Sunday, March 30, 2008

food of my youth (i love these photos)

when i was in kindergarten, our class trip was to mcdonald's. we took turns jumping into the big meat freezer. and then we had hamburgers and fries for lunch. i don't think they were called happy meals back then, but it was one. the burgers cost only a little bit less than they do here:

photo: matias aguilar, from untitled series 2/2008. copyright, matias aguilar.

i love the blues in the photo, and the 70s look...


i used eat vienna sausage...cold, right out of the can...

photo: matias aguilar, from untitled series 2/2008. copyright, matias aguilar.
love the light...
sad, solitary refuse...

see more of matias' work here...

happy, happy birthday


zooey deschanel in jane mag, june 2007

zooey deschanel, in jane mag, june 2007


Saturday, March 29, 2008

style maven

the other day, i left for work (a little late) but pleased with myself as it took little to no agonizing to put together my work outfit:

black jersey
uniqlo dress;
cropped turquoise
lux cardigan that i first saw at an urban outfitters in vegas last year (apparently it would have been too easy to shop at one of the 6 urban outfitter stores here in the city);
black fishnet tights;
black knee-high socks;
and my
favorite black boots.

i thought i looked ok.

as i started my trek to work, with a little smile on my face, spring sunshine kissing my cheeks, i looked down for a moment, to admire the gently worn quality of my favorite black boots, and i realized that my black socks were blue.


it's what i get for getting dressed with the lights off.

and it's the kind of thing that would simply never happen to my super-stylish friend,

fashion is her passion and her gift. she has an image consulting business, CALLA STYLE, which is focused on women who, after having lost a significant amount of weight, are looking to celebrate their new body and explore and embrace new, fun, flattering fashion options. when she first told me about calla style, i actually got goosebumps, and a little bit teary-eyed. i couldn't remember the last time i spoke with someone with real passion for their's so clearly what she was meant to pursue.

read her blog, ask her any style question...i know she knows her stuff...

i've been in kind of a clothes/shopping funk for a while (mom would consider it a lifelong funk?). i've basically been wearing the same thing for the last 10 years (variations on a theme of jeans, black pants, black skirts...and lots of jcrew final sale items. ha! i'm really more of shoe gal, so i'm sorta lazy about clothes). but when i see zovig, and our mutual friend, the lovely ms. teresa, it's a daily fashion WOW. they're truly stylish. i love their confidence.

my "style," such as it is, is not likely to change drastically, but last weekend, i was bluesy about more than my wardrobe, and i had a feeling i'd benefit from an afternoon of shopping with zovig...

and i did! not just because we found some fun, flirty pieces (for a song), figured out what will "showcase" the "particulars" of my shape, and reviewed the wisdom and necessity of tailoring, but because i was genuinely happy--funk-free!--and excited afterwards. it was amazing to see her at work: she's authoritative, experimental, encouraging, honest...she allows you to relish the investment of time and thought into what will become your style, what will become you. and she inspires confidence...

she may make a real, "together" lady out of me yet.

so long as i remember to turn on the lights when i'm getting dressed...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

this photo tells a story, but...

( photo via xinhua/reuters)

i love it precisely because you can't tell who won.

(happy to report it was nadal, in a 3-set, 3-hour and 3-minute, edge-of-your-seat thrilla, 6-7 (4), 7-6, 7-5...after having been down 2-5, in the third, no less.)

but at that moment, after shaking hands at the net, neither looked relieved, although i'm sure one was; neither looked happy, though i'm sure one was...they have similar expressions, but were surely at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum.

but the complexity of the match--or the complex "implications" of the match, that everyone, from reporters to bloggers to fans of either, neither, or both players, will reflect and speculate on--is captured in that moment. the photo is telling...

i actually can't believe i missed the match.

