Begin: #RediscoveringNYC (and some NJ too!)

Okay, I am FOLLOWING THROUGH ON THIS MISSION. It helped that last week was my birthday, and I had a five day weekend, and an appetite to celebrate my birth as much as possible.

We begin in Asbury Park. Okay, so, this is not technically New York. It is very much New Jersey. It’s a 2 hour train ride into New Jersey, that’s how much New Jersey it is. But, hey, we can focus on the greater Tri-State Area sometimes, right? Look, this is my blog, stop telling me where I can and cannot visit.

Anyway.

My experience with the New Jersey shore is pretty limited to Brigantine and Ocean City. Both wonderful places! But I wanted to know what the Boss was singing about*, so we hopped on the train to find out.

#asburyparkconventionhall

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* Full disclosure – I did not know this was a place the Boss sang about.

It turns out, Asbury Park is actually pretty great. I’m not sure what I was expecting, exactly. I knew there was a beach and a boardwalk – which is all I really need to be happy – but the downtown area is pretty cute. Trendy restaurants, cafes, and shops galore. 10/10 will visit again. (I won’t be rating everything like this, I promise.)

 

 

Next up on my list was a day of thrifting. I would prefer to buy all of my clothes this way. And I’ve also recently developed a wacky sunglasses habit. To the East Village!

Took the rest of the week off for my birthday. Decided on a thrifting field trip today.

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I had success at the East Village Thrift Store and Buffalo Exchange, stopping at No Relation Vintage and the Cure Thrift Shop along the way. There is a whole world of thrifting to be found in this city, I barely scraped the surface. But it got late and I wanted a hot dog, so, what are you gonna do?

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Crif Dogs, St. Marks Place.

 

 

Quick quiz: What is the oldest house in Manhattan? It might feel like the creaky pre-war apartment building that you live in, but it is actually the Morris-Jumel Mansion. Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of it either until about a month ago. Nestled in Washington Heights, it’s worth a trip to check out. If you want to feel trendy and relevant, you can tell everyone you visited Aaron Burr’s former residence, and the spot where Lin Manuel-Miranda wrote two songs for Hamilton. Though really, if you just walk around shouting “Hamilton!” in the middle of conversations, people will think you’re cultered af.

Anyway, the evening before my birthday, the Morris-Jumel Mansion hosted my favorite summer activity: an outdoor movie! More importantly, they showed my favorite movie, Moulin Rouge! This was a night designed specifically for me.

Waiting for Moulin Rouge to begin, on the lawn of the Morris-Jumel Mansion.

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So, under the stars that night, we ate popcorn and cupcakes, and watched Ewan McGregor singing and dancing. This is definitely a dream I’d had before.

HOLD ME.

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On the day of my birth, I was instructed to seek out an ice cream treat, and I always follow instructions. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on my calories consumption on any given day) I’ve been following the Instagram account CheatDayNYC, which led me to Eggloo in Chinatown. Here I found a waffle ice cream extravaganza. The waffle is a Hong Kong street food called Gai Daan Jai (“little eggs” in Chinese). It is made with an egg based batter to create a hexagon consisting of thirty individual spherical units which can be ripped and eaten individually. They put that inside a cone, fill it with ice cream, and then whatever toppings your heart desires. It’s safe to say that this was maybe the greatest thing to happen to my mouth.

ATE THE CRAP OUT OF THIS. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.

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If you know anything about me, you know that I love boats. Love ’em. If I could be on a boat every day, life would be perfect. If I could live on a house boat ala Sleepless in Seattle, that would be heaven. As it turns out, there is a multitude of boat cruise options in NYC that I’ve never really taken advantage of. Enter: City Harbor Line! For my birthday eve, the great celebration, the entrance into my 29th year on earth, we sailed around Manhattan on a sailboat called America 2.0. (America didn’t sink, we asked.)

Birthday sailboat cruise.

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I can’t even begin to recommend this enough. I don’t care if you’ve lived in the city for 20 years – it is worth it to grab some discount tickets on Goldstar and book yourself a sailboat cruise. We opted for the 7pm cruise – just in time to see the sunset, and then catch the sparkling city lights on the way back in. It was sold out, but never felt overcrowded. Our tickets came to about $99 for the two of us, and it includes 3 drinks per person. The views were stunning.

