Monday, January 31, 2011

If That's What You're Into

I can't remember if it was during high school or junior high and whether it was Eminem or Dashboard (probably Dashboard), but one day my sister came into our room and told me I couldn't expect to feel better if I was constantly listening to music that reinforced how I was feeling.   Explosions in the Sky, Bob Dylan, Bright Eyes, and Iron and Wine are some of my favorites to turn on when I need to zone and just breathe, but when I'm trying to zone out of the moping it doesn't have quite the results I need.   I have a couple of songs I typically use instead such as "I like Giants" or "Superstar". I ran one of my best college race with Matthew Santos's chorus on repeat in my head.  Sometimes you just need more positivity or hilarity in your music. Ie, today's funk was broken by my favorite Flight of the Conchords song. However, I'm overusing the same songs and I'm afraid I'm developing a slight immunity. I need recommendations. What are some of your favorite funk-breaking songs? 

Vacation to the Kitchen

Spring, Summer, Fall... I don't care. I'm just tired of winter. I don't like to be cold all the time and it's a good thing I have tall ceilings because I'm getting cabin fever. It's 1:36 pm and I've spent a grand total of 25 minutes out of my bed.  My bed's also my office and if I could write it off on my taxes I would. Actually...

I need to go to the library and get a tax book this week.

What it's like to be Alone

Every once in awhile you just need to stare at the ceiling

If I have the money I'm going to paint the next place I live in.
I should have brought the stars from home. I forgot about them, but when I saw them at Christmas I missed them.

"Did you know I miss you?"

Sunday, January 30, 2011


"You like basketball?"

I think I confused a lot of people by my attendance at the Knicks vs. Heat game this past week.  If the game is good, I do like to watch basketball, but I didn't go because I like basketball. I went because I don't believe in passing up adventures.  I wouldn't have and couldn't have paid for an actual ticket to Thursday's game, but if I could have, it would have been worth it. It was a fabulous game- plenty of talent and audience to observe.  It was a close, fairly well-played game so the 48 minutes that took two and a half hours kept my attention for a surprisingly large portion of it.

I have been asked how I ended up at the Knicks game, the story goes like this:

The cast was workshopping "Macbeth" in the basement when the buzzer buzzed.  Assuming another designer arrived, I let buzzed open the major door. When I opened the apartment door there were two boys with backpacking backpacks and suitcases. "Are you here for "Macbeth"?" It was a dumb question for me to ask, but necessary... you never know.

I found out later that this is not the first time people have arrived thinking their apartment is a hostel.  In 2011, and earlier, guidebooks this apartment [not my own] is listed as a hostel.  A few years ago it was, but the guidebooks aren't checking their sources and the change hasn't been noted.  The snow had begun to fall, the start of Thursdsay's storm so I invited the boys in, out of the cold for a minute.  They were both French.  One was studying in Toronto and the other was just visiting.  They had just stepped off a 10 hour Megabus to NYC from Toronto.   I have a soft spot for Megabus riders so I called a couple other hostels in their guidebook to check for open beds. I found them a place on the UES[ish] with 2 open beds all weekend and wrote out directions on how to get there- explaining the E wasn't running that night so they had to take a slightly complicated route.  They were thankful and offered to take me for a drink.  I said sure. Of course, I was working so I couldn't then, but they were going to be around for a couple of days.  Youssef then asked me if I played basketball. I informed him I was probably the worst basketball player ever [although, I will note now that I had more speed than a lot of the other sixth graders and was taller, thus diligent about rebounds].  They had an extra ticket to the game. Apparently you have to buy an even numbers of tickets- either 2 or 4. Their friend who was coming in from Poughkeepsie the next day was also attending so that resulted in a loner ticket.  So, I said yes and we had a great time!  I really wish these guys lived in NYC because it was one of the most relaxed, fun times I've had in awhile.  I felt a little bad because Youssef is a huge LeBron fan and he didn't have the best game, but it was a great experience all the same.   Living in NYC and being from the Cleveland area, I was quite content with the Knicks Win. Plus, I wore, as voted upon on FB, my 1993 New York Knicks Taz t-shirt.

Thanks to Album 57, Picture 19 for the above photo. 

