Well, Hot Damn. It’s End of July.

IMG_8194I feel like this blog is some sort of hobby from a past life. I haven’t even thought about it since the last entry. How sad. I was already to go and start a whole new project: a book. That is until I realized I had too many other things on my plate at the moment. Writing a weekly entry in a blog takes time, but outlining/composing/editing an entire book is whole new ball game. One which I definitely plan to play, just not at the moment. Continue reading “Well, Hot Damn. It’s End of July.”

Week 38: Bluegrass, A Hungry Rat, & Christina Bianco.

I was reading through my previous posts and noticed something disappointing. I’ve stopped writing about (and paying attention to) the instances outside of my normal routine. I’m going to try something different for this week’s post.

February 2nd – February 8th

My Week In Thoughts.

I was at work looking out the window and all of the sudden the light rain churned to chunks of white whizzing from the sky. These were no ordinary snow flakes; whirling wildly around, creating a real life Instagram filter on the window.

The comic who thinks he’s god’s gift to women. HA. Your greasy hair is almost as repulsive as your un-deserved arrogance.

The couple next to me… Chatting away “omg, I’m just not ready. Blah blah.” Why come to a small underground space where some 20 musicians are jamming out beautiful bluegrass to spend the entire time blabbing?

I’m not a musician. I can’t easily tell if a song or a performance has technical merit with most instruments. I judge music based on how it makes me feel. A good song will make my nerves dance and my heart leap.

Most times I feel more comfortable alone in public spaces. Is that why I’m single?

I’m so glad I braved the mush, ice, and frozen thighs.

Underneath the sidewalks the lady in all black plays something sorrowful on her accordion while a hungry rat scurries across my over-sized snow boot.

His hair swoops perfectly to the left. My left, not his. There’s a layer of dirt under his fingernails. He’s reading intently, forehead down parallel with the dingy subway floor. He looks like a Jerry. Or Benny. No, probably Larry.

The underground fiddler plays twinkle twinkle little star for the cheerful toddler waiting for the choo choo train to arrive.

The lady who stands at the subway entrance at Canal st. spouting various brand names [“Gucci…. Chanel… “] and I have come to an understanding. What that understandings is, I’m not quite sure.

Sometimes I close my eyes and picture myself on a beach somewhere with the sun pinching my skin.

It doesn’t take long for me to realize the pinching I’m feeling is from this bitter fucking cold. I’ve about had enough. #onemoremonth

The guy discreetly (only not discreetly) practicing his latest latin dance moves. His feet and hips are shifting in rhythm. His left hand comes up for air, makes a slight shake, and back it goes into the pocket.

Living in NYC means you’re in a constant state of some level of un-comfort. Nowhere else in the world would I put up with being so fucking sweaty and cold at the same time. I didn’t even think that was possible.

Here I am, sitting on a bench at the NYC 8th street stop. My fingers so numb they hurt. My nose a broken water fountain. And this girl walks off the N in stilettos, thin panty hose, and a coat that barely makes it past her torso. I hope her legs fall off.

I think I’ll try doing stand up.

Holy Mother of England! I reach for my double soy latte in Park Slope’s cutest neighborhood coffee shop when I hear “Blimey! What’s that bloke done now?”. Two of the world’s most adorable English men sit by the tiny window drinking their coffee, reading their paper, and gossiping harder than middle schoolers. Both are rocking a unique set of spectacles. Happy Friday to me.

The warmth (and by warmth I mean upper 30s) of the weekend was worth the freezing hell that lead up to it. I didn’t even need a scarf at one point.

Saturday I learned the difference between a chamber orchestra and a symphony while in attendance of a chamber orchestra  concert. My goodness, the sound of instruments well played is magic. True real-life magic. Musicians = Magicians.

I sat next to a concert cellist who is from Ekaterinburg. The city in Russia where I am from. BOOM.

Dance cabaret at Alvin Ailey, chamber orchestra concert at Lincoln Center, & an off-broadway play. All for $15. #doingitright

I started using hashtags?

