Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Like Father, Like Daughter

So my strong dislike towards lotion has, in a way, stemmed from my Father.

I then began to think of all the things I've "inherited" from my Dad:

- love of Duke basketball (oh yes, bball season is coming sooon!)

- strong dislike for lotion (as previously mentioned)

- enjoying the great outdoors as we used to go camping at Hanging Rock

- the dread of getting shocked in the winter... oh how we hate this!

- the understanding that a car is something that gets you from "point A to point B"

- love for the Gospel

- love for rock music. I seriously love classic rock. Perhaps it's all that Jimi my Dad would play.

Now the things that my Dad loves, but I am indifferent to (or can't do):

- Strumming on his guitar. It's no lie that my Dad has performed many times in front of hundreds of people (weddings & church) and also has a cd out! Holla! He's pretty famous!

- bees. Ok he doesn't love bees at all, but I just had to mention it. If there is a bee in the car he will stop, pull over and shoo that thing out!

- ice cream. Pops loooves ice cream. I wish I knew his current favorite flavor, that's the sad thing about living so far away: I don't know those small, little, every day things about my family. But for the rest of my life, whenever I see Breyer's vanilla ice cream w/ the little specks... I'll think of my Dad. He used to eat that all the time when I was growing up. I'm not a huge ice cream fan. I'll usually eat ice cream when it's super hot or when I have a sore throat. But don't get me started on my dessert of choice: chocolate chip cookies. Mmmm.

- Diet Coke. (I go for the regular stuff. Always have, always will.)

- Weather. Paparoni (the nickname I dubbed for him in HS) is a master at knowing weather patterns and what is currently going on on the radar. I think by the age of two I could say cumulonimbus.

A few (silly) things my Dad has taught me that I'll never forget:

- Never, never ever be on the phone during a thunderstorm. He made little labels with this warning to put on our phones at the old house. Of course, this was during the time of landlines, where it is more dangerous.

- On that note, never take a shower while a thunderstorm is brewing outside

- Always close lids on jars

- Finish your cereal milk.

- "Be cautious at all times" while driving. He also made us a little label to put under our speedometer with this warning. I do attribute our little black Volvo making it as far as it did due to the sticker.

- Elbows off the table

Another funny thing about my Dad: in our old house of 23 years we had a problem with crickets. We had a split level house and my room was in the lower level, everyone else was upstairs. Ginna, our dear middle child/sister, had/has an insane fear for crickets and all such critters. It must've been (again, I have a horrible memory) when she was quite young that she would go to the downstairs bathroom and see a cricket every time and it was then referred to "THE CRICKET BATHROOM". She never went in it again. Never. We all tried to secretly trick her into going in whether it be a cry that I broke my arm and couldn't get out of the bathroom w/o Ginna coming in and helping me. Wink wink or other tricks such as such... but I can't remember them. Even the day we moved from the house she wouldn't step foot in it.

Poor Ginna. She had such trepidation for the sighting of crickets and other sneaky little pests. If one of us spotted one while Ginna was in the room, we'd have to do our very best to avoid telling her of the situation and then begin our covert cricket killing/saving operation all with the goal to not have that Ginna girl find out. My Dad usually saved the day on this. I'd go and tell him that there was a cricket and he'd willingly go find it. Now, don't get me wrong... it's not like we had a cricket farm in our house... it was just every now & then. But he was usually the one to do the "disposing".

And lastly, blog world, I will leave you with this, probably the number one thing my Dad has taught us is:

"If the ____ (insert car, house, pool, plane) catches on fire, get out". :) It's a legit warning, it is. But as all parents teach their wee ones to heed this warning, he continued to remind us even into our high school years. It became our family joke. As I'm running out the door headed to meet up w/ friends he yells right before the door shuts: "If Michelle's car catches on fire, get out!". We'd all have a good laugh about it cause most of my friends knew this long running joke.

That's just a few, of the many reasons why my Dad is the best.

