Category Archives: Friends

Wonderful Wizard of Wordly Wishes

Wonderfulness has taken over. Ladies and gentleman, perhaps if you complain enough good things will happen. Perhaps if you are an impatient, obsessive-compulsive, control freak things will happen the way you want them to. Perhaps, I am right. But I digress…

I have a J-O-B.

It doesn’t begin for another couple of weeks, but I am absolutely ecstatic about it. I don’t want to expand too much on this blog for reasons that are slightly above my maturity level, but mostly because I suppose that is unprofessional. Which means that I will most likely continue to write about things I can’t be held accountable for i.e., my family, friends, total strangers, and random thoughts.

I’ve been mildly entertaining for this long, right?


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Filed under Family, Friends, The Career

Lives of the Not-so-Rich and Not-so-Famous

This weekend some very good friends came up from DC to enjoy the 21st birthday festivities of a fellow AUer here in the city. The party was held in this beautiful old home in Brooklyn Heights overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline. Is it sad that everyone compared the evening to an episode of Gossip Girl or Marie Antoinette as opposed to simply taking it for what it was–a well-organized, champagne infused, over the top dance party?

Call me nostalgic and cliché, but it was one of those evenings that will not soon be forgotten. Even if there was copious amounts of alcohol.

Moving on from my life where I pretend to be a socialite once every business cycle, we arrive at my day-to-day life as a commoner. There are certain cultural advantages I get to experience that those who are better off will simply never know of. Take for instance the subway. Why, just the other day I witnessed a man with a razor blade shaving his face only a mere three feet from me. Some might condemn such behavior, deeming it uncouth. If you think about it though, this lowly peasant cared enough about his outward appearance to take a moment and beautify himself prior to making it to his morning engagement.

And here’s something for all of you who enjoy a scandal. I may be relatively poor right now, but like those young, Hollywood starlets I was involved in my very first sexual harassment dispute last night! Leave it to a couple of drunk and middle-aged male customers at a “fine-dining” establishment to tap your bottom and grab your arm when asking for the check. But hey! They sure did tip well. Everyone wins.

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Filed under DC, Friends

It starts out on a plane.

It’s bad, really bad when you write a blog post by hand in your personal journal since no computer access exists 30,000 feet above ground. However, I’ve managed to accomplish this task with relatively little harm to my ego. Here’s what I wrote:

Well, I’m on my way to San Francisco to visit my aunt and the family for part of my last Spring Break ever. For those of you who know me, you’re aware that I’m terrified of flying…so bear with me while I waste some air time and indulge in my utter nerdiness by writing this blog post.

First things first:
1) I HIGHLY suggest flying with jetBlue. My flight began with an episode of That 70’s Show followed by movie Juno on my personal TV screen. People: I have just experienced the 21st century and…It. Is. Awesome! I have copious amounts of leg room and even decided to get one of those baby bottles of wine to encourage my self-important nature.

2) On the way to the airport today I had a cab driver offer me two very interesting rules of thumb he says he swears by:

a) Never go to the doctor’s office for a physical. This man is sixty-eight years old and apparently healthy as a horse. Mazel Tov.

b) Never wear a condom. (FYI: I did express to him that this was an over share…c’mon folks, I do have some morals!) He said that this rule keeps him faithful to his girlfriend. I don’t care to go on.—Yeesh.

There is no level of ‘uncomfortable’ that shies away from me. These types of situations often find their way into my daily routine, and I’m just going to start recording them. For instance, I’m not really sure why some cab drivers feel the need to push the envelope that extra inch and completely cross my self-imposed comfort line. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I just talk too much–you know, too nice too quickly? On my way home from work last week, the driver asked me for my number to go on a date. Great. It’s uncomfortable moments such as this one which happen on a regular basis, that make me want to crawl under a large rock and hide forever.

A similar type of uncomfortable occurred a couple weeks ago at my internship. I was going on one of my many important errands at the magazine: a coffee run. I had gone out with one of the new interns who had decided to tell me that she no longer drinks coffee due to her IBS. I did not ask her if caffeine made her irritable. I didn’t even ask the girl if she liked coffee! My only regret is that I didn’t have a good friend of mine around at this moment to share in this heightened level of ‘uncomfortable’ with me. Instead, I have resorted to sharing this intern’s digestive ailments with cyber space. I’m sorry…

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Filed under Excuses, Friends, i don't get it

Love quotes, suck.

Being that it is September 11th, I thought it appropriate to reflect. I could ponder over the state of affairs in Chechnya (not great), scientific discoveries (a species of fish with two sets of jaws…so sci-fi), or the current book I’m reading at work (How I Became Stupid by Martin Page). Instead though, I think I’ll look at life in my apartment.

Yesterday evening went a little something like this:

Montana: I need a title for my paper.

(The paper is about a book on love. I haven’t read said book, but was told it was quote, “sappy.”)

Me: Love hurts.

Montana: No.

Me: All you need is love.

(Clearly, not putting much effort into being creative. For that, Montana…I apologize.)

Montana: No.

Me: Uuuummm, Love is blind.

Montana: No!

Me: Love makes the world go ’round.

Montana: Seriously…no.

(I’m sitting on the couch, getting ready to watch Ugly Betty again on )

Montana: Before you watch that, listen to this.

Me: Listen to what?

Montana: My inspiration for the title of my finished paper.

Me: I don’t want to. I just want to watch Ugly Betty.

Montana: No! Listen, it’s a classic.

(At this point in time, “What’s Love Got to Do With It” by Tina Turner is turned on full blast.)

Me: I don’t want to listen this. I’m putting in my head phones.

(Ugly Betty starts to play on the screen. I watch for a minute, and then proceed to take off my headphones.)

