Friday, December 30, 2011

New Yorker

 {Image via}
Well guys, it's official, I now am a New York resident! I submitted the paperwork to trade out my California driver's license for a New York driver's license, they took my Cali ID and my NY ID will be mailed to me shortly. I was pretty excited about it all yesterday, although I can't even really tell you why. It's not like I will be driving in NYC now, but it just sort of makes the move feel official. Like, now I have officially chosen to live in New York, after a year of trying it out. Still, I feel like my signing up to take my Fitness Instructor Certification classes is what sort of spurned me on to realize that I am now living in New York. I am now involving myself in the New York community in a way that I had not previously - having gone from my job to my home and randoms restaurants, bars, etc. in between. Now I will be a student here, in addition to a worker bee in the machine that is just another corporate job in Manhattan. I'm excited for the shift, and excited to see just how awful my photo may look when I finally get my ID.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


 {Image via}
I had an entire post written and ready to be published and I just deleted it hitting backspace too many times - the screen popped away and now it cannot be found again. I am so irked. And I was feeling so good after having gotten a solid 12 hours of sleep last night. Tsk. Apparently I should have gone for a few more. Well, I hope your Thursdays go swimmingly!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Made it!

 {Image via}
After a 5 hour delay, one hour at a time, in the airport in California, and a 2 hour rather than the usual 1-hour trek to get from JFK to my humble Brooklyn abode, I finally made it home last night at 3 am. When my alarm went off this morning at 7, I felt like a zombie but dutifully rolled out of bed to come to work and write this blog post. You're welcome. Both to you my loyal reader and my employers. I hope everyone had a truly wonderful Christmas, and I hope everyone's upcoming New Year's Eve celebrations are just as joyous! For myself, I just want to make it through this day and sleep as long as possible tonight!

Friday, December 23, 2011

back and off again

 {Image via}
I'm back from a wonderfully relaxing 2 days of good friends and lotsa food and relaxing in Harrisburg. Tonight I leave for California and as such I will not be back until Wednesday of next week. I hope you all have a very  Merry Christmas if this is your holiday of choice and if you do not celebrate, then I hope your weekend-at-hand is warm and enjoyable!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Harrisburg, PA!

 {Image via}
Well it's that time of year again, folks. A few days before my journey back across the country to Cali for Christmas shenanigans, and the insta-tradition of pre-Christmas with my friends in Harrisburg, PA is upon us again. I leave tonight and will return Thursday night so I'll be MIA on this blog for the next little bit. I hope Wednesday and Thursday treat all of you swimmingly, and I shall be back on Friday!

Monday, December 19, 2011


 {Image via}
I honestly cannot believe that this is Christmas week. All the radio ads keep counting down the days (8!) until the mad consumerist euphoria that is Christmas Day and even all the radio DJ's keep stating the weather with the fact that it's Christmas week, "It's a beautiful 27 degrees on this Monday before Christmas weekend here in New York City...." The weird thing is that it has hardly hit me that it is indeed Christmas time. I feel like last year at this time I was so much more into the spirit of everything. I mean, New York definitely does this holiday right - lights on every bare tree branch and outlining every building, the charity bell-ringers out in force, snowflakes and Christmas colors in the store windows that line every street and avenue, hawking great deals on gifts for your loved ones. Even my new neighborhood - in all its Italian Catholic glory - has lights strung over the main avenue, and wreaths in windows, lights on bannisters. Yet still I feel like there wasn't enough lead-in to Christmas this year - and the thought that in a week all those lights and cheer will be gone and we will be faced with simply cold, bleak winter...well it's just a shame I didn't get more enjoyment out of anticipating this holiday. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing some old friends in Harrisburg again this year, and then taking that long flight to Cali for family time on the actual day of Christmas. Then I shall be back again, to embark on Year 2012 in New York.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gym Rat vs. Gym Bunny

