Monday, November 29, 2010

the happy couple just had to choose april 29th

almost without fail (except London 2008 and Italy 2007) netter and i have traveled to europe over the Easter sunday week/end.  it works the best because i get good friday off and she is out of her toy fair craziness.  hence, the british isles trip was scheduled for april 21st through the 30th. 

then...prince william had to go and propose to his girlfriend of eight years, kate middleton.  congrats to both.  and then...they had to choose april 29th as their wedding day!  as utterly ecstatic as i am to know that kate will no longer be known as "waity katy" but instead princess catherine, i'm not super stoked that the prices for my vacation just quadrupled with their little announcement. 

going to have to re-evaluate our trip planning.  europe 2011 might instead be the vacation to avoid the british isles at all costs.  maybe amsterdam to see the tulips, maybe greece to view the architecture, maybe italian country side to eat lots of napolitano pasta, maybe portugal because i know very little about portugal, maybe switzerland because i heard they have excellent chocolate, maybe riga in latvia because netter really wants to go there, or maybe we'll stick close to home and head to the bahamas instead. 

although a small part of me thinks it could be pretty cool to actually be in the country on the day when the future of the british monarchy takes a wife.

Friday, November 26, 2010

me, my mooch and utah

went to utah a couple of weeks ago to enjoy a little family time since i wasn't going to be with them for thanksgiving or christmas this year.  (thanks joani for the thanksgiving feast even though it was only november 14th)  the trip started with joani losing track of time and forgetting to pick me up from the airport...thank goodness for scrabble flash...and ended with me forgetting my iPhone on the way to the airport so we had to turn around and back track 20 minutes.  the middle was the best part and here's why...

saturday morning my sister mooch and i ventured to the shopping outlets of park city.  she watched me use coupons at banana republic and ann taylor to replenish my winter wardrobe.  i went bowling with brothers, sister-in-law, mother and my nephews.  kinda embarrassing that my 4 1/2 year old and almost 2 year old nephews beat me at one game...granted they had bumpers...but still.

sunday was church with joani and mooch.  then a flat tire, cracked windshield and fantastic massage.  evening ended with previously mentioned awesome pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving feast provided by joani and grandpappy.

monday morning grandpappy and i went to get the tire fixed and talked.  love listening to his stories.  i got to spend the rest of the day and evening with mooch.  we had lunch at cheesecake factory, drove to SLC, rocked out to a Lifehouse concert and then drove back home together.

these hours i spent with my sister showed me how much i love her.  she is an amazing person.  our age difference forced our time living under the same roof to be short.  i felt like i knew her well and we were close but most of our past time together was spent with the rest of the family members.  we haven't ever really been one-on-one as adult sisters since she took care of me and my broken ankle in 2008.  it makes me sad that our home together sister time was short but i know we have eternity to look forward to.

i'm grateful for her friendship, that she shares the bathroom and her mirror with me when i visit, she takes excellent care of our mom and grandpa, she is a hard worker, she constantly strives to do what is right, loves our nephews and nieces with all her heart, will car dance with me when it's appropriate to rock out, is the epitome of beautiful with her dark hair and blue/gray eyes, knows her limits, will listen to my stories and advice, cares deeply for her friends, and has a deep knowledge of who she is and what she is striving for. 

her childhood and teenage years were so different from mine.  she is a better person than i was.  she is an example to me in so many ways and i'm thankful to be her big sister.  i look forward to many more hours of one-on-one time we can share together in the future.

this week's simple moments

1.  wonderful Thanksgiving meal with friends on paper plates with paper cups, paper napkins and fake Martinelli's drinking goblets
2.  scaffolding coming down off the building next to my office building
3.  vacationing NYers means more leg room on bus
4.  four events to attend on Sunday excluding weekly church
5.  jumping pose on the Top of the Rock (thanks to Clare for being my action photographer)

click on picture for a larger view

Sunday, November 21, 2010

les miserables - special moment in time

my 12th birthday was incredibly special.  got my ears pierced, left the joyful corridors of primary, could wear lip gloss AND saw my first broadway musical EVER!  my parents bought tickets for them, my brother big lug and i to see and experience les miserables at the orpheum theater in san francisco.

