Thursday, February 26, 2009

We're In!

The move was a success! It was a long process, but overall not bad. Actually, I'm very impressed with how efficient we really were. For some reason, this within-the-building move seemed to go much easier than the last time we moved within a building. This time, as we moved things into the new place, we put away what we could right away. Often Eric would go back to the old apartment and load up carts and boxes with stuff, while I stayed in the new place and put away the last load. So as a result, now that moving day has passed, the amount of stuff to be unpacked is minimal. There's still a lot to do, of course, but it could be much worse.

Eric and I moved everything ourselves except for the couch. His friend Jesse came over after work and helped Eric move the couch, which also went much more smoothly than we would have expected. The last time we moved that couch it was quite the ordeal, and our friend Jose tells us that the movers nearly gave up on it when they tried to move it into our original NYC apartment. But this time around, Jesse and Eric moved it masterfully and it was in the new place in no time.

Our old apartment starting to empty out

Achilles being oh-so-helpful while Eric sets up the TV in our new apartment

Achilles came back and forth with us all day long, but in general was pretty unhelpful. I said we should strap things to his back and make him do his share, but we let him off easy. All he wanted was for one or both of us to sit down so he could cuddle up and take a nap. He does have a knack for finding the soft spots to lay, though, I'll tell you that much.

Early in the day, Achilles found the only soft spot in the new apartment - a basket of clean laundry. How nice for him.

Finally! Someone sat down so Achilles could cuddle!

So, we were able to get nearly everything moved into the new place on Tuesday, then I spent yesterday bringing up some more odds and ends, cleaning the old place, and getting the cable and internet set up in the new place. When Eric got home from work we finished moving things and cleaning the old place, and this morning we handed in our keys. Farewell, old apartment.

One thing that I must mention is that apparently some wires are crossed in my head. You may have noticed that the title of my last post was "Movin' Up" because we literally moved up, from the eighth floor to the tenth. Yet for whatever reason, I got my directions backwards EVERY TIME I referred to the two apartments. If we were in the old apartment on the 8th floor, I'd talk about moving things down into the new apartment. From the 10th floor apartment, I'd want to move things up to the 8th floor. It was insane. I even kept pushing the wrong elevator buttons as I moved things back and forth. Eric quickly took to calling me "crazy woman," and I started to seriously worry about my mental health. Even now, as I've been writing this post, I've had to correct myself a couple times and make sure my directions are accurate. The only explanation I can think of for this is that when we moved within the building in DC, we moved from the 13th floor to the 2nd floor, so if I'm still thinking about that, my directions are correct. But I have no idea why that would be so ingrained in my mind that I CAN NOT get it right this time around. Sheesh.

Anyway, it will be a little while before I'm able to post pics of our completed apartment. I'm working furiously today and tomorrow to get it to some semblance of order, because my mom and stepdad are arriving tomorrow night for a weekend visit. I know they won't mind the chaos, but I hate the thought of guests in this mess. My inner hostess is screaming that everything won't be in its place, there likely won't be fresh flowers in the dining room, and our pictures won't even be hung, but what can you do? I'll do what I can. For now, this is the state the apartment is currently in:

The bedroom

Living room


Dining room

Despite the mess, we love this apartment. The only downsides I've discovered so far are more street noise (which makes sense because we're actually facing the street now, instead of a courtyard and other buildings), and some construction noise during the day. Street noise doesn't really bother us, though, and the construction won't last forever, so it's not a problem. Oh, and we also lost some kitchen cabinet space for the sake of the pass-thru kitchen, but we've made everything fit so it's okay. We also have extra closet space which is wonderful.

Another really nice thing about this place is the direct sunlight. We face east, so we get direct sunlight in our apartment until noon, and even after that point it's so much brighter than our last apartment. Achilles loves to lay in the sun, so he's a happy camper. And the biggest positive, of course, is the view. Oh, the beautiful, beautiful view!

