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Miss Peach

Like putting a good belt on a cheap dress

Clearly, I Need an Older Brother or Sister

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A few weeks ago, my assistant (who is really less an assistant and more like a little sister--she's awesome, firstly, and really funny, and she's only five years younger than me, so our relationship is really coworker-y and whatnot) and I went out drinking. She had had a really rough run of things at work--overloaded, stressed, and dealing with a lot of not-so-nice people, some in the office, some out. After she hit her breaking point one evening in my office, I decided that what she (and I) really needed were some drinks. So we tromped down a few blocks to engage in some pre-holiday merriment, which turned into several glasses of wine. Because, as you all know, drinking copiously is the only way to solve a problem effectively.

When we finally got up to go, I headed outside and she stopped into the restroom, so I found myself waiting for her in front of the bar. There was a guy standing there, kind of a portly finance type, in a suit with slicked hair, Jersey accent (he was on the phone), and visible wedding ring. When he hung up the phone, he turned to me and started asking questions: what I did (he guessed fashion, which, no and why that? Weird.), where I was from, who I had come to the bar with, etc. I was giving polite but vague answers, as he struck me as slightly smarmy. My assistant came out, and we started to walk to the corner when he offered us a ride, which we politely declined. Then he looked at me and said, "My god, you just... you really remind me of a girl I knew in school who I couldn't get up from my desk for!"

And this is where my innocence shined through, where I became the youngest 27-year-old on earth, where my young assistant became the older, wiser, world-weary party in the group, where, once again, being an only child with no older siblings to pass along knowledge or music or advice bacame evident. My response? "What does that even mean?" My assistant turned to me and replied, "Oh, MIss Peach. I'll tell you when you're older."

And then in dawned on me. And then all the wine and appetizers we'd had started churning in my stomach, and I felt a little woozy. Because EW. Ew ew ew ew ew ew. Ew ew.

And then he laughed and offered us a ride on his way home to HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN IN NYACK.

At least I can call 'em early on in the conversation, right? Smarmy, indeed!

New Year, New You

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's a New Year, so here's to a New Friday Five. I know I said I don't really go for resolutions, but goals are important, and maybe if I say them out loud (or commit them to the internet), I'll feel more inspired to follow through. And it's not like I'm declaring anything unsurmountable here. I'm hoping I can look back in a year and know I did what I set out to do. So here goes:

1) Learn more about my computer and how to use it properly. I switched to a mac too long ago to be as clueless on certain aspects of it as I am. (I have yet to master the art of opening a PDF on it. That’s great, as about two-thirds of the documents flying around in my work inbox are PDFs, and if I’m out or on the road, I have to be all “Hey, brililant, wonderful, way to smart for this crap assistant! Want to read that to me over the phone? Because I am a MORON. You don’t hate me, right? Sorry! It'll be fast, promise!” Sigh. So there’s that. Also (I’m just going to lump all technology-related items together here), I want to use my camera more and take better pictures so that I don’t have paralyzing moments of self-doubt before uploading to Flickr, thinking everyone will see me for the very pedestrian and lame photographer I am. Wait, maybe I should work on not worrying what people think of my Flickr photos, huh? Hm. That too. Cool. Oh! And upgrade to photoshop, preferably without having to pay the ten bajillion dollars it takes to get it. I love my iBook, don’t get me wrong, but if I hadn’t switched from a PC, I could have both Photoshop AND Picasa for free. Motherfucker. So if anyone has Photoshop for Mac that they can share with me, I promise to reward you with many, erm, books? I can hook you up with books. And lots of good will, effusive thank yous, and undying gratitude. And I’ll make you a mix if you want. I’d almost consider putting out for photoshop, actually. Is that bad or something? Stop looking at me like that!

2) Write more. Think more about what I write. Plan what I’m going to write before I write it. Write down my ideas for posts when they hit me, or shortly thereafter, rather than finally sitting down to execute and going, “wait, what was the really inspired, semi-brilliant idea I had on the subway today?” Stop writing only when the inspiration strikes, or when I feel the need to get something up and so wind up with this. Write more like this. And try to make things half as entertaining as the five bloggers who first inspired me to start blogging: her, her, him, her, and her. (And I also aspire to write like the rest of my sidebar, and others I read regularly but haven’t blogrolled because you know what? Dooce has got all the loving she needs from the internets.)

