Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Minnesota vs. New York, Part I

Things Minnesota has that New York doesnt have:

1) Excellent customer service where ever you go in whatever industry (retail, resturant, you name it, nice people)
2) Doctors who actually give you the time of day
3) Ice Skating Dinosaurs....(see pic)

4) Affordable housing
5) Lake Calhoun
6) The Bachnick and Witebsky families
7) Yards (as in back yards, front yards, side yards, etc)
8) Caribou Coffee (and now Northern Lite Coolers...mmmm!!)
9) The new Guthrie Theater (HUGE AND AMAZING!!)
10) Minnesota Nice

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Silly Little Gummy Bears....

I am having a tough time focusing today. Maybe it's because I leave for Minnesota in less than 48 hours, and I while I'm there I will turn 24, get to see my family, some of my closest friends and I won't have to think about work for almost 2 weeks. Then again, maybe its because of the Lindsay fiasco. In fact, I think that may be the more likely reason.

For those of you who don't yet know, Lindsay Lohan is my heterosexual girl crush, you know, one of those celebrities of your own sex who mesmerizes you....ok....maybe I'm the only one who has one of those...but for those of you who can't claim celebrity gossip as their guilty pleasure, I must let you know that Lindsay was arrested in the wee hours of this (Tuesday) morning for a DUI. Yes, ALREADY! Turns out (according to Perez Hilton and the associated press...both very reliable sources...I swear...) that one of Lindsay's personal assistants quit a few hours before her arrest and Lindsay proceeded to engage in a car chase the personal assistant's mother or another personal assistant (the facts are not yet clear) with Lindsay being the chaser. Speaking of chasers...Lindsay had a blood alcohol level of .13 (.08 is the legal limit)and cocaine in her possession when she was arrested after the chasee called 911.

Oh poor misguided Lindsay. My co-worker Amelia B and I have analyzed this extensively. Seeing as how I have a BA in psychology and Amelia has an MS in mental health counseling, I think we are pretty reliable sources. We've decided that since she doesn't have the familial support of Paris Hilton (who seems to be getting her shit together) she is just lacking the support she needs to get better. Her dad is an ex-con, her mother I've never had a personal problem with but who some say is just as wild as Lindsay. We've decided that the only person who can help her is her Grams, whose name I can't quite remember because I can't get to PerezHilton.com on a VA computer and because I don't want to spend anymore of my air time minutes on my new phone. She is still in good old Long Island and we all know how grounded people from Long Island are. (Actually, I've met some friendly people from Long Island....AND some not so friendly people). We even discussed how perhaps I should become Lindsay's family to support her but we decided that wouldn't have my best interests at heart because at this point in time I am lacking trust in her.

And just so you know, I am only half joking about most of this stuff. It's quite sad and I've had a lot of down time today to ponder it. I'll let you know if I come up with any solutions. Right now, I'm just glad Lindsay is following my advice by checking back into rehab. Glad I could be there for her right now.

38 hours until plane time (at the time this post is being written). Can't wait! MN: HERE I COME!!!

In the mean time, I'll continue to chow down on my gummy bears and watch the clock until 5pm rolls around. Happy Tuesday. MWA!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Boot-E-Licious (in multiple ways!)

Well friends, I'm back in the boot....for my ankle that is. The resprain was causing me to walk like I had a prosthetic leg and so I called the doctor who had just received my MRI results which say nothing extraordinary other than I sprained my ankle (duh) and he wants me to wear my boot again for at least a week. When I told him the boot hurt when I wasn't walking on it because of the position it forced my ankle into, he said he knows it hurts. But it has to be in that position so it doesn't get stiff the way I usually have it. Hmph. Funny thing is, the boot makes me walk in like warp-speed compared to without the boot, so it's not the worst thing in the world. And I'm taking a break from physical therapy until I get back from Mn because it hurts. So there you have it.....I am going to have to revise my Ode to Sprained Ankles soon to add all the extra PT and MDs appointments. (Thank God I get my pay raise in October....maybe by then my ankle will be better!)

in other news (as my friend Amy L. and I like to say), I received a loving email from one of Scott's classmates, Meg, who we thoroughly enjoy and who is a fabulous actor if I may say so myself. She has lived in NY much longer than I have and she gave some wisdom on muffin-tops that I would like to share with you. So enjoy!

