Thursday, February 26, 2009

One of a Kind

I don't know who all looks at the index on my sidebar for reference when I'm talking about my friends, but the explanation of RM is particularly important.

He did indeed plan and execute a Spring Break trip that included four girls (myself included), one hotel room and one RM for a week in Manhattan. He is the ultimate friend and knows more girls than any guy you know, period. He works in finance, and when he moved to New York and started hanging out with coworkers, they were all baffled by the guy from Texas who knew more girls in the city than they did combined. Instant popularity is kind of his thing.

There is a group of us girls that he is very protective of, since he does have a younger sister and all, but he still likes to make sure we have a good time. He is the greatest person to go out with for this reason. One time he, KR and I got to a bar first where we were meeting up with some friends of his from college, and sitting in a corner booth over a glass of wine, she and I started commenting on two good-looking guys who were standing at the bar. Were they meeting girls there? How old were they? Which one do you think is cute? Etc., etc. RM, of course, told us he was going to go outside and make a few calls and could we please go the bar, get another drink and start talking to those guys instead of talking about them? I think his words were "y'all are young and cute and you two approaching them would be the best thing to happen to them this weekend- grow and pair and get out of this booth."

Of course we did no such thing, and had RM glaring at us through the window on the freezing New York sidewalk, shaking his head.

Just to gauge for everyone, last February I was still in New York and his birthday started at 4 a.m. on Saturday morning, when he managed to get AV, KR and I out of bed and down to Rockefeller Center where we waited in the snow to get Saturday Night Live tickets, and ended at 4 a.m. the following morning when the bars on the Lower East Side closed. Longest and most hilarious day, ever.

This year a group of us met up at a restaurant and bar down at Victory Park in Dallas, near the W Hotel and the American Airlines Center. The main priorities of the evening were eating, drinking and watching the OU vs. Texas basketball game. I attended neither of these schools but never have a problem watching one of them lose. We were all in private back room which meant we could get comfortable and didn't have to talk over anyone. Love that. RM was baked homemade cupcakes by SR for his birthday, and we had a blast hanging out and watching AG's fiance, who was in rare form and decided multiple rounds of Patron were the order of the evening.

RM you are a great friend and your birthdays never disappoint! I'm glad that you started playing tennis with my friends all those years ago, and that our friendships have outlasted all of your tennis careers. If 24 is anything like 23, then we surely have no idea what to expect... which is exactly how it should be.

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."
-Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day One

Temptation came knocking at 6:45 a.m. this morning, when I awoke to the smell of bacon wafting upstairs and into my bedroom. Not a bad way to wake up, 325 days out of the year. It took mere seconds for the smell to hit my nose to remember a decision I voiced aloud yesterday evening: I gave up eating meat for Lent.

I know that a while back I said I could never be a vegetarian, but here I am. I gave it up cold turkey; bad pun intended. No meat for 40 days.

I am not Catholic but I am a Christian, and I know people from many denominations who observe Lent. For me personally, it is a time where I can sacrifice something I like or enjoy and instead use my energy and desire for that object as a means to strengthen my faith. In recent years I've given up Facebook, diet drinks/sodas and desserts, and I've stuck to all of them. I suppose I could have given up coffee, but I like having friends at work and wouldn't want to jeopardize that.

Growing up in Texas, having an aunt and uncle who live on a ranch and raise cattle, and a father who is a pro on the grill and smoker; I have eaten a lot of animals. Steak and good barbecue were probably invented here and in my humble opinion are better in Texas than anywhere else.

I love chicken in any form (Chick-Fil-A, I miss you already), turkey on sandwiches, hamburgers and the occasional steak. Since thinking about filet mignon is a sad prospect at the moment, I started making a list of all the non-meat meals I enjoy, and found a common denominator: cheese. Not a bad denominator, in my book. My main concern is a good source of protein, and thus far it looks to be black beans and avocados. I go through phases with peanut butter and considering the number of people who have gotten sick from it over the past year, I'm inclined to continue avoiding it. I cannot eat large quantities of eggs because the texture goobs me out. That's the only non-word I can think of: goobs.

