Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me

In addition to being EC and JH's birthdays, it was also 1 year ago today that I moved to NYC. I remember it was the day before the DOW dropped a record 700 points. I had two days off between jobs. A friend was in town from Toronto and I was staying in the nicest apartment I would likely ever have in NYC (thanks to Corporate Housing).

The world was my oyster and the air was ripe with the scent of possibility.

And now? A year later? What's my take?

While it wasn't as smooth as an inner city shift, it was fairly easy all things considered. Yes a few too many peanut M&Ms were consumed. Some very late nights at the office. Some bad choices made, and some good ones. But overall pretty awesome.

What have I learned? How have I grown? What has a year living in one of the greatest cities in the world wrought?

Sounds like a top ten er... fifteen list:

1. "Free pour" isn't as great of a thing as one might think
2. Yankees vs Red Sox games, the US Open, and Broadway shows anytime you want
3. Rooftop patios can be trouble- and brownies aren't always the best party treat
4. A lot of Canadian stereotypes are true.
5. A lot of American stereotypes are true.
6. People grow up and people change but some who were your friend when you were 12 can prove to be the best friends you could ever hope to have.
7. Speaking of friends, you will have a lot more of them visit when you live in NYC
8. A little person who has no concept of who you are can bring you the greatest joy simply by being (O)
9. You can go to Rome just for the weekend.
10. People who work in NY are not automatically smarter/better than you are.
11. Weddings and love come in all shapes and sizes.
12. Things are not always what they seem. In fact they are rarely what they seem.
13. Yes the pace and price of NY is exactly how it is portrayed on TV and in the movies.
14. Though I had thought my friend card was full it turns out there is always room for more.
15. Life with an iphone is just better.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Golden Palace

I moved this weekend. Easiest move in history. I moved across the hall- which meant I didn't need to pack anything as I just carried it 15 steps to my new place.
(And yet I'm still faced with an apartment full of stuff that needs to be unpacked, sorted and put away- funny that.)

I also purchased a couch/chair set from a neighbour- which was advertised as 'olive green'. It's not olive. Nor is it green. It's kind of ... gold. And I like gold- a lot of stuff I already own has burnt gold accents.

I'm just not sure how I feel about the colour in such massive quantities. It's not horrible and I used to like it a lot, but now??? In my teeny tiny apartment, with my gold and red accents, and hardwood floors, and cream/yellow walls, it's so much gold I feel like I'm living in a Sultan's Tent from 1001 Arabian Nights.

It might be a tad too much.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Love Happens: a movie review

Where to start?? Well, it's quite possibly the worst movie I've ever seen.* Ever. I would have walked out except for the company I was with.

While watching the movie I actually got a bit upset- for a couple of reasons:
- I would never get those two hours back
- The "stars" probably made more money in this one horrible film than I'll make in a lifetime
- This movie employed such a large team of should be slinging burgers talentless hacks- from props and styling to script and direction.

So rather than focus on the movie I tried to distract myself by making lists of things I'd rather be doing...
- Mopping the floor of my new apartment
- Doing laundry in a bathroom sink??
- Re-reading "Breaking Dawn" while in Vancouver (see previous post about reading "Breaking Dawn" while in Vancouver - 08.08).

Then I tried to predict what would happen: Here's where the 'kooky' friend makes some inappropriate joke to the new guy in order to break the ice. And this is when dude makes an impassioned speech and cries. And that guy over there is going to start to clap. And then the rest will follow. How about when the Dad comes in and says "We never blamed you son! We never blamed you." (his wife died in a car accident while he was driving- that's the big reveal at the end. There- I've just ruined the movie for you). Rounding up with when he starts to conquer his fears and do all of the things he couldn't do at the beginning of the film only 7 short hours earlier.

And finally this led to me creating more lists about what could possibly be more painful than watching this movie:
- Having my arm bent around my back like my brothers used to do when I was a kid.
- Eating super hot jalapenos dipped in tomato sauce and stuffed with pineapple while having a mouth full of canker sores
- Perhaps filing your incisors down to sharp little points with a nail file, and then using those points to puncture multiple holes in your own arm, and then taking that arm and dipping it into a fish tank filled with starving piranhas. I suppose that would be more painful.

And that's where I finish. I don't recommend the movie. I really don't.

(*Brazil is still the worst)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A little chuckle

If you know me- this might make you laugh. It made me laugh.

Thanks chs!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sept 22

It's a grey day today.
With clouds outside.
And clouds inside.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

If You Don't Know Cute by Now

Someone today had the audacity to tell me that their niece was cuter than mine. Yes all babies/children are cute and they shouldn't be compared etc...

And yet.

I present to you exhibit A:

My brother and his family were camping in the great white north. O was too big to be washed in the kitchen sink but too small for the tub...so Coleman came to the rescue.

Cute right? Cutest even???

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Cover of "The Climb"

Safe to say that I'm not much of a Miley Cyrus fan... (though I admire the marketing that made her into a superstar).

