Saturday, 28 January 2012

Will Kurtz @ The Mike Weiss Gallery

I was early for week 3 of my surfSET surf camp at Chelsea Piers this afternoon so I popped into a few galleries on 24th street to kill some time. It's been ages since I've done a gallery tour and I miss them, but every time a tour came up I was either surfing or away somewhere, so I haven't been able to make one yet. One additional perk of the position I talked to the folks at Company2 about is that the office is in Chelsea, close enough for some lunchtime art without the weekend crowds. It was really busy down there today, although I'm guessing the Damien Hirst exhbit, The Complete Spot Paintings, is a significant draw at the moment. I couldn't even be bothered to go into that gallery, it looked to be bursting at the seams, but I was very glad I stopped by the Mike Weiss Gallery and saw Will Kurtz's exhibit, Extra F***ing Ordinary, of life sized sculptures of New Yorkers, largely using newspaper, whom the artist photographs stealthily via his iPhone. This newspaper dog was my favorite, I love the texture of his fur.

The exhibit runs through February 18th. Catch it if you can.

Splinters Surf Documentary

I'm going to see this documentary in New York when it opens on Friday February 3rd at Cinema Village. It looks amazing!!! Here's the synopsis from the film's website.

"Splinters is the first feature-length documentary film about the evolution of indigenous surfing in the developing nation of Papua New Guinea. In the 1980s an intrepid Australian pilot left behind a surfboard in the seaside village of Vanimo. Twenty years on, surfing is not only a pillar of village life but also a means to prestige. With no access to economic or educational advancement, let alone running water and power, village life is hermetic. A spot on the Papua New Guinea national surfing team is the way to see the wider world; the only way."
Here's the trailer

SPLINTERS Teaser from splinters on Vimeo.

It's been a whirlwind!!

Ugh, it's a beautiful day in New York today, the conditions in Rockaway are supposed to be great for surfing, the school is going out for a lesson and I am too hungover to join them. Damn damn damn damn damn damn. It's probably for the best anyway given my job situation not to be shelling out $75, but it would have been nice, especially as the instructor I find to be particularly attractive is the one taking them out. I think Megan may be going, I know she was considering it. So jealous!!!!

So the reason for the hangover is that I was out with my team for drinks last night - or should I say my former team since they are no longer reporting to me, but to my friend Deb (who is not best pleased to have been put in this situation). It was a fun night, although I was surprised they stayed out so late. I honestly thought we'd be out for an hour or two and then they'd head home to their significant others, but one to two hours rapidly turned into four to five.

It was the first time we've had an opportunity to talk openly and honestly about the whole situation and how they are feeling about what's going on at the agency. Like many others I've spoken to in the department, they are frustrated with how disorganized things are at the moment and unimpressed with how I've been treated, especially as the head of department hasn't been very forthcoming about what's happened with me. People have noticed I'm missing from the new org chart, but when they ask he just waves his hand and says something about me exploring other opportunities.

"We're not stupid, we all know what's going on, he should just be straightforward with us!!"

It's not like I've been shy about telling people if I'm asked, but apparently at an off site on Thursday a couple of people didn't know what had happened and asked why I wasn't there. The department head also asked why I wasn't there and expressed surprise that I didn't show, saying he thought I'd have had some good feedback.

Is he for real? They've laid me off from my position, albeit it with a significant amount of notice, but he thinks I am going to show up to an off-site meeting to provide feedback? Does he REALLY want my feedback?? I'll give it to him if he really wants it, but I didn't attend the off site, because a) I didn't think there was much point and b) my time was much better spent having a full on day interviewing with 4 different companies.

Yup 4 in one day. The job hunt has moved so fast that I feel I need to take on an intern to keep all my meetings and phone calls straight. I've talked with 8 companies so far, interviewed twice at two firms and am waiting for meetings to be scheduled with 2 more.