Application Pending (starring Christina Bianco) was excellent. You in NY? Go see it.

The group of 6 ladies in their early 40s with fabulous New York accents sitting directly in front of me were the perfect pre-show.

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Application Pending me3Have a great week!

Week 37: Homework, the Home, & Becoming a Turtle.

01.26: It’s snowing. A lot. The mayor was on the news yesterday telling people that the snow Armageddon is preparing to hit NYC. Maybe he didn’t say that exactly, but something like it. We were planning on working from home today anyway, so that worked out. The blizzard started mid-day today and will go until late Tuesday so I’ll be working from home tomorrow as well.

I’ve been working in the living room all day with the view of the falling snow right next to me… so beautiful (unless you’re outside). One of my neighbors has been plowing the sidewalk all day. Literally. I’ve been up since about 9:30am working and can still hear him plowing away (its 5:49pm). I think I heard him stop for like 30 minutes at some point. I’m not sure I understand this. Why would you plow the sidewalk if you KNOW the snow is just going to keep on coming?

 

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What I wore today… hehe  (yes, it’s been 5 months and we still haven’t hung that shelf)

01.27: The storm wasn’t much of a storm at all… I’m not exactly sure the inches on the ground, but it looks fun more so than scary outside. Working at home today (seriously, the best) I could hear the cheering of children as they walked up my block towards the park with their sleds and parents dragging along by their side. Many sang songs. Talk about cheerful workday.

My dearest friend Chelsea had sent me several awesome photos from her snow day at the park.

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1.31: I can’t believe the first month of 2015 is over. Only 11 months left until 2016 and only 3.5 months left until I’ve made it a year in NYC. WHOA.

Today was unreasonably cold. 17F with a punch in your face ‘feels like’ 3F. It’s no Siberia, but it sure as hell felt like it. I went grocery shopping anyway. Trooper award (totally worthy).  The day is flying, as with most Saturdays, but after making food and doing a few chores I’ve started a couple new courses online with Lynda.com and I’m kind of in love. I know there are a bunch of free tutorials online (and this doesn’t include coding), but a lot of it is shit. Seeing as how I’m looking for solid information, it’s difficult to wade through all the bs online. This way I have everything I need (not really EVERYTHING, but a lot) in one place with legit information (and materials).

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Last night I ventured out to Williamsburg for a launch party for a new app. It was really cold and windy out – I was still half de-thawed in this picture.

2.01:  It’s really chilly out, but you’d never know it by looking out the window. It’s so cozy inside. I haven’t really shot the apartment in a while so I took a few photos.

apartment4Our plant home base.  

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The frame with the green mat and red head has a quote from Lenin (in Russian) printed on it translating to something along the lines: “If I know, that which I know little, I will achieve so that I know more.” Or something like that. It’s one side of my mom’s school report card from the 70’s.

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Our reading nook is really coming along… now for more pillows. 

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That’s my dad playing soccer in Russia.
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 Don’t you love my manly wool white socks? Also, that’s not dirt on my mirror… it’s a covering that vintage mirrors have on them (idk what it’s called. Anyone?)

I spent my entire weekend at home (with the exception of going to the gym and buying groceries). I always thought living in NYC meant I’d be out living the fabulous life I’d seen on tv, but to be honest that life isn’t really my style. I like being home and reading or binge watching Friends on Netflix (although I think that’s finally getting boring). It’s also pretty expensive to always be going out. There are a ton of free events in the city, but somehow I always manage to spend money if I’m out and about… if there’s a free show, there’s often a 1 drink minimum. Or I gotta eat dinner at some point… going home and then going out just isn’t feasible so I end up buying food.

I’m not saying I want to be a human turtle that never leaves the house. Not at all… I’m just saying going out all the time (which I did pretty frequently when first moving here) quickly results in a trimmed down wallet and a not-so-trimmed down waist.  I seem to get into waves of habits… with either too much or too little on-goings.