(Stay tuned for full blog post shout outs to Mama, Ginna & Lucy) :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

A couple of things...

Just two. Just two things you should know about me:

1. I hate lotion. Eeek, ew, slimy, gross. I've never liked it. I'd rather burn than wear sunscreen (and did during Memorial Day Burn Fest 2008... ouch). In the winter, look out... it's rough. Literally. But..... now that it's Fall, I thought, I too, would "turn over a new leaf". I'm going to try. Perhaps it's all of the many, many lotions I have tried that leave my skin feeling greasy and gross... but maybe I need to keep trying til I find something I like. We'll see. Oh and this also goes for lipgloss/lipstick. I have this thing about wearing it and then my hair getting stuck on it and then my hair is all glossy and sticky. I try to avoid that at all costs. I only wear stuff on my lips when it's a super special occasion or when my hair is in a bun or something.

2. I hate uncomfortable shoes. I have no tolerance for small/tight/blistery shoes. Once I find a good pair of shoes, I'll wear them into the ground. I have too many shoes, but only really wear a select few. I've learned not to buy shoes for the summer as I tend to just wear flip flops. But not just any flip flop. The past two summer's I bought this pair of AT Loft flip flops - it was like walking on a cloud. I wore them every day when I was a nanny. Wherever my feet went, they were right there with me. I remember the exact day when each pair broke. Once was in November '06 when Lucy came to visit the next was another pair in Summer '07 when I was outside playing w/ my boys, kicking a ball and the strap fell off. Noooo!! After that I bought a pair of Reefs and ever since have been so happy on Cloud 9.

Shoes are important in New York. You walk everywhere. Everywhere. Need to go to the grocery store? You're walking there (and back with your 20lb bag of flour). Need to visit a friend? You're walking there (and up to their 7th floor walk-up apt). Need to get from work to ten blocks North on a rainy day with no bus in sight and no available cab? Oh yeah, get out your umbrella cause you're walking.

I can appreciate good shoes. New York is full of women in beautiful, designer, & expensive shoes. Sure, I'd love a pair of Jimmy Choos-I am saving up for them and will buy them one of these days (when the economy is waaay better)... but given the option, I'm going with the most comfortable pair... which just might be my flip flops. And I'm ok with that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reason #58940 why I love New York

So my good friend LeeAnne (Hi LA!), loves flowers. Loves them. She hates fake flowers and when she gets married her flower arrangements are going to be of utmost most importance (mine will be the photographer and good stationery). I feel like most people have their one, two things that they are adamant about for their wedding. Hers are definitely the flowers.

Anyways, last week after church, LA & I got gelato from GROM (reason # 58941 why I love NY). We then went and talked on a bench. Among the many things we talked about, she asked if I'd ever been to Tudor City. I'd never heard of it... I'm still learning. I don't think I'll ever stop learning new things about NYC. But Tudor City is on the East Side 40's along the East River and apparently has lots of cute shops. She then went on to tell me about this:


It's a freaking school for how to make flower arrangements!! Unbelievable & amazing all at the same time. She's been wanting to take a class on how to perfect this lost art and since I can't pass that up either, we decided to sign up for one next summer! What a great opportunity to add to the repertoire of skills on how to improve your party/dinner party/wedding/baby shower events. It is a tad bit pricey, as is any kind of unconventional class in NYC, but we'll have all year to save for it. By next summer we'll be professional floral arrangers and will probably, sadly, have florist snobbery when we look at, in disgust & utter dismay, any arrangement of chrysanthemums (yes, I know how to spell chrysanthemum because of Anne of Green Gables, thank you very much) and roses put in the same vase because hopefully our two hour overpriced class will teach us otherwise.

But check back next summer for beautiful floral arrangements made by me & LA!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

This & That

Happy rainy day, to all you New Yorkers! And let me just clarify that even though I live in NYC, I am not a New Yorker. I think my friends & I agreed that you have to have lived here for 10-15 years to officially be a "New Yorker". We'll see if I'm here long enough to claim that title. (But probably not, Mom! No worries! I'll fly back home one of these days and stay for good! :) ) But for now, I am a proud Southerner! Although, recently it has been brought to my attention that my friends from Alabama (who are living up here in NYC) claim that North Carolina isn't the "South". Well, I will agree that NC it isn't Deep South, but by golly, I'm from the South!

