It’s a Nice Day for a White Wedding…

Things have been so hectic lately, and I know my blogging has been sporadic, but I’m planning on getting back on a regular blogging schedule very soon.  Lots of stuff has been going on.  My parents came for a visit to Brooklyn last week to see me and Matt, but also to attend Matt’s younger brother Mike’s wedding.  The wedding took place in Long Island, and was beautiful.  Like any great wedding, it was filled with so much love and laughter, and I think everyone attending felt the love.  That’s the thing about a fantastic wedding, it can make you fall in love with your other half all over again.  Don’t you just love those kinds of weddings?

I was a bridesmaid for Mike’s wife Lauren, and Matt was Mike’s best man.  Can I please take a moment and brag to world?  I am pretty sure that there has never ever been another best man speech in all the history of best man speeches that could top Matt’s.  It was incredible.  He made the crowd laugh, cry, but most of all, he conveyed what an awesome guy Mike is and what a special relationship he has with Lauren.  It was such a beautiful speech, and I had to actively try to hold back my tears, because if I hadn’t, I would have cried like a total maniac.

It wasn’t all mushy gushy stuff though.  We also had so much fun dancing the night away to the incredible band.  Even when my feet hurt so bad that I thought they might fall off, I kept on dancing.  It was one of those weddings where the music was so good that you didn’t want to sit down.

Here are a few shots from the beautiful wedding…

Getting hitched

Me walking down the aisle with one of the groomsmen.

Matt’s sister Stefanie, her husband Justin, and our adorable twin nephews James and Joseph.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Palma

The most epic best man speech is taking place right here.

Brothers gotta hug.

My Mom and Dad

Me and my sister-in-law Stefanie.

Right after they took the plunge.

 

This is probably my favorite picture from the whole wedding. P.S. Lauren and I have no idea what we were doing here.

Livin’ on a Prayer

The blushing bride and her handsome groom. Btw, doesn’t Matt’s brother look exactly like a young Al Pacino circa The Godfather?

~The End.

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The Kid Table

Can we talk about something really important for a minute?

Manners.

This post was directly inspired by a post from another blog on manners that I read recently about people who stand to close.  It got me thinking about one of my biggest pet peeves.

On Tuesday mornings I take the 6:27 am train into the city from Long Island to get to work by 8.  Every morning, but especially the really early trains, are always packed with other commuters trying to get an early start at work.  Needless to say, it’s a struggle to get a seat on the train, and any commuter knows that sometimes you end up sitting next to some, well, interesting characters.  If you want a pleasant ride to work, it is vital to choose a seat next to someone who is like-minded.  When I’m picking my seat, I try my best to find someone who looks like they want the same kind of ride to work that I do, which is a quiet interlude before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.  Usually I look for someone with a newspaper and coffee in hand, because that typically means they just want to drink their coffee, read their paper, and not be bothered otherwise.  But I’ve been wrong.  Oh, I’ve been so wrong before, and made decisions that have ended with me practically banging my head against the window at some people’s bad manners.

On these rides, I’ve encountered a wide range of bad manners, so much so that I could probably write a book on train etiquette.  I’ve experienced such things as, two women sitting next to one another yapping loudly on an otherwise quiet/serene train about their menstrual cycles, clipping fingernails, painting fingernails, someone humming to music on their iPod for the full hour ride, people putting coats/and or bags down on the seat beside them so that some other poor unfortunate soul can’t get a seat and has to stand the whole time, smoking in the bathroom, and much more.

Perhaps the worst, and the absolutely most egregious of them all, was the man who sat beside me one Tuesday.  He seemed nice enough as he sat down next to me with his newspaper tucked under one arm, and a white paper bad under the other.  He was middle-aged, bald, and married (I could tell because he had a ring on his finger).  I was watching a movie for my film class on my Kindle with head phones in, and when he asked to sit down, I scooted over as much as I could to give him room.  I was right in the middle of watching a Danish film with subtitles, when he broke open his white paper bag,  unveiling two bagels with cream cheese that were wrapped in thin paper.  He wasted no time unwrapping the first and digging in.  There I sat, minding my own business watching my movie, and sipping on my coffee that I brought in my travel mug.  I was trying to pay attention to the subtleties of the film, like lighting and camera angles, hidden meanings in dialogue so that could write my six page paper later on that night, when I began to hear loud, churning mouthfuls of the man eating his bagel.  I paused my movie for a second, and hoped that the resounding smacking of food churning around in his mouth would soon subside.  Instead, it went on and on and on and on.  Each time he took a bite, he smacked his mouth open and closed, so that I could hear the very moment his bite of bagel and cream cheese began to mix with his saliva.  I sat there in disbelief that a grown human being was eating this way.  As he continued to chew with his mouth wide open, I noticed other people turning around to see who was eating like this, too.

