Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snowpocalypse 2010

The one thing I dread about owning a car is what happens when it snows. The roads get messy and slippery and my car likes to pretend it is ice skating and then my knuckles go white as I grind my teeth and think of selling my car.

New York City got hit with a huge blizzard that covered the roads giving me a “snow day” from work. Well, sorta. I still had to work from home and as I looked out the window of my building at the snow covered cars and drifts next to them, the realization of the other job I had to do sunk in.

I had to dig out my car and it was plowed in. I got myself bundled up and went out side with a friend who was nice enough to undertake the dreaded task with me. When I got to my car, I found this.

Ugh. This was going to take a while. I started to dig with my plastic blue expandable shovel. The pile of snow on the side of the road was getting a bit bigger but I still was not through the wall of snow between the clear road and the car. We took turns heaving the snow when my friend realized the handle was popping apart from the shovel. We would need to find another one. So off he went to see if any store wasn’t sold out. I keep shoveling until the handle snapped and I was left with just the scoop.

He came back without a shovel and we had to go trek through the snow to find a store that still had shovels in stock. The small hardware store close by had two choices left a huge wide shovel or a large garden shovel. I figured the garden one would fit in my truck. $25 later I was back to digging.

After about 20 minutes, a man arrived and started to dig out his car, which was in front of mine. He had no gloves and was doing a very bad job. He was complaining as we continued to dig. Then he came up with a plan. If he helped to widen the space we were digging, I could move my car out and he could back his car out of the space and move mine back in.

It seemed like a good idea with less digging for me. Another guy asked if we wanted help and he said we did and he would pay him. I stood back and watched the space get bigger and bigger until my car could fit through. I was able to get it out without much of a problem. Then the other guy had to move his car in reverse, which proved to be a bigger problem since he hadn’t shoveled any of the snow away from his tires.

Once his car was out he got a phone called and wandered away leaving me to try to maneuver my car back into the spot. The other guy was telling me how to turn my wheel and how to get my car back in for about 10 minutes. Until he told me he doesn’t drive so has not idea what he was saying. Thanks, dude. Then the other car guy came back and apologized casue he was on the phone with his friend who was in jail. What did I expect parking on the Spanish Harlem border?

With the combination of pounding on the gas in reverse with 3 guys pushing on the hood of my car, the Camry was back in its spot. The guy paid the other guy $20 even though all he asked for was $11. How freaking weird is that?

Two days later, she is still there because I fear if I drive to work when I come back to the city there will be no parking spots at all.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pre- black friday deal!

Today, I went to Old Navy looking for a puffy vest. I knew they would have some pre-Black Friday sales but was no prepared for what happened next. As I walked into the store, a friendly associate handed me a mystery coupon to be used that day. It said that I could get $2, $3, $10 or $25 off my purchase. My puffy vest was $17.70 so I figured a few bucks off would be nice. I got to the cashier and she scanned my coupon and it was for $25 off! So she told me I could go get another item and then cut the line to pay.

Shocked that I would be getting such a great deal, I looked around the store for something that was around $8. I found a fleece sweater that was exactly $8. I contemplated which color I wanted and went back to the register. They rang up my purchases and I owed them 73 cents for both! Beat that crazy Black Friday 4 am shoppers!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tales from the George Washington Bridge

Everyday, when I drive home from work, I have to go through a tollbooth for the George Washington Bridge. The EZpass doesn’t give any discounts to commuters so in order to not pay the $8 each day to cross the bridge I fill my car with two other people. This allows me to go through the cash lane and say the secret password to get my toll down to $2. It’s not really a secret but when you sign up for EZpass you can add on the carpool option and when you go through the cash lane you say “carpool” and the toll collector presses a button that gives you the reduced toll.

Usually there is this cranky woman who pushes the button before I even have my window rolled down and when I say “carpool” she nods her head and that’s it. She isn’t the nicest but she does recognize me everyday. Yesterday, I pulled up to the tollbooth and there was a man I had never seen before. I told him “carpool” and he said “I got it!” then as I was about to drive away he said “stay beautiful!”. My face immediately turned beet red as I thanked him.

A discount toll and a free compliment, thanks New Jersey!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Shower Bliss

A whiff of winter slipped through the tiny opening in the bathroom window while I was took a shower last night. The scent of the impending change in weather made me smile and think of my soon to be bundled up body wrapped in my favorite bulky sweaters. I turned to water up just a bit hotter and watched my skin turn pink in reaction to the heat. As I went to grab the shampoo, I realized that I could barely see through the air to the front of the shower. The steam had mixed with the cool air seeping in from the window and formed a cloud right in my bathroom. I stood still for a few minutes with the water pounding on my back, enjoying being inside my own private cloud. At that moment, nothing could bother me.