This morning I had to ride the subway to work because it was raining and I didn't want to walk an hour in the rain, duh. Needless to say it was everything I expect of the subways and more in the early mornings. So on my way in the underground tunnels, I pass by a lady who is always stationed in this one spot, and has her iPod in and is belting out songs that are way out of tune. It is true that I cannot sing, but most of the time I can recognize when someone is off key and she was & most always is. But I'll give her credit for the way she is such a faithful and constant presence in the subway and takes her job to sing to morning commuters quite seriously. So, I keep walking and what? What is that noise? Ohh, no. Oh no they're not! Yes! They're there!

There is a little platform in b/t the shuttle from GCS to TSquare where people can perform and lo and behold my favorite Hillbilly band is just strumming away!! Oh it made my day. A group of 4 old guys on their banjo, washboard and geetar singin old folk songs. They come once a month to perform and for what it's worth, I'm now thankful for the rain that made me take the subway that gave me the chance to see them. What a great start to the morning.

So what else is new.... hmm. Grey's was new last night and didn't quite live up to it's 2nd Season awesomeness. Not sure if I'll continue to watch. My roommates & I have quite the long list of tv shows to watch already. Oh, DVR, what would we do without you?

Well, the weekend is here at last! I hope it will be relaxing because October is going to crush me as I'll be out of town 3 weekends in a row. I also need to do the dreaded purging of clothes and switch out summer to fall. I'm cutting it close with these late summer dresses. New York has already packed up their bright & vibrant colors and adorned their closets with black & grey. Guess I should do the same.

Have a wonderful weekend! C3

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Vegetarian" Patties

Ok, so first of all, I have a horrible memory. If you know me well, you know that I tend to forget a lot of things, often. It's not my short term memory that fails me, but the long term. I'm great about remembering important dates like birthday's, anniversaries, etc., however when it comes to the details of a trip or funny things that happened in HS or College... I draw a blank.

This is why I need my dear friend Allison in my life (among many, many other reasons)- because she has a perfect memory. So, Al, I might need your help on this.

Back in High School, our church took a mission trip down to Jamaica. We went twice: once in 1999 and again in 2001 (where Al actually met Brian and now they're in love and getting MARRIED in JULY!!). I'm pretty sure it was the second trip to Jamaica when our group went to Ocho Rios and after a hard week of building foundations, laying concrete, etc. for a deaf community in the center of the island, we enjoyed the crystal clear waters and a chance to relax. A group of us climbed the waterfalls and then the excursions included: getting your hair braided in cornrows, snorkeling or just laying out on the beach. Al & I had been two years before, we had already done the touristy things so we peaced out and headed out to the beach.

We picked our spot on the white sands, layed out our towels and began our usual conversation about boys and other relevant HS topics of conversation. We started to get hungry and then went over to the cabana bar. We asked for water and noticed that a lot of people were eating something that looked like a Hot Pocket. We thought we would gave it a try. Two, please.

I will have to add this point: I was a strict vegetarian for 8 years or so. I can't really remember when I started, but for most of HS & College, I didn't eat anything with meat. Now, after being a Nanny where I made 3 meals a day for two precious boys, I started to incorporate meat back into my meals, my favorites being: ground beef, pepperoni & bbq. Strange I know because they're like the unhealthiest meats of all. I'm not opposed to meat and will usually eat it if someone makes it for me, but most of the time I don't choose it. But back then, I didn't eat meat at all.

