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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wanted: Songs of the Summer

I do not own a radio. Gasp. It's true.

In my world, my iPod is king. I never leave home without it and/or headphones for my iPhone. I have a dock that blasts my tunes in my room. I choose what I listen to. And every day has its own soundtrack.

So how then do I manage to keep up with the latest hits? This is quite the dilemma. No top 40 station plays the newest singles every time I get in my car. I don't hear Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" every hour like those of you normal people who listen to the radio regularly. So really, how can I possibly know what the songs of the summer are?

My main solution to this dilemma is iTunes of course. Where I (a) check for top downloaded songs and albums by genre (b) find new releases and (c) get a whole :20 second preview of said songs. I have found that if I check in often enough to see the top downloads, I can generally figure out what's popular and decide if I like it. Country music is a little harder, sometimes the top downloads aren't the best songs and I feel like I'm missing out on some secret gem that I would normally hear on the radio. It's also tricky to find the not-super-popular-yet-but-on-its-way songs. But for the most part, iTunes to the rescue!

This weekend I went on an iTunes buying spree. Because I go through these phases. Where I require not only the top downloaded song, but also the entire album. So I completed my DMB and Kings of Leon albums, decided against purchasing all of Katy Perry and Jordin Sparks, opting for just a few songs instead and decided that I couldn't possibly have a successful work-out without the JayZ, Rhianna and Kayne single on my Gym playlist.

It's mostly an impulsive process. It also tends to get a bit pricey. And is not without it's flaws. Last week a friend told me his go-to strategy: movie soundtracks. He figures they only use popular songs in movies. So if he pays attention to a soundtrack, he'll naturally be caught up with new music.

Good point. In fact, there are a variety of methods that I've decided indirectly assist me with this musical dilemma --

1. iTunes -- I stand by my anaylsis of this tactic. Sales numbers don't lie.
2. Movies / TV shows --
Lifehouse, where would you be without "Time Travelers Wife?" Same for Kate Voegele and One Tree Hill.
3. Commercials -- Apple has all kinds of undeniable influence.
4. Blogs -- Yes, blogs. NY Mag has been trying to identify the ultimate
'song of the summer.' Last week they declared Drake's "Best I Ever Had" as the winner. Followed closely by Black Eyed Peas and Taylor Swift of course.
5. Bar music --
This is when iPhone app Shazam really comes in handy.
6. Talk -- Good thing my friends (and fam) all really like music too. So we discuss.

Perhaps it's about time for MTV and CMT to start playing music videos again. That would be a most helpful solution to this problem.

For now, I spend ridiculous amounts of time (and $$) on iTunes. So far, it's working for me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

La - La

As if I weren't excited enough about my upcoming trip to Texas on Labor Day weekend, I received the below email this weekend that made me wish I could fast forward through this week immediately...

Subject: La - La


Me and my folks can't wait to see you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

p.s. Don't tell them I sent you this...they don't know I have computer skillz.......

SLOAN!! Look at her sassy lil bangs! Ohmygosh, I can't even get over how big she is and how much she's changed since I last saw her pretty smile in April. Such the cutie!

The latest is that she now knows her Nai Nai, Grandbuddy and Aunt Le-Le by name. I'm feeling slightly depressed by this. What if my niece doesn't know me?! Maybe she'll think I'm Les? I just can't wait to watch her run around and hear her talking. Oh the things I miss by being so far away! Sigh. Lucky for me, my supercute sister-in-law and brother know just how to make my day. Thanks Shane and Berit! :)

So all this to say, I didn't think I could be more excited about spending a long weekend in Texas. But after seeing this picture of Sloan, I simply can.not.wait!

Let the countdown begin!
Texas in 10 Days!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

notable quotes

A conversation between me and Mom this week...

