June 26, 2007


I had an exceptionally long day today. Things can go along so smoothly sometimes, and then other times they just fall apart. Today wasn't a falling apart day, but it certainly wasn't smooth either.*In my new position, I'm being tasked with things that are far, far different than what I anticipated to learn. It's alright: I gravitate toward change and toward new things, right? So I suppose the things I'm absorbing right now at work are just a whole new planet of observation that I never expected to visit. But I also miss the things I didn't get the chance to do. I hear it happening, all of the buzz around me, and I'm no longer a part of it and it just makes me feel like when I was in first, second, third and fourth grades, and on, when I wasn't part of the whispering because I was the new kid and no one wanted to share secrets with the new kid. That's how I feel some days, as a 30 year old adult in the work place. Unbelievable.*But I don't want to exacerbate my bad feelings. I'd rather acknowledge the good.*Tonight I left work a little early, roughly 10 minutes before 5, to deliver a package to the Post Office near our apartment which closes at 6. Wouldn't you know, I climbed onto the 7 train and the conductor announced that there would be heavy delays riding into Manhattan, so the best bet was to transfer to the E, F, V or R at 74th Street. It took us a decent 20 minutes to get to 74th Street, and once there, I rushed downstairs to the platform only for an F to arrive, which I didn't want - I wanted the E. As luck would have it, I didn't wait too long for the E, jumped on it and was happily traveling toward Manhattan, although I'm not as familiar with that trip so I had to jump up a couple of times to scrutinize the subway map. Some transfers are tricky, if you're not used to New York. Luckily, I'm okay.*And wouldn't you know, I made it to the Post Office breaths before they locked the doors. So my package (an errand for Craig) went out. And then I went to the grocery store for stray items for tonight, came home, worked out for half an hour, copied down a recently discovered recipe with roasted red peppered flavored chicken and orzo, and Craig came home juggling the above posted unflowered flowers (they will certainly split wide open within a day or two!) He brought these to me because I ran an errand for him tonight. How thoughtful! And I proceeded with our Thai Chicken Wraps (second time I've made these) plus a sauteed spinach and roasted red pepper side dish - the latter, we both decided, deserved more garlic than I used. But I wilted fresh spinach on my own tonight, for the first time ever! Cooking broccoli rabe the other night was far easier than wilting fresh spinach. There's this sensitivity that should be applied with wilting of fresh spinach. I think I did okay.*So, despite the fact that I have nothing of real worth to post tonight, I will have no other chance this week to post so I felt I needed to do so. Tomorrow and Thursday Craig and I have overindulgent (and free to us) Mets tickets while they play the Cardinals. I tried to talk him out of tomorrow's tickets, which are the lesser of the good tickets, but he explained to me calmly that we have not been to see a lot of baseball games this year, so we should eat this up. Friday we're seeing Lauren's new Rock Operetta for which she composed all the music and which depicts (on stage) the last year of Martin Luther King's life, evidently. Sounds exciting and this week the press is at the shows so she wants us there. Saturday morning Craig and I will welcome Dustin and Fiona (the couple that got married in England earlier this year) to our home and will spend all of Saturday with a group of Fi's friends and Dustin in the City. Basically, Sunday is my next free day. I hope Sunday will be somewhat of a free day for Craig and me. Meaning, I hope we won't be expected to make any appearances anywhere. And I hope by then I'm not 25 lbs. more of me again. I intend to watch myself closely these next few days. Portion control will be in play.*

