Friday, August 27, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I am a hot weather girl at heart, and was somewhat saddened at the thought that I'd never be able to use half of my wardrobe again given the cool, foggy tendencies in the Bay Area. While I find it somewhat odd that the hottest days here come in September and October, I welcome the heat and look forward to swimming at The Plunge, the awesome pool that just re-opened around the corner from our house.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
1. I am fairly certain I qualify as someone who suffers from OCD, but have never done anything about it (i.e. therapy) because my life isn´t made unmanageable by my funny little habits. One of my compulsions is with numbers - in particular the number 13. I am especially satisfied when there are 3 sets of 13. For example, if I am cooking and know that the veggies I´m stir-frying (or whatever) need just a bit more time to be perfectly done, I start counting in sets of 13. I either have to do 3 or 9 repetitions to feel like all is right in the world. Sometimes I´ve burned my food because I don´t want to stop at 2 sets of 13, or God forbid at the number 8 or some other unacceptable integer. That said, I can usually make my desire to have a perfectly cooked meal override my compulsive counting patterns. Other ways in which counting to 13 appears in my life: prior to diving into a pool or the ocean, while annealing a piece of metal, while running (I count my steps), and while trying to fall asleep.
2. I like dogs, but can´t stand the way they smell or to be licked by them. I also have a healthy fear of big dogs, at least until I get to know them well enough to trust they won´t jump on me or try to bite.
3. I am the fastest typer you will ever come across. I think I could set a Guinness Record, if such a category existed. (Maybe it does...who knows, this could be my ticket to fame!) I type so fast that I score off the chart of every words-per-minute software I´ve ever used. I´m definitely over 80 wpm, and am super accurate. I also hit the keys - in particular the space bar - with such force that I eventually rub the letters off the keyboard and leave burnished, shiny marks in their place. I can also hold conversations with people while I type and it doesn´t really affect my speed or precision, or my ability to make sense while I talk. Rico often makes fun of me and will randomly tap his fingers lightning-fast on a table, suggesting that I´m just typing gobbeldy-gook instead of real words. I think part of my typing speed is due to the fact that I played classical piano for 15+ years and developed super power muscle memory in my fingers. If all else fails, I´d make a damn good court reporter.
4. I´ve never baby-sat in my entire life. I don´t particularly feel comfortable around babies or kids, although I believe I´d like to have a family at some point.
5. I am somewhat obsessed with almond-flavored desserts. Marzipan, almond paste, almond extract - I love them all. Once my friend Marlen gave me a giant tube of marzipan as a gift and I ate the entire thing pure in just 2 days. The most delicious dessert I´ve ever eaten is an almond frangipani tart with nectarines from a bakery in Berkeley called La Farine. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
6. I have issues sharing utensils, glasses and food with other people. I´m totally grossed out by the idea of ingesting someone else´s residual saliva. It´s to the point that I´ll willingly give up whatever I was eating or drinking and let the other person finish it, rather than take it back and think about how I´m consuming their spit. I can override this instinct if necessary (to save face in social situations) but it takes a big mental effort on my part. I hope never to be offered chicha if I ever visit Peru. I think it would make me vomit.
7. I have problems regulating my body temperature. 99% of the time, I feel cold and have a really hard time warming up, even while wearing wool socks and a sweater, and sitting under layers of blankets. My hands and feet are usually like blocks of ice, and they often go numb and lose all circulation (I have Reynaud´s Syndrome). However, even if I have white digits and am trembling with cold, my body - in particular my core - radiates heat. It´s especially pronounced at night, when seemingly a switch flips and I go into nuclear reactor mode. I give off insane amounts of heat while sleeping and when relaxed, and yet all the while feel cold. Go figure...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
This morning in Rio's leading newspaper, O Globo, there was an article about how Levi's is launching a new line of jeans called Curve ID that (gasp!) take into account the fact that women have multiple body types and waist-to-hip ratios. Here is a press release in Portuguese that talks about how these new jeans are designed to "highlight feminine curves". There are three levels: Slight Curve, Demi Curve and Bold Curve. There is also a fourth level that will be launched separately, Extreme Curve, that's geared toward those with a super ample booty. I notice, however, that they all seem to be skinny jeans...sigh.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
- lightweight baseball cap (I miss having a hat when I go running);
- pair of lounge pants (I brought leggings, which are fine and comfortable, but somewhat limiting in that they have to go *under* other layers, not over);
- another set of workout clothes (I brought 2 sets, but I've actually been really good on this trip and exercised at least 7 times. It's been okay just washing the workout clothes I have, but an additional set would have been great);
- thin pair of socks/knee-highs that can be worn with ballet flats (it's been COLD);
- a hoodie, or some other long-sleeved top that can be worn while working out (I've used my regular long-sleeved top, which has been okay, but I miss my hoodie);
- a travel umbrella (we've borrowed one from family for this trip, but it would be necessary in any other context);
- fabric beach bag;
- capulana/kanga/pareo or whatever you like to call a beach wrap. Ideally one that could double as a scarf.
- dressy tank top (I brought 2, which was one too many);
- quite so much makeup...I would have been fine with just the colors I wore for the wedding;
- set of gold costume jewelry (haven't worn it...was intended to make my outfits "dressier", but we ended up not going out at night at all this trip);
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Monday, August 09, 2010
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
I especially enjoy working with colors that are a challenge - that is, they are difficult to combine with other tones, are generally considered as "ugly" (browns, oranges and yellow-greens frequently end up in this category), are hopelessly connected to a specific look (e.g. light pink being sweet and girly) and so forth. One of the reasons I'm so drawn to the Mozambique Island trade beads is that they come in a rainbow of colors, all thrown together somewhat wily-nily on fishing line by the boys who find the beads on the beach. I try to work with every single bead on those strands, every shape, every color. It pushes my creativity, makes me look at the beads with new eyes.
Here are a few new pieces from the Alexandra Amaro Mozambique Island collection that incorporate some of my very favorite colors: ruby and chartreuse.
These Cascata Earrings feature a mix of 300-year-old Mozambique Island trade beads and Indian Rubies, with a faceted pear-shaped ruby dangling from the bottom of the cluster. The tiny trade beads are in shade of pink from dusty rose to pomegranate. Pink trade beads are incredibly hard to find, and it literally took me hours to find them among the sea of reds in my collection. I love how delicate this design is, how these old beads worn by centuries under the Indian Ocean can be elegant and feminine.I loved working with the pink trade beads so much that I decided to make a matching bracelet. This Venezia Bracelet features a mix of antique Mozambique Island beads, Indian Rubies and lovely red-violet Hydrabadi Garnets. I incorporated a mix of handmade Thai Hill Tribes silver beads to add texture and add to the asymmetrical interest. I could look at the shades of pink and purple in this bracelet for hours; no two beads are alike.