Sunday, September 28, 2008

Giddy UP!

My friend Meredith is legendary for her parties. She is the genuis behind my birthday double decker bus party and her Christmas parties are legendary in NYC.
Of course... her own birthday would certainly be something amazingly fun!
This week she had her birthday in a private room at Johnny Utah's, the Rockefeller Center western bar complete with a mechanical bull.
I was too chicken to ride the bull, but it was fantstic to see some friends I don't see much of anymore.

Ty riding the bull- seconds before he got bucked off.

I adore these people!

My girl Jen. She is the best!!!

Just to be Clear

In case there are any doubts about where my affinities lie...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cirque du Soleil - Saltimbanco

My friend Seth M is the master of ticket hook-ups. Among other things... he has taken me to see Dolly Parton and Bette Midler at Radio City Music Hall, Barbra Streisand and The Spice Girls at Madison Square Garden, and countless Broadway events (TONY awards, opening night performances, parties, etc...). Not only does he provide the tickets, but they are usually fantastic floor seats (it rocks having friends in high places).
Last night Seth and I went and saw the tour of the Cirque show "Saltimbanco"
It was stunning.
Those who know me well know that I have a thing for clowns and magic. It doesn't take much to completely impress me. If you can make a coin disappear, juggle, or guess which card I drew from the deck, I am completly enamored.
This show was chock full of talent, beauty, strength, music, and humor. All those things plus magic, face paint, and stellar costumes= HOT!
Some people find clowns scary, I find them sexy. Is that weird?

Leeann Womack in a Private Concert

Thanks to Paul and Laura Bell (and Seth for letting me cancel on him), I was able to see Leeann Womack in an intimate pre-album release concert this past Wednesday night. Now, I am not a big follower of country music, but I do enjoy a good ballad- especially one with great vocals.
Several things about this performance made it better than your typical crowded concert- there were less than 200 people in the audience, it was in the Time Warner Jazz Theater (all glass backdrop overlooking Central park), and there were bottles of champagne on every table.
Now that's the kind of concert I can get on board with!
Following the concert, we went to Rosa Mexicana for dinner. Jason, a friend of Paul and Laura's had arranged a table.
Who else joined us for dinner you ask? Leeann Womack.
Just the seven of us enjoying a cozy meal with friends.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Crocky/Gummy clan comes to Town

One thing that is impossible while being a full time worker and full time student is spontaneity.
I can still find time to do most of the things I want, I just need to plan my schedule very carefully.
This week some of my bestie friends from college came to town- sadly, I was only able to see them over a quick lunch break.
However, it was so great to see Crocky (you may know her as Kristin Crockett Montgomery) and my old partner-in-crime Brad Montgomery (Kristin married Brad's brother Greg).
I love you guys! It was great to see you and be reminded of all our good times.

A Taste of Home in Manhattan

I love living in NYC- it's a city where you can find NEARLY everything.
However, there are certain things about my home town of Rexburg Idaho that I thought could never be duplicated.
One of my favorite Rexburg joints (and I hit it several times whenever I go home) is Millhollow Frozen Yogurt. As a kid, this was the greatest treat- and we only went on special occassions. I still remember the joy of getting a gift certificate for THREE STANDARDS (that's the adult size, not the kid size) from Brooke Smith for my 7th Birthday. Ah, heaven.
Now, there are several options for good FroYo in NYC (Pink Berry, Red Mango, etc...) HOWEVER, nothing was Millhollow (notice the past tense).
Cut to Thursday after walking across the Bklyn Bridge for the AIDS rally. John suggested we go to 16 Handles. I had never heard of it, but agreed.
I walked in and IT SMELLED LIKE MILLHOLLOW. Along the wall were 16 self serve frozen yogurt handles with flavors like tart peach, tart strawberry, tart mango (all my fav Millhollow flavors). The best part is... IT TASTED LIKE MILLHOLLOW.
I did not even try to explain to John the miracle he had provided. There were no words. I was afraid he wouldn't understand.
Although 16 Handles is nowhere near my house, my job site, my school, etc... I have a feeling I am going to be looking for more excuses to get down to Union Square.
Great. Now I am craving 16 Handles. Gotta run.

