Friday, December 23, 2011
Having to travel home for Christmas makes me want to move home.
I wish I could afford to fly first class, where they have those nice comfy beds that lay flat.
Where did the people sitting next to me get Chipotle? Jealous.
I am getting tired of flying. Not just today. In life.
Why do people fly with dogs?
I don't understand why if takes four hours to fly to Dallas but only three to fly from Dallas. Four hours is an eternity.
Please don't let me fall asleep waiting and miss my flight.
Maybe the upgrade is worth it after all.
What happens inside the rich people lounges?
I would rather be driving down I-35. Yes, I just said that.
Mom better bring cookies to the airport.
I just feel so much better when I've at least made it to Texas.
It doesn't feel like Christmas yet.
New York is a pretty cool place. But it's not home.
"If I ever get back to Oklahoma, I'm gonna nail my feet to the ground."
Thursday, December 22, 2011
My obsession with all things Texas and Oklahoma is old news by now. I always loved living in those places, but I never really knew how much until I moved to New York. I longed to live here, dreamed about living here, secretly shopped for apartments on my lunch break. But as much as I love the big city, I am constantly homesick for the only life I've ever really known.
And when you grew up in Oklahoma and spent a major part of your life in Texas, one thing is certain...
BBQ is a way of life that few outside that area truly understand. Sure they think they have their own way of doing it, but you all know that it's not the same. And let me tell you, I have never craved BBQ as much as I have in the last six months. I'm not entirely sure why it took me nearly six months to give in, but it probably has something to do with being scared of New York City BBQ. It had the potential to be really, really bad. So armed with recommendations from my Okie-in-the-City friends, it was finally game time.
My school friend Brian (who is from NY) and I ventured to Dinosaur BBQ this week to work on a research project (and figure out this whole BBQ business). It's really not too far from me, and it is somewhat famous among New Yorkers who think they know what they're talking about. So settled along the Hudson River just into Harlem, we found Dino BBQ...
And people, it was like walking into Texas. So much so that I immediately texted my favorite Texan to tell him so. The smell of BBQ, rustic painted menus, country music. Ahhhh...home. We had to wait a while for a table, but it was worth the wait. The Texas-sized atmosphere was worth it. But then here's what happened when we ordered... When the waitress asked what I wanted for my two sides, I asked about her favorites, since there were so many choices on the menu. And then here is what she said...
"BBQ Fried Rice"
Yes, you read that right. And people, I wish there had been a camera to capture the look on my face. Brian said he had never seen me look that confused...and he sits next to me in Ivy League doctorate classes where I am always a bit confused. But are you kidding me, BBQ fried rice? Never in a million years would something like that be even considered in Texas, much less actually put on a menu. Just to set the record straight, I ordered BBQ Beans and Mac and Cheese for my sides, and they were pretty good. The food was definitely not Texas, but all in all it was a pretty good substitute until I get back to where they know what BBQ should be like. BBQ Fried Rice...
So research project planned, I went home smelling like BBQ...you know what I'm talking about, that smokey smell that lasts for days on your clothes. Normally, I avoid it, changes clothes after BBQ, and do my best to not smell like BBQ in my daily life. But I realized that I kind of missed it. The next day, when my classmate sent an email following up on our research project, he mentioned that he felt like he still smelled like BBQ. And it's funny, because that's such a novelty to a New Yorker.
But it's just how life smells in the great state of Texas.
Monday, December 19, 2011
So why am I going on and on about summer?
Because, apparently, it gets cold in the northeast. Who knew? (Stop laughing.) Like, really, really cold. Cold on the subways, cold in my apartment, cold everywhere. I think I've bundled up enough to handle it, and I am always wrong. The thing is, it gets dark around 4:30 p.m., so the nights seem longer and there is less time for the sun to warm things up. And so when I went downtown last night to meet friends for dinner at 8:00 p.m., it felt like the middle of the night, because it had already been dark for so long. I am getting used to the cold, because I know it hasn't really even gotten cold here yet. The days when 25 is the low will soon become the days when 25 is the high. Still, makes me miss Texas and all those years I drove home for winter break in shorts and flip flops. Ah, Texas...
