I'm heading out of here in about an hour for Columbus for the weekend. In doing so, I will be missing out on two super-fun events this weekend: Halloween and the Florida v. Georgia game! It's a rough life.
So, since I can't be here, I will rely on Achilles to give you two very important messages from me:
Heather visited me this weekend! We had a great time. I love having visitors!
Heather arrived around 2:00 on Saturday. I took the bus to the airport to meet her, then we took a cab back to my apartment. By the time we got home, it was pouring rain. Blah, not a good way to start the weekend! But, after grabbing some lunch, we decided to brave the weather and walked out to Times Square to get tickets for a Broadway show that night. We were successful, and after getting our tickets, we stopped in to the Hershey's store and the M&M store for some fun before heading home for a NY pizza dinner.
Fun with M&M pillows!
After dinner we went to see "Spring Awakening." We had heard really great things about it, and that it was a must-see. We did enjoy it, but weren't sure it totally lived up to the hype. It had been described to us as being sort of a new "Rent" - dealing with growing up, sex, abuse, suicide, and other various adolescent challenges. It was set in 1890s Germany, which was very interesting contrast to its rock-y music. I did really love the music. The subject matter was intense, but I didn't feel the attachment to the characters that I felt in "Rent," which is why I didn't love it. It was still really enjoyable though, and I've had the songs in my head ever since.
With Heather outside of the theater
After the show we went to a bar in our neighborhood called Valhalla (which makes me think of old NEHI homecomings!). One of Heather's Busch Gardens friends who recently moved to NYC met us there for some drinks, and we watched the Rays game (they lost, boo). Despite the Rays' loss, it was a nice evening out on the town!
On Sunday we walked up to Central Park to do a little sight-seeing. We enjoyed a nice walk in the park, checking out all the fall foliage. Some of the trees are such bright yellows and oranges, it was really beautiful. We saw the Imagine mosaic and Strawberry Fields, then headed east and had lunch in a cafe near the Central Park Zoo.
Heather and me amongst the fall
Being goofy - cheering on the runners in Central Park!
Walking through the park
After lunch we left the park and went to FAO Schwartz, where we were just in time to catch the Big Piano show, which is always fun to watch! After that, it was time to catch our "Sex and the City" bus tour! We spent the next 3.5 hours driving around Manhattan, checking out many spots that were featured in the show. We were able to get out a few times and explore some of the places of interest, and it was a lot of fun. It was a good girly afternoon!
On the bus - somehow we ended up with the two seats at the very back!
One of the sights - a little bookstore in the Village. I bought a very silly book here called "The Book of Bunny Suicides: Little Furry Rabbits Who Just Don't Want to Live Anymore" by Andy Riley. It's a collection of ridiculous cartoons about poor bunnies who have just lost the will to live. It made me laugh, so I bought it.
A sample of the poor bunnies featured in my book. Get up, bunnies! Don't just lay there! Get on the ark!Now is not the time for tanning!
Enjoying cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery
Enjoying cosmopolitans at Steve and Aidan's bar!
After the tour, we went back to the apartment and spent the evening in. Eric made cheeseburgers and we watched the "Sex and the City" movie (what can I say, we were inspired) and then the Rays game. Another loss! Not good, Rays. Let's get it together.
Monday Heather and I were on our own all day, since Eric has that pesky job that occupies his time. I was pretty nervous about being in charge of the tour all day - I had never navigated these parts of NY by myself before. But I must say, I did a great job! I didn't get us lost once. We started off the day by taking the subway down to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty. We contemplated taking the ferry over for a closer look and to see Ellis Island, but decided against it. Instead, we just sat on a bench looking out at the water and the Statue and ate the lunch we had packed. So nice! As we were leaving, Heather was chosen from the crowed to be part of a street performance! She and a few other people were pulled into the center of the crowd and asked to crouch down, while one of the performers flipped over the line of "volunteers!" Crazy.
Heather with the Statue of Liberty behind her
Heather and the rest of the volunteers crouching down, about to be flipped over
From there we walked up to Wall Street and saw the Bull and the Stock Exchange, then continued on to Ground Zero. Then we hopped back on the subway and went up to 34th Street, where we saw the giant Herald Square Macy's and went up to the top of the Empire State Building! The view was, of course, amazing, and I was even able to quickly spot our apartment!