Assuming the role of vegetarian is making me look more carefully at menu choices and will cause me to try different things at my usual haunts. I'll be forced to inspect and to find something new and conducive to this lifestyle. In most instances, the choices are healthier. I had coffee, toast and grapes for breakfast; a veggie pita and sweet tea for lunch. I had a Pilates lesson after work (I'm six weeks in and I love it- though I'm beginning to think that my instructor is training me for Cirque du Soleil), and I even had some organic vegan enchiladas for dinner (there was tofu involved) that were surprisingly good. Since when am I so granola? I draw the line at Chacos... there will not be any wearing of Chacos.

I've been telling people so that they can hold me to it. So when I call someone and nonchalantly and ask, "isn't a cheeseburger exactly what you want right now?..." they'll tell me to lock it up and go get a Jamba Juice.

Because obviously Jamba Juice is the vegetarian equivalent of a cheeseburger.

Maya: What's the boy word for slut?
Will: They still haven't come up with one yet, but I'm sure they're working on it. You a vegetarian this week or not?
Maya: Yeah, I am.
Will: Great!
-Definitely, Maybe

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Storm Before the Calm

I usually hesitate ever so slightly before hitting the Publish button on my new blog posts. For this one, I'm just going for it.

Being a woman is a beating sometimes. We often get a bad wrap for being high maintenance, but it's really inherent to how we were made. We grow up with so many people telling us when the appropriate age is to start this or why to do that. Nothing is clear- there is always a gray area and women are always exceptions to certain rules. People wear me out with that kind of nonsense.

For months now my dermatologist has been trying to get me on birth control. I have finally agreed to try it, so this morning she launched into her speech on what to know, what to expect.

You might be thinking: "hold the phones, why aren't you on it already?!" and I'll answer that: no, because I have no need for it... no, I don't have sex and no, I'm not a nun. Glad we could clear the air on that one. Moving on!

The more important matter at hand was the effect that taking the pill will have on me physically and emotionally. I'm not worried about getting pregnant, I'm worried about what it's going to do to my skin and my body.

I have never been obsessive about food or my weight, but my complexion is a totally different beast. Having had a few minor rounds with bad skin and one major one in college, I will literally do anything to maintain clear, smooth skin. I fortunately do not have visible scars, marks, or redness from my past with acne. It isn't luck, it has come at an expensive price and at the hands of doctors and aestheticians.

In an effort to do one thing that works and in acknowledgment of the fact that I will not be able to continue taking the antibiotic I am currently on indefinitely, my dermatologist is recommending YAZ as my course of action.

I need to bite the bullet and start taking it; I know I do. I've got the prescription ready to go and I'm not so boldy going where millions of women have gone before. I actually went through a six-month stint of taking birth control after my sophomore year of college, which partly explains why I am averse to the idea of taking it again.

Since lists help everything... I made one for Me On The Pill:

1. I have had my current dermatologist for nearly two years; she understands my skin type.
2. My skin has been clear for about three years, so we are not in "damage control" mode. The last time I started the pill, my complexion was already bad.
3. I have an aggressive skin regimen- prescription face wash and topical creams for morning and night and a daily oral antibiotic that has worked wonders for my complexion, whereas the last time I started birth control, I was on no prescriptions and was using only a mild facial cleanser.
4. I live in Dallas, which is significantly less humid than Austin, where I was living at the time for a summer internship, which only aggravated my skin condition.
5. I was prescribed YAZ, which is what the derm herself takes, she told me, and she loves it. The last person who prescribed me the pill was a gynecologist who had seen me one time and was not taking into consideration my skincare needs.

