Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ink me, baby

Plan for 2008: a new tattoo and a book. The former being a little easier to accomplish than the latter.

My roots are in writing. In second grade, my teacher assigned us each to write a short story. When we were through, the teacher's aides printed the stories on thick white paper and bound the pages with a piece of cardboard covered in contact paper. We were authors. And I was in love.

Most of the kids in my class wrote and "published" the one assigned story. I did something like 15. I wrote about the birth of my baby brother, class field trips and mice that liked to eat peanut butter and jelly. I wrote whatever came to mind. When I wasn't talking, I was writing. I had a lot to say. I continued writing throughout elementary school, but no longer had the teacher's aides to publish me.

My writing style changed with the books I was reading. When other kids my age were reading the 50-page books from the Goosebumps series, I was reading R.L. Stine's older books about whirlpools of death and haunted beach houses. So I wrote my first horror story. I quickly figured out that I was not the next Stephen King.

Around fifth or sixth grade, I began reading Lurlene McDaniel, who wrote books about dying teenagers. Apparently even the perkiest eleven year old has a morbid streak. I recall writing a story about a pretty cheerleader who was diagnosed with leukemia. I also began another about neighbors who were in a car accident on Christmas eve.

When I entered junior high, and my soap opera phase, I wrote myself into scenes on All My Children. Then I acted them out in my bedroom. I thought I was going to win an Emmy.

I always liked naming my characters best. They had to have the perfect name. Some of my characters would go for days without a name. Which was difficult when you're writing everything by hand. I gave the heroes/heroines names I liked. By extension, my villains got less than exciting names like Jim. Not that there's anything wrong with Jim. I named the girl with leukemia Kimberlyn. The kids in the accident were Blake and Brandon. I thought Blake and Brandon sounded sophisticated. It was obvious (at least to me) that they lived in nice houses in the suburbs in with loving parents.

Lately I've been reading memoirs. I don't think I'm prepared to write a memoir. I probably need many more years of therapy before I could do that. But it is easiest to write what I know. And I know me. I could write about my wild summer in college when I was completely in love with a married guy. Or about my tumultuous relationship with my former roommate. My therapist loves that one...

Or maybe inspiration comes in 2008. The year of ink.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

the fascinating man I didn't know

I am very thankful for the time that I have with my father. I know he could have been lost to me, in a war, along with his hearing. However, outside of his military experience, I never considered him to be much beyond an ordinary, hard-working guy.

I was very wrong.

My father accompanied me back to Brooklyn this evening after a brief stay in my home state for the Christmas holiday. As we were boarding the train to head to Rockefeller Center to see the tree, I asked him, when he retires in April, how many years of service will he have served?

I had previously believed that my dad spent his entire adult life in two of the four major branches of the US military, on and off full time active duty.


When he retires in April, he will have served a total of just shy of twenty five years, after taking a twelve year hiatus between his Army and Air Force service.

I was surprised. I knew nothing of this mysterious twelve year period. My dad, had, like, a civilian, plain-clothed life?

He did. For example, after a short fling while working in Kansas, there's a small chance that I could have a brother or sister who would be about 35 now.

Yep. I hope she exists and I hope she's a girl. I always wanted a sister.

Also, a few years later, after returning home only to pile on some debt and partying (my dad?), he moved to Egypt for two years. Up and moved to Egypt. I recall the pictures of pyramids framed on the walls of my early childhood home. I also remember asking to take in some of the photos for show and tell. My dad had been to Egypt and saw the pyramids. But I understood these photos to have come from his travels with the service.

Wrong again.

He was also a bit of a cad. In the span of retelling these missing twelve years to me tonight, he mentioned at least four fairly serious girlfriends. Including one from Australia. I could have been Australian! Throw another steak on the barbie!

At one point, three large diamonds also entered the story. I think I may have persuaded him to give me one to pay for my wedding.

It was both refreshing and strange to hear that my dad is super awesome and had a whole exciting life before I was born. He had visited six continents and lived, at least for a few months, on four. He was in love with an Australian girl; partly so, he admitted, because he loved her accent. By the time he was my age, 26, he'd really lived. Even the people I've known my whole life surprise me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Daddy's (Big) Girl

For those who don't know, my father will be retiring in early 2008 from the Air Force, after over 30 years of service. As a sort of thank you to him for his service, I wrote a short essay for a larger Father's Day 2008 piece that will be running in one of his favorite magazines. Since I don't know if it will make the cut for the magazine, I thought I would publish it here. Today is my dad's 56th birthday.

