ForneyLife

King Arthur in 3 inches of water

Posted in Entertainment, Life by Elizabeth on October 25, 2010

This weekend Mom graced DC with her presence.  We had a great time making some truffles, shopping around the MidCity area, and eating some yummy buttermilk pancakes.

Saturday evening Mom, Adam, Michael, and I had an early dinner at Filomena before heading into Crystal City, Virginia home to Synetic Theater.  This unique theater company does what it calls “physical theater”.  It is essentially a mix of modern dance, stage combat, and pantomime.  That’s right, there are no words.  Well, some performances have some dialog, but the majority of productions are about physical the physical interpretation and telling of stories.  Previous productions include Hamlet, to Faust, to Dante.

This production of King Arthur was fantastic.  Guinevere was a fierce warrior woman, Lancelot a big lug, and Arthur epitomized masculinity, at least when he was in possession of the sword. Either Merlin or Morgan le Fay or both were on stage at almost all times manipulating, observing, meddling.  The performance is stunning.  Oh – and the stage is covered in three inches of water.  Each battle, each dance, basically each time someone moved, water was splashing.  Those in the front rows wore ponchos.  Needless to say I will be heading back to Synetic as soon as possible for its next production.

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DC to NYC

Posted in Food, Life, Travel by Elizabeth on October 18, 2010

I hopped on the train last Friday afternoon and headed up to NYC to visit my old roomie, Laura.

Since I got on an early train, we were able to plan a dinner for Friday night.  We enjoyed some wine at the bar before eating at The Red Cat.  The food is New American with a bit of a southern twist (all the rage these days).  The shrimp corn cakes came highly recommended by our waiter, and we could see why – they were delicious.  This app was easy to split.  We also ordered the sauteed cod and the grilled pork loin.  We both loved the cod but I’d have to say (and I can’t believe I’m going to) the pork dish didn’t need the pork on it.  Ah!!  All in all though it was an excellent meal.

Saturday was brunch at Good…it was good.  Ok I take that back, it was GREAT.  Its name does not do it justice.  If you go here for brunch, come hungry, the portions are large and their homemade breads are sinfully good (there’s that word again!).

Hey, we know that guy!

From there we headed to the Flatiron District to meet up with Steve.  We wandered into Union Square through the farmer’s market that had an amazing display.  I snatched up some local honey and we sampled some good old Pennsylvania sourdough pretzels.

Our next stop was Eataly.  The weekend crowd meant a bit of a wait to get into the actual store, and lots of people inside.  The selection was abundant and mouth watering.  Laura and I picked up some cheese and hot soppresata to enjoy later.  I grabbed some dried garbanzo beans after hearing they are basically incomparably better than canned beans.  I will soak and cook some later this week.  Steve’s basket slowly filled with the fixings of what looked like a delicious Italian meal: prosciutto, freshly made dried linguine, pasta sauce, and a crusty loaf of bread to top it off.  The sauce is worth going back for, so I hear.

Later that night Laura and I wandered through the newly renovated High Line, now a perfect oasis in the middle of the city.  It was a beautiful night for a walk.

Horseback Riding!

Posted in Life, Pictures by Sarah on October 10, 2010

This weekend, Meredith and I, along with Andy and Torre, took a short trip up to Tahoe for a fun fall adventure.  The adventure included horseback riding along the mountainside!  Horseback riding is something all of us had wanted to do before & was a first time for both me & Meredith.

Giddyup!

Luckily we had perfect weather and found a horseback riding place open for its last weekend of the season.   Each of our horses had a lot of character, though they were all very well-behaved.  Meredith rode on “Annie,” a sweet and friendly gal,  Torre got “Hazel,” an old and rather tentative horse (but the most beautiful), and Andy got “Ace,” who brought up the rear but wanted to be in the front.  My horse was named 3 (yes, the number), who wanted to be right behind the leader!  We rode up and down hills, through creeks and mud puddles, in a totally picturesque forest for about an hour.  It was incredibly beautiful and peaceful.  Though we were all a little saddle-sore the next day, we all agreed it was worth it!

The view from our room!

