Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A bad day for cupcakes

I was in Ohio for Christmas, staying with my sister Valerie. My Mom and Dad and Tina came too. One day we went to a town called Dublin to visit some old NJ friends. Tina is obsessed with knitting and asked them if they knew of a knitting store in Dublin. She figured since we were in farm country, there must be some local yarn around. They gave us directions to a place around the corner, but of course, we got lost and as we continued to drive around, we found this place. A new cupcake place to try! How perfect to find my obsession and Tina's obsession on the same block! So Tina and Mom went to check out the yarn, and Val and I went to check out the cupcakes.

We walked in and it smelled delicious and even though I had been eating non-stop for a few days, I got excited for a new cupcake adventure! We talked to the owner and found out that this was a new twist on cupcakes. You pick your bald cupcake (i.e. no frosting) then pick from several flavors of frosting that are sitting out and frost your own cupcake the way you want it, then pay by the ounce. Valerie loved this idea (she got Vanilla with half mint frosting and half raspberry frosting). That's too much work for me, so I chose one that was already frosted. (Vanilla/vanilla, of course.) I took one bite and realized immediately that it was MADE FROM A MIX!! I gave a bite to my mom, just to see what she thought and she agreed. I didn't even have to work very hard to figure it out because I had just eaten a piece of cake that my sister made for my nephew's birthday that tasted exactly the same. (Yes, from a mix, which is just the way I would have done it... but it's not acceptable when you are selling cupcakes for $2 each. Val decorated Thomas' cake and it was super cute... I'll add a picture of it later!)

After cupcakes, we walked down the block to the yarn store and Tina was also disappointed that she couldn't find local yarn, so she settled for Italian yarn. Typical! It was a bust all the way around. Except for the chocolate we bought at our friends' place, which was the real reason we went to Dublin in the first place.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah

For those of you who, like me, are going through Daily Show withdrawals, here's a little something to tide you over.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

30 Rock quote of the week -- Christmas episode

A great episode. It even had the requisite tender moments in the end between Jack and his mom, so that everyone knows that the Christmas spirit lives on! A notable quote from Kenneth:

I don't believe people would do that. This is a religious holiday. When has religion caused any trouble?

Another notable quote from Blond Actress after being told she would have to work on Christmas:

Christmas is a sacred time for me and my surrogate family. So if you are willing to look four 25 year old gay guys in the eyes and tell them we are not going to see New Kids on the Block at the Borgata, be my guest!

Yes, these two quotes show the normal cynicism of the show... but remember, there was this moment between Jack and his mom! All is forgiven.


The Office quote of the week -- Christmas episode

The quote from this week goes to Dwight. First of all, I love that he bought out all the dolls and sold them off for $200 each. Dwight is obviously an idiot.... but not as dumb as people that would pay $200 for some stupid doll. (Yes, I realize this is TV, but we all know it happens in real life.)

I also loved this:



The official quote of the week: In the Shrute family, we believe in a five-fingered intervention. Awareness, education, control, acceptance, and punching.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What comes after the Finale?

you know how sometimes there are movies and then there's a sequel and more sequels and just when you think it's the end, Rocky 6 and a new Rambo movie are released in the same year?


Back in October, I reported that my tomato plant had yielded it's last piece of fruit, but guess what? I just picked one today on December 9!! I pulled the plant in off of my fire escape when it started to get cold and that thing is DEAD. But all of a sudden, a little green branch sprung up from the dead one, and then I noticed a flower on it. Although I was getting ready to get rid of the thing all together, I decided I should wait and see what happens. Well, this is what happened.

Then two weeks ago, I noticed another little green branch springing up. I don't even water this thing anymore. I would really like to get this eye sore out of my apartment, but isn't that biting the hand that feeds you?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Office quote of the week -- 12/4

Hank, the security guy, said, "I like this chair. Offers good support. It is 'urkel-nomically' correct."

30 Rock quote of the week -- 12/4

Kenneth to Liz Lemon: Your landlord called. He said it's not the toilet. It's you.

Her response: His opinion.

This is especially relevant to me this week. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, I made a Thanksgiving dinner for about 5 people. I was washing dishes all day with no problem. Then after everyone left, I had about 3 more pans and all the serving dishes to do and about halfway through, the sink just stopped draining. I was determined to fix the problem myself and not call the super, but my attempts did not work and I had to call the super the next day. He did not get back to me until my second call on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he came up and tried the things I had already tried, and when that did not work, he called the plumber, who could not come until Friday. So that's a full week without a kitchen sink. Annoying, yes, but there are many worse problems in the world than washing dishes in the bathroom sink. However, when I came home from work/other things on Friday night, there was a note saying that I could still not use the kitchen sink. Whatever had plugged up my sink got pushed down to the first floor and now the other sinks in the building were backing up and he had to call the plumber in on a Saturday to fix the problem. When I ran into the super in the hallway Saturday afternoon, he said the problem was now fixed after laying a ton of guilt on me for ruining the pipes in the whole building. His assessment was that it was turkey grease. Okay, I said, I guess I'm guilty then.

Today, however, he just came to tell me that now the fourth floor is backing up and we can't use the sink again until the plumber can come back on Tuesday. Now, I really have to wonder. Could all of this be the problem of one 9 pound turkey? Especially when the pan I used to cook it in was one of those disposable ones that I disposed of instead of washing, as I have been known to do?