#nyclights #nycsummer #nyc #nycphotography

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#statueofliberty #nycsunset #nycsummer #nyc #nycphotography

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It was a really lovely way to spend my birthday, and I would gladly jump on another boat tonight. Seriously, guys, do this thing.

Windswept and boat-y.

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Do you think I’ve over-celebrated by this point? Well, shut up. There’s more.

Saturday brought the final day of Summer Streets – an event every summer in Manhattan where for 3 Saturdays in August, they shut down a portion of Park Avenue from 7am – 1pm and host a multitude of activities, and give pedestrians free rein to walk in the middle of the street without getting hit by a cab. (A bike, however, is almost guaranteed.) Up until now, I’ve never gotten myself out of the apartment and motivated to explore. But this year, not only did I do that, I (and some peeps) registered for the GIANT WATERSLIDE.

#vitacoco water slide on centre street #summer #nycinyour20s

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The great news is, as we were waiting in line, we got caught in a torrential downpour. But we were getting wet anyway, right? At least, that’s what we told ourselves.

Once we changed and dried off, a group of us headed over on the ferry to Governor’s Island for some birthday picnic-ing. This is one of my favorite spots that I do not visit nearly enough. I visit so infrequently that I didn’t even know they started charging $2 to ride the ferry. BACK IN MY DAY, IT WAS FREE!

Went to Governors Island today for birthday celebrations!

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I feel like it should go without saying that if you live in New York, you should get on that $2 ferry and visit this island. There are arts and crafts, slides, hills, old houses, food trucks, hammocks, swings – legitimately something for everyone.

 

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This was jumbled and lacked a narrative arc – but the point is, I saw a lot of NYC last week. I’m doing my duty. So much so, that I’m pretty sure I have the leeway to lie in bed on Saturday and watch TV. (Just kidding. Mostly. Sort of. Like, 40/60 kidding/serious).

29.

I have officially entered the last year of my 20s. In keeping up with what I have just now decided is a tradition, here is KERRIE THROUGH THE AGES. 18 – 29.

 

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#RediscoveringNewYorkCity

I googled "artsy New York" to find this image. You're welcome.

I googled “artsy New York” to find this image. You’re welcome.

Living in New York City is simultaneously thrilling and impossible. For every moment of wonder you have at the city you call home, there is at least one moment where you’re mumbling profanities under your breath at a tourist that won’t get out of your way. While on one hand you’re getting deals to theater, you’re also trying to figure out how to afford groceries for the next couple of months. There’s a give and take with every city, but here it can often feel oppressive.

We develop routines. Up at 8:25, ready by 9:15, at work by 10, home by 6:45, in bed by 11, rinse and repeat. We look at the ground, or our phones, as we walk down the streets. We weave in and out of the people, always on a quest to shorten the commute. No, I’m too tired to get drinks after work. Nah, I think I’ll hang at home this Saturday and catch up on TV. Your friend’s show sounds cool, but I should probably go home and make dinner.

It’s not often I have people visit the city who have never been here before, but when I do, it’s pretty inspiring to start looking at things through their eyes. The streets aren’t crowded, they’re exciting. The lights aren’t blinding, the people aren’t infuriating, the commute isn’t tiring (okay, it isn’t as tiring). It’s all new and energizing and diverse.

This is all a pretty long winded way of saying, I want to rediscover my own city. There are still pockets of Manhattan I haven’t even been to, and it goes without saying there’s still 85% of Brooklyn I haven’t bothered to drag myself to see, and also what even is the cloisters? I think we, as New Yorkers, take for granted living here more often than not. The opportunity we have to be a tourist in our own city is immense. I can probably suck it up and take a 45 minute subway ride to somewhere I haven’t seen before, as much as I’d love to be lying in bed until 5pm watching Billy on the Street. Imagine, I could SEE Billy ON THE ACTUAL STREET.

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We were down at the South Street Seaport this past weekend to check out a small tasting/travel fair that was set up with a couple friends. I was walking down Fulton Street, where I used to live, and I barely recognized it. When was the last time I was here? I couldn’t even remember. They’re in the midst of revitalizing the Seaport district, and what used to be a outdated spot is now actually pretty cool. Williamsburg’s famed Smorgasburg opened up an outpost (spoiler: I ate about 10 pounds of melty cheese here), complete with outdoor seating area and bar. It was just a really chill place to hang out, and I felt a little dumb that I hadn’t been down there to check it out until now, and that it took other people to drag me down there at all. Literally what am I doing with my time?

