- each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, with the fresh yes of an adventurer -

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

LGA Bound

The following takes place at the American Airlines ticket counter -- DFW International Airport --

LJ: Hi there!

Nicest AA Attendant of All Time: (smiling, in reference to my entire family now standing at the ticketing desk with me) Are they sending you back home?

LJ: Haha, oh yes. Mom always hates it when I leave.

Mom: Well, I just don't know when she'll be back!

NAAAofAT: Oh, are you Mom? Yes, I know how you feel!

LJ: (lifting huge suitcase onto scale w/help from Les) This one is going to be real heavy.

NAAAofAT: (as the scale registers 61 lbs) Uh oh...You want to reorganize? Ok, take out your jeans, those are about 5 lbs a piece. What else do you have in there?

LJ: (repacking suitcases at the check-in counter. awesome.) Oh I just have so much more stuff to take back, I didn't do very good packing this year!

Mom: She got a new coat...

LJ: And 2 new pairs of boots...

Dad: Well, it's Christmas...

NAAAofAT: Yes, it's that time of year. Let's try it now.

Les: (lifting again) Yikes. 57 lbs. Is that right?

LJ: Ugh. Ok, see if my coat will fit in that small one. This is so annoying! Let's see how this is.

Mom: Well, I can just ship some things to you if it's still too heavy!

NAAAofAT: Well we're taking it no matter what it weighs.

Les: (lifting once more) 54 lbs.

NAAAofAT: Don't worry Honey, I won't let you go home without your Christmas presents!

LJ: Really?? Oh! Thank you so much!!!

NAAAofAT: You're very welcome. Have a safe trip and come back to see them soon.

What a pleasant public suitcase repacking experience!

Love her, Nicest AA Attendant of All Time.
Love Texas. Love my Dad, Mom and sweet sister.
I miss you already!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Home for the Holidays

Christmastime at the Johnson house is a several day affair.

Mostly because Christmas Eve is also my Daddy's birthday. So there's all kinds of celebrating going on.

Christmas Eve morning I woke up to a precious lil 20-month-old singing her ABC's and chattering about Santa and his reindeer. We spent all day playing the day before and she intends to pick up right where we left off. She dances around to Christmas carols and helps us wrap up the last of the presents. "Presents!!!" she says. Over and over and over.

Also, by some strange turn of events, it was snowing in Texas on Christmas Eve. Yes. Snowing. Not sleeting. Not wintery mix. Real snow. It started around noon and came down hard all day long until well after dark. I am baffled by snow in Texas in December. Especially when the day before was about 73 degrees and rainy. Huh?

But even though the snow didn't really stick to the ground until later at night, it didn't stop us from going outside to enjoy it...

"Sloan, what do you do in the snow?"
She sticks out her tongue and turns in circles to catch snowflakes. "Ahhhhhh"
I. Adore. Her.

We spend the day cooking yummy treats for Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day festivities. We wrap up the last of the presents and even venture out to the grocery store for last minute supplies.

We all pile into the cars for the Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at church. We sing about Jesus and Bethlehem and we're all reminded the true meaning of this holiday.

We spend the night jamming out to Christmas music. Daddy opens his birthday presents. Sloan opens her new basketball goal from Nai Nai and GrandBuddy. She opens her "Hello Hook 'Em" book from Me and Les. "Hook Em" she says. Over and over and over. She almost has more fun with the torn paper than the goal. Her excitement is infectious!

And then the real fun begins. Game night. This year we played Pictionary. Les and I always dominate at Pictionary. I'm not sure why they still take us on. We quickly take the lead against Mom / Dad and Uncle Jay / Susan. They still think we cheat. But it's legit. I swear. We are just that good. The entire game is hilarious, frequently involves raised voices and always guarantees a good time. Dad retraces his drawings while Mom continues to guess blindly. Jay draws squiggly lines that may or may not represent the United States? Me and Les keep it simple. That's the key to success. This year's winner? "Numb." Yep. I drew Numb. And she got it right. You can just call us Pictionary Champions.