Bang, Bang. “I need my toothbrush”, came from the other side of the bathroom door. Ah, the joy of living with roommates. She opened the door and my little cloud escaped out of the bathroom. My moment of bliss was over.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Don't oversleep in NYC...

Owning a car in NYC means that oversleeping could come with a hefty monetary punishment. Last week, I overslept for the first time in 3 years. I opened my eyes and nearly screamed when I saw the clock read 9:29. I had to be at work by 9:30 but most importantly alternative side parking was in effect and I had parked in a stop that had to be vacated by 9:30 on Tuesday morning. I quickly checked the website just in case it was some holiday I had never heard of and the street cleaning rules were not in effect today. Nope, I had to move my car. I tossed on a pair of pants and a shirt, grabbed my car keys and ran into my hallway. After punching the down button 10 times, the elevator finally came and I was off. Now I do love biking but running and I do not get along. My asthma flairs up and I am left gasping for breathe after 1 block.

My car was three blocks away from my apartment and the fear of a parking ticket propelled me down the street. As I was running I remembered that along with a ticket, my car could be permanently defaced with this sticker...

I had seen these on many cars in the neighborhood and the thought of having to scrape at the bright yellow sticker for hours gave me chills. I arrived at my car at 9:39 to find it completely alone on the side of the street. The last car parked, the only target for a traffic cop or worse an angry sanitation worker.

I scanned the windshield and the side windows and relaxed. I had made it and there was no ticket in sight. I got very lucky. My building has a circle in front where you can leave your car for 10 minutes. You give the doorman your keys and run upstairs to drop something or or in my case get dressed for work! I ran a brush through my hair and teeth and I was to NJ a little late but happy that I owed no money to NYC!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

and how old are you?

Although I am 28 years old, I look very young. Depending on what I am wearing I can usually pass for a college age kid. I almost always get carded, except when I order a scotch, my drink of choice. I guess most underage kinds don't enjoy a good single malt.

This past weekend I was at a craft fair on the boardwalk with my family when I saw a booth featuring the new voting machines for NY. These new machines are paper ballots that once you finish filling them out, you scan the paper into the machine. Being slightly involved in politics, I wanted to take a look at them. I walked over to the machine, took a ballot and fake voted. It is a pretty interesting system although I am not sure it will work better than the lever machines.

I was about to leave the booth when a woman asked if we would fill out a survey about the new machines. I said sure and and I took one and she laughed and said "It's for your parents." I looked at her strangely. She replied, "Or will you be able to vote in this years election?"

I started fuming and impolitely blurted out, "I am 28 years old!"

She asked, "Really? Gosh, you look 17!"

My dad saw what was happening and came over to pull me away before I completely freaked out on the woman. 17! really?? Come on, do I really look like a high school student? My 10 year high school reunion is this year!

I know some people would love to be mistaken for a high school student but not me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I’m a true New Yorker!

I heard somewhere that you can’t call yourself a real New Yorker unless you have lived in the city for more than 10 years. Well, I have only lived here for 5 years but an incident this past weekend has me questioning that theory.

I was headed out to a very causal wedding in Pennsylvania so I tossed on a fun polka dot dress, a pair of heels and a black chain link strap bag. I drove my car to PA and had offered to drive home a girl I had never met. I was going to ask the bride who she was so that she could put her bags in my car before we ate. Before I could get over to her, a girl approached me.

She said my name and I looked at her funny. She told me she thought that she knew who I was before she even asked the bride. I was confused and she went on to say that “You are very New York City with your high heels, dress and Vera Wang bag!”

I laughed and looked around at all the other guests. Everyone was dressed much more causally that I was. No one was wearing heels and everyone looked relaxed including the bride in her sundress and flip-flops.

I stuck out like a sore thumb as a trendy, stereotypical NYC girl! Although I’m not sure if that is a good thing but it was pretty cool to be recognized as a real NYC girl!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adventures in Biking

This past Saturday I decided to take a trip out of the city. I decided to leave the car at home and bike to a small town in Rockland County about 22 miles outside of Manhattan.

My friend planned out the route and starting at 9:30 am on Saturday we were off on a biking adventure. The weather was perfect as we conquered the streets of Manhattan all the way up to the George Washington Bridge. The bridge was gleaming in the sun under the clear blue sky. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. As we pedaled across the bridge, I thought about how lucky I was to be able to use the power of my body to propel myself on my little red bike. Here is the view from the bike lane on the GW bridge.