"FYI--I was over-exposed to the Muffintop in Queens. The amount of
Spandex made me wonder, Why did no one let these women know that
the 80's had come and, thankfully, gone? And why do they want to
squeeze themselves into clothes that are clearly WAY TOO TIGHT?
But after awhile, I discovered another phenomenon: the men in my
neighborhood found this look to be WAY sexy! I mean, I didn't get
a second glance from anyone, no matter how done-up I may have
gotten before heading to the Pathmark. But a group of men see a
Muffintop approaching could hardly keep their hands to themselves.
I came to believe that there are other ideas of beauty from those we
have been exposed to here in White USA. Clearly, the Muffintop is
on par with the Miniskirt."

Thanks Meg! We love it. Bootylicious x2!! Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pipe Dreams....

There's nothing like a public emergency to welcome you to New York. My good friend from the University of Minnesota, Jamalyn, officially moved to New York on Monday for work. She has been staying with Scott and I for the last couple nights until she gets approval for an apartment on the upper east side. New York is a culture shock for many people when they move. Imagine Jamie's surprise when she exited a building near Grand Central Station yesterday afternoon and saw a mob of people running away from a large cloud of smoke in the street.....

Now imagine witnessing 9-11 in New York. I remember being afraid when I saw the buildings fall on TV that other places in the country were going to be hit. What if the hospital my mom was working in was hit? What if places in Minneapolis were hit? How scary! Imagine being in New York where they actually were hit, and feeling the fear that that city could be hit again at any time and having loved ones and friends or even just neighbors die in that event. Finally, imagine in the present, a large cloud of smoke and ash rising from a nearby street near Grand Central Station and the Empire State Building. What would you think had happened??

Jamalyn reported that after the steam pipe blew up on 41st and Lexington Avenue yesterday, chaos ensued. The pipe, releasing steam that was up to 200 degrees, exploded with such force as to cause telephone lines to be knocked down and flipped over a tow truck. She said she had never seen anything like the crowd of people running down the street, some crying, some reporting that the Empire State Building had blown up. It reminds me a bit of my social psychology class where I learned about eye witnesses often being inaccurate, and large masses of people cause very suggesting behavior, people believe things that aren't true because so many other people believe it.

My poor friend! Poor New York. I am so thankful that it wasn't a terrorist attack as people feared and that it was just a tragic chance event that killed 1 and injured around 30 people. It really hit a sore nerve in some people.

In other, less world-related and less fascinating news, I have re-sprained my ankle according to my physical therapist. We are back at square one people. This is not pleasant and my limping is probably at the worst its been other than after I stopped wearing the boot. I won't find out about my MRI results until Friday, but I plan on being VERY conservative this time with this injury. NO unnecessary walking, constant elevation and ice multiple times a day. Please keep me in your thoughts and pray to your higher power (whether it be spiritual, humanist, etc) that it heals more completely this time. I am antsy to get back to working out and really don't want any more months lost to this stupid injury.

PS: A friend of mine who works at 39th and Madison just described an email she received from her office manager which included a reassuring message about using emergency masks when outside the building from emergency safety kits because of the small about of asbestos released into the air by the pipe yesterday (which by the way was from the 1920s). Totally comforting.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The New Victorians

Check out this article from the New York Observer: The New Victorians

I think Scott and I may have found our place in the world...

Minnesotans, Muffin-tops and MRIs...oh my!

It's a very funny thing to be walking down the street in New York and see a University of Minnesota t-shirt. It's an even funnier thing to see a familiar face in that shirt. Yesterday, while I was limping my way from Loehmann's (AMAZING outlet store) to Filene's basement in search of some jewelry for an upcoming wedding, I had this experience. I get super excited to see Minnesota apparel around the city so the maroon and gold U of Mn shirt caught my eye, but who would be wearing that shirt?? An old friend named Kyle who Scott and I were friends with the summer that we met. We all were in the play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Scott did the cowboy solo, Kyle did the calypso solo and I was the slutty wife of Potiphar...classic). While it took us a minute to remember each other's names, I learned that this old friend had been living in NY for 2 years and auditioning for shows, looking to make acting his career. I love it. Once I get a picture of the three of us, I will have to show you. We were some hot looking Egyptians.