June 24, 2007


I'm constantly posting apartment pictures. But the thing is, Craig and I love change, and we love ambience makeovers of our homes. For instance, since moving into this place less than one year ago, we've managed to lose a huge glass dinner table, acquire a smaller higher table at which to eat plus a handsome coffee (butler) table. So today we added new elements to our apartment to make it all the better, even still.*When Craig returned from Florida, he had a hundred stories and I embraced all of them. But one thing he told me, in particular, had him very excited, something about our friends Christine and Paul having these frames hanging in their house which were joined by beaded chains and each window held a map of all the different places they've lived. Now, I've been a map lover most of my life, without being very talented at reading them, just loving the mere look of a map, and all of those veins leading somewhere. So, as one might imagine, this prospect excited me greatly, especially because we've respectively and together covered a lot of territory over the past several years. I knew Craig was wanting to steal (or borrow, with thanks) Christine's idea, and I appreciated how much he appreciated her clever idea. So this morning we woke up early enough for a Sunday (despite the unbelievably long day we had in Long Island yesterday, after I swore upon my life we were leaving Long Island at 3 p.m. and we wound up not leaving until who knows when after dark), drank coffee, lounged around - I spent quite some time composing a grocery list with fat-free everythings for the week, went to the grocery, cooked a fantastic round of Huevos Rancheros with brown rice, egg substitute, tomatoes, red pepper, onion, green chiles, garlic, black beans, cheese and a ton of seasoning, and then we headed to Pier 1 at 3rd Avenue, because Craig was more than certain that Christine's frames were Pier 1 in origin. Walking to Pier 1 this afternoon with Craig was so divine - the sun was blazing, the streets were flooded with New Yorkers, and we both felt good. And as we walked into the store, Craig wandered with me lazily through the housingwares, stopping so often to see if there was anything we'd like to have and so on (including the candle tray on the coffee table as seen above with the three glorious-smelling candles). And then we found the beaded frames - Craig was so happy. We picked up two (as seen above) and then went to Barnes and Noble for an atlas to cut up, and now we have in our apartment a stolen idea from a friend, but I'm sure she won't be mad. We decided to put the following maps in the frames: Detroit, because we met there; Hartford, CT, because that was Craig's next stop after Detroit; St. Louis because it was my next stop after Detroit. Then, Atlanta, GA, which was our first home together as an official live-in couple, Richmond, VA, our second home as a couple, and of course, last and certainly far from least, Manhattan Island (plus surrounding boroughs) because that is where we now reside (and where I hope we will be forever!)*Tonight I made a brilliant Bolognese with Broccoli Rabe and whole wheat Penne, and Craig and I spent too much time longing for larger portions than we should have. I am in love with Broccoli Rabe, with cooking, and with dieting. It's all such a puzzle. I love being in New York with Craig, and I love his knack for interior decorating. I love my world, today, but of course, tomorrow we return to work. Maybe I can just daydream at my desk about what I get to have when I get home each night.*Now to watch The Queen with Craig before we polish off our Sunday.

June 21, 2007


New York City is hot (temperature hot). It's hot in the morning, it's hot on the subway platform, it's hot in the Park, it's hot in a deli. This is the time of year where cute tank tops come in handy. So, in the process of losing some weight (although I've had a hard time in the past two weeks breaking roughly the same 5-lb. range) I decided to duck into Orva (department store at 86th and Lex) and find some deals on cute tanks. Above shown are the deals I landed. The tank on the left is what I fit into, the one on the right is my goal. I can deftly secure my limbs and chest into the tank on the right, but getting out of it is a Houdini escapist show, and I definitely would like the ease with which I get out of cute shirts to be, well, easier.*Tonight I made a dish the second time around for us. In it: onion, garlic, thyme, mushrooms, chicken, brown rice, white wine, chicken broth and salt and pepper - totally unassuming, right? It tasted pretty good tonight, round 2. But now, Craig is asleep on the couch and I'm biting my nails over the work engagement we have to attend this weekend. I was adamantly opposed at first, and had Craig convinced that we didn't need to go, but several conversations later with him have implied that we have to make an appearance. So, Saturday morning, instead of waking up leisurely next to Craig, making coffee, having breakfast (which is now Cheerios and skim milk versus the older standby sausage, egg and cheese Everything bagel from Bagel Express...hail to the Bagel Gods...) and doing whatever listless thing we want on a Saturday, we have to shower before 9, leave the apartment by 10 and head out to Long Island for this ill-scheduled and poorly mapped "team event". I have insisted to Craig, with all the insisting might that I possess, that we are not staying past 3 o'clock. We're simply not. Dustin and Fi are coming to New York next weekend, our apartment is in shambles, and I hate work functions: what other reason needs to be placed on the table to leave the work thing early? I think I've covered all the bases.*So to speak.

