Alex in Transit(ion)

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i wear my sunglasses at night. (nyc, post grad sorority, and wonderful cheesecake and deadly animal surprises)

I’m back from NYC and I’m back in Saratoga! While I was going home to Sullivan County on the train (which always excites me, I love trains) I thought to myself- you know, NYC is not meant to be a city to visit. I feel that to truly appreciate the city, you have to live there. One day, I hope that I will be able to take the city on. There’s so much of it that I haven’t seen yet and so many more good times to be had. If anything, that was the best part of the trip. I went there for the sole reason to see people that I haven’t seen in a long, long time. I was able to see two of my friends that I haven’t seen in two years and I can’t even tell you how amazing it was to roam around Manhattan like we used to. I saw two of my former colleagues which was awesome because I haven’t seen them since November and I’ve missed them since everything wrapped up. I also got to see a couple of my college friends, including my little sister from my sorority.

What is a little? In a sorority or a fraternity, each sister or brother gets to mentor and guide a pledge during the pledging process. I was so happy to finally hang out with my little- we were both extremely active on Oneonta’s campus. In fact- that’s the reason why I wanted her as my little because she’s such a strong woman and we’re alike in the way that we were constantly busy because we wanted to make our campus a better place. Unfortunately, when you get two busy people together, you have to deal with two different and busy schedules. I always felt guilty because I never was able to spend as much time with her as I would have liked to. I had a reputation amongst my friends- that in order to see me, you had to live with me because I was always off doing something.

This weekend we got to do something that we never were able to do within the last two years. We got to hang out. I didn’t have to go and do something. Instead, we got to see things together. I can’t even tell you how nice that was.

It’s really funny, one would think that sorority life ends after college but it’s not true at all. The weird thing is, I feel more attached to my sorority after college than during college. I think it’s because during college- you take it for granted. You’re always with each other, so you don’t realize how much the phrase “loyal sisters all” means until you don’t have them by your side anymore. Still after graduation, they’re the ones I call when I’m having a bad day or when something really awesome is happening. It teaches you that yeah, you really can be close to over one hundred sisters, both past and present, and they’re still going to know everything about you and that you can have a conversation and have it MEAN something. My sorority was one of the biggest reasons why I got through the campaign, and the funny thing was, it wasn’t just the Oneonta chapter. It was also the Potsdam chapter. You’d think that it would be impossible for a girl to become really close friends with other girls that she barely even knows and the only thing that they do have in common is that they’re in the same sorority. It’s not impossible. Even though we’re from different parts of NY, going to different schools- or in my case, my Potsdam sisters were still in school and I was the one with a job- they weren’t just my sisters from another chapter. They are my sisters. And just like my sisters in Oneonta, I will have their backs no matter what. Unless they killed someone. That could be a deal breaker.

Although this trip made me realize something. I never cared about wind advisories before. Now I do. It was almost like NYC traded places with Chicago and wanted to be known as the windy city for a change. I’m not even exaggerating, when my friends and I were walking to the Met, we felt like a mini tornado was hitting us. I wore my sunglasses all day, even at night because I wear contact lenses and after I felt a piece of sand blow into my eye, I decided that enough was enough- even if I looked like a total tool, anything was better than getting a scratched cornea. Thankfully, NYC has streetlights everywhere you go, so it wasn’t as cumbersome as one would think to wear sunglasses at night.

It was my first time visiting the Met. Unfortunately, a wave of tourist fever came over me and I thought that the Met was the same thing as the Museum of Modern Art. I was wrong. Yet we still had an awesome time. My friend L and I discovered something that people would disregard as immature and juvenile: that male nude sculptures in the early ages have really tiny penises. As time goes on, the penises get bigger and bigger. I made a point of this to L, and my natural loud, boisterous made that point to other guests of the Met. I made three teenage girls laugh.

This was my first time in NYC since I left DC almost two years ago. The biggest difference between NYC and DC for me is that I lived in DC and I’ve only visited NYC. I learned something: You can take the girl out of DC but you can’t take the DC out of the girl. Which is weird because I live closer to NYC and I enjoy NYC because people are more laid back there than in DC and there’s so much more to do in NYC than DC. However, I couldn’t swipe the MetroCard to save my life and I was wishing that I was able to put some money on my SmarTrip. What is a SmarTrip? Eh, I’ll let the WMTA explain it:

A SmarTrip® card is a permanent, rechargeable farecard. It’s plastic, like a credit card, and is embedded with a special computer chip that keeps track of the value of the card.

