"I suppose there are people who can pass up free guacamole, but they're either allergic to avocado or too joyless to live."— Frank Bruni

Thursday, September 29, 2011

alcohol tax

not so sure how i feel about this.  in one way, it bothers me that ordinary working folks are asked to pay more in alcohol taxes while millionnaires are still getting away with low tax rates. in another way, i suppose it's good for getting people to drink less.

it's similar to the soft drink tax, which i am not opposed to. hmmm. it's funny that the people who are against said tax are predominantly right-leaning, less-government types, but who are also lower income, who should be rooting for the government to raise taxes on rich people, hence, they should be left-leaning.

(the lack of capital letters means this was a very quick post.)

toki/baohaus pop-up...

...more on that next Tuesday!

(...and that, my friends, is what those in the industry call a teaser)

shining hope for communities

At least one in five kindergardners-second graders at The Kibera School for Girls in Kibera, Kenya have been raped. Help them by helping out this organization, as featured in Nic Kristof's column today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

sports talk

Time for List Wednesday! Today's list is my attempt to bring more sports talk to this blog. I'm a fan of most sports and enjoy watching them, even if it's falling into a nap on a weekend afternoon to golf. There are certain sports analysts/announcers/commentators/color commentators that I enjoy listening to and respect more than others (yes, I realize announcers and commentators are different things, but they all are part of a body of sports pundits/wonks...and I like using slashes). Here are my favorites:

  1. John McEnroe + Mary Carillo
    • Old friends, old players, entertaining and insightful to listen to and watch. They know the game and players so well and can inject friendly banter while not saying anything inaccurate or unnecessary.
  2. Tony Kornheiser + Mike Wilbon
    • One of my favorite ESPN shows. They yell a lot but are super entertaining. They're like a married, balding couple. Playing each other's devil's advocate, sometimes they make really good opposing points...or sometimes, one of them is completely disagreeable. Entertaining nonetheless, especially during commercial breaks.
  3. Al Michaels + anyone (but I like Chris Collinsworth)
    • Doesn't need an explanation
  4. Kenny Smith + Charles Barkley
    • I like Chuck and Kenny Smith jibes with him.
  5. Brent Musberger + Kirk Herbstreit
    • Like Al Michaels, I'm not sure an explanation is needed for Brent Musberger. I don't even care about college football, but have grown to appreciate the quality that is Brent. He's just so on point.
  6. Ray Fosse (I realize Ray is listed without a partner...I just like him)
    • The Oakland A's color commentator since 1986, Ray Fosse is excellent at what he does and naturally has the voice for it. It brings me back to my childhood. I can't remember him saying anything that was superfluous.
  7. Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo (that's G's contribution to this list)
    • Per G, they are fairly new but are super entertaining. I can attest to their entertainment value, especially referring to their 'Best Available Video' bit.

animal research

There is a posting in the Well blog published today in the Times about a study that sought to see if exercise strengthened the brain. The researchers put mice on treadmills to measure endurance and then examined their brain tissue, in which they found new and increased mitochondrial activity in the mice that exercised but no comparable activity in their lazy, lounge-y counterparts. My question is: How cute are tiny treadmills!?

anita perry

Did I miss something, or did this article fail to state what Anita Perry's stance on abortion is? For someone who is a proponent of women's health and an advocate for victims of sexual abuse, it'd be interesting to hear how she feels about abortion, given her husband's conservatism.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

good thymes

...Good times indeed at Rosemary's Thyme Bistro! This past Sunday was BVBC's second brunch gathering and it was a big success! Thirteen of us convened in the spacious and comfortable side room at the corner bistro, chosen for its varied menu, accommodating seating and close proximity to the originally chosen brunch location that won't be named but you can click on that link and this link to find out - Tabard Sucks. (Oops- I named it. Read the first reviews of each link for my shared sentiment.)

