Friday, September 21, 2012

I've had the time of my life...

What did I do this Summer you ask?
Well here is an abridged list...

I traveled. To new places, to old places.
I traveled with friends, to see friends and made a TON of new ones.
I traveled with family and even by myself.
I traveled a whole lot of miles to see my favorite band all over the country, even all the way to the west coast.
I got Dave Matthews to turn around on his bike and come back to say hi to me (and others) and also wear my sock monkey hat in the middle of a heatwave.
I gave Stefan Lessard a monkey and my autograph. (not kidding)
I rediscovered love & happiness again.
I might have found what U2 was looking for...
I traveled across an ocean for the 1st time.
I walked around London like I owned it. and I walked A LOT.
I got tattooed. (of course)
I got to experience an Olympic city in person.
I officially confirmed my nerdiness for all that is Harry Potter by going here.
I took a bazillion pictures. yes, 1 bazillion. pictures of what? pictures of EVERYTHING. (You can see all my London pictures here and all my DMB pictures are in albums on Facebook)
I met some Olympians. and Danny Devito.
I had about 4 or 5 famous people tell me that my tattoos are 'really cool', 'very nice' or 'sick'.
I got to talk to and drink whiskey with one of my favorite English musicians.
I also got the drunkest I've been in a LONG time in London.(thank you, Frank Turner)
I was in the most kickass picture ever taken on Abbey Road (sorry Paul, John, George & Ringo but it's true):
I got to do roll call at Yankee Stadium with Bald Vinny & the Bleacher Creatures. (!!!!!!)
I got on the jumbotron at Yankee Stadium while doing my best YMCA. (the C goes to the left people)
I got on TV while singing and dancing like a fool. several times.

Basically with a mix of spontaneity, luck and a whole lot of love, I have had some of the most memorable & incredibly amazing times of my life this summer. It will certainly be hard to top it.

Goodbye Summer 2012. You will be missed and forever remembered.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Free Thought Fridays (Issue 9) - Triple Threat Edition

I know, I know. I haven't posted in 3 weeks. In my defense, I have been busy. And no, that's not an excuse like "oh, sorry I haven't called you back - I've been SO busy that I can't pick up the phone, hit 1 button to talk to you while I do some random other thing and multitask" kind of excuse - I have been BUSY busy.

Here are some of the things I have done in the last 3 weeks (in no particular order):

~working my BUTT off (I have been a slave to the Paley Center this past month.)
~saw Sleep No More
~went to 2 concerts
~went to the Brooklyn Flea
~got more tattoo work done (left forearm is still a work in progress)
~cleaning up after my cats (this requires A LOT of time - they are just like teenagers I swear)
~going to Yoga
~NOT drinking ( i've gone over 1 month of no alcohol! yeah, I KNOW right?!)
~going to brunch
~opening an online savings account (nothing says 'you're a grown up' more than that statement I just wrote down)
~asking anyone who knows anything about London about places to go/things to do when I'm there
~fighting a losing battle against my sinuses (I foresee another z-pack in my future)
~practicing my dance routines (practicing them in my head counts, right?)
~sleeping whenever possible
~spent hours previewing songs on itunes debating on whether I like it enough to buy it or just continue to listen to it on Spotify
~spent hours on youtube watching things like this or like this and finally this

So yeah, I've been pretty busy.

I would write more but at this moment but I'm going home to sleep and attempt to breathe normally again.

Wish me luck.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Free Thought Fridays (Issue 8) - Monday Edition

Doing the Monday thing again - work has been pretty hectic with Paley Fest starting last week and all - plus I wanted something to distract me from doing work today so here I am.

Round Trip flight to London has been purchased! It's actually happening people, I'm leaving the United States and going abroad. This is the first real adult vacation and the first time I've taken any sort of vacation in over a decade. Next on my agenda - get a passport (yeah, I've never had one of those.) I'm hoping to get that done sometime this week at the post office. I guess it's time to dig out my birth certificate.

Also, all 3 dates that I requested for the DMB 2012 Summer tour are MINE! Alpine & Bethel, here I come! Also, I'm bringing my Mom to her first DMB show. Yep. That is also going to happen this Summer.

Spring is almost here! and I can't wait to see this happen - and the Botanical Garden is right across the street from my apartment! I'm also really excited to see this exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum which is also right across the street from me. (Don't tell anyone but in the almost 2 years that I've been living in Prospect Heights, I haven't been to either of these amazing places - I know, I'm terrible.)

and now a random thought on the subject of museums:
When I was younger, I used to think that the giant blue whale that hangs in the Ocean Life Hall at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan was real. I knew it wasn't alive anymore (duh - it needed to be in water to survive) but I thought it was some sort of frozen/preserved version of an actual blue whale. I also thought I would be the one it would come crashing down and fall on if I walked underneath it.