Heather and the Bull
On top of the Empire State Building
Looking northwest from the top of the Empire State Building
Then we went to Times Square to get tickets to another show. This time, we decided to go off-Broadway and got tickets to Altar Boyz, which is playing at the New World Stages near our apartment. It was great! It's about a small-town Christian boy band, comprised of Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham, playing their first show in the Big Apple. It was thoroughly entertaining through the entire show. And, Eric got off work in time to join us! So that was also nice. After the show, we went straight home - it was SO COLD outside! Much too cold for any late-night meandering around the city.
With Eric after the show
Crazy walk signal on the way home - do we walk? Do we not walk? Who can tell?
On Tuesday, the lousy weather was back. The high was in the low 40s and it was pouring rain again. Heather and I did brave the elements and went to Times Square to see a movie ("The Changeling"), and then to...you guessed it!...get tickets to yet another show! This time we saw Chicago, and it was just us girls who went. It was also a great show, and after it was over, they had "Talkback Tuesdays." This Tuesday the costume designer for the show gave a little talk about how he developed the costumes and how they've changed over the years, so that was interesting. After that we went back home and called it a night.
Heather left around noon today, and that was our visit! It was so much fun, and I really appreciated the break from my studies for some quality sister time (and NYC time!). Now it's back to business. I'm leaving on Friday for Columbus, OH for a weekend of work, then when I get back it will be crunch time, because my first GRE test is a week from Saturday. Yikes! So, the party's over.
There is no point to this post, really. I just wanted to share a small hodgepodge of pictures of various New York sights we've come across since moving here. These are pictures that really don't fit with any particular post subject, so I'm clumping them together and giving them to you, largely as a way to entertain myself while I am home alone (Eric is in Minneapolis).
This picture is of something we saw fairly early on in our New York lives. Apparently it was a promotion/advertising gimmick for some dog-training company. It was just what it looks like - a pile of dogs laying on the sidewalk. I wonder how many of them would have kept laying still like this if we had brought psycho Achilles with us on this walk?
This bike is usually parked on 54th Street, near our apartment. It's covered in Subway cards, including a "chain" made of them. I did actually see the owner riding this bike one day - he looks like your average, middle-aged, white guy. He was wearing a white button-down shirt and glasses. I imagine that decorating his bike with MetroCards is his outlet from the cruel business world, or something.
This is Eric and Achilles in Central Park. I wouldn't really call them a random sight in NYC, but I do think they're both pretty cute, so I thought I'd throw them in here.
I think I mentioned in a previous post that we are very near the Hudson River and can sometimes hear ship horns from our apartment. This is a picture of a ship on the Hudson, actually taken from our living room window! So, you can kind of get an idea of how close we are to the water.
ATTENTION: Winter is coming! We've had a drastic weather change over the past couple of weeks. Two weeks ago, it was 75 degrees and sunny. Now, the high temperatures are in the 50s. Plus, the other day I took the dog out in the morning, and not only was it 40-some degrees outside, but it even smelled cold. Know what I mean? And in case you still don't believe me that the seasons are changing, check out the transformation of Rockefeller Center pictured above. The outdoor dining area is now the famous ice-skating rink! Eric and I discovered this change over the weekend. Hopefully we'll get a chance to get out there and do some skating. I can't wait until they put the Christmas tree up, too! (Hey, if it's going to be winter whether I like it or not, I may as well embrace it.)
This is the statue of Atlas at Rockefeller Center. I'm sure it has some sort of cultural/artistic significance other than being featured in the opening credits of Saturday Night Live, but that's where I recognized it from. We actually never realized this was here, and it's right across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral, so we've passed it tons of times. We were just always so busy looking at the Cathedral that we never noticed it.
And this last picture is for my lamppost-loving blog readers, because I know you're out there! (Seriously, some of my blog readers like to take pictures of lampposts.) This beauty is outside the Plaza Hotel. Fancy, eh?
And that'll do it for my random picture-posting tonight. Now it's back to studying and cheering on the Rays for the evening! Tomorrow my husband returns (yay!), and on Saturday Heather is coming (yay!), so I have a lot to look forward to! Enjoy your weekend, everyone!
