Friday, December 25, 2009

What does joy look like?

This. And this.

Definitely this.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I was having a conversation with my friend today about the power of prayer. For some the word "Prayer" can be a turn off but they still find comfort in 'positive thoughts' or 'positive vibes' being shared. Yes prayer is to a higher power and asking for intervention or strength/peace etc. But sometimes just the idea that someone is thinking about you and wanting good for you can be a powerful thing.

I only bring this up because my Grandma fell ill tonight and has been taken to the hospital. It's likely just an infection, but she's older and not well so an infection can take a turn for worse. So I ask for your thoughts/prayers/well wishes that what may be may be.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Canuck Christmas Part 2

Every year at Christmas time my oldest girlfriends have a potluck dinner/reunion (I bring wine). Josephine and I have been friends since we were four with the rest of us forming friendships throughout elementary, junior high and high school.

Though we are all living across Canada and the US now and don't keep in touch as often as we'd like, we still try to get together at least once a year to catch up and see each others' beautiful faces.

There are 8 of us and this year we were only missing Jen and Heather. We missed you guys!!!! (ps. The reason I looked so schlumpy while my friends were looking good is because I came directly from the ski hill!).

Monday, December 21, 2009

Canadian Christmas Part 1

One of the benefits of living in Calgary is that you are 1 hour away from the Rocky Mountains, perfect for hiking, camping and skiing. Of course when I lived here I didn't take advantage of that- and though I learned to ski as a teenager, I took an 8 year hiatus from the sport.

Now that I've moved to NY (??) I've stared skiing again and for Christmas I thought I'd engage my friends/family to see if they wanted to "hit the slopes".

Yesterday we went to Nakiska for the day. It's not as good of a hill as Sunshine or Lake Louise, but it's also only an hour out and much more manageable for the first time of the season skiing.

It was a beautiful, awesome day with great skiing. The only (minor) downside is that it was freezing cold, though it was only -10C. And I was not dressed properly even though I looked like this:

Here is my aunt Shawnee skiing against the backdrop of the Rockies.

This is my aunt Claire, uncle Al and me ready to go down the hill.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New York Hasn't Changed Me!

I was at a shoot earlier this week. We were doing a commercial featuring an American celebrity chef- "Tyler Florence". Won't go into details because I don't want to give anything away before the campaign launches. However here we are after the shoot getting a picture together. Tyler is in centre. And I'm the New York asshole to his left who couldn't get off the phone for 1 minute to take a picture. (I was on a conference call and they dragged me in).

To be fair, we did get a picture without the phone and decided to take one with - just to make fun of me. I'm not that brutal (yet!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Running Progress

It's not going well.

I haven't run for two weeks.

I had back problems (because I'm an old lady) and decided to give myself time off to repair. Then I went away. Then I went away again. Then I got sick. meow excuses meow.

Clearly I'm not committed.

I will run tomorrow night and see how it goes. I didn't ever get past 6 miles (though I need to hit 13) so we'll see how much I've lost in the last two weeks.

Only 7 weeks to go and I'm a little bit scared.

Maybe I'll make it to Miami, do the fun run (5k) and just cheer my friends on.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Busy Little Elves

Last week I decorated my own apartment.
This week I decorated my Grandma's apartment.*

We both have wall hangings.

We both have trees.

We both have love and festive cheer courtesy of J.Samuels (my Mom!).

*Posting these pics to prove to my Mom that I actually did what she asked!

Cramped quarters

One thing about visiting the rellies is that they want to hear about NY and the details of my life. This time around they wanted to hear about the new apartment. (Of course they do. They are my relatives. They care about me. They are interested- or at the very least act interested.)

No one can quite believe how small my apartment is. It's roughly the same size as my Grandma's private room in her new home. Life goes full circle and all that....

Though I haven't got pictures of the apartment here is a picture of Olivia practicing to live in a NYC apartment with a cave-like sleeping loft like mine.

In the Lane, Snow is Glistening

All of the winter stereotypes for Canada came to fruition this weekend. This made me happy as I miss the snow and it doesn't appear very often in NYC.

This is Day One in Moncton after 8 inches. Unlike Toronto or Calgary this is a city that knows how to handle snow.

I was using a hockey stick to help Jen take the snow off the car.

This is Day 2 with the blue skies. It was so beautiful. It really does feel like Christmas when everything is blanketed in white.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bad Men

What is the deal with the show "Mad Men"?? It's gotten all of these awards and rave reviews. I bought season 1 (very cheap) on it's reputation alone and I have to tell you... not impressed.

They smoke ALOT. But that's not acting.

Yes the 60s references are interesting (no seat belts, kids playing with plastic bags over their heads) but not compelling. And while the behaviour might seem outrageous "Look at us- we have 3 martini lunches!" - the "women are stupid" joke gets old pretty fast.

