Monday Musings (on a Tuesday)*

Monday musingsSome Monday mornings are easier than others, and I think today is one of the better ones. No school so I don’t have to herd out my high school freshman, and traffic looks light. Three of my buses have come one after another in a 15-minute span. That can only mean they are in sync with their schedule. (Fingers crossed). I’m starting this post on the bus and hoping I get to finish it and publish by the end of the day. (I’m trying to be optimistic and hoping to get my posts rolling.)

Through the years, I’ve occasionally hit Monday with blurbs or short posts within a post, and it helped because it took the pressure off to write something coherent about a single topic. It also helped me shape future posts because one or two would eventually become one. So here goes this week’s random thoughts racing through my pretty little head.

Planning for a trip.. somewhere. Much of my free time these days has been focused on planning a trip. I am not one those who save the shopping and packing for last minute, and I try to plan a flexible itinerary way ahead. Much excitement about this one– and I am counting the days to when I head out to this adventure.

Writing letters again. At the start of the year, I had set out to write a letter each month. I have drafted and written two but have not mailed it. Since it’s June already, I have 6 I need to send out to catch up. Some people are having birthdays this month so at least two will get a missive from me. 2 more then.

I am also sending out postcards again but in a selective manner. I have never stopped collecting– it’s just that there are years when I am more active than some.

Giving the gift of a little sparkle. I’ve been working on creating some simple pieces to give away to a not-so-affluent town where earrings would be the last thing women would spend on. And if they chose to, would not have much variety to choose from. In my mind it’s a means of empowering women to believe in their inner beauty, because each one of them IS beautiful.

Just giving. This is a bit of an emotional subject and one I can’t write and elaborate on, but there is a profound sense of gratitude in my heart for being able to give in whatever small way I can. Sometimes we hesitate, and sometimes we are cautious. But I was raised to appreciate whatever I have and to share what I have with those who need it most. I only wish I could give more.

So I got busy yesterday and ended up forgetting about this draft, after I started two others. Even if it didn’t get published until the day after, I’m on a roll. I think I’ve said that a couple of times, but this time, it just might just stick.

Here’s to a wonderful rest of the week ahead.

Monday Musings (on a Tuesday): I have been a busy bee

Monday musingsI promised myself I wouldnt write about how cold it is so I will skip to what i’ve been up to. Yes, I have been busy.

Busy. Since I do have a day job, most of my waking moments have been preoccupied with a task that actually helps to pay the bills. When my focus is required, I tend to drift towards these things that actually translate into cash at some point or other, and it has been busy enough that I have gone home exhausted and sometimes I just choose to sit and rest. So things like writing tend to take a backseat. Half a dozen drafts started but none finished — and I don’t think it was for lack of trying, but rather because my brain was too tired to get anything coherent together.

Bead busy. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve actually been deep into organizing my craft supplies. I had hoped to start creating again for the shop, but between the mental and physical exhaustion from work, I haven’t had much of a chance to really sit and create. I do think I’m making progress. I had a tendency to separate working supplies into bins and then forget to return the left over pieces to their original trays. Then there are the bits and pieces and parts of a strand that fall out of the tray that never find their way back. So for now, I’m sorting by kind. (Glass crystals, Czech pressed glass, freshwater pearls, gemstones, metal findings.).

Untitled
I am also trying out a new way to pull the beads together, basically vine wrapping the wire to form a branch of something. I pulled it together into a brooch and I wore one last week for a test run, and I think it held up well and got a few nods. I’m getting to that point where I will be working on more pieces for the store. More to come!

Art journaling reboot. Funny how I wrote my first post today and it was about the gigantic headache I was having and mom being sick. You think of journaling in terms of profound brush strokes and big tapestries and you find yourself going back to basics. At least it’s moving.

UntitledSimple gestures that make their mark. I know it’s Valentine’s and no, this is not from an admirer or a suitor. It’s a spontaneous gesture from the boss who saw it in one of flowers shops here in Grand Central when she went for her afternoon coffee. I am grateful. I think it’s the universe speaking to me.

I had been rather restless the past couple of weeks and I have been told time and again to not stress about things. Doubts crept up and overtook me — and they were difficult to shake off. Countless questions raced through my head — many remaining unanswered. And then this.

I hear you.

