Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Firecracker, nope wait it was a dud

Okay, friends have been begging me to write about the Lindsay/Lindsey date, so here goes (I sure hope he doesn't google this). Last Friday, I had a marathon date with the Lindsey boy. It started in the early afternoon. We took the subway over to Brooklyn, and walked back into the city across the Brooklyn Bridge. Then we got ice cream from a street vender and walked around in the Tribecca, SoHo, and West Village areas before stopping at a dark hole-in-the-wall bar which proclaimed to have the best burger in town. Note, it was a really good burger (huge like the size of a dinner plate). Afterwards, we felt like catching either a broadway show or movie. We headed to the half-price ticket booth in Times Square to score some cheap tickets. Okay, the half-price ticket thing is a scam, they only sell the expensive tickets and they are still $140 each with the discount. Anyway, we decided that it would not be economical for a first date to drop $300. I wanted to use the restroom, so thankfully my place was only a block away. While there, we decided to pick a selection from my collection (small and strange with choices like Fried Green Tomatoes, Center Stage, and The Replacements......loooove that movie). When the movie ended, it was close to 10pm. He suggested dinner and I thought, "my goodness how freaking long will this date last!" A friend (either Phil or Eddie) of my Chicago friend Josh G. suggested a gem of a place (bar/club) that was one block away from my apartment.....Zanzabar. Anyway, the moment Lindsey and I walked in, I knew it was going to be awkward. Everyone was Indian. It was like a record scratch how everyone in the place turned to look at the only two white people in the place. At least the food was good and fast, so I was able to usher out him in order to catch one of the last trains back to Princeton. Okay, on paper, he is perfect: good looking, tall, athletic, great personality (made me laugh a lot), considerate, getting his PhD at Princeton, etc. BUT you ask why I did not like him? I don't know, but my Mother is sadly disappointed (she already concluded he would be a great son-in-law). Ugh, the worst is how do you tell a great nice guy that sorry, I'm not into you. I enlisted the help of the KSU watch party crew on Saturday. The guys all suggested that I stopped returning his calls (note this is a bad idea/jerky thing to do and no wonder why these friends are still single). Anyway, the KSU crew did have some fun on Saturday. K-State lost to Lousiville (no surprise since they were rated 9 at the time), so we all went to the biggest dive of a bar on the Upper West Side. It was such a dive that the sign just said "BAR". Here is a picture of the chaulkboard on the outside of the bar, very funny. Okay, to describe the bar as dark, small, and full of old men would not do it justice. It was the first place in NYC that I have heard a constant stream of old and semi-old (junior high-high school days) country music. Now I don't listen to country, but after a few beers I was surprised to find that I remembered the words to some songs from my youth (way down yonder on the Chattahoochie....it gets hotter than a hoochie coochie). We (I mean I since a couple of boys were putting the final moves on some Clemson girls they met) finished the night off with giant pizza slice. Mmmmmmn.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ohm my goodness

Okay, being the dork I am, I could not resist an electrical engineering joke. I am currently being punished for having it so easy out here. Yesteday I spent eight hours inside three different switchgear rooms. For the non-engineering folk, a switchgear is a massive piece of equipment that ranges between 1600-4000 amps. A typical house is 60-100 amps for reference. Anyway, the switchgear was medium voltage! Super scary. Another lesson (I keep forgetting that everyone else is not a super electrical nerd), voltage is categorized as either low, medium, or high. Houses and most commercial buildings are low. Power plants and transmission lines are high. Medium is reserved for college campus distribution or VERY large buildings (think convention centers or the Sears tower). Anyway, low is enough to kill you. Medium will not only kill you instantly, but it will probably reduce you to ash. No imagine me in a room surrounded by 4000 amp (mega huge!) medium voltage switchgear....for eight hours! Plus I had to create an exact replica drawing of the rooms, so I had to measure everything......with a metal tape measure. So here I am, touching this scary humming (oh yes it is humming) equipment while holding a metal object against it by myself in a small room (okay it was a large room full of large equipment so it felt crowded). Boy I have never felt so scared. I said an "our father" during the first measurement. To add to the drama, the rooms were super cooled. I had a huge duct blasting cold air into the space plus two standing fans that always seemed to be blowing right on me. I debated shutting off the standing fans (goosebumbs the size of marbles) but I didn't want to risk upsetting (overheating) the equipment......nice equipment, be good to Lindsay.

