Thursday, May 5, 2011

I have a valid excuse...

Hi there.

I know. I know. What happened, Amanda?! Weren't you supposed to write a blog post every week? HOW COULD YOU LET US DOWN?! Blah, blah, blah.

To all my readers (that I could most likely count on one hand), I do apologize. However, I have what I think is a valid excuse. I recently (or more like over a month ago) got a new job at an incredible company! Not only is it a quick 15-20 minute walk from my front door, but I honest to blog LOVE MY JOB. It's a strange feeling to say the least.

Here are five valid reasons I've neglected this blog:

1. Brooklyn Digital Foundry: I mean, click on this link and tell me it's not impressive. From the mind-bending design work and well-known clientele, this company stays busy around the clock.

2. The View.

I mean, JESUS ELIZABETH CHRIST. This is the view! From my office! Where I work! AND I took this photo with my crappy vintage iPhone 1. Insane.

3. My Baking.

You guys. If you know me at all, you know that I am the worst baker in the world. Honestly. Like, I've screwed up Pillsbury PRE-MADE cookies that are cut up and everything. I thought that I would be baking handicapped forever. I imagined my future children shaking their tiny fists toward the sky, cursing the heavens for giving them a mother that couldn't even baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies worth a damn. It wasn't until I actually got the motivation to learn how when I found out how much people around here love sweets... not to mention, it's a hell of a lot easier to bake for 8 people than a company of 300+.

 This may seem counterintuitive, but I started baking for my health. Sitting for 7 hours at work all day and then going home and gluing my ass to the couch was not doing me any favors. So, from time to time, I rush home to gather ingredients and end up standing up all night mixing, sifting, and frosting! I don't eat hardly any of what I bake FYI, just enough to make sure it doesn't taste like death (if it tastes a little like death, I usually give it the okay). As a result I have made several delightful desserts that have gotten rave reviews such as my chocolate Texas cupcake sandwiches*:

*These were supposed to be just regular-sized cupcakes, but I'm still trying to get the hang of this baking thing so the cupcakes came out dwarf size. My solution was to glue two together with frosting... or duct tape. I'll save that one for next week. 

4. The people.

The guys at the Foundry are great. They work hard at what they do; however, they're so much fun when the time comes to relax and chill. At the end of the day on Fridays, we all get some beers and just hang out. Not only does this allow us all to get to know each other better, but it's such a great transition into the weekend. We all take our jobs seriously, but at the same time, we have fun while we do it.

Exhibit A (taken at a local boxing gym where we did a casting call for a video project):

5. Brooklyn Rising: This is what is consuming most of my time... As communications coordinator I am responsible for maintaining the studio's blog and therefore have little time for my own! However, to learn more about how I got my job and hear me brag even more about how much I love my job, check out my latest blog post here.

In conclusion, I am sorry (or, actually, I'm not sorry. HA!) to say I might not be writing too frequently these days... I'm pretty damn happy and, like I said, I think that's a valid excuse. In the mean time, before I turn this into a food blog (possible food blog titles: Butter into a Paper Cup, Drool into a Paper Cup...) or maybe even a tumblr (Photos into a Paper Cup?), keep up with the Foundry (@brooklynfoundry) to know what I'm up to!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I will fight anyone that says they have a better mother than I do.

Okay, well, maybe I'll just give them a dirty look, but honestly, I have the best mom in the world. I have always know this of course, but it has become very apparent that I am mildly reckless when it comes to taking care of myself without her. I finally made it to the dentist last week after she reminded me that those hard white squares in my mouth need to be maintained and I subsequently found out I had three cavaties-- THREE. The thing is, I have never had a cavity. In fact, I belonged to the very exclusive Cavity-Free Club at the local family dentist back home. I got polaroids posted high on the doctor's office walls of me at every check up with a mouth full of pearly whites. Yep, those were the days when I took my mother's obsessive need for my sister and me to have regular checkups every six months for granted. Now that I live on my own with my own insurance and my own means to find a local doctor, I don't really understand how it all... works. This is also known as, I am a dirty and lazy young adult that doesn't realize that not flossing and brushing thoroughly after eating a burrito the size of my face is going to result in rotting teeth. Who knew.

