Sam's Space

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

Friday, August 31, 2007

US Open Fashion

After Tuesday night's US Open matches with Sharapova and Roddick, I had this whole US Open fashion post planned out. Everyone has been making such a big deal about Sharapova's Swarovski tennis dress which I could quite honestly care less about. What I found most interesting was the sequin and black patent leather Nike bag she carried out to court with her racket bag. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any photos of the bag.

Even more inspiring was that Roddick's opponent, Justin Gimelstob, changed his shirt at least 4 times. He wore stripes, solid yellow, solid blue and solid orange. I've seen male tennis players change in the middle of a match many times but they always put on the exact same shirt they were already wearing...Justin really switched it up. But again, I couldn't find pictures of him in each of those colors.

I expect a lot of you to roll your eyes at the next thing I am about to share. It's a quote that has been circulating from Sharapova from before her match this week:

"Put on a nice outfit and some makeup," Sharapova said, "and you're the bomb."

Upon first glance, I, too, think it's an unusual and/or shallow statement for a professional athlete. What does it matter if you're wearing make-up or a cute outfit before you play a sports match. However, from personal experience, it does matter.

Confidence in sports is pivotal. And often times, in order to have that confidence you have to feel good about yourself. What better way to feel good about yourself than to feel hot and sexy in your outfit, with your hair and makeup done?

I play softball, and a friend of mine always jokes with me when she meets me at work to walk to field together that I must be playing "sexpot softball". The fact is -- with a little makeup on and a tank top that shows off some of my best assets, I am at my most confident and will play my best. And I won't lie, the guys on my team don't seem to mind too much!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Today's Horoscope (NY Daily News)

Aries MARCH 21-APRIL 19

You can travel by traditional means of transport to distant and exotic locations, but the more powerful and certainly more significant journey now is to be made with your heart and mind. This week, a personal situation is laid to rest, and in its place, something new begins. A recent error of judgment at work should enable you to learn from the situation.


All Good Things Must Come To An End

Gosh, could my blog post titles be any more cliche? The good thing in this situation that has come to the end was the great street parking I was finding for my car in Manhattan.

While I would never keep my car permanently in the city (unless I suddenly came into a lot of money I wanted to waste), I do drive in every so often and even keep my car here for a few nights at a time.

This past weekend I was on Long Island and when I went to look up trains for the way back, I learned that they were substituting buses for train at some of the stations. Not wanting to have to take a bus and transfer, I decided to keep my car in the city for the week. It made sense since I have a work thing to drive to Friday and a friend to visit in NJ sometime this week.

Sunday when I got back to my apt, I found a spot at the end of my street...but decided I really wanted to be closer to my apt and that I should check a few times to see if a closer space opened up. On my first trip downstairs I see that the spot right in front of my building was open. I hopped in my car, parallel parked (which I am very good at) and was all set. I couldn't believe I was able to score such a sweet spot for the next 36 hours.

All set until this morning that is. I had to move my car by 8:30...and spent 6:50 to 7:50 driving around looking for any open and legal spot. No such luck. So my car is in a garage for a few days. While I can stay worry free about possibly having to move my car and deal with finding a spot, the price to pay will be pretty rough. The garages in the city cost about $20 per 24 hours.

What started off as me thinking I might be able to keep my car in the city for extended periods of time as long as I was willing to move it around depending on the street cleaning parking rules, turned back into the reality that it's stressful and often not worth it to have a car in Manhattan after all.

PS Since we're talking about Manhattan I have to share that I saw the biggest rat ever on my way home today. It was scurrying along the sidewalk and was as big as a cat! GROSS!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Grass Is Always Greener

I am an event person. Or maybe I'm a ticket person. Either way, I am person who likes tickets to events. Concerts, charity events, sporting games, etc. The problem is, I often buy/get tickets and then have to figure out who to have come with me.

Last week, I had a work concert event and was given two VIP tickets for me and a guest. I remember thinking how happy I was to be single and how I could invite one of my girlfriends, where as I knew if I was dating someone, I would have some sort of obligation to invite them. A good friend of mine attended the event with me and we had a blast.

