I had been waiting patiently. Pining. Hoping. Anticipating.
And, finally, a night snowfall.
My roommate laughs.
She tells me I'm the only person she knows who says things such as
"I'm going to the park ... to look at the leaves changing color."
"I'm taking a walk ... to look at the snowflakes."
What she's pinpointing, I guess, is my tendency to turn non-events into events. I want to experience these things, not just have them happen all around me in oblivion.
So, that's just what I did. I bundled up and took a peaceful walk in the snow. I looked at the big, wet flakes flying around. I tasted them. I felt them wet on my nose.
It took a while to get far enough away from the Fifth Avenue traffic, bright streetlights, and construction scaffoldings that block the night sky. It took a while to fully appreciate the first night snowfall.
But, once I got to the Jackie O. Reservoir I heard the silence and saw the white dots fall.
Already, a thin layer of white covered the treelined dirt path that runs below the asphalt reservoir path. I made tracks in the snow with my clunky orange shoes. I watched the flakes dance around in curious ways.
Runners ran in the snow. Bikers biked (and talked on the phone) in the snow. Men and women walked their dogs in the snow. Couples held hands in the snow.
In the city, you are never alone. Fellow snowflake lovers were out there, too, getting in their Thoreau moments. Maybe they too had been awaiting nature's little gift. I was remembering sleigh riding on a campus-issued coffee table turned upside down at Syracuse. I was remembering driving to my Rochester internship through thick sheets of snow, sliding all over the road. I was so gung-ho, never wanted to miss a day of man-on-the-street reporting.
The timing was good for a walk. It's time to check in on New Year's Resolutions.
How's it going for you?
Here's where I stand:
* Got the piano, but not the fish
* Read one book, not two (still a few days left in Jan, right?)
* Ran a ton -- was a royal Amazon woman on the treadmill til 11pm some days --but not every day
* Paid 300 dollars on my credit card -- after quitting the gym (sob!) and NY Times subscription (double sob!)and developing a "nocturnal" instinct
* Pitched one big story, not two, but Thurs I will have completed a big tech writing project
* Celebrated my good friend from Maryland's birthday with her in NY and got my nephew a bday gift (although I was a few days late in sending it)
* In the midst of planning that trip with my college roommate -- but looks like Peru has won out over the Dominican. It's in Peru where lies the secret to the meaning of life, we heard. And, Emily tells me the Celestine Prophecy story ("Nothing is circumstance") is based in Peru.
* As for the 30-plus men only rule. Well, no soul mates cropping up on the horizon yet. And, I've slightly 'modified' the rule: No "dating" a man who is younger than I am. He doesn't have to be 30, he just has to be my age or older.
And, your resolutions? Are you on track for Month One of 007?
Here's hoping the snow falls and falls on you for days and days.
Your Girl About Town
Lately, I've been catching up on Girl Talk. Sunday night at a friend's house scarfing down Cali-style enchiladas over on East 83rd St and last night at my place cookin' up some veggie lasagna I discovered that this month is shaping up to be quite a doozie for a number of my girlfriends.
Resolutions like going to the gym every day can be harder to follow through on. And, it can be tempting to hibernate, cooking soul food and curling up with books and ceramic mugs of green tea.
This January, an unprecedented number of break-ups have occurred in my circle of friends. Four come to mind: three prompted by the man, one by the woman. In two of the cases, the men were in their early- to mid-thirties. In two cases, the men were younger than 25.
Two were right around the pivotal six-month relationship mark. One at the two-month mark. One at the 10-month mark -- a couple I felt sure would tie the knot in the near future.
A male friend sums it up by saying, "Yeah, V-day is coming and the guys just don't want to shell out for chocolate hearts and red roses."
How's that for romance?
A female friend says, "It's that time of year. New beginnings. Means old things have to end to make way for what's to come."
Here I was thinking about the cold and how it's this time of year when people want someone around to keep them warm in the blustering temps.
