Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009: A year in review

Let’s see how I did with my 2009 resolutions.

1. Be more frugal.
Being unemployed for 6 months and then working a very low-paying job for 2 months, I had no choice but to be more frugal. I wrote this goal with the intention to stock up on savings and that wasn’t possible this year.

2. Cook and bake and eat adventurously.
I tried honey buns, crepes, Mexican feasts, Cooking School. When it comes to cooking and baking, there is so much to learn that I feel like I barely made a dent. But I did okay. Not great. But okay.

3. Write when I can.
I did work on my fiction from time to time but not enough to consider it an accomplishment.

4. Plan a kick-ass wedding.
This I have done and am still doing very well.

5. Start a new personal project/venture.
Thought lots, did little.

6. Take care of myself and be healthy.
Had a strong start in the spring with eating well and exercising regularly, but once I stopped working, it was hard to motivate myself.

7. Take lots of pictures.
Probably took less pictures this year than in the last four years.

8. Travel.
Small budget calls for small trips: San Francisco, Boulder & Denver, New Orleans. All were great.

9. Focus on the things that make me happy.

10. Be fun!
Not really.

*Be a better dresser and stop wearing the uniform.
No money for new clothes and I haven’t worn the poof since that day. The uniform lives strong!

Resolutions: Total fail.

2009: The Good
The year started promising with a fun New Year’s movie marathon.
Barack Obama’s inauguration
My sister Annette: Pet Detective!
Wedding fun: Kim and Nien, Nate and Susannah, Adam and Nell.
Dan cooks me gourmet dinner for Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving
Spaghetti cat
The Airborne Toxic Event-my new fave band
Dan buys new running shoes--FINALLY
Giant Cheetos
Trip to California and meeting Holly
A Day in Brooklyn with Michele
Everyone has a baby! Arrivals of babies Michela, Kathryn, Drake, Will
Bo Obama
The High Line
Governors Island with Heather
The Mexican Feast
East Side Picnic
Cooking School
Flower arranging
Cupcake apprenticeship
Boulder, CO and Chewy the dog
Beatles Rock Band
Long Beach with Adam and Nell aka the best day of the year
Platon at The New Yorker Festival
Become your dream
Great musical theater: In the Heights and Rock of Ages
New Orleans
Mad Men
The Danes visit NYC at Christmastime

2009: The bad
This picture
Michael Jackson dies
My growing internet addiction and how it makes me procrastinate
Not getting tickets for Shakespeare in the Park’s Twelfth Night

2009: The ugly
Barfing for the first time in 20 years.
A year spent in job hunting anxiety and defeat (Seventeen minutes)
Working on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
Overall: too much depression

I think of 2009 as being a bad year for me. Still, looking at this list, it is uplifting to know that the positives do outweigh the negatives. And it can only get better from here.

Favorite books read in 2009 (not necessarily written in 2009):
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith and Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Favorite movies seen in 2009 (not necessarily made in 2009):
12 Rounds, Star Trek, The Wrestler, Man on Wire, Precious, The Hangover

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cookie Bonanza 2009

Spoiler alert to my family who will be seeing (and eating) these very, very soon.

Cookie Bonanza!

the outsides!

the insides! (mmm....the insides)

2009 flavors!

And something I have always wanted to do...and now crossed off the list:

Homemade Christmas cards!

I could not spend a lot of money on Christmas this year so instead I made everything with a lot of love! Merry Christmas, everyone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sugar-coated Fantasy

Today I spent the day with my cookies, baking a whooping six different varieties for the annual Cookie Bonanza. If you don't know what the heck I am talking about, see past year bonanzas here and here.

I like to listen to my Christmas cds when I bake. I don't have very many, so every year, I end up playing and replaying Charlie Brown Christmas, The Rat Pack, The Nutcracker and Polish Christmas carols. It's also been kind of a tradition that in the seventh hour of baking or so, when I am sick and tired of these albums and am sick and tired of baking cookies, I ended up putting in the soundtrack to Fiddler on the Roof.

I love musicals and I don't know about you but sometimes I fantasize about musical numbers happening in my real life. I wish it could happen. I really do. I think about this more than I like to admit. And so when I was listening to Fiddler, which happens to be one of my favorite musicals of all time, I imagined how nice it would be if someone just did the Bottle Dance at our wedding.