We all got to sit at one big table. Bloody marys, coffee and mimosas were ordered and conversation ensued! Not sure about everyone else's but my blood mary was bloody weak and could have used a bit more booze. Dishes ordered included:

 (photo cred: me)
Eggs Florentine (with home fries, arranged adorably into a smiley face)
(photo cred: S.L.)
Huevos Rancheros (ordered by two people, served over refried beans)

(photo cred: S.L.)
Lamb Shish (served with rice, beans, mixed vegetables and tzatziki)
  • Pancakes with eggs and bacon or andouille
  • Turkish omelette (served with home fries and fruit)
  • Mediterranean Pide (with eggs)
  • Kiymali (Turkish minced meat) Pide (with eggs)
  • Adana (ground lamb and beef) kebab (served with rice, beans, mixed vegetables and tzatziki)
  • Mediterranean pizza (without feta)
  • and one more (sorry Grace - what'd you have?)
The pides (PEE-deh), or Turkish style pizzas, were topped flatbread that were folded on the edges so it looked like a boat (sorry no pics, but here's one from Yelp of another pide).
(photo cred: Pastrima pide by Patrick H on Yelp)
The pides were sapid - really tasty and runny with the eggs on top. The adana kebab was tasty as well, but the lamb shish was a bit tough and dry. One of our brunchers expressed some disappointment when he compared his huevos rancheros with those he had in New Mexico. I'm not sure about everyone else's thoughts about the food (I was too busy wolfing down my pide), but I think the general consensus was 'decent.' Although the food was not particularly spectacular, I think it's safe to say everyone was comfortable and the company was excellent (if you guys are reading, feel free to leave your comments below). Even the super-well-behaved kiddies were able to change seats for a change of scenery when needed. The service was friendly, but disappeared for long stretches at times, though this did allow us to enjoy each other's company at our own pace. To their credit, the waitstaff was patient with us, as we seemed to be super-spacey when our food arrived. (I even poked the egg yolks on the wrong pide. I know. Faux pas.) When the check did come, we rewarded the waitstaff nonetheless, because BVBC is so awesome that we were $10 over (yes, over!).

The restaurant is located a pleasant walk away from the Dupont north metro exit and the street parking is limited, though our few drivers had pretty decent luck finding a spot nearby. The take-home: excellent place for big groups and kids with enough food options to please anyone. (I'd like to return to try their tortilla espanola.) Convenient location allows for many nice and leisurely post-brunch activities.

On another note, there was a question of whether or not there was a restriction to ordering only brunchie items, since this is brunch club. The answer is NO! Sillies.

Thanks for making brunch #2 a success everyone! Hope more can make it next time! (Oh - and guests and restaurant suggestions are welcomed.)

Yours in brunch,

Friday, September 23, 2011

3.1 philip lim :: spring 2012

...just a couple of great images from last week's Philip Lim show in NYC to elaborate a bit further on the simplicity I mentioned last Friday. First, simple accessories. This clutch is perfect - the yellow shade is simultaneously bright enough for a pop of color but neutral enough to make room for an even brighter color. And that arm loop! So brilliant. Makes it snatch- and drop-proof.
(photo cred: Garace)
This here outfit is so simple, so clean, so chic....and so easy to (roughly) replicate. The wearability lies in the fact that each component is just so versatile.
(photo cred: Moda Operandi)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why You Should Trust The FDA (And Not Dr. Oz)

(from here)
By Trevor Butterworth

If the reaction in the news media to Dr. Oz’s absurd claims about the dangers of arsenic in apple juice has been enormously heartening (essentially the media’s collective “Dr. Oz says this, but the FDA says that” narrative leaves the celebrity cardiothoracic surgeon looking like an unscrupulous and unethical quack), the disheartening part is that too many people will still choose to believe a television doctor who doesn’t know his ass from his elbow in terms of chemistry, over the massed ranks of PhD’s and toxicologists at the Food and Drug Administration.

This abysmal state of affairs was summed up by some fool on The View mouthing off about how we all should be grateful that Dr. Oz is looking out for our kids – as if the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent on a vast array of regulatory agencies simply didn’t occur.

