Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Grammys [insert witty blog title here]

I'm doing my best in 2010 to keep up with pop culture. And when I say "keep up," I really just mean "get some sort of clue" so that I can lose my "Bubble Girl" nickname.

In order to aid in this effort, I sat down and watched the Grammy awards tonight. Here are my notes on the show (which I have never before watched in its entirety and I don't ever plan on doing again):
  • Lady Gaga, in a thong, doing a duet with Elton John?
  • Colbert is pretty funny. My favorites: telling his daughter to stay away from Katy Perry, noting that nothing makes him cool to his daughter, and announcing that yes, while Justin Timberlake brought Sexy Back, Susan Boyle sent it away.
  • Taylor Swift dancing when Beyonce won for Single Ladies. Somewhat different from Kanye's performance at the VMAs, hmm? HA! I just made a reference to pop culture!!
  • Got a little too dizzy watching Pink spinning in circles high above the audience. And then dunked in a tank of water and sprinkling everyone below?? And meanwhile, never missing a beat.
  • I can't find any 3D glasses to watch the Michael Jackson tribute (I had a pair but I think I threw them out during my last purge. I knew they would come in handy at some point!)
  • 10:02pm, trying to keep myself awake to see the final showdown between Beyonce and Taylor Swift
  • Michael Jackson's kids look awfully white compared to their cousins...I'm just sayin'...
  • WHO is that blond singing with Bon Jovi?? She's ruining my favorite song!! (Who Says You Can't Go Home)
  • Living on a Prayer: I would have voted for Shot Through the Heart/You Give Love a Bad Name, but not bad, America.
  • What did those people do to end up standing just under the stage? They look like common folks.
  • Who is the kid with Rihanna and Jay Z. who doesn't want to say anything?? "No thanks." He was cute. Jay's illigitimate child with Rihanna? He and Beyonce don't have kids, do they? Ugh. Confusion.
  • 10:28, bored.
  • 10:31, turning in...
And there you have it. Two hours and 31 minutes of my life that I will never get back. But at least I can join the chat at the water coolor tomorrow. But someone's going to have to fill me in on the last 29 minutes...(and yes, that's two posts for today, so I think I'll take a bye tomorrow)

Lounging on the High Line

I started a new endurance training program today on my iPhone. It's like having my own personal running coach. Man, she pushed me hard! It's a time-thing, not a distance-thing, so I have no clue how far I went, but I alternated between sprinting, jogging and walking. And exhausted myself completely. And my favorite part of the program? She told me when I was halfway through so I knew to turn around and head back home. Genius.

I ran over to the West Side and jogged up the steps to the High Line ( This was the first time that I've been there and a loungechair was available. So even though it was 21 degrees, I parked myself on a lounger and enjoyed the view.

You can see the crystal blue sky over lower Chelsea Piers. And yes, that's the Moet billboard I'm sitting under. Shame there was nothing to celebrate today. From my lounger, I was able to peer into the hotel that towers over the High Line.

I don't know if you can really tell, but the entire structure is on stilts that create a walkway under the building for High Line walkers. Scary but intriguing, the Standard Hotel (it's an Andre Balazs) is one of my favorite buildings in NYC. I'd like to go inside sometime...I wonder what the High Line looks like from above.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

SEL Saw Nuttin' Today

Unfortunately I didn't see anything worth photographing today.

For those of you who check in here daily, yes, I'm still alive.

Maybe tomorrow will be more exciting. But don't get your hopes up.


Friday, January 29, 2010

The Amazing iPhone, Part 343245

I read about and downloaded this fabulous new iPhone app: Sleep Cycle ($0.99). When you're ready to go to sleep, you turn it "on," set the alarm and put it between your fitted sheet and your mattress cover. During the night, by feeling the vibrations in the bed, it records your tosses and turns. In the morning, it gradually wakes you up without pulling you out of a deep sleep. Here's my sleep chart from last night:

According to the chart, I went to bed at 10pm. I tossed and turned until about 12:30am and then fell into a deep sleep for a few hours. I remember waking up and looking at the clock around 3:30 and then going back to sleep for awhile.

