Thursday, March 24, 2011

Window cleaners are nuts

My windows weigh like 100 pounds. They're huge. And they're dirty. I don't like dirty. And I don't like heavy either. It's been really frustrating looking at those disgusting things for the past year and then trying to clean them on my own and almost killing myself. You try holding a 100 pound window with one hand (okay, maybe 50 pounds) and Windexing with the other. Not easy. Don't kid yourself, kid. Listen, don't misunderstand, when it comes to physical activity, I'm gung-ho. I'm someone that's used to just doing things herself. But I tried doing this myself and well...I didn't wanna crack a rib trying to clean a stupid window. That's not noble, it's just...stupid.  So I took the plunge and called a professional window cleaning company and wouldn't you know it, I found out it'd only cost $50 to clean both windows. I could deal with that.  I called and two days later, the window cleaners were in my place.

The cleaning men arrived in the afternoon. They were wonderfully courteous. After they changed into their schmutzy cleaning gear, I asked how they were gonna do it. "How ya gonna do it?" and they said instead of opening the windows from the front on the inside, it would be easier if they just stood out on the ledge and cleaned them from outside. Yes, the outside.

I jumped to my feet and yelled, "What?! Really?! Umm...holy shit. I'm scared (for you guys)."

They just shrugged and said, "No big deal."

I just stared into space like a deer caught in headlights for a good few minutes waiting for my brain to make sense of their words.

Here they are getting the rags ready for the moment of truth:

Yeah,  I only live on the 2nd floor, but it's a HIGH 2nd. Trust me. It's more like a 3rd floor really. One could get seriously maimed falling from that height. A tiny horse thrown from that height would die. So would a petite dog, small child,...iPod, and I predict even a wiry Russian window cleaner, too. Ohgod.

It didn't matter. My frantic concern didn't prevent the little one from climbing out on the ledge with ease:

The other guy (on the left) stood on the radiator and cleaned the inside of the windows. Big whoop. I coulda done that. But the OTHER guy? Uh, no.

Here's a closer look:

I was afraid to get too close, I didn't wanna startle the little one. So I kept my distance.

And here's the finished product:

(The lighting in this photo makes it look like the window on the left is cleaner than the right, but they're actually both spotless.)

Ta-dah! My plants look so pleased. : )

Maybe next time I can get a couple of hot male gymnasts to clean the windows for me. Craigslist!

: D

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My sensible heart

A friend introduced me to this song. The lyrics hit very (very) close to home...

Yeah, it's not a great song. The guy's voice is pretty, but not amazing. The melody's monotonous. But I can't help still liking it. It speaks to me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My name is Jona and I'm a vegetarian

About five months ago, I was told by my doctor that I should start eating meat because according to the tests, I'm anemic and hypoglycemic. So I tried it. What the hell, I'll try it. I ate flesh (beef, lamb, chicken, fish, etc.) everyday for a number of months. Felt weird. Really weird. What I noticed during this meat-eating time was I didn't have as much energy as usual, my breath started to smell (EW!), and couldn't figure out why I felt so irritable all the time. Well, about two weeks ago I said, "Fuck it!" and returned to my veggie diet and I gotta tell ya, I feel like a huge dingy film and a weight has been lifted. I feel so much more calm and happy. My skin looks better, I have more energy, the whites of my eyes look whiter, I don't stink (!) and I poop better (sorry!). But the most drastic thing I notice is the change in my mood. I feel balanced. I know with all my being that what you eat affects your mood and health and it really *really* affects mine.  It never felt right eating animals, but I did it because... well, I wanted to see how I would feel. I went through it as an experiment to see what all the fuss was about. Now I know it's not ME. It felt so strange to be cooking up chicken's thighs in my pan or making chili with real dead cow. I always used to cringe when I saw a commercial for KFC or Burger KIng, so to all of sudden pretend that I didn't think it was disgusting to eat that stuff was going against my natural Jona instincts.