The Rays beat the Red Sox last night in Game 7, and are now going to the World Series! Isn't that amazing? I was glad they won last night...I was starting to be nervous that this series would be deja vu all over again from last year, when the Red Sox came back from being down 3-1 in the series to beat the Indians. Oh, my poor Indians.
But the Rays pulled it off! Yesterday Eric and I were walking around town and he was proudly sporting his Rays jersey, and he got SO many comments from New Yorkers wishing him good luck. So, apparently for New Yorkers, Love for the Yankees = Hate for the Red Sox = Love for the Rays. For now, at least!
Eric is tossing around the idea of heading over to Philadelphia next weekend to try to scalp tickets to one of the games! I won't be joining him because Heather is coming next weekend, but I'm sure if he goes it'll be a blast. We wish we could be in St. Pete for all the excitement!
Just thought I'd make a quick post to lighten the mood a little bit...I know my past couple of posts have been all about stress, and long work hours, and the GRE, and bar exams, and none of that stuff is very fun. So, here's a very fun video of Achilles when we were in Florida in August. We held him over the pool to see if he'd freak out when he got near the water (he hates to get his feet wet), and apparently what actually happens is his instincts kick in and he starts paddling up a storm. Enjoy!
Did you notice how he goes faster as he nears the edge? Funny dog!
Apparently this whole grad school application thing is stressing me out a little more than I wanted to admit. When I am anxious about something, one or both of the following things happen: I have trouble falling asleep at night (or staying asleep in the morning); and/or I start having dreams about my teeth falling out. Lately, I've had both.
My teeth dreams really do happen whenever I get stressed. I've looked it up online, and apparently this is pretty common. According to the online dream interpreter people, dreaming of your teeth falling out often represents anxiety about a transition or change in your life, or a feeling of powerlessness. This does seem to fit for me, as these dreams really started happening for me when I started facing big life changes. I still remember my very first one as I was applying to grad school (the first time!). In the last 4 years, I've faced a lot of life changes, and my dreams have continued.
The funny part is that my dreams reflect just how stressed out I really am. For example, if I'm just a little worried, I might dream that one of my back teeth is a little loose. It's not inevitable that it will fall out, but if it does, at least it's in the back so it's not very noticeable. However, if I'm REALLY stressed, I've had dreams where the falling-out is so drastic, that in my dream I just coughed and all of my teeth flew out of my mouth. Most of my dreams are somewhere in between...just the other night I dreamed that I had about 4 teeth towards the front of my mouth that were really loose, just barely hanging on. I spent the whole dream trying desperately to keep them in my mouth. (For some reason, in these dreams, there must be no dentists, because there never seems to be any hope of repair for my lost teeth.) Regardless of the actual dream content, I always wake up feeling bothered and helpless.
I'm trying to talk myself down and remind myself of my "What is meant to happen will happen" mantra as far as this grad school application goes. I had really planned to just apply and see what happened...if I got in, great, if not, no big deal. However, I'm studying REALLY hard for the GRE, and I'm starting to think that after putting in all this effort, if I don't get in, I'll be pretty bummed. Yet at the same time I keep thinking, "can I really picture myself back in school again?" I had always thought I'd love to be a professional student, but now that I've had a taste of being out of school and having a job, I think I prefer that. Basically, I'm just a big ol' confused mess.
But, we'll cross the "do I really want to go to school again" line when we get there. In the meantime, I'll go back to my studying and dreaming of loose teeth!
Have any of you ever had a recurring dream like this?
Eric started off his job with very little to do. Now, it's the complete opposite. He's been working on a closing for the last two weeks, which means he has rarely been getting home before 8:00. Last night he didn't get home until 10:30, and at that point, he had yet to eat either lunch or dinner because he had been working too hard all day. Tonight he should be able to get home a little earlier, although it will still be late enough to make him miss the firm volleyball game tonight (he's captain of the team). The closing is winding down, which is why he's able to get out a little earlier tonight, but he also received a new assignment today that will probably force him to work some this weekend. He's also going to Minneapolis for a work-related trip next week, and he'll likely have to work on this new project from his hotel.
