Friday, July 30, 2010

Teenage Dream

"My heart stops
When you look at me
Just one touch
Now baby I believe
This is real"

That's my favorite part from Katy Perry's new single, Teenage Dream. It's the perfect expression of how I feel about Antonio. I instantly fell in love with this song when I first heard it last week. Now, it's almost in my top 10 played songs in my iTunes library.

There are so many times when I just sigh and realize how happy he makes me. When we're laying in bed and he puts his arm around me and kiss my shoulder, it's perfection. I love how I can make him laugh and I love just talking with him. I like how he holds my hand when we're walking down the street. I like how he makes me feel sexy and comfortable. When he holds me, I just want to be there in his arms forever.

We finally had the boyfriend conversation yesterday. We'd talked about it a little in the past, but we finally made it official yesterday. It's funny because I've been calling him my boyfriend for the past few weeks, just not to his face.

I'm still not going to make a big deal out of everything because our relationship is still new. But, he's amazing and makes me so happy. I don't see him going anywhere anytime soon :-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coming Out...For the Last Time

Yesterday was my Mom's 53rd birthday, so I made the trek down to New Jersey to talk, have cake, open presents and just enjoy some family time. I was really surprised how mature Renee is getting. She's no longer that little girl that I used to bicker with and tease. She's becoming an adult.

We did all the obligatory birthday rituals and followed them with badminton. Michele had to leave for the airport for a business trip around 2:00, so Kasey and I entertained for about another hour until Mom, Sam and Renee got ready to go home.

Renee came up to me and asked if we could talk. I was expecting something regarding boy trouble or puberty questions, both of which would be equally mortifying. But, I told her she could come to me if she ever needed to talk. She told me that I seemed different and happier. Could it be that obvious that Antonio has been such a positive change in my life? Is my little sister that perceptive? I played it off and said I didn't know what she was talking about. And that was it.

Then right before they were getting ready to leave, she came up to me again. This time was nervous. She was beating around the bush and saying she didn't know to ask me what wanted to ask me. I smirked because I figured what she wanted to ask. I was like, "just ask me." She finally asked me if I was gay.

I was like, "Yeah. I am. Is that cool with?" I had never really considered telling her. She figured that I was ever since she saw the shirtless Zac Efron pic by my bed. We then had our first adult conversation. It was no longer big brother / little sister. It was just two adults talking. I explained how she was too young when I came out to the rest of the family four years ago. I never really thought about telling. She was a little upset that I never told her, but she was fine. She got a little emotional, which really perplexed me. I still haven't figured that one out. I think it just turned her world upside down a little. She mentioned how she thought I had a lot of girlfriends in high school. I corrected that they were friends that were girls, not girlfriends.

I haven't "come out" to anyone in such a long time. I figure at this point it's just something that people can figure out for themselves. I don't even see it as a thing I need to explain. It's a characteristic - just like being tall, short, fat or thin. It's just another genetic trait. But I am glad that Renee and I got this out of the way. I think she'll open up to me and she and I'll get a lot closer. I really want to be her fabulous, gay brother who takes her to Broadway and to go shopping on 5th Avenue. I think this was a big step forward in our relationship.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Human Guinea Pig

Earlier, I posted about being a little strapped for cash. I've cut back my spending and it's helping. But, I want a couch and a bed so I've got to do more. But how? Experimental medical testing. Yes, that's right! I'm signing up to do any and every medical experiment that Sinai has to offer. Of course it's not as dangerous as the title makes it out to be. It's a great way to make extra money. Oh yeah, and helping science cure diseases - blah blah blah.

I completed the first part of my first test this afternoon. It's a lung function study. They're exploring the correlation (if any) between allergies, body weight and asthma. Or something like that. They could pretty much do whatever they wanted to me after I read that I got $50.

They started by doing an allergy test. They drew two rows of 5 Xs on my arm and exposed me to various allergens. I only reacted to the grass, which is unusual because I don't have allergic symptoms when I'm outside. That's something worth exploring further, if they'll pay me another $50. Once I was cleared for the next step, we walked over to the Pulmonary Lab in the basement of the hospital. The technician sat me in this little booth with a breathing tube. I had to practice evenly breathing and then she'd have me take a deep breath in and then blast it out. I had to exhale until I literally had nothing left in my lungs AND then I had to push more. We did that a few times. Then she closed the door on this booth and I got a little freaked. I was always expecting something to happen - something like what happens to astronauts. I'm a drama queen, what can I say? Then we went into another room and I had to practice breathing regularly again so they could monitor on the computer.

