Mondo Beyondo

#36. Take My Dad To Nashville; Sing Along To Country Music In A Bar At The Top Of Our Lungs

August 11, 2011

We went to The Stage down on lower Broadway in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon. The band was fantastic and took a ton of requests, eventually singing Garth Brooks’ “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)”.

Dad and I hollered along to the lyrics we knew and made up the ones we didn’t.

We also witnessed a middle aged woman dressed in barely anything named Angela who kept buying people drinks, announcing to anyone who was listening that she was going to die ‘one happy motherfucker!’ and grinding inappropriately on the dance floor.

Alone.

It was super awesome hilarious.

Behold, Angela:

Behold, two of the cutest people ever:

The End.

How Italian Is Going

January 17, 2011

As some of you may remember, last spring I decided to tackle a rather huge intimidating item on my Mondo Beyondo list – Learn Two Languages Fluently. Even though my only experience with a foreign language was five years of French (I still remember how to say ‘not at all’, ‘I would like a chocolate’ and ‘the window, the door, the mountains, the pool’), I decided to go all blank slate and learn Italian. I figured Italian would be more useful as I have cousins living in Rome and a reason to visit frequently.

Also, I like pasta.

Italian is proving to be quite the challenge but not for any particular reason other than the fact that it’s

1) A foreign language

2.) There is no 2.

But languages are something I truly love to pieces and gravitate naturally toward learning. The annoying thing about them is that an entire language can take forever to master – the vocabulary, the conjugation of verbs, past, present, future, polite conversation, casual conversation. Every time I show up to class, my teacher asks me how my week was and I can barely get two sentences out before I’m clumsily mixing up my tenses and asking her for every other vocab word. “How do you say ‘x-ray?’ How do you say ‘I drank my wine while doing my homework and that’s why it doesn’t make sense?'”

(To this last question, my teacher asked me if I was drinking Italian wine and when I clarified by saying yes I was, she said OKAY! NO PROBLEM THEN and this is why I love Italian class.)

However! The awesome thing about languages is that even when you’re banging your head against a wall in frustration that you know nothing, you understand nothing, YOU WILL NEVER MAKE SENSE OF THIS NEVER, you realize how much you absorb. Every class I learn something new and this gives me a sense of accomplishment and a sense of progressing.

The first time I went to Italy, I could count to five, ask how much something cost and ask where the bathroom was.

This past summer, I ordered a cappuccino, asked for four bus tickets, told the owner of a hostel that it was way too hot outside, asked a woman how the washing machine in our rental apartment worked, ordered a pizza and specifically requested that the mushrooms be replaced by artichokes and chatted merrily with a cabbie in Rome, telling him no, we had not flown in that morning but rather we had arrived by train from Pisa which was very hot but nice.

Six months later, I still have to speak slowly and make sure I have the words I need, but I can have casual conversation about how my week was using the past tense, I can tell you what my plan for the weekend is using the future tense and I can give you a whole bevy of interesting facts about myself! My sister is shorter than me! My dad fell down and got an x-ray! I prefer wine white! I like your music! How is your dinner? My gelato brings all the boys to the yard!

Unfortunately, I still cannot listen to Italians converse and have any clue what is going on. I mean, nothing. I am clearly a visual learner because everything I read and write gets absorbed rather easily. When I listen to conversation? Nothing. So, I still have a bit of work to do.

Luckily for me, we do equal parts speaking and writing in class.

My favorite parts of Italian are the homework assignments which often involve me writing a paragraph about something specific (my favorite actor, how I spent Christmas). Other times, my teacher assigns dittos containing a story or conversation between two people. I’m asked to analyze it and answer questions.

This is all well and good until I start reading and completely forget that these assignments exist solely to teach me the language and vocabulary and they are not to be taken quite so…personally.

Take Anna and Lucia, for example.

Anna is upset because there’s a party Saturday next and she has nothing nice to wear!

Lucia chimes in and points out that the her wardrobe is full of nice things to wear! There’s that dress red she wore the year last to the dinner of work! Or that dress blue she showed her just the other day!