Thank Goodness for the HU Space Crisis of 2007

When I first started working at Harlem United in November 2007, the agency was in the process of building two new office buildings. Until these new offices were finished, there were about 8 new employees/NYU interns who were using the conference room as office space. It was hard to have phone conversations, not have a permanent computer, no space to meet with clients, etc... BUT... it was always a good time as I ADORE the conference room crowd.
The full time employees are now scattered across different sites and we have lost some (not all) of the interns. This week brought the return of two of the Conference room crowd- John and Will. WELCOME BACK FELLAS!
On Thursday John and I joined other NYC agencies and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge as a part of a rally to support continued AIDS funding and support.
It was a gorgeous day. The sky was blue, the weather was perfect, and the company could not be beat!
I can't wait for the conference room reunion... Heather, Alicia, Julie, Justin, John, Will, etc... Just thinking about it makes me crave South Beach Cafe!

Shout out to my girl Heather!

Hey Girl!
Heather and I both worked together at New York Foundling (my previous job). She and I were both 'recruited' to come work at Harlem United.
She makes me laugh, keeps me sane, is incredibly smart, and at least pretends to listen to my stupid stories.
We endured our first months at Harlem United during the 'space crisis of 2007' where 8 of us shared the conference room due to no office space. As tricky as it was at the time, I cannot wait for our upcoming conference room reunion with the gang!

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name

I have amazing friends and I often refer to my social circle as "my family."
Outside this circle of friends, I also have great friends from work who I adore.
The night after Nobu, my co-worker Kim was celebrating her Bday and wanted to celebrate over Never Ending Pasta Bowl at The Olive Garden.
Now, living in NYC I have become highly opposed to National Chain Restaurants- however, sometimes nothing sounds better than the familiar taste of Minestone Soup and Breadsticks from the OG.
It was a great night with the work gang. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KIM!!!

Maribeth and Heather

Kim, Cory, and me

Birthday Girl Kim

Monday, September 15, 2008

THIS JUST IN... in regards to the previous blog entry.... Page 6 of the NY Post!!!

September 15, 2008 --

BILL Clinton likes sex jokes. A spy tells us that when Laura Bell Bundy - who starred in "Legally Blonde" and is a fierce, dyed-in- the-wool Democrat - ran into the former president at Nobu the other night, the blond cutie quickly whipped out a T- shirt she had made in support of Bar ack Obama and handed it to him. "The shirt read, 'Every Time Obama Speaks, an Angel Has an Orgasm," ' our insider said. "Bill loved it and even chuckled he couldn't wait to show it to Hillary."

*** This was also picked up by New York Magazine. HA!

In a New York Minute Everything can Change

A few nights ago I (along with four other friends) was invited by my friend Joe to have dinner at Nobu- a very high end restaurant that on my social work salary I would NEVER be able to afford.
So, there we were, eating blackened cod with miso and rock shrimp when we noticed that Michael Buble was sitting at the table next to us, and Bill Clinton was three tables away. Okay, that's kind of cool, but really we were just there to enjoy each other's company.
During the course of the night, my friend Laura pulled out a T-shirt she had made- the shirt featured a picture of Barack Obama with a quote saying "Every time Obama speaks, an angel has an orgasm."
Ha, ha, ha... we were laughing.
BILL CLINTON walks by and is shown the shirt. He laughs, makes some jokes, talks to our table, and leaves with the T-shirt (stating he is going to put it next to the Lincoln Coins in the White House).

It was pretty amazing and we were still reeling from this encouter. Not 20 minutes later, Michael Buble comes to the table. He chats with Laura, laughs at the T-shirt story, shakes hands with the table, etc...

