Saturday, November 27, 2010

Online shopping is my new favorite past time.

... which is why I'm sitting in a coffee shop (believe it or not, Kay and I have found a real WINNER in Massapequa: Massapequa Perk) browsing to get some Christmas shopping done. We'll see if I actually like any of this stuff when I open the boxes. You're all getting this stuff as gifts either way, so be forewarned. Ugly, torn, smells like cats? Oh well. Go exchange it ;-)

I'm going to shamelessly steal from the blog of a friend who is infinitely more stylish than me, but here are my (her) three rules of shopping:
  1. Can I think of three occasions when I will wear this?
  2. Would I have bought this sale item at full price?
  3. If something feels tight in the dressing room, it will feel tighter outside of the dressing room.
Also, when in doubt, buy shoes, but that one's obvious (speaking of shoes, just got some sweet Franco Sarto brown and green plaid oxfords). The only problem with rule #1 is I concoct fabulous and completely ridiculous occasions for me to wear my hot new item... "This would be perfect if I end up at a swanky club for an invite-only fashion week party if I meet someone who invites me while I'm hanging outside of Bryant park staring at celebs from 100 yards away. Okay, so that's 1. Let's think of 2 more..." Right. Keep dreaming.

Time to finish my overdue library book (one of them). Extremely excited for Harry Potter tonight... even if it is only the first half of the last book. I am fully prepared - over the past week I've watched the entire movie series (wonder why I'm so behind on my work?). I leave you with a photo of the handsomest couple at Aunt J's Thanksgiving shindig, a view from my desk at work at sunrise (because I'm usually there at sunrise), and a firefighter boat spotted whilst running on the west side highway.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's been too long to even make an excuse.

If it's any indication of how much (or little) time I have for myself, it takes a week-long vacation these days for me to find a few minutes to write. I'm sitting in the living room of my parent's house in AZ watching the news (about the bomb scares on cargo planes) after a relaxing day of bbq-ing, margaritas, and pool-side sunbathing. If a week of relaxation and uber-laziness has convinced me of anything (apart from convincing me to make a living out of being retired), it's that life exists outside of New York. I know I'm on vacation and I fully appreciate that this is not real life. But I'm not in an exotic hut on tahiti with gorgeous waiters catering to me, waking up to birds chirping, sipping my coffee while watching waterfalls and hiking through the rainforest (any ideas on what my next trip should be, anyone?). My trip is pretty close to the reality of lots of regular Americans who don't live in the big city. I'm sleeping on a slowly deflating air mattress in the living room of my parent's "villa" in a retirement community outside of Phoenix and have been waking up to the sound of coyotes (KAY-otes) rummaging through the back yard at 5 a.m. This is real life, folks. It's easy to forget that anything else exists when I'm living in downtown Manhattan, surrounded by corporate America, aspiring super models, future actors and actresses of Hollywood, all the crazies that could only ever exist in New York, and everything in-between. Here in AZ, people start their work days at a reasonable hour, play golf on weekends and head to happy hour at 3 p.m. That's not to mention the drier air, cleaner streets, well-manicured homes (that require less maintenance) and an overall healthier, less stressful lifestyle (they don't even have to mow the lawn and dog-poo bags are conveniently stationed at intervals on the sidewalk). So why do we all fight to survive in NY, when we could live somewhere the sun always shines, where our money goes farther and our lives could be more play and less work? And I don't mean just AZ ... those three (important) considerations apply to most European countries and many places in the states apart from NY and maybe a few other cities. I love New York and have no intention of leaving any time soon, BUT, I'm just saying, there are some tradeoffs to living in the center of the world.

I have a post-vacation resolution: don't let work consume my life. That means balance the long hours better than I've been doing. So more running, more sleeping, more active social life and less 3 a.m. "oh no i forgot to do that for tomorrow!" mini heart attacks. What I'm really saying is, who's free to meet for a drink? Ultimately, my long term goal would be to incorporate something else into my life... maybe joining a soccer team, volunteering at an underprivileged elementary school or possibly studying for the GMAT. But first I need to handle what's already on my plate without going completely nuts (and without resorting to a 4 p.m. candy break to get my energy levels back up).

Time to start my new book - At Home by Bill Bryson. If I check in within the next 3 months, you'll know I'm getting better at work-life balance!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My global life.

It's been a while, but blogging is just not a priority these days. If I'm not at work, there is always something that I could (or should) be doing. As trivial as it sounds, my new goal is ... ready for it?... to finish a book. That's right. Any book. Just want to get to the end of it in a reasonable amount of time. I'm starting with East of Eden by Steinbeck. Then on to Book of Pi.