Anna comes back at her VERY GENEROUS FRIEND, IN MY OPINION WHO IS PUTTING UP WITH THIS RIDICULOUS WARDROBE ANALYSIS by pointing out that those two dresses are fine but the modern fashion is dresses short and while the dress red more short than the dress blue, the dress blue is still too long!

This is where I was like Anna, give me a freaking break. There are children starving in Africa and your dress blue is too long? GET SOME PERSPECTIVE. (AKA, GET A BLOG.)

Luckily, Lucia exists for this reason. (And also to teach me some new phrases like ‘You’re wrong!” and “Don’t be silly!”)

Lucia points out that she can get it hemmed.

And then High Maintenance Anna really goes nuts because she’s one of those helpless females with mother issues and she begs Anna to help her because her mom always told her she sucks at practical stuff like hemming dresses, her other sisters are WAY better at it and I’m like what the heck is going on and why is Anna’s mom such a bitch and also, hemming a dress is not that hard!?

Lucia says chill the fuck out, I will hem your dress red.

And then Anna WHO CANNOT SEEM TO CALM DOWN EVEN FOR ONE SECOND BECAUSE SHE IS INSANELY NEUROTIC asks Lucia about shoes! THE SHOES! ARE THE MY SHOES RED PATENT PRETTIER THAN THE MY SHOES BLACK? she asks.

Hold up, Anna.

I don’t know what’s going on in Rome but who the hell is wearing red patent shoes over the age of 5!?

Lucia, the grounded one (who would play the role of ‘overweight but hilarious and rational best friend’ to Anna’s Kate Hudson if this were a romantic comedy) points out that her shoes red patent are lovely but her shoes black would look much prettier with the dress red short.

Luckily, Anna finally shuts up and teaches me some slang by saying to Lucia “I don’t know how you put up with me!”

I DON’T KNOW EITHER, I shouted furiously after reading through this RIDICULOUS CONVERSATION. I wouldn’t put up with Anna and her annoying way of whining to her friend about everything and being a completely helpless human being. NOT FOR A SECOND. THE DRESS RED! THE DRESS BLUE! THE HER WARDROBE FULL OF DRESSES OF BEAUTIFUL! WHO EVEN CARES!?

And then I put the paper down and realized it was FAKE.

And Anna and Lucia are NOT REAL PEOPLE.

And that I done learned some Italian but I’m not really sure it’s applicable because I don’t own any shoes red patent so when the hell am I going to use that in conversation?

HUH????????????

YOU TELL ME THAT.

Um. Yeah. So. Anyway. That’s how class is going.

It’s good.

Bennissimo, in fact.

As long as I remember that fictional characters aren’t actually real people.

You know, so, the usual, I guess, as far as I’m concerned.

Shakin’ It Up: Cold Brew & Coronas

August 19, 2010

I made a commitment to shake things up this summer. It’s been harder to make this happen with a sick dad at home but I’m still pretty proud of the small amount of fun I was able to create. I’m a creature of habit and routine and I take lots of classes and work really hard and sometimes I forget to just have fun.

Which is why I created my Mondo Beyondo list.

Which I realized recently might come across as really self-centered. I mean, we can’t ALL make a Mondo Beyondo list. We can’t all travel to China and see the Mona Lisa and learn to parasail and isn’t it selfish to even write down that you want to do those things?

Well. No.

And it’s because ultimately, the Mondo Beyondo list is not necessarily about checking items off a list. Or doing things for ME and not for YOU. At its core, the Mondo Beyondo list is a reminder that the world contains some really awesome magical experiences. Sometimes you have to create those yourself. (I forget this.) And sometimes, the universe just bestows upon you some pretty kick ass gifts. The key is to be open to these and to acknowledge them, to take them and then send up some gratitude because life, after all, is beautiful.

CUE: YOU ARE THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS.

Anyway. I will be talking about Mondo Beyondo some more in another post because WHY NOT?

But this post, THIS POST! is about the Saturday I spent with my brother and sister-in-law a few weeks ago.

We started out having a late brunch and didn’t part until after midnight.

I love days like this.

And the whole reason it happened was because I called my brother and was all YOU OWE ME SOME COLD BREW COFFEE BECAUSE I BLOGGED ABOUT IT AND WE NEVER HAD IT AND YOU SUCK.

And Paul was all, COFFEE? WHERE?