I know it doesn't really fit our New Orleans theme or our Catholic wedding--a bunch of old Jewish men dancing with bottles on their head--but if money were no object, I wouldn't ask for more flowers or a designer bridal gown or whatever....just give me a bunch of dancers and let them spontaneously break into song and dance. As Dan would say, "it would blow people's minds."

A girl can dream. Too much sugar today? Too much alone time? Perhaps...

Update: Just realized that this is not the first time I have blogged about my song-and-dance wedding fantasy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's raining in New Orleans

Dan and I spent the last four days in New Orleans in a wedding planning spree. It was very productive weekend, and it certainly made us super excited for our May wedding.

The weather was just plain awful. On Saturday, the city experienced FOUR INCHES of rain. I have seen heavy rain before but nothing like this. Dan put it best when he said, "I feel like we're in Vietnam." It was one of those rains where if you stepped outside for a second, you were immediately soaked. Strangely enough, many locals couldn't be bothered with umbrellas and just walked around getting drenched. Many roads, including St Charles Avenue, were half-way filled with water. Cars were parked on grassy mediums to avoid getting flooded out.

Just when you thought the rain would stop, it didn't. It wouldn't. While Saturday was the worst of it, it carried on like this for most of our time there. I am hoping it all gets out of its system before our wedding day.

Here's Dan on a rare "dry" moment--actually it was drizzling a little here. And this is pretty much the only picture I took this weekend.

We ate well on the trip. Perhaps too well. We were never hungry, always full. On the advice of many people, we had a lovely dinner at the well-regarded Cochon, a restaurant that is all pig all the time. While the rain tapped on the windows, we enjoyed oysters in a nice spicy sauce, Louisiana cochon topped with cracklins, twice baked potato and a rich chocolate cake.

I won't delve into too much information about weekend since it has to do with our wedding and one, it's kind of boring to hear the minor details and two, we want to keep some element of surprise. On the last day, I went to a beauty salon for a hair trial to try out the up-do that I plan to wear for the wedding day. Afterward, I felt a little funny walking around town in blue jeans all dolled up with my hair and make-up. But I was completely surprised when we went to the airport and I repeatedly set off the alarm through the security check point.

They gave me a full pat down. The verdict: Too many bobby pins. True story.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Where am I?

I have been out of touch.

It's my crazy work schedule. Some days I am up at 5 am, some days, I working until midnight. Sometimes I work weekends, sometimes I work holidays. Then I sometimes I have days off, but I usually spend my days off catching up on sleep while everyone else is working. My job is not particularly hard or demanding, but I am having a very hard time with this schedule. I am a person who demands 8 hours of sleep and three meals a day. That is just something I know about myself. When I am thrown off-kilter, I don't function as well. Last week, I thinking to myself: "what day is it?" I convinced myself it was Monday. It HAD to be Monday. It was Friday. I have been out of touch.

This carries onto the rest of my life. I haven't spoken to my family in a long time. My mom emailed me the other day, I had no idea what she was talking about. Mom had the flu? My stepfather is having some kind of surgery? I spent my day off today writing Christmas cards and was reminded of all the people I care about but haven't talked to in months.

Speaking of Christmas, I haven't even given one quota of thought to presents. I know this may sound normal for most people, but I am the type of person who is very organized and just knows these things well in advance. Christmas seems so off the radar because I am unsure if this year I am going to be home with my family or if I am going to work. Do I have to get presents? Can I afford to buy presents? Will there be a Cookie Bonanza this year? I desperately want the answers to be yes, yes and HELL YES....but instead my mind is focused on the fact that tomorrow on Wednesday I have the 2p-10p shift and then on Thursday I have the 6a-2p shift and that leaves me with less than 8 hours of sleep between those two days and that freakin' stresses me out.

And then food. I can't somehow juggle grocery shopping anymore and most of the days, I work through dinner and so I haven't been cooking anything too inspired. We've gotten more take out than I care to eat, and while I like Whole Foods, I am getting very sick of pre-packaged sushi and the Indian buffet bar I get while I am at work.

I am not particularly happy with my state of mind or affairs.

