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Posts from March 2005

What Am I?

New York is one of those places where many people seem to define themselves by their occupations.  So often when you meet someone new, the first thing they ask you is what you do for a living.   Although I consciously try not to do this, inevitably it happens.  For the past five years, when people have asked me what I do, I have said "I work at a nonprofit," or "I'm a lawyer."  Why do I feel the need to say that I'm a lawyer?  I haven't practiced law for over five years!   

I had a conversation recently with a woman who is the executive director of a very prominent organization.  She said she sometimes fantasized about getting a job as a receptionist.  She noted that her responsibilities would be crystal-clear, her hours would be limited, it would require less thought than her current job, and would leave her with enough time to spend with her family and do all the other things she wants to do outside of work.  But there's a stigma out there -- it sounds much better to the outside world to be an executive director than to be a receptionist, although the same individual might be much happier at the more straightforward and well-defined receptionist job.

Sometimes, what you are depends on the context in which you are asked.  I had the interesting experience recently of attending a freelancers' party sponsored by Mediabistro.  A woman was snapping photos for their website, and when she asked what I do, I knew that "lawyer" was not the right answer.  I turned to my friend Doug, who had brought me, for guidance.  He prompted me: "You're a food writer."  Ah, yes.  "I'm a food writer."

As the hunt continues, I consider all the things I can cobble together to make money, some of which might allow me to have time to do things on the side, some of which won't, and some of which are things I do on the side that could turn into ways to make money, like the food writing.  So what am I?  When you look at the things I do or have done to make money, I'm a lawyer, a food writer, a self-defense instructor, a crepe-maker, an administrator, a secretary.  But more importantly, I'm a woman, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a karaoke diva, a bit of a geek, a creative soul, and a hopeless romantic.  What you do for a living is not necessarily who you are -- don't ever forget that, even in New York.


Yes, I Went to the Gym a Few Times (in between all the eating and whatnot)

133_3333So the East Village Idiot Dive Bar Crawl was a rousing success.  We stuck to John's schedule with near-military precision, and ended the run with a visit to Katz's Deli, where I hadn't been in ages.  You can see the photos here.  There are definitely a few spots I'd like to go back to and spend some more time -- particularly Joe's (pictured above), which served the nastiest-smelling pickled eggs I'd ever encountered, and Lucy's, on Avenue A.  Lucy, the older Polish woman who owns the place, seems like she'd be an interesting person to get to know.

Yesterday I had a festive Easter lunch at Lupa with the Italian side of the family, napped on the couch for a while, then headed out to do my first paid restaurant blurb at Arturo's Pizza.  Which was closed.  Grrr.  So, Youngna, Janelle, Christiona and I headed to Cubana Café, and it turns out I can write about that instead.  Excellent.  Now if only the rest of my life would go that smoothly.

And yes, I sneaked in a few trips to the gym, both before the dive bar crawl (and the pastrami sandwich I split with Romy at Katz's) and before Easter lunch and Cuban dinner.  Today, it's back to my in-between-eating-out eating plan, which basically consists of various combinations of egg whites, salad, lean protein, fruits and veggies, and seltzer.  Sigh.  I'd rather have the pastrami.


PNI

I'm pretty sure* tonight is going to be a PNI (planned night in).  I was up far too late last night and need to rest up for the East Village Idiot Pub Dive Bar Crawl tomorrow, not to mention Easter dinner at Lupa on Sunday.  Tonight's exciting activities include: working out!  laundry!  having a big salad for dinner!  falling asleep watching crappy TV or reading on the couch!  Woo hoo!

* Can't be 100% sure -- might be tempted by the Dodgeball gremlins or other fine friends.

UPDATE:  Ok, so I went out.  Rob, you are the devil, but that's why we get along so well.  I did take it very easy, however, and was in bed by midnight.  Also -- my apologies to John B. who pointed out to me that his event is the East Village Idiot Dive Bar Crawl.  "I would never, ever organize a PUB Crawl.  Never, I tell you… I’d just as soon walk out of my apartment wearing a college sweatshirt in tandem with a white baseball cap with a curved lid…"


Stir It Up

Sometimes when you get too settled, things get dull.  When your life gets stirred up a bit, you start to think creatively, and new and exciting things start to pop up everywhere you look.  That said, I just signed a contract for my first paid freelance food writing job with New York Metro (this will have no negative impact on Gothamist Food, by the way -- that's my baby!), and there are a few other things a-brewing.  Stay tuned!

