routine

This is one of my mom’s adorable cats, in one of his rare visits to the main floor of the house while we were in town.

Kevin and I just returned home from a week-long trip to the Chicagoland area. My mom and stepdad have two cats, neither of whom like to spend much time with us when we come to visit, which is pretty funny. We took care of them for a week at Christmastime and even then they barely ventured out to say hello.

I’m not sure I would either if I had a big, old house to run around in and no good reason to acquaint myself with visiting strangers who happen to also smell like cats – BROOKLYN cats – the worst kind.

Still, it was nice to spend some time with the Crystal Lake cats of our family when we did get to see them – they are both adorable.

Can you see little Mocha in the chair on the left? I discovered these two basking in the sun on the warm porch one afternoon. She stared at me for a few minutes, stunned or disgusted – I couldn’t tell which – and then she decided sharing the porch with me would simply not do and she scurried upstairs to her hiding place.

We had a friend stay with our two cats while we were away and he took fabulous care of them. Even so, they were delighted when their mom and dad walked through the door last night.

Look who seems very glad to have Kev back in his usual spot.

He’s drunk with contentedness.

I’m feeling a little bit out of my routines and habits lately – I felt that way even before the trip to Chicago. It was lovely to see family, to get to spend so much time with my mom, and to get to enjoy the spoils of the suburbs (lotsa driving, lotsa good food, and several trips to Kohl’s). I’m glad to be home, though, so that I can get into a bit more of a structured pattern with my workday, my exercise routine and my other commitments.

That said, I’m starting to catch on that there may never be a time when I’m satisfied with my “routine” and how effective it is, or how effectively I’m able to navigate it. Maybe that’s the point.

Oh yes, and the Chicago Improv Festival was a super fun time. Our show went well and we had fun – and thank you so much to anyone and everyone who came out to see the Jen+Steve set! We were sold out! Woot!

i quit my job today – the reprise

I was reminded today how often the phrase “quit your job” leads people to this blog and then I noticed that my post “I quit my job today” gets viewed a lot. So I went back to reread that old post, because I haven’t looked at it in a long time.

The post, in part, shared an excerpt from something I’d scrawled on the back of an office document earlier that week at my desk job:

The paperwork piles up and I stare off into space pretending it doesn’t matter. I am distracted by my own boredom every thirty seconds. I am completely unchallenged. Even if I were doing something “interesting” here, I’m not sure I’d be able to stand it. It makes me wonder if I have A.D.D. or a bad work ethic. In reality, I just don’t belong here.

There was no big moment, no final straw that led to this decision. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I wrote a long annoying blog entry draft last week about whether or not I should quit now or quit in January (after we get a small holiday bonus). I reread it after I wrote it and I knew I couldn’t post it. Because I was just sick of hearing myself talk about it. I thought, This is not the kind of problem I want to have. This is not going to help anyone else on their journey. This is just spinning wheels. This is avoiding taking a risk. This is a waste of my time. I’m not wasting any more time. I’m going to pursue work I’m passionate about and that’s all there is to it. No amount of waiting-until- January is going to improve my life.

When I read that, how far I’ve come really struck me. That used to be real. And now this is real. I guess I’m being hit upside the head every day lately with how many strides I’ve made since I quit my job. And that’s really nice. It makes me wonder what the point of this blog is anymore.

Maybe the point is just to continue telling my story. I like to tell stories.

The rest of that old entry said:

I’m going to pursue work I’m passionate about and practice trusting that the money will come. I’m not going to focus too heavily on my bank account (and what’s in it or not in it). I am a responsible person and my bills will get paid.

I am, however, going to set some specific goals, goals related to freelancing writing, blogging, the bakery, and using the value that is my weight loss expertise to help other people.

One afternoon last summer, Kevin and I were swimming at the local pool. I had been at this job for almost a year at the time. I knew I wasn’t ready to quit any time soon, I knew I had to plan and prepare and lay some foundation for myself first. And I also didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do once I did quit. I just knew it wasn’t my destiny to work in an office. We stared up at the blue summer sky and splashed our feet in the water, and I said to Kevin, “No matter what I end up doing, no matter what direction I choose, my only commitment to myself is that I will quit this job before I turn 29. That’s a year and a half from now. So I have plenty of time to figure it out.”

I turn 29 in two months. Here we go.

Brought me back, that did. I’m in a different zone now entirely. I’m sitting in my apartment about 75% of the way through my work day today. I’ve written, I’ve baked, I’ve worked on bakery paperwork, I’ve worked on Harvard Sailing Team stuff, soon I’ll go make a delivery and do an improv show. I’m starting to think of ALL of it as work – work I love to do, but work just the same. My day will end late tonight – I’ll probably come home and write some more. And we leave for a semi-business trip to Chicago in the morning. WHEW!

I’m loving it.

on our block

It’s spring and it’s here to stay. I can’t believe it’s almost MAY. Thank God. Late spring and summer are my absolute favorite times of year.

The yards on our block are blooming with flowers, the trees are doing their thang. Every where I look, I see the new season.

