Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So I Have a Problem... Kinda.

It's not a bad problem to have. I don't need to go to a therapy session to get fixed. I don't even think it needs to be fixed. Most people wouldn't mind having this problem, actually.

I want an iPhone for the wrong reasons.

The reasons are as follows:
- To get an application to manage my money easily (I hear has a great one, thank you, Brigitte!!)
- To feel/BE cool (Yeah, I said it.)

And the number one reason...
- To get this case for it.

I also want an iPad. Which leads me to a whole 'nother set of problems.

- I want the iPad case and iPhone case to match.
- Kate Spade does NOT make that iPhone case in an iPad case size.

This is a Mulberry design, but I definitely can't afford this problem.

I know, I know. "Guurllll, get some bigger, and more serious problems," right? (I already have those, thank you very much, I just choose not to share them via my PUBLIC BLOG.)

But, seriously, from what I know about these gadgets, people use them ALL the time, more than is normal to use a gadget.

If I was purchasing an expensive handbag, I'd want a matching wallet, as well. If I was purchasing expensive slacks, I'd just buy a suit. If I was purchasing an expensive car, I'd probably get leather seats. Expensive things sometimes come in pairs.

So, this is a legitimate argument I have here.

Help! Does anyone have any good solutions for this kinda-fun-problem I have? (I'm open to looking at alternative designers for my gadgets, as well. And yes, I want designer cases.)

What? That's totally normal.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rules vs. Roles

Rules and Roles are easily merged. (And I recently found out that if you're from Boston, the actual WORDS "rule" and "role" sound the exact same to anyone outside of Boston. Sorry, to have confused you... Ken.)

One may think that it's a rule that men open doors for women, but in reality- that's a role that he chooses to, and should, play. 

Rules are actions/tasks that we, as people, are "supposed" to abide by. A perfect example of a rule-follower is Minkus, from Boy Meets World. Sean is someone who did not follow rules. (Sidebar: Sean was so crush-worthy, right?)

Roles are actions/tasks that we, as people, choose to play. You know how Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players?" That's similar to how I see "roles." People choose to act their roles day in and day out for their specific reasons.

I've never liked rules.  I don't like when people tell me what to do, where to go, who to talk to, and I generally do the opposite, depending on what is asked of me. (If it has to do with work or family, I typically follow rules, though.) 

  Examples follow:
  • Crossing the street in the sidewalk/when it says WALK only (I strongly disagree with this. Walk whenever and wherever the cars aren't bombing straight at you.)
  • Eat dessert after dinner (Only sometimes, I switch this, Mom, not all the time.)
  • Wear a dark color on the bottom and a light color on the top (I like to have full creative liberty with my clothing choices.)
  • Abide by certain signs on walls in restaurants, hospitals, etc. (If it says don't use your cell phone, chances are I'm using it... purposely.)
  • Treat others the way you'd like to be treated. (Now, this one depends on the circumstance. Once, a woman was rude to my mom for no good reason, and even though my mom turned the other cheek (she's a great Christian,) I chose to be rude right back at this woman to give her a taste of her own medicine. Call me a New Yorker, if you want, but I was taking care of what needed to be done.) Most other times, I abide by this rule. It's much easier to be kind than mean, 99% of the time.
I do like roles, and enjoy acting my role as a woman, daughter, sister, friend, granddaughter, cousin, niece, and coworker.

Examples follow:
  • When courting, men pay for dinners, drinks, and cabs (No question.)
  • When an elderly or pregnant person gets on the subway and you're in a seat, offer them your seat (This goes for any young, healthy person with 2 working legs.)
  • Clean up after dinner if someone else made it (In my house, it may as well be a rule, but I see it as a role. For example, My grandmother and grandfather cook & prepare Thanksgiving, so I see it my duty as a grandchild (the eldest female grandchild, at that) to happily clean and put away everything once the meal is over.)
  • Men cut the grass. (I don't know how to use a lawnmower, and I don't ever want to learn unless I have no choice. And see how HAPPY that guy is?!  He's thrilled to be mowing his own grass.)
The issue with rules and roles is that there is a fine line that divides them from"options," or "rights." A few things above could even be classified as a role, but also an option, or a rule, and also a right.

Am I alone out there? Does anyone else use their cell phones places you shouldn't and think that mowing the lawn is your dad's, brother's or neighbor-boy's job?


