Monday, January 31, 2011

Please excuse the mess

Let this arbitrary record show:

I am attempting to de-clutter my life Firefox browser with 12 tabs I've had open for a solid week (thanks to Biggins. How are you at UVA law and Buzz-ing blogs and articles and original pieces of writing 24 hours a day? My only conclusion is a time machine.)


my Google Reader that is now in the high hundreds (which I have been ridding of those dime-a-dozen blogs premised on linked Flickr photos of Parisian Macarons, musing endlessly about moving to France: a cute respite while I was a frustrated undergrad, but, you know, I grew up and made it happen so I now eat macarons almost daily).

Yes, those above two, along with what sits on my nightstand. Exhausting, I tell you.

Also, is it monumentally horrible that I kind of loved Julian Assange in the 60 Minutes interview? Maybe it's that wannabe vagabond part of me, but the way he coolly deflected all of Mike Wallace's accusations had me giggling. Never mind the fact that King Tut's tomb might go up in flames tomorrow... uh ...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Man + PETA ponies

After a great fatherly pep talk after a rough last week, I think we are finally making progress of him understanding that the MBA/starting my own business track is not The Solution to All My Problems
(as well as humanity's struggles, global warming, North Korea's volatility, the mess that is Afghanistan, AIDS, ET CETERA. Not to mention Portuguese or Mandarin being the worlds' languages in 30 years- just my guess).

At least not yet.

The above might make sense with some context that all family gathering conversation practically centers around marketing strategy and entrepreneurship.

And then, add the occasions when I chat here and there with my best cousin in San Fran:
we start off lamenting to each other about working for The Man, and inevitably deadpan to a variation of "AHH! Let's just start our own company. Seriously."

Oh, first-world problems!

At this point, I just don't believe in the strength of any of my ideas. And that's a fundamental tenet of being an entrepreneur, soo...

Oh, wait...along with that whole 'raising capital from investors' part...
as I understand it, fancy jargon for fundraising .... yikes.
(Is this form of 'begging' perceived in a different light when one highly believes in their idea?)

Just FYI, you are allowed to laugh at my amateurishness.

Comic relief self-taken New York photo:
"My Little PETA Pony"

The story: walking back to my place from a friend's, feeling really angry after watching the Jets' loss, when I saw this masterpiece and keeled over in muffled-but-audible laughter.
And I was by myself. YES.

Monday, January 24, 2011

As of late

I am getting hoooooked on acupuncture.

I'm getting really good at subway prewalking.
Granted, I ride it only about 2-3 times a week but it's an epic feeling to know familiar stops' exits and entrance locations, and which ones have special exits to put you on particular preferred streets to come out on so you save...about 30 seconds. (Hey! that's thirty seconds of inner gratification you wouldn't get otherwise!)

I can't wait for my next Beantown trip!

To see my sista race (email me your schedule already, Ace!), and have her roomies (SHOUT OUT) educate me of the most cutting of cutting edge Top-40 music. This one's for Soup. It's fair to say Pandora can't even handle them.

(Those songs I linked might as well be 90s Jock Jam status by now, I'm SURE).

The Wiki definition of 'crunchiness'
(the sound, not The Movement, but I'm sure that definition would also be fantastic)
has been a gift that keeps on giving.

Go nerds, and thanks Biggins.

Self-taken New York picture:
"Weekly Baracking"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ode to Groupon

My initial perceptions of Groupon were that you needed to sign up to a group, or become part of a forum of anonymous strangers, or rally friends to get in on deals with you, etc etc... all of which sounded exhausting.

Thankfully, it is simpler. You simply subscribe to their daily email and voila, you are given a feed of deals tailored to your zip code (usually around 50 percent off).

Then you purchase them, and print the receipt.

And now I'm addicted. ha.

I have a personal theory that it is changing the way poor-ish* people explore new locales, not to mention allowing businesses to get the word out.

Because specifically, living in a city like New York, you know you can find anything, but sometimes you don't know you want it or you don't know it exists... enter Groupon email.

Or, for example, for the important decision that is deciding what to eat, I find myself poring over Menu Pages, but the negative reviews discourage me more than the positives encourage, so I too often bag the whole idea and eat somewhere reliable.