Last Thursday I interviewed with HR at Company1, a well respected mid-sized digital agency, and was pretty excited about that position, at that point that role was definitely my first choice. The next day I interviewed with the head of the team at a smaller agency and on Monday my recruiter emailed to ask how my interview went at Company2

"It went well, they are a nice group of people and I appreciated their candor about the role, but to be honest I am not entirely sure the position is for me. While there are opportunities to help grow the team I wouldn't have a team working for me and I am not sure how I feel about that since coaching staff is something I excel at and enjoy. The heavy exposure to a single client is also something that gives me cause for concern."
A few hours later I received the following note from him:
"I get it and I've expressed your concerns to them. Having said that, they "love" you with a capital "L" and want you to come back and meet with senior leadership. They are willing to restructure the role to give you immediate direct reports. Would that make this worth continuing discussions?"
Ugh, I knew this would happen and I wish I loved them 'with a capital "L"', but to be honest I just wasn't feeling it in my gut, however a job is a job and should other opportunities fall through then...maybe!! Would it be wrong of me to go in and meet with senior leadership knowing that I am unlikely to take the position?

Seriously, can you tell I am Catholic? I feel guilty about frigging everything!!!

That was the week of January 13th...this past week has been a whirlwind.

On Monday I met a recruiter for coffee at Soho House in the Meatpacking District. I've never been to Soho House before, not the NY outpost nor the original in London, but I'm really not down with it to be honest and I so wanted to hate the place as I think the whole private club thing is pretentious and assumed it would be packed to the rafters with hideously pompous British ex-pats and those who fawn all over them - but I have to admit the 6th floor lounge is lovely. Anyway the recruiter seemed a bit disinterested - I noticed her zoning out a couple of times, although to give her her due she could have been looking for the coffee I'd asked for as she did seem to listen to me. There are a couple of positions she is going to put me forward for; one would be at a small, award winning creative agency with just 50 employees that's looking to build its capabilities in my area of expertise, so it would be just me, team of one working with the head of strategy. To be honest this scares the crap out of me in some ways as I think of how hard it would be to replicate the team I'm in now, but then again it could be really cool and I like the idea of the agency being led by creatives since so many advertising agencies seem to run by people with MBAs who have no clue about the end product we're selling. I'd have to interview with them and see what my gut tells me. The second position is at mid-sized agency in Brooklyn and the vacancy is actually for a lower level than me, but she said they are always on the lookout and may consider creating a position for the right person.

I also spoke to another recruiter who is putting me forward for another position at a small marketing consultancy near Union Square. I looked them up and someone I know from my days on an agency account works there. She's also checking with some other contacts. Then the HR department at a large agency emailed me to set up a screening interview. They are hiring at all levels - cause for concern, did they decimate the team or are they growing? Apparently someone Megan worked with in San Francisco saw my resume and called her about me, so she gave him glowing feedback. The job there sounds a bit scary to be honest. It's a big agency and the role seems much more senior than the one I have even though it's the same title, but I have a phone interview with someone there this coming Monday.

On Wednesday I had a phone interview with a company I wasn't interested in, very much a management consultancy type organization - I thought I may as well for the practice - and ugh, it was awful. Well, I suppose it wasn't THAT bad, but the guy asked me how I would re-evaluate a client's marketing program? Talk about a broad question. I told him what I would do from the perspective of my area of expertise, but I really didn't like the sound of the role and at the end of the interview I told the guy that I was looking for a role in a more creative environment and that I didn't think I was right for them and they weren't right for me. A bit direct perhaps, but the guy kept telling me how they had 150 specialists who do what I do as though it was something to boast about and I just thought "ugh, how dull to be working among 150 others like me." Anyway even though I didn't want the job the experience freaked me out a bit and I was dreading my interview with the head guy at Company1 at 8am on Thursday morning, but he turned out to be really great and told me that they have a 'no assholes policy' ha ha!! Can't hate an organization that has that policy. Anyway he wanted me to come back in and meet with a few more members of the team.