This “trust a TV-doc lunacy” is especially frustrating for me as I had the privilege to speak this summer at the FDA’s 12th annual symposium on food safety and applied nutrition, which is jointly organized with Britain’s Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), and the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) at the University of Maryland, College Park. The theme this year was “Dealing with Uncertainty in Risk-Based Decision Making and Response.”

As I listened to presentation after presentation from scientists who spend their working days trying to protect the public from contamination in food, I was struck by the fact that the real story about what the FDA does is almost impossible to convey to the public. Certainly, in all the years I’ve been reporting on risk, I have never seen any story in the mainstream media that articulates the complexity of the science. And if you don’t grasp that complexity, you just cannot understand how serious and scrupulous these scientists are when it comes to trying to protect the public.

This is why Dr. Oz, in refusing to acknowledge the simple, objective errors the FDA pointed out in the way his show measured arsenic, betrayed science. And when you betray science, it doesn’t matter how much you protest that you are only looking to protect America’s children. No one is protected by getting the science wrong.

But how do you communicate that betrayal to a public which simply doesn’t understand chemistry (and probably shudders at the mere mention of the subject thanks to high school), doesn’t think scientifically (i.e., mentally tests propositions for the ways in which they might be falsifiable), but reacts on a deep emotional level to the idea that the kids are in mortal danger?

What was notable – and praiseworthy – about the FDA’s response was that it added a much more personalized message to it’s straightforward scientific criticism of Dr. Oz’s claims.  Donald Zink, Ph.D, senior science advisor at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), said what often goes unsaid in these media controversies. “As a parent and grandparent myself, I understand the concern over recent reports that arsenic has been found in apple juice,” he said, before adding that years of testing at the FDA – and, more importantly, the way the FDA did its tests, left him without any cause for concern.
Now think about it: Dr. Zink is a microbiologist and biochemist specializing in food; how much microbiology and biochemistry do you really think Dr. Oz, a heart surgeon, knows?

More to the point, do you really think that the hundreds of parents at the FDA with academic qualifications every bit as impressive as Dr. Oz’s are somehow less reliable and less concerned about food safety than someone who has chosen to practice medicine on a daily television show? And finally, what is the likelihood that, in our age of massive food regulation, it just didn’t cross anyone’s mind to examine – and keep examining – apple juice?

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer warned that drama was as fundamental to journalism as it was to theater – and that journalists were like lap dogs, barking hysterically at everything that moved. It’s time to see Dr. Oz as having crossed the canine rubicon – and having abandoned science for a barking role in the theater of the absurd.

Dear MacPhail Family...

I'm wondering how you are feeling today. I, like so many others around the nation and around the world, went to bed and/or woke up feeling sick upon hearing the news that Troy Davis was executed late last night. I am so sorry for your loss of a son, a father, a husband, a beloved friend and family member. I'm also sorry for the community when they lost Mark MacPhail as a valued police officer. I am also sad for you, that you have not reached a point of forgiveness and peace after 22 years. True, your family has wanted some sort of closure - anyone in your position would. However, obtaining the closure that you have been seeking for so many years involves slowly allowing yourselves to be forgiving, merciful. Mark MacPhail died under unfortunate circumstances, circumstances that are still unclear today. No one can say confidently who the shooter was and if the shooter shot intending to kill. Witnesses and jurors have recanted their statements and decisions. The investigation suffered biased practices. Amidst all this uncertainty, though, you were certain you wanted Troy Davis to be killed. I believe inside each of you is an ounce of uncertainty, but you want so badly for someone to pay for the loss you have suffered...at the expense of a man who may well be innocent. And because I have hope that you are better people that I see you to be, I'm guessing you still can't sleep well at night despite Troy Davis' death - because  his execution is not what provides closure. I pray that you reach the point of forgiveness and peace. I pray that you realize what was done last night and use your uncured pain and suffering to fight to never put another family like yours or Troy Davis' in such a position that you were in.  I pray that all those who could have stopped this not let any future opportunities to save a life, to admit mistakes, to do what is right, slip away ever again. I pray that capital punishment is abolished, as it makes no gains for humanity, teaches no lessons, provides no peace, serves no justice. Lastly, I pray that Troy Davis rests in peace.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

this weekend on the mall

shameful. immoral. wrong.

