Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hair day.

Normally, Monday morning is about bleary eyes on the train and trying to reassemble my head in one or two too many status meetings. This week, I took the morning off and had myself a little hair day instead.

I woke up an hour earlier than normal and skipped over to the west Village, where Reagan was getting gussied up with her husband, seƱor photographer extraordinaire Jake, ready to start our shoot. Reagan and Jake are putting together some video tutorials for Hairdresser on Fire showcasing a bunch of Aussie products. I'm very excited that she had me as one of her hair models - even though it was 7:30 in the AM, I think we had a pretty good time.

Side note: I was "split ends" girl. Aussie Split End Protector. I found this to be a combo of mortifying and hilarious, as you've probably witnessed me picking at my split ends like nobody's business on more than one occasion. Typecast.

Finished products are still in the works, but here's a sampling of Jake's stills from the day. I make some really weird faces so don't make fun (I think my fantasy modeling career died a little bit that day).

I was one of five models - here are some beautiful shots of my darling Amanda Blair. I think she might be a real model in disguise. A model shark (similar to a pool shark).

You work that chair, AB.

Despite being completely exhausted that evening, as an end to my hair day I watched Tangled on Netflix Instant. Sir is in London on a business trip (trying to conceal my jealousy), which is when I like to try to muck up his Netflix account with bizarre girly items. I didn't really intend to watch it but I had hair on the brain. I also didn't intend to stay up until 1:30 am to watch the whole thing.

Confession: it was an awesome movie. Completely hilarious and really well done.

Stay tuned for links to the finished tutorial! And New York - stop being so damn muggy so we can have some actual good hair days!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday dinner potpie surprise.

One of my favorite parts of co-habitation is all the cooking we do - having two foodies under one roof will tend to cause that sort of thing. Tonight, my lovely Sir took it upon himself to make me dinner. It was a surprise mystery dish until it started to come together, at which point I discovered that it was a sort of chicken-sausage-veggie pot pie, with a potato crust.

Pot pie is somewhat difficult to procure as a gluten-free person - the potato crust solves your issues there. I think Sir adapted the recipe from a Martha short rib creation. Check it out on the cover of the October issue.

It came out of the oven crusty, bubbling, and piping hot. It tasted like Thanksgiving in a bowl.

Sake tastes better when someone pours it for you, and food tastes better when someone makes it for you. Facts.

Empire Builder.

This weekend brings the DUMBO Arts Festival to our little hidey-hole under the Manhattan Bridge overpass. I have a love-hate relationship with the Festival. I love that there is so much culture here in DUMBO and that we give our local artists a showcase. I really, really hate the swarms of people that crowd our normally forgotten neighborhood. This is our (mine and Sir's) second Arts festival weekend and both times, our choice to not live in Manhattan has felt heavily validated. I think we Dumby-folk (DUMBOans?) hold our collective breath as the wildebeest ravage and litter all over our cobbled sanctuary, praying that they won't decide that they need to move here. Dear God, no. You'll ruin it.

I heard someone vandalized Adam's exhibit this year, stealing a piece from a sculpture. It might just be a hate-hate relationship.

Saturday morning, prior to quarantining ourselves in our apartment, we had a quick cappuccino at Brooklyn Roasters, the new coffee shop that just might (finally!) be the answer to my Intelligentsia heartache dilemma. I stole off to the park to find a quiet space to take a phone call from a childhood friend - my very best friend from growing up. We'd grown apart during college, but I had spotted her on facebook recently and arranged for a catch-up. I was really nervous, actually. What if it was weird? What if she wasn't the same?

I sat in the park and watched the old carousel spin in its brand new crystal box, waiting for my phone to ring.

We spoke for one hour and twenty minutes and she was exactly the same. Isn't that nice? I thought so. It was just so lovely to catch up with the person with whom I shared a pulse for so long. We concluded that we are both very happy and were glad that the other was doing well. We hope to keep better track of each other from now on.

I ended the conversation and ran back to our apartment when the rain started to fall, much to the chagrin of the festival-goers. It didn't rain for long, but we stayed in the apartment for the remainder of the afternoon.

Sir's parents had sent us the European version of Empire Builder, a game of train-domination that we play when we visit them in Arcata. The Euro version presented all kinds of new challenges, like figuring out which cities are where and what goods and services they have to offer (we've got the USA version more or less memorized). We are super excited to have our own version.

After a few hours of rail-building, I really thought I had won until I remembered a rule (post-excessive-victory-dancing) stating that, since I went first, Sir got a chance to complete his turn. This led to a tie, which in turn led to him winning (for real this time). I had to take back my whole dance while he reveled in his victory. The ultimate humiliation.

Please note that he is wearing his new custom chain ring on his head as a crown.

We snuck out to the new boardwalk a little later on in the evening, hoping the crowds had dispersed. They hadn't, but it was still nice.

