Monday, December 29, 2008

Everybody needs a jumpstart cuz' batteries can die



I had such a lovely Christmas. I took my first long-distance train to Lancaster, PA. Penn station was hustling and bustling when I got there on Christmas Eve. It was a little chaotic trying to figure out where to go, but I made it to the 656 Keystone train pretty easily. The trip took about three hours. I spent my time gazing out of my window at the fields and small towns that passed us by while listening to my new favorite band (The Silent Years...I can't get over how incredible they are!!) I sat across from a really tall guy from San Francisco whose name was Dale. He told me a lot about the town I was going to and about the Amish traditions that go on there. Every time the train conductor would walk by to announce which stop we were approaching, Dale would wink at me and give me a thumbs up. Haha. Once I arrived, I found my old friends and family waiting for me on the platform. We spent the holiday in Hanover, PA in a sweet two-store house with a big backyard, a cozy fireplace and a large Christmas tree.






It was interesting being in a town that was SO different from where I have spent the last five months. The fact that I got to see so many trees and patches of grass was more than I could ask for....but the best present was definitely spending time with a big family and feeling lucky enough to be included in their holiday traditions and caring spirit. I left Pennsylvania feeling refreshed and excited about experiencing a completely different kind of lifestyle than I have experienced thus far on the east coast. Although my stay lasted just two short days, I left feeling rested and really happy.

Back in NYC, I spent the last three days with my friend Scott who was visiting from California. We roamed around Manhattan and Queens while I did my best to play tourguide. It was so much fun showing him all of the places that Kate and I have discovered in the city. His last night here, we took him to two places that we took Robby and Matt to when they came out at the beginning of the month. The first stop was barcade (which is exactly what it sounds like: a bar with a ton of vintage arcade games to play!)



Then we went to Alligator Lounge. Whenever you order a beer they give you a ticket to get a free pizza. What more can you ask for?! The three of us had so much fun...and then the WEIRDEST thing happened to me on our way home! We were walking in the subways toward the G train and we heard someone shout, "You!!" I turned around and a guy around our age pointed to me and said, "You're JEWISH!!!" I looked at him, very confusingly and said, "Whhh....whhat?!" He said it again and I said, "Noooooooooooooooooooo I'm not!" (Even though I am.) He kept shouting at us the entire time we were on the subway platform! "You're JEWISH...YOU celebrate Hanukkah DON'T you!?!!?" It was so bizarre, haha. That's New York for you, I suppose!

I loved how Scott's favorite parts about the city were so similar to mine, like how convenient and fun it is to ride the subways whereever you want. You go underground for 10 minutes and pop up at some random part of Manhattan. He also loved the people watching, the fact that you can walk anywhere, how everything is open 24 hours........this city is alive and I felt very proud to live here and was excited that I never got us TOO lost.



Rockerfeller Center
St. Mark's

Central Park

Today our friend Laurel is arriving from Texas to stay for New Years and then tomorrow Jenna shows up from Texas, too! It's going to be a busy week because I also have a ton going on at work...but luckily I have had a wonderful few days off of work and I feel energized and ready for the new year.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another year older

I get to say that it was 24 degrees on my 24th birthday.

I had a great, relaxing day. Thanks everyone for all of the birthday wishes. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow day!!

Yesterday marked the first serious snow storm to happened here this winter. It started snowing the minute I walked into our store in the morning until the moment we walked into our apartment last night. There was just so much snow near the store...and I was even more surprised once Kate and I got to Queens. Cars were completely covered....it was exciting! While trudging through the piles of slush on the walk home, I realized that I definitely am completely unprepared for what daily life in snow will be like. I have a lot to do! I don't have to go into work today until 2:00, so my morning is going to be filled with Christmas shopping and a desperate search for thick leggings and snow boots.


The park next to my store around 6:00pm


Kate in her Eskimo suit and flowered Doc Martens


Views of our backyard/fire escape this morning!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

The first real snowfall of the season

...happened a few days ago. They were huge, chunky snowflakes that began falling while I was at work and stuck to cars and trees in big white sheets while I walked home that evening.





Monday, December 15, 2008

Who would have thought...


...that I could find such an amazing pair of vintage cowboy boots anywhere other than Texas! I bought these babies while Robby was in town. They are a cherry colored eelskin boot that goes up to the knee, I've been trying to wear them as much as possible to break them in. I absolutely love them.