I pressed play on my movie, turned the volume all the way up, and tried to block out the incessant sound of the food swirling together next to me.  It didn’t work, though, the acoustics of his chewing sounded as if they were coming out of a loud-speaker.  “Smack.  Smack. Smack,” his chomping went on.  I racked my brain trying to come up with a way to politely tell him to eat quieter, but how do you tell a grown man that?  Well, you don’t, because if he hasn’t already learned that its impolite to eat this way at forty something years old, than I doubt he is going to listen to me.  He probably wouldn’t even know what I was talking about anyway.  It was obvious that no one had ever drawn it to his attention before, or maybe that had, but he just didn’t care.  He had to have noticed the multiple people around him giving him dirty looks, but it didn’t matter, because he was going to swish the food in his mouth like a whirlpool whether it bothered everyone else around him or not.  Sitting next to this guy was like sitting next to a two-year old at the kid table.

When he finally finished the last bite of his bagel, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I began to watch my movie again, but just as I started to get into it again, there was the smacking again.  However, this time he was chewing gum.  I saw him put piece after piece of gum in his mouth, and to be honest, I’m not even sure how he managed to fit nearly an entire pack of gum in there, but he did.  There he sat, snapping away at his gum.  Luckily, the train ride was nearly over at that point, and I resolved to shutting my Kindle and giving up on the movie.  When we got to Penn station, I got off the train, and figured (and hoped) I’d never see this guy again.

But I did end up seeing him again.  The next time I saw him, he was standing on the train platform, newspaper under one arm, and a white paper bag under the other.  I watched as he stepped onto the packed train, making his way to an open seat.  I heard him say, “Can I sit down here?” To an unsuspecting woman in her mid-thirties.  A few people who seemed to be acquainted with his eating antics actually got up and moved as if they were migrating to the imaginary good habits section of the train.

You'd think he'd take a hint...

I never saw the woman once the train ride was over, but I still see the man with bad manners every now and then.  Each time I see him, a quote I once heard replays over and over in my head.

“Good manners sometimes means putting up with other people’s bad manners.”

And sometimes it’s just as simple as that.

Tell me, what are the bad manners that you can’t stand?

Photos by pinterest.

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch…

Did this just make you go, "Wait, what?!" Well, that's the point.

Over and over again in my life I have heard people say, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  Each time I’ve heard it, I never really thought much of it.  There’s no such thing as a free lunch?  What the big deal?  I always thought that it sounded a bit cynical each time I heard someone say this, because of course something can be free sometimes..I mean, can’t it???

To answer my own question…

No, it can’t.  <–I have crossed over to the other side of the cynics, if you hadn’t already made that connection.

The experience I had with this recently doesn’t have so much to do with something being literally free, as it has to do with thinking that you’re getting a good deal on something with no strings attached.

So, the story went something like this.  Matt and I have started to prepare for life after Grenada, which is rapidly approaching in less than two months.  We will be back in New York in December so Matt can take his big exam, the Step 1, in March.  This is a huge huge huge test, as it determines where he’ll be placed for his clinical rotations, and it is also detrimental to his medical school career entirely.  This test is basically a cumulative test of everything he has learned thus far.  Yikes?  Yeah, yikes.  That is why Matt, along with all of his peers, go to great lengths to prepare for this test.

One friend of Matt’s is going to stay in a Monk ward to have proper solitude to study for this exam.

I can't imagine any place quieter than a Monk ward...I think he's onto something.

While others opt to go away to a retreat for six to seven weeks, where you basically eat, sleep, and breathe preparation for this test.

There happens to be a retreat in New York City and in Texas.  Since we will already be in New York, we thought it made more sense for Matt to do the course in the city.  The only catch was that we would have to stay in the city, because the commute from Long Island (where we live) into the city every day would be much too far for Matt to travel, as it would inevitably waste valuable studying time.

So, we’ll get a place in the city for two months, and Matt can go to his retreat, while I can take live classes at school if I want to, or go back to work for a few days, or maybe do a few auditions…

Not so fast, sister.

