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.