Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Same difference

I've moved! You can find me here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Better left unsaid

I have been back in Texas for a week and I still don’t know where my cowboy boots are. If that’s any indication to you of what my closet looks like right now, then I should be ashamed of myself.

I have a new blog in the works which I’m currently working on- but for now I’ll continue to direct traffic and analyze life from here.

Let’s start with DeAnna, the Bachelorette. She could use some analysis right about now considering that at the end of tonight’s episode the thought she had “just made a huge mistake.”

Oh DeAnna. Tonight was a rose ceremony for the books, my friend.

Jesse- Hilarious and entertaining from day one. I wish he would cut his hair, but everything else about him has grown to be endearing. I was thinking he would totally blow it trying to teach DeAnna how to snowboard, something that can be hugely frustrating and tiring, but he totally charmed her and even carried her down the mountain. Any guy who can carry you piggyback AND make you laugh while snowboarding is a keeper. Let’s not also overlook the fact that the preview for next week’s episode show’s Jesse being skeptical of the Fantasy Suite offer (which, ew, new name for that please) because he hasn’t met DeAnna’s dad yet. I know; I literally can’t wait.

Jeremy- She keeps using the word “perfect” to describe him, but I just keep thinking of that other “P” word whenever Jeremy is on the screen: predictable. I think she likes him and clearly they have a bond, but I get the sense that DeAnna doesn’t see much potential for adventure in a life with him. He is clearly a good man and sincere in his emotions, but he’s a bit pretentious and I was over him this episode when he showed her into his room, where he had an entire wall of notes and charts he made while studying for the Bar exam. WE GET IT- you’re a lawyer and you’re successful because you work hard- GOOD FOR YOU.

Jason- Okay props to DeAnna for being 26 and open to the idea of marrying a guy who has a kid. She must really care about Jason if she’s willing to be a mom from day one of being a wife. Ty, Jason’s son, was probably his biggest selling point in this episode though. Any girl would be a sucker for that little guy- he was precious, even when he named all of the ducks in the park “Ted”.

Graham- Oh Graham. This was where things got ugly this evening, which is ironic because Graham is such a hottie and DeAnna has been mooning over him for the past few weeks. This was the guy who was still trying to play it cool, and who completely “shut down” tonight as DeAnna tried to get him to open up in their awkward good-bye conversation on a bench in North Carolina. It probably didn’t help his cause that his own mother had just told DeAnna that he had always had commitment issues and didn’t ever let people get very close to him. Not exactly selling points when you’re in the market for a husband.

So as we all know, DeAnna let Graham go at the end of tonight’s episode. She was clearly distraught and upset and having to do so, and my mom and I both gawked at the TiVo when he pulled a letter for her out of his jacket as he said good-bye and climbed in the limo. Everything he wanted to say to her but couldn’t, written down for her eyes only. She could never get him to open up to her, and his parting shot was a letter for her, saying everything he could never express with words.

Kill me now, this is getting GOOD.

“To be able to say how much you love is to love but little.”

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'll always love you though, New York

So tonight was my last in New York as a Manhattan resident.

Here I sit in my boxed and packed up room, leaving on a flight back to Texas and the suburbs of my youth in less than 12 hours, thinking that this time last year I was planning and dreaming of my relocation up to the city.

I've been noticeably (or unnoticeably) quiet on the blog front recently, and that is because New York and I had to have a DTR about a month ago and things didn't go so well. I love this city, but I don't love living here. New York is an incredible place and I am so thankful for the time I have spent here and the people I have been fortunate enough to meet, but I have to do what is best for me, and that is to move back to Texas.

There is nothing I regret about my decision to move here, and I think I would have always wondered what life would have been like in another place had I not tried it for myself. Now I can move forward with the confidence of a person who tried and decided to go a different direction.

The part I don't like about the moving forward is not leaving the city, but leaving AV and KR. That's the hardest part, because I love living with them and the roommate dynamic we have developed over the past nine months. In breaking up with New York I leave them here, luckily together. I was more or less a basket case all of Memorial Day weekend in the Hamptons, and when I told them I wanted to go back to Texas, I was so humbled by their reactions. While I had already acknowledged in my own mind the fact that it would be a rough transition for all of us when I left, and while I knew how hard it would be for me to walk away from living with two of my favorite people; I was completely taken aback by them.

