Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hot, hot, heat

Creativity is more often a product of necessity. In the picture below, Jamie is trying to keep cool in our baking apartment. It has been ridiculously hot and humid the last two weeks. Coincidentally, our air conditioning stops working once the thermostat rises above 85 degrees.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Philharmonic in Central Park

Last night we went to the closing performance of the New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks series along with 63,000 others. As you can see we were quite scrunched by many, many, many neighbors. The evening was very enjoyable complete with picnic (strawberries, blueberries, pretzels, and, my favorite, sour patch watermelons), wonderful weather, beautiful music (works from Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Sibelius), and an incredible fireworks show that definitely made up for our lack of fireworks on the 4th. Look - we're even wearing patriotic colors!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

They could put anything in there.

Coming from good law stock, naturally I thought I had a strong stomach for contracts. Up until this past week, I thought I did, until I was asked to swallow a 30-page, sign-your life away lease for our quaint (defined as "cute, but pricey") apartment. It was a nail-biter to the end to see what would run out first: my detailed concentration or the pen's ink from signing so many times. The pen won.

My experience with contracts is rather extensive: as an eight year old I tried to trick my parents into getting me dog by writing out an agreement with the words "I will get my son, Jonathan, food" stapled over a sheet with the word "dog" placed under a key part of the other document. After one of my parents had signed it, I would carefully tear out a hole, removing the word "food" so that the contract now read, "I will get my son, Jonathan, a dog." This eventually worked, but the dog didn't. Bark in Peace, Trouble.

At BYU, my leasing contracts generally consisted of very creative clauses. Obviously some students had tried some unusual activities simply because they were not expressly forbidden in their renting contract. Some of
the prohibited activities were: "No trampolines on, or near roofs", "Barbecuing indoors is prohibited", and my personal favorite, "No domesticated farm animals may occupy the grounds or apartment; this includes, but is not limited to sheep, horses, cattle, and llamas."

So, we signed our lives away. Despite the writing callouses, we are ecstatic about securing our little home. We are so blessed to have had everything work so well, so far. And after all the paperwork, the rules are kind of a blur. I'm not sure, but I don't think that they said anything about llamas not being welcome, so feel free to pack them along with the trampoline.

The Grown Up World

What an eventful week! I went from finding things to keep me busy during the day to getting up at 5:45, taking an hour and a half commute into the city, and joining the rest of the labor force in the regular 9 to 5 work schedule. I often find myself wondering how people do this every single day of their lives! Welcome to the grown up world, right?!

In all honesty, I am really really excited about my dream job come true (well, one of my dream jobs...the other will come about in due time)! For the next two years I will be a part of the Management Development Program on the marketing team for Redken, one of the brands in L'Oreal's Professional Products Division (these are brands sold only in salons). Starting next week I will begin a ten week rotation in the field working with the sales team and gaining a better understanding and knowledge of the salon industry. After that time I will rotate to a ten month assignment on the global marketing team and then finish up with a twelve month rotation on the US marketing team. So basically I will be rotating through the different marketing divisions of Redken for the next two years, and once I'm finished they will place me where I am needed with my advantage being that I will have a better understanding of the brand. The people that I'm working with are great, and I am anxious to get going and work hard!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Playing House and Buying Furniture

Thanks to the Fourth of July holiday weekend and the fabulous sales of some of our neighborhood furniture stores we are now the proud owners of a sofa, dining table, and hutch! I have to laugh every time I that thought crosses my mind...I really don't feel quite old enough to be buying furniture. The last time I got anything furniture-like was about ten years ago for my American Girl doll. Here we are just a few years later and I'm married, playing house, and buying furniture for real!! So fun!

We are currently living in a dorm that Jon's work provided as temporary housing. I never had the chance to have the dorm experience as a BYU student, so it has been fun to see what I missed out on! It's really not as bad as I thought it would be - we have an entire suite to ourselves complete with AC, desks, tables, microwave, and mini-fridge. And, not to mention, I have the best roommate I could ever ask for (next to my sister of course...yay for being married)!! Our creativity has come in handy as we have dissembled bunk beds and pushed them together for a make-shift bed, made omelets, pancakes, and chicken with vegetables on our little griddle, and washed dishes in our bathroom sink (don't worry, we have cleaned it and made everything sanitary). We will be moving into our permanent apartment at the end of the month and are ready to enjoy the luxuries of kitchen appliances, a kitchen sink, comfortable furniture, hardwood floors, and our own bed.

Jamie in our kitchen complete with mini-fridge and microwave.

Jon in our living the warehouse floors!

Friday, July 4, 2008

What Neil Diamond Really Meant

Every Fourth of July is another opportunity to review the great history of our country and reflect on the men and women who sacraficed so much to make life what it is for us today. People like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Betty Crocker, truly have made America a place of envious splendor.

It has been fun to unpack our lives together. Having spent the Fourth with Jamie's family last year, I new that several things would be crucial to helping her feel at home: patriotic pancakes, a little bit of Lee Greenwood, and a visit to a major furniture sale. I can gladly stand up (dum dum dum!) next to you and declare that we did all of these things, and after it all, we topped the day off with a little bit of traditional American goodness: Indian Food.

I commented to Jamie that we were the only "American-looking" people in the little tandoori restaurant, but I quickly added, "but what does 'American' look like, any way?". In the last couple of weeks I have undergone an intriguing metaphysical metamorphosis--all day long I take in the cultures and colors of the world, always absorbing the potpourri, and in a moment I am awakened in an aura of surprise as I glance at my hand or forearm only to find how pale it is. I am not ashamed, so much as I am curious about my role in the international swirl. The sensation of being woven into the detailed tapestry of the world is an awesome experience. I wouldn't say that I have become more racial aware; instead, I think that I have come to better comprehend the fathomless intricacies of humanity in all its variety.

Jamie and I stitched our way through Central Park, up and down the Upper West Side, and back to Queens. At some point late in the afternoon, as a timid rain that had been vacillating all day long, picked up courage and began to fly, I found myself sitting on a couch in one of the many furniture stores that we had visited throughout the day. I caught a peek at Jamie, radiant with peace. Here, in red, white, and blue-balloon strewn floor room, on a couch with threads poking through the seems, I found home. We bought that couch--the first piece of furniture for our little, one-bed room on the UWS.

I am coming to love this "brave new world that has such wondrous people in it"--Jamie and I are part of a marvelous mixture that would make Niel Diamond's words of the 1970s seem prophetic. Having been so right about people coming to America, I am now looking to Neil Diamond's lyrics to guide me in other areas of my life...I think I might be wearing blue jeans for quite a while.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

we finally got a blog!

What can I say? We've decided to join our friends and family in the blogging community. After being in New York for two weeks stuck in our temporary apartment my list of accomplishments includes the following: completing the Twilight series (I have to admit I loved every minute of it and can't wait for the 4th book), finding our permanent apartment (yay!!!), finishing thank you cards from our wedding, walking back and forth to grocery stores, teaching Jon yoga, and that's about it. My list of things to do is pretty much checked off leaving me time to start the Jonathan and Jamie Curtis blog...