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Days like today.

Jacklyn —  March 16, 2015 — Leave a comment

That first set of really great warm days after a long cold winter are so wonderfully appreciated, it makes me feel like I’m not grateful enough for every beautiful day we get.

It’s about 81 degrees outside right now. The sky is the most brilliant blue. And the most exciting thing about today? I’m going to eat ice cream straight from the carton after dinner. On my porch. In shorts. Because I can. I mentioned this to the other ST and she’s going to join me. Life doesn’t get better. I can’t believe how excited I am about ice cream.

I took the dog for a walk around the park right after discussing ice cream flavors. As I was walking by the playground I heard the familiar Pavlovian tune blasting out of the the early 90s scary ass ice cream van. I’ll admit, that silly song always makes me a little bit excited, a little bit nostalgic for the pink bubble gum flavored baseball mitt with the baseball chewing gum stuck to it. As I was passing by on the sidewalk, a little girl comes hauling ass off the climbing thingy and screaming for ice cream. She looked just like me when I was a kid.

And all I could do was smile.

When the magic fades.

Jacklyn —  February 26, 2015 — Leave a comment

I remember standing in my mother’s kitchen, getting ready to travel to New York City for yet another work trip, when I sarcastically said to my father, “I feel like I live there,” and he responded, “Oh, I just assumed you would have tried to move there already.” My stomach flipped when he said those words because:

  1. I had always dreamed of living in New York City but never actually considered moving there.
  2. I couldn’t ever leave my family! That would be nuts. After all, Atlanta was all I’d ever known as an adult.
  3. Everyone knows you need to get paid a cabillon bucks to live there, and I certainly didn’t make that much. How else do you afford to go to those five star restaurants every night? [The answer is happy hour — that’s how you get by on no money and still have a social life.]

This was the day that my whole world changed.

Fast forward nearly two years. I’d been working my ass off to get my condo sold. Unfortunately, the HOA was in a lawsuit against the builder, and nothing was able to get funded because of some shit I can’t remember about lenders not lending to distressed properties. Fine. I had something like eight or nine offers and contracts [no lie] fall through on my house. I won’t go into the details here because it’s really boring. [So boring you’ll probably smash your head on a rock, and I can’t be held responsible for that.] It took well over a year for my condo to sell. Short sale. Yay.

I moved to Hoboken to be with my man on December 31, 2013. Have I mentioned that man is a saint? He put up with the emotional roller coaster of a short sale, and then he flew down on December 30, sicker than a dog, and helped me pack up the last few things in my place and then drove me up to The Big Apple. The move doesn’t matter, so I’ll leave that part out. What matters is that Dave is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met, and he’s more loyal than anyone I ever could have imagined.

When people think of living in NYC, they think of Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, White Collar [#RIP], Friends — all of those shows where the characters have normal jobs yet still somehow seem to afford gorgeous luxury apartments. I knew that wasn’t “real,” but guess what? Even the people who make nearly $200,000 still live in shitbox apartments the size of the closet in my condo. My job paid me well, but it certainly didn’t pay me enough to be able to afford a one-bedroom apartment on my own. It almost didn’t pay me enough to give Dave half the rent money, excluding utilities and everything else that goes along with being an adult. I remember thinking how crazy it was that I was hemorrhaging money when I had almost no social life. When people tell you New York City is expensive, they mean it. And when I say it’s expensive, I’m not only talking about everything it costs to live there. And it doesn’t just cost money — though, dear God, it certainly does that. It’s an emotionally, physically, mentally expensive place to live. It challenges all of your reserves, and before you know it, it can take your sanity.

So here’s my story about giving up a whole lotta shit in order to live my dream in the magical New York City and what happened when that magic faded.  Continue Reading…

Keep Calm And Stepan

Jacklyn —  November 6, 2013 — Leave a comment

I am the first person to admit that I don’t know jack about hockey. In fact, I really don’t care about adding hockey or any other non-MLB sport to my life. At least, that’s what I thought until last weekend.

The Boy [yes, the one from Fries With Steak Sauce] is a die hard, eat/sleep/breathe, has probably considered a commemorative tattoo, walking encyclopedia type fan of the New York Rangers. I’m talking season ticket holder with season ticket holder parents, #NYR memorabilia all over the house, Rangers-only t-shirts [my personal favorite is the one that says ‘Let’s Get Nashty’ because, well, isn’t it obvious?], Rangers blanket, Rangers scarf, Rangers artwork. Rangers. Rangers. Rangers. Him accepting me into his life meant that I was to be educated on hockey and I would be destined to become a fan. For me, it meant a solid time block where I was not allowed to call, text or email and expect a response several times a week. It also meant I’d be dealing with playoff beards [ickle] and a grouchy bastard whenever the team didn’t play up to his standards.

As it turns out, pretty much all of those things are true. What came as a surprise to me is I actually enjoy them [except the grouch part, but he keeps that under control 99% of the time].

Continue Reading…

It was eighth grade picture day and the first day in a month I had forgotten to say goodbye to Patches. When I arrived home from school that afternoon, I knew exactly what happened as soon as I saw my mother’s face. Patches was a part of the family long before I was, and she was 19 [!] years old when we lost her. Calling it a ‘hard time’ would be a gigantic understatement. It was especially difficult for my mother because Patches was her dog and she spent the most time with her.