Kalb Report

Posted in Entertainment, Life by Elizabeth on September 22, 2010

Last night Adam and I went to the Kalb Report.  The show airs live on public television and radio. The topic of Tuesday’s program was “The Great Debates: The History and Future of U.S. Presidential Debates,” a commemoration of the 50 years that have passed since the first televised presidential debate.  The guests were Bob Schieffer, Sander Vanocur (who was there for the first televised presidential debate – and when I say there, I mean he is one of the journalists who queried Kennedy and Nixon), Mike McMurry, and Janet Brown.

The night was spent half reminiscing about previous debates, discussing the dynamic of two candidates and one moderator, and the future of journalism and how it will affect, if at all, future presidential debates.  The highlight of the discussion probably came when Sander Vanocur recalled Henry Wallace’s remark of Roosevelt who “was able to keep everyone’s balls in the air but his own”. The panelists all had great ideas about how the debates impact the election process and how the debates have changed within the last fifty years.

Checkout the webcast of the discussion. What do you think? One moderator or a panel of journalists? Are Youtube and Twitter reworking the edges of the format of these debates? When will the news be on our wristwatches?

Stories from the Betrothed

Posted in Life by Meredith on September 21, 2010
Hello!  This is Meredith, youngest sister in the D/L Forney clan and infrequent blog-poster.  I’ve been recently engaged to Andrew Kittle, my life partner and closest friend. 

we are awesome! and we come in lavendar scent too!

The story of our engagement spans over 4 years and involves Andrew proposing to me, then heart break, reconciliation, travel and adventures, and then me getting down on one knee.  We’re committed to our life together and have started planning a day to share the love with our family and friends (aka our wedding day)! 

We’d like our wedding to focus on the love and commitment we have, and sharing in a celebration with family and friends.  We love the old school weddings of our parents’ generation where you got married in someone’s backyard and then had the reception in the church basement and all the church ladies cooked dinner.  Can you say cheap and meaningful in the same sentence?  I can!  When working on a tight budget, and still wanting to have a party, a wedding like this seems like a fantabulous idea. 

Party on, Garth!

Think:  backyard barbeque meets a block party meets a steady flow of wine and beer meets outdoor games, and you’ve got yourself at our wedding.  Of course, we’ll have a ceremony to which we plan on inviting God.  We welcome His blessing and the blessing of our family and friends to continue on our journey as a couple. 
 
This will promptly be followed by sharing a meal, drinking spirits, and some good old fashioned horsing around.
We are trimming some of the traditional wedding things that aren’t so important to us in favor of saving for other life events.  It will be an informal affair to match our personalities. 
 
I’m thinking I’ll wear a short white dress and Andy will where a suit jacket.  Our wedding party will likely be asked to simply look nice. 
 
We’re going to Pittsburgh this weekend to check out some places we’re considering having the ceremony and the party.  Pittsburgh is known for being the Three Rivers City.  One idea is to get married at The Point – where the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River join to become the Ohio River.  Symbolism anyone?  Two becoming one?  Oh it’s so cheesey and delicious!!  There’s also Dad’s backyard, or the Fort Pitt Museum (love my Burgh history), or Phipps Conservatory amid the flowers. 
 
Wherever and whenever it ends up being, it’s going to be a lovely day.  I’d say that we can’t wait for it, but we really are living the good life already!  Our wedding is just another part of life’s path to be enjoyed.
 
This post brought to you by Sarah and Elizabeth who have been parched for wedding details.

Fall is (almost) Here!

Posted in Life, Pictures by Sarah on September 19, 2010

Fall is probably my favorite season and I’m excited to be welcoming in Fall this week (September 23rd).  Thought I’d share some recent Fall-inspired pictures with you!

Today I couldn’t resist buying some mums at the store as a way of saying, “Howdy, Autumn!”

Mums to Welcome Fall!

And earlier this week, Torre captured a very haunting but classic seasonal moment atop Nob Hill.

Fall night atop Nob Hill

Looming & Lit Up

Grace Cathedral Blanketed in Fog

How Do You Do Your To-Do?

Posted in House and Home, Life, Technology by Sarah on September 15, 2010

I Wish!

Last week I got a plea for help: I have a lot to do and need to keep it all organized, do you know of a good system?

This got me thinking about how I manage and maintain all of my daily, weekly, and monthly lists of To-Do’s. I realized just how much a well-thought out to-do management system can make me more effective and productive – and even help me find time to relax!