And January Jones is a HORRIFIC actor. So bad I was yelling at my computer screen "YOU ARE A TERRIBLE ACTRESS!! HOW DO YOU HAVE A JOB?!" last night...

So I guess it did generate a passionate reaction from me. That's something right?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Please excuse the poor quality of the photographs. This is what you get with 'mood lighting' and an iphone. However it captures what it needs- and that is a festively decorated space.

Here are the lights on the windows. The keen eye will notice the wall hanging on the left, and the Santa on the dresser. The tree on the windowsill is one I've had since I was about 8.

And here is a new addition for 2009- a sequin Christmas tree. I thought that if I wasn't going to have a real tree I might as well have the fakest most fakey fake and fabulous tree ever. And its' sheer glitz eliminates any need for decorations! (This isn't the actual placement of the tree in the apartment- but for picture taking purposes it was the best backdrop.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A purpose to Precious

A friend of mine said, in response to my previous post, that a movie like 'Precious' is meant to bridge the gap when you can't empathize with situations or characters such as those portrayed in the movie "Precious".

Though that is not your life, you are given some insight and knowledge for how those people might feel and react in such scenarios- and can then appreciate their point of view.

So it's okay if I don't empathize- that's the job of the movie.

I appreciate that. (And coincidentally it's the same friend who doesn't go to see movies with a hard luck tale... funny that!).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dissecting my impression of the movie "Precious"

I have a friend who won't go and see movies that are anything but entertainment. If it has a tension, or profiles a historical situation that is not uplifting and/or fun she won't go. Examples would be "Shindler's List", or "Hotel Rwanda". I respect her opinion even if I don't share it. She goes to the movies to escape and these types of stories obviously do not meet that end.

I went to go and see the movie "Precious" last night. This movie fell into the category of "I should see" vs "I want to see". The 'should see' movies are those that are brilliantly written, well acted and usually telling a troubling hard luck story. Precious was no different.

The difference with this movie is that it was so incredibly hard to watch I actually sat there wondering how my life was better from having experienced it. Yes the storytelling was complex and compelling. Yes the acting was superb. And yes the direction was risky and creative.

Yet it was such a horrible God-awful story of human suffering and pain on an individual level that I wonder why I would recommend it to anyone. I suppose there was the triumph at the end- meant to be uplifting and empowering. But did I feel hope at the end? Not really. What purpose did telling such a story serve?

Perhaps the reason it didn't personally resonate with me and why I didn't feel connected to the triumph is because I couldn't empathize with that type of suffering. I couldn't put myself in the heroine's shoes. It was just so far removed from my sphere of existence that I couldn't fathom or appreciate the journey.

I'm still thinking about it though. So perhaps my exploration is not finished. And my appreciation of the movie is still to come.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shades of Grey

What is the difference between love and infatuation? (For the record, I'm in neither, but I got to thinking about it while watching the news tonight profiling the hundreds of girls screaming their 'love' for Jacob/Edward).

The difference is time. And perception. And behaviour.

The dictionary says that infatuation is:

--> A foolish, unreasoning, or extravagant passion or attraction.
--> An object of extravagant, short-lived passion.

So it's short-lived. Foolish. Yet they also say : See Synonyms at love.

I think we all start at the stage of infatuation which then evolves into love, or goes away. They aren't different things. They are different stages of the same emotion, with love being further along the continuum. The same colour but different shades. Perhaps you reach it after you truly know the person, and know who you are with that person- and accept and still adore both.

And it's manifest in your behaviour.

The person who stalks a celebrity and fancies themselves in love with them really believes it. Is that any different than 'real love'? It's real to them right? But if you really love that someone you unselfishly consider their needs and wants as well as your own. Ideally those needs & wants align with you both win. The unselfish-ness demonstrates true love. While selfish, extravagant behaviour accompanies infatuation.


Heavy thoughts stemming from some screaming 'twi-hards'.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Moon

It's that time again- the return of the Twilight saga to theatres. At this time last year I was watching (and re-watching) the movie "Twilight" over Thanksgiving long weekend. Loving it and hating myself for loving it.

We are now on book 2: 'New Moon'. And the sheer chaos surrounding this movie is amazing. I was talking with a girl tonight about this phenomenon and its' source. She and I have both read, and enjoyed, all of the books. We are both WELL out of our teen years *ahem* so it's not as though it resonates... but we still got sucked in.

People compare the books to Harry Potter. And while I will say the anticipation and popularity is similar, the quality and mass appeal are not. Twilight definitely has a more razor sharp focused target- even considering the twi-moms or whatever you call them. The quality of the writing is no where near the same- with J.K. Rowling being a much more talented and skilled author. But Twilight does have a simple style that, while not clever, or terribly intelligent, is still entertaining.