So this weekend, when faced with the idea of no class projects, no on-call nights, and no visitors, here is what I did...saw New Years Eve in theaters, watched the entire eight-hour Kennedys mini-series, laughed through Home Alone one and two, designed wedding invitations for baby sister, and read two Nicholas Sparks books. (Stop judging...sometimes a girl just needs a Nicholas Sparks love story.) I even attempted to enjoy tex-mex in New York City, but it was sort of a disaster of Texas-sized proportions. Kind of reminded me of that commercial around the campfire where the guy gets his salsa from New York City. It just can't be done people.
But now there are only 4.5 days until Oklahoma. I'm a little nervous about attempting to fly out of New York during the holidays, so say a little (okay, big) prayer that my flights are on time and everything goes smoothly...this city girl needs some major family/holiday/Okie time. Like, soon.
Happy Christmas, blog friends!
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Call on your angels
Come down to the city
Crowd around the big tree
All you strangers who know me
Bring your compassion
Lord, how we need it
On this New York City Christmas
Yeah I'm sending you a merry New York Christmas
and a prayer for peace on earth within our time
Hear the sidewalk angels echo hallelujah
We understand them, now more than ever
So call on your angels
Your beaten and broken
It's time that we mended
So they don't fade with the season
Let our mercy be the gifts we lay
From Brooklyn and to Broadway
Celebrate each and every day
of this New York City Christmas
(A New York City Christmas, Rob Thomas)
Merry New York Christmas, friends...hope it is simply wonderful.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Case in point...
I once thought I could just put all the gifts in my carry-on suitcase and take it with me on December 23. Um, yeah...
But back to the Christmas gifts...they wouldn't even come close to fitting in my largest, non-carryon suitcase. Not even a little bit. So instead, I put everything in leftover moving boxes hiding in the back of my closet. And then I took them out, rearranged, and repeated this process approximately seven times until all the gifts fit perfectly. It was kind of like playing Tetris.
I mean, maybe it doesn't look like that much. But that big box? I could sit down inside of it. Definitely too much to travel with all the way to Oklahoma. So very glad that FedEx is literally next door. Not so very glad that I still have to wait nine days to see my most favorite people. But I will definitely be home for Christmas, so very soon...
Sunday, December 11, 2011
In the midst of a crazy weekend, I ditched the cab ten blocks away and ran through Times Square to arrive just as the ceremony was beginning. (Note: If you've never been to NY, you don't know that running through Times Square on a Saturday night is like running an obstacle course around tourists and Disney characters and street corner salesmen. It takes talent.) I had just wrapped a week of insane work, multiple papers, charity party the previous night, and two days in a row of very intense doctoral-level classes. I finished my second semester at Columbia and skipped out early on the class party to represent my Bears at the official Baylor Alumni New York watch party, just around the corner from the actual Heisman presentation. I had to be there. And it was so very sweet. The announcer lady just had to say "Ro..." and the place was a beautiful blend of tears and screaming and Sic Em Bears. Pure joy.
Over the last few weeks and months...and really, decades, there was a lot of talk. A lot of negativity. A lot of people out there who all shared a common thought...that Baylor University cannot win the Heisman. They said it simply is not possible. That a seemingly insignificant school in the middle of nowhere Texas had no shot at football greatness. But you know what?
We never stopped believing.
And the greatness of the achievement is nothing compared to a young man from Texas who stood in the national spotlight and made it clear that it wasn't about a game or a win or a person. We do love the game, because we grew up in the middle of Friday Night Lights country. But for thousands of Baylor fans, it is so much more than a game. It is the knowledge that God has a plan and that our job is to faithfully follow. It is patience in the face of adversity. In a way, it is the embodiment of everything we have ever believed...
That faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
So we will Sic Em like we never have before, because we are so very certain that God works for the good of those who love him.
And we will pray not for football wins and trophies, but for so many more forever kind of moments...
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Now, I realize that this sounds a bit like something you tell a kindergartener or plaster on a bumper sticker for your mini van. But really, just stick with me.
