Quiet Night In (Not)

I’d planned on having a quiet night in on Saturday night. I really did. I was planning on cooking, hanging out with the furbabies, and possibly reconnecting with my acoustic guitar for the first time in WAY too long. I’d gone to a Kundalini yoga class in the morning and to see Marvin’s Room with Matt (I heart him living closer) in the afternoon and I was getting ready to take off my clothes and settle in. I’d even canceled a tentatively planned date because it was quite obvious that neither one of us was all that interested in the other (as evidenced by our infrequent texts, inability to make ACTUAL PLANS, etc.). I wasn’t upset (my ambivalence over this perfectly nice dude was why I canceled). It just was what it was. I’d even made the choice NOT to ghost him and to actual tell him that I was canceling. #adulting

Then Kristen texted and said she was at a bar on the UES after a friend’s baby shower and I should come over. I dreaded the process of actually getting to the bar (Infirmary on 89th and 2nd) because it took forever last time I had to get to that area, but the train and bus actually synched up pretty well and I got there in 20 minutes. We ate appetizers, drank fRoses, and then I dragged Kristen a couple of blocks away to Caledonia East, a great Scottish cocktail bar where my friend was bartending for the night.

About 30 minutes after we arrived, I noticed a couple walk in and sit down next to us (technically next to Kristen) and I was 99% sure it was the guy I’d canceled on with a new date. I immediately felt less bad and laughed. Out loud. I think he saw me and they then moved to the far end of the bar and a few minutes later left altogether. I told Kristen and my friend who was bartending and we laughed at the coincidence that he would roll into the bar we were in out of all the others in the neighborhood. Only happens to me. (And I’m cool with that because it makes for a great story.) A little while later he texted me saying he was surprised I was on the east side. I guess it was him.

We Uber’ed it back to my apartment after a drink so I could feed my the furballs and we headed over to The Hamilton, which is owned by the same gentleman as Caledonia, and it is equally as amazing. After a few more drinks, we headed back to my apartment and promptly passed out. Kristen had planned to drive home about 5 hours earlier but any attempt to operate a motor vehicle in her (our) state would have resulted in a swift tit punch from yours truly, so she passed out on my couch and I in my bed.

It totally wasn’t the night either one of us had planned, but it was a great night. We spent morning eating egg and cheese sandwiches, snuggling with the cats, and watching The Big Short.

 

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Week 1: Done

I can’t believe week 1 of teacher training is over. I was so nervous the night before it started that I barely got any sleep on Sunday and apparently my teacher, Chrissy, didn’t either. I’m sure it was the same for a lot of people. We all sat in a circle and nervously surveyed who else was in the class. By day 4, when we sat in a circle in the studio at the end of the day, Chrissy said something like, “Can you believe how well we’ve all gotten to know each other in just four days?” And it’s true. We really had.

There were pose myths debunked. Super long asanas flowed through. And we learned the secret formula for YogaWorks sequencing. Personally, my mind was blown to find out that our hips are not squared in Trikonasa or Ardha Chandrasana. I was also blown away to find out that there’s a specific method to the madness of YogaWorks’ sequences. From here on out, I’m pretty much going to be keeping an eye on my teacher’s sequences to see if they break any of the rules. I’m annoying like that. We’ve had a ton of anatomy lessons, too. I’m going to really have to work hard to became even the tiniest bit memorized with some of the names.

We’re reading the yoga sutras by Patanjali and they’re so interesting and relevant even in modern times. 

The group of men and women (okay, there are only two men, but that’s okay!) are so incredibly diverse, from all parts of the world, and I’m so happy to be getting to know all of them. 

By Day 4, I was incredibly sore. And after the long asana yesterday, I was even more sore, in addition to exhausted. Today I woke up at the incredibly late hour of 9am and took a bath while doing some anatomy reading and then I stretched and flowed a little. 

And now it’s snowing, so I’m watching the snow out my window while J reads and Playbill sleeps. Happy Saturday!

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Baby’s Second Vet Trip

A week or so ago, Playbill was due for her routine rabies vaccine and a general check up. She’s a middle-aged cat (9!) so it’s important to make sure she’s healthy as a horse. And I’m a paranoid cat mom, so it’s better to have a doctor tell me she’s all healthy rather than someone else. J had bought her the BMW of cat carriers, a soft one, so it was a bit easier to get her in this time and it had a zippered part on one side so he could pet her while we were in the cab on the way to the vet.

She meowed the entire way there but not nearly as painfully as last time. She wanted nothing to do with the catnip and treats they gave her, as usual, but she was a pretty good patient. They said she looks fantastic for a 9 year old cat and is very healthy. They added that she’s pretty well behaved for a cat that was adopted into a new home only 8 months prior. That makes me think that she still has personality traits that I have yet to see, which is kind of fun to consider. 

Playbill was a bit tired for the next couple of days, which is normal after shots, but she’s back to herself now, racing around the apartment like she has to still hunt down dinner. 