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Friends of St. Jude Winter Gala 2011

A few weeks ago, the NYC Friends of St. Jude hosted a Happy Hour at Chelsea Manor. It was a good showing of friends and strangers coming together to learn more about the organization, and enjoy each others' company.

While we were all drinking our cocktails or imported beers, a man stood up on a cushy leather couch, tapped his cocktail glass, and received everyone's attention.

His name was Michael Swart and was 30 years old. Looking dapper, and not at all nervous to speak to a room of 30+ people, he told us that he was once a patient at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee.

We were all in shock. No way. He looked so healthy!

He told us that in the middle of his sophomore year of college, at 19 years old, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After 6 weeks of treatments, he was finally in remission. It took 2 years of chemotherapy to keep the cancer from coming back. To reiterate: that's from 19 years old to 21 years old.

What were most of you doing when you were 19-21 years old? Not sitting in a room getting chemotherapy fed through your veins, I'm sure. 

Thankfully, he has been cancer free for the last 10 years.

Everyone in the room had goosebumps by the end of his speech, some people had damp cocktail napkins in their hands from a few fallen tears. He was a phenomenal speaker, and inspired everyone in the room to not take their health for granted anymore. Friends thanked me for inviting them, since his speech reminded them of what was real, when all day they had their own, smaller worries in their minds.

So often during the day, we're stressed about work, relationship issues, friend drama, or family situations, and while those things impact our daily lives, we often forget that we're healthy. We wake up every day expecting to feel alive. Maybe we wake up with a headache from a need for caffeine or because we partied too hard the night before. But, we have our health.

If you're thankful for the health that you have- why don't you purchase a ticket to the Friends of St. Jude Winter Gala? The money goes straight to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, so you're able to help a child (or 19 year old) become cancer-free by purchasing a ticket for $100, while enjoying an open bar, eating hor'dourves, and submitting silent auction bids for cigars or jewelry.

You're able to register for the event here: Friends Of St. Jude Winter Gala

Details follow:
When: Friday, December 2nd
Time: 9pm-1am
Where: Angel Orensanz Foundation/Lower East Side (Norfolk and Houston)
Twitter: NYC_StJude
2010 Friends of St Jude Winter Gala (Angel Orensanz Foundation)

I hope that Michael's story impacted your day as it did mine that night at Chelsea Manor.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thanks, Kim.

Full disclosure 1: I love weddings. I love the pomp and circumstance, the dresses, the cakes, the music, the free champagne, the after parties, the whole sha-bang.

Full disclosure 2: I've never given a thought to the "marriage" between the two people who I'm cheers-ing to at the reception. (Outside of writing "I'm so happy to share in the happiness of the first day of the rest of your lives together!")

I've thought about my own wedding and marriage, but always put more emphasis on the wedding day.

Wedding Thoughts:
"I wonder how he will propose... what ring?"
"What am I going to wear, ball gown or a-line?"
"What flavor is my cake going to be? Is it appropriate to have my mom bake a rainbow cake? I'd really like that..."
"Band or DJ?"
"What color scheme?!?!"
"If he proposes in June, do I have to have a summer wedding the following year? I'm going to sweat..."
 = 6+ thoughts

Marriage Thoughts:
"I wonder how many kids we'll have..."
"I wonder where we will live..."
"A house is HOW MUCH?"
=3 thoughts.

Looking at this list, it appears that I have spent more time thinking about the exciting and fun stuff (aka: the WEDDING DAY) versus the not-so-exciting, but real-life stuff (aka: THE REST OF MY LIFE.) (This exercise actually propelled me into a new thought pattern, as you'll read below.)

I think this must have been Kim Kardashian's priority order, as well. But, the difference between me and Miss Kardashian is that I'm not getting married. I CAN daydream about my wedding day because it's not going to happen for a while. I don't think she was thinking about the long-term commitment that defines a marriage.

She met a guy, 6 months later was engaged, and a few months after that had the wedding. I think that as well all grow older, the speed of going from dating to marriage picks up, but the first family vacation, proposal, entire engagement, and wedding ceremony usually aren't on TV.

I'm not going to get into if this was all for publicity or what-have-you, but I do want to get into how all the hoopla of their wedding turned into a marriage that lasted for 72 days, and how that makes me feel about weddings versus marriage.

