Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Danger & Pineapple

I think I could just write this post with the following message:

Bikram tried to kill me last night.

The end.

And if you knew what I was talking about, you would offer your condolences, maybe make a masseuse recommendation and ask me what I was thinking.

Because really, what was I thinking?

I would then post a photo of my roommates and I dripping in blood, sweat and tears- (did I mention the sweat and the sweat?) and those of you who previously did not know what Bikram entailed would NOW know the aftermath.

The brochure MG, KS and I perused after getting our cheap, one-month memberships informed us that an emotional response was possible when participating in Bikram. I was also trying to gauge the possibility of me passing out in such a setting.

Seemed pretty likely to me.

I wasn't wrong.

MG suggested we come up with a code word when once of us started feeling light-headed or blacking-out, since she and I have been known to do such things. She offered up the word "pineapple" while I went for the more obvious "danger."

In preparation for our first class, we all drank water all day. I drank three regular 16-ounce bottles of water this morning and then two 34-ounce bottles of Smart Water with electrolytes. I ate light and nutritious all day and didn't eat three hours before classtime. I thought I was ready.

Au contraire, mon frère.

The class was wall-to-wall packed and after about 20 minutes of poses in the heat, I could feel my heartbeat getting a little higher than it needed to be. Even sitting perfectly still, criss-cross applesauce style on my mat, I was completely out of breath and dripping with perspiration. The three of us were separated due to getting there on the later-end, and I could gradually see MG slowing down as we went along. I had less of a view of KS, but she powered through about 75% of the way before hitting a bit of a wall.

We all got plenty of practice with the corpse pose, let's say that much.

I left class what I thought was early when I just couldn't take it anymore, but what turned out to be exactly 90 minutes from when we had entered. The class ran about 15 minutes late, and MG clamored to get out the door into the breezy outside to be able to breathe again. KS appeared a few minutes later and her face was kind of frozen and swollen-looking, which I've never seen happen to her.

We dragged ourselves to the car and picked up Crystal Light Icees at a nearby 7-11 as a reward.

The silver lining in all of this was that I think I would actually benefit from these classes if they kicked down the thermostat from Sweltering Amazon Rainforest to Breezy New England Beach Town. I'm strong but inflexible, which Yoga is a great fix for, so I'm inclined to try it again.

In the air-conditioning, of course. Just wanted to be clear about that.

Bikram is one-and-done.

Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
-B.K.S. Iyengar

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More Than They Bargained For

Unfortunately I am no stranger to wardrobe malfunctions. They seem to catch me when I'm least expecting them.

On Saturday, after leaving the gym, KS received word from KR that she was inviting us over to make homemade pizza and watch the just-released Twilight movie, New Moon. Saturday was a dreary, cold day, so the plan sounded ideal.

We had some time to clean up and relax when we got home, and KS started searching for a good bruschetta recipe to make over at KR's house.

On our way to KR's we stopped at Central Market for groceries, and right when we walked in KS spied a promotion going on, where you could buy a pre-made family meal of baked ziti, salad and foccacia for $19.99 and receive a copy of the New Moon DVD with your purchase. A $20 dollar meal, a $20 DVD, together for only $19.99 while supplies lasted. I think our expressions went from wonder to elation at this discovery. We are incredibly easy to please.

The prepared foods section is at the end of the store from the produce entrance, where we began, and Central Market has a very windy design and is always as crowded as most grocery stores on the day before Thanksgiving, so we covered a good deal of space and dodged a lot of other shoppers while grabbing tomatoes, basil, bread and everything else we needed for bruschetta.

It was literally freezing outside, and so KS and I were both wearing coats. At one point I felt a little warm, so I unbuttoned my favorite plaid coat and kept walking. I had on a light blue button-down tuxedo-inspired shirt from J.Crew, belted across the waist with jeans and flats.

KS and I finally came to the complete opposite side of the store from where we found the New Moon promotional deal. I think we were about to high-five when I saw this girl looking at me like she knew me. (Please remember the part about me unbuttoning my coat, combined with the fact that this grocery store was very busy at this point in time.) As I racked my brain as to where I might know her, she approached me and standing right in front of me said quietly:

"I just wanted to let you know that your shirt came unbuttoned and your bra is showing."

Nothing squelches New Moon euphoria like public exposure, let me tell you.

I thanked her profusely while the guy she was with, bless his heart, stood a few feet back, looking absolutely fascinated with the ceiling. I probably turned the same shade of red as the tomatoes I was carrying, while I looked down and found that she was indeed correct. My shirt was unbuttoned down to that place on your stomach/chest right below your bra. There was nothing subtle about it. The patrons of Central Market got a little more than they bargained for... as if dinner and a movie wasn't enough already.

I am a modest and oftentimes reserved person, so laughing this off took some assertion of will, but I managed. I hope that my shirt wasn't like this for too long, since KS and I were together the whole time and she obviously would have noticed while discussing which of the artisan breads she wanted to use for the bruschetta.

This wasn't the same kind of embarrassment as the day I wore the exact same purple gingham shirt as one of the MALE publishers in my office in New York, but it was in the same league.

I was still in a bit of a daze when we left the store a few minutes later, but snow flurries, on the first day of spring, no less, had started to fall.

The things I do for food and Robert Pattinson.

We never forgive those who make us blush.
-Jean-Francois De La Harpe

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Throwing Like a Girl- March Madness Begins

You might live under a rock, in which case you could be pardoned, but I hope everyone else is aware that the March Madness games started today.

I'm pleased to say that there are 18 ladies participating in my bracket tournament idea from two weeks ago and I have successfully made gamblers and college basketball-watchers out of all of them.

Granted, $360 in gift cards is also good motivation, but I received many nail-biting messages all afternoon regarding the close games and we had a full house over to watch more of the action this evening.

If you didn't watch basketball today, you missed out. I don't recall such an exciting opening round in recent years. Out of the first four games this morning, two of the games went into overtime (one game had two overtime periods) and the other two games were decided by one point each.

The Villanova vs. Robert Morris took a few years off my life- thankfully Villanova survived by three because I have them in my Final Four.

Georgetown, on the other hand, lost by quite a margin to Ohio. I had Georgetown in my Elite Eight, so I don't really want to talk about it.

Other upsets today include Old Dominion over Notre Dame, Washington over Marquette, Murray State over Vanderbilt, St. Mary's over Richmond and Northern Iowa over UNLV.

And this is just day one!

I'm sitting on a couch perpendicular to MG right now, who keeps picking up her laptop periodically to check her picks and her rankings in our tournament as each game wraps up. This is unprecedented behavior.

Also: Wake Forest and Texas just went into overtime, making this the third overtime game of the day.

Did I mention how much I love March?

MG: "I can't believe I'm watching this."

Me: "You can't believe you're watching basketball?"

MG: "...and caring."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Premature Celebration

80,000 of my best friends, AV, KR, BF and I got to hang out in the beautiful weather on Saturday. We attended the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Greenville Avenue in Dallas- a long-standing tradition of a parade whose qualifications include registering a float... and that's it.

It was quite the experience. We hung out on the sidewalks, drank beer (open container laws were waived for this event) and stood amidst the masses heckling the passing parade floats to chuck Mardi-Gras beads and Jell-O shots into the crowd.

When our group decided to get a move on and head to a guy's party down the road, I first discovered that I needed to go to the bathroom, badly, and secondly that I had no where to "go."

We walked for about 20 minutes and came up on the big intersection at Mockingbird and Greenville, I spied port-o-potties outside of the Kroger grocery store and the neighboring gas station. To my bladder, they looked like an oasis in a desert.

I held up my hands as if in surrender and broke it to the group that I would need a reprieve. Someone suggested relieving myself under the bridge, which was where I drew the line. How would I be able to face those people again? I just don't think you can look at a girl the same way after an episode like that. Not to mention, I was not going to risk getting some sort of ticket for Public Exposure. Imagine me trying to recover from/explain that.

So with resolve, I marched down the hill and planted myself in one of the port-o-potty lines. I was about 15 people back in my line. I waited, I scooted, and finally I was one person from the front. I was staring at the ground, counting the seconds (yes, it was that bad) when I felt a person very close to me. It was KR.

I heard a quiet "Can I hop in line with you? I can't hold it."

I told her she could before we were interrupted by the dude behind us, clearing his throat in an impatient, "ahem" sort of way.

KR spun around and said "I'm sorry, I've been waiting for her right over there (points). I'll go in with her, we'll be fast!"

"I'll go in with her?!"

You know how your friends do things sometimes that make you give them a momentary bewildered "What the H?!" look before remembering that this (whatever "this" is.) though alarming, is not actually surprising at all.

Like back in the day when MK decided it would be a good idea to bathe our class hedgehog in 8th grade science. Or when she did the same thing to the class kitten later in the semester.

Or that time you wore a dress to an 80's party in college and admitted to everyone that you wore it to a formal in high school in 1999.

Come to think of it, it's an accomplishment that something I wore at 15 still fit at 19.


So KR volunteered for us to go into the port-o-potty together. I don't know if you've ever been in a port-o-potty, but there isn't much room. At all.

It came to be our turn and, as promised, KR and I sardined ourselves into the tiny, free-standing stall. I'll spare you the details, but needless to say, we were very snug and extremely quick. We also received some applause upon our exit and to be honest, we deserved it.

I felt like a new person and was able to enjoy the rest of the day, even though we were completely exhausted after walking what turned out to be about four miles in non-walking-friendly shoes.

Somehow I think Wednesday (the real St. Patty's Day,) won't be quite as exciting.

It's not easy being green.
-Kermit the Frog

Friday, March 12, 2010



I have to know where you are at all times, especially when you have my shoes on!
-Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Throwing Like a Girl- Conference Tournaments

Conference basketball tournaments are going on this weekend- which actually started on Wednesday if you are okay with letting the end of your work week blur into your weekend.

I'm okay with this, for the record.

The conference tournaments can help escalate a few teams that may have been on the "bubble," so to speak, but for the good teams it can only slightly affect your seeding in the NCAA tournament. The Big East, for example, had upsets in three of their four games tonight, so it might put a little dent in the seeding for some of them.

You want your team to play well in their respective conference tournament not just for bragging rights, though that's a nice bonus and recognition of a great season, but you also want your players geared up, full of adrenaline and confidence for March Madness, which starts next week.

Since the field for the March Madness tournament is 65 teams (including the play-in game), there is a good chance there will be a few teams that you haven't seen play this season.

Well... okay. The chance is better than good. But you have the opportunity to brush up before making any "I wrote it in pen already" decisions.

If you are planning to fill out a bracket this year to enter a pool of some sort, then make Sunday a day where you pick up multiple newspapers. Grab a local paper, (for me it would be The Dallas Morning News,) and a copy of USA Today. Spend some time reading about the teams in the tournament you are unfamiliar with, consult ESPN.com which has a wealth of statistics on teams and individuals. Pay attention to the teams in the middle- the 5-8 seeded teams especially, because that is where brackets start busting a few weeks down the road.

Happy Bracketeering!

I've tried to handle winning well, so that maybe we'll win again, but I've also tried to handle failure well. If those serve as good examples for teachers and kids, then I hope that would be a contribution I've made to sport. Not just basketball, but to sport.

-Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jesse's Girl

I think we can all agree that Saturdays are wonderful.

Unless you work on Saturdays, in which case they may be a little bit less than wonderful to you, but let's not ruin my story.

Saturday morning I woke up to glorious sunshine. I had plans to meet AV for brunch, so I showered, put on a cute little outfit, opened my sunroof and drove to meet her at Toulouse in Dallas.

MK gave us a ring and picked us up to go with she and her friend in town, C, to the Nasher Sculpture Museum. The Nasher is free on the first Saturday of the month, and since it's partially outdoors and the weather was gorgeous, there were people everywhere. There was a yoga class going on, children running in all directions with face paint on, security guards fighting the uphill battle of telling said children that they were not allowed to play on or touch the statues, etc.

We weren't in a hurry, we were just... there. I loved it.

After departing the Nasher, we walked down the street to the Ritz-Carlton to sit outside and get a drink.

Drinking in the afternoon... at the Ritz-Carlton.

Nothing to see here, folks.

After being told that the pool was on the second floor and available to hotel guests only, MK thanked the hotel employee and in true MK fashion, turned around to us and said: "Let's go find the pool."

So of course, we ended up sitting by the pool at the Ritz in lounge chairs, sunglasses on, loving life. MK's friend C had never been to Texas, and was already getting a favorable first impression.

We had just received our drinks and while sipping from our mimosas, a familiar face walked outside to join a rail-thin girl who had finished a work-out and was relaxing in a chair to our left.
I'm not a fan of celebrity gossip, but I love movies and watch T.V. and all, so on rare occasion, I recognize people.

