Saturday, August 28, 2010

Early to bed. Early to Rise. WorkLikeHellAndAdvertise.


As the fashion shoots and shows are beginning to line up I'm really trying to take some time to visualize how I can better market the Richard & Bancroft Brand. I ran across this girl's blog post and think it is valuable advice worth sharing:
http://nubbytwiglet.com/2009/08/18/how-do-you-market-yourself-as-a-designer/

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jacksonville Fashion Week


Wednesday August 11, 2010
Hi Courtney,
I was told about your line by Sonia Garza who may have mentioned to you that I am producing Jacksonville Fashion Week? Anyhow, I've presented your designs to our board and they were met with much enthusiasm. We would like to extend an invitation to you to be one of our 5 featured designers for Jacksonville Fashion Week. Please let me know if you would be interested and I will give you more detail. Looking forward to working with you!

...Above is the email I received last week from the founder of JFW. I'm SO flattered and psyched to be a part of this show. This means once my Fall/Winter collection is done at the end of the month it's time to begin S/S 2011.

P.S Fall/ Winter Collection will be added to the website and ready to make it's way into your closets this September.
Until then La Vie Est Belle Magazine will have the first look at R&B scarves, vests, tees, fall cover-ups....

Friday, August 6, 2010

Puts Things Into Perspective

AndEverythingWillBringAChainOfLOve


It's been quite a while since I've blogged, more than a month- which is due in part to my new job that I started at the beginning of July. I've been working at Wachovia-Wells Fargo in the foreclosure department. All of the foreclosure specialists (who I am supposedly considered to become) are extremely busy, as you can imagine. Myself and the other four new employees are pretty much glorified assistants making copies, sending faxes, and sitting beside our designated specialist watching them type into programs while we struggle to stay awake.

Last weekend I started having spontaneous cramping that became more consistent on Monday when I was at work. It was so bad I could barely walk or stand up when it was in effect. Tuesday I scheduled an appointment with my doctor and he said that everything looked normal, I took this information as a relief until I woke up Wednesday at 5am with more terrible cramping. I went back to bed only to wake up again with more minor but steady cramping. I went to work for two hours until I started feeling nauseous from the pain and drove myself to the hospital. After multiple tests, a liquid diet, and an overnight stay they sent me packing with no prognosis. The bed rest and fluids for two days made me feel better and I was almost in belief that the cramps were gone until this morning at 4a.m when they returned at the worst they've ever been. My stomach felt like the bones had been shattered for about 30 minutes until I passed out and woke up today feeling achy but close to normal. It is the oddest thing.
Brian has been amazing helping out: staying by my side at the hospital, bringing me tylenol, constantly getting me water, exercising and feeding Piper, and still managing to get through his work days. Like always, I'm reminded that I am a lucky girl to have such a great man by my side. I think both of us are more than ready for a relaxing weekend.

On the weekends this month you can find me working on my new Fall/Winter collection. I thank Sonia from La Vie Est magazine for motivating this. They are interested in featuring me as their Jacksonville Designer next issue if I can pull off this three weekend sewing stint based on $100 worth of fabric. I'm staying hopeful.
The idea is Boho Rock Show. We'll see how the finished collection turns out.

Brian just called from work and asked if I could please dig his non-winning Jaguar lotto tickets out of the trash. Let me inform you that Brian, a season ticket holder, will buy almost anything associated with the Jaguars as an effort to "support the cause." In this case, the cause is education. But I will say he won his money back plus some. And apparently he just found out he can enter his losing tickets into an online contest...... apparently a little garbage is no obstacle to his determination.
I once stayed after to help dig my best friend's retainer out of the lunch trash cans at school. I guess I can take a peek at our own garbage.... The things we do for love.









Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WorstDate.EVER.

Yesterday evening when my boyfriend got home we decided to go on a quick excursion. He ran while I followed on my bike with the pup, who was frantically trying to catch up with him. Along the way there was definitely a house cooking Italian, and the smell followed us for a good block. When it came time to choose a place for dinner last night we both suggested Italian... I can only imagine why. Trying to save money we pulled out the coupon magazine and decided to try a place called Milano's. Monday nights are $6.99 lasagna nights. Perfect.
These were the events that eventually led us into The Worst Date Ever.

We got sat in a booth behind an older couple in their early 50s. It didn't take much ease-dropping to figure out that this was their first date, as he was asking her twenty questions about what she liked and didn't like. Valuable information such as, not to drink the water in Mexico, foot rubs are good sleep inducers, and how he got his middle name, were also thrown out on the table by this idiotic man. Unfortunately for my boyfriend, I was all ears on the table behind us and could barely finish my dinner in an effort to catch every blunder this man was making. He asked if it was okay to clean his ears and continued to do so. He told her he has been used in the past: used by getting late night calls from women who could not fall asleep. He said he's whispered his old tax returns word for word into his willing victims ears on the other line until they were snoring fast asleep. How romantic.
At this point I'm asking my boyfriend why he's never offered to do that.
As dinner is winding down, his date asks the server for a take out box, and I'm vaguely disappointed my trip as their secret third wheel is ending. The man warns his date that she better not take home her food and scarf it down because she was trying to be dainty and feminine in front of him. He also suggests that if she finishes it now maybe they can go get a nice, little ice cream cone.
We get pay our check and leave before the lady has time to file a restraining order.





Monday, May 31, 2010

WhatAGirlWants


I woke up craving the everything bagel that I had been eyeing on the kitchen counter before I went to sleep last night... I also wanted a large glass of milk.
After a healthy dose of calcium, I can feel it in my bones that it's going to be a selfish morning committed to sitting on the couch in my pajamas thinking of things that I want. places I want to go, and things I want to see. I've never done this before but I think I will thoroughly enjoy it. Besides, plans for Memorial Day were to beach it but the weather is not coinciding with my decision. Instead I sit here at the computer, enjoy the day off, and make a list of these self-interest and largely unrealistic items I want right now.

