Thursday, September 28, 2006


So, the query is out there-- should I switch to a MacBook? I have this goofy desire to have an iMac desktop in the kitchen, but I'm waiting until that fateful day when we eventually remodel. In the meantime, take the plunge or stay with a PC? Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's Tuesday again.

That seems to happen every week. Why is it that Tuesdays tend to be rather boring?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bin Laden Dead?

Supposedly a French intelligence report leaked word that Osama Bin Laden may be dead. Or, to paraphrase Monty Python, "'E's passed on! He has ceased to be! He's expired and gone to meet his maker! He's a stiff! Bereft of life, He rests in peace! .... THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!" Maybe he knows where my hair dryer is?

Bad hair day.

Can anybody tell me where the hell I put my hair dryer? It has been sucked into the vortex, only to be found days from now, together with my left slipper and some size 10 knitting needles.

More Movies...

Did I tell you about Crank? Poor Jason Statham, and to think, he seemed to have a somewhat promising career. Okay, with that over, we decided to check out some On Demand movies. Ultraviolet? Please, the cat and I were asleep through that one. While Mila Jovovich was good as The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet was pretty lame. Then there was Inside Man. Not bad, a little long, but overall not bad. I think Spike is losing his edge though. And, as a blast from the past, I just watched the end of The Big Easy. Who doesn't like Dennis Quaid as Remy McSwain?

Madama Butterfly on Seventh

How cool is it that the Met simulcast Madama Butterfly live in Times Square this evening? I was in a cab wondering why traffic on seventh avenue was so backed up, when I went down Broadway I got to see it. Folding chairs were set up all on seventh avenue and it was packed with people-- on three of the jumbotrons there was the opera, with sound piped in by giant speakers. Neato.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Vincit Amor Patriae

Needing to decipher a coat of arms found inside of our fireplace. It's got a horse and a dog holding up the main crest. On top of the main crest sits a lion and a peacock on top of a crown. Buckles and crosses abound within the interior of the crest. The phrase "Vincit Amor Patriae" (approximately "love of country conquers") is stated beneath the crest itself. Any thoughts are appreiciated. Betting it was something available at colonial Williamsburg circa 1965. Upside could be from 1760, downside, was available via mail order with S&H Greenstamps or Crackerjacks proofs of purchase.

Some Thoughts...

The windows in our family room are from, we think, the fifties. We have been under the impression that our family room was added on sometime in the forties/fifties and the windows came in at that point. They're sliding windows and there are a lot of them, and a while ago we had a branch come through one of them.

Branch 1
Window 0

So we called up Andersen (as the one identifying feature on the windows is a small mark on the ledge which says "Andersen" in a very 1950's cursive, "Bayport Minn.")

When you call Andersen these days they have a very repetitive recording which tells you how before you speak with a representative you should have your glass code handy. The Glass code can be found, etched in the corner of your window, directly above the "Andersen" triangle. Needless to say our windows predate both the etched glass number and the Andersen triangle.

Miraculously, after speaking with the Andersen representative (between giving them a description of our windows and the size) they were able to determine that in the fifties they made two kinds of windows similar to what we were describing, ones with wood trim and ones with vinyl trim. Ours are wood. We confirmed this and then we were told it would be nine business days the window to be manufactured. Granted the window was under $300 (and its a big window) but still, 9 business days, meanwhile we have a big piece of plywood up over our broken window (with lovely black plastic contractor bag lining on the inside). Up until this point I had totally figured the windows were some totally random custom size. Turns out they weren't, they were off the rack-- completely odd, strange sized (all based on the measurements we took when we ordered our roman shades) but for Andersen, stock sizes nonetheless. Of course, these were stock in the 1950s, now they have to be custom made.

Approximately 14 days later (business days, after all, and shipping) we get a window dropped off by our garage by FedEx. The husband moves the box, it clinks. We think, "Oh, maybe its spare parts." No, its not spare parts, surprisingly, the window is exactly the same as the one we're replacing (right down to the shattered glass). I was impressed that Andersen was able to locate in its system the model window we had and recreate it exactly. I was less impressed that they had packed it in the box upside down and it had managed to break before it even got to our house.

We called, it will be another 9 business days. On the upside, we remembered to order a new screen this time (as obviously, the branch went through that too).

