Sunday, January 30, 2011

Meet Spencer James Hope

Arrived Monday January 24, 2011 at 11:45am
Nine pounds even.

Everyone is doing great. I can't wait to go up to New Hampshire to meet the little guy. I'm now a proud aunty six times. :)

Me and Mikey

Mikey Perkey headed out to the Big D for a new job last week. I'm so sad. I'll definitely be out to visit. I miss you Mikey!

My block last Thursday

Did you hear about our record snow fall for the month? I am so happy I don't own a car to dig out.

The laundry guy: an update

Sooooooo I took your advice and went out with the guy from my building. Ultimately, I figured, why not? And actually, I really wanted to ask him what was up with the laundry.

We met up last night at a bar around the corner and chatted for an hour and a half. I had a great time. He's a really cool guy, and I mustered up the courage to mention my unmentionables. His response? Shock and embarrassment. Not because I'd brought it up, but because it wasn't him, and he was super embarrassed that for a couple weeks I thought it was him. He seemed pretty genuine, and I don't know why he'd lie about it since obviously I was willing to overlook it and go out with him. We had a really good laugh about it and agreed we were both glad I brought it up so we could clear things up.

Now, a detail I left out of the last post (I know, how is it possible I left out any details with the length of the post?) The day before I'd gotten the note, I'd been telling Maria about what had happened. Then, since I got the note the very next day, I texted Maria, and here's our conversation:

January 17
R: Ummmmmmm, remember that story I told you last night? I was just walking through my lobby and the doorman said he had an envelope for me...
M: Shut the hell up!!! Tell me!!
R: This was in it. (Insert photo of the note.)
M: OMG! Call me if you can.
R: I'm just getting into a movie. Will call you after.
M: Okay, that is crazy and funny at the same time. "Dude, London was cool, but why did you touch my laundry?"
R: Right? You know what is also crazy? I'm on a completely empty row and a woman just sat RIGHT next to me. Awkward... I don't think I could talk to him without asking....Okay, movie's starting. So much to discuss.
M: Totally. Enjoy your movie knowing I'm googling laundry guy.
R: Haha. Do it.
M: He better not be the magician with the same name.
R: Oh my gosh I hope so. He told me he's an ambulance chaser. Maybe he's lying...maybe he's a panty rifling magician who owns mini ponies!!!!!!!!!! Augh!!!!!!

(My aversion to miniature ponies is another story for another day.)

M: I'm crying right now.
R: Haha. Talk to you soon.

So I didn't think twice about the whole magician thing. I figured, another guy with the same name. Whatever. Then, once I agreed to go out with him obviously I did my homework via google. Waaaaaait a miiiinuuuuuuute.........he IS a magician!!!!! WHAT?! I couldn't help but laugh and think it just made the whole story even better.

So, now back to last night. After we cleared up the laundry situation I admitted, "I have another confession........I'd told my girlfriend about the laundry, and then when you left me the note I told her about it. She googled you...." He got a little grin on his face like he knew what was coming. I had initially planned on trying to get it out of him, ya know, "What do you do when you're not in court....what are your hobbies...blah blah blah" but I get a little impatient and just would rather shoot straight.

I'll admit, I think magic is sort of cool. When I was in high school some of our family friends were staying with us and their son was into magic. He and I talked about it for hours and he showed me all sorts of tricks.

Anyway, so we talked about it for a while. He's definitely aware that it's super dorky, but he just owns it, which I like. And yes, I made him do a magic trick for me at the bar. He made my $10 bill float. It was so weird!!

We chatted for about an hour and a half and then I had to run off for a party. I had a great time, but ultimately, am I trying to date him? Not really. I'd go out again though, he was really cool and I had a good time. Hopefully I can phase it into the friend zone and then have a cool guy friend I can hang out with in the building. (I know what you're thinking, guys don't take girls out on dates to be friends. We'll see what I can finagle.)

Thanks for your advice friends.

PS He admitted to also googling me, and trying to find me on facebook, so I don't feel guilty, everyone does it.

Questions I've been getting a lot lately:

Purple roses from my sweet visiting teacher. Clearly a terrible photo since I couldn't get the colors looking right. And, sadly, now you know I haven't been given flowers in a very long time because I don't have a vase.