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Award Winners

It's only March and I have not one, but two prime candidates in the running for my Jackass of the Year award.  The interesting part about dating in New York is interacting with a wide variety of guys, and strangely (or maybe naively) enough, I am constantly shocked and amazed by the amount of jackass behavior to which I am exposed.  So -- for your entertainment and amusement, and possibly a bit for my personal revenge, I am going to collect my favorite jackass moments, present them to you at the end of the year, and you can vote on who gets to be named the official Sweet Blog o' Mine Jackass of the Year.  Ideally, there won't be any other candidates, but as long as I keep dating this year, there most likely will be more to come.  And after all, it's only March.


Addicted

Okay.  It's getting a little out of hand.  Every single time I turn on my iPod, I have to play Only You.  Not the tried-and-true Yaz version (which I still adore), but the Michael Moon version.  I don't even know where it came from (I'm guessing it was from when Lauren was messing around with my iTunes in preparation for her wedding), but I absolutely love it.  Makes me smile every time I hear it.  As does the super-cheezy (yes, the "z" is deliberate) ringtone I've got going on my cellphone that sounds like some Casio-keyboard 80's Velveeta of some sort.  Hey -- I'll take my smiles where I can get 'em.


Saying Goodbye

I said goodbye to my Grandma Jane this weekend.  She passed away in January, and my family, who are not big on funerals per se, held a memorial for her up in Maine which I missed due to the blizzard, and one here in New York this past Sunday.  Friends and family gathered to tell stories, recount memories, and just to say goodbye. 

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She lived in New York for many years, and ever since she moved to Maine, she complained about how provincial the people in her apartment complex always seemed.  "They've never been anywhere," she'd groan.  Having been a travel agent for a good portion of her life, Grandma Jane had been everywhere, and first class, no less.  She would tell great stories of her luxurious travel on the Concorde and the QE2, and the exquisite hotels in which she had stayed.  "It's just not the same these days."  Well, certainly not for me when I travel, Grandma. 

She missed New York tremendously -- she yearned for "the hustle and bustle of the city."  Ironically, she is now back in New York, in a predominantly German-Jewish cemetery out in Brooklyn.  There is a whole stretch of cemeteries out underneath the elevated subway tracks of the J line, and although the gates and exteriors of each one were somewhat run-down, there was something beautiful about them nonetheless, especially in contrast with the bright, crisp blue sky.  We drove out yesterday to place her ashes in her family mausoleum, which, although creepy, was quite beautiful, with a stained glass window across from the ornately gated door.  Probably not the scene she was searching for, but she did make it back to the city she loved so much.  As a last thought, as our family turned to leave, we joked that it would be quite fitting if we left her with the New York Times crossword, which she did regularly.  Luckily, I had the Sunday magazine in my bag.  We ripped out the puzzle, placed it next to the box that contained her ashes, and wished her luck.  We'll miss you, Grandma.


The Stars Are Definitely Aligned

KismetshirtFirst of all, I ran into two people I know on the street today -- one on my way to work and one as I was leaving work.  Now granted, I know a lot of people, and hardly a few days can pass by where I don't run into someone I know, but the fun part is that neither one of these two people currently lives in New York.  Amy and Luke -- so glad I ran into you both, if only briefly.

Second of all, I went to a party tonight for members and potential members of the share house in Kismet.  Upon arriving, I met Nikki (pictured at right), who mentioned to me that, strangely enough, she found my blog about a year ago, searching for blogs about 30-something single women Meandnikkiin NYC.  She reads it every day, and one day, her worlds collided -- she noticed that I had written about the very same share house she had visited several weekends before.  I'm tellin' you folks, if you're looking for a share house, Chance is the way to go.  It's being written up in next week's New York Mag, and although I won't be a full share member this summer, at the very least, I'll be a special guest star every now and again.  For photos of my visits to Kismet, click here and here, and for pictures from tonight's party, click here.