Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tis the season…

…to be buried by work. So buried that I almost failed to note a big blogger milestone that just recently passed…I’ve been trying to keep up with this thing for one whole year! Amazing how time flies.

In a year’s time, I’ve…

  • Completely gotten over douche bag of foreign-ex boyfriend and fittingly discarded of all attempts from him to contact me
  • Joined and online dating site and discovered pure loathing sensation towards overall concept
  • Became overly annoyed with being a work-a-holic and pondered “getting out” of current profession
    (oddly enough, still in line with this track of thinking)
  • Essentially put life on hold for possibility of moving to London
  • Decided never to put life on hold again for a “maybe”
  • Turned down crap offer to move to London
  • Traveled to many fun places and got into plenty of trouble
  • Dated a handful of lackluster boys
  • Shared lots of random thoughts about random things
  • Joined the “dark side” in the form of new hair color
    (thoughts on this social experiment are coming…just as soon as I can dig myself out of this pile of powerpoint decks)
  • Spent too much money on obviously fabulous shoe purchases
  • Drank too much wine
…amongst other things…

Looking back on this list, while thought provoking, it just doesn’t scream FUN to me. I’ve heard that the even years of one’s life often suck and the odd years are fantastic. Given that I just turned 27 - and I hear 27 is the best-year-ever - I’m fully intent on making damn sure that this year is FUN.

I can’t say for sure what form of fun I’ll be partaking in, but I know I need to throw a few rules to the wind. For example, I might take more cab rides to get home safely after the midnight hour – on "school nights." I might have to drink too much wine and not care. Maybe, just maybe, I might have to have a few careless encounters with overly attractive/underly “good-on-paper” men. I might even go back to being a blonde.

Who knows…but I’m hoping this year will kick some serious ass!

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Little Piece of London

A piece of me still wishes things with London had worked out better. I still long for the city that leaves that damp, muskiness on your clothes after a day of walking by the Thames - as if the history of the city has been sprinkled over your head when you didn’t expect it. I would love to be there, so close to so much that I want to explore…but alas, this lovely daydream isn’t a reality for the near future.

Despite the pining, today I found myself walking the streets of New York and for a split second was transported back to the heart of Kensington…

After an afternoon meeting, I decided to slowly jaunt back to my office and stopped into Starbucks for an afternoon pick me up. Usually I’d order a grande black coffee, but today I opted for the Americano. Something about watered down espresso was more appealing than the usual drip…I added my skim milk and went on my merry way.

I almost stopped in my tracks when I took my first sip, as it tasted exactly like the Americano I had ordered from the Pret-a-Manger around the corner from where my gal-pal and I had stayed in London. With that first sip, I was walking down Maiden Lane towards Trafalgar Square all over again. I stepped up to the corner of Park Avenue and nearly expected to see the Big Ben instead of the Met Life Building…

I kept walking West savoring the remains of my Euro-moment, then looked across the street only to be delighted to see a Fauchon store…the only store in Manhattan to sell perfectly round, bright and tasty French macaroons. I fell in love with these little morsels of goodness at the Laduree cafe inside of Harrod's, so naturally in my moment of nostalgia, I couldn't resist the temptation to taste one again. I bolted into the store and bought two: one raspberry, one pistachio. Perfect.

I continued West down 57th Street - munching on my macaroons, drinking my Americano - pretending I was walking past Harvey Nichols instead of Bergdorfs, seeing the Wolseley Hotel instead of the Plaza. I sighed and transported myself back to New York where, despite my moment of transatlantic sadness, decided with pleasure that the macaroons in New York are just as good as they are in London.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

DVR Anxiety Disorder

I’m not exactly privy to the antics of new technology obsessions, however I wouldn’t call myself behind the times by any means. I am completely up on the trends – as my job requires, but perhaps I’m just still a little to practical for my own good. Call it leftover Midwestern behavior. For example...

  • I didn’t get my first iPod until just two years ago...
  • I only get a new cell phone unless it’s free with my plan...
  • I still have a VHS player in my apartment...
  • I still have dial up internet service...
  • And, no, I don’t have a DVR...

On a desirability list for the items on the above list that I don’t have, the one I’m becoming more and more desperate for is a DVR. I hear it completely revolutionizes post-work social lives – leaving the precious “prime time” hours for activites that should be considered “prime time” activities by nature.

I’ve been exploring the notion and have been almost dead set on having one until a conversation last night stopped me in my tracks. I became aware of a new and obscure condition called “DVR Anxiety Disorder” (DVRAD). Let me define for the masses…

DVRAD: An unpleasant and complex combination of emotions (including fear, apprehension and worry) caused by the disorienting situation of having to make rational time management decisions in regard to TV viewing.

NOTE: Symptoms of DVRAD may be accompanied by physical sensations such as palpitations, nausea, chest pain and/or shortness of breath.

I had absolutely no idea that having so many options on what to watch on a Saturday afternoon would be so troublesome. After all, by nature, a Saturday afternoon is supposed to be unstructured “down-time” to recover from the overly scheduled work week that is my life.

Don’t we look forward to weekends so we can get out of the house and do non-work things that we enjoy? If that is truly the point, then why on earth would I want to save up all my TV viewing to the weekend so I can become more stressed out by trying to figure out what order to watch my shows?

I am beginning to re-think this DVR thing...

