Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Three candles and I'm spent

It seems that my "Big Gift" has come early this year, before the 8th night of Chanukah... and it came in the form of a phone call from a lawyer, who had the pleasure of informing me that on January 6th, I will become a key carrying, slave to the mortgage... and I.can't.wait.

Yes, I'm making the big leap from renter to homeowner, and the process has definitely been an interesting one, starting with a showing in October, when Adam and I walked into an apartment, and the current residents were not only home, but sitting in bed in their pajamas, all 13 of them. Okay, maybe it was only 5 or 6, but there were a lot of them, peeking at us from behind their sheets.

That particular unit was a bit of a wreck, but we fell in love with the gated community in which it was located. It's near enough to Manhattan in Jersey for an easy-ish commute, with tennis courts and pools right on the property, and lots of grass and other dogs at whom Audrey can bark.

One week after the PJ showing, when a cute two bedroom duplex with a fireplace came on the market, in perfect condition, there was no question that it was the right place. It was not as easy as knowing though. Unbeknownst to us, there was another bid on the table when we put ours in, so we had to raise our bid to the asking price, but it is still totally worth what they were asking, and then some. We went through inspections, lawyers on vacation, and the sellers changing the date when they wanted to close, but as of now... we have an official closing date. Fingers crossed, we'll be moved by January 7th.

It doesn't quite feel real yet, and the mad dash to pack may have me reaching for the Valium, but I know it's going to be great, and definitely a Chanukah to remember.
posted by Danielle @ 1:19 AM | 28 comments

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Weird wild schtuff

I was tagged by the fabulous Kiki, to divulge five weird things about myself. So, here goes...

1. I get freaked out if pictures are hanging even slightly crooked on a wall. I can't even eat at a certain restaurant in Jersey City any more, because every poster and sign in the restaurant is slanted and it makes me cringe. Maybe I should ask for a Laser Level for Chanukah.

2. I'm really bad at remembering what I wore, and when. On Wednesday mornings when I am getting ready, I have to strain to remember clothing choices from Monday. I'm thinking of starting a clothing log, so I don't repeat every few days.

3. I was obsessed with stuffed animals in my youth. I used to do fire drills and practice grabbing armfuls of my most important stuffed animals in case of an emergency. The most important being my snoopy dolls, who I called, and still do on occasion, "Noosy."

4. I scribe most posts for my blog on the envelopes from my paychecks while I'm commuting to and from work. They are the right thickness and easy to grab quickly from a messy purse.

5. I have a problem with losing camera lens caps. I can think of 3 times in the past two months. Last month, I got a lens cap in the mail from my sister in Texas. She said that she switched cleaning ladies, and the cap appeared from within the depths of a couch, from Thanksgiving 2004... And yes, that cap is already missing again.

Tag... You're it. If you want to play, please do, and let me know so I can check it out. Happy Holidays. XX, D
posted by Danielle @ 2:08 AM | 22 comments

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Having a Jew-riffic HNT

Half Nekkid with a menorah...
I'm tired, and a bit tipsy. Can you tell from the photo? Today was the Magazine's holiday party, which to my surprise, was during the day. One week and one day into the new job, and I had a half day of work, three hours of lunch, and last but not least, an open bar. Score.

At 12:30, a chartered bus picked the 20 or so of us up, as well as our ad and marketing teams from another building, which brought us to about 60 people, and we made our way across town and all the way up to a hole in the wall place in Harlem, known as the Dinosaur BBQ: A genuine Honky-Tonk Rib Joint. Who knew such a place existed in Manhattan?

We walked in, and were greeted by smiles, blues music, and a Christmas tree fully adorned with empty beer cans as ornaments. After seemingly endless streams of food, including Drunken Spicy Shameless Shrimp, chicken, salmon, ribs, and sides galore; I sat with an oversized plastic soda glass of merlot in one hand, and a warm chocolate chip cookie in the other, and was struck by how much I would rather be there hanging out at the Dino, than at the huge fancy Tavern on the Green magazine holiday party which I missed on the 8th on account of the flu. Funny how things just seem to work out sometimes.