So, between traveling and being unemployed I feel like lately I've been getting a lot of the same questions, especially in comments. I'm not always good about responding to comments, and I feel a little awkward acting as if I'm important enough to have a "FAQ" blog post, but, this is easier than responding to the same things over and over. So here's a few of your questions and answers:

Q-(Regarding my recent trip to London and Paris) Was this your first time to Europe?
A- No. When I was 17 my family took a 10 day trip. We spent a week in Italy (Florence, Rome, and Venice), two days in Germany, and a day in Switzerland. We also drove through Austria and saw a lot of the country just by driving through. I got my first passport for this trip and just recently had to renew to go to Brazil. I look like such a baby in my first passport.

Q-Where's your next big trip going to be?
A-For the first time since I can remember, I have no trips planned. I like to always have something to look forward to, even if it's just a weekend somewhere. :( Being unemployed, I don't think it's the smartest thing to plan a big trip that will cost a lot of money, and don't feel like I can commit to taking vacation days when I should (hopefully) be starting a new job soon. Also, I know it seems like I'm always traveling (and I know, I sort of am) but it's a LOT easier to feel like you can get away when you live on the east coast. The states are so small here, you can be somewhere "away" in just a couple hours. All the weekend trips I took last year (Berkshires, Vermont, New Hampshire, Boston, Rhode Island, DC) are a 5 hour drive at most, sometimes only a 2-3 hours drive. So it's like living in San Diego and going to LA. If you still think I'm spoiled, just know I'm just trying to take advantage of the fact that I'm single and don't have anyone to worry about except myself. If there's one thing I've learned from my friends and family who are married and have kids, it's that I should take advantage of every opportunity I can while I'm single. So I do. :)

Q-What kind of work are you looking for?
A-I'm looking to do the same kind of thing I was doing before, admin/executive assistant work. I want to stay in finance, and am hoping to end up at a smaller company, like a hedge fund, verses a large bank. However, at this point I'm open to a large or small company.

Q-How's the job hunt going?
A-Good! I've got two great headhunters and have learned the finance industry is small. I've had a lot of friends pass my resume around which has been super helpful, and have even run into friends and old coworkers when I've been interviewing. I've had a bunch of first interviews and am in the process of scheduling some second interviews. I know how blessed I was to work for such an amazing boss at my last job, and know I'll never find anyone as great as him, however I want to make sure I'm happy in my new role, wherever that may be. When I moved to New York I didn't have a job, had no income, very little money saved, and a car that I owed money on back in California and hadn't been able to sell yet. I took the first offer I received, and was very fortunate it ended up being such a great job. Now, thankfully, I have the luxury of being a little more picky. I've been interested in most all the companies I've interviewed with, however have interviewed for a couple positions in which I knew I would not be happy. I am thankful for the opportunities I'm having, as it's always good practice to interview, and I'm enjoying seeing what opportunities are out there. I really love one of my headhunters and she's doing a really great job of getting me in front of potential employers.

Q-Have you thought of looking for a job in California?
A-No. New York is my home. I have no desire to leave.

Q-What happened to John? (My boss, whom I adored.) Has he found a job yet?
A-No. There are very few positions on Wall Street for the level he was at. The person who was in his position before him, was let go and was out of work for two years. As much as I would love to work for him again, I'm not holding my breath. This week I found out he's started looking into positions in other cities and countries. He's interviewed for jobs in London and Sydney. I did inform him, even though I'm not trying to leave New York, I would be open to relocating to London or Sydney. :) "Only Down Under, kids, only Down Under" has a nice ring to it, don't you think? Seriously though, he has a family now, and has already worked in London so I really would be surprised if he moved. I'm not holding my breath. (Although his replacement at my last job, my boss for four months, moved his wife and five kids from Paris for the position, never know!)

Q-How do you spend your free time?
A-I'll be honest, being a lady of leisure is not that bad, not that bad at all. There are the obvious negative aspects. I'm not independently rich, which is why I'm grateful for the interviews I've been going on, and I know my money won't last forever. Also, I love living alone, but now that I'm unemployed I'm alone a lot. If I don't have a lunch date or an interview I have to make sure I get myself out of the apartment. My first few days I'd pack up my laptop and just go hang out at Starbucks, just so I could be around people.
When I'm not interviewing, I'm really enjoying the mornings sleeping in (finally got over the jetlag two weeks later), going to day time movies (when the Oscar noms were announced, I'd already seen 9 of the 10 best pictures), meeting friends for lunch (we're in the middle of Restaurant Week!), and going for jogs or walks in the park. There's always an episode of SVU on, and Netflix streaming has become my best friend. Between the craziness of the holidays and then traveling, I hadn't worked out for about six weeks and my first day back at the gym was for boxing class. It. Was. ROUGH. So I'm trying to get back to the gym as well.

