Monthly Archives: June 2012

Day Forty-Seven – Forever Young

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It doesn’t matter how old I am, there are just some things I will never grow out of.

One of those, without a doubt, is the Festival at St. Gregory’s, my old elementary school. It was the most exciting time of the year, from Kindergarten to 8th grade. We waited, extremely impatiently, for our schoolyard and baseball field to be transformed into a carnival right before our eyes. I remember being in 4th grade, standing on my tiptoes at the window, peering out as I watched them erecting massive red tents, constructing a ferris wheel, and hanging lights from fence to fence. Teachers knew that once they started to set up the festival, little work would get done in the classrooms, so they usually just put on movies for us to watch instead.

It’s tradition in my town to attend the festival, no matter how old you are. As a 10-year-old, you’d get to the festival with your parents, beg them for enough tickets to go on all the rides, and prance around with your friends, going down the slide 15 times in a row. As a 14 year old, a grown-up, mature, high-schooler, the festival also served as a place for the beginnings of a summer romance. If your crush was at the fair, you two might take a stroll holding hands, share a cotton candy, or go on the ferris wheel together. Nothing’s as romantic as a ferris wheel, after all. When we all went away to college, heading to the festival meant reuniting with friends you might not have seen for over a year. Lots of catching up, playing blackjack in the gambling tent, and making fun of all the 14-year olds holding hands…such children. When we finally turned 21, everyone at the fair made their first stop at the beer truck. You’d get ID’ed, usually by your friend’s father who was working the beer truck that night, and choose between Budweiser or Bud Light.

And now even as a college graduate, I couldn’t even consider letting the eleven-night festival pass without stopping by at least once. You’d think, as a 22-year-old, I wouldn’t have much to do at the fair. But you’d be wrong. My night at the fair this year consisted of Italian food with my mom, Italian ices, and Whack-a-Mole. I may have even walked around holding someone’s hand 😉 It was the same as I remembered it. Brightly lit and buzzing with excitement, kids laughing and live music playing. The sounds of summer in Bellerose.

I’ll never grow out of watching animated movies. Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to be taken to the Warwick Drive-In Theater. Probably the most adorable date I’ve ever been on. And what movie did we watch? Madagascar 3, obviously! And I probably laughed harder than all the little kids there…combined.

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Too cute.

I’ll never grow out of Hollister shorts, sadly, and my college roommates can vouch for that. Every birthday, without fail, my mom buys me a new pair. You can never have too many. I have grown out of their t-shirts (thank GOD). I no longer walk around wearing shirts that say “I Had a Nightmare…I was Brunette!” or “Save a Wave, Ride a Surfer.” Yeah. I owned those.

I’ll never grow out of brightly colored nails. I know when you’re older, you’re supposed to get a French manicure, or keep your nails a sophisticated pink. But I prefer bright blue, hot pink, or yellow. Especially in the summer.

I’ll never grow out of roller coasters or the Spice Girls (and I don’t have to, since apparently there’s going to be a Spice Girls Musical!). I’ll always make a wish at 11:11 and I still wish I could live in the Barbie Dream House. I have an embarassing amount of stuffed animals on my bed and I’m really creative with their names (my stuffed dog is named Puppy, my stuffed bear is named Beary, and my stuffed penguin is named…Rudy). In the summer, I still love to look for fireflies and eat ice cream cones, and I’m still afraid of thunderstorms.

Maybe some of these will change, as the years continue to pass. Or maybe Puppy, Beary, and Rudy will still sleep in bed with me when I’m 30, who knows. There’s only one thing that I know for sure. The St. Greg’s festival ended  four days ago, and this girl, 22-years-young, is already excited for next year.

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Day Forty – Heeeeaatwaaave!!

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It’s so damn hot. 

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90 degrees and it’s not even noon yet. Dear God. 

New York City’s heatwave has people flocking to the beach, swimming in their pools, and sipping frozen drinks. It also has subway platforms smelling like homeless shelters and it’s ruining the hair of women all across the five boroughs. Summertime and the livin’s easy. 

Anyway, as of yesterday, it’s “officially” summer now; the summer solstice was yesterday, June 20th. While for most of us, the summer solstice is only important because it marks the longest day of sunlight of the year, for others around the world, this marks a day of celebration. I was doing a little browsing of the world wide web this morning because I was a little early for work and read a bit about the history of the summer solstice and why, for some cultures, it is a celebrated day. 

