Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Pressured New Year

Ugh! Woke up this morning with major sinus congestion pain and that icky post-nasal drain . . . not good. With less than two weeks before surgery, I am not allowed to take any pain relievers or medications that contain aspirin. Um, yeah, just about every cold medicine on-shelf contains some amount of aspirin.

So, I am taking it easy today, dragging myself to the pharmacy to find some creative solutions to getting rid of this sinus infection/cold/whatever it is and also to the Blood Lab for all the pre-op tests. The weather is beautiful today with a light snow dusting the sidewalks and slowing down the holiday shoppers. Planning to take it easy with a small dinner party tonight to help ring in the New Year. . .

Monday, December 28, 2009

Warming Holiday Memories

As promised, I made it home for Christmas, making it possible to see all the kids open their gifts . . . but not before stopping off in Vegas for some birthday fun with my friends! We stayed at the new City Center resort off the strip (we were the first guests to stay in our hotel room that had just opened two days before!). The Vdara Spa & Resort was relaxing and beautiful, offering a respite from the casinos and sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower and the Bellagio fountains. Hitting the blackjack tables Saturday night, I mustered up all my birthday girl luck to win $200--and, while the Imperial Palace wasn't the most sought after locale for a Saturday night out, it did offer cheap gambling tables and celebrity impersonator dealers!

Driving home from Vegas Sunday night, I managed to nearly miss the blizzard that hit the Eastern Seaboard over the weekend . . . Christmas was nice and relaxing with a high of 70 (aahh!). We made plenty of new memories to last another year.

Nicole informed me that she's already flown alone to Berkley and sees "no difference between Berkley and NYC . . ."; she can come see me, really! Well, here's to hoping that either she or I will be able to fly come early Spring.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hurry! Buy One Surgery, Get One Free!

Just when I was beginning to accept my diagnosis and was getting preparations underway for my impending surgery, I visited the endocrinologist this week for my annual exam to monitor my thyroid growths we discovered 18 months ago.

My visits with Dr. Brett are few and far between, but she is always pleasant and talkative during the exams. But, Tuesday's appointment was different. While viewing the lumps on the ultrasound, she was very quiet. . . I immediately knew something was wrong . . . well, actually, I already had my suspicions that something was wrong before I even walked in the door that morning.

After the ultrasound, she immediately brought out her sketch pad and began writing down a surgeon's name as she proceeded to tell me that the lumps have not only enlarged again, but have become calcified, which has been causing my general discomfort and increased fatigue the last few months. She said that Dr. Genden is very well renowned and would be able to remove my thyroid with a very quick recovery time and limited discomfort. What? She's recommending we remove my entire thyroid?

Fortunately, Dr. Genden had a cancellation this afternoon, so I got the chance to sit down with him and get his valued opinion. He agrees that the recent changes to the lumps do pose a serious risk for cancer in the future and recommends that we remove the thyroid. He warned me that while the removal is imminent, it was definitely not urgent. But, when I mentioned to him that I already have an orthopedic surgery scheduled for January, he immediately got excited at the idea of doing both surgeries simultaneously. He told me he can work on one end of me while Dr. Weinfeld remains master of his own territory at the other end. . .

So, come next month, we'll be removing my thyroid and repairing my ankle. . . I'd be lying if I didn't say that I am doubly scared now, but I think that anything to avoid cancer is good and the opportunity to have only one hospital stay and one dose of anesthesia is also good . . . perhaps I should ask the hospital if they have some sort of "twofer special" or if I can get a free upgrade to a private room with my large spend next year. And, fingers crossed, maybe I can get Dr. Genden to turn my metabolism "up a notch" with my post-op meds, allowing me to drop a dress size or two . . .

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Moment of Nostalgia

Today on my way to work, I passed master of old Hollywood and host of TCM, Robert Osborne himself, in the crosswalk.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's Official--The Date is Set

January 12th . . . the day I will get my new foot and ankle. Dr. Weinfeld informed me Monday, while pointing to my x-rays on the wall, that we will NOT have to fuse my ankle (how fortunate for me), but that I will soon be a red flag for the Homeland Security Watch List and a constant nuisance to the TSA once he inserts 4 different bolts and a variety of titanium anchors in my left foot. When I asked if my left foot would now be a completely different size than my right foot, he replied, "well, your foot will definitely be a different shape than the right one, but we can't tell right now if your foot will be an entire size larger . . ."

Great! I love it when the answers are so clear . . . I guess I will just have to put off purchasing any new shoes until Spring.

In the meantime, preparations continue. I decided last week during Open Enrollment to change over my health insurance from United Healthcare to Aetna on January 1; the coverage will be much better and likely leave my out-of-pocket expenses for the surgery at zilch. Luckily, I made the right decision . . . when speaking to the surgical nurse yesterday, she happened to mention to me that Dr. Weinfeld has decided to no longer accept United Healthcare insurance next year! Just a small, minute, completely insignificant detail he failed to tell me!

Deep inside, I am still sorting through all my thoughts and feelings related to the diagnosis, this surgery, and my overall health this year. At lunch with a colleague today, she confided in me that she requested a promotion and was sharply denied one. . . the conversation then shifted to both of us discussing our personal goals and how our careers have evolved over the years. It was the first time I had been able to verbalize how important it is for me to focus on my health this coming year and to just maintain my current position. As the words came out of my mouth, I was sharply surprised at my own present lack of desire to prove myself. . . I am perfectly happy with the status quo and have no expectation to be promoted any time soon. I think that I just have to focus on remembering to take my vitamins and supplements, enjoy the upcoming holidays, work hard to get through physical rehabilitation, and try to look forward to a rewarding vacation next summer.

On another note, according to my rough estimate, I figure that following this surgery, I will have spent approximately 20% of my life on crutches . . . will it ever end?

Monday, November 23, 2009

West Coast Flurry

I had a last minute business trip to meet with Paramount Pictures to discuss The Last Airbender marketing plans on Friday. And, while it afforded me the chance to see family and friends, the timing could not have been worse to leave the office. Adding to the already stressful week, I nearly missed my flight: Idiotic Driver + Stalled Car on 9th Ave = Missed Flight.

But, enjoying the So-Cal sunshine was great. Plus, Niko celebrated his 17th birthday with a beach bonfire party and all his friends. . . I surprised him with my arrival Saturday night. Let me tell you, nothing is cooler than having your 30+ year old aunt chaperone your beach party when you're 17! At least I have the "I work for Nickelodeon" coolness factor to help diminish my uncoolness.

It was a whirlwind, but Niko was completely surprised . . . and, I got to see Hudson play his season closer T-ball game; he even got a trophy!

