Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Matt and I went to Citi Field last night to watch the Mets play the Marlins. My first baseball game of the year! And it couldn't have been a more beautiful night. Oh! And the field is redonculous. So open. You can watch the game from almost anywhere in the park, even when you are in line at the concession stands, which was not the case at Shea. And there is a Shake Shack! Best burgers in town. Please excuse me while I make the Homer Simpson drooling noise. GRaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

101 Things in 1001 Days: Status
Citi Field is in Queens. Another borough down. 2 more to go. Since I got the Mets tickets, I charged Matt with getting us Yankees tickets. And then I can cross out the Bronx. Hmmmm...can anyone think of a good reason to go to Staten Island?

Song of the Day
Today's song is Lazy Mary, which they play during the 7th inning stretch at Mets games. Near impossible not to bounce and clap along with this song.

Monday, April 27, 2009

One Less Button

Just got back from the gym and today was the first time I have ever entered my age as 27 into the elliptical. The machine I use automatically sets the age to 30 and then you have to press the down button until you reach your correct age. Some people may see this as just another reminder that they are getting older but I look at it as one less button to push. Man, I'm positive ;)

Song of the Day
Here is a fun song from Beyonce. Please enjoy Get Me Bodied.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Sympathy Template

You know what I wish there was? A template for difficult emails or phone calls. We have all been there. That email or call you want to make when a friend's loved one is sick, or their dog died, or any number of horrible things that happen to good people. Lately, I've been struggling with reaching out to friends who have lost their jobs. These emails or calls are hard because you want to be optimistic but you also want to recognize that what your friend is going through is difficult. You want to offer good advice, but sometimes that is the last thing a person dealing with a tragedy wants to hear.

I don't mean to sound callous or lazy by asking for this kind of template. Each of our friends deserves a personalized, heartfelt note, at the very least! But think of how many times you haven't reached out to a friend going through a tough time because you didn't know exactly what to say.

Come to think of it...even if there is a template out there, I don't think we should use it. If you are not sure exactly what to write or say, the only thing that you need to make clear to your friend is that you care about them, that you are thinking about them, and that you are there for whatever they need, even if it is just to listen.

Song of the Day
Today's song has nothing to do with today's post and everything to do with the fact that it is a beautiful day and I haven't played any country in a while. Please enjoy Travis Tritt's Great Day To Be Alive.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cooperstown Weekend: Part 2

So where were we? Ah yes....

Cooperstown is a quaint, picturesque town, on the banks of Ostego Lake. Matt and I checked out the shops, cafes and bars. We enjoyed nice, hearty food from very nice servers who were extra pleasant because it is the beginning of the season and they haven't had to serve a million tourists yet. There are loads of bed & breakfasts in the town, but I'm embarrassed to say I reserved us a room at the Best Western. I feel bad about that because I'm all for supporting mom and pop businesses, but I have to be honest, shabby chic makes me anxious. And each bed & breakfast looked more lace filled and froo froo than the next and it really wasn't our style. So I was feeling bad about going with a generic chain hotel until we walked into our room and saw our amazing view of an old farm with mountains as a backdrop. We slept with the window wide open and we could hear peeper frogs which reminded me of my room growing up, and then in the morning we heard Canadian geese which reminded me how much I hate Canadian geese.

Our trip was filled with all things baseball. We went to the Hall of Fame which is a really great museum. It has everything you could possibly want to know or see about baseball. Matt loved it. I think the highlight for him was seeing Kirby Pucket's inductee plaque. We also went to Doubleday Field to watch a few high school games. That's where the game was invented so you can imagine how cool it must be to play there. And we went to the batting cage. I watched Matt with awe as he fearlessly walked in to the 60 MPH cage and hit really well. I forced myself to go into the 40 MPH cage and was very surprised when the first pitch didn't kill me instantly. After that wore off I decided to swing and actually hit 8 out of the 10 pitches, which I had to talk about non-stop for the next 2 hours.

I think Matt really enjoyed his birthday present. I know I did!

Song of the Day

How about a baseball song!? Please enjoy Don Henley's Boys of Summer.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cooperstown Weekend: Part 1

Matt's birthday is tomorrow. YAY! As his present I took him to Cooperstown, NY to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. Matt is a huge baseball fan and I thought the fact that he had never been to the Hall of Fame was a tragedy that had to be remedied. So I had been planning this trip in my mind for the past 3 years that we have been dating and I was so excited to finally make it happen.
I had originally planned to keep our destination a surprise. I had told Matt to keep that weekend open and that we were going on a little trip but that was it. He had asked if he could guess where we were going but I said no because I didn't want the surprise to be ruined. But one night about two weeks ago, we were having some wine and having a generally great night and Matt asked again if he could guess where I was taking him. I thought about it and then said ok because I was convinced he would get it wrong and then I would be able to yell "Wrong, SUCKER!" and do an evil laugh. But then he guess right! Dammit! He was so excited about where we were going that it didn't even feel like the surprise had been ruined.
We rented a car and started our 4 hour trek to Cooperstown on Saturday morning. While it was a long drive, it was very nice. Matt has never been Upstate and the mountains reminded me of home so we enjoyed ourselves. I packed us a picnic of Pelegrino and Balducci sandwiches (aren't we fancy!?), which we enjoyed at a picnic table at a rest stop. I don't usually pack fancy picnics for road trips but I wanted to make the whole trip special. And skipping the inevitable gut rot from Roy Rogers or Sabaro was very nice.
Ok I'll finish tomorrow. To be continued...