Here is a clip of Kelly Clarkson with Jill & Kate doing a MC cover of "The Climb" (taken from Just Jared)- it's about :45 in. It's better than the original

It's like when Mandy Moore did the cover of "Umbrella" - awesome. Wish they would release those versions... (not that Rihanna is untalented- I think she's great).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Intensity: "a high degree of emotional excitement"

The one thing I love about children is their intensity.
Everything is so new and different that they marvel at it all.
Whether it's weather or an emotion or sound - there's nothing too small
for their attention.

Either it's the most fabulous thing or it's the most awful thing.
They cry at the drop of a hat.
Then you show them something shiny and mouths drop open and they stare in wonderment... quite literally forgetting what brought them to tears only moments before.

We (me) lose this as adults, or we strive to fight against it.
We're all about balance.
We want things kept on an even keel.
Our goal is a stressfree life and we're looking for that "happy medium"...

So what happens when you do find something that causes you to react with the intensity of a child?
Something that rocks you to your core and makes you wild?
Do you shy away from it? Or do you dive right in?

I would like to imagine I would dive, without thought to cause or consequence.
And ride the blistering high that fills you from your eyes to your toes,
and then deal with the crushing lows (you can't have one without the other- balance still comes into play).

But I wouldn't.
If faced with that choice I would still be deliberate and thoughtful. I would over-think.
and weigh the pros and cons until it became a safe balanced environment with any intensity bled away.
There are no shiny lights for me. But there is also no cause for tears or dismay.

Sometimes I wish I could recapture what children have...
embrace life with the fervor and enchantment...
And instead of a nice friendly coral, feel like hot deep red.

It has to be somewhat worth it- no?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Morimoto cocktail

I was on my way into the gym for a quick work out at 10pm when I got a text from my friend Jeff, "see you at mm at 10:30!" (meaning Morimoto), where he and Lori were headed for a late dinner.

It was Monday night.
At 10pm.
Morimoto is a fabulous (expensive) Japanese restaurant on the LWS.
I'm in the gym, at least 30 minutes away.

So I do a quick u-turn and head home to change... hop on the subway and make my way down.

I didn't eat but I did have a drink.

It was called the High Line- a signature cocktail. Lori was drinking it. I would like to say it looked like an innocent little drink- innocuous by all standards, without a hint as to what it would offer its' recipient. But it didn't look like that. It looked interesting and spicy and cleanly colourful.

It was a delightful mix of cool and refreshing with a kick from a citrus plant and an undercurrent of Japanese spice. It made me feel like I was drinking something so delicious that it was the best thing I'd ever had in my life, but then it would stop and say "oh no... I'm actually better than that. I'm actually more than you realized. I have this taste, and then this flavour as well. I just keep on surprising you and giving you more drink love."
I adored it.*

You might think it's a bit ridiculous that I'm writing an entire post about a drink- and it is. But mostly it's so that I keep up this appearance of the nyc life- where I am going OUT at 11pm on a Monday night- because that's just how I roll. (vs my reality which would lead to posts about how I actually go to bed at 10pm after eating pad Thai from a box and watching reruns of Degrassi on the N Network).

*editors note: yes it's just a drink. it's not that special. you might like it. you might not. I wouldn't go out of your way to get it- but if you're there... try it on. Have a sip. It might suit your taste. Or not.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer Adventures pt Gold- Miami, South Beath

Pictures tell 1000 words and I'm feeling lazy today. But here's a haiku to make up for the lack of commentary:

Miami so hot
Mermaids protect the hotel
Living like rockstars

Going Rhoda...Er I mean MTM

When I moved to NY I had to fill out a 12 page application. I had to submit transcripts from University and go through a ton of effort to get my VISA. But worth it.

I've just completed the process to apply for an apartment in NYC. Not an easy feat. I almost thought that I'd need to do a blood test in order to provide a DNA sample, or perhaps the promise of my first born???? It was crazy. You ever want to get in the business of identity theft- then become a broker for an apartment building in NYC and you'll get everything you need.

But also worth it (?)- as I was approved today. I sign the papers tomorrow.

And then I will be officially a grown-up. Living on my own. In a teeny tiny studio in the UWS. : )

What was that show? "she's going to make it afterall"... (or was that MTM?)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Summer Adventures pt deux - Savannah, Georgia

I was just there for a weekend which was perfect. Savannah's biggest claim to fame is the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (I'm on page 2) which sat on the best seller list for about 4 years. But it's a beautiful place. Very charming and picturesque with big old oak trees and spanish moss. Old historic buildings with wrought iron railings and court yards. Houses that stay in peoples' families for generations.

This is the courtyard of the famous Mercer house- that's central to the book.

We stayed at the River Inn beside the river- and enjoyed beautiful views of the water
and of ships passing in the night. (literally)

We also went to the beach which was an unexpected treat. I love the ocean so much- and spent about 4 hours playing in the water.