1. 4 Door Jeep Wrangler
2. Chunky Gold Watch
3. Watermelon
4. Another puppy
5. Go hiking in the mountains
6. Bar hop in Key West



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It'sTheStoryOfTheTwoAlwaysOntheMove



UXUA CASA Hotel
I ran across this gem on my Elle homepage one day and don't believe a day has passed since I've refrained from drooling over this hotel's lavish website. In all honesty, the day dreams that extend upon this exotic wonderment are probably unhealthy. I've selfishly been debating on sharing this secret Brazilian hotel with the public in fear that somebody else will have a chance to visit before me. One day, Uxua... one day you and I will meet. And it will be amazing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Richard & Banroft

I feel as though I have been living at Whisky River lately. I close tonight so I won't get out till close to 2a.m and then I'll be there for a double tomorrow 10a.m to 10 or 11p.m. Luke Bryan and Dale Earnheart Jr. will be there tonight. I'm not a huge fan of either, but at least it will make the night a little interesting while I close the place down. I might bring a sleeping bag in my car so I can crash in one of the booths with my boots on... just kidding. Maybe.

I want to send out a public apology to my friends. And everyone in general... I'm sorry if you feel like I'm scheduling you in when you DO see me. But, in the nicest way possible, that's exactly what I'm having to do. Work shifts are long and I'm not sitting at a desk, but I'm constantly running around on my feet serving other people, usually with nothing to eat all day but the trail mix I stow away in my purse.
Most of you have real jobs and work during the day so while I'm free you're not. When I'm not working I'm thinking about when I can be sewing next. If you've seen me you can confirm that I don't even have time to sit out and get a tan. Once this show is over, I will slowly get back to having a real life... until then. Please be okay with the phone call, coffee, or bite to eat that I can grab with you. I do miss you.

Fashion Show is May 1st in Five Points at the Old Theater. You can get tickets through Nikki Todd at NikkiTik@gmail.com and pick them up at Two Blondes and A Guy Salon near the Town Center. Or, pay for them via paypal and get them at Will Call. Hope to see everyone there!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blogging has taken a backseat in my life course lately, I apologize. I also apologize for the miniscule picture you're squinting your eyes to look at. But, it's proof that I successfully ran the race this past Saturday. My friend Brittany and I conquered 9.3 miles with unnatural ease and I'm extremely proud of us. I walked up to the start line with no expectations, and honestly, I thought that I would crawl across the finish line... but much to my surprise the race was really enjoyable. It took us throughout downtown and the San Marco area where we jogged along the river, across two bridges, and entertained us with bands, mimosa stands, and people in their front yards with hoses, freeze pops, and oranges. Next year I'm going to take the race more seriously, I loved it so much Brittany also has a picture of me kissing my metal in excitement... but we'll keep that in hiding.

Saturday night we all went out in celebration of the race, it was a great time but I woke up Sunday feeling more than under the weather. I thought I was hungover but I was constantly nauseous and tired with no appetite for two whole days up until this morning. I was beginning to worry about mono, the flu, cancer... yes, my mind wanders like that. But I feel 110% this morning and have successfully kept my breakfast down with no questions from my stomach. Sickness has been conquered and now I'm ready to finish two dresses for the show. Speaking of, I am once again so thankful for the people in my life. It's really motivating to know that people support my dream. My grandparents sent me a check in the mail for materials. For those of you in Jacksonville or close to it, I would appreciate you coming out May 1st in Five Points for the show. I'll post more details as they arrive. And for those of you that can't make the show, I'm going to try and have my friend Cayla take tons of pictures with her fancy camera.

Once those two dresses are finished it should be time for St. Patrick's Day, then a road trip to the Keys and Ft. Lauderdale till Sunday, we're bringing the beach cruisers, the pup, and ourselves. I think a mini-vacation will be the perfect start to training for the new job, sewing, and getting into a focused mindset.



Sunday, March 7, 2010

HomeIsWhereEverI'mWithYou

I haven't left the house this entire weekend aside from seeing Alice and Wonderland, a bike ride, and a jog with the pup. Normally, things such as staying in on a Saturday night and having my mom turn me down on sharing a glass of wine would bother me. I might have even called myself a loser twice, but looking back on it I'm proud of the self-control that has persevered throughout the entire past week. I've been able to focus on the upcoming show by watching numerous runway collections and listening to off the radar bands for music ideas. I've also done some sketching and plan on beginning the collection this week. More exciting news is that I had two New York fashion businesses contact me this weekend about job opportunities and I will be speaking with them at the beginning of the week. My life is such a whirlwind right now.
Yesterday, like I said, Piper and I went on a 30 minute jog and then a bike ride. She did really well with her smaller, pink leash that had been retired since her baby days. I think the bulky black one that I tried to graduate her into is much too cumbersome and annoying for her as of yet... and apparently feels great on her teeth because she sinks her mouth into it at any chance she can get, pulling me like she's a mini horse wearing a bridle.
Today I plan on increasing the run to 45 minutes, I wonder if there's any other runner trying to get back their endurance within a week of the River Run. Maybe I was foolish to sign up, but I'm also a little curious as to what I can push my body to do in six days. When I lived near campus I used to run miles on a daily basis and I forgot how great I feel when I begin the day with a run, I'm glad I've been bullied back into this. Now all I'm missing for a little more motivation is some sunshine.... come on Florida, show us what you've got....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

