Thursday, February 26, 2009

Internet > Packing

As the history books will show us, more packing means more blogging! [Ref: August 2007, February 2008.]

There's a lot more purging happening this time around, and in the process I've unearthed some choice bits, like this mixtape outline I made circa 1997:


Speaking of mixtapes, I also found one that Dos made for me around the same time, for my Route 66 roadtrip. It contains such classics as "Barbie Girl" by Aqua ("come on Barbie let's go party") and "Bandito" by The Refreshments ("Everybody knows/ that the world is full of stupid people") and is appropriately entitled, "Super Funky Driving Tape."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Eat A Cookie

Eating a cookie is my response to all dilemmas this week. For example:

Dilemma! What should I do with my GameCube that hasn't been played since 2003?
Answer: Eat a cookie!

Dilemma! Someone offered me $20 more for a bookcase I'd listed on Craigslist AFTER I promised it to someone else.
Answer: Eat a cookie!

Dilemma! The TEFL school I applied to in BsAs hasn't written me back.
Answer: Eat a cookie!

Dilemma! The cookie I'm eating isn't even that good, but I keep eating it.
Answer: Eat it anyway!

By the time we get to South America I'm going to weigh 400lbs.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Always On My Mind

There are a number of things that I've been thinking about way too much in the last few days.

1. The book Wife of the Chef by Courtney Febbroriello, which has lived up on my bookshelf beside myriad other chef-wannabe books including Michael Ruhlman's The Making of a Chef and The Soul of a Chef. Ruhlman's books are engaging and inspirational and I expect I'll read them again. Febbroriello's... not so much. And yet, YET, that book has lived on my bookshelf for years, as I tote it around from apartment to apartment because in my mind it has become part of the set. Last weekend I even packed it into a box of books to store, along with biographies of Julia Child and Jacques P├ępin, because it "goes" with those books. Since then I keep thinking about it how it isn't that good and how I probably won't read it and why am I keeping it, again?

I'm putting it the donate pile.

2. My clothes. Do I really need that new sweater from the Gap? How much stuff should I bring to Argentina? Will I buy stuff there? What if I bring the wrong stuff and I don't look cool and as a result I don't make any friends and I just sit around our flat watching telenovelas and eating dulce de leche out of the jar?

Eff it, I'll keep the sweater.

Also on the subject of my wardrobe, after last week's careful curation we took a couple of boxes to Beacon's Closet this weekend in the hopes that we'd be able to get a few bucks for our castoffs. When we returned, we were informed that they couldn't buy ANY of our clothes because they fell into some grey area, which I suspect is somewhere between "good" and "Goodwill". Bitches.

3. Memphis, with whom I am so in love that I had her tiny face emblazoned on my new credit card: I'm going to miss that beast.

4. Oh my god in less than a month I'll be living in Argentina.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Yay! A Running Update!

For the first time since I started running in 2006, I'm training through the winter. Well, sort of. I've kept up running, even though I'm not training for anything in particular. I've mostly been running on the treadmill, including a fun interval workout that I've outlined below for your training pleasure. This morning I ran a 5k in Prospect Park. (Yes, a week before I leave this fair city New York Road Runners starts having races in Brooklyn. Bitches.) Anyway, it turns out that no matter how much you'd like to think your 5k pace is 8:30/mile when you're running on the treadmill, the great outdoors has a harsh reality for you. And that reality is hills, and also temperatures in the 30s plus wind chill.

I averaged 9:33/mile this morning to finish in 29:37. I was feeling OK about it, too, until my friend Kerner, who had also run this morning, texted me to see how I'd done. He then told me that he "might have won [his] age group" - which of course prompted me to look up his finish time and HOLY SHIT - the dude ran 5:32 miles!

He finished in 11th place. I finished at 2711.

Here's that interval workout I mentioned (from the March issue of Runner's World.

Run intervals of decreasing length, from 7 down to 1 minute. Run the first interval at your marathon pace and work your way up to your 5k pace. Recover at an easy jog between each interval for half the length of the previous interval. For me, this means starting at 10:30/mile for 7 minutes, and increasing my speed by 20 seconds per mile until I hit 8:30 for the 1 minute interval. The whole workout takes 42 minutes plus cooldown, and it has kicked my ass every time I've done it!