Go see The Last Airbender in July! I saw the new trailer on Friday; it's awesome! Buy a ticket; boost my bonus!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Can You Spare a Mile or Several Thousand?

Plans for the surgery are coming along--I would say swimmingly, but it's not like this is an event I am excited to be planning. . . I met with HR on Friday to discuss my short term disability options and once again I am amazed at the power of Viacom. Not only do I continue to have job security in this economic crisis, but I will be able to collect 100% of my pay while I am out on medical leave. What other companies can you name in America that still offer 100% of your pay while you're lying on a bed doped up on morphine unable to perform your job duties? (Continue to make every effort to keep Paramount Pictures as an integral part of my exit/return strategy to LA--check!)

I am meeting with my doctors again next week to hopefully set a surgery date and to discuss options for my right foot. My goal is to have a date set before the holidays in the hopes that I can use a confirmed hospital stay and sad puppy dog eyes to tap into that "obligatory holiday season generosity" to get whatever I need for my recovery . . . so, while it's still a little early, here is my first request:

I plan to stay away from the office on bed rest for three weeks. I have three people that have graciously offered to fly to NYC to help me with my recovery. But, here's the catch--I just can't bring myself to ask them to pay for their own tickets to get here (they are already donating their furlough and vacation time after all). I figure I have enough miles to cash in for two tickets, but not enough for a third. So, does anyone have a bank of extra frequent flyer miles they'd be willing to donate to a good cause? If you think you could possibly live without that business class upgrade to Europe next summer, I would really appreciate your sacrifice.

I can offer a heartfelt written thank-you note and a basket full of SpongeBob products as barter!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My work here is done . . .

My old college roommate, Holly, posted this message on her blog earlier this morning. Her daughter Lily is turning 2 and she is trying to decide what decor to use at the birthday party. The crafty girl that she is, Holly had already made her own decorations with a homemade "puppy" theme when Lily announced that she wants a "Bum-Bob" or SpongeBob themed party. I must be doing something right at work is all I can say . . .

Monday, November 9, 2009

Girls Night Out

Team Bergers & Shakes tried their best tonight at Big Daddy's for Sex & The City Trivia Nite, but alas, we failed miserably. With questions like "Which character got gang-banged in the park?" and "Which SATC man preferred communicating through telegrams?", we were stunned at our apparent lack of SATC knowledge! It was still a good time. . . with genuine comfort food, fun drinks, and a giant ice cream sundae, the girls from 1515 Broadway still managed to have a good time!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

May I Offer My Expertise?

Apparently I have finally reached the point in my career where I have influence and can attract attention in large crowds . . . who knew?

The New York Women in Communications is one of the largest networking groups here in New York for women in all communications fields including marketing, public relations, and journalism. My good friend, Linda, sits on their board and invited me to participate in their Student Conference today. Along with 50 other communications professionals, I got the opportunity to sit on a panel, answering questions about networking, the steps that I have taken to propel my career, and what it's like working for such a well known company to college students from around the country.

It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed hearing comments and questions from all the eager young women who want to start a career in marketing. Following the panel discussion, I had nearly 25 students lining up in the hallway to ask for my business card. I have to admit I secretly relished in the fact that I totally won the popularity contest among the other panelists . . . even if it only was because of my famous employer.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes . . .

My boss promptly walked into my office at about 1:45pm today and closed the door . . . yeah, she never does that unless it's really serious . . . she proceeded to explain to me that her role as VP of Licensing and Marketing was beginning to take its toll on her and that she had finally decided that she could no longer hold up both pillars of the business with her own small shoulders.

So, we're going to re-organize our department a bit. She is going to be managing the licensing side of the business and will be turning over marketing responsibilities (and me in the process) to our VP in the London office. Our VP there, who has been handling marketing for Europe only, will now manage all international marketing. She will continue to have her director manage the Europe business and I will now report into her and manage the REST of the WORLD! Yes, apparently they like me so much around here, they're now going to give me the entire free (and non-free) world to manage outside Europe. Latin America and Asia will now report into me . . . yes, the woman who only speaks one language will now have multi-language and multi-regional responsibilities as well as 4 new team members reporting into her.

Well, congrats to me! While I am excited at this opportunity and the elevated exposure it's going to grant me in the company, my first reaction was, "well, there goes my exit strategy . . ." Apparently, NYC will continue to be my home for the next little while. Now how to ask for that raise I so rightly deserve?!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Run, Forrest, Run!

Monika, one of my partners in crime from 1515 Broadway, and I rose bright and early to greet the 40,000+ runners from around the world participating in the NYC Marathon. The late Fall morning was a little chilly, but we were glad we braved the elements to catch a glimpse of this fine NY tradition.

After riding the subway to Brooklyn (along with several late-night Halloween partiers embarking on their "walk of shame" home, complete with dis-sheveled hair, smeared makeup, and torn costumes from the night before), Monika and I were able to stake the perfect viewing location for up-close glimpses of Mayor Bloomberg leading the parade of joggers in the lead car, the determination of the paraplegic competitors, and the never-ending sea of runners.

We had hoped to spot Edward Norton and his team of runners in their race for the Massai Wilderness Conservation Trust, but with so many runners, we never did make contact. . . instead, we saw plenty of other characters. But, from the sea of clowns, roosters, Captain America, tutus, and samurai warriors, I was most partial to Forrest Gump . . . (not necessarily original, but it brought a smile to my face each of the five times I saw it in the crowd.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Enjoying Night-time During the Day!

Master of Irony, M. Night Shymalan is in the building today to review our toy line for our upcoming movie, The Last Airbender (which you're all planning to see opening weekend -- July 2, 2010, right?). He's even more charming in person than he is on film! I think I am awfully close to convincing him to direct my life story!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I am a PC

The new computer arrived today! LOVE it! I can surf, download, stream, and pretty much do everything faster with a brand spankin' new hard drive and HD compatible memory capacity! Look forward to more blogging, more often . . . it won't be so incredibly painful anymore, leaving me with no excuses.

The Clock is Ticking . . .

My sister-in-law Carla posted this note on my Facebook page today:

Hudson, on the way home from school today, "Mommy, why does Aunt Jessica have to live in New York?" Mommy, "because that's where she works honey". Hudson, "I don't want her to live there." Mommy, "where should she live?" Hudson, "in our house." .... I think he misses you!

Well, I definitely miss him . . . I think I may need to start drafting my exit strategy. . .

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CA Dreamin'

After a brief business trip south of the border, I headed to CA for a long weekend to visit the fam and to see my nieces and nephews in action. Nicole (under my wise guidance and gentle nudging, I might add) made the high school volleyball team as a freshman and I couldn't be more proud!

