To Spill Or Not To Spill…

Do you ever get sick of yourself?  Like, when you’re talking, and suddenly you just want to scream, “Blah!  I don’t wanna talk about me anymore!  I’m over myself today!”  This happens to me a lot when I’m working at the salon, and mostly because I feel like so much of my day revolves around talking about my life.  I think other hair stylists will agree, when women are at the beauty salon they want to gossip, and let me tell you, I’ve heard some cray cray stuff in my time as a stylist.  What always surprises me, though, is how much clients want to know about me. Their questions range from personal to general, but I find that more often than not, I’m asked these questions: What brought you to New York? How long have you been married? How did you meet your husband?  What does your husband do?  Where do you live?  Do you want children?

Sometimes I feel like these ladies are looking at me all like:

You know you want to.

You know you want to.

I really don’t mind sharing things about my personal life, but sometimes it gets exhausting.  It can feel good to talk about myself and therapeutic to share stories, but there are other instances where divulging too much has made me feel overexposed.  I remember telling one client about the time Matt got really sick when we were living in Grenada and how scared I was.  An almost stranger knew about one of the most terrifying moments of my life, and I felt really weird about it afterward.

I think sharing personal anecdotes are one of the big ways women connect with each other (and human beings in general).  Women are emotional creatures, I get it, and I am very emotional, but I do find as I get older, I’m turning into more of a dude.  I don’t really like to have super long conversations on the phone anymore, I can’t stand gossip, and I’ve started to take things at face value more.  Maybe it’s because I live with a dude, maybe it’s because I’m content with where I am in my life, or maybe I simply spent my entire 20’s analyzing myself, and now at 30 I’m spent.  Either way, it’s safe to say I’m just not that into me anymore.  I mean, I love myself as I believe every confident person should, but I just don’t care to brag about how awesome my life is.

I guess I’m too busy living.

~The End.

Photo by Anne Taintor.

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An Open Message to the Guy Who Lives Above Us…

Dear Guy Who Lives Above Us,

You don’t know me, but I live in the apartment below you.  I probably know you better than you think.  I know about the atrocious sleep schedule you keep, I know that you don’t work very much if at all, I know that you like to move furniture around at all times of the day and night, I know that you like Good Morning America (I can hear you watching it every morning), I know that you sometimes dance all by yourself (mostly late at night), I know that you have very, very loud and obnoxious friends, and I know that you enjoy Wyclef Jean.  Cool.  So do I.  Particularly, I love his rendition of “No Woman, No Cry.”  Here’s the thing though, Guy Who Lives Above Us, I don’t really enjoy Wyclef Jean at three in the morning…on a Sunday.

It’s not like you don’t know that you’re noisy.  Multiple neighbors have filed complaints about you, including the elderly woman who lives above you. Then, the night when Hurricane Sandy hit New York, you really outdid yourself.  You had a party that lasted all day and all night.  Some part of you decided it was a grand idea to have this massive party at your place in Brooklyn.  You must have said, “Hey guys!  Party at my digs!  My neighbors won’t mind!!!”  Just curious, what made you think that was a good idea?

Maybe you thought that it didn’t matter, because most of New York was shut down and didn’t have to work.  I get it.  I didn’t have to work, but guess what?  Other people did have to work, including my husband.  Yes, he still had to report to the hospital by 7 AM, even though your party didn’t stop until 5 AM.  And by that time, he was already up for work.

Not cool, Guy Who Lives Above Us, not cool.

I’m not really sure where we go from here, but I’m just going to put this out there:  The next time I get the urge to sing Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” or “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift at the top of my lungs, I’m going to do it.  Yeah, I just may belt one of those suckers out, and make you listen to me.  Then again, I may sing a song with notes I can’t hit, notes that make me screech, and make you listen to me try.

So there.

The moral of this story, Guy Who Lives Above Us, is that sometimes your poor decisions make me go…

Seriously.

