What I've Been Up To Lately (Spoiler: Packing!)

Date: March 16, 2016 at 10:09 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 37

Hello! Do you remember me?!

A few weeks ago, I ran into some big-time blog issues. Turns out, for the past six years, I haven’t been properly resizing my photos, and I basically blew up my server. My blog is now the size of the entire NSA archives. It’s still a work in progress (one I am ill-equipped to handle myself), but in the meantime, it’s been an active few weeks! Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Make nachos, not war! (Hers says "So fetch.")

Make nachos, not war! (Hers says “So fetch.”)

I saw Hamilton. Though I never doubted it for a second, the show absolutely surpasses the hype.

It is an unreal piece of groundbreaking musical theater. I don’t know where Broadway will go from here. The bar has been raised to ridiculous heights. Every member of the cast is so talented. There’s no dialogue in the entire nearly 3-hour show — it’s all singing, which makes for a physically and emotionally demanding show.

Without further adoring praise, a few snapshots from the very magical evening…

Outside the Richard Rodgers Theater. No witty caption.

Outside the Richard Rodgers Theater. No witty caption.

The view from my seat. Take note of the bottom right corner.

The view from my seat. Take note of the bottom right corner.

Iconic and shit.

Iconic and shit.

"Will Ferrell! You're my favorite actor." "FAVORITE? Really? Wow." "Yeah. When people say, 'Who's your celebrity crush?' I say you." [Will Ferrell walks away, files restraining order, is not thrilled to realize he is seated right in front of me.]

“Will Ferrell! You’re my favorite actor.”
“FAVORITE? Really? Wow.”
“Yeah. When people say, ‘Who’s your celebrity crush?’ I say you.”
[Will Ferrell walks away, files restraining order, is not thrilled to realize he is seated right in front of me.]

Backstage after the show with my idol and the show's creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Backstage after the show with my idol and the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Christopher Jackson plays George Washington. I met him backstage after In the Heights seven years ago. He remembered me as "the dance girl."

Christopher Jackson plays George Washington. I met him backstage after In the Heights seven years ago. He remembered me as “the dance girl.” So I hugged him the way you hug an old friend.

Daveed Diggs is a gem. I want to listen to his voice all day, forever.

Daveed Diggs is a gem. I want to listen to his voice all day, forever.

I told Jonathan Groff that Glee will forever be one of my favorite TV shows because it changed the game for dancers. I also said I was happy his character married Rachel Berry in the end.

I told Jonathan Groff that Glee will forever be one of my favorite TV shows because it changed the game for dancers. I also said I was happy his character married Rachel Berry in the end.

Leslie Odom Jr. plays Aaron Burr and this guy needs a Tony Award, STAT. I told him his voice "sounds like soft butter." IT DOES.

Leslie Odom Jr. plays Aaron Burr and this guy needs a Tony Award, STAT. I told him his voice “sounds like soft butter.” IT DOES.

This is my dear friend Kamille Upshaw. She's a swing, which is the most intense role you can have in a show, IMO. We met when she was a student at Juilliard and I got to write about her for Dance Spirit. A few years later, when I was editor in chief, I put her on the cover. Now she's IN HAMILTON.

This is my dear friend Kamille Upshaw. She’s a swing, which is the most intense role you can have in a show, IMO. We met when she was a student at Juilliard and I got to write about her for Dance Spirit. A few years later, when I was editor in chief, I put her on the cover. Now she’s IN HAMILTON.

Meredith Vieira was there, too! All my role models!

Meredith Vieira was there, too! All my role models!

I’ve been writing a lot. Here are a few recent favorites:

I have the flu. My fever has been hovering around 101.8 for the past two days and I am over it. Last night I finally gave in and popped some Ambien so I could get some quality shut-eye. It worked. I feel slightly better today, and my fever is down. Zika Virus, be gone! (And yeah, first week of Brooklyn Half training is going great what with all this extra rest! Don’t run with a fever, people. Be wise. They say you never regret a workout, but I once went for a three-mile run while I had a fever and it knocked me out for weeks. I regretted that workout.)

STOP COUGHING NEAR ME.

STOP COUGHING NEAR ME.

But enough about me, what has Ellie been up to?

