Monday, September 29, 2008

And, There Was Hope Again . . .

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!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Don't Wanna Grow Up!

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!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Our Eyes Met . . . Across a Crowded Avenue

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 . . .

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Practically Perfect In Every Way

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)!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

As Swedish As Apple Pie

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?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Well, Hello Mr. Carey . . .

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)!

Friday, September 5, 2008

What's that? I Can't Hear What You Said?!

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.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Well, That Was My View

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!

Hob-nobbing in the Hamptons . . .

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.