September 30, 2007


We're back from a hilarious visit to D.C. to visit Roger and Mary. It began Friday: we left work, Wojo, Craig and I, heading to Penn Station via the E train. There, we shuffled onto the New Jersey Transit train packed with commuters. We traveled to Princeton, Jersey where Karen picked us up and the four of us drove the 4 hours or so to Arlington, Virginia. Roger and Mary had drinks all ready (Mary, of course, was drinking juice and water only) and we hung around on their back deck for hours, tiki torches blazing. They're such great friends and hosts. Mary has some interesting compositionally unique still lifes arranged around the house. I threatened to steal the arrangement in the fireplace but relented to snapping pictures only. (By the way, posting pictures seems to be "broken" right now, so I will have to post my pictures later. Bummer. I managed to get one up only.) So Saturday morning we woke up relatively early, especially considering Rog and I talked until 5.30 a.m.! and Mary made us breakfast of scrambled eggs, blueberry pancakes, sausage links and fresh fruit. She served us coffee and let us spread her amazing raspberry homemade jam on our pancakes in lieu of syrup, if we wished (so good she even beat out my deceased Grandma's homemade raspberry jam from when I was young!) We ate outside on their nice deck furniture. Following breakfast, we all suited up to head to Georgetown. The sensation of memory is strange. As we drove across the Francis Scott Key Bridge, I could feel just as though following that same path in 1996 or 97 were just yesterday (I went there in college to visit friends for Spring Break.) Anyway, Roger and Mary own kayaks and they often kayak the Potomac River. Karen, Wojo, Craig and I rented tandems (I'm pretty glad we didn't rent singles) and off we kayaked along the Potomac! The weather was indescribably beautiful - blue skies stretching forever, perfect temps in the seventies, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine. I am a little bit afraid of water sports but this was peaceful and good exercise all the same. Roger shot a hundred photos and I shot a lot, too. I was using their "dry bag" to keep the camera and all of our wallets dry. It wasn't too splashy but there was water here and there. We rowed past the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. There were gorgeous full weeping willows that I liked (not shown above). Really, the experience was impressive and exciting and I'm glad we spent the two hours out there that we did. After kayaking, we returned to Arlington to their house, changed clothes, grabbed a beer for the road and walked to Clarendon, which is a quaint little neighborhood in Arlington. We fell into an interesting bar with columns wrapped in spray-painted ends of 2x4's (each end painted different bright colors), paint buckets as light fixtures overhead and exposed black ductwork in the ceilings. We ate wings and spring rolls and wraps and drank pitchers of beer. They're all so comedic and I love spending time with them. I had been keeping a notepad with various quotes through the weekend. I will recap shortly. We finished dinner and headed back to their house, stopping at a 7-11 for a bottle of wine for me, ice and anything else we felt we might need for the night. When we got back to the house, we had Jager Bombs (it's a staple of Roger and Mary's - Rog loves the Jagermeister!) and sat on the deck some more, chatted, then decided to play a round of some card game called Apples to Apples or something. At this point I was beyond a very comprehending frame of mind, so each round Roger or Wojo or Craig had to re-explain the rules of the game to me. These guys each qualify as my team of micromanagers (it started with Roger micromanaging me in St. Louis and of course was followed shortly by my micromanagement by Craig when we finally moved in together in Atlanta, and then Wojo joined the force to offer additional micromanagement - on the River I made a comment about the joy of having all of my micromanagers in one place and the overstimulation thereof!) and so I can only imagine how annoyed they must have been having to teach and re-teach the card game to me. No matter, because I wound up passing out along the way through the game there on the couch. And this morning I woke up totally well rested! but hungover, too. Instead of putting Mary through the headache of cooking again, we showered and walked to a place in Clarendon called Something-on Wilson. Wojo and Roger took full advantage of the brunch buffet bar, which had such things as crab legs and bacon and omelet stations on it. The rest of us selected items off the menu. I ate a tuna steak sandwich with olives, artichokes, mesclun and Dijon mustard plus a side salad. Craig and Mary ordered omelets and Karen ordered a cheeseburger. Oh, before lunch, Mary walked Karen and me to this cute little shop which had lots of fun items, sort of like the shops I've wandered into in Brooklyn. There was a wall of baby things - mostly funny onesies, like one that read, "Someday I will egg a house" made by a company called "wry kid" or something and their mission statement is, "raise funny people." Another shirt read, "Pictures with Baby: 25 cents" and another read, "I'm not a girl". Funny! And one wall over there were "action figures" - Van Gogh action figure, Obsessive Compulsive action figure...I liked seeing clever stuff. Well, so after brunch we walked back to their house and packed it up to head out. We probably won't see Roger and Mary until after the babe is born now. I will see Rog at our company's Annual Meeting in a couple of weeks, but nothing after that for quite some time. They won't know if they can fly to the Wojo-Karen wedding in January until right at that time...and the Gordo-Julie wedding might be way out of the question if the baby's too tiny at that time. Anyway, I loved seeing them. They're such perfect friends to know and have. So are Wojo and Karen. Our ride back was fine. I pawed through Karen's Elegant Bride magazine and found two adorable dresses I'd surely love if we knew when we were going to go through with it - if it's more than two years out, why bother with looking at dresses so, it kind of jinxes me a little! Wojo and Karen dropped us off at a NJ Transit station and we were back home by a little after 8. I've had a lot of problems with Blogger tonight, making it work, which is annoying but I did want to post about seeing my friends before it got too far away from me. And now, to recap the really funny things, only the ones I jotted down, of course, that elapsed over the course of time with Roger, Mary, Wojo, Karen and Craig...
"I think I have more Jager than Bomb." - Karen, holding up her shot of Jager next to her glass of Red Bull
(insert: Wojo's nickname at work has evolved somehow to Poppy Waxahachie...)
"Poppy...what did you say, Chattahoochee?" - Mary, trying to remember his nickname in full
...two things I can't mention because parts of it are still secret...
Roger had some laser device and he was measuring the temperatures of Wojo's and Craig's groinal region from inside the kitchen through the screen...he announced said temps...funny...
"Taking the pigskin bus to Tuna Town..." - Wojo's description of having sex
"Roger is going to come back out here as soon as he is done making pizza." - Craig, seeing as we just learned "making pizza" is code for having sex
"He's a loose cannon." - Wojo, re: someone whose name I cannot disclose but it's very funny how he said this all the same.
"Chicken-howski." - Roger's addition to Wojo's ever-extended nickname.
"Poppy Waxahachie Chattahoochee Chincilla Chicken-howski." - Wojo's full nickname, with an additional nickname of Furry Box of Kittens, named after a rapids they all went on not long ago.
"Pee Wee wasn't that big." - Wojo, when asked if he played Pee Wee Football in Oshgosh, where he's from in Wisconsin. "Pee Wee still isn't that big."
*I really love having clever friends. It makes all the difference in life in general. So now it's off to bed and time to gear up for another work week. Yuck!
This week is nice and empty. Sharon and I don't meet this week because she's going to the Symphony Wednesday. And Friday Craig and I have plans with Wojo because Karen is out of town. Saturday is Eric and Lynn's first Astoria apartment party. Fun things are happening all the time. I'm so glad!

September 27, 2007


Can you identify the overlooked incorrect grammar in this beer poster? It's weird - I feel like I've posted this already once before but I only encountered it last weekend, so potentially it's been a post I've just been meaning to post. Anyway, someone was paid to lay out and proofread this poster. Hopefully not much.*Tonight has been refreshing compared to many nights this week thus far. I am constantly bragging about cooking and about Craig loving what I cook, and most nights I clean and tidy up corners of the apartment (specifically our bedroom which is far too tiny to let clutter accumulate), and by 9 or a little after I'm shot and ready for bed. A little bit of TV perhaps, or intentions to translate recipes from 8.5x11 print-outs to the blank recipe cards Craig's mom sent me several years ago (many are filled out but many are not), or washing my face, or planning a new dinner for subsequent weeks...but honestly, it's exhausting. After getting up so early and heading out to work and working (no windows in office, tight air most days, but that's all I'll say!) and commuting home and then trying to do anything else (much of the above listed), plaster me to my bed - I'm done. Early, too. But tonight we volunteered our really good Mets tickets to a co-worker (this was a game rain delayed from earlier in the season - the Mets are getting creamed and are risking no post-season play - we have it on TV in the other room) so that we could come home and get things ready for our trip to Washington, D.C. tomorrow (funny, is there a comma in there??) to see Roger and Mary. We're leaving right from work with our co-worker Wojo (who worked with Roger a hundred years ago in Milwaukee) and Wojo's fiancee Karen. Karen will be working in Princeton, NJ and will be awaiting our arrival via train from work. We will all pile into Wojo's/Karen's car and drive to D.C. I'm so excited, really elated, actually, because between the 6 of us, there is a lot of clever wit and experience and fun, and we're a great group. Our plan is to wake early Saturday and kayak on the Potomac. Later in the morning or early in the afternoon we will find the Purdue-Notre Dame football game (historical big one for Purdue and Notre Dame)(and Craig, Roger and Mary all graduated from Purdue) and some beer and watch. Then we will play it by ear. It's supposed to be gorgeous, so why duck into dark museums? Who knows what will pan out. As I've recently blurted out on my blog page, Mary is an expectant mother so we need to go easy on her!! But then again, Roger, Wojo, Craig and Karen know how to belly up, too. Any way it goes down, it will be fun. I love them all. I can't wait to see Roger and Mary. Such fun and wonderful kids...*Off to complete some more tasks before the 9 o'clock mindless TV session begins.

