The Christmas holiday was so nice and relaxing. We spent the day at my brother's where the kids had fun opening their gifts and sifting through the goodies that Santa had left for them.
Dad and Sharon drove from Utah to spend the day with us and we're glad they made it in one piece. After having a double blowout on I-15 in the central Utah desert, they had to be towed all the way back to Spanish Fork to be repaired. After finally getting back on the road, they didn't arrive to their hotel room in Las Vegas until nearly 3am the next night!
I gave the kids a karaoke machine this year for their gift; and, after setting it up we had an after dinner jam session in the garage . . . I think they sounded pretty good!
Friday, December 26, 2008
The Christmas holiday was so nice and relaxing. We spent the day at my brother's where the kids had fun opening their gifts and sifting through the goodies that Santa had left for them.
Monday, December 22, 2008
"Aunt Jesska, Aunt Jesska, it's your birfday . . . I going to sing 'Happy Birfday' to you!", Hudson delighted when he bounded into the living room Sunday morning to greet me.
I was delighted to have the chance to spend the day with Hudson--I was afraid I wouldn't be able to after a long day of travel the day before that included missing my morning flight, barely being allowed to board the next one, and then remaining trapped in the middle seat next to a restless 300 lb. man for the 7.5 hour extended flight. It was a small miracle that I managed to escape The City before the second blizzard wave arrived a few hours later.
Bob and Carla took me out for a fantastic seafood dinner to celebrate. And, Hudson's "birfday singing" was wonderful . . . But, I just have to complain a little that he managed to eat more of my chocolate cake than I did!
And, tonight, I finally got to meet up with my friends when they took me out to dinner to celebrate again at Mimi's. I had such a great birthday--I'm so glad I made it out of town!
Posted by Jess at 11:10 PM
Friday, December 19, 2008
Our first major snow storm hit this morning at 10am; and, it's not relenting. The snow coverage is so thick that I can barely see out my office window! (Luckily I got into the office before it began!) It's really beautiful, but I just can't help thinking: I hope it stops by tonight so that I can board that plane first thing in the morning!
Posted by Jess at 1:26 PM
Monday, December 8, 2008
Rachael flew out this weekend to spend some time in The City. We had so much fun seeing the sites now that they're drenched in greenery and twinkling lights. Friday we explored the Upper West Side, Times Square, and my office before riding the Staten Island ferry to catch a view of Lady Liberty. After flying on the red-eye flight all night long, Rach took a much needed a quick nap in the afternoon, while I took the opportunity to let the chiropractor beat me into shape at his office (but, I gladly let him do it because he's just so adorable!)
Friday night we ate a hearty meal at my favorite Thai place before going to Madison Square Garden to see Michael Buble perform. Not only did MB do a fantastic job of belting out his buttery classics at perfect pitch, but he also made the audience laugh and tear up at his on-stage antics and dedication to some of the greats like Frankie and Deano. After sitting for nearly 2 and a half hours, I felt like the time had flown by; it was so entertaining!
That evening, we strolled along 5th Avenue while little snowflakes landed on our coats, stopping along the way to enjoy the tree at Rockefeller Center and the decorated store windows.
Posted by Jess at 10:01 AM
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tonight was the lighting of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. And, since this is my first Christmas holiday in The City, I had to make every effort to attend this momentous occasion. The crowds were fierce--many people had been staking their spot since NOON. But I braved them, eventually making my way up front to a decent spot for activity sighting. The entire area was blockaded and NYPD was policing the area to make sure that no one was blocking entrances to any local businesses around the center.
Posted by Jess at 11:03 PM
Monday, December 1, 2008
Posted by Jess at 8:58 PM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Leaving work early today, I treked to Macy's to check out all the pre-parade festivities. The MC's, cameramen, technicians, and other pageantry officials were busy rehearsing the script and camera movements in preparation for the big day tomorrow. Christmas has arrived in The City!
Posted by Jess at 8:43 PM
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Posted by Jess at 10:33 AM
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My apologies--I am suddenly aware of how many of my postings are about the weather . . . I think it's because for the first time in a long time, my daily actvities are immensely determined by the barometer. The Fall has been really lovely here with just a few cold nights and rainy days. For the most part, we were enjoying warm temperatures into the high 50s and low 60s all the way up until Saturday. Then, "Bam!", the mercury took a dive Sunday night and we are not just transitioning into winter, it has arrived with full force.
I had an early start today and walking to work today was not especially fun. My inability to choose a winter coat finally caught up with me this morning. I bundled up as best as I could with my scarf, gloves, and leather jacket. As long as I was moving I was fine. . . until, about half way to the subway, I felt it. My ears started to sting from the cold. At first it was just a little tingle that made me shake my head side to side; it then progressed to an itch, and finally a sharp sting-- you know, the kind that if the 4th grade bully were to come up behind you and use his finger to simply flick your ear it would cause you to fall to the ground with reverberating pain for an hour!
I finally reached the Viacom building and stepping into the elevator--the screen read the current temp at 27 degrees! I've got to find a matching set of ear muffs for that winter coat STAT!
