January 26, 2009


Somehow, by some strange potentially nuclear miracle, I've had a full night that didn't seem like it passed in 5 minutes before it's time for Tuesday at work already. I did leave the office at 5 on the nose, which assisted me in climbing from the 86th Street Station by 5:47, and I managed to swing by the drugstore for my Rx, stop in Key Food to purchase dinner ingredients, and arrive home before 6:30. For dinner tonight I decided to attempt yet another new frontier for our palates: barley. The word kind of troubles me, but I came across a recipe that explains how healthy grains are and how barley ranks right up there as healthy grain consumption goes. So, I gave this recipe a shot: a Barley and Sausage Skillet. Granted, sausage is not on the food pyramid as required for a good diet! But the sausage plays a minor role. Also in the dish are onions, mushrooms (I used cremini, as I often do), red bell pepper, garlic, sherry cooking wine, and I threw in some red pepper flakes for heat. The barley simmers alone in chicken broth for about 20 minutes, then is added to the sausage concoction. It was actually really fantastic! I'm happy to add a new dish to our rotation, especially one so simple and basic yet rife with flavor.*After dinner, it was only 8:02! I consider my weeknight bedtime to linger around 10, especially with this pint-sized (hope it stays that way) head cold I managed to find in this bitter cold winter. But it isn't even 9 yet, and Craig is watching Get Smart while I decide my next move (which may be to bed to read several more chapters of my dumb book - despite the poor writing, there are reasons to turn the pages, for instance when I deboarded the 5 train tonight, Bella had just performed a dangerous cliff dive by herself and is now struggling through the strength of the current - I do not fear for our heroine, for undoubtedly one of her mythical creature loverboys will come to her rescue!) I'm definitely becoming somewhat tired, so maybe the warm blankets of bed are the place to be.*And as I wrote that, my Craig just nodded off and has since sprawled horizontally across the couch. He must be as tired as I!

January 25, 2009


So, Saturday we went on a bar crawl. We had a fantastic time, stopping in the middle of the crawl to browse a toy store of sorts. Here I found my Heath Ledger money bank. I can't quite describe how I feel so close to this celebrity, having never met him and the fact that he's younger than me. But what I do know is that he went through a period of darkness, one which found him trying to relieve sleeplessness with pills, trying to recover from whatever illness he had. And I will say that the day he died, I cried. I felt so sad over it, like an artist had left us. I never cried over Kurt Cobain, while several of my high school friends did. I loved him, too, Kurt...but I couldn't quite grasp death then. Not that I do now, but when Heath died, a really sad portion of my heart was tapped. I sort of wondered if really smart artists are always destined to die too early (Plath, Sexton, Elliot Smith), and does that mean that even though I do not apply my art right now, does that mean it's my destiny, too? I'm not disregarding others who have passed too soon - not artists. I'm just thinking, well, maybe pain and art are intertwined, and happiness will never be owned by the artist.*I bought this bank to remind me of how he died while I lived several miles from his home, how his wife and daughter were across the river aiming to be normal people all while being hailed for how amazing they were on screen. It's also my "recession" bank, because never in my life did I imagine I'd be in one, and here we are, in one. I've shoved tons of coins and bills into this Heath Bank, not counting it, just thinking that even if it would buy me a can of food in dire times, it'd be enough. I miss Heath. I miss his work in the same way I wonder what would have happened if Elliot Smith had not ended his life before it was time. I wonder what it's like to really topple off that ledge. Is it rewarding? Is it exhausting? Is it human, to end your own life? Or is it just a miserable mistake...and will you suffer eternally?*Life questions commonly have no answers.

January 21, 2009


This week is ambling along. Monday feels so far into the past, yet Friday feels weeks away. Yesterday was thrilling, sitting quietly at work with streaming Internet all over the office broadcasting Barack Obama's Inauguration. His family rivals the Kennedys in their powerful yet somehow humbled presence. I'm in love with America for voting for this to be his task. Today was his first day at work in the Oval Office. Under scrutiny and with the support of what appears to be a devoted, supportive and warm family, pardon this...but Yes We Can! :) *This afternoon I went for a dental cleaning. My dentist, Dr. Byun, is a kindhearted soul and a good doctor. But damn if I don't ever, ever want to go to the dentist! Teeth are stupid! Technology now has enabled this breed of medicine to take "x-rays" (COLOR PHOTOS) of the inside of a mouth, while a color monitor overhead of the patient brightly displays the disaster that is a long-overdue dental examination. Bah! What I think is awesome about seeing doctors in New York is the location of their offices. It isn't like anywhere else, where a medical office is on a "campus" with sprawling lawns and spans of other medical buildings exactly like each other (ie., Ann Arbor, MI and U of M's healthcare complex) or a single bland-colored facaded (made that up) building with nothing but medical offices on every floor (several various Midwest locales). No, here...well, my regular physician has an office in an apartment. Yes, an apartment...and my dentist devil (sorry) (he's actually really awesome - it's dentristy in general that is devilish) is located in the basement of a Manhattan highrise at 87th and Lex. Nice! It's strange, though...somehow, here, I trust medicine more than other places I've lived. It's my good faith in All Things New York, I suspect.*So, I'm currently roasting the above posted garlic chicken. This is a recipe that just keeps on giving. This marks the 3rd time I will have made it, and despite its grand beauty (much lovelier with a golden skin post-roast), it is one of the simplest, most mundane recipes I have found, relying on the complexity of its ingredients rather than the impossibility of the recipe itself. Thyme, tarragon, 4 bulbs of garlic, Nicoise (in my case, Calamata, as I have not found Nicoise) olives, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a lemon halved and shoved in the cavity yield one of the warmest, yummiest dinners ever. Hmm, unfortunately, the calories add up on this one. But portion control, portion control! Pair this with favorite mashed potatoes and crisp steamed asparagus and homemade dinner takes on new meaning! Mmmm.*I was going to complain a little about New Moon, but nah. I will save it. It's my fault for continuing to read such dribble.