Bonus story:
Sometimes I get tired of people [myself included] saying "only in New York" when it's not always true. That said, on our slow walk down the steps at Madison Square Garden the reasonably-orthodox-appearing, black pant, white button down wearing Jews yelling "Go New York, Go New York, Go New York, Go!" for about 20 minutes straight in a manner that usually requires more alcohol, wearing their free Knicks caps on top of their wide-brimmed black hats is something that stunned the "Frenchies" (as they referred to themselves) and I can't imagine happening in many other places.  I laughed a little cause the guys were being silly, but I had forgotten that was unusual until one of the guys informed me that the orthodox Jews in France are usually more reserved. Yeah, most other places in America too... New York's kind of awesome that way.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nom nom nom

While looking over websites with cheap recipes I found a recipe for a bulgur-cashew veggie burger and thought it seemed simple enough.  I went to the grocery story and low and behold there was no bulgur at the East Harlem Target.  Instead of searching elsewhere I did a quick search for other veggie burger recipes and found that couscous is often used as the grain.  I was also buying bread crumbs for another recipe so thought I could use those if need be.  The first recipe required cashews, but another recipe suggested sunflower seeds. The container of sunflower seeds was $4 cheaper so that decision was easy.  Some recipes called for lentils and some for pinto beans so I went with the one that would take up less space it the cupboard; there are limits.

So, home I went with a variety of ingredients that fit no recipes, but I figured it could only go so wrong.

I bought: Lentils, Sunflower Seeds, Couscous, Bread Crumbs, Eggs

I had: A tiny bit of left-over uncooked spinach, Garlic [that was added to the second batch], Onion, French Dried Onion [for the second batch when I ran out of onion], Frozen peas, corn, carrots, and beans, Cumin, Salt, Pepper

I cooked the couscous as directed and boiled the lentils.  After pureeing the lentils, an egg and sunflower seeds in the ever-so-fabulous Magic Bullet until they were "a paste I added them to the couscous.  I mixed in veggies and seasonings.  Since I had cooked the whole box of couscous I just added bits of each thing until it looked like I could make patties.   I made 4 and refrigerated them, waiting impatiently for them to be cool; I didn't want to use up the rest of the couscous until I knew they tasted deliciously.

The "recipe" was a success, but needed a little something so I added my safety ingredient: garlic to the second batch. By this time I was so full from snacking on the couscous and the first burger that I decided against making one from the second recipe...  I'm optimistic for tomorrow.

Nom, nom, nom <3

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Divine Intervention

Given the consistent changes of the details of my belief system, I try not to go "all god-y" on people too often. However, sometimes I feel it can't be contributed to much else.  Okay, so my vision of "God" isn't a man in the clouds, sitting in a straight back, but semi-fluffy chair with a little man [aka "son"] sitting by his right side.  My understanding of this omniscience is something less tangible.  And this graceful-exhalation-of-love has a way of making things work out.  Often it seems more like coincidence, time, others, etc, but every once in a while you get a blatant, in-your-face: stop worrying, I'll take care of it.  These moments, like marathons, often make me unexpectedly emotional. I was talking with a close friend of mine who was offered an interview out of the blue from someone she only sort of knew.  She was offered the job today. It was well needed and well deserved.  And yet, it doesn't make sense. Why would this guy have been moved to tell her about the opening to begin with? He didn't know her and I don't think he knew her needs. It wasn't directly related to the job she was currently working. There are a lot of unanswered questions.

There's a lot of good in this world. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How are you?

Weeks ago I ordered ink 40/41. Eventually it arrived and my printer wouldn't accept it. Apparently it needed to be 40/41 fine ink... "the beauty's in the details".  I gave in and went to Best Buy were I paid $55 that I don't have for more ink.  I began printing and everything came out tilted, with an excess of blue ink in one column.  A few paper jams later I discovered a USB drive had dropped back where the printer paper sits and was handicapping the paper rollers. I removed the USB drive and printed the Fiscal Sponsorship Program Manual. I ran out of paper and began printing on the back of messed up magic sheets. Eventually I ran out of messed up Magic Sheets...

at that time I posted this blog thinking it was an accurate example of how my days go whenever I tried to get things done.

However, a few hours and confidence-boosting conversations later it occurred to me that perhaps I could print on legal paper. Surprisingly it worked and I have been utilizing paper from the 60-cent legal pads I found on sale the other day.

I suppose this is a better depiction of how my life is going.

On a different note: I have a lot of fabulous work, but I need a job.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Five Years

Hopefully within the next five years I will be at a place on the career spectrum where I'll be able to laugh at myself for this... because getting nervous about changing just one cue of someone else's is ridiculous.

note: I also got nervous on day 1, rightfully slow.  Learning curve was a little steeper than it should've been.


PS. I should take this opportunity to tell you that while tech makes you tired, when it's with great people, it makes my heart optimistic about the "rightness" of my choices. Thank you, world.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Is it spring yet?

Wake me up when we get there.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Grown-Up Advice

If you don't like numbers or accounting and balancing your checkbook isn't the highlight of your week, you shouldn't be a freelancer. No matter what you chose to do with your life, you need to keep track of your money, but it's extra tricky when you're not when it's going to show up...

not to even go into the taxes...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Faces Lit up by Laptops

While at Starbucks writing a damage control email between meetings, I had the girl across the table from me read my email to make sure it wasn't too offensive.  She said it seemed fine, but didn't say much else. A few moments later she began skyping... first language is definitely not english.