And so it was.

We had brunch at Extra Virgin down on West 4th St. Highly recommend. I had a glass of Gavi di Gavi wine which pretty much makes any brunch awesome. Sophie is drinking a raspberry mojito. Highly recommend that as well.

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Then we went for a walk and stumbled upon the newly opened Limelight market which is sort of like a mall built inside a church. It’s New York City. I can’t explain it.

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And to think, all this time I’ve been giving my baby an UNorganic massage. I AM SUCH A FAILURE.

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Sophie bought some kind of body scrub and a jug of white tea and Paul and I split a red velvet whoopie pie. You heard that correctly. Red. Velvet. Whoopie. Pie.

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We finally stumbled out of the Limelight on a sugar high and walked toward the Ace Hotel for some Stumptown cold brew coffee. I had heard about this from a philosophy classmate a few months back and he had declared it hands down the best iced coffee of his life. I was all, OH PLEASE, HOW GOOD COULD IT BE?

Uh. That good, people. And cheap! I think $2.75 and they didn’t charge me extra for my soy milk. Always a plus in my book.

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Paul had to turn away from the cashier so he wouldn’t totally geek out, took one sip and mouthed to me behind his hand OH MY GOD!!!

It was that delish.

Then we took our coffees (and Soph’s mocha) into the Ace Hotel lobby to sit on big couches and people watch. It was quite possibly the most wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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We even popped into the old school photobooth but couldn’t figure out how it worked. (WE ARE NOT THAT SMART.) So the first picture is of our shirts as we had no idea that the camera would start clicking and WHERE it was coming from. We also couldn’t manage to get Paul into any photo. Sophie looks like a newspaper boy and I look like something from Little House on the Prairie but what the heck else is new?

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After our leisurely coffee sipping, we wandered down to Madison Square Park to see the “Event Horizon” art installation which involved statues of 31 men placed in the park and on the roofs of the buildings surrounding it. The best part was looking up and seeing these dudes watching you. Maybe it was creepy? But maybe it was awesome.

(I stole this picture from here as I didn’t get to take any photos of the dudes. PHOTOGRAPHY FAIL.)

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Then Paul declared it “TIME TO EAT ASIAN FOOD” which is a regular occurrence with us Dlugs. We hit up some tasty Thai food in the East Village and I am still dreaming about their chive pancakes. STILL.

We ended our evening at my friend Mike’s bar at the cheesiest Mexican restaurant of all time in the West Village for some margaritas and Coronas. HOW CHEESY is this bar/restaurant, you ask? So cheesy that if it’s your birthday, they stop the music and play a blaring rendition of LA BAMBA as the disco balls and Christmas lights strewn around the restaurant flash.

OH. YES.

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I’d call the day a total success. We had sibling quality time, tons of laughs and that cold brew coffee. Oh, I am dreaming of it still.

For a girl who usually spends Saturday sleeping in and then babysitting, this was the most excitement I’d had in awhile. It makes me so happy to say that spending time with family makes me really content. And that I would choose to hang out with my siblings even if we weren’t related.

That says a lot, I think.

It helps that my brother bought my brunch AND my dinner.

But that whoopie pie?

That whoopie pie was ALL ME.

YOU ARE WELCOME.

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Talk About Dreaming Big

March 25, 2010

The Roommate recently sent me this link to pictures from a recent gala honoring Stephen Sondheim on his 80th birthday.

For those of you that don’t know who Stephen Sondheim is, I have nothing to say to you. You make me ASHAMED.

Okay, fine. If you need to read up on his magicalness, you can read his Wiki page. I mean, the lyrics to West Side Story and Gypsy alone kind of make him a king, in my book. Forget composing music and lyrics to A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum, Company, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Assassins, Follies and this little show called Sunday in the Park with George that won a little thing called the PULITZER PRIZE. They revived Sunday in the Park about two years ago and I saw it twice. I pretty much sobbed through the whole thing and count it among one of the most profound theatrical experiences of my life.

I had fun scrolling through the pictures, looking at all these cherished Broadway peeps. And then I came upon the following photos taken while Sondheim was on stage, as they revealed a SUPER SECRET SURPRISE which was that they are renaming the Henry Miller Theatre the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

I cannot imagine standing there, surrounded by thousands of people who have been touched by my artistry and then OUT OF NOWHERE, being told that they freaking renamed a BROADWAY THEATRE FOR ME.