 {Image via}
My workouts this week have been lacking - I've been doing them, no doubt there, but my eating habits have been so abhorrent - gifted cookies and candies all throughout the office, added to a lack of my usual turkey, chicken, veggies in my own apartment - that my body is just not able to work with enough fuel. My muscles aren't being fed. Thus, my arm workouts which, at their so-far peak have had me working with 12.5 lbs. have this week been shifted to 10 lbs, then 7.5 lbs. and finally - for a few exercises - to 5 lbs. The magic is, that even with this minor set-back, I feel how incredibly light the 5 lbs. weights are to my body now, and now the 10 lbs. are only a slightly heavier push for me than the 7.5 lbs. These things are great accomplishments and I am in love with the fact that I can literally feel my progress within the strength of my body. A trainer approached me earlier this week, stated he noticed how frequently I'm here and how dedicated I am, how I'm doing a great job. I am already well aware of what a great job I'm doing, I feel it every time I finish a workout and can barely wash my hands because the soreness in my arms is so immediate. But it was a relief to get a nod to my efforts without a pitch for said trainer's services.

But the bigger bonus? That I'm slowly carving a place for myself in that weight room. I don't get stared at so much anymore. The guys keep lifting when I go to get a weight on a lower rack, they don't pause and then glance down when I look them dead in the eye and start my workout. There is less showing off when I approach the weight rack - less rats reaching for 10 lbs heavier than I've ever seen them use, because they've realized I'm standing next to them. Maybe it's just that I'm more of a common sight now, but I'd like to think it's because in pushing myself I'm proving myself as more than just a Gym Bunny. Yesterday, after a particularly tough arm series - I had to psych myself up after each set, surely due to the straight caffeine and sugar I'd fed my body prior to the gym - a guy working lifting next to me nodded at me. "Way to keep with it." I glanced up, registered that I was being spoken to without a sexist intro and he continued, "I saw you working yourself up. Good job." I grinned at him, thanked him for the encouragement, and went to finish a set of shoulder work. It was a really great, sincere one gym rat to another compliment. The same compliment I hear the guys give each other when they're spotting or working in. And he respectfully and openly gave it to me.

It's not all roses, I'm definitely still the only girl consistently in there during my after-work sessions. And there's new guys in everyday so not everyone is familiar with my face. Oh, I see  women traipse in and out with their trainers, whining that they don't want to bulk up, nervously lifting 5 lbs, asking if they can go down to 3 lbs., hesitating at the number of reps they are requested to perform. And I'm still a Gym Bunny to a lot of the guys there, I'm sure. I still get called "baby" by one particular gym-goer, but even he steps in to advise on my form, encourage me to use more weights, to kick it up a notch. Because he knows I can do it.

I would love to see more women in that weight room with me, I would love to get tips and encouragement and build a community. But I don't want it to be a community built on celebrity gossip and diet fads and the latest fight with a boyfriend and we should all go shoe shopping and posing and giggling for the gym rats who will once again pause their lifting, once again give looks, once again refer to us as "baby doll." I don't want a community of Gym Bunnies. So in the meantime, I will continue to relish my solo status, and cherish how apart from the rest of those rats I am able to be when I'm lifting. I literally just see myself, my muscles, just feel my own body straining to do more, my own sweat slipping down my face. I get 30-60 minutes everyday where I want to keep going harder, where I want to push myself and make a change in my physique. A chunk of the day where nothing else matters except me and pushing out one more rep. And I feel really lucky to have found that.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


 {Image via}
New York is a bit out of sorts today - a strange but tragic accident happened yesterday involving an elevator. You can read about it here, and I truly can't imagine having to go through such a horrendous situation. But there is a certain discomfort in the air today...because New York is tall. The island of Manhattan is narrow and we just don't have much room - for much of anything but especially not for building out. Thus the city has been built up. Elevators are a fact of life here. Stairs-only buildings offer cheaper rents than those boasting elevators. (They also tend to never be taller than 6 stories.) Considering that my office building does not even allow access to our stairwells - safety concerns brought on by 9/11 - you can imagine how impossible it would be to get much of anything done in this city without elevators. I heard the rustle of nerves and worry on radio talk shows as I got dressed this morning, and saw the headlines in all the daily papers littering the subway station and stacked neatly into racks along the avenues. And, I noticed people jumping into the elevator a bit more quickly this morning, stepping quite over the juncture between car and floor. I feel horribly for the people who witnessed yesterday's incident, and I feel terribly for the poor victim of that faulty elevator. I guess this post is mostly just to agree with the general dumbfounded-ness of the city's residents, but also to remind myself to try to make the most of each day because we certainly don't have any guarantee of a tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

