31 August 2008

Four Years Ago...

...Owen was having his first full day alive. I can't believe how lucky we are to have had four years of this sweet little baby in our lives.


Owen on his BIRTH day - Aug. 30, 2004.


Owen's First Birthday - Aug. 30, 2005


Owen's Second Birthday - Aug. 30, 2006


Owen's Third Birthday - Aug. 30, 2007

He's simply the best!

29 August 2008

NYT: Adjusting to New York

City Fits, Eventually for New Arrivals

"Sometime over the course of a person’s first year in New York, there usually comes that moment. It can happen in the first days or weeks, or after 10 months. It can happen repeatedly, or without people noticing, at least not at first.

Newcomers suddenly realize either that the city is not working for them or that they are inexorably becoming part of it, or both. They find themselves walking and talking faster.

The subway begins to make sense. Patience is whittled away; sarcasm often ensues. New friends are made, routines established, and city life begins to feel like second nature. In other words, newcomers find themselves becoming New Yorkers."

How I Use Twitter: Sponge and Complaints

Twitter: a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

I've been signed up as @silver_mari for maybe six weeks or so. I've posted 136 updates so far, and I follow 59 people -- a few friends, but mostly "strangers" who are social media masters - experts who are writing about the things I'm interested in. I listen to them - or their tweets - that send me to articles, blog postings and other thought pieces about new ways to do things in online media, social networking and blogging. I found and followed them piecemeal. Using the Twitter search function and then checking out the tweets of @'s from those I was already following.

I use twitter like a sponge would use water. I soak it up and mostly listen and learn. Gives a new meaning to the term "sponge-worthy." Just call me Sponge-Mari-Round-Pants?

Sometimes I tweet a link to a story that I think is interesting. My followers are few - mostly a few friends, some spammers and a few people I follow who feel required to follow me back (believe me, I'm not looking to have a massive following, but there's no real way to say "no really, it's OK if I just listen to you").

Because that gets to the second prong of how I use Twitter - as my very own complaint box. Back hurting? I think I'll tweet it. Tempature uncomfortable? Tweet! Work mates driving me crazy? TWEEEEEET!

It provides me a record - much like this blog does. So many of the things I'm writing are for me, as a personal quick record of what I'm thinking or doing. I don't think anyone else would be interested in it, but it's there... Is that wise? I'm not sure. But it is what it is.

I use BeTwittered on my iGoogle page, which is also where I read my Google Reader RSS feeds and gmail. I use Firefox and open links in new tabs - so at some points I can get so far behind with more than a dozen tabs open and no idea who led me to what. That is my sometimes dilemma.

With @NPR Politics, a twitterer (tweeter?) that I follow, I've found a desire for a Twitter feature - the pause button. Because the play-by-play tweets of the conventions basically drown out any other tweets I follow. I still want to follow this tweeter, but more so when it's a few tweets a day, not a few tweets a minute.

So ends my thoughts - for now - on twitter and how I've managed to use it.

~Mari.

A Common Ties Jele



Fitting, in light of my recent obsession with the swarm of newbies filling the neighborhood.

28 August 2008

bought myself some flowers

The party of freshmen continues. Today there has been a live band, a block (or more) shut down to traffic and some sort of food fest, only for kids in purple NYU shirts proclaiming their newness. But anyway. It's made for a non-concentration day at work, although I'm doing my best and the AC does drown out some of the street noise.

For some time now I've been looking for Gerber daisies that are purple - a dark, deep plummy purple. I have a feeling I saw them on a Katie Brown show, back when she was on Lifetime. She made some sort of wall of vases using test tubes or tiny beakers of some sort. Anyway, she put Gerber daisies in the vases and I fell in love. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but I see purple versions in FAKE flowers often. So I thought surely I could find some in real flowers.

This weekend I passed a bodega that had something that was pretty much what I'd been looking for - but I was down to $4 cash and they were $5. So I walked along. Later this week I saw this bouquet/bunch of flowers in another bodega and had some cash on me, so I got them, again $5 including tax, etc.

They're not quite as purple as I would hope. They look more purple in the darkness/shadow. But the pictures I took w/o the flash aren't so clear. And with the purple (faux) hydrangea in the back from my bridal shower decorations by Beth, they really don't look so purple and are coming across more as blue even in person. But I'll continue my quest for solid purple Gerber daisies (these are only poms).

