Saturday, December 29, 2007

Back in NY

and it's a minor miracle. Yesterday there was quite a blizzard in Chicago and tons of flights were canceled and delayed, but amazingly my flight to NY was on time. Earlier flights to NY were canceled/delayed, but mine left on time. My luggage even made it safely to NY. Travel karma was SO on my side.

My holiday was good, got lots of books, clothes and one of those fancy digital photo frames that is really cool. I also cashed in a gift certificate and bought myself the first season of House and then promptly spent the next two days indulging myself with a Hugh Laurie marathon.

Now that I've gotten my relaxing in, it's time to start on the errands and chores I want to get done before the new year. My last days off will be spent bill paying, filing, shredding, closet cleaning/purging and organizing. I also hope to try out some new recipes as well.

What were everyone's favorite holiday presents?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Season's Greetings!

I can't believe my holiday break is half over. I'm heading back to Chicago from my parents house tomorrow to spend the night with friends and will fly back to NY Friday afternoon. After a 4 day weekend at home I'll return to work on Wednesday.

So far I've spent my break with my family, eating too much, working out too little and watching tons of movies. In the last 3 days I've watched the Godfather parts 1 & 2 (again), Little Miss Sunshine and Walk the Line. I also re-read book 7 of Harry Potter. My time here has been a good mix of old traditions and new, but for some reason this year I've been more aware of how fragile time is and how (nearly) all traditions eventually end or change. I'm trying to learn to enjoy things while I have them. A good lesson for us all in 2008

I hope Santa was good to you all. Let the post-holiday fast begin!

Friday, December 21, 2007

I'm off!

I have the next TWELVE days off! Whoo hoo! I'm flying to Chicago tonight and will stay there through Christmas and then I'll come back to have five days at home, getting my apartment in order to start the new year. I plan on doing a massive Winter deep cleaning when I return.

Safe and Happy Holidays to you all!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cooking Disasters....and other randomness

Shortbread seemed so easy to make: flour, sugar and butter. In practice though, mine turned out awful! I don't know what I did or didn't do, but it's crumbly and tastes plain. I hate to waste it so I think I might bake some cinnamon apples and use the crumbs on top. I think I'll stick with Pepperidge Farms Chessman to get my shortbread fix.

I've come down with a bit of a Winter cold. Right now it seems to be more of a sinus thing. I'm hoping to sleep it off this weekend and be better by the time I fly home on Friday.

I'm officially DONE with all my holiday shopping. I just had to get one last thing for my dad and I ordered it from Amazon this week! Going to Chicago last week and doing the bulk of it really worked out well, I just may do that every year from now on. It's so much easier than paying for shipping and then having to wrap everything as soon as I get off the plane.

My beloved cell phone died this week. It's slowly been having problems connecting to the network and it got to the point where it wouldn't even let me send a text message anymore. They don't make the model I had anymore, so I took the plunge and upgraded to the Blackberry Pearl. It took a few days to get the settings the way I like, but now I am so in love with this phone. I can see how people get addicted to having constant email and internet access at their fingertips!

Off to crawl into bed and try and sleep this cold away!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Recipes!

Per a request, here's the SUPER easy method of making the pasta salad I threw together yesterday,

1 large package of the original Purdue Chicken Shortcuts
1/2 box Bowtie pasta
1/3ish a bottle of Paul Neuman's Raspberry Vinagrette with Walnuts dressing

Throw it together and eat. It's THAT easy and so good!

Tonight I also made my favorite brown sugar cake from Purple Kangaroo's food blog. It's highly addictive if you top it with whipped cream while it's still warm.

Happy eating!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Guilt is.....

listening to your mom complain about the weather in Illinois...

...while you are also IN Illinois (experiencing said weather), but didn't tell her you were in town.

Back where it's warm...relatively

Back from Chicago. I feel good, my holiday shopping is done and wrapped, I did more than a little retail therapy for myself and spend time relaxing and getting good sleep.

I lied at work and said I wasn't coming back from Chicago until today, so I have the entire day off to watch bad daytime TV, catch up on Tivo and do some things around the house. I'll probably also sneak in a nap and make it the perfect day off.

I'm also going to try a new pasta salad recipe I found, bowtie pasta, chicken cut into strips and red wine vinaigrette dressing! Yum!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Setback

As I got my suitcase out tonight it hit me. I'm not packing to see Tennis Guy. Instead of packing t-shirts and skirts for a warm beach holiday, I'm digging out the snow hats, gloves and my warmest coat. A wave of sadness washed over me yet again and even though I have been feeling better, I started once again to miss him.

Last night I posted a few photos of me at our office holiday party on one of my photo sites. Not 5 minutes later he had posted a comment to it, "I always said you were beautiful. It looks like you are having fun. I'm not nearly as drunk as I should be". I stared at the words for nearly 30 minutes last night. A part of me wishes it was a cryptic way of saying he missed me, but I know in my heart it's not.

I know setbacks are ok and they are bound to happen, but as I continue putting sweaters and wool socks in my bag I can't help but feel more and more sad and alone.

It sucks that it takes this long to get over one person not wanting you.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Healing

I'm here, slowly but surely healing a little bit more each day. After a lot of thought (and a lengthy discussion with a Continental Airlines customer service representative), I got a credit for the plane tickets I had purchased months ago to see Tennis Guy this upcoming weekend. Since I already asked off work on Monday I've decided to go to Chicago instead for the weekend. I'll do a little shopping (both for Christmas and myself!), spend some time with friends and some time just relaxing away from home and will hopefully be able to recharge and regroup. It's a little insane to try to fly to Chicago in the middle of winter, so any extra good travel karma you might have to spare please send it my way.

Thanks to you all for your comments and thoughts! It's nice to know I'm not alone in the big bad blogosphere!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

He Chose Flight

He broke up with me. He said he doesn't see it ever working out.

I have no words right now. I just want to cry.

Fight or Flight

My conversation with Tennis Guy on Monday did not go well. He said he felt like I wanted to go faster in our relationship than he did, and that he was resisting because he had "concerns". I asked what his concerns were and he listed them. After he was done, I made a comment that "it's really hard to hear the things that someone doesn't like about you". This made him FLIP out. He said that he never said he didn't like me, just that he had concerns about getting serious with me and that it's "really annoying to be in a relationship where every comment made is construed as me breaking up with you". I NEVER said I thought he was ending things, but I apologized for making the leap from him having concerns to thinking he didn't like me. The conversation just kept getting worse and I eventually asked him if he still wanted me to go visit him next week. He said he wasn't sure anymore, but a few seconds later said that he wanted to see me, but he "wasn't sure it was a good idea". I told him that I understood but that I would need to know by early next week so I could change my plans. He said he was too upset to continue talking on Monday, but he would talk to me in a few days. Last night I got a text message from him saying he was still thinking things through and he would call me tonight.
I've been through a huge range of emotions in the past 36 hours. The things he listed as concerns about me were unfair and in some cases unfounded. His concerns were: 1) I'm not as social and don't go out as much as he would like. First of all it's a long distance relationship and we've only been in the same city two weekends. Weekend 1 we DID go out and Weekend 2 we didn't, but he wasn't exactly complaining when we spent the whole weekend um....reconnecting. 2) He doesn't understand my relationship with my parents. It's true I don't have the best relationship with my parents, but he's basing this specifically on the post-Thanksgiving complaining I did this weekend. 95% of America complains about spending time with their family after the holidays. Plus, his family lives in ANOTHER COUNTRY. Of course it's easier to get along with your parents when they aren't even on the same continent. 3) I don't like my job and don't seem happy. Yes, it's true work has been more stressful, and I have been venting quite a bit to him about it, so this one I can see where he is coming from, though in my defense I've also been talking through my job/potential moving ideas with him so he should at least give me credit for taking steps toward changing my situation. He has a job and a family that fulfill him and make him happy. I have a job that allows me to do the OTHER things in life that make me happy, like traveling and taking photos. It's not that I'm a generally unhappy person, it's just that the things that make me happy aren't the same things that make him happy.
A part of me feels unfairly attacked and a part of me can see where he is coming from. I don't understand why it's taking him 2 days to decide if he wants to continue to date me. It's not like I asked him for any kind of commitment, all he needs to think about is if he wants to go on another date with me. I absolutely want to continue dating him and seeing where this might be going and to be sitting here for days now waiting for him to think about whether he wants to still be with me is nerve racking. I've gotten some clarity through it all though. I do think he's right about going slow if he does say he wants to keep seeing me I am absolutely comfortable now with taking our time and getting to know each other. Also I feel like I've been extremely understanding with his traveling and being in a relationship where the other person isn't around a lot. I am someone who needs my own space and time to myself and I've NEVER complained or used his work against him. That quality is not easy to find in a woman and he should feel LUCKY to find someone understanding. Obviously in the last few days I've been doing a lot of thinking, but I haven't been obsessing or "going to the crazy" and I'm proud of myself for that. I have no idea how tonight's conversation will go and what he is going to say but I feel like I'm mentally prepared for the conversation and am in a good place. Let's just hope I stay there.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stopping The Crazy