my grandma would be proud

 {Image via}
I wore make-up for the 2nd day in a row to work today. I'm not a make-up girl, as a rule. I've always liked to wear it to go out, but I always feel that it's too obvious on my face to wear to work, working well in the dark lighting of clubs and bars but pulling out my features too much in the light of day. However, the closer I get to the Dirty 30, the more I realize I need to start making an effort with my appearance. Beauty in youth is sort of a given, to be beautiful the older you get surely takes a bit of input. Plus, it's sort of nice to feel the little extra pep-in-my-step that the confidence of looking nicely put-together brings on my daily commute. In a rather egotistical way, I still don't feel that I need to wear make-up...but I suppose it's more of a respect-for-your-coworkers-managers-and-position-at-work reasoning to wear make-up, than it is a need-to-look-acceptable-to-society reasoning on which I should focus. But again, this is only Day 2 of the endeavor to wear make-up everyday. So we'll see how I'm feeling by next week. I tend to take these sorts of personal upkeep goals in waves, each time being sure that this time, the daily application of make-up will become as rote as brushing my teeth and that soon I will be able to move on to the daily doing-of-hair. Maybe this time it will stick. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

West Village Explorations

 {Image via}
I've been doing a bit more visiting of the West Village now that I have moved to Brooklyn. The L train makes it so convenient to just hop off and take a wander, and it's fortuitous namely because the West Village tends to be where cool people hang out, and I've tended to avoid it because getting off the grid I get terribly, terribly lost. So knowing I can enter right in the midst of it, and exist from that same center point, helps to relieve some of my anxiety. I really like this part of Manhattan because it feels the way old Manhattan surely felt - small narrow business, brick as far as the eye can see, tight quarters. I like the nostalgia of it all. It feels worlds away from the Upper East Side, to which I will admittedly be returning as soon as my classes at Hunter start up. And it's sort of funny that it does feel so far off from the UES, considering all the high-end stores that exist in the village - Diptyque with its - as a friend put it last night - "$90 candles," Marc Jacobs with all the cool threads I wish I had the panache to pull off, and so forth. A lovely little area to walk about in and one which I am excited to finally be starting to learn.
 {Image via}

{Image via}

Monday, December 12, 2011

too tired

 {Image via}
I slept horrendously last night. I feel like I woke up every hour, my room was too hot, and then I was thirsty, and then I was too cold, and then my roommates came home and were banging around and then I'm pretty sure were smoking in the living room because I woke up to a horrible smell and then ambulances were going blaring by....I have no idea what was going on with my little zone of comfort but it was just out of reach all night. Needless to say I can already tell today is going to be a long day and it is not made any better by the fact that I have plans tonight which I will now be half-dreading because all I'm going to really want to do is hit the gym and then the sheets, but instead I will be able to do neither. But, this will give me good practice in getting my Cali face back together - I had the innate ability back in California, which I am slowly losing now I'm told, to keep my face in a smile for as long as it took to keep whoever I was with happy until I was able to finish up whatever less-than-ideal-to-me activity we were engaging in and I could escape. Apparently now I'm developing a bit of a bitch face and people can tell when I'm bored or annoyed. I blame it on being alone for such long stretches of time now, allowing me to do whatever I want whenever I want, change my mind whenever I want, basically be completely allowed to be non-committal to anything and everything. Still, I'm sure tonight will be more fun than I'm allowing for at the moment, and that after some coffee, my day will progress along smoother than I'm anticipating also. Fingers crossed I avoid a horrendous noon-time slump! And let's have this Monday go by quickly...

Friday, December 9, 2011

We made it!

{Image via}
Friday is upon us! This week dragged indescribably long, so I am happier than you know to bid it adieu.We've made it. 8 more and hours and we can sleep in as late as we want and avoid the cold, cold early morning air. I have plans to hit up a dive bar tonight and I can't wait for a good, cold beer and a night out. I hope you all have relaxing weekends planned ahead, or at least really, really fun ones!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

blustery day

 {Image via}

I woke up to quite the winds this morning - and I slept incredibly poorly last night due to insane gusts shaking my window panes and knocking some irritating thing outside into my wall. I woke up with exhausted eyes and an unwilling brain but I forced myself up and out and into the winds and now here I sit, willing the weekend to be here already. This week has felt very long, I can't say why but it most decidedly has and all I really want to do is to reach Friday night so my plans to go for a cocktail can be put into action.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

