365:89 (married!)


Caryn, one of my best friends from high school, married Simon on Saturday.

No Comments

Random update


I haven’t done a non-photo related post in some time, but I just finished my latest book while sitting in the cafe at barnes and noble, and was reflecting on how nutso this week is going to be.

First, the travel. As always for thanksgiving, I’m heading to the berkshires to hang with family. Except, instead of staying through Sunday as I would normally do, I’m flying to Houston on Friday, because one of my oldest friends is getting (re)married down there on saturday. And then i’m flying back to NY on Sunday. Of thanksgiving weekend. I’m thinking it’s a good thing I don’t have a job I’ll need to actually get to on Monday.

Actually, that’s about it for my nutso week, now that I think about it. Although apparently my brother is sick with something that may be the flu (swine or otherwise) and is only finally going to the doctor because my dad convinced my brother’s girlfriend to drag him there. Or an emergency room. I’ll have to call him later to check on him. I’m not going within 100 feet of him though, because I’m pretty sure that swine flu makes a pretty crappy wedding present.

I’ll return to photoblogging later with a post about the book I just finished, but I left the jacket at home so I can’t photograph it yet.

No Comments



I was reminded this morning that the bar exam starts today. Which got me thinking about milestones, because I took that same bar exam during one of the most hellacious summers of my life.

Ten years and 2 months ago (May 2009), I graduated from law school. Which, I’ll admit, was pretty awesome.

Ten years ago exactly, I sat for the bar. I remember thinking many, many times that, if I didn’t pass on the first go-round, I would have to find another career because there was no way in hell that I was going through that again.

In between those two events, or, more precisely, ten years and 1 month ago, my mother passed away after a long bout (7 years) with cancer. It wasn’t unexpected. She had been actively sick for at least a year, managed to make it to my graduation weighing 90 pounds and needing a wheelchair, and had gone into the hospital for the final time a week later. But the day I found out, it was certainly a shock. I was studying for the bar in Philadelphia, because I actually had a place to live there (my folks had sold the house I grew up in a few years earlier), but was planning on driving up that weekend to NYC to visit. I was sitting in Rittenhouse Square when my dad called me on my cellphone to tell me the news. I don’t remember that much, except that I know I screamed an ungodly scream in the middle of a giant public space, started crying uncontrollably, and ran home to pack. Of course, the reason I wasn’t home in the first place was that my landlords were trying to sell our house for when after our lease was up, so there was an open house going on. Needless to say it ended pretty quickly when I showed up. I’m pretty sure the real estate agent tried to hug me.

My roommates, who were the best, drove me and my car (in a little caravan) up to my parents apartment while I had a minor breakdown. The funeral was the next day, and a significant portion of my law school class, with only a few hours notice, skipped bar review and showed up in westchester. I realized later that my roommates must have called people and it spiraled, because I wasn’t really in a state to do much.

I stayed in rockland for shiva (obviously), and I skipped almost a week of bar review classes. I was theoretically going to borrow the tapes when i got back, but I just never got around to it. People were shocked that I was still going to take the bar, given what happened, but my standard response was that my mother would come back just to kill me if I didn’t. Which I’m pretty sure I believed at the time. Plus, having something (even as miserable as bar exam studying) to focus on did help. But I will say that I’m glad there wasn’t more torts on the exam, because I missed that entire section of bar review.

Oh, and did I mention that in the middle of this, I had to find an apartment in manhattan because my lease was going to be up 3 days after the bar? that was an extra special bonus of suck. I can’t believe I managed to actually find something halfway decent (and I ended up living there for 6 years, until I bought my current place).

My roommates, who took care of me through all of it, are still my friends. I sometimes wish I could thank them every day for having to navigate my craziness during that period. But they saw me through it. My best friend from high school, who I was going to crash with for the bar, packed a bag and went to her parents so that I could sleep in her bed undisturbed instead of on the couch. As weird as it was, it was exactly what I needed and she knew that.

