Boy Bands All Grown Up

This week on the Today show, I’ve sort of felt like I was watching the downfall of my childhood. It was a similar feeling to when I’ve put on

Wednesday on the Today Show, New Kids on the Block performed. It was creepy and not very good.

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The this morning, the guys from 98 Degrees sang and awkwardly danced in unison.

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Don’t get me wrong, growing up I was a big fan of both of these bands. I remember being so jealous of my best friend Lindsay because she has a New Kids on the Block sleeping bag. I was still rocking Sesame Street – which made me an easy target at every sleepover. I was so psyched when my mom finally let me buy the NKOTB tape and then the 98 degrees CD – both Burning Up and the Christmas album (which I may still listen to).

But, I am not sure I full support these comeback tours of the Boy Bands from the 80’s and 90’s. Just because you are jealous that Justin Timberlake was able to go on and become a bigger star than he was back in the days of neck scarves and frosted tips – it doesn’t mean that you have a chance at a comeback.

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Especially when you are still portraying yourselves as “boy bands” when the average age of the group in over 37 years old. I’m sorry – you may look good for your age, but these photos show just how far you’ve come…

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The good news of all of this – it looks like these guys aren’t going away anytime soon!

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Long live the boy band.

14er

A fourteener is a mountain that exceeds 14,000 feet  above mean sea level and Colorado has the majority of such peaks in North America – 53 in all. So naturally, when we started planning our trip to Colorado, Matt added “summit a 14er” to our list. So after a little research, we decided to tackle Mt. Sneffles, located just 7 miles west of the town of Ouray (the inspiration for Gult’s Gorge in Matt’s favorite book Atlas Shrugged).

After a short drive from Telluride, we arrived at the access road that wound 8 miles up the mountain to the trail head. Unfortunately our ford focus rental car was no match against the rocky dirt roads. We were forced to park our car a mile from our original plan, which added 2 miles to our hike. I should have seen this as a sign of what was to come.

 

We hiked up a rocky road for 3 miles. The views were spectacular but I was having trouble enjoying them. Even though the hike wasn’t super long, it was steep and the altitude was definitely taking its toll. I was pretty short of breath and started to suffer from a dull headache.

This brought us to the upper trailhead.

 

 

 

 

 

At this point, I was pretty tired and didn’t really want to go on. However, Matt convinced me and we started the last mile to the top.

The path went from a rocky road to just rocks. I felt like a mountain goat making my way over the difficult terrain. Our pace, which was pretty good up until this point, came to a crawl. I was definitely suffering from the altitude and kept needing to stop every 50 – 100 yards.

We approached the final stretch, a ridiculously steep section that was all rock. No longer were their switch backs or a well defined path. It was just, get up any way you could. To make matters worse, there were people who were making their way down the slope. Every so often, they would yell “Rock! Rock! Rock!” and Matt and I would jump out of the way of the mini rockslide. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best experience I’d had.

 

After making it 3/4th of the way up the last bit, the altitude, my extreme dizziness and the difficult terrain proved to be too much for me. I had to call it quits. Matt was a good sport — he definitely could have made it to the top but he turned around with me.

Even though the hike was difficult, I couldn’t deny the views were amazing.

 

We made our way back down, feeling pretty dejected by Mt. Sneffles.

We decided to turned the mood around with a sweet Call Me Maybe dance off:

It was nice, that after a very long, somewhat disappointing hike, we were able to laugh at ourselves.

The day ended on a high note when we returned to the car to find this waiting for us.

So we didn’t make it to the top — that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reward ourselves, right?

 

 

 

Flash Mob

Last week we received an awesome email from the Senior Vice President of Programs at Robin Hood. It is important that I try to characterize this man for you all, or else this won’t seem as funny. This man is an very accomplished researcher who graduated from MIT with a PhD in economics and served as a former New York Times editor. He is, for lack of a better word, a little nerdy. He developed our system of “metrics” which is used to measure the effectiveness of our poverty fighting programs through a series of formulas (basically he did for Robin Hood what  Theo Epstein did for the Red Sox). We all love him, but he certanily isn’t a wild and crazy type guy.

Below is the email we received:

“I’m not exactly the sharing kind when it comes to identifying new waves of popular culture.  But someone has to step up now that Jim is leaving.  I hereby lay claim to moving to the forefront of the culture battleground. 

One week from tomorrow (Tues., Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.), I will accompany my 95-year-old mother-in-law,  to Union Square where she will participate in a “Flash Mob.” [My Times style manual betrays me.   What’s the proper verb: does one participate in a flash mob; do a flash mob; perform a flash mob?  perform in a flash mob??}  In any case, I have inside information that there will be a “wardrobe malfunction” as part of the routine.   Imagine.

