City that Never Disappoints

The best part about waking up in a city that never sleeps is that I am guaranteed to always have something to do, somewhere to go, or someone to see. There is no excuse for a New Yorker to ever feel bored, ever. Recently, we went to see “Nice Work if You Can Get It” because I have been begging to see it ever since I heard Matthew Broderick is the star. I’ve always wanted to meet Mr. Bueller.

nice work

The show was great, not my favorite, but had its great moments. The show also starred Kelli O’Hara and Blythe Danner, who turned out to be better than Matthew. It also had some of my favorite broadway tunes: “Let’s call the whole thing off,” “S Wonderful,” and “I’ve go a crush on you”. Husband thought it was a little too old fashioned for him. I thought it would have been better had we not seen it on my no good terrible very bad day.

More recently, Grandma took us to see Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at the Joyce Theatre. Trockadero is an all male ballet troop who performs en pointe. Their shows are not only performed expertly and beautifully, but are also hysterical. It is an entertaining ballet for sure. They started here in NY, but are famous worldwide and always traveling.

trockadero 2 trockadero 1 trockadero

Our most recent date night was at Cafe Blossom. My very generous sister (thanks sis!) sent us a gift card for Christmas because she knows how much we love to try new places. Cafe Blossom is an all vegan restaurant, and was right up my alley.

nachos? Um...no
nachos? Um…no
Husband's healthy juice, and my butterfinger milkshake, which was phenomenal BTW.
Husband’s healthy juice, and my butterfinger milkshake, which was phenomenal BTW.
Seitan marsala
Seitan marsala
A fried chicken and bacon sandwich
A fried chicken and bacon sandwich

The food was so good that I literally made myself sick. You know that point when if you take one more bite you will just explode…I was about 5 bites past that point. So worth it though.

I wonder what adventures next week will bring? I love this city.

Cheers!

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, It’s back to work I go

NYC kids began their new school year today, which means I began my new work year. Obviously, I was thrilled. I got a new backpack to put my work supplies in, ate a healthy dinner, went to bed early, and woke up with the sun… excited for a new year with new friends!

Yeah right.

I ate an entire bag of popcorn at midnight, didn’t got to sleep until 4am (but that’s typical anytime I go back to work after a long break), and slept through my first 2 alarms.  I really do like my job, but I like my days off better.

This morning, I decided to put on my Positive Polly attitude and get pumped up about going to work, and to do my very best to keep that outlook all day.

Here’s my list of why it’s so totally wonderful to go back to work.

-Being productive and busy makes me more productive and busy. One of my favorite quotes is “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” ~(Lucille Ball) I definitely get much more done when I am working, even though I have SO much more time when I’m off.

-Get to see my work friends.

-I’m starting a brand new dance program that I get to create from scratch, and I KNOW it’s going to be awesome!

-Getting a raise, woo!

-Getting health insurance, double woo!!

-The smell of coffee first thing in the morning.

-Good Morning America

-An excuse to buy new clothes

-AND seeing the smiling faces of all the sweet cuties I’ve missed this summer.

I guess I do have a little to be excited about. I think it’s going to be a great year. Good luck to all the teachers and kiddos who start school this week!

Cheers!

The People-Watching Train

One of the best things about living in a really big city is the people. I am a people watcher, and there is no better place to people-watch than NYC, except maybe Disney World. In any case, NY is full of interesting characters, enough to inspire thousands of hit movies, TV shows, and books, which is saying something.

Spend one day walking through the city and you are likely to find a celebrity, a lesbian, a Mickey Mouse, a dog-walker, a homeless person, a private school kid, an Italian, a Priest, a Hasidic Jew, a drug-dealer, a guitar player, a psychic, a police officer, a tourist, a nanny, and soooo many more!

When Cousin was visiting us last week, we were lucky enough to catch some crazy (and some not-so-crazy, but equally entertaining) people at their best. It was a people-watcher’s paradise, and I’m taking you along for the trip.

First stop on the people-watcher train: Central Park.

We ran into a group of people playing some intense Frisbee. They were throwing the discs under their legs, catching them upside down, and bouncing them off every part of their body. We watched for a little while and found out that two of them are the Frisbee-throwing world champions! They had just come from Italy, and were stopping in New York for a couple days. I guess they’re doing a Frisbee throwing tour? Maybe you’ll see them at a park in your own neighborhood.

