Monday, May 31, 2010

End of Vacation

Apologies for not posting for so long.

I worked twelve consecutive days to prepare to take a vacation.
And then I *finally* took the vacation.

Ten days of it. Ten incredible days of it.

The only bad part of vacation is the end of vacation.
The inevitable goodbyes to sleeping in, to spending your days outside and - most of all - to loved ones, are what make it so difficult to return to reality.

After waking up at 3:30AM this morning and boohooing my way through security once I was forced to release my death-grip-of-a-hug on my boyfriend, I boarded my first flight. I regained consciousness upon landing and hurried to the gate for my second and final flight home. I found the nearest bathroom, inhaled a cheap breakfast biscuit and boarded the plane. I pulled out a magazine and quickly re-entered the bobbing-of-the-head stage that always happens when you're not yet allowed to recline your seat from its upright position. This time I woke up to a voice on the intercom and realized we were still on the ground. The pilot, a.k.a. the mystery person you never actually see, informed us that they needed to replace part of the left engine because it was broken. Two hours and one heat stroke later, we were told that we needed to get off the plane. After a confusing exodus, the airline transferred us to another gate. At this point, I was wide awake -- and not happily so. There was one thing I wanted: sleep.

I recognized the petite Asian girl that sat next to me once we re-boarded. She was the same girl that sat next to me before, but this time I was awake enough to process the concept of others. Her overly enthusiastic approach to life, or at least flying, paired well with her hot pink glitter eyeliner that she mistakenly used all over her cheeks and forehead. I began to question her seat-partner-flight-etiquette when she asked to read my magazines and have some of my Starbursts. "Sure, why not?", I thought. I can share.

But then she did the unthinkable.

She reached over and opened the window shade.    *GASP*

There should be a rule stated in those airline tablets stuck in the back of the seats - "He or she who hath window seat hath full control of window". It was sweltering and way too bright for my lack-of-caffeine morning to handle. I smiled politely and let her glance at the incredibly fascinating view of the runway, the majority of which was obstructed by a wing, and slowly slid the shade down. Ahh, coolness and darkness. Oh, but Sparkly Lady wasn't havin' it. "Open, open!", she shouted before reaching over and sliding the shade back up. I sat there in disbelief as she pointed and giggled and smiled - and smiled more. During takeoff, I looked around for Mickey as I thought we had inadvertently boarded Splash Mountain. She cooed as she pressed her palms against her cheeks in anticipation and began to yelp when we left the ground. Someone needed to get this girl a tranquilizer. After thirty minutes of her flipping through my Us Weekly and showing me every picture and giggling (nahh, of course I wasn't planning on reading it for myself), she...finally.fell.asleep.

I reclined my seat and nestled in to MY, now shut, window and took a three hour nap.

I must admit that despite my bitter and sad mood today, there was one thing that helped. And it, oddly enough, involved the window being open. I woke up to find Miss Giddy, now awake, staring at me. She was doing the kind of staring where she was pretending not to stare.  Every time I'd glance back, she'd quickly look straight up at the buttons & non-working air blowers as if I hadn't caught her. I had conveniently blocked her reach to the window with my purse during my nap and knowing that we were nearing LaGuardia, it didn't take much for me to guess what she wanted. I reluctantly opened the window shade.

We had begun our descent as we flew up the west side of Manhattan. The sky was so clear that I could almost pick out my apartment building.

There it was. My city. My home.

After heaving my enormous suitcase up the stairs and shutting my apartment door, I took a breather at the kitchen counter. I pulled out my US Weekly and a small crinkled piece of paper fell out. On it, in scratchy writing, read:

empire state building
times square

I thought of the overjoyed girl and her NYC list. She's right; there's a reason to smile - and smile more.

until next time,


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Derek Jeter Workout

When living in New York City, you must make a very important decision.

yes, ABZ, I still have these teNeues notecards!

I pick the Yankees. And I pick Derek Jeter. (which, in contrast to popular belief, is not pronounced like the orange cheese...wink.)

I saw a reference to this on my twitter-feed this morning and thought I'd share. I'm always posting about "girlie" things - so this is for you, P.

The Derek Jeter Workout, from Men's Health Magazine

"To ensure peak performance as he becomes older, Derek Jeter, the 35-year-old all-star shortstop for the New York Yankees, uses a workout like this one to help him stay in the game. Focus on these moves for a chance to put up MVP-like numbers and defy your age.


Get loose with old-school calisthenics before each training session. Researchers at the United States Military Academy have found that this approach helps you sprint faster, jump higher, and throw harder immediately afterward. Do 30 seconds each of jumping jacks, arm circles, pushups, lunges, and body-weight squats.

Each of the following three supersets pairs a pushing exercise with a pulling exercise. This helps prevent muscle imbalances that can lead to injuries and builds a symmetrical physique. Do the two moves in each superset back-to-back without taking a breather, and then rest for one minute before progressing to the next superset. Complete three sets.

