Thursday, December 31, 2009

Open Letter to 2009

Dear 2009,

I am sorry to see you go, since it was a pretty decent year for me. Sure, the country continues to be a mess and I have more than one unemployed friend these days, but selfishly speaking you were good to me, if comparatively uneventful. Maybe even a little boring, but really I can live without any drama for a little while.

We started the year off great with a beautiful trip to the Mayan Riviera. I loved the place we stayed so much I am considering a return visit for our 2010 honeymoon. But we'll see about that. It was warm, the food was good, and the beach was nothing short of spectacular. Man, I could use a little sun right about now.

In March, Damir and I finally found the place to host our wedding. Woo-hoo! We successfully narrowed a list of over 300 places down to 1. The trip down to FL was short, but successful. In just a week I am heading back down for my 2nd visit, this time with my Mom for some on-site planning. Hopefully I will get a lot done! I learned this year that wedding planning more or less sucks in general. I will be glad to be done with all the details and look forward to an imperfect but wonderful destination wedding.

Work was good. Busy. I got some new projects I am looking forward to taking on.

The highlight for 2009 comes down to a tie: First, becoming an East Coast Auntie to Erin and Tom's twins has been so amazing! I was lucky to get up to Boston almost every month to see those two cuties. I wish I was just around the corner in my old apartment in Back Bay, but then again, they'd probably pester me to babysit all the time, so it's just as well (j/k). I can't wait to see them grow and grow, but love this baby stage a lot! The other highlight has been solidifying friendships with Michelle and Paulina. Having 2 local girlfriends has been a big boost to my LI quality of life. I am starting to feel like LI is more than just a temporary rest-stop and maybe an actual, gasp, home. Life on the home front still isn't all I want it to be, but I am adapting.

2009, you've got a lot of competition in 2010 in terms of being memorable year, but I thank you for being so good to me. Cheers!


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Pretzels are the New Bagels? Yes, Please!

Check out the above sandwich is Bresaola, Arugula, Mustard and Mayonnaise on a sesame pretzel. How yummy does that look? It comes from the brand new Sigmund Pretzel Shop on the Lower East Side. Ingenious! I never thought about making a pretzel into sandwich bread before. I will have to somehow try that at home-- I just have to figure out how to make pretzels first. No sweat, right?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Another Shocking Admission.

I am starting to actually like Long Island.

WHHHATTT? I never thought it would happen, but it is slowly growing on me. Here's why:

1) The commute to the city everyday still sucks, but it is a much happier commute now that I have my train friends, Paulina and Michelle. We love to annoy the rest of sedate train folk with our lively chatter in the mornings. And when the girls aren't with me, I am finding new ways to make that time well spent (thanks mostly to NPR podcasts).

2) Speaking of Paulina and Michelle, it's great to have finally built up some solid friendships. The three of us never run out of things to talk about! Having someone to run errands with, meet for brunch or drinks, or just a quiet dinner is really life-changing for me here. REALLY. LIFE. CHANGING.

3) There is so much to explore on Long Island! The plethora of state and local parks, cute towns, surprisingly tasty wineries, great beaches... I feel like I could be here a while and still not get bored with the variety of day trips that await me. Looks at all the parks and recreation! I still have a long list of places I want to see.

4) Rockville Centre itself really isn't that bad. I can walk to the gym, the grocery store, restaurants of various cuisines, the post-office, nail & hair salons, the train station and numerous fun bars and pubs. I love that we have cars that get us further afield, but having the option to walk to local watering holes is excellent. PLUS, it really is a town where people can get to know you. I like that I am greeted by name at many of the places where I run errands. Its still an adjustments after living center-city in Boston and Amsterdam, but being away from the hustle and bustle has a few advantages.

5)I wanted to have a 5th element here, since a list of 4 things really isn't that impressive. But seriously, it's all working out just fine over here, despite all the wedding/family stress of late. I don't know that I will ever feel like NY is my "home", since in a lot of ways I feel more like an outsider here than I did living abroad. Maybe that just takes a little more time. And since there's no plan to move anywhere else in the short term, I guess we'll find out if that's true or not!