Other items in the shot: the silver salt & pepper shakers from Shawn's mom, the cast iron trivet from my friend Kim and the bamboo Lazy Susan from my sister. The vase is one Shawn bought at Thanksgiving when I said we needed flowers to make the meal - and how purple is that water? It's the most purple thing about the bouquet! And I've even changed it, but the dye keeps leaking out. Sparkle and fade.

One more good buy - this cute as a button coin purse from Pearl River:



How perfect? And the g in swing is slightly off register/out of line. It's made from a plastic almost tarp-like material, so definitely durable in the bottomless pit that is my handbag.

Ta for now. ~m.

27 August 2008

Back to School/This Cowgirl Bleeds Orange

Chiropractor visit 1 was OK. She told me something about facets of my vertebrae being locked, that my range of motion is good, but definitely she can feel the tightness in my muscles, etc. SO, I have two appointments next week, Wed. and Thurs. and she seems confident that a few sessions will fix me right up. So that is good news.

She's been practicing for over 20 years, which is also promising. She's British, and my stupid insurance web site was also out-dated on her, although in a different way than the no-longer-accepting-UHC-insurance-one - her office used to be on my street (which was why she came up so high on my search by location) ... but of course it's now a subway ride and three cross-town block walk. Walking really does seem to help my back, but it adds $4 to the $30 copay each time. Hrm. Maybe I can make the long walk from 28th street sometime ... work calls me back though. Blurgh.

207/365 by ladybugbktSo, my neighborhood has been more crowded than normal, mainly because of the back-to-school crowds. Tons of freshmen, their parents and their belongings and cars have flooded the streets. I can't walk to the park or to the drug store or anywhere without seeing an "NYU Class of 2012" T-shirt.

In my day, we hid our freshman-ness with all our might. We were warned against wearing our hard-earned letter jackets from high school, from wearing high school graduation rings or hanging our graduation tassels from the rear view mirror. So the idea of broadcasting the fact that I'm new strikes me as beyond odd. But what do I know? I am a country bumpkin...

...who cried. in public. when her parents dropped her off at college. i can't say that i wasn't sobbing inconsolably, but i think it was a little less than that, a whimper and thinly veiled tears rolling, rolling down my young, 18-yr-old face. i remember eating at Braum's on 6th St. (wow, my Stillwater geography fails me, but I mean the one just as you got to the edge of town) and feeling as bad as i could possibly feel.

and it was GOOD for me.

so in times of crisis or just general down-and-outness, I have to remind myself that i HAVE felt worse, and that it did turn out for the best.

Stillwater gave me good and bad, and thinking back, I know that this cowgirl bleeds orange. So maybe I should join the alumni association?

My first step toward reconciliation (?) with Stillwater is to take Shawn to the town that beheld my transformation from naive, crying 18-yr-old freshman to empowered, graduate school-bound 23-yr-old woman who still cried, but now for a reason.

~mari...

Photo via Flickr; 207/365 by ladybugbkt

From the L Blog: U.S. Outta My Pants

Via The L Blog:
So, we're currently in the midst of a 30-day comment period for a new DHHS "rule [which] empowers federal health officials to pull funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors' offices and other entities if they do not accommodate employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable on personal, moral or religious grounds," which is to say, abortion.


Except that the bill is also worded so broadly/ambiguously as to "protect pharmacists, doctors, nurses and others from providing birth control pills, Plan B emergency contraception and other forms of contraception, and explicitly allows workers to withhold information about such services and refuse to refer patients elsewhere."

(So, basically, doctors who object to abortion, or to birth control, would be, I guess, "protected" not only from providing this care but also from even referring women to other doctors who would provide them with the kind of medical care they're seeking.)

Aside from the dubious premise — that is, using government money to compel private healthcare providers to respect the right of their own employees to not provide healthcare — there is also the sadly old-news matter of the anti-abortion movement trying to crowd out basic family planning necessities. You'd think, given that contraception and family planning and sex ed are the most effective methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy — and thus abortions — that anti-abortion activists would be more in favor of all that than pro-choicers are. Which leads us yet again to the conclusion that the anti-abortion movement cares less about dead babies than sexual morality.

