Saturday, May 31, 2008


So, this afternoon I checked out Sex and the City, the movie. It was good. The other night we saw SJP and MPK on Charlie Rose and the Husband hit the nail on the head when he said that they were promoting the flick as if it were Citizen Kane. The movie isn't an Oscar winner to be sure, but it was a good mini-season of the show and it was fun to see all of the wacky fashions on the ladies, there were appropriate plotlines to justify the running time and the ending was satisfying. Hell, it was a lot better than Indiana Jones!


Okay, so I'm at the theater to see SATC. While Sophie and I saw the Nanny Diaries last summer, I must not have bought any snacks. That being said, I haven't been to a movie by myself in six years (Bourne Identity). This means I'm usually not the one buying the snacks, or if I am I'm buying multiple snacks so when you have to lay down a twenty you're at least getting enough stuff that you assume the bottled water and gummy bears are what were exorbitant. I just paid $11.00 for a nacho combo! That's right-- one stale nacho and a "medium" soda. I think this whole devaluation of the dollar has gone far enough!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Rachael Ray Randomness!

Poor Rachael, who knew a scarf could be controversial for DD?

Crab Cakes...

I saw in this month's Gourmet a recipe for Crab Cakes. I'm a fan of crab cakes. I especially love mini crab cakes (ala passed hors d'ouvre style)... I've never made them before so when I saw that the recipe was a 30 minute or less jobby I figured I'd give it a go. First off, when making something new for the first time I highly recommend actually reading the recipe and writing down what you need, rather than just glancing at it and then committing the list of items to your fuzzy memory. I did the latter and only after I opened up both of my containers of jumbo lump crab meat did I realize I only needed 8 oz. trust me, 8 ounces is a lot of crab meat. Easily four good sized crab cakes. The recipe also calls for 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, a touch of worchestshire sauce, 1 tablespoon of a large egg, beaten and 2 pieces of sandwich bread (torn up). Problem one: no mayo. Alas, though the mom had replaced my jar of mayo with a "big jar" of mayo, one birthday barbeque and some homemade potato salad later and no mayo. I figure, "I can make mayo... I only need two tablespoons!" Sure, but if you're going to make your own mayo and you've never done it before I would recommend reading the recipe for mayo shown in the Gourmet cookbook. Otherwise you'll just start beating one egg and adding some olive oil and you'll just have egg and oil but no mayo.

No Mayo aside, I mixed together my crab meat, torn up bread, egg/oil combo, a touch of seasoned breadcrumbs, a touch of salt, the lea & perrin's, and a dash of sour cream (as a further mayo substitute and hoped binding agent). I then heated up a bit of butter in a pan to brown the cakes. In the end? Not bad.

365 +1

So this evening Miss B. was all awake. She finally hit the sack at 11:27pm. I think she knew something was up--- I think she could tell it was getting to be that time--- birthday time. I fully expect for Dr. Shapiro to call tomorrow morning at 8am and say "Let's have this baby!" I can't believe it's already been a year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Email today from the Job indicated that 50th street and 51st streets would be closed this evening sporadically to accomodate the premiere of Sex and the City, the Movie, at Radio City. Alas, 51st street was to be used as a VIP area/red carpet/media and limo drop-off zone. The firm receptionist/coordinator guy "highly recommends using the subway" if at all possible. This weekend's goal? Hoping that this flick is better than Indy 4.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Boom!

The Husband and the Dad and I went to see Indy 4. As the Husband properly noted, the Indiana Jones franchise suffers from the same fate as the Star Trek movies-- every other one is good. I had such high hopes! Geesh, what can I say? Harrison Ford perhaps was thinking to himself, "Sean Connery was my age when we did the last one, I'll be just fine" yes, except, you're not Sean Connery. Harrison Ford looked like he was wearing MC Hammer pants throughout the bulk of the movie and poor Karen Allen really could have used to have lost a few pounds before joining the cast (I'm all for having "real" looking women in film, etc., etc. but come on, you're in an action adventure flick! At least get toned! Cate Blanchett? Stick to the Oscar performances! Here's to hoping Sex and the City is more promising!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fred Beans!

My favorite car dealer name in the Delaware valley.

Tricks Are For Kids...