Monday, November 02, 2009

On a happier note...

I lost 20 pounds! YAYYYYY!

Sure, there's more to be done in that regard, but I am feeling better than I have in a long time about my appearance.

PLUS, ladies with thick unruly hair, you MUST get this product called Moroccan Hair Oil. It has changed my life. Seriously. It's not cheap, but you can find it cheaper than what's listed on Amazon. A little goes a long way, so it will last a long time.

What's Up with My Wedding?

I had promised that I wouldn't bore you with wedding planning crap, but I have to get this out there: Lately I am kind of dreading my own wedding.

There, I said it. The ugly truth is out there.

Being kind of an event/travel planning control freak has not aided me in this process. I want a hand in everything, but from far away this is proving difficult. And annoying. And painstaking. And expensive. And so overwhelming to the point where I just want to bury my head in the sand.

But what's really doing me is are my anxieties and my expect-the-worst-scenario-nature that are really getting the best of me.

A summary of my worries:

I am worried that no one will dance.

I am worried I am picking the wrong vendors (DJ, photographer, flowers, etc.)

I am worried that everything will fall apart and everyone will point fingers at me and call me a bad person/wedding planner.

I am worried that my family and Damir's family won't find the middle ground to come together and have a good time.

I am worried that I will trip and fall while walking down the grassy aisle.

I am worried that I am making people travel a long distance for something they don't really want to go to.

I am worried that it will suck.

I am worried no one will like to food (and not having a chance to do a pre-tasting doesn't help that worry)

I am worried I won't look my best (humidity + Terra's Hair = NOOOO!)

I am worried we won't get the wording of the ceremony right, or people will think it's cheesy.

I am worried Damir will regret that I talked him into this type of wedding.

I am worried that we will be so busy feeling the need to host all our guests and meeting their needs that we will not be able to focus on the importance of what we are doing for each other, you know, getting married.

I am worried that I will be worried.

And finally, I am worried that my friends are pissed that we are keeping the guest list to just the family. It was a really hard compromise/concession we had to make, but ultimately unavoidable for us. I hope they know that I love them deeply and this shouldn't be a reflection of the value of our friendship. Hopefully they're delighted it's one less wedding to have to go to.

Should I just cancel the whole thing and call it a day? I don't think that's the answer, because I do believe in my heart that I can make this work. I am just in the weeds right now and at some point the puzzle pieces will join and the day will be beautiful and exactly what I wanted, or at least mostly so.

Facebook Killed the Radio Blog.

Ever since Facebook came along and provided a faster vehicle to share bits of information, the blog here has fallen to the wayside. It's harder and harder to sit down and formulate, you know, complete sentences and full paragraphs, when a one-liner more or less sums it all up.

Status Update: Terra is too busy to find the time to Blog.

It makes me sad in some ways, though, since I really really like the process of writing out stories and updates. I should get back to it. So, why wait? RIGHT NOW, I am going to bust out a few entries. Or at least one.

Friday, July 31, 2009

August already?

Sad. I can't believe it is already August 1st. I don't feel like the summer has even begun yet since the weather has been consistantly so terrible. Rain rain rain. Even now as I type this (from my dad's boat docked in Huntington), I can hear the rain outside. It is really pissing me off. I keep wanting to yell in the mode of Samuel Jackson on Snakes on a Plane: "I've had it with this motherfucking rain this motherfucking summer!" (sorry for the profanity, kids).

I have not even accomplished half of my list of things to accomplish this summer.

But tomorrow, while taking advantage of the parental units in town, we are going wedding dress shopping. YAY! Ok, I admit, that YAY is somewhat forced since I am sort of dreading this process. Why, you ask?

1) Wedding dresses are supremely overpriced.
2) I don't want to deal with any bullshit games where they rip out the tags showing the designer, play silly negotiation games, or over promise and under deliver. Why are alterations so costly if you are having just minor changes made? I don't get it.
3) I am worried that I will either hate every style, or just hate how every style looks on me in particular.

We'll see how it goes. I am expecting the worst and praying for the best, so I figure I really can't lose here. Just hoping for a sunny day tomorrow so I don't look like a wet cat trying on those dresses.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why LI?