I'm not sure what to do with this information, but all this tossing and turning does help explain why I'm waking up exhausted every morning!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Snowy coffee

I woke up this morning to a white-out outside my window. Somehow I never heard hide nor hair of this inclimate weather. I know that I live in a bubble but I generally hear about huge storms that are predicted to pass through the area. The flakes were fluffy, Colorado-flakes that stuck to everything. Check out the top of my coffee!

I managed to escape for a few minutes at lunch today (does a trip to the mailbox on the corner count as an "escape?") and it was sunny and beautiful. Crazy weather!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


In between 2,340,834 meetings and interviews today (spread out between 8am and 10:15pm), I called a co-worker this afternoon to check in on her. Somewhere in the course of our 12 minute conversation, I decided it would be a good idea to sign up for an informational session on the NYC Triathlon. Calm down. Just an informational session lead by Team in Training. I mean, heck, what's 26 miles on a bike and 1.5 miles in the Hudson River on top of my daily 6 mile run anyway? The informational session is on Feb. 24th. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Our team name? The Gibblers. (A success compared to our uncreative "Transponsters" for Friends night.) A few of our favorite (and most challenging) questions:
  1. Who does Stephanie marry in the backyard wedding?
  2. Jesse thought he had the chicken pox when he was little. What did his mom say it actually was?
  3. True or False: DJ calls Jesse "Uncle Tattle Tale."
  4. Who said this: "My dad always told me if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything nice at all. Well my dad's not here, and you're a weenie!"
  5. Who said this: "Why do I have to knock? NO one was in their underwear. When you are, I knock."
  6. What commercial did Stephanie star in?
  7. What's the name of the turtle who saved Jesse's life?
  8. After what kind of storm or disaster did Stephanie become attached to Danny?
Now don't cheat. Here are the answers:
  1. Harry Takiyama
  2. An allergic reaction to wool.
  3. False (it was Michelle)
  4. Michelle
  5. Kimmie
  6. Oat Boats
  7. Bubba
  8. Earthquake
And lastly, our favorite question: What is the Tanners telephone number? 555-2424 and yes! We got it right! We ended the night with 56 points out of a possible 67. The winners got 64. We would have had 59 points if a certain someone hadn't changed the answers at the last minute. Like we told her, always go with your gut on the "Who said it" questions.

I have to go. I hear my mother calling. She wants her tuition money back.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

350 yogurts

I saw this bag:

I like this bag. I can have this bag for FREE if I eat 350 of these:

I'm trying to do the math here to see if it's a good value. The yogurts are 3/$2.00. That's $0.67/yogurt. Times 350 yogurts. That's $234.50 for the laptop bag. May I point out that this is a Patagonia bag- not some chichi French designer who only makes a limited number. BUT, when you consider that I'd really be buying the yogurt anyway, the bag becomes free, right? But would I really be buying this brand? Too much thinking for a Sunday night...

Have a great week!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Light bulbs and half moons

I got up this morning and did a bunch of errands. I stopped at Home Depot to buy a new light bulb for my kitchen- good thing they came in packs of three because I broke one trying to get the package open and I've still got two burned out bulbs that need replacing.

My afternoon errands took me to the UES in search of a specific iPhone case from a specific street vendor. I walked from 3rd Avenue and 68th Street to 3rd Avenue and 86th Street and stopped at every vendor I found (because I didn't know the identity or location of the "right" one). And every vendor told me that "[I'm] looking for last year's style. This year's much better!" But I didn't want this year's. I wanted last year's. Suffice it to say I didn't get a case today.

It was a beautiful day: clear blue sky, brilliant sun. But it was chilly. This horse, taking a break just outside of the Plaza, had the right idea.

