Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Home Again

I apologize for the lack of posts this past week. I’ve become incredibly l-a-z-y since Christmas vacation began. Couple vacation with being at home, and getting anything done has become nearly impossible.

I adopted a new mantra this week… do nothing and enjoy everything. I like it, and I am going to wholly endorse it while at home. Work? Never heard of it. Responsibilities? Eh. Doing nothing but hanging out with friends and family? Now that sounds more like it.

Since stepping foot in Kentucky, at least two wrinkles have disappeared and one year has been added back to my life. The pace of life is much calmer and the people are more patient. The only time my New York tendencies reemerge is when running for a spot in the shortest checkout line at Super Wal-Mart.

I sleep great at home too. I know part of it is being back in my old room, in my old bed. But, mostly, it’s about the silence. It’s so quiet here. No garbage trucks, no people yelling, no motorcycles, no construction, no noises in the hallway, no apartment doors slamming. Ah, I feel the zzzzzz’s coming on just thinking about it.

It feels good to be back. I am rested, rejuvenated, and stress-free. Thankfully, I can enjoy this for a few more days.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Or... Maybe Not

One of the students I work with is on a basketball team. I said that, coming from a state of avid basketball fans, Ben and I would love to watch him play in a game. He responded enthusiastically... at first. Then, he looked unsure.

"It would be cool if you could come," he said. "But, you'll have to say you're my way, way distant cousin."

"That's fine," I replied.

"Well, actually, I don't know..." he said hesitantly.

"What?" I asked.

He gave me a long glance.

"Maybe you should say you're my aunt instead."

Yowzer! I guess somebody needs to start busting out the anti-aging creams stat!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Good Day

Last night, everything went right and it put me in the best mood.

First, the subway smelled like one gigantic Christmas tree. The fact that the subway actually smelled GOOD is pretty much a miracle. I’m not even going to start talking about what the subway usually smells like.

Second, I found a store in Harlem on 116th street that sells stuff at decent, affordable, and discounted prices. It was there that I picked up a sleigh load of gifts for our school’s toy and clothing drive that is going on until next Tuesday. Feel free to wire me some money for more presents.

Then, I went to the grocery store. There were NO lines, and the cashier at the register smiled at me AND said “happy holidays” in a genuinely pleasant voice. By this point, I pretty much believed that I had entered a New York in some alternate, parallel universe.

Lastly, I walked into our apartment and immediately saw that Carlos (the superintendent of our building) had replaced two broken window blinds. We can finally close the blinds! Now the people that live in the 20 story building across the street won't be traumatized when they look out their window to check the weather and instead see us lying around like beached whales and gorging ourselves on Subway’s $5 foot long sandwiches.

Cheers to a good day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Courtney Stares

A group of us met on Saturday afternoon to listen to Scott Pryor and the Common Sinners play at the Rockwood Music Hall in the Lower East Side. It was a great show. The lyrics took Courtney to a far away land...

Friday, December 11, 2009


I've received a few comments about not posting a picture of our Double Dare teams with the Halloween story. I didn't FORGET to post a picture. I purposefully waited until today. It was all a part of my master plan to get readers to check back later in the week. Drumroll please...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Halloween '09

Halloween. Ugh. It’s like New Year’s Eve. An overrated holiday where the preparation process causes so much stress that it usually outweighs the fun of the actual night. Even with that prior knowledge, we still made a go of it.

Six of us dressed up as the red and blue teams from “Double Dare”, a popular Nickelodeon family game show from our childhood. We ironed Double Dare logos onto red and blue sweatsuits that we ordered off of the Internet. Surprisingly, Manhattan stores and boutiques don’t keep oversized elastic solid colored sweatsuits in stock. I can’t imagine why such form-enhancing outfits would not be popular in the fashion capitol of the world.

We topped off our outfits with matching helmets, and elbow and kneepads. We were quite a sight next to the hordes of scantily clad firemen, French maids, and genies. But, as we had hoped (and prayed and betted), our costumes were a hit with the targeted audience. It took gumption to be seen in the streets of New York City with such clever and, at the same time, unattractive outfits.

We bought tickets to attend a highly anticipated Halloween extravaganza at the famed Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park. The event turned more into a disaster than an extravangza. We, along with an oversold crowd of around 1,000 to 2,0000 partygoers waited in a long line and light drizzle for the doors to open. They never did.

The motley crowd made of sunken treasure chests, Legos, sultans, Disney princesses, football players, celebrity look-a-likes, and cowboys turned ugly pretty quickly. Chants of “Rip the tent down!” and “Flip the (catering) truck!” surged from the crowd. Finally, after TWO hours of waiting, the NYC police arrived and told THOUSANDS of costumed New Yorkers that the party was being shut down.


But, that small setback didn’t stop us! We hopped on the subway and headed to another party in Chelsea, which was awesome until a resident on the third floor locked himself out of his apartment and used a fire extinguisher to bust down his door. The exploded extinguisher left an inch of dust on the stairwell and prompted the NYC fire department to respond. Forced to leave yet another party.

But, like the first contestants of “Double Dare”, we did not take defeat easy. We just moved the party to our place and called it a night with a delivery of chicken fingers and cheese sticks from the diner down the street. We made the night memorable, not too hard with fun teammates.

And, most importantly, we were comfortable in our super cool sweatsuits.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Island Living

My life in New York feels like a movie, especially when my iPod provides the soundtrack. I can’t believe that I live in one of the most incredible cities in the world AND am still alive. Honestly, I had my doubts. I marvel at how Ben and I have adjusted, and pretty impressed with the ‘tude I adopted.

It’s so surreal to live here. Whenever I travel or go anywhere else, I can’t believe how full of life New York is. Everyone and everything is so different – cultures, languages, and people. Everyday, I hear and see and meet people from every corner of the world. It can’t get any more varied than here.

In the September 30th issue of amNY (a local newspaper) they quoted that there are an estimated 170 languages spoken in the city. And, at least, 48% of New Yorkers speak another language at home. It’s pretty incredible that that many different kinds of people live together on 22.96 square mile island.

Everyone should experience New York, whether it’s visiting or living here. There really is NO other place like it. Our door is always open…