Monthly Archives: January 2010

sunday styling

when I was 17 I spent a summer at NYU in a program that allowed high school students to take a college course and attend literature/writing seminars.  I lived with my grandparents in new jersey and became addicted to the new york times and the daily news.  my grandparents subscribed to the times, and I’d often pick up the cheap late afternoon daily news before my train ride home.

every weekend the times has a large “sunday styles” section that features fashion, arts, events, etc.  most importantly to many women, though, it features weddings.  although there are a slew of announcements, there is one special wedding that is featured as an article each week.  while living in new jersey, my grandparents let me in on their weekly tradition: rating the wedding.  they vary wildly in terms of love story, notoriety of the couple, and the event itself.  so let’s get ready for the olympics, and put on our judging caps.

Ming-Yi Chuang and Alan Smith

what I found particularly refreshing about this wedding was that the couple was resourceful.  the bride bought her dress on craigslist, and the reception was a potluck.  the couple sacrificed extravagance in order to keep all of their guests on the list.  the typical sunday styles wedding has a lot of glitz and glamor, but it was nice to see that the times is in touch with the times.  the story was sweet, especially to imagine that their meeting was by such random chance.

overall, a good story.  but similar to judging the first skater on the ice, we must be tough, for we know not what is yet to come.  6.5/10

to give you some perspective, here are some of my recent favorites:

Jessica Rosen and Ron Laegner

Beth Ashley and Rowland Fellows

happy judging!


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thoughts: four oh five

I have an aversion to los angeles freeways.  I could probably count on 2 hands the number of times I drove on them in the 3 months I lived here last summer.  the 405 is the worst one, and it’s right in my backyard.  (yes, the 405 of OJ simpson chase fame.  also, the most congested freeway in the country at 382,000 vehicles per day (1).  which makes me feel moved to mention that I will be making an effort to eat extra healthy to counteract the effects of 382,000 fumes on my precious lungs.)  because the 405 and I are so close now, I thought I’d give it a shot today.  bad idea.  according to my maps, I entered at mile 27.96 and exited at mile 29.16.  that was all I could take.  1.2 miles.

I should mention that I love to drive.  I can identify and name almost any car I see on the road.  I’m an aggressive, defensive driver, and I tend to speed a bit.  in the 5 minutes that it took me to travel 1.2 miles on the 405 today I started to wonder, “what is my problem?  why can’t I handle this?”  all I can figure is that I have a deeply seated association between freeways and my foot on the pedal.  and fighting that urge to step on it while being forced to travel 10 miles an hour and continuously STOP on a 12 lane freeway makes my brain want to explode.

as such, I don’t think my car will be seeing speeds over 45 anytime soon.  I’ll be sticking to city streets.  in short, although the 405 and I may be very close now, we will not be friendly any time soon.


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photo: moonrise

something about the colors in this photo make it look dated, from the 60’s or 70’s.  in reality, it was taken with my blackberry last night while nannying.  we were looking for a green rabbit that my 2-year-old charge saw out the window.  unfortunately, the rabbit headed home for dinner and bedtime before we could find it.  fortunately, we did catch this beautiful full moon.

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photo: so sad

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thoughts: craigslist

craigslist is my new love.  my family used to talk about boater’s sickness.  once you own a boat, you always want a bigger one.  of course, you love yours, but you never stop dreaming about the next one.  bigger.  better.

apartment hunting gave me a similar feeling.  in college and afterwards I seemed to settle right into the first livable place I found.  however, in college I was so eager to settle that I neglected to realized that my apartment was on the fourth floor of a building with no elevator.  imagine my mom’s delight when she discovered on moving day that every inch of the car we’d filled needed to be carried up those stairs.  (sorry mom!)

