ASK Musings

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Monday

6

September 2010

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A Beautiful Night

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Two friends of mine, Megan and Michael, got married last night. It was a beautiful evening, one I feel privileged to have been able to attend. Live piano music greeted us as we entered the house and were directed to sign the guest book. Guests made their way through the house to the back garden, where champagne was available as we waited for the ceremony to begin. There was a tent that had been erected at the last minute, as it was raining all morning, although by the time the wedding began not only had the rain stopped, but the sun began to peek through the clouds.

After about a half hour we were directed to take our seats (I joined up with Troy and Jamie, as Renee and Kevan were both in the wedding) and the processional began. There were eight bridesmaids, all in gorgeous dresses in various shades of green, escorted by the groomsmen in tuxedos that had a distinctly early 1960’s feel. Megan was guided down the aisle by her brother, and she was stunning in a simple dress with these amazing jeweled cap sleeves. The officiant was this great Irish man (former clergy, I believe) who just loves performing weddings. The vows were sweet, and Renee managed to stay still throughout even though a wasp was hanging out on her during half the ceremony. Impressive!

After the ceremony was complete, Megan and Mike ventured off to have some time alone while we got to enjoy an amazing cocktail hour. As we were clearing out of our chairs, cocktail rounds appeared. On them were four different cheeses paired with four different wines. There were delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, and a station with miniature toasted sandwiches paired with different beers. A dream for those who love good alcohol and good food.

An hour of enjoying the view of the lake gave way to dinner in a beautiful tent. Everything was so lovely, not overdone. The bride and groom had bookmarks as place cards and quote books for favors. Dinner was (unsurprisingly) delicious. After dinner, we were treated to three witty, charming and loving toasts to the bride and groom. It was just so good to sit there and be a part of such a happy, happy evening.

The cake was cut, the first dance done, and then the rest of us invaded the dance floor for three hours of non-stop shaking it. The band played covers of mostly 70s and 80s songs, and the floor was packed most of the night. Around 10pm the ice cream station opened up (seriously!) and they brought out some more munchies to keep us fueled for the rest of the night. Around midnight the band finished up – with a rousing “Don’t Stop Believing” – and we went back to the house to see the bride and groom off! 

Today I am exhausted. I got some sleep, but my training schedule had me running nine miles this morning. So today is all about sitting. Sitting, watching movies, and uploading photos. And sitting.

Friday

28

November 2008

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Thanksgiving 2008

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I had such a great Thanksgiving yesterday. It started out with a bit of a challenge – the Turkey Trot! No, it is not an intestinal issue resulting from too much Thanksgiving goodness; it’s a five-mile run in Prospect Park on Thanksgiving morning. And, I’ve been running for three weeks, so OF COURSE I’m totally ready for five miles. I’ve never run more than two at a time, but hey, whatever. 


I had two goals – to finish in under an hour (I’ve been running just under a 10-minute-mile pace for my two-mile runs), and to not stop to walk. I’m quite happy to report I accomplished both goals! Even on the painful uphill during the third mile, I jogged. As I neared the finish line my legs actually felt a little like Jell-o. But Santa was there, ringing a bell and pushing us, so I made it. And my final time was 51:55. I came in 902 out of 1288. So, y’know, in the 25th percentile. Sweet!


In the afternoon I grabbed my desserts and headed over to Herman and Kathleen’s, where they were, for the third time, hosting us orphans. It’s always a fun evening – we’re even getting to the point where we look forward to each other’s side dishes. Instead of missing my mother’s potatoes, I look forward to Megan’s sweet potato cranberry marshmallow dish. Herman makes a WICKED turkey, and we have enough side dishes to feed us all for a few days.


Plus, there are a lot of laughs as we down mulled wine. Last night we played pit, which is a great game for a group of people with a few drinks in them.


This year I’m thankful for so much. I have a job I like that fits with my education and training. I’m jamming with some friends every week or so. I’ve started running and I’m really enjoying it. I get to live by myself, within walking distance from nearly all of my NYC friends. And, of course, the big ones – I’m generally healthy. I have a great family, and friends whose kindness, humor and general awesomeness I cannot begin to describe.