Bringing the long-stemmed plastic glass up to cover my lips, and without looking at her I said very quietly to AV:

"John Tucker Must Die?"

Without flinching and reaching for her own glass, I heard a very quiet "mhmmm" to confirm.
That's right- John Tucker, aka ridiculously good-looking actor Jesse Metcalfe, was also at the Ritz pool.

All I can say is thank goodness we were all wearing sunglasses, because I think any one of us could now tell you that he was in Dallas filming the pilot episode for a new show after mercilessly eavesdropping... and could also tell you exactly where the tattoos are on his shirtless body. I'm pretty against asking photos and autographs in general, but I did manage this one behind-the-scarf candid...

You're welcome.

Cause she's watching him with those eyes...
-Rick Springfield, Jessie's Girl

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Throwing Like a Girl- March Madness Edition

You may or may not have participated in a March Madness pool before.

You may not even know what March Madness IS, bless your heart.

If you are American and work in a 9-5 office that has even the smallest percentage of male employees, chances are you've at least seen the flurry that happens when the first games of the men's college basketball tournament begin. With football season well-over and baseball season only just beginning, the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship is the perfect opportunity to greet spring by sitting indoors, glued to flat-screens of Dick Vitale yelling about bracket-busters and Cinderella stories.

This year, I want to get my friends involved in the fun. I want all the ladies (not just the single ones, either) to see that March Madness can be a good time for everyone.

So this is what I'm thinking:

1. Email female friends and solicit their participation in my March Madness pool.
2. The buy-in to participate in said pool is a $20 gift card* to any retail store or restaurant of your choosing. Popular choices might include: Anthropologie, J. Crew, Starbucks, Mi Cocina, Zoe's, Amazon, etc.
3. Ask everyone to fill out their brackets and submit their gift cards before the start of the first game, which will be played March 16, 2010.
4. Enjoy all-girls college-basketball banter via reply-all emails over the course of the tournament.
5. Host a championship-watching party for the final game (there will be food involved, which should be implied), crowning a winner** with lots of great cards to use to eat out and go shopping. (Also do something fun for the second-place winner and the girl in last place.)

I figure that first and foremost: everyone likes to win. Close behind winning, women enjoy shopping and eating, so this would combine all of those things AND college basketball. Obviously some girls would have the help of husbands/boyfriends/brothers should they so choose, but in all reality, the chances of picking the perfect bracket are something like one in 9,000,000***, so I doubt there would be much of a competitive edge.

All-in-all, I think it seems like a great way to get my predominantly female friends interested in March Madness. I may be luring them in with food and prizes but I think they'll actually enjoy the games as well.

There are really only two plays: Romeo + Juliet, and put the darn ball in the basket.
-Abe Lemons

(Please let the record show that I tried looking for a cute picture of my friends and I from a basketball game in college to no avail, but I found plenty of hilarious shots of us from date parties (which all had themes.) Call me conservative, but I just couldn't bring myself to post anything from pirate, hippie, cowboy or gangsta-themed events. It wasn't THAT long ago, after all.)

*Another option for the buy-in would be for everyone to submit a bottle of wine, so the winner would take home 10? 20? 30? bottles of wine. Is that a better idea?
**In the event of an unlikely tie, I would motion for a 100-yard dash between the winners to determine the tie-breaker. Pure entertainment.
***Completely bogus statistic, but something like that. You get the idea.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Warmer Weather

I ran across this dress online the other day, and I saved the link, labeling it:

"I want this dress."

I felt the need to share. Can't you see why?

Sure, that dress would be pretty if it were strapless, but how much more interesting is it with the black straps?

While shopping over the weekend, I started seeing the first signs of spring: Easter and prom dresses. Pink in particular, was everywhere.

Pink isn't really my color though.

I'm a brunette with brown eyes, and my skin tans easily in the summer. I will always stand by my love for neutral colors, but I don't think they have to be boring and they certainly are not limited to winter-wear. I spotted the two dresses below and they are only perpetuating my love of the color combination that these all have of a shade of nude/beige with a bit of black contrast.

I love these scalloped edges...

... and this zipper.

Since I'm not big on pastels (including pink), I like that these dresses are still ruffly and light enough for spring.

Now to find the skin-tone that matches them so well...

The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.
-Coco Chanel