i can't even blame my job, because with this tourney being played in california, and this match scheduled for the afternoon, and my apartment being a 10-minute walk from my office (7 minutes, if i'm scurrying and catching "walk signs" the whole way), i could easily have made it home, popped some popcorn, made a root beer float, and lazed on the sofa and enjoyed at least the last 2 sets.

but alas. this--arguably one of the biggest, richest non-slam events for men and women--is being carried on fox sports network and they seem to know, or care, not one fat lick about tennis, as they've lined up a mere 4 hours of coverage per day (in 2-hour windows).

that just makes no sense.

perhaps next year i will just have to plan to attend the tournament in person. fans of the concrete elbow were treated to a behind the scenes, all grounds pass and it sounds like exactly the kind of long weekend i need... but honestly, after reading that post (and the one from today), i'm starting to wonder what i enjoy more...watching tennis, or reading about steve tignor, watching tennis.

is it crazy to derive so much pure joy from reading?

if so, then i am a goner...

Monday, March 17, 2008

fear of flying?

my cousin jojo once asked me if i would ever go skydiving.

i don’t remember my exact words, but the gist of the response was NOOOO WAAAY.

he seemed genuinely surprised by this, and perhaps disappointed, as he seemed sure i was the kind of person that would…at least try it.

my fear of flying (now controlled) and fear of heights (unlikely to be conquered) sort of make the whole skydiving bit unlikely. but the conversation stuck with me. i wondered, do i readily embrace new/interesting/daring/daunting opportunities? or do i say, mmmthanks, but no...

the actual answer (a little of both) is not that important or thrilling.

the point is, i challenged myself from that point on to be more of a YES girl.

in that spirit, when my friend nicole invited me to attend a “flying yoga” workshop, I agreed.

but from the moment I said SURE! and she started calling for reservations, i started having some of my own…a list of potential excuses started scrolling through my mind…i wouldn’t have backed out on her, really, but I’d been to some not so great yoga workshops in the past, so I wondered....

what is flying yoga?!
what would the studio be like? (dirty? dumpy? dusty? hot? overheated? damp? musty? stinky? cramped? empty?)
what would the people be like? (dirty? dumpy? dusty? hot? overheated? damp? musty? stinky? cramped? empty?)

would my occasionally lame back and i be able to make it to work the next day?


the studio had clean, beautifully finished, dark wood floors and huge, shaded windows that filtered just enough sun to lend a happy sunday afternoon vibe. (whew!)

but it was eerily quiet.

a 30-second survey of the crowd, and it was apparent: of the 11 other people (5 couples and 1 adventurous soul who signed up solo), nicole and i were the only yoga partners that were not “a couple.”

i recognized one of the instructors--she used to teach the monday night yoga classes at our office. she’s petite and pale, with a mass of wavy brown hair that outweighs her frame. nice as she’s been when i’ve taken her classes before, she did not acknowledge or smile readily enough that afternoon to set me at ease. i started to worry.

her partner was a 6-foot tall, rangy fellow, who must have weighed all of 130 pounds. he was wearing a typical yogi uniform: a loose-fitting white tank, and baggy black drawstring pants. he sat with a very straight back, but had naturally concave shoulders, which made him look even slighter. he had huge, deep set and droopy brown eyes, and a long thin face. his shaved head accentuated the surprising, anvil shape of his skull. he looked altogether forlorn and in need of a hug.

and hug we did.

there was lots of group touching. it went something like this:

let’s sit in a circle, with our knees touching…close your eyes...ooooohm...
let's stand in a circle...hold hands..close your eyes...ooooohm...
let’s stand in a circle, with our shoulders touching...turn to your left, lock arms with the person in front of you, bend your knees so you’re sitting on the lap of the person in front of you…close your eyes…
let’s stand in a circle, wrap your arms around the waist of the person next to you, lean back as far as you can…close your eyes…
let’s stand in a circle, with our shoulders touching, turn to your left, massage the person in front of you, while you’re sitting on their lap….close your eyes…

