Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Not too busy to at least say.....

I'm SO excited the Yankees have stepped it up and won the first of three games verses the BoSox!!!!

Let's go Yankees!!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pulling my hair out

So I am CRAZY busy this week with the move. I have so so much to blog about, like Becky coming last weekend, and my move this week (not to mention my worst New York City experience yet.) I know I'll have even more after my mom, Brad, and Nadia come this weekend, but for now I just don't have the time. I promise I will catch everyone up to speed when things settle down.

Sha booya, sha sha sha booya roll call, sha booya, sha sha sha booya roll call!

Yes, that was a thing we used to do in cheer. But seriously, this is a roll call to all you blog viewers I don't know (or maybe DO know, but you just haven't revealed that you look at my blog.)

Thanks to my favorite blogger friend Kathryn I've learned about stat counter, and the roll call. (Gotta give credit where credit's due.)
Anyway, I love checking out my stat counter to see who's been looking at my blog. It's not that I think I have the coolest blog in the world, I mostly blog for myself as a journal, and for my family that is so far away.
But I've loved blogging (especially before work blocked it!) for so many reasons, one of them being because I find old friends and make new ones, and realize how small of a world we live in.
So yes, I love finding out who's been checking out my blog. I love seeing that the Burns family in Houston still cares about what's going on in my life, and I love that after seven years and never even living in the same state Ang still checks in on me (and me her) when I see a hit from Indiana. But there are so many of you who I don't know!! Please introduce yourself in a comment! Don't feel guilty, I've been a total blog lurker here and there. I've found people from my home stake I only knew through associastion, and I still think it's fun to catch up on their lives, and I've looked at friends of friends' blogs, whom I didn't even know. So come on, just say hi!! I won't bite, promise.

Friday, August 24, 2007

71 Broadway: Home sweet home

It's official, I'm MOVING! I know, I know, it was just a few weeks ago I posted this and asked for your help on decor for my own new room, BUT, like they say, In a New York minute everything can change.

I don't have the energy right now to explain all the details (I know, since when am I one to pass up an opportunity for story telling?) but I'm too excited not to blog a little about my exciting news.

This isn't a good picture of the building but it's the best I could pull off the internet for now.

I'm officially moving to the financial district in one week and am so excited. A lot of people aren't too stoked to live in that area because it dies down at night, however I can't yet afford to live in areas of the upper west side or upper east side that are closer to midtown.

Some people have said to me, "Why are you moving clear down there? It's so far!" People say this because it really is clear at the bottom of Manhattan. It's the last stop for some subways before they cross the water to go to Brooklyn. "Far", however, is relative. I currently live 4.5 miles (9 subway stops) from my work, and my new place will be 3.7 miles (5 subway stops) from work. Like I mentioned, some people have commented about how it's kind of dead at night, and how I'll have to get on the subway to get to any nightlife, however, that is no change from how I live now, except the people lurking in my new neighbor seem a lot less sketchy than the people in my current neighborhood. Don't get me wrong, I don't live in the (total) ghetto, but am looking forward to a change of scenery.

I am SO excited about my new place. It has so many great things about it, basically all perks. The only downside is I will be going back to sharing a room, but that is IT. Remember a couple months ago when I randomly made a list of things I wanted (some more than others) in an apartment? Here, I'll refresh your memory:

Better location (closer to midtown) check!

Elevator building check!

Dishwasher check!

Own room

Close to a subway check!

Be in the 8th ward boundaries

A doorman check!

To live on a high floor of highrise building check! (sort of....only on the 7th floor but it's a highrise!)

Roof access check! (with great views of the Hudson River, Ground Zero, and the Empire State Building.)

Close to an express stop for the subway (pretty much every subway runs right there, so, check!)

So I don't have my own room but I'll be sharing with Sarah, with whom I've shared before, and I'm not in the 8th ward but I'm kind of over that anyways.

I'm also very excited because everything is pretty new as far as counter tops and whatnot goes. It used to be an office building but has been converted into an apartments. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention there's a nice gym and also a lounge with a kitchen, big screen tv, and pool table. It's located right by Ground Zero, very close to the NYSE, and across the street from the Trinity Church (not to mention a Tiffany's that's being built close by!) I'll be attending the Union Square ward, in which I have a couple friends and they say it's really great.

Anyway, I'm exhausted and Becky will be here early tomorrow-yay! So I've got to go to bed, but there's the basics. I'll post the story about how this came to be, and more details later.

I signed the lease today and I couldn't be more excited.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'll be able to post the news (as long as things go according to plan) tomorrow! (After work since blogger is now blocked!) :(
Aaaand, it's really not THAT cool, so don't get your hopes up. It's just something that's a big deal to me that's been on my mind the last two weeks and the suspense is killing me!!!
Everyone keeps asking my news.....I promise, it's coming soon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I love New York Daily Photo

Here's a couple taken in Washington Park (where I go to eat Shake Shack.)

