22 November 2012

Giving Thanks for One More Thing

As you read in my last post, I'm thankful for so many wonderful things this year. I would be even more thankful if you could visit my brand new website and share your thoughts about it with me. I'm always looking for ways to improve!

21 November 2012

The Thanksgiving Spirit

Happy Thanksgiving to anyone following this blog! My lengthy absence has finally ceased. With the next two days off from work and a half-day today, I can post to my heart's content... in between all the schoolwork I have for the two classes that I'm currently taking (Literary Theory and Fundamentals of Copyediting and Proofreading, but more about those another time) and the website that I'm trying to create (I'll update you as soon as it's ready). Now to get to my actual post...

This year,I'd like to list the top 10 things I'm thankful for in my life. So here goes. I am thankful...

... that I have a loving family to support me.
... that my boyfriend is the best in the world.
... that our relationship hasn't lost its spark.
... that my family and friends remain healthy and safe.
... that we survived hurricane Sandy with minimal damage.
... that Obama got reelected president.
... that great literature exists.
... that I have a roof over my head and a steady job that I enjoy.
... that I can afford to attend classes and continue learning.
... that I haven't forgotten all of my Hungarian language skills.

What are you thankful for? I'd love to hear from you and share our stories!

12 September 2012

I Remember

I remember sitting in my eighth grade classroom. Someone came to the door and whispered a message to the teacher. I can't remember how they announced it to us. The next recollection is of all of us turned in our chairs to watch a tiny TV screen at the back of the classroom. I didn't know exactly where my dad worked, but I knew it was in the vicinity of the World Trade Center. I remember the panic slowly building in my chest. I don't remember getting home afterward. I don't remember watching the news about the 9/11 attacks. But the memory of that fear still brings tears to my eyes as I write this. I remember the relief when I learned my dad was okay.

Now that another September 11th has passed us by, I think it's safe to say that we haven't yet lost the horror of that day, even though it happened 11 years ago. And I hope that even the generations who didn't experience the tragedy will remember it through stories and news reports and photos. All of those things are painful, but I think we need them to throw salt in the wound so that it won't heal up, lest we forget. My heart goes out to everyone who lost someone.

I wish that everyone in the world could just exist in peace.

11 September 2012

Brighton Beach in August

The sand doesn't get hot until noon.
We spread our sheet in a spot still
untouched by human bodies.

I don't want sunblock; you don't
want sunburn, but it's still too early
for even the brightest star to be fully awake.

We swim like tangled jellyfish. We try
to propel ourselves forward as one
entity, drifting farther toward the deep.

I can't stand out there; don't carry me,
don't carry me out, I beg and plead
so you go it alone and I watch.

But now I feel like a starfish
waiting to grow back an arm.

23 August 2012

Mouse Ears

Walking Man, this one is for you. Don't worry, there will be a TON more Disney photos to come at a later date (probably more than anyone would ever want to see!).

Technological Tools

Skeptics rest assured, Disney World was an amazing time! Too much happened to even write about now, but eventually I'll share some anecdotes.

In the meantime, I'm typing this on my brand new iPad, and I'm hoping that having this Blogger app at my fingertips (quite literally) will make it easier to post more frequently. I also got a very cute cover for it based on the movie Lilo and Stitch.

And because I want to test both the photo capabilities of my iPad and whether this app will allow me to upload photos, here's one:

02 August 2012

Good Intentions

I don't think I've mentioned it on this blog yet, but my brother is going to Disney World too, although unfortunately not at the same time as Todd and I. He left this morning, before I even woke up (and that says a lot, because I wake up at 4:30 a.m.). I didn't expect him to leave so early, and didn't even get a chance to give him the "care package" I'd made for him and his girlfriend: a copy of the fact book I've been posting from to give them some reading on the plane, some emergency band-aids, some hand sanitizer, and a small packet of tissues. I felt really sad that I missed the opportunity to give it to them, and I regret even more that I didn't get a chance to wish them a good time. I texted them when I woke up, but it just wasn't the same. But he did leave behind a box of poptarts (he bought about a dozen for the trip), and I like to think he left them behind for me. (That's highly doubtful, but I'll pretend.) I guess I'll still give them the care package when they come home and they can read the facts afterward haha.

