Friday, August 31, 2012

The Weekend

One of these pairs of legs belongs to me.
Ooh yes a long weekend. I can hardly wait!

I'm traveling back to Ohio tonight to have some time with Jon and my family and friends. It's also Jon's birthday and our anniversary is coming up.

We'll be heading out for an overnight trip to Pittsburgh and avoiding all wedding planning for the weekend. Hooray!

Enjoy your weekend.

More soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Nice Surprise

A surprise delivery of flowers trumps the stresses of wedding planning any day.

I'm so thankful for a thoughtful and loving partner who cared enough to send some flowers in the hopes that it would make me smile and alleviate some of the stress that has come up in the last week.

I'll be honest. 

I totally cried when I got the flowers but then I was smiling the entire day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Weekend

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

I'm getting ready to dash home to straighten up the apartment before a gaggle of my amazing girlfriends come over for a low key hang at my place. I'm going to be mixing up some cocktails for them to try that Jon and I are thinking about serving at the wedding. Brown sugar simple syrup spiked with fresh ginger is something that we'll be trying tonight. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday I'm heading to Rockaway Beach for one final beachy hurrah before it gets too cold to wear a bikini in public (oy) and then will be heading back to Brooklyn in time to hopefully catch Erykah Badu's set FOR FREE at the Afropunk Festival. Sunday is brunch and a screening of this movie and then back to the Afropunk Fest to see TV on the Radio and my biggest girl crush of EVER Janelle Monae. Again FOR FREE.

Let's squeeze out every last bit of summertime fun before it slips away, shall we?

More soon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Me and my Fred Flare ladies.

When I first started my job I was disappointed that I didn't have many coworkers who were around my age. Actually, now that I think about it I had no coworkers who were around my age. Everyone was very pleasant and friendly but with twenty to thirty years between us the idea of having an active friendship outside of work was not likely. The good thing about this was that it forced me to put forth a real effort to meet new people outside of work because there was no ready-made social group waiting for me at this job. 

When I started working at Fred Flare I was happy to be working with people who were closer to me in age but after a few weeks I realized that I was one of the oldest in the group. No one knew that until about a month ago when I said something about turning 33 in a couple of months and one of my coworkers almost fell to the ground in shock. She had thought that I was a good five or six years younger. Thank you mom and dad for my very good genes.

I am very happy in both of my work situations. A couple people started working in my department at my full-time job and we're all pretty close in age and like each other a lot. My coworkers at Fred Flare are young and hilarious and keep me abreast of all the pop culture references and memes and whatever that are totally not on my radar because I am older than them.

It's a little weird to be in two very different work environments but I guess contradictions have always been a consistent theme in my life. Clinical research and nerdy science stuff on the one hand and rock shows and partying (although not so much of that lately - I work too much and need my sleep!) on the other. That was the bread and butter of my twenties and for a couple years into my thirties.

Is it strange to say that I feel like I've calmed down a little bit? My insistence on being crazy social and filling my calendar has somewhat diminished and that I'm making sure to have time for myself. I'm definitely still busy but it's with different things - work, work, and working out (ha). But seriously, keeping myself busy is something that I doubt will ever change, but I'm OK with making sure that I have the time to take care of myself. Sometimes time spent at home or doing something low key is the priority. Maybe this is a sign of growing up, I don't know. Whatever it is I'm feeling a shift in what's important to me lately. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Adding Some Color - An Easy DIY

We got our invitations out today and did a simple DIY to add a little pop of color.

My friend Lauren at Giddy Ink did an amazing job on our invitations. We went with black and white with the plan to add some color to the edges of the invites and response cards using this DIY. They turned out really well! It took a six dollar can of Rustoleum brand spray paint and fifteen minutes.

One more thing to cross off the list.

*Of course the cat also did her part to help out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Being a Casual Planner

Yayoi Kusama at The Whitney
A track fire on the way home halted all service on the D and R trains to Manhattan today. After waiting a while for a bus and seeing one fly by full of passengers I walked nearly thirty blocks to get to my train. It was a really nice walk all along Greenwood Cemetery and through South Slope. It gave me a chance to think about the coming months and to set some tentative plans in place.

I have always been a planner. I think it's a result of how my parents raised me and my brother. I remember being in middle school thinking about plans for my adult life. I had it mapped out - college, medical school, married by 25 and have my first kid by 27. Clearly that didn't happen. Lots of things didn't happen the way that I thought they would but I'm thankful for those experiences. Even the very painful experiences in my life have led the way for something bigger and better. That wasn't always clear when I was in the midst of some crazy upheaval but years later it's obvious to me that I had to go through those things in order to get to the next step in my life.