Monday, September 18, 2006

KSU Germanfest

Saturday was chocked full of stuff, so hopefully I can do it justice. The day started with the KSU vs Marsall football game watch party at a bar on the upper east side (I have been hanging out in that area a lot lately). Beforehand, I knew one person (Kellee Miller - one half of the Miller twins) who would be there. Thankfully, there were three other unexpected friendly faces there when I arrived. Yeah, I am not alone here. Anyway we watched the game (fyi KSU won) and the whole group headed out to a German bar at 7th st & C (East Village / Alphabet soup neighborhood). I guess Saturday was the first day of Octoberfest in Munich (hmm little early I think). The place was full of German (or at least German speaking) people in leiderhousen (sp) and other traditional clothing. I took a picture of two little kids because they looked so cute in their costumes. Anyway, we were drinking from steins and singing along to the German songs (actually I just bobbed up and down and only chimed in on 99 red balloons). I saw the cutest, most wholesome looking guy enter the bar (very similar looking to Andy Rodick the tennis player). I turned to my college friend Abrey (same sorority) and told her I wanted to hunt him (me being the man preditor that I am). Well I should not have said that to her because she is one of the most spontaneous and outgoing people I know. Pretty soon, she zoomed off towards him with me in tow. She tapped him on the shoulder and said 'Hello I am Aubrey'. He said 'Lindsey'. I did a double take and checked my hearing to see if Aubrey introduced me as well. Nope, his name is Lindsey (note the E not A which is masucline). We immeadiately started talking and Aubrey flitted away (her work being done). He said he was in visiting the city with his friends for the day. He was by himself because he took the early train to get some shopping in (no, not gay). Anyway, he was looking for some schnitzle (sp) and wanted to find a German bar. He said he was 28 and attending grad school in New Jersey. I asked what school because I only know one that my friend Burg went to. Princeton! Oh and he was studying computer science (okay maybe I am the only girl to admit that computer nerds are attractive). I am thinking, what is the catch because he can't just be cute, educated, and have the best name ever. (record scratch) CANADIAN! Those who don't know the back story, my fun friend Allison Ruston and I waged a war between USA and Canada at Kara Davis's (now Hermann) wedding. Kara was marrying a Canadian, so there was a healthy mix of the two nations in attendance. Allison said at our table "so if you guys are all here, then who is running Canada" which was not taken lightly by the Canadians. Anyway, the evening set back USA/Canada relations by at least ten years.

Back to the story........A window of opportunity opened when I could be alone with Lindsey (the guy). I had to leave around 6pm to change and get ready for a Housewarming party being thrown by Hillary (a friend of a friends). I was using the party to meet people in the city. His friends had finally arrived at Penn Station and we decided to share a cab since the train station is on the way to my apartment. My KSU friends were telling me to seal the deal (still in cheerleading football like form) so I racked my brain for an excuse to kiss the boy (how bizzare would that be to kiss someone with the same name...vain but interesting). We were a block away from the station when I blurted out "would it be wrong if I asked for a good night kiss" (hey I had to do something since this boy was timid as a lamb). Yeah!!!!!! I have still got it. Hopefully I'll have more Lindsay/Lindsey stories to share later.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

No pictures please

Hold on to your chairs because this will be one massive post. My super fun friend Gwendolyn, from Chicago, has been visiting this past week. She has been staying with a very good college friend who lives in the Upper East Side (side note: the upper east side is so full of cute restaurants and boutiques). I was fortunate to meet her friend, Hillary, and now I know three people in the city. Anyway, Hillary was starting a new job that has very long hours. Good news to me because I got to spend lots of time with Gwendolyn.

One afternoon we went running in central park. On the way there, we saw a bum without any pants on. Strange, but hey it was quite warm outside. Twice she and I tried to travel to the top of the Empire state building, but both days it was pouring rain and had zero visibility.

