31 December 2008

NYE and the Big Move

It's snowing in New York right now. I got off the Path train today, making my last trip to the City from New Jersey, and it was snowing. What a perfect way to end 2008 and my minorly hellish commute to work.

I'm finally moving to New York City, after years of dreaming that I would one day call the greatest city in the world my hometown. I found a lovely one bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side. I will be living alone, which is not ideal as I really wanted a roommate or two, but on the upside, I have an apartment all to myself. The apartment is actually kind of awkward, with weird walls and nooks and windows, but I love it! It's on the sixth floor of a historical building on 79th and York. There are no elevators in the building (as it's historial and all) but I hired my brother and his two friends to help me move all of my shoes and bags and clothes up six flights of stairs. The three 20-year-olds are poor so they will do just about anything for some cash! My friend, Carla, and her husband, Jason (although, I think I can call him my friend now, too), are also helping me, of which I am infinitely grateful.

But before the Big Move to the Big Apple, I will be ringing in 2009 at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. The last time I was at Tavern on the Green I was eight and Brett was three. My parents dressed us up in our finest (me in my white rabbit fur coat with matching muff and Brett in knickers and a newsboy cap) and took us to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (this was before they had the weird 1,000 Santas number, which totally creeps me out), followed by dinner at the Tavern. Brett decided to pretend he was a dog, so he got under the table and barked at every person that walked by. He barked...at patrons of... Tavern on the Green! I hope they don't remember me there. Luckily that was nearly 20 years ago. Huh, am I really that old. Holy Christ, I am! On that note, til next post...

Happy New Year 2009!!!

28 December 2008

The Annual Lang Christmas Dinner

Hey all! So tonight was the annual Lang-Szatkowski-Pauli Christmas dinner. Every year, my cousins from Michigan (and aunt and uncle) visit my family (in N.J.) and the Pauli's (in Pa.). The 12 of us usually meet up for dinner, sometimes in Philly (ick), sometimes in Jersey (boring) and sometimes in Manhattan (yay). This year we went to Little Italy for a nice long dinner, tons of food and wine, and non-stop, fast talking conversations.

My cousins, Kristin and Caroline, are my favorites. Kris is 6 months older and Care is 2 years younger than me. The four of us (the three girls and Brett) get along wonderfully, always have and probably always will. Kris and Care live in Chicago now, working and going to grad school, respectively. Both are single, inasmuch as they are not married and they are so much fun! We used to spend two weeks down the Jersey shore every summer until we went to college. We would get up super early, ride our bikes to the tennis courts, play tennis for a few hours, then head home for breakfast and an early beach time, where we would tap naps in between boogie boarding, swimming, taking walks along the beach, biking some more and playing street tennis. Those weeks were the best of the summer!

Kris is in the foreground (the blonde with the bangs - Brett is next - Care is in the background:

21 December 2008

The Annual Severance Christmas Party

Last night was the Annual Severance Christmas Party. Hayley's family (our next door neighbors) hosts a party every year around Christmas and each year the party serves not only as a place to have a few cocktails (or sodas for the kids) with a family I have known my entire life, but a reminder of the importance of tradition. I was standing in their kitchen, looking around at the faces of people I don't remember not knowing and the faces of people I have only just met, thinking, "this is life. This is the reason for existing." Relationships are the reasons for us to be alive. Without friends and family and love and loss, we don't learn, can't figure out who we are and where our place in the world is.

The party also served as a venue for examining the differences between myself, Hayley and our newly engaged friend, Jennifer. For our entire childhood, the three of us were inseparable. Now, we are all v. different. Jennifer is the eternal homebody. She still lives at home with her parents and is a teacher at the school where her father taught for thirty years. Comfortable in jeans and t-shirts, Jennifer is a low-maintenance girl. Hayley is the glamorous one. She likes nice things, always overdresses and is v. Marilyn Monroe-esque (blonde and va-va-voom curvy, she knows exactly how to dress her beautiful body). Me, I'm the hippie of the gang; vegetarian, with a semi-rocker chick/punk girl meets shy girl style. It's v. evident that we have all grown to be extremely different in our political beliefs and life choices - yet we still gather together every Christmas (and other times, as well, duh), and look back on our year and marvel at the fact that we continue to be parts of each others lives. They are two reasons for me to exist - two relationships I value and that shape me.

Tyler, Hayley's brother, made a snowman for their front yard to welcome guests:

A Perfect Weekend in D.C.