What follows has been discussed a billion times and are not new thoughts. But let's review the appeal as it pertains to the young girl shall we??

1. Angst: It's main character, Bella, is so brutally sad and pathetic (esp in book 2) that if you are not a pre-teen girl you want to beat her head into a brick wall. But for the younger set- they completely relate to and 'get' the angst and anguish of this lost soul. Remember at that age: EVERYTHING WAS LIFE AND DEATH.

2. Safety: Being a young girl is scary. You have all of these hormones and emotions and you don't know what to do with them. You like boys- and you want them to like you. You want to be cool and grown-up but you're not. It's a fine balance for a couple of years. Vampire dude in the books is the PERFECT PRE-TEEN MAN. He's desperately in love with Bella- but unable to have a physical relationship with her. So she can have everything she wants- sweet words and utterly devoted love- with none of the pressure for stuff she's not ready for.

3. Triumph of the Underdog : We're all insecure (okay not all of us- but lots of us) and nothing is worse than feeling like you're not good enough for a guy you love. Bella is described as plain. Awkward. Simple. Not the cheerleader. Not super attractive. Clumsy- not athletic. Shy- not funny. If she can get the hottest guy in school- then maybe there's hope for all of us.

Not this weekend, but maybe when the frenzy dies a bit- I will go see the movie. I will think of it as an intellectual study of the behaviour of our younger generation- an anthropological expedition if you will... and I will remember and re-live what it was like for me at that age- to be so desperately in love with love. And I suspect I will hate myself for loving it just as much this time around!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My New Challenge

Six (6!!) years ago I did a half-marathon in Calgary. That was back when I was a "runner". I used to run with my friend Leigh or Scott 4-5 times a week. I used to run an 8 min mile. I used to run 45-60 minutes each time I went out and I used to cap my outdoor running temperature at -18C.

You will have noticed a lot of "used to"'s in that paragraph.

Upon moving to Toronto I kind of gave up the running as I was spoiled with all of the paths in Calgary and the lack of such areas to run in Toronto. I also worked a hell of a lot more- and just didn't have time.

So I stopped running and started drinking and gained 15lbs. It was a win-win situation.

Needless to say I've missed it. I've missed the stress relief and all of the zillion health benefits that come with running.

And now? Well I'm in NY. Where it's busier, and I'm working more than ever. BUT. But - I live a block away from Central Park. And I belong to one of the nicest gyms I've ever belonged to.

And I have a friend who is a runner (a real runner) who asked a bunch of us if we wanted to do a marathon with her in Miami in January. So I said yes. Not for the full marathon- but I did sign up for the half.

I'm 'running' again. I've slipped to a 10min mile so it's more like jogging. And I'm getting winded at 30 minutes in. And I miss my old running partners Leigh and Scott. But I'm doing it and am so happy!!!

Will keep you posted on the progress. For now I'm hoping to just finish the half in an un-embarrassing time but hopefully as my 'training' progresses I'll actually set a time goal for myself.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

There are a lot of people in NY

Remember I tried to go to the Yankee parade?? Well once again I seriously did not appreciate the sheer volume of people that are in NYC. And I couldn't even get close to Broadway.

Friday, November 06, 2009

How America Sees the World

Try not to be offended if you're one of the rest of the 5.7 billion people in the world. But it is funny.

One thing to note on this map is that Africa is not even on it. I'm quite sure that is on purpose.

It's Friday

And quite possibly a really really great Friday (though I am trying to manage my expectations).

First of all I was at work by 8am. For those that know me- that's a big deal. That's early, which = productive.

Why so early?? Well because I'm taking a couple of hours during the day to go to the Yankee parade up Broadway. You might have heard they won the World Series (!!) and today there is a ticker tape parade to celebrate. If that isn't NYC then I don't know what is. Look how excited O is by it!

Next on the agenda, my friend Kristina is coming into town for an impromptu visit.

And to finish off the day (and likely into tomorrow) is a birthday/disco party. Exclusive event with fab people, and I'm going to have Farrah Fawcett hair.

I keep saying pictures to come but let's be honest...without a camera that's hard for me to do. But we'll see... maybe it's going to be the type of day where pictures are best not taken... : )

(For the record I want to say that I tried to write a post sans parenthesis... but it didn't happen. I did edit a couple out but it was just not possible to have a post without sidebar comments from me to me).

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Quick Hits


Go Yankees- Game 5 tonight- back in New York. Yankees lead the series 3-2. They could win tonight. (I know- I actually sound like I know what I'm talking about). Woo.

For reasons we don't need to get into I'm hoping they score all of their runs in the bottom of the 7th.

