Friday, December 19, 2008

Introducing www.essdrasmsuarez.com

Finally finished a very huge website for Boston photographer Essdras M Suarez. Very clean and elegant. Highlighting the beautiful images.

Another website announcment soon to follow in the next few weeks for another Boston photographer!!! BUSY BUSY!!!

May be a bit buggy still. He mentioned there are a few links that are glitchy (no shock for a 170-page site with over 530 supporting images/files!).

I'm so glad I finished this one before the holidays!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What's Your Wireless Name?

One of the great things about apartment living USED to be free wireless internet. Now, of course, everyone's is locked and password protected. However, I do still love perusing the names some people give their wireless account.
My sister can attest how much time I invested wondering what I should name mine (for the last few years it was the default apple9shgkanc... blah). I finally ended up on "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" . . . I like to think that gives my neighbors a chuckle. Because who doesn't secretly love that obnoxious movie?

I've seen some interesting ones over time, but this one made me laugh out loud this morning. Its definitely a bit snarky, eh?

(via matiasjajaja navega)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Revelation of the Day: December 17, 2008

Holy Moly, I do really love those cookies with the Hershey kisses on top.

I just had one. Although I wish I had four.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh Yea . . . That Crazy List!

Sweet Baby Jesus forbid that the world wide web should forget my mission with this blog, I did originally start this as a journal of my mission to accomplish as many items as possible on my Life List. As a reminder, I don't truly plan to accomplish everything on this list because lives change, people evolve, and, frankly, I really don't care anymore if I really do run up the stairs of the Chicago Sear Tower (#12). That's why I cleverly wrote item #81 so that I could make a new list and keep/delete whatever ones I haven't already done. I'm smart, eh?

Anyhow, life has distracted me with new jobs, more marathons (who would have thought I would accomplish list item #1 TWICE?!), and moving to fabulous new cities... but I've still checked off 16 items in 2008. However I haven't really been working towards any lately beyond my movie and book lists (#74 and 75) since I've moved over a month ago.

So since its so much of a motivation to declare my goals to the world . . . I will now share with you the items I'm thinking of tackling next:

15. do a yoga 30-day challenge :: since I haven't joined a New York gym yet and I'm not currently training for any other races, I may just make use of one of the yoga studios deals for these 30-day challenges in January or February. Plus those are both really good cold months to be in the mood for the hot yoga I love.

16. drink 8 glasses of water a day for one full month :: this may sound easy but I am a camel. Yesterday, I didn't pee once during the day (sorry to reference my pee schedule). And its because I hardly ever drink water. Which means that on my recent budget, I'm not drinking the juice and sparkling water I love so much either. Just lots of coffee at work. . . which as we know for every one coffee you need to drink TWO waters. So I've poured myself a glass now and I'm going to actually start counting. Now's as good a time as any. . . with the holidays, there will probably be a lot of hangovers that need hydrating!

78. develop a better/stricter budget and stick to it for at least 3 months :: really in this economy, who ISN'T on a budget? I definitely have been but not as formally as I'd like to. More lists here I come (sorry, I ain't sharing my expenses list with ya'll though).

85. knit an entire sweater :: totally. I need a good sweater and the super cute knitting store I discovered on my lunch break today is definitely urging me to start now.

98. one week without a single curse word :: I haven't really established that I have been trying to conquer this but I rarely cuss at all any more (I think its because I'm no longer at my last job. tee hee.) so let's start now! hopefully I can scratch another item off on December 23!

99. go one week without complaining :: gosh darn it (see life list item #98. . . I'm starting already), I am SO in a good mood with all this holiday cheer and they super fluffy snow today. Let's start this one now too and see where I am on December 23. call me out if you hear me complaining or cussing (or probably both since they do seem related).

And best of luck to all of you on your lists and/or New Year's resolutions!

I Will Always Love You, Boston

Ha! Tomfoolery on you, bloggees. You think I'm talking about my last hometown (I will always love you too, fine city of Boston). However, I am speaking of another Boston in my life. I haven't yet met the dear little scoundrel but after seeing this photo, I can guess I'll get along with him JUST fine.

Meet Lynn & Matt's new baby (ahem . . . out of wedlock): Sir Boston Rodrigo Wilmer Fandango, III (or as they call him "Boston." They don't know I've tweaked it yet).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nostalgia Train in NYC

So last weekend I rode the "Nostalgia Train" . . . I was like an excited little girl. It was such a great experience.

The smell.
The vintage advertisements.
The dreaming of what I would have worn in 1930 if I was riding that train back in its hey-dey.
And especially . . . the charming collection of total train enthusiasts and groupies. Wish I had taken some photos of the nerds standing in groups exchanging factoids.

It was excellent. Here are some of my favorite ads (that last one makes me want to not leave the house . . . a little graphic!).



Supper for Brunch

The other day I had brunch at the fabulous restaurant Supper. . .
man, any restaurant that can do this to a cappuccino is OK in my book.


Happy Belated Birth of Christ . . . i

So. I sent Christi (aka Blogorelli) her Christmas present to Boston early because I have her birthday present in NYC with me still. So I'm not sure if its now her birthday present or an early Christmas present and I'm just even LATER with her birthday gift. Whatev. Details schmetails.

Anyhow, I thought I would share with the cyber-world. Its a gorgeous piece of design and fabrication fabulousness. And the goofy song with the video makes me giggle too.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Know Times Are Tough But SERIOUSLY!?!?!?

Found by a coworker on the New York Craigslist (this place happens to also be one block from mine):

I have a huge bathroom.

Date: 2008-11-06, 4:01AM EST

I am a female in my mid 60's and I am looking for a room mate. Times are tight and I need some extra money.
I am willing to rent out my bathroom in my 1 bedroom east village home.

My bathroom is large. You can easily put a twin air mattress in there. I only ask that when I need to use the bathroom, you or your air mattress are not in it.

I do ask that when you are in the apartment, you confine yourself to the bathroom. I do not feel comfortable with a stranger walking around my living room. This might change as I get to know you better.
You may have guest over as long as they are cnfined to the bathroom as well. This might seem a bit odd but please remember the rent is $400 and the bathroom is large.

1 at A google map yahoo map

* cats are OK - purrr
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 907788944


Holy crap (he he . . . pun intended). What happens if she needs to use the restroom in the middle of the night?! Too weird for words.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ooooo . . . Break me off a piece of that!

If you see me licking any park benches, ya know why.


(via ffffound from designyoutrust.com

Sweet! (and kinda gross at the same time)

This just out from the Daily Mail Reporter and BuzzFeed:

Revealed: Women feel at their sexiest aged 34 but enjoy love-making more as they get older
By Daily Mail Reporter

According to a new study, women feel sexiest when they're 34 years old (which is, for instance, Elizabeth Banks' age). And although women in their 20s and 30s are having the most sex (10.4 times a month), women between 45 and 60 (who're doing it 4.5 times a month) say they're enjoying sex more than when they were younger. Somewhere, a Sex and the City fan is excitedly emailing her friend.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


First of all, "10.4 times a month." If there was a boyfriend in the picture well obviously (or more I'd hope) but, if not, holy slutness, batman. I will reveal that my new life in NYC is anything but "Sex in the City."

Secondly, "women between 45 and 60 say they're enjoying sex more than when they were younger". . . please Lord, no comment Mom.

Marathon Madness

No . . . I'm not talking about the big sales going on (but seriously! They ARE so good!).

And so commences my novel of the 2008 New York City marathon.

So, yea. I ran a marathon. No biggie right? Its my second after all! However, with the ups and downs of getting laid off, being unemployed for two months, moving to NYC, and job hunting, and then starting my new job 5 days before the race — to say I was ignoring my training is a severe understatement. I was very nervous before the race because I had really only been running once a week for the past two months. It was hard to feel like going out for a run when I knew there was my website to design or my resumés to send out or things I need to pack (I packed and moved in TWO weeks people!!! And I have a lot of crap!). So when the marathon came, I knew I wouldn't do as well as the previous year (4:42 — 2007 Marine Corps marathon). And the funny thing is with so much on my mind, I wasn't really stressed about the race and, in fact, it went by in a blur because I spent those 4+ hours just assessing my new life!