Did I think they would be equal parts upset/mad/confused/concerned about me leaving? Yes to all, that's what I assumed. I just couldn't believe how sad they were. This was something we had all set out to do together, and my leaving suddenly meant that it wouldn't be the same. Let me make it clear, if I haven't already, that I have the strongest and most wonderful friends and could not have dreamed of better people to talk to and see on a daily basis. It's common knowledge, among all of us, that we all feel this way. But sometimes you forget that other people feel that way about you in return, and thus talking things through with them that afternoon on the couch, and seeing how sad they were at the idea of not having me here everyday, was heart-wrenching.

To watch people you love mirror what you're feeling and understand you completely is one of the most painful and comforting things you can ever experience. My leaving has nothing to do with either of them, and at the same time it has everything to do with them because they have been my whole life for the past nine months and everything we do affects the other two.

I want what is best for the other girls, and what's best for them is to stay here now. I'm excited for them and I will surely always feel a pang of jealousy when I hear about a fun new restaurant they tried or new people they've met or that it's "snowing and freezing" in New York, while I'm rolling my eyes at the 60-degree Dallas winter.

I got to live and work in New York in my twenties. Regardless of income and status and all they can access in this city; everyone is jealous of the twentysomethings... especially the women in elevators who glare at my friends and I went we bemoan the idea of turning 25 in two short years and then watching life go downhill from there. Point being- I'm only 23. There's a lot I still want to accomplish and living away from home for nine months has been part of my growth process.

Strangely enough, the road back to Texas is one that I'm paving for myself. My decision to move back is one of the first novel ideas I have had about my own future since I graduated a year ago. I tried a new city, it was not a fit, and now I'm moving home; back with my parents for now, no less!

So to you, New York, I must offer my gratitude. Thanks for everything you have taught me about myself over the past nine months. I am a better person for having lived here, and while I'll miss my trips across Central Park to Bloomingdale's and the Met, I'm blessed to have been given the opportunity to learn from you and gain a different perspective.

Until we meet again, my friend.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
-Theodore Roosevelt, Paris 1910

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's better in the Hamptons

East Hampton called our names last weekend, and we answered.

Actually, AV’s friend AH from Texas barely had time to get in the door in the three-bedroom house she is living in for the summer before we officially invited ourselves out for a three-day weekend excursion.

‘Memorial Day in Montauk’ has a nice ring to it, no?

Tipped off from a Hamptons-savvy coworker, we got off of work early on Friday for the long weekend and high-tailed it to the Hunters-Point stop in Queens to get seats on the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). The LIRR, as we found out, was complete with leather seats and bartenders in every other car.

The three of us sat in a set of four seats facing each other and were joined by a seven-year-old girl named Victoria whose father sat her next to us and promptly disappeared behind his copy of the Wall Street Journal. I could see why.

Said child proceeded to chat our tired little ears off for the entire hour and a half between the Jamaica and West Hampton stops. We heard all about the first grade, her many sisters, summers spent in the Hamptons and winters in West Palm Beach. I told her we were born in 1985 and she spent about 90 seconds figuring out how old that made us, which was the most quiet and peaceful minute and a half of the entire ride. Her guess was 33 and I was pretty much ready to get to her station by then.

We got to the East Hampton station and since we were waiting for AH to finish working, we found a little Italian deli and grabbed dinner. It was then when I realized that while I had gotten off the train in East Hampton, my wallet was in fact still on the train to Montauk. Obviously freaking out, I found a few MTA police officers who were helpful and eventually located my wallet… still on the train to Montauk. We ended up waiting at the station and getting picked-up by AH and taking a night-tour of the Hamptons while we went in search of my wallet, which was in West Hampton with Victoria and her summer home.

We went out that night and it basically felt like spring break for young professionals dressed in their madras best. We also witnessed a Range Rover pulling out of a parallel parking spot, running into a Taurus, which hit another Range Rover, which ran into a Porsche. Expensive weekend.

Saturday we woke up and wandered around on foot while AH was working, and made it about halfway to the beach before we were deterred by the clouds, cold late-May winds and sprinkling rain. Sugar melts in the rain.

We went to a late dinner and enjoyed the rare pleasure of a leisurely meal with friends. Good wine, good steak, good company. What more can a girl ask for?

We rented bicycles on Sunday (because, why wouldn't we?) and had a sunny day to ride around and see more of East Hampton. We ate breakfast from a local bakery on a bench outside the store, then got our bathing suits and headed for the beach. The weather could not have been more perfect, and we took advantage by abandoning our knowledge of responsible skin protection and baking in the sun for a few hours.