The Measure of a Man:

I was talking with a friend today and describing someone to him as a potential 'catch'. He's balding... but still very cute (tall & lean, just my 'type'). He's divorced... (fine) with 4 kids (hmmm...). He's divorced because he cheated on his wife (not great). He doesn't have a high school education because he dropped out in grade 11 (bad). He just had another baby with someone he had a casual fling with (worse). Oh and he's got a reputation for being a 'swinger' (????). Winner right??

I'm describing Jude Law. Yet because he's gorgeous and rich rich rich he's a 'catch'. What is wrong with our society that this kind of person is heralded as amazing...when someone with truly stellar qualities goes unnoticed and unrewarded?


I've updated my link list to the right and you'll see a couple of other really great reads.
--> "Farokh's Story" is my friend's very courageous, and raw, story about his co-existence with Cancer. I would say 'fight'- but that's something he's not 100% comfortable with- you can read to find out why.
--> "Bake with Blondie" is my friend's baking site where you can download recipes of all kinds of deliciousness.
--> "Bride & Mom" is a friend's very funny site chronicling her adventures on the road to getting married.

In case you're reading this on facebook- you can see my blog here:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

To go 3000km

It's roughly 3000km from Calgary to NYC. Today that journey took 12 hours door to door.

Yes I realize that in 1856 that journey would've taken the better part of a decade and I shouldn't be so ungrateful... so... I'm not.

It was a day spent in airports. It could've been worse. It's being on an airplane for far too long but I did get the emergency aisle to myself which was great. They did have video- which I didn't have to pay for (ahem- Continental!) - and really... what was I going to do today anyhow??

I also met some lovely Swedish travelers on my journey home- and was able to see them safely on the 3 train to their hostel. I gave them some recos on where to eat and where to shop- so hopefully they have a good taste for the folks in NYC.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home again. Or is it?

I'm home in Calgary for the week visiting family and friends.

I grew up here and called Calgary 'home' for 27 years.

They say you can't go home again, and while this is probably mostly true, I wouldn't necessarily say that about... okay I really would. I can't go home again- I don't think I'll ever move back to Calgary. While I have many fond memories of the city every trip back affirms my decision to leave.

I could end up eating my words. I could end up raising 9 little Kostecki-x's in the suburbs of Tuscany in a proper split level bungalow where the only ladders to beds belong to my 6 year old twins in their bunk beds. And if that happens please please feel free to say "I told you so" but let's not wager huge sums just now.

I mentioned in a post awhile back that my time in NY was limited, so where will my next 'home' be?! And how many homes can I have?! (Right now I have 3- TO, YYC & NYC) Where and when will I eventually put down roots and start to shape my identity... other than that of a wandering gypsy?! Or is that my fate? And how does one even define home anyhow?! By the people? Time? My Mom has lived in Calgary for 30+ years but still calls the Maritimes 'home'.

I suppose it's your choice. Where you choose to be at any given moment, and how you choose to define it. Right now I call NY my home because of the life I have carved out for myself there: with my friends, my job, my apartment and my experiences.

And as for my next place of residence (Signapore? Rome? Saskatoon?) we'll see how and when it becomes home when we get there.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Random Thought

A friend and I were chatting today and we decided that it's our personal and collective insecurities that are a major driver to so many problems today.

And this is a range of problems in personal relationships all the way to world issues (it's a stretch but work with me here).

Why are we all so insecure??

Sunday, October 18, 2009

a Day at the Office

Dude- this is exactly what it's like at my office.

22 minutes

I love to spend Saturday mornings sitting in bed watching the shows I didn't watch from the past week. With my laptop and hulu (my version of the TV and PVR) it's a grownups version of Saturday morning cartoons. The past few weeks I've found myself hooked on a few sitcoms- unusual given the decline of the genre in the past few years.

Yes they were big in the "Friends" and "Seinfeld" era- until getting pushed out by the serial dramas like "Lost" or "24" and of course, Reality TV. But it seems that, for whatever reason ('these tough economic times when we just want to laugh', the time pressure of not being able to appointment view??), sitcoms are experiencing a resurgence.

With clever shows featuring smart writing and good acting, there are actually a lot of shows I'd recommend spending 22 minutes on.

Some favourites: "Cougartown" (I think I relate a little too much to this one), "How I Met Your Mother", "Modern Family", "Community" and "The Office".

And though it's not technically a 22 minutes sitcom I HAVE to mention "Glee"- with Jane Lynch. She is brilliant and the show is fun. If there is only one thing you watch this year- it should be Glee.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Raining? Really? Feels like sunshine to me.

