Monday, December 14, 2009

dexter season 4 season finale?!?

Holy shizz. Does anyone else watch Dexter?
I love this show and thought that I'd seen it all, but the season finale just blew my mind. It was a fantastic episode (although I'm sure there are other fans who will hold the opposite opinion). Such a dark, disturbing ending . . . I actually feel terrible, sad and a little sick after finishing the show. I'm going to re-watch the episode when I get some time because now that final scene between Dexter and TK takes on a whole new meaning. Yikes.

I can't believe I have to wait until September 2010 for the new season. I guess I'm just left thinking about what could be in store . . .

Sunday, December 13, 2009

weekly training summary -- december 7 - 13

This was one of those awful weeks where I wasn't able to get more than a few hours of sleep per night and, as a result, had far too much take-out and far too few runs and cross-training. I usually try very hard to get exercise even when life gets busy, but this was one of those weeks where even I had to throw my hands up in frustration. I hate that feeling.

Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: 3 miles
Sunday: 10 miles

I did manage to run out for a few hours and finish up my remaining Christmas shopping, since I won't have any time between now and when I leave for the 'Couv on Dec. 23. There are AMAZING sample sales this weekend (Opening Ceremony, Helmut Lang, Luca Luca, Bird, Aloha Rag . . . ) and although I couldn't stop by many of them, I did swing by the Rag and Bone sample sale and purchased the Nancy blazer in black.
I cannot own enough Rag and Bone, I tell you!

I also picked up a few presents online from J. Crew, including these gifts to myself:

I tried this schoolboy blazer on at the store before and really loved the fit. Now that they've marked down the price (plus the extra 30% I was able to take off with the internet sale this weekend), the piece became irresistible!

I thought this tee was adorable and plan to style it similarly to this picture.

Picked up a few of these basic tanks.

I'm a little old school and still like to keep a paper day planner and book for notes. I thought it was a good idea to finally pick up something to keep track of birthdays and anniversaries so that I remember when to send out cards and presents accordingly.
Not bad for a sprint-paced shopping session! I am so relieved to have all of my Christmas presents ready to go for the upcoming holiday (and perhaps a few too many presents for myself!) -- now I can just focus on getting a million and one things done at the office before I leave NYC for a short vacation. Really looking forward to seeing some of you while I'm back West visiting my parents!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

3 am internet shopping is dangerous (part two) . . . .

I know that this isn't news for folks who follow fashion -- but man, in the past year or so, has J. Crew stepped it up or what? I used to shop there in high school and my first couple years of college, but quickly grew sick of the prices I would pay for such boring and ill-fitting clothes. But now? I really love their stuff. I work in a professional environment and am expected to adhere to a particular NY office woman look, which normally is the kiss of death for me. J. Crew has some really fun pieces to add to my basics so that I don't feel like I have to completely put aside my personal style in order to adhere to the office code (another store that fits the bill is Ann Taylor -- I swear!). Luckily, my firm is pretty laid-back about clothing, as far as law firms go. Case in point: Last month I got away with wearing a pink dress with an SATC opening credits-worthy tulle and lace skirt section + a black cropped Alexander McQueen for Target blazer and some tights. Not the type of outfit I'd wear for a client meeting or court, but at least I feel like I have the freedom to wear some fun pieces on normal workdays.

I had another 3 am internet shopping therapy session tonight. Here's what my efforts resulted in:

I debated this coat earlier in the season -- I hate buying black winter coats. Too practical. But after rocking my Phillip Lim (in green) from last year + other difficult-to-match hued coats a few too many times, I bit the bullet and started hunting for a black coat. And after they marked this girl down, I was sold! [Note to shoppers: the coat runs big -- at the store, I had to drop down to a size 0 petite, when I normally prefer a solid 2/4 so that there's room for a suit jacket or a sweater, so take that for what it is]
Did you know that it's next to impossible to find black denim? Yeah, I didn't know either. Seemed simple enough -- I wanted an easy pair of non-blue jeans to wear on the weekends so that I could finally end my lazy pattern of throwing on leggings, a tank and oversized cardigan (I've been fighting the leggings disease for years now . . . they're just so comfy . . . .). After finding these guys, I hopefully will begin a new lazy pattern of throwing on jeans, a tank and an oversized cardigan. Yeah, I know --I'm living on the edge. In terms of sizing, J. Crew denim usually runs true-to-size (unlike that Gap nonsense -- seriously, the vanity sizing thing needs to stop!). Hopefully this pair will fit like I think they should.