There's a link on my page.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I miss these kids

Okay, I know, it's been a while since I've blogged. The truth is, there hasn't really been a whole lot of blog-worthy happenings lately.
Here's a recap of the last week:
  • I finally tried Pinkberry. I thought it was, alright, definitely overrated. I think I might love it more as I go more often, but still, it's not even in the same league as Golden Spoon. But I will still keep going considering my love for fro-yo, and for low carb meals.
  • I saw my first hooker (actually on my way to Pinkberry.) I felt really bad for the girl and wondered where her family was.
  • I went to the Barney's warehouse sale. Didn't find a thing. This reaffirmed my belief I'm a boutique shopper. I know there's amazing bargains at places like Century 21 but it's usually my friends that find these deals, not me. Plus I don't have enough patience to fight the crowds and wait in line for twenty minutes just to use a dressing room. Occasionally you might find me in Nordstrom Rack, but that's about it.
  • My dad's going to be out here again next week for business and obviously I'm so excited. He's a total hater but has been really wanting to go to a Yankees game with me. Every time he's been here they've been on the road so we were so excited to find out not only are they in town, but they're hosting the BoSox! What a game! I couldn't be more excited.
  • My mom is also coming into town. She'll be here over Labor Day weekend. I am so excited to take her around the city and have her experience my life here. We will have a blast I'm sure.
  • I saw the Simpsons Movie Friday night with Chelsie, Mike, Steve, and Jordan. I thought it was really funny.
  • It took me over an hour to get to church Sunday. I waited 15 minutes for the bus, took it to 125th and waited 20 minutes for the subway, took it to 168th, then took the shuttle bus to Dykeman Street. I am hating on public transportation right now.
  • My best friend Cindy's little brother Richard got engaged! I've known Rich since he was "Richie" and about 8 years old. So crazy! Way to go!
  • I spent Saturday going through my apartment with my roommate Sarah, getting rid of everything in the apartment left behind by past roommates. It was such a great feeling to de-clutter the place. It was long overdue.
  • My friend Becky Block is coming out this weekend. I am so excited! We always have a blast together. She'll be flying standby so I'm hoping the flights are open!!
  • In horrible news, my work officially blocked blogger. So lame! Last Friday I'd noticed I could still check blogs, but I couldn't post, and I couldn't comment, and a lot of pictures wouldn't show up. This morning I went to check in on all my friends and blogger is 100% unavailable! I'm so annoyed. No email and facebook were bad enough, but now they've just added insult to injury. Come on, I'm not going to do any insider trading! I don't even know what that means!!! :(
  • Lastly, I'm hoping I'll have some very exciting news to post in the next couple days...I can't say much about it now, but everyone keep your fingers crossed...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy birthday Brad!!

Today is my brother Brad's birthday. I wish I could be in Boston to celebrate with him and Nadia!

Brad has always been a great big brother. I think my earliest memory of Brad is when we lived in Kansas and everyone else was old enough to go to school and I would be so sad because I had to stay home. Brad would give me quarters to cheer me up. I also remember Brad dressing up like Love Bug, the fictional creature my sister invented to leave me little toys and notes under my pillow at night. One day after my swimming lesson Love Bug and his little helper stopped by the house (Brad and Jason.) So cute. I was little enough that their disguises fooled me a little, but I had my suspicions.

One of my favorite times with Brad from when I was a kid was the short period of time we rode the bus together. I was in kindergarten and Brad was a big 5th grader. We were living in Naperville and May Watts hadn't finished being built so we had to take the bus to another school. Of course all the kids sat in their age groups but even at such a young age Brad was sweet enough to sit with me, and when he would decide to go hang out with his friends he would always make sure I was okay without him there. I remember feeling like he genuinely was concerned for my well being.

As we got older I watched Brad when he was in high school. He used to have all his buddies over all the time and I thought they were so cool, especially when they would let me hang out with him. Brad was always quite the ladies man and I loved being the little tag along with him and his girlfriends.

My favorite period of our lives so far though, has been when I was a freshman in college and he was finishing up at BYU. Rebecca was married and Jason was on his mission and this was the first time where we really got to know each other in a more mature part of life. For the first time we were in the same general phase of life and could relate to each other quite a bit. I loved going down to Provo to stay at his place, and having him come to Rexburg a couple times. I loved going to Puarto Rico with our parents (even though he still teases me that I didn't even see the place because I slept the whole time,) and the snow mobiling trip to Yellowstone.

I've especially loved the time we've had together since I've moved back east and how we're only four hours apart.

Brad is the kind of person that makes you feel better about yourself. He has a gift of speaking to anyone, whether they're his friend or a stranger, and making them feel like they are so important. He's always had a way with words, or as I like to say, has always been a schmoozer. :)

He tries to do the right thing, works hard, and is just a genuine person. He is absolutely hilarious, always cracking witty jokes. And who can forget his flawless impressions of those such as Bill Clinton, Tim McGraw, and Hank Hill, "Dang it Bobby!"

Happy birthday Brad. Live up this big year!! Love you!

(PS There are more pics to come...)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cindelle & Raquel: 1993-forever

So I mentioned a couple posts ago that it was Cindy's and my 14th anniversary last month. Cindy was my very first friend when I moved to California when I was ten years old. My family moved out in the middle of the week during the summer time so church on Sunday was my first opportunity to meet some people my age. We went to church and I really don't remember anything about that day other than when I went to Sunday School we were playing some sort of game. Cindy came up to me and said, "Hi I'm Cindy Brown but you can call me Brownsie. Wanna be on my team?" From then on we became inseparable.
When the time for school came around we were so excited to see that we were in the same 5th grade class. We had Mrs. Quijano, and I only remember how to spell her name because we made up a song, haha. Remember Cindy? "Q-U-I-J-A-N-O. Q-U-I-J-A-N-O. Q-U-I, Q-U-I, Q-U-I-J-A-N-O."
The next year we were even more excited to find out we both had Mr. Johns, the coolest 6th grade teacher. We had a blast that year ruling the school as the oldest of the upper graders.

