Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday night.

It was fantastic.  Seriously.  One of the best films this year.  Bring tissue.

Friday night


+
=
a great night.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Loving New York


New York Magazine complied their fourth annual list of reasons to love New York.  I loved it so much, I had to list my favorites on my blog.  The italicized parts are blurbs from the write up under each reason.  They also had readers write in with their reasons, some of those are included in this as well.  My favorites (of the favorites) are in bold.

"Because it loves me!  I was born and raised in Texas and moved to New York City when I was 25-twelve years ago.  In Texas, I was thought to be difficult, hardheaded, controlling, opinionated, bitchy, etc.  When I moved here, all of a sudden I was considered sweet, polite, kind, intelligent, etc.  I know I didn't change-I was just free from the South's idea of how a woman should behave."

Because our generosity comes through even-perhaps especially-now.
October 15, 2007: Citymeals on Wheels donations: 314, for a total of $22,760.  DOW dropped 108 that day, closing at 13,984.
October 15, 2008: Citymeals on Wheels donations: 603, for a total of $49,201.  DOW dropped 733 that day, closing at 8,577.

"Because sooner or later everybody comes to New York: every band, every friend, everybody I want to see."

"The choice to be seen or be invisible."

Because our mayer is a self-regarding masochist.
Even in the best of times, you need a masochistic streak to live in New York.  Now, with the worst looming, it turns out the guy in charge of city government may have the biggest one of all.

"Because in addition to charging me like crazy every month for electricity, the fine folks over at Con Ed also dispense cooking and entertaining advice.  After I called in response to a notice of 'irregular gas meter readings' (i.e., never turning on my stove), the Con Ed rep asked if I lived by myself and ever cooked.  He then went on to advise me, 'Invite some people over, or at least make a cup of tea once in a while.'  Gee, thanks, Con Ed."
*Sidenote, I actually know someone that was called by Con Ed for the same reason.

Because where else would a tour-bus driver also be a king?
The most difficult part is the stupid taxicabs.  We call them "yellow rats."

Because Madonna's back to distract us.
We predict this Brangelina-style absurdity will continue well into 2009-and thank goodness.  It's just the tabloid diversion we need in such gloomy-news times.  We can already see how this will play out: First come the imaginary baby bumps, then the botched Dominican adoption, then the UNICEF ambassadorships.  After that they both get cornrows, A-Rod appears in one of her videos, and before you know it, they're both wearing burkas to the Grammys.  In blackface. We can't wait!

*The next two are blurbs that were published about New York this year.

"At three-thirty in the morning, the scene in front of 27 Eldridge was fairly typical: the last of the last-call stagger-zoo, many of them walking as if it were their first time on ice skates; a kid in the back of an open-doored taxi staring at the knot of damp cash in his hands as he tried to make sense of the meter; and up the block a shirtless, bearded man sticking the top half of his body out of a sixth-floor tenement window and screaming at everybody to shut the *u** up and go back to New Jersey, then slamming his window down so hard that it rained glass, the people below whistling and applauding."

"You know: where are all the baby pigeons?  It's the burning question on every New Yorker's mind.  'They're everywhere.  You just have to look,' says Ralph, who seems not to have heard the urban myth that pigeons arrive on the earth full grown and ready to be despised-or that they perform a backward version of human migration: raise babies in the suburbs, then move into town."

Because just when you take the Empire State Building for granted, it seduces you again.

Because Eli is now the Manning.

"Because every time you visit another U.S. city, you instantly realize how attractive and sophisticated you really are..."

"Because I moved to L.A. almost two years ago, and I've read maybe six books in the time since.  In New York, I'd read on the subway and finish a book a week (at least!).  There are millions of reasons to move back, but I'd do it just for the books."

"Sue Simmons dropping the F-bomb on TV."

"Because you can be poor and from the hood but still bump elbows with all different kinds of cultures.  I grew up in the very rough parts of Bushwick, with a single mother originally from the Dominican Republic.  Because of our limited resources, I was exposed to gangsters, hustlers, and all kinds of freaks.  [But] an entirely different world was always a subway ride away."

"Because despite the stereotypical high-mindedness of New Yorkers, most still watch crap TV."

"The MTA [riding the subway] is like working at a bar; you learn everything about human behavior."

