Wednesday, December 29, 2010
We had a great Christmas. On the 23rd I drove up to Reston to visit my friend Kirstin for her birthday. I had to overcome my fear of driving the hard way for that one. Happily I made it safe and sound and celebrated Kirstin's birthday with her family and a few close friends at her Uncle Rick's house. I love spending time with Kirstin's family. I always feel so welcome. We ate some pizzas, drank some and finished the evening by watching Shep and Tiffany Watch TV: Best of 2010 Special on Bravo. Tiffany is Kirstin's cousin who lives in CA and Shep, the show's creator is her boyfriend. That was cool! I'm so glad I braved driving to spend Kirstin's birthday with her. I miss the time when we lived close by and could spend lots of time together.
In recent years I've been no fan of Christmas. I tried not to be too much of a scrooge but each year I seemed to find more disappointment than merriment. I'm happy to report that this year was vastly different. While not our first Christmas as a couple, this was Jake and my first Christmas as cohabitants. We decided to get gifts for his family as we'd be spending the holiday with them. We Christmas shopped! It was kind of fun! Also kind of stressful. We got a tiny little table tree and decorated it with ornaments we both picked. I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped. I'll never be as good at wrapping as my mother is, and I sorely missed her skill this year, but I managed to get the paper on there and taped. Finally Christmas arrived and we celebrated with Jake's family. I made my family eggnog. We drank, talked, opened presents, spoke on the phone to those who couldn't make it, remembered those who were no longer with us. It was really pleasant. Then it began to snow.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Last weekend my friend Allison took me to the Richmond Folk Festival while Jake stayed home to work. It was really fun, though we mostly strolled around talking. Allison is a friend from camp and there is always plenty to talk about. She works for Social Services and we're hoping she can put in a good word for me should a position open up in that agency. It was a really nice evening and I'm looking forward to spending more time with her and her boyfriend Ray.
In regards to job hunting I'm making headway. I signed on with a second temp company and they have a position for me making plenty more than I did at my last job and working full time. Its temporary through January so it'll get me by and give me time to find something more permanent. I'm feeling pretty positive about it and wish I could start today but there's plenty of paperwork and so forth to be done beforehand.
I joined meetup.com on the suggestion of my friend Sarah and am considering going to a book club meeting tomorrow night. I need to finish To Kill a Mockingbird by tomorrow evening if I want to go. I've read that a few times but I feel like its cheating not to have it fresh in my mind. It would be nice to meet some new people though.
My laptop still isn't working but Jake's friend Jesse may be able to hook me up with another one which would be terrific. I miss the internet very much and sharing is hard. Jake doesn't think too much of facebook so he gets antsy if he sees me using it. I always did enjoy a leisurely facebook browse. Because of my lack of regular internet access I've started using foursquare on my phone. Foursquare is a social networking game where you post updates about where you are when you're out and about and you can see where other people you have as friends are too. You can also see what other users say about different locations and sometimes you get special deals. If you check in at a location more than once you can sometimes become the mayor of the place which often means nothing more than that but sometimes there are prizes. I'm now the proud mayor of the county library and CVS. Jake thinks this is hilarious and laughs at me for it whenever it comes up. Anyway the idea is to explore your neighborhood so I'm enjoying it very much and encourage everyone to try it. I wish I'd had it in NYC.
Well the laundry is beckoning. I do NOT miss laundromats in the least but I will say that when you only have one of each machine it seems to drag on. I need to start setting an alarm to remind me to put in the next load because I keep forgetting to stay on top of it and there's always another load to be done.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Tomorrow though, I'm heading to the temp agency and I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Why are you moving?
A few reasons. First and foremost my lease is up, its been a year, and I don't have the money to renew. I had a great job at the portrait studio and enjoyed working there. I learned a lot but I didn't really make enough there to live in NY. My debt is really catching up with me and its time to get back to where living is a little more affordable and start paying down some of my bills. Secondly I'm moving in with my boyfriend! This is a super exciting next step in my life and I'm really really happy about it. Jake and I survived a year of long-distance and now we'll try and survive close proximity. It'll be fun and a challenge for both of us. I'm looking forward to all of it. Finally, I missed Virginia every day. I liked New York, I still do, and I'll come back and visit, but I'm a Virginia girl through and through.