#smorgasburgseaport

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So, here and now, in the presence of the three people who read this thing, I am vowing this: GTFO of my apartment once a week and spend actual time in the city I’ve called home for the past 11 years.

But, like, I need to watch the most recent episode of Roadies first.

In time… but time takes time, you know.

1891530_764655020249585_6333317354305841353_oTomorrow is my last day at work. Those feel like incredibly surreal words to say, and that’s mostly why I haven’t posted about it yet. Everyone knows, everyone is excited for me, but none of it feels real yet. I’ve been here 5 years and 9 months. Longer than college, longer than high school. Almost exactly half of the time I’ve lived in the city. I don’t know how to write any of this without being unbearably sappy, so bear with me.

I don’t like change. This is a well known fact about me. I’m really too anxious for big changes, and I will torture myself over what ifs. This place has been my constant throughout all the changes in my life the past 6 years. I moved a few times. I got married. I became an adult, really. So what do I do when the most stable part of my life is gone? I’ve spent a lot of nights the past two weeks trying to sleep, but going through every worst case scenario in my head instead. What if I can’t do the job and they fire me? What if I don’t get along with anyone and eat lunch in a corner alone? What if I hate the job? What if I hate the commute? What if my clothes aren’t appropriate? What if the first paycheck doesn’t come for a month? What if the health insurance sucks? What if the working hours end up being long and horrible? What if the computer I get is old and slow? What if there’s no printer? What if Facebook is blocked? What if the cell service sucks? What if my work space is small or I hate the person I’m next to? What if there is no place to hang my pictures? What if I lose touch with my friends at this job and everything is different forever but not in a good way oh look the sun is coming up.

I have been lucky to work with incredible people. We can go out after work, they’ve come to see me perform. They were all there for every single step of me planning my wedding – they probably knew the decisions I made before Roddy did. It’s having co-workers that I genuinely like that has kept me here so long. I really don’t make new friends easily, so the prospect of having to start over is daunting. But mostly, the fact that I won’t be seeing these people every day is kind of heartbreaking.

It was back in July that I really decided it was time to move on. I had played with the idea a few times in the last year, but was never able to commit to it. Because of how scary change is, because of how much I’ll miss everyone, and because of my overwhelming conscience that often makes it impossible to consider what is best for myself. I kept trying to time everything right, so that I wasn’t leaving in the middle of the busy season, so that I wasn’t leaving while people were on vacation, so that I couldn’t possibly inconvenience a single person. There were a lot of excuses I made, and none of them served my needs at all. At the end of the day, the job I started when I was 22 could never be the job I’m at forever, and I wouldn’t want it to be. I can’t be an assistant my whole life. That’s just not what I’ve ever seen for myself. I still don’t know exactly what I’ll end up being, but leaving is the only way to figure it out.

I’m incredible grateful for the past 6 years. And this is hard, guys. Like, real hard. And if I could have everything stay the same forever but still achieve the things I want to achieve, then that would be great. But this is real life. Things change. It can’t somehow be early to mid-autumn for 7 years like in Pretty Little Liars. I have to keep reminding myself of all the good that has come from big changes in my life. Packing up and moving to New York was terrifying, but I did it, and have never regretted it. I know that change is necessary for growth. I know this new job will bring great things – or, it won’t, and I’ll move on again. I make these decisions, and I know now that I’m capable. That doesn’t mean I won’t be scared, or that I’m not going to be sad. Because I’m going to be both. But if Inside Out taught me anything, it’s that sadness is necessary for joy. So I’ll get through this transition, and the other side will be brighter and voiced by Amy Poehler.

So, onward, upward, and all of that. Here’s to the next chapter.

28.

Great news – I survived another year of life. Greater news – the celebration was excellent. It had all my favorite things: pickles, cheese, biscuits, Broadway, comedy, people, and attention. My phone died early on into the night, so while there isn’t photographic evidence that anything happened, the memories will live on in my heart.