The bar exam itself was its own special circle of hell. Not only is it one of the hardest exams you’ll ever take in your life, in NYC they put you all, all 5000 of you, into a giant cavernous space filled with tables as far as the eye can see at the Jacob Javits Center. It’s like an exercise in pressure-cookerization. Add to that the fact that there was no where to get anything to eat in the surrounding area (at least in 1999), and it’s like they want to see how many people will run screaming or pass out before it’s over.

I survived, and I passed, and I started a career (with a few bumps) that I loved.

That was all ten years ago this summer. Now I’m attempting to navigate through another change in my life, looking for a new job that I might love as much as the last one. I wish my mom was still around to give me the kick in the ass I sometimes need.

No Comments

what i did on my summer vacation…


Well, it’s the last day of my vacation, and I’m just about ready to get back to work.  Things I did:

Movies: saw Wall-E, Wanted, Hellboy II and The Dark Knight (which was super fantastic awesome go see it now!).

Cycling: took several trips down to battery park, and up to fort washington.  In total, I biked about 70 miles over the past two weeks (usually in 12-14 mile increments every couple of days).  Also, about to sign up for the NYC Century Bike Tour.

Friends:  saw several friends, including one friend who I haven’t seen since college, and another who had a baby three weeks ago.  Also managed to catch a cold from another friend’s 11 month old.

Culture:  not quite as much as last year, but I did go see the Dali exhibit at the MoMA on wednesday.  That was pretty awesome.  Although my dad and I both decided that the films would make much more sense to someone if they were on drugs.

That’s about it.  I also read a few books, took a lot of naps, and generally learned how to not check my blackberry every 5 minutes.  oh, and I got an iphone.

No Comments

vacation update, day 2


I promise I’m not going to do this every day. Frankly, no one wants to read repeated blog entries about just how little I can do every day.  But today was exciting – I took my bike out for a “real” ride (i.e., not going in a circle around the park).  The plan was to go down to Madison Square, or Union Square, and maybe get a shake at the shake shack.  Anyway, I got going down the Hudson River Greenway, and before I  even realized it, I was all the way downtown at ground zero.  So I tooled around Battery Park for a little while, took some pictures, drank lots of water (it was really warm out), and then got back on my bike and rode all the way home.  it was a 13-14 mile round trip, and I was gross and sweaty and desperate to get in my shower at the end, but not “tired”.  In fact, my legs didn’t hurt at all. I actually thought at the time that, but for the oppressive heat and humidity, I could have kept going.

This is a really big change from a year ago, when i took my bike to the park and could barely go 3 miles without exhausting myself.  That was the day I decided to join the gym.

Plans for the rest of the week?  More bike rides, although tomorrow is a personal training day, so I probably won’t be biking around the island.  All you can eat sushi tomorrow night with my dad and brother (have I mentioned that it’s kind of weird to have my brother actually living in the city again?  good, but weird.  I was so used to our regularly scheduled Friday afternoon IM sessions with him on the other side of the world).  Tentative dinner plans with a friend from college who I haven’t seen in about 13 years, thanks to Facebook (and yes, I’m totally addicted now).

As far as Friday, I’m currently debating whether to attempt to go get a 3G iphone.  I certainly didn’t plan my vacation around the iphone release, but since I’m definitely planning on getting one, it does seem kind of stupid to NOT get one while I’ve got plenty of time to wait on line.  Although I’m definitely not going to be one of those people who is already waiting on line

No Comments



I’ve been convinced to join facebook by one of my friends. Of course, I’m completely antisocial so I’ve got about 5 friends at the moment.

Not to turn into one of those crazy old people that yells at you to get off my lawn, but I think I’m too old for this stuff.

No Comments

travel plans…


As I’ve mentioned before, my brother is the world traveler in the family.  Right now, after finishing up with the Peace Corps last month, he’s trekking through the Himalayas for a month, and then heading down to India for a while.

So that’s my brother’s life. 

A few months ago, one of my friends from Italy let me know that she was getting married, in a traditional Hindu wedding, in Singapore, and that I was invited.

So the gears started turning in my head, since Singapore and India are only a few hours apart from each other. 