Our growing girl has had a roller coaster few weeks. At six months, she’s clocking in at 44.4 lbs. (For reference, she was 12 weeks old and 18.6 lbs. when we got her.)

As always, we’re holding her rapid weight gain in a very positive light. Instead of using words like “huge” or “massive” or “I can’t pick you up,” we say things like, “perfect” and “all muscle” and “Wow, picking you up is great strength training!”

All good, Ellie, I GOT U.

All good, Ellie, I GOT U.

Ellie got to skip town for a day! A few weekends ago, Brian and I rented a Zipcar for a few hours so we could drive out to New Jersey, all in the name of puppy play. Brian had read about this massive dog park — Brookdale Dog Park — and we wanted to take her there since the dog runs in Manhattan are small and crowded, especially on nice weekend days.

All the room to run and play!!!

All the room to run and play!!!

She loved the car ride, and loved exploring the huge park. We walked around for a while and eventually led her into the fenced-in “big dog” area. She ran around and made lots of friends and had the best day ever. So did we.

Suburban life!

Suburban life!

...but still not allowed off-leash in non-fenced areas. Sorry, pup. You cannot be trusted yet!

…but still not allowed off-leash in non-fenced areas. Sorry, pup. You cannot be trusted yet!

She spent her first day away from mom. I had jury duty a few weeks ago, which meant spending two full days away from my precious puppy. I had a full-on cry fest before walking out the door Wednesday morning. I had packed her lunch and filled out her daycare forms, but it was our first day apart since we brought her home in December, and I felt guilty for leaving her and sad because I would miss my favorite coworker. (Again, all emotional indicators point to “unfit for children.”)

Brian picked her up and he said she spotted him standing outside and was so happy to see him. YAY!

Brian picked her up and he said she spotted him standing outside and was so happy to see him. YAY!

Unsurprisingly, she did great, and was sufficiently exhausted after each day.

Separation anxiety!!! (Me. She's fine.)

Separation anxiety!!! (Me. She’s fine.)

Ellie got hurt at the doggy park. It was a wonderful little Saturday, and after our runs and rides, Brian and I took Ellie to the dog park. At one point, she was running alongside a bigger dog, and they both tried to run into a tight space between a bench and the park’s wall. Ellie, being the smaller pup, got jammed and smushed and she screamed and yelped and cried and I fear I will never get that noise out of my head. We immediately scooped her up and took her out of the park and comforted her for a while, but when we put her down she had a hard time walking, and was limping. Her front legs were clearly hurt, so we took her right to the vet.

The vet poked around and said they didn’t think anything was broken, but that she had soft tissue damage, and to keep her rested for a few days. She hasn’t been herself, she’s sad, and it’s been heartbreaking. I’ve cried a lot. (I do not know how parents handle their children being hurt. Holy shit. THESE EMOTIONS.)

All I wanna do is protect you, Ellie!

All I wanna do is protect you, Ellie!

And now she has to get spayed. No puppies for you, Ellie! She gets spayed on Friday. Poor thing.

We’re moving! Out of Manhattan!

I KNOW, THIS IS CRAZY. And we’re moving soon — next Tuesday, in fact.

The new backyard! Not Central Park, but it'll do.

The new backyard! Not Central Park, but it’ll do.

Brian and I have lived in this Upper East Side apartment for the past four years, and we’ve each been in the neighborhood for many years before that. We’ve outgrown this apartment (too. many. bikes.), especially now that we have Ellie, and it’s just gotten stupid expensive. So it’s time for a change. With our lease expiring in April, we decided to look elsewhere, and fell in love with the very first apartment we saw — across the Hudson.

OK fine.

OK fine.

That’s right, kids. We’re packing up and heading to New Jersey. The apartment is bigger (TWO FULL BATHROOMS OMG, A CROHNSIE’S DREAM!), cheaper, right on the water, and very dog friendly. I’ll get to have an actual office, instead of working from the couch and coffee table like I’ve done for the past year and a half. It has a gym and a basketball court (JOIN MY TEAM) and a pool. It’s right next to the ferries that take you to Manhattan in a mere 10 minutes, so it’s not like I won’t be back in Central Park on a regular basis. I love the area, and I’m excited for the change. I keep waiting to feel sad about leaving Manhattan and the proximity to Central Park and November Project, but for now I’m just really excited for our family to make new memories somewhere, and to explore a fresh area.