That whole, "stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" business your parents taught you when you were five? Total lie. One of the biggest lies you will ever be told. Could not be farther from the truth. Because for as strong and in control and impressive you are, one person's words have a really big impact. Like it or not, it's just the way it is.
The Chief, Baby Sister, and I are generally in agreement that life would be so much easier if people were like us...kind and thoughtful and more concerned about making other people happy than satisfying our own selfishness. We go out of the way to take care of the people in our lives, and the favor is not always returned. And really, there just aren't a whole lot of people like that in the world. So when you find one, whether that person is a friend or boss or someone else equally as awesome as you are, you do everything you can to treat the other person as great as they treat you. And, most of the time, when people don't live up, it makes being around them frustrating or discouraging or just downright miserable.
I fully realize that the mean people have their reasons for being mean, and my counseling background tells me that it's because of their own horrible pasts or selfish issues or whatever. Sad for them, really. The thing is, I do not care why a mean person is mean. Their bitterness or need to make other people feel awful about themselves just isn't ok. I mean, I am generally an awesome, beautiful, humble, Ivy League educated woman who at least makes you think I have it all together (also a lie). So the one or two mean people in my life? I'll get over it, even if it makes me not like the day-to-day one little bit. But the ones who are facing things much worse than me, or still trying to figure out who they are, or just trying to get over what happened a long time ago? One unkind person can destroy it all. A few words too many can last forever.
So for just a little bit, maybe try to approach everyone you encounter with trust instead of doubt...encouragement instead of challenge...peace instead of conflict...love instead of hate.
It could change the world.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
So, by now you know that Baby Sister (yes, the wedding planner) is getting married. Matt proposed in Riverside Park a couple of weeks ago, and life has been a whirlwind of wedding planning and bridal boutiques and save the dates. So incredibly fun. Baby Sister and I (along with The Chief and Maid of Honor #2) bought one breathtaking wedding dress and six beautiful bridesmaids dresses in the span of about two and a half hours last weekend...be impressed.
Here's an engagement day picture of the happy couple in Riverside Park. In my dream life, I am a photographer who can afford to do nothing but take beautiful pictures of happy people. Let me know if you have any interest in financing this lifestyle.
But more importantly than all the wedding fun, they are the good stuff...the kind of sappy perfect love story that romantic comedy endings are made of and girls like me live for. Because apparently, it really does exist in real life. Who knew?
Now, my beautiful RAs couldn't get enough Baby Sister stories from the beginning...they absolutely adore that she is a wedding planner. Even though they have never met her, they were thrilled when she got engaged. At last night's staff meeting, I told the story of Just Matt's (that's his new nickname I gave him...had to have a nickname for my new brother-in-law) latest surprise for Baby Sister. The story about how yesterday morning the church receptionist called Em to come to the front desk, where she found her fiance with roses, waiting to take her to breakfast. Nice story, right? Even better when you remember that he lives two hours away in a completely different state. Let me tell you folks, we didn't get anything accomplished in staff meeting after I told that story. My staff (all girls, all 21 years old) left literally telling themselves, "Find the kind of man who shows up from Kansas on a Wednesday." Adorable.
(Sidenote: I am convinced that Baby Sister and Just Matt will be totally embarrassed by this blog post. But that's ok. They're happy and sappy and in love and stuff.)
But really, even though we might not believe it happens in real life, that's all a girl really wants. To walk to her doorstep or office or some other completely routine place and unexpectedly find the love of her life, just because he missed her. For someone we are dying to see to do something to prove that he feels that way even more. Now, we will never, ever tell you that's what we want. But really, it's the stuff dreams are made of. So for all the girls like me who convince themselves it doesn't happen in real life, wait for the guy who shows up from Kansas on a Wednesday. Because that's the good stuff.
And guys, would it kill you to go out of your way to make the girl you dream about happy? Try it sometime...
My little apartment tree...
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Here is what I know for sure...
- (not a whole lot)
- I love summer in the city.
- I can single-handedly give an awesome Empire State Building tour.