I keep telling myself that it will all get better in 2010 and that's like three weeks away. Because 2009 is obviously jinxed. One of the worst years ever...I, and 10% of the country, was unemployed for most of the year, I was depressed because of unemployment, it was the worst summer weather of all time, and now this. I saw the cover of Time magazine recently, naming the '00s as "the decade from hell." A little extreme, I think, but it kind of made me realize how nice the 90s really were....

I am ready for a new year, a new decade, a new mindset, a new life.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Move over, Dan. I have a new man in my life. His name is Drake.

Drake is only 16 days old, and he is the son of my good friend Heather. I had the day off of work, so I went over to meet him and see his mommy in Brooklyn Heights.

Drake is a pretty chill guy. All he likes to do is eat and sleep and poop. He doesn't really cry too much. I think that means he is a good baby. I am a little scared of babies at this age. I am always afraid that they will snap in two and stop breathing. I held Drake for a little while and I swear he smiled at me. I think he likes me. I like him too.

Heather hired my old co-worker, Jen, who has started a photography business, to take pictures of Drake throughout the first year of his life. Today was the first photo shoot and I got to sit in. It was a lot of fun to see Jen work and watch Drake with all his cute naked butt poses. Oh baby butts. So funny.

After the shoot, we ventured into the neighborhood for a bite to eat. I had my try at the stroller and I must say that it's not as easy as it looks. The streets felt so bumpy I felt like Drake was moving all around in there and then in the cafe, it was hard to navigate the corners and it felt like we were blocking everyone's way. As Heather says, it's like learning how to walk again. Somehow we managed okay. Drake was fast asleep the entire time. (BTW: Doesn't Heather look amazing just two weeks after giving birth?)

After lunch, we tried to walk on the promenade but it way too cold and windy. Here's a quick shot by the Brooklyn Bridge and then off we went!

I had a great day. I could get used to this life!

UPDATE: Check out the professional pics here. Beautiful!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day News

I work in cable news now and part of the deal is that you work on holidays. The news never stops people! I feel like it makes people in this industry feel like tough stuff. Sure, everyone complains, but I think it also makes them secretly pat themselves on the back for being the hardcore workaholic newshounds that they are. I am not sure if I fit in this business. When I saw my name on the schedule for Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving on a 9 to 5 shift, I cried.

My mother postponed Thanksgiving dinner to accommodate me and my work schedule, so I was handling it much better emotionally until my boss came up to me and said they needed someone to be at work at 5am on both days and told asked me to be that someone. Gulp. That meant I was suddenly working 5am to 5pm shifts BOTH days. There would be no Thanksgiving for me.

Don't feel sorry for me because I have done a good job feeling sorry for myself this past week. Actually, the anticipation of working was worse than the actual working. Even though I missed my family, Thanksgiving itself was not so bad.

The lights at Columbus Circle looked lovely and festive in the morning at 4:50 am.

Our office has an perfect vantage point of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade so I had a chance to see the likes of Snoopy, Shrek and Pikachu go right by my office window.

Besides the first three hours of the day, I had no real work to do so most of the morning was spent looking outside. Co-workers who weren't working came in with their families to watch the parade so the office had a real nice party atmosphere.

At noon, we were served a real Thanksgiving dinner. It's not as good as mom's, but it wasn't so horrible either. Then, I was allowed to leave at 3pm, two hours earlier than expected!

Even with the early dismissal, it was way too much trouble to head to Jersey for Thanksgiving since I had to be back at work 5 am the next day. My friend Meagan had graciously invited us to spend the holiday with her and her mom in the city, however, I knew after a long workday like that, all I wanted was a quiet evening.

I considered cooking dinner for one second, but then Dan took matters into his own hands and offered to cook us Thanksgiving dinner himself! The day before, he stopped at the farmer's market to pick up produce and the butcher to get the meat. He planned to make a feast unlike one we've ever seen in our home.

He is the chef with our Thanksgiving Day feast.

I convinced Dan that cooking turkey was a bad idea (too much food and work for just two people) but Dan still wanted something special so he decided to make venison (something I have NEVER cooked before or would consider even cooking), baked sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots and cranberry sauce. My contribution was a triple chocolate pumpkin pie I made Tuesday night topped with whipped cream. It was a memorable feast and a wonderful way to spend the holiday. And when it was over, Dan cleaned all the dishes. What a guy, what a day.