I don’t want DVRAD or anything else anxiety-related. If any weekend anxiety is to ensue, it better damn well be over trying to figure out what cocktail lounge more cute boys frequent and which restaurant has the better wine list.

Down with DVRAD!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The White Dress Dream

Most women at one time or another have pondered what their wedding will be like. The dress, the location, the rings...and, of course, the man. Over the last few weeks I’ve had many conversations about marriage with several friends and have to wonder if matrimony is still as important as society as always held, or if it just a “white dress dream” that we ladies need to wake up to...

Friend #1 just woke up from her dream...
Many dreamers have gone into marriage saying they will never get a divorce, however time and life changes may negate this intention - as is true for a girlfriend of mine. Divorce is never something anyone who gets married intends for, yet over 50% of couples end in this unfortunate predicament. According to my pal, going through this experience is a “wake up call” to the dream we all have as adolescents. The wedding is the fun part, but therein lies the marriage part which takes more work and effort than anyone can anticipate. She will undoubtedly find herself a new lobster, however she adamantly claims that no white dress will be worn.

Friend #2 is a woman with “a plan”...
Another good friend of mine is head over heels in love. Every woman, marriage or no, wants love. As with love comes the question of commitment, and to my friend, a ring on her finger is the answer she is looking for in her quest for a long term plan with her man. She would never uproot her life and independence unless this guy antes up and ties the knot. It’s practical to think this way...after all, why would anyone make any drastic changes to their life for a maybe?

Friend #3 is a modernist...
Back in the day, a good college friend and I always maintained that we were the two out of our crew that didn’t like kids all that much and wondered if we’d ever find the right man. She is still a true cynic even though she has an 18-month-old child and was recently married. Despite the contradictory path her life has taken, she still maintains a “modernist” view on getting hitched. To put it plainly, it’s a legal commitment. She and her husband got married for the sake of their child, but had she not had her son she may have never put on the big white dress. She was secure in her relationship and never thought a fancy ceremony, based on religious traditions that she wasn’t entirely a fan of, was necessary.

After listening to all of my friends, I have to stop and wonder what all the fuss is about. In truth, I tend to agree with my college friend in that a wedding is a ceremony that has been imparted on us by religious traditions from yesteryear. Is it still imperative to go through with an event that is based on notions that may be outdated or not within a current belief structure?

Then bears the question of if a fancy-schmancy event isn’t in the cards, then is the relationship sound enough to enter into a legal partnership? Because in reality, outside of the relationship itself, this is what a marriage is. To be in a committed relationship, why is it still so important to sign some papers if the whole point is to just be together?

And then a light goes on...getting married eliminates the “maybe” from the scenario - whether as part of the dream or in a practical sense. Does the white dress dream stand for eternal stability?

Women have been taught since the beginning of time to seek binding stability through a partnership with a man who can provide. With this thought in mind, it's my inclination to think that in a day and age when men are no longer the sole “providers,” perhaps it’s time for everyone to look at “stability” in another light. Of course, to each their own...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Returning to the Island

I consider myself to be a proud New Yorker. I love living here, and should love it considering my life long dream to experience such an amazing city. Despite my devotion, I’m definitely not one of those “island people” who would only leave under the threat of death. New York is a place that gets under your skin and I truly believe getting away every now and then is good for the soul. But, have you ever thought that getting away too long would pose a Manhattanite karmic-retribution? Meaning, the island would punish you for leaving? I'm starting to be a believer and last night received a hefty dose of payback.

Yesterday was the last day of my two week long sabbatical to the Midwest. Lots of family, friends and driving. I’ve been battling a hefty dose of bronchitis for about a week, so needless to say I’m not feeling rested. So you can imagine my dismay at arriving at the Minneapolis airport only to see my flight to Newark was delayed by two and a half hours.

Enter eternally long lunch, prolonged magazine browsing and umpteen trips to Caribou Coffee, intermittent with bouts of lung-mangling coughing sessions. I won’t bore you with the details of the flight, but needless to say, it entailed LOTS of waiting around in the plane.

I finally got back to Newark and held my breath until I saw my luggage tumble off of the conveyer belt. I dragged my 72 pounds of luggage to the taxi line only to see that it extended down the sidewalk at a length that would rival the Great Wall of China.

More waiting. More hacking up a lung. Enter cab. At long last, the final leg of the trip. Or so I thought...

As we were driving toward the city, and in the final coups de grace of my punishment, the cab got a flat tire on the New Jersey Turnpike! Said cab managed to get through the first toll way and then proceeded to pull into a random parking lot off of the freeway. It was just after midnight.

I almost started crying. I saw my life flash before my eyes. I said to myself, I’m going to die at the hands of a smoking, pine-tree scented cabbie from Newark! I could see the headlines rise up…"Flat Tire Equals Final Fate for Midwestern Transplant."

OK, it wasn’t that dramatic, but you have to admit being stuck in a random cab off the turnpike is pretty freaky.

Finally, another cab came to pick me up and I was on my way home. Around 12:45, I finally walked into my apartment with a huge sigh of relief - and a pang of sadness. My vacation was over. No more being coddled by my parents, no more home cooked food, no more fun with my sisters, no more Midwestern mellowness. The next morning would signal a new year of craziness and there would be no end in sight.

New York might have been punishing me for leaving, but leaving New York for two weeks still does the same thing that it always does to me. It makes me miss what I don’t have here.

I think my bad karma is a result of the city being jealous of my wandering eye.