After that interview I headed downtown for a 10am meeting with senior leadership of Company2, who I had admittedly put in the 'back-up job' spot after Company1, but...well I REALLY liked them too. They were very straightforward with me - one guy, who would potentially be my boss, was a fellow northerner who had no qualms about admitting to a hangover in our meeting - and basically told me that the department is in a bit of a mess and he thinks I would make a good partner for the current departmental lead, and mentioned something about making me a co-head of the department. Erm...not the job I interviewed for, which was frankly too junior despite the title, so...well see. I emailed him a thank you note on Thursday evening and I got an email back that night saying they would be putting an offer together for me, so I'm just waiting to see what that is, but I'm kind of excited by this role. The current team they have in place is pretty junior and one of the account directors who I interviewed with had worked with me before - told me that I could really make a difference to the team, so after initially not being too enthused about this role my gut is now telling me to go for it and that going in and turning around a small department could be great for my resume, that is if that's the role that's on the table, because as I said that's not the role I initially interviewed for, but....we'll see!! I'm really excited about it to be honest, but we'll see if they are able to come back to me with an offer for a more senior level position!!

Google thinks I am a 25-34 year old man!!!

Ha ha I read this article on Gawker this morning and clicked on this link to see what Google inferred about my demographics based on my browsing history and Google says the following:

Your demographics
We infer your age and gender based on the websites you've visited. You can remove or edit these at any time.
Age: 25-34
Gender: Male very wrong Google, I am a 40 year old female. Apparently this is because the sites I visit tend to be about movies - gotta love rottentomatoes and imdb - technology news - how sexist of Google - and travel - I have researched a lot of surf related travel lately. The swimwear one is confusing, but I have been researching wetsuits and most sites tend to default to displaying male suits, so perhaps that's it. Very entertaining anyway. At least Google thinks I am significantly younger than I really am.

Hmmm, does Google think I'm immature?

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Night Of A 1000 Mikes*

So no dates this weekend, which is a good thing because it is FREEZING outside. I've just been out to do laundry and brrrrrrrrrrr!!!! Actually I potentially could have had a date today as I got chatting to a bloke at the NY surf meet up happy hour that Megan, Layla and I went to on Friday night - a fantastic bunch of people - and we exchanged numbers. Not wasting any time he sent me a text message on Saturday morning.

"Hey it's Mike from last night, it was nice meeting you. We should get together sometime and go for a surf. Waves might be good tomorrow."

Mike from last night? Well I met a bunch of Mikes last night, in fact it was like every other man I spoke to was named Mike, so the name didn't narrow it down much and more importantly....SURFING??????

It's 18 friggin' degrees outside (-7.7C)!!

While it's always nice to be asked I politely declined the invitation to succumb to hypothermia, although truth be told if I had the gear and more surfing experience I would have seriously considered it. The waves are better on the East Coast in winter and it's exhilarating to be out there in the cool water when you're toasty warm in your wetsuit.
Quiksilver even makes a battery powered heated vest that you wear under your suit. I have to say I find the combination of a battery powered suit and the ocean somewhat alarming, but it's been on the market for a couple of years and I've read reviews of it, so it must be safe. Mustn't it???

Anyway no dates this week, but next Saturday I am grabbing a coffee with Chris from OkCupid. Chris is one of those overly keen OkCupider men who emails very regularly without necessarily waiting for a response from me. He'll email to see how my weekend was, or ask if I had a good day at work. We haven't met yet and I already feel overcrowded by the guy, but we'll see. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, but I'm not overly optimistic.

*Well, okay, I exaggerate, there were just 4 Mikes, but still it was quite a lot. I also had to laugh when I arrived at Chelsea Piers for my SurfSET fitness class on Saturday afternoon and realized my instructor there is also a Mike, it's like some surfing prerequisite.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Continuing Shit Show That Is My Redundancy

So it's come to my attention this week that there is a clause in my separation agreement that basically says they'll pay me the 10 weeks I'm entitled to, BUT...

