Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Questions in the Air

The airport said that I could not fly,

Which was fine on Wednesday, so I didn’t ask why.

Because there was snow,

And I know,

That Delta was working on letting me go.

But then I was told there was only one flight out

Which kind of made me want to pout.

Because I have a job

And I felt robbed

But didn’t say a thing because they airports are a mob.

Soon I was to learn that my friend’s flight

Was, in fact, quite alright!

Which meant she would come to NYC

But completely without me!

And most importantly without my house key.

Where would she stay? Where would she go?

Now we are both in a horrible limbo.

Let’s just hope on the New Year,

Well both be together having a beer,

But, this is a difficult task I fear.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'll Be Home For Christmas

I'm back in Virginia for the holidays, and made it just a few hours before the blizzard blanketed New York in flight-preventing weather. We were able to enjoy a white Christmas and I'm currently trying to see everyone in Richmond. Stop by the Fitzgerald house if in the area!

Hope you all are having a safe holiday :)
Milk and cookies for Santa
Sisters on Christmas
Spicer-Fitzgerald Christmas, as usual.
Snow! I haven't even seen this much in NY yet.
Dad surprises Mom with a trip to the city in April.
Presents and such.
All the girls.
Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday’s Things New Yorkers Say – Christmas Edition

I don’t know if it’s because of the holidays, or if NYC was just plunged into some time warp, but the inhabitants of the city has been surprisingly pleasant the last several weeks. So here’s a few of the amiable things I’ve seen and heard:

60-something year old woman in the Key Stone Grocery, shopping with an old friend.

Bam! She smacks her cart into the foot of a worker at the store, who was bent over placing items on the shelves. And this was a loud kind of bam that suggested immense pain. He stands up, slightly shaky. The older woman gasps and then begins to bounce up and down making an “mmmm” noise as her face contorted. Then man says, “It’s okay, it’s okay…” and then she says, “I’m so sorry!” and throws her arms around him. She hugs him for the so long that the solemn workers begins to laugh, and after a moment places his own arms around her in the most unconventional of embraces.

An older married couple (that had to be at least in their 70s) boards the 7 train in Queens.

She stumbles in, slightly ahead of her older partner. A young woman sees them and stands, giving up her seat. The older gentleman is now trying to make it to the vacant seat beside his wife, but the train starts and lurches violently. He almost tumbles, but is caught but a man, who escorts him to the seats. The woman smiles to her husband and says in an accent that sounds slightly foreign, “They are watching out for us.” She doesn’t stop smiling the whole way to Grand Central Station.

And then there’s always this… I leave you with the next comment from the Bloomingdales break room.

Obama had just finished a speech, and we were all starring at the TV waiting to see what would come on next.

“I hate when like political people talk, you know. They talk sooo long… and always right in the middle of important stuff… like Jeopardy. I mean come on! I’m tryin’ a get my study on!

Okay, I don’t think she was entirely serious. But she was a little bit. About the whole political thing. And the Jeopardy thing. Yeah, she was serious. But I know she was looking out for all of our best interests ;)

My sister Grace, seemly transfixed by the Christmas magic in NYC.

Eric also quite excited.

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb...ops. Just kidding... Mom and Becky visit and buy matching earmuffs.

Anna and I do a Christmas night celebration with a movie and holiday inspired treats.

I watched it for the first time this year. And then I was like, "Why haven't I watched this every year??"

Of course.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Sleeping Game

“Britney, go to bed,” my mother would say at half past 10. Reluctantly I would stash a book under my pillow and smile innocently.

“If you keep reading, I’m going to take your book!” she would say. While this was a vile threat, I hardly much cared if she took my novel or not. On the occasion that I was actually caught twice in one night reading (which, with my clever ear for footsteps, was not often!) Mom would simply take the book and toss it on the floor of the hallway.

I would hear thud, thud, plop…thud, thud as she walked into her room and closed the door.

Wait 5 minutes, I would think to myself, manually counting the seconds. Then get your book!

Some books that followed me to NYC

The clock on my wall had died months ago, and I had never changed the battery. Nor did I for the majority of my childhood. That way I would never know exactly how much sleep I was or wasn’t getting, leaving my reading time plagued not by time restrictions, but rather complete exhaustion. Only when I nodded off mid-page did I know I was done for the evening.

Apparently parents do not follow the same rules.

Craaaaack…. The door to my room opened slowly and I would hear my dad breathing. He was watching me, looking for the smallest movement in my facial expression or the faintest flutter of my eyes.

This is the performance of your life! I would repeat over and over again in my head. The melodramatic actress inside myself tried to fool my mouth into not moving. Don’t smile. Don’t smile. DO NOT smile. Most nights I passed the test.

