November 29, 2008


Above shown is the Manhattan Bird, as I like to refer to it. The paprika contributed to the beautiful coloring, and the thyme leaves added a pungent flavor. We ate well yesterday, and leftovers today were equally delicious - maybe better! I am awake again at a pretty late hour. I took a very much needed nap for way more hours than I can comprehend, because I needed it so badly. I've had a really awkward day - woke up far too early, ran around the apartment cleaning every small corner of the place in anticipation of the arrival of the Lews tomorrow. They are flying in and have an extended stay here before they travel to Hawaii for a week, and I am elated - just beside myself - to see them and their absolutely awesome baby Alexander. The last time we saw Alex was at the Gordons' wedding, and back then Alex just slept a lot. His eyes were curious when open, but that was a rarity! Now he's closing in on a year, minus a few months, which means he is going to be crawling all over the place, eyes open to everything, maybe even laughing a little. I hold the Lews in such high esteem - almost everyone I know knows that, because I am not quiet about it! - because they took amazing care of me while I was in St. Louis and in need of warm family. Roger and I have a unique exchange happening, while Mary smiles and nods at it knowing what we're exchanging (she has told people before that I am Roger's long lost sister), which is more often than not a lot of linguistic twister. :) And Mary knows right when to weigh in, and she's got gorgeous big eyes and perfect freckles and such a sweet sentiment to her. I just love them all. I can't wait to see Alexander, now that he's becoming much of his mother and father. His tiny baby hands are going to be slapping all over our wood floors while he crawls around to explore. Oh! Good times!*The post is titled Wars because Craig is at battle with Leggo Star Wars characters on our Wii. It is cracking me up. All of the characters and scene set-ups are Leggo. It's the coolest way for Craig to spend a Friday evening after a nice holiday. Nice work, Nintendo. :)

November 28, 2008


I am up so late. Egads. But, no matter, because I have days to sleep. I can sleep and sleep and sleep, if I so choose. Well, a couple of days anyway.*The star of the show today was the dressing. Thank goodness, because like 3 hours of prep work went into it. Nice, but also yuck. Enter dirty mushrooms, whole, who needed to be rinsed and scrubbed before sliced. Celery is awesome to dice, but it's a chore (it's like delving into the Universe, cutting celery!) Onion...well, onion is your average everyday "if you love being in the kitchen, cutting me is always a thrill" kind of thing. Then there was dicing dried bread. Holiest of holies. It was good.*Once the dressing was on board, in the slow cooker, rolling, everything else sort of came naturally. Amanda and her boyfriend Mark arrived with a Sweet Potato Pie and with their natural goodness. They each drank a Brooklyn Pilsner and then headed out to a Thanksgiving party in the Heights. Nice. Paul, our co-worker and pal, arrived shortly thereafter, and we commenced to enjoy the totally brilliant Thursday Off. Craig carved the turkey (awkwardly), the gravy he made with the drippings was O.K., the beans were crisp, the potatoes super sucked (I'm not sure what I left out, or why they tasted like just average potatoes), but the dressing...ohhh, hmmm. It was spectacular. I now understand why that boxed stuff is totally stupid. Homemade dressing is like the kiss of sunshine on a Thanksgiving dinner. It's like spreading Heaven over a plate of niceness. Hmm, and now I'm being ridiculous, because late nights turn me into ridiculousness. But hey! Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2008


Thanksgiving is upon us, and of course, in the spirit of the holiday, I feel the urge to post about how blessed I've been this year. Turning 31 sort of haunted me as a person. I don't think the number 31 agrees with me, which is fine, now that we're shaking hands on it, me and 31. I can rattle off some things that have really hurt me this year, like how I went on medicine and completely stopped writing, or how I fell away from the kitchen and finally found my way back (and subsequently, now my kitchen smells like the beginning of the holidays, thanks to Craig's pies and my cranberry relish!) Or I could write about several days of my life that I hope to never, ever re-live. Days that found me lost. Or I could mention how strangely un-talented I am at my job, yet, when I was really good at what I did in college, I hated everything then, too. But I'm not trying to dismiss the blessing part of this. The blessing part is that Craig and I live in a new, fairly perfect apartment with a wonderful couch that we saved to purchase. The bigger blessing is that we're together, and that his love for me never seems to have boundaries. He just keeps giving love. Another blessing is that Obama is our new president!!! And yet another blessing is that I think life might get good in the future. I've waited for what has felt like a whole lifetime to feel this optimistic. I've never looked so hopefully to what's to come. But, now I am, and now I'm shoving aside every single apprehension I have ever had, I'm shining a light on me and those around me, and together, we are going to change everything for the Good. At least, a girl can dream. :) Happy Holidays!! Most specifically, Happy Holidays to a really good friend of mine (hi, AB!) who is juggling some serious business in her life right now. I heart you girl!