Q-Are you dating anyone? (Okay, this hasn't been any more than usual, but it's everyones favorite question for single people.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Last night

Dinner at Balthazar followed by dessert at Rice to Riches. Great night. Thanks Dad.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The beauty of having a private blog... sharing stories like this one:

A few weeks ago I got in the elevator to head to the basement to do laundry. I live on the ninth floor. The elevator stopped on the fifth floor and a guy walked in carrying laundry. He said hi, so I said hi and something like, "Headed to the same place?" From there we started a conversation that didn't stop until he was getting off the elevator. Normally I hate small talk and feel like when I meet a guy for the first time it's usually sort of awkward. There was zero awkwardness and the conversation just flew. I did feel semi-awkward throwing my clothes into the washers in front of him. I mean, I wouldn't ever let anyone do my laundry, let alone some guy I just met see me sorting through my whites, which consist mostly of socks, and colors, which consist mostly of underwear. I made sure to pick washers on the other side of the room.
So we chat chat chat, hop on the elevator, chat chat chat, and then he hops off and we exchange goodbyes and something along the lines of, "Maybe see you in 40 minutes."
Am I interested? Not really. I'll be blunt (hey, my blog's private, I can be ridiculously honest.) He's short. I'm 5'10 1/2" and it wasn't like he was 5'9". I'm guessing 5'8" at best. I've long gotten over the fact that I most likely won't marry someone who's 6'4". In fact, for some reason, every guy I've dated in NY has been my height or a smidgen shorter.
I've tried having this conversation with my girlfriends (who randomly all seem to be short) and, loves....I adore you, but as much as you think you do, you don't get it. I told my friend last night who's 5'4" to imagine going to a party where everyone was under 5'0". She busted up laughing, but, that's how I feel a lot of the time. I'm secure with my height, I really am, and I don't think about it 9 days out of 10. I don't think about it when I'm with my girlfriends, but sometimes I find myself in groups of people, men and women, and everyone is at least 2 or 3 inches shorter than me. I can't help but think, "What the hell? Where are all the tall people??" My short friends get mad when people say they should date the short guys, but.....those people are right. First of all, if short girls aren't willing to date short guys, who are those guys supposed to date? And if they take all the tall guys, who are the tall girls supposed to date? Aaaaaanywaaaaaays, this is clearly something I've discussed several times. (Like with my college roommate who was 5'2" and was embarrassed to say the guy she was dating was kinda short. How short? 5'10". She said she's used to guys being over 6'0". My jaw dropped and I said, "What if I had a rule that I could only date guys who were at least 6'8"???? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound saying you need a guy to be at least eight inches taller than you?" [By the way, they ended up getting married.] I realize it's not exactly the same because there's a lot more guys in the 6'0" height group than the 6'8".)
So, like I said, I've gotten over the fact that I most likely will not marry someone who's a lot taller than me. And, as long as the guy is okay with it, and not a skinny twig, I'm okay with it as well.
So when I went down to throw my clothes in the dryer I noticed he hadn't come down yet. (He and I were the only ones doing laundry and his machine lid was closed.) I threw my clothes in the dryer and went back upstairs. An hour later I went down to get my clothes out. As I was walking in I noticed my clothes were pulled out and sitting in a cart. My initial thought was that someone had pulled them out because they'd needed the dryer. Then I remembered no one else was doing laundry, and there's like six dryers anyway. As I got inside the room I realized my clothes had been pulled out and put into a cart, which was placed directly in front of the dryer this guy was using (which was like, three dryers down from the one I'd been using.)
Now here's the great part, the load consisted of two long sleeved shirts, a tank top, a pair of flannel pj pants, some socks, and underwear. Like, probably 25 pairs of underwear (I have a bad habit of putting off laundry until I absolutely have to do it.)
I was like, an 85% underwear load.
So, I gathered my belongings and texted Courtnie, as we'd been texted about this guy earlier. Wtf. Should I be flattered? Freaked? Is this his way of hitting on me? Am I supposed to respond somehow? I'm so confused. In her quick wit Court responded that I should take his laundry and leave a note saying, "#91B." (My apartment number.) I laughed.
But seriously.
I racked my brain trying to think of rational explanations. Maybe he was trying to be nice? But honestly though, everyone sort of knows the rule that you don't touch other people's laundry. AND, even if he DID think it was a friendly gesture, wouldn't he stop as soon as he realized he was touching my panties and quickly put it all back?
I know what you're thinking. Was any underwear missing? Thankfully, I think it was all there (at least the favorites.)
Obviously he's trying to say something, but I just don't know how he expects me to respond. forward to yesterday. I was leaving the building and my doorman tells me he has an envelope for me. I had no clue what it was but figured I'd must have ordered something online and had forgotten. I take the envelope and see written in blue ink, "Rachel, 9th floor." And in black ink, "Hope."
I started getting nervous that maybe one of my neighbors was complaining about me or something. Or, I thought, maybe it was a thank you because I'd just barely given the doormen their holiday tip last week.
So I get to the movies and open it up and find this inside:

I don't even know what to do............any suggestions? And I'm trying to forget about the fact that he went to the doorman and was like, "Hey, there's this chick who lives on the 9th floor, her name's Rachel but I don't know her last name, do you? And can you leave this for her?"
And can someone also please explain how I can meet a guy in five seconds, while probably looking bad (I mean, it was laundry night....I was probably in pjs, slippers, and had my hair in a pony) and yet haven't been asked out by a Mormon in over two years? Seriously. This is a problem.
Part of me wants to positively reinforce the good behavior of taking initiative. Part of me wants to come out and ask what was up with the laundry. Part of me figures maybe I'll get a free meal out of it. (Hey, I'm unemployed and a girl's gotta eat.) Most of me wants to ignore the note all together, but I feel like I can't because what if I run into him again?

2010: year in review

2010 was quite the year. I didn't really know how to explain it until I read my aunt's facebook status update and she described it as the year of "the good, the bad, and the ugly." That's how I feel. I can't say it was a terrible year, as I got my first very own apartment, traveled, met some new great people, enjoyed good health and a healthy family, and welcomed two new baby nephews into the world. However, I also lost my boss who I adored, then lost my own job, and other various things that definitely fit into the "bad and ugly" category.
That being said......this was my year:

In December 2009:
I wrapped up the year with two of my high school favorites, Megan and Gina. The poor things were born and raised and still live in sunny southern California, and when they came out we had the largest storm since I'd moved to New York. It was insane.

In January:
I spent some quality time with my dad and Brad over Chinese when they had coordinating business trips to the big apple.

In February:
We celebrated my dad's 60th in Boston. I gave him a book I'd put together of photos from his life and letters from his family and friends wishing him a happy birthday and telling some of their favorite memories with him.

Went to see A View from the Bridge starring Scarlett Johansson and Liev Shreiber. I chatted with Liev for a second after and snapped (a very blurry) photo, and then developed a new crush.

Spent Presidents' Weekend (and Valentine's Day) in a house in Vermont with friends.

Spent an evening with Mad.

Invested in a DSLR and Ed took me shooting and taught me a few things.

We had fun playing around with super slow shutter speeds in Grand Central.

In March:
I spent a week in Rio de Janeiro with Jeff and Marcus.

Went hanggliding over Copacabana and told everyone it felt like how I would imagine it feels to fly on an Avatar dragon. It was super fun.

Fell in love with Buzios, where we spent one night.

Began my serious love affair with the Jackie O. Reservoir in Central Park, where I run my blues away.

Walked the red carpet at the TriBeCa Film Festival with Ashley and Kambria. Saw Renee Zellweger, Helena Bonham Carter, and shook Forest Whitaker's hand.

In April:
Took my first trip to DC with Court to visit Jac, and went to the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Acted a fool in front of the capital building.

Loved the tulips.

Really enjoyed seeing the monuments at night.

Went to Dallas to visit friends and family, and couldn't get over the fact that Will and Jess have four kids under the age of four. I can't even imagine!! It wasn't too long ago we were in college and they were just dating.

Walked the Brooklyn Bridge and got ice cream with Melmo and A$, chatted, gossiped, and realized what a small world we live in, when they came to visit the big apple.

Laughed and laughed over Serendipity frozen hot chocolate with Rachel, and spent most of the weekend with the Burns girls during their visit to NYC.

In May:
Gave my mom the surprise of her life when I showed up at 10pm in the house on Mother's Day weekend (but didn't get a single picture with her!) Also surprised Meg at her bridal shower that same weekend.