1. Doctor said that my skin will "probably be worse" for three months. PROBABLY? What's the variable?! This is a huge minus for me. Why fix what isn't broken?
2. I was once on birth control and Accutane at the same time for about six months and absolutely hated it. (It is required by law that you are on birth control while taking Accutane.) My skin was terrible and I was in physical pain because of it. I'm not sure if it was either/or, or just the diabolical combination of both.
3. Mood swings and weight gain. I personally did not gain weight the last time I started the pill, but my emotions and hormones were definitely out of whack. Again, I'm not sure if it was the pill, the Accutane or both.
4. I have friends who have had nightmare-ish experiences with different kinds of birth control, including this one.

I've started assaulting some of my friends with questions about it, but I would love feedback from anyone on the pill- did you have breakouts, mood swings or weight gain as a result of starting it? Does anyone else take YAZ? Did everything kind of regulate after a few months or did you still feel like killing someone?

Good, bad, ugly, let me have it.

"Like religion, politics, and family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public. It's too controversial."
-Erma Bombeck

Monday, February 23, 2009

This Never Gets Old

It is easy to see who matters to you when you are 24, almost two years removed from college and everyone you know has a full-time job or is a grad student. You either both make the effort, or you don't, but everyone learns quickly that it is a two-way street.

My friend KJ was in town all last week from Providence, RI. Friday afternoon I booked it back from Dallas to our hometown of Suburbia, where she was waiting in the back of a restaurant in their lounge-looking bar. She had reservations with her parents for dinner, and I had dinner plans with friends back in Dallas, but for an hour we got to catch up on things better discussed in person.

When I told her that I had friends coming in town for the surprise engagement party of my sorority friend HA, she was immediately taken off-guard, because she doesn't regularly attend parties of that nature and zero of her friends are in the same boat... or ocean, for that matter. I often forget that it is not standard operating procedure for the rest of the United States to get married so young until I see that look on someone's face, again. That you're 24 and you've been to 14 weddings in two years?! look. I know it well. And to those people I am forced to admit that as of today, I have five more weddings on my calendar for this year.

Saturday morning, the day of the proposal and party, I met up with five college friends for brunch. After getting wired on three cups of coffee, two of the girls parted ways to go help with the proposal set-up. The other four of us made a trip to Northpark, breezing through Neiman's before parking it for a solid 30 minutes at Sephora, otherwise known as a woman's version of Best Buy.

I made the mistake of introducing the girls to my favorite vice in the world: a tall, skim caramel ice-storm with no whip from the E-bar at Nordstrom. Looking up from the cookbooks I was skimming in Anthropologie five minutes later, I saw my friend BF glaring at me with her empty plastic cup held high. "I can't believe you told me to try this. I hate you," which translates to: "this is delicious, you rock my world."

I took my friend AR to a gazebo in the middle of the Park Cities, where LB and CC were already there, trying to figure out the logistics of setting up the proposal from their list of instructions and wrap sheet of 20 things to do. That's right, 20. They wanted another opinion, so I parked and started inspecting the scene with them. They had the idea of wrapping white Christmas lights since none of the lights in the gazebo had been on the night before, so I suggested trying out the outlets before committing to that idea. Luckily AR had a CHI in her purse and we found that they did indeed work, and that HA would be able to fix her hair for pictures if she needed to.

Not that she needed it- when asked anyone would tell you that it's a toss up as to whether she looks more like Snow White or Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

The gazebo had trees outside of it, which had lights up in them, and I made the mistake of lingering in front of and wondering aloud if they could be turned on manually. My friends seized the opportunity and encouraged me to check- since I was the only one wearing "practical tree-climbing shoes." My favorite red Chuck Taylors, I found out, work well for examining landscape lighting. I got a boost from AR, and by boost I mean I stepped on her tiny thigh and hoped I wouldn't crush her. My efforts were fruitless, there was no way to turn on the light manually from the tree, and I ungracefully dismounted, managing to scratch up my fingers in the process. My hands now look like I lost a fight with a wall of sandpaper.