The word “solstice” is taken from a Latin word meaning “Sun stands still,” and this day, when the sun is highest in the sky, was a day of significance in many ancient cultures. Edifices such as Stonehenge were built, it seems, in accordance with the movement of the sun; at the solstice, the sun aligns exactly with one of the outer stones at Stonehenge. The English gather inside Stonehenge on the solstice, drink around bonfires, and dance all night long. In other cultures, this was a day that acknowledged the sun’s role in agriculture, and it’s light and warmth are celebrated. 

And celebrating the Sun’s warmth, we are. Everyone in Penn Station this morning was in flip flops, carrying lounge chairs, beach bags, and coolers, headed out East for the day to relax at the beach. I’m kind of jealous, but can’t really complain — I did spend four years in a magical make-believe land where every day was like today. Instead, I’ll enjoy the air conditioning in my office. And later tonight, I’ll be attending a company happy hour at a rooftop lounge with the other interns and our supervisors. Did I mention I love this internship? Once again, I should probably stop complaining. 🙂

But I have bad news. Now that the summer solstice, the longest day of the year has ended, there’s only one thing I see in our future….

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So don’t take this hot, summer day for granted, little doves.

Day Thirty-Eight – Working Out : A Paradox

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I made a sad realization today. And by today I mean about an hour ago on one of the machines at LA Fitness. 

That realization is that I will never look good – or even remotely decent – while at the gym. How could I? It’s an impossible feat. The world is setting me up for failure. I will use today as the perfect example of why I look like the living dead at the gym.

1) I’m wearing a sports bra under a tank top. Which looks stupid.

2) I’m wearing my Delta Gamma Anchorsplash 2011 shorts. Which means no one will take me seriously.

3) I’m not wearing any make-up. Which means I look like the 12-year-old version of myself that resembles that horrible picture of me circa 2002 that my mother refuses to take off the fridge (and is now also saved in the picture galleries of most of my friends’ iPhones, thanks Mom). Haunting. 

4) My hair is in a bun. No explanation needed.

5) I’m not actually any good at working out. Which means that no matter what I was wearing, I would just look totally awkward. Think about it. Even if some girl strolled in, looking a little on the rough side, but she’s running 5 miles on the treadmill, doing 200+ sit-ups, and schooling all those 6’3″ jacked dudes on the basketball court, she’d still have some credibility. I’m just a crusty-looking bum chillin’ out on the elliptical machine, listening to playlists on 8tracks with really awkward names like “No One Ever Drowned In Sweat” that always somehow manage to pop up on my Facebook timeline. So embarrassing.

Which made me realize – working out is kind of like a paradox. Why do we go to the gym? To look good. But how do we (and when I say we, I 100% mean “I”) look when we’re at the gym? HORRIBLE! Looking bad in an attempt to look good. It doesn’t make sense. It’s just unfair.

Why do we put ourselves through this?? Why do we subject ourselves to such torture from the world?? So come on, awkward looking people at the gym, it’s time we take a stand!!

Next time I go to the gym I’m going to shower first, leave my hair looking beautiful and flowing, wear little white shorts with a cute pink tank to match my sneaks, and just power walk on the treadmill for 25 minutes. BOOM. 

…Or I’m just gonna lay on the couch and continue to watch my Law & Order SVU marathon. Either option works. 

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Probably the latter. 

Day Thirty-Seven – The Sappiest Father’s Day Post…Ever

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Not every girl in the world is as lucky as me.

He originally wanted to name me Elizabeth Kristen, but my mom decided otherwise. Which I guess after hours of labor, the mom really gets to decide on the name in the end. I’m not too mad about the outcome, because I’d probably be pretty upset if people called me Lizzy or something lame like that. (No offense, Lizzy’s of the world.)

He probably wanted a son first. What dad wouldn’t? To buy tiny little baseball-themed pajamas for, to teach how to build little mechanical trains, to teach how to throw a spiral football. But I think he was happy to get me, a little girl. He still taught me how to throw a spiral football. Knowing how to do it is one of my proudest qualities.

I tried playing sports. For a lot of them, he signed up to coach. Soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball…I just had a knack for, well, sucking at them, and usually ending up on crutches, or in some kind of cast. I felt a little silly, the coach’s daughter, so uncoordinated. So I stuck to dancing. And he came to every dance recital I ever had, bouquet of flowers in hand.