This is from an article I read this morning:

The costs of some items and Kim and Kris' gifts:
$25K for Vera Wang Wedding gowns (of which she had 3)
$10M "reported" cost of THE WEDDING (I'm still wondering how much of it was paid for by E!...)
$17.9M in gifts and People Mag money and other benefits they received because they are celebs.
= 72 days married

Now, the money spent should be put into perspective. They make a billion dollars a year and $10M may not be THAT much for them.

However, the days spent married should NOT be looked at with the same viewpoint. IT'S MARRIAGE. It's supposed to be "forever." (I understand that under many circumstances, marriages do not and should not last forever, and sometimes each person in the marriage is better off after a divorce, but this is not what I'm talking about.)

72 days. That's just over 2 months. That's hardly "forever." That's hardly even TRYING.

On a related note, I read this article this morning that speaks about how there is so much thought and priority put into a wedding day (done by the bride because it's "HER day") and not enough placed on the marriage, that some couples are bound to be in the divorce lawyer's office, eventually.

I think that is some slight cockamamie (divorces happen for other reasons beside narcissism,) but in all reality- a wedding ceremony and reception are just happy celebrations between the bride and groom and their loved ones to kickstart the couple's forever.

This has prompted me to think about what I would want to do when my time comes to get all gussied up in a white dress and say "I Do." (Seeing as my priority order had dresses and cakes and music over kids and a house...)

Do I want the big wedding gown anymore? What's it really matter if I have a band or a DJ? What's all that spent money going to get me in the long run? What really is the best way to celebrate the first day of the rest of my life with my husband in a way that puts the spotlight on my marriage rather than the wedding day?

I'd really like to say my vows in a church with our families and closest friends, have my mom bake a rainbow cake for the reception, and have my dad grill up some steak tips and call it a day.

OK, rereading that, it sounds like a white trash wedding if there ever was one, but, you catch the drift! (I'd elope, but I really want my home town church and our families there.)

I'm sure that when the time comes, my mind will slightly change and I'll be very specific about certain parts of my wedding day (like... the dress.)

But I have to say THANKS to Kim Kardashian for showing me that although she doesn't respect what marriage stands for, by disrespecting it to the lengths that she did, she reminded me what it stands for, and I have to commend her for that.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Best and Worst Parts About Living in New York

Over a year ago, I wrote this post comparing Boston and New York. I determined that New York won, and now here I am, a year and a half later, looking at the best and worst parts of living in that "winning" city.

I thought of this topic whilst walking through Grand Central and overhearing multiple people voicing their own variations of "I hate commuting, specifically on the 6, when it's muggy and partly rainy outside and everyone is in bitchy moods because it's still only Tuesday and they haven't had coffee, yet, myself included."

Okay, who am I kidding!? New Yorkers never admit that they're in bitchy moods! I think that's because we're all jaded and are in permanent bad-moods, but that discussion is for another time.

Getting into the nitty-gritty... drumrolls please...

Top 3 Reasons Living in New York STINKS...
3. Mixing Tourists and Business-People in high-traffic areas
-  Commuting on a rainy morning, depending on the areas where one lives/works, one can run into puzzled-looking tourists with maps who don't apologize when they walk into you (it's expected that a New Yorker not apologize, but it's rude if a tourist doesn't.) ....Or wannabe golf-pro-business-men (The latter are the men who walk along 42nd street with Golf Umbrellas, because it's always necessary to walk on crowded streets with an umbrella the size of your kid's Barbie-Hummer! Duh!)
- None of this is fun, and if your curls have ever gotten twisted in the spikes of a golf umbrella, it's even more annoying.

2. There is Always Reason to Drink Celebrate
- Some people may see this as a positive thing. However, I can tell you that after a week of going out every night after work, waking up either hungover or with a severe case of dehydration- all you want to do is crawl back to the house you grew up in and morph back into a 6 year-old with chicken pox and have mom help you heal.
Example of real-life week:
Monday- going out with a friend who's in town for business for "one four drinks, to catch up!"
Tuesday- going out after work with clients to celebrate a successful website launch
Wednesday- going out after volleyball to celebrate winning
Thursday- going out with the girls because "we haven't seen each other in soooo long"
Friday- going out with old work friends because "we haven't seen each other in soooo long"
Sunday- going out for brunch and having Bellinis before football

1. A Latte Costs $6.65
- Depending on which Starbucks you venture to in the city (even if they're just across the street from each other,) the prices are always different. Everyone pays the price that the barista tells us, because we have to. We'd rather fight with strangers with golf umbrellas than the guy who's in charge of our fuel for the day.
....HOWEVER- The Starbucks in the Waldorf-Astoria has the most insane prices for to-go-burned coffee-mixed-with-milk that I've ever seen. It was nearly $10 for a grande skinny vanilla latte. Did they go to Colombia to get this sugar-free liquid vanilla straight off the vanilla-tree while I waited in line? I'm confused... But, inevitably- I paid for it. (But never went or will go back.)