I'm going back next week to finish the study. Now that they have my baseline data, I'm going to be inhaling some drug that mimics asthma symptoms. I guess this is where the waiver comes in. They said I'm such good, normal breathing that they want me to do some other studies. What can I saw? I know how to blow (insert oral sex joke here). This is such a great opportunity - cash and helping science. It's a win win, unless I grow a third arm or turn green and radioactive.

On second thought, maybe I'll get superpowers! Bring on the medical testing! I want to be Spiderman.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I love albums that leave an impact. I like hearing a song and having a strong reaction. I've been in New York for a year and there have been several albums that I've bought. Mariah's Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel is one of my all-time favorite albums. I also love Rihanna's Rated R. It's gritty and angry and sexy and edgy - it's an amazing album. I've also picked up Christina Aguilera's Bionic, which is still on the fence with me. It's got some great tracks, but I'm not sure about its staying power.

The most recent addition to my list of memorable, NYC, soundtrack to my life albums is Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite. I've been a huge Kylie fan ever since X came out a few years ago. I've been waiting for this album for so long and I've been uber excited for its release since the video premiered for the first single, All the Lovers.

The album is amazing from start to finish - it's quintessential pop perfection. With Stuart Price at the helm, you should expect nothing less than a masterpiece (he also produced Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor). Get Outta My Way and Aphrodite are amazing, sassy dance tracks that are perfect for the gym. Closer, Illusion, and Everything is Beautiful are smooth, icy songs with pulsating beats. Then there are those romantic songs, Cupid Boy, Too Much, Can't Beat the Feeling, that make me dance around the apt in my boxer briefs while thinking of Antonio.

It's one of those albums that I think I'll be able to start to in a year and still love. It's been on repeat for the past few weeks. If you haven't bought it, buy it. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Digging Deeper

First, I'd like to note that this blog is not meant to come across as though I'm complaining. This is meant to be a very practical, yet personal account of the all-too-familiar twentysomething feeling of being broke.

We've been in our new apartment for 6 days. Slowly the place is starting to shape up. We now have blinds in our rooms, a microwaves, cable and internet, and air conditioners. It's finally starting to feel like home. But, I've noticed that it still has that empty echo. We still need furniture for the living room - that's the only room that is really lacking. We agreed that I'd buy the couch and Spencer would be the big, flat-screen TV.

I've made a budget and should have enough money each to live comfortable (should be the operative word). I've taken into account just about everything, including student loans and my Metrocard. Of course, this budget doesn't consider credit card minimum payments or saving. Saving money? Do people really do that? Once we're settled, I should be fine.

But right now is rough. Right now we have no furniture and I don't see a way of buying furniture. Having two credit cards that are almost maxed out is a scary feelings. Granted, I can make a payment to Chase and bring it down. It still makes me feel like I'm in a hole that I can't dig myself out of. I know myself. I like to spend money and I can rationalize anything. If I'm really thirsty, I can justify Jamba Juice. If I'm tired and don't feel like cooking, I'll tell myself that I deserve to order from Pita Grill. It's hard to find things that I can cut out. Sure, I do make some irresponsible purchases at H&M of Barnes and Noble from time to time. But mostly I just buy groceries and I feel like in order to build the body I want, I have to eat.

I know this feeling of helplessness and hopelessness comes and goes. But, right now, as I sit on the air mattress in my new room, I can't help but feel trapped. This is New York and I'm only 23 with an entry-level job (for now), so I know this is all normal. I just find it hard to distinguish between the life that I have and the one that I want to be able to afford.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Big Move

This post may seem a little late since we moved on Sunday and it's Thursday, but we finally got our cable and internet hooked up. It's starting to feel like home, but let's back up a bit.

I spent Sunday morning scouring Harlem for good deals on loveseats and air conditioners. The latter could not be found, but I did have some luck with the AC. I found a great, 5200 BTU (whatever that means) A/C for $140. That was the cheapest price I'd seen in the million and one stores that I checked out. So I bought it. Here's the problem - it's very hard to find a yellow cab in Harlem. Imagine me carrying a 40 pound air condition 15 blocks. Yeah, it's not pretty. That's how far I walked before I was able to catch a cab. I had him take me to another store that I knew had a good deal on a bigger AC for the living room. Everything went smoothly until I get a call from the movers saying that they were in front of my building. They showed up two hours early. Wonderful!

I had the cab pull up right behind the truck, which was perfect because we just put the ACs in the truck. It took 3 guys about 2 1/2 hours to pack up the lives we created in River Crossing. They seemed a little slow at times, but they did a great job packing. It was a very weird feeling. I'm paying them to move me stuff, but I still felt guilty for just sitting there. Once the last box was in the truck, I grabbed a cab to the new place. They showed up and created an assembly line to get all our boxes up three flights of stairs. The guy who had to carry everything had the hardest job. He was of a mysterious ethnicity - and yes, this will come into play later.