I'd also like to make a clarification this morning. Scott thought that perhaps some people could take it the wrong way when I said I was sick of seeing the muffing tops of the girls in the Bronx. I must inform you that these muffin tops are not only a thing of the Bronx but are a universal tragedy that can occur anywhere. I just happen to see them the most often in the Bronx, though I'm not quite sure why.

I'd also like to clarify that while I rag on the Bronx a lot because it is so different from what I'm used to, there are many many friendly people who come from here. One, for example, is the assistant to the director of my department, Mary. She is a angel, putting up with the demands of an extremely difficult man, and still having a smile on her face whenever you talk to her. She's a great lady.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Between the toothless man singing "Under the boardwalk" on the subway on Saturday night and my encounter with an old friend, I'd say mine was quite enjoyable. Unfortunately this evening will not be quite so much fun as I am finally going in to get an MRI on my ankle (which I am STILL having trouble with). This is very frustrating. I feel like after 2 months, including almost a month of physical therapy, this thing should be healed, or at least not painful anymore. And yes, a lot of walking is required in NY, but is that really enough to cause the same amount of pain 2 months later as after it happened? And does anyone know any good lawyers who can help me sue the city for this inconvenience due to their lack of side walk repairs? Have a good week all. I'll keep you updated on my silly ankle.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Cost of a Sprained Ankle....

The Cost of a Sprained Ankle (at month 2)
A ripped off cliche by Lauren Bachnick
Cost of an Ace Bandage: Apx $5
Trip#1 to the podiatrist: $30
Walking boot given by the podiatrist:$36
Trip to the first orthopedist: $30
Trip #2 to the podiatrist $30
Trip to the second orthopedist: $30
Cost of a reuseable heat/ice pack: Apx $5
8 sessions of physical therapy at $20 a session: $160
Gaining back all the weight you lost in the last 5 months: priceless
There's some things money can't buy. For everything else, there your mediocre paycheck.
Touching, I know.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Xanadu gets a New York Times- DO!!

I'm excited to announce that our beloved roller disco musical got a good review from the Times! Check out this partially clever, partially wordy review here: CLICK ME!
I hope Perez liked it too!

2 weeks

First of all, let me say thank you to all of my new subscribers!! You have made me feel so good by wanting to receive these blogs in email form and it is refreshing to know I have a mini-following. Perhaps you will all have a book dedicated to you someday. ;)

2 weeks from tomorrow, I go home to Minnesota for the first time since April, which I guess isn't that long, but it has felt long. You can probably tell that I have been much happier in NY since about March or April, and it has begun to feel like home. However, without getting too specific, the events of the last 24 hours have brought back some of my resentful feelings towards NY and the people of NY. I even had someone say that when they think of "nice", they think of "fake". Wow. Thats pretty damn cynical. And sad. People in NY can be nice. And many are. But many also have this shell around them for some sort of protection and it makes them tough and seemingly unfriendly. Here is a list of some of the things I could do without about the people in NY:

1) I am really sick of girls on the Bronx bus getting upset when I'm standing in front of their seat and my bag brushes them and they proceed to give me attitude about moving it. Get over it. Don't waste your energy getting upset about something I obviously didn't try to do.

2) Along the lines of getting upset for stupid reasons, a woman who works are a receptionist in the Substance Abuse clinic at the VA actually told me I should wear sneakers because my boots "are really loud and you walk really hard". I literally saw that woman twice a week for about 30 minutes at a time. If it really annoys you so much that you need to make a comment about it to me, maybe the issue is w/ you and not with my boots.