The plan:

In January, I’m flying to Chennai, India, meeting up with my brother, traveling around the southern half of India (basically looping around the horn and ending up in Mumbai), and then flying to Singapore to go to a three-day-long wedding. 

It took me a few months of coordinating, but now the trip’s all booked, and I just have to get a visa for India and figure out what to wear (and how to, ideally, get my wedding clothes to Singapore without dragging them through seven different cities in India first).

No Comments

Beautiful day…


This weekend was one of those supremely awesome weekends – yesterday in the 60s and today in the 70s, no humidity, and real sun. It’s one of those weekends which, after a crappy northeastern winter, really makes you feel alive again. Yesterday I spent the day at Ikea with my best friend from high school, where we obsessed alternately, over my possible kitchen layouts and her newly announced pregnancy. Since she moved up the ‘burbs with her husband, we don’t see each other as much as we used to (particularly not as much as when she lived 2 blocks from my office – it was a lot easier to drop in for dinner back in those days), and it was just really great to spend an entire day with her, driving with the sunroof open, with happy things to discuss.

Today, I spent the day with my dad, obsessing some more about the kitchen layout, debating which cabinets to buy and where to find appliances in miniature – my new kitchen is going to be extremely tiny – it’s a separate room, but the entire room is only 35 square feet and currently doesn’t have any counter space – right now it’s a 23" refrigerator next to an enourmous double basin porcelain sink next to a 20" stove. It’s pretty old school, and I’ve become somewhat obsessed about how to move things around to make it more practical. Oh, and I got to see my dad and stepmom’s new place again – they’re moving in in three weeks, and it’s almost complete. It’s pretty gorgeous. Of course, their living room is bigger than my entire current apartment, so it inspires a bit of jealousy as well. But the best part of the day was wandering around the Upper West Side, eating lunch at an outdoor table and actually getting so warm that I had to tie my jacket around my waist. Tomorrow it should be miserable, so I’m glad I got to enjoy it.

No Comments

Winding down.


The last of my Christmas/Holiday related parties was last night – My friend Vinnie closed his restaurant and cooked a lot of food, and invited a bunch of friends to partake. Certainly the best tasting party that I’ve been to this season. And the only one that had nothing to do with work. I went with my dad and stepmom, who is actually the reason we know Vinnie (they’ve known each other for about 15 years). Anyway, it was fun – we all drank too much and ate too much, and today I’m going to do the traditional “jewish christmas” which consists of going to see several movies (I’ve already bought tickets to Ocean’s 12 and The Life Aquatic) and eating Chinese food for dinner. I found out last night that there’s also a New York City coda to that – you can eat Indian food instead of Chinese, so that opens up the options a little bit more.

Some pictures from last night:

New York City in the weeks leading up to Christmas is generally overfilled with tourists (who I’ve complained about before), but all of a sudden, Christmas Eve actually shows up and the entire city empties out – I walked over to Gonzo at around 8 p.m., and this is what 5th Avenue looked like:

Here’s Vinnie – the bestest Italian chef (and I don’t just say that because he gives me free food whenever I stop by):

And finally, me and my dad, and my dad and stepmom, who are now on their way to Buenos Aires and Patagonia for two weeks, and as of dessert last night hadn’t finished packing. Travellers after my own heart:

Since it’s actually Christmas today, I’ll just sign off with a Merry Christmas (and Happy Holidays) everyone!

No Comments

Slightly less prolific…


Sorry that my updates have been a little more sporadic recently, but I’ve been totally busy with my real job. It’s only the 19th (or 20th given that it’s 12:40 in the morning) and I’ve already billed close to 170 hours this month. I truly do enjoy what I do, but at times it does leave a little less time for the whole hobby-blogging thing. Plus, spending several days writing corporate documents can really suck the political and literary creativity out of anyone (yeah, I know – from the outside it looks like the most boring job on earth. Maybe I’m just a boring person in denial – whatever the case, my job suits me, or I suit it). Not to mention that I couldn’t get any work done this weekend, due to one of my best friends getting married. And with this post, I’m coming close to breaking my personal rule about never writing about work or friends in any substantive way, so that’s where it ends. ‘night y’all.

No Comments