Wednesday, March 31, 2010

As anyone who has ever lived with me already knows

When I really like a song, I tend to play it over and over and over and over again until I get sick of it, or at least get the obsession out of my system for a little while. Today, the song of the day was this song, "I Need a Dollar," the theme song to my new favorite show How to Make it in America by Aloe Blacc. It really makes me love the ipod function (you know the one, the little circle with a 1 on it) that allows you to just repeat one song. I must have listened to it about 100 times today. I'm not sick of it yet.

Though, I must admit, after checking out the iTunes store for other songs by Aloe Blacc--I have an iTunes gift card to spend--I'm not impressed by his other work. The beats are highly electronic, and lack the old-time feel of the song above. It's a weird cross between R-kelly (the new stuff, not the good stuff), Enrique Iglesias, and John Legend. Try Patria Mia for a little latin feel, Caged Birdsong for some hip hop flavor, and Are you ready for the R Kelly imitation. You'll see what I mean. There are a couple gems that don't totally suck though. I might actually download Caged Birdsong and On Inna (short for one in a million), which is by far the closest thing to "I need a dollar" on the whole album.

This made me chuckle out loud

Once again, the blog "That is Priceless" make me distrupt my cubicle, and look like a total creep because of it's hilarious captions to great works of art. I am a fan of Renoir, which is possibly why this is so much funnier to me than some. And also, because it really does look like Jude Law getting high at Easter Brunch. Click it, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My new cocktail ring!

Yesterday I ordered myself this gorgeous ring shown above. I have been wanting a gigantic cocktail ring for a while, and have been shopping around quite a bit recently. I am turning 25 in a few weeks, I just got a promotion, and I'm worth it. I have paroused many sites, including,,, and more. I visited several jewelry departments this weekend, and tried on some Alexis Bittar rings.
I was planning to stop by the boutique yesterday on my way home from work, since I didn't want to wait for this gem to arrive to me, but they only had it in my size on the website. So, I bought this Klimt Bubble ring with African Turquoise set into the web of bubbles online. AND I just got notification that it alreadyshipped and has left Maspeth, NY to makes it's way to NYC to my office. Fingers crossed it gets here today!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cervical Cancer Scare Tactics

What is with all the cervical cancer commercials there have been on tv lately? I am an avid supporter of raising awareness about women’s reproductive health. My ability to control and maintain my own reproductive capabilities is one of the things that allows me to pursue the career path and lifestyle that I have chosen, and is something that many women my age take for granted. I am proud to say that I have been vaccinated for HPV. People have asked me why I was vaccinated, and my response is why not? If there is a simple 3-shot process that will protect me from several strains of cancer (and other nasty std) causing forms of HPV then I am completely on board. I support Gardasil becoming a required vaccine for all young women. Further, I think that young men should be required to receive the vaccine as well. I mean, they are the ones who are carrying and spreading the disease between women, and yet show no symptoms in most cases. That is the real danger, am I right? It would save women from finding out they have HPV as an after fact from a partner who possibly had no idea he had it.

I think Gardasil commercials are informative and help to spread the general knowledge that there is a vaccine out there. However, there has been a recent stream of advertising that has left me saying Whaaaa?

View the above video. This commercial advertises that women in their 20’s do get cervical cancer, with no advice or suggestions as to how to prevent it, or what to do if you are diagnosed with it. They are simply scaring the crap out of women my age that when they might want a lovely bottle of seductive perfume, they’ll end up getting cervical cancer. Then, once they get it, they won’t be able to have kids, which is not always necessarily the case.

The commercial above shows a woman standing on the porch, spreading gossip about her friend who was just diagnosed with the grim disease, and then shows her abruptly getting off the phone to council said friend. The next appears like any other perfume commercial, full of beauty and prettiness, then the bottle spins around to show the words in big scary black letters “CERVICAL CANCER.” What is the point of these blatant scare tactics? To make women stop having unprotected sex? To get them to go to their doctor? To advocate more frequent PAP tests to screen for pre-cancerous cells? All of these motivations would be positive, and would earn my support. Yet these ambiguous intimidations are pointless and absurd. What’s next? Showing a pretty red head with freckles and tattooing her with SKIN CANCER across her forehead? We have enough to worry about. We don’t need advertising mongering scaring the crap out of us for no good reason.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cooking for the Polish Army