On Friday afternoon we went to the MET. Boy is that place HUGE! Do to time constraints, we eliminated some exhibits and narrowed the field down to one half of the museum. Here are some pictures I took. One is of an ancient Egyptian temple. The funny thing is that the temple was covered with 19th century graffiti. The armor and weapons exhibit was awesome. I took a picture of one suit of armor that had a very unusual cod piece (the thing that covers his thing). Yes yes I am still that immature. Here is a picture of Gwendolyn and I being goofy and trying to blend in. Here are two sculptures that I thought were interesting. The wood sprite was done by Frank Lloyd Wright (he did everything it seems like). Finally, here is a picture of a Van Gough I snapped off before the museum worker told me no pictures. Sad thing is that the guy next to me had also taken a picture and his camera was super huge (the lens alone was a foot long). We took a rest break and hung out in the café / atrium. For an over the top price you could get bottled water, a cookie, or a beer! Ha ha ha, the thought of drinking a beer at the MET convinced me to get one. So here is a picture of me enjoying that beer.

On the way home, I took a bus and a train (I am sort of getting the hang of the public transportation here, but it takes me forever to figure out what platform to stand at). The nice thing was a man on the subway platform was playing the theme from Schindler’s list on the violin. Granted he was no Itzhak Perlman, but still passable. Too bad I only had a twenty on me and could not tip. Finally, I took this picture of Radio City Music Hall on my way home. Yes, still acting the part of a tourist.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

City Views

Not many professions out there openly encourage you to climb on to the roofs of buildings. I actually got my start in college climbing the scaffolding outside Fairchild Hall (with a Pizza Shuttle pizza in one hand and a Dara's Slushie in the other) to break into the graphics studio and work all night on our drawings. Ahhhh college memories. Anyway, here are some pictures I took while touring the Javits Center (my project) yesterday. They have crazy vegas style carpet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Project Hulkamainia

New York is the city where anything goes. My friend Gwendolyn few into town on Monday. Although she will be staying with a different friend during her “vacation”, I got custody of her for the afternoon. Here are some pictures of us in Times Square. We were regular tourists walking around looking at the sites. One of the highlights was seeing the “project runway” window display at Macy’s (the famously huge Macy’s at Herald Square). They put all of the past winner’s garments on display. Since I no longer have cable TV, I have to check the display window every week to see who won the challenge (laugh if you must but that show is seriously addicting). We were on a regular Project Runway tour because we stumbled across Parsons School of Design on the way back to my place.

The final highlight of the evening was Madison Square Garden, well more like the crowd at Madison Square Garden. The venue was hosting a WWF or some kind of professional wrestling show (show not athletic event because hey we hopefully all realize that it is all fake….give him the pile driver!). The best way I can describe the crowd is Country Stampede (for those Kansas friends of mine) mixed with Halloween. Here is one example of a true Hulk Hogan fan. It was so hard to get a picture of her without looking obvious, so I had Gwendolyn fake looking at the Madison Square Garden sign and I pretended to take a picture of it. Too bad the woman covered up her super t-shirt at the last second. I miss the Ultimate Warrior.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Singing at Sing Sing

My first night out on the town. My Chicago friend Emily and Maria were invited to a bachelorette party for a NY friend this past Saturday night. They let me tag along because I am just that pathetic. We met the group at a Karaoke bar named "Sing Sing" (truely original) in the East Village. Walking from the train was torture for Maria because of evil -- but super cute -- shoes. They reminded me of the evil shoes that disfigured my feet at my going away party. Anyway, at first glance, the bar did not look like a bar but more like a ........ Cambodian prostitute house (I know from dateline or 20/20 dramatic expose'). Seriously, you travel down this narrow corridor with pink numbered doors. The rooms have a big screen tv, sofas, and a phone where you can call for a waiter.... or 12 year old girl (not really, but then again we didn't try).