September 23, 2007


I don't really know how to describe the experience of last night. In fact, posting pictures and gushing is probably all I can manage. However it won't do it justice. I already said how much I adore Claire Danes. In fact, I may as well profess my undying love for her right here, although that would remain largely untrue considering my real undying love goes only to the perfect blonde man who shares my apartment and offers me sultry eyes when no one else is looking. But still, come on, Claire Danes is my generation's Aubrey Hepburn. She is. Pygmalion was...breathe, KB, before you gush...nothing short of amazing. I laughed, and laughed, and kept laughing, and kept reeling the whole time over how clever the script was! George Bernard Shaw was born before 1900 and here is this perfectly concise and gorgeous script for someone of the likes of Claire Danes as Eliza Doolittle or Jefferson Mays as Henry Higgins to come along and just rock it on stage. Jefferson Mays, speaking of which, basically stole the show right from underneath Claire. No, they shared the stage. No, it's impossible to decide which character, Eliza or Henry, took complete control of the audience. But I will say one thing: the moment at which Henry accused Eliza of the possibility of retreating back to her Cockney accent and lifestyle, then she sees her father walk in all done up in fancy attire, and she shrieks like the old Cockney Eliza and Henry flails his arms about and says, "See! See!" or whatever, then dives, arms outstretched, into the window sill of his mother's drawing room, I thought my laughter wouldn't stop. I felt like I was convulsing with it. Henry Higgins was incredible - a total theater treat. He's a Tony Award winner for some other play - it's obvious. He is a natural on stage. Claire was very good, too. She's gorgeous and smart. But I think Jefferson/Henry Higgins had the whole show in his hands.*So now, I am procrastinating. I made an adventurous marinara sauce tonight to include with a Baked Ziti Casserole, which also turned out very well, and then I offered to finish the dishes, which is gross and unlikely of me. I wrote approximately 2 paragraphs in my new fall notebook earlier tonight, and now it is time to compose somewhat of a story, but I'm not sure that I can. In fact, I might send a note to Sharon and plead that I switch back to poetry. At least nice phrases are forgiving. Bad narratives are not. So here I go, off to build a world I've never seen in 10 pages or less. Scary.* PS--The most wonderfully wonderful thing about Claire is that she cares about intelligence a little. I so wish more actresses did. She's good about it. Here's to more Claire Danes's in the industry.