So on November 2, 2008 the New York City marathon commenced after a really cool ferry ride out to Staten Island. Over the long bridge and into Brooklyn I ran — trying not to start out too fast (a fatal flaw in marathons which usually will result in what the call "the wall" in mile 18-ish). I knew the Brooklyn part would be long. Jesum, its almost half the race! So when I finally got through that particular Borough, I was thrilled and had a much-needed boost of energy. Both that and my sister Tessa was at the half-marathon point (on a side note, Tess ran with an epileptic woman as her guide for the last 13.1 miles. How inspiring she is cannot be described. She volunteers with the Achilles almost every Saturday and I hope to start joining them once my life becomes a little more balanced! Not to mention, she only found out she was running as a guide three or four weeks before and hadn't been training! What a badass!). When I saw Tessa, not only was I thrilled and excited to see her, but I couldn't believe that I was actually keeping pace with the 4:15 group! And slightly faster perhaps because I had caught up with them from the 4:30 group! Anyhow, I stopped to say hello but she wouldn't let me rest more than a minute before I was back on my way.

After the Queensboro Bridge, I entered Manhattan. I must confess, it wasn't the enormous crowds and craziness as much as I had read (although there were of course still lots of crowds and craziness) but knowing Jen, Lynn, and Lauren were at mile 18 was motivating! And my old high school buddy Wes was ahead as well (actually he's my high school buddy's little brother).

Anyhow, I made it to them (the girls, never found Wes) but yet again they wouldn't let me rest for even a minute. At this point, damn I was getting tired. I hadn't walked once which I usually do so every 5 miles or so for a minute or two on my traditional training runs. I told myself to run to the Bronx and then I would let myself walk a few minutes. I crossed the bridge and told myself 'at the end of this song, I'll walk'. By the end of the song I could see the bridge back into Manhattan and again I pushed myself to the next milestone. At this point, I was like 'only 5 more miles, maybe I could make it without walking a single time!'

2 miles to go as I entered the park, I checked my time. . . if I hauled ass I could break 4:30 — a feat I hadn't even expected to aim for! So haul ass I did. And that last .2 mile, I think I upped my 10:14 pace and was hitting around 8 or so. I almost puked a few seconds before it was so intense. I knew I exerted exactly my best effort, no more or less.

And finished I did — 4:28:14. I beat Oprah's time (which funny enough, I joked with my fellow racer Emily that there was no way I would be remotely close to that). And I bested last year's time by 14.5 minutes. That's almost unheard of in marathon running. So there's something to this undertraining thing. Last year, I was sore before the race and ended up with a stress fracture afterwards. This year, no problems at all (except of course descending my new 5-floor walkup for the next three days!).

I'm fighting the urge to run another next year. Maybe again in 2010. Or maybe I'll run half as a guide. Next year will be strictly half-marathon(s) and maybe another triathlon. I need a year off. . . I miss my autumn Friday nights and I was so unmotivated training solo this year that I need to really miss it before I put myself through that again.

But, man, it was a great race. I think I liked the Marine Corps a bit better though. Partially bc I got to run with Tessa. Partially bc my family was there. Partially bc the day was sunny and gorgeous (this year was gray and cold).

But there's something to be said about running 26.2 miles in a city you just moved to only 5 days previously! Even though it went through in a blur... it was a pretty great 4 1/2 tour of NYC and I'm glad and proud that I did it.






d to the box

Started at dbox advertising and design (dbox.com) on October 30. I can't believe its been over a month already. The work is very cool — although of course for now I've adopted a lot of older projects but I'm interjecting some creativity where I find my windows so I'm definitely into it. Its kinda fun being more of a designer than an art director. Don't get me wrong — I'm definitely more of a manager if I can eventually find a spot for that where they didn't desperately need more designers (like the last job) — but its a fun little vacation for the time being. I'm also doing a lot more things that I haven't had the opportunity to before — web, interactive, advertising, books — its great to get more variety into my work. I hope dbox grows more (present recession period excluded of course) and I can along with them. The clients are amazing and its fun to be working w such amazing and inspiring architecture. I'm definitely learning a lot about the real estate sector.

Additionally, the people are just plain amazing. Very friendly. Very hip. Very international and diverse. And I really like that its not just graphic designers but animators & videography artists, photography managers, web designers/programmers, production artists, account directors, and of course a crew of AMAZING 3D renderers. Everyone's so supportive as well and its nice to be fitting into a place where I feel like I'm contributing both great ideas and good and unique design. I don't need to be babied of course — but who doesn't need to be told their work is good every now and then?

Oh, and the espresso machine and cute digs in an adorable neighborhood don't hurt either.

Here are some links to our work:
www.delliscay.com
www.thevisionaire.com
www.15cpw.com
www.talisker.com (currently under redesign though)
www.dillon53.com (teaser site only for now)
www.50unp.com (teaser site only for now)
www.535wea.com

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Sandwiches

As I'm about to head to the bus to DC for Thanksgiving, my sister Tessa who is my travel buddy decided to be adorable and offer to pick up dinner. I asked her what she was thinking about getting and her answer:

TESSA: Maybe a turkey sandwich and some chips.
ME: *long pause* um. . . really?
TESSA: Yea! There's a great deli across the street.
ME: Are you being serious?
TESSA: YEAA!! I LOOVE turkey sandwiches.
ME: On the day before Thanksgiving?
TESSA: *longer pause* oh . . . I didn't even think about that.

Then she proceeded to try to convince me to go turkey sandwich anyhow.
A for effort. C- for the actual concept.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Inspiring Automakers . . .

OK — this article doesn't really discuss the whole economy crisis and pending bailout with the big 3 auto manufacturers. But it is quite an interesting read. Now, I'm obviously quite partial being that my father works for Honda and I won't lie to you there. I'm entirely proud of him and this article really embraces the things that make him so passionate for what he does.

But, additionally, I just adore their mission statement. What great words to live by in this rocky time: "We see the world not as it is, but as it could be."



G.M. should look at Honda, a model 21st Century Company
November 26, 2008

If General Motors (G.M.) wants to emulate another auto maker, it should look no further than Honda. Honda is what a 21st century “mobility” maker should look like. And it clearly the most innovative of all auto makers.

The company gets more U.S. patents than any other auto maker by a wide margin. With 677 in 2007, it was awarded nearly double the number of Toyota and GM which were second and third, respectively. And Honda’s new Greensburg, Indiana plant (its fifth in the U.S.) that just opened is a model of efficiency.

Honda is also the greenest car company. It largely ignored the gas-guzzling SUV and pickup craze. Sure, it has the Pilot and ungainly Ridgeline which at best (read: highway) deliver 20-23 MPG. But Honda’s seven other models get 25 MPG or better – much better in some cases.

What spurred me to write this post was nothing in about the auto business. Rather, it was what Honda is doing in the Combined Heat and Power area. American Honda just introduced a new home cogeneration unit for heat and electricity. It’s basically a very smart generator that runs on propane to produce heat and power. As part of the freewatt system that can deliver as much as three quarters of a home’s heating and electricity, the freewatt system it promises 30% reduction in greenhouse gases over conventional heating systems and annual electric bill savings for $500-$1,000.

It’s worth reading Honda’s entire mission statement. But I will excerpt the top three paragraphs which emphasize its value proposition in terms of mobility and benefits for society:

“We see the world not as it is, but as it could be.

We see the world through the eyes of dreamers. Because we are a company founded by a dreamer. And we are a company built on dreams.

We see the pursuit of impossible dreams as an empowering force, capable of producing revolutionary ideas. Dreams inspire us to create innovative products that enhance human mobility and benefit society. Honda encourages all of its associates to pursue their dreams. And it’s our mission to share these dreams with others and to make them a reality.”