The night ended with an hour of Beatles rock band practice and then I was in bed by 9:30.

The next day, I had to work until 5 and had actual stuff to do and there were no real leftovers. Holiday over. Can't wait until next year!

Balloons. Check.

When Dan and I visited our friends Charina and Jim in Colorado this summer, they revealed that they had embarked on a project that had changed their lives and strengthened their marriage. How intriguing!

They had each written a list of 100 things that they wanted to do and gave themselves one year to accomplish everything. The list included goals both big and small--from roasting a chicken to taking an exotic vacation. While the majority of the items on the list were things to do together as a couple, individual goals could also be included, with the only requirement that the other person be a supportive partner.

Dan and I thought this was an amazing idea, and we decided to put together a list of our own. We decided that 100 items each was too ambitious and opted for only 50 each (which proved to be too much for Dan who could only come up with 25 items--many of them repeats of goals on my list. Naturally, I had no trouble. I can write lists of goals in my sleep). We presented our ideas on my 31st birthday, thinking this would be a good point for start our yearlong project, ending up with a list of 69 goals--which we've added onto since.

Awesome right? Too bad we suck at it. It's been nearly two months later, and we just crossed off ONE item on our list.

Yesterday, we went to the Upper West Side to see the balloons being blown up for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This was something I had put on the list. Dan and I went to see the parade a few years ago where we discovered that the balloons are much smaller and lower to the ground than they appear on TV. But since living here, I had heard rumblings that the real show was the night before where you can watch all the preparations of the balloons getting inflated and lined up. I heard you could walk right up to them and take some fantastic photos.

Unfortunately, we missed the boat. Seeing the balloons getting blown up was great.....a few years ago. Now everyone knows about it, so just like all the good gems in New York City, it is overrun with people and not really all that fun anymore. After doing some online research, I had a sense this was the case, but we went anyway.

With Dan grumbling the entire time, we found ourselves walking in slow motion alongside of a sea of people in the misty rain. Walking just two city blocks took about a half an hour, the balloons were already blown up (most of them face down on the pavement) and there were tons of barricades in the way so you couldn't get up too close. And the photos--well, you can take them sure, if you don't mind random people blocking your view and running into you every two seconds. I wasn't too excited about my results (some are below).

After getting our fill of the first balloon-and-people-filled block, we had enough and opted not to see the second one.

Mission 1 on the list accomplished. I am guessing that we won't be doing this ever again. Glad it's out of the way. A lot more better things (I hope) to come.

The Energizer Bunny

Ronald's back.

Kermit's feet

Dan, the ever supportive spouse, ecstatic to be there.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Light bulb moments

There's something I know about myself. I repeat myself over and over.

There's been many times where I have come up with a "new" idea and find myself scribbling down my inspiration with a have-to-write-this-down-RIGHT-now-or-I-may-lose-it frenzy, only to find a notebook stashed away in a drawer where I wrote the same exact thing five years ago nearly verbatim. When I read journals I have written from my past, it's almost frightening to learn how little I have changed. I have a bad memory, so even though I often go through the same patterns and feelings, every time I experience them, it's like it's the first time. Learn from my mistakes? I wish.

This has been a really challenging year for me, and I keep waiting for something to happen to make it better. Nothing's happening. (I should know by now that's not how it works). The last month has really hit me hard. Literally, I feel like I've been punched in the gut, and I have been walking around with this knot in my stomach, an anxiety that flutters throughout my body, a cloud over my head. I feel like I am stuck in mud and there's no way out. This is why I haven't been writing in my blog. It's been totally consuming me.

The last time I felt this way is the fall of 2006. The circumstances were a little different but basically I was feeling: "I am very unhappy with how my life is going. I have to do something about it." I felt like I didn't have a way out until a few months later, I made the scary decision that what I really wanted to do with my life was quit my job and go to Europe for a few months. Making that decision and sticking with it was very empowering and liberating, and for a while, it made me feel so much better about everything. I realized that I have the choice to live my life the way I want. Apparently, three years later, I forgot that lesson. Now I am feeling the same way--that I am stuck. I am back where I started, trying to figure it out again.