Anyway, in case you were wondering what 10 years of aging for Kerrie looks like, I just spent an unacceptable amount of timing finding pictures from every birthday (or birthday weekend). The conclusion is that only my hair evolves. Enjoy.

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On doctors and bread.

I’m going to just slide right past the fact that I haven’t posted in almost 2 years to tell you about my DOCTOR APPOINTMENT! (This is what draws people to a blog, right?)

Her bedside manner was so good, I didn’t uncover the fact that she was telling me to stop being fat until I analyzed the conversation later.

Doctor: “Are you a party going type of twenty-something?”

Me: “Haha, no, I’m more a Netflix type of twenty-something.”

Doctor: “Haha. Are you a…. fruits and vegetables eating type of twenty-something?”

Me: “….Fruits…..sometimes…”

Doctor: “Would you say you eat a lot of carbs?”

Me: “I LOVE BREAD.” (My actual word for word response, caps were definitely implied. Guys, I love bread.)

Anyway, I think my enthusiasm for bread spoke for itself. What followed was a diplomatic conversation where she kindly implied that maybe I’m on the high end of the weight scale, and maybe not eating so many carbs would be helpful, and haha do you drink soda haha cut that out.  I think she’s forgetting how delicious carbs are and how they increase happiness by at least 300%, but whatever.

Her parting comment to me was how the next time I’m due for an annual, I’ll be thirty. HAHAHHHAHAHAHA.

Look, what I’m trying to say is, I killed my doctor today. Help.

Wedding Planning: 9 months out.

If I got pregnant right now, I’d probably have the baby during the wedding. I think I just thought of the new hip wedding trend. Someone create a pin.

We’re too far out from the wedding date to do anything very constructive, but far enough out that I can spend every waking moment of my existence browsing the wedding section of Pinterest and crafting the *PeRfEcT wEdDiNg* that all of your guests will TALK ABOUT UNTIL THEY DIE!!!!111

I think it’s worthwhile to discuss the Pinterest Problem (TM). 80% of me loves Pinterest. I love the different ideas I’ve gotten, the color inspiration, the real brides posting real struggles and past brides posting what they wish they had done. I love the private board with wedding dress ideas. That’s all great. 20% of me is stressed the fuck out by all of the thousands of weddings that will always be more perfect than mine. The pressure that goes hand-in-hand with social media influenced wedding planning is a little crazy. Just when you think you know exactly what you want, you come across a pin that is all “NO WEDDING IS COMPLETE WITHOUT LAWN GAMES” and I’m all like “shit, you’re right. LAWN GAMES. How could I forget that?” And now I’m destined to spend an entire day trying to DIY a game of cornhole.

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No, but seriously Those are doilies on top of burlap. Stop it.

Also, I’m sick of seeing the phrases “rustic” and “shabby chic” attached to pictures of brown burlap. What the hell is “shabby chic”? Is that a fancy way of saying “Really expensive things that are designed to look like cheap decorations from your grandmother’s house, to seem vintage and cool, self-aware about how tacky it all is”? (AKA, hipster).

Anyway, when it comes down to it, Pinterest is helpful for me because I’m pretty clueless when it comes to… colors. And decorating. And dresses. And all of the things normal girls practice their entire lives. Just get me to the cake tasting, and I’ll be home.

So, 9 months out. We have a venue, a DJ, and a photographer.

amirite?!

amirite?!

I wanted to find a photographer right away. I looked at so many wedding pictures for about two weeks, but ended up right back where I started with Justine Johnson. I found her of Off-Beat Bride and A Practical Wedding (the latter being my most favorite planning website I’ve found so far), and couldn’t get her out of my mind from the second I saw her homepage. She’s exactly what I was searching for – interesting pictures that capture the little moments. We’re straining to work her into the budget (Roddy and I are saving to get her for additional hours), but of all the little and big details of this wedding, the right photographer was important to me. And I’m psyched to work with her.

Also, I officially want to take photography classes, so if someone can buy me a fancy camera, that’d be great. (And, no, that’s not what the wedding registry is for, so don’t suggest it).

We’ll be in Maine in less than 2 weeks to eat some cake, talk flowers, walk the venue, see my family, and check out Bar Harbor in the fall. It’s our only trip between now and next July, so hopefully we get some good stuff done.

