of stolen umbrellas and old friends. (part 1)

warning: post chock full of semi-crappy photos ahead.

i can say with great certainty that if i were not deeply in love with the man i am married to, i would quite seriously consider moving to new york city. some might say that i could just move with said husband, but i say to those people that you don’t know him very well. he needs space. and you can’t have space in new york. so what i’m saying is, my realization is a moot point, because he’s the best. anywho.

my first day in new york started out with a work meeting that was done by 11am. i checked into my hotel (the one that mister man used all his points for) and walked outside straight into a rainstorm to start my wanderings. i stopped at st. patrick’s cathedral to look at the architecture and say a couple of prayers for the grandparents. it’s so weird to me that you can just come across buildings like that in the middle of manhattan.

once i left, because i am a simple, midwestern girl who assumes that things are safe where you leave them, i got my umbrella stolen from a bin at michael kors. come on mk! cut a girl a break! i bought another one from a guy on the street for $5, but it was not as cute as the stolen one. ny lesson #1: learned. to make the best of it, i decided to visit 30 rock and go all the way up to the top to continue my touristy streak. if anyone who lives in new york hasn’t done this yet and feels like embracing their inner tourist, it’s actually pretty worth it, and not crowded at all. plus, the views are amazing, even in the rain.

statue of liberty waaaay out there

me and the esb

storm rolling in over brooklyn

central park

can you see me?

don’t worry, that’s most of the photos. i really wore myself down with that trip to the top of the rock. once i came down, i started to just walk up 5th ave. towards central park. along the way, i was asked 4 times (!) for directions. this may or may not have been (it was!) a highlight of my month, even though i didn’t help any of those people. i think i either looked like i knew where i was going, or i looked like the most approachable person in a giant sea of people. i have a feeling it was the latter, but if you think that maybe it’s possible i looked like a new yorker, feel free to share, you’ll be my favorite. also, here is an observation. i had heard a rumor that abercrombie and hollister were these crazy tourist destinations, and when i passed them, i saw through a haze of cologne that there were LINES to get in. what? why? what?

once i got to central park, the rain had stopped, there was greenery everywhere, and i could just walk around and people watch. i should have gotten a map and just sucked up the fact that i looked like a tourist because seriously. this place is like the size of a small national park, do people actually run around it for exercise? that seems a little insane to me. i mean, i got LOST at one point. in a park. in the middle of a city. so i sat down and ate a Magnolia cupcake while i sweat through my clothing. but it was still so delightful.

and then dinner with hannah. my lovely little hannah. words cannot express what an amazing time i had with her. did you know that you could be friends with someone for 6 months, then not see them for 4 years, and still just fall right back into how things were when you last saw them? you can. i think you have to survive things like leaving her in a barcelona airport overnight, and getting attacked by preteens in london in order for it to work, but it’s completely possible. i could have caught up with her all night. i think one of our conversations may have been about the right way to pronounce bagels, which is still making me giggle. now all i have to do is trick her into coming to visit minnesota, make her fall in love with a man who has the best minnesotan accent she’s ever heard, and we can be neighbors forever!

i went back to my hotel feeling sad to say goodbye and drank a glass of wine by myself in the hotel bar. (you should all learn how to do that by the way…have a drink or a meal by yourself. it’s maybe one of the most liberating things you’ll ever do.) then i went to bed so i could be ready to go for my big day of schlepping around the city again.

because i love you, and because you’ve probably stopped reading this far, i’m putting that day in its own part. there won’t be as many photos, but i will tell you all about my feelings on the subway system.

i’m in new york!

 hello there!

guess where i am?

did you guess new york? good guess! you are really smart.

yep, i’m in the big apple, mostly for work, but also for FUN! i’ve never been to new yor

 k, so when i found out that my next work trip was going to take me there, i decided to take a vacation day and enjoy the city on my own time. i wanted mr. z to come with, but he’s got this thing called a job, and also there’s the whole ticket prices for flights being ridiculous thing. so that didn’t work out. but because he’s so nice, he let me use all of his hilton points for my hotel. and he is not even staying with me. he gets those points by being gone from home traveling for work, and he let me use them all. what a guy, huh? okay, done bragging about my awesome husband.

i’m the worst at taking “getting to new york” photos. but the cab driver was so talkative!


not a terrible view!

so i’m here in new york, and i’m super excited to just walk around and see as much as i possibly can while i’m here. when i was in spain, and in uruguay, my favorite thing to do was just walk around and look at things. if  i had a coffee and a sandwich, i could last all day in a city doing that. for me, there’s something about observing life in a different environment than i’m used to that just makes me happy. i want to see central park, 5th ave, greenwich village. i could probably just walk all the way down 5th ave and then turn around and come back and be happy. it’s the simple things people.

the thing that i’m probably the MOST excited for though, is seeing a friend of mine that i studied abroad with. we haven’t seen each other in 4 years, and i cannot wait to catch up and hang out again. she has always lived here in new york, except for that brief stint in iowa city (good writing program….first question i asked her when we met too), so she gets to give me tips and see how little i know about this place….like not knowing if it was right to call the part of the city where i’m staying “midtown”. ugh, honestly me, do some research. i brought her some wedding photos to look at because she threatened me with death if i didn’t (but seriously h., you better appreciate them, because uploading photos to print is a biatch) and catching up with her is going to be the highlight of my time here. hear that new york city? she wins.

hopefully if i don’t suck too terribly much at taking photos, i can have a pretty blog post about my trip with pictures. we shall see.