Because I didn't post yesterday, here are two facts for today:

"Disney employs more than 600 horticulture professionals who plant more than 3 million annuals on the property each year and care for 4,000 acres of gardens and landscapes. That's nearly five times the size of New York City's Central Park!"

"Love roses? Almost 13,000 of them can be found at WDW throughout the year."

(Little-Known Facts about Well-Known Places: Walt Disney World, Laurie Flannery)

31 July 2012

Fireworks at the Castle

One of the things I'm most excited for at Disney is to see the Wishes fireworks show that happens nightly above Cinderella's castle. Ever since I was a kid, I've loved to marvel over fireworks--and I never seem to lose that sense of awe, either. I've heard that the Wishes show is fantastic, and I'll be sure to take some pictures to share when I return (or I'll finally make some space on my phone and download a Blogger app and post it real-time for once!).

Today's fact of the day: "How many stone blocks were used to create Cinderella Castle, the most photographed building in the world? None. The building's shell is actually a steel skeleton covered in fiberglass. The castle was built to withstand hurricane-force winds exceeding 90 mph." - Little-Known Facts about Well-Known Places: Walt Disney World, Laurie Flannery

30 July 2012

Facts & Photos

Here are some photos from a good weekend spent with my parents and Todd. We ate at Yard House, a relatively new restaurant in our area that has amazing appetizers (think big juicy onion ring towers and maple bacon dipping sauce with sweet potato fries) and good food. I really enjoyed dinner, as well as The Dark Knight Rises, which we watched afterward. Although I didn't think Bane stood up to Joker as a villain (but who really expected him to?), I thought this film's storyline had more substance to it and I really enjoyed the performances of both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway (who I usually don't like too much). Without further ado, here are the photos. Scroll all the way down to check out today's Disney fact of the day.

Todd and I outside my house before heading to the mall.

Onion ring tower and dipping sauces

My roast beef sandwich with au jus, soup, and truffle fries

Todd's bearnaise burger

My dad's burger-man creation

My mom's plate

"Why are the elevator motors in the Tower of Terror actually sealed inside the building? Because they're so massive, at 12-feet tall and 35-feet long, that they weigh a whopping 132,000 pounds, generating enough torque to equal 275 Corvette engines. They had to be lifted by crane into place, and the building was then completed around them, sealing them in." - Little-Known Facts about Well-Known Places, Laurie Flannery 

27 July 2012

Dark Chocolate M&Ms

I'm about to embark on a tv show-watching spree with Todd while, of course, devouring all of the candy that I can grab. Well... I'll try not to eat THAT much.... maybe. The shows that we're mostly watching are Covert Affairs and Colony. The first is about a CIA agent who embarks on a number of semi-dangerous missions while pining for her blind co-worker. The second is a real experiment performed on a group of (coincidentally well-equipped and knowledgable) individuals who must live in a pseudo-post-apocalyptic world.

Anyway, before I go explode with yummy goodness, here's the fact of today:

"One of the hottest dinings spots in the Magic Kingdom, Cinderlla's Royal Table, originally was named King Stefan's Banquet Hal. King Stefan was a misleading moniker, since he was dad to a different princess: Sleeping Beauty. The name change went into effect in 1997" (Little-Known Facts About Well-Known Places, Laurie Flannery).

26 July 2012

And the Wind Begins

The weather channel is predicted heavy wind and ferocious thunderstorms for this evening into tomorrow, and at one point during the day it even cautioned about a possible tornado watch. I can't even begin to imagine the havoc a tornado would have on New York City--and hopefully I won't actually have to find out, either! The winds have just started picking up in tandem with the darkening sky, and I expect that the rains will commence within the hour. This is the perfect weather to curl up with a book and read before going to sleep. I think I'll do that with my Hemingway biography. I'm about three-fourths of the way through it, and it's really keeping my attention well. I enjoy the way that straight biographical facts are tossed about with literary criticism and some rumors and speculations.

But before I go, here's the Disney fact of the day: "Disney uses a well-known film technique called forced perspective to create a larger-than-life feeling in many areas of the resort, especially the Magic Kingdom. Cinderlla Castle is a prime example. Although it's only 189 feet high, it seems much taller. How? One example: Disney shrinks the size of the stones and windows as they get higher, creating the illusion of height." (Laurie Flannery, Little-Known Facts about Well-Known Places")

25 July 2012

Short Blog Break

I'm taking a very short break from working on my final Frankenstein paper to post today's Walt Disney World fact of the day. I just finished writing about Shelley's comparison of Victor Frankenstein to Satan from Milton's Paradise Lost, and I'm now poised to describe her second comparison: Frankenstein and Prometheus of Greek myth, a titan who is said to have created humans from clay and who gave fire to his humans despite Zeus' instructions to the contrary. That discussion will encompass the responsibility of the creator and the overstepping of one's bonds as a means of destruction, supporting my argument that Shelley depicts Frankenstein's fall as a warning against secretive science and the quest for power.

Here is today's fact: "Walt Disney World employs more than 62,000 people, including at least 58,000 cast members. That's more than twice the number of employees at the Pentagon (23,000), one of the world's largest office complexes. WDW is, in fact, the largest single-site employer in the United States."

And here's a photo for today, to keep things colorful. This is from a recent trip that Todd and I took to the NY Botanical Gardens. We might go back on Saturday; if we do, I'll post more photos:

24 July 2012

Goals and Grandparents

Now that I'm done with my summer class, barring a final paper on Frankenstein that I have to finish writing this week, I really do have some time to post semi-regularly again. And posting regularly is, as always, one of the goals that I strive to achieve. Among them, this time, is trying to eat healthy--in general, but specifically for the next three weeks, before I go to Walt Disney World and eat a TON of junk food. The countdown to Disney is 19 days, and Todd and I leave on Sunday, August 12. I'm very excited; I haven't been to that world of consumer-driven magic since 2001, and I don't remember that trip super well. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I'll share one little known fact about Disney each day, taken from Little Known Facts About Well-Known Places: Walt Disney World, by Laurie Flannery. Todd and I went through the fact book the other day and found some pretty interesting ones. Today's little known fact: "Through Disney's Harvest Program, founded in 1998, the resort's excess prepared but unserved food is collected and distributed to state agencies by the Disney Harvest truck in cooperation with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. WDW donates nearly 50,000 pounds of food per month."

In other news, we go to press today at The CPA Journal and my grandparents recently visited from Florida. Here is one photo, for now, of Todd and I with my grandparents. (I just realized that we're both wearing striped shirts <3)

21 July 2012

Happy Birthday, Hemingway!

Today is the birthday of Ernest Hemingway, author of many works, most notably The Old Man and the Sea, The Sun Also Rises, and A Farewell to Arms. I've recently finished a spree of reading all of his novels, and I'm now reading a biography on Hemingway by Kenneth S. Lynn. The biography further confirms the sense that one gets, while reading, that much of Hemingway's material was grounded in his own life and personal experiences--even though this action was something he strictly preached that good writers shouldnt' do.

But despite his violation of his own rule, Hemingway is--in my estimation, at least--still a very good writer. While some of his novels, like To Have and Have Not, had me hoping it would end sooner rather than later, the good ones were very good. With stark prose and a short, choppy rythm, Hemingway could describe a scene more fulfillingly than a painter could paint it. His characters are always human. His vocabulary often had me looking up words in the dictionary. His endings always left a sour taste in the mouth but a certainty in the gut that that was, in fact, the only ending, and that anything else would have been cheating the story.

I never used to like Hemingway, but after reading through all of his novels, I've changed my mind. I'd encourage everyone who scoffs at him to just give him one more chance. At the very least, his works give an insight into the mind of a writer, the writer, and in his memoir, A Moveable Feast, he gives all writers some philosophical techniques to think about and, perhaps, improve.

04 June 2012

A Spring Chill in June

I'm not sure how the weather has been anywhere else, but here it's been crazy. In May it felt like mid-July (which is why I barely updated this blog, because I tried to spend every non-working minute outside in the heat and sun), and now in June it feels like the end of April. But I want to try to start writing regularly again. It takes discipline to keep a blog going, but then, writing always does. And if I want to write a novel, then I'd better start small and work my way up, right? 

For now, here are some recent photos to show you what I've been up to:

I helped my parents clean all the lawn accessories in our backyard in attempt to get ready for summer.

I also helped pick the strawberries that we're growing in our backyard. Mostly I just watched Todd and my dad pick them, and I took photos.


Todd and I came across the baby bird that was lost on the sidewalk and chirping to its mother in a nest in a tree. We tried to guide it back home as best we could.

I spent a day with my mom at the mall and had a lot of fun.