And tomorrow, Christmas Day, Mom and Dad will wake us up. Because we never wake up on our own anymore. We'll have some Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee. We'll take our time opening our gifts, excited to surprise each other. And then we'll head over to Aunt Cyndi and Uncle Jeff's house. We'll have lots of (read: too much) delicious food. We'll watch football. We might even have Pictionary round 2. There's nowhere else I'd rather be.

And at the end of these few days, this family celebration of Christmastime, filled with our own traditions. It will not have been about us.

It will have all been about Him and the celebration of His birth. The celebration that God sent His son. Immaculately. Humbly. Unglamourously. To sacrifice himself as our savior. And this is the celebration that I can't wait to be a part of each year.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

~ Luke 2:11-14

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Deleted Scenes Part 2

Walking through Union Square on Friday night with 2 friends...

Random Guy from Jersey: Excuse me ladies. My friend and I were just on our way back to the PATH train. And because there's no way we're going to follow you wherever you're going tonight, I thought I'd just stop you.

Blank stares all around from us.

Jersey: You're all cute, but I have a thing for blondes and your friend is pretty. And I was hoping to flirt with her a little bit. Would that be ok with you? If I flirted with her? Is she cool? Does she have a boyfriend?

Friend Julia, visiting from South Carolina: Giggling. Umm...I...or...yes...she's...cool.

Jersey: Ok great, I promise I won't keep her long. (to me) Your name?

LJ: I'm Lauren.

Jersey: Do you have an amazing personality that goes with that amazing smile?

LJ: Um, I like to think so. (???)

Jersey: So you're going to give me your phone number and I'll call you right now so that you have my number. And I'll give you a call this weekend, we'll hang out. Where are you from Lauren?

LJ: I live in the city. But I grew up in Texas.

Jersey: Really, Texas? You don't even have an accent. So. Your number?

Yes. That. Happened.

Friday, December 18, 2009

New York at Christmastime

Everyone loves New York at Christmastime. That's why December = Visitors.

There's something magical about this city at Christmas. It sparkles.
The lights. The store window displays. The crisp chilly air. The Christmas tree at Rockafeller Center. The outdoor holiday shops at Union Square, Grand Central, Bryant Park and Columbus Circle. The nightly colored lights of the Empire State Building. The shimmery snowflake suspended in the middle of 5th Ave. The smell of Christmas trees on every street corner. The outdoor ice skating rinks. The Salvation Army bells ringing. Macy's and Miracle on 34th Street.
All of these things. They captivate you. Walking around the city, you can't help but get wrapped up in the wonder and charm of the holiday season.

I love New York at Christmastime. I love all these things that light up the city and brighten spirits of busy New Yorkers. These things that bring thousands of tourists to the city during the holidays. I complain about the crowds, yes. But can I blame them for wanting to experience this? I don't think so.

A few glimpses of my city at it's finest over the past few weeks...

Macy's Department Store

Blue and White Empire State Building

Ice Skating at Bryant Park

The Christmas Tree

Ice Skating at Rockafeller Center

The 5th Avenue Snowflake

Everyone loves Christmastime in New York. Because Christmastime in New York is magical.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December = Visitors part deaux

Mom and friends left on a Sunday afternoon.
And BFF Lindsey arrived from Dallas for her bi-annual visit the following Friday.
I told you, December = visitors.
I think Linds likes to visit right after Mom visits. This is the 2nd time it's happened.

Good thing I don't have to make plans for her. Because I sure didn't have time. She's always up for anything. And we're real good at walking around the city. So that's exactly what we did!

Most notable weekend adventures include. . .

1. An impromptu invitation to the "Buns & Puns" comedy show. Where they serve homemade buns and jello shots during a stand up comedy routine. Shocked we decided it probably wasn't our scene?

2. Matching white knit winter hats. A necessity in these frigid temperatures.

3. Crowds. Ugh. We did walk past Macy's quickly. But we definitely did NOT wait in line to ice skate at Bryant Park.

4. Rules of a Public Restroom - "No Bathing. No Shopping Carts. No Grooming. No Luggage."

5. Leggings are in no way warmer than jeans. Just sayin'.

6. Static electricity. Interesting. How to get rid of said static electricity? No ideas.

7. Haters...
Random sketchy guy in bar: "What does she know? She's wearing a grey sweater and she's from Texas."
Sir, we're going to have to ask you to walk away from us now.