So anyway. Go to PlannedParenthood.org right now and give them all your money, or some of it, as they work on mounting a challenge to the ruling (and also continue with their work of doing more for women's reproductive health than any other organization in America).

Shakesville's Question of Yesterday

Visit Shakesville: Question of the Day

Hilarious that it has more than 200 comments with a simple question - what's the best TV show of all time?

My vote: My So-Called Life, my go-to answer in such cases. Oh, Jordan Catalano... You're so beautiful, it hurts to look at you.

26 August 2008

25 days to protect women’s health

From ACLU:

George W. Bush has launched a new assault on birth control and reproductive freedom.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently proposed regulations that could seriously undermine access to basic reproductive health services -- including birth control and abortion.

Instead of striking a careful balance between individual religious liberty and patients’ access to reproductive health care, the Bush administration has taken patients’ rights and their health care needs out of the equation.

This far-reaching proposal doesn’t need congressional approval. But, it can’t go forward without allowing for public comment. That’s where you come in.

The deadline for public comments is fast approaching -- September 20 - and we have to generate intense opposition to these dangerous regulations.

I just sent HHS my comment urging them to stop efforts to block women's access to basic reproductive health services. You can do the same here:

http://action.aclu.org/hhs_comment

25 August 2008

my aching back ... and other updates

Shawn on the Bow Bridge in Central Parkmy back twinged again, so i am breaking down and calling my insurance company. i found some chiropractors on their website, and they're "in network" but i want to know if i need a referral before i go see one. (and somehow i doubt a gyno could refer me to a chiro, so i'd need to go see a primary care doc first i suppose.) so far i've been tolerating the physical pain in my back instead of undertaking the pain-in-the-a** that is the h/c system, even with decent-ish insurance.

but now, a week and a day of pain in my back, which has waxed and waned, ebbed and flowed, came rushing to a head - well a back - when it twinged again. it's not as bad as it was at the start of last week but definitely worse than it was yesterday (in which i could lay down and feel A-OK, and in which i sat through The Dark Knight without back pain).

i dial the 800 number and manage to confuse the automated voice-recognition system (I stated my birthday as numbers, which may have made it explode)... I'm put on hold (to some very nice swingy music), and when a lady comes on, she tells me that the system is down and they'll need me to call back in an hour. dur - i hope it wasn't my birthday input that caused the system to fail... wouldn't that just be my luck?

Shawn and Mari on the Bow Bridgei went ahead and asked my question anyway, in case it's a blanket policy: "do i need a referral to see a chiropractor?" unfortunately (or fortunately) it depends on the type of coverage you have. hrm. so now, i'm "waiting" patiently...to call back and be put on hold in the HOPES that they can just answer the question. then tomorrow, pending the response, i'll call the appropriate health care professional and get the ball in motion.

As promised, here are a couple photos from our CP adventure this weekend. PERHAPS the exercise and physical exertion in the early parts of the day helped my back from cramping up/tweaking/hurting in the late afternoon this weekend. If that's the case, I should definitely excuse myself from work in the mid-morning for a quick stroll around the park. But as my back feels at this moment, i don't even want to stand. yikes.

Isn't Shawn a DOLL? I mean, could he BE any cuter in that top photo? Nevermind the gross green algae water - he just looks so good in that T-shirt (score at the Danville JCP ... one of its door-buster sale items that we stumbled upon a couple weekends ago).

And with that, I think I'll go have a lie down before I'm faced with the prospect of making dinner (we have all the essentials, as FreshDirect delivered today and our larder is no longer empty)...

~Mari.

Update: The answer is no, I don't need a referral. So I called a doctor on the "in-network" list and have a 2:30 pm appointment... New entry with results of visit later today...

Update, 2: The doctor is out of network - apparently the insurance co's web site is a year out of date. She said something about $125 for first visit, $75 for each after (which appear as $300 on the insurance toward my deductible), it would take me several visits to get to the $2500 deductible... THIS is part of why I hate h/c and insurance so much. NOW I have an appointment for tomorrow with a different doc, and god willing she is in network like the UHC website says. I got fully dressed today for nothing. I should go walk it off.

23 August 2008

turtle pond

Turle Pond in Central Park
John B. Moore

Turtle Pond in Central Park.