I miss my husband! I know this is what I signed up for, and really, it could be a lot worse. His long hours still aren't as long as many other lawyers out there, so I'm glad for that. And all this work really is good for him - some of his fellow first-year associates have yet to bill any hours since starting work a month ago, so he's ahead of the game in that regard. Plus, this new assignment he got came directly from a partner, and it is the sort of thing a higher-level associate would normally do. I think that speaks to the partner's confidence in the quality of Eric's work, which is great.
It's just a bummer that he's been so busy this week and potentially this weekend, because this weekend is the last time we have together with nothing scheduled to do for a while. He leaves for Minneapolis on Tuesday and will return on Friday. My sister is coming to visit (yay!) the day after he gets back, and she'll be here until the following Wednesday. Then that following Friday I'm leaving for Columbus for a mock trial for the weekend. When I get back, I'll have tons of work to do, finishing up my report for the project and also doing some last minute cramming, because the Psych GRE is the following Saturday. And then the weekend after THAT will be cramming for the regular GRE, which I'm taking on Tuesday, Nov. 18. Then we'll begin preparing for Thanksgiving and my dad coming to town (another yay!). So, we're gearing up for a busy few weeks.
And something else that's approaching fast is....BAR EXAM RESULTS. Many states have already released their bar exam results, including Virginia and Florida, but New York probably won't release theirs until mid-November. But, the time is fast approaching, so I hope Eric doesn't start getting nervous! I'm sure he passed with flying colors. Our good friend Jeff found out today that he passed in Virginia (Congrats, Jeff!), and Eric's friend Eric found out a couple of weeks ago that he passed in Florida (Congrats, Eric!). I can't wait until it's time to congratulate my husband! Hopefully he'll get his results right around when I finish all my GRE stuff, and we can go out for one big, giant, celebratory, "NO MORE TESTS" dinner. I foresee delicious food and lots o' wine.
So, that's the update on lawyer life right now. I know I rambled on for a bit, so here's the CliffsNotes version of this post: Eric is busy. I miss him but it's a good thing that he's busy. He's going to pass the bar. Hooray!
We had yet another great weekend this weekend! I was glad that we had some time to get out and enjoy the city, because frankly, I had been having a rough week. I was irritated by being cooped up in the apartment all day every day studying for the GRE, so I had been feeling like I wasn't enjoying New York as much as I should be. It was making me miss DC a bit, although I knew it really was just because I was sick of being stuck in the house. So, I'm glad I had a chance to get out and enjoy.
Eric was really busy at work last week, working until 8:00 almost every night. When he got off on Friday, I met up with him on his walk home and we tried a lasagna restaurant near our apartment. It was SO GOOD. Then we rented a movie and picked up some Tasti-D-Lite on the walk home, although we never watched the movie...we watched the Rays. Lose. Boo.
Saturday we decided to head out on the town. We went to Bed Bath and Beyond to get some things we needed for the apartment, then walked over to Central Park to pick up a Hairspray picture from one of the street vendors. (We collect pictures of all the Broadway shows we've seen! We have 9 so far.) Then we walked back towards our apartment along 8th Avenue, which was closed off again for that weekend street festival. We did some shopping (I bought a cute hat!) and had some roasted corn on the cob and a free sample of kettle corn. I love that street festival! I have no idea if they do it year round or if it will end as the weather gets colder, but it's so much fun.
Eric enjoying roasted sweet corn
After walking through the festival, we headed over to 9th Avenue and stopped at this little hole-in-the-wall cheesesteak place for a late lunch. It was delicious, as those hole-in-the-wall places tend to be!
A good place for a cheesesteak
Mmm, cheesesteak and cheese fries!
After our lunch we returned home, and planned to call it a night and stay in to watch the Gators. However, we needed to run the dog downstairs to do his business, so we decided to take a spontaneous walk with him over to the water. We live only two blocks from the Hudson River, and I had been meaning to check it out. Navy ships dock there (we've seen quite a few sailors around lately), and cruise ships do too...sometimes you can even hear the ship horn from our apartment!
