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Posts Tagged ‘Random’

The Shapes of Things

This is kind of going to be a weird association of two things.

Did you ever wonder how long everything in your life could suck for? I know I’ve been posting this since September, but I continue to have a really difficult time recently. 2012 has been the best and worst year of my life. If I had to divide my life right now up into parts I would say there are four main parts:

1. Family
2. Roommates/friends
3. Work
4. Extracurriculars

Family has been hell since the end of August, maybe if I’m honest since July. And I can’t change my family, I can change my roommates and friends, I can change my job, and I can change my extracurriculars, but I can’t change my family. And I don’t want to change my family, I just want to change my family’s circumstances. But I got some news this weekend that hopefully is a sign of things turning around and I am cautiously optimistic.

Roommates/friends was good up until last week. And, honestly, it’s not that bad. I’ve pretty much ignored my social life this fall. I still see friends and go out, but it’s not really the priority it’s been in the past. I knew my roommate Abby was probably going to be moving out at the end of December, but getting actual confirmation of the news and starting to think about finding a new roommate just seems so overwhelming with everything else that’s happening in my life.

Ever since the summer work has been a really amazing escape. I can go in and sit for eight hours a day and even if there’s a lot of be done or annoying problems to solve it’s such a nice escape to the rest of my life. But then last week something changed my nice escape to a lot of stress (I’m not going to go into details here) and now I pretty much have to keep repeating to myself “do not quit your job, do not quit your job, do not quit your job.”

Extracurriculars (which I’m not going to go into the specifics of just now) started out really, really great. And then at the end of October took a steep dive off a tall cliff.

If you’re keeping track that means the four main aspects of my life have sucked for the last week or so. The only one that really matters to me is family and after the news I got yesterday I am feeling better about life in general, but the rest of it is certainly still stressful.

Tangentially related to this…

Capture

(Image from here)

I went to see Silver Linings Playbook yesterday. I loved the book (I wrote about it here (please, someone cut me off from the smiley faces)) and I was so excited to see the movie. I was nervous about Bradley Cooper playing the main character and about Jennifer Lawrence, even though I love her, because in the book the female character is supposed to be in her 30’s. The book and movie were really different, the same basic story outline is there, but the order that things happen, the prominence of some of the characters, and the whole feeling is pretty different. I liked the movie, but it was very much a feel good, romantic comedy movie. The book is ultimately feel good, but it’s serious and dark, too.

What I really liked about the movie is its portrayal of someone with mental illness. In the book Bradley Cooper’s character is portrayed as much much more mentally ill, but I still give the movie a lot of credit. I think it’s hard to walk the fine line between showing a manic episode and how serious and scary they can be, while not having it be about getting laughs. But then also showing the funnier, sweeter moments of mental illness. I did think the movie wrapped up a little too nicely and suddenly he just seemed cured, but it is a movie and not real life.

And those two things are related, believe it or not. I’ll try to be back this week with some more posts. But if I fall of happy Thanksgiving!

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Sandy

I haven’t posted since Sandy hit the northeast. I have no excuse for this, I never lost power and internet and I missed work for a week since my office in downtown Manhattan was without power. Overall I feel incredibly lucky and thankful. Most of my friends are in my same situation, we all enjoyed a nice unplanned vacation with pretty much zero worry. Several people have told me they feel guilty, I personally think guilt is a wasted emotion, I would rather focus on how thankful I am for me and my family being safe and on how to help people who have been affected by the storm.

A little breakdown on how my week last week went.

– Our upstairs neighbors flooded our bathroom. They FORGOT they were filling up their bathtub and water ended up pouring down the walls of our bathroom from the ceiling. Our ceiling now looks pretty gnarly, but there wasn’t any damage done to any of our property.

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– My roommate and I went for a walk on Monday afternoon. In the maybe 20-30 minutes we were outside the wind got noticeably worse. And there was already a huge tree in our neighborhood down at that point.

– Monday night our lights flickered here and there but we never lost power. Based on what they were saying on the news I actually thought I might have to go in to work on Tuesday since they were saying the storm wasn’t as strong as originally predicted, there was less rain than originally predicted, and it was moving faster than predicted.

– Work had already been cancelled on Tuesday and when I went to check my work email before going to bed Monday night I couldn’t get in. I thought it might be because my office lost power, but I wasn’t sure.

