Sunday, March 27, 2011


For a guy who really doesn't follow sports that much -- this is, by the way, a major point of contention, but as I've told Yvonne, if she spent time in the homes of any of our friends who really watch sports, she'd see how nice she's got it -- this was a pretty sporty weekend for me.

Yesterday, I trekked out to Giants Stadium with my co-worker Justine to watch the USA-Argentina "friendly" soccer match. The main attraction was Lionel Messi, the two-time World Player of the Year. Man, he's good. He didn't score, but he was head and shoulders above everyone else on the field -- which is sayin' something for a guy who's only about 5 foot 6. He has such amazing control of the ball, even/especially in tight spaces. Everything in his game is a series of small, deft flicks that set up -- or score -- goals where it looks like nothing should be possible. He made this Bradley kid from the USA (who I'd started to come around on during the World Cup) look like an idiot at least five or six times, and he set up the first goal of the game on a nice little give-and-go in the penalty box. The Americans eventually got an equalizer, off a well-placed free kick delivered by our best player ever, Landon Donovan, and that was that. 1-1. The Americans probably felt like something special for drawing with the mighty Argentina, even though Argentina dominated the game (di Maria alone nearly had three goals). But that's soccer. The American fans certainly liked it. Which reminds me, is there anything worse than the "U-S-A" chant?

And today, after all the nightmares, was my fantasy baseball draft. On the plus side, I did have high-speed Internet (though no thanks to Time Warner -- I had to go to the office to be sure I wouldn't lose my connection), and I remembered to draft some pitchers. But I'm not gonna lie -- there was one mistake that could haunt me for the next six months. [Leave here if you don't want the geeky part -- the really geeky part -- of this roundup.]

In the 12th round, I drafted the unproven yet moderately hyped infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka instead of the reliable and excellent Rangers starter CJ Wilson. Now, I happen to think that Yoshi will deliver what I'm looking for -- a .290 average, 85 runs, a dozen steals -- but I almost certainly could've gotten him one round later. So, by drafting him too early, I got Yoshi and Derek Holland (CJ Wilson's less proven teammate) instead of Yoshi and CJ. That's the kind of move that can kill a season. Thankfully, all the other teams suck!

I'm counting on Yoshi to have a good season for the Twins this year.

I should note that I also landed Hideki Matsui in the 16th round -- great value. Matsui was part of my championship team in 2006 and my team that should've won the championship in 2008. He also happens to be Yvonne's favorite baseball player -- and by that, I mean the only guy she roots for at all. Not gonna say there wasn't a political consideration to that pick. Having Matsui on my team should make fantasy baseball more palatable around here, which, in turn, frees me up to be even more obsessive with my team (if that's possible). Great pick by me.

As for Yvonne, she spent most of the weekend spring-cleaning. I think I got the better half of this deal.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Think Pink

The other day, I dropped my iPhone, and the glass shattered into a horrible cracked cobweb. I was so annoyed, especially because the incident happened in the gym locker room after a physically intense yet mentally calming yoga class. So much for holding onto that inner bliss.

Yesterday, I walked from work to the Fifth Avenue Apple store to get a new phone. For picture taking purposes, I do like it when my day takes me to an unexpected neighborhood so I have something new to look at (there are so many ways I can photograph my commute and First Avenue). The first few pictures I took all had some kind of pink element so I decided to only take pictures of pink things. Not an easy color to find on a brisk cold day unless you are female and under age four. (Where's my mom and her fuchsia lip stick and nail polish when you need her?) I had to get inventive.

These pictures aren't mind-blowing, but it was a fun experiment, and I wanted to share my dorky way of making myself feel better for dropping $200 on a new phone I shouldn't have needed yet. Grr. (It might of also inspired me to purchase this iPhone case that has black and white polka dots and hot pink sides!)

No, your eyes did not deceive you. That was a Barbie foosball table and it can all yours for a mere $24,999 at FAO Schwarz. There are worse ways to spend your money than an iPhone.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Barcade (bar-CADE). def: (1) A bar that's also a spacious, old-school '80s arcade. (2) A brilliant concept. (3) Also, a staple of Williamsburg hipsterdom that I sampled for the first time on Friday night.

This place would seem to have all the trademarks of something I'd hate: scruffy Brooklyn kids decked out in urban woodsman flannel; snotty beer; "ironic" everything; crowds. In reality, though, it's pretty sweet. Tons of games. 25 cents each. And a full bar. This is pretty much how video games got their start, and it's still the ideal way to play.

Since I went with the "kids" from work, who are all in their early 20s, I got a few reminders of my own not-so-young age. Like, they knew about Atari, but not from first-hand experience. Fine. But how do you explain this:

"Oh, they had this Contra for the Nintendo, too? But I don't understand what you mean by 'cheat codes.'"

"I didn't know there was a difference between Ms. Pacman and regular Pacman."

"I like that game with the orange thing that cusses."

"What's Galaga?"


Q*bert. The orange thing that cusses.

Ms. Pacman used to be my joint -- and I still had enough skills to impress the kids from the office, even though my best game was nowhere in the universe of the high score. But I'm pretty sure that if I had lots of quarters and an apartment off the L train, I could devote myself to becoming dominant at Q*bert and Moon Patrol. I had lots of trouble with both of them when I was younger, but they rule.