uuuggghhhh! and mint milanos

KAREN: Where is my Mint Milano?
ROSARIO: I don’t know, lady. Maybe you ate it.
KAREN: No! I would remember. You know that I allow myself one Mint Milano per day. And now, I cannot have another Mint Milano until tomorrow. And yes, I’m sure that my doctor would be very happy if I could go a day without a Mint Milano. But I say a person’s got to enjoy life! I want my Mint Milano!
ROSARIO: What are those crumbs on your jacket?
KAREN: …Mint Milano. Maybe I did eat it.
{Image via}
I had a lovely post all written up, complete with a picture I really liked, somehow hit the backspace button at the perfect time, and the whole thing is gone. Daggammit! I hate technology. Suffice it to say, last night I enjoyed some delicious drinks and Cuban tapas after work, and then - rather than get myself a healthful dinner - I popped into my local bodega for what my body was really wanting, Mint Milanos, and treated myself to a sleeve of them after a halting chat in Spanish with the cashiers who grinned at me, and nodded, and helped me along as I needed it. It was a very nice evening, all said, and I hope everyone (yours truly included) has a lovely Wednesday today!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


 {Image via}
It is rainy and gloomy today - although decidedly warm as the temperature hovers in the 60's, I swear I will never get used to such humidity! - and I had fully intended to go around my neighborhood taking pictures of the Christmas lights last night so I could post them here. But I did not, and so while such images would have surely brightened up your day as well as mine, we must do without. In other news, yesterday marked my 300th post on this blog! Who would have thought that I would have been able to fill up so many? And mostly with pictures I did not take, and filled with ramblings about this thing called weather. Oh heavens why do any of you read this again?? I hope you all enjoy your Tuesdays, and I promise I'll get some holiday cheer up on these pages very soon! Oh, and that piccy has nothing to do with anything, it just made me smile. That, and I appreciate odd-looking Mario's thought process.

Monday, December 5, 2011

delighting in overindulgence

 {Image via}
A dear friend from home extended a business trip to the city to get to hang out this weekend (never have I been more popular than since moving to this bustling metropolis!) and we spent Saturday wandering around the city along with a friend of his from college. By "wandering around the city" I do of course mean drinking and eating all day long. It was a glorious way to keep back in touch although sitting in a dark bar all day is seldom my ideal way to spend a weekend. With the right company however - and done in moderation - it can be quite fun and such was the case this weekend. I - pride point! - managed to pace the entire day getting only mildly buzzed so I staved off both too much over-imbibing as well as the day-drinking sleeps.

I did of course end the day on Saturday feeling quite sluggish and a bit ill as that many bubbles and fried delights are bound to take a toll. So on Sunday, waking up a mere 3 hours after hitting the sheets to ensure the necessary return-to-Cali plane was caught, and then sleeping my face off once more until the early afternoon, I dragged myself to the gym. Getting my muscles engaged felt amazing, even more so thanks to the quiet nature of my gym at 1 pm on a Sunday. I even followed up with a yoga class at a little gym near by new neighborhood, which ended up being one-on-one between me and the instructor as I was the only attendee to show up. I walked home from that class feeling more relaxed and calm than I had in recent memory, which says as much for physical exertion as it does for the wonder of yoga and my very relaxed, encouraging teacher. A wonderful weekend, all said, and now let's make this Monday productive!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Friday Fri-day!

 For some reason I woke up feeling completely exhausted this morning, refused to get up to go to the gym, and didn't even roll out of bed until a half hour past my usual rising time. Then before getting on the train to come into the city I popped by my favorite local bodega for some coffee, ran a quick little errand, and made a phone call. I almost think that doing something active before "starting" my day - and something different than just schlepping to the gym - has quite improved my outlook. It's really rather lovely. I hope this weekend finds all of you well and that you have a fantastic time!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

new month

 {Image via}
There's something about a new month. Especially when it's the month in which to wrap up all the old stuff from the previous year, that can be very enlightening. Welcome to December 1, 2011 folks, the last month of the year. A fresh day for cleaning and tidying up the remnants of 2011, and looking forward to what 2012 will bring us!