Saturday, October 31, 2009

Say 'I do' to straps

I don't wear anything strapless. Even spaghetti straps and halters pose problems for me. I have very wide shoulders from years of swimming, and these styles only highlight the width of my shoulders. They also don't provide the best supports to your breasts, they can make your arms look fat, since there's no flattering sleeves to elongate or shape them. Plus, you're more prone to back fat. It can be awful.

Because of this, I've always looked at strapless wedding gowns with a mix of envy and disdain. I hate the style because I know I could never wear it, and I also hate how ubiquitous it's become, almost generic. It leads to people who would have been better suited to another cut wearing strapless gowns and not looking as good as they deserve to. And I feel bad for them.

So this week Ivanka Trump tied the knot, and I LOVED her gown. It was strapless, but then had lace to give it a collar and sleeves. It kind of fit into the current trend of faux necklines. She wore the gown because she is marrying an Orthodox Jew and converting, but I like the idea of wearing a more conservative style for a wedding. One of my aunts was married with a white cowboy hat veil. It's not a timeless style.

Coincidentally, New York Magazine made wedding gowns their latest Shop-A-Matic. A lot of the more expensive gowns have sleeves and coverages on top, often in extremely creative ways with interesting sleeve shape and draping. I sincerely hope this trend will trickle down, because I am not spending several thousand dollars on a wedding gown. In fact, I kind of hope I can find a reasonably priced wedding tailor in Brooklyn who will copy my dream gown (Alex has a friend who did this)

I like this one:

And this one (my favorite):

Even this full-sleeved one could work, though I don't like it as much as I did yesterday:

I don't like the body of this one, but the draped sleeves are gorgeous, feminine, and goddess-like:

Disclosure: I am not planning on getting married soon. I don't fantasize (that much) about weddings. Don't get worried!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Maybe I should work in public health?

I've been thinking a bit about where I want to go in life, and what other careers I'd like to pursue. I love my job, but there isn't opportunity for promotion within the company. On top of that, there aren't many jobs elsewhere. Journalism is a dying field. I do like the idea of working in freelance writing, especially since that is a flexible career that would well with having kids.

I've often thought that I would transition into marketing of some sort. I love food, so I've also thought about working with in-store marketing, etc. Wouldn't it be cool to work for Whole Foods or Trader Joe's? I think they do a great job and I'd love to be a part of their community awareness campaigns, or even managing supply chains or something like that. I've also thought of working in the "CPG" (consumer packaged goods) market, even going so far as to learn the acronym. For the record, it's working in things like cereal, canned and frozen foods, neosporin, all the stuff you buy in stores. However, for some reason working in a store, where people make those choices, sounds better to me than actively convincing people to buy YOUR product.

I've always been interested in health. I loved my epidemiology class in college, which required fairly sharp math skills and the ability to read some rather tricky articles in medical journals. But I hated all my science classes in high school, so I never considered myself qualified for a job in a health field. I recently found out one of my friends, who also graduated with a degree in anthropology, is pursuing a degree in public health. She wrote her thesis on media representations of gardasil, I believe, and is working at the NIH in a receptionist role, so she's clearly on the track to doing that (unlike me). But I like the idea of doing marketing, but for public health. So much of writing is the joy of sharing ideas with people and trying to be persuasive and predicting what people are interested in. I would love to do something like that. Like advertising, but for good. I've done research this week on the field, but I'm still not totally sure about what types of qualifications you need to go to school, what degree in public health I could pursue, or even if there is a job out there that would utilize my interests. I've never been a politics person, and I'm terribly impatient, so I imagine that would eliminate a lot of potential positions for me. Would I want to work in advocacy? Would I want to try to do some kind of anthropological research of certain health populations? My mom works in educational research (she has her master's), and doing her kind of job, but in health, sounds very doable to me. And in terms of job stability--well, people will always need health care. If anything, couldn't government involvement increase the amount of funding available?

I really don't want to go back to school right now, and even more I really like my relationship and the idea of making choices that would move me away from my friends and boyfriend is not appealing to me. I also think that if I'm really, truly interested in this field, I need to work in it before I go back to school. Maybe even abroad? I've heard of, and know, many paralegals who decided against going to law school after their experience, and I think I should do the same thing. After all, it turned out that media planning wasn't really the best career choice for me.

So that's my plan out of left field. Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ice cream birthday clubs are the best thing ever

Join them!

I love promotions and free things, so a few years ago I started signing up for ice cream birthday clubs. My birthday is on Monday, and already I have three free scoops lined up. It's so easy - they send you an email, you print out the coupon, and ususally you can use it the week before and after your birthday.