June 20, 2007


So I mentioned in my post the other day that I picked up a new Fine Cooking magazine while I was at the Port Authority earlier than I anticipated to arrive for my bus. This magazine happens to be my new favorite, new as of several months, and how exciting is it that I won a magazine subscription from my crazy friend Roger (who commonly bets magazine subscriptions) when he last year went head to head with me during the Cardinals - Dodgers series (or was it Mets - Dodgers...) and I took the sweep, thereby winning me my fancy subscription to Fine Cooking. The magazine I picked up at Port Authority, however, is a special issue (Best Of, or what have you) and is not included in my deal. Anyway, tonight Craig treated me to dinner at Nina's so I had time to browse through the glossy pages of food in this mag before I left the apartment to meet him and after dinner. Glorious. Positively mouth-watering. Even having just eaten! I decided to post "still life with magazine and white wine" as my photograph tonight.*Nina's was fantastic as usual. Craig met me outside of Nina's on his way home from the train (I leave work roughly an hour before him every night) and we lucked out with the window seat, which is like sitting outside because the windows are floor to ceiling, accordion-fashion, and were thrown open. I had already touched base on the 'plan' with dining out friendly options, and determined that Nina's strip steak (eating only the size of my palm's worth of it, anyway) with sauteed fresh spinach and garlic (total fave dish there) would satisfy my diet just fine. I won't tell on Craig for what he ate, but he also has more stretch room than I. But I was sad when the regular waiter, always our waiter at Nina's, the cutest little smiling guy, came over and asked me, Is the steak, is something wrong with it? And I politely shook my head and said, No, I'm eating healthier now. He smiled and nodded okay but I'm not sure he understood. They are very concerned, at Nina's, that the diner enjoys his or her experience, from drink to ambience to lighting to service to eating every bite (noteworthy is that Nina's only seats like 25 patrons, too!) I need to get used to being the focus of the "that girl barely touched her food" attention after meals out, but I would also slap a shameful, "maybe you shouldn't serve me 6 servings of food" accusation at any restaurant in America, too, even the ever-beloved Argentinian Nina's located at 91st and 2nd in NYC. Seriously, my steak (as delicious and coated in seasonings and olive oil as it was) could have fed several people, at least according to the nutritionists who run my new diet. I can't even imagine how a restaurant would be concerned with the portion I consume in the first place: I am paying for 16 oz. of steak regardless of if I only eat 4. Right?*Enough foodie talk. I didn't pay enough respect to book club in my previous post so what I want to also say is that I get to host next time. How exciting! There are about 8-10 regulars, and roughly 4 that rarely materialize, but my concern isn't as much where to put everyone as it is what to feed them! Oh! Food talk again! Seriously, my friend Emilie mentioned this past Sunday, Hey, Kristin would love to host soon, why doesn't she take this one? and it was agreed upon quickly because all of the people present at the time work in Manhattan, even though most of them don't live in Manhattan. So, we're reading Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman and meeting late July at my apartment. I will either call in sick that day or take the day off, because inevitably I will not be satisfied that every floorboard and bare inch of floor has been cleaned properly prior to company that I so admire, and so the day of off would be good for me to tie up loose apartment ends, like making sure none of the corners have cobwebs, and such. And also it will be good for finishing up the preparation/cooking of healthy~fat-free snacks that everyone will enjoy. Was I potentially a hostess in my previous life? It would seem.*

