Friday, June 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Hosmer

Today is Hosmer's birthday. Last year we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge in celebration. I am sure there will a report soon from Denver on this year's celebration.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The tortoise endorses the hare

I have always been partial to the fable the Tortoise and Hare, as I definitely have some turtle-like qualities. Slow, steady--or plodding, some might say. Despite my prejudice against the speedy, however, this week I visited the store Jack Rabbit to buy new running shoes. J.R. was named best athletic store by New York Magazine and the title is well deserved. Before you even try on a shoe, one of the knowledgeable staff members interviews you about your running history, running ambitions, and any injuries. Then, he or she looks at your bare feet, to get a sense of their shape and your arch type (not your archetype.) Only then do the shoes come out. You try them on, then run on a treadmill while a camera films your feet and lower legs. The staff member replays the video back on a computer, to get a sense of how the shoes work with your running gait. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the very nice woman who helped me, but she was great. A few of her suggestions made me nervous, but she seemed to know a lot and I decided to trust her. First, she said I should buy my running shoes a half size bigger than my street shoes. (I checked this out when I got home, and apparently this is pretty common advice). Then, she suggested I get Brooks instead of Saucony. I have only worn Saucony since I began running cross county in 1983, so this was a pretty major change--and turtle-like, I resist change. But, then again, my ankle got pretty messed up while I was wearing the Socs, so maybe change is good. Here is the result of the consultation.

I gave them a test run this morning and they felt great. Here is lovely picture of me post run.

One more great thing about Jack Rabbit. After your first full-price purchase, you get 10% off all future purchases. I think the 14th Street store should become a regular stop for all the Culkins obsessed with endurance activities when visiting New York

Clean House

I have recently become obssessed with organizing and cleaning my house. I gues it is because I don't have any time to do that during school and also because I have been watching episodes of Clean House, a show on the style network. There is a similar show on TLC called Clean Sweep, but I prefer the host of Clean House.

I recently stayed up late just to finish going through old paperwork and organize it all in folders. Most recently I decided to get rid of old magazines. Considering that I have a backlog of magazines from the past semester that I haven't even touched I figured I didn't need Runner's World from May 2004.

The sad thing is that I moved all these old magazines with me from DC. I guess I thought Law school would be so boring that I would have to read a Health issue from 9 months ago, that I had already read. I didn't throw them away, I donated them and a few books to the library's used book store. So they are in good hands.

Here is a sampling of what I gave away.

Biker Girl

I have another article in PW Comics Week, on Biker Girl by Misako Rocks! Calvin found a reference to it on the website Love Manga. If you want to see a preview of this very fun book (perfect for the Buffy fans among us), visit Misako's adorable website.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tim Gunn Buys Groceries

Just today I was thinking how excited I am for Project Runway to begin and break up the the dismal summer rerun season. (Because as much as I love Luke Perry, Windfall isn't really that enjoyable.) Then, when in Gourmet Garage buying my post-pilates bagel, who should I see but Tim Gunn! He was in the checkout line next to me and I recognized him after glimpsing just a sliver of his face through the shelves full of imported chocolate and organic animal crackers. Mr. Gunn seemed just as kind and debonair as he does on television. What perfect posture! Make it work people!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Cheap and Tasty--Bombay Kitchen

Neilson and I are always on the lookout for places that are cheap and tasty. Luckily, they are plentiful in New York. Last night we found a new spot that seems destined to become a favorite. Bombay Kitchen, at 120 Macdougal, offers large portions of Indian food at incredibly low prices. We ordered the most expensive things we could--2 sides with rice--plus Neilson ordered a Khasta Kachori--and the bill came to 12 dollars. Everything was fresh and spicey. Plus, unlike many a cheap and tasty restaurant, the place itself is very cute, with bright colors and nice graphics, including a great looking elephant on the menu. I can't wait to go back and try the Samosa Chaat, for $3.99.

P.S. I would love to hear about other Red Peonies's members favorite Cheap and Tasty experiences from all over the land.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Cats I Know--Margo

While I was in Chicago, I also met the famous Margo, Ellen's cat. Margo once lived on the streets, but now she resides on the 38th floor of high rise, with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan. She suffers from diabetes, but, through the magic of acupuncture, hasn't had to use insulin since December. Margo was a little shy when I arrived, but she eventually came out of hiding and let me admire her.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Jonathan Lethem on Gehry's Brooklyn Redevelopment Plan

I love Jonathan Lethem's writing. I came to it late (kind of a running theme with me), but I make up for my lateness with an excess of enthusiasm. "Motherless Brooklyn", fabuous book! "Fortress of Solitude", other fabulous book! He is the prose poet of loss and memory- loss in Brooklyn (specifically that area around the Gowanus Canal). I know Molly is a big big fan too, and I'm sure we're not the only family members who adore him.

Here is a link to an open letter from Lethem to Frank Gehry about the planned stadium project in Brooklyn. He makes a lot of the points I heard from Kym years ago, before the plan was developed. I must admit, I liked the idea of the Nets playing basketball a short subway ride away, how wrong I was. Or maybe they should just get rid of those mammoth towers.

Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers

Now that Father's Day has come and gone, I can reveal a wonderful thing I found on the web. (I gave it as a father's day gift--hence my earlier silence.) I urge any cat and music lover to check out Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers. Highlights include When Kitty Eyes are Smiling and Lord of the Pouce (Pounce, pounce whereever you may be. I am the Lord of the Pounce said he.) You can listen to clips and read the lyrics on the website--and then you will be hooked.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fathers Day at the Beach

We took the boys to the beach on Dia Del Padre. Oso is an experienced beach dog, but Nola had never been but learned the ropes quickly.

Oso and Moly in the car going to the beach.

Oso and Nola exploring.

