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I have been known to declare Thanksgiving as my favorite holiday of the year – Above Christmas, above the 4th of July and the really close call… above My Birthday.

It is more than just one day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year, it is the series of days that proceed and follow this epic family filled 7,000 calorie afternoon. Finally getting home, helping my mom and sisters prepare days before, cooking to George Strait’s 50 number ones, having 30+ people over, tables all over the front porch, back porch and living room. Then getting out the sale papers while on your 3rd round of deserts for strategic Black Friday shopping that will start in just hours later, all to be dropped off in the Target line at 4am to wait for my nephews iPods. And just when I think I am at the peak of my Thanksgiving weekend fun, Florida State Football begins on Saturday and the grand finale, AKA UF/FSU fireworks are in flame!

I cannot remember a Thanksgiving weekend that did not play out as precise as I described above, they are all pretty much the same and I look forward to that routine on a yearly basis. However, 2013 threw a bloody wrench in my Thanksgiving, as I spent it in London drinking champagne and eating salmon at a black tie event. It was a lovely event but obviously a change from my previous 25 years.

To bring it back around full circle, this blog was not a self-pity rant about missing my favorite holiday of the year with my friends and family. It was to introduce the first and (hopefully) last Thanksgiving that I will spend abroad, which I so good-spirited refer to as Fucksgiving 2013.

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It all started about a month ago when placing an order for a 12 pound, 70 Euro (do the math) turkey at an American import store so conveniently called “Thanksgiving”. And then gathering friends, friends of friends, and pretty much any American within hundreds of miles who wanted to celebrate. Cooking a Thanksgiving feast is a project in itself, trying to find the ingredients that make the traditional American dishes, nearly impossible. My pumpkin pies went to hell without evaporated milk, the mashed-potatoes were nearly Imagedrinkable, the marshmallows on the sweetpotato casserole caught fire in the oven, half of the stuffing ended up on the kitchen floor when transferring the turkey – but there were endless bottles of wine, great friends and one huge delicious dinner. All was followed with arts and crafts, Florida State Football victory, a few cigars, broken champagne glasses, some guitar jam sessions, a wonderful hat party and a couple of Imagebottles of whiskey.

Days later I am still putting turkey in my salads and taking bites of desert but I days later I am still grateful for the Thanksgiving in Paris that was able to fill a void I didn’t think possible.

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Prologue
There is good reason that Melanie Chandler is my blog manager. She has always been my inspiration to blog, even when thousands of miles away. I now realize that all of my entries are just stories that I would tell her in my dramatic fashion, whether in person, text message, over the phone or email. Being in Paris, with a 6 hour difference, has been sad not sharing everything with the only person who actually finds me humorous. As I was writing an email to tell Mel about my new ironic relationship with the downward stairs, it occurred to me that this is what my blog is all about, from the first entry 2 and a half years ago with iPhone 4 makes me a real New Yorker, about skipping an entire days worth of Apple hungry people waiting in line for the newest iphone to get my first of many iPhone4s in 20 minutes on the release day (by accident). They’re all irrelevant, quirky situations that we enjoyed making fun of over wine, sitting on the couch with Chloe or with our friends! Since I’ve been meaning to get this thing up and going while in Paris, I might as well start with this silly story. But please keep in mind that I have much more to say about Paris but I’m going to start here, with an email that I initially started writing to Melly and realized that she would tell me to blog it, so my first entry in this foreign country is dedicated to Her.
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I wish that I would have told you about my running down the escalator situation I got myself into last night when it happened so that you’d really appreciate the irony of my story this morning.
I was coming home from work last night and it was a different commute than usual so I wasn’t familiar with the subways. I thought I was going up an escalator to transfer to the 9 but instead it was an escalator to exit. It would have been no problem to merely turn around and go back down but the escalator going down was broken and completely blocked off and there were no stairs. So I had a choice to make. Either go out of the exit, find my way back in and have to buy a new ticket. Or… put on my Super Mario shoes and run down the upcoming escalator with the after work crowd coming up in steady packs.  Typically, I would be fine telling everyone why I was running down the escalator but as you know, I speak English and the folks around here speak French. Just imagine… they see and hear this crazy American girl going 90 mph down an upcoming escalator like a child playing a game and yelling things that they do not understand.
Once I decided I was going to go for it and took the plunge, it felt like I was making zero progress getting down because I promise the stairs were winding up unnaturally fast! After an estimated time of 95 seconds of dreading busting my ass, trying to give explanations in a different language and people looking and probably talking about me like I was a fool, I made it down and was pretty damn proud of myself. Embarrassed still, but proud and happy I actually did it.
That brings me to this morning – Getting ready for work, everything normal, no rush. As soon as I hit the stairway in my apartment to walk down my three normal flights my feet decided that they only liked running down upcoming escalators with packs of people coming up and they gave out as I fell down about half a flight! I tell this in good humor because for the most part I am okay, I just feel my knees and shins working up their bruises as I write. Also, this is not the first time I’ve fell while in Paris, I’m even more clumsy here. Luckily, I was holding onto the rail so my legs took the beating like I was riding down a snowy hill on my knees. After sitting on the stairs for a few seconds licking my wounds and collecting myself, I thought of last night and couldn’t help but laugh.
There is always a bright side when you have a story to tell your best friend who will love it… or blog about!