June 18, 2007


There are two reasons I am posting the above photograph: one, because a spine-like label reads "WHOLE FROZEN SQUID" (and I'm unsure of why this label was in a cooler filled with fish caught by my boyfriend and his friends) and two, to post an exhibit of the fact that yes, he was fishing in a weird place in Florida and not only did he catch sharks, he informed me, but he also shot guns. Shot guns??? The Craig I know doesn't even know the first thing about where to locate a trigger. So I find this all quite odd. Nonetheless, he is back, and he's as restless as ever, tonight roaming from room to room in the apartment, throwing the occasional, or perhaps frequent remark about my dinner making abilities (tonight I would term them inabilities, but what have you.) I attempted some diet-friendly enchiladas (reference back several posts where enchiladas exploded in my kitchen; this was not those) and in all honesty, there isn't a trace of Mexicana in my blood because not only can I not warm a corn tortilla successfully enough to prevent it from cracking when I fill it with filling and wrap it enchilada-style, but I also can't even relatively interestingly season said filling so that the enchilada doesn't turn out bland and uninteresting, pardon the redundancy, as was the case tonight. But either way, Craig's backseat driver comments were enough to send me over the wall tonight. He wanted refried beans. Refried beans are never on my top 10 things KB loves to cook list, because they, much like rice, stick and burn, leave tacky residue in saucepans, and aren't even reward enough to make up for their messy making. But of course, if you are a backseat driver commenting from the couch, sure, refried beans are worth it, every step of the way. Of course, I made them for Craig.*Not Craig's fault, but dinner really sucked tonight. And what I've realized more than anything is that if food is going to be observed closely, if calories are going to be chalked off, if my nearby bagel store is void of my business right now for the sake of my weight, I'd better see some unbelievable substitute recipes made with all fat free everything and losing me one hundred pounds, otherwise it just isn't worth it. I walked by two pizzarias today that made me lose my mental cool. I didn't grab a slice but Oh I So Almost Did.*I'm writing for many reasons tonight. This morning, our little buddy Brady was born, Kara's first child with Ben. Brady has been a long time coming and we are so happy that he showed up today. Things are good: just under 7 pounds, 20", and born in the morning (I'm a morning baby and can vouch for us - he will be a happy morning person someday!) From what we know, Kara and baby are healthy! We can't wait to meet Brady this summer. Craig told me this morning, "Blonde hair, blue eyes, big hands, big feet." Perfect!*I'm also writing to brag about my book club experience yesterday, although there aren't really words to do it justice. I left the apartment thirty minutes too early, arrived in a cab at Port Authority Bus Terminal South, wandered inside, signs pointed to the gate I needed, and then I bought a Diet Coke and a Fine Cooking magazine. I meandered to the kiosk where I would buy my Weehawken bus ticket and there materialized Emilie, Fern, Laura and Brian! Laura said, "Hey, I know you..." and stepped forward and smiled. I've only met Laura and Brian and Fern once before. Emilie stepped in, of course, and we were all reunited, grabbed bus tickets, and headed to Jersey! Pam and her husband Aaron have a ridiculously gorgeous apartment that overlooks the Manhattan skyline. I wish I had pictures but since Craig had the camera, all I have are peculiar fish photos! But Pam's place is amazing. They have a balcony overlooking the City, and they're on a marina so sailboat masts floating past the window is a common occurrence! And Pam is an unbelievable hostess, too, so when we came in, she had already spread the usual book club suspects across the coffee table: olives marinated in oil and garlic, artichokes in a cup, roasted red peppers in a cup, a plate of fresh cut vegetables, a plate of gourmet cheeses, diet-friendly rye pretzel sticks, thin pretzel chips covered in Everything seasoning, and a small cup of likely diet-conscious veggie dip. I'm such a huge fan of Pam's since last book club I attended, when I learned that not only is her husband right up Craig's alley, but Pam and I are also akin with many things! So I've looked forward to seeing her and the place she calls home.*Anyway, I came home last night and Craig had already let himself in and was seated comfortably on the couch. Of course! I chattered on about book club in between his shark and gun stories. I'm so glad he's home.