This can be contrasted with Pella. We bought new windows for half of the house about a year or so ago from Pella. The windows are great-- no complaints, so great in fact, we want to order the rest of the windows. We call up the Pella guy and it was like trying to decipher the rosetta stone in order for him to get us a quote for the same model/make of window we purchased a year ago. He tells us they've made improvements, changes, etc. I'm thinking--- if Andersen can reproduce a fifty year old window, why is it that Pella can't even get us the same windows we bought last year!?! Then again, the Pella windows at least arrived in one piece.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Even more movies...

Must recommend... House of Flying Daggers and Proof (okay, Gwyneth yells quite a bit and I'm not a big Jake Gyllenhaal fan but the story was good nonetheless).

Monday, September 18, 2006

Following Ana's Lead Again...

American Cities That Best Fit You::
70% New York City
65% Chicago
60% Philadelphia
55% Boston
45% Los Angeles

Saturday, September 16, 2006

More Movies.

Saw "The Black Dahlia". Why is it that at any given time there often seem to be multiple genre movies in theaters at the same time? Between this and "Hollywoodland" what is the sudden fascination with murders from LA in the late forties/fifties?? Anyway, I wasn't excited by this movie. Josh Hartnett-- geesh, no personality. Hilary Swank? Ugh. They kept saying how she and the "Dahlia" (Mia Kirshner) were look alikes. Look alikes? I think not, Hilary looks like she could be Alanis Morrisette's twin. Overall bad sound, bad sets. It seemed like Brian de Palma was trying to do a tv remake of Chinatown. On the upside, there were good previews. "The Departed" looks good. "Babel", I can't tell-- will it be like Syriana or since hooking up with Angelina has Brad Pitt lost his mind?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tagged, again.

Ana has tagged me with a movie-quote task. I have to say, I'm losing my edge, but here goes. Below are quotes from 11 of my favorite movies, the goal is to try and identify the movie. Extra points if you can name the character and even more points, and a pat on the back if you can name the actor.

1. One movie, two Quotes, two different scenes, two different characters:

"Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today, I saw one. It got on at 42nd, and off at 59th, where, I assume it was going to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake - as almost all hats are"

"That's one less person I'm not speaking to"

2. Easy. Let's assume they'll get harder? "I hate Illinois Nazis"

3. "I'm hungry, let's get a Taco"

4. More multiples:

"My life is passing before my eyes. The worst part about it is that I'm driving a used car."

"Yes, they're keeping it refrigerated!"

5. "I've gone gay all of a sudden"

6. "Don't you just love it when you come back from the bathroom and find your food waiting for you?"

7. "You chased a dog and beat a horse, you're stronger than you think."

8. "Everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor but they couldn't possibly all have good taste."

9. "Pink is my signature color"

10. More dual quotes:

"They were jammies! They had Yodas'n shit on 'em!"

"I just love biblical names. If I had another little boy, I'd name him Jason, Caleb or Tab."

"I'm okay, you're okay, that there's what it is."

11. "Well, ain't this place a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!"

I tag 410e9th. You're it.

Two bonus:

"You sit on a throne of lies!"

"I'm applying to Oxford and the Sorbonne. Harvard's my safety."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It's Tuesday.

So, not much exciting is going on.

As an answer to Ana's last comment I wrote back letting her know what was for dinner yesterday-- broccoli rabe/pork sausage with artichoke hearts and lemon/artichoke pesto over gnocchi-shaped pasta. Sometimes Whole Foods has good stuff!! Who knew I would be making this at 9:30pm, but what can I say, sometimes you just want actual real-live-cooked food. I'd had McDonald's for lunch, followed by a snack of White Cheddar Cheez-Its (which is the cause of all tooth decay all over the globe, trust me on this) and then some nutter butter bites (why? why???). I needed real food. Also on the menu for this week-- sweet potato gnocchi (I wish they were home made, but unfortunately, they're from a package-- any thoughts on sauce pairings?) As for dinner tonight, who knows what is on the menu. Theoretically we're going out to dinner for the Meseversary.

We drove in today. It took us 2+ hours. Sure, last Friday we drove and it was like 55 minutes, today, 2+ hours. It's pretty bad when the driving commute makes the train look good.

Totally random aside-- Can't we make September 11th a National Holiday already? That's my vote.