Top 5 Reasons Living in New York is AWESOME! (There are more than the "worst reasons" because living in New York is just as I write: awesome.)
5. Free Concerts in Central Park
- My roommate saw Ray LaMontagne there one night after work and I saw Selena Gomez (heart beats rapidly) on TV performing there for Good Morning America, too.

4. I Can Wear Whatever I Want
- And no one judges. Well, unless I was to wear skimpy cut-off daisy dukes to church on the Upper East Side... but I try to live my life as Julia-Roberts-POST-Richard-Gere, and not pre.
- For example, I own a pair of royal blue skinny jeans that I'm in LOVE with.
I am currently wearing a black faux fur vest, at work. No one is looking at me funny. Although, I think this is because they may be chilly and would want to borrow it, but are too afraid it's actually a live bear and he would bite them if they took it from me.

3. When Friends Visit, It's Always Fun
- I've had a bunch of friends come down and always have a great time going out. Going to either the Canal Room (which I held off against listing as the "Number 1 Reason Living here is Awesome",) or going to a wine bar, out to dinner- there is always a ton of things to do (and so many places to choose from.)

2. Rockefeller Center during Christmas Time on a weeknight
- This is when there are the least amount of tourists around. It's always so romantic to walk around Rock Center at night when the tree is lit. However, it's terrible to do this on a weekend evening, since you'll lose the romantic spirit due to the amount of people in the area and you'll wind up sweating in your nice dressy-coat while trying to take a photo in front of the tree, which some small child or old person will inevitably be in because they're lost or bored and wandering around. (See the guy on the left??!)

1. Because There is No Better Place Than Manhattan
- Period.
(I mean, maybe Nice or London or other "foreign lands" are cool, sexy, intriguing, and have fancy languages, but New York is NEW YORK. Even Frank Sinatra was a fan.)

And there you have it, folks!

The fact that I live and work (and breathe) Manhattan always helps me get over the fact that my hair gets tangled in golf-umbrellas or that the cost of a latte is comparable to my gas bill.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Women, in general, have more choices than before."

Work it, Single Ladies- WORK IT!
According to some single women in their late 30s-early 40s, the single life is something we all should want.

Or is it?

In watching this: Women Who Love Being Single- on the Today Show,  I can't help but analyze body language when these women speak about how much they enjoy being single at their ages.

The first woman interviewed, Maria, is "single by choice." She says that her "joy is not predicated on being in a relationship... I have a good identity and I have a lot of joy in my life." Which is really great. I mean, girl power! I'd high-five her if she was in front of me.

But, when she first says that she is happy, and has a lot of love in her life from her family and friends, she looks down- rather than sternly and confidently into the camera.

I'm sure she's not lying when she says that her life is full and she doesn't need someone to be there to create the joy for her. I agree with that: in being single for the better part of a year and a half (give or take some months) I've learned that being filled with joy is something that one creates within one's self. If someone relies on another person for their joy and happiness, chances are that when/if that other person goes away, so will the joy and happiness. I just think that her body language said something else when she was speaking about where she receives love from.

Before the news story ends, Maria does say that she'd love to meet a man who's gutsy and loving, and who can keep up with her. So, I'm glad her story isn't about giving up in finding love, it's about appreciating finding your own happiness and living it every day, rather than getting all Patti- The-Matchmaker about love.

The news story then jumps into a live interview of a single journalist, Kate, and a psychiatrist (ironic much?) with Ann Curry.

Kate says that "men have been declining" and women have been "ascending." She was referring to the work place and income-earning levels, but those chosen words show a little bit more than just a feminist point of view.  It seemed like it was coming from a personal, an emotional place.

She continues to say that marriage is an option for women now, rather than a necessity, as it once was.

Ann then brings up the fact that this is comparable to Kate's own life... cuing the awkward body language. Kate stutters and can't get her "I'm single, I'm 39... I always thought I'd get married because that's what people do..." out fast enough. She starts speaking with her hands and smiling awkwardly. Though, similar to Maria, she says that she has enough love from her family and friends networks.