Plus, Groupon is not bound by city. Case in point, my sister, who gets the Boston Groupon email, sent me a link for a Nordstrom Rack deal. I used mine in NYC, I think she ended up using hers in California. Ha.

a media-savvy 20-something urbanite; who is in school or doesn't make 6 figures, and thus, welcomes a deal when it comes to exploring something new.

(original definition)

But even if it rarely happens, I CAN bake.

Who is ready for this weekend?

For one, I cannot wait to take a break from among other things, looking at interior design, DIY or craft blogs for a couple days (if you knew the stereotype of girls I went to college with, you'd laugh at the irony of this situation).

This made me laugh and think. I cannot do arts + crafts or re-upholster Craigslist-ed furniture to save my life. (Not that I've tried the latter, but if it's any indication, I think drinking 3 gallons of wheatgrass sounds more fun.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oh Flash Sale Sites

Oh flash sale sites!

When will you learn that your congratulatory sign-up emails don't impress me?

If you must send an initiatory email, a succinct 'welcome' will do.

Even then, I will probably unsubscribe very soon, because I do not trust your 'send me less emails' option claim.

Does anyone else feel like your email is a never ending game to hammer down (unsubscribe) 'subscriptions' you once submitted your email address to? Like that arcade game where one hammers down those pop-up objects... that only pop up in another spot a second later.


Friday, January 14, 2011

My greatest fear. Truly.

I have enjoyed a quiet night in finally getting around to reading this story framed as how Chinese parenting methods are 'better' ... but I think it might speak to the repercussions of dogged immigrant mentality (just one of my many reactions, which can all be generally labeled as 'horrified').

- the nearly 6000 comments from it on WSJ (I guess Bill Gates recently wrote about an African issue and it elicited 187 comments....?)

- Betty's blog post on the matter

- and the popular Quora rebuttal thread, all three of the latter being more interesting than Chua's original piece.

Concluding selfish thought: Parenting scares the living daylights (for lack of a cruder, juicier term - my mom is reading...oh, the irony) out of me.

There it is. My greatest fear.
But on the flip side, I've heard it's indescribably rewarding, so I'll keep an open mind on the matter.

*****POST EDIT*****

Betty was quoted in the New York Times on this topic!

My doubly awesome yesterday

So yes, yesterday was doubly awesome!

I had a lunch I knew wouldn't fail me (the Whole Foods salad bar). Because if I have a mediocre lunch, the rest of the day seems to reflect as such. haha.

My friend, we'll call her Michelle, is back in the city and among other things, came with me to Bikram Yoga after work, which I only mention because:
a) it was the most most amazing-slash-intense Bikram sesh of my life aka I looked like I had just gotten out of a hot tub for a GOOD ten minutes after.

and b) Michelle told me the last time we did Bikram together was when she really decided she needed to leave her husband; a day later she was on a plane to California. (I remember being so confused like "wait, we")

c) and last night I came to a career epiphany.

So case in point, Bikram changes lives.

*Off yoga soapbox

Beatles on Pandora. Today's going to be great too!

SPEAKING OF LONDON TOWN: I was watching a TLC special the other day about the Royal Weddings (of the 20th century) because Wills and Catherine are my drug of choice right now (have you heard?! Tea Towels are ON!) and it made me really happy.

What can I say, I am ELDERLY sometimes.

My friend Sarah who was visiting told me I need a cat. YES.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This day, one year ago

I was crossing the international date line en route to New Zealand. Feels like...about 3 weeks ago.

So January 13, 2010 doesn't exist in the book of my life. So I'm going to make this day, 2011, doubly awesome (which includes the awful).

1) This doubly awful video/story, that literally shuddered me out of bed this morning, reading the twitter feed on my phone.
"If you see any suspicious packages or activity on the train, don't keep it to yourself!" AHAHA...ah. uh.

2) These doubly amazing pictures of NYC in snow! Told you it's pretty.

3) 'Doubly' is actually a word. Double win.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jamaica me, Lifschitz

Went out to buy an alarm clock at 11:30 last night. ha.
It had started snowing. I was pretty excited. I thought it would get gross and black really soon but a lot of it remains white- it's very pretty.

The cold hasn't been unmanageable thusfar (Hunter boots and my midwest college experience are to credit) but seeing Ralph Lifschitz Lauren's home in Jamaica made me gasp.

More pics here.