This last week has been really busy. Traffic at our store has been inconsistent but I really feel like we're chugging along pretty nicely considering how worried everyone is about this recession we're entering into. We had a conference call yesterday that kind of prepped us for what the next few months might look like...but I'm keeping my head and spirits high. Yesterday it was just Kate and I at the store and although we did ridiculously well for just two of us being there, the day dragggggggggggggged. I also (partially) busted a shoplifter. We caught her trying to make off with a pretty large, very expensive leather handbag. While she was at the register attempting to pay for it, Kate and I could see miscelaneous, randomly placed lumps underneathe her clothing. I hate how I couldn't just say "ma'am, I can see a wallet jetting out of your pants..." but she definitely towered above me by a good foot and a half. I really think that she might have been a man, as we've had a lot of men dressed as women trying to shop lift from us. What kind of trend is that?! Gotta' love the world of high-end retail! Anything goes.

Eeek, I didn't realize what time it was. I better get going to work! Hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

If I ever hear ONE more version of jingle bells I'm gonna....

This morning I received a red flagged email from our VP of Retail telling me to prepare for a walk-through visit by our company's board members. Eeeeeek!! Apparently they were flying in from Boston to go to all of the Manhattan stores and see what's up. We often have people from corporate who come into our boutiques. I have met a lot of the licensing representatives, our CFO's daughter, etc etc but never the people who actually OWN our company. Kate and I got to work pronto. The store looked pretty well put-together to begin with, but we decided there needed to be a few changes. The two of us went into merchandising-mode. At some point, I think my pupils turned red and I started talking like a robot while simultaneously humming along to the Christmas Holiday blend on our stereo. It was great having Kate's help because I think we both have a similar eye for merchandising and display...and ultimately we were both very happy with the outcome of the store's setup today. Sadly, all of my anxiety about the board members coming in today was unneccessary because they never showed up! I guess their flight from Boston arrived late. Instead, they will be coming at some point tomorrow. (I hope they come before four. If they don't, I won't be able to attend the annual Christmas party that they're throwing at the showroom!) At least the store looks great, we finished boxing up the clearout merchandise and the markdowns for our big sale are completed. Now I'll just need to drink 987345 cups of coffee in the morning in an effort to calm myself down. (Is it weird that Caffeine has the opposite effect on me?! Years of espresso addiction have finally paid off.)

In other news...one of the girls from another Betsey store found this sketch and emailed it to all of the store managers. Betsey has designed an option for Michelle Obama's gown for the Presidential Inauguration. I love how fashion-savvy Michelle Obama is. A long list of incredible designers (Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfield, Zac Posen, etc!) have all sketched designs for Mrs. O. I wonder which one she will ultimately decide on. Here are a few of the ones I liked the best...



Kai Milla

Christian Lacroix


Diane Von Furstenburg
Zac Posen

You can check out all of the designer's sketches here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A new chapter begins.

I just got home from dropping my little brother off at the airport. Despite the fact that he is now 19 years old and hovers a good three or four inches above me, I don't think I'll be able to stop referring to him as my "little" brother. It just isn't happening. I'm bummed that his time spent in NYC has come to an end, but I will see him again soon when I fly back to Austin at the end of January.

I feel like so much in my life has (and is about to) change since the moment I saw my friends and family trudging up the stairwell to our apartment one week ago from tomorrow. My last four months of life in New York have been consumed with feelings of isolation, independence, loneliness, excitement, homesickness, happiness, encouragement, passion, exhaustion, the list goes on! Although I have been waiting for Kate, Robby and Matt to arrive for such a long time, I must say that actually having people around me twenty four hours out of the day was quite an adjustment! I have been alone for so long that it felt strange to be social and remember what having friends felt like. When I was coming back from dropping Rob off at the airport just a little while ago, it felt abnormally good to ride the subway back to the apartment by myself. I have developed an intimate relationship with myself. When you're forced to spend so much time internalizing everything, exploring things on your own and adjusting to a new place, you begin to crave that alone time. Solitude is the one thing I have come accustomed to here. From that solitude, I have developed a new sense of my self and a sense of independence. However, I have simultaneously lost (but have not forgotten about) an important part of what makes up "Tara"....the ability to be a good friend and to get out of my comfort zone. My mission for the next few weeks is to become adjusted to this new way of life....a new life filled with Katie-kate as not only my friend but my roommate. It seems like such a simple idea, but for someone who has spent so much time alone, it will definitely be an unexpected adjustment.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Movin' on up!

Great news! I've been featured again on the Pink Spotlight on Betsey Johnson.com!

You can find my little bio here: betseyjohnson.com So exciting!!!!

I feel ecstatic now that the Austin crew has arrived to NYC. I can't describe how calming it feels to know that I don't have to spend all of my time here alone anymore. Yesterday, Robby, Matt, Kate and I woke up late and went over to MiniStar. It is this awesome little Greek diner that my mom and I found near my house while she was visiting last week. Best thing about New York? Early bird specials! Eggs, hashbrowns, wheat toast, coffee and OJ for $3.95...what more can you ask for? After vegging out, the four of us walked back to the apartment and unpacked a little bit. We decided to take advantage of Kate's retal van, which, during their road trip, had officially been dubbed as "The Chipotle Express". We ventured out onto the BQE (once again, it is so odd to travel ABOVE ground instead of in the subways!) and drove down to IKEA where we scored some pretty great purchases. A bed for Kate, a chair and a few home accessories later, we were on our way back up to Queens to drop off our sweet finds! Our apartment has made a huge transformation, it truly looks like a home now that Kate has brought so many trinkets from her home back in Texas. I will take pictures eventualllllyyyy.