Rarely can one claim to have had a nearly perfect weekend. And yet, that is what I had with Hayley in D.C. last weekend. From smooth travel plans, to just the right amount of male attention, good food, great drinks, amazing bargain shopping and a lot of dancing; the weekend was virtually flawless. It’s amazing to me how Hayley and I can still claim to be best friends, despite more than 20 years of a friendship, hours in between our homes and a two-year age difference. She is this solid presence in my life and I can’t image her never being just a phone call away. And so, our weekend began on Friday evening at a non-descript Georgetown bar where we were the only ones brave enough to dance to Britney (I don’t think this place was a “dancing” kind of place, hence us being the only ones cool enough to break the “rules”). Saturday started out with brunch (egg white omelets with spinach and tomatoes, thank you), followed by a trip to Marshalls where we bought each other our Christmas presents (see below of a picture of my new Manhattan-worthy bag) and new outfits for our girls night out, a quick shower and then out for the night. Hayley, Sarah (her roommate and fellow Voorhees High School graduate) and I went to Alexandria for dinner and drinks. We went to this amazing speakeasy called PX. There were no signs for the venue, only a blue light next to a door that reminded me of the door from the Wizard of Oz (re: “Now why didn’t you say so in the first place!”); we couldn’t make reservations, just hope that the bar had three open spots. Well, we got in and it was amazing! The drinks were so fantastic, the mixologist was terrific and the other clientele were cool. We ended our time in Alexandria with dinner at the Chart House, which is on the harbor. Hayley, Sarah and I then traveled back to D.C. to finish up the night dancing at CafĂ© Citron on Connecticut Ave., where we later met up with Hayley’s boyfriend, and press secretary to Senator Kaye Bailey Hutchinson, Matt. Despite being called a c**t by some jerk (all because I didn’t need his help getting out of the cab), the evening was great! This morning, Hayley and I woke up, had breakfast at her adorable, Capitol Hill apartment, and headed to the gym for a good work out. All-in-all, the weekend was perfection!

My new bag:

The tree in Union Station was beautiful:

18 December 2008

Amazing Video

This was sent to me by my friend, Carla. It is honoring the Dramatic Chipmunk...


11 December 2008

Horoscope/Quickie Post

Here's one inspirational horoscope (I only wish I was actually feeling powerful)...

You are so powerful this week that you can reverse the insidious cycle of negativity that has gone on long enough. Make it your sole intent to improve the problem. Small steps will get you there. Find ways to feel just a tiny bit better about things that you did before. See what's good and then look for what's great.

For all the other Taurus women out there (ahem - Hayley), be inspired to feel powerful.

10 December 2008

Party Time!! Whooo hooooo!

Last week we had our holiday party at work. My team planned the event and, if I do say so myself, it was an awesome party! We had it at the office (to keep costs down, of course) and about 1,000 employees came. Our CEO spoke, briefly; we had tons of alcohol, an awesome DJ and employees who needed to unwind. Below is a photograph of one such employee - we call him "Dancing Guy" and he danced all night long! At one point, he was the only one dancing! The second picture if of my team (plus some). What a good looking bunch!

Photos courtesy of Brad Hamilton.

02 December 2008


There is a roach in our beautiful office! ROACH! I know this is New York, but seriously! We are the 28th floor of a brand new office building. How did it get here????

01 December 2008

First Celeb Sighting in NYC!

Today I saw my first celebrities since starting my Manhattan-based job.

I was walking along Barclay Street at 8:20 this morning and I noticed all these food trailors and tents set up along the north side of the street. I figured there was a movie shoot or something going on, but didn't really see many people around. I stepped into Starbucks on the corner of Barclay and Broadway and noticed a very good looking man standing in front of me. A young woman was standing next to him; she seemed very jittery and anxious. So we are all waiting in line and who walks up to say "hi" to this man and woman but America Ferrera. Then it hit me - I knew I recognized this man - he is in "Ugly Betty!" I've only seen the show maybe once, but rarely forget a face. So the man (his name happens to be Eric Mabius (I IMDBed "Ugly Betty" when I got to the office to find out his name) and America started chatting. His wife/girlfriend (whatever) is seconds away from going into labor and apparently had quite a false alarm last week. Just FYI - I'm down with the celebrity gossip. I'm just like Perez Hilton. Ha! Yeah right. Well, they talked for a minute or so, then American left and Eric and his PA (I guess that's what she was) ordered. He paid for her drink, too, which was nice of him.

Anyway, even though I don't watch "Ugly Betty" and didn't know this guy's name until I IMDBed the show, it was still cool seeing celebs in real life. Man, I love New York!

Quickie Post About Boobs

My old place of employement, Ethicon, Inc., announced it is going to acquire breast-implant maker Mentor, Corp. What is ironic about this is that when I was working at Ethicon, I underwent breast reduction surgery.