So, we walked out to the water and it was so nice! There's a great little park there, with a big grassy area and benches so you can sit and look out at the water and over to lovely New Jersey. They also have a boat house where you can kayak for free on the weekends during the summer. It was great!
Eric and Achilles by a sign at the park that says "Dog Free Lawn."
Ha, we scoff at your signage and your rules, Hudson River Park!
Achilles and me by the water
After the park, we went back home and geared up for Gator game, which was AWESOME. We beat LSU by 30! We had hoped to win, but we certainly hadn't expected a 30-point beatdown. Let's go, Gators! Since we were able to get this game on TV, we stayed home to watch it, which meant that Achilles got to sport his Gator gear. He loves it. (Actually, you've never seen a more pitiful dog than when he's wearing his Gator sweater, but I pretend he loves it. He needs to make a sacrifice for his team.)
"Somebody please get me out of this sweater. And Go Gators."
After the Gator win, we watched the rest of the Rays game. Holy cow, it went on forever. But, they won! Go Rays!
Sunday, Eric had to go in to the office for a bit, which was fine because I had some studying I needed to do. I've still been trying to catch up from the time I took off for being sick last week. I got some good work done, then when both of us were finishing up, I headed out towards Eric's office. We met up somewhere between here and there and then walked back to his office together so I could finally see it! He still needs to hang pictures, but it was great to see it and be able to picture where he spends his days.
Doesn't he look official?
From there we got some pizza then went to Times Square to see a movie. We saw "Fireproof," starring Kirk Cameron, and we really enjoyed it. I felt the acting left a little to be desired for the most part, but the message was solid and inspiring. It was great to watch a movie about the preservation of marriage...quite the contrast from the subject matter of most movies today.
After the movie we tried to walk back home, which was a bit of a circus. We made the mistake of walking down W. 44th Street, which passes several Broadway theaters, including the theaters for Phantom of the Opera, Spamalot, and Equus, which is currently staring Daniel Radcliffe (the guy who plays Harry Potter in the movies). Apparently we were walking past these theaters at the exact time that Harry Potter was arriving at the theater for the night's performance. So, we walked right into THE MOB. I kid you not, it was madness. His limo was pulled up in front of the theater, and there was seriously a mob of people on either side of it, with people screaming and waving things for him to sign in the air, and holding up their cameras over the crowd to try to get a picture. It was even the same story ACROSS THE STREET...people were trying to climb up on lampposts to get a better look. There were even police there to control the madness. The sidewalk was completely impassable, so we had to walk in the street. While doing so, we did manage to get a look at Harry Potter himself! Unfortunately, I couldn't snap a picture because the police were rushing us along. Apparently they didn't want people actually standing IN the street taking pictures. Crazy cops and their rules.
Crazy mob outside the "Equus" theater
This is the madness across the street from the "Equus" theater
We did finally make it home and then settled in for a nice evening. We had dinner, made some brownies, and finally watched that movie we had rented on Friday. It was a great relaxing end to a wonderful weekend! New York is a great place to be.
This week, we officially got our NY state licenses, so I guess this means we're officially New Yorkers! We actually went to the DMV to get them last week, and it was quite a process. The place opened at 8:30a.m. and we got there at 8:45, and the line was already SO LONG. It was nuts. We had to wait in the line for a good while to get our pictures taken, then they gave us each a number and we had to wait to be called. Once we were called, all they did was have us sign a form and check our ID. Then they told us to wait to be called AGAIN, which was the longest wait of the morning. Then when we were called that time, basically all we did was pay (and they charged me $2.50 more than they charged Eric!), and then they told us our IDs would be mailed to us in 2-3 weeks. What??? This was very strange. In both FL and VA, they give out IDs on the spot. So, we've been wandering around with "temporary licenses" all week...they're just slips of paper without a picture, just some of our info printed on them.
But anyway, our new IDs arrived yesterday, and they're weird. I figured since we had to wait to get them, they must be super fancy and, I don't know, sturdy or something. Not so. I mean, I guess they're fancy, because they're pretty hologram-y, but they're so BENDY! They seem fake to me. Very strange.
Demonstrating the flexibility of my new license
Plus, I miss my old VA license picture. I got my most recent VA license last year after the wedding when I did my name change, so I took my picture right after the honeymoon. I was tan and lookin' good. I look pretty pasty in this one.
