Friday, June 27, 2008

Today show

This morning I was watching The Today Show and Coldplay was performing for their summer concert series. I love them! I heard from Leolani that this weekend is Youth Conference for our stake, and they woke the kids up at 5 am and took them to see the show. You know they only did it because the leaders wanted to go. I'm sure most of our youth aren't into Coldplay, although I guess you never know. Either way, I think it's a great idea for a Youth Conference.

It got me thinking about two years ago (can it really be that long ago?) that I saw John Mayer doing the same thing. Somehow I was standing next to the most annoying people to my left and the weirdest people to my right. The people to the left were obviously there to get on TV because the mom was talking on her cell phone the whole time saying, "Did you see us? I'm wearing a pink shirt, (input a kid's name) is wearing a green shirt, (input another kid's name) is wearing a blue shirt..." Then she started coming up with a strategy for getting on TV. "If we yell, 'We love you John!!' then we'll definitely get on TV!" Then when the camera came near them, they yelled their declaration of love for JM and then got back on the cell phone to see if anyone saw them. Annoying.... but nothing compared to the freak on the other side of me.

A man was holding up an autographed picture of Twisted Sister. Underneath the picture was another picture, but turned the opposite way. It was a headshot of himself. A lot of people clearly plan ahead for these concerts, getting the poster board, markers, glitter, what-have-you, ahead of time and write clever phrases to show off for the audience at home. However, this guy must not have planned ahead because he was using the back of his headshot in hopes of his 15 minutes of fame--clearly the only blank surface he could find. He had written on the back (in ballpoint pen, not a marker or something that people will actually be able to read on camera), "Twisted Sister: I am your Number One Fan. When are you putting out a new album? I want to play a song with you." Any time the camera came in his direction, he showed the TS picture and his sworn statement of loyalty to the camera just in case Dee Snider was watching JM's concert on The Today Show.

Seriously! Twisted Sister!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Opera in the park

This is one of the reasons I love living in New York. We went to see the Metropolitan Opera in Prospect Park Friday night and it was such a lovely evening. Even people that never go to operas would have loved this event -- or maybe especially people that never go to operas would love this event -- because they gave us the best parts and left out the boring parts. Veronique (front) staked us out this fabulous spot where we could see both the screens and the stage.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer concerts

Last Tuesday, I went to the Death Cab for Cutie concert at the McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn. "Death Cab" took on new meaning that night. (1) It was a HOT and humid day, so I arrived sweaty and in a marginally bad mood. (2) There were no bathrooms, and when I saw the porta-potties, got into a worse mood. I decided to use one before the show started because I figured it was only going to get worse as the night went on. (3) Then we sat on the hot cement until the show started, and after it started, stood on the hot cement. (4) An hour into the concert, the wind started blowing, stirring up a small dust storm which caused dirt and sand to get into our eyes and stuck to our skin. (5) A few minutes after that, they called the show off because of the impressive lightning storm coming in and the fact that the band was standing on a metal stage. (6) In addition to all of that, the lead singer had trouble with his guitar (seen in this video) and his mikes completely went out in a few of the songs.

After the early end of the show, we literally ran to the subway, hoping to get there before the rain started. We were about 2 blocks away when the skies opened, and the rain felt really good after the disgustingly hot day, but we still had a long subway ride home so we didn't want to get drenched. Good times!

Saturday night, we had a repeat performance, but this time it was REM at Jones Beach. Another outdoor venue, another hot day, another storm coming in. We sat through the two opening bands (The National and Modest Mouse) and watched the clouds rolling in. We started seeing lightning above our heads and I wondered what was going to happen this time... Well, this time lightning actually struck the building right behind us and they evacuated the venue. My friend saw the sparks fly, and another friend felt a little shock in her umbrella. They told us that the concert was not cancelled yet, so we should all go sit in our cars and listen to the radio to find out when the show would resume. But of course, we don't have a car, so we just went downstairs and waited it out with the hordes of other people. After an hour or so, we were told the concert was going to start around 10 pm, so we went to see if we could find some seats that were partially covered. In the end, we got to sit a lot closer and we were covered as it continued to rain the rest of the evening.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dessert truck

