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Showing posts from July, 2008

Jon & Kate Plus 8 ... Backlash?

www.parentdish.com/2008/07/25/jon-and-kate-are-they-good-enough-parents-for-tv

WOW on this post. I love watching the show and never thought Kate was at all abusive. And her explanations for keeping the kids as clean as possible are legitimate. A mess times one or two is one thing, but times EIGHT? They'd never have clean clothes, would have to buy new things all the time, etc. because there's just not enough time in a day to keep it clean. But maybe the producers of the show could get some help, i.e. someone to do the laundry straight away if they were concerned the kids don't get dirty enough.

There's a lot more to say about this, but TEAM KATE! And bah to the haters.

~Mari.

Ad Age: Skinny Women Better for Bottom Line - Advertising Age - News

Right, we knew it all along. Skinny women sell. Even Lane Bryant catalogs show relatively svelte models (maybe size 8, which in fashion standards is super-plus size). Sales drop when you show things on fat people. Depressing? Maybe. But I'm not broken up about it. ~Mari.

Study: Skinny Women Better for Bottom Line - Advertising Age - News

Social Media Event & Subway Trials

Blurgh.

I honestly am such a doofus. I had an easy time getting to my event in Times Square this morning - no worries. The event itself was OK - nothing earth shattering, and what I noticed MOST was people twiddling on their mobile phones more than anything else (probably tweeting the event, who knows).

BUT on the way back, such a dumb move, I got on an "N" train. The N runs local on the weekends (the only time I'm regularly on the subway) but it's EXPRESS on weekdays. I'm sure that happens to people, but I didn't realize it until Canal Street, past my stop. SO I was able to get on an uptown Express N, and I hopped off at 14th St Union Square. Genius that I am, I just crossed the platform and hopped on a local R, which was, of course, going UPTOWN and I now needed to go downtown. I rode to 23rd St (should have gone onto 34th) and had to get out of the subway hole (an Owen-Max-ism) and cross the street to go back DOWNTOWN. Finally I got to 8th St/NYU and hobbled…

How I Process Blogs and What I Do With All That Info

I make my way through hundreds of blog entries each day. I read everything through my Google Reader plunked on my iGoogle page, which to my knowledge doesn't have a keyboard shortcut for directly sharing to "Shared Items."

I subscribe to 91 blogs so far in my "Firefox" Google reader (basically my personal reader that I keep open in Firefox daily). Many are design related, focused on NYC or non-profit blogging tips.

I subscribe to 16 health and policy related blogs in my "Explorer" Google reader (my work reader kept open in IE daily). I am trying to expand the RA reach and conversation by getting our name out there and commenting on others' posts that are relevant to some of our public opinion polls or the YCYH initiatives. This is relatively new for me - I've only been given the green-light for this type of outreach for a few weeks.

However, my personal blog reading dates back a loooong time. As an undergraduate I started being a part of a person…

We Sell Sea Shells by the Sea Shore

Sweet little Owen Max, looking out to the sea shore.

We had a lovely weekend in Connecticut. First we took a taxi (Taxi, Taxi, Riding in the Backseat) to Grand Central, then a Metro North train to New Haven. Then we got a rental car, drove around New Haven, seeing Yale and all the places Shawn lived during his two years there. (It was only two places, in his defense.) We saw the overlook, and then drove to Branford, CT, where our motel was. We checked in, went to a local diner for dinner and then drove around, trying to catch a glimpse of the sea shore! We spotted a Kohl's instead and indulged in a little suburban retail therapy (I got a purple stripey oversized sweater, a purple dress and a new wallet for less than twenty bucks!). There was a bit of a scuffle when Owen really wanted a toy... but with Shawn's help I managed to not plunk down $10 for an overpriced, under-fun set of little cars. Owen was happy with gum we picked up at Walgreen's near our motel...

Saturday morn…

I'm Crazy 'Bout a Mercury

crazy-mercury
Originally uploaded by silvermari SO... here is the rental car from this recent trip - it's a 2008 Mercury Sable, and we quite enjoyed the cushy ride and new car smell. It was a good feeling to be "silvermari" proper for a while, even though I couldn't drive it (Shawn was the driver for the weekend).

More pics coming up.

Book Meme - not tagged, but doing it on my own

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee6 The Bible7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte 8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger 19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger20 Middlemarch - George Eliot21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky 28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck 29 Alice in …

the grind

my family just left, and it's back to the grind.

Dial 7 Car Service is PHENOMENAL. We had a great experience from the airport when they arrived (including having to change the reservation from LGA to JFK just a few hours before they arrived - talk about stupid re-routing), and then the car and driver were waiting for us downstairs well ahead of schedule. I hope it all works out for them on the trip home and that it's less stressful/long/drawn out than getting here.

i am sad because the apartment is quiet, there is no noggin' on the TV and everything is a mess. there are juice boxes left and a few toy box remnants (mostly packaging)... i am a sucker when he asks me to buy something. i have to do my expense report for the trip and make sure everything balances out.

i just want to crawl in bed and sob a little. but instead i'm "at" work - going through emails and getting things done... such is life.

