Wednesday, October 5, 2011

He’s so sweet here, you should see him when he plays Gears of War (updated link)

My friend Mike wanted to surprise his girlfriend with a flash mob engagement and roped his favorite event planner (me) into helping him. Sadly, Mother Nature did not cooperate in the weather department, which spoiled our plans for the park (and diminished our mob) so 12 of us hijacked a favorite local Irish pub and enlisted all their patrons into helping.This is the result:
(The BF shot and edited this, he is uber-talented.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kevin Clash “is” Elmo

I’m more of a Kermit girl than an Elmo girl (I’m old school), but I really, really, really want to see this documentary:

I hope all those people who made fun of him in high school are kicking themselves every time their children scream with delight that Elmo is on…

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hungry for reading

Hunger games.jpgA friend of mine teaches at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, CT, one of the poorest cities in our state, if not the US. She is looking for gently used copies of The Hunger Games trilogy to give to the ENG101 students she'll be teaching next semester who might not be able to afford their own. She made book 1 part of the curriculum last semester, and the response was AMAZING. Kids who said they hated reading devoured it and even went on to read books Two and Three on their own. She would love to be able to give all students copies they could keep.

If you have a copy of this book and don’t plan on reading it again, consider donating it to this great cause to help turn these students into voracious readers! Email me and I can give you an address to ship your copy to.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I don’t remember my Othello board having this much functionality

This is genius. And fun!

(Othello game, aka Reversi, for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sometimes, girls just wanna have… an air pollution study and a scholarship opportunity

Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah pose with their Google Science Fair trophies (made of Legos!)

This article about the winners of the Google Science Fair has me seeing red. The story is so inspirational (out of 10,000 entries from 91 countries, three teen girls took home trophies for amazing projects on improving treatment of ovarian cancer, carcinogens in grilled chicken, and reducing reliance on asthma treatment), yet the author ruins it with references to how "cute" the winners are and marvels that despite being girls, they can manage to not mention Bieber! Why do we continue to encourage the idea that girls need to apologize for being smart? It is this type of cultural attitude that keeps young women from pursuing math and science degrees and careers. Fast Company FAIL.

On a lighter note, I am digging the Lego trophies.

Speaking of Google, I’ve been playing around on Google+. So far it is like a vary spare, clean version of Facebook, and similar to Twitter, you can link to people without them “friending” you back. It will be more fun when more people sign up. Email me if you want an invite to try it yourself.

Friday, May 20, 2011

This time, the cheesy prom pose was my idea

MAY2011 019

Last week I was in NYC for one of the conferences my company produces, and our emcee, for the third time in four years, was Steve Thomas. He is one of the smartest, most interesting, interested people I’ve ever met, and I love working with him. The first time I met him I was a little nervous -- after all, I had been watching him host This Old House on PBS for years, and then Renovation Nation on PlanetGreen… and how often do you meet someone you’ve seen on TV?

MAY2011 018

As you can see, he knows how to ham it up when the occasion calls for it. I wish I had taken a seriously-posed photo as well so you could better see how handsome he is, but I feel a series of celebrity cheesy prom pose photos will be my legacy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day

Mom and me, the day of her brother’s wedding, 1968-ish.

From my mother I got:

my face
my love for and ability to cook and entertain
my love of reading (although I remember my dad teaching me to read)
my sense of style
my need to make a house a home
my work ethic (she shares that 50/50 with dad)
my ability to be frugal when needed and make the best of a bad situation
my compassion
my ability to be a good sport, especially at card and board games
my preference for British costume drama (and afternoon tea and other British things)
…and my love of nerdy sci-fi.

me and mom on the YC
Mom and me, sailing in Long Island Sound, 1987-ish.

I did not get:

Her way with houseplants. I kill them all.
Her unwavering faith. I question, question, question…
Her patience. Need to work on that.

Thank you Mumsie, I love you. Happy Mother’s Day!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

She rocks with paper and scissors

I love stop-motion animation. I love it even more when it is about this sweet book by my friend Julie. This -- or her first Ninja book -- would be a great treat in a young reader's Easter basket (that is your hint to go on Amazon right now and buy one. Or two).

Julie made the stop-motion video herself. She is super-talented. She also paints and makes jewelry, has a kick-ass sense of humor and excellent taste in movies. Check out her Etsy store for more.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I got to hang with the cool kids

Yes, I am a week late in posting this. To recap: last Friday, after trekking around NYC for two days for work-related meetings/site visits (10 event sites in 2 days -– it can be done, if you have the right footwear, and plan a path that bypasses the NY Fashion Week venues), I met up with some fabulous bloggers:

JAN2011 104(l. to r.) Naomi of Design Manifest; moi; Leigh of Marvelous Kiddo with cutie-pie W; get-together instigator Raina of If The Lampshade Fits; and Alicia of Alicia B. Designs. Also in our party but traveling incognito was Alexis of The Studioist. This photo and numerous others patiently taken by the dapper and gracious Nick of Cupboards).

Now I’m the last person who will intentionally meet up with complete strangers for the night, but herein lies the difference: I felt like I already knew these ladies. I’ve been reading Raina and Alicia’s blogs for 3 and 2 years, respectively, and when the meet-up lineup was announced, I happily perused the archives of the other blogs so I could get a sense of the assembled company.