Monday Musings: A Long Weekend kind of Monday

Monday musingsIf last week was cold, today, New York is freezing! I am almost sure my favorite fountain in Bryant Park will be heavy with ice. Just when I thought this year would be warmer and easier. The morning began with single digits today and it didn’t really go up by much.

True enough, when I got to Bryant Park, this is what greeted me:

Winter2019
Bryant Park, 21 January 2019

Blogging consistently. While it seems like I’ve been a Monday and Friday blogger, I think that is quite a feat considering I haven’t been writing this much for the longest time. It takes a conscious effort to begin a post — but writing has never really been an issue to me. So it’s more about making time. I am trying and happy to be at this pace, yet hoping to write more in the coming weeks.

Destash ongoing. This should really be in my next Friday Five but it’s a Monday and it’s work in progress. And my weekend is still technically on because we have a long weekend this time around. (It’s Martin Luther King Day so I got Monday off.).

I started going over my magazine pile for destashing. The first one was a Food & Wine magazine from 2003. Older than my little guy!

Now, I’m one for keeping food magazines for the recipes, and right now I just can’t part with this. So of the three I’ve gone through so far, only 1 is heading out the door. I should do better than this, I know. I am trying!!! (Does it help that I’m planning to do a second pass when the pile has dwindled?..). There is more that I need to get rid of and I have vowed to do this in earnest. The goal is to go through at least a dozen this weekend, and I’m a quarter of the way through.

Fabric haul. From time to time, I browse Craig’s list for free fabric and craft supplies listings. I will write about this another day, but I got lucky when I hit it Friday evening and saw a giveaway in Brooklyn. I emailed and got an address for a storage place.

After trying to figure out the best way to get there, I settled on uber pool and packed my expanding luggage and shopping totes. Saturday, I thought getting there at 2:55 for a 2-5:30pm slot would be plenty of time, but I arrived just as the entire haul was almost totally gone! Still, I managed to grab some nice African prints and other fabric and yarn. There were also several patterns, some uncut and complete with instructions — in total making up for the cost of the trip back and forth. I figured it was more or less the cost of a trip to Michael’s and I think I got that much and more. I am craft happy!

Fabric happy

Taking time to go to my quiet space. It seems that I am needing to reflect more and more these days, with so many things happening around me, and not happening at the same time. I know it is a time for prayer — and a time for reflection. Someone told me I’m stressing too much about so many things that I should be easier on myself. Today, I tried.

Winter Restaurant Week in NYC. Yes, it’s this week!! I will write about this more next time but this is the Branzino I had at Ortzi by Jose Garces at the Luma Hotel NYC. Definitely recommending you try this!

Restaurant week NYC, winter 2019, Ortzi by Jose Garces

It’s called LUBINA on their Restaurant Week menu ($26.00++) for a two course meal. It’s Branzino with Gigante Bean Stew, Spiced cauliflower, Hazenut sofrito and Pequillo peppers.

Am I glad I braved the cold and went to the city and had a relaxing and filling lunch. Nothing beats good food and good company. That’s another post altogether.

Here’s to a good and not so cold week ahead for all of us here on this side of the world. And a good one for the rest of you!

Monday Musings: Cold, cold Monday

Monday musingsWhat to do on another cold Monday. Winter has never been my favorite time of the year. I dream of spring and of summer. Okay, I’ll take fall. Then I wish I could wish winter away.

I guess not.

I am yearning for precious sleep. Sometimes I wish I could lay down in bed and just fall into a deep slumber. That has been elusive of late. No matter how exhausted I might feel, it’s as if there’s a switch in my consciousness that just won’t turn off. I did indulge with sleeping in during the weekend. It just wasn’t enough. I am hoping for a swifter transition to sleep this coming week and just wishing my mind would sync with my body pining for rest.

Trying to stay positive. I’d like to think that things are changing for the better. That no matter how challenging the past couple of weeks were, things are turning around and I’m beginning to feel my load getting lighter.

There is the laughter and the cheer and how I try to find the so-called silver lining. And the happy thoughts of bear hugs and laughter and those quiet times when so much is said even without the words.

I am just glad I am in a better place in those parts of my life that matter.

I am grateful.

