Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dinner last week with two of my favorite guys.

Happy birthday Steveo!

Happy birthday Steveo! It's my brother-in-law's birthday today-hurray! If you don't know Steve you are missing out on potentially the most easy going person ever. Steve is the easiest person to have around. He was the first addition to our family and has probably been put through the ringer with all our strong personalities, but he takes it in stride and never acts frustrated or annoyed.
Steve is such a perfect match for my sister. They seem like one of the happiest married couples I know, and they have such a perfect little family. He's helped make a great life for my sister and the kids and I'm so happy he takes such good care of them.
Happy birthday Steve! I hope it's great!

What do you do?

Describe your perfect day.
Not having to work, and relaxing with the fam.

If you only had time to watch one tv show a week, which would you choose?

What's something people would be surprised to know about you?
Ask Rebecca.

When you've had a really bad day what makes you feel better?
Getting out and doing something-basketball, movie, etc.

What's one of your favorite childhood memories?
Throwing fireworks/m-80s out the window with my dad.

What's one of your guiltiest pleasures?
Dark, dark chocolate.

What's one of your favorite things about living in southern California?
The weather.

What's your favorite part about being a dad?
Fun to spend time with them; their excitement when I come home.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
No books currently. Internet, news, business advice/news.

If I gave you $100,000 with the stipulation that you couldn't save it or invest it, and had to spend it within a week, what would you do with it?
Pay off the house or practice debt.

What is a piece of modern technology you could not live without?
Cell phone.

Where is the most beautiful place you've ever been?

You've got two roundtrip tickets anywhere in the world. Where do you go and who do you take?
Australia with Rebecca
Do it!! You won't regret it. And it will be the new most beautiful place you've ever been.

What three material possessions do you value most?
Minivan, Honda Civic, house.

What are you looking forward to?
Me too.

What are three things on your "bucket list"?
Travel and skydiving.

Who is someone who has changed or shaped your life for the better?
My parents.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Relax, don't worry.

What do you know to be absolutely positively true?
My faith.

The daily ten

Even though it took a little while for the subway to come we still got to church with plenty of time.
Got to hear the bells ringing at Trinity Church. One of my favorite parts of Sunday.
Made a new friend at church.
Finally met my friend's cousin after I've been hearing so much about him.
Had delicious chili over Fritos at Linger Longer.
Combined third hour.
Was able to get together with Heather after many reschedulings.
Went to a friend's for dinner and had a lot of fun.
It was super sunny today.
Didn't have time for a Sunday nap but now I'll be able to fall asleep early. Thank goodness because starting off last week on only three hours of sleep made the rest of the week awful.
Both talks in Sacrament Meeting were given by friends. I find it easier to pay attention when I know the speakers.
Talked Australia with Nick, who served his mission there, for a while after church and reminisced.
Found out we have a great new home teacher.
Was much more social at Linger Longer than usual.

The daily ten

Slept in as long as I wanted-no alarm day!
Went to the gym and had a pretty good work out. I've been a slacker and we're now at five weeks till bikini time.
I baked some poppyseed bread.
Maria, Mike, and I ate dinner at ESPN Zone and Libby was our server. It was so nice to be told by the hostess that there was a 30-45 minute wait, and then find out we had a table waiting for us right away.
I won one of the games of Rummikub after dinner.
We watched the pilot episode of Mad Men. Me likey.
I read an interesting article in the paper about how almost all dogs don't need coats in the winter time, and in fact it can even be harmful.
Even though it was after midnight, the 2/3 ran express from Harlem, and when we got to Chambers there was a 1 train pulling up so we could switch over with no wait time. No a small miracle.
Mike still has not beat my high score on Doodle Jump.
Marcus is coming with us to Rio, so now I'll have two guys to protect me.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The daily ten

My passport came in the mail! I'm covered till 2020, and now I have five weeks to get a visa so I won't have to pay for expedited processing.
The big project came as a finalized project in the mail.
Work was a nice flow of busy but not stressful, and I was really productive.
Margarita pizza for lunch.
Finished the second season of Damages with Maria and watched the first episode of the new season.
Court came down and hung out with us.
Logan came over with Libby and we all hung out and had a lot of laughs.
Emailed a lot with my brother.
Jason told me what his top travel destinations are, which I found to be very interesting. What are yours?
Pay day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

And speaking of travel

In case anyone's wondering, I think I've decided my top five travel destination dreams are:

Dubai. Dying to go here! So much advanced everything it's insane. Plus, after Amber lived here for a few months she's got me craving the UAE.

Cairo. Are you kidding me? I feel like at some point we won't be able to go see the pyramids and I just have to!