The point is, no one knows me like she does (and that includes other things besides dental hygiene). Now that my visits home are becoming fewer and fewer, I realize how much I miss her (and my dad, but he'll get his own post on his birthday). It is mind-bottling (not a typo by the way-- name that movie reference!) what this woman can do. I mean, she brings multi-tasking to a whole new level, not to mention she always knows what to do and she actually knows everything.

Below is a short story/paper I wrote for my creative writing class back in school. We were asked the question: If my mother is <blank>, than I am <blank>. Hope you enjoy it! (And call your mom!)

If my mother is an adverb, then I am a noun. My mother never leaves a situation unexplained in full detail. Always interjecting PATIENTLY or RESPONSIBILY. She would not only jump over the lazy dog, but she would QUICKLY jump over the lazy dog. She never fails to answer questions like, "How?", "Where?", or "To what extent?" Comparatively, she is a superlative. She is always the QUICKEST and the MOST EFFICIENTLY prepared. She NATURALLY radiates interest. AMAZINGLY, she finds a way into every part of speech and is essential. She is the positive.

Writers find it difficult to take her out of their work once she is in place because they fear that their descriptions will become EXTREMELY dull. Without my mother, sentences would be bland, paragraphs would fail, and books would crumble. My mother modifies everyone for the better, but she never tries to modify me, a noun.
As a noun, I would like to believe I am the most well understood. I am defined as a person, place, thing, event, substance, quality, or idea. Period. People like to argue that there is so much more to me, but there really isn't. I'm not complex and in no way very descriptive. When necessary, I can be proper or common, concrete or abstract. I am described by adjectives and told what to do by verbs. Sometimes, I am taken advantage of by SHE or HE very easily. Pronouns are always waiting to take over my job. However, my mother is always there PROMPTLY. She never tries to change who I am because she thinks I am PERFECTLY constructed. She tells verbs how GRACIOUSLY they should act around me; she tells adjectives of my potential, and she is always there supporting me, making my sentences a little more interesting and my pages worth reading.

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My New Home

When I first moved to NYC, my biggest issue besides a lack of human contact was the fact that I had no "real" home. I was subletting from various people and living out of 2 (very) large suitcases. There's nothing more upsetting than going to work and coming back to nothing.

That is why I was so incredibly excited to move into my new place. Not only would I have friends to talk to, but I could design and decorate my apartment to my hearts content. It took a lot time and effort, but Julie, Rianna, and I truly made it happen. Our apartment is on one of the main streets of Brooklyn, and although it's noisy and dingy at times, it's what I call home now.

Here's a virtual tour!

This is our "dining room." Our front door is just to the right. The three posters are from Obama's campaign on UNC's campus. The table is incredibly old-- Julie and I found this gem at the local Salvation Army where we got it for only $100 and four chairs included! I checked the tags attached to the bottom of the table, and it was made in 1929! The red orange chairs we painted by yours truly. Our landlord threw them in as a bonus (SCORE!)-- it's surprising how much a pint of paint can do!

Probably my favorite room in any house, the kitchen. I really like the cluttered look so I took off all the cabinet doors so you can see our dishes and millions of snacks (brought to you by Trader Joe's).
("JAR" = all our initials FYI... some people don't get it.) Look! There's another painted chair! 
 I wanted to mix all sorts of colors whether it's in the furniture or the plates and bowls. I think I've always been attracted to this look because of how Monica arranged her kitchen on Friends (Surprise!): 


This stove is probably just as old as our table. But it works and it has a griddle! How adorable. The thing about NYC apartments is that you have to get pretty creative with small spaces so our pots and pans are hanging on my former closet door with S hooks! Our cooking oils, etc. sit in chic tangerine boxes. 


That dresser in the picture on the left was found on the street! We have zero counter space so it comes in handy-- as does the butcher's block on the right. Limited counter space means limited storage space, so our utensils hang out above the butcher's block. Note Betty Bop and PandApple chilling with the silverware.