Beautiful moon here in NYC tonight. Probably the most perfect half moon I've ever seen. I tried to get a picture of it but unfortunately my iPhone doesn't have the best zoom. So you'll just have to take my word for it. Kind of a bummer that I can't post a pic of the best thing I saw today when the WHOLE POINT OF THE BLOG is showing what I saw today.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hello Friends,

A Borders coupon for you to enjoy! Expires Monday! You must be a Borders Rewards member. Free to join! Just give them an email address and you'll get a neat little keychain card. And we all know how I feel about those :-)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Don't roll your eyes, I can see you!

I got to Skype with a friend on the West Coast tonight. It's so much fun to see her and see how quickly her baby is growing up. I love Skype. Until I hear those eight little words: Don't roll your eyes, I can see you! And then I have to remember not to roll my eyes or makes faces because yes, when you're on Skype, not only can you see the person you're talking to, but s/he can see you! Unfortunately Ali got all shy when I tried to take her picture for my blog...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Something touched me deep inside, the day the Dollar Rewards card died

I woke up this morning with a craving for Cheerios. I ran to Duane Reade and weaved my way to Aisle 4. Grabbing a big yellow box, I simultaneously reached into my exquisite poly patent hobo bag for my keychain and Dollar Rewards card. I sprinted across the front of store to beat an old lady with a walker and a cart full of Depends and hoisted my box and card across the counter to the check out girl. The one with the seven inch purple tips. You know the one.

"Oh we don't take them cards anymore. Don't you see them signs?"

I glanced around and spotted a larger than life sign saying "Dollar Rewards cards are still good, just not at our store" and a picture of a hand using the card as a guitar pick. How clever.

"You can turn that card in for a DR Flex Rewards card."

She tossed a new card at me. Without thinking, I started unscrewing the ball on my signature Tiffany keychain (the same one I got with my car keys on my 16th birthday) and pulled the old card off and slipped the new one on. I forked over $4.89, took my big yellow box and newly decorated keychain and hustled out the door.

While finishing my "commute" to work, I admired the new card. It doesn't match the color palette of my keychain nearly as well as the old one did. It's got way fewer scratches, nicks and dents than my old one. And not nearly as many memories. I got my Dollar Rewards card my first week in New York. 18 years-old and on my own in the city, I used it to buy school supplies for NYU, toiletries and Christmas decorations for my first dorm room and at the end of the year, tape to seal my boxes after my first year of college. Sophomore and junior year, I used it for beer because everyone knew that Duane Reade on 14th Street didn't card. At the end of the summer after my junior year, I used it to buy supplies as I packed for my semester abroad in London. And when I returned to NYC after my time away, I found a new Duane Reade in midtown and used my card to buy dish washing detergent for my first apartment (and first dishwasher!). It bought kitten food for my new babies and fish food for Gary, Shari and then Carrie (may they all rest in peace). When 2006 became 2007, and I prepared to spend my first New Year's Eve in the city, my card got me some free googly glasses and party supplies. And when I moved into my first roommate-less "big-girl" apartment, I used my card for cleaning supplies, cleaning supplies and more cleaning supplies as I lived through a gut renovation of my kitchen and bathroom. And then this year? I used my card to purchase my first Christmas tree (all 24" of it) and a silver garland that's like the gift-that-keeps-on-giving with all the metallic silver scraps that are left in my carpet weeks after it was taken down. Throughout the years, my card has bought 1st, 21st, 30th, 50th and 90th birthday cards for friends and family; countless Mother's and Father's Day cards and hundreds of "Share a Laugh" cards. My card has lived on numerous keychains, although somewhat fitting, it lived its last day on the same keychain on which it started.

I didn't even think to keep my little blue Dollar Rewards card; it was swept into the garbage can at Duane Reade before I could even request it as a keepsake. As I sit here remembering the things the card has bought and the places the card has been, I can't help but feel excited about the things this new card will buy: more cards for milestones reached, decorations for holidays to-come and snacks for gatherings in the future. By tomorrow, I probably won't even miss the little blue card. I'll be excited about all the savings my new little while card will provide. Although I checked the website: the rewards aren't nearly as frequent or exciting. But that's a whole 'nother post.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Premeditated acts of kindness

I got home from work early enough tonight to go for a quick run. I stumbled across this sign somewhere in my travels.

