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Showing posts from 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!

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?

A Common Ties Jele

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

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 …

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.

So, my neighborhood has been more crowded than normal, mainly because of the back-t…

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…

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

my aching back ... and other updates

my 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 ex…

turtle pond

John B. MooreTurtle 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 to…

Separated at Voice: Nancy vs. Cynthia

Seems like I'm nottheonlyone 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!)

There'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.

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.

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.

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 r…

another wordle

manga yearbook

While 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…

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.

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 …

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!

Inside My New Pocketbook

Inside Target Pocket Book
Originally uploaded by silvermari 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)

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.…

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 …

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.

More Lovely Flowers

Lovely 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...

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.

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, …

Wedding Dress Sketch and Cross Stitch

Wedding Dress Sketch and Cross Stitch
Originally uploaded by silvermari 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

The Purple Project

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 purpleblogs out there and there are also manyshoppingblogs. 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.

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.

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…

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.

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.