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

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!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Music Overload. DVR Overload. Life Overload?

Confessions: Things I just can't seem to keep up with lately --

1. Music. There are so many new songs and albums out right now and I want all. of. them.

Taylor Swift's re-released Fearless album + new songs, Carrie Underwood, Glee - The Music! Tim McGraw, Kris Allen, MJ This is It, Jay-Z, John Mayer. . .ok, I'm too overwhelmed to continue. Why can't I keep up with music? Why do I wait until there are so many songs I want and decide to go on a buying spree?

2. DVR. Really. I am over-commited to TV. How is this possible?

Mad Men, Gossip Girl, OTH, House, GLEE! Grey's, The Office, The Good Wife, Vampire Diaries, Top Chef, Project Runway, FlashForward, SYTYCD, 90210, Greek. . .again, too overwhelmed to continue. I've always been able to keep up with my shows. I like my DVR like my email inbox. Everything watched / read and cleared out when I'm done with it. TV becoming overwhelming. Who would have thought?

3. Errands. Overload. You know, those life things that if you don't take care of them, no one else will? Yeah, I'm the worst at those.

I have about $50 worth dry cleaning being held hostage because I can't seem to get home before my dry cleaner closes. (Hey, at least I dropped it off!) I have 2-3 pairs of shoes sitting on my floor that I need to drop off at the Shoe Doc. The zipper on my puffy coat has been broken since April - have I yet to take it to the tailor? (yeah, Mom, I know...you told me) 3 bags of clothes from my latest closet clean-out also sitting on my floor that I need to take to Goodwill - it's only 1/2 a block away. I'm a mess.

4. Birthdays. There are just too many in October / November / December. I can't keep up! And it makes it harder when these gifts need to be mailed south in time for bday's. Stress.

Keith, Les, Berit, Shane, Mom, Angie, Kayla, Bethany, Casey, Dad, Jamie

5. Sleep. For the past few weeks I feel like I've had something to do / somewhere to be every night. And it keeps me up late. Clearly it's not the TV distracting me (see #2). I just can't seem to figure out why I'm so tired all the time. Can I blame blogging?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

the little things

i usually talk to my mom everyday. maybe only for a few minutes, maybe about nothing in particular, but still, usually everyday.

she's been gone for the past week on this silly mini-vacay with my dad. and i was quite surprised to realized that i kinda missed our quick daily chats. over the past week there were so many things that i would have liked to tell her and couldn't. because she wasn't there to listen! you think i'm crazy don't you?

i typically will call her on my walk to the subway or on my way home from the gym - "hi. i'm on my way here. did you find out about this? how's that going? oh, and yesterday this happened..." - etc, etc, you see what i'm saying. so this week i found myself picking up my phone to call her, when i remembered that she wasn't there. it's a weird feeling not telling her whatever little random things i think of on a daily basis. totally throws me off. i don't like it.

AND today is mom's birthday. so i felt like this post dedicated to her was fitting for today. and also...

happy happy birthday mommy! i love you very much!

thanks for coming back from cruising so that i can talk to you everyday again. apparently i still like you to know where i am and what i'm doing. will i ever grow out of that? better question, do you want me to?


Monday, November 9, 2009


Today's post is brought to you as a Blog Carnival! A day organized by fellow blogger friends Elizabeth and Jamie to get a group of us to all write one post about the same thing. I'm excited to read what each one has to share, so be sure to check them out!
home. to me.

the way i see it, home doesn't have just a single definition. home represents so many things to me. things that i feel and believe, but are sometimes difficult to put into words. and home means something to everyone. home is a topic we can all write about and share something different. so here goes...

home is the house i grew up in.
it is a corner house in a small suburban city that always has cars parked out front. it's a front door painted a welcoming red, a backyard well-landscaped with flowers my mom loves and a playful miniature schnauzer running around. it's bright with sunlight and a hodgepodge of new furniture mixed with acquired antiques. home is the perfect picture of my mother's charm and is decorated with all the things that she loves. it's the fresh smell of laundry, a stack of dallas morning news on the kitchen table and the sound of dad's music playing. it's the hutch that my grandfather built, countless photos of our family and always has a front porch light on to guide me back. it is everything i love.