It’s all about finding a good balance… which I’m well on my way to figuring out, but I’m thinking chilling at home for an entire weekend isn’t it.

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Have a great week!

[January 26th – February 1st]

Week 36: Postablog, Ms. Lopez & Little Russia.

[January 19th – 25th]

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My week in food was a complete failure… I certainly didn’t eat out as much (just a couple times), but still more than I intended to. I had some plans that pretty much required I eat unhealthy (when lobster Mac n’ Cheese is on the menu, you don’t say no). Next week (I say this all too often) I’ll make a separate ‘My week in Food’ post and will hopefully make time to take pretty photos.

01.19: So I’ve mentioned how happy I am with my new job at Postable, right? Well, among many other things I get to write the blog… so go check it out blog.postable.com or just click HERE.

My gym update is pretty sad, but I guess I shouldn’t keep it to myself. I went yesterday. Today I am extremely sore. With plans to go tonight having been cancelled post a dinner that’s left me immobile, I’ve got my eye on Wednesday for my next workout sesh.

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Tuesday night trivia… but first, there was Happy Hour Oysters!

01.21: I’m having a really hard time leaving the house after making it indoors at night. The daylight is always so enticing that leaving the house is never an issue, but when the moon is shining there’s a whole new obstacle. When I’m on my way home from the subway, I feel like I’m escaping an evil force that’s trying to kill me… Making it inside is an epic achievement. Why would I ever want to go back outside after such an ordeal?! With this said, I’m pushing myself out of the door as we speak (sort of) so I can go workout.

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We worked from Williamsburg this Tuesday… not a terrible view. 

1.22: I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s resolution for a couple weeks now. I know, I’m kind of late. I went through the usual… stop eating like shit, go to the gym, blah blah. I want to change something in my life for the better this year instead of just plowing away at the usual personal hurdles. I was doing a facebook crawl (something I’ve successfully reduced from my daily life) today and came across a HONY post (Humans of New York). It was about Mott Hall Bridges Academy – a middle school located in a Brooklyn neighborhood with the highest crime rate in NYC. They are raising money on Indiegogo to help get these kids on a field trip to Harvard (showing them a world outside of theirs). I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever donated to a cause. Maybe once or twice for something environmental related, but I really can’t put my finger on any one time. I could not have felt more supportive and on board with what they’re trying to achieve and decided I’d donate next week’s brunch $. It’s not much, but it’s something.

That’s when I realized what one of my new year’s resolutions should be… donate to a cause once a month. Let’s be clear, I don’t have fountains of dough lounging around my apartment. I have to budget like a mad woman to be able to live this life in NYC. But if I can skip one of my brunches so that I can help [just a teeny tiny bit], that sounds way more appealing than a nasty afternoon hangover post an unlimited mimosa escapade. The principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy sounds like Superwoman, I’m so glad HONY found her.

Their fundraising goal that started today was $100,000 (enough to send 3 years worth of 6th grade students on a trip to Harvard). When I just checked the site, the total is up to $311,091. That is remarkable. If you look on the side of the page, you can see what the amounts donated look like… most would just barely cover a bottomless Saturday Brunch, but together they’re helping change the lives of children.

The fundraiser is going until February 5th. If you’d like to trade today’s cappuccino bucks I’m sure every dollar is appreciated. You can click the link HERE.

Also, if you’d like to share any great causes down below please feel free!

On another note, today at WeWork (the building I work in)… we got free dumplings for downloading their app. Could I be any more in love with this place? [Did anyone get that Friends reference? 🙂 ]

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This was the other view from my workday in Williamsburg. 

01.23: My Friday night = a giant bowl of roasted dill carrots and hours on hours of Friends. I’ve got to get out more.

01:24: It’s so quiet this morning. Usually I hear random screaming and the occasional slue of conversational honking horns. I say ‘conversational’ because it’s usually two or three (or many times more) people involved in a jammed situation outside my window and instead of talking to one another, they choose to honk back and forth in what some might call a conversational manner.