I had an odd Thanksgiving. I haven't been able to pin-point why exactly, but I was feeling out of sorts and never really got to relax. I did have fun playing with my puppy in the snow and taking her for long walks around the pond near my parents house. Of course I let her have free reign and she promptly romped in a thorn/burr bush and I had to spend nearly an hour brushing and cutting them out of her fur, but it was still good to play with her. I tried to take some photos of her playing in the snow, but she is terrified of cameras so I'm not sure if any of them came out. I'll try to post a few tonight if they did.
In yet another bizarre confluence of events, I ended up meeting the Young One in the airport last night, He is REALLY REALLY cute! We spent a few hours during our respective layovers just chatting. He did give me a sweet kiss goodbye, but nothing major. I'm not sure I see anything happening with him, but it was nice to finally meet up with him. I think he'll actually turn out to be a pretty good friend.
Which leads me to Tennis Guy.....I have NO idea what is going on there. We talked Monday night, he said he wouldn't call me while his brother was in town and would call me on Sunday when I got back from my trip, which I took to mean we wouldn't talk, but we would still text/email as usual. I texted him on Tuesday, got no response. I texted him on Thanksgiving, got no response. He texts me Friday finally saying his brother had left and that he was spending his weekend sleeping. I text him back, get no response. I try calling him Saturday night but he doesn't pick up. He calls me Sunday (as he said he would) and we talk and he makes a comment that "as long as I've known you, you've been sad". I was completely taken aback. Work has been rough lately and of course going home to my parents for the holidays is never a joyous time for me, but I didn't realize I was coming across to him as "sad". I apologized for seeming too needy the past week and seeming down. I told him I didn't want him to think I was boring/depressed or not any fun and he said that he wasn't saying it to tell me that he likes me less, that he was saying it because it makes him worried about me. I made a comment about how he just met me during a "transition time" in my life when I'm trying to figure out what the next stage of my life going to lead me and we let it drop. He said he would call me again tonight so we could talk. I am really starting to think that I just can't do the whole relationship thing, with anyone, not just him. I'm not cut out for these (admittedly self made) ups and downs. I feel like I just don't know how to connect with people, especially men on a romantic level. I don't do the "wait and see" thing well, and that seems to be all dating is. I feel like what I'm "waiting" for is to be broken up with. I don't know how to have faith and not be afraid of eternal solitude if things don't work out. I know I'm ruining a potentially good thing here and I don't know what I can do to "stop the crazy".

EDITED to add photos:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thoughts from a (Former) Home

I'm at parents house....and I wish they would LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY. Lazing around the house, laying in bed with a book and my dog is how I want to spend my precious few days off, but lazing isn't a word my family understands. Here you must always be doing/going/seeing/shopping. Ugh.

Part of it is I'm just in a bad mood. It's been days since I've heard a word from Tennis Guy and (as per usual) my insecurities are getting the best of me. He has family in town this week, but I thought for sure I'd at least get a Thanksgiving Day text message, but alas nothing in 4 days. I wish I could get over my sensitivity to being/feeling ignored. Last time we talked he said he would call me on Sunday when I got home so we'll see if he I hear from him then. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I HATE the early stages of dating!

Hope everyone had a happy, tasty Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

T- 2 days to Turkey

I am NOT looking forward to leaving for the airport at 4am on Thursday. I like going home for Thanksgiving, but the stress of getting there almost isn't worth it. Plus this year I have to change planes and I HATE changing planes with a passion.

Had my phone date with Tennis Guy last night, it was so good to talk to him again. Things are still going VERY slow and I'm trying hard not to get impatient. I realized that my only frame of reference for relationships is the way they worked in high school, where people don't really "date", you go right from the "talking (aka your friend telling him that you like him)" phase right into the boyfriend/girlfriend phase. Things for us will naturally be at a different pace because of distance and both our travels. I need to get rid of the thinking that we need to be on some some sort of "schedule".

Still haven't made much headway on the Christmas shopping. Hopefully when I go home for Thanksgiving I'll get inspired and can get some shopping done. It's so much easier to buy it when I'm home and avoid the shipping costs anyway. I did get something for my dog already, but Ginger is pretty easy to buy for.

Off to Starbucks for my daily Peppermint Mocha fix!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Unmotivated

I think my body is in "holiday" off mode. I have a huge project at work with an approaching deadline and I just can NOT motivate myself to dig in. I'm already behind and if I don't really step it up, I will literally have to work night and day the first two weeks of December to finish. I may even have to cut my trip out to see Tennis Guy short if I don't get on the ball, so I REALLY need to start working on it, but I just can't seem to focus. I'm going to try to come up with a schedule this week, so that when I'm back from Thanksgiving break I can get serious about it.

I'm someone who likes to tackle big projects all at once. Once I get myself into "focus mode" I am really good at staying on track and seeing something through, no matter how long it takes. Unfortunately the nature of the job I have is that the only solid blocks of time I have with no distraction are the late night hours when everyone is gone and I'm already tapped out. Maybe I'll sacrifice a weekend and just blow through a chunk of it. I HATE working 7 days a week though....it's so draining.

Tennis Guy gets back from his trip tonight, we have another phone date planned as long as his flights are all on time. I'm hoping they are....I can't wait to hear that sexy voice of his! :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I truly have nothing to say....

I am so not motivated to do work today. It's a rainy, cold day in NY. I'm kicking myself for not just calling in "sick" and staying in bed watching bad TV all day. I've been at work for nearly 3 hours and haven't done a single thing. I at least managed to go out and get my daily Peppermint Mocha, so let's just call that being productive.

I'm finally feeling like I'm getting back on track after the time change/vacation return. I got caught up this week with laundry, cleaning and bill paying which means I can spend this weekend lazing around. I might try to hit up a friend with a car to assist me in buying a new (fake) Christmas tree since mine bit the dust last year.

Speaking of Christmas Trees, when I left the office to go to Starbucks the lobby downstairs was exactly as it usually is every day, but when I came back (15 minutes later) it was completely decorated for Christmas! There was a fully decorated Christmas tree, garland on the security desk and a wreath above the elevators. Now either I completely blanked and missed them setting all that up when I left or that was some speedy decorating. It seems a little early for Christmas decor, but what do I know. Target had their Christmas trees up the day after Halloween.

Things with Tennis Guy are back on track as well, his international phone service is fixed and we've been able to talk again this week. I'm becoming more comfortable with the place he and I are at, and I daresay I may even learn to enjoy this stage.

I really should start on my holiday shopping. Usually by this time I have some inkling of what to get everyone, but this year I just have NO clue yet. Maybe going out to the stores will give me ideas, though usually I just end up shopping for myself.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Retroactively Grounded

I think my sister just got me retroactively grounded.

She sent me an IM today asking me what trips I took when I was her age (21) in college. I told her I went on a few, namely to Florida with a friend over Spring Break. She got mad and said that she had just asked my parents if she could go on Spring Break with her friends this year and my mom nixed the idea. Now she's going to run to my mom and play the "It's not fair, Kai got to go, why can't I game".**

All this got me thinking....we have SUPER strict parents and I'm not sure they would have let me go on my trip.....if they knew about it. I can't for the life of me remember if I asked permission to go or if I just went and never told them! I'm pretty sure that if they didn't know before they are going to be pretty mad (even though yes, it's 8 years later). She just HAD to ask them around the holidays when I'll be home twice in a short span of time.....

**I hadn't thought to bring this up, but when *I* wanted to go on the school-sponsored Europe trip in high school, my parents said no, but they let my sister go on the EXACT SAME TRIP.....maybe I can somehow use that in my defense.

I think it's time to tell my parents about my sister's piercings....she has a few they don't know about......evil grin....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Having Faith

Tennis Guy is traveling for business again and after nearly a week without hearing from him and 2 unanswered text messages, I assumed (yet again) that he had gone to the place where all men in my life seem to go, the Isle of Mute, where they are never heard from again. I moped around the house all weekend, made Gingerbread Scones (and promptly ate half of them) and made quite a dent in a bag of Hershey's Mint Truffle kisses. I browsed iTunes and downloaded some new music and TV shows, I did some Christmas shopping and avoided my phone and email. Finally I opened my email tonight and there was a message from him. His international cell service is on the fritz and he can't receive or send messages. I feel dumb (and 5lbs heavier from all that chocolate) and I wonder if I'll ever feel secure and comfortable in a relationship. I've been burned so much by men who didn't want me and just used me to bide their time between their "real" relationships that I don't know if I have it in me to believe that someone actually wants me. Tennis Guy has done everything right, he's respectful and thoughtful and is open with his affections, I can handle him being away and not seeing him often, but I can't handle my own fears of being ignored (or the appearance of being ignored). He's assured me that no matter what he would never end our relationship in that way, he's assured me that he wants to date me and build a relationship with me. This is what I've wanted my whole life. Why can't I just let myself have some faith and believe him?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Grand(e) Day!