I could promise that this won’t be all I talk about for the next 9 months, but…

*K

Married Lady

I’m going to go ahead and post this little synopsis I wrote for our Wedding Website here, and sort of an introduction to what I’m going to call “THE NEXT 11 MONTHS OF BLOGGING ABOUT WEDDING PLANNING”. So get psyched for THAT.

Now that the cat is out of the bag – yes, technically, we are already legally married. Back in October of last year we started talking about our options in terms of keeping Roddy here in the states, and after much discussion, on a normal Friday morning in January, we took the day off from work to visit the City Clerk to be legally married. It was a low-key, sign the paper and get it done sort of event. Our roommate (and Roddy’s Best Man) Jeff was our witness. And if you’ve ever seen the episode of 30 Rock where (spoilers) Liz Lemon gets married to Cyclops, it really was very much like that. Lots of dressed up people and lots of tacky wedding gift store items. Lots of excitement too.

Afterwards we ate lunch in Little Italy and then went home and watched Netflix. Because we know how to celebrate.

However, that’s not really the end. Roddy didn’t want to rob me of my dream proposal, and I didn’t argue because I’m a girl and I demand him down on one knee. So very few people knew what was going on. Word spread to our New York friends, a few family members knew, but we wanted to wait until it was right to tell everyone. We didn’t want to rush. And what is more normal than a proposal after the marriage? We’ll have our first date pretty soon!

The “proposal” was very sweet and super tailored to me. I came home from work to find a photo album full of pictures of places we want to go, as well as the Criterion Theater marquee in Bar Harbor with the words “Marry Me”. (I wouldn’t realize until later that he had actually set this up with the help of my very awesome friend in Bar Harbor). The last photo was on the Lincoln Center fountain, asking me to meet him there. So I jumped in a cab, sat at the fountain, and got my very sweet and memorable on-one-knee proposal with the engagement ring my grandpa gave my grandma.

We drove off to Bar Harbor the next day for our yearly 4th of July trip, where we saw the marquee in person. Oh, and we also spilled the beans to my family. Everyone was extremely happy, surprised, excited, and just tons and tons of supportive. The timing ended up being perfect – telling them all at dinner before the fireworks on the 4th of July at my father’s restaurant. In my dad’s case, we told him literally seconds before the fireworks went off. They were really for us. Not for America.

If you made it to the end of this, I’m seriously impressed with your dedication to my half-assed story telling skills. 🙂

*K

The Emmys, because ugh.

I present to you now, a large rambling post where I celebrate and complain about Emmy nominations with no editing, forethought, narrative, order, or true semblance of sense. I expect a lot of sarcastic “REALLY?”, “SERIOUSLY?”, “HONESTLY?” and so forth. Because FEELS.

In the absence of yet another nomination for Michael C. Hall, at least I can comfort myself knowing he was showered with awards for his work in season 4, playing a conflicted psychopath who becomes a father, loses a wife, faces his toughest foe who he also admires for his ability to blend in, struggles with emotions he’s never had, and also beat cancer in real life. OH WAIT THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN BECAUSE HEY BRYAN CRANSTON SELLS DRUGS ON TV.

I’m not saying Bryan Cranston isn’t totally excellent on Breaking Bad. He is. What I’m SAYING is the same goddamn people don’t need to win every year because other people are also acting on the television box. In the best season of any TV show I’ve ever seen. And I’m not sure I can ever mention Jennifer Carpenter NEVER BEING NOMINATED EVER without burning down my office building right now.

And I devoured Downton Abbey as quickly as the next person, but not because it’s the most well written show in the world. Because it’s a soap opera and it’s wildly entertaining. But best drama? When Dexter is on the air? Why has EVERYONE FORGOT ABOUT DEXTER? I can concede that since season 4, Dexter has not been in top form, but last season was worlds better than Downton’s emotion-porn filled 3rd season.

Micahel C. Hall has one more year to win, or at least be nominated. So he must. Right? Oh wait, I said the same thing about Steve Carell. Nevermind.

