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You all are probably expecting me to start out with some explanation as to why I haven’t written in so long. (And by “you all,” I mean my mom and the other three people out there who haven’t given up on poor ol’ Jeez-o-petes.) I’m not going to. I’m not going to go into the crazy that’s been going on, about how a ton of people I’ve worked with and truly like and respect were laid off and my employment future is a little uncertain, and I’m not going to talk all about how my dad was in the hospital but was finally released today.

No, I’m just going to dive straight into the fact that I might kind of love New York.

Yes, I know, I know, way to be original. I KNOW. But hear me out.

The first time I went to NYC, it was basically Big and Cool and Scary. I was with Jared, who’d been there as a child but not as an adult, and we really didn’t go anywhere without either a guide or very specific instructions. I think we used the subway once. I found it to be an amazing city, but I had a hard time understanding the concept of living there.

After going there a couple of times last summer, I started to get it a little more. It still absolutely wasn’t for me, but I got outside of Midtown and rode the subway by myself and visited more friends who really lived the NYC lifestyle. It wasn’t so scary anymore.

This was a whole different trip. For starters, I was there for a week (Jared was working a trade show, so I went to a few meetings and lunches and otherwise did my normal work thing, except that instead of sitting in my office without pants on, I wore a dress and boots and makeup and worked from a Starbucks in Soho. I have never seen a busier bathroom than the one there, let me tell you.) I had some amazing experiences — going to the top of the Empire State Building, attending a Knicks game in a suite courtesy of Jared’s work, attending and photographing a charity event on behalf of Paw Nation (not something I generally get to do in Gainesville), and eating what might have been the World’s Best Lunch with Metalia.

No, seriously, I might not have great pictures from the fancy basketball game, or any actual pictures of myself with friends I visited, but food? You know it!

avocado toast

Avocado toast with lemon-infused olive oil

crispy artichokes

Crispy artichokes with magical dipping sauce

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So, tomorrow eeeearrrrly (ok, not that early for normal people, but early for folks like me who always get up at 7:30 or 8 and don’t like to use an alarm), I’ll be on my way to New York City for BlogHer ’10. This is my second time going, so theoretically, I totally know what I’m doing. The empty suitcase on my bed tells me I’m a bit less of an expert than I think I am.

Anyway, I know a lot of amazing people will be there, and I’d totally like to meet you! So, here’s a fairly recent picture of me. I’ll probably look just like this — I’ll wear my hair in a braid a couple of times, it’s likely I’ll be a little sweaty, and I’m totally bringing that shirt. So, if you see me, please come say hi!

For those of you who I’ll be meeting for the first time (and maybe also rooming with — hi, Roxanna!), here are a few things about me. Because, well, I can always talk about me. I’m kind of an expert on the topic.

  1. I’m not much of a hugger. If I know you well (IRL or online), have had a bit to drink, or have just experienced something emotional, I might be comfortable hugging you. But if I don’t hug you, don’t be offended. It’s just not my thing.
  2. I love to dance. Seriously, if you want someone out on the dance floor with you, as long as I’m not in some deep conversation or just refilled a super-spillable martini glass, I’m your girl.
  3. Let’s eat. I don’t eat meat (though I do eat seafood), but I love love love to eat. In fact, I totally want to squeeze in this food tour. Any takers? In particular, I love Mexican and pizza, but I also really enjoy sushi and Thai food, and I rarely say no to Indian food. And I’m totally looking forward to good New York bagels.
  4. I don’t want to share my drink. And not just because I’m a boozehound. If you ask for a sip of my water/margarita/absinthe, please don’t think I’m an ass if I a) say no or b) say yes and then tell you to go ahead and finish it. I have a thing about drinking after people, especially if there’s lipstick or gloss or OH MY GOD I’M ACTUALLY SHAKING FROM PICTURING THIS GROOOOSSSSSSSS. So, yeah, it’s definitely not you. It’s very much me. Sorry about that.
  5. I’m not quite comfortable in the city. I’m seriously, completely excited to go to New York, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive. Walking a few blocks to the subway to get somewhere is probably totally normal for you, but it’s a little scary for me. Please don’t poke fun.
  6. I might not know who you are. But I don’t expect anybody to know who I am in person, either. If I know you from the internet, I probably have a picture of you in my head. It might look like your Twitter avatar, it might look like a picture from your blog, or it might look like Wilma Flintstone for no reason whatsoever. But whether I recognize you or not, I swear I am excited to meet you.
  7. I might burp. I don’t mean to, but sometimes, it just happens. I apologize in advance.
  8. Things I like: Chardonnay, vodka tonic, cute animal pictures (who doesn’t?), funny stories. I also really like TV — I absolutely love Chuck, but other current favorites are Burn Notice, White Collar (yes, I’m into the spy thing these days), Psych, Law & Order (any and all), Glee, House Hunters International (I mean, regular House Hunters is okay, but watching that after International is kind of like going back to straight, black coffee after you’ve had delicious french vanilla coffee with a bit of cream, you know?). And I would love to know what books you’re reading, although I haven’t read too many recently.