June 16, 2007


Yep. Just as I imagined, I'm more than halfway into my home alone experience and I've accomplished really very little. In defense of me, however, I have been feeling under the weather since late last week. Undoubtedly I could have taken Friday as a legitimate sick day because I felt plowed, and not in the good fun plowed-by-cocktails kinda way, either. So, Friday I walked myself to the movie store and rented a stack of films. It's strange - Craig loves nothing more than to settle in for a movie night, but usually I feel too restless to watch movies these days. However, in his absence a movie is like a companion in his place. The TV season is wrapped up so I can't count on anything on cable channels (well, most of that is a result of HDTV not spanning enough channels and therefore I tend to ignore my old standby faves anymore, such as Lifetime for Women and MTV reality tv marathons.) Nevertheless, I have a mixed review for a movie I rented called Catch and Release. Come on, I had to watch it - I mean, it's not only in the chick flick genre with Kevin Smith as an attraction for the boyfriends who are forced against their will to sit through chick flicks, but it also stars Jennifer Garner, an actress which, no matter how many times I've struggled to hate her (she's just too perky and gorgeous and sweet, or something) I have a hard time disliking. So my review goes a little something like this: Nice work attacking such an abject plotline, to begin with. How much more tragic can you get than a young woman losing her fiance before they get married? So as for straight plotline alone, I applaud the writers. However, there were so many holes. I loved the opening sequence. The narrator is delivering a mental monologue directed to her deceased fiance, and despite my difficulty admitting that Jennifer Garner is at least an okay chick flick actress, I will say that her facial expressions were on target. And, really for the first half hour of the movie, her reaction seems natural enough. But then things get tricky. There's money laying around, of course, in his wake (pardon the pun.) There's potentially a child he fathered, which could be true enough to life. But a child he wasn't sure he fathered and still sent the mother 3 G's a month as support money? Get out of here. When does that happen? Next up: the sexy Californian guy friend sticks around Boulder after the funeral? Why? Clearly he has money of his own somehow, which I'd guess is from a job (he mentions "making commercials" - whatever hours those people work, I'm envious) yet he just hangs around for weeks following the guy's funeral for what, again? It doesn't seem that he's specifically staying to seduce the widowed fiancee, but of course, that's what winds up happening - or she seduces him - what a way to mourn. Does that mean those two would have fallen for each other regardless of the to-be husband's life or death status? Or did circumstances just lead to their newfound love? And then there's her name in the movie: Gray. Gray? Clearly the intent was to match Grady with Gray (Grady is the guy who died) but seriously, couldn't they have picked like Alex and Alexandra or something? Adam and Amanda? But whatever the thinking was behind it, certainly the aim was for artsy. I've got to be honest, when artsy is aimed at and the arrow just misses, it's a little bit annoying. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the movie overall. There were moments when I just kind of cringed. That's what watching chick flicks is for - the unspoken understanding that what I'm watching isn't a film necessarily as much as it is a two hour reprieve from real life.