...I'll receive a check every two weeks AND if I start a new job within the 10 weeks then all payments end!!

The payments end!!!

What the ^%$# is that about???? It's a total kick in the teeth given I've been there almost 11-years. That is sooooo not what the employee handbook implies. It's pretty much squashed any loyalty I had to the company. Ahhh marketing agencies, why do they never $#@&ing follow their own advice to the clients when it comes to their employees, such as the old marketing adage about it costing up to 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an old one. Our goal for our clients is often retention and advocacy, but clearly that doesn't carry weight when it comes to employees. Seriously I could scream, although I'm actually going to do something much more productive than that. I'm going to solicit some legal advice via the NYC Bar Association that holds a weekly Pro Bono legal clinic* next week to get some advice, but if there's no way out of it then what's the point in finding a job? I may as well take some time off to enjoy myself, to enhance my skills, to write, to eff off to surf camp in Nicaragua, although the only way I could relax if I did that is if I have a signed commitment to a job waiting for me on my return.

May I ask Americans, is this common treatment when it comes to employees and if so why the hell do you stand for it?

So my job search is moving fast, which is good news, although in some ways it's all moving forward a little faster than I would like given I only sent my resume out into the universe last Thursday afternoon, I've been bombarded with calls from HR people and recruiters. Now obviously that's not a bad problem to have in a country that's experiencing an unemployment rate of close to 9%; there seems to be a lot out there for someone with my skills and experience. It's nice to be niche. Well I'm actually not niche in terms of my qualifications - mathematics degree - but most people who studied with me effed off to finance or accounting. The ones who went into marketing are few and far between. I interviewed with the HR department of a well known agency this morning and by the end of the day they'd contacted me about meeting with the department head at 8am on Tuesday next week, conflicting with my only standing meeting. A good thing to be honest, because I'm interviewing with another agency tomorrow afternoon - one of my interviewers used to work at the agency I am at now, so I know her and...well to say she's moody is putting it mildly, so I'm not exactly enthused at the prospect of working with her, but we'll see, perhaps she's changed!!!** Knowing my luck I'll ace the interview - I'm incredibly charming when I'm not interested and a nervous wreck when it's something I want, but it's all practice.

I'm meeting another recruiter for coffee on Monday, have a call with another on Tuesday and a meeting with the HR department of another agency on Wednesday. I'm trying to schedule the meeting with the department head for Thursday or Friday, but I'm waiting to confirm the availability of an Executive Vice President of another agency who wants to talk to me for 2 hours (2 hours???).

It all sounds incredibly positive doesn't it? People should have my problems, I really am incredibly lucky. Colleagues keep telling me that I should have no trouble at all finding something, nevertheless the prospect of being out of work fills me with dread.

As if I haven't been keeping busy enough with my job search I've also been dating. I didn't resolve to date in 2012, but I did in 2011 and quite honestly totting up my year's accomplishments and realizing I'd only gone on 6 dates made me realize I just wasn't making an effort. I decided that I'd respond to everyone that emailed me*** and see how that went. So far I've been on 2 dates, so already my average dates/month is up fourfold so I'm killing it compared to 2011 ;-)

*Pro Bono!!! How cool is that? It's restored my faith in some lawyers, but clearly not the slimeball that came up with my company's separation agreement. Hanging, drawing and quartering is too good for him/her.

**When hell freezes over ;-)

***Within reason. The 25 year old that sent me a note saying "
You look amazing for your age. I just have to say ( gut feeling ) that we should definitely sit down, eat, and talk" will not be receiving a response, because a) he's too young and b) any man that thinks it's a good idea to use the qualifier 'for your age' doesn't deserve a response. What about a simple "You look amazing" the "for your age" part just negates the compliment. Men are idiots!! Why am I trying to date them again.

