Ah, nostalgia

My first bondage pants!
(my Dad was taking a nap, guys.)

I was sorting through some old photographs today looking for a few good ones of my cousin/adopted sister who passed away on this day in 2002, and came across a bunch of really fun old pictures that reminded me of good times in my unruly past. Looking through old photos and memories is a great way to celebrate life and give you a few laughs.

Stacey Christine
04/27/78 – 09/02/02

Drive safe and buckle up.

Brooklyn loses a landmark to Hurricane Irene

(The “Vagina Tree”)

My apologies for the radio silence, but these past 2 weeks have been filled with weddings, breaking a Guinness Book record, experiencing earthquakes for the first time, and of course, overly preparing for Hurricane Irene out here in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – which also happens to be located in Evacuation Zones A and B.  I didn’t evacuate, but I did follow the advice of Blooomberg and filled up my bathtub, taped the windows, and, like every other New Yorker, stocked up on tons of booze and snacks. Luckily, everything went very smoothly out here and it almost felt as if NYC got a free pass to camp out in living rooms and watch chick flicks (our so I did!).  The hardest part seemed to be trying to avoid the scary news channels, which were so addictive to watch, but made me feel crazy and paranoid after a while.  After the “eye” of the storm passed (i.e. 11am), we went for a walk to survey the damage along West End Street and down Kent Avenue towards the East River Park.  Besides some flooded apartments and clogged sewers, I’d say the broken trees were the highlight of our quasi-adventure.  Speaking of trees, Brooklyn lost a good one today due to Irene, one in particular who has been a Williamsburg landmark for as long as I can remember, situated in McCarren park and best known as “The Vagina Tree”.  It was most commonly used as a meeting point and I can remember many sunny days sitting under it drinking “liquid gasoline” (frozen margarita’s) from the Turkey’s Nest.  There were quite a few people gathering around it today taking pictures and sharing their favorite vagina tree story, a few even created a candle shrine on it’s freshly cut stump.  It will surely be missed.  I hope you survived this past week with minimal damage, I’m wishing for a sunny Labor Day weekend where I’ll be sharing good times with my beautiful extended family, living up what will be the last few warm weekends of the season.

My favorite things about yesterday

With summer nearly over and all of my seasonal vacations taken, I’m trying to still find fun things to do before it gets cold and snowy again.  Summer Screen at McCarren Park is not only free, but has tons of local vendors, such as Mexicule, serving up amazing food and beer for extremely reasonable prices (hello $4 tall cans of  Six Point!).  If you’re like me and like to pack an old fashion picnic, the security there seems to turn a blind eye to bringing in outside food and beverages (and herbal refreshments).   This week they showed Jurassic Park (and tons of people showed up in dinosaur/ranger costumes!) and the next two Wednesdays will be Wayne’s World and Clueless, so pack a bottle and a sandwich, bring a blanket and a friend, dress up if you dare, and please remember to clean up after yourself!  Did I mention it’s dog friendly?  Pictures of other a favorite things that happened later that night included below.

Friends I see only a few times a year, mostly at Summer Screen

People who know how to have a good time

Dogs that look exactly like my Elvis

Emily and empanadas, mmm

Random group shots with dinosaurs

Thea doesn’t love petting snakes

Friends in love

Friends in love with Marc Jacobs purses

Friends in love with getting their pictures taken

Recently married lovers

Friends in love with with hugs

Why so much trash, Williamsburg?

I’m no saint, that’s for damn sure, however I do believe in not using public space (or even personal) as one giant trash reciprocal.  This was a shot taken from the McCarren Summer Screen movie nights in McCarren tennis courts and let’s just say I’m honestly disgusted.  Why would you leave ALL of your trash behind?! It amazes me how selfish, thoughtless, ignorant, and/or spoiled New Yorkers can be; I’ve never been to a dirtier city in my life.  Sure people come by afterwards to clean it all up, however wouldn’t it be cheaper and more efficient to just walk over to the garbage can and dispose of your waste?  Just a thought.