As you know, I've had the opportunity to live for lengthy periods of time abroad, and have been lucky to travel to something like 35 countries around the world. Where have I experienced the biggest culture shock? Japan? India? Vietnam? Nope. Try Long Island.

Once you see the evidence below, you'll understand exactly why.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Long Island Wants to Secede
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer List.

Here is a list of 20 things I would like to do this summer, in no order of importance:

1) Go to the beach-- a lot! (if it ever stops raining, that is)
2) Go to 10 new restaurants
3) Some kind of boat activity: kayak, row, intertube, raft, etc.
4) Go fishing!
5) See a game at Fenway Park
6) have at least 3 picnics on our roof (shh, don't tell! we aren't supposed to)
7) 3 trips to Boston to see my new niece and nephew
8) Boat through NYC harbor with my parents (not really fair, this is happening on Friday!)
9) Buy fresh produce at one of those stands by the road in rural long island
10) Speaking of rural long island, I want to check out at least 5 of the vineyards
11) Go back to this place for a drink, or even stay the night. So cool!
12) Get on a bike
13) Lounge on the Esplanade
14) Go back to Ellis Island
15) Take another cooking class
16) See Montauk
17) Buy a wedding dress (not really looking forward to that process)
18) Figure out why there are no mini-golf courses in Long Island. Must find one.
19) Roof deck bar visits to the Empire Hotel, the Gansevoort, and maybe that one in LIC I've been meaning to try.
20). 2 words: Beer Garden.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To be ordained

One thing I am so happy about with regards to the "big W" next year is that my big brother has agreed to officiate the wedding for us and my sister will be standing up with me as my most awesome Best Lady. Now, neither Damir or I have any idea yet what the actual ceremony might entail, but its already comforting to know that up there at the front with me will be the love of my life, and my brother and sister.

Hopefully the ceremony will be just like the picture above from circa 1978-- my sister on one side, my brother on the other and me in a wedding dress. Though I don't imagine they'll be wearing costumes, but I'd certainly be open to it if they really wanted.

I always wanted to say that my brother married me. Ha! Get it? Try the veal, and don't forget to tip your waitress.

Its very confusing though to understand whether or not my internet ordained brother officiating is actually legal in the Sunshine State (that's Florida). The law states the following:

741.07 Persons authorized to solemnize matrimony. (1) All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state may solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract, under the regulations prescribed by law.

So the question is: what is a "regularly ordained minister"?

Of course we can go to City Hall and have it done "for real" but it would just be nice to have some clarity on this issue: yea or nay?

On a related note: one more decision is in the books, we picked our photographer. Super exciting!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Meeting Aidan and Grace last weekend was simply magical. My new niece and nephew, amazing! It was such a joy to help Erin and Tom, in any little way I could. It is overwhelming to know I will get a front row seat in watching these two little ones grow and flourish, and I hope to be not just an auntie but a friend and mentor to both.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Picture Perfect

My days would all be happy if I could spend my office time designing promotional pieces and other creative elements. Sadly, it doesn't happen as frequently as I like. I wasn't hired with these types or projects in my job description, however slowly the responsibility to design all our creative pieces (and website) has crept on to my to-do list, and I couldn't be happier about it. By no means am I a graphic designer, or even all THAT creative, but I am proud of these two projects I just completed.

The first is a banner stand for an upcoming convention we are attending. The banner is a vertical piece on a retractable stand which unfolds to a height of about 9 feet. Here is the image:

Looks much more impressive in person at its full height:

The second is a give away piece for the same show that was deigned to go in sync with the vertical banner. This is a 2 sided glossy 5x7 postcard:


Back:Hopefully more projects like this will come my way! If not, maybe I will have to quit my job and go to graphic design school.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here Comes Auntie!

I am heading to Boston this weekend to meet Aidan and Grace for the first time. I am speechless with excitement.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A "Flu Free Guarantee"? Yes.