8. Spotted: Twilight Dolls. Edward and Bella.

At FAO Schwarz. Yes, seriously.
Linds and I were...well...intrigued? They expect us to believe that this doll with the luscious locks is Bella? Um, no. She's more like Victoria. Good try, but we're not this easily fooled.

9. Close encounters with subway rats. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.

10. Watching Taylor Lautner host SNL. And then re-watching Taylor Swift's SNL. We love both Taylor's.

Always love Lindsey's visits! And love running around NYC at Christmastime.

Next week: Round 2 adventures in Big D when Linds picks me up at the airport and we hit the malls for more shopping. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Taylor Lautner does SNL

Oh yes he did. And it was real funny.
Particularly his monologue.

Linds and I watched it twice. And then we re-watched Taylor Swift's monologue.

Sidenote: Apparently I really like SNL monologues. Or maybe I just like Taylor's.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Too Soon?

Is December 2nd too soon for Christmas music? Oh I think not!

Here is this year's Holiday Pandora station,
created on 12/2, still at the top of my Pandora list --

Taylor Swift's "Holiday Collection" + Michael Bublé's "Let it Snow" + Mariah Carey's "Merry Christmas" + Amy Grant's "Home for Christmas" = Best of the best Christmasy song mix!

Martina AND Kelly AND 98 degrees?! Does Christmas music get any better than this?!

I love it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December = Visitors

Mom came for a visit last week!

She brought her friends, Ms. Betsy and Ms. Earnestine.

They did a lot of exploring and were very cultural. Good thing Mom has been here so many times that she can navigate the city by herself. I just joined for the fun things!

The week went by so quickly and we had a blast. Even though it was rainy and gross on Saturday. And the Hell's Kitchen traffic almost made us miss Memphis on Saturday night. We did some things that I hadn't done before and of course a lot of my favorites.

I always love visitors and I really love Mom's visits. Especially at Christmastime!

I really love the Christmas Tree at Rock Center

And the ice skating rink

View from the Top of the Rock

It was a lil bit chilly at the top! But the city at night? Incredible.

The fantastic Radio City Rockettes will absolutely put you in the Christmas spirit!

West Village dinner at Extra Virgin - one of my faves!

Van Gogh's "Starry Night" at the MoMa

Sunday Morning stroll through Central Park

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the challenge: complete!

coming off of this "a blog a day" challenge,
a few things i've learned about myself from NaBloPoMo --

  1. i am not a very good spontaneous writer. i did best during the weeks when i planned out what to write - or had half-written posts ready to go. ok, maybe i already knew this about me - i am a planner. and a list-maker. i can't escape!

  2. when i'm busy, i get stressed that i won't have time to write anything worth reading. exhibits a, b and c.

  3. my favorite posts were the ones i spent the most time on.

  4. my mom's favorite post is the one i wrote while laying on angie's bed, annoyed with myself for having nothing to say on day 18. figures.

  5. elizabeth and jamie's blog carnival was the best part of this whole month. i loved reading other posts on HOME and being introduced to new blog friends.

  6. perhaps bethany and i should just share a blog. we are entirely too similar. please don't stop reading my blog if you also read hers. i swear we're different. really, we are. :)

  7. i was constantly thinking about what i'd write next. i think i will be more productive at work in december. (and get more sleep!)

  8. sometimes it's harder to think of things to say when you know you have to say something. anything. i still have a handful of half-written posts that i have yet to finish. i mean, i guess that counts for something?

  9. i have a lot of incredible blogger friends. they write hilarious, entertaining and insightful things. and i always enjoy reading what they have to say.

  10. i know just enough html to be dangerous. good thing i'm a resourceful googler.

  11. i like to write. of course i knew this before i started a blog. but through this month, i have rediscovered my love for writing. i remembered that do kind of have a way with words. and it makes me happy.
so the 30 blogs in 30 days challenge is over. i think it's safe to say that while i did enjoy NaBloPloMo, i am pretty happy that it's finished. it's tough to commit to writing something everyday. i had to try hard not to make posts sound like diary entries. (although, it may seem like that's exactly what i did...but i really tried not to!)