3) Im tired of the fact that the almost the only people in NY (I say almost because there have been a few outstanding examples for the contrary) who have customer service skills are people who are either a) getting paid on comission; b) working at a really fancy establishment; or c) a combination of the 2. The people who actually don't fit this category are the fine folks who work at Starbucks. I'm convinced its because they get health benefits for working only part time. But I have rarely met an unfriendly Starbucks employee. Props to them.

4) I'm tired of having to prove my competence to arrogant hotshot doctors (MDs and otherwise.) I mean this within and outside of the work place. For those within, you hired me to help you, now appreciate it! (I am speaking for many a research coordinator/assistant out there when I say this). I don't mean this towards my new boss however as he has been quite gracious towards me for my help. (Also, this may not just be an NY thing...however, as I am ranting, I figured I'd add that in too).

5) Finally, I'm sick of looking at girls, especially in the Bronx who wear clothes that are at least 2 sizes too small for them. Ever heard of a muffin top? Its the chub that hangs over your pants (e.g. love handles and that fun pouch in the front.) Well I've seen some jumbo muffin tops out here and it ain't pretty. And I am not saying this to be derogatory to people who are overweight because God knows I'm not a thin person. However, I wear clothes primarily that fit me and that I can breathe in and that don't give people a sore eye when they look at me. Clothes that fit= a better situation for everyone involved.

Ok...I'm done being bitchy. I'm just a bit of a grump today. Maybe its the heat. As the weather man said its "sticky and soupy" in NY today. How attractive sounding is that? (P.S. That was a shout out to Amelia Bowman).

On a more positive note, I look forward to getting back in touch with my friendly Minnesota roots and seeing some of my wonderful Minnesota friends and my family. I will be in town from July 26th through August 6th so if you're around, let me know if you wanna meet up! I promise to be more pleasant. Thanks again everyone for being so wonderful. I miss you all!

Monday, July 9, 2007


It isn't often that I leave a Broadway play saying, "I want to see that again!". This is not because I have seen poor performances or lame writing. In fact, the shows I've seen on Broadway have been some of my favorites: Sweeney Todd, Spring Awakening, Coram Boy, Light in the Piazza. I loved all of those and more. However, seeing it once is enough. I often feel that way about movies. I don't like knowing whats going to happen because I've seen it already. I find that boring.

However, when I left Helen Hayes theater on Friday night after seeing Xanadu on Broadway, I said to Scott, "I want to see it again! No, I want to rent the movie, see it again and then buy a t-shirt!" It takes a pretty entertaining show to get that kind of reaction out of me. And Xanadu was just that.

Briefly, Xanadu is based on a movie of the same name that was made in the late 70s and starred Olivia Newton-John (post-Grease phenomenon) as a muse (as in ancient Greek muse) named Clio who falls in love with a mortal named Sonny Malone she is trying to inspire and who, thanks to her help, has an artistic vision of building a roller disco. Sound stupid? It is! But that's what makes it so brilliant! The show never hesitates to make fun of itself. From Kerry Butler's horrendous Australian accent to Jackie Hoffman's off the wall facial expressions, here are the top 10 Reasons to go see Xanadu:

10) Because Perez Hilton is quoted outside the theater as saying in regards to the show: "Do you love it, or do you LOVE it???" (I love it!)

9) Cheyenne Jackson (who replaced James Carpinello after a roller skating accident...no joke!) is wearing short jean shorts for most of the show and he is quite attractive.

8) Because Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman make the best evil duo ever..."Let us not giggle! Let us cackle!!"
7) Because of Kerry Butler's voice. Enough said.

6) Because of the excellent special effects when Clio is returning to Mount Olympus (picture a statue of Pegasus rising up, surrounded by wooden clouds alternating in height).

5) Because Kerry Butler butchers both the Australian and southern accents...on purpose

4) Because it's about a roller disco

3) Because Kerry Butler spends almost the entire musical on roller skates

2) Because although there are 2 men playing muses, Clio refers to all of them as her sisters


1) Did I mention that Cheyenne Jackson wears short shorts?? That's hot.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Damn Yankees

2 days after Independence day and I feel more independent already...or something. Must be the lack of class. The final went well and the last few days have been heaven, reading what I WANT to read. I just finished In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brian...a wonderful read!! I find I have a completely different view of military veterans now after working with some. Much more sympathy and understanding, not that I think I was ever antithetic towards them. But working closely with them opened my eyes a bit to just how intense being at war is. I even got chills when the announcer at the Yankees vs. Twins game asked the US Veteran's to stand so we could honor them before the national anthem. Probably not many people had that reaction.

