Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Bi-monthly update, which is what this blog has turned into.

I have been meaning to blog for a few weeks, but have been too tired. On Saturday, I was supposed to be at a ward activity (which I was in charge of) and instead I laid down on top of my unmade bed and slept for 3 hours in the middle of the day. Exhaustion, perhaps?

About 2.5 weeks ago, I got a call from my dad that he and my mom were in a motorcycle accident. He said that they were both fine, but they both had broken right legs and were in the hospital. He vaguely mentioned that my mom had been in the ICU, but I figured that this was probably just due to my mom's various medical issues. At that point, I wasn't too worried. Fast forward a few days and I get the full story: my dad's leg was broken in 2 places and my mom's leg was shattered (luckily just below the knee). There was a 50/50 chance that she would lose her foot. Needless to say, times were not good. A week after the accident, my mom was flown from Mallorca to Valencia so that a specialist could look at her foot/leg to decide what its fate would be. Since then, she has had 2 surgeries including a skin graft and has been in Valencia figuring out how to communicate in her broken Spanish. Despite the sheer amount of time that my parents have lived in Spain during their lifetimes, my mom never learned Spanish. It is unfortunate that her crash/survival course has come at a time like this. Of course the members of the Church have come to the rescue and have sent women to spend the night with her every day and help her at mealtimes. My dad has even asked them to smuggle in food. Jamon y queso really is the cure-all. My dad got out of the hospital this last week, but since he has a medieval torture device attached to his leg still, he can't go see my mom quite yet. Things are looking up for my parents, but it looks like they will be spending the next 10 months at least in Spain making sure that my mom is able to walk again. Sending some prayers up for them is still appreciated. It has been a rough go.

And now that the bad news is out of the way, let me tell you what has been going on here in New York.

A few weeks ago, some girlfriends came into town to visit. Liz is in Palo Alto, Annette is in DC, and Emily is in Boston. We all met in the Bay Area and it was so fun to have them come visit for a few days. It is so nice when people come to town with no agenda - they are happy to just spend the day in New York. Also, please note that I have lost all motivation to do my hair with the humidity. I am learning to embrace the fluffiness of my hair.
This sign was on the sidewalk of an elementary school on the Upper West Side. I <3 NYC!

Did I mention that the reason that we had this girly weekend was kind of a bachelorette weekend for Liz?!?? She is getting married in August and I couldn't be more thrilled for her.

Food carts in New York are one of my favorite things. Food carts from restaurants I love are a double bonus. Since Tavern on the Green is currently closed, they have the back open with picnic tables - and that view of Sheep's Meadow. (lamb tacos at Sheep's Meadow anyone?) Really - how can this place get better???

My friend Jackie gave me a guide to New York before moving here and one of the things I decided I was going to take part in was the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. Please note that I did not look up the website before deciding to go. So yeah - I saw more boob than I planned on. :) But since Liz and Annette were here and we were all the way out at Coney Island, we decided to pay up and ride the Cyclone ($8 per ride...) I will say 2 things about the ride: 1. I am glad we did it. 2. Shaken Baby Syndrome.

It is awesome when you not only have a roommate who will GO to the Mermaid Parade with you, but will dress like this AT the Mermaid Parade. Awesomeness.

Then we went to Rita's to get frozen custard. If you live on the East Coast and have one of these close to you - please get there as soon as possible and get a Gelati. You can thank me later.

Me and Dani
Todd & his twin, Tyson. They don't look as much alike in this photo as they do in real life...

Brandy was one of my closest friends in high school and I am so lucky that we have remained close even though we haven't lived in the same town since 1998-ish. She was in town visiting her husband's family this last week, so we got to hang out one evening. She has the cutest little boys and the nicest husband/family. I have said this before, but it makes me happy to know that high school Stephanie had good taste in her friends - and I'd choose the same friends today. I love this pic. So cute.

On Friday my boss brought his kids into the office. Tiny British people! It was so fun having them in the office - not that we got a lot of work done, but being able to play with little ones was great. Good for my soul, for sure. The little girl just came and sat in my lap a few times - bliss.
So. In summary - its been a whirlwind. Also, because all of my posts in the last few months have mentioned running, you should know that I'm taking a running class. And I kick it in the trash every week - for once I am one of the best in my class. I loooove it.

Ok now leave some comments, friends.

Monday, June 20, 2011

In which I make you jealous.

Some things in life just present themselves to you. For example, an all-expenses paid trip to the Atlantis Hotel in The Bahamas. Did I win a competition? Yes. I beat all of you in a competition that I have named: "Who has the coolest job?"

The Atlantis Hotel flew me there and fed me good food, introduced me to nice people, let me bring my roommate, showed me amazing views of the ocean while sitting at the table over from Jerry Seinfeld, and let me swim with dolphins! I will admit that I did not have this little gem on my life list/bucket list. I have since added it and put a check next to it.