First of all, we thought renting out an apartment in the city for two months would be easy as pie.  Nope.  Apartments in the area where we would need to stay, in order for Matt to be close to the exam preparation site, are insanely expensive.  Like, they’re so expensive that I can’t even begin to talk about it.

Then, I found a beacon of light.

It came at the very moment I needed it the most.  I found somewhere for us to stay on Craigslist.  It was a gorgeous apartment within 10 minutes from where Matt would need to be, extremely affordable, and in a really safe area.  I wrote to the woman who had the listing, and she responded immediately.  Yes, the apartment was available for when we needed it.  Yes, that was the right price, and she was even going to give us an even better deal for staying for such a long period of time.  All we had to do was send her a check for a deposit and she would reserve the place for us.

As I read this on my computer, I almost died.  It was totally in our budget, and it was perfect!  I told Matt the good news and he was also excited.  For a minute.

But then he said, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.  This has to be a scam.”

I was like, “No way!  She even ended her email with God bless.  It can’t possibly be a scam…I mean, can it?!”

Matt got on his computer, while I sat on the bed anxiously waiting for the verdict.  Ten minutes went by and he said, “I typed in her name in Google and one thousand hits came up that she is a scam artist.”

Apparently this woman puts up fake pictures of apartments all over Craigslist, and all over the country.  It’s always the same apartment picture on every listing, and she gets innocent unassuming people to send her deposits to reserve the place.  Then, when people show up at the apartment, they quickly realize that someone else lives there.  I even read one story about a girl who sent her a check for $2,000, so her parents could stay at the apartment for a 35th wedding anniversary vacation.  Her parents arrived in New York, went right to the apartment from the airport, and soon realized it was all a scam.  Then, they had to scramble to find somewhere else to stay at the last-minute.  They ended up having to pay for the only hotel that had available rooms, which ended up costing them $5,000.  Some anniversary trip.

I guess the lesson to be learned in this, that there really is no such thing as a free lunch, and if something seems too good to be true, that’s because it usually is.

So…it looks like we’ll be going to Texas for six weeks.

Oh well, at least I’ll escape another New York winter…

~The End

Photos courtesy of seasite.niu.edu and blog.checkadvantage.com

 

 

Today I realized that I’m not that cool…

Reasons why I came to this realization:

1.  I always hop on the bandwagon of trends a year or two after something is cool.  Okay, I have many examples…First of all:

a.) The Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses.  So, remember when the classic black style came out like 2 or 3 years ago? At the time I was like, “Eh…Not that cute.”  Then, soon after they started making colored versions of the style, at which point, I was even less enthused…But then, like the very un-cool person I am, I discovered them on my own for the first time less than 4 months ago.  Now I have two pair, white and red, and I wear them like it’s my J-O-B.  All the while knowing they’re actually not hip to wear anymore, but that doesn’t stop this whirling dervish from losing any momentum whatsoever.  For reals.

Exhibit a.

Tooooootally feeling the red pair.

A repeat offender.

b.) Then there were Juicy Couture velour sweat suits.  I got my first one at least 6 years after they made a bang onto the scene, and probably around the time suburban mom’s in Long Island started wearing them.

    c.)  And I can’t forget about Uggs. <–Still wearin’ em.

   d.) Oh, and cell phones.  Had an ancient cell phone (ancient as in one step above that huge awkward cell-y Michael Douglas used in Wall Street circa 1987), until about 2 months ago…then, I got an iPhone (P.S. And it was a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law…it’s not even like I took steps to improve my own cell phone image.)

You remember this little gem, right?

   e.) I can’t forget about skinny jeans and flats. Discovered this combo by the time Old Navy was mass producing both.  (<–BTW, I’m not puttin’ down Old Navy…I think ON is the bomb.)

Other realizations...

2.  When I watched the video from my wedding, and realized I look like a humongous freak while dancing to rap music…Sooooooo awkward…The worst part is, I basically thought I was Beyonce.

3.  Yesterday I went back to school, and I was VERY excited about it…therefore I’m too school for cool.

4.  I watched the VMA’s and thought to myself, “What is this music that these kids listen to these days?”  and also, “Who ARE all these people???” <–But this might be due to the fact that I have lived in Grenada for the past 2 years…

And last but not least…

5.  I don’t care that I consistently have panty lines with leggings.  ‘Nuff said