Saturday, February 27, 2010

Let it NOT snow

I was seven years old when I first came to New York and back then I lovedddd snow. I loved to play in it, jump in it and run in it. I would stick my tongue out and try to “eat” snow. I would smile at my mom as she watched my fascination with the snow, something I had never seen before. Back in the Dominican Republic, when my mother would come back from the U.S. full of presents, I would always ask her about winter and I would tell her how much I wanted to see it, so I know it made her happy when I went crazy when it snowed.

Those are great memories! Now that I am 27 years old, snow is NOT cute. I was born in a tropical climate, so this crap is unnatural to me, and the older I get, the more I hate winter.

Yeah it’s nice when it first comes down, but give it just ONE day and its disgusting and dirty.  You can't walk half a block without fearing your own safety.  So the only good things about snow are snow days. And snow days give you a free pass to be a total bum. No one will judge you! It’s a snow day, everyone else is being lazy too.

We are all:

Sleeping late
Staying in your pajamas
Eating bad food
Watching too much TV
And more sleeping

Any other day, this would be unacceptable, so please DO NOT SNOW anymore, we all know I do not need any more free passes to be unproductive.

Snow you have made your appearance, now its time for you to go back to Vermont or something.  Thank you very much, see you next year :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How do you measure your life???

While most people measure their lives by milestones such as birthdays, weddings, births or even death. I happen to measure my life in semesters...

I quantify my personal growth (or lack thereof) by what is done in an academic year. This is because for the past 10 years (gasp!!!) I have not been able to get away from NYU. My entire full-time working career has been working here. I transitioned from being a full-time college student to working full-time. At that moment, I did not realize that this decision would change my whole outlook on life. Back then, I was 20 years old, all I thought I was getting was a job that paid well (for someone that lived at home), had great benefits and most importantly free tuition.

But, I think the greatest benefit of working with college kids is the fact that after a year, the annoying ones will move on and then you will get new students, which will be less complicated than the last (hopefully).

So for those of you who are reading this out of your boring cubicle and do not understand this phenomenon, let me give you an example of why you are not cooler than me…

Day in and day out, you have to deal with those annoying co-workers and clients, it is not like next quarter they will be gone. Yeah, you might switch jobs every couple of years or might even get promoted, but the same type of bipolar co-worker will still be there in six months, he/she might even become your boss one day. They unfortunately get their work done and are not crazy enough to be fired, so you are stuck with them. And your life pretty much sucks!

I, on the other hand get to meet new students every semester, I have the chance to get to know these kids, hear about where they are coming from and how they plan to change the world once they graduate. It's exciting to be a part of that. I would love to be in my old age and read in the newspaper (if we still have newspapers, but don't get me started on that now) that one of our students discovered a new life changing drug or ran for office (and hopefully will not have an affair with a young staffer). I hope that these future accomplishments will make all of the battles and red tape we face in higher education worth it.

For me working with eighteen year olds keeps me young at heart, even though sometimes I may not understand why they find it necessary to hyperventilate at every single bump in the road. I DO hope that in the end we are teaching them skills to prepare them for the "real world".

And most importantly that we are teaching them the coping skills to deal with that annoying bipolar worker in the cubicle next to them...

Friday, February 12, 2010

All Fuzzy Inside

A couple of months ago during a staff meeting, we went around the room and did an ice breaker. The question was what is your favorite holiday? My colleagues answered mostly that their favorite holidays were Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

Then it was my turn and I like a total dork I said Valentine's Day :) Are you rolling your eyes yet?

No? Well keep reading...

I love the whole concept of love, being in love, passion, closeness, butterflies, intimacy, I am all over it. It makes me all fuzzy inside.

Yeah, I am that person, the hopeless romantic. You know at least someone like me or maybe I am the person you already know! The person that cries at weddings, moving speeches, toasts, you utter anything remotely heartfelt near me and I am reaching for the Kleenex.

Maybe it’s because I was born a Cancer or the fact that my mom babied me too much. But I just love all that corny stuff. A lot of people do, they just decide to hide it. What's the point of being a hopeless romantic when you can't genuinely express your sappiness? It kind of defeats the purpose.

I am a Hollywood writers dream! I am the person they are trying to reach with all those sappy love stories, the tear-jerkers, the moments that make girls go awwwwww. I am the sucker that keeps these people rich. They see people like me coming from a mile away.