She bought me this floppy hat to take on my trip to Florida in August, which I've been spending a lot of time planning with Todd in the past few weeks. I'm so excited! <3

30 April 2012

I Am Alive

Is this what a fisherman feels when he’s hauled in his day’s catch, with the carp and the marlin salted on the floor of the skiff? When he brings his boat ashore and the others stare at his haul, does he feel pride for his catch? Or does he think that it’s all in a day’s work, and does he plan to go out the next day and bring in the same, so that he can support his family, or just himself? The fisherman doesn’t worry when the line leaves scars in his palms or slices open his skin, or when the fish pull him in circles for so long that he’s exhausted and bent. The fisherman doesn’t worry and he doesn’t complain. He just prepares his bait and baits his hooks and takes each day at a time, each hour and each minute and each second waiting for the telltale pull on the line. 

I've been absent for quite a while recently, reading Hemingway and trying to work on a new novel. I still have to edit the draft manuscript of the last novel I'd been working on, but I think I need a break from that, time to let it marinate in my brain for a while. This new one is about a group of four friends who travel to Hungary together using the money that one friend inherited from her great grandmother's death. But one of the friends has a secret, and he has to tell the others before it's too late. 

In other news, the May issue of The CPA Journal is complete and has been sent to the printers, so we should be getting that in at work any day now. Aside from work, I've been spending time with Todd. We're going to see a We Were Promised Jetpacks concert this weekend on our 1 year and 8 month-iversary. I'll post some music and pictures at a later date. And more about my longest relationship ever at a later date too. Suffice to say, I'm still incredibly happy with him. <3

To end this mini update, here's an interesting article I read in the New York Times this morning about abandoned silos in Kansas that have acted like incubators for trees and now dot the prairie.

28 March 2012

An Underground Past

I'd recommend to all readers that you watch this video, taped inside the Times Square subway station in the '80s. It's interesting to see what looks the same and what looks different. Of course, the most notable difference is all of the graffiti on the trains! 

Also - there was a "K" train?! Where did that go?

I'd like to find some videos from even earlier than that; if I find any good ones, I'll share those here as well. If you know of any, let me know! I'm very interested in the different stages of the New York City subway system.

22 March 2012


“I sat beside Brett and explained to her what it was all about. I told her about watching the bull, not the horse, when the bulls charge the picadors, and got her to watching the picador place the point of his pic so that she saw what it was all about, so that it became more something that was going on with a definite end, and less of a spectacle with unexplained horrors. I had her watch how Romero took the bull away from a fallen horse with his cape, and how he held him with the cape and turned him, smoothly and suavely, never wasting the bull. She saw how Romero avoided every brusque movement and saved his bulls for the last when he wanted them, not winded and discomposed but smoothly worn down. She saw how close Romero always work to the bull, and I pointed out to her the tricks the other bull-fighters used to make it look as though they were working closely. She saw why she liked Romero’s cape-work and why she did not like the others.”
- Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

20 March 2012

Signs of Spring

red berries
awakening bud

life over death

cotton candy boughs

15 March 2012

out of hibernation

when the day was warm we went out from the office and squinted in the sun
and we all sat on benches to eat deli sandwiches that we had purchased with 
what little cash we didn't put into the bank, what we allowed ourselves to spend,
what we weren't stashing away in hopes of saving up for vacations or books 
or going back to school or to someday have just enough to purchase a plot of land
and some seeds to grow a garden and build a hut with sturdy wooden planks
and then we could live forever as a community of clasped hands out in the sun.

Oh, if life were that simple, what dreamers and poets we all would be.

17 January 2012

House of the Day

Today I just want to share with readers a really great gem on the Wall Street Journal website: the House of the Day. This feature, which isn't religiously updated every day but pretty often, showcases luxurious homes in the United States and around the world. Although I can't afford any of these houses (and might not ever be able to), I really enjoy looking at the different styles and interior design schemes. And I love to imagine what I would do with that space, like in today's highlighted English Manor house.

11 January 2012

Video Poetry

Here are some videos from poetry open mic night last Friday. They're sideways, but I decided to put them up anyway. Apparently I still haven't figured out the video function on my digital camera.

The first is me, doing a short piece.