She was feeling down and out this week due to a chest infection, but she played long enough on Saturday morning for me to get a peek at her serving skills. She made sure to introduce me to her coach, who is "my twin; I swear!". Erin is lovely and after shaking hands with her, all of Nicole's fellow teammates kept giggling back and forth, "they do look alike! Oh my gosh! They totally look the same!" I don't see the resemblance, personally. . .

Kyle's team tied their opponents during this week's soccer match. And, despite avoiding a potential team pile up on the field, the coach was pissed at their underperformance of the day. Apparently, the reigning national champions think they don't need to work for a win these days . . . well, I am sure that after some extra laps in practice this week, they'll secure a win next week.

Alison played great defense on Saturday morning and helped lead her team to a 4-0 win . . . she's doing great and is loving being a junior-high student.

I spent Saturday night with Hudson; we played outside with his neighbor friends, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and warm weather we were blessed to have all weekend. My nose even got a little sunburned at the playground. I loved it considering it's been a blustery and cold October in NYC!

My brother Bill took me to see his orthopaedic surgeon on Monday morning to get a second opinion regarding my ankle. After about 45 minutes of an onslaught of questions and a close examination of my MRI, Dr. Legome said very simply, "you have a lot of problems my dear, and I am sure you already know that." He continued by confirming everything I've been told, including the diagnosis of CMT and telling me that not only should I have the surgery, but that the quality of my life entirely depends on it. He then spent the next 15 minutes lecturing me on losing weight . . . as if I didn't already know that was an issue! I completely lost it then and there; I finally let all the fear, anxiety, and anger release from inside. . . I think I was still hanging onto a small sliver of hope or a medical miracle when Dr. Legome validated everything that I have been wanting to avoid. And, now that the right foot is hurting also, we asked if I should take the plunge and have both feet operated on at the same time. He thinks it would be far too traumatic for my body, so I have to make plans for how to address that foot sometime in the future. Thank goodness Bill was there to put his arm around me; I don't think I could have handled another doctor's appointment by myself.

I managed to board the plane Monday night with dry eyes. . . I joked to myself that I think I am finally moving past denial and straight into anger! I'm progressing . . . definitely progressing! That's good, right?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sweet Arrival

Finally arrived in Mexico City tonight at midnight after a really long day . . . I originally had a 9:15am flight out of JFK, but couldn't board the plane without el passporto~! Si, that's right; I left my passport at home in its hiding place instead of bringing it with me to el aeropuerto . . . damn you Homeland Security!

What was so tragic about the situation is that there are only 2 flights every day between JFK and MEX. Hurriedly, I re-booked myself on the 6pm flight and decided to take the opportunity to get some work done at the office after stopping at home to grab my documentacion.

You can imagine my overhwhelming feeling of respite when I finally arrived at my executive suite at the Four Seasons . . . complete with an "electronic mirror" in my bathroom! That's right, I have a TV in my mirror! Love it and my job!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A 3D Sighting

Taking in the 3-D double feature of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 this weekend, I spotted Al Roker with his 2 kids in the theatre . . . he looked a little miffed when his son whined and begged to go home after only viewing the first movie. As you can imagine, he was not his usual smiling self . . .

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baby Steps, Baby Steps

After writing a teary-eyed post Monday night, hitting re-dial with what seemed like a bazillion times, and an ever-growing panic attack at the thought that my world as I knew it was falling apart, I finally reached Mom on the damn phone sometime late Tuesday afternoon to finally get that all-knowing "motherly advice" I desperately needed. We talked about my options for scheduling surgery, discussed how this diagnosis is now going to change my lifestyle, and tried to speculate why it has taken 32 years to finally get the answers to all the questions we have been asking since the day I took my first steps. (Yes, apparently there have been clues that a trained physician could have deciphered at any point before now . . . whodathunkit?)

We both agreed that I will probably have a much more enjoyable holiday season without a full cast, crutches, ice packs, and narcotics (although they might be more cheery with drugs and alcohol, I am sure). I also recognized that I was becoming increasingly overwhelmed at the idea of leaving the office and all my open projects in just three weeks (with one of those including a foreign business trip). Additionally, by delaying the surgery, I can afford some time finding another doctor to offer a second opinion.

After a few days of thoughtful consideration and a long talk with my boss, I've decided to schedule the surgery in January 2010. I figure I am already in constant pain, but the pain I will feel post-surgery will be much worse; and, I really want to be able to sit on the floor opening gifts under the tree on Christmas morning with my nieces and nephews. Plus, after having to endure my birthday with a broken foot three years ago, I would really like to spare myself a repeat of that agony.

So, here is my plea: Is there anyone who would like to volunteer to come spend a week in the Big Apple in January? You won't get to see much of the city since you'll be feeding me, doing my laundry and generally being my bed-nurse . . . but if you'd be kind enough to come help me with my recovery, I will promise to take long, drug enduced naps each and every afternoon, giving you the opportunity to take in a Broadway show, tour the MOMA, take photos from the top of the Empire State Building or to see any other sites that you've never had the chance to discover.

Sure, it'll be winter, but not to worry; we don't really get much snow and there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy! Besides, for those of you that are unemployed (or have an open calendar), when else are you going to have the opportunity to pick up and jet to the NYC? Volunteers welcome!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Crippling News

After nearly a full year of walking in pain along the streets of New York City; countless doctor's appointments; several MRIs, x-rays, and neurological tests trying to find the source of my pain, I finally met with a surgeon who today told me that he needs to completely "rebuild" my left foot and ankle.

I was prepared for the news that surgery was inevitable, but I was not ready to hear the extensive details of how he will have to break my foot, cut my achille's tendon, and re-anchor the tendons and ligaments on the exterior of my ankle. Getting the play-by-play, I nearly "lost it" in his office and I am definitely losing it now as I write this post.

I'm a cripple (for lack of a better term, really). Many of you have at least one, if not many, memories--I am sure--of me falling, tripping, or tumbling down stairs, slippery floors, or incredibly something as simple as my own two feet (yes, it's possible and I do it a lot, folks). And, after years of broken bones, sprains, and more, Dr. Weinfeld has finally confirmed what a few of New York's finest physician's have suspected for the last year--I am genetically pre-disposed to being "accident-prone." It seems funny, but only because I am making my best attempt at finding this diagnosis humorous right now . . .