ALSO! this is my 100th blog post! 10 months of blogging, 100 posts. hah, you would have thought i planned it to be so balanced. if i had, i would be an even better planner than i thought i was!

Monday, November 30, 2009

day 30

it's day 30 of NaBloPoMo! 30 posts in 30 days! (or 31 posts really)
i made it! and i'm exhausted.

here's my calendar for the month of november. notice anything?

there are only about 2 days with no dots. dots = things to do, places to go, people to see. november has worn me out. and NaBloPoMo has worn me out. there was so much going on in november. i won't lie, sometimes it was hard to keep up.

so goodbye november and welcome december! wait, who am i kidding? december has the potential to be just as crazy as november. and in all honesty, i like being busy. so i guess can't really complain that much.

welcome december!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I love the smell of clean laundry. And clean sheets. And a clean room.
I hate cleaning. And I hate laundry. Unfortunately both are necessary evils. Ew.

But once I've actually motivated myself to bust out the broom, swiffer mops and put away all the piles of stuff that have somehow gathered in my room, I really like the finished product. It's like a whole new room. And it smells pretty. Oh, and it's even better when I manage to get my room cleaned AND my sheets washed. A rarity.

I realize now as I write this that those of you who don't live in NYC don't really understand why this is such a big deal. So let me just break it down for you....

  1. I have to haul my laundry across the street to the laundry mat to wash it. I don't usually wash clothes, sheets, towels in the same weekend because, well because it's real heavy. Once I carry everything down 3 flights of stairs and across the street, with my detergent and fabric softner, I have to wait. Wait for washers if there are none free, wait for the wash cycle, wait for a dryer. Haul wet clothes back to my apartment to hang dry in my room. Add more quarters to the dryer because it never fully dries everything in the first round. It's a process.

  2. I have hard wood floors. And area rugs. And they both get very dirty, very quickly. So I have to really commit to cleaning. There's no halfway doing it. I hate it.

So you can see why it's quite the accomplishment to get all this laundry and cleaning done in the same day. I feel super productive and proud of myself once I've finished.

I'm sitting here tonight in my clean room filled with the fresh smell of laundry. My down comforter is fluffy on my freshly made bed. It's cozy, comfy and calming.

I guess the swiffering and laundering were worth it, necessary evils. Sigh.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Reflections from the sky

I guess you could say that I am a frequent flier.

Mostly for visits to Texas and during holidays, but still I fly more often now than I ever did growing up. The flight to Dallas is over 4 hours. The flight back to New York is only 3 hours. I'm sure there is some scientific logic for this, but I find it perplexing.

I like the morning flights out of DFW. There are never lines. There's something quite calming about being in a quiet airport. I go through the familiar motions without pausing to think.

I print my boarding pass at the self check-in kiosk using my AA Advantage number that I know by heart. I have my Texas ID ready for the security line. I rarely check luggage anymore with the new fees. Even though I'd rather not deal with my suitcase, no point in paying to check a bag. And carry-on is faster anyway. No waiting on the other end.

I pull my laptop out of my big carry-on bag, set it into a tub with my shoes and toss my baggie of liquids on top. I swing my suitcase onto the conveyor belt. Followed by my coat, bag and bucket. I'm usually faster than the others in line. This morning I skipped the woman in front of me. She was taking too long.

I slip my shoes back on and my laptop back into my bag, grab my coat, pull up the handle on my suitcase and I'm off. I head straight for Starbucks at gate C13. Grande skinny hazelnut latte this morning should do it.

I grab a seat at C15, always C15 for the morning flight. I sip my coffee, check my email, oh yeah, it's Saturday. I don't have any emails to check. So I watch as people gather at the gate. It's blatantly obvious which people are going to New York for a visit and which people are headed back home. Northeasterners don't do a very good job of blending in with Southern travelers. Or is it the other way around?

I board at the end of group 4 even though I'm usually group 5 - I sit as close to the front of the plane as possible. But I'm impatient and I board with group 4. I expertly toss my bag and coat into my seat, carefully set down my coffee and swing my suitcase into the luggage compartment above my row.