So where are you going to live? Are you coming back to Strasburg?
I'm going to live in Richmond, which is where Jake lives. We'll start out staying at his place, where the rent is mega-cheap and save some money. In a little while we'll find an apartment in the area. Jake is still working on his CD project and his clientele are all in the Richmond area. Don't worry, I plan to visit the Valley every chance I get.
Where will you work?
I don't know yet. My plan is to sign on as a temp a.s.a.p. and worry about the rest later. My main goal is to make some money.
Do you want another job in photography?
Hey, maybe! Its almost the holiday season and I can see getting a job at a studio. I love taking pictures and am hoping to get a real camera for my birthday. I'll always be taking pictures, whether I'm getting paid for it or not. I just want to make sure I have a full-time paying job first and foremost.
Will you miss New York? Will you ever go back?
Yes. There are lots of things I love about living in New York and Brooklyn. I also have a lot of great friends there. I'm sure I'll visit often. Everyone knows I can't stay away from Coney Island long anyways.
Will you stop blogging?
No. I doubt that moving away from a city will put a damper on my adventurous spirit. I have loved having my little blog and I hope to do lots more fun things that I can write about, and you can read about. I hope you won't find my change of address boring.
The New York adventure doesn't end with me of course. I hope you'll always read my blog because I love you and like having you around. I encourage anyone who wants to hear more New York adventure stories to read Sarah's and Natasha's blogs. They have both moved to the city in the past couple of months and their stories are just beginning. I know I will continue to live in New York vicariously through them and am so glad they are both blogging. Enjoy!
A big thank you to everyone who supported me through this year-long adventure! Thank you if you came and visited me, if you sent me presents, if you commented on my blog or if you became my friend while I was a temporary New Yorker.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sarah met me at my place and we took the Q to the Franklin Ave Shuttle at Prospect Park and then the C to Hoyt-Schermerhorn. The mezzanine looked all wrong; much too small and not nearly enough tiled columns. We figured a lot must have changed since the video was shot, not knowing then about the abandoned mezzanine and platform. We posed for photos by an imaginary grate and then struck MJ dance move poses between the columns.
We must have looked pretty crazy because we drew the attention of a police officer from the NYPD station in the subways station there. He came out to ask what we were doing and we told him we were being BAD. We asked if he knew anything about where they filmed the video and he said it must be in the abandoned part of the station. He said we couldn't get in to see it and even if we did we'd be covered in dirt and grime. He was so nice and talked to us a long time about Michael Jackson fans who wandered in now and then and also about some of the other films shot there. He also told us that the movie Warriors, one of Jake's favorites, and one I love very much too, was an accurate depiction of New York City life in the late 70s early 80s when most of the nicest parts of Brooklyn were then unsafe, unsavory places. He talked to us for a long time, all the while eying passing people and interrupting our conversation once to get after a young man who had skipped the turnstile. He was a great cop and I'm so glad we talked to him.
I'm sad we didn't get to see the real BAD mezzanine but I got a picture of the abandoned platform, which you can see from the in-service ones. Sarah and I parted ways, she to go finish her homework and I to go put off packing. I'm glad we both took time out to explore!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
This week back home its time for the Shenandoah County Fair! I took the late night bus to DC Monday night. After a little mix-up with meeting Jake (ahem, waiting for 2 hours outside the Red Roof Inn with Clarence the night watchmen and conspiracy theorist because Jake was a schoch late) we ended up getting into Strasburg and going to bed around 6am. When we walked in the door my sister and mom were both up and in the kitchen waiting for us! I thought we'd sneak in to a sleeping house but they were excited to see us and got up early, I guess.
After sleeping most of the day we were up just in time to have some of Jake's Famous Omelets and head to the fair!
The fair is a can't-miss for me. I love it so much and love visiting it with all my friends. Last year I think Jake and I went 5 days with different friends each time. This time I only had three nights to visit and we ended up mixing up all my friends and family into two big trips. It was fun to see people interact and to get to see so many people that I love so.
Tuesday night Jake and I drove up with my friend Kris and met our friends Jessica and Brett and their daughter Olivia. First we hit up some dinner. Jake and I got Shaffers Barbecue which is delicious. Next we walked through the barns and then hit up the midway and exhibit buildings. The Shoot the Star Out carnie even remembered Jake from last year. Jake tried again but didn't get that star.