Everything is great and I am so happy! This afternoon we are going to go down to Williamsburg so Robby and Kate can do a little vintage shopping at one of my favorite places, Beacon's Closet. We'll probably roam around that area for a little bit and then head back to Queens. We are meeting up with some of Matt's friends later on this evening at this cool "Beer Garden" that is well known in this part of town. Should be fun!

Hope everyone is doing well :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm so sorry for the lack of posting. Ever since my mom arrived last week it's been go, go, go! I'm wating for Kate, Matt and Robby to show up to my apartment any minute...I couldn't be more excited!!!!!!! FINALLY, the time has come where I won't be alone anymore! I promise I'll get back to posting as soon as things settle down a little bit.

I hope everyone is doing well.

xo,
Tara

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Friends!



On Saturday night I went out to a swanky little bar down in Williamsburg to meet up with one of my best friends that I grew up with in south Florida. It was soooo wonderful to see Chad and our friend Milan. Even though it has been years, we still got along the same as we had while we were in junior high school. My little brother's friend Liz (pictured above) came also. She lives in Williamsburg, too. Everyone is in New York!

Despite the freeeeeezing weather coming home that night, I had such a wonderful time just GETTING OUT and seeing other human life forms besides the customers who walk into my store each day. I got home pretty late that night and then woke up at 7am the next morning to go get my mom at the airport.

I'll write all about our adventures from yesterday as soon as I get some food in me. More to come soon...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Brrrrr....


Today went well despite the FREEEEEZING weather!! 32 degrees! We haven't even reached the low of 27 tonight! Goodlord! This morning on my walk to the train, I couldn't decide whether my skin felt like it was freezing or burning. Such a weird sensation. My stepmom is sending me gloves in the mail and my mom is bringing cold weather supplies! I can't WAIT! I'll just have to stock up like crazy on winter accessories. I really thought that I could handle it but I've very quickly realized that I definitely don't have the right kind of gear to comfortably handle such low temperatures. And to think...it's just going to keep getting COLDER! It's not even snowing yet!!

Although today was longgggg and I have been secretly a teenybit bummed about the not-so-great work-related news from a few days ago, I was still in high spirits as usual! I always try to follow the same advice that I give my staff. Whatever is bothering you, just leave it at the door. The...er...pink...door. P was in a great mood today also, despite the freezing weather and her batteling through the last leg of a cold that she caught from me last week. I think we were bouncing off of eachother for a little bit and we both had some good quality sales. The majority of the day went by quickly and I was pleasantly surprised to see that we sold quite a bit! With the quieting traffic flow (Thanks to you, Wall street and the Stock Market!) it's been a struggle to keep moral high and the sales increases coming. Today was pretty uplifting and I remain confident that sales will increase as it gets closer to the holidays.

I can picture Keith saying, "blah blahhh blahhhhh" at this very moment! Haha! Sorry guys! It's hard to find other things to talk about during the week when all I do is go to work each day. My days off are usually when the eventful things happen. I am pretty excited about next week, though. I have to work tomorrow but on Sunday I'm going to venture out to JFK to pick up la mia madre from the airport. I'll have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to spend with her, as well as turkey day! I'm excited to seeeeee her, it's been far too long since we've spent time with one another. And guess what...after she leaves on the 29th, it'll only be a few more days until Nicole, Kate, Robby and Matt get here. WHOOHOO!!!!

Despite the hard times with the economy and the uncertainty of our future, I remain so very grateful for all of the positives in my life. I am so lucky to have a supportive family, an amazing group of friends, my semi-warm jacket, such a wonderful job and the opportunity to live in such an inspiring and incredible city. Life is good.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Like my mom always says....

..."I've never been in a car accident but I'm sure I've caused a few!" Her mantra was definitely repeating in the back of my head during my driving adventure yesterday.


