Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012: Year in Review


This massive undertaking was sparked by Brooke at Silver Lining.  Get ready for an intense retrospective of the past year in blogging and twelve giant Instagrams.  And remember - I love you.

JANUARY
FEBRUARY
I conquered Owego, the subway system, and one of my biggest fears.
MARCH
I went as far as Inwood, Queens, and Staten Island...
without a date.



APRIL
I gave a tour of the ghosts of generations past, and my own past.


MAY
My bad haircut made me see red...and green...and floral print?




JUNE
I loved taking a train to my favourite shops and hangouts...but fondly remembered that there's no place like home.


JULY
There were big changes, big trips, big desserts...and little dogs.

AUGUST
There was bad style, high style, and Gangnam style.

SEPTEMBER
I made new friends, won a new purse, decorated my new bedroom, and made even more new friends.




OCTOBER
I found
new interest in ComicCon, musical theatre, and doing my laundry.

NOVEMBER
I uncovered the truth about bad dates, recovered from Halloween, and covered myself in tattoos.




DECEMBER
I recounted stories from Christmases past, retroactively became Employee of the Month, and began mapping out my future.




Join in if you dare!  Link up your 2012s with Brooke at Silver Lining!

Friday, December 28, 2012

On The Town, a.k.a. The Coolest Thing In My Apartment That Isn't My Roommate


One of my favourite (because, let's be real, there are so many) movies about New York City is a sweet little movie musical called On The Town, about three sailors on shore leave visiting New York City.  If you're snowbound right now, I strongly recommend it.  It's a sweet, funny adventure and it totally holds up.  No, really.

Now it becomes relevent!  My Grandma recently sent me a rather thick envelope with a handwritten note.  "I thought you'd appreciate this," she wrote.  And then she told of how my grandfather (her husband) visited New York City one New Year's Eve when he was in the Navy during World War II.  Just like in On The Town, only he also got to see the festivities in Times Square on New Year's Eve!  He saved the subway map from that trip, and she had found it with his things.

And inside the note, was the map:




(Which I have since framed)

Appreciate this?    I adore this.

YOU GUYS!  This is the coolest thing ever!  Roommate and I went over the map locating the places we hang out, where we live, places where our friends live, where we work.  It's so awesome to think so much has changed, but many of the places we go are still on the map.




So now it greets visitors who come into our apartment.  I have always had a subway map hanging in my living space, but this apartment I didn't have one.  It's incredible to me to have inherited such an awesome piece of history and to learn this story that I never knew.

Makes me want to watch the movie all over again:





Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pickle Me Pete: He Fried for Your Dins


Oh, how I do love pickles.  So imagine my glee when I saw this bright beacon of brine across Bryant Park Shoppes one recent night:




I could barely find words to express my joy over Instagram.  I even went out of my way to hunt them down during business hours to actually try them! 

My ebullient joy upon ordering my skewer of fried pickle slices was such that the owner of the stand gave me a business card so I could follow Pickle Me Pete around to street fairs throughout the city when street fair season kicks in again.  And oh, I will.

How were the pickles?  Well, my culinary companion and I chose the unlikely side sauce of "BBQ" sauce (I would have gone with Ranch, but for my companion's aversion to the substance) and it was heavenly.  Sitting at a table by the Bryant Park fountain (and some unruly drunk teenagers), loudly proclaiming it "the best day of my life," despite burning the back of my mouth rather badly on one of the hot, fried pickles.




So now you have seen the gospel of Pickle Me Pete.  Of all the fried pickles I have had in my life, I boldly proclaim these to be the best.  (Note:  I have had fried pickles on two other occasions, which qualifies me as an expert.  Well, have YOU ever had fried pickles?  HAVE YA?)




Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Past


Roomie's giant dog Toby assures me he has been good this year...and then sat on my lap.


Christmas has come and gone, even though it really doesn't feel like it.  I had a strange one this year:  I woke up at 6am, took a bath by candlelight before the dawn hit, and then rode a train out to visit my Roommate's family on Long Island.  We chatted, ate, and watched Cabin in the Woods, which I highly recommend, though probably not while actually eating. 