Superset #1

Barbell Squat
Set a bar on a squat rack and step under it so the bar rests across your upper back. Pull your shoulders back as you grab the bar with an overhand grip. The bar should sit comfortably on your upper trapezius. Lift the bar off the rack and step back. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, back straight, and eyes focused straight ahead. Slowly lower your body as if you were sitting back into a chair, keeping your back naturally arched and your knees in line with your toes. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause, then drive your heels into the floor and push back to the starting position. Do eight to 12 reps.

Romanian Deadlift
Stand and hold a weighted barbell with a pronated grip, at arm's length. Feet are shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Keep your head up, shoulders back, and lower back arched as you lower the bar toward the floor while keeping your knees slightly bent. Push your hips backward to start the movement, so much, in fact, that your toes may start to rise as the weight is lowered. Your range of motion will be dictated by your hamstring flexibility. Do eight to 12 reps.

Superset #2

Barbell Lunge
Grasp a weighted barbell with your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Raise it over your head and lower it so it rests across the back of your shoulders. Spread your feet so they're shoulder-width apart. Now step forward as far as possible with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. (Make sure your front knee doesn't extend beyond your toes.) Meanwhile bend your rear knee until it nearly touches the floor. Pause, then push yourself to the starting position as quickly as you can. Do eight to 12 reps with your right leg, and then switch to your left leg and repeat.

Dumbbell Single-arm Row
Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, arm straight, and place your left hand and left knee on a bench. Use your upper-back muscles to pull the dumbbell up and back. Pause, then slowly lower the weight. Do eight to 12 reps on each side.

Superset #3

Dumbbell Incline-Bench Press
Lie faceup on an incline bench and hold a pair of dumbbells at the sides of your chest with an overhand grip (palms forward). Press the weights straight above your chest. Then lower them to the starting position. Do eight to 12 reps.

Grab a chinup bar with an overhand grip (palms forward) and your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Hang with your arms straight and pull your shoulder blades down. Pull your chest to the bar. Then lower yourself to the starting position. Aim for 10 reps.

Read more here.

Don't be shy, ladies. It's always good to jazz up your workout routine and mix in some strength training.

Jeter's doin' something right!

until next time,


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Ladies and gents, it's finally here. Today is the grand opening of Nordstrom Rack in Union Square!
picture from

The store is in the southeast end of Union Square, the former home to the Virgin Megastore. Surprisingly, this will be Nordstrom's first home in Manhattan as they've struggled to find the right venue over the years.

Nordstrom Rack will house department store wares at about 50-60% off retail price. Now there's something to smile about. While much of their merchandise comes from what doesn't sell in other parts of the country, designers also send their lines directly.

According to Racked NY's website, Nordstrom Rack will showcase the following brands - Free People, Elizabeth & James, Mike & Chris, Milly, Tracy Reese, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Rebecca Minkoff (yes!!), Fendi, Prada, and much more.

Bargain shopping is my favorite sport. If you don't understand this grandiose claim, welp, you've clearly been raised by a different mother.

until next time,


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

a tribute to all the many moms out there...

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...and a special shout out to the best one of all. Love you, Mom. If I end up being even half the woman you are, I will be one lucky lady.

until next time,


Friday, May 7, 2010

PopBars in the Village & Etsy Crafts in Chelsea

When life gets crazy, I can always count on my friends to make sure I'm in the loop of what's going on in the city.

Miss Annie bo Bannie brought this Urban Daddy post to my attention:

Gelato on a Stick
"There might be an excess of licking in the West Village this summer. The culprit: a new form of popsicle-ized gelato called the PopBar, sold at a new shop dedicated to popsicles. Eat them plain or dipped in nuts, biscotti or brownies. Even if you don't eat them at all, be prepared to buy them for friends in sundresses."
 Pop Bar, 5 Carmine St (at Sixth Ave), 212-255-4874

I can't think of any problem that gelato on a stick won't solve!

Cat, aka Pretty Kitty (wink), sent met a Going NYC link this morning for an Etsy craft fair in Chelsea this Saturday.

"Spring and summer are synonymous with street fairs in Manhattan, but anyone who stops by Crafts in Chelsea on May 8 is in for a different sort of affair: Crafts in Chelsea is made up of a select group of artisans with shops on, an online marketplace for handmade goods. The more than 100 participating vendors are all independent designers who make the wares they sell in the New York metro area.
Shoppers will be able to browse unique clothing, beautiful accessories and jewelry, bath and beauty products, stationery, and housewares, all of it made in and around New York City. Inside P.S. 11 the PTA will host a gently-used toy- and book- sale, as well as a bake sale."

street fair + Etsy + my neighborhood = my personal heaven.

TGIF, everyone.

until next time,


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