Got this e-mail promotion in my inbox this morning and it's too good not to share. Maybe I will go to Mexico and lick some water fountains or something so I can get some free vacations in the future:

Zoëtry, Secrets and Dreams Resorts & Spas Offer “Flu-Free Guarantee;”
Three Free Vacations if Guests Contract Influenza A - H1N1

Mexico’s Decline in Cases Spurs Award-Winning Resorts to Offer Guarantee,
Aggressive Promotions and Irresistible Prices

PHILADELPHIA (May 11, 2009) – As Mexico’s Health Minister reports a continuing decline in the H1N1 cases, Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas and Dreams Resorts & Spas introduces a Flu-Free Guarantee* to help speed the country’s tourism recovery. Valid between May and December 2009, if a guest contracts Influenza A - H1N1 while staying at these resorts their next three vacations will be free of charge.

All Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets and Dreams Resorts & Spas follow the current American Hotel & Lodging Sanitation Measures and recently have taken additional heightened measures to ensure the highest level of sanitation and hygiene.

“The health and well-being of our resort employees and guests is a top priority for us. As a result, zero cases of influenza have been reported at any of our properties,” said Alex Zozaya, president and CEO of AMResorts, provider of sales, marketing and brand management services for Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas and Dreams Resorts & Spas.” “During the last few weeks, we have continuously encouraged travel to Mexico based on the real facts about the H1N1 virus, and the sanitary protocols in place at all of our resorts.”

The Mexican authorities’ recent lift on restrictions to all public facilities including restaurants and cafes, libraries, museums, churches, archaeological sites and more further supports AMResorts’ confidence in the healthy condition of the country.

“We are convinced the recent decline of cases and continued affirmation from the world’s leading health organization for unrestricted international travel will encourage tourists to quickly return to Mexico for its diverse and enticing tourism offerings, rich culture and competitive pricing,” said Zozaya.

* “Flu-Free Guarantee” H1N1 Insurance details:

  • Must be qualified as Influenza A - H1N1. Positive blood results in addition to certification of the doctor who performed the test are required
  • Applies to guests that booked May 8, 2009 through June 30, 2009 for travel taking place May 8, 2009 through December 20, 2009
  • Valid for same vacation (land only) to return once per year over the next 3 years and only for the original traveler plus one companion. Blackout dates and restrictions apply
  • Applicable to Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets and Dreams Resorts & Spas only

Irresistible Savings to Jumpstart Spring Travel Bookings

All Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets and Dreams Resorts & Spas are offering a host of irresistible special packages and promotions. Special promotion highlights include:

Spring Escapes:

Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts
• Up to 37 percent discount
Secrets Resorts & Spas
• Up to 55 percent discount
• $200 in resort credit
Dreams Resorts & Spas
• Up to 40 percent discount
• Up to $250 in resort credit
• Two kids stay free with two adults

Discounts are valid for bookings made from May 1 - June 15, 2009 for travel through December 23, 2009 (actual dates and offers vary by resort and can be booked directly on the brands’ websites)

May Madness:
All Master Agents who book in May for travel from June 1 - December 23, 2009 are eligible to win one year’s worth of gas or one of 14 Dell Inspiron™ Mini 9 Laptops.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I Bambini Sono Arrivati!

I am delighted to share happy news: Aidan Walker and Grace Elizabeth have joined us in the world! My sister gave birth last night after a long day of labor. By the sound of things, it didn't go as easy as she had hoped, nor as badly as maybe one would fear (by one, I mean me, naturally).

I haven't received any pictures yet, so here is my take on what the babies might look like:

Cute, no? (Thanks, photoshop!) Gracie came first, leading the charge. Girl Power! I can't wait to meet them! Not this weekend, but hopefully one soon after. Mom and babies are healthy and getting to know one another.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Bay(by) Watch Continues

The Baby Watch continues though I think Erin is getting pretty close. It looks like next year we will be celebrating their first birthday along with our wedding (which is just about 1 year away now).

Speaking of the wedding, one of the more important decisions I have to make is about photographers. Photography is really important to me, especially it's the one aspect (other than the marriage itself) that you take away with you. The flowers?Ditched the next day. The music? Forgotten. The dress? Likely to be stored away in some closet. But the photos...they last.