Wishing you all a happy Boxing Day.  Traditionally, that is the day when service workers would receive gifts, and servants would get the day off to visit their families.  So of course, I will be back at work.  But before I get too depressed about my state of being, I would like to leave you with a photo of the coolest Christmas present received yesterday:




Paws up if you recognize the shirt, nuggets.  Frak yeah, it's from BSG.  Merry Nerdy Christmas to all of you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Traditions: With Bells On




This is me, "forcing festive" on my way to work.  Growing up, I would take the big gold bell ornaments and dangle them from my pigtails while I decorated the tree.  Jingling all the way, I'm trying to put a brave face on for this holiday.


This year, I'll be home with bells on....if only in my dreams.



Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Traditions: Sing It Loud


My last Christmas gift this year arrived just in time.  Yesterday was again marred by tragedy, and although we survived the apocalypse, sometimes losing a loved one can set your world on edge.  In the big, swirling wonder of it all, the futility of life can come into question.

Music has always been a great outlet for me.  I was beyond touched to discover that my brother had gifted me - over the magic of the Internet - the album John Denver & The Muppets:  A Christmas Together.  It's a reminder of a simpler time, when it was hard to imagine your troubles being anything but miles away, as the song goes.  Then life, and struggles, and worries get in the way. 

I'm sharing the album with you here, but if you're struggling with sadness this season, whatever your beliefs, I recommend Track 2.  Something about the simple, plaintive piano and heartfelt soft voices seems sincere and soothing.  As a child, I thought the song was slow, compared to the rest of the album, which was bold and fun to sing aloud to.  But maybe I've gone soft in my old age.  Or wiser.  And sweet and sincere is all I really need from this holiday.



John Denver & The Muppets:  A Christmas Together by MeghanSara on Grooveshark


Enjoy the music.  Thanks, lil' bro.  Everyone, have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

2 Years



2 years ago today the world lost a beautiful, pure soul. 

Love often.

Forgive often.

Live each day as your last.



Thanks for your legacy, pal.




RIP




Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Tradtitions: Feliz Navidad


My family can be described unfavourably as just a wee bit competitive.

Take Christmas, for example.  Because someone always tries.  With the best gift, the most outrageous cookies, the most festive holiday sweater.

And then, there's the family-wide radio contest that has made me jump inside my skin whenever I hear Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad."

Ever since I can remember, the Family Feliciano Feud has gone thusly:  the first person to hear "Feliz Navidad" on the radio must immediately call the other family members and hold the phone up to the radio to prove they heard the song first.  Simple?  Crazy?  The advent (tee hee) of cellular phones has made this competition more intense, as has the fact that Christmas music has begun playing earlier and earlier on the radio and in stores.  One must be at the ready as early as October if one wishes to win the day.

Oh, and in case you haven't heard it yet, here's the man himself singing the famous tune back in the year of my birth:



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Peace


I don't want to talk too much about the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.  It seems everyone else is doing enough of that as it is.  Talking about freedoms and beliefs, and God and Godlessness. 

Let's just remember that it wasn't IDEAS that ripped through the bodies of over 20 adults and children, rendering them destroyed.

It was BULLETS.

You can't stop an IDEA.

But we can stop GUNS.



December Me, Myself, and I




1) What was your favorite gift given to you as a child?


One year, my family went to Disney World for Christmas - that one stands out in my mindI was sixteen.

2) Christmas is almost here, what is that one Christmas song you could listen to on repeat?

I'm so obsessed with Lady Gaga's "Christmas Tree" that, even though they play it at work, I had to download it!

3) What are a few of the items on your Christmas list this year?

I already got my Christmas presents this year - coffee, socks, and this amazing perfume that isn't even being made anymore but it smells like sophistication!

4) Do you and your family have any special holiday traditions? Explain.

I'm actually going to miss going with my mother to Christmas Eve mass - I find it tedious and I'm an atheist so it makes me fundamentally uncomfortable, but I like singing and giving sidelong looks to my mom and brother during.

5) Which do you prefer: wrapping paper or gift bags? Why?

Wrapping paper.  I love to get plain wrapping paper, and write special messages on it in Sharpie.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Traditions: Cards on Yarn


Perhaps one of the strangest decorations I can remember hanging in my childhood home around Christmas time was a thick, twisted rope of red yarn.