September 22, 2007


Diet? Who's on a diet? Okay, so we agreed to take the weekend off to enable ourselves to enjoy our travels to Buffalo, New York to see Don and Jen get married. We both signed up for the prime rib dinner (disregarding the vegetarian lasagna as an option), but there was also the fact of eating lunch in Buffalo, New York - what else but signature wings? Our boss went to college in Buffalo and recommended Duff's in Amherst.*Everything has gone really well for us the past couple of days, beginning with meeting Jeff and Lauren in the Park to see Patty Griffin Thursday night. Some other gentleman played for about an hour, and after he was done Craig and I wandered out to grab a glass of wine. We sat down on a bench and the bench immediately next to us was occupied by none other than the lovely and funny Megan Mullally. At first I didn't really believe Craig, who was facing me, when he said he thought Karen (her Will & Grace character) was sitting over my shoulder. But I looked, and alas, it was her! Craig took a picture of "me" with her behind me. Then our friend Shanta, who had given Jeff, Lauren, Craig and me the free tickets (Shanta works at Joe's Pub and the event was called "Pub in the Park", hence Shanta was working at the event) walked by - we saw her and whispered, "Shanta, Karen from Will & Grace is right over there!" and the gentleman with her, also with Joe's Pub, walked Shanta over to meet Megan. Ha! Funny. She was surrounded by a couple of friends but she was just casually there to see Patty Griffin - I love being star struck! Anyway, Patty Griffin was amazing. Craig was speculative going into it, not sure that he'd have a grand time at a chick folk rock concert, but I, of course, have never, ever let him down in the realm of female music performances (Kristin H., Liz Phair, Sleater-Kinney, Tegan & Sara...he's loved them all!) but he was extremely impressed with Patty. She sounded so good! So then we came home and had a Carlsberg together while I played him various songs of hers from my old college days. She almost had me in tears at the show, primarily because I was there with such a great old friend from IU (Lauren) who helped me love Patty back then, too.*Friday, then, we woke up and showered and headed to LaGuardia. Cabbed it there, easy check in, picked up an armload of magazines (I use flying anywhere to satiate my utter addiction to magazines of all shapes and sizes - People, Cooking Light, The New Yorker because Sharon [writing] 's husband has a cartoon published in it this week, and a Time Out New York for Craig...he loves it and I think we're going to subscribe to it) and boarded our on-time flight and off we headed to Buffalo. We landed on time, grabbed our rental car, cruised to Duff's and the above pictured was the result, later yielding quite the ferocious bellyaches for the two of us who are now so conditioned to healthy eating that one bad binge can make us feel like we're being stabbed repeatedly in the gut. But it passed quickly, and we headed to the hotel to get ready for the wedding. The ceremony and dinner were held in the same room - short, but sweet ceremony, and we were seated at our assigned table. Let me digress. I haven't mentioned Sharon and our first meeting last week. It went well - but of course, as in any first "class" meeting, not as much was accomplished as I would have liked. I had only submitted 4 pages to her, and it is such rough draft work that we wound up re-inventing the way in which I intend to write it altogether (tomorrow's task). But sitting there in the dim light of her small Brooklyn character-ridden kitchen, with its old appliances and open window and unique textures, poring over the differences between poetry and fiction, the qualities of writing, characters, structure and intentions, the trading of author names and ideas, I just felt right, somehow. So it went very well, in actuality. And she amazes me with her brilliance. So anyway, one of the last things we discussed was numbers. I told her my only real connection with numbers at all, considering I was a fine math student back in the day but I resisted its practicality therefore I never really practiced at it, is the number 4. She then informed me that the number 4 is unlucky in Japan because Japanese for 4 is shi, or death. In Chinese shi is poetry. She rattled off some more interesting trivia and I explained to her that the number 4 has seemed to crop up in more addresses that I've had than not, and additionally I am an April baby, hence my fascination with 4. So, that said, we arrive at the wedding and at what table are we seated? Of course it's mere coincidence. Back to the ceremony - it was brief, which, considering they've been engaged for 5 years now, was rather a pleasant surprise. Nothing against Don and Jen in saying so, but wedding ceremonies tend to really just drag on, and I know it is more about the couple and their love than about the audience, and I know someday Craig and I will be standing there looking mushy into each other's eyes and people will be restless in their seats and ready for the open bar, but hopefully we can learn from the brevity of last night and just get to the point of tying that knot like they did. Nice work to Jen's aunt that planned the wedding. There was wine, and more wine, and lots of wine and dancing (Craig and I don't typically hit the floor until we're pretty well lit because frankly, neither of us knows one bit about dancing however it did prompt him to suggest a dance class before our wedding - I declared salsa! - and we won't tell a single soul [readers, vault this] and then when we have our "first dance" we'll put on a total show and wow everyone in attendance) - but anyway, so it takes quite a bit of liquid courage before we're out there acting like we know what we're up to. But