Thursday, November 27, 2008

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

It's Thanksgiving Day in the US today. And it's a bigger holiday (for people traveling to see family etc) than Christmas. A colleague of mine told me he thought it was because it was a non religious holiday that everyone could get behind. Makes sense.
The holiday doesn't really mean a lot to me - I celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada a few weeks ago so today was just a day off. However I did decide to partake in the festivities and go check out the parade. I naively thought- oh it's similar to the Calgary Stampede parade... (which I haven't been to in 10 years) there will be crowds and it will be busy... but the 2.5 million people will be spread out over 40 blocks- so I'll be able to see what's going on if I show up halfway through. HAH!!!! I did end up getting a good view, (actually close to what I expected) but the people... oh my gosh the people... it was insane.

I took the subway down and came up to the surface at Times Square- with masses of people. I walked over to Broadway where I caught the last 45 minutes of the parade. I saw the Shrek balloon and some others- and got to see the grand finale of Santa's sleigh and his reindeer. It was actually pretty cool to be there among the millions (literally) of other people...
My brother suggested I take my camera- which was a great idea- but I forgot it. It's too bad because I would've like to take a picture of all of the people in Time's Square.
Also I thought I'd share a new picture of baby O baking. She's only 7 weeks old but already baking cookies. She's ALREADY outshining her aunt who makes cookies using Pillsbury. yikes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's the most wonderful day of the year ?

It's that time of year again... Black Friday (my first) is this week and the Christmas shopping season officially begins.

I thought I'd share some ideas of what I would like. My ideas are a bit different this year as I'm living in a tiny apartment and have no need for anything... but I have thought of a few things I'd like:

- Kerastase shampoo and conditioner (the one with the white packaging and ORANGE lid)
- Lulu Lemon gift certificate
- teapot (not a kettle but the pot)
- President's Choice Moroccan Mint Green Tea (it's my fave tea and they don't sell it here)
- A thin knit black turtleneck sweater (medium)
- Books
- the Killers new CD
- magazine subscription - Nylon

And there's another site that has really good gift ideas- for me or for anyone on your list:

It's a site for Plan Canada- where you can purchase gift donations for various developing nations around the world.

If the link above doesn't work visit -

You have to order the gifts by Dec 11 in order to receive your gift card by Dec 24 (though you could always order the gift online and then download/print off the gift card).

Happy shopping -and wish me luck this Friday!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nice things do happen in new york

To date my overall impression of people in new york has been quite grim. The people I deal with directly (at work and friends of friends etc) have been wonderful and friendly and kind etc... But the people I deal with on a casual basis (waiters, hostesses, people on the subway) have been rude and horrible and mean. Saturday I met two exceptions.
The first one was a girl in the TD Bank. I went in to inquire about getting an account in order to transfer my credit history. The line up was long with no end in sight. The woman coordinating those waiting offered to help me herself since the people meant to be helping all seemed to be taking a break at the exact same time. When she didn't have an answer about the credit history- she actually called the credit office herself to make the inquiry on my behalf. This might seem like normal customer service, but rest assured that in nyc, this was way above and beyond the call of duty. In my experience the person would either not help or b) say "oh we don't do that" (no matter what the request is- generally the response is- oh we can't/won't/don't care to help you).
The second incident of kindness was at Schiller's restaurant in the West Village. I was meeting a good friend of mine there- who was in from out of town (TO) and some of her friends.
The place was loud, crazy and super busy (but fun) - and as a result our waitress was 'abrupt'. I ordered a wine for me and another friend who was on her way (in order to make it look like she was already there- another thing in ny is they won't sit you until your entire party is present) and she brought out a half carafe. As we neared the end of dinner she brought out another half carafe, filled my glass and threw it on the table -leaving the bill and not saying anything.
I though this odd, as I had not ordered anymore wine and in fact my friend wasn't even drinking the wine- and I didn't know if I NEEDED another 3 glasses to myself (it turns out I really did).
I thought this was just another example of new york presumption and a waitress's efforts to get a bigger bill... and therefore a bigger tip. So I called her back and said "I don't think I ordered this wine and I don't know if it's the same as before and I'm not sure I want it" (I'd already drank half of it btw). She said "It's the same and you're drinking it... but I didn't charge you for it."
Sure enough, upon inspection of the bill, there was clearly no charge for this extra half bottle.
I felt like a jerk. But I wasn't expecting something so nice, generous and thoughtful. And yes she did get a good tip. And I got a good lesson. (just kidding- I really only got a good hangover)
Net net- Maybe I've given ny a harsh judgement. Maybe I need to relax and give ny another chance. Maybe ny is not so mean, rude and horrible afterall.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All together now- take a deep breath

Two days before I started working at Ogilvy in NY the DOW dropped 700 points. This, I was told by my accountant friend, was significant. And ever since then it's been constant non stop stories of companies shutting down, laying people off and declaring bankruptcy. Stores are closing, offices are downsizing, and the unemployment rate is rising.
And where does that leave me?
I don't know.
I know I'm not safe. No one is. I know it's not me personally- I haven't been here long enough to make either a bad impression or a good one. Sigh -it's just life. And giving away mortgages.
If I do lose my job I'm going to pack up my stuff and head to India for 6 months. This could be a dream come true!! (Not entirely-as I do love my job here...)

How else are things going? Here is a mini update (fully recognizing that I haven't done a full "I've moved to nyc" update...maybe not such a bad thing):

My roommate did a massive clean up of the apartment yesterday- which was wonderful. It's starting to feel like a home and I might even post some pictures of it soon. There is still a bit of work to do but it's coming along.

I discovered something lovely in my neighbourhood the other day- something that frees me from doing laundry EVER AGAIN. I hadn't done laundry for a month and was running out of clean clothes. I went to the laundromat on Sunday (the first time I had graced the doors of a landromat in 9 years) and after 4 minutes left. There were no available washing machines and I couldn't wait. My roommate told me that I could drop my laundry off at the dry cleaners and they would do it for me (so I just had to pick it up all nice and clean and folded) for $1/lb. Using the machines in the laundromat was going to cost me $5/load. This service worked out to be $6/load. SOLD! Done in one day. LOVES IT!!

And in other news- I do really love my job. I'm still struggling with the process side of things- because it's new and it's fairly convoluted. But I know that's just something that has to be learned- and I'm getting there. The people I work with are crazy supportive and smart and I'm just glad to be here.

And my last bit of great news is that I got my plane ticket home for Christmas on POINTS. I booked it a week ago. For people who use airmiles they know that it's unheard of to get a ticket on points this close to Christmas!! I'm going to Calgary Dec 24, Toronto Dec 31 and then back to NY Jan 3. I can't wait- I haven't been to Calgary since last Christmas (except for one day in July). Thats the longest I've ever gone not seeing my friends in Calgary (I've seen most of my family in other events throughout the year). I'm looking forward to going home (and to my other 'home' - Toronto).

But until then we're still busy and there is (still) work to be done.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

All Olivia, all the time

Now I don't want my blog to become all about my neice- and nothing else... but it's pretty hard to avoid when she's so freaking cute!!!!!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Dad & Baby

Here's a good picture of David and Olivia on a recent visit to Paula's house in Calgary.