Friday, September 26, 2008

New York State of Mind

So the last few days have been a whirlwind... I mentioned my travel schedule already: Paris-Barcelona-Paris-New York in just four days. But now that I'm back in New York, I'm feeling great. I love traveling west and getting the "good" jetlag, where you wake up really early ready to face the day. (Ok, not the part where you faceplant in your food at 8pm. That's a bit embarrassing.)

My love affair with New York started when I was about five. We used to visit every summer either before or after visiting my grandparents in Pennsylvania, and I always loved the soaring buildings, the bustling traffic sounds, the crush of the crowds, the steamy summer air, and the stinky subway. So it was only natural that I would want to pursue my film degree there, at NYU, which I did. What I didn't know was that I'd spend nearly 10 years there.

But when it was time to move to Barcelona, I was ready. Even New York, my favorite place in the world, had started to wear me down. And I felt like I almost knew it too well. It was time for another adventure, another challenge. But after a couple of days being back here, knowing the city well has become a positive thing again. I walked to our downtown office this morning from my hotel in Soho and was reminded how EASY life is here. Want to stop off at the gym before work? No problem, they are EVERYWHERE. Need a coffee? There's your friendly coffee cart dude, ready with your 75 cent coffee and a "good morning." Oh and in case you have to drop off some shoes to be fixed because you destroyed the heels at that last wedding, no problem. There are at least three shoe repair places on the way to wherever you're going. Need to do all of that on a Sunday? Why sure! It's just like any other day of the week! Things are OPEN. Ahhhhh.

I love New York.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Roller Coaster

Have you ever looked back on a week and just gone, "WOAH." Like, that was so totally heavy and out there and all over the place. Tears one minute, laughter the next? That kind of thing? Well, that's how the past week has been for me.

My life has been a little hectic of late, and it has been made more complicated by the fact that my situation, well OUR situation - Frenchy's and mine - has so many variables, so many moving parts. We've been waiting for the Spain-France move to be settled for nearly five months now, and frankly it still isn't. I mean, it's happening... but we were meant to have been here and been fully settled in by Sept 1, and here I am on Sept 17 about to leave the country for the rest of the month for work, without anything actually finalized.

And then there's a little nagging health issue which still hangs in the balance. And my work permit, which is at least starting to get moving now that I'm handling it myself. A flat in Paris should soon be ours, thanks to our network of IESE pals. But the most important of all, I think I have created a dream job for myself... without even having to leave my company. Details to come perhaps, but the main point is that when everything in your life seems to be spinning out of control, just finding a way to make one thing concrete and YOURS can make all the difference.

Since I wrote my "pick-me-up song list" last Wednesday morning until now, I'm feeling a million times better. I have an exciting, challenging, new project to look forward to, and it's amazing how that can make all the difference.

I'm sure this is a very strange, rambly post... and at the moment, my brain is kind of strange and rambly. Understandable, since I got up at 5am today in Spain, flew to Paris and had a day full of meetings and conference calls in three different languages, and now I have to pack again because tomorrow I fly to NYC. But hey, at least I feel like I'm moving in a positive direction again, strange and rambly as it may be along the way!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Which is why right now I'm doing everything but. Dancing in the living room, responding to emails, trying on Frenchy's hat, taking self-portraits....

This week is a little crazy: Monday Paris, Tuesday Barcelona, Wednesday Paris, Thursday New York. I had no idea where I was when I woke up this morning!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

60 Years!

Before Sept 11 was a day for crashing planes or burning trains (which will surely affect my planned trip to London on the Eurostar Saturday), it was my grandparents' wedding anniversary.

And today they celebrate 60 years of wedded bliss. Can you imagine? 60 YEARS?!?! And I thought my parents' 30th was impressive...

As long as I've known my grandparents - and that would be my whole life - they've always been kind to each other and treated each other with love and respect. I've almost never seen them disagree, and when they have it has been incredibly low-key and over in minutes. The first time I ever heard something even close to an argument was when I was 15 or so and something related to the phone company or the bank or something, and it was all summed up in my grandmother saying, "Well shit, Don, go ahead and call them if you want to!" I rarely hear my grandparents even use the "s-word!" It was awesome.

The other day I called my grandparents to see how they were doing, because my grandfather recently took a tumble down the stairs and cracked his hip. My grandmother answered and said, "I'm just trying on my wedding dress! I figured I'd see if it still fits after all these years. And you know, it does! As long as I don't zip it..." My grandfather said she looked lovely.

