Crazy Weekend

So, this weekend started out a little rocky. I went to an after work function to say goodbye to a coworker and ended up getting terribly sick, despite having only 2 drinks (and a shot). That horror lasted through all day Saturday, partially continued by the failure to stop throwing up, and inability to keep down water. I eventually got down some Pedialyte and saltines. Not so fun.

I also left my cell phone in the cab on the way home from the said work function. But it was returned to me (!!) because a fellow New Yorker and iPhoner discovered it, returned my call, and provided an opportunity for retrieval. It was pretty magical. That part is seriously amazing. I basically felt like yesterday was a real adventure in my path to adulthood. I was sick, and totally took care of myself, with a few people around to help out a bit (but really, not anyone else taking responsibility for me). I’m still a little freaked out by feeling like my body just kind of lost it, but other than that, it feels just…lucky. And I’m relieved to feel back to normal(ish).

I also moved into the room in our apartment with a closet and its own bathroom. So I now have my own bathroom for the first time in 4 years, which, actually, is thrilling. I feel so much more adult! And my desk area is much nicer. Maybe I’ll even get a realer chair. There is a lot less light and a bit less air, but I think for me, it is preferable overall. Nothing is perfect, right? Life: all about trade offs.

I am super excited about an improv show on Friday, and many more to come.

A Visit Home and Another Wedding

I am now waiting at the airport for my flight back to NYC, after an eventful weekend of my best childhood friend’a wedding, Rachel. It was lovely–cupcakes and a candy table, and I am looking forward to seeing the photos. I also got to see my friend Elana, which was really nice.

Outside the wedding, I got to see my famillas friend Jon (who I hadn’t seen in 4 years at least) and Matt. AND I convinced my dad to go register people vote (Obama!!). All-in-all a really excellent weekend. I’m ready to get back to my NYC life and play some improv tonight with my favorite improv-playing ladies at the PIT. Yay! Then back to real life tomorrow. It’ll be a bit of a long haul for wok, but I’m pretty excited to get back to work an get some things done. It is going to be an awesome fall. Heck, yes. More to come soon (DNC convention, perhaps some religion stuff).

Love, Shannon.

New Server!!

I am super psyched to be adding a new server to my site, migrating it to a server that is MY OWN.  How exciting!!

This is after a year of having my site hosted on an ex’s server. New world.

Also, Happy Wedding to Rachel, my childhood best friend.  It was a lovely day, glorious.

Lean into the fear

90% of the time, I go to sleep thinking, “I am so fucking lucky.”. It’s not at all that my life is perfect. Far from it. But there are so many amazing things. I’m basically doing my dream job. And who knows how long it will continue to be that, but it allows me to pursue other interests as well, and I fucking love this city. It’s been a little over 3 years and 7 months, and I am still as head over heels as the day I met her. Again, not that there aren’t times when it’s annoying, when I’m frustrated by the lack of ability to grocery shop, or feel annoyed by all the friggin’ people. But overall, this place is magical. Seriously. And I have so. much. I can’t even complain because it’s all so amazing. I get to work with and influence people. I get to make a difference in people’s lives. I get to play with improv. I get to run. Part of me is scared shitless that I will lose it all somehow, instantly, and I fight that shit every day. But I am winning so far. I will not let that swallow me. I have discovered the best way for me to fight is to walk right into it. Improv and running have both been arenas where I’ve practiced this. Some days, I don’t want to do either. And some days I don’t. Others, I just do. And then it feels amazing. I don’t ever make myself. It is always a choice. I always end up choosing to go or do, but it’s recognition that that is a choice for the long term, and not giving into hedonistic, momentary tendencies. And I have learned (over time) to not judge the choice I make. Because sometimes it is amazing to just give in, and sometimes it’s totally okay.

New York City, I still love you!

Bon Iver Makes Me Contemplative

My goodness. I hadn’t thought anything of this Bon Iver fellow, and his ubiquitous (at least among middle class, young white people) music. Then I listened to “Towers” with the video and was sucked in. So I bought his first album, “For Emma, Forever Ago,” and I am paralyzed by where it takes me. Sometimes music just does this thing, right, where it takes you somewhere. You lose power to decide where you are, emotionally, because whatever you’re feeling gets hijacked by the music’s emotion. That is Bon Iver.

I am kind of loving it though–I feel contemplative, it’s ruminating, complex, but also simple. It has this sadness intertwined with bits of hope and there’s something sort of strangely uplifting about it. Haunting, but uplifting. Ok, I know I sound like a total tool, but I am going, “oh. This is why people like this dude.”.

