Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It Must Be Love

Last night we cheered Venus and Roger to victory with our close friends, Nathan, Jamie, Susan Sarandon, Tony Bennett and Dr. Ruth. Oh New York.

The U.S. Open gave us a hearty dose of nationalism. We had a great time studying the game of the world's great professionals - all the while taking in the expensive tastes of tennis fans. Coming from Buckeye nation is sure was a switch to walk to the concession stand and find frozen cosmos, or to the jersey shop and find Ralph Lauren.

That's Roger Federer in black at the bottom

That's Venus Williams warming up in white towards the top of the court.

That's the American flag

Sunday, August 28, 2011

All's Quiet on the Eastern Front

Irene came late last night and left this in our neighborhood:

Clearly we're doing just fine here. Equipped with three gallons of store-bought water, batteries, candles, a cooler and two bags of ice, it seems we'll be set for a week full of cool hydration and romantic dinners by candle-light.

Thank you all for your prayers this weekend. We're safe and sound.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Hello readership. I didn’t realize this tropical storm was a big deal until I turned on the television today and saw that the news is reporting that this hurricane Irene is apparently shutting down NYC. I’m not quite sure how to react as the news headlines for our ‘earthquake’ last week were written with similar verve.

Sarah and I are steeled for a weekend inside, fully prepared with water, food and board games. The area where we live in the Bronx is on a hill, so we’re in good shape.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MoMA Visit

After weeks of Saturdays spent baking on the beaches of New York we decided to switch things up this weekend and visit the Museum of Modern Art. Dominic was expecting some eccentric exhibits, but was surprised to find famous and current artwork drawing our attention. We spent the entire day wandering about.

It's the real deal people.

Dominic's favorite. We have the home made quilt to prove it (thank you Peg!).

There's an exhibition running now through November 7th called Talk to Me. If I were still a regular at the Social Media Club Seattle events I would totally cite my new-found knowledge of the communication between people and objects at our next mixer. I could have spent hours here.

Here's an introduction to the concept that we design based on meaning and no longer on function: "All objects contain information that goes well beyond their immediate use or appearance. In some cases, objects exist to provide us with access to complex systems and networks, behaving as gateways and interpreters. Whether openly and actively, or in subtle, subliminal ways, things talk to us, and designers help us develop and improvise the dialogue."

There were displays that you would expect: computers, video games, devices, etc... But what was neat about the exhibition was the fact that it also introduced us to projects in development today.

We learned, for example, about a way designers Emily Read and Chen Hsu are delivering vital information to the urban homeless. By reviving the centuries-old language of hobo code the homeless use a set of basic symbols to communicate everything from safe locations and free food to shelter and guard dogs all with a stick of sidewalk chalk. The code is published in each issue of The Pavement, a London-based magazine for the homeless. I'm not sure where they get the chalk.

Of course I got stuck for quite a while staring at this piece called "Sidetrack".

Four artists from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design got together to create this turntable made from printer parts. The image shows how work-at-home professionals have trouble separating their home and work lives, and in particular how we spend most of our time at our desks and not in other parts of our homes. They reached this conclusion by putting sensors throughout the home that were connected to the rotating table. As the participant moved from room to room the table plotted the pattern, uncovering what the designers called 'pockets of time' devoted to various tasks. As it turns out, distractions were encouraged as healthy breaks (same goes for offices if you ask me). With each day recorded on a separate paper disk, professionals could start to learn from their own patterns.

Full disclosure: except for an early-morning jog to the recreation center, a mid-day walk to the park two blocks from our home, two trips to the kitchen and two more to the bathroom, I have stayed put in my corner office for approximately 10 hours now. Is that sad? What would my Sidetrack paper disk show?

We expended so much energy learning at the MoMA it was impossible to make it home without street-food sustenance for the ride:

Little makes Dominic happier than Halal Food.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Yoga: Suspended in the Air

All it takes is one Groupon and all of a sudden I have found myself suspended in midair at AntiGravity Aerial Yoga classes this summer. That's right, AntiGravity. You may recall the last time I attempted to fly through the air with the greatest of ease... fortunately this practice is closer to the ground and involves less swinging.