So we had a good time. not as exciting as we expected - just loads and loads of tourists, plus a fair number of genuine New Yorkers ... laying out and sunning. The turtles were hard to see among the algae green ick on the water (not visible in this photo from the Central Park Turtle Pond main page). Scummy. we walked for almost 2 hours and got some good exercise. i know that's good for my health overall and my back in specific.

We walked through the park - saw the Bow Bridge, Bethesda Fountain, Great Lawn, Chestnut Hill, Belvedere Castle, etc. I'll load my own pictures soon - including some ubiquitous purple shots - onto my Flickr.

Next time we're going to try to use something from the Central Park page - podcasts. I love the idea of a podcast walking tour - I really really think there should be more of those for this city. I think it could even be something people would pay for...I mean if they'll buy overpriced books, ride on tour buses, etc. Why not?

Also, we'll try to do the canoes next time we go - and walk up the steps of the castle. My back prevented both these activities. Plus it would have been excellent to play a board game with Shawn's buddies ... but my back, again, just couldn't take the idea of sitting on the ground. Even sitting in this chair on a pillow isn't the easiest thing! Somehow walking helps though, so we'll see. Ice is also doing good stuff. (As per Beth's instructions)

On Friday Shawn bought our gym memberships for the year. Because we're married I get a cheap, cheap, cheap membership to access the university gyms. Awesome. I've gone with him once before - at $10 for one day - and loved it. Should I ever want to take up swimming (not that I'm planning to), I could. Also an outdoor track, indoor track, basketball, ellipticals, etc. Shawn also got us squash rackets, so we can play that some.

Obama-Biden, as a name combination sounds ominous to me, and I wonder if that will crop up in right-wing online spaces... Otherwise, it was exciting to get the text message/twitter/email about it, even though it was AFTER the story already broke. I digress, really.

Going to lie back down and watch some more Olympics... Can't wait for the diving - although I already know the outcome. I enjoyed rhythmic gymnastics ... wonder why there weren't 12 year old Chinese girls in those competitions?! (international burn?)

~Mari.

Separated at Voice: Nancy vs. Cynthia

Nancy GraceSeems like I'm not the only one who hears the "Nancy Grace" in the voice of NBC Olympics diving commentator Cynthia Potter (whom I had to Google after wanting to 'mute-that-crap' even when it was actually what I wanted to watch!)

Cynthia PotterThere's no good image of her that I can find (Nancy Grace is ubiquitous online).

I've been enjoying the games, and especially the diving this week, but this commentator is my LEAST favorite.

See also: Separated at Voice: JK vs. Al.

22 August 2008

Bed Spread Square 1


greenbrier-square
Originally uploaded by silvermari
The first of 24 squares that I am planning to make for a bedspread. It's a gorgeous filet crochet pattern called "greenbrier." It took almost 2 weeks to make it, although I wasn't able to crochet non-stop due to back injury (!) ... I can't wait to get it finished, but this is so gorgeous.

Update: This square is 2-feet-by-2-feet.

21 August 2008

Purple via perfect bound

perfectbound: the colour purple

This blog is a WELCOME addition to my RSS feed. The author posts gorgeous pictures of still life - basically her possessions artfully arranged in such a way as to convey a theme, and then she includes some images of things to buy that go along with that theme. I love it. I've not bought anything, but keep covering PURPLE, and you know i might find something i can't live without.

~mari.

20 August 2008

Crying Because It Hurts...

You may have a back strain or a pinched nerve (especially if there's tingling going down one leg).

Immediately after you feel the pain:

  • Stop the activity that caused the pain, such as bending over.
  • Apply a cold compress to the injured area.
  • If the back is stiff, but there is little or no pain, apply a heating pad to relax muscles. Do not apply heating pad if there is swelling in back.
  • Lie down flat on the floor with a pillow under the neck and knees.

Over the next few days:

  • Avoid complete bed rest. This can lead to deconditioning and make the pain worse.
  • Take pain medications. Ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen are helpful. Do not mix these medicines together. You can take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) with any of the above. Don't take ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen if you have ulcers or allergies to these medicines. NOTE: Do not give aspirin to children younger than 16 years of age. Pregnant and nursing women should talk to their doctors before taking any medications.
  • Apply cold compresses regularly for 20 minutes at a time for the first day, then switch to a warm heating pad or hot shower to soothe muscles.
Contact your doctor after two or three days if pain gets worse or if there's no improvement.