Finally, thoughts on the new TV schedule? Did we ever find out what happened on Reunion from last year??? Who killed Samantha? Who do you think will win Project Runway? Will Heidi's new baby look more like Seal or Heidi (or Tim Gunn by osmosis?)

(I know, I'm getting more like Larry King every day.)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Productive Sunday...

It started with Blueberry muffins. I made those and poached eggs on toast (only later to see a divine looking recipe in Bon Appetite for fanci-fied poached eggs on toast which involved bacon and spinach and other goodies), and of course, crispy crowns (they were baked, so not bad, right?)

After a long nap (happily accompanied by the cat), I then started looking through my new issue of Food and Wine. Dubbed the "Wine" issue (and I guess next month will be the "Food" issue and then they'll be out of all new ideas), it had an intriguing picture of orichetti (sp?) with bolognese sauce. I polled the husband, offering either: (a) pappardelle with an artichoke and tomato cream sauce or (b) the orichette. He took the orichette.

One relatively long trip to Whole Foods later, we were at home making bolognese. However, I had mentioned earlier in the weekend an intention to make chocolate cream puffs, so that was on the menu too. Made the bolognese (not quite the same as the recipe-- I used white wine instead of red, some cashews instead of chestnuts and a good bit of balsamic vinegar. Then I made some little goat cheese toasts (because despite what Dave would say, you can't beat a good goat cheese) and then started on the puffs. Called the mom but alas no answer so I once again winged the puffs, with a little help from

The pasta and sauce was tasty, as was the goat cheese toasts... for desert the creme puffs certainly hit the spot.

On the menu for the week-- we got some pork and broccoli rabe sauages which I plan to make tomorrow with a gnocchi-pasta shape with artichokes and lemon pesto (had to get those artichokes in there)!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Shout Out to Larry King...

Years ago in his syndicated columns appearing in USA Today, Larry felt the need to reiterate to the world at large the simple sentiment: "I like pie."

Yet Another Entry into the Annals of "Things You Don't Expect to Hear at the Office..."

From: Hospitality Head-Honcho
To: Everybody (!) US

I am pleased to announce the return of Ghengi Roget from Touching Hands. The on-site chair massage is the perfect "stress buster" for those on the go with a minimum amount of time. Tension headaches, repetitive stress injuries, aches and pains from stiff or sore muscles, increased susceptibility to colds and flu are just some of the conditions where a massage can be helpful. During the on-site chair massage, the client is in a seated position and is fully clothed.

Due to high demand, only one 15 minute session per person will be allotted. Unfortunately, on site chair massages cannot be submitted to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for reimbursement.


It's always good to clarify that whole "fully clothed" thing when speaking of the office environment, and gee, who really expects to get reimbursed for an on-site chair massage???

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Handsome Rob

The New York Times Sunday Style section has this neat little article entitled "A Night out With..." each week. Imagine my happy surprise when this week's installment was "A Night out with Jason Statham". I ask, who doesn't like Jason Statham? Great in Lock, Stock, Snatch, the Italian Job and even, yes, the Transporter and Transporter 2. I guess this means I'll have to go and see Crank.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tournament of Champions

This evening we actually got home early enough to watch Jeopardy! For those of you that know me, you may remember my little stint last year of trying out to be on Jeopardy! I was denied, but the life long dream lives on. Regardless, this week happens to be the Tournament of Champions.

Let me tell you, though the tournament is technically the cream of the crop of Jeopardy! Contestants, its a really scary look at humanity. As you'd typically expect of the eight final contestants 7 are men, and the one woman looks like a librarian from the dustbowl. Of the 7 men, 6 of the 7 had really silly eyeglasses, bad hair cuts and generally looked like real brainiacs. It's times like this when you realize why they don't televise the awarding of the Nobel Prizes.

This whole thing got me thinking. What if my cat were a contestant on Jeopardy!? I've had these dreams before, like the time I envisioned her on the "Apprentice" where her only response in the Boardroom to a hard grilling by Donald Trump and his cronies would be "Brrr!"

Same thing on Jeopardy! Personally, I think she would be a natural. Especially if she got good categories such as, "Famous Mice", "Types of Fish" and of course, the old favorite, "Balls of Yarn". She is, after all, a French cat, so we know she would do well on questions relating to food, wine and style. Given her background in feline history she would also do well with any categories relating to Ancient Egypt, her downfall would be "Dogs" and anything having to do with curiosity.