Friday, September 27, 2013

on my subway redemption song.


a few weeks ago, i listed quite the litany of grievances i had with the subway. and they were really quite bad. and in this post i'm not going soft on the subway. it’s a disgusting and foul place and honestly, that’s on it’s good days. but the thing about the subway, the reason it’s so vile, is it’s all humanity all at once. all the world riding around in a tin can for two bucks. underground. it brings out characters for sure. the subway doesn’t need to apologize for itself – it is what it is. but within all the muck there are also some genuine moments too – thousands of human beings forced into interacting with one another every day leads to that as well. some are small moments, like giving up your seat for a pregnant lady, and some are larger – delivering the pregnant lady’s baby on the platform. so the subway, in it’s never-ending wisdom, decided to school me in this lesson, real hard.
*** 
a few fridays ago i left work a bit early to go pick up a package – it was a long trip out to the depths of brooklyn and a long trip back home. i left work before the commuting hour, so it was a little less crowded, a little more calm. i was about halfway home when a little girl got on the train – she couldn’t have been older then three – pint-size for her age, which you know means she was extra cute. she sat down with her mom and, in her tiny little hand, was a solitary grape. her mom took the grape and opened it up a bit to get out the seeds before handing it back to the girl. then, just as she was reaching for her first bite, the train lurched. she dropped the grape onto the subway seat that, if we learned anything about my previous stories, is a bit too filthy eat food off of. the mom quickly scooped up the doomed grape and threw it in her bag – i assume she thought the quicker it was out of sight, it was out of mind. she told her daughter “uh-oh, all gone!” while rubbing her back as she knowingly straddled the fine line between total melt-down and maybe just a little disappointment. the little girl, in all her bravery, let her lip quiver a bit, and blinked back a few confused tears, mercilessly sparing the car from a meltdown. but i couldn't help but be sad for her, too. that little upset face over this one, solitary grape. a grape! i mean, if i dropped a grape i can’t even begin to detail just how little i would care. but that grape was everything to that little girl in that moment – it was sweet and funny and sad and laughable all at once. emotions children seem very apt at inspiring in adults all at once.
a couple more stops blew by when the little boy sitting next to me got up and walked over to the little girl. he was older – seven or eight – and also traveling with his mom. he glanced back once for encouragement before handing the little girl his bag of cookies (famous amos, a staple in any good american kid’s lunch). the little girl was confused as she took the bag from him after some encouragement from her mother. and as it dawned on her that she was now the new owner of a whole bag of cookies, her little  face lit up as if it was christmas morning and with a smile that made sure to show off all her tiny baby teeth, she squealed “thank you!” before running off the train with her mom.
And my heart grew two sizes that day and i thanked the good lord for the invention of over-sized sunglasses as i teared up. the moms encouraging kindness, charity and politeness, the little ones learning selflessness, gratefulness and graciousness. it was just so many damn good things to see happening, in a world that we’re often told is going to hell in a handbasket.
i know there will be more rats, and people vomiting - but there’s also going to be cookies and cute kids and good parents and acts of selflessness as well. it makes me think that perhaps the handbasket just might go in another direction one of these days.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

on my weekend in pictures.

and now, for last weekend! a close family friend got married - she lives in nyc and through the time we've spent together she also knows tina, who came along for the wedding. my parents were there as well, which made it fun - usually when i go to weddings and they're there i've been a bridesmaid, so it was nice to hang out with them in our free time. the weekend was beautiful, except for the exact hours of the wedding and reception, which is kind of a bummer for the bride and groom, but they had a good attitude about it (that's everything as they say). their band was amazing and we danced until the last note was played. seeing all the fun so close to our wedding made us even more excited about what's coming up - we truly can't wait. a day spent with your loved ones, rain or no rain, is bound to be a great one. november 9th, here we come!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

on my weekend in pictures {a week late}.

almost two weeks ago i  had...wait for it...a surprise bridal shower!
so let's talk about bridal showers.
but first let's talk about this blog. september at work has been busy - two big projects due after labor day, a trip to boston, a trip to baltimore tomorrow, weekends spent with family and at weddings and, of course, finishing the final stages of planning my wedding. i have to intention to stop blogging or to make it a habit to blog this infrequently - in fact, i already have posts written that i'm just too tired to edit, and a few more in my head i'm just too tired to write. but this too shall pass, and after tomorrow's trip, hopefully quite soon.
so. bridal showers. for whatever reason, they have never been my jam. never my thing. i enjoy going to them to a certain extent - any time i'm hanging out with women i love and admire is pretty much my happy place. yet at the same i feel woefully awkward and a bit out of place and like i just want to stay in a corner with a glass of wine muttering smart ass comments. i can't put my finger on it, it's just one of my many oddities that make up who i am. so after my engagement i decided i didn't want a shower and that was that and my mom seemed ok with it. whew. bullet dodged. i did stipulate, however, that if my aunts really wanted to put one on i wouldn't stop them - with 20 nieces and nephews they have been waiting a long time for someone to get engaged and, lucky me, i was the first. so, lo and behold, they did not want to be stopped. as my godmother lovingly told me at the shower, it's not really what i want, which is fair to be quite honest. these are women who have changed my diaper, let me sleep at their houses countless numbers of times, sent a card for every birthday, bailed me out when i have forgotten my wallet at home while in the city and the list goes on. it was easy to tell my friends i'd prefer not to have one and move on - i knew my relatives would be harder to sway, and that's fine by me. so as the weeks went on it became quite apparent i would be having a shower - for starters, i don't live under a rock, my family never has girl brunches, and my sister never randomly decides to visit on the very weekend my mother came to town.
what a coincidence!, they told me. 
if only they could have felt my eyes roll over the phone.
but from a distance it was so fun to see them all scurrying around and making excuses and plans and fake plans and plan b - it was easy to see they were having fun with it, and that made me happy. i feigned surprise that sunday a couple of weeks ago, drank some tasty champagne, and opened up presents much to their delight.
weddings are about a lot of people, marriages are about two. if there are ever lessons to learn when you're a bride, that's a big one. and to always have champagne at the ready (naturally).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