He said that 99% of the plumbing problems will be in the bathroom and then said, "You really have to be a genius to do this to a kitchen sink." Does this mean I'm a genius??

Thursday, December 4, 2008

movie reviews

I have seen three movies in the past week, so I thought I'd review them. (No, Twilight is not one of them.)

Australia was okay, but pretty disappointing on the whole. I think some people might see it just because they like Hugh Jackman. I've never really been on board with that one, although I do understand why people like him. So if that's all you care about, go see it because he looks great. I think that Baz Luhrman was going for something here, but he tried too hard and missed the mark. If you like shots of Hugh Jackman standing, the wind in his hair, swelling music and dramatic Australian desert in the background, this is the movie for you. If you like similar shots of Nicole Kidman, again, this movie is for you.

Slumdog Millionaire was very good. A little too violent for my taste, but not your usual Hollywood cliche. Plus, poor orphans in India. Right up my alley. There was also a preview for The Wrestler, which I have to admit, I might actually see.

Four Christmases. I am not always a fan of holiday movies but I was expecting to like this movie, but I looooved it! It was the perfect vehicle for Vince Vaughn. I like him a lot, but I refuse to see him in anything co-starring Owen Wilson, so I don't get to see very many of his movies. I'm going to quote Owen Gleiberman from EW:

It's a pleasure to see Vaughn play an actual character — a nervous motormouth who speaks in loop-the-loop sentences he uses to talk himself into things.

Also, you'd think that celebrating Christmas four times would get old and tired for the viewer, but finally here is a movie that does it right! It is exactly an hour and a half, which is what comedies should be. I thought it was hilarious and can even recommend it to my mom.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's what I did:



As we emerged from the show, Leolani, after witnessing her first JM performance, said, "I totally get it now." So that was cool.

But today, Jill was teasing me for having a deck of Local-83 playing cards. Which I guess I deserve.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Whoopie pies come to the Union Sq. Farmer's Market


... and I am in trouble!! The ones on the right are pumpkin with raisins. I love love love pumpkin whoopies, but with raisins? No danger there! The traditional chocolate ones were delish, although much smaller than the ones I had in New England in the spring/summer. (is that good or bad?)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

30 Rock quote of the week -- 11/20

There were a few to choose from, but I'm gonna have to go with one from Liz in the opening, after Steve Martin asks the dinner party attendees for a good cupcake place in Manhattan.

"MacEnroe. Give me a break. I'm on it."

Plus, another Springsteen reference... cupcakes and Springsteen in the same episode. Uncle!

The Office quote of the week -- 11/20

The return of Toby! How much do I love that sad sack??

Tonight's quote comes from Michael again, when contemplating framing Toby

"It seems awfully mean. But sometimes, the ends justify the mean."

Also, could Jim be any cuter? He could try, but he would not be successful.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Is it just me....

...or are the movies out now really lame? This is supposed to be the best time to go to the movies! The one I was most excited for was Synechoche, New York because I thought it looked really interesting and I love Charlie Kaufman movies. When the reviews came out and were anything but positive, I was disappointed, but I thought with my expectations lowered, maybe I'd still like it. No dice. It was long, incoherent and weird (and not in a good way). The best part of the movie was the trailer for Doubt, which is now the one I'm most excited for. Rent a much better Charlie Kaufman film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind instead, or borrow my DVD.



Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Office quote of the week -- 11/13

I loved this episode because Michael was acting just how I would act if I ever had a business trip. Since the furthest I ever go for work is the Bronx, the thought of taking a plane, staying in a hotel and getting a per diem would make me ridiculous and giddy like him. There is just something so grown-up about taking a business trip! Also, the business with the concierge made me so nervous, it was as painful and nerve wracking as watching the British version of "The Office." (That is the highest praise I can give this show.)

The quote of the week goes to Pam: I know you said to come back the right way, but you can't tell me what to do.

30 Rock quote of the week -- 11/13

I had high expectations for Jennifer Aniston, and the thought of a "Night Court" reunion to get the ending to the series that Kenneth wanted is hilarious, but I thought the episode was a little disappointing. Except Jen looked fabulous, especially in that flesh colored dress. I did love that she had her own jewelry-making business, followed by the hat-making business (how hilarious was Jack in that top hat??). The only thing more cliche is a handbag-making business. It also inspired this quote, by Blond Actress:

Every time I wear her homemade necklaces, birds attack me.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FNL season 3

it's on! If you have DirecTV, which I now do. If you don't, you can (and should) watch in February on NBC.


The Office quote of the week -- 11/6

Michael to Kelly, after discovering that they both host parties that no one likes to attend: I can't tell you how much leftover guacamole I've ended up eating over the years.

30 Rock quote of the week -- 11/6

I loved it that Liz kept her residency in Illinois so that she could vote in a swing state. After moving to NY, I continued to vote in NJ for the same reason! (thinking back, is it possible that NJ was a swing state in 2000?) I am registered in NY now that no Dickersons live in Jersey anymore. *sniff*

I think you know what's coming...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dance Dance Revolution

I haven't done my quotes of the week yet, so enjoy this in the meantime. I am not necessarily endorsing this film, since I haven't seen it, but I have watched these dance steps about 100 times.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election results

I know it's no secret who I supported in this election. It should be no surprise that I am very excited today. That being said, I thought both speeches last night were inspiring and I hope are a first step to help to bring the country together. Although there are lots of problems facing us, I think a very big one is that we are so divided and I hope that changes.