I haven't driven a car in four months...so you can imagine how terrified I was to have to drive on the freeway in NEW YORK CITY of all places. Not only was I driving in the scariest place ever but I was maneuvering a U-HAUL with no side or rear windows (!!!) through back-to-back traffic!! Dear God! My arms felt like jello the entire time. It didn't help that I was also somewhat still drunk off of NyQuil from the night before. My game plan was to venture to Ikea before driving to my old apartment to load up boxes but once I turned the truck on, I was way too scared to drive down to Redhook. Instead, I decided to just drive to my old apartment (I had to take the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, ahh!!), pack up my stuff and get it to Queens without killing someone in that beast of a vehicle. Greeeeeeeeaaaaaaaat success! I did it! Even while batteling the awful weather and my cold-ridden nose and throat, I was able to move everything by myself and return the U-haul in one piece. On a side note, it was so strange to see what New York looks like from above ground! I traveled the same route that I do on the subway, but from above you really get to see so much more of the area you live in. I wish I could go back to take pictures of the cemetaries that I passed and all of the old buildings in Williamsburg, but alas, I won't have a car again for quite some time. Anyway, after the U-haul experience, I took the train down to IKEA and bought as much as I could carry. I decided to sit down and eat some lunch while I was there. When I looked out of the window near my table I was able to see a pretty-close-up view of the Statue of Liberty!


A few dishes, bathroom mats, pots and silverware later, there I was in our new apartment! I am so happy! I've been unpacking all day. I can't wait until Kate, Robby and Matt get here. I was bummed yesterday when I found out Keith won't be able to make it in December, but he'll get to come in January for a while, so that's one more thing to look forward to! Goshhhhhh I feel SO much better. This apartment is gorgeous and I finally have a HOME!!!! My mom gets here next Sunday, the two of us will have fun decorating and organizing. Whooohoooo.

Another perk to this apartment: I was able to hack into one of my neighbor's wifi connections. Who makes their password "password" ?! Score one for Tara!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tiny frustrations

I was in a perfectly good mood when I walked through the door of this apartment tonight. I almost skipped out on the gym today but while we were closing the store down P talked me into keeping my four-day streak up. I came home pumped up and feelin' good, I showered and am now squeaky clean and I just chowed down on some healthy veggies and an apple. But a-las, there has been a tiny blunder to my good mood! Of COURSE I couldn't have a night of peace and happiness. My annoyance level is riding on high now that this couple who is subletting one of the rooms here has come home. This couple consists of a tall lanky blonde girl from LA and a south american tennis pro. The two of them are nice, HOWEVER, they are constantly fighting and to top it off the girl ALWAYS tries to talk to me. This is only a bad thing because of two very important reasons. #1 She drraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggssss on conversation about the most mundane things, "Oh, is that a granny smith apple? Yeahhhhhhhh I like apples too. I like red ones...i think. Yeeeeeah. Apples, they're great. I meaann...hey do you like other fruits?" Point number 2 is that she says each statement as if she's asking a question. At first I thought maybe she just was a little confused but now I think it may be some kind of speech impediment. So that last sentence would read something more like this: "Oh, is that a granny smith apple? Yeah I like apples too? I like red ones...???!? I think?? Yeahhhhhhh. Apples, they're greatttt. I meeeann, hey do you like other fruits???!?" But to get the full effect, you'd have to raise your voice up about three pitches and talk reeeeeeeeallly slowwwwwwwwwwwwwlyyyy and have a HUGE amount of uncertainty in your tone.

Imagine a couple, one of them with a whinnnnyyyyy drawwwwwwwwwwwn out voice of confusion fighting with a Spaniard with a very thick spanish accent who talks very fast and angrily. Now imagine them fighting about why he only bought two bottles of soda at full price when she gave him a coupon that was three for $2. That is what I'm experiencing right now. It's ridiculous.

Where is a tape recorder when you need one????!

Where is an ipod when you need one?!?!!?!? Good riddance!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Homesick

Such little things can trigger my emotions so quickly. A song, a smell, a random thought. I'll be completely fine one minute, the next I'm a wreck. I often experience these moments where I'm suddenly having emotional flashbacks of where I'd be right now if I were still in Austin. Sometimes I miss the normalcy of my old life in Texas. I miss my family, my boyfriend, my friends. For some reason I often miss the boring, predictable routine of Austin life. However, if there was a magical portal outside my door that would drop me off back in front of our little white house in Austin, I wouldn't trade what I have right now with what I left behind. I just wouldn't trade it.

I just wish there was a way that I could incorporate both the old life of Tara with the new life of Tara to create one complete LIFE.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A week and counting...

...until I move into the new apartment that I'll be sharing with Katie-Kate. I really can't wait. I CAN'T WAIT! It will feel absolutely amazing to have a home to call our own. I finally feel like I will have a part of this huge city to claim as Tara territory. No more of this "bouncing around from here to there" stuff! There are so many things I am looking forward to doing once I move in, like begin cooking and preparing more fresh foods for myself, decorating, exploring the neighborhood, the short trainride to work...whoohoo!

