Friday, October 31, 2008

Freaky Friday

Q: What's an even freakier Halloween costume than one with blood and guts and a knife through the head?
A: Almost identical costumes that were not even planned!

Seeing double!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Squeals, Screams and New Kid Dreams

The concert we had waited months - if not 18 years - for was all we hoped it would be: the New Kids on the Block could still put on a show, our old heartthrobs singing all our favorites and dancing the same steps we remembered from years ago.   But somewhere during our shrill screaming, our singing and dancing, our jumping up and down, and our hugging and laughing, we got something we didn't even know we had hoped for: a very memorable evening together for two sisters who don't get to see each other enough. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Three worlds in one night

Only in New York City could I travel from Alabama to Italy to Amsterdam in one evening. From crimson shakers and "Roll Tide!" shouts while watching my Alabama Crimson Tide with a hundred other Bama fans, to double cheek kisses and "Ciao Bella!" greetings at an Italian-hosted party brimming with real Italians, to shake your body dancing and "what did you say?!" yells over thumping beats of the minimal house music in a European-esque dance club.

Be warned: You have to stay out until 5 AM to fit all three worlds in, but still, three worlds in one night!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin pumped

The cold wind and rain was no match for our pumpkin quest Saturday in Central Park. The event promised hundreds of pumpkins, a scarecrow contest, a wall of lit Jackolanters and a haunted house sure to make you squeal. Add in hot tea and warm pumpkin scones from Alice's Tea Cup, and yellow, orange and green leaves so bright and beautiful you forget about the dreary gray skies, and you've got yourself the perfect fall day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Memo: Where's the heat?

I guess the memo about heat in the apartment is lost in the same file as the memo I never got this summer about the air conditioning in the apartment! Don't worry landlord - I'll take care of writing the memo to the building.

To: All New Tenants

From: The People You Send Half Your Paycheck To

Date: Two days after the first three consecutive days of freezing temps

Re: The frigid-ness inside the apartment building

Please be advised that although each apartment unit is equipped with an antiquated heating device that we are not exactly sure works, the said heating device will not be activated for the building until the first snow is on the ground, or the first tenant is rushed to the hospital for frost bite, whichever occurs first. During this "chill out" time, do not be alarmed if the following occurs:

1. You can "see" your roommate's breath when laughing about how cold it is in your apartment.

2. You hear rattling and hissing coming from the antiquated heating devices. Trust us, we have not turned on the heat yet.

3. You experience slowed movements and brain functions - don't worry! It's just a little cold in here!

We do care about your health and well-being, so we have compiled this handy list of tips for keeping warm:

Tip #1: Layer up! Long Johns, t-shirts, sweat pants, fleece pullovers, knee socks, ear muffs - you got 'em in your closet, so wear 'em!

Tip #2: Cocoon yourself! Put that puffy down "stovepipe" coat to use - wrap it around your body like a blanket...underneath all your other blankets...

Tip #3: Tent it! Got yourself layered and cocooned, but your nose is still cold? Create a "sheet tent" above your head. *Note: Make sure you leave enough circulation so as to not smother yourself while sleeping.

Tip #4: Steam it up! You don't pay for the water, so run it to your heart's content! Crank the tub faucet as hot as it will go, leave the bathroom door open, and wa-la! Your apartment is so small, you will easily feel the steam in the living room and bedrooms.

Tip #5: Learn from pros! Do those homeless people on the street look warmer than you are in your expensive apartment? Take some time to get to know your neighbors and learn their staying-warm secrets!

Enjoy the heatless cold weather, and please don't call us if you have any questions.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mums for me Mum

Grand Army Plaza at Central Park

Seeing these breath-taking colors while marveling at the clear blue sky on this crisp October day, I was reminded that my mom is always with me, and me with her, no matter how many miles separate us.

Happy Birthday Mum-ma! I love you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blind faith

This morning on the subway, I sat on the bench directly across from the door on the train.  As the train pulled to a stop at 23rd Street, I noticed two men on the platform waiting to board.  Even before the doors opened and I could see them fully in front of me, I saw the older white-haired gentleman turn to the black man on his left and extend his arm.  The doors opened to reveal the black man carrying a long feeler cane, leading me to presume he was blind.  The white-haired man directed him to take a step over the gap between the platform and the train, and the black man took a wide, exaggerated step into the train.  "Poor thing," I thought, as his cane jabbed into the woman next to me, "I can't imagine the hard time he has getting around the city."  I gave the white-haired man an appreciative smile, and he nodded back.  But as soon as he dropped the blind man's arm, the blind man took a swift turn to his left, walked two brisk steps forward, opened the pass-through door, and stepped sure-footed across the wobbly connection into the next car, while the train was moving.  

The white-haired gentleman, the unluckily-poked woman, and me (the trusting southerner) looked at each other in open-mouthed silence.  The man shrugged his shoulders.  The woman shook her head.  I couldn't resist, "That is the blind fooling the blind."  We laughed, but I like to think it is better to be the white-haired gentleman and have a little blind faith than a lot of blind doubt. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

10 years later

Throughout the night, I heard several incredulous utterances, all asking the same question, "Are we really at our TEN-year reunion?"  The answer was always a disbelieving shake of the head.   As the lead singer of the band yelled, "Let's hear it for the Hoover High School class of 1998!  We're gonna play some music from your decade," there was no was 10 years later, 10 years since the last time we were all in a room together, 10 years since the popular kids crowded the middle of the dance floor, the nerdy kids huddled at a side table, the jocks acted like they owned the place, and I just tried to flutter from one group to the next, and keep my excited laughter from echoing too loudly.

