Sam's Space

Random thoughts and experiences about navigating life in New York City.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

"It's A Small, Small World"

Wow, today was one of those days where you look back and kind of can't believe how the events of the day unfolded. They always say it's a small world, even in the city that is Manhattan. But sometimes, it's unbelievable how many people you bump into in one day. Yes, there are factors that increase your chances of seeing someone you know (i.e., being around Fordham), yet there still has to be an element of time that's on your side. Think about it. A few seconds difference in your path, and you may miss someone who just walked through the door or across the street.

I headed up to Fordham this evening for the last mentoring event (I should probably blog more about that someday) and as soon as I walked through the doors I pass my old coworker/friend Jessica. Yes, she is a grad student at Fordham now, but again, what are the chances that she's just gotten off the escalator as I am about to get on. If I stopped in the bathroom, or talked with security, our paths wouldn't have crossed. It was good to see her and chat for a little bit.

Obviously at the mentoring event I saw a bunch of the people I always see-- Matt, Antoinette, Amanda, Charlie, etc. On my way out, I had plans to meet up with my roommate Cheryl so we could walk home together. Instead of walking home though, she wanted to get Jamba Juice in Time Warner. So we start to head over towards Columbus Circle when I bump into this guy Brian who I haven't seen while. We have a mutual friend (Anthony). I hadn't spoken with/seen Brian since Anthony's xmas party in December. Well, that's sort of a lie. I saw Brian at the gym a few weeks ago, but he didn't notice me and I didn't say hello. Since I've been wondering how Anthony is doing, I stopped Brian and we chatted for awhile and exchanged business cards. Add another random encounter to my day.

Over at Whole Foods, Cheryl and I bump into two of her law school friends and sit down for a bit. The second we leave, I bump into my dance teacher from NYSC who had just finished teaching a class at Equinox Gym. Now, as I blogged about before, I love Power Dance-- mostly because of the fabulous teacher. I've been taking his class at least once a week for about 3 months. He is very nice to everyone, but it's obvious that there are a bunch of the people in his class who he is really close with-- hugging, kissing, chatting, etc. I'm pretty quiet and not going to jump up and down for attention. He's always nice to me, but he and I have never really bonded, until tonight that is. I waved and he stopped right away and chatted with Cheryl and I for about 35 minutes! I explained to him how he knows my third roommate from class and we all 3 of us talked about everything from class, to NYC, to his play, to my job, etc. Now, since we are practically on Fordham row, Craig walked by and said hello as did Amanda and Rob.

We finally say goodbye and continue on our way home. Right as we are approaching our corner, we bump into another Fordham grad a year older than me who apparently just moved into the area about a block away from us. How random an evening!

One more reason I just can't get enough of this city!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Did you say this?

I was going through some old email saved in my inbox and I came across an email I sent myself on December 28, 2003 with the advice below. It's funny how 15 months later the same advice could be just as relevant. I obviously felt compelled enough to save this, but can not for the life of me remember which one of my fabulous friends said this to me. If it was you, please let me know so I can thank you again for understanding me better than I understand myself.

"we can't control the universe and we bend it to our will a lot of times, but it will only go so far. we set these expectations for people of what we want or wish them to be or how to act. we try to bend them to fit us. sometimes we can succeed and do that and force the piece in. it'll stay for awhile until something gives and it just breaks off. in the event of that, sometimes time can heal the wounds enough for the piece to come back again and fit better or perfectly...other times it comes back and won't fit at all and just becomes a nuisance."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Blogging with a purpose

I wanted to try out the whole blogging thing-- but it's been a few months, and I am not really sure if this is for me. I think I am still trying to understand the function and effect of blogs for me personally. I read a lot about the effect of blogs on business, success, trends, etc., but how can my blog make a difference?

Right now, there are a few things bothering me.
1) I really don't think anyone reads it. Which as a public relations professional should know, I obviously need to market the blog better. But market it in what way? Which leads to my second dilemna.

2) I think my blog is too general. I've been reading a lot of other people's blogs. You click on one, then another, then another, it's actually quite addictive and works well with my stalkerish habits of always wanting to know what people are doing. A lot of people have blogs with a primary purpose-- such as they blog about their career, or industry as a whole. Or they blog about blogging. Or what they are reading. Or what they do each day.

Unfortunately, my blog is a big 'ol mess. I often share my thoughts about what's currently going on in my life. Clearly, I couldn't post it all, however if I was willing to be a little more free with my personal details, I would probably have a lot more readers! I like to post articles that I come across that I think are interesting and funny. However, I was also recently told by one of the few readers out there, that they don't read anything unless it's authored by me. So all the articles I post may not be read anyway-- and instead actual deter potential readers. I would love to blog about about my career on a day to day basis, but my company is pretty confidential...I definitely couldn't get away with blogging about the specifics of what I do. I could tackle the industry on a whole, but I don't think I am ready for that.