As promised, here is my newest ink:

I go back in about 2 weeks to get some more work done on my left forearm.

and I leave you all with this: a recipe for Funfetti Cake Batter Dip. yeah, I know - I'm evil.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Free Thought Fridays (Issue 7)

I usually don't participate in the whole Lent 'giving something up' deal but I think I'm going to challenge myself this year. Hell, if I can quit smoking, I think I can do just about anything. So I decided to give up alcohol. Yep, you read that correctly. It's definitely going to be challenging to do for 40 straight days but I'm pretty confident I can do it.

I'm getting new ink tomorrow! There are very few things that get me as excited as getting tattoo work done. I'm really excited to see how my ideas all come together tomorrow. and yes, pictures will most definitely be posted in next week's FTF.

In the last 10 days, I've gotten flowers (delivered to my job no less) and a mixed CD from a guy. I must be doing something right. or that magic spell is really working.

Mixes (tapes or CDs or playlists) are completely underrated - if you love music and getting a creative gift, then you really can't go wrong with getting a mix from someone. Sure you might not love ALL the songs but I guarantee you will discover a new song by a band you love or a new artist all together. I'm going to start utilizing this gift more. (hint hint, friends and loved ones)

It kind of bothers me when the only person who gets the final Jeopardy! question right doesn't win the overall game.

The top 2 reasons I am so excited to go to London this Summer (and I'm not joking):
-to hear everyone talk in an English accent
-to re-enact this scene from "National Lampoon's European Vacation"

Speaking of London (warning: Nerd Alert ahead), upon thinking about places to go & what to do when I visit this summer, I immediately knew I wanted to go here. And yes, I know I'm 31 years old but this will be one kick ass place to visit.

Also, if you have suggestions/tips/advice about London, PLEASE comment below or email me. I'm really interested in everything and anything people have to tell me.

and I leave you with this - while looking through old pictures the other day, I came across this one - looks like I knew how to rock out from the beginning:

Me around 8 or 9 months old (I was a FAT baby.)

Me in August 2011 at Coney Island.
(Damn, I have some WHITE ASS legs.)

Yeah. Not much has changed in 31 years.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Free Thought Fridays (Issue 6)

I got an orchid for valentine's day. For only the 3rd time in my 31.5 years on this planet (yeah that percent is pretty terrible - let's not even think about it.) It's starting to look pretty pathetic though - I don't really know what to do with flowers/plants but to water am I allowed to have animals? Maybe it's best I don't continue to receive flowers.

I got kicked out a bar for only the second time in my life last weekend (and I don't remember the 1st instance except that I somewhat remember ordering a gin gimlet - I don't even know what's in that. yeah, I was WASTED.) Let's hope that I am not shunned from the Ale House for all eternity.

Not only did DMB tour dates get announced this week (I'm only going to 2 stops this tour - shocking I know) but I also figured out when & how long I will be in London this summer. I'm pretty sure I will be out of NYC more than in it for the month of July. Making vacation plans to do SUPER FUN AWESOME things is getting me so excited for this summer. Plus it's helping me forget that it's only February.

It's such a shame when amazing, hardworking, talented people I know get shit on. Working in the arts is a tough, no-fucks given business.

The first few pieces of music I remember owning were: 45s of Wham! "Wake Me Up (Before You Go-Go), Stevie Wonder "I just called to say I Love You" and cassette tapes of the following: Billy Ocean's Caribbean Queen, Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas Album, The Dirty Dancing Soundtrack and Whitney Houston's "The Greatest Love of All". I'm pretty sure the cassettes (except for the Chipmunks) all belonged to my Mom before I 'borrowed' them but I remember hearing Whitney at a young age and being in awe of her voice. In 3rd grade, some girls and I made up a dance to do at a school talent show to "I wanna Dance with Somebody" (which I'm pretty sure consisted of us 'step-touch'ing, putting our hands in the air and turning a lot) but we thought we rocked since we were dancing along to Whitney's awesome vocals and that catchy beat. Then in the early 90s, I was slightly obsessed with The Bodyguard soundtrack (don't judge). Whitney's ability to turn a song into a hit was magic. She really had an amazing gift and we were all very lucky to experience it. She was an icon, a diva, a voice of a generation. Her legacy won't soon be forgotten. Thanks for the memories and wonderful music, Whitney.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Free Thought Fridays (Issue 5)

This week has been busy and I don't really feel well so this Issue will be short.