It's ironic that I'm a little disappointed in leaving this house considering how isolated I've felt living here since September. Now that we have all of these friendly subletters who have taken the places of my original roommates, I come home and everyone actually takes the time to talk with one another. I think it's because we are all transients from other cities trying to find our place in New York. One of the girls in particular is very nice and so intelligent. We've had some great conversations and she's always excited to peek through my closet to gawk at my Betsey wardrobe, haha. We're going to try to organize a roommate dinner before we all move out this month. It's strange knowing that the probability that we will all stay in contact is very slim. I've realized that this city advocates such short-term relationships. You meet people for short periods of time and then you go your own way, unless they make some kind of huge impact in your life and you feel a friendship is worth dedicating time to. And then maybe three years down the line you'll be walking in Union Square and run into a familiar face..."Hey, I think I used to live with that girl three years ago!" but you still choose not to wave or say hello. It's strange that in a city where you crave the company of a friend so badly, it's difficult to maintain relationships with people. I feel like the lifestyle and culture in New York makes it really trying to form bonds with people for a few reasons. For me anyway, I'm not fortunate to have an extremely lucritive career where I work very little while making mass amounts of money. I think that many New Yorkers are in the same boat....we spend so much time working to make enough money to live here. The money that we have left over is used to go out and enjoy how marvelous NYC is, grab some food here and there, and maybe if you're lucky you'll meet some people while you're out. But I find that the little time you have left over to spend for yourself after a hectic work week is precious. It's invaluable. And while you want to invest that time in making friends and meeting people, you selfishly want to save it for yourself. It's the only time you have to recuperate from living in such an all-consuming place. And the vicious cycle continues... you're exhausted from work and excited about your days off. Once those days come around you just want to get out and DO something. At that point, you're a little lonely but you'd almost rather do something on your own so you can just have time for yourself to do a little self-reflection, but after spending TOO much time alone, you crave the company of others. By that point, it's Monday again and you've got to wake up early to catch the train so you can make it to your job on time. It's a vicious, vicious cycle. Like a good friend of mine visiting from out of town this week said...it takes about a year to get used to the city, it takes about two years to make friends and by year #3 you're ready to move on from New York to find a life of normalcy elsewhere. At this very moment, I'm enjoying the city immensely, even after all of the long work weeks, loneliness and solitude. We'll see where I'm at in three years.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New York was buzzing today. It felt like everyone just had a little more skip in their step than they had yesterday.

I'm so excited that I was able to experience such an epic part of history last night. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Runner's high

I left work around four yesterday because I was feeling pretty under the weather. The girls said I looked really flushed and I could feel my throat verging on the threshold of soreness as soon as I woke up that morning. My supervisor said I could leave early, which I rarely ever do. It was especially difficult to leave early on a Saturday. However, I was struggling to be productive and wasn't getting anything done because I was feeling feverish, so I headed home. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and I woke up around 10:00 this morning feeling a bit better. My throat still feels itchy but I think the fever disappeared. Thankgoodness. I drifted in and out of sleep for a few more hours and then decided to get up and try to run some errands. I threw on three layers of clothing - Tights, Boots, a black sweater dress, a green paisley scarf and my black wool coat. It was cold today, around 45 degrees, so you could only imagine my surprise when I walked outside of my house and witnessed something I'd never seen before....HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of people running down the street...with very little warm clothing on! I had no idea that the New York City Marathon was going on today. But yes, folks, it definitely was...and it happened to be passing through Brooklyn at the very moment I stepped outside. I can't tell you how cool it was to see tons of people lining the streets, praising and yelling inspirational words to the running men and women (and how people could run 20-something miles in this weather with only tank-tops and shorts on, I have no idea!) People lined the streets for miles clapping and holding up signs, balloons, banners and handing out water. They were just normal New Yorkers who came out in the cold weather to spend their Sunday cheering on and encouraging the runners. I walked a few blocks down to the Bedford Avenue area because I could hear music coming from that side of town. There were bands set up on each street corner providing entertainment for the people passing by.

I stayed down there for about thirty minutes or so watching all of the different kinds of people run by. Many of them either had their names written across their shirts or had flags, patches, pictures etc. of their country of origin. It was so neat!! I kept thinking how bummed out I was that I had no one to share the experience with.

As always, I'm sorry my phone's camera is SOOO terrible...but here are a few (super-low quality) pictures I managed to snap while I was down there!

Dear Santa,

For Christmas I would really love a digital camera. Possibly one with more than 1 megapixel. Although I am extremely grateful for the crappy camera that is imbedded on my phone, I believe a REAL camera would do my blog so much more justice.

Thank you. Tell the elves I say hi.

love,
Tara




(Go Longhorns!!!!)



Hope everyone had a happy Halloween!

Taken at Central Park

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Inspired.


