Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What I Did Last Weekend

And so I decided to take four days away from work to "just breathe". No vacation plans, no out-of-town trips but just to have some time to step back and perhaps become a bit more introspective. My boyfriend also says it is a chance to recoup the value of my flat’s rent by staying in it.

What I learned in keeping myself company with myself (and some few odd hours with the boy-toy):

1. I love cereal. Without milk. I take Cheerios with me in a small ziplock bag everywhere - while watching a DVD of “The Kingdom” or to take to “Sarah Marshall” so I wouldn’t get tempted to get popcorn. On Saturday I found myself snacking on the tiny circle puffs while watching my man attempt to kill himself in his sport. Incidentally, I realized that every other toddler watching their dads from their strollers also had a bag of cheerios to nibble on. Fantastic, I have new peers.

2. I have a very short attention span when it comes to TV shows. Colbert Report works for me because it has segments like Sesame Street. Those series marathons I used to enjoy? Only when I watch them with someone I guess.

3. I get distracted easily and can be VERY obsessive. On Friday night I emptied out the kitchen shelves to get it organized. About the same time I also emptied out the living room shelves to rearrange the books. For the length of the weekend, we had books, magazines, files, DVDs, condiments, vases, and picture frames on the floor. Well, the bright side of it - I can now say I have actually read MOST of my travel magazines and I have shredded files older than 2 years. And yes, my pictures in boxes are now chronologically arranged and I have refilled the bottles in the spice rack which is now alphabetized. Ditto with the DVDs and CDs.

4. I get cabin fever when I am in the apartment longer than 4 hours (except at night to sleep). I can’t sit stay indoors the whole day just watching TV or reading magazines – I get nauseous.

5. I am a lousy spring cleaner. I also emptied out my closet with the objective of purging any part of my wardrobe that has been around longer than 3 years. I did come up with a few paper bags that went to Goodwill but most of my favorites (some of which I haven’t worn for a while for various reasons) still ended up back in their hangers and their old spot in the closet.

6. I will die if the world’s internets ceased. Although I disconnected my modem to make sure I would not compulsively check work email for the length of the long weekend, whenever my blackberry vibrated and blinked, I was on it. My adorable little Blackberry has my Facebook, Yahoo Go!, my MSN messenger and yep, Google. And though it has internet access work mail is not compatible with my phone’s software and neither is work email forwarded to my personal email.

7. That left to my own boredom I can come up with a lot of lists, most of which now seem mundane. I keep them stuck on the fridge door though, just in case their logic comes back to me. One though, I decided to post online for your entertainment :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

When the pope came to town

So the pope is in town. He came to the UN and spoke to the staff urging them that there will be a spot in heaven for them for the work they do. I did not go because nothing turns me into an insane mad woman than two hours wait on a security line.

I received a lot of pictures from those who went though. And even if I have a ticket for the mass at Yankee stadium today, I am apt to stay away still. Not for any anti-pope sentiments or anything but I just don't want to spend half my whole weekend at the stadium when I can comfortably see it in HD at home.

Regardless my detachment to the papal excitement though, it feels like there is no place in Manhattan you can go without bumping into his entourage. On my way home Friday, a motorcade of black limos flanked by NYPD big bikers crossed as my path as they were leaving Park East Synagogue.

I saw the pope and I think he even waved at me.

Sent via my BlackBerry

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hosting Dinner, Manhattan Style

A friend told me Friday night that he missed how we used to host friends at my tiny apartment for dinner. I agreed. Good, he replied and informed me that we were hosting dinner at my apartment the following night.

He wasn't kidding. Matter of fact, he had already gotten into my freshdirect account and arranged to get some groceries delivered to my apartment Saturday morning. He smiled and reported that as soon as I was done with my coffee, we were off to pick up a couple of bottles of wine and even offered to go with me to Chinatown the next day where he knew I bought most of my vegetables, seafood and fruits.

It wasn't really a frenzy of activities. Mostly about making sure everything everything arrived on time and that the apartment was tidied up to welcome company.

By 8 o'clock Saturday night four of his friends and us sat around my dining table sipping wine, nibbling on cheese and tapas while exchanging stories about travels and babies and friendships. Dinner was a cheat - freshdirect's rack of lamb was heavenly plus a side of my very own tossed salad with mandarin oranges and walnuts. And of course for dessert, my signature fresh figs cooked in port wine and syrup and then topped with vanilla ice cream which his friends said was to die for. And yes, it is my very own recipe.

It was an evening of laughter and catching up with each other's lives. Maybe some gossiping too, of those who weren't in attendance. Afterwards, we ended the night with some Guitar Hero competition. No karaoke this time.

Instant dinner, long-time friends. Perfect weekend.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Return of Strappy Sandals

It is finally spring in the city. Or shall I say, it is spring again.

After a while life's rituals are simply matched and marked by the coming and goings of the seasons. When the climate hovers over milder temperatures and when flowers burst in colors in Central Park, when there are tiny promises of green on trees, soon to sprout and to fill the avenues with foliage again then you just know that nature has made a curtain call to the harsh frigid winds and a welcome to the return of life and all that it symbolizes.

Routines mark each transition of the passing seasons. Last weekend I began to deliver my coats and sweaters to the drycleaners prior to packing it away. I took inventory of my spring skirts and blouses and light cardigans. And then there are my favorite slingbacks and strappy heels and the joy that I will once more show off my pedicured toes. Bright red toes. Pinks, peaches, yellows, greens and cream will mark my wardrobe this season.

I think this is what I like most about living in the East Coast. You have greater appreciation for the first time you take out last year's skin baring sandals in mild weather but cherish the chance to show off tall heely leather boots again when the mercury drops or those comfy flip flops when the summer comes around. The old becomes new again. The rituals become a cycle but one that you look forward to - the tulip bulbs sitting on my window now, the barbeques in the summer, the dreamy walks amidst falling leaves in the autumn and the joy of playing out on a blizzard in the winter.

Life is what you make it, I have come to believe. When you can appreciate what comes your way and see the glass half full then you do not need those rose colored lenses. Spring can be with you year-round.

Life is how you live it, how you want to see it. Live life with color. Not just in the spring.