I had such a good sleep last night so woke up feeling rested and refreshed- those are the best mornings.
Big smile on my face as I make my way to work.
Colleague tells me I've got a polished NYC look going on today- even though I feel like I just threw on "whatever".
Got a really great email from my stepmom.
Had some productive 'let's solve some problem's' meetings all morning. I feel like I'm on fire.
Saw some old clients -big hugs and smiles.
I sat at my desk and wished I had some pad thai for lunch. I went down to the cafeteria and in our international section: Pad Thai. I willed it into being.
Come upstairs to another colleague throwing love at my $30 Gap shoes.
It's grim and rainy outside and I'm having the sunniest day.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Frequently I get asked the question "how do you like NY?" People ask the question heavy with anticipation, as though expecting an answer filled with great insight. Usually the answer is:

"It's hard"
"It's busy"
"It's fun"
"It's lonely"
"It's fascinating"
"It's expensive"
"It's the best city in the world"

All of these things are true.

But one of the things I feel about this place... is that it is not permanent. I've been here a year and I feel as though my time has an expiry date.

There is a song by Baz Lurhman which was a commencement address put to music. It says "Everyone should live in NY once but leave before it makes you hard. Everyone should live in LA once but leave before it makes you soft."

I like NY a lot. I am having interesting experiences. I'm meeting interesting people. I'm learning, growing and evolving. But I will reach a point when I'm ready to leave. I don't want to become hard.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Settling In

My home is starting to come together. Things are going up on the walls and stuff is getting put away.

Many thanks to my friend J who came over tonight to hang up my bike and a mirror that I'd literally bought 2 years ago- and which had yet to make its way onto any of my walls for fear I'd hang it crooked, or I'd hang it and rip the dry wall. And while yes I hate to be a stereotypical 'girl'... (though I do feel like I'm fairly self sufficient- with a kick ass toolbox filled with kick ass tools...) I admit that there are just some things I can't do as well as someone with more experience. And usually that someone is a guy (who just seems to have this built in knowledge about how to fix/build/do stuff. It's intuitive and he makes it look easy.)
And it's all good for David to give me advice over the phone but it's better to have someone there to hold the mirror in place while I check the level.

As a compromise to prove out my self sufficiency I promised myself I'd put up the kitchen shelves myself... which I'm going to tackle tomorrow.

Pictures up by the end of the week.

Friday, October 02, 2009

As of 4:25pm

Today has been a really great day.

This feels like a tweet or status update... but it's going up as a blog post because I want it to be a more permanent thought for me to reflect on when I have a not so great day.

October 2, 2009: Great day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me

In addition to being EC and JH's birthdays, it was also 1 year ago today that I moved to NYC. I remember it was the day before the DOW dropped a record 700 points. I had two days off between jobs. A friend was in town from Toronto and I was staying in the nicest apartment I would likely ever have in NYC (thanks to Corporate Housing).

The world was my oyster and the air was ripe with the scent of possibility.

And now? A year later? What's my take?

While it wasn't as smooth as an inner city shift, it was fairly easy all things considered. Yes a few too many peanut M&Ms were consumed. Some very late nights at the office. Some bad choices made, and some good ones. But overall pretty awesome.

What have I learned? How have I grown? What has a year living in one of the greatest cities in the world wrought?

Sounds like a top ten er... fifteen list:

1. "Free pour" isn't as great of a thing as one might think
2. Yankees vs Red Sox games, the US Open, and Broadway shows anytime you want
3. Rooftop patios can be trouble- and brownies aren't always the best party treat
4. A lot of Canadian stereotypes are true.
5. A lot of American stereotypes are true.
6. People grow up and people change but some who were your friend when you were 12 can prove to be the best friends you could ever hope to have.
7. Speaking of friends, you will have a lot more of them visit when you live in NYC
8. A little person who has no concept of who you are can bring you the greatest joy simply by being (O)
9. You can go to Rome just for the weekend.
10. People who work in NY are not automatically smarter/better than you are.
11. Weddings and love come in all shapes and sizes.
12. Things are not always what they seem. In fact they are rarely what they seem.
13. Yes the pace and price of NY is exactly how it is portrayed on TV and in the movies.
14. Though I had thought my friend card was full it turns out there is always room for more.
15. Life with an iphone is just better.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Golden Palace

I moved this weekend. Easiest move in history. I moved across the hall- which meant I didn't need to pack anything as I just carried it 15 steps to my new place.
(And yet I'm still faced with an apartment full of stuff that needs to be unpacked, sorted and put away- funny that.)

I also purchased a couch/chair set from a neighbour- which was advertised as 'olive green'. It's not olive. Nor is it green. It's kind of ... gold. And I like gold- a lot of stuff I already own has burnt gold accents.

I'm just not sure how I feel about the colour in such massive quantities. It's not horrible and I used to like it a lot, but now??? In my teeny tiny apartment, with my gold and red accents, and hardwood floors, and cream/yellow walls, it's so much gold I feel like I'm living in a Sultan's Tent from 1001 Arabian Nights.