So Al & I get our patties and go to sit down. We take a bite and I'm telling you it is the most delicious thing I've ever had in my life. Perhaps it was the setting: blue sky, clear water, sunny day, good times w/ friends... or maybe I was just starving but the flavors and everything about it was amazing. But then we realize that it has meat in it. Of course we're not really sure what else is in it. We are in Jamaica and got it from this cabana made of straw and not much else. But I'm telling you the unbelievable taste of that patty trumped any kind of real fear for what was actually inside of it, how/where it was made and especially: the meat inside. It became our secret. One of those things that isn't a big deal now that I look back on it, but at the time we were the only ones who had access to this incredible find and only knew that after 4 years of not eating any meat, I broke my 'fast'.

We later joked about our "Vegetarian" patties... and have throughout the years. I'm not sure that we ever really told anyone... not that there's much to tell. But it was one of those inside jokes b/t me & Al.

The other day I was looking through one of my favorite websites and couldn't believe what I found:


Al & I got a great laugh out of it. I hope that little cabana is still there and one day we can go back and enjoy our favorite vegetarian patties.

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall!!

Hello dear readers, Happy Fall!! Yesterday I thought I would begin the celebration so I bought Mums and a few little pumpkins. Ahhh.

Lately, I have been walking to work. It's about 50 blocks and takes me an hour to walk from my apartment. It's one of the best parts about my day even though I am usually pretty rushed in the morning trying to leave on time. I'm not one of those people who hears their alarm and jumps out of bed ready to start the day. One of my friends described her morning to be just that and I think I just stared at her for a good, long while in disbelief that anyone could hear their alarm at 5:30am and just pop out of bed. Yeah, I'm definitely a snoozer. I'll hit that thing til the last possible second.

But once I get ready and am out the door, it's so nice. I say a quick hello to my wonderful doormen and wish them a great day and then begin my walk. Not to bring it up AGAIN, but really, my walks are like those of Meg Ryan's in You've Got Mail, when she walks out and the air is crisp and people are all around getting coffee and she talks of bouquets of sharpened pencils! So once I begin to walk, I am immediately greeted with UES's finest. I pass children skipping along in their school uniforms and parents sometimes skipping along too. Of course today I saw a poor Father practically shoving his teary-eyed, wailing child into the school bus. But it's mostly parents getting their kids off to school and the occasional UES Mother walking her tiny dog with cigarette in hand watching her Nanny carry a pile of backpacks, lunchboxes, scooters, juice boxes all the while trying to comb the kid's hair. Ahh Nanny life, more on that later.

But it's such a relaxing walk. I'll usually pick a sermon to listen to and my rotation includes Keller (of course), Piper and Matt Chandler. It's an amazing time and I would suggest it to all New Yorker's- especially since the 4/5/6 trains are a nightmare in the morning. Seriously. All rules on normal spatial boundaries are thrown out the window as you're forced to become like cattle being herded, pushed and squeezed into this tiny subway car and stand so close (SO CLOSE) to complete strangers. I actually read a great article in the NYT about how lucky we would be if we were in fact actually treated like cattle in the subways. Apparently when they travel they have to have X amount of room between them and the next. (Something like that, I'm sure soon-to-be Vet. Dr. Michelle could tell us more, holla Michelle! Only 2 more years!! :) ) But anyway, all that to say subway's are crazy in the morning and I think everyone should walk to work.

I will say, that last week I made cookies and brought them into work. A little 'it's been a horrible week on the economy so let's hope the market is better today' kinda sugar boost. I had to take the subway because who wants to walk an hour with a tray of homemade cookies?!?! (Although I sorta have issues with taking food down into the dirty subways, even though they were well saran wraped.) But anyways, I was a sight to see. You would have thought I was carrying a bomb or something. What? What are those cookies? Did she bake them? She must have an oven, but did she actually use it? I'm confused. Are those cookies? Are they homemade? Did she actually spend time making them? What's going on?!?!?

