Sunday, August 24, 2008

I ♥ NY, But I Miss Suburbia

There have been a few things that I have missed having in my life since I moved to the City. And, while you can get just about anything you need here, there a few things that are left to the Suburbanites to enjoy . . . one of my favorite stores that I've missed is The Rack. I've always loved having a Rack close by to frequent every few weeks for fantastic Nordstrom outlet finds.

My family gave me a gift card for Nordstrom's as a going-away gift when I accepted my job here, but I've been unable to redeem it yet since we don't have a Nordstrom's anywhere in the city. After I looked up the closest location of a Nordstrom's in Long Island, I also saw that a Rack wasn't too much farther . . . and, since I knew I could redeem a Nordstrom's gift card at the Rack, I thought it would be worth making my money work a little harder and make it a field trip.

Carrie was here this weekend and had a car. So, she volunteered to be my chauffer. We left Saturday morning and made a day of it. It wasn't until we arrived, though, that we became so ecstatic! As we pulled up, we found a bounteous shopper's paradise complete with a Wal-Mart, Costco, Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, Off 5th, and Steve & Barry's. We fueled up for our shopping adventure by first enjoying lunch at the Cheesecake Factory before finishing the afternoon at Costco, picking up some much needed bulk items. They matched my $7 pants perfectly!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Who Said the Customer is Always Right, Anyway?

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 . . .

Monday, August 18, 2008

I am The Flying High Auntie in The Sky

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. . .

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Spotlight's On Me!

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!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'll Limit My Commentary to the Weather . . .

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!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I Said To Get Back to Work!

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!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm Now the Teacher's Pet

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:

Purple Larkspur
White Stock
Blue and White Hydrangea
Pink Snapdragon
Pink Roses
Lemon Leaf

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thank You For Not Smoking

I rose out of bed early this morning to make my way to the NY Flower Market. I am starting my next floral design class tonight and had to pick up some last minute supplies before heading to the office. The air was crisp and warm, thanks to the rainstorm that just passed through early this morning. I managed to make it safely off the subway this morning after nearly witnessing a "chick smackdown" take place right next to me and I was now walking along 28th St, anxiously making my way toward all the floral shops. As I walked westward and got closer to the array of roses, lilies, delphinium, lemon leaf, carnations, and eucalyptus, I took in a deep breath, attempting to take in all of the familiar smells . . . "hack", "hack", "hack!".

Without realizing it, I had inadvertently followed a smoker off the subway and he had picked just this moment to "light up". I followed him down the crowded streets, trying to avoid breathing in that awful smoke, but it was to no avail! I even tried to pass him a few times to move out of the downwind stream, but his pace was just a half-step faster than mine, making it impossible to gain enough ground to pass completely in front of him. He finally crossed the street and moved out of my path. I tried again to take in a deep breath; a smile appeared on my face. . . a second deep breath and, again, more smoke!

I continued to walk behind two other smokers this morning before finally reaching my destination! I had no idea that the area on 28th St between Park Ave. and 7th Ave. was a smoking section and a haven for those morning commuters! I hope next time I'm brave enough to say something to my fellow New Yorkers--after all, how can I enjoy the wafting of flowers in the Flower Market, when your'e wafting your smoke at me?