  1. Sometimes I think I would love to have lived at the same time as Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  2. The only makeup item I cannot live without is concealer. This is the main reason why I decided I could never be a nun.
  3. If given the choice between ice cream and popcorn, I would choose popcorn every time.
  4. Sometimes it’s easier to finish the wine bottle than to re-cork it and save it for later.
  5. Now that I look at #2, I don’t think I would have survived in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s time.

    Definitely would not have survived on the prairie.

  6. When I see those weird, three-wheeled motorcycles that really look like adult tricycles, I want to ask the owner what the point is.
  7. I would rather listen to Disney songs and Broadway musical soundtracks than any other type of music. Because of this, I don’t show anyone my Pandora stations.
  8. I think smartphones are a waste of money, but will probably end up getting one someday anyway. What does this say about me?
  9. I collect recipes but I rarely follow through and make any of them.
  10. Sometimes when I feel like I need to travel so bad that I might go crazy, I go through the process of booking a trip but stop just before I click purchase.

My beautiful ciudad, Sevilla. I had to pry my hand away from the 'purchase' button.


I hate the word nastygram.

In the area where I work, it seems to be one of the favorite phrases people use when they have to send a not-so-nice email or leave a stern voicemail for someone. As in, “I had to send him a nastygram after he didn’t do what I asked him.”

I have a couple of problems with this word. One being that it just sounds mean. Even if you aren’t saying to the person receiving the message that it’s a nastygram, just saying it to other people makes you sound like a yucky person. I said jokingly to a friend at work that I had come to his desk to leave him a nastygram for not being on time for our coffee date. He was like, “Why? That sounds mean!” And it totally does! It made me sound like a mean person who just likes to go around giving nastygrams to people all day like a cranky mailman.

The other problem I have with this word is that it sounds like one of those gross corporate jargon words that are so pervasive nowadays. Kind of like “Let’s touch base” or “We’re really going to drill down on this”. “Nastygram” is just another one of those terrible corporatese phrases that I believe are bringing down communication in this country. Why can’t people just say what they mean instead of making up a word to try to sound more politically correct? Doesn’t “stern email” sound more professional than “nastygram” anyway? I just think that there would be a lot less time and email wasted if people just said what they meant. I swear that when people use corporatese they end up with emails at least twice as long as I would write using normal language.

This has quickly degenerated into an “I have problems with corporate life” post. Which is weird, because I actually don’t have that many issues with working in the corporate world. I kind of like it actually. What can I say, I’m a sucker for routine and organization. And I like having a familiar place with familiar people in it to go to everyday. It’s just my style. I don’t even know if I could work from home. I’m sure I’d get used to it eventually, but there is something about having that motivation to take off your pajamas that does wonders for my work ethic.

*Edit: As I spellchecked this post, “nastygram” did not come up as an error. Apparently that’s a recognized word. Just proving my point further.

**Also: “Spellchecked” is a recognized word as well. Gah.

It’s happening!

Spring is (kind of) coming! A little bit!

Honestly, it’s things like this photo that make me feel okay about living in a place where being 40 degrees in May is somehow acceptable. Okay, but not great.

Just living in a city with trees really makes a big difference in how I feel about the seasons. I really feel like I wouldn’t be as excited about the fact that spring is here if I lived in a city with no greenery. I mean, it wouldn’t even make that big of a difference, would it? Yea, it’d be warmer, but if you can’t see the trees getting greener and the flowers blooming, what else is there to get excited about? I would totally feel like there was no reason for it to ever rain (which it’s been doing constantly before this week) if I couldn’t see the difference in the greenness level of the trees. Is greenness a word? I’m making it one if it isn’t.

SIDEBAR: Speaking of making up words, we were at a BBQ last night for a friend of a friend who was visiting for England, and we were just sitting around the bonfire chatting. I truly can’t remember what the heck we were talking about, people getting hurt or something, but all of a sudden the word “mortilate” came out of Mister Man’s* mouth. Now, he has the tendency to say words wrong, like saying “uncapable” instead of “incapable”. I think it’s so endearing when he does that, because it’s just a unique part of him, and they are such little mistakes that it doesn’t affect the meaning of the word. But “mortilate” is not a word. I don’t even know what meaning he was trying to get across by saying that, but apparently he started using it in high school when he and some friends were demolishing a shed and it stuck.

If “mortilate” can be a word, so can greenness.

Today it’s warm, it’s sunny, Glee is on and I get to go to the Muddy Pig for a beer. Can it get any better? I don’t know how.

*Mister Man is what I call my boyfriend. I realize at this point that no one is reading this except me and whoever else I decide to let read it, but I figure he can keep his anonymity if I have to squawk about him. Plus, I’m really proud of that nickname.