Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Say OK

Man, I don't think I've ever worked so hard in my life. I have a gazillion paper cuts on my hands to prove it. People come into my office and ask if I'm even exhausted because they can hear me click-clacking away at the keyboard and answering multiple phone calls at once, while writing on a message pad. I say I'm not.

I actually don't feel exhausted until I leave my office building, which is ironically what I don't like about my days. If I don't stop working, I can't feel exhausted--that's my logic for now. I don't even like stopping for lunch. I guess I'm like one of those people who feel like once they take a break, it's hard to get back to work.

Or I'm a workaholic.

This week has been particularly exhausting because I have multiple real estates closings per day, reporting letters to send out and I'm still trying to keep up with the work I missed while I was in NYC, still.

On a lighter note, I finally received my Commissioner's stamp in the mail. I don't know if that is necessarily a 'lighter note' since it's work-related. I just like receiving packages in the mail.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I <3 NY Part II

Last night was Megan's birthday party. It was good. Meg's parents had a buffet-style dinner for us at their house and we mingled and played Pictionary. That was so fun. My team won, of course. Later that night we hopped on a limo and went to Level Nightclub. I came home pretty late and woke up about three hours ago. Gah. I both hate and love that. I hate that I woke up so late in the day but I love that I got a good 8 hours of sleep after the most time- and energy- consuming week ever.

I had about a week's worth of work waiting for me when I got back on the first day after the long weekend. I barely caught up with it by Friday. This coming week is going to be really stupid ridiculous because I have like 10 ten closings and a dozen clients to see, etc. *sigh. I will crawl back to bed for more sleep, but not before I finally finish my long-awaited accounts of my trip to New York:

On the second day, it was rainy so we decided it would be a perfect day to be indoors in one of NYC's world-famous museums. We chose the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The MoMA is huge and gorgeous. I really enjoyed seeing some of my favourite artists' works (Pollock, Monet). One of the security guards was even hitting on me and tried to convince me to move to NYC (hmm...). It was a pretty hip and happening place in general and we even managed to get to all the floors in a short amount of time before we had to get to the studio where they were taping The Daily Show.

The show was good and it happened to be the first day of the end of the Writers' strike, too. I came out of the bathroom (for VIPs, ahem) and who did I see? An old highschool friend from home! He was with his girlfriend for a wedding and came to see the show as well. Small world.

I made a bet with myself that he would mention the U.S. Presidential Elections. I won $20 from myself (because no one else would bet me). Oh yeah, on our way to meeting my cousin we saw one of the dancers from Dancing with the Stars. *click* And when I was waiting for my cousin to finish work, who did I find but Lil Kim in his lobby? In person, she is short and she reeked of make up. But it was still cool to see her although I wanted to ask her why she hasn't released a decent album since Notorious K.I.M..

After The Daily Show, we went to the Jay-Z owned, 40/40 Club since I promised myself I would at least check it out. We played some pool in the "Jay Z Room" and ate some of the over-priced food before we headed to K-town and ate at a decent moderately-priced Korean restaurant.

The next day we decided to head to downtown Manhattan towards SoHo, Chinatown and Wall Street. We could've gone to see the site where the WTC used to be but we didn't have time and frankly, I didn't really think it would be anything but a very large construction site. My uncle took us for a tour of Chinatown and we had some Dim Sum before leaving us on our own in Canal Street.

I guess it is true what they say about Canal Street, that you can find the best fakes there. But I really don't think you can find the best fakes unless you walk up to one of those vendors and ask to speak to someone named 'Mary' or something before they take you downstairs to a basement of fake Fendi's that would give Karl Lagerfeld a run for this money. I really didn't like being in Canal Street. firstly, because I hate fakes (suck it up and buy a real one) and secondly, the area was just so, so shady. People would come up to me and ask me if I wanted to buy a Rolex and shit. However, it also happened to be Valentine's Day and a kind gentleman came up to me and gave me a rose, so that was nice (although I'm sure a lot of not-so-savvy people would think that was creepy). It was sweet and kinda brightened up my mood. I ended up giving it to some guy on the street who asked me for it (lol yeah, he asked me for it) and since I didn't wanna hold the thing all day anyway, I told him to go make another woman happy. My good deed of the year DONE.

