Monday, July 31, 2006

Time After Time

I left the New York Times for Time Inc...Sports specifically. It's day one so I don't really have much to say. I'll just tell you a few things I learned today.

1. My commute was sick. I tried to catch a 1 train at 72nd after getting off a 2 express. I wasn't even able to get on the 1 train when it arrived...and late at that. So I hopped back on an express to 42nd, took a 1 uptown to my stop and it was all good. From now on I will be taking the 2 or 3 to 42nd and then the 1's faster

2. My offer letter never told me what time I had to be to work. So I get to HR and they are like why are all of today's new hires scheduled for next week's orientation. So they changed my orientation. I don't like being late and I missed the first 15 minutes of the presentation but I think I got the most important stuff.

3. I'm not getting my first check until August 24. I thought I was getting my first paycheck on August 10. So basically I have to go a month with NO MONEY. I already hit up my mom...I'm about to hit up an ex...I'm about to see if I can take a cash advance on a credit card...I'm bugging Essence to pay me what they owe me and soon. There is no way I can go almost an entire month with no money.

4. I like the project and the people I'm working with...thus far. They actually had all the people on my project start on the same day so we are newbies together.

5. The best part of all my schedule is 10am - 6pm. I am floating on cloud nine.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fashion Frenzy

I was trying to avoid blogging while on vacation but my list of topics is rapidly building and I just couldn't hold it in.

So I'm doing laundry today and getting ready for my first day at As I'm putting outfits hits me...every professional looking thing I have in my closet comes from Gap or Express. I am a walking ad for their stores.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not big on labels or fashion...period. I like to wear what is cute (on me), comfortable and affordable. And I don't go shopping often because anyone who knows me also knows I hate malls. But I guess over time, every time I have gone shopping, I have picked up a few items here and a few items there but the few items are all from Gap or Express.

I'm not sure what the dress code is at my new job yet. You would think, being a sports magazine it's all athletic attire. But at least for the first two weeks I'll be looking like something straight off the mannequin until I can go on a shopping spree but that won't be until late September/October at best.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag

Some of you may or may not know but after a little over 6 months time I am leaving New York Times Digital. My last day is Saturday July 22. I have accepted a position as a sports producer for Sports and will be focusing on the NFL. I start July 31.

I'm excited and nervous at the same time. It was an extremely hard decision to leave. Walking away from the New York Times is no easy endeavor. You have to weigh all options and consider the future of your career. What it came down to was work/life balance. Since working at NYTD I don't have a life outside of work and anyone that knows me knows I can't last but so long in a situation like that. I want to go out, meet people, have fun, enjoy being single, in my twenties and living in NYC. And ultimately I want to get married, have that whole American Dream thing. My new position at will allow me to do that and to still do what I journalism. It's the work/life balance my life has been lacking.

Some day down the road I may have to explain to some curious future employer why I left the New York Times after only 6 months but I plan on staying at as long as I can. To be able to be a journalist and work normal Monday-Friday's gonna take something like Osama Bin Laden blowing up the entire Island of NYC and even then I would just transfer to the SI offices in Atlanta. The only other thing that could possibly pull me away from this new job is a serious relationship (meaning marriage) and right now I can't even get a date so the chances of a serious relationship happening anytime soon is next to nil.

Wish me luck and always keep me in your prayers. And expect to see a lot more interesting posts cause I'm going to be painting the town Carolina

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

NYC Visit

One of my friends and former co-workers came from Atlanta to visit and we had a great time. I love when people come to visit because in some ways they know more about the city than I do. They see the city through the eyes of a tourist, while as a resident we take a lot of what NYC has to offer for granted.

So I picked her up at the airport on Friday and it was my first time driving to the airport. I live a lot closer to LaGuardia than I thought. We dropped her bags and hit the subway because the subway is the best way to travel. I had to take her to Bar 89 because it was Friday and Friday is the only day of the week they serve shrimp addition to all the other tasty and not too pricey foods and beverages. Then we went to the Yankees game and it was a lot more exciting than I thought it would be. Our seats were high as hell but we still had a great time.

Saturday my friend wore me out. I have NEVER travelled on the subway so much in one day. We went all the way to Coney Island so she could ride the Cyclone at Astroland. She had to go on that one by herself because I have an aversion to rides where I feel like I'm going to come out of my seat. Then we took the subway to the Brooklyn Bridge and walked across to the Manhattan side. Again, as a resident, I wouldn't have even thought to walk across the bridge. We had to come home because by that point I was seriously in need of a nap. We ended the day with a trip to Little Italy for a fabulous Italian meal and the dessert spot we found really hit the spot. I will definitely be heading back there.