That’s all for now. Bon Iver. Listen, if you are living under a rock like me and have yet to experience the intensity.

Update on Things I am Doing This Month

I made a list of things I’m doing this month, and I wanted to quickly update.

I actually DID clean!!! Continuing to run has still been a struggle, but I’m doing it.  I really am.  Promise.  I am going to improv classes, and last night was brilliant.  I’ve definitely been tweeting. That’s been fun.  I have my Google Reader down to about 30, which is good, and started going through the Instapaper articles.  Still a project…..

Working on Downton Abbey, but it only comes out every week!  So far I’m on top of it.

Additionally, I had a wonderful conversation with my big brother and am really looking forward to some quality family time and awaaay from work.  Also planning a trip to Dominican Republic in a couple weeks?? Guess that “getting more shit done” will have to delay a month…good thing I’m doing so well on the others!

<3 Shan

Things I am doing this month

I made no New Year’s resolutions, so instead, I am making some February resolutions.

  • organizing & taming my articles

I have TONS of articles on Instapaper and Google Reader that I still haven’t read.  It’s hard to keep up when I get like, 200 every friggin’ day.  But I try.  So I want to cut down to those I really want to read, and read the ones I really want.

  • organizing & taming my passwords

I’ve been using LastPass for quite some time now.  If you haven’t used anything to store your passwords, it is pretty spectacular–it securely saves your passwords, personal information, etc in a portable (but secure!!) way.  I have a bunch of repeat websites and want to put everything into folders, as well as change some passwords that have been around for waaaay too long.  Fun times.

  • continuing to run

Running has still been going pretty well, but I need to maintain. That’s all!

  • taking improv classes

Yay!

  • getting more shit done

This mostly pertains to work.  I just want to be on top of shit.

  • complete and submit my taxes

Nothing more to say here…

  • Visit NC

Next weekend, I’m going to NC to see my family, and pick out bridesmaids dresses for my best friend’s, Rachel, wedding.  Yay (?)! Also get to see one of my cousins, who I have not seen in 22 years.  Talk about a lifetime…PLUS I’ll get to go to a Carolina basketball game.  Spectacular!

  • Tweet

I’m really trying, in earnest, to make this Twitter thing make sense.  I’ve even attached it to my Facebook account (then you know I mean business, right??).  Follow along if you wish….

So. Amazing.  <3!!  If you haven’t watched, you should.  It’s definitely a little deliberate and slow, but hilarious and charming and pleasant.  Brilliant!

  • Clean

The apartment must be cleaned.  I don’t even want to express how ridiculous it is that that has to be on this list.  Whatever.  I buy toilet paper regularly.  That should count for something, right??

 

I am super excited about this most treacherously cold of months.  I feel so lucky that I have so much to look forward to, and have figured out a way to look forward to it.  Life truly is amazing.

February Celebration

I am not fond of change.  Sometimes it’s exciting, sure.  But mostly for me, it is uncomfortable and scary.

Hence, January is NOT my most favored month.  It’s a new year.  So I have to deal with the frustration of changing the year I write at the end of dates.  I know, ridiculous, right? But really.  It’s kind of annoying.  And then in New York, it’s all winter-y, this year especially so, and there’s no vacation to look forward to, since Christmas and holiday hoopla is as far away as it will ever be.  In recent years, I have found that I already miss my family/parents, which just sucks since I know that it will be a while until I’ll be able to see them again.  Just like the sun.

This year has heaped on an ended relationship (hey, there, change!) as well as a tough work schedule, which has been a blessing as well as a frustration, since I’ve been distracted and had something to focus on.

On the flip side, we got a new roommate who I’ve gotten along with swimmingly (Sam), and I’ve gotten to feel somewhat comfortable with the Tisch alums, a group of which my roommates are a part, and that has been refreshing, as it’s one of the few times in years that I have felt a part of a social group.  So that’s been nice.  Kanye West has kept me upbeat about shit, which is kind of ironic since his lyrics are in some ways so depressing.  But I have appreciated it–some upbeat, fun music for me to work to, and it’s really helped me focus on work.  I. Love. Music.  Sometimes I forget that.

I’ve been making some fun (for me) plans financially, saving money and figuring out how to use that effectively.  Strangely exciting to me.

I’ve decided against the dog sitch, especially considering that a roommate (Jason) will be bringing his dog, Benny Bruce, to live with us in February (one more reason to be excited about this fantastic upcoming month!).  I have no doubt that February will be cold.  And as I say, January has certainly had some benefits, February can only get better.  And I’m planning on going to the Dominican Republic at the end of the month, which just makes everything look sunnier!  I am just psyched to get to February, and through this slush of a month.  Also, the NY weather has just been so unforgiving.  I’m sick of snow, and integrated testing (little work joke, there).  It’s actually been a pretty productive month, and that’s awesome.  I’m ready to move forward.