There is such a fulfillment in the thought that here I am, writing again. Two posts for the day! I didn’t want to do Monday Musings tomorrow — then it will be a Tuesday something or other. I have always loved to write and have regretted not being able to do it more. It really takes a certain kind of discipline and dedication to the idea of putting words together to form a coherent thought. Or not. Just putting words together may be enough sometimes. But writing consistent and more regularly is one thing I hope to do more of this year.

Want vs. wish. Right after I typed the period, I went “hmmmmmm” in my head and thought I should write a full post on this right here, right now. But I’m kind of tired and my mind is wandering off, and I don’t want to make the mistake of insisting lest I find myself fighting to find sleep again tonight. You know how we are sometimes our own worst enemy when we end up waking ourselves up when we were almost in dreamland.

I just let out a deep sigh, thinking of this dream that I want and want so badly that I feel sad that it seems it won’t happen. I tell myself it just wasn’t meant to be. The choice is not mine to make, and if it doesn’t go my way, then I will just go about work as if the thought never even crossed my mind.

I should just be happy things have gotten better where there was chaos before. I am laughing again.

Here’s to a week of renewed bliss and hope for everyone.

Monday Musings: First for the year

Monday musingsWell, I am over the moon that I am here again.. and I am on a roll!

The holidays are officially over, so I have turned off the timers and while the lights are still on the window sill and my tree is still up, they will not light up. As a Catholic Christian, the holiday season in my home ends with the feast of the Three Kings, celebrated on the first Sunday after the New Year. Beginning tonight, I will start putting away the Christmas decorations and organize them for next year. I had already gotten rid of the lights that don’t work before the holidays ended, and I did not bother taking all the balls out. I bought a new set in a nice periwinkle shade. So I have my week nights planned out, putting things away.

I am starting to read again. I just published my 19 for 2019 list and the first one on the list is my goal of reading 6 books this year. I must have started reading a total of six books (if not more) in 2018 but didn’t get to go beyond the first chapter or so, except for one. I will just pick up from where I left off and try to meet the 6 this year.

Reading has always been a form of relaxation for me, and I need the channel to unwind now more than ever. More than the intellectual stimulation, I need the chance to immerse myself in something that doesn’t stress me out. And reading has always been a refuge.

Opening a new section on the blog: New York Stories. I have always enjoyed writing about people. A long time ago, I had planned to co-write a blog with a friend featuring stories of people from different walks of life. We were both good writers and the idea was for us to alternate writing about people. It was a good idea that fizzled out, but the idea has always stayed with me.

I just want to write about ordinary people at random and tell their story as they tell it to me. There are so many interesting things we see out of the ordinary and the everyday. I have always believed that everyone has a story (or two or three) to tell. And I want to tell those stories and write them somewhere.

So to make things easier and to keep the rhythm here going, I think I’ll make it a section here in this space and maybe mirror it on a blog dedicated to it. Or not. Let’s see what happens — a story at a time.

It was a jewelry repair weekend for me. As I continue to sort my supplies and work on organizing my stocks, I took the time to repair some of the pieces I have. I started to look at new projects but later decided it was as good a time as any to actually devote time to fixing the broken pieces or just rejoin the chains that needed mending. The full post is really for the other blog, but I feel it worth mentioning here for all the effort that I put into it and how happy I am with the results. I’ve never been one to discard pieces that break and even pairs that are orphaned — there is always some use in another form somewhere.

Started the week off on a positive note. The past couple of weeks brought 2018 to a rather stressful and very challenging close for me. I have tried to cope by meditating with Headspace via its app, and that’s one thing that I’ve found effective, although I have to make a conscious effort to keep at it. I usually forego the weekends but I meditated as I woke up and just did it before getting out of bed for both Saturday and Sunday. During the workweek, I usually do it while on the bus– either heading to work or on my way home. It’s a healthy habit to try and spend that quiet time just being.

I am trying to stay positive. Sometimes, it isn’t as easy as just sulking — but then it doesn’t get me anywhere. So even if in baby steps, I am trying to move forward.

Happy Monday!

Monday Musings

MondayMusingsLogoSo much for breaking the silence as two months passed before I could return with a blog post. Determined to break the streak, I’m back with one of my staples which has me randomly ranting here and there about anything and everything under the sun. No particular theme or flow– just anything that comes to mind.

Talk about being spontaneous.