No, we were not hideously sunburned, and yes some 15-year-old girl at the snack bar had the audacity to charge KR and I each a dollar for a cup of ice. When we told her that was ridiculous, she simply poured them out. I wanted to tell her that for a dollar I could by an entire bag of ice from a convenience store and hit her over the head with it.

I didn’t, but I definitely entertained the idea. The same snack bar was also selling biscotti, alongside nachos and hot dogs. I didn’t know people ate biscotti at the beach. I also didn’t know people deemed it appropriate to wear so much madras at one time, but apparently it’s possible.

Sunday night we went to a hotel restaurant/bar right by the water to meet up with some of AH’s coworkers. We walked out on to the back deck that opened up to a harbor full of yachts, packed with clusters of white tables with blue and white chairs. AH’s coworkers were dressed in their preppy-best, and we were in business for the night.

That’s how they do it in East Hampton.

"What do I want to take home from my summer vacation? Time. The wonderful luxury of being at rest. The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander. The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are. Summer is my period of grace."
-Ellen Goodman

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

She's so Raven

There have been many developments in the past few days. AV’s hair has been three different shades of boxed color; there was the much-anticipated finale of ‘Gossip Girl’ as well as the much-anticipated return of ‘The Bachelorette’, and a bag of dark chocolate M&M’s thrown in for good measure.

Let’s start with the hair. Good hair is hard/expensive to come-by these days. We all remember KR and her great bangs debacle of December. I finally broke down myself and went to a get a proper haircut on Saturday afternoon. There’s probably nothing more relaxing than having someone massaging your skull and blowing our your hair to voluminous perfection. It must be awesome to be Jessica Simpson.

Sunday morning I went to church then called AV and KR to see what they were up to- which was running errands at the drug store. I didn’t think much of it until I got home and found them squirreling around with a box of hair color called ‘Soft Black’. AV had decided, spur of the moment to dye her hair darker.

No stranger to the art of the at-home dye job, and removed enough from the past traumas associated with it, she went ahead with it. As promised, it turned black. The only thing about black is that once it’s on your head, it’s not that soft-looking. KR and I amused ourselves by saying that everything she did was “so Raven” and singing the first few notes of ‘The Addams Family’ for about 24 hours.

Moral support- what else are friends for?

She called her friend LO in Las Vegas, who knows a thing or two about hair, and she told her about a paste-like hair-stripping product to get to remove the fake color. So Monday night, in the midst of the TV shows and all the drama of Lily and Bart's wedding on 'Gossip Girl', AV’s hair got stripped. After washing it out, she concluded that it looked more like a calico cat than it had before. It stripped the black, but it was also reminiscent of an eighth grade run-in with Sun-In. (We all experimented with it, roughly around the same time boys our age were wearing pooka-shell necklaces and Abercrombie cologne).

We took a round three stab at AV’s hair with a concoction that was a play-doe shade of purple in the bottle. Should have been a red flag. I painted her head once again as DeAnna, the new Bachelorette made awkward introduction after painful hello with her house full of bachelors. She employed a forced, double-hug maneuver that was particularly hard to watch. She didn’t know what to do, and kept hugging everyone repeatedly. Judging by the fact that there were no fewer than an oyster farmer, a marshal arts instructor, a chef, a professional basketball player, a dad and a high school football coach sipping cocktails and pulling stunts to get attention, it’s looking like a solid season.

After ‘The Bachelorette’ narrowed the field down to 15, AV washed her hair once again. The purple bottle so liberally applied to her hair manifested itself as a deep red. Red. That was three strikes for the at-home hair color.

AV disappeared into the hands of the professionals tonight at Aveda and returned a new woman- complete with new and evenly colored dark brown hair.

We can laugh about it now because her hair is back to normal.

I’m still calling her “Raven”.

“Hair is the richest ornament of women.”
-Martin Luther

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Trivial Pursuits

My generation is dealing with a lot of confusion these days.

KR, AV and I were watching a classic 60's beach movie the other night called Shag (think of how Gidget would have played out if she had friends) and dreaming of how great life would have been in a different decade. I then compiled this random list of great questions troubling 23-year-olds everywhere:

Political Correctness: Is she supposed to be called a "stewardess" or a "flight attendant"; a "secretary" or an "assistant"?