- I really must stay away from Plaza Food Hall and Max Brenner.
- If you come to town, we are definitely going to Plaza Food Hall and Max Brenner.
- I miss my car.
- Avoid Times Square at all costs.
- Mexican food as I know it does not exist in this city.
- New York or not, I will always love country music.
- I am awesome at all forms of natural disasters.
- I adore living in a pedestrian-friendly city.
- My apartment is amazing. And free. FREE.
- Living in a huge urban city makes me so much more Southern. From the accent to BBQ cravings, I miss Oklahoma and Texas. A lot.
- I miss my people.
Here is what I'm still working on...
- Adjusting to very little daylight.
- A really great Chinese takeout place.
- Keeping my nose warm. Seriously, there are hand warmers and leg warmers and ear muff and hats. Still, my nose gets cold.
- Christmas shopping.
- A legit exercise routine. I mean, I still exercise, but everything is just so dang expensive and so far, no luck with finding an affordable, enjoyable activity.
- Church. I'm telling you, between visitors and work, I just haven't had a lot of free Sundays. Sad.
- Being ok with forced air travel. I told The Chief that I miss the OKC to Waco I-35 drive...she thought I was insane. I just miss the freedom of an SUV, a radio, and an open road.
- Only buying as much as I can carry.
- Did I mention Mexican food?
- Getting a very few key people to come visit. You know who you are.
- Affording this city.
- Getting used to a job that is not 9 to 5.
- Living outside of driving distance from pretty much everyone I want to spend time with.
- Avoiding the cupcakes.
- Figuring out what to do with the rest of my life.
- (pretty much everything not on the first list)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Gone are my perfect long summer nights when I could sit with friends in Central Park until 8:00 or 9:00 every night, or when we could sit in sidewalk cafes until midnight because it was still so warm and lovely. Instead, since the time change, it gets dark depressingly early. Which, of course, makes me want to go to bed at 8:30 every night. And it's starting to get colder, so that makes me want to stay inside, where it's warm and cozy and always about 90 degrees in my apartment, since I don't know how to control the radiator. All you really need then is a fireplace and comfort food and cuddling.
I tell myself to suck it up, dress warmer, and deal with it. Because really, it's not even close to as cold as it will be. I have hats and scarves and leg warmers. Yes, leg warmers. They're back in style now. Love it. The cold doesn't really bother me as much as the dark. It doesn't really get light earlier, just dark earlier. I miss the days of running in Riverside Park, jogging along the Hudson, past the place at 91st where the path curves. Loved loved loved those days. Brave as I am, I'm not stupid, and I'm not about to start running in the park in the dark.
So if you want to come over to my apartment, I'd love to cook for you...and stay in and watch movies where it's warm.
I want to see you again, but I'm stuck in colder weather...
Sunday, November 20, 2011
(You've Got Mail)
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Folks, we weren't really so good at the whole jumping picture thing. It took 12 photos to get it right...
Ever in New York? The USS Intrepid provides some really awesome photo opportunities. We might have had a little too much fun...
It's a pretty cool way to spend a day. Over and out.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
And really, who doesn't love Christmas in Bryant Park and Macy's?
Really, Baby Sister is about six years old inside. But as it turns out, so is Matt, so I think we're good there. I'm about nine years old inside, but don't tell anyone. Makes for great vacation days though. Lots more to come...there was an awesome trip to the USS Intrepid, but that really requires an entire post on its own. Epic.
Good things happening, people. Good times. Stay tuned.
Over and Out.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Here are my wise observations from being on call on Halloween weekend in New York City...
1. No one really tells you what it's like until you're in the middle of it. You think you know, but then you know that you have no clue.
2. Sleep when the baby/duty phone is sleeping.
3. Pray for quiet. Enlist other people to pray for quiet. More than that, pray for patience. A lot of it.
4. No matter what, you have to pretend that what you see at the hospital doesn't bother you in the slightest. Put on your brave face and pretend like that is absolutely the place you want to be.
5. Drink stronger coffee.
6. Having the duty phone/baby changes the game. Even when it's quiet, you just don't really sleep, because you're busy listening for the slightest sound. Nervous takes on a whole new meaning.
