Friday, August 27, 2010

A letter to the MTA

Dear MTA,

It is with great concern that I compose this. Hearing this week that there are thoughts of charging 130 dollars for a monthly metro card starting in January completely floored me. 130 dollars!?

Now... I understand this game. You say an outrageous price and then when you really make it 104 we're "happy and grateful" that it's anything other than the outrageous 130 you previously suggested. But here's the thing... even 104 is a bit extreme. Why is it you're raising prices but firing people? How come we keep paying more but getting less? I can't possibly be the only one whose noticed that the service has actually gotten worse over the past few years.

And let's discuss this dear MTA... I rode the Staten Island ferry tonight for FREE. I know what you're thinking... who in their right mind would ever go to Staten Island by choice. Consequently, I just wanted to be on the water for an hour with a great view of the city. However, it's mass transportation that's pretty decently run (with the exception of a rare accident every now and then) AND... again... it's free.

You're getting it wrong MTA. Stop over charging us. Stop raising prices. Stop trying to take money from the little man who depends on the subway to get to their minimum wage job which barely gives them enough money to pay for rent and food for their families. We're all strapped for cash and this is just not the way to go about it. Find another solution because if this goes through and our rates are raised to 130... I'm personally going to rally every New Yorker to start jumping the turnstiles. I'm pretty sure with the amount of people you keep firing that there's no way you'll have the man power to catch us all.

Signed with sincere annoyance,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

By the way

By the way... if there's anyone out there who knows why I'd be having issues transferring movies from iMovie to Vimeo please please let me know! It speeds it up and then then timing gets all off... kinda frustrating actually. The one person who I thought could help me with this dropped off the face of the planet... again. Ugh... men. I'll never understand them.

Anyway... any help would be super appreciated!!! :-)


Umbrella Etiquette

Okay New Yorkers... here's the thing. When it's raining and wet and we're all cranky and miserable because the sun will not come out tomorrow... we need to at the very least learn the proper way to deal with our umbrellas when we're walking through the crowded streets of the city. Tourists... this might be a good lesson for you as well.

First of all... all you people with those oversized umbrellas that could seriously cover 10 people at once... your selfishness is not going unnoticed... to put it mildly... you suck. You take up the entire sidewalk with your umbrellas making everyone around you figure out how they're gonna maneuver they're own just to walk by you while you whale it up down the street. Are you dry? Yes. Have you managed to piss off everyone around you? Um... yes. You have. Way to go. Maybe... get a smaller umbrella so you don't upset people who are already unhappy about the fact that it's raining on them as they walk to work because there aren't any cabs available. ... It's just a thought...

Now here's my pet peeve. Tall people... you need to lift up your umbrellas because honestly... I can't lift mine over your 6'5 body. I know it's more comfortable to hold it closer to your body... but in all seriousness it's not easy for me to raise my arm as high as it can go while squeezing through those jerks with the Shamu umbrellas. So please... try and be aware of us shorter folks and I guess... be a little more courteous. Short people... get with the program. Stop lifting your umbrella over the 6'5 people and I think we'll all learn to get along. Oh... and the other thing. If we could walk around on rainy days like we're driving on the streets rather than making it a cluster of people going every direction.... I don't know... I think it would make life easy all around... don't you?

That's it. Thank you for attending H-less' How To Use Your Umbrella 101 lecture. Now go outside, try to stay dry, and be nice to each other.

Class dismissed.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Yankee Picture Video

So my video of the Yankee pictures is up! But once again... transferring it from iMovie to Vimeo wasn't very successful. It speeds up the pictures... I don't know why. It's actually kind of annoying SO if anyone out there knows of another editing program I can use as a mac owner that'd be amazing!

Enjoy the video and turn up your speakers! :-)


Yankee Game pictures! from Cristina Ambrose on Vimeo.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A question...