We’re pretty nice people (The People Who Live in the Apartment Downstairs), and hey, we’re just trying to get some sleep.  So, can you please just shut the f*ck up.  Please?

Thanks.

Sincerely,

The Girl in the Apartment Downstairs

P.S. Does anyone else have noisy neighbors?

~The End

Photo by Anne Taintor

Holy Sh*t! Airplane Manners, People!

It leaves you speechless alright, and sometimes not in a good way.

So, yesterday I flew back to New York after a week and a half with my family in Detroit.  The flight from NYC->DETROIT is typically a quick hour and a half flight, and relatively painless: key words being “relatively painless.”  Yesterday’s flight was anything but.

I seriously cannot believe the array of stupidity that I saw yesterday.  People have actually survived in life thus far being so completely unaware and clueless?!  The sh*t show of bad manners was ridiculous, both through normal airport protocol, and simple airplane etiquette.  C’mon these things we should all know by now, people!

First Offender:  The So-Called “I Didn’t Realize I Just Cut in Front of You…” Person:

By now, you have all probably had your own run-in with this type of person.  It’s the person who cuts in front of you, and pretends that they didn’t see you there.  This person might also pretend to be looking at something, than casually inch closer and closer, until they downright step in front of you.  It’s a sneaky little tactic, and most of the time these people get away with it, because the person they cut in front of, is too embarrassed to speak up and say something.

So, yesterday I didn’t have one, two, three, or four people cut in front of me.  I had FIVE!  Yes, you heard me right, FIVE.  It all started when a young woman with a giant suitcase cut in front of me while I was waiting in line to check into my flight.  It bugged me, but I didn’t say anything, because I was there very early and I decided to give the girl the benefit of the doubt.  I kept seeing her look over her shoulder as if she was waiting for someone, and I thought that was odd.  Suddenly a man and a woman, whom I’m guessing were her parents, joined her in line with two enormous suitcases in tow.  Before I even had the chance to process the stupidity of these people, two more young women joined the crew of three.  Each of these girls had enormously stuffed suitcases as well.  As the group stood there, loudly chatting about, I decided to say something.  “Excuse me,” I said trying to match their collective volume, “I was here first, and you…” It was no use, no one even noticed me talking.  They were so engrossed in conversation with each other that I didn’t even get a second glance.  I gave up, but it didn’t stop me from angrily brooding over it for the next twenty minutes, and posting multiple rants about it on Facebook and Twitter.

I watched on in horror as one after another stepped up to the check-in counter, and had to be told that each one of their bags were overweight.  They bitched and moaned about the additional charges of a bag over fifty pounds, and luckily the woman behind the counter  stood her ground.  The whole debacle added close to thirty extra minutes onto my schedule, and I was livid.

When it came time to go through security, I saw the party of five making their way in the same direction as me, so I hauled a** as fast as I could, and managed to successfully get in front of them.  A small victory for such an annoying fiasco.

Second Offender:  The Dreaded “I’m Going to Perform all of my Gross Rituals in Public…” Person:

Being a regular commuter in my daily life has taught be a lot about reading people while traveling.  For example, I can spot someone who wants to talk for the whole flight, and I’m good at predicting whether someone will be considerate.  The minute I saw this man approaching I just knew I was in for it.  I prayed he wasn’t going to be the one to occupy the seat next to me, but of course he was.  It’s always like that, isn’t it?  First of all, he stepped on my toe while getting to his seat, and also hit the woman in the head who was sitting behind us.  He never apologized to either of us.

It could have been an accident, so I chalked it up to an honest mistake.  That is, until he proceeded to get himself very comfortable, and one of the ways he accomplished that was by taking off his smelly sandals.  His feet reeked of vinegar, and everyone around us turned to see who was creating the stench.  If that wasn’t enough, he picked and prodded his smelly feet for at least a half hour, while I tried not to gag.