A lot of little girls say that their father is their hero. I was no exception. But my father wasn’t my hero because he bought me a pony (he didn’t), or because he helped me with my math homework (that, he did) – my dad has served in the military for thirty plus years, served in three major US conflicts and has been deployed on countless missions to serve neighbors in need. And he does this every day because he’s passionate about his work and about helping people – certainly not for the paycheck, which helped to pay my way through college.

I’ve only really come to appreciate my father’s heroism as I became an adult myself. His hard work and patriotism only solidified for me after I saw people of my own age (and several years younger), being deployed with him to Iraq. I knew my dad would look out for these boys in the desert, just as he always looked out for me. Over the course of several months these boys would become just as much his family as I am. He became their hero as well.

Now, as my father enters is much awaited and much-deserved retirement, I can only say this -- Thank you, Dad. You’re remarkable, and you are a true hero.

December 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

the day beneath a birthday

I got through that whole birthday thing with minimal breakdowns. And, at the end of the day, I realized there were a few things that were causing me to enjoy the day of me significantly less than I typically do.

1. After a certain age, it becomes impossible to get truly amped about celebrating your birthday. At 6, your birthday is the biggest day of the year. At 26, I just wanted it over; I wanted to be in my pajamas and in my nice, warm bed. I think the last big birthday one can really be excited about is 21. Because then all of the alcohol you were consuming in college anyway becomes legal. Twenty-one for me was a particular let down because I had just been released from the hospital and was not permitted to indulge in these now-legal beverages. So I had a sip of White Zinfandel at the Olive Garden with some friends. I should say, though, that even had I not beem hospitalized, I still probably wouldn't have gone wild on my 21st, drinking until I blacked out. I probably still would have had dinner at the Olive Garden.

2. Earlier in the year, I had set a few goals for myself to have achieved by my birthday. And since I had only accomplished one, that was more than a little frustrating. In fact, in some cases, I am farther away from my goals now than when I originally set them. And that, well, really blows.

3. I was letting others dictate how successful of a birthday this one was for me. Even though I was preparing myself for disappointment after my oops-no-one-showed-up-for-my-birthday fiasco of 2006, I still couldn't help but think this year was going to be different. So when none of my outside of work friends were able to make it this year either (but a big thanks to Michelle for a coffee date early in the evening!), and my fancypants dinner plans fell through, I was pretty convinced that a larger celebration was a waste. And it sort of was, but after I thought about it, that was really only because I made plans to do things that I don't really like. Like go to bars and get wasted (which, the latter, I didn't do anyway).

So now I'm 26. Which could be 90 in my eyes. Its not old, but it feels like its time to start getting myself in order. This grown-up life that I like to talk so much about needs to get underway. I need to feel like I keep changing, keep progressing. I already made an appointment for therapy.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I've got the blues, the birthday blues

So tomorrow is my birthday, but I'm in quite the foul mood. No, not because I'm afraid of turning another year older. I don't really care about that. If anything, I think saying I'm 26 may add a little bit of weight to me -- it says, "hey, I'm pretty much an adult. I know what I'm doing!" Even if its only true sometimes. I may look 18, but I've voted in two presidential elections already.

Perhaps I'm in a bad mood because I haven't re-registered to vote in New York and therefore can probably not vote in the primary and give Joe Biden my vote of support.

Anyway, no, that's not it. It's that last year I had a miserable birthday. I planned a party/dinner that only one person attended. And he walked to the bar/restaurant with me. This year I planned a party with my glorious officemate who shares my birthday. So far, two people that I invited are coming. One, being the one and only person who attended last year. So praise be to Philip!

People from our office will come and that will be good. Some of them might even converse with me. Still, I feel like something is lacking this year. Twenty-six feels lonely. It feels like I'm on the cusp of moving forward, but my surroundings are all, "yeah, right."

I've written before about how I've really felt a shift this year. Lately, though, that shift feels shakey. Like at any moment I could slip back into 23 year old me (I do wish I could slip back into her jeans, though) and my progress will have vanished. All of the things I have come to understand and appreciate will be confusing again tomorrow when I wake. And then I will have nothing to show for the painful year that was 25 for me. That puts me in a bit of a unfriendly, volatile, pretty damn grumpy mood.

Friday, November 30, 2007

don't we all

I often think about what it might like to be someone else. If just for a day. Do they get wet when it's raining, too?

