Tuesday, July 18, 2006

magic of craigslist classifieds

So we've begun the long process of looking at places to move... after six years of living solo, I've decided I am so ready to go back to having people around. Once upon a time, it was such a foreign idea to live alone, especially after having lived in a sorority house with oh say twenty something other girls, but the need for the solitude and the desire has definitely passed. It's been fun looking at three bedroom townhomes and the like. Wish us luck -- I have a feeling it's only just beginning!

I'm hoping this week doesn't drag on like the week that will never end. It's my first full week in the office in a couple of weeks (first there was the 4th of July week and then I was out in NYC most of last week). It's Emily's last week in town, so we've got plans to do dinner tonight. And this week's the Sinatra Soiree as well. Looking forward to a reason to get all dressed up with someplace to go!

My portfolio class started last night. It's sort of the "capstone" program for the professional photography program I've been working on the past year. It's so exciting to think I'll have everything assembled in such a professional format for sharing. I love the online method of viewing as well, but I agree with our professor that there's something so striking about a great photo, in your hands. As pro-technology as I am, it just can't quite compare to the actual tangible photo.

I broke down last night and purchased the upgrade to Photoshop CS -- and it is a beauty! It gives you the capability to fix so many blemishes. I was up until after midnight working away on some additional Italy photos. That was before my lens and camera were cleaned, so I had some dust issues. Thankfully, CS helps to fix those. It's like magic Anyhow, I'm just so excited that I can still use those photos. They were some great ones!

Back to work I go... hope everyone's having a good one and staying cool. Man, it's getting hot outside!

Monday, July 10, 2006

when life gives you lemons, make some CUPCAKES!

I love New York... it's been a great couple of days. I got in briiiiiight and early Sunday morning (yes, voluntarily chose the 7:30 AM train out of DC) to make the most of my time in the city. I didn't have any set plans -- the best way to go some time. I checked into the hotel, unpacked, and then set off to bum around the city.

I'm in Midtown, which I'm liking. I usually end up being further downtown, but I'm finding Midtown definitely has its benefits. First thing I did was head to get me some great NYC pizza. I'm a big fan of John's, so that was definitely on my must do list. I then went to my favorite area for wandering - SoHo. It's prime sale season, so I just went in and out of stores. Such a great thing not to be in a rush to get anywhere. Love it! Did I buy a lot? Nope (and my credit cards breathe a sigh of relief...) but I had a blast.

I was actually walking the street -- somewhere around Prince -- when Italy won the World Cup. Talk about crazy! Prior to the final of the game, you could see hordes of people with their faces pressed up against the glass of any restaurant, bar, or shop that happened to have the game on. I think I enjoyed watching the crowds more than perhaps I would have enjoyed the game itself (if I'd had that luxury). Well, it wasn't more than five minutes after the close of the game that the celebrations began. There were soon people screaming and running up and down the street and then the cars started to fly by -- Italian flags flying overhead. It was like Mardi Gras! So fun.

I was so worn out (before heading to SoHo, I think I walked 15-20 blocks!), so I popped in a local market to grab some groceries (no $5 hotel cokes for me) and a salad. Only forgot one important item -- silverware. Oooops. Ever eaten a chef salad with your fingers? I now have -- interesting. Surprisingly though, not that bad!

Today I actually had to start my class. It's the one out of the certification program that people put off because it's thought to be one of the harder courses. I was a bit anxious, but definitely feel better after having completed the first day. We'll see if I still think so after my test on Wednesday morning, right? It's all about statistics for compensation work. It's nice to at least take something that's so useful for me. Ok, enough about work stuff!