it's fun, and it sobers us up substantially too. We weren't driving back to the hotel (I demanded possession of the keys immediately to ensure a strict No Driving policy) so we definitely enjoyed ourselves, I will say that. We met some nice people, too. I guess I...I'm not necessarily a people snob, but I do like to engage myself in my free time with people with which I select to spend my time. My time is so limited these days that if I'm going to go somewhere with someone (almost always also with Craig, that is, because he is the sole winner of the Person With Whom I Want To Spend Most Time Award - ha, lucky him!) I want to know in advance that our interests are similar, our conversations will be worth it, et cetera et cetera. This particular Friday evening I didn't have any say, and nothing again against Don and Jen, because they have wonderful family and friends, but Craig and I really didn't have a ton in common with many in attendance. So, there were awkward moments, I suppose, but it happens. After wine and good food and dancing, of course, everyone in the room is on the same playing field.*There was an oil painting outside of the banquet room depicting a girl in a red dress very similar to mine last night. She's leaning against a piano and looking down. I pointed it out to Craig and he took a closer look and said, "Hey! It's Kristi!" I secretly love when he calls me Kristi, too, so I glowed. (Kristi is a name I will go by only reserved for people my mom calls "in the Circle," seeing as I grew up being called that and pretty immediately, as like a 5 year old, changed it to the more "grown up" version of my name with an "n" at the end. But Craig started calling me Kristi way back and he only does it in small spurts.) (That was a lengthy and irrelevant description but I'm getting sleepy and am too lazy to really amend it.) We were driven back to the hotel, passed out pretty good, and woke this morning to shower and have free breakfast in the lobby. It was alright - I ate a spoonful of scrambled eggs, a sausage patty (not good!), a small amount of potatoes and a blueberry fat-free yogurt. Craig took a cab to the banquet hall to grab our rental car and I packed up our stuff. Then we headed to Buffalo Airport, whatever it's called. There was a large gathering of Korean children all toting instrument cases and wearing the same shirts which read "something - Orchestra" so we raced ahead of them to the security line, although that was a vain effort considering they all lined up in the same queue, for some reason. And once through security, the magazine selections were pathetic and couldn't hold a candle to the selection at LGA. So I wound up with Health and Elle. Health is good - I like it cover to cover, but Elle is chunked with so many ads and perfume samples that it's nearly impossible to read. Health dimmed my mood somewhat momentarily, considering almost every single article preaches about aging and how at 30, you may as well beg the reaper to haul you away, but then I looked at it from a "glass half FULL" perspective, that being one of "think how fun of a challenge it will be to try to stay youthful as an aging adult." My optimism only arrived with the much-awaited start of my period yesterday morning at LaGuardia, considering most months my emotions the week prior range from impatient to antsy to unpredictable to psycho, and then the thing finally shows itself and it's like the weight of the world is lifted. And as for Elle, well, I did read an okay Reese Witherspoon article (Elle interviews are so abstract and go nowhere, it would seem) and a Steve Carell one (he is going to shine in the Dan in Real Life movie, I can't wait...) but overall, I didn't walk away with much. So I hereby table my magazine addiction until the next time I fly. Oh, and notably, we did board the plane at Gate 4 in Buffalo.*I'm really enjoying my Saturday. We landed at noon today, easily grabbed a cab and were home before 1. It was raining a little but it doesn't matter because we just wanted to get to the apartment and relax. We ordered yummy burritos from newfound Sabor a Mexico on 1st Ave (we have the whole weekend off and next week it's back to the diet grind...although, I suppose I may as well refer to it more as a lifestyle now, since that's what it has become) and I've downloaded all the photos from the wedding, scrutinizing each photo of the two of us for pores and wrinkles in my face (all thanks to Health), and soon I nap. Tonight we have great seats at Pygmalion starring Claire Danes. It's her Broadway debut, and while I am so excited to go to the theater with Craig, as always, I'm ecstatic to see Claire live and in the flesh. Craig and I are really compatible when it comes to female celebrities. We share the same respect for many of the same women who are silverscreen beauties but more offbeat, such as Zooey Deschanel, Maggie G., Parker Posey (that's more me than him), and Claire falls right in step with our faves. In fact, 1994 found me curled up on the couch at my parents' cradling the phone in my ear crying with my friend Stacia over My So-Called Life more than once. So I've always loved Claire. Now she's a matured person and prettier and more interesting than ever. I'm so excited. Craig and I saw Anne Heche on Broadway years ago, and we were so in struckness...who cares. It happens to some of us. It might be a matter of respect for what they do. I just know tonight will find us gasping in the same gasps as when the curtain lifted to reveal Anne Heche lying on the stage in Proof back then.*I suppose I've said enough. I don't get to do this as often as I'd like so I guess I'm over-compensating. I love New York, I love New York. I love my endearingly terrific roommate and best friend and everything, who naps to football right now. It's fall, and I'm ready.

