So I finally learned how to make a GIF!
Here’s me celebrating my first GIF:
I even taught my husband how to make one!
And I made a GIF that lived on the top of nydailynews.com, our first-ever on the site:
It was a pretty exciting day, y’all.
When a friend told me he’d landed in a Candy Cab and that it might make a great story, I was skeptical - who wants to eat candy that’s lying around in a taxi? But then I got on the phone with the driver, Mansoor Khalid, and his story just about broke my heart.
His 2-year-old son died in April after a long battle with heart disease (he had two heart transplants and lost a kidney before he passed away), and he got the idea to spread a little happiness in the world by handing out free candy in his cab.
Here’s the Daily News story I wrote about him: http://nydn.us/PX8aTu — just a really sweet man, doing a small, nice thing for strangers. This is why I love New York.
A few weeks ago, right before my husband (Adam) and I (Meena) celebrated our first wedding anniversary on September 18th, I called up another couple to see how their first year of marriage was going. The phone rang across the Canadian border, and The Other Adam and Meena picked up - they were getting ready to celebrate too since they also tied the knot last year, on September 17th. This was the first time I’d actually talked to my Wedding Doppelgangers, even though I’ve known about them now for over a year. Most of the time we go about our nearly twin lives fully unaware of each other, but on our double anniversary, I wanted to reach through the fun house mirror and find out what exactly life was like in our parallel, identically-named alternate universe.
(the Other Adam & Meena on their wedding day)
THE BACKSTORY: Last year, as our friends dutifully looked up our registry to buy us serving trays and hand towels, they went to Google and typed in “Meena and Adam wedding.” It turns out The Other Meena and Adam’s friends were doing this too, over in Canada. Sure enough, both sets of friends soon discovered there were dueling Meena and Adam weddings, just 24 hours apart. As it turns out, they had a better URL but we have better SEO – our wedding page still comes up first in search, though it’s quickly followed by a string of hits about the Canadians. (American Adam points out the obvious: This whole situation is markedly weirder because it’s not exactly a common name pairing.)
Canadian Adam was first to reach through the hole in the time-space continuum, and sent me an email titled “Weird, another Adam and Meena.” “You guys have officially become known as the hipster American version of us,” he said, a pronouncement we cringingly accepted (in our Ray-Bans). We traded a few jokey messages, I wrote a blog post about the small-world-ness of the Internet, and we went our separate ways.
But here I am a year later, dialing their number on a sunny afternoon (after rejecting the idea of Skype — it would just be too weird, I thought, to come face-to-pixelated-face with our Bizarro Selves). On the phone, their voices sound just like ours. On paper, the similarities continued. Canadian Adam is 28, I’m 27. He owns a business that operates newspapers, I write for a newspaper. Canadian Meena is 31 and works for the government, in air transport security. My Adam is 33 and a master at sneaking his array of (totally masculine) beauty products past airport security. (us)
So, what’s married life like, I ask the Canadians. We get asked this all the time, which is tough to answer since not too much is different. We live in the same apartment, have the same jobs, and wear (mostly) the same clothes we did before. “Babies” and “buying a house” are cute phrases that live somewhere in fantasy land.
But across the border, EVERYTHING has changed. Well, all the big stuff, anyway. Canadian Adam ditched his “swinging bachelor pad” and moved into Meena’s house, and from there they started ticking off the Big Life Stuff list. “We’ve bought a car we’re renovating our house, and we’re having a baby!” they tell me. “Buying a car is a big deal!” Canadian Meena says, before she adds, “I guess having a baby is kind of a big deal.”
So, I ask, how do you handle fights? “We really don’t fight,” Adam says. “It’s very, very rare,” says Meena. I roll my American eyes. But the Canadians are totally sincere about how genuinely they like each other; you can feel it through the phone. “We just work very well together. It’s easy for us to get along,” Meena says. “Even if there are big disagreements, we try not to go to bed angry,” says Adam. “We try to talk it through.”
I start to feel like we aren’t measuring up against the Meena and Adam we could be, and that the clock is ticking fast on our plans. I mean, these guys sound like real adults. Hearing how relaxed our Canadian counterparts sound about parenthood also makes me nervous – though maybe they’re mellowed out by the fact that Canada’s health care and benefits system is so non-fucked up that Meena will get twelve months of paid leave when she gives birth. “We’re thinking about going to Bali for a month,” she muses. “All we need is breast milk and diapers.” Sitting here in our New York apartment where rent is probably double their mortgage, the whole thing just seems so far away and unattainable.
