Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dreary Saturday

When did New York become the new Seattle? I feel like it has rained at least a couple of times ever week for the last month. My umbrella is a permanent fixture in my bag these days.

This morning Todd and I headed out to do a photo shoot of Manhattan Valley. I reviewed a book for Anne's upcoming literature- and writing-centric website (details coming soon), and since the novel took place in my 'hood and mentioned several real places, I offered to do a photo essay to accompany my review. At one point, we had to duck into a Washington Mutual atrium to avoid big ploppy rain drops; a while later we had a perfectly timed lunch while the skies opened up. I feel like I'm in vitamin D withdrawal.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Does Rachel Ray Scare You?

Bowing to the pressure of at least one paranoid blogger, Dunkin Donuts has pulled an ad featuring Rachel Ray wearing what crazies everywhere claim looks like a keffiyeh, a traditional Arab headdress.

Dude, she’s wearing a scarf. Yes, it’s black and white, and, yes, it’s fringed. But really, it’s still nothing more than a scarf.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Self Portrait with Todd

My nose looks fucking huge in this photo. Unfortunately, I think that's what it actually looks like.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Falling Behind

Yes, I’m a blog loser and I know it. I’m now three days of posting in the hole, and this post—which counts for today—is lame and only about how much I suck as a blogger. I have fun pictures from the weekend, which I will surely upload soon. So count on those to be backdated and posted for Monday and Tuesday.

Overall, the weekend with Mom and Shannon was great. There was WAY too much eating going on, though, of course, I loved every bite. I’m off to a delicious and big lunch for work in half an hour and then after that I really need to commit to eating nothing but veggies for a while.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. I promise to get my blogging groove back soon.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How much is that doggy in the window?

So my mom decided to torture Shannon and me just a little this weekend by taking us to a place in her town called The Puppy Barn. It's basically a pet store but all they have are adorable puppies who tug at your heart strings. I was particularly taken with the Jack Russell / Pug mix (a "Jug" in Puppy Barn-speak); she was the cutest, sweetest thing ever in the world and if it wasn't for her $899 price tag she might be sitting next to me right now.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Adorable, as always

Caryn, Larry, Joey, and I hit the town on Sunday evening and wandered around a bit after a big pasta dinner. I snapped this picture of Caryn and Joey on the corner on our way back to the car.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Seeing Friends

One of the fabulous things about visiting Mom is that I always get to sneak in some Caryn time, too. She, Larry, and Joey came over to Mom's this afternoon for some R & R. After a few hours of hanging out, the four of us left Shannon and Mom at home and headed to Collingswood to wander around and find a restaurant for dinner. It's so great to see how much Joey grows from visit to visit: she's even crawling now! And, most of all, I love to get quality time with Shectman.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Plans

Very happy to report that the office closed early yesterday, so I got to enjoy a few extra hours of good weather and sunshine. Around 10:00 p.m. Shannon arrived in Chinatown, and now we're off to Mom's for a girls' weekend of fun, food, and pedicures. Details to come from the road.

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's Fleet Week in NYC

And I'm trying to convince Todd to get one of those uniforms.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Camilla's not really this fat

I was feeling a little lazy earlier this week and didn't think I'd do justice to any of the good blog ideas I had rattling around in my had. I said I was going to just throw up a picture of Camilla, and Todd suggested I take advantage of my computer's built in camera and take a new one of the two of us together. The result is this hilarious picture of Camilla very clearly not happy to be subjected to my photo whims.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My run-in with the police

Wanted you all to see my latest biking adventures:

Biker escapes from the police - The funniest home videos are here

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

David McCullough is, like, actually totally awesome.

Uber- historian and novelist David McCullough gave the commencement speech at Boston College earlier this week. His advice to graduates: speak properly! Here’s a snippet:

"Just imagine if in his inaugural address John F. Kennedy had said, 'Ask not what your country can, you know, do for you, but what you can, like, do for your country actually," he said.
Also, Shannon, who sometimes does transcription as part of her job at a law firm, and I were just talking about how many times the average person says “um.”

I’m guilty of plenty of “ums,” so I can’t cast too many stones there. I would like to take McCullough’s advice, though, and eradicate at least the over use of the word “like” from my conversations.

What about you? Do you have annoying speech habits? What do you hear that drives you nuts? I, for one, could live without ever hearing people end sentences with the word “at.”

