Friday Brain Dump

Friday, March 16th, 2012 | Posted under Personal, Sports, Travel General

Hey there!

I know that I’ve been pretty quiet here this week, but that’s because I’ve been busy working (well, who doesn’t get busy doing that?) as well as planning what is going to be a RIDUNKULOUS spring and early summer for me. I’m trying to finish out March as organized as possible, which means more work now and less blogging. More details about some of my plans next week!
Things I’ve been thinking about this week:
1. I was filling out a visa application, and I had to put my country of birth. I look at the drop down menu, and I see “Antigua & Barbados.” Huh? I’m not from Barbados. I have friends from the lovely island and even dated a few guys from there, but I’ve never set foot on Barbados. ๐Ÿ™‚ Antigua and Barbados are, um, like, two separate countries.

See where Barbados is? Not really close… ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s pretty in Barbados, too.

I tried to tell one of the women processing the application that they made a mistake on the application itself. It’s Antigua & BARBUDA, Antigua’s smaller sister island, which is pretty remote and beautifully unspoilt (and hopefully won’t become overdeveloped as Antigua is becoming). I suspect no one has pointed this mistake out yet, and so they’ve had no real reason to change it on the application. I was just amazed that such a big glaring error has gone pretty much unnoticed and unchanged.

2. Sometimes the weather calls for a fruity cocktail with an umbrella in it. It was VERY warm this week in New York City (March is usually overcast, rainy and chilly), and everyone (including me) is having some major spring fever.

Topanga Canyon cocktail
Hibiscus Infused Absolut, Lychee Liquer, Raspberries, Orange Crush soda from Super Linda

3. Really?! Hmm….I wish her, her fiance, and the baby the best of luck.

4. For some reason, the Knicks won BEFORE Carmelo Anthony joined the team, and while he was injured. The same thing happened with his old team, the Denver Nuggets. I think he’s bad luck. I’m sad Coach D’Antoni resigned. ๐Ÿ™

When I think of the Knicks, I look just like you do now, Mike. Sigh…

5. I’ve been in a banh mi phase lately. Right now I’m giving a slight edge to Banh Mi Saigon in Manhattan over Hanco’s in Brooklyn. I tried both of their pork sandwiches, and I think Hanco’s bread is a tad better as well as their spice. I liked the seasoning of the pork on the Banh Mi Saigon version. Maybe I’ll just have to try some more? ๐Ÿ™‚ Any other banh mi recommendations in New York City?
Hanco’s Banh Mi via my Iphone

Happy Weekend!

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 | Posted under Food Culture, Personal, Sports

Wow. I’m still in shock from last night’s Giants win. I compromised and watched the first half of the game. Despite some criticisms that she “should act her age”, I really did like Madonna’s half time show. It was over the top and had great guest artists. I didn’t catch M.I.A’s middle finger, but I did catch her expletive slip. Oh well.

Our helmet ornaments
I also didn’t gloat. I won’t until next week. Husband J laid out my little Giants helmet on Monday morning. My husband is too sweet.
This is how we did it food style in the TAO household for the Super Bowl.
There was only four of us, but with I wanted to make sure I got some veggies in. I made sure it wasn’t too healthy, so we had blue cheese dressing on the side.
tomatoes, peppers, baby carrots, broccoli. The small bowls are from CB2.

We had a veggie pizza as well as half pepperoni and half cheese pizza.

Layered dip. I have never had this before and I was very glad that my friend made one. It’s a layer of salsa, sour cream, refried beans, peppers, and tomatoes topped with cheese and black olives. Loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚ My friend said that she used all of the low fat versions of many of the elements. I wouldn’t have minded either way.

We also had hot wings.

What’s your favorite big game food?

I promise no more Super Bowl talk. ๐Ÿ™‚

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A House Divided

Sunday, February 5th, 2012 | Posted under Personal, Sports

We’re a house divided today. It’s a little “tense” in the TAO household. As some of you may remember, I am a big sports fan. My favorite team in my favorite sport is playing in the biggest game of the season tonight. It’s a little thing called the Super Bowl. That would be all fine and dandy if the opposing team wasn’t Husband J’s favorite team in one of his favorite sports to watch.