Then Jake spent some time on his second favorite Shenandoah County Fair attraction: Dunk the Clown. He loves dunking that clown. Kris said she thought the clown's laugh would give her nightmares. I like watching Jake try and then agonize over whether or not he should spend the money to try 'one more time' or not.
After dunking the clown a couple of times (so proud) Brett was determined that he and Jake were going to ride the mechanical bull. Brett even had a plan and a strategy to get the most out of it. Jake was complaining of a bellyache but I convinced him Brett really wanted him to be in on this so he decided to give it one try. Brett was first and when he finally fell off he had cut his thigh on the saddle and didn't get back on. Jake was next and he stayed on a long time. When he fell off the operator told him he could get on a second time and he did but when he got off that second time he cracked us all up by grabbing his crotch as he rose from the padding and exclaiming "it really gets ya, don't it!" It was hilarious. Jake was so glad he'd ridden the bull and might have even done it again but we were all getting pretty tired and ready to go. After a funnel cake that is.
Wednesday night we met our good friends Amy, Jason and their adorable kids Easton and Bluebell. We also met Devin and later my Dad and Step-mom Markee. We got dinner first again, Jake sitting down to a meal of THREE barbecue sandwiches, while I got a modest hamburger and fries. YUM.
Next we took the little ones through the barns and looked at the animals again. In the goat barn Jake and I ran into our friend Joy from camp who was looking radiant. It turns out Joy had never been to a fair before! We stopped and chatted for a bit and hoped we'd run into her again later.
Next we went down the midway so Jason, Jake and Devin could take shots at the old clown again. Everybody did several tries and Jake dunked him twice. Joy and her boyfriend happened by and he took a turn too. This is when we met up with my dad who rolled his eyes at the boys while Amy and I stook back and waited patiently for these boring boys to throw their baseballs. Next it was more exhibits and a stop at the Tupperware booth for me and Amy. We finished the evening with funnel cake, sweet tea, fried Oreos for me and Jake, Dad got a polish sausage and Amy's little ones had ice creams. Then we sat down for the last two rounds of Bingo. Then we said bye to the Edgars and Daddy and Markee and headed home.
Here's a run-down of every one's highlights at the fair:
Me - My friends, the Ferris Wheel (Even though I didn't ride this year!!), The Tupperware Booth (don't judge me, I didn't buy anything this year) seeing everyone and everything else too.
Kris - Watching Jake and Brett ride the bull and their respective injuries and reactions and the Goats (Me too Kris!) and baby pigs.
Devin - Dunking the Clown and hanging with us.
Jessica - The food (specifically barbecue chicken, fries and sweet tea) and getting to hang out with us!
Brett - Riding the Bull and hanging with us.
Olivia - The rides, specifically the Bees, the Trucks and the Scrambler! Also Hand Sanitizer.
Amy - Funnel Cake, Goats and Tupperware and seeing us!
Jason - Food, Goats, Horses and Clown Dunking.
Easton - The Ferris Wheel, The animals, winning a toy hammer and ice cream!
Bluebell - Going barefoot, eating ice cream and seeing all the lights.
Dad - The Exhibit house and the Polish Sausage.
Markee - Visiting and Anytime she got to be cool.
*One last thing about the fair. You may remember from last year that each night of the fair Jake and I made sure to visit our favorite Fried Oreo booth and made friends with the girls there. Jake even got into the newspaper as their biggest fan, as the stand was new to the fair last year. Sadly there was a terrible accident last Sunday and Manda, the booth's owner and another man were very badly burned. I included this as one of our favorite things about the fair because even though the booth was closed we love Fried Frenzy and were sad each time we walked past the empty booth. We sure hope our friends are better soon and back at the fair next year!!!! We love and miss them!