The holiday Starbucks cups are out, which means one thing.......



The arrival of the PEPPERMINT MOCHA!!!

I LOVE love love these and drink at least 1 a day the entire holiday season. Yum!!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Rejected

I got the official rejection notice from my old job yesterday. Even though I applied months ago and had assumed I didn't get it, reading the letter made it real. I really enjoyed that kind of work and even though some of the people/politics drove me crazy, it was a picnic compared to what I have to deal with in my current situation. I thought I had a legitimate shot at getting my old job back and getting the notice and subsequently finding out that I wasn't even considered for the position really has me bummed. I would love to return to doing the kind of work I used to do, but haven't been able to get back into it. I've been out of the field now for 3 years and I guess I thought if anyone was going to hire me to do it again it would be the place I started out. Now I feel like the only chance I had is gone and I'm destined to be one of those people who floats along taking whatever entry level job anyone will hire me for. I dislike living in NY, I dislike my current position and I feel like there's no real chance of changing either one of those things any time soon.

Bleah.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I HATE TIME CHANGES

I do not do well with time changes. International travel and time zone hopping of any kind mess me up for weeks. Even going to Chicago which is only an hour behind screws up my already screwy internal clock. Add in trying to be awake at odd hours to talk to Tennis Guy who is in China (13 hours ahead) and I'm not adjusting well to Daylight Saving Time at ALL.

I'm cranky, moody and sleepy!

Maybe going to the gym tonight will work out the crankiness! Hopefully I'll get out of work early enough to go!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Back!

Between all the time zones I was in yesterday and the time change my body has NO idea what time it is, but I'm back from my trip. I had a fabulous time taking photos and relaxing. The weather was amazing, Halloween night was a blast and the Dia de los Muertos events I went to were great. All in all a fantastic trip!

Here are the decorations we put out for Halloween: (note the Halloween bunny!)


Here is Grace showing off our freshly roasted pumpkin seeds:


Here is the shadow of me (wearing a witch hat) and some of the pumpkins Grace carved:

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Where is Kai?

I'm not back yet, but will be soon. Head on over to my photo blog to take a gander at what I've been up to this past week.

Enjoy!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Vacation Time!!

I'm heading off to New Mexico tomorrow! 7 days of hanging out with LGG & the (now) 4 cats, taking photos and sleeping in. I CAN NOT WAIT!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm STILL spending money.....

After over a YEAR of dealing with my poor sad broken (cause I got drunk one night and dropped it on my hardwood floor) laptop and several months of research I think I am finally going to bite the bullet and buy a new one. I was going to make the PC to Mac switch, but I've decided against it and am just going with a new version of the exact same computer I have. It served me very well, and had I not dropped it, I would probably still keep it, but my USB ports are all blown out, I have no J key (I have to cut and paste to do Js) and the battery is toast. I've been feeling inspired to work on my photography more and I'm just not able to use my current machine to do that. My hard drive is full and my memory is maxed out so even opening Photoshop crashes it. I don't really have the money right now, but I should be getting a hefty Christmas bonus this year and they have a 90 day payment plan so I'm hoping I can swing it. I can't believe in the past 2 days I've spent over $2,000! OUCH! It will be worth it though to be able to really work on my photos without worrying about the limitations of my machine.

Let's just hope I don't have a heart attack when the credit card bill comes.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Retail Therapy.....

On a whim I just bought myself a VERY expensive camera lens.

I have been working INSANE hours at work lately and its making me cranky, so I decided to buy myself a present. I'm heading to New Mexico in 5 days and thought a new camera lens for the trip would be cool, so I up and just purchased one. A little impulsive and I'm kind of having buyer's remorse, but as of now I am the proud owner of a Canon 70-300 4.5-5.6 IS USM lens.

I can't wait to try it out on my trip! Photos to come!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Back on Track

After months of unhealthy eating, it's time to shape up (literally!) and start eating healthier again. Check out my weight loss blog for new updates and recipes!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What ARE they carrying in there?

I commute to work on the train and connect through Grand Central terminal so I see hundreds of people on my twice daily trip and lately I've been noticing something. I see people carrying multiple large bags/purses to and from work EACH day. I see women with two purses and a grocery sack, I see men with a briefcase, gym bag and backback, and I wonder: What on earth do they have in all those bags? I've seen people with up to FOUR bags EVERY day and I just can't fathom what is in there.
Any multiple bag carriers out there that can shed some light for me??

Monday, October 15, 2007

I really should be more grown up than this.....

I knew when I met Tennis Guy that he traveled extensively and that we would be apart for long stretches of time. The being apart part I can TOTALLY handle, it's the not being in contact part that's harder to accept. Practically I know that not hearing from him for 2 days is NOT something to worry about at all, especially since he's overseas and is working, but emotionally I feel like it doesn't take THAT much time to send a quick text message letting me know he's thinking about me. I can completely see going for periods of time without contact once things are established a little more and I have more security in our relationship, but so early in the game, it's hard not to assume that he's just lost interest. I know he is absolutely not the type to just disappear on women, he would definitely tell me if he didn't want to see me again, yet I still sit at work and worry he's "over me". I wonder if I'll ever grow out of my insecurities and stop being afraid that people are going to hurt me and/or leave me.

In other news: I won this week's football pool at work, so I have $50 extra dollars to blow this week, AND the books I ordered from Barnes and Noble that I thought got lost randomly showed up today.

What should I blow my $50 on? more books? a really good meal? put it on the bank? What would you do?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm still here! & a Recipe

I've been a bad blog friend lately. Work is nearly killing me with long hours and crazy deadlines and it is taking its toll. I promise I'll start keeping up and commenting more! I miss you guys!!

Cooler weather is FINALLY here which means it's time to start cooking again and eating healthier. Here's a recipe I found in the New York Times Magazine last week that sounded interesting. As soon as I can find time to get to Whole Foods for the ingredients I'm going to make it. Let me know what you think if you try it out!


Eggplant in Disguise

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper
nutmeg
Approximately 6 tablespoons olive oil
2lbs Eggplant cut in 1/3 inch slices
1 1/2 cups ricotta
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make a bechamel:melt butter in a saucepan, when foamy, whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, bring to a boil and simmer until thickened and smooth ~2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and nutmeg. Cover and let cool.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add as many eggplant slices that will fit in one later. Season with salt and brown on both sides. Repeat with remaining oil and eggplant.

Fill base of 8x8 inch baking dish with 1/3 of eggplant. Cover with 1/3 of ricotta, followed by 1/3 of bechamel. Sprinkle with thyme. Repeat 2 more times. Spread Parmesan on top and make for 20 minutes. Place under broiler for 1 minute to brown the top.

Serves 6

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Visit

My weekend with Tennis Guy was amazing. I had a really rough week at work so I wasn't up for going out much, so we just had a lovely relaxing weekend at home being very domestic. We watched movies, talked, cuddled, cooked and just spent time together. We have plans to see each other again in early December (this time I'm flying to see him). He wants to take things slow, which I know is the right thing to do, but it's hard for me to resist the urge to just jump in and get serious since I do like him so much. I think part of his hesitation is also that he knows how resistant I have been in my past to commitment and he doesn't want to push me. I need to figure out how to communicate to him that I can stop playing around and be committed to him when the time comes.

Stay Tuned!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bullets of Randomness

* My trip to Rhode Island was LOVELY. It was so peaceful and relaxing and I'll definitely be going back. I SO miss having a car and driving.

*My job is draining me to the point that I can feel the effects its having on my body. The tension, stress and long hours are more than I can handle and I've hit my breaking point. I requested a temp for the rest of the week, but only got a "we'll see" answer so who knows if I will get one. Fingers crossed.

*Things with Tennis Guy are still going strong. Daily texts, phone conversations that last for hours and he's coming back to NY to see me in 8 days!! I wake up every day and wonder how I got so lucky.

*I am SO over the whole being hot in LATE September thing. It was nearly 90 degrees this week! I refuse to turn the AC on when it's officially Fall! Bring on the cooler temps or at least get rid of the humidity!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hitting the Road

In 24 hours I'm hitting the road for my big Road Trip! I am SO excited!! The cameras are charging, the CDs are packed and the directions have been printed!

Rhode Island here I come!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tell me this isn't a new look.....

Today during my usual walk through Grand Central Station I saw a guy wearing a very expensive-looking business suit and tie, with a coordinating belt, carrying a gorgeous Kenneth Cole briefcase....

and wearing flip flops.