Monday, May 19, 2008

Atlanta Knows Good Jewelry

Many congratulations to my friend and artist extraordinaire! Jen is featured in Atlanta’s Daily Candy today. Her designs are both whimsical and beautiful, so this shout out is well deserved. Congratulations, Jen!

Anyone who wants to check out her entire collection should visit her etsy shop. There are plenty of lovelies to choose among.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

King Dork

One of my better reads lately actually came from the YA section of the bookstore. King Dork highlights a year in the life of one nerdy, unpopular, imaginary-band-loving high school sophomore. By stumbling upon his late father's copy of The Catcher in the Rye, Tom Henderson sets off on a series of adventures that range from the typical to the surreal. And, true to the turmoil of fifteen year olds everywhere, Henderson obsesses about girls throughout it all. After wondering just what it is that couples actually do together (which he assumes includes "a lot of making out and groping in public, sex in cars, blow jobs in public restrooms, going to the movies, eating in restaurants, listening to the radio, arguing about trivia , and--what else?"), he presents his hope about relationships. I found this passage, as well as the entire book, charming and well worth reading, so I'm including it below:

...I have this idea, a dream really, that part of what it would mean is that the boyfriend is in his little club with the girlfriend where when one is hurt or troubled by being assailed by the cruelties of the world, the other decides not to be on the side of the world, but to join forces with the other member of the club against the world, even it's frowned upon. Even if it's a doomed scenario, even if the world is definitely gonna win. Like you're allies. The last remnant of your people. A Sex Alliance Against Society. But maybe I have it all wrong. It does sound like a quaint, far-fetched idea now that I put into words. And also overly dramatic, if something can be o.d. and q. at the same time.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

One Word

I just stumbled upon a great site for when you want to prompt your creativity a bit or need to find a way around writer's block. One Word gives you just that: a single word and sixty seconds in which to write whatever comes to mind. If you check it out you can read what I wrote prompted by the word "wade."

Friday, May 16, 2008

The rest of the biking commute story

Thanks to everyone who called me brave for biking to work earlier this week. I was pretty proud of my own gumption, because traversing the city streets with nothing but a bargain-priced helmet to save my life if a cab hit me definitely did make me more than a little nervous. As you know, the trip in was, for the most part, pretty good.

The way home...that’s where the real excitement happened. The day was beautiful, so joggers and bikers were out in force. There are two non-car lanes in the park, and I honestly don’t know if one is supposed to be for joggers and the other for bikers, or if one is, in theory, a passing lane, or what. But in reality, the joggers took up the entire width of both lanes, forcing all the bikers to veer into the car lane (which, PS, was chock-a-block with cars) every three and a half seconds. Not fun. Also, the route home is a bit more uphill, though it’s nothing terrible. I’ve done this hill many times (and by many, I mean about three. But still...) without feeling it too much. For some reason, though, on Tuesday afternoon I was really huffing and puffing. It could have been that it was the end of the day and I was tired. Or it could have been due to the strengthening exercises Shannon taught me at Christmas that I finally did for the first time that morning. Or it could simply have been because I’m way too out of shape. Anyway, I was struggling a little up this hill, when my biking inspiration, Jane, rode up beside me and congratulated me on joining the ranks.

“How’s it going?” She asked, trying to decide whether she really wanted to talk to me enough to slow down to my pace.

“Stressful,” I admitted.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “It gets easier as you get used to it.” These word had barely left her mouth when a biker a few yards in front of us took out an old woman—knocked her flat out on her back in the middle of the street. Besides being hit by a car, this is basically what I most fear will happen to me on the bike. I’ll somehow lose control and knock down someone’s beloved grandmother. I pulled over long enough to see that she was up and about and that I wasn’t the only person on the scene with a cell phone (I didn’t want to assume what joggers tried to fit in their teensie-weensie little running shorts) before riding on. Jane had seen her chance to ditch slow-poke me and ridden on already, so I took the rest of the commute nice and slow. I got home without hurting myself or any pedestrians, but the whole thing freaked me out a bit. I liked biking to work and definitely didn’t miss the subway, but it was far from an idyllic ride. I need to mentally prepare before I try it again.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Self Portait: Tattoo

Today's self portrait: the tattoo on my foot. I got this one (my second) in Amsterdam almost exactly four years ago. I was traveling with Caryn and Pam in May, 2004 and we all got inked at Hanky Panky Tattooing in Amsterdam.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Edwards Endorses Obama

Earlier today John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama for the democratic nomination. I'm not totally surprised by the endorsement, but I was a little surprised at the timing. Hillary had a big win in West Virginia the other day, but even that didn't do much to slow Obama's momentum. He's picked up more super delegates even since Clinton's win, and Edwards' endorsement is clearly a shot in the arm. Go Obama!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Biked to work this morning

I’ve been riding every weekend since getting my bike, but until today I had never used it for the commute. The weather has been a great excuse (see yesterday’s post, for example), but really I’ve been a little nervous about biking in traffic. I’ve been getting steadily more comfortable, though, and since it’s a beautiful day today I decided the time was right to test fate.

