Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Town and a New Smile

My Boston apartment is officially empty. I no longer have the keys. And I decided since I had so much stuff to bring to NYC with me, I would leave something big behind.

Here's me on the bus without those stupid braces. ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008


Wowsers. Its a whirlwind over here. So much to blog about! But I will space it out a little. . . maybe another post tonight. I do promise to be better about the blogging frequency now that my life is starting to settle and take shape.

But BIG news! I have reached my fund-raising goal for the marathon! $2,503.40 is going to an amazing charity that is a very big part of my family's (in particular my sister Tessa's) life. Thank you so much to everyone. Its funny because so many people who donated said I'm an "inspiration" which, if you remember, is the most amazing and touching compliment to me. It is you folks who are inspiring for opening your wallets in such tough economic times to help out me, and more importantly, these amazing disabled athletes and generous volunteers. I can't imagine that the marathon could possibly be any more fulfilling and incredible as the fundraising.

Also, I was actually blogged about by someone else! There's an article about my fundraising/blogging escapades on the firstgiving blog and the online fundraising blog! SO COOL!!!

So again, thank you so much. I couldn't have done this without my amazing friends and family! I'll be thinking of each and everyone of you in the 4-5 hours it takes for me to kick this beast's a** on Sunday!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Run-ins While Running!

Today's run was quite frustrating. I'm tapering and went for — what I was thinking was an easy — 13 miler. I didn't make it. I only went 7 and negotiated with myself that I would do another 7 or 8 tomorrow. I didn't tape the arch of my left foot which almost always gets blisters after 5 miles. I thought maybe with my new shoes that were finally breaking in I'd be okay. I wasn't. So rather than letting that hot spot that was really starting to hurt turn into a ginormous blister less than two weeks from the big marathon, I stopped. Bummer but I know I can do the endurance now so its just a matter of keeping my body parts in good shape!!!

In any case, I had two GREAT surprises while I was out! First, at mile 2, I ran into my old MFA-coworker (and friend long before that) Julie! She was looking fit and great in her cute blue velvety track suit listening to tunes and going for a brisk lunchtime walk on the Esplanade. It was such a great surprise (and reason to take a 5 minute break!).

Then as I was just claiming my defeat and walking from Jamaica Pond, another super fit and cute looking gal was walking up the path past me — my old Korn-coworker Shirley! I haven't seen her in probably 9 months or so, so it was an even bigger surprise (although I was in her neighborhood after all). She was so tan and happy and rested! So it was great catching her up on all the latest and hearing what's new with her as well.

What a great day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Job Update / Life Update / Apartment Update / Cat Update

Wowowowowo. Have I been busy or have I been busy? Both!

Job update: I had 4 really great interviews in NYC. One with And Partners who didn't seem like they were hiring just yet. One with dbox a super cool firm that does some seriously gorgeous luxury print and identity collateral (with . . . um . . . no budgets? Have you ever heard of such a thing?). One with Parham Santana. And one with Pentagram . . . although they weren't currently hiring nor do the hire senior level designers or art directors because of the interesting way that they're structured. But I met with the ever nice and down-to-earth despite his larger than life reputation Michael Bierut. He was great — and even better gave me some of the best compliments of my design career on everything from my composure and personality in addition to my book. He gave me a great tour as well of their super cool place and a coveted limited-edition of the Pentagram Bible.

In the end, I was offered two positions . . . an amazing feat for one week especially in this economy. I was even able to consult Mr. Bierut on his opinions of the two firm and while both were great, I ended up going with dbox. Not only was the work incredible and very inspiring, but I had the pleasure of being interviewed by three people so I got a real feel for the personalities I would work for and alongside which, as you all know, is VERY important to me. The space was AMAZING too. A gorgeous airy, sunny industrial loft in the West Village. I felt chic-er just walking into that place! I start at 10am on October 30 (10am? Love that!).