Anyway, I am not a singer (I was asked to quit choir freshman year of High school because I was that bad). I have my standard songs of "Like a Prayer" and "Sweet Caroline" that everyone chimes in on (thus hiding my lack of pitch....clever minx I am). Thankfully, at least four of the people at the party were actors, not just any type but singing actors. The bride-to-be (Renee or Reese Novack) [correction her name is actually Bree Elrod, boy I was drunk] was one, and she cracked me up. Her brother and grilfriend also were actors, and gifted singers (talk about feeling like the kid at the talent show who can only play hot cross buns on the recorder). Actually her brother was in a little movie called "wedding crashers". They told me oh yeah he has a few lines in the football scene at the parent's house. Now I was not impressed because the brother of another friend walked in the background of Legally Blonde 2 (beat that). The next morning, Maria and I watched that part of the movie, and sure enough he has some really funny lines (all ad-libbed I was told) and steals the scene. Wow I am impressed.

Okay back to the party. Here are some pictures of us in the pink room (Maria and Emily, Maria and me). I tried to get a motion shot of Emily dancing (oh yes she was dancing), but this was all I could get. Upon exiting the bar, there were a group of guys we ran into. They were lame and one was actually wearing a Creed concert t-shirt. I made Emily and Maria pose with him. Yes I am mean enough to mock a total stranger.

The night was capped off at a bar just south of Houston street (where NoHo and SoHo get their distinction). It was very educational (Em and Maria know what I am talking about) on the subjets of relationships and piercings. Anway, the final highlight of the night was Maria cursing all of the people getting cabs before us.

Take a bite of that big booty

I was blessed with a visit from Maria Petrone this past Saturday and Sunday. She can officially claim the title of "first schacker" at my place. Being a native New Yorker, I put her skills to the test and went shopping. My apartment was in need of two items....curtains/draps and a table. Since I don't plan on shipping a lot of the stuff I have back to Chicago (eventually), I just wanted a table that works (hence any old thing that could stay upright would do). We headed towards 23rd St. and 3rd Ave which is what I dub thrift store alley. They had four stores lined up next to each other. The goodwill seemed like the most familiar choice, but sadly it did not have any furniture (the salvation army had furniture but it was all stacked up - vertically- along one wall like couch jenga, very scary looking). The goodwill did have curtains (granted I was planning on getting fabric and making nice curtains). Maria and I were cracking up because they were the most fru-fru ridiculous looking things, and at $8 for the entire set I could not say no. Hey it is a quick fix until I locate a fabric store. After I hung them up in my apartment, Maria said it reminded her of a circus tent.

While walking back to my place we came across two stores in Chelsea (aka somewhat north boystown) that I haaaaaad to take pictures of. The first is further proof that the phrase "only in New York" still rings true. Where else could you get sushi AND lotto at the same place.

The second is a bakery that I stopped in my tracks to take a double take. Ah ha ha ha.

Here are some more sight-seeing pictures.
This is the replicate Triuphant Arch from Paris (except they subsituted George Washington for Napoleon) found at the Washington Square Park in the NYU campus.

This is the outside of a catholic church on the West side near the Lincoln center. Funny story: While Maria and I were brousing the art fair at Lincoln center, I cut my finger and got blood on my shorts. I blurted out "ugh you know how hard it is to get blood out of your clothes" while Maria said "yeah" in agreement. No picture the sideways glances from all of the old ladies surrounding us at the art fair. Ha ha ha, oops.

Friday, September 08, 2006

oops I did it again

Okay I'll be the first person to admit that I am not a well coordinated being. Now I have just proven it. While enjoying a nice warm cup of hot cocoa (that my Primera friends gave me as a going away present), I slipped and spilt it all over. Thankfully the liquid missed my laptop comupter (otherwise it would be a very expensive paper weight), but it nailed the chair, floor, drawings, notebooks, and of course my pants. Here are some pictures for your enjoyment.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

a waste of time, but so worth it

My friend Dan sent me (along with the other members of our gang...I mean group of friends) the following link. It is a "game" that tests your ability to read the mind of a perfect stranger. I know what you are thinking (actually according to the game, I don't since I haven't scored over 300 points yet) but try it out. WARNING - this will seriously draw you in to time limbo and when you stop (if ever) you will suddenly realize that a few hours have passed.


Is that you God?

