Thursday, August 27, 2009

Birthday celebration

My major goal for my birthday for the past several years is to see JM in concert. Because he's not touring this summer for the first time since I began following him in 2002, I had to come up with an alternative. Luckily, Bruce Springsteen is touring, and he was performing at a venue in upstate New York. It also happened to be a venue that I have gone to before to see JM when he performed on my b-day three years ago (and last year, but I didn't go), so it seemed like a natural choice.

Because I've been taking tons of time off lately, I was kind of afraid to ask for the day off. But I was able to finagel it so that I could leave early and come in late the next day, but that meant that we got to the venue about 20 minutes before the show started and therefore had crappy seats. Did I say seats? We didn't have seats, we had lawn seats, which translated into standing on someone else's blanket for the whole show. I decided to live up to the pushy New Yorker reputation and just squeezed my way in between people until we had a tiny view of the stage, but more importantly, could actually hear the music. It was a good show, of course, but didn't really live up to the last show at Continental Arena back in May.

here's the setlist:

No Surrender
Radio Nowhere
Outlaw Pete
Spirit In The Night
Working On A Dream
Atlantic City
Johnny 99
Summertime Blues
Two Hearts
Surprise Surprise *
Because The Night
Waiting On A Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Racing In The Streets
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born To Run
Girls In Their Summer Clothes
Thunder Road
American Land
Bobby Jean
Dancing In The Dark
Hungry Heart

*Surprise Surprise is a birthday song that someone requested. I pretended it was me.

I guess because people know me (or pay attention to things I write on my blog), everyone asked me if I was getting a cupcake. We were so rushed for time, I didn't, believe it or not. But it was a great day, nonetheless.

The next day, Heidi took me to dinner so we tried a new place called Permanent Brunch that just serves yummy breakfast food and another place Momofuku Milk Bar that I've been wanting to try for months but figured I needed a special occasion to eat something called "Crack Pie." I thought since this was my chance to have some birthday cake, I should get the Dulce de Leche cake, but I just couldn't pass up the pie. I can eat cake or cupcakes any day, and for my birthday, I eat pie.

So, here it is:

And here is the compost cookie, which has pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, and
chocolate chips:

All delish!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Late summer movie reviews

this weekend, the weather here was so miserable, I went to three movies to avoid it all.

Friday after work, I saw Paper Heart. This is one you may not have even heard of, but if you went to see 500 Days of Summer like I told you to, you saw the trailer. It's a cute story, very simply told, funny and sweet. Michael Cera is hilarious and the cutest thing ever.

Have I mentioned that I love Michael Cera?

Saturday afternoon, after sweating it out with a run/walk through the park, I went to see The Time Traveler's Wife. I should start by saying that years ago, my friend Heather gave the book to me & my roommate, Julia, to read. I read a page or two and said, "That's silly," put it down and didn't pick it up again except to put it in a pile of books to get rid of. Then a few weeks ago, I saw Heather and she was talking about the movie and expressing concern that it wouldn't live up to her love of the book. A few days after that, I was talking to Julia who said that she also enjoyed it and was surprised that I hadn't given it a shot. Soo.... needing something to read, I decided take it with me on my trip to Hawaii. After getting over the silly premise, I quite enjoyed the book and, at times, didn't want to put it down. It was a great "beach read" even though I kind of hate that expression. So, the movie was also quite enjoyable and they did a good job of whittling down the story to fit into an hour and 45 minute movie. If you can get over the silliness of the idea that a person time travels because of some genetic trait, that is. Perfect for my mom, if that tells you anything.

After that, I saw Julie and Julia. It was an okay movie. All the buzz about the movie has been about how great Meryl Streep is, which is true. Because I had just read the book, I couldn't help but compare how different Julie was in the movie from how she was in the book. I keep saying this, and people assume it means that I loved the book, which is far from true. However, it was enjoyable and there were times as I was reading it on the train that the ride seemed to go by really quickly (always a good thing). People also seem to think it means that I love the narrator, Julie, and she didn't measure up in the movie. Also far from true. They are just different, which is okay, I guess. It just left me thinking through the whole movie that Amy Adams (whom I adore) was miscast. But by the end of the movie, I realized that maybe it was just Nora Ephron that changed it up.

