Monthly Archives: October 2012

Day 170 – More Trick, Less Treat

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Needless to say, Halloweekend came to a much more serious close than anyone would have expected. And Halloween has never felt less like a holiday dedicated to candy, costumes, and scaring people. Hurricane Sandy did enough “scaring” for a good, long time.

It’s been a rough few days for people in the Northeast. While we were given warning of this Frankenstorm’s coming, and heeded the warning for the most part, I don’t think anyone really expected the magnitude at which she would hit us. Electricity was lost all across the tri-state area, trees uprooted and thrown on top of houses and cars, subways and railroads flooded and debris strewn across the tracks, dooming commuters to days of difficult and dangerous travel.

The news has never been more heartbreaking. Views of Breezy Point and The Rockaways in Queens, and Long Beach, Long Island, were the worst for me; watching these areas flooded, broken, burnt to the ground was truly hard to watch. With so many friends residing in or near these areas, it put a pit in my stomach to think of them losing everything that they had once called home. My thoughts are with everyone who was put in such a horrible situation.

My family and friends are lucky enough to all be safe from harm, and enjoying electricity, heat, and cable in our homes. Yet our neighborhood itself suffered quite a bit of damage. Fallen trees in the streets make getting anywhere difficult, and wires and street lights lay dangerously on the corners of many blocks. With no railroad or subway service, we’ve been a bit stranded and are working from home, lucky at least to have power and Internet to do that. While I am definitely suffering from a bit of cabin fever, and am devoted to finding a reason to change out of sweatpants today, I know I should count my blessings because in the wake of this disaster, I truly am one of the lucky ones.

The Chuber Tree-House

Daddy’s shed out back…eek!

Cars are ruined, houses damaged, but as usual, the one thing that always stays in tact is New York’s strong and solid disposition – we will get through this.

The rewarding thing is watching New Yorkers (and those from New Jersey and Connecticut, as well) pull together and reach out to help one another. Even in my own town, we saw and heard stories of neighbors opening their doors to those without electricity. Those reaching out over Facebook and Twitter to offer help and assistance to those who needed it. Volunteers going back into flooded areas to save friends and neighbors who chose not to evacuate. Just like in other devastations, just like we always have, New Yorkers looked out for each other, and stood together.

I was happy to be home in NYC this weekend, regardless of it all. I think had I still be in Miami, I would have felt helpless and out of place. No matter what the weather, there’s no place I’d rather be than New York. My heart goes out to those who have lost their lives, their homes, their belongings, and the places they made some of their fondest memories, from Seaside Heights and Staten Island, to Breezy Point and Long Beach. Yet I encourage everyone to stay strong; we will get through it all, as we always do. It will be slow, and it won’t be easy, but we will rebuild all that we lost. It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

That being said, it is Halloween, and if anyone has any interest in coming over, curling up on my couch, and watching The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with me, we’ve got bags of Reece’s peanut butter cups just begging to be eaten. Plus, I think we could all use something sweet and a few laughs and smiles after a rough few days.

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Day 165 – Wise Beyond My Beers

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Halloweekend has historically been my favorite weekend of the year. I love dressing up, obviously, as every girl does, and the costume search usually begins around August. So does the Halloween diet. Well, neither of those things really happened this year for me, and so here I am, on the Friday of Halloween, not really sure what I’m dressing as, and definitely not in Hallow shape. I’m ashamed of myself.

Yet Halloweekend has commenced, regardless. Last night I went with Jess&Jess (Jess my college roommate, and her current roommate, also conveniently named Jess) to (my) Jess’s work Halloween party. Excuses me, “Huluween” party. So clever, Hulu! Anyway, this was our first grown-up Halloween event, so as we walked in (dressed like the Power Puff Girls, of course), we were wondering how much different it would be from every other Halloween party we’d ever been to.

The answer is: both totally different, but not really that different, at the same time.

Here’s the breakdown. It’s a totally different environment at a “grown-up” Halloween party, different norms, different expectations, different kinds of costumes, different setting. However, it’s exactly the same in the sense that everyone is totally hammered by the end of the night and hungover as all hell the next day at the office. As we realized the differences throughout the event, we took notes on Jess’s iPhone to remember the next day (in case we didn’t remember on our own, due to the open bar). These are some of our most crucial observations. College grads, pay careful attention.

1. Wigs are a MUST. If you’re not wearing a wig, you might as well not be in costume. But I’m talking good wigs. Like from a wig store. Not from Party City. Wigs so good that people can’t tell if it’s your real hair or not.

2. When a conversation has ended, it’s okay to just move on. You don’t have to pretend to keep talking about how you were convinced someone’s wig was their real hair for another 10 minutes. There are other wigs to mistake for hair. Just move on.