 I’ll be standing toward the rear with a hood covering my face, worrying that I will be accused of contributing to the delinquency of a nonagenarian.  My wife will be up front studying her Mom’s every move, preparing for 30+ years hence.”

So on Tuesday, the entire Robin Hood staff ventured outside to Union Square to witness one of the greatest flash mobs in history. And thankfully, it went off without the wardrobe malfunction!

Grandma and Grandpa – you’re next!

The Weekend Update

Middle School was one of the best times of my life. To this day, I claim that my culminating year, 8th grade, was the best year of my life. Clearly Matt doesn’t appreciate this comment since I didn’t meet him until Freshman year of High School. I have a lot of memories of dances, field hockey games, class officer meetings and of course, Mount Cardigan. However, one strange memory seems to sick out in my mind.

My middle school French teacher, Madame Meyers, had a poster of Val Kilmer hanging behind her desk in her classroom. While I never quiet understood her obsession with him (he seemed OLD!) I certainly found her stories entertaining. Madame Meyers would talk about how her son was going to be a famous actor some day and he would introduce her to Val. As much as I liked Madame Meyers, at the age of 12, I was wise enough to know that not everyone who says they want to be an actor, actually becomes one. Honestly, who grows up in Bedford, NH attends Manchester High School West, and goes on to become a famous actor? Well apparently, Madame Meyers’ son – Seth Meyers actor and lead writer on Saturday Night Live.

So my tribute to Madame Meyers and her unwavering support of her son, is my version of the weekend update (minus all of the really funny jokes).

While I did not accomplish everything on my To Do List, I had a good weekend and I started off with amazing productivity.

1. After work on Friday, I went uptown and taught a swimming lesson to two of my favorite 11 and 12 year olds. I essentially turned them into Olympic caliber swimmers in the span of 1 hour.

2. When I got home from my lesson, Matt was taking a nap (he had to wake up at 3:30am Friday morning) so I took the opportunity to finish the apron I had started to make earlier in the week. I based my pattern off of the apron that they sell at William Sonoma. I have to admit, I even impressed myself with the final outcome. Let me know if you think this is good enough to start making these and selling them on Etsy.

3. On Saturday, Matt and I banged out a 50 mile bike ride to Piermont and back. We stopped for brunch at the half way point, which was a great idea, until we started biking home (which is 99% uphill) and the french toast I thought looked so good on the menu, didn’t feel so good in my stomach. We even out-did ourselves with a 2.5 mile run immediately following the bike. Matt is doing the NYC triathlon in July and had a moment of sheer panic when he realized this was less than 2 months away. He felt pretty good about completing his first “brick” of the year, until he work up the next morning and felt the pain in his legs!

4. Saturday night we went out to long Long Island to see a band that we were considering for our wedding. Not only did we love the band, but when we were talking to the lead singer afterwards and he asked us where our wedding was, and we responded by saying outside of Boston, he whispered “Don’t tell anyone but…” and rolled up his sleeve to reveal a sick Boston Red Sox tattoo. I was pretty much sold at that point.

In addition to seeing a great band and FINALLY going out to a bar with my sister, I had my own Jersey Shore experience. Let’s just say, Long Island isn’t far from Jerz and the stereotypes hold true there as well. The bar had multiple flat screen tvs playing ultimate fighting the entire night. Honestly, the owners of the bar should know that these guys don’t need anything else to get their testosterone firing… They were more fired up by the fighting than by the band or the girls. Not sure if that is more of a statement on the guys or the girls….

After that my weekend fell off track a little. I convinced Matt that he didn’t really need to watch Tropic Thunder and we could send it back so that it would stop clogging up our Netflix queue (score one for Molly). unfortunately, Matt decided that instead of waiting for the next movie to come, he would just watch it on demand (negative score for Molly?). So now, as I write my blog (at my new desk!) he is watching a lame movie that Howard Stern suggested. I bet you can all guess how much I am enjoying that!

While I like making To-DoLists, and I LOVE crossing things off of them, sometimes life doesn’t always follow a plan. Sometimes, your lists are long, your time is short and you just can’t find enough time to get everything done. However, the beauty of life is that it goes on. The Container Store will be there next weekend. I can take a personal day this week to help Abby paint her apartment. And living in New York City, you don’t need to have food in your refrigerator – there is ALWAYS a restaurant open and willing to deliver. You need to take time to do the things that aren’t on your To-Do-List; visit a friend and tell them you love them, belt out the lyrics to your favorite song when it comes on the radio, and dance as you walk down the street. Never let yourself become to busy crossing things off your list to dance.

“She loved to dance and point her toes in any direction
And when she spun it stirred her soul
She caught herself in the mirrors that engulfed her life
She felt the rhythm connected to life
and the harmony of love
She’ll never stop dancing
The spotlight is her refuge”
-Trisha Bassi