and a new week begins

First, some fabulous points:

  • I’m reading “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” the second in the series. Enjoyed the first book. Having something to read is the best.
  • I’m loving NYC right now. Mid-to-late summer temps, everybody’s happy and relaxed, it’s vacation month for most of the city.
  • I have a free gym membership for the month of August.
  • Harvard Sailing Team is making a movie in two weeks with the money we won for the Friar’s Club. Can’t wait.
  • Going to Vegas for my cousin’s wedding over Labor Day. Can’t wait.
  • Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Tuscan Bread is my favorite bread. Related: I think the world needs some toast restaurants. Toastaraunts.
  • Summer rules.

Speaking of summer, I went to the beach this weekend for the first time this season. It was so nice. Kevin and I went to New Jersey to spend time with our friends and their adorable 5-month old baby. (Her name is Luna. Don’t you love that?! She’s a little angel.)

We had such a nice time eating homemade veggie pizza from the grill (yum), drinking wine and visiting a lovely place called Grounds for Sculpture.

This is Rat’s Restaurant, which is inside the sculpture park. The whole park is beautiful and fascinating as hell. And this restaurant is no exception – it’s a magical place that seems like it fell out of a fairy tale. We didn’t eat there, just got to tour through it, although I heard the food is really good.

Incidentally, the Executive Chef at Rat’s is on Top Chef Season 7 right now! He’s the guy named Kevin with the glasses. (I love Top Chef. Angelo’s gonna win, right?)

It was such a sweet little weekend trip. Our hosts, Scott and Mary Ellen, were so generous. And I’m plotting to eat their baby with whipped cream.

I’m excited for the new week to begin. Good things are happening in small bursts lately and I’m feeling energetic and eager to keep working. Hope you all have a good week too!

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the haircut!

Eep – I really got a talking to from a few of you guys via comments and email for not sharing my haircut sooner! Sorry to leave you hanging.

I did indeed decide to cut my hair after blogging about it last week. The deciding factor was that my mom generously offered to pay for the cut. I humbly accepted. So off I went to the salon, looking like this:

Yikes.

Now, as much as this does look like I literally put a mop on my head and snapped a photo, they ask you to show up to the salon with your hair totally unstyled and without product in it. So, no, I wasn’t walking around NYC looking like a cockerspaniel on a daily basis.

But I will say that whatever I was doing with it in public couldn’t have been much of an improvement.

The finished product left me feeling much lighter.

Of course, I have yet to successfully make it look like it did when I left the salon that day, but that will forever be the plight of the woman with a new haircut, so I’m not gonna sweat it.

Thanks for all the positive feedback, everybody!! And thank you, Mom, for making it possible.

better

I’m feeling much more balanced today, y’all. Just in case you were worried about me. There’s a lot going on and it can be overwhelming, but it’s all really good stuff. I’d be insane not to focus on the positive.

Talking it out to Kevin really did make me feel a lot better. It also helped to put on some big girls clothes and get the hell out of the house. I did two improv shows last night, had some nice chats with friends and felt much better this morning.

It’s a hot, sticky soup of a day in NYC ¬†and I’m holed up writing, working, blogging in the delicious air conditioning.

sometimes you just have to

I had a grouchy day yesterday.

When I was in my late teens or early twenties, I used to have grouchy days too – those days where nothing is right, everything feels off, you feel unsuccessful, incapable and unmotivated. But at the time I always thought, at least I’m not a full-grown adult yet. Once I become an adult, I won’t have days like this. Or if I do, they’ll be much easier – I’ll be able to understand them or fix them. OR everything in my life will be so perfect that it will be impossible for me to feel badly about any of it.

That didn’t work out as planned…

Since I’m turning 30 later this year, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the expectations we set up for ourselves when we’re younger that may or may not become realized when we grow up. 30 is an age that people like to put stuff on. It’s a meaningless number when you’re a kid, but it’s also a number that seems so far away. You think you can make promises about how life will be by then and you won’t have to worry about fulfilling them for a long time.