So, travelling abroad with a young 'un? I had read before that you can't find diapers in France. This is much like the time I went to Germany with the Mom and Dad and we packed with us juice boxes and chocolate milk in a box because the Mom was convinced we wouldn't be able to get normal drinks in Europe (what, it had been 20 years since she had been there!) Diapers (and not just diapers, but pampers) were available at almost every pharmacy (of which there are possibly even more than the ubiquitous Duane Reades) and at the grocery store and Monoprix. Mind you, they weren't cheap by any means, but they were available and in sizes 4 and larger.

Formula? Formula and baby food is a somewhat different story. I had packed a case of RTF Similacs plus a few extra and a small can of powdered Similac. Towards the end of the trip I was concerned that we might start to run out so we ventured to the Champion to see what they had. No enfamil, no Similac but they did have formula looking things made by both Nestle and Bledina. The formula all seemed to be rated for various age ranges and even had chocolate flavored versions (which seemed a little odd, kind of like Quik milk for babies). In the baby food department in typical European fashion there were quite a few sophisticated options. I picked up for Miss B. some risotto con legumes which actually turned out to be some sort of pureed risotto with zucchini and tomato. Bledina also had a line of "Bledichef" meals which included veal (!) I will say there wasn't a very big selection of baby food and there was certainly no equivalent to the "Graduates" snack food line that's so prevalent here in the US. It seemed to me that the French have a very different approach to solid food-- I think mostly deciding to move into serving table food much sooner than we do, and with the food that they've got, why not?

In other news for moms and dads, changing facilities? Ha! There was one baby changing station that I found in all of Paris. Bring your skip hop changing pad, cross your fingers and pray is all I can advise.

Other than that Paris is pretty kid friendly. There are tons of parks with great playground options for kids of all ages-- we did witness real live pony rides in the Luxembourg Gardens and there are babies and kids in strollers everywhere. That being said, I would not recommend the ye old stroller on the subway as it appears that there is certainly no push to make the Metro accessible. Clearly the French have no equivalent to the ADA because elevators are few and far between, but steps? They've got steps like they're giving them away. Sure, the fold up stroller would be great if one was carrying said baby, but you'll tend to find that naps often coincide with whenever you want to go on the Metro so carrying the stroller becomes a two man job going down steps and a Dad-lift-the-14-pound-stroller-plus-23-pound-baby job on the way up. Upside? The workout certainly makes you feel less guilty about all the pastry.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Saturday was our final full day in the City of Light before heading home. It started off fun with breakfast in the breakfast room and then I headed over to get a haircut at Marianne Gray located around the corner from our hotel. The Husband had made me an appointment (as alas I wasn't able to get in to see Julien at Frederic Fekkai before leaving for vacation)... and I got a great haircut from Nicolas!

Then it was back to Fauchon by Metro to pick up a picnic lunch for noshing in the Luxembourg Gardens. We got a fantastic salmon sandwich, more tea sandwiches and some madeleines--- yum! After lunch we headed over to see the marionette show. This was a truly French experience. The first four rows at the theater were explicitly set aside for children and the theater "director" made sure to enforce this rule. We saw two small fights break out between children (all about between ages 4 and seven) and then watched the ensuing scolding from parents-- it was quite interesting to see a very staid and fancy Grand-mere take a little bully by the hand and give him a good scolding in French. She then doled out a chocolate eclair to her little blond granddaughter, not missing a beat. The show was to start at 3:30 but in true French fashion it started late, giving the theater director the opportunity to whip the kids up into a frenzy for the show (frenzy whipping involving a cowbell and the kids all shouting "Guig-nol" "Guig-nol" like we were at some sort of rock concert). Miss B really enjoyed the puppet show which included a circus show and the standard punch and judy tale.

After the show we wandered through the garden, stopping to check out the boats at the Medici fountain and then stopping at the Cafe Medici for sodas.

After dinner at the hotel we tried for the third time to get on to a night boat cruise. Doing the Metro circuit from Mabillon to La Mott-Piquette Grenelle to Bir Hakeim with baby and stroller in tow we finally time it right and got tickets for the 10:30 Bateaux Parisien. We boarded the Isabelle Adjani (together with a Spanish high school tour group egads!) and cruised around for an hour enjoying the lights and the sights on the Seine one last time before having to head home.

