Monday, December 31, 2012

...and a Happy New Year.

Well, blogging-wise, this year is going out not with a bang, but a whimper.

I promise there were some cool things that happened during the second half of 2012. For example, my sister got married and it was a super fun party and my mom danced to Gangnam Style (not pictured, unfortunately). 
And I got to go on a really awesome trip to Greece and Turkey with my roommate/BFF Melissa and we made friends with a spice merchant named Selim and ate our weight in bread.
Overall, this year was a pretty interesting one for me.  I predicted last January that 2012 would be a year of change, and it has certainly been that, with probably more to come soon.  There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I've learned a lot and I'm excited for what's to come.  And despite the fact that I'll be ringing in the new year on a red-eye flight back to New York City, 2012 and I are saying farewell on pretty dang good terms.
Happy New Year!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Pappy birthday.

A few weeks ago I was home in California for a week with the fam. Well, most of them--Allison and her family stayed in North Carolina since she recently had a baby and they just moved into a new house. But the rest of us were lucky enough to spend a few days hanging out, overeating, watching the Olympics, and celebrating my dad's 60th birthday.

My first day there, we drove to Santa Cruz for a morning at the beach, followed by lunch at Sarah and Joel's favorite Brazilian place.

On the way there, David made friends with Lily, Becca and Austin's new puppy.

We quickly discovered that Lily likes to dig in the sand:

This sand is makin' me thirsty.

 The rest of us had an okay time. Although maybe I ended up with some semi-permanent red socks as a result of rolled-up jeans and a sunburn. I don't want to talk about it.

Brazilian lunch with my peeps.

That night we were joined by Krissy for some cut-throat go-karting and mini-golfing.

I'm not going to lie to you, it got a little intense.

On Saturday morning we drove into San Francisco to have breakfast with Jeff and Jess at the farmer's market at the Ferry Building. The day was pretty gorgeous even without the aid of Instagram filters.

The Bay Bridge.

Outside the Ferry Building.

We took a quick look back at the city from Treasure Island.

Then it was time to get back home for the main event--my dad's party. While we got food and decorations ready to go, Lily and Posey (Jess and Jeff's French bulldog) wrestled pretty much non-stop.

This picture is my new happy place.

The party went off without a hitch, complete with great food and dozens of friends and family members who came to pay their respects.  The best part was knowing that even at 60, my dad (and mom, for that matter) can put me to shame at the gym and can most certainly leave me in the dust on a bike.  I'm okay with it.
Mom toasting the birthday boy.

Gemma, helping the old man extinguish his birthday candles.

Gemma had the right idea.

The girls. We'll just Photoshop Allison in there, okay? Okay.

I also got to spend a little long-overdue time with Marisa, her husband Rob, and their adorable daughter Fara.  Sometimes I forget that we're grown-ups.  Like, who is this child and isn't her real mom wondering where she is?

We also spent many hours watching the Olympics, naturally. I especially loved how some fringe sport would come on and at first we'd be like, "Ugh, not synchronized swimming," and then we'd end up getting seriously into it. Don't you think Spain was robbed? I really think they were robbed. How about that BMX biking? We definitely watched that. Canoe sprint? Check.

Sarah, Joel, and the kids were the first to leave, and when Sarah came out of their room to say her goodbyes and was already crying, Becca shouted, "OH GREAT" and immediately burst into tears.  You'd think we like each other or something.  I guess it's a good thing we'll all be getting back together (everyone, this time) in a little over a month.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A beach, a burn, and a ballet.

Saturday was my first beach day of the summer, and it was major. Temperatures were in the 90s, but the breezes near the water made it relatively lovely. As always seems to happen, we went out with just a couple friends and managed to run into about a dozen more (so popular, I know). Impromptu beach party!

On the train home I started noticing some faint pinkish splotches on my knees and the tops of my feet, which any seasoned pale-face knows is a harbinger of future pain.  By evening time it was clear that I'd maybe, just maybe, missed a couple spots.  But I've definitely had worse, and it was worth it for time spent with friends soaking up some vitamin D (as well as like 50 Golden Oreos).

 Then it was off to the Metropolitan Opera House for the American Ballet Theatre's production of Swan Lake.  Going to the Met has been on my NYC bucket list for a while so I jumped at the chance to go, especially since it was freaking Swan Lake.