Eventually he passed out into a peaceful slumber, but he was the only one who found peace.  The rest of us had to listen on as he noisily snored, and I personally had to deal with his elbows as he slept with both of his arms up above his head.  Don’t even get me started on the offensive body odor that emanated from his pits.  When he finally awoke, he got up to use the restroom, and stayed in their for at least fifteen minutes.  When he finally resurfaced, I decided to use the bathroom as well.  It wasn’t a surprise to me, when I walked into the cramped space that he carelessly left the toilet seat up, and may or may not have urinated all over the bathroom floor.

The flight ended up being terribly delayed because of rain storms in New York, so we circled around for close to an hour, and until it was safe to land.  For the rest of the flight I tried my best to tune him and all of his bad manners.  I think I actually succeeded at it for a little bit, too, but by that time the flight was over anyhow.

I really thought I had seen it all between the subway in New York, and traveling on the Long Island Railroad.  However, yesterday it became obvious to me that there is clearly still a lot more to see.  Lucky me.

Does anyone else have any bad manner airport/airplane experiences to share?!  Is anyone else disgusted by how some people behave?

~The End

Photo by Pinterest.

Dolly and Bunny in the City that Never Sleeps…

Last weekend was a BFF extravaganza.  My husband went away to Montauk for his brother’s bachelor party, so I stayed at home in Brooklyn and had a little party of my own with my friend Reagan.  There is something about my friendship with Reagan that makes both of us revert back to grade school giggling, where we laugh until we can’t breathe at just about nothing.  Do you have any friends like that?  You know, the kind that make you laugh so hard you pee?  Reagan is that friend for me.  We’ve been friends for a long time, and have been with each other through some pretty tough stuff, but we’ve always managed to laugh and that’s what I love most about our friendship.  Laughter is what makes our relationship so special.

Me and Reagan aka Dolly and Bunny

When I was young my grandma used to tell me stories about her friend, who was nicknamed Babe, and all of the shenanigans that the two of them got into.  I loved those stories, and I could always picture Babe and what she must have looked like, with her strawberry blond hair in banana curls and red lipstick.  Usually the stories all had a similar theme with Babe being the more adventurous one, and my Grandma, whose name was also Sarah, following her lead and getting into trouble.  I’m not sure if my Grandma had a nickname, too, if she did, she never told me.  Sometimes I like to imagine that she did, and what it might have been.  About a year ago, I told Reagan the story about my grandma and her friend Babe, and she decided we needed ‘old lady nicknames,’ too, for when we tell stories someday.  Thus, the nicknames Dolly and Bunny were coined.

This past weekend was filled plenty of Dolly and Bunny stories and tons of hilarious antics.  What if I told you we saw a psychic, took in an awesome Off-Broadway show, visited Reagan’s daughter named Piper Jane, and sang Kumbaya with Woody Harrelson?  Would you believe me?  And yes, that last one is true.

Our weekend was quite eventful.  On Saturday, we saw an Off-Broadway show in Soho.  Reagan’s friend Jen is a really talented lighting designer for numerous Broadway shows, and highly recommended a musical she recently worked on called Triassic Parq.  It’s a hilarious parody about Jurassic Park from the dinosaurs points of view, and I’ve got to tell you, I felt truly inspired by the fine arts after seeing it.

Triassic Parq

Reagan and I have talked about going to a psychic forever, but the timing has never been right.  After seeing Triassic Parq, we walked out of the theater and were just about to hail a taxi cab, when some crazy gypsy lady called out to us from her little shop.  We kept on walking until we both took one look at each other and said, “Should we go back and do it?”  We said, “What the hey,” and turned around and went for it.

Me getting my reading.  So…the gypsy lady told me I was going to have twins…BOYS!

A weekend with Reagan wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to Blythedale to see  her sweet daughter, Miss Piper Jane.

One of the happiest and silliest kids I know.

The Pip loves stories about pink fairy princesses.

Reagan and I being silly and trying to fit in Piper Jane’s super cute plaid blazer.

It really was a great rendition of Kumbaya.