Posted by Jess at 9:36 AM
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I joined my friend Alla along with two of her friends Saturday night to see a french film at the historic Angelika theater. "I've Loved You So Long", starring Kristin Scott Thomas, was heart wrenching--I can't help but think that the entire dialogue in French probably made it all the more dramatic, as well. I managed to keep from actually tearing up, but Alla said she was crying from the first 15 minutes until the credits began rolling.
The night was unusually warm and so we walked around SoHo for a while before settling in at a Filipino fusion restaurant for some tea and sweet desserts. Cendrillon was a tiny, little shop in a quiet section of Mercer Street, just off Chinatown with a charming ambiance and delicious food. We ordered four of their sweet menu items and shared them around the table. One of the dishes was a black sweet rice (considered a delicacy in Asia) with fresh bananas, dipped in a caramel and brown sugar sauce; it was divine! The chef stopped by our table to chat with us and explained that the rice is only harvested for a short period of time and is served at only the most special occasions like weddings. I felt so special that I got to try the delicious treat.
We stayed and talked politics, literature, and our plans for the holidays. Soon, we were the only ones left and ended up closing the restaurant. What a wonderful evening!
Posted by Jess at 10:48 AM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
A funny sight: the pigeons on the ground are standing by waiting for a morsel to drop from the horse as he eats his oats. . . I liked to think that the conversation between the species went a little like this:
The horse says, "Hey, would you guys get outta here? I'm trying to eat! I only get one break during my shift; I'd like to enjoy it in peace."
The pigeons reply, "Are you kidding us? You complain about only getting one break a day. At least you have a job! And, it provides a free lunch?! Have you seen the price of food these days? This economy has made the tossing of leftover bagels virtually obsolete in this city!"
Posted by Jess at 2:40 PM
Monday, November 10, 2008
and depressing. Just so you all know, with the expiration of Daylight Savings time, the sun now sets at approximately 4:42pm. With 5 more weeks of progressively shorter days, the sun will eventually set sometime between 4:15 and 4:30pm . . . it's so depressing. This is the farthest north that I have ever lived--I can't imagine suffering through complete darkness like our "arctic state" neighbors.
Posted by Jess at 5:00 PM
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I travelled deep into the heart of Harlem to visit the Public Library this morning. Arriving 20 minutes before the doors were to open, I sat patiently on the bus stop bench outside reading my book and waiting for the opportunity to go inside. While sitting there, a few Spanish tourists came by and asked the tall, black woman seated next to me for directions to Central Park. I quietly listened as she asked what part of the park they wanted to visit so that she could give them more complete directions. Speaking little English, the two women passed their tour book to her with the page opened to a map of the park. They pointed somewhere in the middle area that was shaded bright green; the rest of the page was filled with Spanish text.
She immediately confirmed that she could read Spanish--thank goodness! She looked at the map and began to tell them to walk over one block to 5th Avenue and instructed them further to take a downtown bus, which would give them a straight path to the Park. I continued to listen . . .
It was finally when she began mixing "Spanish" into her directions that I intervened. She had accidentally told them that we were on Siete. . . we were actually on 6th (Seis). She continued by telling them that they needed to walk to Seis street and to take the Uno bus. I kindly put my hand on her arm and said, "Well, actually, it's Cinco Ave they want." I turned to her and said, "Yes, you're right; they should take the 1 bus that follows 5th Ave." Turning to the two women, I said, "You want to walk to Cinco Ave and take Uno Bus."
She turned to me and said, "Oh, now you want to say something. Why didn't you talk before now? You know, we have to work together. We have to help each other now." She was of course referring to our new president-elect's speech this week directing us to work together as neighbors and to bring hope back to our country.
I couldn't agree more. We have to work together! And, I was so glad to share this small moment with this woman today, my fellow New Yorker, my fellow Obama supporter--my fellow citizen for change!
Posted by Jess at 3:00 PM
Thursday, November 6, 2008
KAWS, a newly-popular modern artist, opened his new exhibit at the Gering & Lopez Gallery this evening in Manhattan. KAWS, known for his sometimes morbid interpretation of culturally iconic characters, exhibited his most recent works of SpongeBob SquarePants meshed with visually stunning bright planes on oil. I attended the exhibit with Nancy, my new supporting manager. It was a fantastic opportunity to bond with my new teammate from Nick International. It was especially fun for us to see SpongeBob in a new creative light since we see so much of him everyday at the office!
Posted by Jess at 10:47 PM
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Posted by Jess at 8:06 AM
Monday, November 3, 2008
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!
Posted by Jess at 8:03 PM
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Rock Band, currently one of the few profitable divisions of MTV Networks, launched V.2 in September and became available on Nintendo Wii for the first time ever. To celebrate the launch of Rock Band 2, our Recreation Marketing created a live band tour, featuring the game and live performances by The Cab, Plain White T's, Dashboard Confessional, and Panic! At The Disco. I was lucky enough to win two tickets at a company raffle!
So, I invited Jenn, my former cube mate, to join me on the trek to NJ to see the concert. After nearly 1.5 hours of subway transfers, walking in the cold air, riding the PATH to downtown Newark, and more walking in the cold air, I left with the memory of a killer performance from the Plain White T's, the decision that I need to buy their new album, a ringing in my right ear from the screaming 19-year-old girl over my right shoulder, and the overwhelming confirmation that I've got to pick out a winter coat, already!