Then life brought me to some very fun occasions. . . camping in a rustic cabin with no running water and no electricity with my pals Braden, Laura, and Emily. It was a phenomenal trip with all the leaves changing and the air brisk but comfortable. We star gazed, hiked, caught a few moose, and, yes, even went skinny dipping (somehow when I pictured ever skinny dipping, it was with a gorgeous man . . . but it was quite hilarious and fun with all the gals too!). We even spent Saturday morning (clothed) canvasing around the very-Republican and very-small town New Hampshire for Barack Obama. The people were very friendly and it was an amazing experience. I'm glad to have done my very small part.

Also attended the nuptials of Jeff and Jill, some of my favorite coworkers of mine from the MFA. It was out in Lincoln, MA on a gorgeous fall day in a beautiful old house. So picturesque and the bride and groom were both gorgeous. It was a great chance to catch up with all my old MFA coworkers who I love and miss so much. What a great time!

What else? Hmmm. . . its been weeks since I've updated ya'll so I know there's more. Its been a phenomenal month!

Then, apartment hunting in NYC. I saw about 12 to 15 places and in the end applied for the very first one I saw. In the East Village on the cusp of the Lower East Side. I quick 15 minute train ride to work. A fifth floor walkup but well-worth it. It was by far the prettiest, largest (shocking bc it is indeed small), cleanest and best deal of all that I saw. And no realtor fee. Amazing. Exposed brick. Brand new renovated kitchen (granite counters and stainless steel appliances with dark cherry cabinets) a brand new bathroom (with a marble bathtub). A closet (okay I'm downsizing from 4 but most of the places I saw had ZERO closets!). Very sunny with two great windows in the front and two other facing back. And a great alcove for my bed — which is great so you don't see it when you first walk in. I've signed the lease. I have my keys. I cannot wait to decorate. In other news, I've sold A LOT of my furniture all today — $840 already (anyone need a kitchen table, a TV, or a desk chair?)! Probably moving late this week (but I'll be back in Boston for my going away dinner from the gals and to get my braces off!).

Cat is doing great . . . she's the cat who cried wolf. I decided against the $600 diagnostics tests and I'm just waiting to see if she starts seeming miserable. She's been very affectionate and sweet (she has an uncanny sense of when I'm worried about her!). So Midnight (or grandma as I'm going to start calling her) is going strong. Better find a vet in NYC though just in case!

I guess that's it. Lots of really great freelance and tons more packing and miscellaneous housewares to sell. And tomorrow I shall invest in Space Bags . . . those bags that you vacuum out the extra air. Great for extra pillows and blankets and winter coats. I need to save some space in my new apt — I'll keep you posted on how well (or not) they work!

Marathon also coming up! I felt strong on my entire 20 mile run. 13 miles tomorrow am. I'm tapering. . . ah, luxury. Still have some funds to raise before I run though. Please donate: Alls' ya'll that donated, expect thank you cards and results in the mail shortly after!

I'll be better I promise. Post some photos from camping and canvasing and weddings and apartment this week!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Still Here!

I'm not dead. I haven't abandoned my blog. I promise to back sometime soon . . . so many stories and fun to tell! I'm just very busy with apartment hunting and freelance craziness!

8(ish) days until I move into my new NYC apartment
11 days until my going away dinner (thanks girly girls!)
13 days until my braces come off
15 days until I start work
18 days until I run the NYC marathon

Friday, October 10, 2008

Achilles Track Club Fundraising!!! NYC Marathon!!!

Well, I've raised an obscene amount of money and I have 23 days to go before the big marathon. And thank you so much for those who have donated. But I still have a little ways to go before I get that bib number for November 2nd (or else they take the remaining balance out of my much-abused credit card. and with a super sick cat, moving to NYC, and being unemployed these last two months . . . that's one helluva ouch!).

The Achilles Track Club sponsors and supports people with all kinds of disabilities, such as visual impairment, stroke, cerebral palsy, parapalegia, arthritis, amputation, multiple sclerosis, cystic fybrosis, cancer, and many others. This includes everyone from children with disabilities to wounded war veterans. In addition to fundraising efforts to support these inspiring athletes, they also pair runners in their chapters with disabilities to assist their training. . . my sister Tessa is actually running the last half of the race with an epileptic woman. How amazing and inspiring is that? I am so excited to start volunteering with her in New York on Saturday mornings . . . so that I can continue to make an incredible difference in these determined and inspiring athletes' lives. And so they can make a difference in mine.