"The baseball fields in Battery Park City almost directly across the street from the old World Trade Center site.  I love seeing the rich green grass and Little Leaguers where there was barren earth not long ago.  To me, it's the best example of new life and regrowth.  Oh yeah, and it also says, 'Eff you, we live here!' "

"Because when people find out I am single, they don't look at me in a way that is the perfect combination of horror and pity."

"Because it's the best place to earn one-sentence stories to amuse friends and family back home.  Like: 'I was at a hipster dance party and some flailing NYU student accidentally punched me in the eye.' "

"...Because  no one gives me a second glance when I'm working out at the gym and tears are streaming down my face as I watch Dr. Phil conduct a meth-addict intervention."

Because every once in a while, there is dancing in the streets.

Because we're resilient.
Psychologists define a resilient person as one who after experiencing a trauma has one or no symptoms of post-traumatic-stress disorder.  A Columbia study of New Yorkers a few years ago found that 65 percent of us were certifiably resilient following 9/11-as were more than half the people who'd actually been in the Trade Center buildings during the attacks.  But the study's finding I love best describes what kinds of 9/11 survivors were least affected, the quickest to bounce back, the most resilient: the so-called self-enhancers.  They, according to the psychology professor who ran the study, "are somewhat grandiose.  They are preoccupied with themselves, they score high on measures of narcissism, and the research shows pretty clearly that they are annoying to be around."  In other words...New Yorkers!  Cue the Gloria Gaynor.

It baffles me...

...that customer service can really be that bad in New York.  Honestly.  You'd think I'd just be used to it by now but it never ceases to surprise and annoy me.  Honestly, it's so bad!  
I was just at Target in the (very slow) check out line and when I get up front I politely say hello to the checker and how she is.  I get a very mumbled, "fine", I think.
Then when she finishes putting everything in bags one has way too many items so I ask for another bag.  I get the eye roll and sigh, then the bag.  I tell her in a sincere tone, "Thank you so much."  No response.  I then end the not so pleasant conversation with, "Have a good day."  No "you too", no "thanks", not even an acknowledgement of my existence.
Not a huge deal, but honestly this is pretty much my experience in every store I go into whether it's Target, Duane Reade, H&M, etc.  Basically if you go to any sort of affordable store you're getting crap customer service and it's so annoying!!!

Finally.

So I've been on the hunt for a good pair of black flats for what feels like maybe a year.  
This has been slightly difficult, as it turns out I've gotten to be super cheap, and just don't feel like spending more than $50 on a pair of shoes, especially flats.  Other than my Louboutins, I guess you could say I prefer cheap shoes.  I'm a firm believer that cheap shoes don't necessarily mean bad quality.  It was 2004 that I got a bogo pair of black flats from Payless for $3.  Yes, $3.  I just got rid of them this year.
I've now gone through two cheap pairs this year and I've gotten frustrated with my inability to find a pair I really like.  My first pair fell apart, and the second pair are uncomfortable.  I've tried on so many pairs at so many stores, but I just haven't found anything.  Everything was either too expensive, or ugly, or uncomfortable, or not my size.
So when Catherine told me the quinn flats at the Tory Burch sample sale were more than half off, I thought I should go check them out.  I waited in line on Wednesday forever just to try them on, but decided against them.  I still didn't want to spend as much as they cost.
After I left I was sort of kicking myself, thinking maybe I should have just gotten them.  I decided I'd go back on Friday (payday) and see if they still had them (unlikely at a sample sale.)
Yesterday was miserable outside.  I made it about four blocks and my current, cheap flats were completely soaked through and my feet were freezing and wet.  I had to stop and buy some rain boots along the way, and thought, wow, now I really hope they still have my size.
And guess what?  They did.  And I love them so much I dreamt about them last night.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Men are like...

So last night as I was falling asleep a commercial came on that made me laugh out loud.

Girl #1: Guys are like subways, if you miss one there's another coming along in five minutes.
Girl #2: Yeah, unless it's the end of the night...then you'll get on anything.