on the car ride to dinner before the show my mother kindly explained the plot of the story so that we would have an idea of what was happening.  our seats were excellent and i sat down to enjoy the show.  the first notes of the prologue began and i became completely enraptured.  i couldn't remember feeling such joy in my young life.  my eyes and ears didn't leave the full attention of that stage.  after the show, i told my mom i wanted to start piano lessons again.  i wanted to be able to produce the sounds of the show.  so i started piano lessons again when i had fought so hard to stop them.

since my 12th birthday i've seen les miserables another 5 times.  each time i became more enraptured with the show.  it takes me back to being a child and feeling complete bliss for the very first time.

this past wednesday gooch and i went to a movie theater to witness the 25th anniversary concert held at the O2 arena in london.  it was breathtaking!  just listening to lea salonga sing "i dreamed a dream" brought me to tears.  at the end of the show they brought out the original london cast.  four jean val jeans sang "bring him home" together and then the full cast sang "one day more."  it was incredible!

there are many things that consistently bring me joy - my family, friends, travel, good food and live music.  any and all kinds of live music.  i attribute the moment i became a live music addict to that night in july 1990 when i sat in a san francisco theater and heard "stars", "castle on a cloud" and "on my own."  it truly changed my life.

four val jeans singing at the concert finale:

samantha barks as epinone singing "on my own"

the amazing lea salonga singing "i dreamed a dream"

10th anniversary cast singing "the finale"

Friday, November 19, 2010

this week's and last week's simple moments

1.  love the AirTrain to JFK airport - cheapest and most comfortable mode of transport
2.  thinks it's completely normal to pay over $8 for a salad
3.  gets really sad when a "long term new yorker" announces their intention to move away
4.  am a complete ham when teaching sharing time to primary about enlisting in the "secret service agency"
5.  spending one-on-one time with my sister Mooch is a wonderful way to spend my vacation hours
honorable mention:  touching Jason Wade of Lifehouse elevated my love for that band exponentially

it's beginning to look a lot more like...

more and more holiday elements and decor are popping up in New York City with each passing day.

1.  the rockefeller center tree arrived last friday and is currently shrouded in scaffolding
2.  bloomingdale's is draped in thousands of lights with wreaths adorning it's exterior
3.  ads on television, internet and probably radio are hyping all of the after thanksgiving sales
4.  saks fifth avenue windows are draped in preparation of their unveiling on november 22nd
5.  the angels, soldiers and flags are installed in rockefeller center for all the tourists to take photos
6.  new york fun day is a short 3 weeks away
7.  wreaths and greenery adorn the street lights up and down the avenues
8.  bryant park pond skating is open for business
9.  i have already purchased christmas gifts for some family and friends
10. tickets to the New York Pops Holiday Concert at Carnegie Hall are pinned to my tickets bulletin board

love this time of year and look forward to becoming 100% christmas festive at the conclusion of Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

photo credit

some of you have commented on how much you love the photo at the top of my blog.  i didn't take the photo.  i can't claim that i did.  i wish i did but my skill level isn't there yet. 

instead i pulled it from an images search in google under the heading "new york skyline".  i have gone back numerous times to that search to give photo credit to the taker of the gorgeous panoramic vista of lower manhattan.  unfortunately the photo seems to have disappeared. 

i ask you loyal blog readers to please let me know if you come across the name of the artist who created the above picture in any of your random websurfing.  would really like to give credit where credit is due.

a treat for you

i have a personality that enjoys attention, being in charge and being generous.  there really must be something to all the zodiac characteristics of a Leo because i pretty much match all of them.  in the spirit of wanting to be the center of attention and appear "cool" i made a music video as a 10 year old girl.  it is truly magnificent in all of its late 80s graphic goodness, madonna accessories style and t shirt with leggings wardrobe options.

the video was made at "Be A Star" in the Sunvalley Mall located in Concord, California which sadly no longer exists.  i loved every moment of showing how "cool" i was in spite of the woman inside the room showing me how to dance.  the video would have been much better had i ignored her and grooved on my own. 


there is a sequel to the above video but the youtubers found me when i tried to upload it with the audio intact.  but i promise that it is without a doubt the better of the two because my dancing in place and lip syncing abilities sky rocketed in the six months from the one you just saw and the sequel.  i have it in my possession, so please ask for a viewing party the next time you stop by.