More than I'd care to, I find myself saying, "why me?” I feel like I'm sick more often than other people my age. I feel like I must be in more debt than other people my age (how else can anyone afford to go out several nights a week in New York? I wonder). In my self-deprecating moments, I say it: my life -- past and present -- seems harder than most other people's.

Is it, really?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The above is a recent confession from I love this site. I think it taps into that self-deprecating me that I hate, yet am oddly fascinated by. Because things really DO seem worse for me than others in my age range, sex, ethnicity and income range.

I see people every day that look like they lead utterly perfect lives. And I'm not talking about Hollywood-types and celebrities, or even the Queen of England (I mean, c'mon, to really be a QUEEN for a day?! Damn...). I see these people on the Subway. On the street. Walking out of my apartment building, even.

I wonder if they ever have to sell a handbag that they once coveted at the local consignment shop so that they can make their rent on the first of the month. I do. Tonight, as a matter of fact. Simply because I moved this month and overspent a bit on items for my new apartment. Yes, it is entirely my fault, but it still sucks.

A few weeks back, I came down with SARS. Okay, not really SARS, but I was very sick for over a week. I was in excruciating pain most hours of the day, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep; I was utterly miserable. I'm a week shy of my next mid/late-twenties birthday, and I spent a week holed up in my apartment because, briefly, I was pretty sure I was dying. I've felt this bad at least three times over the past year. Other 25/26/27 year olds don't have such deteriorating health, do they?

What I think is worse, in this situation, is that I went through a battery of medical testing (one of which actually making me more physically sick than I was before I went in for it), only to find nothing turn up. Earlier this year, I went through a similar round of testing, when the pain in my head and neck was so bad that sometimes I actually couldn't lift my head from the pillow in the morning, to -- again -- find nothing.

This year has been especially trying, but I know my life isn't that bad. I am (apparently) healthy. I have enough to eat each day. I have loving friends near me and caring family a bit farther but there. I have a job where I make a reasonable salary. I have heat, hot water and minimal pests in my apartment. I am lucky enough to have my own space. I have a lot, but I don't always have a smile on my face, nor a positive outlook.

So some people are probably just much better at faking it than I am.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

the things I should do

I won't sugar-coat it: I can be uber lazy.

I was extremely motivated to lead many extraciricular lives in high school -- from the School Board to cheerleading to Student Council and Students Against Drunk Driving.

I believe the laziness officially took hold at some point during my spring semester freshman year in college. This is probably not uncommon. But it took hold in a big way for me. It started with not doing my French homework about once a week. I didn't like taking French; I wasn't good at speaking or reading or understanding French; I had no interest in going to France or any other French-speaking location. So occasionally I skipped my French homework to talk on IM with my then-long-distance boyfriend, or to download the latest Dido song on Napster, or to Dome-jump (its not half as dangerous as it sounds, by the way. Not only am I lazy, but I am also quite cautious). After that, I eased into my laziness a bit more... to procrastinating on papers and studying for exams. Then I toughened up. I stopped studying French altogether. At my final oral exam, Spring semester of my freshman year, the only phrase I rehearsed walking up to meet my professor was, "I don't know." I said that 15 times during my exam (he counted). After, my professor told me (in English) that it made him sad that I had so little interest in this, considering I had told him I was a reasonably good French student in high school. I admitted that that meant that my French teacher in high school liked me. I couldn' speak the language worth a damn, but she just liked me. After that, I had fulfilled my language requirement, and stopped speaking French completely. Now, the only thing I remember is "c'est impossible!" and that's only because I am newly obsessed with Dinner: Impossible on the Food Network and the show makes me think of that phrase. Because everything Robert Irvine does is impossible!! (In my dream last night, he was playing the role of my boyfriend. Also impossible.)

Later on in college I stopped studying for exams -- even finals -- altogether. The only class I ever studied for was my Television Crit classes. Partly because I cared, but mostly because my professor's tests were unbearably difficult. Once, even when I did study, I got a 52% on my exam. To my credit, though, after taking my third class with this prof, I was scoring 98% almost every time. For the other classes, though, I favored watching Sex & the City on DVD with my roommate to even looking at a book. But, as a television major, that wasn't the worst possible thing I could do.

Now my laziness flucuates wildly. As I've posted before, I occassionaly forgo work for watching Grey's Anatomy at my desk. While other times, like last week for example, I don't give myself a minute to breathe non-publicity-related air while at work. This week I am back to being lazy. I am already contemplating which episode of Grey's to watch tomorrow.