I really just wanted an excuse to post these photos, though. Because she is the cutest. She hopped up onto the windowsill in between different doctors and nurses examining her. Always looking for the highest place to perch. Typical cat.  

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The Upper West Side Wins

Of course it does. 

I feel like I keep seeing these New York Times’ and Curbed articles about people who love the Upper West Side. And then I feel extremely grateful that the prior few bidders on my apartment didn’t know how to fill out a board application and I was – or my broker was, to be clear, because that shit is complicated.

I live within a couple of blocks of the water and two massive parks. I live two blocks from the best bagels in the city (not my words, everyone else’s), I have some awesome bars, Columbia’s sprawling, green campus, an adorable independent pet store that comes complete with an adorable pet store kitten, Book Culture, The Hungarian Pastry Shop, and a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Westside Market. And lots of trains.

I love my ‘hood and I am very fortunate to be able to live here.

And if I have the means, I’m never leaving. 

The Upper West Side Wins

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First Vet Trip Success – Sort Of

I noticed a couple of little moving white rice-looking things on Playbill’s butt on Monday night/Tuesday morning and thought that probably wasn’t normal. I called two vets on Tuesday morning and emailed the adoption organization that I rescued her from. I decided to go to Uptown Veterinary Associates because the other vet had awful reviews (one was, “you overlooked my cats cancer and I had to put her to sleep!”) and Uptown had great reviews. 

J came over to help me load her into her new cat carrier which I’d picked up earlier that day at Petco and it was a battle. She’s a shelter cat so, of course, she was going to be freaked out at the idea of going into a carrier again. We both felt so bad and told her over and over that she was coming back with us and not to be scared. Of course, she didn’t understand so, that’s one drawback to the Cats Not Kids lifestyle. We eventually got her in and called an Uber, which she hated even more. Anjellicle Cats had said that she hated the taxi ride over to my apartment and she hated this car ride too. She mewed like she was being tortured the entire time. Again, we felt so bad.

A few minutes later, we got to Uptown Vets and checked in and it was only a few minutes until we were placed in a room. The offices were bright and clean and they had an office Chihuahua and three office cats. A nurse came in to weigh her and get her details and a few minutes later the vet came in. Playbill was pretty calm by this time. I kept my hand on her, petting her the whole time. The doctor was so great. She gave Playbill lots of catnip and scratches. She said Playbill was on the high end weight-wise for a cat her size. Oh man, I’d always though she was small! 

They told us that she had the most perfect shaped “cat face” that they’d seen in a while and that she was their star patient for the day in terms of behavior (admittedly they said the bar had been set kind of low by other animals that day). Another technician not involved came in and said, “Hello! I saw those eyes looking at me through the door and I had to come in!” Yes, she has huge Pixar eyes. 

I gave the vets her stool sample and they gave her some medicine for her worms. They also gave me monthly anti-flea medicine to put on her to keep her from getting bit and getting worms again. 

She hated the car ride back, but a little less, I think, maybe because she knew she was going home. She flew out of the cat carrier in my apartment and jumped on the bed, giving me a “I’m never going in there again”-look. It wasn’t a cheap vet visit by any means, but it was worth it. 

Cool Apartment

I loved my apartment from the moment I stepped into it. I walked in, took one look around, and said, “I’ll take it,” and thus began 6 months of paperwork and interviews. The set up of my apartment building is neat in that every room has windows – even the bathroom (which in New York is a total luxury). What I didn’t realize until last summer (and was reminded of yesterday) is that my apartment stays eerily temperate on hot summer days. 

Yesterday was New York’s first 90* day since last summer and I was worried about my cat. The air conditioners are from the last owners and they don’t work very well. The “temperature control” on the one in the living apparently doesn’t really work at all, so I couldn’t leave that one unless I wanted it to be on ALL DAY. 

To circumvent killing the environment, I put the AC on for the morning while I was getting ready to cool the place down and before I left, I open two of the windows (not big enough so she could jump out, but just enough for air flow).

While I was walking outside yesterday, I didn’t think it was too particularly scorching out but because I’m fueled by anxiety, I was a little anxious. I know cats like the heat and there wasn’t a lot humidity so I hoped for the best. 

The windows in my place face north and east. It gets a lot of sun in the morning and then not much for the rest of the day. This might sound like a downer if you’re a person who likes SUNLIGHT 24/7, but I’m not. The apartment gets light but not all-day sunbeams in the window creating sun patches for the little lion (aka my cat) to sleep in. 

Although my view is obstructed, somewhat, so is the sun. And that’s awesome because who wants to come home to a super hot apartment? No one, that’s who.

But I did order two new air conditioners yesterday anyway, including one smartphone controlled one, because I was paranoid during the day and I didn’t want to have to feel like that again. 

