Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trash Talk

Perhaps I should volunteer for my building's newsletter just to lend my proofreading skills to their flyers.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fire, fire!

I was walking down the street this morning when I smelled something burning. I looked up, expecting to see smoke pouring out of a nearby building. But there was nothing. I looked around, expecting smoke to be coming out of a storefront. But again, nothing. Then I followed someone else's gaze and saw a smoking trash can with flames shooting out of it.

I'm sorry for the poor quality of the picture, but I was running in the other direction. I kept expecting the trash can to spontaneously combust or go shooting 50 feet in the air. But all the other passersby were walking at a leisurely pace, peering in the bin and then going on their way. Am I the only one who saw the news report of the smoking Jeep in Times Square that turned out to be a car bomb? Has living in 21st Century NYC hyper-sensitized me or made me properly cautiously aware of my surroundings?

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Jolly Subway Giant

Can you imagine being so tall that your head grazes the roof of the subway car? Yeah. Me either.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My new cardigan from Bloomingdales

I met up with a friend this afternoon at Bloomingdale's for Brunch at Forty Carrots. The restaurant was freezing. I forgot a sweater/scarf/hoodie so I was forced to make-do with what I had. And all I had were two napkins.

And then, the Fashion Director for the stores just happened to walk by and say what a fabulous idea it was and that Bloomingdale's would like to carry my designs! Ok, fine, she didn't walk by but if she did, she CERTAINLY would have picked up my fancy take on a traditional cardigan.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Watching baseball in the 1920's

A few friends and I trekked to Staten Island tonight for the Yankees game. No, not The Yankees. The Staten Island Yankees! They're the Bronx Bombers' Class-A team, also known as the Baby Bombers. Going to the game reminded me of what baseball games were supposed to be. Inexpensive, family-friendly and entertaining! The ballpark, located on the northern shore of Staten Island, overlooking downtown Manhattan, is small and provides an intimate experience for attendees. There's dancing between the innings, lots of mini competitions for kids, tons of music, cheap food, beer for those who want it (we didn't) and no nose-bleed seats. For our $18 tickets, we got 11th row seats above the visitors' dugout, an SI Yankees hat and an all-you-can-eat bracelet (we're triathletes, they definitely lost money on us!).

The mascots, Huck and Scooter "the holy" Cow, wandered the stands. For some reason, Huck took a liking to us and came by to visit/harass us frequently.

And despite the fact that the home team lost 8-1, attendees were treated to a lengthy and impressive fireworks display after the game.

This was my third trip to Staten Island this month...I can't say I'm itching to return anytime soon, but for the record, I wouldn't mind going to another Staten Island Yankees game.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How I stayed awake today

I definitely stayed out too late last night. The only thing keeping me from falling asleep at my desk today was my lack of balance. What? Didn't I mention that I sit on a yoga ball??

I'm almost positive that I would have been sleeping if I didn't have to concentrate so hard just to keep myself upright.

Heading to bed now. Big bike and run in the morning!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fashion Faux Pas Thursday

I have no clue if she was celebrating Puerto Rican Day a week late or if she was cheering on Puerto Rico in the World Cup but this lady made a big mistake.

Sorry for the blurryness. I tried to capture the moment while on the go. It was not pretty.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Silver Shoes for Several Seasons

Is my silver shoe collection becoming excessive?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Terrible Taste Tuesday

I was going to save this for Fashion Faux Pas Friday but it just couldn't wait.

Just think of it as Hideous Hat Tuesday. But the statement doesn't end with the ugly hat. It's really the whole presentation (including the eye make-up which is hard to see in this picture). Maybe it's more like Terrible Taste Tuesday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer Solstice!

I was sitting at my desk this afternoon, minding my own business, when the little blue dialogue box popped up in the bottom of my screen to alert me that I had a new mail message. Seeing that it was from one of my department heads, I opened it quickly assuming that it's was one of his "hop-to-it-assignments." Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

I dashed over to the reception area/conference room and found this:

Yep. That's a kiddie pool. Filled with mini beach balls and rubber duckies. Behind it is the conference room. It was full of summer snacks and thirst quenching adult beverages. And then I noticed this:

Even our chess men got into the mood. Yes, we have a life-size chess set in the reception area. It's not quite as popular as the foosball table in the kitchen but I do notice people playing a move or two while passing through.