I can say one thing for sure about New York City is that it will keep you on your toes. While eating lunch today, I looked up and saw sky writing. Of course it was upside down, partially hidden by the buildings, and starting to fade, but I've decided it said something about visiting Africa.

Here is a picture of the Crystler building.

Here is a pictuer of the NY public library as featured in the movie "the day after tomorrow". Funny I work in an area where I can see all of these great landmarks. Hurrah.

Word of the day

I came across a word while reviewing a proposed modification document (yep probably lost half of you) that is phone book thickness. What word you may ask...MEGACOLUMN. Gotta love that. I'll try to add the prefix 'mega' to at least one word in each sentance today. For example -
I can't wait for lunch, I am megahungry. That is my assignment to everyone today. Tomorrow maybe we'll try another word.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Try tri again

For those who didn’t know already, I competed in the Chicago Triathlon back on August 27th. Actually a few of my friends competed in it and everyone did quite well. I am happy now that my “hobby” has brought in new training partners (real pain to motivate yourself to stay on the daily exercise workouts). No matter the race (5k, tri, fun run, etc) they send you photos of you competing. In all of my races, I have only taken one good picture. The rest depict me moments away from collapsing. I actually forced a smile in one of my marathon pics (too bad I was crying on the inside). Enjoy these latest pics of your friend…the stud.

Convenience is not just around the corner

I have discovered that NYC is a city of convenience. If you can't have something delivered, then the store will come to you...even the post office. Here is a picture of the mobile post office so you don't have to waste time walking to the office and then standing in one of those massive lines. I am not sad to see those post office lines go the way of the dodo bird. They took forever and you could never seem to accomplish anything while waiting since everyone is on edge.

Although the city is made for convenience, I have yet to find a 'convenience' store. My figure will benefit but sometimes you really feel like a snickers and cheetos at 9:30am. There is a bag of candy in one of my co-workers office. Thankfully, he has not noticed that I stare at it while he is talking. Like a train reck, I cannot help looking at it. Mmmmmn.

Here is a picture I took being a tourist.

NY plus 6

Second day of work...wait I should recap my first. I was told to arrive on my first day of work at 10am...huh? The project I am working on is very unorganized, so I have no supervisor, no task list, no phone, fax, or copy privileges. One of the veterans told me he likes to get in around 9am and tends to leave around 4pm. Oh and lunch is whenever. Talk about free-range engineering.

So my second day of work. Being the goodie-goodie that I am, I got to work at 7:55am. Well I guess the office doesn't officially open until 8:30am. Luckily, I have one of those key pass things that you wear around your neck on a lanyard (who says engineers are not stylish). My visit to the ladies rest room inspired this post. Oh my god! Disgusting? I thought there is an unwritten office rule about them. Ugh, it was on par with a Johnny on the spot. Stall number one actually had leftover number twos in the bowl. Stall number two had number one all over the seat. And finally stall number three (by this time I was eying the sink because it would have been a more sanitary option) was thankfully passable, but without TP. Sorry no pictures because I am not a sicko.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

NY plus two

Okay my second day in New York. I started by unpacking my boxes. One of my plants didn’t make it. The sad little thing had all of its leaved sheared off.

I plan on blaming the movers instead of my poor plant packing skills. It is okay, since they admitted to me the other day that both of them have never spent a day in high school. Anyway, I blurted out, “so can you guys read and write and stuff” thinking how on earth are they going to get the paperwork together. Yeah, they didn’t like that question. They told me that in 8th grade they started working at a moving company…the same one they are working for today. Oh did I mention they are 35 years old now!

Today was grocery day. While I was out wandering the streets looking for food I noticed three things about New York City:
1. People honk their horns. Seriously, it is used as often as punctuation. I was talking on the phone with my Mom and she asked, “oh my God, what was that in the background? Was there an accident?” no no, just a red light which equals a chorus of f-it honks.

2. Garbage is everywhere. They don’t have alleys, so they just pile it on the side walk. Classy.

3. I live in the smut district. Below are some pictures to illustrate what I mean. Every other store advertises the largest adult section in town, or live fantasy girls, blah blah blah.