home is texas.
it is wide open spaces, an endless skyline, blazing hot summer sun and miles of open roads. home is southern accents, it's "y'all", friendly greetings and a place where foods just aren't quite the same as anywhere else. it's country music, cowboy boots and sunday school. it's an exceptional passion for football, an unprecedented level of state pride and for some reason, a place where everyone drives a truck. it is everything i love.

home is a feeling.
it is unexplainable comfort. it's the familiar sense of safety and it's completely carefree. home represents faith, hope, encouragement. it's dependable, it's secure and it's seemingly unchanging. home is sensible, it's understanding, it doesn't judge and it's always welcoming. it is laughter and happiness and filled with love. home is simple, it's contentment. it is everything i love.

home is my family.
it is my mom, my dad, my sister, my brother, sister-in-law and niece, my aunts, uncles and cousins. it's spending time together, it's holiday's laughing, playing games and a lil heated competition. home is where dad cooks weekend breakfasts, mom falls asleep on the couch every time we watch a movie and my sister walks in my room to be sure I like her outfits or shoes. home just wouldn't be home without them there. they are everything i love.

home is new york.
it's the city where i've built my life. it's my cozy little apartment on the upper east side filled with everything i've acquired over the past 3 1/2 years. it's my 2 roommates who i love and depend on. it's a day-by-day adventure, a new restaurant every night, an unbelievable sense of independence. home is gallery church and the girls in my bible study. it's relying on best friends who help keep me sane. it's typically busy, it's frequently crazy, it's where i live. it is everything i love.

this is home. to me.
and it is everything i love.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Un. Be. Lievable.

I wish I could say that I had seen Taylor perform her opening monologue live last night, but sadly I can't. Because we didn't quite make it in. They only let about 27 people from the standby list in. Un. Be. Lievable.

So it was disappointing for sure. But no regrets. Because we still had a fantastic weekend. We're totally crazy for spending the night at Rock Center for tickets that may or may not get us in to a show. I mean, really, who does that?! But it was worth it and we wouldn't have done anything differently.

And if we would have gotten in, it would have been an amazing show. Or the live version that we watched at 11:30pm was anyway. (of course we had an SNL watching party after all this madness was over!) Taylor was pretty great. Her opening monologue was my favorite, but her Shakira impression was also quite hilarious.

By the time I stumbled home last night, I could barely hold my eyes open. It was a good weekend. An unbelieveably great weekend spent with some of my favorite friends. Regardless of the turnout, Mission SNL was quite the adventure.

Maybe I'll try again another time with a different host. I mean, you just never know when standby tickets could work in your favor!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Live From New York!

The Latest: We're still waiting!

Mission SNL is well underway. After a slight change in plans - and some stress - we ended up getting to Rock Center around 7ish last night. Armed with our cold-night survival necessities, we settled in our chairs, wrapped ourselves in blankets and furry hoods and proceeded to analyze our odds for success - without getting our hopes up too much of course.

We estimated that we were about 60 people back in line. Not ideal, considering we'd heard through our extensive SNL standby ticket research that chances for getting in are best when you're among the first 40ish people.

Nevertheless, we were still optimistic and decided to take our chances and stick it out! Hannah joined me and Jamie around 9pm, and Bethany came around midnight. The hours passed surprisingly quickly as we giggled our way through eavesdropping on surrounding campers, silly stories and our lists of top ranking candies - by category naturally. (for those who care, my list = Candy Bar - Baby Ruth, Chocolate - Junior Mints / Peanut Butter M&Ms, Non-Chocolate - Twizzlers)

Oh, and we revolutionalized pizza delivery by having Papa Johns deliver pepperoni pizza + diet coke to us at 49th and Rockefeller Plaza. Brilliant.

Let the fun begin!

12:30am - All bundled-up and settled in for the night!