Anyways, the Yankees vs. Twins game was GREAT! Scott and I were super nervous because we were wearing our Twins gear. We half expected people in the street to start heckling us. But when we arrived at Yankee Stadium (which is AMAZING by the way), we were surprised to see quite a few Twins fans there. Looks like all the former Minnesotans who now live in the city turned out to see the Twinkies play. We even say in front of a family from Rochester, Mn. Oh those Minnesotans. One of them even shared his Cracker Jacks with me because I went to the U of Mn.

Our $12 bleacher seat view...not too bad!!

We had seats #11 and 12 in our row...which happen to be right next to each other....but on different benches. Its ok, at least our knees touched.

Sadly, not everyone at the game could be quite so friendly. While we didn't get any beer poured on us, we did get heckled by some dumb, loserish 20-something guys. They booed us whenever we walked out to get food (which we did often because we obviously had to have pretzels, hot dogs and Dippin' Dots (ice cream), and no we couldn't get them all at once). They also shouted that the Twins sucked. I wasn't really upset more than I was annoyed and it made me nervous. I asked Scott if we could walk down another way to get out for our ice cream, and he said "Don't let them win!" I said I wasn't letting them win because they're lame anyways. I just didn't want to get yelled at when I walked by. But we walked by them again anyways, and I was already walking back up to smile and wink at them and show them my charismatic Minnesota charm, but that time they didn't say anything. Doesn't that always happen! It's basically like thinking of a really good come-back after the argument. Happens to be quite often. Guess my reflexes aren't so quick. Look at these cute Twins fans!!

Anyways, these hecklers made the Twin's 6-2 victory feel all the more amazing. It felt AWESOME to beat the Yankees in their own stadium. I felt so proud that I took a picture of the score to commemorate the game. And I totally called that Luis Rodriguez was going to get his second home run of the season that game. Ask Scott. He'll corroborate my story.

It says Twins-6, Yankees 2...just in case you can't see that.

So we've decided we may try to catch a Twins vs. Yankees game every year since we bring the Twinkies such good luck (seeing as how the lost to the Yankees the day before and the day after we were there).

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend. We are going to see the musical Xanadu tonight and then I'm meeting up with my dear old roommate JB who will be moving to the city next week. I love converting those Midwesterners. We'll nicen up this city yet! Happy Friday. :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New York Happenings: Volume XIII, more blog talk

Hey everyone,
Happy summer and happy 4th of July! My lovely boyfriend and I will be celebrating by attending the Twins vs. Yankees game tomorrow at Yankee stadium. Scott thinks if I wear my Twins t-shirt that I will get beer poured on me. I'm still thinking of risking it. Minnesota pride and all.

So the last month has flown by between working 8 hour days and going to class 4 nights a week for 3 hours at a time. I'm gonna have to tell you that taking Anatomy and Physiology 1 as a condensed course was hard work. But I have been getting As on all my tests and am going for another one tonight on my final. All day I have been reviewing the endocrine system, the nervous system, the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, etc. I am ready to be done! Just think, 1 class closer to nursing school. Can't wait. And who would have known, but by chance, my teacher happens to work for the same department I do at the VA! (The MIRECC, Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center). I only found this out by looking at our department phone list and then askng her. Turns out she works for one of the MDs here who does cellular research on the brain and serious mental illness. Crazy...no...literally. I kid, I kid.

I've got a great story for all of you but in order to continue to promote my blog, I'm going to force you to go there to read it on there...assuming you haven't done so already. Just click here to find out all about "bloody eye guy".