~m.

ps more posts later about the weekend/other activities we did, p…

i need to change my blog template...

photos from the week... off to connecticut, tour of yale and the beach. huzzah.

Behind the Name

Find out what your name means and how many others there are in the US with your exact name. I tried all of my name combinations (maiden, nickname and legal). Good times!

Weekend in The City

Friday night our weekend started with a Broadway play, The Country Girl, starring Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher. It wasn't so great - a boring story and barely interesting characters. BUT it was too cool to hear Morgan Freeman's voice live and in person. And at one point his hands ... the way he held them ... reminded me so much of Grandpa Max. It just flooded me with emotion. While we were leaving the theater we saw Stockard Channing. She was in the audience too! Funny.

On the way back to the subway we stopped at Duane Reed to get some water for the ride home. I was zooming along, and I stepped wrong in a crevice in the sidewalk. UGH. I fell straight forward and was pretty much 90 degrees out in the air. Because it's Times Square, there were loads and loads of people, and my head fell right into the backsides of girls walking in front of us. It was SO embarrassing, and my back, foot and head were killing me afterward.

Then as we went into Duane Reed …

Owen Has Landed

Owen surveys the scene in Washington Square Park - lunchtime on Friday.

What's That Count Down in Union Square?

NYC - Union Square: Metronome - The Passage
Originally uploaded by wallyg Why, it's a clock that tells the time - the numbers on the left are a 24 hour clock, and the numbers on the right count down to midnight. At midnight, for just a second, all the numbers are zero. This information courtesy of our weirdo tour bus guide, James.

On the Night Loop - Saturday 7/12

Strollerderby: Parental Lies

14 Lies Parents Need to Stop Telling Their Kids (Part 1) - Strollerderby

In my blog reading throughout the days I come across a lot of great stuff that mostly just makes me happy/adds to my own personal edification and knowledge banks... This, however, spurs something inside me ... my mom never told me the Santa lie, or any other lie for that matter.

So, no, kids. Mari never believed in Santa Claus. And, as my former classmates can attest, I made sure no one else in my Kindergarten class believed in him either! While that was just a facet of my bratty/know-it-all attitude (have I lost any of that fervor? probably not), I am grateful that my mom didn't fleece me. Most of her reasoning was about the true meaning of Christmas and not clouding the Christmas story of the Holy Family.

But she was an older sister - her sisters were born several years after her - so her parents' lie about Santa lasted longer than necessary and continued even when she started questioning the story. So whe…

Walletpop: Letters Vanishing?

Top 25 things vanishing from America: #9 -- Hand-written letters - Walletpop

Bah! Not as long as I have anything to say about it. I write letters weekly to people - my Gran, Aunt Norma Lee, etc. I would write to more people, but it's hard to have a one-sided dialogue (well I guess that's just impossible) and almost everyone's chosen medium is e-mail (including mine in most cases)! Regardless, I have joined the Letter Writers Alliance, which is a group trying to keep the handwritten letter alive. I love stationery too much to give it up!

~Mari.

Photo: Revenge
Originally uploaded by Lumase

EL stupido

So I've been using an iGoogle gadget "Walk for Good" ... and um, suddenly it didn't have my information in it. I kept refreshing, logged in and logged out, and then got frustrated and deleted it... Apparently that was a stupid move:The FAQ says this about lost dataAnonymous - Jul 3, 2008 - Report this commentTry the following. (1) Refresh your iGoogle page by pressing the F5 key to see if that takes care of the problem. (2) Make sure cookies are enabled in your browser. (3) If the above did not resolve the problem, it's possible that our database is temporarily unavailable. We don't expect this to happen very often, but if it does, your data is not lost. If you experience this, please leave the gadget on your page and check back later. A NOTE OF CAUTION: Do NOT remove the gadget and add it again. Do NOT add a second copy of the gadget to your page. These things will cause your data to be lost. Whatever - I'd walked for two weeks, and I could recreate it on…

july

Design for Mankind, a stunning and inspiring blog, has just started publishing Mankind Mag, which I discovered ... via another blog that I read, uncertain which! Anyway, the mag includes 101 ideas to have a creative July. Some were doable (I moo'ed) and some were not (I don't have a way to walk through an attic in July!)... But the one I got out my notebook and wrote down was "Journal 83 things you love about July, and 83 things you hate about it." (those were two separate things) ... try as I might, I can't come up with 83 things I love about this sticky month... but here's as many as i could muster:
My sister's birthday!!!swimming poolsfrigid air conditioningpainted toe nailsice creammovie theaters - relief from the heatice cold diet cokefireworks, generally
BBQs/general 4th of July celebrationspatriotic crochetwatermelonseed spitting conteststhe hum of lawn mowers (not that i hear that here!)warm sandwhir of the ACshade treessunglasses - big like Jackie …

What We're Seeing Next Week!

