Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What Happens in Vegas...Goes on my Blog!

What originally was supposed to be a trip to celebrate mine, Caroline, and Shavaun’s birthdays turned into an awesome 4 day vacation celebrating friendships of over 10 years between 6 women. Our lives are so busy and we don’t see each other as often as we’d like but spending the weekend with these girls reminded me why we have remained friends all of these years. These are the girls that inspire me everyday. Despite our current struggles with the Quarter Life Crisis, I have watched these girls grow into beautiful, intelligent, independent, and hard-working women. Jen is a Team Leader at Goldman Sachs, Shavaun recently was the first in her entire family to graduate from college, Kate had just moved out to LA on her own, Annie followed her heart and quit a job that was eating her soul, and Caroline got a call during the trip to interview for her dream job as an Event Planner. We had quite a lot to celebrate. We saw Cirque de Soleil at the Bellagio, danced on tables at Tao, Tryst, and Tabu, indulged on Strawberries and Champagne, whipped a bachelor with his own belt, floated around the lazy river with our frozen daiquiris, and swapped stories and laughs over breakfast at the House of Blues. Basically to ensure that these stories never leave Vegas we have no choice but to remain friends.

In one weekend, I’ve never danced so much, slept so little, eaten so many French fries, drank so much Grey Goose, talked so much about sex, weddings, and poops, and laughed so hard.


Just Another Tuesday

I got home from a Wheaton Networking Event last night at 10pm overheated and exhausted. I was looking forward to a quiet night of writing and getting to bed early.

Around 11pm, outside my bedroom door, I hear hammering, clinking, and my roommate saying, "Does Nina know what you're doing?" I didn't even want to know but I had to come out of my room to use the bathroom.

My roommate, Sergio, has set up a makeshift bar with various liquors and mixers in our living room. They had a salad bowl filled with ice on the table and lined up all of our mismatched glasses. My other roommate, Andrew, was hammering a Jack Daniel's banner to the doorway to keep the AC in the living room. They both looked up at me as if I've caught them shaving each other's legs. I thought they were planning on having people over for a party but to my relief and amusement, Andrew was giving Sergio bartending lessons for his first shift on Friday. I went back into my room to try to finish up my work but they kept bringing me drinks to my room to "taste". After tasting no less than 3 of each Cosmopolitan, Metro, Margherita, Appletini, Lemon Drop, and other mysterious concoctions, I was pretty drunk and Andrew was wasted, so I had no choice really but to put away my laptop and join the drink tasting party.

Not only was Sergio trying to memorize liquor to mixer ratios but he was practicing his bartender charm on his instructor, winking at Andrew as he handed over the drinks. Nothing gives me more pleasure than watching my male roommates pinching each other's nipples and giggling.

While making small talk over these drinks the boys proceeded to try to diminish any previous impressions I've had of the other one being a "sweetie" by telling me incriminating stories of each other and challenging "Oh who's the sweetie now?" after each virgin ear hurting story. My ignorance was bliss in this case.

Andrew also comes up with his best ideas when he's inebriated and this time was no exception. "I know! Lets all get matching tattoos!" We shot that down so he suggested, "Lets all get naked!" Then he disappeared for 10 minutes and returned with people he recruited off the street to come test Sergio's elixirs. They left shortly after witnessing the shit show that we were but we managed to hold one girl hostage and force her to eat our pasta and scrambled eggs combination (the only ingredients we had) while she protested that she wasn't hungry, didn't like pasta and eggs, and had to get to bed.

Sigh. Just another tuesday night at our apartment.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Karma Cleansing

I've been having a bit of bad luck lately..such as losing some cash that I vehemently blamed the new kitchen boy for stealing... And whenever I am having continuous bad luck I try to do some good deeds to reverse my bad karma.

This morning, as I yanked open the medicine cabinet to get my toothbrush, my roommate's blue Oral B toothbrush came flying out and before I could stop it it fell right in to the toilet. I stared at it in disbelief for a minute, cursing at my shitty luck. An inch of the handle end was out of the fuliginous water so I fished it out and rinsed it. I was about to put it back in the medicine cabinet but then I thought his toothbrush could touch my toothbrush and then I would have toilet water on my toothbrush. Plus I didn't want my roommate to get sick and then it would be all my fault.