 This, of course, is my bedroom. It's seriously tiny (notice how I couldn't really take decently wide picture) and I was afraid a bed wouldn't even fit, but it worked out really nicely! I went with a pretty specific color scheme... It took me a while to arrange the frames on my wall and I think I've gotten over my irrational fear of my guitar falling off the wall. The paper lanterns are from Chinatown and work will because we have such high ceilings in our apartment.

Curtains brought to you by Ikea! I love their fabric so I finished the edges and hung it in the window... this causes me to have less of a view of the street, but during the winter, I rarely want to look outside at how miserable it is...

Here's my vanity area... having one bathroom among three girls can get hectic, so I do my make up here. It's nothing more than a shelf on brackets, mirrors, and halogen lights from Ikea on each side! It makes makeup application so much easier and it doesn't look too bad either.
This is one of the strangest bedrooms I've ever lived it because there is seriously no closet space. The bookshelf on the left is for my shoes while I converted the "closet" on the right into more shelves. It's really shallow depth wise, so I added shelves (like the one for my vanity) and bought some nice boxes to put accessories, socks, etc... It's better used for that than clothes, because, let's face it, my bedroom could be my closet with the amount of clothes I have... outside my room I have a large wardrobe that is in danger of collapsing from the weight of my retail therapy-- but hey, it works... for now.

This is our living room! I love painting rooms and choosing colors, but the thought of having to repaint if I were to move again (god forbid), makes me want to hurl. I've always really liked how complicated/organic the shape of a tree is and so, on one of my many trips to Goodwill, I got the idea to use yarn and tacks instead of paint. I suppose I got my inspiration from the window displays at Anthropologie-- taking unlikely everyday objects like plastic water bottles or newspaper and making it into art.

My installation took a good 8-10 hours to complete and I've been adding (or growing rather) ever since. (The small lanterns are from Chinese New Year, by the way) I went into this project not really knowing how it would end up, but I really love it. It really pulls the room together (although a rug may have been better! BIG LEWBOWSKI REFERENCE! NICE!) by giving it character and a real sense of comfort.

All in all, I am incredibly happy with my new home. I never really understand how people can just leave their walls bare-- it's so important to make the space you call home your own and no one else's. Hope you liked the pictures and maybe you can stop by for an actual tour some time :)

Monday, January 24, 2011


It's not everyday that you meet people that are worth getting to know. Since I've been in NYC, the number of lasting friendships I've made are few and hard to come by.

Making friends is difficult. As a kid, it was as easy as sharing a desk or cubbie hole in school. BAM! Instant best friends. You both love PB&Js and you hate cleaning your rooms-- it's that simple. Even in college, it was slightly easier than it is now. I spent my freshman year really struggling to find my place, and it took me a solid 2 years to find a wonderful group of friends and an organization that gave me something to be proud of and be a part of. College was full of opportunities to hang out and meet people that were just like you and in the same place. Now, I belong to an undefined and infinite group of 20-somethings in NYC trying to make life happen after going to school for the last 16 years. How can I make friends when I don't even really know what the hell I'M doing? Apparently there is life beyond exams and parties.

Furthermore, I don't feel like many people give "finding friends" a lot of thought. When flipping through magazines and watching TV, it seems that all everyone really cares about is finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. Honestly, I find dating a little less daunting than making friends. This sounds strange, but there are thousands of dating services, advice columns, websites, books, and events dedicated to finding your true love, but fewer for just meeting and connecting with people on a friendship level (and don't try to tell me craigslist's "strictly platonic" section counts, Really.) Dating is straight forward (or it should be at least). "I like you and you seem interesting and really cute. Let's go out on our own and eat." Ever try asking someone out on a platonic friend date (masculine translation: Man date. Still having trouble figuring out the feminine equivilant...)? It's awkward and often creepy. "So would you, um, want to hang out with me later?" "...Why?" "Well, I don't know, you seem nice and you're wearing a Radiohead t-shirt... I think we would get along." This is usually met with a "Who are you again?" and "I'm not gay." or "I have a girl/boyfriend."