Friday, November 05, 2010

this week's simple moments

1.  made it to 400 posts on this blog
2.  rolled my eyes at tourist woman walking barefoot down 5th avenue while carrying her 4 inch slingback heels
3.  saw a movie for free plus received a free popcorn and drink coupon
4.  placed arch support inserts in all my shoes.  both my feet and i thank you dr. scholl.
5.  listened to Christmas music!

a tribute to mr. lucas

i worked at the nba retired players association for almost 3 years.  it was my first job after college and my first one here in new york.  in so many ways it was a dream come true because i love sports and was surrounded by amazing men who played a sport they loved.
one of my main roles at the retired players was to work directly with the board of directors which was comprised of former great players.  one of those players was Maurice Lucas.  i never witnessed him play his role as "the enforcer" on the portland trail-blazers.  i simply knew him as Mr. Lucas, husband of Pam and father of three who lived in the Northwest. 

at one of the conferences we attended in jamaica, i ended up sitting with maurice for lunch.  we had a very long conversation just the two of us about almost everything besides basketball.  he was always kind, engaging, intelligent and supportive of me and my job. 

i learned at later date that my aunt had a crush on him when she was growing up in the 70s in Portland.  maurice was kind enough to send her an autograph picture when i asked.  that was the person he was.  i deeply appreciated his friendship.  he was one of the board members that it was the hardest to say farewell to when i left. 

maurice lost his battle with cancer on halloween this year.  he was a young age of 58.  i'm thankful for the time that i was able to be his friend.  he will be dearly missed.

early planning stages

netter and i have chosen to visit the british isles for our annual european vacation.  the british isles are comprised of ireland, scotland, wales and great britain.  we are planning on spending about a week listening to everyone speak with an accent, eat pub food and constantly brush aside the incredulous stares when we say we won't be having any alcohol with our meals. 

the main purpose of this post is to solicite advice from any and all about where to go, stay, see, eat, avoid and shop whilst we are in the isles.  we've both been to london and can safely navigate our activites there and in bath, but i haven't got a clue how to prioritize all the beauty and majesty that we have placed on our "go and see" list.  any help to whittle down our options would be most appreciated.

here's a photo from our November 2008 trip in the united kingdom.  really hoping that it won't be nearly so cold, windy and wet while we're there in late april.  a girl can dream...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

photography crazed

i realized that i needed a creative outlet in my life.  don't have a piano to play, painting supplies are too difficult to store (not sure how artiste did it whilst living in NYC), and i'm not a writer (other than my witty commentary on this blog).  there were very few creative outlet options open to me until i picked up a digital SLR camera.  i became absolutely hooked on taking pictures of beautiful places, people and moments.

to try to convey how much i needed this outlet i shall share an example of my sacrifice for my art...

last friday night i was at a birthday party for a friend until the wee hours of the night...i'm talking after midnight my friends.  (just because i'm single doesn't mean i party every weekend like there's no tomorrow.  i like my 8 hours of sleep just like everyone else).  i didn't fall asleep until after 2am. 

i had already decided to go to the brooklyn bridge for the sunrise on saturday morning to take some shots of one of my favorite NYC landmarks.  i chose that saturday because it was before daylight savings ended; therefore, sunrise would occur at 7:20am instead of 6:20am.  very important detail.

so i woke up with my alarm at 7:00am.  got dressed, put on my cute and trendy beanie cap and headed for the brooklyn bridge.  spent a windy and cold hour on the bridge taking shot after shot.  quite often i found my self in a kneeling position to get just the right angle or crouched over to position the sun in a specific pattern.  the next morning my quads, gluts and inner thighs were so sore!  apparently i was doing lunges and squats without even knowing it.

generally i'm very cranky when i receive very little shut eye the night before, but this time i was perfectly content to get up, spend $25 on a cab and enter the outside world with dirty/greasy hair.  it was all because i had a camera in my hands and was capturing images that i hope you will enjoy as much as i do.

thank goodness the tools for this creative outlet fit snugly in my bedroom cabinet.

Monday, November 01, 2010

this week's simple moments

1.  still not a fan of halloween
2.  spent over $50 on cab rides in one day
3.  enjoyed a conversation with a friend at shake shack at 11:30pm on a Thursday night
4.  opened and played Just Dance with gooch...she schooled me on the NKOTB dance moves
5.  got a haircut that makes me look "10 years younger"