Saturday, February 28, 2009


On Friday, I tried to be a good influence on Heidi by suggesting we go to the gym together after work. After we worked out, she tried to be a bad influence on me by suggesting we try out this new cupcake place we heard about. Of course, she didn't have to try too hard. We had heard about this place because their red velvet cupcake was featured on Time Out New York's best eats of 2008.

The place is called Sweet Revenge and it is a really cute place, in a great neighborhood, near my office (that's why I called this posting Danger!) and they have delicious cupcakes. The lighting was not very good. Well, it was fine, but not for taking pictures, so I don't have one that we took, but there are several on this blog. And you can see the owner making her "Pure" cupcakes on Martha Stewart.

We were drawn in by the red velvet, which they call "Crimson and Cream", which also has raspberry in it, and that's the key. It was good. I mean, really goooood! Then I had to try the Pure (vanilla/vanilla), and I would say it was okay. The cake is pretty dense and a little dry, but good, but the frosting was a little too sweet. I rarely say that, but it was. We liked them enough to try one more, the "Sweet Revenge" which is peanut butter cake & frosting, with a middle of chocolate ganache. YUM! At $3.50 a piece, these are the most expensive cupcakes I've had, but maybe the fanciest. I love a place that we can sit down and enjoy them instead of taking them to go (Magnolia and others that have very limited seating).

So, Heidi and I have had this debate before, and we had it again at Sweet Revenge. She said the cake part was more cake-y and not cupcake-y. I say there's no difference. Yes, the cake part was dense, but cupcakes are small cakes, so technically there is no difference between cupcakes and cakes, it's just the recipe one uses. She didn't change my mind. I didn't change hers. What do you think?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Best of 2008

You can tell how I feel about the movies in any given year by how long it takes me to put my 'Best of' list together. This year, I'm doing it 4 hours before the Oscars start. Some of my friends do a Top Ten list, and I've adopted the tradition, but I rarely can come up with 10 movies that I love. Last year I had 7, but this year, it's much shorter.

First of all, the best entertainment in the world of pop culture 2008 was definitely on TV this year. So, I'm going to say Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on SNL tops my entertainment list, followed closely by "The Daily Show. "

Other TV bests:
Drama -- "Mad Men" and "Friday Night Lights" (I would say that FNL was overall more satisfying on a weekly basis, but "Mad Men" is so crazy-good and so beautiful to watch.)
Comedy -- "30 Rock" (obviously). The best episode EVER was the one with the "Subway Hero." I re-watched it about 100 times.
Guiltiest pleasure -- "The Hills"
Best new show -- "Privileged" (okay it's the only new show I'm watching, but it's cute.)
Show I'm most looking forward to watching on DVD -- "In Treatment"

Best movies:
1. Doubt
2. Elegy
3. Sex and the City (I'm a fan!)
4. Slumdog Millionaire (Loved it but it was so violent, I can't put it any higher. I do hope it wins tonight, though.)

Actress: Meryl Streep. I so hope she wins for her performance in Doubt because she portrayed this role beautifully. Although I love Kate Winslet, I definitely did not think her performance in The Reader was her best and I'm disappointed that this is probably (finally) because I really did not care for this movie at all. But let's face it, she'll probably win because we know that the Academy will reward any film about the Holocaust no matter what it is. The only one that would be more disappointing to me is if Anne Hathaway wins. She's super annoying, the movie was boring and I don't think her performance was anything spectacular.

Actor: I'll go with Mickey Rourke, although I had a hard time loving this movie. Plus, his face is so weird, it's distracting. But his performance was great.

Supporting Actress: This is the only race that I feel is wide open. I am going to go with Amy Adams. Viola Davis was very good in Doubt as well, but I have a hard time saying that she was the best of the year when she only had 13 minutes of screen time, or whatever it was.

Supporting Actor: I'm pretty sure Heath has it in the bag, and I agree that he was fantastic in that role. I hated the movie, however, and really am baffled by all the praise The Dark Knight is getting. I thought that Josh Brolin was really good as the sad sack politician in Milk, and I also thought Philip Seymour Hoffman gave another great performance in Doubt. It's kind of a given, but I'll go with him.

Books -- Three Cups of Tea. I wouldn't normally choose non-fiction as my favorite book of the year, but this book was definitely the best book I read this year.
I couldn't even think of any fiction that I loved, but the closest I came was American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. (which I do not recommend for my mom!) I have been in two book clubs this year, so most of the books I read were for them. I don't know if that is a bad sign that I can't say I read anything that I loved this year. But Three Cups of Tea was for the group that I am in with church friends, so that's pretty good.

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I think I have to go with Hair in Central Park. I found the ending so powerful, it almost brings me to tears even now.

