Monday, January 31, 2011

A Toilet Paper Whodunnit

This weekend I had some guests over: A., my sister and her boyfriend, Dad and my godparents (who'd surprised us all with their first trip to the U.S. from D.R. the week before, but more on that later). Imagine my lovely surprise when I go to reach for the toilet paper the next morning and realize that someone had the AUDACITY to change the roll from UNDER to OVER!

"I hate youuuuu!" I instantly yelled at A. through the bathroom door. We'd just finished fake fighting and clearly - clearly! - this was his sick form of payback.

Yeah...the fool had no idea what I was talking about.

Next, I interrogated my sister about her boyfriend's ill will towards my under preferences, but they also assured me that it wasn't him who committed the crime. So unless it was the older folks who took it upon themselves to just up and change my roll's orientation (weirdos), someone's lying. 'Cause I'd surely hate to think it was ME who absentmindedly put it on that way. Then again, I still haven't bothered to turn it back.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Tour of Paris in Stop-Motion

Because as wonderful as NYC is, my heart's been craving a move to Europe...if only I were brave enough. Has anyone else been dreaming of living someplace else? (via Travel + Leisure)

Le Flâneur (feat. The XX) from Luke Shepard on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Career Updates and Articles

I've been a busy bee as of late and my hard work is now starting to roll out on newsstands! Right now you'll find me in the February issues of Latina (asking experts all about weight loss plateaus, low libidos, stress, multivitamins and hand sanitizers) and [drum roll please] Travel + Leisure. That's right, my first contributions at work are finally published (check out my write-ups on romantic hotels in Jamaica, Spain and Morocco). And that's just the beginning as I've also been working on several stories for their upcoming family insert, pieces for a future iPad issue as well writing for again. All good stuff, huh? Even A. tried to steal a bit of my magazine thunder by landing a quote in Glamour's February issue. Can you blame him though? After you get through the hard part (you know, actually researching and writing those damn stories), seeing your finished piece on the glossy pages of a magazine never gets old.


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Frozen Touch

Does anybody else have this wretched condition? My hands and feet are always freezing cold and no matter how many layers I throw on, nothing warms them faster than planting them right on A.'s warm skin. I don't understand how the man generates so much heat or how he maintains it in these freezing temps, but it's why I love sleeping next to him so much. He'll yelp and forbid me to touch him, but eventually my hands will force their way under his shirt and right onto his belly until I've stolen enough heat to sleep comfortably through the night. And in the morning, my tiny blocks of ice find their way back there again. I know I should feel sorry for the guy, but it's so hard to do when all I can think when I'm torturing him is, "Mmm...toasty..."


Thing-a-Day 2011

Thing-a-Day is a collective blog that pushes participants to create one new thing every day in February. Everyone then shares their daily projects or progress and we get to comment and glean inspiration from each other while instilling a habit of dedicating time to our practice each day. I don't know if I'll actually be successful at contributing something new every day, but there's so many ways you can be creative that it could only inspire me to do more with my time. Anybody else in? Registration ends midnight on the 1st.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friday!

Mmm Friday. Or better yet, weekend and relaxation. And by relaxation I mean possibly playing tour guide for my dad's friends from the Dominican Republic, a housewarming party on Sunday, organizing my tax documents and working on more card stuff. Hmm...I might have to rethink this...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Cheerful New Baby Card

Told you it was mighty colorful. (I have this thing against baby blues and barfy pinks.) The message inside says "Congrats on your little bundle of joy! Now let the all-night parties begin!" I do hope they're getting some sleep though.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Need An Inspiration Wall

In my eternal quest to remain motivated since my greeting card design class ended, I've been keeping my eyes open for anything that could spark inspiration. The great thing about this habit is the more you practice actively seeking ideas rather than waiting for them to drop from the heavens, the more susceptible you become to picking them up. Recently I've come across so many that I need to start clipping and printing them out to keep easily accessible. Here are three that just added a bit more fuel to my creative fire:

Artist James Gulliver Hancock drawing the buildings of NYC.

