Bundled.

You guys. Winter has broken me.

And by that, I mean I finally bought a puffy coat. It looks like this:

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So…yeah. It happened. Because while afternoons have been strangely balmy in NYC lately, mornings and evenings spent commuting to and from work have been rather uncomfortable.

Plus, on days like today when I feel like my body just might be trying to get sick, nothing feels enter than wrapping myself in a cocoon of synthetic down and a giant scarf and just pretending no one else is around.

Though, to be fair, I do the pretending part anytime I’m on the train.

Anyway. It’s big news in my world.

Speaking of actual news, the next month and a half has somehow gotten kind of busy. I have a lot of catch-up dates with friends, I’m going to Salt Lake City for Alt Summit in less than two weeks, then I’m off to Vegas for Super Bowl weekend. Then I basically have to start packing up my life because a move will be right around the corner. Wacky.

So what I’m saying is, if I am getting sick, lets get this thing over with, shallll we?

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Catching up.

Happy Monday, you gorgeous people.

Side note: I’m chalking it up as a success that I even know it’s Monday because last Friday as I was leaving the office, I turned to one of our editors and said, “See you tomorrow! …oh wait, I mean Monday.” And then I walked away and suddenly started to doubt what day it was. Would I see her tomorrow, and now she thought I was a total moron? I literally almost turned back three times to correct myself until it finally dawned on me that it was, in fact, Friday. I have no idea, you guys.

In other news and my mental lapse aside, things seem to be on the up-and-up for me. The LIRR is back to its normal schedule as of today. (I know, I never thought we’d see it either.) And the nagging pain in my left heel that has kept me from running the last couple of weeks finally seems to be subsiding. (Plus, I’ve been reminded of the butt-kicking abilities of the Stairmaster. Seriously, guys, there’s a reason why hardly anyone is ever on the thing. It’s hard.)

Plus, last night I booked my ticket to Vegas for a weekend with some of my oldest friends, meaning I will get to escape winter this February and hide in the desert.

Plus plus, in a freelance miracle, I received the check for the project I just finished less than a week after I turned it in (still waiting on the one that I’ve been owed for a couple of months…grumph), so I was able to pay off all but the last bit of my credit card debt. It’s kind of crazy to think it will all be paid off most likely before the Vegas trip. Yay!

So, en general, things are going well. We’re also starting to think about our move to Brooklyn this spring, which has me excited partly because it will mean the end of the LIRR and partly because it will mean a new apartment to decorate. (I am who I am, you guys.)

Plus, we will only be looking at dog-friendly apartments. So there’s that.

Some how this post turned into a State of Justine address, but I guess I just want you to know I’m doing all right.

How are you doing?

Things the 18-year-olds sitting behind me on the train have discussed this morning.

1. Why their friend is talking to three guys and sleeping with a fourth.

2. Why their boyfriends’ moms hate them.

3. Why their hair gets oily.

4. Why people need to not get involved in their lives. (Here’s a hint: Don’t speak about your life at full volume on the 7 a.m. train.)

5. Why they don’t care what people think about their lives. (Noted.)

6. What they’re going to name their children (though one wasn’t sure how to spell the name she likes…).

7. Why secret Santas at work are awkward (“What if I get an old lady?”).

8. The pros and cons to big purses. (I can actually relate to this one.)

9. Whether or not one should pursue a relationship with the guy at Starbucks who talks to her.

10. A variety of other topics all punctuated with “see what I mean?”

And all without any transition. It’s too early for this.

UPDATE: “I was so sick, I like, turned my phone off. That’s how you know how bad I was.” <– ACTUAL QUOTE FROM ONE OF THEM.

I mean, seriously.

What to Wear During a New York Winter

It is officially really, really cold out. Bitterly cold, you might say.

It’s around this time of year, when the morning train platform starts to feel like its own form of torture, that I usually find myself thinking about the same kinds of things:

Is it going to get colder? Am I going to start hating my commute again? Is this the year I finally crack and buy a puffy winter coat?

I’m dangerously close to conceding on the last one. Sure, I would prefer not to look like a marshmallow, but these freezing temperatures aren’t messing around.

From there, I start making a list of all the cold-weather items I should probably add to my list. And since it has been a while since I blogged, I’m sharing it with you. I’m also hoping to hear your recommendations if you’ve purchased one if these items (or something similar) with great success. Most of my readers are in the Midwest or on the East Coast, so I know y’all have some winter wardrobe advice.