Has anyone else seen this? I'm hoping it was just an anomaly.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Road Trip

I'm heading up the coast this week and taking myself on a little road trip. I've rented the car, made my "car" playlists on iTunes and planned my route. I'm extremely excited about getting out of the city, meeting new friends and taking photos of a new place. A few weeks ago I blew off an afternoon at work and spent some time sitting in the park with my friend E who is a photographer. My conversations with him are always very inspiring and even since our conversation I've been inspired to go out and take some new photos.

Let's just hope I remember how to drive...it's been months since I was behind the wheel of a car!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm ready!

For Fall! Bring on the flannel sheets, the long sleeve PJs and all those cute fall fashions.

I am READY!

Monday, September 10, 2007

This IS fun!

Had my second date with Tennis Guy (TG) last night and it was amazing. We joke around like old friends already and he's amazingly respectful and sweet. He's a bit older (40), but I don't mind that at all. He does travel quite a bit, so I just assumed it was just going to be a weekend thing, but he says he wants to date me and is going to come back to NY to see me again after the next tournament is over in a few weeks. I'm going in with cautious optimism, but so far things are good and I definitely can't wait to see him again.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

What They Say is TOTALLY True...

I've heard the "oh you'll find a man when you aren't looking" SO many times, but I never really thought it was true.

Until last night that is.

After things with the Young One went South I had sworn off men. I made a conscious choice not to think, obsess or seek men out. In a bizarre confluence of events I ended up having drinks with a guy who is in town working on the U.S. Open. I went in with no expectations, didn't dress up or do my hair and generally just went in with the mentality of "I'm just going for 1 drink and to meet a new person". And it was fun! Good conversation, good laughs and plans to meet up again before he leaves. No stress, no pressure, no anxiety and no expectations. This is TOTALLY the way to go. He's texted me several times since last night and even called me in between matches today. Unfortunately he travels for work 35 weeks a year so there isn't any real chance of a relationship, but I'm actually ok with that. For 2 nights I got to go out, have fun and have good company. I learned that taking the pressure off myself and the situation is absolutely the way to go and hopefully my new zen attitude will pay off in the end and I'll find Mr. Right!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Annoying News

I've always maintained a love/hate relationship with the news and this week it's HATE.

1) Is anyone else annoyed that early iPhone buyers are whining because the price of the phone recently dropped? Nobody FORCED you to buy the thing the day it came out. I remember wanting the Razr when it first came out, but waiting almost a year until the price dropped to half of what it was and now the thing is practically free. I say they should have to pay for their impatience and should quit demanding a refund of the difference in price!

2) Fred Thompson and his (final) declaration to run for President in 2008. If I hear one more Reagan comparison I'm going to hurl. Not to mention the fact that if he wins I am moving out of this country for good.

3) The Idaho senator who can't decide if he's resigning or not. Get a daisy and start pulling petals off and make up your mind already!

I think it's time for the news and I to break up for awhile. I recently rejoined Netflix and I think this is an excellent opportunity to start catching up on all the movies I have been missing. Let me know if you have any suggestions!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I give up!

So things with the Young One officially have gone south. We had plans to meet up last weekend in Chicago and he had something come up and he canceled, then we made plans and he bought me a plane ticket to come see him this weekend and something came up and he canceled. Neither things were his fault, but I just can't handle the ups and downs of it all any more. It sucks because I REALLY enjoy talking to him, but you can only get so involved on the phone and we've hit the point where we need to meet in order to see if its going anywhere, but things just keep getting in the way.

It just shouldn't be THIS hard.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Rethinking this whole moving back to IL thing.....

I had a great trip to Chicago this weekend, but MAN did my allergies act up. I think I sneezed continuously for the entire 48 hours I was there. I went to Target and got allergy meds, but they didn't help much. I miss trees and all, but man it makes me rethink this whole moving back to the Midwest thing....

Achooo!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Off to Chicago....

Heading to Chicago for the weekend!

Everyone have a safe and Happy Labor Day!!! No laboring required!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Does it EVER end?

I travel quite a bit. This month alone I'll be taking 3 trips and several flights. Why on earth, despite the fact that I am nearing 30 years old, do my parents still INSIST that I sent them my flight information every time I fly??! I'm a grownup and if I want to fly around the world without my mommy knowing that I'm in seat 5A and having the vegetarian meal then I should be able to!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

10 days

My insomnia is back with a vengeance. It has been 10 days since I slept more than 4 hours in a night and most of those nights I haven't slept AT ALL.

I've tried (not all on the same night!):

Nyquill
Rum
Unisom
No caffeine before 3pm.
No caffeine at all.
Not eating after 8pm.
Eating a small snack right before bed.
Turning off the TV/Computer at midnight.
Warm milk.
Working out (but not to close to bedtime).
Yoga right before bed.

NOTHING works! Please PLEASE someone come over and knock me out with a baseball bat tonight so at least I get a little rest.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Facebook Archeology

An old friend from high school found me on Facebook yesterday and he now lives in California. He wrote this to me in one of our email exchanges today:

we used to live on the same street and now we live on opposite sides of the continent

it makes you realize the power of the internet.

I couldn't agree more....plus he's REALLY hot now.....

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Change of Face

I wear glasses and I am constantly getting bored with my frames and changing them up. Last week I started feeling the itch to get rid of the "industrial nerdy" look I currently sport and back to something darker and more sleek. I made an appointment with the eye doctor and conned a friend into coming with me to pick out new frames tonight after work, so hopefully by Monday I'll have a brand new "sexy librarian" look!

Before and after photos to come!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Walk Away Slowly

So last night The Young One tells me that the reason he won't be in Chicago for Labor Day weekend is that he is going to visit his ex. Even though we haven't met yet and aren't dating, I have to say I was upset/jealous. He assured me that they are just friends and he's not going to get back together with her, but I've been around the block enough to know how this plays out and I'm not sure I want to be a part of it anymore. I'm not the girl that gets the happy ending. I'm the girl whose guy goes on vacation to a foreign land and dumps me because he fell in love with his tour guide.

After several hours of ignoring his calls he sent me a text asking me to please call him so we could talk about it. I did, but there was no real resolution to the conversation. I told him I wanted to cool things off for a while since he was clearly not emotionally available and told him I still wanted to meet up with him in September, but maybe just for a lunch or something casual. He said he was disappointed and was hoping to take me on a date and go sightseeing with me and spent time with me, but that he understood why I wanted to back off. He again assured me that nothing was going on with his ex and even though she wants to get back together with him, he is not interested in her and he is excited about getting to know more about me. I honestly can't tell if I'm being reasonable or unreasonable and I hate that feeling. I just feel like it's inevitable that I'm going to get hurt and my self preservation skills are telling me to get out now.

I wish I knew if I was just being scared or practical. It's such a fine line it seems.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meeting the Boy...

The Young One and I have been seriously discussing meeting up soon. Though he's from Chicago, he travels for work a great deal and is currently working on a project elsewhere. We agreed that since he already flies a great deal every week that I would come to him. He is insisting on paying for my plane ticket out to see him, which is sweet, but I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea. We've agreed on a date (the weekend after labor day (he won't be in Chicago on the days I'll be around for Labor Day)) and it's starting to get close! The city he's currently working in is one I've been wanting to visit and at the very least I know I'll be able to get good photos out of the trip as long as I'm not too nervous to hold the camera steady. I actually think meeting up in a new city and doing touristy things is a pretty cool first date so I'm looking forward to it. I just hope I can relax enough to enjoy it!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I met a boy......sort of

About a month ago I posted an ad on NY Craigslist. I wrote that I was a single female just looking for conversation over coffee or wine. I went on to say I was well-traveled, well-read and slightly overweight, even though I did go to the gym.

I got only 2 responses, 1 from a 50 year old man and 1 from a 30 something guy recently released from prison. Needless to say I didn't respond to either.

I told a co-worker who is also originally from the Midwest about my experience and she made a comment about how if I had posted in any other city in the country I probably would have had an entirely different set of responses. I decided to test out her theory. I posted the same ad on the Chicago Craigslist, just adding a line about how I'm from NY but travel frequently to IL (among other places).

The number of quality responses I got was astounding. Mostly men who are required to travel frequently for their jobs and who have trouble meeting women because of it. After some email exchanges with a few, one started to stand out, a guy who works as an IT consultant for a large company whose job requires him to travel M-Th each week. We've been emailing and talking on the phone now for about 3 weeks, and I am starting to really like him. He's sweet, makes me laugh, we can talk for hours about everything and nothing, and from the numerous photos I've seen of him, he's cute. The downside...he's only 22. Most of the time I try not to think about it....until it hits me that he's only 14 months older than my sister....or the thought crosses my mind that when I was learning to drive he was 10. We've been talking a lot lately about meeting up when I'm in Chicago for Labor Day weekend, but I'm nervous about it. Our conversations are great, we talk for hours a day...I instantly become in a better mood when I see his name on my caller ID....I feel like meeting up will change all that. I've met people from online before....and the outcome is hardly ever good. You meet up, you have dinner and then you never hear from the guy again. I guess it all comes down to that I don't feel pretty enough for him, even though he said to me the other day that "it's past the point of me caring what you look like, I already know I like you". I just don't want to lose someone who I enjoy talking to....I guess though if he does disappear after meeting me then he wasn't who I thought he was anyway.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Conversation With a Bell Hop

Me: Can you get me a taxi to the Los Angeles Airport
Bellhop: Sure. Where are you going?
Me: Um...the Airport
Bellhop: No I mean where are you flying to?
Me: Oh, sorry. I'm going home to New York.
Bellhop: What are you going home to?
Me: um....what?
Bellhop: Are you going home to a boyfriend? Cat? Dog?
Me: Er...no, none of that, just going home to work I guess.
Bellhop: Well isn't that what you were doing here? Traveling on business?
Me: Yeah.
Bellhop: Well then why go home? It's not like you have anything there.
Me: um yeah....guess I'll think about getting that cat.