I often think about my blog and how sad and lonely it must be since I neglected it last fall and I always make a promise that I’ll revisit, update and get back on the ball. Easier said that done, if there’s one flaw that I can’t shake, it’s procrastination, which is why this thought has been lingering for quite some time, until…

I was editing some personal social pages and couldn’t help but take a trip down the memory lane of taylorrockette’s blog. I then vented about my previously mentioned guilt to Melanie while she was packing for a sunny week in Florida, (super jeal) and she admits that she’s been thinking about my blog’s coma too!!! I’ve been thinking it, my blog manager has been thinking it and I’d like to believe that the rest of the world has been thinking it! So…

This blog is coming back just like Men In Black 3!!!!

(This is just the trailer, stay tuned.) 

Oh, how I loved going to class in shorts and a hoodie. Oh, how I loved hanging out at Finnegan’s Wake until 4am, Oh, how I loved the cheap price of food and drinks. And, oh boy, how I loved waking up on Saturday mornings, covering myself in garnet and gold and making my way around Florida State campus tailgates, listening to country music, only to arrive at a beautiful Doak Campbell Stadium to see the Noles run around that football field. 

Those days are long gone, and for good reason. There was so much love and excitement during those years, but there was one thing that nipped me in the bud that I somehow forgot about!  North Florida has a way of making my allergies soar to the extreme of a painful sinus infection that took days to shake, which is the price I am paying, that somehow seems to be worse with age.

This past weekend, we NYC Noles took the highly anticipated trip down south to see Florida State Seminoles play the Oklahoma Sooners in what  was the most talked about game of the season, thus far. The laughs we shared, the memories created, the old friends we saw, the southern food we ate, the jokes that still go on, the roaring stadium during game time, were all key ingredients for what resulted in this unforgettable “Where were you weekends”.

As much as I love Tallahassee, Florida and the irreplaceable friends and family that I have there, there are a million reasons why NYC is my home. Let’s just say, staying healthy during football season and hailing a cab are among the top 5 reasons. Besides, we Seminoles will always have each other to fly south with for football!

                                  GO NOLES!!!

Lack of blog post can indicate one of two things. One, you have had a less than exciting existence lately, with no incidents to share, or even an imagination sharp enough to fabricate something interesting. Two, you are bouncing around the city, pampering yourself with facials, pedicures and tanning, then hitting vacation for 5 days as you cruise down to Mexico, which means you haven’t had the time to sit down for a hefty blog post.

For modesty reasons, I choose not to answer which of the reasons above is responsible for my naked blog!

I will, however, say this, I am indescribably thrilled that spring is poking its little head out from behind the clouds to say hello. It was 40 degrees and rainy on April 23rd at 4:00am as we were parting from the city. Five days later, we returned to a nearly blossomed NYC springtime!

I would say that it is like killing two birds with one stone: A long relaxing vacation on a boat in the Western Caribbean, plus coming back to a more pleasant and warm city… but I really don’t want to kill any birds with a stone, it sounds so heartless, cruel, and quiet frankly, pretty difficult to pull off. Instead, I will say life has been one big hula hoop of goodness, it just keeps going around and around.

Even though coming back from vacation is hard for everyone, there is no place in the world I would rather return to than New York City. And, if you have to jump back into the grind of work, it doesn’t suck to lounge at you table with an open window, enjoying the spring air blowing in on your face.