Just to give you an idea of my absolute cheesiness. Here is a truncated list of Hollywood moments that have made me cry. Some are obvious, others not so much:

The Notebook
The Way We Were
Carlito's Way
My Girl
I Am Sam
Penny and Desmond (LOST)

My list is too long to list completely, so as to not embarrass myself any further, I will just stop here, but you get the point.

Now, this is just Hollywood stuff. In real life, I know that men like Noah (The Notebook) do not exist. I don't believe in Prince Charming, but I do believe in Prince Kinda Cute, who might not match all the time, but always puts you first, calls when he says he will, is not trying to sleep with your friends and stands up for you. I don't ask for much, just be funny, smart and have a job. No wait, please have a career. Yes, there is a difference. Is that too much to ask???

While there will be some of you that hate Valentine's Day and think that this is an artificial holiday made to sell cards and chocolate. You know what?  You are absolutely right!

But I don't care!!

Send me the flowers, give me the chocolate, the presents and the card. I will EAT IT UP!

For those of you that are lucky to have a significant others that do the sweet little things for you all the time, well good for you! But some of us are just not that lucky. Valentine's Day makes people sweeter, more romantic, the holiday and the pressure gives people a little push to buy that special someone something thoughtful. So in my book, it’s a win-win for all involved, no matter what the motivation. At the end of the night you might even get laid.

I'm just saying...

Most importantly, I am a sucker for the card. Men, let me give you a little bit of advice, when you get your girl/wife or that special someone a nice gift, DO NOT forget the card!! This is the most important part of the whole gift giving experience. Whatever you write here is what she will remember. She might not use that camera next year, but those words will stay with her forever and when you mess up, this is what she will think about when she decides to forgive you, not that cheap camera.

But enough about relationships! I believe in the love that exists in people. And no matter how situations in your past might make you jaded, at the end of the day the power of love is amazing. Not just romantic love, but also the love we have for ourselves, our neighbors and the communities we live in. So for all you cynics out there, Valentines Day is also about friendships and the connections we make with people. So smile and give your friend a hug, it might make you feel good too.

To all my family and friends and for those that read this blog (that I may not know yet), I hope you have a fabulous Valentine's Day!!

Now that you feel all good inside, go buy me some chocolate :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fresh, Hot and Cheap

You always give it to me fresh, hot and cheap...

You always smile at me and ask me how I'm doing. Most girls cannot even get a guy to call them back. Let alone ask them about their weekend.

What more can a girl want?

I do not know your name and you do not know mine, but our relationship is as clear as any other.

I am talking about my corner coffee guy.

So, nice and smiling coffee guy, this tribute is for you...

You miss me the days that I do not stop by. And on the days when I pass right by you with a cup of Think Coffee you even smile back at me. How nice of you? If it were me, I would give you a nasty glare.

So after much thought, I will not cheat on you anymore. Who cares that Think Coffee gives me organic coffee served by bohemians. Their coffee doesn't even taste that good, and it costs nearly four dollars! They have a sign that says not to talk on my cell phone when I order. You don't care about stuff like that! Yeah they have seats and free Wi-Fi, but it’s not as if I sit there with my laptop and work. I have an office, I drink my coffee there. Sorry Think Coffee, I will only drink your coffee if someone else is buying.

You stand there in the heat, in the rain, in the cold, and in the snow (it has been cold lately, so I hope you have a portable heater in there), you always have a smile on your face and wish me a good day. Your coffee is hot (not scalding, I hate that), it’s fresh and a medium cup is only a dollar, what a bargain :)

So, to all of those New Yorkers that have moved away from the corner coffee guys to go to the more gourmet coffee shops. Please stop!

Instead, patronize the hard working coffee guys that are on the corner of your office or school, day after day. They always have a smile on their face and wish you a good day.

And most importantly, they are affordable and always remember what you order. Where else can you get that kind of service in this city?

So next time that girl/guy or some hybrid combination person in skinny jeans and torn t-shirt gives you a nasty look for not putting your change in the tip jar, think about how the corner guy doesn't even have a tip jar! Or, the next time the barista slams your latte on the counter, think about the smiling hard working guy that makes conversation with you before you go into work, he will never slam your coffee down, he will hand it to you in your hand.