Monday, 16 January 2012

I'm Glad I'd Already Taken Most Of My Shoes Home

I was jolted out of bed at 6.30am last Tuesday morning and, feeling exhausted, pondered going back to bed for an hour or so. I checked my work email to see if I had any morning meetings scheduled, but an email from my manager, sent at 10.20pm last night, inviting me to a meeting with him at 3pm did more than enough to wake me up. I knew the meeting could not be good news given I already had a catch up meeting scheduled with him at 9am on Thursday and he was supposed to be heading to Chicago on business on Wednesday. I was also well aware that the layoffs I'd heard about before Christmas were expected to happen that day!!


It was definitely looking like I was for the chopping block!!

This was a real test of my 2012 'f**k it' mantra, but it is what it is and I'm in a much better place than I was 11 years ago when I was let go from my first job in New York after 6 months in the country. When you're on a visa you typically get 2 weeks after the end of your notice period to find another job or leave the country. It's pretty stressful, although I got lucky. I interviewed at two places and both of them wanted to offer me the position. It just so happens that my current company was quicker off the mark with sending out the offer and putting the visa wheels in motion. I've been there ever since and 5years ago they sponsored me for my Green Card, so I had the legal flexibility to look for something new, plus I've been busy building a savings cushion, so outside of the 10 weeks severance I'd be entitled to I had enough saved to last me 6months while living in the manner to which I'd become accustomed, 8 months if I tightened my belt.

I threw a couple of those reusable Envirosax shopping bags in my handbag just in case and when I arrived at the office I packed up the last 3 pairs of shoes I had in my drawer and a few other personal bits and waited for the axe to fall.

When I got into the office I saw an invite to meet with not only my boss, but also my boss's boss - who I've worked with for about a decade.


Anyway it's taking me FOREVER to write this post, so long story short, I was laid off....

...well kind of

What's actually happened is that one of my clients asked someone else to run his business because I am 'not strategic enough.' This is the same person that was my account director for 3 and a bit years up until July 2011 and only became my client in October 2011. The same client I have met exactly TWICE since he started the role just over 3-months ago. The same client that has never had anything but good feedback about my work when we worked together at the agency.

What the &*%$ is THAT about?

Seriously!! Wouldn't you think that you would give someone feedback and allow them to change if you had an issue with their performance? He's not stupid, he knew what asking me off the business would do.

Anyway my boss's boss then proceeded to tell me that they didn't want to lose me, but my client asking me off the business has essentially put my billability in the crapper and so they've given me 4 weeks to find something else, which is 4 weeks longer than they gave the 42 other people they laid off.

I updated my resume and sent it out into the world on Thursday afternoon and since then...well I've been inundated. Obviously this is not a bad problem to have. There seems to be a lot out there in my field, so I am keen to take the time to find the right opportunity, but I have two interviews scheduled for this week.

In addition to the contact from external recruiters an opportunity came up to work on a 3 month project with the team from Chicago. This position would see me based in NY and would give me additional time to find a new position, although if I wanted to keep my separation pay I'm entitled to, then I'll have to see the project through for the full 3 months and the money is enough for me to not want to lose it. It may actually turn into a long term position, but to be honest I'm over it. It's just a case of whether I'll take the money and run now or in 3 months.

Soooooo, I'll try and keep you posted, but job hunting is sucking up all my time at the moment.

Onwards and upwards. To be honest I am feeling really good and I'm looking forward to doing something new. Perhaps this was the kick up the arse I needed to make a change. Besides, there's no eye candy since the Creative Cutie was laid off in December*

*Another thing I've been meaning to post about, but when I found out he'd left the agency I realized I had nothing to lose and asked him out....via Facebook. I'm not THAT brave that I could do it face to face, besides I don't really know.