I’ve been cooking quite a bit lately, enough so that my own mother called me “Suzy Homemaker” while I was home for a visit this past weekend. Now, I am not a gourmet chef by any means. I’m a girl who is on the run many nights a week, and likes to fit as much activity as possible into my evenings between 6 and 11:15pm after work each night. That being said, I like to cook at home so that I don’t spend all of my money on food (so there’s more for shopping and fun!), and to eat healthy without the temptation of oversized restaurant portions packed with an undisclosed amount of cheese and butter. I like to eat things that are filling and delicious. Yet, I don’t have the time or the desire to cook an elaborate meal every night.

Luckily, I was raised in a home where when we cooked, we cooked a large amount. We always call it “cooking for the Polish army,” a habit my mother never quite snapped out of after growing up with 7 brothers and 3 sisters in a household where 7 pies could go missing in a matter of minutes. I’m cursed, or blessed (depending on how you look at it) by never being able to cook just the right amount for the number I am serving, but rather ending up with much much more food than necessary. Since I’ve been working 9-6 Monday through Friday, I’ve figured out how to put this ability to good use. I cook a couple nights a week (different things), and make everything in the largest portion that my heart desires. Then, I put the leftovers (once I’m sick of them) into single portion gladwares and pop them in the freezer. This works out to give me a nice variety of healthy and delicious little dinners that I can pull out and pop in the microwave when I’m in a rush, or just too lazy to go to the grocery store.

I recently went through a rice and beans phase, when I made an entire bag of rice, an entire bag of beans, and a pound of veggie crumbles, which once cooked filled my entire gigantic soup pot. My next food obsession has been quiches. Not only can you whip them up in 15 minutes or less, but you can really put anything you want in them and they still come out good. AND if you choose your ingredients wisely (think Spinach and Feta, or Tomato and Bacon) they can be eaten for breakfast or for dinner. I mean they’re really just an omelette in a crust rather than with toast after all. This is my favorite recipe as of late, courtesy of my Family Circle cookbook.

Asparagus Quiche

-2/3 cup half-and-half (I've used milk in a pinch, and it works just as well)

-3 eggs (4 if you have a big pie pan)

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/4 teaspoon black pepper

-1 refrigerated, rolled 9-inch pie crust

-1 box (10 oz) frozen asparagus, thawed (I've used one bunch of fresh asparagus slightly steamed too)

-4 oz dill-flavored Havarti cheese, shredded

-1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix half-and-half, eggs, salt and pepper.

2. Unroll pie crust into 9-inch pie plate; flute edges. Cut asparagus pieces into thurds. Brush 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture over pie crust; top with asparagus and cheese. If desired, sprinkle with fresh dill. Pour remaining egg mixture into pie crust.

3. Bake on lower rack at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes; serve.

It's super fast, and super delicious, win-win.

Thank you W Magazine

Thank you W magazine, for finally giving Jennifer Aniston the spotlight she deserves. I would like to call all of your attention to the latest cover and hot photo spread of Jen and Gerry (as the cover calls them) playing cops and robbers in the desert. Are they a couple or aren’t they? Will we ever know? I don’t really care. I choose to believe that they are because if anyone is going to take that wonderful piece of Scottish man off the market, I would like it to be someone as hilarious and utterly deserving as Jennifer Aniston. It’s about time that someone dedicated a spread to how gorgeous and sexy these two are.

It’s a nicely timed counter to the spread that Angelina and Brad got in W after the release of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, when their adulterous romance was blooming.
Especially with all of the rumors flying about, and the recent tell all exposing Angelina as the husband stealing hussy she is. In addition to the bedraggled look Brad has been sporting lately at Angelina’s filming (captured in Star magazine), it’s clear to see who the victor is in the constant tabloid battle of who is hotter, doing better, and more current. I mean, what is sexier after all? Wedded bliss with loads of gross little runts to take care of, or an affair between criminal and lawman? The proof is in the cover.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My flat boots are becoming Slouchy boots

Recently I bought a pair of Vintage America Nine West boots. They are the Fiddle style pictured above. I had been holding out on joining the flat boot trend for a long time. Generally, I tend to wear really really ridiculously high heels (especially in boots), and didn’t like the idea or the look of the flat boots. But gradually my foot aches from walking everywhere in my 4 inch heeled cognac colored Steve Maddens had me looking for a break, and a black pair to complement my wardrobe. I had done a big closet cleaning and tossed several pairs of old boots, so it was time to start anew. Why not try something different?