Yesterday, waiting in line to vote, I was so giddy, I introduced myself to my neighbor who I recognized because I can see right into her kitchen window, even though I sounded vaguely like a stalker/voyeur. Luckily, she must have been in a good mood, too, because she complimented my window blinds and invited me for dinner, instead of threatening to take out a restraining order.

Last night, I watched the returns come in at a friend's apartment. As I was walking home, there were people on the streets and out on their fire escapes cheering and clapping. The energy around this election has been so fun for me to watch. Here are two examples. One is from one of my cupcake places, who I guess wanted to keep a bit of a neutral stance.


The other one is from one of our beloved hot dog places here in the city, which is clearly not very neutral.





However, they are also patriotic and clearly want to help the ecomony along.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Marathon

Yesterday was the NYC Marathon. No, I didn't run it. Do I look like I could run for five hours? What I did was go to a movie Saturday night and on the way home, saw a bunch of people carrying Barilla pasta bags. I just had to ask why everyone was carrying these bags, and they told me that they had just attended the annual pasta dinner the evening before the marathon. Of course. Two of the people we talked to were running it and the other two came from Iowa to support the runners. We chatted for a few minutes until the train came, and as soon as we got on, Jason and I started laughing at ourselves because we both had the desire to say, "See, we're two nice New Yorkers! Go back to Iowa and tell everyone that city people are good people, too!"

Do you think I have a bit of a complex?

Here are some cool pictures of the marathon, though.





Saturday, November 1, 2008

30 Rock quote of the week -- 10/30

I didn't have high hopes for the season premiere, because I heard somewhere that it was only okay and that the second episode returns "30 Rock" to its greatness. But I thought it was a perfect episode!! Here are the things I loved about this episode:

1. Do over!
2. Social workers are always portrayed as humorless and crazy on TV.
3. The soap opera parallel -- and near kiss by Jack and Liz.
4. The return of Devin (although when they first said his name I didn't know who they were talking about. Will I ever stop thinking of him as GOB?)

I have a few quotes that I liked. One is about politics, one is about sex, both of which can offend readers of this blog. So I'll do one of each.

From Jack, which I will dedicate to my niece, who apparantly loves Darth Vader:
I'm not at liberty to discuss that. That information is classified, at least until Cheney dies, which is going to be a long time from now. That man is mostly metal.

And in the first 90 seconds, a John Mayer reference! From Devin: The only thing Kathy and I need assistance with is deciding which John Mayer song to do it to!

Last week, "The Office" had a Bruce Springsteen quote, this week "30 Rock" had a JM quote. It's like they know me personally.

The Office quote of the week -- 10/30

I haven't been so into "The Office" this season, but this was a stellar episode. Things I loved about it:
1. Costumes at work. Three Jokers! It definitely reflected the crowds I saw last night at the Halloween parade.
2. The relationship between Michael and Holly went through all relationship phases in the span of a seven hour car ride.
3. Going from loving a roadtrip ("life is a highway" the first time) to beligerency ("life is a highway" the fourth time).
4. The conflict between Andy and Dwight (all of it hilarious) culminating in this exchange




Quote of the week belongs to Michael, as he speaks to a crying Holly: Here is my wish. I want you to meet a great guy and I want you to be happy.... My wish has come true, incidentally, because you've met me and you are happy.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The reason is...

I didn't want to say so yesterday because I didn't want to jinx it...

While I was debating if I should go to LA for the concert, I discussed it with Heidi and she made the point that I should not spend the money, but save it for another trip. Her rationale is that I've seen JM several times, why go again? Although, that argument doesn't work with me, I decided that she was right that I could save the money and apply it to something else. After all, I did see JM in August, Anne Lise (my friend in Cali that I would be staying with) in February and I have been dying to take a fun trip since Jill and LT went to Tuscany in the spring and I had to stay home and work. Plus, he won't really be playing new material because he hasn't put out a new album in two years. (I'm sure he will be recording again, soon, if he can stay out of the clubs.)

After I logged on to the fan website and found that the tickets were sold out sometime between 1 and 1:11, I decided that my decision was made for me and felt good about it. Then that night, I was invited to go to Rome for New Year's Eve! I got more details yesterday and bought my ticket this morning. So now I'm really glad that I decided not to go to CA and I'm super excited to go to Italy again after 18 years.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Urban Garden -- the finale


This morning, I picked the last four tomatoes off one of my plants to let them ripen on my counter. The other one (red) I picked a week ago from the other plant. So, here's my bumper crop of tomatoes! The total, I think, was 10 tomatoes. I'm not sure it was worth it. I had this vision of being able to make lots of good stuff and also give tons away, like my mom always did. I did give two away, but I really only got one tomato at a time. Now I have to figure out what to do with the dirt. It seems like something I should return to the earth instead of just dumping in the garbage, but that means hauling it to Ft. Tryon park. Any suggestions?

Am I going?


Monday, October 27, 2008

Real America vs. Fake America

As you can imagine, the business about "real America is in the small towns" irks me. Here is The Daily Show's answer to all that.





Just in case you are wondering where I fit in with this little clip... when Rob Riggle says "this is the gayest part of the city" they are driving through the part of town where I've been working for the past four years. In fact, I was at Gourmet Garage for lunch and worked out at the NYSC right above it today! Unfortunately, they did not show anything about the neighborhood where I live. Too far from everything.