The next is a clip from my friend Sean's song:

And this last one is one of the poetry open mic regulars... "Satan"... singing his amusing and political Christmas carols:

10 January 2012

Growing Up

Adventure is waiting
For the birds to announce
The first day of spring
And then waking up early
To jump in the watering hole
Or shitty plastic baby pool
That killed the grass in the yard

You watch the ants hoof it
Along the gum-strewn pavement
Nature hides its fragility behind force
But death always finds a way
To take us up to heaven
Or into the black nothingness
That fills a hole in the ground

In the morning Mom hears you leaving
She climbs out of bed to kiss you off
Some days she's stuck in dreams
And you open the bedroom door

Softly, with a niggling fear
Or actually a stab of panic
That she might not move at the sound

06 January 2012

New Record!

Before I dated Todd, my longest relationship was about one year and two months. It was nearly one year and three months, if you counted times of momentary separation into the total. That's a pathetically short range, I know.

But I'm glad that all of those relationships ended, because I was never as happy as I am now. And, my relationship length standard has reached a whole new level: one year and four months. I hope that the ease, warmth, and passion of this relationship never end.

Here are some photos from our one year and fourth month-iversary dinner:

i know, we're so classy

i think i awkwardly took this right after he finished chewing

i was much more excited about that frosty than i look here

05 January 2012

One of the Blessed Ones

When she was younger and growing up on Long Island, the former chair of the NYSSCPA Not-for-Profit Organizations Committee wished she could perform as a modern jazz dancer. Then, in her college undergraduate years at SUNY Binghamton, she studied English and prepared to teach literature. But her ambitions changed and she became a CPA, working as Eisner LLP’s director of not-for-profit services and as an adjunct professor of auditing at Baruch College.

Julie Floch doesn’t regret that decision at all. 

"I feel like I’m one of the blessed people,” she said. “I don’t know a lot of people who would say, day in and day out, that they really like their lives. And I really like mine."

...Read the rest of my Tax Stringer Member Spotlight article on CPA Julie Floch.

04 January 2012

New Year, New Opportunity

In 2010, I had 54 posts, up from 49 in 2009. In 2011, I wrote 93 posts. This year, I want to break 100 posts. I'd like to start posting more often, both about experiences I'm having as well as about interesting or educational tidbits I read in the news or online. To me, sharing information and ideas is one of the most important activities we can engage in, and I'd like to take an even more active role in making that happen among my followers, family, and friends. 

On that note, I'm going to share with you my other resolutions for this year - a year that some believe will bring about the end of the world. Whether it will or won't isn't for me to decide, but I'd like to make it the best year yet, just in case. I want to try and show more appreciation for those around me who impact my life in positive ways, and I hope to spend more time exploring activities and studies that interest me.

First, I resolve to actually work on and finish editing through the novel manuscript I've written. I'd like to tighten my writing into a blend of Fitzgerald's spot on descriptions and vocabulary with Atwood's storytelling knack and restraint. Not that it will get anywhere close to that, but I figure that having high standards probably can't hurt.

Second, I resolve to be the best girlfriend I can be: understanding, interested, and most of all honest. I will try my best to show appreciation for the many things that Todd does for me, and I will try to never make him sad. In the same vein, I'd like to be a better daughter to my parents and a better friend to those who have been there for me.

Third, I will figure out a plan for school. For anyone who doesn't know, I'm wavering right now about going back to school and what I should go for, and how I should approach it. By the end of the year, I want to at least have a focus and a direction to take.

Fourth, I want to start brushing up on my Hungarian language skills again. I haven't been able to speak the language or practice for quite some time, but I want to start reading and translating again, listening to Hungarian radio on my phone, perusing Hungarian news, and maybe finding someone to speak the language with so that I don't lose it.

Fifth, I want to further develop and realize my own identity and abilities. I want to dig even deeper into my soul and mind and release all of the potential that lies in waiting. I want to remain true to myself and to the things I love. I want to avoid being swayed by popular opinion or crowds. I want to remain firm to my beliefs and strengthen them. Lastly, I want to delve into my psyche and heal up any old wounds that still linger.

Whew, that was an exhausting list, just to type. But I'm up for the challenge of trying to achieve all of those goals. And I hope that you've come up with some good goals for the new year too. Even if you don't believe in "resolutions," as such, it's always good to have goals. By striving to reach new heights, we can be surprised by what we might find. What are your goals for 2012? Maybe we can help each other succeed. 

looking forward to a year of laughs and love.