I went shopping for flat black boots. I searched high and low, and could not find any that I even remotely liked. Then I spotted these gems, and it was love at first sight. The scallopped leather border up the side with little copper colored grommets dressed them up a little (and just happened to match my fave pair of copper earrings), and the wide top meant I could wear them with jeans or skirts with ease.

I love them, and wear them everywhere without a foot pain in sight. They work for the office, and on the weekends with more casual attire. However, after a few months of wear, they are starting to slouch. They bag around my ankles like loose stockings. I’m not sure what to do about it. It takes their dressiness factor down a lot, and they just don’t look as nice. What to do....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dry shampoo, turns out it's not just for people with dirty hair.

I first tried this product when I went to Bolivia on a volunteer/cultural immersion trip in the summer of 2008. I was staying in a region of Cochabamba where there is no public water system, and the only running water in homes is provided by an expensive cistern system if you are wealthy enough to afford it. I knew before going that since water is such a pricey commodity, that I would not be washing my hair everyday, or at all, while I was there. Now, being that I have extremely fine hair that gets oily if I even look at it the wrong way, and considering that my stay would be about two weeks, I knew I needed a solution.

I had heard about the wonders of dry shampoo from other people, but frankly I didn’t believe the hype. People always said that it makes your hair look like it’s been washed without subjecting your mane to the daily sudsing up in the shower ritual. They said that using dry shampoo keeps you from drying out your hair by over-washing, and also protects color treated hair by exposing it to less opportunities to fade color and wash out pigment. I always harbored the belief that these people were just walking around with dirty hair, and continued my daily washing ritual.

However, when I ended up in circumstances that would limit my hair washing, Klorane came into my life. I figured I had nothing to lose, since I wouldn’t be washing it would be my only chance for semi-clean, semi-normal looking hair. I may be volunteering, but I don’t want to look ugly while doing it! I took the recommendation of the Ricky’s employee and went with Klorane over several other brands. He said that it is the most popular, and the most gentle of all the sprays. I also discovered today when buying a new can that it won Allure Magazine’s editor choice award.

It’s a little pricey, $18.99 for a 3.2 oz aerosol can (make sure you get the aerosol, not the pump top), but it is hypoallergenic, and contains oat extract to gently clean your hair. All you have to do is spray it onto the roots, or dirty portion of your hair from about 6 inches distance. I usually flip my head over and tousle my hair at the roots while spraying to make sure it really gets in there. Then, let it sit for a couple minutes. Hair will look slightly lighter around the roots than its normal color (think if you sprayed a fine mist of baby powder in your hair). If you’re blond, you might not even notice the color change. Finally you brush out the stuff, and it takes all the dirt and product in your hair with it. I prefer to rub it out with a clean towel, since over brushing tends to make my hair staticky.

Then you’re free to style as usual. I rediscovered my friend Klorane when I went to Bonnaroo this year, and had limited access to hair washing, once again. Yet, I still keep a can around for those days when you really need an extra 45 minutes to sleep in. It shaves a nice chunk of time off my getting ready for work routine, just a quick body shower, spray in Klorane, and you’re good to go! And, I like to think my hair is healthier for it.

Countdown to my latest milestone

I’m turning 25 this year. It’s a milestone birthday to me, even though hallmark doesn’t seem to think so—there are no birthday cards celebrating it, I checked. It seems like a nice round number. It is hopefully approximately ¼ of my total life span. And, now, I can legally rent and drive rented cars. WOOO! Not as fun as legally being able to drink alcohol, I admit, but since most birthdays seem like they’ll be down hill from this point forward, I’ll take the cheap thrills where I can get em. It’s the perfect year for assessing where you’re at in life, and where you want to be (hence all of the life pondering I’ve been doing here lately).