My global team of new analysts has been training in NY for the past two weeks - has been so great to meet everyone, many of whom I had worked with last summer. For some, it's the first time they've left their home countries. What an experience. Just popping over to NY from India or China for 2 weeks to meet their colleagues. It's amazing, though - we are all so different and from so many different backgrounds, but have had so much fun together. The team is from NY, London, Bangalore, Hong Kong and Singapore. Some are my age, some are years older, some have their master's degrees. But as we've been spending 8 hours a day together over the past two weeks, I've been struck by how similar we are. We have fun together out, help each other in the office and just have a great time, despite huge cultural differences. Most left to head back home today (sigh) but I do plan to meet up with everyone if I get the chance to pop over to their parts of the world. I'm sure London will be first.

Speaking of London, I need to plan a vacation since I've completely dropped the ball my first year working. I've been full time for about 6 months now and have taken 1 official vacation day (was off for 2 more days but got a pass for working on weekends). SO I'm beginning to plan my next trip (whenever I can afford it). Any suggestions are appreciated. I'm thinking I fly into London and hang for about 4 days. Then take a train to Glasgow (5 hours). From there I can take a 2 hour ferry to Belfast (northern Ireland) and can even take a ferry or train home to London (5 hours) to fly out. Thoughts?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Only in New York

Finally blogging while watching the U.S. Ghana match and waiting for Ashley to get her lazy butt over here to my lounge!! Exciting already and it's only the second minute.

Only in New York do you hear opera music while slightly buzzed at a bar you stumbled upon in the West Village on Sunday night. So Kay and I are wandering around after hitting up a seafood bar (the mexican restaurant we were looking for was closed down) and finally decided to go into one of the only places in the area that looks lively after walking all the way up from tribeca. Suddenly, we're friends with the bartender / owner, and some girl's mother (who is throwing a going away party for her opera-singer daughter) is buying us sangria and introducing us to all of her friends. To top off this twister scenario, after the impromptu concert, we sat down for a drink with the CEO of an advertising agency to chat about kaila's brilliant advertising ideas.

I would write more, but have to start paying attention to the game!!!

Only in New York will you hear no apology when you're almost hit by a flying piece of raw fish as you walk down the sidewalk. So there I am, hoping to hit little Italy at some point on my walk downtown from Union Square. Instead, I'm stuck in China for too many blocks to count and avoiding the fish being thrown across the street from one nasty fish market to another.

Monday, May 31, 2010

More doing, less writing!

Sorry to all of my readers (all 2 of you). I promise to catch up soon!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring Fling!

I can't believe I haven't written in almost a month! Have been working working working. BUT, I have been lucky enough to get Sunday off. So you know what the means! I can sleep in after my Senior Formal!

Now I know what you're thinking... Kristin? Actually going to her senior formal? There's no way. BUT, I've decided... why not be in college for one last weekend? And it's at the Hilton, so how cheesy can it be? Plus, free food and free drinks... what could beat that?! And get to spend some much needed relaxation and letting loose time with Andy, Lisa and Lyda.

I'm going to go for a run today before the rain hits. I tried kickboxing for the first time last week... great in concept, but I chose the wrong place. Sort of sketchy. I won't be going back.


Post-run update: I tripped and scraped up my knees. Right before formal. Perfect timing, as usual. Almost as good as the time I broke my leg before moving out of a country.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Four Day Work Week!

It feels like Christmas. I get a ride home from the 'rents on Friday, AND I only need 4 clean outfits for work this week. That's better than malted milk balls on Easter.

This will be a short post, since I don't have much to write. Had a great weekend... met up with an old friend I haven't seen in a while for a drink and ended up making a night of it. Went to 4 village favorites.. Agozar, Madam Geneva, Garage and 49 Grove. And finally checked out Bamboleo with Andy on Bleecker and Sullivan... free guacamole and chips with a pitcher of sangria? Yes please.

I'm tired, so done writing. But, just want to mention I just saw a commercial for the Brothers and Sister's 2 hour movie on April 11. I c a n n o t w a i t .

I want to join a running club. Anyone know of any? They're harder to come by than you may think.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I really know how to pick 'em.