The boys ready for the beach

Nola in the muddy bay.

Molly with the boys.

Native Plants

My Mom has been trying to have a lush garden for years. Grandma always had such a beautiful garden in Oswego, but sadly the 100+ temps, the lack of rain, and the sandy soil just would not coorperate.

This year the native New Yorker succombed to native plants that somehow manage to grow in the heat and look beautiful. Mom began a butterfly garden and plans for a pond are in the works.

The Necks can now be found relaxing outside in the new arty chairs that Dad repainted and enjoying the chiminea that Jody gave Mom. They are always looking for guests so stop by if you have a chance.

Side yard ready for a party!

Our Protector

Cleo, the mystery cat that is hard to capture on film.

Our very own gazebo.

All those plants create a ton of trash and John has to stomp on it sometimes.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Chicago Pizza

Over the weekend, Neilson and I went to Chicago, for the wedding of one of his friends from college. Well, it wasn't actually a wedding, as the couple had eloped last October. It was more of a celebration. Despite the fact that there was no actual wedding ceremony, there were many events to keep us busy. But Neilson and I managed to make time to sample some Chicago style pizza at Lou Malneti's, which, according to some sources, is the best pizza in town. We are definitely New York style pizza people, but the deep dish with butter crust was a tasty change of pace. The spinach bread--which is much less healthy than it sounds--also hit the spot.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Oswego with Bill

Bill and I went to Oswego the first weekend in June (I'm falling behind on my posts). Much tasty Oswego food was eaten, lunch at the stands was followed by dinner at Canale's, then breakfast at the Ritz dinner, dinner at the new Admiral- finally sandwiches from Garafalo's on our way out of town. Here's some pics, though I forgot to take pictures of the food.

St. Paul's.

View from the new Admiral at sunset.

A Little MoCCA

I spent much of the weekend at MoCCA Art Festival. PW Comics Week will have the big round up later this week, but I wanted to mention a few things I really enjoyed.

Hey 4 Eyes is a zine about eyeglasses. It has comics, interviews with glasses wearers, historical information and hints for buying vintage frames, among other things. I bought volume 1 the first day of the convention and liked it so much that I bought volume 2 the next day. The creator Robyn Chapman was there and she was surrounded by women wearing glasses who were thrilled with the existence of this publication.

The couple here is Tyler Page and Cori Doerrfeld. Tyler was giving out copies of the first two volumes of Never Better, a comic about two women who are freshmen roommates in college. There are six volumes on the web. I'm not sure how giving out work for free is going to help pay for the wedding, but I loved the comic. While it covers well-known territory, he brings the characters to life in a vivid way and makes them all very complex, so you are never quite sure whose side to be on. Page, moreover, really captures the experience of living away from home the first time and being thrown into a small living space with a complete stranger.

People at the convention all kept commenting on how much Jody and I look alike. The evidence is undeniable.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Stopping to Smell the Roses

While Elvis is content to spend all his time on the bed, Audrey dreams of roaming the tundra. Unfortunately, she lives in a studio apartment in New York. Maybe her yearning for the great outdoors is why she is obsessed with flowers. I usually have to barricade the vase to make sure she doesn't tip them over, and even then at least one always ends up on the floor.

If you need another kitty fix, visit Carnival of the Cats and The Friday Ark.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sadly none of the Culkin/Neck hopefuls got into the NYC marathon this year, there were 90,000 applicants and apparently the lottery Gods didn't like the name Culkin or Neck.

But all you racing fans and runners out there don't worry the Marine Corp Marthon in Wash DC is the weekend before. It is called the People's Marthon because it is such a friendly and nice first marthon. I would highly recommend it,it is after all very very well organized and has the cleanest water stops of any race. The Marines are very well coordinated. It was my first marathon and I had a blast.

Kym and I have already registered but it will likely fill up fast. I know it isn't the amazing NYC race but it still is pretty awesome. So mark your calendars and runners start training. Come Oct 29th there will be your very own Marine waiting to put a medal around your neck.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Thanks Kate

Some memories fom our childhood are exaggerated over time and sometimes seem to take on a life of their own. My love of Wonder Woman is not one of those memories. I REALLY wanted to be Wonder Woman. I had a WW bathing suit which I wore with my golden (bullet deflecting) bracelets, crown, and golden lasso. I also had Wonder Woman Underoos. One winter I made Mom bring an old tree stump into the Olympic Room so I could practice with my golden lasso of truth. I don't have any pics of the getup but I continue to collect Wonder Woman memorabilia today. Kate has given me airmail stationary and postcards. Andy has given me a Wonder Woman journal and bank. Here are pictures of some of my Wonder Woman Collection.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

This one is for Sarah

There is a certain member of the Red Peonies crew who is quite a fan of Wonder Woman. I wish I had a picture of her in her famous Wonder Woman bathing suit to scan in here, although she is probably happy I don't. (Don't worry--it was from when she was little.) But she may be interested in the Q and A in PW Comics Week with Allen Heinburg, regarding his take on Wonder Woman, which comes out tomorrow. My favorite quote is, "I think most readers tend to favor the Wonder Woman they grew up with." I also love it that Heinburg used to write for the O.C. and Grey's Anatomy, although, for WW's sake, I hope he was responsible for Christina and Bailey and not Merideth and Marissa (R.I.P.)

Monday, June 05, 2006

This Is the Word

Here is a link to Stephen Colbert's pitch-perfect commencement address at Knox College.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Elvis Takes a Bath

Elvis is a very sedentary cat. His big move during the day is moving from the bed to the food bowl and back. But he is very industrious when it comes to cleaning himself. Despite my rather lackluster housekeeping efforts, his white feet and belly are always spotless. His bathing accomplishments are even more impressive when you consider he has eighteen pounds of kitty to cover.