Fun thigh high socks for the weekend -- I got a pair in grey.
New top to throw with a suit for work. Steeply discounted to only $19.99!Making me wear a pair of chinos is normally akin to forcing a vampire to go sunbathing. The above picture is a testament to Jenna Lyons' styling ability. Seems simple enough -- roll some pant legs and throw on a metallic belt -- but those little steps made pants I would normally hate quite palatable to me (although let's not even discuss those awful shoes). Plus, they were only $20. : )

Bottom line is that I've added J. Crew to my list of go-to shops, especially for work gear. I should have known this was inevitable after they added Erin Wasson to their line-up of adorable (yet still interesting-looking) models. I'm a sucker for anything that might be a throw-back to grunge or a "nod to the crisp Seattle weather." ; )

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

3 am internet shopping is dangerous . . . .

Yep, I am totally getting this Phillip Lim dress for the holidays. It is exactly what I'm digging right now: Sequined, frilly, yet stylable into something that's a little bit rock 'n roll. A refreshing take on the ubiquitous one-shouldered dress. Gonna wear it with my platform ankle motorcycle boots from Zara (platform + motorcycle = contradiction?) and my favorite cropped leather jacket. Loves it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

weekly training summary -- november 30 - december 1

It is so much harder to train now that the weather is getting colder and the days are getting darker much earlier here in NYC. I'm trying to stick to a 5 days per week workout schedule (consisting of 3 - 4 runs + remainder as strength and cross training), but it is such a challenge -- especially with my crazy long work days!
  • Monday: 60 minutes elliptical + weights
  • Tuesday: 4 miles (intervals)
  • Friday: 6 miles
  • Saturday: Total body conditioning class (strength training)
  • Sunday: 18 miles (Long run pace. Weather was cold and sunny. Overall, the run felt great, although I was VERY disappointed by David Sedaris' "Holidays on Ice." It was by far the worst book of his that I have ever read -- actually, listened is more accurate. Boo.)
It's no secret that I'm a nut about making music mixes (I still have lots of mixed cassette tapes from junior high and high school, holla!). My most embarrassing mixes are the ones I make for races and working out. They're 90% teenybopper music and 10% music that I would actually listen to outside the confines of headphones (where no one will hear my secret shame!). That being said, I received a request for some good workout songs, so I'm including my current short run mix. I change it up every couple of months. Here's what I'm listening to on my iPod shuffle for my runs that are 8 miles or less at the moment (just in case you want some suggestions):

"Idioteque" (Radiohead), "Frug" (Rilo Kiley), "Bulletproof" (La Roux), "50 Yard Dash" (Raphael Saadiq), "Heads Will Roll" (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), "Maneater" (Nelly Furtado), "Get off the Fucking Flowers" (Blakrok and Raekwon), "Telephone" (Lady Gaga and Beyonce), "Good Girls Go Bad" (Cobra Starship),"Use Somebody" (Kings of Leon), "Battlefield" (Jordin Sparks), "Morning After Dark" (Timbaland and Nelly Furtado), "You Belong With Me" (Taylor Swift), "I'm Good I'm Gone" (Lykke Li), "Misery Business" (Paramore), "Run This Town" (Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West), "Celebration" (Madonna), "The Fixer" (Pearl Jam), "Fly on the Wall" (Miley Cyrus), "Shut Up and Let Me Go" (Ting Ting Tings), "American Idiot" (Green Day), "New York Girls" (Morningwood), "I'm the Boy" (Serge Gainsbourg), "Dirty Little Secret" (All-American Rejects)

Nick and I also saw David Duchovny while on our long run today. Not a very good celeb sighting, but I did still have to fight the urge to run back and ask him if he could really be serious about his problem -- not cool, Agent Mulder. Not cool at all.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

weekly training summary -- thanksgiving week.