7. Your sleep patterns might never be the same again. This should be appropriately mourned. Attention should be paid...if only you had the time/energy.
8. You absolutely must resist the urge to say what you really think. Again, pray for patience.
9. Have one single bag that has everything ready to go. My friends with babies say that having a purse and a diaper bag is too much, because you will forget something. My hall director friends have a duty bag...I always have wallet, keys, duty binder, phone charger, hospital book, snack, and emergency contact info. Baby or duty, you always carry way more stuff than you really need.
10. Everything seems like an emergency at 2 a.m. And 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. It is a never-ending cycle of panic attacks and hard phone calls and scrapped knees and necessary hugs.
For the record, I am ridiculously excited about having no plans tonight, which is actually Halloween. I plan to do absolutely nothing productive with my life other than watch How I Met Your Mother and Castle. Thrilled about this.
And yes, I missed out on the whole cute baby thing and went straight to college student drama. But maybe, just maybe, when I actually have the cute babies, maybe I'll be a whole lot more patient. Or maybe I will still have no clue, because you can never really prepare, can you? And I will have plenty of lattes and prayers to see me through.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
I can hardly even believe it.
I am also ridiculously excited.
Today, October 29, 2011, two days before Halloween, I looked out my window to one of the best sights you can ever see. The first hour of the first snowfall of the season in New York City. Ridiculously romantic. And it true New York City fashion, it wasn't one of those sloppy, icy midwestern snows. If you've never experienced snow in New York, it is just so beautiful. Huge, perfect snow flakes like confetti lit by bright city lights. It is magical.
No longer even slightly concerned about studying research methodology, I threw on my trusty Hunter snow boots, scarf and gloves and was out the door in about two minutes. I may or may not have forgotten to actually put on a coat. Didn't even matter. Because it was a beautiful day to walk on my beautiful campus...
And I know that I am perhaps the only person in this city who was this excited, because to the rest of Manhattan, it just means mess and train delays and the impending winter weather. But I just love it when it snows on my iPhone.
It happens to be the earliest winter storm in New York in 40 years. If you're counting, that's one more for me...earthquake, hurricane, and freakishly early blizzard in Manhattan since I became a resident. What can I say? I have talent. That said, I took the combination of early snow, open ice rinks, and decorations at Macy's as full permission from God to start listening to Christmas music. Because life is just too short to not hear Michael Buble sing "All I Want For Christmas Is You."
And today was almost perfect...
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
My daily run route? Right through Riverside Park, right where this scene was filmed. Heavenly. Maybe one day you'll be there waiting...
Well you know about the first-time guy trip, the culinary tour, and the practically a native weekend in New York City. But here's a first for all you wonderful blog readers out there... The "baby sister has pneumonia and big sister has an eye infection tour." Yep. Lot of fun we were. Quite a sight to see...or avoid.
Baby sister and pseudo-baby sister headed to the big city for a girls weekend full of shopping, dessert, broadway, and all things girly and wonderful. Lucky for baby sister and I, Lindsey was a trooper putting up with our poor, pitiful selves who could not breathe or see. Good times.
Baby sister and I pretty much set out to recreate our childhood. Oh what fun.
There was a really exciting trip to FAO Schwarz, every
Baby sister reconnected with her childhood passion of rock collecting. Yep. She really, really loved rocks as a child. Don't tell her I spilled the secret.
Next stop? The American Girl store on Fifth Avenue, another Treadwell girl childhood love. There are countless boxes of Molly and Samantha dolls in the garage, as well as a whole collection of Bitty Babies. Too bad we were so deprived of all things fun as children. Plus, they made us wear Laura Ashley dresses all the time. Torture. :)
(Obviously, baby sister is the funny one. Sorry to disappoint, folks.)
There were plenty of shopping trips and taxi cab rides and other grown up things, but what fun is that? It's actually much more exciting to pretend that, at 24 and 28 years old, it is perfectly acceptable to shop in the Eloise store at The Plaza.
I'll be waiting. Oh how I wish you would...