So, why were Reagan and I hanging with Woody Harrelson?  Reagan’s friend Jen, the lighting designer, is working on a new play with him and she invited us to join the rest of the crew for a bite to eat after a rehearsal.  Woody was really nice, and as I mentioned before, we really did sing Kumbaya with him.  Yes, it was random, and I have no idea how or why that happened…but it did.

Last weekend is sure to go down in Dolly and Bunny history.  Just like my grandma’s friend Babe who was always getting her into mischief, Reagan certainly gets me into some monkey business, but I don’t mind.  It gives me plenty of material for many ‘old lady stories’ to tell in the future.

I used to wonder if I would ever have a friend like my grandma’s friend Babe.  I think life has a funny way of bringing people into your life that bring out something different in you that no one else does.  Maybe Reagan brings out my goofy side.  Maybe Babe brought out the silliness in my Grandma, and that’s why she had such fond memories about her.  All I know, is that I’m sure happy that I have a true friend, a Bunny, and that we laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.

~The End.

Photos by Broadway.com and moi.

The Kid Table

Can we talk about something really important for a minute?

Manners.

This post was directly inspired by a post from another blog on manners that I read recently about people who stand to close.  It got me thinking about one of my biggest pet peeves.

On Tuesday mornings I take the 6:27 am train into the city from Long Island to get to work by 8.  Every morning, but especially the really early trains, are always packed with other commuters trying to get an early start at work.  Needless to say, it’s a struggle to get a seat on the train, and any commuter knows that sometimes you end up sitting next to some, well, interesting characters.  If you want a pleasant ride to work, it is vital to choose a seat next to someone who is like-minded.  When I’m picking my seat, I try my best to find someone who looks like they want the same kind of ride to work that I do, which is a quiet interlude before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.  Usually I look for someone with a newspaper and coffee in hand, because that typically means they just want to drink their coffee, read their paper, and not be bothered otherwise.  But I’ve been wrong.  Oh, I’ve been so wrong before, and made decisions that have ended with me practically banging my head against the window at some people’s bad manners.

On these rides, I’ve encountered a wide range of bad manners, so much so that I could probably write a book on train etiquette.  I’ve experienced such things as, two women sitting next to one another yapping loudly on an otherwise quiet/serene train about their menstrual cycles, clipping fingernails, painting fingernails, someone humming to music on their iPod for the full hour ride, people putting coats/and or bags down on the seat beside them so that some other poor unfortunate soul can’t get a seat and has to stand the whole time, smoking in the bathroom, and much more.

Perhaps the worst, and the absolutely most egregious of them all, was the man who sat beside me one Tuesday.  He seemed nice enough as he sat down next to me with his newspaper tucked under one arm, and a white paper bad under the other.  He was middle-aged, bald, and married (I could tell because he had a ring on his finger).  I was watching a movie for my film class on my Kindle with head phones in, and when he asked to sit down, I scooted over as much as I could to give him room.  I was right in the middle of watching a Danish film with subtitles, when he broke open his white paper bag,  unveiling two bagels with cream cheese that were wrapped in thin paper.  He wasted no time unwrapping the first and digging in.  There I sat, minding my own business watching my movie, and sipping on my coffee that I brought in my travel mug.  I was trying to pay attention to the subtleties of the film, like lighting and camera angles, hidden meanings in dialogue so that could write my six page paper later on that night, when I began to hear loud, churning mouthfuls of the man eating his bagel.  I paused my movie for a second, and hoped that the resounding smacking of food churning around in his mouth would soon subside.  Instead, it went on and on and on and on.  Each time he took a bite, he smacked his mouth open and closed, so that I could hear the very moment his bite of bagel and cream cheese began to mix with his saliva.  I sat there in disbelief that a grown human being was eating this way.  As he continued to chew with his mouth wide open, I noticed other people turning around to see who was eating like this, too.