Achilles, being grateful that we put his chair in the sun for his lounging pleasure

The view from our living room, looking to the right (southeast)

The view looking straight out our living room window (east)

The view to the left (northeast)

So, there's my update, and now it's time to get back to work! Enjoy your weekend, everyone. I'll be back next week to share pictures from my mom's visit!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Movin' Up!

Tomorrow is moving day! FINALLY. I'm so ready. In fact, we had hoped that we would be able to get the keys tonight at close of business, so we could start taking things up to the new place when Eric gets home from work tonight. But, no such luck, so we'll get the keys first thing tomorrow morning and then the moving fun can begin.

The pressure will be on because, as I have mentioned before, Eric can only take one day off work, and we only have 48 hours to vacate our old apartment. So nearly everything MUST be moved by tomorrow night. Eric said he'll try to leave work early on Wednesday, but he's been so busy lately that I can't count on that. If all goes according to plan, we should be able to get most everything moved out tomorrow and I can spend Wednesday finishing up any last things and cleaning the old apartment. Then I will spend the rest of the week furiously working away to get the new apartment somewhat organized before my mom comes to visit on Friday night.

It's going to be a lot of work but I'm so excited. I can't wait to have the beautiful view, and to organize everything and make it our own. I have spent the last month picturing how to arrange every piece of furniture and where to hang every picture, so I can hardly wait to get in and make it happen.

Wish us luck tomorrow! Naturally, I'll be back to share pictures of the new place and the move as soon as possible!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Canine Cold Weather Wear

As I mentioned in my last post, our weather is starting to warm up a bit. It's not warm by any means yet, but it's better. I was telling my dad yesterday that in light of this winter - my first real winter since leaving Cleveland at age 12 (because let's be honest, DC winters are very mild. One or two fairly light snows a year does not a "winter" make) - I've gained a better understanding of my weather outlook as a kid. I remember spring days where the temperature would hit 60 degrees and I would beg my mother to let me put on my swimsuit and run through the sprinkler. I could not understand why she wouldn't let me. My adult mind gets it now, of course, but I can still totally understand what little me was thinking. These days, 50 degrees feels like positively summer-like weather.

I understand it's still February, so we're likely not totally out of the winter woods yet. We could still get snow or bad cold snaps...I remember snow on Easter more than once during my Cleveland childhood. But, I'm hopeful that we've seen the last of the major snows for this season. You know who else hopes that? Achilles.

We had a minor problem with Achilles this winter, that we've never had to face before: snow, ice and sidewalk salt on and in his little paws. It wasn't generally a problem just taking him outside to do his business, but a walk of any substantial distance (a block or more) caused problems. It would really hurt him, and he would lift the bothered paw in the air and either hop along or stop dead in his tracks until someone would come pick him up and tend to his paw and/or carry him the rest of the way. It was just the saddest thing you've ever seen. Sometimes when I would crouch down to fix the problem he would just start climbing up me as if to say "WHY are you making me do this?! CARRY ME!" So sad.

So, we decided to try boots. Heh heh. I tried them on him in the apartment to see if they would work outdoors.

Boy, does he hate this.

Sure, he looks pathetic in this picture. But wait until you see how he walks! He flips his feet in the air (and eventually flings the boots off, so needless to say, they do not work outside) and looks very miserable. Check out this video below, and excuse my baby-talking to the dog. He made it to a "safe spot" (Eric's shorts on the floor), and didn't want to move, so I had to entice him to keep going:

So basically, I'm glad winter is winding down so we don't have to worry about Achilles' poor paws anymore, at least until next year. By next year, hopefully we'll have a better plan. For now, this is Achilles' preferred approach to winter weather:

And really, who am I to judge his plan? Better to just embrace it, snuggle up next to him and stay in the warm apartment! Don't you agree?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Belated Valentine

Eric and I spent most of our weekend wandering around the city - shopping, eating, and just roaming aimlessly. The weather is still chilly, but the daily temperatures have started to trend upwards (we're now consistently in the high 30s-low 40s, rather than in the 20s and below), and we felt the urge to get out and stretch our legs a bit.