I could not find a GM mission statement per se at gm.com, but did find one on Google. It’s as follows:

“G.M. is a multinational corporation engaged in socially responsible operations, worldwide. It is dedicated to provide products and services of such quality that our customers will receive superior value while our employees and business partners will share in our success and our stock-holders will receive a sustained superior return on their investment.”

Which one do you find more inspiring? More accurately, which of the two companies are designing and making the right products for the 21st century?

When Honda named its first American model the Civic, one senses they really meant it.

Posted by John Dodge on November 26, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kitty Mobile

Man, I don't even have any carpets in my new place yet. But I'd consider getting a Roomba only because I'm sure my cat would love it (and frankly, she's been quite lazy lately).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Latest Obsession: Globetrotting

So a few months ago on my way to Jeff + Sarah's wedding in Maine, Blogorelli and I stopped at a whole lotta vintage shops enroute (with her fabulously patient fiancé Mark in tow . . . or at least napping in the car). Anyhoo, in the basement of one of these spectacular shops, I discovered something that immediately brought me into a series of Fort Loramie elementary school flashbacks. It was this entirely awesome vintage globe. Bright colors popping off of the black of the water. Gorgeous. $50 seemed like a great deal for a wealth of reference and knowledge and future travel planning, not to mention the aforementioned nostalgia. It was in perfect condition and even in its original box with a informational leaflet. *sigh* But I didn't bite the bullet because I knew I was moving soon to NYC and didn't know how much space I would have for even the loveliest of globes and I was also fearful something would break in the move.

Since then, I have been continually thinking about it. When I assembled my new bookshelves the other night, I instantly thought that those three feet between the top and the ceiling would look SO much more stylish with that globe sitting there. And then yesterday, I stumbled upon an adorable West Village vintage shop with THE EXACT SAME GLOBE IN THE WINDOW! I almost squealed with glee but I think it was almost immediately choked with shock when I saw the pricetag: $350.

Boo. I remain obsessed with my escaped globe. I must have it. I am lost without it. ha.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Randoms & Ramblings: Week of November 17

**This is a new series I'm developing for the ole blog. I find that most of my interesting tidbits are mere blurbs and not full posts. Look for one weekly (in addition to the 8 thousand posts I'm delinquent on about camping, sushi class, moving, my new job, the marathon. . . obv it goes without saying, I've been a bit too busy to post!)**

- So I was walking down a street in Soho this weekend (after going to the Moss sample sale and being thirty seconds too late to score a $50 Cycloc. CRAP!), and some dude with a clipboard approached me. I was skeptical and then almost laughed my butt off when he said they had filmed me walking down the street and wanted to get my release to use it on a TV show. What TV show, you ask? The Hills on MTV. I'll tell Lauren Conrad you said 'sup.'

- This was only my second time ever doing it, but there's nothing better and more New York-y than running over the Brooklyn Bridge (or walking for that matter). I heart it so much and it brings back memories of my high school NYC field trip (oh and when Miranda and Steve reunited in the Sex in the City movie too, OF COURSE!). There was a crazy high school marching band playing on this particular Sunday morning. But I find not too much strikes me as odd in NYC any longer.

- Speaking of something that isn't as odd as it sounds. . . so I was on the subway on Saturday afternoon when a group of 5 men boarded. The one comes straight to me and declares very loudly "Miss. My brotha fell in love with you the second he boarded this train. Can we dedicate this song to you?" I just laughed. He turned to his "brotha" and said "She said its OK, man. She said its OK." To which I declared "Uh. . . I don't think I actually said anything." He was a little thrown off his routine until I said "I'm just kidding. Its OK." And they continued on to sing a very lovely barbershop song and give me a nice fist-bump . . . they were pretty good too. They better have been though because I was obviously obliged to give them a dollar since it was dedicated to me. That was just sneaky trickery.

- And speaking of TRAINS (sheesh, I should be a broadcast journalist with my lead-ins, eh?), I was wondering this morning on the F train: those people you see that are asleep on the train (like 20% of commuters) — don't they have somewhere to be at a certain time?!? Aren't they totally freaked out that they'll miss their stop?!?

- And lastly. . . my week's revelation. I have a serious obsession with Asians (pears, that is). Damn, that must have been the fruit someone was eating when the term "nature's candy" was coined. Thank you DBOX for buying fresh fruit every week. And thank you Asians. You make a helluva pear.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oh Espresso Machine . . . you are my new NYC best friend.

OK — Every night I have big lofty goals to write the list of 10+ blogs that have been in my back pocket in the last month.

But right now (pardon me, while I become "excuses" girl), I am seriously juggling 2 full time jobs. One that follows me home every night . . . because I still have so many unfinished freelance projects from when I was in between jobs. No worries — I can handle freelance occasionally on a night or weekend. But I have so many and they're so huge that the combination is making me stay up til about 2am every night! I'm the queen of multi-tasking and super efficient at my craft, so what gives workload?

But LUCKILY! Its the weekend. I am not making any "just one drink" plans any longer until I get through the bulk of this. Very sad for a new New Yorker not to go out and get to know her new buddy but its better for me to focus and barrel through! But maybe I will at least find a cute coffee shop to do a few hours of work at so I can feel productive at the same moment!

And then I can ease up on the three espressos a day (thank GOD dbox has a kick ass Nespresso). I can enjoy being in the same city as some of my absolute favorite friends. I can finally get to my apartment and put stuff away and buy new things to . . . I don't know . . . sit on? ha. And I will finally come back to you, dear patient bloggers.

Interestingly enough, on swissmiss there was a stat the other day: According to the Technorati 2008 State of the Blogosphere, of the 133 million blogs the site tracks only 7.4 million have been updated in the last 120 days. (For those that don't feel like doing the math, that's 125.6 million abandoned or at least unloved blogs.) Not I! I could never abandoned the readers who are so interested in my roller coaster of a nutjob life. ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

IRAQ WAR ENDS!!! Front page of the New YOrk Times today.

So on the train today, a man's NYT caught my eye with this huge exciting headline!
After some anxious and exciting googling back at my desk, turns out it was a huge spoof that folks were passing out for free at major subway stations. The group created the special edition from a future in which we are accomplishing what we know today to be possible. So sad that this is only a spoof but here's hoping. I wish I could get my hands on one because they are sure to be collector's items.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fun for iPhoners

Love this incredible collection of iPhone screensavers at Poolga.

Here is my new one ... expect multilingual greetings when you call my cell.

via degourget.

What a great mood the world is in today. . .

Such an air of positivitiy, hopefulness, and patriotism.
I'm so happy.

Go America.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Town and a New Smile

My Boston apartment is officially empty. I no longer have the keys. And I decided since I had so much stuff to bring to NYC with me, I would leave something big behind.

Here's me on the bus without those stupid braces. ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Wowsers. Its a whirlwind over here. So much to blog about! But I will space it out a little. . . maybe another post tonight. I do promise to be better about the blogging frequency now that my life is starting to settle and take shape.

But BIG news! I have reached my fund-raising goal for the marathon! $2,503.40 is going to an amazing charity that is a very big part of my family's (in particular my sister Tessa's) life. Thank you so much to everyone. Its funny because so many people who donated said I'm an "inspiration" which, if you remember, is the most amazing and touching compliment to me. It is you folks who are inspiring for opening your wallets in such tough economic times to help out me, and more importantly, these amazing disabled athletes and generous volunteers. I can't imagine that the marathon could possibly be any more fulfilling and incredible as the fundraising.

Also, I was actually blogged about by someone else! There's an article about my fundraising/blogging escapades on the firstgiving blog and the online fundraising blog! SO COOL!!!

So again, thank you so much. I couldn't have done this without my amazing friends and family! I'll be thinking of each and everyone of you in the 4-5 hours it takes for me to kick this beast's a** on Sunday!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Run-ins While Running!

Today's run was quite frustrating. I'm tapering and went for — what I was thinking was an easy — 13 miler. I didn't make it. I only went 7 and negotiated with myself that I would do another 7 or 8 tomorrow. I didn't tape the arch of my left foot which almost always gets blisters after 5 miles. I thought maybe with my new shoes that were finally breaking in I'd be okay. I wasn't. So rather than letting that hot spot that was really starting to hurt turn into a ginormous blister less than two weeks from the big marathon, I stopped. Bummer but I know I can do the endurance now so its just a matter of keeping my body parts in good shape!!!

