Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Sumer Vacation(s)

Now that it is officially fall, it is time for the time honored essay, "What I Did This Summer."
I started dating Rob in the spring so by the time summer hit we were together most weekends. He says this blog is all about him. I say when there are two people one of them ends up in a lot of pictures, and I'm the one with the camera.

we kicked off the summer with softball and an amusement park. I played softball for the first time in years. I was in so much pain the next day. This was the Paul Beard Classic, a fundraising event in honor of an animator who was died a couple of years ago. AND we went to Six Flags Great Adventure. That seems so long ago now. Rob Vicky and I toughed it out and were there from 11 to 8. I don't know how we did it. The picture above is from the end of the night. Our other friends left us at 6.

June brought the beginning of my freelanceing for Nickelodeon, and full enjoyment of unemployment. I also got a new roommate in June. Deana. I met her at church and she works as a Physicians Assistant in a Brooklyn Hospital. We cleaned up the apartment (a later post) and get along splendidly.

For my birthday weekend in June Rob and I went to Saratoga Springs to stay with my cousins Peggi and Tyrone. It was on the chilly side, so we spent most of the time in town shopping one day. And then to the springs of course. The water is not always as tasty as one could be led to believe.

We came back from Saratoga on my birthday and went for cake with my friend Sarah and her husband Rob.

The end of June brough Aunt Cynde and Uncle Marty to town for a full BROOKLYN weekend. With the exception of traveling to the Yankees game in the Bronx, we didn't touch Manhattan. We had some real Brooklyn pizza, and walked the Promanade and the Brroklyn Bridge. Saturday was the yankees game and a walk through Park Slope. Sunday we went to Coney Island to take a ride on the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel. And of course we ate at Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs.

Early July, Rob came to Indiana with me to meet the family. And to attend Nick and Kirsten's wedding. We had a great time. I left Indiana and dropped Rob in New York, and went straight to Brazil! Where I spent 10 days with my sister trying to pick up a little Portuguese. We really enjoyed our beach time there.

Back to New York I got two pieces of news. I had jury duty. And the opportunity for a job. I did my jury duty...I did not get picked for a case on the grounds of I had to start a new job Monday, and am excused for 8 years! And I did start the job here at Nick. (I finally got my computer at the office yesterday)

The end of July the cousins from Tennesse came to visit. Rob and I took Mindy, Lindsay, and Hannah on a whirlwind 2 1/2 tour of the whole city. I don't think I've seen that much of Manhattan since the great Connie Frazier visit of 2004. :)

August brought moving Rob in to his new apartment and settling into my job. Rob's apartment looks great. At the end of August we took a final end of summer trip back to Saratoga to bet on teh ponies. We won less than we bet...but didn't come out too bad for an entire day on the track. (Just add up how much you spend on dinner and a movie and popcorn and we did WAY better) We also floated down the Battenkill river for a relaxing afternoon.

So summer is over, but it sure was a good one.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Food Co-op

Tonight I must put in my dues at the Park Slope Food Co-op. From 8:30 - 11pm I will work in the office recording yesterday's attendance...wait that was supposed to be last Monday and then last night. I had a major scheduling screw up this month.

The Co-op is where I shop for most of my groceries. The food is cheaper because to shop there you work there, so there is no labor mark-up. It's like a Whole Foods or Wild Oats in that there is a ton of organic stuff. As much as can be locally grown is (within 500 miles of the city) So lots of fresh produce and meat. There is fresh bread. And the cost of the frozen organic food is half the price of the same thing at the regular supermarket.

I think I will forever be appalled at what the price of milk has risen too. I remember the days in college when we could get half gallons for like 60 cents on sale. Here it is almost $2 and I am sure you can remember it even cheaper.

But back to the original thought. I was supposed to work last Monday night. But I thought it was last night. So when my shift supervisor called about my make-up I told her I could do last night or a list of other days. She said she would get back to me. I never heard, so I assumed I didn't have a shift open last night. But I did, because she thought I was coming in on Monday unless I heard from her. So last night I made dinner for Rob and went to bed early.

This morning I got the call. Oops! and tonight I go in. But it means I can buy more lettuce for Rob's bunny, as he eats a ton of it and the Co-op has it in bulk.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Zoo Fun

Rob and I recently went to the Bronx Zoo for a day date. It's a pretty amazing zoo. The gorilla pavilion is especially cool, except this time when I went the curtains that open to show the gorillas after a film didn't open. But we still got to walk through and see them all. Unfortunately this was the end of the day and no pictures. Rob was the main photographer of the day using his 3D camera. I will have to be sure and bring some of these pictures home with me. The camera is cool, and you wear glasses to look at the pictures.

Here's my favorite of Rob by the Rhino statue in the main part of the zoo. On the Africa safari ride (a kind of monorail through a bunch of open areas) we got to see the baby rhino splashing its mama. And the elephants were there. There are a lot of types of deer in the zoo.

Then there are giraffes and zebras. We got a glimpse of the male lion, he was sitting on his rock. The female was nowhere to be seen.

What else did we see....a herd of bison. Not buffalo. A buffalo is what I usually think of a water buffalo. The have bigger horns, and look more like cows (in my opinoin anyway). American buffalo are really bison.

The butterfly gardens were still open. This is a huge greenhouse full of plants and butterflies and moths. You get to walk right through. The 3D pictures from here are also pretty cool. Zoos are very educational these days.

But the BEST part of the zoo is....

...The Bug Carousel!!!! And yes, we took a ride.
I rode a green caterpillar, and Rob was on the yellow grasshopper one.
Other steeds include a ladybug, a stink bug, and a dung beetle complete with dung!