Between the snacks, toys and random, Monday-afternoon parties, it's amazing that we get any work done.

Happy Summer Solstice, y'all!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blue is for Fathers. Or Refugees.

Nothing screams NYC like the Empire State Building. I believe (and I'm too tired to look it up) that it's currently the tallest building in New York City and that at one time (again, too tired to verify), it might have been the tallest building in the United States. Or if it wasn't/isn't the tallest, it is certainly the most famous.

I went to a rooftop party at a friend's house tonight and was treated to a spectacular view of Midtown West. The Empire State Building is in blue on the south (left) side of the picture and 4 Times Square is the bright white building on the north (right). I was curious about the blue color of the ESB tonight because blue is generally reserved for Hanukkah. So I consulted Google. According to, we're celebrating World Refugee Day. But I think that it's blue because blue is a boy color and today is father's day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Open Water Swim, Part II

Today was our first open water practice. Having had the freak out experience last weekend, I thought that this would be much easier. We arrived at Coney Island (by way of Staten Island) and suited up. The whole Team in Training crew was there; I'm assuming somewhere between 2-300 swimmers? It looked like it was going to be a beautiful morning.

And then we got in the water. And I froze. And I'm not talking as in temperature. I'm talking as in all ability to move, swim and speak. After a few minutes of standing there, and a little floating, I was able to take a few strokes and join the team in some laps. Finally I found Angel (it's surprising how everyone looks alike in a black wetsuit and swim cap). I literally swam two inches behind her the whole time and kept my eyes (and hands) on her feet for the remainder of the swim. It made it a whole lot easier for me. Unfortunately Angel's swim was quite difficult because she was worried about kicking me in the face. But we both made it out of the water alive (minus the jello fish scare) and enjoyed (muddled through) a run on the boardwalk. We ended the morning with snacks from Nathan's which, unfortunately, added back on any calories we burned. But who goes to Coney Island without indulging in a famous treat?

Friday, June 18, 2010

SEL is Finally a FitFlop Fanatic

A highly publicized sandal sale at Lady Footlocker had me flocking to the store to try out the famous FitFlops. Since they were at a rock-bottom bargain price, I decided to take the plunge. I picked out the least offensive style (I still think they're kind of hideous) and grabbed a pair for myself and a pair for my BFF (it was a two-for-one sale). I declined the bag, dropped my current flops ($2 from Old Navy) in my bag, slipped on my new ergonomically correct, leg-strengthening FitFlops and headed across town to Penn Station to meet my cousins and aunts for a day of shopping and site-seeing in the city.

Within two blocks, I was a believer. They are like little cushions under my feet. It's the support of a running shoe with the air of a flip flop. And the best part? I walked around the city in them ALL day and my feet were still clean at 5pm. Any New Yorker can tell you that's not possible in regular flip flops. Did they strengthen my legs enough to bench press 200 lbs? Probably not. But they kept my feet clean and comfortable, so I can honestly say, I'm a FitFlop Fanatic. Well, as long as the blisters between my toes go away within a week...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beyond the benefits plan

I discover new perks in my office every day. Today's discovery, from left to right: Frosted Mini Wheats, Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, Kashi Go Lean Crunch, Goldfish Crackers, Dried Fruit and Nut Mix, M&M Trail Mix and Chinese Crackers.

This is not good, people, not good. I hear that the snacks change daily, or as replenishment becomes necessary, but the fishies seem to be a staple. Stay tuned for pictures of the fully loaded SubZero.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What not to wear... the hospital in NYC:

I'm not sure whether it was the Tigers jersey, the insanely busy night in the ER or the high-risk patients surrounding her, but my poor friend Erinn was left alone and neglected tonight at the NYU Medical Center. We made the most out of it by shopping for husbands in Radiology, attempting to make balloon animals out of latex gloves, taking pictures (until Maggie was asked to stop) and having wheelchair races (until they needed the chairs). Thankfully, Erinn will be just fine (it's not appendicitis) and she's been moved to a room for overnight observation. Let's just hope that tonight's experience will teach her that no good can come from wearing a Tigers jersey.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SEL Speaks Spanish on the Subway

Those who know me know that I have one key phrase in Spanish: Es tiempo para una cerveza, and that's about all I can say. Oh yeah, I can also say, Es siempre tiempo para una cerveza. And that, my friends, is the extent of my "hablo Espanol."