In fact, last year, a friend of mine convinced me to do the unthinkable. Join OkCupid. You can wipe that look of disgust and shock off your face now. Did you know that it's considered socially acceptable to meet people online now? I didn't. So out of curiousity and as some sort of social experiment, I joined, filled out a profile, posted pictures, and waited. The results were pretty horrible. You get messages from creepy people that think comments like "U hot" are effective. Then when you read someone's profile that you think might be cool, send them a harmless message, they never reply. (To make things worse, you can see who has been looking at your profile so when you don't get a message back, it's a whole new level of rejection.) On top of that, I had to answer HUNDREDS of questions in order to make my "matches" more "accurate" (note: pardon my excessively use quotations...) Questions like, How often do you shower? Is it important to you? What do you think about monogymous relationships? How important is it to you? How important is religion to you? I understand that these are questions that should be answered in a relationship, but I wouldn't stop dating someone because they had a different religion or one of their favorite movies is 2012 (well, maybe I would...). There are always exceptions because it's a relationship-- you make compromises and you shouldn't care about petty shit like whether they like cats or whether they read the same authors. Also, the "how important is it to you?" question is completely arbitrary-- Are people so unlikely to change their opinions and preferences that you answer these questions before even meeting the person?

After I deleted my account shortly after joining, I realized that I wasn't really looking for something all that romantic after all. I was simply looking for friendship and, sadly, OKcupid doesn't really offer a non-creepy/awkward alternative. There are so many ways to make friends, but, in my opinion, it can't be as simple as joining a website. I'm a huge fan of what technology has done for our generation and the way we communicate, however, having direct contact with someone is something that can never really be replaced. By being physcially present for a date, mandate, hang out, or whatever is saying that you are willing to put in the same effort as the other person to get to know them and like them for reasons besides interests in The Beatles or Indian food.

When I say this, I'm telling myself and anyone else that's willing to listen: Stop being a wuss and just ask. Be prepared to meet some really not so cool people as well, because there are a lot of those. But honestly, it seems worth it to dig through all the dirt and mud to find gold. You really learn so much from just talking to people-- especially people that aren't like you. A part from the possible awkward conversation and nervous tension, having someone to depend on and talk to as a friend is priceless. Don't make romantic relationships out to be the most important thing in your life, because that's bullshit. It's your family and friends that are going to be around for the long run and you're never going to meet wonderful and interesting people if you don't just ask. And for those being asked, don't be weirded out-- if anything, you should feel incredibly flattered that this person just wants to talk and hang out.

Dating is lovely and fun, but it's even more exciting to truly and honestly get to know someone for who they are and appreciate just that.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Life is Good

 "Writing does not cause misery. It is born of misery." -- Michel de Montaigne

I suppose this is the reason I haven't written too much lately... life is good! Even if I was miserable, I wouldn't really have time to think about it... besides the harsh Winter (and, I know, the worst is yet to come), I have truly been enjoying myself. New friends, experiences, and warm fuzzy feelings included!

Please do the following:

1. Enjoy the wonderfully hilarious graph I have posted above. There's nothing quite like the combination of simple math and punk music, is there? :)

2. Stay tuned for a post I am working on... I have resorted to buying a notebook and scribbling down random thoughts on my short 20 minute subway rides to and from work! I am trying. Really.

3. Have a splendid Friday/weekend!

Friday, December 31, 2010


I’m currently on a bus to DC to visit my lovely sister for the new year and finally have a second to sit down and think! Before getting to Herald Square and crawling over 4 feet of snow outside my front door, I grabbed a sandwich for the long journey ahead. When the friendly (almost suspiciously friendly) cashier handed me my order, he looked me directly in the eyes and said, “You’re going to have a good year. Enjoy your new year!” I was hardly expecting to get a side of good fortune with my avocado sandwich, but I didn’t complain. I smiled and nodded as I rushed into the subway.

What is it about January 1st that makes people make promises to themselves and those close to them? Is it merely an excuse for a new beginning, life, friends or aspirations?

I would imagine that if I were take a poll of what the New Year meant to most people, it would go something like this:

“It’s a time to reflect.” (AKA “Look at your life. Look at your choices.”)


And the one we’re all too familiar with:
“Get a gym membership and stop eating burritos.”