As I sit at home on this lovely Friday night feeling pretty physically sick (no idea where this is coming from)... I wonder if this whole true love thing is possible? Don't get me wrong... I've always believed it is... but given the state of dating in NYC... I just wonder how possible it is here. Men come to NY to work hard and play hard... at least... this is my theory. They're not looking for soul mates or wives or any of that... and what they're looking for... well... I won't offer that. So I pose this question to my readers... in New York City... a city full of life, excitement and an incredibly overwhelming amount of energy... is it possible to find love? And if so... what the hell am I doing wrong?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Yankees Game!!!

Finally after over 4 years of living in the city I attended my very first Yankee game!!! It was of course totally amazing and everything I thought it would be... lots of fun watching men in tights swinging bats and hitting balls. :-) The tickets were provided courtesy of my brother who always seems to have the hookup... and the seats were great! Section 225, row 2... right by third base.

We started off in the Yankee Store where we got some official merchandise from the park (because really... ya have to do that). After that we spent some time walking around the new stadium, which is totally beautiful by the way. They had lots of old pictures and memorabilia around and the atmosphere was just bursting with positive energy and excitement.

After walking around the stadium, and some insistence by moi, we headed over to Lobels to get what was quoted to us as the best place to grab a steak sandwich. Truth be told, it wasn't half bad! :-) They cut and took care of the meat right in front of your eyes which I guess given the amount of people who could fit into a stadium they probably have to do.

When we got to our outstanding seats there were a few signs there that caused a bit of concern...

... we didn't get hit by either... but got close to catching a few foul balls! :-)

A few things about this game in particular that you should know. First of all, it was against the Detroit Tigers who managed to get a home run on pitch number one. It was kind of a buzz kill... but CC managed to pull it all together after that. We won, of course which was great considering the Yankees lost the previous two.
Secondly, my camera kind of loved Derek Jeter. I realize how cliche this is... but cut me some slack... it was my first game and I was in a great position for some awesome butt shots!

Thirdly, the Yankees honored a woman who each game hops on the subway from Queens and makes her way to the stadium all the way up in the Bronx all by herself. This seemingly ordinary act was extraordinary because she's blind. So that day, Yankee players met her at her door as a surprise and escorted her to the stadium. She seemed incredibly sweet and absolutely thrilled that they did that for her. And lastly, we sat next to Detoit Tigers player number 26 Brennan Boesch's mom. She was also really sweet... but incredibly worried for her son. Apparently he hasn't been playing so hot and after he would go up to bat if he didn't hit the ball she'd quickly disappear only to reappear just before he went up to bat again. It was touching. I loved that she cared so much and really just put her entire self into him during the few hours he was on the field. I wish I could contact him to tell him it was an honor meeting her and what a wonderful woman I thought she was... but alas finding his contact information or even his facebook page was difficult. And this is coming from a professional facebook hunter!

To sum it all up, the game was wonderful... but in truth the time spent with my brother was priceless. It's been way too long since I've seen my family, so to have him up here for even a short amount of time was perfectly timed! Hopefully soon I'll be visiting home and seeing everyone again... but until then I'll continue my journey here happily experiencing all that New York has to offer!

*Please note that there will be a video of all the pictures to come soon-- I'm having difficulty with the program but as soon as I can fix it the vid will be posted! Also, for those of you who are my facebook friends all my pictures will be posted as well*

Here's a quicky video of the stadium:

7th inning stretch!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Waldorf vs. Cristina

Okay... so tonight I went over to the Waldorf located on Park Avenue to visit my brother who is in town for the next few days. I walked into the lobby and sat down like any normal person would waiting for someone they were about to visit. The thing is... all the workers kept starring at me. Now okay... as a girl you kind of get used to people starring. I don't say this in any kind of cocky way at all... I'm like the least cocky person you'll ever meet. However, this was just a little weird. Particularly they were all looking at my feet. For the record, I hate my feet and I realize they're not exactly beautiful feet but that's no reason to stare.

It turns out... this hotel has a dress code. A dress code! So when I walked in with my faded jeans, t-shirt that says "peace" and my old navy sandels... well... I was a walking felon in those walls. I stuck out like a sore thumb and ALL the staff were watching me like I was some crazy homeless girl that was gonna try and steal one of these overly priced posh items that were strewn about the hotel... which by the way... weren't that pretty to begin with.