Next we were on to Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School. I was bummed to find out that I was in Village One and Cindy was in Village Four, along with our other close friends Jessica Lang and Julie Conkey. We still remained best friends though.
We rounded up junior high and then headed off to Trabuco Hills High School together. We went through some crazy times in classes, seminary, young womans, and everything else high school brings on. I remember the fun times learning how to drive and date. I remember sharing first kiss stories, and staying up "so late" one night my parents went out of town and left me alone senior year. I remember ditching out on "lame" activities to go get food, just because we could drive. I remember wasting so much gas in Cindy's car Roxy just driving around listening to music and laughing. We worked at Golden Spoon together (Cindy was a MUCH better worker), ditched out on Sunday School together, and went to dances together.

We always had the best time rooming together at EFY in the summer. We would stay up all night laughing. We always made cute shirts that said CALIFORNIA GIRL and lived up to the reputation.

We finally graduated and headed off to BYU-I together. We lived together in the Perkins Hall dorms and had the best time. We loved making movies, sledding down our little hill on Cindy's boogie board, thinking up creative things to put on the whiteboard, meeting cute boys, and of course watching FRIENDS.
After freshman year Cindy married the most awesome guy Jake Robinson, Jakie-Pie as we like to call him. I was so sad to be losing Cindy as a roommate, but so happy she'd found such a great guy to share her life with whom I adored.

Since she's been married our lives have gotten progressively more and more different, however none of this has ever changed the fact that we are best friends. We still love to get together for eggs on toast and some good gossip.

Cindy is honestly the best friend I have ever had. She would do anything for you, and never expects anything in return. She is so unconditionally supportive. She is the kind of person that is there for you no matter what. She's a friend through all seasons. She is so understanding and patient. She defines a true friend. I know I could call her at any time and she would just listen to me and never be judgemental. She is absolutely wonderful and I am the luckiest person to have her to call as my best friend.
I love you Cindy-loo!! Happy anniversary. Thank you for being so wonderful. Here's to 14 more years, and then 14 more, and 14 more, and so on, and on, and on!!

Since most of my pictures are back home in California my options were very limited. We definitely have some horrible pictures of some extremely awkward phases. (Strange how it seems like that's when we did the most photo shoots, wish I had some more of those to put up.)
Anyway, I can't wait to just keep adding to the collection.

This is one of my all time favorites of us. We both know what I was saying here!! :)

A Wicked Weekend

I had the absolute best weekend. It started off pretty rocky with a horrible day at work on Friday. It was tense and frustrating in regards to work, and I got some surprising news in regards to what I need to do in order to sign the lease in my apartment. Anyone who knows me well knows I'm a total stress case, so I was definitely feeling pretty tense.

After the day was over I just went home to unwind a little. My cute roommate Brenna was moving out on Saturday and a bunch of us were going to spend the evening together. Everyone was meeting up at 5:30 but I wouldn't have been able to meet up with them at that time so I said I would catch up with them later. To my luck, they ended up just grabbing dinner and then everyone came back over to my place after because Brenna still had a lot of packing to do.

It was a nice mellow night and before everyone got to the apartment I was able to finish Angels & Demons.

I was really sad to be seeing Brenna leave. She's only lived at our place for about a month and a half but her internship just finished and she's headed back home to Utah, hoping to eventually come back to the city.

For the last three months our apartment has been like a revolving door, having had six different people living there at various times. I'm really looking forward to things settling down, and also doing some spring cleaning because there's been so many things left behind by prior tenants. That was on the agenda for this weekend, but I ended up being busier than I'd anticipated.

The first part of Saturday was totally annoying. There was a street fair on my block and they were BLARING music from about 11am on. It seriously was so loud, I couldn't hear the tv over it. I should have gone down to check it out, but I was just in one of those moods where I was more annoyed than anything. I looked out my window a few times and noticed they had a bounce house and what looked like carnival booths. The most annoying part, however, was the emcee. For most of the time he was on the mic singing along the lyrics to the blaring music. He didn't know most of the words so it basically sounded like a drunken karaoke rendition of various 90s hip hop songs. Seriously so ghetto. Here's a pic I took out the window of my apartment. This is when they were doing some dance competition. I kept telling myself how great it was for the kids, but for whatever reason I was seriously grumpy about it. I know, I'm a horrible person.

Saturday afternoon is when the weekend really started, however. My good friend Casey Bolger from home flew into the city with his dad Tim, brothers Brian and Kevin, and Kevin's friend Bryce. I went down to their hotel around 5pm. It took me about an hour to get down there because where they were staying was located more towards the lower east side, so it just takes longer to get down there from the upper west side, especially on the weekends.

They were staying at the Gramercy Park Hotel which is SO nice. Casey said he thought it was scary but I thought it was really neat. It's kind of like a super old hotel, but it's revamped. The decor is amazing.

Casey and I decided to go out and explore the city a bit. He's not new to New York. His dad grew up here so they come every year, however Casey hasn't come out in two years so it had been a little while.