So, buy Rock Band and fund my bonus, ergo my winter coat!
Posted by Jess at 11:53 PM
Monday, October 27, 2008
Carrie, Laura and I drove four hours north on Saturday to take in the beautiful changing colors, arriving in New Hampshire for their annual Pumpkin Festival. The Keene Pumpkin Festival is the largest of its kind in New England and proved to be quite the event! Attendees to the festival are invited to bring their own carved jack o' lantern, to register it, and have it become part of the ever growing annual festival record. On this day each year, the population in this ordinarily small town doubles with the arrival of folks and pumpkins alike!
The festival was complete with food vendors waving you over for a mug of hot apple cider, fresh corn chowder, fried dough, homemade apple turnovers, hot chili, or sausage subs as well as all day entertainment, pumpkin carving stations (in case you couldn't bring your own), a costume parade, a seed spitting contest, pie eating contest, and an amusement park. The culmination of the evening came with fireworks lit over the inferno towers of burning Jack o' Lanterns. So much fall time fun!
There were pumpkins of all sizes . . . this one weighed in at 250 pounds.
This was just one of the two towering infernos of Jack o' Lanterns!
Posted by Jess at 10:54 AM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Today I received the strangest call at my desk from a woman (stalker) inside the company. The dialogue went a little something like this:
"My name is Heather Z. You don't know me, but I work in the Integrated Marketing team . . ."
"And, you just moved to the International team, right?"
"But, you previously worked at The N with Ray D. during the last six months, correct?"
"Yes, " I said feeling a little uncomfortable at the details emerging from this stranger.
I asked if she had learned these details from a friend or associate that she knows in the department. She replied "No," and went on to explain that she had wanted to apply for the Sr. Marketing Manager position at The N back in March immediately before she found out that I had been offered the job. And, last week she received an email from Ray asking to meet with her regarding an Integrated Marketing project. When she noticed that I wasn't copied on the email (but instead another member of the team was copied) she took the initiative to look up my profile on LinkedIn and saw that I had moved to the International team. Apparently this chick has been watching me for a while now! (And, I am that cool now that I have a stalker following my every move!)
She asked if I could offer any insight on the position and also whether she should ask Ray about the position in the hopes of stepping into it herself. I told her my point of view and wished her well. . .
Posted by Jess at 9:04 PM
Monday, October 20, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I got the chance to sit down with my new boss today to discuss what my first week will be like on the job. My calendar is already being filled with hob-nobbing and networking appointments next week and I'm going to need to hit the ground running perfecting our PowerPoint presentations for Dora The Explorer, SpongeBob Squarepants, and Ni Hao Kai Lan . . . I'm just salivating at the thought of perfectly aligning all those cute little Nick characters along those gridlines and making them run across the screen in flashy animation!
And, my first business trip? I'll be planning a networking event and presentation for all our International partners at Hong Kong Toy Fair during the first week of January. And, when I told my boss that I would be taking the week of Christmas off to be in Cali, she said, "Well, you might want to go ahead and stay the next week, too. I mean, it would be a lot easier for you to fly to Hong Kong from LA."
Take two weeks of paid time off to work and play in Cali in December? I can perfect my PowerPoint presentations (at the beach) by day and spoil the nieces and nephews by night! I think I'm gonna like this new job . . .
Posted by Jess at 10:00 PM
Friday, October 10, 2008
So, when I announced that I would be moving to The City, all my family and friends became enthralled with this vision of me becoming a jet-setting fashionista that would be living high 24/7 and flying off to Europe at a whim. . .
Well, it seems that I am one step closer to living that vision with the new position I got at Nick International. And, with colder weather knocking on my door, I am forced to purchase a new coat for winter. This can't be any ordinary coat, either. It must be THE COAT, if I am going to become a full-blooded New Yorker and the jet-setting fashionista that everyone sees. I've seen a few that have caught my eye, but I'm still undecided.
I really liked this one, until I found out it only came in pink . . .
I really like the lines of this one . . .Or, the Peter Pan collar on this one is so adorable . . .
But, this is a classic wine color that I adore . . . I can't decide!
Posted by Jess at 12:04 PM
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Today, I booked my holiday airfare for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am going to spend Thanksgiving in Colorado with Mom and Mimi. And, I promised the kids I would be at home on Christmas day to see them open their gifts. OK, I know I'm supposed to be excited to see all my family for the upcoming holidays, but instead I'm just thinking about how much money I've spent this week!
After tallying up the facial cleanser, moisturizer, deoderant, sweaters, long sleeve blouses, bright red rain jacket (it was totally adorable and surprisingly on sale--so I had to have it, of course), a ticket to CA, and a ticket to CO, I've managed to rack up more than $1200! Ouch!
So, this week I've been repenting for my misdeeds by taking every chance I can to find extra cash lying around the house. I've come home every night this week to eat whatever's in my fridge (absolutely no eating out this week); I've listed my Disneyland annual pass on Craigslist (although I doubt anyone will actually buy it); I've taken a babysitting assignment for Sunday; I've dug through all my medical receipts for the year and submitted them for my healthcare reimbursement account; and, I've been scouring the want ads for a weekend job. Anything to get me through the holidays!