YoungBroke&Fabulous


Since my move home my life has become a lame version of the movie Raising Helen. Lame because I'm broke and I owe bills, so my social life is limited to coffee dates and walks with my dog. I choose coffee because although I'm positive I'm not an alcoholic, it's a lot easier to stop at one coffee than it is to stop at one beer.
Today I made a board game for my sister Christie's class named "The Prefix-Suffix Shuffle." I'm not kidding. Tomorrow morning I am waking up to make the girls lunch, get them to school (in the van), and then go pick up my mom at the hospital for a minor surgery she's having (in the van).
As you can assume, I'm impatiently waiting for my tax return to arrive and for my server training to begin at Whiskey River so I can begin to piece back together my life as a Floridian. Whiskey River, for those of you that don't know, is a newly built bar/club/restaurant opening in April. They have been doing insane marketing and plan on having a national recording artist at the private grand opening. They will have DJs, a mechanical bull, VIP sections, and then the lunch and dinner portion of the restaurant, including an outdoor patio. I did notice a flyer of a girl in a skimpy cowboy outfit at my interview and made sure I wasn't going to be wearing her glorified bra. Shirt and jeans I can deal with. I can honestly say I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I got hired, but I have a feeling I'm going to be making some great money.
Aside from the various interview flops that have gone on I am so pumped to be part of a fashion show in the works. It will be held in Five Points on May 1st and I could not be more excited to show my collection. I'm so thankful there's a reason for the free time I've been given until Whiskey River opens and will spend it sewing. I also haven't lost sight of continuing the professional career search. I've actually become more accustomed to the fact of settling for a salary with benefits as long as I can be creative and provided with a compelling conversation in my workplace. Aside from that, I've let my stubborn and sassy work dreams subside. Lastly I decided today that I'm going to tackle the Gate River Run next saturday. Most people have been training for weeks... while I've gone on a few leisurely jogs with Piper. Time to step up my game!







Wednesday, February 24, 2010

WouldYouLikeToDanceAroundTheWorldWithMe


Hurricane Blizzard is what they call it. Sounds like an overpriced cruise ship beverage if you ask me. I woke up to a sloshy mixture of rain and snow this morning, and before that discovery, to an annoying dry cough. Welcome to my last day in New York. It's been almost a full month with no success in finding a paid fashion job. I have made strides. And I have been hired as a cocktail waitress. But when it came down to it, my parents were strongly suggesting I give my pup away to a new home, and... I did not have 2,200 cash lying around for the next month. I would be sacrificing a lot to stay here and I didn't want to have any regrets. If I move back to Jacksonville some people might view it as a failure, but I view it as a place to rest, save up, sew, and plan my next adventure.
New York City is a struggle, that's part of what makes it so energizing and enticing. The majority of people that live here WANT to be here with all of their heart. All of their soul.
After a month of the internship and getting a minor glimpse of the real fashion industry I realized what I didn't want to be. And sometimes when you see what you don't want, it points you in the direction of what you do want.
I don't want to be glued to my phone. I don't want to be on the edge of my seat feeling inadequate. I don't want to feel constantly stressed or live my life for the success of somebody else. If I'm struggling, I want it to be for the well being of myself or a reputable company I strongly believe in. I need to be given the respect that I give back. I want it to be a worth while and enjoyable struggle to reach my goal with dignity and self worth intact.
I'm going to miss this place. New York reminded me how enjoyable it is to strike up conversations with strangers. It taught me that every day can become an adventure, and you have the decision to make it one. It taught me to actually like cold weather. As I type this I'm in fur-filled boots, UnderArmor leggings, a shirt, a hooded sweatshirt, and lastly a fur hat head band. Cold weather allows you to dress ridiculous and I've come to comfortably adore these layered get ups. Human beings are such adaptable animals; total chameleons with the ability to live in any weather climate.
New York, I'll be back. Whether it be for a visit or another temporary residence. Until then, thanks for the hospitality.





Gypset

I can't wait to read the book Gypset Style.
Here is a brief synopsis of the "gypset life" and where it originated from in an interview with the author:
Gypset lifestyle references the 1960s but it is not a continuation. My book traces the wanderlust tendencies of the counterculture starting with the British romantic poets like Lord Byron and Percy Shelley who left England for more tolerant shores of Italy in the 1800s. The Victorian adventurers like Richard Burton and Jane Digby on up to the beatniks who lived in Tangier, and then on to the 1960s with hippies backpacking around India and Asia. All of these groups needed to go outside of society to find freedom and create. Gypsetters as a group really started to emerge in the 1990s when counterculture had become commodified. Places like St. Tropez or downtown New York City, once alternative refuges, had been taken over by bankers and real estate tycoons. The Gypsetters came along and said, that’s not luxury, that’s tacky. Real luxury isn’t for sale. It’s something that has soul and creativity.
So, in short, what should we do to live like a Gypsetter?
JC: Be spontaneous and wander.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

GypsyChild


Right now I'm craving a sweet pile of breakfast food and sushi all at the same time. I woke up not feeling well this morning and immediately blame it on the head cold that has been playing games with me all week, disappearing and then waking me up vengeance. I made a healthy breakfast of eggs, salsa, coffee and a banana in an effort to ignore the fact I might be getting sick and called a contact from The Donager group to set up a time to meet with him tomorrow. He made sure to stress that he WAS NOT an employment agency, but he's nice enough to put a face with a voice and a resume so I'm grateful for that.
It was raining when I woke up and has continued to pour down all day. I'm sitting here dreaming of sushi and belgian waffles with nails painted, make up and heels on, ready to go apply to my last resort: hotel and restaurant jobs.
As soon as the rain lets up I'm out the door.
What is it with the show 24? I've only become remotely obsessed with one show in my entire life, Gossip Girl, which was arranged and reminded by my room mates and friends or else I surely would have forgotten about it. Every man I know is either a loyal viewer or at least a big fan. I called my dad last night after taking a personality-career test to tell him I am destined to become a journalist. Only 5% of the population achieve these results. I finally have my life figured out! He politely hung up the phone as fast as he could mumbling the numbers 24 into the receiver...
Looks like I've lost him to the cult too.
He did call back, we caught up and ended the phone in a mutual agreement that I was the gypsy child of the family.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

IsitBecauseImBlack?TheRealStory.