I had one dicey moment when a cab cut me off to snag a passenger, but I didn’t get killed, so I guess the commute can be called a success. It was certainly more of an adrenaline rush than when people cut you off trying to board the subway.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Where is spring?

I just finished telling Todd on Sunday night that I wasn’t going to post about the weather, but lo and behold, here I am. I just can’t believe that it’s the middle of May and our daily temp is maxing out at 51 degrees.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Iron Man

FYI, this post contains minor spoilers.

I continue to see superhero movies, comic book movies, and action movies, even though I'm just not the right audience for them. Last night I saw Iron Man with Jen and, as usual, thought it was slightly less amazing than everyone else in the world. I liked it, I just don't feel the need to coo about it the way every one I know and every review I read is doing.

My issues with these movies is both twofold and consistent. First, I get really bored, really fast with the action. I just feel a little like, dude, I get it: they're beating each other up. Watching the drawn out, increasingly silly ways these brawls plays out tends to be something of a snooze fest for me. Iron Man was actually fairly light on these scenes comparatively, so in that regard I have no complaints. But there were just enough of my other issue: advantage taken of my willing suspension of disbelief. I go into these movies happy to believe that Peter Parker gets bit by a spider and can suddenly cling to the sides of buildings or Tony Stark can build a metal suit and fire blast his way out of a cave in Afghanistan. So the big conceit I'm ok with. But I have a hard time when I'm then supposed to believe that despite said success is said Afghani cave, Stark has comical problems getting the details just right on his new and improved suit built with every computer known to man and geek. Or that Jeff Bridges--in any metal suit whatsoever--could fall from outer space and then get up again to pull an Annie Wilkes, one-last-scare kind of maneuver. Willingly suspending my disbelief is not the same as checking my brain at the door, but I often feel like that's what these movies ask you to do.

I know I'm in the minority here, so I'm going to end on a high note so that you all don't tell me how wrong I am on every single point--at least we'll (I think) agree with this one. The performances were pretty damn good. Robert Downey, Jr. was especially wonderful.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Smart and Sexy

Salon named Ira Glass one of the sexiest men living in 2007. Now, while he didn't make the list of guys I'm least likely to ever kick out of bed, there is something very alluring about him. This American Life has been one of the best things on the radio for years, and since making the leap to TV, it's become one of the best things on the small screen, too. As Todd put it, This American Life is what reality TV should be. I mean, I love a cat fight on Step It Up and Dance as much as the next girl, but TAL elevates reality TV to a whole new level.

Todd and I stumbled across this excellent animated excerpt from one of the shows last night, and I loved it so much I wanted to share it here. Enjoy!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Self Portrtait Thursday--on Friday

I'm starting a new body parts Self Portrait Thursday series. I feel pretty bored with the face-centric photos I'm able to get at arm's length, so I'm going to see what interesting photos I capture by focusing on toes, arms, maybe even a knee cap. Today's photo: my right ear.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

So damn tired

Does anyone know whether seasonal allergies make you tired? I know, of course, that I could google this, but a) that would leave me with nothing to blog about and b) your anecdotal evidence is a lot more fun than slogging through article after article on WebMD. Anyway, I ask because I’ve been completely pooped lately. Last night I went to bed really early with my book. I planned to read a lot—I’m trying to get through my current book and a book club selection in the next week or so and was excited to have a good chunk of the night dedicated to reading. Instead I fell asleep about three pages in and still was barely able to drag myself out of bed this morning. I’m getting plenty of sleep, so the allergies thing is all I can think of as an explanation.