It ended up costing about $130 more than the estimate. Surprise, surprise. But, what can you do? It was convenient and they did a great job. Nothing was broken. Everything was well organized. As the guys were leaving, I made a point to shake the one guy’s hand that did the heavy lifting up the stairs. I wanted him to know that I really appreciated his hard work (he didn't speak English, so I couldn't really communicated that well). Spencer said "gracias" because we both thought he was Hispanic. Nope. As he was leaving, he smiled and told us that he was from Tibet. We started cracking up! I'm sure he gets that all the time.

By 4:00 that afternoon, it was done. We were home. It's still a work in progress, but it's exciting. We're slowly getting all the things we need. Next on the list is a loveseat, recliner, flat screen, small kitchen table, artwork for the living room (saw this amazing, vintage map of NYC for $289 on 87th street). Oh yeah, and a bed for me. After a year, I'm ready to be an adult with a real bed.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

1967 / Mirrors

Last weekend, Antonio and I went to GClub for drinks. I'd been there before and now both times were equally uncomfortable. The first time was with Soman and his friends after work. That time I was over dressed (dress pants, shirt and tie). I felt out of place. This most recent time was equally uncomfortable. This time I felt under dressed (jeans and a t-shirt with flip-flops). We sat at a table and sipped out drinks and talked. I love being with him, but the other guys were so distracting. I just kept thinking, "Wow, I wish I looked like that guy" or "man, I wish I could dress like that." Two guys walked in and it was done. They were the perfect couple. Perfect hair, perfect tan, perfect clothes (boy beaters, of course) and perfect bodies. The one had a boy beater with the number 1967 on it. It's weird to be around so many gorgeous guys because I see my self-confidence and perception of myself drop to an all-time low. I couldn't wait to leave.

Then, the other day I dropped off my guarantor letter to our broker. There are a few things in our new apt that we need fixed so I asked him about it. I told him that there were square mirrors on the back of my bedroom door and I wanted them removed. He said, "What? Do you not like looking at yourself?" Um. Wow. Hit the nail on the head. If I had a therapist, I'm sure he'd have some deep, psychological insight to that situation. It's sad because I have a good job, a new apt, and an amazing boyfriend (still unofficial, but yeah) and yet I still let stuff like this get to me. I thought once I started enjoying life that those insecurities would go away.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend

I love my life right now! I had such a busy, exciting and wonderful weekend. Antonio and I saw Eclipse on Sunday afternoon. It was okay. I'm not a Twi-Hard, so I wasn't uber excited. But it was our first movie together and I enjoyed it. Then we hung out in Madison Square Park for a while before going to the West Side Highway and 26th street for the 4th of July fireworks. The offical fireworks were on Sunday, but there were some major fireworks on Friday ;-) I love how easy it's getting when I'm with him. There are still those butterflies, but I'm so comfortable being myself. We had to wait around for 45 minutes before the show started. It was quite interesting. The Jews for Jesus tried to recruit us. I'm not really sure what that was all about. My friend, Erica, said they weren't really Jewish. It's a mystery! The show started after the sun finally set and they were amazing (see pic below). I'd never seen such an elaborate show. They had fireworks that made smiley faces and Saturn. It was so cool. They had six barges launching fireworks and we had a great view of all of them. It was even better because I had my arm around Antonio and we watched them together. OMG, did I just write that? I've become diabetically sweet.

On Monday, we took a much needed break from Manhattan and went to the Jersey Shore. We took NJ Transit to Newark and then drove from his office. We rocked out to the most divalicious CD I could make. Cher, Britney, Madge, and a little Lil Kim for good measure. We got there really quickly - no traffic and enjoyed the beach before his friends got there. Suzanna and her husband, Juan, showed up first. I was uber nervous because I've heard a lot about her and she's really pretty, so my first thought was that she'd be a bitch. But, she was super funny and really down to earth. I could see her being my BFF, but then again I say that about everyone. Then Joey and Hanna arrived. They were great too! The whole gang seemed very relaxed and nice. I mean, I really like Antonio and we're dating so I hope (and assume) that I'll see more of his friends.

It was a great trip - just what we needed. Of course even with adequate sunscreen, I got sunburned. But that was kind of my plan all along. I love how Antonio rubbed sunscreen on me and then made it his secret agenda all day to keep my out of the sun. He's friggin' adorable. This was the most enjoyable 4th of July I've ever had. I love being with someone who wants to be with me and wants to do things with me. It's refreshing. It was a great 3-day weekend. But now the sunburn has begun to fade and it's back to work.