A Day of Overindulgence

Oh dear. When I said I’d go out less, I guess I meant less days but somehow the same amount of actual out-ness. I managed to pack 15 hours of partying into Saturday this weekend. I swear I didn’t mean to.

It began with brunch and unlimited mimosas at 121 Fulton. Look at this gorgeous plate! I ordered the brunch sampler, which included a mini steak & egg (with the most adorable fried quail egg on top), bacon & hash, and baked eggs with tomatoes, spinach & bacon. Obviously, I had to toast my genius designer friend repeatedly over our delicious meal. Down the hatch, mon petit mimosa. Oh and there was a second reason for us to gulp down cocktails. We needed help to ignore the strange couple sitting next to us and making out noisily. At one point, I said loudly, “We are trying. To. Eat.” However, this statement seemed to turn them on because the kissing became even slurpier. Eeeeeeeww.

I took a break from the retoxing to meet another friend visiting from Londontown. We strolled along the Highline in the oddly springlike weather, sipped cappuccinos at a place so French that the service took forever (that’s how you know it’s authentic), and then played dress-up in the Anthropologie shop in Chelsea Market. Feeling virtuous (and super girly), we headed over to Basta Pasta for dinner.

It’s going to take me a while to wrap my brain around the amazing meal we had. When I do, I fully intend to do a complete write-up. For now, just feast your eyes on how gorgeous the plates are. Basta Pasta is an Italian restaurant with a strong Japanese influence. The food is comforting in that deep soul-satisfying way that pasta is, while the service and decor are so calm and clean that it felt like the world had come to a stop. In a good way. Dinner was a pocket of quiet enjoyment with some very good friends.

Well. Until we’d had a couple bottles of wine, that is. Then I think the staff gave up hope of maintaining a calm ambience in our presence. At the very end, they figured out how to quiet us down. This is a delightful slice of ricotta cheesecake getting sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan. We watched in awe as the waitress covered the plate in what looked like fluffy snow. It may sound odd, but it was an utterly delicious combination. The saltiness of the cheese offset the light crumbly sweetness of the cake perfectly.

Glowing from that amazing meal (and eagerly making plans for our next visit back), we traipsed across Union Square and ended up at Pierre Loti for a nightcap. Or five. One by one, the ladies made their escape. Laura, draped in shiny Marc Jacobs accessories galore, was off to a party in the exclusive Soho House. We fawned over her until she told us firmly that she could not bring us with her (pout). Then Rits said something about not wanting to be hungover while skiing the next day. Wimp!

It was up to me, Little Miss Hussy, and the Brit to keep the night going. Luckily, our friendly waiter was headed off duty and brought us along on his afterhours party crawl. At this point, the Brit threw in the towel. (To be fair, I think it was 5am in London-time at that point, so she was a trooper.) Not sure why this always happens when I go out with the Hussy, but we found ourselves dancing in the secret back room of a bar for a private party where bartenders were winning trips to Disney World (??). I know how surreal that last sentence sounds, but for once I am not hyperbolating (real word) for humor’s sake. We really were in a secret bartender party. I hope they don’t kill me for telling.

I’m realizing that it’s not realistic for me to stop going out. I mean, it’s just too damn fun and there’s always something amazing to be discovered in this great city. However, this week is most certainly devoted to eating veggies and cooking some homemade soup to recover. Cheers!

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The Out and About Chronicles

I was good and didn’t go out tonight. Hooray for publicizing my intentions so that I’ll publicly shame myself if I fail. Now that I have the time, I can share what I’ve been up to. Yes, that’s right. I made the decision to not go out as much so that I could get home and blog about the times that I was out. It’s all so meta and ironic that my head has already exploded. Twice. (That’s actually how Asians stay so young looking. We regenerate our heads like lizards do with their tails. Pearl Cream is just a hoax we sell to white people.)

Less than two weeks into my new dream job at Fabby Fab Fab, we had a company post-holiday party. Mainly, it was for the team that had been there the previous 7 months, when they experienced something like 700% growth since launching in June 2011. The co-founders wanted to give them a celebration during a time when they wouldn’t be under the gun the next day. In fact, they wanted to make sure everyone would be able to relax and enjoy the party so much that they made the next morning a mandatory Come In Late day.

That kind of thoughtfulness is exactly why I love Fab. I guess you wouldn’t really start something that’s based around making people smile unless you have that mindset. I can’t say enough how fortunate I feel to have joined such an amazing team. And to get to know everyone on such a fun night! We scarfed down delicious wine and hors d’oeuvres at Market Table, detoured for cocktails at 10 Downing, then sang karaoke at some place called Boho or Bobo (?). I’ll admit it was hard to keep track of names, either places or people, after a few of the delish lavender fizzes you see in the picture above. It was the perfect way to be welcomed onto such an awesome team!

Last Friday was also intensely fun. I knew I’d be up to no good when the Princeton Madam commanded me to attend Muy Thai boxing with her. I can never resist a night she plans and boy, did she deliver! To set the tone for a primal evening, we had dinner at Meskerem, an Ethiopian restaurant. They set down a gigantic platter filled with food, tossed fluffy folds of bread in front of each of us, and provided no silverware. We just dug right in with our bare hands. It was my first time, and I loved it!

After we were uncomfortably full, I waddled after the group. Now, when I heard we were watching boxing, I imagined some dark basement filled with shadowy figures placing bets on vicious killers who would fight to the death. Instead, we ended up in an enormous rec center on the ground floor of a Catholic cathedral in midtown Manhattan. I bought beer from a lady who looked and sounded like a soccer mom. It would’ve been disappointing, but the multiple rounds of intense kickboxers, free-flowing beer (thank you, soccer mom) (and… Jesus, I guess?), and fun dance music during breaks really kept things lively. Who knew? I might do it again soon.