And speaking of hula hoops, check this little fella out. It has been lingering outside of my window for days and all I can think about is how I am going to get it into my apartment…

I’ve been told that a jump rope would be too disrespectful for my neighbors down below, but who is going to hear me hula hooping. Being that I have already created an attachment to this hoop and given it a name, which I withhold until it is around my hips, ‘Operation Booby Trap’ will be in effect as soon as Melanie returns home.

This hula hoop deserves a happy home and I plan to provide that.

It’s no secret that I quickly fell in love when I moved to New York City. Among the many things that captured my affection in this city, is what SkillSlate introduced to me,  the start-up world. In a bitter- sweet move from SkillSlate, I am very fortunate to have found another startup company with tons of potential and I am excited to be working for. The key to investing your time and dedication into a young startup is true belief and passion in what you are building, and I have found an exceptional company that I cannot wait to grow with- PicsCliq!

PicsCliq is a web-based application that assists photographers with increasing their revenue, by connecting and promoting images to event attendees. We do this through the use of social media and intelligent image promotion applications.

Everyone is using Facebook, everyone loves tagging, liking, and commenting on photos! PicsCliq creates a live site for photographers to upload their photos, all guests can view the images, share with friends, and of course, purchase photos and products from the photographer.  It’s super simple, and lots of fun!

We have so much planned in the next couple of months that I am looking forward to implementing. It is exciting to be connected to such a thriving community of photographers and working to take care of their time consuming tasks, so that they can focus on capturing timeless memories.

As things develop and we hit notable milestones, I will keep the blog updated. I should make up earth shattering excuses as to why I have not touched this blog in months. But to sum it up- life is really really good. It has had its ups and downs and changes, but I must say, it has taken shape better than I could have ever imagined.  Like I said, many aspects of this city has captured my affection. 🙂


People worry about the danger on the streets of New York City. Many people from my hometown fret about my safety living in the Big Apple, but what little do they know about the life threatening dangers on the back roads of Lawtey, Florida.

I’ve always been terrified of the dogs that roam around these parts, and of course the snakes in the summer time, but today was my first encounter with a creature that I did not expect to ruin my run.

To make this adventure worse, things were not flowing too smoothly to begin with. Skylar misplaced my running headphones, my shoes are about 60 miles overdue, which is why I was seeking out nothing but dirt roads to save the wear and tear on my precious shins and joints, and unlike other days- it was a force to lace up and get out there.

Thinking that I would see the sunny side once I got running was almost the case. I used the unbearable headphones, but resorted to taping them into my ears with the only tape I could find around this place- black electrical tape. Granted, I looked like a fool running down the road with black tape covering my ears, but I was already self-aware that the amount of patience I had today would not sustain getting sweaty and my ear buds constantly falling out.

I had Taylor Swift running along with me in my securely tapped-up ears and things were starting to shape up, but as I turned on my second dirt road, which is not a typical path, I ran into an annoying, slightly intimidating school of dogs that would not let up on the barking for me to cross their path. It wasn’t until a little old lady in a golf cart came bumping down her unruly driveway with way too many pot holes, in my opinion, was I comfortable enough to make a run for it past these vicious dogs. Sadly, it wasn’t an out of the ordinary encounter, so I  sucked it up, put Taylor back on and tried to get this near impossible run going again.

Right when I was feeling some adrenaline and pleased with my decision to run, I ran into the last obstacle that I could possible take– A free, un-gated, wild, white horse! I don’t know where it came from, if it got loose from a horse barn around here, if he was looking for his home, or as far as I was concerned- a wild stallion that couldn’t be tamed. The only thing I knew was that I am not a horsewhisperer, I couldn’t run past this thing, I couldn’t turn around and face the wolf-pack again, and this run was definitely over. I was stuck in limbo!!

The only thing working in my favor today was the fact that Rusti lived right around the corner and I had my phone to call for help. Within 3 minutes, Rusti, Steve, Trace, Drake, and little Reece came to my rescue, even though I’m pretty sure it was for their entertainment of my humiliation, rather than true concern that Seabiscuit was going to eat me.

None of that mattered to me when I jumped in the back of the truck and went back home with them. After a while of hanging with the Barber crew and 2 Christmas rice krispy treats later, I decided to take the other way home and get there before it started raining on me.

Aside from regretting the sweets that I ate at Rusti’s, the run home was a success:  I was creature free, I didn’t get rained on and made it safely with nothing more than a tummy ache and quick little video to share that reveals the live encounter I had with my wild horsey today.

Click this link to see the video: Taylor’s Blog Video

http://www.flickr.com/photos/57383928@N04/5284237283/

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