Sondheim’s face pretty much says it all. The more I scrolled through, the more choked up I got and I ended up crying a little at my desk at work. Not because I was sad but because I was so inspired. I wonder if Stephen Sondheim had “HAVE A BROADWAY THEATRE NAMED AFTER ME” on his Mondo Beyondo list. If so, congratufreakinglations!

I apologize for the size of the photos. For some reason, WordPress isn’t allowing me to make them any smaller!

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All pics (c) of Broadwayworld.com

More On Dreaming Big

March 8, 2010

I’m not quite sure how I discovered Maggie’s blog but discover it I did and I’ve been reading it regularly for years now. I have an undying love for her, despite the fact that she has no idea who I am. (I love the internet, you guys.)

Maggie was my inspiration for taking my Mondo Beyondo class and the subsequent Mondo Beyondo list I created in an effort to dream bigger, aim higher, add more Awesomeness to my life.

After I published my last post about signing up for an Italian class, I wandered over to Maggie’s blog to find that she had recently signed up to learn French! COINCIDENCE? PROBABLY.

In that post, she wrote this, which was so magnificent for me to read because I just kept nodding my head up and down being all YES YES YES!

When I first made my list, some part of me thought the simple act of writing things down would magically make them happen. Like once I realized that I wanted to pick blackberries and make pies, I’d just find myself passing blackberry bramble on a walk one Sunday with a bucket in hand.

As I’ve started to cross things off, it has genuinely surprised me that I have to plan fun. I guess some part of me thinks that fun will just happen, even very specific types of fun, and that I shouldn’t have to actively put aside time for that stuff.

HOW TRUE, MIGHTY GIRL, HOW TRUE.

I relate to this so much.

Sometimes I click over to read my Mondo Beyondo list and I’m all, “Ohhh that was such a cool thing I wrote down. I WONDER WHEN THAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME.”

As if the onus is not ALL ON ME to live my life the way I want to, to take responsibility for everything, including my Big Fat Crazy Dreams! Oh, Laura. You are too funny when you think the Great Wall of China will magically appear in your backyard so you can see it in person! SO CUTE YOU ARE!

I suppose that’s why it felt so good to sign up for Italian lessons. Even though logically I know that the cash could’ve been used for something else useful—a new vacuum for the apartment! Or, living room curtains! Or some things I really just WANT—that green blanket from Pottery Barn to throw at the foot of my bed! Five new pairs of shoes! A day at the spa!

Something inside me paused and listened to the voice that said no no no BIGGER BIGGER BIGGER.

Something that will change you permanently. Something that will cause you to view your world differently. Something that will shape you and mold you into something better. Something FUN! because yes, as Maggie says, you do have to plan out the fun sometimes.

That Mondo Beyondo class changed my life in many ways one of which was encourage me to stop waiting for things to happen. Stop sitting around and thinking OH IT SURE WOULD BE NICE OF MY LIFE WAS COOL. TOO BAD IT AIN’T.

Go out and DO things! MAKE things! Create things! Accomplish, laugh, race, build, reach out, slow down, go go go!

This is how I want my life to be—brimming and swelling, full of all things beautiful, creative and marvelous.

Five days to go until MAMBO ITALIANO LESSON #1! I can hardly wait!!!

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(c) photo courtesy of cgoulao

Your Chance To Be One of the Cool Kids

February 8, 2010

As I mentioned oh so long ago, when my father turned 65 at the end of December, we threw a small party and got him 65 of his favorite things.

Most of them were silly little things, favorites foods and wines, books on his favorite topics, etc. The one that elicited the biggest response was actually the container of BOSCO! chocolate syrup. Not because he was particularly touched but because in front of everyone in the living room, he suddenly belted out the jingle that used to accompany the Bosco commercial back when he was a kid. Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

My father has a huge booming voice and can arguably sing somewhat on-key. It’s pretty startling when you’re not used to hearing it or when you’re not prepared for the fact that he’s going to burst into song as if he’s the lead in his very own Rogers and Hammerstein musical. The windows of our house rattled as he sang, holding up the Bosco container and making it dance in mid-air:

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I LOVE BOSCO!

