Saturday, February 27, 2010

John Mayer and Rain Boot Failure

Boy have I had a great couple of days! My very dear friend Laura DeWitt loves John Mayer with a love that rivals my love for Michael Phelps. She goes to as many of his live shows as she can and this week treated me to two tickets to Madison Square Garden on Thursday and Friday night! Both shows were absolutely phenomenal.

Madison Square Garden is giant and very very cool. For Thursday night we were in about the tenth row, stage left on the floor of the arena which was amazingly close. Friday we were in the first row of the second section, right in the center. These seats were pretty much directly in center court, which is cool in its own right.

The opening act was Michael Franti and Spearhead. If you haven't listened to Michael you should go get him right now because you like him. I know this. He was a great opening act and ran all around the arena during his set. He danced with audience members, hugged people, brought people's kids to the stage to sing with him and basically had a blast with everyone. He's so positive and his music is totally cool.

I think John Mayer is one of, if not the, most talented musicians of our time. He's very very good live. He also has some of the best backing musicians you'll ever see. His drummer was my favorite. Both nights he did drum solos that were so good they could stand alone as songs. I was moved to tears several times both nights, but then again, I'm kind of a cryer. Also John does terrific covers in his shows. In the two shows I saw he covered Tom Petty's Free Fallin, Alicia Keyes' New York, Fleetwood Mac (that song about thunder only happens when its rainin') and Paul Simon's Homeward Bound. NYC is his hometown so he was very excited to be playing for the Garden and everyone was excited to be seeing him. It was so much fun.

Madison Square Gardens is BIG

Love You Laura!

Some bad news is the status of my rain boots. The very same day I posted that picture of my trusty purple rain boots they failed me. You may have heard, we had a huge snowstorm here and conditions were nasty out on the street. On my way to the first John Mayer concert I stepped in an unavoidable and gigantic puddle and BOTH of my boots filled with nasty street water. It was awful and cold. So now I'm on the hunt for some good, cute boots. On the Upper West Side, where I work, the puddles can be almost knee deep and there is often no way to avoid stepping in them to get onto the sidewalk and not get hit by a taxi. Right now I have to wear grocery sacks inside my boots which is mostly effective, thought not totally comfortable.

By the way, there is not a link to my Amazon Store on the sideline, above the link to my Kodak Site. Anytime you are going to amazon to buy something, go through my store and help me out. Feel free to buy anything I have up and if you know you want somethign specific in advance, let me know and I'll put it in there for you. It would be a great help to me! Also I added more of the pictures I took at the concert to my Kodak site so go there too.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Post Card From a Snow Storm

I went to work this morning but they sent me home because the snow will keep customers away. I was going to be off tomorrow but they asked me to come in for a birthday party and of course I said yes. I stopped at Target on my way home for groceries and then got comfy with some soup and Olympics. I took some pictures to show you what things are like here at the apartment today:

My rubber boots are getting a little worn around the edges.

My hat and scarf drying from going out in the wet, wet snow this morning.

My pilates spot. I've done pilates every day since Ash Wednesday.

View of the subway tracks from my room.

Picking up extra shifts at work means no time to do laundry.

Olympics viewing area.

Pedro doesn't care about you, your Olympics or your snow storm.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Art: Update

I just found out Lisa has an Etsy shop and wanted to make sure to link to it. Her artwork is beautiful and a source of great joy in her life. If you like something please buy it, Lisa has a LOT of grandchildren to spoil. :)

Job Satisfaction

Nothing too much new to post about. Its been rainy here this week and I have been watching the Olympics contentedly when not at work. I absolutely love the Olympics and have not been disappointed by the games this year.

At work we are having training appointments where the people who book the appointment know that they will be photographed as part of a training so I am going to get more opportunities to shoot and learn. Today I photographed an 8 month old boy named Alexander and he was an absolute delight. He was so giggly and smiley and his mom and grandparents were helpful, positive and kind. The best part was showing their photos after editing. They all loved the pictures, they agreed that my personal favorite one was theirs too, and at the end the grandfather patted me on both shoulders and told me how well I did. I wish it always went that way!