Posted by Jess at 4:19 PM
Monday, October 6, 2008
Well, the temperature finally dropped this week . . . it's been cold; it's been windy. And, it's been rainy! I had to force myself to go buy some warmer clothing this weekend. I definitely spent more money than I wanted to; and, I still have yet to buy a winter coat! How am I going to survive this cold weather? But, more importantly, how am I going to be able to afford this cold weather?
Posted by Jess at 11:15 AM
Friday, October 3, 2008
Carrie invited me to join her to see A Man For All Seasons starring Frank Langella; it just started a limited run revival on Broadway. I had heard amazing things about his performance, although I had never seen the play itself. In fact, I didn't even know the premise of the play (yes, despite the fact that the name of the play is an iconic part of the American vernacular)!
And, we weren't disappointed! Langella's portrayal of Sir Thomas More was likable, comedic, and eventually heartwrenching, as we watched him morph from a kind-hearted family man to a slain prisoner who would not betray the church at any cost.
And, on our way to finding a good restaurant for dinner, we happened upon Don Giovanni's, a great little pasta joint. Apparently, it used to be a famous comedy club that once showcased relatively unknown comedians like John Belushi, Billy Crystal, Joan Rivers, and Nathan Lane. . . (to name a few).
Posted by Jess at 11:49 PM
Monday, September 29, 2008
When I arrived in NYC six months ago, I was filled with anticipation, hope, and optimism. And, slowly, month by month, I've seen my emotions go from one extreme to another. The job that I once was so excited to begin just hasn't met my expectations and I've seen myself questioning the choice to leave my life in Cali more each day. Just when I thought it was all lost, I was filled with a new sense of hope today!
I've been offered a tremendous new opportunity to lead Nickelodeon's international efforts worldwide. I'm confident that this new position will be one that will be personally rewarding and provide me the intellectual challenge that I've been missing for several months now. And, this position will mean new perks, the chance to travel abroad, and not to mention more $$! I couldn't be duckier!
Posted by Jess at 9:19 PM
Sunday, September 21, 2008
My old boss Colleen was in town this weekend overseeing Bandai's sponsorship at the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation's Kids for Kids Annual Carnival Fundraiser. The EGPAF is close to my heart and was one of the great highlights of my job while I worked for Bandai, so I volunteered to help manage the costume characters at the event with Colleen. Plus, it gave me a chance to hang out with my favorite boss of all time!
We had so much fun. The event was held this year at the Park Avenue Armory, the historic home to the first National Guard group to be enlisted by President Lincoln in 1861. The gargantuan gymnasium gave the carnival inside an atmosphere of a big circus tent. Angelo Scarola (another ex-Bandai colleague), his wife Maria, and daughter joined us, allowing us the chance to reminisce, share yummy carnival tasty treats, and promise upcoming lunch meetings.
And, what would a carnival experience be without getting your face painted? I was a little apprehensive to do it until I saw the beautiful works of art that were walking around all afternoon. I let the artist decide what to paint and she took the opportunity to study my clothing and bone structure and to then share her favorite animal (on my face.)
We ended the evening having spicy fried rice at my favorite Thai restaurant here on the UES and then seeing The Little Mermaid on Broadway. We were in such a hurry to catch the show that I didn't have time to wash my face beforehand. A few tourists took my photo--with all that blue and purple, I am sure they thought I was just one of the cast members. And, you can imagine what kinds of looks I got riding the subway home at midnight!
Posted by Jess at 11:27 AM
Friday, September 19, 2008
I had to walk to our building across the street today to drop off some videotapes with the Nickelodeon International office. Crossing Broadway, I passed a devilishly handsome man. As soon as we made eye contact, I knew that our souls had met another time before, but my memory couldn't tell me just where or when. . .
I glanced away; his gaze on me was too powerful. But, as I turned my head to look at him again, he stared into my eyes so intensely that it took my breath away as we passed each other on the street. Who was he? My heart had pittered-pattered in that moment for the ever beautiful and never fading Tyson Beckford. I am in love . . .
Posted by Jess at 6:03 PM
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Dave returned to NYC this week for a business trip and we got the opportunity to spend some quality play time together this week. . . Monday night we visited Yankee Stadium (it was Dave's first time). Dave managed to get us tickets right behind 1st base along the field level. The evening weather was absolutely perfect for a ball game; a nice evening breeze had helped blow out the sticky mess that Ike brought with him this weekend. And, the Yankees played a clean game with a win over the White Sox of 4-2!
Tuesday night we saw the cast of Mary Poppins give a practically perfect performance in every way. And, while I was a little disappointed that the Admiral didn't have his rooftop weather station and disturbed by the dancing statues in the park, I was impressed at the overly complicated choreography for Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! And, yes, I've rehearsed loud enough in my studio apartment to sound precocious . . . thanks Dave (your secret is safe with me)!
Posted by Jess at 10:42 PM
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Carrie and I went to IKEA today to pick up a few things to brighten our humble NY abodes. After a harried journey that included three subway transfers, a sweat drenched diversion along South Street and a soggy boat ride, we arrived parched and aching for the air conditioned retreat; we decided to eat in the cafeteria first. While in line, we were deciding which dessert looked most appetizing when we saw this sign for Apple Cake. We immediately burst into laughter.
