Monthly Archives: September 2012

Day 135 – Falling into Fall

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As of Saturday, September 22nd, it’s officially fall, and as of Tuesday, September 25th, I’m already cold.

It’s really only been a matter of a few weeks that everything began to change. Labor Day weekend was still warm enough for me to lay on the beach, and yet, this morning, I found myself tearing apart my room looking for a heavy sweater and Uggs. Yeah, its 65 degrees. Yeah, that feels cold to me. Without question, I’ve switched from ordering my morning coffees “iced” to “hot,” and my non-air conditioned car that was miserable for the four years I spent in Miami is suddenly quite comfortable.

I’m noticing clothes hanging on the racks in stores have changed from bright, summery colors to cozy hues of browns and blues. I’ve developed an affinity for all things pumpkin, be it coffee, beer, or muffins. As I drive to the train every morning, the leaves are just a little redder, a little browner; a minor change for many, yet to me, it seems just a bit strange when I hear a leaf crunch under me and it’s only September.

All of a sudden the lightning bugs are gone. And the crickets are quieter at night. And around dinnertime, you don’t smell nearly as many barbecues grilling. I’ve already got a cold and have been drinking tea on the cooler evenings, but that’s okay.

Because I’m ready to fall into a pile of leaves for the first time in four years. I’m ready to go apple picking, and to visit a pumpkin patch upstate. I’m ready to go to a haunted house, or get bundled up and head to a football game. I’m ready for a scarf and a sweater and cool, autumn weather. I’m ready to see how beautiful New York City is, reds and yellows and oranges painting the branches of the trees, and visit the autumn street fairs. I’m ready to fall into Fall…face first.

 

 

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Day 130 – The Happiest of Hours

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It’s Thursday. It’s not the weekend yet, but we’re closer than we were yesterday, and with just one more full day of work, it’s definitely a happier day than Wednesday was. Speaking of being happy, Thursdays are very popular days for Happy Hours. It’s like that little extra push you need to get you through the end of the week. Here’s a little taste of the weekend, Thursdays say to those at Happy Hour, Just a few more hours and you’ll have two full days of this! Like letting a mouse sniff a block of cheese, then putting the cheese at the end of the maze, and watching the mouse run full speed to the end. Hey, it works.

It’s always made me laugh a little to think that these inexpensive, not-yet-the-weekend drink prices are named “Happy Hour” prices, because if they were really only available for one hour, people would be very un-happy. Lucky for working people every where, Happy Hour is really Happy Hours, and usually extends until 8 or 9 in the evening.

Regardless, an hour spent at a Happy Hour is an hour well spent. But I can think of a few other “hours” that make me, or have once made me truly happy:

1. The hour that Game of Thrones is on.

Why, yes, I’ll look at you for an hour straight.

2. The hour it takes to get a manicure & pedicure, a.k.a., getting totally pampered.

Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown?

3. An hour long massage. I’ve only gotten one once, but it may have been the most relaxing hour of my life.

There’s no place I’d rather be right meow.

4. One of the hour-long sets at Ultra Music Festival. Insanity.

A pretty awesome experience. So glad I got to be there.

5. An hour (and a half) of yoga.

…downward dog?

6. Taking an hour-long walk with the pup.

Walking…sitting…same thing.

And the actual happiest hour of all….

7. The hour that follows you waking up and realizing your alarm isn’t going to go off for another 60 minutes.

Not today, alarm clock.

Hope you all have some kind of happy hour today, in whatever form you prefer 🙂

As for me…

Cheers!

 

Day 124 – PTSD

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I’m going to share a story with you today about the only pet my Miami roommates and I ever owned – Carl. Carl came into our lives out of nowhere. We never thought we’d have a pet, thought our house was too messy, but for Carl, it was just perfect. Kat was the first to notice him, living quite comfortably in our house, settling in, making himself at home. It was Kateva, I believe, who decided to name him Carl. It just fit.

He’d sit, perched on the arm of our couch, and watch reruns of Say Yes to the Dress while we were in class. He’d greet us hello and goodbye as we came in and out of the living room, going about our day. None of us really got too close to Carl; we weren’t sure how friendly or cuddly he’d be. But we all knew he was there, and acknowledged his presence. Soon after his arrival into our lives, Carl disappeared just as mysteriously as he had come. He gave us no notice of his departure; in fact, we spent a lot of time searching our house for Carl, wondering where he could’ve gone. But he never came back. We never saw him again.

Our pet Carl. Carl the Cockroach.

Now, I really shouldn’t use the word pet, because that has an extremely positive connotation. We were terrified of Carl. Carl must have been the king of all cockroaches, bigger than any lizard or frog we’d ever seen in South Florida. I think my dog would’ve been afraid of this thing. He was large and in charge. We were captives in our own home.