How can this be allowed?

If OJ, or Casey Anthony, or countless others, could be acquitted due to reasonable doubt, how then, can this man, with so much evidential retraction by witnesses, be sentenced to die? ...nonetheless by way of state-sponsored murder?


Funny Seasonal Ecard: I worry that global warming could extend wedding season.
(from here)


Unicorns? Unitards? Unicycles? Non, mes amis - uniforms!
Today's List is a special one, because as promised a couple weeks ago, it is brought to you by a guess blogger! The List is fantastic, combining sports and fashion. Our guest blogger is none other than ... G! Known for his extensive knowledge of everything sports, he has a profound gift for commenting on just the right things, often just as the Sportscenter analyst or play-by-play announcer has the same thought on the tip of his/her tongue. This post probably has some of the most factually valid content on this blog thus far. It is my pleasure to present his first of hopefully numerous guest postings.
: = : = : = : = : = :


There has been a lot of talk and buzz recently about uniforms in college football thanks to the unis worn by The University of Maryland earlier this month:
(photo cred: here)

My personal opinion is that these unis are terrible, mostly because of the seizure inducing helmet.  The jersey is actually pretty cool but a solid color helmet with an image of the terrapin would have worked better.  These radical uniform designs are a new and unstoppable trend in college football and intended to increase fan interest and of course revenue through increased jersey sales.

Its important to note that most of the schools that are choosing to go the radical route for uniforms are schools without a rich tradition in football.  If that's what these schools need to do to garner attention to their programs, then so be it.  Call me a traditionalist, but you deserve attention for winning. Or you can be like Notre Dame and get media adoration for blowing leads, losing big games, losing not so big games and getting over hyped year after year.  

With that being said, here are my top six uniforms in college football. You'll notice that most of the unis have largely gone unchanged through the years and are accompanied by success on the field as well (with one notable exception, see team that appears at No. 4).  

(photo cred: here)

While this is a picture of their retro throwback unis, the classic winged helmet is still worn and the maize and blue color combo looks great.


(photo cred: here)

Basically unchanged throughout the years, this is a classic uniform that I actually found boring as a little kid.  While I think the white jerseys aren't a good look with the white pants, the navy blue jerseys with the white pants and white helmet that has only a blue stripe down the middle is classic college football.  The only thing they could do to make this uni better is using a gray face mask grill instead of the blue one they currently use.


(photo cred: here)

Yet another classic example of a uni that has not changed through the years.  Unlike Penn State, they utilize the gray face mask grill and also put the players numbers on the sides of the helmet.  The numbers on the side of the helmet are such a little detail that adds a lot, that as far as I can think are only used by Alabama and occasionally by the San Diego Chargers when they wear their powder blue throwbacks.


(photo cred: here)

It should be noted that NAVY used to wear unis that were very similar to this classic looking uniform but the gold helmets (where real gold is actually sprayed into the helmets) and navy blue jerseys are instantly recognizable as belonging to Notre Dame.  


(photo cred: here)

The scarlet and gold color combo looks great with the helmets that have gone, for the most part, unchanged except for a brief period in the late 80's - early 90's where they had a scarlet face mask grill.  The logo on the side of the helmet is a basic but classic profile of a Trojan.  Common theme among all these teams on the list so far?  Unchanged through the years.  With all the new unis being sported by schools nowadays, its nice to know you can count on continuity and consistency when it comes to these top 5 teams.

(photo cred: here)

The sole school on this list to have unis that are not considered "Traditional."  Nike founder Phil Knight is an Oregon grad and huge booster to the school. Oregon benefits from this by having top notch athletic facilities and cool unis for the football team.  Oregon has at least 513 different helmet, jersey and pant combinations and Nike has designed some of the unis to actually make the team look faster by placing bright colors around the athletes fastest moving parts (shins, feet and wrists).  The neon yellow works well with either the schools traditional green and often used black or gray.  Since the inception of these multi-combination unis, Oregon football has also improved their performance on the field, becoming consistent challengers to win the Pac 10/12 and making it all they way to the NCAA championship game last year.  Coincidence??