The party was SO much fun. There was a stage from which a DJ spun Michael Jackson music all day. Every so often Mr Lee or someone working with him would make an announcement about the free Pepsi and Ben and Jerry's they were giving away in back. Also from time to time they put lyrics on the jumbotrons and called it Karaoke, inviting everyone to sing along. Since it wasn't really a concert there was no push toward the stage and the atmosphere was completely relaxed and celebratory. And the DANCING. We danced ALL day! We danced and sang and danced and sang and everyone everywhere was dancing and singing with us. People had out cameras of all types and were snapping and filming all kinds of things. Outbreaks of group dancing like Thriller dancing over here, Beat it dancing over there and 2 outbreaks of the Electric slide drew the cameras and film crews as did the many impersonators and tribute displays. A popular favorite for the jumbotron were the costumed children busting out their best MJ moves. Everyone was happy, everyone was dancing, singing, smiling, clapping. It felt like we were all friends. Throughout the hot day there was never any kind of hostility and that is really remarkable and made it even more fun. And the event was absolutely free and not even overly secured or fenced.
We could barely hear one another speak but we did request our favorite songs among ourselves, wishing aloud to hear Man in the Mirror and We are the World or Beat It and celebrating when someone's favorite was played. Toward the end, or when we thought the end should be they began handing out posters that had phrases from the song Wanna Be Startin Something. At different parts of the song people with different phrases would hold up their sign, ending with the signs that said Ma Ma Se Ma Ma Sa Ma Ma Coo Sa, the chant at the end of the song. We all had a good time holding up the signs ( I didn't have one so I got to wave my arms to all the phrases) and at the end they looped the chanting so we were all jumping and shouting and chanting together for a nice long while.
THEN they did more Michael Jackson music! Finally they put up Man in the Mirror, which we had been anticipating all day, as one of the karaoke picks and we all got to sing along. The highlight of the whole day for me was at the end of that they played it a second time, cutting out the sound at the chorus so only the crowd could be heard, everyone singing the chorus together. Amazing. Absolutely one of the best moments of my life. After just a couple more songs we all went home, happy, tired and sunburned.
Like I said I've been almost non-stop busy with work but I did have a nice time with Sarah and Laura DeWitt last Friday. Sarah met me in the afternoon and went on a fruitless quest for packing boxes and then a fruitful quest for hot dogs down at Coney Island. We poked around a bit at Coney with bellies full of corn dogs and cokes and then headed back to my neighborhood where we took some snacks over to Laura's to watch an episode of 20/20 featuring HER MOM!
Laura's mom had the opportunity to host a woman who was a victim of a crime targeting people with Albinism in Tanzania. Mariamu came to the US to receive donated prosthetic arms and stayed with Laura's mom who took her in just like family. The 20/20 episode showed just how generous and caring a soul Kitty is, which I assure you she handed down to her daughter.
We were all so proud and moved by the episode and had a good time hanging out and eating chips and ice cream together. I barely scratched the surface of the story of Mariamu so please check out Asante Mariamu, as well as Sarah and Tasha's blog posts about it.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I forgot to mention in my last post about Jessica, Brett and their kids visit that after all the shopping and toy buying and dream realizing we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge together. I was tired and grouchy last night and I'll get to that momentarily but first I'll tell you about the bridge.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
We all met at our apartment and took the train over to Lefferts Gardens. We had to stand in a long line and not until we were almost in did I find out there were no cameras allowed. I hid my camera as best I could in my purse and was relieved to get in without being found out. Once inside we found a spot to stand toward the back of the sizable crowed. The concerted opened with prayer led by a local reverend. The crowd was boisterous and fun to watch as they danced and sang to the music.
Slick Rick was fun, although he didn't often finish an entire song and let the crowd fill in holes a lot, which broke the beat a lot. Naughty by Nature was terrific and although we hadn't remembered their songs on the way there we were happy to hear OPP and Hip Hop Hooray.
Salt-N-Pepa were amazing! Their set was quick but satisfying and they even brought out Busta Rhymes, a local, for one song.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
The Reflex came to town again and this time I was on the guest list at the club which is totally cool. The show was amazing and everybody was having fun, singing along and dancing. They had a substitute lead singer which was mind-blowing but all the band members waved to me from the stage. I'm so famous.
After the set we were down in the bathroom area when we saw Marco who took us to the Green Room to party with the band. We had a great time sitting and talking with the band. Silly me, I let Darron give me drinks and before long I'd had a bit too much. Darron drinks straight vodka.
We got home fine and slept until 3pm. Laura just made us a delicious stir-fry and we are watching a marathon of Mad Men. Its so novel to be home on a weekend day.