Monday, May 19, 2008


On Friday morning the Husband was still sick and we had a bit of a rough night with Miss B as she was also a bit congested (which meant a lot of flip flopping while sleeping which tended to result in baby hands slapping mom and dad in the face). At about 7:30/8am Miss B and I headed down to the breakfast room at the hotel in order for the Husband to get some sleep. There we met Mrs. Art Garfunkel the first (aka Art's crazy first ex-wife). She first made a comment to us about how runny the scrambled eggs were and then we attempted to intercede on her behalf with the wait staff when she needed a lemon to go with her tea but was having difficulty communicating such. The only other breakfast room occupants were Moby and his euro friend (we had seen Moby the day before breakfasting with a french real estate agent-- to be clear this wasn't the real Moby but it was a guy who looked just like him-- same balding/Cary-Grant eyeglasses techno-hipster look) and Moby just kept looking at Mrs. Garfunkel in horror and eventually left once she started disparaging Art. Miss B and I had sat down and were starting on the eggs and croissants when Mrs. G started telling us about how she had been in Europe for a month for her birthday and that when she was in both Nice and Murano she heard these horrible stories about her ex husband. After a bit of her leaking more details and dropping the name Garfunkel it started to dawn on me that she was talking about Art. It was all very strange and after breakfast, as Miss B and I headed out of the hotel for some shopping, Mrs. G. ran into us again and started telling stories of Bob Dylan and expensive tea sets.

After extricating ourselves from our strange conversation, Miss B and I headed over to the Rue St. Jacques to visit the toy store Jouet Bass where we picked up a very cool boat for Miss B. We also visited the Monoprix and got great sandwiches for lunch from a local Boulangerie.

After lunching with the Husband we all headed out by RER to Marne-la-Vallee to none other than Disneyland Paris!

At DP we went on the carousel, Dumbo and took two turns on the teacup ride (my personal favorite) which was great because it was the only ride in the park with no wait.... well that an the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse but that's not really a ride it's just "let's climb some steps")

As if all of this excitement wasn't enough for one day after heading back to Paris, we wandered around the neighborhood and got dinner at the Relais Odeon to be followed by gelato from Amorino.

Finally, we had worn out the baby.

Stories from the Trip...

Thursday we left the hotel early and walked through the Ile de la Cite and over to the Ile St. Louis.

We had lunch at a great little cafe,

where I got the best "club" sandwich, which in France has hard boiled egg and no bacon, but toast and ham were involved so I was happy.

We then headed over to the Marais... and the Musee Carnavalet. Then we went to the Place des Vosages, which according to the guidebooks is one of the "most beautiful squares in Paris"... unfortunately I'd have to disagree with that, I think the Jardin de Palais Royal has it beat easily, but to each his own. After the Place, we walked to the Palais in order to hit up Naxos, the soldier and toy shop to pick up Tintin goodies for the Dad. From there we walked to Cafe Verlet on the Rue St. Honore. Never stopping, we then headed over to Fauchon and Au Nain Bleu at the Place de la Madeline. At Fauchon we scored wonderful tea sandwiches (so good that we actually went back for more on Saturday)...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

We're on our way

home, with many stories to tell of Art Garfunkle's ex-wife, Parisian puppetshows and night boats on the Seine...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Larger post to follow but lets just say the aquarium and second run theater is a bad business model. It was like The Ground Round but with fish. This morning Miss Baby and I hit up the BHV (and Quick Burger for her first chicken finger!) and then wandered around by the Pompidou Center waiting for HB Henriot to open (while waiting getting into other shopping trouble at a mask shop and a neat scarf place...) After lunch the whole fam headed to the Trocadero and the aforementioned Cineaqua. Then we elected to walk back to the hotel from Cineaqua... (with an unscheduled stop outside the Musee D'Orsay during a downpour...) Husband picked up Pizza Milano (now Marzano) for dinner.

How to Work Off Post-Pregnancy Back Fat...