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome is a hereditary neurological disorder that causes shortened calf muscles, extremely high arched feet, and weak ankles. The root of all these side effects is a syndrome that will slowly over the course of my life kill the nerve endings in my hands and feet, which will eventually atrophy all the muscles in my extremities. Much like muscular dystrophy, I will progressively lose most muscle strength in my feet and/or hands over my lifetime. . . The surgery that Dr. Weinfeld wants to perform will likely be the first of many that I will have to endure for years to come in order to maintain full use of my feet.

I am incredibly terrified, but at the same time calmed that I have found a surgeon that is so well-versed in this condition and is confident that I am going to recover well from the surgery. But, I can't help thinking what does this diagnosis mean for me and the rest of my life? What does this mean for the opportunity to have children some day? (I can't help thinking now that it's probably a blessing in disguise that I never married and had children in my 20s . . . )

Now, what to do? When to schedule my surgery? Should I do it now in the hopes that I will be in a walking boot in time to travel for the holidays? Or, do I wait until January when the officework is a little slower, but snow is on the ground and I am stumbling with crutches to get into a cab every morning to get to work ? How will I take care of myself in my little studio apartment; in this big city without a car? I really am losing it . . .

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Fans Have Been Calling . . .

The posts have been few and far between this summer, I know. But, I guess it's true what they say -- absence makes the heart grow fonder . . . fans and readers have been coming out of the woodwork asking (almost begging, really) for more updates on life in the Big Apple. My apologies; I promise to make a better effort at posting (you notice I didn't promise to post more often, but only to make a better effort . . . I suppose it's healthy that I can admit my weaknesses to even myself.) In the meantime, here are some of the best moments from the Summer of '09:

In July, my friend Fiona and I took a day trip to Atlantic City. While I sadly lost $250 in just 30 short minutes, I did finally learn where all the street names' in Monopoly originated from. . . A week later, I made a road trip to Lancaster, MA to watch my nephew Kyle play and win the US Youth Soccer National Championship for 14-year-olds! It felt so great being able to cheer Kyle from the sidelines along with my brother and sister-in-law. I couldn't believe they were all here; it was just so surreal with plenty of hugs and well wishes throughout the weekend! It was especially meaningful for Kyle and his teammates when he celebrated his birthday during the tournament too.

August brought the Fall semester for LIM College and my first teaching experience. To be honest, I am completely wrapped up in it. . . I had no idea it would be so much work, but I am completely committed to it. My students are very enthusiastic and eager to learn (it's a total self-esteem booster, really), but I've been struggling with getting them to put in the work along with the classtime.

September has brought with it Fall in its fullness; the air has been cool and crisp, but filled with sunshine. My friend Sarah came to visit me Labor Day weekend; it was great to visit and catch up after such a long absence. I love it when my girlfriends come to visit me!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Who Parties Like a Rockstar Under the Sea?


This week is the official 10th anniversary of SpongeBob's premiere on Nickelodeon and Nick did it up right with a kick-off celebration at our offices here in Times Square. The entire staff was invited to dish on krabby patties, french fries, yellow cupcakes and yellow pineapple-tinis in our very own Bikini Bottom themed cafeteria.

We had a "spongey" good time toasting to our favorite optimist! The afternoon was topped with a special visit from the Naked Cowboy, donning SpongeBob underwear and a Bikini Bottom-decopaged guitar. He sang a little tune to our honored guest before posing for pictures with our company president.

We also had a special appearance from SpongeBob and Patrick themselves, none other than Tom Kenny and Bill Fagerbakke (some of you may remember him from his days on Coach with Craig T. Nelson) who affectionately informed us that 40% of us would be laid off following the meeting . . . something about management thinking we could take it easier if we heard the bad news in a cartoon voice.

I hear the cupcakes were delicious . . . you can't imagine how difficult it was for me to abstain from partaking in all the culinary goodness. Every single item was forbidden on this new cleansing diet of mine . . . I just keep thinking to myself, "will I really make it 6 months?"

Monday, July 13, 2009

I ♥ the 80's!

Congratulations to Team Atreyu, the 3rd Place winners at the 80's Trivia Night at Big Daddy's Diner!

Our team ended a fun filled Monday evening successfully placing third, only two points behind the evening's winner Yo Mallory, despite an upsetting final round sprint from Jessie's Girl that ultimately robbed us of the much coveted first place prize!

After a successful showcase of correctly answering trivia questions like the principal's name in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", Baby's full formal name in "Dirty Dancing", and what person Alex P. Keaton idolized in "Family Ties", Team Atreyu entered the final bonus round well in the lead and sure we would take the win! Unfortunately, the game was opened up as a free for all during the Bonus Round with a karaoke sing off of the theme song to "Growing Pains". When their name was randomly drawn, Jessie's Girl earned a full 5 bonus points just for singing the song to the angering crowd!

Team Atreyu was definitely disappointed, but we still managed to secure a bronze prize! After an evening of fun, food, and friends, we won a $50 gift card toward our next visit at Big Daddy's. We're ready for a re-match and will be watching our fave 80's flicks in preparation for it!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Looking Good for 232 years . . .

This year's 4th of July celebration was such an improvement over last year's! Carrie has been in the Hamptons since last week, but she was kind enough to come back to the City for the weekend since she knew I had such a miserable 4th of July weekend last year . . . she was determined to make it better for me this year!

The weather could not have been more perfect. We had a high of 81 with low humidity and a fresh breeze from the ocean water. After making a wonderful picnic dinner, Carrie and I invited some of our girlfriends from church to stake a spot for the fireworks display. We arrived early and were able to pick a perfect place along the Hudson River nestled in the middle of a clearing of trees. From our vantage point, we were able to view all 5 barges along the river and watched the sky light up! What a way to celebrate!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

You Want to Transform This Into a Date?

After a chance meeting at last week's Floating Kabarette and a week of friendly email banter, Taz and I agreed to go see Transformers 2 Friday night. I had intended to see the movie with my colleagues, but missed the film last week when I got called into a last minute meeting with Dreamworks. I was delighted when a week after the premiere, I finally found someone who hadn't already seen it themselves! And, Taz seemed like a really nice, fun guy to join me!

But, I quickly found that Taz interpreted my invitation as a formal date. Before I could blink, he had already purchased both our tickets and was leading me up the escalator to our theater. And, over the course of the 2.5 hour film, his body slowly drew closer and closer to mine. Without even allowing the credits to finish, he immediately turned to me and asked, "what are we doing now?" I asked if he was hungry and he suggested we get dinner.

With the non-stop rain finally letting up this weekend, we enjoyed a wonderful walk around Union Square before deciding on a late night dinner at The Coffee Shop. Sitting outside in the warm summer air was wonderful and Taz was a gracious host with plenty of non-stop conversation to offer. In fact, we had managed to talk so long that the server was ready to kick us out of our seats. We then moved inside to the bar and managed to converse late into the night before I finally announced I had to go home at 2am.