November 23, 2008


It's Sunday afternoon and we're winding down (ie., Craig is sleeping on the couch and I am doing laundry at the ladies' - towels, sheets from the guest bedroom, shower liner, bath mat, etc.) from a long weekend with my parents in town. I don't mean "long" as in "I wish it had been shorter"; I mean that they landed last Wednesday night and we took off work Friday. We had a really nice time - took them to eat at Vespa on Wednesday night, worked Thursday while they buzzed around town, and took them to our friend Lynn's modern dance benefit Thursday night, which was such an array and display of the talent of our friends to show off!! It was held at the Chelsea Art Museum in this gorgeous open loft space with delicious wine and appetizers and music and a little number the dance company did in their party cocktail dresses. My mom and dad got to meet Eric, Andrew, Lynn, Amanda and of course see Lauren and Jeff again. The room was filled with beautiful chic people rubbing elbows and sharing chitchat. Lynn's dance company met their financial goal, which is so terrific for them! After that the four of us headed to Molly Shebeen's for dinner. To relax a little, we came back to the apartment and played Wii with my dad! Good times! Friday we woke up early enough and ate bagels, then walked mom and dad to quite a few sights: the Literary Mall in Central Park (pictured above), Columbus Circle, lunch crepes at Shade Bar, walking in the Village, then stopping for a monster stein of beer at Lederhosen. By that time, mid-afternoon, we were all pretty wiped out. We ate dinner at Brother Jimmy's up the street, then came back here and popped in Talladega Nights, which my dad had not yet seen. Mom fell asleep and I instructed her to go to bed, then I fell asleep between my dad and Craig on the couch! It was an exhausting day. Saturday morning we traveled to Mud for breakfast, then headed to Williamsburg in Brooklyn to ready up for our Radegast Beer Hall afternoon, stopping first for tea and coffees on Bedford Ave. Lauren and Jeff were already at Radegast when we arrived, and shortly after our first beer, Eric, Lynn and Lynn's mother (who was in town for the benefit) arrived. We had such a great time - played some Euchre, talked over beers, ate brats and kielbasas and spicy mustard with kraut and Lauren's favorite wheat bread. I love my friends and family. I'm so blessed, and I just grinned with pride watching a whole table of people that I so adore! I don't get to see my parents enough, but we do always get to that point by the end of a span of time together where it's time for us to resume our individual separate lives. I had to apologize to mom this morning because while trying to open our window shades while I was still asleep, one of the end pieces ripped out of the wall and I came out of the bedroom to find my very tall dad standing on one of our bar stools trying to perform damage control. I stared in horror from mom to dad and said, WHO DID THIS?? My mom was sheepish and said, "I didn't mean to" but I still seethed a little. I apologized right away, though, when I saw her start to tremble and appear fragile! I explained that it was just time for us to go back to our routines. My dad echoed my sentiments, particularly because he likes New York but would gladly take his little Michigan village with one stoplight over this fierce metropolis anyday! And plus, our window treatments can easily be salvaged by Craig later. :) Overall, it was a really fantastic weekend. I hope mom and dad liked being here as much as we loved having them. They are super special individuals.*Today we ate breakfast at D'Alsace - they treated, and it was so yummy! Then mom went with me to C-Town to buy a bird for Thursday. We found a 9 lb. bone-in breast which will fit perfectly into the toy oven. I've scoped out a slow cooker dressing recipe and I already know which mashed potatoes recipe I plan to make - with cream cheese, sour cream, milk, butter and Ranch packet flavoring - so good - and I'm still debating over other vegetable sides. I can't wait to cook warm awesome food on a cold Thanksgiving in New York. I'm also contemplating either a butternut squash soup or a wild mushroom leek soup with thyme cream. Mmmm.*Work should be okay this short week. Wednesday night we are attending a Purdue Alumni pre-basketball party, followed by Purdue basketball at the Garden. Thursday we're hosting one friend for Thanksgiving, and Friday will be rest, rest and rest. Saturday morning, Roger, Mary and Alexander land in New York (they are here on a leg before traveling to Hawaii) and I will get lots of Alexander cuddle time. I've had a great weekend, and will do so this coming weekend, which makes me a really lucky girl.*Unlucky news = our Rainbow Ace is closing its doors. Stupid 2nd Avenue Subway construction. It's shutting down businesses right and left. I've relied for years on that store. So now they are selling everything at 20% off, and seeing as it's the only store in hundreds of blocks that sells the Only Toothpaste KB Can Ever, Ever Use, I stocked up on enough of it to brush all of Manhattan's teeth. Now the question becomes Where Do I Store All That Toothpaste???*Happy Holidays soon. I'm looking forward to it.