He took me to Father-Daughter dances every February when I was young, when I was a part of the girl scouts. They were always Western themed, and we’d chasse faster than any other dad and daughter couple at those dances. I’d stand on his feet when I didn’t know the steps, and he’d dance for both of us. In retrospect, I doubt I ever even let him even eat dinner while we were there, because I wouldn’t let him leave the dance floor all night. But it was always okay, because he’d take me to the diner afterwards for grilled cheese, always with tomato, and milkshakes.

He’d take me to see the NY Jets – bundle me up in layers for all the games so that I wouldn’t be cold. We went to Mets games too, at Shea Stadium, and out to Nassau Coliseum to see the Islanders. At hockey games, he’d cover my ears when the fans got rowdy so I wouldn’t hear them cursing. I’d still hear them, but I pretended I didn’t, and I’d never say those words in front of him.

He always challenged me. Before I was a vegetarian, he’d make my try absolutely anything. We’d go out to eat and he’d order the strangest thing on menu, and tell me I had to at least taste it, and that I’d love it as long as I tried it. I usually did. We used to visit Pennsylvania every summer and rent a house there, and one summer, he told me he thought I could swim across the whole lake. I didn’t think I could, but I tried. I did it. Once we went to Disney World in Orlando when I was little, and I was scared out of my mind to go on the Tower of Terror. He didn’t really give me a choice, and dragged me on it with him. I had the time of my life, and ever since, I’ll go on any ride in any amusement park.

He even took me fishing once. I stood there, all day, diligently waiting for a fish to bite. Hours in the sun, and I got nothing. But he stood with me, waiting patiently. When the dock was emptying out for the day, he said to me, “Kris, why don’t you try the other side of the dock?” I thought this was dumb – if the fish weren’t biting on one side, why would they be biting on the other? But I did as he said, and within 15 minutes, I reeled in a big, slimy silver fish. And even though it was big enough to take home and cook, he didn’t get angry when I wanted to throw him back in. “Send him home to his Daddy,” I probably said.

I’m just like him, and so we used to fight a lot. We’re both stubborn and don’t like to admit we’re wrong, and we’ll yell and fight to prove that we’re right. High school brought screaming matches aplenty, followed by a few days of awkward silence, and then eventually, we’d be okay again. He got angry at me like every father does at their first daughter. When he caught me drinking, when he thought my skirt was too short, when I came home with a belly-button piercing, when I crashed my first car. But the frustration never lasted. As mine never did with him.

And then for four years, I was over 1,000 miles away. We’d talk on the phone, and I’d send him e-mails once and a while to keep him updated on my life. I did a lot of stupid stuff over those four years, made a lot of messes that I still needed Daddy to help me clean up. Even though he probably shouldn’t have, he did. And even though he probably should’ve torn my head off for some of it, he didn’t. And even though I probably didn’t thank him enough, or say I was sorry, or tell him I felt like a really stupid, irresponsible, and completely out-of-control person, he never said a thing.

When I was sitting at graduation, I texted him from my seat asking if Mom was crying. He responded, I could tell he was laughing, and told me of course she was. I asked if he cried. And he said, “On the inside. I’m so proud of you.” And then I cried. On the outside.

So today, my family sat outside at this little sandwich shop on Bell Blvd. and had lunch and some sangria. And even though he spent most of it telling me, “You’re too young to have a boyfriend,” and “You better have a full time job by fall,” and “You know, after three drinks it’s considered binge drinking…” I listened. Because for 22 years I’ve been blessed to have him in my life; always accepting who I am, and the decisions I make, and the people I associate with, even if they’re not the choices he would have made for himself.

I know we still fight once and a while, but I know that if it came down to it, he’d still let me stand on his feet if I didn’t know the steps. And that he’ll continue to challenge me in everything that I do. And that he will always be there for me, no matter what.

Not every girl is as lucky as me to have a dad like mine.

So thanks for everything, and I love you. Happy Father’s Day, Dad 🙂 Image

(Secretly so glad I didn’t graduate with a Music Degree.)

Day Thirty-Two – A Love Poem

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On this rainy Wednesday, I thought I’d write a love poem. Enjoy.

Whether sunlight shines through window pane

Or I hear some quiet drops of rain,

I know I must give you fair warning –

I think of you most every morning.

As I climb the stairs from basement lair,

And run tired fingers through tangled hair

I know that you’re the only way

I’ll manage to get through the day.

Women know how rough it feels

Committing feet to 5-inch heels,

Knowing full well what lies ahead

Are many, blistering steps to tread.

Yet with you there, I must come clean,

Brings life to a lethargic scene.

Through city streets and stormy weather,

I know we’ll get through it together.