Unfortunately when I went to buy a MetroCard this morning, the machine was stuck on Spanish. Lucky for me, I remembered the proper key strokes to get the value I wanted on the card and proceeded to the "check out."

So if "tarjeta bancaria" means "debit card," why is it abbreviated "ATM?" No comprende.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sooz's Seal Suit

Tonight was the first wetsuit swim practice in Brooklyn. It was supposed to be an opportunity for us to familiarize ourselves with the wetsuits and learn how to use them to our advantage in the water. Unfortunately, after my experience on Saturday, I was less than eager about climbing back into that thing.

Here we are in the locker room, all suited up and ready to head out. After a few laps and a bit of coaching, I was much happier. Although that might have been due to the lack of waves and salt water. The real test will be on Saturday morning off the shores of Coney Island. Anyone have a Valium?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The fit flops fit but they flopped

Say that five times fast.

I'm not sure about the rest of the country but Fit Flops are taking NYC by storm. But seriously, how does a shoe help you get in shape? I went to Tip Top Shoes this afternoon to try on the Fit Flops and wasn't surprised that I couldn't feel a difference in my walk. I mean, they were comfy, but I didn't feel like I was getting a work out. They just seem like overpriced ($59) flip flops to me. I think I'll stick with my $2 pair from Old Navy.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

.25m + 12m + 5k = Pancakes and More

I am a swimmer. I am a biker. I am a runner. And as of today, I am officially a triathlete. Team APES (or APS, as we were today) headed to Staten Island this morning for the Pancake Triathlon. So-called because the course is "flat as a pancake," the race included a .25 mile swim, a 12 mile bike ride and a 5k run.

The swim
I pulled on my wetsuit and entered the water without a problem. I lined up behind the big, orange buoys with the other swimmers in my wave and listened for the starting whistle. Tweet! And off we swam. Three strokes in and I was kicked in the shoulder. Two more strokes and I was elbowed in the ribs. Another stroke and I swallowed a mouthful of salt water. And then I panicked. The feeling was unparalleled. I was flailing, I couldn't breathe. I could feel myself starting to sweat in my wetsuit. I was hyperventilating. As I felt myself getting farther and farther away from the other swimmers in my division, I had more space to move and gather my thoughts. I was only 25 yards off shore and could have easily paddled/floated back in, or flagged one of the many kayaking lifeguards to help me out. But I really wanted to finish the race. So I flipped onto my back and floated. A wetsuit in salt water certainly makes that easy! A few deep breaths and I started to regain composure. I turned back onto my stomach and proceeded to do breast stroke to the second set of buoys. I alternated back stroke and breast stroke for the rest of the swim. It was one of the longest 18 minutes of my life.

The Bike
The course consisted of three four mile loops. I'd much rather do an "out-and-back" (six miles out and six miles back) but I finished without a problem. I enjoyed a snack somewhere around mile four, loaned a rider my tire levers at mile seven, saw another rider strapped to a stretcher get whisked off to a waiting ambulance at mile eight, sipped some Gatorade at mile ten and managed to get back to the transition area about 46 minutes after I left.

The Run
My legs, of course, felt like jello when I left off my bike and jogged onto the running path. It took me about a mile and a quarter to get comfortable. I caught Paige (who was still ahead of me from the swim!), grabbed a swig of Gatorade from the race marshals at the halfway point, and sprinted to the finish. Shockingly enough, I timed in at my normal 28-minute 5k time.

The Finishing Ceremony
Anyone who knows me, knows that my favorite meal is a buffet. And what did they have waiting for us at the finish line? A BUFFET! Here's my plate:

In case you can't tell, that's pancakes with PB&J, M&Ms (peanut for protein), Swedish Fish (for Red Dye #4), grapes, a pretzel rod, chocolate chip cookies, a banana, water and a Diet Coke.

