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.