My sinuses are out of control. I can't breathe, it feels like my head is going to explode and I just want to curl up in bed and sleep. How is it that I feel worse than I did last week?

I definitely do not like the new Facebook timeline layout. It's awful. Things that I thought I posted on my wall don't seem to be there or at least they're not visible to me. Shit is just all over the place in different sized boxes. It definitely is making me consider limiting my time on it now - I really like it for the albums/pictures and for events/invites but other than that, I think my Facebook days are numbered.

There is still much to consider but I'm about 80-85% sure I will be going to London this summer.

I'm going to try to leave work a little early, go to the walk-in clinic & hopefully get some antibotics - Anyone want to make me dinner and bring it to sick little me?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Free Thought Fridays (Issue 4 - Monday Edition)

Pardon me for not holding true to the Friday part of this entry. In my defense, work was a bit crazy and I ended up making some last minute plans Friday night. Then it hit me Saturday afternoon when I was coming back from the gym that I had forgotten to post my weekly entry.
I'm not perfect. I forget shit sometimes. There I said it. Let's move on.

In the last 2 weeks, I have been to the movies 3 times. I think I saw a total of 2 movies in the theater in all of 2011 so I'm already ahead of the game this year.

I don't care what anyone else says or how much people laugh at me, Forrest Gump will always be in my Top 5 of my favorite movies ever. From the moment I saw it for the 1st time in the theater back in 1994 (by accident mind you - my best friend and I had wanted to go see something else but I think it was sold out), it has left a lasting impression on me. I don't know exactly why I felt that way about it but I won't forget that feeling of awe after the movie was over. Honestly, I'm glad that other movie was sold out - it still remains one of the best movies I've seen in the theater.
"I happen to believe you make your destiny. You have to do the best with what God gave you."

My sinuses and I are at war. Right now they are winning the battle of "not letting Nicole breathe and making her head all achy and stuffy." I feel so sluggish. It sucks.

I bought a pair of plain old blue Levis last week for the 1st time in I can't even remember.

and last but not least, I leave you all with this link. I stumbled across it when I was doing some research:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Free Thought Fridays (Issue 3)

- It's official: I think I'm starting to like this whole working out thing. Notice, I didn't say I'm becoming a 'gym rat' because that's not true - I despise the gym. I always have. It's just not my thing. I like doing sports or taking classes or having a designated workout to work from. I can't just go to the gym and work out. I need someone to tell me what to do and how many times and when. But now that I found a place in my neighborhood that is close by, relatively small and really awesome, I have been using a lot of my free time to go to classes and I really am starting to like it. As much as I don't want to get out of bed or change out of my pajamas to get there, by the time I'm done, I feel good. I feel good that I succeeded in kicking some butt and sweating my ass off. I feel good about not being lazy and staying active. That feeling is what's fueling me to get up at 6am some mornings when my eyes might not want to stay open or my body wants to crawl back under the covers. So if I'm not at work or at home, you most likely find me working out now :)

- I'm going to start going to the movies more often. I don't go that much now mainly because they are so expensive - I only really go when it's a) something I really want to see and b) something that will be worth seeing in the theater. But I found out last year that through my cable/internet company I can get special discounts at events and places. One of them is at Clearview Cinemas - I can get discounted movie tickets pretty much anytime I want (with a few exceptions) and Tuesdays I can see 2 tickets for free. I definitely do not take advantage of that enough. My friend and I going to try to go once a week, preferably on Tuesdays. We saw Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close this past Tuesday and I'm going to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo tonight. 2 movies in 1 week! whoa.

- I'm almost finished reading The Girl that Played with Fire - 1 new book down, 11 to go for the year! (maybe even more)

and finally, this happened today:

yeah. My Dad was asked to do the lighting for some Super Bowl Promos so I stopped by to check it out this morning. Bob Costas was also there - that man is a riot. He was cracking jokes in between takes.

unbeknownst to me, my dad took this picture while we were talking:

He either looks really interested in what we are talking about or is like 'who the F is this girl and why is she talking to me?'
ha, no I don't think Jimmy Fallon really would say that - He was and is one of the nicest people I've ever met. He knows my Dad and when my Dad introduced me, he was said "Oh wow! Hi! It's really nice to meet you!" and preceded to give me not 1, 2, but 3 kisses on my cheek. I was definitely not expecting that. (I should mention that he, my Dad and a couple of other guys hung out in the Vancouver Airport when they were waiting for their flights coming back from the Winter Olympics 2010 - it's official, my father knows EVERYONE.) We talked for a few minutes about SNL since I interned when he was there and about taking LNJF on the road for the Super Bowl. He was excited but also nervous about it all going well. If it goes anything like the promo I saw get shot today (Jimmy was wearing tap shoes for it :wink wink:) it will be A-MAZING. He really has grown as a comedian, entertainer and person since his SNL days.