O.K., allow me to back up a little . . .
Earlier this May, after an evening at the ballet with Carrie, Jordan, and Bryan, we decided to visit the diner across the street from the theater for a little dessert. The diner was simple with a fairly large menu and a decent array of desserts in the refrigerated turntable near the window; we figured it couldn't be too much of a miss.
After crowding into a small booth, our older waitress of Slavic descent came to take our orders. We went around the table ordering a sundae, chocolate cake, cookies, and for me, a slice of apple cake. After a few minutes of small talk, she returned with our plates of sugary goodness. She dropped a small plate with a pie crust, apple slices, and a crumbled top directly in front of me. Everyone else at the table immediately dug into their late night treats, but I didn't touch mine. Jordan turned to me and asked why I wasn't eating. I said, "This isn't what I ordered. I wanted apple cake and this appears to be apple pie."
After nearly thirty minutes, my entire group had eaten their desserts and mine remained untouched. Our waitress finally returned to our table to bring us our check, finally providing me the first chance to tell her that my order was incorrect. She responded with shock and dismay. . . she told me that I had in front of me exactly what I had ordered. I said, "No, I ordered apple cake; this is a slice of apple pie."
"No, that is apple cake." She went so far as to prove her point that she walked away, retrieved a menu (which incidentally had no photos in it), brought it back to the table and pointed to the apple cake listing there. Luckily, the guys in the group quickly came to my defense and told her that I was holding a slice of pie, not cake, on my plate.
After a few minutes of bantering back and forth, she finally offered to bring me something different (while shaking her head in frustration that she couldn't convince me to see her point of view). . . I decided that I would go home hungry since everyone else in my party had already finished eating what they had ordered; luckily, she removed the item from our check.
This story remains an inside joke and seeing the menu item here at The Mecca For All Things Swedish made us laugh. Maybe that's how they make apple cake in Europe . . . er, apple pie? Or, is it cake? Pie?
Posted by Jess at 8:36 PM
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Nick Cannon (a.k.a. Mr. Mariah Carey) was in the house today pitching his new show to air on our network next year . . . that's all I can tell you.
Our general manager took him around our offices and introduced each of us to him. Someone asked me how tall he is . . . well, not as tall as me. But, I can tell you he's quite a snazzy dresser (even if I do think it's still a little early to pull out the wool blend suits just yet)!
Posted by Jess at 3:41 PM
Friday, September 5, 2008
Tonight at dinner with Linda, our meal was interrupted when the bouncer from the bar next door came out to the street to move his car (of course, I say that with a certain sense of boldness considering he is a very large man and the car was a white mini-van).
From the moment he opened the door, put the key in the ignition and turned on the engine, the car alarm continued to blare into the evening air. Putting the car into gear, the engine died. The bouncer tried to start the car again (with more of the loud alarm) and to move the car again. It died.
The engine starts; the alarm begins sounding. . . the car moves 5 feet and dies.
The engine starts; the alarm begins sounding . . . the car moves 5 feet and dies.
Finally, after about twenty attempts at repeating this pattern, the bouncer finally manages to move the car to the other side of the street and park it there. Of course, by the end of this large scene, he had a huge audience and was forced to take a bow as we all stood and stared at him . . . what he was thinking, we're not all that sure.
Posted by Jess at 11:13 PM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I spotted Sherri Shepherd tonight in Times Square on my commute home. I nearly missed seeing her; she was by herself, exiting the subway dressed down in a t-shirt and denim capris. She looked fantastic!
Posted by Jess at 8:10 PM
Carrie's family that she nannies for was nice enough to let me come spend Labor Day weekend at their vacation home in East Hampton (a.k.a. the "Playground of the Rich"). The accommodations were beyond imaginable and the Mitchell family was very welcoming; I immediately knew why Carrie enjoyed spending the entire summer there.
I rode by train in the morning and arrived at my seaside resort a short three hours later. The morning began with a heavy rainstorm and left gray clouds behind most of the day. But, the temperature was moderate and so Carrie and I dropped our things at the house, ate a delightful lunch that Mrs. Mitchell had prepared and headed out sightseeing. We visited Montauk, which is the Eastern-most point of New York and the end of Long Island.
After deciding that $8 per person was far too much money to walk around the grounds of the lighthouse, we opted instead to walk around the edge of the island and take in sights of the Atlantic ocean. After a little four-wheeling around the brush of the island's edge, we made a stop at John's for the island's best ice cream and some cheese fries for our afternoon snack; after nearly a full week of not being able to eat an ice cream cone "with a cone", I finally got mine. We then finished the evening by walking down to the Main Beach for an end of summer fireworks display.
