Category Archives: New York City

Hi Ho!
(What am I? A dwarf?)

It’s been a long time! 6 months, actually… -_- I’m embarrassed to say. Well, it’s been a CRAZY 6 months.

Around the time of my last post, my husband and I started seriously looking to buy a house. We’ve had started the discussion around pre-approval since the summer we moved, but we finally got our paperwork started and decided to put in the earnest effort in February. We took the month of February to get all of the paper work (oh! the paperwork throughout this process!) together and started looking at properties at the end of the month. Compared to all of my friends who bought in NYC, my story sounds quick and easy, but the next few months were filled with house hunting, putting in offers on 3 different houses and finally closing in the beginning of April.


(Now we have a house! But we had to re-do the floors! And now we have a garden! (And a lawn!))

So, you can imagine we had tons of Ikea trips (Actually, we just went today). We actually didn’t get to move in until May, since we had a trip to NYC planned in April. And since we were just staying with my in-laws, we weren’t in any real hurry to leave. (HA HA HA.)

My husband and I both had 2 trips to NYC between then and now. 1 was for pleasure, for me, and 1 was for work. For my husband, both trips were related to work, but we hung out a little in April, since it was actually the first time in a year that either of us had been back to NYC!


IMG_4493.JPGWhich also brings me to my intrepid kitty traveler. On my last trip to NYC (which was incidentally for work), I took the opportunity of bringing my cat and mother back with me. My mother landed in the ER in March. Although she’s incredibly self sufficient, I wanted to see whether it was possible for her to get treatment here with me. I also wanted her to attend my sister in-law’s wedding, so I kidnapped her and my cat. I was so incredibly nervous to travel with my cat. He’s sweet to me, but very skittish. I went completely overboard and got a dog harness and leash, drugged him, and was still paranoid that he would put up a fuss at the airport when I take him in and out of the carrier. Getting him inside at my mom’s was an ordeal… believe me. But at the airport? He was quiet and nervous and just clung to me. He was such a good boy. The flight back with Jetblue was one of the more comfortable ones, since they gave my mother and I the whole 3rd row. My cat was quiet throughout the flight and recovered pretty well afterwards.

Between my mother’s trip to the ER that turned into 4 nights in a NYC observation room, the NYC trips, re-doing our floors, moving into our new house, hosting 3 separate instances of out of town guests, and helping with and hosting relatives for my sister in-law’s June Wedding. The last 6 months have been a whirlwind.


IMG_4523.JPGAnd of course the wedding was another few weeks of fun and chaos. I got back from NYC exactly a week before the wedding (a day after my sister in-law got into town) with my mother in tow. 3 days later the Egyptian relatives came. Then the Mexican/Uruguayan realtives came in 2 days after that. We stayed with the in-laws again and lent our home to 2 couples and their kids. their brother, and their father for the wedding. I think we had like 9 people in the house at it’s height. Between helping out for the wedding and showing people around, the next 2-3 weeks flew by!

Honestly July is the first month where we don’t have any plans. We don’t have anyone visiting us, no plans to go anywhere, and no huge events. Phew.

Happy New Year!! (Ok, so it is already February.)

So, quite some time ago, when I was still in the single digits, my mother signed up me for a show that was filmed to teach kids in Japan English. It was sort of… Barney-esque? (Or what I imagine a children’s show like Barney to be like, since I was too old to actually watch Barney.) This was my chance to be a child star, or so I like to think. I could be Lindsay Lohan right now, running from rehab doing way too much blow in trendy places like grungy garages of some new hipster boy band. So, the concept of this show was that there was this white lady with a guitar, surrounded by bilingual Japanese-American kids. Some of us half-white, some of us not, etc. So they cast me and we went through rehearsals, where we repeat and sing with the lady in perfect English. If my memory serves me right, I was made to sing, “Fresh fish for lunch, fresh fish for dinner…” or something stupid like that. Either way, the woman LOVED me and I breezed through rehearsals. Then, when they started rolling, I JUST COMPLETELY FROZE. And there goes my career. (I was also on some AT&T commercial for international calling plans as a baby. Apparently. My father was also an extra on a skit on SNL, back in the late 70s. Yeah. Lots of C-level talent here in this family.)

