Monday, April 30, 2007

I'm a Believer!

Awhile back I posted about these containers I had found that claimed to keep produce fresh in your fridge longer. I was a skeptic, but I've been trying to eat more produce and going to Whole Foods every few days wasn't practical so I finally succumbed and bought them.

These containers are AMAZING. I don't know how they do it, but normally bagged salad in a Ziploc bag keeps for a few days in my fridge and it's been in there nearly two weeks and it's still fresh! I'm an absolute believer now, and highly recommend these to anyone who has trouble eating their veggies before they spoil.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A little perspective

I'm watching Tori and Dean: Inn of Love, that show where Tori Spelling and her hot husband open a Bed and Breakfast. The scene is Tori getting weighed at her Dr. appointment. At 8 months pregnant she weights 4 pounds LESS than I weigh right now.

I'm going to the gym.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Kids These Days....

It is an unwritten rule in NY that if you are a tourist, especially if you are part of an enormous tour group, you do NOT ride the subway during the morning rush hour. This is not only courteous, but for your own safety, as pre-caffeinated New Yorkers attempting to get to work on time are not known to be the nicest bunch.
As I waited to get on the 6 train at Grand Central this morning, a young mother with a toddler and a newborn in a large stroller stood next to me. I see this woman nearly every morning with her children and I usually let her get on the train in front of me so she doesn't get shoved around too much by the other people crowding onto the train. I think of myself as her own personal commute bouncer. As the 6 train arrived today, a HUGE tour group of high school students and their teachers/parents attempted to shove their way onto the train, knocking myself and the woman with her children out of the way and not even letting the people trying to leave the train get off. Though the parents/teachers weren't doing any of the shoving, they were standing in the back yelling and ENCOURAGING the students to shove their way onto the train so that the entire group could get on before the train left. The people trying to get off the train were IRATE and one of the high school students nearly got herself punched in the face for her overly aggressive tactics. I blocked the woman with the stroller from the herd and got her and myself out of the way. The entire group managed to get on the train when an MTA employee finally came over to investigate the hold-up. He asked the chaperones where the group was headed and when they answered the World Trade Center and the young mother and I groaned. The 6 train doesn't connect to the World Trade Center stop. We waited for the entire group to get off the train, and the MTA employee held the train and allowed the mother and I to get on and finally make our way to work.
I'm annoyed at the students for the complete lack of consideration for the people around them, but even more annoyed that the chaperones not only allowed the behavior to happen, but that they encouraged it. This group was going to pay tribute to a site where thousands of New Yorkers lost their lives, yet they couldn't show an ounce of decorum and selflessness. I would have been more than willing to assist their group onto the train, or to point them in the direction of the MTA employee stationed on the platform to answer questions, but instead I nearly got a black eye just trying to shield 2 young children from harm and get to work on time.
I really need to get out of this city before I turn into one of those curmudgeonly old women with their grocery carts wandering the street complaining about the young hoodlums.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day

Earth Day is today and I've been reading a lot about the simple changes we can make in our lives that will help the environment. Here are the changes I've made in my own life in order to be more environmentally friendly.

Bring your own canvas re-usable bags to the grocery store.
Use energy saving light bulbs
Use cloth napkins instead of paper
Use non-toxic cleaning products
Wash your clothes in cold water
Bring your own mug to Starbucks
Unplug appliances or chargers when you aren't using them or when you go on vacation.

Anyone else made changes in your house? Leave your suggestions in the comments section!

Why can't jobs find us?

My life on paper has never looked good. I majored in theatre lighting, had my first work experience in event planning, moved halfway across the country and then had my second work experience in entertainment law. Even I wouldn't hire me. My resume has always lacked cohesion, and I've never gotten a job using it.

Recently a friend from work who is an MBA student and I went to work on our resumes. I had never had anyone with zero theatre knowledge look at it, so the fresh perspective was exactly what I needed. The changes she suggested were genius. Magically she was able to highlight the skills I have and make me look marketable. Hopefully this confidence boost will motivate me to start a more serious hunt.