I woke up early and journeyed out to the grocery store. It snowed a bunch last night and the snow left on the tree branches is really pretty to look at from my window. The minute I walked outside, however, what was beautiful from inside looking out turned into nasty slush below my feet. It’s not very cold today (well above freezing) so the snow is melting quickly… instead of crunchy white snow there were brown mushy puddles. Lovely. I kind of felt like I was walking through a silent battlefield. I had to choose where I stepped very carefully, making sure to avoid large puddles and potential ice pockets, keeping my hood up and my head down to avoid getting hit by the giant snow chunks falling from the branches above. My short walk to the bus was a success, minus the giant snow ball that landed on my forehead as I all-too-bravely decided to look up and admire what was left of the snow up above. Rookie mistake.

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I went to Brighton Beach today. I loved it! Instead of bringing my camera, I was able to pack my backpack with what felt like a ton of goodies. I forget how entertaining it is for me to visit there… it’s like a little island of it’s own. Nobody speaks any English, everything is written in Russian (even the Verizon store front), and there is no shortage of European and Russian food stores. Mmmmm.

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I’ve never seen snow and sand intermingled. 

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The highlights:

* There were a couple of kids sledding on the beach. Literally. They were giggling with each other and speaking half Russian (with their moms) and half English (with each other).

*  The tiny black Honda blasting Russian pop songs parked by the side of the street.

* The little old lady with the baked goodies stand, who refused to smile even though I said hello in the most cheerful Russian I could muster.

* Fur. SO much fur. You don’t see too many people wearing fur around the city, but now I know why. The Russians are hoarding it.

* Speaking of fur… I was on my way back to the train when I walked by one of the many fur stores. The most brilliantly blonde (more like yellow) older lady wearing a turquoise leopard velvet track suit and Gucci rimmed glasses was standing just inside a fur boutique looking around, presumably judging each passerby based on their fury attire. The most gaudy-licious display of their coats was right next to her. It was all too much. I wish I took a picture, but I’d hate for her to think I was judging her. Instead I jotted down what I saw and walked away, giggling the entire way to the train.

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All the goodies I got.

Chebooreki, a bunch of pelmeni, buckwheat, cow tongue, german strawberry preserves, and a bunch of Russian candy.

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I had so much fun reading all the labels and talking with the ladies who worked at the grocery stores. It still kills me (in the best way possible) how they just assume you speak Russian… I was standing in one line and paying all of my attention on reading whatever tag was nearest me (I’m not very good and the cursive handwriting on the sign was throwing me for a loop) when one of the ladies who worked there started trying to tell me to get in her line. It took her like 3 tries to finally get my attention, but not one time did she speak English.

01.25: My goodness today’s weather is beautiful. Too bad tomorrow there’s supposed to be a terrible blizzard. That should be fun.

Sunday night Russian Film Club was a success, as always. Film choice of the evening: Ivan Vasilievich Switches Professions (a Soviet comic science fiction comedy). This one had a lot of fun songs.

I made sure there was no shortage of Russian dumplings (Pelmeni) and Chebooreki (not Russian, but Ukrainian or Turkic- according to Wikipedia. I’m still not exactly sure what nationality this dish is related to exactly). There was also a small assortment of Russian candy that happily got devoured.

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The Pelmeni were pretty darn delicious, but still not quite as yummy as I remember them from Russia.

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Have a great week!

Week 34: White Winter, Jenga, & Jenny!

[January 5th – 11th]

01.08: I am cold. I thought I was cold several times before this, I was wrong. Now, I’m cold. The temp this morning reads 14F and the convenient ‘Feels Like’ is -2. WHOA. Walking home from the subway last night I discovered that my forehead could hurt from the cold. WHO KNEW!? I held my glove to my face the entire walk home. I’m definitely going to need a new hat. My giant scarves are not cutting it anymore.

