May 30, 2007


This day finds me wilted and confused. Therefore I wanted to post the gorgeous flowers Craig bought me yesterday at the height of my confusion (plus the cute Jade plant we bought last weekend and the oversized bottle of vodka next to the Dewar's and Creme de Menthe...I have no idea how those got there!) Again, I don't discuss work here. This isn't the forum for that. Regardless, I'm fuming. In fact, I'm so mad, I'm unable to even focus on my train ride as I leave work at night. That was last night and tonight, at least. And to make matters worse (or better, depending on which light I'm standing in), Craig and I have launched into a new diet phase where we're tracking too closely what we eat and monitoring portions like fiends. Or, rather, doing what regular dieters do and trying to keep an eye on things. That leaves me then feeling starved, ontop of being petrified and stupefied at the chain of events over the past day and a half. Let's just put it like this (stupid analogy to follow): when offered a glass of red or a glass of white, there's a comparison that can be made between the two wines, but they are, by nature, similar in that they're both wines. Now imagine I've been confronted with having tequila shoved down my throat over sipping a beer. If this analogy makes it seem like I work for a drinking industry, that's funny because I could only wish for that over this! Literally, it is so bad that I began recording it today, from the beginning of the incident to the grand finale this morning, all of which left me wondering if anyone I work with ever uses half a mind when they show up. And obviously, with me wanting so desperately to succeed at what I do there but at the same time longing to drift about finding something in writing to occupy me, now the confusion is at an alltime high. It doesn't really matter either way. I'm shanghaied, to borrow my friendly co-worker's word today. I need this job as much as it needs me. Nevertheless, I really feel tricked. And if I could only narrate the unfolding of these events here as I did in my handwritten record that I've stuffed into a folder to hide away in a file cabinet, for material if I need it later. Although I would never, ever do anything to abuse my company. They've been too good to me. Barring the incident today.*Oh, well. Sometimes things just happen this way. Now, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I need to go make the light Thai Chicken Wraps I have planned for dinner, plus the tiny side of brown rice. I also owe Andrea a photo of my adorable birthday present so I am going to post that, too! (see below - thanks AB!!) And for the record, once more, as if I have never said this in this blog, or as if I've never thought it repeatedly through the day, or said it out loud to him enough times, or even just held it close to my heart as a private piece of me, I want to thank Craig for being unendingly sweet and supportive while this weird transition happens for me at work, all the while after I thought I was on a good track with them. He has done nothing but convince me that they're making a mistake, with which I agree. It isn't that Craig is biased on this, either. He knows what he's talking about. I just wish this week hadn't turned out how it did, because I've felt nothing but bad, I woke up at 3 this morning unable to ever get back to sleep (poor Craig!) and it's just been nothing but misery, particularly this morning at 7.30 when the whole thing became a nightmarish reality in my very face. And so it goes. So I will focus on Craig, the diet, my writing, and me. And I will remember every single day that drags me through the thick of confusion that I am living in New York. Still. In NYC.
Love No Matter What, Me.

May 24, 2007


So I bragged about this table, One-Building-Over-From-Us-Katie's hand-me-down that we bought for $47 dollars since Craig didn't have the $50 in cash she was requesting for the sale of it, and I wanted to post an aerial shot of it. That distressed red that runs around the perimeter is intentional (nice work, Pier 1) and the lip is actually about an inch and a half deep. This means we need to cushion the thing with a pillow when we recline our feet on it...but come on, forty-seven dollars for a coffee table this hot?? We're satisfied.*Anyway, today I left work at 4. Our j/v partner's employees had to leave early for a meeting in Manhattan, and things just kind of fell apart for me in the office by 4. I worked really hard today (again, I do not talk about work here but I can admit to having been really focused today) and after discovering, through various websites, on my lunch hour, an author that made me swoon (she's 33 but she went to the Iowa Writer's Workshop, which is basically a license to publish anything at any given turn on a dime) the afternoon was kind of another mess in my head. You know, we only have so long in this life to do what we think is right, and while this entire time that I (do what I do for a living and do a decent job at it) continue to hang onto my day job, there are a lot of moments where I just outright regret not pursuing this writing thing when I had the chance. I danced around it in college ~ writing poems for Cathy (amazing prof I had back then) and sharing words with people who were definitely supportive, but maybe there is a disconnect somewhere in my brain. Maybe I am only meant to get almost there but not all the way. I don't know. We'll see this fall. It will hinge heavily on whether I get to slide into a spot with my instructor from last semester or whether I'm forced into another workshop with people of varying degrees of interest.*I guess regardless, the pursuit of a dream is only as serious as the person behind the wheel. And clearly, if my pursuit hasn't been fruitful to this day, I haven't been driving at a concentrated speed.*Still, a Holiday weekend does await me. I'm so glad. Here's to Holidays in New York where New Yorkers get to relax and enjoy their time in this blessed City.