After Canal Street we went to SoHo which was a vast difference from Canal. So much better. Better stores (even bought something from Burberry!) and the people were more my type of people.

I have to stop here and mention something. Because we were in NYC, between Mel and I, there were alot of Friends, Seinfeld, and Sex and the City (mostly me) references and quotes. In fact, we really outdid it but what the hell, it's New York!

The SoHo area was the 'setting' of where the characters in Friends live and it was pretty true to the show, even though it was filmed in Hollywood. We were so cliché we even chilled in a coffee shop. But seriously, it is a place I would really consider living because of the people and the general area. Too bad it is too cha-ching.

After SoHo, we made our way to NYU and then we had to head back uptown to meet my aunt for dinner at a good Thai restaurant and to see Rent. After the show she took us back to New Jersey. I must say, I was pretty impressed with her driving through New York City. She's a true New Yorker and you really have to be to drive safely in the city. I can't tell you how many times I had to hold my breath just watching NYC traffic and being a pedestrian. Traffic signs and pedestrians mean nothing to NYC cabbies.

New Jersey was a nice change of pace from being in the city for the past few days. Instead of crowdiness and rush hour, it was calm and relaxing. Instead of cabbies, there were trees. Instead of sky scrapers and tall buildings, it was huge mansions and tall trees. Instead of Canal Street, there was Nordstroms. Instead of Lil Kim, well, actually there was a certain East Coast rap artist who lived right around the corner and another several blocks away.

The town we were in was near other small towns and not far from New York State so we mostly saw little towns around there like Ho-ho-kus and Suffern (the towns Carrie went to with Aiden in Sex and the City!). We were taken to some quaint, but unique places. For example, we went to see a movie (I forget what it was called right now) in a theatre that was actually converted from an old-style theatre, complete with an actual live organ player! We went to a Mexican restaurant, which was actually pretty awesome considering I've never really had Mexican food besides Taco Bell (Mexican food is pretty popular in the States).

The next morning, we got up early and went to a pancake restaurant a few towns away. It was soooooo good. They have this thing called 'Lumberjack Pancakes' which is two pancakes, each with a diameter of at least 1.5 feet and is 1-inch thick! My ambitious teen-aged male cousin had it and didn't even make a dent in the second one. The restaurant boasts huge portions and it was funny because they left out containers for people to take unfinished pancakes home. I would have to say it was one of the best pancakes I've ever had.

We went back to the city and went to the Museum of Natural History and then had dinner at an incredible Japanese restaurant. Afterwards was we saw another broadway, Phantom of the Opera. I have see Phantom on Broadway before in Toronto but that was about 10 years ago. I forgot the plot and most of the songs, so I didn't mind seeing it again.

The next morning we had brunch at a '60's-style diner, which I am convinced is owned by a Soprano (even though they're supposed to be fictional, I'm pretty sure it's based on some high-profile mobsters in New Jersey). Nevertheless, the food was good. We went back to the city again to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yup, another museum, another art museum. You can't say we didn't do enough in NYC.

After the Met, we went back to Jersey with some Malaysian takeout and ate dinner in front of a movie. It was definitely a nice, relaxing end to the trip. Good movie, good food, good memories.

The next morning we had to wake up at 4 am to catch our 7 am flight. It's a good thing we packed the night before because I had a real tough time getting everything into my suitcase. I didn't understand how I still had trouble packing since half my luggage was gifts when I arrived and I had unloaded them all. I didn't think I bought that much. To this day, I'm still perplexed as to how my 'packing math' didn't add up.

The flight home wasn't as great as when we departed Toronto. It was very turbulent and Mel actually got sick on the plane unlike the first time. At least they played her favourite show, How I Met Your Mother, on the plane, otherwise the entire flight would have been miserable for her.

The trip to New York was great awesome. I left behind my troubled thoughts and feelings and forgot about all my problems when I was there. I missed everyone, but it also felt terrific to know that I am able to go out on my own (with Mel to navigate). For a brief moment, I even wondered how it was possible for me to have to my problems when there is so much more to the world than silly heartache and drama. We are but tiny, tiny irrelevancies (as I discovered while visiting the Space exhibit at the Museum of Natural History) to the World and to everyone else, if you think about it.