I used my Cold Stone one yesterday, and I now have Haagen-Dazs and Baskin Robbins left. When you're older, it seems like there's less hullabaloo surrounding your birthday, which is fine. So it's nice to leave work during an afternoon and have some spoonfuls of delicious creamy goodness. On a related note, unless there's pumpkin ice cream I think I might need to go with sorbet or something. I had the "like it" coffee with brownie yesterday, and it gave me serious indigestion. I don't think I'm lactose intolerant, but ice cream and milkshakes often give me stomachaches. I think Cold Stone just injects extra fat into their ice cream. I doubt it even makes it taste much better. In NYC, they have to post calorie counts next to the ice cream. A "love it" signature creation (which they used to give you on your birthday) can range up to ONE THOUSAND CALORIES. That's disgusting. Cold Stone, unlike other ice cream places, uses a miniscule cup then has it spill all the way over. It's like they want you to trick yourself into thinking it's not that much ice cream. Their hedonism is unparalleled. A few years ago I was with a co-worker and we got Cold Stone to go after eating some sushi (I was full). We had these hyper scooper girls who were trying to make us get bigger sizes, and then "misunderstood" us and gave us the bigger sizes. The medium in a to-go cup filled up an entired PINT. They had to half-fill my colleague's in a TWO-QUART container. Not normal.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yoga-riffic (a -riffic trend)

I am finally getting back into the swing of things with yoga. There was the broken bone in the hand, which put me out of commission for two months this summer, and even after that it was painful at first, so I had to take it easy and do things like use double mats and put a towel under my hand when I put a lot of weight on it.

I checked my calendar, and I went six times in September (um, none the first week, then twice a week), and then seven times so far this month (and I'm hoping to squeeze in another session this week). And October even included a pulled neck (caused, I believe, by not enough yoga, then unable to be cured by it) and a cold that made me miss a class.

Yesterday the class, which I would say is maybe intermediate, was on the easy side, and I think it's partially because I have finally started to improve. We kept on doing half chaturangas, where you go on your knees first, and I was like, "Bring it on! I want FULL chaturangas." I also think the Friday class I've been going to, which is more advanced, has helped me improve.

I highly recommend yoga for anyone with back problems. After switching jobs, walking to work, and taking up regular yoga, my back problems got so much better, and then got SO MUCH WORSE when I didn't work out regularly because of my hand injury. Part of that, too, was bullshit, since I totally could run and kind of put it off.

Next up is keeping up with regular running. The last time I went was two weeks ago, when I was feeling oh-so-slightly sick and had just gotten a flu shot. I decided to run anyway along Hudson River Park, in the craziest wind ever. I was basically running in place. The seagulls were doing that thing where they're flapping their wings as hard as they can and they are still staying in the same place. I was a people version of that seagull. And I got a terrible cold. Turns out that really heavy exercise can dampen your immune system, so I guess I just need to get to the place where a 30-minute run doesn't kill me and give me (and then my boyfriend...) a cold.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My New York Times debut

So a couple weeks ago Eric & I were interviewed for a Sunday Styles article about the "growing trend of home butchering." Our butcher, Jeffrey, was being interviewed for the piece, so he invited us to come to his class so it would have a better showing and we could say good things about him.
They got a couple of things wrong about me. I'm an assistant editor (I don't want to overstate my occupation) and I went to a college with lots of vegetarian and vegan students. I didn't live in a vegan house. Today, after some debate, I wrote in with the two errors, so we'll see if they fix it. I started thinking about all that misinformation being circulated through the internet, years later, and decided to nip it in the bud.

Here's the slideshow (I start at slide 8), where they paraphrase me. You can see Eric on my left!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Yesterday I went to the gyno for my annual. I really like my doctor. Yes, she has her flaws--like pushing me to take brand name bc pills that cost three times as much, sometimes being so exuberant I don't have time to ask my embarrassing question, and talking so loudly that you can hear her say "VAGINA" on the other side of the door. But I like her.

I've been examined by male doctors before, and while it was a medical touch, there was a certain care for what they did that signalled "This is a special region. A sexual region. I'm taking care not to violate that." She just dives right in. She has this bubbly voice with odd inflections, so when she says "vagina" it's like va-giii-na, with the g-i a slightly different pitch than the rest of the word. She's great. And this time, I barely even noticed how casual she was with the whole speculum, breast examination, etc. Because that's how I felt about it too.