He’d sit, perched on the arm of our couch as if it was a throne of evil, preventing us from sitting comfortably to watch reruns of Say Yes to the Dress. He’d stare at us as we came in and out of the living room, trying to go about our days. None of us really got too close to Carl; we weren’t sure how he’d react. But we all knew he was there, and acknowledged his presence. When Carl disappeared, the reason we spent all that time searching was because we were TERRIFIED that he’d pop up somewhere, unsuspecting, and attack. But he never came back. We never saw him again.

We had too many cockroach encounters in our house in Florida. There was another instance where a cockroach seemed to fly onto Vic’s arm during a pre-game. We didn’t even know these things had wings. Another time, I had to chase one out of my closet with a broom (and when I say I, I meant stood on my bed freaking out while Daniella chased it out of my room with a broom). We decided our old yearbooks were better used as Cockroach Killers, and whenever we spotted one, we’d run for a yearbook and throw it as hard as we could against the intruder. These things would sometimes take 3 hits with a book before they finally died. Once, Claudy threw a yearbook on a roach, jumped on top of the book 3 times, and when we checked, it scurried away, unscathed. Unbelievable. These are the bugs they’re talking about when they say cockroaches would survive a nuclear war. I really think they would.

 ^ Me, during every cockroach encounter. ^

So needless to say, I now suffer from some serious cockroach PTSD. Literally, I think every moving shadow on the ground is a cockroach, and I prep myself to run for a large hardcover textbook. There was a cockroach in my office building earlier this week and I ran back to my desk and pulled my feet up in my chair so fast people must’ve thought I’d seen a ghost. Now, every time I leave my office, I do a quick check to see if one of them is lingering in the hallway. As of late, I’ve been safe, but if one day I do lay eyes on one of these vermin, I’m sure to bug out. (Pun intended.) I don’t know if therapy will help; I think I may have to live the rest of my life in this constant fear of my 6-legged nightmares.

All because of Carl.

Day 122 – We Will Never Forget

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“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we’re the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.” – George W. Bush, 9/11/2001

Eleven years ago yesterday, I sat in front of my television, a little blonde 6th grader, holding my little brother’s hand, wondering what could’ve possibly gone wrong that two planes had flown into the two tallest buildings in NYC. I could feel my mom’s panic, sense her fear, as she rushed out the door to pick up my sister Kimberly from preschool. We’d been watching cartoons, home from school because of, no joke, a flea infestation in the building. I thought it was a day that would be spent relaxing in my PJs, having lunch with my mom and Kyle, and watching the TV shows that I only got to see when I stayed home sick.

Instead, it was a day full of terror. We could see the smoke from the corner of our block in Queens. My young eyes watched in disbelief TV clips of planes flying into buildings, people jumping from their 50th story office windows, and New Yorkers running through the streets, screaming, covered in dust and debris. We spent hours in church, all holding hands, praying. I watched adults – my parents, teachers, and friends – crying. That may have been when it knew it was all real. The planes, the buildings, the death, the fear. It wasn’t a bad dream; I wasn’t going to shake myself awake, and with it, shake away those images. They would be ingrained my mind forever.

I remember visiting Manhattan with my dad, prior to the attacks, and craning my neck as far back as it would go to see the top of the Twin Towers. They were so tall and so shiny, I remember having to squint my eyes. My dad told me that on the top floor, there was a restaurant where you could look out the windows during your meal and see the whole city. And at the very top, you could stand on the roof and look around and see for almost 5 miles in any direction. I never got to see it.

My mom told me that it was called a “terrorist attack;” someone had done it to hurt and to scare New York and America. She explained the pilots of the planes weren’t the “bad guys;” the bad guys had pushed the pilots out of the way, and they were the ones who flew them into the buildings. I couldn’t understand it, couldn’t comprehend how there could be someone so evil that would want to punish innocent people.

Eleven years later, I still can’t really understand it. I don’t think I ever will.

This is the first time in four years that I’ve been home in NYC for the anniversary. Last night, as I was driving home, I pulled into the gas station on the corner of my block and looked west, down Hillside Avenue. It was crisp and clear last night, the exact weather it was on that tragic day in 2001; so clear that I could see the Tribute in Light, the two “towers” of blue lights shining from lower Manhattan where those two majestic buildings once stood. And it brought tears to my eyes.

It made me think about where we stand now, as a country, in regards to the attacks on September 11th. None of us will ever forget what happened that day in NYC, Washington D.C., and just outside of Pittsburg, PA, but it’s important to remember more than just that tragic morning.

It’s important to remember what happened on September 12th, 2001. It’s important to remember what happened the next day, and the day after that, and weeks and months that followed. Remember how strangers came together, reaching out their hands and opening their doors to those in need. Remember how people donated so much of what they had to the victims and to their families, people they had never met before in their lives. Remember how people gladly hung American flags outside their homes. Remember the pride we felt in our politicians, in our police forces, in our fire departments, and in our emergency rescue workers. Remember how for once, we weren’t “New Yorkers” or “Floridians,” we weren’t Catholics or Jews, we weren’t democrats or republicans. We were Americans. United. That’s something else I’ll never forget, and for that memory, I’m grateful.