Today, I am not feeling that excited about being single. I have two sets of US Open tickets and since I've been so busy, I didn't lock in people to go with me and now I am scrambling at the last minute to find someone available who wants to go. I'm sort of wishing I still had a boyfriend who not only would want to go and spend time with me but who would also be available to do so.

I have two months to find someone to go with me to the Jets/Bills football game...I better start looking ASAP.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Worst Part

The worst part of breaking up, isn't always the break up. It's often the aggravation of having to jump back into the dating game feet first. Being 'between boyfriends', as I like to call it, means playing the awful dating game. Before my last relationship, I went on some pretty awful dates. Thinking about having to endure that pain again is almost as depressing as being dumped.

Let's see... we had the cop named Ralph who threw up when we left the bar. Yes, laugh all you want...Ralph ralphed! (Unfortunately, this wasn't the first time a guy has thrown up on a date with me. I am beginning to get a complex.)

Then we had another guy who after one date was engaging in dirty phone talk. That put him on the fast track to not ever being seen again.

A few years ago I even invited a guy I had been on a few dates with to my old roommates birthday party where he proceeded to try and pick up other girls while he was out with me. To add insult to injury, he had driven into the city from Jersey and was planning on spending the night. He got so drunk I couldn't put him in his car and chance him driving he spent the night (his last) on my couch.

And we must not forget the only guy to ever take me on a date on Long Island. First date was great. Then halfway through the second date over dinner he asks me how I think things are going. I looked at him puzzlingly for clarification and he confirmed he meant how are things going with us. I gave a diplomatic answer about how I thought things were going well but it was still early. Then I threw the ball back in his court and asked how he thought things were which he replied "I'm trying to figure out if I want to date you or just be your friend." (Which is not the thing you want to hear in the middle of a date you were really enjoying.) We finished dinner and even went to a movie. Afterwards, he walked me to my car and said he hates not knowing the resolution of things like this, so he would call me either way (gee, thanks). A few days later I got a phone call in which he shared that he decided we shouldn't see each other again.

I don't go on that many dates, so to have this many bad ones is a little alarming!

Breakup Tip

Don't buy your significant other a baseball bat a few weeks before you break up with them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Is anyone going to buy this?

There aren't many things that I like more than Tiffany's and The US Open. However, never in a million years would I put them together. A $55 luggage tag? A flaming tennis ball charm? No thank you.

What would I put together? Andy Roddick and Wii Tennis -- as in the great segment on Good Morning America today! Hoping I can update later with the YouTube clip.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Working Late

Today, for the first time in a long while I worked pretty late. I was in the office until after 9, having gotten to work at 8:20, I was already pushing a 12+ hour day. And for the first time in an even longer time, I didn't feel guilty about working late.

The first 3 years of my career I worked hard. Really hard. Worked late all the time, especially once I moved into the city and could easily get home in 20 minutes. I had to. I had to put in the time, get noticed and recognized for my work and move up the corporate ladder as quickly as I could. My industry is great for advancement, but you really only make barely enough to support yourself for the the first few years. Establishing myself as a smart and dedicated professional was truly important to me. And my hard work paid off. I found a niche of my industry that I really excelled in and began getting the promotions I wanted. Eventually, I became comfortable enough in where I was that I didn't have to put in long hours multiple times a week. I became more efficient and always got my work done so I could leave at 6 most of time.

However, every now and then if there was something big at work or a coworker was on vacation, I never minded having to stay in the office late. I liked being part of a team, and never wanted to leave a team member in the office late. Sometimes it was even my own personal preference to stay late and get ahead so that the following days would be a little easier.

When you are dating someone, those longer nights in the office can become a problem, even if they aren't regular. Feeling torn about being in the office when there was someone who wanted to see me and someone I wanted to see. Feeling guilty knowing that someone was waiting for my phone call who might be annoyed if I got too tired and didn't want to talk too late. Having little arguments over whether or not we could make plans because I wasn't sure if I would be needed in the office late. All of these things are emotionally draining. Perhaps they even aided in the breakup...but I find that hard to believe. I think if you are able to see your significant other 3 times a week and you live about an hour or so away from one another, that the relationship should be able to work if everything else works. But when one person is pursuing their dreams and the other is in a different stage of life, I guess it's just not meant to work out.