It's beautiful today so I decided to write with the window open while I wait for Liz to finish packing. It's been a great weekend with card games at the bar, four story clubs and dance offs, 5:00AM diner grub and... the homeless man.
There are countless homeless people in the city, with time I'm calculating to become one of them. But this homeless man took a different approach than any I've ever seen. Instead of posting up a street corner, or inside the subway trying to make music or sell his artistic capabilities, he was lounging half way across the stairwell to get out on the street. We almost tripped over him. His feet were bloody and calloused. He held a cup for money. Truly, I would have felt bad for him and spared my change if he hadn't of muttered the words:
"It's because I'm black."
Really? Is that it? You're settling for living in the stairs of a subway and panhandling for food because you're black. I know PLENTY of African American people that are doing well. Much better than I am. They have a work ethic and class. My advice for you man, is to get a new line. People don't want to hear excuses.

A few of my favorite moments of the weekend:
1. Sliding back in the crowd and letting a midget fill my position behind Liz in line. The look her her face was priceless.

2. Discovering the "card" application on iPhone. I highly suggest it, great entertainment and perfect for Circle of Death.

3. Dance off with a very large middle aged man. Don't judge a book by it's cover. He pulled out dance moves only Michael Jackson could've been capable of and got low, low, low... And moved his hands in a constant rave motion all the while.

4. Liz ordering a full meal at 5AM and then refusing to take a bite. This upset a large part of the table as we devoured our fries, burgers, and wraps. Liz fought back by lying about her flight time. 7PM became 7AM. She had to go. Soon.
We ignored this and she tried again to win the battle. She was saving it for her plane ride. For dinner. Okay Liz.

5. A girl cleverly yelling PETA at me in the bathroom. I wanted to say, it's fake and I paid $10.00 for it. Yours are fake and you paid a few thousand. Who wins?

6. Triumphantly becoming a true New Yorker and eyeing the less packed subway cars before boarding. One was almost completely empty so we all had the same brilliant idea to fill it. As the doors quickly closed behind us we became one. Tourists, city dwellers, all ages and races realized we had sentenced ourselves to a subway that smelled like a mix of garbage and a homeless man's bathroom stall. In a line we moved from one subway car to the next laughing and gasping for air.

Tomorrow, will be an early morning of Regis and Kelly with my mom's friend Mrs. Coggins. She was surprised I was excited to join her. Are you kidding me? I am publicly announcing my love for that show. Regis is classic and Kelly is hilarious. I can't wait. Then it's job search time. Only a few more days to find a killer job before it's back to Florida. If not, I'm realizing that I DO want to ultimately own a successful clothing line and if moving back south to sew and live cheaper for a while is what I have to do I'm content with that.

I feel like laying outside with my laptop, blanket and book. Might have to make it a roof top day.




Saturday, February 20, 2010

IsItBecauseImBlack???



The past two days have been accompanied by Lower East Side dive bars, the internship runaround, shopping... and of course, Liz. The first night Liz got here we changed and hit up the local bars. What made the night interesting is that on our way to the bar Liz mentioned how she might need to change into a heavier jacket. Suddenly a feisty Brazilian man intercepted our conversation and suggested that he was headed to the same bar as us. I'm sure he decided this once we dropped the name. Anyways, he bought us both drinks, which is always nice for the steep prices in the city and stuck around for a beer and conversation. He openly told Liz that he misses the intimacy of having a girlfriend in the first five minutes. When he left we were a little relieved, and I promptly got a facebook friend request from Paul in a glittered spanish parade costume. Unfortunately my finger slipped and hit ignore....

We woke up to spend our next few hours of existence finding fabric swatches, picking up dresses, re-ordering buttons. In summary, power walking a fashionable half marathon. Afterwards we checked out the NYC Juicy flagship store, two stories of high priced outfits displayed in a setting that made me want to hire the interior designer on the spot. I love the romantic vintage style of the stores, but it was all eye candy and I kept the wallet stashed away deep in my purse. Liz did the same. Once we got home we crashed into a power nap and woke up to my room mate coming home from work. He confidently accused us of being lazy and hung over while denying our alibis of an eventful day.

TBC..... Happy Hour Margaritas calling our names.




Wednesday, February 17, 2010

DoubleTrouble


I am aware that this is my second post of the day but I'm trying to redeem myself from not writing at all tomorrow. I think I'm going to be way too excited and busy to slow down and type out a few stories. Also, I'm going to be running around four fabric samples for Vladymir, which always takes longer than expected.

Why am I excited? Liz arrives tomorrow!!! I also have a surprise birthday dinner to attend for my second cousin Butchie in Tribecca, which I imagine is going to be expensive. Is it rude to only order a salad or appetizer at a fancy birthday dinner? Tomorrow night is the final night to go out for Fashion Week. I've surprisingly not taken part in it at all this time around, mostly because I had nobody to go out with. This makes me sound like a pitiful loner, but it's okay because I'm alright with being alone in New York City for a limited period of time (as long as I can pick up the phone for a meaningful conversation every now and then).

When I get bored all I do is literally step out my front door and start walking.
After a few blocks I've either ease dropped or taken part in so many ridiculous conversations and situations that I'm satisfied with the social interaction for the day. I forgot to add that last night on my way out of the apartment I witnessed two guys trying to shimmy a queen size mattress UP, not down, the middle of the stairwell. If you saw the picture of my stairs you would have been in awe too. It was amazing to watch their fingers turn white while trying to grip onto the mattress. I wanted to have a part in it. I dropped my bag and held on for a little while until I realized I was absolutely no help. I asked them if they wanted me to get my room mate to help them. One said yes. One said no.
Then the "one that said yes" told the "one that said no" to stop trying to act cool in front of a girl and that they were actually struggling. I let them bicker for a little while until I got a block away and called my room mate to check on the progress. I didn't want them to lose their manhood- but I'm sure they were delighted when a random dude offered help.

