Sunday, June 29, 2008

Liberation Day

I braved the sweltering heat and attended NY's Pride Parade today. I found the celebration blown out bigger than life, just like anything else in this City. There were more rainbows, feathers, yards of tulle, smatterings of glitter, and fake eyelashes on the parade marchers than all the NYC ballet ensembles combined (I'm sure of it)! I really enjoyed the parade overall, but a few things especially warmed the cockles of my heart . . .

Sage is the Senior Action in a Gay Environment, an organization dedicated to the well-being of seniors in the gay and lesbian community. It includes a recreation center, drop-in medical clinic, and other social services. They had several of their members marching in the parade, many of whom have been couples for decades. I was especially touched by this couple of men here; you can't see the signs around their necks, but each say that they have been together for 51 years! It really touched me that they decided to dedicate themselves to one another long before it was socially acceptable and that they continue to remain dedicated today. And, while my grandparents were able to renew their wedding vows at their 50th anniversary in a church in the presence of the Lord and the law, these gentlemen are still continuing to wait for our country to decide as a whole whether to allow couples of any gender to become lawfully wedded.

The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band really got the party started by playing "We Got the Funk". Their corp is complete with a drum major, a flag ensemble, and a drill team!

The Lavendar Light Gospel Choir is a choir with gays and lesbians dedicating their song to their Lord in the classic Black Gospel sound. They were inspiring!

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Life Flashed Before My Eyes . . .

well, at least the parts with the shiny cars! Twice in two consecutive days, the carbon based vessel I like to call my body was nearly ploughed in the crosswalks of NYC!

Last night on my way home from work, a Jetta clearly driven by a non-local girl, came to a screeching stop as the light turned red on 87th St. and 2nd Ave. As she stopped, she turned her wheel to the right, indicating that she wished to take a right turn onto 2nd, going north. Unfortunately, she quickly realized that 2nd Ave only runs one-way southbound. As the light turned red, our pedestrian signal turned green and directed me to cross the intersection behind her vehicle (as she had pulled too far into the intersection and was now blocking the crosswalk). And, just as I was passing behind her car, the driver realized that she was about to turn the wrong way onto a one-way street and proceeded to shift the gears from forward to reverse! I had to scuttle past her as she nearly backed right into me! Luckily, the guy behind me was brave enough to pound on her trunk to get her attention! My heart was pounding!

Today, the very next day, on my way out of the office and walking through Times Square, the driver of a Mercedes Benz grew impatient at the plethora of cars trying to move through the intersection of 42nd St. and 7th Ave. Clearly she also was not a local, as any of the cab drivers can tell you that 42nd St. is the busiest street in the city and is difficult to pass through at any time of day, let alone 6pm on a Friday night! So, what did she do? Well, she made sure she patiently sat through one full signal cycle in the middle of the intersection. And, only when she finally couldn't honk her horn any longer, she waited for the pedestrian signal to turn green and she then made a hard left and gunned her car through the crosswalk with about 20 pedestrians in it, including me! One more step and I would be hobbling around on crutches with 10 broken toes this week!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Princesses on the Run

I had a lot of fun this weekend letting out my "inner princess" by visiting the Bann Clan in South Carolina. Poor little Evan had to have his tonsils removed Thursday so I volunteered to fly down to help Lisa take care of both him and Sara. Since Evan was feeling under the weather all weekend, Lisa and I let Sara do whatever she wanted this weekend. And, we certainly did whatever she wanted!

My whirlwind weekend of fun began with me running around Manhattan all last week looking for a snow globe that would melt Sara's heart. And, while snow globes can be fairly abundant here in the City, this was no ordinary snow globe request! Miss Sara had specifically requested a globe that had not just one, but all of the Disney princesses. I nearly fainted when I heard the request escape her mouth over the phone; I hadn't had a hunt n' seek challenge like this one since having to find the brown stuffed horse of '04! But, I am Aunt Jessica, and I was up for the challenge!

Luckily, the huge Disney store on 5th Ave was able to deliver. After scouring the shelves, I located a solitary snow globe with Belle, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty atop a pink castle tower that sparkled with glitter when turned over. It was perfect!