I settle in to my window seat. I always choose the window seat. As we take off I like to look out at Texas. I find myself picking out familiar landmarks from the sky. Dallas is in the distance. Lit up by the morning sun. I follow the highway I know to be 121 to find Grapevine Mills, Fellowship Church, and Coppell High School. It's early, none of the stores are open yet, not many cars on the roads. I can see for miles.

It's a beautiful morning. I watch how the sun glimmers and dances on the lakes and rivers below. Except for a few wispy clouds, I can see everything. Cities and towns emerge from the flat green country as we fly. I gaze out into the sunshine and I let my mind wander.

I think about all the times I've flown out of this airport over the past few years. How each time brings a different emotion. I used to think of this as leaving home behind. It made me sad and slightly uneasy, like I was flying away from comfort and into unknown. But now, being LGA bound feels more comfortable, more like I'm heading home. I guess now that I have an established life in the city, leaving Texas doesn't feel so temporary anymore.

I never get tired of watching the New York skyline come into view. I watch as we fly over Pennsylvania and New Jersey. There are more trees than Texas. I see the outline of the shore with sandy beaches and how the Atlantic Ocean stretches out into the distance. We fly over Brooklyn and Queens. The houses are so close together. I notice a group of streets curved into semi-circles close to a park and how easy it is to pick out cemeteries from the sky.

The city sparkles in the distance, just as lovely and magical as ever. The Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the cluster of sky scrapers in lower Manhattan. I can't see the Statue of Liberty this morning, we must be flying in a different way than usual because of the wind.

I smile. This feels just as familiar as seeing the Dallas skyline just 4 days ago. Both lit up with the winter sun. Both welcoming me back.

And then we land. And I go through the usual motions of grabbing all my things, thanking the flight attendant and hopping into a cab.

"Where are you going?"
the cab driver asks.
"Manhattan please." I say.

I smile. And slip on my sunglasses.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Heisman Please.

I am kind of in love with Colt McCoy.

Especially after last night's showdown against the Aggies. He (and the Horns) were pretty great. Career-best great, even.

I think this article in today's Dallas Morning News pretty much sums it all up: McCoy's Heroics Heisman Worthy. My favorite part -

"When someone's chasing me," McCoy said, smiling, "I'm real fast."

The Horns 49 - 39 victory takes us 12 - 0 to next week's Big 12 Championship against Nebraska. (A game that my Dad will be attending at the new Cowboys Stadium. Surprise!)

And then? Then I'd be so bold as to say that we're off to Pasadena - Rose Bowl Bound! For an SEC showdown that I can't wait to see!

Hook 'em Horns!

p.s. Dear Angie, please remember that we are BEST FRIENDS and if there were anyone that you would want to share the Heisman presentation ceremony with, it would be me. And if you could puh-leez work some magic to get me into event with you this year...well, I don't know how I'd repay you. But I'm sure that we could come up with some sort of agreeable compensation.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am Thankful.

So thankful.

I am thankful for my family. A house full of people and laughs and happiness.
I am thankful for my Moms cooking. For her turkey and stuffing and casseroles, oh my!

Thankful that we're all able to spend the day together. Filling up on delicious food, watching football and playing with the kids.

I am thankful for my life in New York. For my sweet roommates, amazing friends and Gallery church. That God has provided a way for me to live in such a fantastic city so far from home.

And I'm thankful that I am able to come back to Texas to spend the holidays with my family. Because there's nothing like being home for the holidays.

Mostly I am so very thankful to the Lord for all the ways that He has blessed my life.

"Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." ~ Colossians 2:7

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Trotting


Last year me and my sister decided that we would run in the annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day this year. This of course was when I was really optimistic about my running goals. And an 8 mile run seemed totally possible. However, in the craziness that has been my life for the past 6 weeks, my commitment to running has been...well...pretty nonexistent.

Regardless, Les has convinced me that while I'm not quite really ready for an 8mile run, I could do the 5K run "in my sleep." Fine, fine. I'm disappointed that I'm not running 8 miles, but 3 miles I know I can do. So tomorrow's the day!

I can't think of a better way to start my day of giving thanks than by jogging with my sis. And about 800 other people who also thought this was a brilliant idea.

Happy Trotting!