There have been disappointments too, as of late. One friend was so bummed out about law school grades (and I'm talkin' a B here) that she seriously contemplated dropping out mid-way through year two. (Yes, of course her amazing boyfriend and we girls talked her out of that ridiculous notion!) One friend didn't pass the CFA. One friend has topsy-turvy office politics brewing all around. One friend who works at a museum was glowing about an exciting new job offer only to have the rug pulled out from under her, another (yours truly ;) pitched a story to the Village Voice and never heard back.
Bummer. Yes. But, you know what? There have been successes to celebrate, as well. One friend, a Ms. Jessica Jones wrote a compelling cover story for the Village Voice (Read it here). A friend of mine from high school just got his first gig playing jazz at The Stone after playing for years in a Williamsburg loft for pennies. And, a roommate of a good friend of mine got a fantastic job at an NYC law firm after months and months of a taxing job search. Another friend is undertaking a bi-lingual start-up e-zine.
This is how it goes sometimes.
There will be wins, and there will be losses.
This month's failures are next month's successes, and oh, how much sweeter they will taste.
It's all about the resilience factor. Getting back on the horse. Taking the bad with the good. Glass half-full. Shaking it off. Being patient.
I mean, Hey! Who knew you would even go to law school? Or take that CFA? Or have so many stellar job offers? Or meet so many amazing and inspiring people? Or make it, Girls, survive and thrive, in this great Gotham adventure. This is what it's all about.
So, with that, here are a few things I've picked up lately.
They don't hit nearly as hard when you discover that they don't just happen to you and you alone. When you listen to others tell their tales or woe and then you see them persevere, you realize there's no cloud hanging over your head and rain doesn't just fall on you. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has had their share of disappointments. In a way, it can be an experience to share with someone that brings you closer. In a way, it can make you better, more real, more focused, hungry, stronger, smarter, and more beautiful from the inside out.
The biggest lesson I've learned lately, is that sometimes it's really great to be single ... especially in this city! Sure, you can get right out there after a break-up and find a placeholder. Or yep, you could settle for really, really, really liking someone but knowing you can never fall in love him or her. Or, you can get back to the other passions in your life. Create and complete a bunch of random projects. Spend time with your friends. Spend time on your hobbies and interests. Fill up from the inside.
My most recent superfluous project: Clearing out 2 age-old e-mail in-boxes. One dated back to grad school. One dated back to 2004 and had more than 3,000 e-mails in it -- just another form of bulky, needless clutter.
Finally, I set aside 3 hours and got rid of it. E-mails went into folders. Pages and pages of old e-mails were deleted. And, I rediscovered old friends. One of the best lost-and-found contacts were two Czech students I tutored in English while living in Prague. The families of these girls had invited me to country cottages and took me on trips to see castles and grandmother's flats for cake. It would be good to send them a card and say hello. That can be the next big project.
So, keep smiling, Sisters! Look how far you've come. You're doing great. And, I couldn't be more proud of all you shining stars out there. I expect big things to come from all of you.
How's that for Sisterhood?
Your Girl About Town
In the final hours, Sonic Movers cancelled.
By e-mail. Apparently, they were having mechanical difficulties.
No phone calls. Just an e-mail.
But, there was Craig's List. Ever faithful, standing by.
And, so I found an even better moving company. One I'd like to recommend to you now. If ever you are in need of movers, (esp. piano movers) give the folks at Lucky Movers a call: 718-886-1309 or 917-496-3355.
These men drive a stylish truck.
And, they are working hard for the dollar, chasing down their American dreams.
Not above a little heave-ho, is this three-man team, to get where they are going.
And, they do it all with no complaints, managing to smile and even laugh ... a lot.
Ask for Judy. Tell her I sent you.
Judy's a gem. We set an evening time for the move, though I had really wanted the morning.
On moving day, Judy called me no fewer than five times, letting me know that the Lucky Movers crew was nearby if I wanted to move up delivery time. On this day, Judy and I were one. We were in sync. She kept me in the loop. She seemed as excited about the piano's arrival as I was.
And, Judy was definitely the type, who, if there had been mechanical problems, would have called -- and not e-mailed -- to cancel.
Turns out the married couple that gave me the piano moved here about eight months ago from Singapore.