You see, it was far worse for Dad to take my book. An insomniac in his own right, he would wonder downstairs to the television with my story in hand. Retrieving books from the hall was a sinch… but from the kitchen counter? That was a much more difficult mission. Not to mention putting it back without waking up the dogs!? No, if Dad took my book, recovery efforts were often foiled.

I find now, when I am much older, I still procrastinate going to sleep with a page-turner. Even as I complete this blog post, it’s nearly 4am. One of the clocks in my room is wrong – not that I need it anymore. My internal clock knows the truth about my horrible sleeping habits.

But a new book has been calling to me, like a siren at sea. You'll agree when I say I was lucky enough to stumble across the 767 page “Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis at the Strand Bookstore yesterday while shopping near Union Square. And the price for this classic, one might also ask?


I couldn’t resist the temptation, even though the day was about buying Christmas presents for others. You can’t even call that a splurge!

Unfortunately, new books have unhealthy side effects such as: distraction from everyday life, restlessness, sleep deprivation, anxiety, loss of short-term memory, and more. See doctor for details.

Anyways, I just finished the first 150 pages. Maybe it was healthier when I had parents to interrupt my escapism?

Then again…

I could always justify “breaking the rules” when Mom snatched up my novels. She made it far too easy for me to get them back. Except for the extremely rare occasion when she would take my book into her bedroom, she must have wanted me to keep reading. Why else would she have left forbidden passages about fairies, detectives, and imaginary worlds within my grasps?

The answer is obvious.

Yes. We’ll go with that.

Believe it.

Looks like its previous owner left a mark.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

High Class Hustlers

I threw my head back and laughed, while simultaneously clapping for the band as they finished strumming a jazzy tune. The bar was full of hushed conversation and the dim lighting partnered with candles on every table, as well as dark paneled walls, gave off the impression of 1940s New York. I half-expected a mafia member or even Blue Eyes himself to waltz into the joint.

But in actuality, it was December 2010, which signified the Pub Club’s last meeting of the semester. A gift exchange had taken place and now discussion was turned towards internships.

I am proud to say that every member of the Pub Club successfully acquired a prominent internship in one field or another!

Ivy has her choice between several publications, including Women’s Wear Daily and the Macmillan publishing company. Sam H. was drenched in rain during her interview, but was completely successful in all other appearances and will be working at Dorchester Publishing. Sam R. hadn’t heard anything from her first choice company for over 5 weeks, but was thrilled when the independently run W.W. Norton publishing house called her for the job. Clare had an offer at Henry Holt, but ultimately choose Harper Collins Publishers so she could also work with Ipad technology. And you already know about Martha and me.

Ivy’s uncle had generously bought a round of drinks for us girls, and then quietly listened to each tale of interviews, emails, and moments of absolute confusion. Finally after all our stories were finished, he spoke in a light New York accent.

“You girls… you girls are like high class hustlers!”

This sent Ivy and I into spasms of laughter, but to some degree he had a point. The publishing world is a small one, and to get anywhere - networking, smiling, asking, running around the city, and not being afraid of the word no are all included in the graduate degree package.

Sam R., Sam H., Clare, Ivy, and me.

Between all of these internships, I’m sure you’ll be hearing some interesting stories. I included everyone’s places of work as a reference for future blog posts and to let each girl know how extremely proud I am of their accomplishments.

Four months ago we were slightly bewildered, little things from all over the country and even though these are only internships and there is SO much more to learn, I am happy to say the five pub club members seem to be headed in the right direction.

And that’s cuz we be hustlin’.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh the Places You Might Go

The wind was blowing through my jacket as I crossed the street. Being so close to Manhattan’s icy water was not aiding my efforts toward remaining less than frigid, but I needed to stay focused on the mission at hand.

I was in the Chelsea neighborhood, headed towards the Hudson and the many renovated warehouses that line the island’s edge.

20 minutes early.

Despite the bitter air, I could felt a cold sweat beginning to take hold. Glancing around my surroundings one last time, I pulled myself together and stepped into 601 West 26th Street.

15 minutes early.

The warm air from the building offered some solace and I walked over to the reception desk. “Ah, so you’re going to the 9th floor miss. Right this way, and over to these elevators,” the man said, pointing through a security checkpoint.
Ding, ding. The metal doors slid open to an all white lobby, surrounded by glass doors and windows. The view of New Jersey and the Hudson was unable to be ignored as the winter afternoon light shown through the clouds, illuminating the office.

I was there. 9th floor. 10 minutes early. That was perfect for an interview. After signing in and taking a seat in the waiting area, I continued observing the sparse vicinity.

And then… I saw her. She was being broadcast on the large, flat screen television mounted on a wall to my right. The woman I could possibly have as a boss was stirring something, smiling, and speaking softly at the camera.

You know her name.
You know her story.
And you know you're a little bit intrigued.

Yes, there was Martha Stewart. Smiling and stirring; smiling and stirring.
Can you believe it!? No, neither could I.