We have been acting fairly cordial all week. Husband J is still a little sad over his team, the New England Patriots, loss to my team, the New York Giants, back in January 2008. Back then he was Boyfriend J, and I thought I handled the Giants’ unexpected win that year rather well. I didn’t gloat until the day of the Giants’ victory parade in New York City. I can only be so kind. This time, we’re married, so I don’t have to be so nice. **evil laugh**

There are lots of other underlying issues I have with this match up that have nothing to do with Husband J that also have me extra fidgety today. I am fairly supstitiuous when it comes to my sports teams. After the Giants lost a few years ago to the Philadelphia Eagles, in a game I watched in full, I haven’t really watched many Giants games since. I swore off watching their last regualr season game before the playoffs this season in December and every playoff game since. You know what? It’s worked! They’re playing in the Super Bowl.
Some couple friends are coming over, and I have already warned them about my aversion/lack of desire to watch (I was partially rooting for a Baltimore vs. San Francisco Super Bowl because I’d be able to enjoy it). My friend is already making threats to tie me to my couch to make me watch.
One of the best Super Bowl catches ever made
The Giants are just as superstituious especially when it comes to their food. They had their favorite post work out pizza flown in from Long Island, New York to Indianapolis just for their Friday practice. By the way, I’m not alone in my craziness. Check out this article.
That being said, I will use the Super Bowl as an excuse to pig out just a teeny bit. We’ve got pizza, chicken wings, some seven layer dip (I’m not making it, but I promise a picture), veggies and maybe some homemade brownies on tap for tonight.
Anyway, for those of you who are laughing at me and my love of professional American football, go ahead. Just wait for the Olympics this year! Just kidding. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thursday, January 19th, 2012 | Posted under Health, Sports

I think I may have mentioned that I am enthralled by the Ironman Championship.

It’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile run, and a marathon back to back. Don’t worry. You get 17 hours to finish. ๐Ÿ™‚
Maybe it’s the dramatic NBC tv editing?
There I was crying like a baby on a Saturday afternoon last month watching a woman who had just finished battling cancer; an 81 year old man doing his 22nd Ironman; and a woman who had just lost hundreds of pounds cross the finish line. I’m such a sucker for people accomplishing things they thought they couldn’t, or maybe I’m just a weirdo who has a secret death/pain wish or an untapped masochistic streak. That video doesn’t really help either.
No, I’m not doing an Ironman anytime soon. I still haven’t done a second 5k! It doesn’t mean that I don’t think about it though. ๐Ÿ™‚
It could be a great reason to go to the Big Island of Hawaii, too. Anyone been to the Big Island and not just Oahu? Do you know anyone who’s done an Ironman or even finished a half Ironman? Have you ever done a triathlon?


2011 ING NYC Marathon

Monday, November 7th, 2011 | Posted under Brooklyn, Sports

“If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”

-Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to enter and run the Boston Marathon
I saw this quotation yesterday, and it really summed up why I love watching the NYC marathon as it goes through my neighborhood each year. It’s a yearly reminder to not take my physical abilities for granted, and overall to keep thinking about how I can push myself both physically and mentally.
I blogged about my experience watching it last year, but I thought I would do something a little different this year. This time I’ll let you experience the sights and sounds of the marathon from my perspective. If you don’t mind my crudely edited video, here’s a look at yesterday’s marathon below. If you listen closely, you can hear me talking in the background.
My area was a major flashpoint in the marathon as it had an entertainment center, something new that the New York Road Runners, the marathon’s organizers, added this year. Also the local news/marathon coverage had a strategic broadcasting position right there. Husband J says that he saw he me on TV at one point when he went back to our apartment. ๐Ÿ™‚

Some things I learned yesterday:

-Most of the marathon goes through Brooklyn. About 10 of the 26.2 miles.
-The ING NYC Marathon is the largest marathon in the world with over 47,000 participants this year. Supposedly over a million (maybe two million) people actually come out to cheer on the runners.
-All of the top 3 male finishers set course records. Wow!
Are there any events out there that inspire you?

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