So how do you do your to-do? Some people use scratch pads or commercial To-Do notepads (I used to love these, pictured left).  Others use lots of post it notes stuck to the inside of their glasses case (you know who you are!).  Some write email reminders to themselves.  Still others go whole-hog and use comprehensive life-organizing systems like David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.”

Over the years, my own organizational system has changed and evolved. As my own methods change, I’ve found that the important thing is finding something that works for you.  Something that you know you can stick to.  For example, if you write emails to yourself but constantly disregard them, that’s probably a sign your current system is not working for you.

Don't be Forgetful Jones!

One easy solution for those on-the-go is using spreadsheets from Google Docs. You can create separate tabs for the different areas where you have things to do (work, home, school, bills, car, etc…).   Because Google Docs are “cloud-computing” based, you can get to your To Do lists from anywhere that has internet access, including your smartphone.  So if I suddenly remember I’ve got an errand to run while I’m heading to work, I can take a second and add that to my to-do list, wherever I am (and not risk being Forgetful Jones).

Other electronic-based solutions include apps like Remember the Milk or Simplenote.  The CEO of Twitter also recently tweeted his solution du jour: if you’ve got a camera-phone, take a picture of what you need to remember and save it as your phone’s wallpaper.  I’m a bit dubious of this one, but he at least gets points for creativity!

More traditional folks may prefer a planner, a big calendar or even color-coded index cards.

If you’ve found a solution that works for you, please do share!

Give & Get Time Again!

Posted in Fashionistas, Life by Sarah on August 26, 2010

It’s that time again!

Gap’s Give & Get Program starts today.

Now’s your opportunity to do a little shopping for yourself while doing a little good for others.

So go ahead…

Get that end-of-summer frock from Banana Republic, but feed the hungry while doing so. 

Eyeing a cute workout outfit from Athleta?

Splurge on yourself while supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The sale lasts through August 29th.

The charities supported also include Big Brother Big Sister, the World Wildlife Fund, and Teach for America

So get shoppin’ and get givin’!

Where’s that red pen?

Posted in Life by Elizabeth on August 20, 2010

A couple weeks ago, a few of us were chuckling (while vigorously nodding our heads) listening to Jeff Deck on NPR.  For all those wordsmiths, editors, and grammar lovers, Jeff Deck and his friend, Benjamin D. Herson, were a breath of fresh air.  They traveled the country with a sign editing kit correcting errors from misspellings to superfluous apostrophes.  They’ve published a book on the project that I plan on purchasing.  I have a feeling that reading about their corrections will somehow help me sleep better.  Though I’m sure their journey has not stopped with this book publication, I think it should be a message to us all – always have a red pen on hand.  This morning when I checked the weather on my weather website of choice, I was confronted with an advertisement that made me laugh.   Though writing “awk” on my computer screen does not do much good, it’s a start!

break out your checkbooks!

Living Social

Posted in Entertainment, Life, Technology by Sarah on August 16, 2010

Feeling social?  Check out  LivingSocial.com and sign up for their daily deals.

You don’t have to be an official socialite to join, you just have to like saving money and enjoying things around your city.  Sound like fun?  Yes it does.

Living Social provides you with a daily deal, offered through their site by a local business establishment.  Living Social deals are offered in just about every city we live in (Chicago, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Washington DC… San Jose coming soon!).  Usually the deal has to do with something social, but the specific deal or event in your city varies from day to day.

The deals cover the whole gamut, ranging from restaurants, salons and spas, to pottery-making, photography, golf lessons, and even horseback riding!  It’s a great resource to find a good deal and to learn about what’s going on in your own city!

I used it to get 55% off of pilates lessons at Mighty Pilates in San Francisco.  I had never taken a machine-based pilates class before, and had never heard of this pilates studio that recently opened.  But thanks to Living Social I am on my way to becoming an “intermediate” on the tower and the Allegro machine.  Sweet!

It’s also a great tool to learn about what’s going on in other people’s cities… and wonderful for gift ideas!

For example, Living Social told me about a cute little wine bar in Washington DC called Vinoteca.  I checked it out online and saw that they offered wine tasting classes.  When I realized that it was just a few blocks from Elizabeth & Adam’s place, voila!  Birthday present for Elizabeth!

So, sign up for the daily deal and get social!

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