In the whirlwind that has been the year of 2010, I’m finding it difficult to reflect and process everything that has happened. I feel like trying to sort through events, people, and memories of this year is like trying to get to the bottom of a jar packed to the brim with sand.

I’ve grown and learned more than any other year in my life. This time last year I was sitting in my dirty college apartment, laying out my new year’s dress. There was no reflection or speculation involved… I was so incredibly wrapped up in my bubble and generally so happy that the farthest I had thought about the New Year was no where beyond how I was going to get home from a party at 3 AM on January 1st, 2010.

I can honestly say that I am not as happy as I was this time past year-- “happy” meaning “blissfully oblivious” of course. I’ve written a lot about how difficult changing my lifestyle has been… I have a wonderful job and place to life, but the process is nowhere complete. However, I’m not sad or regretful about this (you thought this was a suicide note until now, didn’t you? Maybe not… how many suicide notes have the word “burrito” and “sparkles” in it?). In fact, it’s pretty incredible. I feel so fortunate to begin 2011 with a necessity to make my life happen. When I packed up my car literally two weeks after graduation and threw myself into the middle of a new life, I had no idea what was going to happen. Beginning a new year when everything around you is so comfortable and happy makes it all the more difficult to make a change and keep promises. I feel like I’ve been given an opportunity in disguise.

Therefore, “hopeful” is a good word to sum up the end of 2010 and the start of 2011. I generally try to stay away from the phrase “New Year’s resolution” because, from what I can tell anyway, it tends to be associated with disappointment and expectations that are a bit ridiculous (again, I will never stop eating burritos as long as Chipotle is in business). To bring about change and improvement takes time. In order to train and condition yourself, you have to be ready for a few bumps along the way. Don’t give up at the first sign of resistance! In short, don’t let a change in the date change what you want and deserve. If you’re happy with your life, then keep it that way—who cares that you sign your checks to Chipotle 2011 instead of 2010? (Okay, I’m done with the burrito jokes… but, as a side note, you might want to look at your life and look at your choices if you’re writing checks to Chipotle, just saying.) The significance of your decisions is not dictated by the significance of the date.

 If you’re not completely satisfied like me, face the New Year with a new mindset. Don’t feel pressured to make specific goals (although you can). This isn’t a senior thesis. There's no deadline. This is your life and who the hell cares if it takes past 2011 or even 2030 to finally feel at peace and accomplished?

So as I sit on this bus and pensively gaze out the window (this would be more dramatic and artistic if I were writing in a journal and not balancing a laptop on my knees while inhaling my sandwich but whatever… You work with what you got), I really feel excited and maybe a little terrified about continuing the new chapter in my life. The funny thing is, I probably won’t even notice when it’s over and I’ve started a new one!

I hope everyone enjoys whatever you’re planning to do tonight whether you’re going to a party, going to Time Square (I’ll pray for you), or just staying home (good for you—another ridiculous expectation of NYE is to have fun at midnight which I have discovered only happens maybe 30% of the time… in my experience, most people blackout or have fallen asleep by the time the ball drops).

In the words of middle school teachers who think they’re being funny, “See you next year!” 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Get in the Christmas Spirit!

Rianna, Me, and Chris at this month's Digital Dumbo! Those candy canes did not make it through the night...
  I had a great time Wednesday night at the monthly Digital Dumbo hosted in Dumbo, Brooklyn! My roommate Rianna first told me about it when she was first got hired at her dream job at Carrot Creative and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to meet new people and network. This time, the event was fully equipped with ugly holiday sweaters galore and a SWEET photo booth that I thoroughly enjoyed (as you can see).

Since this was my second Digital Dumbo, it was not nearly as awkward as the first... As I've mentioned before, I despise awkward situations and there is always bound to be one when meeting someone for the first time. However, once you get past the small talk and have a couple (or several...) drinks, it's so much fun. You've got to put yourself out there, put on an ugly sweater, and go for it! How else to find new opportunities and friends? Well, the ugly sweater may not be necessary (although very conducive to starting a conversation), but you get the point.

Hope everyone is gearing up for a wonderful holiday! I'm SO ready to go home! Have a lovely weekend...

Words into a Paper Cup © 2008. Chaotic Soul :: Converted by Randomness