Friday, July 31, 2009

Beware the Poutine

On the way to Montreal, Jason mentioned something about a local food item -- poutine. I hadn't heard of it, so I looked it up in my guidebook. Here's what it's all about:

  • French Fries

  • Cheese curds

  • Gravy

My reaction? "Ummmm... I think I'm going to have to try that!" And we did!

btw, Jason is not supposed to have fried foods, dairy or MSG (found in most sauces and gravies), but he took one for the team! Surprisingly, he felt pretty good afterwards.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cupcakes -- Montreal style

This past weekend, I went with Jason to Montreal. For the last six years, he's been the "Chandler" to my "Monica" (minus the getting married in the last season thing) as he lives in my building and we bug each other all the time and I steal his TV Guide.

Wait? do you think I'm "Rachel"?

Anyway... He's moving there for the next 10 months because he got a great job there, and I made the drive up with him. Since I had never been to Montreal before, I decided I should do a little research... on cupcakes.

My first attempt was to check out the cupcake blog to see if they had anything listed. They actually had three listed. Two were delivery only -- meaning I'd have to order a dozen or more and have them delivered. The third was a place that had an actual shop... but the website said they would be closed from Sunday, July 25 through some time in August. So I knew that the only way I would be able to sample them was if we could load up all Jason's stuff, drive to Canada, get his working papers at the border, not hit border traffic, and unpack his stuff by 5 pm on Saturday. So...

Next I did a google search, which turned up the same places. Next, I asked Esther for advice and she found me this blog. Not only did it name some other cupcake places, but it told me which ones were the good ones. Plus, they named the neighborhoods, which helped since the only thing I knew about Montreal was the name of Jason's neighborhood. I wrote down the address of the one that is in his neighborhood (which is supposedly marginal), plus the one that won their title of "Best cupcake" two years in a row.

Saturday, we were busy with the moving and the driving, so Sunday evening was the first day we could kind of explore outside of his neighborhood. We decided to go to the "best" place, just so we could locate it. We figured it would be closed by 5:00, as the other one had. When we got there, we discovered that it was, in fact, open until 6 pm (still ridiculously early, if you ask this New Yorker) and the present time was 5:45. However, there was a sign in the window that said that they were sold out. I'll refer you to Esther's blog for my feelings about this. The kicker was that their sign said that they are closed on Monday AND Tuesday. All the time. But this week, they were also closed on Wednesday. Which didn't matter because we left on Tuesday.

On our walk, we happened to walk past the one in his neighborhood and I recognized it right away, but since I thought I could easily go there the following day while J was doing other moving-to-a-foreign-country stuff, we kept walking. The next day, he got done earlier than expected, so we met up and on our way home, got off the subway one stop early to return for cupcakes. Which was when I realized that I wished I had looked at their sign when we were there on Sunday because it also indicated that they are closed on Mondays. And who has Monday as the LAST day in a list of days? What kind of a crazy place is this?!

In addition to that fun stuff, I also wrote down another place that the Canadian food blog recommended... Guess what. CLOSED on Monday!

Desperate for sweets and being denied thrice, we remembered a place in his neighborhood that we had walked by and commented on because it had chocolate in the title... also CLOSED!
So, all of that was to say that I didn't have any cupcakes on this trip.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not for nuthin'....

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Hey, C'Mon That's Not ... Why Would You ...Whoa!
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

for the record, my entrance is 14.

Friday, July 24, 2009

America's most trusted

In a recent poll, my fave Jon Stewart was voted the most trusted newsman. Interesting.... I think of him as a comedian, but I do trust him over a lot of others out there, who shall remain nameless.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More movie reviews

(500) Days of Summer. LOVED it!!

Public Enemies. What a disappointment.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vacation wrap-up part 4 -- movie reviews

1. The Hangover. This is not the type of movie I would normally go to, but it had been getting such good press. Also, I really like Bradley Cooper since his days on Alias, but especially now with his longish hair. I talked Jason into going with me. Ironically, he liked it and I didn't really, for exactly the same reasons I wouldn't normally go to this kind of movie.

2. Whatever Works. In a previous post, I wrote why I wanted to see this movie. I totally get now why Woody Allen didn't make this movie back when he first wrote it. Also, I read an interview with him and he says, "People always look for clues [about me] in my movies … no matter how many times I've told them over the years I make this stuff up."
If you've seen this movie, Manhattan, or Husbands and Wives, and I'm sure there are others, you will see that this man is completely delusional. Even so, I had a few good laughs watching this movie. Larry David is hilarious basically being himself, although doing a sort of Woody Allen impression. Patricia Clarkson is always brilliant and Evan Rachel Wood is pretty good, too. The best part is New York. I really hate how the city is portrayed in most movies today, but this feels pretty authentic to me.

3. On the way to the theater to see Whatever Works, I was given a pass to see Funny People. Usually, I can't see screenings because they start at 5:30 or 6:00, which means I would have to be there to stand in line at 4:00. Standing in line for an hour or so to see a free movie is a great way to spend a vacation day, dontcha think? Anyway, the movie wasn't what I expected at all. I think because it wasn't exactly funny. The best thing I can say about it is that most of the jokes in the trailer are not the same ones that are in the movie. The scenes are the same, but the dialogue is different which is great because even though you know the basic plot of the movie, the lines are all totally fresh. The funniest line of all comes from James Taylor, interestingly enough.