Oops, I mean, I won’t do it again soon. Because I’m supposed to be going out less. Sigh. Now you know why it’s hard to say no.

Just Say No is Harder Than It Sounds

Talk about first world problems, I’m about to complain about having too many parties to go to. I know. It’s not really a problem, but I am feeling a bit fuzzy in the brain from going out so much.

I’m a firm believer in the fact that each person has at least one trait that makes him/her special. Usually there’s a good and bad side to that trait, and the trick to leading a good life is figuring out how to keep yourself on the good side.

One major characteristic of mine is how very excited I get about most things. You’ve all* seen my happy face when I hear about a new project, idea, restaurant, homeless guy with funny sign, bar, drink, person, movie, book… yeah. I’m a friggin excitable puppy!

So, the bad part kicks in when I say yes to more things than I can handle. It seems simple. I have a planner, I can see what my week looks like and logically compute that I should not take any more on. But then, the excited puppy in me kicks in. It’s like I wag my tail so hard that I can’t see straight. And then I say yes to things. Lots of things! And they’re all so fun, and I lose track of time, and hey! 10 new Facebook friends, yay, why not.

And it really is fun. It’s just so darn hard to balance all the things that I want to accomplish as well. I don’t think I would continue being an interesting person if all I did was party. But geez, didn’t I work this hard to be interesting just so I’d get invited to things? Hee!

This isn’t a resolution because I have no tangible goals. However, I’m going to be working on saying no to more things, even when they are amazing and I will probably kick myself when I see everybody’s awesome pics of what I missed on the intertube. Hopefully, that leads to more things getting done that will be more satisfying in the long run. Wish me luck, and remember not to peer pressure me too much about going out. I’m weak!

*I’m assuming everyone reading this is a friend. And Ryan Gosling. Hi Ryan, we can be friends.

Picture This

Oh man, the whole left side of my body is aching. My hand, my arm, and the length of my back. Wanna to know what new sport I’ve been trying? Only intense, full-contact… umm, drawing.

Ctina and I took a 6-hour figure drawing class yesterday at the New York Academy of Art. We stood in front of big easels and were instructed to really use our whole bodies to make our lines. By the end of the day, I could hardly lift my pencil, but I made great progress! Here’s what I drew at the beginning of the day:

And here’s what I made by the end of the day (caution: boobies!) (yeah, art class didn’t really make me classy):

It was really fun. Even better, it was really relaxing because it forced me to focus in on doing just one thing really well for a long chunk of time. Lately, I’ve been stretching myself thin by taking classes, accepting projects, running errands, doing favors for friends, and oh yeah, getting the hang of things at my new job. While I find it all really fulfilling, it’s hard to stop the brain from going a mile a minute when there are so many things due all the time. This class allowed me the space to let go of all that for a little bit and concentrate on the task at hand.

I’m tempted to take a full course in figure drawing, but I wonder if that would make it yet another thing that adds to my plate. Maybe it was good for me because it was a one-off thing to try. I’ll have to think it through, to make sure I’m being responsible. Well, let’s be honest. I’m actually waiting to see if Ctina wants to peer pressure me into taking the class together! In the meantime, I’m just really proud of what I made.

Boobies!! (Sorry, I’m not a grownup.)

Well, That Was Fast and Fab!

This week’s post is about me. Yes yes, I know everybody wants to read more about the mama and the papa. Geez. They’re not even online and they’ve taken over my blog!

Anyhoo, new year, new job! I just started at Fab.com as a copywriter, and it really is as amazing as it seems. If you don’t know the site yet, sign up for a free account. We have a constantly updated roster of artists and cool brands who offer special sales on our site. I’m really debating if I should just ask for my salary to come in the form of store credit.

Funny enough, I was hellbent on staying independent at the end of last year. In a few short weeks, I built a ton of momentum for freelance writing and branding work. It was exciting to indulge in being a workaholic and know that all of my efforts were entirely for myself.

But you know what they say. Love finds you when you’re not looking. Apparently, that applies to jobs as well as relationships. During my daily Fab break (I was serious about the store credit for salary), I did a quick check of their job postings and fell over. After 6 months of hardcore obsessing over this company (have you signed up yet?), they listed a description that was exactly what I wanted as the next step in my career. I can’t even remember writing my cover letter. I think it was basically heavy panting over how much I adored them. It might have counted as sexual harassment if they didn’t like it, but fate was on my side. They reciprocated my feelings, wrote back in 5 minutes flat and allowed me to gush all over them.

My first week has only strengthened my feeling that this is magically right. I am surrounded by smart, driven people who achieve great things in and out of the office. We treat the designers and artists with a ton of respect because we love what they create for the world. That generosity of spirit extends to the way customers and employees are treated, too. I’m just so excited to be part of a company that is out to spread beauty and smiles through the land. This is love.

Happy New Year, My Dears

I bid adieu to 2011 with a huge sigh of relief. Everyone I asked seemed to feel the same way. It’ll take some time before I fully process all the things that got packed into one tiny year, but I already know that I have been changed. There were extreme highs and lows, pushing me to grow immensely as a person and as a creative. Now I want to take what I’ve learned and put it to good use by building and creating things that will make the world a better place. It’s not a resolution, it’s more a philosophy for leading an amazing life. I want to live like I understand what an insane miracle it is to be alive, and I want to honor that gift with my actions. Entering 2012, it feels like I’m a few steps closer to that goal.