Wednesday, December 31, 2008

so maybe that's my problem...

"A December 31 Capricorn responds to their heart, not their head. They may be impractical in the extreme, but they also paint their world in vibrant and extreme colors. A certain brilliance does not shield them from a great deal of instability. This can be a drawback to maturation, yet it also provides them with the emotional exhilaration they crave.

Capricorn Information for December 31
You should embrace:
Receptiveness, fantasy, the creative muse

You should avoid:
Willfulness, flattery, ego issues

Friends and Lovers

Even though December 31 individuals enjoy being surrounded by a large group of friends, they are anxious to have time in the spotlight. This is generally based on a lack of self-esteem. They often experience a great deal of heartbreak in love, linked to their inability to make good romantic choices.

Children and Family

December 31 people love family life. It's often the anticipated pleasures of a family that prompts them to settle down. Even though they may seek to work out issues from their childhood in their relationship with offspring, they brim with love and tenderness.


December 31 natives often ignore health issues until they notice a problem. Luckily, they possess natural vitality that allows them to neglect exercise and nutrition without seriously affecting their health. They may experience periodic problems with sleep, usually brought on by worry.

Career and Finances

It isn't uncommon for December 31 natives to change careers several times. They have a hard time settling on what they want. Although they have an instinct to make money and lead a stable, productive life, they also possess an emotional instability that is at war with their other instincts. Though adept at making money, they are better at spending it.

Dreams and Goals

People born on this date need to feel loved and valued. This is more important to them than professional success. If they are able to conquer their insecurities, they can be successful in their career. They have enormous creative talent."

Wow, for once I feel at one with my astrology writeup. I can't count how many times I've read Capricorn traits thinking "yeah, I'm organized and practical in my own way... but not in the business/money-making sense that they seem to be talking about."

I guess being born at the end of the month changes things a bit. This is by far the most accurate depiction of my personality any horoscope has ever given me. I'm a wanderlust, schemer, and dreamer at heart.

And so another year ends, and I'm 26. Plans for today are unfortunately the least desirable I've ever had on a birthday. Hostessing at the restaurant. As everyone puts it, at least I'm bringing in the New Year making money, and it will be a festive atmosphere.

After much soul searching and employment issues, my new year's resolution is to enter grad school ASAP.

The professional procrastinator that I am, I just kept thinking "I'll work straight through the year and do grad school later." Part of my problem is that I didn't know what I wanted to go to school for, nor how to finance it.

Being jobless in a bad economy changed all that, and I decided that now is the best time to suck it up and do it. I just couldn't see myself half-heartedly working yet another job that had nothing to do with my goals. I'm applying to SUNY Cortland to pursue my master's in ESL. In state tuition and living with my grandma will be a much better route than trying to support myself while going through school (which is a partial reason why Hamline didn't work out).

Grad school is a pretty good resolution to have. Also on the list: I need to stay in better contact with people. Hopefully 2009 will prove to be the year of fruitful changes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

so do washing machines...

it's tuesday night, and for the first time i'm finding myself with absolutely nothing to do. no laundry, no dinners, no shopping excursions. a chance to properly update!

all i have to do is listen to christmas music on pandora (god help me), eat leftover pizza, enjoy some buffalo trace on the rocks, and catch up on the past two months.

it's been a hell of a two months.

it seems to have all started when kimchi swallowed the needle. life started going and wouldn't stop. up until mid-october pretty much every weekend was spent traveling somewhere - celeste's shower, grandpa yusko's funeral, celeste's bachelorette party, celeste's wedding.

in light of losing two grandfathers, i did gain one amazing brother-in-law. welcome to the family, chris. it only took you seven years to get here, but you made it. three cheers for chris. hip hip hooray.

the wedding was gorgeous. perfect october weather, at peak foliage. the ceremony took place in a little circular courtyard outside. the reception was inside, at the corning country club.

my personal favorite part of the wedding was when celeste's dress broke not once, but twice. being that the second time meant the dress was beyond repair, she sent diane and myself in a frenzy to get her jeans and my t-shirt so she wouldn't have to be the naked bride.

i thought it was rather funny that the t-shirt i wore that day was a mondale '84 t-shirt. she obviously didn't have a clue who mondale was. that is, until some guest told her and i heard from across the dance floor, "TANYA! MONDALE'S A DEMOCRAT?!?!"

good times.

if you would like to peruse pictures, you can look at them here. the password is bubble.

for now, here is mi famila:

da bridal party:

the ceremony:

i think that according to the last apartment update, arthur and i were trying to get the downstairs apartment. turns out we just ended up keeping the one i'm currently in. it really looks like a different place from the one i lived in for an entire year. with the help of debbie and phil, we painted the living room, kitchen, and hallway yellow. with arthur's craftsmanship, we also have a breakfast bar and stools now. a proper place to eat! and drink...

after a few stops at ikea, we also now have a new entertainment center and bookshelves. i think we're both rather proud of how the place turned out.

i ended up taking melissa's room after she moved out, which means i now have my own bathroom. it's the best feeling in the world to know that i can pretty much stay in bed all day without having to meet the outside world (or apartment). have to go to the bathroom? covered. need a refill of water? covered. kimchi has to go to the bathroom? covered. oh wait, nope, still have to take him outside for that.