Using a SmarTrip® card is fast and easy. Instead of inserting a farecard through the Metrorail faregate slot, you simply touch the SmarTrip® card to the circular targets on top of or inside station faregates. Likewise, you can tap the SmarTrip® farebox on Metrobus to pay your fare with SmarTrip®

I fucking loved that thing when I was in DC. It made life SO much easier. Yep. I looked like a total tourist. I also wish that NYC would get on the ball with its subway system. In DC, there are electronic signs that let you know when the next train is coming. In NYC, only a few subway stations have that. DC also has cell phone towers placed throughout the Metro system, so you’re able to use your phone while underground. My little didn’t understand why I kept looking at my phone until I told her that was just my habit to do so because in DC, you can use cell phones on the train. Then again, there is a beauty to not being able to use a cell phone on a train. It frees up more time to get to know perfect strangers. I met this one guy on the Bronx train who went to UAlbany. It was awesome to find out that it’s really a small world after all!

For dinner, we went to Jackson Hole Burgers. I can’t believe I’m going to say it, but Five Guys, eat your heart out. This place was awesome! Instead of bread for patrons to nibble on while they’re waiting for their food to come out, the waiter brings out pickles to start! After that, I knew that Jackson Hole won over my heart. Just like Five Guys, Jackson Hole has an open kitchen where you can see your burger being cooked. The big differences between Jackson Hole and Five Guys is that:

  1. You have control over the way your burger is cooked. I like mine medium. E coli, schmee foli. Five Guys cooks their burgers well done.
  2. Jackson Hole’s burgers are a half a pound. Really. The line cook will take a slab of ground beef that is bigger than your hand and will slam it on the grill.

I was in carnivore heaven.

After a lovely dinner, we went to this fantastic bar on the Lower East Side called Pianos. My friends and I danced the night away- even though I can’t dance. Really, I can’t- my sorority nicknamed me Claps because I can’t clap to the rhythm of our sorority songs and I can’t dance to rhythm. We also came across The Little Cupcake Bakeshop where I had a delicious Nutella cappuccino that not only gave me the caffeine to last the whole night but it also kept my hands warm during the cold, blustery walk.

In the morning, my little wanted to take me to IHOP because I’ve never been there, but unfortunately, it was packed. We then ventured into Manhattan and ate at Big Daddy’s Restaurant. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to taste their famous tater tots because I was strapped for cash and tater tots can only fill you up for so long and if I was going to spend money- I wanted it to be for something that would keep me revved up during the day.  I enjoyed an awesome sandwich called the Chicken Lickin Sandy- grilled chicken breast with bacon, avocado, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, melted jalapeño jack cheese and herb mayo on ciabatta bread, served with sweet potato chips. Yummy doesn’t even begin to describe the experience.

During the trip, my friends kept telling me to get a new wallet because mine was literally falling apart. I refused though. I loved it to death, it looked like a boombox. While we were on Canal Street, my little decided to take matters in her own hands and bought me a wallet because she didn’t want to see me walking around with my old one anymore. It’s really cute! It has monsters all over it! I decided to take advantage of the fact that we were on Canal. My newfound friend B and I went to a Chinese bakery and got bubble tea and red bean buns. Needless to say, I was in food heaven in the city…which is another reason why I like NYC a lot better than DC. There’s so many different cuisines and you can actually get a decent slice of pizza there.

It’s back to Albany now. I had a wonderful night with my friends and it was totally unexpected. I hung out with Marc of Cautious and Carefree, Zac of Albany Sucka , and Guilderland Matt. I saw Marc as I was walking back from work and we all had an epic night full of watching documentaries about the most deadliest animals in Austrailia and capped the night off with eating delicious cheesecake at Cheesecake Machismo on Hamilton Street in downtown Albany. For $5 for a drink and a beverage, you cannot go wrong. I had the Black Stout Cheesecake.

Oh yeah- and I’m still keeping up with 30 for 30!


That’s Little and I at Pianos! I know you can’t see the whole outfit but to tell you the truth, I didn’t want to ask my friends to take a picture of my entire outfit. This time was to concentrate on them and not myself. As you can see from my face, I was (terribly) dancing up a storm! Who needs rhythm when you’re having an awesome time?

  • White Top- Kohl’s
  • Vest- New York and Company
  • Scarf- Maxwell’s
  • Belt- Forever 21
  • Leggings- Kohl’s
  • Boots- borrowed from a friend because she didn’t want me walking around NYC with my mocs.


There isn’t a Sunday pic. I sowwy. I was just ridiculously busy with walking around NYC, having an awesome time with my friends, and by the time I got home, I was too exhausted to take a picture. For those of you who are interested- I stayed true to 30 for 30 and wore an Oneonta sweatshirt and leggings because you always have to represent the best college in the SUNY system ;D

  • Jacket- New York and Company
  • Tee Shirt- American Eagle (which has a graphic print of NYC!)
  • Jeans- American Eagle
  • Mocs- Minnetonka
  • Scarf- A friend gave it to me back in college
  • Daisy- Claire’s

My bangs were doing the Rod Blogojevich today.