It's like magic

Things I hate: nail polish remover

No really, there are few things I find more frustrating than nail polish remover.

Why, I ask, must the seemingly simple task of removing finger nail polish include drenching multiple cotton balls in smelly acidic liquid and scrubbing at my nails for at least 15 minutes? And it's likely that after 15 minutes, my nails will still have splotches of polish color and be totally dried out from the acid.

It was one of these frustrating evenings when I was scrubbing away at my chinchilly chipped nails when...

Caroline offered -- "do you want to use mine? it works much better."

I looked up in surprise. What did she mean? Does she not have to endure the same polish remover nightmare that i do? Is there really a way around this cotton ball mess?

Yes! Instant nail polish remover. In a pot. With a sponge. Brilliant. Why have I not used this before? It's like magic.

Caroline to the rescue!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

secret missions & surprises

i love surprises!

my sister and i completed a top secret surprise mission for dad's birthday gift a few weeks ago. it's the perfect gift. and it required some seriously planning. and maybe some stress on leslee's part. because i was in a client meeting during a very time sensitive moment in this mission.

but it's done! and it's kinda perfect. dad is going to be super surprised and he's going to love it.

of course i can't tell you what the surprise is because dad reads this and i can't be spoiling the surprise before i see him. but i can offer a few lil (read: vague) hints. . .
  • it involves a few things that he is quite passionate about
  • it's something we've never given him before
  • it's new and exciting
i'm on my way back to tejas today for a thanksgiving and i can't wait to surprise him tonight. yay!

mission complete!

Monday, November 23, 2009

It still makes me happy

I've seen Jay-z and Alicia Keys perform "Empire State of Mind" on TV about 10x over the past few months, but I won't lie, I still love it. It's such a fantastic anthem to NYC - particularly Alicia's chorus.

"In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can't do, now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you, let's here it for New York
New York, New York"

A bit cliché? Perhaps. However, I can't help but love what it stands for.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Funday

Hi, it's 10:00pm on Sunday night and I'm exhausted. But I had a good day.

Today I went to my first NFL game ever! At the Meadowlands! A group of about 10 people from work went to the Giants game this afternoon. Our seats were kinda great.

Bethany and I may have been running a bit late this morning, so we navigated NJ Transit ourselves, quite successfully I might add, and met the rest of the crew at the stadium around 11 this morning. We joined co-worker Laura's dad at his tailgate, where he had an excellent set up with his grill and took good care of us.

It was a lovely day for tailgating. (Even if I was tired from celebrating the Horn's victory last night.) We also learned that our ohsokind co-workers were taking bets on whether we'd be able to make it out of the City and into Jersey on our own. Sweet, aren't they? Take that co-workers. We can read signs!

Our seats were on the shade side. I'd been advised that it's about 20 degrees colder on the shade side than the sun side. But it really wasn't too bad.

What was bad, was the 13-yr-old kid behind us that felt the need to scream his professional football opinion at. every. play. I mean, I guess he gave us something to roll our eyes and laugh about during the game? Or I guess we could admire their...umm...passion for Giants football?

The Giants beat the Falcons in OT. It was a good game. And a good day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I am really bad at alarms.

Like, really bad. I am one of those people that has to set my clock 10 minutes fast to keep myself on time. I have to press snooze at least once before I can get out of bed in the morning. And a lot of the time, I press snooze for 15-20 minutes before forcing myself to get up. It's a problem.

Twice this week I turned off my alarm in my sleep without even knowing it. Which is really worse than pressing snooze. It causes me to wake up in a panic. Because as hard as it is for me to get out of bed, I hate to be late. Hate it.

This morning I was supposed to be across town at Jamie's at 10am to send her off to Atlanta and then see a morning movie with Hannah. Unfortunately, I woke up at 9:45am after turning off my alarm without waking up. Panic! Good thing cabs are fast and I made it there to say goodbye. I would have been pretty upset if I hadn't.

So really, I don't know what to do about this problem. I can set 2 alarms, I can set them early, I can stagger them, still I struggle with turning them off in my sleep. Suggestions welcome.

Like I said, I am really bad at alarms.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I like words

If you haven't discovered Wordle yet, I highly recommend. Hours of entertainment. And this is my wordle.