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

national rum punch day...

...is today! I'll try to remember that at happy hour today.
So over the weekend I made my way to ShopHouse, Bobby Flay's Burger Palace AND Sweetgreen. Holy Eat Out!

I know I previously posted that I wasn't that excited about ShopHouse, but it was a convenient and speedy meal that fit well between scheduled appointments. Check my pic in the Foodspotting scroll to the bottom right - I had the pork and chicken meatballs with brown rice, Chinese broccoli, papaya slaw and the spiciest sauce they had. The sauce did indeed hold its own - so surprisingly spicy, I couldn't eat a few bites without sipping some soy milk (no, soy milk isn't sold at ShopHouse - I did take-out and brought my meal home)....and no, I don't have a low capsaicin tolerance. The meatballs were flavorful enough, but I kept burping them hours after and the texture was strange and mushy. I think I'll give ShopHouse one more try and get the chicken satay instead for my protein of choice, and on bun maybe. Their banh mis are ridiculously priced, so I'll pass on those.

I've only had the soft serve from Sweetgreen, so I decided to give their salads a try on Saturday after a day of mentor training and shopping. Their specialty salads all sounded good, but geez are they expensive. I decided to make my own (which didn't save me any money at all). I had mesclun, falafel, hearts of palm, cooked broccoli, sunflower seeds and cherry tomatoes tossed with the cucumber basil yogurt dressing.  The broccoli was the best part - slightly charred/caramelized and tasty. The dressing had no flavor. Looking back at the menu now, I regret not getting a different protein (their falafel isn't fried. I know.), wasabi peas, cheese (they didn't offer it to me and I was obviously confused on how the ordering system worked), or the lime cilantro jalapeno vinaigrette. Boo. Guess I'll have to go back again. And perhaps on someone else's dime, try one of the specialty salads. The bread that accompanied my salad, though, was nice and hearty.

As for Bobby's Burger Palace (which until now, I thought was called Bobby's Burger Place), I had the LA Burger (medium well, crunchified) and G had the Dallas Burger (medium, not crunchified). We also had a side of sweet potato fries with honey mustard horseradish sauce. My burger was really good. Although my chips were a bit soggy, the potato chip flavor really added to the burger, and I enjoyed the guac, but didn't notice the watercress. I usually don't prefer my burgers to be so big, but I really enjoyed this one. G's on the other hand, was raw. The patty was seared on the outside, but the inside could have been put into a ring mold and eaten as tartare (the meat stuck to the knife when we cut the burger in half!). Yikes. This required a nuke in the microwave that completely messed with the integrity of the burger - the slaw was warm, the bun was soggy and matted. Disaster. What about the fries, you ask? Well they were perfectly complimented with the sauce, though I wished the sauce was thicker. Who wants a watery dipping sauce??

nice one...

(...and almost just as important as the article itself, read the Readers' Comments)

Friday, September 16, 2011

where my zigzags at?

First, Missoni: Late news, I know, but I wanted to save this for Fashion Fridays. The Target Missoni collection made big news when it dropped in stores on Tuesday. After discovering early on in the day that the website was down, I went to the closest suburban Target after work and there was little trace the collection ever hit, save for the signage hanging from the ceiling and on the endcaps. Crazy! I managed to score a small vase that I was eyeing online and a couple of little girl sweaters for my nieces. I was able to later score, thanks to G, a few other items from a store in the suburbs of Pittsburgh (<3 you, blue collar North Huntingdon Township!).

A few words about FWNY...I liked the simplicity and sorbet-flavor color palette of the Phillip Lim collection. Gorgeous dresses/eye candy, as usual, from Oscar de la Renta, pretty prints from Caroline Herrera, and total wearability from Rachel Roy. The sophisticated Me would dress myself in the style of that collection everyday...but alas, sophisticated is not a word that comes to mind when describing me. I prefer ragamuffin....but if I was in music, maybe raggamuffin. Dang girl, you so ragga.