Today I did my laundry. I've always wanted to enter a laudromat since Amy Grant's music video in the 1990s. It was a total success, however I spent the entire hour basically sitting next to what I thought was an indie rocker boy. As I was on the phone I couldn't help but subconsciously compare our thighs, to which my dismay- his were much tinier than mine peaking out through "his" ripped, hippie, skinny jeans. It wasn't until I had to do an extra dryer cycle and needed to exchange my two dimes and a nickel for a quarter that I realized the he was a she. Startled, it took everything inside of me to not jump back. But after I heard the voice, and got a straight on look it was definitely a girl. Who was trying to look like a boy? And succeeding with flying colors...? Well done. You got me.

AllWeNeededWereSomeGoodFriendsAndASong

I was leaving my cousin's last night when I forgot how deserted the financial district gets after Wall Street lets out. It's literally a ghost town. Anyhow, I didn't want to pay for a taxi so I clutched onto my things and walked a few streets up to the subway. The entire time it was only me on the street, plus a lingering man in a trench coat and fedora smoking a cigarette. He stared at me as I walked past and could feel his eyes burning into my back as I picked up the pace. It sounds cliche but I felt like I was the victim in a Nancy Drew or Sherlock Holmes mystery novel. This is the first night in New York I can attest to feeling nervous or unsafe. I hurried to the subway and walked down two stories expecting to see more people but only to realize it was me, alone with two homeless men who had made beds on the floor. It was all too much so I ran back up to ground level and searched for a taxi. I learned my lesson. Next time I'm just crashing on the cousin's couch.

Sun is Shining!
Anytime I say this I automatically follow it by singing the rest of a song by Finley Quaye in my head. If you've never heard it you should look it up. Definitely a mood lifter. Last night I got two Valentines Day gifts in the mail. One from my mother, which included countless bags of candy, a sleeping mask to cover my eyes at night, socks, and money. It was exactly what I needed. I did tear into each bag and candy box individually, insisting with my cousin that we needed to try a sample of everything. I'm pretty sure he had a handful of nerds and an airhead. I ate the same... multiplied by five other types of candy so my stomach felt sick for the rest of the night. It reminded me of a time in college when someone's mom had sent them a large Sam's club pack of laffy taffy. Four of us sat in a circle puling out flavors and reading the jokes on the back. At the end someone said it was time to put them all back in the bag. I didn't realize I was the only one who had been eating every piece... story of my life. I'm surprised I don't have more cavities. Which reminds me, my mom also sent me dental floss. She knows me too well...

My friend Evan's mom, who- if you've never had the pleasure of meeting, is amazing. She is one of those people that can somehow find the balance of giving you honest advice while holding onto the greatness and positive opportunities that can also be achieved. She sent me a hilarious card with a Starbucks gift card inside. Perfect. On top of this, I got a really nice, motivating message when I woke up this morning. I am ready to conquer the world right now. I've always heard the saying "If you lay with the dog you get fleas," I think that is true to an extent but how about if you surround yourself with good people the energy is undeniable? I am VERY thankful for the people I have close to me at this point in my life. They are exactly what I need to help me stay focused. With that said, I have to go make a few phone calls, clean the kitchen & bathroom, attempt laundry, and return a temporary phone I bought when I thought I killed mine with coffee.


Monday, February 15, 2010

DoingGoodFeelingAlright


I missed a few days in the whirlwind of an incredible weekend with Jacksonville visitors so it's time to play catch up!
Friday night I went blindly into a concert. No background on the band, just reliable recommendations. It was an amazing time and once again I caught myself staring at the walls, lighting fixtures, and ceilings of the building. Within my love of design I guess architecture has the ability to catch my attention just as easily as the newest fashion magazine.
The next day I woke up and tackled the Brooklyn Bridge, which I quickly discovered is a tourist attraction unlike the Williamsburg I dominated a few days earlier. People were setting up tripods and full on photo shoots while I aimlessly tried to keep my sneaker laces tied. Something I find hilarious is watching people with cold hands try to tie their laces or zip up a jacket. I can't stop laughing, much like when I see someone trip or slide on the ice. It's the look in their faces. I'm developing a terrible sense of humor correlating with the cold weather.
It also reminded me of a service dog video my friend sent me from youtube. The puppy could do almost anything for you- dress you, fetch papers, you name it. Sadly it was released and now surfs waves with paraplegics. Anyways, the point I'm getting it is that I wish I could hire a service dog for the winter season. All I wanted was a mutt to come zip up my hoodie so I could keep my hands in my pockets...

Saturday Dana had me calling around to a juvenile diabetes unit to try and get her in for Valentines Day. Apparently she has diabetes also and likes to bring in games and toys for the children in place of candy. This sounds easy enough, but I'm beginning to realize if it were she would do it herself. I called numerous numbers and left three messages regarding her purpose. I got zero call backs all day. Guess that means the diabetes unit was doing more than fine this Valentine Weekend?

This weekend I also got to ice skate and visit the Brooklyn Flea, both of which I've been excited to try and do. You can imagine my delight on the ice rink watching all of the embarrassing wipe outs. A particular favorite being a lanky Japanese man with a mohawk. I developed a sense of selfish adoration for him. Big tree fall hard. But he didn't ever give up, he only yelled and screamed louder with each fall. Don't judge me. I too used to question my character laughing at this but I think I'm in the clear now since I almost fell myself the other day. The BrooklynFlea was in an amazing old bank on three different floors and I was excited to find a nice little gift for my friend Cayla's upcoming birthday. Getting home ended up being a crazy adventure but eventually ended up taking the Staten Island Ferry back to Manhattan. I'd really like to do that again when it gets warmer because you get an awesome view of the Statue of Liberty. Who, by the way, you CANNOT climb up into. I always had this vision of waving my hand out her crown at the top of her head. Don't ask where I came up with this, I want to say it was in a movie. Those dreams have now been shattered so I just looked from afar.

In conclusion. Great weekend. Great food. Great people. Two weeks left to figure out my next move....
Current new obsession: Strawberry Serenity Kombucha and Rebelution
My friend Danielle had talked about this chinese tea rich in antioxidants so I scooped up a few flavors at Whole Foods.