It might be a tad too much.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Love Happens: a movie review

Where to start?? Well, it's quite possibly the worst movie I've ever seen.* Ever. I would have walked out except for the company I was with.

While watching the movie I actually got a bit upset- for a couple of reasons:
- I would never get those two hours back
- The "stars" probably made more money in this one horrible film than I'll make in a lifetime
- This movie employed such a large team of should be slinging burgers talentless hacks- from props and styling to script and direction.

So rather than focus on the movie I tried to distract myself by making lists of things I'd rather be doing...
- Mopping the floor of my new apartment
- Doing laundry in a bathroom sink??
- Re-reading "Breaking Dawn" while in Vancouver (see previous post about reading "Breaking Dawn" while in Vancouver - 08.08).

Then I tried to predict what would happen: Here's where the 'kooky' friend makes some inappropriate joke to the new guy in order to break the ice. And this is when dude makes an impassioned speech and cries. And that guy over there is going to start to clap. And then the rest will follow. How about when the Dad comes in and says "We never blamed you son! We never blamed you." (his wife died in a car accident while he was driving- that's the big reveal at the end. There- I've just ruined the movie for you). Rounding up with when he starts to conquer his fears and do all of the things he couldn't do at the beginning of the film only 7 short hours earlier.

And finally this led to me creating more lists about what could possibly be more painful than watching this movie:
- Having my arm bent around my back like my brothers used to do when I was a kid.
- Eating super hot jalapenos dipped in tomato sauce and stuffed with pineapple while having a mouth full of canker sores
- Perhaps filing your incisors down to sharp little points with a nail file, and then using those points to puncture multiple holes in your own arm, and then taking that arm and dipping it into a fish tank filled with starving piranhas. I suppose that would be more painful.

And that's where I finish. I don't recommend the movie. I really don't.

(*Brazil is still the worst)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A little chuckle

If you know me- this might make you laugh. It made me laugh.

Thanks chs!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sept 22

It's a grey day today.
With clouds outside.
And clouds inside.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

If You Don't Know Cute by Now

Someone today had the audacity to tell me that their niece was cuter than mine. Yes all babies/children are cute and they shouldn't be compared etc...

And yet.

I present to you exhibit A:

My brother and his family were camping in the great white north. O was too big to be washed in the kitchen sink but too small for the Coleman came to the rescue.

Cute right? Cutest even???

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Cover of "The Climb"

Safe to say that I'm not much of a Miley Cyrus fan... (though I admire the marketing that made her into a superstar).

Here is a clip of Kelly Clarkson with Jill & Kate doing a MC cover of "The Climb" (taken from Just Jared)- it's about :45 in. It's better than the original

It's like when Mandy Moore did the cover of "Umbrella" - awesome. Wish they would release those versions... (not that Rihanna is untalented- I think she's great).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Intensity: "a high degree of emotional excitement"

The one thing I love about children is their intensity.
Everything is so new and different that they marvel at it all.
Whether it's weather or an emotion or sound - there's nothing too small
for their attention.

Either it's the most fabulous thing or it's the most awful thing.
They cry at the drop of a hat.
Then you show them something shiny and mouths drop open and they stare in wonderment... quite literally forgetting what brought them to tears only moments before.

We (me) lose this as adults, or we strive to fight against it.
We're all about balance.
We want things kept on an even keel.
Our goal is a stressfree life and we're looking for that "happy medium"...

So what happens when you do find something that causes you to react with the intensity of a child?
Something that rocks you to your core and makes you wild?
Do you shy away from it? Or do you dive right in?

I would like to imagine I would dive, without thought to cause or consequence.
And ride the blistering high that fills you from your eyes to your toes,
and then deal with the crushing lows (you can't have one without the other- balance still comes into play).

But I wouldn't.
If faced with that choice I would still be deliberate and thoughtful. I would over-think.
and weigh the pros and cons until it became a safe balanced environment with any intensity bled away.
There are no shiny lights for me. But there is also no cause for tears or dismay.

Sometimes I wish I could recapture what children have...
embrace life with the fervor and enchantment...
And instead of a nice friendly coral, feel like hot deep red.

It has to be somewhat worth it- no?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Morimoto cocktail

I was on my way into the gym for a quick work out at 10pm when I got a text from my friend Jeff, "see you at mm at 10:30!" (meaning Morimoto), where he and Lori were headed for a late dinner.

It was Monday night.
At 10pm.
Morimoto is a fabulous (expensive) Japanese restaurant on the LWS.
I'm in the gym, at least 30 minutes away.

So I do a quick u-turn and head home to change... hop on the subway and make my way down.

I didn't eat but I did have a drink.

It was called the High Line- a signature cocktail. Lori was drinking it. I would like to say it looked like an innocent little drink- innocuous by all standards, without a hint as to what it would offer its' recipient. But it didn't look like that. It looked interesting and spicy and cleanly colourful.