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And in other news, did anyone hear that Hell froze over?

Yes, that's Red Sox star outfielder Johnny Damon, in a Yankee uniform. Now, it's off to the barber for Johnny...

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And for more Half Nekkid Thursday fun, click on the sexy HNT sidebar link. Per Osbasso's request, my gifts to other HNTers are IOUs for if and when I meet them. I would buy Marie a drink to celebrate her new job; I would give Blondie a hand to hold as she gets her tattoo next year and/or a Valium; and if I could, I would give Miladysa a lunch with her favorite UK television personalities, Colin and Justin. Happy Half Nekkid Holidays to all!
posted by Danielle @ 12:01 AM | 37 comments

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

To strikers, with love

12/21/05

Dear Union Transit Worker,

Are you feeling cold and tired? Are your feet developing blisters on blisters? Are you having trouble getting where you need to go?

I genuinely hope you get everything for which you are asking, but in the meanwhile, let's get New York moving again. And by New York, I mean me. Let's get me moving again.

After hours of serious brainstorming and collaboration with coworkers and loved ones, we have come up with three alternate mobility plans that would get me to work faster than the current situation, which is taking double the time that it should.

Plan one... You could "accidentally" drop the keys to one of those subway cars in my hand. Come on... I promise not to tell anyone, and I'll be extremely careful, making sure to slow down when approaching station platforms.

Plan two... This one would be a little more tricky. It would entail sneaking past the yellow Caution tape, and hotwiring one of the halted cars, and then enlisting some of those subway super-rats to help me navigate the tunnels.

Or plan three... I could try to track down one of those old-fashioned hand cars that you pump. That'd probably be faster than what's going on now, and my arms would get a really good workout!

What do you think? Or you could just put an end to this whole striking business. Your call... Please advise.

Yours truly,
Danielle
posted by Danielle @ 12:11 AM | 14 comments

Sunday, December 18, 2005

10 things I'm lovin' about my new job

After my first week of work, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the things that have made me smile so far at my new job...

10. My new commute is filled with my favorite subway sign (pictured left). Doesn't it make you feel all warm and fuzzy? 5 security blankets!
9. A test kitchen where people test recipes before they run in the magazine (yay, free lunch)
8. They also test dessert recipes (scary for the diet, but yum)
7.Paper seat covers in every bathroom stall
6. A coffee maker that you just drop a plastic cup in and push a button, with replenishing skim milk in the fridge
5. The hot chocolate maker next to the coffee maker
4. A water cooler for which you don't need to change a big bulky jug.
3. The replenishing basket of free Playtex tampons in the ladies room
2. More than three feet between me and New Desk Neighbor
1. New Desk Neighbor sings, but at least it's not jingles, whistling, or old TV theme songs, and she has a lovely voice

Oh yeah... and the people and job don't totally suck either!
posted by Danielle @ 12:01 AM | 25 comments

Friday, December 16, 2005

A rat in Manhattan

I walked out of work today to find hundreds of people hooting and hollering on the street below. They were gathered with signs behind metal rails, near Grand Central Station and the Hyatt, where the Transit union talks were in effect... and, of course, there was the rat.

For those who are not familiar with him, this is not just any NYC street rat. This is a 12-foot-tall inflatable rat, with big buck-teeth, colossal claws, and bright red eyes.

You can sort of see him in this picture from my new phone. Today was not my first time spotting this larger than life-sized rat. He gets around. The rat is known for frequenting union protests and strike spots across Manhattan, and beyond. He was outside the IFC movie theater recently, preventing me from attending a screening of Me and You and Everyone We Know with a Q&A session with the star/director Miranda July herself. So no, I am not happy when I see that critter. I am not someone who likes to cross a picket line and get yelled at by angry people with bullhorns. No, thank you.