Yesterday while strolling through Times Square, we came across this "Valentine to NYC" sponsored by Zales. A little Googling tells me Zales had a 2-carat diamond giveaway contest in Times Square on Valentine's Day, which involved contestants reciting poetry to their beloveds. We thought this heart statue was very cool. It's right in the heart (get it??) of Times Square, by the TKTS booth (where we get our discount Broadway tickets). So, I give you a belated NYC-style Valentine:

Zales Valentine to New York City

Our weekend wandering also led us out to Macy's, which gave us a closer view of the Valentine's Day Empire State Building. The different levels were lit up red and pink, which are two colors that always make me happy because they were our wedding colors. Needless to say, they now carry pretty positive associations for me!

Festive Empire State Building

On a related romantic note, I'd like to point out that tomorrow is the 1.5 year anniversary of our wedding! I can't believe it's been a year and a half already. I have to say that I love where we are in our relationship right now. We're settling in nicely to married life, and enjoying it very much, to the point that we don't feel so much like newlyweds anymore (although in the grand scheme of life, of course, we still are). Yet, it's still early enough in our marriage to still be counting anniversaries in six month increments! We have a good time together, and are so happy. Eric's the best husband ever.

Okay, enough mushy stuff! Hope you all had a nice weekend. This week will be spent preparing for next week's move into the new apartment - FINALLY! So stay tuned for updates on the moving madness!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Interview Day

First of all, thanks so much to everyone who was thinking about me and wished me well for my interview on Friday. It helped me to know so many people were cheering me on! Thanks for the encouragement.

Man, it was a long day. I was just exhausted by the end of it. And of course, I didn't sleep very well the night before. Actually, the whole Interview Day ordeal started on Thursday night with a reception for the applicants, hosted by the current grad students, at a local bar. I went and spent the two-hour reception mingling with everyone. At the beginning, it was really calming my nerves and boosting my confidence. I seemed to be one of only a very few who already had a Master's degree and/or any work experience in my chosen field. Many of the other applicants were coming in straight from undergrad. And, everyone was very nervous too, of course, so that was helpful to see. But, as the night went on and I talked to more of the current students about the professors I would be interviewing with, I started to get nervous again. By the time I got home I was pretty freaked out. Eric did his best to calm me down, including having beautiful red roses waiting for me when I got home. But I couldn't help but be nervous anyway.

On Friday I got to the school around 8:50 a.m., checked in and helped myself to some breakfast. I found a table to sit at with other Experimental program applicants. Interview Day was for both the Clinical and Experimental applicants (I'm Experimental), but the Clinical kids had a much lighter interview schedule than the Experimentals (they only had 4 or 5 interviews instead of 9). There were also a lot more of them - there were probably 30-35 Clinical applicants, and only 9 Experimental applicants.

The program started with a brief welcome by the Directors of Clinical and Experimental Training, and other Officers & Chairs of the Psychology program. Then they went through the faculty, with each one coming up and introducing themselves and describing their research interests. That was when I really started to get excited about the program. There are so many ongoing research projects that sound interesting, that I would love to be involved with!

After the introductions they split up the Experimental and Clinical groups. The Experimentals went to a classroom for a brief Q&A session with the Director of Experimental Training. This was a good chance for me to learn a little more about the program, the requirements, etc., as well as the financial aspects. I won't go too into detail because I'm not sure it's that interesting to everyone, but it just all really sounds wonderful. This was the point that I really started to realized that I will be sad if I don't get in. My "give it a shot and just see what happens" mentality has totally gone out the window. I want in.

And then the interviews began. My first one was actually with the Director of Experimental Training, so I followed her to her office and got things underway. She was very friendly and easy to talk to, so she put me at ease quite a bit. I was glad for that! My next two interviews went well too.

After my third interview they gathered all the Experimental applicants together again for Q&A with the current students, with the assumption that we could speak more candidly with the students and get answers to questions we may not want to ask in front of the Big Shots. So, that was really nice too. I learned more interesting things about the program. For example: I would be able to take classes not only at John Jay, but at any school in the CUNY (City University of New York) system. I can also take two consortium classes at other NY schools, like NYU, Columbia, or Fordham. That sounds so interesting, and a great way to be exposed to other teaching styles, theoretical backgrounds, etc.