and finally, for the future. i tried my best to bleach my bathroom this evening and ensure everything is clean, because my parents are visiting this weekend. but wait, that's not all! they're bringing hetty, vespa, and felix with them. hetty and vespa are only here for the visit, but felix will be here to stay. i can't even count how many times i've gone home during college, or even recently, and said something to the effect of "aren't you going to miss felix when i take him with me?" or "do you think he'll fit in my suitcase all right?"

after telling my mom that arthur and i were thinking about getting a kitten, she decided felix, our much-beloved 14 year old black cat, would be better off living with us, away from the four beastly dogs. apparently judson yelled at him not too long ago when he tried to jump up on the couch onto my mom's lap. since then, he hasn't been too keen on getting up on the couch and isn't getting the attention he deserves.

anyway, at least here he will only have a little terrorist chihuahua to put up with. felix is kimchi's buddy. kimchi really enjoys chasing felix around or forming the "kimchi conga line" with him. we're just like the brady bunch. a twisted verson at that.

after this weekend, celeste and chris (hopefully) are visiting. not sure what the plans entail, but it will probably involve a historic tour of some sort.

then comes thanksgiving, hurrah! only my favorite holiday. we are renting a car to drive out to horseheads, because traveling with chihuahuas is a a bitch, and with two people the cost is manageable.

that's about it in terms of updates. maybe one day we'll have pictures of the apartment to put up, so everyone can see just how amazing it looks. nope, not biased at all.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

yes we did

it's loud outside, yo.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the scariest of them all

...and the reason why i would sleep with a crucifix when especially scared at night.

in the halloween spirit

the 4:15 mark... one of the scarier things i saw as an impressionable young mind.

... and the reason i couldn't sleep with my back to a wall for the greater part of my youth.

large marge scared the crap out of me, too. (right around 1:20)

Friday, September 12, 2008

reason number 59345 that i love brooklyn

this article comes from the new york sun and discusses the drastic changes taking place on franklin avenue:

"A main thoroughfare in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood, an increasingly powerful magnet for recent college graduates and young professionals seeking affordable rent and access to mass transit, is undergoing a transformation. The bodegas, hair salons, and fast-food restaurants lining the section of Franklin Avenue that runs between Eastern Parkway and Atlantic Avenue, on the western boundary of Crown Heights, are slowly being replaced by organic markets, cafés, and clothing boutiques.
'Williamsburg has moved over here,' Anthony Fisher, whose family has owned Fisher's Supermarket on the corner of Lincoln Place and Franklin Avenue since 1981, said recently. The market has begun stocking organic produce, and even organic beer, to satisfy the growing demand from health-conscious residents.

As rental prices rise in other areas of Brooklyn, such as Williamsburg and Prospect Heights, young New Yorkers are moving eastward into Crown Heights in search of more affordable homes, according to a sales agent at Lang Realty, Joseph Brikman. 'The same thing you'd find in Prospect Heights, the same amenities, you can get for at least $300 cheaper in Crown Heights,' he said. On average, a one-bedroom in the neighborhood is about $1,200 a month, compared with as much as $1,700 a month in Prospect Heights.

Retail rents are also cheaper on Franklin Avenue than other Brooklyn shopping streets. To rent a storefront on the Crown Heights thoroughfare costs about $2.50 a square foot. In comparison, retail rents in Prospect Heights range between $3.50 and $4.50 a square foot, according to a commercial broker at Woodbury Real Estate Solutions, Sonni Woodbury.

'Over the next five years, it's going to become like Boerum Hill's Smith Street or Park Slope's Fifth Avenue,' the co-owner of a recently opened beer garden in the neighborhood, Matthew Roff, said of Franklin Avenue. The beer garden, Franklin Park, launched in April on St. John's Place, and is now a popular gathering place for newcomers, longtime West Indian residents, and chasidim, who mingle around picnic tables in the leafy, brick-walled courtyard. Mr. Roff is planning to eventually double the 2,000-square-foot space that once was a garage with a litter-strewn yard.

Around the corner, the Point de Couture boutique features up-and-coming designers. 'I wanted to bring a little SoHo to this area,' the owner, Emanuelle Christian, said. She opened the space last year in a storefront that was being vacated by a tax accountant.

Chadon Bell launched his tattoo parlor, Brooklyn Ink Spot, at Franklin Avenue and Park Place in 2006. 'I'm into the culture of ink, and people moving into the neighborhood are obviously into it,' he said, adding that the business is seeing its sales increase by about $2,000 a month. Over the last two years, Mr. Bell said, police patrols and sweeps of drug dens have encouraged merchants to open more stores in the area.

While the retail scene is rapidly changing, there is also a transformation in the residential market. A shopkeeper who owned a variety store at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Franklin Avenue for 21 years, Eli Mazon, is now developing the building into an eight floor, 62-unit rental building. The project, which is set for completion in the spring 2010, will include studios, and one and two bedrooms, in addition to commercial office space. While the rents have not yet been finalized, the development, which will also boast a garage, gym, and doorman, will range from $2,000 a month to $3,500 a month.

