31 ’til 25

There’s one month left until I turn 25. Thirty-one days separate me from being a mid-twenty year old. I know that age is just a number, but it still presses on my mind. Is there anything I still want to accomplish in this era of my life? Are there any last wild oats I should focus on sewing? The past six months or so have brought a lot of changes into my life. A number of my good friends have made huge life decisions (engagements, moving away from NYC, starting families, etc.); what should the next year or five or ten of my life bring?

To be frank, I don’t know. And in a large sense, I don’t care. In the past few months, since I’ve started my new job (side note: I have a new job!), I’ve been focusing a lot less on what others are doing, and a lot more on controlling the things I can control – what I should have started doing a long, long time ago. I can only control my actions, my reactions, my timeline — comparing myself to others is never going to get me ahead, or even further in my own path. Only by challenging myself every single day, will I see growth. Accompanying this new job has been a much more grateful attitude towards life – almost YOLO-like, if you will, and I’m much happier and more thankful as a result.

I think plan to live the next 31 days of my life in a similar fashion to my past 31 days: laughing a lot, learning a ton, and saying YOLO more times per day than a 19-year-old. After all, age IS just a number.

 

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Beautiful Brooklyn Botanic

Hello there, and happy summer! Sorry more than a few hot seconds have passed between my last update and now… it has been a very busy couple of weeks. I have a lot I’d like to update you guys on, but I’m going to take this one post at a time. :)

My parents came to town a few weeks back, and one of my favorite places we visited was the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Not only a nice (and affordable!) escape from the “city” part of The City, but it was also an excellent excuse to break out my old (still pretty new) DSLR. Here’s a few unedited photos that I thought turned out pretty nice.

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Although Cherry Blossom season had come and gone, this place was bigger and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. If you live in NYC and haven’t been, don’t wait to use visitors as an excuse to check out this place. It’s well worth it on your own.

More updates to come, sooner rather than later. ;) But for now, happy Tuesday!

 

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On Saying Yes

There have been a number of instances over the past few months when I’ve really thought long and hard about throwing in the towel. Not on life, obviously, but very truthfully on New York. I’ve never been too shy or modest to say that this city will eat you up if you let it. And sometimes, even for the most enthusiastic of its fans (i.e. myself), surly New York can get pretty darn close to taking a big bite of your confidence. Her sharp, pearly whites are constantly chomping at the bit of your dreams. If you’re lucky, she’ll rip you up and spit you out. But preferably, she’ll swallow you whole…

But then you’re walking home from an after-work yoga class, and due to forgetting proper footwear, you have to do the 50 minute commute home in dressy boots, a long overcoat, short gym shorts and an oversized tee. You resemble what could only be described as an out-of-shape, disheveled, and just overall bad, masculine prostitute, when you run into someone on the street looking 11 shades worse, and who is very much rocking it on purpose.

Or you’re heading to a friend’s apartment after a long day to work on a project and you, like any annoying, yet serious-about-her-career New Yorker, need caffeine. You stop at the local coffee shop on the way to the E and the Barista says, “Hey, this one’s on me.” It was probably because you’re so sleep deprived you look like you could murder four puppies without blinking and he’s frightened, but you know, in a world of jerks, it’s a win.

And then you have a Monday — a figurative AND literal Monday at work — and due to a swirl of irony and happenstance, you make one of your favorite comedians laugh. A silly face, some dumb accent. It very well could have been a pity laugh, but if he felt compelled enough to fake it, at least you must have been true-to-form: awkward and hopefully, likable.

This city isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t for the half-assers, the get-embarassed-easilyers, or the try-it-once-but-then-I’m-done-ers either. And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t even for the dreamers. It’s for the doers. The open-minded, hard-working, inadequate humans who fail SO much and HATE it — but aren’t afraid to keep failing. To keep improving. To keep trying. To keep saying yes. The kind of people who say “Yes” are not the kind of people who succeed in New York, but rather are the kind of people who survive here.

Maybe it’s not even specific to New York. In light of taking an improv workshop with Second City through my job and re-reading Tina Fey’ Bossypants, I feel enlightened and compelled to keep saying “Yes” to life. I haven’t finished meeting these insane and wonderful people harboring vast and unique experiences only New Yorkers can offer. I’m not over chasing my dreams. I’m not done with New York, and I don’t think New York is done with me. I have more to do here — more to experience, more to lean — and I’m excited and ready for whatever that may entail.

