Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Halloween Scramble

Every year it’s the same old frenzy: two days before the big night out, the entire city rushes to the nearest Ricky’s in order to find those last minute accoutrements for a thrown together costume. I can say that I’m usually never part of the last minute rush as I was properly trained in my college days to get the costume together with ample time to pre-party before heading out on the town.

My alma mater is known nationwide for it’s out of control Halloween festivities, so needless to say - my first encounter was quite a spectacle. I might have gone as a fairy (or something of similar boringness) and was clearly blown out of the water on creativity. I saw a guy dressed as Jesus carrying an 8-foot cross up the street. Shortly thereafter I saw a guy wearing a strange, round orange costume. I couldn’t figure that one out until he ran by being chased by five other guys dressed as sperm. Point taken! It was an evening frenzy of oompa loompas, Marge Simpsons and the usual slew of slutty attire (i.e., cops, french maids and devils). It was also the year of Dirk Diggler…I’m sure you can all imagine.

New York presents a similar spectacle with it’s infamous parade and the wild, out-of-character behavior that everyone engages in. All of it takes me back to my good old college days…SIGH!

The challenge in NYC, aside from attempting to hail a cab, is trying to find a costume that doesn’t break the bank. Last year I went uber-simple as a cop. Who know a hat, aviators and cuffs coupled with work slacks and a button down would be such a great costume? Even though minimal skin was exposed, my friends have still dubbed that costume “public access porn.” Fittingly so, as I looked like Britney Spears on crack.

This year, I decided to take the hussy-factor down a notch and be a flamenco dancer. As Downtown so eloquently put it…the goal is to be memorable, but not slutty. I figure a simple red dress, dance heals and a black pashmina accessorized with seamed fishnets, a big red flower and lashes will do the trick.

Tomorrow night Downtown and I are heading off to a party where everyone will be dressed to nines and ready to partake in devilish behavior. I’m looking forward to seeing some new faces (hopefully tall, good looking ones) and having a grand ol’ time. Of all nights to throw proper behavior to the wind - it’s Halloween.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


...It’s something we all seek and loathe at the same time. Lately, my life is filled with responsibility and I can feel the pressure like never before.

At work, I’ve always been one to hunt for more responsibility. I want it partly to keep my job interesting and to learn new things, but I also look for it so I can pass off the crap that I no longer like to do. I like to think of it as trading up.

Just recently, I was “formally” given more responsibility. Given that I’ve been a minion to the PR hierarchy since I left college, I’ve gotten promotions before...but this time it’s different. I’m now in a position to have the success or failure of an entire account fall onto my shoulders. Yes, I have senior management to fall back on if I say the word, but it’s sort of scary to think that if I fail to notice something of note, things could crumble and it would be my ass on the line.

With more job responsibility (luckily), comes more money in my pocket. More dinero comes as a slight relief, as we all know New York is not a cheap place to live. Yet, with more money comes yet more responsibility. My mind swirls with all the things I need to actively think about. Savings! Upping my contribution to my 401K! Pay off that student loan! And probably the most poignant (and pathetic)…no more gas money from the ‘rents when I head home to visit.

Professional and fiscal responsibilities have hit me over the head with one thought: I’m an adult and it’s now my responsibility to get my shit together.

I don’t know why it hasn’t hit me like this before...after all, I am in my upper 20’s and I’ve been on my own for years now. Perhaps it’s such a blatant change in my life that I can no longer escape under the veil of thought that someone has my back. In sum, no more denial. No more excuses. No more easy outs.

My future lies entirely in my hands and I can no longer assume that anyone will bail me out. It's a weight of responsibility that is bearing down in a very real way.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A New Age of Social Interaction

MySpace, Facebook, YouTube…I can’t even keep all these web-networking sites straight. I have to admit, I did sign up on MySpace, but only because my job required me to do some “research” on whether there are any marketing opportunities available. Sick and wrong if you ask me. That aside, I have been pondering all the news out there these days on how these things can mess with a person’s life…

Back in the day, it used to be about bloggers getting fired for the content on their sites. More recently, its people’s profile on a dating site that can make or break them. Even more recently, it’s stories about people not getting hired for jobs because potential employers search sites for negative tid-bits on their lives.