Thailand. I think I need to go here with a man. On our honeymoon. Yup. Pretty sure.
(But in the mean time, if someone wants to take me I wouldn't say no.)

South Africa. Need to.

Greece. Oh man. I've had so many friends go here and they can't stop raving. Now that I sit next to my Greek coworker and I get to hear all his stories I'm so in love.

And honorable mentions:

Hong Kong. The more my guys travel here, and the more I hear about it, the more I want to go.

Tokyo. I've had a few friends go and have now been sold on the idea after hearing about it. I have a friend living there now and working for Tokyo Disney, and another friend who's going to visit this summer. I may need to join.

And obviously, still need to hit up these places since I've lived across the pond for almost three years now and still haven't made it.


And last but not least, Paris, the city of love.

Sort of funny how up until a few years ago Asia did not appeal to me one bit. Now I can't get it out of my system.
If I were a rich la la la la la la la la la la la la la la....

A few Brazil details

I've gotten a lot of questions about my trip, so I figured I'd just post some answers.
I haven't been planning this long at all. Brazil was on my long list of places I want to go to, but I had other things in mind for this year.
I'll be going to Rio de Janeiro, and staying for seven almost full days.
I do know Brazil can be very dangerous. Yes, a lot of places have a lot of crime, including the city in which I live. However Brazil is not only a foreign country but, from what I understand, one that can be extremely dangerous.
The above fact is the reason why I decided to go on this trip at this time. I'm going with my friend (yes, friend) Jeff, who's been to Brazil three times, two of which have been to Rio. (Not to mention China ten times, so he's very well traveled.) He speaks Portuguese, has friends in Rio, and is large in stature. If I'm going to go to Rio at some point in my life I don't think another opportunity will come up that will make me feel as safe as this.
We may have another one or two people come with us, depending on their availability.
There are three fortunes I've saved in my life; one says, "Don't be afraid to take a chance when the opportunity of a lifetime appears." (My motto for life.) The other says, "You will step on the soil of many countries." Sooooo, I think I need to take these trips when I can, ya know? (And the other fortune, if you're wondering, is, "This year your highest priority will be your family.")

The daily ten

Went out for a coworker's birthday and met her best friend of 35 years I've heard so much about.
I left my subway card at home and my coworker gave me a swipe so I didn't have to buy a new card.
Made some plans to talk Brazil next week with Reagan since she and Jake went a couple months ago.
Checked out places to stay in Buzios.
Found out the big project I've been working on and finally completed at 3am Monday morning will be delivered tomorrow! So excited.
Watched Jay Leno on Oprah and had my opinions confirmed. Jay is not the bad guy. TV is an business. It's about ratings, numbers. If you're hired to do a job and you don't perform you get canned. It same as anywhere else, they're just a little more brutal in the entertainment industry. (Sorry for the Conan lovers. It's not a secret I don't love Conan, however my feelings are not the reason for my opinion. Everyone knows I'm a Dave kinda girl anyway.)
Found out my coworker who sits next to me was born in Ukraine, and then moved to Russia when she was 12, and then to NY when she was 17. All along I thought she was a New Yorker.
Was able to catch up on a few shows because I got home before 7 for the first time all week (I think, I can't remember Monday.) I'm not complaining because plenty of people in this city work past 8 every night year round, but it was just nice to have a night that I didn't go out after work for longer than an hour.
Had a really good laugh when a coworker said something that sort of embarrassed me.
A man went out of his way to open two doors for me when I had my arms full.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh yeah...

I'm headed to Rio for a week! Where music and passion are always in fashion.
Five more weeks!

The daily ten

I didn't kill anyone at work, despite my extremely frustrating day.
Was able to get together with my Dad and Brad again tonight, and they drove into the city so I didn't have to go to Jersey twice in two days.
Talked with my mom for a bit.
Took my dad and brother to dinner at Liberty View Chinese and they loved it. (It's always frustrating to take visitors to dinner in the city and have a bad experience.)
Got home around 8pm, which was so nice since I was out so late last night and have to go out tomorrow night.
My dad was able to park his car for a really cheap rate.
I figured out what looked like a mistake I had made doing someone's expenses, wasn't a mistake at all. Someone just misunderstood something.
Got home from work and Jeff was at my apartment.
Had maybe the best sweet and sour chicken ever (minus the china man in Harlem. That was the BEST, every time.)
Britt and I had a good laugh at the introduction of the President at the State of the Union Address. Kind of country bumpkinish. Embarrassing.