20140201-224622.jpgThis weekend, I was asked to say a few lines for my friend Carey’s movie that he is shooting. I don’t want to give away too much, but it wasn’t so much an acting part… as much shooting a PSA? I don’t want to give too much away, so I am going to leave it at that.

Either way, it was a lot of fun, a breeze, and it didn’t traumatize me like the above incident. I got to catch up with a friend, and I did not clam up. All in all, not too shabby. I’m going to stop patting myself on the back, though, since I haven’t seen how it all came out. Hopefully this is my chance to be a STAAAAAR DAAARLING! :P (Although, it made the memories come flooding back. All those child star dreams down the drain. Oh woe.) The studios as a cute small place in the city. There was lots of red, and when it comes out I will definitely post it here. (I was asked to be in another video of his, on Critical Thinking, but I ended up having too much to do on the day of the shoot (I had a party planned) and it didn’t work out.

See the below video for other things my friend Carey has done.

Can we discuss the incompetence of the USPS? This is all in the last 2 months. I’ve been waiting for my amazon purchase FOR-ever. (Which happens to equal 2 weeks.) Most of it was suppose to be delivered on the 4th. However, it apparently came on the 3rd (GREAT!). The USPS tracking system claims that they came at 11:13pm, left a notice, and is now inquiring about redelivery.

  1. Someone was here ALL DAY and all night.
  2. There was NO NOTICE LEFT
  3. Isn’t there usually re-deliveries? 2-3 tries until stopping?

I literally requested them to come back the next available day. I waited a day, since I was incredulous that they actually needed me to schedule a redelivery. AND I had another package coming in on the 5th, so I assumed it can come with that. At this point I should mention that I missed 2 parcels on the 3rd. I ordered 2 shipments, but amazon shipped everything in 3 shipments. So, what was suppose to come on the 5th was originally part of the shipment I missed. This other shipment came at was left in the lobby/1st floor of my building on the floor on the 4th. WTF, right? If they can do that, why didn’t they just leave my other packages? WHAT IS GOING ON. How can I receive only part of my package? I asked for redelivery on the 6th. That was yesterday. The tracking system has been down for the past 2 days. I RECEIVED NOTHING. This is really ridiculous.

Did I mention that 2 months ago I ordered some photo books from recent events from snapfish. I had a coupon, so I had to split 2 books to my mother in 2 shipments. I ordered one for me, and another to my in laws. My mother was home anticipating delivery (that I told her about via tracking). It never came. They never rang her. They left a notice, though. Do you know how frustrating it is? So she has been waiting for the redelivery that never happens and after 2 weeks of waiting (in addition), they make her go pick it up from the postal office. Seriously. And she lives in Manhattan.


(In other news, the L train isn’t running, which is annoying if you need to get to Manhattan. I braved the bus yesterday and it is a free for all. There is literally no rules anymore when the trains aren’t running. I find that funny. They don’t collect fare for these shuttle buses, so everyone just packs in, climbs in from the back, stand in the area you’re not suppose to while the bus is running, and ALL RULES ARE TOSSED OUT THE AIR. It’s an ugly time.)


This year, summer just flew on by. Part of it is work. With so many people on my team out during the really hot months, I just kept plowing forward with no real break. (I guess taking 2 weeks off for your wedding has a little to do with it.) Really, I find that Labor day is a nice 3 day weekend, but it doesn’t mark any real season of change for me, since I don’t really touch the school schedule anymore. Neither myself or my husband is involved in school or academia, anymore. It’s still muggy. It’s still too warm outside. I start to feel fall when Halloween comes around or when we dig up our fall jackets. I like fall. I love the holidays. Summer … is usually too much for me.

We’re attending a wedding at the end of September. Also, I have a trip to the in-laws planned in October. Unfortunately that ended up coinciding with my “All Years” high school reunion that I originally committed to going to. It was a stupid move, but it was the most convenient. Now, tickets are already purchased. Then, we have plans to see NIN. Those are the extent of my plans.