September 16, 2007


Our weekend has once again flown by, varying radically from the work days which crawl at the speed which a snail might actually beat. However, we did manage to get into some fun stuff, beginning Friday with the discovery of a new Argentinian restaurant and Ryan's Daughter (much raved about bar on 1st Avenue) and wrapping into Saturday's shoe shopping in Union Square, pen and notebook shopping for my much-anticipated sessions with Sharon which are scheduled to begin this coming Wednesday, some college football (yeah, it was me, sitting on the edge of the couch shouting profanities at a flat non-responsive screen - likely not!!), and Korean food at Gama (I think that's its name) on St. Mark's Place, where we've drank Soju before but not eaten. The food was superior. We had never eaten Korean anywhere before, so we were in for a nice treat, and it only added ambience to the experience that there were about 95 Koreans seated at a giant mess of tables in the middle of the dining area, toasting shots of Soju in uproarious manner and hugging one another in interims. They were so loud that our adorable Korean waitress begged us to ask them to be quiet. Clearly, they had been there awhile. Anyway, we drank Soju again (when drinking Soju, according to our favorite drinking television show, it is proper to pour the other person's drink, which is a small shot glass meant to be sipped) and drank Korean beer called OB and ate scallion seafood pancakes and dumplings filled with glorious things and skirt steak and brochettes and seasoned rice. Everything tasted quite good, although again, I'm no aficianado of Korean so I'm not going to claim it's the best thing since cheddar cheese (which is, of course, The Best Thing.)*After Korean, we walked a while, attempting to find a place that seemed suitable. I dragged Craig into some awful upper crust bar where we were carded and couldn't really find a seat and there were mirrors everywhere and fancy people so clearly, we didn't fit in there. After that, we headed right to Sweet and Vicious, which is completely great (we first went there back in August of last year when my dear college friend Jen threw herself Bi-Coastal 30th Birthday parties, one in New York and one in L.A. - incidentally, that was also the time she became pregnant with her now-gorgeous healthy boy named Langston!) Sweet and Vicious was stuffed to the gills with artsy and wonderful people, and the patio out back was a blast.*Today we ate brunch at Yura, went to the grocery for the week's food (Cajun Chicken Pasta and Asiago Orzo and Chicken...Wednesday I have writing session so we're ordering Chinese, Thursday we're going to Pub in the Park with Jeff and Lauren - Joe's Pub's concert in the Shakespeare theater in Central Park - Patty Griffin is playing!!!...more on that later, and Friday morning we fly to Buffalo for the Don/Jen wedding) so I am only cooking twice this week. I made turkey tacos for lunch, we ordered tickets to see Claire Danes in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion next Saturday night after flying back from Buffalo, and tonight I have book club (waiting on Alison who will be here soon and we will car service it over there.) We will hash out just how bad The Optimist's Daughter is, drink wine, eat healthful appetizers and brood. Brooding is my new favorite word to describe the art crowd and the thinking life. I think brood is hilariously on target.*Pickles and Olives is a store my co-worker swore to me high and low was at 86th somewhere near 2nd or 3rd. Because of our exploits on 1st Friday night, I finally found the place that is my heaven on earth (do they also sell wine??) which sells pickles and olives by the barrel-full and which probably deserves a handful of my paychecks sometime soon. Obviously, they weren't so much open Friday night.
Off to party down New York City book club-style. That yields a lot of brooding and wine.*

September 13, 2007


I had a better day today than the previous 3. I somewhat recognized my worth today at work, helping out, being smart, and so forth. Craig had a long couple of meetings tonight so I ran out at 5 and stopped at Orva (aka, The Place That Wants All My Money For Cute Clothes) when I got to 86th Street, tried on several items that fit me nicely versus the old, "Wow, how do I hide THAT roll of flesh and fat...??" and did not buy one thing, proudly! All that I potentially would have bought would have been fun additions to my wardrobe, but I stand firmly planted on the idea that First, I Haul Old Clothes To Good Will (which happens to be down 2nd Avenue not far from us!), Then I Buy New. Sounds like a good plan. So, I came home and struggled into the sports bra and cotton pants and tennies to work out...a little, anyway...when I heard a rap at our front door. Mind you, when I came home (I'm damning myself for not photographing this as evidence!) a large overstuffed full length couch was hanging out in the hallway. So the rap at our door (our door which was dented, by the way, likely by these guys) was guys trying to get Said Couch into the apartment across the hall from us (which is maybe 3' from our front door - not enough room to really shove an overstuffed couch in without our door being wide open, also.) So, these guys wanted me to open my door for manageability and maneuverability of the Huge Couch, and I felt like Mrs. Nice Guy today, so I permitted them to use my wide open doorway as assistance. They were young nice boys, so I then volunteered them each a beer, to which they cooed over and one said, "We never turn down a beer from a pretty girl," and another said, "I will be back to see you. In like 3 days!" These were nice boosts to my self-esteem, so as I handed them the 3 beers from our fridge, I said, "I have to get ready for dinner now, but you all have fun," I felt like a really hot girl (standing there in cotton pants, a cute Banana Republic tank top and sports bra...and skinny arms!) living in the heart of a really hot City. So today, rather, this evening, was good for me. And tomorrow is Friday, which leads right into a totally activity-free weekend with my man. Yes! Oh, except book club which meets Sunday in Park Slope at Emilie's.*Additionally, I replied to my co-worker's story (the one I read on yesterday's train) and he appreciated my response, particularly the fact that I pointed out that he wrote "strait" in lieu of "straight" several times - I wrote, "as in Gibraltar"...and he wondered if I had ever imagined myself as a copy editor...which, sadly is yes, my dream job. Scan/read text for grammatical, syntactical, spelling, misuse, etc. error???? Ohhhh, just lather me in it. I would be so good at it. It's like I see it (and I have really bad eyes!) from a million miles away. Come to me, copy...and I will edit you. Anyway, that made me feel good, too.*Above pictured: Hope Lounge in Williamsburg - apropos for the way I think I feel today.