In any case, I had two GREAT surprises while I was out! First, at mile 2, I ran into my old MFA-coworker (and friend long before that) Julie! She was looking fit and great in her cute blue velvety track suit listening to tunes and going for a brisk lunchtime walk on the Esplanade. It was such a great surprise (and reason to take a 5 minute break!).

Then as I was just claiming my defeat and walking from Jamaica Pond, another super fit and cute looking gal was walking up the path past me — my old Korn-coworker Shirley! I haven't seen her in probably 9 months or so, so it was an even bigger surprise (although I was in her neighborhood after all). She was so tan and happy and rested! So it was great catching her up on all the latest and hearing what's new with her as well.

What a great day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Job Update / Life Update / Apartment Update / Cat Update

Wowowowowo. Have I been busy or have I been busy? Both!

Job update: I had 4 really great interviews in NYC. One with And Partners who didn't seem like they were hiring just yet. One with dbox a super cool firm that does some seriously gorgeous luxury print and identity collateral (with . . . um . . . no budgets? Have you ever heard of such a thing?). One with Parham Santana. And one with Pentagram . . . although they weren't currently hiring nor do the hire senior level designers or art directors because of the interesting way that they're structured. But I met with the ever nice and down-to-earth despite his larger than life reputation Michael Bierut. He was great — and even better gave me some of the best compliments of my design career on everything from my composure and personality in addition to my book. He gave me a great tour as well of their super cool place and a coveted limited-edition of the Pentagram Bible.

In the end, I was offered two positions . . . an amazing feat for one week especially in this economy. I was even able to consult Mr. Bierut on his opinions of the two firm and while both were great, I ended up going with dbox. Not only was the work incredible and very inspiring, but I had the pleasure of being interviewed by three people so I got a real feel for the personalities I would work for and alongside which, as you all know, is VERY important to me. The space was AMAZING too. A gorgeous airy, sunny industrial loft in the West Village. I felt chic-er just walking into that place! I start at 10am on October 30 (10am? Love that!).

Then life brought me to some very fun occasions. . . camping in a rustic cabin with no running water and no electricity with my pals Braden, Laura, and Emily. It was a phenomenal trip with all the leaves changing and the air brisk but comfortable. We star gazed, hiked, caught a few moose, and, yes, even went skinny dipping (somehow when I pictured ever skinny dipping, it was with a gorgeous man . . . but it was quite hilarious and fun with all the gals too!). We even spent Saturday morning (clothed) canvasing around the very-Republican and very-small town New Hampshire for Barack Obama. The people were very friendly and it was an amazing experience. I'm glad to have done my very small part.

Also attended the nuptials of Jeff and Jill, some of my favorite coworkers of mine from the MFA. It was out in Lincoln, MA on a gorgeous fall day in a beautiful old house. So picturesque and the bride and groom were both gorgeous. It was a great chance to catch up with all my old MFA coworkers who I love and miss so much. What a great time!

What else? Hmmm. . . its been weeks since I've updated ya'll so I know there's more. Its been a phenomenal month!

Then, apartment hunting in NYC. I saw about 12 to 15 places and in the end applied for the very first one I saw. In the East Village on the cusp of the Lower East Side. I quick 15 minute train ride to work. A fifth floor walkup but well-worth it. It was by far the prettiest, largest (shocking bc it is indeed small), cleanest and best deal of all that I saw. And no realtor fee. Amazing. Exposed brick. Brand new renovated kitchen (granite counters and stainless steel appliances with dark cherry cabinets) a brand new bathroom (with a marble bathtub). A closet (okay I'm downsizing from 4 but most of the places I saw had ZERO closets!). Very sunny with two great windows in the front and two other facing back. And a great alcove for my bed — which is great so you don't see it when you first walk in. I've signed the lease. I have my keys. I cannot wait to decorate. In other news, I've sold A LOT of my furniture all today — $840 already (anyone need a kitchen table, a TV, or a desk chair?)! Probably moving late this week (but I'll be back in Boston for my going away dinner from the gals and to get my braces off!).

Cat is doing great . . . she's the cat who cried wolf. I decided against the $600 diagnostics tests and I'm just waiting to see if she starts seeming miserable. She's been very affectionate and sweet (she has an uncanny sense of when I'm worried about her!). So Midnight (or grandma as I'm going to start calling her) is going strong. Better find a vet in NYC though just in case!

I guess that's it. Lots of really great freelance and tons more packing and miscellaneous housewares to sell. And tomorrow I shall invest in Space Bags . . . those bags that you vacuum out the extra air. Great for extra pillows and blankets and winter coats. I need to save some space in my new apt — I'll keep you posted on how well (or not) they work!

Marathon also coming up! I felt strong on my entire 20 mile run. 13 miles tomorrow am. I'm tapering. . . ah, luxury. Still have some funds to raise before I run though. Please donate: http://www.melissawehrman.com/melissawehrman Alls' ya'll that donated, expect thank you cards and results in the mail shortly after!

I'll be better I promise. Post some photos from camping and canvasing and weddings and apartment this week!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Still Here!

I'm not dead. I haven't abandoned my blog. I promise to back sometime soon . . . so many stories and fun to tell! I'm just very busy with apartment hunting and freelance craziness!

Also:
8(ish) days until I move into my new NYC apartment
11 days until my going away dinner (thanks girly girls!)
13 days until my braces come off
15 days until I start work
18 days until I run the NYC marathon

Friday, October 10, 2008

Achilles Track Club Fundraising!!! NYC Marathon!!!

Well, I've raised an obscene amount of money and I have 23 days to go before the big marathon. And thank you so much for those who have donated. But I still have a little ways to go before I get that bib number for November 2nd (or else they take the remaining balance out of my much-abused credit card. and with a super sick cat, moving to NYC, and being unemployed these last two months . . . that's one helluva ouch!).

The Achilles Track Club sponsors and supports people with all kinds of disabilities, such as visual impairment, stroke, cerebral palsy, parapalegia, arthritis, amputation, multiple sclerosis, cystic fybrosis, cancer, and many others. This includes everyone from children with disabilities to wounded war veterans. In addition to fundraising efforts to support these inspiring athletes, they also pair runners in their chapters with disabilities to assist their training. . . my sister Tessa is actually running the last half of the race with an epileptic woman. How amazing and inspiring is that? I am so excited to start volunteering with her in New York on Saturday mornings . . . so that I can continue to make an incredible difference in these determined and inspiring athletes' lives. And so they can make a difference in mine.

No donation is too small. I realize we're all tightening our belts but if you think you can't afford it, just donate $10 and skip two Starbucks lattes next week. No amount is too small. And its not so much to show me support in my marathon race, but much more to help these amazing people that fight the odds to accomplishment amazing feats even with major disabilities or war injuries.

Read some of the amazing stories at: www.achillestrackclub.org/
And please please please donate whatever you can here: http://www.firstgiving.com/melissawehrman

Much love...
Melissa
NYC Marathon November 2, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Jess and Bill

To my lovely sister and her charming husband Bill:
Happy 9th Anniversary – 10.2.1999!
(photos actually taken more than 9 years ago)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Midnight Update: What Can I Do?

Okay — so the saga of my adorable, affection, sweet little 18-year-old kitty continues as she sleeps next to me gently purring right now. Went to the vet today because she didn't fare to well over the week with my cat sitter (not that I expected her to). Everyday is a new adventure — with the constant ear itching and lovely presents coming out of each end of her that we've been trying to treat for the past year (and particularly throughout the summer increasingly).

Dr. Bower at the South Bay Vet Group is great — very compassionate, full of hope, yet with her feet on the ground to give you realistic advice. She's gotten to know Midnight quite well even though we see other vets at that clinic when she is not there too.