Summer came and went after we got back from Portland, and it really wasn’t very exciting. We had a friend come stay with us for a few days. We didn’t really travel or do anything out of the ordinary, like teach me how to ride a bike. Yet. I need to learn before it gets too cold. This will be the year.

Unfortunately this weekend, I didn’t do much. I blame this on the L Train and the work that is being done to the track all weekend. The train is supposed to resume this morning, so maybe I will actually go out into the real world today. Yesterday, I got dragged outside to a local pub crawl and impromptu dance party. But overall, I was a little too excited about “Once Upon a Time” episodes being available now on Netflix. I completely thought that that show would be cheesy and girly in a way I dislike (kind of like the “New Girl” with hipster sweetheart Zooey Deschanel), but I completely got suckered in.

Nothing too special planned tomorrow. Just visiting my mother and maybe going for a long run.

22ac4beafa0411e18fe322000a1c8660_7This summer, I totally got on the succulent bandwagon. Let me explain, I didn’t actually know what succulent plants were. (In botany, succulent plants, also known as succulents or sometimes fat plants, are plants having some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. A common succulent plant is Aloe Vera, for example. A lot of times they were mistaken as “cacti,” but it’s actually not the case.) Ryan and I were in wholefoods, and saw the little succulent (On the right in the blue planter – an echeveria). We were charmed by it. They were having a sale, I think I bought it for something like $2-4, I forget.

That was the summer I was growing basil leaves. (which was a success, except for when I would forget to water them and they would shrivel up. I eventually threw the plant out due to one too many times of neglect.) 2-3 Summers ago, I bought some orchids to liven up the place, but once winter came, my neglect and the cold air in our apartment basically left me with a dried up twig. My point being that I was desperately looking for something that was cute and something that wouldn’t shrivel up. :P

After I added to my collection I decided to replant the succulents I had (at this time I had the burro’s tail trailing one) into colorful blue and yellow planters. The first picture is from this time. I also topped off my collection with 4 air plants in globes. The small container above the echeveria was it’s original container, which it outgrew. There were some small burro’s tail, that I wanted to separate and cultivate on its own in that container.


Now, I have a couple of different “nurseries” going. You can see the growth of the plants compared with the first picture. The top right is a pepper plant that I got from Las Vegas that I am trying to incubate with no luck. Below is the little burro, which is growing at a snail’s pace with some additional echeveria cuttings. To the right of that is my original echeveria plant with a child (a little hidden) in the top. I might separate the two in the near future. To the right of that is my “nursery” of echeveria cuttings. One is really propagating (below), so I am looking forward to that. I made the little containers by cutting a toilet paper spine in half, cutting snippets of the bottom, folding them in, putting in soil, and leaving the cutting on top (once the roots grew out). This way, when I am ready to plant them, I can put the whole thing in soil, since it’s biodegradable. I also used half an egg carton to drain the water. To the very right is my burro succulent, which is doing ok, but growing very very slowly.


On the left, you can see the little burro surrounded by echeveria cuttings that sprouted roots. They are pretty firmly planted in the soil, although you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking. On the right, you can see one really growing a little child at the end of the cutting. (This is tiny and in the toilet paper planter.) I am hoping to grow the $4-6 investment into several small little plants that will eventually grow on it’s own.

If I can do this, anyone can. Given their hardiness, cuteness (so plump, not flowery, and adds greenery) you can see why it’s so trendy now. For me, I think they are just aesthetically pleasing, and they seem to like me. :P It’s very forgiving, low maintenance and rewarding. I bought some cactus soil to plant them in, but succulents are very very forgiving. Maybe during the spring I’ll get a new type to add into the family. I like the idea of terrariums, but I’ve been a little gun. I would rather just multiply them, but maybe in the future I can play with the children in different terrarium set ups.

Next time we’ll talk air plants!


I’m on my roof, since my partner has his student over and the living room is hot! I changed into to thin thin linen thing I got in Cambodia with my yoga leggings, tidied up for 15 minutes (nothing like shame to get you to take out two plastic bags full of beer bottles), and came up with the last beer in the fridge.

Times like this, I like where I live and this self reflective respite. And beer.