Gossiped with Gina at Meg's shower.

Enjoyed breakfast with the kids on a sunny Saturday.

Was pressured into going to Duck Beach again, even though I swore I was done going. It ended up being my favorite year.

Went to tons of Yankees games.

In June:
Was spoiled rotten by my boss on my birthday.

And my friends (who know me way too well.)

Blew out the candles with Britt.

Enjoyed being entertained by Jamar, as always.

Reconnected once again with my musketeers, Meg and G, at Meg's rehearsal dinner.

Helped Meg celebrate the most important day of her life.

Went camping in the Catskills.

In July:
Spent the 4th celebrating Nad's birthday in Boston.

Enjoyed having one of my favorite married couples, Becky and Sean, out in New York.

Got down at the Yankees game, on one of the hottest, most humid days of the year.

Learned how to trapeze.

Met a tall drink of water.

In August:
Was a bridesmaid for the eleventh time at Aimee's LA wedding.

Spent a week in California, and then roadtripped to SLC, and then Rexburg, and back. Enjoyed spending time with all my grandparents, especially picking raspberries with my grandpa.

Spent time with Chels on campus at my alma mater in the bookstore.

Ended my two weeks of vacation in San Francisco for a girls' weekend with Chelse and Becky.

Continued my love affair with the reservoir.

Went to a Sadie Hawkins party with Mikey Perkey.

Spent a weekend with 16 friends in the glory that is the Berkshires. It was actually a little chilly that weekend so we cranked the pool up to 90 degrees and pretty much stayed there all weekend.

In September:
Got my very own apartment on the Upper West Side! (Probably the best part of 2010.)

Watched the Yankees from the 12th row.

Enjoyed plenty of rooftop BBQs.
Spent a weekend in Rhode Island with friends.

Had endless shenanigans with Court and Em.

In October:
Spent a girls only weekend in the Berkshires, relaxing, watching baseball, and going to the spa. (And made my very first fire, which you see in the background, which I was very proud of and couldn't stop talking about, despite the help of the Duraflame log.)

Died over the fall foliage.

Loved and hated the fact that I now live on the same block as Magnolia.

Got down with my bad self on Halloween dressed as a baseball player.

Continued to love the reservoir, in spring, summer, and fall.

Set up a Skype account and Skyped with mom.

In November:
Stumbled across the premier of Megamind at the theater on the next block and saw Ben Stiller and Brad Pitt.

Watched the marathon and was able to see so many friends thanks to the Road Runner iPhone app that tracked everyone.

Got super inspired, and cried, several times.

My mom came out for a visit and we enjoyed an unusually warm weekend for November, and loved the still changing leaf colors.

Enjoyed brunch at Norma's.

Loved the view from the Top of the Rock of Central Park and upper Manhattan.

Spent Thanksgiving Day in New Hampshire with almost all my family and couldn't get enough of Hudson and Madeline.

In December:
Met the most popular girl in the blogosphere, Piper Jane.

Went to the Brandon Flowers concert with Emilee.

Continued loving the reservoir through the winter, even though my lungs wanted to go on strike from the painful cold air.

Turned on my oven for the first time (haven't used it since) to do a little holiday baking.

Got my first Christmas tree, which brought me an embarrassing amount of joy, and I named her Tanya (the tannenbaum.)

Went to Annual Bake Day in Dallas. Baked all. day. long. And had so much fun with my mom, aunt, and cousins.

Took a spur of the moment trip to California the day after getting laid off (Dec 13) and couldn't get enough of sweet Huddy Buddy.

Carted my mom all over southern California after her surgery, and had fun stealing her scooter and riding it around the house (until I ran into a wall....)

Cleaned out my closet and bedroom at my dad's request and came across some treasures.

Spent Christmas in New Hampshire.

Came back to a snowed-in big apple.

Felt pretty good about my ornament collection (mostly travel, still have a few to get.)
Top to bottom, left to right: San Francisco, Australia, Maine, gift from Meg, Brazil, Yankees World Series, San Antonio, Lake Placid, and Texas.

After being gone for two weeks after getting laid off, came home to a box of my belongings that were shipped to me. Sort of depressing. I was happy to also come home to a bunch of holiday cards. Thank you!!

Counted down the last seconds of 2010 in London.

I can't say I was sad to see 2010 end. Looking forward to 2011 and all it has to offer.