The thing about being lazy, at least for me, is that I spend an awful lot of time thinking about the things I should be doing instead of being lazy. In college it was that I should have been doing some kind of assigned reading. Today it was that I could have called a few more journalists to pitch my client's latest product.

But I don't. Because I'm kind of lazy.

Friday, November 9, 2007

confession of the week

Sometimes on Fridays, while I'm supposed to be working, I download episodes of Grey's Anatomy on iTunes. I lock my office door and enjoy McDreamy for 45 minutes of my company's time.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

saving the world, one organic bath towel at a time

Sometimes I feel like I am the picture of change. I often think what a different person I was just five years ago.

Then: I eagerly anticipated my college graduation, moving to New York, and getting a "real" job.
Now: I eagerly anticipate winning the lottery, early retirement and moving out of New York.

One thing that I find radically different about myself is my approach to the world around me. I was not always the balanced, eco-friendly, world-hugging person you know and love today. The problems that I had while growing up once consumed me, and I am often thought only of myself and those around me (usually those around me more than myself, though [but, believe me, I'm certainly not bragging there]). Today, I can honestly say that I do my best to think globally.

I recently moved and needed a lot of new items for my fancypants new apartment. When I purchased these products, I took both eco-friendly and my more traditional products into consideration. With very few exceptions, I chose the eco-friendly options. I did things like clean with all environmentally safe products, order organic groceries and buy organic cotton bath towels free of unfriendly dyes.

I remember when I was six or seven, Nickelodeon started a marketing campaign with the then-new buzz phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle." I distinctly recall thinking that all the whole thing was stupid and it didn't apply to me. I mean, it wasn't like the polar ice caps were going to melt if I didn't recycle my soda can...


I can't exactly remember now why I had this mentality. I blame (at least partially) my parents. My father only started recycling when I was around 10 or 11. And even then, I think it was because it amused him to crush the cans. My mother still doesn't recycle. I now beg and plead but she makes a million excuses. I remind her that when Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn flood, her grandchildren and I will be washed into New York Bay and swallowed into the Atlantic. This has yet to phase her. And since I live three hours away from her, I can hardly mandate my recycling policy there.

I've personally committed myself to helping to protect the environment and limiting my own carbon footprint. I've made it a priority for me. I hope one day the energy-saver lightbulb goes on over the rest of my family's head, too.

Monday, October 29, 2007

the coffee drinker

I've been working very hard over the past year to achieve a mystical, likely unrealistic, idea of adulthood. I got my very own apartment and big girl furniture (ie. none of it is neon in color, as it was in my college years). Then I started trying real cheese. Like, not the Velveeta cheese on which I was raised. I'm now a huge fan of goat cheese. I started appreciating my father, not for bailing me out on my rent when I needed it, but for being my biggest supporter of things big and small. My dad never forgets to say, "my daughter, I'm proud of you..." or sometimes just, "I know you're trying and you're doing just fine."

Adulthood has required an excrutiating amount of mental change for me. I'm sure it does for most people. I'm not ashamed to say that, in the thick of my growth, I slipped into a serious depression. I think this probably happens to a lot of people, too. I sought help, and I am proud of myself for admitting that it was too much for me on my own. I worked hard to understand things in a new way and I'm doing much better -- in every aspect of my life -- than I was just a year ago.

2007 was very painful for me. I went through everything from a break-up to depression to a brain tumor scare. But everything is fine now. I am fine now. I am less worried about getting a ring on my finger and more focused on making relationships work. My breakdowns, now, are much more warranted, and on occasion, necessary. Like when I could have been homeless. Last year they were mostly about not liking to do laundry.

Ideas that didn't make sense my whole life are beginning to come together for me now. Twenty-six is apparently my time to get a hold on things.

This post was originally meant to be about me beginning to drink coffee. I've always hated the taste of coffee. But, this morning, when I could barely get out of bed and it was cold, I thought today would be the day to stop at Starbucks and continue to slow descent into adulthood. With a vanilla latte. And it was pretty good. I woke up a bit and I'm considering another when I head out for lunch. Like, wow.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

bang for your real estate buck

I read in Glamour this month that the average monthly rent for women is something like $425. In New York, it's closer to three times that amount, if not four.