1. Bruce Springsteen (nights 1 & 3) at Giants Stadium
2. John Mayer in CT
3. John Mayer in NJ
4. Bon Jovi in the new Prudential Center
5. Foo Fighters

Sadly, I can't say that I even bought any CDs in 2008. Oh wait, I did buy the new Death Cab CD, but I didn't like it as much as past CDs. If I got Coldplay's new one, it probably would have been that one. I know, I'm sort of lame when it comes to new music.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

NYF in the news

Here's a piece about one of the Sisters that I work with. She is a really wonderful person that I have known for the 12 years I have worked at the Foundling. Of course, I didn't always feel that way about her. She really gave me a hard time for the first few years that I worked there. I don't think she trusted that I knew what I was doing (and I kind of didn't at first). But we have become close over the years, and in the last few weeks, as she was preparing for the closing of Blaine hall, we really bonded as we cried over this wonderful program dying. Some people feel sorry for the kids that lived in the group home, but honestly, I think it was a great program and those kids were so well cared for. The saddest thing was that the home closed about one month before Christmas and Sr. Teresa didn't know what she would do for Christmas because she had spent every holiday with those kids for 34 years. She got choked up every time she talked about it.

If you have seen the movie Doubt, you have basically seen a movie with Meryl Streep channeling Sister Teresa Kelly, right down to the accent. I'm not kidding. It was eerie for me to watch.

If you haven't seen it, you should. It is a great movie... one of my top 5 of the year. (I still plan to make my list of the best of 2008...)

Happy birthday!

Last week, my niece turned the big Three - Oh! Wait, that's not right. She's just the big three. We took her to a party store and told her she could pick out anything she wanted. All she wanted was balloons and my sister was practically begging her to find some cute party plates. She passed by every Barbie and cartoon character plate in the store, but when she saw brown plates with pink and white polka dots, she picked them right up! It made Valerie (and me) so proud! She got balloons to match, but the brown one popped in the car. Val made this cute cake to match.

I had a lot of fun looking for birthday presents for her. Here's my favorite, Star Wars finger puppets, which I found on Etsy.

The next morning, she woke me up with C3PO on her finger, which she called "Bee-Bee-pio."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cupcakes that put the OH! in Ohio

When I was in Ohio in December, we were told about the best cupcakes in Columbus and tried to find them, but they were closed. Since it was my second visit to Ohio and I had tried two different places, I wasn't too disappointed because it gave me something to look forward to for the next visit. I flew into Columbus on Friday for the long weekend, and we went almost immediately to this place. It is a traditional bakery, not just a specialty cupcake place like the other places we tried.

So they lived up to the hype! As usual, I had to try the vanilla/vanilla and these were special V-day cupcakes with a cookie on top, which was also quite good. The front one was a white chocolate cupcake that Valerie and I split. So what I noticed is that, again, the frosting is more on the buttery side than on the sugary side. Maybe this is the way Ohioans like them.

Here is a picture of my adorable niece at the bakery. She is smiling because she thinks she's going to get one. She's wrong! Actually, there was a woman right in front of us that almost bought them out, and there were only two left for us. So we bought some mini cupcakes for the kids.

And here's my nephew shoveling one in!

The Office quote of the week -- 2/12

Why did they bother to get that hilarious "Inconsiderate Cell Phone Man" for this episode when he had two lines? Very disappointing... as was the majority of dialogue in this episode. The best part was when the camera goes to the people in the Nashua branch, then pans back to Michael who has fallen to the floor, and then crawls out of the room. But since that's not a quote, here is one that will have to do for the week.

Michael says, "I cut the sleeve off her sweater."

Monday, February 16, 2009

30 Rock quote of the week -- 2/12 Valentine's Day episode

Also, from Elena: Please Jack, don't tell me you are one of those convenient Catholics that only goes to church every Sunday!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just Dance

I was at some friends' house on Saturday, and I had a bit of an argument with someone about whether JM should make pop music. He thinks that he's so talented that he should stick to guitar playing. Although I like that idea, I think it's fine that he makes pop music, because he clearly likes pop music.

A Final Night...

I was lucky enough to go to this show over the weekend. Hilarious!

some of my favorite parts:
1. "The Tiger Woods guy"
2. He said he wanted to be dropped off in the "faggy" theater district in New York
3. At the end of the show, he asked audience members for names and occupations and then he gave them nicknames. There were several, but the ones I remember are "Scumbag" for a lawyer, "Pimpleface" to a teenager and "Good luck getting a job" to a college student. (What else, J?)
4. His disdain for the New York Times. I won't write what he called it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

30 Rock quote of the week -- 2/5

OMG! Don Draper on "30 Rock"??? How awesome was that?!

To celebrate, I'm giving him the quote of the week. What was his name? Dr. Bain?

"Sorry I smell like frosting. I just love to bake."
Also read this great interview with Tina Fey and Jon Hamm. (and doesn't this picture just remind you how great New York is? I don't know, there's just something about it...)

30 Rock quote of the week -- 2/5

Andy: I'm single now. What we have here is the ultimate smackdown between 'Nard-dog' and crippling despair, loneliness and depression. I intend to win.

The Office quote of the week -- Superbowl Sunday

The one that made me laugh out loud this week comes from Michael after Stanley has a heart attack. I don't know why, it was just so ridiculous.

"Do not die Stanley! Barack is President! You are black!"

I also loved this:

Pam: We don't normally download films illegally because we are honest, hardworking people.
Jim: And we don't know how.
Pam: But Andy does, so we have to watch it with him.
Jim: The punishment fits the crime.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

the info I was looking for...

... is right here

When JM is involved, cuteness is never out of the question!