My birthday is at the end of December, which is one of many reasons why, when I walked into the 8th Street Winecellar last Wednesday night, I was completely shocked that my friends were throwing me a surprise party. It took me several full minutes to begin to comprehend what was going on, even well after people started saying "surprise," and "happy birthday" (the latter made no sense to me -- it wasn't anywhere near my birthday). Finally, someone sat me down and handed me a bag with a few gifts in it. I reached in to find a bright red potholder (yay! new potholder!), and inside was a little book. I started to read. "Surprise!" it read, "happy early birthday :)" Astounded, I continued to read. The next page made me lose it completely: "You are loved." The rest of the book was gravy at that point. Life gets busy. I see my friends less and less, especially those who have gotten married and/or had children. I can feel very alone at certain points. But not only did my friends plan a surprise party for me, they chipped in and over 35 people gave me money to help offset the costs of my upcoming kitchen renovation. As I kept reading the book, slowly realizing what was going on, I lost it again. There were pages from each person/couple who donated, and the ones who attended the party wrote a note on their page. The others will have to wait until I see them in person to fill in their pages. My friends are amazing.
The next day, I sent various texts to friends who contributed, thanking them again for their generosity and for the complete suprise. One friend said the kindest thing to me:
You are one of my best friends and you have always been there for me. You are also one of the most selfless and generous people I know. So many people feel this way about you. They/we might not be present all of the time or as much as we might want to be or you might want us to be, but for me, you are on my mind more than you realize. This gift to you is a mere token of the enormous amounts of appreciation and love we have for you. We are so lucky to have you in our lives! And we can't wait to see the joy on your face when you cook meals in your new kitchen!!!
The thing that stood out in what she said was the fact that I feel the same way about many of my friends -- even when I don't see people as often as I'd like, they are there in my mind and in my heart. I need to be better about letting them know. Thanks to all of you, and I can't wait to keep cooking for you!! xoxoxo
I will never have an electric stove if I can help it. They are miserable to cook on.
I love taking out e-books from the library, except that this time, I was 98% of the way through the book when it expired. Now I'm back on the waiting list to read the remaining 2%.
Make this. It's easy and it looks impressive. You will thank me later.
I have somehow lost two pieces of clothing. In my apartment. This is terrifying. Maybe it's a subtle reminder from the universe that I need to once again clean out my closet -- like for real take every last thing out until I can see the floor and the walls, vacuum, and replace things one by one. I'm sure they're in there somewhere.
Although I don't necessarily jump on board the pumpkin spiced everything train, it smells good in the office when someone heats a pumpkin spiked something (bagel?) in the toaster (even though I'd never eat one myself).
Did you know you that, at least in NYC, you can send your sweaters off to the drycleaners for the summer and only get charged for the cleaning and not the storage? Downside -- it takes approximately two weeks to get them back. I mis-calculated and had no cozy sweaters for OJ this year (19th annual, for anyone keeping track).
As part of my current work, I do some career advising to first-year students who are seeking public interest jobs for their 1L summers. I realized yesterday as I was reviewing a student's profile in our career database system that he was born AFTER I graduated college. In an alternate universe, I could have a kid in law school. Oy.
I went to a 7 am pilates class this morning. I haven't gone to an exercise class that early since 2000, which I was training for my first AIDS Ride -- I was so terrified that I went to two spin classes and a body sculpt class at 6:30 am three days a week. Let's see if I can build up to a somewhat more modified version of that . . .
I did my first triathlon in 2007 -- a sprint distance tri in West Point. Since then, I have completed one triathlon per year (with the exception of 2013): the NYC Triathlon, which is an Olympic distance -- twice as long as a sprint. I completed my 8th triathlon this weekend in Jersey City. I had the option of either a sprint or Olympic distance, and I agonized a bit about which to do, ultimately settling on the sprint. I hadn't been training super-hard and really didn't feel like I had it in me to do the Olympic. Moral of the story? I'm glad I listened to my body. It was just the right level of challenge for the time I had to train, and I felt good at the end.
Comparing the two sprints is pretty interesting and shows that I'm generally pretty consistent. Reading my post from the West Point Tri, there was consensus that the swim was short. My time this year is about what I expected based on swimming 1/2 mile in a pool. The long T1 for this year's tri was due to a 1/4 mile barefoot run back to transition, which makes sense. The bike and the run are pretty similar -- not bad for a span of 8 years!
2015 Swim 21:25 T1 7:29 Bike 55:04 T2 2:10 Run 33:57 TOTAL 2:00:07
2007 Swim 11:59 T1 4:14 Bike 53:16 T2: 2:42 Run 30:42 TOTAL 1:42:52
I've been playing in a shuffleboard league at Royal Palms the past few months (in Gowanus -- yes, I'm a hipster). It has been quite fun, and we did okay -- we won some and we lost some. I've met new people and re-connected with others I know who happened to be in the league, and all and all I've enjoyed it. Last night, as I was playing, I noticed that one of the guys on the other team would always make a comment when he missed a shot, and that more often than not, it involved calling the biscuit (the puck-like thing) a name -- a misogynistic name, like "bitch" and "whore." "Travel, you whore!" The guy seemed fairly nice and friendly otherwise. At the end of the match, as we were all shaking hands, I said to him, "hey, you might want to tone down the misogynistic comments when you miss a shot." He was honestly apologetic. "You're right -- I didn't realize I was even doing that. What if my little sister was here?! Thanks."
I am working (very) slowly on renovating my kitchen. As I begin this process, I am gathering a ton of information, clipping articles and pictures for inspiration, trying to save money, interviewing contractors, meeting with architect friends, and talking to others who have gone through the process. So far, I pretty much feel like scrapping the whole thing. I'm dealing with layers upon layers of the nonsense that is renovating in New York City (co-op board, department of buildings, the fact that I'm in a landmarked building, etc.), and I've realized that before I can get to the "fun" part of picking out (and buying) appliances, cabinets, and floor tiles and before I've paid my yet-to-be selected contractor a dime, I've probably used up well over half of what I expected my budget to be.
Today I saw this article on Apartment Therapy which featured a galley kitchen that she ultimately opened up into her living room (which is something I hope to do in some fashion). She calls her kitchen, pictured above "outdated." Girl, you want to see outdated?! Try mine (pictured below). I'd trade my kitchen for your "before" picture any day.