Book origami by Isaac Salazar.

Yulia Brodskaya's paper graphics.

I have to say I really miss being surrounded by other creative types if only for a few hours a week. We'd bounce ideas off each other, grab some motivation from the other talented students and receive feedback (which I so miss!). So I joined a meetup group a few weeks ago and was looking forward to attending a crafty show and tell tonight, but unfortunately it's been canceled. If I did go, I would've made headway on the ideas drawn out in my notebook and shown off my latest card design freshly finished from last night. See a few days ago A. finally became an uncle! So I made a card for his sister and brother-in-law congratulating them on their cute little baby boy.

Would you like to see? Just be warned, it's crazy colorful and way cheerful.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tall Caramel Apple Spice & Hot Chocolate, No Whip Cream

It's becoming our yummy little Starbucks routine on freezing nights like tonight. At least it is until my birthday gift card from his mom runs out.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Friday!

I feel like I finally managed to work a full week and now it's time for yet another long weekend. Before you say anything I should explain that I'm on as a contractor. Ergo, no work, no pay. Still, I won't mind getting some time to rest and turn my attention on a couple other things like painting, bowling and dinner with friends and playing with the new toys I finally connected and installed. Oh, and staying warm and cozy. What do you have in store this weekend? I mean other than checking out these links I stumbled upon...


Thursday, January 13, 2011

That's Why I'm So Googleble

Mr. First just sent along this link to the 10 Christian Names You Don't Really Hear and guess whose name - or the one it's derived from - made the list? Mine! (And yes, he and I still keep in touch.)

By the way, Nebuchadnezzar?! Good gravy and I thought I had it bad.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's My Birthday and It's Starting to Snow

But I love when it snows on my day. I remember being a child and hearing my mom tell me how snow symbolized good luck and that I was born in the midst of a blizzard. I always looked forward to snowfalls on birthdays, feeling special as I'd walk to school with flakes in my hair. And even though I now doubt the existence of some higher being, I have to admit it still feels like a secret gift sent down just for me.

Today I received so many birthday wishes from family and friends, was surprised with a fruit arrangement delivery from my sister, heard from my mom who's still in DR, was surprised again by my sis with daffodil buds in a cup, took a lunch break with a coworker friend and then had an intimate dinner with A. at Delmonico's.

And the bow on top of the day? The snow that's currently covering the city.


Monday, January 10, 2011

How Was Your Weekend?

Mine was packed with social fun from beginning to end (well with some much-needed rest/downtime in between). On Friday, A. and I went to a writing group meeting (where I did no writing) and afterward hung around with friends until nearly 5 AM! So of course we woke up and had breakfast around noon on Saturday. We lounged around and gathered enough energy to head to my grad school bff's 30th birthday party at Penthouse808 in Queens. The view of the midtown Manhattan skyline from the restaurant/lounge was beautiful. We spent the evening eating, drinking, and dancing away. It was great, but it also made me realize how much I miss our Syracuse days and how quickly time and life can come in and create so much distance between close friends.

And then for Sunday's activities, we decided to lose our minds for an afternoon and participate in Improv Everywhere's 10th annual No Pants Subway Ride. Yes, in the middle of winter. About 3,500 participants met at various points throughout the city (and apparently in 50 cities around the world in 24 countries too!) and hopped on different subway lines to give unsuspecting commuters one hell of a ride. At first I was nervous, but when I saw how many others were around me, excited and just as insane, I thought "Oh what the hell. This is one of the greatest things about living here." So instead of sticking by A.'s side during the stunt (he'd been wanting to do this for a while and I'd only just heard about it a year ago from him), I chose to go off with my group once the crowd was divided up by birthday month.