First my Mother hounds me about not having a boyfriend and now Bellhops in Hollywood, CA???? Who's next? The guy from the deli that sells me my morning coffee??? Random people on the subway? Grr can't a girl be single in peace??

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Less than 24 Hours Notice!

I found out yesterday at 3pm that I have to go to Los Angeles for work TODAY! I can't complain though 3 days in the sun on the opposite coast...not a bad deal really. A little fun in the sun never hurt anyone!

Friday, August 10, 2007

10 years!

I just got an email invite to my 10 year high school reunion in November!!!

I feel old.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

More Commute Fun

Time it usually takes me to get to work: 35 minutes
Time it took me today: 2 hours 45 minutes

# of blocks I usually walk to and from trains: 2
# of blocks I walked today: 35

# of subway lines usually running in NYC: 26
# of subway lines running this morning: 1

Time I usually get to work: 9:05am
Time I got to work today: 11:15am

And all this in 95 degree heat and 60% + humidity

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Text Messages Grow on Trees

You may remember that last week's incident regarding apples that grow on trees. The "Comedy of Errors" that seems to be my life has struck again and I had this (accidental) exchange with the SAME executive on Friday night.

Upon arriving home on Friday night I decide to send a text message to my friend Grant to see what he is up to. I write "you out causing trouble?".

Shortly thereafter my phone beeps indicating that I have a text message. It's from the executive from my company, Gregg. I open the message thinking that perhaps I forgot to do something at work, or he needs me to come in. The message states "um why do you ask?".

Apparently I scrolled down 1 name too far in my contact list and sent the "you out causing trouble" message to the executive "gregg" NOT to my friend "grant"!

I wrote back apologizing and made a joke out of it, and he texted back joking in return, so I'm sure everything is fine, but I think I better be on my best behavior around him for awhile, just in case!

The Distance Between the Two is the Same, No Matter Where You Start

Several months ago I applied for my old job back in IL. I hadn't heard anything about it, so I assumed they had hired someone and the search was over. Last week I found out they contacted all of my references, so I guess the search is still on and I'm potentially still in the running. Now that it's a possibility again I can't help but think that the possibility is real that I could be moving in a month.

A part of me feels very ready to move on and have a different kind of life, but a part of me feels so not ready to leave NYC for reasons I can't even quantify. My whole life I've felt torn between the two sides of myself, never feeling quite complete when in either place. My mom was raised in Wisconsin, my dad on the upper east side of Manhattan, (though I'm adopted) I've always felt the pull of both places. I sometimes wonder if I need to find a place that is uniquely my own, out from underneath the influence of them both. Though I've traveled all over the world, the only places I've ever even considered living are NY or IL. I've spent my 28 years on this planet acquiring frequent flyer miles going between the two, and wonder if I'll spend the next 28 doing the same thing.

Maybe ultimately it doesn't matter where I live as long as I'm near an airport.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

STILL no lease

After three months I STILL don't have a signed copy of my lease. I sent my rent check in this month with a letter stating that I still don't have a copy of it and asked them to mail me another one and got a voicemail back saying that they gave it to my super back in May to give to me and he has it. I've seen him SEVERAL times since then and he's never given it to and I have no idea why they won't just photocopy the one they have in the office and stick it in the mail. In fact, because I didn't have a copy of it I had NO idea what my rent was this month (it went up per the lease) so I wrote a check for what I thought it was, but I was $20 off so they sent me my check back asking me to write another one for the full amount. How about maybe sending me a copy of my lease with the check so I know the amount???!!! Ugh.

All this is annoying because I need to see the sublease provision of my lease because I found out recently that I am still in the running for my old job in Illinois and may still be moving shortly. Nobody from the old job has contacted me yet, but they contacted all of my references last week so I may still have a shot. More on that later.....half the time I'm excited about the prospect of returning to Illinois and leaving NY and half the time the mere thought of it sends me into a full blown panic attack.....

All I want is a copy of my lease! Is that too much to ask for???

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why you shouldn't say EVERY single thing that pops into your head...

The little mini-fridge that the Executives in my company keep their food in is outside my office. Today I was doing a bunch of different things and so I wasn't really paying attention to who was outside my door poking in the fridge. Someone calls out "Hey Kai, where did these apples come from?" Not even thinking, I yell out in response "Trees".

It isn't until I hear him laughing down the hallway that I realize it was the CEO...

Whoops.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Speaking of Unfairness....

Hugs/Thoughts/Prayers and Kleenex to my friend Jane and her family for dealing with the illness and loss of their beloved dog Bismarck.

There are just no words to explain the unfairness of it all.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Where is the Karmic Justice

I've been trying to figure out what's been bugging me lately and I think a part of it is the impending leave of my evil coworker. Here is a person who for YEARS has been self serving, rude and lazy and not only was she NOT fired, she effortlessly found a new job with more pay, less hours and better benefits. Where is the justice in that? Tomorrow is her last day and (in my mind at least) she gets a happy ending. Even if someday her karma comes back and bites her in the ass, I won't know about it. I won't be there to witness it. I'm just supposed to have faith that she'll get what is coming to her and that's a hard pill to swallow.

Dad was right....life just isn't fair.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Moody Blues

I wish I could describe how I've been feeling lately. Its something akin to how I felt right before I dropped out of college with only 2 classes left in order to graduate. I spent much of the months leading up to that depressed and in bed 20+ hours a day and generally just watching life pass me by. Thankfully I had some close friends/roommates who figured out what was going on and helped me out of it.

This time is different. I'm getting up each day and I'm going to work, but it takes every ounce of energy I have to do so. My patience is gone, I'm short and angry with people even after my morning coffee, and I find myself in a general malaise. I know it will pass, that I won't always feel this way and that all I can do is ride it out. Maybe I'll plan a trip for myself next month. That always gets me excited and it will be fun to explore somewhere new.

Thoughts on Harry Potter to come still! I promise my full review soon!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I am done.

After breaking only twice (once to catch some sleep for a few hours and once to rest my eyes from reading because I thought they were going to pop out of my head) I have finished the last Harry Potter book.

The tale of getting the book and my thoughts on the story to come after I catch some sleep.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A crazy wacky icky day

*First the good news: the person I've been having trouble with for the past 2 years at work quit today.

*Except when she gave her notice, my company betrayed me and told her every single thing I had ever said about her (plus a bunch of things I NEVER said, but they claim I did) and she went and told the entire staff that I can't be trusted because I'm a spy for the executives.


**in unrelated news my sister called off her engagement. They are still together, but just no longer engaged

Thank goodness the Harry Potter book comes out tomorrow and I have that to look forward to.

Ugh. What a crazy wacky icky day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'm ok, but WHOA that was scary....

A steam pipe exploded about 10 blocks from where I work today. I happened to leave work early today and be on the street right after it happened and it was one of the most terrifying experiences I have ever witnessed. All you could see was smoke and debris shooting into the sky from the street. Hundreds of people were on the street just watching and trying to use their cell phones to find out what had happened. Unfortunately the cell towers were down/circuits were busy so nobody could get through to anyone. The mood was VERY somber and you could tell people were worried about terrorism. I'm glad to finally be home, though I imagine my commute in the morning will be rough.

**Quote from the news: "air in the area may be contaminated. Close your windows and don't breathe it in" also heard on this broadcast: "if you were in the area at the time your clothes may be contaminated as well. take them off, double bag them and take a shower"

gee thanks.

Rain Rain Rain

It's nearly 2 and my clothes are STILL wet from this morning's commute. It was raining so hard it hurt.

Fingers crossed for a dryer evening commute home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Where I Eat

As usual I am following in Doggy Mama's footsteps! She posted about her family table and I thought I would share mine too.

Growing up we were definitely the "sit down every night together for a meal" family. It was no easy task for my mom who had to try to come up with meals for 4 people with VASTLY different tastes. My dad is a meat and potatoes guy, I'm a vegetarian who loves soy meat products and veggies, my sister is meat and pasta but no vegetables or potatoes girl and my mom eats almost anything except soy meat. Bless her heart for feeding us all at least something we would like at every meal!