This is us our first night- just out bar hopping.

We also went to karaoke where Rose belted out some classics and we made some new friends.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Stolen Moments

Pencils down. Heads up. Stop working on your client emails. Stop looking at your monitor. Look out the window.


Those were the words I heard tonight in my office amidst the cacophony of office noise. Lots of people were gone but there were a dozen or so of us left- working diligently away. Back at the grind after the summer was clearly over. Not talking to each other (even though we work in the most open of open office environments). Not lifting our eyes from our desks. Not enjoying our time.

And we did stop and look up. (Hearing someone boldly break the silence with such orders does cause one to listen and obey)

In about 5 minutes time the sky had gone from a dim twilight to being flooded with this pink light. It was so unexpected and beautiful. (picture does not capture it at all)

I loved it because it was this unexpected, shared moment- where we all stopped and got up, went to the window and just took it all in. Just for a minute before going back to work.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

And the flip side

Love facebook for the immediate feedback it provides. And while I do still stand by my last post- I also recognize that things are not so black and white. And I'm so very thankful to have the input of my friends to provide love and reassurance.

One shared quote that gives a little perspective:

"I make mistakes. That's what I do. I speak without thinking. I act without knowing. I drink so much that I can barely walk. I'm a fantastic lover though, and an amazing friend. God knows I mean well."
- Carrie Bradshaw

I wasn't even trying to live like SITC... but there you go.

The Integrity We Have. The Choices We Make.

So.... I was kicked out of my apartment at the beginning of this month. One month notice. Out by Sept 30 (not to worry-I've likely found a studio in my same building). Does this make me a bad person? Well I've lived in roughly 15 different apartments over the course of 17 years. And though I won't say I'm the best roommate- I'm also not horrible. And I'm not a bad person.

But I may have made some bad choices.

I believe who we are is an amalgamation of all of the choices we make. And whether or not we make these choices with integrity. These range from what we have for breakfast (if we have breakfast) to whether we choose to tell the bank if they've made a $500 deposit error in our account. Choices of where we spend our money, how we choose to make it. Who we choose to spend our time with and whether or not we give up our seat on the subway to someone less able. Do we treat our colleagues with respect? When faced with a difficult choice is it something we face or avoid? How do we choose to deal with adverse circumstances?

And all of our choices have a right and a wrong. Good and bad.

And at what point do the bad choices we make mean we are bad people?? I'm sure that the guy who accidentally shoots someone when robbing a convenience store for money to feed his family thought he wasn't a bad person. But a series of bad choices, and how he chose to respond to circumstances in his life lead him to that negative place.

So one should live with integrity in all of their choices. Right??

Except sometimes it seems more fun to make the wrong choices. The reason my roommate gave for parting ways was because a few months ago we walked into his bedroom at 2:30 in the morning in order to get out onto the patio. Yup- just barged right in. "We'll be so quiet they won't hear us or even know" is what we told ourselves. 7 grown adults who'd been drinking all night are not quiet in any way shape or form. It seemed funny at the time. Of course apologies were issued and regret was expressed in the dim light of morning but the damage was done.

A good person who made a bad choice.

I'm not perfect. I think I'm still a good person. But I can honestly say I look back at the last 12-18 months and can identify a few slip ups. And I'm kind of happy I was asked to leave- as it gives me reason to pause. And re-evaluate. And maybe hit re-set.

And start to make choices with more integrity.

And the upside: this time the choices I made really only hurt me (and not even as I'm excited about getting my own place) and I hadn't gotten to the stage where my choices would negatively affect someone else.

Except for the poor sucker who now has to move into my room. He/She will have to deal with my purple wall.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Summer Adventures pt 1

I know I have been terrible about writing in my blog lately... and only because I have been so busy with 1001 adventures- so I guess that's a good thing?
I also no longer have a camera (sure would love to get one for Christmas- hint hint Mom) and am reluctant to post without visual interest. But I've gathered a few photos with the iphone and will post mini updates on what I've been up to. Starting with...

My first trip to the US Open.

Last week Rose and Becky and I went for a day session to see Nadal playing (and winning). We spent the afternoon there- watching smaller matches before heading to Arthur Ashe stadium for the big match. It was pretty cool. What's even better is that another friend of mine got us tickets to see the Men's Finals next Sunday!!! So awesome!
This is a view from the Arthur Ashe stadium of the whole grounds- specifically the practice courts where you can catch some of the biggies playing.

This is the view from our seats - watching Nadal play. Pretty high up- but I loved just being there.

All in all a really great day. It was hot hot hot with blue blue skies and a perfect way to spend a Wednesday.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

It's been two weeks?!

Miami, Toronto, Weddings, fun stuff. Lots going on which is why I haven't had time to write. And am going to Savannah this weekend. Will try to write an update tomorrow with news of my impending move (yes another move)...

but until then you're in my thoughts always.