So then I boiled some water and was going to soak the toothbrush in it. That kills germs right?

But then I remembered that my karma was in dire need of cleansing, more than the toothbrush, so I threw out the toothbrush, sent roommate a text saying "toothbrush in toilet sorry will buy new" and bought him a shiny new orange medium bristle Oral B toothbrush for $3.69 at CVS. A small price to pay for better karma. luck would have it, or good karma really...I found my money!

So I guess I also owe new kitchen boy an apology for my quick accusation and for threatening to jump him for his bike.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Shiv's 25th

She was not kicked out, nor did we have to carry her out. Our little girl is all grown up!

Le Tre Amiche

After work on Friday, met up with Crystal and Mary Fatch for Happy Hour at Luna Park. I haven't seen Crystal in almost a year and Mary and Crystal hadn't seen each other since we were all in Italy together 4 years ago. "There's something very comforting about seeing people for the first time in a while and being comfortable in the circumstances regardless of lost time."

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Dinner for 3!

I cooked dinner at my apartment for Kristine and Mary tonight. I made Tom Yum Kung and Larb Gai. Mary brought the wine (that she finished off herself- thanks alot) and Kristine brought the lemongrass, shrimp, and mint.It was my first time making Thai food for anyone other than a boyfriend. I must say it came out great! I think they liked it too, unless they were just being polite. Perhaps next time I'll have enough chairs for everyone to sit down and eat like civilized people and some paper towels for Mary to wipe her hands.

Rules of Going Topless

It comes not as a surprise to anyone when I tell them that I am rather under endowed in the chest category. It is clear for all to see. Or not see, depending on whether you are the "glass is half empty" type. This fact became rather apparent to me around the age of eleven when all the other girls were growing breasts and I was known as "Ironing Board" or "Mosquito Bites" and my bra was snapped constantly (by someone who is now my friend so I won't name him) just to laugh at the fact that I was wearing one for no reason. Ha. Ha. Ha.

I did everything I could to make them grow. Vitamins. Exercise. Enhancement creams. Prayers. Daily pep talks. I don't have to tell you whether any of these methods worked.

Looking back, I am a bit thankful that I did not have them. I think my embarrassment was the only thing that prevented me from starring in Girls Gone Wild videos on Spring Break. Thank you little boobies for giving me modesty. By college I'd say I've come to terms with them with credit to, but not solely due to, boyfriends who've told me I'm perfect the way I am. In the hot summer I'm able to go braless, free of pain, dirty looks, and unwanted attention. Oh the freedom.

I've traveled quite a lot which means I've been on beaches where people go topless and it is not a big deal. It's not a big deal at nude beaches like Sandy Hook because it's a nude beach and more so because it is mainly pale, old, and dangly men who are nude. Nothing to gawk at. In fact, it's better to steer clear. But on the beaches of Thailand, or Italy, or most recently the Dominican, women of all ages and sizes go topless and it is just an amazing concept to me. Yes, I am aware that for most Europeans topless tanning is the norm. But for someone who is not European, i.e. me, the concept of topless tanning being a norm fascinates me. I mean, by the age of five I was screeching at my mom and scrambling for a towel if she had entered my room while I was changing.

Also, in countries such as Italy and Dominican Republic the men are known for ogling women. I was catcalled and followed the moment I stepped off the plane and that was when I was fully clothed. And I got the same thing when I was in a bathing suit. So what would happen if I went topless? I didn't see any topless women being catcalled or ogled. Is there some unwritten rule that when women are topless that is the only time you can't stare and blow kisses?

There were all types of women from countries such as France, Italy, and Germany who were topless. Some were tan and built like runway models. Some were scorched red and resembled the Venus of Willendorf. They were mothers, girlfriends, and prepubescent daughters. I was fascinated by all of them, especially the Venuses. I worked out for weeks to get my body bikini ready. Some of these women looked like they've never exercised a day in their life and they had no shame, no insecurities. Is that something learned from their society as well?