Song of the Day
We are watching Top Gun so today's song is Highway to the Danger Zone. Enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Birthday!

Guess what!? Yesterday was my birthday! I LOVE my birthday. It is one of my favorite days of the year. I tell everyone it is my birthday. If JCrew made a cashmere sweater that said "Its my birthday!", I would buy it in every color. I understand that some people don't like theirs because it means they are getting older. I get that but I don't think about that on my actual birthday. What I think about is everyone being extra nice to you and presents and dinner with your friends and family and cake...Do I need to go on!?

Some people don't tell their co-workers when it is their birthday. Not me! My officemates gently asked me if they should get cupcakes for my birthday, not wanting to pressure me into celebrating in the office if I wasn't comfortable with that. "HELL YA!" I said. "You should definitely get cupcakes!"
Some people don't like to mention to their server during their birthday dinner that that is what they are celebrating. Screw that! I want the whole wait staff and half of the restaurant to sing and by golly, bring on the piece of complimentary cake!
So thank you to everyone who helped make this birthday so special. It means a lot!
Song of the Day
Wilson Phillips' Hold On is a great song to sing really really loud.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

101 Things in 1001 Days: Status 3

Ha ZAA! I've completed 2 more Things.

69. Buy and learn how to apply bronzer - I had to wait until it was bonus time at Clinque, just like my mother taught me. I went with their True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer in Sunkissed. Jennifer, the nice sales woman, helped me pick one out that wasn't too sparkly and showed me how to apply it. So now I'm using bronzer! I don't look like I just got back from Turks & Caicos but at least I don't look like I'm auditing for Twilight any more.

73. Keep my eyebrows groomed for 1 month - I achieved this goal last week and it was surprisingly easy. I eventually made it a habit to look at my eyebrows closely while I was brushing my teeth at night. I'm a multi-tasking machine!

Song of the Day
I am tempted to play I Feel Pretty from West Side Story but I know a few of you would stop tuning into PositivelyAnna. So I'll go with Michael Jackson's P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Positively Slacking

I'm sorry. I've been slacking with this blog lately. I made a deal with myself last night that I didn't have to go to the gym if I wrote a few posts. Nice for you. Bad for my ass.

I need to make blogging a priority, which is true of anything that is important to you. It is all well and good to say that getting in shape, or learning a language, or even spending more time with friends and family is important to you, but until you are willing to carve out some regular time to work on those things, you won't see any major improvement. I mentioned that I wasn't sure what I hoped for PositivelyAnna, and I'm still not, but what I do know for sure is that until I make it a priority, my blog won't see much success.

Song of the Day
I heard this song this morning and I thought it was a good match for this post. Please enjoy Whitney Houston's Step by Step.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Different Stroke for Different Folks

One of the things that Matt and I don’t have in common is music. While we both love it, our preferences are about as different as night and day. He refers to my music as “pop country nonsense” and I call his “depressing indie crap." He heads for the hills when Kenny Chesney or the Dixie Chicks come on and I literally burst into tears when he made me listen to Arcade Fire (I had had a few glasses of wine). When we first started dating we used to bicker some over whose music sucked more, but what we came to agree on is that it doesn’t matter how original or poetic your music is, if it makes you feel good, then that is the only thing that is important. And luckily Matt and I have found some common musical ground with Spoon, Nina Simone and The Beatles.

Thinking of a Song of the Day everyday is surprisingly tough. I love to ask people what songs pick them up and turn their frowns upside down (how bad do you want to punch me for saying that?). I’ve gotten all sorts of suggestions, some that even would make me burst into tears if I had a few glasses of wine. But that is one of the great things about music, isn’t it? It can mean so many different things to people. Maybe the lyrics really speak to you or maybe the song brings back a really great memory. So keep ‘em coming! What song would you like to hear for the Song of the Day?

Song of the Day
Today's song was a suggestion from one of the best Song of the Day contributors. Please enjoy The Shins' Australia.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Little Surprise

I’ve mentioned my bagel guy knows my order: a cinnamon raisin bagel, toasted with plain cream cheese. I go to the local bagel place a few more times a week than I should to get my favorite breakfast. The other day I went in for my bagel and when I got to the front of the line, the bagel guy reported, apologetically, that they were all out of cinnamon raisin bagels. I frowned and said, “Oh, okay,” but what I was thinking was “WTF dude!” I admitted defeat and begrudgingly ordered a sesame bagel with scallion cream cheese. When I got back to my desk I was surprised to see that under the tinfoil wrapping was a cinnamon raisin bagel, toasted with plain cream cheese! I felt a little bit like Charlie when he found the golden ticket!