It was a great meet-up! I asked my contact at the Hudson Hotel to assist with making us a reservation in their Library Bar and we enjoyed prime seating in front of the fireplace on a cushy leather sofa and less-cushy ghost chairs.The music was a little too loud but we all managed to chat for a few hours about blogging, design, crazy commenters, our respective hometowns, Alicia’s recent move and engagement, Naomi’s new apartment in Philly, what makes a good dinner party menu, etc. etc. like a bunch of old pals.

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Raina and I at the end of the night – a little giddy, a little exhausted (according to my camera this was taken at 2:38 am!), and apparently both fans of large necklaces. Another photo by Nick.

I have on past occasions waxed poetic about the value of all you readers, lurkers, commenters, followers and the online community we have built for ourselves, but there is something satisfying about actually meeting people you’ve “known” online and having it really click. When I tried to explain the nature of this meet-up to some friends and co-workers, their non-bloggy brains could not process it. “Wait, you’re meeting people you haven’t met yet? But you know them? But you haven’t met them?” I finally had to describe it as akin to meeting a bunch of pen pals.

Thanks again ladies (and Nick) for a great night and I hope we can do it again!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Uggs 0, Michael Kors 1

So, the UGGs were a bust. They arrived yesterday and they were as un-UGGly as the photo but not very comfortable. I returned them to the store, where these Michael Kors babies called my name:

Michael Kors boots

Much better fit, and more my style. The best part? Between the sale price and a coupon, I got them for one-third the price of the UGGs. Sometimes it pays to go to the store vs shopping online…

So my toes will be toasty and well-dressed while I trek around NYC tomorrow and Friday. Whoo hoo!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A not-ugly UGG

Generally, I am not a fan of UGGs (or the ubiquitous knockoffs, pseudos and wannabes). I think it is because I have big feet and the standard UGG silhouette makes all feet look bigger than they are, like you are wearing cast. Or a cement boot. Or a tree trunk. The winter version of a Croc. But the weather has been so atrocious, with more on the way, and my vanity is getting the better of me. I really, really, really want to wear some of my stylish leather boots, and Mother Nature is not cooperating. I am sick of wearing my LL Bean let’s-go-hike-the-tundra snow boots. I want to wear things like my high-heeled, cognac leather, un-insulated, you’ll-break-your-neck-on-the-ice boots. Function vs. Form. Sarah Palin vs. Sarah Jessica Parker.

I think I have found the answer in these:


Yes they are UGGs but they are not ugly. Note the slim vamp and wedge heel. Note how they look more like a boot and less like a Smurf’s foot. I think they may be the answer to my warmth-vs-fashion prayers, and none too soon, as I will be headed to NYC this week for biz, and there will be lots-o-snow there. Also there? A bloggy meet-up instigated by The Queen of Boho-Contempo Snarkaliciousness’ trip east for decor/fashion-related biz , as well as a few other fantabulous NYC-area design bloggers. I can’t wait to meet them IRL!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I want to go There

Somewhere tropical. Anywhere tropical. Note the lounge chairs in the infinity pool. This way Ewan McGregor the waiter can cool his feet while he delivers my frozen daiquiri.

It snowed again today. About an inch an hour, on top of the gazillion inches we already have from the nine storms (including one blizzard) we’ve had since Boxing Day. The snow banks are so high at the street corners that you have to eek out into the intersection and pray you are not hit by oncoming traffic. And tomorrow will be a mix of icy rain and snow, to put a nice crunchy coating on top of everything. The BF is a HS music teacher and hasn’t had a week without at least one snow day since December 13 (lucky stiff, I still have to trudge to work most “snow days”).

Despite my complaining I really do love the seasons, including winter. The black trees against the white snow. The woodsy aroma of fireplace smoke in the crisp cold. The prospects of sledding, ice skating, skiing (haven’t been in years), snowshoeing (never been, would like to try it). The smell of snow in the air is palatable when the forecast calls for only an inch or two. But the pristine whiteness immediately after it falls is too quickly marred by brown road salt and debris, chunks of dirty ice and a slushy gray haze like a muddy skirt hem. New snow is beautiful. Old snow is sad and depressing, and sticks around way too long. Longer if you have as much of it as we do…

Please little groundhog, please don't see your shadow tomorrow…

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Bird On The Block No. 29 to infinity and beyond

I have not yet caught the IFC original series Portlandia, but my dad sent me the link to this NPR story on it, with specific instructions to “watch the bird video”. It is a hilarious parody of how a design trend can go awry. 

My poor little birdies, I still love them, even if they are doomed to become passé.

PS – It’s snowing. Again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

But watch your back, Seymour…


I love this chandelier. Yet am slightly afraid of it. Originally unveiled as part of designer Tony Duquette's one-man exhibition at the LA County Museum of Art in 1952 and then hung above the dining table in a private residence in Bel Air, it has been reproduced by Baker in exacting detail. Timeless artistic antique? Or Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors? Discuss.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Slip slidin’ away

Hartford has had the frozen heavens dump upon us about every five days since the day after Christmas. Yesterday’s special was 4 inches of snow just in time for morning rush hour, followed by an inch of icy glaze, just in time for evening rush hour. No need to rent skates since your snow boots will work just fine on the slip’n’slidewalks. Too bad the ice means the end of all the kids sledding on the big hill behind the capital building. And I use the term “kids” loosely *cough*.

GIF found via The Blogess.