I found myself chuckling out loud to myself because it's so true....the part about the subways late at night....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The weekend

Friday night took a random 6:30-8:30pm nap.  For some reason I've been so exhausted after work lately.  If I sit down when I get home I'm sure to be falling asleep by 7pm.  Needless to say I didn't feel like going out so I bought The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II on demand.  It was cute.
Saturday I actually got myself up and out the door by 10:45am.  A total feat for me.  I hate to still be in the "sleep in super late and waste my day away" mode, but it's hard not to when you live in a bedroom with no window.
I met up with Dan for brunch at Alice's Teacup (he assured me he wasn't too many for it.)  As boring as this sounds, I highly recommend the granola and yogurt.  I've gotten it the last two times I went and it's SO GOOD.
I didn't spend too much time out and about as it was so cold.  I was disappointed because the weatherman said mid 30s and it was super sunny which usually isn't too cold but it was just ridiculous.  
I made it home around 3 and finished the movie I couldn't stay awake for the night before, and then followed it with a nap.  (Apparently I'm like a bear.....I like to spend my winters hybernating.)
Saturday night Britt, Whit, and Carly and I schlepped clear up to West 105 for the annual Holiday Sweater party.  Everyone had some pretty sweet ensembles and as soon as I can find my cord to upload photos I'll post them.
Yes, that's right, I can't find my cord!  I think maybe I left it in California over Thanksgiving but I'm not sure.  Sad.
Today was a fab day at church, as always.  We had our Christmas program in Sacrament Meeting which is something I always look forward to.
It's going to be a crazy week, with a few Christmas parties, meeting up with friends, etc, but I'm looking forward to the festivities.

XOXO

So I'm not a huge Gossip Girl fan, at all.  I'd quite watching it, but I will admit to watching the last few episodes.  I guess at this point it's just one of those shows I'll watch if I have nothing better to do, and let's face it, at this point in my life I've sort of gone into a reclusive antisocial phase so I have my fair share of spare time.
So my friend Monica at work mentioned to Catherine, Liz, and I that her friend worked for Teen Vogue and they were having a Gossip Girl party that night at Louis Vuitton on 5th Ave, and she could get us on the guest list if we wanted.  Hmmmm, I don't exactly hate the show, so I should go, right?
It was a miserably hideous night weather wise, but I still made the mad dash downtown to get spruced up a bit, then back to midtown for the party.
Jessica Szohr was the only cast member at the party, as the others were filming and one was sick, but it was still fun to see her.  She is definitely way thinner, and so gorgeous in person.  She was also super nice.
We chatted about all the fans in our office (most of the girls are obsessed) and shopping (she loves Urban Outfitters.)
There were also a few other celebs as well, such as Amber Tamblyn, and Kim from cycle 5 of America's Next Top Model.  She is actually a lot smaller than I'd imagine.  There were a few other girls there who looked super familiar, but I just couldn't put my finger on who they were.  There were also a lot of models, and boy, you definitely should have seen them posing for the photogs.  Wow.  
Overall it was a really fun night.  The Teen Vogue crew were actually super friendly to those of us that weren't exactly VIP.  The LV store was really cool.  They were offering makeovers and manicures which was fun, and the hors douvers were really good.  And the best part?  Since it was Teen Vogue there were underage girls there, which mean Martinellis in the fancy champagne glasses.  Something fun for me!
I can honestly say I'm so happy I don't work in that industry though; talk about insecurities being brought to the surface.  Everything there was so tall, so thin, so gorgeous, and had amazing clothes.
I prefer to stay in my sheltered little life and enjoy these parties every now and then.  :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Death by chocolate

Yesterday I tried out a recommendation I read on Amanda's blog forever ago.  And really, I almost died of pure euphoria.  Are you ready for this?  Hot chocolate made with three parts whole milk, one part heavy cream.  I know.  But it's worth every calorie.  And hey, I opted out of the whipped cream on top.  A girl's gotta watch her figure.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Apparently now I plagiarize