I found their actual dress code online:

Dress Attire

T-shirts, tank tops, faded jeans, cut-offs, and casual hats are not permitted in the Main Lobby, Park Avenue Lobby, restaurants, or public areas of the hotel. While name badges may be worn by conference attendees in private conference rooms, we request that name badges be removed in the public areas of the hotel. Thank you for your cooperation.

Needless to say, the next time I visit my brother at this establishment that apparently thinks they're just too good for down to earth people like myself... I'll be wearing a bikini top, short skirt and my whore boots with a big name tag that says "I'm H-less, bitch".

Coney Island Task!

So I've completed and blogged about my first scavenger hunt task... check it out!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

That's what friends are for...

I am a lucky girl. Seriously. To have the friends that I have... well to be honest I consider myself truly blessed when it comes to the friend department.

Since I've been back in the country there has been a bit of an onslaught of disappointments in my life. I arrived kind of sick thanks to the South American water, my current job won't allow me to work until I'm cleared from said sickness, a job that I completely thought I had in the bag after 3 different interviews with them fell through... I wanted it really badly... and... well a few other things that just have left me rendered speechless and saying things like "why" and "that makes absolutely no sense". Few of you know what I'm referring to here. Suffice it to say... my week has been pretty shitty.

When my good friend Christina found out about my current state she took it upon herself to spice up my life with a scavenger hunt. To top it off... she created a blog, list of requirements, and 25 things for me to do in the city by January. I'm super excited about it. Some of them are things that I've already done before... but who cares!? It'll be worth it to do them again.
Anyway... the link for that particular blog is listed below. I'll be starting my adventure this weekend so keep it on your radar!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How could I forget!?

I can't believe I forgot to add this in...

From the moment we arrived on the farm and they learned that our group was comprised of singers and a puppeteer they pretty much demanded a puppet show. So as our gift to them... we gave them one the night before we left! Thanks to our puppet master, Margot... we did a shadow puppet show to the tune of "free falling". The lyrics of course were adapted by myself with the help of Margot while we harvested in the field that day. Sarah Grace helped Margot with the images and Trevor played the guitar and helped me with singing. Unfortunately, no one took a video... however I do have the lyrics which I'm proudly sharing below. The people on the farm loved it... and performing it for them at the end of our stay was perfecto!

It's a good farm
Lots of people
From the States
France & Australia too
It's a good farm
Lots of plants, chickens and pigs
No horses
So donkeys will have to do

Now we're free
Free farming
Now we're free
Free Farming

It's a good farm
Lots of good cooking
But no bacon
Meat or cheese too
We make it up by
Eating lots of beans
They start of great
Until we digest them and they don't want to go all the way through

Now we're free
Free farting
Now we're free
Free farting

We will miss you
Your cheeriness and laughter
Delphine singing
And Tierra calling us doctora too
Te Adoro
Todos los buenos cuentos
Y claro
Las pequinas senioritas tambien

And you'll be
With us always
And you'll be
With us always

The End.

The other thing I wanted to share is our toilet rules. As most of you know by now... we had a composting toilet. These are the rules that were put up for us and I just had to laugh out loud at them.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ecuador was "great... just great"

In a world where life can easily become mundane... wake up, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, go to work, come home and maybe work out, shower go to bed only to do it all over again the next day... having a trip like this is imperative in the process of shaking life up a bit. I've never been on such an adventure... and to be honest the best thing about this whole trip was the unknown. I woke up every day in Ecuador not knowing what my day would hold, what I would encounter, what I would do and that was so refreshing! The unknown was exciting, nerve racking, adventurous and illuminating all at the same time. Along with that, there was an abundance of "never's" that I had while on this trip some of which being:

I've never:
-slept in a pad-locked room before
-harvested anything
-walked the streets of a foreign country by myself
-bought a coke for .45 cents
-ate beans for 2 weeks straight
-had so much fun before!