In Battery Park, we (minus Husband) were excited to find that a free dance production was happening! This free performance gives a chance for young dancers to perform and practice in front of hundreds of people. It’s a really great idea, and we stayed for the first two numbers.  We got good seats and sat down right as the show started. The first act was mostly 14-year-old girls. They were not great dancers, but it was interesting, and I still appreciated the idea behind the whole recital. I could have watched a while longer, but we were on a tight schedule.

While walking around Time Square (where there area ALWAYS a plethora of crazy/entertaining people) we ran into this van.

That’s me in the pink skirt and heels standing by the window…I was trying to ask if this was real or some sort of gimmick, but I ended up eavesdropping on the boys next to me who were buying 3 weed-induced lolly pops for $10. Then, I chickened out and decided not to ask for fear of being persuaded to make a purchase, and then get arrested by one of the hundred police officers around me.

We also spotted a chipmunk making a purchase in one of the sandwich shops in Time Square.

Just down the street, near Rockefeller Center, we got stuck in a ton of human traffic, which turned out to be a parade for the Dominican Republic. There always seems to be some sort of parade happening in Manhattan. None of them, with the exception of the Macy’s Day Parade, are impressive. Impressive or not, the Dominicans were VERY excited.

A few blocks North of 30 Rock is FAO Schwarz, where we saw this adorable Dad and his daughter. This girl has got her Daddy wrapped around her little finger for sure.

So sweet.

Finally, my people-watching train is coming to it’s final destination: Washing Square Park. Upon entering the park, we saw the original bird lady from Mary Poppins. I tried my best to convince Husband to give her his toppin’s (I obviously wasn’t about to go over there), but he had no interest in feeding the birds.

Even though I am a bird-aphobic, I loved this scene and could not stop singing “Feed the Birds”. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, we ran into this guy…

This man, who made sure to tell us he is NOT crazy, LOVES pigeons, and spend lots of time educating park goers, much like myself, about the history of pigeons. I stood as safe 30 feet away from him and his birds while he explained all of this to Husband, Zoey, and Cousin, for a good long 15 minutes.

His “pets”.

We almost left the park, when a crowd at the large fountain caught my eye. We ran over to find the fountain full of people swimming (literally swimming!) and splashing around in the shallow murky water. It was so hot out that before we could even consider the sanitary condition of the fountain, we’d already pulled our shoes off and hopped in with the crowd.

Still loving my Nook.

The best part was catching this sign as we exited the fountain…guess this rule isn’t actually enforced.

That brings our people-watching trip to a conclusion. Hope you all enjoyed the ride. Please watch your head and step as you exit, and if you don’t watch your head and your step, then watch your language. This is a family ride! Thank you, thank you, come again!

Cheers!

Tranquility at Tiffany’s

Great news everybody! Husband and I get to stay in our apartment until next summer!!! After lots of looking, debating, and talking with our landlord, he finally told us to just stay until July. I think he is having a lot of trouble selling the apartment, and he’d prefer to have a tenant paying rent then have nothing at all. Yay us!

I cannot even begin to tell you what a relief it was to hear this news. Even though all of the hundreds of hours I spent trying to find a new home turned out to be in vain, I don’t care. I am just so thrilled to not have to pack and physically move…again.

All the talk of moving, got me and Husband seriously discussing our future: Where do we want to settle down? When should we buy a home? How long do we want to live in Manhattan? When do we want to have kids?

We never answered any of these questions, just thought and talked A LOT about them. We love NYC, but probably won’t raise kids here. We want kids, but I want them sooner than Husband. We don’t ever want to settle down, but it would be nice to have an actual home to care about, decorate, and fill with large comfy furniture. Thankfully, we’ve been given extra time to make these decisions.

On a related note, I just read Breakfast at Tiffany’s and I came across a great passage where Holly and Fred discuss her anxiety and her strategy for finding a home. Holly begins by trying to explain to Fred why she refuses to name her cat. She claims they are both independents; she doesn’t want to own anything until she finds the place where she belongs…I’ll let you read the rest…

“You know those days when you’ve got the mean reds?”

 “Same as the blues?”

 “No, No the blues are because you’re getting fat or maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re sad, that’s all. But the mean reds are horrible. You’re afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don’t know what it is. You’ve had that feeling?”

“Quite often. Some people call it angst.”

“All right. Angst. But what do you do about it?

“Well a drink helps.”

“I’ve tried that. I’ve tried aspirin too. Rusty thinks I should smoke marijuana, and I did for a while, but it only makes me giggle. What I’ve found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany’s. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany’s, then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.”