Sunday she was heading back to Atlanta but she still had one more spot to hit and what a great choice. As a fan of Sex and the City I was happy to try this place out as well. It's a bakery called Magnolia's and it's on Bleeker Street. It was actually much easier to get there by car only because it was a Sunday. I was even able to find a great parking space. We sat in a park across the street from the bakery, enjoyed our treats and people watched. I love people watching. All in all it was a great weekend.

I spent most of Monday recovering. I felt bad because my niece spent the night on Sunday night and I was asleep mostly while she was there. I did take her to a taping of Quite Frankly and I think she enjoyed the experience of being in the audience for a TV show.

All in all I learned a few things about the city so the next time someone comes to visit I'll have even more options of things to do.

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Secret Revealed

I'm going to make a BIG announcement in the coming days. But I'll get y'all warmed up with a small one.

Remember when I was interning, well I can finally reveal where I was interning. I was working at Forbes magazine on the Celebrity 100 issue that came out July 3. I contributed to the research of the entire list and I wrote one piece about the Top Earning Dead Celebs. The website for Forbes turned my article in to a small photo gallery.

But wait...there's more. I'm going to be on You can hopefully catch me (if my stuff isn't on the cutting room floor) on E! television this Sunday July 16 at 8 p.m. EST. Stunts: Forbes Celebrity 100: Who Made Bank - This two hour show counts down Forbes Magazine's top 100 richest celebrities of 2006. I had #44 - Jessica Simpson, #79 - Sean Diddy Combs and #100 - Ty Pennington. Given that we had 100 celebrities to squeeze in to 2 hours don't go to the bathroom you might miss my cameo.

Things are really looking up for me and expect to hear even more EXCITING news from me. But for now I'm going to enjoy a long and well deserved 4 day weekend off from work ;)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Get Your Game Up

An interesting tidbit from one of the conversations I had with my nieces and nephew.

We talked about dating...apparantly all of us (me and them) are single. One of my nieces has double D's but my brother is a former Marine so he doesn't even let males of any age look at her. She's not allowed to sit in the front seat of his ride because grown men stare at her and he has been known to flip people off. So she sits in the back cause the windows are tinted.

My other niece is a workaholic, like me, but I think she be big pimpin in Paterson because truthfully she is probably related to every other person in Hackensack. My family and her dad's family have been in Hackensack for generations so you get the idea. Before you can date someone from our town you have to damn near research their family tree to make sure they ain't related.

And my nephew won't admit it but I think he is far too selfish to give a girlfriend the kind of attention she would want. But he does love to talk on the phone, like his father (my brother), and so talking a good game is in his genes.

But one of my nieces was with me when I was hanging out with one of my friends from college that recently moved to NJ. She asked me why I didn't date him because he is really cute...and she started talking about his sexy build and I cracked up laughing cause I didn't realize she had paid him that much attention. I told her he has a girlfriend and we are just friends. She said, "So." I was like what do you mean so...he has a girl which means he is unavailable. "Well Auntie you can take him from her." I just laughed because I couldn't believe what she was saying and that my 17 year old niece was giving me dating advice. She finally said, "Auntie, you need to get your game up." And my other niece and nephew nodded in agreement. That was like a moment from the twilight zone.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The $600 Oil Change

I have this love/hate relationship with my car. I love my car when it's not having any issues and I hate it when it does. The car is almost 10 years old and I just hate investing any large sums of money in to it. But at the same time I need a car and I can't afford to buy a new one so I have to do what I have to do to preserve this one.

I think way back in January I blogged about how the cap on my engine came off some time during my move from Atlanta to NYC. Oil was all over the inside of the car. Every time I would go to Firestone for an oil change they would tell me that I needed to get the engine steam cleaned...I stalled. The car was running fine, didn't smell like oil...I just didn't take the time or money to do it.

When it comes to my car I get in to moods about it. So this week I was in the mood to get some maintenance things done. So I decided to get the engine steam cleaned before I got an oil change. WHY DID I DECIDE TO DO THAT?

I'm all about supporting minority business so I took it to this shop that is Hispanic owned that EVERYONE including Firestone recommended. They said it would only be $25 to do the engine so I decide to go all out and get the car detailed. Total - $116

Well I get the car back and as soon as I started it up I knew something was wrong. The car was shaking like a crack head. Standing still it was shaking uncontrollably. As I sat in the car I could see the stick shift shaking. So I asked the guys why is my car shaking. They told me that was normal and that the engine is old. car is almost 10 years old but that is not old for an engine. I try to drive off and the car stalls. OH HELL TO THE NAW! I go right back to the guys they say it is fine, it just needs to dry. WHATEVER! My car was no longer drivable. If I can't get around the corner without the car stalling out there is no way I can drive it back in to NYC. I was pissed and I had my niece with me so I was now concerned for her safety too.