... weekends to go home, that is. I decided to spend some quality time with the fam this weekend... and I did. I spent lots of quality time tripping over Mom and Dad while searching for candles and flashlights when the power went out. And I spent even more quality time standing in the dark hoping Ash didn't die while driving to pick me up for our dinner date (it only took her 45 minutes to navigate through the brush of fallen trees between Merrick and Sunrise). BUT, I did have a few laughs with Grandma and Grandpa ("Water makes the blood coagulate in your veins. It's much healthier to drink Coors") and eventually made it to Mercato for a much-needed catch up session with Ash and Jenna. Good food and good company.

SO. I have officially taken the first step toward emerging from my year-long lethargy induced by a broken leg (it has been a long time since that excuse were valid). I entered the lottery for the New York City Marathon. It's highly unlikely I'll be selected... but I can dream. Whether I run NYC or not, I'm confident I will run a marathon this fall. I'll find something. I need to have a race on the calendar to make running a priority. That's not to say I'm too lazy to run... it's more that I can't justify choosing to run over other activities. Like, if my friends want to get drinks on a Wednesday night, if I choose to run instead then I'm being anti-social. But, if I'm training for a race, then I'm just being regimented and disciplined by choosing to run over choosing to do something else. That's the trick! And hopefully the weather will soon be warm enough for me to begin running outside. It's just not the same trying to get a real workout on a treadmill.

This will be a busy work week for me... working this Sunday and next from 7 a.m. But I think any job, especially in an office, is only as rewarding as the people you're fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough) to work with. And lucky for me, I work with a great bunch. Everyone in my division has a super interesting and unique background. I feel like I'm surrounded by brilliance every day, which inspires me to work smartly. I can't wait to see where my career will take me over the next few years. At the firm, and particularly in my division, everyone is very dynamic and roles are always changing. I think project management is one of the central skills acquired in our line of work, so it's possible to start on an entirely unfamiliar project but be well-equipped for the assignment. I'm going to be driving a new project in the next few months... looking forward to diving in!

Speaking of work, I've really got to start some. Maybe I'll just watch 60 minutes first...

Also, Kaila come home! 2 months left.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week one of adult life...done!

Week 1 of work was a success. Though, to be fair, I did have an easier transition than may be expected... it was only a four day week and the head of my team was on vacation, so I was able to transition smoothly into the job. Things will definitely be picking up this week, but I'm looking forward to jumping right in. As long as I have time to head to the gym a few days a week, I'm happy.

I don't have much exciting news to post. Have been catching up with a few friends, meeting some friends for drinks, and grabbing coffee at work with colleagues I've missed. I think one of my favorite things to do is catch up with someone I haven't seen in a while. There's always that underlying vibe that the person you're talking to is just great... like, you wouldn't have bothered reconnecting with them unless they were really worth your time, and everything coming out of his/her mouth is confirmation of their impressiveness. I just love that. And it happens all the time at work.

This weekend has been super low key... just the way I like it. Met up with a few friends for a few drinks, went on 2 long runs since the weather was finally beautiful and warm, did some shopping, and that's about it. Tonight is Brothers and Sisters and frozen yogurt. Then back to the grind tomorrow. Yay!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

There's poetry in a pint of Guiness.

... so says one of the walls at the Guiness Storehouse. And although swallowing even one swig of a Guiness is still painful for me, I agree with the notion. Kaila and I spent a long-awaited weekend in Dublin and loved every magical minute of it. Coincidentally, we arrived at the start of Dublin's Traditional Music Festival and had the chance to listen to dozens of well known traditional Irish musicians (and even befriended a few ourselves!)

Though the lifestyle of Dublin was what I expected - pubs, live music, lots of beer, un-noteworthy food - the warmth and quality of the culture exceeded my expectations. Not only were the (many) people we met very friendly and happy to give us advice and directions, but everyone was happy to stay and chat with us and most people were genuine and have led really interesting lives. Just the kind of people to philosophize with over a few beers. And hopefully I made a few friends along the way.

I enjoyed the Guiness Storehouse (minus the Guiness), the Dublin Castle, and the James Joyce Monuments, but the most memorable moments of the trip for me were at the pubs (not because of the beer). It's impossible not to get the sense that you're experiencing what life is really about when you're singing along with 300 people to Lynard Skynard, David Gray, and U2 acoustic covers. It evokes that "this is what it's all about" feeling that I'll never forget.