I pressed play on my movie, turned the volume all the way up, and tried to block out the incessant sound of the food swirling together next to me.  It didn’t work, though, the acoustics of his chewing sounded as if they were coming out of a loud-speaker.  “Smack.  Smack. Smack,” his chomping went on.  I racked my brain trying to come up with a way to politely tell him to eat quieter, but how do you tell a grown man that?  Well, you don’t, because if he hasn’t already learned that its impolite to eat this way at forty something years old, than I doubt he is going to listen to me.  He probably wouldn’t even know what I was talking about anyway.  It was obvious that no one had ever drawn it to his attention before, or maybe that had, but he just didn’t care.  He had to have noticed the multiple people around him giving him dirty looks, but it didn’t matter, because he was going to swish the food in his mouth like a whirlpool whether it bothered everyone else around him or not.  Sitting next to this guy was like sitting next to a two-year old at the kid table.

When he finally finished the last bite of his bagel, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I began to watch my movie again, but just as I started to get into it again, there was the smacking again.  However, this time he was chewing gum.  I saw him put piece after piece of gum in his mouth, and to be honest, I’m not even sure how he managed to fit nearly an entire pack of gum in there, but he did.  There he sat, snapping away at his gum.  Luckily, the train ride was nearly over at that point, and I resolved to shutting my Kindle and giving up on the movie.  When we got to Penn station, I got off the train, and figured (and hoped) I’d never see this guy again.

But I did end up seeing him again.  The next time I saw him, he was standing on the train platform, newspaper under one arm, and a white paper bag under the other.  I watched as he stepped onto the packed train, making his way to an open seat.  I heard him say, “Can I sit down here?” To an unsuspecting woman in her mid-thirties.  A few people who seemed to be acquainted with his eating antics actually got up and moved as if they were migrating to the imaginary good habits section of the train.

You'd think he'd take a hint...

I never saw the woman once the train ride was over, but I still see the man with bad manners every now and then.  Each time I see him, a quote I once heard replays over and over in my head.

“Good manners sometimes means putting up with other people’s bad manners.”

And sometimes it’s just as simple as that.

Tell me, what are the bad manners that you can’t stand?

Photos by pinterest.

It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want to.

That is, happy tears of course!

So listen to this…

Matt and I flew back to New York on my 29th birthday this past Saturday.  We had a rough night the night before we left, complete with Matt accidentally punching himself in the eye…No, I’m not kidding.  It was crazy, Matt was weighing one of our extremely heavy pieces of luggage, when the luggage scale snapped, causing his right hand to shoot up, hitting himself in the eye!  He had to go down to the university clinic on campus to get bandaged up, and he still has a black eye! 

Thankfully, though, the next morning when we left, everything went very smoothly, and we had a really great flight.  We got off the plane, got all five pieces of our seventy pound luggage, and made our way to ground transportation, where Matt’s parents were picking us up.  When we walked out, I saw Matt’s mom and dad waving to us.  They made their way toward us, and we said our hello’s.

Matt and his Pop.

Then, suddenly something or someone caught my eye…

I looked…

Then, I took a double take…

It was my parents!

My dad is not in the picture, because he was the one taking the pictures!

They came to New York all the way from Michigan and surprised me for our U.S.A homecoming, and for my birthday.

The craziest part is…I had NO idea.

When I saw my mom in her red coat, I didn’t believe it.  For a second, I thought I was just seeing someone who looked like her, but then I saw my dad smiling as big as his mouth could smile, holding his brand-spankin’ new movie recorder, and that’s when I knew it was real.

I was beyond surprised.

Matt's mom, my mom, and me.

Let me say this, it really is hard to dupe me.  Naturally, I am a very inquisitive person, I ask lots of questions, and I easily pick up on discrepancies.  My parents told me a host of lies to pull this thing off, complete with forwarding their house phone calls to their cell phone, so that I wouldn’t catch on.  Last Friday my parents went into the city for a viewing of Regis and Kelly, when I called, and they told me they were out Christmas shopping.  Somehow I fell for everything, and to be honest, I am a little shocked that I did!  P.S.  I am convinced I didn’t catch onto the scheme, because I had been so busy packing and getting ready to move, but everyone else says that they just fooled me really, really well.  Maybe they’re right!