Luckily Firestone is down the street from the car wash place. I barely get the car in to the parking lot of the Firestone. It stalled out FIVE TIMES from the car wash to the shop and finally stalled out in the parking lot. I tell Firestone what had happened and they said maybe I should let it dry. I'm like I can't even get the car to my mom's house let alone back to NYC. So they agree to check it for $99.

By this time I know I'm going to be late to work. I call my mom to come and get me and my niece and I catch a bus in to the city. On the way there Firestone calls to tell me that my car is FUCKED. The car wash place got so much water in my engine that I needed to have a whole bunch of shit every wire and spark plug that was attached to my engine...and it would only cost me $500. I was fuming.

Luckily I have a Firestone account so I was able to pay for it..or at least defer payment. Can't wait to get that credit card bill. When I picked up the car the next day I went right back to the car wash place. After an argument they finally agreed to give me $270 of the $500 I paid. I cut my losses and let it go. My rationale was if I had to go through the process of suing it would cost me more than I paid. The other $230 was a combination of the initial diagnostic fee, the cost of a tune up and an oil change. So my net loss is like $350...if you take out the oil change I was going to get anyway my net loss is like $325. So I'm sucking it up, gonna eat the dreaded ramen for a week or two, not order lunch at work and probably have to raid my momma's refrigerator and freezer for the next few weeks.

I just hate unexpected costs and you can't plan for the unexpected like a car wash and an oil change suddenly costing you over $600.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kickin' It With the Fam

Last night I got to spend some time with my family, particularly my teenage nieces and nephew. I don't think they realized how much this auntie loved that. I can't really remember the last time all 4 of us hang out.

One of my nieces is visiting from Virginia for the summer. The other one is like me and works ALL THE TIME. And my nephew bounces between his mom's place and my brother's place so I usually only catch him in transit. But for some reason the stars aligned last night and they were all together at my mom's house.

So me and one niece picked up the other niece from work. She came over to get her braids taken out. And my nephew was chilling in his dad's bedroom in the attic making love to the phone. I called him for some help with connecting his dad's computer to the internet. Instead of running back to the phone he stayed downstairs with us and I talked and laughed and danced (Auntie be dropping it like it's hot) and we had such a good time until 2am.

Last night is one of those nights I'll treasure. Just seeing all of them together laughing and talking and reminiscing on some of the stuff that has happened in our family...both good and bad. I have to say they have survived relatively unscathed from some of the BS that has gone on in our family. I'm just glad to see they still talk to each other cause my siblings and I barely speak.

The picture that will forever be ingrained in my mind is the 3 of them laughing so hard that they were all tearing and literally rolling on the floor of my mom's living room. That was one of those moments I wish I had a camera. My nieces will be seniors and my nephew a junior so I know last night is one of the few times they will be together like that again. *SIGH* I wish they didn't have to grow up so fast.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Coke Rewards Update

About a month ago I blogged about how I was collecting Coke Rewards so I can get airline miles with Delta. Here's the blog if you don't remember. Well I am proud to say I am halfway to my goal of 1600 coke points equaling 10,000 Delta Sky Miles. I redeemed 800 points today to get 5,000 miles.

This endeavor has turned me in to an ebay-aholic. I'm on Ebay every day looking for bargains on the sale of coke points and you wouldn't believe how many auctions there are. So to everyone who has sent me codes, thank you...I'm still soliciting.

And I'm sure the question on everyone's mind is what am I going to use my miles for. Sadly, I don't have an exotic trip or anything planned. I will probably use the miles to fly to Atlanta one weekend or possibly Vegas. I'm still holding on to my Air Tran points so that I can finally take that vacation to the Bahamas.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Not Going to Grad School

I got my rejection letter from Drexel. Based on the personal rejection letter they sent me everything was tight BUT my GRE scores. So I just have to face reality that if I want to go to graduate school I'm going to have to take the GRE again.

But some other changes are coming in the near future and I'm not motivated to pay almost $2,000 to take a Kaplan class and pay for the test. Plus the GRE is going to under go a whole bunch of changes in 2007 so I might as well wait until after the changes are implemented to seriously reconsider taking the test and re-applying to Drexel.

Initially I was disappointed, no one likes rejection...but given the other life altering changes that are about to take place, graduate school wasn't as attractive an option as it had been when I applied.

Some of you already know what's up but I'm not going to make my official public announcement until July 22 ;)