Please forgive the darkness. The iPhone doesn't have a flash. It says: "If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we just might set the world in the right direction." Then in the 20-some blocks it took me to get home, I couldn't find anything nice to do. So then I started thinking about what I could do tomorrow. But then it wouldn't be a random act of kindness; it would be a premeditated act of kindness. But I guess it will be surprising to the recipient.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Lonely Taxi

I woke up in the dark this morning (not unusual). I didn't turn on the tv because I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't want to get sucked in. I brushed my teeth and got dressed super quickly and ran out the door. I got outside and couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. The guy passing out newspapers at the top of the train station was missing. And my usual Phi Beta Barista wasn't on duty. And then I looked up and saw this:

Yes, that's Park Avenue just below 34th Street. One of the busiest intersections in Manhattan. And then it hit me. Why is this the only vehicle on Park Avenue on Monday morning at 7:25am? Oh right. BECAUSE IT'S A HOLIDAY AND I'M THE ONLY ONE GOING TO WORK.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Trying to forget that Sunday nights lead to Monday mornings.

I hate Sunday nights. It means that the weekend is over and reality begins again all too early the following morning. Today, the Sunday Night Blues came on around 4pm. I ran out to get my weekly manicure (Sweetie Pie) and then stopped for a treat on the way back.

They even had my favorite flavor: Cherry Fanta. So now I'm at home, showered, sprawled on the couch and still suffering from a sugar high. And I just saw this.

And I got really excited for Julianna Margolis. I also got excited for myself because I've gotten really attached to The Good Wife. And I don't want it to go away like The Cashmere Mafia, Lipstick Jungle and Six Degrees. Among others.

Anyhoo, I hope you have a great week! Between my favorite Slurpee flavor and a Golden Globe for my favorite show, it looks like mine is off to a great start!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Puppy for grabs

I've always found it exceedingly offensive when people leave their pets tied up outside of stores or restaurants while they are inside. I think it's cruel. You'd never leave your child tied to a lamppost. Why leave your dog? How sad does this poor pup look? I found the little guy howling, crying and shivering outside of a deli in the West Village.

On another note, today felt positively tropical compared to the arctic temperatures we've been experiencing. We had highs in the mid-40's this afternoon. I took advantage of the balmy weather and took a stroll along the Hudson River. There was a big event there yesterday for the passengers of the USAir flight that landed in the river exactly one year ago. In honor of the goose that caused the disaster, yesterdays festivities were sponsored by Grey Goose. Still trying to figure out how I feel about that...

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Return of the Blueberry

Technology changes constantly. But just like children growing up under our own noses, we don't notice it because the change appears to happen gradually. Cassette tapes are virtually unidentifiable to anyone under 20 and VHSs? Forget those! Portable CD players, which were all the rage and the "must-have" accessory of 1994, were antiquated in 2000 with the commercialization of MP3 players. And cell phones without internet? What's the point of those?

My best friend started a new job last week. On Day 1, after after orienting her to the company and discussing their progressive views on staffing and community building, they handed her this brick.

A first generation Blackberry phone! We jokingly call it the Blueberry (because it's actually the original blue color) and assume that it is on loan from the Smithsonian. But it sends and receives emails and if you have really good hearing, you can even make a phone call with it. However, there's no browser or internet. Without internet access, how is she supposed to surf the net from the subway? Or Mapquest her restaurant of choice for dinner after reading the review on the New York Magazine mobile site. What do you mean she's not supposed to? What else is a cell phone for? Thank goodness her personal cell phone has all these capabilities; without them, she might not be able to exist in 2010!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Hello Bloggy Followers,