So I'm a vegetarian once again. I'm not going back to being vegan, though. Hell no. That was way too limiting (for me) and that's why I became deficient.  I'm now eating organic eggs and some dairy on a daily basis (in addition to other stuff) and just fully enjoying my food/life again. But I can't eat animals anymore. No sir. No way. It's just not for me.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Aperture fun

Took some cool photos in class today. We experimented with the aperture. Remember that f-stop stuff I was talking about a couple of weeks ago? Well, aperture is another word for that. It basically controls the amount of time the lens stays open. Usually when a photo is taken the camera captures for one moment in time, but when you allow the lens to stay open longer, the camera takes in everything that's happening until the lens closes and layers those images on top of one another. You can set the apature to stay open from 2 seconds to 24 hours or even longer, if you want. Here's the result of leaving it open for 8 seconds:

(Oh and this isn't my regular class or teacher. This was a make-up class. My teacher's a dude and looks like Tim Lincecum, remember?)

The teacher stood still and just moved her arms every 2 seconds. Cool, huh?

Here's another cool shot:

Whoa. Looks like there's two of her!

And another in front of a white background (gives the photo a ghost-like feel):

And then I walked over to Whole Foods and took one more shot for good measure:

These would all look a lot better (less blurry) if I had a tripod, so I gotta get one-nah those soon.

I have a bunch of photo projects due on Sunday, so I must get my ass in gear and get to working on those.

Until next time, Folks...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's 5am and there's an army outside my window

I live in a relatively quiet area in Manhattan. Only occasionally have I been woken up by loud passersby or screaming drunks, but last night boy oh boy. I was woken up to the sound of screaming and yelling. It first sounded like there was a frat party out there or a slew of drunk kids that decided to camp out on the street 'cause they were just too tired to trek three blocks to the nearest subway. But then as I listened closer I realized that they were all shouting the same thing: "Ten HUT! Ab-OW-T FACE!" I immediately got up and this is what I saw:

Now that might be a frightening sight for most and it's certainly not a sight I've seen before, but I DO live across the street from the Armory, so it made sense, but it was still fucking annoying nonetheless. I thought, "Are these guys heading out to war tonight?!" I mean, what was happening? Then they started to march. They would yell in unison every five minutes and then loudly march in place with their combats boots shaking the ground beneath them. Then in between all of that they would takes breaks and chat. When you have 200 men chatting outside your window at 5am, it can get loud. This went on for two solid hours. At around 6:55pm, they marched away. It wasn't until this morning that I figured out what that was all about. The St. Patrick's Day parade is today, so when I woke at 10am and heard more marching this time accompanied by bagpipes, I realized that last night the army was simply getting their choreographies together for the big pararde.


Needless to say, I don't feel very well rested today. I'm just putting that out there.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I got my blog back!

I'd deleted my Gmail account without knowing that my precious blog was linked to that address. So as soon as the email address was deleted, the blog disappeared right along with it. As you can imagine, I was *devastated*.  I've been emailing Google all night and day and finally got a response from an actual knowledgeable human. They talked me through restoring the old email address and recovering the blog It took two minutes and in a flash (poof!) the blog was back up and running! Whew! I'm so relieved. There are so many memories and wonderful family photos on here that cannot be replaced.

Thank you, Universe (and Google Support).

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday shenanigans

I think I mentioned this already, but I'm taking a photography class every Sunday. Well, one of our homework assignments is to photograph someone in front of a window. Seems simple enough, but being forced to be in "manual mode" makes things a little more difficult. I have to make sure that the shutter speed, iso, and f-stop are all balanced and takes a picture that's not too dark or too light. Anyway, here's the photo:

Listen, it's certainly not the greatest photo in the world (far from it), but I'm just sharing the process, so shut the hell up.

After our "photoshoot" (which lasted a whole five minutes), Al and I watched the CNN coverage of the tsunami and earthquake situation in Japan. Scary stuff. I bow down to nature.

Then I met up with my (fabulous!) friend Melisa for a healthy nosh at Whole Foods at Union Square...

...and then a movie. We saw Red Riding Hood.

