Monday, March 31, 2008

You learn so much watching TV!

Also on Martha today, I learned that there is a blog called cupcakes take the cake. There's a lot of info on cupcakes. I admit, I enjoy eating cupcakes much more than I enjoy reading about them, but I figure it can be fun at times. They had a link to this article which talks about the cupcake bakeries springing up in Utah, so I figured I should share it with my peeps. If anyone goes to any of these places, please let me know how they are.

The three bloggers talked about their favorite cupcakes. One said she likes the chocolate peanut butter cupcake at Kumquat Cupcakery in Brooklyn and another said she likes the basic yellow cake/chocolate frosting version at Sugar Sweet Sunshine. (The third picked her own. whatever!) But MS said that they didn't even try cupcakes from either of these places in their diligent search for the best cupcakes. Sugar Sweet is pretty much up there with Billy's, and Kumquat I've never even heard of, so it's really shocking how many of these places there are these days. Two years ago, Esther and I had a dream that we would visit each one in the city. Of course, we didn't really get close to that dream, but now it seems even more daunting.


Today, I was at the gym at lunch time and was able to watch Martha Stewart's show, which I never do by choice and by necessity (since I have a job, and all). But as fortune would have it, today... she announced that this is day #1 of cupcake week. She will be talking cupcakes all week long. Today, she made some coconut cupcakes, which sounded delicious.

She will be featuring the best cupcakes from bakeries all over the country, and today, featured a bunch that she doesn't have time to feature, so she just gave them a shout-out. (one of these is in Denver and one is in Seattle, so I expect a full report, my sistahs!)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Stones

Have you heard of the new Scorcese documentary about the Rolling Stones? I watch that trailer just thinking, "How are these people still alive?" Considering the amount of drugs these guys must have taken throughout the years, not to mention the literally thousands of skanky groupies they have surely had sex with, it is really amazing to me that they are not dead. I don't know why I worry about the amount of Diet Coke I drink.

Miss Guided

A new show that I like is called "Miss Guided". Here's a quote from this week from the principal (played by Chris Parnell--formerly of SNL and never funny on that show but perfectly cast in this role) to the guidance counselor (played by Judy Greer, one of the best parts of "Arrested Development" and was unfortunately also in 27 Dresses, addressed in a previous post):
"Listen lady, it was your turn to throw a party and I've been eating celery sticks and laxatives for two days so I can hoover that cake."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another thing I wish I had thought of

Well, this blog is one I don't think I would ever be clever enough to do. But I wish my brother-in-law came up with it. He is clever enough. He's also the one that introduced me to it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

National Social Work Month

March is National Social Work month. How will you celebrate this very important occasion??

At work, they never really did anything to celebrate until recently. One year, we got a breakfast. The next year, they put up posters and gave us magnets (still on my office door). This year, we got a lunch AND a $100 Visa gift card! I know lots of people get lots of cool stuff through their work. We get pretty much nothing. Ever. For example, I celebrated my 10 year anniversary at this agency last summer and I got a vase engraved with the agency logo. So to get this gift card almost brought tears to my eyes. The truth is, I really love my job, love this agency despite many problems and don't necessarily expect much from them. But when I hear friends talk about things they get, (bonuses, trips, dinners out, free soda all day, etc.) I am always a tad jealous.

So, any suggestions on how to spend the money? So far, the director of my dept. suggested going to see something on Broadway.

Why didn't I think of this first?

This is a blog that I wish I had come up with. My favorite entries are the ones about dinner parties and gay friends.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Another person I love

My love for Michael Cera/George Michael is second only to this guy.

mac n cheese

I am a mac and cheese fanatic. There are two restaurants here that serve only variations of mac and cheese on their menu, with a salad thrown in for good measure. I went to the first, called , S'mac last summer. I decided to get a healthier version mac and cheese, which used low-fat cheese and vegetables. I wasn't so impressed, but decided to go back another time when I was feeling like eating full-fat cheese and zero vegetables. It's in the east Village, so needless to say, it hasn't happened yet.

The second mac and cheese restaurant opened some time later, and it is called Supermac. I had the address written on a post-it, stuck to the wall in my office for several months, until I figured I didn't really need the address because I have passed it a few times and could probably find it again. What I hadn't found was an occasion to go. Until yesterday. I work for a Catholic agency, and therefore get Good Friday off. I met a friend to go shopping and talked her into going to Supermac with me (it wasn't hard to do). We got two varieties to share. We decided, again, to be "good" and got the whole wheat pasta and low-fat cheese for the traditional mac and cheese. Then we got whole wheat pasta and full-fat cheese for a variation of Carbonara sauce, complete with Prociutto. I have to say, I wasn't impressed. I told my friend that maybe we should go back another time and get the "real" traditional with regular pasta and real cheese, but she reminded me that we had the full-fat version of the Carbonara and it wasn't that good. So that's that.