The good thing is that if my long term plans don't pan out I don't get upset. It's a weird and contradictory part of my nature. I will plan for things far out into the future but if it plays out in a completely different way I don't get stressed out. I just go with it. For me planning is not an exercise in rigidity but an exercise in motivation and organization. As long as there's some kind of goal that I'm working towards, regardless if it works out or not, it's something to keep me moving forward.

When I moved here I was at a loss about what the next step was going to be. I had prepared for months for my move east and when I finally got here I remember thinking "Uh, okay. So what's next?" Now I'm looking at the next big step in my life and there are so many parts and pieces that still need to come together. The wedding is getting closer and I feel like there are a million small and niggling details that Jon and I need to get through. We need to plan his move to Brooklyn and then, um, get married. Then there are the longer term plans that we have to think about like kids (eep) and if we want to settle down here or move again in the future. There's also the question about whether or not the grant that funds my salary will be renewed and even if it is whether or not I want to continue in this career path or start to make the transition towards my dream career.

Surprisingly I am not stressed out about this. Truly! It helps to know that Jon is there and that we are making these plans together. The burden is being shared. It also helps to know that in the past when things have been uncertain the pieces all seem to fall into place. I used to call it luck but I think it's something else. My brother pointed out that people create their own luck. Meaning that things don't just happen but actually you work hard and position yourself in a way that makes it easy for things to fall into place.

I'll just keep doing what I've been doing and see where it leads me. Thus far it's brought me to New York, something I never expected. It's exciting to think about what else the future holds.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What I Saw: Crazy 4 Cult Art Show

Thursday I attended the opening of the Crazy 4 Cult show curated by Gallery1988. All the art was inspired by different cult movies. The line to see the show went around the block but once inside it felt like a slice of nostalgia with some of my favorite movies referenced. The best part was coming across Columbus, Ohio artist Clinton Reno's piece! That was an unexpected and happy surprise.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Brownstone Brooklyn

Yesterday I had a nice walk from the train to meet up with Jon and his friends at a restaurant in Fort Greene. Fort Greene is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn and I had to stop and take a couple photos of the brownstones that I kept passing. Block after block are filled with these buildings, covered in ivy and equipped with sprawling stoops that put my tiny Greenpoint stoop to shame. It was a really idyllic walk - not too warm with a constant breeze and the sun hitting the faces of the brownstones in the best possible way.

It felt very old world and romantic.

But then I happened upon a large stack of furniture encased in plastic and duct tape due to what I could only assume were bedbugs.

That totally killed the mood.

Monday, August 6, 2012

What I Saw: Summer Streets 2012

Saturday Jon and I met up with a few of our friends and headed out to the city for this year's Summer Streets. We took a different route into the city heading north from Greenpoint to Queens and over the Queensborough Bridge. Once we got into the city we merged in with thousands of other bikers and pedestrians on Park Avenue and rode south. We had a later start in the morning so the route was packed. It was still an amazing experience riding through Manhattan on the car free streets. It was especially surreal to ride by Union Square and the weekend farmers market. We eventually made it to the Williamsburg Bridge and headed back to the neighborhood for some well deserved cocktails and our friend's jazz set at The Manhattan Inn. I'm going back again Saturday but plan on getting up early so that I can beat the crowds. If you're in New York this weekend you should consider participating! There's free bike rentals available along the route and plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Weekend

Last year at the Columbus Tweed Ride

I'm looking forward to spending an evening in Central Park with some friends and meeting their new baby for the first time. Saturday I'll once again ride through Manhattan on car free streets. Somewhere in there lots of wedding planning will be scheduled. The wedding is exactly three months away and just writing that makes my brain hurt.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer Streets 2012

At the end of a very long ride during Summer Streets 2011. Taken by Andy Lin/The Self Portrait Project.

Holy crap I'm excited for Saturday! It's the first day of Summer Streets in Manhattan and I'm looking forward to riding my bike down Park Avenue again. Every year they shut down Lafayette Street and Park Avenue to car traffic and the bikers and pedestrians take over. There are a million free events along different rest stops on the route. Last year was amazing riding through the city. This year includes a rock wall and zip-line. A few of us will be riding from Greenpoint fueled by coffee and excitement. Oh wait. Maybe that's just me.