'There's a massive change on Franklin now and I wanted to be part of that,' the owner of Bristen's Eatery, Carleen Haughton, said. The café, on Franklin Avenue and Sterling Place, serves salads and paninis named for local streets and boasts a spacious backyard, where Ms. Haughton, who moved from Clinton Hill in March, hosts outdoor concerts."

for all those who aren't aware, eastern parkway and franklin avenue was a notorious drug corner. crown heights has seen its share of riots, violence, gangs, and drug dealings in the past, but is slowly turning into a good residential area.

i live at that intersection and have never seen anything suspicious, aside from random men using the construction border as their own personal urinals.

but that's beside the point. i am trying to finagle rent down in the basement unit of my building, so arthur and i can live there and not pay an arm and a leg. i rather enjoy having four limbs. not to mention the basement unit is much smaller and not as nice. on the plus side, it does have access to the "backyard" aka broken glass receptacle. we're trying to offer our handiwork in exchange for a rent reduction. we emailed a proposal to the management company, saying we will gladly landscape the front and backyards, finish the floors, paint the walls in like colors, etc. at this rate, however, we're not so sure the landlord is going to go for it.

either way, i am so 100% happy with where i live, both building- and location-wise that we probably will end up just taking the apartment for the asking price if all else fails.

my wallet will hurt, but i think i'm due for a raise.

i can't imagine another year in brooklyn without walking kimchi down the tree-lined eastern parkway, grabbing hummus from fisher's, running in prospect park, enjoying a beer at franklin park, or getting breakfast at bristen's.

we've gone on a whirlwind tour of apartments in crown heights, prospect heights, clinton hill, fort greene, and bed-stuy, and none of them holds a candle to this place (walking 15 steps to the subway is probably the best part).

shh, don't tell anyone. in keeping with the "hipster olympics" theme, i would even go as far to say crown heights it's the new williamsburg. except it's not. it still has the ethnic vibe, and i'm hoping the neighborhood can co-exist peacefully while continuing the clean up to make it a safer place for families. i'll be pissed if it picks up that williamsburg pretension. plus it's affordable... though with just two of us living here, there will be a drastic increase in rent compared to what i'm paying now.

though i have to admit, the construction lot next door is worrisome. they are building an 8-story condo building, and rumor is a starbucks is going in the ground level along with some other retail shops. come 2010, i can kiss affordable rent goodbye.

keep your eyes, fingers, and toes crossed.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

celebrity spottings #9 and 10 and other fun things

finally catching up with that growing pile of laundry in my closet, i find myself with an hour to kill before dooming myself to laundry folding hell.

what shall i blog about?

my thoughts on palin?

the whereabouts of the reclusive kim jong-il?
...not interesting enough

the most recent gossip girl cast spotting?
...why yes, of course!

blake lively and penn badgley were standing directly in front of the restaurant today, looking across hudson street. at first, i thought they were waiting to cross, until i noticed cameras all around. blake was standing behind penn, as if trying to hide from the cameras, while penn was busy "hailing" a taxi.

i assumed the cameras were paparazzi until a server at the restaurant explained that they were filming video (no audio), presumably for the show. this was my first chance to watch a celebrity from afar, so i wasn't at all ashamed to take a picture with my camera phone. i should be allowed a little celebrity indulgence every now and then.

and this brings my sightings to 9 and 10... a nice, round number for my first year in the city.

for all those wondering who else i've spied with my little eye, the list is as follows:

- anthony rapp
- catherine zeta-jones
- drea de matteo
- julia stiles
- heather graham
- alicia keyes
- cole haan
- eugene levy

half of these people have dined in the restaurant, the other half were just seen out and about in manhattan.

i would really like to believe that eugene levy was in fact eugene levy, because he was pretty awesome. i was was by myself, staring as he walked by, trying to figure out if it was really him. he kind of raised his eyebrows at me - not in that creepy old man way, but in the "i'm an awesome friendly guy" kind of way.

dang. that didn't take long at all to write. i still have twenty-five minutes to kill.

well, to save face from all that celebrity talk, i will now discuss... the merits of pop culture.

i recently finished reading everything bad is good for you.

generally, steven johnson explains that a lot of the things commonly thought to hinder people's intelligence (especially children) can quite often do just the opposite. video games, internet use, and popular tv shows have actually been advancing cognitive development when it comes to certain brain functions like problem-solving skills and understanding complex ideas. it's form, not content. people have been getting too hung up on the violence of the sopranos and not paying enough attention to how much the viewers have to use their brains to follow the complicated multi-thread stories. compared to the days of starsky and hutch, tv has gotten a lot more complex

i think where he won me over was in his epilogue, where he makes the clear point that everything in life is about a balance. video games and tv aren't necessarily harmful, but it's just as important to go out and play baseball or read books to be an overall healthy, intelligent person. pop culture can enhance some forms of intelligence, but knowledge and emotional intelligence must be obtained elsewhere. the clincher is that he and his wife decided that, for the sake of balance, they would raise their family near prospect park in brooklyn. this way, his kids can enjoy everything city life has to offer while still having access to nature. isn't prospect park wonderful?

and with that, it is time to do my laundry.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

i <3 bklyn

boy does new york come alive in the summer.

i walked out a few mornings ago and noticed some porta-potties sitting on the other side of eastern parkway. confused, i turned around and noticed signs along the block saying eastern parkway would be closed on monday.

hooray, an event!!!

i quickly ran inside and googled that sh!t. according to the west indian-american day carnival association, there is a huge labor day parade that goes right along my street. and i mean huge. after reading the website, it says about 4 million people participated in the parade in 2001. that's a lot of people.

too bad i'm the only person in the u s of a that has to work on labor day. what's with that?