There are 7 of you now! Thanks to my mom (who is not a pimp). Here's a B&N coupon just for you. Please enjoy 10% off of your online or in-store purchase through 1/24. May I suggest The Glass Castle? Or, if you've already read it, perhaps Half Broke Horses, her newest book. You can never go wrong with Jodi Piccoult, or if you just need a light hearted read and a good laugh, try the Shopaholics series.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Phi Beta Barista

Courtesy of my mother and her friend Julie, I have a whole lot of Starbucks bucks dangling from my keychain (keychain giftcard: best invention ever, props, Starbucks!). So rather than my usual stop at Dunkin' Donuts in the morning, I've been going to Starbucks instead. Some of you may remember that last September I was severly traumatized when my Starbucks (27th & 3rd) closed. Given the ubiquitousness of Starbucks, I would have thought that it would be simple to pick a new location and start going there instead. Not so, my friend. The only two locations that I pass (without going out of my way) on my walk to work are the big one on 29th & Park and a smaller one on 32nd & 2nd. And to be honest, the one on 32nd is a few steps out of my way. Regardless, I spent a few weeks experimenting with both locations.

The one on 29th & Park is ridiculously overcrowded. Right outside of the 6 train, it fills with hoards of people coming off the subway looking for their morning caffeine fix (or second fix for those who walk in carrying cups to be refilled). That location also serves the numerous corporate complexes within the 10 surrounding blocks, as the nearest locations on Park Avenue are at 23rd and 34th Streets. The line is always long, there's not enough people working there, and they only keep one register open (despite the fact that they have 3). I gave that location a D+. The only thing that kept them from failing is their ability to get the drink right on the first try.

The Starbucks on 32nd & 2nd proved to be a quieter option in the morning. Since there's no subway nearby, it doesn't seem to attract the commuters that the other one does. It's usually just the locals in there and frazzled parents feeding their kids a last minute breakfast before depositing them at PS116 down the street. I decided that, given the options, it's the lesser of two evils. The line is generally short, the kids pretty tame (as long as it's winter and they're too bundled up to move) and the whole experience moves pretty quickly. Until you ask for a complicated drink. And then all hell breaks loose. You repeat it three times to the cashier taking the order while she attempts to write it on the cup: "Yes, I'd like a grande iced decaf with sugar free vanilla and half whole milk, half skim milk and three Splendas in a venti cup." She jots down a few notes. "Yes, that's DECAF." She scratches out a few lines. "No, sugar FREE vanilla." She shades a different box. "Right- 1/2 skim, 1/2 whole milk, I could put it in myself if you'd leave the milk cannisters out like you used to." And then she passes the cup, notes and all, over to the barista. Who I have started referring to as the Phi Beta Barista. Even with the whole drink written out for her, ON THE CUP, she still gets it wrong. Every morning, as she hands me my drink, I politely remind her: "That's decaf, right?" And she tosses the whole thing and starts again. Cup and all. As soon as I see her start pumping the syrup in, I have to remind her: "Sugar FREE vanilla, please!" Another cup tossed. As she works on the third cup, I walk her through it: "Venti cup. Sugar FREE vanilla. Ice. DEFAF coffee. Halfway up to the grande line. Three Splendas. Now fill the remaining space with 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 skim milk." And then she finally hands my cup to me looking all proud of herself for getting the drink right.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The fish tank and the sushi bar

As I was leaving work tonight, I decided that I wanted Chinese food. Instead of going home and ordering delivery, I decided to stop and pick it up on my way. I've been ordering from Hong Kong Noodle for years. Since before I graduated from NYU. They have super cheap Chinese food and a decent sushi menu. And tonight was the first time I've set foot in the place. And this is what I saw:

Yes. That's a fish tank overlooking the sushi bar. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this situation? I'm trying to think of an analogy but I'm at a loss. An amusement park overlooking an execution chamber? A dance club at the morgue? A Dylan's Candy Shop next door to Jenny Craig? I don't know what to compare it to, but I just think it's somewhat nasty to have these sweet little fishies swimming around next to their friends and family who are being served up over a bed of sticky rice. I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Who doesn't love a bargain?