Once we were all spread out along the platform, we got on the N train and proceeded to take our pants off right before our assigned stop. The looks on people's faces was priceless. When two from our group left the car to wait on the platform for the next train, one woman laughed and exclaimed, "Look at those two motherf---ers! They've got no pants on! Don't they know it's cold out?!" I'm just glad I wasn't the first to strip.

I left that train after six stops and waited to board the following train sans pants. I was supposed to act as if nothing was wrong - oh, except the fact that I had forgotten to wear pants - and good gravy that was hard. I could barely read the book I'd brought along, Freakonomics, and hoped no one would ask me what was going on 'cause I'd surely burst out laughing. A. later told me several people asked him why he had no pants on. His response? "It's the latest trend in minimalist fashion." I don't think I have to mention that his exhibitionist self absolutely loved every minute of this.

After we rode the second N uptown to 59th and Lexington Ave. (during which the conductor announced, "There's some suspicious personnel on the train with no pants on... Isn't it 35 degrees out?"), we transferred to the 6 and rode that back down to the end point of the day's shenanigans, Union Square. And what a sight! Booties and bare legs of all shapes, colors and sizes. There were even info booths and brochures being passed out explaining the benefits of pants, instructions included. Still, our insanity ran on for at least another hour as we ran around the park marveling/laughing at the sights and even dared to go to our fave restaurant, Republic, while still in our undies. I wanted to die of mortification, but A. insisted we walk in and I was laughing too hard to refuse. Luckily, others were also popping into restaurants and stores in the area without a care for the cold or the oppression that is wearing pants.

It should be noted that the waiters never even batted an eye and we finally put our pants back on before heading out. As a final stunt though, we each tried to get dressed as inconspicuously as possible while remaining seated. Not only was that hard (you try sliding your butt into pants without standing up or jumping around), but we nearly fell off our benches in laughter.

I remember being indecisive and ultimately too chicken to say yes to A.'s invite last year (he missed out too), but I'm so glad I participated this time. As I sat there on the N train, waiting to take my pants off and taking in others' reactions to those who'd stripped before me, I fell in love with NYC all over again for the opportunity to take part in such craziness as this.

And now I can't believe it's time to head back to work already, but I guess I don't mind too much. You see, tomorrow's my birthday :)


Friday, January 7, 2011

Eight Tips for Successful New Year's Resolutions

Did you make any resolutions this year? As wonderful as we may be (and Lord knows I'm pretty damn fantastic), we could always stand to improve in some way. So if you're taking on a new challenge in 2011, here are my eight tips to increase your chances for resolution success. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Toy

Look what was waiting for me when I got home! Tired of being disappointed by my HP's lackluster printing jobs and wasting expensive ink on it, I decided to FINALLY put my credit card reward points to use and treat myself to an early birthday present. I kept hearing how much creative types love their Epson printers so I made the leap. I've yet to connect the thing (or the other goodies I acquired over the holidays), but I can't wait to see what this beauty can do. (It even has WiFi!)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Bermuda Triangle of Productivity

Sometimes I'm actually happy I can't access any of the above on my work computer. Otherwise there'd be no way I'd catch up on all the e-mails and assignments I accumulated over my extended vacation.


Monday, January 3, 2011

A Heartbreaking Love Story

This video detailing the 27-year romance between Danny and Annie from their first date to his last days with terminal cancer is just too sweet and sad. I was crying before it was over. (via A Cup of Jo)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Wishes For 2011

I don't know if I'd call these resolutions or what, but these are the things I want for the new year:

patience and gratitude * time to read regularly again * launch the stationery biz when I'm good and ready * travel to a new country * dress up more often * exercise * finish out my 20s and prep to greet 30 (yipers!) with confidence * develop some sort of shoe collection * a great messenger bag * strive for happy days > sad days * rekindle my penpalship...if she's still interested * be more unapologetic * recognize and dismiss needless drama * open myself up to new ideas and ventures * motivation to act and create

What do you hope to accomplish in 2011?