Anyway, the conclusion here is another positive thing about being single...not feeling guilty if I need to put my career first for a few days a month. Not being distracted or worried if there's a job that needs to be done. It's all sort of refreshing for a change. It also helps me recognize that I need to be with a partner who has their own career aspirations and responsibilities because those are the people who truly understand the benefits and value of a few extra hours in the office and would never be resentful of me for being a dedicated professional.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Great Quote

"Generally not a good idea, meeting guys in bars. It's like going grocery shopping when you're hungry; you bring home stuff you don't need."

-- Cory Kahaney

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Celebrity Sightings

I had been feeling as though it had been 3 years since my last celebrity sighting and then in the last month I have had a bunch of them. I saw Jay Z tonight at a concert (he wasn't performing), I saw A-rod last week and a 2 weeks before that I saw Lori Laughlin (of Full House fame). It's times like this that I remember how much I love living in Manhattan with all the opportunities to see famous people on every corner!

Monday, August 13, 2007


My newer car finally has a name. It's Christine.

Apparently there is some movie form the 80s about a possessed car, named Christine. I had some car trouble this weekend. The mechanic checked out my car and said everything was okay for the most part and nothing needed to be immediately fixed. He pulls the car around front shuts it off and tries to turn it back battery is dead! So a few more bucks later, I get a new battery and the mechanic tells me 'Christine' is ready.

My old car had a name. It was Barbie, because it was plastic just like Barbie's cars. I had been struggling to name this car so am glad someone else did it for me!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

This Blog

This blog isn't supposed to be about love and relationships, but I am not going to lie, I will be spending a lot of time covering those topics. For some odd reason, I am obsessed with dating and relationships. Not because I am desperate to get married (I am not even desperate to be unsingle...I am quite enjoying my 'between boyfriends' status) and have kids by the time I reach X age because that's clearly not the case, but because I find the dynamic of relationships between men and women so interesting. It's a hobby of mine. Some people play a musical instrument or rollerblade, I read and think about relationships. It's such a complex and unique topic. There is always some new idea or theory about the interaction between men and women. Trust me, I don't believe every thing I read but it is fun to further my knowledge on a topic that's interesting to me.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Park Place

I took my Managerial Economics final on Monday night. Lots of questions I expected. Lots of topics I studied covered. There was a ton on market, really, I hope I don't hear the word Monopoly ever again, unless it's in reference to the board game with houses and hotels! Been checking for my grade, but nothing has been posted yet. Now it's time to really buckle down and start studying for the GMATs.

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Very Yankee Weekend

Friday marked one of my last Friday night Yankee home games of the season with my old roomie. We've been sharing a ticket pack for the last three years. And let me tell you, if the walls of Yankee stadium could talk, boy would you get an earful!
Girl's night at the baseball stadium has always had lots of memories for us. We stalk ex friends and talk about anything and everything, regardless of the children in earshot.
Since Saturday was my old roomie's birthday, I knew (from her numerous hints) that I had to put her name on the Happy Birthday board. To my surprise, it's really inexpensive...just $10. And even though we had to wait for the second round of birthday messages, we had a lot of fun waiting to see her name.
Unfortunately, while I was there on Friday, A-rod did not hit his 500th. Lucky for my friend, her boyfriend got her tickets for her actual birthday on Saturday and she was able to witness the record homer.
But that's not where our Yankee weekend ends. In fact, on Saturday night while out for my old roomie's bday, we actually had an A-rod sighting. He was having dinner in a restaurant across from the bar we were drinking at, so we strategically went outside the restaurant and waited for him to come out with a few other people. (When I mean few, I am talking 10 of us in total max...not a huge mob.)
My friends and I were all being very respectful while he signed autographs for a few guys. In fact, we didn't even shove a camera in his face to take his picture. Instead, we were polite and told him it was our friend's 25th bday today and asked him to take a picture. He replied in a monotone voice "happy birthday, I have to go now" and turned and walked away. Leaving us with nothing...but a photo of the back of his head (which I will post when my friend sends it to me). My friend took it in stride, shrugged it off and proclaimed "this is why Derek Jeter has always been my favorite."
I am sure some of you will think A-rod acted completely acceptable...but it was much ruder in person. Just the way he held himself and how he surveyed all of us from the doorway of the restaurant before coming out. We weren't disturbing his dinner, and there wasn't a mob of people. There were just a handful and he left us fans in the lurch. I've had the opportunity for my fair share of star sightings and this wasn't one to write home about. How much longer would it have taken to pose for a picture with the birthday girl who has been a Yankee fan for 25 years?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

10 Things I Learned About Breaking Up (Part 2)

My 10 lessons continued...