At 25, you’re no longer a child (or young 20 something fresh out of college). By 25 most of our parents have stopped supporting us. We’re much more mature than when we graduated college, at least in the sense that we have a structure to our days that revolves around something more substantial than which classes we’ll be skipping, what we’re having for lunch, and which party we will be attending later. Yet, we don’t really feel like adults completely. We make our own money, pay our own rent, but still spend irresponsibly on pretty shoes and delicious cocktails because hey, we don’t have any other real responsibilities besides ourselves yet and we might as well enjoy it. There’s those few among us who are starting to get engaged, married, and begin the process of becoming “real” adults by buying houses, having husbands, and having babies (or at least pets).

It’s almost like we’re on some invisible border into our upper 20’s that constitutes the impending doom of really growing up. It’s funny to see how people have been coping. Some decide to totally rage and embrace the young 20’s side. Some decide to do a classy dinner to celebrate the big day. I’ve been having a bit of a birthday struggle this year of deciding whether I want to have a ridiculous, college style keg party, or whether I want to celebrate my accomplishments of the past year with dinner, then a lounge or club where there’s no risk of someone puking on my shoes, and all of the fancy drinks have names and cost way too much. Maybe I’ll do both and really embrace being on the border. I’ll just have to see what kind of mood I’m in when the big day rolls around in about a month.

One thing is for sure. For any milestone birthday, you want to be in a good place in your life. So, in the spirit of self improvement I’ve decided to give myself a little physical challenge until my birthday. If I blog it, then it must be true, so hopefully this will be a little added motivation. It will also coincide nicely with getting into spring body condition just in time for all the cute little dresses and high heels I’ve been buying lately. The plan is easy: 2 sets of 25 normal crunches, 2 sets of 25 lower ab crunches, and 15 push-ups (which will hopefully be more as I stop being such an upper body weakling) at least 5 days a week in addition to my normal fitness routines. Sticking to it, we’ll see. If you’re at my b-day celebration, you can check out my guns there. Countdown starts now.

Excuse me, did you forget something? Pants perhaps?

I have said it before, and I will say it again. Leggings are not pants. I love leggings as much, and probably more than the next girl, especially since they come in so many cool colors and prints lately. They are incredibly comfortable, and make it possible to wear my favorite clothing choice (dresses) all year round. Yet, leggings come with rules, and I don’t understand why so many people don’t abide by them. This is not the 80’s. Spandex is still not cool. No one wants to see the full outline of your vajay, or butt (even if it is tiny enough not to look absurd in stretch pants). If you are going to wear leggings, you need to wear a shirt long enough to cover your bum. ESPECIALLY when going to work. I saw 3 people on my morning commute today wearing leggings as pants with a top that came thisclose to being long enough, but didn’t quite make it. It is not appropriate to wear skin tight pants at work, because when you get right down to it, leggings without a top of the appropriate length are just that, skin tight, spandex pants. When has that ever been ok?

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

And no, I'm not referring to Christmastime, though that is my favorite holiday season. I'm talking about the one time a year (usually in the Spring) depending on your geographical region when girl scout cookies are on sale in front of your local supermarket, in the mall, and if you're lucky enough to work with a troop leader you can even get them at your place of business. Though they may be high in calorie, I figure I'm going to eat dessert anyways. Why not make it go to a good cause?
I was a girlscout for many many years of my life, and I recently signed up to volunteer with the Girl Scouts of NYC, so it is a treat near and dear to my heart, made all the more special by the fact that you can only have it once a year. As long as I can remember Samoas have been my favorite, for their coconutty, caramelly, chocolatey goodness, though Do-si-Do's are a VERY close seciond. I would have to say that Tagalongs come in third, and then thin mints, even though I'm not typically a fan of the chocolate and mint combination. I like Girl Scout cookies plain, with milk, and even frozen. They're good any way you serve them.
Yet Edy's ice cream has come up with the most magnificent idea of all, not cookies crushed on ice cream, not cookies with milk or frozen cookies, but all of the above! Frozen, mixed into an ice cream particularly blended to bring out the cookies' deliciousness and complement their flavors. It, like the cookies, is only available once a year, and in select locations. I've seen it in Target and in Hannaford, though it sells out quickly. If you see some, be sure to snap up at least 2 half gallons because I guarantee when you finish the first you will regret it if you don't have another one waiting.
It comes in Samoa, Tagalong, and Thin Mint (that I've seen, though there may be more varieties out there), and each one is delicious in its own right. The Samoa, of course, is the best. It is even good in the slow-churned, lower-calorie version, but less creamy than the Original. It's like a little spoonful of heaven. Now, if they'd only make one in Do-si-do. Get it while it lasts!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hipster Puppies

If you haven't seen this blog you must check it out immediately. Not only is it filled with exclusively adorable puppies, but it is chock full of hilarious hipster mocking quotes to go along with their sassy little faces. You're welcome, for making your day.