So corner coffee guy, I raise my fresh, hot and cheap coffee cup to you. I hope you have a good day :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

LOST - Love Affair Update

So on Tuesday we were reunited :)

It was more thrilling than I imagined. After all these months, all the feelings came right back. I remembered how my love affair started in the first place. LOST had a few surprises for me.

It let me know that nothing is as it seems...

I think it’s trying to tell me that we could go in totally separate directions but still come to the same outcome. It’s all about destiny.

The best lines of the night:

Locke - "my condition is irreversible"
Jack – "nothing is irreversible"

Ohhh Jack, forever trying to be the savior. What dedication it must take to never want to give up. What a character.

Let's see what answers LOST will have for me next week. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Are you LOST? Are you ready to be found?

Redemption, loss, second chances, love, angst, these are a few of the things that make up one of the best shows on TV. Tonight is the season premier of the last and final season of LOST :( This is when all of our nagging questions will be answered (hopefully).

There are so many reasons why people stick with this show.  It’s the mysteries, the love triangles, and all the human drama that touch us in some way or another. In some ways, you can identify with all of the characters, it is that kind of show. It makes you ask yourself, what would I do? If I was stranded with strangers (or are they) on an island and struggling to survive. Would I be the same person or would I be who I always wanted to be?

Everyone has his or her favorite characters, mine is Sayid, played by Naveen Andrews.  Before the island he was a veryyyy bad man, did unethical things, but on the island, he saved people and helped, he was looking for redemption. Will Sayid find it? We will see.

But, by far my favorite story line is the love story of Desmond and Penny. Being the hopeless romantic that I am (blog about this coming up soon), I fell for these two. They spend their lives trying to find each other.  Below is one of my favorite Desmond and Penny scenes from the episode The Constant.  After eight years without any contact, Desmond calls Penny from a freighter.  If does not hurt that the phone call was facilitated by my main man, Sayid.

I love LOST. It is one of those shows you have to be committed to. You cannot be a casual LOST fan, either you are in it or you are not. I would say being a LOST fan is a lot like being in a relationship. How you might ask? Well, thank your lucky stars because I am going to break it down for you :)

Most LOST fans did not fall in love at first sight.  It took some time, some build-up for the infatuation to turn into love. Things like these do not happen overnight, so if you are one of those people that believe in love at first sight, you are either full of crap or you are simply not a LOST fan.

Now, as I was saying…

Falling in love with LOST was a gradual process. Either someone introduced you to the show or you just happen to come across it by chance (like most great love stories). Your interest was piqued, you have never been introduced to a show like this before, and it is one of a kind, so you decide to try it.  It is a lot like love.  At first, it’s an adventure and there are so many new experiences.  You just want more and more.  It becomes a little of an obsession! I watched my first season of LOST on DVD, while on vacation in Florida, in December! So instead of lounging by the pool, I was popping in DVD's one after the other in my aunt’s house, while my mother kept asking me what the hell I was watching.  She still does not get it. It's ok mom, even if you don't understand it, just accept it, it will be easier for the both of us. 

So after you watch the first couple of seasons, your new love must go on a long business trip. You get a little sad.  You think about how LOST will be when it gets back, what new surprises it will have for you.

When it comes back, it is better than you remember it. So you are back in it, devoted, hanging on every word, euphoric, you talk of nothing else. After a date/episode is over you call your best friend and tell them all about it. You are on a natural high.

Then there comes a point, like in most relationships, when LOST starts to lose some of its luster, it frustrates you, plays with you and leaves you guessing. You start to wonder if all the time and effort you put into the show was worth it. You debate this with your friends, you go online looking for answers (lostpedia). Like a good trooper you hang in there and tell yourself that not all shows are perfect, you are going to give it a chance; because it's not like you are an easy walk in the park either.

Slowly the shows takes a new twist (flash-fowards) and it was like in the beginning, you are even more devoted than ever. Then out of nowhere, the show must go on another long trip and it keeps you again longing for your great love.

Which brings us to today, this is when your relationship is faced with the moment of truth.   This is the day that all LOST fans have been waiting for. The day when you wonder if you and the show will take it to the next level. Will LOST be everything you imagined it to be? Will it answer all of your questions or leave you disenchanted at the altar?

Tonight is the start of the end. I do not know if to be sad or excited. I am excited to see how the writers are going to end it, but sad to see that my love affair with LOST is almost over. It is bittersweet.  

I hope in the end it is all that I imagined it to be and more.  Will I be found or stay LOST?  I don't know at this point which is better.