The other (bodily function) part of the story was that I have had a YI for the past two and a half months that I was trying to will into going away. It actually did go away when I got my period, because of the change in Ph, but came right back a week later. Because YIs and BV are really just an imbalance of naturally occurring organisms, and when I get them, I get them again and again and again, I usually try to stick through the pain and itching. And sometimes it works. After trying all the home remedies (yogurt, garlic, tea tree oil), I am convinced that eating a clove of raw garlic twice a day really does help. They say you can smell garlic coming out your pores, so the scent alone proves that it is permeating all the different areas of your body. Just don't do it on an empty stomach or you will feel nauseous. I'm also too cheap to treat them with a $15 cream every single time I get an infection, so I was thrilled that when my doctor gave me the fluconazole it only cost $3.18. For two pills! (apparently one doesn't work so well anymore, the fungi have built up drug resistance). I have never had such a cheap presciption before. Even at our college health center I think it was $10 or $15 for ONE PILL of fluconazole. Plus she gave me two refills, so I think I'll fill one to bring on my Costa Rica trip, just in case. I feel like I hit the medicine lottery.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A La-Di-Da weekend

I am really excited to go home today. Friday I was feeling sick, it was cold and rainy, and I decided to walk straight over to Eric's (35 minute walk) rather than walk home (20 minutes), get my cell phone charger, neti pot, drill I was going to let Eric borrow, etc., rest, then go over (20-30 minute subway ride + another 10 minute walk). As a result, I have been without a phone for going on three days. It's strange how if I had lost my phone, I would be freaking out over not having it for three days, but because it just died, it was fine, even strangely liberating. Plus, Eric got a new laptop with a camera in it, so I had my informally scheduled Sunday call with my parents over video chat. I really like video chats - my parents pop in and out, Eric & I pop in and out, we arrange the laptop to let them see the sunset. It's nice.

Because I was sick, I did pretty much nothing on Saturday, though I finally left the house so Eric could pick up some free meat that had been in Jeffrey's display case, some pork and ham wrapped up with cheese and vegetables. Of course I had to have a Tra La La cupcake. Mmmm. We watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm," PBS, etc., had dinner, and by the end of the day I was feeling much better.

Except that Eric woke up sick on Sunday, and he's staying home today. We had hung out Wednesday and he didn't get sick, but I guess that sustained contact made sickness inevitable. When you're sucking face with someone not sharing water glasses seems kind of pointless.

To break up the day, we left the house in search of a new cannoli place that had opened up on the Lower East Side. We forgot to write down the address before we left, so we ended up wandering around forever and getting weird directions from people that were totally incorrect. Finally, as we decided to head home, I glimpsed a bubbly pink sign out of the corner of my eye. Success!! We split a mini almond joy cannoli, which was my favorite, then had a regular (with chocolate shell), and pistachio after dinner. I want to go back and try their pumpkin pie cannoli. Mmm. For dinner, Eric made Ropa de Vieja (which was two days in the making), which translates to dirty clothes. It's a beef stew with really tender meat, and a hearty tomato sauce, and spiced mainly with cumin and oregano. In the morning, Eric came into the bathroom with this giant, white/yellow frisbee with some dark marks on it. He made me guess what it was. It was the fat from the beef broth, which had congealed at the top after a night in the fridge. It was at least half an inch think. He was like, "What should I do with it?" and was about to try to break it in half and flush it in the toilet before I intervened. I guess that's what he normally does with grease? Gross.

Eric & I are thinking of starting up a food blog together. I want it to be as much about cooking food as the evolution of our relationship. Kind of like Julie & Julia, where she would talk about her personal life. The only thing is, I am a pretty private person. I feel very ambivalent and reluctant about opening up my life to other people's criticism. Any ideas for names?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sniffly Sarah

I'm sick. I've been sick since Wednesday. I really wish I could stay home sick. But I don't.

I have ten sick days and have used exactly half of one. Unless I'm deathly ill I feel so guilty for staying home. I think, oh, I'm reading the internet, I could be at work! Or there's some random responsibility that makes it impossible for me to miss work. I'm also bad at judging. The past two mornings I felt okay waking up, but then walking to work in the freezing cold gave me the shivers, my nose is running like crazy, I have all this sinus pressure, etc. ARGH!!

I also think I was confused by the fact that I had the seasonal flu shot on Tuesday. I remember last year feeling a little off, but definitely not like this. I was a little bit congested before I got the shot, so I wonder if the added (killed) virus just blew up my cold. I would have felt stupid if I had stayed home sick because of a flu shot. Doesn't that defeat the point?

I'm still considering getting the H1N1 shot. I can't decide. I am going away over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and flying (I think) increases the risk. I'm still 24, which is in the recommended bracket. Should I get the vaccine?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I can't wait to watch a "60 minutes" on this

I had seen this video a few months ago and thought it was a fluke.

Then I saw this one.

I can just imagine a "60 minutes" episode about this, talking about the inspiring rehabilitation this jail provides.

That being said, I kind of want to join in on the fun...though not in a jail in the Philippines.