Sunday, June 26, 2011

Reflection: sisters

Mom was pregnant with my baby sister in 1985. I was a mere 3 years old, but still aware that I would soon be playing the important role of Oldest. Big Sister. The More Mature One. The Favorite. And according to my mother, I wanted to exercise my new responsibilities by choosing the baby's name.

"Mom," I asked, "when the baby is born can we name her Rudy?" You see, much like everyone else who was living and breathing in 1985, The Cosby Show was my favorite.
"No, honey," she explained. "I'm not sure that name fits."
"Then what about Trudy?" nice rhyming skills, younger self!
"No, I don't think Trudy will work either."
"Okay..." I pondered for a moment. "If she's black can we name her Rudy?" Fair compromise, I thought.
Mom came back with, "If she comes out black, we'll have to find a new place to live because your dad will kick us out!"

My mom, as it turned out, had remained faithful, and my sister came out white. We also got to stay in the house. But wouldn't that have been a fun surprise?

My devout readers are aware that I recently took a trip to NYC with my sister. I posted about our adventures in sightseeing and our whirlwind 3 day tour of the city, but I failed to say anything about our quality time spent together as sisters. Mostly I figured y'all wouldn't want to read all the mushy gushy stuff I have to say about her. It's also very difficult to write about someone I've known my whole life, someone with whom I'm so close, and someone so similar to myself. She's just "sister" to me, and if you have a sister of your own, then you know how I feel about her. Of course, I love her! I admire her ability to take on anything and kick its ass. Her desire to always do the right thing, even if she doesn't agree with it 100%.

When we were kids playing Barbies, making up silly dances and almost killing each other over the last Capri Sun, it didn't occur to me that she'd one day be living in a different city with a Big Girl Job, 2 cats and a driving a responsible Toyota Camry. I mean, who moves away from home? Why would anyone do that? Sister did. Because she's fearless.

When sister was in 8th grade she got the most horrid haircut of all time. No, seriously. It was. (I'll spare you the pictures.) As if 8th grade weren't awkward enough, here she is walking the halls with a gnawed up mop on her head! Two years later she was on homecoming court as one of the most beautiful girls in the school. She never lets anyone keep her down.

Just recently, I told someone that my sister " a lot like me, except more tender hearted. She's like a nicer, more compassionate version of me. A little taller, blonder hair and a better butt." But don't mess with her or she'll whoop up on you with a wooden necklace or a butcher knife...or maybe just her bare hands.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Empire State of Mind

Writing a blog about a long weekend in NYC is almost as intimidating as the city itself...
My first trip to New York was in 1998 for a high school band trip. The Marching Rebels were selected to be the lead band for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade that year. Every detail of our trip was pre-planned and pre-paid.

I had the amazing opportunity to march my way down the center of Times Square, see Les Mis on Broadway, run around F.A.O. Schwartz, snapped pictures of the Twin Towers and saw The Statue of Liberty herself...but for some reason I've always felt cheated out of a legitimate trip to the Big Apple.

I never say the subway, no slice of greasy pizza, no night life...Perhaps part of my problem is that there's no way truly experience the city in one short visit. That, and the fact that I was too young to appreciate what I was seeing while I was there.

Here we are, thirteen years later, and I'm older, wiser and most importantly, legal. It was time to go back to (as Jay Z puts it) the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
Now that my sister and I live in different cities, we came up with the idea for an annual meet-up between our birthdays (hers in April and mine in May). Only one condition: we must know someone who lives in the city so we can crash for free. NYC was chosen for the first annual sisters weekend because of Sister's college roomie. We were so lucky that Anna agreed to let us stay, AND that she helped us get acclimated to the city. phew! big help.
Three nights in NYC for $924.77, and this is the breakdown:
- $283.90 Direct flight from BNA to LaGuardia (would've been $20 cheaper, but I paid for Southwest's automatic check-in to ensure A Boarding)
- $14.10 Airport lunch. A veggie wrap and a water. seriously!?!?
- FREE! Getting lost at LaGuardia and unable to locate sister for 1 solid hour. Who knew the terminals were completely separated? Not us...
- FREE! lots of frustration because no one in the city explains anything or gives directions. UGH!!!
- $2.00 bus ride from LaGuardia to the Upper West Side
- $5.00 (about) dirty Chinese food dinner, General Tso's chicken
- FREE! THREE nights in a cute apartment at 102nd and Broadway, one block from the 1 Line
- $24.10 Breakfast food for the weekend and poster supplies for the Today Show
- $29.00 7 day unlimited metro pass. Probably overkill, but more convenient that buying a pass each day
- FREE! Standing in line on a sidewalk at 5:30 a.m., getting my poster on TODAY and seeing Matt Lauer and Al Roker
Walking The Mall of Central Park and enjoying beautiful weather on a Spring morning

- FREE ! Walking tour of Upper East Side ***included 5th Ave, Madison Ave, wealthy Carrie Bradshaw-like ladies with the own drivers and a slew of private school students with mannies. Totally. Surreal. I ain't never seen nothin' like that whur I come from.
- $11.88 lunch at Rockefeller Center's 'Whichcraft. Spicy Pork Sandwich with a side of marinated chick peas - so yum!!
- $36.00 Experience New York - access to Top of the Rock (priceless views!) and the NBC studio tour. ***Included watching a live rehearsal of SNL, host Ed Helmes of The Office and The Hangover, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, and passing Seth Meyers in the Hallway

