Category Archives: Life List

The Life List: #18 – Become Healthier & More Fit

I was thinking about this goal on my Life List.  It’s so vague.  What qualifies as becoming healthier and fitter?  Losing weight, maybe, eating right, exercising.  All the obvious things.  But I pretty much do those already.  The BFG and I love to cook, and we cook very healthy meals (aside from the occasional summertime favorite of cheeseburgers on the grill and tater tots – mmmmm).  I don’t work out everyday, but I do MOVE everyday; and if I don’t fit in workouts, I will do things like walking to my destination instead of taking the subway.  And although I’d like to drop a couple pounds before the wedding… I’m actually pretty happy with my weight and at a healthy weight for my height.

So I think I need to create goals within this goal in order to say it’s accomplished.  Although I think this is something I have to maintain my whole life, I want to figure out a way to say – hey, look, I did it.  So here is what I feel like I need to do in order to cross this one off.

  1. Ok.  This is hard to admit.  (Yay for anonymity!)  I am/was a smoker.  I say am/was because I haven’t smoked in fourteen days.  But this is the hard part.  I’ve quit before, but it’s the third week where it starts to get tough, and I usually cave.  So – obviously – step one of this whole health thing is to QUIT SMOKING FOR GOOD!  If I can make it two months, I think I will have done it.  I’ve never made it longer than three weeks.  So wish me luck.  If I can get through the next seven days or so, I think I’ll be home free.
  2. I am very happy with my legs.  Living in New York does wonders for your legs and ass, because you walk everywhere.  Even if you take the subway, that’s at least two (usually more) sets of stairs you’re climbing.  But I hate my arms.  They’re not ginormous, but I feel very self-conscious about them.  So I want to tone the crap out of my arms.  I’m not saying I need Michelle Obama arms – although that would be great – but I do want some visible definition.
  3. I want to be able to run a mile without stopping.  (Which is also another Life List goal – #51.)
  4. Get into the habit of taking my vitamins EVERY DAY.  I am pretty sporadic about taking my vitamins, so I want to make it a habit.
  5. Eat breakfast everyday.  Again, also something I’m pretty bad at.  Partly – I just don’t like breakfast food.  But also eating as soon as I get up makes me feel icky.  But breakfast gets your metabolism going, and that’s an important part of being an overall healthy person, so it’s a habit I need to get into.

These are things I want to accomplish and MAINTAIN, and then I’ll consider myself a “healthier/fit” person, and will cross this one off.  (But I will say, if I get back into a bad pattern one day down the road, this one could become uncrossed, and I’ll have to start work again to cross it off once more.)

What makes you feel healthy?


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The Life List: #11 – Make Homemade Marshmallows

I keep forgetting to post this, but last week I crossed another task off the Life List when I made homemade marshmallows!  It was actually a lot easier than I thought.  I was expecting some difficulty, but it was actually pretty simple.  I used this recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen, and they turned out wonderfully.  I don’t have a kitchen thermometer, so I kind of just estimated when I was boiling the sugar, which was risky, but it turned out fine.

The only thing I would say is that definitely don’t skimp on the powdered sugar.  I don’t think I put enough powdered sugar in the pan, so it look a little prying to get them out when they were done.  But I eventually did, and with minimal damage.  I don’t think you could overdo the powdered sugar, so be generous.

The BFG loved them, and we’ve been putting them in cocoa and eating them with ice cream.  They’re not too sweet, which is nice.

What’s next?  Hopefully I’ll be taking a ride on the Staten Island ferry at some point this week!!

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The Doorman Strike & The Start of Another Life List Task

I live in a doorman building.  And contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean I’m rich… or even close.  You tell people you live in a doorman building and they get this image of snooty old ladies with poodles wearing Chanel on the Upper East Side.  At least, I did back in the day when I was living in a 150 square foot studio on Avenue C.  But actually doormen are very common in NYC, even in moderately priced buildings – which ours is.

I love our doormen.  They are some of the most wonderful people ever.  They are funny and kind and helpful.  My favorite doorman gives me a fist bump whenever I leave the building.  And starting at midnight we may be without our doormen for quite a while.  Our doormen are part of a citywide doorman’s union, and if their demands for a better contract are not met sometime today… they’re going on strike at midnight.

The common reaction I’ve seen from people in non-doorman buildings has been, “Oh, sad little residents will have to open the door themselves for a few weeks. Wah wah wah.”  I can open the door myself, asshole.  That’s not why I love my doormen or need them.  They keep the building clean, they sign for packages, they make sure no one unsavory comes into the building, they take out the trash, they make repairs… they’re amazing, and we are so grateful to have them.  When you live in a huge building with roughly 500 units (as we do), they’re a necessity.  They keep this building running 24 hours a day.  They even rescued me when the elevator I was riding in got stuck between the 50th and 51st floors.  That happened at 11pm one night, so if we didn’t have doormen, I would have been in that elevator a lot longer, waiting for the fire department.  And freaking out.  So yeah, this isn’t about having someone open the door.

If they do walk out tonight, that means a lot of things will change until this is over.  Obviously we’ll have to take out our own trash, but that isn’t too huge of a deal.  The bigger problem is receiving deliveries.  UPS, Fedex, Fresh Direct… these companies won’t cross the picket line.  Restaurants won’t send deliveries either, so no ordering out for a while.  If something breaks… it won’t get fixed until after the strike.  We could call a repairman not related to the building… but I’m not sure if they’ll cross the picket line either.  These things aren’t the end of the world, but they are kind of a pain in the ass.  So I’m hoping they work out an agreement here in the next couple of hours, but I’m skeptical.