Now dinner is just me by myself. I have a lovely dining room table (from Ikea!) but I never use it at all.
I eat most of my meals here on the coffee table in front of the TV:


My mom would be so disappointed too. We NEVER were allowed to eat anywhere but the dining room table. I'm such a rebel. :-P

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sweater Help!

I have been looking for a cardigan sweater set forever and just can't find one that I like. I saw this one at Jcrew that I love, but it's a little pricey (and cashmere, which seems so decadent). My only requirement is that it be long sleeve (none of this 3/4 sleeve business for me), preferably NOT v-neck, and if it has a shell or something I can pair with it that would be great. I've looked for almost a year at all the NY stores and even large department stores and can't ever find anything I like.

Anyone know of any stores that might carry something like this???

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bullets of Depression

- Neither of the jobs I applied for, including my old job, contacted me for interviews. I'm taking it harder than I thought. I've basically given up my search for now. Job hunting under the best of circumstances is difficult. Add in a major crisis of confidence and it's nearly impossible. I need a break to climb out of my depression before I try again.

- I'm having a major issue with a coworker that is making getting through the 10 hours a day I have to sit next to her extremely draining. I can't go into detail, but on Thursday she made two people cry because of her attitude. 6 people have complained to HR about her, but nothing ever happens. It's taking its toll on all of us and there is no hope of help.

- I'm not sure I can make it through the next 6 weeks of summer. I'm already grumpy about the heat and it hasn't even been that bad yet. Lets hope global warming takes a year off.

Sorry for the bummer of a post....hopefully things are better for you guys!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

MORE Excitement

After nearly 7 years of trying to cancel AOL and not being able to for various reasons, namely them wearing me down EVERY time I called to try, I have broken free and gotten rid of my account! Hurrah for the extra $25 I will now have each month!!!

Excitement!

I'm going to see the Harry Potter movie tonight after work!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Family

When I was little I always wished I was part of a big family. I am not close to my sister at all and I always wished I had other siblings around that were closer in age or even personality to me. My dad was an only child, but his mother (my grandmother) had a large family and even had siblings close to the same age as my dad, so his side of the family is extensive and most of them are still in the New York area.

The great thing about my family's house in the Poconos is that when you go there you never know who else is going to be there. When I got up there on Friday afternoon there were 9 people in the house for the weekend. Big family dinners around the kitchen table and late night card games are the norm there. It was a great 2 days talking with family I hadn't seen in ages and getting to play with my 2 year old second cousin (once removed....I think. I can't remember how all that works. We just call everyone "cousin")I had never met. At first I was uncomfortable being the unmarried person there, but once the annoying questions about my personal life got out of the way, it was fine. I don't have the sense of "family" and connection that they all have with eachother, but I still had a good time talking, playing cards and being out of the city. The house is surrounded by woods and it's not uncommon to see deer or the occasional bear in the yard, which is obviously quite a change from my normal scenery. Here's one that wandered into the yard on Saturday.

I hope I can keep in better touch with the family I saw this weekend. My cousins with the 2 year old live 10 minutes away from me in NYC. In one of our conversations I discovered that another one of my cousin works 3 blocks away from me and often frequents the same bars I do. Here is my adorable little second cousin running in the yard:


I truly hope I can keep in contact with them and maybe feel more connected to my dad's side of the family. Maybe my time in New York isn't coming to an end after all.



Friday, July 06, 2007

Kai Unplugged

I'm heading to the Poconos this afternoon for a no internet, no cell phone access "unplugged" weekend. I'm taking my camera and I promise photos upon my return.


Have a great weekend, be it, plugged or unplugged!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

He Wrote, He Saw, He Left

Since I'm not a very social person, I often turn to on-line dating to meet people. I've done craigslist, match.com, eharmony.com, various forums, and always get the exact same result. I meet a guy, we correspond for awhile, we exchange photos and he disappears, never to be heard from again.

I get that men are visual creatures, but I can't help but be disappointed every time it happens. Is there not a single available NYC man willing to give an intelligent, well-read, slightly overweight woman a chance?? Clearly there is not.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

And the Winners are....

Tracey and Doggy Mama! The lie was #4. Despite my neat freak/obsessive cleanliness tendencies I absolutely NEVER make my bed.

Which means: yes, I truly do have a hatred for buses and Disney World, I have indeed made out with a bartender at club Verlaine in NYC, I couldn't make it through a softball season without a major injury, but walked away unscathed from a nasty car accident, I've been to Canada, Aruba and England, I was a lighting designer in a past life, I own WAY too many books, and resumes and interviews are completely foreign concepts to me.

This was fun!!

And a big THANKS to Doggy Mama for deeming me a Rockin' Girl Blogger! You definitely rock too!!!

Happy 4th to all!!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Truth and Lies

Here's the deal. I post 10 things about myself, 1 of which is false and you have to guess which one it is. Leave your guesses in the comments!!

1) I've been to 3 other countries.
2) I own over 500 books. An entire wall of my apartment is bookshelves.
3) I once made out with the bartender in the bathroom of a NYC club.
4) I make my bed every day. I can't leave the house until it's perfectly made.
5) I have never gotten a job by interviewing/having a resume.
6) I hate buses and refuse to ride them.
7) I was in a car accident in high school, wasn't wearing my seatbelt and hit the windshield. I amazingly walked away from it completely unhurt.
8) I was a theatre lighting designer for 5 years.
9) I played softball in high school until I ripped my rotator cuff and had to have surgery. It never healed properly and still dislocates easily.
10) I dislike theme parks, I went to Disney and hated it the entire time.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Nobody to Call

I'm sitting on my couch on a Saturday night. I've browsed my Tivo playlist, watched 1/2 a season of the Gilmore Girls, taken a bath and skated around my house with wet towels waxing the floor. It's official. I'm bored. I only have a few people in NY that I hang out with, one currently finishing her MBA and swamped with summer school and one who recently found a bf and spends all her time with him. I know people have lives, family obligations and their own "stuff" going on, but it doesn't make me feel less lonely. One of my best friends leaves in a week to go teach summer school in London and with everything going on there I'm terrified for her safety. She's the one I talk to almost daily, the one I decompress with, vent to, and spend hours "watching" tv with, even though we're 3 time zones apart. I don't know what I'm going to do without my "go to" person for the rest of the summer.

I've always been a solitary, independent person. I prefer the company of my books and Tivo to the company of humans most of the time, but sometimes my solitude gets to me and I get lonely. I look around my apartment and think to myself "is this it for me?". I'm at a place in my life where I like my stuff, my routines, my knowledge, but I can't help but still feel alone.

How is it that I live in the biggest city in this country and still feel like this?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What we miss.

Just after college I lived with a friend/lover/roommate combo for about a year. He got up for work much earlier than I did and every. single. morning. he would inadvertently hit the blinds on the sliding glass door on my side of the bed as he got dressed, making a loud ruckus and waking me up way before my alarm. It drove me crazy.

Man. I really miss that.

2 Down!..and other randomness

Sent in application #2 today. This was for my old job so I was particularly nervous about it. Lets hope I hear from one or both of these companies soon!

It's HOOOOOT in NY now. I have avoided turning on my bedroom AC until now, but I think tonight is the night. I am so not a fan of global warming.

Hottie British guy returned from his vacation to London today and came up and kissed me on the cheek. I may never wash my face again!

Had a great lunch with a former co-worker who quit to go back to school. He is also a photographer so we had a fantastic conversation about our recent trips and photo adventures. I miss having him at work and having these kinds of conversations more frequently. It's very motivating and gets my creative juices flowing.

Did I mention it's bloody hot?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I took the no High Fructose Corn Syrup Challenge!

Cleanerplateclub recently posted about the negative effect High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is having on the American diet. It's in nearly everything in this country and some studies are showing it's not so good for you. Cleanerplateclub posed a challenge to her readers to grocery shop and not buy any food containing HFCS. I am proud to say that I went to the grocery store today and managed to buy only 1 item containing it (my beloved Fiber One bars). I eat a Fiber One bar for breakfast and I decided that for me, the benefits of having a fiber packed start to my day outweighed the HFCS.

I have to say that overall I am quite proud of my goal of making 2007 a healthier year for me. Though I haven't really seen significant weight loss (mostly due to my inability to get my butt off the couch and to the gym), I know that my diet this year compared to last is much healthier and contains significantly less preservatives. Finally a new years resolution that I've stuck to!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Still no Lease....

About a month ago I sent my lease renewal form in. I had misread the date and it was three weeks late so I was worried they were going to kick me out. It's been 4 weeks now and I haven't heard a word from them. I'm scared to call them to inquire about it, I figure as long as I'm here and paying my rent I shouldn't call attention to the situation. I just wish they would send me the paperwork so I could stop worrying about it! My lease is up as of August 1 so I guess if I haven't heard by then I will have to call them. Keep your fingers crossed I get that paperwork soon!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Throwback....FRIDAY

In keeping with the Throwback Friday tradition, here it is. I was in show choir in junior high and here I am in all my sequined glory.