I subscribe to 108 blogs via google reader.  I take a daily paper, and two weekly magazines.  CNBC runs on the floor at work all day every day.  I do my own share of guilty tv watching.  I'm constantly emailing, texting, checking facebook, and talking on the phone.  I try to read the Book of Mormon every day, and a conference talk a few times a week.
It's safe to say I have a high intake of information.  Perhaps there's been times I've regurgitated info that's not 100% original thought.  Or maybe I've seen something somewhere I really liked and thought, "Hey, I'd like to do that too."  (For instance, my California by the numbers post.  I've definitely seen that many many many times.)  I've seen my ideas taken as well.  I put the shows I record down the side of my blog and then noticed another friend put it on hers as well.  "Cool" was my thought.  In turn, I changed my links to have "+" in between each name instead of "," or "and."  I got that idea from my friend KB.  I mentioned to her that I liked it, and her response was, "Cool, I think I actually stole it from someone else, but didn't have the courtesy of mentioning that I'd gotten it from them."  KB didn't care that I'd borrowed, and I imagine the person she borrowed from didn't care either.  We all do it, consciously or not, no?
I (along with someone else very close to me) have been accused of blatantly and obviously stealing thoughts.  One of us (or both?) have apparently "copied blog posts outright, made our whole blog look exactly like someone else's, and even started completely morphing into another person"  !!
Really?
Hm.  Doubtful.
However, maybe someone else out there feels this way?  Maybe I'm completely in the wrong here?  Just throwing it out there, you know, in case I've tried to steal any one else's identity.  If this is the case, my sincerest apologies.  If I ever like an idea you have, and put it on my blog, and it bothers you, please let me know.  I'm not too worried, seeing as how I'm too lazy to switch up my blog frequently.  But you never know I guess, right?
*And no, I won't send you a link to this person's blog, so please don't ask.  My intent is not to embarrass anyone via the www.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Marriage

This weekend was the annual Lingos night.  I didn't make it to last year's and was so disappointed after everyone raved about it.  Lingos is a night where we all get together and watch videos people have worked on putting together the last couple months or so.
This year's winner was made by my friends Ryan, Collin, and Kim.
Ryan has got to be, hands down, the funniest person ever, and anyone who knows him will agree.  He's always "on."  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My new favorite political blog

Blurtdaily.com.  I love crazy Republicans.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Alma 37

Don't worry, I haven't fallen off the wagon.  Truth be told, however, I did fall behind last week while I was in California.  For the last month or so I've wavered from being 1-2 days behind.  I never could quite catch up.  However, with my vacation my routine was totally thrown off and I sadly, missed reading more days than not.  
SO.  Here's what I've decided.  Rather than turn what's an inspiring and motivating goal into something that feels like a task I'm wavering a bit on my deadline.  I'm still shooting for the end of the year, but I know mathematically that's not possible.
So, I guess like anything else in life, I'm just doing the best I can.
Tonight's reading was really good for me.  It was just one of those nights where you feel like, wow, this is definitely what I needed to hear.
In verse 36 Alma tells Helaman:

Yea, and cry unto God for all thy supoort; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

I love this.  I love knowing the Lord wants to know everything.  I love knowing that He already does know everything, but He still wants to sit and listen to me talk about it.  He still is happy to listen to me ramble on and on about the same things, no matter how trivial they are, no matter how meaningless they are in the grand scheme of things.  I love that we're not only told that we can talk to the Lord about anything, but that we should talk to the Lord about everything.  It's so.....relieving?
Also, I loved in verses 44-46 when Alma states:

For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.
And now I say, is there not a type in this thing?  For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.
O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us.  The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.

It's so plainly stated.  Just as the Liahona directed Nephi and his family, we have the words of Christ to direct us, as a compass, to eternal happiness.  How plain and simple is that!

Sorry if some of my thoughts don't make sense.  They're just some fragments from my mind that mean something to me.

California by the numbers



In-N-Out stops (within the first 24 hours)
2

Amazing home cooked meals
4

Flights
4

Inches of hair cut off
12

Family members at Thanksgiving
21

Number of donut runs
4

Dollars spent
Way way way too many

Stressful airport moments
2

Kilometers I didn't run in the Turkey Trot due to the rain
10

Episodes of CSI watched during travel
13

Days I drove on the freeway
6

Number of friends I saw
Not enough, never enough time!

Hours spent traveling back to New York, door to door
14+

Number of times I wore a jacket or coat
0

Number of vehicles to get from my parents' house to my apartment
6
(one car, two planes, one train, and two subways...oy)

Hours spent laughing with friends and family
Countless

And just for fun....

Minutes it takes to blowdry my new do
3(!)

Monday, December 1, 2008