Liz Lemon Will Not Settle

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about settling. I was actually thinking this all day yesterday, but was in too much of a post-St. Patty’s day daze to actually sit down and make my thoughts coherent. Then I get home from work, sit down in front of the tv to watch my first ever episode of 30 Rock, and what is it about? This little British man named Wesley Snipes (pun on the actor’s name intended) who is trying to get Tina Fey to settle for him, to be his "settle-soulmate." Then they move on to a discussion of female porn (not of women, but for women) which is another thing I had just been reading about recently. Talk about a very apropos episode.

Just Wednesday night, I overheard a discussion between two people. It seemed that they were communicating very different things. The first was telling about how her boyfriend is not someone she would not normally walk up to in a bar (because he is balding slightly), but someone who makes her laugh and she really likes very much. The second was agreeing with the first that it was an excellent idea to date described boyfriend, but seemed to be more of the mind that we ladies are never going to find the dream guy we have pictured in our minds so we have to date a lot of guys who don’t fit the cookie cutter idea we have in our heads before we find out that what we thought we wanted wasn’t really what we wanted at all.

Now, just to clarify, I agree with both parties. Anyone who refuses to go out with a guy because he does not meet one item on some mental checklist is selling themselves short of meeting really interesting people, and will probably never find anyone to love. AND I think we often surprise ourselves by thinking we want one thing, then discovering through trial and error that really we want another. Sometimes its easy to confuse what you actually like in a guy, and what society or all your friends tell you that you should like in a guy. If you don’t date guys who don’t fit your “type” how will you ever really know?

To clarify a little more, I do not consider it settling to date a guy who you love spending time with and are attracted to because he does not fit some strange ideal of what the guy people think you are supposed to be with looks like. I do consider it settling if you are not attracted to the same guy, and choose to be with him just to have someone. Hence, lady #1 is not settling, just in a happy relationship (though slightly insecure that her friends might judge her for dating said man).

Yet, as lady #2 continued to be supportive she started to talk about how as we get older, certain things become more important that others. For example, it’s more important if he’s a hard worker than what he does for a living. It’s more important if he might be a good husband and father someday than if he’s smoking hot and good in bed. It’s more important that he’s a good companion than a bad boy. Which, again, I agree that once you date a bunch of a-holes, the nice guys gain a little steam over the hot guys with ego problems.

What I didn’t understand about this whole discussion was why it is so unfathomable to think that there are guys out there who have it all, who is smokin hot (in our own estimation—we’ve all heard the expression one woman’s trash is another one’s treasure!), smart, caring, successful, nice, and funny. I mean, guys expect women to be all of these things at once, why should we expect any less than total satisfaction from our partners? To me, the undercurrent of the discussion was that lady #2 was trying to reassure lady #1 that it was ok to settle, that everyone does when they reach a certain age, while lady #1 was really saying I’m not settling, everyone just thinks I am.

I don’t condone settling at any age, and let’s be serious here at the bar I was at, these women were much too young to be having a discussion like that. But it’s a phenomenon that I’ve been noticing a lot lately, smart, beautiful and hilarious women are settling down with these guys who are just total losers (I’m talking not cute, not successful, not good father figures, none of the above). Now, I think we’re still all young enough to date guys who may not be “the one” just to have some fun. But there’s a difference between dating guys who might not be perfect and making a loser your boyfriend.

To quote Tina Fey “I believe in romantic love.” That might make me seem sappy, but if he doesn’t turn you on, make you smile, and work hard enough to help support a family you might want down the line, then what’s the point of wasting too much of your time? Especially when I’m convinced that there are much better guys with many more of the qualities you’re looking for around every bend. We’re young. We’re free. Why sell yourself short?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Overly Enthusiastic? Apparently so.