I spent today babysitting 6-month-old kids. Their parents live across the park from me and needed some last minute help in a pinch. I might sit for them occasionally if they need coverage when their other sitters can’t do it. The babies, twin boys, are adorable. It was fun and exhausting – phewf!

In the evening, I went to improv practice. Also fun and hard.

I’ve started keeping a log of when I work, how much and what I’m doing. Whether it’s writing, F&J work, improv, sketch or acting stuff, or babysitting, I’m trying to keep track of where I’m spending my time, mostly out of curiosity. I finally have a healthy little career cookin’ here and I’m interested to watch it progress and change.

We leave for Chicago on Thursday, Kevin and I. We’ll be gone for a week. I’m excited to see my family, perform in the Chicago Improv Festival (CIF) with Jen+Steve, and try on some bridesmaids dresses! (Two of my cousins are getting married this summer…) Oh and let’s not forget how much I love driving around and shopping in suburbia. It’s basically the best. Chili’s, anyone?

five months later – where I am now

(Photo by the very talented Eric Michael Pearson. And yes, I wore that outfit on CBS too. I guess I need another nice outfit…)

Harvard Sailing Team was in the Cosmopolitan Magazine blog tonight! These videos just won’t stop. It’s nice. Definitely nice.

Here’s an article I wrote on Gather about the hot press HST’s gotten in the last two days alone.

For my part, I’m having fun with this ride, for sure. I’m also in the midst of learning how to juggle all the stuff that’s popped up lately! Between the bakery, writing for Gather, writing for The Examiner, Harvard Sailing Team, The Baldwins AND Jen+Steve, my life is busy right now! It’s lovely of course, because it’s a wonderful kind of busy filled with all the things I like to do in my life (!!). But you still have to learn to make time for it all. Until yesterday, I hadn’t exercised in a week. I’m still practicing how to strike the balance.

On Thursday of next week, I’m headed to Chicago for the Chicago Improv Festival with Jen+Steve. We were featured in Time Out Chicago yesterday. Pffft. Very nice. Thanks, Chicago! (The other team we’re going with, Swords, was featured in the Chicago Tribune!)

(Photo by Eric Michael Pearson.)

It’s fun to learn to adjust to this new busy lifestyle. I remember the months of January and February, which were dark, cold, boring months when I was so un-busy that I did a 30-Day Yoga Challenge! Ha.

Tomorrow night is an HST show – looking forward to it! We have some great stuff lined up. I mentioned on here a couple months ago that I was taking a 3-month hiatus from the team. Well, hiatus taken, and I’m “coming back” a bit earlier than expected.

Other news? Faryn wrote a great post about Fanny & Jane at the Greenpoint Food Market. If you live in NYC and you haven’t been to the GFM, you should come. You guys! It’s totally cute and great. They’ve got live music. It’s indoors, which is not quite as fabulous as being outdoors in the warmer months, but it’s not that big of a place so you can do the whole thing in less than an hour, and the atmosphere is so fun and lively, you barely miss being outside. So many fabulous, up and coming Brooklyn food vendors present their wares at this market, and most offer free samples.

Last, but certainly not least in this update, I took a yoga class today for the first time in a very long time. It was bliss. And I also hung out with little Otto Grimwood today, who always reminds me what being in the moment looks like.

and now it’s quiet

You guys. I’m tired and I need a haircut. Otherwise, all is well and I’m looking forward to falling into my bed tonight, knowing that my life today looks more like I’ve always wanted it to look than it did 7 months ago when I was still working at my boring desk job.

The world has been racing and whirring around me and past me for the last ten days. More has happened in this short amount of time than occured in my life in the entire months of January and February combined. Hmm, that might be an exaggeration, but that’s definitely how I feel. I’m not sure if it’s slowing down quite yet – plenty of stuff looms including my kitchen is a mess and I’m desperate to exercise. But tonight, I will sleep well.

And tomorrow is a new, beautiful day.

a working weekend + a surprise

Whew! What a whirlwind weekend! My dear friends and Harvard Sailing Team teammates Chris and Rebecca were in New York this weekend for the first time since they moved to LA in January. We’ve missed them terribly and it was great to have them back – we did our show at the PIT together and made a music video!

Beyond all the comedy performing, there was also a lot of bakery action this weekend. Faryn and I participated in the Greenpoint Food Market and had a great time! We sold a lot of sweets and met a lot of fun, interesting, talented Brooklyn food vendors. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Our boyfriends came in the morning to help us set up and stuck around for a while. The Greenpoint Food Market is adorable, by the way.

These are cards handmade by a company called Pumpkin & Honey Bunny. Adorable!

There was a live band at the event!

After the easy, breezy food market, Faryn and I trekked into the city to begin the Harvard Sailing Team portion of the weekend. I spent the next 24 hours with these goofballs. Our live show was great and I think the video we made today is going to turn out well too!

We recorded one of our original songs, which we’ve never had an opportunity to do before. Kevin hooked us up with a studio and a sound engineer, for which we owe him our lives. And Steve from Hobo Audio was fantastic to work with and did an amazing job on our song.