May 23, 2007


I shot this image for Craig's parents (and turned it sepia internally in the camera - oh, the features of technology these days...) of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan and am actually very pleased with the result. It's funny that being in New York can turn any average Joe Photographer (me) into a smashing successful artist in a split second, just by virtue of New York being New York...anyway, I wanted to return to post about our Newport experience before it's too far past. Last Sunday morning, Craig's mom and dad went to church (not to St. Patrick's but to our nearby Catholic mass at 91st) and Craig and I packed for our trip. I took the opportunity of their absence to deflate the air mattress we'd been using while they slept in our bed, return the bookshelf from the hallway to the second "bedroom" of our adorable tiny apartment, because before my parents arrived in April, we had re-engineered the entire layout of this place, moving a bookshelf to just outside the bathroom to make room for the stupidly large (Queen-sized) air mattress that we slept on prior to the move into our place, back at the sublet at 94th and 3rd (I just confused everything; picture it: the air mattress wouldn't fit in the second "bedroom" unless we dragged the bookshelf out to the hallway across from the bathroom and subsequently moved the dresser from one wall to another, in the second "bedroom"...nevermind all of this, just understand inviting one or more guests to stay at a two "bedroom" apartment in Manhattan might yield some rearrangement of large furniture items...!) and basically, back to while they were at church, I pieced our apartment back to the way it was always meant to be pre-guests, so that when Craig and I arrived back from Newport, it was only a matter of dropping bags on the kitchen floor and hitting the couch for recovery! All of that confusingly said, we took Craig's mom to Yura (now called "Corner Bakery & Cafe") for Mother's Day brunch before loading the BMW (Craig's parents' newly leased post-retirement cruiser) with bags and bags and bags of our stuff. Then we left Manhattan, headed north and traveled the 3+ hours to Newport, Rhode Island. I must say, despite the fact that car rides aren't particularly my favorite, we did have a relaxing and enjoyable drive. The tunes might not have suited me well (ie. I've had my fill of light rock or love ballads sung by Sade, Lionel Richie, Peter Cetera, Wham! and Gloria Estefan for just about the rest of my life) but we talked nearly the entire time, so there wasn't an abundance of chances for me to sing along in my head (since I knew all lyrics of every song from a former life where I was a light rock romantic) with all of the aforementioned artists as they crooned their hearts out about stuff no one sings about anymore unless commissioned to do so on American Idol. So, we arrived in Newport in one piece. Craig sat in the front seat with his dad Eddie, who is basically the older version of Craig in voice, personality, tendencies, stubborness and whatever else they completely have in common, and I sat in the back with Joann, who rolled her eyes as many times as me if not more at the hijinks of the two in the front.*Now, to skip to the Newport part, since I keep filling in miscellaneous details which I'm actually filling in to help me remember later at parts of our lives where we miss our families, the first sensory information that greeted me was that of the scent of stinky fish guts. Craig and I went to Newport a million years ago, but only for one day and it was such a quick tour of the town that we didn't have time to even breathe it in...well this time, yes, we breathed it all in. But, for Newport virgins, all of Newport does not reek of fish innards. It was just the backside of the hotel where we were staying, the lower class of fishermen and their lower class (yet still expensive) fishing boats with fish guts strewn about. Anyway, we checked in, gladly sprawled our stuff over the two floors' worth of space we had (kitchen, living room and two baths included) and then headed out for a walk. Without really gushing, I must say that Newport, Rhode Island is far and away one of the cutest towns I've ever, ever been in. Cute, quaint, modest yet so East Coast, seaside...I fell in absolute love with the place. So did Craig. And we spent a good portion of our day and a half there just gawking at the cool stuff. We ate amazing food, Craig and I snuck out a couple of times to play (a night on the town plus an afternoon sipping Blue Moons on the upper deck of a local bar) and we saw a Vanderbilt Mansion (the Breakers) and went to a Newport winery (as I already mentioned). Really, it was a very nice time. By Tuesday afternoon when Eddie and Joann dropped us off at the Newport Amtrak station, I felt very sad to leave them!*Then we rode the Amtrak from Newport back to Penn Station in New York. This ride, I must confess, distracted me very much from finishing my book club's American Pastoral. The coastline was peppered with sailboat masts and sun reflected on the made reading seem sort of trivial while we traveled along the Atlantic. But in any event, we had such a nice time - the whole thing, really. And now we've got a Holiday weekend coming soon and I'm so looking forward to Central Park with Craig. Craig, me, sun, Central Park and sleep. Maybe I will shop one day. Djay and Diana are coming to town to see Di's sister so we will see them, too. But oh, the delight of a 3-day weekend...*