One of the suggestions my friend made was to remove my list of lighting designs and put my lighting knowledge elsewhere. It was an excellent idea, but hitting delete on that section was hard. I haven't been a designer in over 5 years, but there was a time I defined myself by it. Besides one photograph that hangs in the hallway of my apartment, that section on my resume is all that's left that time in my life and it was a little sad to erase it. My resume was stuck in the past though, and it's time to move on. There are things I want to do with my life still and unfortunately reducing my life to 1 page of text is the only way to get there.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Today is the day.....

1) Aaron officially gets out of the Marines for GOOD and 2) it's his 28th birthday!!!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech

I read several newspapers daily and watch CNN religiously. I read the online news from a variety of countries with varying perspectives. To call me a news junky is an understatement.
When horrific life events happen, I often end up watching the same footage over and over for days. I read the same facts written in a variety of ways. I hear commentary from a variety of people and sources. I try to get the largest picture possible of the story. The massacre at Virginia Tech was a tragedy of the unimaginable. The victims, roughly the same age as those dying in the Iraq war, died doing something many of us once did; walking across a campus, sitting in a classroom or just hanging out in a dorm. The tributes in the New York Times and on CNN have been heartbreaking, but I can't help but also think about Cho Seung-Hui as well. Yes, he's a murderer and his name will be immortalized for causing the deadliest shooting rampage in the United States to date, but clearly he was sick. People are quick to remind us that mental disease is, in fact, a disease, until something like this happens, and then instead of being labeled "sick" the person is considered evil and vile. I believe that in this case, it was the act that was vile and deplorable, not the person.
Cho had a childhood riddled with teasing and possibly even suffered from abuse. He had a long history of mental illness that went untreated and warning signs that went ignored. This man spent his entire life being overlooked. He was a human being with severe mental illness subjected to ridicule and psychological trauma living in a state with the most lax of gun control laws and unfortunately in his case, this was a lethal combination. People aren't born to do things like this.
I have a love/hate relationship with the news. I like knowing what's going on in the world and how the pieces of life's many puzzles fit together. I do, however, acknowledge that we never get the whole story. Nevertheless it brings to my frame people and causes that I might not otherwise have known about.
I believe that what this world needs the most are people with a wide-angle lens.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Kai Unplugged

For the FOURTH time in the 21 months I have lived in this apartment, I came home to find that I've had no power. They've been switching my building over from fuses to breakers and outages are all too common. My super was nowhere to be found and wasn't responding to my phone calls. I decided to do what Laura Ingalls Wilder would do. I lit some candles and made bread (my stove is gas thankfully). My super never showed or called, so I used the last bit of juice in my cell phone to call a coworker and ask them to tell my boss I would be out today. I was going on a mission.

My super has a car that he parks out in front of the building, but due to street cleaning, he has to move it each morning at 8:30. I parked myself outside his car starting at 8:15 and waited for him to show. At 8:29 he finally comes out and I tell him that I'm on day 2 of no power now and ask if he got my messages. He said he hadn't and after he moved his car he FINALLY went to check the breakers in the basement. He flipped some switches and my power was restored. The rest of my precious day off will be spent cleaning out the fridge and freezer and going to the grocery store. According to my Tivo, the power was out for about 25 hours and I don't want to take a chance on any of the food that was in there. Everything in the freezer was soft and warm when I opened it after the power was back on, so I'm guessing I should throw it all out. Ugh.

Apparently the electricians switched the system over yesterday morning and "forgot me". WTF? You've been in my apartment for the past four months tearing holes in the walls, leaving drywall dust EVERYWHERE and you forget to switch my power over to the new system?? Ugh.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

To Eat or Not To Eat

In my quest to be healthier, I've tried to become more aware of what I'm eating and what's in the food I'm eating. Awhile back I came across Ali's site at cleanerplateclub which has been a wealth of knowlege and resources. She recently posted about the expense of eating healthy, and how it's exponentially cheaper to eat unhealthy, processed foods than it is to eat organic/fresh foods. I'm only able to shop at Whole Foods about 50% of the time (due to (lack of) proximity to the store, not really economic factors) so I don't see much of a change in my food spending. I do, however, notice a significant increase in the quality of the food I come home from Whole Foods with. Potatoes in my local (and very creepy) grocery store are often literally 1/3 the size of the ones I get at Whole Foods. I like knowing that I'm coming home with food that's "cleaner".