Thursday, February 11, 2010

DumplingsandSoup


Last night I was dealing with some serious cabin fever so I took to the streets only to realize that nobody was on them and even Starbucks had closed it's doors! On the way back I almost slipped about three times and then became a moving hostage to a snowball fight.

Today turned out to be beautiful but the melting snow made things pretty icy and probably more dangerous than yesterday. I camped out at Starbucks for quite some time to catch up on emails, the online bank account, and bills. While I was there I met an aspiring actor named Peter. He had just moved back to NYC from Cali and was trying to find some freelance work. He was actually on a casting call at Starbucks before he decided to help me with my resume and cover letter. Lucky for him he's also a fluent Spanish speaker and substitutes at the local high school, as well as coaches their basketball team. I don't have anything to fall back on. Once we cleared up my resume and such we ended up grabbing a bite around the corner. Five dumplings and a bowl of soup for $2.25! I noticed he filled up his water at Starbucks and took it with him. I have so much to learn....

I got new rain boots today that were 50% off. I told them to throw away the box and I slipped them on immediately. I had a few close calls yesterday and didn't want to end up on the ground with the ice taking over the streets. After that I looked for Forever21 in an effort to return a few of my purchases. I got REALLY lost... and then realized they only do exchange. Likely story. On the subway home I got caught up playing with a foreign baby sitting on the lap next to me and missed my stop. Not my day. Anyways, I'm FINALLY back home and most likely will be helping Vladimyr run a few errands tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TakeSomeTimeToDoTheThingsWeNeverHave





It's snowing!!! My room mate described me as a little girl on Christmas morning when I woke up today. He was probably right, despite my late bed time I had set my alarm for 7:30 and ended up waking up on my own at 7:00 instead. I immediately looked out the window to see millions of large snowflakes drifting down towards the ground. The last time I remember being this excited to wake up to snow was when I was a little girl at my grandparent's house in northern New York. I'm pretty sure it was Christmas morning... and I was also too scared to go into the basement alone to look for my stuffed bear. Now I'm living in the city solo. Luckily some things, like my sense of adventure, have changed.... and others have not.

To take full advantage of this snow day I had planned to join my room mate, Mike, on his subway ride to work since his office is literally on the edge of Central Park. He was also nice enough to dig out a few extra snow hats for the big day. I choose his mom's brightly striped beanie circa 76' with a pom pom larger than life attached to the top of it. Go big or go home is my motto for the day. Besides, he flew down to Miami in the heart of the storm today so I think he felt pride in being able to trade off his cold weather attire for board shorts and tanks.
Central Park was drop dead gorgeous. There were tons of dog owners walking their well pedigreed canines around in the snow. As well as a few business men with briefcase in hand that had chosen to take a detour on their morning walk to work. Then there was me, the out of place 70s dressed tourist, writing in the snow and taking creepy pictures of tunnels and statues. Once I had had enough I shivered my way back to the subway and headed home trying to avoid getting splashed by the snow muck that was being thrown out in every direction by passing cars and trucks.
Other than playing in the winter wonderland I have stayed in today paying bills and sending out resumes. I forgot to add in why I choose the title to this blog entry. My neighbor has been playing ToTo's Africa song for almost 24 hours straight, which I can tell you is worse than shuffling a mixture of songs. At first I was delightfully surprised by the classic song. Now I'm beginning to hope she's leaving for Africa on a 12:30 flight so this melody can get put to rest. I can tell you if this continues I'll definitely be longing for some solitary company.
Internet connection is slow so I might head up to Starbucks soon for one last traipse in the snow, another dose of social interaction, and warm coffee. Ciao!






Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Subway Stories


Day 9:
Today I met Vlad to help him deliver a few garments. One thing I've learned about the fashion industry is that people are always late... and usually when they know you're coming they will rarely be there. So, I had to bring the garments to a back-up factory a few blocks away on the subway while the initial office enjoyed their lunch break. Once I did that I walked into H&M and Forever 21 to buy socks.
In the midst of packing I somehow forgot socks. I have one knee-high, ridiculous, plaid pair that i wear with boots and other than that I am empty handed. So a few days ago I borrowed a pair from my cousin and I've been wearing them for four days. It'd like to say I was delicate with them but that would be a lie because you already know the running and walking around I do in this city.It was time for a change.
I'm really great at saving money if I refrain from passing through those double doors. I have potential to be an amazing window shopper. But, once those double doors are behind me I tend to convince myself that each outfit is a necessity. I NEED this top for the interview I'll be getting. I NEED that skirt because it will look great with the $5 top I have in my hand... and who can turn down a $5 top. I mean, really? Anyways, I did some self reflection while in line and dropped a few items before getting to the register. Now I have new socks, plus a few other things.

SUBWAY STORIES:
Street musicians are ALWAYS lurking in the depths of the subway, however today I was particularly intrigued. There was a Jamaican guy in dreads that played the guitar without stopping to hassle a single passerby. He was truly in his own world yet he had a genuine smile for everyone that left him as much as a dime. He also displayed his facebook profile on a cardboard next to him which I thought was clever. Nothing too exciting, but he radiated good vibes.
And, he got my dollar.
The second situation was a little more interesting. An older Italian woman with a wild mane of box dyed red hair was lost. She was oddly familiar to me and I couldn't place my finger on it until now.
She is a deadringer for George Castanza's mom on Seinfeld. Please take a minute to picture the yelling, raspy new york voice before continuing to read this post.

Anyhow, I got off at my stop with the crazy Italian lady at my heels and walked past a middle aged guy trying to sell himself as a one man band. He had tied and taped random objects to himself and was tapping away with no tune. It was so dysfunctional I honestly had to ask myself if he was "all there". Behind me I heard the lady yell: DOES THE M TRAIN TAKE ME TO BROOKLYN? HOW TO DO I GET TO BROOKLYN BRIDGE? WILL YOU STOP BANGING ON THOSE THINGS AND LISTEN TO ME FOR A MINUTE? HELLLLO!?!?
I swear it sounded like nails on a chalk board.
At this point I had already turned the corner and couldn't, nor did I want to look back. Until I heard this awful sound: AGHHHHHUCCCCKKKK!
If I had not already assessed the situation I would have thought somebody was being murdered. But, no. This lady was screaming in agony of being ignored by this handicap street performer.