But this I will say, in the book, NYC becomes a sort of character. Julie has to schlep to Astoria to buy a specific cut of meat, and the West Village for a specific cheese. This is true about living in New York and it's one of the things that I love/hate about it. All of that is left out of the movie, and instead, you just see Julie glowing as she talks about how much she loves Julia Child.

So, there you have it. To sum up:
Michael Cera: adorable
Time Traveler's wife: good, but silly
Julie and Julia: good, unless you think Julie's character is annoyingly sweet and then it's just okay.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Daily Show is going on hiatus for a few weeks, and I'm already going through withdrawals. So in that spirit, I can't resist posting this.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Fox News: The New Liberals
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

OMG Finally!!

Each week when I read my EW and get to the TV on DVD section, there is always some bad 80's show that has become available on DVD. That's when I go mental. Because while seasons 1 and 2 of "Perfect Strangers" are availabe for purchase, my favorite show of all time "thirtysomething" is not. So, you can imagine how I felt when I got around to the TV on DVD section this week. I actually gasped out loud, somewhere around 168th St. on the A train.

Finally, the first season of thirtysomething is coming to DVD and it's being released on my birthday! How did they know?? It's like the universe is giving me a present.

There are so many reasons I love this show. I love shows with family and relational dynamics, and this one is full of them. It came in the day when characters on TV were more like real people... they wore their hair in ponytails, wore the same clothes more than once, and had jobs that they actually had to go to. Plus, I could dream all day that I was Hope and married to Michael Steadman. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Is anyone else sick of vampires?

EW cover from August 7:

current EW cover, August 21:


I just got back from my first trip to Hawaii and I'm going to do a Top Ten list, but first I'd like to say the worst part of the trip. Which is that that I got home Friday and felt like death after that friggin' flight and at this very moment, it is Saturday night/Sunday morning at 5 am and I haven't been able to fall asleep! Finally, I gave up and decided to do my blog post.

And on to my faves...

1. the beaches (of course)

2. fresh mango and pineapple

3. watching this movie on the flight over (my third time). I watched this scene with the biggest grin on my face, sang out loud, and laughed out loud when it was over. (I'm not exaggerating.)

4. taro rolls (yes, they are blue/purple!). I had two at dinner, then stashed a couple in my purse for later a la Teri Garr in Tootsie

5. watching the show at PCC while wearing a lei

6. reading a whole book, starting on the subway on the way to the airport and finishing on the flight home.

7. Pearl Harbor memorial. very interesting and learned a lot.

8. hanging with Leo's little niece, who said, "Auntie Sonya, what're you doing?" about 100 times a day. she's adorable!

9. shopping at the swap meet and finding a cute Hawaiian print dress for myself (not a muu-muu).

10. NOT getting hit by Hurricane Felicia

Plus, chickens everywhere! I don't know why, but I got such a kick out of seeing them at the beach, at the restaurant, in the parking lot at Wal-Mart...

btw, the sun is now coming up. How am I going to go to work on Monday??

Monday, August 3, 2009

Stacked coins

So, I've been a little slow to make new things since I declared that I was going to become a quilter again. Turns out, I'm super lazy! Also, it's too hot. Oh yeah, and my machine was broken for a while.

But here's a quilt that I pieced a few months ago and Kendra quilted for our friend Joni who magically had three babies all at once. (I don't machine quilt and we wanted them to be the same-ish, so Kendra was nice enough to finish it off for me. I think I might learn to machine quilt as I think she said it took her about 3 hours and it would have taken me at least a week to hand quilt it.) I'm sad that these photos didn't turn out better, but you get the idea.

Here's the front:
and the back...

You can't tell but the back is brown with tiny white polka-dots. But you can see the quilting. I like the little strip of stacked coins on the back. If I ever make this one again, I may or may not do that again (being lazy, and all) but it is really cute.

Disclaimer: Although I do own my laziness, I did put in quite a few hours helping Joni make three quilts of her own. She is a novice and I volunteered to teach her how to do a simple strip quilting project. She did most of the piecing and hand quilting, and I am still working on quilting the third one. I started the binding on one and am going to work on binding the others. Although she is willing and wants to do her own binding, she has her hands full with three preemies. So I will do what I can until they move out of the city at the end of August. After that, she's on her own!