I was late to the surprise, after attending a birthday party, and there were 20 or so people still there, visiting when I arrived, but judging by the volume of empty champagne glasses I knew that many people who love the couple had come by with their congratulations. It struck me that no one can put an appropriate age on love or marriage. We should all be so lucky to have what they have at 34, what they have at 24.


"Oh, isn't this amazing?
It's my favorite part because you'll see
Here's where she meets Prince Charming
But she won't discover that it's him 'til chapter three..."
-Belle, Beauty and the Beast

Friday, February 20, 2009

Just a Thought

Some days, others say it better...

"Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out."
-Michael Burke

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Bad

I apologize- I wrote a post and published it last night without the awareness that some readers were not supposed to be privy to that information. Said post has now been deleted, though ruining a surprise would be par for the course for me these days.

If you read it, lucky you. If not, well then I guess you'll just have to wonder, now won't you?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'd like an adult beverage and a children's menu...

Those nights are rare that start out as one thing and end up completely surprising you.

Saturday night I met up with my friends CC and MG, who had signed us up to volunteer serving Valentine's dinner for couples at a church in Dallas. CC, who constantly has an unrivaled number of weddings to attend, had been at a bridal shower for a friend from high school. MG, a high school teacher, had been at a track meet with her runners all day. CC was still in her bridal shower attire, a tasteful Anthropologie top, skirt and heels, and MG was wearing a mom cardigan. I had on a black turtleneck sweater dress and black tights.

Anthro Skirt, Mom Cardigan and Black Widow. Ready for Valentine’s Day.

The people we were serving live in Dallas but were born or raised in Africa, which made the fact that we were serving Mexican food all the more entertaining. I spent at least 90 minutes explaining the relative merits of enchiladas to each person we served.

Once the dinner was underway, it was time to clean. Only, wait! Someone ordered food for the volunteers, including but not limited to shrimp fried rice, lo mein, three different kinds of pizza all including pineapple, French fries, fettucine alfredo (which looked more like fettucine cheddar), spaghetti, sweet potato chips, etc. We found ourselves in the church’s kitchen, completely over food and trying to get the cleaning in process. That’s when we discovered that there was only one functioning sink. One, and no dishwasher, for the dishes of about 150 people. A guy was already starting on the dishes and did not want anyone assisting him, for whatever reason, so we tried to scrape all the dishes as they came through and stack them neatly on a push-cart for him.

I have a nice visual memory of CC pushing the cart, towering in dishes, in her Anthro skirt and peep-toe heels, and MG grabbing an industrial-sized trash bag out of a can and commenting that you could keep a dead body in it. Ah, memories.

We wrapped up our duties around 9:30 and once separated from the kitchen found that we were, in fact, hungry and in need of a drink. We landed on a place called Snuffer’s, a restaurant and bar with adult beverages and kid’s menus, known for their cheese fries. Completely unromantic and not a couple in sight, it was the perfect setting for our Valentine’s evening. Our waiter Charlie was on the chatty side and started off on a great foot by asking where our dates were.

A Message, from the Single Female Community: do not ask why I'm not out with a guy on Valentine's Day. I am not wallowing in self-pity, I am enjoying a random evening with friends, I am clearly not on a date, so do you really have to ask? I think you can answer that question for yourself, thanks.

At the end of our meal he insisted we each try a chocolate cake shot. He said they actually had real chocolate cake as well, but that we didn’t look like girls who ate dessert. Thanks for the added charm, Charles. Since it seemed like an appropriate-enough way to end our evening, we obliged and ordered a round.

We finished and were taken off-guard by the sudden presence of a guy who was not our waiter, leaning over the railing that blocked in one side of our booth. He was wearing a t-shirt bearing the name of the bar, looked a little buzzed and had mutton-chop sideburns. A winner. He tried unsuccessfully for a few minutes to make small talk and chided us for not waiting for him to take our shots.

He left for a brief moment and we started asking each other what just happened? while trying not to laugh. MG and I were on one side of the booth, facing a wall, while CC was sitting on the other side, facing the bar and the action. CC’s blue eyes got big and she uttered her token phrase, “oh help!”