Coming soon - My Summer Vacation(s), Apartment: Redecorated, and in ONLY 6 DAYS Sara and Kasey hit the town...I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Longest Day Ever!

5:15 am - alarm clock goes off. it is cold. it is still dark.
5:30 am - alarm goes off again. i get up close window and decide i should shower.
5:55 am - to late to make lunch.
6:00 am - leave apartment.
6:03 am - get on bus.
6:30 am - get on train.
6:50 am - arrive at colleague's apartment. (not fair she lives in Manhattan and has no travel time...we are going to start meeting at the office as it is about 10minutes faster for me to get there, and about 10 minutes for her)
7:10 am - the car we have been waiting for (we are going to Jersey) finally gets around the garbage truck that has been blocking the street.
8:05 am - we arrive at the preschool - i get a muffin from the store next door, as the car ride made me nauseous.
8:10 am - set-up...i eat.
8:30 am - we find out the kids are in the classroom we are using until 9 so we can't start reading the story until then. we ask our "extra kids" background knowledge questions.
9:05 am - 3 year olds.
10:00 am - 4 year olds.
11:00 am - 5 year olds.
11:50 am - clean up.
noon - the car picks us up to take us back to the office.
1:00 pm - arrive at 1633 (office address).
1:05 pm - on my way to get a slice ($3 midtown pizza is SOOOO overpriced)
1:20 pm - back at the office to eat and check email.
1:50 pm - finished eating. get word the 2:30 meeting is at 2 now.
2:15 pm - 2 o'clock meeting starts.
3:20 pm - 2 o'clock meeting ends.
3:22 pm - check in with Carolyn and Vanessa. they have packed for tomorrow. i start editing the protocol from the meeting.
3:45 pm - tomorrow's meeting to finish today's meeting is for tomorrow from 4:30 - 5:30 (i leave at 7am friday)
4:00 pm - i realize it is 4 and i am still working.
5:10 pm - i realize it is 5:10 pm and tell the intern to go home. (it's her first day, she's been with us since 7, she says she doesn't mind...we all say that in the beginning.)
5:15 pm - i IM my director to tell her we are packing up. i am waiting for last email.
5:20 pm - last email with material for tomorrow's 4:30 arrives. i print. distribute. leave.
5:40 pm - leave building. stop at bank to deposit check.
6:00 pm - get on train.
6:35 pm - get on bus
7:00 pm - get home
7:02 pm - move rob's car across the street (he couldn't find parking in his neighborhood monday so he drove to my hose to park and took teh train to work from here. he's good until tuesday now)
7:07 pm - make tuna for dinner and sit down to tell you about my day before heading to bible study at 8.

tonight i hope i'm home at 10 so i can crash and do it all again tomorrow. up side the schools part of the day gets shifted 1 hour later.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Chocolate Haven

Last night Rob and I went to Max Brenner's with some friends (Angela and Max). Max's is the chocolate restaurant, perfect after any kind of day. I've been there a couple of times for Girl's Nigh Out, and with Rob for brunch. Last night being dinner we decided food was in order rather than going straight for desert. But the desert. Two chocolate waffles, the boys had the Munchies Waffle, a waffle with chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream, and little chocolate balls, like mini coco puffs. The girls had the banana split waffle, made "healthy" with the toffee bananas and fresh strawberries (and of course chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream). I forgot I had my camera until after we had finished the chocolate coma...but here are two pics of us nice and full. Oh yeah, we also had some chocolate frappiccino type drink to wash it all down :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Job

I have been at Nickelodeon for two months now. I am working as a Research Analyst / Assistant. (I am only doing bits of analysis now, and lots of whatever needs to be done.) As of September 10, my seven week job was extended to December 28. I now get full benefits, medical, dental, pre-tax metrocards, and 401K. With the new job I enter the adult world of figuring out what all of this means.

My job is for a new Nick Jr. show called Bubble Guppies. I can't post too much about the show, only what is already on the net because it hasn't been officially released. But here is a peek at the show about mermaids...I mean Bubble Guppies.
Bubble Guppies, an interactive, animated variety show for preschoolers set in a vibrant 3D, CGI-animated underwater classroom.

I am loving what I do. We take the scripts and test them before they are animated, in order to make recommendations for posible changes. My job is to take the scripts and condense them to a protocol that we will test. This is basically a picture book. The research artists will then illustrate the protocol and create a flash movie (a book on the computer). We take this to preschools where we read the story and show the pictures to 3, 4, and 5 year olds. We observe and record everything the kids say and do. Then we interview them briefly after the story, to find out what they thought. We ask about the story, the appeal, and play the interactive games one on one with each kid.

This information is all entered into spreadsheet that are analyzed, and the findings are presented to the writers and director. We want to make sure the kids are interacting during the games during the reading. And also that they are not too easy or to hard. There are usually three levels, so that all kids in our age group will get at least on right, and hopefully learn through repeat viewing. If the analysis shows that kids don't understand, or didn't participate, we have to come up with possible reasons why and suggestions for change.

I do most of the data entry and bits of the analysis. I also enter numbers into the reports and format them fore presentation. The most important part though is I have my own cube with a phone number and everything. I also have an mtv email address (Nickelodeon is part of mtv networks, which is all owned by viacom) but I am still waiting on my computer to arrive. It is currently somewhere in limbo.
I think that about explains my new job. I'm hoping this isn't too much information. It's always been so had to explain what I do, this may be the easiest job yet, and it's still tough.

My First Post

So I woke up this morning inspired. I love to check and read my friends' blogs and websites. And I know I don't keep in touch with the family as well as I could. Especially the "real" adults who aren't on facebook. So this blog is dedicated to those people who want to know what's going on in my life in the big city. I have no grand vision, only that I will keep regular enough posts that this stays worth while. So here I go...