3) Read more. This is almost a ridiculous resolution because my job is largely reading, but I absolutely don’t do enough of it. I want to stop going straight for the TV when I get home. I want to read more for fun, rather than only for work. I hope to remind myself what it’s like to devour a book, to love what I’m reading so much that I turn off the phone and seriously contemplate cancelling plans so that I can keep reading. Added bonus: this will help me with work. And make me better at cocktail conversation. And keep me from feeling like such a fraud at said cocktail parties.

4) Travel. I haven’t left the country in FIVE YEARS. That’s just stupid. I can’t believe I haven’t done any far-flung travel in that long. I’ve been really good about getting around our fine, fine nation, and that’s great. There’s plenty to see here, and I’ve enjoyed learning more about the US and seeing places I’d never been before. But travelling to other countries and experiencing other cultures is so eye-opening and enriching, and I love doing it so much, that I’m really angry with myself for not doing more of it. I’m single, I have few responsibilities, and I have an unbelievable amount of vacation time. I have little money, of course, but I’ll happily search for deals, and I’m a fan of hostels. I’m thinking Costa Rica, I’m thinking Argentina, I’m thinking Europe or Asia or even India, which I have been dying to visit for three years now. Realistically, it’ll be Europe or Central/South America this year, but I have got to make it happen. Any willing partners out there? My travel buddies have informed me they want to a) go to the southwest, which I’ve done ten times so am not really interested, b) are saving for law school, and c) wonder if they can bring their boyfriend, would that be okay?

5) Get outside more. Not just here in NYC, by walking in Central Park or along the Hudson, or taking the Staten Island Ferry just to be on the water. But also by engaging in outdoor activities. I haven’t played tennis in probably 6 years—but I played for my entire life (well, from like 4 years on), including on our high school team and while attending several tennis camps. Point is: I’ve got a skillset I’m not using, one that I worked hard to attain, and one that I really enjoy using. Or did at one time. So I’m thinking that a permit for the courts in Central Park is a must this spring/summer/fall. And this will provide an excellent excuse to purchase a cute tennis skirt or two. Score! Also, I want to ski again. That’s another sport I did for just about my entire life until ten years ago. It’s an expensive sport, so it’s tricky to swing. And I’m also a bit of a snob about it, as I grew up skiing in California and Colorado, so the midwest and east coast resorts are incredibly unappealing to me (The ice! The severe cold! The ice! The limited size of the mountains! DID I MENTION THE ICE? Because it paralyzes me. I just stand there on my skis, looking at it, going, “I am going to kill myself. I am going to slip, fall, and tumble headlong into a tree, and die tragically.” And then I freak out and take six hours to get down while my ski buddy takes a nap at the base of the run.) Anyway, the good news is I booked a flight to Denver two days ago (crazy deals, my friends!) to visit a friend and go skiing for two days. Joy! So this is pretty much guaranteed to happen. If the snow would just fall in the mountains and stop landing squarely on the plains and in Denver, huh?

The Year That Was

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I’m not big on resolutions. I find I break them. It’s not that I can’t affect change in my life—I definitely can and I have. It’s just that I don’t see why I should put all into play on January 1. Sure, it’s a fresh year and therefore a symbolic time for a fresh start. But it just seems super gimmicky to me—I’ll make it happen when I’m good and ready to, okay? Not because we’re making a new trip around the sun. Also, I find it’s a crap day to begin given that roughly nine out of the ten of us are hungover on New Year’s Day. That’s not exactly the day to begin hitting the gym and eating right and volunteering, now, is it?

Anyway, before I start looking forward, I thought I’d look back. Some highlights of 2006 included:

Good domestic travel—I went to Newport, RI with my mom, where we discovered it’s super touristy, that customer service and friendliness of the waitstaff isn’t something they’re known for, and that all tour guides there suck, but we had much fun regardless. I also went to Cape Cod for the first time, for a friend’s wedding. It rained the whole time, but I realized that it’s a beautiful place that I’d love to go back too, and reaffirmed my pretty deep hatred of the Hamptons and a commitment to always, always have a rain plan for a wedding (unless it’s in southern California, as it never rains there. Unless I one day actually get married there. Trust me, if so, it’ll rain, and I won’t have a rain plan).