There's been improvement and I can still move, but I'm so tired of hurting that I'm getting emotionally spent and crying about it. I just want to go to sleep and wake up and feel better.

18 August 2008

manga yearbook

Manga MariWhile my coworkers are enjoying cake at the office monthly birthday party (a con to working from home for sure?), I thought I'd write about a couple distractions I've found of late.

Twitter-land is all "a-twitter" about a couple fun applications - FaceYourManga and YearbookYourself.

My Manga-Mari, which I made on Saturday evening, is a fair depiction of me I guess. The eyebrows seem right, but the lips could be a little more crooked and the freckles more across the nose. Also, the wrinkles weren't in the right places. My eyes look tired, but I guess a cartoon Mari doesn't have to be! The hair ... there just wasn't a choice for frazzled, pony-tail hair, so this is a close second ... what my hair COULD be on a daily basis if I got my act together... Hrm. (Bonus - purple clothes, headband and background!)

Basically Yearbook Yourself lets you see yourself as you might have been in past eras - the site is really slow, I think because of all the traffic Twitter is sending its way. But before it crapped out on me, I was able to create a 1968-era look, which reminds me a lot of a photo we have of my mom ... from around that time.

Back to work... My back is doing better. Reading the NIH page helped my mindset, and with some rest and continual stretching I think I'll be on the mend... Fingers Crossed! ~Mari.

back ...

i am in pain ... not sure how the problem started exactly, but my lower back is very sore. i hope that it's just a muscle thing and that it will go away with rest. i am scared and hurting. i am keeping up a brave face/not crying, although i guess i could since i'm in our apartment alone.

prayers appreciated.

15 August 2008

Separated at Voice: Al vs. JK

Anyone else think that gymnastics announcer Al Trautwig (right) sounds EXACTLY like JK Simmons (left)?

Listening last night to the games, it was eerie!

Maybe I'm alone? ~Mari.

golden darlings [olympic memories]

i tried my best to "boycott" this Olympics. there are real issues with the Chinese government, and obviously the way they are managing aspects of the games is questionable and then there's freedom of the press (or lack thereof). but somehow i found myself staying up until all hours watching the women's Olympic all around gymnastics competition last night.

Four years ago the Olympics were in Athens. Owen was being born, and I had just moved from the Tulane Dr. to the Grad Gardens apartment with Sage. I vaguely remember that she watched some of the games, but for some reason I don't remember watching any of them at all. Not even when I was home, waiting for Owen to pop out (he came a couple days after I flew back to MD ... was born on my first day of grad school).

Four years before that (2000), the Olympics were in Sydney. That was the summer after my freshman year in college, so I was working at Zapata's and going to WOSC for speech as a summer class. The class and work were actually finished by August, but I still don't remember really watching much of the games.

In 1996, I was 15 and cleaning house for a couple at my church. I distinctly remember watching the games as I vacuumed their living room, which had disconcerting amounts of wood (the ceiling had to be mopped) and a giant deer head - ick! But otherwise, nothing much sticks out from those games either. [Although was this the year of Michael Johnson? I do remember that]

1992, however, was a big year. Shannon Miller, Shannon Miller, Shannon Miller. She went to high school where my aunt teaches in Edmond. God, Oklahoma was so proud. I remember twirling in the living room and imitating the moves (well the dance moves - I never was a tumbler). We had our table in the front room then, and we still had our bedroom downstairs (probably the last summer before that changed/we moved upstairs). So I just looked her up, and she didn't win a gold until 96, but that 92 Olympics is when I really remember watching her and being so proud... Crazy.

The only other Olympic memory I have is of a 1984 LA Olympics T-shirt. I was 3 that summer, and my mom's family lived in Orange County. I don't really know that we were there, but I wouldn't doubt that we were. I wore that T-shirt growing up, mostly as a night shirt. It became so soft and threadbare. I wonder what happened to it. Big pair of 80s sunglasses and I think it had hot pink writing. God love the 80s.

/End Nostalgia ... for now.

14 August 2008

Camera Pouch


Pearl River camera pouch
Originally uploaded by silvermari
Here's my camera pouch, purchased at Pearl River by my sister. It's a silk pouch with butterflies on it. It fits my camera perfectly.

Pearl River is an incredible store in SoHo with all types of items for sale - for the home, for gifts, lighting, dishes, oh the fun goes on. Plus it's a pretty nice walk down there.