Then it was time for lunch, a.k.a. more mingling and trying to impress people. Then the afternoon interviews began. I had six more that afternoon. My first one went very well - they even had to interrupt it and tell me it was time for my next one, because that professor and I were just chatting it up. She was so nice and was telling me about a grant she has that is right up my alley, so hopefully she is now thinking of me as a great fit for it.

My afternoon interviews included some of the "big fish" - the very well known faculty, and the ones I am particularly interested in working with. Surprisingly, the interview I felt most relaxed about beforehand felt like it went the worst of all of them! So that was a little unnerving. But, on the other hand, the one I was most anxious about was actually one of my favorites. It was with a very well-known jury researcher, who has a reputation for being just brilliant. He was very friendly and down-to-earth, and I really enjoyed talking to him. He's the one I would most like to work with, so hopefully he enjoyed the interview as well!

Finally the interviews were over! They gave us a tour of the campus, then brought us back to the main room for another reception with the faculty and Clinical applicants as well. Then it was time for dinner. All the Experimental applicants, faculty and several of the current students walked to a local Greek restaurant and had dinner and some wine. I ended up sitting near the professor that I thought was my worst interview, so hopefully over the course of dinner I improved his impression of me.

After dinner the current students and some of the applicants went on to a local Mexican restaurant for margaritas, so I went along for a while, until I started to feel like I might fall asleep at the table. Then I said my good-byes and hope-to-see-you-again-soons and headed home. At last. At 8:30p.m. After nearly 12 hours of interviewing. Wow.

But, leave it to Eric to steal my thunder. I had such a long, stressful he made sure he had an even longer and more stressful one! He ended up being stuck at work until past midnight! Can you believe it? I mean, I guess he didn't do it on purpose. But geez.

So, on the whole I felt like the whole interview day went pretty well. From what I hear, of the nine applicants, they will likely accept 4 or 5. So really, my odds aren't bad. I don't know when I'll find out if I got in, but some of the current students seemed to think it would be within a month or so. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Changing the subject...did everyone have a nice Valentine's Day? Eric and I had a very mellow and relaxing day. We played some Rock Band, did some shopping, and then tried a BBQ restaurant Eric had heard was so good called Daisy May's. It's pretty close to our apartment and it was very good! They even have sweet tea, served in a mason jar. Many of you know that whenever we come home we always go right to Sonny's for some BBQ, because we love it and have just never been able to find any BBQ as good in our northern cities. But, Daisy May's was really pretty good! Hooray for some good pulled pork!

Eric drinking his sweet tea, with some yummy pulled pork, baked beans and mashed sweet potatoes in front of him. Mmm, mmm!

We spent the rest of the night relaxing at home. We watched our wedding DVD and reminisced, then just watched SNL and called it a night. Quiet but very nice.

Eric doesn't have to work tomorrow, so we're enjoying our long weekend together. Not sure what else is in store for the next two days but I'm just looking forward to the time with Eric!

Hope you all are having a good weekend, and thanks again for thinking of me!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Happy Valentine's Day!

Anyone have big plans? Eric and I will probably cook some steaks and drink some wine tonight. Nothing too fancy, just a romantic night in with my "lobster!" I'm exhausted after yesterday, so I'm looking forward to a low-key day.

Never fear, I will fill you in on all the details of my day as soon as I take some time to process it all myself. On the whole I felt like it went well, so I am cautiously optimistic about my chances of acceptance. Stay tuned for more details!

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you all are spending the day with someone you love!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Getting Nervous

My interview is fast approaching. I've finally finished all the work that kept flowing in from DC (and the case has now been continued for a month, as tends to happen in this line of work), so now all that's left to do is be nervous. 