When it’s tough to take a stand,

I’m stronger with you in my hand.

And on this rainy afternoon,

When I was sure to drown in gloom,

You’re my rescue, as if sent from above –

French Vanilla Coffee – my one true love. 

Happy Hump Day!

Day Twenty-Four – #WorkingGirlProblems

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So this is what’s happening right now.

I’m sitting in Starbucks on my Macbook, drinking an Iced Caramel Macchiato (Skinny, of course), in my business profesh outfit because I’m a 25 minutes early for my internship. Except I’m actually typing this post in Microsoft Word because I can’t find the free Wi-Fi that they’ve promised me, but it’s so crowded in here I’m just gonna wait to post this till I get in the office later instead of asking for help from one of the baristas.

I’m a working girl!!! Look at me, mom!

Yesterday was my first day, and although it ended up being a really good day, I had the morning from hell.

I woke up really early with the intent to give myself as much time as I needed to get all dressed up, do my hair really nice, have a filling breakfast, and catch the early train into the city. Didn’t really go as planned.

I had set about 5 alarms to make sure I woke up. I missed the first two. I’m already a half hour behind schedule. Then I decided (stupidly) that hard boiled eggs and toast would be the perfect breakfast (protein!). Forgot they take like 15 minutes to boil, 5 minutes to cool. And I didn’t spend this time getting ready, I just chatted with my dad over coffee. Another 20 minutes behind. Then it was almost 9, and I still had to get ready, do my hair, and drive to Bayside to get the 9:57 train. I haven’t gotten new furniture for my bedroom yet, so I’m still living out of boxes. It took me a good 10 minutes to find my white blazer, a shirt for underneath, and a skirt to go with it. I glanced at the clock while I was blowdrying my hair – 9:25.

Panic.

I pulled on a pair of heels, grabbed my laptop, and did most of my makeup in the car. I was driving on the Cross Island Parkway and suddenly…traffic. Brake lights as far ahead as I could see. Clock read 9:40. More panic.

Needless to say, I missed the train. Thankfully that was earlier of two trains, although the later train only gave me legit 5 minutes to get from Penn Station to my office on 30th and 7th. When I finally found a parking spot close to the station, I realized, for the first time, that it was pouring outside. I frantically searched my car, and thank God I had an umbrella stuck behind the drivers seat. I got out of the car…and cut my finger open trying to open an umbrella. And didn’t realize until I saw the bloody thumbprint on my white blazer.

I was miserable the entire train ride into Manhattan. I was texting my mom (with my non-bloody thumb) telling her sorry, I know she paid for my college education, but I had no future. I would be a waitress forever, because clearly this was a sign that being a working girl in Manhattan just wasn’t destined for me. I managed to throw on a bit more make-up on the train, but my hair wouldn’t de-frizz without a straighter or hairspray, so I pulled it back in a bun. I was preparing for the worst.

But my day in the office went much better than expected. There are a few other interns, all girls my age, doing PR and Social Media with me. The guys that work in the office are really laid back, and the office is really chill. Turns out I didn’t need to be nearly as dressed up as I thought, and my skirt/blazer/heels combo seemed to be almost over-dressing.

More importantly, this clearly isn’t gonna be the type of internship where I just grab coffee for the higher-ups and do filing. Already, we’ve gotten to bounce our ideas off of our supervisor, and he assured us that we’re going to be doing real work for the company. My first assignment is to write a few pitches to send to bloggers, and next week, we’ll be researching neighborhoods in the city and writing blurbs about the different venues in that area. I’m really excited to be doing real work, applying real stuff I’ve learned in school outside the classroom. My professors would be so proud!!

And so now day two of my internship begins. I’m dressed down a bit today, in leggings and my Hollister (embarrassing) white button up.  I was up with plenty of time, had a quicker breakfast of cereal and strawberries, showered quickly and did my hair, and still had time to grab coffee.

I think this is gonna be a great summer after all.

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^Me on my first day. No big deal.

Day Twenty – The Half-Year Resolution

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On January 8th, 2012, I sat at a table at P.F. Chang’s across from a guy I’d met a few days prior. We were chatting, getting to know each other a bit. At one point during the dinner, he asked me, “What’s your New Year’s Resolution?”