I was hoping to get to meet up w/ the Actress tonight, but she has to work. I think our schedules are polar opposites! It would be so fun to do acting work like she does. Bet she'll be a soap opera diva yet. Hmmm so instead, I wandered over to Bloomingdales on 59th. Love me some Bloomingdale's. I had dinner in some lovely brasserie close to Bloomie's. My waiter was quite a cutie - truly a meal I was sad to see end. My two crab cakes didn't offer me too long to sit and enjoy the scenery. Hmmm, maybe Matthew's on MySpace? *wave*

I wandered up Second Avenue to Buttercup Bake Shop. I hadn't really seen that portion of the city (I *think* that's Upper East Side? Or is that technically Midtown?). I really liked it -- some cute cafes, great local grocery places... very cozy! Mmmm and la mejor cosa... the cupcakes. Ahhhhhh! The subject of much debate... Magnolia v.
Buttercup Bake Shop. Cupcakes are serious business, you know? Well, I can make my own personal educated comment now -- 2 cupcakes later... I think both places have mighty fine cupcakes! Buttercup Bake Shop was much closer to me so thought I'd give it a go. I recommend the lemon ones... delish... but honestly, I really love Magnolia and I have to say, I think Buttercup was pretty darn close ;) I'm definitely not disappointed! Just because it wasn't in Sex in the City doesn't mean that they didn't have the same crazy buttercream frosting. Good stuff. Hopefully I'll still be able to get some good sleep in my lovely huge posh hotel bed. Mighty fine.

Ok, I swear -- I don't just shop and eat. Sometimes I think it sounds like it when I travel. Oh well! Off to be a dork and study so I can not be a dork tomorrow night.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

we gonna rock down to ny avenue

I don't think there's anywhere quite like DC to be for the 4th of July. This year, I didn't know my plans -- except for that I knew it was to not be down on the Mall this year. I absolutely loved it last year, but the ordeal (in my opinion, anyhow!) shouldn't be an annual occurance.

Today began with a wonderful relaxing day. True vacation at its finest. I'm really bad about not enjoying the downtime holidays should give you - the needed break from work. I did a good job of putting that extra time to some "quality" use.

Now, granted, I did use some of the prior days to be productive. Yesterday in fact I went down on the Mall amidst all the vacationing tourists and took pictures of some of the monuments. I went to the WWII Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, and ended at the Korean War Memorial. I was memorial-ed out though at that point (and seriously close to dehydration!). I got some great shots as well. But I digress...

So back to relaxation... I went out to meet Sarah in Arlington. We'd planned on grabbing a bite and watching the fireworks from the Iwo Jima Memorial -- great view, but avoiding at least a little of the insanity on the Mall. Well, as luck would have it, the rain hit - and boy did it hit! - as soon as I was coming off the Metro. I swear, the last few weeks with all this rain I feel like I'm back in Miami's rainy season! Thankfully it passed, but we were figuring that all the rain would make our prior plans a bit of a soggy option.

Thankfully Sarah's roommate, the Domestic Goddess, let us jump in on her plans - and we watched the fireworks from the rooftop of their friend's place over on NY Avenue. What a stunning view!! They own half of their building's rooftop and we could watch the fireworks from every direction. What I loved was the view of the fireworks on the Mall intermingled with the cranes off in the distance. It was so DC -- progress amidst all the sights/monuments that are such an intigral part of the image of DC. Fireworks... cooking out... friends... so very July 4th!

Something new to the holiday experience was the hula hoop ritual, apparently an annual tradition at their gathering. It's tradition that the male attendees who are new to the festivities have to hula hoop. It was great fun to watch them one by one attempt to hula. Afterwards, they got us girls to do it. I brought up the rear, taking the center only once I was "outted" for having hidden in the corner. Surprisingly, I learned I actually can hula! Who knew?

The DG's friend Todd was so super nice to drive me back into the city after we left the party. It was so much fun to see an impromptu concert by the ensemble that sometimes plays in Dupont Circle. They were playing "Oh When the Saints Go Marching in" as we went through the Circle. I just love this city!

Off to bed - and sad at the prospect of having to wake up early AM tomorrow. We've gotten so spoiled by this lovely early July break. I'll definitely be needing my chai latte come tomorrow!

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