Ah... New York!!

The Central Park






Last week, my friend Milena came to town -- a brief detour from her visit in Connecticut. I met her and her kids in Central park and had a little picnic with street vendor hotdogs and pretzels and "Nuts 4 Nuts". This is the most beautiful place in the fall!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Office quote of the week -- 10/23

Well, I have two.

After Andy bids $250 on a hug from Phyllis, and Angela asks, "What are you doing?" Andy says, "I need a hug. Unless you're gonna give me one."

The other one, you might be able to guess.

Daryl said, "Mike gave me a list of his top ten Springsteen songs. Three of them were Huey Lewis and the News, one was Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car," and my personal favorite, "Short People."

Okay, I like Bruce Springsteen! Sue me!

SNL quote of the week

First, I've got to ask, How awesome is it that Will Ferrell came back as Bush?? So here's the quote, but the skit was so great, you should watch the whole thing.

GWB: That one's on me. Four months ago, I declared the Oval Office a bummer-free zone.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Nine


I have been meaning to post about this amazing book I read recently. I remember that it was one of the top non-fiction books of 2007, so I put it in my library list, but then didn't really remember what it was. So when I got it from the library, I thought, "I wonder why I chose to read this book." Then I started reading it and I honestly couldn't put it down. When author Jeffrey Toobin got to the part where the Supreme Court got involved in the 2000 presidential election, I couldn't put it down, even though I already knew what happened! If you talked to me in the past month or two, I am sure I have referenced it in the conversation somewhere. I learned so much about the Supreme Court and the justices (some of whom I knew a little about, others whom I didn't even know their names). I have a new found respect for the job that they do and it's really amazing how much thought goes into their decisions.
Here is an excerpt, if you are interested.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stories in High Fidelity

This is an event I went to on Monday. It was pretty cool to hear two of the authors, Rob Sheffield and Chuck Klosterman, read their work because I have read their books and loved them! (thanks, Greg, for the recommendation for Sex, Drugs and Coco-puffs.) I expected CK to read from his new book, but he read from Coco-puffs, to the delight of everyone there. I didn't know the other authors, but enjoyed (some of) them immensely. I do enjoy listening to people talk about music and how music influences their lives. Sometimes, I kind of think that's weird, but then again, I can't be the only one since these guys obviously make a living writing about music.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More from Ohio

So, when I was visiting Val & the family, whenever the kids did something cute or funny, I took out my camera and tried to get them to replicate it, which never works. Then they just wanted to see themselves on my camera, so I spent a good portion of the weekend like this. They are not posing. They are smiling because they like what they see: themselves acting goofy!


But finally, I was able to get this. It took three days.

video

Working hard in the garden.



And as soon as the hose comes out to water the newly planted grass, someone sneaks in... she loves water!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Office quote of the week -- 10/16

Okay, so I didn't think there was a clear cut winner, so I'm open to suggestions, if you have one.
This is the best I could come up with (no offense to any pregnant people or previously pregnant people out there).

Stanley: I do not like pregnant women in my work space. They are always complaining. I have varicose veins, too. I have swollen ankles. I am constantly hungry. Don't think my nipples don't get sore, too. You think I don't need to know the fastest way to the hospital?

the outcome....

This case is over now, but I'm sure there are many more to come. Proof that our work is not done! Even so, one of our programs is closing and who knows how many more are coming.

Friday, October 17, 2008

NYF in the news

"Today in New York History" is one of my favorite features on local Time Warner channel NY1. On October 11, they featured my agency. You can watch here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cupcakes -- Columbus style

So, I was in Ohio over the weekend. I arrived around 10:00 am Saturday morning tried to be helpful working in Valerie's garden, but I was tired from waking up at 5 am and their dirt defeated me. Around 4:20 pm, we were talking about someplace to go for dinner (we were in Ohio and did not want Applebee's or Olive Garden, so the choices were quite limited) and then I remembered that the one thing I really wanted to do was try their cupcake place! So, Valerie casually goes to the computer, looked it up online and found that... gasp... the place closed at 5 pm and was closed Sunday and Monday and I was leaving on Tuesday morning. All of a sudden, we were in a mad dash to get kiddies in clothes and shoes and me in something that was not covered in Ohio dirt. We got to Pink Moon at around 4:50 -- just in time!

We were the last customers of the day. There were so many to choose from and they had a really beautiful set-up. Because I'm a purist, I chose the Vanilla/Vanilla. Because I'm greedy, I chose one more -- the pumpkin. I panicked when I saw the Vanilla/Vanilla plate was empty, but they reassured me that they had some in back and would frost them special for us. We decided to get a half-dozen (and yes, if you are doing the math, that means that the family got one each and I got TWO!) and paid for our booty. As he was in the back room processing the payment, I took out my camera and started taking pictures. When he came back in, I had to explain myself. Somehow, saying that I am from New York is a reasonable explanation for taking pictures of cupcakes (or empty cake plates, as it were). He said, "Oh, so you have to compare us to Magnolia.... and what's the other place?" I responded, "Buttercup?" He said, "No, that's not it." He asked his wife, and she couldn't think of it either. I started naming off bakeries, but as always, drew a blank under pressure and could only think of Crumb and Cupcake Cafe. (Actually, Valerie might have been the one to come up with Crumb. This is why I could never be on a game show.) Anyway, he told me that he had heard from someone recently that Magnolia was hyped up and that he thought that people only go there to say that they had been there. I gave him my usual spiel, which is that the problem with Magnolia is that they only have chocolate and vanilla and the chocolate is dry. However, if you like the vanilla cake, it is the best. Serioulsy. Last week, Leolani brought some home and I took one bite and said, "Yep, still the best." He said he wished that I would be back to tell him how they compared to Magnolia. I said I'd be back someday, but my sister could report back.