Kevin is a jazz guitarist who writes folk songs. Sharon plays jazz piano. They will be studying music in the U.S. for two years. Sharon was a teacher before. This is what they want to do with their lives -- pursue music as a career.
Then, in a flash the vision came to me.
I would host a Music Night at my piece and invite over my new friends from Singapore to meet some other friends who play music. I would cook. We would eat. And talk. Play music. And learn about Singapore. Music Night at Your Girl's Place.
A dinner invitation was the least I could offer.
I mean, here I was taking away one of their possessions and it was they who graciously brewed me a cup of peppermint tea. Sharon even gave me a gift. A jar of lavender scrub from The Body Shop. Had a surplus, she said, and was apparently lavendered out.
How I get so lucky to come upon such fine people in this life, I'm unsure.
I can only sum it up to Karma.
Or the Golden Rule.
Give. Give of yourself fully, and freely, and you, you shall receive all the true riches life has to offer.
Good friends. Good family. Good scenery. Enough food to go around. Music playing. Art hanging. Bookshelves teeming.
I think this Nietzsche quote sums it up quite nicely:
"You higher men, the worst about you is:
None of you has learned to dance as a man ought to dance --
to dance beyond yourselves!
What does it matter that you are failures!
So much is still possible.
So learn to laugh beyond yourselves.
Lift up your hearts, you fine dancers, high. higher!
and do not forget to laugh well."
Yeah, I subjected a few friends to a reading of this quote before we headed downtown to our friend Mel's birthday party at the Fat Black PussyCat
Here's our birthday girl! Was a great time we had.
Well, Got to run. I've got Music Night to plan.
Your Girl About Town
He's known mostly for his deadpan humor. But, to hear him talk about Alice is to see a different side of him.
"She was the first to see any piece," said Calvin Trillin, journalist, of his late wife Alice. "As a reader, not an editor."
Trillin spoke at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday at the 92nd St. Y about his life as a reporter, journalist, and humorist, and about his most recent work, "About Alice," a novel through which he immortalizes his wife Alice's off-the-page image on paper as a sensible and gracious woman, the love of his life.
Trillin told of a time when he left for an out-of-town reporting gig and left a copy of a manuscript for Alice to comb through in his absence. He returned home to find a three-paged memo. In it, she had outlined how reporting had to be extracted and more intimate details inserted. Trillin took the critique, trusted it, and rewrote the entire novel from scratch.
On the reception from the public the novel received, said Trillin: "I didn't expect the letters that came in. They were from young women. The women wanted to know about marriage. They would write to me and say 'I want to find a man to love me the way Calvin loved Alice.'"
And, said Trillin, with a drop of sorrow in his voice, he is sure the quality of his writing diminished after the death of Alice, the reader for which every piece he ever wrote was written, he said.
Trillin spoke in a calm and even-keeled voice and infused his speech with frequent bits of dry humor. He sat casual in the armchair on the stage, his arm slung over the back, his legs crossed, his hand gingerly running over his ankle as he spoke. His voice was soothing, reminiscent of Garrison Keillor, host of "Prarie Home Companion", a live radio variety show taped in Minnesota and broadcast on national public radio.
Trillin also spoke about a happy childhood, one that was a mild embarrassment among the memoirist crowd. He grew up in an immigrant family in Kansas City. The son of a grocer, he attended public high school and then took the train one day to Yale. As a Jewish Midwesterner in the 1950s, Trillin said he got a "real education" at the university, joking about tweed's prevalence, the coat-and-tie-to-dinner requirement, and the likelihood that students had two or three last names and nicknames such as "Tush". It wasn't until about two months into his first semester, said Trillin, that he learned about Greenwich, C.T. (one of the wealthiest towns per capita in the world located at the southernmost tip of New England) and Dostoevsky (one of the greatest Russian writers known for the profound effect he had on 20th Century literature).
Trillin's natural storytelling ability shone through. Every question posed to him by "The New Yorker" Staff Writer Mark Singer led itself magically to an entertaining story or an amusing memory, less a tribute to the question itself then the way Trillin sees and chooses to express the world.