SPEAKING OF. The Office wasn’t nominated for best comedy for it’s truly excellent final season? I mean, REALLY? And Parks and Recreation wasn’t nominated for comedy? SERIOUSLY?! Does the nominating committee even WATCH TV? The Big Bang Theory is amusing at best, boring and pandering at worst. And last time I checked, a TV show that deals with mental illness as darkly as Girls does is NOT A COMEDY. IT’S NOT. A. COMEDY. And I love Girls. I really do. I think it’s excellently written and I like Lena Dunham, but I can count the number of times I’ve laughed throughout its entire run on one hand. Because it’s not a comedy. Also, I love Modern Family, but they had their worst written season this year. Still funny, sure, but not nearly as smart as it has been in the past.

(Side note: The Office WAS nominated for writing for “Finale”, and it really really deserves it. A truly brilliant, funny, heartfelt script. Though I recognize the impossibility of this happening when they’re up against the critic darlings 30 Rock and Louie).

I believe one thing with 100% of my self: no one deserves an Emmy more this year than Amy Poehler. I do believe that Parks & Recreation is the funniest show on TV right now, and she is overlooked year after year after year after year… god knows I love Tina Fey but, you guys, she’s playing herself. Give her all the writing awards you can throw at her, but a better or funnier actress than Amy Poehler she is not.

(I would, however, do Tina Fey first. If we’re putting all of our cards on the table).

In the same category, Jenna Fischer deserved a nomination. I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.

Back to drama, all I’m going to say is we know this year is going to be heavy on the Breaking Bad. Next year will be interesting seeing the last episodes of Breaking Bad pitted against Mad Men’s final season. (On the whole, by the way, I do believe Mad Men to be a better show. Which is not easy for me to say, because they’re both completely excellent).

Speaking of Mad Men, hurrah for Elizabeth Moss on her DOUBLE NOMINATION. I think it’s fairly clear she’ll win for Top of the Lake and Claire Danes will take home actress in a drama. Though I would give Elizabeth Moss both awards in a heartbeat. And also throw in another for having played Zoey Bartlett. True story.

Oh, and, the oversight of Vincent Kartheisier in Mad Men is UNFORGIVABLE. Truly. He walked away with this season. (I’m also currently re-watching the show from the beginning, and he walks away with a lot of episodes. Why is he constantly overlooked? I don’t get it). NOT GREAT, BOB.

And if they could only nominate one actress for Game of Thrones, why the #^$&^ wasn’t it Michelle Fairley? Did they not watch her performance at the red wedding? Honestly?

Ok. Good things. They exist. Jason Bateman for Arrested Development. My nerdy little heart would just burst if he won. Unlikely, since Alec Baldwin needs to collect the awards for his final season. (He’s only won two Emmys, but can we talk about how he’s won the SAG award for the past SEVEN YEARS? I imagine he’s melting them all down to construct the UBER SAG AWARD to display in his front yard). Christina Hendricks for supporting actress, though I really believe she should have won for season 5. Jane Krakowski for 30 Rock!! Worlds of yes. I’d love to see Bill Hader trample the Modern Family actors because he made SNL watchable this season. (Not sure what we’ll all do now). Top of the Lake for all the things, though I know that it will be trampled by Behind the Candelabra.

I will end by saying BOB’S BURGERS FOR BEST ANIMATED PROGRAM. I’LL MAKE THE CAMPAIGN POSTERS.

*K

Dunder Mifflin, over and out.

I know it probably seems weird for me to come out of the blogging black hole I’ve fallen into just to write about a TV show. (Well, no, okay. If you know me, this doesn’t seem weird at all), but The Office ended last night and you guys. I really need to talk about it.

I love this show. Every since Anthony played it on his laptop for me and Christine on the floor of his bedroom when we were in high school, and we cringed at “Diversity Day”, cried at the end of “Office Olympics”, and yelled at Pam for not seeing Jim was in love with her. I watch a few episodes pretty much every night before going to sleep. Roddy, Anthony, and I went to freakin’ Scranton for the wrap party two weeks ago! I love this show.

When Steve Carell left two years ago, I was pretty open about wanting the show to bow out with him. In some ways, I still agree that maybe they should have done that. His departure left a pretty large hole in Season 8, and even as a passionate fan I had a hard time paying attention as the show tried to find a new balance. (Some would argue that it started losing steam when Greg Daniels left as showrunner after Season 4, but some of my favorite moments came in Seasons 5 and 6, so I would argue that those people are stoo-pid). Had The Office been younger when Steve Carell left, it would have had more time to find its footing without him. Even still, at its worst, The Office remained funnier than 90% of the new crap on TV, and after 9 years that’s commendable. It shows that sitcoms don’t need to completely lose all of their charm after a long run. (I’m looking at you, How I Met Your Mother).