I am so grateful for all my friends all over the world though.  One thing I’ve realized this month is how many awesome people I have in my life in some capacity.  I’ve had some really wonderful conversations with my parents, despite their being far away, as well as with several other friends who are near and far.  It is amazing how close I can feel to friends so far away.

Much love to you all!

Snowpocalypse Travel

The holidays in Chapel Hill were lovely. But the trip back left something to be desired. I want to try something out, though, in telling this story. I’m doing to tell it from an optimistic point of view in an attempt to remember it more positively, instead of as an awful experience, one that is full of challenges I met and plenty of dumb luck.

My flight was originally scheduled to leave Monday the 27th in the afternoon, around 5:30, and arrive at LGA at 7:15. My holiday with the family in Chapel Hill was lovely and I enjoyed seeing everyone, especially Ellie, the little sister. I got some real quality time with both my parents, which was really wonderful. And then the weather chose the most interesting time to snow a lot. It snowed first in Chapel Hill, where we got a fantastic 3-6 inches of snow–perfect because it coated everything in white but also didn’t disturb too much because it was cleared easily from streets and melted quickly.

And then the storm moved north, dumping massive amounts of snow on New York City and the LaGuardia Airport. Stir in winds of over 60mph and you have the perfect storm for planes not being able to land. So my flight was cancelled. Which meant I got to spend some more time with Ellie! I called the airline to reschedule the flight, and the soonest they would be able to get me to New York would have been Thursday, the 30th. I was a bit shocked, but agreed to a flight that would get in then at 12am (so I guess technically the 31st). I was excited about getting to spend some more time with the family and just to relax, though it meant using 3 more days of vacation than planned. But I emailed work and everything was going to be fine.

I still was open to other means of transportation to get home a bit sooner. A couple of people suggested looking at trains, which I did. They were sold out. And then my mother mentioned that her cousin was driving to Baltimore the next morning and that perhaps I could take a bus from DC. I looked at the site for cheap bus tickets and found one trip that was not totally booked. I requested a seat after my mom’s cousin said it was totally fine for me to come with her.

The next morning, mom’s cousin came by to pick me up and we arrived in DC an hour late, but still an hour before my bus was scheduled to leave. I got some food and headed to the massive line of people waiting for buses. It was just before 4:30, bus scheduled to leave at 5pm, which I thought was pretty perfect. Then I heard this one young woman mention she was supposed to be on the 3pm bus. I braced for a tough wait.

I made some friends in the bus line and hunkered down, relieved I had picked up some food for myself. We waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, around 6:45pm, our bus arrived. I pushed to the front of the line by the bus, which had become a jumbled mess despite the fact that I’d been at the front of the line waiting, and therefore had been waiting the longest. I managed to get the 3rd last seat on the bus, and we were of. The driver got us home in just over 4 hours–pretty good, especially considering we stopped at one point. And we arrived in snowy New York City around 11pm. I felt (somehow, magically) up for taking the subway (and a bit avoidant of the cabs since there was lots of ice on the roads), so I managed to get home for free (or for what I’d already payed).

After a 14-hour travel day, and about 27 hours later than planned, I arrived home. Thank goodness for multiple forms of transportation. And not getting stuck on a plane, in an airport or in a subway car on an elevated track overnight (with no bathroom, food, or heat). It could be so much worse.

A Wonderful Week(end)

This week/end was fantastic–I had a stressful but very productive week at work. I got so much done, started on things I really needed to do. And then I went to the work holiday party, which ended up being not so bad and perhaps fun. The weekend has been brilliant as well–got a doctor’s appointment and picking up a package done by 12pm on Saturday and then had plenty of time to chill out before going on a nice date Saturday night. I’ve had lots of contact with friends from around the world this week (though I could always use more), and it’s just been all-around peasant. I’m even kind of looking forward to going to work tomorrow because I will get so much done!

I am also psyched about moving into a room with windows! Seriously. You have no idea how awful it has been to work in an office with no windows and also live in a room with no windows. Not even one. As Alan so eloquently put it, “well there are windows in the subway car!” Hah hah. Get it? Because you’re under ground always? Yeah. Gotta love NYC.

I’ve been thinking a lot about living in the moment and just enjoying life. So hopefully you are finding ways to do that as well.

Much love to all,
Shannon