Yesterday's daily ten

Was in an Excel class all day so I got to wear jeans and Jack Purcell's.
Had internet access during my class for the slow times and my teacher didn't care if we got on it.
My teacher was awesome. So funny. I wasn't really looking forward to 8 hours of Excel but it wasn't bad.
My teacher was from Newark and she kept saying "form-a-ler" for formula. It cracked me up.
Finished with class at 3:45. So nice!
My dad came into the city!
We had dinner at his favorite Italian restaurant and got a perfect corner seat. Great for people watching.
Brad came to the city after his appointment in PA, and we all got together after dinner. Like every other time I get together with Brad, it ended up with us laughing hysterically at the dinner table. The kind of laugh where you're doubled over, slapping the table, and embarrassed because you're making a scene, but you can't stop.
Britt got back to the city.
I had the perfect salad from Cosi for lunch.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The daily ten

I woke up after only a couple hours of horrible sleep but made it through the day.
Work was a good busy.
I was late to my meeting in the morning but the meeting started late too so it was no big deal.
Even though it was really rainy it was in the 50s and practically warm!
Made plans with my dad for tomorrow since he'll be in the city!
Let one 4/5 train pass since it was so crowded and the next one came immediately after and I got an end seat the whole ride home.
Had a good year end review for 2009.
Committed to something pretty crazy. You only live once right?
Decided to stay in tonight and will be going to bed early.
Found out my aunt went to Haiti to help out.

The daily ten....a couple more

Oh yeah, I gchatted with Melissa (sorry, no link, she's private.)
Court's going to start the daily ten! (You've been called out, now you have to!) :)

The daily ten

Great day at church. I always leave feeling uplifted and happy.
Skipped Sunday School (woops) because I ended up catching up with Bryndee and chatting forever about traveling. Japan this year? Okay.
Had great talks in Sacrament Meeting.
Was able to do some visiting teaching.
Got my Sunday nap on (but it was way too late of a nap, oh well.)
After a weekend of doing basically nothing but work for the big project I finally got it done! Now just have to wait for it to arrive. (Will fill you in on this in a couple weeks.)
Beat my high score on Doodle Jump.
Found out Lindsey's coming for sure in February.
Made brownies.
Chatted with Sara about my new calling.

*By the way, a few of you have asked about why I switched phones. To clear it up, I didn't. I still have (and love) my iPhone. I was just given a blackberry for work. That's why I'm not too stoked about it. I'm on a leash! (But so far it's been totally fine.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The daily ten

Jamie started the daily ten! (I'd link, but she's private.) I love spreading the positivity.
I sat on my couch for 14 hours today working on a big project and it's almost complete. (Yes, 14 hours, I'm exhausted, and also had little interaction with people so this could be a boring daily ten.)
Rice pudding leftovers. Mmmm.
Did my laundry. Love fresh sheets.
Ashley stopped by and hung out for a bit.
Jeff sent me some sweet Brazilian tunes.
Ed invited me to be his "arm candy" on the skating rink at Rockefeller Center. I love that kid.
Meet the Parents was on tv and made for some great background entertainment while I worked on the project.
Maria, Ashley, and I decided to get Burger Burger for dinner and it was soooo delicious.
I tried my hair curly for the first time since I cut it really short and it didn't look hideous. (Although my hair isn't half as curly as it used to be, what's up with that??)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday's daily ten

Got my W2.
BFF Mikey agreed to do my taxes, and we talked about how it's our 3rd annual tax date.
Before taxes MJP took me to a delicious dinner at Spice and then we grabbed some Rice to Riches (my first time.) So delicious!
Got some great old school photos from my mom I've never seen.
Had a pleasant experience at the Duane Reade by my house (something rare.)
Had enough rice pudding to save for later. Mmmmm, so delicious.
Came across a hilarious video of a friend online.
My dad had a goal to go to every MLB park and keep a ticket stub from the game. For Christmas we all chipped in and gave him money so he could frame the stubs, as well as some photos from games. He finally got the the final product back yesterday and is so excited about it. Made me so happy.
Beat my high score on Doodle Jump.
Was super disappointed that my tax return wouldn't be what I was expecting, but still really glad I don't owe anything.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The daily ten

Went to the post office and there was no line.
Got stationary with Monet artwork. Love those water lilies.
Was overwhelmed and tense at work, but was grateful because it means I have more responsibility.
It's Megan's birthday as well as my Aunt Kate's!
Flirted with my favorite Brit.
Got a new travel book.
Saw Avatar and absolutely loved it. I had no desire to see it but felt like I should considering it's something like we've never seen. It was absolutely incredible. (Minus the cheesy script.)
Called my sister and we both asked, within a second of each other, "Hey, how's it goin?" It sounded like when you get an echo on your cell phone so I then asked, "Can you hear me?" Only to hear it again. Then I said, "Hello?" And she responded. Turns out she also had said, "Can you hear me?" I told her I was confused because she sounded so much like me, I thought it was my own voice echoing. Strangely enough, she thought the same thing. We had a good laugh.
Got home and found out the second season of Damages came on Netflix. I didn't get a chance to finish the second season so I'm rewatching with Maria.
Walked by the shoe shine guy at work and got a big whiff of the polish. Mmmmm.

