Saturday, January 31, 2009
This is a news segment from 1981 about "electronic newspapers". It's all kinds of awesome, from the dial-up internet connection to the quip about how the local newspaper guy shouldn't worry about losing his job.
Best line, "We're not in it to make money, we're not going to make much either, but we're not going to lose a lot."
Yeah, not lose a lot -- except your livlihood and your entire business model!
According the Baby Name Wizard, Pauline was the 34th most popular name in 1910. It doesn't even register now.
On the flip side, Aiden, which wasn't even charted before the 1970s, if off the charts now.
TR and I won't know what we have until it pops out, and then I suppose we'll come up with something nice. Anyone like the name Ivan? Vlad?
Friday, January 30, 2009
This photos was taken exactly one year ago today at a Junior League party. It was pouring rain out, and I bought that dress two hours before the event at Filene's Basement in Union Square for $30. (A large chunk of my wardrobe comes from Filene's, I might add.) I took a cab to the party by myself -- I didn't even bother to rustle up a date -- and assumed that people I knew would be there. They were.
This time a year ago I was working at a job I didn't love, but it was a paycheck and I had health insurance. TR and I had kinda sorta started seeing each other, but for sport I went out on a few Match.com dates just to see what was out there. (In short: a lot of damaged goods, including a freshly-divorced doctor who talked about his ex-wife the whole time and stuck me with the check. I never pick up the check. Or pay full price, for that matter.)
I lived alone with Peppe, my orange and white Persian, in a basement apartment in Gramercy that had a well documented roach and mouse problem. When the boiler, which was on the other side of the wall went off, the ceiling shook. A 12-year-old girl with too many friends lived above me, and if I came home early from work I would have to listen to selections from The Pussycat Dolls through the floor.
It was around that time that a friend suggested I get a real estate license, in case I wanted to do it on the side for extra dough. In March of 2008 I started going to the classes at night and all day on the weekends, and in the spring I was slated to take the state exam. As luck would have it, I got laid off from the job I didn't love at the end of April, scored a month of severance and started the first week in May in a new career at Citi Habitats. A month after that, in June, I moved out of the Gramercy bunker when the owner decided to give my apartment to a relative. I don't miss the bugs.
A year after the above photo was taken my life has taken a complete 180 degree turn: The new job is working out well, I moved into an amazing doorman building on East 79th Street, I acquired Valentino, a daft but sweet shorthair kitten, and TR and I stuck together after an unintentionally romantic Valentine's Day date at Pop Burger on East 58th Street.
A year ago when I was in the back of the cab alone, en route to the Junior League party, I never thought I would be five months pregnant and legally married 365 days later, but I guess you never know where the wind is going to blow you. In fact, last week at the Junior League party my friend Susan and her husband were floored when I gave them my whole update. A year earlier we ruminated about how my job/housing/dating conundrums would work out. They had no clear answers.
I'm no motivational speaker and I won't be upstaging Oprah anytime soon in the inspiration ring. All I know is that when things have reached a new level of suck: a job loss, you catch your man cheating with a 40-something woman who looks like a Basset Hound, or you realize you're surrounded by idiots at work, that's when you have to try new things. Take some classes in a new field of work or date guys that aren't like the ones in the past. It's pretty basic, but in the long run it may bring about some change. Maybe a year from now you'll be pregnant and hitched, too!
For short term satisfaction, adopt a homeless Persian cat, preferably an orange one. They make everyone happy.
Me: Um, it would be the top floor.
Broker: You mean the roof? The apartment is on the roof?
Me: No. It's the top floor. The eighth floor.
Broker: I went up there and there are only units A through D. No penthouse.
Me: The available apartment would be 8D, then. Penthouses are generally the top floor.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I saw this sign on 22nd and Broadway the other day, right outside a nail salon. No one can make you feel good about yourself like an Asian nail lady!
I've often had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day, which is one of my most fave holidays. I've never had a fetus, though. New Year, new things.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I think that when TR and I get our act together for a proper wedding, this should be our first dance. It's upbeat! It's catchy! It's fun! Everyone would get up and dance! TR thinks it's inappropriate. Riddle me that...
Yesterday I went into work wearing pretty much just a large, clingy sweater, black tights and knee-high boots. The Gays at work had a field day making fun of my outfit, especially since it looked like I had left the house without pants. What? A gal can't try new things?
I just like this photo.
Oh, and newly-engaged Allison was in town this weekend!
We all had drinks last night in honor of Allison's arrival. One of the ladies who came out was an OB/GYN who's our age, 30. She was sweet and soft spoken, and she had some interesting insights.
1. Women should not delay fertility. I know this sounds really obvious, but here in New York it can easily get put on the back burner. She understands the whole career/achievement thing, after all she's a doctor. But putting it off can only cause issues down the round. As she put it, "When women in New York decide they want to be pregnant, most of them want it to happen right away, if not yesterday, and it's not always that simple."