So what do I do? Do I create a few blogs-- one for random life stuff, one for career info, one for articles I like? Do I ditch blogging altogether? Do I keep going as I am going until I'm pushed into a specific direction?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Current Reading

They wrote the handbook on hooking up
By Carol Memmott, USA TODAY

Don't bother looking up "hookup" in the dictionary. The newest definition has nothing to do with washing machines or sound systems.

Most twentysomethings know what it means. For the rest of us, there's The Hookup Handbook: A Single Girl's Guide to Living It Up (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, $14.95).

Spotlight, which focuses on "hip" non-fiction, also released last fall's He's Just Not That Into You: The No Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. It was a hit (1.9 million copies in print) and remains on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list (currently No. 26).

Hookup authors Andrea Lavinthal and Jessica Rozler define a hookup as "anything from making out to doing the nasty." Adds Rozler: "Most people say it's somewhere in the middle."

Dating, as we know it, has gone the way of dinosaurs, say Lavinthal and Rozler, both 25.
Technology and lifestyle, they say, have changed the way men and women interact.

Rozler says she and Lavinthal "wanted to write a fun book about what's going on" between the sexes. There are chapters on hookup hot spots, hookup-friendly bachelorette pads and the latest hookup lingo. ("Schick-blocked" means opting not to hook up because you haven't shaved your legs in a week.)

No surprise, of course, that sex sells — even in bookstores. But the authors stress they are not advocating casual sex. "That's not what this is about," Lavinthal says. "You can be hooking up, you can be in a serious relationship; it doesn't matter if it makes you happy."

Lavinthal and Rozler can't imagine a time when women sat at home waiting for the phone to ring. Cell phones have changed all that. As they write, "text-messaging is the new phone call ... IM is the new face-to-face conversation."

"If you go to a bar, you see girls and guys text-messaging each other," Lavinthal says. Adds Rozler: "The whole waiting-by-the-phone thing is eliminated, because you can take your phone with you."

Do the authors practice what they preach?

Lavinthal says she's into a "Back to the Future" hookup with her ex-boyfriend.

Rozler says she's single and hooks up, "but I'm not a completely wild and crazy person ... no more than anyone else."

"Or any less," Lavinthal adds.

Has Dating Really Come To This?

Lookin' for a cheap date? Try Wal-Mart
The food, makeup, underwear is at "Everyday low prices" but a Wal-Mart "date" could be for free.

By Parija Bhatnagar, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Just when you thought you'd heard it all from the king of discount shopping, Wal-Mart is now pitching itself as the new dating hot spot -- with everyday low prices to boot.

In fact, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer's been playing Cupid to hundreds of lonely single German shoppers for well over a year now.

According to Amy Wyatt, spokeswoman for the retailer's international operations, Wal-Mart's been running its "Singles Shopping" campaign in all of its 91 stores in Germany.

Here's how its works.

On Friday nights, singles looking for romance, mindless flirting or just a new friend head over to their neighborhood Wal-Mart where they're given a big bright red bow to attach to their shopping cart or shopping basket.

Then it's up to the willing participants to approach one another and take it from there.
But if that's too intimidating, Wal-Mart has set up "flirting points" around the stores stacked with "romantic" merchandise, such as chocolates, wine and cheese, to help with that first awkward step.

Said Wyatt, "The singles night runs for two hours in the evening, from 6 to 8 p.m. every week. Our managers there told us that its been hugely successful and has actually boosted store traffic and sales in a lot of markets in Germany. In some stores we're getting 300 to 400 people taking part every week."

Wal-Mart (Research) feels so good about the idea that the retailer trademarked the "Singles Shopping" slogan in Germany and is also testing it in its stores in Puerto Rico, South Korea and Britain.

Someday, it could even pop up in a few of its U.S. stores. Wyatt said she's been working on her counterparts responsible for Wal-Mart's U.S. operations to actively give it a try, though no firm timetable has been set.

The singles campaign was the brainchild of a few of Wal-Mart's German associates who came up with the concept one day when they overhead a female customer talking about how difficult it was for her to meet interesting single men on a Friday night.

"This was a middle-aged woman who felt she was maybe too old to go to nightclubs," Wyatt said. "That's pretty much been the theme here where most of the singles are middle-aged to older customers."

"Singles Shopping" isn't the only match-making idea Wal-Mart's trying out. Wyatt said some of the German stores also feature singles bulletin boards with pictures of single men and women who frequently shop at Wal-Mart.

"If you're interested, up can post a picture of yourself with a few details," Wyatt said. "The store gives you your own box kept at the store. If someone is interested, they'll fill out a card with their information and drop it in the box."