By Sunday morning, the rain had cleared and left nothing but clear blue skies, white puffy clouds, and a soft ocean breeze. Carrie and I attended church in the morning and returned to spend the afternoon lying on the beach. It was only moments after we arrived and were setting up our beach chairs when we saw Jon Bon Jovi walking along the water. Mr. Mitchell told us that he has a vacation house just up the street. . . and yeah, he does still look that hot (in swimming trunks). After getting a little sun on the beach, Carrie and I took the girls out to dinner for some yummy ribs, more ice cream, and another "bump into" with Jim Pressman, a colleague from Pressman toys that I've known for a few years now. He introduced me to his wife and daughter, Katie. Apparently, Katie is a big fan of The N; glad to know I've got one more fan out there besides my niece. They were just as lovely and personable as Jim is.
Monday morning I lounged by the pool and read my novel in the beautiful sunshine before Carrie and I rode the train back into the City. The Mitchell's were so kind to invite me to their home. I hope I get the chance to go again . . . it was fun playing among the Rich & Famous.
Posted by Jess at 2:33 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Posted by Jess at 2:59 PM
Saturday, August 23, 2008
A favorite guilt-free treat here in the City is a small cup of creamy, whipped air with artificial sweetener--Tasti D-Lite is the East Coast's answer to The Golden Spoon. I have completely succombed to the trend and find myself frequenting it a few times a week now. Tonight, however, my experience did not bring me the overwhelming joy that it usually does.
"I'd like a sugar cone with French Vanilla and topped with M&Ms," I joyously announced.
"No, I can't give you M&Ms because they will fall all over the floor," said the authoritative and surprisingly uncooperative franchise owner.
"I'm sorry, what?"
"I will not sell you the M&Ms with the cone because they will fall on the floor and make a mess."
"You're joking, right? That's a joke."
"No, you cannot have M&Ms. If you want a topping, then I can put it in a cup. But, you cannot have a cone and M&Ms together."
"I can't have M&Ms and a cone together even though that's what I ordered?"
"No, would you like a cup? I will put it in a cup."
"Well, can I get the cone still? With it?"
"OK, but only this time," he reluctantly agreed.
I rolled my eyes, turned to Carrie, and said, "Only in New York can you order something and be told that you can't get what you want because it will create a mess." I then anxiously waited for my cone/cup with M&Ms, salivating at the thought of satiating my sweet tooth with minimal ass-sticking consequences.
Carrie and I stepped out onto the street. I dipped my spoon into the creamy delight to take my first bite. And, just when the spoon reached the tips of my tastebuds, I watched my cone tumble to the ground and shatter into a dozen pieces on the ground. I picked up the largest piece and asked Carrie if she thought it might be clean enough to ingest. She said "No" and, you guessed it, she wouldn't allow me to do what I wanted either . . .
Posted by Jess at 12:17 AM
Monday, August 18, 2008
I finally got the chance to visit some family and friends in So-Cal this weekend. The weather was really beautiful and it was good to get some extra love, a few smiley faces, and lots of We miss you's from my nieces and nephews. Here are some of the highlights:
Friday was spent having breakfast with the girls, Nicole and Alison. We ate some delicious pancakes and french toast at Ruby's and then headed over to Kohl's seeking out some fun clearance items. We found these really colorful rain hats and couldn't resist the chance to take our picture together. We had a few takes with poor Ali's face being cut off, but I finally managed to get a shot with more than 50% of each our features included.
Friday night I had dinner with the boys (Niko and Kyle), my brother Bill, and sister-in-law Elke. We had a delightful time sharing stories, sipping on margaritas (only the adults, of course), and dipping into yummy guacamole at the outdoor patio at El Torito Grill. I was then off to my Aunt Jamie's to spend some quality girl's only time with her and Lorenda. Lorenda invited us both to stay at her beautiful home in Anaheim Hills. We spent the rest of the evening sitting out on the deck for hours sharing stories.
Saturday, I drove down to San Diego to visit my brother Bob, his wife Carla, and my newest nephew Hudson. And, he was definitely a handful of fun! I decided to bring him a little bit of the City with me when I came; I had managed to find these really great NY cars, including a yellow taxi, a blue police car, and a red tour bus. I explained to him that these are the kind of cars that people drive where Aunt Jessica lives. Well, once he had them, he couldn't let them go. In fact, he loved them so much, he may have even proven himself as a new child commercial star. I mean, look at that form, delivering the product directly to camera, making sure to not allow his fingers to cover the product, all smiles, emotion in the eyes . . . he really is every marketer's dream.
He and I had a great visit. I was torn when I finally had to leave; it was a little too much to handle watching him scream and cry from the curb in the rear view mirror as I drove away. There really isn't anything I wouldn't do for my kids . . . I love 'em!
P.S. I finally got the chance to fly Jet Blue on this trip out West. And, needless to say, I am sold! So, for those of you wondering what I might like for my birthday or Christmas gifts, may I suggest Jet Blue gift cards? You can conveniently purchase them online or at your local VONS. . .
Posted by Jess at 10:49 AM
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I had the fortunate happenstance of re-connecting with one of my classmates from USU a few weeks ago. Kim Tolman Larson now works for the USU Alumni Relations office and she told me all about the happenings in Logan, while I caught her up with my recent move to the City! I guess I made a big impression on her, because she asked if she could spotlight me in the USU Alumni newsletter for August. I mustered my best Mid-western accent and said, "You betcha!". (You know how I'm always looking for ways for me to be the center of attention.)