I never knew I had so much in common with Miss Holly Golightly. She makes a very good point of deciding that she wants her home to feel like the one place that makes her feel safe and serene. Don’t we all want that? Is this even possible for someone who suffers panic attacks?

After reading this passage I thought hard about what my “Tiffany’s” is; what specific place brings me calmness and peacefulness…if any place does.

I suppose Sephora brings me lots of happiness. I love that I can walk into Sephora looking like I just rolled out of bed, and walk out looking like the paparazzi should be following me. The ladies working are so friendly, always giving away samples and applying new products to my skin. I can spend hours playing with all the make-up, bronzers, hair style-ers, nail polishes, and perfumes; I don’t think I’ve ever had a panic attack in Sephora. Although, my pulse does race when I hear the total at the register.

Starbucks is another place that immediately relaxes me. In fact, anytime I’m having a rough day I tend to find myself ordering a tall iced soy latte and making friendly conversation with a barista. I’m sure much of this has to do with my caffeine addiction, but there is also something very comforting about being in a Starbucks, like being home…(Although, it does feel less comfy and homey since they’ve all taken out my favorite big comfy chairs.) Sometimes, I sit in Starbucks with my laptop just to get some work done. I tend to focus and work harder there than when I’m home. Even while traveling the world, we ALWAYS stop at a Starbucks, if we come across one, for a little taste of home.

Another place is the beach. How original, right? I guess the beach just makes all of us feel peaceful and relaxed. I could sit in the sand and read, do cartwheels down the beach, or play in the waves forever and ever. If I lived on the beach I’d be warm and carefree, but probably never get anything of value done.

Gilmore Girls is something else that immediately takes the “mean reds” away. I know this TV show isn’t a location, but it saves me from numerous panic attacks. If I wake up in the middle of the night sweating and in a panic I just have to pop in an episode with Lorelei and Rory to make me forget what was driving me nuts in the first place. Their dramatic lives and quick wit keeps me distracted and happy.

Then there’s dancing. I’ve never been the best dancer, but I have danced for years. I’ve taken dance since I was a little girl, and I’ve taught for about 5 years now. When the right song comes on, and I’m able to move to it, it’s like I’m free. I’m free of worry, free of to-do lists, free of deadlines, I’m just there to dance, and it feels right. I guess dancing is my anti-panic.

Like Holly, I am not really sure what I am looking for or where I’ll eventually call home. Right now, the plan is to have a house that comes with a dancing barista who can do my make-up on my private beach while watching Gilmore Girls. Husband would have to be there too. It would not be home without Husband.

Until then, I’ll be constantly reminding myself how lucky and thankful we are to stay in our teeny Upper East Side apartment (which is walking distance from 5 Starbucks and a Sephora BTW) for another year. Thankful, thankful, thankful, I love you apartment!

Cheers!

Perfect

It rained…but we were prepared.

Our wedding was perfect. Not the everything-went-exactly-as-planned kind of perfect, because it did not. Stuff was forgotten, stuff was changed, but none of it mattered. We could not have been happier with how everything panned out. I could write about, and post pictures of it for the next 50 blogs!

I assume most of you will click that “unfollow” button if I do that though, so instead I’ll try and narrow it down to my most favorite moments.

Starting here…

#1 Seeing Husband for the first time.

We decided to see each other BEFORE the ceremony. Thank God! I was so nervous, and seeing him beforehand reassured me that everything would be okay. And seeing his reaction of seeing me was priceless.  (Can’t wait to get those pictures in!)

#2 Having my dad walk me down the aisle.

#3 The actual ceremony.

One of our best friends married us. He got licensed specifically to be our officiant. His speech was perfect, hilarious, and touching. I’ll be posting that as soon as I get a copy! Also, Husband and I wrote our vows. We were both really nervous about this, but I’m so glad we did it. It was meaningful and real, and I guess I’ll have to post those too!

#4 This moment.

#5 Fireworks!

Everyone of us got our own private viewing area for the fireworks show in EPCOT.

#6 Introduction Dance

We entered our reception to “Party Rock” by LMFAO, and somehow convinced our entire bridal party to put on gold chains, 80’s sunglasses, leopard print and neon accessories, and sun visors. They each did a special little routine as they entered the room and definitely got our party started!

#7 The speeches….OMG the speeches.