I was a deer caught in the headlights. Every year, I commit to the whole “I’m gonna eat healthy this year!” “I’m gonna join a gym!” “I’m gonna be more organized in school!” “I’m gonna raise my GPA!” – the typical resolutions. But on January 8th, I had 5 months left of college. Which meant only five months left of the college lifestyle. Which meant that being healthier, not going out as much, raising my GPA, and other resolutions I could have made just probably wouldn’t happen. I needed to soak up what was left of college, get away with living that lifestyle while I still could. Which gave me an idea.

“I don’t really have one,” I said. It felt like it was only halfway through the year, after all, with a full semester left ahead of me. “I’ll have one after I’m done with college. It’ll be like… a half-year resolution!” Brilliant, eh? I told him I’d make the resolutions on June 1st. Not technically halfway through the year, but it would be a few weeks after graduation, I’d be settling into my summer routine. A good time to start, I thought.

And like the blink of an eye, here we are. June 1st already. Five months has come and gone. (And I haven’t spoken to that guy in a while. He wasn’t exactly Mr. Right.) I’m keeping the promise I made to myself, and so today, I’ll be making a few half-year resolutions.

1. Explore New York City.

I’ve always loved Manhattan, but I feel like your twenties are really when the city treats you best. I’ve had my share of city nights during the summers when I’m home from school, or at winter break. But now that I’m here for good, I have all the time in the world to explore. I’ll also be interning in midtown, which means I’ll be in the city at a minimum three times a week. I’m also PUMPED for Autumn in New York (not that I want the summer to rush away, I just won’t mind too much when the leaves start to change). I haven’t experienced real fall weather since I was 17, literally. I can’t wait to see how beautiful NYC is with the colorful leaves, the autumn clothes, and the cool air. I’ll probably visit Central Park weekly and just lay in the grass and stare at the leaves. And Instagram like a zillion pics a day, knowing me.

2. Make life a little easier for the roomies.

I know it must get a little rough around the house for the roomies (Mom & Dad – that’s how I’ll refer to them from now on, so make a note). Kimmy still lives home, and her friends come by, which sometimes makes the house a little messy. Plus, just everyday living, with work, meetings, etc., can leave little time for cleaning and straightening around the house. I figure since I’m the best roommate/daughter ever, I can make a resolution to help out around the house as much as I can. At the very least, I don’t think my roommates should ever have to clean up after me. It’s hard when another roommate moves in – that’s another person’s mess to worry about. So doing my own dishes, laundry, and cleaning will be helpful. And picking up in common living areas, walking the dog, stuff like that I can handle I think. (Your welcome, Mom and Dad.)

3. Read more books.

I’m ashamed at how little I read anymore. I used to be such a bookworm in high school, consuming anything with two covers and pages in-between. With the exception of The Hunger Games and a really stupid Nicholas Sparks novel I read recently, I really haven’t been doing much reading the past few years (that wasn’t required for classes…cause I always did my reading for classes…). I’m pretty sure after summer ends and my friends all go back to grad school/law school/5th year of college/start their full-time jobs, I’ll have some extra time on my hands. And I’d love to spend it reading.

4. Play the piano again.

My bookshelf wasn’t the only thing acquiring dust the past four years. The piano hasn’t been tuned since probably 2006, which means it sounds pretty crappy right now. But I have to say, I miss it. And my family does. Or at least I think they do? Like I said, lots of time, lots of free hours, and I’m all caught up on most of my TV shows so I need something else to occupy myself with. I used to be pretty good, too, on the ebony and ivory. Let’s see if I can bring it back!

5. Make moves for real, grown-up life.

Being realistic, I should eventually start to think about full-time work and being a real person. So this year, I’ll explore my options for employment. I plan to meet some people, talk to family and friends, and look online for what’s out there. Go on interviews, revamp my resume, buy lots of blazers – you know, grown-up stuff. I have some time and I don’t want to rush away being young. I’m happy my summer will consist of an part-time internship and waitressing on the side so I still have time to hang out with friends, go to the beach, and have some fun. But through the rest of the year, I should slowly but surely start taking those steps.

And of course…

6. Get in fantastic shape.

Okay, I had to include this one. Now that I’m not in college and not partying as much, I’m gonna have more time to hit the gym (and less time at the bars means less empty calories ;] ). Also, I’m paying for my own gym membership now. Can’t let that money go to waste! LA Fitness, here I come!!

You don’t need to watch a big, lit-up ball drop down a pole in Times Square to decide to do something with your life. And so the Half-Year Resolutions are in. If I remember, come December 31st, 2012, I can see how I did. Assuming the world didn’t end yet. Fingers crossed! Wish me luck, friends. And Happy Half-Year…or something like that.