Martha Stewart Living magazine was looking for an Editorial Intern for the spring semester, and I was determined to prove why I was a worthy candidate. Of course this is a notable publication and I couldn’t help but simply be happy that I had been granted an interview.

Now skip forward to yesterday at around 11pm. Some friends and I had just gotten back to the apartment and were about to relax by my little Christmas tree for the rest of the evening. I grabbed my computer and checked the email inbox one last time, only to find a letter asking for me to accept the position.

Um. YES!

So look out publishing world. I have a feeling that magazine is going to whip me into shape. And after this 15 week marathon? I’ll be ready for you. Or at least I can pretend to be ;)


Monday, December 13, 2010

And the Book Is...

Updates, updates, updates. Three things...

First: All of the navigation bar links are officially done! Hopefully you will find that this gives my blog a little more depth. Click around; see what you find.

Second: Over 40 of you voted to pick the book you would represent as an editor in a poll about two weeks ago. The project is done so I now I can finally tell you my picks. The top two that would make my lists were…

The Alice and Wonderland book and The Sleepless Sleuth book (numbers 9 and 10).

Why these? Alice is a classic… who hasn’t heard of the girl? And of course I find the real-life Alice Liddell intriguing. Was her relationship with Lewis Carroll innocent? Or was there something more sinister at work…

For those of you who voted for this particular story, “Alice I Have Been” is in fact a actual novel, mixing biography with a fictional twist. Melanie Benjamin wrote this revamp, and the paperback version comes out next week.

Cover of the new paperback release.

The Sleepless Sleuth book I initially liked because the storyline reminded me of “The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo” series. But the more I read about it, the less it seemed my type of book – even still, I thought it had good marketability.

Ultimately for my project, I presented about why “Alice I Have Been” was a decent book with an interesting author and why the Bodybuilding book should never be published (editorial mistakes, small audience, saturated field, etc.). For anyone who likes books I hate, this one was titled “You Are Your Own Gym.”


All of the books on the poll were actual deals and signings that have taken place in the last several months. So keep a look out… the book you voted for may be the next “Best Seller.”

Third: It’s snowing!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday's Things New Yorkers Say

Sorry guys; it was kind of a headphones week with exams and such, but I did catch a few things. Here is what I saw and heard on the streets of NYC this week…

Woman near Bryant Park on 42nd street, standing in the middle of the road.

“NO!!! NO! NO!,” she screams at a bus and then puts her hands on the glass doors. “NO, YOU’VE GOTTA LET ME IN. PLEASE LET ME IN!!!” She is probably 5’10’’ and wears a business outfit. The bus isn’t letting her in, and moves up slightly. “NO, NO, NO!” She is the definition of “frantic.” “PLEASE LET ME IN!! PLEASE, YOU HAVE TO. YOU HAVE TO.” The light changes and the bus to the ferry begins to accelerate. The woman throws both hands in the air and screams like she was actually run over by the bus, “NOOOOO!!!!!”

All this, just trying to get to school. Honestly though, I’ve never heard someone scream like that in public that wasn’t on a rollercoaster. The best part was that every pedestrian was starring at her as she ran out of the street. Then she noticed us (like she thought she was being discreet!?). We had all been rooted to the ground, and then suddenly in quite a hurry.

Subway announcer upon arriving in Queens on the 7 Train.

“Weeeelcome to Queens, Long Island City!” he says with a staccato that reminds me of a basketball announcer as we leave the tunnel connecting Manhattan and my home. “Pa-leas remember that the holiday season also meeeeeans…. Pick-pocketing season!” He now sounds like an auctioneer. “That’s right folks, keep your belonging near you at-all-times and pa-lease keep your hands in your pockets! This is the time for pick-pocketers. I repeat, keep your hands in your pockets. Once again, have a happy holiday season and know where your belongings are at-all-times! This is Queens, NY… Queensborogh Plaza, next stop.“ The man talks for about 70 seconds longer than any MTA announcer I’ve ever heard in my life.

Random homeless man: “Shut up!!”

Um, should I be offended that announcer first welcomes the train to Queens, and then immediately goes into a pick-pocking sermon? Humph.

The best sisters ever sent stocking with candy to me and my roommate. The best dad ever sent me the Carpenter's Christmas album so I could get in the spirit (because it is the ONLY true Fitzgerald Christmas CD). And the best mom ever is visiting on Tuesday ;)


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Cycle of a Late Night


Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, CNN

Check all your websites before you begin.


You’re doing fine.

Just going to have coffee instead of wine.


You’re on a roll.

Not doing too bad on the whole!


Eating, drinking, munching, munching.

Going strong with projects and number crunching.


For the first time, you feel a little stiff…

Maybe you just need a tiny lift.


Now you are really quite restless,

But the first paper was completely effortless.