I think the best part about building our own empire out here in Brooklyn has been having the other to share it with, through the festivals and quiet times alike. Here's the part where I click my heels and shut my eyes, hoping all is clean and quiet again by morning.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vacating, days 6 and 7: wrap-up.

Thursday, Sir turned 30. We had a REAL barbeque (brisket, slow-cooked over a smoldering low-heat fire for a long period of time) with his family and he drank a 30th Anniversary Sierra Nevada. It seemed appropriate.

This trip was his 30th/my 26th birthday present (along with some new kitchen supplies). The correct way to birthday-party is surrounded by family and friends. So, I think we did it right. I hope he thinks so too.

We also rounded out the week with one last run, during which time I do believe I conquered those hills. Booya.

6:30am - 12pm PST:             Drive to San Francisco, get incredibly carsick and crabby
12pm - 3:30pm PST:             SFO airport relaxation, breathe, undo carsickness
3:30pm PST - 12am EST:     SFO > JFK, re-induce motion sickness

Upon our return, we received the below photos from my mom via snail-mail. Our hiking pictures reminded her of a trip she had taken with my father, the year before they got married. They're hiking around Wurtsboro, NY with my Aunt Jan and Uncle Wayne, who still live in Wurtsboro to this day.

Aunt Jan and Uncle Wayne, hiking

Uncle Wayne giving my dad (afro alert!!) a piggy-back ride

Mom, hiking

Aunt Jan, Uncle Wayne, Mom

Mom, nature


I like that my dad isn't in too many of these pics, and instead was taking pics of my mom. That's cute.

Many thanks to the Parker Jones family for their hospitality. We'll miss you, vacation. Hope to see you again soon.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vacating, days 4 and 5: lumberjacky pursuits.

Tuesday's main event consisted of Sir and his father chopping down a tree in the yard and hauling it out to be made into chips. The tree had been cut down years ago when it looked as though it might fall on the house, but a whole bunch of new trees had grown out of the stump. Apparently those redwoods are tenacious little buggers.

A lumberjack of my very own - swoon.

We also got after that run again, which went much better this time. I didn't try to keep up with Sir and was able to finish without walking, hooray! I truly do not remember being able to run a marathon.

We went on a seven-mile hike in the Arcata Community Forest, located basically right behind Sir's parents' house. Sir showed me where he had trained for cross-country in the forest, and again I was impressed with his lumberjacky qualities. There are some angry-steep hills in that forest.

All the beautiful forests here make me feel a little bit awful. Could Manhattan have looked like this, had we left it alone?

Run, day 3. Not great, but definitely doable. Legs feel happy to be running again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vacating, days 2 and 3.

We're still on vacation, which is pretty glorious. In case you're wondering, a week (or more) is the correct amount of time to take for a vacation. Long weekends are just not long enough.

Sunday morning, we got up early for a long bike ride to Trinidad with Sir's mom and uncle. The ride ended up at about 33.84 miles, and was probably one of my more epic rides, for several reasons:

  1. Northern Cali is hella hilly. Rolling hills the entire way made this a seriously challenging ride. Much more so than Prospect Park, or the ol' flatty-flat Chicago lakeshore.
  2. We rode multiple types of terrain: rough roads, highway, and some pretty loose gravel (new for me). Pretty sure now I'm ready for cyclocross season (nope, not even a little bit).
  3. I rode Uncle Dave's hybrid commuter bike, which made for my first non-road-bike ride in quite some time. I'm not used to riding with flat handlebars and may have wrenched my wrists a little in the process. Super comfy bike, other than that.
  4. The views along the way are just insane. We just don't have mountains or the ocean like that in Brooklyn.

We stopped for pictures at mile 15.

And again at mile 19.5.

Some planking went down as well.

Sir wins for best use of core muscles, I think.

All of this resulted in a seriously long hot shower and an afternoon of naps.

Sir and I got up early for a truly horrendous run (see above, re: hilly) prior to trekking out to Fern Canyon with his family. Fern Canyon is pretty spectacular - I think they filmed the second Jurrassic Park in there. It felt pretty Jurrassic - silent, lush and more or less untouched.

We took a lot of pictures, but they don't do a very good job recreating the feeling of being there, being enveloped in stillness like that. They don't do a good job capturing the way the light was sparkling through the redwoods, filtering softly all the way to the forest floor. They also don't capture the way the silence was interrupted by the sound of the creek running through the canyon and the trickly waterfalls of water, sparkling like diamonds as they dripped down the ferny canyon walls.

Here's some of the better ones, anyhow.

And then we went to dinner at Sir's aunt and uncle's house, which included a run-in with a chubby baby bear (he was crossing the road in front of our car) and this truly resplendent salad.

I think it was the prettiest salad I ever saw. The produce out here is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.