How successful has the campaign been?

"We've heard that one couple that met on singles night is now married," Wyatt said.

"Another cute story," she continued, "is of a 74-year-old woman who posted her picture. A 74-year-old man saw it but was nervous to drop his card in her box. So the Wal-Mart associates first got him spruced up at the hairdressers at the Wal-Mart store, took a picture, and posted it on the board. I think the two of them are now seeing each other."

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Observations from the Couch

No, not a therapist's living room couch. I made a very difficult decision today-- I took a sick day. For the third consecutive day, I woke up feeling all stuffy, sniffly and crappy. I couldn't call out the first day as my AAE was still on vacation. I pushed myself yesterday so I could conduct an interview (which subsequently was postponed until today) and meet some deadlines. But today, I just couldn't go in. Instead of getting better, I think I am getting worse. And most of all, I don't want to spend my bday, or bday weekend, sick in bed. So I have one day to get better. A day fulled with meeting deadlines, checking email and working hard, except I am in my PJ's on my couch instead of in the office having to hold my head up and annoy my coworkers with my constant sneezing.

Here are my observations:
  • When I retire, I am going to watch all the morning shows every single day.
  • I could really use Tivo, because I am missing a great deal of fabulous morning shows while I am at work.
  • John Stamos: Some things do get better with age :-)
  • I miss tap dancing (maybe Tony Danza will let me perform on his show)
  • Anna Kournikova don't quit your day job. I don't think you did a very good job as a View co-host.
  • They could put a lot better things on TV than soap operas.
  • Working while lying down in yur PJ's is much better than sitting at your desk all day.
  • Nothing beets a noon shower.
  • I would go shopping a lot more if I got to watch morning television (did anyone see the fabulous black and white skirt on The View this morning??? i have to have it!!!!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

April 15 is National That Sucks Day

Some people will do anything for publicity. However, I must take a stand. Yes, I do have something better to do on April 15. And so do many of my friends as it's Samara's Bday Celebration Part 2. I can't believe they declared my bday National That Sucks Day...

SHAWNEE, Kan., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Life isn't a utopia.

April 15th is income tax pay day and quarterly estimated federal income tax payers' due date. Plenty of history and present day life sucks. The Titanic sank on April 15. People have done and continue to do unspeakable things to one another. For an in-depth review, go to and click on Sir Isuck Newton. Learn and understand.

Here are some cosmic constants that suck:
-- Life, health, and aging. Rigorous scientific studies have shown that
10 out of 10 people die. Aging can be painful and costly. Cancer
sucks. Heart disease sucks.
-- Love. Marriage often ends in divorce. Other relationships fail, too.
-- Families can be dysfunctional.
-- Jobs/bosses/coworkers can be difficult. Some people have to work at
two or more jobs to make ends meet. Worse yet, some people don't have
jobs at all through no fault of their own.
-- The government taxes the average citizen to death.
-- What about movies? Books? Service? Cars? Computers? And the list goes

At we celebrate failure, incompetence, dissatisfaction, disillusionment, mediocrity, frustration, vengeance, cynicism, futility, chaos, apathy, anger, sarcasm, tomfoolery, buffoonery, and jackassery. Indeed, all things that suck.

Got something better to do on April 15? We thought not.

Celebrate National That Sucks Day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

"I'm Batting A Thousand"

Yes, really I am.

Today was the first Fordham Young Alumni Softball Game. Although we didn't come out on top in the end, we all had a fabulous time and, for our first game, really meshed well as a team. We have a good group of people playing- both skill and personality wise. It's so great to be back on a team. I work on teams at work, but it's not the same. They don't give me a uniform with a number on the back. It was fun to meet some new people and all travel back to the city together. Cheering was fun too. I think that's one of my favorite parts.

I was pretty happy with my performance. I had a strong three innings before we rotated players. I was pleased with my catching and even more pleased that I made it to first base. I only got up that makes my batting average 1.000. Now I just have to keep it that high ;-)

Let's hear it for #22!

Another great recap can be read at

My How Times Have Changed

Cookie Monster Advocating Eating Healthy
Cookie Monster Eating Fewer Cookies to Advocate Eating Healthy As Childhood Obesity Rates Soar
By CHELSEA J. CARTER AP National Writer
The Associated Press
Apr. 8, 2005 - Something must be wrong in the land of Muppets. First PBS announced that "Sesame Street" would kick off its 36th season this week with a multiyear story arc about healthy habits. No problem there; childhood obesity rates are soaring. Then I learned of changes that turned my "Sesame Street" world upside-down.