I'm really hoping the Transit workers don't strike tomorrow, because we have several photo shoots going on, and more important than that... I don't feel like walking great distances in the cold and icy rain!
posted by Danielle @ 12:10 AM | 11 comments

Thursday, December 15, 2005

HNT Body Art II

On my first HNT I promised to show my other tat, so here you go. It was not easy to get this photo, so enjoy it. Happy Half Nekkid Thursday... To join in the HNT fun, click on the hot sidebar link!
posted by Danielle @ 12:03 AM | 39 comments

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Don't leave me hanging on the telephone

I made the big leap today... No, I am not talking about the first day at my new job; I'm talking about an even bigger leap, I got a new phone. And not just any new phone. A slim and sexy Razor phone. But that's not all. With the new phone, I also changed service providers, AND the ultimate change... a new phone number, to truly be a Jersey Girl again once and for all.

Changing phones is actually proving to be more of a burden than I had imagined. I spent hours this evening laboring over who should make the leap from the old phone's contact list to the new one, and who should be cut forever from the list. Then I had to input those chosen names and numbers, one at a time. It's amazing how hard it has been to part with certain numbers, even random people in LA who I only hung out with once or twice. But I need to do it. I have moved on to a new phase, and I need to just wipe them from my phone, and my life.

Done and done. Now that I have made my decisions regarding the list, I need to figure out how and to whom I should make privy this information; who is important enough to me to bother, and to whom this information is actually important enough to bother sharing it with them. It is quite empowering in a way, to feel in control of such relationships, but at the same time there is a lot of potential rejection. What happens if I call someone who made the list to tell them I have a new phone, and they blurt out, Danielle who?

I think I'll just go with a mass e-mail, that's safe. Or maybe I'll just continue walking around with one phone in each pocket for a while... Who knew a new phone could be so much work?
posted by Danielle @ 12:08 AM | 17 comments

Monday, December 12, 2005

Why does it have to be naughty OR nice?

On my one day off between jobs, I have decided not to do the things that need to get done. Instead, I am laying on the couch and shopping online. This is what I'm thinking of putting under my own menorah...

HoneyDew Fine Mesh Boy Short with Lace Trim
HerRoom Price: $10.00

A low-rise fine mesh boy short with contrasting lace trim. Designed with a v-shape in front and back for comfort and to flatter.


CAMERON BOY SHORT PANTY
Fredericks price: $6.00
4 for $19
A Fredericks Exclusive!-- Introducing the Cameron boy leg panty in sheer, soft mesh and flirty lace.


STRETCH LACE CAMISOLE
Fredericks price: $29.00
2 or more $24 each
Wear it out. Wear it in. Wear it under. Our best-selling, stretch lace camisole will be the most versatile piece in your wardrobe. It looks perfect on its own with a pair of jeans, or layered beneath your favorite jacket or sweater. Crafted with a built-in, soft-cup bra and adjustable straps.


For your shopping ease, HerRoom and Fredericks can be accessed by a click on the sidebar links to the right. And for the guys, link to HisRoom for all your underwear needs. They have some great boxers, and boxer briefs... Now, back to my shopping!
posted by Danielle @ 12:13 PM | 19 comments

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The good, the bad, and the half nekkid

The evil flu has descended upon me and attacked my helpless body, and I can't even take a day off of work to recover because it's my last two days at the current job. But, I shouldn't be complaining too much... I mean, what's a little fever when the last week or so has brought me so many things to be excited about?

Including, 1. There's the new job. 2. I met Oprah last week. And last, but not least... 3. I made it to Blogebrity's C-List, joining such great names as Neil Kramer, and B-Lister Paul Davidson. So, does this mean I get to learn the secret handshake guys?

To join in the HNT fun, click on Half Nekkid sidebar link. Happy HNT!
posted by Danielle @ 12:04 AM | 66 comments

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Love, Chanukah, and the Big Gift

I always had trouble, when I was a child, accepting that fact that I couldn't celebrate Christmas. I even used to cut squares of felt to look like stockings and tape them to the fireplace. The whole thing was quite pathetic. One time, I did find something in my "stocking"... It was a pack of golf tees (note: my mother is a golfer). That's when I knew I was fighting a losing battle...