as of today, the barricades are up along the sidewalks. the nypd is at the franklin avenue stop right now, setting up a barricaded path outside of the exit to ease congestion in that area. i imagine leaving for work at 9 am won't be too big of an issue seeing how the parade starts at 11, but i'm starting to worry that that 30 foot walk to the station is going to be a battle.

but that's not all the wonderful world of new york has in store!

i got a bike this weekend! now i can travel around brooklyn with ease, no longer having to do such silly things as ride all the way to union square to connect to the l if i want to go to williamsburg!

i've already put it to good use. after picking it up in long island, i caught the lirr back to nostrand ave. a word of caution: if you are planning on taking your bike on the lirr, you need a permit. it's $5 and you can get it here. i wasn't aware of the permit, so when the conductor asked for it, i said "what?" apparently arthur knew what he was talking about, though, and said we literally just bought the bike. crisis averted.

after that, we headed to clinton hill to pick up arthur's bike and rode to bed-stuy to check out an apartment. after waiting for a half hour for the broker (who said he was on his way when we got there) and watching neighborhood kids take down tree limbs with a pocketknife and throw things at their neighbor's windows, we decided we'd had it and didn't want to live there.

later on, we rode to park slope, grabbed some food at union hall, then saw pineapple express. pineapple express was good for the most part, but i wasn't digging the spy/action parts, especially towards the end.

and finally, today i went to brighton beach. only after saying i would all summer...

it was amazing. it's really sad that that was my only beach time, but well worth it. and it's that much more satisfying after riding there on your bike!

this is an awesome reference for people who like to bike around brooklyn. (listen to me trying to come off as a biker now).

but what we did was cut through the park, and took the bike path on ocean parkway all the way down to the beach. we laid in the sun for a few hours, then got some food at tatiana's. it was ok food, but the scenery more than makes up for it.

oh, and i sustained my first injury! after heading back, and riding through prospect park (making a detour for the wiadca drumming group), i stupidly wanted to turn, and arthur stopped, and i didn't stop in time, and fell over onto my knee.

only scratched it a bit, but it makes me feel tuff.

Monday, August 18, 2008

can't. sleep.

4 am on a monday morning. i woke up at 2 and haven't been able to fall back asleep.

accompanied by a glass of vino, i'm hoping writing this will tire me out.

on the update front, kimchi is doing very well. i picked him up the monday following the operation. he was back to normal in no time, trying to swallow inedible objects.

i got a hold of his x-ray, so you no longer have to look at my ghetto photoshop version:

as i so accurately depicted earlier, the needle is at the front of the stomach, straight up and down. on the bright side, the surgery wasn't nearly as expensive as first estimated. a mere $2500. it is sad that compared to the inital $4500, $2500 seems cheap.

life in brooklyn is good. i'm enjoying the neighborhood more and more. every time i take a walk around i notice something new - cafes, churches, little shops. prospect park is great for day trips and runs. today was spent lazing around (ha! use of scrabble word!), eating breakfast at bristen's with deb, phil, and arthur, and then playing scrabble and scattergories in the park.

the roommates and i caught a late viewing of vicky cristina barcelona on friday night. it was good. in fact, very good. as a result i was left wishing i could spend a month in barcelona, drinking wine and painting with crazed fervor. but again, i am quite content with nyc.

and let's not forget my oh-so-productive saturday consisting of sucking up all of the dead cockroaches from our cupboards with melissa. at least the nyc cockroaches aren't as large as the media depicts.

and so, i am beginning to wind down... in enough time to wake up in a few hours. i've got a lot of planning on my plate for tomorrow and tuesday. my grandfather's service will be on wednesday, and celeste's shower is on saturday. in order to avoid two trips, i am going to work from home on thursday and friday.

- and end late-night update -

Saturday, August 16, 2008


r.i.p. grandpa - you will be missed.

i don't mean for the second picture (or this blog) to be depressing - these pictures were only taken back in may, the second one being in front of his grandfather's grave. i've always found my grandfather and his family history to be very fascinating - he was in WWII and went to Normandy. my great-great grandpa oscar was a civil war vet who, at the age of 15, had to lie about his age to join the army.

while he only passed yesterday, and it was a shock to say the least, i figure this is the least i can do to pay tribute to a great man.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

while i'm at it...

just to prove that not the whole weekend was about needles in a chihuahua:

mugshot 1

mugshot 2

posing in front of death star?

i like bears

doe in middle is jealous

we probably spent the most amount of time playing in the gift shop

hung like a whale?

bang a gong

lots of posing

and just for good measure, the last picture pre-needle:

oh what a night

a glimpse into my weekend:

started off fun. had dinner at the restaurant. played rock band and crashed at debbie's. nice breakfast. oodles of fun at the museum of natural history. pizza. trip the emergency vet.

back up there, i think i missed something. oh yes, put "kimchi swallows sewing needle" between "pizza" and "vet."

that's more like it. and finish with "in the hole at least $4500."

seriously, it was an enjoyable weekend until the last incident. arthur was visiting and we were eating pizza at my place, discussing kimchi's stomach o' steel. cheeky me was bragging all about how he has eaten everything from plastic to metal to unidentifiable objects.