The report: goooood!! Some people say that the frosting of Magnolia is too sweet. I personally do not think so, obviously. The one thing I can say for certain between the Pink Moon cupcake and many others that I have tried is that the frosting is very buttery and not very sweet. That's not a bad thing. I thought it was delicious. Does it beat Magnolia? No, I still prefer the sweet. (pictured here from the bottom left: vanilla/vanilla, Pretty Pretty Princess [with a Hello Kitty ring], Superhero [with a Spiderman ring], Pumpkin, Lemon coconut, another vanilla/vanilla for Greg.)

Since they were closing, they decided to give us all the ones that were left! So in addition to these six, we got 8 or 9 more. If you look at the flavors page, you can see all the variations. We had all except the Buckeye and the Snickerdoodle. The flavors of the day were banana and lemon coconut. They were all so delicious, it was bonkers! I always like vanilla the best (does that say anything about me?), but a close second was the pumpkin and lemon coconut.

Near death experience

This past weekend was Columbus Day weekend, and I was trying to think of someplace to go. Kind of at the last minute, I found a cheap flight to Ohio, so I decided to visit my sister and her family. After I made the reservation, I was choosing my seats on the plane and realized I was taking a mini-plane there and an even smaller plane back. These little planes tend to make a lot of people nervous, including me sometimes because they tend to be a little more vulnerable to turbulence. That evening, I saw on the news that there was a plane crash and it kind of got in my head that my plane was going to crash, too. I can usually talk myself out of those kinds of crazy thoughts, but I did start to think about what poor soul would have to go through my stuff if I didn't make it back in one piece. I'll admit, though, that I did think about it on Saturday before I took off and again last night before my flight this morning, but that's it. I landed safe and sound at Laguardia and didn't even give it a thought....

Until I was on the M60 bus and this weird looking guy got on the bus. He kind of looked like that American guy that was part of Al Queda that was tried for treason... long hair, long beard, shifty eyes, etc. He got on the bus and did not have change so he tried to pay for the bus with dollar bills. The driver told him that he should ask the other passengers if anyone could make change. I took out my wallet because I knew I had a bunch of quarters, but instead of asking, he continued to seem puzzled and then said he would get off at the next stop. The driver dropped him off immediately instead of waiting for the next stop and instructed him to go in and get change. The guy got off the bus, but left his two large suitcases on the bus. Then the driver took off. I kind of thought he looked down and saw the suitcases, but apparently he didn't because he just kept on driving. This is when I started thinking my premonition had been right after all and I was going to die--just not on the plane but on the bus when these two suitcases exploded. I waited for a second and then went to tell the driver that Shifty Eyes left his suitcases on the bus. The driver decided he'd drive in a circle, back to the airport, to see if he could find the guy. People agreed with him that this was the only thing he could do, and I just kept watching the bags, waiting for them to explode.

We almost made the entire loop back to the airport and as we did so, the driver saw the guy. I have no idea what he was thinking when he found that the bus and all his belongings were gone, but apparently, he decided to just walk away because he was all the way on the other side of the airport. (Like, if we were driving east, he was walking west.) The driver pulled over and jumped out and was gone for a loooong time. They got back on the bus, and Shifty Eyes still did not have change, so I gave him a few quarters and another woman gave him some change. Just then he said he was trying to get to the 7 train, and the driver told him he was on the wrong bus and dropped him off again .

Not exactly a near-death experience but if you hear about a #48 bus exploding in Queens, you will know that that could have been me!

...Wait... do you think the dollar bill he gave me could have been laced with Antrax?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

SNL quote of the week

The Office -- quote of the week 10/9

Jim, talking about Battlestar Gallactica, in order to make Dwight go completely mental: "The story is kind of bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledor Calrissian. He has to restore a ring back to Mordor."

Andy, giving the perfect response, even though he's not in on the joke: "That doesn't sound right."

Goal: Achieved. Dwight: Mental.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

star sightings

I thought I was having a good day yesterday for star sightings when I saw Catherine Keener in the morning and Paul Rudd in the afternoon... but then I got home and found out my roommate actually talked to Michelle Obama! Does she qualify as a star? She is a star in my book!

Since she is not allowed to take pictures with guests, something about professionalism or something, I'll post the next best thing. An interview with Jon Stewart.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tagged

My mom tagged me. Since she did this with her bandaged-up hand, I decided that I'd humor her and do it, too.

The Rules:
Link the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules on your blog
Tell 6 quirks of yours.
Tag 6 fellow bloggers to do the same.
Leave comment to let them know.

All right... we are limited to just six quirks?? This is gonna be hard!

1. I eat a snack at about 3:00 pm every afternoon, even if I just ate lunch. You can practically set your watch to it.

2. I am a really good speller. I have always been the type of person that can spell something after seeing it written just once. However, after learning Norwegian, which has some different rules, I find myself saying things to myself, like, "I before E except after C" which I never did before 1992.