After Taz walked me to the subway and wished me goodnight, I couldn't help but ask myself, "what just happened here?" I really like Taz; he's easy to talk to, smart, kind, and respectful. I'm just not attracted to him. . . why must dating be so complicated?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Floater of a Good Time!

So, in an effort to make new friends and discover this great city of mine, I recently joined several interest groups at And, when most of my friends left town, leaving me to fend for myself this weekend, I managed to find a really fun group to join Saturday night.

The group was fantastic! About 20 of us young professionals traveled to Brooklyn to see the Floating Kabarette, a variety and comedy show complete with Cabaret dancers, gymnasts, and magicians. After playing musical chairs throughout the evening, I was able to meet everyone in the group, including Lauren, who lives just a few short blocks from me here on the UES. I experienced a most unusual and unexpectedly fun evening, making a few new friends along the way!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Prayer to the Theater Godot(s)

This month has quickly become one of the wettest Junes on record in NYC history with rain nearly every single day. So, many summer activities that New Yorkers look forward to--like baseball games, outdoor movies, outdoor theater, and concerts--continue to be cancelled. Carrie and I had planned to go see an outdoor production of King Lear in Battery Park this evening after work. But, after arriving and apprising the dark clouds over our heads, we thought it best to not stay in the open air.

Luckily, Mrs. Mitchell (Carrie's boss-lady) had two extra tickets on hold to see Waiting for Godot at the Studio 54 box office. She offered them to us. So, we quickly headed uptown in the hopes of arriving in time for the 8pm performance.

Along our walk to the theater, I stopped at Cosi to purchase an egg-salad sandwich to curb my ongoing hunger pains. While Carrie entered the theater to claim our tickets, I stood outside to finish eating my sandwich. You can imagine my surprise when Cloris Leachman walked up right behind me and started talking to the couple standing next to me. I was tickled pink and rushed over to get Carrie's attention to point her out . . . only to turn around and see Martin Short standing next to me in the Will Call line!

After getting settled in our seats, I saw Cloris again and slowly watched her settle into the seat directly behind me anticipating a dramatic performance. And, we were not disappointed! Nathan Lane, John Goodman, Bill Irwin, and John Glover all delivered an amazing performance!

Monday, June 15, 2009

THE report from THE trip

I finally returned safely home this morning after a long trip out West. The first week was spent keeping the masses under control for all our meetings and marketing presentations at Licensing Show. We arrived at our weeklong accommodations at THEhotel late Sunday night. Everything at THEhotel is deliciously called "THE"--THE cafe, THE lounge, THE lotion, THE shampoo, even THE tp . . . I loved it!

After a full schedule of meetings all week, I drove to So-Cal for a visit with the family and friends. I was so excited to give my nieces and nephews a hug & kiss in person! It felt so good!

Upon my return home, I stopped back at THEhotel for a night to wish Crystal a happy 30th birthday in Sin City. It was so good to spend a little time with all my friends and to help celebrate such a special day with Crystal!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Vegas or Bust

Well, I am finally on my way! After a month filled with preparing catering orders, marketing materials, budget, travel accommodations, shipping, group events, and appointment books, I am Vegas-bound for Licensing Show Expo, our biggest annual trade show event . . .

After a few too many late nights and working weekends, I am following up my business trip with some much needed R&R in So-Cal. I am delighted to spoil the nieces and nephews and to take in some sun!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Magically Boosting the Economy

After a long week of late nights, several checks and re-checks of our "to do list", and a teary-eyed moment laced with a stream of profanities this evening, I finally managed to walk away from my office at 8pm tonight completely confident that we're fully prepared for Licensing Show. I boarded the 4 train and began my commute home, completely exhausted.

But, in the short fifteen minute ride tonight, my frown was turned upside down when a magician boarded my car and began performing his best tricks. Between 42nd and 86th Streets, the talented fellow managed to make a scarf dance and tie itself into a knot, change a handkerchief into a live dove, and to make a chain disappear from his very hands!

I was so enjoyably entertained, I was slightly sad to be forced to exit the train at my stop. I never make a habit of donating to street performers in the subway, but I was so impressed at his ability to magically change my attitude that I made sure to drop a dollar into his tin as I walked onto the platform!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Being Three is Neat!

Happy Birthday Evan! I hope your day was bursting with chocolately goodness!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Very New York Weekend

This last weekend, Crystal flew out to spend a New York weekend with me. We had so much fun! After arriving early Saturday morning, we treked downtown to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, playing the role of resident tourists! After all the trips that Crystal had made to The City, she had never visited these American icons.

We've had soppy weather every single day this past week and the forecast was calling for more rain on Saturday with a high of 80 . . . ugh! We made sure to carry our umbrellas with us all day as good luck charms; and they must have worked because what started out as a thick, muggy day burned off to a warm and breezy afternoon and evening.

Ellis Island and Lady Liberty were phenomenal as usual; we completed our afternoon of tours with a corny photo souvenir of the two of us arriving off the ship in New York Harbor. . .

We then headed down to Katz's Deli for a tall stack of pastrami on rye. I pointed out the sign where Meg Ryan professes her famous love of Katz's when Crystal admitted that she had never seen the film! After a more than filling lunch, we grabbed some tickets for Guys & Dolls later in the evening.

We managed to arrive ten minutes late for Guys & Dolls after a slow subway ride and missed the opening number. But, a fantastic performance by the cast more than made up for the first few missed notes. We spent the remainder of the evening walking around Times Square and hitting Ellen's Stardust Diner for dessert. I squealed with delight when our server belted out "Don't Stop Believing", one of my favorite Journey classics.

We then enjoyed a relaxing and sunny Sunday morning having brunch at Sarabeth's, walking around Central Park and discovering Brooklyn. We grabbed the ever essential Sunday afternoon treat from Crumbs, had pedicures, ordered a NY slice for dinner and stayed in to watch "When Harry Met Sally" . . . Crystal can finally say she's seen it now!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Celebrity Sighting Part Deux

Yesterday, while purchasing an afternoon snack in the lobby, I spotted Jeremy Irons chatting on his cell phone . . .

And, today I brushed shoulders with Jesse Jackson and his entourage in the elevator bank; a very tall man indeed!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Very Expensive Lesson Indeed

Work has been incredibly hectic, but I've been managing to keep my head above water. . . I thought it would be fun to complicate things even further by moving this month.