LJ: This weekend was one subway disaster after another.
Why? No trains?
No trains! No trains to Brooklyn, no trains to Penn Station, skipping stops...it was terrible.
Ugh, and it's so hot down there.
Seriously! I hate subways on the weekends. How am I ever supposed to know which line is going to run and which isn't?!
Isn't there an app for that?

Priceless. And she doesn't even own an iPhone. (Or an iPod for that matter.)
L-O-V-E Mom.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My 50th Post!

It's my 50th blog post! So I wanted to make it special...

...but then the pressure was too much. So I decided to take these random thoughts and make them into a post. You understand, don't you?

"The story of my life? The story of my life won't even get us out of Chicago. I mean, nothing's happened to me yet. That's why I'm going to New York."

~When Harry Met Sally

Storytelling. Reason number 542 that I moved to New York.

"Besides, I'll have lots of good stories if this actually works out. Right?!" Don't get me wrong, I could tell plenty of stories from my 4 years in Austin. But New York for me represented real life. Big kid life. In New York City. A place where so many people go to follow their dreams. In hopes of finding something exciting. And that something exciting will happen to them. So that they have stories to tell.

I can't think of just one New York story that's a perfect example of why I'm in this city. But I do know that I love the stories from not-so-special days that turn into favorites.

Days like last Saturday. Spent brunching at a lovely new spot in Brooklyn right on the water. Walking along the river admiring the view of lower Manhattan from a new perspective. And the Brooklyn Bridge in all it's charm. Photo shoots that capture the picture perfect sunny day. Giggling about nothing and everything all at once.

Because it's the stories of unexpected days like these that make my New York story increasingly more exciting.

Friday, August 14, 2009

who's ready for some football?

i am, i am!

for those of you who haven't heard, the horns are ranked #2 in the coaches preseason poll. ok, i know, it's JUST the coaches poll and it's preseason and they haven't even played a game yet. but still, #2! just sayin'.

and also for those of you who don't know, i kinda heart colt mccoy. so i'll need to get my hands on next week's issue of espn mag asap! cover story on colt and the horns? yes, please.

a lil preview from TexasSports.com -

"Hero: Longhorn fans are convinced that Colt McCoy
is Superman. They make a pretty strong case."

are we saying that colt has the potential to take down the infamous tim tebow??? y'all, i can't wait!

if that weren't enough, sporting news has declared the 2009 season "Year of the QB" complete with yet another cover shot of my boy colt. who confidently claims "there will be no debate about how good we are" this year. take that, timmy tebow and your gators.

longhorn football season. bring it on. i'm ready.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

cities of love

Have you seen the trailer for "New York, I Love You" yet?

I remember hearing a lot of buzz about it when they were shooting around the city last year. Not surprising since so many big names are associated with writing, starring and directing - Natalie Portman, Christina Ricci, Shia LaBeouf, Bradley Cooper, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson...and I could go on, but I think you get the point!

It's an anthology film - essentially a visual love letter to New York City. A compilation of short films all looped together to tell stories of living and loving set in Manhattan - the City being a key character of course. I envision something similar to "Love Actually" but with New Yorky gritty aspiration and independence. Wrapped up in the charm of an indie film project.

Basically my favorite kind of love letter. One centered around the city that I already love.
Can. Not. Wait.

NOTE: Last week Andrea sent me this trailer because a) she knew I'd absolutely L-O-V-E it and b) she thinks if she continues to remind me how much I heart this city, then I'll never leave. Touché my friend! :)

"In a city of millions, everyone has their own love story. From first love, to love denied, to everlasting love and everything in between. Fall in love all over again."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

he asked...and she said YES!

So now I do believe that CONGRATULATIONS are in order!

This week Julia, my college sorority sis (and current NYC roomie), and her boyfriend of 1.5 years got engaged. YAYYY!

Seaver told us a few weeks ago that he was making big plans. He of course didn't share any of the details, just that he had a ring and a plan and it was going to be sooner than later. Ohsocoy of him to keep his 'big plan' quite vague. Then last weekend he sneakily mentions that it's going to be Tuesday. Tuesday?! Like, next Tuesday, Seaver?! YES! She's going to be so surprised!