He talked of attending a memoirs conference in Florida when the group headed out to the "memoirist bars" and everyone revealed traumatizing secrets from their pasts. He was forced to tell his most scarring moment from his past -- which, in terms of trauma, paled in comparison to the other dramatic tales he was hearing. His involved being lied to by his parents about his family dog. He was told that the hound had been sent to a "farm" where "Chubby" could run around more freely with the other animals, when really the pet had been put to sleep. With every sentence spoken by Trillin, more hilarious details were added, keeping the audience in a constant state of rolling laughter.
It became apparent when listening to Trillin's natural ability to spin a tale, that he was a natural for the Talk of the Town column of The New Yorker, known to include descriptions of quirkier events in the city and across the country and light-hearted, slice-of-Americana reporting. You could just start to see how every event in Trillin's life -- from the prosaic to the fantastic -- became a story, a topic about which to write, even when he and Alice found a $2o bill in the village and Alice sent him to the village precinct to turn the bill in (which he did, despite what he described as his fear of being taken for crazy by the police and sent to an institution).
Also widely known as the "deadline poet" of The Nation since 1990, he writes verse deconstructing current events and politics. When asked by the audience about the 2008 elections, Trillin mentioned the challenges he will face. Clinton. Well, it's tough to rhyme with that. And, well, O'Bama. Many of the rhymes, he said, were exhausted during the O'Sama sagas.
No doubt that he will churn out sharp, witty, and humorous poems on the elections and the candidates when the time comes.
What a gift to experience the world as a series of stories. One can only imagine the uproarious laughter filling the Trillin household during storytime when his two daughters, one an attorney and one a social worker, were growing up.
Your Girl About Town
When do you call it quits? When your face looks more like that of a clay doll than that of a human being, who (gasp!) ages and wrinkles? Whatever happened to wrinkles giving someone character? I'd venture to say that no culture other than American is more obsessed with this purchased beauty that's carved out with a surgeon's knife.
So, I was captivated by this article The Daily News ran by Madeleine Marr of McClatchy Newspapers about one of our Upper East Side neighbors, Alex Kuczynski, New York Times style writer who penned the book “Beauty Junkies: Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession With Cosmetic Surgery” (Doubleday, $24.95) and other women who were obsessed with plastic surgery.
Kuczynski was 38 when she decided to quit plastic surgery "after spending more than $50,000 on self-improvements including countless Botox injections starting at age 27; a blepharoplasty; and, ouch, liposuction on the bum" reported Marr.
Apparently, she had had enough when a few years ago a lip-plumping went bad.
Said Kuczynski to Marr: “I stopped at the doctor’s office after the funeral of a dear friend,” she recounts from her Upper East Side home. "My top lip blew up like a yam and I had to miss the reception where I was making a speech. I know my friend was laughing at me down from heaven saying, ‘You fool!'”
Indeed, having your lip blown up like a yam doesn't sound fun, attractive ... safe?
Might have looked like something on this Web Site.
All this reminds me of a TV show I saw on which it was announced that Nicole Richie was spotted eating a ...burger!...at a diner. I was thinking, can't the girl eat in peace? It had been widely reported that she had suffered from an eating disorder, so she's probably not so comfortable with an image of her noshing on a burger being widely publicized. And someone probably knew that, and ran the photo anyway.
Why don't men blow up there lips? Or slice off their noses? Or maybe they do, and we just don't hear about it as often? (ok, ok, barring Michael J.) Now, if some creative wanted to publish a really interesting table book, it might be about men who are obsessed with plastic surgery. I mean, I certainly see a lot of men getting manicures in the 'hood.
Read more about the plastic surgery obsessed HERE
I keep this framed photo of an African village woman, well over the age of 90, on my dresser. She's so wrinkled, she looks like a raison. Her boobs sag. Her nose is big, and it's beautiful. She's wearing earrings. And a headwrap. She's happy. And, she's absolutely gorgeous. It's in her smile, which is coy and bashful. It's in her eyes that are watery and stare straight into the camera. It was in her laugh, her expression. I keep it around as a reminder of what true beauty is.