I've spent the last few weeks tirelessly looking for a new apartment. I don't want a four-bedroom, 3.5 bath duplex on Park Avenue. I want a studio in Hoboken for less than half of my monthly salary. I didn't think this would be an impossible feat, but it seems to have turned into one.

I've had two panic attacks since my search started. I've called well over a dozen realtors (an aside: when did realtors stop wanting commission? Nearly every realtor I've encountered has been unhelpful at best. Is my money less green than everyone else's? You'd think the desperation in my voice would be like blood in the water to them...). And I've managed to see three... count 'em, THREE apartments. All within my price range, yet all miserable in their own way. The first I saw had an archaic heating system. All heat radiated from the oven; something straight out of the early 1900's, not 2007. This apartment, while fine in other ways, also had an exposed water heater in the middle of the kitchen. Meaning, should it have ever exploded, I may have floated away into oblivion.

The second, in a lovely area of Park Slope, was slightly larger than a matchbox car. When my brother was four or five he had a twin bed shaped like a race car. That may be the only bed that would fit in this place. My plush queen didn't even have a chance. Yes, New York is known for its small apartments, but for exactly half of my current take-home income, I'd like to be able to at least have my bed. The kitchen cabinets were another (albeit small) issue. At 5'2", I could only (barely) reach the bottom most cabinet. I would have needed a full-sized ladder to reach any of the others.

In the third, the bathroom was immediately OUTSIDE the front door. That's all I will say about that.

I have to vacate my current apartment in 12 days. I feel panic attack number three coming on.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Nothing works.

I have an ever-growing list of things that don't work. Hotmail (especially today) being at the top of my list. Items behind that include: realtors, my alarm clock, my work computer, flash drives, attracting bloggers' attention (they hate publicists, and really, who can blame them), my tastebuds and anti-humidity hair products.

And despite any effort I've made, all of these things continue to frustrate me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mother of Two by 31?

I was asked yesterday if I thought I might be a mother of two by age 31. I, of course, can only speculate here, since its my 26th birthday around the corner, not my 30th, but I'm going to say no. For two reasons... 1. While I really like children, at (nearly) 26, I can still barely nourish myself properly. I might be okay for the first few months with breastfeeding, but when I have to choose between organic carrots and pizza-like substances in a jar, I'll probably be lost.

And 2. If I actually did have children in the next five years, I would only have one (unless, of course, the goddess of twins blesses me, which I should probably just count on). I believe that, for myself, children should never outnumber parents. So two is really pushing it.

But since I work in children's media for 90% of my day, I often think about the raising of my own. Last week, I spent several hours per day researching the phenomenon of mommy blogging. And I phenomenom that I find, by the way, utterly fantastic. Some of these women whose blogs I stumbled upon are insanely cool. I want to be them. Minus, of course, the challenges they must face in properly nourishing their children.

Also on the parenting/adulthood note, I watched the premiere of Tell Me You Love Me on HBO last night. I found myself wondering a few things... is this porn? Are they trying to capture only the dull elements of coupledom? Which of these three couples are living my life? I'll give it another chance, but episode one get a "not compelling enough for a series" rating.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

the politics of public relations

Dick Cheney was on Larry King last night. I watched a good bit of it. It went something like this... "blah, blah, blah, I'm always right, blah, blah, everyone but me sucks, blah, blah, the American public doesn't know what they're talking about if they think we're doing a bad job, blah, blah, blah, I swear I'm not Darth Vader... and so on. It was, um, riveting? Sure.

And then, this morning I read this:

Theres No Such Thing As Bad Publicity

The Onion

There's No Such Thing As Bad Publicity

Ever since I snagged this gig as White House communications director last year, I've gotten my fair share of condolences from friends and...

Friday, July 27, 2007

don't eat the pudding

This week, JK Rowling commented: "I loathe people who say, 'I always read the ending of the book first.' That really irritates me," she said. It's like someone coming to dinner, just opening the fridge and eating pudding, while you're standing there still working on the starter. It's not on."

Having a guest going into your fridge and eating your pudding would be incredibly awkward.

I haven't finished the seventh book yet. I have been tempted, but have not, skipped to the end. I have also been incredibly careful about where I navigate on the web. And I didn't watch The Today Show yesterday.

Okay, I actually didn't even finish the sixth book until Monday night around 12:30. Unfortunately, someone had already spoiled the ending of HP6 quite a while before I got to it. I guess that's what I get for reading it two years late. I got on the Hogwarts Express a little late in the game.