9:45 pm: i look down and kimchi is chew chew chewing away on something, giving me that "i'm chewing something i shouldn't be, what are you going to do about it?" look.

i recognize the sharp metal object dangling from his mouth as a sewing needle that had been left on the coffee table. he was rather enjoying the pink thread it was attached to.

attempt to retrieve 1.) i said in a cheerful voice "want a treat?"

no success.

attempt to retrieve 2.) i got the high pitch corrector and hit the "no" button many times.

no success.

attempt to retrieve 3.) arthur and i cornered him. every time my hand went in i was afraid he would bite me or try to swallow it whole to keep me from getting his newfound prize possession.

no success.

attempt to retrieve 4.) i put kibble in his bowl, assuming he would drop it from his mouth to eat.

what does he do? SWALLOWS IT WITH THE FOOD. it disappears. we looked all over for it, thinking "he seems fine, but it's definitely nowhere around, which means he must have swallowed it."

i obviously knew a vet was the next step but the following thoughts crossed my mind:

a.) how do i find a 24 hour vet?
b.) how do i get to said vet?
c.) this is brooklyn, how the hell do i find a taxi?
d.) i have 0 dollars. how do i pay for it?

so i called celeste.

q. what do i do if i think kimchi swallowed a needle?
a. call the vet now.

miraculously the internet, which hadn't worked all week, was working and we located the vet emergency group. they said all i had to do was come in. they gave me the price for the visit fee and x-ray. eep.

it took us forever to find a taxi - arthur went outside to flag one down while i googled taxi services in brooklyn (p.s. i don't think you can call for a yellow cab in brooklyn. seriously, they need to fix this problem).

arthur finally flagged one down, and the nice man actually waited on busy eastern parkway for arthur to run back and get me. the only problem with yellow cabs in brooklyn is they don't know where the hell they are, and they probably unluckily got stuck picking up a brooklynite in manhattan and had to return him to his native land. so we used the shoddy gps map in the back to direct him to the place.

on the bright side, i HIGHLY recommend this emergency vet group. located in cobble hill, the place is large and immaculate. he staff is VERY friendly. lots of doctors on staff. a + service.

they took him in right away to x-ray him, and then called me to the back to take a look. with my superior photoshop skillz, this is roughly what it looked like:

yes, that shit was straight up and down in his stomach. the doctor said the first step would be an endoscopy. given that things could be slimy and they didn't want to waste too much time trying to retrieve it before it moved to the intestines, the next step would be surgery.

with the 2 hour wait time and the $1300 estimate, we went to the chocolate room where i got wound up on coffee and arthur enjoyed a chocolate mint float. bonus points to the place for playing a beatles mix.

after leaving at midnight and walking for a bit, i got a call from the vet. endoscopy unsuccessful. he will be held until monday. go in for another estimate. yikes. $3000. arthur wins the prestigious "friend of the year award."

we go home (in yet another lost manhattan taxi), arthur crashes on the couch, and i fall asleep around 2 am. the doctor calls at 2:10 am and says the needle is out, and the surgery went fine. i wake up at 8 am and call my mom. we loaf around for a bit. i call for an update at noon. everything is still good, kimchi is sedate but wagged his tail when the doctor came in to say hi. they will feed him at 1 or 2 am tonight, and depending on how it goes, i will pick him up tomorrow, elizabethan collar and all.

what have i learned from this weekend?

- do not leave sewing needles laying around (actually i knew this one but it's worth pointing out if your or someone you live with has a dog).

- if you have a credit line attached to your bank account, make sure you actually get the card and activate it. don't just think "some day i'll get it."

- get a part time job. and finding an apartment in october is going to suck.

Friday, May 30, 2008

a message to all of my fans

after many emails, messages, and random comments, i have decided it was time to update this blog so you, my loyal readers, would no longer be subject to the atrocity that is simon cowell's man boobs.

and now, i invite you to a very special viewing of a very cute puppy:

Friday, April 25, 2008

i know i have to stop watching american idol when...

i have a dream that i'm spooning with simon cowell. simon cowell. the one that i find absolutely repulsive in real life. and i was enjoying it.

what a hunk of man.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

what is it about april?

i feel so completely content with life right now.

not that i was depressed over the past few months, but my annual change in psyche as soon as the weather warms, the flowers bloom, and the birds chirp away never ceases to amaze me.

i'm enjoying my job, the weather, the city, the apartment, and everything else in between. i had an amazing walk through prospect park today, while chatting away with erik on the phone, and came back content to just sit in the window and watch pedestrians and traffic.

i went to dc last weekend to hang out with kate, steph, and katherine. this was the first time since college that the four of us have been together in the same city. i also got to see some other faces i haven't seen in a while AND got an awesome sunburn while enjoying the sunny 85 degree weather on saturday.

sidenote: the meat loaf at&t commercial is on. i can't help but think it was created just for me.

and now we return to scheduled programming. debbie's wedding is this weekend, where i will be seeing a ton of college people again. excitement. celeste's wedding is getting closer, and we are now planning for her shower at brown's pub. more excitement.

i think that's about all i've got for now.

affidavit: at no time during this post was i on any sort of stimulant.

Friday, April 11, 2008

update: 7 days later. 7:30am and still no hot water.

keyspan did finally come friday evening to turn everything back on, but apparently it's not so good when your boiler emits carbon monoxide.

we do have heat and gas, but it turns out the boiler is completely busted. no set plans on getting the new one anytime soon (the landlord is still in nigeria).

i'm high-tailing it home tonight for a weekend of proper hot showers and stank erasing. and perhaps some parental pampering.

