Archive | November, 2011

Taste Test

29 Nov

I am still in the decorating stages of apartment living, and have become absolutely OBSESSED with finding the perfect over-stuffed easy chair for the corner of my apartment in front of my window. The only thing currently populating that area is a cable cord, which is obviously not being used, so there is some room for improvement. I just visualize curling up in this cozy chair with a book on snowy Saturdays, and this pictorial has naturally propelled me to spend an obscene amount of time searching on Craigslist.

There is a great line in one of my all-time favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally, when Marie and Jess move into their swoon-worthy, drool-inducing Upper West Side brownstone and are bickering over a tacky wagon wheel table. Marie tells Jess, “Everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor but they couldn’t possibly all have good taste.” That’s basically what I’ve deduced from furniture hunting on Craigslist. Every post is peppered with superlatives that are quickly shattered when you open the post and see the corresponding photo.

Examples:

  • “Classic vintage distressed farm chair,” really means: “Unpainted, falling apart kitchen chair I happened to leave outside for the better part of a decade and am now trying to sell online.”
  • “Post-modern overstuffed lounger” really means “One part of a 1980s sectional sofa that I took apart and am now trying to sell online.”
  •  “Absolutely gorgeous armchair for sale!” really means “Ugly, ugly, unbelievably ugly. I hope you won’t notice because I’m trying to sell this piece of crap that I no longer want in my home online.”

Needless to say, I have not found a chair that I really like yet. It’s not like I have superior taste in furniture, but I know what I like, and a 1972 replica wing-back chair with crushed velvet upholstery is definitely NOT it.

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Stress Hives

22 Nov

I am going home for the holiday tomorrow. This means only one thing: I will be taking New Jersey Transit.

Ugh, just saying those 8 caustic words makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. It’s been an absolutely fabulous three weeks and two and a half days where buses and traffic and meltdowns have not been a part of my daily existence. But tomorrow, it all returns.

Call me over-dramatic, but there is just nothing about New Jersey Transit that instills a sense of calm or positive energy in me. Despite the fact that I get a few days off of work, and will not even be travelling during rush hour, I can only look at the trip with a sense of dread. Factor in that tomorrow is the busiest travel day of the year…O God. I feel physically ill right now.

The trauma of my commuting days flows deep people! Last week I met a friend for drinks in midtown, and just walking on the sidewalk across the street from the Port Authority gave me stress hives. I was slathering aloe on my neck for days! So to think that tomorrow, I have to not only battle the crowds of idiotic travelers desperate to flee the city at a respectable hour, but also be trapped once again in my own personal hell…well, it’s not exactly the way to kick off the holiday season. I’m making my packing list now: a duffel bag of clothes, and a paper bag for regulated breathing.

Snooze Button

17 Nov

I’m getting pretty lax with the snooze button these days. Before I moved, even sleeping in an extra 10 minutes could be catastrophic to my morning commute. Every second became the difference between being on time to work or an hour late. There was absolutely zero middle ground. So when 7:28 arrived, blaring and beeping in my ear, I was up. My morning was a well-oiled machine–3 minutes to get dressed, 5 minutes to do my hair and makeup, 2 minutes to pour my coffee…was I living at West Point, or Western New Jersey??

Now, however, I can get at least another hour of sleep, which you’d think I’d relish and be thankful for, right? O, how quickly we change…when 8:30 rolls around, I just cannot will my body to rise from the pillows. When 8:45 ticks past, my eyes can barely flutter open. When 9:05 beeps me into reality, I start to contemplate actually GETTING OUT OF BED. With 55 minutes until I have to be at work, that still gives me 20 minutes to get out of the house. But do I really need a full 20 minutes? Or could I get away with maybe 15? And that’s when I roll over for a final sprint of sleep.

Yes, in the three weeks I’ve lived in the city, I’ve become extremely lazy. It’s just that my bed is so comfortable! And it takes me 20 MINUTES TO GET TO WORK! Still, a frazzled morning sets the tone for the rest of the day, and as the week rolls on, it’s aching for a little more structure. Back to my morning boot camp? Only if I can get past Sergeant Snooze.

Dancing Queen

14 Nov

I had an awesome weekend! It’s been a while since that’s happened…I’m used to spending my weekends taking my dog for a walk and making homemade pizza with my mom before watching When Harry Met Sally for the 50th time and openly weeping. Hahaha, what a funny joke…but seriously. So I was in definite need of a fun city weekend, which happened to coincide with my friend’s birthday. Perfect timing? I think so.

When I tell you that my legs are sore from dancing until LITERALLY 6 o’clock in the morning, that should give you an idea of how my friends and I broke it out this weekend. We swayed, we sashayed, we boogeyed, we bounced, we twirled, we two-stepped…you get the point. But you could not stop this! It was just a blast to be out with my friends and have a great time. My move to the city has awakened the happy and care-free side of myself that has been trapped on the 197 NJ Transit bus for the past year and a half. The amount of stress and angst that’s been alleviated from my life is just unbelievable to me, and it’s been instantaneous. I’m just loving the change! And I’m now OK with the fact that next weekend, I will probably be making home-made pizza and watching When Harry Met Sally for the 51st time. Life needs balance, and I have finally found some.

No TV For Me

10 Nov

On Tuesday night, one of the biggest specials I’ve worked on since starting this job aired. This was the show I had slaved over tirelessly for the past month, attending shoots I had meticulously planned, working late, coming in early….and it turned out great! I was really excited to see it air because when you put so much work into something, and care so much about it, you want other people to see it and appreciate it too. Of course, they won’t appreciate it with the same obsessiveness, but still, it’s always nice to get positive feedback!