It took us a week or two, but somehow my brother and I managed to convince my mother that the best way to honor Patches was to adopt another dog and give it a good home. So we went to PetSmart and saw Liz — a skinny red dog with Dorito shaped ears, one brown eye and one blue eye [just like Patches]. She was adorable, but she was kind of jerk, growling in her crate [again, just like Patches] and nobody wanted to take her out to meet her. Wade and I convinced the sweet man from Big Canoe Animal Rescue to let her out with me while Wade dragged Mom out to meet her. Turns out Liz was a sweetheart and had a ton of energy. We donated $50 for her and took her home.  Continue Reading…

True&Co

Jacklyn —  June 27, 2013 — Leave a comment

Bra shopping is the worst. I despise it even more than shopping for jeans. On a scale of being tarred and feathered to being covered in chocolate and letting Anthony Weiner lick me, bra shopping falls around being covered in paper cuts and jumping into a bathtub of lemon juice.

That is until Whitney invited me to join True&Co, a startup devoted to revolutionizing the way women shop for lingerie. I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical of buying bras online [or any type of clothing that I couldn’t buy from Zappos], but I decided to give it a shot. After all, they are following the Zappos shipping model. [Free shipping both ways is the best. If you don’t have it, it’s a deal breaker for me.]

Here’s how it works: you answer some questions about how your bras fit currently. Then, you pick three bras you’re interested in trying, and True&Co sends two they think you’ll like based on your answers. You keep the bras for a week or so, and send back the ones you don’t like. There is a $45 hold on your card once the products are shipped to you, but you only get charged for what you decide to keep. Awesome, right?

Continue Reading…

I don’t know how it happened and I certainly don’t know when, but however and whenever don’t seem to matter all that much; what matters is how I choose to move forward from this point on. I don’t think I could be more excited than I am at this very moment.

Relationships never really scared me until now. I think that’s because I was always in one or jumping into the next one, each time becoming more disillusioned with every man [boy] that disappointed me. With each failure, I threw on one more layer of armor, one more layer of whatthefuckever, one more layer of fierce independence that I’ve been very apprehensive about shedding — until now.

I don’t know what happened. I don’t feel like I need to know. I just want to be thankful and enjoy the journey that is ahead of me, wherever, whatever it may be.

Continue Reading…

A Love Note to NYC

Jacklyn —  December 4, 2012 — Leave a comment

Dear New York,

I love you. I love just about everything about you. I love the fact that the air I’m breathing in is mostly polluted, that people look at me like I’ve got three heads when I ask how they’re doing, I even love riding in cabs that smell like a mixture of tobacco and bile. I love the way you decorate for the holidays, accept cabillions of tourists into your shops on a daily basis and have McDonald’s and Duane Reade on every block. These things took me a while to love, but they are part of what makes you so special. The amount of talent, beauty and ambition you house on this small island is incredible, and I am longing to be a part of it. The bakeries, bodegas, hole-in-the-wall coffee shops and food carts are calling to my heart, and I am salivating at the thought of living around all of these wonderful things. [Or maybe that was the chocolate holiday pop-up shop I walked past this morning?]

Continue Reading…

I can finally strike “be a groupie” from my bucketlist. Take a second and let that one sink in, y’all.

This weekend, I flew to Philadelphia to visit my elementary school heartthrob and see his band play a gig. It was probably one of the most incredible experiences of my life for a number of reasons. First, my second grade love is the lead singer for a truly awesome band [swoon] and the music is actually really good. I love their music and if you’re into a mixing of classic rock riffs with modern pop-rock melodies and a bit of prog in the time changes [his words, not mine] you will probably love them, too. Check them out here: [Spotify] [Interwebs] [Facebook].

The singer and guitarist picked me up from the airport Friday afternoon and I rode with them in a van jam packed with instruments each probably even twice as expensive as my iPad. We hung around all day catching up and I was there for a preshow practice/goof off sesh that lasted the better part of an hour. Part of what was so incredible about hanging out with these two is that I’m not a musician and didn’t experience the same geeking out they did when certain songs came on the radio in the restaurant [Stairway to Heaven, ha] or when they would jokingly swap instruments with each other and try to play the same song. As a web nerd, I get people flipping out over super slick interactions, design and new concepts, but musicians, man they are a different breed. Sometimes I forget I live in such a small bubble and that people can be passionate about things other than the internet, pitbulls and dancing.

Continue Reading…

[This has been cross posted from my personal blog over at PlayfulPixel.com]

I’m a huge advocate for following your passion and doing what you love. And [bonus] I’m one of the people who is lucky enough to be doing just that.

Earlier this week I read an article on Fast Company essentially saying that Steve Jobs didn’t follow his own advice to ‘do what you love’ and instead stumbled into his success with Apple because of other small details that helped him along the personal computing path. I feel that the article is overly pessimistic and states at the bottom of the article that advising people to follow their passion isn’t always useful career advice. Here’s my main issue: people are taking this whole doing what you love thing literally.

Continue Reading…

[This was originally written on Saturday afternoon.]

Sad. Sorry. Confused. Furious. I don’t know how it’s even possible to experience all of these emotions at once yet still feel so incredibly empty inside. My brain has been going non-stop since I got off the phone with my mother. And my father. And my grandmother. And my neighbor. And Whitney.

It’s times like these when I realize how much the people in my life truly mean to me. I’m reminded that I need to tell each and every one of you how much I love and appreciate you, because it could very well be the last time I see your face, hear you laugh, watch you smile, touch you.

Continue Reading…