On to project number two,

If you’re up past 4, what are you doing to do?


Adrenaline starts to really kick in,

And you drink so much coffee, that your head will spin.


The clock surely can’t be right?



Doing final edits, and you’re…



Come on now, wasn’t that kind of fun?


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You Know You Are a Poor Student Living in New York When…

* You are a vegetarian… but not by choice. Meat’s just too expensive. Or you shop at places with skeptical meat options (yes, that’s you C-Town).

The basics. I can cook, but making a meal for 1 under $5 is a little more difficult than "boil water," or "add salt for seasoning."

* Unlimited subway passes are gold. Losing this may be worse than losing your debit card.

* You eat slowly… verrrry slowly.

* You probably live in a place where you have no control over the heat. It’s either “on” or “off” so it’s either sweltering or it’s freezing.

* Milk is a luxury.

* You still get care packages from mommy and daddy, which often include food they know you won’t buy – like Oreos. Because, once again, that is a luxury.

A care package and the ol' heater.

* You definitely don’t have cable – thank goodness for Hulu.

*Light on, light off. When one person’s home, no two lights need be on at the same time.

* Meals often include pasta, eggs, peanut butter, potatoes, or bread. And bagels, of course. No, that is not a luxury! There are differences between what you want and what you need. Bagels are a necessity.

* You have also been known to eat chickpeas out of a can because they have iron and give you energy.

Energy for less than two dollars! Side effects may include high blood pressure from sodium intake, and is sometimes fatal. See back for details.

* And since you are a student, you will probably splurge on coffee. But forget those fancy Starbucks drinks. Practice saying “Tall Pike Place please” (cheapest Starbucks drink at 1.80 something). Better yet, get hooked on Dunkin’ Doughnuts.

* Stay away from 5th Avenue shops if you have an itch to buy. Actually, just wear a blindfold.

* No – no taxies for you.

* Wear your tights and leggings until the die – literally. And then when you look like a cartoon character with holes in your stockings, keep waiting until Christmas to replenish.

Hum. That's just wrong.

*Also wait till Christmas to receive any expensive items. Example: coat, boots, Clinique makeup.

* Base all grocery purchases on the “2 for 1” deals, even if you don’t really love the food. Consider food stamps because some of your actor friends use them. Then un-consider food stamps because some jobs ask if you've ever used them. Possibility for extreme awkwardness.

* Know that Bryant Park has free ice-skating and that Rockefeller Center is $30+.

*Figure out innovative ways to fix broken appliances.

The coffeemaker that did not close now does with the help of my little leopard friend here. Notice it says, "I don't do morning." Got to be a favorite mug.

* Ask every business if there is a “student discount.”

* Get to know the friendly cockroaches in the neighborhood. They’ll stop by and say “hey” every now and then.

* Go to work during the day, class at night, and then see if you can throw an internship into the mix.

* Accept the fact that you live in New York City and you love it.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday's Things New Yorkers Say: Holiday

I regret that it has been a few weeks since TTNYS with Thanksgiving and projects and such, but here we go again. These are a few things you might hear a New Yorker say…

Walking in the Union Square Christmas Market

“So I text him and I’m all like, ‘Hey baby’ you know, trying to be like all sexy, and then he says, ‘Hey baby. I’m so excited to see you… I’m blushing.’ Whaaat?!” She screams to her friend who is laughing so hard there are tears rolling down her face. “Whaaaat!” the woman screams again. “You’re blushing? What the heck? Were we not just talking about men never having emotions? Ha...well... maybe sometimes that’s fine.” They are both laughing so hard now, the story comes to a standstill.

I’m sure there is some sort of feminist communication studies project buried in there somewhere…

In the dress department of a store the weekend of Black Friday

Mother to daughter in extremely terse words: “Sorry I don’t care about if someone has seen a dress I’m wearing before, ON FACEBOOK.” Crazy daughter to angry mother: “Mom!” she screams, and then says in a normal tone, “I’m walking out.” Grabbing her bag she leaves the dress, and her mom follows chanting a verse that was stuck in my head all day. “Don’t you dare. Don’t you dare. Don’t you DARE. Don’t you dare.” Over an over again.

Yes. She would dare. But a word of advice woman… LET HER GO. She’s only going to get to about 5th Avenue before she realizes she needs your credit card again.

After the Macy’s Day parade, near Central Park West

A mother with her kid to another woman: “We had to miss Santa Claus because so and so had to pee!”

Okay, hold up. Were you at the parade to see Santa, or did you come so that you kid could see Santa? Either way (and yes, there is a right answer to that last question), it is NOT OKAY to call your kid “so and so!” He's just sitting there, looking at you, thinking "Wow she loves Santa so much she forget my name." Kids probably shouldn't think that. I bet he's going to have a Santa complex and really relate to the song "I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."

Oh people. You just make me laugh.