on my weekend in pictures.

this weekend the beginnings of the fall season were in full swing. i'm not going to lie - fall probably has the best mix of weather of any season, but it's still got nothing on the attitude of summer, ya know? i'm a fan...but it doesn't mean i'm not looking forward to the slower pace the holiday season brings. we spent the wonderful saturday given to us enjoying brooklyn - we went on a gin distillery tour, which for a gin gimlet lover like me, was pretty much like heaven. we showed up before the crowds and had a little private tour where we asked many questions and took lots of pictures. after some music and more gimlets we headed out to dinner and then, oh and then, a party in brooklyn. it was quite quintessential - a big backyard party complete with hipsters and rompers as far as the eye could see. naturally, there were also a few people free style rapping because this still is brooklyn after all, no matter how much artisanal cheese we make. i'm fairly certain if i had rolled my eyes any harder at all the characters around me they would have fallen out of my head. however, it was not all for naught, as we made a new friend and who will say no to a new friend? sunday we recuperated with a very hearty brunch at a neighborhood spot we hadn't been to in a long time and it was so flippin' delicious. i love going back to re-discover places and remembering why you frequented them so much before - i expect we'll return there much more in the coming months. and that takes us to today - i'm headed out of town for work and get back late thursday night, right before my first dress fitting on friday. once this week at work is over i really feel like the countdown is on to the wedding, particularly after finishing two big work projects last week. but first! my bachelorette party, right? ;)
 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

on oops i did it again.

this is going to be a rambley post. first though, FIRST, let's start with acknowledging that i finally got to use a britney spears' song title as the title of one of my posts. magical. second, let's acknowledge that i already posted this recipe about a month ago and had totally forgotten and was ready to post it again. bet the post title makes sense now. these two weeks at work are going to be super busy and it's becoming super apparent right now. also, we sent out our wedding invites yesterday, which will add to the busyness. i believe jessie spano from saved by the bell said it best with: "i'm so excited, i'm so excited, i'm so scared." or perhaps i should say sang it best. and thirdly, (always amazes me that's a word!), brian said i could only have one britney song played at the wedding. obviously, it's very hard to choose just one. please leave your suggestions below.
with those three things off my chest you might think i would have run out of things to say. you would be mistaken. the subway has really had it out for me lately. i had a rat run between my legs, i saw someone vomiting profusely on the tracks, i got on a subway car with a half naked man who continuously hocked up loogies onto the floor, i sat next to man who dedicated his time to picking his nose so intensely that i had to move less i throw up, and i sat next to a man who took off his sandals and had his BARE FEET on the floor of the subway car. it's all been a little much. walking home past brownstones and leafy trees calms me, but i swear to god, that moment when i first get off? i am ready to leave this hell hole on a first class ticket to iowa.
also, when all this happens and then i work a 16-hour workday and pass a tourist who sighs dreamily and says how wonderful and romantic new york city is, i want to give them a rant that is so long, and so loud, it would probably get me arrested. it usually starts with "pay my rent buddy! you wanna see dreamy new york, there it is! except it's a GODDAMN nightmare!"
i'm done complaining now.
if you ever wanted to know how i cook - there you have it. it reminds me of the old w.c. fields adage: "i cook with wine, and sometimes i even add it to the food." w.c., buddy, imagine cooking with wine and having instagram at your fingertips! makes those moments waiting for water to boil go by so much faster.
the weather already feels a little crisper and fall-like here in nyc. people are like - but you know - summer isn't over until september 21st! or some shit like that. well riddle me this - how does mother nature also seem to be aware that labor day has passed, hmmm? please, enlighten me. (seriously, though, it's uncanny. feel free to enlighten me).
wow. after all that talking we're left with a steak. fabulous. now it's time for me to get ready for the day and hop on the subway. wish me luck that i don't sit next to any nose-pickers.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

on my weekend in pictures.

labor day weekend is easily one of my favorites in new york city. while the city is quieter, and emptier, and slower throughout the summer as people leave on the weekend for the beaches and what not, it's really empty on labor day weekend. and i love it. fewer people, shorter waits, less crowded subway platforms. give me it all. take one or two million people out of this city and it would really be something, ya know? so today marks the end of summer, the beginning of fall, and those few million people back in my life. to prepare for that we put basil (and mint!) in our gimlets and watermelon in our beer, enjoyed a steak dinner at home, took a couple of naps, hung a couple of pictures, and explored our neighborhood a little bit. all of these were helpful coping mechanisms. and besides - our wedding is this fall (!!!). it can't be all that bad, right?
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