You can read the article in its entirety here. I think it turned out very positively; although, I'm not so sure about that mad photo cropping!
Posted by Jess at 11:04 PM
Monday, August 11, 2008
For those of you that have been following the weather here in NYC (with the help of that handy little weather widget to the right there →), I'm sure you've seen that the temperature here has been much cooler than seasonally normal.
Yes, we've had the pleasure of experiencing a wonderfully lovely cold front since Thursday night that has delivered us daytime highs of 79-82. It's hard to believe that we're in August when the weather outside feels more like early May! Saturday was especially a gorgeous day with an afternoon high of 81 and low humidity. I took a walking tour of Central Park and spent nearly four hours enjoying the cool outdoors and the shady green pastures.
Walking home this evening, I had to put on my sweater because the mercury dipped down to 64!
Posted by Jess at 11:48 PM
Friday, August 8, 2008
Fridays at MTV Networks during the summer can sometimes mean, well, not a lot of work to do. So, my cube mates and I were looking for a little "busy work" when someone pulled out a few leftover Halloween wigs he had been storing. For nearly an hour, we tried them on, posed, took photos, grabbed a few props, took some more photos, and then did it all over again. . . So much fun!
Posted by Jess at 10:26 PM
Thursday, August 7, 2008
The teacher said that "it has a very nice round shape and that it's very sellable". Um, yeah . . . the arrangement! I'm good at what I do . . . 'nuf said!
Flora and Fauna used:
Blue and White Hydrangea
Posted by Jess at 9:04 AM
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Posted by Jess at 11:35 AM
Thursday, July 31, 2008
P.S. Liam Neeson was getting his kicks at the game too! But, I don't think he thought it was very funny when his face was splattered across the jumbotron twice! He wouldn't even turn his face to the camera--he was having none of that (or waving either!)
Posted by Jess at 11:17 PM
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
who made this award possible: Thu, for being the first person to suggest that I start a blog in the hopes of continuing to connect with everyone from my former life in CA; Stacey, who recommended using Blogspot over the other "mediocre Google wannabes"; Us, the mystery person who has surprisingly found this little blog o'mine among all the other NYC themed blogs on the WWW blogosphere and continues to make timely and amusing comments to some of my fave posts; Dixie, for sharing her own blog with me and continuing to encourage me to write, write, and write . . . ; Tifany, for nominating me and remaining one of my most loyal readers; and of course, my family and friends for continuing to read my online journal and to attentively listen to the joys and heartaches that I've experienced during this massive move across these United States of ours!
I now nominate the following individuals:
- Stacey, cause she needs to spend more time keeping us all informed
- Colorado Mimi, who's now pulling double duty of delivering news for her and my mom
- Lisa, who is just now discovering her own hidden talents on a newly minted blog
- Mel, who still manages to get creative with her blog and two toddlers!
- Alex, who, after reading her blog, inspired me to make my own move to NYC
- Dixie, who is a dame and she knows it . . .
- Kim, cause she's just as in love with her blog as I am
And, now I must make my grand exit before the music begins playing . . . and, for those of you nominated, don't forget these rules for passing along the feel goodness--
1. Post the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 7 other people for this award and add links to their blog.
Posted by Jess at 5:29 PM
Friday, July 25, 2008
Posted by Jess at 10:36 PM
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Posted by Jess at 7:47 PM
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
George Michael made a stop in New York this week as part of his first American tour in 17 years; and, I was there soaking it all in! When he made a guest appearance on the American Idol season finale last month and announced his summer tour, I just knew I had to be there! I guess all the rest of his American groupies agreed with me, because tickets were difficult to come by. Luckily, I found an affordable pair on eBay--even if they were in the nosebleeds.
The evening proved to be an adventure from beginning to end. I dragged Karen along with me (even though her level of fanaticism pales in comparison to mine). The anal-retentive, ultra organized, control freak in me had the entire evening laid out perfectly. Karen met me at my office and we quickly found a little Thai place for dinner before the show was to start promptly at 8pm. Karen, who dropped her phone on the train tracks last week, told me that the phone had been located and asked if we could stop by the Lost n' Found office to pick it up on our way. No problem, I thought to myself; we've got plenty of time! I grabbed my phone, iPod, work badge, purse and headed downtown. After a little difficulty finding the Lost n' Found office, Karen was finally able to regain ownership of her phone. Mission accomplished! We headed to dinner. 6:47 pm
Aura, a small Thai fusion spot on 9th Ave, had decent food, but horrible service. From the moment we entered the joint, our server seemed to have it in for Karen. But, it wasn't all for naught. We paid the bill (including a 10% tip that ignored Karen's relentless arguments urging me to leave 0%) and began our walk back toward Madison Square Garden. Since we had some extra time, we opted to stop in Burgers & Cupcakes next door to see what selection they had available to satisfy our sweet teeth. I glanced at my watch; it read 7:25 pm.
The guy behind the counter quickly became the apple of both our eyes when he added a little extra "sugah" in each of our pastry boxes. He gave us each an additional mini cupcake free of charge. With a 'wink and smile", he gave us our change and sent us on our way, with each of us strangely attracted to him and a promise from each of us to return very soon.