I've never ever been one to get thoroughly involved in politics or other popular debatable topics. I have been classically conditioned to freeze like a deer in the headlights when I am confronted with my beliefs on these sorts of subjects for a few reasons. Firstly, I feel that politics in general is obviously a subject that many people are extremely passionate about... to the point where I often feel uncomfortable expressing myself in fear of being attacked by opposite view points. Discussing politics is, in essence, extremely similar to discussing religion, in my opinion. I believe that no one else has the right to tell you whether your opinion is right or wrong on these subjects because these topics are so subjective. They are directly based on the thoughts and feelings of each individual person. In my experience, many times when I have expressed a view antithetical to the one of my fellow conversationalist in the past, I have been immediately "attacked" for having the wrong thoughts and feelings. "Who is this person to tell me what I should be thinking or feeling?" is the first thing that usually pops into my head. Because I feel so defensive, I usually shut my mouth and try to change the topic of conversation immediately because I tend to be extremely un-confrontational. Arguing and fighting is definitely at the bottom of my favorite things-to-do list! The other reason why i tend to shy away from openly discussing my political views is because I openly admit that I am not educated enough on the fundamentals of politics to truly hold a debate-worthy conversation. Compared to those who feel an extreme passion for politics, I have a very poor understanding of what makes up our government and how it is able to operate efficiently. Besides the political science courses I took in college, I truly have no further education on our political system (and to be honest, I have a hard time finding the desire to do much research on the subject.)

With all that said, I feel like I have had a more than huge interest in this up and coming election because I truly do feel a connection to Barrack Obama and his efforts to save our country from a recession. He has inspired me to research the subjects that I feel passionate about and get involved in our future, even if it is on such a basic, individual level. I feel like a ton of Americans who, similar to me, have been disuaded by the potential harshness of politics and who have shyed away from openly discussing their viewpoints in fear of attack, have had a key interest in this election because they finally feel a personal connection to a presidential candidate. There has got to be a huge population of the United States who lack the proper understanding of politics and how the government works. Even with as much research as I have done and with political science courses under my belt, I still feel completely unqualified to truly discuss the core values of the political issues that need fixing. So, I tend to focus mostly on the personal connection I feel to Obama when I watch him speak. Am I the only one? When he says that this is the time for change, I honestly feel like he means it. Without choosing democrat or republican, I have from the very beginning, looked at both candidates with an open mind and I truly feel like Obama is so REAL. You can SEE how passionate he is when he speaks to Americans. It is a kind of emotion I feel McCain tries to force out of himself, which ultimately results in him feeling robotic, condescening and rehearsed. I think many Americans notice this aspect of McCain's personality immediately. After watching Obama's speeches and debates within the last few months, his commercial last night really hit me. I was holding back tears during some points in that 30-minute special. Like he said, he won't be able to be the perfect president but he will always promise to be honest with us. Isn't that what we all have been craving? Someone to just be honest with us? He is standing up for the middle class, for those of us who are struggling so badly...and I can see and feel that. I think many Americans can feel it too. There is a bonding that is happening across races and genders throughout the United States that I am lucky enough to witness on a daily basis while walking these ethnically-diverse city streets of NYC.

I'm expressing my opinions on my blog because...well...HEY! It's MY blog! I don't have to worry about people screaming at me to my face. I think everyone is open to their own opinion and I will never try to convince someone to change their view points to ones similar to my own. I just finally feel passionate about something I've never really cared about before.... and it's so exciting.

I found this earlier today...for those of you Obama-lovers, you might enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A layercake of clothing.

I've always claimed to love layering, but I don't think I ever really understood the true meaning of layering clothes until last night. I slept with a pair of socks on, sweat pants, a tank top, a long sleeve sleepshirt on top of that and to top it off slept with my UT (go longhorns!) sweatshirt on! I woke up this morning short of breath because I apparently wrapped my blankets too tightly around my face at some point during the night. When it was time to get ready for work and remove myself from my cocoon of hot blankets, taking that first step into the shower was one of the hardest things I've had to do in a long time. It's absolutely freezing in New York at the moment and I don't think we've hit the 30's yet! I think my teeth just chattered! Whew! Today I also realized that I stick out like a sore, cold thumb in this city. One of my customers told me this afternoon that I'm going to have to invest in proper winter clothes because I wasn't wearing warm enough leggings under my dress. Oh god. What do you mean, proper winter clothes? Leggings aren't going to cut it? What do I do instead? Is that what leg warmers are for? What exactly is long underwear? Can it be worn in public? Earmuffs...really?? This is so confusing...

Winter definitely is approaching quickly. I'm going to have to get on this warm clothes thing FAST! Thankgoodness my room in our new apartment will have a heater. I thought I'd easily be able to handle the cold because I love sleeping in a chilly bedroom, but boy oh boy, I may have been wrong. Let's see how I handle the 10 and 20 degree winter air!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Home sweet home.