My beloved blue, furry monster who sang "C is for cookie, that's good enough for me" is now advocating eating healthy. There's even a new song "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food," where Cookie Monster learns there are "anytime" foods and "sometimes" foods.

"Sacrilege!" I cried. "That's akin to Oscar the Grouch being nice and clean." (Co-workers gave me strange looks. But I didn't care.)

Being a journalist, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I investigated why "Sesame Street" gave Cookie Monster a health makeover.

The answer would lead me into a world where television producers worked with health experts and politicians, a place where Cookie Monster does care about his health, and by association, the health of children.

The first place I headed was the Internet. On the Sesame Street Web site, little had changed. There was Cookie Monster, in all his blue furriness. He was holding a plate of cookies. He was chomping on a cookie. He still looked the same. But as we all know, looks can be deceiving.
So I searched the site for news on Cookie Monster and up popped a press release about the show's "Healthy Habits for Life" emphasis. Buried near the bottom was a one-sentence mention about Cookie Monster eating fewer cookies.

But what did that mean? Scarfing one plateful instead of two?

I picked up the telephone. "What's going on with Cookie Monster?" I asked the "Sesame Street" press office. "Why are you doing this?"

They sent me to Dr. Rosemarie T. Truglio, the show's vice president of research and education.
She said the show changes every year, focusing not just on teaching numbers and letters but also emotional and physical health. With the rise in childhood obesity, Truglio said "Sesame Street" is concentrating on the need to teach children about healthy foods and physical activity.
This season, each episode opens with a "health tip" about nutrition, exercise, hygiene and rest.
Truglio said "Sesame Street" also will introduce new characters, such as talking eggplants and carrots, and offer parodies, such as "American Fruit Stand." Even guest stars will address healthy activities, such as Alicia Keys talking and singing about the importance of physical activity.

Even politicians have gotten into the act, filming public service announcements with "Sesame Street" residents. In one taping, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist taught Elmo to exercise jumping up and down. In another, Sen. Hillary Clinton and the small red monster discuss the various textures and tastes of foods.

But what about their position on Cookiegate?

"Even Cookie Monster is learning to control his cookie cravings," Frist told me by e-mail. "His sage advice opened our eyes to the simple joys of a tasty cookie and now reminds us that moderation is the key to healthy living."

Cookie Monster was not available for comment. (I'm hoping he hasn't gone too Hollywood.)

"We are not putting him on a diet," said his spokesman, Truglio. "And we would never take the position of no sugar. We're teaching him moderation."

The furry one also plans to try different kinds of cookies (read: healthier cookies) rather than his just staple, chocolate chip.

But will he still scarf his food? Yes, plus the occasional object, Truglio said.

But isn't that unhealthy? Her reply: He's still Cookie Monster.

Cookie Monster appears to be happy with the new "sometimes food" song, because at the end he warbles: "Is sometimes now?"

"Yes," he's told.

So there it is. Cookie Monster still gobbles cookies, he's just a healthier version of his old self. His eyes are still googly, his fur is still scruffy and he's still messy.

Even "Sesame Street" recognizes that we all need guilty pleasures. On the Net:
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures

Monday, April 11, 2005

"There are a lot of shits out there

Saturday, April 09, 2005


abbr. French

répondez s'il vous plaît (please reply).

Samara's Birthday Wish List

Since no one reads this thing anyway, I might as well post my birthday wish list:

  • Ipod CHECK (I bought this for myself as an early bday gift)

  • Massage CHECK (The office is bringing in this fabulous woman to give massages and one of the days happens to be my bday ch-ching!)

  • Flowers sent to the office….yes I admit it, I just want to fit in. I absolutely love flowers and it seems like everyone in my office gets flower deliveries but me! Tulips please :-)

  • Vera Bradley Bag…the duffle bag and tote in “New Hope” or “Nantucket Navy” or “Nantucket Red” or “Katherine”

  • Everyone to have a fabulous time at my birthday celebration

  • This bullet represents a special birthday wish I can't reveal to anyone (cause then it might not come true!) :-)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

"When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I am bad, I am better."

Ahhhh, some fabulous quotes from the lovely Mae West.

  • It's better to be looked over, than overlooked.

  • I've been in more laps than a napkin.

  • Good sex is like good Bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

  • You may admire a girl's curves on the first introduction, but the second meeting shows up new angles.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Revlon Run Walk

Just wanted to let everyone know that for the 4th or 5th time (I can't remember!) I'll be participating in this year's Revlon Run Walk for Women's Cancers-- emphasis on the 'walk' part. The walk is on April 30th and is always a blast. There is a great opening ceremony and it's such a great event to participate in. Registration is $25. and you get a t-shirt and great goodie bag at the end. Plus, it's only a 5K walk. See for more info or to register. Let me know if you're interested in walking with or sponsoring me.