Photo Gratitude

by Jen on February 19, 2012

Okay, I’ve got to hurry.  George just took the girls down to pee and to return two totally awful Redbox selections.  I have to get this out before they come back and try to hijack my writing mojo.  This week has been incredible.  One totally worthy of a long post- yet I find it nearly impossible to write with ANY sort of noise these days.  I blame these effin’ fiction pieces.  Three pieces in, and I think I’m J.K. Rowling (minus the hobbits and wizards and stuff I don’t understand).  I’ve always liked to write in peace and quiet, but I’ve suddenly morphed into a “leave me alone, I’m constructing brilliance over here!” kind of writer.  Get over myself?  Oh.  Okay.

This week has been biz-zay.  I was a woman about town nearly every evening, making my experiences rich and my feet blistered.  I also finished up my first temporary assignment at NYU.  I have no photographic evidence of this, but I will say my experience was totally pleasant.  I worked in a Radiation Safety Office full of physicists.  Totally welcoming, totally warm, totally smart physicists.  On my last day, they bought donuts and lunch, and left me something totally worth sharing:

Q:  What do you call a stupid isotope?
A:  An isoDOPE!!!!!!

Bahahahahaaaaaa!  Science guys.  So sexy.

I’m not sure what my next assignment will entail, but I’m hoping to find out Tuesday.  Can’t be better than physicists, can it?

George and I went to see “Death of a Salesman” with Philip Seymour Hoffman this week.  He won free tickets from Entertainment Weekly on Twitter, so he was feeling lucky.  We ate N’awlins style food, saw the play, and didn’t make it back home until 11:30.  ON A SCHOOL NIGHT!  We are childless.  We are youthful.  But we still require a strict elderly person bed time.

On Thursday, I went to the 92Y to hear “Women of the Web” speak.  The Pioneer Woman was there, so was The Budget Fashionista, the author of “Fortytude“, the co-founders of “The 52 Weeks“, and Elisa Camahort Page from BlogHer.  I’m guessing there was an audience of 200-300, but somehow I lucked in to a 5th row seat.  Basically, it was a round table discussion that warrants a post all its own.  I felt very at home in a room full of authors and writers and bloggers.  There was a common theme among all of us, it seemed.  All of us- total homebodies, total dreamers, and total soul searchers.  I was never in a sorority, but this felt kindred in that way, I presume.  At the end, I met The Pioneer Woman, who is as awesome and authentic as you think she is.  She asked strangers to check her nose for boogers before taking pictures.  I love those kind of people.

We have a friend.  She was brought in to my life in a completely unconventional way.  She’s George’s ex girlfriend.  They were together for about eight years, and survived a break up to become the best of friends.  I used to refer to her as “8 Year Melissa” to my insiders.  But somewhere along the way, she became my friend.  She’s got a soothing vibe like Meredith, so I was drawn to her almost instantly.  Anyway, long story short, she has a burning love affair with New York City  (another reason I adore her) and lived here for many years.  Anyway, she always says that when her dad came to visit, he would marvel at how New York City has a store for everything.  Want cheese?  Go to the cheese store.  Want salt?  Go to the salt store.  Want pickles and olives?  Go to the Pickles and Olives store.  Okay!  I’m grateful for these types of things.  The joy I get from pickled green tomatoes, spicy horseradish pickles, and goat cheese-stuffed olives cannot be articulated.

Friday was college baseball’s Opening Day.  This is like church for George.  He could hardly sleep.  Poor guy hadn’t missed an FSU Opening Weekend since 1996.  We knew in moving to New York, he’d be leaving a HUGE part of his sport’s addiction behind.  I felt so sad for him as he hooked up to two laptops, navigated from his phone, and listened to the game with headphones.  The dude made the most out of it.  He even remembered to shave off his facial hair (ACK!) as part of his weird “Baseball Gods” tradition.  Sports are strange.

In another plea to the “Baseball Gods”, we stuck with tradition and ate pizza after the first game.  This time we tried Arturo’s on Houston Street.  We waited FORRR-EVVVVERRRR for a table, but it was 100% worth it.  We’ve been following Jon Stewart’s pizza “tour” through The City and this may have been the best yet.

Today, I got a special treat.  Chelsea, one of my favorite people from Tallahassee, was in The City with her family.  I got to steal her for a few hours and took her on her first subway ride to John’s Pizzeria on Bleecker for some coal oven greatness, and then to Molly’s Cupcakes for a Cupcake Wars winning masterpiece.  It was so fun to experience New York City with someone new.  I love this place and sharing it with her was cool.  It helped me recognize that I’m no longer lost.  When I landed here, I thought I’d never figure it out.  But here I am, two and a half months in, and I’m capable of guiding someone through this jungle.  High fives, everyone!  And Chels, thank you for spending the afternoon with me.  I loved it!