BOSCO IS FOR ME!

BOSCO GIVES ME ENERGY AND SUNSHINE VITAMIN C!!!!!

On and on it went as all his birthday guests stared slack-jawed at this man, screaming out a chocolate syrup commercial at the top of his lungs as if that was a perfectly natural reaction to getting a present, as if we all should know the song and eagerly join in.

When he was done, we all applauded.

And, as my father would say, rightly so.

Before my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he drove forty-five minutes to Riverhead every few weeks to donate his platelets. I’m not exactly sure how it started but it very well may be that the Red Cross called up my dad and was like GIVE US YOUR PLATELETS and instead of ignoring them like I do, he was all OKAY NO PROBLEM DAT SOUNDS GREAT!!!!!

And so it began.

The people at the blood center LOVED my father and he loved them back so very much. Turns out that Polack’s blood is so damn thick, when he donates platelets, they can get THREE TIMES the amount they get from a normal person. He didn’t even mind the fact that they stick BOTH of your arms with needles so they can take out the blood, separate the platelets in a centrifuge, and then put the blood back in you, taking over an hour. He used to tell me how enjoyable it was because “I CAN JUST SIT ‘DER WITH MY ARMS OUT, WATCHIN’ SEINFELD. DAT KRAMER CRACKS ME UP. SOMETIMES IF I HIT IT JUST RIGHT, I GET TO SEE EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND TOO. THAT RAYMOND. I LOVE THE FACES HE MAKES.”

Right. Me too. ?

The Red Cross (or the American Blood Society or SOMETHING blood-related, who KNOWS) compensates you happily for platelets as they are a hot ticket item. My father received gas cards, gift certificates to Macy’s, duffel bags and t-shirts, thanking him for his many donations. The clothing items were his very favorite thing to get. He wore his t-shirts proudly, anywhere my mother would let him which meant anywhere but church or a dressy occasion.

“You can’t wear that t-shirt to dinner,” she would point out.

“WHY NOT?!” he would demand.

“I THINK IT’S OBVIOUS,” she would respond.

And then we’d all look at dad who was wearing a t-shirt with a cartoon drop of blood smiling on the front with cartoon pants down around his little ankles.

DON’T LET US GET CAUGHT WITH OUR *PINTS* DOWN!!!! the shirt exclaimed.

“I think you look good,” I offered.

“YEAH,” said my dad. “I LOVE ‘DIS SHIRT.”

Sadly, with a cancer diagnosis comes a rule that you can’t give blood or platelets anymore. I believe you have to be cancer-free for two years before donating again, something that absolutely devastated my father. He was continually upbeat about his cancer diagnosis from the beginning but when he told me about stopping platelet donations, the man actually cried.

He was angry and sad that he could no longer help people. HIM! The man who gives THREE TIMES the amount of platelets in ONE sitting! The platelet SUPER HERO! I knew how good he felt helping other people. And I knew his sadness and frustration had nothing to do with the free t-shirts and everything to do with cancer taking something away from him without his permission.

 When I was gathering up 65 things for his birthday, I thought it would be a cool idea to get a bunch of people together to donate blood in his honor. I had previously tried to donate platelets, thinking I would just keep donating to replace what my father couldn’t give, only to be turned away and told HONEY, YOUR VEINS ARE TOO SMALL FOR THAT. DO NOT COME BACK.

You don’t have to tell me twice!

But giving blood was something I could do and while uncomfortable, something that didn’t really bother me very much. I had good veins (apparently except for the platelet needles) and never felt sick afterwards. WHY NOT GIVE SOME BLOOD!? I thought. Slacking off with donating blood is pretty lame, no? In fact, I decided it meant so much to me that I added it to my Mondo Beyondo list – #63. Donate blood four times a year.

I e-mailed a bunch of people and organized a GIVE BLOOD FOR MY DAD event on a Sunday afternoon. Regrettably, it was the Sunday afternoon after our first big snowstorm at the end of December. People were either snowed in or out of town and it didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to.