The newest residents of West New York, NJ. Yes, the actual name of the town is "West New York." New Yorkers for life.

The newest residents of West New York, NJ. Yes, the actual name of the town is “West New York.” New Yorkers for life.

DO YOU WANT TO COME VISIT ME IN NEW JERSEY? RSVP IN THE COMMENTS AND LET ME KNOW WHAT POSITION YOU WOULD LIKE TO PLAY ON THE BASKETBALL TEAM (WHICH I PLAN TO CALL “THE ELLIE-OOPS”). I WILL BE THE DEFENSIVE GUARD, SO THAT POSITION IS TAKEN.

37 Responses to "What I've Been Up To Lately (Spoiler: Packing!)"

huge moves. major congrats!! jealous of the POOL!!

Oh man, New Jersey! Making moves! West New York is right across the Hudson from where I live on the UWS, so we can wave to each other. Best of luck with the move!

Good luck on the move and a POOL 🙂

On the blog picture size think about going jpg instead of png and if you have a mac get the app JPEGmini it will make jpg’s a lot smaller without loosing quality.

I looked at your Outside the Richard Rodgers Theater picture witch was a 2.3mb png file just making it into a jpg would make it 409kb and with jpegmini it would be 240kb and that makes you site faster and a lot smaller.

Yes, that’s the same advice my “web guy” gave me! Those photos were already uploaded pre-meltdown, so I still have to go back and resize them, but the non-Hamilton photos are mostly resized, JPG-ed, and sized in KBs not MBs. Lessons learned every day! Thanks!

Jillian J says: March 16, 2016 at 11:15 am

I was getting worried about you not updating, I thought you were sick again. I am so glad you only have the flu!

That pup is growing fast!

Have fun packing and moving!

So exciting!! Time for a new chapter for Team Cristiano! And speaking of teams, the “Ellie-Oops” is a fantastic name…if I was even remotely close, I’d join. I mean being 5’3″ = I’d be a stellar basketball player right? Lol. Seriously though, congrats on the move, and thanks for always keeping us readers entertained and smiling 🙂

Ellie-Oops is the best name ever and I want to be your power forward so I can school some suckers in the art of boxing out and throwing ‘bows. Because, as you know, I’m really a complete badass as long as I’m not busy crying about how impossibly cute a puppy is or something.

Hi. So I have to go in order. LOVE MEREDITH! Like I still want to be on the Today Show because of her. Also ROAD TRIP!!! I love swimming. Birthday bash at your place? 😉 basketball is not my strong point but I can run around and be team mom and bring orange slices and cookies. Do they have that in basketball? So glad the puppy is better. FEEL BETTER SOOOOOON!

I call point guard! That way I can pass a lot and shoot less, right? Hmm, maybe back up point guard is the way to go.

Talk less. Shoot more.

haha i just had to laugh – because this is the second time i am catching your Hamilton phrases. I also tweeted you earlier saying my whole life is a Hamilton lyric:-X

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO OK fine, move. Congratulations! We are over in that part of NJ all the time (to eat Korean food and go to Trader Joe’s, natch) so I can def join your basketball team (I’ll be in charge of the towels).

Mike McLinden says: March 16, 2016 at 11:33 am

I CALL MANAGER. AND I WILL BE VISITING IN MAY LIKE IT OR NOT. I NEED TO MEET ELLIE.

Burke Sheep says: March 16, 2016 at 11:55 am

just telling you that i love you, and will STILL love you even with a Jersey residence <3 Burke Sheep

Sounds awesome!! As a suburban dweller, I wondered how people in a small city apartment had a dog. Glad to see Ellie will be getting some more space! I would be totally excited about a 2nd bathroom too.

I totally hear you on the emotions of a hurt dog. My dog is currently in a cone for some paw problems that (hopefully) are due to a food allergy. That’s right, my dog is going gluten free- what a basic bitch. Anyway, it is truly heartbreaking. Most people don’t get what it is so upsetting- it is a minor issue in the grand scheme of things, but UGHHHH the sadness. Hope Ellie recovers quickly from the spaying!