January 19, 2009


snow on E. 92nd Street...below, b&w fire escape with snow facing E. 92nd Street...
snow outside our bedroom window...

It's MLKj Day, thus we took our sweet time going to the office this morning (I slept until almost 7!) and left early. Happy unexpected snow bathes the city in a sheet of white this evening, although I cannot be sure it will stick. Our joint venture partner honors today as a Holiday. Our office was a ghost town without them present, so my co-workers on our side of the team volleyed jokes over our cube walls and ate lunch in a conference room together. This marks a time in my life where I might just feel a little less frantic about the potential future changes and potentially a little more excited. I know a few posts ago I was freaking out. And this isn't to say I won't freak out again in a matter of days or weeks. However, Craig and I have one of two opportunities to look forward to, and while one of them seemed completely haywire (and still has plenty of pitfalls), the mere fact of future employment right now is something to not tamper with. Obama is inaugurated tomorrow, and America will collectively breathe a sigh of relief. But the inauguration of our first African American prez, our first Democrat in way too many years, and all of his ambition and concern for this nation won't immediately unmess what's gradually ripped apart so much of what we stand for. Therefore, in these hard times, anything potential in the realm of employment glows like the sun.*I feel so much less exhausted today, having slept a little longer than usual. Anything before 6 a.m. is just out of the question. I am sluggish all morning and it stretches into the afternoon, even if I'm asleep by 10 at night. In my next role, my commute will be shorter, regardless if it's here in New York or at another destination. The thing about what's perhaps to come, what I can see that's positive in it - blue skies more often. An endless span of ocean. Salt water scents drifting in through an open patio door. Gauzy curtains shifting over open windows. No more perilous icy treks across unsalted parking lots! A chance to have sun on my skin year round. Feeling like the beach will replace my concrete jungle. It's far, far too soon to predict anything. But, if things happen in ways out of my control, I must remain optimistic and realize these changes will be for a reason.*Off to gaze at snow while Craig naps on the couch, then to start an early (yay!) dinner.

January 17, 2009


We're having a really relaxing weekend, which is much awaited and I hope well deserved. Last night Craig made his family's chili recipe, substituting ground turkey for the beef, and we watched Wanted. Surprisingly, I was more entertained by the movie than Craig, who kept muttering, "That's stupid" under his breath. This morning we woke up late (needing sleep like never before, these days) and ate bagels before showering to head into the fierce winter temperatures. We've been planning, for some time now, to go to the Guggenheim. We've visited most of the top-ranked art museums in the City, even the Brooklyn Museum of Art years ago to see Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party in its astonishing profundity. And honestly, with my art background, it's shocking that I don't demand more art museum attendance as it is. So, we found ourselves braving the brisk 15-minute walk to 89th and 5th Ave to see what the Guggenheim is all about. Sadly, all levels of the spiral were closed for construction and installation of a new exhibit, however, we were able to see the permanent exhibit and the Kandinsky exhibit. I fell in love with the above posted Picasso. The title is simply "Woman Ironing." My old art instincts abruptly recognized the brilliance - the genius - of the composition. The line beginning at her neck and creating the jut of her sharp thin shoulder, traveling along the hunch of her back, is perfect. The space created between her torso and right arm couldn't be more well proportioned to the rest of the painting. Then I began to absorb the quiet haunting nature of the woman as a subject. The shadow in her eyes hides her emotion from the viewer so we are free to build what might be there for ourselves, yet her stance speaks ranges of sadness. I love that the iron itself is such an insignificant element of the painting. This was such a compelling piece to view. I returned to it after visiting the rest of the permanent collection, and I bought a postcard of it. But seeing it there, hanging in the Guggenheim, drawing me in, quieting me, reminded me of all the paintings I've loved and viewed live, and how seeing artwork in person is mandatory for art lovers. Live art trumps anything that can be seen on a computer screen or in a textbook, hands down.*In other thrilling news, last night I bought 2nd row tickets for us to see Maggie Gyllenhaal in a Chekhov play. I could not be happier about it! So, in summary of our adventures of the next couple of months, we are seeing Razorlight in concert, Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker) in Hedda Gabler, Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave in concert, and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Uncle Vanya. That's a lot of exciting stuff to look forward to! We're blessed.*Thursday afternoon in New York was strange, because a US Airways pilot landed a commercial plane in the Hudson River. Evidently the plane collided with a flock of birds, which stopped both engines. The flight was in transit to North Carolina when this happened, and the pilot used his wits to safely land roughly 150 passengers in the Hudson, where ferries and rescue operations saved every single life on that plane. That's offbeat and positive news, if you ask me. It's being called "Miracle on the Hudson."*Off to enjoy the remainder of the weekend before kicking off another full week of work. Thanks for art, thanks for music, thanks for theater...they make it worth the while of forging through the weekdays.