Walking around the West Village the other day with Heidi, we stumbled across the Dessert Truck. It's like an ice cream truck, but they have gourmet desserts.
Our choices were:
Goat cheese cheesecake
Vanilla Crème Brûlée
Molten chocolate cake
Pavlova (A meringue, crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, topped with fresh berries and cream)
Chocolate Mousse
And our choice... the chocolate bread pudding which is served warm and comes with choice of vanilla crème anglaise or bacon crème anglaise. We were intrigued by the idea of bacon crème anglaise, because really, it sounds disgusting. But the guy that worked there said it was his favorite dessert out of all of these choices, so we decided to go for it. It was delicious! I still don't get it because it was just a vanilla sauce.
Of course my first thought was, Why didn't I think of this?? It is such a good idea for a business. Maybe Jill will do it in Denver.


When JM announced tour dates a few months ago, I was disappointed that he was not playing on my birthday, since that is my # 1 choice of things to do ever, but especially on the most special day of the year. Or the most depressing day of the year, depending on your point of view. But then... last week he announced more dates and he is, in fact, going to perform on my birthday in Saratoga Springs, NY, which is the same place I saw him for my birthday two years ago. I'm so excited! I already have tickets for two shows here in the tri-state area and have exhausted my friend resource in people to accompany me. But, I thought I'd try to talk my friend, Heidi, into going with me anyway (she's going with me to Jones Beach on July 9). She said no. So the other night, we were hanging out and I said something about her ruining my birthday because she won't go with me. She did not miss a beat and said, "Are you sure you're not Jewish? You have the guilt down really well." Oh, she has so much to learn about Mormons!!

Media attention

Last night, I was at a Tonys party and one of the other party-goers said something about John Mayer "fake dating" Jennifer Aniston. Of course, this statement sent me over the edge and I asked her what she meant. She thinks he is in it for the publicity. Of course, I realize that I don't know him and I am sure I never will. However, I am quite certain that he's not dating someone just so that can be in the tabloids more. I mean, he actually has talent and doesn't need to get attention for things like who he is dating (unlike someone like Paris Hilton). Anyway, it got me thinking about this article I saw a few weeks ago which also touches on people's ideas of his motivations (or tactics, as they call it). How dare he drive his girlfriend IN HIS CAR?? And don't even get me started on how a guy can GET HIS HAIR CUT while in a relationship!! Don't even get me started!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Plenty of tomatoes in the patch

A few weeks ago, I was at Valerie's house and accompanied her to the farmer's market to buy her tomato plants. As one of the few people in my family to have a yard, she has become quite a gardener. I decided to follow her lead and try to do an urban garden this year. Two years ago, I bought a basil plant as an experiment and it has been thriving in my kitchen window. I love fresh basil, even though I hardly ever use it. Even so, I thought I'd branch out and grow some tomato plants this year. When I got back to the city, I spent the last day of my stay-cation to go to the farmer's market in Union Square and bought two heirloom tomato plants. Here they are on my fire escape! I have since replanted them and will chart their progress here. I do so with some trepidation since it totally has the potential for failure, but I guess we'll see.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I know I'm annoying...

Today, I was talking to my sister on the phone, and she said, "I don't like people telling me what to do." Since I was at work, I didn't want to talk about a work issue that happened this week in front of work people, but I said those exact same words on Monday. Basically, our executive director called and told me I had to do something. I sort of thought he was telling me he wanted me to do it. In a conversation with my director, I found out later that he was telling me I had to do it. So, my response to my director was, "I don't like people telling me what to do." I guess I'm not used to it because I have had the same supervisor for 7 years and the same director for almost 12, and they do not approach things that way.

Anyway, later in the day, I was waiting in the line at the post office, which is always out the door and always really slow-moving, so I decided to call Valerie back and tell her my story of being told what to do. After a couple of minutes, the guy in front of me in line said, "If you want to go outside and have your conversation, I'll hold your place in line for you." I responded by saying, "That's okay." He insisted, "No, really, I don't mind." I said, "No, really, that's okay." I am pretty sure that he didn't get that I understood that he wasn't just trying to be nice, that he really wanted me to go outside, because he said, " I would be happy to do that and I promise I will let you right back in line where you were. I don't really want to hear about your work..." but since I'm not retarded, I got the subtlety of his request, but still, wasn't going outside. I went back to my conversation, but got off quickly, which was what I planned to do anyway, but now it was made longer by me saying, "Can you believe that just happened? He was trying to tell me what to do!!"