Must-Haves for a New York Winter

H m
$13 – hm.com

180s glove
kohls.com

Faux fur hat
$26 – oliverbonas.com

 

Normalish.

It seems that things are finally inching back to normal. As I write this, I am sitting in a train en route to my office.

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Sure, my office isn’t opening until noon. And, okay, the trains are only running every hour. But I’m still going to chalk it up to progress.

Also, commuting off-peak? Rules. This car is practically empty, and I got to sleep in.

Actually, this last week has been the first time in a while that I haven’t felt tired all day long. It’s amazing what sleeping instead of commuting can do for your well-being.

But while I’m bittersweet about giving up those extra snoozing hours, I am excited to get back to the city and back to normal life. (Check back with me after it starts getting really cold and see if I still feel that way.)

Hope everyone else in my area is getting back to normal soon, too!

Reporting from the gas lines.

I’ve been waiting in line over two hours for gas.

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I want to give you a second to wrap your mind around that. The worst part? This is the second line I’ve waited in this morning.

I’m in a line of at least 50 cars, all with our engines off, and every five minutes or so, start our engines again so we can move up five feet. We do that every five minutes or so.

Things got hairy a few minutes ago when the line didn’t budge for about twenty minutes. You could smell the panic over the gas and exhaust fumes.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard how the areas most affected by Hurricane Sandy have been suffering from a gas shortage. Lines have been approaching the 3-hour mark since early last week, and though supposedly we will be “back to normal” by tomorrow, I haven’t seen any signs of that yet.

I mean, people are driving to Connecticut to get gas. That makes more sense for some people than waiting in these lines.

Of course, that’s assuming the gas stations around you have power and gas and even have lines for you to wait in.

Live update: I was looking down at my phone and didn’t notice that the car in front of me had moved up three feet. Someone shouted at me, “Could you move up, please?!”

These are crazy times, folks.

On the upside, it looks like I’m actually going to get gas within the next half hour or so (ugh). And there are apparently 28 million gallons of gas hitting New York today. So we should, theoretically, be back to normal by tomorrow.

Because, if not, so help me…

On the things we’re afraid of.

An email exchange between Annie and me:

From: Annie
To: Me

Want a peak into my weird brain that ends with a question for you….
 
So Al and I have been running in the mornings – but its pitch black, but i’m not afraid of running because I’m with someone.
 
You run in the mornings, and Joey doesn’t go with you….is it still pitch black?  Are you all “on alert”
 
Then Annie brain goes to – well scary people aren’t awake at 6am so I shouldnt be worried…unless they are so crazy they dont sleep at all…or all totally nocternal so they are actually at peak time of crazying.
 
So….do you run alone in the morning dark?

From: Me
To: Annie

Haha funny you should ask!

Yes, when I run in the morning it is dark. I tell myself much the same thing you say, that the crazies aren’t up yet. There’s actually a really hilarious scene from 30 Rock that I repeat to myself a lot, where Elizabeth Banks’s character gets back from an early run that goes like this:

Jack Donaghy: Where were you?
EB: Jogging.
Jack: Who else is out at this hour?
EB: Almost exclusively women who look like me. God help us if the pervert community ever gets wind of morning jogging.

So that is what I TELL myself, but I also know for a fact that there is a homeless man who sleeps under a bridge I have to run over. I know this because, while he is still asleep when I start out, he is ALWAYS just waking up and shaking out his sleeping bag when I’m on my way home. We made eye contact last time I ran. Obviously, this is how I’m going to die.

At least now I’ve told someone? If I disappear on a morning jog, it was probably the homeless man under the bridge on W******* Avenue over S****** Highway. [Ed. note: See? I’m too paranoid to even tell you the roads near where I run!]

…I’m probably not helping your crazy paranoia, am I?

From: Annie
To: Me

ummm….i almost turned around this morning because there were two weird looking people just standing in the street ahead of us……
 
…….kids with backpacks waiting for the bus…….

From: Me
To: Annie

I just chortled out loud imagining that. Mostly because, this morning, when I was driving to the train station, these two girls walking to their bus stop passed in front of my car, and one made a point of waving at me until I waved back. It wouldn’t have been weird if she hadn’t been, like, 13. All I could think was, “WHAT IS SHE UP TO?”

This is why we’re friends. (Also, I’m for sure blogging this.)