But marriage advice isn’t one-size-fits-all, no matter how similar you are, and comparing yourself to other relationships will only make you miserable. My Adam and I, for example, tried the whole don’t-go-to-bed-angry thing, and ] it totally backfired on us. We’d just stay up late, getting more and more tired and frustrated, until we went to bed madder than ever. Now when we disagree at night, we just hit the hay and skip the fight. We wake up having forgotten what we were once angry about.
And though they may have given me underachieving anxiety in the moment, I got off the phone with Canadian Meena and Adam feeling inspired to do better by channeling their relaxed attitude and overflowing love for each other, even when life gets stressful. It’s a good push to get, one year in, when things were starting to feel settled. “Choose wisely,” Canadian Adam offers as his big piece of marriage advice as he gets off the phone with me. Luckily for this Meena, I already did.
Oh, P.S. - All amazing photos of our wedding were shot by the ridiculously talented Steph Goralnick.
Korean pop superstar PSY taught me how to roll, GANGNAM STYLE.
Last year on this day, I was a week away from getting married. I was full of hope and optimism and excitement, but I was also filled with sadness and reflection on the tenth anniversary of what some have called “the day that never stopped.”
Here’s the post I wrote that day, on falling in love with New York - and, with love.
Originally posted on the New York Daily News, here.
On September 11th, 2001, I hadn’t yet moved to New York. I hadn’t yet fallen in love with this city, with its streets, with its skyline, with its strange array of smells, with the people who would come to be my family and shape my life.
On that day I was still in California, a senior in high school, speeding along on my normal route from home to my first morning class. I was late, as always, and didn’t waste any time cueing up my favorite music to blast on the 20-minute drive. In the split second before I hit play I heard a snippet from the radio, something about the World Trade Center. Assuming they were talking about the 1993 attacks - maybe it was the anniversary? - I shrugged it off and pushed in my mix tape, cranking the volume as I cruised along blissfully to school.
Everyone has their own story of where they were when and how they learned and how they felt and what it meant to them. For me, 3000 miles away from where it all happened, it was an abstract and bizarre day filled with confusion and trepidation, not only of what it meant for America but of what it meant for the world when we retaliated, as we all knew we would. There weren’t many tears in the halls of our high school, only faces filled with shock and incomprehension. Later, at the youth radio program where I worked, we would look at the front pages of New York City’s papers, analyzing the emotion and the style of their headlines in a scholarly, removed way. In a particularly tone-deaf instant, my college counselor would look me in the eye unflinchingly and suggest the attacks might improve my chances of getting into college in New York, as others might be afraid to apply.
Nine years later on this day, passing through the streets of lower Manhattan, watching the memorials and the family members read the names of those they lost, I feel like a stranger here again. This is my home, but today I feel like a tourist, a visitor, only able to observe those who were here then and listen to their stories. It meant something so different to them, something I will never fully be able to understand.
I just want to get that out there, since this is a run recap and all. I’m not very fast. I’ll probably never do a marathon. Right now, I’m lucky if I can finish a 10K. In fact, during a game of “True Colors" a few years ago, my friends revealed they think I’m the biggest couch potato of the group.
But lately I’ve been trying to get more active, challenging myself to sign up for more events since I’ve found I can go a lot further when I’m in a group. Plus, running with friends is enough to motivate me to cross the finish line. So when a friend heard about the Color Run 5K and sent a fun-looking video around, I was intrigued …Who doesn’t love getting a little dirty and having a dance party?
Ok, so you think you know how to ride the subway. But are you doing it as well as you could be - or are you committing some serious straphanger violations? NY1’s (adorable) Rail & Road reporter Jamie Shupak breaks it down: What to wear, what not to wear, if it’s ever acceptable to eat underground, how you should be holding that pole, and even how to pick up a cute girl. Check it out!
There are a lot of skills I wish I had, but one thing that’s always seemed totally out of my reach is how to blow dry my hair like an adult, instead of looking like I stuck my finger in a socket.
If you’re like me you’re usually better off paying a professional than trying to do your own hair - so I got a pro to spill his secrets. The result: Check out how to get a perfect salon blowout yourself!
More tips, here.
I know what you’re thinking - you already know how to eat a hot dog. How hard could it be?
But this isn’t just any old way to eat a hot dog - it’s the KOBAYASHI way. I sat down with the competitive eating legend to learn his method and try it out for myself. (Spoiler alert: It’s pretty gross.)