An event you don't want to miss: Calvin Trillin who became the deadline poet at The Nation in 1990. Details: Tomorrow, Jan 14, 7:30pm, $25
Your Girl About Town
Not so, say these good-hearted, thrill-seeking New Yorkers.
But, if you want to play in this league, you best be prepared to drop 'em and ride for 20.
About 20 subway stops that is -- sans trousers. Catch is, you have to do so without cracking a smile, eyes buried intently in your Dostoevsky.
Up for the challenge?
If yes, join the Improv Everywhere crew. Just as the temperatures drop into frigid range, it's time for the 6th annual No Pants! Subway ride.
Some 160 subway riders took part in the leggy games last year!
When: Saturday, January 13
Where: Meet at Foley Square in front of the granite sculpture (Duane Street between Centre and Lafayette Streets)
What: Ride the 6 train with your pantless comrades from B'lyn Bridge to 126 and back down
Wear: Snazzy drawers. No pants. Standard cold-weather gear from waste up
Bring: Metro Card. Readiness to remove your pants on the subway. A few pals -- you'll be rolling with laughter with this memory for years on end!
More info ... and photos from last year ... here
But, Pantless Beware: Eight pranksters who removed their pants last year, exposing their underwear to subway riders, were taken into custody for disorderly conduct, reported the AP. They were subsequently released.
If you're feeling fearless and opt to show a little leg hair, drop us a line afterward, will ya? We want to hear all the scandalous or just downright hilarious details!
Your Girl About Town
The words, which appeared to have been scrawled with a black marker, were found in a church vestibule on Friday, December 30. Church officials washed away the blasphemies, reported Perry Chiaramonte in the New York Post.
Charles Feedore, 29, was charged with burglary as a hate crime, criminal mischief as a hate crime, burglary, making graffiti and resisting arrest, reported Michael White in The Daily News.
Justice served for the community. But, sounds like this man needs some serious help -- mental health assistance he's unlikely to receive behind bars.
Your Girl About Town
I bought a piano!
One New Year's Resolution clobbered to the ground.
From a cute married couple living on West 96th St.
They live in a shoebox apartment which barely fits a bed, let alone a piano. True love.
My *new piano is being delivered one week from today for $150.
I found the movers on CL, too.
This piano is going to sing, gang. And, it's got character to boot! Olive green is the color. It's an upright. It has a mirror panel that covers up the tiny hammers. About five or so of the keys are broken.
Oh, but they will sing, gang. This baby is going to sing. Just needs a little tune-up, and a little repair, that's all. This olive-green baby is going to sing, I tell you ... Think my neighbors will mind?
Of course, after I discovered this treasure on CL, I kept looking around to see what else I could find. It's somewhat addictive, isn't it?
And, I came across this ad I just have to share with you:
UPPER EAST SIDE FRIEND SEEKED-KOREAN
Ok, this guy must be very lonely. An ad in ALL CAPS.
Here's what he's looking for:
"I am a Korean-American Guy living in the upper East side(70s) I could use some friends here.. let me know and tell me about yourself!! I am up for movies, dining, jogging etc."
I respect this outward expression and acknowledgment of 'hey, you need friends in this life. And, I currently don't have any and am searching.'
Wouldn't it be great to flood this guy's e-mail in-box with friendly hellos from across the UES?
A veritable welcome to the neighborhood.
So, write to him if you're looking for a new friend. Here's how to get in touch with him:
Because no one should have to be lonely in this world. Especially if they're reaching out.
I wrote to him to invite him out to a coffee the next time I'm heading out for a Java with a couple of neighborhood friends. Because I don't know any Korean, but I'm never opposed to learning something new. We could talk movies, jogging ... grammar?
Hooray for reaching out, Bro.
Your Girl's Gotcha Covered.
Sean Connery, best known as the suave and debonair 007 who in his celebrity heyday was once named the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine, was slapped with a $30 million lawsuit from his East 71st Street neighbor who called his music too loud and his hygiene too bad.