4. My Sister's Keeper was okay. I am not a fan of Cameron Diaz, but she didn't bug me too bad, for once. It's described as a tearjerker, and I'll admit it. I did shed one or two. Which usually means that I loved the movie, but in this case, it was just okay.

So, no rave reviews, but my favorite of these was Funny People. Summer movies are not exactly my favorite.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Read this. True. So true.

as proof, I suggested last night that my book club read Julie and Julia and go see the movie together. Not quite Fight Club, but still...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back to work

My work schedule is a little weird. Since I work with kids, mostly I have to see them after school. A lot of times my "work" day starts at 4 pm, which means that I am at work until 8 or 9 most nights and I get super excited on the nights I can actually leave by 7:00. In the summer, I don't run groups and some of my kids can come earlier in the day, as long as they are not in summer school. So when I came back to work on Monday, I decided I was going to do five 8-hour days, with the goal of taking advantage of the extra daylight hours and good weather. My first day back, I had this conversation with my supervisor.

Me: I was determined to leave work by 6:00 every day this week.
Mary: That's a great idea! You should do that.
Me: Well.... it's quarter to eight.
Mary: (Disappointed) ...Oh....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vacation wrap-up part 3

I've saved the best for last. One week at the shore!

We had great weather all week, which was a miracle considering it rained the entire month of June.

This is the sunset in Cape May. My nephew said he wanted to see "the sun crashing into the ocean." Although that would have been cool, this is almost as nice.

Here are the kiddos showing off their new bathing suits.

When they showed up on Saturday, my nephew looked normal. Then this happened.

After falling asleep in the sand something must have happened because he woke up with his eye all swollen. Then he lost a tooth. We started calling him the prize fighter!

So of course, he had to show off his considerable muscles.

Mo in a hole

The Jersey Girls!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm interrupting my vacation report to report on THIS!!

Mad Men returns next month! How awesome is this poster?! Season two is on DVD if you wanna catch up.

Vacation wrap up, part 2

The second week of my vacation was a little more low-key. Most summers I have to use up some vacation time, so I usually take a few days to spend here in the city and I usually have a long list of things I want to do. Sometimes there is an exhibit I want to see or some shopping I need to do. Sometimes I get together with friends I haven't seen for a while with my crazy late-night work schedule. Sometimes I want to paint my apartment or do other projects. This year, I wasn't looking forward to the time here. I didn't make a list and I didn't do anything very exciting. I did laundry, cleaned my apartment, got stuff ready for Cape May and caught up with shows on my DVR. I also went to four movies.

Towards the end of the week, my mom arrived and we did do one fun thing. There has been talk about making something out of the old rail road tracks that run along the west side of Manhattan since I moved to NY (10 years ago this month!). It is finally open. It's called The Highline and it is awesome! (I recommend reading about the history, if you are interested.) My mom and I met up with LT, took a stroll and ate a pretzel croissant from the Birdbath vendor.

Here's a picture of LT and me with a view of beautiful NJ behind us.

view of Chelsea market

and some of the plants

After that, we stopped at Billy's Bakery, then walked over to the Shake Shack and waited in their ridiculously long line. (This picture was NOT taken by me! I've never seen it that short.) As soon as we got to the front of the line, it started raining. We had invested so much time, however, we deluded ourselves into thinking it was just a passing shower. As soon as we placed our order, the skies literally opened up and my mom, LT and I all gathered under my one umbrella. The fact that I even had an umbrella was a fluke since I generally don't like them. Although we got drenched (my backside, mom's right side, LT a little all over), we had a nice lunch. When it stopped raining we sat in that new area in front of the Flatiron with tables and chairs and dried out. A fun NYC day!

Vacation wrap-up part 1

I decided that I would go visit my parents this summer because, for the first time since they moved out west, fares to Grand Junction, CO (the closest airport) were less than going to Europe. (But still more than they should cost.) It seemed like a good time to go because I've only visited them in the winter before, which I hate. Despite what you may think, Moab is freezing in December. Once I got there and endured one super hot day, I realized that I hadn't thought that part out very well. But luckily, they, like we New Yorkers, are having a pretty mild summer. There was only one day when I was miserable. You can say, "But it's a dry heat" all you want. I disagree. Hot is hot.

So, mostly we talked about quilts and cars (the two things my mom and dad, respectively, care more about than most other things). I drove my dad's '68 Mustang, which was pretty cool, and shopped at the Moab quilt shop, which was also pretty cool.

Several years ago, I talked Esther into going to The Grand Canyon with me. As a native Arizonian, she had never been. When I told my dad what we were doing, he said, "Why are you going there? You've been to Dead Horse Point. It's basically the same thing." So when I visited my parents a few years ago, I told my sisters that I was going to suggest going to Bryce Canyon and bet them that he'd say something similar. To my surprise, he said, "Okay." I guess he's not as predictable as I thought.

We didn't end up going that time, but we did go this time, and here are some pictures.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Michael Jackson

I know people are sad that The King of Pop died. I am not sad because I didn't know him (obviously) and because I can still enjoy his music. His music was the main benefit of him being alive in the first place. His life has been more about weird press than about his music for several years. However, the weird press lives on, and once again, Jon Stewart got it right.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Rippy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Obitutainment
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran