Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Weekend in Review

This weekend wasn't nearly as restful as Memorial Day weekend -- I had a lot of work to do over the past two days. But somehow, I managed to pull together a productive and pleasant weekend. A few highlights:

1. I was able to get a decent amount of work done this weekend, during designated blocks of "work time" on both days (had this not happened, I never would have enjoyed this weekend's non-work activities).

2. Trip to Whole Foods at 9am on Saturday: Early AM is definitely the best time to go to the Tribeca Whole Foods. The produce has not been rummaged through (yet), the shelves are still stocked with my favorite snacks, and the checkout lines won't start snaking through the aisles for another few hours.

3. Brooklyn Flea! The last time I made a trip to Brooklyn Flea, the market was just a few weeks old and I wasn't that impressed. Not so anymore! The Flea is all grown up now -- more vendors + quirky vintage merchandise = success. On Saturday, I snagged a vintage Polaroid camera (check it out here), and my brother (who was equally impressed with the Flea) picked up a vintage plaid travel bag and a decades-old, bright yellow Pennsylvania commercial license plate. Our grand total? $31!

4. Caramelita Bars. The Whole Foods version of these yummy treats inspired me to make my own at home, which I did while watching the Orlando Magic play their way to the NBA Finals on Saturday night (the highlight of my weekend). This recipe worked well for me, but beware: baking the bars at 350 degrees for 25 minutes after layering the chocolate, nuts and caramel is totally insufficient. Check them at 25 minutes, but be prepared to bake them for 45 min --until the top layer is slightly firm and no longer gooey.

5. The IKEA Water Taxi to Brooklyn. The weather on Sunday was *perfect* for a free ride from downtown Manhattan to Red Hook, Brooklyn on the IKEA Water Taxi. On the way to IKEA, we had a perfect view of the Queen Mary 2 (check her out here). On the way back to Manhattan, we had a perfect view of the Statute of Liberty. In between, I picked up 3 little plants ($1.50/each) for my windowsill -- fingers crossed that I don't kill the plants this time (check them out here -- they may never look this good again).

Just typing this post left me exhausted. Time for bed. Here's hoping for an equally productive week.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

An Open Letter to Kobe Bryant

Dear Kobe,

You used to be my favorite NBA player. I drank Sprite, not because I liked it (it's just okay), but because you endorsed it and I liked you. I tried the McDonald's Big 'n Tasty burger, not only because I love burgers, but also because you really seemed to like it in that commercial you shot for McDonald's (the Big 'n Tasty, by the way, is delicious). I watched your games religiously, not just because my dad is the biggest Lakers fan I know, but because I looked forward to watching you play.

Then, in 2003, you made a mistake. A big one. You let your family down. You let your fans down. You cried on national television. You lost your endorsements. And you lost my support.

Slowly but steadily, you began to repair your image. You changed your attitude. You changed your outlook. I remember watching how you handled yourself at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. You really had matured.

I just watched you and the rest of the Lakers beat the Nuggets in Denver. The game wasn't perfectly executed, but you guys managed to pick up a win. At the end of the game, you looked absolutely exhausted. You played your heart out, and it showed.

You're an excellent basketball player -- the whole world knows that. It's still hard for me to accept that you were involved in such a messy situation, but I'm doing my best. It seems that you have found a way to turn your life around, and it seems that those who were personally affected by your mistake have found a way to move forward, too.

Congratulations on a game well played.

Decorating Detox

I am officially putting the rest of my apartment decorating project on hold -- just until my lovely mother comes to NYC for a visit in July. I am in the process of convincing her to stage a design intervention and to correct the errors I have made along the way. Don't get me wrong; I still love my apartment and I still love the decorating process. It's just that I feel that I've hit a wall (absolutely no pun intended), and I think I need to take a step back and seek the design advice of someone who does not see my apartment on a daily basis. There is one small section of my living room that I absolutely love, and I wouldn't change a thing about it. But the rest of my living room (particularly the wall behind my television), my kitchen and my entryway definitely need more work. As does my bedroom -- according to my brother, who was visiting last weekend, it looks a little dated. And socially conservative. That is definitely not the look I was going for when I decorated it less than a year ago. Oops.

So, the apartment decorating project will remain on hiatus until July, at least. I'll still scour design blogs and magazines for ideas, but instead of rushing to make immediate changes to my living space, I will focus instead on really thinking about what I want, and on keeping my apartment clean, not cluttered. I'm actually pretty excited about this -- I had become so obsessed with making my apartment "perfect" that I had begun neglecting some of my favorite hobbies -- like baking and reading (especially chick lit and military history...guess that explains why I love Lifetime's Army Wives so much). Another bonus? I'll have more time to devote to my blog -- I have some new ideas about how to have a little more fun with it, and I can't wait to try them!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ron Artest Is Still a Little Crazy

Apparently, there was a little skirmish during last night's playoff game between the Lakers and the Rockets. ( I missed the game, but my dad gave me the scoop this morning.)

Ron Artest's post-ejection (yes; he was ejected from the game) interview is priceless. And I don't think there's anything else to be said about it -- the footage speaks for itself.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ode to Domino: When Will It Stop Raining in NYC?

It's basically been raining in NYC since last Friday. Unbelievable. Perhaps purple-hued walls and peacock feathers will help.

Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards is such a class act. I've seen a few clips of her interview with Oprah (airing in its entirety this Thursday) on MSNBC, and I just saw a few more on Nightline. She's going (and has gone) through so much -- the loss of her son, cancer, her husband's infidelity -- and yet she's just as strong and poised as anyone could hope to be under the same circumstances.

I'm so mad at John Edwards for the disrespect he showed toward his wife. But I'm so impressed by her dignity and grace.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Funniest Thing I"ve Ever Seen:

Simon (in skintight red pants) dancing with Ramona on the season finale of Real Housewives (NY). Hysterical. I'm still laughing.

Man, I'll miss this show. The Real Housewives of New Jersey better deliver.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ode to Domino: Escaping Through Design

The weather in New York City has been pretty dreary lately. I'm choosing to respond to this by pretending that I'm on vacation in some fabulous locale. Preferably, one where I could relax in this lovely room with a good book.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

To Play(off) or not to Play(off)

In grad school, I wrote a paper about whether the Bowl Championship Series violates U.S. antitrust laws. (My conclusion? It might. It might not.) One thing, however, is for sure: Congress is up in arms about the BCS. In between combating the swine flu and fixing the economy, Congress is, once again, demanding that a playoff system replace the current fuzzy math that determines the Division I college football champion. President Obama has gone on the record in favor of a playoff system as well.

I'm in favor of a playoff system,too. But I also find it hard to be totally opposed to a process that, while convoluted, delivered two championships in the past three years to my beloved Florida Gators.

Michelle Obama's Sneakers

US Weekly is conducting a poll to see who among its readers likes the Lanvin sneakers that Michelle Obama wore to the Capitol Food Bank last week. The shoes are funky, yes. But any First Lady who wears these kicks is okay in my book. Plus, her service at the food bank is far more important than the shoes.

Images: New York Daily News

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ode to Domino: Splash of Yellow

Spring is in the air in New York City, and the yellow wall behind the bookshelves in this photo screams spring. So does the beautiful couch in the foreground, for that matter.