My sister and Husband’s sister are ridiculous. They gave us a speech that turned into the famous scene from Bridesmaids. It led to them speaking to me in different languages, staring me down, and even singing to me. For Real. It ended with everyone in the wedding party coming up and singing a song from the Hangover…with the lyrics changed to this…

“What did Peter dream of when he worked on the jungle cruise

Did he dream of playing Portal, or that girl in the bathing suit.

Don’t you worry your pretty blonde heads, we’re gonna get you guys together to prepare to be wed.

And then we’re gonna thank the stars above that are two best friends have fallen in love

Love love lovey love love lovely love love loveeey love love

But since we’re not very good wedding speakers….we’ll just sing you this song.”

Seriously, how are we friends withe the most awesome people?

AND, after all of that madness, one of Husband’s best friends gave us another incredibly sweet speech! I’ve never felt so much love.

#8 The Dance

Besides getting all of our closest friends to come to Disney, dress in neon and dance to “Party Rock”, and sing a speech to us…we also got them all to “learn” a dance routine to perform! Apparently, these people will do anything!

Recently, we fell in love with a scene from How I Met Your Mother. It’s a music video called “Let’s Go To The Mall” by Robin Sparkles. AND, the video game Just Dance made a really funny and stupid routine to it that we became obsessed with. Because all our friends are apparently willing to do anything, we all learned it, and did in front of all our guests.

#9 Changing

Luckily, I brought an extra dress for the reception. I was so hot and sweaty from all the dancing, that I could not wait to put on dress #2 and dance the night away.

ALL NIGHT dance party

#10 The bus ride

After the reception, we had charter buses take everyone back to their resort. Somehow, Husband and I got our very own private charter bus take us back to the Polynesian Resort. The ride back was spent reminiscing about how perfectly awesome everything was, and how unbelievably fortunate we are to have so many people who love us enough to be there celebrating with us tonight. We could not have been any happier.

Now, I cannot promise that the wedding blogs are over…but, I’ll try not to be too obnoxious.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Mr. and Mrs. Positively Panicked!

Tears of Joy

Have you ever been so happy you could cry? Or, maybe you actually do cry. I know I have. I mean I cry pretty easily anyways, but I can very clearly remember some special moments that pure joy brought me to tears.

The first time Fiance took me to  New York was our one year anniversary, and I thought I was flying to Ohio to visit Fiance at school. It wasn’t until I was screaming at the poor lady working behind Continental’s desk that they must have screwed up my flight, that Fiance called to let me know that I indeed was flying to NYC. Surprise.

The surprise didn’t end there. Our second night in NY, he took me to see Wicked, 8th row dead center, seats. I had never seen a broadway show, and I had been obsessed with Wicked from the moment it opened on Broadway. I was in disbelief through the entire show. When the curtain came down for intermission, tears were just streaming down my face. Fiance looked surprised and asked what was wrong… “I am just SO happy.” It felt like a dream.

Aww young Hilarie and Fiance

While teaching elementary school in Tennesse, I was also coaching dance, and middle school drama. I put every single bit of me into these 3 jobs. I was working often over 70 hours a week, Monday through Sunday, through literally blood, sweat, and tears. (Luckily, I was not alone in this. My friend Marsha was working with me side by side through the whole year.) We were eating, breathing, and sleeping school, but mostly drama. The drama club was our baby and we were determined to rock everyone’s socks off.

By the time the end of the year rolled around, my 1st graders had taken their state standardized test and blown it out of the water, the dance recital was the best one yet, and all that was left was our first full-on broadway-esque performance of Seussical. The night Seussical opened was insane. Fiance was scarily ill (out of nowhere!), my family had flown in to see what I’d been spending ALL my time working on,  hundreds of people were filing into the auditorium, and our precious middle schoolers were nervously applying their stage makeup backstage..

The curtains opened. The students sang, danced, and acted unbelievably well! The curtain fell, the crowd roared with applause, and before I knew it, I was on stage holding a microphone attempting to thank everyone for coming and supporting our students. Before I knew it, tears were streaming, and a sweet student stole the microphone to thank US for our hard work and dedication. That was one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life. I cried tears of joy the rest of the night.

Several of my friends have gotten married…I cried at every wedding. Now, lots of those friends have children.. more tears of joy. It just warms my heart to see my friends start their beautiful families!

Being a very anxious person, can cause “tears of joy” to be very tricky. Sometimes this happiness quickly morphs into fear, and often guilt. Let me explain…

The day after we returned from Albania (about a year ago) I woke up about before 6am (yay for jet lag) and found myself sneaking out to my parents back porch in Texas to watch the sunrise. I sat in a large rocking chair contemplating all the amazing things that had occurred over the last few days.