May 17, 2007


Happy, refreshed, rejuvenated, revived, relivened, we returned to New York City from Newport, Rhode Island on Tuesday. At least, I believe we returned in that condition. To begin with, Craig's parents arrived in New York last Thursday in the later afternoon. Craig left work a little early to wait for them at the apartment, and I left a little early with him only I swung by a couple of stores to track down lightweight shirts for what I presumed would be a humid spring weekend (turned out much cooler though). I still made it back to the apartment before his parents, but they were right behind me, and his mom walked in and immediately began to gush about how adorable our place is. We do hope! We've worked extremely hard at turning our varied belongings into contemporary 30-somethings' interior design, and I think we've excelled. I stress we because for some reason, Craig opts to take all credit for all interior decorating! He's very good at it, I can give him that. Anyway, Thursday, because they arrived later than expected, we walked them to the edge of Central Park, bragged, There it is!, and walked back to 2nd Avenue to Nina's for dinner. Nina's is by far our favorite food establishment in our neighborhood. The young male host who might also be a part-owner, we suspect, knows us and waves when we walk by on any given afternoon while he is outside scoping out the street. And their food is just always so good. We love their dinners, we love their brunches. I have discovered a very buried love for the art of a delicious Eggs Benedict at Nina's. Their olive oil garlicky grape leaf chunky bread spread is also delish. The fact that the place only seats a max of 20 people makes for great dining. There really isn't anything to complain about Nina's, other than the fact that they're closed Tuesdays, and Tuesdays seem to be the day we always crave their food! But I digress.*Friday I worked and Craig toted his parents around New York: to the Lady Liberty on a ferry, to Ellis Island, to the World Trade Center site, including the Winter Garden, and whatever else. Then, I left work early again and came home to quickly change for our night out on Broadway: Phantom of the Opera and dinner at 11 on Restaurant Row. Phantom was very good. The songs weren't my favorite Broadway tunes ever but there were definitely memorable moments, for instance the theme song, and the masquerade song which opened Act II. Either way, I redeveloped Broadway musical fever and now I want to go see them all! After the show we ate at Becco, a cute Italian place which serves a pre-fixed dinner of Caesar salad or vegetable of the day plus three different types of pasta, bottomless. All of the wines on the house wine list are $25 a bottle. When I say bottomless pasta, what I mean is that they serve you a portion of each type, and then a nice waitstaff guy roams around with steaming stainless steel skillets of more of each type. I, of course, fairly well filled up on round 1. Craig indulged in a second round, however!*Saturday, then, we woke up, took showers, drank coffee, ate cereal, and left the apartment to sightsee. The weather was perfectly gorgeous, unlike my parents' weather when they were in the City! (sad!) - sunny, cloudless, warm in the sun but cool in the shade. We went to Rockefeller Center, top of the Rock (for stunning commanding views of New York City) and we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral, to Union Square for lunch, and to SoHo to wander around. I am in love with SoHo. I think it might be my favorite neighborhood in New York! Then we came back to the apartment and changed clothes and headed out for dinner. We wound up at Jasmine, our favorite Thai place in the neighborhood. Craig's parents had never experienced Thai so they were wide open to give it a shot. I think Craig's mom might be able to get by with never eating Thai again but Craig's dad enjoyed it. And after dinner we came home and watched Notes on a Scandal.*In the spirit of wanting to post the Newport adventure on its own, I'm going to keep this short. I will post again soon regarding part ii. of the adventure. But, notably, the photograph above depicts the beginnings of the second love of my life: empty vines at a winery we toured in Newport. These vines will soon be swollen with grapes which will then go through the loving process of becoming wine. I snapped this photograph while the tour guide talked about the heat required for grapes to turn into full-bodied reds. Here's to my Saturday night, a glass of full-bodied red, the homemade tomato sauce simmering right now which will soon be turned into a new vodka sauce for us, cool weather in May, doing nothing on a Saturday, and to feeling refreshed after returning from a trip out of the City. And props to the Mets for winning the first two games of the Subway Series this weekend!*