We got to New Jersey and biked past my office building then down a crazy hill! I was flying so fast at almost 25 miles an hour, smiling while the wind hit against my cheeks. I wish I could bike downhill forever. It feels so freeing.

After riding a few more miles, the landscape changed and there were farms and a horse backing riding school with horses right by the side of the road. What a huge change from the bustling city. I wanted to stop at a farm stand but didn’t have any place to put the goodies.

We arrived at in Piermont and immediately saw why cyclists chose to ride to this town. There are bike racks outside each store and no one locks them up! I’m such a jaded New Yorker and was nervous to leave my bike even though it was next to bikes worth thousands!

After a quick lunch and bathroom break at a store Lance Armstrong ate at, we went back to cycling. Everything was going great until I got a leg cramp, in both legs. I popped some Advil and begrudgingly got back on the bike.

Remember that beautiful downhill I spoke of so lovingly earlier? Well what goes down...must come back up. This monster of a hill was stuck in my mind and I started to worry. What would happen if I could not make it up? This was not a bike tour with support just a phone call away.

My buddy thought he found a route that would be less of a hill for us to climb. But he was very very wrong. I had to put my bike in the complete lowest gear and push so hard on the pedals for fear that I would roll back down the incline. It really tired me out but I finally got to the top. Of the first hill. There was another one hiding behind a tiny little downhill. Damn! At this point I had run out of water and Gatorade and was near tears. I had no choice but to get to the top and I did it but not without cursing out every sliver of asphalt under my tires.

Once back on flat road I was incredibly tired but still had over 10 miles until I would arrive back at home where a hot shower was waiting. I sucked up the exhaustion and pain and pedaled back over the bridge and through Manhattan stopping once at an ice cream truck to get some water.

This ride was an exciting adventure and great training for the NYC Century, which I will be riding in only a few weeks.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dinner and the Single Girl

This is the start of a series of blog posts where I bitch about being single. Here is the first of many blogs where I talk about things that are much harder when you do not have a significant other in your life. So, if you are sick of hearing this stuff, don’t read it. I might follow this up with reasons why it is great to be single but maybe not…

Everyone has to eat about 3 meals a day. Breakfast during the week is easy. Lunch during the week is a bit more complicated because I bring mine to work every day. I have to either bring leftovers from the night before or make food that morning but once again this meal is consumed at work so there is no need to be upset about eating alone. But this post is about dinner….

Oh, dinner. How I hate the nightly fight I have with you. It’s the meal that tortures single girls everywhere. Cooking for one sucks. Every night, I play this game with myself:

Do I want to…

a) cook for myself and end up eating a fancy meal alone?

b) nuke a crappy frozen meal and scarf it down fast so I don’t have to think about it?

c) screw it and order in an overpriced dinner?

d) go out to a restaurant ALONE?

Option a makes me pretty sad but it’s what happens most of the time because of my desire to eat healthy and save some money. I dream up gourmet meals with exotic ingredients, plated with beautiful garnishes. Then I remember I am cooking for one and there is no need to impress myself. So I toss together some sad gluey pasta with sauce and whatever frozen veggie is in the freezer.

Last night, I attempted to cook a fancy meal, Bean’s coconut curry with quinoa and tempeh. Yes, I put my name on it because I made it up myself! I started cooking and as I chopped up the veggies and tossed ingredients into the pots and pans, I had two sinking feelings. One, that I would have to clean up the dishes and mess that I made, all by myself. I had used a frying pan, two pots, a cutting board and a variety of utensils. Two, that I was cooking enough food to feed a family of four.

Here is a picture of the food cooking in the pan. It actually turned out delicious but yummy enough for me to eat it for the next 4 meals? No way. I’m sure some of my food will end up in the trash, which breaks my heart, but I am a single girl and tossing out food is a regular occurrence.

As I scooped the food into four take out containers, I thought about my single status and how sad I was that no one got to enjoy this meal with me. I took the time to create something tasty but all I got were some tears while I was washing the mountain of dishes.

I am going to skip talking about option b because anyone single girl or in anyone in a couple can do that if they are busy. It’s option c that sucks. Ordering in costs extra money for the privilege of eating a restaurant meal cooked at home. Most of the time I can’t afford this option but sometimes I treat myself and will bring in food. I usually eat it in front of the TV and inhale it too fast. There goes my hard earned money and usually I am still hungry.