I hope you all had a great week.  This next week?  It’s gonna rock, I think.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 chosenchaos February 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm

1st, has it really been 2.5 months?!?!? That time flew by, no?
2nd, this was so fun to read… I was almost out of breath at the end of it because I kept getting more and more excited about your adventures and felt like we were talking really quick to get all the good stuff in and then it was over and I was smiling and nodding and yeah.
3rd, and final answer – tomorrow I will go buy/find/track down goat cheese olives. My life will not be complete until I have them.
The end.

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2 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm

YES! Crazy, right? It's so strange to me. In ways, I feel like I just planted my feet and in other ways, I feel like I've been here a lifetime. I'm happy you somewhat enjoy these week recaps. I want them for my own memories, so I figure the readers have to suffer through 'em a bit. 🙂 And yes, those olives are sooo good. I've had a million blue cheese stuffed olives, but goat cheese is better, I think. Drier and the flavors blend better, I think.

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3 Rach DonutsMama February 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I'm so jealous you got to meet P-Dub!! She's from my home turf and I saw her at a book signing in Dallas but couldn't stay until 2am which was how long it would've taken me to get up to the table. I can't wait to hear about the fun you had at the conference!

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4 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm

It was really cool- although you know how it is- I felt like I already knew her. 🙂 I was really surprised because the line to meet her wasn't very long. Maybe New Yorkers aren't that excited about stuff like that. Worked to my benefit FOR SURE! 🙂

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5 Rose February 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I loved this post, it was like a delicious recipe – I had no totally fav ingredient. I just know when I got to the end I heard myself issue a verbal "awwww", cause I didn't think I was at the end!! Wow, you are having THE best time -go Jen!………..and 'Gorgeous George' REALLLLLLLLY!? he shaves it offffffff for some sport thingie????????!!!

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6 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Rose…. YESSSSS! What in the world, right? The dude is a nutjob about sports. Nuts. 🙂 Thanks for reading about my adventures. I'm happy to have this record of our adventures because I don't ever want to forget them. Your reading is just icing on the cake!

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7 Jess February 20, 2012 at 2:20 am

I'm glad you are starting to figure the city out. And now I want cupcakes.

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8 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Those suckers are soooooooo good! They ship. Check 'em out! I love the boston cream.

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9 Amy February 20, 2012 at 5:48 am

You're already making the week I have planned (working and dieting for the first time in a month) feel even worse than I thought – thanks a lot!

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10 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Aw man. I feel for you. My first temporary work assignment ended Friday, so now I'm in limbo until the next one starts. I figure while I'm unplanned, I might as well work out or something. 🙁 Makes me wanna cry. I'm so lazy it's disgusting.

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11 Galit Breen February 20, 2012 at 7:36 am

Your photography is so stunning, and tells your story so perfectly!

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12 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Thank you! Having a DSLR has changed the way I look at the world for sure. I "frame" everything!

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13 dumb mom February 20, 2012 at 8:30 am

So many wonderful photos! Looks like you did have an amazing week!

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14 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Thank you! It was jam packed. I love those types of weeks, but I'll be honest, I'm happy to have a dull one this week!

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15 euregirlsandboys February 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Your weeks always sound amazing and action packed. And your photography is awesome. So cool that you got to meet Pioneer Woman – and you look great in that picture with her! I don't think there's any way I'd have the hang of New York after only 2 1/2 months. That's pretty impressive!

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16 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

When I first got here, people pissed me off because they were all flippant, like, "the city is laid out in a grid…. it's easy…. all you have to remember is…." and even though what they said made sense, I still felt like I'd never get the hang of it. Now, I'm like, "oh yeah… they were right." Damn them. 🙂

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17 jenn February 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Wowsers! You had a busy week! Glad you had fun 🙂 Hope this week rocks your socks off!

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18 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Thank you! This week is MUCH more low key. I loved last week, but I'm enjoying the "boring" of this week quite a bit. I could never be a celebrity. I need downtime like nobody's business.

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19 Andrea February 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Love love love this! No fair. I never ever got to attend anything at that Y. Well, maybe once. But nothing as cool as that. No fair! 🙂

I get the sports thing. Tell George I am sure there are many a bar showing many a bunch of games. I have a friend I can connect him with who probably knows all the details and places to go when it comes to sports and bars and hanging out. Maybe when I make it to NYC next (b4 BlogHer) I'll hang and we'll all connect. I have to meet you. It's just a must. Though so many of my old stomping grounds are long gone. Sigh. Sounds like a blast. Glad you enjoyed and documented. And your pics rock!

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20 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I'm so on board with this! We have to hang out! I think of a million questions for you throughout the day. I need to start writing them down! Any idea when you will be coming to visit?

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21 alison February 22, 2012 at 11:49 am

So much fun! I'm so jealous you got to meet Ree. So. jealous.

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22 Jen Has A Pen February 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm

It was a really cool experience. Being that I'm not into fashion, I didn't know who Kathryn Finney was, but after meeting her (rather, hearing her speak) I'm following her. She's HILARIOUS and completely down to earth. You should check her out.

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23 Bonnie Berg February 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Yay for Chelsea visiting!! I want to come see you soon!! 🙂

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