Friday, April 04, 2008

the heat is on

can't. get. warm.

my story begins on a dark and stormy monday night. and by dark and stormy, i mean it was fair weather for the final day of march. i was super excited to come home from work and make my archer farms frozen spinach and goat cheese pizza.

i preheated the oven and proceeded to do some things around the house.

ten minutes later i threw the pizza into the gas-powered oven. correct me if i'm wrong, but aren't these oven things supposed to be some source of heat?

melissa came out of the shower about an hour later and announced that we had no hot water.

we both sent texts to our super (aka guy who lives upstairs) and received no response. the next day came, and still no heat. i tried calling him, but his phone told me it was sorry, but at the request of the owner it was not accepting incoming calls.

then i had to go upstairs and ask if he's had any heat or hot water. "ohhh, it's happening to you guys too? i noticed it this morning in the shower but didn't have time to check it out. yeah, i haven't been able to cook, either."

i hinted that we were on to the fact that they probably haven't paid the keyspan bill (or, i flat out said "my thinking is either the bill wasn't paid or the heater in the basement is busted.")

he said he would check it out tomorrow.

turns out we were right, they didn't pay the bill. on wednesday, he called and said he had the check and would pay it thursday morning. i got a text from melissa thursday afternoon asking if one of us could be in the apartment until 6pm on friday so they can come and turn the heat back on.

and so, here i am working from home on this rainy friday morning, alternating coffee cup hand to hand to keep warm, hoping that they come to turn on our heat. our landlord best not be expectin' a full month's rent from this.

at least it's not february.

in other news, i'm also anticipating celeste's arrival today. she'll be getting in this afternoon and i'm really excited for our agenda:

tonight we're going to the sushi place my boss owns to meet up with my cousin eric, who i've seen a total of once in the past ten years. it will be good to see him, plus the sushi place is a lot of fun and drinks are half price until 9.

tomorrow will be the tartan day parade. nothing like a good excuse to drink beer and watch men in kilts.

we'll also grab some brunch tomorrow morning, pre-parade, and who knows what the rest of the day holds for us. hopefully a hot shower will fall in there somewhere.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


packing, packing, and more packing.

minneapolis was exhausting. and fun. and boring. wait, i'm confusing myself.

after getting majorly messed up on sleep last weekend, i think my body has finally caught up with things. loss of sleep started thursday night-- i was sent by my boss to one of his bars to do some bar spotting. because it just so happened to be a gay bar, i dragged jude with me, along with the guy i mentioned before (how's that for a second date?) we were totally busted when i walked in and the bartender and i looked at each other and asked simultaneously, "what are you doing here?" as it turns out, he works at both the gay bar and the restaurant i work from. knowing there was no way i could do a fair report (not to mention he found out why i was there), we decided to just stay and have drinks. to sum up the night: i drank a lot, stayed out too late, and i'm not interested in pursuing a third date.

after only three hours of sleep, i was already off to a rocky start to the weekend (and work day). imagine my delight when my 9:30 pm flight was rescheduled to 11 pm! not only that, we didn't board until after 11, and we were then stuck on the runway until 12:15.

thankfully, erik picked me up at 2 am when i finally reached minnesota turf. the good old apartment couch was a beautiful sight to behold, and i slept soundly until salsa picked me up for day one of the gift show battle.

ok, "battle" isn't exactly the right terminology. long story short, the day was long and uneventful. and cold and snowy.

we met al, chris, and erik for dinner that night at wasabi. delicious.

salsa peaced out to get some sleep like a good little girl, and we ended up meeting alex and two of his friends at a game bar. caution: do not play balderdash if you aren't really in the mood to think. it can be painful. aside from that, the game was a blast.

not a lot of sleep was followed by another day at the show was followed by my flight home. end of trip.

and so, on this fine thursday evening, i've packed yet again to go home for the weekend. on the schedule: the st. patrick's day parade, starring the schenectady pipe band, and some bar hopping.

but the travels don't stop there, folks. erik is vising a week from friday, and it's his first trip to the city. too bad we've got to skedaddle to get out of the way of salsa's visiting family. i managed to get the day off, so we'll do a bit of sight seeing and then head down to visit katherine in philly. i'm sure we'll end up drinking wine and watching flight of the conchords. and all will be well.

Monday, March 03, 2008

i <3 mpls

this day was just destined to be awesome. i stopped by the little market on my way to work this morning to get my cheap ass coffee. i also wanted to pick up some breakfast because it's monday, which means the restaurant is closed and i'm left to fend for myself.

turns out the little deli inside had lox, which made my stomach do a dance in anticipation. for all those who are counting, a bagel with lox and cream cheese is the way to win my taste buds, which indirectly leads to my heart.

that in itself was enough for my monday to be successful. imagine my surprise when miss salsa called from the great mn asking if i wanted to come to minneapolis this weekend. thinking we were playing a game and she wasn't enjoying her stay, i said "of course, if you pay for my plane ticket."

and who's got a free trip to mpls? this girl!

good ol' p.b.loco is short handed for the minneapolis trade show, so salsa and i will single-handedly rule the roost and force peanut butter onto the palates of unsuspecting consumers. it will be a short stay (friday night-sunday)... of course i am excited to see alisun and erik, but i think what i'm most excited about is THE APARTMENT. i'm staying there whether they like it or not. it was a great apartment. i miss it. fin.