What I'll Remember

I don't know if it is because I'm sick or if its an indicator of something else, but I didn't feel as good as I thought I would when I sent in my application for a new job. Even though I'm ready for a new job and know that New York isn't the place I want to "settle down" I think leaving will be bittersweet. All day I've been thinking about what I will remember about my years in New York and here's what I've come up with.

What I'll Remember:

Walking 7 miles to work on the coldest day in December during the NYC transit strike.

Living for 6 days with no power during the Queens blackout.

Sitting on the patio of an Upper East Side bar drinking wine and chatting with friends.

Walking the 6 mile perimeter of Central Park with my friend Hallie before she moved away.

Completing the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, stupidly hydrating post-race with vodka (not water) and feeling SO hungover the next FOUR days.

The men: Mr. Fun, Train Boy, Eharmony Boy and all the crushes.

Hopefully I can add to this list in whatever time I have left here, be it weeks, months or years.

Faxes and Colds

I finally faxed the application for the Chicago job today. Still haven't made any headway on the application for my old job, but I hope to get to it this weekend if I'm feeling up to it. I seem to have come down with a nasty cold/flu/allergies combo that has wiped me out lately. My Zicam/Flinstones Vitamins/Nyquill combo doesn't seem to be doing the trick. I'm hoping I can shake it off with a weekend spent in bed. At least that gives me a chance to catch up on my Tivo/movies.

Monday, June 18, 2007

1 Down!!!

With some guidance from Seeking Solace and a good night's sleep, I managed to FINALLY finish one of my cover letters and resumes for a job application. I sent it out to some friends for the final grammar/spelling check and then I'm sending it out!

Now I just have to complete the one for my old job. Hopefully I can steal some sections and alter them, so I won't have to start from scratch.

I feel like I'm slowly inching forward....baby steps!

Um....

I'm sitting in bed with my laptop and all of a sudden there was a loud POP and sparks just flew out of the outlet that my computer and lamp are connected to. Both stayed on and nothing caught fire, but it was alarming and I'm not quite sure what to do.....I don't have a fire extinguisher.....

The wall isn't hot and there was no smoke, but I'm still not entirely sure I want to go to bed next to this outlet....I majored in lighting design and electricity....this shouldn't freak me out. LOL

I'm beginning to think it wasn't from the outlet, but instead my brain combusting from attempting to write cover letters all day.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

More Cover Letter Whining...

I managed to squeeze a draft of each cover letter out, I'm actually on draft 2 of the job in Chicago, but I hate all the drafts and have once again hit a roadblock with this process. I end up just summarizing my resume, which as Seeking Solace said is redundant, they are already getting my resume, but other than listing my experience I don't see any other way to link my experience to what they want. They want someone with tech experience, I have a degree in theatre technology. They want someone with contract knowledge, I work in entertainment law.

I feel like every step of this process is impossible for me, which in turn makes me feel stuck, which in turn makes me depressed, which in turn makes me unmotivated.

It's a vicious circle!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

In the mood for cookin'

In the last 24 hours I made the following:

Cleaner Plate Club's fish recipe - only I made it with chicken! This recipe ROCKS, fast, easy and tasty. A great combo for me!

Restricted Gourmet's Brown Sugar Cake - This cake has a light taste and is great warmed with a bit of cream on top. Not terrific for the diet, but a lovely treat!

Soft pretzles from allrecipes - I love those pretzels you get at the mall and this is an easy recipe. Mine don't always come out pretzel shaped, but they are tasty nonetheless.

I better stop cooking or else weigh in day this week is gonna be ROUGH! LOL

Cleaning Q

Anyone else have one of these window fans? I LOVE how cool they keep my apartment in the summer, but in NYC they get dirty SO fast. I have no idea how to clean them since you can't take them apart. Anyone have any tips??

I hate this SO much

Cover letters. HATE HATE cover letters. I have 2 I want to get out this weekend, but I'm on major writers block. I've never been able to write cover letters and it often literally takes me sitting blankly in front of my computer for 12+ hours before I can come up with anything. I think I would rather go to the dentist than write a cover letter.

Ugh. Anyone have any tips???

Friday, June 15, 2007

Throwback....er...Friday?

I'm off work today and bored, so I'm scanning in some pics for Throwback Thursdays. Mama Doggy Love posted some High School dance photos, so here is mine. Homecoming 1996! My date was my best friend's brother, who I had a HUGE crush on....we ended up semi-dating, and even kept in touch when I went to college and he went into the Army, but nothing ever came of it. God LOOK at his haircut....what was I thinking?? LOL

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More Photos

Head on over to my photo blog and check out the rest of my Aruba photos. I didn't take many photos this trip, but I did get a few favorites.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Beach!

Feet in the Sand

The View Out My Balcony

I'm on U.S. Soil Again.

Back from Aruba! Tanned, relaxed and SO not ready to ready the 500 emails I got in the 5 days I was gone! Eventually I'll catch up with everyone's blogs, emails, comments and lives! Photos coming shortly!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Holy Hottie Batman

As I'm walking by our receptionist's desk this afternoon I noticed a HOT guy waiting in the lobby. The receptionist was nowhere to be found, so I asked if he needed assistance and he said he was visiting from Los Angeles and had been waiting about 20 minutes to see one of our executives. I called the exec's cell phone to see where he was, and he told me he had COMPLETELY forgot about his meeting with the Hot guy (he used his real name of course, he didn't call him HOT guy) and he would rush back to the office to see him, but was going to be about 20 more minutes. He asked that I entertain him until his arrival.

NO problem. :-P

I was SO on my game, I chatted him up, found a way to make him have to look over my shoulder at my computer screen (asked him if he needed directions to his next meeting across town), I was cracking jokes with people who walked by and had him in stitches. I was so on my game that when our security alarm randomly went off, I swiftly punched a few keys to make it stop. A movie scene couldn't have been scripted better. I very nearly gave him my phone number, but decided it would be too unethical. He did ask lots of questions about me, like how long I had been here and what department I worked in, so he could easily find me if he wanted to. I did notice that even though I never told him my name, he used it when he said goodbye on his way out.

Sigh. I love it when HOT guys fall in my lap. Even though nothing will ever come from it, it still made my day just a little bit brighter.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Decsions Decisions 2

Something Jenn said in my comments on my first Decisions post has been stuck in my mind the past few days:

"Would your life be better if you had that job?"

I sit at work all day asking myself this question. Then I go home and sit on my couch and ask myself this question. After 3 days of asking myself this question I'm not sure I am any closer to a clear answer.

There will be aspects of the new job that I know I will love, there will be aspects of the new job that I know will frustrate me. I imagine that's pretty much how it would be with any job. The frustrations of the new cancel out the frustrations of the old and it's what's left that matters. Aside from the job being in a field I enjoy, the biggest change would probably be in my day-to-day life.

I think in the long run my daily life would be better with this job. After my NY lease ran out (or after finding a sublet), I could easily afford an apartment with all the amenities I don't have here in NY, and I could definitely have a dog again. For most people the day-to-day life is mundane and insignificant, but for me, a self-proclaimed loner, my daily routine and tasks truly are the "comforts of home".

New York makes daily life difficult. Imagine going to the grocery store and only being able to buy what you can carry home. A quick trip to Target takes a minimum of 2 hours and changing trains twice. Doing laundry means carrying your laundry basket two blocks all the while attempting to prevent your underwear from blowing across the street. A return to the simpler, more convenient life of IL is tempting.

I still need to make out a pro/con list, but as of right now I'm leaning toward submitting my application.

Until then it looks like many more sleepless nights contemplating my quality of life. Thanks a lot Jenn :-P

What the World Eats

I came across this very striking photo essay on the TIME website that I wanted to share.

Check it out.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

It recently came to my attention that my old job in Illinois (in the event planning field) is open again. Seeing the job ad brought back a flood of emotions all leading to the ultimate question of: Do I apply?

The considerations (in no particular order):

1) There is no guarantee I would get the job. If I don't, could my ego take it?
2) It would pay significantly less than what I make now, though the cost of living would also be significantly less. I could probably have the same standard of living I have now (including air conditioning, dishwasher and dog), but wouldn't be able to travel as much.
3) It's a job working for a major University, so I could potentially take photography classes for free.
4) It's 3 hours south of Chicago, ideally I wanted to be much closer to a major city than that, though that does decrease the cost of housing significantly and I could potentially eventually buy a house.
5) Aside from 1 person, the department I would be working in is all new people and I would be working under someone new. Can I handle being managed in a situation where I already have a set way of doing the job.
6) It's obviously a lateral move and may appear on a resume as a step BACK, is this something that will hurt me if I decide to job hunt later in life?
7) I JUST signed my lease for another year. and this job starts mid-August, so I would potentially have to live with my parents for an entire year (or until I could sublet my place). They live an hour and 15 min away from the job, which is quite a commute, though I potentially have friends I could stay with off and on if needed. Is this a temporary situation that is feasible.
8) It's a job I know I'm good at and that I love.