Nick and I ventured out to Boston to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with one of Nick's college buddies and his family. It was an incredibly relaxing and fun trip --- but I definitely went overboard with the eating and lack of exercise. I just got back into town and am going to work hard to get back on the wagon. I feel like I gained weight just from my three days of gluttony! I may have to even resort to another 3-day Blueprint Cleanse just to feel back on track.

My training runs were limited this week, but I'm glad I even got a few in, considering all of the R&R time I put in. My long run for the week was really fabulous. Today was one of those gorgeous NYC fall days that just reminded me why I love this city so much. Running around Central Park (even the Harlem Hills felt really soothing), ending with a fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty . . . I'll never get sick of it!
  • Monday: 5.5 miles
  • Tuesday: 4 miles
  • Sunday: 16 miles

Saturday, November 28, 2009

khmer rouge tribunal - case one update.

The nine-month long trial of Kang Kek Iew (better known as "Duch"), the first case for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, ended this week. Duch is charged with crimes against humanity for his participation in the Khmer Rouge, notably in his role as commander of Tuol Sleng prison ("S-21"), where at least 14,000 people were imprisoned (almost all of whom were tortured and killed). Duch confessed to the significant role that he played in the deaths of many Cambodians.

The NY Times has a concise update of what happened in the last days of Duch's trial. The gist of it is that Duch asked for the tribunal to set him free, even with his numerous admissions of guilt. Duch's lawyers had a very unusual legal strategy in the last week of the case -- although I don't think it was a "strategy" as much as a complete debacle: First, Duch's Cambodian lawyer claimed that his client was not guilty -- even though Duch made many confessions. The next day, Duch's French lawyer asserted that Duch ought to be granted lenience because the S-21 deaths did not account for a "large" number of those who died during the Khmer Rouge's reign.

Despite Duch's lawyer's arguments in the past week, from what I've seen in this trial, there is more than enough evidence to convict Duch for the crimes that he committed. There is no way he should be granted "lenience," not to mention set free entirely. The evidence presented by the prosecutors (and Duch's own confessions, even with his qualifying statements) established that Duch did indeed commit crimes against humanity and he should be punished accordingly.

Although this first trial was a long time in the making (and, in my opinion, way too late in the game), I must admit that I'm pleased to see that the a fair trial even took place and seems well on its way to resulting in a verdict.

The tribunal's verdict is expected in early 2010. The trials of the remaining four defendants are scheduled to take place in 2011.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

long time, no blog . . . .

Yikes! I can't believe it's been over six months since my last blog entry. Let's just say that things have been incredibly busy, particularly at work. But I'm back and ready to start doing these updates more frequently.

One big accomplishment over the past months: Nick and I ran and finished the NYC Marathon on November 1st!
I can honestly say that it was one of the hardest challenges I've ever faced, both emotionally and physically. Running the mileage was hard enough, but then to throw in an incredibly difficult course was almost more than we could take. Although we finished more than a half hour longer than our goal pace, we are both really proud to have finished the race at all.

It was especially nice to celebrate post-race with some very supportive friends and Nick's parents, who were in the city from Seattle. I'm already looking forward to running the course again next year (already ran my requisite races to qualify), but this time spending a lot more time training on hills. The elevation of the bridges really kicked my butt on the course. Nick and I are also running the Goofy Challenge in Orlando, Florida this coming January. This race is over the course of a weekend and entails running both a half-marathon and a marathon in two days. The good news is that the course is incredibly flat, which we hope will help us get a much more respectable race time. The bad news is that it's only a couple of months away, and we are only now feeling (almost) physically recovered from the NYC Marathon. We officially start training again this week, after taking the requisite time off. I'm a little nervous about the races, but mostly excited. Nick and I ran the half-marathon part of the race last year and had a fun time -- great weather and an easy course should make the experience extra-enjoyable.

