April 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Reading about the bombings at the Boston Marathon and watching it on the news is making me feel sick and sad. I don’t understand why people would ever have the urge to hurt other people. It’s been a rough year for violence and natural disasters, why create evil to put out into the world?
Thankfully, I just read this post by comedian Patton Oswalt that made me smile:
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
Thanks, Patton. I hope that made you guys feel better too.
January 3, 2013 § Leave a Comment
2012 was “The Year Of Yes” for Nick and I. We wanted to make it the best possible, doing what we wanted when we wanted, within reason, of course. This attitude led to some pretty great moments and incredible experiences. I also fell even more in love with yoga, specifically Ashtanga, and turbocharged my practice into a 4-5 times a week affair which led me into new poses I never expected to be able to do. There were sad moments this year too, especially in February, but overall, 2012 was the best one I’ve had in years.
- On Friday the 13th, Nick & I went to see/experience the incredible Sleep No More.
- That same morning, I danced my heart out before 10am at Creative Mornings with Girl Walk All Day.
- Filed for an LLC and made my business official. No more freelancing for me!
- The beginning of the month, my family faced a tragedy. Jenn’s nearly full-term baby suddenly passed away a week before her due date. We’ll always remember Everett, even though we didn’t get to meet him.
- Nick and I met my parents in Jamaica for a sunny vacation.
- I flew to Canada for a week-long visit, where I stayed with Jenn and her family. This included lots of playing with their new puppy, Biscuit.
- I tried an incredibly challenging Soulcycle class – right after Jake Gyllenhaal worked out in the same room.
- Mad Men season 5 premiered and I fell in love with the show all over again.
- Flew to London for a long weekend. We got to see Nick’s client Frank Turner headline his first arena show and Abbey Road!
- I helped set a record at the World’s Largest Rainbow Parade RecordSetter Event.
- Finally bought a bike worth more than $100. What a difference!
- Spent a weekend in Ohio for Alex and Erin’s lovely barn wedding.
- Started a subscription to Lancaster Farm Fresh weekly vegetable share and farm fresh eggs. Best decision of 2012!
- Had a quick trip to Toronto to see Frank Turner and Baroness, along with some friends and family.
- Saw an amazing Radiohead show in Newark.
- My sister Jenn came for a weekend visit!
- The first Long Island beach visit of the year with Kate.
- Gave a sweaty-faced testimonial in a video for my favourite yoga studio.
- Went to the Governor’s Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island solo, but met up with many ex- & current TAG friends and my good Torontonian bud, Travis Bradley!
- Took a weekend road trip to Baltimore with Kate and Bryan. Survived the worst thunderstorm driving conditions on the way there so that we could see fish in their aquarium, go to a baseball game, and eat at a Brazilian steak house.
- Celebrated our second wedding anniversary with Nick by getting massages. So goooood.
- Rewrote my NYC + Brooklyn City Guide, complete with different categories, to appease all the NYC visitors!
- Went to Massachusetts to visit Nick’s best friend Mike, but we also went WHALE WATCHING! I saw humpback whales for the first time and it was one of the coolest moments of my life.
- Finally upgraded from a Blackberry to an iPhone.
- Collected a ton of paperwork and “proof of relationship” to renew my green card and have the conditional status of my permanent residency removed. Filed it myself and felt very accomplished.
- Flew to Toronto for a 10-day visit that started with a Bachelorette Party Cottage Weekend for Julia! Was so incredibly happy to spend 4 days in a cottage with some of my best friends that I only get to see a few times a year.
- Julia and Jay got married! I was so happy to be able to celebrate with them and stand up for Julia as a bridesmaid. I was also pretty happy to partake in the best dance party in years at their reception.
- Finally succeeded in doing headstand in the middle of the room! I have still never fallen (knock on wood).
- Celebrated a great 31st birthday.
- Helped Nick celebrate his birthday and had our first joint birthday dinner ever with some of our best friends.
- Went to Chicago to see Smashing Pumpkins in their hometown!
- New York got hit by Hurricane Sandy. We hunkered down, but were very very lucky to not have any damage.
- My parents came to visit us for the first time since we got married!
- Went to a special Creative Mornings talk by George Lois at the Met.
- Kate and Bryan got married at city hall!!! They were engaged for over 3 years before finally tying the knot at Manhattan’s city hall and now they are pregnant!
- Saw Neil Young & Crazy Horse with Patti Smith at Brooklyn’s new venue, Barclay’s Center.