I am currently (in fashion blogger speak) lusting over this Madewell backpack, as seen here on Shopbop.

I have a cheapy one from H&M that has served me well, but I can only use it as a shoulder bag now, as the strap fixtures have worn down. I'm thinking I really need this leather version to stand up to the heavy load I carry. Yes, it's a necessity.

i (generally) hate you, cyclists

You swarm...like mosquitos. Ding ding with your stupid little bells. "On your left!" startles me. "Passing!" Hurry the hell up then. Hurry up - you're on a friggin bike! Why am I able to run faster than you?? ugh...there goes my peaceful morning run. You want the rights of pedestrians and cars (but will never admit it), thus annoying both. Cars should not have to slow down because you're in the way of traffic. If there's no bike lane, go on the sidewalk. If there is a bike lane, stay in it. Hey Spandex - if you're not in a race (which most of you aren't on most days), why do you wear your team race gear? Who likes wearing that much spandex? And hey hipster - you're IN THE WAY.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


...was just watching PTI. Did Mike Wilbon just reveal that he's never eaten a pickle?!?!

today at work

  • 1 Odwalla Choco-walla bar
  • 1 medium-sized banana
  • 1 tamari and seaweed rice cake
  • Yamamotoyama jasmine tea (~36 oz throughout the day)
  • 18 black grapes, 22 blueberries, 6 raspberries
  • Take-out container of arugula, halved cherry tomatoes, turkey meatball chunks and linguini seasoned with garlic, ground black pepper and red pepper flakes (homemade leftovers, a take on this dish)
  • water
  • 1/2 small bag (~21g) of these chips

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

top 6 ...

...ok so this list can probably go on forever because people are generally going backwards, lacking in common sense and courtesy, but here are six small steps that would not only make my day brighter (because this is my blog, afterall), but would also be beneficial to the rest of the world too.

== TOP 6 THINGS PEOPLE SHOULD DO MORE OF == (not in any particular order, or NIAPO)
  1. Say excuse me
  2. Don't be stupid
  3. Write hand-written letters
  4. Recycle (to help offset the letter-writing. See also number 5 below, 4th Floor residents. Hangers are not recyclable.)
  5. Follow rules (on the road, in life, in food production, whatever - but especially in the trash room, 4th Floor residents)
  6. Empathize
  7. BONUS: utilize common sense
  8. BONUS #2: Take off your shoes when in a home
  9. BONUS #3: If you don't have the balance and core strength to surf a moving train standing up and hands-free, hold on to the friggin' pole.



so long, sam

Oy, I'm so sad. Sam Sifton - the funny, sarcastic and most of the time on-point successor to Frank Bruni - was named the new national editor for the Times and announced yesterday that he was stepping down as food critic, news courtesy of Eddie Huang (click on the link to read his fitting and appreciative farewell). Sorry for being a little late on the news, but I don't do Twitter.

...does this mean no more Sifty's Fifty?

i still love you, roger

So? I don't care.

(courtesy: CafePress)

well, duh

Almost nothing (keyword: almost) on the road pisses me off more than drivers talking on the phone. There's now a push for a ban on cellphone use among commercial drivers, as reported by the Times. What's taking so long for this push to become law already?

This reminds me of something on my to-do list: write the National Association of Broadcasters to reach out to traffic reporters, on tv and radio, to consistently and continuously tell drivers to put away their phones and just drive, because people are dumb. Stupidity does not deserve civility. (...feel free to join my effort :) )

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays?

Quick post because I actually have work to do today!
So I'm going to try out yet another feature - Tasty Tuesdays. I like to post about food at all times, but Tasty Tuesdays will guarantee at least one posting about topics that are gastronomically engaging. Let me know if you're tired of features.