Option d is for the bold, happy single girl. I have tried a few times to go out to eat on my own but I need to be armed with an arsenal of things to keep me occupied while dining out alone. I have found that a book seems like a good idea but it is hard to turn pages while shoveling food into your mouth. I feel like the server is constantly bothering you and the worst feeling is when you ask for a table for one and they scoop away the second table setting and seat you in the back corner at the worst table. It’s not worth the embarrassment I feel sitting alone when I go out to eat myself.

So there you have it… dinner… one of a single girl’s worst enemies.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I am in medical bill insurance HELL!

Whatever you do, don’t get into an accident on your bicycle with a NYC taxicab. You will lose hours and hours of your life trying to get the medical bills paid. Here is the breakdown so far of my struggle. The bill is still unpaid and just days away from going into collections.

• Get into an accident while bike riding with a taxicab. Get taken the hospital in an ambulance and turns out I am fine just a bit beat up.

• Attempt to get police report two days after the accident. They only accept money orders or checks, which of course I don’t have with me so I don’t get it.

• Get letter in the mail from health insurance that the hospital bills will be covered but the ambulance bill will not be. The bill is $522.

• Call the FDNY ambulance and ask why they wont take my insurance, they said they would put it through again.

• My dad gets a call from them because they mixed up my number and my emergency contact number (IDIOTS) asking him to pay my bill. He tells them to call me.

• I talk to them and they tell me that my medical insurance won’t cover it so I have to use my car insurance. I yell at them I WAS NOT IN A CAR I WAS ON A BIKE! They say sorry, and that the cab should pay the bill.

• I call my insurance and ask what they need from me to get this bill paid. They said I need the insurance info from the cab and my car. Once again, I scream at them I WAS ON A BIKE! You are not using my car insurance info and since I was in the ambulance I don’t have the guy’s insurance info.

• I figure out that I need to get the police report so I walk 30 blocks to the station to get it only to learn that it is thirty days after the accident and the report has “gone to Albany”. I have to fill out a form to mail with a $10 check to get it in the mail. So I mail it out.

• Two weeks later, I get a letter from Albany returning my check saying that they wont give me the report and that I have to get it from the DMV because it was a car accident and it will now cost me $25!

• At this point, I start to freak out and scream that this system is beyond stupid and my very good friend suggests that I contact my elected officials and have them help. Since I know two of them, I call both offices and get two different people to attempt to get the report for me. A week goes by and I get a call back from both offices asking for more details. After a few days, they both tell me that an officer from some bureau will give me the report at the station if I bring my trusty $10 check (that is now dated two months ago).

• So I call the police station and they say that officer is only in the office from 7am -3pm. I had to beg my friend to help me to get the report by coming with me before work to sit in the car so that I could run in and get the report without double parking.

• I walk into the station with my forms and check and tell them what I need. Of course the person I need to talk to isn’t there so I have to explain everything to another officer and he says he will see what he can do. He disappears for 10 minutes and comes back with the piece of paper, hands it to me, winks and tells me that I don’t have to give him the check. Thanks officer for thinking I was cute and saving me the $10.

• With the accident report in my hand, I am hoping that the guy’s info is there so I can call his insurance. But of course the box for insurance information is blank. Thanks Mr. Bah.

• I get to work and call my insurance and they tell me that I have to get his information and that the police report is not enough. I can’t just mail it to them. Nope, I have to do the work.

• So a week goes by and I try my insurance again to tell them that I cannot find the guy’s insurance and can’t they just handle this for me. The representative says she will transfer me to another person who can escalate the process. I stay on hold for 10 minutes and the phone disconnects. I scream and pull out a few hairs.

• I call the insurance back and have to input my customer number and my accident claim number and birthday for the second time. The person who picks up asks for the information to confirm it. So I give them my life story again and they tell me that they have to transfer me AGAIN.

• Ten more minutes on hold and the person tells me that she will help me. Great! I tell her all the information and she asks me how I even got the police report and that she was in an accident with a taxi and it was so hard to get the report and why was my car insurance not involved! I WAS ON A BIKE! She was very unhelpful and told me to get the taxi driver’s insurance info.

• I turned to Google and after inputting an address, got a phone number and called the taxi company. I told them that I needed this taxi’s car insurance information. The woman put it into the system and told me that the taxi was self-insured and that there is no record of an accident. She gave me a number of a law firm to call because they handle the insurance for the taxis.

• I call the number and it’s a main office of the law firm so they give me another number to call. I speak to this lady who asks for my claim number and I tell her I don’t have one and that I just need the taxis insurance information to pay a bill. She tells me that there is no record of this and I need to fax her the police report. Then she asks me if I am from the ambulance company. Ughhhh, after I explain to her I am the bicyclist who was in the accident with a taxi she tells me to fax her the report and if I don’t hear from them in a week to call back.

That’s the long story for now. I have an unpaid bill and still no insurance information from Mr. Bah (the taxi man who is going to want to kick my ass for raising his insurance rates).

Stay tuned to find out what happens next because I am 100% sure that there will be more phone hours logged, more hairs ripped out and a bit more yelling at insurance representatives.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Double parked- in

Alternate side parking is a bitch. Having to think everyday about where you parked the car and having to move it for street cleaning is just awful. Luckily, I have to move my car before the street cleaning rules go into effect so I can get to work. I found that a few streets above my apartment the parking rules are a bit different and I don’t have to move my car until 9:30.

Yesterday, I went to go get my car and noticed that on this one particular street people were doubled parked against the side of the street where the cars did not have to move that day. I believe the police do not frequent this block as I have seen this happen before. Unfortunately for me, I had parked the night before on that side and a car had chose to double-park and block me in. I wouldn’t dream of leaving my double-parked car unattended but this person did not care. My head was starting to explode when I saw there was another person double-parked behind the offending car. That man chose to stay with his vehicle so I thought maybe he would have seen where the person went who left their car next to mine. I asked him but he had no idea. So I walked back to my car to think what my next steps would be.

The person had parked their car about halfway up on the side of my car so there was some room but I was not sure I could maneuver it out of the spot alone. I have great parking skills but didn’t feel like testing them when I was angry. I walked back over to the man in the parked car and asked for his help directing me out of the spot. He said he would and at the same time a man was walking down the sidewalk offered his advice.

“Just turn the wheel and jump the curb and you can get out of the spot.”

I was not going to “jump the curb” in my low to the ground Camry and risk damaging the bottom of my car but thanks for your helpful advice mister.

The other man stood next to my car and directed me back and worth allowing me to get dangerously close to the double parked car without hitting it. After about 30 turns of the steering wheel, I was free! I thanked the man and off I went to work.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Forwarding smiles

I found out today just how much my friends and coworkers love me and know me. There was a DailyCandy email sent out today with 5 fun biking accessories that are basically aimed at women cyclists. When I opened my email this morning I saw the title, clicked open the email and read about the products. There were some fun items featured but nothing that I would really use.

Forgetting about it, I went through the rest of my emails and went to work. I opened my work email and saw that my boss and my best friend had both forwarded me the email! There were a pair of biking heels featured and my best friend wrote, “you totally have to get these!” I opened my personal email and there was another email from a college friend who also wrote “You should totally get the pumps!”

I smiled and laughed. I must talk about my biking all the time for everyone to have forwarded me the same email. Those shoes will totally go with my biking skirt. Gosh, I am such a girl!

So anyone have an extra $127 they want to give me for these shoes that I just must get?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Bean goes to Brooklyn

What would you do if you were invited on an adventure to a warehouse the middle of Brooklyn at midnight on a Wednesday night? An old friend of mine was in town from California and wanted to meet up. We started out in the East Village and enjoyed a nice scotch before dinner. Then we ventured off to a Peruvian place for a delicious meal. We filled up on lots of fish and seafood (mine was hot and spicy!) and talked about the plans for the rest of the evening.

Both of my friends are music lovers. They live and breathe all kinds of music. One is in a band and a high school music teacher. So when he tells me that we have to go check out a group then I follow him. Even to a warehouse on an empty street in Brooklyn. As my loyal readers know, it takes a lot to get me to leave my borough.

So after dinner we walked to the L to take it 5 stops into Brooklyn. We had a street address and a number that my friend thought was right but he didn’t really remember. After we exited the train, we took out our handy phones with map apps and found our location and began the walk to the venue. The numbers were going up from 223 very slowly and we were looking for a number in the 600’s. As we continued to walk the apartments disappeared and were replaced with old graffiti covered warehouses with trucks parked on the street. I am a tough New Yorker but knew that this could not be a good neighborhood to stroll at night. We got to the 300’s and the street looked as though it would hit the water in a block or two. Certainly we were not going the right way. We went to take out our phones when we heard a muffled sound of music coming from a building a few steps away. This had to be the correct place! We opened an unmarked door and sure enough it was the venue and by venue I mean a small room for a “bar” and behind it a small room with the band playing.