All in all, I realized that I must have ogled these women more than the men on the island. I was intrigued by their lack of self-conscious but also by the boobs themselves. I don't see real boobs very often. My brother no longer lives with me and I no longer live with my boyfriend so there aren't many men's magazines lying around. And mine certainly don't count as real boobs. By real I mean in existence. I didn't mean to stare, but I did. I even said to my travel companion, "Wow! Look at those bongos!" And as a woman she replied, "Did you just refer to breasts as bongos?" Yes, I did because that was the only word to describe them. Her nipples were the entire circumference of my chest area! Saucers they were!

BUT as fun as all of this was and as open minded as I'd like to say I am, I have rules. Rules that need to be followed. I understand you are European and you've been playing on the beach topless since you were in diapers (or not in diapers since you weren't wearing anything at all) and it is yet another thing that makes you just oh so sophisticated and separates you from all the uncultured, restricted, body conscious Americans. With all that understood these rules are all I ask for us to be able to share the beach in American-Everyone Else/ Topless-Non Topless bliss.

1) Do not refer to your boobs. This means that with me or your boyfriend or anyone else you are not allowed at anytime to point at your boobs and make a comment or conversation. For example, this is not allowed: "Honey, look at this (pointing to boob). Is this a hair growing out of my nipple?"

2) Do not lift your legs while you are lounging on your beach chair. I am trying to look at you as just a normal person who is tanning but when you lift your leg straight up to apply suntan lotion or to scratch or to look at you kneecaps you are exposing much more and now you are not topless tanning, you are naked with your legs open. Eek.

3) Do not talk to your dad or your teenage son. Weirdness!

4) DO NOT pop a zit or pick at peeling skin on your chest! Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! There was this one foul girl who violated not one but all of these offenses and I have never been so grossed out and appalled.

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Day In The Life...

I set my alarm for 6:45am this morning to go to the gym but the alarm didn't go off. I woke up late at 9:00am by a text from my boss letting me know it's rainy and cold out and to dress warm.

Didn't have time to shower. Couldn't think of anything to wear because it was rainy and I have multicolored polka dot rain boots that I need to wear because I hate wet feet so just threw on some black leggings and a black stretched out fancy sweatshirt.

Walked to the bus stop and even though I had my umbrella and rain boots was still drenched because it was raining sideways. Put $1.25 in the money thing on the bus and the bus man tells me the fare just went up to $1.35. Had to scrounge in my purse for a dime while everyone waited behind me.

Got to the path station and realized I forgot my magic wallet at home that contained my path card, metrocard, debit card, and all 4 major credit cards.

My umbrella flipped inside out 3 times while walking to work. Got to work and was asked on the status of the labels I was supposed to order 4 weeks ago but hadn't yet because I had to get the design from the computer/design guy, get the price quote from the printer, wait 2 weeks to get an OK on the price from the big boss, wait for a sample from the printer guy who sent me an incorrect sample so had to wait for another sample that sucked, had to send printer guy sample, and wait for printer guy to send back a matched sample. Basically was told I need to work a little harder.

Forgot about a client meeting I had after work with guys from Interbrand. Bitched all day about how I woke up late and didn't dress properly for a meeting with clients. Went to Sephora to at least put some makeup on. A man was wheeling a woman in a wheelchair around the store. They might have thought they were shopping but it seemed to me like he was just wheeling her around behind me. The aisles are obviously not big enough for a wheelchair lady plus other shoppers. Out of courtesy, I would put down the lipgloss I'm looking at and step out of the aisle so that they could pass by. But no, wheelchair lady and wheeler man were not passing by. They would stop right in front of the makeup section that I was looking at. No "excuse us". No "thank you". No "I'll be just a minute". So now I am tapping my feet, crossing my arms, and rolling my eyes at them. And ultimately I felt guilty for being annoyed with a lady in a wheelchair. Then I was angry that they made me feel guilty for being insensitive to someone who was handicapped, even though she was rather impolite.

6:30pm Met with the people from Interbrand at Soho Grand for some cocktails. Meeting went really well and I got a good, free buzz from wonderful dirty martinis.

