancing can be grueling, stressful and wholly uncertain and some thrive in that world much better than others. A friend/ former editor of mine was laid off a year before me and in that time she branched out into a bunch of publications and landed not one, but two book deals! She's a true hustler and one that I've always looked up to as a mentor. That said, I missed being surrounded by people like her, who make me want to improve and impress. I needed a new challenge and I'm lucky to have landed in a place that will provide that.

Now even though I've regained the 10-to-6 stability I'd been craving, I'll have the best of both worlds. I'll still be writing for others and yes, for you. And who knows? Perhaps a few years from now I'll get the itch (or mental instability?) to go the freelance route again. I probably learn things I've yet to realize throughout these long 10 months that all at once seem to have passed by much too swiftly.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For Those Who Were Wondering

- My first day went well and I've hit the ground running. I've only been there a day and have already imagined myself visiting these incredible corners of the world. It excites me learn about the people, places and cultures that makes us so wonderfully diverse.

- That said, 3-hour class after an 8-hour workday is rough. I had a blueberry muffin and a Snapple Apple for dinner :/

- I remembered when I first started at Latina I kept fretting that I wouldn't make friends there; everyone seemed so into their own thing or already had their office crew. I didn't think I'd be able to break in, but eventually I did. Totally not having those concerns here and I've already been invited to join a little lunch crew. How sweet is that?

- I started an insightful blog post this morning and now I'm much too tired to finish it up.

- I want to share pictures from last weekend's spontaneous visit to NY Comic Con with A., but I haven't had time to create that collage.

- But it will come. I just need to get used to my new routine and get some rest. Can you believe my body never gained the ability to sleep in and rake in some Zzz's during all this time? So if you don't mind, I'm going to call my boyfriend who's been in Memphis this week for a biz trip and get to bed. Night night!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ikea Cookbook: Homemade is Best

Remember how much I loved Ikea way back when I moved out on my own? (That's for you four original readers and side note: can you believe that was 2.5 years ago? Yipers...) Well now they're making me smile again with their new baking book Hembakat är Bäst, or Homemade is Best, which contains 30 traditional Swedish recipes. The quirk behind the book's design lies in how each recipe is presented: the focus is on the ingredients, which are artfully laid out as still-life portraits and so visually appealing, with the yummy result on the following page. Forsman & Bodenfors, the team behind Ikea's new kitchen appliance campaign, decided to create the 140-page coffee table book using high fashion and Japanese minimalism as inspiration. Carl Kleiner served as photographer while Evelina Bratell did the styling.

Too bad, it's currently only available in Sweden, but it's been generating so much buzz that hopefully it'll be up for grabs in the states soon. Fingers crossed!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Digital Dating Dos and Don'ts

Sometimes technology works wonders to help a relationship move along, (how many long distance relationships would've ever stood a chance without it?), but it can easily take over and zap the romance if you let it play too big a role. How many many of us would rather chat online all night than speak on the phone to set up a date? Or how many of you can admit to getting jealous after going through his Facebook photos? While nothing can replace face-to-face contact when feeling someone out, technology does have it's benefits as well as drawbacks and these days it's important to know where the line falls. Here's how to know when you're taking digital dating way too far.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Oh Monday, Monday

Goodness I don't think I can handle another whole week of rain and gloom. I already have such a case of the blahs that not even the thought of Tuesday night card design class is snapping me out of it. Too many other things are occupying my mind like relationship blips, dog dilemmas and staying warm in this winter-like weather. I shall bounce back soon.


iPhone App Proposal

Wow, the thought and effort that went into this is blowing my mind...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Friday!

Like Blythe, I now want to fill my window sills with colorful bottles to catch the morning light. It's been gloomy and rainy in NYC for about forever now, but just looking at Johnny Miller's photos lets the sun shine in. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and happy October!

Okay, forget the forest. I want to work at the Inventionland offices instead. I mean a treehouse?? *Swoooon*
I never thought pandas were creepy...'til now.
Do you have any baby pictures you'd reenact today? (via Swissmiss)
And this little piggy made me go hee hee hee....
Love hot chocolate and cupcakes? Then here's how to merge both. (via Jessica Jones)
A. and I loved playing Angry Birds on his iPhone so I think he'd get a kick out of this breakfast.

And if you click on nothing else, then please just watch this rap history as sung by Timberlake and Fallon. Too good to miss!