Wordle made my "This is New York" blog post in a word cloud. The most used words are the biggest. I love it. And I love New York.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


today's confessions:

i am a hopeless romantic.
i have an affinity for teen angst.
i heart fairy tales.
4. i am completely in love with the twilight saga.

ok, i said it. twilight. i love it. a lot.
last year at this time i had read all 4 books. twice.

it all started a few summers ago when jenna, a friend from texas, who also happens to be one of my oldest friends, recommended the books to me - before all the twilight mania hype. and because we are such old friends, we have spent many nights in front of the tv, sharing our love for teen angsty shows - buffy, angel, dawson's, felicity - you know, the good ones. so naturally she knew if she could convince me to get past the vampire science fictiony part and give it a shot, that i'd be hooked. because we love teen angst and drama and love stories. no excuses, we are girls.

so when i finally started the 1st book on the beach 2 summers ago, i. couldn't. put. it. down. i immediately texted jenna that i was loving it so far. she told me to text her the next day, after i'd fallen in love with edward. and i did. she predicted it. i think i finished all the books in a matter of 3 weeks. then convinced about 10 people they should read them too. then re-read all 4 because i'd read so fast the 1st time, i was afraid i'd missed something!

no shame.

fast forward to last november. twilight movie premiere.
i'd read each book twice. i'm completely caught up in the twilight crazy. our boss had convinced NCM to send us a twilight movie poster for cube decoration. and caroline, my roomie, had just started working at an entertainment pr firm that handled the movie launch. during premiere week rob pattinson was actually in her office. 10 feet from her. imagine the squealing from me and bethany as caro gave us play-by-play via gchat. it went a lil something like this. . .

November 21st, 2008

Caroline: ROB IS HERE
COME HERE can you?

me: kljfakl;sdjfakl;sdf
IS HE STAYING??????????

Caroline: dont know
diana couldnt open the door because she froze

me: omgomgomg

anyway, all this to say that somehow, by some magical turn of events, me and bethany ended up helping caroline work a screening of the movie before it came out in theaters. as expected, we were a giggly, girly mess. and it was awesome. ok, not that awesome. but because we loved the books so much, we loved the movie.

and now it's time for new moon. it's premiere week! rob and taylor are running around the city doing interviews and making all the girls giggle. and i am ohsoready to jump back into twilight mode. i mean, seriously. how can i resist?

caroline worked a new moon screening last night. (sadly i wasn't able to tag along this year!) here's her report --

oh it was so good, lauren! you're going to love it. like, so much more than the 1st one. taylor is really perfect! everyone today is talking about how much they liked the movie. and some people are even switching from team edward to team jacob. that's how good he was!

i'm so ready. bring on the vampires and teen angst and love stories. no shame. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Deleted Scenes

A few strange things that happened yesterday. . .

announcer on the 7 train --
"Thank you for riding metro. This is Times Square. Please remember to take all your bags and belongings with you. And if this is not your final destination, just remember that happiness is always the way."

And then I burst out laughing. Looked at the lady next to me and said, "well can't say I've ever experienced that before on the subway." To which she responded, "it's a little refreshing!"

Who says New Yorkers aren't friendly?

walking home from the bus stop at 11pm --
Strange Man (after walking past me, turning around and catching up with me): Excuse me. I don't mean to scare you. My name is Jason and I think you're very attractive. I'd like to get to know you better. Would you be interested in that?

Me (blank stare, still walking):
Um, no.

Strange Man:
Ok, well you're hot. Good luck to you.

Ew. Um, who says New Yorkers aren't. . .friendly?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


oh today...today i'm going to go ahead and direct you HERE - to Painting the Town Pink. you really must read this entire gchat conversation between me and bethany yesterday. silliness x10. we're not sure it makes sense. but it sure is funny.

2 clarifications --
colt = texas longhorn quarterback
and edward = a vampire from the twilight series

welcome to my world. it's never boring. mostly witty. and generally rooted in pop culture. laugh if you must. and enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

happiest of happy birthdays

You can just call us the Karaoke Queens.