Today I found out that I've been approved for an adorable apartment that I found yesterday after a long day of home-searching! It is a two bedroom pre-war apartment with tons of charm and a vintage feel in Astoria...PERFECT for Kate and I! A huge calm has swept over me, it feels incredible knowing that I will have a place to call home...MY home!!! No more of this room-surfing on a monthly basis. I move in on November 15th and Kate will finally be here at the beginning of December, so I won't be there by myself for too long. I realized that I literally have NO furniture, haha! I think Kate will be bringing some things of her own for our house and I might get my brother go through his place to see if he can find some random necessities of mine to bring along while he roadtrip's up here with Kate and Matt. Gosh I can't waittttttttttttttttttttt....I feel like this is going to be a new New York beginning. I get to spend the beginning of November with Nicole for a few days, Thanksgiving with my mom, the first week of December with Kate, Matt, Keith and my brother and then my Dad and stepmom will be here in the middle of December. Also, Nicole, Jeff and Scott will be in Pennsylvania during the holidays so I am going to try to make my way out there for Christmas. It is going to be fantastic! I'm in high spirits.

I better get to bed, but I will leave you with some pictures I took at Central park while I was visiting with Massimo and Francesco.



Friday, October 24, 2008

I loved watching the gorillas at the zoo on Monday. They seemed so sweet tempered. Some of them had the saddest eyes, though.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ohhhh goodness!!

I'm so sorry that I haven't written in a while...I've been so busy!!!!

Our store had a crazy week (in a good way, though!) so I've been here early each day trying to get everything back in order. This back office is like a second home. Unfortunately, this is also the only place where I can use a computer because my laptop at home is having a heart attack and might be on its last leg. I guess four years old is kind of old for a computer? It hates me, or is having a bad case of hiccups, or...I have no idea. So, with the exception of trying to create blog posts on my phone, I thought I would do a quick update on here before I run to fulfill my caffeine addiction.

This last week has been a lot of fun. The weather has cooled down a LOT. I've been getting a ton of use out of my Fall coat and am enjoying the leggings and hats. It feels absolutely freezing to me but everyone is telling me this is only a small dose of what's to come. In the grand scheme of winter, 49 degrees isn't that chilly for NYC. On Monday, I went with my friend Ashley who i grew up with in Florida and her boyfriend Mike to the Bronx Zoo. Mondays are definitely the recommended day to go because there is literally no one there. Except for a brash run in with some folks who may or may not have been under the influence of SOMETHING in the gorilla habitat area, we had fun looking at all of the animals. The zoo is beautiful, it looks like a museum because it has tons of lovely white museum-esque buildings that house the birds and butterflies. Walking past the sea otters was sad because they reminded me of Sam when we'd take him swimming in the river. Poor Sam...I wonder where my sweet dachshund is now. Sigh.

Last night, however, was one of the best nights I've had so far! I have a couple of friends who belong to a band called The Canadians. Ironically, they are from Italy and my friend Jenna and I had discovered them during college when we were listening to Italian music to help with our grammar. At some point, we became email friends with one of the bandmates and Jenna had the opportunity to see them play live in Milan when she was there studying abroad. Last year The Canadians and their record label owner came to Austin to attend SXSW and Jenna and I spent the whole night with Massimo and Francesco. We showed them around the downtown area, practiced our Italian and taught them how to eat Smores. It was such a fabulous time. SO...you can only imagine how excited I was when Massimo emailed me to tell me that him and Francesco would be in NYC this week to attend another music festival, CMJ. Last night after work I took a taxi down to their hotel and met up with them for dinner. We all get along so well and it was unbelievably nice to see such familiar (kind of?? they live in italy!!) faces. We ate dinner at this wonderful French restaurant and talked for quite a while. Then we trekked down to the Bowery to see a show. I wound up not staying because I had to get some sleep since today was going to be an early day, but I decided to take tomorrow off to get some errands done and then spend the whole day with the two of them. We're going to do all of the touristy things like see ground zero, central park and take them to find good shopping. I can't wait. They are such nice guys. Maybe my next move after NYC will be Italy?? I hope so.

I will try to post again when I have more time...until then...I hope everyone is well!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Grand Central...STAT!