My new ID! Don't be confused, it really does contain vital info like my last name and address. However, that info has been removed to protect the innocent. Safety first! Also, could my face BE any whiter?
In other news, please accept my apologies for the posting dry spell on this blog as of late. Why the lack of new posts, you ask? Because nothing is happening. I spent all last week sick as a dog, and only recently have returned to functional health. And all I do now that I've rejoined the non-sick world is study for the GRE. It's like a full-time job, and it sucks. Plus, Eric has actually been pretty busy at work this week, so he's been working pretty late nights. The bottom line is, the W. house has been a pretty dull place to be this week. Other than our new IDs, our most exciting news is that Achilles has finished two bones this week. Isn't that just riveting?
Hopefully I'll be back to a super-exciting life pretty soon! We do have some fun things coming up, including a visit from my sister in a couple weeks! So, stay tuned!
Happy birthday to my mother-in-law! Toni turns 60 years young today. We celebrated her birthday back in August with a surprise party while Eric and I were in Florida, but we're thinking of her today and wishing we could be there to celebrate with her today, too.
Hope you're having a great day, Toni! We love you!
Today marks one whole month since we first arrived in New York. The boys of the W. family have really settled into a routine. Eric seems to be adjusting well to being a working man (although things have been slow, so he hasn't had much to do since his project last weekend). He's contemplating how to decorate his office and is already captain of the firm volleyball team. And Achilles has figured out all the most comfortable places to sleep in our new apartment (including the laundry basket on the floor of the closet), has found his favorite places to...umm...take care of business (I get the feeling this is very important in a dog's life), and really enjoys strutting down the streets of New York.
The only person who seems to still be in a sort of transitional period is me. And those of you who know me well know how much this thrills me, because I just LOVE being uncertain about my future (I understand you can't hear my tone of voice, so just to clarify, that last sentence was exceptionally sarcastic). I am still unemployed, although in all fairness, I haven't really started the job search yet. I do have another project lined up with my DC boss for November in Columbus, OH, so that's good. There's also a jury consultant here in NY who has worked with my boss in the past, and I was actually able to meet her when I was up here for business back in May. She is a solo consultant (doesn't work for a big firm) who might be able to use my help from time-to-time, so I do plan on contacting her to let her know I'm here, in case she can ever use me. I've also got my resume updated and am waiting for feedback on it from my DC boss before it really starts making the rounds. So, I'm not a total unemployed slacker.
However, my biggest focus right now is applying graduate school. Yes, again. I've decided to apply to the Experimental Forensic Psychology PhD program at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The school is right down the street from us, just about 5 blocks, so it's very convenient. And the program sounds awesome. They have both a Clinical and Experimental Forensic Psychology program, and the Experimental program sounds perfect for me. It involves fewer classes to take before just focusing on my dissertation, because it cuts out all the clinical diagnosis/treatment type classes, which I don't need. I have no intention of being a lay-on-my-couch-and-tell-me-about-your-daddy-issues type of psychologist, so the clinical stuff is not much use to me. Instead, the Experimental program focuses almost entirely on research design and statistical analysis, which is what I do, but feel I could use more training in. Plus, there are a number of faculty members in the program who focus on jury research, including one who focuses on capital jury decision-making, which is what I'd like to focus on, too. So, it sounds great, and will make me so much more marketable in my field.
So, the decision has been made to at least TRY to get in. I'm trying to stay detached and take a "If I get in, great, and if I don't, at least I tried" outlook. Because although I know it's a smart move for my career, I'm just not sold on another 5 years of school. What if we don't want to be in NY that long? What if we want to start a family before then? Etc. But, I'm going to just see what happens.
So for now my job is studying for the GRE. I have to take both the regular and Psych Subject GRE tests. I've signed up for both of them and now will spend the next 6-7 weeks studying all day to prepare. I've also sent out transcript and letter of recommendation requests, so I'm on my way.
And that's the update on my life! The bottom line is, I don't know if I'll get in to grad school, I don't know where or when I'll start working on a permanent basis, but for now I know that I have to study. So I'm making progress. Wish me luck!