*That said, I also rented Because I Said So (again, this isn't a Craig-geared show even though he is very compromising and willing when it comes to watching KB-movies) and an Australian film called Candy. Heath Ledger is in this film, and he's once again managed to display the complete ability to act. He's incredible in it. So is Abbie Cornish, his junkie wife. The reviews I read of this film were that another heroin - junkie movie doesn't need to be made - we have enough already - but the fact that this particular movie took place in Australia added a new element for me. Now that I've been to England, I have better grasped an understanding that cultures react differently to similar behaviors, and yet there is still the underlying human vein that is universal. I think what piqued my interest the most about this film was the amount of screen time between Heath and Abbie. It's a rare instance to see them apart, and when you do, there is a more strongly felt absence than is present in typical in relationship-type movies. They're so into each other, much more into each other than into their drug habit, but yet the drug habit is like a seam that holds them together, too. The soundtrack was pretty incredible, and the unfolding drama in that they are both artists (she, a painter, he, a poet) contributed a good deal to the movie. I think the bottom line is this: artists and writers have an inherent inability to tuck as neatly into regular society as other-minded types, and sometimes that leads to self-destructive behavior. But what is interesting to note is that once a person falls out of step with his or her art form and lets a drug take control, the art evaporates and what's left is a shell of a human who used to create. Candy isn't my favorite version of heroin junkie life, but I did rather like it.*Above shown is a bar in the Meatpacking District where Craig and I had a drink last weekend. This bar is called The Gaslight, and Craig had scoped it out on the internet prior to us stopping in. We were taken aback by its emptiness for a Saturday mid-afternoon, though. Anyway, I really posted it mostly because Craig has the camera on his fishing trip this weekend, so I wasn't able to shoot any pictures of my home alone time over the past few days. Positives about my weekend so far: I've stuck to the diet well, with the exception of wine intake (right now is a Sauvignon Blanc in celebration of summer), I'm listening to my Nano and Snow Patrol is singing me a song of theirs I've never heard before (we stocked our iPods with Snow Patrol a while back, thanks to Grey's Anatomy, of course, but I haven't spent much time with it yet), last night I ate Asparagus Soup which was excellent and spicy and healthy, tonight I am eating Greek Penne Pasta which contains tomatoes, Kalamata olives, spinach, fat-free feta, garlic, pine nuts and some seasoning, I still have one movie left to watch (Half Nelson) to send back to Netflix, after blogging I plan to embark on my initial closet and kitchen cleaning plan, today I bought two smart work shirts from Banana Republic, plus some comfy cotton GAP stuff, there is a thunderstorm somewhere in the distance so it isn't raining here, but I can hear the thunder from afar, the Subway Series is this weekend and at least last time I checked, the Mets have it (they play one more game of the series tomorrow), and tomorrow I head to the Port Authority to jump on a bus to Weehawken, NJ to meet at Pam's for book club. I need to figure out the plan for that. I know we're meeting anytime after 1, and I pulled The Year of Magical Thinking off my book shelf so I won't forget to bring it along. It will be interesting, even just to see Pam's place - I think her apartment overlooks the Hudson, which means commanding views of New York. No camera!! I hope someone else has one tomorrow. I may volunteer for next book club but that might mean meeting in the UES somewhere that isn't my apartment - maybe we could go to Central Park. And no, I didn't go there by myself this afternoon as planned. I really should have.*Another thing I have realized in Craig's absence is that I really am one of the luckiest people alive to have a companion in life that I love so much. We haven't spoken in now two days (no cell service in the Gulf of Mexico), and hopefully we can chat when he gets to the Jacksonville airport tomorrow, but I really miss him. I just miss so many things, I couldn't even begin to name what I miss. Little grunts, his feet on the coffee table, how he breaks into song unpredictably, the smell of his neck and the sound of his breathing while he sleeps on the couch...among so many other things. I'm not sure what New York did for me this weekend without him here. It compliments our lives together so much better when we're both here. That's a wonderful thing.*