2. Once you're pregnant it's not as complicated and planning intensive as the books/web sites make it out to be. And she agreed that caffeine is perfectly fine. She was generally amused by the things patients asked her about, like when they bring in a body lotion and ask if it's safe to use. As long as something isn't fortified with, say, Radium, it's generally okay to slather away.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Last night was the first Junior League party of 2009, and it was good times all around. It was very well attended and when I left at 11:15 the dance floor was packed. The ladies and I started the evening with drinks at The Carlyle Hotel, and then we moseyed over to the The League. I like the Carlyle. It's very olde New York, complete with piano player. I had one Coke and my way with the peanuts.
Katie, Julie and Anne. All attractive people.
Louisa and I. Her dress was awesome and had pockets! 90% of the fun of going to any Junior League party is checking out what everyone's wearing.
Almost five months pregnant and still lookin' sharp. The key to not looking like the pregnant lady at the party is picking clothes that are structured. It took a lot to find this outfit, but it's a winner If you take my clothes off I do, in fact, have quite the bump, but it's not the look I was going for last night.
Full length of the outfit, at the end of the night.
One of my awesome provisional leaders, Cassie.
One of my fave photos of the night. I didn't do much dancing, but definitely had my way with a tray of mini cupcakes.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Fun fact about me: In high school I was the co-captain of my cheerleading squad, and I was oddly dedicated to the job. But it was a lot of fun and it kept me off the street. The mean streets of Norwalk, CT. Ha.
The strange part about this photo is that it was taken during a pep rally in the fall of 1993. That said, why I am doing one move while my friend Paula is doing something totally different? It was a choreographed routine to Salt n' Pepa's "What A Man" followed up by a remix of Onyx's "Slam."
I really wish I still had that outfit.
This afternoon some pied a terre clients called me to tell me they were coming into the city to look at their final three choices. Since they are great people I was more than happy to make myself available. And so I called each on site agent at their favorite buildings and set up appointments for the afternoon. Given that the clients were coming in from out of town, they got delayed. Here's how the on sites reacted.
Building A: Was more than happy to see us on short notice, and had no problem whenever I had to call and push up the time by 20 minutes or so.
Building B: Is a nice, but overpriced place whose on site agent that visibly annoyed when my clients were 20 minutes late. "I have a 3:30 appointment," the woman told me. "And I go home at 4:00, so let's hope they show up soon."
Building C: Is a very overpriced new development where pretty much every unit looks out onto a brick wall. The on site agent was confused that my clients were even in town, since he had called them earlier in the day when it was snowing. But the snow cleared, and in came my clients who wanted to see his building again.
I had to push up our appointment, which is when the on site agent called me and asked, "Why are you late? Are these people even serious? I thought our building was the only one they were looking at!" It was a funny statement, since his building was actually their least favorite. And in New York, every one has at least three choices for everything.
The takeaway? When one works in a customer-service oriented field, such as real estate, does getting annoyed at someone like me about traffic and weather and parking delays do any good in the long run? My clients, again, who are from out of town, are relying heavily on my opinion and insight when it comes to making their final choice. I didn't get any static from Building A, and as luck would have it, it seems to be their first choice.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
This is the sweetest story ever about a small town in Alabama that is rallying to keep their local Post Office Cat inside the building after some looney complained about him, mostly because they felt that since Sammy doesn't pay Federal taxes he doesn't belong in a Federal building.
The town even got the cat, who is orange, his own P.O. Box. Go Notasulga!
2. If wine isn't your thing, (?!?!) then check out the talks FIAF is having with fashion designers such as Donna Karan and Diane Von Furstenburg.
Monday, January 12, 2009
11:00 a.m.: Open house for this apartment on West 12th Street and Sixth Avenue. Since there was that big football game at 1:00 we decided to do the open house earlier, and sure enough, people came out of the woodwork. I am a little surprised that we don't have an offer yet for this place, but perhaps it is just a matter of time. It's a one bedroom that could easily be converted to a two bedroom. Great block, doorman building and bright.
1:30 p.m. Hustled down to Sullivan Street to meet up with a young guy from England who needs a place in the Village. We saw a few on Thompson Street that weren't quite right. We're going out again today to tackle the East Village.
2:45 p.m. Met up with a couple who are the Williamsburg version of TR and I: early 30s, arty and expecting their first baby in June. The three of us had a great time checking out places in the East Village and Chelsea. They may have liked the first one they saw. The girlfriend, is the first woman I've found who is craving oranges and smoothies like me. Good to know I'm not a weirdo. Do you know how many oranges I carry in my purse on any given day?
4:00 p.m. I thought I was going to have to show this place to a couple in the West Village, but it's been rented for two months and won't be free until March. (I'm always the last to know.) Yet, the couple still wants to see it. I'll have to iron something out with the new tenants.
I walked all the way back to Murray Hill from Chelsea, stopping once for a burger and a coffee at the diner. Spent the evening playing around with Pandora. Such a charmed life.