Unfortunately, it's not an option for me to just take off and leave on a backpacking trip again....though, don't get my wrong, if I had the cash, I would be on a plane right this minute, Dan in tow. But I am broke and I have responsibilities and I can't just run away right now. That is not the answer of this. I have to deal with this head on. I have to make something happen.

I am terrified. I don't know if I can do it. But I have reached a point that this feeling of unrest and personal dissatisfaction and anxiety is so awful that I am almost more afraid of it than doing something.

Don't think this is the first time that I have had this kind of awakening. I am sure you can find something similar already jotted down in one of my old notebooks. I just hope that this time I actually listen to myself and do something about it.

To make me feel better, I am off to see Precious, a movie about an overweight, illiterate, abused teen who is pregnant with her second child by her's bound to be really uplifting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nothing to say

What's new? Nothing.

I am sure that you noticed, but I have been a little out of it lately.

My focus has been on my new job, which some days has me waking up at 5 in the morning, while other days working until 10 at night. Since my schedule changes so much, it is hard to find a rhythm for my days and they seem to pass me by.

The good thing about working is that I am starting to go to the gym again. My brain somehow computes working and working out as things that are intertwined, and I am not complaining about that. I gained about five pounds in unemployment.

While it sort of feels like all I have been doing is working, working out and going to sleep, that is not really the case. There have been dim sum with Annie and Mark, bridesmaid dress shopping with Annette and mom, seeing In the Heights with Annette, watching bad movies on the couch with Dan. But somehow I still feel like I don't have time to write in my blog or maybe more accurately, that I don't have anything to say. That's why you haven't heard from me in a while. And why this entry is about nothing.

That's just how I have been feeling lately. A whole lot of nothing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Party on!

Just like last year, Dan and I celebrated Halloween night at a big bash at the Waverly apartment.

Dan and I rocked our Wayne's World costumes. Dan only likes costumes that allow him to wear his glasses. Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth!

The real star of the evening was Justin as Beyonce with Kayleen and Kim as his back-up "single ladies" dancers.

They did many renditions of the "Single Ladies" dance throughout the night. Here's them dancing at the party... the party at the apartment next door...

...even on the street (with another Beyonce jumping in).

Jason and his girlfriend Suzie dressed up as a stick figures from the web comic xkcd.

Matthew and Ernest were a Nascar driver and a pit crew guy.

Nien dressed as Teen Wolf.

Tom, the host of the evening, lit up the room as a giant glow stick man with crazy green eyes.

The most clever costume went to Clayton as the famous painting by Magritte.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The New Yorker Festival and catch-up

I know, I know, I have been away a long time. I was sick with a cold for a while and now that I have started my new job, I am adjusting to my schedule and my time seems to slip away quickly.

Last weekend was spent at
The New Yorker Festival, otherwise known as Dan's favorite time of the year. In case you don't know, The New Yorker is Dan's all time favorite magazine, and once a year the magazine hosts a weekend long event featuring lectures and talks with their contributors and noteworthy people. The event usually falls in the beginning of October and we've had to miss it in the past for various reasons (my birthday last year, weddings, etc.) and so it's very exciting in our household when we actually can go. This is only my second New Yorker festival since living here, Dan's third.

I went to see the lectures on Mad Men--which was disappointingly more about advertising instead of the show but featured Lee Clow (the guy who creates Apple commercials including the famous 1984 ad--cool), along with Steve Stoute and Matthew Weiner), The Political Scene (the magazine's writers discussing Obama's first year, kinda boring) and Photography with Platon (a photographer who was fascinating and hilarious--you've probably seen his work and don't even know it.)

Dan went to see some other lectures and if you want to hear his take on it, he'd gladly take you through...

Here's him being interviewed by The New Yorker promo team about how much he loves The New Yorker and The New Yorker Festival. They actually taped him twice--the first time, the two girls forgot to press record and they were so excited that he agreed to speak again because he looks so good on the camera (their words, seriously).

In other news, we mailed out our wedding save the dates (it's only seven months away!) and everyone seemed to like them, especially our friend Riley from California. We head to New Orleans in December to finalize many of the details. SO looking forward to that!

Riley: getting excited about NOLA.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Become your dream

A long time ago, my friend Danielle told me that she would walk through her neighborhood and she would stumble across different signs that said, "Become Your Dream." Her neighborhood eventually became my neighborhood, and after a while, I too would see "Become Your Dream" scribbled on items destined to be thrown away like cardboard boxes, broken mirrors, and other garbage on the curb.

