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.