It hung in the kitchen against the wall like a clothesline, to string up Christmas cards from years and years ago, people whose names I didn't recognize, but only the "prettiest" cards would make the cut.




I haven't a yarn in my apartment, but my snazzy Christmas tree serves as a hub for all the Christmas cards roomie and I have recieved this year - and thanks to all who sent us lovely greetings!






As for that red yarn, I sent my glitteriest, prettiest Christmas card this year.
I hope it makes the cut.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!



When it comes to holiday shopping, I
 
  ...haven't done any of it.  Nope.  Sorry.  I'm not really having Christmas this year, so it hasn't crossed my mind.  Some things have to be last-minute anyway, so I'm not dealing with the hassle until life slows down which will be January, and I can actually put time and though into it.  Otherwise, everyone gets a membership to the Cheese of the Month Club.  Which...actually sounds really good, come to think of it.

A few things on my Christmas wish list are
   ...well, they WERE C. O. Bigelow Lemon & Orange Blossom perfume #1807 and coffee.  But I got those already.  Thanks, mom!  I have everything I need.

And intangible gift I would like to recieve is
   ...well, NOW I want a membership to the Cheese of the Month Club!  Does that even exist?  Can we make that happen? 

A gift I would like to give this year is
   ...tea & EVERYTHING.  Every time I pass a tea stand, I think "Oh, my roommate would love this!" but I would absolutely go broke buying her gifts I know she would love.  As it is, I have a pretty good idea for her, I just have to wait to implement it.

My Christmas will be spent 
  ...with my roommate and her family, if I can get away for the day.  It's close enough to take a train, to be back for work the next day.

My most favourite Christmas gift of all time was   ...that coffee is pretty awesome, I gotta say.

The best thing about the holidays is
   ...not to be a bummer, but I can't wait for it to be over.  That's when people in the service industry can RELAX.  I'm tired of slow-moving crowds of tourists and frazzled, rude customers.  I can't wait for things to get back to normal.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Traditions: Fakin' It


Christmas is kinda tough for me, y'all.  More lately than ever, I find myself Charlie Brown-ing my way through the season aimlessly.  The one upside of not going home to family for Christmas is knowing that I, unlike all you poor schlubs, don't actually have to do any present shopping.  Ha ha. 

But back to my existential crisis.  Faking my way through the holiday season reminds me a lot of one of my other Holiday traditions:  faking the lyrics to Christmas songs.




Yes, Peanuts Gang, I'm looking at you.  "Lu lu lu?"  Learn the friggin' words.

Oh and BTW, I am weeping like a baby, every time Linus observes "Maybe it just needs a little love."

A co-worker yesterday cracked up when he overheard me earnestly crooning along with the music:


"Feliz Navidad!
Etcetera etcetera etcetera etcetera
duh duh, da da da duh!"



It's strange to think, but one of the things I'll actually really miss this year is going to Christmas Eve Mass with my mother.  I go to watch awkward kids dressed as shepards get shuttled around and clucked over by overbearing stage parents, to bet my brother that the final song of the evening will be "Joy to the World" (spoiler alert: it almost always is) and for that moment during the services when the organist strikes the opening chords to "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!".


In that moment, I look pointedly at my mother, with a mischeivous grin, tilt my head skyward and croon:



"Lu lu luuuu, lu lu luu luu lu,
luuu luu luuu, lu lu lu luuu..."



etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Traditions: Pour Some Festive Sugar On Me


It wouldn't be Christmas without Christmas cookies, now would it?  This is my second post about Christmas cookies and regardless of the fact that I never find myself actually eating any (why is this?), the baking of Christmas cookies is always such an important part of having a real, family Christmas.  Mom, remember the baklava?  Legendary.  Yes, Christmas cookies have changed over the years, but there remains a standard which can never be deviated from:  Mom's Peanut Butter Blossoms.


Peanut Butter Blossoms are fantastic because they require one helper to "shuck" the wrappers off about a million Hershey's Kisses.  If some go missing during the task, who's to tell?  Then mom, who is awesome and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty, rolls the peanut butter cookie dough into balls and dredges it through sugar. 