So, the thing is, I can't understand why all they do is mac and cheese, and it's just marginal, when other restaurants get it right as one of many things on the menu. Next time I want mac and cheese I will be going to one of my tried and true restaurants. (Someone tell me if I've forgotten one. And this is clearly not comprehensive, but reflects the areas of town that I spend most of my time.)

1. eatery (Hell's Kitchen)
2. Hudon cafeteria (Hell's Kitchen)
3. City Bakery (Chelsea) (also home of the best chocolate chip cookies ever. seriously)
4. Chat n Chew (Chelsea)
5. Vynl (Hell's Kitchen)
6. Cowgirl (West Village)
7. Good Enough to Eat (UWS)

When we were at the restaurant last night, we had a stop-and-chat with the people next to us and they told us their favorite mac and cheese place is Hill Country on 26th (dangerously close to the East side). Actually, they were saying they have great BBQ, but also have mac and cheese, and for me, it's all about the cheese!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

George Michael

I'm listening to the Juno soundtrack right now, and I just keep thinking about how much I love Michael Cera. Just seeing him in those shorts and that sweat band makes me smile.


Granted, I don't watch Fox News, but I do watch The Daily Show, which sometimes shows soundbites from Fox News. So, I was watching The Daily Show one night this week, and they were showing reactions from Obama's big speech on Tuesday. One of the geniuses on Fox said, "First of all, he was reading the speech from a teleprompter. And he didn't even read it that well." I don't know what the "second of all" was.... but it was probably just as inane. I think Fox people like the current president, who can barely put two words together, so to criticize someone else's reading ability is ludicrous. Not that you have to grade Obama on a curve compared to the current president, because really, he read it just fine. And if the worst thing you can say about a speech is that the person read it, it must have been pretty good. I printed it out and am looking forward to reading it myself on the way home from work.

I refer to The Daily Show as the fake news, but the scary thing is that some people think that Fox is the real news.

btw, yes, I'm an Obama supporter.

Friday, March 14, 2008

AC3: Three women, Ten quilts, Zero husbands

Another tale from Amish Country.

After we came home from the mud sale, we walked in with our bags of quilts. As I said earlier, I bought 4. Dawn bought 4 and Catherine bought 2. So there were a lot of bags. As we walked into the house, the adult son of the family we were staying with said something to the effect of, "Are you married? What would your husbands say about this quilt business?" To which I responded, "Nope, we're all single, so our money is our own."

The following day in their church (as reported by Catherine who went, while Dawn and I slept in), the son made a comment in Sunday school about how it is good for people to be married so that spouses can temper each other's spending habits. So, apparently, in our church we are pitied because we have failed to achieve the measure of our creation and in their church we are judged harshly for wanting to buy nice things. Which one would be the judgement of members of the true church? hmmmmm....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Eliot Spitzer

This week, we witnessed the downfall of another politician and elected official. Some thought he could be the first Jewish President of the US. Now he is inspiring headlines like: "HO NO!" "Eliot Mess" and "Pay for Luv Guv". But, my favorite was on one of the free papers this morning, the day after Spitzer resigned: "Out with a Bang."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Amish country part 2: A tale of 4 quilts

The big event of the weekend was a mud sale. In the spring, when things are warming up and everything is thawing out, thus making mud, they do a big auction to benefit the fire company in this particular town we stayed in. They actually do an auction in most of the towns in Lancaster County, but this one is supposed to be one of the best. At the sale, one area had farm equipment for sale, another area had tchotchkes, and the big draw.... quilts!

I went in with my yellow ticket, ready to do some bidding at my first-ever auction. I was immediately overwhelmed by the large crowd of people and the auctioneer talking so friggin' fast I had no idea what he was saying. I stood to the side for a while, thinking, "How do they know they want that particular quilt? How can he see the whole room at once? How do people know how much they are actually bidding?"