Lesson 6: Communication is just as important during the break up stage as it is during the relationship. You can't break up with someone in 16o characters or less. (Well, obviously from my experience you can, but please don't.) What ever happened to picking up a phone? When you get into a relationship, be sure to think about communication. Lay the ground rules...don't rely on texting, MySpace, etc., for communication. In fact, word to the wise, keep MySpace out of all's just going to hurt way too much when they start posting pictures and comments about the new love of their life.

Recently, in business management training the other day at work, the psychologist who was leading the session (which is all based on behavioral psychology) explained to us that the more clearly you define and explain your expectations upfront with someone, the more they will try to deliver on those expectations. Read: Next time I will be sure to set a clear expectation that I deserve and demand a breakup that was reflective of the loving, respectful relationship that was had.

Lesson 7: There's nothing wrong with wanting to love and be loved by looking for someone who complements your life. But there's also nothing wrong with you if you're single. It's okay to like your freedom and independence, but try to make sure you are still felexible and open enough to let the right people in.

I dated a good amount during my 6 years of singleness, but nothing every developed into anything serious. I always took that to mean there was something wrong with me. I must not be pretty enough or fun enough or promiscuous enough that I didn't "spark" (hate that word) with anyone I was meeting. Now, instead of blaming it all on me, I realize that so much has to do with the right person, right time in their life, right time in your life, etc. Quite honestly, I find it amazing that any one finds someone to marry in this day and age. And if all those guys that didn't continue seeing me realized before I did that there wasn't a future between us and spared me the pain and heartache similar to what I just experienced, then I really need to thank them for not putting me through that.

Lesson 8: Habits are hard to break. Being used to having someone in your life one minute and then completely gone the next is downright heartbreaking in and of itself. It's like a death, but unlike death when the person is no longer with you, breakups are unique in that you spend weeks, months, and even years dedicating yourself to someone and then even though you respected and loved one another, they disappear and you aren't supposed to ever speak again. (Jury is still out on whether I think you can truly be friends after a breakup....I used to think yes, now I lean towards no, but as is life, every situation is unique.)

I find it very difficult to comprehend that you can choose to spend so much of your time with someone who shares your values and who you feel is a good person and then you have to not speak to them and eliminate them from your life at the drop of a hat.

It takes a while to stop looking at your cell for your morning text or knowing every night before you go to sleep you are going to have a great conversation with someone you love. And as much as friends and family are there for you, no one is going to be there whenever you need them and care about you as much as the person you are romantically involved with. Case closed. Not happening. Would you call your friend at 3 am if you had a bad dream? Probably not. Would you call your boyfriend to help you relax before trying to shake the nightmare and go back to sleep? Most likely yes.

Lesson 9: Don't expect miracles overnight. As I mentioned in my other post, patience is a necessary virtue. I expected way too much from myself way too soon. And rather than focus on feeling better, I sometimes couldn't get over how long this process was taking and feeling bad about myself as if I was failing in the grieving process of relationships. Like everyone said, time would make things better and it has. Am I 100% over this now? Not quite. But I've accepted the situation, increased my self awareness and regained my focus, drive and stability.

Lesson 10: Helping someone else is a great way to distract yourself and break the sad feeling that is sometimes all consuming. Leaving my own problems behind and seeing that a friend of mine who was there 24/7 for me, now needed me to be there to help her was a large part of the healing process for me. Nothing says thanks and I am here for you that a flower delivery of sunflowers to brighten someone's gloomy day.

Friday, August 03, 2007

What Type of Girlfriend Are You?

I was checking out all the blogs I read regularly this morning and came across this iVillage quiz titled "What type of girlfriend are you?

I think this is pretty accurate for me, but it's hard to know without seeing all the other possible results.