My lease ended on April 30, so I thought I would take the opportunity to find a 1 bedroom apartment and to exit my dinky little studio. I searched high and low during the month of April and managed to find a fairly good sized 1 bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side at 71st St. The monthly rent was definitely within my budget and it seemed I would be able to get about twice the space for only $150 more a month.

The unit was in an old brownstone building built around 1900; so, it had quirks like mis-matching kitchen cabinets, 5 inches of white paint on the walls, and limited closet space. But, it boasted a private outdoor garden and brand new hardwood floors. . . I had a few misgivings, but thought it was just the stress and anxiety I was feeling from work combined with the chore of having to move, so I signed a lease.

I spent the entire weekend packing all my junk; and, when I finally had it all in boxes Sunday night, I laid in bed for hours concocting all kinds of "bad omens" . . . I dreamt that the landlord had stolen my identity and run me into the ground with debt; I dreamt that when I opened the door to my new home with the movers behind me that a pair of squatting roommates had moved in before me; I dreamt that the movers double-charged me and shattered my TV . . .

Nonetheless, I shook it all off and had the movers carry all my things to the new apartment on Monday afternoon. Not twenty minutes after they left, I sat on my bed and burst into tears. I began to walk around the apartment and noticed a plethora of issues that I had missed on my two previous inspections--I found a 1/2 inch gap ran along the door jam separating the bedroom from the living room; the kitchen counters were separating from the wall behind the sink; a small colony of ants decided to become my roommates; there were no lights in any of the closets; there was a 1/4 inch gap between the new flooring and the walls all the way around the unit; the landlord had used double-sided tape to re-insulate the back door, which immediately fell off when I opened it; and, neither of my cell phones could get a signal in the apartment, which terrified me as a single woman living alone! On top of all these things, I felt this overwhelming vibe of bad energy surrounding the apartment. . .

I called my mom hysterical . . . what was I going to do? I had already signed a one-year lease. I had already given notice to my current landlord and he had been showing to potential renters. I had already paid the movers to bring all my things here.

I felt as if all along my inner voice/the Holy Ghost/Guardian Angel/sixth sense/woman's intuition/internal compass had been hinting to me that I had not made the right decision and that after weeks of ignoring its gentle whisperings, it was now screaming in my ears: You should not live here!

Luckily, I called my current landlord and found out that my apartment had not been rented. When I told him that I would stay there, he was overwhelmingly relieved. So, I called the movers and had them bring me and all my belongings back to my dinky little studio on Tuesday. I lost a full month of rent and had to pay the movers twice, but I am finally calm with my decision to stay right where I am.

Friday, April 17, 2009

That Is Professor Wells To You

As many of you know, I've long been trying to find a way to make use of the MBA degree that I spent a significant amount of time and money working to achieve (because I seemingly continue to think it's otherwise completely useless in my current job). So, I kept sending out my resume . . . and sending it out . . . and sending it out . . . to as many colleges as I could the last few years trying to find a teaching job.

Well, I finally got a call for an interview last month from The Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, a small private fashion merchandising college here in Manhattan that also offers degrees in Marketing and Business Management. They were very impressed with my resume and wanted to consider me for two of their courses, including Power of the Brand and Global Markets (both upper-classman level courses, I might add!)

I've been keeping it quiet the last few weeks for fear that it might not happen. . . but, I received confirmation today that I will be teaching Global Markets (what the hell that means is still not completely clear, but who cares?! Professors make up stuff and pontificate for hours on end anyway, right?) two evenings a week to LIM's aspiring juniors and seniors this coming Fall semester! Check out my official listing in the school catalog:

Course: MRKT 408-08
Course Title: Global Markets
Instructor: Wells, Jessica
Credits: 3.0
Day(s): MW
Time(s): 6:10 - 7:40
Room: 0508

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sending You Birthday Wishes Alison!

Happy Birthday Darling! I promise to come home to bring you a real hug very soon!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's Absolutely True! Sex Sells . . .

I just love a good controversy! SpongeBob toys are currently available in a Burger King Kids' Meal. And, since SpongeBob appeals to adults just as much as kids, I guess Burger King thought they could take a little creative liberty in their current commercial . . .

I actually worked on this promotion with Burger King for our Canada stores. But, I never saw the commercial until it began airing last week. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is trying to get the ad banned from the air stating it's inappropriate for children and promotes sensationalism. I agree that it's a little over the top for children, but from a marketer's standpoint, I couldn't be more impressed! It is one of the more creative spots I have seen in years and I am confident it will boost sales for Burger King and help promote our favorite Sponge. So, all I can say is . . .

Hurry in! Get dinner and a show for only $0.99 for a limited time! You can view the entire music video featuring The King here. (I think any remaining speck of my sense of business ethics just flew out the window completely . . .)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Winter, Come No More

Spring still seems to be out of sight, but definitely not out of mind . . . just like I still believe in the Easter Bunny, I believe that someday it will arrive and bring with it a warm and fuzzy feeling, green grass, brightly colored flowers, and delicious treats. We were granted a sneak peek of it on Sunday when the temperatures reached a pleasant and sunny 64. But, the joy was short lived . . . I watched snowflakes fall nearly all morning from my office window today!

And, walking out of the Hallmark store near my house tonight, I passed by Celia Weston. Celia is well known for her lovable "mom" characters in How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days, Junebug, and The Village . . .

I hope the sunshine comes out for Easter on Sunday! I wish I could be in sunny CA for the holiday, but I will be staying Manhattan bound this weekend.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Hudson!

I hope you have a birthday that is three times the fun!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Princess Sara

Happy 5th Birthday Sara! Next year, it's on to kindergarten with a Hello Kitty backpack!

10 Years in the Making

While the Chinese this year are celebrating the Year of the Ox, we here at Nickelodeon are celebrating the Year of the Sponge--SpongeBob SquarePants, that is. We're trying our best to create new marketing campaigns and innovative products for the 10th anniversary year of everyone's favorite yellow sponge (in order to increase sales and of course our bonuses).

But, I think that his kid here may have topped all our ideas with his very own production! Check it out--it features some of our current product and in-store signage at Walmart:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Upfront With My Friends

Today was Nickelodeon's annual Upfront where we present our upcoming new series and promotions to our key advertisers (you know, people that give us lots of money to keep the network on air like Kellogg's, Kraft, P&G, McDonald's, Mattel). The presentation is given by our key executives and usually includes some of our celebrity talent as well (to keep the advertising big wigs feeling good about themselves . . .).