(Warning: Weeds Season 2 Spoiler Alert below)
For the last week and a half or so, Harry has creeped into every one of dreams. The other night, it featured two of my favorite of-the-moment things. My dream was that Nancy (Mary Louise Parker's character on Weeds) had to become involved with Voldemort in order to gather information to protect Harry. A little bit like how Nancy had to continue her relationship with Agent Wonderbread (a top-notch nickname, I might add). My subconscious is eager for me to finish the seventh book and for Weeds to begin its third season in a few weeks. I love my subconscious. It knows me so well.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

an all-new Parent Trap

Lindsay Lohan was arrested again. On another DUI charge. And cocaine. Again. She was just released from rehab less than two weeks ago.

Doesn't it just seem like some people will really NEVER learn?

My favorite part is the statement from Lindsay Lohan's lawyer: "Addiction is a terrible and vicious disease. Since Lindsay transitioned to outpatient care, she has been monitored on a SCRAM bracelet and tested daily in order to support her sobriety. Throughout this period, I have received timely and accurate reports from the testing companies. Unfortunately, late yesterday I was informed that Lindsay had relapsed. The bracelet has now been removed. She is safe, out of custody and presently receiving medical care."

I'm not going to make fun of someone's addictions. But she was voluntarily wearing the sobriety anklet and she didn't even last two weeks out of rehab before drunkenly chasing down her (now former) assistant in her Escalade.

I see a pretty clear issue here. Perhaps, just perhaps, she was not prepared to leave rehab when she did.

Just a thought.

Friday, July 20, 2007

for the record

I don't play anything on TV. But, for a minute when I was much younger, I wanted to. Oh, did I want to.

Confession: When I was about 11 or 12, I wanted to be a soap opera actress. I would write myself scripts (where I, obviously, had all of the best lines) and rehearse them in my room late at night. I was, what you might call, a little strange. But I liked to write and I liked to "act" (I use quotes, because, well, I was acting for my mirror mostly), and I genuinely thought that I was preparing myself for my future. Guess I was a little... off.

I never wanted to be a real celebrity, though. Even at 12 I knew that wasn't happening. I just wanted to live in New York, work on All My Childen and maybe win an Emmy because I would be that good. That was my realm of reality at 12. I was a kid with ambitions.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

that loving feeling

There are some things I just really love. Seriously in love. Some are people, some are places, some are objects, but I'm in love with them, in some way or another. I feel instantly happier in their presence.

1. Mesa Grill, off Union Square, NYC. I mostly love this place because I love Bobby Flay. Two words: squash blossoms. I think he's a brilliant chef and I would eat just about anything he could feed me, with only a few exceptions because they could kill me. But Mesa itself is not only a culinary haven, it's also just incredibly comfortable for me. The decor is warm and friendly and I especially love sitting in their balcony for a lesiurely dinner. I'm going there tonight for Restaurant Week, so that's why it goes first on my list.

2. Weeds, on Showtime. I think this is, hands down, one of the best television shows in recent history. It's dynamically written and acutely aware of itself and what the picture of family and suburban life that it presents. Plus, Mary Louise Parker has incredible skin. She's fantastic in the role, too, but that skin.

3. My friends Mary and Michelle. Each for different reasons and the same reasons. Mary because she's incredibly put together. If she tells me something is going to be okay, I can believe her. She just has everything under control - she knows what she likes, she knows who she is and exudes confidence. I love that. Michelle because she is confident in a "you just wish that you could be as lively as I am" way. She can look cool, be cool and leave others in her cool dust. I enjoy my time with these girls immensely. I'm not afraid to say anything off-color around them and that feels satisfying.

4. My new bag. I love handbags. Chic, versatile handbags. This is the first new bag I've purchased in over a year. I'm seriously elated. It makes me feel more adult and stylish than I have in a while.

5. Panasci Lounge, Schine Student Center, Syracuse University. I had a breakdown there once. I filmed portions of my sketch show, CowTV there, with Sean and Lisa; I learned to light a "set," if you can call it that. I would go to Panasci when I needed a break from the Box, as I often did. I did my French homework there. Panasci was one of the largest open indoor spaces on campus. It was well-lit by the sun most days (or by the snow, as the case may be) and was reasonably quiet under peak campus hours because it had comfortable chairs and couches on which to curl up and nap before your next class. I often curled up, but I never napped, despite sometimes wanting to. I recall feeling enveloped in the best of Syracuse there.

That's not all I love, but all I have the energy to recall today.