November 11, 2008


For lack of any other recent pictures, and because I'm not ready for the Superstar of our apartment to be off the front page, I'm posting another image of the prized sofa. Additionally, I don't have any food photographs, but it's Pesto Week at our place. Last night's charming and speedy pesto consisted of sun-dried tomatoes cured in oil, basil, Parm, garlic, pine nuts and feta (ontop of the end result). We liked it very well, so well that we exceeded our serving portions by...way more than to which I'd care to confess. Tonight's easy hopefully equally enchanting pesto showcases arugula along with flatleaf parsley and again, basil. This one includes walnuts as its nut role. We'll see.*I'm home so much earlier than Craig tonight - it's kind of throwing my evening into reverse. Usually, I come home and begin dinner because he leaves approximately an hour after I do, which is ample time for me to have it at least in motion when he arrives home. It's now near 7, and he's still there hammering away (so to speak, for those who know his career). We are nearing the Big Push at work, so I understand that this will be happening more. And secretly, it's nice to have over an hour to myself with which I can basically do...anything I want! My goal was to get to Key Food and have the fridge loaded with pesto ingredients, a glass of Sauv Blanc poured and a seat at the computer in time to post for a while by 6.30 (happened! hurray!) The next mission, if I so choose to accept it, is to re-watch this past Sunday's Dexter episode, because Craig and I watched it last night, and excepting the one narrated line where he thought in the direction of the prosecutor, who had been rambling annoyingly for what felt like half an hour, "Do I see sheets of plastic in your future?" (that was a laugh out loud moment), I hated it. (Thanks, Dex, at least for the laugh). But no thanks for the rest of the drama! Eesh. I'm so over Batista and his Vice Cop. I'm so over Rita (sorry, Rita - love you! Kinda wish you had rekindled with Paul or something!) and seriously - Miguel? WTH! What shady business do you have up your sleeve??? Either way, I would never bail on the show. I was heavy into plenty of "series" books growing up, and there would obviously be the occasional..."eh, I could do without that particular chapter/character." Writers aren't without blemish. Not most, at least. Like when deaf Regina dies in the Sweet Valley High series??? Come on. She was one of the coolest characters those ghost writers had going for them (guilty pleasures back then, ahh). So anyway, relative to that (my near thrown shoe at the television while Dexter was on last night), a couple of fellow Dexter fans are coming here this Sunday night to watch the new installment. I am going to cook up a storm, with more food simmering/plated/slow cooking than I have in a long time, and it will be so fun to have two new couch guests/apartment guests/KB cooking guests. I may have to request that they bring carry-out boxes (um, that is, if they find my fare deemable edible!) This coming Saturday we have a giant Bed, Bath & Beyond errand to run...more items than I care to assess at this point need replaced. When living in apartments, there are definitely things that only have so long before they need an upgrade. For instance, kitchen towels. I currently have none since our move. And seeing as I practically live in that portion of the apartment, how have I dealt with it?? Yes, it's been rough.*Enough rambling. I'm off to enjoy an hour of the couch, as Craig has called and is now en route. Here's to the arugula. I hope its peppery bite doesn't let me down tonight!

November 09, 2008


I love it, I love it! It arrived early, in fact! Almost immediately after I posted, our door buzzed, and those Room and Board guys quickly deposited this enchanting piece of furniture in our living room. I'm half-watching The Happening (zzzz, better luck next time, M. Night) and Craig is asleep on it and it is just altogether the happiest part of our apartment - so long awaited, so well received! Our only slight point of contention is that it kind of smells upholstery glue (I just made that scent up, if it exists??) That will likely fade. I just love it. It fits so perfectly here, like the apartment and it were always meant to be together. Who knew a thing as simple as a couch could bring me such satisfaction? Oh. So nice. Happy weekend! And good riddance to the sound of the futon shifting around!!!

November 08, 2008


empty second "bedroom"...
a tight fit...
So. Today's the big day. Our first adult couch arrives and the end of a squeaky stupid futon era begins (did that make sense?)! Hurray! This week has been the slowest snail ever. Contributing to that are our weekend trips out of town, two in a row, but at last, the countdown to the couch in increments of hours can begin. This morning we ate bagels and caught up on Grey's Anatomy, the Office and another sitcom. Then we proceeded to attempt to engineer how to get the stupid futon into the spare room (shown above). The picture may or may not do the small size of that room justice. Behind the door we have cozily tucked a dresser, and under the window (not shown) is a small bookshelf. The futon would not fit without removing one end of it, which was no easy feat. In fact, there were a lot of grunts from us both. But now it's in - 81" of futon sandwiched in about 81" and a millimeter more of floor space! It isn't going anywhere anytime soon. I am so thrilled about this. This will hopefully mark the first of several more mature purchases to come. I'd like to upgrade my life, at last.*This must not happen irresponsibly, however. Tuesday night changed the face of America with its vote cast for the Democratic Elect Barack Obama. This is monumental and memorable enough that it almost doesn't even seem real, yet. I stayed awake until 2 a.m., watching coverage, crying, laughing, feeling all sorts of patriotic. But his job will be nothing short of impossible, particularly in this midst of a crumbling economy. Craig and I are starting to count our dollars spent, watching things more closely, ensuring that we keep a cushion in the event of troubling events to come. But at least we can breathe and sleep more easily knowing that McCain and Palin will not travel down a similar path which has led us to where we are today. Not only that, but Obama has landed his mark in history as the first African American President. How amazing is that? I ignore the commentaries that his mother was white. That is irrelevant. He has this genuine texture to him, this sincere desire to better the country where we boast freedom, progress and ideals. I can't wait until January when his position becomes official. I can't wait to see his family settle into the house where they belong and can inspire us to optimism. I will never forget this week, and I hope the years to come offer the change we all deserve.*Onto my weekend. Craig and I might play a little Wii while we wait. Or perhaps I will shower and he will perch on a stool to watch college football. We're nearing the beginning of our delivery window. So happy!!!

November 03, 2008


Monday is nearing being over, thank goodness! It's been a long couple of weeks, with two weekends in a row out of town, and with longer-feeling weeks of work. But, goodness is on the horizon, with a very empty weekend ahead and a special delivery of OUR NEW COUCH! Allow me to backtrack. Friday late afternoon (of this past week) we traveled to LaGuardia for our flight to Indianapolis. Everything went extremely well, and we landed early, picked up our rental car which was actually very nice (only 900 miles on it - new - an Altima?) and drove a short trip to visit Tim and Angela and their sweet baby Ryan. Tim ordered us pizza and we chatted and caught up. Timmy wasn't feeling the greatest, so we didn't stay too long, and we then headed to Djay and Diana's house for a Halloween bonfire. Being in Indiana again was comforting, and strange, of course. Djay and Di have a long winding driveway and an even more intriguing winding plot of land, so Chris picked us up in a golf cart. We proceeded to careen around tight corners with no lights (the battery was low, Chris informed us) through dark thick trees, flying over bumps in the earth and on the brink of being thrown from the cart! And then we arrived at the bonfire, where we reunited with Corey, Brooke, Djay, Diana, John, and a few of their other friends. We weren't out there too long - it was late, by this point, and we were all pretty tired from our respective days. But, Craig and I wound up crashing at Djay and Di's so that we wouldn't have to drive, and we stayed up with them for quite a while drinking beer and touring their amazing home. Good times.*Saturday, Craig and I woke up feeling magically well-rested. I attributed that to the most brilliantly comfortable bed we've ever slept in, in Djay and Di's guest room. I can't even begin to felt better than sleeping on the best bed ever, with perfect temperatures on the sheets and the comforter and absolutely right pillow depths. Thanks Djay and Di! Craig left the house to find bagels and coffee, and he returned for me and we snuck out without waking Djay and Di. And we were off to Purdue for a tailgating/football/bar-hopping marathon.*What fun. What a fantastic time with his friends! It felt so warm and happy, like none of them have ever been apart geographically. And they are all so nice to me, the outsider dating one of their very best friends. They always are so nice!*Purdue won in an extremely tight game, and we went to Harry's for some beer, and then several of us decided to eat Indian (in West Lafayette, really??) for dinner. Then we resumed drinking at Jake's, and the night lingered on from there. In the morning, Craig and I went to some beautiful coffee joint called Graytime-something, and I indulged in a latte and a four-cheese crepe (it was outstanding). And then we headed back to Indy to catch our flight. In the meantime, Saturday morning I received a voicemail on my cell from Room & Board - the couch is in New Jersey!! I requested a Saturday delivery. I can hardly wait. I know I'm looking more forward to it than to anything I have in a long time, but it's the principle - the fact that I paid that much money in cash up front for something so divine. I can't wait to see it settle into our lives. We will love it.*Tonight I made pretty successful chicken chili. And tomorrow marks what might be one of the most significant days of our lives, the 2008 Election. Craig and I are leaving the apartment half an hour early to grab coffees and stand in line to vote. Our polling place is right around the corner at Knickerbocker Plaza. Fingers crossed, our country is in store for some real change, at last. Fingers crossed.*Oh, the placard above was propped there Sunday by someone who was cheering on a runner in the New York City Marathon. The Marathon and its populated stretch of 1st Avenue made it next to impossible to get back to the UES on Sunday. We helped the cabbie and endured thick traffic on the FDR, but finally managed to land an open ramp into Manhattan. It was a long ride. And costly. We won't do that again! Cheers to a new President of the United States. I just hope it's the right one.