So, will I see you there?

Since I leave again in a few days for another trip, I thought maybe it was about damn time I filled you in on the NYC trip. Aren’t I thoughtful?

It was, in short, a whirlwind. But a lovely whirlwind. We were picked up in a town car, driven to the airport, and the flight was uneventful. Plus, they offered us extra snacks! Woo hoo, go Jet Blue!

We stayed with my old roommate, Robyn, who is fairly new to the city herself. Which is why, when we went to bars we liked (and that first night, there were A LOT OF BARS. If there was a beer shortage in New York on Labor Day, we might be to blame.), Robyn jotted down the names and locations on her map. We also got chance to hang with my pal Chelsea, who is one of those NYC women who can run around in heels. Awesome.

Monday was sightseeing (and shopping! in Soho! and we saw Avenue Q, where we learned the Internet is good … for porn!), taking the Circle Line cruise down to the Statue of Liberty. It was a beautiful day, lots of sunshine, and my lips got burnt. Seriously, folks, they’re still all dry — if you have a super extra happy family lip balm you can recommend, shout it out. I’ve got three kinds on call at all times right now and I’m still way whiny.

Jared and I went to the Museum of Natural History the next day, and DUDE! They have the COOLEST dinosaur skeletons there! You might have thought most people would get that dinosaur excitement out in the second grade, but, nope. Especially when they’re all lively and attacking Jared!

But, at least I made a friend.

The Egyptian exhibit was pretty amazing. I think I fit in pretty well.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was the last museum we saw. We were going to squeeze in the Museum of Modern Art (not all on the same day), but honestly? We were arted out. How are you going to beat the World’s Most Giant Balloon Dog, anyway? We didn’t hit the gym, but Jared got to show off his chiseled torso nonetheless. Also, $10 Kristen Bucks to anyone who can name the movie the picture of Jared is based on.

I know (assume? hope?) that some of you are super curious to know about the photoshoot, and trust me when I say it pretty much everything I could have asked for. I have some posts going up this week on StyleList, and once those have gone live and I get home from my next globetrotting adventure (to the exotic locale of … Michigan. Please, hold your applause.), I’ll get more pictures up from that. But, you should be pretty well filled in by then — I’m doing a four part series, one post a day starting most likely on Monday. With galleries of pictures! Look through, and leave (nice) comments!

For walking around the city:

For not walking very far at all:

More packing news to follow. I’m sure you can’t wait.

Watch out, y’all — I’m on a diet. Again.

I’m realizing something — it’s not so much the eating less on a diet that gets me (although, I went to bed last night at 10:30 because I was starting to feel munchy and I knew if I stayed up I’d want to snack). It’s the fact that, in order to stay low in calories and still feel full, I need to plan ahead a bit more. Not that raw fruits and veggies aren’t great, but when that’s most of what I’m eating, I don’t feel like I’m getting meals, you know?