- Nick and I flew to Sweden for a long weekend to see his band Ghost. We were so happy about this opportunity, even though it was a whirlwind trip!
- After a few months of practicing, I was finally successful in doing a real Ashtanga back bend!
- Celebrated Christmas with my family in Oshawa and Fenelon Falls.
- Flew home from Canada on Boxing Day then flew to Paris less than 2 days later! Celebrated New Year’s Eve by adding a love lock to Pont de l’Archevêché. Romantic!
If you finished this post, I applaud you! How was your 2012?
December 12, 2012 § 1 Comment
As of this morning, I have reached two of my goals for 2012: headstands and back bends. By no means do I consider myself an expert in either one, but both scared the hell out of me to begin with and now I’m actually practicing them! This is a huge feat that I had to tackle not only physically, but mentally. Being upside down was so foreign to me, it took me about 10 months of working on my headstand (with lots of love and a bit of trickery from Alana) before I gained the confidence to get up on my own.
Alana, my cherished teacher, started me on back bends in September. Back bends begin with wheel pose in Ashtanga, but move on to bending backwards from standing up, and hand stands into back bends. I had wheel down, so my next move was bending backwards from standing up, so that my hands would come over my head and touch my mat behind me. At first, I was pretty sure I was going to seriously injure my back. I practiced bending back and breathing in a controlled manner with Alana holding my hips. I experienced the growing pains of my back stretching, becoming stronger, and my posture changing. Some say that this pose causes the practicer to experience very strong emotions, as it’s a heart-opener. I was lucky to get off easy with just a week at the end of October where I was getting angry at myself that my body wasn’t listening to my mind; I couldn’t make myself let go and touch the floor. After that, I mellowed out and set the goal to achieve this by December 31, but that I had plenty of time and wouldn’t force myself just yet.
Last week, I told Alana my biggest fear is just that the ground was so far away. I was worried what would happen to my back when I got down in that position. We came up with the solution to have me drop back so that my hands would land on a pile of blankets behind me, about 2 feet off the floor. I tried it and was finally successfully letting myself go! On Monday, Alana decided to pull away 95% of the blankets while my back was turned to them and I came down, not realizing how far I was bending. When I looked back and saw I basically did my full back bend, I knew I could do it.
This morning, I finally let myself go. I let my hands come all the way over my head and I gloriously touched down to the mat in a full back bend. GLORIOUSLY, YOU GUYS.
Moments like this make it all worthwhile. I am far from an expert and I know achieving this pose just opens more doors for me with more things to learn, but thank god! I am not done yet and can’t wait for the next step.
Watch the video below to see Ashtanga’s back bends in action:
November 14, 2012 § Leave a Comment
November 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Yesterday marked one week since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. I spent that day preparing for a disaster, but hoping it would be unnecessary. Luckily, it was. One week ago today, Nick and I stepped out of our apartment building after being inside for 24 hours, wearing rain boots, since our windows face a courtyard, we were unsure of what exactly the situation was going to be. Surprisingly, our main street was packed with people going about their normal routines just like any other day, with the exception of some blown over construction walls, scaffolding left askew, and one building blocked off because pieces of brick were falling from it.
We knew from the nonstop coverage on TV that we were very lucky. The Rockaways, Jersey Shore, and Staten Island were absolutely pummeled and there was irreversible damage done to many houses, schools, and even waterfront landmarks.
Last week was definitely disorienting. I’m fortunate that I always work from home, but since the subway was almost completely shut down the entire week, Nick was forced to work from home as well. On Wednesday, he had a friend drive him and his two assistants to work in Midtown and it took 2 hours to get there. They walked home in 1.5 hours. Still, there are no subways running in Greenpoint and the buses are packed. It seems though that New York knows how fortunate it is and no one is complaining. We’re all happy just to be warm and safe.
This is the first time I’ve dealt with a natural disaster. It’s strange in so many ways. I’m relieved that Nick and I, and our friends, are fine, but it’s hard to relax knowing what the affected areas are going through. I want to help them, but because of the gas shortage and subway service, getting there is difficult. The best Nick and I can do so far is to have friends who lost power in the city over for hot showers, food, and phone charging. We’ve also made a sizable Red Cross donation. Still, I am so inspired to see so many business and individuals running drives to collect supplies for those areas. If you think New Yorkers are cold and heartless, you are wrong!
Photo: NBC News
October 9, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Happy birthday, birthday twins Sean and John Lennon.