YES_NY

Have you said “Yes” today? Or walked by someone wearing fishnets, black spandex and a cowboy hat out in public? If so, where do you live? And why?

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Currently, this Monday Morning

RECAPPING: a nonsensical “Happy Passover” e-card from my father, a certain random Twitter follow from this weekend, macaroon Easter treats from a friend and cookie gifts from my manager because of having to work the holiday. I suppose people really aren’t that bad.

HOWEVER: This Buzzfeed quiz suggests otherwise. Favorite comment: “NYC made me this way.” Ugh. Sad but true.

REALIZING: I’ve fallen very behind in my 52 books in 52 weeks goal. Should audio books count? If so, where can I find audio books? And also, the time to listen to twelve of them in the next two weeks?

ACCEPTING: Audio book recommendations. Normal book recommendations would also suffice.

LISTENING TO: Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson’s Beauty and the Beast, on repeat. It’s a beautiful, inspiring song; don’t judge.

SIPPING: French vanilla coffee from Trader Joe’s.

CRAVING: Country music, windows down and an open road. I’m chalking it up to the onset of summer, but sooner rather than later, some things may deserve a revisit if this keeps up.

REMINDING MYSELF: I should not compare myself to anyone other than who I was yesterday.

And with that, I bid a very happy work-week to you, readers! Make it a good one. Spring’s in full swing and summer jusssst around the corner. You can do it!

Fort Tryon

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Loveship, Hateship, Kristen Wiigship

Last week I had the great pleasure of seeing one of my most looked-up-to individuals at a movie screening/talk at the 92nd Street Y. As a part of the Reel Pieces series, my friend and I were able to preview the drama Loveship, Hateship (based off of Alice Munro’s short story “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage”) and sit in on a discussion that Columbia Film Professor Annette Insdorf held with the film’s director, Liza Johnson and the star of the movie, Kristen Wiig.

Realtalk, I’m not much of a film expert (although I also finally watched Dallas Buyer’s Club and Nebraska this weekend — A+ to both!); this event had me at “Kristen Wiig will be there.” Poor blessed Annette Insdorf tried her best to ask Ms. Johnson questions that wouldn’t bore the audience to sleep and stay on topic of the film, but 90% of the discussion and questions were geared toward Kristen. And mostly about her work in comedy, which is NOT the genre of this movie AT ALL. Tell us about working for SNL. (Hard, but good.) What can we use from improv in our daily lives? (Yes, and to everything.) Where did the character Dooneese come from? (3am sleep deprivation) Who was your favorite person to write with on SNL? (Wouldn’t answer) Who was your favorite person to act with on SNL? (Wouldn’t answer) Will you be doing dramas from here on out now? (We’ll see! But of course, no.)

IMDB currently has Loveship, Hateship rated at a 6.1/10 while Rotten Tomatoes gives a less enthusiastic 44%. It definitely is a solemn, and at times awkward (shocker, it’s Wiig) film to watch. But as we watched it with an audience of, what I can only assume were Bridesmaids-heads, whenever Wiig gave but an inch of something very, very small that could in the slightest way be taken as funny, the audience took a mile and LOLed.

Although I’m a fan of some of Kristen’s other recent dramatic feats (i.e. Friends with Kids, Girl Most Likely), this was a little too depressing for me and overall kind of unimpressive. But, some say my taste in movies is awful (I hate The Wizard of Oz!), so you should check out Loveship, Hateship for yourself! Here’s the trailer:

OR. Just watch this thirteen times instead:

OR both, if you have nothing better to do with your time, a la me.

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My “Type” AKA an Excuse to Feature a Photo of Tom Selleck on my Blog

I have a “type.” So sue me. I spent a few minutes being embarrassed about it, and then the last five or six years trying to find someone who will fulfill all of my requirements. That’s obviously worked out nicely (she types lying in bed by herself covered in a film of Cheeto dust). My prerequisites include, but are not limited to: a receding hairline, an overall “I don’t care about my physique” attitude (aka a dad body), and most importantly someone who can proudly rock tube socks, some clear plastic thick rimmed reading glasses and a handlebar mustache, hopefully all at once. Depression-baby values and a pro ruler-to-wrist smacking mentality are added bonuses. What I seek, dear internet, is not a 2014 Brooklyn Hipster. My ideal partner is a glorified father-figure of the late 1960’s.