June 13, 2007


I've got some catching up to do with our activity over the past week or so, but versus doing that tonight, I wanted to take the time to post a few pictures I've been wanting to post, mention Craig's upcoming trip tomorrow and the fantasies I have of all the things I will accomplish in his absence, and really just rattle a while before I make my exit to prepare Chicken in Chipotle-Tomato Sauce with Ziti. Sounds fancy and is compliments of Cooking Light Magazine. So, the photograph above depicts the apartment living room Craig and I have so tenderly pieced together. While I have posted apartment pictures before, this one hails as my favorite thus far. The lighting is nice, the pumpkin wall is there, the new coffee ("butler") table, the new eating table, the dyed daisies Craig bought me last week, plus the glass of wine to add the finishing touch. The flowers we bought from a corner store. Many bodegas and corner markets in New York are flanked on their outsides by garden or flower selections. The more fresh cut flowers or plants we've added to our tables or sills, the happier I feel, so I conclude flowers in the apartment at all times is a must.*Speaking of Craig, who has bought me flowers now twice this year, marking a record for our entire relationship of close to seven years (!), as we discussed on our commute to work this morning...tomorrow he embarks on his first fishing trip with some old friends from Syracuse (not that they live in Syracuse now, but that Craig knew them from Syracuse back when), plus one husband friend from Atlanta (my very gifted and gorgeous friend Andrea's husband, to be exact) plus maybe a couple of guys Craig doesn't know. The place where Craig will board a boat to wield a rod is pronounced "Steen-hatchie." Or, maybe it's "Steen-a-hatchie" (Florida). He described this place to me years ago, back when the first fishing trip with these boys was ever scheduled, that trip and each subsequent trip which he has missed due to schedule conflict. Therefore, this is his first chance to go in something like three years. So, as I write this, he is getting a haircut and will be home soon to pack all kinds of summerish beach- or boating-wear. (Sidenote: I posted a frustrated post last night about the dumb expensive Oakley sunglasses he just had to buy in SoHo yesterday with me as his witness...well, sort of, until I bailed before the purchase was made, irritated at being in a sunglasses store for near an hour, and cabbed it home on the FDR - but I have since deleted that post because it was pretty bratty.) Anyway, his excitement for activity doesn't begin until the night before. This has been Craig's M.O. since I've known him. Back when we were miserably long distance, I would get excited about trips to see him weeks in advance of the trip(s). I would call, however many times, "Craig, aren't you so excited to see me??" and he would reply coolly, "Not yet." Night before, always, almost always, he would stop cleaning his apartment in anticipation of my visit long enough to answer my question over the phone, "Yeah," in a very lovingly gruff voice. The night before anything he enjoys or will enjoy, Craig glows. It's standard practice.*Meanwhile, here is KB, left to ponder the mysteries of New York on her own for the first time in a year. This isn't necessarily completely true, since I've taken classes the entire time I've been in New York, which constitutes me navigating myself to Greenwich Village solo once a week, plus a writing workshop I took in SoHo on a Saturday, plus the AIDS-charity bookfair I traveled to in SoHo solo last fall, plus any other time Craig hasn't been by my side while we've worked to become New Yorkers. Still this will be an entire weekend, including Friday which I am liberally taking off despite my slow boss' inability to return my "vacation approval" (I keep announcing verbally that I am not in Friday; what more does he want??) of much of the following: purging of old clothes (there is a Good Will several blocks away on 2nd Ave), gathering of all old writing from two semesters (although the only writing with which I'm satisfied was produced semester 2), working out (I wish to devote so much more time to it, but working 9 hours, commuting 1 hour each way, and commanding the kitchen as Chef KB each night, which includes nightly grocery store trips, chopping vegetables and sauteeing, since I don't presently have a sous-chef, takes up much of my time!), blogging, walking to Central Park by myself (which oddly frightens me, even though I'm hands-on New York and have been to the Great Lawn a dozen times or more in Craig's footsteps), and many other miscellaneous "wish-I-could-accomplish-everday" things, in addition to traveling to Weehawken, New Jersey Sunday for book club (we're discussing The Year of Magical Thinking, which I read last summer.) Book club is meeting very early Sunday afternoon, so I should be home early enough in the evening to finish any leftover "before-Craig-gets-home" detail in the apartment. Now, let's compare what I say I am doing this weekend to what I actually do this weekend, after the fact. No matter what, New York and KB solo are an interesting combo. I'm excited to see where it goes. I'm equally excited for Craig to have some MAN time. We all know I give him little of that myself...!*