Me: Hey, can you please turn that down. I can still hear it.

Montana: No.

Also, I thought it would be clever to title this post with some love quote I found on the Internet. Fortunately, or unfortunately…this did not happen. However, I still wanted to share what Danielle (I don’t actually know this person) posted on “I love you. 3 words. 2 people. 1 meaning.” Aww. Reflect on that.

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Filed under Friends, love. sort of.

Happy birthday and congrats to a dear friend.

Claire and I met three years ago at a large public college in Oxford, Ohio known to many as Miami University. (Please withhold all misguided beach bum jokes.) However, we both realized within the first few weeks, that our collegiate destinies lay elsewhere. Today, you can find her studying fashion design at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City.

Well, we’re still great friends, and today is her twenty-second birthday. While many of us would consider the highlight of our celebrations to involve a great many shots of liquor, Claire is busy being featured in Women’s Wear Daily.


Designers: Torie Greenberg and Claire Smith

Backstory: Greenberg, above left, and Smith have certainly been busy this year. In addition to launching their line for the spring 2008 season, the two have had to deal with a pesky little thing called homework. Yes, Greenberg, 20, and Smith, 22, are still in school and won’t be graduating from Parsons until 2009. At least they have plenty of working credits on their résumés — Greenberg has interned at Libertine, Anna Sui, Jill Stuart and Vogue, while Smith has spent time at Brian Reyes as well as two years on the sales floor at Intermix. The moniker Weldon Layne stems from Smith and Greenberg’s middle names, respectively.

Collection: There’s a element of “mischievous fantasy” to their 16-look debut, according to Greenberg. The inspiration — the fairy-tale adventures of Henrik Ibsen’s play “Peer Gynt” — isn’t readily apparent, though. They make use of sweeping curved seams “to mimic a journey,” she says, and the fabrics they source hail from around the globe. The linens, for example, come from Ireland; the lace, France, and the cotton tulle, England. Even the color scheme, saffron and rust, is meant to evoke a far-off world. But whether one can connect these dots doesn’t matter; the charm of Weldon Layne is in its simple, easy city appeal.

Stats: The line wholesales from $165 for a pair of linen shorts to $710 for cotton tulle dress.
— V.L.

Featured above are Torie and Claire (top right), the brains behind the new clothing line known as, Weldon Layne.

Congratulations on such a huge achievement! And, of course, Happy Birthday!

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Filed under Friends, New York City, The Career

The District of Columbia: Different than the Midwest

I’ve realized, that when I’m bored, I tend to be very efficient in finding the interesting, the ironic, or maybe even the mildly stimulating in the little things. Now that I’m back in DC however, and busy, I can’t seem to come up with anything in my life that I think is worthy of sharing with the world. Truthfully, I’ve come to the conclusion that being home offers a lot to write about. As much as I may complain, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if weren’t for my life in Ohio. The family, my childhood home, seeing old friends… all great resources. Now though in DC, life takes on a more serious persona. I start work and I go to class. I start thinking about my…responsibilities.

I’ve moved into a new apartment. It’s fantastic! (Still decorating, however.) My roommate and good friend, Montana (yes, like the state) and I, will don our abode officially decorated once we have furnished the windows with a nice hanging plant.

Classes resume tomorrow, and I’m actually looking forward to it. I’ve just about run out of things to do in the new place. We finally got the internet hooked up, but recognized that since we have a 13” television set, cable seemed like a silly idea. We’ll see how long this lasts, because I love television. Bad television specifically. I don’t exactly sit around and watch the History Channel. No, no. My viewing pleasure tends to consist of E! True Hollywood Stories and bad, addicting MTV reality shows. And now I feel really brave and bold for sharing this bit of personal information with the general public. I hope you all appreciate my honesty.

My first class tomorrow is Moral Philosophy or “the philosophy of being good.” If you’re anything like me, you also have no idea what this class is actually going to be about. I’m going to cross my fingers and hope it’s actually a course that concerns itself with teaching good manners. I think this world needs a lesson or two on proper etiquette. Nothing huge, but what happened to letting old people sit down on the metro, opening doors for ladies, a simple please or thank you? Or with all of these new forms of communication? I believe a whole new set of manners need to be considered. Let’s look at text messaging for example: If you’re talking with someone for a while, but then choose not to text anything back for say, an hour, it’s as if you’ve completely abandoned the conversation, only to resume it later on your time when you say so. It’s a fairly unimportant observation, but nonetheless, something to consider. Thoughts or concerns? You let me know.

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Filed under DC, Family, Friends

A whole can of worms.

I want to start off by saying that in no way is this a retracting statement for my blog post entitled Culture Shock, posted on August 13th. However, it has been brought to my attention that a few people from within my close-knit Russian community here in Cleveland had issues with the reflections concerning my family life.

With anything that is posted for the public eyes to read, I understand that criticisms will arise. I just would have wished that the people that have known me my entire life and know what kind of person I am, would have had the sense to realize that I have nothing but good thoughts and pride towards my family and background.

The type of writing that I do is what I like to consider sarcastic, at times witty, but all-in-all endearing. I wanted to show to my readers, particularly my non-Russian/Jewish readers, what a wonderfully quirky family I have and all the traditions that come along with being an Alter. Additionally, in case anyone out there in cyberspace is wondering, I read my post out loud to my parents who laughed at themselves and encouraged me to write similar pieces in the future. (And I will.) …I guess their senses of humor are fully intact.

I also hope that in the times to come, those few who felt offended by my light-hearted jesting will understand that my banter does not come with ill-intentions, but rather deep affection.

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Filed under Cleveland, Family, Friends