If you haven't seen the preview yet, here it is:

I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it would be the worst movie ever, but it was actually damned entertaining. Well...honestly I can't even tell if movies are good or bad anymore. I've seen such crap lately that when I finally see something that's remotely interesting or entertaining, I'm THRILLED. What I was not thrilled about, however, were the teenagers seated to my left who after carelessly spilling nacho cheese goo on Melisa's shoe while violently pushing their way to their seat continued to talk and ruffle wrappers and comment on every scene in the film. And giggled when there was anything remotely sexual happening. ANNOYING. CLUELESS. Oh and one chick got up like ten times to go to bathroom. If she'd gotten up one more time, Melisa would have kicked her ass.


We'll be alright.


Oh. I almost forgot! Melisa purchased her ticket before I bought mine, so while she made her way upstairs to save a seat for us,  I waited in line to get my ticket. By the time I got to the ticket booth, the movie was sold out!  Melisa texted me in that moment and was like, "If the movie's sold out, just buy a ticket for any other flick and sneak in." So...that's what I did.

Shenanigans! Woo-hoo!

Tomorrow I'm meeting up with my friend Njeri for our weekly lunch date at Bonobo's and then I'm escorting her to the Apple store to help her purchase a brand new iPhone 4. I approve!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Los Angeles: Today's the day

I fly back to NY and...

Zack's book comes out!

A lot of blood (well, maybe not blood), sweat and tears went into the making of this book. I'm very proud of him. Very very proud.

That is all.

**UPDATE** (That is *not* all.)

I read The Baseball on the six-hour plane ride instead of watching my mini JetBlue TV. It's so funny how I remember being there for every single moment of the book writing process. For the Fouls Balls in Pop Culture section, Zack and I watched all the TV shows and movies that have foul ball scenes in them and then we'd (he'd) tried to sum it all up. And since Zack didn't have any free time, we used that as our "date" time, so we killed two birds with one stone (awful expression) and had fun while "working.". Or when he was trying to describe the motion of the baseball stitchers stitching the first stitch on the ball, and I suggested that it was like slapping two people that are looking over your shoulder and now it's in the book! I mean, I only made a few (three) suggestions in the entire book, but it's interesting to look at the finished product now and recall that time and to know that I was involved and contributed in some way. Very cool.

I can't get over how even though I was behind the scenes, I'm still blown away by the finished product. I'm blown away by the level of concentration that it took to complete this book. Even when he was gong through some horrible times, Zack forced himself to write. What incredible drive and focus.

"Bravo, Schtuppy. Bravo."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Los Angeles: A massage and The Adjustment Bureau

My cousin Joey hasn't been feeling good the past few days, so while he stayed in at the hotel and watched basketball (ugh), I walked over to a nearby massage place called Massage Company and had THE best and massage of my young life. It only cost $60 and it was absolutely fabulous. I'm extremely critical of massage therapists (being one myself), so when I say the massage was great, I mean it. The therapist's name was Kyle. His hands were large and strong. He worked out ALL my kinks. He looked like a fat Donald Sutherland with a beard and piercing blue eyes. Come to think of it he was kinda scary-looking, but his HANDS. His hands were amazing.

Then I (slowly and sleepily) walked back to the hotel and met up with the cousin. He was all jacked up on Sudafed, so he now felt strong enough to leave the hotel. We grabbed a couple free bottles of water (Did I mention that all the stuff in the mini bar is FREE? Well, it is.) and walked (he bounced) to the car. We had lunch at Erewhon again and then made our way over to the movie theater at The Grove.

Here's Joey waiting...for me to take a photo:

The Grove was BUZZING. It was jam packed with hipsters, hotties, and an Asian man with thick rimmed glasses that likes to stare.

We pushed through the crowd and made our way into the theater. I courageously whipped out my camera while the previews were playing:

BTW, this preview was for a movie called Hanna which looks like a fucking amazing movie. Really looking forward to its release. The Chemical Brothers did the soundtrack.

Anyway, we were there to see The Adjustment Bureau. Pretty good flick. Joey and I give it a 7 1/2 out of 10. Then we drove back to the hotel while listening to my music. I tortured Joey with love songs! Lots and lots of love songs. Like this one.