I wasn't sure where to take him, especially since I'm not familiar with that area. We ended up walking close by Shake Shack so we made a stop there since our dinner reservations weren't until 9:15. I wasn't hungry at all but of course couldn't help getting a peanut butter concrete. It wasn't the best one I've ever had, and frankly I'm starting to be a little disappointed with the Shack as my last couple experiences haven't been up to par.

Here's Casey and me in front of Washington Park. I like how I look like paste. Casey has been doing nothing all summer but going to the beach, while I've been doing nothing but working. So sad. Such a stark difference to last summer.

Then we just walked uptown on 5th Ave. We made a stop at Cheap Jack's, a vintage store. Chelsie and I stumbled upon this place once and it's pretty fun. It's HUGE and outrageously overpriced. When I'd gone in there before I didn't go downstairs to the guy's department, but after going there with Casey I found out that's where the real treasures are. There was a strict "no photos" policy, which was a total crime. Some of the best things we found included: hot pink Lee jeans (for guys), a pink tuxedo jacket, a powder blue button up shirt, much like the one my dad wore at my parents' wedding reception, pants with mallard ducks all over them, and onsies pajamas with a trap door. There were SO many other great things besides just these, however.

Then we headed up and walked past Bryant Park, through Columbus Circle, and then went to see the Manhattan LDS temple since Casey hadn't seen it before.

After that we headed down to meet everyone else for dinner at Amalia on 55th and 7th Ave. We got there a little early so we took a pic while we were waiting.

Once we finally got seated I realized we were in a very nice restaurant and I was feeling a little under dressed in my tunic, leggings, and rainbows. I was really wishing I had more of a refined taste when it comes to food. The menu was very expensive, and I hardly knew what anything was. I was finally able to spot a chicken dish, so I went with that. It was pretty good. I couldn't even tell you what I got for dessert. I thought what I was ordering was something chocolate with fruit, and it turned out to be some concoction of peaches, almonds, raspberry slush on the side, some clear jelly that I thought was a little ice sculpture until it started jiggling, and various other things.

Casey was so excited to have me along because everyone in his family has very refined taste, and he's super picky, just like me. Here we are being the picky eater's club. (Don't worry, I wasn't rude, I think I hid my pickiness pretty well.....wait till you hear what I tried the next day.)

After dinner we headed down to the basement where there's a bar and club. I don't know how else to explain what it looked like other than it reminded me of a crypt. I kept thinking there were hidden passage ways and secret clues sine I'd just finished Angels and Demons the night before. It was pretty empty as it was only 11pm and these places don't start getting busy until 1am at least. Casey and I were pretty tired so we decided to take off, as well as his dad, but his brothers and Bryce decided to stay for a bit. His dad insisted on putting me in a cab and giving me way too much cash to pay for it. I felt guilty, but I have to admit it was such a treat to take a cab. Tim is such a nice man!

Sunday morning I got up early, around 8am (definitely early for a Sunday!) and headed down to the hotel around 10:30. We hopped in a couple cabs and headed down to another very nice restaurant called Balthazar. Casey, Tim, and I took one cab and as soon as we stepped out Tim realized he'd left his phone in the car. Understandably he was very upset. Casey was smart and pulled out his phone and kept dialing his dad's cell. Luckily the cabbie picked up and we were able to meet up to get the phone back. Phew!

Balthazar was another very nice restaurant. Thanks again Tim!! The other boys were struggling because they'd been out clubbing till 4am.

After brunch we headed back to the hotel for a bit to kill some time. This was the first time I got to walk past the lobby. The rooms were seriously so nice. I loved how the bathrooms were designed and wish I could explain them to paint a picture. Everything was amazing though. There were huge flat screen tvs and really comfy beds. We chilled out and watched some tv and everyone but Casey took a nap (including me.) :)

Casey thought the walls were really creepy the way they're painted red. They reminded me of The Shining.

We headed down to the lobby to meet up with everyone to go to Wicked. I was so excited. I've been hearing about Wicked for three years now and everyone raves about it. Tim totally bought tickets for everyone which was so nice of him. He'd seen it before so when Casey's cousin Jill found out she was going to be in town Tim let her have his ticket.

We sat in the bar for a few minutes while everyone gathered. There was really cool tile on the floor so Casey and I attempted to capture it in a pic but it didn't quite work out. It just looks like normal tile, haha.

When we finally were all ready to head to the theater there was a very nice black Mercedes waiting in front of the hotel to drive us to the theater. Nice.

We were seriously so excited...

The ticket...

The playbill...

The seats. Yep, that's Casey pointing to SECOND ROW CENTER seats!! Amazing!

You can't see but the stage is seriously about five feet away. We could see the director of the orchestra. Seriously amazing. Tim, you are my fav.

Of course the show was great but I have to say I don't think anything could live up to the three years of reviews I've been hearing. Everyone goes on and on and on about how wonderful it is, as if it's three hours of euphoria. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. I thought it was great. Everyone should go see it, but it was a little oversold.