On today's list is a stream of restaurant news bits courtesy of Eater:
  • Apparently the people behind Chipotle is opening a new chain with a South Asian concept (did Steve Ells rip the idea from a contestant on America's Next Great Restaurant?) called ShopHouse, which is due to open its first location in DC "within days". I'm not that excited.
  • Next is word that Cuba Libre is expanding. I'm really surprised this establishment hasn't closed yet. The service was booty when we went. 'nuf said, can't go back.
  • Hill Country has launched its $25 all-you-can-eat BBQ menu. I heard about this in NY, and will hopefully try it sometime when I'm in the mood for some BBQ..which is almost never.
On another note, last week, we were able to finally make our way to Graffiato for a seniors-special-deal-5:30pm dinner (that was the only time I could get a reservation). Peep my pics in the Foodspotting widget. I'd go back to try the pizza with potatoes on it and the other pizza with the.... I can't remember, but there are two pizzas I still want to try. Also, they have pony beers. The crust on the pizza was really enjoyable - not too burnt, not too crackery. Try not to sit upstairs...it's not as lively and if you sit by the windows, a line of inactive waitstaff hang out facing the tables and watch you eat.

On yet another note, yesterday was Jung Chao Jit - or Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. Keeping with tradition, we did what we do every year. After the moon rose, we ate a mooncake and drank some tea (made from unfortunate over-steeped Pu-Erh leaves) while staring and appreciating the bright round moon.

Lastly, I just got an email for a fantastic event that I hope I can attend:

The Spaniards of El Bulli lore! Speaking of which...I just stumbled upon this on Phaidon's website about Ferran Adria's plans for his new foundation. (That's my second mention of Phaidon in a week! Bonus point for spotting the first mention!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

me watch movies?

Gone with summer are summer blockbusters. In with the crisper, cooler air is a trickle of fall films that, surprisingly, have caught my interest. I avoid seeing movies, especially seeing them in the theatre, like the plague - pun intended (! and a great segue into the films I will soon mention). Ever the subject of many arguments with those I have dated and with the man to whom I am now engaged (what's with me and movie-types?), movies are a sore spot for me. I just find it hard to sit through something for 1.5 - 3 hours, especially when I'm seated in front of a film I never had interest in watching in the first place. Most striking example: Dark Knight at 9am on a beautiful Saturday New York morning. My only consolation was a PB&J cupcake from Buttercup afterward.

I am not the person that listens when someone recommends a movie nor am I the person who goes to midnight screenings or the person who raves about films unless it struck a political, emotional or humorous chord (namely chick flicks, documentaries, or foreign). Considering this, it's pretty surprising that I would be interested in seeing two star-studded movies this fall that I wouldn't expect to fall under any of these categories - Contagion and Moneyball.

Contagion because, in the words of a friend and fellow epidemiologist, 'that's what we do' and Moneyball because it's about MY TEAM. It helps that Contagion is based on sound epidemiological principles; in today's Times, the real-life epidemiologist technical consultant for the film wrote about the real threat of a pandemic and what our country needs to truly be prepared. I find it interesting, though, that the movie is called Contagion, given that 'contagious' was a term rarely used in my graduate epidemiology program. Rather, 'infectious' or 'communicable' were the favored terms. In fact, I'm pretty sure a professor specifically stated that contagion was more of a colloquial/lay and less-favored term, but I guess to attract the masses, it's fitting.

Moneyball is not only about the most interesting team in baseball (yeah, I said it), but it also has the rocketjuicestarpower of Brad Pitt playing Billy Beane, and is also based on a NYTimes bestseller. I want so much for it to do well. Let's go, A's!! What do the Angels have? Angels In the Outfield!! Sorry folks, but it doesn't get any lamer than that. Almost as lame as rally monkeys. I'm really hoping Moneyball earns a spot on my Greatest Sports Films list (do I spell a potential List Wednesday idea?), joining The Sandlot and Remember The Titans.

If any of you watch/have watched Contagion or Moneyball, please share your thoughts...but no spoilers!

Friday, September 09, 2011


Announcing yet another new feature - FASHION FRIDAYS! You lot know I like to peruse fashion blogs when I'm not reading food blogs, and since it's just the second day of NYFW, I thought it'd be a good idea to unveil Fashion Fridays, which means there will be at least one fashion/style-related post every Friday...probably about something I want, but hopefully I'll expand my fashion writing abilities to go beyond that. Fun Fab Fashion Fridays Fun!