I ran outside yesterday for the first time in a long time. My iPod died halfway, but surprisingly the view was enough to keep me focused. I ran the entire loop from 59th st. to 110th st and back. I was planning to keep going but I definitely underestimated how it would feel to run on actual terrain for the first time in a while.

A lot of things are changing in the park. Near the 70s, there was a little tunnel made out of tree branches that inertwined, but it was hacked and cut through. Tavern on the Green, although I think I heard about this, was out of business and the lawn and parking lot bare. That was a little depressing. It was always a fixture at Central Park with all of its lights and pruned animals (I especially like the unicorns). I am surprised no one wanted to jump start it. It was always a place that just rested on its previous laurels and location. I had my prom there, which was beautiful, but the food was less than. I don’t remember anything from the food that night.

I used to run regularly when I lived in Manhattan, but now I try to fit a run in in the mornings, so I’m running on a treadmill for less time. It’s completely different and I missing running in Central Park. Especially with the winter, running outside after I get out of work isn’t really an option. The only opportunity I would have is to come into Manhattan early on the weekends.

I am going to have to do that more often, since I applied for the 2011 New York Marathon Lottery and joined Road Runners to qualify for 2012. At one point I could run 12 miles like nothing, but clearly I need some more training now. My aim is to run the 26 miles under 5 hours. My stride for running 5-6 miles is 9 minute miles, around 10 it’s over 10 minutes, around 10:15 miles. If I were to run 26 miles now, I’m pretty sure the time would go over 5 hours.

It’s not that I have any desire to be a marathon runner, but the NYC Marathon is different with an incredible vibe. As a New Yorker that’s lived here her entire life, I just want to run it at least once (and maybe twice – if I get in for 2011).

So… here’s to many other runs in 2011 in Central Park!

Holiday Greetings! I hope everyone is done with their shopping!
(Ho ho ho – since it’s a bit too late now…)

I haven’t been into this Christmas, really, but I did do some shopping. It was mostly for my partner’s parents and sisters. I got something for my mother and some other select items. It’s funny, but I bought most of these things during a week period two weeks ago at various sample sales.

Just in time for the holidays, all the fashion companies were having sample sales of their previous spring and fall line. Of course it’s a gimmick, but one that draws me in like a moth to a flame. I usually don’t shop, but when you put me in front of a good deal… game over.

I used to work near 3 “Lots Less” stores and for a while I used to go to them religiously 3 times a week. My coworkers would be like, “?!$#&!” My cubicle had at least 2 full bags that I would need to take home at any time. They would ask me why I need 10 small 99 cent mac n’ cheese cups to keep in the office (and subsequently steal them – ahem!), but at the time it seemed like a good idea. I would buy random items that seemed brilliant, like a laptop lap board with fans in it to cool your laptop. Have I used it even once? Nah.

Seriously. These shops should have business meetings with my big fat face as the target.

That week… I would innocently enough just stop by during lunch to browse… and then 30 minutes later I am wincing at the register as I purchase non-returnable items in bulk. It started as “I’m just going to pick up this $10 scarf… which somehow turned into $100+. I don’t really want to discuss that. Ridiculous. I think in that one week, I went to Collection 18 (which does Henri Bendel, Vera, etc…), Natori, Lauren Merkin, etc… At work I would go to lunch and literally come back with two large paper bags. It was ridiculous and I lamented that I probably have a problem. I would leave, just to browse, and of course come back with serious baggage.

The tipping point of when I realized my problem was when I finished my initial Christmas shopping and still went back to accessory shop. I found some silk scarves marked down 90% and decided to get 6. I saw my friend Lige the other day and this is SUCH an Asian thing. We’re like squirrels hoarding acorns for the winter… because uh… delicate silk scarves are going to keep me so warm. Um, yeah. Does that work? (And yes they were all the same.)

Issues. Anyway. This is just to say, I finished my shopping that week. Today was spent quietly at the gym and at home with my mother. I gave her her present and tomorrow will probably be just as quiet. We’re not big Christmas people.

As an afterthought, I told my mother about my excessive scarf buying and she was, of course, in agreement that those are always good to have around. Like mother like daughter, I suppose. She’s the one who taught me how to hoard. (Oy vey!)