3:30am - This is when we start getting delirious. The temperature dropped to 36 degrees and wind chill brought it down to 31. Frozen. And sleepy. Luckily Jamie read Harry Potter aloud to us - with voices.

6:25am - The final stretch! Countdown to 7am ticket distribution!

We ended up #42-#45 in the standby list for Dress Rehearsal. We're pumped. And we'll be back in line at Rock Center at 7:15pm sharp!

By 8am, I was home and warm in my bed. Dreaming of seeing Taylor live in a few short hours.

Wish us luck!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mission: SNL

We have decided that tonight is the night we will spend the night at Rockefeller Center waiting in line for standby tickets to Saturday Night Live. Taylor Swift is this week's host AND the musical guest. And since we are already best friends after our Rolling Stone lunch, it seems only natural that we see her on SNL.

Seeing an SNL taping is one of those New Yorky things that you always talk about wanting to do, but never actually make plans to do it. So we're taking action. Mission SNL was determined and accepted by all. . .

. . .big plans for a Saturday Night Live weekend extravaganza. Big plans for future friendships with Taylor. Big plans for another New York adventure.

Check list of supplies for our camp out --
  • Uggs
  • Puffy Coat / Scarves / Mittens
  • Blankets
  • Chairs
  • Snacks!
  • DDP
  • Magazines
  • Harry Potter Book 7
  • Camera
We're all set for our Night-o-30-Rock! Prepared to spend 12 hours outside in the cold, pulling an all-nighter, taking our chances for tickets and we're pretty optimistic about our chances. Wish us luck!

And in anticipation of tonight's adventure, I leave you with this little gem courtesy of Jamie this afternoon - "Get Excited."

Oh my, we are definitely excited.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seriously Unfair

My parents are going on a mini-cruise this weekend. Unfair. They never go on vacation without me and Les. But this time they are. And they were pretty excited about it too. Unfair.

They left today. Carribbean Bound. They'll have sunshine. And ocean. And beach. And Mexico. And lots of fun. Without me. Unfair.

So hey, don't worry about me Mom and Dad. I'll just stay here. I'll go to work. And I'll be cold. I might not even have any fun, just out of principle. Unfair.

And they'll be off on a mini-vacay.

Seriously unfair!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


From time to time I do get to enjoy a few perks of working in advertising in New York. And yesterday was definitely one of those days.

Lunch with the Glee cast! Well, most of them anyway.

Glee is easily my favorite new show this fall. If you haven't started watching yet, you don't know what you're missing. It's the perfect blend of musical theater, pop culture, and snarky comedy. There are too many quotable one-liners per episode to count. It's pretty much brilliant.

The whole group was quite hilarious. And pretty. And genuine. Comfortable joking around with each other and excited about their success. I'd totally be friends with them. All of them. Here are a few of the more humorous highlights for your enjoyment. . .

Colby (Finn): And I had the job about 30 minutes after I left. It was like, "Great, I got the job! I don't think I'm even legally allowed to work in this country, I don't have a Visa...but I got the job!"

Chris (Kurt): Ryan (the producer) told me I looked like I'd been in The Sound of Music. I had. I played Kurt. Then I got the call back that they wanted me for a new role that had just been written. Come to find out, the new character was written for me. And his name was Kurt. I wish they would have told me they wrote the role for me. It would have saved me from a lot of stress!

Kevin (Arty): (in response to a question about what happens when they visit malls) I'll tell you what happens...it goes like this -- "Ahhhhhhhh!!!!" "Colby! Marry me!" "Mark, you're so hot!" "Oh, there's the kid in the wheel chair..."

Lea Michele (Rachel): (in response to a question about what Matthew Morrison - aka Mr. Schue - is like)Ohhhh, triple threat! Singing, dancing, acting...and he raps now too!

Kevin (Arty): Kristen Chenoweth, obviously she's amazing. I didn't come from a theater background, I had no idea who she was. So why was I so nervous? Chris, he was nervous. He was freaking out. And his tears, there was nothing fake about his tears.