The latest and greatest of interactive impositions is something that my sister and a few of my friends have enlightened me about. Who knew that the online profile/page of yourself and your friends can tell you things that no one in the traditional sense of knowing one another should ever know…especially when it comes to dating.

What am I talking about pray-tell? Well…for example, my sister recently broke things off with her boyfriend. She would peruse his facebook page only to see "the other woman" posting comments on his wall saying things like…"last night was great, baby." All these posts enlightened her to the fact that perhaps it was herself who was the other woman. Another example would be how a gal-pal of mine went on her man-of-six-month’s MySpace page only to see he was still listed as “single.” She even asked him about it, and it took him another two months to flip it to “in a relationship.”

Let’s ponder this online psychology for a second. These are all sentiments of dating that 10 years ago, none of us would have had any clue about. The only way to figure out if your significant other was cheating/aloof/etc. would be to talk about it, or find out inadvertently. Now, we can see it displayed to the world on the internet.

In our time of dating, we already live in a world of a million mixed messages. Just think about what this new age of technology is sending our way: a whole new bag of mixed messages that are based on assumptions and jealousy mongering. It’s depressing.

Call me old fashioned, but I’d rather omit participation in all said social networking sites and trade up for a decent phone conversation or time spent AWAY from the computer.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Legally a Spinster


1. An unmarried woman, especially one past the normal marrying age
2. (obsolete): Someone whose occupation was spinning thread

As I was sitting on a global conference call this morning, a UK colleague who had just gotten hitched proclaimed proudly that she was no longer a spinster. We all laughed a little and sent her mocking congratulations over her new positively framed marital status.

We then got into a mini discussion over what a spinster actually is. We’ve all heard this term, usually used to poke fun at our sad single status. We picture little old ladies sitting on their front porch knitting away at a sweater for the proud offspring of her siblings. Yet another visual - the picture on the front of a box of "Old Maid" cards. The common thread of it all - being without a man.

As we progressed down this non-work tangent, my UK colleague announced that in the UK, “spinster” is actually a legal term. That’s right ladies. In the United Kingdom, until the introduction of the Civil Partnership Act, any woman who has never previously married is legally categorized as a "spinster,” regardless of her age at the time of obtaining a marriage licence. Men are dubbed "bachelors.” I mean, how unfair!

In a singles-friendly city like New York, I'm glad that the self-mocking of my own marital status can be kept at a minimum by shear safety in numbers!

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Day at the Angelika

The Angelika Theater is a New York landmark. Ever since it's opeing in the late 80's, it’s been a place for film savvy city folk to gather, view and analyze the best-of-the-best in independent film. Not only is the Angelika a melting pot that emulates hipster-smarty-pants-chic, but it’s also a hot destination for New York establishment. Of all things to get these people to leave their above-59th street-brownstones and come downtown to play with the little people, the Angelika is it. My Sunday was spent observing this city phenom, and it began with brunch.

I headed down to Soho to meet my favorite movie-buddy at Jerry’s Diner (yes, it’s where Elizabeth Shue’s character in Cocktail waited tables). When we sat down, my friend began gushing about The Queen, the flick he had just seen at the Angelika that morning. Movie aside – which was apparently phenomenal – he told me he had seen Ed Koch in the bathroom line. Of course I wasn’t too astounded by this sighting since everyone sees Ed Koch in New York…he’s everywhere.

As we were sipping the last of our coffee, we both look up to see that we had been sharing the dining space with Hank Azaria. He was quite coifed in his hair gel and blazer. We watched as he totally “worked it” by the door, clearly waiting for his pretty young blond gal-pal.

My movie-pal and I decided we had to make the celeb sightings a nice round number so we began scoping for #3 on our way back to the theater. Sure enough, waving to her friend in line for the movie was Anna Deavere Smith – uber politico actress from shows such as The Practice and West Wing. We were very satiated by sighting #3, so we proceeded to the popcorn line only to realize that the one and only Elvis Costello was right in front of us.

After sighting #4, I seriously began to worry that I had been caught in a strange time warp back to 1989...

We sat down to watch A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints - which was also phenomenal – and wondered if we'd see any one else leaving the theater…I mean, this was the Angelika, center of the universe for self-important artsy types. Sadly, no more sightings were to be had, but it was a lovely Sunday afternoon. After all, what can beat brunch, a movie and snacking on the best movie popcorn in the city...circa 2006?!