I’m proud to be a New Yorker, and proud to be an American, part of a country that has proved itself defiant, moving forward, yet always reflecting on the things that got us where we are today.

God Bless America.

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Day 116 – The Art of Third Wheeling

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Most of us, at some point in our lives, have experienced what it’s like to be a third wheel. You know what I mean. Your friend is in a relationship, you’re not, yet you all still hang out together. Third wheeling can either be a fun, no-pressure situation, usually when you’re friends with both parties, and don’t have to worry about excessive PDA. But sometimes, it can be miserable.

For most of my life, friends of mine have been in and out of relationships, and so I’ve spend quite a bit of time being the third wheel. Lucky for me, Laura’s current boyfriend Cliff, who has to deal with more of my third-wheeling than he though he signed up for, is super cool and seems to not mind my company that much…yet. As for me, I’ve just never found myself the right person to get serious with. I’m just too picky, that’s why I’m single.

If you’re someone who, like me, has spent a great deal of your young adult life third-wheeling with a friend and his/her significant other, fear not. I’m here to tell you a little bit about why it’s okay to be a third wheel.

Third wheeling has been part of our society forever, since the beginning of time (probably). There are more third wheels existing in literature, movies, and the lives of celebrities than you even recognize. Take for example – Harry Potter. Yeah, Ron and Hermoine don’t technically get together until the end of book seven, but was Harry an idiot to not notice the sexual tension between the two of them ever since Hermoine took Krum to the Yule Ball in their fourth year? Regardless, you know Ron didn’t mind having his BFF there with him whenever he and Hermoine hung out. And Harry was either oblivious to, or ignored, the fact that he was the third wheel to his two besties. Bros before hoes! (Plus, if he did realize he was being third wheel’ed, he got the ultimate revenge by making out with Ron’s little sister, so I think they’re even.)

Ron’s like, “I’m only letting this go because you’re probably going to kill Voldemort one day.”

Other examples that I’m sure you’ll agree with: Joey from Friends, Jacob from Twilight, Prince Harry’s entire life, Ted Moseby from How I Met Your Mother, Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, you get the picture. There’s always a third wheel, but no one ever dislikes that person! In fact, a lot of the time, the humor/drama/excitement would be gone without the third wheel. Here are some third wheels that have truly been beneficial to a relationship, or at least, were a really funny addition to the original couple:

For all the girls and guys out there that have to be the third wheel, don’t get down on yourself about it. Look on the bright side! You’ll always be “the single friend” that gets brought to parties, which means all eyes are on you. Plus, you’ll never have to go “half-sies” on your food, buy a drink for anyone else, or have a designated beer pong partner. And don’t worry about having to sit alone when you’re headed out together. That’s why the Long Island Rail Road made half the train rows of 3 seats instead of two, with people like us in mind!! So next time your coupled-up friends ask you to hang out with them, give it a try. You’ll have fun – I know you wheel.

….Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Day 114 – LDW – “Lazy Days Weekend”

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Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, which means summer is over. I have to say goodbye to the beach until next Memorial Day Weekend, need to officially retire my white jeans, and will inevitably need to help my dad put the cover on the pool in the next week or two. Only one word can be used to describe all of this: UGH.

Historically, Labor Day is a holiday that honors the contributions of all of America’s social and economic workers. Apparently, the first time it was celebrated was 130 years ago. Usually, by Labor Day, I’m back at school, and already have a day off from classes! And so I’ve always loved the holiday. It’s like, Summer’s over and classes have started…Psyche! Have one more day to party and lay in the sun! Post Grad LDW has a different feeling though. This Labor day represents the end of a four-year-long summer for me. I feel like I’m in Game of Thrones and the Starks keep reminding me that Winter is Coming.

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(But if Robb Stark comes along with winter, I guess I don’t mind too much.)

Anyway, it was this mentality that encouraged me to set out to do as little as humanly possible. Just to spite the holiday. Labor Day Weekend? Nah, mine was more of a Lazy Days weekend.

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The hardest laboring I did this weekend was walking through Manhattan in the new heels I ordered online that aren’t broken in yet. Ouch. Talk about blisters.

I spent the entirety of the weekend attached at the hip with Laura – literally. We kicked off LDW with (overpriced) margaritas at a local bar in Queens on Thursday night, with high expectations for the weekend. Friday morning was spent tanning on Long Beach, and we ventured into Manhattan at night, drinking in the late summer breeze at a rooftop lounge on the West Side, but the rest of our days were spend in straight relaxation. We were roomies from Thursday to Sunday, taking turns sleeping at each others’ houses, pissing off our parents, going to the beach, ordering sushi delivery, napping, and watching Breaking Bad on Netflix. And I’m not mad about it. I was even too lazy to Tweet about how lazy we were being. Just the staycation I needed.

While the rest of you are sitting at work right now, hungover from your crazy weekend in the Hamptons, or recovering from spending three days in a row dancing around in a tu-tu at Electric Zoo, I’m feeling just fine. Well rested, well fed, and easing into what will become my winter hibernation in my bed

A well spent Labor Day Weekend if you ask me.