When Dad married Jan, nearly 20 years ago now, their photographer delivered terrible shots. I remember that they took pictures of the proofs, just to hang on to some images of the day, but otherwise the images weren't worth the price to pay for them. I dread that happening to us. They must have been so disappointed.

There is a photographer I really like, who has beautiful images (and does a very cool book documenting the day) and she has shot tons of weddings at our ceremony/reception site. In fact, she was the wedding photographer for the F&B manager (basically the on-site party manager) for the Sundy House. She is good but of course she is expensive, maybe about $1100 more than I had planned to spend, including the pictures (digial), the wedding book, a DVD, an engagement photo shoot and a lifetime portrait deal. If I cut out all the extras, I am sure I can get the price down, but still she will be expensive.

There is another photographer, who seems to do weddings on the side of his documentary and photojournalism career. He is basically no frills-- you get a CD of all the images with complete rights for printing and editing. But, he comes in about $900 LESS than what I had planned to spend. I like his work, but feel nervous that this isn't really his speciality.

I am definitely torn.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Its the Final Countdown!

My gorgeous sister is due to give birth to twins anytime now, and I am anxiously awaiting the babies arrival with cell phone perpetually glued to my hand. This past weekend a photographer stopped Erin on the street and asked if she would be interested in sitting for a photo shoot...after checking out that he wasn't a loon, she agreed and the photos (the few I have seen) are amazing! Take a look:

I don't know too many women who could look so incredible with 2 six-pounders (or more?) hanging out in their belly, but I have never seen her look more beautiful.

Friday, May 01, 2009

House of Turquoise

Soon, Damir and I will be making a few changes within our apartment, which (among other things) includes a new paint job. Wahhooooo! The current dark vanilla on the walls is so depressing. I need bright! I need color! I need BLUE! It has been an interesting time trying to decide what color will grace our bedroom walls, and I think I have decided on some shade of turquoise.

While looking for inspiration, I stumbled across this website, House of Turquoise, and I am absolutely hooked. I would die to live in just about any of these spaces pictured. Here are a few of my favorites:I love this mix of turquoise, black and red. So unexpected! It seems to me that it carries the right mix of feminine and masculine, modern and classic.

I could crawl into this bed and sleep a long and peaceful sleep dreaming of sandy beaches and blue oceans.
Previous living spaces I have had (Amsterdam, for example) featured a lovely yellow and turquoise combination. This sample above is a much more adult (read: expensive) version of that attempt.

Hopefully this weekend we will go out and get some samples. Stay tuned for pictures!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Whoever thought it was a good idea to fly this large Airforce 1 plane near the buildings by Ground Zero for a "photo op" has a lot of explaining to do.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I am So. Sorry.

Dudes. Here's my problem.

I don't know what to say lately! In recent weeks my life is being dominated by work. When not at work, I am doing research for the "BIG W", set for May 2010 or a possible honeymoon. When not at work or doing research, I am thinking about the gym, at the gym, or trying not to eat constantly. When not at work, doing research or thinking about my waistline, I am trying to sleep. Usually not successfully since I am thinking about all that other stuff. That leaves me little time to entertain you with my witty observances.

If it helps ease the pain of my absence: I miss you. I really do. It's not you, it's me.

I just don't want to bore you with rant after rave after rant about the ridicutrocities of wedding planning. It's my own choice to put myself through this maddening process, so I have no right to complain, nor have I gotten to the part of planning that's good yet (god, I hope there are good parts down the line) and worthy of our conversation. Right now I am in the stage which I call, "HOLY SHIT, THAT'S WHAT THAT COSTS? FOR REAL?" It's not the most fun stage of event planning.

But, trust me when I tell you there is very good stuff on my horizon. Interesting stuff too. I promise. Here is a little tid bit in the meantime. I went to Boston recently to see my sister who is nearing the completion of her pregnancy with twins. How cute is she?

Oh, and I will also leave you this nugget. First, you know I love babies with wigs. Cute! But what's possibly even cuter? Doggies with wigs. Check it out from my favorite pet store, Trixie + Peanut:

Who can't love that?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One step forward...but...

