Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Cube with a View

new cube

the new cube

Daily Prompt: Through the Window Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw.

On Monday, I came into work bright and early. Most of the office was at a presentation uptown, so I had the entire place to myself. Thankfully, I happen to be the type of person who truly enjoys being alone and is not afraid of silence, so I was quite pleased.

I’ve been contemplating moving to another cubicle for some time but felt overwhelmed by the mere thought of it (all these computer cables, all that dust… ugh!). Then I happened to stumble upon an inspiring article on the Daily Muse (a fantastic career-oriented resource for women), and I made the decision to move this week. When the opportunity presented itself first thing Monday morning, I dove right in. Nothing would be accomplished until I took the first step, which in my case meant switching the computer monitors. 

view from the cube

view from the cube

It took some effort (and an hour’s worth of sneezing), as the unused cubicle was full of old junk, but in the process, I managed to do some much-needed cleaning and reorganizing in both cubicles, and before I knew it, I had a brand new work space–one that makes me feel happier and more inspired. Why? Because it happens to be facing two big windows! There is a ton of natural light, which means I can finally have flowering plants, and I have a great view of Midtown Manhattan from 20 stories above.

Sometimes, I like to take a break to relax in front of the window. Several coworkers do the same from time to time. I don’t think anyone is looking at anything in particular. We just like to take it all in. The sheer size of everything is impressive–from the tiny people walking in the streets to buildings taller than us in the distance. Once the sun sets, you can see the bright lights of a rooftop nightclub. We still can’t figure out where that club is, or what goes on in there, but we are all curious…

Very useful tool for amateur moviegoers. There should be one for when it’s okay to talk at a movie theater (NEVER!!)

TheaterPeeHeader copy

To pee, or not to pee? That is the question. Everyone who has ever gone to a movie knows this predicament- whether ’tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of painfully watching a movie when you have to relieve yourself, or to take arms against a sea of porcelain and miss a few minutes of a movie you’ve paid to see. To help you determine the best possible time to pee during a movie, I’ve created this flowchart.

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Music: My Life Partner


Daily Prompt: Musical What role does music play in your life?

I’m not a musician. I can’t read sheet music to save my soul. I don’t have a huge record or CD collection, and my iTunes collection is rather pitiful. Still, I think music has always played an important role in my life.

As a child, music was solely a way to celebrate. There wasn’t a single family gathering where salsa and merengue were absent, along with plenty of dancing. Sad music was unacceptable to me. I couldn’t even watch the Muppets because of their inevitable mopey songs, usually sung by the sensitive Kermit. Even then, music affected me, but I did not always understand or enjoy its effects.

I grew up and grew out of that, of course, once I got to know the world and myself a little better. I came to appreciate and eventually love the way that music stirs me emotionally, whether it amplifies the positive feelings of love and joy, or offers me solace in times of sadness and grief; whether I’m singing my heart out at a karaoke bar, dancing my butt off at a party, or simply tuning out the world during my morning commute. Like a faithful friend, music is always present.

How About This Weather!

image

The weather has become an unavoidable topic of conversation this past week. With the wind chill in the single digits, tonight dropping below zero, the cold literally hits you in the face. It makes for some crankier than usual New Yorkers, myself among them. Commuting in this dreadful cold is downright painful. And I hear snow is on the way, which will surely bring with it additional complications.

Was winter always such a miserable time? As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, this type of weather was not something I dreaded. I associated it with some of my favorite things, like playing in the snow, Christmas vacation, or my mom’s amazing hot chocolate. I have a vivid memory of being tucked into bed in my Popples pajamas, under layers of cozy blankets, and feeling the crispness of the tightly fitted sheets against my cold feet. It was a chilly delight that always made me giggle with excitement.

What would it take for us to take a break from our busy lives to simply enjoy the winter? To throw some snowballs around, or sip some hot chocolate between laps around the ice skating rink? It may not be as gratifying as when we were kids, but it’s worth a shot.

This, Too, is What a Feminist Looks Like

schwasties

No Regrets!

Last week I had a conversation that left me quite disturbed. I became incensed when a male acquaintance of mine casually referred to one of my female friends as a “loose” woman. Later that day, I decided to really sit with that feeling and try to understand why it bothered me so much.

You might think that perhaps I was just standing up for my friend–that I was demanding respect for my girlfriend. But my anger felt much bigger than that. I guess my main concern was, if this young woman was judged so harshly for her sexual conduct, what does that mean for me? This and other questions ran through my mind, such as: What exactly is the criteria used to make such a judgment? Is it the number of partners she’s had? Is it how quickly she jumps into bed with a guy?

In asking myself these questions, I realized what the real problem was: There is no way to judge my friend for her sex life without also insulting me and, for that matter, countless other women who are not afraid of their sexuality. Furthermore, no one–especially not this particularly promiscuous male acquaintance–has the right to pass such judgment. And it really is a shame that in the year 2013, women are still having to deal with such archaic ideas.

I came to several conclusions after that conversation: First, that I have no regrets about taking the stand that I took in defending my friend. Second, I am not sure that I want to maintain a friendship with anyone who holds sexually liberated women in such contempt. Third, that I am incredibly fortunate to have a man in my life who loves me exactly as I am. And last, that I want to surround myself with like-minded people. As a result, I created a Meetup group in my city that is focused on redefining what it means to be a woman. I am not at all extroverted, but when I feel passionate about something, it can be highly motivating.

I am happy to report that, as of today, my group has about eight new members. I am hoping this can be the start of something positive and meaningful.