I recommend this practice if you: a) love trying new things, b) want to improve your flexibility, and c) Aren't afraid of hanging upside down like a bat. Really, that's all you need!

According to the website, "AntiGravity is an acrobatic performance company whose daily workout utilizes the AntiGravity Hammock" (when you're in it it looks like a cocoon). "The technique was originally created for athletes and gymnasts and has since been modified and perfected for the everyday athlete" (thank goodness - Cirque du Soleil is intimidating!). It incorporates dance, Pilates and calisthenics and with a promise of 'realigning you from the compression of gravity' it sounded like a great antidote to my desk posture.

I took my classes with Ariel. She was soothing and inspiring. Afterward - smiling - I approached her to learn more about her path to this new exercise. She told me that one day, two years ago she woke up feeling terrible. Her weight had gotten out of control and it was hot (sounds like it must have been summer in the city). She started going to Om Factory and one day when she got locked out of the regular class she was directed to AntiGravity - she's never looked back. She talks about how great she's feeling and (in my opinion) she looks fantastic.

Starting class in a nice little pouch

Simple stretches

Creative inversions - it's not has hard as it looks.

More difficult stretches - this felt very good!

Then right back to end in the cocoon. I could sleep here all night!

Who knows, if these classes keep up I might be installing a t-bar hammock in my living room...

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Monkey See Monkey Do

I learned how to build a terrarium online at a website called MonkeySee. Over the course of five 3-minute videos I was able to pick up how to construct the ecosystem by choosing the right container, building the foundation, and adding and arranging the plants. I took another 8 minutes or so to learn how I should care for the little thing and, voila a new hobby!

I'm not sure what has always drawn me to moss. I think when we were little I found some growing under our swing set slide and assumed it would be the perfect mattress for a little creature or imaginary friends (the St. Patrick's Day leprechauns). Ever since it has been one of the best parts of hiking for me. I pet it, I poke it, I put my face on it (I know, gross). I just can't help but admire nature's cushion. It's like hair for rocks and trees!

Moss is the best part about the terrarium, but not what Kacy Paid,
my MonkeySee instructor, focused on at all. I'd almost rather not have a single plant and just a jar full of moss, but then again I'm not sure if that defines terrarium or not. Fortunately, I don't get a grade for this new craft.

Dominic was very supportive and went to a plant shop in Brooklyn to get me a starter kit. Apparently the best terrariums include a piece of fancy equipment calle
d horticultural fabric. I think panty hose would work ok too...

At the end of July we went downtown to the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market to search for a creative container. It didn't take long before I had a pear-shaped jar in hand. Although it's not a closed container, we thought it would make the perfect vessel for a first-attempt. I was surprised at how excited Dominic was about this scavenger hunt. He stood patiently while I inspected old mason jars and gum-ball machines. Quite the husband, he didn't even bat an eye when I strayed from our goal and started perusing the vintage jewelry and antique furniture booths.

The pear container.

The building process - that mini cactus on the left didn't make it in.

NYC has all kinds of resources for indoor gardening and tiny living - two integral parts of building a terrarium. We even came across a hydroponics store not far from the market where I picked up an Urban Garden magazine. I needed to review an article in the February/March 2011 edition on 'The World of Worms'. Mine aren't looking too good...

Don't tell Lynch, but last weekend I built a New Hampshire terrarium from the soil of this beautiful state. I couldn't help myself. The moss is extra charming up there!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Our Year Two

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green." Jeremiah 17:7-8.

By faith, patience, compassion and love Dominic and I are celebrating our two year anniversary today. I feel like the most blessed woman on earth! During our wedding, someone mentioned that their wish for our marriage would be that our love would deepen day by day. This wish has come true! We couldn't be happier.

To our family and friends - thank you for being a part of our special day two years ago. More importantly, thank you for your ongoing support.

After work on Friday night we drove across to New Hampshire to stay near Keene at our friend's cabin. When they extended the invitation they mentioned that their 'tiny home' would be the perfect antidote to the city. How true this was!
Picking mountain blueberries

Walking out to Willard Pond

Dinner on the deck overlooking the mountains