June 03, 2007


I've been working really, really hard to be better in the kitchen. This is a personal mission I've been on basically since Craig and I moved in together in Atlanta two and a half years ago, for a number of reasons, one being that his mom is fantastic in the kitchen, one being that both of his sisters are great in the kitchen, too, one even who is a certified dietician, and another reason being that someday there will be little ones who are looking up at me imploringly about what's to eat and since my own mom raised me on such healthy cooking and homemade meals and vegetables, fruit (despite my dislike of fruit now, which remains a curious mystery), lean cuts of meat, and little exposure to Oreos, Chips Ahoy, chocolate cake, candy bars and greasy chips as after school snacks, I desire to give my own children (someday) the same opportunity, which is to be reared on a positive diet. All of this said, I still make royal and brutal mistakes in the kitchen. Sometimes it's too much salt. Sometimes it's leaving the salt and pepper shakers on the rear metal panel of the stove which gets hot when I cook and after so much time the rubber stoppers on the underside of the shakers, or just the salt shaker, melts and when I go to grab the salt for pasta water, the rubber stopper falls out and salt sprays across my entire stovetop. Or sometimes it's the case of last night.*While on these diets that we're on, counting "points" like a game and making sure our diet is adding up to a healthy result at the end of the day, I'm fairly concerned about eating out. None of the restaurants in New York boast on being diet-friendly, I can assure. And that's fine, because eating in New York is one of the world's finest and most prized experiences, ever. I say that after a year of doing it and a year of the lbs on my body to prove it. So, in the spirit of sticking with our diets and still socializing, I convinced Craig that our friends Paul and Steph, friends through work and both which (who?) live on Long Island and for whom coming to the City (Manhattan) is an event, not just merely going out, would likely be appreciative if I cooked dinner at home before going to bars. Craig wasn't convinced until I uttered the two words he so loves to hear, "Chicken Enchiladas", because I do make a mad, mean, amazing, unbeatable Chicken Enchilada (all thanks to Southern Living but still, I am the perfectionist behind the apron here). We agreed, high-fived it and went to the grocery store together to find all of the fat-free versions of the ingredients. The day went on and we cleaned the apartment, did this and that, and it became time for me to round up a bowl of light guacamole as an appetizer: avocado, lime juice, hot sauce, Dijon, fat-free sour cream, cilantro, cumin, salt (loved this guac!) and then I began the main course. Paul and Steph jumped on a 7 o'clock Long Island Rail Road train into Penn Station, which is about an hour + away, then took a cab to our place, and the enchiladas were being rolled as they walked in the door. I popped the beauties in the oven, poured my first glass of vino for the evening, and took a break to socialize. Then I chopped some tomato and scallions to sprinkle ontop of the entree, in addition to combining the remaining fat-free sour cream and green salsa.*By the time the enchiladas were ready to come out of the oven, the Goya rice was finished steaming on the stovetop. I hate making rice on the stove. Hate isn't a strong enough word: I loathe making rice on the stovetop. Loathe isn't a strong enough word. Anyway, rice is impossible. It sticks, no matter what smart method you use. It's too quick to steam or it doesn't steam quickly enough. It burns itself to the saucepan. It just isn't easy, at least for me. Particularly when I'm attempting to make flavored rice, I typically suck at the attempt. (Making rice is like pouring a glass of tap water, so I realize I sound very hypocritical when I say I'm getting better in the kitchen and yet I can't make rice. I also can't make hard boiled eggs, so my someday-children will miss out on that, too. That's life sometimes). I digress. After the rice was "steamed" I moved the saucepan to a back burner of my miniature version of a stovetop and I yanked on my oven mitts to remove the enchiladas. I steadied the Pyrex dish on the stovetop, admired the diligence of my work, ladled the green salsa and sour cream mixture over the enchiladas, sprinkled the chopped toms and scallions across the masterpiece, and something smelled weird, like burning. The far left enchilada in the dish was still bubbling. Almost as if in slow motion, I reached to move the dish and it popped, like a gun shot. It was quick, the way glass breaks. And explosive. There is still glass all over our apartment (the kitchen area, anyway). Evidently (although evidently implies that there is a remote chance this isn't true, while it's 100% true) I left the gas burner on the stove when I removed the rice from heat. So when I placed the lovingly prepared main entree on the stove, the far left enchilada not only got a little too much heat from the low heat of the burner, but the Pyrex also took a beating, which yielded exploded glass all over my enchiladas, feet, floor, counter, stovetop and the on-lookers (Craig, Steph and Paul) as we stared at the unfolded disaster.*