Other than tons of work and some running, I've been keeping busy trying to get out and about around the city. I was really bad about maintaining much of a social life because of work for awhile, but have been back on the social wagon for the past couple of months. I've caught some fantastic concerts (one of which I will need to post about later -- the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary show was ridiculous!), and had great dinners/drinks out with friends. It is so important to maintain a social life even when work is ridiculously busy, which is something I forget when I get too wrapped up with work.

Sorry that this isn't the world's most exciting blog post, especially after a long absence, but I figured it was better to keep it short and simple and let you know that I'm back on the blogging wagon, rather than keep on postponing an entry because I can't think of what the heck to write about. Hope all is well!

Workouts completed this week (borrowing this idea from my friend KB to help keep me on the exercise and training wagon):

  • Monday: 5 miles
  • Tuesday: 5 miles
  • Wednesday: 5.5 miles (speed work -- intervals)
  • Saturday: NYSC Boot Camp (this was most difficult exercise class I've EVER taken -- highly recommended for anyone in NYC looking to burn some major calories)
  • Sunday: 13 miles

Thursday, May 14, 2009

birthday weekend in south carolina

Nick and I were dying to get out of NYC for a long weekend and decided to take advantage of his credit card points by buying plane tickets to South Carolina for a visit a couple of weeks ago. One of my favorite people from high school lives in SC, and I was looking for an excuse to see her and visit her beautiful town.
Sid always hates it when I leave town. His new plan of attack when he sees me pull out my suitcase is to hide in my clothes. So cute. Makes it hard to leave!

I managed to elude the cat and Nick and I trekked out to beautiful Newark to catch our flight to Greenville. Since the flight was only an hour and a half long, we had the entire day to enjoy the town. We hit up one of the local spas, River Falls, and treated ourselves to a half day of pampering. I partake in massages fairly frequently and must admit that the massage I got at River Falls was by far the best I've ever experienced.

We wandered around town for the rest of the day, spending a chunk of time at the beautiful park located in downtown Greenville.
I mean, seriously. Who goes and puts a park with a gorgeous waterfall in the middle of a picturesque "Pleasantville" type town? The place was stunning.
We lucked out and had beautiful weather almost the entire time we were in South Carolina. The flowers and wildlife were all out and about in the park. Nick and I spent a huge chunk of time relaxing on the porch swings set up in key locations throughout the park.
We wrapped up the night with a laid-back dinner and drinks at a downtown spot. All in all, it was a fantastic (and relaxing!) way to celebrate my 29th birthday.

The next day, Nick and I decided to drive down to Charleston for his birthday. Neither one of us had ever been there before, and after a cold winter and rainy early spring in NYC, we were anxious to hit up a beach. But before we went to the water, we spent some time in historic downtown Charleston. After a big lunch where we ate loads of fresh seafood (raw oysters, shrimp and my new favorite, she-crab soup), we walked around the town for a bit and also took part in a horse-carriage ride.
I loved our tour guide. He was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the town + had a lot of interesting back stories that made each building we stopped at all the more interesting (Nick geeked out a bunch -- he loves history). The horse, Charlie, was even more amazing.
The horse was totally tough as nails. Every time a vehicle that was about his size or larger would come near him, he would pause, stare the vehicle down, crane his neck around to continue staring at the vehicle, and then would do a little skip step once the vehicle passed. This happened at least 5 different times on the trip. I kept watch on the guide and he didn't do anything -- he was apologetic about it, if anything! I immediately wanted to bring the horse with me back home. He'd do well in NYC.
We made a quick stop at the waterfront area near the downtown area. There were a number of sailboats out, and they had more of those porch swing things set up on the boardwalk. Really lovely and relaxing.
We drove out to the beach at the Isle of Palms next. It was exactly what we were looking for --- a sunny day, largely unpopulated beach, warm water, and cooling breeze.
Nick and I were clearly pumped to be at a beach. As born and raised Northwesterners, the whole "warm water at the beach" is a foreign concept. We openly embraced the change.
We also spent some time observing these kiteboarders on the water. They were doing AMAZING tricks out there --- they could catch an unbelievably crazy amount of air! My new obsession is finding a place where I can learn how to kiteboard. I need to do this while my joints are still functioning!