Walk all over the streets of Paris, and then some. Sorry for the delay in posting66 last night I came down to use the computer late in the evening and the night concergie had firmly ensconced himself at the keyboard so no dice. Anyhoo... as for Tuesday we went all over St. Germain des Pres. Being ever so compulsive I suggested a route counterclockwise spiraling away from the hotel and having us end up on the Mouffetard. We walked along Rue Jacob and Rue de la Universite until we hit the Rue du Bac and then went to the Bon Marche, so far the only place in Paris that actually has baby changing facilities. We "snacked chic" at one of the Bon Marche cafes proving once again that a good department store is a happy place. Sophie had more quiche! Then we went to St. Sulpice, hung out at a cafe on the square, wandered around a bit ,ore and then hit up the church itself. After that it was a stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens followed by shopping on Rue Vavin (childrens clothing mecca, where oddly, Jacadi was most reasonable) Here we also went to Amorino for gelato. Sophie really liked the lemon flavor and the strawberry (lets not even discuss chocolate!) Then we hiked over to the Rue Mouffetard for roasted chicken and potatoes (which we did bring back to the hotel, leading the good folks at the Relais to say, "not those people again!") After dinner we went by metro to the Tour Eiffel again attempting to take a night boat cruise... thankfully disposing of our chicken carcass on the way 5otherwise we really would have been thrown out of the hotel). Alas, we had missed the last cruise but Sophie did get to see the tower again in all its sparkly glory!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The rest of today!

After our exciting breakfast in the hotel, Sophie and I attempted to go to the grocery store only to find it closed, but we turned that into a nice walk in our local arrondisment. Once back at the hotel, the Husband joined us and we headed to the Tuileries... it was another beautiful and sunny day. We wandered around, took lots of pictures and then ate at an outdoor cafe where Sophie ate almost half of my quiche (which was surprisingly excellent for a parkside cafe). Then we hit up the Rue St. Honore for some moderate shopping and then ended up at a cafe near the Palace Royal for sodas and a little chilling out. Then it was into the Jardin de Palais and more photo ops. Tonight we ordered in room service from the restaurant Le Christine... I had fabulous scallops and the Husband had an amazing roast chicken-- thus breaking out of our usual ham and cheese shell. Up until today, 4 of 6 meals had been jambon... sorry Dave!

Quick Note!

We're on our way out, but here's a quick update-- yesterday, Louvre, Tour Eiffel. Sophie's first croissant! Today-- so far Sophie ate a big girl petit dejuner (?) in the hotel restaurant!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Paris

okay, I start off this post by asking the question: why oh why do the French not use the QWERTY keyboard???

It is 11:25 Paris time as I write this-- struggling with the randomized key placement of the hotel keyboard. unfortunately I won't be able to post photos until I get home as the hotel computer has no exposed USB ports for me...

Anyhoo, we left from Newark yesterday at 6:15 (shout out to the Mom and Dad for being our airport livery service and cat sitters!) thank goodness for BusinessFirst, the downside being we will forever be spoiled for travel abroad. The flight was quick only about 6 and a half hours, the food was good and the seats were plenty large to accommodate us and Miss B who flew as a lap child. Luckily she slept for most of the flight and was thoroughly intrigued by the other planes on the runway and looking out the windows generally... can I say, the airplane baby changing situation was much better than expected as indeed there was a changing table in the bathroom and the room was so small that with the table open, there was nowhere for Miss B to roll!

We arrived this morning at 7/35, our hotel had our room ready and we promptly had some ham sandwiches and took naps all around. By 2 we were up and at 'em, ready for a boat ride on the Seine. Sophie really liked looking at all of the bridges; buildings and especially the golden statues (and other passengers)... after, we strolled through the Latin Quarter to Le Bon Marche, hit up Le Grande Epicierie and then walked back to our hotel taking the Rue du Bac from Le Bon Marche to the Seine.

Tomorrow is our visit to the Louvre!

ps. Thisbe and the Wee Kraken would have a field day here-- there are childrens boutiques everywhere you look!

pps. disappointingly the Samartaine is all boarded up and closed. We had been looking forward to lunch on the roof?!?!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


So those of you that know me know that I don't really travel. At least not by air. My general rule is that I only fly international. Well, that time has come again (as it tends to every three or four years)... looks like we're set for going to Paris. I'm packed and ready to go and trying not to focus on the getting there and instead just focus on the being there. We are bringing Miss Baby. Her passport is ready to go! The folks have arrived to babysit Miss Kitty as well. Just a few things are left to do tomorrow-- pick up some newly hemmed jeans, pack the last of the baby clothes and pj's and of course try and locate our power converters. I swear everytime I do travel I have to buy a new one of these damn things at $40 bucks a pop. Here's to hoping for an upswing in the exchange rates!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bar Exam Craziness...