I feel extremely lucky that, though not rich by any standards, I am financially able to choose my food and even my cleaning products based on companies whose business practices I support and those that are environmentally friendly. Whole Foods donates 5% of their profits to not-for-profit and educational causes and they cap their executive salaries based on the average of all employee salaries (it's still a high number, but the fact that an excecutive salary cap exists at all is amazing), and Method cleaning products are environmentally friendly and non-toxic.

I recently picked up a book called Twinkie:Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger. He took each ingredient listed on a Twinkie wrapper and dedicated a chapter to explaining what it is, where it comes from and why it's used in foods. He used the Twinkie because it contains the most comprehensive list of ingredients that are commonly used in foods. It's an interesting read if you are at all curious where the components of food are derived from or why "beef fat" is listed as a "possible" ingredient in Twinkies.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rain Rain Rain

Anyone got a kayak I can borrow for my morning commute?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

5 From Jenn

Jenn had an interview session over at her place and I took her up on her interview challenge. If you want me to interview you, just leave a note here in my comments and I'll send you 5 questions to answer on your own blog!

1. What inspired you to take up photography?
-When I was little my dad had a very old, manual film camera in a shiny silver case that he kept in his closet. My parents had this HUGE walk-in closet and I used to like to go in there and lay under the clothes (kind of like laying under the Christmas tree). One day I found the camera and asked my dad if I could have it. I never really did anything with it, until one day in high school when I got film for it and just started playing around with it. I upgraded to digital last year, but I still keep my dad's old camera on the bookshelf in my apartment to remind me of how I started.

2. Did you have little-girl dreams about getting married? Or is this a desire that came later in life?
- The whole white picket fence/2.5 kids/2 car American dream ideal was something instilled in me as a child by my parents. I was always "told" I would get married, which of course made me rebel and shun all relationships, but as I get older the desire to go through life with a partner and have a family grows stronger. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to completely rid myself of the stubborn independence I possess enough to actually have a successful relationship with a man, but I would definitely like to be in love someday.

3. If you could live anywhere in the world (and had the ability to support yourself), where would it be?
- This one is HARD because there are so many great places in the world. I guess my cheap answer is I'd like to live anywhere near a major airport so I could fly wherever in the world I wanted. Ideally though I think if money weren't an object I'd like to get myself a nice townhouse just outside Chicago in the near suburbs and live the best of both urban and rural settings.

4. What's one thing you'd like to change about yourself but for one reason or another have not?
- My weight. I'm stuck at a size 12 and would LOVE to be in shape, but my inherent laziness and love for donuts ultimately prevails and I can't ever seem to drop those 30 or so extra lbs.

5. Name one article of clothing you absolutely cannot live without. Why?
-I have these work-out pants I got 5 years ago or so through the Victoria's Secret catalog that are PERFECT. Not too tight, perfect weight for working out and all seasons, don't make noise when you run on the treadmill, ideal length and very slimming. I've run them into the ground and should probably not be wearing them in public, but I just can't seem to find a suitable replacement for them. I live in these pants and wish they still made them, but now that the "yoga"/form fitting look is in, I'm out of luck.

Because my checkbook doesn't have sprinkles

I'm still stuck in the blues, and like most women, when I'm down, I eat. I've been trying to curb the cravings, but sometimes they just get the best of me.

Today after I ate my very healthy (and tasty!) lunch that I brought from home of a lettuce & herb salad with crispy chicken, apples and dried cranberries, I snuck out of work to the Dunkin Donuts on the corner and ate 2 strawberry frosted donuts and 1 boston creme.