(Death From Above 1979 @ Williamsburg Waterfront, 2011)

Dog friendly vacations – Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island NY

Ah vacation: beaches, friends, relaxation, and spending a whole lot of money on everything/nothing. This past week Andy and I were invited by good friend and colleague to spend 5 days with his 10 friends in a beautiful house 1 hour outside of New York City; the best part is there is no cars allowed anywhere on the island (minus 1 cop car I saw).  We spent every day waking up thinking “beach” or “bike ride” or “both!”; the only way to really escape is to not have anything to do. The downfall of the trip was how expensive the local markets were (6 pack of Amstel was $15.99!), but between so many great cooks in the house it really turned out to be worthwhile eating in every night, which made the meal varieties so diverse and delicious (and very vegetarian friendly, thanks guys!). The dogs got a little sun sick, Andy fought a ceiling fan and lost, and we had to put out a few grease fires but nothing beats laying in a large kiddie pool while drinking a daiquiri after taking an outdoor shower, 5 days in a row.  On second thought, the gay section of Fire Island (Cherry Grove and the Pines) kind of beats it.

I’ve gotten my Flickr up and running, so for more photos you can click here.

Food balance

I am a pescitarian (the practice of a diet that includes seafood, and excludes other animals – wikipedia) and have been for about 6 years now, although I haven’t eaten pig or cow since 16.  Normally I refuse to label my diet as a group because I feel it often boxes people in when we should be thinking outside the box, however for the purpose of time/ranting let’s stick me in this category.  My boyfriend is 100% a carnivore, and in fact when we first started dating he informed me that dating a vegetarian is more often than not a deal breaker for him. “They’re too needy”, “they don’t enjoy food”, and “I can’t take them anywhere without having obnoxious requests”  are things I hear often from coming from people such as my him.  Now I’m not going to make this blog post “Meat vs No Meat”, however something struck me the wrong way during a conversation I had with him earlier.  We are going to Jackson Heights with his mom (both are from Taiwan) for traditional Chinese dinner which always contains high amounts of meat and oil that give little to no nutrients, so I had prepared a quick bowl of cereal (Kashi) with some fixin’s: wheat germ, fresh blueberries and bananas, and rice milk.  Hoping to get some vitamins in both of us before the feast you know what he says? “I know my body and if I eat this now I’m not going to be hungry in a 2 hours for dinner if I eat this all now.”  Sure this may sound right at first, but if you take a step back and think about it, the whole point of me getting him to fill up on something healthy now is so he would eat a little less of the unhealthy stuff later, not skip the vitamins and gorge on oyster egg pancakes.

This really is our only struggle, however now a days he gloats about eating less meat and trying the concoctions I come up with and we both know for sure he has never eaten so well in his whole life.  I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say I never eat bad (because I LOVE cheese), but I always try to balance out the bad with a lot of good and I think if more people did this in every day to day habits, not just eating, the world would have a better equilibrium.

And for those of you wondering, yes I’m making that pineapple and banana my breakfast in the morning.

Holy crap, I’m here!

I think I’ve tried to start this blog about 8 times in the past month wanting to make a grand introduction to my life, however I think I’m just going to throw myself to the wolves and dive right in.  This is my quest for love, happiness, and the chase of living life to the fullest.  I present:

The Pursuit of Happiness

The JaiDee Valentine Sensation Collective

…and friends!

Young Life in Brooklyn

Is this thing on?  Hello?  Oh hey there. Obviously I have a lot of progress to make on this blog, but I promise you this will soon be filled with cute pictures of dogs, my friends doing silly things, travel photos, delicious recipes (and photos of me eating it), New York City happenings, articles I find stimulating online, and anything else I can take a picture of.  By creating this space for me to upload my life, I hope to find out more about myself and also discover new things about a city that can feel so small.  I guess the most appropriate first post should be a little bit about what makes me tick, so let’s start with me.

The JaiDee Valentine Sensation Collective which is made up of all things myself past, present, and whatever comes next.

And then there’s my wonderful boyfriend, Andy, who is the apple of my eye.  He runs his own business in marketing and promotion (which I also work for) and works really hard around the clock, so usually you will catch him like this checking his phone.  Other passions of his include: motorcycles and everything to do with them, our two dogs, traveling, and laughing.  Since we work together in our home office most of the day, it’s really a relief to have someone around who can make light of any situation; he has more shenanigans than Carrot Top.

There’s Elvis, 3 years old, who I’m convinced is a pig dressed as a dog. He loves all things boy: balls, sticks, eating, drooling, and eating puppies.

Thea is our older Boston Terrier who is definitely the princess in the family. We call her “See ya, Thea” because she is constantly taking off trying to find pillows or couches to rest on.

Then there’s a few crazy best friends whom I’ve been through hell and high water with and would (and have!) given up the shirt off my own back to.



That’s a good start.  Oh, and I bought the domain name for a year, so I have a lot of work to do!