He was called up soon after that, and then came my turn. As we are standing at opposite sides of the room, I hear him say, "I just got in an argument with that nice lady." I am only assuming he's telling the postal workers that they should have a no cell phone policy. But if he has spent any time in that particular post office, he will know that those people could not care less about anything he has to say. It's probably true about most post offices, at least in New York.

The thing is, I totally agree that cell phones are annoying. I know when I am in line or on the street or the bus or the nail salon that I hate hearing people's conversations. However, standing in line at the post office is annoying, too, and this way, at least, I'm not just standing there. I'm getting something done that I want to get done. Also, this is the world we live in now. It is a world of cell phones and annoying cell phone talkers and this idiot is just going to have to get used to it.

Three Cups of Tea

It's been a while since I've blogged about a book that I've read, but this is one that I loved and I am recommending to everyone I know. It's about a guy that was mountain climbing and stumbled upon a little village of people in the mountains of Pakistan. They nursed him back to health and they all came to care about each other, despite the cultural and language differences. When he noticed that the children didn't have a school to meet in, he promised them he'd return and build one for them... and he did. He started a foundation to build schools in lots of remote places in that area of the world, during the time when the Taliban was flourishing. It's a really wonderful example about what one person can do to make a difference. It also shows you how education really can change people's lives.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Big Apple BBQ

This weekend was the Big Apple BBQ. It's a festival celebrating food -- specifically BBQ, so of course, Heidi and I went with great expectations. It turned out to the be the hottest day of the year (so far). First, we did a sweep of the whole thing to get a lay of the land. Once we had all of our information, we could make an informed choice about where we wanted to eat. My main criteria was that I wanted the line to be short and, if possible, at least partly shaded. Heidi cared more about the food. (She's not as fair-skinned as I am.) She was set on getting pork and we had a few options. Each booth had only one dish -- the signature dish of that restaurant -- so we had to choose carefully. There were a few booths that sold pork, but only one had pork with beans instead of cole slaw, so naturally, we went with that. That left us with Big Bob Gibson, and wouldn't you know, they had one of the longest lines and it was in the sun! But, we figured, if the line was long, it must mean it was the best. So we got in line and made the best of it. As we approached the front of the line (probably about 20 or 30 minutes), we noticed that everyone coming out of the line had cole slaw. So, once our turn came, we demanded, "Where are the beans?" The poor Bronx high school student working the register just said, "Ask him," and pointed to Big Bob himself. Heidi, not one to back down, said, "Hello Bob!" and was greeted with a smile which quickly turned to a look of confusion when she followed her friendly salutation with, "Where are the beans?" Big Bob responded, "We haven't had beans for the last 4 years." I said, "I hope this is good because we waited for a long time!" then laughed nervously and gave him a big thumbs up! We shoveled down our sandwiches in about 30 seconds flat -- 30 minutes standing in line for a 30 second meal. That sounds about right! By this time, I was starting to feel faint (literally) so we went to find another line where I could buy a bottle of water. That one was much shorter. The next thing on our agenda was to find the cupcake stand. When I saw that line, I said, "This is ridiculous. That restaurant is about three blocks away and I bet they have AC." But instead, we just went back to Heidi's apartment, which was a few blocks away, and sat in front of her AC. So, this is a first, people. I could have had a cupcake and chose not to. That's how hot it was.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's about time

If you are interested in foster care in NYC, this is an interesting policy change.

The last quote is from our Executive Director. This is SO him!

So far, so good

I've been back at work for almost a full week now. Last week, I was actually crying as I thought about coming back to work. But when Monday came along, I was okay. I worked a normal day (9:30 - 8:00) and I wasn't tired at all! That is the miracle of the three week vacation. It's wearing off, though. Today, I got a BADC (big-ass Diet Coke) around 11 am. On a good day, I can wait until lunch. I have been stressed this week because I'm setting up interviews with potential interns for next year. I am so worried about getting another bad one.

Guess what? Just as I was writing this, I got an email from one of the potential interns... on her resume she said she worked at EFY and did some PR work with the Institute of Religion in Orem, Utah. What do you think that means that it JUST HAPPENED as I was writing about how worried I am about a student for next year? And should her religion count in her favor or a strike against her?