"I'll never see him again" I said to Deesha

"I'm so proud of you for doing this," she said

Of course this was before I realized that I'd be traipsing around the ad agencies with my resume under my arm within a few short months. He never responded, but at the end of the day I had the balls to ask, which is more than I can say for him. In the words of my mantra...f*** it!!!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Atlantic Ocean 5, Fish Nil Points

I got my arse handed to me surfing this morning, the conditions were challenging to say the least, all choppy and it was tough to even paddle to the outside. "This is the worst it gets," said Frank who runs the surf school.

Good to know!!

"Just walk out as far as you can and take a beating in the impact zone and then when you see a break in the waves just jump on and paddle like crazy," said Richie one of the instructors. "If you try to paddle through the white water you'll never make it."

Good advice, the only problem is that when you're 5ft 1 you really can't walk out that far. I made it to the safe area outside of the impact zone, where the waves were breaking, maybe 3 or 4 times, but it was exhausting and I really didn't catch any waves. Last week was a walk in the park by comparison; I'm 3 hours out of the water and I ache everywhere from wrestling my board through the choppy water. It was worth it though and I was glad to note that the two big guys who are pretty decent surfers also had trouble. If 6ft plus blokes struggled then I don't feel so badly about struggling too. However days like today always make me feel so girly, especially when the surf instructors just walk out there without any problems. With all the weight training I do I am lulled into a false impression of being strong, especially relative to the other women I take classes with who more often than not stick to 8lb weights as their maximum while I use 15lb weights for chest presses, flies, rows and for extra weight during lunges and 8lbs as my lightest weight. See!!!! I'm no wuss, but today the ocean made me feel like a delicate wee flower.

I had a great time though, I'm exhausted but happy!!

Friday, 6 January 2012


So let's review 2011...225 exercise classes (given how permanently exhausted I feel I really thought it would have been more often than 4 times a week. According to Debs and Megan it's scary that I counted my classes!!); 13 surf lessons (amazing), 1 broken friendship (over it; it is what it is), one great saunter - 32 miles around Manhattan, never again, I'm still growing out the resulting bruised toe nail- 6 dates (is that all? 1 with a guy who's name I cannot recall, 1 with Al, 1 with John, 1 with David & 2 with Clinton...hmm yup 6, that's really quite pitiful, perhaps I gave up too easily; 6 haircuts and one lost lust object (I plan to post separately on this). All in all not too bad, score for the year 7 out of 10, a definite improvement on 2010, but room for improvement.

So here are my resolutions for 2012...

1) F**k it

It's not pretty, but it rolls off the tongue. This is my mantra for 2012. Generally speaking I worry too much about what people think. I really need to stop, because let's face it, no-one is really paying attention to what I'm doing/wearing/how much I weigh etc so why do *I* care?.

2) Surf

Basically do more of it. 'Nuff said. I'm already on track to beat 2011's paltry 13 sessions having gone out on New Years Day already and I'm out on the water again tomorrow. Yay!! I'm excited to become more adept at paddling into my own waves and generally becoming a more accomplished surfer. I'm also thrilled to have made a couple of acquaintances who texted me to let me know they were going out tomorrow and asked me to join them, so here's to making new friends too. Hopefully this will be an easy resolution to keep assuming I have the money to pay for lessons*

3) Work out

Keep up the good work from 2011. I've been to the gym 5 times already this week and was pleasantly surprised to find my classes weren't crammed to the rafters with too many new years resolution types. Sure, there were a few newbies, but no more than half a dozen per class so far. After exercising regularly and eating normal sized meals over the last few days I already feel a lot less Bratwurst like in my jeans than I did this time last week. Phew!!

4) Write

I want to develop the discipline to write more often in 2012 whether it's updating my blog, emailing my friends or writing a novel. I really have no purpose, but I love it, it makes me feel good, it gives me a new perspective on life, it's a good thing, but after a long day at the office it's hard to sit down and write. Despite 225 exercises classes implying the contrary, I am, at the heart of my being, a lazy person who will laze on my futon watching any old shite on TV if the opportunity prevents itself, so I've set myself a challenge of writing for at least 30minutes a day.