I wanted to tell him that I thought he looked awesome in Bill Murray's bee costume at the end of the SNL show he hosted in December but I forgot. I'll probably run into him again - I'm at 30 Rock almost as much as my Dad practically :)

What a great end to a kind of crazy week.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Free Thought Fridays (Issue 2)

oh hi! I'm back, just like I said I would be.
Oh, you thought I wouldn't post something again for a couple of months?
Here I am. Rocking this blog like a hurricane!
(Yeah, I went there. Sorry.)

- Earlier this week I said "I really really really hate medical insurance companies" as I was inconvenienced with some new year bullshit while trying to get a prescription refilled at CVS. Well, I called the member services #, I spoke with a customer rep. who was not only helpful in resolving my issue but was nice and friendly. So I partially take back what I said about medical insurance companies - I do have anger against them for the rates they make me pay but I don't hate them. CVS, on the otherhand, can kiss my ass.

- Why are people so against doing their own taxes? People seriously have issues about that. You would think that the world is ending when they get handed their W2. I got my W2 yesterday and within 10 minutes, I found the 2011 tax forms & info online and figured out how much money I was going to get back from the IRS (forget NY state - that government is so fucked up they don't know which way is up.) Maybe it's because I have no dependents, deductions, withholdings or any money for that matter but I mean, come on - it's simple math with god damn step by step instructions, people! The only reason I started to file online is because it's free & you get your refund faster but for years I used to just do the math and mail it in myself. So get a calculator and a pencil and take 20 minutes to do your taxes. I guarantee that will feel like an adult afterward.

- My brain is on constant overdrive lately.
How's my Mom doing by herself in the middle of nowhere Illinois?
When is my Dad going to explode from being lonely and/or working too hard?
Why won't my cat stop throwing up everywhere?
How am I going to budget in a vacation this year when I just barely cover paying my bills?
Why do I continue to feel worthless and lonely?
Why hasn't anyone invented clothing that washes itself?
Why can't I just stay in my warm bed all the time and watch Law & Order reruns?
(and breathe)
Yeah - I'm a giant stress ball.
When I can't turn off my brain, I can't sleep. When I can't sleep, I get tired and cranky and more stressed out. It's a god damn cycle of hell. I wish it would end.

- Am I the only person in the universe that emails things to themselves? If I need to remind myself to do/get something or go somewhere, I will email it to myself. It's the updated version of writing on the back of my hand (which I used to do all the time and occasionally still do). I know there are reminder apps and alerts and to-do lists but honestly, I look at my email all the time and it works best for me. so FUCK OFF.

- I'm going to the ballet tomorrow. I haven't been since I think I was 8 or 9. I'm beyond excited.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Free Thought Fridays

Last week I posted on this blog for the first time in months. MONTHS. I posted some goals for the new year and as I read the entry back and heard some feedback from friends, I realized something: I haven't been writing at all lately. Nothing. Not a damn thing. and especially not on here. I used to scribble things down that would pop into my head, like an idea/theme to focus on/write about or a place/moment in time or I want to remember later or even, god forbid, what I might be feeling. My writing days seem to have gotten buried away some place, like old toys that don't get played with as often or clothes that don't fit us quite like they used to.

I think it's time I start to dig them out.

But a blog entry sometimes,especially for me, seems like a daunting task - what should I write about? why can't I think of anything to say? What if it's not interesting/too short/too long/not intelligent enough/not funny enough/doesn't mean anything? (Yeah, that's how my brain works.)

So I'm starting...
Wait for it.....

"Free Thought Fridays"

Basically every Friday, I'm just going to try to post random thoughts, feelings, dreams, wishes, likes, hates, lists, etc., whatever is going through my brain on a given Friday in any particular order or form. If I have a specific topic/theme I want to talk about, awesome! but let's be realistic here, I'm pretty boring. This will not only help me get some thoughts onto paper/blog but Fridays in my office tend to be on the slow side so this will help kill time. So I'll write something and then you can read it! Everybody WINS!

So here's my first entry for "Free Thought Fridays":

- I'm about 98% sure I going to sign up for my 1st 5k run. Yeah, you read that right. I'm going to do a 5K. Feel free to laugh - I most certainly am. More on that in upcoming months.

- So winter seems to have finally arrived. I don't know about you but I was perfectly fine with the 60 degree sunny days in NYC. Bring it on, global warming!