Anyway, I am glad it stuck around because it gave us more time with these characters. And I really, really love every single one of these characters.

The finale did a really great job of letting us know that beyond the documentary, everyone is going to be OK.  And better yet, it really looks like they’re all going to be happy. (Well, maybe not Toby. He is living with 6 roommates in NYC writing the great American novel, after all). Even after Andy’s humiliating televised audition became viral, he seems to have found a new kind of peace that we’ve never seen him have before. And honestly, I thought one of the most emotional moments of the night was seeing the clip of his commencement speech at Cornell. Isn’t that where Andy’s heart always was anyway? He also had one of the most moving talking head segments of the night – “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them. Someone should write a song about that.”

And good for Dwight and Angela. I always wanted them to end up together. I wish their resolution didn’t feel as rushed as it did, but we all knew they belonged together ever since she had that bobble-head of him made for Valentine’s Day. And I love how happiness looks on Angela – I mean, you guys, she apologized to Phyllis after snapping at her! I think my favorite part of having the finale take place a year later was seeing how everyone has grown since the cameras packed up. Even Meredith seems to have settled into somewhat of a normal human being. (Her son being the stripper at Angela’s bachelorette party aside).

We all knew Pam wasn’t going to let Jim give up on his dream, but I still breathed a sigh of relief when she revealed her plan to sell the house and move the family to Austin. There were some episodes that I found really hard to watch this season while they went through all of this, and the payoff was really worth it. Hearing her say “Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam” as Jim looked on from his desk was a seriously great moment. And to hear her follow up with “I’m sorry, Jim Halpert doesn’t work here anymore”?? MY HEART!!!

Okay, I’m done stalling. I’m not sure I’ve ever simultaneously laughed and cried at the same time before, but when Michael appeared and said “That’s what she said”, well, that is exactly what happened. Literally just thinking about it right now is making me teary. We all knew deep inside that he would come back, we wanted him to come back, we NEEDED him to come back, and Greg Daniels wrote him in perfectly. We learned that Michael is finally truly happy and has a family (he needs two phones for all the pictures of his children, but really, he’s just so happy to have a family plan!), but his appearance didn’t overshadow the rest of the episode. Just seeing him in the background made me want to burst. Though he did have the funniest line of the night, easily. “I feel like all my kids grew up. And then they married each other. It’s every parent’s dream!”

What were the other amazing moments?? Oh, Creed’s whole ending is so perfectly crazy and Creed. Loved the Grass Roots shout out, too. Oscar running for state senate. Oh, Erin’s birth parents!! (Great Joan Cusack cameo). Ellie Kemper’s realization was really beautiful. Also her line at the end: “How did you do it? How did you capture what it was really like? Also, how to cameras work?” (TV casting people – give Ellie Kemper a job, because she’s really quite talented). Kevin – “If you film anybody long enough, they’re going to do something stupid. It’s only human natural.” Dwight calling Pam his best friend. Stanley finding true bliss in retirement and bird carvings. Phyllis’ gratitude over his carving of her. I love that Kelly and Ryan are exactly the same horrible, selfish people who would leave Ryan’s baby with Mohinder (THAT IS HIS NAME) so they can run away together. But don’t worry, if you need to find baby Drake, he’ll be somewhere in Europe with Nellie. (See? Everyone got their happy ending).

Oh, and did anyone else catch that Jim repeated the same line he had in the pilot? “My job was to speak to clients, on the phone, about quantities and types of copier paper.” I seriously clutched my heart and wept like an infant.

I thought it was extremely fitting and moving that Pam had the last line. It’s a shame that Jenna Fischer never won an award for her performance, because especially this season, she  was really incredible. Her closing words, as she removed the drawing she made of the office back in season 3, were moving and fitting and perfect. God I am going to miss this show. I am going to watch this again tonight and have about a billion more rambling emotional things to say about it. Thanks Dunder Mifflin.

“I thought it was weird when you picked us to make a documentary, but all in all, I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder Mifflin was a great subject for a documentary. There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”

*K