After finding the ideal location for the new snow globe, Sara and I spent our weekend at the royal court, getting a tan at the pool . .

Painting our faces . . .Creating works of art . . . And pampering ourselves . . .It was so much fun and it reminded me how Lisa and I used to have fun playing together at her age!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hurra för IKEA!

IKEA opened its doors in Brooklyn today! I have already begun to prepare my shopping list . . . drapes, rug, sheets, shelves, nightstand, couch . . . now I just have to find a car!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Few Things I'm Still Getting Used To

I've been pondering a lot lately of things that I miss from living in CA and surprises that I have come to appreciate living here in the Big Apple. But mostly, there are just a lot of things that I'm still having to get used to altogether:

  1. Folks crossing the street without adhering to the signal or looking for oncoming traffic; I've had to swing out my soccer mom arm a few times to save a life or two.
  2. Having to make several trips to the hardware store to make "little" purchases since I can't carry everything that appears on my shopping list walking to/from my apartment.
  3. Men staring at or down my chest during my commute to work--oh how I long for my four door sedan that only allows onlookers to stare at my singing along to the radio instead of my size D breasts!
  4. No longer being able to eat a meal at Taco Bell for less than $4.00, for which that brand name has become synonomous in my 31-year old brain.
  5. Calling my family in a time zone that is behind me now instead of in front of me; some evenings, I'm still on the phone at midnight.
  6. The absence of day laborers outside Home Depot and the stockpile of them hitting on me outside the midtown subway stations.
  7. Having to carry my "cute" shoes wrapped in a plastic bag and walk in my comfy sneaks--two reasons: 1.) I do too much walking to be able to to wear the "cute" shoes and 2.) the streets are just too dirty to wear them everywhere. (I secretly long for rainy days that will wash away the leftover dog excrement on the sidewalks.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

To Be or Not To Be

I was introduced last night to the time honored tradition of Shakespeare in the Park. Each summer, the Public Theater provides free performances of Shakespeare plays in Central Park at the Delacorte Amphitheatre. Now, every free theater performance that I have ever been to--whether it was Shakespeare by the Sea in So-Cal or those silly westerns each summer in Vernal--has always been filled with an all-volunteer amateur cast, a dilapidated and hand painted set, and a poor sound system that picks up more wind than actors' voices. So, I was pleasantly surprised when this performance was top-notch with A-list actors from the NYC area as well as professional sets and costumes. I would have been happy to pay money for this show!

The selection this year was Hamlet, set in the post-World War II era and was headlined by none other than Andre Braugher, Sam Waterston, and Margaret Colin, to name a few. . . ain't it grand living in NYC?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Curiosity Couldn't Kill Jess

My old boss Colleen was in town this week for Licensing Show, so we went to dinner at A Voce. We had so much fun catching up; it was the first time we had seen each other since I moved to the City. She of course mentioned the blog; apparently, I have raised the curiosity of some of my readers (at least the Bandai readers), not to mention laugh lines. So, in an effort to clear some things up for you all, here is a little Q&A that I have prepared:

Q: Your apartment search--it couldn't possibly have been that hard, could it?

A: Yes, apartment searching in NYC is unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life or care to for a long time (which is probably why I will become like most NYers and remain in my apartment until my rotting corpse is removed by the FDNY). The process here can make any seasoned apartment hunter like myself begin to doubt that her years of training have only reduced her to a homeless pan handler. Imagine this: you are in a city that is filled with mostly safe, but sometimes still unsafe residential areas and has a population of 1.6 million people all scrambling to find those safe areas to live. Add to that a subway system that is an impossible to solve enigma to most first-time riders and has a non-existent punctuality rate. There are no FOR RENT signs posted anywhere except at local broker dealers' offices and the brokers who represent the vacancies usually return the 4th voicemail you leave them. By the time they do return your call, the darling apartment that was 900 sq. ft and priced about $100 less than most apartments, has a kitchen that's been renovated since 1978, a wall that can fit a queen size bed, laundry on-site and an elevator has just been rented. Darn it, you just missed it! Instead, they've got something that's just $200 more than you were willing to pay and it can be shown immediately. But, it's only got a mini-fridge, no laundry, no A/C, and it's a 5th floor walk-up (in other words, you have to walk up 4 flights of stairs to get to your apartment every day!) You go ahead and make an appointment to view it anyway, leaving the office early only to wait for the subway below ground for nearly 10 minutes, walk the 8 blocks to the location, wait for 30 minutes outside the building and end the evening with the broker never showing up! Try walking in my shoes for a few days of that and I guarantee you'll have shin splints too!