Have a day worth swooning over.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

On winning the lottery

If for nothing else today, I am grateful for the men I have known throughout my life. Sure I've come across a lame one here or there, but the kind of men I knew growing up and the kind of people I surround myself with now are generally educated, progressive, kind men who respect women. I feel the world is often polarizing in this way- it becomes more progressive, yet the disparity of wealth is still staggeringly unfair and people are not given enough opportunities, or not culturally motivated to succeed. I use the term 'succeed' only as a way to make the general distinction that affluent societies are more favorable to the well-being of women.

The older I get the more I realize how blessed I have been to live in a society where women are afforded infinite opportunities, encouraged to foster independence and maybe above it all, sheer imagination.

Sometimes I walk around this magnificent city and my mind is a whirl with positivity, light and potential for what many roads my life will take me, and then inevitably enough, I attempt to think how many women at that very moment are not afforded that very luxury: to be able to think, dream and wonder.

Then what's more, thinking about those who have suffered on my behalf at the hand of men can make me really emotional for how horrifically unfair their lives have been in relation to the free society I happened to float into when I did.

It's ultimately gut-wrenching to realize that most women are still oppressed today. Maybe some argue those women have no frame of reference for how heinously they are treated. But I refuse to believe that first world society is the only one that finds man's inhumanity to woman inhumane.

I'll probably be really embarrassed by this come tomorrow because these are far from any sort of original thoughts. But I think we can all agree we could express gratitude and positivity more, because while wallowing in the injustice of it all is fundamentally unproductive, it's still important to recognize. I feel as though mens' and womens' roles that while increasingly blurred, are still targets to asinine criticism that only mock the efforts of those who have fought for rights and a better quality of life.

Or maybe I just really miss my dad today.

All pictures from 'The Lottery of Life' campaign.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Turn it up

It hasn't been a bad week, I'm just really excited for this weekend.

This song played on repeat last summer. She's on the cover of every other UK version of America's women magazines. I am just so perplexed as to why she's not big here yet?

I wish the video weren't so drab; obviously filmed in and around another dime-a-dozen downtown LA warehouse building: la-aame.

Tangent: The holidays at one point included some amazing LA bashing with my brother and sis-in-law.
"a city with all the unfortunate parts of city life but without any convenience factor."
"a city that has no definition, but it does, but it doesn't"
"a city with people who all think they're cooler than you but they're all actually really lame"

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Just a little highlight reel

So many were totally over 2010. But I think I hear that every year- "Oh, 2008, this year was rough." "Oh 1996, so happy to see you go."

That is life, though- attitude.

Aside from that, my 2010 was rad.

Went on kinda gnarly camping excursions in New Zealand. Concerning "the outdoors": even though I 'get it' now I still don't find the payoff worth the work it takes to achieve it.

Graduated college. A nice formality.

Bungee jumped. The 4th highest jump in the world (and the 3rd highest is 5 feet higher).

Sky dived. (Sky dove?). Forgot to breathe in freefall, was nauseous the rest of the day. I guess I really had the wind knocked out of me?

Moved to New York City. Got employed. Haven't slept this well in about 5 years.

Chopped my hair, shorter than a bob to dare I say it, a crop. Revelatory i.e. I wonder every day why it took me so long - pun intended.

Was able to go to 6 of my sister's collegiate volleyball games. I still can't understand why she (and other people in general) hates losing/sports don't have to be a metaphor for life/why can't everyone just relax/i'm such an annoying yogi, i get it.

Ran another 10K. In 55:20. Haven't been on a run since.

By a truly amazing string of events, one of my beloved friends just moved back to the city after a necessary, needed, albeit short (in retrospect) hiatus. You know the friends who you give you "free passes" of criticism because they empathize with how hard you are on yourself, and say things like, "Everything about you is cool."
Yeah, you have to keep those kinds around.

Cheers to 2011. It's got big shoes to fill, but I've got a good feeling about it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Walk to the Rock

A couple snapshots from my saunter up to the Rockefeller Tree a couple weekends ago.

59th & 5th. Madness.

There it is!

Madness + ice skating.

Better view. And I like the stop light in the corner.

Sunday Funday

Had to catch the last Nutcracker matinee.

Then Chelsea Market.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

My one resolution

is to start tap dancing again. seriously! I've missed it.


Shirley Temple and Bojangles

and feel the joy.