Perhaps I'm irrelevant, but that's the beauty of blogging - I do it for myself. Good Day.

~Mari.

Adoption: Help My Friend Jen



Check out their site at www.jimjenadopt.com. Pass this along to others who may know of someone who needs to meet Jim and Jen!

13 August 2008

Inside My New Pocketbook

Here's my new pocketbook, purchased at the Queen's Target on Aug. 3 (quite the subway confusion on my part to get there, but I made it!). The bag itself is black imitation leather. It's big and roomy with a couple pockets (although my phone falls out of the pocket there) and it has a purple lining! Huzzah.

There are many purple things inside my pocketbook, such as a purple notebook, a purple cell phone and a purple make-up bag. But those are other entries as I continue my purple project.

~Mari.

Hilarious, Right-on Horror-scope

It may be disheartening if you can't get the professional respect you deserve. Unfortunately, your ego can play a cruel trick on you, leading you to believe that you should be more appreciated. Don't waste your time feeding illusions about recognition and fame. Just do the best you can and the rewards will follow.

Reduce Eye Strain

The Link to The Download:

Featured Windows Download: EyeDefender Combats Eyestrain, Repetitive Stress Injury

I think I'm going to give this a try. I'm convinced that my contacts are the incorrect strength and that my glasses are a little different, but MAYBE it has something to do with the massive amounts of time I spend at a computer each day.

Food for thought, and I'll post on my progress of eye strain breaks.

~Mari.

Photo: my eye, from summer 2004. That eyetag has been removed, but several more have grown... Another thing on my to-do list. Anyone know a good NYC dermatologist who accepts non-referrals? (i assume an eye doctor might be able to refer me to someone who can help)

12 August 2008

squishy toes

I bought these lovely flip-flops for half price, the discount coming because Shawn's new shoes were full price and it was a BOGO event at Rackroom Shoes (or something like that).

The footbed of these things are outstanding. I mean, it really is so squishy and marvelous - like walking on pillows, or at least really comfy slippers.

That said, I would never, never wear these or other flip flops/sandals to an airport. I was explaining to my in-laws (tee hee, i have in-laws!) about my position/theory that shoes make it easier to run should there be a crash or other accident - plus I wouldn't want my feet exposed to any debris even if I couldn't run in the event of something going wrong. Plus there's the ICK factor of walking barefoot through security. I mean come on. And then I found this article on CNN Money about the dangers of wearing such shoes near escalators. For Pete's sake.

The only thing I would change about these shoes ... you guessed it, make the stripes purple. BUT a girl does need a little pink in her life, and in hindsight I would have purchased these shoes even if they were lime green or burnt sienna or any other non-mari color. These things are AWESOME... I just have to watch Shawn to keep him from slipping them on. Although I have big feet, his are even bigger and he'll stretch them out...

~mari.

You Tube Rap: Coding



Hilarious beyond measure. I was bouncing in my seat and nodding my head at all the tips/reminders. Clip discovered via Affiliate by Night.

11 August 2008

home AGAIN

traveling is so nice - even when it's just a quick jaunt. we went to shawn's parents for the weekend - for a family wedding and a "newlywed" shower ... thanks to all who gave us such great gifts!

our flight to greensboro on friday was uber-delayed. we sat on the runway longer than the actual flight time. so that was a pain beyond all pain. because there was no food, and everyone knows that when mari goes w/o food...watch out! we finally arrived almost two hours late. luckily we were able to alert his parents in time so they were able to adjust their departure time to come pick us up. anyway.

the flight back was fine. we left early early early this morning. learned that yesterday all flights to la guardia (at least from greensboro) were canceled. i guess there were t-storms or something. when shawn printed our boarding passes, i didn't get a seat assignment. as in - there's a chance i won't get back to get to work on time! blugh!

thankfully i was able to get a seat. of course i was in the front of the plane and shawn was in the very back (only 12 rows, quite a small plane). the young lady sitting next to shawn was nice enough to shift with me (she got more leg room, but i got baggage storage beneath the seat in front of me).

the flight was quick (one hour from wheels up to wheels down) and after a little bit of turbulence (which I loved - it was like a rollercoaster - and shawn HATED...dang woman pilot - HA), we were at LGA. we were accosted by a swindler trying to sell us a $45 ride into manhattan, but being the savvy (albeit looking-like-we-fell-off-the-turnip-truck-yesterday) travelers that we are, we opted for the taxi line, which was a breeze. we got into a hybrid vehicle - a small SUV. i feel lucky when i get one of those (not that i take taxi's for anything other than airport runs or buying air conditioners!).

the taxi driver asked us how we wanted to go. blugh - hate this question. i want to go the fastest way and don't have any way in particular. this is of course a bad idea. so i need to figure out what the correct answer is - i think it's 59th Street bridge, but who knows. to-do before our flight to Oklahoma in november.