Q: Are you bored at your new job; is that why you have time to blog so much?

A: I'm not gonna lie; I am a little bored. I came from an environment at Bandai where I handled everything. In the words of Vanilla Ice, "if there was a problem, yo I'd solve it." I was proud that everyone at Bandai saw me as the Tamagotchi expert and could rely on me to provide direction on all aspects of the business. Here, The N is very compartmentalized like most large companies and I usually have to spend a lot of time at my desk waiting for information from others before I can do my job. Do I regret taking the job? I've had to adjust a bit, but not for one minute do I regret my move.

Q: Is the subway safe?

A: Yes, the subway is perfectly safe. I take it just about everywhere unless I am walking. The only drawback is that it runs very sporadically after midnight. So, if it's really late at night, I will take a cab only to save time and to get home quickly.

Q: Do you miss your car?

A: Well, during the first two months I really missed my car. But, after driving this weekend in CA, I think I got it out of my system. I felt incredibly trapped without the freedom of being able to get up and go wherever I wanted. But, I am enjoying the freedom now of not paying $4.50 a gallon for gas like you Californians! Plus, I'm in a lot better shape now that I've been walking everywhere; I don't mind it so much.

Q: Are you going to take a flower class?

A: I have to admit I started laughing hysterically when Co said that many of you had been pondering this one. . . because, the answer is YES! I have found that the Brooklyn Botanical Garden offers a certificate program in Floral Design and the advanced class begins in July. And, I am going to try to convince my boss that MTV should pay for it as part of our tuition reimbursement program (seeing as how I don't need a third degree). Wish me luck!

Well, I hope that calms all your curiosity out there! If you have any more questions you'd like answered, please feel free to write them in the comments section. I will answer them immediately!

P.S. Co and I spotted Dirty, Sexy, Money's Jill Clayburgh also at A Voce last night. Apparently, she likes it too!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Self Portrait

Well, I'm definitely no Norman Rockwell. I tried to take some photos of myself and some friends this weekend, and this one showed up in my camera! I promise to give up on trying to take my own photos from now on. . .

Monday, June 9, 2008

I Now Pronounce You Husband & Wife . . .

Stacey and Josh tied the knot this weekend in Los Angeles. And, although Stacey opted not to have a wedding party, she wanted this photo taken with Rachael and I as the honorary brides maids (notice we're both in our "chocolate"). It's sad--the three of us have been inseparable for nearly 8 years now! And, now Stacey has "sealed the deal"; we are spread across the U.S. in Arizona, New York and Cali. (I guess I didn't help the cause any by moving to NYC either!)

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

Jessica, you've risen at 2am local time to meet your flight, spent $28 total in cash for transportation to the airport and finally de-planed a transcontinental flight lasting 6 hours including a 1 hour delay with no food, what are you going to do now?

I'm going to Disneyland!

Crazy, I know, but it was fun hanging with my friends to what seemed like the crack of dawn at the Happiest Place on Earth. And, although I had to miss getting my free donut during National Donut Day at Krispy Kreme, and stay awake for 23 hours non-stop, it was well worth every moment! I have to get my money's worth on that annual pass I purchased right before my move eastward, right?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Girls Night Out

Carrie, Karen and I got all dolled up and boarded the Circle Line this weekend to attend the annual Singles Cruise in the hopes of finding true love, a beat we could dance to, or at the very least a good photo of Lady Liberty at sunset. The evening was beautiful (but no, I didn't even manage to get a decent photo of Lady Liberty)!