– I woke up Tuesday morning and I couldn’t believe the pictures I was seeing of New York City. From the awful fire in Breezy Point to the transformer exploding in Manhattan to the babies being evacuated from the NYC NICU to the Hoboken PATH station flooding it was just unbelievable. And my life was totally normal.

I've escaped my apartment. I'm moving around!

– Tuesday afternoon my kickboxing gym reopened so my friend Laura and I went for a class. It was packed, I think people wanted out of their apartments. The walk up the the gym was fine, the area is prone to floods and it had obviously flooded, people were pumping out their basements, but it looked fine.

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– Wednesday morning I went back to kickboxing. The traffic heading into Manhattan was CRAZY. The street that I live on, which NEVER has traffic was backed up for blocks upon blocks. It was nuts. Wednesday night I went out for Thai food, the restaurant was packed and my neighborhood was hopping with people celebrating Halloween.

And done.

– Thursday my roommate Grace and I went to donate blood. Rather than going to the New York Blood Center we went to the hospital in our neighborhood. It was quick and easy and apparently better for the local hospital since the blood goes directly to them and they don’t need to buy it from the NY Blood Center.

– Friday afternoon was back to kickboxing and more evening board games with my roommates.

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– Saturday morning was filled with more kickboxing and then volunteering in the afternoon. I was on water duty which meant replenishing the water table so volunteers could come by and put the water into bags for people who needed supplies. I pretty much spent two hours lifting and carrying 24-packs of water. I was spent by the end. But I was happy to help. It was pretty remarkable to see all of the things people had donated.

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– My favorite donation was these two cans of beer. We kept joking we were going to take them.

– And Sunday I sat around morning the fact that I needed to return to my regular life on Monday. I’m not going to lie, I could easily have continued the life I was living. A lot of my coworkers kept saying how happy they were to come back and how bored they were at home. Not me. I went out every day, I did things around my apartment, I saw friends, I worked out, I volunteered; it was really great. Of course I would have preferred so many people not to be suffering while I was relaxing.

– My parents, who live on eastern Long Island, were fine. They lost power for about 18 hours, but otherwise no damage. And my dad said their neighborhood and surrounding towns look good.

– The whole gas shortage thing really freaks me out. I don’t quite know why, it’s just a feeling of being trapped. I saw my first lines for gas on Saturday and it’s just insane.

– I’ve read on blogs and see on TV about people being shocked that this could happen to NYC and how they never thought it would be possible. And I want to scream at them “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!” NYC (besides the Bronx) is made up of islands (or parts of other islands), it’s surrounded by water, much of the infrastructure is underground. There is zero doubt in my mind that one day a stronger hurricane than Sandy will come along and completely reshape NYC as we know it. It’s not a question of being shocked or whether or not it can happen, it’s a question of when it will happen.

– Stepping off soap box.

Exercising my right to vote! With @abby_lindquist

– I’m putting one foot back on my soap box to encourage you to go vote today. I went at 6:20 this morning and I was in an out in under 15 minutes (I was shocked, the polling place was PACKED but not with too many people from my district and it was very organized). I voted for Obama, I want Obama to win, I will be very scared for America if Mittens wins, but no matter who you vote for (but I will silently judge you if you vote for Romney), I applaud you for exercising your right to vote and will tell you that you have no right to complain about anything political if you don’t. I’ll be finding a bar to watch the election results tonight. I don’t think it will be as good as a time as in 2008, but I’m hoping it’s another Obama victory.

(Random voting thing, I kind of wish the US did that whole dipping your finger in ink thing they do in not-as-developed countries. I get they do it in those countries because there are no formal ways of keeping track of people, but I think it’s a nice thing to be able to display.)

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Frankenstorm

Perhaps you’ve heard that the end of the world is barreling towards New York City in the form of a hurricane called Sandy and a nor’easter which for some reason is nameless. What’s a funny name to go with Sandy? I will think about this.

Anyway, you might be thinking to yourself (no, you’re not, I know, but play along), what is Maggie doing to prepare for this hurricane? Here’s what’s going on:

Yesterday I went to four grocery stores. I couldn’t find the beans I needed for a recipe. I would say they were more crowded than usual, but the lines were not insane.

If crazy shit goes down I'm finding this lady's apartment and crashing there.

This lady was behind me at grocery store #4.

What do I decide is necessary for a storm?

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Beer, ice cream, and supplies to make chili beans.