Usually when a show I had worked on is airing, despite the fact that I’ve already seen it at least a dozen times beforehand, I’ll watch it at home, and I’ll make sure that everyone watching with me does so in complete silence, to get the full effect of the majesty that is my work life. Modesty aside…cough cough…it’s fun to watch it on TV! However, this time was a little different, because I no longer have one. And it’s not because I don’t want to pay for cable, or because I’m eschewing television for a simpler lifestyle. No, it’s because my dad gave my television away to a flea market.

Here’s the story: Before I moved into my apartment in college, a friend of ours gave me her old TV. This transaction transferred ownership from her to me. It was now my television. And what great times we had together! Watching movies on snowy afternoons, sharing in the grandeur of the 2010 winter Olympics…it was emotional. When I moved back home, I left it in the basement, under a table, out of everyone’s way. Then, when I was getting ready to move into my apartment now, I went to gather up my belongings and found my TV missing from the mix. Where could it be? It’s was a television for Pete’s sake, it’s not like stuff like that just disappears!

Well apparently it does. Despite the fact that I lived with my parents, and was in communication with both of them rather often, my dad made the executive decision to pick up this TV, load it in the back of the car, drive it two hours to the Catskills, and donate it to a flea market. After explaining this to me, my natural first question was “Why?” Why exactly would you go through all that trouble when it was likely that I would someday be moving out of the house and would be in need of a television?

Well naturally, my dad told me that he just assumed the next time I was looking for a TV, I would want a flat screen. Right, because after spending an insane amount of money on rent and furnishing an entire apartment, the next thing I’d want to spend my money on is a $500 flat screen TV when I already had a perfectly functional one IN THE BASEMENT.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is why I now have no TV, flat screen or otherwise, and did not watch my show on Tuesday  night.

Delivery Fee

8 Nov

Before I moved into my own apartment, I had lived in a college dorm, furnished with a particle board desk and a plastic mattress; a Brooklyn apartment with roommates, outfitted with garage sale finds and our parents’ old living room set; and at home with my parents, which is filled with a lot of cherry wood and micro-suede.

Now that it’s time to furnish my own studio apartment, I’m basically starting from scratch. I already had my bed, a dresser, and a bookshelf to get me started, but when you really think about the contents of a home, there are so many little details and so many large–and expensive–pieces of furniture to purchase! I needed a sofa and a coffee table for classy living, an easy chair for reading and sipping hot chocolate on cold winter nights, a writing desk to house my artfully stacked thesaurus and AP Style book, a butcher block kitchen cart to fulfill every New York City apartment tableau, and a kitchen table to entertain my legions of guests!

Before I moved in, I managed to buy the sofa and the coffee table, which meant that I had a delivery man (my dad) carry it up to my apartment for me. The rest of this stuff however, was on my shoulders…literally (har har har). But last Friday night, I found both a kitchen table and my butcher-block kitchen cart on Craigslist, saw it, and was ready to throw it in a cab, when the seller said those three magic words, “I can deliver!” I was sold, and we set up a time for her to swing by and drop the stuff off on Saturday morning.

Fast forward to Sunday night. After texting me to reschedule ten different times, casting off my offers to just pick it up myself, and leaving me stranded in my apartment waiting for her to drive the forty blocks from her apartment to mine, she finally called to tell me she was five minutes away. And o yea, would I mind throwing in some extra cash because she was delivering it to my place? It seems only fair, right??

Ok. Now listen. It would have cost me money to put the stuff in the trunk of a cab, I get that. But why not mention the extra charge in one of the 36 texts she sent me?  Why not mention it on Friday night when I thanked her for offering? Why not mention it more than 5 MINUTES BEFORE ARRIVING TO MY PLACE? And what was I supposed to do, say no? I wanted my kitchen cart, people!

So when she finally arrived and dumped the stuff on the sidewalk in front of my building, I was a little perturbed. She started in on her whole sob story, but sensing my irritation, cut to the chase by saying she wasn’t going to make a big deal out of something “so silly.” Except that she JUST DID. Whatever. That’s what you get when you buy furniture from a crazy person on Craigslist. I have learned my lesson.  ….O hey look! There’s this easy chair listed in Astoria…he says he’ll deliver!

Then and Now: A Commuting Comparison

4 Nov

I’ve been living in the city for six days so far, and it’s frankly amazing how much calmer I feel. This week has been really crazy with work, but without the stress and worry over commuting, my daily disposition has been pulled out of the gutter and into the heavens above!

Take for example, last Thursday night. You may have seen me crying in a dirty bus terminal after I realized I had left my car key in my jacket back at work, after waiting over an hour just to get on a bus. It took me almost four hours to get home when all was said and done, breaking my previous record of three and a half hours just that previous Monday!

This Thursday, however, I dawdled around work chatting with coworkers, then took a leisurely stroll to the subway and made it to my front door in less than a half hour! I made a nice dinner, listened to some jazz music, and wrote my poetic musings in my leather-bound moleskin. Ahem…well, slight exaggeration, but still! I actually had time to enjoy my evening. It’s been over a year and a half since I’ve spent my weeknights doing something other than eating microwaved hamburger casserole and going to bed at 10:45 PM.

My mornings have been lovely too. Let’s take a look back at this Monday, where I slept in until 8:30 am, made eggs and toast for breakfast, plugged in the curling iron (and actually used it…), and got to my office with ten minutes to spare before the morning meeting! Just a week before that, I was idling in absolute gridlock for an hour and a half because of an over-turned dump truck, almost got into a slap-fight with an idiot on the escalator at the Port Authority, and was two hours late for work. I could not make this stuff up, people, and yet that was my life, for A YEAR AND A HALF.

But now my life is filled with eggs and toast and morning walks and curled hair and hot dinners and jazz music at night and relaxing mornings and yoga before bed and arriving places on time and massive sighs of relief and IT’S ONLY THE FIRST WEEK!!