I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and were able to take some time to think about what really matters to you right now. 

Sunday

27

April 2008

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Movin’ on

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So, my friend Kate leaves for England Tuesday to (finally get to) live with her new husband, Richard. After just under a month of navigating various government agencies and immigration laws, she got her visa, and is now just a couple of days away from moving. Today we spent the afternoon chatting and wandering around the city.  


I’m so excited for her and Richard – they are two of the kindest, most genuinely caring people I know. I talk to Kate close to every day, even if it’s just to check in. We would hang out pretty much every weekend. My roommate is also planning a move when our lease is up. Since I’m more of a quality versus quantity kind of gal when it comes to friends, this is going to be a tough adjustment.


Since my lease is up in two months and my roommate is moving, that means that either I have to find my own apartment or I need to take this as a good opportunity to head to Seattle. With the realization that most of my friends are starting to flee the coop, I’m thinking: is it really time to head back to Seattle? The timing might be right from a real estate perspective, but really, is that a good enough reason?  


I believe I want to end up in Seattle, but maybe instead of just racing to the security of my Seattle friends (who are amazing and opening their homes to me), perhaps I should actually figure out what I want to do with my life BEFORE I quit my current job and flee from the life I’ve built here.  I have been living life like I’m planning to leave, and that’s been to my detriment. I’ve been working but not I’ve been thinking I would look for a job in Seattle, and if I couldn’t find one, just move there in July. But especially with the economy in the tank, hiring freezes in city government and layoffs on the horizon, it seems pretty silly to just up and leave without another option.


So, I am going on interviews (two in Seattle next week). But I need to take a deep breath and dial it down. I don’t need to make a decision tomorrow.

Monday

10

March 2008

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UPS = Unbelievably Poor Service

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As you know, Kate and Richard are now married. One of the benefits of a wedding (besides a lifetime of happiness with your one true love) is getting gifts. Kate was low key in this respect as well, registering for a few basics – nothing fancy, and nothing electric, thanks to compatibility issues – from Williams Sonoma.  Kate lives in a basement apartment in a brownstone – no vestibule, no doorman. Any boxes left would be essentially left on the sidewalk. In Brooklyn.


When Kate registered in the store (I was a witness), she kindly inquired as to whether Williams Sonoma could hold the gifts until she had a better, firmer shipping location option. Since she’ll be moving to England in a couple of months, and due to the aforementioned lack of a doorman or a suburban dwelling, this made perfect sense. Williams Sonoma demurred, saying that they don’t do that. Okay. Unfortunately, they also choose to ship with UPS, a company that a) doesn’t deliver on weekends, and b) has customer service ineptitude possibly only rivaling Sprint circa 2001 (when they gave me the wrong area code, then changed the number, making it look like I’d cancelled the contract, thus shutting off my phone).  


Kate was gone for two weeks for the wedding and honeymoon. She asked her landlord/neighbor (Kate’s been renting from the same single-family homeowners for over 10 years) if they might be kind enough to bring in a box if they saw one. Nope. They’re far too busy managing the nanny that cares for the two young children while the mother doesn’t have a job. (Too judgmental?)


Anyway, Kate called UPS and asked them to hold all packages while she was gone. She was told by the main number that she’d have to talk to the local office. When she asked for that number, the main number customer ‘service’ representative couldn’t be bothered to find it. Good times.


Kate returned from her two weeks to discover not a note on the door from UPS nor a box anywhere. Which would seem great – they held the stuff! Nope. After making some calls to Williams Sonoma, it seems that about a half-dozen gifts purchased from her registry – some as far back as January – were delivered, but since Williams Sonoma doesn’t require a signature, UPS just left them. On the sidewalk. In Brooklyn. Needless to say, Kate never received any of these things. Some lucky people are enjoying a gift card, some place settings and I’m sure a lovely set of cutlery.