I went to kickboxing this morning, I figured before I was stuck at home indefinitely I should at least move a little. I was one of about five people in my class.

Where was everyone else?

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Waiting in line to GET INTO the grocery store. Where they presumably then had fight people for the last loaves of bread and then wait in a long line to check out.

I stopped at a bodega to buy mixers for drinks (priorities) and waited on a long line to check out, most people were buying beer (wrong decision people, if we lose power you don’t want to be opening and closing the refrigerator and maybe you like warm beer, but no, red wine or mixed drinks are best).

Important things:

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I have made a pot of beans.

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I have also made blondies.

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And now I am sipping on a lovely dark and stormy.

You might be able to tell that I’m not really worried. I am so excited to be at home tomorrow and not be able to go anywhere. I literally can’t do anything and it’s fabulous. My office is obviously closed and has no plans to reopen until mass transit it back up and running, which doesn’t look like it’s going to happen until Wednesday.

But then I read this article and got slightly freaked out. Just give me power and I’ll be happy. But I have flashlights and batteries and I’m obsessively charging every device.

Stay safe people. And enjoy the lunatics on the weather channel.

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This and That

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– I bought new tights at Target on Tuesday! I LOVE wearing tights. I need more winter skirts/dresses. I tried out the reddish/purpleish pair (in the middle of the pic of the tights) Thursday, I love them!

– I went to a kickboxing class this morning with the gym’s owner. I think I have mentioned that he moved to San Diego earlier this year, but he comes back every few months. I really like his classes, I don’t think they’re the toughest classes, but he has a really great energy which makes such a big difference. However, his class this morning was hard! So many push-ups, squat thrusts, mountain climbers, and punch outs.

– Grace and I went to see Argo last night. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s a really interesting story and it’s so well done. Plus there are lots of great actors in it.

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– I wore a very not Maggie-ish outfit on Wednesday. I don’t think I’ve ever worn leggings under a dress. Ever. At least I didn’t wear them as pants.

– Have you heard of Tift Merritt? I hadn’t before Friday but I am now really, really, really kind of obsessed. And oh my god I just looked it up and she’s playing a concert about five minutes from my parents’ house on 11/11. Hmm…

– My roommates and I are having a little disagreement with the smoker who lives on the first floor. All summer she’d sit on the steps and smoke and it would come up into our second floor apartment. There were even some times where we think she was smoking out of her bedroom window and it came into my roommates’ windows. Now that the weather is cooler she thinks she can sit on the steps because our windows are closed, but I don’t want to have to walk through her cancer haze to get into my (non-smoking) building. I think it’s time to call in our crazy landlord.

– I am going to the Sheep and Wool Festival on Saturday, for work, but there should be some time to look at the cashmere goats and eat fair food. So excited!

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This and That

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– I’m trying out wearing lipstick. I used to be a really big makeup person, but then I got a job in NYC (where I felt like people judged being really made up) and stopped being able to wear contacts (eye makeup isn’t really fun with glasses, have I ever wrote about my eye problems? I should). Anyway, I don’t wear a ton of makeup now (concealer, power, blush, eyeliner, and mascara) and usually just Chapstick or lip gloss on my lips, but I decided I want a signature lip color. So I went with this Funny Face one from Nars. Thoughts?

– I had the apartment to myself this weekend. I love my roommates, but it’s also really great to have some quality alone time.

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– My parents came to visit on Saturday. For my dad’s birthday I bought him some slices of pie from Four and Twenty Blackbird. So good. I also picked up a slice of salty honey for myself.

Brooklyn Botanical Garden. #nofilter

– We also went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. There wasn’t a lot blooming, but there were some roses that still looked ok.

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– There was an electrican doing a ton of work outside my office on Wednesday. There were tons of wires hanging down from the ceiling and I was pretty much trapped.

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This and That

– I’ve seriously neglected posting lately. As I’ve mentioned in a few other posts I’m having a pretty tough time dealing with a sick family member. And how the sick family member is impacting the rest of the family. September has been both an amazing month and the worst month of my life. I am really excited for October to start on Monday.

Yummy birthday cake. I think. Hard to tell after 160 proof vodka.

– My roommate Grace had a party for her birthday last Saturday night. We had a bunch of people over, drank some dark and stormies, did mystery shots (I got the 160 proof vodka, it was “burny”), and ate a wonderful coconut cake that Grace had made.

Reading on The High Line at lunch. Perfect day.