HOWEVER! PCG, Married Ashley and I took the challenge and off we went in two feet of snow to get our arms pierced by a very unhappy nurse named June. We couldn’t get a smile on her face, despite repeated attempts and so we concluded that June was a miserable woman who did NOT want to work on a snow day and MAYBE took it out on our arms a little bit because none of us could remember the needle hurting quite THAT badly.

THANKS, JUNE. FOR RENDERING MY LEFT ARM USELESS FOR A WEEK. CHEERS!

But the point of the activity was not to make me feel good.

It was to do something nice in honor of my father, a man who was a little bit too sick to do it himself. And though we only got three pints of blood that day, one from each of us, I think it was the perfect amount. TRIPLE the amount of just one of us.

As I sat around a table with PCG afterwards, munching on Lorna Doone’s, I read some facts about giving blood and was pretty horrified.

Do you know that only 2% of people who are physically able to donate blood do so?

Do you know that NYC has such a low number of people who donate blood that they have to BORROW blood from neighboring states?

WHAT THE!?!?

Peeps need blood, y’all!

Let’s give it to them!

This is just your friendly reminder to head out there and give up a little of your time and a 1/8 of your blood. You get free cookies afterwards and a fruit punch juicebox. Well. I did.

My 56 days are up around Valentine’s Day so I’m thinking of heading back for Round #2 pretty soon. Despite June nearly cutting up my arm, it was a rather enjoyable experience and I can’t thank PCG and Married Ashley enough for coming with me. Hell, Married Ashley and her husband even cooked a BRISKET the night before to make sure she’d pass the iron test the next day. NOW THAT IS DEDICATION!!! And PCG, certain that he would be disqualified for living in Africa for two years was cleared to donate because of some rule we didn’t know about. Either that or he lied to me and showed June the nurse his boobs. I’M NOT ENTIRELY SURE.

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On a final note, when you donate blood, they wrap your arm in some cool looking bandage, usually a bright color and advise you to keep it on for a few hours after. When you donate platelets, since both arms are used in the process, they wrap BOTH of your arms and you wind up looking pretty badass.

One of my father’s favorite stories is the time he was driving back from donating his platelets and stopped at a Krispy Kreme because the light was on for a free fresh donut. (My dad cannot pass up anything free. Especially not a DONUT. AM I RIGHT?!) He was in a bit of a bad part of town and on his way out of the store, noticed a bunch of hoodlums in the parking lot, possibly up to no good.

The young guys took a look at my dad’s badass arm bandages and figured those must be his loud and proud gang colors.

“YO MISTA,” they shouted across the lot. “WHAT GANG YOU IN?”

My dad didn’t miss a beat.

“OH!” he screamed, voice booming across Riverhead. “I’M IN THE PLATELET GANG!!!!!!!!!!”

“NO SHIT,” said the guys. “‘DAS COOL.”

And so, should you ever want to join the coolest gang around, I highly suggest getting to a donation center near you, rolling up your sleeve and taking the plunge. Cookies and juice aside, I think it’s pretty much worth it just to say that my dad is your gang leader. I mean, he knows all the words to the freaking Bosco jingle from the 1950’s and I honestly don’t know that you need ANYMORE motivation than that.

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#31 – Walk Across The Brooklyn Bridge

November 20, 2009

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OMG U GUYZ!!!1!1! ITZ THE BRKLIN BRIG!!!!!!!!!

Ahem!

This is the Brooklyn Bridge! It’s a bridge that goes to Brooklyn AKA The Land of Mah People! In this picture, I am all HOLY COW YEAHHHHHHHHHHH because I am a tool who has never walked across it in all my years of city living. I placed this item on my Mondo Beyondo list partly because I actually wanted to walk across it (DUH!) and partly as a reminder to constantly explore this amazing city in which I currently reside!

Doing cool stuff in NYC can be quite overwhelming because a lot of the time, exploring and enjoying it involves an indispensible income or a huge time commitment or not getting daunted by making ten thousand subway transfers to get where you need to go. I started to get a little bit…elderly in my attitudes about going out. Particularly after I got my new job AND my new boyfriend, both of which happened to be located in the same borough as my apartment. I suddenly realized that all I did for DAYS at a time was hang out in Queens. PCG and I collectively decided that ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH! We were too young to be old and all “Hmmm…that’s a little far away and I have an early bedtime!” or “I don’t really want to go out because there’s a very good chance I might fall and break a hip!”