Damir and I went down to beautiful Delray Beach, Florida this past weekend to check out potential wedding venues. We were so grateful that my parents could also meet us down there and help lend us some moral support-- I am not sure we could have done it without them!

The good news is: we found a place we both really liked! Tropical, unique, interesting, yet close to bars, restaurants, airports and a great beach not too far away. Perfect! We haven't signed the bottom line yet, so definitely it isn't a done deal yet. But at least we both could agree that we liked the venue and the location!

Delray Beach is a funky little town that we really enjoyed. Situated between Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, it has a funny mix of culture and style. Great for people watching! A bevy of restaurants, bars and boutiques to choose from, and a certain old-Florida style that I like. There is a free shuttle bus that goes up and down main street and to the beach. People were all incredibly friendly, and we ate some really great food!

There are, unfortunately, a few logistical problems we have to tackle about the reception space. We need to come to terms with what is realistic, and not throw our budget out the window. Tricky since of course I want everything that I want and it will be tough to scale back and not go into oodles of debt. We have a good chunk of time to plan, but these first big decisions are the most tricky. I can't wait to get to the fun part of planning!

Monday, March 16, 2009


For some reason I was under the impression that planning a wedding should be a joyous and fun process. After all, I love to plan stuff. And this is supposed to be a happy thing, bring family and friends together in celebration of love and stuff. But this wedding shit sucks. It really really really sucks. At every turn there seems to be a looming obstacle, and I find we are getting farther and farther (or is it further and further? whatever.) away from the original vision. And the cost! Jesus Christ on a triscuit. With each decision made, we have to undo two others.

I am just frustrated with this.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

New Friend!

It goes without saying that making friends as an adult, especially in suburban America, is not as easy as one would think. At least that's the case for me. Since moving here to Long Island, I have made one new good friend, and I consider that quite the accomplishment, especially since we weren't introduced by other people or some other easy path to aquaintancy (I made that word up). I met Michelle on the commuter train we both take to Manhattan every day around the same time. It was a slow courtship, I didn't want to scare her off. But now, I think we are on solid friend territory. We do things together like take coooking classes and watch award shows, which surely constitutes a friendship.

For some months Michelle and I have noticed another woman that we think we would like to add to our train friendship. Often we sit near her, and she is always dressed in something fabulous, and can really carry some good accessories. I particularly covet a beautiful ring she has of polished pink quartz set in a chunky silver band. I first noticed her because of that ring and the distinct feeling I wanted to rip it off her finger for myself. You could say it was love at first sight.

There are two rows of chairs in every train car that face each other, perfect for conversation, and often Michelle and I find ourselves sitting across from the fabulous woman. And this past week it happened: we talked to her. Her name is Paulina, she is roughly our age (mid-late 30s), originally from Ecuador, and living on Long Island since she was a teenager. Full of energy and fun to talk to-- I think I am on the road to having a second friend here. Sweet! Getting from casual train-appropriate small talk to that first "friend date" is so tenuous, though. I don't want to just blurt out, heyyouwannahavebrunchwithmethisweekend? In some kind of desperation. She is cool, well traveled, and sophisticated. I gotta time it just right.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship with New York City.

On the topic of New York City.

It has been 2.5 years since I moved to New York to be with Damir. I can hardly believe it! It all is passing so quickly... I also can't believe I am now 35, didn't I JUST turn 30? But that's a topic for another day.

I can't decide if I like New York. I think this is odd because most people I know either LOVE LOVE LOVE it or HATE HATE HATE it. I am somewhere in the middle.

Some mornings, crossing through Times Square on my way to the office, I feel a jolt of energy with all the lights, activity and energy. The Square isn't usually yet crowded with tourists, just busy New Yorkers going from here to there. I usually have my ipod blaring something to get my blood flowing, and I just feel good.

The evenings, crossing Times Square to go home, are a little different. The sidewalks are packed with slow-walkers, and now it is dark, and I am usually in a rush to catch my train. My thought is: I just want to get out of here.