The bar was serving cans of miller high life and some energy malt beverage with 12% alcohol and caffeine and guarana and artificial crap. I tasted it and it was like a carbonated watermelon jolly rancher with a nasty aftertaste. I am glad I didn’t drink more of it because I would have never fallen asleep as my insides glowed radioactive pink.

We stood and listened to the opening band play and then much later we heard the band we had come to see. It was fun but standing in one place for 2 hours was exhausting. There were tons of people smoking inside and my poor lungs are not used to that anymore. I knew I would smell real bad and have to shower when I got home. We left early so that I could get home and get enough sleep so I would not be a zombie at work.

We walked down the deserted street without incident back to the subway. Shockingly, we did not have to wait long for a train and I made the transfer and got home pretty fast!

What a fun Wednesday night!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The curse of the Blackberry!

I am officially addicted to my Blackberry. I knew it would happen which is why I resisted the call of the phone with a data plan for so long. But I knew I had to enter the connected world or be out of the loop so I decided to get a Blackberry. In actuality, it is a Purple Berry which makes the girly girl in me very happy.

I have started to download apps that I think would be helpful to me. I know that the droid phones and iphones have many more capabilities but I chose to not be overwhelmed and just to use the phone for some other uses. About two days ago, I downloaded an app that reads my text messages to me when I am driving. The temptation to grab the berry while it is buzzing is very strong and so I thought this app might help me to be a safer and legal driver as it is illegal to play with your phone and drive.

Today was the first day of using the app while driving to work. I didn’t think anyone would text me in the morning but about 5 minutes into my drive I heard : "message from Jen: Did you bring the camera in today?" The computer voice spoke well and of course I decided to pick up the phone to text back. Yes, I know, bad bean. I wrote “Nope” and put the phone down. After about 30 seconds passed, I hear my phone say “message from Jen: fuck.”

I burst out laughing in my car. The computer voice cursed! HAHAHAHA! Yep, I have the maturity level of a fifth grader but you know you would have laughed too.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hit on while driving…

I was pulling my car out of a spot this morning when a man in the car next to me motioned for me to open my window. I thought he was going to ask me if I was moving my car as so many people do in the morning. You see, a parking spot on the correct side of the street is more exciting than free ice cream. So as I opened the window I said “Yep, getting out.”

Well it turned out he didn’t want a parking spot. He wanted me. This guy was in his 40’s and had his Blue tooth dangling from his ear. He said “Hey, whatcha up to girl?” With my finger on the window button, I replied, “Going to work”. The window started slowly moving up when he said, “I wish I was your job. Don’t go to work girl. Let’s play hooky.”
I rolled my eyes thinking that no one really uses lines like that. I looked up at the traffic light begging it to change to green before this creep could say anything else. The window closed as I heard, “Come on baby it would be fun.”

The light changed and I made my left turn only to have to stop at the red light. I made the mistake of looking to my right where the guy was sitting stopped at the light too. He started talking and I rolled down the window all prepared to say something witty and obnoxious. Before I could bitch him out he said, “I’d love to take you home with me.”

So at this point I said, "Sorry, I have a boyfriend“ and was about to drive off when I heard “I can be your other boyfriend, baby.” Luckily, the light changed and I slammed on my gas to get away from this line-spewing weirdo.

Ugh this all happened before 9:30am. I felt like I needed a shower. Icky!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A rant about interests vs. other people's lives

I will be doing a 100 mile bike tour this coming Saturday and an argument I had with someone started me thinking… How should your interests affect others and how much support should you expect in life?

I am aware that cycling is more or less a solo activity (unless you are on a bike built for two). Does that mean that you shouldn’t talk about it in detail to others? Isn’t running a solo sport too? Then why do so many people come out to support the runners during a marathon?

I was told that my bike riding has a negative effect on other people and that in return I am being selfish. It just so happens that the ride is the day before Father’s Day. I was told that my exhaustion and soreness, that I am sure will be present the next day, is going to ruin Father’s Day. This thought had not really crossed my mind. Would the correct thing be to not do my tour when I figured out that I would be ruining someone elses happiness? Not doing the tour would make me upset but how much does that matter? This is my interest not my dad's but he is still supporting me and is very interested in the activity that makes me happy.

I am proud of myself for signing up for this activity. I have been training and hope that the ride is perfect. On the other hand, I’m sure some people are sick and tired of hearing about my interest and the miles I have been riding. When I tell people about this tour I usually get positive remarks and support in terms of the ride. Should I expect support or just stop talking about my interests? Could talking about my interests make people feel uncomfortable? I need to really think about this...