May 09, 2007


Here it is: the replacement for the old round glass topped dinner table. It seems to pale in comparison, I know. But it is working out well. And now, as of tonight, we also have a new coffee table, which will make its own appearance soon. I can't write for long: Craig and I have been scrubbing this apartment top to bottom for days in preparation for his parents' visit beginning tomorrow - but I did want to note that buying and selling furniture in New York is very similar to doing so in college: post an ad, maybe a picture, and a phone number...I call up Katie (the seller) and she informs me she's moving in a week and Everything Must Go, and so Katie (the seller) tells me she's home, so I go climb the endless winding stairs to her soon-to-be-former apartment, greet her, congratulate her on leaving Manhattan even though people leaving Manhattan actually rather deserve punches in the nose, but Katie is nice enough, I fall in love with her little Pier 1 coffee table, leave promising to drag Craig back sometime soon, I then run into Craig on the street, drag him to see the coffee table, and we buy it. It's all very much like a dream. But so now we have not only a new dining table (shown above) which was very pre-meditated but we also have a new Pier 1 coffee table that Katie, moving to San Francisco, can't drag with her across the country. And now Craig and I have a place to sprawl our legs and feet while we watch TV. Again, the coffee table will make its own appearance soon enough. For now, I need to get to bed. Tomorrow Craig's parents arrive. We show them New York and leave Sunday for Rhode Island - ocean air. Craig summons me so I must sign off. But I'm so happy that we're now loaded with tables we love. And so forth.*

May 04, 2007


Earlier in the week my mom sent me an envelope containing discs of all of the pictures she snapped while she and my dad were visiting us here in NYC. On average, her pictures turned out very well and I was happy that she shared them with me. On occasion, however, there might be a picture like the above shown. My first thought obviously went something like, Why on earth did she send me a photograph like this? Then I quickly realized she must have internally known I might post it on a blog page for the humor of it. Seen above is heavy New York City sky, a helicopter in said sky, water of the Hudson River, a miniature (unable to really be seen well, really) Statue of Liberty, and what appears to possibly be a Staten Island ferry. Now, I more typically recognize the Staten Island ferry when I see it, because it's quite orange, but my vague and quite unreliable geographical notions suggest the centimetered-sized orange vessel seen above on the Hudson in this skewed, slanted photo shot by my mom may not actually be the Staten Island ferry, because at the moment I can't exactly picture Staten Island's proximity to Manhattan. I know it's south of here, and that's just about it. So let's just say the above pictured orange line on the water is the Staten Island ferry.*Enough on that topic, now, because today is Craig's parents' wedding anniversary (happy anniversary!) and tomorrow is the always under-celebrated Cinco de Mayo (whether I spelled that correctly or not is irrelevant here). Our plans consist of the following: wake in the morning, shower, leave together so that Craig can get a haircut and I can go to 85th and either 2nd or 3rd to find the pickles and olives store that my co-worker has mentioned many times, then return to the apartment for delivery of the new table. Our afternoon will then much be based on several things: when I must leave to meet with my instructor and classmates at my instructor's apartment in Park Slope for our final hurrah slash last class sessions, probably around 3.30, and when Alison and Scott want Craig to come find them where they will begin Cinco without me. I will, in the meantime, be drinking wine, eating olives, cheese, hummus, pita, fresh mozz, tomatoes, and whatever else non-Cinco writing-collective food might be available, discussing new stories that we all bring to the table tomorrow, and probably, if I could pin myself right, glancing at my watch the whole while, wishing that our Cinco plans and my last writing session didn't coincide. So then by probably 6 I will politely excuse myself. All of this remains to be seen.*As for tonight, our favorite Chinese delivery is en route with brown rice (insert choking on excitement at the thought of more healthy alternatives to filling, sticky, happy, starch white carbs). I'm probably going to request that Craig watches Blood Diamond tonight while I work in the computer room (I'm not a Matt Damon-enthusiast, really, and don't care if I see or don't see that movie) and that we save Notes on a Scandal for later in the weekend (can't wait to see that one). Craig slept from the time he got home tonight (I had to run errands) until about 8 o' and that means he is now raring to go. I, on the other hand, could definitely stand for some sleep early tonight. But not until I write for a while.*