So, I tacked walking the Brooklyn Bridge onto my DREAMING BIG list in the hopes that it would continue to inspire me to GET OUT THERE and HAVE A LIFE! Huzzah!

Last Sunday was a GORGEOUS fall day, almost spring-like and even though I was up the night before babysitting until 2:30 AM (SERIOUSLY? WAHHHHHHHHH!), PCG let me sleep in and then told me it was time to rally and GO HAVE SOME FUN.

PCG and I have adopted “RALLY” as our call to arms. We each work pretty demanding schedules and sometimes we are so exhausted that we just sit on the couch and blink at the television. And most of the time, the television isn’t even on. And so we use “RALLY!” as a reminder to stop being so damn boring. Frequent text messages include “I CAN RALLY IF YOU CAN!” and “LET’S SUCK IT UP AND RALLYYYYYYYYY!”

And so, because he is a genius, PCG let me catch up on sleep, went and got me an iced coffee with lots of soy milk and then demanded I get READY TO RALLY!

And rally we did.

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That bridge is BIG dude. And HIGH OFF THE GROUND. And sort of AMAZING!!!

We took our time leisurely strolling across, taking pictures and enjoying ourselves. I actually hummed the theme from “Taxi” when I saw all the cars moving through beneath us and waved hello to Lady Liberty numerous times. I have drive across the bridge numerous times but have never walked it and oh my! I wanted to walk it EVERY DAY!

We got off the bridge in Dumbo and discovered some amazing shops, restaurants and the Sunday flea market! WOOOOO FLEA MARKET! And this here is the magic of adding stuff to a Mondo Beyondo list! Seeing all the lovely little places in Dumbo made us want to come back. In fact, we made a promise to return and check out everything when we had more time, possibly around Christmas time, to shop and have a hot chocolate. VOILA! Exploring Parts of NYC – SUCCESS!!!

Except when I stepped on this random piece of tape and we got into a fight and the tape kicked my ASS. I seriously could not get it off.

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Um. So. Tape Attack aside?

An altogether perfect late afternoon. I am so glad I put it on my list. And because I am a type A, I am also glad I can now check it off my list! And more impotantly, I AM SO GLAD I RALLIED!!!!!!!

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You can see more pictures here.

Mondo Beyondo

November 9, 2009

Well.

My Mondo Beyondo class has come to an end.

The time really flew by and I’m pretty saddened that it’s over and yet completely exulted and inspired.

Mondo Beyondo is a class about dreaming big, about conquering your fears, about all the hippie dippy shit I am totally into. Talk of energy and the Universe with a capital U and loving yourself and setting things free and uncluttering and making room and giving and receiving. All of this revolves around your Mondo Beyondo List, something slightly resembling a Bucket List, huge gargantuan dreams that you wish to come true, ways you wish to improve your life, secret hopes you feel silly for sharing.

I was so inspired by the women and men in this class that I decided to post my Mondo Beyondo list here. I was hoping to hit a hundred but so far am stuck in the mid-80’s. I’ve come to terms with that since I figure the older I get, the more the list will expand and adapt. It’s worthy to note that many things on this list are feasible, many can be accomplished but more important than actually completing the list was my courage to write it in the first place. To simply believe that I was good enough and confident enough to challenge myself in new ways. To put my faith in God and in the Universe with a capital U and most of all, in myself.

This class really picked me up out of a creative slump. And whether or not my Mondo Beyondo list becomes a reality (full disclosure: three items are already checked off!), I feel so grateful that I spent the past five weeks investing in my creative side. That I made space for my dreams and my hopes, that I made peace with the girl I wish to become and the girl I already am.

I loved this class so much that I’m considering taking it again in the future. And should you need an artistic kick in the ass, the next available course begins in January 2010, the perfect time for a clean slate and a big fat list of secret dreams.

And so, here you go, my Mondo Beyondo List circa November 2009. I will post a permanent link to it soon.

I’d love to hear some items from your possible Mondo list in the comments! Should you choose to share. Or…if you had big dreams and they already came true? I’d like to hear that too.

Laura’s Mondo Beyondo List November 2009.