Anyone have ANY advice???

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm Leaving the Country in 5 Days

I don't think it hit me until my dad said something about having to go through customs. How on earth did this trip sneak up on me? My parents asked me to go on this *cue dramatic music* "last family vacation as just the 4 of us before your sister gets married" all the way back in January. I was reluctant to agree. My vacation time is precious and spending 5 days in a condo arguing with my parents and sibling isn't exactly my idea of a good time. In the end though, the promise of a completely free trip to Aruba where I could sit on the beach and potentially reclaim my inspiration as a photographer, was too tempting to pass up and I agreed to go.

I know in the end some parts of the trip will be worse than what I expect and some will be better, so I guess it all works out in the end. My parents and I have VERY different vacation styles. I like to relax and have completely unstructured days where I'm free to wander around aimlessly and finding my own sights and interests, my dad feels the need to schedule EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE of his time and drag us along with him. I've already prepared them for this battle, saying I will NOT be accompanying them on their excursions, but I know in the end I'll be bullied into at least some of them. Hopefully though I can find some time for myself, either in the resort gym, pool or beach. Hopefully my sister won't turn the entire week into a "quest to find a phone every 15 minutes" so she can call her fiance. Hopefully my parents will lay off me and not ask me 20 times when I'm going to get married or even have a date.

Hopefully my iPod batteries will last so I can tune them all out once the "hope" wears off.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The CUTEST Dog Treats Ever!

The ladies over at pinksandblues.com featured my FAVORITE dog treats this week on their site. Head on over and check them out.

Also PLEASE keep Doggy Mama and her doggies (and husband!) in your thoughts and prayers. Her dog Bismarck was recently diagnosed with lymphoma and their family needs all the karma, chi and positive thoughts you can send their way!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Is it Summer Already?

If there is one thing that I miss more than anything else about the Midwest it is the prevalence of air conditioning. NY apartments all have those little window units that only cool one room, in my case the bedroom, so for 3 months of the year I'm confined to one room of my apartment (and it's not the room that has cable and Tivo!). It's just barely June and I'm already whining about the heat...it's going to be a LONG summer.

Central air conditioning is DEFINITELY going on my Illinois apartment must-have list!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Head on over...

to my weight loss blog and check out this week's progress. I'll wait.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Week 3

I decided to separate my weight loss posts from this blog and create a new one. I'll cross post my weekly updates, but I wanted a space where I could whine about my cravings on a daily basis without cluttering up my main blog. My new blog is here.

Stop by and check in on me, whine with me or share your healthy recipes!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Back...but I don't wanna be...

As my plane took off last night to come back to New York, I had tears in my eyes. I felt like a little kid who doesn't want to leave the park when mom says it's time to go. I had a great weekend, seeing friends, spending time outside (I forgot how much I missed grass and trees!) and having a car. I spent almost the entire day on Sunday outside in the sun, sitting in my friend Beth's backyard, drinking coffee, playing with her dog and chatting. It was so nice and it made me realize just how badly I want to start the next phase of my life out there.

When I go to Chicago I stay with a friend's brother (single and VERY cute, but 12 years older (which doesn't bother me, but I get the impression that he thinks of me as "young")) who has a lovely house in the suburbs. My friend was out of town this weekend, so I didn't get to really see him, but his brother is nice and lets me crash when I need to. I like these weekend visits I go on, it gives me an opportunity to play out my suburban housewife fantasies. Beautiful house/cute guy across the breakfast table/SUV in the driveway...at one point Single Cute Brother and I were having a conversation about the gardener who was working outside in the rain and I looked down at my left hand to see if I was married and in some bizarre parallel universe. I'm seriously considering propositioning Single Cute Brother and asking him if he wants a housewife. I'll cook, clean, put out whenever he wants.....a guy can't say no to that can he???? :-P

In all seriousness I'm just happier in Illinois. I have a support system, life is easier and overall much more peaceful. I absolutely don't regret moving to New York and everything I've accomplished here. Having a life out here was a lifelong dream and I'm happy I did it, but I'm ready to move on and fulfill some other dreams. I really need to step up the job hunt and actively start looking. I signed my NY lease for another year (but I can always easily sublet if I need to) so I'm giving myself a deadline of a year. After the year is up if I still haven't found a job I will most likely ask my parents if I can move in with them until I can find something. At least that will put me in the right state since I'm worried that long-distance job hunting is impossible. I'm not sure I can live with my parents again though, so everyone keep your finger's crossed that I find something before then!

The North Star Goes High-Tech

For my trip to Chicago this weekend I rented a version of the car I've been considering buying if I do move back to Illinois. It wasn't exactly the same (I would get the hybrid version), but it gave me an idea of what it's like to drive an SUV. I'm not completely sold on the idea of having such a large car for just me, but I am absolutely sold on the idea of having GPS. If I could find a way to take the navigational system out of this car and hang it around my neck I would. I typed in "Target" and it automatically gave me directions to the nearest one. I typed in coffee and it gave me options for directions to the nearest Starbucks AND the nearest Panera. I'm so in love with this technology.

If only I could type in "Single Hot Male" and have it do the same.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Frequent Flyer Girl

Internet has been down at work most of the day again, I only got it back about an hour ago, and some people still don't have it back. I went downstairs to the floor that's still out and found people dusting, prying the keys off their keyboards and cleaning the crumbs out and making paperclip necklaces. Thankfully it's only a half day for us since it's a holiday weekend.

I'm heading out to the airport soon for my flight to Chicago. Safe travels to all this weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Today was aparently NOT Admin Assistant Appreciation Day

Part of our network at work went down today and some of us lost all network/internet capabilities. I lost all my connections, but my boss was fine, even though we share an office. I spent the last half of the day doing absolutely nothing, since our voicemail, fax, email and internet were all affected. My boss was getting anxious about stuff not getting done, so when the rest of the company left at closing, I finished some things up using a co-worker's computer that wasn't affected by the outage. Before he left he stopped by my co-worker's desk to give me some notes on the project I was working for and then went to catch his train at Grand Central.

About an hour later, I finished up my project and walked back to my office where, upon leaving, my boss had LOCKED THE DOOR, locking my keys and all of my things inside. He lives over an hour away so I couldn't call him and ask him to come back and immediately I had visions of having to sleep on the couch in our lounge. I called HR, everyone's assistant, our Operations Manager, my boss, even the CEO of the company, but they either weren't answering their phones or they had no idea how to get in. I tried using things to slide the lock open, I tried slamming my body against the door, I tried asking it to magically open, but nothing was working. FINALLY after about an hour, HR called me back and told me about the secret key hidden in the building for emergencies. I found it and was FINALLY able to rescue my keys and get home.
What a day! Lets hope tomorrow everything is back to normal!

10 Things I'm Grateful For

I saw this on Doggy Mama a few days ago and kept meaning to do it, but never got around to it. Better late than never!

1) That I was raised to be open-minded. I grew up in the Midwest where open, creative thinking isn't as prevalent as it is elsewhere. I'm extremely thankful my parents raised us to be self-thinkers.

2) Tivo - I've only had it a few months, but I absolutely love technology that saves me time and allows me to be on my own schedule.

3) My dog Ginger - Even though she lives with my parents and I don't get to see her much, she's been with me through some rough times and always knows when to cuddle up next to me in bed and lick my face to make me feel better. I can't wait to live somewhere when I can have a dog again.

4) Advil - no explanation necessary on this one.

5) My friends - New, old, distant, near - I love em' and need em' all!

6) Electricity - I've gone without it a LOT this year and I've definitely learned to appreciate it. Here's hoping the power stays on in NYC this summer.

7) My books - I own an extensive collection of books and I'm always amazed by the amount of information and stories that can be found in this one room of my apartment. I know exactly where I bought almost every book, or who purchased it for me as a gift and I think of each one as a postcard of my life in a way.

8) Spellcheck - I love tools that make me appear smarter than I really am.

9) Gmail - I love email in general, but my gmail account is my lifeline. I keep my contacts, calendar and bookmarks in it and love having everything all together in one location.

10) My past: the good, the bad and the "oh sh*t I can't believe I did that, I hope my parents don't find out" - the tears, the joy and everything in between has taught me lessons and given me knowledge. I know its leading me somewhere, even if I can't always see what direction its taking me in.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Parcel

was some clothes I ordered a LONG time ago that were supposedly sent via FedEx and had dropped off the tracking...somehow they made their way to me through regular mail. How odd!

No word on the apartment yet, but they should get my forms today or tomorrow. I can't imagine they would kick out a tenant who agreed to thier stupid $115 rent increase and who always pays on time, but it's NY, you never know.