The new apartment sounds great – and I envy the fact that you will have TWO bathrooms! Having just one bathroom sucks. I hate it!

Good luck with the move. I hope you will all be very happy and I’m sure Ellie will also love all the additional space 🙂

Congratulations on the move! Poor Ellie. Hope she’s back to herself soon.

Your Hamilton experience looks beyond amazing! And congrats on the move!

Re: hurt dog, my baby was horribly BIT at the kennel once (one of the ridiculously expensive kennels with web cams), so I proceeded to spend 100% of my vacation watching him sleep on the web cam. Poor guy was on painkillers … and I needed some to cope (jk on that last part).

Welcome to the dark side! You’re going to love running along the river – let me know you know if you need a run buddy – I know all the bathroom stops from Edgewater to Jersey City 😉

I gotta say I am super shocked you’re moving! I am from NJ, but live on the UWS. We thinking about moving to WNY sometimes. We also just got married, and have a dog:) We just debate it because then it will mean a car, and parking, and the commute on the ferry is so dang expensive! But the city is so expensive. Ill never be satisfied. Can’t wait to hear about your experience on the other side.

I’m actually moving next Wednesday… to Jersey City! Good luck and welcome to NJ! 🙂

WHAT?!??! WHAT?!??! NJ?!?!?!?!?! WHAT!!!1
WHAT!!
ok… calmed down. good for you guys!!! did you guys think about haning all the bikes in the walls? 😉
get better soon, but i guess i won’t be seeing you every tuesday morning anymore. I am beyond sad (and jealous of your big apt!)

Congratulations on moving on!!! Still so close:)

Awesome Hamilton pictures. I think I would cry forever if I had to move somewhere that wasn’t running distance to Central Park though. The addiction to those sunrises is deep.

Hurt (or sick) kids, two legs or four, are the WORST! Hope Ellie is feeling better! I was starting to wonder where you had disappeared to! Congrats on the move!

Cocoa is so muscular and Rodney calls her a horse and I’m like, no girl wants to be called a horse, haha. But we also tell her how beautiful she is so its good. I hope Ellie feels better soon. I get so worried about Cocoa at the dog park and am super protective of her. No one better hurt my puppy!! Yay for the move and new adventures.

megan Reynders says: March 16, 2016 at 9:30 pm

I live right down the road in weehawken on the water. I’m sure I’ll see you running it riding my bike 🙂 it’s s great location plus there’s a Target in Edgewater :)m it’s closed on Sunday’s (stupid blue laws) but abyway let me kid if you want someone to show you the area!

We go to Brookdale Dog Park all the time! But on the little dog side :). Next time you go there are a few restaurants in Montclair (next town over) that are dog friendly where you can sit outside on nice days.

I’m so glad Ellie is feeling better! She’s such a cutie and every time I read your posts, I tell my boyfriend it’s time we finally get a dog!

And I’m so excited for you on the big move! We recently stayed over in West New York and it was amazing. The views of the city are unbeatable and it’s so fun to run right along the water!

I loveee the Hoboken/Weehawken/West New York Area! I miss living there so much. You’re going to love it. The running routes are gorgeous, too. (Check out the public track on the water in Weehawken – it looks at the city and is the best place for a track workout!) Plus the ferry is fun! Although I could never get anyone to come visit me, haha.

I’ve been following along for a little while and love your blog and writing style. We also have some common NP friends. Good luck with the move! For many, many years Hoboken was my home and the Hudson River is an amazing backyard with gorgeous views and running/biking path. Enjoy!

I once ran a half marathon with strep throat, I really don’t suggest it. I learned a lot that day about listening to your body and rest when it tells you to.

Congrats on the move, and enjoy exploring your new hood one run and walk with Ellie at a time!

Wow…you’re leaving Manhattan! At least you can still visit – when I had to leave London, we moved 4 hours away and I cried the whole way up the motorway!! Good luck – think of all the new roads you can run!

I’ll be there. I want to meet Ellie, and your life is just pretty freaking awesome. It all makes sense. I’ll be the one who jumps up and slams the ball into the basket when people throw it and are close (that’s a position, right? I love basketball…).