A few months ago, when Dr. Bower looked into Midnight's ear it looked fine. We have seriously treated that ear for every type of skin, parasite, and allergy ailment with no success in the last two years. Today, she couldn't seem to see the eardrum which led her to believe that there may be a tumor blocking it. The only way to know for sure is a $300 diagnostics x-ray with sedation trip.

For Midnight's OTHER problems (which also seem to have become life-alteringly frequent over the last few months), when she was feeling her stomach, she seemed to think the intestine walls seemed thick. I don't know exactly what that means but the word feline lymphoma was thrown out. Again, knowing for sure would require another $300 diagnostics ultrasound. Otherwise, it could just be Irritable Bowel Disorder that none of the previous meds we've put her on have seem to taken care of. She did assure me though that there are infinite medicines.

So here's were we stand. Midnight could either have:
1. An ear tumor — the vet and I agreed that at 18 years old, she is just too fragile to go through surgery to remove it. So it would eventually be fatal.
2. Lymphoma — apparently this is just not curable although you could extend the life with chemo and other VERY costly things but that's not usually done for someone of Midnight's age and health.
3. Both! :(
4. Neither — which means more months (or years) of constant miserable vet trips which may lead to the same resistance that she's had to the most common medicines on the market.

Additionally, she's easily gone deaf since she never responds any longer unless you tap her... she has some balance problems because whenever she itches her ear now she practically falls over... but other than that and the huge issues above, she's still eating, peeing in her litter box, and wanting attention.

I feel too selfish to ever say that 'yes, her condition is affecting my quality of life', but I can't also say its actually affecting hers enough to warrant putting her to rest. The puking and yowling and straining and ear-itching cannot be fun for her, but she still remains so sweet and affectionate and content through it all.

I read somewhere that a woman was in a similar situation and she put her cat to sleep and then had constant guilt. But then she had another cat and waited and waited until one day, the second cat was in so much pain it was unbearable to watch. In the end, she thought it was more humane to put them to rest before they were at that point where they are truly suffering and miserable.

I don't even know if $300 or even the full $600 of diagnostics is worth it because the best case scenario is #4 above which is still not a happy ending. Again, I'm trying not to be selfish here but I don't have a lot of money rolling around since I'm in between jobs and even if I did, how much is too much to invest in a cat that doesn't have that many years left anyhow?

I need help, readers! What do I do for my sweet 12-year-old birthday present. She's been a constant friend and family member and, although I know that she's lead a great and happy long life, this is not a decision I take lightly. Please post what you would do if you were in my situation. I'm sad either way.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

All Hail — The Other Bible

Look what I got as a nice gift from Mr. Bierut on Monday! This wonderful catalog is not sold anywhere. When it first came out, Pentagram had an offer on their blog that the first 50 people who emailed, received one. But other than that, its a tough thing for just anyone to get their sticky little fingers on and I am SO grateful for this lovely souvenir of an incredible meeting and tour of the firm.

Jealous, you designer friends??? I thought so. Maybe I'll let you pray . . . I mean, look at it if you wash your hands and wear white gloves. ;)

Pentagram announced the Black Book, a compilation of over 400 projects from the last several years, arranged in alphabetical order, like a dictionary, and printed on Bible paper, like a Bible, complete with tabbed sections and ribbons for bookmarking. It covers pretty much everything they do, from architecture to graphics, buildings to websites, branding to signage, interiors, packaging, exhibitions, interfaces, furniture, products, brochures, magazines, and houses, all in simple picture-and-caption form.









Photos compliments of the Pentagram blog.

Another Life List Item Complete: No Soda!

I write this post as I happily sip a root beer. Oh, how I have missed you, my dear friend.

So near the end of September 2007, I vowed to give up soda for a full year (number 17 on the life list). It was a dumb weakness of mine. A horrible habit. And probably partially to blame for my crappy teeth problems. So I completely rid myself of it for 365 days (although I do confess to a single can of ginger ale when I had a tummy ache in February. . . but ginger ale is a borderline soda in my opinion).

Now I shall not withhold myself from it eternally, but I will not nearly drink it ever on a frequent basis. Or ever buy it for my home. Its a slippery slope, folks. I shall reserve it for special occasions — such as a Vanilla Coke at a diner or when I am forced to eat fast food on a Bolt Bus stop (such as now).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Job Fun in NYC

So I am shocked with how breezy this whole job hunt went. Why didn't I do this a year ago when I first said I would?!?! Any fear and nervousness is out the door as I regain my confidence as a designer and have made some great networks. Along with responding to a handful of job postings, I did my usual thing of just sending my stuff randomly to the firms I adore. Which really seemed to work in my favor.

I had three interviews this week. Two have told me they want to offer me the position, so I am in salary negotiations... which are making me at ease that, yes, I will actually be able to afford this city. The third firm I haven't heard back from yet which is okay because, although I loved them, the position was a step down from my Art Director level.

I am enamored with both firms in consideration and actually have an interview yet on Monday with the créme de la créme of design. I don't know how I will ever decide because they are such different yet wonderful environments.

More to come on the firms themselves maybe later. I'm trying to be a bit discreet (although half of you readers I've probably already told!). The most beautiful thing of all is that they all have such warm and easygoing vibes in addition to gorgeous design work. Obviously I'm prepared to work my ass off and find a place I'm passionate about, but I really clicked with the people and I've come to realize over the years, that is really the most important thing about any job.

I adore NYC so much and have had plans with all my awesome friends and sister throughout the week that have made me feel like a real New Yorker already. This weekend is no exception — busy busy busy!

Shockingly, I also cannot wait to start the apartment hunting. Anybody have any leads?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life List Update: September 17, 2008

Its been a while since I've posted my updates to my life list and I need a reminder myself! Last time I posted it I only had 15 conquered. In the last 4 1/2 months, I've conquered 6 more things! Great progress! Stuff in italics are DONE! Stuff in blue are in the works.

STRENGTHEN MY BODY
1. run a marathon :: completed on October 28, 2007 (PR 4:42:44). Training for my second right now for November 2 in NYC. I can't believe I'm training for another! I'm not even an athlete!
2. complete a triathlon :: completed at Douglas, MA 5 Star Triathlon on September 13, 2008
3. buy a bike :: completed on April 24, 2007

4. ride a century (100mile) bike ride in honor of my Uncle Ray
5. run 10 5ks :: 4 out of 10 so far (PR 26:36)
6. learn to swim properly :: finished course at Y on 4/29/08, fluent with freestyle and backstroke
7. surf in New England
8. surf in Hawaii
9. surf in Indonesia
10. go rockclimbing outdoors
11. run in Central Park :: completed on 8/5/07 during NYC Nike Half Marathon
12. run up the stairs of the Chicago Sears Tower
13. run a half-marathon in less than 2 hours (PR is 2:08:59) :: next year
14. take boxing classes
15. do a yoga 30-day challenge
16. drink 8 glasses of water a day for one full month :: why is this one SO hard for me?!?
17. no soda for a full year :: started 10/1/07 and don't really miss it shockingly. Only a few more weeks!
18. compete at least three seasons of tennis league

FEEL THE ADRENALINE
19. go skydiving for my 30th birthday :: have to reschedule this... my initial attempt on 4/12/07 got canceled because of weather
20. ride an elephant
21. ride a camel
22. go skinny dipping
23. gamble in Vegas :: completed on 5/9/07 on a work trip
24. go white-water kayaking and/or sea kayaking
25. scale/belay down a building
26. climb a volcano
27. target practice at a shooting range :: Liz and I keep talking about going...
28. play paintball :: finished on 4/13/08 with sisters, Bill, cousin Todd, and Tim... want to do it again!
29. go snowboarding out West
30. go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
31. swim with sharks
32. swim with dolphins
33. drive a sportscar around a track
34. go dog sledding
35. climb Mt. Kilmanjaro