Come on. Criticizing James Bond in the court of law? Have they no fear? Have they "Sexiest Man, ehem, A-L-I-V-E envy?
Dr. Burton Sultan, an ophthalmologist who is neighbor to the now 76-year-old celeb, went as far as to call Connery a "rude, foul-mouthed, fat old man," according to an article in The Daily News.
We still love you, Bond. And for the record, we like a little scruff along the cheek. Rather...sexy....isn't it?
The suit was thrown out by Supreme Court Justice Debra James just before the new year.
According to The Daily News, James' request that Doc file a more "definite statement" sans the "scandalous matters" was not met. Thus, she booted the case and Bond is left in peace. (Note: The New York Post reported it was Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman who kicked the case to the curb).
Read all about it Here. And, Here.
And, be sure and brush your teeth before answering your Upper East Side doorbell.
Your Girl About Town
Happy New Year all you Upper East Siders out there. May all your wildest dreams come true this year. Come on. Make some magic in '07.
This year, I nixed the big glitz-and-glam ticket-required New Year's Eve bash plans, opting instead to feast away at a cozy dinner party hosted by my friend Yaron and his lovely girlfriend Beth down on Wall Street. Afterward, I headed with a friend to a house party over in midtown.
Why hadn't I done this before, I wondered? The house gatherings were much better than the Brazilian Dance Party I bought tickets to last year that was overpriced, over-advertised (turns out it was a dj, who was spinning an occasional Brazilian beat) and overall pretty lame, save for the amazing company.
This year, I started the New Year with official tap-tap-tap toasts and expressions of earnest well wishes being spoken during a symbolic breaking of bread. More symbolic and ceremonious to me than table service. In a way, this was like a rite of passage in the city.
Or, maybe my preference for the calm and intimate signals that, as I am, my tastes are aging.
But, let's go with the former. I've been in the city more than a year now. And, I've had the good fortune of meeting some damn good people. Who can cook. And who like to invite me over for dinner parties. Hooray.
And, even though I missed my two best girlfriends who haven't yet returned to the UES from break, spending the holiday with newer friends -- who have entered my life in the past six months -- solidified those friendship ties. Now, we were making plans for the future together.
There was dancing. There were introductions, card swaps, and e-mail exchanges. Twirlers, flirts, and wallflowers. Drinkers and smokers. As old friends mingled with new at the party.
When my Friendly Ex called to see what I was doing, I invited him over to 34th Street. He and a friend came in from Queens and we all meshed together like one big happy family.
There were crazy party hats, and shiny dresses, suit coats. Panoramic views of the city. There was bubbly gulped from plastic champagne flutes. A tension-filled countdown, everyone looking over his or her shoulder wondering who to kiss and when. Cell phone calls to family and friends "Happy New Year!" And, three, two, one there it went. So long, '06.
Now, for the resolutions part. I have battled with myself over resolutions this year. Do I want to commit myself to these things? Are they possible? And, can I manage my expectations?
I fondly recall my freshman year of college when my resolution was to see four sunrises a month. I lived in Charleston, SC at the time and loved catching a beachfront sunrise. I carried out the resolution with purpose ... for about three months, until the idea lost its romantic luster and faded away.
And so, with that, I aim to set a few challenging but realistic New Year's Resolutions right here and now, all but cementing myself in to this manufactured destiny of sorts. Without further adieu I hereby commit myself (yikes!) to these resolutions. (I once read that you take your goals more seriously when you tell someone, thereby making yourself publicly accountable for reaching them.) Here goes.
1. Only date men who are 31 or older.
Ok, this one, I admit, was mandated by my Older Sister. While back at the family ranch in Florida we discussed my past year in dating. One six-month relationship and a string of shorter-term flings. Older Sister advised me that I should set my sights on a man who is mature, has it all together. A man who has had his fun and is ready for a serious relationship. That is, says Older Sister, if I wish to maintain these six-year ideas of a ring, kids, and a dog. Funny that just today my friend Cara called to tell me her boyfriend's friend, whom I met on Saturday, wants to go out. Guess what? He's a graphic designer. And, yep, I asked. He's 32. Older Sister would be proud.