That’s unfortunate.

  • Black drape cardigan- Kohl’s
  • Scarf- My friend gave it to me in college
  • White Tee- Kohl’s
  • Pants- New York and Company

The last two outfits are my favorite because since I work at an office- I have to mix my work clothes with my regular clothes during this challenge. The beauty about doing 30 for 30 is working with what you have and creating outfits that normally you don’t wear. I would have never wore this outfit to work without 30 for 30 and honestly- I’m glad that I stumbled upon this combo. Not only is it office appropriate, but it’s comfy and stylish…or at least I hope it’s stylish ;D

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I had a weird dream last night. I dreamed that I was at my mom’s house and suddenly, I panicked because I had to get to work in Potsdam. I started freaking out because I had no idea how I would be able to get to Potsdam because it’s 6 hours away from Callicoon Center. I was so scared because I didn’t confirm my volunteers and what was I ever going to tell my boss? Then I woke up and I realized…

Wait. It’s January.

There aren’t any elections going on.

There isn’t any campaigning to do.

My contract ended. I’m unemployed.

I moved back home in November.

I came to the conclusion that my subconscious really misses working.

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2010 Playlist (guilty pleasure Thursday)

Who doesn’t love a playlist? These songs are listed in no particular order because for some reason- I can’t rank songs. 

1. Band of Horses- Laredo

This song makes me think of driving down Central Avenue in Albany for some odd, odd reason. A kind soul and I agreed that this song makes you think of summer.

2. Mumford and Sons- Little Lion Man

This is the debut single to end all debut singles. I know exactly where I was when I first listened to this song. I was driving on Dove Street, hoping that I wouldn’t be late for work, when the banjo caught my ears’ attention. It sounded so desperate. It sounded so yearning. And how could it not with lyrics such as “it was not your fault but mine. and it was your heart on the line. I really fucked it up this time, didn’t I my dear?”

3. Mumford and Sons- The Cave

I remember the first time I heard this song as well. It was my last night in the Capital Region, I was driving back from my cousin’s house in Saratoga and I was crying tears of joy and fear because I was getting ready to ship off to Potsdam for 3 and a half months and leaving my life in Albany behind, hoping that everything would be the same when I came back in November. Then I heard the lyrics that would define the next few months for me: “so make your siren’s call and sing all you want, I will not hear what you have to say: because I need freedom now and I need to know how to live my life the way it’s meant to be. I will hold on hope and I won’t let you choke on the noose around your neck and I’ll find strength in pain and I’ll change my ways. I’ll know my name as it’s called again.”

4. Phoenix- Lisztomania

Alright, alright- I realize that Phoenix’s album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix really came out in 2009, but I didn’t hear this song until I came to Albany in January and this was a constant companion every time I drove to work thanks to WEQX. Although I will admit, for so long I thought that they lyrics were “like a rhi, like a rhinoooooo!” They are really “like a riot, riot ohhhh.”

5. Spoon- Written in Reverse

This song is raw. It makes you unleash your wildest inhibitions. And may just be the best song to drive to.

6. Robert Francis- Junebug

This song literally takes your heart and makes you feel really sorry for the protagonist. You can perfectly imagine each scene that Francis sings about. “And that was when I loved you best. We were kids then. We shouldn’t think about the rest….you were beautiful then. You’re just a cokejaw now.”

7. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros- Home

Seriously, how can you not fall in love with this song? As soon as Jade says “Alabama, Arkansas, I sure love my ma and pa, but not the way that I do love you,” you’re automatically hooked. After all, this is what love should be- being absolutely uninhibited by the presence of your lover and feeling almost as if the world is your playground and that nothing could ever stop you. I have no idea when I’m going to get married, and I’m not a girl who had grandiose dreams of that big day, but I do know one thing: this song is playing. and there will be a giant dance party because of it.

8. Arcade Fire- The Suburbs (Continued)

This is the simplest song on the list. It barely plays for a minute. Yet I feel that it is packed with more emotion than any other song on the album. We’ve all been there. “If I could have it back, all of the hours we wasted, I’d only waste them again. You know I’d love to waste them again, and again, and again.” When this song plays, all I think about is laying down in the grass, cuddling up to someone really special, looking at the stars, and hoping that the night will last forever. 

9. Guilty About Girls- Candy Candy

Chances are, if you don’t live in Canada or close enough to it that you will have the pleasure of listening to Live 88.5, you may not know this song. On a side note- if it wasn’t for Live 88.5, the only alternative rock radio station in the North Country, I don’t think I would have lasted a day in St. Lawrence County. I found this fun little gem and it has the catchiest little hook: “Follow me, I know where I’m going, I’m not messed up like all those hos, stay with me and all will be golden, run away and be broken hearted.”