September 12, 2007


I suppose life hands us what it will. Unfortunately, I feel as though I'm being forced against my will to exude the utmost amount of confidence right now that I've ever had to display. It's nothing I wish to discuss in this forum, or even with a friend or anything. In fact, I don't suppose I understand why I'm posting about it at all, other than for later in time so that I may reflect on how one can maintain composure in a time of need, especially when that one's pocket of self-confidence is so small it barely holds a dime. I'm afraid I might crack, though. I fear a meltdown, an absolute mental fraying where I can't even recognize myself. Oh, I hope this doesn't happen.*Tonight I left work by 5, as I usually try to do. I like my routine of beating Craig home by about half an hour to an hour so that I can work out (a little! I'm still not into it that much yet) and cool off from work stress and get the kitchen dinner-ready to make dinner. Of course tonight, after a day of feeling overwhelmed and insecure, I got stuck on a delayed 7 train in Queens at 69th Street. That is one stop beyond 74th Street, where I now and then transfer to the E or F to get to Manhattan faster. Therefore, the train I was on was stuck, and I had to get off, cross the platform underneath, and take the Main Street (Queens)-bound 7 back to 74th Street to get to my E. The whole while, I was feeling destitute and miserable, while trying to read a new co-worker's short story (he's a kid I've known for a while - his dad is my boss and we share the love of writing) and trying to block out the painfully off-key sounds of a woman singing her heart out to Jesus (literally, praising Jesus in song). She wandered the train (this is while I was stuck on the 7 and unsure that I'd have to transfer) and plopped down two seats away from me and interrupted her song to ask me, "Are you a teacher?" "No," I replied coolly, continuing to try to read. "Oh. Well I thought you were grading a paper. What are you reading?" This prompted me to say curtly, "Something a friend wrote." She got the picture fairly quickly and broke back into praises to Jesus. I decided at this time to jump off the train, at the recommendation of the conductor's announcement overhead, and head across the platform. The girl did the same thing, and waited for the same 7 as me, continuing to sing, and then she transferred at 74th Street along with me, still singing to the heavens. So at this point, in my less-than-positive state of mind, I'm wondering, Is this happening to me for some subterranean religious reason of which I'm unaware? Of course, I dismissed the whole thing more than anything.*But now I am wondering if things don't unfold just as they're meant to, and maybe just maybe there is some entity who has been with me on this life journey and who is tired of my unwarranted and always unprecedented self-esteem problems, and maybe that entity dropped this new card into my playing deck to get me to stop acting like an idiot. I must admit, however taxing these past several days (or rather, couple of weeks) have been on me, I've held up well enough. And I hope to continue along the same route, believing in myself as a smart, healthy, right and strong person, and forgetting the fact that ghosts of insecurity hover above me so often, more often than not.*This all falls right around the time I am about to work with Sharon, my beloved writing instructor of last semester, one-on-one: meeting for 2 hours a week for 8 weeks, poring over my work only, tearing it apart to find slivers of story parts, drafting and re-drafting and attempting to turn approximately 3 pieces into something to submit at the end of our time together. Sharon is no fool to writing, and particularly to editing; she makes no bones about too many metaphors, too clogged up of sentences, too many adverbs. She just reads like a genius. I'm lucky, and lucky does not fulfill it, I'm lucky (plus whatever fulfills it) to work with her. She will be such a great coach. But again, my form of insecurity weighs heavy here. And I have no one to turn to for deliverance from it. It just is what it is.*Above shown is the wheat pasta I boiled for our lunches tomorrow. We wound up at Nina's tonight, and since Nina's was out of not only my favorite wine but also my favorite steak!, we wound up with a bottle of more expensive Malbec and I wound up with Chicken Francesca. Good stuff, but battered somehow, so tomorrow's wheat pasta lunch will have to be portioned correctly. No cheating on what a "cup" and a "1/2 cup" serving looks like to the naked eye.