I was doing okay nerves-wise until yesterday. What changed, you ask? Now, not only do I not have the distraction of work, I do have my official schedule for interview day. Care to see what's in store for me on Friday?
8:45-9:00AM           Registration and continental breakfast
9:00-9:30AM           Welcoming remarks
9:30-10:45AM          Faculty introductions
11:00-12:10PM        Interviews with Faculty Members #1-3
12:10-12:30PM        Discussion with Director of Experimental Training & Grad Students
12:30-1:30PM          Lunch
1:30-4:00PM            Interviews with Faculty Members #4-9
4:00-5:00PM            Reception
5:00PM+                 Dinner at local Greek restaurant
Oh yes, that's right...NINE separate one-on-one interviews. They're only 20 minutes each, so I guess it won't be too bad, but that just makes me very nervous. That's a lot of people to impress in a short amount of time. Actually, I take that back. On the whole it's a very long amount of time. That's a long day to be at the top of your game, finished with dinner out. I'm tired just thinking about it all.

So I'm doing my best to take control of my nerves. I'm going to spend the next two days thoroughly studying the professors I'll be speaking with, reviewing my own research and past work, trying on different suit options so I can look my best, printing out nine copies of my resume, etc. Hopefully by Friday morning I'll be totally prepared. There also is a welcome reception for all of us applicants being hosted by current grad students tomorrow night, so I'll be going to that. I'm hoping that will give me a chance to meet some people ahead of time (to take a little bit of the pressure off on Friday) and size up my competition! 

So, please send good thoughts, vibes, prayers, whatever you've got my way on Friday. I really hope this goes well!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hakuna Matata!

Did everyone have a good weekend? Ours was fairly quiet, as I was working on my project from DC all weekend. I've finally got it shipped off back from whence it came, and now I can rejoin the world. Hooray!

Friday night I did take a break from my work, however, because Eric and I had tickets to see "The Lion King" on Broadway. We got tickets several months in advance for this one, because it is one of the more popular (and thus usually sold-out) shows on Broadway, so it is rarely available for day-of ticket purchases at the discount booth. A couple months ago I came across a coupon for it though, so we decided to take advantage of it.

"The Lion King" at the Minskoff Theater

Outside the theater

The theater is right along Times Square, so we snapped some pictures of the area from the big windows on our way up to our seats. It has a great view of the New Year's Eve ball! The theater also shares a walkway with the Nokia Theater, and that is where we waited for hours to see Tim Tebow for the Heisman Ceremony back in November. Ahhh, memories.

Me in front of the theater, in the very hallway where Tim Tebow once walked and did the Gator Chomp.

Taken from inside the theater. This would've been a much better spot to watch the ball drop than out on the street blocks away like we were, no?

The show itself was very cool! It was just beautifully done. The costumes and effects were amazing. It even begins with a big animal procession down the aisles for "The Circle of Life." My favorite character was Rafiki, the monkey, and my favorite costumes were the lion heads on Scar and Mufasa. Everything was just so well-done and creative - even the "plants" were cool.

No pictures allowed during the show, of course, so this lion head on the wall of the theater is the best idea I can give you of how cool the costumes were.

I guess Eric had never seen the movie the whole way through, so he wasn't as familiar with the story as I was. I have seen it a million times. I remember when I was in seventh grade, it was released on VHS right at the end of the school year. All my teachers were done with lesson plans by the last week of school, so they all decided to show a movie during class for the last week. And they ALL decided to show Lion King! So I watched it over and over for a whole week. I'm not sure I've watched it since, to be honest with you.

After the show we went over to the Hard Rock Cafe to get some dinner. We had left for the show right after Eric got home from work, so we hadn't eaten yet. Two summers ago when Eric was a summer associate here, every time I came to visit we would see a Broadway show and then have appetizers and/or drinks at Hard Rock, so we decided to go that route again this weekend. We enjoyed good food, yummy drinks, and just some nice time out together before heading back home for the night. It was such a nice evening out!

Also, when we left Hard Rock we got to see another random NYC sight - a guy walking around with a cat sitting on his head. When the cat was standing on the ground, he would tell it to "go upstairs" and it would climb up him and perch on his head. All kinds of people in this city, I tell ya!