The end of the holiday season has always signified the end of winter for me… the beginning of January was always just the weird limbo season where folks kept their christmas lights up, but ‘winter’ had said its’ goodbye while I said hello to the beach. Things have changed. January has officially marked the beginning of winter for me. Snow and temperatures have fallen. The numerous christmas trees hanging out on the edge of the sidewalks is the only sign that the holiday season has come and gone. The poor trees look so sad.

On another note, my new job is amazing. I get to play with a site that has the most epic greeting cards around. What more could I possibly ask for? If you haven’t already checked out the site, do it now: Postable.com. Send me a card, while you’re at it… let me know you care that I’m freezing my ass off.

Today was Jess’s (my roomie) birthday so me and Mary Alice (other roomie) made dinner. A green pasta dish (linguini, avocado sauce, duck/chicken/pork sausage, browned onions, and garlic, garnished with crispy roasted cayenne chick peas) with homemade cheesy garlic bread. Needless to say my belly is FULL. We also had peanut butter brownies with Tahitian vanilla ice cream for desert. I’m ready to pop. I’m also beginning to understand why nobody leaves their house during the winter. BRRRR.

1.10: Jenny is visiting me again! After some coffee this morning we ventured out to Prospect Park with Miss Chelsea to look at all the pretty snow-ey scenery. There wasn’t nearly as much snow as I had hoped would have piled up by now, but it’s getting there. Definitely still a winter wonderland… minus a few inches of snow. The weather temp read 21F (feels like 10F), but at first it didn’t really feel that cold… until about 45 minutes into our walk. By the time we walked through the park my thighs were painfully numb, my nose had long lost feeling, and my forehead hurt again (I keep forgetting to cover the damn thing).

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I’m super stoked for the day that we get like 3 feet of snow so that I can go sledding!!! I remember getting to sled in Russia (just a very faint memory) and must do it again. There were a few kids with sleds, but without their dad’s pulling them along the 2 inches on the ground, they would get nowhere.

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Jess’s birthday celebrations continued tonight at Royal Palms (a shuffle board venue). Saturday night means the shuffle board court was packed so playing giant Jenga had to be the next best thing (we did eventually make it to the shuffle boarding at the end of the night).

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A night of red wine and Jenga left us hungry. To the diner we went…

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Nothing like some greasy food to finish off the night. Those Mozz sticks went great with the bowl of Ranch I requested… I promise my eating habits are normally exponentially healthier.


1.11: Food. SO much food. After a short stroll through the East Village Jenny and I met up with Jess and Jenny’s sister for some lunch. I’ve had this place on my go to list for some time… Oda House (Georgian cuisine). I haven’t really ever had or even thought about having Georgian food until my brother strongly urged me to try some. This placed Oda House on my radar. Anyway, he wasn’t joking… the food was AMAZING. I kind of wish I had taken some photos of the dishes, but if you’re in the NYC area and want to try something unique… this is your spot.

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I finished my week off with a Russian flick with a pair of great friends in their East village home. Sometimes I catch myself wondering if I’m dreaming and take extra care not to startle myself just in case.

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The temp read 27F today. It was actually pretty nice out after all the layers came on. My forehead was warm too. Happy Sunday, have a great week!

Week 27: Operation Survive My First Winter & 17 Things I Didn’t Know Before Moving to NYC.

11. 17: I’m going back to my roots and starting to write something here every day. Let’s see how that goes.

Today was hot. Yes, hot!!! You would never know it judging by all the coats and scarves folks are sporting outside, but boy oh boy did I enjoy my cold shower when I got home from work today. Everywhere BUT the outside is toasty, it’s making me feel like I have a fever. I don’t. The home gets super toasty at night time. So much so, that I’m having to not only keep the windows open, but turn on my fan. It’s 38F outside. Something is wrong with this picture. Then there’s the subway. Steamy subway. The minute I walk down the stairs I can feel that first droplet of sweat run down my back. I never thought I’d be complaining about the heat when its in the 30s.