SEE THE WORLD
36. climb Macchu Picchu
37. go on an African safari :: I think my good friend Jen is getting married in Kenya in 2009!
38. visit the Pyramids
39. drive across America from coast-to-coast
40. visit Japan :: completed on 5/14/08
42. visit 200 places in the "1001 Places to See Before You Die" :: 50 out of 200 so far
43. visit Stockholm
44. visit Kenya
45. visit Montreal
46. visit Morocco
47. ride a mule in the Grand Canyon
48. go on a mission trip
49. spend a weekend in a log cabin in the wilderness :: October 2 in New Hampshire with Laura, Braden, and friends
50. spend New Year's in an exotic location
51. ride in a hot air balloon :: completed on 7/12/08 in Stowe, Vermont (thanks, Steve!)
52. go on a yoga vacation/retreat
53. visit a rainforest :: completed in Belize on 12/24/07
54. fly first class
55. visit India
56. visit all seven continents :: 3 out of 7 so far
58. visit Graceland
59. attend Maine's Lobsterfest
60. attend the Head of the Charles Regatta :: completed on 10/21/07 - thanks Jeff & Sarah!
61. watch the sunset on the West Coast in a romantic setting
62. watch the sunrise on the East Coast in a romantic setting
63. spend an entire weekend on a sailboat
64. take a helicopter tour

FEED MY BRAIN
65. get CPR certified
66. learn to make paella :: completed on 5/26/07
67. read the Bible
68. grow and eat my own herbs + vegetables
69. learn to roll sushi :: classes on 9/19/08
70. learn to pray the rosary (in memory of my grandmother + with her rosary)
71. bake bread from scratch :: completed 9/29/07 (rosemary bread... mmm)
72. learn to chop food like a pro :: finished cooking chopping class on 6/8/08 given to me from Danielle, Kristen, + Liz! I can't wait!
73. learn another language fluently
74. read/reread all 100 of the "Radcliffe 100 Best Novels" :: only 9 out of 100
75. watch all 100 of the AFI's 100 years, 10th anniv edition :: 34 out of 100 so far, currently have MIDNIGHT COWBOY from Netflixx

76. learn more about investing
77. learn woodworking + make a piece of furniture :: finished a lovely teak coffeetable on 1/24/08

ADVANCE MY FUTURE
78. develop a better/stricter budget and stick to for at least 3 months :: working on it lately!
79. pick back up my contributions to my 401K

80. write a will
81. start a new 111 to-do's once this one is halfway finished

PLAY UP MY CREATIVITY
82. learn at least three songs on my guitar
83. take up art more regularly (though drawing, painting, photography, or mixed media)
84. commit at least three balloon animals to memory :: almost!
85. knit an entire sweater
86. sell some type of art/product
87. teach a class
88. be in another play or musical
89. write/illustrate a children's book and submit it to a publisher

GIVE BACK
90. convince someone else to start a list of life to-do's :: completed on 7/29/07, Lori and Missy
91. adopt a family for thanksgiving or christmas
92. volunteer once a week for at least 6 months :: going to a BostonCares orientation on 5/10/08, don't know if this will be a regular weekly volunteer or more sporadic but its a step!
93. organize a charity event
94. be someone's mentor
95. donate hair to Locks of Love charity

SACRIFICE UNNECESSARIES
96. give up coffee for at least 3 months :: finished 1/1/08
97. go to bed no later than 11pm every weekday for a month
98. one week without a single curse word :: shit
99. go one week without complaining a single time
100. no computer for one whole week :: completed week of 5/14/08 while in Japan, Vancouver, Seattle

OH YEA... SUPERFICIAL STUFF TOO
101. buy a car
102. buy a house/condo/2-square-foot-of-land!
103. own a pair of manolo blahniks or jimmy choos :: completed on 9/16/08 (thanks, you know who you are!)
104. wear a bikini and feel 100% gorgeous + confident with my body
105. eat at a Michelin-rated restaurant
106. be on a silly TV gameshow (reality TV shows DO NOT count)
107. do a keg stand with both my sisters :: completed on 4/12/08
108. kiss someone in the pouring rain (a la The Notebook... *sigh*)
109. throw an old-school all-girls pajama party sleepover :: completed on 4/26/08
110. go to the movies once a month for a full year :: what the hell? I thought this would be easier than it is turning out to be!!
111. go on a picnic complete with basket, blanket, wine, and a cute guy

Oops, I Did Again

Talk about crazy juxtapositions again. The other night it was ice cream and "The Biggest Loser". Tonight its mashed potatoes, a single can of beer that's been in my fridge FOREVER and "America's Next Top Model". Skinny bitches make me hungry! I'm a bit of a couch potato lately, huh? I did a good abs/arms workout today though and have big plans for working out in the next few days and have been working my a** off, so its ok. And I just got my braces tightened and am on a mashed potato, applesauce, or oatmeal diet for the next few days. And the alcohol also eases the pain!

Can't wait to show you my cool logos for my friend Shelley — a phenomenally talented Indian Bridal Fashion Designer. And my logos for a local favorite printer of mine. And lots of holiday cards (yes, early huh?). And two web sites for some very talented photographers. And new stationery for a local interior designer. BUSY BUSY BUSY! And more leads on the way!

Brace Face Expiring Soon

Went to get my grill tightened today. . . and told them about my limited time left in Boston. So, I'm on the fast track now. November 19 is the day (technically I get them off on October 28 but November 19 is the permanent retainer of it all and then I'm only due back for check-ups which will obviously be less frequent because of the traveling).

HOORAH!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And I Don't Feel Bad About It . . .

Yes, I confess that I am eating ice cream with chocolate syrup on it as I am watching the premiere episode of "The Biggest Loser." I realize that most people may feel guilty by this pairing. Not me — I ran 20 miles earlier today and burned 2200 calories. This ice cream is entirely deserved. Especially only three days after my triathlon.

Sorry for the gloating. . . I'm getting to that exhausted and unmotivated portion of my marathon training so its good to keep reminding myself how well I'm actually doing!

I Love My New Choos

So . . . totally random and unexpected but another item is scratched off the old life list today. "103. own a pair of Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos." (yes, I put silly superficial things on my list to compensate for all the hard work of triathlons and marathons and such). Don't get the wrong idea and think I'm blowing my budget, they were a gift from a particularly wonderful and generous person.

I just love love love them. Yippee!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Crash Course in Triathlons

Literally. . . so Life List #2 "Complete a triathlon" checked off this weekend. Barely.

My sister Tessa schlepped her bike on Bolt Bus this past weekend from NYC (it actually worked pretty well, she just locked it to one of the bars in the baggage bins so it wouldn't toss around. Of course, then the bus driver said, "Oh, if I had known you had a bike we could have put it on the bike rack in the back." Nice, the Bolt Bus customer service folks failed to mention this but now at least we know!).

So Saturday morning. . . a lovely cool day, we left in our Honda Element zipcar at 6:30 am for Douglas, MA. We didn't get there without a lot of drama. AS I got on 90, I noticed a weird light on the dashboard and a very loud sound when I got around 70mph. Called zipcar team and they referenced the car's manual and said it seems like one of my tires was low. Pulled over at the next gas station, and sure enough the back tire was REALLY low. Had to go buy a tire gauge and fill er up. It didn't even register at 10lb pressure when I measured it. So after about 15-20 minutes we had it up to 40 and were good to go. Thank God Tessa was there to help run back and forth from the store there or it would have easily taken me 40 minutes.

We got there in plenty of time to set up our equipment in the transition stations but barely got our stretching on. The triathlon was organized by firm-racing which was so great with customer service (I had to reschedule twice and they were totally fine with it. . . thanks, Wendy!). The park was absolutely gorgeous. A very serene lake and beautiful wooded surroundings.

Tess was in the 20-24 age group (our ages were marked on the back of our calves. Hey thanks, organizers). I was in the 30-34 age group.

Oh, an even more fascinating note, the Hoyt team was competing. Rick is the father of Dick Hoyt a man who was born with brain damage and is parapalegic. They compete in the Boston Marathon and many others every year. Rick Hoyt is now in the 65-69 age group and still kicking ass. Rick pulls his son in a raft through the swim and pushes him in a carriage for both the bike and the run. Amazing. They compete in the 15-hour Hawaiian Ironman triathlon as well! This was I think they're 956th or something triathlon/race overall and the Boston Marathon 2009 will be they're 1000th! Such an inspiration. They are up for the Versus Toughest Athlete Competition . . . vote for them and learn more here.