I realized today that I tend to overuse exclamation points. OR the rest of the world just seems to under-use them. Being an expert on grammar, I’m sorry to say that I until today, I did not know the real convention on how often you are supposed to use them, though I had in inkling that it should be in moderation. I knew that exclamation marks are used to convey enthusiasm, urgency, excitement, or strong emphasis. Yet, I was not sure if there were rules about how many you should use per document, or how often. Being a generally enthusiastic person, I think many of my sentences should end with an exclamation. However, when I find myself re-reading work emails that I am about to send to coworkers to see if I exclaimed too much, I realize that I may be going a little overboard. Nevertheless, one of the many grammar rules I learned in my copious English education is that rules are made to be broken. Once you pass your classes, grammar is at your discretion. A true “writer” can choose to ignore it as they please if it suits the character of their work to do so (as long as they can convince their editor into going along with it).

It’s interesting. Even though I like to use them frequently, I sometimes get offended by the exclamation points of others. For example, if someone puts in an email, “I need this done asap!!!!” I am thinking to myself, obviously I will work on it quickly, no need to really rub in the point. Actually, I think that it may not be just the exclamation, but using multiple punctuation marks in general. One is enough, thank you very much.

Luckily, I am provided with an online subscription to the Chicago Manual of Style courtesy of my line of work (writing and proofreading). So I decided to put an end to all the mystery and see what the powers that be had to say about my enthusiastic nature. Turns out, I was right. I have been exclaiming far too often. By definition:

“An exclamation point (which should be used sparingly to be effective) marks an outcry or an emphatic or ironic comment.”

They also agree that exclamations can often be seen by others as contemptuous, so emailer beware! Though I think their definition should be modified to include something about excitement and joy (the emotions I think most often warrant exclaiming) I appreciate them clearing that issue up. I suppose I’ll have to tone it down a notch from now on.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Back-up Career Path: Running off to join the Circus

As some of you may know, I took a class on Circus Arts last night at NY Circus Arts, which as it turns out, is the East Coast’s largest circus school. Not only do they have classes for fun, but they train real circus professionals too (think Cirque du Solei). How cool is that?

The night was the start of 3 new experiences for me. Firstly, it was my first time using, a website that I HIGHLY recommend. It harnesses the power of group discounts, which are typically huge, and allows you to use their site to get a group discount for an activity by buying vouchers through their site and then having a bunch of other strangers buy a “groupon” for the same thing. The group discount is with a bunch of people you don’t know, and you don’t have to deal with the annoyance of going places in large numbers. It’s really a fantastic concept. They have groupons for salons, restaurants, fitness classes, beauty treatments that are often discounted more that 50%.

Second, it was my first time visiting Long Island City. I had heard how cute and easy to access this area of Queens is from friends, but never had a reason to visit until last night. It really was! It’s only one stop on the 7 from Grand Central (for anyone else who mostly sticks to Manhattan like me and didn’t already know this). And, the main strip on Vernon Boulevard is adorable. It had a diner, a wine bar, a pub, bodegas, a bagel shop, and a bunch of cute little stores, along with a fantastic view of Manhattan.

Thirdly, it was my first time practicing any circus arts. They say you learn something new everyday, well yesterday I learned 3 new things. Not bad for a Tuesday evening.

I took an Introduction to Circus Arts class. It is typically $45 a class, but with my groupon, I scored this training for a cool $25 for 2 hours of instruction. I was mostly in it for the trapeze, but we learned a lot of other fun stuff too! I’ll give you the highlights. We bounced on a professional level trampoline, which spoiler alert, is MUCH more bouncy than your typical trampoline and then bounced into this giant pit/air cushion. SO FUN. We learned how to balance people on our thighs by counter-weighting them with our own body. We went in this awesome flipping machine you are harnessed into so you can do flips with your whole body stretched out without being scared of hurting yourself. We did headstands, tumbling, and juggling…

Then we got to the really awesome stuff, the aerial stunts. We didn’t do much exciting on the trapeze (tear) except learn how to grip it properly and flex your shoulders so they don't fly out of their sockets when you swing on it. Then we learned how to swing using our hips and not our legs so we don't break the momentum while swinging. My only negative comment about the class was not enough trapeze! Though I decided I'm DEFINITELY going back to take a flying trapeze class sometime which looks scary, but awesome.

My favorite activity was the ribbon, which was two large pieces of fabric hanging from the ceiling tied in a slip knot at the bottom. Think Pink’s performance at the Grammy’s this year. You stand with your arms in a T and then fold at the elbows and grab each ribbon about a fist-width above your head. Then pull your arms in so they are in front of your chest and it lifts you off the ground. Once you’re airborne you bring your legs up into circus “straddle” position (more commonly known as total spread eagle) and use your abs to pull your legs (still spread out) up towards your chest and flip over. The ribbon creates a little harness for your hips and you can dangle upside down and let go of the ribbons if you are daring. You can see my pure upside down joy in the photo above.

One thing to note, you will be sore the next day from exerting all the weird muscles you don’t normally use. My advice, it’s totally worth it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Karl Lagerfield Likes Clogs and SO DO I

Clogs were all over the spring 2010 runways, especially in the Chanel show. It's like a flashback to 2005. I remember these shoes very clearly.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love wearing clogs. I have loved the look since I was a child. I have wooden pairs. I have leather high heeled pairs. I have sequined covered pairs. I have hounds tooth pairs.

One particular pair of clogs, I loved the most. They hold a special place in my heart, since I clomped all over Europe in them during the spring of 2005 when I was abroad in Madrid. They're dark brown suede with a ridiculously high heel. They look adorable with skinnies, or with a slight flare. They look much like the clogs that debuted this spring in shape. Though I must confess I never thought to try them out with bare legs and stockings like Chanel showed them in the spring runways. I have been hanging onto these clogs for a couple years, and I'm excited to pull them out an clack my way around another city wearing them. Ankles beware! High heeled clogs can be a little risky with no experience.

My blog had a little bug lately

I apologize to anyone who visited my blog recently and was redirected to a malicious website. I got to the bottom of the problem. One of the widgets I added to my sidebar was corrupted. I removed it, and things are looking good again!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What I Wore

One of my friends told me about this blog recently, and it didn't take me long to be obsessed. It's called What I Wore, and I love it! The girl who writes it is fabulous.

And I love the concept. I link memories to the clothes I was wearing when they happened. When I take out a particular outfit that I was wearing on a special occasion it reminds me of the fun I had. When I think back to important times in my life, there's an excellent chance that I can remember what I was wearing. What I wore is a very important part of my day.

I attach emotions to my outfits because they're an important part of how you feel. They make up a good part of how the world perceives you. You can send a message with your clothes, and you pick different outfits to fit your different moods. They can make you feel fun, sexy, or like a proper business lady.

Ever since I was a little girl in elementary school, I loved picking out my outfits. Sometimes it was a struggle and I would stand for hours perusing my immense closet trying to choose the perfect combination. I would pull in my mom and my sister to help me audition potential outfits and eliminate others, and undoubtedly throw a tantrum if I couldn't discover the right one. But then sometimes it's just magical when you have this idea in your head of what you want to wear, and then it comes out looking perfectly put together.

What I Wore reminds me how much fun it is to get dressed each day. How much fun it is to play with different fashion, color combinations and styles. It reminds me of that child like feeling of delight that you get when you find the perfect one!

I can stand the rain

The rain here has always had a profound effect on my mood. For the most part, it makes me feel peaceful and relaxed, like a break from all of my obligations in life to just sit inside and read, or watch a movie, or play video games. It is almost like a liberation from my normal life that delegates the things I need to do in the time I need to do them with a graceful period where no one expects anyone to go out in the horrible weather to do anything.

Granted, I think the rain is a bitch when I have to commute to and from work in it, and the trifecta of cold, wind, and water destroys my day. But most of the time I find it cleansing. It’s like a breath of air in a stuffy room.

The rain gives me space to pause and take a breath. And I like it, when I don’t have anywhere to go, anyone to see, any place to be, I am just on my home to my lovely down comforter, and I can just walk umbrellaless through the storm and let it soak me. Wash me through to the core. I get home sopping wet with my makeup running all over my face, and I feel cleansed from the city’s bustle and back to nature’s forces that drench you if they want to, reminding you what is really in control. And then I bundle up in the warmest clothes I can find until I’m baking next to my radiator in the warm dryness of my apartment, and nothing has ever been so nice. And I have the rain to thank for that.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why is it so hard to stop slouching?

I consider myself to have good posture. Not impeccable, but good. When I was growing up, my mother was always hassling my sister and I to stand up straight. Along with chewing with our mouths closed these were the main two things she just wouldn’t let up about. Whenever she saw us slouching she would pull our shoulders back and remind us to have good posture. I think this is partially because my mother is quite tall, and she didn’t want her to develop a habit of slouching to appear smaller as some people do to cope with their height. She wanted us to grow up to be proud, strong women who straighten their spines, walk with purpose, and look people in the eye when they talk to us. I think it is also partially that as a health practitioner, she knows the detriments of constant slouching that can train your muscles into weakness that eventually leads to hunchbacking in old age (it also compresses the vertebrae and disks in your back which makes you more prone to back pain in the future). And no one wants their child to become a hunch back when it is easily preventable.

I have always prized posture. Blame it on watching too many ballerina movies, or being entertained by childhood books telling cute little stories about how proper ladies can walk while balancing a pile of books upon their head. I always thought it was fun when I was younger to try to walk the entire house while balancing various objects on top of my head without them falling. I actually got to be quite good at it. People have actually complemented me on my posture, and strangers who don’t know my actual height (5’6”), have remarked that they thought I was much taller. This could be attributed to my tendency to wear very high heels, or to my sometimes aggressive personality. However, I prefer to think that it is because I carry myself with my shoulders back, and my head held high, my posture making me appear taller than I actually am.

Yet despite my prizing of posture, and my practice of it when walking around, when I am sitting at my desk for 8 hours a day, I find myself slouching over my keyboard, shoulders curved and that space between my shoulder blades aching by the end of the day. I noticed that this is starting to creep into my free time when I was hunched over my laptop on my couch at home the other night, and I was appalled to be slouching so dramatically.

Now, I have changed my chair to it’s most upright position, and whenever I consciously notice I am slouching I try to sit up as straight as possible for then next however long I can remember (I am sitting up very straight while writing this). But as soon as I relax and forget what I am doing, I go into slouch mode again.

And it’s not an uncommon problem, because the most difficult thing about trying to stop slouching is to know consciously that you are doing it. A cool gadget has been invented to remind you when you aren’t sitting up straight. It’s called the iPosture, and it’s a button sized little tool that is trained to vibrate each time you slouch to remind you to sit up straight. It can be worn as a necklace, stuck to skin, or attached to a bra strap. There are also exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in your back that keep you standing up straight. I know I need to start doing one of the two, because I ain’t no slouch.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How to make it in NYC

I love living in NYC. There is no place else I'd rather be. Most of my friends live here. I love the paradox of the fastest moving city that take at least a half hour to get anywhere on public transportation. I love the people who are so used to weird shit happening all around them that they probably wouldn't blink an eye if a subway beggar was dying at their feet. I love the live music happening everywhere, all the time. I love the convenience that nearly anything you are looking for can be found at any time of day, and most likely delivered. I love that no matter my pleasure, no matter the time, no matter the day of the week I can go out and get wild and there will be tons of other people doing the same. Most of all, I love the fascinating conglomeration of people from all over the world bringing their culture, their language, their fun, and their motivations to enrich the lives of all of us living here.

Last night I was watching HBO's new series How to Make it in America. Then I was talking to my lovely roommate about how well it represents NYC life. People are constantly hustling any way they can think of to make it here, in the city that never sleeps, the big apple, the empire state, my home.

It's an interesting thing though, in a city so diverse. Most people are here for similar reasons, the lovely common thread between us all that lets New Yorkers come together despite a sea of vast differences. After day dreaming about how much I love it here, and why I moved here for the better part of my work day, I came up with four. They pretty much sum it up. People move here....

1. For the pure excitement and dazzle of the city lights.
2. To make it. To work hard, succeed, and make it big in the city where anything is possible. Us NYers, we're an ambitious bunch.
3. For the scene, be it hipster, club hopper, fashionista, music lover, or foodie.
4. OR because they are total weirdos and they know this is the only place they have any chance of blending in, or at least people will become desensitized to them and stop paying attention after a while.

That pretty much sums it up.


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