It all started with a series of 3 flights to get us to our destination of Quito, Ecuador. I told my best friend Margot who I had never travelled with before that if we're friends after this trip that we'll be friends for life. Somehow I managed to hold it all together during those flights... I figured because of the claustrophobia, lack of sleep and 3 flights I'd either make a scene or jump out of the plane just to spare her the hassle of having to deal with me. Somehow though I managed to get through it without harming anyone and she and I are as close as we've ever been. We spent a few nights in Quito and our hostels were... I guess everything you'd expect a hostel to be... loud, semi-dirty, uncomfortable beds and incredibly cool people... in other words.. good times. We even got invited to play lazar tag with a group of Israelis who joked that it'd be the Israelis vs. the Americans (apparently the impression is that we're born with guns in our hands). The game was insanely ghetto and so bad... but at the same time we had a great time with this group of people!
One 15 minute cab ride, a 2 hour bus ride through the Andes and another 10 minute cab ride later and we arrived at the Comuna de Rhiannon. Thank goodness that 2nd cab ride wasn't too long. The guy was driving so fast I just about peed myself and was happy to arrive safely at the farm. There were three different categories of people at the farm: the insanely spiritual, the sex and drug obsessed, and the down to earth people. We had representatives from several different countries: Canada, Spain, Ecuador, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, France, Columbia, England, Chili, Australia & Paraguay. I guess you can say we had our own little U.N. living in this electric free house.

I spent my days doing a number of things... harvesting Quinoa, picking and shucking corn, making compost for planting, working with my girls Ursala and Luna (the donkeys), planting trees and watering everything on the farm that needed to be watered. It didn't seem like a lot of work at the time since it was only 4 hours each day... but at the same time it was pretty tiring mostly because of the high altitude. We were nestled in the middle of the Andes surrounded by a few volcanoes one of which being Cotopaxi... she was just beautiful on a normal day... stunning on a clear day!

My favorite time of day was around 4:30-5:00 when the clouds would roll in. We were so high up that they would either be at level with us or directly below us... the views were magnificent! I imagined people looking up from the ground level at the clouds thinking that must be where heaven lies... and knowing that it's where we were. I took hikes down revenes. The first one was with these 2 guys from England... as we were walking down I asked one of them "how are we gonna get back up?" to which he responded "well we'll go back the way we came and then go straight up!". He said this in such a chipper manor that I wasn't sure if he was serious or not. He was though... and I asked him what I did to make him not like me and he just laughed... said I could do it... and funny enough... I could and I did or else I guess I'd still be stuck down there which wouldn't be such a bad thing considering how beautiful it was.

The most treasured experiences I had were my conversations with a man named James who was very spiritually wise... I learned a lot from him and he gave me the gift of having one of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life... I hope James that she's right... on all counts! Also, the walks I had around the farm with a man named Fernando who would not let me speak any English to him. Needless to say I know a lot more than "donde esta el bano" now... he was incredibly sweet and gave me the most beautiful gift before I left... a shell which I understand is magical and brings luck to whoever wears it. To spend time with both these men was such an honor.

This is James aka mountain man

This is Fernando who I'm pretty sure hates Abba for writing that song

The best experience though... the one that beats out anything and everything... the one that I'll hold nearest to my heart for years to come... was the time spent with the individuals who were with me during this experience: Margot, Sarah Grace and Trevor. I've never laughed so hard in my life... and to be perfectly honest... it had been such a long time since I had felt free enough to laugh like that on a daily basis that to have that laughter and those experiences at this time in my life was an incredible joy and I'm so appreciative to them for giving me the priceless gift of love and friendship. Between the symphony of farts, singing as loud as we can and simply loving each other... to be honest there are no words. I love you guys and I know this experience was magnified by your presence, your laughter and your love. :)

In a nutshell... Ecuador was just great... and the memories I made there will last me a lifetime. With hope and luck... I'll have more trips in the future to foreign countries... I doubt that they'll teach me nearly as much about myself as I learned in my two weeks in South America... but maybe I'll be lucky enough to be proven wrong. <3

"Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson