October 24, 2007


Well, this is a first. Yes, at last, after 1 year and 4 months of living in New York sans rodents, insects, foul odors drifting in from the neighbors down the hall and anything else unpleasant one might associate with living in New York, we have roaches. I shudder to even type it! It all began about two nights ago when I was finishing up some dishes and I spotted one. He was a tiny guy, so quick on his feet that I wasn't able to get him, but I shrieked and almost dropped whatever it was I was holding, and Craig played insect sleuth until the thing finally got nailed by the above photographed flip flop (a homemade exterminator) swung by my hero, the owner of the flip flop, Craig. He managed to scare another small one out of hiding in the morning to follow by simply switching on the light. Then last night I had poetry at Sharon's and took a car service home, which found me and a driver sitting at a dead stop on the FDR (at which point the driver said, "Sweetheart, would you like me to stay on the FDR?" to which I replied, like a natural, "You can take 1st Avenue, I don't mind.") So we drove along 1st Avenue for twenty minutes, and I've got to say, the driver seemed a little bit of an amateur but he was still quite kind and I tipped him well, and then I came home to Craig who took me out for Brazilian (avoiding the kitchen and its possible infestation). Brazilian is just across the street, an intimate little hot spot with nice atmosphere, and we shared a bottle of wine and creamed spinach and I ate pork medallions topped with a lavish salad of mesclun greens, walnuts, corn, Kalamata olives, beets, radishes, leek slices, balsamic and olive oil, and he ate "traditional Brazilian fare" of black bean stew with Brazilian sausage, beef, some kind of yucan dried powder, collard greens and rice. Then we suffered miserably through a warm chocolate brownie with banana flavored-walnut ice cream and some kind of banana-flavored drizzle. Craig said, "I can hear us getting fatter." Haa!! He's adorable. So, anyway, tonight I had huge high great plans of making "Easy Meatless Manicotti" which would find me experimenting with baking dried manicotti shells (doused, of course, in tomato sauce and 1 cup of water and filled with cottage cheese and spinach and herbs). I built my anxiety level up pretty well on the subway ride home, imagining a whole kitchen filled with roaches of all sizes, shapes, noises, colors and covered in eyeballs which would stare me right out of my apartment (despite the fact roaches run away when in contact with humans) (normally, anyway) (though, not in Texas, but I don't really want to remember those days at this point in time) and I stopped at Key Food, grabbed stray items for "Easy Meatless Manicotti", crept slowly into my apartment, first switching on the kitchen light which is right by the door, squinting as if watching a scary scene in a horror movie, seeing nothing, and deciding, Hey, they're gone! I unloaded the groceries, changed into some comfortable clothes, grabbed the cabinet door and soon followed a quick little beast, scurrying up and around and into a crack between the cabinet and oven. I let out a sound and ran from the kitchen in terror.

10.25.07, continued from last night...I suppose it isn't the bugs themselves that really get under my skin, so to speak. It's more the startle-factor when they scamper from hiding into light and back into hiding that freaks me out. The above pictured cabinet contains my Pyrex dish for the manicotti - now, was I really going to stick my hand inside of a possible nestful of ugly black insects all for manicotti? No way. So I called Craig and told him to be prepared to eat out again. We went to Genesis and I ate salmon and vegetables and felt really, really dismayed that the entire week's diet has been not only dictated by the fact that we were out of town all weekend, then I had after-work activities Monday and Tuesday, but also by our unwelcome tenants in the kitchen. What Craig did is he picked up a box of little poison hotels for these bastards. He installed the hotels when we got home from Genesis. As of tonight, after dinner at Sala Thai (out to eat again! Weight Watchers who??) there appears to be no stir of activity amidst the encroaching (pardon the pun) community. Craig even wiggled things around a little - opened cabinets, peeked in the oven, lifted the stovetop lid to peer inside and so forth. We are hoping the poison hotels fed them well and now they are in blissful bug heaven. I don't even care if their lifeless bodies are pooled behind my oven. As long as they aren't jumping out at me like little goblins!*Sala Thai was an abrupt reaction to our shitty commute home, to be honest. The 7 train was fine, we sat on the W at Queensboro through 2 more 7 trains (unsual) but then as we walked downstairs at 59th to catch the 4/5, we saw seas of heads of people, which translates, in subway language, as not good. Seas of heads of people means no train in some time, or "earlier incident affecting all related subway lines", which happened to be the case, so the gurgled announcement informed us. Craig and I stood through four 4/5 trains, unable to squeeze into any of the four that passed through. Finally, the fifth one rolled up and we slammed into it somehow. Luckily, we only ride for 1 stop, from 59th to 86th, because I was quite contorted on the subway, like, one arm bent behind my head and another practically embracing a stranger just so I could make enough space for 8-10 other people standing exactly on the same small spot of train as me. So, walking home, I said, "Hey, there's Pesce Pasta, wanna go?" (a fave on 3rd) to which he said, "I don't know, do you?" (this follows a long conversation about our health and diets which led me to firmly say, "NO, I HAVE TO COOK TONIGHT.") We walked past Pesce and then he spotted Ooki Sushi, a newfound fave. He said, "Hey, Ooki Sushi, wanna go?" I said, "No, not really," and we kept walking. We repeated this with a few more restaurants on 2nd until we reached Sala Thai and then I gave up the feeble desire to cook manicotti (from last night's intention!) with all the roachy sous chefs of my kitchen. So we ate at Sala Thai and I had a mishap with the waitress (the basil chicken chili sounded good but had 3 pepper icons next to it, which means, "light my face on fire at the base of my chin so it works its way all the way to my eyelashes", or that's my loose translation) and I inquired of her, "Is that dish REALLY spicy? TOO spicy?" and she just kept nodding her head and I finally said, "Well, instead, I will have the chicken with red curry," but somehow, in our brief exchange, she must have concluded I wanted the 2 pepper icon chicken with red curry dish to be spiced up to match the spicy quality of the 3 pepper icon dish of basil chicken chili. So my dish was essentially unedible! But I shoveled into my mouth, not only out of pride because Craig pointed out the waitress' confusion and predicted an overheated dish, but also because it's only polite to eat what's served, right? Sala Thai, in the least, serves portions that are much closer to what America should be served. Their food comes on plates looking sophisticated, with the decorative basil leaf poking out from the rice, and the small pile of food centered in a pool of runny attractive pale yellow curry sauce. We do like it there.*Now that I've exhausted my food talk (and entimology conversation, while not sure if I spelled entimology correctly and not sure I care to look it up!), I'm heading to the living room, where Craig is completely passed out on the couch and Grey's Anatomy has started (I will have to back it up a little, loving technology and the ability to record live TV all the while!) Tomorrow night is me, Craig, and my kitchen (I will defeat the tribe and cook once again) and Saturday is the Aubree-Brian party somewhere on Long Island. Sunday is ours, ours, ours. All luxurious long day of it. I will figure out our menu for the week, write a grocery list, get the groceries, settle into long hours of poetry while Craig watches football, make dinner and enjoy Sunday for all it's worth. Oh! I'm so excited.*

October 22, 2007


Well, we're back from an eternity spent in Arizona (rather, an eternity traveling to and from Arizona, for work, for a work meeting) and today was one big blur. We landed last night at 8 and waited too long for our baggage at the claim and then the Van Wyck was a parking lot followed by more parking lot inaction on the FDR, so despite the fact that the "E. 96th Street" exit sign hung overhead in the near distance finally around 8:42, we still spent forever trying to get home (in the cab) and 2nd Avenue was such a delight for my eyes when it finally came into view. So, home by seconds after nine, we ordered Chinese delivery and settled into our pig sty apartment (going away for the weekend does nothing for chores, let me say so firsthand.) I wrapped up some poems for Sharon, sent them off, climbed into bed while Craig stayed on the couch to witness the Red Sox making it to the World Series the second time in the span of a few years (wow) and what did the remote control find me but a chick flick on TNT, so, completely wired, I watched TV until beyond 12. Needless to say, 5 a.m. struck me this morning like a bag of bricks, and I felt like a walking idiot all day today. After work, I traveled back to my New School stomping grounds and paid $5 to see Sharon read her poetry on the 5th floor, in a steamy room filled with lots of her readers and fellow poets and thieves of language, and there I saw two old classmates, Tony and Turi, who were both completely unsure of who I was at first! Ha! I made some fumbling comment about losing a lot of weight. Tony, who is a famously gay drama student, eyeballed me from head to toe and said, "Wow, that *is* the thing that's different!" I felt good.*Tonight I dominated a revision of an older poem and sent it to Sharon, along with 2 other newer poems which we will discuss tomorrow at our session. I'm down to 4 sessions left after tomorrow: I'd better make them good. I nearly guaranteed her I'd submit work at the end of our time together, and that means revise, revise, revise. Thus far, I've written a lot but revised little. Drafts, make your way into my master plan beginning now!*I think I titled this post "collages" for a multitude of reasons, one being that the above posted picture depicts the diverse nature of New York City only in buildings, as shown here. There's the expanse of curtainwall in the background with the crumblings of hand-laid old brick in the foreground. There's the idea that maybe, just possibly in my studies of Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Smart and Sharon (last name left off for respect and because I never asked permission) I might have the opportunity to pair enough interesting things with enough other interesting things to make a decent enough collage that someone wants to hear it. Just maybe.

October 14, 2007


Another weekend has flown by too quickly. It's only 3 on Sunday but the next 7 hours will fly past me so fast and then it's back to work and then time slows back to unfathomably snail-like speeds. Oh, well. Friday we traveled home together (I love when we do) and he stopped at Hallmark to pick up Auntie Lenore's birthday card and a card for Timmy and Angela who have a healthy baby boy as of this week...congrats to them! I headed to Key Food to pick up ingredients for my first attempt at homemade pizza. The above shown is the result, with homemade marinara sauce (all thanks to Cooking Light, of course!), red and yellow bell pepper strips, mushrooms and chicken sausage. Well, of course there was also Provolone and mozzarella. It tasted really very good, except that the Boboli crust didn't get as crispy as Craig prefers. My baking sheet is 10x's the size of my oven, so I had to improvise and use a foil-covered broiler plate. After dinner I was in the bathroom and I heard a loud shatter followed by a shout from Craig. I came out and there he was, kneeling on the floor collecting shards of glass in his palm. The overhead light's globe shattered when the two bulbs simultaneously went out. He said, "KB, I am so glad you weren't standing here when it happened...you stand under this light all the time!" So true! Damage control complete, we wrapped up the leftover pizza and played Play Station 2 until we were both so tired (before 11!) that we went to bed early. Saturday morning we woke up fairly early and got a good handle on our day. We cleaned together, organized, sorted through some drawers/papers, got things tidied up and headed to Ace Hardware together for odds and ends for the apartment. Then we came home and headed out on our Craig-designed New York City pub crawl. We jumped on the 5 train with our Best Bars of New York book in my backpack-purse and traveled to Brooklyn Bridge, where we were disappointed to see that the first designated stop, the Bridge Cafe, was closed! It doesn't open until 5 on Saturdays. No worries - we headed over a few streets to The Paris Cafe. There we cheered the kick off to our pub crawl with Hoegaardens, a Garden Burger for me, and a Paris Burger for Craig. After two beers and grub we headed to an extremely pathetic and funeral-home feeling Fraunces Tavern in the Financial District. Craig loudly voiced his distaste for this place, which boasts historical happenings such as meetings held by George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and a string of other governmental celebs. Even the Yuengling on draft tasted like old age, so we got out of there, fast! We jumped on a train and traveled to Canal Street (via the Q, which I hereby dub "New York's Slowest Subway Line".) We walked to O'Nieal's, a very nice Nolita bar, where I broke the seal while Craig chatted up the bartender. Craig was sitting there with our Best Bars of New York book, sans the jacket, which we left at the apartment, and the bartender was like, "Are you guys doing a Best Bars of New York crawl?" Craig, entertained at the fact that this bartender gathered this on his own, was like, "Yeah! How'd you guess?" The bartender pointed to the shelf behind him. There, leaning, was a copy of our book! Very nice.
I joined their conversation just as the bartender was telling Craig that O'Nieal's (yes, spelled ever-so-weirdly) is a Sex and the City bar, and that 20 minutes from then, a group of screaming women would be dropped off from a Sex and the City tour bus and as he told us this, he began to pour a whole bar full of bright pink Cosmopolitans (of course, the cast's drink of choice!) So there we were and the room did, indeed, fill with a bunch of tourist junkies, who all did, in fact, order Cosmos from our friend Dennis the bartender. Craig and I, meanwhile, stuck with beer - I drank Peroni and he drank an IPA. After high-fiving Dennis the bartender, we traveled on foot to Milano's, not to be mistaken with a chain Italian restaurant. This bar definitely stunk of local dive character, but we enjoyed a brew there and then headed to Molly's Pub and Shebeen. By this time, the beer was at my head. I think Craig was feeling a bit buzzy, as well.
(Above pictured is Craig at Milano's and peculiarly enough, the guy at the bar looks to be checking Craig out but I really don't think he was!) We had been keeping notes in the front cover of our book, and about Molly's, Craig wrote, "sawdust on floors, smells funny, friendly Irish staff. 'sister' bar to Paris Cafe. Round 7: Murphy's Stout - CB, Murphy's Red - KB." That's fairly the best summary of Molly's. Finally, we hit our last bar from the book of the afternoon, The White Horse Tavern. This is what I call a literary bar. Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, and Anais Nin hung out here, to name a few star elite. While I did enjoy being at a historical literary hot spot, I believe the amount of beer consumed prior to stopping here obstacled my ability to really love it, so I would definitely return to this place. And following that, we went to Vento in the Meatpacking District to eat dinner and drink wine. Yes, we also ate dessert. And yes, following dinner, around 9 pm, we were both annihilated and jumped in a cab to head home. Our age is showing through our thin skin. We aren't exactly cut out for crawls anymore, not ones so lengthy in nature, anyway! But it was such a great, great time. I really, really love being with him. He makes me laugh, he treats me perfectly, and it was really just a great day for us to have together. The climate was fall and crisp. The sky was blue. Pictured here is me, with New York
blurred through our cab window. This was approximately 3 hours before we cabbed it home. I'm definitely looking wary at this time!*Today, since we went to bed so very early last night, we woke up together at 7. We started the day by playing Play Station together. I simultaneously browsed a Cooking Light magazine and some recipes for ideas for the week. After an hour of video games, I was 100% bored with it (gaming, not with Craig!) so I wrapped up the grocery list and went to get us bagels and coffee. Our bagel place now carries Scallion Cream Cheese in low fat, not just veggie, so I opted for that! We adore the Everything bagel...so good...then I grocery-shopped and stocked the fridge for the following dinners this week: Roasted Red Pepper, Zucchini and Tomato Soup with Fusilli, Turkey and Bean Chili, Penne and Chicken with Spiced Tomato Sauce and Spinach Stuffed Shells (to use up the rest of my homemade marinara from Friday)...it's fall! It's soup weather! Chili weather! I'm happy to invite fall into my kitchen. After organizing my miniature refrigerator, I left for Barnes and Noble. I searched high and low for blank recipe cards but instead left the store with The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton (when studying poetry as a woman, there is no better teacher than Anne or Sylvia, or both at the same time...) and then I went to Orva (my neighborhood department store that eats much of my money) and bought a few new items of clothing to fit my new (old) body. I swear, Good Will or Housingwares needs to come to my apartment and strip my closet clean of what's in it, because none of it fits anymore. Replacing clothing is going to be a slow and painfully expensive process. It's not like I can run to Kohl's or Old Navy, because neither are near, and I refuse to waste precious time traveling to shop. I hate shopping enough as it is. Walking 10 minutes to Orva, Banana Republic or the GAP is the best I can offer. After finding a few quick things, I went to Scott J. to get my eyebrows waxed (they sprout wildly out of nowhere after months of looking clean) and then I came home. Now, it's time for Anne to walk me through some good words. I've got poetry plans for the next two hours, dinner, and then we're going to purchase our Mexico trip. Then I will work more on the poetry. Then to bed, probably before 10, considering it's been such a long, eventful, and happy, happy Sunday.*

October 06, 2007


I finally put together some of my recipes this afternoon. See above photo of album filled with recipes, plus wine and candle. This is my Saturday night, rather isolated from my favorite football fan who is one room over shouting and grunting at Purdue on tv as they play a monumental game tonight against Ohio State. We've had a really great lazy Saturday: this morning he went and got us bagels, which are now an extremely rare treat, and coffees, and we watched some recorded tv from the week, followed by Knocked Up which I just loved, loved and loved! Oh, I loved every last human in the film. They were such witty individuals and for the most part, the movie felt very real. I am so glad we own it because watching it over and over won't be a problem for me! I loved Izzie in it - she was so funny and in such different character from who she is as Izzie! Anyway, after that, I left the apartment to run a few errands. Then I came back and tooled around in iTunes - deleted the Beastie Boys from my Nano at last (I'm too old for them, I've decided, and every time they come on during a shuffle session I jump up to forward to the next song) and I also uploaded the Eddie Vedder Into the Wild soundtrack that he wrote into my Nano, and that is what I'm listening to right now. Craig is a member of the Ten Club and he received the CD in the mail last week. It's pretty nice - very tranquil and much what I'd expect of solo Eddie. After messing about in iTunes, I headed to my temple (the kitchen) and cleaned up some miscellaneous dishes before making a pretty simple Chicken with Creamy Herbs sauce. The sauce is comprised of just white cooking wine, water, chicken bouillon, corn starch and lite chives and onion cream cheese, and along with it I made my favorite creamy parmesan orzo and asparagus. Craig loved dinner and told me so. Then I cleaned up and here I am to launch into Poetry Night while he watches football! It works out so well. I check in on him every here and there to make sure he hasn't fallen over with excitement over Purdue on tv! He loves it.*I also spent some time today scoping out our Christmas Mexico adventure. I can't wait! It will be so relaxing. The handful of packages I found might have us spending one layover night in Dallas, so I'm thinking we will leave the Saturday before Christmas and not return until the following Friday. That has us in Cabos for 5 nights. I will need to stock up on stacks of magazines and possibly some books. It sounds as though we won't be on the beach much, at least not to attempt a swim, because the currents in that part of Mexico are dangerous and swimming in the ocean is unlawful. Hey, no problem with me! I associate the ocean with one thing: sharks. Deposit me poolside over oceanside any day of the week! It will be so great. We've never done anything like it before, not together. Sweet lazy Christmas in Mexico.