But it's really funny (and sad) that even when you come home to those problems you consider serious, you still manage to forget about everything else in the world once again.

^On the NYC subway ^Big Monet ^Me in front of a Pollock ^Mel and the guy from Dancing with the Stars ^Me and Lil Kim. Chill. ^@The Daily Show ^A familiar face from home. ^Times Square ^Does Jay Z really need to charge $8 for a PB & J sandwich? ^Wacky waving inflating flailing arm tube man! ^Canal Street ^Soho ^Burberry ^Washington Square Park @ Museum of Natural History ^Delicious Jap food ^ the Met ^doing The Egyptian ^another Pollock ^outside the Met

Monday, February 18, 2008

I <3 NY Part I

I landed in Toronto about 3.5 hours ago and I should be crashing in my bed just like Mel is. I had about 3.5 hours of sleep and we had to get up at 4:30 am to get to LaGuardia in a downpour. Then again, I'm not the one who got air sick. Haha.

What can I say about New York, except that it was A-W-E-S-O-M-E? I'm so so glad I went through with the trip, as last minute as it was. How about that? Turns out I am capable of doing grown-up things like buying plane tickets and traveling by myself to a strange city.

We got to NYC at about 5 pm on Monday. We stayed with my aunt and uncle in Long Island and the first thing I realized was that there was absolutely no snow on the ground. I had left Toronto in about a foot of fresh snow and I set foot on a dry, yet dirty, New York City street. Everyone said it had been an unseasonably warm winter (hello, Winter '07 in Canada!).

The next day, Mel and I took the train by ourselves into the city. The train we took I would say was equivalent to the GO train we have here. It only took about 40 minutes and we ended up in front of Macy's on 43rd (?). I admit, it took me a good while to figure out how to make my way around the city. All those numbers, all those one-way streets. Thank goodness I had Mel.

We went to the sights that were 'touristy' and what my family and everyone else had suggested: 5th Avenue, Trump Tower, Empire State Building, Madison Square Gardens, etc., etc. I won't bore you with the details, but whatever you want to do in NYC we probably did it. We even had our first of several celeb sightings at NBC Studios with Keenan Thompson of Keenan and Kel (and now, SNL)!

My cousin works in advertising, so she has many connections. It's too bad she didn't realize how many things we were into, otherwise I'm sure she could've done more for us, but what she could do at the last minute was hook us up with tickets to see the Broadway show, Xanadu and got us some VIP seats to see The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Not too shabby. She could have taken us with her to see Matchbox Twenty but my aunt was taking us to see Rent that night. Ahh, so much to do, so little time.

We most walked around Midtown. The pics are pretty self-explanatory, I think.

That night, before we went to see Xanadu, my cousin's Italian husband took us to an Italian restaurant called Becco in the Theatre District. I was surprised to find that seeing Broadway shows is a big thing in NYC and there's about a dozen or so out. That was one big difference I found between Toronto and NYC. Also, Broadway tickets are pretty expensive. But then again, NYC is extravagant like that.

Anyway, I'm off to go out for some coffee with Konrad. I have been deprived of Tim Horton's for a week and that ain't right.

^Mel studying in the airport ^Me pretending to look business-like, but I was really looking at my concert pics of Tokio Hotel ^Let's play "Who Gets Motion Sickness First". I won. ^Waiting for the Long Island Train into Manhattan ^Long Island ^Manhattan ^Madison Square Gardens ^If you see the PoPo, lemme know ^Me and Lady Lib ^We forego paying $30 to go up the Empire State Building so we opt for the next best thing ^Futile sign ^Me on 5th Avenue waiting for Mel to buy 50 postcards ^Gorgeous BCBG dresses ^Of course we just had to stop at the library for Mel ^Snow in Manhattan! ^Times Square ^Keenan Thompson and I at NBC Studios ^Best $7 steak ever, although my cousin said it might not have been steak... ^Roc-a-fella? ^Rockefellar Centre ^The mothership awaits... ^Walking up 5th Avenue ^Remember on Sex and the City where Carrie sees Big take his mother to the church on 5th Avenue? This is it. ^Is the Donald in? ^"Fow" Schwarz