It was a delightful mix of cool and refreshing with a kick from a citrus plant and an undercurrent of Japanese spice. It made me feel like I was drinking something so delicious that it was the best thing I'd ever had in my life, but then it would stop and say "oh no... I'm actually better than that. I'm actually more than you realized. I have this taste, and then this flavour as well. I just keep on surprising you and giving you more drink love."
I adored it.*

You might think it's a bit ridiculous that I'm writing an entire post about a drink- and it is. But mostly it's so that I keep up this appearance of the nyc life- where I am going OUT at 11pm on a Monday night- because that's just how I roll. (vs my reality which would lead to posts about how I actually go to bed at 10pm after eating pad Thai from a box and watching reruns of Degrassi on the N Network).

*editors note: yes it's just a drink. it's not that special. you might like it. you might not. I wouldn't go out of your way to get it- but if you're there... try it on. Have a sip. It might suit your taste. Or not.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer Adventures pt Gold- Miami, South Beath

Pictures tell 1000 words and I'm feeling lazy today. But here's a haiku to make up for the lack of commentary:

Miami so hot
Mermaids protect the hotel
Living like rockstars

Going Rhoda...Er I mean MTM

When I moved to NY I had to fill out a 12 page application. I had to submit transcripts from University and go through a ton of effort to get my VISA. But worth it.

I've just completed the process to apply for an apartment in NYC. Not an easy feat. I almost thought that I'd need to do a blood test in order to provide a DNA sample, or perhaps the promise of my first born???? It was crazy. You ever want to get in the business of identity theft- then become a broker for an apartment building in NYC and you'll get everything you need.

But also worth it (?)- as I was approved today. I sign the papers tomorrow.

And then I will be officially a grown-up. Living on my own. In a teeny tiny studio in the UWS. : )

What was that show? "she's going to make it afterall"... (or was that MTM?)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Summer Adventures pt deux - Savannah, Georgia

I was just there for a weekend which was perfect. Savannah's biggest claim to fame is the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (I'm on page 2) which sat on the best seller list for about 4 years. But it's a beautiful place. Very charming and picturesque with big old oak trees and spanish moss. Old historic buildings with wrought iron railings and court yards. Houses that stay in peoples' families for generations.

This is the courtyard of the famous Mercer house- that's central to the book.

We stayed at the River Inn beside the river- and enjoyed beautiful views of the water
and of ships passing in the night. (literally)

We also went to the beach which was an unexpected treat. I love the ocean so much- and spent about 4 hours playing in the water.

This is us our first night- just out bar hopping.

We also went to karaoke where Rose belted out some classics and we made some new friends.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Stolen Moments

Pencils down. Heads up. Stop working on your client emails. Stop looking at your monitor. Look out the window.


Those were the words I heard tonight in my office amidst the cacophony of office noise. Lots of people were gone but there were a dozen or so of us left- working diligently away. Back at the grind after the summer was clearly over. Not talking to each other (even though we work in the most open of open office environments). Not lifting our eyes from our desks. Not enjoying our time.

And we did stop and look up. (Hearing someone boldly break the silence with such orders does cause one to listen and obey)

In about 5 minutes time the sky had gone from a dim twilight to being flooded with this pink light. It was so unexpected and beautiful. (picture does not capture it at all)

I loved it because it was this unexpected, shared moment- where we all stopped and got up, went to the window and just took it all in. Just for a minute before going back to work.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

And the flip side

Love facebook for the immediate feedback it provides. And while I do still stand by my last post- I also recognize that things are not so black and white. And I'm so very thankful to have the input of my friends to provide love and reassurance.

One shared quote that gives a little perspective:

"I make mistakes. That's what I do. I speak without thinking. I act without knowing. I drink so much that I can barely walk. I'm a fantastic lover though, and an amazing friend. God knows I mean well."
- Carrie Bradshaw

I wasn't even trying to live like SITC... but there you go.

The Integrity We Have. The Choices We Make.

So.... I was kicked out of my apartment at the beginning of this month. One month notice. Out by Sept 30 (not to worry-I've likely found a studio in my same building). Does this make me a bad person? Well I've lived in roughly 15 different apartments over the course of 17 years. And though I won't say I'm the best roommate- I'm also not horrible. And I'm not a bad person.

But I may have made some bad choices.

I believe who we are is an amalgamation of all of the choices we make. And whether or not we make these choices with integrity. These range from what we have for breakfast (if we have breakfast) to whether we choose to tell the bank if they've made a $500 deposit error in our account. Choices of where we spend our money, how we choose to make it. Who we choose to spend our time with and whether or not we give up our seat on the subway to someone less able. Do we treat our colleagues with respect? When faced with a difficult choice is it something we face or avoid? How do we choose to deal with adverse circumstances?