Friday, January 09, 2009
Fourth Quarter Sales Market Analysis
Third Quarter Sales Market Analysis
Thursday, January 08, 2009
TR and I went in for a full body sonogram of The Bean today. It took forever, but I'm happy to report that it has all its fingers and toes and all systems are very much a go in terms of its development. I still don't know what it is, but the technician does. She made me cover my eyes when she was taking photos of The Bean's goodies.
I'm still amazed that The Bean is in such great shape, especially since I didn't know I was pregnant until I was three months along. I was running all the time, having my way with the Bordeaux and chasing around town like a crazy person. I've read all these conception articles, which encourage women trying to eat right and relax, sleep normally and get into The Zone in order to conceive. They even encourage intimacy with your partner! Crazy! I did none of that. I ran on coffee and burgers then on empty. Life is funny, kiddos.
This photo freaks me out (in a good way!) because you can see the brain and the brain stem. The brain is quite large! That comes from my side of the family, of course.
The whole fertility industry has started to fascinate me, mainly because it's a curious overlap of science, big business and altruism. Fertility treatments are expensive, not covered by insurance and prey heavily on emotion, mainly women's. (I've heard brides say the same thing about the wedding industry and wedding gown shops.)
There was a nice quote inside the magazine about how we should all be happy in general, because we are, essentially, very lucky just to be around.
"I think we all need to be happy. We have all one the lottery. It is a scientific fact that it takes 250 sperm to fertilize an egg, and we were all the winning sperm." -- Dr. Neil Shulman.
Happy New Year! And quit all that moping.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Peppe gets the most air time on this blog, mostly because he's the gorgeous orange and white Persian, not to mention a bonafied LOLCat.
But Peppe has a little friend, a spritely stray I picked up back in April when I was in PetCo, shopping for some cat food. This little guy, Valentino, was in a tiny box, about three months old and all of three pounds. He was scruffy, hungry and gave everyone within a five block radius of him ringworm, but I took him from the young guy at the store nonetheless. He found Val in his backyard earlier in the day, and there was no way he could keep him.
Thanks in very large part to my friend Kim, who is a vet, we de-wormed and de-loused little Val, a process that took weeks. In August I got him fixed. $1,000 in vet fees later, Val's now 10 pounds of lean muscle and the sweetest little beast you could ask for. True, he's an oddball: he likes to hop into the shower and drink water straight from the tap on the sink. Everything for him is a toy, from plastic milk tops to Christmas ornaments. He likes to run out into the hall and into other people's apartments. (I've met all my neighbors!) He'll chew on your toes in your sleep. But he'll join you for a nap any time of day and purr ferociously throughout.
My point? Always give the scruffy guy/animal/cat a chance. Even if he gives you ringworm at first.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
She gets points for a graceful refusal. I love the buzzer that goes off as she's saying no.
This one literally ran off the court. Maybe the ring was from Zales?
Best/worst part? The local news covered it!
Friday, January 02, 2009
Quality Reporting Is Key When Writing About The Housing Market
Thursday, January 01, 2009
New Year's Day is the slowest day of the year, what with everyone hung over and half the stores being closed. My office is closed until Saturday. I've already managed to sneak in a morning meal at the local diner as well as a workout. The gym wasn't obnoxiously crowded, but in a few days I'm going to loathe everyone with a resolution to lose weight.
I scanned in a few shots from Bulgaria 2002. These were all taken in film, so apologies for any funny lighting and focus issues.
The Backstory: In the fall of 2001 I auditioned for joined The Young People's Chorus of New York, a performing choral group in New York City. Thanks to them I got to perform at places like Carnegie Hall (twice), Lincoln Center and the 92nd Street Y. Yes, and people paid to see us. In June 2002 we toured Bulgaria. That's where these photos come in.
The group's repertoire varied from modern arrangements of four part choral music to classical pieces. With the Young People's Chorus I learned Handel's Messiah, Judas Maccabeus as well as Carmina Burana. I sang alto. (Alto 1, if you're nasty.) The group was organized and conducted by the supremely talented Cara Tasher. She was all of 27 years old when we went to Bulgaria.
Allison was my roommate throughout the tour, even in Prague, when most people could have their own room. She is great fun and a fellow Columbia grad.
Bulgaria is random because so many different groups have come through it, hence this random amphitheater in Plovdiv, the second largest city. (We were huge in Plovdiv!)
We didn't actually sing there, but I wanted to.
Lunch during one of our first afternoons in Plovdiv. Someone ordered fried frogs legs as an appetizer. They tasted like chicken.
Random poster in Plovdiv
A local woman selling her wares in one of the main squares.
This was the bus that carted us around for two weeks. You'll notice it has no bathroom, but we were never on it for very long. For quite a few years I had this photo, a 5 x 7, framed and on display in my apartment.
Waiting for the bus outside the hotel in Plovdiv. We were always waiting for the bus. Lubo, the driver, was awesome, though. Yavash, yavash.
This was taken after our performance in Sofia, at around 9:30 at night. You'll notice that the sun is just setting.
Veliko Turnovo: One of the most beautiful little towns I've ever visited.
Everyone all gussied up for a fancy dinner on top of a hill in Veliko Turnovo.