3. I watch some bad reality shows and think, "This is terrible, why am I watching this? These people are idiots and I am such a loser for watching them in their pathetic lives!... Wait, a cliff hanger! I have to program this on my DVR for next week." And then I'm hooked. Case in point: The Hills. (It's on tonight! yay!!)


4. I talk about TV characters like they are real people. For example, last week someone said, after watching the Biden/Palin debate, "We want to go to Scranton and check it out to see if it's really like Biden says." My response was to say, "Just watch 'The Office.'"

5. This isn't that quirky, because people used to do the same thing for The Grateful Dead and Phish, but I've seen John Mayer perform in 8 different states and 2 countries.

6. I post pictures of myself with someone else's Emmy and pretend it's mine for writing for "The Daily Show". And for "30 Rock". (Hey, why not both?) But not for acting, because even in pretend, I know I couldn't do that!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Emmy

I would like to thank the Academy for this award. I'd like to thank my family and friends and especially the fans!

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's time...

...to post another link to Stuff White People Like. Frisbee sports. Seriously. How white is this sport?? But, I also love this post because Ultimate Frisbee was "invented" at my alma mater, Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ. And, as you know, I love all things NJ. Except, I guess, frisbee sports. It's also a favorite sport of people that ever attended the Manhattan Third Ward. People from that ward used to (and maybe still do) go to Central Park on Saturday mornings to play. I would never be caught dead there. Another reason that I did not get along very well in that ward. Here's an example...

Years ago, before the Boston temple was dedicated, they were giving tours to the public and thought that people from NYC should also join in that fun. I decided to be dutiful, so I went along. I got there and was told that my job would be directing traffic in the parking lot. If I had been told that before I got there, I would not have worn a skirt and heels, but I guess it's an important job and I did it for several hours. That night, some people wanted to stay over in Boston and some wanted to go back that night. I was flexible, as I often am, so I said if they needed me to stay I would. If they wanted me to go back that night, I would, depending on space in the car. As luck would have it, they needed me to stay. So at 11:00pm the wonderful people that "planned" this outing were calling people from a cell phone in the parking lot, looking for places for us to stay. This is when I started cursing my flexibility. I was under the impression that this had been taken care of before we even left New York. So, I don't quite remember how it happened, but I got dropped off at a single member's home and said, "What's happening in the morning?" I figured, we're in Boston, it was my first time being in Boston since I was 11, therefore, we should make the most of it. The driver's response? "We're going to the park to play frisbee in the morning." WHAT?????????? Then, of course, I really cursed my flexibility, and decided that I was no longer going to be so flexible. I have never been on an outing like this again. Oh yeah, and they almost left me in Boston because people didn't even know where I was.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Office quote of the week --9/25

Yeah! New episodes!! (don't read on if you haven't seen it yet)

The quote of the week actually goes to my sister, Jill, and here's why:
She texted me after the show and told me that her work is doing a biggest loser contest, like the Dunder Mifflin employees. I responded, "But not everyone on one scale, right?" I figured since she does not work in a place that has a warehouse in the basement, that couldn't possibly be happening. She replied, "yes, a pig scale. I can't make these things up." So, congratulations, Jill. You have the quote of the week, and someday, I hope you get your own sitcom! You clearly have lots of material to draw from.

The runner up comes from Pam. After Jim asks her what she was doing, she responded, "Lunch with a girl from my hall, ceramics class, then dinner by myself. I'm gonna watch HGTV, then maybe go to Bungalow 8 with John Mayer." This is the second time they have given a shout-out to my boyfriend! The first time being when they sang "Your Body is a Wonderland" for karaoke night. I tried to find the clip to add here, but since I couldn't find it, I'm using this one instead because Olivia Newton-John is a close second to John Mayer. (I think this is from next week's show.)


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Emmy Awards

This was the highlight of the night.




Plus "Mad Men" and "30 Rock" both won! and of course, Tina Fey for acting and writing. yeah!!

Rhode Island

On Saturday, I drove up to Providence RI with friends Kathy and Lynn. On the way, we stopped in CT for lunch and this particular rest stop had a large dessert/pastry/baked goods display with... Whoopie Pies!! My response to that was to say, "Whoopie! I'm back in New England!" After hearing me praise the whoopie pie after my last trip to New England, Kathy and Lynn thought they would partake.


Once we got to RI, we started seeing vegetable stands off the side of the road and we decided to stop and get some fresh fruits and vegetables (macouns are in season, people!). We had our eye out for more, but then we saw this sign:






Lynn almost got into an accident when I yelled "Pull over!" but she did it anyway. I jumped out of the car and found a small table off the side of the road, with a cooler underneath containing whoopie pies, and this high-tech method of obtaining the payments.


They had pumpkin and original chocolate (pictured here), and I wanted one of each, but only had a few ones and a $20, and did not think the tackle box was going to make change for me. So I just got the pumpkin. When Kathy and Lynn heard that they had pumpkin flavor, they decided they, too, needed a second whoopie pie.


After that, we drove up to Newport and drove past the mansions but since we didn't have time to go into them, started making plans to return someday soon. Then we drove back to Providence for the FireWater art installation.

Here we are in Newport




Basking in the light of the fire in Providence

Monday, September 22, 2008

Forever Strong

Last week, I came home from work and Leolani asked me if I wanted to go to a free movie on Thursday. My answer to that is always "Yes" and sometimes I get more information, sometimes I don't. In this case, the only other information that I got was that another friend, Jodi, got free passes for some movie that may or may not have a religious theme, but was definitely directed or produced or both by someone related to her in some way. I may have had more precise information, but didn't pay enough attention because, you know, I love movies. And it was free.