After the show we walked through Times Square for a bit (ugh) and then met up with Tim back at the Gramercy Park Hotel bar for drinks (obviously Diet Coke for me and water for Case.) Then we headed out to dinner at a restaurant called Craft. This was honestly the nicest place I've ever eaten. The servers brought out new plates and silverware for every course, and it was about a two hour ordeal. The standard for bigger parties (there were seven of us) is to order a bunch of entrees and sides and everyone shares. Again, I ordered the chicken. There were a couple different potato variations ordered and of course they were delish. Everyone else ordered different kinds of meets and fish and whatnot. Casey and Tim split the Porter House T-bone steak and let's just say the price tag was in the 3-figures. I felt so guilty eating at such an expensive place, but it seemed pretty normal for everyone so I just tried to blend in. I was very proud of myself because I tried the scallops (not that bad, but I'd never order them) and, are you ready for this? Bone marrow. Yes, bone marrow. I know, right? Seriously makes me want to cringe. It came in, yes, bones, with the steak Tim and Casey had. It was there for so long and I figured when will I ever have another chance so....why not? I just had a tiny taste. It just tasted like a salty sauce. I was pretty disgusted after though.

After the entrees the servers brought us what looked like tall shot glasses filled with peach spritzer. It was to "cleanse the pallet." Then we all ordered different desserts and shared these also. They were amazing. I ordered chocolate souffle and a side of strawberry ice cream. Divine. Everyone's dessert was so good. After dessert the servers brought us chocolate chip biscuit type things. I can't even remember the fancy name for it.

After dinner we walked home. It was pretty nice out. It was about 10:30pm when we got back to the hotel and I decided I would head home because I was exhausted. I said my goodbyes and once again, Tim wouldn't allow me to get on the subway. He hailed a cab for me and forced money in my hand. I felt so badly but there's just no telling him no.

It's so nice to be around such generous people. Despite all the fancy spoiling of the weekend, however, I just had the best time with Casey. I've been looking forward to this all summer. Casey is the kind of friend you know no matter what you do you're going to have the best time. Literally every time I'm with him I get in one of those giddy moods and just laugh and laugh, and it was basically like that for 48 hours. It was the best time.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Brad in the city

I'm loving the fact that my brother now travels to the city at times so we can meet up for dinner.

He was here last night and had to try Shake Shack after all the raving I've done. For me, it wasn't the best night for the burgers unfortunately, however the fries and concretes were AMAZING. Mmmm, peanut butter. I could so go for one right now. :)

I was really embarrassed because I made so many stupid subway mistakes. It was like I'd just moved here or something. No one ever believes you when you say, "I swear this never happens." Haha, especially when there's mistakes made when going both uptown and downtown. Woops, sorry again Brad.

We were lucky to get down there and stay dry because the rain was looming, but that also made for a short line. Yay! We were able to walk through the village on our way up and see a really sweet drag queen and what looked like a robbery. It happened so fast, but we think some guy ripped off a backpack from someone or somewhere. It didn't seem like there was any victum but we don't know where a random backpack would have come from. It was a strange experience and you have to have been there to understand what I mean.

We also ran into my girlfriend KaRyn. I love that there's 8,000,000 people in New York City and you still run into people you know. Of course the first thing KaRyn said when I introduced her was, "You guys look exactly alike!" I used to get that all the time when I was with my sister Rebecca, but Brad and I are getting it more and more.

We had a great time chatting and, of course, laughing. Anyone in my family will tell you when Brad and I get together we laugh a TON. For some reason we always wind up getting so loopy and before the night's over, without fail, will end up hunched over, red-faced, and out of breath because we can't control our hysterics. Ususally everyone around us just stares. I love it.

I can't wait for the next time Brad comes down to the city. Thanks Brad!!

This is pretty much how it looked on Wednesday. All these people are trying to figure out how to get to work.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Saw this on someone else's blog and it looked fun!

20 years ago I . . .
1. ...was sad to be leaving my best friend Lindsey McCracken, along with the cul-de-sac we lived on in Kansas City to move to Chicago.
2. ...had hair down to my waist.
3. ...insisted on dressing myself in outfits that never matched, and changed 3-4 times a day.

10 years ago I . . .
1. ...was so excited for the upcoming year as a freshman cheerleader for Trabuco Hills High School.
2. ...visited New York City for the first time with my family.
3. ...was excited for my brother to go serve his mission in Morristown, New Jersey, but also sad he was leaving.

5 years ago I...
1. ...was driving around in my cute little white bug affectionately named HOPEBUG.
2. ...was making the decision that even though I didn't want to, I felt like I was supposed to go back up to BYU-Idaho (and boy am I happy I did!)
3. ...was so sad the Burns family was moving to Houston.

3 years ago I . . .
1. ...was just getting ready to head back to BYU-Idaho after an 8 month hiatus.
2. ...had no idea I was in for two of my favorite semesters of college, and wouldn't return to live at home again until I graduated almost two years later.
3. ...was working as a receptionist at TieCare Int'l, a place I still go back to and visit coworkers I adore.

1 year ago I . . .
1. ...was living it up for six weeks post graduation. I spent my time mostly laying out. The best part of the break was my first (and sadly, only) trip to Powell. That place is heaven on earth and I have every intention on going all the time when I have my own family!
2. ...was contemplating moving to NYC (we all know how that turned out.) :)
3. ...was feeling completely overwhelmed in the world of adulthood.