It was a mystery for a while, but Danielle eventually figured out who was doing these signs. I agree with her that meeting one on the street is an incredibly uplifting experience. It's such as nice surprise to spot something that would otherwise be seen as ugly turned into a motivating and positive message.

Here's one I spotted today on East 77th Street written on an old mattress next to the garbage bin.

Flowers and cupcakes

People ask me all the time about my flower/cupcake volunteer projects and unfortunately, I don't get to do either as often as I would like. However, this weekend, I got to work both gigs.

On Saturday, I helped Denise work a wedding at Wave Hill, which may be one of the most beautiful places in New York City. Seriously. Until this weekend, I never knew the place existed. It's an old mansion and garden in the Bronx--a private residence turned public park--that overlooks the Hudson River. The views are absolutely breath-taking. I forgot my camera, so these candids I took on my iPhone don't do it justice. But I plan to be back with my real camera and perhaps my mother in tow. I think she'd love it, too.

Here we're setting up the ceremony site. We really didn't have to do much outside, except tie some pretty branches with ribbon on the outside chairs and set up some lights, it was so lovely.

I was in charge of setting up Denise's vision of the card table. We surrounded the large vase with moss and topped it with smaller flower vases, votive candles and a fruit branch. It was challenging to position the cards on top of the uneven moss.

Denise created this beautiful arrangement in the fireplace. If I ever own a home with a fireplace, I would love to decorate the mantel just like this for Thanksgiving. It was so fun to be behind the scenes of setting up a wedding and seeing all the vendors work to put everything together. I only wish that we could have attended the wedding, too!

On Sunday, Keavy asked me to help her with a cupcake photo shoot. Her sister, a professional photographer, was in town and they created a lovely bridal shower party scene featuring cupcakes and we did an impromptu photo shoot. I don't want to give away too much info, but if all works out to plan, you might be seeing my mug in a bridal blog near you!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Out of the blue

Back in the day, I wanted to be a magazine editor, and I worked very hard in college to do well in my writing courses, write for the school newspaper and work a few magazine internships (that's where I met Dan!). Despite my careful preparation, after I graduated, I had a hard time selling myself in job interviews. I remember bombing an interview at a high-profile woman's magazine, and I couldn't even get a job writing obituaries at my hometown newspaper.

Then I landed a random interview for a job on the sales and marketing side of magazines, and I remember thinking, "I don't know anything about sales and marketing. I have no idea what I am talking about. So if I don't get this, so what?" Yet somehow, I was able to convince them to hire me. Surprisingly, I ended up being very good at sales and marketing.

As everyone knows, I have been looking for a job for a while and my friends hooked
me up with an informational interview at a television news organization. It felt a little over my head. Sure I had gone to j-school, but that was eight years ago. I felt like that dream was long behind me. Besides, I was a magazine major; I have zero experience in broadcast. There was no way this was going to happen.

Yet when I sat in that newsroom trying to explain to my interviewer why I'd be great at broadcast journalism (even though I don't know anything about broadcast journalism), I felt a strange sense of deja vu.

Today they hired me to work as a freelancer! I start in a week, it's an entry level position (weird hours, little money and I don't know how long the assignment will be) but I will be a working journalist!
From the way I feel, I realize that this dream of mine hadn't totally died. I feel so surprised that this is happening to me. I keep waiting for someone to tell me it's a joke. I'm completely outside my comfort zone and feel both excited and scared.

My biggest wish is that I will like it, and I will be good at it. I see this as a new adventure for me. But most of all, I am happy that
it appears that my days of unemployment are coming to an end--at least for now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Today is my birthday

Last year, on my 30th birthday, I took a self-portrait of myself while Dan and I were vacationing in New Orleans. Little did I know when I was taking it that ten minutes later, Dan would propose to me.

I decided to do the same thing this year, only I thought to do so at 11 'o clock in the evening when Dan was already in bed. I was sitting on the couch in my pajamas, my hair in a messy ponytail, no make-up, not looking my best.