May 01, 2007


It's only Tuesday night and already so much has changed in everyone's lives. One of my friends, my very best friend that I always brag about having in my life, completed her radiology technical program interview yesterday morning - go Andrea! It's a competitive program but my friend Andrea is nothing short of amazing, beautiful, brilliant and competent. Clearly she's a candidate. I called her from the subway on my way home from work because I never had a good chance to send her a note in the day, so we chatted until I transferred from the 7 to the N and shot underground and lost a signal. Yesterday Craig and I ate a bunch of wheat products (after a whole day of wheat products - wheat bread, wheat thins, et cetera, we filled our bellies with wheat pasta! Thank goodness we don't have the dreaded gluten allergy...) because I suppose we've decided wheat consumption equals weight loss, which may or may not be true - we need to confirm this with Kara, his younger sister who should be our personal dietician, as that's what she does for a living and we really need one! Then Craig got on the phone with our dear, very dear old friend Timmy who informed us that his wife is due in October. Timmy with a baby! And Kara's due soon...Aubree and her husband signed papers for their new house today...our co-worker Paul proposed to his girlfriend...there are so many people we know and love having babies, having houses, growing up...and here we are in the Upper East Side of Manhattan still trying to figure things out, New York-style. But I'm not in a rush, really. Well, I say that as I just rushed through heavy commuter traffic (on foot) to get home and settle in for the night. Different kind of rush, which goes without saying. Above pictured is a glorious snapshot of the beginnings of spring in New York. This was taken on the West Side near 72nd Street and Broadway. This past Saturday we indulged in Central Park and the West Side while the sky shone blue. Sunday we loaned our glass tabletopped dining room table and chairs to a co-worker who will hang onto them for the duration of our stay in Manhattan. He drove to Manhattan from Long Beach in our company's vehicle and we loaded it up. Saturday, before heading to the Park, we purchased the previously mentioned pub table and two stools, which is not a permanent fixture but surely shall alleviate some of the space problem we have in the living room. The table won't be delivered until this coming Saturday, so I've been careening around the corner from the kitchen into the living room (where the table used to be) enjoying the amazing space opened up by that clunky piece of work I purchased back in St. Louis. Changes, changes...I spoke to Craig's niece Hannah on the phone last night and she is just a genius for a 4.5 year-old. Her voice was clear as day and her transitions from topic to topic were even mature and progressive, for her age! At one point Erica called out something to her and she called back, "Mom, I'm on the phone with Kristin!" Ha! That's the first time I've uttered my name in a post but it's to honor Hannah and her adorableness. We're going to try to travel to Indiana to see everyone this summer.*I'm sort of giddy and bubbling over with stuff right now, mainly because the spring air is rejuvenating every last rotted bone and muscle in my body and I'm feeling alive and well again, but I do also want to mention that while we were in the Park Saturday, I played my latest favorite song on repeat on my iPod and felt an overwhelming sense of hot passion for my City. The song is called "Leaving New York" and it's R.E.M.'s (which travels me clear back to being young and loving R.E.M. with old friends) and while it's not the most fantastic song ever written, the chorus lyric, "Leaving New York, never easy," or "Leaving New York's never easy" filled me with the most genuine sense of understanding I've had for a song lyric in a really, really, really long time. (Granted, I could really care less what the hell Michael Stipe meant by that line, whether it was literal or figurative...for me, completely literal!) While we were at the Park, I sat on a bench overlooking a t-ball game in the grass amongst children and a more serious softball game in the diamond beyond, cutting up xeroxed pages of an old Ferlinghetti book to paste into my journal, listening to that R.E.M. song and deciding that leaving New York is the last thing on my mind for the time being. While I'm here, I am here...not anywhere else, not in any of the multiple cities I've lived in previously, not moving anywhere else anytime soon, at least in my mind, because I will otherwise spend so much time fretting over leaving this center-of-the-universe that I will forget to enjoy it while I've got it. I guess the lesson is this: leaving is inevitable, but why bother with it before it happens...let the good just wash over you while you're in it. And I am in it here in New York City, boy am I in it.