I am SO ashamed....How come paying the rent or working out doesn't give us the "high" that sugar does?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Blues

I just can't seem to snap out of my latest bought of self-hatred. I go through these phases, as I think we all do, of not feeling good enough, attractive enough, smart enough etc., etc., but this time I can't seem to snap out of it. I feel horrendously unattractive and overweight and am embarrassed when I see an attractive man on the street or subway because I don't want them to look at me. I know that a foray into online dating usually brings about these feelings, for the task of finding a match whose profile doesn't specifically state that they ONLY date women who are fit/skinny is a daunting one. It's hard not to feel completely worthless when 98% of the single male population is basically deeming you unworthy of having a conversation with because you are a size 12 and not a 2.


Sunday, April 08, 2007


Back from Boston! Did ya miss me? :-P

My trip was great and it was fantastic to spend time with old friends and just relax. I HIGHLY recommend the beds at the Marriott Hotel at Copley place. My first night I slept so hard I slept right through my friend's alarm the next morning!

I'm still unpacking and downloading photos from two cameras, so I'll write more and post photos in a day or two.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

We won't have the same last name any more

I've known my sister was going to get married for awhile now. She has been blessed with much better luck than I in the dating (and looks) department. She met her now fiance in high school and now, two years into college they are still going strong and have plans to wed right after graduation. Both sets of parents involved are thrilled and major preparations are already underway.

For the record, I have no issue with my sister getting married so young. I don't believe there is some formula to happiness that everyone must follow. I firmly believe that everyone has their own path and choice to make and I am not one to judge other people's journeys. Personally, if she can be spared the decade of bad dates and disappointment that I have had to endure, then I'm all for it.

That said, I'm having an extremely tough time with this all. I am older than my sister by 8 years. Engagements, marriage, even requited relationships of any kind are all completely foreign concepts to me. It's hard to see your much younger sibling have major life experiences that you know nothing about. Life experiences you deeply desire to have, but are stuck playing the waiting game for, while the nagging voice in the back of your head telling you that nobody will ever love you grows louder each day.

I wish my family understood my pain, but they don't. They are too caught up in the excitement of finally being able to plan a wedding, that they completely dismiss my hurt. Instead they accuse me of being selfish and I can't even refute their claims, because they are right. What I feel is selfish and steeped in the "why can't it be me?", yet I'm powerless to feel different. The pain that being forced to help my sister pick out a wedding dress and choose flower and bridesmaid dress colors causes is like enduring the worst breakup of your life over and over again.

I'm not sure how to cope with the best day of her life being one of the worst days of my own.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Comedy of Errors: Act II

After a stressful week at work, I thought I would enjoy a leisurely Sunday afternoon at the Starbucks on the corner with the Sunday Times and a cup of coffee. Sounds lovely right?

Here's what actually happened:

I wanted to buy a new travel mug while I was there, and I'm super picky about the container in which I (illegally) carry my coffee in on the subway each morning. It must be easy to hold, spillproof and not look like a weapon of mass destruction. As I was browsing the display I managed to knock one over which started a nasty domino effect. Luckily I caught them before they hit the floor. Finally I picked one out, got a newspaper off the rack and brought my purchases to the register, only to have the 100 pages or so of magazine inserts/coupons fall out and scatter on the floor. Then I attempted to order my beverage, a venti Chai Tea Latte, but instead I said a venti Thai Chi Latte, making the 20 people now in queue behind me, the cash register girl, cute barrista guy and homeless man lurking creepily near the register chuckle. Thinking my floor show was over, I handed the cash register girl my credit card and hoped I could make a speedy exit, now abandoning my plan to enjoy my paper and coffee on the comfy Starbucks couch, but instead in the privacy of my own home, where I wouldn't have an audience to entertain. Then the cash register girl somehow broke the corner of my credit card off when she swiped it in the machine, rendering it useless. Thankfully I had enough cash on me to cover my purchases and my drink was ready, so I threw the money on the counter and bolted home to the safety of my apartment where I am now enjoying my coffee and paper peacefully without any Saturday Night Live comedy sketch antics.

Apparently karma plays April fools jokes.