Happy birthday Megan!!

You are a princess!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The daily ten

Tried curling my hair a bit when I didn't feel like/have time to straighten it, and really liked the result.
Went to take passport photos and found out you're not allowed to smile anymore! But the good part is, the photo guy told me to smile with my eyes. Ha! He must be a closet Tyra fan. Also, he kept taking my photo till there was a decent one. (It took four takes.)
Got to leave work at 3pm.
Was reminded how much I love my dermatologist when he told me I was glowing and must be drinking more water (he's right!)
Got home about an hour and a half earlier than I normally would but it felt like it was hours earlier since it was still light outside.
Watched Precious and was super thankful for the family I was born into.
The 1 train pulled up just as I got to the platform. Didn't have to run down the steps, just casually walked down as I heard it coming, swiped my metro card and got to the edge of the platform right as the doors opened (and got a seat.) Something only users of public transportation can appreciate.
Saw a blind guy navigating the streets with a cane and was reminded how blessed I am.
Tore a massive hole in a favorite pair of jeans, which is a huge bummer, but it gave Maria and me a huge laugh.
A great dinner with roommates.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The daily ten

The day went by really fast.
Even though getting out of bed was torture, I wasn't sleepy all day like my coworkers.
I got a blackberry for work. Obviously that's mostly a negative, but it'll make a few things easier.
I made it in and out of the drug store in under $20.
Got a seat on the subway for most of the ride home.
Another fair weather day. So nice to keep the heavy coat hanging up.
Came home to a clean bedroom and bathroom.
Realized I had one carryover vacation day from last year, and requested the Friday before Presidents' Day off (and got approved!) Vermont here we come.
Finished a super long article from last week's New York Magazine. (John Edwards is a shmuck.)
Watched a moving episode of Oprah's. I will not text and drive! (And neither should you!!)

Thinking about Rio.

It happened...

I got blackberried. This should be interesting.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The daily ten

MLK Day means no work! Love banking holidays.
Beautiful weather.
Shake Shack with the roomies.
Two more hours of 24.
Talked travel with a friend.
Gchatted with my brother and couldn't stop laughing out loud while we reminisced about childhood days.
Went shoe shopping, but refrained when I didn't love the shoes I was contemplating.
Made plans with Jamar.
Talked with both of my parents for a while.
Figured out how to make some movies play that weren't working.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The daily ten

A great day at church. Good meetings, strong Spirit, new friends, felt happy.
When I got home my roommates had mac and cheese for me.
Didn't sleep my Sunday away. Even though I love my Sunday naps, it was nice to have the day.
Golden Globes red carpet.
Jack is back! I love me some 24.
The Jets won. (I'm not a football fan, and not really a Jets fan, but they're the local team so, hurray!)
Remembered my brother's rule for Fast Offerings. (Thanks Jason!)
After not being able to fall asleep last night, waking up this morning wasn't as bad as I'd expected.
Three day weekend!
New responsibilities at church.

The daily ten

Allowed myself to sleep in but woke up refreshed at 10:30am. (I can typically sleep the day away in my room if left alone.)
A lovely lunch with friends at 40 Carrots.
Refrained from shopping at Bloomingdales.
Picked up some granola for the week. (New obsession.)
Three different friends randomly stopped by this evening.
Finally gave in and watched The Hangover and laughed hysterically.
Only had to wear a light jacket because the weather was so lovely.
The subway stopped two stops early and I enjoyed my walk home.
Got a hilarious voicemail from a buddy saying he must have hit rock bottom because he was home alone on a Saturday night at 10pm watching You've Got Mail on tv.
Saw a sweet picture of my parents from the 80s.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Australia: Day 13, Sydney, part II, home

My last day (Karen stayed one more day) got off to a crazy start. It was Anzac Day, which is sort of like Memorial Day for the US. Because of this the bus never came to pick us up for our bridge climb. We hopped in a cab who took us for a serious ride, in circles. It was so annoying because both with both of us having lived in New York, we don't like to be taken advantage of, but we just didn't know where to go. We knew enough to know we were getting ripped off, but not how to fix it. We finally saw a cop and called him over while we were stopped at a light and he yelled at the driver to turn off his meter while he talked to us. He finally told us with the parade that was happening we were better off running. I think it was about a mile and half, maybe? Correct me Karen, I can't remember....
Anyway, we literally ran through a if we were actually in the parade. We were yelling to each other and jumping in and out of 80 year old Vets, bag pipes were blaring, etc. I felt like we were on the Amazing Race. It was pretty comical. Thankfully, we made it and we weren't too late to meet up with our group for the bridge climb.