Photo of Today's Storm From JeffsWeather.comfinally, home again. feeling OK, although tired (left Diannia's at 5:30 am, a good three hours before i normally even THINK of getting out of bed on a normal weekday). we weren't home for very long - maybe 30 minutes when BANG, ZIP, POW! The darkest sky ever and a thunderstorm to shake the city. It was CRAZY. And then a respite, we had lunch and ANOTHER dark crazy storm. It was magic. And the perfect day for snuggling under the covers for a little recuperative snooze...

BUT I persevered and plugged along at work - making progress on several projects, including some online advertising projects that are about to make a big difference in an RA project we've all come to love (or not). now i'm going out to find some coffee for tomorrow. i kept hoping Starbucks would sell its Pike Place Roast, but seems to be a non-bulk blend...so far.

~mari.

purple pumps

Two beautiful words... painful on your feet.

The T-strap pumps are from Anthropologie, discovered via Jezebel's review of the Anthropologie catalog. They are $398 (plus shipping or schlepping - there's a store down 5th Ave somewhere). BUT there's no size 11, so too bad, so sad. And I don't love them THAT much to plunk down even $39, if they were so cheap...

The Mary Janes, in a plummier shade, are more my style/price range - $22.99 at Target (plus shipping or schlepping - about 30 minutes on the R/W train). But how cute? If I ever went out of the apartment they would be fabulous to own! (self-burn!)

~Mari.

08 August 2008

More Lovely Flowers

Flowers on Wash PlLovely flowers.

So the purple project is more than just posting random pictures of flowers (although I will admit that's fun for me).

I'm going to document the purple around me - and I've got to start with all my purple possessions, of which there are MANY! Everything from my keys to my dryer lint (which I don't intend to photograph) has some purple connotation. This is a project I'm under taking for me - to be more aware of my surroundings and document the loveliness that is this royal hue.

~Mari.

this time last friday...

Purple Nike Flip Flops prepping the blog to keep posting while i'm away in danville for jamie's wedding!

here's what i was doing a week ago - my feet in the sand, the sound of the waves and my nose in a book. thank goodness for half-day Fridays in August. a perk that would be hard to make it through this month without.

Shawn and I had the BEST time at Far Rockaway beach last weekend, but I know it won't hold a candle to what's in store for us with his family back home. More photos of purple things to follow!

NYTimes: Coffee Contradictions

Personal Health - Sorting Out Coffee’s Contradictions - NYTimes.com

What I wouldn't give for a strong cup right about now. I ran out of coffee yesterday and intended to get some more, but Starbucks didn't have what I wanted. Do they even sell Pike Roast by the pound? Whatever the case, I'm jonesing for a fix... and the NYT is taunting me with a dense article about coffee's benefits and risks.

Blurgh. ~Mari.

07 August 2008

Recovery: I'm not Broke No Mo'

The MSN Money Article:

Why Generation Y is broke - MSN Money

I really can relate to this. I'm getting my act together with the help of my husband (oh, and a little thing called "live below your means" from Michelle Singletary). I was NEVER in this dire of straights (my $10K undergrad loan was my biggest heartache), but I honestly was a poor budgeter, over-spender... kind of the "it's only money, i'll make more" attitude that most people have probably heard me say...

Times are changing. I'm doing "expense reports" - basically writing down everything I spend (minus business expenses, which actually go in a real expense report for work and get reimbursed). It's been a couple months and writing things down (or just KNOWING I'll have to write it down) has curbed a lot of things... although I did go to Target last weekend for a little suburban retail therapy.

i've been paying down my debts and will be free long before we leave the city, and i've always been socking away the dough - especially in the pre-tax retirement account (my work puts 10% in too, so it's great to see those numbers racking up). future ideas: saving together for a house! yipe!