Now, I respect and enjoy Michael Buble for his talent... but without a doubt, the highlight was meeting Bill Clinton. I mean, HE WAS THE PRESIDENT for Pete's sake!
While most nights I am home doing laundry, watching TV, or chilling with friends... there are some nights that I am really glad I live in NYC.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Once a year, I am a Sports Fan.

I get bored watching baseball. I don't follow basketball. I never really understood football. Hockey is too violent. But Tennis... oh, tennis. Tennis I do love.
It is just a fortunate coincidence that my good friend Joe works for the US Open and every year is able to get us tickets to the matches. This year he got us tickets to the final game- yes, I saw Roger Federer break the world record by winning his 5th US Open in a row. History folks. It was of Olympic proportions.
The only thing better than being at the Men's Finals, is being there with besties Joe, Paul, and Patrick.
Following the game, we ended the evening with drinks at Luxia/Monte Blanc and youtube favorites at Paul's place. All in all, a great evening.

Bonjour! Welcome to Montreal!

Knowing I will grab any excuse to get out of town/roadtrip, a few weeks ago my friend Seth suggested we go to Montreal for Labor Day Weekend (this is after we tossed around Dollywood, Iceland, a NorthEast Cruise, etc...). Montreal seemed to best fit our time frame and budget and we prepared for a fun filled weekend away.
For anyone that does not know Seth, you should know that he does not do anything half way. For example, if I were planning the trip, we would have had a Ford Focus and stayed in a Marriot or something equally boring. Not Seth...
He pulled up at my office Friday afternoon in a gorgeous convertible with a speciality mix playlist (Dance Diva Vocals) blasting. This was the first of many planned surprises.
We stayed at this amazing Bed and Breakfast in Old Town Montreal. It was STUNNING! The ceilings were 20 feet high and located next door to Notre Dame Cathedral.
We enjoyed Montreal's Olympic Village, shopping in the big Homo district, sidewalk cafe dinners, and a lot of walking and exploring.
We had big plans to go out dancing one night, but by the end of each evening, we were so exhausted, we just went back to the hotel and chilled.
Even without hitting the clubs, we both agreed it was a weekend well spent.

Our Bed and Breakfast Hotel

The View from the Top of the Tower at Olympic Village

St. Joseph's Cathedral

Reading in the park... the weather was GORGEOUS!!!

Driving back to the city after a fabulous weekend!

Monday, September 8, 2008

I love the smell of pencil shavings in September

Move over kids, this old lady is going back to school!
Remember how great it was to go back-to-school shopping?
What about spending hours agonizing over which Trapper Keeper binder would BEST represent you. (for me, it was the bright pink Trapper with 'psychedelic bubbles').
I am now a couple of weeks into my grad program, and I have to say... there are some pretty striking differences from my last college experience. For example...

This is the campus of my undergrad:

This is the "campus" of Hunter College School of Social Work in NYC:

Some other differences...
At BYU, your status was determined by which apt complex you lived in. In NYC, it's which Borough you live in(Thankfully, I have upgraded from Campus Plaza to Manhattan).
At BYU I could buy cinnamon bears in the Twilight Zone to get through class. In NYC, there's a Starbucks on every corner.
At BYU I had 5 girls as roommates. In NYC I live with 2 men.
At BYU I was a student with a part time job. In NYC, I am a full time worker AND going to school full time.
At BYU I was surrounded by other students. Now, I stand alone among friends who finished grad school years ago.
At BYU I was 19 and full of energy. Now... well... I am not 19.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Update: A Tale of Two Cities

If you read below, you know that I made plans to start reading "A Tale of Two Cities." I started and so far so good... but that's not the point of this post.
So, I was in Montreal this past weekend and ended up having dinner at this great Italian place in Old Montreal. On the menu, it stated that in 1854 Charles Dickens came to Montreal, sat in that very restaurant, and wrote the notes for his novel "A Tale of Two Cities."
It is a small world indeed.