While I acknowledge fulfilling all of said requirements seems to be a difficult feat, as dads of that generation are currently bordering great grandpa territory/death, I still have hope. I’ve attached a few of my top contenders for my your viewing pleasure. Do yourself a favor and picture each of these fine men donning one of these outfits:

1970s outfits

You’re welcome in advance.
Hot Dads 1Hot Dads 2Hot Dads 3

Was I born in the wrong era? Am I just a reverse-cougar? Is there such a thing as a reverse-cougar? If so, is there a better sounding name for it?

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You Can’t Make Everyone Happy: The Series Finale Theme Song

And also the theme song of life? I just accidentally typed “lice” instead of life, which I guess is another word in which “You can’t make everyone happy” also describes. But I digress…

Series finales are hard, ya’ll. Even Friends‘ series finale left me wanting more. Back in 2004, I was convinced that a new opener (i.e. a fountain shoot theme song), Joey moving in with Chandler and Mon, and Ross/Rachel/Emma taking over ‘the apartment’ would have been more fitting that the weird, yet piercingly sad shot of the abandoned keys and an empty set that we were left with. Also in a most disappointing manner, The O.C.‘s series finale left us with a dead Marissa Cooper in the arms of her beloved soul mate Ryan Atwood. There have been reports that some delusional Seth/Summer shippers have created an entire fourth season that ends with a high school graduation and Ryan being destined to some other, awful, obsessive-compulsive less-pretty Californian named Taylor, but that’s obviously nothing but fan-fiction in it’s most serious degree.

In hindsight it seems that the finales that gave us less, have left us happier — or maybe just have given us what we never knew we wanted. The Freaks and Geeks‘ series ending left a few strings untied, with our protagonist Lindsay Weir rather aimlessly wandering onto a Grateful Dead tour bus, away from the constraints of her perfect family. Breaking Bad‘s final delivery of perfection also left our imperfect wildly hated principal character (Walter White) concluding that his true love, all this time, was the power, the glory, and when it boiled down to it, the meth. And two decades prior, a sitcom that couldn’t be more its opposite, paralleled that exact ending. The Cheers‘ series finale left Sam Malone alone, with nothing but his feelings — not for one of his main girls, Diane or Rebecca — but for his one true love, the bar.

In last night’s particular [HIMYM] scenario, I guess I’m siding with Vanity Fair? I am one, according to the internet trolls, amongst a small handful of people who were 100% into the How I Met Your Mother series finale. *SPOILER ALERT* It tied up all the loose ends. It made Ted and The Mother’s (calling her Tracy feels slimy to me – can’t get on board with it yet – I feel like it’s too new) genuine adoration/love for each other feel real and relatable. The Mother gets sick — that’s life. Robin and Barney divorce — that’s life (and also hella predictable). Some couples have maniacal fights, but stick together and are in it for the long haul — that’s life too. The question I have to ask to all the haters: do you guys know what being in relationships is like? Being human? Growing and changing and a lot of times repeating the same cycle of decisions? Because honestly, kids, that IS life. That’s what we do. I thought everything ended tightly and as right as it could be for the characters. It’s a sitcom, what more do you want? It was a happy ending for all, which while nice for a sitcom series finale, doesn’t always maintain in actual life, BUT it was also realistic and within the normal reality of the characters we’ve all grown to know and love. Ted DID let Robin go and do his thing with our girl Trace (nope, still can’t). It was cute and nice and then she died (again, sometimes that’s life), so he tracks down his old fling almost decade-long sweetheart. It doesn’t imply a happy ending for the two of them nor does it discount the very real and wonderful relationship he shared with The Mother. It’s just a cyclical decision in the course of his life. Classic Schmosby. I can’t defend it any longer, because it was an impeccably well-written, and not to mention well-acted and well-executed by all parties involved (IMO). It seemed very real to me. Not perfect, but real, which while that pissed off many others, I found perfectly endearing and completely relatable. I’m sure Bays and Thomas are regular leisure readers of my sad, poorly edited blog, so I must give out personal mad props to you and your writing staff, for what me and at least three others out there think, was a job well done. Thanks for nine seasons of awesome television. P.S. When is it too early to start rewatching from season one?HIMYM Finale

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