Nutrition: What should I believe about carbs? Good for you, bad for you, irresistable? And let's talk about "gourmet" food for that matter: at what point did it divert away from delicious, well-made dishes to just becoming strange and hideous food combinations at ridiculous prices? No, I don't want to eat marrow and liver or other irrelevant animal organs- or else just hide them in a hot dog and I'll never know the difference.

Love & Marriage: There is no such thing as dating anymore. The majority of my friends fall into one of two categories: serious relationships on the fast-track to marriage and serial singletons. The transition/middle ground between these two could be likened to the bridge Prince Phillip had to cross on his way to save Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty*; treacherous and unsteady with a fire-breathing dragon looming overhead. Impossible? You tell me.

The Solar System: Why isn't Pluto good enough to be a planet anymore?

Economics: Gas prices are more than twice what they were when I started driving... seven years ago. Not exactly a significant amount of time considering cars have been around for about 200 years.

Pop Culture: Is anyone else concerned about the weird names** celebrities are giving their children these days? Suri, Shiloh, Kingston, Romeo, Cruz, Harlow, Phineus, Maximus, Pax. The game of Red Rover that they will inevitably play together when they all start pre-school in Hollywood will clearly be divided along lines of kids with the names of Disney heroines and those named after Roman soldiers.

Justice: If American Idol was not completely rigged, then Michael Johns would still be around. Anyone who saw David Archuleta singing Chris Brown's "With You" could not say differently, because that was about the most dysfuntional performance I have ever seen on the show with the top three left in contention. He could totally rock a cameo on High School Musical, but I could also see him going the way of Clay Aiken in Spamalot. It's 50/50 at this point- he's still a teenager which is a huge liability considering he is also male.

Like I said- there are just so many things keeping a girl up at night.

Any time we think we were born in the wrong decade, I try to remind myself what life would look like for women everywhere if there were no CHIs. I can handle rising gas prices, but frizzy hair? There is no room for frizzy hair in modern-day society.

"Well don't play hard to get, you might miss something."
-Buzz Ravenal, Shag

*KR was consulted for confirmation of the bridge scene in Sleeping Beauty. She has never seen it, but confirmed nonetheless.
**KR was also consulted for the names of celebrity children, which she was able to recite on cue.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I must be losing my touch

When we first moved into our apartment, KR was notorious for losing things.

One night in October we had friends in town, were walking out the door to see a show on a Saturday night and she realized she didn’t have her wallet. Panicked that she had left it at a work event that day, or that it had possibly been stolen, she cancelled everything and was inconvenienced for days until her mother received a call from a cab driver the next week, telling her he had found the wallet of a Ms. KR in his cab. I don’t know what kind of experiences others have had with their NYC cab drivers, but I’m fairly confident not all would return a wallet, contents intact.

Later on it was her Aggie ring- something every student at A&M carefully counts their credit hours to get and which some Aggies wear their entire lives- that went missing. We turned her closet upside-down looking through shoes and scanning the floor, only for KR to find it days later in the pocket of pants she had worn a few days prior.

For my part, I found my debit and Metro cards to be missing last fall after roaming around Central Park for an entire morning in the fall, which were never recovered. Another morning I was in a frenzy trying to get out the door for a job interview and could not find my keys, so I automatically assumed KR or AV had taken my pair and then had to meet up with KR later in the day and then return to the apartment, only to find my keys under a magazine on my bed.

When living with our friend MK back in the fall, I misplaced an envelope full of cash for a solid two weeks when we moved there. I only found it when I was looking for the charger to my new camera before leaving for a wedding weekend and saw it sitting in the box that my camera had been packaged in.

Last Thursday night I was out with coworker friends and had kept my phone in the pocket of my jacket to periodically check the time. When I got in a cab, I reached into my pocket for my phone again and did not find it there. In typical fashion I freaked out, asked the driver to pull around and bolted from the cab in search of my phone. Problem #1 was that I was in the Meatpacking District and it was midnight and people were everywhere, Problem #2 was that I was wearing heels that night, and the streets in that part of town are cobblestone, allowing for many falling opportunities.

I gave up my search and returned to the cab, moved my bag and trench over, and there was my phone. All of that running in heels for nothing… and I’m sure it was less glamorous and more melodramatic than I envisioned at the time.

AV, on the other hand, always knows where to find things. This is why she is in charge of rent, bills and Netflix. The important things, really, because we all know how quickly this party would disband if she put “Juno” on the queue before “27 Dresses”… I don’t even have to say it, but heads would roll.

"In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity."
-Konrad Adenauer