And all of our choices have a right and a wrong. Good and bad.

And at what point do the bad choices we make mean we are bad people?? I'm sure that the guy who accidentally shoots someone when robbing a convenience store for money to feed his family thought he wasn't a bad person. But a series of bad choices, and how he chose to respond to circumstances in his life lead him to that negative place.

So one should live with integrity in all of their choices. Right??

Except sometimes it seems more fun to make the wrong choices. The reason my roommate gave for parting ways was because a few months ago we walked into his bedroom at 2:30 in the morning in order to get out onto the patio. Yup- just barged right in. "We'll be so quiet they won't hear us or even know" is what we told ourselves. 7 grown adults who'd been drinking all night are not quiet in any way shape or form. It seemed funny at the time. Of course apologies were issued and regret was expressed in the dim light of morning but the damage was done.

A good person who made a bad choice.

I'm not perfect. I think I'm still a good person. But I can honestly say I look back at the last 12-18 months and can identify a few slip ups. And I'm kind of happy I was asked to leave- as it gives me reason to pause. And re-evaluate. And maybe hit re-set.

And start to make choices with more integrity.

And the upside: this time the choices I made really only hurt me (and not even as I'm excited about getting my own place) and I hadn't gotten to the stage where my choices would negatively affect someone else.

Except for the poor sucker who now has to move into my room. He/She will have to deal with my purple wall.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Summer Adventures pt 1

I know I have been terrible about writing in my blog lately... and only because I have been so busy with 1001 adventures- so I guess that's a good thing?
I also no longer have a camera (sure would love to get one for Christmas- hint hint Mom) and am reluctant to post without visual interest. But I've gathered a few photos with the iphone and will post mini updates on what I've been up to. Starting with...

My first trip to the US Open.

Last week Rose and Becky and I went for a day session to see Nadal playing (and winning). We spent the afternoon there- watching smaller matches before heading to Arthur Ashe stadium for the big match. It was pretty cool. What's even better is that another friend of mine got us tickets to see the Men's Finals next Sunday!!! So awesome!
This is a view from the Arthur Ashe stadium of the whole grounds- specifically the practice courts where you can catch some of the biggies playing.

This is the view from our seats - watching Nadal play. Pretty high up- but I loved just being there.

All in all a really great day. It was hot hot hot with blue blue skies and a perfect way to spend a Wednesday.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

It's been two weeks?!

Miami, Toronto, Weddings, fun stuff. Lots going on which is why I haven't had time to write. And am going to Savannah this weekend. Will try to write an update tomorrow with news of my impending move (yes another move)...

but until then you're in my thoughts always.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Hills are Alive

The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
that rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies
from a church on a breeze

To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls over
stones on its way
To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray

I go to the hills when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear what I've heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I'll sing once more

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What a lovely day to be kidnapped

"Come and join me on a tale of adventure"

As you may know- I'm currently watching the TV show "Lost", which means I've kind of cut myself off of all inessential human contact. Friday night I spent 5 hours watching it. In a little over two weeks I have watched 3.5 seasons. It's sick.

(But not as sick as this picture of O!)

*ahem* Saturday I had some good friends call me at 10am and ask what my plans were for the day (being that it was a beautiful 30C no humidity day in one of the best cities in the world). "Er... well I'm just... running errands" I evasively said.

"Come have breakfast/fun/errands with us!" they exclaimed.

I promised that I would go for breakfast (a girl's gotta eat afterall) and then see how the day would unfold- fully planning on having my toast and getting back to my couch.

Luckily they didn't let that happen and my breakfast date lasted until about 2am that night.

(This is a not-that-related picture of my friend Gene with his new daughter at E's birthday... to add visual interest since I didn't take a picture of us eating)

After breakfast we walked across Central Park to get to the East side where E was picking up some race registration. On the way through the park we modeled it up and re-enacted "The Sound of Music" on the hills of Central Park. Pictures to come.

We then went to the Met to see the Impressionists paintings. There was also a really cool exhibit on the rooftop which we enjoyed with a glass of wine. Here's the view from the roof.

One our way back through the park we stopped at the Boathouse for some lunch.

Here's a picture of Olivia having some of her own lunch while in Winnipeg a few weeks ago. (Completely relevant)

Then through the park where we listened to a guy who has been singing/busking there for 18 years.

Um- this is a picture of the exhibit on the rooftop at the Met. I didn't take a picture of the busker.

Back to John and E's house for a nap/drink/rest before heading out to dinner.

Then John and I went to play pool (1-1) while E and her friend got ready for their race the next day.
And yup- here's that exhibit again.

Sunday ended up being a good day to lay in bed. And I watched Lost.