The next day, when I found myself back at the bagel place, I had forgotten about yesterday’s surprise. Before I was all the way in the door, the bagel guy threw up his arms and shouted, “Did you like my surprise?! I got you good!” The whole thing was even sweeter because he speaks in broken English.

So it is all about the little things. Getting the bagel I actually wanted made my morning and the bagel guy clearly got a kick out of planning the surprise. Plan a little surprise for someone you love, you will brighten their day and it will Positively brighten yours too.

Today's song is a repeat but it works so well for this post that I can't resist. Please enjoy India Arie's The Little Things.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dining for Women

Last week I went to a truly wonderful event, my first Dining for Women dinner. Dining for Women "empowers women living in extreme poverty by funding programs fostering good health, education, and economic self-sufficiency, and cultivates educational dinner circles inspiring individuals to make a difference through the power of collective giving." Each month, the organization chooses an international women's charity to sponsor. Women all over the US come together for their monthly dinner circle, where everyone brings a dish and the money they would have spent on dining out ($25) to give to the sponsored charity. A simple and wonderful idea.

In March, Dining for Women sponsored Bead for Life, in Uganda. The process of this organization starts with the Ugandan women making beautiful beads out of recycled paper. The beads are then sold in the US at events similar to Tupperware parties. The program helps these women make 5-7 times what they would make working in the local rock quarry, which makes it possible for their families to rise above poverty. It is an incredible program. Please go to the website and watch the videos about these wonderful women. You can also buy jewelry or find out about hosting your own Bead for Life party.

Please also check out . There are chapters all over the country. If you live in New York and are interested in checking it out, please let me know, and I will invite you to the April Dining for Women event.

101 Things in 1001 Days
HA ZAA! = What I feel like saying every time I get to check off my list an item on my list. The Dining for Women event was in Brooklyn so I get to check off one borough. HA ZAA!

Song of the Day
I don't think I've ever played any Billy Joel! Shame on me. Today's song is Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, my FAVE Billy Joel song.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Quest To Be On Time

Since my post the other day about habits I've been thinking a lot about them. And I think one of the worst habits there is, that almost everyone is guilty of, including myself, is being late. People are late all the time. And I get that sometimes there's traffic or your train gets stuck, but a lot of times there isn't and we are just plain late.

Have you seen the movie Pay It Forward? One of my favorite parts of that movie is when the mother, Arlene, is running late for a first date with her son's teacher, Mr Simonet. Her son frantically explains that when you are late, Mr. Simonet thinks you don't respect him, a lesson the teacher has clearly tried to impress upon his students. When Arlene finally makes it to meet Mr Simonet, she catches him right as he is about to leave. She runs in, almost losing a shoe, shouting, "I respect you! I respect you!"

This scene may seem a little dramatic, but Mr. Simonet is exactly right. Being late means you don't respect the person that you are making wait. You can argue that that is not what being late is about, but Ya-huh, it is too. When you are late you are sending a message to that person that says, "whatever I was doing was more important than your time." If you truly respected that person, you would understand that their time is just as valuable as yours. So why should they waste their time waiting for you?

Would you ever tell a friend, your boss, or a client that their time is not important? Heck no! But when you are late to a dinner or a meeting or even a conference call, what you are doing, even though you probably don't mean it or even realize it, is making the assumption that they don't have anything better to do than wait for you.

Think about the reasons you are usually late... you pressed snooze an extra time, you couldn't figure out what to wear, or you wanted to read just one more email. Well I'm sure the person you are going to meet would have loved an extra 8 minutes of sleep, a chance to put on a better outfit, or to read just one more email, but they chose to be on time. And when you are late you are saying that your 8 minutes is more valuable than theirs.

And being late is a tough habit to break. Believe me! I'm late for stuff all the time. But I was thinking about how pissed I get when people are late to meet me. You just have to make being on time a priority and they watch the punctuality flow into your life.

I have a great friend, a very sweet and considerate friend, but she is always late. She says her family was always late when she was a kid and now as an adult she is still late for everything. She is just in the HABIT of being late. I was meeting her for dinner the other night and of course, I assumed she would be late. But when I got there, guess what? She was early! I couldn't believe it. I know it sounds silly but I was so appreciative. She said that she felt bad that she was always late and that night had vowed to be on time. A simple gesture, but a very thoughtful one.

I don't mean to be pointing fingers. And as I said, I'm late all the time too. I just think that on our quest to be a Positively better people, the little things are just as important as the big ones. We need to give to charity, try to solve world hunger and cure cancer but we also need to just be good friends and be respectful of each others time. So I'm setting my alarm a little earlier, picking out my clothes in advance, and hey, if I don't get back to your email right away, it is just because I was on a quest to be on time.

Song of the Day:
And according to a surprisingly large number of songs, being late will get you dumped! Please enjoy Barenaked Ladies' Too Little Too Late.
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