Meet one of my BFF's, Angie. She loves to sing. She has a karaoke machine in her apartment. She keeps a Karaoke Song List on her iPhone. She's an accomplished 2x performer at her office's Agency Idol competition. She's danced / lip synced to 80's classic "Walk Like an Egyptian" on our spring break '07 cruise. One time I made her sing "So Much Better" from the Legally Blonde Musical in the middle of Columbus Circle. (what? we were filming for her Best Job in the World campaign!) She loves to sing.

And Friday was Angie's birthday. So sing we did. Friday, the 13th. Karaoke birthday bash at Mr. Biggs - her go-to karaoke bar in Hell's Kitchen. We totally rocked.

We claimed 2 tables right at the front of the bar. We laughed, we cheered, we sang along at the top of our lungs and we didn't disappoint in our song choices. You really can't go wrong with a lil "Let's Give 'em Somethin' to Talk About," "I Saw the Sign," "Total Eclipse of the Heart," "Like a Prayer," and "I Will Survive." Karaoke classics.

It was a blast. We closed karaoke down. Ending with JMart's rendition of "Family Tradition." Then we had an impromptu sleepover at Angie's apartment. And there may or may not have been an double-stuffed oreo / whipped cream food fight.

Who says you have to grow up?

Startin' off the night with a lil "Let's Give 'em Somethin' to Talk About."

I believe this was in response to an amazing performance of "Black Velvet." Seriously. WOW!

Happy Happy Birthday Angie! Love!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cutest Ever

During the Texas - OU game a few weeks ago my sister sent me this ohsoprecious recording of my cutie niece Sloan saying "Hook 'em!"

Because she's 18 months old, the "can you say (fill in the blank)" game is really fun. I am particularly fond of this clip. Because really, she's going to say what she wants anyway. Hook 'em, airplane, whatever, all the same, right?

I think at this point in her young life she prefers airplanes to longhorns. Don't worry, she'll learn soon enough that there are very few things that she should prefer above the Horns.

Hook 'em!

Oh, and thanks for sending Les! Brightens my day to listen to her! :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Curls are fab

"I love it when girls rock curly hair."

~Taylor Swift
in the November issue of In Style

*of course I already knew this since we've discussed the messiness of curls in summer humidity :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Important Information

In case you were wondering. . .

and shared by Jamie

Thursday, November 12, 2009


i know this isn't about me.
actually, it has very little to do with me.
but it has every affect on me.

one of my very best friends has made the decision to leave break up with the city.

this happens all the time. people are always coming and going in new york, it's part of the transient nature of the city. but this time it's personal. this time, a little piece of my new york is shifting with the change.

jamie was my first real friend in new york. she was also my co-worker. she moved to new york 1 week after i did. she said "y'all." she lived 5 blocks away from me for 2 years. she shared my love of quality tv, broadway musicals, mexican food, pop culture, country music and jesus. clearly we were instant friends.

three and a half years and countless adventures later, we're counting down her final days in nyc. and i'm happy for her, really, i am! she's starting a new chapter of her big girl life in atlanta. with a seriously fantastic new job that couldn't be more perfect for her. and i'm proud of her! and excited for her! and all that stuff i'm supposed to feel about this change.

but in all honesty...you know...if i'm being completely truthful...i'm really very sad for me.

jamie is one of my people. she's someone who has experienced this whole crazy new york thing with me from the very start - from day 8 to be exact. i don't know new york without her. my new york is not the same new york without her.

we've shared every struggle, every celebration, every heartache, every annoyance, every happiness, every everything with each other for the past 3.5 years. i can't even begin to find the words for how much this crazy girl has meant to my life. it's true that new york can change you. and in our case, new york has shaped us.

we were just 2 southern girls who decided to move to new york city. and work in advertising. and live in a city we loved. and now we are very good friends. great friends. lifelong friends.

so now as i prepare to send her away from me and away from this city we are both so fond of, i'm struggling not to make this about me. because it's not. it's the realization that in moving across the country, god can bring you to some of your best friends in life. and how it doesn't really matter where they go when they leave new york behind. it's because of new york that they will be best friends for many many years to come.

xoxo friend. i can't find the words to say goodbye and i definitely can't imagine nyc without you, so please visit lots! love!