-Fiance and I were so thrilled to be done with our year in Albania. Even though we had lots of fantastic and unforgettable memories traveling through Europe and making new friends. 

Some of my favorite friends in Albania

-We had just completed a three week journey through Scandinavia with some of our favorite people.

Exploring Norway

-Within hours of flying back to the states we were at our most favorite place – Disney World.

-Fiance proposed!

-And, in a blink of an eye we are on a  flight to Texas to share the great news with my family.

Everything was so surreal. I felt the warm summer breeze on the back porch and thought, “Damn, I’m lucky.” My eyes started to well up with tears. I was just so happy, and could not believe how everything in life was unfolding. But, then it hit me.

The panic monster. “Im too happy. I shouldn’t be so lucky. There are so many less fortunate people in the world, what have I done to deserve this happiness? Surely, something terrible is lurking just around the corner.” All I could think about was impending doom…and my tears of joy soon changed to tears of panic.

I had a very similar experience today. Fiance and I have been working our little tails off on several special DIY projects for the wedding. Fiance mentioned that he felt like he “is working in a sweat shop” this weekend, but I think that has more to do with the fact that the AC was off and it’s been 85 degrees outside. I was laughing at all his jokes, as we sat sprawled out on the floor trying to convince one another to cook something. It got quiet for a few minutes, and I looked at Fiance, who was writing a very nice letter to someone he cares about, and I became overwhelmed with joy.

I get to marry this wonderful, smart, caring, and hilarious man in just 12 days. Damn, I’m lucky.

Daydreams of our dance party/reception began to fill my thoughts, when out of the blue, Mr. Panic sneaks up on me. The same terrible thoughts consumed me. I don’t deserve to be this happy. I don’t deserve him. Surely, something horrible is going to happen before the wedding. No one is this lucky or this happy.

I tried to hide what I was feeling, but Fiance sensed something was wrong, as usual, and I broke. I’ll spare you all the rest of the conversation. But, it ended with a decision to take a break, go to the park, get some fresh air, and enjoy the summer-like weather.

Now, after all of this. I do feel much better. We came home and finished our projects while watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Thankfully, I have  fiancé who knows exactly what to do in my times of need. He reminds me that it is okay to be happy, I should feel happy, deserve to be happy, and it in no way means something terrible is forthcoming.

That’s something I’ll have to talk to a psychologist about, next year, once that insurance kicks in! I should probably start making a list: Hilarie’s List of How She’s Crazy.

I guess I’m feeling pretty damn lucky again. I may even feel some joyful tears coming on…

Geez, I am going to be such a ball of mush at this wedding! Have your hankees ready!

Happy Memorial Day…We can all be happy to have our freedom!

Cheers!

Staycation

I hate that word, but it really is the best way to describe this weekend. It’s Memorial weekend and most of the people in the city have left to spend the long weekend at the beach somewhere fabulous, but we decided to stay home. The wedding is so super close, I only have Sunday and Monday off of work, and we figured we could stay home knock out most of our to-do list, and still have time to enjoy this beautiful spring weather.

Yesterday was awesome, so awesome that I was gone from the time I left for work at 9am until 2am this morning.

A friend from work wanted to hangout after we got off, so we took a nice long walk through Central Park. It was 80 something degrees (the highest it’s been all year), and just perfect in the shade. We sat and talked for a while and decided we might as well spend rest of the day together!

After the park, we went to Madison Square Eats (a little food festival) with Zoey and Peter, and a college friend of Peter’s. We tasted so much delicious food from different restaurants all over the city.

An Indian style veggie burger with garlic fries
A macaroon with potato chips, pretzels, chocolate, and other little goodies in the mix.
lemon mint granida

We relaxed in Madison Square Park for hours until the rain forced us out.

Eventually, we escaped the downpour and we spent the rest of the night making fish tacos in an UNBELIEVABLE apartment with the MOST BEAUTIFUL view of Central Park, dancing, relaxing, playing cards, taking cat naps, and pretending that we are on vacation… After all, we were somewhere fabulous.

 

My work-friend stayed the night. We had a mini-slumber party. I even got up early and made breakfast. Then, we all snuggled on the couch and watched KickAss, all before noon.

It was such a good day. Great friends, great food, and great weather (even the rain) is all we needed for our little staycation, and the best news is, we still have tomorrow off!

I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend!

Cheers!