Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On the Edge

I am standing right at the edge of the wedding hole trying really hard not to fall in.  Like right there

Case in point, I haven't chosen a dress yet but I bought these silver glitter pumps to wear on the big day.  Does that make any sense to you?  Yeah, me neither.  I don't think I've ever worn anything made of silver glitter before in my life!  Of course I can justify all of this by pointing out that they are on sale and extremely reasonably priced.  (A quick tip - if you buy a pair of these shoes buy them a size up.  Per the reviews, the shoes seem to be sized on the smaller end of things.)

Aside from trying to corral the inspiration for our wedding down to a few elements and colors while also crafting like a mad woman during whatever time I can find, I've been gearing up for my classes to start and have made several appointments for this weekend's trip back to Columbus.  Jon and I have a lot of the big things already taken care of for the wedding (venue, caterers, and photographer).  This weekend we'll be buying the wedding dress, figuring out the cakes/desserts, setting a plan for the flowers, and meeting with my friend who will be marrying us.  Somewhere in there we'll be hanging out with my family, celebrating my younger brother's 30th (holy crap) birthday, and squeezing in a couple visits with friends. 

I'm hoping to have this all pretty much taken care of by the time I get back to Brooklyn so that I will be able to focus on school and to ignore the wedding design porn that has been filling my head and computer cache for the last few weeks.

Damn that wedding hole.  Damn damn damn. 

Once you start looking it's so hard to stop.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

After Hours

Dancing at Museum of Natural History

Friday night my friends and I got to dance at the American Museum of Natural History for their monthly dance event.  Truthfully, the music was not so great (this is why indie rockers who do not DJ should not DJ dance events - learn to match a beat people!) but having a night out with the gang was fun as always.  What was even more fun was being able to see my friend's lab on the top floor of the museum.  We got to see an amazing view of the city from the conference room, hang out on the terrace that wraps around the museum, and see the labs where they do genetic testing and coding for all different types of animals.  Very cool.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I found this DIY for ombre dip dye tags on Say Yes to Hoboken.  The plan is to dip dye tags and make them into escorts cards for the wedding reception.  I'm most excited to try this out on the paper star garlands that I've been making.  Jon pointed out that it might be better to have colored stars instead of plain white ones.  I got a little panicked thinking that I would have to start all over again but with colored paper.  After finding this tutorial I think I found an easy (and inexpensive) solution to my problem.  

Also, the house issues have been solved for now and thankfully for less money than first anticipated.  Fingers crossed that nothing else major craps out!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Sky Is Falling

Ah the joys of homeownership from two states away.

I may or may not have mentioned on here before that I still own a home in Columbus. The first year that I moved here my friends moved in and when their lease was nearly up they ended up moving to Brooklyn and into my neighborhood.  The current tenants were the first people that my friends recommended to take their place.  They have been great tenants and they love the house as much as I do.  Unfortunately, I got a call earlier this week that there was a leak in the kitchen ceiling coming from the upstairs bathroom.  This had happened years ago when I lived in the house and the leak was repaired with no difficulty.  This week is a different story.  The house is lovely but old, and as old houses go things need to be replaced.  This includes the lead pipes for the bathroom plumbing.  This morning I've spent mainly on the phone trying to coordinate different plumbers to come in and get an estimate of the work done while making sure it jives with my tenants' schedules.  They've been really understanding and very cool about the whole thing.  It's difficult handling all of this being so far away.  Here's hoping that this repair doesn't cost a crap ton of money.  Here's also hoping that it gets fixed quickly, thoroughly, and well. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Crafting OCD

I stayed in last night.  I woke up with a cold and subsequently found myself walking to the subway in freezing temperatures and through huge gusts of wind.  I thought it best to stay in.

Jon and I are planning on making a lot of things for our wedding.  I liked the idea of making some sort of garland but I wanted something different.  I had been meaning to try this tutorial for making little paper stars, thinking that it would make a cute garland.  After watching two documentaries and futzing with many little strips of paper this is what I came up with.  It didn't take very long and I like how it turned out.  I don't know what we'll be using it for but at least I have something to do with myself when the nights turn too cold to venture out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Love on the Subway

Last week I encountered three different couples while on the subway.

The first couple was standing next to me on a very crowded train during my morning commute.  They were standing face to face and were not talking to each other or being outwardly affectionate.  Then I noticed that their hands were entwined with each other's while also holding onto the pole.  Seeing that made me smile - such a small action but so sweet and intimate.  I also noticed that the guy had a large black duffle bag with him, complete with a luggage tag from JFK.  It made me wonder if they were also in a long distance relationship.