In the next year I shall . . .
...for the first time in my life, I honestly don't know. I have some goals I'm working towards, but I am also waiting to see what life will hand me. It's such a fun/scary mystery, not having my life on such a school-dictated time table.
Stay tuned....the blog will update!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A New York commuter's worst nightmare

So this morning around 5:45am I was woken up by yet another thunderstorm. It wasn't as bad as Friday's, but it was pretty bad. I was feeling pretty badly for the bums, wondering where they went in times like this. I dozed in and out of sleep for the next hour or so (and dreamt I was a smoker....random?) and finally got up to get ready for work. I was all set, thinking I would try to look nice with a button down collared shirt, black pants, and straightened hair. I popped in my ipod and was jamming to some Toby Keith. As I stepped out of my building I waited for a second to see if it was still drizzling, nope. Yay! I thought to myself. The bad weather is done and the day will be okay. Little did I know what was coming.
I headed to the subway, nothing was out of the ordinary. As I approached I noticed a girl on her cell phone sobbing her eyes out and stomping her feet. Dang, I thought, she's seriously upset about something. As I headed toward my cute little newspaper boy I noticed more people standing by the subway entrance than usual. I didn't think too much of it, bought my Post, and was just about to head down the steps.
It was then I heard something mentioned about the subways not running. I took off my ipod and asked my paperboy what was up. He informed me no subways were running because the tracks were flooded due to the rain. Bummer.
I headed over to the bus stop wondering if it would be crowded. I was excited when I saw only four or five people waiting. I stood there for a minute and then noticed every bus that came by was packed like a sardine can. I realized this didn't look like it would be an option.
I called my boss to inform him I'd be a little late, figuring I'd just grab a cab. I ran to the atm and then began searching. The traffic was really bad so I figured I might as well start walking in the right direction while I tried to get a cab.
At 109th I wondered if I should turn around and go back to my apartment to get my running shoes. I didn't want to walk the three blocks back and figured I'd be fine. It was at 100th I realized the rain soaked pavement was starting to soak through my adorable yet cheap Old Navy flats. The option of getting a cab wasn't looking too good, and I thought I might be walking for a while, so around I turned. Luckily I was able to get a semi-broken down cab to drive me back to my place.
I was walking up my stoop just as my roommate Sarah was leaving. I informed her of what was happening and she came back up to the apartment with me to change clothes. It was hot and HUMID so I put on my running attire and ate a yogurt since the morning hunger was starting to set in. It was at this point I was feeling like this was such a "fun adventure" I decided to document it with the below photo. Sarah took this of me in our stairwell just before we took off.