Said goodbye to everyone, turned down a cab ride, and walked to the subway. Got to subway and remembered that I had forgotten magic wallet with metrocard plus debit and credit cards at home. Had to walk about 40 blocks to the path station. 30 in the right direction. 10 in the wrong.

Walking up to my apt, could hear singer roommate singing and playing the keyboard from down the street. Got home to find singer roommate giving non-singer roommate singing lessons. Very funny scene. Singer roommate claims he could teach me to sing as well. Those who have heard me sing know this is an impossible, futile feat. I have been encouraged to try out for American Idol because I could be famous like how William Hung was famous.

Made a chicken with spinach salad for dinner. Ate it. Showered, finally. Just another day.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Hanging Out With Angie Jolie

I've had 3 dreams over the past 5 months about Angelina Jolie and me being best friends.

I know, listening to someone recant their dream to you is nearly as boring and as big of a waster of your 5 minutes as listening to someone tell you about their stupid new diet and all that they've eaten today to stick to it. But bare with me because I need your advice on what you think this all means.

A few months back, the first dream, I dreamt that I was hanging out at Angelina's (she told me to call her Angie) house, sitting around talking and drinking wine while Brad was out. And while we were there Jennifer Aniston wouldn't stop calling the house, harassing my girl Angie, and lurking around the bushes trying to find a window to break in to. Angie was complaining to me about how awful Brad's ex-wife is and I was relating to her, bitching,"Ugh, exes are so annoying! Get over it Jen!"

My next dream was just a few days later where Brad and Angie called me to go with them to Will and Jada's house. And I went with them. Nothing too eventful.

And now last night, my third dream, I dreamt that I was going to some event for children with whatever problem that they needed fundraising for, and Angie called me to tell me she was going to meet me there, she's flying in from Africa and was going to rush over to support me and my cause. Afterall, we are best friends.

So, uh, what do you think this all means? I mean 3 dreams are pretty significant. Do you think that I'm supposed to, like, write Angie a letter and tell her about my dreams that I've been having about her and how, like, I think it means that we're supposed to be friends?

Friday, June 1, 2007

8 Hours Well Spent

Time Wasted? Perhaps It’s Well Spent, an article in the New York Times by Lisa Belkin, had me laughing out loud at work today at the irony of reading an article about how we waste time at work as I am sitting at my desk, wasting time at work. Belkin states, “American workers, on average, spend 45 hours a week at work, but describe 16 of those hours as ‘unproductive,’ according to a study by Microsoft. America Online and, in turn, determined that workers actually work a total of 3 days a week, wasting the other two.” HA! Obviously they did not interview me for this survey. I would say I spend 40 hours a week at work, not a minute more, but would describe 10 hours, average of 2 a day, as “productive”. She quotes Steve Pavlina, a personal development expert, as stating, “The average full-time worker doesn’t even start doing real work until 11:00a.m. and begins to wind down around 3:30 p.m.”. Again, the hours are slightly too far apart but I’d say he’s onto me. I have my usual morning routine where I pick up my coffee, arrive at work around 10:00 a.m., eat my breakfast bar while skimming the online paper, read my emails, write a few of my own, and by that time it’s already noon! I put in a good hour or two, consecutively or spread out in 15 minute spurts throughout the day, depending on how I feel like having my day spent, and I have all my duties done everyday by 6:00 p.m. I used to get everything done all at once and be left with nothing to do for the rest of the day, but I began to see no point of that since I ended up bored and having exerted more energy in pretending to be doing something for 6 hours. I also used to wonder if I was just an incredibly efficient worker who can get my jobs done in an hour what others need the entire 8 hour day to do. For some reason I doubt it. But since I don’t get to leave when I am finished with my work, and I hate wasting time as much as Lisa Belkin, I use my time at work wisely, by paying my bills, online shopping, surfing the internet, and writing my novel. Wasted time well spent indeed.

Resident Cool Guy My Ass!

Drew Toal considered an NYC Hipster by those at Time Out New York
"There must not be any cool people at Tony." - Anonymous reader