I saw the second couple while waiting on the platform for the suwbay later in the evening.  I was trying to read my book but could barely concentrate because of the giggling and teasing happening a few feet away from me.  The train came and I ended up on the same car as this couple - actually, they sat right next to me.  There was a great deal of giddy poking and silly comments thrown back and forth between the two and that continuous giggling.  They looked to be in their mid-twenties and, in my mind, obviously in the early, EARLY stages of dating.

The last couple was sitting in front of me on the suwbay as I made my way home.  They were probably only a few years older than me.  They ended up getting off at my stop.  They walked in front of me, hand in hand and I marveled at the difference in height between the two of them, the man being at least a foot taller than the woman.  Then the man leaned down to give the woman a kiss.  She literally pulled away from him, said something I couldn't hear, and then let go of his hand.  They kept walking and talking as normal.  I don't know what happened there but witnessing that moment made me a little sad.

Monday, January 9, 2012


I started feeling guilty about having a photograph of people's bums right at the top of this page.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about just scroll down.  Don't say I didn't warn you.)

Instead, here's a picture of me representing group number 1 for the L Train in Bushwick.  (Photo taken by Gabriel Chai.)

More soon!  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

No Pants Subway Ride 2012

Sorry for the butt shots but just LOOK AT THAT UNDERWEAR.  We came prepared.

The annual No Pants Subway Ride happened today.  Last year I braved the snow and icy temperatures by myself but this year my friends were on board to go.  It was especially easy to convince people to come since it was a reasonable 44 degrees today.

Since most of us live in North Brooklyn we decided to go to the Bushwick meet up spot for the event.  We grabbed some brunch at Brooklyn Bodega Wine Bar.  It was delicious, reasonably priced, and they offered a delicious soju Bloody Mary for only $5.  After eating we hung out for a little bit and then walked to the meet up spot to wait for instructions with the rest of the No Pants people.

Most of the crew.

As they did last year, the organizers asked people who had participated in the past to volunteer as a group leader in order to help explain how the event works and to divide and schedule people in staggered groups to take off their pants.  I volunteered and got to act like I knew what I was talking about. 

Photo from my buddy Peter Kim - as he says, "Like a boss."

Soon it came time to walk to the L.  All the groups gathered on the platform waiting for the train at their assigned cars.  The L pulled up and we made our way to Manhattan.  The way the event works is as soon as the doors close on the train one person takes their pants off and gets off at the next stop.  Then two people take their pants off and get off at the next stop, and so on and so forth until everyone has taken their pants off and gets off the train.  Then you wait to get on the next train.  The people riding in that car see one pantsless person get on the train, and then two pantsless people at the next stop, and so on and so forth until everyone is back on the train, albeit sans pants.  After that everyone heads to Union Square to meet up with all the other participants and have a good time.  

You can check out Improv Everywhere's site for photos and video from today's and past year's events.

I had a lot of fun last year but had even more fun this year with my friends.  Snow or no snow, I'll definitely be participating again next year.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pickles and Plovgh


The weather is perfect right now.  Sunny and springlike in January - a bit ridiculous but I'm so thankful for the warmth and light.  

I met up with Lisa to walk down to Veronica Peoples Club for our first pickup from Plovgh.  Plovgh is a different kind of CSA.  Traditionally with farm shares you pay a specified amount and have a weekly pickup of produce and goods from a local farm.  The offerings are seasonal and you receive whatever is given to you.  Plovgh is different in that you can pick and choose what you want to order and pay per item.  The items are still provided by local farms but you are able to buy what you know you like and will use.

I ordered pickled carrots with ginger and cinnamon as well as a pickle sampler care of Partners Trace Farm.  Plovgh's full list of available items can be seen here.  The pickup points are at Veronica Peoples Club in Greenpoint and at the Dekalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.  I love this concept and will definitely be ordering from them regularly.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Lucky and Amazing

These are photos of the great Monarch butterfly annual migration.  They migrate every year from the Rocky Mountains in Canada to Michoacan, Mexico.  Looks like a totally surreal and beautiful event to witness.

I have an affinity for these little guys.  Consistently in my life when I've felt deeply sad or burdened a Monarch butterfly will come along.  Once, after seeing a couple Monarch butterflies in the midst of a serious conversation with a friend, I told her about how I've always seen them when feeling supremely awful.  Without hesitation or skepticism she asked "Who do you think it is?  Who is watching out for you?"  I smiled and said that I didn't know.  I like to think it's my mom's father who passed away when I was five.  He was a hardworking businessman in Korea and again in New York City but his true passion was in ballet and the arts.  My mom has told me several times that I remind her of her father.  She told me that he would have been proud of my geeky performing arts inclinations.  Every time I see a Monarch butterfly I think of him.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Did It

On the ferry this summer - I didn't know my eyebrow could do that!