By the time we left the beach, the sun was starting to set. We decided to stop by a random restaurant near the beach to grab a quick bite to eat before hitting the road again. Luckily, we randomly stopped by Huck's Lowcountry Table for a few appetizers. The food was fantastic!
These shrimp hushpuppies were my favorite. Breaded perfectly, flavorful shrimp, slightly spicy corn aioli . . . . really lovely appetizer.
The crab cakes were almost equally as tasty. The crab flavor was spot-on, paired nicely with some kind of chipotle cream sauce and fried green tomatos.
I insisted on also trying the fish tacos, because I tend to love them. They were made with grilled mahi and also featured that yummy chipotle creme sauce. There must also be some kind of secret ingredient in them, because we inhaled this dish in just a few minutes!
This was the only dish I felt pretty "meh" about. I don't even remember what is was now, and it's only been a couple of weeks since our visit! Overall though, Nick and I loved the restaurant and wished we would have had more room in our stomachs to try more dishes.

After a long drive back to Greenville, we collapsed in a heap for awhile before having to wake up early to join a tour group (and our two Greenville buddies) on a full-day white water rafting trip on the Chattooga River. I would be amiss if I forgot to mention that at the very beginning of the rafting trip, once we'd split up into teams of 5 - 6 per boat, we slowly floated down the beginning the the course -- only to find a local, chewing on some kind of straw, strumming a banjo while perched on a rock in the middle of nowhere. Did I mention that the movie Deliverance was largely filmed on the Chattooga? I was ready to jump out of the boat if I heard another banjo playing with the first guy. Our guide pretended he never saw the local guy and never once made a reference to the movie . . . .
We didn't have much time to dwell upon our "welcome" to the river before we hit our first set of rapids. The course consisted mostly of Class 4 rapids, along with some Class 3s. It was very fast-paced and exciting. Our guide, Jeff, was great. He manuvered us through all kinds of stuff and fished us each out of the water when we got dumped in after hitting a rock at one point.

Below is a sequence of pictures illustrating our introduction to the "Chattooga River Swim Team." You'll note that I'm underwater in a chunk of the pictures! : )
Our guide was a rock star and ended up jumping into the water and literally throwing most of us back into the boat. It pays to have a guy who physically resembles a tough Viking as a river guide --- he was huge and getting us out of the water took just a couple of minutes!
We ended the day wet, exhausted and hungry --- but also extremely happy! The whitewater rafting was the highlight of our weekend. I'm already hoping to plan another trip down there to do it again. For our last night in SC, we took it easy after the rafting and had a nice evening of eating tacos, candy and ice cream + watching Deliverance. It made us feel extra-tough after the adventures of the day.

This turned out to be a really long post! But I must include one last picture. My friend's dog was another big highlight of the trip. He could be the world's friendliest and loving dog. I wish I could clone him and have one with me in NY!
For anyone looking to take a trip a bit off the beaten path, I highly recommend South Carolina! It's a beautiful state with lots of friendly people and plenty to do.
One last thing: After our flight back home on Sunday, we hightailed it over to Madison Square Garden for Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday party. The line-up was ridiculous -- Bruce Springsteen, Richie Havens, a couple of guys from Band of Horses, Dave Matthews, Joan Baez, John Mellencamp, Ani DiFranco, Taj Mahal . . . . A once-in-a-lifetime time show to cap off one of the best weekends we've had in a long time!