But time moves so fast, it turns out, and before you know it we’re all dead. Murdered by serial killers in the middle of the night. I’m kidding. I can’t stop watching “Criminal Minds.”

Anyway. Grouchy day yesterday. But then we had a great, energizing HST show that the audience seemed to love. And we had a nice chat with the PIT’s very kind and attentive artistic director afterward. And then I came home and the sweetest boyfriend ever had installed the air conditioner as a surprise and I almost cried because oh my God it’s hot here. And then we sat together on the bed to catch up on our days and cuddle and snuggle and lament life’s little miseries because sometimes you just have to.

brooklyn botanic garden

I love living in Brooklyn. A beautiful park is steps from our front door, a huge, iconic library is just down the street from our apartment, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, less than a ten minute walk from our house.

Admission is $8 for adults, and children under age 12 are free. AND admission is free for everyone on Saturday before 12noon and all day long on Tuesdays! Very cool.

It’s also very easy to get to from Manhattan. The Q train goes express to the Prospect Park stop, just three stops out of the city, and the Botanic Garden is literally across the street from the train station.

On Memorial Day, Kevin and I realized a friend had given us two free guest passes several weeks ago that happened to expire that very afternoon. So we dropped what we were doing, slapped on some sunblock (Okay, I did. He…I don’t know what he does…) and we headed out to explore the garden.

It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

unofficially summer

Have a great holiday weekend, everybody! We’re staying in town and I intend to clean my house, have a picnic in the park with friends, see SATC 2 (…despite the fact that my best gay bailed on me because he’s “read bad reviews” – pfffftt), and relaaaax.

I’m going to do my best to practice not worrying about what’s to come, how much money I have, how imperfect things are. I’m going to do my best to focus on enjoying how lucky I am to be a young woman living in New York City with the world’s best boyfriend, two funny cats and plenty of Criminal Minds episodes on the DVR.

Happy Memorial Day.

vinnie’s pizza omg

I had some of the best pizza of my life last night from Vinnie’s Pizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I don’t know what drew me into the little shop, but when I walked out with this slice of sun-dried tomato, bacon, beef, jalapeno, cheddar, RANCH PIZZA (!!!!) I was in heaven. It was SO. GOOD.

I ate it on the subway platform because I couldn’t stand waiting any longer.

Apparently Vinnie’s does amazing Vegan pizza too.

this guy

Just before I quit my job back in October I got an email from my good friend Geoff, who has a 5-year-old goofball son named, Otto.

Geoff told me he and his wife, Jenny, were in a bind. They needed someone to pick their kiddo up from school once or twice a week, hang out with him for an hour, and drop him off to one of his parents. Geoff was very sweet and told me he realized this might not be how I wanted to spend my time now that I wasn’t working at a desk job, but that if the commitment was of any interest to me, they could really use my help because they were having trouble finding someone.

Little did Geoff know, I love kids so I jumped at the chance. A little extra cash + play time with a munchkin? YES. I was so down for that and flattered that he trusted me.

I’ve spent the last seven months hanging out with little Otto a couple times a week. We go to the park, we go to the bookstore, we get ice cream, sometimes we get french fries or pizza. (Shh! Don’t tell the parents.) He loves Artichoke Pizza, which means he’s one bad ass New Yorker.

Basically, we have a great ol’ time together. He has a lot to say about life, and I love to listen.

Next week will be my last week with the little guy! Geoff’s schedule is changing and he will be able to pick his kid up from school every day – a delightful revolution in the world of a Dad, I’m imagining.

I will miss Otto, but I hope to get to see him from time to time. If only so he can play my “phone game.” He’s obsessed with Brickbreaker on my Blackberry. “I don’t know why I’m so curious about that phone game! I just love it!”

Yesterday he said out of the blue, “I know why you’re sad.”

And I said, “Am I sad?”

He said, “Yeah my mom told me we’re over soon.”

“Oh yeah,” I said, “I am really sad about that.”

Then he got distracted. “Hey! My name is on that building!”

And just like that, our sentimental moment was over. 5 is a fantastic age.