Yes, folks. This is New York. Where lunch is delivered and dinner is take out. Desserts brought to any kind of function or party is usually a cheesecake from a bakery, cupcakes from Buttercup (my fav.), Magnolia (my second fav.) or Crumbs, etc. I hate to draw attention to myself when walking anywhere in NYC, but I had no idea that getting from my apt to work with a small plate of homemade goodness would draw so many stares from strangers. The paper guy who hands out the daily, free paper said as I passed, "No thanks, I've already eaten." Funny. And the subway controller squealed in delight as I passed by. So there you have it, friends and family and strangers who use your ovens and bake and cook. New York loves food, lives for food and has thousands of restaurants but clearly, it is seldom to see any sort of homemade anything roaming the streets.
Disclaimer: this isn't always the case, though. My friends and I do make homemade dinners every Friday night and all of my friends are fabulous bakers!

Well, I hope everyone has a great first day of Fall!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Can I just say....

How much I LOVE Saturday's!! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The beginning of a beautiful internet friendship

Well I'm not quite sure what to write about. I know a handful of people who already know about this blog but I'm sure as time goes on more and more people will find it. Not because it will be a super awesome and amazing blog (oh but it will!) but because in my blogging experience you tend to drift from one blog to the next. A little networking action there. But it is kinda weird to think that complete strangers will be up to speed on my life. Hmm..

Well, I'd like to go ahead and assume that we already have a relationship, blog world. I'd rather not introduce myself and go into my favorite color and all that. So, like Meg Ryan says in You've Got Mail, she'd rather talk to Tom Hanks as if they're already long time friends. That's what we'll do, k?

Yesterday, I came home after work and made a little dinner... I've sorta been in a "cooking rut", maybe it's because NYC is so dang hot in the summer and with the oven on it's almost unbearable in our kitchen. But I am mourning the end of summer. Even though most people peace out and head to any big body of water, preferably for them, the Hamptons or Martha's Vineyard, I like the quietness of the City in the Summer. The UES streets are empty, grocers sit around and chit chat, people gather at the ice cream trucks... it's just peaceful. However the tourists do come and my patience is challenged/strengthened as I remember this is a great City and there are tall buildings to look at and pictures to be taken and maps to look at even though I am super late for work. (I know, I know... it's my own fault I slept in late and now I'm running late and there are foreigners all around me but ahhhhh, people pick up your feet). So back to the peaceful part. I do love the Summer but am greatly anticipating the Fall. I love the feeling of Fall- how it's time for pumpkins and chili and football (even though I am a basketball girl, I really tried to get into it and as in tried I mean turned on a game and watched for 5 minutes and read an article about Brady and afterward sent an email of condolence to my friend who is a HUGE Patriots fan and I just know he was weeping at his desk. But I tried to be as passionate and, nope... it's not in my blood. Or maybe watching it on tv is not my thing, but sure I'll go to a game and scream and cheer.)

So Fall, it's just a wonderful time and I especially love that Thanksgiving is coming soon because it is one of my favorite holidays as it is all about family being together and making food.. yes getting in your kitchen and reading recipes and concocting amazing dishes and NOT picking up something from the drive-thru or warming something out of the freezer (sure I've been there!). But yes, a homemade dinner can be done. It takes lots of time and energy and preparation (and money, too) but I know it can be done because I was a nanny with two little boys and I made dinner most every night incorporating all food groups in the pyramid. Boo-ya. Those were good times. My Dad says we're always living in "the good 'ol days".


So last night I came home made a little dinner and then went out to celebrate my sweet friend, Maggie's birthday!! We all met at this cute little place: Cooper 35. Drinks were $4 and food was around the same price. Amazing. I couldn't believe it. Like a jewel in the rough. I can't wait to take Gin & Al there when they come in a month. It was so fun to hang out with friends, to laugh over this and that like we've been friends for years. But, as I am the party pooper and it being on a "school night", I had to leave my new favorite gem at 11:15pm to catch the subway to make it home in time before Midnight, when I inevitably turn into a pumpkin. All in all, it was a great night and so special to celebrate life and friendship. Here's to many more nights w/ the girls, birthday celebrations and great conversations.


Ooooh, look at this my first post in the blog world! Holla!