Though initially expected mid-Month, the NJ Board of Bar Examiners published the results of the Feb. 2008 exam yesterday! Woo-Hoo! Both the Husband and I passed. The pass rate for Feb's exam was a dismal 58.4% (or thereabouts...) can I say, that is the least prepared I have ever been for a test in my life and still managed to pass. I was more prepared for my driver's exam.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Help Take a Bite Out of Crime...

Who knew that Rockland County could be such a hotbed of criminal activity? I got a rather strange voicemessage the other day from the Grandfather. Something about a police detective and identity theft. I checked the internet to see if the number he had left actually was the police department and instead it appeared to be some sort of strange financial company up in Rockland. I immediately assumed it was some scammy thing targeted at old people. Gave him a call back and it turns out the phone number from the message was one digit off. With the correct digit it actually did lead me to Dectective Dan of the Clarkstown PD. It turns out somehow or another my American Express card number was stolen. This is doubly unfortunate as I had actually had the account long enough that the number was memorized which comes in handy when placing phone orders... (not to mention that I had the card longer than both Beyonce and Tina Fey... at least according to those ads that AMEX does nowadays) Not only was the card stolen but it was used to buy an $80 Metrocard and then encoded onto a Target gift card wherein the "identity theft ring" attempted to use it at the Palasaides Mall. According to Det. Dan this happened not only to me but to seven other poor schlubs with Amex cards. The folks at Amex were also semi-stymied as they couldn't figure out from cross-referencing everyone's charges where the numbers may have been lifted from (as alas, we were all from various states, not just in the Northeast). Turns out five people were in this "gang" including two ladies from Brooklyn. The good officers of the Clarkstown PD arrested the gang after searching their car and finding the aforementioned "re-encoded" gift cards, now the perpetrators are in jail and I've been requested to send up an affidavit confirming that I don't know any of the accused nor did I authorize them to use my card. Geesh!


I commented to the Mom the other day how everytime I watch "House Hunters International" all of the European apartment dwellers have the same furniture from Ikea, most prevelantly, the infamous Poang chair. When I first moved to New York City after graduating from law school the Mom and I hit up Ikea in Elizabeth and I can recall vividly all of the furniture assembly which took place afterwards. That came back to me swiftly this evening as I worked to assemble the Gulliver table and chair set for Miss B and the Grogsby children's picnic table. Can I just tell you, in the little brochure with assembly instructions for the Gulliver's table, IKEA has the nerve to incorporate a drawing of a crescent wrench as one of the tools you'll need. Of course the size of the bolt you're working with? less than half an inch. Crescent wrench? Not really working. Instead, luckily, a troll through the tool bag unearthed an unmarked static "wrench" which just happened to have one wrench head that fit the bolts on the Gulliver table perfectly. It was clearly a furniture assembly tool from a prior Ikea furniture incarnation. The moral of this story? Always keep the little tools they give you, you'll never know when they'll come in handy for those days when they choose not to enclose any useful tools.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Incredible Edible Egg...

For breakfast this morning I had a poached egg on toast. The poached egg, when done right so the egg yolk is still runny enough to soak through your toast, can be the perfect convergence of flavors. I use Pepperidge Farm White Bread for the toast (though toasted ciabatta is divine...) and I put a bit of butter on the toast before popping the poached egg on top. Once the egg is in place I put a little bit of fresh ground pepper, some kosher salt and the coup de grace, a dash of tabasco sauce. Yum.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Random Observation

The assortment of people to be found at your local FedEx Kinkos at 11:00pm on a weeknight is pretty weird. I'm not sure whether the patrons or the employees made for a stranger mix.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Three Tips to Getting a Book Deal for Your Blog, thanks to Gawker...

Gawker's put through advice on getting a Blog Book Deal... these things are as catchy as Sniglets!