Mutton Chops returned, only this time wearing a bunny ears headband and bearing another round of shots. He failed to tell us what kind they were, and dismissed himself to go help some customers. MG examined and said “I think it’s a blowjob…” as Charlie returned, asking where our most recent round came from. MG voiced her speculation and he confirmed that she was correct.

MG told CC that she was supposed to put her arms behind her back and pick up the shot glass with her mouth, to which we heard another “oh help.” We took them, only with our hands, and by that time Charlie was inquiring as to our post-dinner plans, wanting to make sure we were going out afterward. Oh yes Charlie, of course.

Has anyone else ever heard of a Red Light/Green Light party? To use Facebook terminology, if you are In a Relationship, you wear red, so that you can attend the party and people won't hit on you. If you are Single, you wear green, and basically allowing permission for people to approach you. If you're wearing yellow, then It's Complicated.

Walking into a bar in the yuppie area of Dallas last night was like walking into a St. Patrick's Day parade. Everyone was wearing green, figuratively speaking, since the implication is that if you are out on Valentine's Day, you are single. Since all three of us had seen He's Just Not That Into You, we were keenly aware of the reeking desperation everywhere. We were roaming to a less crowded part of the bar and CC had the fortune of running into two friends who had been at the bridal luncheon earlier in the day.

She mentioned that next time we go out and run into girls from her high school, to give her some warning and she would be sure not to be wearing the same outfit from 12 hours prior. Duly noted.

We politely escaped from them and CC sat in an open bar seat. We were talking and all noticed the same guy slowly creeping over to her, not saying a word. He was practically giving her a hickey and CC was about to koala-cling onto MG, so after silently communicating the same thing to each other, we skirted away. We left the bar soon after and were barely outside before we heard “C!! Omigosh I would know that hair anywhere!” CC, with her curly brown hair, turned around to get mauled by a blond girl wearing a black sequined mini skirt, or lack there-of, who apparently played basketball with her years ago. I believed it, considering she had seen half of her graduating class up to that point.

The designated driver, I dropped them off at their respective homes and was snuggled in bed by 1:30 a.m., exhausted.

A night for the books, and a Happy Valentine's Day indeed.

"E is even more than anyone that you adore..."
-L-O-V-E, Words by Milt Gabler

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Anne Boleyn

After the tire fiasco at the beginning of this week, I managed to sleep, that really intense, dead-to-the-world sleep, until the ripe hour of 8:30 a.m. this morning without so much as stirring once. The only reason I woke up then at all was because my mother brought something upstairs and startled me awake my yelling "you're still here?!"

I am officially feeling like one of Henry VIII's wives this week. Not just any old divorcée either, but rather like one of the headless ones.

You see, 8:30 a.m. is when I am supposed to be at work. Dear iPhone's battery died sometime during the night, thus rendering my alarm incapacitated. I frantically threw things out of my purse, looking for my phone charger, plugged it in and called my boss to let him know the situation.

After a quick shower and clothes selection, I started grabbing seemingly everything I needed to walk out the door. I couldn't find my Aggie ring, but saw my diamond band sitting on my night stand, put it on, threw on a black jacket over my gray dress, grabbed a Yoplait and ran out the door. I was at work before 9:45 a.m. with my big sunglasses and hair in a damp bun. Cuuute.

I had a message on my phone at ten from my mother, first asking if I had left my head somewhere, and telling me that the gym called, and that someone had turned in my Aggie ring to the front desk this morning. I left in my locker last night after leaving the session with my Pilates instructor. This ring, while technically replaceable, really isn't at all. I worked and studied and tested for hours to get that ring- it represents the pinnacle of my college education. And I left it in a gym locker because I was checking my voicemail. At least there are still honest people in the world.

I ran out quickly in the middle of the day to pick up lunch from Pei Wei, and while rifling through my purse, realized I forgot my wallet at home. While searching for my phone charger, I must have discarded it onto the floor with the rest of my life and brain functions. I had loose cash in my bag, so I was fine, but still. I don't think that Josh at Pei Wei would have settled for an IOU.