Support comes in a bunch of ways. Buying things or donating to a cause is a popular way to support people and events but is it really support? Anyone can plunk down some money. But being there at the finish line or helping to train or just offering words of encouragement… that’s support. That’s what I look for and what keeps me going.

I was accused of biking for attention. First of all, I was appalled. Could doing a physical activity when most of the time I am riding alone be a quest for attention? But then after some thought maybe that’s what I am doing. I like to brag about how far I bike and talk about the new gear I buy. Is talking about a hobby looking for attention?

Maybe I am selfish but this is my life. I want to ride and that’s what I am doing. I guess if I was married and had to share my time with someone then I would think differently. I am planning to ride my 100 miles and everyone will just have to deal. I guess I will just be the selfish and attention seeking bean on a bike.

My head is exploding from this.. Who would have thought that doing something as innocent as riding a bike would open up a can of worms?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Biking to nowhere (right now)

There are numerous reason why I refuse to join a gym. #1 is that I get bored easily and with no one there to tell me to keep my ass moving, I will fake some workout and then leave without even have broken a sweat. I hate being in a smelly room with other smelly people jumping up and down trying to remove my belly pouch. Yeah I’m a lazy bean, I know. But if you put me on my bike and tell me to ride to a destination then I will. Happily.

I have done a few bike tours but never a full century and that is my goal for this summer. I just signed up for the Ride To Montauk, a full 100 miles! I have a week to get in shape to do it. Solo! I can do it!

Last night, I decided I was going to ride the park but the raining dripping out my window at work took that idea away fast. I cringed... that meant I was going to have to ride in my apartment on my bike trainer. This is torture for me because it’s like I turned my living room in a gym. I decided I would do it so I went through with it. I put my bike on my trainer and turned on the TV. Maybe that would help me focus (or not focus) on actually working out. I pedaled straight for a half hour and got nowhere. Except through my DVR’ed TV show. Not the best ride but enough to make me hot and sweaty. I just couldn’t do it much longer plus I was hungry.

I hope the rains stays in the clouds tonight so I can ride in the park when I get home!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

My car wont be a movie star..

Some gentle nudging from a friend has prompted me to start the blog again. So here goes…

Last night, I parked my car on one of my normal streets and saw a yellow sign attached to the pole by my car. Mid-parallel park, I jumped out of my car with my door hanging open to read the sign. It was a big NO PARKING for Tuesday night through Wednesday, great. They were shooting some movie. What an amazing location for a movie, the construction vehicles for the second ave subway project are lurking at the bottom of the street and the mosque is chilling across the street. Well at least I was safe for that night. I pulled into the spot and went home.

This morning I decided to plug myself into my I-Pod while I walked to two blocks to my car. I have been unable to stop listening to my fun mix of random music lately. When I got to my car, I noticed a man standing next to my car talking on his cell phone. My car had an orange cone on each side of it. The guy motioned to me asking if that was my car. I popped my headphones out of my ears and said yep. I asked him what movie they were shooting and he told me Messiah of Darkness (or Dark Messiah? I can’t remember). So as I attempted to pull out of the spot be moved the cones from around my car and directed me like I was some important celebrity! When in reality he wanted me to move the green Toyota so he could put a big filming truck in my spot.

Wish me luck finding parking tonight.

Monday, April 12, 2010

NYC Freebies!

Last night I went out with an old friend who has a rule… she never pays for her drinks. She will go to a bar and magically the guys will flock to her side to offer her a beverage. When she told me she had made the acquaintance of a bartender in a very classy bar, I knew this was going to be a fun night.

A general rule of thumb for the start of a fun night, do not take the 2nd Ave bus down from the UES to Alphabet City. It takes about an hour off of your life. Once we finally got to dinner we were ravenous, devoured the food and moved on to the next part to the night.

My friend wanted to take the bus uptown to midtown and I offered to pay for a cab. My previous bus trek was too fresh in my mind. A guy who was standing at the bus stop called out “Are you ladies giving up on the bus?” He promised that if we took the bus he would provide entertainment. The bus arrived at that moment and I agreed to get on. Then my Metrocard failed me. Only 50-cents leftover (darn, uneven fare!) meant I couldn’t ride. The nice guy offered to swipe my ride for me. Freebie number one ☺

After some entertaining conversation and an offer for us to go to a bar with him next week, we got off the bus to the next part of the adventure.

We entered the classy bar to find out we were the only ones there and the bartender wanted to test new drinks on us. He attempted to make an avocado shake drink, without a blender. It did not work very well. So he created two other very interesting martinis for us to try. All on the house.