But hold up.  Imma let you finish, but these are CHRISTMAS cookies.  No ordinary sugar will do!  Thus, the invention of Festive Sugar.  Which is regular sugar, with a smattering of both red and green sugars dashed in there, giving these fragrant and delectable cookies a Festive Twist.


Source



The problem occurs when there is too much Festive Sugar left over from the cookies.  Lament?  No.  Throw it in the sugar bowl.  Put some Festive in your morning coffee.  Sometimes, there's still Festive Sugar in the sugar bowl come Easter time.

Thanks a lot, mom.  Now the whole Internet knows where I get my weirdness from.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Always Stuff Your Bra





Nothing is certain in this world, least of all New York City.

The only offense is a good defense.

And when you're desperate for a wee, and stoop to use a public restroom, only to find that your stall is devoid of toilet paper,

you'll be glad you have those extra tissues in your bra.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Traditions: Doin' It All Wrong Since...Ever





Unless you're somehow stumbling upon this page just now for the very first time ever, you will not be surprised to hear that I am, and always have been, and oddball.  A rebel.  One who marches to the beat of my her own drum.  And I always have been.

Back when I was but a wee child, my mother's family had a tradition of baking enough cutout sugar cookies to feed an army, spreading them out on the defunct ping-pong table to decorate them.  Key words here?  DECORATE.  However, my family believed that there was a strict order to how the cookies should be "decorated" - all the cookies of a certain shape were to be sprinkled with colored sugar of the same colour.  There was a code and everything:

Angels = pink
Trees = green
Santas = red
Snowmen = blue
Stars = yellow

And that's just the way it was. 

Would young Meghan stand for this?  What do you think?  Toddler-aged Meghan quickly got in trouble for making pink Santas with a dash of green, blue snow-tinged Trees with vibrant splashes of red, and rainbow (of course, rainbow!) Stars. 

This caused consternation among my family about the misfit cookies, but is proof that I have always done things my own damn wacky way.  Even Christmas.



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Take 7 and Call Me in the Morning


Despite gagging down excessive amounts of Emergen-C, I have started to come down with the seasonal cold.  Ho ho ho, Merry Sore Throat and Stuffiness.  Indeed.  Instead of venturing out to conquer the world, I shifted focus to conquering everything Netflix suggested to me on this day. And critique them, through a medicated haze.


Source: google.com via Amy on Pinterest


Why not just let Bette Midler do all the singing?
Why make Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn lip sync uncomfortably in the end?





Damn, I gotta start striking up conversations with strangers more often.  ^

Source: amazon.com via Margaret on Pinterest



^  Wait, why did I leave New York to watch a movie about Tokyo? 
Also, if the guy you love begs you go to to Shanghai, and you want to go to Shanghai, GO TO SHANGHAI!


Source: google.com via Emily on Pinterest


This movie gives a terrifying glimpse at my own future at 30.  ^
Also, if the guy you love begs you to go to Paris, and you want to go to Paris, GO TO PARIS!



^  This movie gives a terrifying glimpse at my own future at 50. 
Also, my roommate and I are now resolved to attend Burlesque classes starting in the new year.



^  Don't even try.
By the time you figure out what's happening, this movie will be over.




^  Okay, so I am currently Sandra Bernhard's character.
Oh, and that song is "New York Woman" by Yoko Ono, and you will never find it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday

It seems like everybody's sick lately!  Lauren from thelittlethingswedo normally posts them, but her baby Fern is ill.  Feel better!  Today, Kate from My Name is Purl will be hosting.

1. My favorite place I have visited (or would like to visit) in the US is   San Francisco   What I love most about it is  the crazy haphazardness, the hills, the hipness, and the vintage shopping!

2. My favorite place I have visited (or would like to visit) in Europe is    Paris   What I love most about it is    that you can wander for hours getting lost and it's always still more beautiful with every corner you turn!  

3. My favorite movie (location wise) set in the US is    West Side Story   because   after I saw it, I knew I had to live in New York City, and I do.  And oh yeah, I have a fire escape.  AND I live on the WEST SIDE!