Come the end of the news story, the three conclude with the fact that being single is really about providing your own security, rather than relying on someone else. A happy ending.

Getting to the down and dirty... and incorporating psychology into my own thoughts...

Maybe I look for uncomfortable body languages from single mid-30s women because I want to know if they're truly happy.
Maybe there is a solo opportunity for my future, one I haven't thought of for myself, that I'll be able to read through these women.
Maybe getting married and having babies by the time I'm in my early-30s isn't in my cards...

But, what if I DO want to live in the traditional role of my gender? Not "role" as in wearing an apron when my husband gets out of work and I have dinner ready on the table, but, "role" as in finding true love that will bring me to marriage before my biological clock runs out.

I think that there are parts of these women that still have that eternal hope for true love that they haven't found, yet. But, they're living their lives in the most prolific and exciting way they know how, since God hasn't given them the opportunity to marry, yet.

Maybe that's just me hoping for them. Hoping that while they fulfill their personal desires, they leave enough room for someone else to jump in and join them on the rest of their life's' explorations and adventures.

Or, maybe that's me hoping for myself. Everyday in my life is an adventure in some way:
- walking through the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple
- paying my rent from my own checking account
- presenting to clients
- traveling to visit friends everywhere.
 ----- I'm a single woman, and I'm doing this all on my own, with a smile on my face to BOOT!

I'm happy and it's because of my own self. I love my life and I wouldn't do anything to change it. Like Maria and Kate, I'm living my life according to what brings me joy and happiness, and until Mr. Right pops into my life, I'll continue living it that way... and getting happier every day.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Know Your Mother Taught You...


You know that book, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?" I agree with it. I haven't read it, but just based on the title, I agree with it.

Think about it. Either your mom, dad, grandparents, or teachers taught you between the ages of 3-6:
- To be kind to others
- To talk out your feelings
- To share your toys
- To wash the germs off your hands......

Bringing me to my point.

I'm not quite sure where most people on this Earth went to Kindergarten, but I think some of their teachers forgot to teach them that last point there...

At two separate times in the last month, I have been using the bathroom facility at my business to do my makeup before heading out for the night. Women come in and out, you know- doing their business- and/or doing their makeup.

During one occasion, I walked in with a coworker, and started doing my makeup. She does...whatever... and then waves bye to me as she leaves the restroom. WHAT?! UH- DIDN'T YOU FORGET TO DO SOMETHING?! Did she not think I'd catch that she did NOT wash her hands?!

On a second occasion, another woman walks in (mid-50s age) while I'm doing my makeup...and the SAME THING HAPPENS.

What is it about some people that they don't find washing their hands an integral priority after doing their business?

I came across this tweet yesterday, and agreed wholeheartedly...

Obviously, TP is important (and I can't help but think, as an advertiser, that this post was supposed to benefit Quilted Northern, if not made up by them to benefit their brand...) But, SOAP is just as essential, if not more!!

So, what is it about Quilted Northern users and my two coworkers that make them think that washing their hands is just a casual option after using the bathroom?

Am I just losing it? Isn't this how grimy diseases are spread?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vitamin String Quartet

So, my last post was pretty... personal. I know, I know-  I said I wasn't going to get personal a few posts before... but I just had to get that one little story out.

But, now- I'm back to telling you about music.  All day today, I was listening to Vitamin String Quartet cover Death Cab for Cutie.
(p.s. you have to have spotify to open that link...)

The best part about this is that Death Cab is one of my favorite bands... ever. The 2nd best part about this is that I've listened to Vitamin String Quartet since as long as I can remember. And discovering today that the two have merged was one of the best discoveries of my life. (YES! It was THAT significant!)

I believe (Laura, correct me if I'm wrong,) that we danced to THIS song in high school. So, it's been at least 10 years that I've known of them.

Then... I forgot about them! Oh my strings! I feel as if I lost a favorite cashmere sweater in the depths of my closet to find it, try it on again, and see that it still fits perfectly comfortable a decade later. 

I've been listening to them all day/all night and I just can't get enough! If you haven't heard them, please, please listen to them. 

They are basically a cover band made up of strings and some percussion (depending on the original song they're covering.)

Take a listen:

You're quite welcome. I hope your work day flies by, now, courtesy of some violins. (I should have never given that dang thing up!)

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