I'm running out the door to grab some items for my first snow day! Tomorrow New York City schools are closed and we're expected to get quite a lot of snow. Hopefully I get caught in the first few flakes on my stroll back home :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chicago is not the only Windy City



Day 8:
First of all, before I rant about my daily New York escapades I have to address the Super Bowl Game. I am so glad the Saints won and wish I could've been there in person to feel the excitement. I have a short attention span with sports (unless I'm the one playing) and this game had me glued to the t.v. the entire time.

Last night I watched the game in my cousin Danny's building. Lucky for us the boyfriend and girlfriend duo throwing the party also knew how to cook. I was given homemade baked ziti, garlic rolls, wings, and cookies along with my choice or liquor or beer. Although it was weird not to watch the game with the same group as the years past it wasn't too difficult to fight off the good feeling of a new football crew, free food and drinks. Afterwards Danny, Americk and I went to a club in the West Village known as Quo. Definitely a hip hop scene, I could only recognize a few of the rap songs while everyone else went crazy singing along with the lyrics. It did cross my mind to use the word Watermelon as a cover up. In third grade I learned that if you mouth watermelon it looks like you could be saying any of the words in a song. But, instead I just danced and kept my eye on the live drummer free styling along with the DJ's music.

Monday. Today. I sent out a few resumes and emails before I treked over to the FedEx Kinkos to print out copies of my finished resume. I had thrown on leggings, my new 6.0 Nike high tops, sweater, and a fedora because it looked sunny outside. Now I feel like I should inform you that looking out my window and creeping on the street walkers has taken the place of my former weather.com obsession. What I didn't suspect from this stalking was the presence of wind tunnels I've so sweetly avoided since my arrival. On the way to Kinkos the wind lifted my hat of my head and carried it somersaulting halfway down the block. Naturally I had to chase after it while gaining an audience in the process. Then on my way home from Whole Foods I had my hands full and accidently brushed past a guy in a group of foreign men. I quickly apologized and kept walking while they yelled after me that they had seen me in my movie. What was it called again? I walked faster relishing the fame, and allowing them to believe they had just ran into their first American actress. Other than that I just ordered business cards, cleaned, and cooked. Tomorrow I'm back at the internship.



Sunday, February 7, 2010

Superbowl Sunday Funday

Day 7 (One Week Survival Mark):

I woke up this morning in my clothes and make up from the night before. I need to loose this lazy habit because it's no longer acceptable in the real world and my skin hates me for it. It wasn't so much that it was a crazy night, but more that it was a crazy Saturday in general. So in an effort to regain my dignity and prove to myself that Super Bowl Sunday won't be a total failure I threw on my sneakers and took on the Williamsburg Bridge. There was still snow sitting at the top and the run was really challenging but again, I was fighting with my own ego so I finished it off with watching a skateboard sesh in Brooklyn before forcing myself to keep up the pace and run back towards my side of town. Today I finished editing my resume which needed to be done and I plan on hitting the streets Monday with a few copies in hand. Super Bowl plans are still in the works.

Day 6 (Saturday)
Saturday I woke up early and changed, trying to check my email while looking up subway directions all at the same time. After looking at the snow on the ground and deciding I didn't want to risk showing up late to the photo shoot I hailed for a taxi and got to the shoot ten minutes early, making myself the first to arrive. My dad will be proud, he always tells me to arrive early for work and stay late to make an impression.
The owner of the studios, Marc, was a rough guy with a dry sense of humor but we got along great and he was my buddy for the rest of the shoot. If anyone needed Marc, they sent me, mostly because I don't think anyone else bothered to remember his name. It was exciting to see the behind the scenes view of the time and effort that goes into making a fashionable look book. It really takes an army of people: hair dressers, make up artists, stylists, models, photographer, etc. I met the other intern Amber, who was a small town girl like myself from Kansas. We also got along well and I hope I get to work with her again. When ideas of lunch started rolling around the fashion camp my favorite response I heard was laxative tea. The cliche fashionistas do exist. I also passed a model casting going on downstairs. Sometimes it's easy to forget that models are literally glorified clothing hangers with a pretty face... their legs are the size of my arms and it made me feel a little better when our models told me they were only 16 and 17. Little girls that were also sophisticated and smart business women. I was supposed to be helping out at the shoot till two but ended up leaving around 4:30 when I realized how late it was getting and I wanted to meet my friend Casey and her friend who were visiting the city from Jville for her birthday. We walked around and went out to dinner. I have to admit that although I haven't gotten homesick yet it was really nice to see a familiar face. It was just as nice to devour a turkey burger instead of PB&J or grilled cheese like the past three nights.

When I got home I got a text from my other friend Casey who was in classes with me at FSU. She lives in the UWS but was literally a block away from my house drinking $5 martinis with a friend. Even though I was tired I freshened up and met the girls out for my first night on the town since I got here. When I got to the bar, Verlaine, I had an instant like for the place. It was packed and the girls had been sweet enough to have a lychee martini waiting on me. The guy next to them offered me his seat but in doing so knocked into a girl carrying a bagged up bottle of wine to take home. It hit the floor with a bang. He picked it up, handed it to her sloshing around inside the bag and ran out the door. Chivalry at it's finest.

It was a good night bouncing around to different parts of the city but I was so tired I was drinking on fumes, while the other girls were full party mode. At one dive bar we all paraded into the bathroom together thinking nothing of it. A manly woman bartender followed and yelled at us saying there would be no group drug rings going on in the rest room. If we wanted to couldn't we have done it alone anyways?
Casey decided she wanted to head to Brooklyn so her friend and I walked back towards our part of town. The last place we went was swanky and I had offered to buy our next drinks since the girls had paid for the cab ride earlier. Over $30.00 later and striking up an interesting convo with two guys next to me from Amsterdam I decided to call it a night and head home.
I wish my best friends from back home could've been right there with me.

