I sometimes stay in the city after work and on weekends to actually enjoy the city, but not nearly as much as I should. I have always been a bit of a homebody in that way. Our little hamlet here in Long Island is growing on me, and already I am looking forward to a summer spent on the very nice beaches we have out here. I will take the beach over the crowded streets on any day. Though usually after I spend extra time just enjoying the city, I usually think, that was nice.

Damir and I sometimes talk about moving into the city. 2 Years ago, just after arriving in Long Island, I would have jumped at the chance. And today, I probably would too, though I would miss my favorite Sushi place around the corner, and my dry cleaner, nail technician, coffee server, and pharmacist who all know me by name.

What I really hate about New York is this attitude that many New Yorkers have that THIS IS THE BEST AND ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD WORTH LIVING AND IF YOU DON'T AGREE WITH ME GO FUCK YOURSELF.

I want to respond, well, yes, it's got a lot going for it, but you need to get out every once in a while. See some other places. Live in some other places. You might be surprised. That snobbery just turns me off, as does just about anyone who thinks they are holding the best in their hand and nothing else could ever compare. EVER.

Oh, and the cost of stuff. I hate that too.

I never wanted to live in New York. I always said that. And its still funny to me that it's where I have ended up for now. I don't see us staying here indefinitely, but for the forseeable future, this is where we are and I have to make the best of it. But I know that years down the road, from the porch of my beautiful and cozy home with a view of the water, I will be glad for the experience.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Curse is Over.

The curse is over.

No, I am not talking about the curse of the Bambino this time, though I am getting excited over Red Sox baseball already. This time I am referring to my Valentine's Day Curse. On this day back in 2006 I revealed the story of my 6th-grade-valentines-surprise-gone-wrong, and how ever since, Valentine's day just didn't work for me. I was cursed.

But I have to tell you, I think this curse has been lifted. And I am convinced it was the telling of this story to the Blogosphere that did the trick.

You see, in that 2006 post, I had added a foot note which read:

*Hi Brian! I still love you after all these years! (Just in case you google yourself and find this story)
**Screw You Jon, I'll never forgive you for being such a jerk growing up (Just in case you google yourself and find this story)

Guess what: Brian did google himself late last summer and found the blog and then friended me on Facebook and has actually wished ME a happy valentines day, 23 years to the day since that sad, awful, and embarassing day. So I declare: VINDICATION!

Plus, it should be mentioned that just a few weeks after my 2006 telling of the story, I met my soon-t0-be husband while visiting Stephanie in Long Island. And now we're celebrating our 3rd Valentine's day together, and I couldn't be happier. So I proclaim, my Valentine's Day curse is officially lifted. Thanks blogosphere!

I hope I didn't just jinx myself!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wedding Woes

Have you ever done so much research on something that you got lost within the results and bored yourself into some kind of catatonic zombie state leaving you unable to make a decision?

Yeah. That's me right about now.

Let me tell you the places I have researched for a wedding (this might take a while):

Mayan Riviera
Cabo San Lucas
Merida (Mexico)
Key West
Key Largo
St. Thomas
St. John
Turks & Caicos
St. Lucia
Marco Island
Captiva Island
Key Biscayne
Delray Beach
West Palm Beach
Amelia Island
St. Augustine
New Orleans
Outter Banks
San Juan (PR)
Vieques (PR)
Ponce (PR)
Rincon (PR)
Dorado (PR)
Fajardo (PR)
Virginia Beach
Cape Cod
Shelter Island
Block Island
Fire Island
Finger Lakes
Newport, RI
Coastal Connecticut
Chesapeake Bay Area
Portsmouth, NH
Portland, ME
Oh, and of course NYC

Whew. I've looked at B&Bs, house rentals, resorts, compounds, hotels, boats, restaurants, reception halls, yacht clubs, golf clubs, museums, galleries, national parks and inns. Nothing yet has grabbed me and said, "PICK ME! THIS is where you are supposed to get married!"

Finally I have enlisted my parents to start looking for me. I can't take it anymore. Why am I making this so hard? I am about to just get the $25 permit for Central Park and be done with it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Notes from Paradise

Yesterday, my birthday, was perhaps one of the best days of my life. Seriously, I don't think I can remember a more perfect day.