The Straight Shooter
You've got a good mix of sass and sensitivity. Sure, sometimes he annoys you. But you do your best to finesse it with a sense of humor and the knowledge that, hey, he's only human. You know a good relationship is like 1940s movie banter -- it's all about the back and forth. Balance is key to you, and you excel at being a peacemaker and solving problems with a firm, but loving, hand. (And, let's face it -- a hand with a nice manicure.)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Nintendo Wii

This past weekend I had my first opportunity to try the Nintendo Wii that I have heard so much about (and seen people every morning lining up outside the Nintendo Store in Rockefeller Center to get their hands on)!

Bowling, Baseball, Tennis -- it was all so much fun! I especially enjoyed creating my Mii character (which a third grader I met at a party told me was the prettiest one!).

While I was catching up on my Wired Magazine reading, I noticed the cover story touting the How To issue...including How to bake a Wii cake.

I am going to have to try that out, even though during my initial read it says the cake isn't meant for you to eat. Seems like a lot of work for something that won't be eaten. But for the right person and right reaction, I think it's worth a try!

Cupcake Table

Isn't this just the cutest table ever!!!! It's shaped like a cupcake. It's actually quite expensive ($750)...but I would maybe even fork over the big bucks if I had a place for it in my apartment. Ever since we got the new living room set, there isn't any room for other pieces. Someday maybe. Check it out:

(Thanks Laurie for helping me figure out how to add pictures to my blog!)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

To Grad School, or Not To Grad School

For years I have thought about getting my MBA. Two years ago I started my research, last year I applied for a pre-MBA program and this year I took a few classes. I am at a turning point now though. Do I finish studying for the GMATs, take the test and officially submit my application, or do I postpone balancing work and grad school longer or forever?

The impetus for me applying to the pre-MBA program and taking some classes is a little ironic in itself. It was last summer/fall and I felt like my life was almost perfect. I had everything I needed and wanted (except a guy of course) and thought focusing my energy on advanced education would be a good idea, especially since I felt I finally had the time to balance it.

Right around the time I got my acceptance letter for the pre-MBA, I started seriously dating someone. Needless to say, the time I did have available for class (outside of work, softball, volunteering, seeing friends, etc.) was now shortened even more. But in true Sam spirit, I wasn't going to not take classes just because I had met someone.

I took a class last spring and it was great. Teacher was amazing, time commitment outside of class minimal, workload manageable -- it was fabulous. Got an A and signed up for another class for the summer.

However, my summer class couldn't be more different than my first experience back in the classroom. The teacher is extremely difficult to follow, the material is dry and hard to understand, there was a huge group project and my heart didn't seem to be into it. Granted there was a lot going on in my life to make this even more difficult to manage, but the experience made me start to second guess my decision.

If I get accepted into a part-time program, and enroll, I will not let myself drop out. I need to be sure of my decision before I jump in head first. The program I am interested in is pretty rigorous and while many of the classes are on topics I am genuinely interested in, there are those mandatory business classes that are going to be challenging. I will be required to take 6 classes a year (2 per semester) in order to graduate in the 5 year allotted time period and I will only consider going part-time because my salary is such at this point in my career that I refuse to give that up.

My reasons for grad school all make sense:

1) I truly believe an MBA will help advance my career in the future. Maybe not at my current job, but definitely where I see myself in 10 years. Plus, it's always been a dream of mine and something I have wanted to accomplish.

2) Sometimes I think I might want to start my own non-profit down the line or at least work at
one. I've read a lot that the best non-profits are those that are run like businesses and an MBA will give me that business background. Not to mention, sometimes I think I might want to open my own business when I am older. I have always thought it would be super cool to own a flower shop. What could be more delightful that creating beautiful bouquets all day long.

3) Teaching part-time undergraduate communications courses has been another thing I would like to do in the future and these days, even adjunct professors are expected to have a Master's, so I might as well pursue the Master's I am interested in. Then when I am older or retired, I can make some extra cash teaching at a local university.

However, the balancing of work, life and school has definitely taken its toll. It's going to be a grueling 5 years if I decide to do it. Part of me knows there is no way I can't at least try...but the real question now is timing. Is the time right, right now? Or do I wait another year or so before starting a part-time program?