The swim portion was tough. Only 1/4 mile, I still kinda freaked I think because of the crowds. I did the backstroke for a while because the freestyle was exhausting for me and ended up way off course. I'm like a bad shopping cart. But I quickly recovered and made it (although I couldn't seem to do my bilateral breathing so I literally kept my head above water. . . I'm a wuss). I finished in 10:38 and Tessa kicked a** at 9:21.

Then off to the 11-mile bike portion with a very confusing transition for us newbies. We got started off and quickly realized we were in for a treat because the hills were INSANE!!! At a very sharp turn at mile 4, I hit a patch of gravel going too fast and took a pretty crazy spill. Off my bike in the way of another biker, rolled off and into the other lane. Thankfully there were police officers (and an ambulance waiting. . . reassuring!) and the one cop jumped between me and a cargo van that was approaching the stop sign and luckily going slow enough to stop in time. FREAKED OUT! So I got back on the bike and continued in a bit of pain as I noticed my scraped up shin swelling up. So through the last 7 miles (and that turn which we had to repeat in loop 2), I took it a lot more cautious and it definitely slowed me down. Thankfully Tessa was a few bikers ahead of me when I crashed because she had no idea. She would have totally freaked out and stopped too. So I finished the bike portion in 46:30 (pretty good considering) and Tess again kicked bootie at 45:24. Awesome job, Tess! I knew she would do well since last week she did a 36-mile tandem ride through New York with the Achilles Club. She's hardcore.

Then we put the bikes back and headed off to the run. Moron Melissa kept her dumb biking gloves on but they were good sweat wipers since the humidity was kicking in. Again, VERY HILLY. It was only 3 miles but they were tough. I finished in a pretty good (for having already pushed myself for the past hour) 30:19 and Tessa did 31:30.

And then we finished! HOORAH!!! Tessa's final time was 1:29:49 and she was 4th in her age group. One away from an award! Next time, Tess. I finished a bit behind her at 1:30:24 sadly 13th in my age group (which happened to be second to last only in front of a girl who got disqualified). No worries. It was my first time, I took a nasty fall and the next person ahead of me was only 1:30:08. Again. . . next time. I'm so proud of Tessa! And also of course myself . . . I think it could have possibly been tougher than the marathon last year!

And lastly (I apologize for such a long blog post), we made it to the part we had been looking forward to all week — Friendly's for lunch! Yummy greasy food of chicken fingers, fries, burgers, and onion rings and the piece de resistance: conehead sundaes. The light of my childhood. And then we finally headed back to Boston for showers and naps. MMMMMM.

Good day. Quite sore today but we both feel like we'd do it again. Although I think this may be my last marathon (unless I train with a friend), I think my goal is at least one half-marathon and one triathlon for each of the next few years. Tessa and I both think we can shave some serious time if we train a bit harder. I was definitely not prepared for the swim or the bike! We're still pretty much badasses though. :)

(more pics to come as we hammed it up for the photographers with the triathlon organizers quite a bit).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gropius House, Lincoln MA

After my morning of lattes, girl talk, sunning, and swimming at the Walden, Christi and I decided to head over to the Gropius house. A place we've both always wanted to visit but never got to. Its only about 5 minutes from Walden. . .

We got there in perfect time with 2 spots left in the 2pm tour that was a mere 3 minutes away. Kismet.

The house was gorgeous. Walter Gropius built it in 1937 after moving from Berlin and then Britain. He was an icon of architecture and the Bauhaus design movement (which I adore and am entirely inspired by). The house was filled with unusual materials that were mainly purchased from mass-produced products . . . such as museum lighting, clapboard walls, and department store huge single-pane windows. So inspiring to see how he was able to pull inspiration and shift the function of these items to work so cohesively and elegantly in his own home. Something I aspire to do with my own graphic design.

The simplicity was another item of note. As I look around my apartment, I realize that over the course of three years, I've aquired a lot of unnecessary things. My focus from now on will be to streamline everything considerably. Buying quality items and keeping things neat and minimal. His house made me realize it can still be perfectly homey and cozy without all the tchotkes and miscellaneous home decorations. Keeps the focus on the items that are the most important to you.

Great hour spent (and even better day). I really recommend it if only to enjoy the gorgeous landscapes and beautiful Lincoln / Concord quiet and charm not to mention the incredible architecture.

Swimming with Fishes

So last weekend, as part of the day of bachelorette fun, Sarah, Kim, Leah, and myself all trekked out to the quaint Walden Pond in Concord to catch some sun before heading back into the city for a night of revelry. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to practice my lake swim with the upcoming triathlon on 9/13 (which is also a lake swim because I'm definitely not ready for the ocean!).

I didn't do so well and realized that although I'm pretty confident in a pool at this point, the whole not seeing the bottom and being freaked out anytime a fish swam too close, made me panic, gasp for air, and gulp water repeatedly. Not a good forecast.

So this lovely weekend, I headed back out with my pal Christi. MUCH BETTER! I realize, that like running, its the starting out and getting my groove that is the roughest part. I swam half-way out and back (1/2 mile?). Although it took me a hefty 20 minutes, that was because I stopped frequently so I could switch strokes or even just tread water. Something I'm not too skilled at and I felt I better feel more comfortable in case I tire out. I also took multiple moments of pause and floating to just soak up the sun and enjoy the quiet of being stranded in the middle of a lake. It was incredible and I'm definitely much more confident that I can do this thing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Such Nice Things!

So... my sisters have always said great things to me and buttered me up as well. I love them so much for their constant ego boosts when I'm feeling low. In addition to their constant loveliness, I've had some recent things said to me by other folks that have caught me off-guard and made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I think these two recent statements rank in the top 5 compliments anyone has ever given me:

1. My friend Steve has said several times starting at the NYC Half-Marathon that I was very inspiring. Now I know that that's probably specifically relating to the running/training and fundraising but being told you are inspiring in any form is such an amazing feeling. I think that's the best adjective someone can attach to another person. I think about the people in my life that inspire me... and I'm so proud to be called that.

2. Last night I was chatting with my boss from my previous job, Janet. Janet has always, in fact, also been very inspiring to me and someone I've always respected, trusted, and loved. She asked me what race I was training for now and I said I was working on my second marathon, this one in NYC. She was shocked and I replied with "I know. Would you ever think three years ago that I would have finished even one marathon!?" And she replied "Yes. I could have actually easily imagined." And then I was the shocked one, replying "But I'm so klutzy and un-athletic!" To which she answered: "Maybe so, but you've always been so determined that nothing seems to surprise me any more." It was a very clever and funny thing to say but even more so, it was the feather in my cap that I've really been needing lately both with my marathon training and with my confidence as a designer. I am actually a very determined person and have always been so... and I need to remind myself of that and channel that determination that has somehow become a bit buried lately under feelings of doubt.

Who knows... maybe my determination will inspire someone. ;)

Sorry for the blogpost of sappiness, sentimentality and tooting my own horn.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Sick Cat and My Worried Niece

My 18-year-old cat Midnight is not faring well lately folks. Hopefully you will not be getting any other updates and that she'll just start feeling better.

In the meantime, I thought I would exchange how awesome my 4-year-old niece Madeline is.

On my phone call today, I asked Madeline if she would pray for Midnight before she went to bed.

She said "No. I don't pray before bed. I pray when I'm in church with my Mom because that's where all that praying stuff happens."

Later Jessica reports another conversation with Maddy (she had no idea about my conversation with her earlier):
Maddy: Mommy, you look nice. Are you going to church?
Jessica: No, I'm going to dinner.
Maddy: Is church open today?
Jessica: Probably.
Maddy: Can we go later?
Jessica (clueless) Um, no, because you'll be in bed when I come home. How about Sunday?
Maddy: No. I have to go tonight so I can pray for Midnight.