3. Take advantage of photo booths early in the evening when your hair/wig still looks good. By the third hour of the open bar, you’ll be the zombie version of whatever you dressed as. Which I guess works for a Halloween party, now that I’m thinking about it…

(Picture to come of us in the photo booth looking adorable!)

4. Double-dipping is frowned upon unless you do the “dip-and-flip.”

5. If you’re the youngest people at the Halloween party, DON’T DRESS like the youngest people at the Halloween party. Like when theme is “Classic Television Shows,” and everyone else dresses like Gilligan’s Island, The Golden Girls, or Saved by the Bell, don’t dress like the PowerPuff Girls, even if that seems classic enough for you. People older than 25 won’t recognize you.

6. AVOID. YOUR. BOSS. I know you think you want them to see your costume, and you desperately want to comment on what they’re wearing, but the chances of you embarrassing yourself is alarmingly high. Just check out the Facebook pictures at the office tomorrow.

7. Funny costumes > Sexy costumes…but that’s a given. Thank GOD we wore tights under our dresses or Jess would’ve gotten fired.

*Side note, speaking of dresses: If you’re wearing a dress, don’t challenge the dude dressed like Will Ferrell the Spartan Cheerleader from SNL to a high-kick contest. Just…don’t.


8. If someone says to you “I’m totally gonna need an egg sandwich tomorrow morning!” what they’re really saying is “Dude, I’m gonna be wasted tonight. I’m going to be passed out at my desk tomorrow.” Talk the talk.

9. Don’t go into the same bathroom stall as your friends. Actual quote from…someone? : “If you think it’s a frat party…it’s not.” It definitely was not.

And the most important thing to remember, based on my experience last night…

10. If someone asks you if you want to have a drink called the “Bear Fight,” JUST SAY NO. The bear ALWAYS wins. If you could see what I look like right now, you’d understand that I am (barely…or should I say bear-ly) living proof of that.

I hope this sheds some light on what to do and what not to do at your first, official, grown-up office Halloween party. A little advice from someone who is “wise beyond her beers.”

Happy Halloweekend, all! Stay safe 😉

Day 148 – Elect to Vote

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For a good amount of time last year, I was aboard the “I’m-Refusing-To-Vote” train. Discussions were had over glasses of wine at the dining room table at our house in Miami, and my roommates and I went back and forth discussing how our country had come to reach the condition that it was in. Different stances on social issues were taken, proposals on how to fix the economy were suggested, and empty bottles of wine collected on the windowsills, yet through it all, we failed to find a happy medium. From birth control to taxes, to God, guns, and gays – complaints could be heard around the table about the lack of a candidate who would do exactly what we wanted. “Socially liberal but fiscally conservative” is what we agreed our ideal candidate would be, yet we also questioned whether someone could fully support that stance, and if they did, if they would actually be backed by a major political party.

And so after our deep discussions (a few bottles deep, that is), we decided maybe we wouldn’t vote at all. If everyone who didn’t fully support either candidate didn’t vote, it would make a statement, wouldn’t it? Eventually, the government would have to see that the American people weren’t happy, and make some kind of change, right?

Yet as the 57th Presidential Election has grown so much closer, I have absolutely changed my mind. I thought about how, throughout our country’s history, people have fought so hard for the opportunity to vote for a Presidential candidate who best reflects their views. The right to vote was not just handed to Americans. What an insult it would be to all of those who were part of historical suffrage movements to throw away the right they had fought so hard to obtain. We owe it to past, present, and future Americans to voice our opinions and cast a vote every four years for President.

I made a status on Facebook regarding my stance on the importance of voting, and one of my friends commented, respectfully disagreeing. He said, “If you’re uneducated about either candidate, please do everyone a favor and do a little research…if not, exercise your right not to vote.” And there he does have a point. While we do have a right to vote whichever way we please, it’s also extremely important to do as my friend said and research! There are still two more Presidential debates between Obama and Romney, a debate between the Vice Presidential candidates, and COUNTLESS articles and references online for you to get some information on the views of each candidate. And if you don’t feel that the candidates from either of the major parties truly represents your views, research some of the third party candidates who are also running for office. You have a great deal of options at your fingertips once you’re inside a voting booth – just make sure you get to one on Election Day!

I encourage all of you, regardless of which candidate you support, to elect to vote.

After all…

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Day 142 – Puppy Love

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There is nothing that distracts me more from whatever I’m doing at the moment than a PUPPY.

Literally. A puppy came into the office today and any determination to be productive was gone faster than a wag of a tail. I kept snapping my fingers and making kissy noises and talking in a heavy New York accent asking the dog to come play at my desk (I’m not sure why I do that, but it always happens. “Go get the bawl! Whaddya doin? Where are ya? Who’s theah?”). I was probably pretty obvious but I couldn’t help it. He was so cute!