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Day of Spring

Our internet has been on the fritz lately, and fantasy baseball draft occurs next week. Will some, nightmares...come true? In a rare moment the internet is working (right this second!), I thought I would say hello, how've you been, what's new, before I go grocery shopping.

Today is the first day of Spring, and the season welcomed us with wet rain and snow. Gosh, I am ready for this winter to end, even if that means baseball season will consume our entire lives. I didn't really say that, did I? No one reads this thing anyway.

I am ready for a fresh start. I wrote up a killer Spring Cleaning list, so I plan to spend the next month or so decluttering, organizing and cleansing every crevice of my apartment, updating my wardrobe and make-up and getting myself organized. Out with the old, in with the new. I have been trying to shed a few inches as well, but it's much harder this time around when I don't have a wedding to star in. The 365 project is nearing its final days, so I have been brainstorming about new projects to occupy my time. I hope I will arrive in May feeling cleaner, lighter, healthier and ready to conquer the world.

But first things first, I decided to chop my hair off this weekend. It's shorter and browner. It's the kickstart to my change. Isn't that what Spring is all about?

More pictures to come, I'm sure.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

BOOM! Uncled! (And Auntie'd.)

This is Dominic Pasquini. 10 and a half pounds of baby. Unlimited amounts of attitude.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Catching Up

Our blogging here at Everyday Ham has dropped off precipitously. I know. You don't need to point that out -- Yvonne already does. This is what I get for declaring confidently at the start of the year that we'd be posting every day. Sass.

I felt we needed a picture here. Of something...sassy.

I wish I could say that we've been too busy tearing it up to blog, but the reality is things have been pretty quiet 'round here. Here are a few quick hits to get everybody all caught up:

1. While walking around downtown, just killing time, we stumbled on the only theater in town showing the Oscar-winning documentary
Inside Job -- and since we walked in at 5:04 for a 5:05 showtime, we figured we couldn't say no. Long story short, this movie is on Netflix now and you must see it. Does a tidy job of explaining how the financial world blew up a couple years ago -- and [SPOILER ALERT] it wasn't the fault of "overpaid" public employees.

2. Great addition to our home: a nice new record needle. A fresh needle makes everything sound AMAZING. It's hard to describe the effect -- sorta like when you get a new pair of glasses and everything is so much clearer it's like you were walking around in a fog before -- but more exciting. I imagine this is what it's like to get a makeover -- if it made all your friends look better, too.

3. And tonight, we put that needle into the grooves of John Phillips' (of the Mamas & Papas) legendary solo record, "The Wolf King of L.A." This is some real canyon vibe right here (i.e. that masterful, mellow, country-inflected sound of the Laurel Canyon scene of the late '60s, early '70s). As I told Yvonne, when we rent ourselves a little cottage way up in Beachwood, with a couple chickens in the backyard, this is what our life is going to sound like.

4. You want to win your NCAA pool? [SPOILER ALERT] Kansas, Ohio St., Pitt and UConn. First round upsets? Richmond, Mizzou, VCU (assuming they beat USC in the play-in).

Hey, if I'm gonna be brimming with confidence, let's go all the way.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Man Bill

I was extremely excited when Danielle invited me to an advanced screening of the new documentary  Bill Cunningham New York. I have spoken about my love and respect for Bill before, but in case you don't know or remember, Bill Cunningham is a photographer for The New York Times who has been taking pictures of New York street fashion and society pages for decades.

Bill is definitely a character.  Even though he goes to fashion shows and is often photographing high society people, he wears the same outfit everyday, he rides his bike everywhere, and for many years, he lived in a teeny tiny apartment at Carnegie Hall...with a bathroom down the hall. He's the only New York Times photographer who still shoots in film.  Everyone in fashion knows who he is, loves him, but no one really knows him.

Bill's a very private person, so I was surprised this documentary was even made, and I am so glad that I did because he is such a joy. Despite his quirky self, the thing that really shines through is a true joie de vivre. This guy LOVES what he does. He basically doesn't do anything else. His whole life is fashion and taking pictures. He is not at all jaded and seems genuinely captivated with the world around him.  The filmmakers answered questions after the screening and one of them said that the best thing about Bill was that he had the sort of innocence you would only find in a kid, which inspired them to look at life in that way.

In the movie, they show Bill giving a speech for a rare award that he actually accepted (he is known to turn down awards and paychecks for his work) and in his speech he said "He who seeks beauty will find it" and he actually got choked up and started crying saying this. I love this man.

The movie is playing limited runs in New York and Los Angeles, so please go see it or put it on your Netflix queue NOW. You won't regret it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's March...You Know What That Means

It's March and we're fat, so thus begins another year of March Madness. OK, we're not fat fat, but we're a ways off from our prime fightin' weight from our nuptials. The last year has actually been one of consistent exercise (I've even been getting up early a few mornings a week to work out); the problem, as always, is discipline with the sweets and treats. (I pretty much treated the Christmas cookie season as though I might not live to see New Year's. And then I celebrated the New Year by eating with abandon up until...well, Oscars Sunday.)

You know the basic rules of the Madness: Limit two sweets and/or alcoholic beverages a week (I'm less strict about this one), 5 or so days of exercise per week (I'm less strict about this one, too), better eating habits. And so far, so good. I have drastically reduced my jam intake (I like to eat jam out of the jar for dessert -- is that so wrong?) and I even substituted grilled vegetables for french fries with my meal Friday night.

I'm pretty confident we'll be svelte again in no time.

In fact, I think I'm gonna take tomorrow off.