- I don't think I will ever understand adult males thought proces on how to make snd keep plans. Seriously, what is so god damn hard about taking out your iPhone or Blackberry, clicking the calendar button and checking to see if you are free on a specific date? Sure, I understand emergencies happen or the occasional impromptu/spontaneous plan but I'm not talking those instances. But when I've been talking to someone for awhile and we pick a day and time to go out and, more than once, I get cancelled on the same day without a reason, sorry but there is don't assume that there's going to be a spot for you in my calendar next week. When did making dinner plans after work become worse than getting x-rays taken at the dentist? Or what's worse is the last minute, "Hey, what are you up to? what are you doing right now?" I'm at work or I'm at the gym or I'm at home watching Breaking Bad in my pajamas because you didn't return my phone call from 3 days ago when I asked what you were doing this week. Guys, grow up and get your shit together.

- I will get at least 1 new tattoo this year. and maybe even start on a 2nd. more to come on that.

- Peppermint Taffy might be my new favorite candy.

- this isn't news but I watch too much TV.

Alright I think that's good enough for today...

Friday, January 6, 2012

a new year.

A lot happens in a year.

In 2011, I lost my last living grandparent, I found out that humans can in fact contract ringworm, I met more awesome famous people than the average person mets in a lifetime, I got more ink, I went to an after-after party for the 1st time in my life, and I finally decorated my apartment.

You may lose people, places & things in a yeat but you also can gain them too.

exactly 1 year ago today, i wrote this.

go read it - i'll wait.

did you read it? good. (you better not be lying to me! if you didn't read it, the rest of this won't really make sense.)

I did 3 of those 7 things. I know that's not a very good statistic but you know what? WHO CARES?! no one asked you! it's 3 more things than I did the year before, the year before that, maybe even possibly ever.

and just to gloat a bit more, here are the 3 things I succeeded in doing in 2011:

I quit smoking. FUCK YEAH I DID! It's been exactly 366 days. I still can't believe I was able to do it (cold turkey no less) and then continue to stay cigarette-free without murdering someone.
I really believe that the support helped me get through it - from my parents, my friends, all 8 of you that read my blog and even the Government (the taxes on cigarettes are INSANE now, esp in NY - $12 a pack?! yeah no THANKS) but I thank each and everyone of you for the support whether it was a text saying 'Good Job!' or by not giving me a smoke when I semi-drunkingly asked or just by being an awesome person/friend. Thank you.

I saw more. I saw more of my friends and even made a lot of amazing new ones. I saw more art, in the theater, in museums, in me. I saw about 8609242358921 concerts this past year. Ok, maybe not that many but it certainly felt like I did attend that many shows. Some of my favorite & best times of the year where spent at shows. I made some amazing new friends and reconnected with awesome old friends. If I were to list all of the concerts I have been to this past year, it would look like someone was given a serious amount of drugs and then told to make a playlist for their ipod.... Actually, maybe I did those drugs when I was buying all the tickets. A true concert goer never reveals their secrets.

and the last thing I succeeded in doing (which was originally just half fantasy/half jokingly put on the list) was purely awesome. I actually met Tina Fey (well, re-met) and I told her exactly what I wanted to tell her. I have no words to describe how awesome it was so I'm just going to post this link that sums it up nicely: blerg!

Also (not on the list) thanks to my Nalgene bottle, I started drinking more water this past year.

So, you're probably thinking, "Well you did SO well with some of those things on your list from last year, what are you planning to work on or do this year?"

Well since you asked, I'm taking the same approach as last year - doing things I actually want to do, not just force myself to do because it's the New Year and I want to fix or work on something.

1) keep up with working out - I have been loving this routine of going to Yoga once or twice a week that I've been doing for about a month now. Also, after 14 years, I dusted off the old jazz & tap shoes and got back into dance in May and will definitely continue that this year. I'm trying to just stay active, fit and maybe loose a couple of pounds in the process. Oh and I want to have guns. Yeah you heard me. GUNS.

2) READ - I just don't read enough published work anymore. I go through spurts where I'll read like 2 or 3 books in a row and then I don't read for months. I am going to try to read 12 books I've never read before this year - that gives me 1 a month and I already have a few lined up to read.

3) start saving more money - this will probably be my hardest goal but i really need to take this seriously.

and then my couple of fantasy "highly unlikely to happen" goals:

4) get a job with 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'
5) meet any or all of the following: Tom Hanks, Mariska Hargitay, Molly Shannon (again)
6) convince Frank Turner that I am his one true love and run away to England with him :)

Ok, I think that's a good start. Let's do this, 2012 - BRING IT!