Backing up — I’m on Day 4 of the Keep it Around 1000 Calories Kristen, You Fat Ass diet. It’s not because I think I’m fat, so I don’t want anyone to leave any of those, “Oooh, you’re fine! Why are you doing that?” comments. But, New York and the photoshoot are in, like, two weeks (ohmygodohmygodohmygod), and I’d like to be a fit version of me. And since a lot of my workouts are off limits due to the shoulder, I really need to cut back on my eating for the moment.

So, at the grocery store, I made major efforts to buy fruits and veggies that I would DO something with. I got lots of peppers and mixed them in with some tempeh and left the rest to mix in with the giant bag of fresh green beans I bought. I never make fresh green beans, and I don’t know why — I love them. So, that’s dinner tonight, and I’m super excited. Excited because I planned it. Gah. Not excited like I would be if we’d ordered a pizza that would be delivered in 30 minutes or less — that excitement would be a little different, I assure you.

Anyway, if you have a fabulous low-cal meal you love, I would love to hear about it. So I can go to the grocery store and plan to make it. And because I will look fabulous — don’t you worry, Internet. I will.

Approximately 150 years ago I hinted at a trip to New York, and since I’m so on top of things, I’m back to give you the actual info. Yep, I’m with it, all right.

I was asked by Spiegel to come to NYC to do a photo shoot for their “Reality Dressing” catalog in which they feature real women of different ages. I had been in touch with them for a few things for StyleDash and AisleDash, and so when it came time to cast for this, they remembered me and asked if I was interested.

To which I promptly answered, “Certainly, I’d be delighted” “OMG! HELLS TO THE YES!” You know, because I’m demure and proper. I’m kinda surprised they didn’t run the opposite direction right then and there.

As if this wouldn’t be exciting enough on its own, consider this — I’ve NEVER been to New York. Not at all. And I write about fashion, people. I’ll be there the week before Fashion Week, which is kind of a bummer, but I just can’t wait to experience it.

They’re being kind enough to fly both myself and Jared up there, and they’re putting us up for two nights, and since there was NO WAY I was going to New York and not seeing, like, EVERYTHING, we’re staying for five nights, and crashing with my old roommate Robyn. A car will pick us up from the airport (woo hoo, Big Time!), and then we get to stay here for the night before and night after the photoshoot (plus, I get to have a MAKEOVER and PHOTOSHOOT, people!).

Stuff like this doesn’t happen to people like me, you know? I’m still a little in shock. I got my travel itinerary the other day, and I just can’t believe it. We leave August 31, and if anyone has any must see/must do lists for us, pass them along! As of right now, I think we’re going to see Avenue Q on Broadway, and go some cool rooftop bar, and probably do the boat ride around Manhattan, but not sure about everything else. Thoughts? Suggestions? Really good pizza places?

Okay, folks, I have some fabulous news — we’re moving! Not far, just to a different part of town, and into a new, much bigger house! With a fenced yard! As you can imagine, the dogs are very excited (and so are we).

But, you know what that means … MOVING. I really don’t like moving. Don’t get me wrong — I live being in a new space and getting it all set up, but the actual process of moving turns me into the world’s biggest Bitch. That’s right — with a capital B. I don’t know why, but something about it really just makes me get fussy.

It doesn’t last long, but you’d better pray nothing drops on my foot or breaks my nail because GOD HELP ME I will just go nuts. If you’re anywhere in the Southeast, and you hear a ridiculous profanity filled rant early next week, it’ll probably be me.

That being said, I’ll totally get pictures posted of us moving in and me being an enormous ass. Maybe Jared will even want to chime in, who knows? But, in the meantime, if you don’t hear a lot from me, that would be why.

Oh, yeah, and there’s this little thing about being asked to model in a catalog and getting a free trip to NYC, but you’d rather hear about my batshit crazy moving meltdown, I’m sure … right?

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