Word on the street is we may get some snow tonight. I sure hope we do!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


When I first moved here, a couple of weeks before my birthday I was feeling lonely and homesick. My friend Jenni's mom Lisa posted some artwork she had done on Facebook and I commented about how much I liked it. A couple of weeks later the UPS man brought me this:

All framed and matted and everything. I love it. It hangs on my bedroom wall just between my closet doors and above where my full-length mirror would go if I ever managed to afford one. My sister, who knows about these things, once told me something that had to do with owning original artwork making you more legitimate in some way. Ok, obviously I need to listen more closely to my sister, who knows about these things, but I got the message: Own art. Real original art.

I've mentioned Shannon from work before. She is an artist specializing in mixed media collage. She's really talented and inspired and some of her work used to hang in the crafting room at the studio. Today I bought this from her and I am SO EXCITED:

Let me tell you all things I love about this:

  1. I personally know the artist and she's awesome.
  2. As indicated, the photo in the center was taken in Brooklyn.
  3. The second lady from the right is Shannon's Grandma Emily.
  4. These women are clearly awesome.
  5. Shannon sketched the Brooklyn Bridge and skyline in the background.
  6. Shannon has no idea what or where The Lost Weekend is.

I love my new piece of art and can't wait to put it up in my room. Its something I feel I'll always have in my home, even when I no longer live in NY and it makes me really happy.

Several weeks ago on a yucky wintry morning on my way to work I saw an old cardboard album cover on the sidewalk on the way to the train. It was Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass "What Now My Love?" The picture of old Herb and his horn and lady friend were priceless and I picked it up and took it directly to Shannon at work. I can't wait to see what magic she works on it.

The last piece of original art in my collection was made by me:

This was taken at the fair, my favorite place and it hangs on my door. Its the first photo I've ever enlarged. Of course my room is full of other photos I've taken, but the Ferris Wheels are by far my favorite. Can't wait until I can photograph the Wonder Wheel up close.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Jake was here from Monday morning until just a couple of hours ago. I'd love to tell you all the fancy and fantastic things we did together, taking in the sights and sounds of NYC in winter, but the truth is we didn't leave the house. I went to work for a shift and a meeting but Jake didn't walk out the door until today when he was leaving for the bus. We just ate takeout and watched Olympics. It was FANTASTIC!! There's a reason we get along so well. I wouldn't say I'm a complete homebody but during the Olympics in February I see no point in going to any trouble. We had a wonderful time. It was so sad to say goodbye and see the bus off over in Chinatown and I am missing him already.

Its now lent. I don't ever make New Years Resolutions but I always try to observe Lent. Several different years I resolved to drink a certain amount of water every day but that is no longer a discipline for me as I can easily drink two or three quarts a day now. I have also given up soda a time or two. I don't like to give up things as much as observe disciplines as I think the purpose of Lent is to make you mindful of Jesus times of hardship and sacrifice and not whiny about how much chocolate or whatever means to you. Plus I get REALLY whiney when I want sweets. This year I am resolving to pray every day of Lent, and to use my prayers to give thanks to God for all the things I have. I already pray every day but most days its quick prayers asking for help and support when I'm feeling unsure in situations. To this end, I have started a journal where I am going to write down all the things I'm blessed with to help me grow toward being a more grateful person.

Also I'm taking up pilates, in the hopes that strengthening my abdominal muscles might relieve all my back pain and help prevent the injuries I seem to prone to. I'd love to be able to just lift something without that sinking feeling that I'll be paying for it later! I have a couple choices on Netflix Instant and the one I did today was 30 minutes long. Some parts were very simple but some parts were very hard and had me shaking and moaning a little, so until I can do all parts of it without sounding like a grandma I'm going to try and stick with this one.

So I don't know that its altogether appropriate to say Happy Lent, but hopefully you are all growing and learning in this, the homestretch to SPRING TIME!!

I'm thinking about taking a part time job to help with money since I have fewer hours at the portrait studio. Right now the studio knows I want the hours and have had anyone that needs a shift covered call me I'm just not sure it'll be enough unless I get more hours sometime soon. Anybody have any ideas of retail jobs that are fun? I'm no waitress, that's for sure.

Monday, February 15, 2010


My Hot Olympian of the Day blog has been up and running for three days now and its so much fun. I always loved sending out the e mails and am having fun with the blog too. There are just a couple of small differences. When I sent out the e mails people always replied to them and I sometimes had e mail reply chains that were 20 or 30 replies long. There is a space for commenting on the blog but so far nobody has used it. That doesn't mean nobody is looking though! Kirstin, who designed the background and header of the new blog, also showed me a website that gives me data about who is viewing my blog. From that I have learned where all my readers are located. Its so fascinating to see, Most are from the Eastern US, naturally, but there are three other countries represented. Its pretty obvious how I got a reader from St Vincent and the Grenadines, but Quebec?

I am so so happy the Olympics are on. Laura and I have been watching every night. Its the most pleasant television ever. I wonder if I'd ever get tired of it. Last night we watched Moguls and Pairs Figure Skating. Laura got to watch the biathlon yesterday while I was at work.

Its very early morning here. Jake is on the subway on his way here from the Chinatown bus station. Almost as soon as he gets here I will have to leave for work, but I hope to at least get to say hello and good morning before I leave. I sure hope today goes by quickly. After that it will be a couple days of nothing but quality time with my boyfriend and the Olympics!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Be Mine?

Happy Valentines Day! Romance is in the air here in NYC and the Empire State Building is lit in pink and red. Jake didn't make it up for the Olympics opening Ceremonies or Valentines Day like I'd hoped but it looks like he may be here tomorrow and we'll get to spend some time together.

Friday evening Rachel, Laura's friend Drew, Laura and I got together to watch the ceremonies at our apartment. Rachel brought wine and sausage smoked by her chef at culinary school and we ordered Chinese food and settled in to watch. I have to say the ceremonies were a little bizarre at times but its still the Olympics and we had a good time making fun of Canada. We also saw the new video for We Are The World and I immediately purchased the single and love it. I'm so very happy its the Olympics again!

Yesterday I worked and picked up my 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, another seasonal tradition for me. Can't wait to sit down and read it cover to cover.

Today I am at work and since its slow I get to blog for my work and sit for a while for a change. Hope we have an easygoing day today. Just to keep the store in the mood I put Pandora on and made a station with the keyword Al Green. Hope everyone has a terrific Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


We finally got some snow here in NY! It was pretty, it accumulated about 9 inches here, and now the sun is out and everything is fine. Its quite slushy outside but not a big problem. Surprisingly, NYC public schools had a snow day yesterday. I always thought New Yorkers were above snow days.

Last night during the storm Laura and I went over to the bar and stayed much longer than we meant to and drank a little too much. Whoops! What is it about 773?

Since 2004 I have sent out a daily e mail each day of the Olympics called Your Hot Olympian of the Day. Each e mail highlighted a good looking Olympic athlete participating in the games and came with around 3 pictures. This year I decided to make it a blog so that people can forward it and share it and to keep them all in one place. I'm very excited. Both that blog and the new header on this blog were designed by my friend Kirstin at Purple Monkey Designs. If you ever need any web design or similar service I highly recommend her work.

Your Hot Olympian of the Day

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fancy Hotels and Cheap Chocolate Candies

Another working weekend has passed for me. Both Saturday and Sunday we had birthday parties at the studio and it was fun and insanely busy. Best part: sometimes we get tips and sometimes we get cupcakes!

Last night was the Superbowl and after work I met up with Laura and her college friends India and Meredith. Meredith was in town from NC, where she works, for business and just happened to have a room at the Waldorf-Astoria. We thought it would be fun to watch the game in sweats there. The hotel was beautifully appointed as far as the lobby was concerned but the room was just a really nice hotel room. The windows and window dressings were ornate and remarkable and it had a really nice bathroom and a mini-bar which I've rarely seen, but otherwise it wasn't as shockingly lavish as I'd hoped.