So happy 60th anniversary, Amma & Poppy! Thanks for being an inspiration. And the coolest grandparents ever.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Music for "one of those days"

I haven't written much about the not-so-funny stuff happening in my life, because I don't see the point right now, but let's just say that while the last few months have been hilarious and wonderful in many ways, they've also been a helluva struggle. Lately I've been telling myself, "If I can just make it to October, I'll be okay...." But that used to be September. And hopefully it won't change to November.

Anyway, troubles of work, health, and home aside, I've always found that no matter how crappy I'm feeling in a given moment, I'm usually able to turn it around pretty fast. And this is how.

Instructions for fixing a crappy day:
1. Open laptop, turn on iTunes, turn on stereo speakers. The louder the better.
2. Press play
3. Get up, get moving, get on with it!

Song list, in any order: (beware, some are incredibly cheesy, but that's the point!)
- "That's All" - Genesis
- "Part Time Lover" - Stevie Wonder
- "I'm So Excited" - Pointer Sisters
- "You Make My Dreams Come True" - Hall & Oates (or any H&O, really... you can't go wrong!)
- "Don't Feel Like Dancing" - Scissor Sisters
- "I Want To Break Free" - Queen (especially when George is in your house and starts sweeping)
- "What Do All The People Know" - The Monroes
- "Here It Goes Again" - Ok Go
- "Hold The Line" - Toto
- "Party All The Time" - Eddie Murphy / Rick James
- "The Stroke" - Billy Squire
- "Catch A Star" - Men At Work
- "The Way To Your Heart" - Soulsister
- "Give Me The Night" - George Benson

If, after this, you are not feeling better (and not out of the shower, dressed, and on your way to whatever you're supposed to be doing) then you need to check your pulse.

And now I'm about to take my own advice, because I have meetings to get to in London today!
(See? I'm feeling better already.)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Wedding That Wasn't

Last night, Frenchy and I attended our seventh wedding of the summer... kind of. It was to be our first wedding in Spain, our first Catalan wedding, and our first wedding for someone in Frenchy's class at IESE. So even though we were both exhausted, we were also pretty excited. I rushed home from work, we both rushed around showering and getting dressed, and then we rushed out the door.

We had arranged to drive to the wedding in Terrassa with Jess and Sergio, another IESE couple of confusion (she's from Mississippi, he's from Aragon and their strange conversations rival the ones I have with Frenchy) and met them around 5 for the ride out of town. The wedding started at 5:30, and when we hadn't actually left Barcelona yet at 5:20, we figured we'd probably be a bit late. Frenchy even bet me that we'd arrive at 6:15. We shook on it, but never determined what the winner would get.

Around 5:45, well outside of town, Sergio looked at the invitation, which was written in Catalan, and said, "Joder tio, the wedding is in Barcelona and the RECEPTION is in Terrassa!"


It was too late to go all the way back to Barcelona... we would've arrived just as everyone was leaving the church and throwing rice. So we decided to head to the reception site to see if we could have a drink there. Nope, they were still waiting for the caterers to arrive. So we headed into "town" (Terrassa is small and, unlike most Spanish towns, not particularly cute in any way at all) and found ourselves a terrace and had a few drinks. While we waited and chatted, we found out that a few other people had missed the wedding as well... one had to work late, one was stuck in Madrid airport after a few cancelled flights. So at least we weren't the only ones.

Frenchy and I had to laugh because after traveling so far for so many weddings, being late to nearly all of them, and even hitch-hiking to one (Juanra's, in Belgium), we never expected to miss the one in our very own town. I got a message from my friend Gemma at one point while we were waiting for the reception. She, too, was stuck in Madrid and a little grumpy about it. I told her, "Well, imagine us... We just missed a wedding because we went to the WRONG CITY." I'm always happy to help people put things in perspective! As Sergio would say, "Joder! Que fuerte."

The dream team waiting for the reception

Finally it was time to head to the Masia for the reception and dinner, all of which were stunning. We'd all agreed to leave "early" because we were tired and Jess and Sergio had to get to another party, and yet somehow it was well after 3am when we finally got home, after a lot of excellent food and a little post-dinner dancersize workout. It was the best wedding I've never been to. :)

Jess and I got stuck in the grass in our heels, but this fortunately happened at the perfect location for hors-d'oeuvres procurement and consumption

This doesn't even do justice to the magnificent location... it was incredible

The bride and groom make their entrance. That is indeed a white napkin at top right... everyone gets a little nuts with the napkin twirling.