: )

Friday, March 4, 2011

Los Angeles: A deflated bed and fantastic sushi

I had to wake up at 7:30am today. Joey leaves for work at 8:30am, so if I wanted to go somewhere (anywhere) I had to leave with him. I didn't rent a car and I would have had to take a couple of buses to get anywhere on my own, so I just asked him to drive me to The Grove on his way to work and he did. Oh and here are some shots of Joey's place:

Some turntables:

And here's the outside of his place:

ANYway, Joey dropped me off at my favorite California health food store called Erewhon and I enjoyed a huge salad with kale, collards, brown rice, black beans and beets. Yes, I was eating a salad at 8:45am. See I'm not restricted by labels/titles, People. I eat when I want and whatever I want. And yes, I actually enjoy eating salads any time.  I also got two ounces of wheatgrass juice and a small quinoa tabouli. Everything was absolutely delicious. Suck. It.

I hung out at The Grove for a couple of hours and just people watched and soaked up the laid-back Cali vibe. After that I used Google Maps on my iPhone to get directions via bus to Joey's job on Sunset Boulevard. I would only need one bus, which seemed very doable. 30 minutes later, I was at Jo's job. He was in the middle of working on sound edits for a movie called Hanna, so I took a short video of him doing his thing. Here it is:

Cool, huh?

I hung around until he had to leave. His friend Russell stopped by to say hello:

Russell was hyped up on caffeine and...just excited that there was another woman on the premises. Joey works with pretty much ALL men. I only saw one woman working at the front desk in the lobby and that was IT. She must get hit on all the time. Good times for her.

Anyway, at 6:30pm we headed over to Joey's favorite sushi bar. And as soon as we walked in I recognized a famous person, but could not for the life of me remember her name. I asked Joey, but he had no idea. He didn't recognize her. I think she's on the WB or FX or SOMEthing. She's definitely famous. Besides the celebrity and us, everyone else was Japanese or Chinese or Korean. I took it as a good sign the food was gonna be good....or that the owner has a really big family. Joey ordered his favorite stuff: spicy tuna and California rolls. I ordered salmon, yellow tail, mackerel, and tuna rolls. We also ordered some edemame. The meal was super-yummy.

Here I am sexily holding one edemame pea on some chopsticks:

THEN we went over to Target to purchase a new inflatable mattress.

Here we are in the car listening to cool beats:

We got the cheapest inflatable mattress they had ($29.99), but then also had to purchase a separate pump ($19.99) with it. I also took a gander at the sock situation. Target has THE best selection of knee high socks, so I couldn't leave without purchasing some. I bought six pairs at $2 each, a journal, and some G2 gel pens in a pack of three. Joey bought some detergent. (Lame!)

We put it all in the car and made our way back to his house to try and catch Jersey Shore. Joey hadn't ever seen it before, so I was very excited to be the one to introduce it to him. Well, he wasn't impressed and didn't laugh once. He just kept shaking his head from side to side and saying, "Really?" I was starting to get a little wheezy at that point (I think the couch still had residual dander and cat hairs on it), so we just watched 30 minutes of the Shore and decided to go to bed. I inflated the mattress and put my bedding on it. When Joey and I said our goodnights, I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth and washed my face and took out my contacts. When I came back to the bedroom the mattress had deflated to 20%.


What. The. FUCK.

I quickly whipped out the pump and filled it with air since Joey had just gone into the bedroom and couldn't be asleep already. I pumped it up again. Seemed fine. I was really starting to wheez at this point. Like I thought to myself if my breathing gets even 2% worse I might have to leave. I'm still on NY time and was pretty darned tired, so I just ignored the wheezing and went to sleep.

Guess what happened next?

I woke up at 2:30am to a 100% deflated mattress.

What's happening here? Am I too fat to sleep on an inflatable mattress? Am I too dumb to properly inflate one? I do not understand. I spent the rest of the night wheezing and tossing and turning on the hardwood and plastic mush. I finally decided at around 5am to get on Priceline and book a hotel for the rest of my stay. There's no way I could take another night of this. So for the next four nights I will be staying at a four star hotel and paying a two star price."Thank you, Priceline!"

When Joey woke up in the morning I told him the new plan and asked if he wanted to stay with me in the fancy hotel for the next four nights and he said he would like that very much. I mean, since there are two queen-sized beds it seems like a waste to not share the love. Now....I just hope Joey doesn't SNORE.

Stay tuned...