Sean is 37 today. John would have been 72!
Can I tell you how happy my Dad was when his first-born came into the world on his favourite musician’s birthday? ;)
September 27, 2012 § 2 Comments
I am a firm believer that you can never have too many photographs.
Whether you take photos of your family…
…Exciting moments in someone else’s life…
…Even when you’re riding a double decker bus in London and your husband thinks it’s time to stop taking photos, it probably isn’t.
Because someday you’re going to look back on these photos and be so glad you took the time to take them.
Tell me, what do you take photos of and do you take them often?
Also, I’m becoming an Instagram addict. Find me there: “christinastorch”.
July 16, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I read an article today that I really identified with. The author visits the topic of friendship as it applies to age and reaching certain points in your life. “Why is it so hard to make friends over 30?” he asks. Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one who ponders this question!
After moving to New York from Toronto two years ago, I found I had a few American friends, but mostly, as the article calls them “kind-of-friends”. I came straight from spending the majority of my twenties in Toronto, where I met countless amazing people through mutual friends, my ex-boyfriend, and work. Not everyone was in a relationship or even felt the need to be, and we all spent time together at house parties, bars, parks, concerts, cottages, and the occasional planned food fight with little to no drama and everyone got along.
Now that I’m married and 30, I find my standards for friends are higher and the frequency of cravings to go out every weekend are lower. Luckily, I’m very fortunate to have a great husband who would rather spend time with me than anyone else and I’ve managed to make a few great NYC friends. I’m also happy to keep up the relationships I treasure most in Canada, but I now know that the volume of friends I have there will never exist here. And I’m okay with that because I’ve finally realized I have new things to look forward to.
As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other, said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is why so many people meet their lifelong friends in college, she added.
Read: Friends Of A Certain Age
April 6, 2012 § 5 Comments
I am happy to say that I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life.
Not first hand, anyways. Throughout high school, I had friends who smoked, and I spent time with them in their cloudy cars because my tolerance for cigarette smoke was pretty high at the time. I began going to club shows at the age of 15 or 16 and in 1997, it was still perfectly acceptable to smoke in bars. I’d come home enveloped in other people’s cigarettes. I’d have to leave my jacket hanging outside of the closet to air out and wouldn’t even think about wearing those jeans again without washing them. By the time the concert was over, my contact lenses would be glued to my eyeballs, the smoke sucking all moisture from my eyes.
Since then, laws have been changed. It’s no longer legal to smoke indoors in most cities in North America. Most restaurants don’t even allow smoking on patios where there’s an awning. I have still never smoked a cigarette (why would I start if I didn’t succumb in high school or college?) and my tolerance for smoke has gone way down. I have a hard time even walking behind people on the street who are smoking. Recently, someone has moved onto my building’s floor who appears to be a chain smoker on the weekends and I absolutely HATE IT. It actually enrages me because this toxic and stinky substance drifts into my space where I live and work, and there’s nothing I can do about it. And what happens when we have a kid? I have to worry about this person’s lifestyle choice affecting my baby’s new lungs? I don’t mean to gang up on smokers, but it just doesn’t seem fair in a big city like New York, where we all live on top of each other, to have to worry about this.
This is my personal take on smoking, brought on by an article I recently read, written by the husband of a smoker, asking people to give these poor addicted folk a break. When I read it, I felt no pity. I’m curious if you would.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this controversial topic. Are you a smoker or a nonsmoker? Have you ever smoked? Why did you or didn’t you choose to quit smoking? What is it about cigarettes that draws you to them? Are you really just trying to look cool or beautiful like Betty Draper?
March 24, 2012 § 5 Comments
Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship? If you have, you know it’s not easy. Nick and I dated long distance, New York to Toronto, for two years before I decided to move to New York. That wasn’t the end though, we tacked another 8 months onto the two years while I was stuck in Canada, waiting for my engagement visa.
It seems only the strongest, most stubborn make it, but things are getting easier with today’s technology. Blackberry Messenger was our saving grace, but now there’s something that seems even better – a new iPhone app called Pair.
The app includes a feature called “thumb kiss” that vibrates when both parties touch the same spot on the screen. Couples can also co-create drawings, maintain a joint to-do list and send a “thinking of you” message that works like a more thoughtful Facebook poke.
Three of the five men who created Pair are currently in long-distance relationships. I bet they won bigtime points with their ladies for this development!
Do you think this app is adorable or nauseating? I’d love to hear your thoughts on long-distance relationships!