– I was having a particularly difficult time on Monday so at lunch I headed over to The Highline to read. It was a sunny, chilly fall day and it was really lovely.

Pumpkin beer at 11:30 at night. Probably a bad idea, but necessary. Thanks, @crowonthepine :)

– I had a pumpkin beer courtesy of roommate Grace Thursday night. Drinking at 11:30 at night probably wasn’t the best idea, but sometimes it’s just necessary. I liked the Dogfish Head one, but I think I’d have to go with UFO>Dogfish Head>Shipyard>Wolver’s Organic. And there will be more to try as the fall goes on 🙂

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– My favorite peanut butter was recalled. I am more upset over the fact that I won’t be able to buy it for a while than by the fact that I could have gotten salmonella. To me salmonella seems like a good excuse to miss a few days of work and lose a few pounds (and don’t say it comes back, I kept the 5 lbs I lost after having the swine flu off for almost a year). Anyway, I’ve still been eating the two jars I have since I had been eating them for about a week prior to the recall and hadn’t gotten sick. Many of my friends think this is stupid, I think I’m eating good peanut butter.

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– I’ve been cooking a lot lately but I haven’t shared any pictures. This is crock pot pulled pork that was delicious. I used pork shoulder instead of pork tenderloin and used a 20oz. bottle of root beer instead of a can. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. And I used the barbeque sauce I got from my Foodie Penpal back in July! And those are roasted potatoes with the sandwich, I’ve been obsessed with roasted potatoes lately.

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– This is crock pot chicken tortilla soup. I followed the recipe exactly except I added a zucchini because I had it on hand and I knew I’d never use it for anything else. I liked this, but I thought it needed something else. More seasoning, I think.

– I made these zucchini cookies for Grace for her birthday but didn’t get a picture of them. They were good, except they had a very soft, brownie-like texture which isn’t my favorite for a cookie.

– I’ve read 15 books in September. That’s a book every two days. Totally nuts.

– I can’t remember if I mentioned it but I’ve completely updated by recipe page. I obviously don’t create my own recipes, but I am amazing at follow other people’s recipes and I like to give those people credit. Plus it helps me keep track of my recipes.

– Finally, I am hosting Fitblog this coming Tuesday! I am growing more and more nervous so please stop by!

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Random Sunday

My Olympics watching has been going swimingly (that’s a pun). It’s pretty much all I’ve done this weekend. I’ve discovered a love of team archery and kayaking, remembered how much I hate basketball and beach volleyball, and have been religiously keeping up with the swimming.

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Friday night, for the opening ceremony, my roommate Mary and I had her friend/my coworker and his boyfriend over to watch. We got burgers and drank dry grape ginger ale and vodka. Saturday night Mary and I had dry grape ginger ale and gin. I think I might have preferred the gin.

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This past Thursday I was supposed to go watch Clueless in Brooklyn Bridge Park with my former officemate. Unfortunately the weather was awful and they cancelled it. So we watched Clueless in her apartment, with sandwiches, salt and vinegar potato salad, cupcakes, and Bud Light. A classy night was had by all. I highly recommend making the potato salad. I halved the recipe and had plenty for me and Amy and then leftovers the last few days.

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We had 2.5 days of meetings at work this past week to talk about our spring 13 lineup. We’re doing a book on knots with Philippe Petit who came into the office to do a demonstration. It was very interesting and he was absolutely lovely.

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I’ve been to kickboxing for three straight days. Friday’s class was terrible, my heart just wasn’t in it and I kept beating myself up (figuratively, not literally). Yesterday was better, but still not great. Today, with a new instructor, it was amazing. I guess everyone has their ups and downs. On my way to kickboxing I walk over the Gowanus Canal, which is a superfund site, and today there was a layer of oil floating on top of the water. Kind of pretty, but obviously really awful.

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I bought this ice pop on my way home from kickboxing. I was not a fan. I think going for a “creamy” pop was the wrong choice. I ate a little and then put it in my freezer, we’ll see if I ever revisit it.

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Finally, I bought these zinnias from the Greenmarket on Friday. They’re pretty, but very high maintenance. I swear the woman who sold them to me told me to add sugar and bleach to the water. I added some sugar (bleach just seemed ridiculous), but by Saturday morning they weren’t looking good. So I chucked the water, rinsed out of the vase, and trimmed the stems. Sunday afternoon they were again not looking good so I did it all over again. Here’s hoping they last another day or two.

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