My freshman year in college I lived in a heinously small apartment with four other girls. And by apartment, I mean two adjoining rooms with a bathroom in between. In the "apartment," we didn't have a dishwasher. Heck, we didn't even have a kitchen or dishes to wash. What we had was a mini fridge, a microwave (in the closet because someone's mom said it was unsafe to sleep/live in a room with a microwave), food in microwavable containers, and paper plates, plastic bowls and utensils. I grew accustomed to eating and then, instead of doing dishes, throwing away the dishes and utensils. Sometimes we borrowed dishes/utensils from the dining halls, but that's a story for another time...

Fast forward nine and a half years (has it really been 9.5 years since I moved into room
1007W?), and I'm living in my own apartment (and have been for five years) with an exquisitely renovated kitchen and brand spanking new dish drawer (that's 2010 speak for a dishwasher that pulls out, rather than opens up). And I continue to use plastic forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks and paper plates. Last week, I even considered buying them in bulk during a visit to Costco. But given my New Year's resolution to use real dishes (I've got a ton that I "stole" from Grandma and Grandpa's house in the country when we shipped G&G down to Florida full-time and decided they didn't need a full set of dishes up here anymore), I figured that I'd finish the plastic and paper stuff I've got and then start using the real deal. It's a joint effort between my desire to reduce my carbon footprint and save a few bucks...

That said, I was passing through Gracious Home yesterday to pick up a reusable shopping bag for a friend when I hit the mother load. All holiday items were 75% off. Yup. That includes the holiday plates and napkins. So I just had to buy eight packages of plates. And napkins.

I know my New Year's resolution was to avoid this stuff, but I just had to get them. I mean, at 75% off, they were practically free. It would be wasting money not to buy them because,
let's face it, I'd surely suffer a relapse and end up buying disposable stuff full-price later in the month. So I'll use these up. And then I'll start using the real thing. I promise.

And oh yeah, I also got 20 packs of little Sniff tissues for $0.37 each.

The One When The Holidays Officially Ended

Today, my apartment went from this:

To this:

And tomorrow I'll probably put them away completely, but I can't bear to say goodbye to them quite yet. Purchased from Duane Reade (the "big" green one) and Target (the pink, blue and white ones), these little trees have served me well. Decorated with tiny white lights and small boldly colored ornaments (from the Target dollar aisle), they added spunk and energy to my little apartment. I seriously considered leaving them up for the winter, but a wise friend suggested that they're really only special because their season is so short. And she's probably right. So away they'll go and I'll anxiously await their return. In 10 months.

And thanks to Lauren, I remembered to un-decorate the cat, too.

Unfortunately, Pollie is feeling rather naked now and doesn't want a new picture taken.

After my lazy day yesterday, I had planned to spend all day today cleaning, organizing and running errands. Unfortunately/fortunately I got a better offer and spent the day hanging out at the mall. Yes. The mall. I left Manhattan, hopped on the LIRR, and ended up at Roosevelt Field. The place was bopping, but the racks were empty. Either spring shipments haven't arrived yet, or stores were quite conservative with their orders. Regardless, I left empty handed, but had a great time. Now it's Sunday night at 10pm and I don't have any clean clothes, food for tomorrow's lunch or lightbulbs in the kitchen. But that's a small price to pay for a fun day with a friend.

Hope your weekend was fun! Have a great week!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lazy Susan

What I did today:
Woke up at the crack of dawn.
Went back to bed.
Woke up at 9.
Watched TV.
Went back to bed.
Woke up at 2.
Watched TV.
Worked on my blog header. Notice the difference? I didn't think you would.
Now it's 9:45pm and I have nothing to show for my Saturday.
I'm going back to bed.
Not much to photograph today, just me, all cozy in my snuggie with my supplies.