Since it was for work, I took a few hours worth of hotel tours. One of the hotels in particular is a hotel that I couldn't even have imagined in my dreams. Here is the view from our lunch table. I have started a savings account to have this view again at a later date in my life. I don't want you to know where it is because I want it all for myself.

View of some of the condos on Paradise Island.

The awesome people we met on our trip - we were waiting to see Jerry Seinfeld.

On my way to the airport on Sunday morning, I snapped this pic from the cab window. Isn't it beautiful in The Bahamas?

I do believe that my roommate took some legitimate photos which I will have to post at a later date. I wish I had photos of the time that I almost got killed by a stingray - I have Stef and a 4 year old boy to thank for saving me from telling you a story about the time I actually was stung by a stingray. I also wish that I could have spent a week in the Atlantis Kids Adventure Room. Some things just aren't meant to be.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Stephanie Vs. New York

This week I have felt a complete range of emotion: happiness, sadness, pity, empathy, hope, dispair, frustration, joy, love, and fright.

Oh, I could tell you stories of each of the above emotions, but I am going to only tell you about the last one. What I am about to tell you is something I didn't think I would ever have to experience.

Last night I got home from a long night of managing crowds of 30,000 people in the rain, saying goodbye to friends, etc. I am going to The Bahamas today, so I got home last night with the sole task of packing for my trip. I was wandering around the house finding everything I needed when I decided that I wanted a snack. I was standing in the kitchen when I saw him for the first time.

I froze. I stared and told myself that this wasn't happening to me. I started talking to myself. "I live in a nice apartment building!", "I pay way too much rent to have a cockroach!", "How did this critter get in here? The windows have all been shut today", "OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHGETITOUTGETITOUT!"

So what did I do? I called Todd, who I knew was awake at 12:15am since he sent me a text at 12:12am. "What do I do!?? How do I make it go away without touching it?" Todd, of course, had no answers that I wanted which pretty much included a magic wand or another person (him) taking care of this for me. The only advice he could give was "Whatever you do, you have to smash it to pieces to make sure it is dead - this mo fo is going down."

I looked around - no magic wands and Todd lives about 35 blocks away and was not coming over.

I did what any reasonable person would do: sent a text to 4 people with the above photo attached which read: "I am currently freaking out due to the critter on the blinds. Can someone please send my husband over stat!?!?!"

No response.

The staredown continued - the cockroach didn't move anything but his huge whiskers and I named him Fred. (Short for Freddie Krueger, obviously)

I sent a text to my roommate: "OMG Where are you?"

I called - she didn't answer. I left her a voicemail. "OMG WHERE ARE YOU WE HAVE A NEW PET!"

I called Uzi. She suggested windex. I had a few bottles of lysol. I tested out both bottles to see which one had the best range and had the highest likelihood of hitting Fred square in the face without me having to get too close. Uzi requested that I get all of this on video. I declined due to the fact that I was only wearing underwear. (Zing! Visual! You are welcome!)

I continued to stare.

I decided to use a broom as my weapon of choice. With spray bottle in hand, I got close to the blinds and started spraying as much as I could from approximately 3 feet away. Fred spread his wings and flew across the room while I am screaming and waving the broom around me. He landed on a shelf we have in the kitchen. I continued spraying and screaming. Somehow he got in the sink. I ran around into the kitchen area and knew that he was somewhere in the sink - I could hear him trying to climb the sides of the sink and I continued to spray my little heart out. Every time I would see his antennae pop up over the edge of the sink (I was still at least 2 feet away from the sink) I would spray faster until I heard the climbing stop.

It took me about 5 minutes to get the courage to look inside the sink to see if he was really dead. Also, I looked into the sink from the safety of the living room whilst standing on a barstool. And I reached out my hand and took this photo.

And then I did again what any rational person would do with a dead cockroach that they had named Fred:

I put a cup over it and sent a text to my roommate that read: "omg please dismember our new pet when you get home. i trapped it for you."

And I went to bed.

**If you ever feel the need to invite me to do anything involving nature (excluding the beach - unless there are sea snakes or sharks) please refer to this post.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lessons from a week spent at the beach.

This last week I learned many lessons.

  • Going on vacation with 20 of your favorite people is always a good decision.
  • No matter how hard you try to help two people avoid each other on said vacation, it will be impossible. The person you are trying to avoid will be staying in the house across the street.
  • I am always happier when I am tan. Also, I will be more tired.
  • If you invite me to the beach, I will go - even if it costs me $12 to get on to the beach and even if I've just spent an entire week at the beach.
  • If you play Just Dance for 6 days, your body will be sore.
  • Dance parties that last until 3am will be epic.
  • I will never look at a watermelon the same way again.
  • That Uzi can always make me laugh.
  • Sometimes the lack of sleep is worth it.
  • Shamu will not let you ride her.

So yeah - Duck Beach was awesome this year. I have a few pictures and stories for you, but I need to catch up on some sleep first. Photo of my tan coming right up.