I know I look a little sad in these pictures, but that is not really the case. I was just playing with the light and trying to create a mood. Besides, I think they convey how I feel in my life right now--a little uncertain and pensive.

I had a very subdued birthday, spending the majority of the day preparing for a job interview tomorrow that feels a little over my head. I am going to try my best and see what happens. Dan brought home some sushi and a brownie. He popped open a bottle of wine and we had a nice little dinner together. We plan to celebrate for real this weekend.

I took these with my Canon powershot. Today I am 31 years old.


First there was Courtstock. Then there was Jackstock. Followed by Backstock. In case you haven't been reading this blog long enough, a "stock" is a three-day party where friends Brett, Emily, Courtney, Nell, Adam, Dan and me gather together for a weekend of fun, parties and shenanigans.

This weekend, we all came together once again--this time in the Berkshires--for Reidstock, otherwise known as Adam and Nell's wedding. As usual, custom t-shirts were made to commemorate the event.

The weekend kicked off Friday evening with a welcome party at Crissey Farm we enjoyed delicious "brown" food, including brisket, barbecued chicken and chocolate cake. Yum. Speeches were made and photo slide shows were viewed. Adam, a filmmaker, created the most beautiful and romantic two-minute movie about Nell which brought me--and half the room--to tears.

Here's Courtney with Brette and Ben who sat at our table. Brette was promptly named Girl Brette to avoid confusion with boy Brett. They were lovely.

On a rainy Saturday, we gathered at the Gedney Farm for the wedding ceremony, where more tears were shed, followed by dinner and dancing and celebration in the barn. We had a wonderful time. After seven hours of party, I ended up indulging in too much wine and had to cut out at midnight (I recall having this feeling: I. Have. To. Go. To. Sleep. RIGHT. NOW.), but the rest of the 'stockers stayed up into the wee hours of the night eating grilled cheese sandwiches and jamming to live music.

Don't we look hot?

Me, before the crash.

I was delighted to see that Adam was quite a good dancer.

Brett was also a very enthusiastic addition on the dance floor.

Very enthusiastic, indeed.

The bride and groom rock out.

Sunday, we all came together for brunch at the Route 7 Grill. In the buggy backyard of the restaurant, we all decided to snap pictures for a photo comic that we are developing, art directed by our very own boy Brett. I got to play the bad wizard and I had to pose in very scary, evil ways. It was so much fun. I can't wait to see how it turns out. (You kind of had to be there in order to understand how awesome this was.)

And somewhere during the weekend, I got the nickname Y-Bomb. I think it happened when I was asleep.

As usual, after a wonderful weekend, it was difficult to say good-bye. Until we meet again, 'stockers: May 2010 at Squeenstock, a.k.a. our wedding.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The little prince

On a rainy Sunday, I went to New Canaan,Connecticut, for my friend Heather's shower. She is having a baby boy in November. The baby's name will be William Drake Prince (after his father), but he's going to be called Drake. Or judging from all the crown and castle related baby gifts, the little prince. Or maybe the Fresh Prince of Brooklyn.

Here's Heather and me....doesn't she look amazing? Every time I see her I tell her that I hope to look like her when I am pregnant. She looks better than me, not-pregnant! She's even wearing high heels!

The shower took place at Heather's BF Malissa's gorgeous home. Her house is the type of place where you walk inside and the first thing you see is foyer with a big round table with a beautiful large arrangement of flowers. Yeah, it looks like the type of place that belongs in a magazine. I loved it. I was especially taken by her kitchen which is basically the size of my apartment.

This picture doesn't really do it justice. The appliances were sick. And all that counter space! What a fantasy! I was drooling.

Not only that, but the house had killer outdoor space and two dogs! My kind of heaven.

Malissa was the perfect host. First, she had us draw pictures on onesies which were later hung on a laundry line and used for decoration. I drew different fruits on mine and wrote "Fruity Guy." We ate delicious mini-food. I had about a hundred brownie bites, rice krispie treats and cupcakes. And there were games because there are always games at these sorts of occasions.

Heather got to wear a crown and open a ton of presents until she was completely surrounded by cardboard boxes.

The best present was someone who created a laundry line of baby clothes (similar to the decor), which Heather pulled from a basket. There were so many items, the line stretched all the way across the room. The little girls were delighted! Drake is going to be one well-dressed little man.