Today Sarah came over and we made chocolate suckers with a kit I had gotten at work. I had a babysitter when I was in elementary school who made chocolate suckers for every occasion as a little cottage industry and I couldn't resist the kit when it came in a shipment of Valentine stock. Decorating the suckers was much harder than I anticipated, but the project was totally fun and the candy is as good as I remembered it.

Laura is home now and we just had leftovers from Rachel's feast and will soon be watching The Bachelor and playing Trivial Pursuit. I love Monday's off. Unfortunately I'll soon be trying to get temp jobs for all my weekdays off.

Please keep you fingers crossed that Jake can get a bus up here for the weekend. I don't really know what the bus route looks like, or what precautions the New Century bus service uses or what kind of cancellation policy they may have. I just know that its going to be the Olympics AND Valentines Day and I really want Jake to be here for both things. I'm really worried that the weather might hold him up.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I can now say I have lived the Upper West Side Life: I've shopped at Zabar's. No I don't live on the Upper West Side, but I work there and have been learning a lot about UWS culture. For a reference point: think Seinfeld. Tonight after work I met Rachel and we had to go and get ink for the printer at the portrait studio. The plan was for Rachel to make me dinner (she is a student at the French Culinary Institute) at my apartment in Brooklyn. Since we were already off the Subway and weren't sure Met would be open when we got home we ended up going to Zabar's. Fancy! Expensive! Yikes! Rachel was running around like a kid in a candy store grabbing mushrooms, spices, pancetta, a whole chicken! We were both shocked when the total came up! Oops! So right now Rachel is cooking me a dinner that cannot be beat. Can't wait to taste it.

I've been hearing loads about the huge blizzard in Virginia and its making me so homesick. I can't even explain why. I'm just longing for that snowed-in nowhere to go feeling usually accompanied by, well, company! Not that I'm lonely, I just miss my family! And home friends! And boyfriend! I mean really!

Also some really bad news: I had my work hours cut back drastically and now will have to find a second job. Not my favorite. Nothing bad happened, they just don't need to have as many staff on at any given time now that the Holiday rush is over. I'm really sad as things were so good with my employment status, but I'm glad I still have the job and and scouting out opportunities of all kinds.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An Appreciation of my Galoshes.

Something interesting I learned the other night is that when it snows its as quiet outside in Brooklyn as in Strasburg. That is something I never would have believed before living here. Tuesday night it snowed and the ground was white when I got up yesterday morning but it was all gone by the time I got to work really. I hear they have quite a bit more snow back home.

About five years ago I bought purple paisley rain boots on a whim while shopping at the mall in Towson. We were there because it was 'Michael's mall' and I always thought of those boots as my Michael's Mall Boots. I had the boots all that time and never wore them. Too much hassle to have to change shoes when all I ever needed was to get from the house to the car and the car to wherever. Sometimes I even felt bad having them when I didn't need them. I'm so glad I held onto them though, now I couldn't do without them. Rainboots are a must in NY. The puddles are deep here, even days after a rain and that's not just water pooling there in the street. You don't even wanna know what it is! I do so much more walking in weather nowdays. Thank you purple boots! And thank goodness rain boots are in style these days.

Today is my day off, so of course its sunny outside. Hope everyone in VA is safe and warm and has plenty Milk Bread and Toilet Paper. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

We Are The World!

A couple of nights before the Hope For Haiti Now telethon and concert aired I commented to Laura that this would be an excellent time for the stars of today to come together and rerecord We Are The World. The lyrics to the song are completely applicable and I have been thinking for a while that its time we brought back the charity pop/rock collaboration anthem. So I was thrilled when I finally got up today and was greeted by a note on the bathroom mirror from Laura:

We Are The World for Haiti being released today :)

I remember when the first We Are The World music video came on TV when I was a little kid. I remember watching the whole thing and loving Michael Jackson and feeling so excited and I remember going to the dining room after and finding my dad's old pair of giant earphones by the hifi and putting them on, swaying and singing a chorus of the song, pretending to be one of the artists. I do not remember if this imaginary performance was private or if I did it for the benefit of mom too.