Finally, we found a seat and it was much more civil then. One quilt went up, and I thought, "That would go really well in my room." All of a sudden, my left hand with yellow ticket spontaneously went up. The auctioneer saw me! He confirmed my bid! Someone immediately out bid and he looked my way again. My hand went up again! He nodded subtly at me, then went higher. Someone else outbid me, so I did it again! What was I doing?? All of a sudden, he's looking at me and says, "Sold! for $100!" (In case you are wondering, this is a steal.) I just bought a hand-made quilt. What possessed me to do this? Whatever it was, it possessed me three more times because I bought three more quilts. One was only a baby quilt and I was able to justify this because, although I make quilts myself, this one went for such a low sum that I couldn't even buy the fabric for that much, let alone spend all the time to make it. The next one was just a quilt top that I will have to finish, but after that one, I decided to put my ticket away! I was finished! So I sat with my friends as they continued to bid and purchase beautiful, amazing quilts.

I was getting ready to leave after hours of this (literally) and went to the bathroom ( of course) and as I was waiting, I saw THE one! The quilt that I must have was waiting to be auctioned. I looked at the book of quilts, all listed in order, to see if I had time to go to the bathroom before it came up. I took a chance and waited in the bathroom line... and then returned to my seat and waited, and waited, waited... and just as I was ready to leave, Catherine said, "Wait! They just took it off the rack! It's moving to the table." It moved along the table in order, closer to the auctioneer. I took my yellow card out again and sat patiently. Up went the quilt... up went my hand. I fought it out a little with some other quilt lover, but in the end, I got this lovely, hand embroidered, hand quilted quilt for $95!!

Now you might be wondering, why do I need all these quilts? You may be saying to yourself, "That seems silly." You may even be thinking, "Wait, didn't she say in a previous post that she has too much stuff and is having trouble organizing it all?" The truth is, I don't, it is and I do. But I just got so caught up in the excitement of it all and the sheer joy of a bargain. It's a weakness, what can I say? (please don't tell my mom!)

Amish country.

Last weekend, I went with some friends to Pennsylvania. We stayed with a Mennonite family that were trying to convert us. We made sure to say that we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and not just that we are Mormons. My friends were able to impress them with their knowledge of the Bible, so maybe they won't think bad about the Mormons--instead they'll just feel sorry for us that we are deluded.

These are some photos of their farm and the surrounding area. I saw my first real live Amish people, and even ate dinner at an Amish family's home. While I was taking these photos, there was a goose under the bridge. I immediately thought it was a statue. Eventually, it moved, and I realized I've been living in the city for a really long time.

Have you ever eaten potatoes for every meal of the day? We had sliced home-style potatoes for breakfast, french fried style for lunch and mashed in brown butter for dinner. Turns out,
potatoes three times in one day works just fine for me!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

why I'm overwhelmed

These are all of the areas in my life in which I am behind:

  • Work. I have treatment summaries from December that I am still working on.
  • My student's work. She has treatment summaries from December that she is still working on and I have to help her because she doesn't know what she's doing.
  • Figuring out how I'm going to fit all my crap in my room. It started to really hit me that I moved into my bedroom 7 months ago now and I am still not really moved in.
  • TV. My DVR has stuff from the beginning of February that I still want to watch and haven't gotten around to. (interesting that I'm more behind at work than on TV.)
  • Books. I am in two bookclubs. I am halfway through one book and haven't started another. Plus, I took out a book from the library that I put on my list a year ago and my name finally came up last week, so I have to read that now or put it back on my list and wait another year.
  • Rolling Stone. I have a subscription and they come every week. I finally just finished the great article on Britney Spears from three weeks ago. I'm sure tons more has happened in her life since that article was written.

So why am I blogging right now? Good question.

What is your source of news?

Usually, my roommate gets home before me. She usually leaves before me in the morning, as well (in fact, sometimes before I am even out of bed). Last night, however, she came home way after I went to sleep and when I got up this morning, she was still getting ready. I asked her why she was so late, and she said that she had to work until 1am last night/this morning and therefore slept through her alarm. She was working late because today is another super Tuesday type day (not the Super Tuesday, but in the case of Hillary and Obama, probably more important than the real Super Tuesday). See, my roommate just got a new job working for Anderson Cooper, so this stuff has an effect on her job. So, while she left to work for her real news job, I was home, watching the fake news on "The Daily Show" which I DVR every day.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My best compliment

Two weeks ago, I was driving from NYC to Boston with my brother-in-law, and I don't remember exactly what we were talking about, but whatever it was, it ended with my usual declaration, which was, "I'm such a loser." Greg, in his best effort to make me feel better about myself, said, "Well, at least you floss." Which is true. I do floss everyday, so I can't be all bad.