Autumn is here. Stating the obvious, I know. I love autumn– more than the colors of spring. Definitely more than the black and white of winter. I think I stepped out of the house overdressed in a winter coat. I am going to try and get off the bus with just my sweater and a wrap.. or maybe I will walk out with my coat and wear it open. The changing of the seasons always brings me more than my share of major wardrobe dilemmas. But what to do? You just go with the flow.
Manhattan at Dusk 10.25.18
Geo chunky earrings for me. I have been feverishly trying to create and at least in that respect, I’ve been rather productive. Right now, I have around 20 pieces I have worked on the past couple of days, and I’m hoping to get the write ups and photos done so I can sell them in my Etsy shop. Onyx in black and white, agates in various colors, different types of jasper and magnesite… I’ve also gotten bolder with creating single dangles instead of having a dangle dangling from a dangle.

Pending photographing this new series, I had produced (and continue to work on) earrings using ceramic beads like those shown below.

Earrings by GothamChick
Earrings by Gotham Chick / Available at Gothamchick.etsy.com

I love you, Billy Joel.I finally got to watch my forever idol at Madison Square Garden over the weekend. Well worth the price and the wait! I was fortunate to have caught new dates announced in April, bought tickets and October is here — so off I went. I was just soooo happy to have finally been able to do this. For me. It was so good I’m actually thinking of watching again next year. THAT good!

Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden 10.27.18
Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden on 10.27.18

Sometimes the hardest thing is to try to be consistent at life.  I try.  And so here’s one more attempt at being here more often and more consistently.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Monday Musings: And Summer is (almost) here

I woke up to a grey morning which I had expected thanks to the weather forecast from the previous evening.  I’m not complaining, but I could’ve used a bit more sunshine to start the week off.  But I’m never one to dwell on the negative.  I have always tried to see the positive — telling myself that the glass is half full — and what better way to reinforce it than to try and get the posts rolling on this side of the web.  I thought I’d keep it short and sweet and this being a Monday, here you go with the latest and greatest Monday Musings from Pinay New Yorker.

Monday Musings are actually supposed to be a snapshot of the things that are brewing in my head.  It’s a list of disconnected thoughts that will hopefully spur an actual full length post sometime during the week.  I’ve tried to keep it a regular to do here but haven’t been quite successful, but when I do write a post on the topic, it serves as a start of the week warm up that gets me to the next post.

Summer is (almost) here.  I like the warm weather because it’s always hot from where I came from, and when it rains it really pours.  So this hot and cold and hot and wet days we’ve been having are not new to me.  I just wish that it will stay hot if it’s “warmer” we’re heading towards, instead of seesawing between the two ends of the thermometer, depending on Mother Nature’s mood.  So we’ve been having hot and cold days with no discernible pattern, and I’m just glad that the forecasts are more or less on point.  Time to get the summer planning going.

Busy crafting.  My creative spirits have been bouyed by business picking up in my Etsy Shop.  Half the time I’m reposting inventory that had expired and posting what is already finished.  I’m trying to keep myself from creating new items until I’ve taken cared of most of what’s in the existing inventory, but I’m hoping to keep the orders coming in.  It’s not as simple as creating the items and then listing it.  There is a whole process to being an etsy seller, and while it can sometimes entail a lot of work, it’s nice to see my items available for sale.

Then there’s the additional task of marketing it on social media — but that’s another post altogether.. more on this for later.

Experiencing New York in 60 seconds.  A week or two ago, I attempted to capture snippets of my day in short video clips I strung together into a minute-long summary of how my day went.   What had started out as a pronounced effort to create something without any fuss turned out to be quite the learning experience for me.  Remember that I shoot only with my iphone6.  I published the videos under my GothamChickshopper monicker where I’ve created a Youtube Channel.  My first attempts were laughable but an enjoyable laughing trip for me, more so after I realized I had shot the videos in the wrong orientation.  I have since corrected the error, but I’m still trying to find the best way to edit the videos.  They are grainy and pixelized and more for viewing on your smartphone.

Here’s one sample below which I like because of the tender moments innocently captured as I panned the camera.

Life changes have taken me over.  I am embarking on a new journey and happily doing so with my not so little guy by my side, but I’m trying to bounce back and even step up my cadence as I begin afresh.

All excited to write about that if I can only get a moment to breathe and hit the keys.  Soon.