Well, I finally canceled my gym membership today.  Not such a monumental event but it's something that  I had a really hard time doing.  I've taken to working out at home (thanks to these websites and their workouts) and have changed how I think about exercising.

I never had to worry about my weight until I graduated from high school.  Yes, there was the dreaded freshman 15 but truth be told that summer before school I started gaining weight.  In college a friend of mine convinced me to sign up for a weight training class through our school.  It was basically a class for working out.  We had a ten minute "lecture" with our instructor at the beginning of the class and then we were to work out for the remaining time.  It was the first time I had ever lifted weights, ever stepped onto an elliptical machine, and was ever challenged physically.  By the quarter's end I had lost that excess weight and had a pretty sweet bicep muscle to boot.  After that class I would work out every now and again but never with any serious intention.  I became a gym rat after I graduated college because, again, my body was changing and I needed to get this ass in shape.  I took up running several years later and learned how to skateboard in my late 20's (surprisingly awesome and fun exercise - good for your butt and balance).  I found out that I like physically pushing myself and that yes, I actually have some athletic capacity.  Being able to see my mileage grow or my running pace get faster or skating fast up and down large banks across the skate park was encouraging and really, really fun.

Moving to New York changed some things for me.  I found that I had less time in the day due to long commutes and the general concept that getting to places takes much longer here.  I lost much of my "Ohio weight" (that's what one of my Columbus ex-pat friends called it) simply by walking the city but there was little time for the gym.  This past year I started reading about things like Cross-Fit and Primal Living.  The diet guidelines were interesting but the fitness and exercising portion really caught my attention.  I read article after article discussing the problems of "chronic cardio" and extolling the virtues of high intensity workouts and the "lifting of heavy things."  There was also a lot of talk surrounding smart workouts and maximizing your time while exercising.  In other words, working as hard as you can for twenty minutes was possibly more beneficial than forty five minutes on an elliptical machine.  I tried some of the workouts on the previously mentioned sites and promptly got my ass kicked.  By this I mean sweating like crazy, feeling like my lungs were on fire and pushing myself harder than I had before.  All within the privacy of my tiny living room.  I pretty much stopped going to the gym but kept my membership thinking I'd go for a class or go to lift weights.  That never happened.  (Actually, I did go once solely to lift weights but once I stepped foot into the free weights room I promptly turned around and left.  It was full of muscly men and I got too intimidated.)  The other thing that I found was that my running actually improved.  My body has gotten all around stronger and that translates to me being a faster and better runner.  

I am trying this 30 day challenge with Jon and I am going to stick with it.  Even though these workouts are relatively short, by the end I feel spent but really, really good.  I like these kinds of workouts because they are made for every level of fitness.  You basically do as much as your body can handle in a specified amount of time.  If you can only go through a sequence once, fine.  Twenty times, holy crap you're a beast!  Regardless, you should be pushing yourself to do as much as you can do.  

So that's it.  No more gym membership and me continuing to work really hard at home.  I'll let you know how this 30 day thing goes.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Things to Come

Me and Jon on NYE. 

Do you make resolutions?  Do you stick to your resolutions? 

I always have a few that I kick around at every year's end but I have never really taken them seriously.  This year is a little bit different.

There are some big things happening this year.  One is, of course, planning a wedding with Jon and getting married!  The other - going back to school while continuing to work full-time.  When my mother heard about my acceptance into this program she very gently asked "Are you sure you're going to have enough time for everything this year?"  I know I will be fine but I've decided I need to set some general ground rules in order to keep my sanity for this coming year.  I guess you could think of these as my resolutions for this coming year.

This includes:

1.  Do not fall down the wedding hole.*  And remember to thank Jon when he saves me from said wedding hole.

2.  Stay on top of my school work so as not to repeat the procrastinating and stressy tendencies from my undergraduate years.  The study habits of this 32 year old should be much improved from that of the 17 - 21 year old self from years past.

3.  Continue to stay active and exercise in order to discourage fatigue, both mental and physical, and to alleviate stress. 

Practical and necessary, yes?

I can think of a million other things I want to accomplish this year but to write them all down will just make me crazy.  I have a feeling I already have enough on my plate but I'm absolutely sure that won't stop me from taking on a million other projects.  We'll see.

* The wedding hole is when you fall down the excess of bridal style blogs and one thing leads to another and another and another until you feel like your brain is going to leak out of your ears and the amount of stress starts to weigh heavily on your shoulders.

At least that's what I think it is.