Then the middle-aged couple who've been talking about his frustration with his kids from his first marriage not visiting him in prison began making out.

Sometimes, I wish I was less attentive to my surroundings.
Luckily the guy at the next table is shaking his head with me and I'm picking up stories left and right.

Only 49 more minutes to try to focus on my work until my next meeting. Woo!

Monday, January 3, 2011


When I grow up I want to be a...

This answer changes sometimes, but in many ways I want to be a producer. In many other ways I want to be an artistic director/dramaturg/lighting designer/electrician/event planner/organizational guru/ assistant.

I have to explain about half of those answers to people, but today I pass to Oscar Hammerstein to explain to us what a producer does:

A producer is a rare, paradoxical genius: hard-headed, soft-hearted, cautious, reckless, a hopeful innocent in fair weather, a stern pilot in stormy weather, a mathematician who prefers to ignore the laws of mathematics and trust intuition, an idealist, a realist, a practical dreamer, a sophisticated gambler, a stage-struck child.  That’s a producer. 
                    - Oscar Hammerstein II  

 What else does a producer do?  A few producers give us the answers because everyone's a little bit different. I want about 70% of their jobs.

Two Characters Talking About a Third

Pet Peeve 53: When people type in all CAPS while criticizing
Exception to the rule: Anything that is written well enough to get the point across while giving enough disclaimers to not leave the recipient of the email/memo crying

Some good advice on writing

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I love tea.
Winter and sleep-deprivation-caused-sore-throats call for it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wake up feeling New

It amazes me how different runs can be.  I ran five miles in Central Park on the 30th. This morning I ran four along the East River.  With the encouragement of other runners and bikers, the five miles felt natural and my muscles believed in what I was doing, despite the ice and hills.  During this morning's run I consistently reminded myself that I just needed to log a little bit of time.  I had nothing to prove and the bland responses from the majority of the others on the path were just part of the experience, or not part of the experience. You have the choice to remove yourself.  Regardless, it was a wonderful run because of the way it left me feeling afterwards.  A little bit of yoga and some Faith [thanks Faith!] inspired free weights and my body feels more awake than tired.  All in all, this transition from 2010 to 2011 has been fabulous.  

In order to keep from getting overwhelmed or disappointed I try to regard every holiday, with the exception of family focused ones, as just another day, but one with a theme.  I like theme parties so that's usually successful.  Even just trying to plan the 31st I started to get fussy, but Cameron and Lindsay are fabulous roommates and let everything stay low key.  
We had three rules: 
          1. No Throwing Up
          2. No Crying
          3. Low Expectations
I can proudly say that all three of those rules/goals were accomplished.   Cameron, Lindsay, Andre and I hung out around our place for awhile, getting ready [thanks Mom for the dress!] and drinking what we already owned and didn't cost an arm and a leg.  Last night a large portion of Manhattan bars were charging $25-$150 to get into.  We stopped over at a friend of Andre's who lives a few streets down and I semi-incoherently discussed public health with a girl named Bridget who is pursuing a Masters in it at the London School of Economics.  I wish I we could be real friends because I was just a little inspired by it all.  Every population is under-informed about something and with all the research we do, we need to communicate it.  But, for the point of this entry, I digress. 

Around 11 we headed to midtown and got out around 51st, knowing we couldn't get in near actual Times Square. We ended up in Central Park in this perfect Gazebo.  We could hear the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block singing and still got a sense of the craziness, but without the pushing and actual crazies.  We were in the ideal location for the post-countdown fireworks. Sitting in this gazebo with friends, surrounded by trees surrounded by city, looking at all these people bustling about, minding and not minding the snow and each other... I couldn't have asked for a better place to be.

We headed towards the village and decided to go home instead.  For the case of my pocketbook it was probably the best decision.  We said Happy New Year's to people on the street and they joyfully said it in return.  There are certain things that just make me love holidays in the city; friendly strangers is at the top of the list. 

I snuggled up in my new pajamas [thanks, Anna Jo], woke up a few times throughout the night, and finally got out of bed around 8am, the earliest I've been up in days. I felt good. I made some coffee for Andre and myself and sat on the couch for a bit. Andre left for work, I did the dishes, swept, folded up the inflatable mattress and restored the apartment to something close to a pre-New Year's look. I made my bed, went for a run, did some yoga and lifting. I had breakfast. Cameron and Lindsay took out the recyclables.  Things feel pretty right.  Thank you, world.