Williams Sonoma has now changed it so she has to sign for all deliveries, AND they are going to honor the purchases and re-ship them, which makes sense to me. What doesn’t make sense is not having ‘signature required’ be the default for deliveries. Isn’t that the explicit reason why one chooses a non-USPS shipping service? Ship it ground via USPS and it’ll cost a bit more AND you have to fill out a bunch of forms to get return receipt, signature, etc. But with UPS, isn’t the appeal cheaper shipping and the ostensible security?


What’s worse – UPS claims they are unable to look up deliveries by address. So, if anyone purchased something for her that wasn’t on her registry, and had it shipped UPS (which so many online retailers use), she has no way of knowing that it was delivered and got lost.


So lame.

Monday

3

March 2008

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COMMENTS

Pure Joy

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Two of my dearest friends got married to each other on Saturday, and it was so wonderful. I got into town on Thursday, and was able to see Richard, who I hadn’t seen since late summer, and Kate and her mother and sister. Kate found those of us traveling solo places to stay at her friend’s home, which was so thoughtful, and fits her so, so well. She’s just that person. She also found a great hotel nearby where everyone else could stay without breaking the bank (considering it was a ‘destination wedding.’) The whole weekend was just great – we all received welcome bags in our rooms, with snacks and brochures of things to do during the weekend, especially since the wedding wasn’t until six Saturday night.


Friday those of us who were in town had a lunch at Kate’s dads, and then went to the Arch. I am a bit mortified to say that I thought it was white and made out of stone – nope. It’s made out of metal. And it looks it. Anyway, you get in and the travel up the arch is inside this Dr. Evil-type pod that allegedly seats five. The view from the top shows just how flat the area is. And it’s quite tiny up inside, but totally worth the $10.  

  

The wedding itself was great. Kate’s been a low-key bride all the way. She’s not anti-tradition, she just didn’t feel the need to do the things that she might not enjoy. She didn’t invite everyone people might think one “has” to invite – she and Richard invited those closest to them, and that was it, so the wedding was very intimate. The ceremony took about seven minutes, because they said vows, exchanged rings, and were done. No readings, no songs. That’s not to say those things are bad, they just didn’t fit Richard and Kate, and I think it’s so great that they chose to do it their way so that they would feel comfortable. Best part? No bouquet toss, because Kate said she always felt it was a bit humiliating. I can see the fun in it, but I also see her point, and appreciate that she didn’t do it just because it’s what you do,


I’m at a loss for words to describe exactly how good a time was had. Everyone – every person I met who was at the wedding – was so fun and kind.  Considering all of the time we spent together – lunch, rehearsal dinner, wedding, brunch on Sunday – I didn’t tire of talking to anyone. The people were all genuine, some were sarcastic, some were sweet, but all of them cared about Kate and Richard, and it was a privilege to witness.

Wednesday

26

September 2007

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COMMENTS

Goin’ to the Chapel . . .

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. . . and watching other people get married!


This was a wedding weekend. A friend I’ve known since I was five and in Brownies (Girl Scouts for the extremely pre-teen set, for those of you not in the know) got married this weekend. It was surreal. I’ve had three of my dear friends get married, but they were all people I’d met in college, so I’ve always known them as “adults”, and marriage wasn’t that odd an idea. But my fried Jen, well, we’ve been through it all. We went skiing together, we went to the beach together. She was visiting me in Tahoe the first time a boy kissed me (he was SOOO cute). When we were in 7th grade we did shots . . . of Sprite. We spent a few New Year’s eves together in college, when we were both home visiting family and didn’t really want to deal with parties. I believe I also helped get her to be able to go to a party when we were 18 where (shock and horror) there weren’t going to be any adults.


And now she’s Mrs. Different Last Name. It’s SO WEIRD. I’m so excited for her. I don’t know the guy much better than I know most people I work with, since they live on the other side of the country, but she’s so happy with him, and he seems so happy with her. It’s just so cool and still SO WEIRD.


The same day I went to Jen’s wedding, I got a message from ANOTHER friend, Reagan, saying she’s engaged. SWEET! I’ve got two friends engaged right now. Well, three.  Kate and Richard are both my friends and engaged to each other.  Reagan and Lon – I don’t know Lon all that well, but he seems like a great guy, and again, Reagan seems SO HAPPY.


Congratulations to you all!!!