After some great conversation, he offered us some fancy chocolates and we nibbled and enjoyed round two of our fancy (free!) mixed cocktails. By now the restaurant was closed and we had a private bar.

It was a work night and it was approaching 1:30 am. A couple hours past my bedtime. So the bartender locked up and in true gentleman fashion hailed us all a cab uptown.

What a fabulous freebie night in NYC.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Free Burger night..

You know it's a serious situation when you haven't done your laundry in almost a month, which included a ski trip where I changed clothes 3 times a day! Last night had to be the night I attempted to wash it all but I had promised a friend I would go to free burger night at a bar. Lucky for me, the bar with this awesome deal was right across the street from my apartment buildings basement. There are a ton of washers and dryers just steps from a bar making it possible to do my laundry while I was eating and drinking. I loaded up the dryers with 3 loads of clothing checked my watch. I had exactly 32 minutes to eat and have a beer.

The Second Ave subway construction had destroyed businesses that are hidden behind the scaffolding so this bar decided to have some specials to lure people in. On Wednesday nights and all day Saturday and Sunday when you order a drink you get a free burger. Pretty freaking awesome… if you aren’t a pescatarian like yours truly. The deal is for a grilled BEEF burger and if you ask for a veggie burger like I did they say nope, sucks to be you and hand you a menu.

My friend was thrilled because not only did he get his burger but he got mine wrapped up to eat for lunch. I was stuck paying for not only my beer but a veggie burger and fries for $11.45. So much for a good deal.

As I ate, my laundry dried. I paid the bill crossed the street and magically came back to three fully dried batches of clothing. (You’d be surprised as to how many times I came back to a dryer filled with still soaked jeans).

Just another fun night in NYC ☺

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Goldfish on the subway!

Last night, I attended a press event sponsored by Post-it. The event was held at a place called Carnival which was in fact a carnival on the fifth floor of a NYC building. I received my tickets and went into the room where they had fun games for us to play, ring toss, toss a ball in a basket, get a ping pong ball into a fish bowl and darts.

After spending most of my tickets, another editor handed over her extras. I played the fish game a few times and finally landed the ball in the bowl. Thinking about it now,I was pretty excited after winning such a cruel game. Here is a somewhat crappy cell phone picture of the game.

Those bowls have live fish in them. These poor fish must freak out every second a ball smacks their bowl. If the ball actually makes it in, there is a giant while meteor attacking their home. Poor fishy... I guess it was very nice of me to save a fish from this fate by bringing him home!

After the event, I went to take the subway home. I was carrying my fish in a plastic baggy down the street to Union Square and received a bunch of interesting looks.

I got on the subway and was lucky enough to get a seat for Post (his name.. I'm clearly original) and I. The man next to me struck up a convo with me. Apparently a fish in a bag is a conversation starter. I noticed the couple across the aisle from me pointing at Post and talking in another language about the fish. They looked up at me and smiled. I'm glad my fish could make others happy.

Here is Post on the subway. Hold on fishy!

Post is now at my apartment in a vase with some nice rocks at the bottom and is hopefully still alive. I ran out this morning to get him food. Let's see home many days my carnival fish lasts :)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I may be crazyyyy

As I was driving to work this morning, I had the radio on when a Billy Joel song came on. I love every Billy song, so I cranked up the volume as the car inched forward. I was singing along to "You May Be Right" when I noticed the license plate on the SUV in front of me.


I couldn't help the wide grin that appeared on my face. I tried to take a picture of it but my cell phone camera didn't save the photo. :( What a fun way to start my day.

In case you aren't a Billy fan here are the lyrics to the chorus...

You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just might be a lunatic you're looking for
Turn out the light
Don't try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Anonymous Note

A few weekends ago, I drove out to NJ for bridesmaid dress shopping . Yep that trip added a sixth day to my presence in Jersey, plus another $8 donated to my favorite bridge, the George Washington. I really feel like I should own a tiny piece of it by now. Maybe a screw or something.

I parked my car by the bridal store and dropped a few quarters into the meter. After shopping for the dresses, I went back to the car to drop a few more quarters in and went to eat lunch.

I came back to my car and found this sticker stuck to my car.

This was stuck right above the keyhole. I looked around and didn’t see anyone by my car or on the sidewalk. I smiled at the randomness as I peeled the sticker off my car. I was wearing boots but was still very confused. Also, doesn’t that handwriting look like a girls?

The sticker now lives on my dashboard and makes me smile whenever I get into my car.