We walked for quite a while in the bike lane of the street towards oncoming traffic. I figured it'd be easier to spot cabs if we looked for ones headed in our direction verses looking over our shoulders the whole time. There were a million cabs, but none with vacancy. I actually saw one guy walk up to a cab and say to the driver, "Is there any way you can take another passenger? There's no available cabs." The cabbie wouldn't agree.
It wasn't long before I realized this wasn't so fun. I was so grateful, however, that it wasn't still raining, and that it wasn't winter. There's no way I could have shlepped to work in the snow. It was crazy to see the streets so packed with so many people not knowing what to do. It seems crazy to me that with all that happens in New York the city is not prepared for something like this. I mean, I don't know what they could do to prepare for it, but it really seemed like something more should have been done. All I could think was Why can't Bloomburg do something about this? I want his personal car to come take me to work. I was only semi-joking.
The scariest thing we saw on our walk down 8th Ave was a man unconscious on the ground, bleeding from his head. People were around him trying to help, and I was grateful I wasn't the first person to come upon the situation. Not that I wouldn't have done anything, but I'm just not good in emergencies. Sarah thought he'd been hit by a car, but my assumption was that he'd passed out from the heat and hit his head on the pavement. It really unnerved me to see that. I can't imagine how it would have been to be here during 9/11 and see so many people hurt or worse.
We did get one cab to pull over and for no apparent reason I asked if he'd take us downtown. Why wouldn't he take us downtown? He was a cab. I think I was delirious because when he asked where to I couldn't get 40th and 5th Ave out of my mouth. After about the fifth try, and an unsuccessful attempt at opening a locked door, I finally got the words out. He shook his head no and pulled back into his lane. I was so angry!! In true New Yorker form I smacked my hand against the trunk and then threw my arms up in the air and exlaimed Come on! I showed I'm becoming a New Yorker another time when we were whistled at by some girl biking toward us in attempts to get us to move. It wasn't the first time we'd annoyed a biker by walking in the bike lane. Obviously we were in the wrong, and any other normal day I wouldn't embark upon their territory, however walking along the sidewalk would have hindered our cab hailing ability and on a day like this I really didn't care if I was using the bike lane when not on a bike. So yeah, this chick coming toward us starts whistling, implying we needed to move. I didn't like the whistle, so I whistled right back at her. It gave Sarah a good laugh.
When we reached 50th we made a pit stop at Duane Reed to pick up some deodorant. We'd both forgotten to pack it and boy did we feel nasty. It was at that point I parted from her to head towards 5th Ave (she works on Broadway at 32nd and I really didn't want to get into touristy Times Square.)
I called my Dad to fill him in on what was going on because I knew he'd be on his way to work. (It was 10am my time at this point.) We chatted for about ten minutes and then hung up. I was about half a mile from my office. Right after we hung up I passed a thermometer that read 80 degrees. I texted my dad to inform him and his response? Are you ready for this? That's hot. Paris. Hahaha, my dad is hilarious.
So I finally reached my office absolutely exhausted, sticky, sweaty, and probably stinky. Awesome. I headed to the bathroom to change and just felt nasty. My nicely straightened hair ended up in a messy bun because the humidity destroyed it.
When I checked in with my boss he told me he'd figured I'd ended up walking and thought he should have told me not to even come in. Wow, thanks for telling me that after I got to the office.
The first half of the day was totally unproductive. I was so exhausted I couldn't get motivated to do any work. The second half was much better and I got all my work done. Everyone was talking about how they got into the city. A lot of people weren't affected because they live outside of Manhattan and took commuter trains to Penn Station, which are above ground. Some people didn't make it in at all, however, because there was no way. I won the award for farthest commute by foot (at least with the people with whom I spoke.) When two of my bosses found out where I lived they were half shocked I walked that far, and half shocked I lived in what has a reputation of being ghetto by middle-aged people standards. At first I was embarrassed, but then decided to milk it, hoping when it came time for bonuses they'd take pity on me. It really wasn't that far of a walk, just four miles (plus the half mile I walked before I got started.) It felt really long though, since I wasn't prepared for it, and it was so dang hot out.
I guess there was a tornado that touched down in Brooklyn. When I heard it I figured it was a rumor but then saw something about it online. So crazy.
After work the subways were running but I couldn't decide if I wanted to take them because I really wasn't in the mood to get stuck underground if that became the case. I also didn't feel like walking over to the bus because I figured they'd be pretty full. As the end of the day neared I decided I would chance it with the subways, however when I got outside I quickly decided I would treat myself to a cab home; I deserved it. Boy was that a mistake.
There was so much traffic it took me 30 minutes and $15 to go 19 blocks (one mile.) Usually it should have taken me about $15 to get home (72 blocks.) It was so dang stop and go and the AC totally sucked I was feeling sick and decided to get out at 6th and 59th. I decided to walk the two avenues to Columbus Circle and check out the bus situation. There was a line for the bus and I decided I really didn't want to stand in the heat and wait, and then cram onto a bus that would be stopping every 2-3 blocks. My only other option (besides walking which I was NOT doing) was to attempt the subway. Finally, something worked out in my favor.
As I headed underground the heat was almost disabling. It was so intense. But as luck would have it, just as I was going down to the uptown B train, it was rolling up. Hallelujah!!! The best news it, I guess most people had their concerns like me, and decided against the subways because there was hardly anyone in the cars. I got a seat no problem. The AC felt amazing, and I couldn't wait to get home.
So I finally made it home 30 minutes later than I should have, and completely (almost) stripped down and sat in front of the AC unit. No one had gotten home yet so the apartment was a sauna. I think my favorite moment of the day was when I was sitting on my couch next to the AC, wearing next to nothing, eating some chocolate Haagen-Dazs straight from the carton, watching today's Regis and Kelly on the DVR.
What a day. (I ended up not feeling so badly for the bums because they didn't have to go to work all day after that nightmare.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


The world will feel like a sauna today, as high temperatures and heavy humidity combine to create a hot, sticky atmosphere for the New York City area and surrounding suburbs.Today and tomorrow, the thermometer will exceed 90 degrees, and the humidity will make it feel more like 100 in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. A heat advisory has been issued for New York City from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. today.

(Thanks Kathryn, hope you don't mind I stole this from your blog. I had to document this.)

Last night's walk/run recap

  1. I swallowed a bug and I think part of it was stuck in my throat the rest of the night.
  2. I saw another man peeing, this time against a dumpster.
  3. The first half my walk to run ratio was 50/50-go me! I am trying so hard to love running and it's just not quite happening.
  4. Some guy happened to (non-intentionally) sneak up on me and breeze by and it scared me SO badly. It was the first time I felt threatened on one of my walk/runs. Strangest feelings ever, immediate goosebumps all over my arms and legs, and my stomach dropped. I've never felt fear at that intense of a level, be brought on so quickly. (This was about an hour after I was thinking it might be kind of cool to get attacked so I could see if I could fight the guy off. Okay, it wouldn't really be cool.)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy anniversary!

Happy anniversary to New York City and yours truly! It has been six amazing months now that I've been living here, and I couldn't be happier. Thanks for the great times Big Apple. I can't wait for many, many more fabulous memories to come.

Weekend recap

Friday night a bunch of friends were going to see The Bourne Ultimatum. I wasn't really in the mood because I wanted to finish getting moved in and get everything organized. Also, they were seeing a 10:30pm show, and everytime I see a show on a Friday night 9pm or later I seriously struggle to stay awake and it's just no fun. Oh yeah, and I was kind of confused by the first two Bourne movies, so I want to rent them and watch them again before I go see this one. (Elise, maybe I'll utilize that fabulous coupon you sent me!!)

I went home and vegged for a little while. I'd been up late Thursday night so I was looking forward to a little downtime before I got to work on the room.

It took a lot less time than I'd anticipated to get my stuff moved in, it was great! It was a pretty quiet night. It's been pretty hectic at my place because we've had four girls living there, but Anna moved out last week, and Brenna went to Boston for the weekend, so that just left Sarah and me, and Sarah had gone to the show.