5) Don't buy any new clothes in the first 3 months of the year

Now let me ask you something...does it technically count as breaking the resolution if you buy something new to replace several somethings you've returned, afterall you've spent the money already,'s like free clothes right? Technically I didn't spend any money. What's that you say? It counts? Dammit!!! Okay, well it looks like I've failed with this resolution 5 days into the new year then having just ordered a pair of patent low wedge Cole Haan shoes to go with the 'Ruched Glyph dress' I bought online in early December from Anthropologie, but I am waiting on being credited for returning 4 pairs of knee high boots and 2 pairs of shoes.

I do love my ruched glyph dress, although I admit it lacks hanger appeal, but I have to concur with the reviews on Anthropologie and say that good lord it is flattering on. It's a bum hugger though and about 4 inches shorter than I'd typically wear, hitting me at mid thigh, so it's taking some getting used to, but I plan to keep it as I feel I need to mix it up a bit in the old wardrobe department since I do have a tendency to be one of those women who finds a style and sticks with it and before you know it the years have gone by, you're still wearing the same styles and you're friends have banded together and collectively written off to "What Not To Wear" to see if they can get you the sartorial help you so desperately need.

God forbid that should happen, so a new frock it is.

I tried the dress on with thick black tights and heels as soon as I got home and ooopsie, strumpet central. Heels were definitely not the way to go, not unless I was after a job as a night club hostess. I decided that flat-ish boots were the way to de-sluttify it, so ever since I bought the dress I've been on the hunt for the perfect pair of boots to wear with. It's harder than you might imagine, especially if you have very specific ideas of what you are looking for as I did. I wanted leather boots that came to about an inch below my knee, didn't gape at the top of the shaft. I hate it when they gape and give the boots a welly-like (rainboot) appearance. I was also looking for a pair with a wedge heel, although as it turned out I had to compromise on that since all the wedge heeled boots were clearly meant for the more statuesque female since the ones I tried all had a very tall shaft and looked like over the knee boots on me, despite the fact that Zappos lets you select based on material, heel type, heel height, shaft height and shaft circumference they were all too long and it's not a great look when you are petite, but not whippet thin. "That's how they wear them these days," said my mother, clearly tiring that I'd tried on umpteen boots in Century 21 and not been happy with a single pair. Thank you for your input mother, but I beg to bloody differ.

I finally found the perfect pair from.....well come closer so I can whisper the name of the store I'm a bit embarrassed about it. Closer!! So don't tell anyone, but I bought them from...Easy Spirit. Yup, the store that sells comfortable, and often ugly, shoes for women of a certain age. I spotted them when I was in the store with my mother and pondered them for a few days, before taking the plunge and ordering them online. God forbid I should inconvenience myself by walking to the store approximately 4 blocks from my apartment. Anyway I say perfect, but they are not really, but they're probably the best pair I've tried so far and get rave reviews on the site from women with an average age of 65!! So here I am, aged 40 and already reduced to buying comfortable shoes from Easy Spirit...sob!! This feels like a low point in my life!!

I tried the dress on again with the boots this morning. I still love the dress, but have decided there is no way in hell I am wearing it to work without a substantial sized cardigan over it, since as I said total bum hugger and there may well be talk, plus once you get to my age you do sometimes worry that maybe you are coming across as if you are trying too hard. Mutton dressed as lamb and all that. My f**k it mantra will only carry me so far if I am not comfortable in my clothing. Anyway I'm not *totally* sure on the boots. They are probably the best ones I have tried on and they fit well and are as comfy as you'd expect boots made for retirees to be, but.......hmmmm. I think I might just have to get used to them, being a virgin to all this boot wearing business and all. I've never owned a pair of knee high boots before so this is all new to me and maybe I just need to get used to it, but I kind of miss not showing off my skinny ankles. If there's one thing to be said for having muscular calves - 11 years of ballet dancing plus genetics et voila - it's that your ankles look teensy by comparison and I don't like them being covered up, which is where the Cole Haan low wedges come into the story. Perhaps the low wedges will work better. I'm probably going to keep the boots too though since they were on sale.