#cityliving

The Weekend

This weekend was oh-so nice. It started on Friday night when J and I went down to The Library (the bar at the Public) to celebrate his birthday with his friends, many of whom I just adore. It was super fun, though we both probably consumed far too much alcohol. 

We ordered in carb-loaded breakfasts from my local diner the next morning to fight our hangovers before going to see Avenue Q at New World Stages. It was my first time seeing it since 2005 or 2006 and it totally holds up. I’ll write about it more in depth later on but it’s still so great. J loved it SO, SO much. He couldn’t stop talking about it the entire weekend. Now he’s all, “I’m sure Hamilton’s great, but is it funnier than Avenue Q? Probably not.” 

He had to run home and I had to go home to see my cat and take a nap, but we met back up later on to go meet his friend from DC who he hadn’t seen in 3 years. We attempted to go to Flatiron Hall, but it was packed, so we went across the street to a mostly-empty bar (I can’t remember the name) and didn’t leave until probably 1am. So late. It was so exhausting but it was fun. (I nursed one beer the entire time because the thought of drinking more hurt my face.)

Sunday included a trip to Book Culture to take advantage of their 20% off sale. I hate buying books simply because they’re cheap, but I bought a Kon Mari-esque book called The Joy of LessYes Please by Amy Poehler, and Just Kids by Patti Smith. I cooked this sausage/kale/carrot noodle soup from the Inspiralized blog (it’s SO GOOD) and we watched “The Invasion” on HBOGo (it was entertaining and I’d recommend watching it if you’re bored, though it was 100% ridiculous). 

After an hour or so in the gym, I made sausage/carrot noodle/spinach/siracha rice wraps. So good. The rice wrap is kind of hard to handle but worth it not to have all the carbs of a regular wrap. 

We ended the night watching Show Business and later watching Game of Thrones (he watched, I played with my cat). I hadn’t watched Show Business in so long. It brought back so many good memories. To my shock and delight, J found it super interesting and loved seeing the progression of Avenue Q, in addition to watching Raul Esparza do theatre (currently he only knows him as DA Barba on SVU).

Overall, a solid weekend. 

New York Kinda Morning

The universe apparently thought 30 minutes on the elliptical on Tuesday morning wasn’t enough exercise. When I made my way to the train around 8:30, commuters were exiting in a huff and I knew there was an issue with the train. I asked the MTA attendant if a train was going to arrive and she said something like “yes, but I don’t know when and there hasn’t been a train for a while.”

So helpful.

Instead of trying to figure out what was going on, I walked back up and attempted futilely to get on the downtown bus to catch the express a dozen or so blocks away. Everyone else on my line had the same idea so the bus was asked and I just decided to walk it.

Inhaling the morning air, getting my heart rate going (yet again), and stopping for a coffee at Plowshares was a way more ideal situation than waiting to get on a packed train.

But my journey wasn’t over yet. Plain impatience lead to my walking another 8 blocks once the express train arrived at Penn Station. More chilled air and finishing my coffee led me finally to my office. Only about 20 minutes later than usual (not late though, as I’m an early bird).

I could lament about how much the MTA blows (sometimes it does) but mostly I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity for the morning walk. I’m always thankful that my commute is on a train (where I can read), or at the very least, via walking. Because despite all the ways the MTA annoys me (and my fellow denizens of New York, I presume), it’s still the best damn transit system in the best damn city in the entire world.

And I get to live here.

Drama-Free Valentine’s Day

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I’m happy to say Valentine’s Day was drama free. I wasn’t expecting any drama (my dude and I are both pretty chill) but after hearing some friend’s stories, I was extra grateful. We went to a friend’s party in Brooklyn – walking way too far in the frigid cold from Barclays after the F train was refusing to appear. The party was lots of fun and we we were diabetic after from ingesting way too much sugar, as expected. We stopped at Sugar Shoppe on the way home, and Fat Daddy Taco (we needed to eat food that wasn’t 95% sugar).

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We started Sunday off with a leisurely brunch at The Hamilton before showering and attempting our plans of milkshakes and The Boy. Upon arriving at Black Tap in the Meatpacking District, we witnessed the most ridiculous wrapping line plus a bouncer in 10* weather and immediately abandoned ship. Starving, we stopped at The Diner on 14th and 9th for some delicious (albeit overpriced) comfort food. We hopped on the train to 42nd Street to attempt an earlier showing of The Boy. It’s been out for weeks, so how could there be a problem? It turns out that EVERYONE wants to go to the movies when it’s Arctic outside so our movie was sold out plus the theatre was mobbed because the machines to buy tickets were down.

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the scene outside Black Tap Burger. guys, they’re just milkshakes. 

Our plans were just not meant to be, I guess. We ended up making dinner at my apartment and settling in for a double-header of Frozen (that was better than I expected, said Justin) and a movie called Dark Skies (it’s a thriller about aliens with Kerry Russell and I totally enjoyed it).

And we ate more candy. So much candy. Because: Valentine’s Day.