As I was nearing the end of my move it started to get stormy outside. I was kind of excited because even though I hate the rain at all times, I do enjoy a good storm if there's thunder and lightening involved. I had no clue what I was in for. The thunder got so loud, I even called my parents to inform them I was slightly scared, haha. Embarrassing. I mean, not, like, THAT scared, but just a little creeped out. There was a couple times the thunder clapped so loudly it made me jump. I was texting Ashton around 11 and he was on the way home from the Yankees game. He was going to come over, but probably wouldn't have gotten there till midnight, and I was getting sleepy so I ended up telling him not to worry about it. (Ashton is an intern for Bank of America doing mergers and acquisitions. He's just been here for the summer and now has two semesters left at BYU. Being an investment banker he worked RIDICULOUS hours. I'm talking 96 hour weeks.)

For the first time in quite a while I slept in on Saturday and it was glorious. I met up with Ashton around 3:30 down on 5th Ave. It was his last day in the city so we had plans to hang out. We walked around 5th for a while and then headed over to (the dreaded) Times Square to get some Olive Garden.

I took this picture from the window by which we were sitting of all the people. It seriously does not do the crowd justice.

Here's a pic of Ashton...looking very excited, haha. (He was also looking out at all the people. It's like an ant hill, everyone all scurrying around every which way.)

After dinner I took off and headed up to Chelsie's for a bit. I'm going to miss that spectacular building she lives in after she moves out in a few weeks. The views are breathtaking from the roof at the 38th floor.

Chelsie and I headed out to wander the streets for some shopping. I did well. I got a vanilla/coconut candle from some adorable shop I can't remember the name of, Whiteluster, my favorite lipluster, from MAC, The Kite Runner from Barnes and Noble, and the curtains and chair that already made their big debut on a prior post from Urban Outfitters.

After the shopping Chelsie and I headed back to my place for some pizookies and chilling out. After she left Ashton came over for a bit and we hung out.

Sunday may have been the best day, weather-wise, I've had in the city. It was absolutely PERFECT. I couldn't believe it when I walked out of the apartment to go to church. It was probably in the low 70s, no humidity, clear skies, and a slight breeze. Amazing.

Church was great and then my friends Steve and Mike picked me up for dinner. We ate at some random Italian restaurant in Hell's Kitchen. Of course we ate outside and it was so pleasant. As my dad would say, it was "one of those days you're glad to be alive." Steve and Mike are quite adventurous when it comes to food. Apparently they love muscles and decided to order some. Being the "try new things" person I've become, I had one as well. Let me tell you, this was tough for me. In the last few months I've tried various kinds of sushi (including the real raw stuff), calamari, Persian food, and who knows what else. However these muscles looked SO nasty, it took some serious convincing from the boys. I finally tried it. It wasn't as bad as I'd anticipated, but one was definitely enough for me.

After dinner we headed over to Central Park...Sheep's Meadow to be exact. Some people from the wards were there, but the three of us sort of did our own thing. I read a little bit while the boys played frisbee, and eventually joined in. There were so many people, it's a miracle we didn't hit anyone (however there were a few close calls, and I managed to get hit twice while I was reading, thanks guys.) Here's a few of the action shots:

Mike showing his fancy "catch under the leg" skills.

Steveo attempting the same thing.

Just a shot of the gorgeous park with the breathtaking buildings behind.

Steve and I on the subway. Friends since 2003 and going strong.

Me and Mikey.

After the park we headed back to my place for pizookies (yes, two days in a row) and to chill a little bit more. Then Sarah's friend Nathan came over and they popped in Band of Brothers and that was it for me. (Not exactly a fan of 8 hours of war.)

I headed to my room around 9ish for some Felicity and only lasted for about an hour and was out for the night. I love going to bed early, so fabulous. When I woke up this morning I'd missed a few calls and text messages but the extra sleep was so worth it.

The view...

Here's the view out of my window I see when I'm laying in my bed. Please excuse the flash. That's Saint John the Divine's Cathedral. It's the largest gothic cathedral in the world.

This picture doesn't really do any justice, but it's the view out of the other window. At night those buildings in the back by the sky are lit up and it's gorgeous.

My room, the beginning....

Okay so here's a little visual of the "before" pictures. Hopefully it won't be too long before I can post the "after" shots.
Below is the view of my room if you'd walked in the door, and shuffled to the right. (So the entrance/exit door is behind you to the left.)

Then, if you turn to the right you see the other window, and my closet. Yes, behind those two doors is the closet. Finally! Closet space!!

Then, if you turn a little more to the right, you see the closet doors still, and the entrance/exit door. The only thing you really didn't get a shot of is the other wall (that would have been to your left when you first walked in.) But don't worry, it's just a blank wall.

Please ignore the orange curtains. They came with the room, and now have been properly disposed of.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I can't get enough of this child

I'm not getting married... least not right now, but I thought I should clarify because Cindy thought my last post looked like I was announcing my wedding colors. No, they're my bedroom colors.
Anyways, look what I bought today! I'm so excited. Last night I got all moved in and organized and I'm loving my new room. Today I went to Urban Outfitters and got these curtains and this chair. The curtains look much cuter in person, and you can't see it in the picture but the tops have little black ribbons that tie in bows around the curtain rods and they're so cute. The colors are PERFECT. The cream color matches my bedspread perfectly. I think the next purchase will be a rug. Hopefully next paycheck.