Friday, February 5, 2010

TGIF


DAY 5:

Today was one of the most uneventful ones I've had. I dragged myself out of bed this morning after a late night of studio searching and began calling all of the studios I had lined up for our potential photo shoot, as well as continuing the search for a hotel. After getting some free time to make breakfast I went towards the fashion district to pick up some hook & eyes, buttons, etc. from one factory to deliver to the next. In my excitement of getting new shoes and being adamant about tossing my Ugg boots to the curb I slipped on some heeled boots and a beanie in addition to my outfit sans shower. The two factories sounded close on paper, but once I arrived in the area I realized I was going to be doing a good amount of walking. I even became delusional and arrived at 237 instead of 247. I only realized this when I went to head to the 9th floor and realized it only went to the 7th floor. Great.

After that task I came home and crashed. Literally slept for a good 2 hours until I regained consciousness. Did I mention on my way home I stopped halfway up the stairs to kick off my heeled boots and continue the second half in socks? I woke up and sent out a few resumes. Soon after I received a frustrated call from my mom. The second half of the rent check I had written Mike on Tuesday had bounced. It was completely my fault, I thought my money had cleared by then. I realize as I enter this real world I might have to take money matters more seriously. I hate checking accounts, balances, writing bills, etc. Maybe I was supposed to live in the old days where if I wanted milk I went in the backyard. If i wanted new clothes I sewed them or traded my chicken's eggs for the latest fashion. Yes.... let's go back to this. Or, maybe I'll marry a nice gentlemen who enjoys these things. Or better yet. I will make enough money to pay someone to do this for me. Photo shoot is tomorrow at 8a.mmmm








Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stair Master



Day 4:

I almost didn't write tonight because I need to be doing work for my internship, which has devoured a large part of my day already. But if I don't do it now I'll forget stories or lose touch altogether so I've forced myself to type out a few lines.
Time is flying by. I've calculated that with rent I am paying about $40 a day to live in New York. The saying "Time is money" has never been so right. And I'm thrilled to have the whole city waiting for me at my doorstep.
I went to three different grocery markets last night before caving into the mainstream Whole Foods following. I get it now. It's much easier to pay the up charge instead of trying to read labels in a foreign language or double checking expiration dates. I DID however, find a Guava jelly in one of the spanish markets that I couldn't pass up and plan on giving the old school PB&J another try. The grilled cheese I made last night turned out delicious but I learned that the big knife I found to slice the cheddar was in fact my room mate's prize birthday gift: a $200.00 knife from Germany. I could only compare this mistake to him using one of my nicest heels to kill a cockroach, so I felt a little bad.

This morning I made my favorite breakfast. Eggs, spinach, salsa and avocados. I've also single handedly finished off the entire carton of orange juice. I'm hoping all of that Vitamin C puts my oncoming cold at bay. I received an email from Vlad to begin searching hotels for THIS weekend as in, today and Saturday for a certain price... after I send him a few options I am asked to look for a venue for the photo shoot Saturday in a particular area also, and THEN find a hotel close for the models. Sounds simple but it's taken up a majority of my day. Many people aren't willing to bargain when it's last minute, and the other 90% are already booked. I unpacked the two boxes of towels, pillows, and shoes that I had shipped up today. I am so psyched to toss my Uggs to the back of the closet. I'm sick of looking at them and ready for some new kicks.

I run into my UPS man everywhere around town and have begun to wonder if he's my soul mate.
Just kidding. Or I am....

The stairs are keeping me in check. If anyone in this city is out of shape they must be rich and afford taxis because all of the walking and climbing I've been doing is kicking my butt. The stairwell picture I posted with this is real and in no way exaggerated. Sixth floor people. I'm going to be the stair master come March...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

InTheAbundenceOfWaterTheFoolisThirsty


Day 3:

I woke up to find snow on the ground and made it to Starbucks by 9:22 this morning when I was supposed to be meeting Dana's assistant Vladymir by 9:30. I was only capable of this because I arranged my subway trip online the night before (on the way home it was a different story taking an army of locals and two NYPD to steer me in the right direction). After realizing I didn't have his number or know what he looked like I texted my friend Courtney, knowing she'd be at work and able to check any emails from him. Of course, he had texted me at 2 A.M saying it'd be better to meet at 10 A.M. The funny thing about New York City is that these miscommunications or struggles throughout the day aren't frustrating. They allow an unexpected window to people watch, catch up with friends from back home, etc. I also discovered at that time that I can check email from my ghetto Go Phone. My good friend had written me an email and ended the normal catch up with...

"Please promise me you won't get too sucked into the celebrityism of fashion - like your worth or success is measured by whether Nicole Richie is considering wearing one of your ensembles to the post, post, post welcome home home party for Paris' lost Chihuaha."


It made me laugh and I'm glad I'm surrounded by people that will keep me grounded.
Luckily Vlad had saved my number from an email and gave me a ring when he got close. Against all odds, thinking he was of Russian decent, he was a svelte African American giant. It was a lot of fun running around to different fabric shops and picking out fabric samples for Dana's Fall line. I took pictures with my camera while Vlad held on to the swatches to give to her back the the office. All I had to do was get home, upload the pictures, and send them to her via email including the pricing and fabric content. This simple task became much more involved when my email service decided it was going to rebel against sending any pictures and I was eventually driven to an internet lunch cafe around the corner while I patiently waited to upload them on photobucket. It seemed like time was turning backwards and I felt inadequate. Two hours later, the task was complete and I'm so psyched to work with them again on Saturday for the photo shoot.

I'm attempting to make my room mate and I dinner tonight on a NYC budget. I gave him three choices and told him to pick two. I figured if it overlapped my top two we would have a decision made. Looks like cheddar grilled cheese on wheat with tomato bisque! It's going to be another lazy night of job searching...