Sadly they didn't sing for us. Or give away any good spoilers for the rest of the season. But they were highly entertaining.

And we decided that we must own the Glee Soundtrack immediately!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hey, It's OK...

I am a loyal Glamour magazine reader. Not the kind of flip-through-and-look-at-the-pictures reader, but a real reader. Cover-to-cover style.

One of my favorite sections is appropriately titled "Hey, it's OK..." A single-page column offering an amusing list of everyday type things that you may or may not relate to, and somehow totally rationalizes the quirks. It's completely pointless and silly and yet, it's my favorite part of the entire magazine!

Every once in awhile there is a fantastic-ly "ME" line that makes me laugh out loud. And in September 2007, there was magically an entire "Hey, it's OK..." column that could have been written just especially for me!

Hey, it's OK. . .

. . .to be entirely unapologetic about your hermit streak. (What are you, a socialite?)

. . .to still need to say "righty tighty, lefty loosey" to screw and unscrew stuff.

. . .to order an uncool drink at the bar. Wine spritzer anyone?

. . .to have a teeny-weeny crush on your best friend's boyfriend. Acting on crush: not OK!

. . .to put real thought into decorating your cubicle. Hey, you do kind of live there.

. . .if you've never seen the classics -- Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, even Bambi.

. . .if your idea of "changing a flat" is putting on a pair of high heels.

. . .to insist on treating your friend to dinner, then cross your fingers she doesn't order the steak.

. . .to check yourself out in the mirror the second you get home from the gym, and think, Skinnier!

Ohsoperfect, right? And it's had a special place hanging in my cubie at work ever since it was discovered.

Hey, it's OK. . .
. . .to stay home on a Friday night and catch up on your DVR.
No shame.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A lil inspirational

It's officially November. And the first weekend of November marks the annual New York City Marathon!

Literally thousands of runners took over the city streets yesterday. I won't lie, I really love the marathon. New Yorkers also take to the streets to watch, cheer and support all the runners. It's kinda cool.

So upon waking up to text(s) from Caroline about brunch at 11am, noticing my clock said 11:05am and feeling completely confused - the whole fall back time thing really threw me off - we met Julia and Seaver for an Upper West Side roommate brunch at Isabella's. Afterwards, Caroline and I walked over to the Park for some marathon watching.

We picked a spot by the trees near the start of the 26th mile, about 200 yards from the finish line. And we watched the runners. I know this may not sound incredibly exciting or even interesting. But it's really one of my favorite New York things to see.

My friend Michelle, who moved away this past summer after graduating from Columbia, returned to the city to run her second NYC Marathon this weekend. Yes, a 2x marathoner. I'm so proud of her! And after watching her run last year, I knew I enjoyed being towards the end of race, definitely most exciting at the end.

We found ourselves behind a few women who weren't cheering for anyone in particular, but were quite dedicated to cheering. Yelling out names or countries, clapping and encouraging as the runners passed. They were hilarious. And their cheeriness was quite infectious.

Caro: "Wow, they sure have a lot of friends running!"
LJ (with a side glance): "I don't think they're cheering for people they know, I think they're just cheering to the one's with names on their shirts..."
Caro (bursts out laughing): "Ohhhhh, right..."

And then there was a woman holding a balloon so that her husband would see it as he was running past and know she was there. He stopped, grabbed her and kissed her as he ran by. They both had tears in their eyes. So did I!

When you watch their faces, these runners that have been going strong for so many hours, they've come so far and are so very close to the finish line. Some are smiling, some are focused, some are on the verge of exhaustion, some are dressed in costume, some are visibly struggling with each step, some pick up speed as the cheers get louder, some scan the sides looking for their people, and some throw their fists in the air in celebration.

I can't imagine what this must feel like for them. Finishing up a 6 hour run. Incredible! I found myself wondering about their stories - Who were they? Is this their first marathon? What are they feeling? How long did they prepare for this moment? Are they excited? What do they do once it's over and they've reached their goal? Would they run the 26 miles over again?

It's all a lil bit inspiring. Don't you think?