TOO CUTE!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I May be Belated but She's Still 33 Years of Fabulous!

Luckily, my sister Jessica is a very patient girl. Sorry I'm so crazy late!

I have so many memories of my last 30 years (her 33) with my older sister Jessica. She was the ultimate in childhood playmates. Flying kites, playing hide-n-seek in the corn, trying to trek to the "monster tree" at the other end of the neighbors field, playing in the woods, fun with Barbies (along with our Strawberry Shortcakes and Michael Jackson dolls), and coloring the drywall in our colorful playroom... and so many more tales that I could probably write hundreds of blog posts on!

Shockingly, I actually don't remember us fighting too much at all as kids. We had to be united in the middle of nowhere USA. And she was so patient with my shadowing her every step.

Then we entered the teenage years and, in high school, she flourished. She was the most talented in chorus, she loved playing tennis, and she got great grades. Guess what I did in high school... exactly the same damn things! I guess I continued to shadow her. What can I say? She inspired me to achieve what she had and I know I may not have set my goals so high if she hadn't paved the way.

Additionally, even as a young child, she had such an infatuation with reading and writing. That was the one area where, although I was always pretty good with those same disciplines, I did not want to shadow her. I knew her talents weren't something you could easily learn or try really hard to achieve... not that she didn't work her ass off through high school and college and beyond of course... but it came so naturally and brilliant to her that I had to watch at a distance in awe.

And now so many years later, she is a very talented writer in DC surviving in a field (newspaper journalism) that is sadly a dying industry. And although obviously the future is rocky, she perseveres where many have not.

She is married to an incredible man who is such a great addition to our wacky family (happy belated to you too Bill). As soon as I met him I knew he was the one. We met at a New Years party and bonded over magnetic poetry (which just got more and more interesting as the alcohol flowed). He was a riot and just as hilarious and fun as Jessica. And even more importantly, she adored him and he was able to recognize the many amazing characterics that I also adore her for. Its gotta be so tough for any man to compete with the bond between my sisters and I, not to mention simply keep up with Jessica's wit and sass, but Bill has proved he can handle all three of us (unless we're wielding paintball guns).

Lastly, she's additionally an inspiration as a mother. I obviously had a great one as my own inspiration, and Jessica reinforces it. Her personality throughout her life has been one of watchfulness and mothering both to myself and to our younger sister. So to be the mom of her two incredible children, let alone a phenomenal one at that, is not a stretch of the imagination nor a surprise. Even more amazing, is that at merely 4, her daughter Madeline reminds me SO much of Jessica. The way Madeline takes care of her younger brother Eli, is so Jessica as a big sister to me. Maddy will be a great mother, an amazing sister, a gorgeous sassy wit, and a smart and talented whatever-she-decides-to-be-someday.

Happy belated birthday, Jessica. I love you and I'm still inspired by you to this day.





Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mercat :: HOW Design Annual October 2008

Hoorah! HOW featured our Mercat collateral in the newest issue (they also featured Korn Design's Liberty Hotel Do Not Disturb Sign).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quote of the Day (or maybe year)

Great quote for when things get tough . . .

In a letter to his son, Einstein wrote, “Life is like a bicycle, to keep your balance your must keep on moving.”

(via hello bauldoff through swissmiss)

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm So Graceful

This weekend, during the festivities of the Gaya/Ott wedding . . . right before their very classy brunch, I was running a bit early, so I stopped to fill up the old Zipcar at the gas station (PS. why is it that the zipcar gas cards have NEVER in my 4 year history of being a zipcar member worked for me? Such a pain to have to keep faxing my receipts for reimbursements!). Just as I was leaving the gas station store, I hadn't realized there was one little step down. So right there, dressed in my sweet little brunch dress and wedge shoes, and in front of the crowded station where there were cars literally lined up to wait on a pump, and ab entire motorcycle gang, I took a major dive. Literally, on all fours and knees and then a little roll even. My sunglasses flew off my face, my purse opened and spilled across the station. And I'm pretty sure I let out a little yell and an "ugh" when I hit. No less than ten people came out of the convenience store, over from their Harleys, out of their cars to help me out. Quite embarassing (although no more than being on stage and singing Proud Mary with the wedding band the night before). I showed up to the brunch bleeding. . . thankfully the bathrooms were just before the entrance to the brunch so I could wipe off the cement and blood attached to my knee. And the little limp I still had from rolling my ankle I tried to play off as a hip pimp walk.

Just as I'm having one of those days were I'm feeling and looking good, God likes to remind me that I'm not really all that. ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mr. & Mrs. Sabrina & David Ott: August 16, 2008

Check out the great slideshow of the awesome wedding this weekend (link to photos here)... everyone had an amazing time and the Ott's and Gaya's throw one hell of a great party. Congratulations, Sabrina & Dave!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gone are the Days of "Sex in the City" and My Single Lady Friends

Obviously I'm still single and have my own love life issues . . . but there are two updates to two of my favorite former roommates and coincidentally the two girls I shared my "Sex in the City" tv-show watching days. Those were the days of going to bars and flirting with dumb boys . . . of dreaming of joining Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha at brunch . . . and of just being young and carefree and not have the stress of planning a 5-figure party.

The most recent update: Christi (aka blogorelli) became affianced this past weekend to her fabulous boyfriend (and my roomie replacement) Mark. Very romantic . . . and very sweet (read the story here on Mark's blog). Christi has long considered herself very much a single gal and was always slightly resistant to the whole settling down thing. So it is with utmost confidence that we all know this moment is not only joyous and happy but also, obviously, the real thing. I'm so happy for them!

Additionally, I'm so ridiculously giddy and thrilled to announce my upcoming role as bridesmaid in the wedding of my other former-roommate and "single girl in crime" Miss Lynn. She was shocked to find that I was so surprised! I totally cried when she asked me! She has a lot of phenomenal friends that I've met and known throughout the year, so I was totally flattered. I'm so thrilled and we're already having so much fun discussing colors, bridesmaids dresses, her gorgeous venue, and other cute details. At this rate, we may have her 9-12-09 wedding planned out and ready by Christmas!

Wow . . . 2009 is the year of the wedding for me! I'm so excited!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

SCREAMING IN CAPS LOCK!

I HATE when people use caps lock on me (even though I've been guilty a few rare times). And this hilarious graphic that Tara emailed me sums up why.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Amazing Personalized Olympics Tracker

On NYtimes.com... I LOVE it! You can rearrange the order to put your favorite sports and then click to see what is showing when and what days (you can even change the time to show Beijing time if ya really want). And then it lists all the events, but puts a cute little medal icon next to all the final events so you can schedule in just for that rather than watching 4 hours of badminton (really? badminton? canoeing? seriously?).

Click here to make your own schedule. WOO HOO! I cannot wait!

Fruity Champagne Toasts to Bén on his birthday!

Happy birthday, Ben... hope you win $10K from all those scratch tickets I got you and that you have a great day!

(you look so sly in this random pic I found)

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Handful of Random Notes for Today

1. I gotta get to the beach. My racerback tanline from all my running gear is ridiculous... and I can see the faint outline of a white armband from ipod developing too.

2. I'm wearing high-heels today. That's HUGE for the day after a long run. I guess my recovery nutrition worked well!

3. My cat loves when I do yoga or crunches on the floor. She has to seriously get up in there and sit like two inches from me. Its so annoying and endearing at the same time.

4. I realized that for the second year in a row, its August and my landlord has not sent me anything to renew my lease. Last year, I withheld my August rent for like two weeks and nagged the hell out of them until they FINALLY sent me the new lease. This year, I think I'm just going to pay for August and hope that since I'm not signed in, I can just keep paying and have a month-to-month lease. I know they don't have their sh*t together enough to ever really give me a 30-day notice to move out because they seem too lazy to ever find a new tenant (plus I'm a pro at moving if I really had to). Also, this gives me a good out if I wanted to move to New York in... I dunno... January?

Have a great week everybody!