So, on Thursday I got an email from Leolani with the information about where the movie was playing. Later, she emailed me that she was going to get dolled up because the stars of the movie were going to be there... and one of the stars was the cute guy from Gossip Girl. Still, I didn't think too much about it, but when I got there and saw that people were kind of dressed up and I was dressed like a social worker, I started to feel a little embarrassed. Then we went inside and I saw that the theater was just a small screening room and there was not quite a red carpet, but there were photographers there. We took a picture there, but I'm not posting it because I looked terrible. But I will post Jodi in a Paris Hilton pose (she's much cuter than Paris Hilton, don't you think?)






Here's the trailer:




Yes, we did see the stars... we saw the Gossip Girl guy (Penn Badgley), and Gary Cole, who will forever be the obnoxious boss in Office Space. We did not see Sean Astin, who will forever be Rudy! The movie was good, but the best part was free Diet Cokes and free buckets of popcorn with bowls of M&M's that you could scoop into your popcorn.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Addendum

So, I watched the Encore of Fringe last night. Apparently, either I can't read or EW was wrong on the start date because it did actually premiere last week. I liked it, didn't love it, but it has potential and was good enough to add to my DVR list. I'm not so sure about Pacey, but loved the other main character. She has the potential to be as good as Jennifer Garner was on "Alias" but I'm not sure that the show has the potential to be as good as "Alias."

I also watched the Encore of Privileged last night on the recommendation of Anne Lise. I liked it and am very pleased to have a new teen-ager show to watch! Since "Gossip Girl" never thrilled me and I am not sure whether I can stomach "90210", I am happy that this one came along. I love the main character, Megan. I was trying to figure out where I know her from throughout the whole episode. After reading her bio, I found that she has been in a million things that I have heard of but never seen (e.g. Reba)... but then I found it! She was on "Party of Five" and "Freaks and Geeks", two of my favorite shows ever! I also liked one of Megan's love interests, who played Zach on the last teen-ager show that I watched, "The OC."

The fall season is under way!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What I really want to write about is...

... the craziness in the political world right now! Seriously, lipstick on a pig? This is making headlines??

Instead, I'm going to do my fall TV preview, which I know you are all dying to read. Last year, I had a very difficult time choosing shows because there were so many to choose from (most did not pan out). This year, I'm very pleased to say that there are few to watch. I am assuming this is because of the writer's strike so few new shows were created during this time (I think this also means that shows that weren't doing so well got a second chance that they may not have otherwise). This makes me happy because I am overwhelmed with work--I don't need to be overwhelmed with something that I'm supposed to enjoy.

So... First of all, I have to say that the best show on TV right now is "Mad Men." They just started their second season on AMC back in July, I believe, and thank goodness because there was nothing on this summer. Not even reruns of "30 Rock" which I would have watched every single week. Just before "Mad Men" season two premiered, they showed a marathon one Sunday afternoon into evening. Leolani and I watched 4 or 5 in a row that day and then I watched two a night until the premiere, which was on a Sunday night. If you are not watching, you can get season one on DVD. It is really good and those people are messed up!!

Okay, new shows:

I'll admit it, I recorded "90210." There! I said it! But then I asked Jill and she said it was terrible and Leolani gave me a look like, "are you kidding?" and then I remembered what a terrible love/hate thing I had with it in the first place that I decided to delete from my DVR and felt satisfied with that choice. Then... Leolani said she liked it and I heard that it was getting good ratings and I do love Jessica Walter, and now what am I supposed to do? Help!



Okay, moving on...
Paging through EW, I get all the way to Tuesday before there is a show for me!

Fringe -- a show by JJ Abrams that is being compared to "X-Files" and "Alias" and "Twilight Zone." I have to give it a shot, although I'm only mildly interested. It says in EW that it's not supposed to start until Sept. 19 but it might have started last night. I turned it on in the middle of a car chase and couldn't keep myself interested long enough to watch the end of the car chase. Now that I have DVR, I can't stand to watch shows in the middle and I can't stand to watch commercials.
The Mentalist --appears slightly interesting, I like the lead actor, but it is likely not going to make it into the rotation.
Gary Unmarried -- could be painful, but I like Jay Mohr. It's on the same time as ANTM and Pushing Daisies, so we'll see.
Life on Mars -- another one I might try out but not really thrilling me.
Kath & Kim -- looks funny and I love Molly Shannon!
Returning shows I'm most excited for...
Friday Night Lights -- I'm so happy they are giving this show a chance! It's only on Direct TV from Oct. - Feb. and I am actually considering changing cable companies just for this show. I have seasons one and two on DVD if anyone wants to catch up before the premiere on network TV in February.
And The Office and 30 Rock of course, so look for the quotes coming up on or around September 25!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Delicious or Disgusting? You decide

My friend, Heidi, whose job it is to think and talk about food all day, found this blog. You would never think that a Registered Dietician could look at this, forward it to me, and talk about making it herself, would you? But she does, and I think it's cool.

A bacon cheeseburger on a donut? It looks really good to me... am I completely crazy?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Waterfalls

on the way to Governor's Island, we also caught a glimpse of the Waterfalls exhibit. In the daylight, mostly you can just see the scaffolding. We'll see how they are in the evening some time. Here they are anyway...





Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I think that's a dis!

I talked to my nephew on the phone today and asked him how he likes Ohio -- they just moved about 3 weeks ago. He said, "Yes, I like it and I'm not coming back to New York. So you just have to go to the beach by yourself."

We both had a good laugh.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Governor's Island

What I love about living in New York is that I have lived here for 9 years and there are still things I have never done. This weekend I scratched one of those things off the list.

Jason and I took the free ferry over to Governor's Island. This is a little island between Manhattan and Brooklyn that used to be the residence for Coast Guard people, and before that Army people, and before that, it was British Army people before the Revolutionary War. (And, of course, before that, the American Indians.) The homes are all empty now, but are beautiful, old homes that were built in the 1800's and early 1900's. They have been empty since the Coast Guard left in 1996, but some have been restored and are open for touring. You can rent bikes or walk the island to explore. Jason and I decided we were going to just sneak in and live in one of the homes, and kayak to the "main island" every morning for work. Who would know?







We freaked out when we saw this library!



and the detail of this house...


Leave it to New Yorkers to find a little empty space and turn it into an art exhibit!








Friday, August 29, 2008

Recommendation

If you are going to see a Penelope Cruz movie, I highly recommend Elegy. (This trailer does not do it justice.)



Personally, I won't be seeing this one.

On a lighter note...


More cupcakes! (Sorry Lise!)


Someone got it right! I have never seen this blog before, but he even reviewed Amy's, which I think are some of the best in the city, if not the best, but most people don't pay attention to cupcakes from Amy's Bread.

Pictured here is the Yellow Daisy cupcake from Billy's, which is what I had on my birthday, so it's got to be good. And yes, the PB&J cupcake from Buttercup is really good--better than I had imagined.

I can check off most of these as ones I've tried, which is pretty good. The one I haven't tried is that chocolate souffle cupcake. They are located in my old neighborhood -- too bad they weren't there when I lived there.

One word...



Incredible!












Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sonya, LCSW

This happened to be posted on my birthday. I'm taking it as a sign. Of what, I don't know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pistachio Cupcakes: Believe the hype


I started my birthday celebration on Friday night after work with a cupcake. I have heard about the pistachio cupcakes at Sugar Sweet Sunshine a lot over the past few months. Although I had been to this beloved bakery a few times over the years, I had never indulged because I always want what I want, which is usually the yellow/buttercream cupcake. Since I rarely go to the LES, I just haven't had the chance to branch out much, until now. So I'm here to say: I can bear testimony that the pistachio cupcake (pictured here on the right) is delicious and worth all the praise. The one on the left is the pumpkin spice and is also quite delicious. And Sugar Sweet Sunshine cupcakes are still only $1.50, compared to Magnolia, which are up to $2.50.
Another reason I love Sugar Sweet Sunshine is that a few months ago, when my agency was doing our annual Celebration for the kids, they really came through for us. For as long as I have been involved (11 years) and probably many more than that, we have gotten our cake from a very well-known Italian bakery in the east Village. This year, they called the morning of the Celebration and said that they had been shut down by the health department and would not be able to deliver the cake. My co-workers scrambled and called SSS to see if they could help us out. They were able to make cupcakes for 100 people with just a few hours notice. They are heroes!!

That's Correct!

My last posting was about my decision to go see JM in Hartford, CT. We made the schlep to NJ to get the rental car, then we were stuck in traffic all the way on the Cross Bronx. We got lost in the suburbs of Hartford looking for a fabric store (this is what you do when you have access to a car for one day). The two things we planned to do in Hartford were to visit the Harriet Beecher Stowe house and the Mark Twain house -- but because of the traffic and getting lost, we were too late to visit the HBS house. We were still able to take a tour of the Mark Twain house, which was very interesting. The whole time I'm thinking, "Why do I do this for a concert? Why do I spend the money and the time for all this craziness?"

Then we went to the concert and said, "Totally worth it!" Then I woke up yesterday, the day of my actual birthday and said, "Why didn't I plan to go to Saratoga Springs to see him play there?" I'm just a junkie and I can't get enough!

It was a GREAT show! Definitely in the top five. We were sitting far enough to the left of the stage that we could see backstage and his parents were there. He dedicated "Stop this Train" to his parents, which he rarely plays, about getting older and the fear of losing parents. Before the show, Kathy and I made our wish list again. I think they were the same, but this time we decided to do our three choices of his songs and then instead of an alternate, we chose one cover song. We both chose "I'm on Fire", which he did not play. But he did play "Why Georgia" and "Belief" for me. He played all of Kathy's, "Why Georgia," "Gravity," and "Waiting on the World to Change." In the middle of the show, he did five songs in a row, all acoustic. I loved it! Then he switched gears and went into a blues number, "Mercy," which was about 10 minutes long (this link isn't from our show).

One more thing... I was excited to have my new camera to use at the show because it has a super zoom and I could get some great photos. However, because it's new and I'm not used to it, I didn't think about the fact that the battery might die (it did) and that it would run out of memory (it did). Even so, I got a few good shots.







Here are some photos of the two homes we visited. Did you know that HBS and Mark Twain were neighbors? Literally, they lived next door to each other.


Mark Twain's home (look at that great balcony -- right off of his writing/billiard's room)


And here's Harriet Beecher Stowe's house