Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Goodnight Bear

Last night Bear passed away.

Bear and the girl (age 9)
We will miss you, Bear.  You were one of the sweetest and most patient companions. If only there were more cats (and people) like you.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last day of school

The school year passed by quickly and the girl was excited for the last day of school today.  Hopefully she is smarter and wiser than her first day of school though the significant thing I noticed over the school year is her increased attention to fashion and accessorizing.

There was also an awards assembly for her grade and she received some awards and got to shake the principal's hand.  Note to grandparents, aunties, and uncles, the girl received the following awards:

- Principal's List (All A's for the year)
- Perfect attendance
- Highest grade awards in Latin and English/Language Arts (the girl said I gave her the stinkeye when I didn't hear her name called for this award in Math--which is true)
- Recognition award in Art
- Recognition of Excellence for Ensemble Performance at the district Solo and Ensemble Strings competition (the girl said they were only 1 point away from the top "Superior" rating)

A little downtime this summer and then on to next year!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

I've made no bones that laws and amendments preventing gay Americans the right to marry is simply outdated discrimination. So it was a major disappointment that our neighboring state, North Carolina, voted to amend their state constitution to outlaw gay marriage on May 8.

On the bright side, the next day, the President of the US affirmed his "evolved" personal support for marriage rights for same-sex couples:

"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'don't ask, don't tell' is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married."

On May 14, rapper Jay-Z seconded President Obama's affirmation, that supporting gay marriage was "the right thing to do and as this WP Columnist noted, this endorsement from an international rap star may carry more weight than the President's.  If a prominent and globally respected leader of the rap world takes a stand for civil rights for gay citizens in the hip-hop environment (which has a less-than-smooth history with homophobia--ironically including some of Jay-Z's lyrics), then I hope it's a promising sign for the rest of the free world.
On May 18, Joyce Banda, president of Malawi pledged to lift the country's ban on homosexuality, breaking ranks from much of Africa where gay marriage is not simply outlawed but a punishable crime.  If she accomplishes this, it would be HUGE.

On May 19, the NAACP passed a resolution to support gay marriage.  Simply stated by the President and CEO, Benjamin Todd Jealous:

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people."

And so back full circle, right?  Civil rights for all.  Maybe I'm not dreaming too big after all.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Adding hills

to my runs as I get set for the Camp Pendleton Mud Run!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The neighborhood

Even though we've been here almost two years, I still feel like a newcomer in our neighborhood.  It seems I learn about it through humorous buttons:

Or sometimes in the "Rant & Rave" section of Columbia's "Free Times":

I learn a bit more:

To which I say, shouldn't we all be keeping it classy?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Tonight, Velina had her orchestera concert at school:

Of the songs they played, one was entitled "Viola Hero" which featured all five of the violists in the Advanced Orchestra, including her, as soloists.  It was a very pleasant surprise:

The girl also surprised me with participating in the "dramatics" of the final song ("The Incredibles"):

Where she and her friends had choreographed fight scenes to go with the music:

Obviously, she had a blast. And her parents had a smile on their faces too.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Where have I been?

I spent another fat week in NY and NJ! I arrived on 5/1 and made it to Brooklyn and saw this cutie:

Met a friend for a delicious babaganoush lunch:

Back to Brooklyn where I killed some time waiting for my sister getting a pretty sweet deal on a mani/pedi--$16!  I don't usually get these but my feet were still wrecked from the Mud Run and it was a fun and relaxing way to kill an hour.

I recommend Sister's if you're ever in Park Slope looking for a mani/pedi:

Enjoyed a great Mexican dinner with my sister in Park Slope (BIL ironically in SoCal for work):

Drove that night to Jersey and spent some quality time with Mom and taking her to some doctors' appointments over the next few days.  I managed to squeeze in an awesome Korean lunch with a friend--highlight of my Jersey visits!

I shared my manicure which I felt so self-conscious of because I'm not used to my nails being colored.  I feel like nail polish make my hands look older or that I should be offering an innocent princess a poison apple.

Over the weekend I made my nephew some vegan and gluten-free banana pancakes (from BabyCakes Covers the Classics):

He ate them!

I got to take him to the park and we toodled around his new Brooklyn nabe:

On Monday, I got to spend a day with him when his usual caretaker had a doctor's appointment.  We checked out a different playground in Prospect Park.  Lots of nannies and kiddos.

Then we strolled to Starbucks.  Lots of moms and kiddos.

I gave him a bath:

And put him in some adorable pajamas (actually all pajamas are adorable at this age!)

And finished off the trip with a visit and trying out their cookie butter:

So delicious--I ate a third of the jar in 5 minutes.  It reminded me of Biscoff spread:

And then back on to home--until next month!