Monday, February 25, 2008

nicessness and ramblings

first of all, i want to be him. it's been a while since i watched this, and i happened upon it the other day. if i could have one job in the world, it would be that (is it even a job?)

i became very excited for spring today. for the most part, i detest february and march and wish it would skip right from valentine's day to prime spring weather. today was on the warm side, and the smells of streetcar barbeque invaded my senses while i was out walking. i'm definitely yearning for the days of no jackets, cook outs, and beach trips.

on the other hand, i'm really sad that i won't have a yard to sleep in whenever i please this year. that's one point for you, minneapolis.

i also realized it has been eons since i last ran. it's time to get my ass into gear. prospect park is about the same size as lake calhoun. what have i been waiting for???

resolutions: i will save enough money to buy a grill AND i will start running this week.

spring awakenings, indeed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

ow my body

note to self:

you are a stupid girl. if you go out when you are sick, you will only get sicker. you are not eighteen anymore. or even twenty-four. don't make me warn you again.

on that note, this weekend was oodles of excitement. or something close to it. amy and mike got in on saturday afternoon. i dragged them first to macy's (naturally, why would they want to go anywhere else?) to get a gift for debbie's wedding shower. hello, marth stewart spice rack.

we ate dinner in koreatown, where mike experienced korean food and sake for the first time. happily, i think he enjoyed both. that night we went to crocodile lounge, where high school colin works (and was shocked to see amy in his territory). we ate pizza, consumed beer, and decided it was too crowded to stay. also, amy just wanted to dance.

i google texted the nearest karaoke bar and we were off in the direction of sing sing karaoke. convinced i could actually get amy to sing, i requested a few tried and true songs. she rejected them all, which left me stuck on duetting on summer nights with the karaoke bogart guy sitting next to me. mike was a trooper, though, and sang all songs that i demanded.

somehow i managed to be in bed by 4am, a record thus far. sunday morning i was up bright and early, minus one voice, traveling the long island railroad to debbie's shower. i will not mention the fact that lesley DITCHED ME at penn station and i went all by my lonesome. damn you, lesley's boyfriend, for thinking sunday morning is a perfectly reasonable time to drive down to the city and surprise her.

the rest of the day was filled with chinese food, movie trivia, chinese food, phil trivia, chinese food, presents, cake, and chinese food. when i got home i somehow had enough room left to order food from saje with amy and mike.

i finally got around to eating at the spotted pig on monday. definitely worth the long wait.

and, alas, my company stayed an extra night because amy's car was towed. bummer, but i was happy to have people around for an extra day. to keep amy upbeat, and to atone for the fact that we didn't go out the night before, we downed some drinks and headed out once again. my expectations for the night were exceeded with a two-hour noraebang song fest. amy channeled her inner diva and did not put the mic down once.

after my own personal body smackdown, i'm pretty sure i got me some laryngitis. it's been a fun past couple of days, but my body disagrees.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

the train is getting way too loud

happy valentine's day to all you schmoes out there.

though the day was uneventful, i did get a gold star by giving jude and melissa each a red rose (and being the only girl in a random west village flower shop was a funny experience in itself). it isn't too horrible being alone on valentine's day, considering i do have a "post v-day" dinner planned with a guy who is out of town at the moment.

the rest of life has been for the most part enjoyable. my internship is over (hooray). after working with p.b.loco for a bit, i got a new job working for an alcohol inventory company. the job is low stress and a welcome change. plus, i work from a restaurant in the village and lunches are free. i'm pretty sure i will save crazy sums of money this way.

i'm feeling good about living in the city. i still have those "korea pangs," but i have to admit life in nyc is pretty rad. now that i'm making a bit more money, i'm scheming and dreaming more. not to say that money is the be all end all, but it is certainly helpful in reaching goals. ultimately, i'd like to get back into the music world. i'm not necessarily looking at music as a career, but i'd like to take flute lessons (and piano if possible) and get back to the level i was once at to teach privately.

i'm also excited for what the coming year has in store. more than ever, i'm at a phase in my life where i feel like anything is possible. i've gotten to know some pretty cool people and have had some great nights out meeting random people. i figure it can only go up from here. plus, minneapolis greg is moving out here in a month, so a reunion is definitely in store. though i'm a little sad that mike and his keyboard aren't making the move with him.

i have failed to mention the happenings over the past month. our very own alibaster abbott visited and we got to see the rick-meister(!!!)'s buckets and taps tap tap tapping away. after the show we went to dinner at a ho-hum italian place in the village and then al, rick, dan, and i noraebanged it away until the wee hours of sunday morning.

things memories are made of: during rick and dan's rendition of play that funky music, the korean bartender comes out of nowhere with a sax for a jam session.

i really think i have a sick addiction to microphones. and tambourines.

perhaps the biggest highlight of the past month was celeste and chris' visit. which coincided with al's visit. saturday night, the four of us were merrily walking through central park. al and i turned around and noticed we were minus one set of lovebirds. of course, the ring chris showed me the night before was more than a hint of what they were up to, so we hung out for a bit, wondering if we should keep walking or wait for them to catch up. a few minutes later, celeste emerged with the rock on her finger.

hooray, they are engaged! the wedding is in october, and they already have most of it planned. how's that for being on top of things?

to continue the fun, amy is coming this weekend. and i demanded that she (and her new beau in tow) bring a digital camera so i will once again have pictures. one of these days i'll get my camera fixed. pictures of our shenanigans soon to follow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

celebrity sighting?