Speaking of Cali, I made several trips there—kicking off the year with my two best friends in San Francisco and then spending three days in Napa to cap it off, which was great. I went to Disneyland with Dan and Darren, where I accidentally rammed a 6-year old and snapped at a waitress. Apparently, I’m not so good in big crowds. Lesson learned. I spent one sun-soaked, beautiful week in Michigan playing with my family and old friends there, wound up dancing on a stage with a tambourine, sailed a lot, played golf moderately well, and was once again centered by my favorite place on earth. My best friend took me to Delaware twice, where I learned that though she may be coupled-up, she will always be my rock and soulmate, despite how incredibly different we are from each other. I visited Austin (and Texas, for that matter) for the first time, and vowed to go back as often as possible after tasting the margaritas there. YUM. I spent a weekend in DC with Meggie, Darren, Nabbs, and Malia which was great, and that city has great margaritas too, guys. For reals.

Hm. It seems I also took to judging cities by their margaritas. Fitting for a girl known to some as the Tequila Queen!

Good progress in my “career”—I realized that I do like my job after a few really shaking experiences here at the end of 2005 that made me question what I do and who I do it with. I came back from some really awful times to book some amazing media (including two visits to see Jon Stewart, wahoo!) and pull off some very solid campaigns, if I do say so myself. I worked on a few projects that meant a whole lot to me, and I did them well, I think. I established some great professional relationships, and came to the conclusion that this isn’t just a job, but an education as well. (Let’s just say I’ve learned more about art history, psychology, history, and literature here than I did in college.) I think I have, more or less, hit my stride here, and the promotion I got in July cemented that for me. The new year is filled with even bigger challenges for me at work, but I have incredibly supportive, smart, great supervisors and coworkers should help me get through it all. In short, I realized that, for now, I’m in the right place doing the right thing. Check back with me in a month though. February is crazy-month for me, and I’ll likely freak out and decide this is all wrong and I need to do something about it RIGHT THIS SECOND OH MY GOD HELP! Fun times!

Some knocks in the personal life department—it was a fairly up-and-down year on this front. Friends moved away. I miss them. Others coupled up which caused a lot of navel-gazing and woe-is-me-ing on my part. August was pretty brutal—no one was around, ever, and I was alone for what felt like every second I wasn’t at the office, which wasn’t much but felt like all the motherfucking time. I felt like I was falling way short in the life department, which isn’t a conclusion I’ve ever come to before, and I had a really hard time grappling with it all. I went on some super crappy dates. I did Match with the level of enthusiasm I usually reserve for a trip to the dentist. I went from the “eternally-single-and-just-fine-with-it” girl to the “holy-fuck-I-need-to-find-someone-to-date-or-I’m-going-to-wind-up-alone-with-twelve-cats” girl. This phase sucked. I think I’m largely through it, though it’d be just super to finally meet someone I’m interested in. I want to want to go on a third date. I think I’m going to make that a resolution. I don’t know how the hell I can resolve to do that if I keep meeting the people I’ve been meeting, but I can try!

The up side of this, though, is the blog, and meeting all of you. I keep forgetting I just started this in February because it feels like it’s such a part of my life at this point. I haven’t been super consistent, and I’m terrible at responding to email in a timely manner, but I’ve loved getting to know you all through the blog and emails. You all are a big part of my life now, more than you know. Since none of my non-bloggy friends (save Darren, Dan, Renee, Megan, and FWOL) know I blog, and since I don’t really want any of them to find out, it’s tricky to talk about you all, but I do it all the time. Some of my older friends wonder how I’ve suddenly acquired new friends in places like Baltimore, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Richmond, Boston, the suburbs of NYC, and others that I’m neglecting to note, but they know about you all. So thanks, guys, for listening to me whine and opine, for being there for me to lean on, for encouraging me when I’ve been down, for cheering me on when I’ve struggled, and for laughing with or at me as is appropriate. Overall, it’s been a good year, and despite my neverending ambivalence about blogging and inability to continue doing it regularly, the blog has a lot to do with it.

I think whatever resolutions I'm making can wait. At least until tomorrow!

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year

I wish you all nothing but love, laughter, happiness, and all good things in 2007!