While others tried to forget, I actually tried to keep reminding myself of the fact, hoping to feel the full gamut of emotions that should be associated with such a milestone.  I thought of all the significant things that have happened in my life over the last 10 years - the dear friends I have met, the excitement of twirling at Alabama, the two college degrees, the love and the heartache, the first job and the next, the marriage of my little sister, the loss of my grandmothers, the trips to new places in the world, the leap to New York City.  I smiled at the accomplishments and the downfalls, at the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, for the life that happened in 10 years.  

Just as I swelled with satisfaction of how much I had grown and changed over 10 years, I heard my name announced as the winner of the "Least Changed" award.  "What?!" I shrieked, "I've changed!  I'm different!"  As I inwardly sulked with outrage, friends pointed out the award was not least changed in life, but least changed in appearance.  "Rebecca, it's called the 'Marilyn Monroe Award'...this is a good thing, it means you still have the body of an 18 year old!"  Oh.  Well far be it from me to turn down an award then! 

I tried to think of the 18 year old me, what she would think seeing me now.  Not the outward appearance, but what she would think of who I am now - what did she think she'd be like at this 10 year mark.  I glanced down at my Senior picture printed on my name tag, and I swear she winked at me (or maybe it was just that fourth glass of wine).  But I knew what the wink meant:  "We're doing just matter where we go, or what we see or learn or do, we are the least changed, and that's a beautiful thing." 

Please tell me I don't still have the mushroom hair!

With Vashty, Jasmine and Jay...fellow HHS classmates now in NYC.

With Joshua, my very oldest friend at the reunion...we've been warring since the 5th grade over who is tallest.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Friends yet known

New friend : old friend.

A few weeks after I moved to New York, Katherine mentioned in an e-mail that she'd met the most fun, cute girl.  "If you were here, you and Allison would definitely be friends," she said.  I remember joking with mock indignation that Katherine had replaced me oh-so quickly.  Soon enough, I was hearing about and seeing pictures from their jaunts around town from Katherine, and Katherine told me Allison loves reading my blog and was keeping up with me in New York. After a few months, I felt as if Allison was just as much my friend as she was Katherine's...even though technically we'd never met.    

So when I hugged Allison hello for the first time in person tonight, I felt like I was greeting an old friend.  As we chatted, we realized we worked in the same building together for two and a half years.  We even knew all of the same cute guys in the office parking lot, for goodness sake!  How did I miss out on two and a half years of a friend to go to lunch with, to walk with after work, to chat with by the elevators?  

It made me ponder all the friends yet known.  The girls who live beside me - their front door less than a foot from mine - but I have no idea who they are.  The handful of people I've seen repeatedly on the subway or at the grocery store - we live within a few blocks of each other.  These people fill up the world around me, yet I don't consider them any more significant than filler.  But maybe there's a reason our paths are crossing.  Maybe a random person on my block becomes a noteworthy person in my life.  Maybe.  Maybe definitely starts with a smile.

Ready Set Go!

When the bride says, "Ready, Set, Go!", you better keep (your comments) to yourself.

(not) Ready...
Sleepless night, early morning, three-flight schedule, disrupted catnaps, cramped legs, raging headache, starving stomach.

...(but get) Set (anyway)...
Dad hug, southern sun, Chick-fil-A, lemonade, familiar sights, cookie snacks.

...(to) Go (dress shopping)!
An hour off the plane and already trying on bridesmaids dresses!

With a smile on my face!

Or am I just smiling because it's so funny to see Daddy read an In Touch?

Street views home

Rolling my suitcase along the still quiet New York City sidewalk, my thoughts of home multiplied with each step I took. As I crossed over Lexington Avenue, I looked up the street toward the Chrysler Building.  The streetlights glowed as the early morning sky lightened, making the closed buildings even darker and more desolate.  No people crowded the sidewalks; the only activity coming from the sound and lights of a few cabs slowly approaching.  The beautiful Chrysler Building shown like a beacon in the distance, and I stopped, mesmerized.  It was a beautiful scene, yes, but even more intriguing was the comparison I conjured of what my scenery would be in a few short hours: grassy lawns and bushy shrubs and thick trees framing the setting sun.  
Both views are beautiful, both views are comforting, both views are vastly different ways.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What would Carrie say?!

Oh, no she didn't!  

As I listened to Candace Bushnell read from and talk about her new book "One Fifth Avenue", my gaze shifted away from her and focused on the woman sitting in front of me.  The mousy gray, the barrette, the scrunchy, the braid all the way down the back...what in the world would Carrie Bradshaw say?

FYI for my Dad who is a devoted blog reader but doesn't always know what I'm talking about: Candace Bushnell also wrote "Sex and the City" and Carrie Bradshaw is the name of the Sarah Jessica Parker character.  One episode revolves around Carrie saying no respectable New York woman would be caught dead with a scrunchy in her hair.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Carnival of Lipstick

Lipstick Jungle films every once in a while on the street where I work.  Those filming days are like a school day with a carnival going on outside.  I can't focus on work; I can't stop looking out the window; I can't keep from skipping down the street and wanting to play.  Luckily, since work is handbags and Lipstick Jungle is fashion, it was totally appropriate for me to spend some of the work day sashaying down the street, working it with flourishes of a stylish Italian handbag for all to see.  

Time to get to work, "Excuse me, is your stylist on set today?" 

Brooke Shields filming Lipstick Jungle on Spring Street in Soho.

Under the production tent.