11.18: Scratch what I said about yesterday. Today, I was cold. It’s been a long day filled with a Doctor’s appointment in the morning and a shift ending at 11pm. The 25F (‘feels like’ 12F) was not warmly welcomed. I walked to the subway this morning trying to eat a mochi bean pouch, but instead I looked like I was playing hot potato. I don’t have gloves so, in order to keep my hands warm (unsuccessfully) I passed my mochi breakfast between my hands every two seconds. As one hand grasped onto the chewy dough, the other quickly jumped into a pocket. This went on the whole way to the subway. I should have just waited to eat it there. I literally just shoved half of it in my mouth and decided it was best that I swallow it whole rather than try to hold it with my bare hands. Brr.

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My walk to the subway -from- work tonight was pretty miserable, but at least my hands were snuggly placed in my pockets the whole time. When I got to the station, I discovered my train wasn’t running. By that point (after 11pm) I was kind of over all of NY’s shenanigans for the day… i was pissed. I cursed. Outloud. And everything. Until I heard a bagpiper waling some tunes at the other end of the station. When I walked by him, I felt the instrument’s vibration. The lady announcer voice came over the intercom to relay the latest delay. I’m not sure what it was, but suddenly the day’s aggravation and inconvenience just melted. In fact I thought it was funny. I even laughed. Outloud.

11.19: Before moving here (and after) I’ve read many ‘list’ articles associated with NYC. Most of them themed along the lines of… NYC is not what it appears OR Don’t Move Here Unless…. OR You get the point. Well exactly 6 months [today] after living in NYC I’ve decided to make a list of my own.

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1. You will get a job. It will not be your dream job. But you’ll get an income.

2. You will not get paid more just because living expenses here are exponentially higher.

3. You will find your dream apartment. It is possible. It is also the hardest thing you will ever do. The process will likely cause you to loose some hair.

4. You will miss home.

5. You stop wanting to walk [everywhere] eventually. You don’t have time for that. It’s also cold.

6. You will spend half of your day going to buy something in specific. Need socks? Better plan the better half of Saturday.

7. You will find people who will help you. Don’t take those folks for granted; there’s not many.

8. You don’t know what rush hour is until you’ve been smushed between the man with poor mouth hygiene, the lady who enjoys dumping her cheap perfume all over her body, and the dumbass tourist who didn’t take off his backpack which keeps smashing into you every bumpy second.

9. You will no longer be the only foreign kid. Foreign kids are everywhere.

10. You will eventually find yourself getting super annoyed with people. Although at the end of day, you’ll still appreciate them.

11. You will not enjoy grocery shopping nearly as much when you have to push and shove to grab that last broccoli, stand in line for at LEAST 15 minutes, & carry the items several blocks from the bus stop while the wind plummets your face and slowly frostbites your fingers. [Having fresh groceries at home is kind of like having a trophy for the Grocery Olympics.]

12. You will not get used to the noise for a couple months. Sleep will come eventually.

13. You will fall so hopelessly in love with the city that you’ll wonder if you’re dreaming. Every. Single. Day.

14. You will gain some weight. No, walking everywhere does not help. The proportion of drool-worthy food to blocks-to-walk is 100:1.

15. You will find most of your friends have online dating profiles. Apparently, unless you jump onboard that train your love life is hopeless. Oh well.

16. You will loose track of time. The time is always running away from you. You have to run faster.

17. You will loose hope that you’ll make it. Just keep going.

_____

11.20: One thing I’m not loving about New York? How quickly the time flies. I’m desperately trying to fill my schedule with more awesome to-do’s but I’m finding it incredibly difficult.

11.21: Today I bought socks. And snow boots. I am officially [less] scared of the upcoming winter. I also bought a hat and some gloves. Perhaps my fingers will stop feeling like icicles every time I leave my home.

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Everyone I’ve spoken to seems to have their own secrets to surviving winter. I think I’ll just have to wait and find out my own methods. Something tells me the sauna, ice-cream, & Sex & The City re-runs will be key (along with those snow boots).