When will it end?! My mom is attributing it to the volume I have been traveling, which was the perfect time to tell her that I have to go to Chicago on Monday and Tuesday of next week for a meeting.

I don't think I have to make up an excuse to get a massage and do as I wish all weekend. There might be a stiff martini thrown in for good measure, and I don't even drink martinis, it's just been that kind of week.

The silver lining is that I was able to take everything in stride. I got to a place where nothing bothered me and I was not frustrated with myself, because it is wasted energy to live any other way. I may have been a royal screw-up all week, but that is no reason why tomorrow cannot be a good day.

Though, it is Friday the 13th... oy vey.

"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair..."
-Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thanking the Academy

I wrote the post on commentary a few days ago in earnest thanks for anyone who has ever taken the time to read and respond to something I have written. Now, within the past week, two people have offered me blog awards, which is so flattering... it's like little league soccer all over again!

I seem to find that so many of these are making their way around the blogosphere, and since I cannot keep up with who has received something and who has not, I'm just going to list them here and give you all my X's and O's because I carve out time daily for great blogs. Everyone wins! (See? It IS just like little league- your Happy Meal and juice box are in the car.)

I don't deserve recognition for anything, but I do enjoy reading the blogs of both who tagged me, so I'd like to thank them for thinking of me!

First off, Erin at ...and her heart is in ireland , gave me the Honest Scrap award...

So the rules of the award:
1 - Choose a minimum of 7 blogs you find brilliant in content or design.
2 - Show the 7 winners' names and links on your blog and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
3 - List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

I love lists, and I will never spurn an icon, so here goes:

1. I still tie shoelaces Bunny Ears style. I learned the Loop, Swoop & Pull technique as well, just never liked it as much.

2. I could never be a vegetarian.

3. For as well as they know and love me, no one in my family ever remembers that I loathe blueberry muffins and sugar ice-cream cones.

4. I do not particularly love running, but I do it anyway. I do like how I feel afterward.

5. I have a widow's peak, which, in my mind, makes me look like Dracula if my hair is pulled straight back. I find it annoying because I cannot sport cute little faux-hawks or bangs. I do the side-part thing and cover it, but haircuts are tricky because of it.

6. I wear the same jewelry daily, with the exception of statement-necklaces which I wear on occasion. Tiffany pearl earrings, my Aggie Ring (seen below) and possibly a diamond band that my parents gave me for my 18th birthday. I love it but it has to be worn on my right hand, otherwise people ask if I'm married/engaged. Sometimes people ask anyway. I feel like it's elementary that wedding rings are worn on left hands, but who even knows what they are teaching kids these days...

7. My brother is awesome. I have amazing girl friends, a cousin KH who is like a sister to me as well, but I don't think I was cut out for an actual sister.

8. Buyer's remorse is not something I am familiar with.

9. I make a delicious margherita pizza. (Am I hungry? This is the third food reference I've made...)

10. Forgive my lack of eloquence: I have no booty. Or hardly one- it's there and all, but unremarkable and easily missed. Jeans are miracle workers these days, but most other pants betray this inadequacy, which means I look better in skirts and dresses. I'm doing just fine in the Upstairs Department, but if I were ever going to get plastic surgery, it would seriously be butt implants. Maybe after I have kids or something? Stay tuned.

And #2...

Sunny, at Walking the Sunny Side of the Street, gave me the Premio Dardos award!

Premio Dardos' significance is the following:
"With the Premio Dardos is to recognize the values that each blogger uses to transmit cultural values, ethical, literary, personal, etc.. that, in short, demonstrate their creativity through the thought that is alive and remains intact from their letters, between his words. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for a job that adds value to the Web. ”

The rules for receiving the prize are:

1) View the image of the stamp;
2) Link the blog for which you received the alert;
3) Choose 15 other blogs to those who receive the Premio Dardos.
4) And tell everyone, of course

Like I said- I do not know who has received which awards, but I am happy to recommend any of the blogs on my Following list because they are always well-written.