That's also the moment when I decided to fully embrace the Festival of Lights. The whole shebang: the eight nights, the fancy hand-dipped candles, the prayers, and, of course, the presents. I learned to love having eight nights with eight presents. Giving, probably even more than receiving. But receiving is good too. *wink*

I'm going to share with you now, a memory from the vault. It was my freshman year of college, and my best guy friend wanted us to be more than friends. The problem was, he was a very serious minded guy, and I knew that if I was with him at all, it would instantly be way more serious than I was prepared for at that time. So one night, when we were not in our right minds, I wrote him a letter, it was a profound (although partially drug induced) TADAH moment for me, in which I related intimacy to Chanukah presents. Seriously.

It is important to note that in my experience, all eight presents would be wrapped and sitting out on the table with the menorah. Among the gifts, there was generally one big gift, and the rest were chotchkes/knickknacks. I could pick one gift from the pile each night, and the rest had to sit there, waiting. The question that would return each year was, Do I open the one that I think is the big gift first, or do I wait until the eighth night? On that drunken, high college night, I made my decision...

The gist of what I wrote was: If I open the big present first, I am still going to be curious about what is wrapped in the other presents; but if I save the big present for the eighth and final night, I can get the others out of the way, and then be able to fully devote myself to opening the big present and really appreciate it, with the knowledge of the little presents that had come before.

He and I weren't together then... But, eight years later, we are together now. It was well worth the wait. And yes, the gift was big.

P.S. The panties are from www.jewishfashionconspiracy.com. But if you're really into Jewish kitsch, check out www.chosencouture.com. I have the workout tank that says "Shvitz," and my dog has the pink "shayna punim" shirt.
posted by Danielle @ 12:13 AM | 24 comments

Monday, December 05, 2005

Let it snow...

We survived our first Jersey City snowfall of the season, and I hear that we have more on the way. The snowman in the photo, who I called Plinko, was actually only about 4 inches tall, but he had a very large presence! I may end up with a similarly twisted expression, like Plinko's, when I'm pounded with work during this, my last week at the current magazine.

But that just means I'll be all the more excited when I get to go to the big holiday party on Thursday (I hear the big publishing companies go all out), and I can really let loose (hopefully without looking like a total fool, keeping in mind, I will have one more day to work)... Par-taaaay!
posted by Danielle @ 12:54 AM | 14 comments

Saturday, December 03, 2005

My AMBER alert


Adopted in 1997, from my grandmother, after a trip to Paris when she saw me eyeing a similar pair in the window of a vintage boutique. The glasses in the window were too expensive to purchase, but when we got back to Jersey, Gram rummaged through her belongings, and she found them... The black plastic frames with tiny shooting stars, slightly crooked and scuffed, but full of character... The glasses that would become a part of my identity for years.

We went through a lot together, me and Cat the glasses. Through the last year of high school when Lisa Loeb, whose song "Stay" was at the top of the music charts, started wearing glasses like mine. Through college, drunken nights, firsts, and celeb encounters. It was a love that lasted seven years, until her unfortunate disappearance...

It was a year ago today. I had recently driven cross country, and was in the process of moving into my current apartment. Cat was with me one minute, and gone the next. I don't know when exactly it happened, she was just nowhere to be found. And in the year since I last saw her, I swear, I have not been able bring myself to touch another pair of glasses. I don't know if I will ever be able to... I'm thinking of just giving up and *gasp* bringing an end to it all... getting Lasik corrective eye surgery, so I can put the pain of her disappearance behind me, and move on with my glassesless life.
posted by Danielle @ 12:53 AM | 13 comments

Thursday, December 01, 2005

HNT quatro

I had trouble sleeping last night again, so I did what I tend to do when that happens... I got busy with my Nikon. Therefore, you get three this week...




To join in the half-nekkidness, visit the mastermind, Osbasso.
posted by Danielle @ 12:07 AM | 63 comments