i think i've had my first official nyc celebrity sighting.

i boarded the brooklyn-bound red line subway like any other day. it was the typical busy thursday, and i ran car to car to find one with enough room to fit one more weary worker. after assuming the "not enough room to hold onto a pole" stance, i looked up and saw none other than anthony rapp standing (facing) me. he was reading his book on poker, and i was reading... and i swear i am not lying... his brother's novel, the year of endless sorrows.

honestly, i'm still not 100% sure it was him, but i'm pretty damn sure. because i was standing so close to him, i tried to lift my book as high as i could hoping it would garner some sort of attention or reaction from him. he got off at 14th street, and that was when his eyes met my book.

i, a once freak-ish (and still slightly obsessed) renthead, considered saying something to him, but decided he'd probably rather be left alone. with that, he left the train. he may not be a celebrity everyone knows, but for someone who: can quote dazed and confused in its entirety; can sing the entire soundtrack of rent without the aid of music; grew up watching "adventures in babysitting" repeatedly; and read his (slightly indulgent) autobiography, it's pretty effing cool.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

it's gonna be a happy new year

what a way to start 2008. i'm feeling very refreshed after the weekend. having four days off in a row was a much needed routine change. all said and done, i'm happy to say it was one of those times when i enjoyed every minute. and yes, this is another one of those self-serving posts where i write about everything i did. i promise, it's not meant to bore you. it's more for my own good when a year from now i want to remember what i did on new year's and can access it at the click of a button. oh technology. i love you and i loathe you.

jeni, amy, and scott came in on friday night, so we got up bright and early saturday morning... to sit around for a few hours before going out to a leisurely breakfast at sage. after that, we headed into manhattan. we wandered around midtown, first looking at the ridiculously priced engagement rings at tiffany's, then visiting jude at work next door at the trump tower. after getting some free coffee, we headed over to central park just in time for a street show. lo and behold, i was dragged and they made me bend over (what?) in a line of people so the ridiculously skinny jumper (have you ever seen him?) could somersault over us.

after that, we grabbed a quick lunch at a cafe and wandered all the way down to bryant park in search of an unlocked bathroom. after waiting in the longest line ever, we went back to see the christmas tree. i've never seen rockefeller center as busy as it was... and i thought it was crowded the night i went with my parents, which was the weekend before christmas. at one point, i think we were all just kind of lodged into the crowd and couldn't move in any direction, because everyone was heading toward us. we were the black hole of the christmas crowd, sucking in all people who dared go near.

finally we got out and wandered around some more until it was time to meet jude and go to dinner. we had reservations at the elephant, which was pretty good. everything was going really well until scott and i decided to each get a scotch on the rocks for dessert... somehow the bartender thought we wouldn't notice if he put a bit of vodka in the drink to save some money. of course this would not slide so i very politely went to the bartender and said something tasted off and perhaps the ice sat in it a bit too long. he automatically got defensive and said he only put scotch in it. he did give us two new drinks, though, with ice on the side this time.

after that, we headed back and played fact or crap. i've discovered that i'm a pretty solid player, even when i have some scotch in me and hold up the opposite answer that i want. i won, which is all that matters... at games and life.

we got up again on sunday morning and lazed around the apartment until jude had to go to work. then we went to target and amy bought us a garbage can. thanks, amy.

finally, our adventure had to come to an end and it was time for them to leave... just in time for arthur to get in that night. we played catch up while playing scrabble (i won) and headed to bed.

which brings me to... my birthday. we got up rather early and went all around the city. first we went to midtown to look at the restoration on the hearst tower. we visited both jude and debbie at work and went down to greenwich village for some lunch. we ended up continuing south (past the ghostbusters firehouse, hooray!) and ended up seeing the world trade center site. i hadn't been yet, and it is pretty amazing. definitely one of those places that takes you immediately back in time.

we realized soon enough that if we didn't leave then i would be late to my own party. after getting some snacks at balducci's and some alcomohol, we got back to my apartment only to find alex waiting outside of my apartment. and soon enough, one person showed up after another... megan, katherine, margaret, phil, and kevin. we spent so long sitting and drinking that we missed the first dinner reservations i had made. luckily my cancellation at the second place never went through thanks to them putting me on hold, so we made it to dinner at two boots (we also met deb there, who was held up at work).

i actually think it worked out for the best, because the place definitely had crazy energy. the jazz band was absolutely amazing. not to mention that i won a stuffed duck for making the best car alarm noise. but i'm not bragging... it was a fixed contest. and i couldn't keep the duck.

we were thinking of going to see the fireworks at midnight, but when we ordered a bottle of champagne to take with us, the waitress started to pour it for everyone. of course we decided to just stay and drink it. so, we stayed for the new year and danced and drank and drank and danced. eventually we figured it was time to head out. half of the group went back to my apartment and the other half (including me) went to loki bar. at first katherine, deb, and i were the only ones dancing. but all it took was a little song called jump around to get the dance party started.

long story short, the crowd dwindled out, and eventually it was just katherine, kevin, and me getting kicked out when the bar closed. at 5:15 am we were home safe and sound, eating stale french bread and thawing out from the cold. most people left early that morning, so katherine and i went out for brunch and then lazed around watching flight of the conchords and friends.

and now it is january 2nd and i am basking in the glow of having great visits with great friends. and now if they would all be kind enough to move to nyc my life would be complete.