So last night was Fashion's Night Out, or as they say in the industry, FNO. Although going to D&G to see Justin Beiber and Beyonce sounded like fun, the event I would have wanted to attend would probably be the one at Phaidon to see Garance's exhibit. I'm looking forward to seeing her pictures from this week's shows and events. As for the collections themselves, I haven't seen enough to say anything substantive, but I just hope a few trends make repeat appearances so I can continue sporting them, namely lace and colorblocking. I did see in Richard Chai's show some print-mixing, which is good because I don't like to look too coordinated and mixing prints is sort of an exercise in color stories and relationships. I also hope intertube-hiding lines are a trend - trapeze tops and dresses are always effective for hiding bulge!

On another note, I just saw a preview picture of Essie's new fall colors. As some fashion bloggers would say, gorge. Looking at these colors, I wish I was more into getting manicures than pedicures, then I would be able to sport these colors even when it's too cold to wear open-toed footwear.

Founder of Essie Cosmetics, Essie Weingarten; The Fall Essie collection, which was inspired by various women's handbags.
(Credit: Today Show/Getty Images, Essie)
This collection makes me really excited for fall. I'd like to find tights the color of that dark marooney color on the right. Also on the fall want-list:
  • crewneck knits (chunky and not so chunky),
  • another pair of black leggings,
  • a pair of leggings in a dark fall color that isn't black,
  • close-toed heeled shoes (preferably with an ankle strap) that look good with tights (none of that open-toed with tights business - I just can't bring myself to do that...it's almost like wearing socks with flip-flops), and
  • a pencil skirt in a nice vibrant fall color.
I also wish I could get this trench cape in my size! :( ...then I can make yet another Seinfeld reference everytime I wear it. (because I don't make enough Seinfeld references on a daily basis already) Bonus point to whoever can name the man wearing the cape in referenced episode!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

UPDATE: same difference

Ok, so there is a difference - the terms refer to the percentage of cloud coverage. For more enlightenment, go here for the percentage breakdown.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

same difference

What's the difference between 'mostly cloudy' and 'partly sunny'? Or between 'mostly sunny' and 'partly cloudy'?
...ok, I'll look it up.


It's been a while since I last posted, so I thought a good way to get back into the swing of things is to open with a couple of new features. The first is one I'm really excited about and I think you folks (all 2 of you) will enjoy it too - LIST WEDNESDAYS! Every Wednesday, a new list would be featured. List of what, you ask? Anything! The second new feature is a guest blogger (!) who will be revealed when he/she submits his/her first piece, which I'm told is going to be a hit.

 Today's list is very dear to my heart, as I have been called a connoisseur on the topic (and I love them so much, they're probably the reason why I can't lose any weight): Chips! Everyone loves chips! Here we go:

== TOP 6 CHIPS: ALL-TIME FAVORITES == (not in any particular order)
  1. Kettle Brand Spicy Thai Flavored Potato Chips (Best Flavor That You Would Expect To Find In A Foreign Country Award)
  2. Miss Vickie's Brand Jalapeno Flavored Potato Chips (Best Jalapeno Flavored Potato Chips Award)
  3. Doritos Brand Taco Flavored Corn Chips (Best Dorito Flavor Award, Best Throwback Then Comeback Chip Award)
  4. Boulder Canyon Brand Rice and Azuki Bean Chipotle Cheese Flavored Chips (Best Chip Not Made From Potatoes or Corn Award, Best Chip In the Health Foods Chip Section Award)
  5. Lays Brand Garden Tomato & Basil Flavored Potato Chips (Best Brand Makeover Chip Award, Best Relatively New Flavor Award)
  6. Tostitos Brand Hint of Lime Flavored Tortilla Chips (Best Tortilla Chip Award)
 As you can see, each chip not only made my all-time favorite list, but they also each got a specific award for what makes them so great.

And there you have it - our first List Wednesday post! What are some of your favorite chips?

(Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation from the chip brands listed above. I really do love them.)