Anyway, life is good.

~Mari.

Photo: twenty dollar bill on Flickr by Darren Hester

Wedding Dress Sketch and Cross Stitch

The beautiful drawing of me in my wedding gown done by an Etsy artist, JHM Design. (Etsy is such a great place)...

Next to that is a cross-stitch piece that my friend Janie made for me. These are hanging next to my desk (high up to my left) - so I can gaze at them throughout the day.

Slightly self-absorbed? Perhaps. Loving it? TOTALLY.

~mari.

(p.s. both incorporate loads of purple - huzzah!)

The Conversation Prism


The Conversation Prism
Originally uploaded by b_d_solis

06 August 2008

The Purple Project

Flowers in Wash Sq Park mari loves purple, and now my blog is showing it!

yes, we all know this. purple is my color, and i'm constantly on the lookout for purple things.

i'm noticing now that many fall clothing and accessory collections are including purple punches, which i adore!

there are several purple blogs out there and there are also many shopping blogs. there's also the purple store, which collects purple things you can buy.

i'm going to start collecting images of purple items for sale that i love as well as purple things i see in my day-to-day life (purple is everywhere, i promise). i've also started a purple things album on flickr. i hope to expand this project, but for now this is a start...

~mari.

05 August 2008

Purple Flowers

I'm lucky enough to live in the city - as in En-Why-Cee. And my husband works for NYU, a university whose main color is ... you guessed it ... purple. So there are a lot of purple flags, purple-clad students, etc. running around our apartment building.

I have also found that purple flowers are a main ingredient to the campus branding and even bleeds over into the city-maintained Washington Square Park. So while these photos aren't purple things you can buy, you can enjoy them... for the low, low price of a trip to NYC. Or find purple flowers in your own neighborhood.

04 August 2008

my monkeys


Right, so I'm @silver_mari on twitter. And it's basically becoming my complaint department. I just type in a quick message about how crappy things are/how stupid others are being (without naming names, as twitter is archived and searchable). But I still don't get it - I don't have the follow-base to get any benefit from twitter. I've learned about a few social media things I wouldn't have known otherwise, but... meh.

In other news, I'm perculating something about purple. A favorite color, it's also a hot color for fall and if your favorite color is purple, you're likely manic about it. I didn't have any success setting up what I wanted - but I'm hopefully I'll sort it out this week and be able to start what I want to start... intrigued?

Looking at my google stats for my blog, and I see that google image sent a lot of people to my black and white entry - about the damask pattern i wanted to use as part of the wedding. interesting. If I were smarter i could do some SEO and get more traffic. as it is, i don't even make money on the google ads that appear around the site. my traffic just doesn't click, and that's ok too. this is all an experiment and more than that a personal journal for myself to look back upon...

I guess it's time to start the home fires and make some supper. Closer tonight - yeay! And Saving Grace (semi-yay). Poooor Shawn. Oh, and ST:TNG is on all night. If only there were picture in picture ... whatever happened to that?

~Mari...

02 August 2008

I Know This Guy: Greatest American Dog

Travis and Presley: Greatest American Dog on CBS

Woah - watching "The Soup" tonight and see a clip about this show The Greatest American Dog. I think I notice a guy I had classes with in college - so I look it up. I've seen him in a Kay Jewelers commercial nationally - and on other things locally in Oklahoma back in the day. How FUNNY that he's on a reality show. And what a show... Not enough to make me watch though.

~M.

PS Thai Iced Coffee tastes exactly like Cappuccino Coolers that I used to make with Gma Jane.

01 August 2008

On TV: Saving Grace

So, TNT has this show Saving Grace that is set in Oklahoma City. It stars Holly Hunter as a promiscuous cop who has a guardian angel named Earl. She's haunted by the fact that her sister died in the Murrah bombing (April 19, 1995 - I was in Mr. Legako's pre-algebra class, but I digress). It's hokey and full of references to how Oklahomans are dumb hicks. There's a lot of nudity and swearing for a basic cable show... Even though I hate the show, think it does a dis-service to Oklahoma and the victims of the Murrah bombing and has horrible, horrible writing and acting, I can't look away. I still watch it on Monday nights after The Closer (which I love, love, love). HH may be a good actress, but the show she's in now is just laughable. Blugh.