Overall, minus my total meltdown during the swim, I think that it was a successful first triathlon. With one month and six days until the NYC Tri, I've got enough time to get in two more open water swims, some longer runs and a few more hilly bike rides. And maybe another buffet (or two).

And just for the record, the veteran racers and race officials did agree that today's swim was particularly difficult: choppy water, high waves and freezing temperatures all made this swim considerably harder than previous years. While I'm sure that had something to do with my "issues," I can't completely ignore my lack of experience. But it is nice to know that I'm not the only one who had problems.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lunch bags

Here's my lunch bag (recycled from a hand soap purchase at Restoration Hardware). It's been packed since Tuesday night. I didn't eat it on Wednesday, I didn't eat it on Thursday. And I didn't eat it today. I just carry it back and forth in case I need it. I'm wondering if that peanut butter and jelly sandwich can make it 'til Monday?

I am, however, on the hunt for a real lunch bag. But just like in 4th grade, it's a real chore to find the perfect one. Right now, I'm leaning towards the Fugu Lunch Tote. It's even got a spot for my new office swag (see below).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And the swag begins

As most of you know/have seen, I have quite a bit of swag from Pantyland. Well, I got my first bit of swag today from DotCom!

It's a water bottle! And so much nicer than my boring, ratty, old Kleen Kanteen! I'm office, I'm now a member of the DotCom club. Today I also visited the warehouse, figured out how to use my discount and got company email. Tomorrow I'll be getting a desk, telephone and, I hope, an early dismissal for the weekend. Because it's Tri time, people!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I left my wetsuit in California...

...Pizza Kitchen. I hauled booty out of work tonight (work, yes, you read that correctly) and ran down to Jack Rabbit to pick up my wetsuit. And then we ran back up to CPK for a friend's fundraiser. We had a few of these:

Because isn't that what everyone needs after starting a new job? And then I decided it was getting too late so I hauled booty out of there and ran home (in the rain). I got home, started to blog (about a different topic) and realized that I no longer have my Superman suit. Anyhoo, I called Angel, who was still drinking at CPK, and she has the wetsuit in hand and will bring it to our first triathlon on Saturday. Great.

And a prize to the first person to correctly identify the song reference...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lovely in lilac

I'm starting a new gig tomorrow and I spent the day/night prepping. I cleaned the apartment, did some laundry, organized my desk and finally tonight, went to get a manicure (last event of the day to minimize chipping time before showing up at the office tomorrow at 9:03am).

Which color screams, "Here I am for my first day of work, aren't you glad you hired me?" Don't worry, Mom, I didn't pick any of these. I chose a much quieter lilac color; I think it says, "Hi. I'm not Ballet Slippers boring. I have a little funk. And I'm glad to be here!" At least that's what I hope it says. And if it doesn't, I'll get it redone at lunch. I do get a lunch break, right?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ice cream with a vodka chaser

Before going to China, I was warned by numerous people several times to avoid eating street food. In fact, rather than suggesting that I "avoid eating it," it went something like "do not, under any circumstances, eat street food." OK.

For some reason, I seem to have carried that with me. NYC is full of carts selling food on the street. To many people, NYC is synonymous with hot salted pretzels from a cart. Beyond that, there's falafel and hot dogs, fruit and lamb kababs, ice cream, nuts and tacos. But I don't partake in any of it. I don't know if it's residual fear from the China preparations, or my germaphobe-ness in general, but I very infrequently find myself hungry enough to indulge in a street snack. The wrapped stuff, like the ice cream bars and popsicles, those are ok. But unwrapped food, meals that are cooked in carts, and street meat are all off limits.

Tonight, however, as we were walking from the subway to LIU's Brooklyn campus for swim practice, there was a man selling ice cream out of a cart. It looked good, he looked clean, and I ordered up a double scoop of cherry and coconut. It was served in a Dixie cup. And boy was it good. It wasn't Italian ice but it wasn't ice cream either. I'm not sure how to describe it. I think that it was something of the Spanish variety. Whatever it was, I will surely be looking for him next Monday night!

Check on me tomorrow and make sure I made it through the night, ok? Or maybe I'll just wash it down with some vodka. That'll kill any germs, right?