Yesterday was a pretty fun day. With the exception of P and I almost losing our minds because it was so quiet at the store, the day went by somewhat quickly. Reason being because my mom's good friend from college, Bob, was in NYC and on his way to meet me at my store around 7. He hadn't seen me since I was about seven years old so it was definitely a funny experience seeing eachother again. He was in town to go to this showcase for his friend Nathan at The Annex (which I think is in the villiage). After P and I finished closing the store, Bob and I hailed a taxi and headed downtown to find Nathan. We ventured into this dark little club where there were maybe 10 people hanging around. The woman who was putting on the showcase had just moved here from Austin too and lived right next to my neighborhood in Austin AND in Brooklyn! Small world. We all chit chatted a bit and then Bob and I walked upstairs to watch Nathan from the balcony. He was pretty good! It was a solo-acoustic thing and the whole point of the show was to sing for a record producer who was in town for that night. Nathan had a really beautiful voice and I was excited that he did a cover of one of my favorite songs, Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. His set lasted about 20 minutes, when it was over Bob and I had to leave pretty quickly because he had to catch a 9:15 train and it was 8:50! We rushed out to the corner, suitcases in tow, hailed a cab and once inside I got to say one of the things I've always wanted to say, "We need to go to Grand Central...STAT!!" With that, the cabbie laid down on the gas and got us to the station in eight minutes! We quickly rushed to Bob's train with five minutes to spare, gave eachother hugs and with that, the two hour visit was over. I walked downstairs to the 7 line and headed back to Brooklyn. When I got home, I had a text from Keith telling me that his sister, Becca was going into labor! I couldn't believe it has been nine months already. When I first met her in college station she was barely pregnant at that point. I excitedly called him up and we talked for a bit on the phone. I always love talking to him because he's got such a great laugh and we have always gotten along so well. I was so happy after talking with him, I could barely sleep for some reason! I woke up around 5 and tossed and turned for a couple of hours. At seven I decided to just wake up, get dressed and go to the gym early. After 20 minutes on the treadmill and 20 on the eliptical machine...I feel amazing!!! Today we're having a big party at the store for Breast Cancer Awareness month so I need to run out and get balloons blown up and cookies! Last time we had a party we got cupcakes and WE ate them all. I'm not making THAT mistake again...especially since I just spend the morning exercising. Haha!! Whew. I feel like a big ball of energy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Quiet Zone.

Yesterday the sun was shining and there was a really wonderful breeze that was just cool enough to require a sweater. I had left my window open during the night and awoke to freezing toes and a red nose, but I would trade warm weather for this ANY day! I put on my newest Betsey acquisition (a gray plaid gauze tunic from last fall with puff sleeves and a square neckline), black tights, my new Frye boots and threw on my black leather handbag. The plan for the day was to head over to the upper west side. I had never been to the Columbus avenue area and I wanted to check out our competition stores. I took the L train to 8th avenue and then waited for the C train. Of course it was a weekend and the trains were all running on the wrong lines. I waited and waited, the C never came. Some ladies confusingly asked me what was going on so I told them the same shpeal others had told me when I first arrived to the city. "The trains run funky on weekends, I'll show you the way!" We got onto the A train and I gave them directions to the Magnolia cupcake bakery via their tourist subway map. I decided to get off on Columbus circle and walk the 15 blocks up to where I needed to go. The weather was just so nice and I couldn't bear to be underground!
I walked up to around 72nd and Columbus Ave. The upper west side is absolutely beautiful. The brownstones and architecture are so old but very well taken care of. On that side of town I found TONS of high-end stores meshed with small cozy clothing boutiques. There was a restaurant every 20 feet and people were EVERYWHERE. I wish our store was in such a prime foot-traffic location! We would be KILLING our goals. Sigh. Alas, I enjoyed the area, even if it did make me a little depressed that I didn't get to spend time in such a cool neighborhood each day. From that street I realized that I was only a block away from central park and decided to trek over that way. Although I have only been there a few times now, I am always blown away by how gorgeous Central Park is. It literally pops out of nowhere, even though it is absolutely ginormous. It's a green, luscious oasis flourishing amongst a huge cascade of cement, traffic and pollution. I carefully followed down the paths for walkers and sightseers, paying careful attention not to step food into the joggers and bikers paths. There were so many people there, probably because the weather was so beautiful. Benches line the paths and were packed with everyone from business men to little kids licking ice cream cones. I've never seen anything like it!



At some point I came across this huge field that I had never seen before. There were hundreds upon hundreds of people sprawled out on the grass, basking in the sun. For as many people as there were, it was dead silent, unbelievable! The tall city buildings loomed in the background but the noise of the city had somehow been shut out of this large square of Central Park grass.




I sat down on a nearby bench that lined the jogging path. There was an older couple sitting nearby. The man, probably in his 80's, was reading a hard-cover book that seemed to have been read so many times that I couldn't make out what the title was. His wife sat in her wheelchair opposite from him. There were oxygen tubes in her nose and her head was tilted slightly to the side as she blankly watched the families sprawled out in the grass parallel to us. At some point, a gust of wind swirled through the red and green leafed trees and blew her white, fine hair into her eyes. She didn't move. Her husband immediately looked up to her, removed his hand from her knee and pushed the strand of hair away from her eyes and behind her ear. He then patted her knee with his hand, adjusted his glasses and went back to reading his book. It was such a touching moment. After briefly feeling a rush of home-sickness, I decided to walk back up to 7th avenue and catch the train home.


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