(i very much like touching people that I know. i do not much like touching strangers. i started to get creeped out.)

then we broke out into pairs and stretched more.
and then, finally, our instructors began demonstrating some of the “moves” that we would attempt. this was the "flying" part we'd all been waiting for.

there was a lot of “interesting” positioning, and judging by the excited, longing exchanges between the other pairs, I half-wondered if this “flying yoga” or “acroyoga” workshop wasn’t code for “sex camp.” i am guessing that this session offered some new kind of foreplay for them. provided they didn’t hurt themselves.

i decided from that point, to not look at anyone else, lest i bear witness to some intimacy that i shouldn’t…i had enough to focus on for the next two hours: trying to not drop (or be dropped by) nicole.

and that was when things started to get fun!
we tried almost all the poses they demonstrated, taking turns being “the base” or “the flyer.” it was certainly challenging, as “the base,” to balance someone by positioning your feet on the small of their back, or on their hip bones, but it was also surprisingly difficult to be “the flyer,” as you have to focus on distributing your weight—engaging your core, but simultaneously relaxing your arms and/or legs. it takes a lot of repetition, and tweaking, to figure out what feels “right.”

i definitely enjoyed the physical challenge of it, and while the poses themselves didn’t feel particularly relaxing (perhaps with time?), i did enough laughing to feel exhilarated and energized—and surprise, surprise—excited about the prospect of doing it again…

i recommend going with someone you won’t mind touching and being occasionally off-balance with. and someone who enjoys falling down, laughing.

photographic evidence from last weekend:

nicole as the flyer, me as the base...

me as the flyer, nicole as the base...

more on acroyoga here.

Friday, March 7, 2008

in home

rainy friday night in nyc, round about 7, and i'm home alone, with a bottle of trapiche oak cask malbec 2005, a pile of magazines and printed articles to read...

i couldn't be happier.

(a note about the wine: the fella at my local wine store wholeheartedly encouraged this selection--it's his favorite of the range of malbecs he's tasted recently. i've had some good ones of late, but i'm surely no expert. he contends this is more structured than the ones i told him i've had (
alamos 2006) and have waiting for me at home (finca la linda 2006), and that the oak aging makes all the difference...i already knew it wouldn't match the crazy smooth chilean malbec that my boss and her husband served at their holiday soiree...the name escapes me--i really need to learn how to have and hold my drink...but i'm certainly enjoying this. it's jammy, yes, fruity, yes, and ooooh the peppery finish. all, as advertised. )

i've been a little whirligig for the last six weeks!

a trip to paris, then slammed, slammed, slammed with work, one home improvement debacle after another (right now the accent wall in my bedroom is BLACK, which has to change...i will not bore you with the bubble-yum-pink-kitchen-disaster), and general hobnobbing ...

lots of fantastic art, good eating, and drinking = lots of things to write about, reflect on, but no actual writing. sigh...

on top of all of THAT, i found out that one of my favorite food writers, dara moskowitz grumdahl, will no longer be penning her column for the minneapolis/st. paul city pages. damn!!
so tonight, i will be catching up on her columns, including
this--her last--and checking out the opening entries of her new blog, while i await her longer form work in the minnesota monthly...

i will also be catching up with the one and only concrete elbow...

the rest of the weekend will be devoted to reading magazines (back issues of new yorker, corby krummer in the atlantic, wired, dwell...and [for work] men's health, women's health, runner's world, best life), thinking about ways to advance my career (?!!), shopping for things that will make my now not-so-new apartment look warm and inviting, and make it capable of hosting friends for wine and cheese, or coffee and cinnamon rolls...

and i will do yoga.

and eat a luxurious brunch.

and meditate on my recent grand experiences.

and see if any of the one thousand photos that i took during those grand experiences are worth posting.

and, perhaps, write...

but surely, for tonight, i am staying home.
i will not go out into that rainy night.
i will enjoy this fine wine.
and my alone time.