Brooke was there waiting for us. After we got all suited up we could only get this picture, as everything had to be left in our lockers, including jewery, and even bobby pins.

The climb took quite a while, especially because our tour guide kept stopped to give us facts. It was interesting, but took longer than I would have liked. It was extremely windy and I just wanted to keep going. The views were incredible, however. I'm so glad we did this. As I mentioned, we weren't allowed to take our cameras, but the guide took pictures of us which we could purchase. We just purchased one packet, and then took photos of the photos.

The background sort of looks fake, but I assure you it's not.

So while we were running to the bridge we came across the pack of Aussie gentlemen in suits, walking together, all singing Gold Digger. So random. Then we saw them at this bar after we'd climbed the bridge.

Another market. How convenient!

Have you ever tried to play a didgeridoo? (You know, those instruments that play the Outback music you hear on commercials for the Outback restaurant?) It's tough. This guy was really good. I, on the other hand, was no so much.

Cheesy, but I couldn't help myself.

Props to Karen, who was patient enough to wait for the clouds to pass when she got her photo. I was sick of trying to get good pictures and just had Brooke take one. You were right Karen.

The Opera House was incredible. You know how sometimes you see things and it's always way smaller than you imagined? (The Mona Lisa, Mount Rushmore, etc?) This was definitely way bigger than I thought. It was huge!

The Sydney Harbour Bridge. Yes, I just climbed it.

We made it all the way up to where you see the flags.

More of the Opera House.

After all this we were pretty exhausted. We went to the Botanical Gardens to chill out.

We laid there for about 30 minutes just relaxing, enjoying the sun, and the view of the Opera House. Then I had to take off to head back to the hostel, grab my stuff, and get on a shuttle to the airport.

My last photo in Australia. As I was heading back I saw this guy and thought he looked so cool playing the didgeridoo and looking all aboriginal.
When I was heading back to the hostel it was really the only time I was alone the whole trip. It was nice to be able to get around by myself, using public transportation and getting to my hostel. I was sad to say goodbye to Australia, but so exhausted and ready to go home after thirteen full days of adventures. I was really looking forward to seeing my family.

So Saturday was the longest day. I got on an airplane in Sydney at 8pm that evening, and arrived in LA that same day at 5pm. So weird. (Even more weird that Easter Sunday completely vanished on my way over...departed Sat at midnight and arrived Monday morning.)
My nails were busted up, and I had the worst kink in my neck (for a few weeks.) My mom was sweet enough to take me right to the nail salon, where I got the works. She laughed at me and took my picture.

With the kids in their shirts I found for them in Melbourne. Mad has one in hot pink with a kangaroo but I don't have a good photo. Do you Nad?

Hopefully you've enjoyed my little travelogue. I can't wait to have another fun trip to blog about. :)

Australia: Day 12, Sydney, part I

Our last stop was the beautiful Sydney. I have to admit, by the time we made it here I was pretty burned out. I was really excited to see the city, but it was also hard to get motivated to be too adventuresome.

Walking around Darling Harbour. I feel so American in this photo.

Karen with a seagull. :)

We decided to have a mellow day at the Sydney Aquarium. It was actually really cool.

Jellies. Aka "stingas"

Walking through this tunnel was my favorite part. It was so cool.

This picture of this manatee cracks me up. He looks so cute.

Scary sting ray!

Nemo! And his little home, that I got to touch when we went scuba diving.

And Dora!

There were these huge Great Whites and they were FREAKY!

The big turtles were so cute! I thought of you Elise. :)

These things are no joke. I am seriously scarred from watching Jaws at too young.

More Darling Harbour.

We spent the evening doing more shopping in a little mall that had some great shops, and then found ourselves along the dock just enjoying the beautiful harbour. It was such a nice way to spend my last night in Australia.

We came across an HSBC and I thought about transferring.

You'd think it'd be pretty simple to remember to look the opposite way while you're crossing. It's not. It wasn't until we got to Sydney (the end of our trip) there were these signs on the streets. So helpful.