well, this time I decided not to settle.  mostly because there are not very many settle-able places that won’t cost you an arm and a leg here in lala land.  it seemed easy.  searches only within 1 zipcode yielded over 600 available rentals.  600!  one must be right.  well, narrow that search down to include hardwood floors, dishwasher, refrigerator (yes, an apartment that actually comes with a refrigerator is uncommon here), and a balcony/patio, and suddenly you’re looking at maybe 12 options, 11 of which are out of the price range.  despite these difficulties, I made it my mission to find the elusive settle-able apartment.  suddenly, every “for rent” sign caught my eye.  I couldn’t drive without jotting down the cross-streets of potential rentals at stop signs.  I had a new illness: renter’s sickness.

so then (against all odds) I found it.  all it was missing was the hardwood floors.  but I compromised for tile.  because it had a pool!  and all utilities included!  plus cable and internet included!  it even had a refrigerator!  imagine that!  the only problem was that I could no longer admire all those other places or peek inside and see how some people live.  I missed the hunt.

so we settled.  actually, we did much better than settle.  we reveled in our steal and were ecstatic to find such a find.  and did I mention it has month-to-month rent?  month-to-month!  and suddenly we needed things: bookcases, coffee table, dresser, rug… a new hunt.  a hunt on craigslist.  and better yet, this hunt included bargaining!  seriously, I never thought I’d get so excited about craigslist, but after drawing up a little wishlist on ikea and then finding that I could cut that cost at least in HALF, I was hooked.

tonight alone I’ll become the proud owner of 2 bookcases and a coffee table, bought from two different sellers, bargained down to about $50 total.  total!  sure they’re not new, but according to, these particular items would cost me about $160 (plus tax!  expensive ca sales tax!) in the store.  plus, now I can say they have character.

(safety note: I have a nice guy to go with me to ward off any potential craigslist creeps.)

so wish me luck!  I’m still on the hunt for a nightstand, dresser, bathroom shelving, and a tv.  my new illness?  craigslist-eria?  craig-o-mania?  ocd (obsessive craigslist disorder)?  whatever you call it, I’m catching a deal.

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photo essay: playa

mayan ruins, tulum

we escaped the blizzards and sub-zero minnesota temps to spend time in the sun, explore playa del carmen, and mostly just relax.  we were quite successful.

these little guys were hiding all over the ruins.  the mayans boggle my mind.  where did they go? the beauty and eeriness of the ruins only created more questions for me.

my brother, z, and I explored the ruins.  this picture was our third take.  we did the typical tourist photographer exchange with a couple carrying a very fancy camera.  I assumed this would give us a winning shot, but we wound up with a close-up of our faces instead.  (umm… we can see those anywhere.  how about some ruins and ocean?)  of course, I didn’t have the heart to tell the couple, so we walked away, walked back, got back in line, and got a new shot.  thanks for humoring me, z.

w didn’t join us at the ruins, but it’s safe to say that both boys were very much present at ALL meals.  the all-inclusive resort was a food-filled heaven for these boys.  endless plates of french fries?  got it.  smoothies at midnight?  at the bar.  chips and salsa from room service?  24/7.  although, unless you like potato chips and salsa, it may take 3 deliveries to get it right.  personally, I survived on fruits, veggies, peanut butter, tortilla chips, numerous varieties of mexican rice, and way too much guacamole.

we all went zip-lining, repelling, and cave river snorkeling.  guess which one caused me the most unrest?  come on.  it’s a river in a CAVE.  with BATS.  miners used to get trapped in caves and perish.  granted no one was mining this cave, but you never know.  I sucked it up, suffered teasing from my brothers, and relied heavily on my life vest since I’ve never been good at floating.  all in all, though, it was a very cool experience that was straight out of a discovery channel special.

and if you want to see your parents be totally awesome, watch them zip-line.  this photo must have been taken on our second or third zip-line, though, because I don’t think they looked that happy staring down the first drop.

it was z’s idea to wake up at the crack of dawn to walk the beach.  their only disappointment was that none of the buffets were open this early.  all in all, a wonderful vacation with wonderful people.  thanks mom and daddy.

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photo: goodbye coco

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