January 12, 2009


I'm completely dumbfounded that this is happening to me. These tickets - they arrived today in the mail, and they speak multitudes for who I have become since finding them and finding music that could literally turn my world inside out. I absolutely have no doubt that this might be one of the most amazing events of my life, and that I might find myself clapping overhead, crying, laughing and singing along all at once. Music inspires such emotion. And Kristin, of all of them, is most friendly with the ability to cause all sorts of things at once. I can't believe this concert is going to happen to me. It feels like a final awesome destination. Indeed, one I would never sacrifice for anything, therefore I am placing these $20 tickets in our firesafe (which Craig thinks to be ludicrous) cause just What If. I must be at this show. I must be there with my shining eyes watching while this magical woman does exactly what she knows best, which is to woo the masses with her accidental brilliance. I don't know what else to say.*

January 10, 2009


pictures don't do this snowfall justice...
oh, and here is a random photo of my roast from last weekend!

Snow is being dumped on New York City today. It's so nice to be here in this. Snow for non-driving types is just beautiful, not a road block!*I've disappeared from the blogosphere for a while because I've been busy writing reviews of bars for a freelance (not for pay) publication called Thirsty? New York. Lauren sent me the craigslist ad a few months ago, and I responded immediately and soon the bars I've reviewed will be included in a tangible publication. I don't believe I came across overly brilliant in my reviews, but it's going to be such a fun keepsake, knowing that in 2009 my New York "local" editorial perspective will be shed on other New Yorkers and even guests to New York. I still owe the editor 2 remaining bar reviews, 1 which is written, and the other which remains to be researched.*Things are changing. Winter is here in full force, as is all of the mental trainwreck involved with "end of job" problems. This year, Craig and I complete our work on our current job. I'm terrified, sad, angry...what have you...that it's time again to bite my nails and fret this. It's everything, this time. It's me and him. It's career, a possible transfer, leaving New York. We're headlong into our thirties and everything could crumble in a blink, everything could deteriorate to something I'm not ready to confront or believe. Leaving New York is a mortifying concept. Potentially not being with him is even worse. The economy is picking apart America, deleting job after job. We're in for a ride, this year. I love lots of things, but I don't love this fear that I have mounting in my middle. How nice it would be to know what's in store tomorrow.*Off to catch snowflakes in my mouth. Oh, to be 10 again.

January 02, 2009


Happy New Year! It's finally 2009. Oh, thank goodness. Above posted photo is of Alison and Scott's soon-to-be-born baby boy's crib, complete with a ROCKING stuffed guitar...huh, as if that weren't enough to turn him into a complete rockstar, right away! Totally cool. Anyway, we've had a really good time these past few days...left work a little early on New Year's Eve, hurried home to pack up our stuff, then headed across the Park in a taxi (6 minute ride! really!) to cozy up at Alison's and Scott's for New Year's Eve. Joining us were Alison's dad, and Niki and Matt, who all traveled from Queens to have some warm NYE fun. I roasted the garlic chicken and warmed the mashed potatoes that I had made the night before, and Alison and Scott made terrific appetizers to go with our wine and champagne. We played some Wii, I shot Nikon photos, and we rang it right in! We're so happy to have been surrounded by good people to welcome 09. Please, oh please let 09 be the Miracle of Obama...and please, oh please let Americans thrive again.*We've welcomed a lot of new babies recently. Kara gave birth to Jake on NYE, early a.m.! Julie gave birth to Trent Monroe in the middle of the night between the night before NYE and NYE! He was early, but is healthy. Alison is ready, although, I think their baby needs some more time in the oven. We are lucky to know so many healthy, happy pregnant families. And I hope America turns around to treat those babies right. Happy New Year!