Long hair is easy. You can always put it up if you’re having a horrendous hair day. But shorter hair is fun, and trying new styles is like getting a tattoo (fine, maybe a little less permanent). As an admitted over thinker, and decision flip flipper I find that a haircut gives me a little rush, and the change I’ve been craving. It will also grow back in 3-6 months, and I can’t afford to get a would be tattoo laser-ed off once I change my mind, which I know I will, before I inevitably change it back again.
I never would have thought a few years ago that I would be traveling across the world and across the country in the years to come. Here’s to some good travel karma, and the chance to do what I never thought I could. This weekend has been an amazing close to a difficult but wonderful chapter of my life, and fundraising for CCFA has allowed me to give back in a really concrete way. But it also gave me the chance to connect with people who had the same struggles, and many who are still struggling. Needless to say I feel so incredibly grateful and hopeful that continuing research will bring an end to the disease. Here are some beautiful shots from the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. A gorgeous place, located in a must see park in San Francisco. You could literally spend a day wandering to and from the botanical gardens, bison enclosure, various ponds, Chinese Tea Garden, De Young Modern Art Museum, California Academy of Sciences, historic bandstand, polo field, and scenic bath houses (and I’m sure I’m leaving something out). This park is huge, much larger than Central Park, and not nearly as crowded.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a nerd, and when there’s a museum to check out, I’m there. NightLife at the California Academy of the Sciences seems like a well kept secret (thanks to the friendly guy on the bus for cluing me in!). Every Thursday night, the academy is open to the 21+ crowd from 6-10pm. Each week there’s a different theme, this week’s was how-to. Some of the how to hands on demos included sausage making (actually really gross), drink mixology, LED wiring, owl pellet dissecting, skull reconstitution, self defense, salsa dancing, bone identification, etc. As you can probably tell it draws a diverse crowd, and there was everything from Louboutins to Birkenstocks present. Which is fitting because it’s a unique experience, I certainly never really thought I would be listening to a DJ blast Beyoncé while learning about the mating habits of electric eels. You have free reign of the museum, including the three story indoor rainforest, earthquake simulator, and planetarium, all for $12. Which really beats the 30 something entrance fee during the day. There are also five bars set up around the museum, all full service but each featuring a signature cocktail. The one of a kind Andy Warhol collection I discovered in a secluded wing on the third floor was pretty much icing on the cake!
My first half marathon is in a few days (gulp). I’ve trained, I’m ready. I think. But no matter what my finish time is I’m going to love the beautiful Napa scenery I get to enjoy along the way.
But first, being the travel hopeful that I am, I decided to squeeze in a few days in San Francisco. Trips like this are hard because just as I start to get a feel for the city it’s time to go. Yesterday I had the opportunity to check out Chinatown, which was slightly less crowded and more manageable than what I’m used to in NYC. San Francisco is still a city for sure, but the more laid back California mindset is apparent. I was surprised to find my self annoyed at the slow pace, compared to the walk-run that New Yorkers know so well (and which, evidently, I am also guilty of).
Someone told me recently that the new healthy lifestyle we promise to adopt as soon as January 1st hits doesn’t really get started until after the Super Bowl pizza and the Valentine’s Day chocolates have been consumed. I would tend to agree, but I have to say that I did try to get started, and I have, for the most part, been running every day. Not far, not fast. But I sweat, and that is what counts, right? I’m in a pretty good place, maybe a little off track now that the fridge is stocked with sweets, but I think I’m finally ready to officially start training. I can now run three consecutive miles, please don’t laugh, but no that wasn’t the case a few months ago. I’m ready to start following a training schedule, and after a little research I’ve found a few that seem simple and straight forward enough to actually stick to.
Lately I have been slacking, and the piles of books on my night stand has been growing. I have to admit that it is hard to crack open a book (even one I want to read) after finishing dense textbook reading for class, but I’m finally getting back to the book reviews. Anyone who loves to read knows that once a book catches you, you have to read until you’re done. That is what happened with this last book, Spark by John Ratey MD. Ratey presents a fascinating look at the way the brain reacts to exercise. No, it won’t be what you want to hear. But he backs up his thinking with proven research and clinical trials. Basically more is better for optimizing your brain function, but none is a recipe for dreaded degenerative diseases. He is very passionate, and he’ll make you want to move (I read the whole book on the treadmill). I challenge you to read this book sitting still. If nothing else it is so great motivation, in a quick and interesting read. He does cite scientific studies, it isn’t too dense, but if it gets to slow for you it is easy to get the gist of the studies without reading all of the details.
After a gorgeous weekend I am looking forward to some lazy summer days spent lounging around the backyard (or the beach if I’m feeling ambitious enough to fight for a spot). Reading in the sun, drink in hand, is my idea of a perfect summer pastime. Every year, in my usual overly ambitious way, I create a wishlist of summer reads that I never quite make it through. I’m sure this year will be no different, but I still love the promise of a few afternoons spent reading, and the hope that I might finally make a dent in the stacks of books that are taking up my precious closet space.
Here are a few good lists that I’ve found, as well as my own Summer 2013 Book Bucket list.
So you’re twenty (and change) and you’re in your first place. Congratulations, sure coming home to a fully stocked fridge was awesome, but so is your very own…coffee table. There is nothing like entering a friend’s house and perusing their bookshelf. But many would argue that even more can be discovered by taking a peek at their coffee table reads. Are you an aspiring fashionista, an art nouveau connoisseur, an outdoor enthusiast? Have you ever thought about how much one little stack of books can say about you? I have, and here are some of my favorites…
It’s that time of year, time to grab a book and hit the beach. At least ideally it would be that time of year, for some reason this year has been especially rainy, but curling up with a good book can happen anywhere. I recently started following PureWow, a great resource for people living near big cities (they cover New York, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and the Hamptons). I love the weekly emails, even though they’re evoking the dreaded FOMO (or, fear of missing out, for those of your who don’t do acronyms). My favorite find so far is their Literary Doppleganger page, a page that allows you to click on a recent favorite and see other similar books.
The Night Circus is full of magic and love, mostly in that order. For a generation that grew up with Harry Potter it is a welcome glimpse into an equally rich but much more mature magical world. The two protagonists are forced into a cruel life of imprisonment, bound by an enchantment (of course) and forced to duel each other and create beautiful additions to a circus they both build and run. However, as fate would have it, these two competitors are too well matched and as they compete they each begin to fall in love with the very person they are trying to destroy. What follows is a story that challenges the reader to suspend disbelief as they watch these two young magicians discover the truth and try to overcome the devastating situation they find themselves in. Morgenstern created an intricate and elaborate setting, which I enjoyed but some may argue borders on overly descriptive. Most of the characters are complex and intriguing but some of the momentum is lost in the plot, which could have been more thought out, and much less complicated.
(Disclaimer: you’ll need to be willing to believe in magic, and the power of love, but only for about 400 pages.)