In a related story, I had to sit through a work meeting yesterday that REALLY tested my ability to stay awake. The room was stifling hot, and it’s a ginormous meeting—something like 200 people. The school holds it once a semester, and it’s a good opportunity to find out about all the big goings on. It’s also a good opportunity to take a nap if you don’t mind getting a smack down from your boss. Since I actually like my job, I was trying very hard to stay alert. I pulled out all the old college tricks, including trying to take notes just to give myself something to do (they’re practically illegible) and digging my fingernails into my palms so hard that I had half circle wounds by the time the meeting (two LONG hours) was finally over. It was brutal.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I hate having to ask people to return things they’ve borrowed from me. I find it really awkward, especially when it’s something like a book, which I probably am not going to read again immediately but seriously want back on my shelf where it belongs. Somehow it seems petty to ask for it, even though it’s totally within my right to do so. But now I find myself in an even more bizarre version of this conundrum and have no idea what to do.

About a year ago a coworker gave me a pair of shoes. She’d ordered them online, wore them for half a day and felt that they were just too small for her. For whatever reason, she decided to offer them up instead of returning them. They’ve lived under my desk ever since, and I wear them all the time. They’re not comfortable enough to traverse the city in, but they’re perfect shoes to slip on for a day at the office. Last week this same coworker broke her shoe on the way in to the office. After hearing the story of her shuffling here from the subway, I offered her the pair of shoes she had given me, oh so long ago. Sure, they’d pinch her feet, but it was better than shuffling to Aldo on her lunch break. She seemed grateful and took the shoes.

She wore them home that night and nary a word has been said about them since. Something tells me I’m never getting these shoes back. On the one hand, fine. She was the one who bought them after all. On the other hand, I quite liked them and thought they were mine for good. Boo.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Who else is sick of the primary?

It's official. I have become primary weary. Todd thinks that somehow I shouldn't be sick of this just because Puerto Rico hasn't had its say yet. I am, in fact, totally, 100 percent, overwhelming ready for the democratic party to rally around a single candidate.

While Clinton and Obama try to drag each other down, John McCain is getting a free pass. And given what a wanker he is, that's just not cool.

Monday, May 5, 2008

In addition to Todd, the people I want to sleep with...

Tonight Todd and I embarked down a path that eventually all couples seem to go down. We made our lists of celebrities with whom we are allowed to sleep, should the situation randomly present itself. Some were predictable (Hello George and Angelina!), while others were a surprise. Todd didn’t predict, for example, that Paul Rudd would make my final five. And I had no idea he had it so bad for Iman.

Here, for your review, is my final list in no particular order. What do you all think? Anything surprising? Who’s on your list?

George Clooney
Paul Rudd
Colin Firth
Johnny Depp
Jake Gyllenhaal

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Another Biking Sunday

The weather finally turned warm and sunny again after a week of rainy, overcast yuckiness. I was starting to feel like I'd bought my bike and would never be able to take it out again, thanks to apparently having entered monsoon season. So it was with great joy that I booked it around the Central Park loop with Todd and Dylan this afternoon. Here's to sun and bikes!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Great Saunter

Todd and I joined my friend Kimberly for a walk around the island today. It's called the Great Saunter: each year a group of New Yorkers meet at South Street Seaport and start north with the goal of walking all around the perimeter of Manhattan. I loved seeing the city from a different perspective. There were certainly parts I had walked before but also plenty that I hadn't. We were able to stick almost exclusively to parks walking up the west side, and I especially loved the cherry blossoms in Riverside Park. They were so pretty that we even stopped for an impromptu photo shoot--the results are all on Todd's camera, but I'll update the post when I'm able to get them from him.

Todd and I quit at the George Washington Bridge, which we figured was about fourteen miles, but Kimberly walked the whole island, which absolutely deserves a major shout out. I was pooped by the time I quit, so I can only imagine how she felt as she made her way all the way down the east side.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Eating our way through Chinatown

I have a couple of vacation days I have to use before the end of June, so today was the perfect time to ditch the office and enjoy a little time to myself.

I had a hard time figuring out what to do and subsequently took a long time bouncing ideas around and lounging for most of the morning. There was some thought of hitting a museum (after going to one too many crazily crowded exhibits, I've decided to see popular shows during the week whenever we can), yoga, a movie, and a myriad of other things. Instead, I decided to follow one of Time Out's walking tours, this one of the culinary deals in Chinatown. The tour started with dumplings and scallion-filled sesame pancakes, and then it was on to bakery after bakery. After the third stop I thought I was going into sugar coma! I didn't love everything I tried, but some of it was great, and even the busts only cost a dollar each.

I ended the day with dinner with Todd in Little Italy. It was such a treat to spend the whole day eating and enjoying the city knowing that everyone else was hard at work while I was munching and wandering.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Self Portrait 13

I took this pic a month or so ago, but, yet again, I didn't take any pictures of myself this week.