I'm not a dancer, but it has always been a secret wish of mine to be a talented ballerina, if only for a day.  (I once had a dream that I made it to the Top 4 of So You Think You Can Dance, and I remember being super confused as to how I'd made it that far.)  I'm always amazed when dancers can do such difficult and athletic things with their bodies while somehow looking flawlessly graceful and light as a feather.  The ABT dancers were wonderful, and I was constantly in awe of their beautiful shapes and lines, as well as the obvious power with which they danced.  I also really love Tchaikovsky, so it was just a fantastic way to spend a couple hours and the perfect end to a pretty lovely day.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Please ignore the photobombing goober to the left there.

Have you ever waited in line just to give someone a hug?  I mean, sure, maybe Santa Claus when you were a kid, but other than that?  It's not uncommon whenever we kids are all together to see my sisters and me line up for the opportunity to embrace my dad.  It usually starts with one of us going over to hug him, at which point we all catch on and sort of swarm and dance around impatiently until it's our turn.  I think the high demand says it all--we know where to go to feel safe and loved, and we know that he'll let us be silly weirdos in the process.

Happy Father's Day, Pappy.  I wish I could hug you in person today, but you can bet that when I'm home next I'll be making up for lost time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

All the world's a stage.

One of my favorite things about summer in New York is the wealth of awesome (free!) outdoor activities around the city, including Shakespeare in the Park.  This year they're doing a month of As You Like It followed by Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods (which will star Amy Adams).

Since tickets are free, you can wait in one of a couple different standby lines, or try the "virtual line" on their website.  In three summers of attempting the virtual line dozens of times, I had never once gotten tickets that way and ended up having to do standby.  UNTIL!  On my first attempt this summer, I got an email telling me I had two tickets waiting for me that very night.  Victory!  

I was joined by the lovely Karrie, and it couldn't have been a more beautiful night: 


I'd never seen or read As You Like It before, so I did a quick skim of the plot on Wikipedia to be able to follow along a little easier.  The sets were awesome, sort of a mid-19th century frontier setting with log cabins and banjo music.  Apparently it's known as Shakespeare's musical comedy because there are several songs included in the play.  For this production the music was folk/bluegrass played onstage with banjos, guitars, and fiddles, and was composed by none other than Steve Martin.  It was fantastic.  Karrie and I couldn't get over how much we loved the music--definitely one of the highlights of a very funny and enjoyable show.

Next week there will be a gala celebrating 50 years of Shakespeare in the Park that includes a one-night-only staging of Romeo and Juliet starring... Kevin Kline and Meryl Streep.  Anyone wanna spot me $1500 so I can go?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Thinking about...

Stealing blogging ideas from other sources.

Last tutoring session of the schoolyear was this week, so my subpar chemistry knowledge will be put on hold for the summer (but isn't my student the cutest thing you've ever seen?).

Sometimes I voluntarily practice the piano for an hour and then I want to call my mom because when did that ever happen?

Have you been watching Sherlock? If not, do yourself a favor and watch the first season (three episodes) on Netflix streaming. Then watch the second season on Or just buy the DVDs. You won't be sorry. Remember how I told you to watch Downton Abbey? I didn't lead you astray with that one, did I?

Humidity levels less than 90% would be a welcome change right now. 
New life plan: write a wildly successful young adult novel and use the profits to open a bakery.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I think we can all agree that this is one bodacious woman, right?

Several weeks ago I was having trouble making a decision. (To be honest, I have trouble making decisions on a daily basis, which is why I can frequently be found in the aisles of Duane Reade staring at a different face wash in each hand for the better part of 10 minutes. But this one was a little more significant.) I'd talked to my sister and a few friends about it and they all gave the same excited input, but for whatever reason I was still unsure. I wanted another perspective and I knew who I needed to talk to to get it. When I called my mom and explained the situation, she laughed, "So you called me because I'm a stick-in-the-mud?"

She proceeded to do what she does best; her advice was rational, supportive, measured and loving. As much as I had appreciated the enthusiasm I'd gotten from others, the discussion with my mom gave me the courage to make a decision. And even though the situation didn't turn out as I'd hoped, it did turn out for the best, and I know I did the right thing.

Mom, thanks for being the person I know I can count on to keep me on track. Thanks for setting an example that challenges me to be better with your tireless love of learning, your compassion and service, and your energy to travel and exercise and throw dinner parties, all while aging like a fox.  You may think you're a stick-in-the-mud, but I just consider you my anchor.


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