Tuesday, September 18, 2007


One of the most difficult things about being anywhere new is the prospect of making new friends. At least for me. I wasn't a military kid or anything like that, so I never had to adapt to the life of re-creating my circle of friends every few years, and from the time I was 6 years old, I lived in the same house and grew up with the same general friends and classmates. Plus, I can be painfully introverted sometimes. I tend to enjoy my time alone quite a bit, but there are definitely times when I just want to call up a girlfriend and hang out.

Lucky for us, Mike is much more determined to actively establish relationships (we would have never started dating otherwise, considering that he thought that I hated him when we first met and got to talking). And lucky for us, some of our past NY acquaintances are still in the area and have made our adjustment much easier.

We are about a 5 minute drive from the seminary that Mike got his Master's from, so we have been over there several times for services, and just to hang out. Last night I went to a women's group that meets on campus, and was really happy to find a group of very welcoming women whose company will probably become the highlight of my week. But I have been actively observing myself in this capacity, and comparing my own actions to Mike's and to others', and I really think I have got some serious self esteem issues. I've noticed that I tend to automatically assume that I am bothering someone if I try to spend time with them or get to know them, and usually I don't initiate any contact with people I don't know very well, thinking that there's little chance that they'd want to spend time with me. When I say this, I realize that it's pretty absurd and basically debilitating, but I just can't get past that nagging feeling.

I can say that all of the closest relationships in my life have been the result of either proximity, or because the other person didn't put up with my weirdness and insisted on getting to know me. This is definitely something I need to get over, and I am thankful that I'm married to someone who is really completely opposite in this regard.

Even just sticking with this women's group and telling myself that I can be a valuable part of it and probably make some great friends will be a good step in the right direction. It's so crazy that I have to talk myself through something like that, but I guess we all have our quirks.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

life as a celebrity stalker/scarf-maker

Although we do not yet have a couch or a bed frame, I am beginning to feel fairly settled here in New York. Apartment is good. Job is good. Things are generally good. And one of my favorite things about New York City happened, 3 times, on Friday. No, I did not get mugged 3 times. And no, I did not eat 3 Coney Island hot dogs. I had 3 celebrity spottings- in one day. In about 3 hours, actually.

The first spotting was somewhat orchestrated, because I knew that there was a major fashion show going on in Bryant Park all week, and Bryant Park is only 2 blocks from my office, and I stumbled upon the show during my lunch break on Thursday. So, like many other people, I hung around outside the main entrance to the show towards the end of my break, first on Thursday, then again on Friday. On Thursday, no one really caught my eye, although I think I may have seen David Spade's brother, who is Andy Spade, who created the fashion line Jack Spade, who is also married to Kate Spade, the famous fashion designer. (It's amazing what a little Google research can reveal.) So anyway, I went back to the show on Friday just in case something interesting happened. And boy, did it ever. I was only there for about 5 minutes when a black Suburban pulled up, and out comes Carrie Underwood, as I live and breathe. Ok, so she's not exactly the number one celebrity I would have chosen to spot, but it was cool nonetheless. And hilarious to see the reactions of those around me- this 10-year-old nearby was nearly convulsing, and a guy next to me, who was about my age, couldn't wait to tell his friend Tyler, who apparently was going to go #2 in his pants when he heard who he just saw. Then there was the lady behind me, who had no clue who Carrie Underwood was, and when she found out, couldn't figure out why everyone was making such a fuss. Funniest response of all. My impression- I'm not much of a fan of hers anyway, and I didn't like that she was smacking her gum, or that she had about 2 inches of makeup on her face. But as always, the spotting itself was pretty exciting.

Spotting #2: on my way to Grand Central to go home that afternoon, I was walking up Park Avenue, which I usually avoid because for some reason that route just annoys me. And I was even more annoyed when I saw a huge crowd that was going to slow me down- until I realized that the huge crowd was watching a movie scene being filmed. Starring none other than Kelly Preston and Robin Williams. I was about 10 feet from Robin Williams, the best part of which was the fact that he is a great character in one of the greatest movies of all time, Good Will Hunting. I tried to take a picture on my cell phone, but was very rudely pushed aside by some lady who said I was going to ruin the shot. Yeah, try filming a scene for a movie one block from Grand Central at 4:30 on a Friday, and see how well it goes.

I'd have to say it was a good start to the weekend, especially after 3 days in a new job that seems to be going pretty well. Apparently, I really like routine, and I don't think I'm too good at creating it for myself, because I have felt so much more purposeful since I started the job. I have a lot less free time, and yet I'm getting so much more done. Go figure.

I also taught myself how to knit, and I am loving it. Just found out that the oldest yarn store in Manhattan is 9 blocks from my office. Loving that. I love to crochet, but knitting is much more versatile and will allow me to make things that are actually wear-able. And I picked up this book (Stitch n Bitch, which I highly recommend to anyone who's interested), that has an introduction about how knitting goes through ups and downs in popularity, but has always been a way to create things and to be fairly resourceful (I now love to look at sweaters in stores and consider the possibility of making them myself). I love thinking about how this craft connects me with centuries of women, and how it makes me feel like I can be more self-sufficient than I had ever thought. Plus, it's just a great way to unwind. I'm working on a practice scarf right now, but socks and sweaters, here I come! All in all, life is being pretty good to me right now.