Today I've been watching the internet eager for updates on the artists and format of the new recording. I can't wait for the actual release and watching the video and reading the Wikipedia entry about the original I hope the new one has everything we love. I intend to buy the single and I hope it makes history just like the first one. I hope that it raises lots of money for Haiti and I hope it spurs a resurgance of the charity power anthem. I'm so excited!

Sunday: The New Friday

Everyone else's weekend is ending on this Sunday night, but my weekend begins now. I usually have Monday and Tuesday off and this week is the same. Weekdays off are fun and different than standard weekends. I get better tv, and its not as though work prevents me from going out on weekend nights if I like.

Friday evening I met up with Laura DeWitt and some teachers she used to work with at a bar and grill called Delta in midtown. The place was southern themed, with barbecue and gumbo and po'boys. It was pretty good although, don't go to NYC if you want to eat really good barbecue. I'm just saying. The company was great though and the atmosphere was fun.

Saturday morning I got up extra early to go to the Doctor in Harlem. Laura DeWitt met me for coffee at whole foods in Columbus Circle, which is where Trump Towers is. Whole Foods is a grocery store but this one was super fancy and had about a trillion different kinds of breakfast breads and a coffee bar and cafeteria seating off to one side. Then I went into work. I ended up doing three shoots!! First was a family with a 3 month old baby girl and a dog. We worked and worked but didn't get the greatest shots ever. Next was a couple with a little girl that they had been bringing in every month since she was born. They gave her lots of toys and it was a disorganized and distracting photo shoot with the parents shouting from every direction in the studio and not letting us manage things. I didn't finish this shoot because my boss called me out to come help edit the previous shoot and give me some pointers about getting better shots. It was really helpful to see what she was talking about. Third was a shoot with a sweet baby girl and her mom and dad. I got the best pictures of the day from them.

Last night Laura and I went to a party over at Sarah's. Her sister is moving in with her and it was a sort of housewarming/welcome for her. It was so bitterly cold out and I was tired of long underwear and jeans and sweaters so I decided that despite the freeze I was going to wear a cute dress. I wore regular tights, then socks up to my thighs, then a pair of boxer briefs on my bottoms. I wore a tank top, a slip, a long sleeved t-shirt, then the dress as my top. Then I wore a jacket and then my coat, hat, scarf and gloves. Then I put my hood up. I was still cold. It was fun though to wear an outfit for a change. Work is casual and some of the girls wear cute stuff but mostly I just wear the standard Katy dress and lately its the standard Katy three or four layers as it is always cold in the shop and on the walk to work. Anyway the party was fun and it was nice to go do something a little different.

Today I worked again. When I got to work they were having a huge birthday party for a one year old. The family of the birthday girl had hired a children's musician and while he performed in the studio my boss photographed the kids and their families and the reactions to the performer. Each child got to take home a print of themselves in a frame with their name on it. While they had cake etc they all watched a slide show of the photos from the performance. We have several different party packages, based on the age of the party people but this family pulled out all the stops, bringing bagels and coffee, cheese trays, a gorgeous cake and cupcakes for the baby guests. They had a catered meal too. Manhattan mom's crack me up because they all have beautiful cakes at their kids birthday parties but they don't let their kids eat cake, apparently even on special occasions. Unfortunately the family took all the leftovers with them when they left. All the leftovers except one bottle of wine they had opened. Oops. After that I got a $25 tip from helping with the party and the store pretty much cleaned out. Shannon and I finished out the day and the bottle of wine and it was kind of fun being in the store while it was quiet and having some wine.

Something awesome that also happened is that a woman from one of my good photo shoots last week came back. They had bought a pretty sizable package right after their shoot but she came back to the store to buy another $150 of extra prints. She loved them and was so happy with them and I am so happy with them and I'd had a little wine, but I just couldn't help but feel great about it.