And for the record, I support our doormen.  NYC rent is outrageous, and as the economy starts to improve, rents are rising again.  So if they want a little bigger piece of the pie, I think they deserve it.  They work really really hard, and they deserve better benefits.  They have to take a lot of shit from some residents and keep on smiling.  And although it seems like most people who live here are nice to them, I’ve certainly seen some people treat them like crap.

As an aside… one thing that’s happened since I moved into a doorman building is I’ve started shopping online a lot more.  When we lived in walk ups, I couldn’t really shop online unless I had packages sent to work because no one was home during the day to accept them.  I shop a lot more now, and it’s generally all unnecessary.  Clothes, shoes, apartment stuff… whatever.  Honestly it’s kind of gotten out of hand, because it’s so convenient now.  So since I can’t receive packages for the duration of the strike, I thought now might be a good time to start one of my Life List tasks:  Go three months without shopping for unnecessary things.

I know what you’re thinking… three months?  That’s not really very long.  But it kind of is.  Because my shopping is kind of out of control right now.  I figure I start with three months, and see what happens.  So what are the rules for this little experiment in restraint?

  1. Unnecessary things are defined as: clothes, shoes, accessories, apartment accessories, books, coffee when I am fully capable of making it at home and am just being lazy, getting my hair done, make up, music, iPhone apps… etc.  Basically anything that I literally do not need at this moment.  I’m going to just say no.
  2. I am still permitted to shop for necessary things, such as: groceries, toiletries, necessary things for my business, necessary things for my wedding, birthday gifts, etc.  Necessary things for my business do not include new camera lenses, camera bags, photography books… I’m talking more along the lines of packaging, DVDs for storage, business cards… etc.  Wedding stuff refers to some payments that we have to make in the next couple of months.  I have to pay off my dress, the photographer, buy our invitations… these things kind of have to get done, so I can’t count them.  But I won’t buy accessories for my dress or “pretty things” for the wedding for the next three months.  That stuff can wait.
  3. The three months begins tomorrow (4/21/10) and ends Wednesday, July 21st.

That really seems like a long time.  I can’t shop again until July.  Okay, I can do this.  This is not a big deal at all.  My credit card will thank me, my savings account will thank me.  I can’t wait to see how much money I have left over.  Must be strong.  Right now I’m super motivated, and ready to stick to my guns.  I can’t tell if this is going to be harder or easier than I thought.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Thanks, doormen, for finally getting me motivated to start this Life List task.  I still hope you don’t go on strike, but if you do, it will make this no shopping thing a lot easier.

(I kind of just realized that this post might sound ridiculously vapid.  Girl who lives in doorman building forced to give up shopping: THE HORROR.  I don’t actually mean to come off like that.  And I’m not that person.  So hopefully you won’t get all judgmental up in here.  If anyone is even reading this.)

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The Life List: #88 – Visit The Bronx Zoo

Done and done. Whoohoo! I accomplished something on my Life List. I feel really excited and invigorated and ready to accomplish so many more things!

The BFG and I went to the Bronx Zoo yesterday, and it was quite the adventure. The zoo was great, the animals were amazing and gorgeous and super active… but the really fun part was the subway ride there. As we rode up through the Bronx on the 2 train, a subway preacher felt the need to announce that Obama was not the true president because he was – wait for it… – born in Kenya. And that’s not all, my friends. Not only was he born in Kenya, but he’s gay. Which I think is going to come as quite a shock to poor Michelle.

People… this was not the train to be preaching that kind of stuff. And my fellow straphangers let him have it. It was the most entertaining thing I have seen in a long time. This one woman ripped into this guy like you would not believe. It made the almost hour long journey a lot more fun. Oh, and because I voted for Obama… I’m going to hell. Major bummer.

Oh yeah. The zoo! Okay, I feel weird about zoos, and I felt weird about putting this on my list. I did work at the Humane Society for several years, and I’m all about helping animals, so zoos are a very conflicting thing for me. But I heard it was a great zoo, that they do a lot for animals in the wild and are helping to protect habitats so… I wanted to go. I wanted to see some awesome animals.

And on the whole, I wasn’t disappointed. The animals looked very well taken care of, and they seemed to have lots of room to roam. The polar bear was especially entertaining, as we watched him play with a ball for about ten minutes. The only thing that made me raise my eyebrows were the camels. The pen they kept them in seemed kind of small and they were letting little kids ride them. Ehhhh… I’m not so much down with that. I mean, maybe the camels were happy. I don’t know a ton about camels. But they didn’t look very good. That was the first thing we saw when we walked in the zoo, and it made me a little nervous. But it got better from there.

So that’s one thing down and about 110 more to go. At least I am on my way! Next up: making homemade marshmallows! Stay tuned.

Some photos I took at the zoo:

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Crossing Some Things off the Life List

I’m trying to take decisive steps toward accomplishing my Life List.  Trying to scratch off the easier goals, and then move on to bigger things.  I’ve decided I want to accomplish at least three of these things by May 5th.  It’s an arbitrary date, really.  I just pulled it from my brain.  But I do better with things if I have a deadline.  Even if it isn’t a “real” deadline.

So my three things I will accomplish by May 5th are:

  • Make homemade marshmallows.  (#11)
  • Go to the Bronx Zoo. (#88)
  • Ride the Staten Island Ferry. (#83)

These are all pretty simple, manageable things I can do in the next three-ish weeks, I think.  Of course I’ll take pictures, and let you know how it goes.  Have you made any decisive steps toward achieving your goals?

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