- $72.45 a little shopping detour to H& what? we don't have one at home!
- FREE! Naptime at Anna's cozy apartment because we only got 4 hours of sleep the night before
- FREE! Private tour of QPrime's NY management office in Midtown near Time's Square plus dinner recommendation from a QPrime executive
-$169.13 a delicious meal for sister and me at Trattoria Dell'arte @ 7th and W. 57th - breads, pastas, veal piccata, wine, tiramisu, and excellent service! Our server tossed us sweet chocolate to munch on and made suggestions on which bars to visit after our show. He was really surprised that we were tourists because this restaurant is typically for locals. At least that's what he said...
- $170 Excellent seats for the hit Broadway musical Wicked
- $11.76 two drinks during the show. AND  we got to keep the Wicked-themed travel mugs
- $6.05 an everything bagel with lox spread and coffee at Absolute Bagels
- FREE! unable to interpret anything the locals said
- FREE! Walking tour of Upper West Side and Riverside Park (where some of You've Got Mail was filmed)
- FREE! Central Park's Strawberry Fields and Belvedere Castle
- $15.41 awesome burger, fries and giant milkshake at Shake Shack on Upper East Side (86th Street)
- FREE! using the bathroom at The Met and realizing we never made a donation at the entrance oops!
- FREE! Alexander McQueen exhibit at The Met. Y'all, this is the most amazing exhibit I've ever seen in my entire life. I wish I could share it with all of you. The collections were inspiring and the exhibit was breathtaking. It's all sister and I could talk about for days!
- $48.99 giant coffee table book of the Alexander McQueen Exhibit so I can re-live the experience over and over
- FREE! walking tour of Chelsea ***included cobblestone streets, Chelsea Market, quick detour to Anthropologie, and Chelsea's beautifully renovated High Line Park.
I could've spent hours up there, but we had places to go, people to see...
- FREE! Dinner with friends at Eatery NYC (sister owed me one)
- FREE! Walking tour of Times Square - photo op!
- $20.00 Drinks and laughs with friends at McGee's pub, which happens to be the bar that inspired the writers of How I Met Your Mother. Big pours from the bartender upstairs!

- $5.00 at 1,2,3 burger shot beer
-FREE! Singing country music while walking the streets of NYC
- FREE! shouting expletives at the locals for stealing our table

Sunday, June 5, 2011

What Happens When You Post Scrap Metal on Craig's List

Scrap Metal - Backyard Pergola Frame

Thanks to our relentless Spring thunderstorms, our backyard pergola
blew down. Twice.

Now, it's just a pile of aluminum rods and columns sitting next to our

For anyone interested, this may be a good amount of scrap metal to go
cash in - and it's yours for the taking. I doubt it could be built
again, especially since all the assembly hardware has already been
discarded. We will be having a garage sale tomorrow from 8am - 12pm,
so the first person who comes by tomorrow morning wins!

Attached is a photo of what it used to look like before Mother Nature
took out her fury on our awesome backyard accessory. Balloons, chairs,
and general state of put-togetherness not included. You just get a
pile of metal stuff.

Address: XXX Franklin, TN.

***Below are the original responses we received. The only edits I made were removing phone numbers. Enjoy.

hi i am interested your pergola frame im in jackson tenneessee i coming to nashville sunday so if you can dont bay that to any body i want to take that of is ok please calle me @ 731-XXX-XXXX or send me msn thank u

Su Su,

Don't worry, we won't bay that to any body because we don't know what you're saying. And P.S. You may want to consider integrating punctuation sometime in the near future. It's fairly popular.

I have interest please let me know you address to pick up, thanks

Dear Jessica,
The address is in the effing post. We've deemed you too dumb to take our scrap metal. I would call you "retarded," but I'm not using that word anymore.

Hi, my name is tj. i have a scrap business and can remove the hole scrap pile away. if its still there I promise i will be there at your house between 7:30-7:45am. thanks and i'll even bring a few bucks to buy something at your garage sale. can someone call me to let me know its still there. i can start getting it tonight as well if you would like. the # is 615-XXX-XXXX or 615-XXX-XXXX ask for tj.

You seem like a nice guy! I'll forgive you for using "hole" instead of "whole." But listen, we're not going to call you, lazy ass. Just come get the scrap metal! And even if we WERE going to call you, we definitely know to ask for TJ because that's how the phone works. Duh.

Yea i was needin to talk to u about the gazebo please call if u still have it 615-XXXX909
You can reach me at 615XXXX909

Dollar Sign Dollar Sign Mandy Dollar Sign Dollar Sign,

Damn girl! You got a long name. And for the love of GOD, WE AREN'T CALLING ANYONE. Also, no - you weren't needin to talk to us. We're the ones who started this conversation with our post!

if still available please call 615-XXX-XXXX. thanks.
Really!? Another request for a call!? When are you people going to learn...

I live in Franklin also. Whoever picks your pergola up can have mine too. When mine collapsed I ended up going to the ER for 7 stitches. Pile of metal in the backyard....

Oh, dear Mumzee,
Where to begin? You have serious issues if you think we're about to strike up a chat-room friendship from a Craig's List post. I bet my garage sale money that you call radio personality Delilah every Friday night. No one gives a shit about your stitches. You're creepy and lonely.

Hi, my name is tj.just wanted to remind you that if its still there I promise you I will be there at your house between 7:30-7:45am tp pick scrap up. thanks and i'll even bring a few bucks to buy something at your garage sale. can someone call me to let me know its still there. i can start getting it tonight as well if you would like. the # is 615-207-5637 or 615-471-1944 ask for tj.


are the metal parts bent at all?

Dear Derek,




Hi there. I am inquiring about the scrap metal that you have posted. If it is still available, I could come by in the am tomorrow and pick everything up? I have a large van so it would not be a problem. Please email or call at your convenience and let me know the best time to come by. I really appreciate your time. Thanks.


Dear Bella,

What a relief! Finally, someone NORMAL and polite. I was beginning to think that I needed to reinstate the use of the word "retarded."