Now let me paws for a second and explain how much of a dog person I’ve become over the past few years, thanks to my dog, Abby.

Look at the little nugget!!!

I didn’t even realize what was missing from my life until we adopted Abby; now the thought of the Chuber house without the pup seems pretty ruff. This is the tail of how we got lil’ Ab. One of my dad’s friends came by with her one summer day, claiming the previous owners thought she was too needy (which definitely is true, but we think it’s adorable), and she was looking for a new home for her. Within 3 hours, the whole family was on board to keep her fur-ever. We were so happy to put a woof over her head and shower her with attention and snuggles. Ever since, I’ve been completely obsessed. With her and every other dog ever.

Normal thoughts that go through my head on a day-to-day basis: Walking down 7th Avenue and see someone with their dog – Yeah, I’m gonna have to stop to pet it. “You got a new puppy? I’ve totally been trying to hang out with you for weeks, can I come by later?” Instagram was invented to show all your followers how cute your pup is, right? (Follow me for a treat! @kristenchuber) And it’s totally not weird to make your dog a Facebook and uploading all the pictures from Halloween last year when she went as a dragon…right?

Normal.

Obsessed? Maybe.

But here, let me entertain you for the next 3 minutes and 4 seconds. Sit…..stay.

Smell ya later.

 

Day 141 – Happiness in 7-10 Business Days

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*Disclaimer – Outrageously Girly Post*

There is nothing more gratifying than online shopping. (Told ya.)

In the old days, before you could do absolutely anything from finding a husband to diagnosing your own illness in front of a computer screen, time for shopping needed to be set aside. Now, don’t get me wrong, I fully enjoy time spent dedicated to shopping, be it an hour or an entire Saturday – I never tire of spending money. (Which proves to be a problem, eventually, especially when it’s the latter timeframe.) But sometimes, putting aside enough time for this splendid activity can be difficult. Everyone is always so busy! Shopping could be an after-work activity, but often, things stand in the way. Either we’re too tired from the workday, or have other plans that just can’t be cancelled, like dentist appointments, or Happy Hour. Weekends are good times to shop, but I usually feel guilty spending a beautiful, sunny day in the mall when I could be doing things outside, and if it’s crappy weather, I usually prefer sleeping late, staying in sweatpants all day, and catching up on whatever reality TV show I’m currently obsessing over.

Alas! Online shopping is the solution for the overcommitted or the tired or the lazy everywhere! In less than half the time, you can browse your favorite store’s merchandise and throw everything you love into a (virtual) shopping cart. It’s genius! It’s exciting! It’s chic! It’s easy! It’s dangerous! It’s fun!

Using a plastic credit card means I’m not spending real money, right?

Other reasons I love online shopping:

  1. I don’t feel as cheap immediately redirecting to the “Sale” or “Clearance” sections – no one is there to judge me but myself.
  2. No need to deal with annoying sales people checking to see if they have any more in your size. Chances are they’ll just tell you on the site! So proactive!
  3. Also eliminates awkward interactions with retail employees. “Have you tried our new jeans?” If I say no, you’ll tell me to try them. If I say yes, you’ll smile like you actually care. Flashback to my days working at Hollister Co….. I shutter to recall. 
  4. No need to try on the clothes before purchase. A true shopper knows her size in most of these stores. Less experienced shoppers need not fear – reading the reviews of a product will tell you if it’s true to size, or whether or not you should order a size bigger/smaller.
  5. Most offer free shipping on return products, or at least allow you to return it to a store.
  6. Say goodbye to carrying around all those bags on your arms! Boyfriends everywhere should be eternally grateful for the option to shop online.
  7. COUPON CODES!! You can almost always find a coupon code somewhere online to give you either free shipping or a percentage off your order.
  8. You can multi-task while doing it. You can check your bank statement between purchases to make sure you won’t overdraft, Facebook chat your friends and send them links to decide between the beige boots or the black boots (thanks Daniella for the help last week – glad I went with beige), or browse RetailMeNot.com for (#7 above) coupon codes.

But truly, the real reason I online shop is the surprise and true joy I experience when a package arrives in the mail. Chances are I probably forgot that I ordered something, and so when a pretty box arrives, addressed to me, I love to rip it open like it’s a present on Christmas morning. Sometimes I even write myself little notes on my orders, so that I’ll also get a little card that reads, “Surprise! Bet you forgot you ordered this! You’re gonna look great on Friday in this new skirt! Love ya!” and it really makes my day.

So thank you, Internet, for making something that was already the easiest thing in the world to do, even easier.

…While sitting in front of your computer, that is.