*Rumor has it that 65 people will be laid off on Monday. Crap!!

For Anyone Who Didn't Realize You Could Surf In NYC...

Here's a 7 minute film about NYC surfers by Chris Shashaty. Surfing in New York is so amazing, I'm smitten!! The lesson is a go for tomorrow so I'm looking forward to being out on the water. Megan is about 90% certain she'll come along, however two other people I know plan to be there so even if she doesn't make it I'm happy to know I'll have company.

Subway Surfers (Full Length) from Chris Shashaty on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I Know I Shouldn't Say This....

....Given the evils of global warming and all, but I am thrilled by the forecast for Saturday. It's looking like a surfing day. Whoo hoo!!!!

Today was FREEZING and the thought of being in the water....brrrrrr. You can't tell from the above image, but this morning the temperature was 12F, but with the wind chill it felt like 5F (-15C). After experiencing that it's hard to believe that it's going to warm up sufficiently, but the surf school posted on Facebook today that they plan to run a 90minute class on Saturday, so fingers crossed the weather holds. If it does I shall be popping out to Queens first thing to enjoy some time in the water. The following weekend I start my 8 week 'surf camp' with SurfSET fitness at Chelsea Piers. I really didn't expect to be out in the ocean at all during the first 3 months of the year so I booked myself some indoor surf training on the Rip Surfer X machine to build my paddle endurance, plus it seems like something different - although I've seen it maligned by a few surfers on their blogs, all male and none of whom seem to have actually tried it - but getting more water time on top of that is a bonus. My resolution to surf more in 2012 is going well so far.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

First Day Back At Work


Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh!!

Lovely as it was to see everyone at work today it was not easy being back after more than 2 weeks off.

Poor me ;-)

This IM from Debs' just about summed it up

Debs: Seriously... what do I do? when can I go home?

Ha ha!!

I also made the mistake of braving the scale this morning after a solid two weeks of my mothers cooking plus Christmas indulgence and I've put on about 2lbs. Not bad really, I think I typically put on more, but it didn't help that I accidentally pulled out the most snug pair of jeans I own this morning while rushing to get ready for work. When I'm at my normal weight they are my favourite pair since the waistband and bum doesn't grow after a few hours wear and I don't have to worry about a belt, unfortunately for me today the waistband and bum didn't grow so I was squeezed into the damn things the whole day. I felt like a big denim sausage.

I took things fairly easy today, but tomorrow work starts again for real!! I think I got a little *too* used to be a lady of leisure!!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Things I Learned In 2011

After posting about a particularly annoying experience I had wearing a short summer wetsuit while surfing in Rockaway in September I received a decent amount of search traffic on one particular topic...who knew that wedgies were a THING???? People are so weird ;-)

The Best Way To Bring In 2012

I still need to put my arms out for balance though, I don't know why I hold them in like that, although if it works...!!

Today was a great day, I caught two waves all by myself whoo hoo, this is quite an achievement - pats self on back - as previously I've always needed an instructor to give me a 'push-in' to gain the necessary speed to catch the wave. Of course even though I caught them I immediately fell off them when I tried to pop up and ride them, but still...progress!!

Megan also had a great day despite serious trepidations about surfing in cold weather - she's only ever surfed in Hawaii, Bali, Costa Rica and New York in the summer, so this was her first time wearing a wetsuit, booties and gloves and while she did find all the gear heavy - one of the instructors mentioned that the gear typically adds a good 30lbs once the suit is filled with the necessary layer of water. Maybe for a 200lb man, but 30lbs is a quarter of my body weight so I think I would have noticed if I was hefting that much of an extra load - she had a great time.

Here's to a LOT more surfing in 2012!!