The best part was, Matt’s mom had orchestrated the whole event months ago!  She invited my parents to stay at their house, and my parents took her up on it, and had been visiting for days, before Matt and I even got home.  How cute is that?

I’ve literally never ever been more surprised in my entire life…not even when I got engaged!!

It was my best birthday ever.

Here are some other shots from that day.

Homecoming and birthday dinner.

That's a big bowl of pasta, eh? That's how we Italians do it up.

Did you notice that the name on the bottle says Palma? That's because Matt's dad makes wine. Cool, right?

Birthday cake! My absolute favorite, Baskin Robins Oreo cookie ice cream cake.

Opening birthday presents! That's my dad sitting next to me, and my mom sitting on the floor.

My parents went back to the Mitten State on Monday, but Matt and I have enjoyed some long overdue time with his family, including his twin nephews James and Joseph.  I even had the honor of doing their very first haircut!

Joe-Joe Bear

Sweet Baby James (like the James Taylor song.)

All I can say is, it’s good to be back in good ol’ New York, New York, and on American soil.  Just yesterday, Matt and I walked into a grocery store, and I’m not even kidding, I felt like I was entering the gates of heaven when I saw the enormous variety of food.

I have to admit, it is quite cold here, and I already miss that Caribbean sun, but not enough to give all this up.

Nope.  Not even close.

~The End.

Shall We Brunch?

There is something so divine about brunching, isn’t there?  When I’m in New York, one of my very favorite things to do on a Sunday afternoon is to go to brunch, and to order my uj of a goat cheese, tomato, and basil omelet, a spicy (non-alchy) bloody mary, a cup of coffee with full fat half and half and two splenda’s, and a homemade muffin to pick at on the side.  That’s what I usually order at my favorite brunch joint, Isabella’s, anyway…

So, lately I’ve felt a little melancholy about my old brunching days, and just a little reflective about NYC in general.  Since I’ve been in Grenada, this time of year has been the hardest for me, because you don’t really know me, if you don’t know about my love for the fall in New York.  I mean, there’s a reason why they’ve made movies called Autumn in New York.  It makes me sad every time I think about another fall season going by that I’m missing.  There is just something about drinking a non-fat extra hot chai latte, while traipsing around  Central Park and looking at the beautiful changing leaves.  In my opinion, it’s just the most gorgeous time of year, and as a friend and I once dubbed it: the most amazingly awesome weather for fashion ever (hence the perfect time to sport a t-shirt and a scarf, a skirt and cute riding boots, a dress with a light fall jacket, etc.)

Can't you see why I love it so?

So, when I was invited over by a friend of mine for brunch at her apartment, it came at the perfect time and when I needed it the most.  I took my invitation to the brunch very seriously and baked a homemade pumpkin bread from scratch.  It was raining while I was baking, and for a minute, the spicy smell of the bread made me feel like it was really fall weather out, and not the 100 degrees that it really was.

I honestly looked forward to my little event with the girls all weekend, and when it came time, it was just so much fun to do something different for a change.  It can get pretty monotonous around here, so it was fun to shake things up a bit.

We had good conversation…

FYI: This conversation was definitely not as serious as it seems to be...

We had a delish spread of treats…

Yes, the watermelon is yellow here...Weird, huh?

Delish egg fritata, watermelon, blueberry bran muffin, pumpkin bread, and a mimosa to top it off right...

A cute little puppy for company, too…

Chewy was so ready for his close up...

Wouldn’t be complete without a little girl talk…

A little gossiping never hurt anyone...okay, so that's not true, but let's face it, sometimes it's needed.

It was a fun morning, and definitely did the trick in making me miss New York a wee bit less.  However, when I walked outside after my lovely get together, and I felt the heat beating down on my shoulders, I realized there was unfortunately nothing that could make me miss my favorite season in New York less…except for maybe New York itself.

~The End

Central Park photo by stephaniefrost.net