Thanks for the blog love, girls!

"The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well."
-Alfred Adler

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Morning Curb Check

$450 is more than I usually spend during my lunch hour.

$453 if you count the tortilla soup I got at Taco Bueno.

Sometimes it pays to be a girl- other times it is dang expensive.

When it comes to car maintenance, I am helpless. I hit a curb this morning on my way to work, while swerving to miss a car who almost hit me. It was raining and they failed to look before darting into my lane. Cool. Exactly how I love to start my Mondays. Instead of getting in a wreck with another car, I narrowly missed him and let the curb and my back right tire take the brunt of it.

I immediately saw a warning, Low Tire(!) message flashing up at me. Awesome. I was close to work and so I called the man in my life, Dad, and then Roadside Assistance to let them know what had happened and what I needed, thus making myself late for an 8:30 meeting. Even more awesome.

Roadside Assistance called me at 10 a.m. to tell me that they were at my office to check out the tire. I met Aaron outside and he changed the now flat tire in a matter of minutes while I told him what had happened. He asked who my service manager was, I fished the card out of my glove compartment for him, and he told me he would handle making the appointment for me to take it in during my lunch break. Before I could try to figure out the logistics of getting back to my office sans-car, he even offered to take me back himself. What Aaron does not know is that his number is now stored in my phone for all of my car woes, and that I am so grateful for his help in keeping my father's sanity (who I called nine times before noon, btw).

As promised, I had an 11:30 appointment at my dealership, which is about a mile from my office. For such a time as this, the proximity of the dealership was a huge selling point for my parents when they got me the car. I arrived with my tail between my legs, so to speak, the girly girl who committed the high maintenance curb-check faux pas of the morning. Quickly realizing that I would not be getting my car back within the hour, I packed my purse with my auxiliary iPhone cord, extra case, charger, garage card for work, etc., and abandoned her to the experts.

My service manager took me into his office and began the question assault. Alright maybe not assault, but when I feel I'm at a disadvantage, I am automatically on the defensive. I called my dad again to find out if I had tire-protection insurance. "No- I thought you were a better driver than your mother."

Ouch. Low blow, Pops.

He was joking and tried to reassure me by saying he had done something like this before, had to replace the rim and the wheel and the whole nine yards and it was expensive and annoying but it was still far better than getting in a wreck and hitting another car.

I was on the verge of crying at this point, thinking of how stupid I looked, being a stereotypical girl and knowing so little about the situation and about my car and how it functions and how to fix it. I get so frustrated with myself when I don't understand something, and combined with the fact that I was gone all weekend in D.C. on a work trip, slept little the past three nights, it was a Monday, it was raining and I was stuck spending money on a tire of all things was just adding fuel to the fire. You know what I'm talking about- an Everything Cry. Not wanting to freak-out the entire service department, I chose instead to lament a pair of shoes I saw at Barney's a few weeks ago, thinking of how my money would have been so much better served in buying some new pumps; stimulating the economy and such.

I sucked it up, signed a few papers and followed the service manager to the loaner car they were giving me. Candy apple red, in case you wondered. Everyone made it so easy and painless, other than my near self-inflicted breakdown and the $450 dent in my checking account, I was just fine.

Curb: 450
Me: 0

Josh: You want to practice parking?
Cher: What's the point? Everywhere you go has valet.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I don't know if it's just me, but sometimes a random comment from a random person on my blog just makes my day.

I am pretty easy to please- and what girl doesn't like a compliment? I do not know where I originally heard the advice, but someone once told me that when a person pays you a compliment, you don't undermine it by saying oh this old thing? or you don't think the pancakes are overcooked?, you thank them and and smile. It's called graciousness.