No donation is too small. I realize we're all tightening our belts but if you think you can't afford it, just donate $10 and skip two Starbucks lattes next week. No amount is too small. And its not so much to show me support in my marathon race, but much more to help these amazing people that fight the odds to accomplishment amazing feats even with major disabilities or war injuries.

Read some of the amazing stories at:
And please please please donate whatever you can here:

Much love...
NYC Marathon November 2, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Jess and Bill

To my lovely sister and her charming husband Bill:
Happy 9th Anniversary – 10.2.1999!
(photos actually taken more than 9 years ago)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Midnight Update: What Can I Do?

Okay — so the saga of my adorable, affection, sweet little 18-year-old kitty continues as she sleeps next to me gently purring right now. Went to the vet today because she didn't fare to well over the week with my cat sitter (not that I expected her to). Everyday is a new adventure — with the constant ear itching and lovely presents coming out of each end of her that we've been trying to treat for the past year (and particularly throughout the summer increasingly).

Dr. Bower at the South Bay Vet Group is great — very compassionate, full of hope, yet with her feet on the ground to give you realistic advice. She's gotten to know Midnight quite well even though we see other vets at that clinic when she is not there too.

A few months ago, when Dr. Bower looked into Midnight's ear it looked fine. We have seriously treated that ear for every type of skin, parasite, and allergy ailment with no success in the last two years. Today, she couldn't seem to see the eardrum which led her to believe that there may be a tumor blocking it. The only way to know for sure is a $300 diagnostics x-ray with sedation trip.

For Midnight's OTHER problems (which also seem to have become life-alteringly frequent over the last few months), when she was feeling her stomach, she seemed to think the intestine walls seemed thick. I don't know exactly what that means but the word feline lymphoma was thrown out. Again, knowing for sure would require another $300 diagnostics ultrasound. Otherwise, it could just be Irritable Bowel Disorder that none of the previous meds we've put her on have seem to taken care of. She did assure me though that there are infinite medicines.

So here's were we stand. Midnight could either have:
1. An ear tumor — the vet and I agreed that at 18 years old, she is just too fragile to go through surgery to remove it. So it would eventually be fatal.
2. Lymphoma — apparently this is just not curable although you could extend the life with chemo and other VERY costly things but that's not usually done for someone of Midnight's age and health.
3. Both! :(
4. Neither — which means more months (or years) of constant miserable vet trips which may lead to the same resistance that she's had to the most common medicines on the market.

Additionally, she's easily gone deaf since she never responds any longer unless you tap her... she has some balance problems because whenever she itches her ear now she practically falls over... but other than that and the huge issues above, she's still eating, peeing in her litter box, and wanting attention.

I feel too selfish to ever say that 'yes, her condition is affecting my quality of life', but I can't also say its actually affecting hers enough to warrant putting her to rest. The puking and yowling and straining and ear-itching cannot be fun for her, but she still remains so sweet and affectionate and content through it all.

I read somewhere that a woman was in a similar situation and she put her cat to sleep and then had constant guilt. But then she had another cat and waited and waited until one day, the second cat was in so much pain it was unbearable to watch. In the end, she thought it was more humane to put them to rest before they were at that point where they are truly suffering and miserable.

I don't even know if $300 or even the full $600 of diagnostics is worth it because the best case scenario is #4 above which is still not a happy ending. Again, I'm trying not to be selfish here but I don't have a lot of money rolling around since I'm in between jobs and even if I did, how much is too much to invest in a cat that doesn't have that many years left anyhow?

I need help, readers! What do I do for my sweet 12-year-old birthday present. She's been a constant friend and family member and, although I know that she's lead a great and happy long life, this is not a decision I take lightly. Please post what you would do if you were in my situation. I'm sad either way.