4. My favorite movie (location wise) set in Europe is   Love, Actually   Because  if that isn't your answer to this question, you have no heart.

5. My favourite band/musician from the US is currently   No Doubt.  Are they still a band?  I'm really into their stuff lately, new and old.

6. My favorite band/musician from Europe is currently    John Lennon.  "Woman" is the most romantic song ever written.  Say what you will about Paul's "Silly Love Songs," they don't have the depth of John's.  Sir McCartney, if you're reading this, I love you as well, but...you know.


7. I love where I live in   NEW YORK CITY!!!   because  every day is an adventure.  You never know, at the beginning of the day, where you will end up - if you're doing it right!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Community


"That baby has been crying literally - literally - ALL DAY,"  I complain to my roommate when she comes home.  It's maybe the fifth straight hour of screams that can't possibly come from a human being.  Kitty-corner across the hall, she goes on for hours and at all times of the day.

"How does everyone burn food?"  Roomate's turn.  It's a few hours later and the woman across the hall has set off her smoke detector again.  Which is a somewhat nightly occurrence.  Or possibly a nightly occurrence:  "Every night between 5pm and 10pm, while you're at work, the smoke alarm goes off!  How hard is it to pay attention while you're cooking?"

"Well,"  I ameliorate, "I burned oil in the pan last week so I can't really comment."

"Yeah, and I burned food once, too!"

"Each of us in the same week, correct?"  I recall.

"So, each of us burned food once.  That's fair.  But she burns food all the time!"  Roommate turns in to bed.

Not fifteen minutes later, another smoke detector is set off.

"OH, AGAIN?"  I muse aloud.  Rather loudly, I might add.


*     *     *


On election night, I was home alone.  I used to be afraid to be alone.  Now I am used to it.  I can even relish my free evenings spent all alone.  Getting home late from work, I loaded up a page with election results to see Romney in the lead.  I went about my nightly routine, made dinner and washed up some dishes. 

From apartment 33, the floor beneath me I heard a yell:  "OHH YEAHHH!"

I ran to my computer to see that Obama had pulled into the lead.

I lent my voice to the chorus of cheers arising from everywhere in my building:  "Woooo hooooo!"

All night long, we raised a joyful chorus while we watched Obama sweep the rest of the votes.

At the final count of the vote, I joined in screaming, as I had four years before:  "OBAMA!  OBAMA!"


My people.  My community.  Strangers.  United.  I love you all.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Employee of the Month


I've been busy as a bumblebee around here and yesterday I got a huge surprise.

My manager approached me with a camera and a handful of money and said "Congratulations, you're employee of the month, I have to take your picture."

My immediate response was to blush a fantastic shade of aubergine and sputter thanks:  "...thank you to everyone who's ever taken a free sample..."  I mean really.  Don't I get to make a speech? 

And then, photographs for posterity.  Of me being recently surprised and flattered.  Oh yeah, I couldn't deprive you guys of this:



Do I really deserve this honor?  I worry that they may just be rewarding my oddness to keep me quiet.  I have a lot of fun, and I try to be nice to everyone, and I show up on time.  That's it. 

Still, it did feel nice to have everyone congratulate me on the award.  Employee of the Month for November.  I'll enjoy this title just as the title states:  retroactively.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Extinct


During the aftermath of Sandy, I took a few long walks to get out of the house and out of my brain.  I walked the Upper West Side and spotted a relic of the past, a dinosaur thought to be long extinct:



Monday, December 3, 2012

Mani Mondays: Three Coats


I don't know about where you live, but here in NYC it's freaking FREEZING.  Freezing, I tell you!  Add to this the fact that my job entails standing right inside the door.  So it's like I'm never inside, because the door is always open.  A new fun game I like to play with people is called "Guess How Many Shirts I'm Wearing Right Now."  Last night, it was five.  And one of them was a zip-up hoodie.  It was pretty extreme.

AND IT'S ONLY JUST BARELY DECEMBER!  New York in January is notoriously brutal, and February can sometimes be even worse.  By the end of the season, I sometimes find myself wearing two coats at once.

So hey, why not three?

Three coats of GLITTER, that is.



And remember, all that glitters is NOT GOLD.



...it's ME!!!
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