10. Tokyo Police Club- Boots of Danger (Wait Up!)

This is another song that makes me think of the campaign because I first heard of this song thanks to Live 88.5. It’s just a wonderfully catchy song. 

11. The Black Keys- Tighten Up

Just like Spoon’s Written in Reverse, this is another song that also unleashes your inhibitions. Again, this was another song that makes me think of the campaign because it was always on Live 88.5. Or it would magically appear on my iPod. I never minded one bit though =D

12. Brandon Flowers- Crossfire

My jaw dropped when I first heard this. I’ve always been a huge fan of The Killers but I did not know that Brandon Flowers was coming out with a new album! I was listening to Slacker Radio and I was on my way to the Good Leaf to get one of my last Matcha Lattes. I lit my cigarette as I walked down Jay Street and then I heard a strange, new song come through my head phones. That day, I made sure that I took my time to get to the Good Leaf. I thought that this was a damn, fine effort from Brandon Flowers. “I promise tonight not to do no harm, I promise you babe, I won’t do you no harm.”

13. Pearl Jam- Just Breathe

Yes, this is another album that came out in 2009, but I didn’t get a chance to hear it until I moved to Albany in 2010. So it’s still new-ish to me. This is such a tender love song and it’s very haunting. “Didn’t I say that I need you? Didn’t I say that I want you? What if I did and I’m a fool, you see? No one knows this more than me as I come clean.” Oh Eddie Vedder.

14. Passion Pit- Dreams

I rarely ever say that cover songs are better than the original. This song is an exception. In March, Passion Pit re-released their amazing 2009 album Manners and they included their cover of Dreams, originally recorded by The Cranberries. WOW, is all I can say. This song makes me feel that there really is hope in this world, they do that good of a job covering it. I just really want to spin in circles in Washington Park whenever I hear this or run down Lark Street with a smile on my face. 

15. The National- Blood Buzz Ohio

Yep, I remember when I first listened to this song. I was at the Hudson/Willett traffic light and all of a sudden it felt as if I was being transported to such a raw and desperate world. I found that I listed to this A LOT in Potsdam because the instrumental to this is so beautiful- the piano made me feel that even though the lyrics in this song are depressing, there’s always a diamond in the rough. “Stand up straight at the foot of your love, I lift my shirt up. Stand up straight at the foot of your love, I lift my shirt up. I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees. I never married but Ohio don’t remember me…I’m on a blood buzz, yes I am, I’m on a blood buzz.”

16. We Are Scientists- After Hours

Yes, I know, this song was released in 2008 and I’m embarrassed to say that I had no idea that it existed until 2010. I wish I knew of it earlier. I did get to see We Are Scientists when they came to Albany this July and they were AWESOME! This is, yet again, another song that got me through Potsdam, so it deserves a place on this list haha. 

17. OkGO- This Too Shall Pass

This song is so hypnotic. I got to see them in Albany during TulipFest this year. Just remember to “let it go, this too shall pass because you can’t keep letting it get you down!” It just came to me- I never listened to this song in Potsdam. I probably should have.

18. The Temper Trap- Sweet Disposition

This song was released in 2009 and I didn’t find out about it until January 2010 when I, yes you guessed it! …moved to Albany. This song is just so liberating and is another song that makes me wish I could run around singing “Stay there! Cause I’ll be coming over while our blood is young! So young it runs! We won’t stop til it’s over! Won’t stop to surrender!”

19. The Temper Trap- Fader

Yep, I remember when I first heard this song too. It was July and I was driving to work on Central Avenue. Along with Sweet Disposition, this is another liberating song. 

20. The Heavy- How Do You Like Me Now?

Two words come to my mind when I hear this song: James Brown. Damn son, this song has soul. Actually, you may of heard it on the Kia Soul commercials, you know the one with Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba? Trust me- if you haven’t heard of this song (or any of these songs on the list)- just go onto GrooveShark or YouTube right now and LISTEN.

21. LCD Soundsystem- I Can Change

I remember hearing this song for the first time too. I was driving to my cousin’s house in Saratoga to see her and her husband before I left for Potsdam. I’m convinced that they can’t do any wrong.

22. Locksley- The Whip

If you don’t have a good time to this song, I have no idea what’s wrong with you. I also got to see them in Albany in July along with We Are Scientists. 

23. Cee-Lo Green- Fuck You

This song was GENIUS. Best line ever: “I guess he’s X-Box, and I’m more Atari.”

24. The xx- Crystalised

There is one word to describe this song: chill. I could listen to this song in a variety of scenarios.

I think that’s it. If I missed anything…well, I’m sure next time I listen to the radio, I will just think “I should have added that in.” 

(just a little disclaimer- I have nothing against Potsdam, it was just really hard being away from my friends and family for so long and I’m not ashamed to admit it. But I still persevered and helped my team bring it home.)

(But you can probably see how much I adore Albany haha)