It started calmly as I sat on our terrace drenched in bright warm morning sun, overlooking the beautiful ocean and resort, reading a book I had been waiting to read for a long time (A Thousand Splendid Suns). Once Damir was roused, we went to breakfast and had everything we wanted right in front of us. Then we were off to the beautiful sugary sanded beach, with a view of the vibrantly blue water, and we sat under a shady palapa. Damir went to play volleyball and I enjoyed the view, my book, and later a cold beer. And then a dip in the beautiful sea.

In the afternoon we made our way for a walk through Playa del Carmen and a beverage at Mosquito Blue. We shopped for souveniors and were glad to have a place so peaceful to return to after the crowded streets of PDC.

I napped.

In the evening I was told to be ready by 10-to-eight. And don't be late. So at ten-to-eight I was ready per the instructions and left the room with my sweetheart. He led me to the beach, where the walk was lined with candles and torches, to a solitary table for 2 set by the sea, under the stars. We toasted my 35th year with champagne, and an incredible 4-course meal including some of my favorites (lobster!).

I cried, literally cried, at the beauty of the evening. And just didn't want the night to end. I cried with thanks to be cared for and loved by such an amazing man. I cried that I should be so lucky to deserve any of this.

We returned to the room where rose petals, chocolates (as if I could eat another bite), and more candles led the way. True romance, like you read about in silly books, not something I ever really expected to experience for myself. All followed by a deep sleep, and waking a dawn for a walk on the beach on my own, watching the sun peak over the ocean's horizon, to give thanks for a new day.

Already, though we have 2 days left to enjoy this wonderful place, I am dreading the trip home. Terrible habit I have-- in the moment of enjoyment, fearing its passing too quickly.

Pictures to come.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vamos en Mexico!

Tomorrow morning we leave for 5 (hopefully) glorious nights on the Riviera Maya, halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, at the Secrets Maroma Resort.

I can't express to you how excited I am.

This is my first true vacation in a long long time-- and my first ever with Damir. I think the last vacation I took, not including visits to see family or friends, work trips and weddings, would have been a short 32nd birthday trip to Key West back in 2006. Before that a trip for my 30th birthday with Erin to Las Vegas where we lived it up at the Ritz on Lake Las Vegas. Both were great trips, with fantastic memories. But neither trip included that extra sweet element of romance. Awww yeah. I'm going away with my baby. And not to some shabby place. We're going here:

Awww yeah. This time tomorrow I will be on the beach with a fruity cocktail with my sweetheart by my side. The best part is that this new 5-star resort (no kids!) offers a super fantastic travel agent rate that I am only too happy to take advantage of. Niiice. Luxry vacation at rock bottom prices? Yes, please.

Back next week with stories and pictures!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Letter to the children

Dear Little Ones,

As you grow, the memory of this day will fade, if you were lucky to experience it at all. Maybe you won't actually remember, but the lasting images on the internet and TV will fill in the gap. I imagine this day is for me is like landing on the moon was for my parents: a momentous occasion, a barrier broken, a reality different on the dawn than the day prior, a hope that the rest of the mission all works out for the best.

We don't know if he will be great, or even good. But the fact that millions of people came together today to celebrate something different, unites us all. The door is open a little wider, and regardless of your political affiliation, though I hope you grow up to be democrats, this is a very good thing indeed. We need more diversity in our government. We need new voices and fewer career politicians.

If we are lucky, when you get older you will look back on this day and possibly think, what's the big deal? Hopefully when you are grown, today's complex attitudes thrown towards race, gender, affiliation, and orientation will seem dim in light of a more advanced outlook. The way I look back at segregation in our not so distant history-- a ridiculous, embarrassing and unnecessary movement.

I want to hold the hope of today in the palm of my hand and hang on tight. I am dreading the first, and inevitable, mistake he will make. I fear the apathy, frustration, and anger held close to my heart these last 8 years and wish to let go of them forever. I pray for transparency, peace, intelligence, and equality in this administration. And I pray that once we receive the respect of these values, the American people will never accept anything less.

Today was a great day.

Much love,