We casually walked up to Madison Square Garden at 7:40 pm, ready to get settled in our seats. I reached into my purse for the tickets. After a few empty swipes, I walked over to the steps, threw my cupcake box at Karen for her to hold it, and proceeded to empty the contents of my purse on the ground. NO tickets! In a bit of a panic, Karen calmly said, "It's OK, we can just cab it really quick. We still have time before the show starts." I replied, "I know exactly where they are!". So, like the distant (really distant) cousins of Marion Jones, we ran to the curb, hailed a cab as quickly as we could, climbed in and . . . sat in traffic! We finally arrived at my office building 15 minutes later after several chants in the backseat of "I am not worried. . . I will not miss any of my favorite songs . . . this concert experience will be everything I want it to be, if not more." (ie. more of me practicing The Secret.)
I instructed the cab driver to pull over to the curb and wait for me while I ran upstairs with the promise to immediately return with a "nice, big FAT tip." I pulled out my work ID and ran into the building, caught an elevator to the 40th floor, bee-lined for my desk, and pulled out the tickets from the bottom drawer. With my heart racing, my brow laced with sweat, and the tickets in my hand (and nothing else), I ran out of the building, crossed 44th St, and stopped abruptly at the door of the cab parked at the curb. With my hand on the door handle, I stopped myself from opening the passenger door when I saw someone in the backseat that looked nothing like Karen! In a sheer and utter panic of realizing that Karen was not in the cab I left her in, and that my purse, cell phone, and most importantly my pastry box were with her, I twirled my head around me searching the dense crowds of Times Square! After about three minutes, I finally found her standing on the side of Broadway nearly a block down. 7:59 pm
Karen explained that the driver didn't want to wait for me, so she kindly paid him and waited for me on the curb. We were able to find another driver and waged the southbound traffic back to Madison Square Garden, finally arriving at 8:21 pm. Luckily for us, Mr. Michael was being quite the diva and had delayed his show. We got settled into our seats and had to wait until he finally took the stage at 8:35 pm. But, it was definitely worth the wait!
George played most of his fan favorites, including Faith, Amazing, Father Figure, Spinning the Wheel, Outside, as well as Wham! hits like Careless Whisper, and Everything She Wants--even covers for Roxanne, Kissing a Fool, and more. After singing for nearly three hours, he finally closed the show with that favorite anthem of every gay man of the 90's--Freedom! And, while poor George is starting to age a little with a gray stubble beard and clearly visible hair plugs, his singing was, as the NY Times said, "as buttery as ever". This concert experience was indeed everything that I wanted it to be. My only question: am I the only one who was disappointed that these songs failed to be included?
- One More Try
- Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
- Heal The Pain
- Praying For Time
And, for those of you wondering what became of the pastry box filled with sugary goodness---it was apparently lost somewhere between 34th and 44th. You've got to admit it, I wasn't chanting any good wishes about my cupcakes . . .
Posted by Jess at 11:38 PM
Friday, July 18, 2008
My BFF Miley is in town this week for a press tour. She's been busy with her jam-packed schedule, including performing this morning at Bryant Park for the Good Morning America show. I just wasn't in the mood to camp out overnight to get a seat at the taping. And, since I didn't get to see her perform this morning, I was afraid I was going to miss seeing her altogether this trip. But, luckily as I was leaving the office today, I saw that she was taping a segment for TRL right outside our building. I got a few pics and then said "Hi" to her as she passed me in the lobby. (She's the one in the pink hat.)
Posted by Jess at 11:34 PM
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The Subway is crawling with them. . . the streets can sometimes be overflowing with them. . . Times Square is home to some of the most peculiar breed of them . . . no matter how much you try to seek them out, they only seem to show themselves when you aren't paying attention. . . and, when you eventually notice them, you're still not quite sure you believe your eyes. . . character actors.
This morning I walked into the subway like I do every morning on my regular commute. The heat finally turned up today and so I sat down as quickly as I could on the bench by the train platform and continued digging in my purse for my electric fan in the hopes of relieving the sweat dripping from my forehead. A few minutes later, a young woman passed directly in front of me and completely turned her head in a downward stare as she went by. She followed it up with a second look over her shoulder. It was the strangest thing; all I could think was that I must really be quite the sight with my dripping makeup! I turned to the tall gentleman sitting next to me and commented, "Apparently, we look very interesting."
He slowly removed his sunglasses, turned to me with a sly smile and replied, "I guess so." It was in that moment that I finally recognized him and he knew it, too.
I decided to make a joke of it and said, "Well, I couldn't tell if she was staring at you or me, to be honest."
He snickered, winked at me and said, "She was definitely staring at you, I would say." The train pulled up to our station and we both hopped on different cars. Edward Herrmann and me, that is. We hopped on two different cars and went our separate ways. But, I like to think we became fans of each other this morning.
Posted by Jess at 11:08 AM
Sunday, July 13, 2008
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Yes, that's a surfboard on the 6 train heading Uptown. I haven't seen a surfboard since last Summer in Cali. And, I certainly don't know of any local beaches that offer good surfing. . . it was amusing nonetheless. And, a testament that absolutely nothing is a surprise to me anymore in this city.
Posted by Jess at 10:24 PM