So I have some fun news! Tuesday morning, Harvard Sailing Team is going to be on the CBS Morning Show! Woot! This is so exciting because I’ve never been on live national television before. Interestingly, we’ve done a live talk show as a group before in Charleston, South Carolina, but the team has never been live on network TV. Chris, Rebecca, Adam and I are going to be interviewed on the Morning Show as representatives of the whole team. I can’t wait / I have no idea what to wear!

Not sure yet exactly what time the segment will air – probably be around 8am or so. I’ll keep you posted (Mom).

Yay!

when one flower grows…

I was thinking today about the phrase, “When it rains, it pours,” because this is one of the craziest week’s I’ve had in a quite some time. Beyond the planned busy schedule, which I knew about going into this week, the surprises, twists and turns keep coming too! When it rains it pours, as they say.

But our weather in New York the past few days has been spectacular bordering on surreal – it was 89 degrees today. Dare I say, it was too hot. And that’s coming from someone who probably wouldn’t notice being cooked alive until it was too late. How’s that for graphic imagery?

Anyway, raining and pouring has so little to do with the energy in NYC this week, and also so little to do with how joyful I feel about all the fun, busy energy happening in my life. So I thought instead I’d tell myself, “When one flower grows, a lot of flowers grow.” Rolls off the tongue a little less delicately, but it suits my mood just fine.

The point is, the proverbial flowers are growing this week. I wish I could tell you every detail of all of it right this instant, but I just can’t. Annoying, I know. The bottom line is that I’m busy, happy, making money and enjoying myself right now. And after a long, dark, grumpy winter, that is a welcome reality.

The next few days are going to be pretty insane – lots to get done. Lots to look forward to t00, including new stickers we’re picking up from our printer on Friday for Fanny & Jane sweet treat bags. New stickers is easily one of the best parts of the job. AND! I’m performing in the Harvard Sailing Team show this weekend – I’m taking a hiatus from my hiatus (?) to do one show this Saturday night (it’s an audition-type show for an important festival, so it’s best if we can have the whole team there). Then I’ll be back for good in June. Unless something else bubbles up…You never know!

girls will be boys

(Photo by Keith Huang)

You guys!

So, get this.

Harvard Sailing Team, my sketch group, made a few videos and then we put them on the Internet earlier this week. Well they blew up! They’ve been viewed by over a quarter of a million people! Our YouTube Channel has received thousands of new subscribers.

We’ve been featured by VH1, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, College Humor, Jezebel, The Atlantic – the list is endless! And we might be on TV this week. (More on that if it happens.) Pffft. Crazy.

Some people love the videos, but some people hate them! They’ve even been called controversial according to some bloggers and websites. They’ve claimed we’re creating more gender issues than we’re solving… (Here’s an article I wrote on Gather about the concerns these videos have raised for some people.)

Here are the two videos that have spread around the web like wildfire.

i got into a fight at the grocery store

Because I am my grandfather’s granddaughter, I got in a fight with a guy at the grocery store this morning. He looked “normal,” whatever that means. (And I realize it means nothing at all.) But he was saying some really inappropriate stuff about the cashier and the people who own the store. He actually called the checkout woman “trash.” And I couldn’t believe it.

I rarely, if ever, respond to the weirdos, the asses, the jerks. It’s just not worth it. When I first moved here and was young and stupid, and much feistier, I would talk back whenever I felt like I should. But that never works out and you always feel worse afterward.

This morning, however, I lost myself. I just could not believe this man, in his expensive jacket, his cart full of groceries by his side. I could not believe he walks around in a world where calling someone “trash” and saying that she should go back to her “homeland” is a reasonable thing to do. And I guess that’s the thing. The guy was obviously not reasonable.

But I couldn’t help myself. Oof. The adrenaline surged through my body and after a few dirty looks, I finally said, “Shut up, dude.” Naturally, he didn’t like that. So he turned to whomever was within earshot and muttered “You shut up. Bit@h told me to shut up.”

And then I stepped out of my body and the following flew out of my mouth, loudly, in front of a lot of people in line at the store. “YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT. BIT@H TOLD YOU TO SHUT UP. SO SHUT THE F*!K UP.”

Whoa. I was shaking. I do not advocate this behavior. And I will not be telling Kevin this incident occurred (he can find it out here on the blog…) because he doesn’t like when I do stuff like that. Something about not wanting me to be killed or whatever drama. 😉

So I’m posting photos of today’s beautiful spring morning. To wash away the vitriol.

I’m still adjusting to this new schedule I’ve created for myself – part-time bakery work, part-time writing for Gather.com and Examiner.com. There are moments when I want to cry from joy, because if I can make these two gigs work out for myself financially, I will have achieved the loose goal I had when I quit my job: make money doing stuff I love, hopefully baking and writing.

Three cheers! That feels good.

We are in store for a beautiful week of lovely temps, if the weather reports can be believed. I am so looking forward to it. I need outdoor exercise in a major way.

Have a great weekend, everyone. If you’re celebrating Easter, Happy Easter!