Monday, December 31, 2007

I *heart* New York - Day 4

Our last day in NYC dawned rainy and cold. We really wanted to see Bryant Park so we didn't let the weather ruin our plans. We just bundled up anyway and after another breakfast at the Tick Tock (this time turkey sausage - yuuummmm) we headed on our way.

Bryant Park wasn't crowded at all because of the rain, so we perused all the little shops and I found some cute bearhand mittens for Marc (camoflauge) and Lisey (cheetah, of course). We met another of Sara's friends for coffee - this time I was delighted by the pair of British children at the table next to me. They sounded just like Charlie & Lola. The little boy fell out of his stroller and said, "Mummy, I fell ov-ah."

It was getting to be time to go home, so we enjoyed a slice of greasy cheesy New York pizza in all it's drippy goodness then headed to the train station. The train was completely sold out so boarding was pretty much a total clusterfuck. Sara and I were lucky to get two seats on the same car, catty corner from each other.

Erik picked us up at the station. The rain kept away my homeless drunk lady so she was not there to greet me.

I had a wonderful trip and it was really nice to spend time with my sister. I love New York City - I love its energy and the buzz of life there. Everytime I leave, I'm always looking forward to my next visit!!

I *heart* New York - Day 3

The next morning it was time for shopping in Soho!! We got breakfast at the Tick Tock (their homefries are the best) and bundled up. It was pretty chilly the whole time I was there, but with scarves and gloves we were quite comfortable.

And with that I will make a note about fashion in New York. It isn't really fashionable in winter. It is mostly people in layers. Because it's freezing outside then cold in the subway then hot as hell in side every building so you are constantly dressing, undressing, re-dressing, bundling.

Anyway, we went inside a lot of stores in Soho but nothing caught my eye. We ended up at Anthropologie, my favorite store and I found a dress I liked, but when I tried it on... Meh. It just wasn't cute on me.

The girl in the dressing room thought I'd like another dress on the floor, which they only had in a size 4. The blue dress I had tried on was a 6 and she said it looked big to her. So I went ahead and tried the green dress she brought me. It was one of those, on the hanger, blah but when I put it on? POW!!! It looked amazing. It was snug but it fit. I was in love!

We stopped for lunch and then did a little more shopping. Sara found some cute pashminas and I had fun watching all the people who live above the stores who had their blinds open but weren't really dressed yet.

After lunch we decided that a nap would be nice. I am always down with the nap, believe me! For dinner that night Sara took me to 44 & X in Hell's Kitchen. First of all, apparently you have to be a beautiful man to work there. I swear I have never seen so many men in one place that were all... beautiful. It was almost eerie.

Sara & I sat at the bar so I was right next to where all the servers came to put in their drink orders. This gave me an excellent view of the eye candy, as each one had to stand right next to me several times over the course of the evening. It also gave me an earful of their private conversations, and yes, I am pretty sure that every single one of those waiters was gay.

Sara assured me that they had the best mac & cheese she'd ever had and she was right. It was that good. I love me some mac & cheese but this was beyond amazing. We also split the crab fritter which had huge chunks of crabmeat in it. Being for Maryland I am picky about my crab dishes but this was excellent.

Over-stuffed from dinner, it was time for the show. Sara and I always loved the movie Xanadu. I still know all the words to all the songs. When I found it it was coming to Broadway, I knew we HAD to go. And it was great!

The show was campy and cheesy and overdone. But it was all done very tongue-in-cheek so it was just hilarious from start to finish. I loved it. What's not to love? Glowsticks, men in hot pants on roller skates, leg warmers - it was heaven. Dare I say... Xanadu?

After the show we went to another bar to meet up with some more of Sara's friends. I tried a caramel apple martini this time. It was so good but so sweet. I couldn't have more than one but the one I had gave me a decent buzz that lasted for a few hours.

We took a cab back to the hotel and standing at the corner waiting to cross the street, Sara said, "Um, is that guy peeing over there?" And I looked and yup - not only was he peeing right there on the sidewalk, but his whole junk was just hanging out. Hello, twigs and berries. We both just started giggling so he waved and slurred, "Happy Holidays, ladies!!"

And that was my NYC moment of the trip.

I *heart* New York - Day 1 and 2

My trip to NYC started out with me, standing on the platform at the Amtrak station and a drunk homeless woman standing on the other side of the tracks yelling "You just get on that train cracker!! That's right, cracker bitch, get on your train!!"

This was NOT in New York, by the way. I was still in my hometown. The actual train ride was not nearly as exciting. I arrived at Penn Station and checked into my hotel and decided I was really hungry. The New Yorker hotel has a great diner downstairs called the Tick Tock Diner - it is open 24 hours a day and I've never had anything there that wasn't good.

DAMN I was in the mood for a BLT so that's what I had for dinner. After that, believe it or not I was really tired so I went to bed early that night.

The next morning I got up early and went to the Natural History Museum. I walked by all the windows at Macy's on my way to the subway. They really are incredible. I was one of those gawking tourists standing on the sidewalk with my mouth gaping open.