But maybe you should ask Kerner what he's doing, because apparently it's working.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

99 Boxes of Clothes on the Floor

Tonight Brianna came over to help me sort clothes.

s/help/drink wine and watch/g

OK, that isn't entirely true -- she was also tasked with taking a hard line on any item of clothing on which I was wavering. Our mission was to end up with 4 piles: Keep and take, keep and store, donate, sell*. Guys, I have a lot of clothes, especially considering that I've moved 3 times in the past 2 years and each time I've taken bags - plural! - to Goodwill. Based on the size of the piles we built, I only wear about 1/4 of the clothes I own. And based on the items in the donate and sell piles, I should never, ever buy anything from the J.Crew Final Sale.

Counts so far: 2 boxes to take to Beacon's Closet (to sell, hopefully), 3 boxes and a bag for Goodwill, and 1 box each to take and store.

*Beacon's Closet prices your items and gives you either 35% of their asking price in cash, or 55% as store credit. Some of this stuff is brand new (with tags still on it - I KNOW, don't judge me) so I'm hoping to get a little something for it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Leaving New York, Never Easy

Since I moved to New York nine years ago, I've traveled countless times, visiting cities as near as Boston and as far away as Nairobi. And even though I've considered moving away, every time I left NY I knew I'd return, because I had a home here.

Until now.

Next month, Ken and I are moving to South America. We plan to make Buenos Aires our home for the better part of a year; to speak Spanish and dance Tango and eat dulce de leche.

In two weeks we'll both be jobless and homeless. I couldn't be more excited.

Between now and March 1, we're whittling down our lives to fit into a couple of suitcases. We're catching up on dentist visits and applying for credit cards without foreign transaction fees (there's only one). We're listening to Pimsleur Spanish lessons on our iPhones and considering the merits of a Kindle.

On March 1, we'll pack up the beast and drive her to Waterloo, where she'll spend the year with two old ladies, two rambunctious toy poodles, and the occasional toddler. We'll be back in NY to bid our farewells during the week leading up to our March 18 departure.

Last weekend I finally did my taxes, and I hesitated ever-so-slightly when TurboTax prompted me to finalize my state return:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Incentive to Vote

Don't be coy. I'm sure you have *one* more email address that isn't subscribed to DailyCandy yet.

Have you forwarded this link to your friends yet? It's not too late. And I bet that Facebook status is still sitting there idly, waiting for you to tell the world you're voting for Ken. Go on, update that - I'll wait.

I can wait all night.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Rock The Vote!


As you know, last year's election was a pivotal one. You donated your time and money, you called voters in the swing states, you crossed your fingers, and you voted. And now, thanks in part to his charisma and intelligence, and in large part to your perseverance and dedication, the leader of the free world doesn't suck.

It's time to elect another smart, charming fellowhottie: Ken has been chosen as one of the 10 finalists in Daily Candy's Get With The Programmer Contest! Get over there and vote for him. He'll make you a caipirinha and dance all Milli Vanilli for you. Girl, you know it's true.

P.S. If you're not already a DailyCandy subscriber your vote will sign you up, but it's actually a really awesome service, and the only one of its kind to which I subscribe! If you hate it you can pour your caipirinha on my shirt (and then just unsubscribe).

P.P.S. Guys, you can vote too. No homo.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog Controversy!

Early this morning, Groundhog Day, several portly rodents were draggedcoaxed from their lairs to satisfy our collective need to know: When can we seal up our woolies and break out that kicky new spring cardigan?

Near Pittsburgh, the beast made famous 16 years ago by Bill Murray, Punxsutawney Phil (yeah, I had to look up the spelling - "Phil" just isn't a common name these days), saw his shadow this morning and presumably scurried back into his hole. If his night was anything like mine, he'd gorged on 7-Layer Dip and liberally consumed special Steelers-edition Bud Light, then had choked down an Iron City Beer after Santonio Holmes' game-winning touchdown. I'm not feeling the whole "being awake" thing either, Phil.

Here in New York, however, Staten Island Chuck didn't see his shadow and Mayor Bloomberg has declared winter officially over.


I looked to Canada's own Wiarton Willie to be the tiebreaker, but Willie doesn't have a strong Web presence and I couldn't find anything about his prediction this year.

For now, I'll keep the hefty sweaters at hand, but move the cardigan to the front of my closet - you know, just in case.

P.S. Happy Birthday Mom!