Man with cat on his head

Nothing much else went on this weekend, as I said. Eric did have another firm football game, during which he caught two interceptions in the last five minutes to help his team win the game. Go Eric! We also found a couch we might like to buy for our new apartment, but we're torn because it's not a sleeper sofa, and we have so many visitors that I don't know if that's wise. So we'll have to think about that one a bit.

In other news, this is the week of my grad school interview, so I'm starting to get a little nervous about that. I'm going to do some reading up on the professors to prepare as much as I can between now and Friday.

Also, I never officially posted a moving update. Obviously, we did not move this weekend like we had hoped, and I'm glad we didn't. Things ended up being just too crazy with me working, and the show, etc. Eric has been busy at work, too. Anyway, the leasing agent had apparently been misinformed when she told us we could pretty much just pick any date in February to move, and they ended up picking a date FOR us: February 24-27. I was pretty upset about this at first, because 1) it's so much later than we wanted to move; 2) it's in the middle of the week, and Eric probably can't take off more than 1 day of work, so I will probably do a lot of finishing-up stuff on my own; and 3) my mom is coming to visit on the 27th. So, it's not ideal, but we'll make it work. I'm pretty eager to get into the new apartment now, so I'm trying to be patient! Hakuna matata, no worries, right?

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm Officially A Lawyer's Wife!

Doesn't he look lawyer-ly?

That's right, ladies and gentlemen! I'm no longer a fraud...I really am a lawyer's wife now! Eric was sworn in to the New York Bar today, ending years of studying, applications, interviews, and tests. It is the culmination of his academic career; the pay-off of all his hard work. As usual, I'm very proud.

This afternoon I met Eric at his office around 2:00, and we walked down to the courthouse together. We took some pictures outside before going in and congregating in the lobby for a bit. It was a beautiful building - built in the 1890s and very ornate.

The Manhattan Appellate Courthouse

In the lobby of the Courthouse - ornate ceilings and murals painted on the walls

Before long, they called the candidates (that's Eric) into the courtroom for roll call while all of us proud family members hung out in the lobby for a while longer. Eventually they called all the spectators in, too. I found a seat in the front row and waited for the official business to begin. The courtroom was even more beautiful than the lobby, with a stained glass dome ceiling, a gorgeous wood bench, and marble walls adorned with legal-themed murals that one of the courthouse workers told me are the originals from the 1800s. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in there, so I could get any pictures of it all. The best I can do is this picture (right) that I found online of the inside of the courtroom. It's not great, but try to use your imagination!

The ceremony was short and sweet. The five justices entered and took their seats, and after a brief introduction all the candidates were asked to stand and raised their right hands. They then repeated the following oath:
I do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of New York, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Attorney and Counselor-at-law, according to the best of my ability.
The spectators then broke out into thunderous applause to congratulate the new attorneys! I'll tell ya, this proud wife teared up a bit watching her husband take that oath. I'm just so proud.

After the oath was taken, the new attorneys were asked to take their seats once again and the Chief Justice spoke for a bit, mostly about the importance of doing pro-bono work (Eric already has that covered!). Then, the guests were excused, followed by the attorneys. Once Eric made his way out, we took a few more pictures to commemorate the moment.

Eric in the lobby, right after being sworn in!

Mr. & Mrs. Eric W., Attorney at Law!

After leaving the courthouse we wandered through Madison Square Park, right across the street. We were able to see an art installation called "Tree Huts" by Tadashi Kawamata. They are a series of tree houses in the trees of the park, that apparently were assembled on-site using at least some materials found in the park. It was pretty cool to see tree houses in the middle of Manhattan! We were also right by the Flat Iron Building, so we snapped a picture of that, too.

One of the tree huts in Madison Square Park

The Flat Iron Building

From there, we made our way home and ordered a celebratory Chinese dinner. We spent the rest of the night relaxing, as Eric has to get back to work tomorrow - his first day as a totally official LAWYER!

Congratulations, Eric W., Esquire! I'm so proud be your wife, with or without the "lawyer" part. I love you.