This year, Keke Palmer was on hand to present her newest show True Jackson, VP; Nick Cannon was on hand to discuss his newest show for TEENick called The Halo Awards to honor teens in their community; and the big surprise of the day was having Dev Patel arrive to introduce his role in The Last Airbender, our blockbuster movie planned for next summer. Even being a seasoned employee at Nickelodeon (I believe I can say seasoned now; I've been here a year) and meeting these folks regularly, I felt a little leap in my stomach when Dev walked onto the stage. The audience gasped; even we Nick employees didn't know he would be appearing. He was very charming and talked about how excited he is to be walking away from his newly found stardom on Slumdog Millionaire to now be a part of The Last Airbender filming. We're really hoping that his recent addition to the cast will help to make the film extraordinary at the box office (ergo our bonuses) . . .

The Upfront then closed with a jam session with Colbie Caillat and Wyclef Jean . . . my little perks at work are great!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The One With The Italian Food

After spending a week with the London staff, they arrived this week in the NYC office to attend our Retail meetings this week. We all went out tonight as a group for a delicious four-course Italian meal at Barbuto, in the Meatpacking District.

We had just finished the antipasti when Tate Donovan walked in and sat at the table next to us with his wife and infant son. Those of us born before 1980 immediately recognized him. I had to offer a bit more background for the other half of the group.

Nancy, my team member, was quite shocked that his wife was not more attractive. In fact, she thought he should dump her for me . . . apparently, she thought I would look good standing next to him. And, that would take a lot because he still looks really good . . .

Friday, March 6, 2009

I Globe Trot, Therefore I Am

Many following my little Big Apple blog may be afraid that I have fallen in the Hudson River or been caught under the subway tracks with no new posts for nearly three weeks now. . . much has happened recently and I am glad I finally have a spare moment to share it all.

My globe trotting excitement began Thursday, February 19 when my mother phoned me to tell me she had checked herself into the hospital due to some inexplicable abdominable pain. The doctors had found she had gall stones and would likely need to have her gall bladder removed; but, she assured me was "just fine". That's typical; my mom tends to down-play everything whenever it comes to her own needs.

The following day she called again to tell me that not only was she definitely going to have surgery to remove her gall bladder, but that while doing a prognostic cat-scan, the doctor had also discovered a tumor on her right kidney and that it would have to be removed as well. I burst into tears, knowing that she was no longer "just fine". I immediately booked a flight and arrived in the Springs Sunday afternoon.

I spent the next week getting all of Mom's needs ready, including cleaning the house, paying the bills, buying groceries and supplies, and caring for her while she was in the hospital. The surgery was successful and her doctors anticipate that she will recover fully, continuing a good quality of life with one kidney. The tumor was entirely contained within the kidney and she won't need any chemotherapy! Whew; thank goodness that gall bladder started acting up so that we could find the cancer early!

I left Jeremy to care for Mom during her first week of post-op and I returned to NYC on the 28th, allowing myself just 12 short hours to re-pack my bags in order to leave for London the next morning. I arrived in London Sunday night for a weeklong agenda of business meetings.

My meetings were going well and it was fantastic to finally meet the London staff, with whom I work so closely. But, late Tuesday night after our dinner, I stumbled into my hotel room and managed to hit my head (really hard, I might add . . .). After I managed to get over the shock and pick myself up from the floor, I looked in the bathroom mirror to see blood trickling down my forehead. Being five hours behind London, the office staff in NYC was still available. When I called, Katy (who recently transferred from our London office) became my own personal EMT, telling me how to reach the closest hospital and instructing me on how to get the healthcare I needed.

After a non-stop action-packed evening fit for a sitcom sketch that really must be told over a menu of carbohydrates and hand-drawn diagrams, I managed to walk away from the emergency room without stitches and a massive headache at 1am in the pouring rain.

I barely finished out the rest of my meetings, suffering from a major case of jet lag complicated with a drowse inducing head injury! I nearly cried at the thought of sleeping in my own bed when I finally boarded the plane Thursday night. Did I enjoy my first trip to London? I wouldn't go there . . . let's just say I am looking forward to my next trip.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why Won't It Come?

I was so excited when I found this really cool, yet subtle inauguration t-shirt to support President Obama online nearly four weeks ago . . . and, it's still not here! I am so sad . . . needless to say, I was disappointed when it didn't arrive in time for Inauguration Day, but I am now getting just plain agitated. I want to wear my t-shirt!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wait! Is That Who I Think It Is?

Loaded down with groceries coming out of Whole Foods tonight, I passed by another Project Runway Season 4 contestant -- Kevin Christiana -- on the corner of 57th and 7th Ave. He was enjoying the great Spring weather we've been having this weekend with a special someone.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Six More Weeks of Winter?

Punxutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning and predicted six more weeks of winter. . . although, I can't imagine it. It's already feeling like Spring around here. We've had the pleasure of enjoying a small thaw yesterday and today with temps near 50. I am hoping that Phil is wrong about his little prediction!

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Finally Official

I finally received my business cards today. And, while my job title says "Director of Brand Management", it should really read: "Manager of Chaos Supreme, Evaluator of Multiple Time Zones, Distributor of Limited Knowledge & Interpreter of Many Cultures". But, there just wasn't enough room on the card . . . and, after this week, I should add: "Senior Pooper Scooper".

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We Need A Return to Values . . .

Yesterday, our 44th President was sworn into office. I swelled with joy at the historic moment that Barack Obama took the sacred oath to defend our constitution and to uphold the individual liberties of our citizens as our country's first African-American Commander-in-Chief. I was especially touched by the declaration that we must return to wholesome values, that we must be humble in our approach among allies, and that we must be vigilant in defending ourselves against our enemies. I was brought to tears as I listened to his words and wanted so much to believe in my heart that today may truly be "a new day"--a day for us to all put away our selfish ways and to come together for the advancement of the good of mankind and not for our own wants.

I was appalled and embarrassed, however, that those who would claim to be his followers stooped so low as to "boo" President Bush as he entered the inaugural platform. Bad form my fellow citizens! You should be ashamed! I urge you to heed Obama's words and to return to the values of teamwork, neighborly love, forgiveness, honesty, and kindness.

President Bush is booed as he enters the crowd

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Work Hard So You Don't Have To . . .

Well, I finally had it out with Miss Ashley in 3C last night. I had an itching that her newly somber comings and goings would likely not continue long term. She really topped herself Sunday night when she broke into a shouting match with her houseguest, Liz. And, how do I know that her houseguest's name is Liz? Because I heard the entire dialogue through my wall at 1:30 am, of course! Apparently, the f***'n houseguest didn't let the f***'n dog out when it needed to go to the f***'n bathroom and it pee'd all over the f***'n couch that costs $1000 f***'n dollars! Luckily, I was off work Monday for the MLK holiday, so I was still awake at 1:30 am reading my book; I tried my best to ignore them . . .