Also, you'll want to check out the great digital photography skills of my dad on the front of my blog. He did an awesome job making me part of the city! http://newyorkhappenings.blogspot.com . I hope you all sign my guest book too...mostly so I know that people are actually looking at my attempt to entertain all of you instead of me just writing for myself and my boyfriend and a couple of my friends at work. You can also subscribe to my blog and get my postings sent to you via email. To do this, go to the blog and scroll down until you see a box on the right hand side that says "Join the mailing list". Then maybe I can stop nagging all of you to check it out. Please tell your other friends and family about it too if you think they'd enjoy it. Readership readership readership! Thats my goal! Hopefully someday, I'll feel confident enough to write that novel my mom tells me I should write. Or maybe something else I can be paid for...

Lastly this month, in an attempt to be more like Paris Hilton (again...I kid), I got a Side Kick. For those of you who aren't hip on todays gadgets, the Side Kick is basically a younger person's Blackberry. For those of you who don't know what a Blackberry is, get with it! We're living in the 21st century people! I had wanted a Sidekick for so long and finally I bit the bullet, canceled my Sprint plan (much to the chagrin of Scott who also has Sprint) and joined T-Mobile. I had T-Mobile in MN before I met Scott and loved it. Cheap and just fine for my purposes. However, T-Mobile in the city basically...well...SUCKS! If I left my Sidekick alone for more than 5-10 minutes, my service would go out and wouldn't come back on until I turned the phone off and on again. When I called to find out how to fix this, the T-Mobile representative (not the one who wished me to have a "Happy T-Mobile day" but another one) told me to turn my phone off at night to let it charge to its full capacity. This helped slightly, but not enough. 3 days after I had the phone, I was through with it because while I love being able to IM and text using a QWERTY pad on my phone, it is in fact a phone...a piece of equipment used to received phone calls. And seeing as how I don't have a house phone, it is my only means of communication with the outside world when I'm not at work unless I am emailing. Not always super convenient. So last night, I tracked down to Broadway and 82nd street and signed up for Verizon Wireless....who I have been told has the best service in the city. I also got this pretty little number. Not only does it have a QWERTY pad for my text messaging pleasure, but it is burnt orange, and who has a burnt orange phone!? Love it.

Alright, enough of my thrilling phone drama stories. I promise my blogs are most exciting than that...some of the time. So check it out! And give me some feed back! Love to all. Happy Independence Day!

-Celebrating her independence from Anatomy and Physiology 1 as of 8pm today!

Monday, July 2, 2007

My famous friends....

I have to inform all my readers that I am friends with 2 up and coming stars. When these people become super stars, this post can prove that I knew them before they were famous.

First is my wonderful boyfriend Scott who played model for professional photographer, Alfie Lee. Alfie has done numerous high profile photo shoots with the likes of Nick Lachey, Alanis Morisette, etc. His artwork is also displayed in art exhibits around the city. Alfie's signature is telling a story through his lyrical words and pictures. The story that includes Scott is entitled: Multiplex. Go to http://www.alfielee.com/ and select the box titled "Multiplex" to view.

Next is our friend and Scott's classmate Kiat Sing Teo (aka Sing). Sing is from Singapore and is back there now for a few months while school is not in session. She just happened to pick up a role in a sitcom there while she was at it! Check it out: Maggi and Me.

Like I said, these kids are going to be stars. Can't wait to tell you I told you so.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

My crazy boyfriend did what?!

Check out the roller coaster my crazy boyfriend went on yesterday at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey: The Kingda Ka
It is the world's fastest and tallest roller coaster. Click the link above to experience it for yourself!

In the words of Scott

"You get rocketed out at the beginning at 128 mph, then go straight up 458 feet in the air, and back straight down.That's the height of a 45 story building. It is much scarier in person."
Apparently a girl ran off the roller coaster crying afterwards because her boyfriend made her ride it. What a jerk.

I got into a fight...

....with some hot wax. And the hot wax won. Shoot. Scott says I look like someone gave me an upper cut to the eye. But no...I was just going through some of the pain that is beauty and my epidermis got ripped off. Remind me not to use medicated face pads (that thin your skin) and then get my eye brows waxed....ouch.