The museum was amazing and HUGE. I didn't see even close to everything in the museum before I was starving and needed lunch. The museum was not very crowded either. There were several school groups, but they could be easily avoided and I found myself in many of the exhibits completely alone. It was just me and the security guard in the hall of gems, which was one of favorite exhibits. I love sparkly, what can I say?

After lunch it was time for shopping. I made my way back to Times Square and ventured into the giant Toys R Us. I have to say, it was crowded but not nearly as bad as I expected. I got a cheetah for Lisey and some legos for Marc. The line was long but moved so fast I felt the need to tell my cashier how impressed I was. Seriously, I've waited longer than that at my local Toys R Us with one person in front of me.

People watching is one of my favorite activities and Times Square is the best place in the world to do it. I settled myself into a window seat at Starbucks with a coffee and a slice of banana chocolate chip bread for the next hour or so, just watching the people pass by.

I had a few hours before my sister's train arrived, so I decided to take a nap. Aaaaaaaaaah, it felt nice. Once my sister joined me, our first order of business was FOOD.

New York is fun to visit with my sister Sara because she lived there and worked on Broadway and she knows all the good places to go that are not just for tourists. We decided on Mexican and she took me to Tacocita.

Lord almighty, that was some good eating. I had tamales, one chicken and one pork and BOTH fabulous. And the guacamole? I don't really like guacamole but I was scraping the bowl with the last remaining shards of chips to get it all.

After dinner we went to meet one of Sara's friends for drinks. She works on Curtains, so we grabbed a table at the Atrium in the Marriott Marquee and waited. I spent about an hour just watching the elevators go up and down. Okay that sounds kinda stupid, but seriously - these elevators are really cool. I felt like I was in a space port.

My other favorite activity of that evening was watching the mom and dad next to us downing several bottles of wine while their essentially unattended two boys (I am guessing 6 and 8 years old?) went apeshit all over the bar. I found it extremely entertaining but the bartenders didn't seem to enjoy it quite as much.

I learned very quickly that it is wise to order a frou frou drink in a frou frou bar. The Irish coffee I got first was awful. Really awful. So I got one of their signature drinks - a pear martini and Ooooooooh, that was tasty.

It was getting to be past midnight by then and I am old so I was ready for bed. We walked back to the hotel and I totally crashed. I forgot how much walking there was to do in New York!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sorry for the delay!!

We had a computer crash that necessitated my personal nerd herder (that would be my husband) wiping the hard drive and reinstalling everything. It's taken quite some time but so far the computer is running fine. Anyway, I am back now and ready to update!! Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Start spreading the news...

I'm leaving today!! In five hours I will be on a train headed to Penn Station. I worked very hard to get this trip and am so excited that I'm having a hard time sitting still at my desk long enough to finish up all the last minute little things I need to do.

Thank you to everyone who has left kind thoughts and emails over the past few weeks. I have been on the new meds now for two weeks and they are starting to work. I am feeling much better. I am still a little blue, but have to remind myself that I feel BETTER, and there is a little more improvement every day, so that is what's I focus on.

Just for example, it's amazing to look at my time sheet - the first week of December I barely billed 3 hours every day. This week I have billed doubled that every day. I have caught up on files that have literally been just sitting on my desk for two months.

I'll update when I return from NYC, hopefully with some fun pictures and stories!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow Day

Erik went with me to the doctor this morning. I love my physician. She is in her thirties and we have kids about the same age. She is just incredibly understanding and always says the right thing. She listened to all my concerns and frustrations. We are going to try a combination of Zoloft and Wellbutrin to see if that works for me.

I started to cry as I left the doctor's office - a mixture of relief and frustration and anger. It's hard to describe. I know I need to do this and I know the Zoloft is already helping, but it's still upsetting. My doctor reminded me that you can't wish depression away. Thinking positive thoughts doesn't work, just like it doesn't work in treating arthritis or asthma or diabetes or any other chronic illness.

When I left the doctor it was snowing. By the time I got my presciptions filled it was starting to cover the roads and schools were calling for an early dismissal. I wasn't feeling up to going back to work so I used the weather as an excuse to go home. Erik and I had a nice lunch of soup from Panera and then spent the afternoon putting up the Christmas decorations.

I picked up the kids early but I was so exhausted and emotionally drained I ended up taking a nap while they watched TV. We had a Christmas party to go tonight and Erik made me go. I really really really didn't want to, but I did end up having a great time. I was glad Erik forced me to get up and out of the house.

The roads driving home were awful - the snow is really coming down and it is cold enough that it's sticking. Erik and Marc are both praying for a snow day tomorrow but I have to go to work no matter what. I am horribly behind after spending the past month essentially staring out the window unable to properly deal with pressing matters.

My plan for tomorrow is to take care of all the easy stuff (quick letters, wills, etc.) in order to move the greatest number of files off my desk as possible. Off to bed now.