11.22: No pictures this week. I keep intending to do it, but somehow time just slips by me. I have several personal projects that need my attention, and somehow photos have gotten pushed towards the end of the line. Which should not be the case. I’m working on this.

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[Quick iPhone shot on my way to work.]

Aside from getting to see my parents for a short while (layover at JFK), my day was spent nursing and re-nursing a hangover. Thanking the internet gods for seamless.

Week 24: Halloween, Face Palms, & the Brooklyn Museum.

I missed another week (I believe that makes 2 since I started this blog) mainly because last week was uneventful. Anyway, this week I was sick some more… I think my body has initiated it’s revenge for transporting it to a bipolar climate.

Halloween has come and gone. 
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I was a Super Regina [yes, I dressed up as myself]. Or a burst of color… but mostly I just wore my normal attire with some face paint (lipstick which has yet to fully come off).

I found yet another foreign ritual here in NYC last night. Trick or treating. In Orlando (and most other cities where homes are houses or spread out apartment complexes) kids walk door to door contemplating their existence as they beg for candy. No? Maybe it was just me. Either way, the act of knocking on a front door isn’t logistically possible here. On my way home from work I saw masses of children with their candy bags in hand walking past businesses manned with candy hander-outers. I think thats weird. Some (very few) people sat on their stoops with buckets of candy, handing out the goods as kids walked up. I live in a very family friendly neighborhood and I still didn’t see too many people actually doing this. Kids don’t even say TRICK OR TREAT… they just walk up to the lady in front of the bakery with their candy bags wide open. Not cool.

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Today (11.1) I woke up feeling refreshed. Last night I went to a warehouse party with the roomies which turned out to be kind of a bust and an early trip home (I was in bed by 3am). An alcohol free evening turned into a morning of awesomeness. There were other nights this week that involved a bit more alcohol (it is Halloween after all).

Naturally, I discovered a new level of drunken remorse. But what’s a night of alcohol without a few morning face palms?

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We’ve also slowly been making updates to the home…

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11.2 : Lazy Sundays are the best. It took me several hours to finally get myself out of the house… the noticeably chillier weather felt uber refreshing against my face right up until I lost feeling in it. It’s not even that cold yet, but the wind can be brutal. I took a stroll down to the Brooklyn Museum and spent the better part of my day browsing Brooklyn’s finest. As per usual, my favorite attraction: the folks browsing alongside me. A little girl with the bounciest blonde pig tails that stuck straight up adding about 3 inches to her height, walked around the Brooklyn Artist exhibit with a tiny green notebook in one hand and an oversized blue pen in the other. Her stride seemed very meticulous, as though she had previously mapped out the floor plan and had planned out the precise number of steps she needed to take from one piece to the next. Her movements became repetitive, as she came up to each new piece she would bring her giant pen up to her face, shift her head to the side, take a deep sigh, and utter a semi-silent “interesting.” I tried not to stare, but I couldn’t help admiring the little lady. She made my day.

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A bowl of cookies and a glass of milk with a rerun marathon of Seinfeld = Sunday night.

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When I came to the states at age 7 without a lick of english and started my first day at an American school I was terrified. I felt alienated and helpless. I was only seven, but I can still remember the deep sinking feeling in my stomach with the only thing stopping me from hurling that morning’s breakfast was the fear of having to explain myself.

After hesitantly getting off the bus (which was a horror in itself), the huge [or so it seemed] outdoor hallway filled with banners and images of big red apples was lined with small posters covered in foreign symbols. I stood there frozen while small and big kids roared around me squirming this and that way. I didn’t move.

I’ve been that scared three times my whole life. The night before flying to live in NYC was one of the other times. I’m starting my 6 months now. Half a year. The initial destabalizing fear has been replaced with an unreal amount of gratitutude and hope. I’m not where I want to be, but I can taste the sweet sweet future.

Hope you have a great week!

tat