Overall, my "hiatus from life," as I've dubbed it, was, of course, a positive one. Three weeks in London plus 5 days in Dublin makes for a relaxing, rich, cultural vacation... but most importantly, just a vacation. I've got about a week before I begin my real life, so I'm soaking up the laziness for as long as I can. Then it's back to the grind. Or rather, beginning a whole new grind. I'm excited about it, but also nervous about the demands. It won't be just a change for me. I will really need to step up my game, and I don't mean just at work. This whole working thing really changes a lot. Like, paying bills and loans, finding my own dentist, paying for a gym membership, etc. Who knew being an adult entailed so much responsibility?

Anyway, onto other matters. Had a fabulous time exploring St. Francis college yesterday with Jen. Not only do I think it is a perfect fit for Jen, but I'm so relieved/excited that the school is so safe, beautiful, and really fosters a sense of community and progress. As Aunt Joan (constantly) reminded us, St. Francis is "a small school with big dreams." And it couldn't be more true! Brooklyn Heights is absolutely gorgeous (way too rich for my blood) and it seems like there is tons of culture (and bars!). But the big city feel is balanced by the college, which is 8 floors in 1 building with lots of lounges and eateries to hang out and meet people. Seems like the perfect combination! I'm so happy that Jennifer really felt a connection to the school... I think the most important thing when selecting a college is really feeling comfortable on the campus so you have something to look forward to before shipping off. I did not feel nearly as strongly as Jen when I decided to attend NYU and it definitely hindered my pre-college months. And the BEST part is it's only a few subway stops from me! Now I have an excuse to get lunch/coffee in one of the most beautiful parts of the city.

This post is getting too long, so I'll just mention quickly... super excited for Grandpa's birthday lunch at Johnny McGorey's. And for Hoboken tonight with some friends! And obviously, superbowl tomorrow. I wonder who's playing?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Halfway over already.

... My trip to London that is. I've just arrived home from lunch with my good friend Em at Itsu sushi. Best miso soup I've had in a while. I've got less than a week left of the London fog and then it's off to Dublin... I don't know of any nicknames for that city so I'll leave it alone.

It was great being able to pick up where I left off once I arrived here. I haven't done any of the typical tourist attractions and I have no intention of re-visiting the London Eye or Big Ben. I do however, want to check out Camden markets this weekend, as well as the Beatles and David Bowie exhibit at the National Gallery. Would also like to head to the suburbs one day if I have the chance... apparently there's more to London than Zone 1.

I'm so glad I've had the chance to be a part of some of Kaila's first experiences upon moving here. Despite the terrible weather (even more dreary than usual), I think Kay has had a really enjoyable first few weeks here. I'm looking forward to hearing about all of her adventures throughout the semester.

One thing that really strikes me is the disconnect between my own perception of London and Londoners' own points of view about their city. I've spoken with work friends, school friends, and many acquaintances about the differences I see between New York and London. Specifically, the more friendly, open demeanor of most Londoners and the accepting, respectful attitude with which they treat others. And that's not to say that New Yorkers are cold and quick to cast judgment, but I find that more often than not Londoners tend to take others at their word and seem very personable and genuine right away. I've obviously considered that this is all a farce and part of that "British charm" we hear so much of, but my friends and colleagues have continued to impress me with their continued sincerity that has really gone above and beyond any obligation. Perhaps its too soon to generalize about the English, but I do know I have met some of the best people I know in London.

Anyway, I'll write more another time. Heading to Camden with Kaila for a few pubs.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Inactivity and lethargy.

Why is it that when I don't have a million things to do, I refuse to do even one thing. Like the quick, easy errands I have to run... nope. Won't do 'em. And packing for London... not happening. I haven't even unwrapped my new external hard drive to transfer my data to my new mac. If I were working / schooling this month, this all would have been done. What gives?

This is partly why I haven't written in a while... it's one more thing on my To Do List, even though it's enjoyable. Even reading seems like a chore, which is completely ridiculous. It's like my mind has completely shut down and all I can do is chat on facebook and play with my itunes while watching TV. Sad.

But, I'll have to kick it into high gear the next few days... packing for London tomorrow and girl's night out, trip into the city to see Andy and Ash Saturday, meeting my new roommate Sunday, getting set Monday and shipping off Tuesday. I couldn't be happier to be heading back to London Town. I just know it will be magical, as it always is. And Dublin will be equally wonderful I'm sure.

List of pending things to do that may or may not ever get done: add album artwork in itunes, download new apps for my iphone, finish reading Running and Being, get a haircut.

New Year's Resolution (one of them) ... (that I just thought of this minute): run another marathon (preferably the NY marathon in the fall).

Sorry this post is lame. I'm lethargic and inactive.