Since the number of blogs I read seems to increase by the day, I don't always have time or feel the need to comment. I'm there, reading of course, but I don't give my two cents everyday. I admire people who write everyday, but oftentimes I cannot get my thoughts together/insert excuse/I don't feel like I have anything to say at that particular point in time.

I originally started blogging so that friends and family in Texas would be able to read about my life in New York, but now I write because it is a release for me. It is a great way for me to organize my thoughts and to express how I'm feeling. What you see here is not the extent of my prose, either. I may not be the one who knows what to say when a tragedy occurs or when feelings have been hurt, but I can usually write it out. It's therapeutic. When I'm not writing to you, dear Internet, I am old-school with a pen and paper. If something is frustrating me or occupying my thoughts, I'll start scribbling.

This blog isn't totally anonymous- I have friends and family who read this and then there is the question mark. Those of you I don't know, who have ended up here one way or another. It is strange to think that I read the blogs of people I do not know and who I've never met, and yet I feel compelled to keep up with their daily lives. It is even stranger to think that there are people out in the world who do the same with me.

It is one thing to get an email from say, my mother, about a post (which is sweet- love you mom!) and it's a completely different thing to read a comment or an email from someone who is responding solely to your words- who does not know you personally in the face-to-face sense, but who has found a connection with your thoughts on a page.

I am officially rambling, and I know I do not speak for all bloggers- but just know that your thoughts don't go unread or unappreciated either.

And if you have ever made my day, then thank you (smile).

"Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own."
-Carol Burnett

Monday, February 2, 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Last Friday I returned to New York for the first time since I moved away last summer.

It was a short trip-- just for the day. Eight precious hours in the city I once called home. I felt like a thief- coming to use and enjoy my favorite things and then leaving just as swiftly as I had arrived.

I woke up in Providence and was on the first morning express train into the city while it was still dark outside. I abandoned my novel in lieu of watching the sun rise gradually with every passing Rhode Island and Connecticut town. All the little towns were still sleeping as we raced through them; homes, roads, trees and lakes were blanketed in snow. It was my very own Polar Express.

I got to the city by way of Penn Station and headed for Bryant Park. Everything was gray and overcast as I roamed around all morning, giving myself a nostalgic walking tour of 5th Avenue starting at 42nd and working my way uptown.

I met KR and AV for lunch at El Centro on 9th Avenue, where we spent the better part of two hours eating and laughing and catching up as it snowed outside. True to form, KR ordered guacamole and AV knew every song that played within the first two or three notes. I walked them back to KR's office and AV's subway stop with hugs and the sincere hope that I would be able to come visit again soon. I had already decided that a day was great, but a longer weekend visit would have to be in order.

Instead of wearing gloves, I opted to walk through a sparsely populated Central Park with a steamy cappuccino in hand; switching later in the afternoon to hot chocolate. After perusing around Bloomingdale's, I was about to leave but happened upon a dress in a stunning shade of blue. It fit too perfectly to be left behind, and thus I could not leave without one of their signature Big Brown Bags.

I made my way up the UES to end my day trip at the Met. I wandered among the Art & Love in Renaissance Italy exhibit, the Impressionists and the paintings from the Jean Bonna Collection. I ended my visit on the second floor, overlooking the foyer below, as a string quartet began to play across the open entry for the restaurant guests who were arriving in droves as 6'o'clock rolled around. It was soothing, and drew other weary travelers in like moths to a flame. I stood there leaning against the banister and soaking in my last few moments in the city. I looked up at the clock and realized, in Cinderella-esque fashion, that it was time for me to go or I would miss my flight. I could not so much feel my feet at that point, so if one of my flats was left on the Met's huge staircase it would have escaped my notice.

I hailed a cab right outside the museum, boarded a plane to Boston and watched the infamous skyline fade smaller from my window seat as we lifted out of La Guardia.

Just as quickly as I came; I went.

"Uptown girl
She's been living in her uptown world
I bet she never had a back street guy
I bet her mama never told her why..."
-Billy Joel, Uptown Girl