The Country Girl - Review - Theater - New York Times
Mike Nichols returns to Broadway this spring to direct Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher in Clifford Odets's The Country Girl. The production will play a limited engagement on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th Street) beginning Thursday, April 3 and open on Sunday, April 27.We got the NYU discount - my husband working for NYU and all... I'm so excited! Less than a week until my family is here!!! Owen J Takes on New York... Can you feel it???

~Mari.

PS The week after next is New York's Restaurant Week, so we're having a special birthday dinner for my sweet sweet sister (who is moving into her new apartment this weekend!) at North Square.

Learning to be Nice

Real Simple (via HuffPo) has a whole "Happiness" section, and part of how to be happy is to be nice... So, RS has a list of 48 ways to be nice:
Subtly alert people when they have food in their teeth, an undone zipper, or toilet paper stuck to a shoe. They’ll be far less mortified than if they find out two hours later.When I was getting off the Amtrak train on Tuesday my dress was caught up in the back. I don't think it was exposing anything (I had shorts on under the dress) - but this southern gentleman sidled up to me and said "Ma'am, your dress is caught up in your underwear." I said thank you, pulled the dress down (again feeling that it wasn't entirely up) and just wanted to crumble. Because the train was late and I had an appointment I had to soldier on, but I really did feel like crying. SO DUMB.
When someone looks lost, stop and ask him if he needs directions. “I’ll never forget the people who have helped me when I was traveling,” says Real Simple …

purple shoes

Look at these! I've been looking for them forever, and I didn't find them on converse.com - but I walked today - to several stores and I got them! They were relatively cheap (as opposed to custom making shoes on the site for $60 plus shipping). And I'm so happy! Purple shoes make me happy, and my black chucks were about to bite the dust. I only wish I had bought these for the wedding... Many other things make me happy -- and I'm rocking new kicks!

green-eyed girl

Continuing our social-filled weekend, Shawn and I went to a part given by his colleague and the colleague's girlfriend (Frank and Beth). We went to her apartment, which her parents bought for her, on the Upper West Side, across the street from Central Park, right near The Dakota. Apparently Conan lives in her building. (Beth is in residency at a hospital in the city - so no one can say she doesn't work hard!)

It was amazing to be invited to this place - it was so inviting and comfortable (and climate controlled)! And meeting her friends, many of whom are also in residency or at some stage of med school, was wonderful. Meeting new people is key.

We ordered Thai with them, hung around and talked for a while. It was just good to catch up - we've known Frank for a while (he actually lives in our building and he and Shawn help each other with their work). And Shawn's office-mate and colleague Christel was there too -- so it was also fun to catch up with her and her life (she …

MAGICAL

So this video doesn't necessarily show the vantage point from which Shawn and I saw our first NYC fireworks show, and it doesn't necessarily show the parts that I thought were most spectacular and breathtaking - the hanging lights, where some of the sparkles were hung on balloons that floated down while still lit, and the fireworks that made CUBE forms instead of the lion head starburst. We also couldn't hear any music - just the popping and screeching of the fireworks themselves.We walked just over a mile to the East River Park, so we were well below the barges from which the fireworks were shot off, but we had an easy walk home (no scrunching among others on public transport) and it looked amazing from where we were. All I know was I was SO glad we came, so glad the world had invented these things AND thinking/wondering if I could figure out how much the US spends on fireworks displays each year and compare that to health research funding... Maybe my job seeps into my th…

For a Good Cause...

NEW YORK, July 5, 2008--Shawn and I went to the Park Avenue Christian Church, answering a call for volunteers from my church (Park Avenue United Methodist) -- for a lunch ministry program. Because of the holiday weekend, the organizers of the program were predicting a lower turnout of volunteers. So, since we don't really have people here in NYC and have been looking for ways to get active and out, we signed up.

We showed up at 1:30 (lunch began being served at 2), and were milling about, not sure how to get in the building. (There was a line of hungry people already.) Finally we got in, but it would have been VERY helpful to have more detailed instructions (i.e. enter through the Park Ave. entrance). So we got there and introduced ourselves, and were told there were too many volunteers so they didn't have a job for us BUT they would like us to stay and be "runners." As a one-summer waitress, I am familiar with the idea, and we were up for the task.

I was the "run…

Rental History

On this blog that I read thru my feeder, the author did the math to figure out how much she pays per DVD rented with her Netflix account. She asks for "takers" but there's no comment field on her blog that I can see...but I realized that after I did my own math. Anyway.

With our Blockbuster, $8.99/month, 1-DVD-at a time plan, we have paid an average of $1.56 per rental since we started renting in late February.

TMI? Perhaps. Irrelevant? DEFINITELY.

~Mari.