Unfortunately, Miss Ashley found herself locked out of her apartment last night when she tried to leave to run to the store at 10:30pm. I lay in bed listening intently as she shouted to Liz inside the apartment to let her in. The door knob was jammed and neither one could open the door. I then listened as she called a locksmith to come rescue her. Twenty minutes later, the locksmith arrived and I listened as he explained to her that he would only be able to gain access to her apartment if he drilled the lock for a hefty handover of $250. Somewhat upset at having to fork over such a large sum of money, she rang my doorbell!

Why did she ring my doorbell, you ask? Well, Miss Ashley and I share a balcony you see. Both our apartments have a sliding glass door that leads out to a balcony that we share with a half wall. And, after listening to her conversation with the locksmith, I knew immediately what she wanted--to walk through my apartment to gain access to hers.

I answered the door (in my pajamas--which seems to always be my attire of choice whenever she and I interact with one another) and said, "Oh gee, what now?"

She began rambling on about how this locksmith here (pointing at him) wants to charge her $300 (hmmm, I remember hearing $250, but I didn't argue) to give her access to her apartment because the door lock isn't working. And, could she walk through my apartment to get into hers? I don't recall any apology provided for disturbing me, dragging me out of bed; I don't think she even offered a "May I please . . . ?" Instead the conversation went a little something like this:

"OK, Ashley, I am happy to let you walk through my apartment, but can you give me one reason why I should?"

"What the hell does that mean?"

"I mean, you need my help. Why should I help you right now when I have asked you repeatedly to be quiet and help me get a good night's sleep and you have refused to be more quiet?"

"I am NOT having this conversation right now." (eyes rolling) "I am not too loud. The guy below me is so loud that he makes my apartment vibrate. . . "

(Well, that makes your actions justified then . . . I didn't realize that the guy below you was so loud.)

"You have got to realize that you live in an apartment--an apartment in the city. The building is old and it's going to be noisy. I can't help it if the walls are paper thin."

"The walls are not paper thin. You are that loud.", I said matter-of-factly.

After a few deep breaths and another eye roll, she responded, "Well, tell me this. How is it that I never hear you and you claim to hear me all the time."

"Because, Ashley, I have lived in apartments long enough to understand that it is a communal living situation and that I need to be quiet for my neighbors' sake."

"Whatever, I am NOT going to walk on egg-shells for you!" she shouted (quietly, of course.)

"That's not what I am saying at all. I am simply asking that you be cognizant of those around you. I am not being unreasonable in my requests to not wear your shoes on the floors and to not slam doors." "And, you could keep the shouting to a minimum as well."

She stared incredulously at me.

"That's right. I can hear you! I heard your entire conversation last night at 1 in the morning! And, I just don't need to hear the f-bomb thrown around, especially at 1 in the morning!"

"Whatever! Are we going to do this or what?", she asked while neglecting to actually make the request formal.

"Again, I am happy to help you. I just think that you need to be more willing to help me with what I need."

I let her through and immediately went back to bed. No, I didn't receive a "thank you" and she didn't even come close to understanding what I was asking. I then lay in bed and listened to her complain through the wall for an hour about how "she is NOT too loud."

Yeah, I have to move once my lease is up in May.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Icy Landing

A flight leaving LaGuardia airport this afternoon failed directly after take-off and landed in the Hudson River. We saw the plane go down from the Nickelodeon offices and were frightened for all the passengers on board. At first we couldn't quite tell what type of plane it was or how many people might be on board, but we were glad that the plane had fortunately drifted on the surface of the water without breaking apart, or worse, exploding. The plane appeared to float for some time without completely becoming submerged, which allowed the Coast Guard to immediately rescue everyone.

My first thought was, "I can't imagine how cold they are in that water out there." We had a sudden arctic cold front hit us Tuesday night, leaving us with record breaking cold temperatures. The temperature was only 20 degrees when the plane crashed; I can't imagine how freezing the water was under those conditions . . . I am so glad that everyone is alive.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Report: A Smooth Commute

I was running late for work today, but thankfully the Gods were looking down on me this morning. I managed to perfectly time the arrival of the M86 bus, the 4 Express train, and finally, the S train on my way to Times Square, allowing me to arrive just 3 minutes before my 10am Strategy meeting this morning.

And, although I was in a hurry to get to the office, I wasn't in too much of a hurry to see ABC World News Reporter Bob Woodruff sitting next to me on the S train this morning. He was catching up on his own personal news source: The New York Times.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I've Been Catching my ZZZs . . .

I've managed to get a full 8 hours of sleep every night since returning to The City. I guess a little retaliation goes a long way . . . Miss Ashley in 3C has been on her best behavior, coming and going quietly at normal hours of the day. I just hope this trend continues to become a habit instead of flickering out like a fad . . .

Unfortunately, it also means I haven't had the chance to try out that nifty noise machine Stacey gave me for Christmas yet!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Single Gal in The City's Best Friend

I received this recipe from my aunt and immediately tried it. It was the perfect companion for an evening of Twilight saga reading and took care of that chocolate fix in minutes!

5 Min. Chocolate Mug Cake

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar*
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
A pinch of baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil*
2-3 drops vanilla extract

1. In a large coffee mug, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
2. Add egg and mix into dry mixture.
3. Add oil, milk, and vanilla extract and mix well.
4. Bake in microwave on High (1000 watts) for 3 minutes.
5. Allow to cool a little and remove from the mug for serving.

* For a healthier alternative, replace the sugar with Splenda and replace the oil with applesauce.

Friday, January 2, 2009

I've Finally Been "Sucked" In

After hearing all the fuss about Twilight, I finally decided to crack open the book and give it a chance. Halfway through Chapter 3, I was hooked. I managed to read all but the last 60 pages on my flight home yesterday, slowly falling in love with Edward's charming and gentlemanly ways.

After closing the final chapter this afternoon, I found the next movie screening time and bolted across town for the chance to see my new crush in full color on the big screen. Unfortunately, the movie was not nearly as satisfying as the novel:

  • Kristen Stewart (Bella) has got to be one of the worst actresses I have ever witnessed.
  • Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson (Edward) have absolutely no on-screen chemistry.
  • The director managed to over-cheesify the few romantic scenes that actually appear in the movie.
  • The movie almost completely ignores the intrinsic draw of the book, which is Edward and Bella's long, heartfelt conversations.
  • But, I have to admit that Rob Pattinson nearly nailed Edward's emotional dichotomy on-screen; plus, he's really hot!
On the way home, I stopped at Barnes & Noble and picked up New Moon, the next book in the saga . . . yeah, I am really pathetic.