2. Run every day.
I'd say three miles a day, but I recently tried that and have since decided that it's best to cut a deal with myself in which I will run some distance every day. If I'm feeling it, I'll go the distance, and possibly beyond. But, if I'm short on time or energy, I still get a pat on the back as long as I round the reservoir with my spiffy new running shoes at least once (1.5miles) every day.
3. Pay off credit card debt.
Ouch. Yes, I did just commit myself here and now to paying off debt. And, I can tell you that this will be no small feat. Even if it means I'm eating bananas and peanut butter sandwiches every day for every meal, I resolve to pay those suckers off this year and liberate myself. If not this year, then when? Next year? Nonsense. The time has come. Live modestly. Live in the means. Only pay cash. And, eradicate debt. Can I get a woo hoo on that one?
4. Write at least two well-researched article pitches a month.
Ok, another Whoah Nelly on this on. But, I've got to set the bar. This is why I moved here. A budding writer should be appearing in as many publications and papers as possible, right? And we live in the publishing Mecca of the nation, right? Are you with me, here? So, time to start pitching to national consumers. I've got two ideas in the hopper this month. One for the Village Voice and one for Oprah magazine. Cross your fingers for me.
5. Send more birthday cards.
Snail mail. Signed with pen-ink signatures. I'm a card giver. But, since I've been back from Peace Corps I have not been good about keeping in touch with friends from high school and college. It's the year to remember all those special people on all those special days.
6. Vamonos a la ... Dominican Republic!
I'm going to the DR with my college roommate Emily this year. Ok, yes, if my resolution is to eliminate debt I shouldn't sabotage myself in the same list by venturing to create it. True. But, traveling is very important to me. It's a passion of mine. And, truth be told, there is little else that makes me feel more alive. Plus, my college roommate, now earning her PhD in North Carolina, is one of the people I cherish most in the world. We've been putting this trip on hold for too long. But, you never really know if there's going to be a next year. Time to take the trip and get inspired by the beauty of the world again. Andale muchachas!
7. Hang Glide.
Yes! Two years ago I went rock climbing for the first time in Utah with one of my best friends An, who lives in Arizona. It was something new and different. Physically challenging and mentally invigorating. I still smile when looking at the photos. I've got 12 whole months to plan a hang gliding trip. New. Different. Adventurous. Adrenaline-pumping.
8. Check out two UES events per week.
The Upper East Side attracts some of the best writers and artists and musicians to its pendulums and stages. Who knows how long I will be living here and have accesses to the most talented and prolific voices in America. Want to get out there and soak up some culture. 92nd St. Y, The Met, The Guggenheim, The Whitney, The Frick Collection, St. Bart's, St. Pete's. Time to get in there.
9. Books to nourish the mind.
I love to read, but reading novels is something I got away from as my life grew more active. I want to get back to fulfilling my love of stories by reading more of them more often. First up? Justine by Lawrence Durrell -- borrowed from an old friend many months ago. And, Freakonomics by Stephen Levitt and Stephen Dubner. It's been on my backburner a while. Time to crack it open.
10. Music to feed my soul.
I love music. When I moved from midtown to the UES, I left my cardboard guitar behind; my African drum has had a hole in it for two years; and, I have longed to own a piano for a long time now. So, I'll give myself three options (remember that managing expectations thing?) Either I get the drum fixed, buy a new guitar, or buy a used piano. Bring playing music back into my life one way or another.
11. And, a pet.
I've decided. I'm buying a fish. His name will be Jack. I'll find him a cute little girlfriend. Her name will be Zoe. Or, Ginger. Depending on how she sashays in the tank. Just because I can't have a dog, doesn't mean I can't have a pet. Or, an entire family of fish.
So, there you have it. Confessions of a New Year's Resolutionist. Now all I have to do it print these out and tape this list to my wall.
Yep, corny, I know, but one has to stick with what works for him or her. And, we free spirits need a little enforced discipline once in a while to help us be all we can be.
Now, it's your turn.
Got your resolutions?
Your Girl About Town