So Tuesday morning we get a mass email -- Tonight is the night! Weeeee! He's proposing on the stoop of our old apartment at 83rd and 3rd. So cute. We'll all gather at Gael Pub around the corner for a surprise celebration afterward. -- OMG, I'm so excited!

So Caroline, Ally, Danielle and I quickly make arrangements for a super-fab post-engagement soiree. Champagne, cards, treats, cameras, check check check! I'd like to note that I'm a terrible secret-keeper. I spent the entire day giddy with excitement, telling everyone that my roommate was getting engaged that night. Alright Seaver, maybe not telling me sooner was a good plan. Well played sir, well played.

I'm so very excited for Julia and Seaver! Happy Happy Engagement friends! And now, let the wedding planning begin! :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

so you think you can dance...dance...dance

i. love. this. show.

like, a lot. so much that i've been to see the live tour two years in a row. and already have tickets for this fall. if you aren't already a fan, please allow me to offer this persuasive argument to convert you -

incredible dancing + great music + creative choreography + fashionista host cat deely = awesome

so as you can probably guess, i'm really pumped for the finale tonight. in preparation for the 2 hour event, i'm sharing my fave dances of the season. it was tough to narrow it down, so i didn't really. i promise you will love them all as much as i do though.


Kayla & Kupuno's "Addiction" by Mia Michaels

Melissa & Ade's "This Woman's Work" by Tice DiOrio

Brandon & Jeanette's Jazz by Wade Robson

Randi & Evan's "Cat + Mouse" by Mia Michaels

Jeanine & Philip's "Love Lock Down" by Tabitha & Napoleon

Jeanine & Jason's "If it Kills Me" by Travis Wall

Top 3 Girl's "Superhero Remix" by Sonya Tayeh

Carla & Jonathan's "Falling Slowly"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just your average civic duty

Jury Duty summons. Dun dun dun. I've been putting off Jury Duty since last summer. So this time really was the last time I could postpone my summons. Supreme Court of NY. Super importante. Is it odd that I was looking forward to serving?

Somehow participating in Jury Duty makes me feel like a real adult, like a legit contributing member of society. It's like registering to vote. And actually voting. Paying your for your own health insurance. Signing your first apartment lease. Buying your own car. (not that I would know what that feels like but I imagine it's along the same lines as the others.)

Also, I was fairly certain that serving in NY would be more interesting than in other cities because, well, because a) it's New York and b) there are all kinds of crazy characters here. Prime for people watching. I do wish that I had more exciting stories to share. Jury Duty mostly consists of sitting around waiting. And more waiting. I didn't even overhear any outrageous stories or an exchange of phone numbers. And I didn't really make any friends either. (not for lack of trying!) Sigh.

A few key takeaways from my 2-day civic duty extravaganza:

-- The room of nothingness. Where I spent approximately 7 hours sitting and waiting to be called to a selection courtroom. (ohsothankful for the free wi-fi!)

-- People will say anything to get out of jury selection. Some of my favorites include...

"I don't speak English. How long have you lived in NY? 15 years. Oh, you'll be ok. Sit down."
"I don't trust the police."
"I am deaf in my right ear."
"I'm a physician and I have patients scheduled next week."
"I am leaving next week for my bachelor party."

"I have stage fright."

Really, stage fright?! What does stage fright have to do with anything?

-- There is no AC in the old court buildings in lower Manhattan. Note to NY residents: don't serve in the summer, it's real hot and kinda miserable...except for the time you spend in the courtroom.

-- There is no formal dress code for Jury Duty. But does this mean it's acceptable to display your cleavage to the judge and entire room of potential jurors? Um, ridiculously inappropriate. And laughable.

-- The government public access wi-fi blocks blogger. So there is no blog reading or blogging from the room of nothingness.

-- 2 hour lunches. Really.