September 06, 2007


This is work - I'm not going to lie. But it's very self-gratifying/satisfying when the end result is appreciated so sincerely. I've made this dish before, but tonight, Craig specifically pointed out how magazine-esque or restaurant-esque it looked (shown above are his portions, clearly!...clearly mine are far less!) The orzo has fat-free low-sodium chicken broth, water, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese in it, the asparagus has Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzled overtop with garlic powder, ground seasoned pepper and sea salt, and the chicken cakes are comprised of ground raw chicken (ground by self in food processor!), chopped chives, fat-free mayo, egg whites, whole wheat bread crumbs, Cajun seasoning and Extra Virgin Olive Oil - a lot of work, considering the fine packing of small chicken cakes out of all the above mentioned (sticky, wet mess) but then the cakes are served with aioli (this particular one contains horseradish, yummm) which is the white mound shown next to Craig's cakes. The whole package as a dinner is terrific. I let Craig tell me so repeatedly. In fact, I begged him to repeat himself so that all the work (including clean up - groan) put into it totalled to Worth It.*I'm so relieved the weekend is almost here. I'm tired. We're beat. And we have a lot going on this weekend, ranging from US Open Women's Champ Tennis to Weight Watchers double dinner date with Alison and Scott again to Jets-New England opener at the Meadowlands. Needless to say, I will be out and about. But I will also be sleeping in Saturday and Sunday mornings, heavily. (Um, that, for me, means just past 7 - yeah!)*Welcome football season and the way it distracts (puts to sleep) Craig so that I can accomplish more than when I'm playing the role of entertainer ontop of everything else! And now I can sneak off to bed early and he won't even notice or complain!

September 03, 2007


Thank the universe for long weekends. Somehow it's already Monday night (Labor Day) closing in on 5 p.m. and I don't know where the time has gone! It speeds by. Friday night we ordered Chinese and drank nice wine and watched a movie. Saturday we woke up, both went for haircuts (Jose, my stylist, didn't speak a word to me except for the occasional question about the hair - I enjoyed the silence) and then met back at the apartment to head out for our "Billyburg" -Williamsburg, Brooklyn - pub crawl. We kicked it off at the "tour" of the Brooklyn Brewery. Seeing as the facility is fairly small, the "tour" consisted more of a 20 minute explanation of the history of the brewery while we stood in the one room of the production area. But, we got to sip a beer while we listened to the history. We then headed in the direction of Bedford Avenue, where we began crawling. We ducked into quite a few fun places, several of which I found the bathrooms most interesting. It was such a fantastic day - beautiful weather, fun with just Craig and me.
Some of the bars had so much character. We shot like fifty pictures of each other because our goal this year is to take ample photographs for our Year 2 in the City photo album. Our first year's book is pretty decent, but I want Year 2 to be even better since we've lost so much weight and feel confident in ourselves again.

Nice tagging found in Brooklyn somewhere...
Funny, the signs you see in New York...this one is wholly untrue, of course!

So, we decided long weekends is like having two Saturdays. Sunday morning we woke up and went to brunch at an over-rated place called Panorama Cafe (or maybe we just ordered the wrong thing?) Craig was dissatisfied after brunch so we crossed the street and wandered into a sinful Hungarian bakery, where Craig convinced me to indulge, with him, in cheese and apple streudel (we brought it home to sample it). Good pastries are just wasted on me, I told him. I don't know good from bad really. Then we came home and at 4, we met up with our new very good friends Laura and Brian (book club members). We started at Swig, which is owned by the guy who owns our favorite watering hole, Biddy's. Swig is nice, too. Then we headed to Don Pedro's for dinner, and afterwards met up with Lauren, Jeff, Eric, Shavonne, Amanda, and Megan at Cilantro for drinks and to celebrate the departure of Lauren and Jeff to Long Island City (they are moving into a posh brand new apartment with unbelievably hot amenities which include such things as rooftop pools and dishwashers and a gym and so forth - fun!) Drinks led to pizza, of course, so tonight, to get us back on diet mode, I'm making Campanelle with Salsa Arrabbiata - a recipe I found through Cooking Light. Ages ago (months, rather) I wouldn't have paired a green vegetable with a pasta dish - it would have been salad with Ranch Dressing and garlic bread - but nowadays I freely serve a green side such as green beans or asparagus. I'm looking forward to trying this new dish. The sauce has pepperoncinis in it. And I bought a wedge of Romano so that I can grate it myself.*I have to mention this movie we watched this afternoon. I headed to Blockbuster this morning and to my dismay, every single movie either of us would want to see was out. The place was like a ghost town. So, anyway, I wound up with two movies that I wasn't sure would be worth anything, only one which we watched and I positively loved it. My favorite girl Maggie is in it, so I should have known it would be good, right? It takes place in the City and story revolves around two couples, Julianne Moore and David Duchovny and Maggie and Billy Crudup. The script is really intelligent and all of those characters were so good. It particularly hit home for the fact that Elaine (Maggie) and Tobey (Billy) have been dating for 7 years (Craig & Kristin, anyone?) and he has no seeming intention of proposing to her or starting a family with her...anyway, I loved the movie and Craig got several good laughs out of it, too. I need to buy it. Trust the Man, it's called (kind of a bad title for a good flick). Anyway, off to throw together Salsa Arrabbiata. Tomorrow night is our Yankees game with Alison and Scott. Ah, the work week.